Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I have to make this quick because I'm blogging on borrowed time here. My internet service at the house was supposed to end yesterday, but apparently, someone didn't get the memo.

Couple of things. I guess it's common knowledge that Elliott and I may be moving our family to Nashville if a certain someone decides to release a certain song as a single for radio airplay. I have thought about the possibility so much that the adventurous part of me that has shrunk to almost nothing since I moved to the country 8 years ago is starting to come back to life. I think I might be disappointed if we don't go. I'm excited about what this will mean for Elliott. He has come to the point in his life where he is not afraid to dream. Out loud. He wants to use the gifts that God has given him to minister to others and for the first time in his life, he feels like God has given him the freedom to choose whatever doors open for him.

And he's entering a contest. More on that later. Pray for him if you think about it.

This one makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy and also scared to death at the same time. I took John to the doctor today and afterward needed to get groceries. John reminded me that he had 2 gift cards for Wal Mart worth $20 and he needed to spend it. He said he wanted to buy a deer caller or something like that. He heard that Payton shot his first deer last week and his competitive spirit reared it's competitive head. I told him he could look around at the toys and stuff while I got groceries. About 20 minutes later, he came up to me in the produce section and handed me this...

He said that he wanted to buy it for his girlfriend with his gift cards. He only had $20 and the necklace was $22 so I covered the extra and told him he that he was very sweet and I thought she'd love it. Have I taken crazy pills? The kid is 10! Shouldn't I be discouraging this sort of behavior? On the other hand, it's so sweet. I remember when I was in the 5th grade, a boy that I was "going with" gave me a stuffed teddy bear in a plastic Estee Lauder box. I found out about it when I went into the girls bathroom and saw all of my girlfriends tearing into a gift. When I asked them what they were doing, they said without evening turning around, "We're opening up the Valentines gift that Chad just gave you." I wasn't surprised. This is the same group of girls that had the week before came up to me and said, "Chad wants to go with you. Do you want to?" I said sure and for a whole week, which included Valentines day, we spoke not even once. At the end of that week, those same girls informed me that Chad was breaking up with me. As a mother, that's exactly the kind of relationships I'd like my kids to have with the opposite sex. I have a feeling, though, that John is not going to be that way. He has a little bit of shy in him from his dad, but he also has a healthy dose of my social butterfly gene. We'll see what happens.

I could tell you more about what's going on around here, but my husband is pacing the floor waiting for me to come to bed. He doesn't like to go to sleep if I'm not next to him. I'm slowly turning into one of those early-to-bed types that I always used to make fun of.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This is classic.

You know when you get together with friends and inevitably the conversation turns to YouTube because the conversation almost always turns to YouTube and you end up in some YouTube show and tell contest? Normally, after I've shown my favorite video, I lose interest in anything anyone else has to share.

Friday night I was supposed to be at the Clyde/Jim Ned football game in San Angelo until I found out that there would not be a press box in which to sit and partake of free food and talk to other school board member's wives. I changed my mind. Go ahead and call me spoiled. Free food and warm conversation makes football easier to swallow. Leave the stands for the diehard fans who actually know what they're looking at.

So, I decided instead to join Erica and Fran in putting together wedding invitations and stuffing envelopes. Before we really got down to business, we had one of those YouTube show and tells and let me tell you, it yielded, for me, the mother lode of all-time favorite YouTube videos. This one has been around for a year already and for the life of me I can't figure out why no one has told me about it. Especially with my love for Jack Black and all.

I offer here to you, my friends, a link to it because it won't let me embed it here. I have watched it easily 6 times this weekend and I'm not near tired of it yet. If you're not into Jack Black, you have my deepest condolences. [I've forgiven him for being such a potty mouth.]

And thanks to Francesca who brought this one to show and tell. She won the prize that night.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Okay, okay, I'll write something. Sheesh.

Hello, my name is Pam. Around here, I sometimes go by Pamelotta. You may remember me. Maybe not. I've been away for a while. I guess you could call it a bit of a dry spell. Most of you would just call it annoying. Sorry.

