Monday, May 31, 2010


Friends, I kind of forgot its Monday! Vacation hazard. We are headed to Wyoming nice and early this morning so I'll either get PYKM up this evening or in the morning.


Friday, May 28, 2010

FAQ Friday

Where have you been the last 4 days?

Alright, so technically no one asked me this question but I'm sure some of you are wondering so I'll give you all the gory details. You've been warned, there is a lot of talk about urine in the paragraphs ahead.

Tuesday I just didn't feel like blogging. I had zero energy. I had about 4 different ideas floating around in my head and just couldn't settle on one long enough to get an opening sentence. Zilch. Despite wanting to just lay around all day I managed to get some pretty big things done in preparation for my trip to Montana this morning. Tires rotated, trip to Costco, laundry and some initial packing. I was done in though. By that afternoon I was looking at the calendar to see if I was supposed to be getting my period because only that typically makes me that tired.

I went our for a margarita with Kara that night. Despite being tired, I felt fine and had a delightful time. I was home by 10:00 and in bed by 11. I awoke at 1:00am with severe abdomen pain. I woke Jeff up and thus began our long night. By 2:00 my pain was worsening and we were starting to toss around the idea of going to the emergency room, which made me super nervous and gave me the 'rhea (oh that's just the beginning of TMI). By 2:30 we had decided I would drive myself to the hospital, he would call and wake his parents in 2 hours and meet me there. My pain was intensifying but I felt ok enough to drive and we wanted to let his parents sleep as long as we could sensing they may be in for a long day with our midgets.

Upon arriving at the ER the admitting nurse took me right back to a triage room; I was sweating, pale, wiggling and jiggling from the pain and shivering. Before even registering me they whisked me back for a urine sample. Really funny story involving urine coming your way...

I pee'd in the cup and with trembling hands screwed the lid on. I placed it in the thick, brown bag and washed my hands. I walked down the long corridor, turned the corner to head back in to the triage area when I felt a drip, drip on my toes through my sandals. Knowingly I looked at the bag...yes, the cup was leaking. By the matchless grace of God there was a random sink in this long hallway. I rushed the bag to the sink, removed the cup and screwed the lid on tight salvaging the little bit of urine left in the cup. Sighing, sweating and racked with pain I did what all mothers would do: I grabbed a hand full of paper towels and cleaned up the drops of urine the entire way back to the bathroom. Oh, I wish you could have seen it.

Back in the triage room, another nurse took blood, got my vitals and encouraged me to breathe through the pain like I learned in childbirth classes. Genius.

Within a few minutes the admitting nurse took me back to an ER room where I was quickly hooked up to an IV and the sweet stinging sensation of morphine was in my veins. Hooray. I sat back, closed my eyes and took a several deep breaths. Wait for it. Wait for it. Minutes passed but no relief. Little D, the amazing ER nurse, noticed the pain on my face and said she was going to give me another dose. Heat rushed to my neck and I felt like I was floating, I remember telling Little D I would make a terrible drug addict because I did not love that feeling. Wait for it. Wait for it. Several more minutes passed without any relief. Another dose. 3 doses of morphine baby! Are you kidding me? When the third only took the edge off she brought out the big guns of dolotin (and the only way I can remember that name is because it reminded me of gelatin). That was the drug that made me a satisfied customer and ready for a CT scan.

By 5:00 am Hot Jeff had found me and had gotten there in time to hear the ER doctor tell me the CT had spotted a 6mm kidney stone in my left kidney. 6mm is about the size of a large peppercorn and he informed me that his experience had shown them that is too big to pass and I would need to surgery to remove it. All nervousness that had risen in my chest immediately dissipated when he said I would be admitted. Admitted?? Best news all week. I gave high fives all around thinking of an overnight stay and break from cooking, cleaning and diapering. (Side note: cute ER doctor told me there is a 4mm kidney stone ticking in my right kidney. Urologist wouldn't remove it yesterday because he didn't want "to work on both engines at the same time". Kind of a bummer.)

By 9 am I was admitted to a room on the 5th floor with a surgery time of 2:15pm on the schedule. Around 1:30 they wheeled me back to the OR prep; Hot Jeff was able to wait with me right up until they gave me happy juice in my IV and wheeled me back to the actual operating room. It was a bright, pristine, cold room that I remember seeing for all of 60 seconds.

