Friday, August 26, 2011

5 Things About Me

Inspired by my inspiring friend, Robin over at Knitting Peace. I’m hitching a ride on her always authentic blog post 5 Things About Me. But let me start with the fact that my 5 Things are the SAME as HER 5 things and maybe that’s why I like Robin!

Truth be told, Robin and I have known each other for years. Years and years. I can’t count them. Let’s just say we have known each other since before blogging was invented. One of the reasons I blog at all is to stay in contact with friends like Robin whose minds I long to penetrate, to keep me sane, to keep me connected, to keep me laughing... at her and at myself. Laughter is good medicine. There ya go. And there is an example of the first of my 5 Things.

I talk too much.

I yam what I yam, as Popeye once said and apparently, like Robin and Popeye, I’m a yammer. Last week, I logged my longest phone conversation ever. 6 hrs. Give or take. I am most definitely a yammer.

I may be menopausal.

A few months ago, I logged my longest period ever. 2 weeks. Give or take. TMI. So sorry, but that and the night sweats are impairing my judgment.

I cook because I have to.

I do not enjoy it, either.

It’s messy.

Crumbs in the cracks of my expansive tile counter make me cranky. No one sees the crumbs but me. Or the crusted pancake batter. Or the crispy shredded cheese. It’s crummy. But the worse thing of all is raw meat. Does anyone actually enjoy handling raw meat? I was wishing the other day that they sold packages of CHEAP raw chicken cubed just so I wouldn’t have to cut it into pieces. Hate that job. And I won’t let anyone else do it because if they can’t see the crumbs and the crusty pancake batter and bright orange shredded cheese, they will not even think to sanitize raw chicken schmear!

I hate being frugal.

Because if I weren’t frugal, I could perhaps find the pre-cut raw chicken cubed and buy it, or the pre-seasoned stuff, or whatever. I’m sure it would be easier.


Gray is my new favorite color. In every shade. But I specialize in silver linings.

What about you my bloggedy friends? What are 5 things about you you’d like to share!?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

They Came Home

Trust me. That pillow did not return from Boy Scout camp that color.

Neither did the Boy Scout shirts.

Neither did the boys.

They came home a dingy shade of brown.

Can't believe Boy Scout khaki can get any dingier? shadier? brownier?

It can. Trust me.

They came home responsible.

I found myself reminding them of things they already did.

"Did you get the stuff out of the car?"

I already did mom.

"Have you unpacked your packs yet?

I already did mom.

"Did you call your dad?"

"Did you remember to put bleach in the laundry?"

"Did you shower?"

I already did mom. Can I give you a big hug now that I'm not so dirty and smelly?

(A mother's heart melts when her gigantic sons want to hug her. I think one of my boys kept forgetting he hugged me already because every half hour or so he'd come back for another hug.)

They came home affectionate.

They wanted homemade pizzas for dinner with a fruit salad. Apparently, nobody cooks like mom cooks, but I gotta tell you, homemade pizzas are not my specialty. Pizzas from Vons are my specialty, but I cracked open the big bucks and bought Boboli and real pepperoni with real previously shredded italian cheeses by Kraft. They each had one big one of their own.

They came home thankful.

They also came home with stories. Zach met Sam and walked with him everyday from one class to another. Sam, he knows strangely enough, from Fresno - where we don't live but where we have friends who do. Leave it to Zach to make a friend connection. Evan received the Boy Scouts of America Lifeguard certificate and came home confident. His Troop Leader was so impressed he emailed me with a suggestion on how we can surprise Evan at the Court of Honor with a special something. I can't say more. What if he reads my blog? Needless to say, leave it to Evan to make an impression.

It was a long week for Jillian and me without them. I had plans. We did good things, but something changed this year. My boys came home different. I think they come home every year ... different. But this year, they came home different-er than all the other years. This year, I longed for them. I think they also longed for me. Perhaps it is because we are all realizing, that some day, they won't come home.

For now, however, my gigantic, smelly, brown, responsible, affectionate, thankful, friendly, impressive boys are home.

Thank you Jesus. They came home.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Eat Chocolate

I’m eating chocolate.

And I’m celebrating!

Okay. Truths out. I’ve lost weight. I didn’t need to lose weight, but I started gaining weight which led to me watching my weight which led to me watching what I eat which led me to praying to God.

Dear Lord, Life stinks and the last thing I need right now is to have to buy clothes to fit into! And the Lord provided.

My Fitness Pal.

I lost 9 pounds. I weigh what I weighed when I got married. Yay for me! I am recommending it to all the mommy women I know, because in all my years of watching my weight off and on, I have never been so simply successful. I know you mommy women who need a change can be successful too!

BUT, I have had to buy clothes. Smaller ones. Never thought I’d be doing that!

Here’s the story.

After I prayed, my husband called me.

“Hey sweetie, I was reading this article about a guy who ate twinkies...”

