Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Annoyed Lady

I am a really good Annoyed Lady. I get annoyed easily. I have been slowly learning to let things go that once annoyed me. But the list is long, and I am still learning.

A few circumstances that might herald the arrival of Annoyed Lady are:

- the repeated use of the same joke every time you see a certain person. Especially if that is the only thing you ever say to that person. You don't have to do this to me. Just hearing it happen to someone else annoys me.

- repetitive noises like car alarms or noisy toys that start a sound over again every time a kid pushes a button. So, you get a little kid like Bethany, or even some easily amused adults, who push the button over and over, and all you hear is "to infinity, to infinity, to infin, to infin, to in, to in, to in, to, to, to..." AAAAARGH!

- Being told to smile.

But, the all time most annoying thing is bad grammar/usage in programs, signs, advertisements, etc.

Several years ago I got a letter in the mail offering me a credit card that would help me celebrate my Italian heritage. I don't know how a credit card can do this, but this one could.

The only reason I read the letter was because I was intrigued at the connection someone had made between my Italian heritage and paying no interest on balance transfers until July of 2023. As I read, I found a glaring grammatical error. I don't recall what it was. But, it didn't matter at that point, even if I WANTED the card, because I was no longer Lori S..., I was now ANNOYED LADY. And the envelope was clearly NOT addressed to her.

I am telling you this story to show you how truly annoyed this makes me... cuz you know what I did? I grabbed a red pen, circled the error, and wrote something about the fact that, though my ancestors were, indeed, Italian, I was familiar enough with the English language to realize that they needed a better copy editor. Then I said something about how, as a general rule, I do not do business with companies that cannot use the English language properly because, for all I knew, they couldn't do math either, and I didn't think that would make for a very reliable credit card company.

I then took the letter, put it in the enclosed envelope, and promptly mailed it.

I am sure you will all be happy to know that a few months later I got another letter from the same company. It was the same offer... to celebrate my Italian heritage by buying stuff on credit. The only difference was, their letter was grammatically flawless.

But I still didn't apply for the card.

I realize this is an issue of pride. God reminds me of this often. Annoyed Lady just needs to learn how to extend some grace.

Just don't make me sing about it. Cuz even that old hymn "Amazing Grace" contains an error too. And don't think for a minute that I can sing that line without thinking of it.

Friday, May 26, 2006


We are working on sight words with Ms. Boo and, for some odd reason, she is confusing "is" and "the."

We have looked at flashcards. We have written the words in the sand box. I have broken down the sounds of the words with her. Nothing has worked.

So, yesterday, I pulled out the big guns. But, she didn't act as interested in my method as I had hoped. I wasn't sure if it worked.

Until this afternoon, when she said, "Mom, I want to practice my cheer."

After a few (read, approximately a minute worth) warm-up jumps, and several tight-lipped pauses to fix her hair, she finally began chanting: T - H -E, that's how we... spell THE. She even got the claps and the arm pumps right.

You GO, girl!
In preparing Mr. Bug for his upcoming nap, I sent him back outside to play with these words: "Bug, what are you going to tell me when I tell you it is nap time."

His answer:

"Yes. Or no."


Thursday, May 25, 2006

You always knew...

...that reading this blog was dicey business.

Anyway, thanks, thanks, and a million thanks to Heather, who made this all happen. I wanted to try it myself, but I didn't have enough patience to learn. I barely had enough patience to wait for HER to finish it, and she was FAST! So, though she was willing learn me up, she was also very willing to do the work herself. I took her up on the latter offer. I picked out my photos, told her what I wanted, changed my mind a few (cough, cough) times, and she made all the rest of it happen. She even put in a few extras I didn't think of.

Go tell her she did a good job y'all.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My prayer list

Folks, I don't pray nearly enough, if there is such a thing as praying "enough."

Personally, when I think of all the things I have to pray for, I feel overwhelmed. How in the world am I supposed to pray for everything? And whenever I hear people say "I pray every day for..." I start wondering how I am supposed to know which things I should pray for every day. Because, obviously, I can't pray for everything every day.

I am trying to work this out. I figure God will clue me in if I keep watching for His leading. But, anyway, that is what I am thinking.

