Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol - A Soon to be Grandma's Guide to the Top 5

Oh dear. Where are my priorities? I totally forgot to blog about American Idol last night! Thanks Becky for the reminder! My life has just been a little left of crazy right now - at least that's what I'll blame it on.

Okay, let's see. It was Neil Diamond night. I love me some Neil Diamond. My husband and I went to one of his concerts once. After I got acclimated to the height and stopped my nose from bleeding(we were in the very top row of the arena),I loved it! He is quite a performer. I wonder if these kids know how great it is they are getting the opportunities they are getting to work with such talented people. My kids asked us "Who's Neil Diamond?"
I know.
It's just so sad.

This week the performers sang two songs each. It seemed to have a very hectic pace. I can't remember what order they sang in so I'll just work down my list.

David A. sang Coming to America and Sweet Caroline. I thought he did okay. Not great really. I was surprised at the raves he got from the judges on his last song - Coming to America. I thought it was kind of simple.

David C. sang two songs I've never heard before and I don't remember the names right now - sorry. He sounded good - probably the best of the evening. I truly think he is going to win this contest. I won't be buying his CD's - he's just not my style - but he is talented.

Jason sang Forever in Blue Jeans and September Morn. Two really great songs. But he didn't do anything special or memorable with them. I think he will definitely be in the bottom three.

Sayesha - My goodness this girl has really exploded the last couple of weeks. I thought she was phenomenal. She sang Hello Again and Thank the Lord for the Nightime. She knocked both of them out of the park. Good job Sayesha - and I loved the hair. I've also noticed that she sings the best when she is barefoot. Interesting.

Brooke sang I Am I Said and I'm a Believer - two popular Neil Diamond songs. I thought she did much better on the second one I Am I Said. I love her at the piano. The first song - not so much.

Okay, that makes five. Five performers. Three judges. One of the judges is incredibly ditsy. Can you guess which one? Here's a hint - her name starts with a P and ends with an aula. She embarrassed herself totally last night by critiquing a performance that hadn't even happened yet. Oh dear.

Bottom three - Jason, Brooke, Sayesha (not because she should be. If it were people that should be I think Paula should be there!).

Going home - Jason.

See what others are saying over at Boomama's.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Can Anybody Tell Me?

Can anybody tell me what happened to this sweet little baby girl? Because I haven't seen her for a while. I really miss having her around. I miss trying to get that curly, unruly hair to look half way presentable. I miss aligning up the seams in her little socks so her little toes would be "comferbul". I miss singing the Barney song with her, you know, "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family...." I miss having to tell her a thousand times a day "Let's use our quiet voice". I miss those sweet chubby and sometimes sticky little arms around my neck. I miss burying my face into her warm hair and smelling the scent of purity and sweetness mixed with a little bit of sweat and whatever we ate for dinner. I miss the days of finding the sippy cup lids she hid in her room so she could sneak her sippy cup to bed with her - when she wasn't supposed to. I miss asking her if she is a mommy's girl or a daddy's girl and watching the incredible indecision spread across her face as she tried to come up with a diplomatic answer at just two years of age. I miss my baby.

And suddenly there is this beautiful, intelligent, and loads of fun young miss hanging around our house who is telling me I need to be planning her graduation party in just a few weeks.

What's up with that?
Geesh, next thing you know she's going to be telling me something like "Mom, I met this guy...."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Too Good to Be True

Too good to be true. Miley Cyrus's wholesome career that is. I'm sure you have all heard in the news about Miley's photo shoot. The one that she apparently didn't know was going to turn out the way it did because according to a magazine source, “Cyrus felt that she was in eminently good hands.” I'm sorry - I don't buy it. I don't buy it for a minute. Poor Miley and her parents have succumbed to success and fame and what it takes to "make it" in Hollywood. Don't tell me that as she was being photographed with nothing on but a bedsheet, she didn't know what those pictures would look like. And even if she didn't, because she is only 15, her parents did. Supposedly, they were with her on the set. What were they thinking? Isn't it their highest priority to protect their daughter; to keep her from making foolish decisions. There is no money or fame or success this side of heaven that would convince me that it would be okay to compromise my underage daughter. I have raised 4 daughters. And we had some hard financial times. And I repeat there is no money anywhere that I ever would have taken to ruin my daughters life. I would rather eat beans forever and shop at thrift stores the rest of my life. I would do without anything I had to in order to raise my daughter to be a woman of integrity. I think most of us would.

