Wednesday, January 30, 2008

shark laughter

CRYING from laughing so hard at this shark. I can't handle it. I know it's not really the shark laughing. I had to post it to share. And so that I could click on it whenever I wanted to.

Dinner and a Party

Wanted to post some pictures of this week. We had some old friends over on Sunday night. Ray and Parrish were our neighbors in our old neighborhood. We love them and love to watch their love for our boys. Looking forward to them having kids! (Come on Ray!)

We had our "let's do a craft day... um, what could we do... Oh! I know, let's have a 100th day of school party" day. It was fun. We were supposed to dress like we were 100 years old (in case you missed that). It was fun, and Heather made some delish cupcakes.

All packed and ready to go tomorrow. We're not staying until Sunday now; grandparents are all sick. Thanks to my friends who threw themselves in the thick of our lives and offered to keep children. Thank you! And a friend gave us some money to stay in a HOTEL. Hello, did you hear that? Wow. Of course, we have to bring our own blankets (yes, I saw that Dateline), but we are both excited. Continental Breakfast, baby!

Update coming later from our trip... (don't be sad Mom, we love you guys)...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thoughts Brewing

I visited Moody Elementary School today. Impressive.

We're going to Mississippi this weekend to visit Reformed Theological Seminary. Nervous.
We even have an assigned itinerary, which includes me meeting a bunch of wives at a Thursday evening Bible study. That's pretty cool that the school thought of me when making the itinerary.

I have laundry piled up to my eyeballs.

I wish that I bought the purple patent-leather Maryjane high heels with matching clutch that I saw last night at Cato. Cute. And $7 a piece. Ginger just looked at me and said "you're not REALLY going to buy that, are you?". poop.

I need to clean, mop, do laundry, and pack tomorrow. Blegh. Oh yeah, and do school. And run.
Sounds like a Benadryll night, otherwise I'll wake up every hour worrying over stuff to do.

I ate approximately a pound of M&M's today. They are addictive. I wish I had more now.

My kids need haircuts. Bad.

Woodman, can Quinn and I stay the night at your house Thursday night? We just need a place to crash.

I certainly have a lot I need to be doing and I sure am blogging. hmmmm... It's just more fun to blog. I have pictures to post. Lazy.

What should I wear to the seminary on Thursday and Friday? Don't roll your eyes, I'm really wondering! And we're visiting a PCA church on Sunday in Jackson. Help me. If only I had the purple patent-leather Maryjane high heels...

Tonight the office comes on TBS at 9. Love it.

I smell a stinky diaper.

I need to potty train my 2 1/2 year old. He is interested sometimes. And sometimes he's not.

My back itches.

I'm wearing Crissy's wedding band I found on a table at the church. It's pretty. Finders, keepers. Actually, Missy found it, but I'm wearing it. Um, wearers, keepers?

I made a new friend today. I hope she and her husband visit our church on Sunday. She seemed eager to meet people and make new friends. She's about eight months pregnant and her name is Dyvonia. If you see her, say hi.

I'm anxious to see what happens after this trip to Mississippi. I guess we'll know soon enough.

ta-ta for now...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Morning Thoughts While Channel Surfing

Home today from church.

Sick babies. Sick mommy. Zycam is my friend today. I went to bed at 8:00 last night. The children were in bed at 7:15. Slept good. Now, I'm laying in the bed, watching Maroon 5 on A&E while the boys are playing Gamecube. I periodically hear dog-like barking coughs from the baby, who's almost better.

I like Maroon 5. I think I may put them on my playlist. They remind of my last girl beach trip with Anita, Angie, Laura, and Paige. We listened to Maroon 5 and the soundtrack from the movie "Shall We Dance?" predominantly. Paige and I were pregnant with Carson and Felix. That was a good trip. I remember when we watched "Shall We Dance?" that everybody loved the leading man. Doggone it, what's his name? Pretty Woman guy. Huge liberal activist. I think Maroon 5 is distracting me. RICHARD GERE. Anyway, I don't really like him much. I like Gerard Butler.

Did you forget? Though I do like him (Mr. Gere) in Chicago. Great movie. It's a musical, too. I miss going on the beach trips, even though I only went on two. We basically had no plan of attack, no schedule, just a 'do what you want to do-it's your vacation' kind of time. It's so much fun to go to the beach with a group of women. Get a group of women to go anywhere for more than an afternoon or evening and they turn into teenagers or, at best, girls who are in college. Actually, when a group of us celebrated Heather Davis' birthday, we were gone for most of the day (eating, shopping, laughing, singing in the car, and, in general, behaving like we were 18 years old). Here are some of my favorite pictures of that day.

I love having good friends. That was a great day. It's very good for me to do something with a group of women. That cake was divine, too.