Some of the things that I think I should pray for every day would include:
1. My family, individually and specifically.
2. That God would send laborers into the harvest. I heard someone refer to this as the only prayer request Jesus ever made, so I figure it is pretty significant.
3. And, I am sure if I were someone like Beth Moore, I could come up with a nice sentence to tie up the heart of my relationship with God and my need to continually rely upon him as a prayer request, then present it to anyone who asked, all wrapped up in a pretty red bow. But I'm not Beth Moore. So the best I can offer there is a run on sentence and some overused symbolism.

As for the myriad other things to pray for, I thought I might get the spiral bound index cards, as Heather once suggested, and put requests on it. I used to do something like this, but I assigned each card to one day of the week. Unfortunately, most of the Saturday requests were never prayed for, because I almost always missed a day and fell behind because I was trying to catch up.

But, with the new system, I thought I would just put requests on the cards and leave it out, kinda like a roladex. When I see it, I pray for whatever is there, then flip to the next one for next time. If a request gets answered, I can write the date it was answered on the card, then add a new request in place of the old one.

If I am REALLY crazy, I could even put requests on one side of the page, and scripture on the other. Then I will be reading scripture and praying all day long... or at least every time I happen by the stack of cards.

So, I am going to try it. And here are some of the requests I am going to put into my new system.

Kim's miscarriage (again) and possible molar pregnancy.

Leslie's move.

Minnie's seizures and Jake's sanity.

A little girl recovering from some major surgery.

Addie's In-Laws who have moved to the other side of the globe.

Emma Kate and Brad and their new church. (Scroll down to #3.)

Laura Ingalls Sarah and her baby girl.

My friend Elisabeth and her family, who are moving away this summer.

The locked out workers at AK Steel.

Lost folks. Specific ones.

And I would like to pray for our country. But this topic is also very overwhelming when trying to determine what to pray for.

These are just a few of the many I am sure I will come up with over the next few weeks. You got one you want to add? I'm taking requests.

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- I listened to my words. And hated what I heard.

- I listened to my tone. And wondered how much more of it young ears could take before they learn to dislike themselves.

- Felt like most days - unproductive.

- I remembered that God made people with a longing for relationship. I am not, as I often think I am, unique in that respect.

- I realized that I seek relationships in other places to the detriment of my relationship with God.

- I thought about how I'd like to pursue my relationship with God just because I want to know him. But I had to admit that I pursue it for what I get out of it.

- I felt alone. And there were people all around me.

Probably not a coincidence, eh?

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Sunday, May 21, 2006


Riding home tonight I was listening to the local 80's station. They were doing an all-request show and the requests rocked. I punched the ceiling of the van a few times while I was singing along.

Don and I were singing the duet version of "Boys of Summer" when Ms. Boo interrupted. (I know children do not understand the significance of singing a duet with Don Henley, but can she not see that I am POUNDING ON THE CEILING, for goodness sake?) I quickly quieted Boo down, and was able to concentrate again. On the road, you ask? Heavens, no. On the visions. Visions of that video (one of VERY few I can remember) came drifting into my head. Just as we get to my favorite line (out on the road today, I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said don't look back, you can never look back,) I smiled to myself. Because, if YOU remember the video, you know that he does, indeed, look back.

Suddenly, I am interrupted AGAIN, and my cheerful countenance gives way to furrowed eyebrows.

Boo again? No, no, no. Something much more insidious.

It's my own brain. In overdrive.

It went kinda like this:

Me, to myself: If he had to look BACK to see her, how did he know there was a Dead Head sticker on her car? Do people put stickers on the front of their cars? Is that, like, some kind of tradition among Dead Heads that they put stickers on the FRONT of their cars? Am I confused? Is there some way that he could have seen the sticker on the BACK of the car, yet still needed to turn around to see her again? Could they have been driving in the same direction and then passed her? Or did one of them make a turn? Didn't the video show them driving in opposite directions? Am I not remembering it correctly?

STOP IT, BRAIN! You are ruining the whole song! STOP, STOP, STOP!

I am so totally serious. This is the brain I live with.

Every. Single. Day.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Time management?

