Monday, July 31, 2006

In my ongoing battle against clutter in my home, I have decided that I would try to participate in "Tackle it Tuesday," hosted at Five Minutes for Mom. I don't know if I am supposed to POST this on Tuesday, or DO this on Tuesday. But here is my Tackle it Tuesday:

The entertainment center, which was OUT OF CONTROL:

Now looks like this. (Okay, you are just going to have to believe me that it is done. I started writing this post at 11:00 and it is now 12:40. I got two photos loaded out of the four I was planning on posting. I am not going to wrestle with Blogger anymore.)

And I also mounted a container in the garage to store all the plastic grocery bags that we've accumulated. (Again, no photo thanks to Blogger.) They were all stuffed inside of a bag and had their home in the kitchen, over the doorknob to the garage door. I didn't like it. So, here is their new home.

Having tackled these jobs, I would like to let you know that I won't be around for a few days. I have another "job" that I have been working on for a while. I set a goal to get it done before the summer ends. And I need to put some time into it, or that won't happen.

It shouldn't take TOO long. And I will post a picture when I get it done.

Talk to you soon, peeps.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

My blog personality

I have been thinking, over the last two weeks in particular, about my blog personality. What I want from blogging, and what I don't. What I like to read, and what turns me off. My likes and dislikes regarding commenting, blogrolls, and, well, all things bloggy. Here, my friends, are my thoughts.

Why I blog
To relate. I want to talk with people and I want them to talk to me.

In light of my last statement, I don't understand lurking. I could never imagine myself reading someone's blog without commenting (after I get a feel for the person.) I guess I approach this a lot like real life relationships... I don't just want to listen, I want to converse.

~I almost always comment on a blog.
~I follow comments to see if the author or another reader addressed something I mentioned in my comment.
~I tend not to keep reading blogs where the author never, after repeated comments, responds to anything I have said. (There are exceptions to this.)
~I do NOT comment just for the sake of commenting. I only do it if I have something specific to say, and I really mean it.
~I often find new blogs I like after reading a comment I really like (on my blog or someone else's) and I click on that person's link.

Blogs I read
~Funny ones.
~Blogs that make me think or challenge my current thinking.
~Blogs written by people I feel I can relate to.

Blogs I tend not to read
~Advicey blogs. I have plenty of people in real life that I can ask advice from if I want it.
~Blogs that everybody and their mother read (with a few exceptions.) I guess this is because my blog personality is a lot like my regular personality. If given a choice between a party with lots of people or a quiet gathering with four or five friends, I'd choose the latter every time. I want to be able to discuss with people... big blogs never seem conducive to that.
~Blogs for which the author doesn't seem "real:" doesn't share struggles, admit mistakes, ask for ideas. (Come to think of it, I should hate my own blog...) But a lot of the advice blogs are like that and they never seem to flick my Bic, so to speak.

Thoughts on personally contacting a blog's author
I generally don't do it, even if I have been reading/commenting for a long time. I think it is my shyness. I HAVE done it, generally to encourage another blogger or to ask a specific question from someone I trust. I don't think there is anything wrong with it, I just generally don't do it. (And I think this is the first paragraph I have ever written in which every sentence contains the word "generally.")

Thoughts on blogrolls
I think it is weird to go bloghopping and find my blog on the blogroll of a complete stranger. There is nothing wrong with it. It's just that, going back to why I blog, I could never imagine myself liking a blog where I didn't get in on the discussion.

In addition, I think it is kinda awkward if someone reads me regularly, but I don't read them. I suppose most people have a thicker skin than I do, but I will admit to feeling disappointed when I am not on the blogroll of people whose blogs I frequent. (This is not a plea for anyone to add me to their blogroll.)

I think reciprocal blogrolls are silly. "I'll link you if you link me." I don't want to be on someone's blogroll just because I linked to them. I want to be on their blogroll if they like my blog. (Reciprocal blogrolls are a great way to increase the traffic on your blog. But, since I am not that interested in increasing traffic, I think I'll pass on those.)

My thoughts on memes
I can take them or leave them. People say they help you get to know them, but I wonder about that sometimes. I don't mind doing them, but I don't tag people for them anymore. Reading a meme is a lot like reading an interview. I like interviews, but I prefer hearing someone speak freely.

