Tuesday, April 29, 2008
SO, I took my sweet Snaab into the dealership yesterday (dealership?? Am I high?? Yes, but that's a whole different story for a different day) and then popped next door to Enterprise to rent myself a cute little little convertible Porsche or Mercedes or something. Well, I ended up with one of the ugliest cars on the road (in my opinion), which I will NOT elaborate on for fear of offending a proud owner. Not only is it ugly, but someone apparently locked themselves in it, rolled the windows up and chain-smoked unfiltered Camels for about a month. It stinks to high heaven. It seems to be in the ventilation system, because the longer I drive it, the more it stinks. Reminds me of one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes (mutant B.O.), but I digress.
I have left the windows open, I bought an air freshener, I Febrezed the living HECK out of it, with the result that it now smells like someone smoked a slightly minty carton of FLOWERY cigarettes in it. Honestly, I've never met a stench that Febreze couldn't eliminate, or at least improve significantly. I am going to have to threaten the dealer's life if my beloved Snaab isn't ready today - I absolutely cannot be in this car another minute!!
Question of the day: can you get lung cancer from breathing second-hand smoke left in a CAR? Hmmmmmmmmm, maybe I can sue... Hack, cough...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Yes, I said "Smackdown." As in, WWE, as in Batista, The Undertaker, The Great Kahli, Rey Mysterio and The Rated-R Superstar. Anybody impressed that I know all of those people? Nah, me either. My divine hubby and my divine progeny absolutely ADORE that show. (sigh) I sigh a lot while they watch it and wonder if I'm allowing permanent damage to be done to my son. BUT, it is good male bonding time (so I'm told) and who am I to stand in the way of male bonding time. Plus, what makes me think I'm actually powerful enough in this family to stop the obsession? Seems unlikely at best!!
So, the secret is out.
Me: My name is STQ and my family watches Smackdown.
You: Hi STQ!
I need to go to a meeting...
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I know, I know, let's list all of the things that will be positive about moving. Today, I'm not going to do that. Today, I'm going to tell you what stinks about moving.
1. I HATE moving.
2. Chase has finally made a good friend here.
3. We have family here that we have gotten close to and will miss dearly.
4. Chase has cousins here to grow up with. Anywhere else, he's all alone again.
5. I love my job, it's perfect for me, and I don't want to leave my friends there.
6. It's beautiful here in the summer.
7. I like Chase being in public schools.
8. I love my friends here and I want to stay here with them.
9. I'll miss the snow.
10. It's farther away from Texas, Green Bay and South Carolina where we have friends and family we love to visit.
11. There are no professional sports teams to go watch unless you consider Poker a sport.
12. I HATE moving. (have I already mentioned that?)
Now, don't get me started on the things I don't like about Las Vegas - I'll start to cry again.
Ok, I feel better. Kinda. Any amazing jobs out there just waiting to call my husband??? :(
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Sorry for today's blog to be a commercial, but the more the merrier out there at the website! Sign on today and list books for me to order! Oh, and by the way, if you DO register, please put me down as having referred you. I get a credit!!!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
But, I digress...
It was a really fun evening - unfortunately, the Rapids lost the game 2-0 (at least that was the score when I talked the boys into leaving five minutes early to avoid traffic), but it's amazing to watch professional players play soccer! Especially when one has spent one's life watching one's CHILDREN play soccer. When those Rapids passed the ball, it actually went to another player on THEIR OWN TEAM!! (oooh aaah) I heard Chase comment to Daniel, "Aren't their ball skills amazing??" And I smiled. I was just thinking the same thing!
When I was putting the boys to bed last night (at the horrifying hour of 10:45, I might add), I asked them to say their prayers. Daniel piped up, "I don't say prayers." To which I responded, "Ok, well, can I say a prayer for all of us?" He seemed to think that was ok. It made me think of Daniel's mother's response when I invited him to sleepover. I said that he could go to church with us and then I'd bring him home around noon. Her comment was that she'd rather I brought him home before church. Honestly, I've never heard that before!! I was surprised, and have thought about it often since that conversation happened. I didn't ask WHY she didn't want him to go to church with us, but I am assuming it is because they are non-believers. I keep thinking that I should have asked why he couldn't go with us and explained that we don't belong to a scary polygamist snake-handling sect or anything, but I didn't. I know a lot of people who don't go to church, but I'm not sure I have met anyone who was actively opposed to their child going to church with a friend. Makes me sad for Daniel and his brother. You wonder how likely it is that they will ever find a relationship with God if it is actively discouraged in their home.