It's all just so sad. I remember when Brittney started out so innocent too. I remember when she was young and told the world how important it was for her to save herself for marraige. Money and success hasn't led her down a very happy path.

The whole thing just breaks my heart. For her, for her parents, for her fans. I feel so sad for my little nieces who have just loved her. A reporter on the news show I was watching said he suspected this was a carefully crafted event because the truth is that she cannot stay sweet and young forever if she wants to continue making money and being famous.

So that is the cost.

Fame and fortune will buy you every material thing you could ever desire but it will steal from you everything good and virtuous you could be.

Is it worth it?

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now. There are just some things that set me off - and exploiting little girls is one of them. Back to regular scheduled programming now.

Weekend Snapshots

On Friday evening we were both so tired so we decided to lounge in front of the tv since we had just received some new movies in the mail. My husband is a major Lonesome Dove fan. He had never seen the prequel even though he has watched the original Lonesome Dove oh about forty eleven times. Now we know how it all began. I can tell you anything you want to know about Gus and Captain Call. I know, I know, the questions will just be flooding in LOL! Of course, I don't like to just sit and watch movies without getting anything done, so that's why you see the yarn and needles. It's surprising how much handwork I get done while watching my husband's beloved westerns. And I learn all about the wild, wild west. Lucky me. Unfortunately I can't show you what I'm knitting because then you would know what the baby will be and I am still sworn to secrecy. Six more weeks. Just six more weeks and I can share this most precious information.

I did catch a few stolen moments to read. I am currently reading Vonette Bright and Nancy Moser's Sister Circle series. They are wonderful. And such good writing.

My sister-in-law gave me these facinating seed balls. All you do is lay them on top of the soil and water them. The directions say not to bury them. Fascinating. I can't wait to see what grows.

I also got a little time to scatter some flower seeds. Our spring has been so cold that this was the first really nice weekend to spend outside. I have some major yardwork to do before Jess's graduation party.

I also found a bit of time to try out the quilting feature on my sewing machine. I discovered I have quite a learning curve on this. Please don't enlarge the picture - trust me, you don't really need to see a close up of this. The blue ink looking stuff is the line I am supposed to be sewing on. You can see I have much practicing to do. I took this stitching out and redid it and it looks much better now. But it is harder to do than it looks. The quilting feature is really awesome. You don't use the foot pedal. If the fabric moves the machine sews. When you stop moving the fabric the machine stops. It's like the machine is alive and thinking. I'm not used to that and it took me a while to adjust.
I am working on two quilts right now. One of them I am hand quilting - easier but much more time intensive. I don't have time to hand quilt both of them before the baby comes so I am going to machine quilt one. Again, I can't show you the project because then the secret would be out. But I'm really pleased with this project.

Of course we also went to church this weekend. That works out pretty well since my husband is the pastor and all. My husband preached a great sermon on holiness. One of my favorite lines was "When we seek God's holiness, we don't get more of God - He gets more of us".
I didn't think to take my camera to church - I wish I had though - that might be kind of fun. I might have to try that next time.

Now it's Monday. Weekend is over. I'm back to work. Bummer.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Potpourri Friday

Are you ready for a weekend? I am. Except I have to work tomorrow - it's a national test day for a particular test our university uses - so I have to be there to proctor it. The only good thing about it is that I get paid for it. And that is the money we use to help pay Jessica's high school tuition. Thank goodness - one more month and that will be all paid for. After that I intend to put the test proctoring money I earn into our travel fund. So we can, well, you know, travel. To lots of different places. Someday.