My thoughts on self-promotion
All bloggers have to be self-promoters to some degree... at least you do if you want to be read. But I am not very good at that. I want to be read, but I don't want to be read by hundreds of people a day (though I don't think there is any danger of that!) So, I tend not to participate in things (like reciprocal blog rolls) that are meant just to bring traffic. (I think the Tour of Homes is the first thing like this that I've done. But I did that because I thought it was for fun, not for the traffic.)

And don't ask me about blog awards. I don't know how to tell you what I think without it sounding bad, so I guess I shouldn't try. (You know I'm just jealous because I've never won one...)

So, there you have it. Some of my thoughts about blogging. Feel free to disagree with anything I have said. And don't take any of this personally. This is just my perspective. I'd be interested in hearing what kind of blogging personality you all have (I'd make this into a meme and tag somebody but, you know...)


Thursday, July 27, 2006

C'mon in!

Welcome to my home. Shall we start at the front door? The very "door hanger" that you see on the door knob is the same one that greeted me when I returned from my trip to Alabama. It was made by my five-year-old out of my raffia and some black ribbon.
She also made the object hanging in the window. (See close-up.) Our front door says everything there is to know about the people who live behind it: 1) we're nothing fancy, 2) we love Jesus, and 3) KIDS LIVE HERE!

This next picture is my kitchen. My favorite part is the refrigerator - covered with photos of friends and family as well as the kids' art work. This is how I LIKE my kitchen to look, but that doesn't mean it always looks this good. (Yes, this is good, to me.) If you want to see it "in action," click here. The table in this picture is a blessing. It was free. And it was given to us right around the time that we really needed a bigger table, but couldn't really afford one.

The next photo is of our AWFUL kitchen floor. Way back when, we installed new cabinets and painted the kitchen. The floor was next on the list of things to be replaced.
(Which is why I didn't care about spilling all that yellow paint on it.) But, God had some other plans for us. Her name is Bethany. And, when we decided to adopt her, any money we would have spent on the floor went toward the adoption expenses. But, as I have told many people before, I honestly don't wish for a new floor anymore. Why? Because it is my daily reminder that people are more important than stuff - and that following God makes for blessings far beyond anything I could plan for myself.

This is where I do my blogging. I usually have my feet up on the couch that you can see just to the left in the photo. (No wonder my back hurts...) Also on the left, hanging on the wall, you can just barely see another bit of my daughter's art work. (Yes, it's everywhere.)

As for the cleanliness of the desk, I will admit to throwing away my McFlurry cup before I took this. But, really, this is one of those spots that I don't even want to think about cleaning up. See that stack of papers on the top, left side of the desk? It includes our taxes, and all of Bethany's official adoption papers. Yeah, this isn't the kind of mess I can just drop into the trash with one sweep of my arm.... though I would if I could.

Here is our living room. Nothing too exciting here. We don't have a playroom, so this is where most of the toys are stored, as you can see. Regarding the entertainment center, I think that spot for the TV is hilarious. People come over and say, "you really need a bigger TV." And I think, "we really need a smaller entertainment center!"

And, one thing I thought you might like to see - my PEZ collection.

What, you thought I was kidding?

If you want to see some other photos from my house, check out this post in which I chronicle some of my housekeeping exploits. Before and after photos abound.

Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya hear?


It's a Shay-ay-ame

It is such a shame that you all won't be able to SMELL my house during the Tour of Homes. It's peach season, and today was the day that I made the first peach pie of the summer. DELIGHTFUL.

The only thing more sad for you lovely readers is that you didn't get to taste it. Oh, my, such good peach pie. (And if any of my chem buddies were reading this, they'd get my reference to the nomenclature of dicarboxylic acids. But alas...)


Dear Blogger,

You know, lot's of people have been leaving you lately. Can't say I blame them. I suppose you wouldn't care if I left, because it's not like I actually pay for this account. But, uh, could you do me a little favor? I'm trying to get my post ready for "Tour of Homes" on Friday. So far, you seem to have some sort of indigestion when I try to feed you more than two photos.