I am so thankful to my parents for raising us in the church. Even if they had to bribe us to be good in church with the 6-Million Dollar Man show on Sunday nights...somehow, I don't remember a thing from that beloved show, but I remember a lot from those activities in youth group, Sunday school and church. Amazing how, even as a bratty, foul-tempered, righteously-indignant teenager, God got in. I think that's the key - get God in, and let Him quietly work. At some point, most 20-somethings wake up and realize that (gasp) the whole world does NOT revolve around them!!! Honestly, it was a shocking revelation for me. Once I realized that I might NOT be the most powerful force in the universe...I started going to church. I mean, if I'm not IT, then I want to know the one who IS! :)
So, all that said, I gotta run - it's 9am and we've got to drop Daniel off before I take Chase to church! Gotta make sure God is "in" my sweet son before he turns into a teenager and becomes omnipotent!!! It's closer than I think...
Friday, April 18, 2008
And, to add insult to injury, ANOTHER co-worker whom we will call Jill came over today with a fist full of TWIZZLERS! Now, for those of you who don't know, the only thing I love more than chocolate is...Twizzlers. I suppose I could have refused them or thrown them away, but those of you who know me are giggling at the absurdity of that thought!! So, now the 1 hour walk I was planning today has turned into a 90 minute walk during which I am going to do intervals to ramp up that metabolism and get rid of the Twizzlers which are currently making their way to my thighs.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I nearly felt God whack me upside my head when the brilliant thought occurred to me, "How do you expect Me to guide you if you're not reading MY guidebook?" SO, several weeks ago, I started reading the Bible every day instead of my "novel of the week." I started in Genesis, and I'm in Joshua now. It's interesting - I've heard most of the stories before, but some seem new. It's also interesting, when I've spent most of my life in the New Testament, to be reintroduced to the God of the OT. He's vicious, man! I can't count the number of times I have read "...and God's anger burned against the Israelites." Nothing good ever happens to the Israelites after THAT sentence!
But in among the violence and nearly constant war, pillaging, etc. are amazing stories of redemption. Rahab, for example. You've got to figure she wasn't too sure of God's will for her life, and that she was fairly worried about the direction her life was headed. And God saved her and her family because of one simple act of courage on her part.
It's been an interesting journey so far - my journey through the Bible. To be honest, I haven't found any reference to me fulfilling some divine purpose by living in Las Vegas yet, but I'm still looking for it! :)
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
So, this is what April 16 looks like in Colorado! Yesterday, it was 84. Today, the high was 41. (sigh)
What a weird place this is that we live!! It's been snowing since 2, and is supposed to snow all night. We may actually get 4-8 inches before all is said and done. Oh, and by Friday, it will be 70 again.
Did I mention that Chase and I got SUNBURNED on Monday? (sigh) again. Have a great evening, and for heaven's sake, STAY WARM!!! :) Love to all of you...
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Some friends and I were discussing how times have changed. I remember sunbathing with baby oil, for heaven's sake! You could almost hear the sizzle...I will be the first to admit that I love a sun-kissed complexion. LOVE how much better I look when my skin is brown and my hair is sunbleached blonde. It's just sad that I can't do that anymore (and really, never should have done it in the first place). I'll have to resort to the spray-on tan and $100 highlights, I fear.