I woke up in the recovery room oriented and knowing what had happened so instead of the 2 hours of recovery time as they had told Hot Jeff to anticipate I was in my room within about 45 minutes. On the way to my room, lying in a bed, I saw another woman in a bed being wheeled towards me. She had a cat sitting on her shoulders! I told the guy transporting me, "That woman has a cat on her shoulders. I wish I would have brought my cat!" He responded, "Lady, you are on some good dope".

After getting the post-op pain manageable, kept dinner down and pee'd on my own my doctor told me the devastating news that he would be sending me home that night. I held in my tears and disappointment as I looked at the clock and knew my in-laws would have put my babies down and I would be able to go home and go straight to bed, well straight to bed after I updated my Facebook page.

Day one of of post-op has been up and down but mostly good which means I will be taking my pathetic kidneys to Montana as planned. Wahoo!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and I'll try to stay out of the hospital. Posts from Big Sky Country on Monday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

El-Olam ~ The Everlasting or Eternal God

(EL o-LAM)

This name of God which occurs only four times in Hebrew Scriptures is translated as "eternal", "everlasting", "forever" or "ancient". The title is referring to God; His laws, promises and covenant and is first found In Genesis 21:32-33.

In the book which we are going through, Praying the Names of God, Spangler writes, "El Olam is the Hebrew name for the God who has no beginning and no end, the God for whom a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. His plans stand firm forever...When you pray to El Olam, you are praying to the God whose Son is called the Alpha and Omega. He is the God whose love endures forever".

It seems we are all getting older.

Hot Jeff turned 40 last October and I found my first grey hair a few weeks ago. Despite my feeble attempts to slow time down (and cover it up) it seems to rage on.

I see the passage of time most clearly in my kids. Each day Samuel seems a little taller and Emily astounds me with her clear sentences. Perhaps its the hardest watching Emily grow so quickly because she's the baby; she's the one who should stay little because she is the last one.

The feeling of immortality I once held with pride fades with each yearly rendition of "Happy Birthday" and I know that while I may not be old, I am not getting any younger. My children, while always younger than me, are getting older too. Right now their worries are whether or not I will make them eat their vegetables or not but soon enough they will be worrying about grades, peers, sports and identity. Its not easy growing up and growing older.

What I learn from this name of God is though I grow older God remains the same. He is not immature from youth; He is not slower because of age. His attention is not short from a wrestling to be outside playing; He is not slumbering in the afternoon because of an achy, arthritic body. He increases my strength and renews my spirit because He has eternal vitality.

El Olam, Your promises never fail us and You have set eternity in the heart of _________. I pray that as she grows You will deepen her hope of heaven and give her a burning desire to know Your Son, the Alpha and Omega, as her Savior and Redeemer. I pray _________ will find her strength in You, Who does not grow tired or weary and Who increases the power of the weak. Amen.

Friday, May 21, 2010

FAQ Friday ~ The Story of Us

How did you and Hot Jeff meet?

When this question came up I knew it would be the perfect kick off to FAQ Friday. I'm convinced the only thing women like talking about more than how they met their husband is their childrens' birth stories. Ooh, good idea for another Friday.

Travel back with me to May 1997. OJ Simpson had been found guilty in a civil trial and Princess Diana only had a few short months to live. Turn the radio on and you'd hear Mariah Carey, Hanson and Garth Brooks and Ally McBeal was just starting to heat up TV screens everywhere.

I was 20 years old and wondering what to do with my summer besides take summer courses. My dear friend Jami was getting married to her high school sweetheart, Mark, and then going to work at a remote fishing camp in Alaska. I can't remember if I was immediately turned on to the idea or not but regardless, before it was time to head out I had phone interviewed for a job and would be flying out in a few short weeks.

Mark was a summer fishing guide and worked for this camp the year prior. He was going to take his new bride Jami up with him for a summer adventure and she was going to be working in the kitchen with the camp manager's wife, Miranda. Miranda hired me to work in the kitchen with them despite my cooking knowledge being less than desirable.

(A side note on this kitchen: because the island we were on was so remote all of our stoves and ovens were run by a gigantic propane tank. Our electricity was from a generator and all of our food was flown in on a bypass order every 2 weeks. We made almost everything from scratch--it was amazing and gave me a wonderful foundation of cooking and baking knowledge. Miranda was a wonderful, patient teacher and mine and Jami's friendship blossomed and grew during our 3 months on the Togiak River.)

Mark, Jami, Mark's brother, Paul, and I flew to Anchorage where we would meet up with the rest of the small staff flying in from California, Arizona, Oregon and Idaho. It was in Anchorage that Mark introduced me to Jeff. Jeff was special to Mark as they had been roommates the summer prior; they both were returning to the Togiak for their second season.