Maybe I'll watch Phantom in a bit. It's been since Thursday that I've seen it. I wished I had brought it to Crissy's yesterday because we would've watched it. There's nothing on TV this morning. Drumline's on TBS, infomercials on lots of channels, Trading Spaces on TLC (I do not like that show), boring, boring, boring. I almost want to get out of bed. Almost. Flip. Flip. Flip. Yeah, I think I need to get up.
Well, I do have plenty to do this morning, even though I'm plugged up. Having some old friends over for dinner (won't they be glad when they get a cold from us in three days?) and I promised her a pecan pie. Have a good Sunday.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


To my sister who has recently decided to enter the land of bloggers.

Check her out.


Quinn went hunting with Scott Holmes. 'Tis hunting season, and he really enjoys it, so go, dearest, and enjoy your time in the woods.

However, I do not sleep well when he is gone. I get paranoid of noises in the house. Thursday night I fared pretty well, but decided that maybe on Friday night I would sleep at Crissy Sharp's. Her husband works at night and I was thinking how fun it would be to have a girly sleepover (with eight children, but I'll get to that in a minute). So, I gathered my troops and we went out, with Mexican Train and overnight bags in tow. We arrived with the general attitude of "are we having fun yet?" and set in to enjoy the evening. And we were not disappointed. Silas, of course, fell asleep around 8:30 (in front of a door somewhere) and Felix went down around 9:30. Around 11:30, people who were going home left, and I readied myself for bed. We arranged the children in various palettes and went to bed. Crissy and I chit-chatted until about 12:30 AM and then fell asleep.

Around 4:30, I woke up to the sound of scuffling feet. Silas was looking for a tissue. He narrowly avoided Felix's head and found his way to the bathroom to get what he was searching for. Then he went back to bed. At 4:40, I heard the scuffling again and it was Silas, looking for a tissue. I got up, helped him with his nose, gave him a wad of toilet paper and instructed him to stay in the bed. I dozed off for a little bit, then at 5:15, I heard doors closing, over and over again in the hall. I ignored it for a minute, hoping he would make his way back to the bed. Then Crissy got up to tell him to stop. Oops. At 5:30, I heard him again, got out of the ($#%$) bed, and told him (with a finger pointed at him) to NOT get up again; that it was STILL dark, NOBODY was awake, and to go back to sleep. With head lowered, he made his way back to the bed and I flounced back to my own crib. Crissy then asked me "Do you want me to turn on a movie?" This should have been followed with "What a brilliant idea! Thank you.", but I really wanted him to go back to sleep since he had been awake since at least 4:30. Poor thing, he had a runny nose and he was SUPER excited to be at somebody else's house; why waste time sleeping? At 6:15, I heard him again. Grrrr... I got up, grabbed his pillow and blanket and threw them on the couch, instructing him that he was done getting in and out of the bed. Now, he is a sensitive child, and can tell when I'm angry, so I knew the water works were about to start. Crissy then got up, turned on a Ratatouille, and went back to bed. Then he was fine. I was not fine. I knew I was done sleeping, after all it was 6:15 and it was only a matter of minutes before Felix woke up. Not to mention that I was annoyed that my children had the incapability of sleeping until 7, even though they rarely do that at home. I made coffee and pouted on the chair. Then Felix woke up. Now it is nearly 8:00 AM and I've spent the last hour and a half coaxing the children to hush. I've had approximately 4 hours of sleep and I'm grouchy.

I'm sitting here now with a rye smile on my face. I've just fixed my third cup of coffee and thinking about how my expectations fell short. I love my dear friend Crissy. I have the feeling that she's lying in bed now, ruing her affirmative answer to my inquiring of "spending the night" at her house, with my early-rising children. She must really love me. Or maybe her expectations were high, too. Maybe I'll just go stare at her until she wakes up to ask her.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Woo hoo!

How fun is this?

I love it. Forget your morning cup of coffee, baby!

I may tone it down a notch.


So, I've taken down the PINK PINK PINK background and now I'm really in love. This is cool. I love the graphic picture. Helloooooo, Shutterfly!

I'll put up some pictures of the kids later, Mom.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Um, new layout

this is fun, right?

I like fire.

I'm bored.

Somebody come visit me.

I love Shutterfly.

I think I'm going to melt things now.


I know I've been kind of down in the dumps lately...

