Monday, December 29, 2008

Letting it All Hang Out

So I did it. I finally got to the point where I shared one of my songs with a few other people. *GASP*

It's true. First my best girlfriend, Ashley... then My Husband, and then our Worship Pastor. Glad that I finally did, because it's only getting better this way.



This was a BIG step for me. Aren't you proud??

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

An Evening in the Puhl Household

As we were going to sleep last night, McStudly and I were both in somewhat goofy moods. So in a "loving" manner, he placed his hand on my face and began to rub.

It's really not as sweet a gesture as one might think. He wasn't lightly caressing my cheek, but it more so resembled the way your compare the size of your hand to your face as you place it over it's entirety, and then kind've wiggled his fingers as if to be massaging. ???


Me: McStudly... What are you doing?

McStud: What?! I'm being loving!

Me: Yeah thanks, Helen Keller, I love you, too.

McStud: Helen Keller... isn't she the one that flew that plane?

Me: No, dear... that was Amelia Earhart (sp?). Helen Keller was the one that was blind and deaf.

McStud: Oh yeah... and she tried to get on the bus?

Me: Umm... no. That was Rosa Parks and she didn't want to sit in the back of the bus. It was part of the equal rights movement, babe... are you for real?

McStud: Yes. And I think you're still wrong - Helen Keller is the one that was in that Twister movie.

Me: No. That'd be Helen Hunt. And you're ridiculous.

McStud: No. I think that was Helen Keller. Goodnight.

Me: Oh good grief.




So that's that. A little peak into the lives we live. My funny-man husband and his completely random ramblings.

Gotta love pillow-talk!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cutest Kid Ever

So I finally got the pictures from the Fusion Christmas Party. You know - the one where I got slammed with countless pantry items?! Yeah... that one.

But just for the sake of cuteness, and simply because he is the coolest kid ever, I just thought I'd post this one picture, for now, and hold off on the others for a bit longer. Enjoy!




This is Kaden. Isn't he the coolest?!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

She's Here!!

Well, not here here... but it finally happened - We've finally been assigned our little girl through Compassion International.

This is Nester. She's from Tanzania. She's only 6 years old (yesterday, actually - that was her birthday). Also, one of her listed favorite hobbies is Singing. I guess we already have something in common!

Isn't she sweet?! I can't wait to start writing her and sending her pictures and cards. I'm told that they really treasure the pictures from their sponsors.
Apparently, living in poverty sends a message that "no one cares", and this is a message that I intend to put an end to, at least in the heart of Nester and maybe even her parents.
Well, I'm still reading up on what's going on in Tanzania, but I already know that average income for a family is around $8 a month. And it is a country in Africa that is heavily effected by AIDS and HIV.
Please pray for Nester and her family. I could definitely use some help with that. You an never pray too much for someone, right?!
And just for your reading pleasure, go here to learn some of the differences between Tanzania and the US. It's definitely an interesting read.

Well, that's about it for now. I'll let you know, occasionally, how she's doing. Also, feel free to let me know any questions you may.






Toodles!

Name That Recipe!

So last night I got brave. I've been toying around with this idea I've had for a new recipe, and figured that last night would be the perfect night to try it out. When McStudly works days, he doesn't each much when he gets home. And since I was in the mood to cook, I figured I'd give it a shot!

So this is what you need (feel free to make it your own... I was trying to be SLIGHTLY on the healthy side):

1 lb. low fat Ground beef (or ground turkey, or whatever you like, really...)
1/4 green pepper, chopped (or more, to taste)
1/4 onion, chopped (or more, to taste)
1 cup brown rice (or white, if you prefer)
1/4 cup cheddar and mozzarella cheese, plus more on side for adding in...
Egg Roll Shells (I don't know what they're technically called)
Vegetable Oil


Cook the ground beef, seasoning as desired (for me that means salt, pepper, and some Garlic & Heb seasoning, with a dash of cumen for smokey flavor). While the ground beef is cooking, go ahead and make the rice to have it ready.