Speaking of traveling, I have been very homesick for Hawaii lately. Not that it was ever my home - I went there once five years ago for our 25th wedding anniversary. It was definitely one of the happiest times with my husband and I am longing to go back again. We went in May of 2003 and I always get a bit wistful this time of year. I have lots of happy memories preparing for that trip. And being in that beautiful place. I am not a photogenic person at all - and I'm not just saying that! But every picture taken of me in Hawaii turned out really well. I always say it was because I was just so happy. Interestingly enough, when we got home from that vacation some of the hardest things we have ever gone through in our professional and personal lives happened. I think God was very kind to give us that wonderful time to be refreshed and restored - because of course, He knew all along what we were coming home to.

Are you following the little baby tickers on my blog page? Have you noticed how close that little egg is getting to the nest? Oh. My. Goodness. It won't be any time at all before I am holding that sweet little bundle of love, learning all about being a grandmother. And then to think another one will be arriving in the fall. God is just too good to me.

My sweet friend Angie gave me a sweet award this week. She is such a sweetheart and has suffered such a great loss with her sister going to Heaven. Angie is one of the most thankful people I know and her love for Jesus shines through every single circumstance she is going through - good or bad. She has lifted me and my family up in prayer often - and to think we have never officially met! But it doesn't matter because we are what the award says - Sisters of the Faith.

My friend Kelsey started a blog and I encourage all of you to go over and visit her and meet her sweet little family. They live on a ranch and her husband trains horses. And they have two of the sweetest little girls. Go pay them a visit - tell them I sent you. She calls it A Sweetness to the Soul - and it is exactly that.

Last week we saw the movie - Expelled and I highly recommend it to everyone. It is a documentary that discusses academic freedom - or more precisely - the lack of academic freedom in our country. It is very interesting and the first time I have ever gone to theatre where everyone clapped at the end of the movie. It is the most well done documentary I have ever seen. Go see it. Really.

And I was so surprised Carly went home this week. I really thought it would be Brooke or Jason. We are down to the final 5. I still think David C will win it.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

American Idol - A Soon to be Grandma's Guide to the Final 6

Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber Night!!!!! I was SOOOOOOO excited!!! Lord Andrew is phenomenal and what an honor for these 6 performers to learn from such a talented and gifted artist. His music is unrivaled in my opinion. So what a fun night to grab a bowl of popcorn and curl up in the recliner and listen to music that has stories in it. I just love music with stories in it.

Seyesha opened the night singing One Rock and Roll Too Many. Wow! Seyesha you found your place! What a fun song for you. She had awesome facial expression, body expression, and vocal expression. She is a Broadway girl - no doubt about it.

Jason Castro sang Memory - but it wasn't very memorable. I said it last week - I think Jason has shown us all he has.

Brooke sang You Must Love Me - well, yes I guess we must Brooke. But I didn't love your performance so much tonight. I felt so bad for her for forgetting the words at the beginning - it threw her for the rest of the night. But like Jason - I think you have plateaued.

David A sang Think of Me. I was really waiting for David because I knew this music would be perfect for him. He did a fun original arrangement and it was lighthearted but yet, soulful. I loved it.

Carly sang Superstar. I kept losing her voice in the chorus. Randy liked her arrangement but I wasn't too impressed.

David C knocked it out of the park with Music of the Night. I closed my eyes and the phantom appeared. This young man is extremely talented. And I have to say that even though I don't always enjoy his style of music, I cannot and will not deny his talent. I think he is the one to beat.

I predict the bottom three will be:
Jason, Brooke, and Carly

I think Brooke will go home.

Check out Boomama for more reviews.

Baby of Mine

Baby mine, don't you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine

Little one when you play
Don't you mind what they say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine

If they knew sweet little you
They'd end up loving you too
All those same people who scold you
What they'd give just for
The right to hold you

From your head to your toes
You're not much, goodness knows
But you're so precious to me
Cute as can be, baby of mine

It's time to brush up on the tune to this sweet little lullabye. After all, I'm going to be singing it very soon to my sweet little grandbaby!
What is your favorite lullabye?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Potpourri Friday