To this day I can tell you what Jeff was wearing. Faded blue jeans with well-worn brown Danner boots. He had a bright blue Patagonia fleece over his Simms collared shirt and a baseball cap. His short blond hair barely peeked out from underneath the hat and his face was a golden brown from the Oregon sun. He was 27 and living his dream of fishing in Alaska; the last thing on his mind was romance.

The first two weeks of camp life was without any guests. We literally spent 12 hours a day preparing camp; endless cleaning, hauling out debris the river had washed in, baking and freezing. They were exhausting days and I remember going to my cabin the first night by lantern light and wondering if I had made a dreadful mistake. Loneliness flooded my heart and mind and I missed my Mom and heat.

During those first two weeks, to cut down on washing dishes (because our time needed to be spent elsewhere) Jami and I labeled everyone's cups so we could re-use them at meals. Cleverly, Jami would always set my cup next to Jeff's at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don't recall telling her that I was attracted to his adorable face and his gentle and kind nature but nevertheless she sat us next to each other for every meal for 14 days.

On the second to last day before guests arrived the camp manager asked Jeff to take me out and show me the river. I hadn't been off the island since my arrival and to see the river that all the guides were talking about would be a huge thrill.

We set off early after breakfast and had a wonderful day. For the first time since meeting one another Jeff turned the flirting on. He was shy, soft-spoken, charming and so dreamy. We flirted and fished all day (I actually have a picture of us taken that day--I'll drum it up and try to post it this weekend) and went back to camp tired and totally crushing on each other.

The next day brought a ton of work as it was the last day before guests arrived. There was hardly any time to breathe let alone turn the charm on. As the day wore on and I didn't see much of him I wondered if I had imagined all the flirting the day before. That night after dinner was cleaned up Jeff asked if I wanted to play the board game Sorry. We took it back to my cabin and played for hours. While playing we talked about our families, our upbringings, school, etc. We laughed and joked and lost complete track of time. When one of us finally did look at a watch we realized it was almost dawn; we would need to say goodnight to get a couple hours of sleep before I needed to be in the kitchen for breakfast prep.

I walked Jeff to the door of my 10x10 cabin and said goodnight. He stepped down on to one of the rickety wooden steps and said, "Can I kiss you, freaky girl?" I stood silenced and stunned. "Did you just call me 'freaky girl'?" I finally questioned. He started laughing and looked down at his boots shaking his head, "I said, 'pretty girl'".

Oh, well then if that's what you said...

He's been kissing me ever since.

Turns out I was a little freaky. But he still thinks I'm pretty.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I've Been Thinking...

Bestie Traci emailed me a couple of days ago saying her Grandmother came to her son's recital and was on an oxygen tank! She couldn't believe how old her grandparents were getting and that when she brought it up to her mother she found out they were even getting Meals on Wheels. Soooooo, this got me thinking...

Why are all these fabulous things like meals on wheels and assisted living wasted on old people?

Ok, "wasted" perhaps the wrong word choice. It makes me sound like I hate old people. I don't hate old people.

My sweet Gigi recently sold her home and moved in to an assisted living apartment in the city. She seriously has her own little apartment in a 2 story building in which she has all her meals prepared for her, her laundry done for her, her apartment cleaned (even the bathroom!) and the option of having her bed made, which she does herself. They have bingo and bible studies. They have a van that takes them places like the store, the library, church. Its pretty awesome.

Am I the only 30-something here who really wants to move to an assisted living facility? Food, laundry, cleaning? It sounds like heaven instead of what it really is...the last move before heaven. (Sorry, had to go there. You know you were thinking it.)

Seriously, sign me up. Put me on a waiting list because it sounds down-right dreamy. And what if they had assisted living for young families? They could have built in kid gyms where we could all take our kids and let them play while we sit around and play pinochle and drink margaritas iced tea.

We could have Grey's Anatomy night and big facility wide Survivor pools. The van could take us wine tasting on Saturday and to church on Sunday.

I mean really, why should you have to be incontinent to have all the fun?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Confessions of a Closet Gamer

I'm going to let you in on a little secret of mine. I'm kind of a Tetris nerd.

I was first introduced to Tetris when Bug lived with us in high school. She had a little hand held Tetris game and I would play it by the hours. I had been a big fan of video games since my early days of playing Pac-Man on my cousin Kevin's Atari. (Blog challenge: to all my blogger readers your challenge is to totally get "Atari" in to your next blog post. Who says "Atari" anymore?) Ok, so I digress. I don't know what was up with my Mom; I think she was a deliberate parent before deliberate parenting was cool and she didn't want to fry my brain but for whatever reason we didn't have video games at my house and so that made them all the cooler to me.

