Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Funny: Highway Sing-A-Long

Comedian TJ Smith brought a smile to people’s faces while they were stuck in traffic on the 405 highway in Los Angeles by rolling his windows down, cranking up the 1968 pop song “Build Me Up, Buttercup” by The Foundations on his car radio, and enthusiastically lip-syncing along to it. TJ received an abundance of positive reactions from people passing by during his performance. The video was filmed by TJ’s friend Kathy Sue.

(I can't help but think about the reaction this would get on I-95 in the Philly area... there'd be a lot more single finger salutes.)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some September Photos

 What we've been up to:

  • dove hunting!  This was D's first official hunting experience (last year he just got to play fetch).  Sadly they only got one day of hunting in so far (too much rain), but that did nothing to diminish the smile of pride
  • kids each had a friend over last Friday... they were begging to go outside and play in the rain, so I gave the OK as long as there was no lightning.  About five minutes later there was an insanely loud clap of thunder (even though we didn't see a flash) and there was a collective scream and dash into the house moment, which then led to huge puddles on the kitchen floor ;)  Of course everyone was now cold, so they requested hot cocoa... silly kids!  They sipped cocoa while playing monopoly.  I *love* that the four kiddos played all night long without any TV, video games, etc.
  • The next morning, we made pretzels!  First time we'd tried this.  The process was fun, but need to find a better recipe.
  • A was curled up on the couch reading a Clementine book, giggling at a friend's antics.  Clearly she & I share the "book gene." On a random side note: her tested reading level is very high, which makes it tough to find current "fun" books for her to read; we've come up with the guideline that weekday reading needs to be in her level, and weekends are for fun (as long as she's getting enough AR points during the week).  The Little House series is on her short list, and we'll also be pulling my Trixie Belden books out of the attic soon!
  • We celebrated a friend's 35th birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese this past weekend.  You know how fun it is to inform your children that they're coming along for one of Mommy& Daddy's friends?!  Yes, we had a ball
  • No specific photo, but we've been getting pounded with bands of showers from Hurricane Ingrid.  It made landfall about 100 miles south, but we've still been under flash flood warnings.We had one small leak in our bedroom (this is what happens when the wind is blowing hard enough to make it rain sideways) but thankfully had no other issues.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Paralyzed Perfectionist.

Confession time: I am a mess.

Specifically in relation to my weight and the current state of our home.

Some examples of my internal dialogue for your reading pleasure:
"Man, that bookcase looks awful - there are things piled up in front of it, and the kids shoved some of the books on there backwards, because I can't even read the title on the spine.  I really wish our bookcases were pretty.  But the shelf itself isn't cute, and I don't think I could ever arrange all the stuff to make them look like the ones I see in magazines and on Pinterest.  Sigh."

"I can't believe I just ate that muffin!  I was supposed to go home and have oatmeal.  Sheesh, why do I have no self control?! I clearly have blown the entire day - might as well just finish running all my errands and grab drive-through for lunch."

I have this idea of how things should be in my head, and it seems unattainable, so I basically just throw my hands up. Oh, and whine.  Yes, I *do* get that this is incredibly stupid.  I can work through all the logic, but for some reason I still am having a difficult time actually DOING. It's a ridiculous cocktail of being overwhelmed, guilt that it's gotten to this point, and years of bad habits.  I tend to THINK about things entirely too much rather than just getting to work.  I even hard a hard time sleeping this weekend as I was thinking about the personality types that my husband and I are, and how it affects our family dynamic (FYI: I'm the only introvert in our family.)

This approach is not doing me - or my family - any favors.

I've read countless books and articles about organizing, de-cluttering, and house cleaning schedules as well as diet and exercise plans.  They've added to the aforementioned bookshelf issue ;)

In all seriousness, though, it truly is a struggle for me, and I've been praying about this a lot.  The past two weeks, our pastor has been speaking on "The Plow." Allowing ourselves to be broken and pruned.  The hardness we've developed prevents God from filling us with His Goodness.  No, it's not easy, but very necessary as part of the sanctification process.

I am baby stepping.

As far as the body thing goes, I am working my way through Trim Healthy Mama* and leaning toward adapting many of the principles shared.  I'm only on page 60 and feeling pretty overwhelmed, but I keep telling myself to just do one thing at a time.  And I will mess up - the key is to just.keep.going.  We attended a birthday party yesterday at a pizza place - I had two bites of a slice along with a giant salad.  The Italian buttercream cake was unveiled, and I wanted to do a faceplant in it (while my brain was telling me not to participate in the sugarfest whatsoever) but I chose to have two forkfuls and move on. Baby. Steps.

On the home front, I am setting SMALL goals.  Instead of looking at the entire bookshelf, attack one shelf.  I actually cleaned out my cookbooks last week (and even made $10 selling a few on the yard sale site). Go me!

Do the best you can, with what you have and with what you know NOW.  Repeat.

Image from The Nester, whose mantra is "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." ❤ (and yes, I know that the name should be spelled Schuller, and yes, his theology is screwy, but this quote is spot on).

