Friday, March 30, 2007

Anyway . . .

I don't have too much time to write today - it is month-close at work, and we are heading on our 1st camping trip of the season right after work. So, after all the paper is shuffled, it's time to throw some clothes in a bag and head for the hills! Okay, there's really only one hill, but there is also a river and a big dam, so for us, it's a big trip!

So, I'll leave you with a snippet from an author that I do not know, but wish that I could meet, because this hangs by my desk to remind me every day - do it anyway!


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank some may cheat you.
Be forthright anyway.

What you spend years building some may destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness some may be jealous and scornful.
Be joyous anyway.

The good you do today may often be forgotten tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it will never be enough;
Give the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the end, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them . . . anyway.

Have a great weekend, all!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More Colton Funnies

Yesterday, at daycare, Colton cracks us all up again with his quick wit-

Tina - Colton, I want you to try to go poop when you go to the bathroom.

Colton - Okay . . . . . Then get outta here!

Tina - What?

Colton - At this time, I would like you to leave so I can have some privacy. Do you know what privacy is? That's when you leave someone alone so they can go to the bathroom.

Is he 3, going on 16 or what?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Do I Applaud What is Right?

I find myself again and again intrigued by this writing of Max Lucado. It seems that I can come back to it repeatedly, and I always find room for improvement. It’s a good measuring stick to see how I am treating others in my life – do I truly love them? Am I applauding what is right . . .

The summer before my eighth-grade year I made friends with a guy named Larry. He was new to town, so I encouraged him to go out for our school football team. He could meet some guys, and being a stocky fellow, he might even make the squad. He agreed.

The result was a good news-bad news scenario. The good news? He made the cut.

The bad news. He won my position. I was demoted to second string. I tried to be happy for him, but it was tough.

A few weeks into the season Larry fell off a motorcycle and broke a finger. I remember the day he stood at my front door holding up his bandaged hand. “Looks like you’re going to have to play.”

I tried to feel sorry for him, but it was hard. The passage was a lot easier for Paul to write than it was for me to practice. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15 nasb).

You want to plumb the depths of your love for someone? How do you feel when that person succeeds? Do you rejoice? Or are you jealous? And when he or she stumbles? Falls to misfortune? Are you really sorry? Or are you secretly pleased?

Love never celebrates misfortune. Never. I like the way Eugene Peterson translates the passage: “Love. . .doesn’t revel when others grovel, [but] takes pleasure in the flowering of truth” (msg). J.B. Phillips is equally descriptive: “Love . . .does not gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it shares the joy of those who live by the truth.”

You know your love is real when you weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. You know your love is real when you feel for others what your heavenly Father feels for you. Remember, love “rejoices whenever the truth wins out” (1 Cor. 13:6 nlt).

Never celebrate misfortune. That’s a tough one – but something I need to do each and every day. There are many places it is easy to celebrate when others look bad – because a lot of times, it makes you look good. Never celebrate misfortune – Thanks for the reminder, Max – I’ll keep working on it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Lies, Lies, Lies!

I don't know who they are, but have you ever noticed that they seem to know a lot? Or, at least think they do? How many sentences do your husband or friends start with "Well, you know, they say . . . . . "

Well, I'm here to tell you, THEYare liars - the whole bunch of them. I have found several ways, just in the past week, and I will share with you.

1. "You will feel so much better when your house is really clean. You'll be able to relax, and just enjoy the atmosphere." Yeah, whatever. I sit in my clean (or, clean to me) house and think about the 7,000 other things I have to do and lament about the hours wasted cleaning. Truly, I've found I don't care if I didn't dust that week (okay month) - it doesn't change my atmosphere or relaxation one iota.

2. "Once you get into eating right, your body will feel so much better, you won't even miss those Cheetos and ho-hos, white bread, ice cream, etc. You will realize how your body feels when you eat them, and you won't even be hungry for them anymore!" PLEASE!! When I am hungry, I still have a debate in my head that could go head-to-head with any presidential debate in history, trying to convince myself that yogurt and All-Bran for breakfast will somehow taste just as good as a big ole bowl of Crunch Berries would've.

3. "The character building and lessons learned in sports far outweigh the winning and losing." Yes, the NCAA announcers are just going ga-ga over the best-built-character of the losers in the Sweet 16, and hardly talking at all about the winning free-throw. I agree there are many important lessons that can be learned at a sporting event - both for the participant and the observer - but don't tell me you're not there to win.

4. "You'll be all right, once you get your feet under you." And, I must admit, I've repeated this! But really - of course you'll be all right. You'll either be all right, insane, or smart enough to quit whatever had you floundering in the first place. Is this statement actually supposed to be helpful and supportive?