Fast forward to last October when I was farting around with a google toolbar on my desktop and saw the game 'Tetramino'...basically a really bad, knock off Tetris game. I was hooked.

At that time the PC was up in our bedroom (until Bestie Kara told me it totally ruined my love shack aura and made me move it) and when Jeff saw what I was doing one night before bed he almost stroked out. He made fun of me pretty hard core for 1) being a gamer and 2) being a gamer on a really, bad knock off game.

I guess after watching me play Tetramino for 2 months he felt bad for me because for Christmas Hot Jeff got me a little Nintendo hand held and a Tetris game. Here's the funny part: he bought it at some gamer store and its a vintage Nintendo and so it doesn't have a back light so in order to play it I have to wear a head lamp. Yes, I said a head lamp. And if you ask really nicely I will have Hot Jeff take a picture of me playing and I will post it for you. Its ridiculously sexy.

I only play at night, right before I go to sleep. I call it my wind down time. It has 15 levels and so far I can make it to level 12. I'm really rocking it. My favorite part of playing Tetris before I go to sleep, well besides totally dominating it, is getting lost in my head and thinking. Sometimes I think about blog posts, sometimes I pray, sometimes I process through a book I'm reading and tonight (before I decided to get up and write this) I was thinking about the Grey's Anatomy season finale.

Sometimes, and you will love this, I think about going to a Tetris tournament and blowing everyone out of the water with my mad Tetris playing skills. I like to imagine the day before I play getting a hand massage and not changing any diapers so I can just rest up my fingers. I would probably take a nice long nap too. And eat a big carb dinner.

I also play this same little pretend game when I'm cooking. I like to pretend I have my own cooking show. I walk around the kitchen talking to a fake camera crew and telling them my cute little kitchen tips and making funny food puns. I'm not really that great of a cook I just think I'd be spectacular on TV.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

FAQ Friday

I'm starting a new feature on Fridays called, you got it, FAQ Friday. So here's your chance, what is your burning question for me? It can be about anything: gardening, parenting, depression & anxiety, faith & religion, my personal life...anything. You can even ask questions that don't have anything to do with me but some random question of the universe and I'll research it and see what I can find out for you. The only thing off limits: math, chemistry, physics or any of that weird stuff that I cheated off of Traci to get through high school.

You can leave your questions through the comment section, email them to me or write them on Facebook. I will keep a list of them and answer them on Fridays.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Praying For Your Kids Monday
El Shadday ~ God Almighty

(EL shad-DAI)
The brilliant Ann Spangler writes in her book "Praying the Names of God" that El Shadday was the name God revealed Himself through when He made His covenant with Abram and Abram's descendants. Spangler writes, "When we pray to El Shadday, we invoke the name of the One for whom nothing is impossible".

My kids got to see/hear firsthand that the God they pray to is the One for whom nothing is impossible. For over a year Samuel has faithfully prayed for our dear Pastor John who fell deathly ill to a rare illness. As Emily has gotten older and begun praying at night as well she too started praying daily for Pastor John. Specifically we prayed for Pastor John to regain his ability to swallow (this was after months of praying that he would just survive. It is a long story and I'm not doing it justice--to read more of John's incredible journey click here). Anyway, two weeks ago Shannon called with the news she had just received from her mother, who works with John, that John's swallowing function had returned. Tears streamed down my face as Shannon gave me the few details she had and Jeff and the kids circled around me anxious to know what I was laughing and crying about.

Immediately after hanging up with Shannon I practically screamed, "Pastor John swallowed today! Pastor John ate yogurt today!" All four of us started praising Jesus, Jeff and I were crying, and Samuel was saying, "God answered my prayer".

Almost every night in the two weeks to follow the kids and I have talked about how God answers our prayers. It may take longer than we want or expect and look different than we planned, but God hears us, loves us and answers our prayers. He is El Shadday and nothing is impossible with Him.

But with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

El Shadday, help __________ to know You as his All-Powerful God, the One who is able to sustain and bless him, to fulfill every promise You make to him. Lord, will You increase his awe of You and of Your power so that, like Abraham, he may follow You faithfully, always believing You are enough for him. Amen. prayer from Ann Spangler's book

*practical tip
This week while talking to your kids about El Shadday sing with them "My God Is So Big". Don't know it? Click here for lyrics and here for hand motions.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mama's Got Her Genius On

I am no expert on saving money. Blowing through money in the first 4 days after payday and then wondering where all the money went at the end of the month? Yes, got that down.