Bev tagged me to share a my tips for time management. First it was cleaning tips, then time management. If I was any good at time management, I probably would have read the post in which she tagged me a week ago. But I just read it today. So, now that I am totally behind, I will share my time management tips with you.

I made laundry prep a part of my evening routine. I sort a load before I go to bed. I treat whatever stains need to be treated. (If I don't do this, I inevitably find the one thing that needs to be treated right before the washer starts agitating. And I means "agitating" in more ways than one. So, if stains haven't been pretreated, they never have enough time for the cleaner to soak in before they go in the wash.) Anyway, I load all of it into a laundry basket and when I get up in the morning, it is ready to throw in the wash. I don't have to fight the kids off to get the clothes sorted and in the machine.

As Boomama stated in her tips, I try to write my grocery list in order of the aisles at the store. My mom always did that, and it makes sense to me to do it that way. Otherwise, I end up missing something. And I DO NOT shop with children.

When the kids need to get dressed in the morning, I tell them "get dressed." And, for the most part (unless they have chosen a bathing suit in the dead of winter) I let them wear whatever they picked out. This way I don't have to pick stuff for them. And, "letting go" of the "need" for them to match saves a lot of time (and energy) in the form of power struggles. On the days when we have to be out of the house early and/or I would like them to look fairly presentable, I have them set out clothes the night before.

I Christmas shop year round. I cannot stand the Christmas rush. So, I avoid it at all costs.

I have learned how to say "no." There are a lot of things I can do. But I can't do them all. And I know you know what I mean. I don't go to all the MOPS play dates. I don't sing in the church choir. Our kids are not signed up for every activity under the sun. I decide what is most important to me and let the rest go. I think a lot of times we don't feel like we have enough time to get things done because we have spread ourselves too thin.

And I don't watch TV much at all.

None of this post is meant to imply that I manage my time well, per se. But these are some of the things I do.

And Bev, how about if next time you tag me for something that I would be more qaualified to address. Like my favorite raw cake batter recipe, for example.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I have no words

Folks, I have nothing good to say. Nothing at all.

I am drained.

And for the second Thursday in as many weeks, I am sitting down at the end of the day thinking: Today felt like a Friday all day. But, it wasn't. And I have to do this all over again tomorrow.

There is not enough Calgon to take care of days like today.

What is the point of telling you this? I have no idea. But then, I don't know what the point of my entire day has been, so I'm just keeping with the theme.


Just out of curiosity, I was wondering if any blogging mamas are planning any get-togethers this summer (or, any time, really.) Cuz I sure would like to meet some of you - but only some of you ;)


My kitchen and family room have been ransacked. Trying to "keep up" is extremely discouraging when you are outnumbered 3 to 1.


Dudes. It is ten minutes till eleven and my husband is walking in the door. He left at 4 am. Seriously. I cannot take much more of this.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What's for Dinner?

I don't know. But but due to the food allergies in our house, it won't be chicken. Or turkey.

or salmon.

or whitefish.

or tuna.

or talapia.

or cod.

and sometimes pollock too, so I have stopped taking chances with that.

So, let's see. That leaves uh, beef or pork.

Pork or beef.

There are only so many ways to fix beef or pork.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Casting Call

I took Ms. Bao to the orthopedist today. This child is no dummy. It doesn't matter that there is dinosaur wallpaper border or a box of toys in the corner. She knows an exam room when she sees it. And if you are wearing scrubs, she will begin wailing the MOMENT you come within a three foot radius of her. Touch her, and the flailing begins.

Well, the nurse showed us in, asked us a few questions, and quickly sensed that Bao was not about to stop crying any time soon. So, he told me that he'd let me remove her ace wrap, sling, and splint so that he didn't get her any more upset than she already was. While we waited for the doctor, that's what I did.

When he finally came in, he asked one or two questions. When he realized that I had not yet seen the X-rays, he showed me out into the hall where he called up her films on a big computer screen. It made me want to cry! My baby's arm is broken!

But he said that the bone was not displaced at all, so it should heal quickly. He said they would put a cast on it. I asked if it would be wrapped to her chest again, and he said no. Yippee! Then he said that since Baoy is so young, she should heal quickly.