Colorado is known for having 300 days of sunshine every year. I'm thinking Nevada may have 364. (I'll give one good, cloudy day per year for good measure.) When I move into my house with the pool (refer to earlier posts), it's gonna be tough not to do some serious tanning! Calm down, mom, I'm smarter than that NOW!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
NOT! I've got an hour until my friends Tammy, Kelli and Kristy come to pick me up for dinner and drinks! What fun!! I haven't had a girls' night out in awhile. One of the things my dear girlfriend Kendra taught me all those zip codes ago in Austin is how important girlfriends are. Divine husbands are, well, divine. Kids are great fun to hug, talk and play with. Couple friends are fun to go on double dates with, but when the chips are down, when divine hubby is away and I'm feeling melancholy, when you just need someone to understand your crazy mood swing, ain't nothin bettah than a girlfriend. Husbands just think you're nuts, and kids honestly don't care if you're nuts . A girlfriend understands that being nuts is a temporary condition, and since she just got over a nutty moment herself, she is sympathetic.
I love my girlfriends. Some of them live across the street or in the next neighborhood, some of them live ALL the way out in Parker, some live in an entirely different part of the country, and one even lives "across the pond." Ok, so she's in Singapore now and not England anymore, but that's across a pond too!! Hi Deirdre...
My dear girlfriend Kim and I discussed this concept at length once. She has lots of family within a 5-10 mile radius of her house. While I envy her that, she was lacking in real girlfriends. You know, the kind who AREN'T related to you, and don't have to love you, but they do!! She and I found in each other a wonderful girlfriend and have contributed to each other's lives significantly. She even had her divine husband call me a few weeks ago and talk me through changing my first flat tire. (I had to call him back because I was still in the middle of feeling sorry for myself and having a good cry...) But that is a WHOLE other post...
I love my girlfriends.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I have also learned that just because something is out of my comfort zone, doesn't make it wrong or bad. In Green Bay, our church was very Evangelical. There was some speaking in tongues, I saw several women being "slain in the spirit," there was a lot of talk of "spiritual warfare." Not so comfy for us. But, we absolutely loved the minister, the kids' program was fantastic and it was one of the most God-filled churches I've ever attended. Every service was moving and inspiring. So, despite our discomfort (and divine hubby was WAY more uncomfortable than I was!!), we stayed. In Green Bay, we made wonderful friends like the Wagners and the Auliks, I learned to drive in the snow, we learned what a fish boil is, we learned how to properly pronounce the word "creek," I discovered that you CAN play soccer in the summer, we fell head over heels in love with the Packers. And we grew.
We moved to Denver. Chase learned to ski and I got even more experience driving in the snow! We got to know family members we had never spent really any time with. Grew to love them dearly. Grew to know them and share in their lives. Became godparents to little O. Learned that it can (and does) snow in April. Saw the amazing beauty in the mountains, summer and winter. Found great neighbors and friends like the Camps, the Flythes, the Kingsleys, the Phillips, the Arroyos, the Florences,the Uheys, a beautiful neighborhood, a wonderful church and an amazing small group. And we grew.
Now we're moving to Las Vegas. Wonder why I think God would take us this far, bless us as significantly as He has and then just drop us in the dirt and leave us in misery. Oh me of little faith. A dear friend reminded me yesterday that God is everywhere, and He is waiting for me to turn up and find Him in Las Vegas. He's waiting to sing in the choir with me at a great church, He's sitting on a porch swing waiting to share a cold glass of wine with me on a Summer evening, He's waiting for Chase to show up and be His kid's best friend, He wants me to join His book club, He wants to play golf with divine hubby. He wants to challenge my comfort zones again. He's there. And my mission is to find Him again there, like I have in Austin, Green Bay and Denver.
I've learned a lot.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I got a book on tape from the library to keep me company (I am currently the only person in the world without an iPod), but the tape player runs its batteries down in about 15 minutes. Which is a bummer! But, I'm getting Meg's old Zune this weekend from Larry, so I will have a friend to walk with. I always sing when I'm listening to music...even in headphones. I know that is horrifying to my children, and it even embarasses me when I notice I've gotten a little loud.
Regarding my current relocation to Vegas, I've decided it's inevitable, and therefore, the bad attitude needs to change. SO (ooh, I love that word), I told my divine hubby that if my yard has to be covered in rocks, it needs to be rocks around a pool in the backyard. Don't you think that's really a necessity? I do. If it's going to be 120 in the shade this summer, I can't imagine how I will live without one! Plus, it will be too hot to walk, so I'll swim the pounds away. So, color me spoiled, but I'm thinkin' pool, baby. Start making plans to come visit us!
