Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Weird Stuff About Me

1. Cold salmon gives me hiccups
2. Antidepressants keep me limber
3. Sunshine in the morning makes me sneeze
4. My knees crackle when I walk (since I was a child)

Hey, I'm 41 now. I'm officially entitled to talk about my health.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Psalm 91:1-16

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare of the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I am trusting him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from the fatal plague.
He will shield you with his wings.
He will shelter you with his feathers.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor fear the dangers of the day,
nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
But you will see it with your eyes;
you will see how the wicked are punished.
If you make the LORD your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your dwelling.
For he orders his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you with their hands
to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.
You will trample down lions and poisonous snakes;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
The LORD says, "I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue them and honor them.
I will satisfy them with a long life
and give them my salvation."

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996
Christmas Cheers
Our house is almost completely decorated for the Christmas season. As per tradition, James brings out all the boxes the day after Thanksgiving and I set to decorating. I got the tree up and then started testing lights. I had 7 strands of multi-colored lights left from last hear, and only one worked. The short one. Stay home or go buy lights, that is the question. The answer: stay home. I found a couple long strands of white lights left over from pre-children days. I love white lights. They draw me in like nothing else. Enchanting. Took a poll: can the rest of the family live with white lights this year? yes.

After the white lights were strung, I decided to hang my snowflake collection on the tree. Perhaps I could have a snowflake tree for a week and then add the family decorations? I remember my mom always had a themed Christmas tree. One year it was covered with red velvet bows, the next it was blue glass balls and the next year it was flocked and drenched in white....every year was different, every year was beautiful. But our tree is a collection of ornaments that span decades and carry sentimental value. We have a felt beaver James' mother made for him, a Santa in a clear ball that always hung on my Grandma Wilson's tree, a Veggie Tale's Bob the Tomato ornament and various other strange things. It doesn't make the most visually appealling tree, but it does get to the heart. That said, everyone likes the snowflake tree, so it will likely stay all season this year. We've designated a smaller tree to hold some of our most sentimental ornaments this year.

I also purchased some old-fashioned multi-colored Christmas bulbs at last year's after-Christmas sales. I told my children they were the kind of lights we had when I was a child and they thought they were "cool." We strung them on the gate outside and decorated a small tree for the porch. I could probably sit and stare at them for hours. They recall so many childhood memories. In particular, I think of my parent's home town where my grandfather, the city worker, strung those lights over the streets on the square every year. When it snowed, the town was magical.

I'll leave you with a quote from today's Bleat. I couldn't agree more:

"No Christmas chore should make your heart heavy, that’s the key. That’s the secret. Every duty and obligation is really a blessing, an opportunity. Don’t imagine this was your last Christmas, and you had to make it Great.
Imagine it’s your first."

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Polar Express
We went to the movies today to see The Polar Express with our friends and their two sons. It was a wonderful memory day. We don't see many movies, so it was an event. The movie was very good. It embellishes the book liberally (and implausibly), but the plot and the message remain the same. The boys loved it, and I loved watching their faces as they watched the movie. Each boy was totally enthralled from beginning to end. They say it will be a Christmas classic, and I do believe its true.

This was atop a wordfinder puzzle in our church's children's sheet today. Notice the turkey is a vegetarian. Makes sense. My favorite part, though, is the cranberry "sauce." Ah, yes, tradition at its most romantic.
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Announcing ELLA, our new kitten. Sweetest cat ever. Soft and fluffy. All Spencer's.
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Saturday, November 27, 2004

Last year I started a new family tradition. I make a bowl of leaves and ask everyone to write 2 or 3 things they are thankful for (one on each leaf). The date is on the back. I'll be making a tree and we'll hang them on the tree each thanksgiving (present and past leaves will be hung). This is a small sampling from this year's Thanks.
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Friday, November 26, 2004

Karaoke Friday Night!