That is the same thing the Urgent Care doctor told me on Saturday. But then she said it would take 4-6 weeks to heal, and I didn't think that sounded all that "quick." I shared that thought with the orthopedist, and he said, "Oh, no. We don't leave adults in a cast that long. No, we'll have you back in just over two weeks and it should be healed by then."

Double Yahoo! Two weeks! And she gets to "use" her arm again. I am so excited.

Well, I will spare you all the details. But I will tell you that when we returned to the exam room, Ms. Boo had already consulted with the nurse and decided that Baoy's cast would be purple.

So, on went the purple cast.

And, on went Bao's wailing.


Just as the two nurses finished up and "backed off," I was able to put her shirt back on, and I think she got the idea that the ordeal might be over. She calmed down.

But, in walked the doctor. He looked at the cast, (Baoy started crying again because, after all, he DID touch her arm) and determined that it did not go up high enough on her arm.

So, in comes another nurse to remove the first cast, and put on a new one.

I'll give you one guess how Bao responded to that.

She was drenched in sweat by the time it was all over.

But, we made it through. And by the time we got out to the parking lot, she was just as chipper as can be... and has been all night.

And while we are on this subject, I would just like to say that the last month or so has been a bunch of fun with Bao (poor sleeping aside.) She understands us when we speak to her and has really started responding favorably. She is using signs to communicate basic needs. She is trying to say a new word or two. She loves to be a "helper." We are teaching her to nod "yes" when appropriate, and she seems to get excited when she can do it. Whenever she makes this cute "smoochie" face that she likes to do, I am trying to teach her how to give kisses. She plays games with us and tries to be cute or funny. She really, really feels like part of the family - more than ever before - more fully - as if she likes it that we're her family. I can't even tell you how much I love this little girl. She is so precious to me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

ABC. Easy as one, two, three...

Leslie tagged me for this "ABC" meme.

Here you go, Leslie. Sorry if I got too snarky.

Accent: whatever the accent is in the place I have been for the last week. I pick up accents like nobody's business. I even do people's common facial expressions if I hang out with them long enough. It's weird. But, mostly, I guess my accent is "southwest Ohio," which, in itself, is a hodgepodge accents from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Michigan.

Bible book that I like: All time favorite - Colossians. Currently has my attention - Isaiah.

Chore that I don't care for: Cleaning up after dinner.

Dog or Cat: Either, if this refers to stuffed animals. Otherwise, neither.

Essential electronics: computer.

Favorite cologne: the unscented kind.

Gold or silver: Au.

Handbag I carry most often: well, that'd be the only one I own - good ol' B3.

Insomnia: only at night.

Job Title: Associate Professor of Philosophy.

Kids: Is someone trying to imply that I am a goat?

Living arrangements: dubious. My time here is extended only for good behavior.

Most Admirable Trait: I can balance an open can of pop on my head while raising either leg above my shoulder.... without spilling the pop.

Naughtiest childhood memory: Marcy was in town and somehow I ended up with her oldest daughter and my older sister at a grocery store. I have no idea why I thought this would impress anyone, but I thought I'd look cool if I did something "bad." So, I went to the freezer case where they kept the ice cream, opened one of those "bucket" type containers, removed the gum that I'd been chewing from my mouth, placed it on the foil liner, then replaced the lid. I know you are all thinking - wow, she is so COOL!

Overnight hospital stays: only when I gave birth. And I LOVED them, thank you very much.

Phobias: Oddly enough, I have a fear of phobias.

Quote: "The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." (That's from Big Al.)

Religion: only when I'm not submitting to the Holy Spirit.

Siblings: Krista (older) and Patti (younger) and a slew of others as numerous the stars in the sky.

Time I wake up: Whenever Bethany does.

Unusual talent or skill: I do a mean impersonation of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. (And I just typed Way too many Ws.)

Vegetable I refuse to eat: brussels sprouts. Never had 'em, never want to.

Worst Habit: thumb sucking.

X-Rays: Okay, I'll admit that I do OCCASIONALLY emit them - but ONLY when the kids have locked themselves in the bathroom and they're too quiet for me to figure out what they're doing in there. But don't worry, I always ask if there is any chance that they're pregnant before I do that.

Yummy stuff I cook: chocolate pudding crock pot cake, Williamsburg bread.

