Wednesday, December 30, 2009

End of Year Meme--2009

I did this end of year meme last year, so I thought I'd make it a tradition by completing it again. However, most of my answers didn't change much. Does that make me boring?

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? go to the Emergency Room (as a patient)

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I’m not a fan of resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Not in my immediate “circle”

4. Did anyone close to you die? No

5. What countries did you visit? The Bahamas, Peru

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? self-discipline

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? August 9~crisis of belief

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? That’s tough to say...

9. What was your biggest failure? probably spending too much time on Facebook

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes! A freakish case of shingles and Bell’s Palsy followed by vertigo. I still can’t walk a straight line. (See the "I'm Donating My Body to Science" thread)

11. What was the best thing you bought? MacBook (sorry PC-ers, I’ve gone over to the other side)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? my girls

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? my own =(

14. Where did most of your money go? Wal-Mart (again)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? U2 concert and various trips (Peru, cruise, Gulf Shores, Colorado, and Shepherd of the Ozarks for Thanksgiving)

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? How He Loves~David Crowder Band

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer? a)happier, b)no comment, c)better

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? read

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? procrastinate...

20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas Eve & lunch with Joel's family; Christmas night with Joel, Paige, Mark, Elizabeth, Lee, and girls.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? more & more with BigJoel every day~we’ve been “together” for 24 years and married for 18. He still makes my heart happy.

22. What was your favorite TV program? American Idol, The Office

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No

24. What was the best book you read? Same Kind of Different As Me

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? NeedtoBreathe

26. What did you want and get? MacBook

27. What did you want and not get? an iPhone (its a long story, but I’m not bitter)

28. What was your favorite film of this year? The Blind Side

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Does it mean I'm old if I can't remember...?

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? better time management

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? comfy casual...jeans or “home pants”

32. What kept you sane? Jesus

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Hard to say.

34.What political issue stirred you the most? hmmm, I’d rather not go there...

35. Who did you miss? my mother, still

36. Who was the best new person you met? Leora~technically I already knew her, but just got to know her better this year

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. Life can change in an instant, fortunately God does not.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"I don’t have time to maintain these regrets

When I think about the way

He loves me"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Relative, a Friend, and a Dose of Sarcasm

This "Ticked Off Topic" post may be a bit out of place, what with everyone in the Christmas spirit and all, but its been simmering for a while on a back burner and today the pot boiled over.

A few months ago, my friend posted on her Facebook status that all three of her children had been sick with the flu. A "Relative" of hers commented "That is why I'm so thankful that my kids are in a Christian school where the principal prays over them every day." Really? So kids in Christian schools don't get the flu? Someone call the CDC! I wanted to reply to the "Relative" that my children are Salt and Light in the public school system and still remain freakishly healthy despite the fact that their principals probably don't pray over them. As a matter of fact, this is the first year our family has even taken the flu shot (and that was under duress); yet we have never had the flu and the girls have not missed one day of school due to illness this year. But I didn't want to sound condemning or judgmental by calling out the "Relative" for all of Facebook to see, so instead I just texted my friend with some snide remarks (which she totally appreciated, by the way, because she couldn't believe that someone would actually infer that her kids were sickly because they didn't attend Christian school.) And that's why she's my friend...but I digress.

More recently, I've listened in dumbstruck awe as people have proclaimed their outrage over the phrase "Happy Holidays". I understand the premise~the fear that if we stop saying "Merry Christmas" we will eventually forget the Reason for the Season. But must we really launch a vigilante campaign? I've heard local radio stations boast that they are "keeping Christ in Christmas" (as the intro to "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" begins playing). And today, Joel shared with me a "Friend's" post on Facebook about how when a waitress told him "Happy Holidays", he withdrew her tip and said, "Merry Christmas". Ironically, he left out the part about how the waitress realized the error of her ways, recognized that Jesus loves her, and prayed to receive Christ right there in the Waffle House...Seriously? He withdrew her tip and identified himself as a Christian...beautiful. I'm sure Jesus did a celebratory fist pump over that point-well-made.

I apologize if I've been totally irreverent. It just escapes me how sometimes as Christians, we parade around with a banner of moral superiority and then shake our heads in disbelief when the World rejects our message. I just cannot believe that if Jesus physically walked among us today, He would only protect children in Christian schools and reprimand waitresses who unknowingly offended Him. I think the "Relative" and the "Friend" might be quite surprised by Jesus' reactions to their situations.

Of course, the "Sarcastic Blogger" would probably be surprised as well...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Away in a Manger

I found out that my friend, Amanda, was participating in a Christmas Tour of Homes. When I realized that I wouldn't have to actually clean my house and provide paper booties to cover people's shoes when they walk in the front door, I decided to play along too.
I collect nativities. Its a bit of an obsession. At last count, I own well over 50 of them. Some are fancy and some are kitschy. So for my tour, I'll share just a few of them.
This is where it all began. My husband and I bought this on our very first anniversary. It is still probably my absolute favorite.