Drain the beef and put, cooled, into a mixing bowl. Add the rice, green pepper, onions, and finally the cheese, mixing through.

On a plate, lay an egg roll shell flat, like a diamond. just below the middle, add about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and throw in a bit more cheese. Roll it up and place in 350 degree vegetable oil for about 2 - 3 minutes, flipping occasionally. You want the outside to be a golden brown color.

Remove from oil and let drain and cool on paper towels.


**If you'd rather go a bit healthier (as in leave out the oil!!) you can place the filling in tortillas and melt some more cheese on top, and eat as a burrito. OR you can place inside lettuce leaf and roll it up as a lettuce wrap.



It was SO yummy, I brought the filling with tortillas to work for lunch, today. Even McStudly approved. He reluctantly agreed to taste it, and then wouldn't give me the rest of the roll... he finished it instead!




I was VERY glad that this turned out so well. But now I can't think of what to call it! A few ideas given by others were along the lines of "Chubby Fingers" or "Fiesta Roll-ups", but I don't know. I need your help, guys.


So - What do you think??

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not much longer now...

I sponsored a child through Compassion International with a small group when I was a teenager, and when our small group ended, I tried to continue the sponsorship myself (which wasn't easy, since I only made $50 a month, at the time).


I was so bummed when I had to end the sponsorship, and I've always wondered what happened to the girl we sponsored. I can't even remember her name now... how awful is that? It was a really long time ago.


Well, since McStudly and I got married, I've been wanting to sponsor another child. I looked through World Vision, as well as Compassion International and we finally decided to go with Compassion International again. We filled out the paperwork earlier this week, and after looking through pages and pages and pages and pages... and pages... and more pages... of children needing sponsorship (some have been waiting for over 6 months!), we decided to fill out a form and have them select a child for us.

It was awful looking into the eyes of all of these children that feel so forgotten. All that I have read says that living in poverty sends the message that "I don't matter." Isn't that horrible? All because they live in a land out of our reach and where people take advantage of those who aren't given the chance to do better for themselves... they think they're insignificant.


That boggles my mind.


This isn't a blog about the injustices of the world, though I could write for DAYS on that topic. No, this is about our child.


We have a dog. And he's like a child to us (especially when we're exhausted but can't sleep or just relax because he needs attention), but it's still very different. We know that.


I've read a lot of first hand accounts on how much these child sponsorships have helped people move on to great things. It teaches them to overcome the lies of insignificance and that they are able to do great things. They can do whatever they put their mind to. Most of them probably think this is a tease, but the opportunities these sponsorships afford these children - it's amazing.


We are just days away from finding out who our child will be. We have yet to meet him or her. We don't know where they are in the world. We have no clue what they will look like, but we do know that they will need to know that they matter, and that at least 2 people, though on the other side of the world, care very much about them.


I can't wait to meet them!! Even though it'll just be through letters and pictures, it's so exciting to think of getting to know them and watching them grow. I can't begin to fathom what their life is like right now, but I do know that they will be loved and encouraged.


Most agencies, such as World Vision and Compassion International, even offer the chance to meet your sponsored child, now. I'm not sure if we'll ever be able to actually meet them, face-to-face, but I can dream, right?!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


If you've ever considered sponsorship, I encourage you to look into the many agencies that offer the opportunity.

If you're one of those people who think it's a crock or waste of money, and it's just another way that people been able to use the poor status of the world to rip people off, then I encourage you to look deeply into the realities of what these organizations provide for these children, and sometimes whole families. Google it. Look for first hand accounts. Read about it on their webpages. Do what you can to find the facts for yourself.



And then, sponsor someone.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

FEELING Crazy

So on a MUCH less serious note...

I've been kind've a blog-drag, lately. But when your closest friend is going through something life-changing, it's hard to think about much else. So, I'm sorry for dragging you down with us. I'll try to spread that stuff out a little further, from now on. Deal?

Deal.


Okay - now that that's settled... on to WAY less serious things...