Well, it's official. Internet service at our house will be disconnected at the end of the month. I know you're saying, "I'll believe it when I see it." but Elliott called and canceled yesterday and since we're paid up through the end of the month, It'll be gone the first of December. I'll still be able to check things at the office, but I'm not sure how often that will be.

Other than that, there are some kind of big things brewing on the horizon that I'm so preoccupied with right now I don't really think I'm gonna miss the internet.

Since my last update:

  • Autumn turned 5. I probably won't get around to showing pictures. It was a typical family party. There was plenty of HSM and Hello Kitty and way too much cake.
  • Anna almost cut off the tip of her finger in a faulty trundle bed accident. It was not a pretty sight. Her finger is just now starting to look normal and it's been almost a month since it happened. It'll probably be a little stubby for a while because she crushed the bone. Oh well, at least it's not on her ring hand. Her wedding pictures should turn out just fine.
  • Incidentally, the finger mangling took place the same night that Elliott and I and John and Elliott's parents went to ACU's Moody Coliseum to see a taping of A Prairie Home Companion. Why so many of us? We were really expecting to see Elliott up on stage playing with old Garrison but alas, he was not picked. I'm alright now, it was a big ACUfest anyway. Lots of talk about the college and the Church of Christ, etc. It was for the best.
  • Elliott is writing songs like a mad man. They're just pouring out of him. And they're pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. We're trying to get a cd out soon. By "we" I mean Elliott is playing and recording and I'm nagging. He's got some great ideas so when it does come out, you'll want to buy a copy for yourself and all your friends. No homemade copies with "Elliott's songs" written in sharpy on them. No siree, we're headed for the big time!
  • Speaking of, he's got a new website up and running. Nevermind the page about ordering a cd that's coming out in the next two weeks. That's a little off. You can leave a message on the contact page though and listen to a few songs while you're there. Check it out.
  • And while you're wasting time checking out sites on the internet, you can check out the website for Elliott's day job. Even though his day job has slowed to a crawl, if you know anyone that has any commercial illustration needs, [that's drawing for us regular folks] you can send them our way.
That's about all I can handle right now. When you've taken over a month off from blogging, you need to make sure you take things slow when you get back into it. I don't want to have a relapse, you know. It could be 2 months next time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A little vacation of sorts

I just got back from our Sunday night training class at church and Pastor Brandon asked us to fast and pray for some things going on at our church and for breakthrough. I don't know anyone who likes to fast and I'm no exception, so when he said that, my heart sank a little. I know it's a powerful thing and almost always produces amazing results, but it's just not a lot of fun. And you know what is fun? Eating, that's what.

When someone mentions fasting, or when I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to do it, I always assume I won't be eating for a time. And when Brandon mentioned it tonight it was no different. I started mentally preparing myself for a week without food. That means that I immediately wondered what I had at my house that I could tear into and stuff myself with before Monday started. By the time I got home, though, I realized that this particular fast wasn't going to involve food. You'd think I would be a relieved. But actually it's worse because it involves my computer. More specifically, the turning off of my computer for a week. One whole week. [I haven't decided if I'm calling a week 5 days or 7, we'll see.]

I realized the other day that the first thing I do in the morning is check my e-mail and my blog list. I wouldn't feel so bad if I left the house everyday to go to work at an office where I could do things like that on my lunch break. But since I'm at my house all day long, and there's no, you know, time clock or anything, I get to where whenever I have a free moment, I'm on here. And no matter how free a moment is, it almost always turns into 30 or 60 or..you get the idea.

So, I will not be seeing any of you, by way of blogs, for the next week. I guess this post is my way of eating my last meal before the fast. And you'd better believe I've already checked every blog I've ever looked at and stuffed myself full of words and pictures that I hope will last through the week. I feel like I'm saying farewell for much longer, but I'm just dramatic that way. I'm going to get a lot done around here, refocus and most important pray. And my church isn't the only thing that needs it right now. There's a lot going on in this country and around the world that could use some extra prayer coverage.