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. Zechariah 4:10

I found this verse last week and decided to claim it as my own. It fits my life right now on so many levels. And I love when I find scripture that I have never noticed before. God's Word is alive and works in our lives in amazing ways. It is uncomprehendable that God - the Creator of the Universe - takes note of the small things that are happening in our lives. And reaches down to give encouragement, love, and support along the way. I love Him so much.
As you know, if you read my blog regularly that is, I have started writing my book. And there is nothing like starting a book to make you realize how very far you have to go. But the verse above gives me so much encouragement as I realize that God Himself is rejoicing in my very small beginning. That is something I feel very strongly about this whole endeavor. I have God's approval. This is part of the plans that He has for me. God is so good. I hope to spend some time this weekend working on it more. My goal is to have the first chapter finished by the beginning of May. A chapter a month is what I want to accomplish at this point.
One other thing that keeps happening regarding my book is also worthy of mention. The topic that my book is about is something that I don't know a lot about. So I have been having to research it. Let me just say that blogs are an incredible source of information! But also, lately I have been receiving information that I haven't even requested. I have picked up magazines and while browsing through them, suddenly there is an article pertaining to my topic. Or in casual conversation, people I have know for years suddenly disclose that they have dealt with the topic personally. It's been amazing to me.

Our youngest daughter Jess left this week to spend some time in Boston with her sister. So our nest is very quiet and empty and it is giving us a taste of what is to come. A small beginning in the journey that is ahead. Last evening as Chuck and I were sitting together just talking, alone, in our very quiet house, our very pregnant daughter called to tell us that she and her husband had just attended their first birthing class. They were so excited. And it occurred to us that as they were just beginning their family journey, ours was coming to an end.


But I have to say that we are not sad in any way about this change. We are joyful as we watch our kids be who God intended them to be. And we remember how exciting it was for us as we began our adult journey. We are happy for them. And we look forward in anticipation to what this new chapter of life has for us.

Spring is making a very small beginning in our neck of the woods. Very small. It gets a little warm and gives us a taste of what is ahead, and then the wind comes and the temperature drops and suddenly spring seems far away. I am determined to save my lilacs this year - last year they froze before they could bloom. So every night I cover them all up with my quilts and flannel sheets. I want to enjoy them this year!

Do you realize that our first grandbaby will be here in about 8 weeks. My, that takes my breath away. A little baby to snuggle and hold, and kiss and love on. I can hardly wait. I am finishing my baby projects. The problem is that I just keep finding more. I can't wait until I can share them with you after the baby is here. And I'm so glad that Andrea and Jayson are going to find out who their little one is and not keep it a secret! Oh my, I can hardly wait!

I wanted to save the best news for last. This week we received some stunningly (is that a word?) hard news regarding a family member. Cancer. Stage 4. Dismal prognosis. I felt as though I had been kicked hard in the stomach. Tears flowed. Disbelief set in. She was too young. She has kids. She has a family. This just couldn't be happening. Please God not yet. Not now. We prayed so hard. We prayed and prayed. Today the results came back and Praise God - the cancer, although it is bad, is contained. Surgery is required but no chemo, no radiation. My goodness - such a relief - it's hard to put it into words. Thank you God that her time to leave was not now. Thank you God for a new beginning. Thank you God. Thank you You are so good and today we praise You that one of your Your mighty names is Jehovah Rophi - Healer.

Tonight my husband and I are kicking off the weekend right. We are going to see this movie and have some dinner at this restaurant. Then tomorrow we are going to sleep in until 7:00 and then get up and enjoy some coffee together. Then I hope to get a small amount of housework done, spend some time on my writing, and then some time in my sewing room working on - you guessed it - baby things! Oh life is good. Life is very good indeed.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol - A Soon to be Grandma's Guide to the Top 7

Tonight was Mariah Carey night. One question.
How is it that God would give one person the talent to use her voice over 5 octaves and another person no ability to even achieve one octave? Just wondering.

The group was really good tonight. All of them. We started off the eveing with

David A. singing When You Believe. He sang through lots of scales and did a tremendous job. He always seems so nervous before and after he sings but while he is singing he is confident and definitely in his element. He has amazing talent.

Carly sang Without You. I really liked it but Carly did seem like she was just being a little too careful with herself tonight. I thought she could have opened up just a little more.

Sayesha sang Vanishing. I never thought Sayesha would make it quite this far but I'm glad she has because I think she has really come into her own these last couple of weeks. She wins the award for most improved.