Zoo animal I like most: What in the world kind of question is that? Emus. Definitely Emus. ???

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Actual Comment:

"I am not looking for that head. If you find it, I will try to glue it back on."

Sometimes, I wonder if I am living on the same planet as the rest of the human race.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Where to Start?

Well. Ms. Bao fell off a chair.

She did it last night right before I left for a night out with a friend. Paul and I noticed that she kept grabbing her wrist. But she really didn't act or sound like she was in a lot of pain. We figured maybe she'd sprained it.

So, I went out, and Paul took the kids shopping for a Mother's day gift.

When I returned home, I got my clothes ready for the morning, and ran through my talk one more time. I finally climbed into bed at around 2 am and Paul woke up to give me the down low. He said that Bao didn't use her right arm all night and that she cried when she tried to use it to crawl. He also said that she seemed very sensitive when he picked her up under the arm on the right side.

When I got up this morning, Paul was already gone at the District Track meet. Bao got up and was still not using her right arm. She normally eats with it, but used her left to eat her breakfast. She cried when I moved her arm too much. I was beginning to think it was broken. But, I had to give my talk, and I couldn't take her anywhere until after that was over.

I had been excited about the talk for a while, but having to leave an injured baby with a sitter had dampened my spirits a bit, and kept me fairly preoccupied. Knowing that my thoughts were somewhere else, Ami offered to pray for me. It helped tremendously.

I enjoyed every minute of the talk. Fun, fun, fun.

Several people have asked how it went. That is a hard question to answer. People laughed when I said something funny. Most seemed attentive. Some seemed VERY attentive. Several people nodded in agreement as I spoke. I didn't make any "mistakes" and neither did the guy who was advancing the power point slides. After the talk, my friends RAVED... but friends do. Three strangers, two of whom were ministers' wives from the church, gave positive comments. A few women offered some nice comments as I exited the building with them.

But those don't really answer HOW IT WENT, because how it REALLY went has nothing to do with what people thought, and everything to do with whether women's hearts were turned towards the Lord. And, I will never really know the answer to THAT question. So, I settle for letting that other stuff, and the fact that I had a blast, be the evidence that it went well.

Thankfully, Bao slept most of the time I was away, so the family watching my kids didn't have too much maimed child crabbiness to deal with.

I came home with the kids and Paul got home soon after. I had noticed that Bao's right arm was swollen and was more convinced than ever that it was a break. So, I took her, and a few snacks (in case we had another one of those never-ending waits) to Children's Urgent Care. It's run by the nearby children's hospital, and I figured it was a better choice than the ER. Turns out I was right. We were in and out in an hour and a half... and that included two X-rays... which Bao did NOT like, by the way.

But, it turns out that her arm IS broken. Poor thing. She cried through them setting it in a temporary splint, putting on the sling, and wrapping it to her chest. (But hey, I kind of expected this when she screamed during the WEIGHING... horrors, I know... ) But then she was happy as a lark. I thought she'd be upset at not being able to move her arm, but then I remembered - she has shown no interest in moving her arm all day long. She is probably happy to have it set in one place so that it won't keep getting bumped around.

I have to call the orthopaedist on Monday. They want me to get her in on Monday or Tuesday. The doctor said her arm might be put in a cast, but would likely be wrapped in place for 4-6 weeks. Sigh.

Anyway. That was my day. Thank you to each of you who prayed for the talk, and in advance to those who will be praying for Bao as her arm heals.

And now I am tired. So. very. tired.


Friday, May 12, 2006


I do believe Satan knows exactly what he is doing. He knows every button I've got and he isn't afraid to push them. Repeatedly. And in unison.

I am giving a talk tomorrow at a church in a nearby town. It's a mother-daughter type thing. I get the last 1/2 hour to speak. Right now, all I want to do is rip out my hair. Not because of the talk. I am pretty much prepared for that. I just think Satan is throwing some things my way to try to make me think I am not "worthy" of teaching these women.

So, before I go completely bald, would you all say a prayer for me. Whatever you feel led to pray. I'd appreciate that.

The talk is Saturday at 12:30 (Eastern time.)


Friday, May 05, 2006

This should be good...

So, uh, Bev tagged me to do a list of, of all things, cleaning tips.