We are now less than a month away from my 23rd (whoa!) birthday! :-D And I LOVE birthdays!!! And 10 days after Mine is McStudly's birthday. Yippee Skippee!!! January is a good month... minus the freaking COLD weather that it comes with! *sigh* We can't have everything, can we?!


So what are you getting me? Please see wish list here: http://tinyurl.com/5d2ftf

I'm always updating it, so... just for jollies!


Actually - you really don't have to buy me anything (not that you were planning on it, anyways! ha ha), but just for fun, right?




So how long until your birthday, and how many candles will you be blowing out?

Monday, December 8, 2008

So Strong

She really is an inspiration. She's so much deeper than I ever was, but I remember how hard it was to turn around and go back to where things went wrong.

To U-turn.

To return the last moment when you remember things were right and start again.


It's a painful re-journey. You feel like you're so far behind everyone else. And you feel like all of those people are looking back with their judgement-filled eyes and thinking "what was she thinking when she went that way? We told her it was wrong... she should've listened." So not only do you need the strength to go back and start over, but you also now carry the weight of their judgemental glances.

And now you question yourself - is this even the right decision for me? Or am I just making it because they keep telling me that it's the right one? Who am I doing this for? Am I just exchanging his power over me for theirs?


But you're stronger than you think. At some point you'll realize that you're doing what's best for you, and only you can know what that is. It seems to align with what they want for you, for now, but I promise you that eventually you will see the differences between the two paths.

Even our parents think they know what is right for us, but we'll all get to the point where only we can truly know what that is. But I do believe we'll only find that if our heart is so grounded in God that only those as equally grounded can see the "right" in what we do.


What you decide now will forever leave an impression on your life. But it won't be the kind of scar that throbs at times when things are tough again. It'll more resemble a beauty mark - the kind of mark that is permanent, but not regretted or resented.


You'll get there someday. And when you do, we'll look at each other and laugh at how far you've come. We'll talk about all of the phone calls where we cried together... or where you cried and I pretended not to, so that one of us could seem strong. We'll laugh at how hard the decisions seemed at the time, but how much stronger they made you.

Then we'll look at where you are and smile. It was all worth it.


It will all be worth it in the end. All of the pain you're feeling right now. All of the hands of people who think they're helping that you're having to fight off. Everything that is fighting within you... The tears. The lack of sleep. The hair loss. The weight loss. The seemingly constant nausea caused by it all... It'll all be worth it when you reach the other side. And together, we'll be grateful that you're here.


I'm proud of you. You've already come so far from where you were, and this time - it was all on your own. I'm so proud of you. Keep it up, friend. I miss you... the "you-ness" that really is you.
And I can't wait to see your "ness" again.



See "you" soon, goober!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

McStudly Rocks!


My Husband Rocks because he meets me for lunch on his days off, even though it takes another 20+ minutes for me to get there and he's already STARVING and super exhausted because he's been up since 4 am *deep breath*... wow... talk about a long sentence!
And McStudly Rocks becuase he knows how much I care about my best friend, and he tries to help me when I'm worried about her and just want her to be happy!! He acts as though she's his best friend, too... and I love that about him.
I love you, Baby Boo!!

Helplessly Watching

She's stuck.

She's laying head down in a ditch so far down that she doesn't know how she got there. But she's so used to being in this ditch that she's afraid of what life will be like if she comes out of it.

This ditch has some sort of a pull on her. It's like... gravity is working against her so hard that you'd think she's some magnet trying to escape the laws of physics. She needs help, but if I help her, it'll be like helping a butterfly out of it's cocoon.... it'll do her more harm than good. She's got to gain the strength from climbing out of this, or once she gets close to the top, she'll be so worn out that she'll just give in and fall right back into the ditch. Somehow the fall back would be less painful than completing her climb out and finally being able to see what life is like out of the shadows.