Until next week, peace out. [I can't believe I just typed that]

Saturday, October 04, 2008


As some of you may know, a year or so ago I accidentally wandered into Hollister at the one and only mall in town. I don't know what I was thinking and I can't imagine the look I had on my face when I walked in, but I made an about face before my eyes even had a chance to adjust to the cave like interior. I realized immediately that I didn't belong there and I had to get out.

Well, I've wondered about that place ever since and when I went to the mall today to pick up a Webkinz for my daughter's birthday, I purposed in my heart to give it another try and see what all the commotion was about...and I heard a rumor that they have their own line of fragrance pumped into the mall's air conditioning system so people will be drawn to their store. Hmmm. Sounds very mysterious.

This time, I walked in like I owned the place. I didn't want to look like a mom. I made a sharp turn to the right, right after the living room set up and didn't notice until later that I actually entered the correct side, the "Betty" side. Score one for the mom! It was still very dark. I think it would be helpful to hand out headlamps at the entrance. Wouldn't that be so cool? I mean, rad. Excuse me, sweeeet. That's it, sweet.

Also, the music was turned up way too loud for me to do the kind of concentrating I need to do to shop for clothes. I do my best shopping with big fluorescent lights and a touch of Barry Manilow in the background. Go ahead, call me old. And I'm pretty sure the song that was playing when I walked in was talking about sex. Not that they didn't have songs like that when I was young. I just don't appreciate them like I did back then.

As soon as I got in to the main part of the cave, I mean store, this perky little sales girl said in a high pitched squeal, "Hi! How you doin?" With a "deer in the headlights" look, I said, "Fine. I don't need anything. I'm just looking."

I walked briskly past her and entered the part of the store where the fragrances and cash registers are and apparently where everyone just hangs out. I mean it. There were young kids everywhere just standing around talking. Just when I decided I was going to try to make it to the back wall of the store, touch it, and then run out, I saw the teenage son of a friend of mine. "Hi Nick!" I said nervously as I gave him a side hug. He said, "Hey." and then I felt the need to say, "I'm just looking around." He gave me an "Okay." And not just any "okay," it was the kind of "okay" you say when what you really meant was, "I don't remember asking, but, okay."

After that I decided I couldn't take it anymore. I took a quick peek into the back part of the store, felt a bunch of teen aged eyes boring into me for trespassing on their sacred ground, circled a rack of polo shirts and headed for the exit. Whoa, that was pretty rough.

I have to admit, though, that place smelled fantastic!

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Truth

Here's the serious, not funny, truth about the well we just had dug. I really believe that the Lord was trying to show us something about his faithfulness and his provision throughout this whole experience. We thought about calling someone several times in the last year to dig a well, especially in the heat of the summer when I was dragging 80 feet of garden hose all over the dang place to do my watering, but we never did it because we just didn't want to spend the money on it. Then, this guy shows up out of nowhere and won't take no for an answer. We try in three different places and hit nothing. Then, after Elliott finds a spot, and I go inside the house to pray and proclaim that there IS water in that spot, we hit not only a well, but an incredible well with lots of water. Then a couple of days later, we get some good news from Nashville about one of Elliott's songs. It's no coincidence, people. God is GOOD!!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Here's a deep subject

Last Friday, after picking the kids up from school, this is what I found in my driveway.

I was most concerned with this little piece of equipment, which happened to be running at full steam when I drove up.

As soon as I got out of the car, a hispanic man came up to me and we had a conversation that went something like this...

Me: Hi. Is there something I can help you with?
Strange man (aka Raul)(pronounced Rahooool): Yes. I don't know if you remember me, but about a year ago, Dobie tells me you want a well dug and I come out and witch and I find a good spot. Then I have to leave and now, I'm back.
Me: Oh, I see. Does my husband know you're here?
Raul: Well, I talk to Dobie and he say he would try to reach you but for me to go ahead and get started.
Me: I think I'm going to call my husband right now, okay?
Raul: Okay. I'd love to talk to him. I tell my girls I was gonna dig a well for the guy who wrote that song, I Love Her First and last time I was here, I didn't get to meet him.
Me: I'll give him a call, hold on.