Please Mister Please ( Olivia Newton-John )

In the corner of the bar there stands a jukebox
With the best of country music, old and new
You can hear your five selections for a quarter
And somebody else's songs when your's are through

I got good Kentucky whiskey on the counter
And my friends around to help me ease the pain
'Til some button-pushing cowboy plays that love song
And here I am just missing you again

Please, Mister, please, don't play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it's over
Please, Mister, please, if you know what I mean
I don't ever wanna hear that song again

If I had a dime for every time I held you
Though you're far away, you've been so close to me
I could swear I'd be the richest girl in Nashville
Maybe even in the state of Tennessee

But I guess I'd better get myself together
'Cause when you left, you didn't leave too much behind
Just a note that said "I'm sorry" by your picture
And a song that's weighing heavy on my mind

Please, Mister, please, don't play B-17
It was our song, it was his song, but it's over
Please, Mister, please, if you know what I mean
I don't ever wanna hear that song again


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Flag Land Grand Opening
Today Colin opened Flag Land! Woo Hoo! Its part museum, part theme park, part library. Admission is $8.00 (proceeds will be poured into inventory, I'm sure). Its times like these I wish I had a digital camera. Flags and books are displayed on the floor. Drawings lean against the wall...and there is a maze (aka an amaze) made from boxes of Christmas decorations and assorted furniture. If you come, you should know there are 17 important rules. They were dictated to me by a very earnest young Colin as he paced the floor. They are posted at the door as follows:
Welcome to

Here are some rules:
1. Don't mess the flags up.
2. Don't take it apart
3. Don't break the amaze.
4. Don't go out the door that's closed.
5. Don't go out the door that's closed unless you're trapped if there is an emergency.
6. Don't take the trees away.
7. Don't watch TV a lot.
8. Don't open the windows.
9. Don't move the birds.
10. Don't yell.
11. Don't waive the flags.
12. Don't play loud, loud music.
13. Don't have a parade in Flag Land.
14. Don't let bad people look in the doors in Flag Land.
15. Don't scribble scrabble around all of the art.
16. Don't enter the closed door.
17. Don't cut the things that go up.

The End

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Sunday, November 21, 2004

Night Moves

We will leave shortly for a brief vacation in Missouri at this beautiful lodge. Providing it doesn't rain the entire time, we hope to canoe, hike, cycle, roast marshmallows and take in an IMAX movie. I'm WAY excited.
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Friday, November 19, 2004

Karaoke Friday Night Returns!!
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
( Simon & Garfunkel )

Slow down, you move too fast
You've got to make the morning last
Just kickin' down the cobble stones
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy!
(La,la,la,la,la,la, feelin' groovy)

Hello, lamp post, whatcha knowing?
I've come to watch your flowers growing
Ain't ya got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo, feelin' groovy!
(La,la,la,la,la,la, feelin' groovy)

Got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy!
(La,la,la,la,la,la, feelin' groovy)
(La,la,la,la,la,la, feelin' groovy)


Lunch with Aussie Annie today. She's a keeper. Found out we both love English Breakfast tea with milk in a fine bone china cup with a saucer. See? Is she awesome or what?
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I was reading Dawn Eden's post this morning about a decision to ban all religious music from public school programs. . . and I feel compelled to add my 2 cents (against my better judgment).

I suppose most of my friends and readers would expect me to be outraged at a decision to remove religious music from school, but I'm not. In fact, it makes a bit of sense to me on one level. Frankly, I wouldn't want to sing Kwanzaa songs at a concert. Nor would I want to give praise to Allah. Actually, I WOULD NOT sing praises to Allah. It would be wrong. I am a Christian and I serve the one true God. If religious music is allowed in schools, schools will diversify and include all religions. After all, the culture tells us all religions are equal. Its the religion of relativism.

Now, I must admit that removing religious music poses some problems for choral directors. Most of the classic choral pieces are religious (Christian) . One cannot have a complete choral training in Western music without learning these pieces. I don't have an answer to that. Maybe there will be a market for community choral ensembles that sing classic choral pieces.

Honestly, I think this country has come to rely too much on public education. There are some wonderful merits to public education, the most of important of which is ensuring that every citizen has an opportunity to be educated and grow beyond his/her circumstances. But we expect public education to serve our every need. Public education is not necessary to grow religious faith. It is not necessary for sports. It is not necessary for teaching manners or sex or politics. My children are in a private Christian school. Even so, I do not expect the school to teach my children about God. Its my job. I will teach them manners. I will talk to them about sex and drugs and politics. School is for academics. Parents are for the rest.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

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I've Got Friends......
Some of my newest friends are Dave and Jana Jenkins. Pretty awesome people, really. They are here in Oklahoma for a year, but are normally missionaries in Uganda. Dave went on a trip to Rwanda this week and has been in our prayers. Here's a little news from their trip:

[Oklahoma Christian University] President Dr. Mike O’Neal will return this weekend from Kigali, Rwanda. He and his wife, Nancy, have been there for a week visiting orphanages, HIV/AIDS clinics, and children-led households.