But how do you just stand by and wait. Just stand at the top with rope in hand, and wanting SO eagerly to just throw it in there and pull her out, or even more to want to jump into that ditch with her and drag her out of there... but you can't. You're so helpless and hurting for her.


I want the peace for her that only life out of this ditch can bring. I want such a joy for her that it's contagious - like a terminal joy...


I hate seeing her slowly dying. And that's what's happening - she's suffocating in this ditch. The guy that acts like the magnet holding her there is relentless. No matter how many times he slams her hopeless body further and further... harder into the ground... she somehow feels that it's safer there.


She's got familiarity confused with safety. Comfort confused with peace. No wonder she feels hopeless.


And this helplessness I'm feeling is driving me CRAZY!! I pray for her all the time (I do... if you didn't know that. I pray for you ALL the time!) and I know having it in God's hands is a WAY better place for it than in mine... but I just can't help but feel that there's more I should be doing.


But what?


This rut or ditch or whatever you want to call it is just SOO much louder when it screams her name. I'll never stop trying, though.



Friend, I'll never turn my back on you. I'll always be here for you. Always. Even when I feel like you're being SO blinded that it drives me CRAZY, I'll still be here. Even when you feel like no one understands, I'm here... I'm not going anywhere.


I love you, no matter how deep your ditch may seem. I'll always be here to cheer you on and make sure you're not giving up. So don't.






And you know you'll always be welcomed here. Stop making excuses for why you can't be happy, and go Nike...

Just do it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oats and Canola Oil

Last night was the Fusion Christmas party. It was a good time.

Well... it was at least "interesting". That I can honestly say...


No really, it was fun. But I have to say that my least favorite part probably would have to be sponge bathing in the church bathroom while soaking my unmentionables in the sink next to me.


Let's recap.


Apparently, in order to show your "love" for your small group leader (notice I used caps... I felt loved, but I have a hard time believe that the other two leaders felt loved with the way their small groups went near-homicidal on them), you have to completely cover them in... well... seemingly anything that the youth pastor could grab from the church's pantry.

We played a game called the "Christmas 12 Days of Doom". If I could remember all of the actual items, and in order, I'm sure it would be SO much more fun... but alas, I was a bit distracted as I was being lathered in Maple Syrup.


What I can remember:

- We were told to come on stage as they brought in the tarps (Tarps? Never a good sign at a youth event!)

- Then, we were each assigned our very on kiddy-pool. Here I was thinking 'Hey, maybe they're going to re-enact a beach getaway for us, since it's so stinking butt-cold outside! How thoughtful... I really DO feel loved!' ... so I got cozy.

- In came the table... on the table sat 3 bins, but the three bins were covered by a big black cloth. (again - this is not usually a good sign)

- They started singing... and it all started with a box of Betty Crocker Cake Mix. Why were they name specific? I think it was to ensure that we knew they weren't going cheap and just dumping the Richfood brand of cake mix over our heads... oh no! They went WORLD class, splurged, and bought the name brand stuff. Because, after all, they loved us.

- Then came the two "things" canola oil (so shoot me I don't know what carton-thingies are called). Were they going to bake me in a 350 degree oven at the end? Well, there's no way to know. But I started-a-mixin' just in case. I was NOT going to be the leader that tasted the worst. If I was going out - I was going out tasty, my friends!

- and out came the whipped cream. At this point, I was BEGGING and PLEADING my girls not to put this gunk on my hair... "I'll bring you SOO much candy next week! SOO much candy! What do you want?! I'll totally bring it for you..." Yes, it was low. Don't judge me. You know you would've done the same thing. And unfortunately for the guys (the other two leader that were sentenced selected for the "activity") weren't with it enough to try... plus they didn't have NEARLY as much hair as I did... it only seemed fair.

- As I'm sitting and happily eating the mixture that has thus far been poured over my shoulders and a little bit down my shirt... loving the whipped cream... out comes the nastiest piece of the puzzle. From this point forward, I looked like I was the closest trash can to the tilt-a-whirl after a ride mis-hap caused everyone aboard to get a tad bit nauseous. What was this awful mess of an "ingredient"? Pork & beans. I know... totally gross, right? *mini-gag*

- After this point, it's all quite a bit fuzzy. I remember ketchup (which made the whole thing look more like a murder scene than a youth group "love" fest).