Brooke sang Hero. She seemed shaky and like she tried too hard. I think she will be in the bottom three.

Kristy Lee sang Forever. She looked beautiful and she sang beautiful. This was my favorite performance of hers. I totally disagreed with Randy and Simon - what were they thinking?

David Cook sang Always Be My Baby. Absolutely stunning performance. Best performance of the evening for sure. I think he might win this whole thing.

Jason C sang I Don't Want to Cry. I love Jason. I want to adopt him. But sadly, I think we have heard the best of him. He never changes his style or approach to his music. It was good but his performances just are not moving up - they are staying the same.

I predict that Jason, Carly, and Brooke will be in the bottom three.

I think Carly may be the one to go home this week.

And Paula was having a good night tonight. Thank goodness.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pond Pitty Party

When we moved into our newly built house almost 9 years ago, one of the things I wanted more than anything was a pond. And right below our front window there was a little alcove area that was the perfect size and place to put one. So we did. At the time I had absolutely no idea how much work ponds were. Now I do. Let me just tell you, they are a lot of work. A lot.

This weekend was the first really nice weekend we have had this year. And so Saturday was deemed "Pond Cleaning and Upkeep Day". Ugh. First of all, we (my best husband in all the world helped) had to empty all the yucky, scummy water that had sat all winter. We used a bucket until we got to the bottom and then we pulled out the trusty Rainbow vacumn cleaner to pump out the rest. Then we had to scrub the sides of the liner, rinse it, and empty out that water. We cleaned the filter. Last fall we had discovered the pump had decided to pump its last bit of water ever. We needed to shop for a new pump. No problem. We jumped in the car and ran to town. We went to store #1. No pumps that would fit our system. We went to store #2. Same problem. We went to store #3. Apparently all the folks at the pond pump factory have joined in on a conspiracy. They realized if they changed the design of their pumps every so often, then when folks had to replace them they would also have to purchase new filters, hoses, and all the other pond paraphenelia. Ah, but they hadn't considered my husband. He finally chose a pump and converted it to fit the materials we had at home. Of course, to install the new pump we had to remove lots of heavy rocks to hide the hoses so that the pond looks like God planted it there. When we remove the rocks lots of debris fall into the pond. So back into the pond I go to clean it out. Again. Finally the moment arrives. We fill it with water. We plug in the pump. Voila'! The waterfall is running, the pond looks serene, we are finished. We sit on the porch swing and admire our work. We discuss how maybe it is worth it after all, to go through all this work so we can sit on the swing and enjoy it the rest of the summer. Our one day project had turned into a two day project - but just look at it - it is beautiful!

This morning before I left for work I opened the blinds in the living room so I could get a glimpse of our newly restored pond. Perhaps I would even take a picture to share on my blog today.

The pond is empty.

We had a lot of wind last night and it seems the wind blew the water coming off the waterfall to the side instead of letting the water go back into the pond. Today as I am stiff and sore and can hardly move, due to lifting heavy rocks and climbing in and out of my pond, I am really, seriously wondering if this is all worth it.

At the moment - I'm voting - not.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thank You Mrs. Evans

A few posts back I found the courage to make public the dream in my heart. I'm really glad I did - although I now feel strangely exposed. The secret is out and now I am accountable. But that is probably just what I needed to give me that last push. Because I have started. I have started writing my book. Wow - that feels really weird to say! It also feels scary, intimidating, doubtful, but most of all it feels joyful. Joyful, I think, because I have a plan for my future. Joyful because I am reaching for a dream I have had for most of my life. Joyful because I just love the challenge of putting words together that tell a story. Joyful because I think I am making God smile.