I've been trying to think of some of the things that I like or that I would recommend to others for a list to cheer me out of this January blah-ness.
  1. Windex. I love the blue stuff. I clean everything with it. It smells good and it doesn't bleach my clothes when I clean. Incidentally, I cannot eat blue Jello, blue popsicles, or drink anything blue because it looks EXACTLY like Windex. I've thought that since I was a kid. Why do they call that flavor "blue raspberry" anyway? I think Sonic calls it "blue coconut". Original. I've always thought it should be called "Windex" flavored. Probably wouldn't sell as good. My kids love blue-flavored anything.
  2. Baby Oil. It is so good to keep my eczema away. The secret is to put it on when you are not dry yet from a shower and then pat yourself dry. Then seal it with some heavy lotion. It really helps, although I have to wear a robe for at least 30 minutes so I don't get greasy marks on my clothes. Any generic brand will do. I love the face that Paige made when she dropped Landy off for piano lessons the other day and asked if I needed anything from the store. I told her "baby oil" because I had run out and I absolutely need it in the wintertime. Aforesaid face was made. I hurriedly tried to explain about the eczema and she stopped me: "You don't need to tell me, I'll just get it for you." Perve.
  3. Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. Yummo. They are cheap and they taste SOOO much better than regular semi-sweet chocolate chips. Usually, I just have some on hand so I can pop a couple when I get a chocolate hankering.
  4. GoLean Cereal. Quinn thinks it tastes like cardboard, but I love it. It has 13 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per serving! I'm full until lunch. I'm actually a tad bit obsessed with it right now (go figure) and must have it everyday. I actually snuck a box to Grandma's at Christmas so I could eat it for breakfast. Why did I sneak it? So Quinn wouldn't tease me. He saw it anyway and called me an old lady.
  5. Mexican Train Dominoes. So fun with a lot of people. We bought it on New Year's Eve and I actually just keep it in the car, just in case we have a Mexican Train emergency. You never know.
  6. Water. Don't even get me started on water. I drink it all day, everyday. Helps with EVERYTHING! Keeping your face clear, keeps your body regular (gross), helps with weight management, helps flush illness out of your body (I've actually heard on the news lately that drinking water is better than taking cough medicine when you're sick) and it is said to help keep your brain healthy. I have a very healthy brain. I guess that is subjective though (no comments from MattD please).
  7. The Couch to a 5K plan. This is a great running plan. Seriously thought I could never (ever) run a 5K and this plan starts you off very slow. I'm training for it again with some ladies and planning on doing another 5K very soon. It shocked me the first time I ran two miles without stopping. I couldn't believe it! No cramps or anything. You honestly don't even realize you're training. Check it out.
  8. Accessory Heaven. Located at Patton Creek shopping center behind the Galleria, next to Ross (which I also love). This place has super cheap accessories: sunglasses: 2 for $10, a wall of 3 pieces for $5, watches:2 for $15, cute handbags that range from $10 to $25, and really cute shoes. I got my niece, Brittney, a super cute yellow necklace, earrings, and bracelet from there for Christmas. The whole set was under $10 and it looked like giant lemonheads. In a good way. I'm also getting pretty sick of the Galleria. Everytime I go there now, the people who run the kiasks just attack you while trying to hawk there wares. Very annoying. We passed this one kiask 5 times and they got us everytime. RECOGNIZE ME! I don't want you to straighten my hair with your super-amazing product!
  9. Phantom of the Opera. Still. Just grind it up and stick it in a needle so that I can inject it. I'm pretty much watching it by myself now. Everybody else is sick of it. I woke up this morning singing this song. It's my least favorite song in the whole movie. Minnie Driver does play a good diva though. Anybody up for Phantom tonight?

Well, that did cheer me up a bit. It sure is pretty today, even though the high is 41 degrees. I think I'm going to listen to some Over the Rhine now and break out the Windex.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Is it still January?

Is it only Wednesday?

Am I still wearing pajamas that I ran in?

Why do I not like to wash my hair?

Why do I consider my bedroom clean if the bed is made? There are clothes all over the floor. They're clean, too.

Why is Felix standing on my toes?

Why is it going to get so cold again tomorrow?

Why am I such a procrastinator? The toys in my house desperately need to be gone through and organized. Any takers?

Why do I not want to get off the couch, go to the grocery store, buy diapers and fruit (we are so OUT and I have to go today), and go to the post office? Bleah... Probably because I'll have to wash my hair.

I want chicken. Why do I want chicken?

Why am I so bleah in January?

I need to see a daffodil...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Holding my feverish little one today. You know the wintertime drill: runny nose, flushed face, fever, dry hacking cough, and watery eyes. And, of course, there's vomiting because he's a Hill. We're just waiting for the stomach virus to hit. It's raging through our church. Poor thing just keeps looking at me; wanting to be held. I've pretty much held him for two solid days now. I've just wanted to love my babies.

I keep thinking of Sherri today. I keep waking up at night, praying for her peace and relief. I've thought of her all day today. Today she woke up and readied herself for her baby's funeral. Her nightmare is burned in her mind. How has the Lord held her together? I know that Rick is grieving, too, but for some reason (maybe because I'm a mother), I'm drawn to Sherri's despair. I've never even met her, but her baby's sudden, tragic death is something that is so real, so tangible; it has really shaken me. I pray the Lord would sustain her and her husband.