- I know somewhere in there were bags of popcorn. I tried to catch it in my mouth, but ended up gagging on a kernel and then spitting it all back out onto myself. I'm thinking I just made it worse on myself... but at least it was tasty?!

- Applesauce! I was smart enough to not put my hands into the "mixture" since the whipped cream, so I caught a few things of applesauce and had a bit of a snack. Hey - a girl's gotta eat, right?!

- Maple Syrup. I hear it takes DAYS to get this funk out of your hair. I'm SO glad I had some awesome girls doing this ... whatever it was to me. They were very gentle. *sigh*

- Oats. Alone? Probably not too shabby. But mixed with all of the above ingredients? Including Maple Syrup? Yeah... it got REALLY "icky" here... so I start making some oatmeal cookies for the friendly girls of mine. I'm not so sure why they didn't want them. I guess they were full from all of the free cookies and hot cocoa we handed out before service.

- Speaking of which... hot cocoa (powder only) was in there somewhere, too. Not so sure where... but it was there... and again - this mixture was just so nasty! Have I mentioned that I was SITTING in this gross-ness?

- Cornmeal. I think this was added earlier on, but it was FAR from the worst of the food items I had to swim in last night!

- and finally (and I mean finally!), they added the dozen eggs. In reality this wasn't as bad as it sounds. They slid RIGHT off of me (I actually had this awkward little puddle of eggs inside my indian-crossed legs - slightly inappropriate, right? Again - don't judge me). The worst part about this stuff?? It was FREEZING!!! Tell me... why do you feel that you must refrigerate the eggs that you are planning to pour over your leaders? Were you worried about them going bad?! Let's re-evaluate this decision. Ponder on where they were destined to end up... and now let's think again... did they need to be refrigerated? You people are cruel. JUST cruel!


SO there we have it. It was a pretty good time - up until they were finished with us, that is. I was whisked away (almost literally, since they had me lay on a tarp and then drug me to the bathroom) to clean myself up. And folks, this was NO easy task.

Sponge bathing in general doesn't seem like a very pleasant thing to do. Now add the setting of a church bathroom with no locks on the door and NO more than just a few little sinks. Yeah. Nice, right? At least the water was warm last night, because it's usually like liquid ice when you turn the faucet on.

Thankfully one of the other lady leaders stood guard to make sure that the door was not opened for ANY reason WHATsoever! And she did a great job. I stripped down as quickly as possible (which isn't very quick at all when you are covered in maple syrup and ketchup and trying to avoid getting it all in your hair and all over the bathroom floor) and put my unmentionables into the left sink to soak, in hopes of removing the strong smell of nastiness enough to be able to wear them home.

As I stand in the church bathroom buck-friggin-naked and trying to scrub this... pukey mixture off of myself, I realized just how little my clothes spared my body. I found gooey cake-mix caked (pun not originally intended) in places I didn't know it would ever be. I scrubbed and scrubbed, stretched my feet up into the sink to clean the funk off of them, and then finally felt as though I'd gotten as much as I could. Good golly, miss molly, that took forever!


I emerged from my whole in the bathroom to find that not only had service ended, by this time, but I also discovered that apparently in the boy's bathroom, there was a janitor's closet. Yes, folks - the guys had a nice little drain and I do believe a hose as well in order to wash off.


Fannntastic.


Ah well. At least I still had my blinky-Christmas hat. Wait... where IS my blinky Christmas hat?! OH NO!!!


Thankfully, the girl I had given it to entrusting it's safe-keeping had left it with another girl that was hanging around for a bit. It was returned safely to me just after we took our leader's group picture. Whew! That was close!!