Do they have, like, some kind of Pepto for your server, or your picture uploader thingie, or whateveryoucallitoutincyberspace? If they do, please take two. And I'll call you again in the morning.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A little bit bummed

Paul and I had a conversation the other night about whether we would continue as Sunday school teachers to the "singles' class" at our church. I felt torn about it. Not because I don't love the class, I DO! But mostly it's because I don't think I have been doing a very good job of meeting the needs of the members. And, with homeschooling about to begin in a few weeks, that leaves even less of me to give to the class. Considering how much I personally enjoy the class, and sincerely care about its members, it isn't an easy decision for me.

We have decided not to teach the class. For a while after that decision was made, I felt tremendously sad. I really do love the people in there. Selfishly, maybe. My vain imagination is already inventing the argument that if I REALLY loved them, I would have done more to meet their needs. And that may very well be true. I have not met the challenge of that ministry for a long time. So perhaps this is a cop-out. Instead of stepping it up, we just step down...

Regardless, I am confident that God will continue to use me in ministry, though I am not sure how right now. I am hopeful about what is in store. But right now that means leaving something I enjoyed. And that has me a bit bummed.

Oh, Yes I DID!

For a while now, we have had a section of vinyl fence that is missing two of its pickets. We have them. We just haven't gotten around to gluing them back on.

I found one of them in the back yard recently. The kids had been messing with it and broke the pyramid-shaped "cap" off of the end. I have no idea how we would fix it, other than try to glue that together too. But I wasn't sure how good it would look.

So, imagine my delight when I noticed that someone on our street set out two small sections of vinyl fence for the trash man. They appeared to match ours perfectly. I told Paul we should go snag them as replacement parts for our fence. He replied sort of affirmatively, in that raised-eye-brow sort of way that suggested that he wasn't going to be the one to do it.

And, although people have been known to come around with a truck and pick up a few things from the neighborhood trash piles, it has never been done by actual residents of said neighborhood. I wondered how I would look walking down the street with my neighbor's fence in my hands.

But I didn't think about it too long, because we had kids to bathe and I had groceries to buy.

Fast forward to 12:45 am. I am in bed when I remember that I haven't snagged those remnants. So...

I got up.

On the off chance that someone would actually see me, I decided I should put on a pair of shorts. I figured they'd think me weird enough for going trash hunting at 1 in the morning, I didn't need to add pajamas to the mix.

But I couldn't find a pair of my shorts, so I grabbed a pair of Paul's. Which I barely fit into, thankyouverymuch. (Maybe I need to do a few laps around the neighborhood before I haul off my finds...)

And, with flips flopping (VERY loudly, it seemed,) I walked down about 4 houses, crossed the street, made my selection, and returned home.

And if THAT doesn't say enough about me...

the fact that I am now blogging about it certainly does.

Good night.


Monday, July 24, 2006

My Vain Imagination

Have you ever held something against someone because of the way you imagined they would respond to something? Or because of something that you aren't really certain they did, but you have convinced yourself they are guilty of?

I had to ask someone to forgive me for that last night.

Does anyone else do this?

OOOh, Baby, Baby...

Ms. Bao was tagged to do a meme by Baby Spice. So, without further ado, I will turn over the keyboard to my daughter. Here is her very first meme.

3 Things that scare me:
1. Loud noises that are close by.
2. When I get too close to a live animal.
3. When it looks like mom or dad is leaving me.

3 People who make me laugh:
1. My big brother.
2. My big sister.
3. My dad.

3 Things I love:

1. My white snuggler.
2. My green snuggler.
3. My purple snuggler.

3 Things I hate:
1. Getting my teeth brushed.
2. Getting my hair cut.
3. Getting smothered by my big sister when she is trying to "hug" me.

3 Things don't understand:
1. Those white things that hold the cabinets closed.
2. Sharing.
3. That whole thing about turning the pages in a book in a certain order.

3 Things on my floor:
1. One of my snugglers.
2. My sippy cup.
3. My favorite book with the farm animals.

3 Things I am doing right now:
1. Recovering from the trauma my mother just inflicted upon me. She calls it getting my hair cut. I call it cruelTY

3 Things I want to do before I die:
1. Die? What is that?
2. Figure out those white things on the cabinets.
3. Climb onto the couch by myself.