5. "God is in church, for sure, but don't be thinking He's at work, school, baseball, etc." There are lots of these out there, huh? Makes me mad and sad at the same time. We watched The Apprentice this weekend. Before the boardroom showdown, one gal was reading a Donald Trump biography - the other was reading the bible. The Trump gal said something to this effect - "if she thinks God is going to help her in that board room, she is sadly mistaken. It's Donald Trump that sits in the middle chair, and so far, I haven't seen God at his right side." Okay, let me tell you, my God sits at no one's right side - we are not even on equal footing! But, miraculously, He still shows up at my church, my school, my work, and anywhere else I would invite Him to be - what a wonderful TRUTH.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my Wednesday night bible study - it is such a fresh drink of water in the middle of each week.

I am thankful for the people in that study, who challenge me, keep me in the Word, make me think, support me, and just plain show up.

I am thankful for my family - a wonderful husband, and two precocious boys - all of whom love me, challenge me, keep me running, keep me guessing, and keep me smiling.

I'm thankful for Blogger, and all my Bloggityville friends.

I'm thankful for God's provision in our lives - we live in a free country, we have never gone hungry, we have a roof over our heads, reliable transportation, and enough left at the end of the paycheck for some fun times. We are blessed well beyond what we deserve.

I'm thankful for my abilities - to write, to craft, to be a mother, to be a wife, to do my job well, and to enjoy all of the above.

Boy, I could keep going and going - I guess that's what Thankful Thursday is all about. If you didn't make the list this week, keep comin' back, cause I'm thankful for you, too!

Thank you, Lord - You are so good to me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How Much Have You Changed in 10 Years?

------------------10 years ago---------------------
1.) How old were you? 22
2.) Where did you go to school? I wasn’t in school
3.)Where did you work? At an Alfalfa Export Company
4.) Where did you live? Warden
5.) Where did you hang out? At the job site where our new house was being built
6.) Did you wear glasses? Contacts – so only on occasion
7.) Who was your best friend? Matt
8.) How many tattoos did you have? None
9.) How many piercings? Two, just my ears.
11.) Had you been to a real party? Yep
12.) Had your heart broken? Yep
13.) Single/Taken/Married/Divorced: Married – just barely . . .

----------------5 years ago----------------------
1.)How old were you? 27
2.) Where did you go to school? N/A
3.)Where did you work? Fertilizer Company
4.) Where did you live? Moses Lake
5.) Where did you hang out? The Playground by the kiddie swing
6.) Did you wear glasses? Contacts
7.) Who were your best friends? My Family, and still Matt
8.) Who was your crush? Still Matt
9.) How many tattoos did you have? None.
10.) How many piercings did you have? Ears
11) What car did you drive? Mitsubishi Montero (aka – The Monty)
12.) Had you had your heart broken? Still yep
13.) Single/Taken/Married/Divorced/Bitter: Married
14.) Any kids? One at this point

**March 2007**
1.) How old are you? 32
2.) Where do you work? Fertilizer Company
3.) Where do you live? Moses Lake
4.) Who is your best friend? Matt
5.) Do you talk to your old friends? Yes – thank you MySpace, E-mail, and Blogs
6.) How many tattoo's do have? Again none
7.) How many piercings do you have? Ears
8.) What kind of car do you have? Chevy Impala
10.) Single/Taken/Married/Divorced/Bitter? Happily Married
11.) Any kids? 2 Boys

I’m thinking this quiz only told me two things – it was meant for someone a bit younger than me--maybe who has tattoos, piercings, lots of broken hearts, and just a generally more interesting life than me; and I’m just as boring now as I was 10 years ago!

Monday, March 19, 2007

NCAA - March Madness, Baby!