Every now and then though I see an idea and think that its pretty fun and if I can save some money--well then even better.

I saw this idea somewhere and decided to make it with the kids. This is actually our second round with the homemade easel but the first one was such a big hit I modified it a bit and made another one.

Using the end of a cupboard, cut easel paper into strips and attach at the top. I used masking tape as it peals off easily without leaving any residue. I bought washable markers (crayons were used in the first easel) and taped craft ribbon to the lid and then hung it from the top of the cupboard. Voila.

Ribbon: $.44
Tape: $1 from the dollar store
Easel paper from IKEA: $5.00
Washable markers: $5.99
My farmy easel: $12.43

Now let us compare that to a famous toy store's easel for $39.99 and that is a savings of $27.56!

Let's go get overpriced coffee with our extra money!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Real or Plastic?

Really people, only one comment on ATH's Facelift? I know I kind of just sprung it on you and didn't even do a poll or anything but only one comment? For the record, the one comment came from my Bestie of long-standing, Traci (23 years and counting) who wanted to know if Slutty Vixen had made the changes. No, my super-hero/alter-ego did not make the changes and here's how you know: there is no black lace anywhere. SV totally would have made the background black lace to subconsciously suggest under-garments.

So let me have it. Love it or hate it? Love it but wish there was more color? Hate it and wondering what is up with all the polka-dots? Really don't care because you just come to see pictures of Hot Jeff?

Thinking about my blog's recent facelift got me thinking about cosmetic surgery. Now let's just get this out there...I'm not talking reconstructive surgery or surgery for any medical reasons. I am talking good old fashioned snip-it-if-its-draggin' or saggin'-surgery. Like for example, if I were going to go under the knife I would have my neck tucked (I have a disproportionately large neck), my boobs lifted, my belly and thighs sucked dry and my butt completely removed and replaced with Jessica Alba's. I would also have the freaky taken out of my pinky toes because why not, I'm already under and out of commission for 8 weeks and I really do have some freaky in my pinky toes.

I just don't see it happening though. I think we should try to improve our bodies with diet and exercise and then make peace with who we are and how we look. First of all, most of us have these "flaws" because of child bearing, breast feeding and aging. Aren't those all really wonderful things to embrace? To be proud of? To wear as a badge of honor? And, by the way, my Shrink just bumped my Celexa dosage up from 20mg to 30mg so if this all sounds a little unlike me its just because I'm medicated.

On the other hand I understand that life is short and shouldn't we try to be happy in that short time? If that means having a nose job or a boob job or a tummy tuck or a cheek lift of whatever else helps you feel a little better about yourself, isn't that ok? I could be persuaded, in fact I'm making the argument, that some people are so hindered by an outward feature that having cosmetic surgery may help them to be even more the person God created them to be.

So give it to me straight ladies--how do you feel about cosmetic surgery? And if I get one comment about breast reconstruction after a double mastectomy I'm going to come egg your house because that is totally NOT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. Also, Christy from My Presidents suggested I comment on other people's blogs to increase traffic to my blog. I typically don't read other people's blogs because I find it messes with my own voice but I tried it and no kidding, one lady had 125 comments on one of her posts. 125 comments!! Are you kidding me? You guys so have your work cut out for you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Will Happen If You Don't Read This Blog

Back before we went all Little House on the Prairie and got rid of our TV I watched a fair amount of cable news. One thing I think cable news is very good at is fear mongering. You know, scaring the holy living crap out of you so that you'll vote a certain way, spend a certain way, travel a certain way or finally stop wearing banana clips in your hair.

I'm not going to try and scare you with tactics. I'm simply going to tell you the simple truth and then let your conscience be your guide. If you don't start getting A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE reading this blog so that I start bringing in a little money I'm going to have to get a job.


I know, tell me about it.

Please don't ask me technical details like how many more people do I need to visit this site a day or how much do I get paid per visit or anything like that because I simply don't know. No really, I don't have any idea. And I know that I have a contract lying around here somewhere that most likely explains all of that but I just don't know where. Its probably right next to the carrot seeds that I lost. I can tell you where it isn't. It isn't in the filing cabinet that Shannon bought me, made files for, and spent hours organizing paperwork for. Nope, not in there.