I first knew I wanted to write in the 4th grade. I was never a confident, secure child - even into my teen years. I was shy, quiet, and much more comfortable unnoticed. That's just my personality. In a lot of ways I am still that way today although being married to a pastor has forced me out of my comfort zone in more ways than I can count. In the 4th grade my teacher was a beautiful, young, black woman named Mrs. Evans. She only taught in our school for a year or two and I don't know anything about her other than she was very kind and gentle. I bonded to her immediately. During the year one of our assignments was to write a story. Mrs. Evans gave us the first paragraph and we were to go from there. Today I don't remember what the story was about. I don't remember any of the details at all. But I do remember how I felt when my teacher approached me and carefully asked me if I had really been the person who had written that story. She wanted to know if anyone had helped me. I didn't really know why she was asking me those questions. I told her I had written the story myself. At the end of the week she selected the three best stories and asked the writers to stand in front of the class and read their story outloud to everyone. Mine was one selected.

That was 40 years ago. There are many, many things I cannot remember from 40 years ago. But I clearly remember how I felt that day. I felt special, capable, and talented. I felt secure. And I felt joyful. And when I write today, I feel those things all over again. That is when my love for writing began.

There were other times in grade school and high school when writing made me feel worthwhile and important. Like I could really do something. I learned that even though I was quiet and not good at expressing myself with speaking, I could say exactly what I wanted through writing. There have been other times that my desire to write has been confirmed through people and occurances. But that first time, in the 4th grade, is one that will always be dearest to my heart.

I know the writing journey is not going to always be joyful. I know there are going to many frustrations and hard places. I know there are many rejection letters looming on the horizon. But right now, today, I am going to focus on the joyful aspect of it. And I am going to say a prayer of thanks for a woman who never knew the impact she had on a young girls life. Thank you Mrs. Evans. Wherever you are. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

American Idol - A Soon to be Grandma's Guide to the Top 8

This week was Inspiration Week - the singers were asked to pick an inspiring song. That sounded kind of fun - but really, I have to say (in my best Randy impersonation) "Check it out dawg - check it out. This was really jusy okay for me. Just okay."

I kind of think that most of these kids are now on the same level - they are all good - or they wouldn't be where they are. But I have to say - nobody really stood out in the crowd.

Here's my review:

Michael Johns - “Dream On” - It was okay. I didn't love it. I think he has a great voice - and maybe going first made it less memorable - but I think he could have picked a better song.

Syesha Mercado - “I Believe” - I liked it. That's all.

Jason Castro - “Over the Rainbow” - I love this particular version of this song and I was really enjoying it daughter Michelle called to tell me how excited she was about it and then added "I want this song to be in my funeral". Um. That threw me a bit - I didn't enjoy the rest of it so much. I told her I don't intend to be at her funeral. She said she knew that - her best friend would be in charge. Does anyone else find that whole conversation a little weird?

Kristy Leigh Cook - “Anyway” -I have not been a big fan of Kristy's - but I love Martina McBride - and I have to say Kristy knocked this one out of the park. Good job Kristy!

David Cook - “Innocent” - I didn't care for his white coat. Reminded me of Ringo Starr. And I also didn't care for his song. He is talented - but I would never by his cd.

Carly Smithson - “The Show Must Go On” - Carly has run out of songs to sing. At least the ones she sings really well.

David Archuleta - “Angels” - This sweet child is sooooooo talented. He did an amazing job.

Brooke White - “You’ve Got A Friend” - I didn't like it so much. It didn't sound special at all. And I love Brooke - I would love for her to win. But this didn't do it for her.

I predict the bottom three to be:

I predict Seyesha will leave.

And would someone please dress Paula. She needs some fashion advice. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Free Music

Hey- run - don't walk to this website
If you are one of the first 100 bloggers - you may get a free CD. By Matt Maher.
Hurry - run!
I'm excited - I love music - and I love free!
Happy Day!

Also, for a limited time, is selling the CD online for only $8.97 –

Monday, April 7, 2008

Who Do You Want to Answer the 3 AM Phone Call?

Why my husband of course. Just like he did Sunday morning, when the phone rang. We all hate those calls in the middle of the night because we know it's not somebody calling just to say "Hi, how 'ya doin'?" We all get the slightly panicky sick sensation in our stomachs as we brace ourselves for what we might have to hear. We all expect bad news.