Monday, April 7, 2008
I'm wondering if any of you (are there any of you out there??) have any ideas how to tell if a private school is any good? There is a private school in Las Vegas that we are considering for Chase that looks good on the surface, but they don't do the same kinds of standardized testing as the public schools there, so I don't know how to compare it to the public schools. It is a Christian school, which in my opinion makes it superior, but ONLY if he will also get a high quality education there. Any ideas out there? Email or comment, please - I'm really worried about this particular subject!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
So, yesterday afternoon around 4, my phone rang. It was my dear friend and neighbor saying she and a mutual friend were watching the kids play and drinking mojitos...did I want to come join them? OH BOY, did I want to go join them (I love mojitos)! BUT, I was driving the carpool for soccer practice at 5:15, and felt it would be a smidge irresponsible to consume alcoholic beverages and then get on the highway during rush hour with precious cargo. SO, I was forced to decline.
Made me think of all of the choices we have in this life, and that sometimes, the choices we make are good ones, and sometimes they are not so good. The choice I made last night was very clear-cut; I honestly didn't entertain the possibility for a second. But, other times choices are much harder or less clear. Should I take this job or that job. Should we buy this house or that house, or should we rent. Should we pick this school or that school for our kids. Private or public. Methodist or Baptist. Paper or plastic. I mean, the list goes on and on! And each decision we make takes us on a different adventure than another decision would have taken us. Remember those books called Choose Your Own Adventure? I do - I loved them! You had to make a decision for the characters at the end of a set number of pages, and depending on the decision, your characters had a different adventure and a different outcome. Same book, and many different outcomes.
I love to look back, think of the choices I've made and see the paths I have been taken on because of those choices. Some were good choices, and I can see the benefits, and some were bad choices, with very different results. But, honestly, I think my life has, in general, been a good one, and I have to credit even some of my bad choices for the whole of my life. So, my deep thought for the day is that life is one great big Choose Your Own Adventure book, and the adventure I've chosen has been a great one so far.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I have some views on this issue. BUT, the very first view, (and I think most important) is "who cares?" God did not intend for us to understand everything He created. He didn't even intend for us to understand everything He wrote (as evidenced by the fact that 2000+ years later, we are still arguing about what the Bible means). IN MY NEVER TO BE HUMBLE OPINION, I think He did all of this on purpose. I think He created us to be curious and interested in the world. I think He created us to not want things spoon-fed to us, but to want to discover things on our own (both from science and from the Bible). That is why I laugh when people say you can't believe in God and science. WHO DO YOU THINK CREATED SCIENCE, PEOPLE?? We have such a creative God and I love that He worked so hard to give us purpose, joy and curiosity.
Therefore (and here is where I'll probably get into trouble with some of you), I think there is no reason that both creation and evolution can't both be true. Why couldn't God have created the earth and life, then let it evolve until that life was "in His image?" Why couldn't Adam have been the first man that God breathed HIS life into...meaning gave a soul. Why couldn't it all be true? NOW, before you jump all over me for writing the "gospel according to me," I am not saying this is what I believe. I simply believe it could be true. Maybe so, maybe not.
So, I'm back to my question - who really cares? Again, God is sovereign, God is omnipotent and eternal. Christ died on the cross for me. When I die, I KNOW my destination. These are the questions that matter to me. When people attack the Bible and say, "Oh, the flood could never have happened..." or "Do you honestly believe the universe was created in 7 days..." or whatever, I say, "God is God, and I do believe that God COULD have done anything He wanted to do." To me, that's the end of the argument. I am SO not going to fight God's battle - I can't, first of all, and I don't believe He wants me to. I believe in the living, breathing, loving, creative, amazing God of the Universe.