Over dinner when I was explaining to Jeff that I needed to increase my "blog traffic" and he asked "from how many to how many" and I told him "from not a lot to a lot" and he nearly choked on his food. He gave me that look like what-do-you-mean-you-don't-know and I just smiled. You see, all that administrative stuff just gets lost on me.

So that brings me back to the reason for this post: if you and a whole lot of other people don't start dropping by a whole lot more I'm going to have to get a real job. And just so you know, I won't even put sweet little Samuel and Emily in daycare. No, I will just find a pack of wolves to raise them so think on that a little bit. If me having to get a job doesn't make you feel guilty enough to read this blog everyday than maybe my precious, adorable, innocent children being raised by a pack of savage dogs will.

So come on over to my little blog spot. Let's say once or twice a day. And tell a friend. Or 30. And tell those 30 friends to tell 30 friends. And for crying out loud, if you are some big bloggity blog blog big deal and rolling in the money you are making off your blog then please throw a girl a bone and tell me your secret. Or give me a shout out on your blog. Or stop rolling in that money and come on over and clean my house.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shiny, Happy People

This morning I get to go see my Shrink. I am so excited. It has been way too long. Way TOO long.

I've noticed since I started having Shrink Tuesdays that if I go too long in between visits I get all crazy inside. Its kind of like when you go past your 6 month dental cleaning and your teeth start feeling all gunky and gross. When I haven't sat on the couch for a while I feel all fuzzy and looney in my head.

I have all sorts of Besties, not to mention Hot Jeff and my Mom, to talk my crazy out with but there is something about a paid professional to make you feel really validated. Plus, she's got a good 30 years on me unlike my Besties who are just as nuts as I am in the same stage as life as me.

For too long I've thought that everyone could benefit from a Shrink Tuesday and that prozac should be put in the water like fluoride. I should run for mayor and have that statement be my campaign slogan.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Praying For Your Kids Monday
El-Roi, The God Who Sees

Ann Spangler notes in her book that El Roi is only used one time in Scripture when Hagar gave this name to God when He saw her alone, afraid, pregnant and on the run. In His loving kindness, He saw her in the midst of her pain and gave her a promise she could find hope in.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." Genesis 16:13

What a comfort to our children when we remind them that they have a God who sees them. The God they pray to is not dead. He is not a statue who cannot be moved by prayers and tears. He is a loving Father Who sees them.

Like most kids his age, Samuel has started to be nervous at bedtime. "Scared" is a little too strong but he definitely likes a night light and has found great comfort in knowing he has angels sent by God to protect him. One night before bed I read Psalm 121 to him and reminded him that when he is sleeping, even when Mommy and Daddy are sleeping, God NEVER sleeps. God is always watching over Samuel. Tonight when Samuel goes to bed I will teach him this name of God and he will learn to call upon it in his time of fear. The God Samuel serves is alive, he knows the number or hairs on his head, he has stored up his tears in a bottle, he has plans for him to prosper. He is the God who sees him.

El Roi, You are the God who sees me. You are the God who sees __________. I pray that she will grow secure in the Truth that You see her, that You have plans for her, that even as You care for the birds of the air You surely will care for her. Although she is young, I pray Your Spirit will guide _________ so that she can rest assured that You never slumber nor sleep but that You see her and watch over her and have given Your Son so that she may have eternal life. Amen.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Potty Training--WWSVD?

I'm wondering what Slutty Vixen would do.

Nana sent Roo some Big Girl Panties and so yesterday afternoon after her nap I put them on Roo to let her see how they felt. She's been going potty in the potty before bath times so I know she's not completely clueless on how the whole panty-diaper thing works. She also shows one of those old Gigi-says-she's-ready signs of going and "hiding" to do her #2 bid-ness.

And although I didn't expect her to actually potty train TONIGHT I didn't expect what happened to happen.

She was doing great. No accidents. Every 10 minutes or so I would ask her if she needed to go pee and she would say 'no'. We had dinner and were in about hour 2 of panty wearing when I told her she was going to need to go potty in 2 minutes. She protested. I set the timer. The timer went off and I went to get her. She protested some more so I said we would all go potty together. Samuel chimed right in, thinking this was the most fun game ever, and grabbed her other hand. The 4 of us started marching in to the potty when Emily stopped, looked me directly in the eye and peed in her panties. With urine dripping down her leg she said, "I go potty in the potty".