Don’t believe me? I swear to God my husband said he read an article about a guy who ate twinkies and lost weight. Click here and you can read it, too.

“Hey sweetie, I was reading this article about a guy who ate twinkies and he just counted the calories and he used this cool website, My Fitness Pal.”

Joe started using My Fitness Pal.

Joe started showing ME how to use My Fitness Pal and even though I balked at being tied down to a computer dictating to me what and how much I could eat, I found My Fitness Pal to be my PAL! my FRIEND! my BUDDY! It was so easy and now, most often, I use My Fitness Pal to manage my day. When Joe is home, we sit at tandem computers and make our entries and determine how much dessert we can or can’t have that evening. Sweet fellowship! Isn’t it Romantic?

You manage what you measure and now I am managing my weight nicely.

Joe lost 23 pounds. He’s my pal on My Fitness Pal, kind of like you have friends on Facebook. So, if you want to be my Pal, sign up! I highly recommend it.

Like me, you may find yourself eating the best chocolate cake in the world and not feeling one bit of guilt, remorse or dread.

I’m watching my weight and eating cake too! Yahoo!

If you find yourself feeling slightly ugly at my pronouncement, take a minute to read this amazing blog post about body image and be encouraged.

God answers prayer.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It’s Been a Whale

We’ve been bogged down with LIFE; in a good way. It’s full. This speech thing my kids are doing is sucking the life right out of me on one end and filling me up with a fire hose on the other end. It’s hard to ponder and wonder about things when you are just in the middle of the fun. It’s a great time to just go with the flow.

However, God has brought to my attention a guy in the Bible who didn’t go with the flow. Jonah.

I’ve nicknamed Jonah the Pitiful Prophet. He thought he could flee from the presence of God and had the arrogant audacity to sleep through the consequential mess he created. Shirker! Slacker! Slouch! Pitiful!

He was also angry. Really angry. At God. At the end of the itty bitty book, God says, “You moron. You don’t have the right to be mad. People matter to me.” (My Paraphrase)

Until recently, I had a narrow perception of Jonah as pitiful and angry and bitter. That’s how the Bible describes him. Lately, however, my perception of Jonah is broadening. First, I heard a sermon series by RC Sproul on the subject of Jonah then, my church did a series on Jonah. It’s a whale of a tale weighing the grace of God against the self-righteousness of man and I’m discovering stuff I didn’t know. LOVE how God’s Word does that!

Initially, I asked myself the usual questions, “How am I like Jonah? Am I angry at God? What do I need to do about that?”

Then, one of the pastors mentioned that something called the Tomb of Jonah exists in what was once Ninevah, in modern day, Iraq. The pastor suggests that if this is true, we can deduce that Jonah got God’s message loud and clear and that he perhaps stayed in Ninevah to guide all those who repented. Oh, the thought! Maybe the Pitiful Prophet wasn’t so pitiful, afterall. Maybe, though history doesn’t record it, Jonah’s redeemed.

Speaking of redemption, my favorite revelation into the book of Jonah is this - The Whale SAVES him. Read it yourself. Tossed to and fro by the waves leads to his being engulfed by the sea. Choking the thick salty water of the sea, what air he has left is stuck in his throat; Jonah has no where to turn. Tangled in webs of seaweed, growing more frantic every moment, the surface fades to black as Jonah begins to lose consciousness and HRUMPF! he is swallowed by a fish. The fish is his redemption. The fish saves him. The fish gives him life.

Have you ever had a “belly of the fish” kind of experience where you were covered my the mirk and mire of one’s circumstances, yet it was your salvation? We don’t often see the salvation until later, kind of like Jesus and the tomb ..... (duh - if you cross reference much of anything that’s an easy match). But because we don’t live in the “ever after” but in the “here and now” in the midst of our stinky, acidic, rotting circumstances we forget to be thankful. Sometimes it is good to remember that despite everything, God calls us to Himself. We can’t get away from His purposes. We can’t run away from His agenda. We can’t escape His love.

How pitiful we may be.
Because it is not about Us.

Just like the Book of Jonah isn’t about Jonah. And it’s not about a Fish. It’s about GOD and the great lengths he will go to because He cares for PEOPLE, even disobedient ones.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011



Jillian mispelled a word in her Louis Pasteur paper today.

It made me laugh.


Isn’t that how it is? We think we are being “for real”. Authentic. Ourselves. Free. But sometimes we are more religious than real. Ever thought of what religious looks like? Do you think it might be you? Or are you genuinely “for real”? Are you real-igious?

It’s a funny thing being around realigious people compared to religious ones. There is a comfort, a laughter and joy about being real. Real to walk with Jesus. What joy!

It's been a long time since I just sat and talked face to face with someone real. But a week ago I had a phone conversation with dear friend... I think we might have hit the 2.5 hour mark! Real-ligious. The other night, I stayed up til past midnight, getting to know a new friend. Real - ligious.