3 Things I can do:
1. Wave goodbye.
2. Sign the words "more," "please," and "thank you."
3. Say "yes," and "no."

3 Ways to describe my personality:
1. I know what I like and what I don't.
2. I will let you know what I like and what I don't.
3. I am becoming more and more playful with each passing day.

3 Things I cannot do:
1. Hear music without swaying back and forth.
2. Eat without throwing something on the floor.
3. Solve differential equations.

3 Things I think you should listen to:
1. My mom. She is all about that. And she will make you look RIGHT at her if you don't.
2. That tune from "Big Comfy Couch." I like that one. Very catchy.
3. Me, when I am singing. I'm pretty good.

3 Things I don't think you should listen to:
1. My sister. I sure don't.
2. People who get all up in your face when you want to be left alone.
3. Metallica.

3 Favorite foods:
1. Suckers.
2. Ice cream.
3. Cheese.

3 Beverages I drink regularly:
1. Milk.
2. Water.
3. I didn't know there were any others.

3 Shows I watch:
1. When mom and dad get it from the library, I watch that Bear in the Big Blue House show all the time. I LOVE IT! I wonder why they haven't gotten that one lately?
2. Big Comfy Couch.
3. Big, Big World.
(I guess I like "Big" Things, eh?)

Thank you for reading.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Is it that obvious?

I am nerdier than 72% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Okay. So, you all knew this already, didn't you? I am not too sure how I feel about it. But there you go. THE INTERNET said it, so it MUST be true.

Excuse me, I have a pocket protector to go clean.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Pictures from Savannah

I just looked back through the photos I took while in Alabama/Savannah and, you know, I don't really have that many. But since you are all asking, I will post a few. (There are none with me in them, because I was always behind the camera. And, at her request, there are none of Boomama.)

Here is a picture of the fried green tomatoes we ate at Paula's restaraunt. They were delightful. Better than delightful, actually, but my vocabulary is too limited for me to find the right word. Crunchy outside, soft and sweet inside. The tomato garnish on top was delicious, and so was the onion relish.

Next to the tomatoes is a plate that contained two items. On the bottom was something called a "hoe cake." It looked like a thick pancake. Boomama explained that it is cornbread made without flour... and they used to cook them in a fire on the end of a hoe. Hence, the name. I was not a big fan of the hoe cake.

But, the other thing on the plate, the cheese biscuit, was wonderful. Very dense and oh, so cheesy. And I have to love anything that so closely resembles me.

This picture on the right is of my plate after I returned from the buffet. At twelve o'clock were the mashed potatoes topped with beef stew. Both were delicious. The potatoes were very thick and creamy, with just a little bit of skin in them.

At three o'clock was the macaroni and cheese. It was good, but nothing to call home about. ;) Continuing clockwise, I had black-eyed peas. Didn't like those so much. But I did like the collard greens. It was the first time I'd ever had them. They had a spicy kick to them. And they were not soggy, which was a bit of a surprise to the connoisseurs of southern food in the group. We asked the waiter to tell us how they were prepared, and he came back with detailed instructions from the chef.

Next on the plate was the pork loin. Nothing fantastic there. I didn't think it was particularly moist or flavorful. And the broccoli tasted just like - broccoli. It didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary.

I finished my meal with Ooey, gooey butter cake. I was going to get the peach cobbler, but then I realized the butter cake was actually CHOCOLATE, and I could not resist. I know several of you probably have the recipe for this, so you already know that it was very good. Almost creamy inside.

And here is the picture I took of Robin, Addie, and Theresa outside of the restaraunt before our meal. It's a good thing I took it when I did, because AFTER the meal we all had to unbutton our pants and let our tummies flop out!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thirteen Things I learned on my trip to Alabama

Okay, so it will be Friday before anyone reads this, but at least I WROTE it on Thursday...

1. Southerners call crackers "nabs."

2. "Toehead" is not a word. "Towhead" is. And I have been using it incorrectly.

3. When I go south of Ohio, I start thinking in a southern accent. But, can you blame me? I no sooner leave the state than I come upon this:

4. Apparently, Robin, does not actually live with her husband and daughters. Instead, she has taken up residence here.

5. If a Southerner doesn't know another Southerner, then they know someone who does. (And, for the record, I am convinced that every last inhabitant of every southern state has no more than four degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.)