So, that's what I'm going to tell Chase. My prediction is that he will sit there quietly, then say, "Cool, Mom. Now, can we go play catch?" And he will continue to ponder the issue. Personally, I believe that is EXACTLY what God wants him to do!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Now, on to lighter topics...or heavier, depending on how you look at it (Penny is very svelte!!). BOOKS! Those of you who know me well know how much I love to read. Mostly fiction, I will admit, but I delve into the occasional parenting or self-help book as well. Two years ago I started keeping a list of the books I read during a year. In 2006, I read 35 books, and in 2007 I read a whopping 51 books! Now, I will admit that I went on a Steinbeck kick and read a bunch of his 100-pagers (The Red Pony, The Pearl...), but I also read The Grapes of Wrath, not to mention the last Harry Potter, so you've got to give me credit for all 51, I think! I have always "meant" to keep such a list, but have never actually gotten around to doing so before now. I have so enjoyed looking back and remembering all of the books I have read these past 2 years. And yes, since I started keeping a list, I actually DO remember what more of them were about. In case you're curious, I'm up to 14 so far in 2008.
The last book I read was The Three Faces of Eve, which was very interesting. It is a non-fiction book about a woman with a split personality. It was written in the 50's by her psychiatrists, so it got a tad bogged down in scientific details on occasion, but I must say that for the most part, I found it absolutely fascinating. Let's face it, mental illness in general, I find fascinating. Thankful I don't have one, as well. (And, no, blonde-ness is NOT a mental illness, although it does begin NEAR the brain...hmmmmm.)
And, I must plug my newest favorite fiction author. His name is Mark Childress. I had never heard of him, nor has anyone I know ever read his books. I randomly found a book in the library called One Mississippi and just couldn't put it down. I'm hooked! So, if you're a fiction lover (particularly Southern fiction), pick up a copy of my favorite of his books: Crazy in Alabama. It's a little dark, but I thought it was hilarious and the characters are fantastic. If you've heard of him, read him, or otherwise have an opinon about him, let me know! I'm his newest fan.
Enjoy your day, and again, thanks for praying for my friend. She is so relieved and really feels this outcome was an answer to prayer.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I'm thinking of this because I just dropped Chase off at his tennis lesson, and as soon as I pick him up, his carpool will arrive to whisk him off to soccer practice. Bad mom, I know...overscheduling...I know, I know. Tennis will change to Tuesday in two weeks, so it won't be so bad! I even had to ask his teacher to give him his Wednesday homework on Tuesdays so he would have a chance to actually do it! Bad mom...bad mom...bad mom... Luckily, he has the greatest teacher in the history of teaching, and luckily she loves Chase, so she agreed. Bad mom...bad mom...bad mom...
So, what, exactly, are my objections to moving to Las Vegas you ask? I'll tell you one of them. The schools are terrible! So, we are considering a private school. That's tough too! The last thing I want to do is change Chase's school yet again once we move there, and there are a lot of private schools, all with a different focus. We are leaning towards a Christian school - they go on mission trips on Spring Break and in the summers, every class does a service project every month, chapel once a week, LOCKERS (that's Chase's favorite aspect of the school), small class sizes, and seems like a generally excellent college-prep education. It's a little bit of a drive from where we are planning to live, but seems do-able. I'm a public school kid, my family are all public school kids, and I've always thought Chase would be one too. BUT, then I never thought we'd live in Las Vegas either, so what do I know? :)
Anyway, these are the things on my mind these days. Feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and that I have to make just the right choices or the whole world will collapse. You know that feeling? I absolutely know that if we were to move to Las Vegas that people are people. We will love our neighbors (we always have), we will find a church to love (we always have), we will find activities we enjoy (we always have) and that as long as our family is together and strong, that IT will be fine (it always is). IT being our life in general.
So, the next time I am whining to you...remind me that God has ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS taken such good care of me, and that this new adventure will be no exception.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Long story - but I am boldly asking for all of you to stop and say a prayer at 9am (MST) on Thursday morning for my dear friend Penny and for the whole situation. God knows what is best, and He is in charge, but this sure feels like chaos to Penny and her husband. They are a sweet couple, and we on our little cul-de-sac love them dearly.
Love to all of you!!