So after being practically attacked my a nose-strong dog, last night, having him somehow manage to drag my funktified clothing over onto the carpet, leaving a trail of nasty-goodness behind him, and FINALLY getting to take a REAL shower, I felt clean and normal again.



...well, as relatively normal as I was before this whole thing, anyways... which isn't really saying much.



Good times were had by most. I stop short of saying all, but only due to the fact that I do believe that the middle school boy sitting in front of my was just shy of having a coronary over the fact that they just wouldn't put it in my hair and the high school boys were, from a distance of course, quite nearly as displeased at the "unfair"ness of the situation. Silly boys... if only you KNEW - I do believe you would've left well-enough alone.





And even better times, still, will be had next week by my girls when they embark on their MUCH earned sugary appreciation celebration. I'm sure you'll have some pretty good times, too, once I get my hands on some pictures to post from the incident... I bet you can't HANDLE your excitement!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


PS: The only warning I was given of what was to come was an e-mail that said "bring a change of clothes that you can get messy". Am I the only one that thinks that this doesnt' even remotely prepare one for what is coming? I would've brought another pair of unmentionables, at LEAST!! *sigh*

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pupperdoodle

So it's been a while since I wrote anything about McDog (that's Austin, by the way... he's got WAY too many nicknames to list, and some too inappropriate to mention in a public forum such as this). He's been doing pretty well, but with the weather being like it has, and with the STUPID FRIGGIN DEVILISH cold weather (can you tell I'm not a fan) that is forcing us into submission, he hasn't had like ANY time outside lately. And honestly? I think he's okay with that. I mean, sure - he'd just LOVE to be gallavanting around with some other dogs at the dog park down the street, but he doesn't seem to like the cold much, either, as evidenced by his UBER short potty breaks outside (he IS a shorthair, people, and I'm not a big fan of doggy clothes, if purely for the hatred I have for wrestling my dog into them).

Before you feel too bad for him, he did get a trip to the dog park when McStudly got off work at o-dark-thirty this morning (thanks for that, by the way, crazy Air Force scheduler dude... really appreciate all the nights that I have to sleep alone *intense sarcasm intended*).

Anywho - this is just an excuse for me to get to post a few pictures of my handsome pup. Isn't the hottest dog, ever (for the record, my husband is the one that calls him "hott"... I'm merely repeating what I hear over and over and over again)?!


Check it:




I think this was one of maybe 2 times in his life that he's sat still for more than 30 seconds at a time. So glad I had a camera to capture it on film, or there's NO way McStudly would've believed me!





Isn't he a cutie-pa-tootie?! (emphasis ont he "tootie", by the way)




Waiting anxiously for McStudly to get home... talk about a daddy's boy!

Such a proud dog, sitting up straight and what-not.

Is he a cutie-pie, or what?!

I think I need a trim.


Okay...

So I've been working on a song that's really been weighing heavy on me lately. But I'm WAY terrified to show it to anyone. I'm WAY over-critical of it and totally stabbing the life out of it.

I've written songs for years, now (something that, up until recently, most - if not all - of the people around me never knew), but I always come up with an excuse not to finish them or to put them away and not ever go back to them.

But then tell me why I still find myself singing them when I'm alone, sometimes... yeah... because I'm not fulfilling the whole idea of it.

There's a reason I am good with words and have a musical ear, right? But I'm just spitting in the sand and kicking rocks, all the while saying I'm not good enough to do it, or it's just too far out of my comfort zone.


Why won't I just get up off my butt and get real - this isn't about me. It never is. It never was!


I've been learning a lot, lately, and most of it is about what I'm doing wrong and what I've got to change. Honestly? That's what I need... I think we convince ourselves all the time 'ya know - We're doing alright. We're good people. We have good intentions. We're compassionate.'

That's not the point, though. That's what every Christian is to strive for. What in the world does that have to do with your individual purpose? Absolutely nothing.


So why do we just pacify ourselves with that? We're so alright just to lie to ourselves and live a simple little hunky-dory life that we totally miss the point.