Life is fleeting. My life may not be as perfectly planned as I'd like for it to be. He is sovereign.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Baby Bronner

Today I'm sad for the Burgess loss. As many of you have heard, Rick (from Rick and Bubba's Morning Show) and his wife, Sherri lost their youngest child, Bronner, when he drowned on Saturday afternoon after falling in their pool. From what I understand, Momma went to take a shower while the children were watching television, and somehow the baby managed to get away and open the back door and fell in the pool. She came back from taking a shower and saw the back door open and found him; by that time, it was too late. Rick was out of town speaking at a youth retreat in Gatlinburg when he heard. It absolutely breaks my heart. I cannot imagine their horror and grief. Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon crying, thinking about that poor woman. My baby woke up from his nap and I held him and kissed him and felt his warmth. Felix and Bronner were about eight weeks apart.

I live in fear of our swimming pool. I had panic attacks this summer randomly, thinking about the baby. He fell in three times (at least), once riding his little scooter into the pool about 30 minutes before company arrived to eat dinner. I jumped in, fully clothed, to get him. The other two times I was right there and got him right away. I remember going jogging one morning in late summer and suddenly fearful that he had fallen in the pool. I sprinted to the car and rode home, sobbing, only to find him sitting on his daddy's lap reading a book.

So I fear. And yet, do I even trust God? God will glorify Himself. I know He will glorify Himself in Bronner's death. I heard Maja say once that God is not safe. He loves us and call us, but He asks of us what we think we are not capable. He takes our children. Her second oldest was killed in a car accident when she was twelve. And God glorified Himself in her death. We live in their poolhouse because of her death. God provided through her death. Why did He choose that way? What will He call me to do? I cannot imagine losing a child. Dear God, what do You have entailed for me? I am overcome with sorrow. This world is not my own.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snowing in the South!

It snowed today. The children had a blast playing in it. I loved watching it fall from the warmth of my kitchen. Snow falling has an almost remniscent feel to it; like I should remember something from it. Maybe it's because it falls silently and rests gracefully. It was pretty to watch. I went outside to play in it and remembered that it is cold (COLD) and wet. Then I went back inside to watch it fall from the warmth of my couch.

Winter reminds me of Robert Frost. He wrote poems from all seasons (as we are studying him right now), but I like him best in the winter. This poem is called "A Patch of Old Snow":

"There's a patch of old snow in a corner

That I should have guessed

Was a blow-away paper the rain had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if

Small print overspread it,

The news of a day I've forgotten-If I ever read it."

I'm enjoying my lazy Saturday at home. I hope you enjoy yours.

Hello, my name is Kim

I am a Phantom of the Operaholic. I am watching it again. Right now. Quinn went to play discgolf and I jumped at the opportunity. It's actually a little embarrasing because I'm now hiding from Quinn how much I watch the movie. I need a hit of Phantom. I've seen it five times this week, including today.

Here's a picture of Gerard Butler as the phantom.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out why I loved the movie so much. Of course, it's just the right amount of creepy for me (I love a dose of creepy). The phantom is just so pathetic and lonely and Gerard Butler plays him so perfectly. His tears seem real and his sorrow so great that I just want to see it again and again. I love to see his love for Christine (thwarted and insane though it may be) and to see her torn between her terror and admiration of him. This may sound silly, but it seems so REAL.

So I guess I'll keep singing the songs all day and watch it every other day until I hate it.

One of my favorite parts... Christine takes off his mask and he totally freaks about her seeing his disfigurement. He pushes her aside and hides his face, not wanting her to see it. Then he says (well, he sings but it's the monologue I'm talking about):

'Stranger than you dreamt it?
Can you even dare to look
or bear to think of me;
this loathsome gargoyle who
burns in Hell, but secretly
yearns for Heaven
secretly... secretly.....
Fear can turn to love;
you learn to see,
to find the man
behind the monster.
This repulsive carcass
who seems a beast but
secretly dreams of beauty
secretly... secretly...
Oh, Christine.'
Tears come to my eyes everytime I watch. It's beautiful and brilliant. I'm not done being obsessed. I'll let you know.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Random, R-, R-, Random

Calling for snow tonight and tomorrow morning. Pretty cool. It means I can't go anywhere, but it will be cool for the kids and picture opps. Yes, I'm one of those people who freaks out about wintry weather. It's the Florida Girl in me. The other day we had a field trip to the Vulcan Rock Quarry in Helena and it started to sleet. Paige and I rode together and she kept telling me that the road was too warm for the sleet to set. I do not like to drive in sleet, snow, or rain, for that matter. So, I'm home. Well, this morning I'll probably go to Food World and load up on bread and milk. Yep, can't have too much milk and bread for the big snow-in.