So when our phone rang we both jumped from bed. Our bedroom phone wasn't in the holder. Does anyone ever put the phone back where it belongs? We stumble through the house to the kitchen to find the next closest phone. We finally locate it. My husband picks it up just in time for the line to click dead. We look at each other in a sleep induced stupor. "Check the caller ID" I said. He recites the number and we look at each other again. It's our daughter. One of our pregnant daughters. Now the panic sets in for real. He quickly hits redial and in a moment I hear him say, "You want me to come?" I grab for the closest chair as my knees suddenly feel weak. Then he says, "Oh, you want to talk to mom." And he hands me the phone. Somehow in that split second of time I realize if it were really bad news, she would have told her dad. But she wanted me. So that meant she must have a problem that needs a mama. I relax -slightly. And I take the phone. She is having pain in her lower right side. Pain that won't go away. "I just don't want anything to be wrong with the baby" she says. I can hear the tears in her voice. So I tell her what every mom would say. Go to the ER. And they did. Five hours later they go back home. She is okay. Baby is okay. They aren't really sure what is causing the pain but appendicitis is ruled out. Thank goodness. An ultrasound showed the baby moving and playing, oblivious to the chaos surrounding it's little secure world. Prescriptions are given for pain and a slightly elevated white blood cell count. They come to our house to spend the day, to have a good hot meal and a little TLC. We all are glad to be together and breathe prayers of gratitude that everything was normal again.

But the words keep replaying in my mind - "I just don't want anything to be wrong with the baby".

Honey, those words are going to be your mantra for the rest of your life.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Potpourri Friday

Even though our weather has been so cold and dreary, I decided to fill my birdfeeders about a week ago. These poor little birdies must have been so hungry! They have been so happy to get their breakfast, lunch, and dinner and I have dozens of these sweet little American Goldfinches that come to dine all day long. Of course nothing delights Josey and Pebbles more than to have someone open the patio door so they can bark at them and chase them all away. I think it's a sure sign that spring is here. And I couldn't be more glad about that.

I can hardly believe that I am going to type these next words. I don't have anything on my calendar for the weekend. Well, out of the ordinary weekend things like church, housecleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, you know - regular stuff. But I don't have any events or meetings that I have to be at. And that makes me happy. Very happy.

Except I do have to set aside some time to finish our taxes. That doesn't make me very happy. But it will be a good thing to get it done and behind me for another year.

Tonight we are going to celebrate my baby's birthday. She is 18 years old today. My husband and I are walking around in disbelief. I wrote this post for her last year. This fall she will move into her dorm room and we will go back home and cry a bit and look at each other for a while and try to figure out how to live together - just the two of us again. I'm hoping that having grandbabies by then will help us out.

Speaking of grandbabies, this week I took a day off of work to help my daughter Michelle paint her baby nursery. And if you know how much I hate to paint - that would impress you. We called my mom to come and join us because apparently we don't share the same genetic code, as she loves to paint. So the four of us, me, my mom, my daughter, and my grandbaby painted the room a beautiful soft, creamy, buttery yellow. And then we striped it with a shade darker yellow. And it is beautiful. This weekend the carpet is being installed. And then the crib will go in. And then we will decorate with all the pretty layette items I have been sewing. And then all we will need is the baby to go in the nursery. We can hardly wait.

And Andrea had an ultrasound she wasn't expecting. She went to a regular appointment and she was not able to hear the heartbeat. And the doctor, who could hear the heartbeat, said she would never let a mother leave without hearing the heartbeat. I love that about her doctor. So she took her to the ultrasound room. Now Andrea's husband had not gone with her to her appointment, but her dad had taken her and was waiting out in the car. So Andrea ran out and got him and he got to see the baby. I told him that was not fair. But we were so happy to see such a pretty, healthy little baby in the pictures. They couldn't tell what it was - it didn't cooperate with that. But I think its little face looks like a girl. Andrea and Jayson want to know what it is so maybe next month they will try again to see what the baby is.

I'm still the only one who knows what Michelle and Brad are having. It has been fun to know and I swear I can't go by a baby department in the store without buying something.