This is about the second serious post I've posted in a row, but I am just there, right now, ya know? I am learning a lot, and finding out that all this time I've been putting down roots where they're not going to grow. It may hurt to pull them back up, but isn't that the point?


Through all of this, I've come to a sort of conclusion: I think I need a trim...


We've all heard about how we're supposed to bear fruit and how, in order for a vine to truly grow, it has to be pruned. Well, do you think pruning feels good? I submit that it does not!! (Just a little Brian Reagan for you. I needed to de-seriousify this post a bit ... and yes I'm well aware that "de-seriousify" is not a word, but who's counting?!)

In fact, a plant will actually die if you don't prune it. That's true. Go ahead and look it up. Check me - don't just take my word for it (not a good habit, people... don't just believe everything you hear).


I don't know about you, but I don't want to be some dead plant just taking up space and wasting away. Hence my need to pruning - I just need a little trim. You?





It's your turn - Where do you need to be pruned?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

S-L-A-C-K-E-R

That's how you spell my name. Yep - I'm a slacker, and I know it.

Last week was Thanksgiving, so that's an excuse in itself. And I hurt my back Sunday evening playing Flag Football. So... there. That's another excuse.

I could go all day with excuses. I'm full of them! But I won't put you through that...


Kicking it down a "serious notch", or two... I'm a slacker in way more ways than in just the blogosphere. And I want to share it with you. I'm going to be real - some of it is going to sound weird. Some of it will sound normal. Some of it will sound confusing. But it's real. It's one of those "ah-hah!" moments I've had over the past few weeks and it's been getting stronger and clearer since the first time it slapped me across the face.


So here's the thing: do you ever get those gifts at Christmas that you kind've have to over-act grateful for? I mean don't get me wrong - you're totally appreciative that someone took the time and money to get you a gift and that means a lot in itself, but it's one of those gifts that... well... they don't fit your personality, and yet you feel obligated to display it or wear it so that the giver will see it?!

Well, if we're honest, we've all gotten at least ONE of those gifts. Especially if you've gotten married - you get those random "what in the world?!" kinds of gifts. Right?! It's totally weird, too. I mean, what am I going to do with a ceramic white and gold statue of a bride and groom for the rest of my life after I've already gotten married? Let's just say... it doesn't quite fit into my decor. But I feel like I have to keep it (...if only for the simple fact that I can't bear to re-gift it and be thought of in the same way I thought of the giver, and it's too nice to throw into the trash can or give to goodwill. What's a girl to do?!).


Unfortunately, I think we do this with the gifts that God gives us. At least I know that I'm WAY guilty of that. Am I only the only one?!

I mean, imagine how the person that gave you that not-so-fantastic gift came over and saw the Christmas sweater they made for you sitting in the garbage cans outside. It would suck, right?!

So when God gives you a gift, it's for a reason. And he doesn't give you a little cushion of gifting in that area just in case you decide to use it... No, he gives it to you so that you can use all of it. He wants you to rock that gift's world! He wants you to wear it out like it's been out of style since the 80s and you're JUST now realizing it. He wants you to because he owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and he'll keep replenishing that gifting over and over and over again.

This gift isn't a box of Girl Scout cookies that you're trying to savor slowly until they start selling them again next year - this is more like the unlimited supply of said girl scout cookies (and can I just take a time out to say that I would be TOTALLY fantastic with the idea of unlimited, year-round girl scout cookies?! I'm just saying...).


And this is where I've been failing lately (with the giftings, not the girl scout cookies). I'm really only using between 40 and 60% of the gifts that God has given me.

Over the past few weeks, I have had the same recurring dream several times. It's not one of those dreams that are warm and fuzzy and then by noon, when you finally get to tell your best bud about it, you're all kinds of fuzzy on the details. It's more like the super vivid dream that you couldn't forget if you WANTED to!