My mom & I, sporting our Irish gear at the NCAA playoffs.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of taking my parents to the 1st round of the NCAA Basketball playoffs. What an experience! It was at the Spokane Arena, and the place was packed. It was interesting even just standing outside - my dad dropped mom & I off by the door, while he and Matt parked the pickup. Lots of people were wearing various items to support their favorite teams - most of them as tame as a t-shirt or sweatshirt - but some of them went ALL OUT. Painted faces, wigs, costumes, funky hats - anything to get them noticed by the TV cameras! Many fans were chanting their favorite team cheers as we waited in line to get in the building - which made it a little tougher for the scalpers to "quietly" work their way through the crowd trying to sell their over-priced seats.
Our seats were borderline-nosebleed, but that didn't take away from the atmosphere one bit. The stairs were a bit tough for my mom (who broke her back in a car accident in January), but, as I've mentioned before, she is by far the toughest person I know, hands down. Besides, I'm not sure anything could have kept her from the opportunity to see NCAA playoff basketball live and in person.
Our family is full of Notre Dame football fans - and, since the Notre Dame men's basketball team was playing in this round, it was natural for us to throw on some Notre Dame gear and cheer for the Irish. This was not an easy thing, since what seemed like 99% of the coliseum was rooting for the rival team, Winthrop. It turned out to be a great game - Notre Dame coming back from a 20 point deficit, taking the lead back, but then ultimately losing by 10 points. It was fun to watch, and the Winthrop team's star was one of those players that you appreciate watching succeed, because they work so hard and are so fun to watch - even when they are on the other side of the court.
All-in-all, it was a great day. I was glad to see such a wide smile on mom's face - that made my day more than any of the rest!

Do You Want a Piece of Me?

Okay, just in case all 3 of you that read this blog need a reason to chuckle for today - yet another amusing story about Colton and his antics. For those of you not-so-familiar, Colton is my 3-year-old.

Last weekend on Saturday, the kids are playing out in the yard. They are having a great time with their cousins, and playing HARD. I know Colton is having a great time, but I also know that the evening will be a meltdown-waiting-to-happen if he doesn't get a nap.

So, I call him in to the house for a nap. His first excuse is that he hasn't had his lunch yet (lunch that was served an hour ago, but he was too busy to eat). Said lunch is still on a plate, so I hand him his now cold piece of pizza and tell him to eat quickly, because it is time for a rest.

Next is the all-too-familiar - "YOU ARE MEAN! And I'm not your buddy anymore!"

To which I respond - "Thankfully, Colton, it's not my job to be your buddy, it's my job to be your mommy."

As I walk away from him, I hear (I hear this because it is SHOUTED toward my retreating back) - "Do you want a piece of me?"

BTW - Thanks, Tom Jones, for introducing this saying in our house many, many years ago.

I wheel around and say "What did you just say?" (picture clenched teeth - from a combination of anger and trying to hold the laugh inside.)

Colton, never one to back down, replies - "I said-DO YOU (finger pointing toward me) WANT A PIECE, OF (finger pointing toward himself) ME!!!!!"

Oh yeah, buddy, I'll take the whole thing. I'll take the whole thing right to the time-out step, so that I can leave the room and commence to totally. cracking. up.

Now, I know - believe me, I know - that this is really no laughing matter. It's very possible that I'm raising a total brat. But, my goodness, there has to be a little bit of admiration there for the way he won't back down, and isn't afraid to get right in the middle of his mother. I am praying (hourly) that these traits will serve him well in his "peer pressure" years.

Obviously, I could use all your prayers, as well.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Music Post #473

I had a meeting last night, so the boys were on their own. As is the custom on nights when mom is gone, it was an evening of junk food and music. Thankfully, Chance didn't have any homework to worry about, because usually in a case such as this, it would have been skipped.

Last night, it was Jack in The Box for dinner - which Colton and Chance both swear is the best fast food restaurant in the entire universe. If we could just rotate between Jack, Red Robin for mac & cheese, and Pizza Hut - oh, my boys would be in sweet heaven already!

Back to the music - last night was VanZant night - Get Right With The Man -

Don't get too high on the bottle, just a little sip every now and then
Fight your fights, find the grace, in all the things that you can't change
And help somebody if you can
And get right with the Man

So - some snippets of conversation -

Chance - "Why did you have to have a meeting, Mom?"
Mom - "I had to help a gal on her computer."
Chance - "What part were you helping her with?"
Mom - "Some bookkeeping stuff - like keeping track of expenses and checks you write."
Chance - "Everybody knows how to do that, mom--why did you have to teach her?"
Dad - "Because, what did we learn in the song tonight?"
Chance - "Help somebody if you can?"
Dad - "Exactly."

Now, a break into singing (of the above lyrics) by the male trio. Can you just picture this little mini-musical?

Next conversation -

Mom - "So, who's 'The Man'"
Chance (in his usual quiet demeanor) - "It's God."
Colton (in regular Colton manner, standing up on top of the chair) - "GOD! The Man is GOD, mom!!! Didn't you know that?"

Yes, I know "The Man" is God - and I'm thankful for that every day. Glad we're all getting to be on the same page . . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Short & Sweet

It's Spring.

I'm really, really busy at work.

I "sometimes" do my blog at work.

So, busy at work means little time to blog.

Instead, I send you to Darla's blog, for proof of such busyness.

See ya tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Who's Got Your Back?

