Monday, May 28, 2007

O Canada!

This is just one of the many breathtaking scenes I am going to experience on my vacation that starts the day after tomorrow! Woohoo! I thought I would go ahead and let everyone know that I will not be blogging again until next week. I can just hear the laughter since it's been a week since I last blogged! I started out only mildly excited about the whole trip, but now I'm pretty pumped. Elliott's dad just retired from teaching/coaching and for his retirement, he wanted to go to Canada with his family. So Elliott, his parents, his brother and wife, Katie, and I are heading north! I had the job of picking out all the accommodations, so we'll see if I have a future as a travel agent.

I am so looking forward to how beautiful everything is going to be. You would also think that I might feel closer to God in a place like that, but somehow, even at that altitude, I doubt I could feel any closer to Him than I do in my sweet home town of Clyde.

The kids are staying around here with family and everything seems to be in place....except Elliott's passport. My mother-in-law has everyone in the state of Texas, I think, working on getting that thing here. We both applied for one in the middle of March. (If you're needing a passport anytime in the near future, go now and get it done!) I was only renewing mine so I got it about a month ago, but Elliott's is only on it's way because we have hounded them about it. We even paid the extra $60 to have it expedited. I'm believing that it's going to be in the mailbox tomorrow!

I'm starting to get a little anxious about the packing. I'm trying to remember all the things I've forgotten on past trips or all the good ideas I've heard people say you shouldn't travel without. I've still got some laundry to do, but not too much since I'll be pulling out some of my fall clothes for this trip. The weather is supposed to be in the low 70's during the day and the low 40's at night. I'm not sure I'm hot enough yet to go back to fall weather!

I have my Ipod loaded with good worship music, soaking music and podcasts. I am taking several books I have been wanting to read - When Heaven Invades Earth (still haven't read it), Mindless Eating, The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Tipping Point. I haven't decided if I'm going to read a little of each book or one at a time. Ever since I was a kid, I would eat the food on my plate one food at a time. I never mixed. I wonder if that's how I'll be with reading. I've never had so many good books in my queue!

All in all, I'm going to miss all my besties, but I'm looking forward to good times with the family, alone time with Elliott, good food, rest, relaxation and some quality time with Jesus in some of the prettiest country there is. I'll see you all next week!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Growing Pains

The other day, Erica and I were discussing the subject matter found in my previous post. We talked about how awkward puberty was and how awkward it is to see others go through it. The strange, ever-changing voice, the weird foreign lumps in places that were smooth just months before. You know the drill. The one saving grace is that it only happens once. You have an awkward time in your life roughly the same time all of your friends do and you stick together and bond during that time. You close your bedroom door and hide out for a little while until it's safe to come out. Then you resume life, knowing a little more and looking a little different, but nevertheless, you move on.

Take that same experience and look at it from a spiritual perspective. Believe me, this was not a revelation I was jumping up and down about. As followers of Christ, we have a birth, a place where it all starts, and then we proceed to grow. Then, like puberty, we have an awkward time of walking out our new life. We start to really live it and find that it's not always as easy as it looks for other people. We start to test the things we are told and sometimes we have victory and other times we experience defeat. All while Satan whispers distracting things in our ears. Then we make it through to the other side having learned something new and hopefully looking a little different than before. That, however, is not the end of it. It is only the beginning of the awkward growth spurts we will experience throughout our walk. That is what, I think, should keep us humble.

As an adult, I sometimes find myself looking at children or teenagers with such arrogance. I think, "Oh, poor little things. They have so much to learn. Someday they will know all too well the bitter truth about life." Then I think about all the badges I have on my sleeve that show all the things I've been through and all the knowledge I have acquired. I become prideful of the position I have gained. In the spiritual game of life, there unfortunately is no seniority. There is not a point at which we can sit back and hit the cruise control and enjoy the rest of the trip. We are constantly changing. Constantly going to new levels. At least, we should be if we're doing it right.

So, here's to awkward spiritual growth spurts. May we always have them and may we learn to embrace them for the fruit they produce in us.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Here we go...

I debated whether or not I should blog about the following subject. Part of me thinks that certain things are private and not to be shared with the general public and then there's another part of me that knows that this is happening everywhere and almost all of my friends who have small children will be experiencing the same thing in a few years. So, since we are all essentially in the same boat, I will proceed...