For the next few minutes Elliott and Raul talked on the phone. Elliott telling the guy it really wasn't in our budget to drill a well right now and Raul saying "Iss okay. We work it out later. I go ahead and dig well and find water, okay?" Well, what could he say? They already had their equipment in our yard, it was running and they were apparently okay with a payment plan. He went for it!

Not long after that conversation, the aforementioned Dobie, showed up. He wanted to do a little witching himself. In addition to being the finance guy for our school district, he apparently has a keen interest in wells.

So my husband finally arrived and took over the operation. And not a moment too soon because I had stuff to do, like take more pictures, keep my children off the heavy equipment and put some clothes on April.

Another spot. More discussion. No water.

In this one spot, Raul showed Elliott that all he was getting was a little damp sand. No water.

Then Elliott decided to take the rods and do a little witching himself.

Here he is demonstrating his newly found skillz.

And here's what happened after they moved to that area.

Raul was really cute when we hit water. I loved his smile. He said it was a 15 - 20 gal/min well. "Thass a pretty good well!" he said.

They spent the rest of the day and half of the next doing whatever it is they do to finish the job. It was dark and I was getting eaten by mosquitoes so I called it a night. I was surprised, the next day to find this

instead of this.

John said he wanted the first taste of the water so Elliott took the kids out and lowered a bottle into the well so he could see how deep it was and get a sample of the water.

Sorry about that. Isn't that a beautiful sight? My twin is gone! I would show you the actual incision but it looks kind of frankensteiny and I don't want anyone to faint dead away.

John got a little distracted with something else, probably killing something, so he did not get to be the official water tester. Around here, if you snooze, you lose. We did pour it through a coffee filter to get all the unidentified floaties out of it.

Hmmm. Really full-bodied with just a hint of PVC.

It might not be fittin' for us to drink yet, but the garden's gonna love it!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm back!

First, let me apologize for subjecting you to April's hiney for the last week. That really was not nice. I finally got that big honkin thing off my arm and am back to typing like a secretary. (Actually, I took it off before I was supposed to so I have to put it back on right before my doctor's appt. this afternoon! Don't want to get in trouble, you know.)

I've been wanting to post this video of April for a while now. Please, bear with me and tilt your head to the left to watch this. I couldn't figure out how to turn it like a normal person. I was shooting it from the kitchen while she was outside on the porch. She's just hanging out in our pool talking to her peeps.

Some people say she gets a lot her expressions from me...don't believe them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tonight we got some rare footage of either Thing 1 or Thing 2. It went by too fast to tell which one.

Something about that wig made her go crazy. She was running faster than she ever has and jumping over the furniture and escaped from Elliott's arms more than once. I think we'll put it away for a while.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hey! I'm back, sans the hideous tumor. Everything went great, I'm just trying to get used to this henpecking at the keyboard. Here's something to make you laugh this Monday morning.

Me: Anna, what are you doing out there with that pump?
Anna: Just playing.
Me: Well what are you airing up?
Anna: April.

And don't ask why April is naked. Just know that she is always naked.

Monday, September 15, 2008

morrow morning, before the butt crack of dawn, I will have my twin removed from my left wrist. It will be bitter sweet as I will not get near the attention I have been getting since it started getting bigger several months ago.

Say goodbye to my little lump because the next time you see me, I'll have a big splint that will go from my hand to my elbow and I will have to learn to do everything with only one hand like I did when I had a baby on my hip 24 hours a day. But the lump will be gone. Hallelujah!

Here's a little tribute to my soon-to-be-absent friend...

Mug shot

Cyst bokeh

Dark side of the cyst

Who knows, I might get even more attention walking around with that big splint. If things go well, I just might wear it an extra week!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Family afFair

We did eventually get to go to the real West Texas Fair and Rodeo and we couldn't have planned it for a better day. It was cool, sprinkling on and off, and the place was empty! I have never before seen the zipper with only one person on it and no one else in line. The workers were begging us to get on their particular rides and we actually made some deals with them. Elliott would tear off some tickets and hand them to the guy and say, "Is this enough for all of us?" and the guy would wave us all on. We made out pretty well. That is, until you realize we spent an ungodly amount of money on carnival rides that took an afternoon to put together and food-like substances that made us continually hungry no matter how much we consumed. Here are some of the highlights...