6. That hotel key we couldn't find: It was in the pocket of my grey shorts.

7. I didn't pack enough shirts for the trip.

8. I do NOT like black-eyed peas.

9. But mmm, MMMM, I like me some collard greens.

10. Paula Deen: smoker. (Oh, the horror!)

11. When the Alaska oil pipeline was opened, it took three and a half weeks from the time they began pumping before any oil appeared at the other end. (Yeah, seriously, I learned that on the trip.)

12. The radio receiver that is apparently implanted in Addie's head allows her to enjoy commercial-free music all day long. (But before you get all jealous about that, consider that this station frequently broadcasts the theme song from this show.)

13. Now, see, I did not know this:

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Melissa

(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Nothin' Special

If you couldn't tell, I haven't had much I've felt like bloggin' about, lately. So, I have been quiet. I still have the stuff of my last post on my mind, but I think I will get back to that another time.

In the mean time, I am reading Six Easy Pieces and Every Man's Battle. (See sidebar for links, I am just too lazy right now.) I am learning from both, but, interestingly, much of what I am reading in EMB seems applicable to a completely different aspect of my own life (specifically, the point at which one decides they have had enough of not committing something to God, then finally doing something about it.)

I have also been enjoying a blog new to me, but maybe not to a lot of you. Check out Everyday Mommy, when you get a chance. Jules has been quite gracious to me of late and for that I am very grateful.

It will be a few more days before you hear from me again. But, I imagine that when I get back I will be posting all about the great time I had meeting Boomama, Addie, Theresa, and Robin and the hilarity that ensued as we traveled to Savannah together. I am very anxious to meet them, but I'll be driving, by myself, the eight hours to Boomama's house. So, if you think about it, pray for safety as I (and all of us, for that matter) travel over the next few days.

Later, peeps.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Okay, so, like I mentioned earlier, I just finished reading Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience by Ron Sider. And just before that I read God's Politics by Jim Wallis. So, there is a lot of stuff Rattling Around. Please forgive me if I start rambling.

One of the things that stuck with me most from Scandal is how we define the gospel and salvation. Sider says:

I am convinced that at the heart of our problem is a one-sided, unbiblical, reductionist understanding of the gospel and salvation. Too many evangelicals in too many ways give the impression that the really important part of the gospel is forgiveness of sins.

While he does agree that forgiveness of sins is, in fact, very important, he goes on to say:

Justification and sanctification are both central parts of the biblical teaching on the gospel and salvation. To overstate the importance of the one is to run the danger of neglecting the other. And that is certainly what popular evangelicalism has done.... we have propagated the heretical notion that people can receive forgiveness without sanctification, heaven without holiness.

It's made me wonder about the answer I would give if someone asked "what is the gospel?" And it makes me wonder about the ways we, as the Church, present the gospel to unbelievers. Do they come away with a sense that the gospel is simply fire insurance? Do they see us living truly transformed lives (ie. living out the gospel)?

And what of new believers? I think the Church as a whole needs to be strengthened in the areas of accountability amongst believers as well as discipleship. It can't be enough to "get people saved" and leave it at that. The Church should be a community made up of people who know how to nurture one another and spur them on towards Christ-likeness.

I know I am a cynic, but does it seem like the majority of believers are not willing to form the kinds of relationships that this would require? Or, if they are willing, are they equipped for those kinds of relationships?

I'll answer for myself. No, and no.

In regard to our reduction of the gospel to "the forgiveness of sins," Sider notes that Jesus never defined the gospel this way. Instead, he says, Jesus always spoke in terms of the kingdom of God. (In Luke 4:43, Jesus says, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.") He points out that, in their gospel accounts, Matthew and Mark both describe the gospel in the same way. Then he illustrates this point by quoting the scriptures in which Jesus sent out his followers on mission trips. Jesus told them to tell the people that the kingdom of God is near. Then he instructed them to heal the sick, raise the dead, etc. (See Matt 10:7-8 and Luke 10:8-9.)

I think the biggest thing that got me from this book is probably the hardest to describe. It has me wondering if western Christians really do get it at all. (And I am referring to myself here too.) Let me see if I can explain, in a rambling sort of way.