Both cases: Women walking. Women talking. Women loving their God and learning and growing. Women knowing they don’t have it all together but, as the saying goes, together we have it all. Fellowship. Community. Real-igious.

I know I am being real-igious when I can tell my friend that I’m so irked at my teen that 4 letter words are flashing through my brain.

I know I am being real-igious when I can tell someone else’s kid they need to knock it off and that Jesus loves them, but they still need to shape up because they are bugging me!

I know I am being real-igious when I tell someone that I have no idea what to do or what to say and to ask someone else because I am totally clueless.

I know that being real-ligious is like this Christmas cactus. It was supposed to bloom at Christmas time, like, I am not kidding, like, can you tell I’m Californian?, 2 years ago, when I received it. It never bloomed. I parked it in a dark place in my garage to go dormant. It didn’t work. I gave up. I decided that since it looked more or less happy despite the fact that it never bloomed, I’d just leave it in my window sill. It’s been over a year but it’s suddenly blooming. Why?

Because it’s time. It’s real. It’s been alive all along but it needed something I couldn’t give it. When I gave up. It bloomed.

I think that’s what being real is all about. When you stop following all the rules and guidelines for blooming, you stop following all the prescribed directions, you just do it. You bloom. You become real-ligious. Like my Christmas cactus. Who cares if it’s not Christmas? Look at it! It's splendiforous with promise and blooms!

I haven’t thought this through. I have no time to edit. But I want to know, do you get it? Are you blooming? Or do you just need to rest from religious and get a little more real?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Year

There is something wonderful about NEW. It's a great word, isn't it? What comes to mind?
New creation.
New things.
New baby.
New season?

What about WONDERFUL. Full of wonder.
A wonderful story.
A wonderful memory.
A wonderful person.
A wonderful life?

Words pack a powerful punch. Those eloquent phraseologists, able to turn concrete, stone-cold letters into meanings that transcend spirit, touching us deeply are few and far between. I don't claim to be one of those eloquent types, even though I've been accused of saying what you meant to say. My kids say I'm "wordy" and that's not a compliment. But one word stands out to me this year and this is it - FREE.

Betz White is one of my faves of the blogosphere. She went looking for the Word of The Year in her My Word blog post. What word, if you can claim one, says it for you? What word describes where you are at? What word expresses your heart in this cold, January season of hope, promise and future? An entire year is ahead of you... can you describe it in a word?

I chose FREE and I can't really tell you why. I commented on Betz' site and I can't quite recall my ramblings. I just know I AM FREE. I just know I am so grateful to BE FREE. Even if I don't feel free, FREE is the truth. I touched on this idea in my recent Thanksgiving blog, and quite frankly, I'm glad I live there still.

Perhaps the word jumped out at me because the verse tumbling out of my mouth lately is this verse. I don't know how or why it grabbed hold of me, but here it is -

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor 3:17)


What's your word of the year?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

How I Know 2011 Will Be A Very Good Year

When we moved from California to Colorado in 2004, our hearts broke. All the people we’d miss was first and foremost on our minds, but it’s not until you get to a new place that you realize how much you enjoyed the simple things like Round Table Pizza or Togos. My fellow newly planted Coloradoans rejoiced with me when they built the Costco in Colorado Springs, but despite several writing campaigns, we were never able to talk Trader Joe’s into towing the line all the way to the Rocky Mountain State. Alas, some things you just have to learn to live without.

When I moved back to California from Colorado in 2007 I tried to focus on what I was gaining, not all that I was losing. Fresh air. Ta ta. Blue Skies. Asta La Vista. Whisper of new fallen snow. Sayonara, baby. (Oh, and you sierra folk who think you have whisper of new fallen snow, you don’t. You just think you do. It’s slushy and globby and nothing whisper like.) But anyway.... When we returned to our home state, we had lots of Round Table Pepperoni Pizza, crispy, spicy and greasy and just the way we like it. Togos, #27, wheat, extra pickles. Need I say more? TJ’s... I admit, I have a love affair with their salt and pepper ridge cut potato chips! BUT, I could not have anticipated the blessing of this .... new.....development.

(drum roll please) .....Yah Baby!

Hobby Lobby is coming to California!!!

And get this!

Tomorrow, Monday, January 3rd we have to drive ALL THE WAY TO TULARE.... for a speech thing. And guess what? This is the good part! Aren't you dying to know????

Tomorrow, Monday, January 3rd is the GRAND OPENING of the NEW Visalia HOBBY LOBBY! Do you know how far it is from the Tulare speech thing to the new Hobby Lobby?... 7 measley miles!!!

Guess how fast I’m going to hightail it outa my speech thing dragging my children behind me tomorrow, January 3rd?

Lightning, baby....don’t blink, because I’m gonna be outa there..... VaVaroom!

2011 is going to be a very
Hobby New Year!