My best friend gave me this one created by an artist in Colorado Springs.

I love this "all-in-one" piece. It is by artist Karen Lawrence.

BigJoel and I picked this one up a few years ago on vacation in Mexico.

This set is particularly special. It was given to me by the teachers at the school where I was the Administrator. Even more special is that it was made by one of the teachers! She's so talented.

Joel and I bought this nativity for our 5th anniversary on a trip to Jefferson, Texas.

I've traveled to Peru several times and love this little set that portrays the Holy Family inside of a chullo hat.

This large nativity was made in Peru also, but given to me by the teachers at my school.

Another Karen Lawrence piece~I love this set!

A tiny Mexican nativity that I got in San Antonio at the Market.

My friend Kim and I actually made this set several (16, actually) years ago when ceramics and country blue were all the rage.

Yet another nativity that the teachers gave me, this one came from Haiti. I love the little "stable" in the background~its made from a coconut.

We have so many nativities, we can't keep them all indoors. This is yard art made by one of our church members.

When our oldest daughter was about 4 years old, I caught her rearranging the pieces of several sets one time. I asked her what she was doing and she replied, "I'm fixing it to where everyone [the kings, shepherds and even stable animals] can see Jesus. He's the most important part." So true, HannahKate, He is the most important part, isn't He.

Thanks for taking my little last minute tour. I hope you enjoyed it and may you remember The Most Important Part of this holiday season.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Drivers Beware

I'm afraid I'm becoming one of those little old ladies who really shouldn't be driving, but no one in her family quite has the nerve to tell her. I'm not really that old, I've just had some odd experiences lately that all seem to center around me and my little red Jeep
A few weeks ago, Hallie and I went to a friend's birthday party out in the country. On the way home, I noticed something in the road. It was a dog. Due to his prone position, I knew he'd been struck by a car and was most likely dead. Unfortunately, I did not see him in time to slow down much or swerve. I was trying to just sort of "pass over" him, if you know what I mean. However, I misjudged his size. After the sickening thud, my mind began to play tricks on me~what if it wasn't really a dog? What if I'd just hit a person? I pulled into a parking lot to turn around and go back. I had to wait for several cars before I could pull back onto the road. Since none of them slammed on their brakes to render aid at the crime scene, I decided it really was a dog and that I should spare Hallie and I from having a grotesque image burned into our brains. (Please don't judge or call the ASPCA. It was dark, we were alone in the country and I was afraid of what could've happened if I got out of my car to try and help/move the animal.)
Then last week, HannahKate and I lucked into some tickets for a Christmas Bazaar over in the Metroplex. It was a spur of the moment impulse, but we zipped over to see what we could see. We pulled into a great space in an underground parking garage, being very careful to note our level and location so as not to lose our vehicle (because that would just be dumb, now wouldn't it?). As we parked, a weird chain of events unfolded so quickly that I cannot even explain what happened, except to say we wound up outside the car and I immediately realized that the keys were still inside the car~locked. Can you believe that Dallas police officers, nor the building security guards could help me with even so much as the name of a locksmith? I didn't expect them to open the car for me, but I honestly would have thought they would have a list of area locksmiths at their disposal. I can't believe I'm the only dingbat they've come into contact with recently with the same dilemma. Finally, after trying three different numbers and waiting almost an hour in the bowels of the earth (ok, it was just one level underground, but it sure seemed bowel-like) a locksmith arrived. No joke. In less than 2 minutes he opened the door, handed me my keys and a bill for $95. 2 minutes. $95. I'm in the wrong business, I tell you.
(Waiting on the locksmith~HanK thought it was a good opportunity for a foot picture)
But the fun doesn't stop there. On Thursday, I went out to visit my friend in the country again. When I parked, I honestly thought the ground was dry and that I was still on the gravel enough for it to not be an issue. I was wrong. Apparently a Jeep sans 4WD is no match for a little mud. It was cold and very late and my friend's husband wasn't home. But being the country girl she is, she bravely got in and spun the tires until the Jeep was freed from the muddy mire~but not before creating some lovely ruts in her new yard.
And to top it all off, yesterday Joel needed a ride because he'd been shuffling work trucks around. He got in the backseat. I almost never drive when he's around. I guess I was just too lazy to get out and walk around to the passenger seat though. When we got home, I was trying to maneuver into the garage (which I do every day, several times a day without event) and I ran right into the door frame. Hard. Fortunately, there's no real damage~ just some scuffed paint on both the jeep and the house. But really?
So someday soon, I fully expect that I will "lose" my keys~only to learn that Joel has hidden them for my own safety as well as that of others on the road who might cross my path.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Last Monday was our 18th wedding anniversary. 18 years. Man, that sounds like a long time~and yet I still cannot believe that God blessed me with a man like Joel. I love that guy like crazy =)