My mother-in-law lent me The Phantom of the Opera over Christmas. And now I'm completely obsessed with it. I love everything about the movie. The cinematography is amazing, Gerard Butler as the phantom is very good (understatement - he's my favorite character), Emmy Rossum as Christine is beautiful and talented, and I LOVE the music. Of course, I'm singing the songs all the time and annoying everyone who knows me. I've watched it five times this month. I will probably watch it again today. I woke up this morning and googled the actors from the movie. I NEVER do that. I'm also learning that people do not like this movie as much as I do. My husband hates the movie. He does not like that they sing their dialogue. He took me to see it in the movie theatre in 2004 when I was pregnant with Felix. I loved it so much that I cried, and I heard him groan inwardly everytime that they started singing... again. When we got home he raised his arms and sang (opera style) "I'm going to the bathroom nooowwwww!" Droll.

I think I'm going to make Spicy Black Eyed Pea Soup today. Yummo. Oh, you want the recipe? Sure. 3-4 cans black-eyed peas, 1 can Rotel tomatoes, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves chopped garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground mustard, 1 tsp curry, and 1 tbsp of oregano. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in a big pot until onion is soft. Add everything else and one can of water. I don't drain any of the cans. Bring to a boil and then set heat to low. Allow to simmer for at least an hour. (optional, cook up four pieces of bacon and crumble up to put on top) Good with french bread or cornbread.

Laura Morgan asked me to go shopping with her last night. Ginger went too. Even if I do say so myself, I'm a pretty good personal shopper. I love to go shopping with people and help them decide what looks good and what doesn't. It's very fun for me. I think it's because I'm bossy and controlling and I want you to do what I say. Hmmm, doesn't that sound like fun? Call me!

I'm glad today is Friday. I have mostly caught up on my lesson plans. I will hopefully finish today while I'm watching Phantom of the Opera.

Pickle juice was spilt in my fridge and my house smells like pickles. I need to clean it today. Or tomorrow. Pickle juice really isn't that bad of a smell actually. I'll probably endure it a while longer. And yesterday I made a pecan pie, so now the house smells like pickle juice and pecan pie. Mmmmm...

Crissy Sharp needs to lend me the book she said she would lend me. I need a good book.

I think everyone should have a two year old in the house at all times. It brings me never-ending entertainment (and clean-up). His new thing is sticking pencils in the toothpaste and bringing the pencils to me saying "I brush my teeth, momma?" Three times Wednesday. Once yesterday. That's entertainment.

I think I'm going to make some coffee now. Have a good Friday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Over the Rhine is coming to B'ham!

Hello. I'm very excited. Michelle and Christa have told me today that my favorite band, Over the Rhine, is coming to Birmingham on February 4 at Workplay. The tickets are $15 a piece. Woo hoo! If you have never seen Over the Rhine live then you need to! They have been my favorite band since I was eighteen years old.
I've made a link on the side of my blog to listen to their new album, The Trumpet Child, whenever you get the hankering. It's a good one. I don't get excited about concerts very often (mostly because they cost money), but I WILL NOT miss this one. It's worth every penny. Hope to see you there.
PS... My blog is named after one of their songs, "Happy with Myself?", that came out in '93 or something. It's one of the first songs I ever heard by them. The video reeks of the early 90's.


Thank you for the encouragement, friends and family. I always feel silly after I vent, but I know it's not good to wallow in my "depths of despair". It's very easy for me to get there. How easy it is for me to forget who I am! I attended a Bible study based on a book called "the Safest Place on Earth" taught by my friend Crissy. It made me see how good it is to be able to talk to friends about being discouraged and how awesome the love of Christ is.

Did you ever think the Old Testament Israelites were complete idiots? These people just couldn't pull it together! They were given chance after chance and still would fail, be punished, and then repent. The same cycle over and over. And still He loved them and called them to Himself. How stupid am I? These people are my example. This is what we do as believers. My life is a constant cycling of repentance, discontent, rebellion, punishment, repentance. And yet He loves me. I forget so easily who I am. And yet, I am still who I am, even in my forgetfulness. I am still His daughter. His love is perfect. I am a narcissisistic fool. And He loves me. I am wallowing in self-pity. And He calls me. I am distracted by my own desires and sin. And He has already forgiven me.

Thanks for the reminder. I'll probably fall on my face again. And again...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Feeling down these days...

I feel like I'm having trouble pulling myself together.

I don't enjoy winter. The cold weather gets to me. It is beautiful outside today, though.

I feel like I'm not a good teacher to my kids.

Not feeling original. Even though I get a bug in my brain to do something creative, everything else falls to the wayside and I'm neglectful of other responsibilities.

Feeling guilty about stuff. Namely, not being a good teacher to my kids. Are they even learning anything?

I wish I were more organized.

I need to drink some water.

I need to get social security numbers reissued for the my two youngest (see "I wish I were more organized" for explanation). I love spending hours in government buildings. That should be fun.

I'm not very patient.

Having trouble with my identity. I know my identity is not in the things I do, but I still feel prideful about the things I do and I'm having trouble letting go.