Dear, sweet Bev. So innocent, she is.

I don't want to dissapoint her. So here goes. Just remember, Bev, you ASKED for this:

Lori's cleaning tips
1. Wipe stuff up as soon as it spills. Particularly sticky stuff, or stuff that hardens when it dries. If you don't, it will require a whole lot of elbow grease later on. Or cussing. Or both.

2. A great way to dispose of rotten, solidified milk that has been festering in a sippy cup for a few days, is to dump it down the garbage disposal. Oh, you don't have a garbage disposal? That's okay. "Garbage disposal" is actually Swahili for "toilet bowl." So, whatever works.

3. If you have children under the age of 5, you definitely want to sweep the kitchen floor AT LEAST once a month.

4. And, I read a tip somewhere that when you get around to mopping said floor, you should use your kitchen garbage can to hold the cleaning water. That way it gets cleaned twice a year too! Isn't that convenient?

5. Get you some Oreck.

6. Before you clean out your microwave, boil some water with a few slices of lemon in it for about 5 minutes. Makes it easier to clean. Don't have any lemons handy? That's acutally the best scenario of all. Then all you have to do is gently close the microwave door and sit down for a cup of coffee. I mean, who really looks in people's microwaves, for goodnes sake?

7. If your son ever intentionally squirts mustard on your living room carpet, here's a tip that will save you OODLES of cleaning time: put a piece of furniture over it. That stain won't be coming out any time in this millenium. Of course, I cannot speak to what you should do if the mustard was squirted accidentally, or if it was squirted in any room other than the living room.

8. Children don't know that Swiffer dusters aren't toys. Whatever you do, do not let the secret slip.

9. There is a way to get all the carpets in your house clean without lifting a finger. All you need to do is go to China for two weeks to bring home a baby. But, just before you leave, call a dear friend (who owns a carpet-cleaning device) and casually mention that you really wanted to have the carpets clean for the baby to lay on when you came home, but you just didn't have the time to get it done. Of course this method only works if you have a spare key. Cuz, if you picked the right friend, she'll just get the key from you and do it herself while you are gone.

10. I'm going to let you in on a little secret - The Fly Lady is wrong about one thing: You will save more time cleaning if you spend your day in bare feet. Think "third hand."

Really, that's quite enough of this, isn't it?

You can all thank me later.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

I Think too much

You know, those memes, like to one I did in my last post, can be answered in so many different ways. They don't actually help you get to know people, because simply answering the question (or filling in the blank) often does not give any indication as to whether the answers are THE ULTIMATE answer, or just one of many that work.

I suppose my answers to the last meme were just ones of the many that would work for me.

But, since doing it, I have been thinking. (Surprise, surprise.) And now I want to give one of THE answers.

Here it is. Take it for what it's worth (or, FWIW, Addie.)

I regret - not learning to love myself before I got married and had children. Oh the yuck that I have passed on to my familly. I really, really, regret this one a lot.

So there you have it. One of THE answers.

And, thankfully I am learning now to love myself. Praise God for that.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Meme

Boomama tagged me. So here goes.

I am – (is that blasphemous?)

I want – to read more. And a new pair of flip flops. And this too.

I wish – someone had told me a long time ago that I was good at writing.

I hate – hokey stuff that is supposed to appeal to my emotions in order to elicit some specific response from me.... it's manipulative, and I can't stand it.

I miss – the conversations with "the girls" from college.

I hear – voices in my head that like to tear me down.

I wonder – how the nucleus of an atom can stay together. And what is in between the electrons. I've posted about this.

I regret – not walking closely with God when I lived in Sidney.

I am not – good at small talk.

I dance – like I mean it.

I sing – along with whatever's playing in the grocery store.

I cry – less often than I did a year ago. For that, I am very grateful.

I am not always – good at listening.

I make – people laugh.

I write – to relate.

I confuse – Hebrews with Romans. Moses with Noah. And Ted Turner with Mike Turner.

I need – time. by. my. self.

I should – pray for my family more. Lose 15 pounds. Stop eating so much sugar.

I start – singing "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" every (I mean EVERY) time someone says "turn in your Bible to Jeremiah."

I finish – 1 out of every five books I start.