Dr. O’Neal’s group, which includes OC visiting missionary Dave Jenkins and OC Associates Richard and Pat Lawson, also had a one-hour private audience with President Paul Kagame, the first democratically-elected president in Rwanda.

“President Kagame is a true statesman whom I believe will lead Rwanda to much greater freedom and prosperity. He is an amazing man who once led the militants that overturned the corrupt government and who has brought an incredible stability to this country,” Dr. O’Neal said. “The current story of this country is one that needs to be told much better than it is in the U.S. and around the world. We have had an amazing experience.”
A Star is Born
James will be on television next week on the OKC channel....you know, the one where city managers and Dave Bialis interview people about local events....yeah, that one. Anyway, I don't even know what time or any of that stuff. Seems they usually do frequent reruns for a week or so. He conducted a survey for the city about Lake Hefner usage, and they'll be talking about that. Set your VCRs!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I'm a Fox!
Okie Dokie. I've taken the advice of my techie friends and intalled Firefox. It was very simple, and all "stuff" was transferred for me upon installation, so I didn't have to worry about my bookmarks or even my viewing history. Pretty cool. Thanks to all of you who helped me out on this one (including the advice on foodstuffs). One more question: should I delete IE from my computer?

Colin's artwork of the week. In art class the teacher put a vase with a plant in it for them to paint....it is NOT an alien! (Please excuse the lines, I had to e-cut a e-paste to scan the whole thing.)
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Generation Gaff
When I'm online I keep getting this message which says, "IEXPLORE.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. An error log has been created." Then the internet closes down on me. So, I ran my virus checks, spyware checks and emptied the cookie jar. None of that helped. If I can find the error log, I can't imagine how it would help. Any suggestions? (Note, it has never shut down while I'm working on my blog.)
A Different Kind Of Blog
Kyndal's sister recently started her own blog. She's only just 25, but shares some wonderful words of wisdom. Here is her latest post, entitled "A Different Kind of Prayer":

Be my distraction. Be my infatuation. Be my flirtation. Be my daydream, my illusion, my mirage. Invade me. Annihilate all of me so that you will be all of me. Consume me. Burn my desires--let them smolder and melt down to only you! Refine me. Be my derailment. Be my rebellion. Be my insecurity. Take me away and let me just exalt and wonder at the beauty-the holiness-the pure intention of you.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Be Thou My Vision

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I thy true daughter,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Ancient Irish; trans. by Mary E. Byrne, 1880-1931; versed by Eleanor H. Hull, 1860-

Sunday, November 14, 2004

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Keep Your Day Job
Colin just told me his first joke:
C: Mommy, do you know what you get if you put together a hive and a whole bunch of bees going around a tree that has lots of presents under it?
Me: ummmmm. No. What?
C: A HIVE TREE (laughs hysterically). Oh, mommy. I'm silly, amn't I?
The Return of the Red Eye
I just returned from my church's ladies retreat. Although I stayed up until 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning and 1:00 a.m. this morning and I look tired, my soul is refreshed. I had a lot of time alone in the great outdoors. Time to reflect and commune with God. Time to receive direction and comfort. But most of my time was spent with friends. I hung out with my girls, with whom I am completely at ease. We sang and worshiped together. I had time to deepen my relationships with two women I admire (word out to AA and AW), and this morning we experienced the most special communion EVER. It brings tears to my eyes to think of it.

The most touching time for me was when I told my friends about my dad's funeral and the plan I had had for the Doxology. Though nobody else knew it, it did not go as I had planned. So, they volunteered to sing it with me as I had wanted it. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. Beautiful words from beautiful faces. It was as if angels surrounded me. I am truly blessed beyond measure.