I feel like I'm failing with homeschooling. I know it's not right for everybody. I can't tell if I'm depressed or just feel like a miserable failure.

I wish I didn't cry about stupid stuff everyday. Like crying over my last sentence; just typing it made me well up. My pride and people's reactions to me give me anxiety over changing their education.

I always feel like I'm pregnant in the winter because I cry about everything all the time. I'm not pregnant, by the way.

Why do I scream at my kids? I forget the gospel when I parent them...

I still haven't finished my lesson plans (eek!) and the next faculty meeting is coming up.

I wish I could do field trips everyday.

I'm pretty frustrated being in my own skin. I need a break from my own flesh.

I'm ready for spring...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Anatomy of an Obsession

So last week I started to think, maybe Tuesday, "it would sure be cool to put something new on my blog...".

Wednesday it developed into, "wow I wish I knew how to do as many cool things as Virge does on her blog..." There was maybe a half-hearted attempt to look at blog templates.

Thursday I went to Virginia's blog and stared at it, hoping some of her creative genius would float my way through her blog. I called Melissa and asked if she wanted to come over and have coffee and help me find a new template. (She changes her template a lot). So we looked at different free-template websites. I didn't see anything that really caught my eye, well, I did and I downloaded it, but I couldn't find it on my computer (nice). Crissy came by and we looked at blog templates together (which may have been the reason she changed her template Thursday night) and then wasted time watching Youtube for two hours. It was NOT a waste of time looking at templates. Crissy left because of a bad storm in our area and I proceeded googling "free templates", trying to find something that I liked. I was really looking for a cool header; something that didn't look like the typical blogger stuff that was already available to me. Didn't know how to do that.

Friday, I woke up with the blog on my mind and spent the day thinking about it and trying to figure out how to do it. I would repeatedly try putting a picture up and then the writing would be over the picture and it looked stupid because it was a weird color or not centered correctly so then I would take it down.

Saturday afternoon I went, again, to Virginia's blog and stared at it. Ginger had spent the day with me and we stared together. I moved the cursor to the image in her header and it said "photobucket". A-ha! I went there and, after trying to figure out the site, actually did a pretty cool thing called a "remix" and it was cool, but it was also similiar to the slideshow thing that you can do for your blogs and it wouldn't translate to my header. By this time, I was pretty frustrated, to say the least. Why couldn't I figure this stupid thing out! My husband had spent the entire day doing a car ministry thing with our church and got home dirty and tired. Of course, I had not prepared dinner; other things were more pressing. We actually got into a fight because I would not get off the computer. I sulked around, made pancakes, did laundry, and mopped the floor- all the while trying to figure out what went wrong! Why would it not work? Why couldn't I get it right? What would I do? What COULD I do? I couldn't leave my blog as-is now; I could not be satisfied with plain font writing in my header! Not when I had seen there was CURSIVE font somewhere! Imagine it (me with starry eyes and my hands up in the air) "cursive font". I went to sleep (still mad that Quinn had made me get off the computer) and hoped that maybe Sunday I could figure it out.

Sunday afternoon we had the Bowmans over (well, Lance came but Amy stayed home with the sick baby) and then Quinn, Lance, and Shaun went to play discgolf. I had called Virginia over, luring her with peach cobbler, to come for a visit. She saw through my manipulative charade and knew I needed her to help me with my undying obsession: REPLACING MY HEADER. We succeeded (obviously) and now I am satisfied. I even taught her a thing or two (wink, wink). And maybe I shouldn't say "satisfied". I've done new headers for Rachel (she didn't ask me to, I just sent her one-obnoxiously) and I've just completely redone Quinn's blog (also obnoxiously). Now I'm thinking maybe I could download some cool pictures online and figure out a new header a week...
Thus the birth of another new obsession...


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Shutterfly Studio

One of the things that Virge showed me with doing the new header was downloading a program called Shutterfly Studio. LOVE this program. Very easy to use and it has lots of stuff to play with. This is something I did in about 5 minutes.

These are the pictures of the Claytons I took in November. Very cool program and it's free to download. When you download it, it automatically loads all of your pictures from your computer to the program. No tedious work!

Ta dah!

Gotta cool new look! Thanks Virge! Not as hard as I made it, quite frankly. Very cool. Remind me to tell you about my obsessive compulsive behavior sometime...

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I want to write "happy with myself?" in cursive with the picture. HELP ME. Virginia, I'm crying out for genius.

Friday, January 11, 2008

1st week back

So glad today is Friday... First week back was a doozy. The kids had gotten pretty used to watching cartoons for two hours in the morning and we stopped cold turkey. Today is test day, which I like because it means a shorter day of school. Corin likes it too; he's a wiz at math and we save math for last so he'll be motivated to finish. I'm seeing Silas really come together with his reading. That's neat. It's pretty cool watching your kid look blankly at the letters in September and then in January see them read a sentence and laugh at how silly something is. His handwriting is improving and he, like Corin, is loving math. Yeah, they get their smarts from me. Um, don't ask me what I made in College math. yikes.