Well, after the birthday party tonight, I'm going to kick back and enjoy the weekend. Except for the taxes part of it. But I'm looking forward to all the rest. Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Heart of the Matter

Our ladies Bible study has been using the book Conversation Peace by Mary Kassian. What a powerful study this had turned out to be. It's all about transforming your speech. When I began this class, I assumed we would study the 4th chapter of James like all Bible studies about the tongue do. But my goodness - I had absolutely no idea that there was so much in scripture that talks to us about our speech. No idea at all.

Last night we discussed in depth how our difficulties with our conversations, words, and speech don't have anything at all to do with the words themselves that we choose. It's all about our heart gals - it's all about our heart. What is in our hearts comes out in our speech - whether we plan for it to our not - because it is just a natural overflow of who we are. We all thought about our hearts and divided them up into sections called hard, rocky, thorny, and good. We gave percentages to each of those areas. This became very eye opening to me and I'm sure to many others in the class. We suddenly could see the areas that need the most cultivating.

We read scripture in Mark chapter 7 when Jesus was sharing with talking with chastising the religious/political leaders of the day for focusing on their outward actions instead of the condition of their hearts. He asked them - are you dull? I love it - Jesus asked them that! Can you imagine how it felt to be asked that by Jesus? So often we think of Jesus as only a meek and gentle person - as though He didn't have the fire of God in His belly! And He told them that they needed to quit focusing on their outward behaviour because it wasn't changing them. They could only be changed from the inside out - not the other way around. When we are changed on the inside - our outward behavior can't help but change - it's just the way it is.

So if we ask Jesus to help us clean up our hearts, fill it up with good soil that will produce good things, not only will our hearts be transformed, but our speech will too. And then Jesus won't have to be asking us if we are dull. Because I really don't want Him to have to be asking me that - do you?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

American Idol - A Soon to be Grandma's Guide to the Final 9

Tonight was Dolly Parton night - and who doesn't love Dolly! I think she is just the cutest thing. Except I noticed her face is looking a bit like Priscilla Presley's does these days. A few too many appointments with the Boto*x doctor I'm thinking. I wish these gorgeous women would just age the way they are meant to - there is just something very beautiful to me about aging gracefully. Ah, but let's get back to the youngsters - the stars of the evening.

Brooke White sang Jolene. I thought this was a good song choice for her - she lends herself to country very well. She had her guitar and seemed right at home. She did great.

David Cook sang Sparrow. The best thing was his new hair style - finally! He looked great! I think the contest is his to lose - he did a fantastic job arranging the song to fit his style and succeeding.

Ramiele sang Do I Ever Cross Your Mind., Ramiele, actually you don't. You seemed rather lifeless tonight. She knows she is going down soon - it's in her attitude.

Jason sang Traveling Through. I loved it. It seems Jason always does his best when he sings songs that reflect spiritual matters. I'm wondering if this boy knows Jesus. Dolly seemed to like him too.

Carly sang Here You Come Again. She has an incredible voice and whether she wins this show or not - she had made a career for herself. But tonight I thought she seemed to drag on this song.

David sang Smoky Mountain Memories. I could listen to this guy sing all night. He is just good. He did an incredible job tonight.

Kristy Lee sang Coat of Many Colors. Like Ramiele, she just didn't have any spark to her performance. I want to like this girl but there is something in her attitude that rubs me wrong.

Sayesha made a VERY bold choice and sang I Will Always Love You. It bothers me that the judges don't like the contestants to sing songs that have been mastered by professionals. No body thinks they will do better, but I applaud their courage to try. And Sayesha did a good job on a very difficult song choice. I thought she should have gotten more credit from the judges.

Michael sang It's All Wrong But It's Alright in a very blue-sy style. It was good, and a nice change from his previous performances. But something just didn't fit. I think he was just a bit out of his element tonight.

Have you noticed we are all on a first name basis now?

I predict the bottom three will be:

I predict the one to leave will be:

But don't lost sleep Ramiele over my predictions - I haven't gotten one right yet so you are probably safe.

And it just didn't seem right without Chickezie tonight. I wonder what song he would have picked?

Check out some more reviews over at Boomama's!

I'm Done With Blogging

Yes, it's true. I have made the decision not to blog anymore. It takes entirely too much time out of my day. And I have other important things to do. So I just wanted to write this post to tell you

Got cha' didn't I!!!