As mentioned in our last post, we had a great weekend with family and friends this past week. It also brought up many opportunities for all of us to discover - who's got your back??

Earlier in the week, Matt was struggling to cut down several elm trees in our yard. They are fairly old trees, so they have some size to them. I had called my cousin, knowing he was coming down, to see if he could bring a larger chain saw with him. He didn't have one, so I called my dad to see if he could get one to my cousin's house to send my way.

Now, I must give a little background before I finish that part of the story. Matt and my dad always support each other. It seems to be a never-ending quest at both our houses for new electronic gadgets of some sort. It started with computers (we'd get a new one, he'd need a new one), then moved onto surround sound, TV, laptop, Sirius radio - the list goes on and on. They are always either double-teaming or tag-teaming my mom and I to get bigger, better, faster stuff. In turn, my mom and I try to stick together in our steadfast refusal of said stuff accumulation.

So, when I call my dad to ask about sending his chain saw over, imagine my surprise when his response was - "I think Matt is just bucking for a new power tool! He doesn't really need a bigger chain saw, he just needs a logging lesson." You can almost feel my giddiness as I promptly hang up with my dad and call Matt to tell him that it's not a tool issue, it's an operator issue. Needless to say, Matt was crushed. They have such a history of having each other's back - this was a huge blow to him.

Subsequently, Matt called to chew on my dad a bit for "diming him out." Dad calls me to chew on me a bit for "diming him out." Needless to say, I'll probably not get such blatant honesty from my dad on matters of tools, at least in the near future.

Not to be outdone, when they were down for dinner on Sunday, my mom turned around and did the same to me. As Matt is laying out a rather convincing argument for a second 4-wheeler, my mom's response was - "wouldn't that be fun when we're camping. Oh, you guys would just have a ball!" She is missing my piercing glare, and only after the fact tries to backpedal when she sees that she has broken our sacred "Say No To All Husband Toy Requests" bond we have going on.

So, the moral of my rambling post - be careful. You never know who's got your back. The guys will gang up on you, your kids will gang up on you, and when it gets really bad, your mom may even turn on you!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Almost Camping!

We had a great weekend this week. Our cousins' boy had a basketball tournament in town, so they pulled their new camper down and stayed in our yard. These are people that we usually camp with all summer long, and we have all been getting so anxious for camping weather. We've been making reservations since the 1st of the year, for various trips throughout the summer, and it just makes you all the more antsy!

The kids played and played and played. Chance had hockey on Saturday, and Wyatt had two basketball games. Frankly, I don't know how either of them had the energy to do it, after running around outside for hours and hours! Their family still has much snow where they live, so this was the kids' first opportunity to really play outside for quite awhile.

Yesterday, Wyatt didn't have a game until 2:00, so we made a big breakfast, then sat in their camp trailer and visited for a couple hours. I know, the house was like 100 yards away, including comfy recliners and a TV, but to sit in the camper just made it feel that much closer to those fun times that we are all waiting for.

The kids were EXHAUSTED last night - no troubles getting to sleep, even with the time change. What a great time!

Friday, March 9, 2007

I've Been Down, cont . . .

Okay, so yesterday's story won't be complete until I tell Chance's side of the story.

I mentioned that we sing around our house - a lot. We sing at home, we sing in the car, most of us sing at church. We can pretty much be found bobbin' our noggins whenever we get the chance.

So, with all of this singing, sometimes you just sing the words (or what you think are the words) without paying much attention to what you are saying.

As I said before, we've been on this "I've Been Down" kick for a little while now. For those of you not familiar with the poetics of Hank Jr., here are the first few lyrics:

"I blew my last $20 on an Oilers football game - I only lost by 1/2 a point, nothin' ever goes my way - I've been down, but not this far before - I've been kicked around, but never out the door . . ."

So Chance (my analytical one) finally pays attention to said lyrics as we are singing last Sunday. Okay, I know, Hank Jr. is probably not the best choice to fill our minds and souls on the way to and from church, but it sure does keep the boys quiet. And, I digress . . .

The first question was - who are the Oilers? Explaining old football teams in the NFL actually proved easy compared to the rest of the conversation.

Next - How can you lose by 1/2 a point - football has 7's and 3's? So, Matt tries to explain how when you bet, the weaker team usually gets points allotted to them to make the betting more "fair."

Many, many more questions ensued - Where do you bet? What are odds? What's the spread? Who decides which team is better? How come they don't just get 7 points? Why is there 1/2 points?

As I mentioned before, probably not the best way to fill up the impressionable child's mind. I'm sure he can't remember what Pastor Jody's sermon was that day, but he probably told all his playground buddies about betting in Vegas, odds, the spread, and points!