The other night, Elliott and I were in bed talking and he told me that John has started to ask him questions about his boy parts. I know there are generally two camps of people when referring to "boy parts." Those of you that think proper scientific names should be used for everything and those of you that think cute made up names like tinkie winkie and pee pee are just fine. For the purposes of this blog, and I'm not saying what camp I'm in, although most of you already know, the aforementioned subject will be referred to as "boy parts." Anyway, my interest thoroughly peaked, I shot up to a sitting position and asked him how the conversation went. In detail. Here's what was said,

John: "Daddy, what's my boy part for?"
Elliott: "Well, it's there so that when you go out hunting or fishing, you'll be able to use the bathroom without making a mess all over yourself."
John: "Okay, why don't girls have them?"
Elliott: "Girls don't go hunting or fishing. They like to stay at home where there are toilets for them to use the bathroom in."
John (with a suspicious look on his face): "Seriously Dad, what else are they for?"
Elliott: "I'll tell you later."

You'll tell him later?!? What do you mean later? Like, later as in years, or later as in "it's late so we'll have to talk about it tomorrow?" My head was spinning. Could this be happening so soon? He's only 8 and a half years old. Elliott told me that he was going to have to tell him everything pretty soon because he didn't want him to hear it at school. I just don't like this one bit. I like the innocence I have between me and my son. I like that there's a whole world of stuff he doesn't even know exists. Surely he'll look at me differently. He'll wonder when Elliott and I say, "Mommy and Daddy need to take a long nap. Please don't come in our room for a little while. We'll be sleeping. Just watch your movie and when we wake up we'll come out and watch it with you."

I know that everyone has a story about when they first heard about girl parts and boy parts and what they're for and how they work. For me, it was the end. I didn't hear anything at school. I wasn't even suspicious that something was going on that I didn't know about. I was innocent. I don't even remember starting the whole thing with a question. I just remember my mom calling me into her room and then telling me about it all. I'm serious when I say my world came crashing down. Disney's "It's a Small World", the soundtrack to my life at that time, came screeching to a halt. Forest animals ceased to dance around my feet. I was sick. How could anyone want to do that?

That being the only perspective I have, I am a little concerned for what John is about to go through. I'm sure Elliott will do fine and I'm sure John will do fine. I just don't want to think about it. Actually, I don't have to think about it. I'm pretty sure that this is Elliott's department. My turn will come when the girls get older. And you can bet I'll soften the blow with a weekend at a nice hotel, good food, good chocolate, and lots of shopping. Until then, I'll be watching all my other friends out with daughters who are closer to it than mine are.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

36 feels great so far!

Well, my birthday is officially over, and I can say that I am a truly blessed woman! You know that my birthday just happened to fall in a month of favor this year, but did you know that my anniversary is in this month, too? There's seems to be favor every where I turn. Here's the rundown so far...

Before I met Elliott, I had a favorite perfume. It was Fendi and it was spicy and everyone always complimented me on it, that is, until I met Elliott. He hated it. So I set it aside. We have been married for almost 12 years and I haven't worn perfume since he nixed the Fendi. Well, a couple of weeks ago, he smelled something he like in a magazine of mine and I happened to like it, too. I jumped at the opportunity to have a favorite perfume again and so I asked for it for my birthday. Not long after, my perfume arrived in the mail compliments of my sweet mother. Thanks, mom! By the way, it's Wonderful, by American Beauty. I think one of the contributing factors to Elliott liking this perfume was that Ashley Judd was the one advertising it. (whatever works, right?)

My secret sister gave me a jasmine candle from Heavenly Accents with a wick trimmer and dipper. Smells divine!

I got an apple green ipod nano from my sweet husband, Elliott. He knew I'd been wanting one ever since they first came out, I just didn't really bug him about it until this year.

As you know, I was given a fabulous party with my closest besties that included lots of good food (Johnny Carino's), great gifts, hot water, and a wee bit of fermented juice.