The petting zoo was our first stop. Why my kids are fascinated with goats I'll never know. They're a dime a dozen where we live. Go figure.

Remember that face that Anna is making. You'll see it again.


Right about now is where John started to learn the fine art of swindling. He brought some of his own money so it really hit home this time!

I'm not even sure what to say about this. I guess the Dumbo ride didn't live up to their expectations.

Did I mention that we came home with three goldfish?

The place was so deserted, April helped herself to the Ring of Fire.

There's that face again on Anna.

April loved the Tilt-a-Whirl!

Anna and that face again.

The artwork on some of the rides is just stunning.

Now let's be honest. This is what we really came for. I love the way my husband looks under the fluorescent lights of the funnel cake stand. Sigh.

The fair is a place where we leave the cares of the world and our concerns about HFCS at the gate.

See you next year!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The fair before the fair

When the weather interferes with our plans, we Parks like to make our own fun.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

How to turn your husband on without installing a pole in your bedroom. Rated G

It's Wednesday again and you know what that means? It's time for Works For Me Wednesday hosted by Rocks in my Dryer. You can find all kinds of great tips here.

The other day I went to turn on my oven so I could start supper. I set the temperature for 250 so I could do my all day roasted chicken. Usually, when it gets to the set temperature, it beeps. This is good because I could easily set my oven for 250, walk away, start a new task and not realize it until one of my kids says, "Mom, were you gonna fix something for dinner tonight? I was just wondering."

After about half an hour, I noticed that my oven looked like this...

It's still in preheat mode after 30 minutes. It hadn't even got to 200 degrees! Something's not right here. I opened up the oven to find this...

And please don't judge me for not cleaning my oven. I do other things really well. Here's a closer view.

Hmmm. It appears that the element has burned out. "How do you know?" you ask. Well, it's just a hunch, really. It has something to do with the fact that it looks to me like there was a small explosion in the bottom right corner of the oven. But of course, I'm not a professional. And I don't want to pay a professional to come out to the house and charge parts and labor fees for something I have a pretty good hunch about. So here's what I did.

I went to this site. Found them on Google.

I went to my warranty notebook that has all the pertinent pieces of information for all of the major appliances in my house to find the model number of my range.

I plugged the model number into the site and selected the part I needed by looking at a diagram of my range.

That looks about right. I ordered the part and waited 3-5 business days. Actually, it only took 1 day. Yes, that's right, the part that I ordered came the next day! I'll be cooking up a storm again quicker than I thought!

I'm not sure what all needs to be done "electrically" when changing out the heating element in an electric oven, but just to make sure I don't give myself an instant home perm, I think I'll shut off the electricity to that particular section of my kitchen. Was that a run-on sentence?

Hey, how do you like that fancy breaker box smack dab in the middle of my bedroom? I've been saying for three years that I'm going to get a picture or something to cover it. I'll just add that to the list.

Here we go. I'm so glad our electrician labeled the switches in ink. God bless him.

Now, I read some of the comments on the parts website from people who did this themselves and the consensus seems to be that it's pretty darn easy. I'll be the judge of that.

Here's the screws that I need to loosen to disconnect the element from the wires they're connected to.

And here's where I ran into some problems. I couldn't seem to get the wires off of the prongs. Here I am, my head in the oven, my butt hanging out when who should walk in the door but my sweet husband, home from a long day at work. At first he didn't know where I was. Then I called out to him from my spot inside the bowels of the oven. He took one look at me and all the tools I had laying around and he was all, "How you doin?" He hasn't looked at me like that since I fixed the pull chain on the girl's ceiling fan.

If you want to find out how I finished changing the heating element in my oven, you'll have to check back tomorrow.

Oh, and one more thing, I think I'm getting a tool belt for Christmas!