What was that all about? I literally have NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING. Samuel potty trained himself. And I mean that. 2 months before his 3rd birthday he walked up to me, handed me the diaper he'd been wearing and said, "I'm done with these". He's been peeing in the potty (and outside) ever since. I can count on one hand how many accidents he's had and that includes night time accidents. This is a new playing field for me.

So what would Slutty Vixen do? I think Slutty Vixen would sign Emily up for one of those potty training classes where they feed the kids juice boxes and doritos all day and if the kids pee on the floor they make them wipe it up themselves. Rumor has it that the kids are potty trained by the end of the 8 hour day. I think Slutty Vixen would take Emily to one of those classes and drink wine slushies out of a Starbucks cup all day. I think Slutty Vixen would also flirt with all the hot dads.

I'll take any advice you have. And if you don't have good advice but instead have a funny scenario of what Slutty Vixen would do, throw that in as well. I could use a good laugh.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Soap Opera Starlet AND Super-Hero

Why do kids act so crazy and naughty after being with a sitter? I don't get it. It doesn't matter if the "sitter" is an actual paid teenager, grandparents or my saint of a neighbor...when my kids get home they are like Satan in toddler clothes.

Yesterday was my favorite day of all favorite days: hair day. I got to go see my favorite people of all favorite people: Salon Sara and have her do whatever she pleases with me. I am the human version of Salon Sara's mood ring. If she's had a good game at soccer I get lighter brown, if she's feeling sassy I get red and if she's feeling pre-vacation I get a rich, deep black with violet strands mixed in like I got today. Its a stunning color--one of my favorites she's done. She called it "Level 3" which I think is salon talk for "darker than most people can go" but I'm calling it "Slutty Vixen" because that's what I look like: a really hot slutty vixen. I could totally be the bad girl in a soap opera.

So I come home from getting my hairgasm and I pick up Samuel and Emily from my saint of a neighbor's house and they are like, um what's the word in English? Oh yes, INSANE. Whining, crying, asking for food, screaming, hitting each other, demanding a movie, all at once and within 666 seconds of walking in to our front door. I stood in complete shock waiting for one or both of their heads to start spinning around and spewing pea soup or one of them to just collapse from a loss of air from all the screaming.

And somehow in the midst of the madness I pulled together my super-duper Mom powers and made two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while putting a Veggie Tales movie on in 63 seconds flat. I didn't even have time to change in to my cape; that's how fast I was.

And then there was silence. And chewing. And the occasional hiccup from all the crying. But mostly silence as they watched the Tomato and Cucumber who quite possibly saved my children's lives today.

So now I'm just reveling in the quiet and wondering what Slutty Vixen would have done. I'm not sure but I bet tequila would have been involved.

Slutty Vixen is SO my new Superhero name.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

4 Year Old Negotiations

Today I got my period (sorry guy readers) and am feeling all bloaty, back achy, tired and crabby. At 11:30am I had hit the wall and really wanted to take a nap when Emily did. Knowing there was only one person standing in the way of a wonderful, cozy nap the following conversation took place.

Me: Samuel, Mommy doesn't feel very well. Will you take a nap with Emily and me today?
S: No.
Me: Please.
S: Will you pay me?
Me: Um, yes. I will give you a quarter.
S: No, I want a dollar bill.
Me: (A whole half second of hesitation) Yeah, ok.
S: One dollar bill and one quarter.
Me: You got it.

Well played Samuel, well played.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thirty-Three aka As One Foot In the Grave and Another On a Banana Peel

I know that really isn't true and 33 is young, vibrant and only the first third of my life but today it feels a little old because I found a grey hair. Gasp.

Hot Jeff is nearly half grey-haired but he is 40. And a man. And men look distinguished, not old, with grey hair. He's also blond so you can't even tell unless the sun is shining on it.

Normally I wouldn't even know if I had a grey hair or not because Salon Sara colors it for me but it just so happens I've gone a little long since my last color and have some pretty substantial grow out. In addition, it was a nice weekend and I was driving around with the sun roof open. And here's the ironic thing, while driving with the sun roof open I was listening to MJ's Pretty Young Thing. Go ahead, I'll give you a minute to mentally picture me driving around, feeling all hot and sassy with the music blaring and the sun roof open and to pee your pants laughing.

Ok, stop comes the Greek tragedy: stopped at a light I look in the rearview mirror. I see a flash. I tilt my head. Another flash. I lower my glasses and look closer. It couldn't be. I pluck it out and inspect it closer as the cars behind me start to honk vehemently. Yes, it was a grey hair.

I sulked in to my seat and instead of driving home as planned I drove to Walmart where I bought some wrinkle cream.