Felix is great at being two. Things:

He sprayed Spray n' Wash in the cats water and I didn't know until today. I did think it was weird that she kept drinking out of the toilet. I was also missing the Windex bottle and it was by the cat food. Sigh.

Last night he poured the rest of the ginger dressing in a bowl and drank it. All.

He's learned to open the refrigerater and likes to bring me stuff and then put it back in the pantry. I recently found a couple of petrified sausage balls from two weeks ago hidden in the pantry.

He has shown interest in going to the potty. Last night he took off his diaper and alternated going tee-tee in the potty upstairs and going tee-tee in the potty downstairs. He would say "Now I go potty up der".

He has an annoying habit of laying on his brothers when they are doing school.

He is talking so much. I love how he calls his brothers "Boo-boo and Si-si". "Where Boo-boo go, Momma?" "I eat bekfast with Si-si, okay Momma?"

Speaking of breakfast, every morning we have the same frustrating conversation.
Felix: "Momma, I want bekfast."
Me: "What do you want?"
Felix: "I want dis bekfast." He's not pointing at anything.
Me: "Do you want Cheerios or oatmeal?"
Felix: "No, I want bekfast."
Me: "We have Cheerios and oatmeal. Do you want Cheerios or oatmeal?"
Felix: "No, I want bekfast."
Me (sigh): "How about Cheerios?" I'm already pouring them in the bowl.
Felix: "No!" Stamp! "I want bekfast!"
Me: "Look, Boo-boo is having Cheerios."
Felix: "Okay. I eat Cheeyos with Boo-boo, Momma?"
Me: "yes."

He's full of sweetness and cuteness. And chubbiness. I'm so blessed to have three such sweet, beautiful boys!

Sidenote... I want to change the look of my blog a little and I'm curious about designing something. Any tips?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Thank God Almighty...

"Guilty people make others feel guilty; free people make others free. And you can always tell how guilty a person feels by noticing how guilty you feel around him or her. Can I repeat that? You can always tell how guilty a person feels by noticing how guilty you feel around him or her. Jesus has made you free. It is important that you bring others to Him for the same surgery that He has performed on you." -Steve Brown, Born Free

I am guilty by nature. I feel guilty about relationships, things I've said, being selfish, being too quick to judge, eating too much, exercising too little, not performing correctly, not drinking enough water, complaining, complacency in my marriage-relationship with God-my kids, yelling at my kids, ignoring my kids, not cleaning the house, not cooking dinner, spending too much money, telling secrets I said I wouldn't tell, not calling someone I should've called, being self-righteous, watching too much TV, blah, blah, blah... You know the list. I say you know it because EVERYBODY has their list of guiltiness. Quinn sent me this quote yesterday. Am I that person? I want to not be the person who makes the group of people around me feel guilty. I AM free. I am FREE! I am free! He has transformed me and I am free. There is a pressure on Christian women to be this amazing "testimony". Got my make-up on, got my style just SO, cook a big supper for whomever may drop in, keep the house clean, laundry done, always spouting words of wisdom and spiritual eloquence, and my big plastic smile firmly in place. All in the name of being this perfect girl for Jesus. It ain't me.

I am a mess for Jesus. Hopefully, through my stumbling, fumbling words the gospel is lived out. Maybe through my verbal diarrhea someone finds encouragement to be real in their relationships. Perhaps through crying through my failure (again, again, again) someone sees that Jesus is gracious. Maybe through my living freely someone will take their first step to seeing what Jesus means when He says "You're Free". I want to be done with the straitjacket of guilt; it's very constricting.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Rachel, my Rachel

Oh, how she's grown! Rachel was ten years old when I started as her nanny. Now she's nearly 21 years old and is a vibrant, beautiful woman who I see growing more and more every year. I'm proud of her and she is like a daughter to me. We had fun doing the pictures.

No, Not Friday!

Usually I'm excited about Friday. But this is the last Friday before Christmas break is over. It has gone by too fast. I'm really contemplating throwing a temper tantrum so I don't have to do what I don't want to do. But then I don't think I'd get anywhere, since it would be me throwing the temper tantrum and my kids watching me. I have to sit down today and do lesson plans, which I dread. I have an anxiety about school starting. Crissy says I should start a unit study. I think I just want to eat bonbons and watch TV for another week.