Chef Joel invited me to a missions fundraiser at FGF and my husband was sweet enough to let me go by myself while he watched the kids. The food was exotic and the auction was a lot of fun. I picked up this sweet necklace made by Leah Cypert. It's georgous, and heavy and the colors are my favorite. John thought it was silly that I would pay $40 for a string of polished rocks to put around my neck! Boys.

Elliott's family had a party for me on Sunday afternoon with spaghetti and salad and homemade angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream for the top! Nunie gave me $125 because she says she wouldn't dare try to pick something out for me.

After John was born, Elliott figured out that if he got something pretty nice for me in the month of May, he could kill 3 birds with one stone. (Sounds pretty romantic, doesn't it.) Because my birthday, anniversary and mother's day all fall within two weeks of each other, he got a Kitchen Aid mixer for me that year. It's still my favorite kitchen appliance. This year, I decided to do him a favor and take care of that responsibility for him. I bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner while I was out last week and told Elliott that he didn't have to worry about Mother's Day or our anniversary. I have never loved vacuuming as much as I do now. That thing really sucks! (I couldn't resist!)

Lastly, I got to spend my actual birthday with my husband and kids, who made blueberry muffins for my birthday breakfast. Then, that night, I got to play the drums for the BFW team members and hear 3 more great talks. I can't wait for that retreat to get here. It's going to be awesome!

I know some of you have posted the things you want to see happen this month and I have some things, too. I wrote them in my journal, but I'm not going to post them here just yet. I will let you know at the end of the month, which ones of them came to pass.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I just want to publicly thank those individuals who made my 36th birthday party a smashing success! I am so blessed!

Jennifer - It was so nice to finally get to spend some qaulity time with you! Thank you for the wonderfully delicious dinner! I loved that you got to come.

Monica - Thank you so much for the itunes gift card. I went shopping this morning and I'm loving all the new music I got! Also, your hot tub rocks! I love going to your house. You truly have the gift of hospitality and I always feel welcome when I'm there.

Francesca - What can I say? You are my density. You hear that, Billy, not you anymore, it's me! Thanks for the rockin' drummer t-shirt. I will wear it with pride! Last night was so much fun, I really enjoyed it.

Becky - I'm so glad you were able to come last night. I really enjoyed being around "just Becky" for a few hours! You make me smile. Thanks for all the natural goodies. You know I love that stuff! Oh, and thanks (I think) for keeping a photographic record of the whole thing.

Brandi - Even though you only got your feet wet, it felt like you were in that hot tub with us all night! You are so much fun! Thank you for the itunes gift card. I'm doing my best to fill that thing up!

Erica - As always, you were the life of the party and it wouldn't have been the same without you! Thank you so much for the Billy Collins poetry book. I've already found my favorite and I'm posting it for all the world to see:


Smokey the Bear heads
into the autumn woods
with a red can of gasoline
and a box of wooden matches

His ranger's hat is cocked
at a disturbing angle.

His brown fur gleams
under the high sun
as his paws, the size
of catcher's mitts,
crackle into the distance.

He is sick of dispensing
warnings to the careless,
the half-wit camper,
the dumbbell hiker.

He is going to show them
how a professional does it.

by Billy Collins
from The Apple That Astonished Paris

Thanks girls! This really is turning out to be a month of favor for me! I am blessed! Pictures are coming soon!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

My Bible - decluttered

The contents of my purse are very boring, so I decided to clean out my Bible and let you know what's in it. Much shorter list, I might add.

2 Huggies coupons from Dana Bell that expired 12/24/06.
A bulletin insert on the Couple's Conference - didn't go.
A flyer for Sky Angel satellite tv. I want it so bad, but Elliott just won't give in.
13 bulletins - yes, I read them every week, beginning to end.
A welcome card from 12/3/06, filled out, not turned in - sorry, Erica, I was there.
A nursery schedule - I'm scheduled to work on Mother's Day, how ironic.
A note sheet on the "Eleven major functions and purposes for David's Tabernacle" from the worship conference.
A list of all the team members for the BFW and their phone numbers.
One of those Refrigerator Door bible lessons from children's church - sorry, Rachel.
12 blank sheets of paper for the kids to draw on when they're in the service the last Sunday of the month.
My notes on the Reconciliation Walk that I talked about in church several weeks ago.

That's it. My bible is now cleaned out and ready to start collecting stuff again!