I usually go to the retreat with hopes of blessing others. I pray for God to place someone before me who needs encouragement or introductions or...whatever. This year I was the one who was in need of comfort and strength. I got that and so much more. I am forever grateful.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Happy Day
Today is my birthday, and its been a good one. I heard James and the boys coming to suprise me, so I suprised them and hid in the shower while they came down the hall singing "Happy Birthday." The boys had drawn several cards for me and James had found the latest snowflake book. James also suprised me with a new, hip outfit. I'm a little uncertain whether I can pull it off, but I'll try. My mom took me to my favorite cafeteria (Luby's) for lunch and I enjoyed all my favorites: salmon, macaroni, and flan. She found the pink and white beach towel I was wanting along with some other great girly things. Now I'm sitting at my desk reading e-cards, making nametags for our ladies retreat, listening to Harry Connick, Jr. and enjoying the beautiful hydrangeas Penny brought from her garden. This is the life.

to ME!
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Dan sent me a link to this site where you can make your own snowflakes using e-scissors and e-paper. This is my first snowflake, which pales in comparison to some of the others in the snowflake gallery. Try your own!
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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

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Sunday, November 07, 2004

Quotes from The Colinator
Me: I love you for millions of years.
Colin: I love you for days and days and days and weeks and weeks and days and weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and days and days and months, which is more.

Daddy: I’m tired. I ran for 28 minutes and 11 seconds.
Colin: 11? That’s a long time!!


Millions Matter
I just found a group (the American Family Association) which aims to unify parents against trash in the media. It seems the main thing they do is coordinate efforts to contact advertisers and ask them to end support of questionable shows. I'm sure there is much more to it than that, but that alone is enough for me. I have written many letters expressing my disgust with things I see on television, but I never know if they are getting to the right people. Its kind of a shot in the dark. With the AFA, the research is done and you just choose whether to participate, one campaign at a time. The group has several websites, but the two I looked at are One Million Moms and One Million Dads. Here's a quote from the website:
"When viewers complained to ABC about [the show What Is Sexy?], the network flippantly responded: "This special was approved by our Broadcast Standards and Practices department." In other words -- "Get lost, we don't care how you feel or what you think. Our business is to make money." The networks and sponsors don't care what their programming is doing to our children. The only thing they care about is making money. Here is what Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney (which owns ABC), had to say about respecting children: "We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only obligation.""

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Next Chapter
With my dad's passing, I realize I am beginning a new chapter in my life. For the past 11 1/2 years I've been a caretaker at one level or another. Soon after my mom became independent again after her brain tumor, my dad moved to town so I could take care of him. On top of all that, my husband's mother died on Mothers' day in 1998 and his father died on Fathers' day of 2003. I realized today that James and I have barely known each other in "normal" times (if such times even exist). I expect some changes to come, but I'm not sure what they will be. I'm not sure who I am at this time. I still have things to do with my dad's estate, but after that, what? It all adds a strange mix of anticipation with my grief, which is really quite confusing. I told James is like being under a rain cloud as the rain is lifting and you can see sunlight on the western horizon. Its still dark, cold and rainy, but you have some measure of hope about the future.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Holy Moly!!! This church was created with Legos! It is incredible! You can see more photos here.
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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Girlfriends to cook for your family when you're down.
Girlfriends to make you laugh at yourself.
Girlfriends to hold your hand and cry with you.
Girlfriends to pray for you.
Girlfriends to help you change.
Girlfriends to remind you of your strength.
Girlfriends to sit and talk.
Girlfriends to give you rest.
Girlfriends to tell you who you are.
Girlfriends to take you on a night out.
Girlfriends to love your children.
Girlfriends to know you through and through.
Girlfriends to be silly with.

The best advice I could give a young woman is to get yourself some good girlfriends. Mine are the cream of the crop and have blessed me beyond my imagination. Thank you, dear friends.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Gay Onions
This post about what Emily Litella would have to say is precious. Who didn't love Gilda Radner? (Thanks to Dawn Eden).

Monday, November 01, 2004

Tomorrow we vote. My stomach is in knots.

When are you going to vote? I'm thinking about lining up around 6:45 in hopes of getting home for breakfast. I'm hearing horror stories of 4 hour waits.

I had lunch today with some friends and their friend, who had two screaming children. The mom never really addressed the screaming (aka wailing), but continued to talk to her friends as I sunk into a coma.

I hope she's not at the polls at 6:45.

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