I hear lots of Christians say things like, "it's okay to have nice things" when we talk about materialism. That seems to be what we all want to hear. That way we are off the hook when it comes to examing our spending and our desire to accumulate stuff.

But, y'all, we are so steeped in consumerism here in the west that I think most of us have bowed to it and don't even realize it. You know, it IS okay to have nice stuff. God blesses us with material things sometimes. But the Bible is clear. It is NOT okay to have stuff in excess when others (billions of others, by the way) don't have basic comforts and the assurance that their needs will be met. Is it really okay to have 150 DVDs at our disposal, when people all over the world can't even afford adequate health care.

Sider makes the historical generalization that mainline Protestants have generally protested social sins (eg. economic injustice, slavery,) while evangelicals denounced personal sin (eg. stealing, adultery.) For the most part, I have found that to be true in my own experience. Christianity, in my evangelical experience, has always been about dealing with my personal transgressions. But, it is ALL OVER Scripture, that God is none too happy with his people when they turn a blind eye to economic and social injustice.

Jim Wallis made the point in his book that God, in the practice of Jubilee, set up a system that maintained equity. And, though ownership of personal property was allowed, it was always trumped by the concept of equity. Personal gain was always trumped by what was best for society. (And I am speaking very generally here, because I returned that book to the library a long time ago, so I can't give you any specific quotes.)

Moreover, Wallis went on to say that helping people out of systems of injustice is good. But, he warned that, as the Church, we need to work towards changes in society so that unjust systems are no longer pulling people under. In other words, we do need to help people who are poor by giving them sustainable income, but we also need to change the laws, trade practices, and personal habits which contribute to their marginalization.

To sum up, both Sider and Wallis make the point that Christianity is meant to be counter-cultural. I am still trying to grasp what that means for me personally, and what that would look like for the Church as a whole. Here is what Sider says:

The church is a new, visible social order. It is a radical new community visibly living a challenge to the sexual insanity, the racial and social prejudice, and the economic injustice that pervade the rest of society.

I have no idea if this post makes sense. It is my first attempt to put this all into words, so I covet your comments. I am also thinking of reading A Peculiar People. If any of this is of interest to you, perhaps we could read together and post thoughts on our blogs (or my comments section, if you don't have one.)

Gimme what you got.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Vacation Pics

We're home from Connecticut. A great time was had by all. Here are a few pictures.

Boo waits at Firestone while they tried to find the part they needed for the van.

This is the crew after my birthday breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. Nice looking bunch, eh?

Bug was chatting with his grandma about all the stuff they could see from the train. It was the kids' first train ride.

Bao enjoys some dessert on our way back to Ohio.

At the aquarium. That turtle was bigger than Mr. Bug. (For some reason, Blogger does not want to upload the picture of the jelly fish. I am not trying again.)

Each of the kids got bubbles from my sister. Here they are on the porch testing them out while my sisters supervise.

Hanging out with grandpa while waiting for the fireworks to start.

And, I can't believe I forgot to mention it, but I did finish my other book while I was in CT. There was much food for thought, and I am definitely still thinking. I will be posting about it soon. I was going to go take a walk and perhaps organize some of my thoughts, but I forgot how long it takes up upload pictures using dial-up.

By the way, the diagnosis for Boo was viral tonsilitis. Her fever is raging on, but she is doing okay when she's got some medicine in her. The doctor said it usually takes 7-10 days to get over. Hopefully she is on the tail end of it now.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tales from CT

Bad title, actually. There aren't really tales. Just a few little things to wrap up before we leave tomorrow.

First, I have been trying to keep up with the blogs, but have not been totally successful. Not much commenting going on, just reading. (Plus, I can't comment on blogs with haloscan commenting... I don't know why. I was SO wanting to ask Boomama what she thinks my house looks like...)

Second, my foot seems to be doing well. I keep bumping it RIGHT in THAT spot, of course. But now when I bump it I only want to cuss once, instead of repeatedly and loudly.

Third, I think Ms. Boo has strep. Fever not going away. White stuff in the back of her throat. We got an appointment for tomorrow morning with a local doc. I think we will be leaving right after that appointment.

I think that wraps up what must be the most exciting entry on this here blog. Can you stand it?