Parents of the year, I tell ya! Or straight to h#$$. Thank God for grace - we need it more and more everyday.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

I've Been Down

Music is a pretty big thing in our family. We all love the radio, love to sing along, and can be found "bobbin' our noggins" to lots of different styles of music. I listen to a lot of Contemporary Christian music, and we all listen to a lot of country music, including lots of old stuff like Johnny Cash, Hank, Hank Jr, Waylon Jennings, etc. My son Colton is just as likely to be heard shouting "You Never Let Go" by Aaron Shust as he is "Chicken With the Train" by Cowboy Troy.

Lately, he's been on an old country kick - "Ring of Fire", "Big John", and "I've Been Down."

We went to lunch for my mom's birthday on Tuesday, and my brother and sister were both there. My brother really likes old country music, and new country music that sounds like old country music. So, on the way there, I am admittedly "coaching" Colton a little bit, hoping he would sing something for Judd at lunch. He is not cooperating - not even a little bit.

So, hoping to coach him a bit subliminally, I start singing "I've Been Down".

He immediately tells me I'm doing it wrong.

I say - then you sing it.

He says no.

I start singing again.

He tells me again I'm doing it wrong.

I ask him how to do it right.

He wrinkles his nose, squints his eyes, and kind of glares at me. He says "You gotta look sad, mom, like you've been down before." Because, you know, this 3-year-old has experienced so many things in his young life to be down about. And then, from the saddest looking 3-year-old in the backseat, comes the most nasally, twangy voice he can muster - "I blew my last $20 on an Oilers football game . . . "

It was Priceless! No, he didn't sing it for Judd, but hearing him sing "I've Been Down", you know, like he's really been down, well that just made my day!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

It is my mom's birthday today, so I thought I'd share what I did for her present. I took a great idea from Big Picture Scrapbooking, and made her a book full of things that her grandkids thought about her. I made each grandchild answer the following questions:

1. What is something Grandma D always says to you?
2. What makes Grandma D happy?
3. What makes Grandma D sad?
4. How does Grandma D make you laugh?
5. What was Granma D like as a little girl?
6. How old is Grandma D?
7. How tall is Grandma D?
8. What is Grandma D’s favorite thing to do?
9. What does she do when her grandkids aren’t around?
10. What is your favorite thing about Grandma D’s house?
11. What is Grandma D really good at?
12. What is Grandma D not very good at?
13. If Grandma D was a candy, what kind would she be?
14. What is Grandma D’s favorite food?
15. What makes you proud of Grandma D?
16. If Grandma D were a cartoon character, who would she be?
17. What do you and Grandma D do together?
18. How are you and Grandma D the same?
19. How are you and Grandma D different?
20. How do you know Grandma D loves you?

The book turned out great, and my mom loved it (I gave it to her a day early). Here are the answers to one of the questions:

If Grandma D was a candy, what kind would she be?
Elyse – A 3 Musketeers bar – perfect on the outside & inside
Laura – Chocolate, because she’s yummy
Claire – A kiss
Chance – Chocolate egg
Emma – Peppermint candy cane
Grace – Lemon candy
Colton – Chocolate chips

Happy Birthday, Mom! Hope you have a wonderful day . . .

Monday, March 5, 2007

Trash or Treasure?

Once again, if I was a good blogger, I would have a picture for you of my wreck of a living room this weekend.

My mother-in-law has been moving for the past few weeks They are moving to a smaller place - at least as far as storage is concerned, and my husband is her only child. Does anyone else see where this is going, yet?

She decided to drive up and see us this weekend, and bring a "few things" that she had for Matt. This term, "a few things," was used several times, and I was not smart enough to remember that words like "couple," "few," and "several" are often in the eye of the beholder.

She drives a Chevy mini-van.

I am not sure how she could see to drive, that things was SO. PACKED. FULL. OF. STUFF!!! I know she couldn't see out any of the windows . . .

But, amongst all this stuff, there were several treasures. Things that had us cracking up and laughing like we hadn't in a long time. Games we played that had the boys enthralled, and Matt and I both on a huge nostalgia trip. A scooter that Colton immediately adopted. Old love letters that once meant so much. An old Halloween costume that the boys fought over until the fragile item had to be put away - you see, I didn't have the camera out, and the scrapbooker in me (and by osmosis, in Matt) didn't want the costume ruined before pictures could be taken.

So, the question is, is all the trash worth the treasures? When my living room was full of boxes last night, I would have said probably not. After watching Matt's face finding toys and things he didn't remember until he saw them - I think maybe so.