I have come to terms with this butt. No matter how much weight I lose or gain I will always have this enormous fanny. I have realized, grieved and accepted that I will never get to have sex with Brad Pitt. There have been books written on the things I have accepted about getting older but grey hair and wrinkles are not things I am willing to accept. Especially not at 33.

My Mama, who is lovely and has the most beautiful black hair has decided to stop coloring and let it go grey. This is a decision I firmly and vocally disagree with but whatever, she can do whatever she wants. I on the other hand intend on coloring my hair until I'm too old to be coloring my hair and people start talking about me behind my back. My only hope is that as it goes greyer and becomes less dark I can finally go blond like I've always wanted to be. And maybe I'll get a boob job too. 80 year olds with boob jobs are so hot.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Living With Confidence in a Chaotic World Book Review

I wish I could give this book a higher rating but I just found it a little boring and dry. Technically, I thought it was well-written and relevent to Christ followers but it took me forever to get into. While it isn't necessarily a difficult read, I personally found it difficult to get into thus I found it challenging to pick up and actually finish. I believe that's more of a personal preference issue than an actual book issue.

The author does a good job of incorporating scripture into his chapters, which are broken up clearly with what I would call "advice tabs" for easy reference later. Chapter issues include "Staying Compassionate", "Staying Committed", "Staying Connected" and "Staying Centered".
Again, I was grateful the author backed up his beliefs and advice with God's Word and I think his advice was sound and in accordance with Scripture.

I will admit, I haven't read Dr. Jeremiah's prequel book, "What in the World is Going On?" but am under the impression they do not hinge on one another. Dr. Jeremiah has a radio show and if you are a fan of that then most likely you would enjoy the teaching style of this book; it didn't do it for me though.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Praying for Your Kids Monday
Welcome Back PYKM; I've Missed You!

Sitting down to write PYKM tonight (Sunday) is like sitting down to write an email to an old friend. I'm so excited to be doing it again and excited to share what God has put on my heart to write about over the coming weeks.

A while back my church did a sermon series and Bible study on the names of God. It was one of my favorite series we've done and I bought a companion book, "Praying the Names of God" by Ann Spangler but haven't had the chance to go through it yet as I have about 86,000 other books I'm reading right now. (And it is YOUR LUCKY DAY because you can buy the book through; a fine online establishment who just so happens to have great taste and has chosen to advertise on this blog! Click here to buy the book and go deeper in our study and prayers for our kids.)

Ok, so shameless promotion aside, we are going to be praying the names of God for our kids for several months. Not only do I believe these prayers will have meaning and power but I hope we will gain a deeper understanding of who God is, how He loves us and our kids and how praying His name releases power from heaven. I trust that as we learn new things about the names and character of God He will show you, on a very personal level, how to pray His name over your children.

May He be glorified.

Elohim (e-lo-HEEM), God Mighty Creator

Elohim is the Hebrew word for God that appears in the very first sentence of the Bible and more than 2500 times throughout. It is the plural form of El and emphasizes the majesty of the One, true God. Spangler writes, "When we pray to Elohim, we remember that He is the One who began it all, creating heavens and earth and separating light from darkness, water from dry land, night from day...this ancient name for God contains [His] authority and sovereignty".

When I think of Elohim in relation to our children I think of what my friend Deb has reminded me on various occasions when I am whining desperately that my kids are trying to kill me or that I'm not "a good mom" or blah, blah, blah. Deb gently reminds me that God is sovereign and gave me my children at this exact time in history because I am exactly what they need and they are exactly what I need. No one can be a better mother to Samuel or Emily than I can, if they could, He would have given them to that person. God, Elohim, loves Samuel and Emily even more than I do and has a perfect plan for their lives. I am included in that plan, with all my quirks and craziness. He is sovereign. He created the heavens and the earth, created man in His image and ordained me as the mother of these two precious children. It is my job to submit to His plan, seek His guidance and humbly be used to raise my kids to love and serve the Mighty Creator.

Because God made humans in his image reflecting God's very nature. You're here to bear fruit, reproduce, lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!" Genesis 9:6, The Message

Elohim, Mighty You have gently reminded me that You are sovereign. You have made everything out of nothing, light out of darkness, life out of breath. You have called it good. Elohim, You have made the life of _______ sacred; he is created in Your image. I pray that You would teach ______ that he is has one purpose and that is to glorify You and I pray that as he grows he will have a deep love, respect and gratitude for Your authority and Supreme power. Amen.