*I had mentioned this last week, and I promise I really will do a more in-depth post on it soon.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Our daughter received a party invitation (for this evening) at school today scrawled on a purple post-it note.  I called the phone number listed, and discovered Mom does not speak Spanish.  Phone was handed off through a couple people - not sure whether I spoke with Dad or an older brother but he said he's an international chef and he invited our whole family over for dinner this evening (I declined as graciously as I could, explaining that I already had food cooking).  I am letting A go after for about an hour, though.  She really likes this girl and apparently there were 2 other girls who also received the purple post-it.  I continue to be baffled by social interactions in the Valley. Update: It was Dad I spoke to; he's much easier to understand in person than on the phone. He's a chef at our local Japanese steakhouse, and he went to culinary school in Minnesota.  Daughter had a ball and is looking forward to seeing her friend again!

On a more mundane note, I met with my "coffee ladies" this morning - we started out as a book study with about 7 members last fall, and now have a core of 4 that have done a couple books with a sort of emphasis on healthy living.  We took a break over the summer, and this was our 2nd coffee chat since school started back up.  Oh, how I'd missed them!  I happen to be the youngest, and it is such a blessing to chat with those a bit further down their life's path and glean a bit of their wisdom (when my stubbornness allows ;)  We are going to be working out way through the book Trim Healthy Mama, which is kind of a diet plan (glycemic index, carb management, "real" food), but that's a whole 'nother post and and of itself.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Stepping out of my comfort zone

One of the things I've been whining about a LOT to my poor hubby is how I miss good Bible study.  I participated in several rounds through another local church, but then the program/schedule/leaders changed.  I took part in one led by a very dear lady in our church, but I found the material extremely basic and I was left longing for more...

I chatted with a friend who has led several studies, but due to some very difficult circumstances she's unable to commit to anything else right now.

Hubby asks whether I've prayed about leading one myself.


I don't do that.

I just like to go to ones that others are leading and talk too much.

See, I don't really feel like I've been called in that area.

Oh, wait, but I *do* have a minor in Biblical studies AND I definitely felt the Holy Spirit leading me out of my last "post."

Please stand by while I tell God that it's not a good idea.

Throughout random conversations this summer, three different people made comments about how I would be a good Bible Study leader.

Cue our pastor talking about launching a congregation-wide initiative of small groups, and encouraging us all to pray about our roles.

Guess what?

I'm leading a Bible study.

I'm a bit scared.

We're doing an inductive study on Philippians, which has always been my favorite book.  I find it fascinating that Paul - while imprisoned - is writing to a group of people to tell them to focus on the good stuff and REJOICE.  And also tell them that God will get them through whatever (FYI: Philippians 4:13 isn't a peppy cheer).  I need to be reminded about many of the teachings in this epistle.

Five ladies signed up yesterday: I know 1 well, 1 so-so, and had never met the other 3.

We'll do another round of sign-ups this coming Sunday, and then we're kicking things off on September 19.

Yep, I'm being s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d.  That's always uncomfortable, but I really am excited to see how God works through this!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Funny (or some sarcasm at the very least)

These are my cell phone cases.  Being the klutz I am a protective case is not optional -- but mine is a somewhat unusual model so the cases aren't common.  I tracked down these two on Amazon, and while they weren't the style I would generally be drawn to, I figured I could live with them.  The one of the left is the one that I had on my phone when we went to PA this summer.  It's kind of hard to tell from the photo, but those silver and black bumps are each faceted, and the base is silver glitter.  When I pull it from my purse/pocket in TX, I get comments like, "Ooh, I love that!" and, "Where did you get it?!"  When I pulled it out in PA, I was subject to lots of giggles and comments like, "Wow, now THAT is a Texas phone!"  Yes, it's true that I've probably adapted to my new locale more than I realize ;)  Anyway, my blingy zebra case had a small clip break off, so it's gone to the big trash can in the sky and I've moved on to the multicolor cheetah.  Not sure whether it's an improvement or not.
- . - . -

And finally, another update from the crazy world of the online yard sale. Someone recently moved here and shared this photo with the accompanying comments: "I'm very talented can do any makeup type up to black smokey eyes go neutral makeup. Makeup looks very very professional and If u want fake eyelashes will do them just for $3 more." and then later added: " If u have curly hair I can scrunch hair realy good."

I added the eye pasties to obscure the individual's identity.  Let's just say that I will be not be utilizing her services.  I'm not joking when I say this is a standard "day" look, though.  

Funny story:  June, 2010, I dropped the kiddos off for a morning VBS program and went to Merle Norman for a mini-makeover (it was free, and I needed foundation).  I specifically told the make-up technician that I wanted a very simple day look with MINIMAL makeup.  I must have repeated this 3-4 times: I described myself as low maintenance, that I didn't want someone to look at me and immediately notice that I was wearing makeup, etc.  Well, she went to work; I did not have my glasses on so couldn't really see what she was doing, but it seemed that she was putting on an awful lot of product.  I questioned her, and she assured me that it looked great - she finished up  and presented me with a mirror.  I did not know whether to laugh or cry -- I felt like a clown with heavy eyeliner, glittery shadow, doll cheeks, noticeable lipliner... the works.  The lady who'd applied it was genuinely shocked when I told her I didn't like anything about it (other than the foundation, LOL)  I purchased that one tube, went home and scrubbed at my face for almost ten minutes.  I used three different makeup removers and STILL felt like I had gunk around my eyes.

Oh, the joys!!