Yesterday was fun. We had hot doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, thank you Lisa, and Nutella (divine) with Croissants, thank you Ginger. Anita brought yummy coffee and I made that dip that Missy always made this summer (1 bar cream cheese, 1 can of corn, drained, and 1 can of rotel microwaved for 3 minutes, stir, 2 more minutes in microwave) which was delicious as always. It was a good time. The kids froze their boodies off outside, but Heather brought pizza and hot chocolate to warm them up. They had a blast (do kids even know what the temperature is?). I wanted to play Mexican Train, because I'm totally obsessed with the game now, but we didn't. It was good conversation, plenty of laughs, a little talk about serial killers (do you know my obsession with serial killers?), and too much sugar. I was literally shaking from five cups of coffee and sugar overload by 2:00 PM. I want to have a blog party. I think I've said that on and off for a year.

Have a good Friday. How can I procrastinate further?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Coffee and Conversation

If you are within the sound of my blog, tomorrow (Thursday) I'm hosting coffee and whatever starting at 10 AM. Come one, come all. Dress your children warmly, as they will probably play outside. Bring something to munch, if you desire. Should be fun!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy Freakin' New Year

We had a great New Year's Eve. I even stayed up until 12:30 playing Mexican Train with my honey, Rachel, Heath, and Twoey. I did fall asleep a little bit at the table. I always feel a little ridiculous when I'm sleepy. First, because I start getting a wee bit delirious, saying stupid jokes and laughing too loud. Then, I start falling asleep wherever I am. This almost always ends with me announcing (too loud and sounding tipsy) "I'm going to bed now".
Ah well, to know me is to love me.

So now it's the new year. I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I used to, but I don't anymore. Mostly because they were always the same and I hate my words coming back to kick me in the butt. My words kick me in the butt enough now.

Sample New Year's Resolutions of the past:

Lose 10 (or 20, 30, or whatever) pounds. Since I'm constantly obsessed by this, I don't make a new resolution to become MORE obsessed. I certainly don't need a tutorial on how to be more OCD.

Eat healthy. I could do more of this. I drink mass tons of water, but I lack in the actual eating healthy department. To me, making the choice to eat either cantaloupe or Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake is a no-brainer. Chocolate Cake will win everytime. How do people actually make the choice to actually eat cantaloupe instead of chocolate cake?

Exercise. This is very important. Im-por-tant. Yep. You should exercise. I go through exercise phases. I have a hard time running in the winter. It hurts my lungs. So I'm trying to figure out my new phase. I've recently started doing Pilates (well, not in the past week and a half) that come on Oxygen at 5 AM. He's (that's right: HE) very annoying and Quinn has renamed it PervPilates. I actually don't want to give up running, but going outside when it's cold is like a death sentence.

Be more creative in my clothing. I do believe I have kept this one overall. I soon as I purchased a pair of red, open-toed, patent slingbacks (that I actually wear) I felt brave enough to do some of my own fashion stuff. Thanks to Wendy Russell (who always has on a pair of fabulous shoes) and Virginia (who's essence is creative). And, of course, to Stacey and Clinton (What Not to Wear), fashion icons.

To be the best mother I can be. Oh please. I fail so much because of my own flesh, I certainly don't need a reminder of my own delusional, lofty thinking. Thank goodness the gospel is always true when I'm a lousy mother. For me and my children.

To be the best wife I can be. See previous.

To not procrastinate. This one is probably the most discouraging. I hate putting things off to the last minute, and yet, I do. I tell myself I work better under pressure. However, I have yet to be prescribed anxiety medication and "pressure" just really turns me into a "pressure cooker". I get very frustrated with myself when I fail to perform (I always think of performing dogs when I say the word perform) correctly- well, correctly according to my own standards of annoying perfection. I'm actually not a perfectionist, I just want YOU to think I am.

To read my Bible everyday. Not happening. I actually stopped doing "devotions" because I felt like I was only doing it to "check it off my to-do list". I think the word "devotion" is delusional anyway. How about I'm devoted to my own sinful, selfish ideals. Doing devotions was my way of telling myself I wasn't as bad as so-and-so. "Look at me, I did devotions!" I always felt proud of myself for accomplishing this task. Whatever. It's interesting that we are "grace" people and yet we set these little hoops up for ourselves to earn brownie points with God. He is pleased with His own Glory and not my 10 minute, 20 minute, or 30 second Bible reading. I realize knowing God is knowing His word and there are lots of ways to learn to know Him. Showing grace to someone else, teaching children theology, giving the gospel to a friend who is discouraged (or to a stranger who is discouraged), being taught by my husband, watching creation, going to a Bible study, or sitting still and remembering Scripture are all ways to know and remember God. It is important to read the Bible, but not to be self-righteous about it. I'm prone to self -righteousness. I'm still trying to figure this stuff out.

In general, "try harder and do better" generally drives me crazy. I guess because I tend to set up impossible, unattainable goals for myself in the hopes of attaining affirmation and glory. Now it's 2008. I'm thankful for my family and the things God as allowed me to have right now. Who knows what this year holds? The sovereign, gracious Creator of the Universe knows me and loves me. I'll try to remember that. That's pretty much the best I can do.