Later, y'all.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Vacation Update

We've been having a lovely time here in Connecticut. Nothing too spectacular, but lots of time to hang out with my parents and my sisters.

I even got to go the Portuguese bakery with dad. The bread they make is TO DIE FOR. On the way, we had to stop at the bank, where my dad proceded to say hello - by name - to every teller or office worker that he made eye contact with. He did it again at the bakery. I can remember my dad doing that when I was a kid too. I think it is super cool that he makes a point to learn, and USE, people's names.

Last Friday, Paul and I went out for an evening by ourselves. We had some great Italian food, then poked around the mall for a while. I finally found some stationery! Yay!

On a whim, I decided to see if I still knew the way to the house that belonged to my best friend in high school. Well, I think I knew I could do it. Maybe I just wanted to see it again.

Paul and I ended up knocking on the door and spending about an hour hanging out with Heather's mom and dad. They were very gracious, even though we interrupted their dinner - that included Roseanne's brother who was in from New York(?). Roseanne showed me some of her quilts, and we laughed about old stories from back when.

They have even stopped by my blog, it seems. They told me they read this post about Heather. I promised them it was the only time we ever lied to them like that. But, now that I re-read that post, I realize that it doesn't contain the lie I was referring to. (If you want to read THAT one, go here.) So, I am sure that her parents were confused by my statements on Friday, but they were too gracious to let on that I was not making any sense at all!

What a great time it was seeing them again. We told them we'd try to bring the kids by so they could meet them. But Ms. Boo has come down with a fever, so we may have to leave that visit for next time. We'll see.

Yesterday, after church, we hopped on a train and went to the aquarium in South Norwalk. The kids loved the train. I loved watching my mom, dad, and my sister, Krista, chatting with the kids and pointed to all the fun things they saw. It was a good time.

After we came home, Krista and I went out to get some good ice cream. There has been a lot of good ice cream this week. Praise the Lord. Believe you me, every single ice cream trip has merited its own entry on the blessings blog.

We sat around last night laughing about different family vacations we could remember.

Today we are all sitting around doing nothing. Me, because I cut my foot on a piece of glass and I'm trying to get it to stop bleeding. (Still debating about going to the ER for stitches...) Mr. Bug has a big goose egg on his head from where he hit it under the dining room table while they were playing "fort." Boo is just wilted from her fever. But we are managing, and still seem to be in good spirits... Currently, all four of the other members of my family are napping.

And I am still reading. (Post forthcoming.)

Tonight, fireworks. Tomorrow, time with the extended family at my cousin's house.

Will update again later.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Revised Reading List

I just finished reading Five Star Families by Carol Kuykendall.

I read it because I bought the book. I don't know why I bought the book. Maybe because all the moms at MOPS were raving about it. Yet, I know that our taste in books is very different. But they were RAVING. Anyway, it wasn't really rave-worthy, if you ask me. It was encouraging. And it was an easy read - even for me. This was probably the number one thing that kept me reading. After God's Politics, I needed a bit of a break.

Anyway, this brings my book total up to 5 for this year.

Here are the books I have on my list. (My goal is to read twelve this year.)

1. Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone by Joyce Meyer.

2. Boltzmann's Atom: The Great Debate the Launched a Revolution in Physics by David Lindley.

3. God's Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get it by Jim Wallace.

4. Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama.

5. Every Man's Battle:Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time by Arterburn, Stoeker, and Yorkey.

6. Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World? by Ronald Sider.

7. Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus by John MacArthur.

8. Jealous God: Science's Crusade Against Religion by Pamela Winnick.

9. One Size Doesn't Fit All: Bringing out the Best in any Size Church by Gary McIntosh.

10. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller.

11. The Divine Conspiracy:Rediscovering our Hidden Life in God by Dallas Willard.

12. Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and its Return to Roots by Rod Dreher.

13. Five Star Families: Moving Yours From Good to Great by Carol Kuykendall.

14. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick.

15. Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think and What We Can Do About It by Jane Healy.

16. A Peculiar People: The Church as Culture in a Post-Christian Society by Rodney Clapp.

Any suggestions? I have Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience with me here in CT. It is a really short book, and I have already started it. Maybe I can get it done before going back to Ohio.

But let's not put any money on that, okay?

What are you all reading?