Anywho... back to the dream: I'm standing on a stage and singing. I'm not just singing, I mean I'm SANGIN'! You know the difference... singing is when you stand there are pretty and sing on pitch and only suffice to meet everyone's expectations. It's pretty. People are smiling. The little old ladies in the 2nd row are clapping softly off-beat with you. And then you walk off stage and breathe a sigh of relief that it's over and spend the next few hours over-analyzing the way you "delivered" the song. But SANGIN' is when you just belt it. You put EVERYTHING you've GOT into that song. You sing like the lives of every little baby around the world depends on it. It's like Cristina Aguilera ain't got NOTHING on you when you're singing this song. You're owning that song.


That's the difference.


The most important difference between the two?

When you SANG, he's just totally captivated by the gift that he's given you. He's the proudest father. The one clapping the loudest at your grand finally. He's BEEMING with pride in having given you the PERFECT gift!! He just KNEW that you'd use it this way. He just knew it!! And he couldn't be happier.

God loves your singing. He really does. But when you just sing the song, as happy as he is that you're using that gift he's given you, it's like he's turned to look back as he left the Christmas party at your house, and through that window saw you throwing that sweater that you hate so much into the trash can. Or using it to wipe up the mess you just made when you spilled the 7-layer dip on the kitchen floor as you were cleaning up. You are slapping God in the face and saying "Yeah, it's a cool gift and all, but my fear of humiliation, my fear of what people will think, my worry that people will judge me as a show-off is way more important than the extent of your silly little gift." Because, after all... people are the ones you have to live with everyday, right?! They're the ones you have to answer to when you walk off that stage afterwards...


Right?!



Well, in my dream, I'm just jamming. I am Sangin' His Eye is On the Sparrow. I mean, I am kicking that song's musical butt! And people are being touched by it! They're being given Hope that they hadn't seen in years. Filled with Joy that they hadn't ever felt before. That simple old song that we've all heard a dozen times - it was really meeting people where they were.

All because I was using the gift that God has given me to it's capacity. I was fulfilling a purpose.


God doesn't give a bird wings so that he can walk around flappin' them at each other. He gives them wings so they can fly. That's their purpose, but it can't be met unless they truly use their wings to their fullest ability.

So why are we any different? Why do we laugh at God's "cute" little giftings? They aren't "cute" - they're ordained! They are put there for a reason, and not just to be looked at and imagined.


A few months back, when our church was between Worship leaders, I stepped in, some, and helped lead worship when they needed me. The problem? I was not only TERRIFIED, which isn't a bad thing in itself, but I was still only dabbing my big toe in to see if the water was cold when I would sing. I didn't truly lead people in worship. Heck no - I just sang the main part of the song, like I was some kind of a sing-along worship CD that you play in the car on the way to work in the morning.

Can God use that? Yes. Absolutely. No question. Did he? No doubt. But had I used the gift he had given me to actually LEAD people in worship, we could've experience a level of worship that was on a whole new playing field.

But instead of was worried about saying the wrong thing between songs, so I didn't say anything. I was too nervous that my Sanging would distract people, so I just sang the song like we all knew it.


And that wasn't the point. NONE of that should've mattered. And no matter how many times I was told that people truly need some encouragement in worship and truly need to be led, no matter how much I told myself "You can do this. They need this. YOU need this...", once I got up on stage, I froze. I was worried about the band getting my signals. I was worried about singing the wrong verse and misleading the vocalists that were singing with me. I was frozen in my own anxiety.


I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've been a slacker with the gift God has given me, and I need to get off my butt and start using it the way that he gave it to me, not just the way that I'm comfortable or the way that I always have in the past.

Comfort zones are just that - they're comfortable. But they aren't God-made. They are totally, completely, 100% man-made. And if everyone played it "safe", then no one would ever hear about him. Or feel his love. Or wake up and realize that he has so much more for them than they could ever accomplish within their own strength. But we have GOT to learn to break down those stupid comfortable walls, and stop building them again once things get stormy. We're missing SO MUCH of what he's given us. Why doesn't that keep us up at night? Why doesn't that bother us like it should? Because we're just staying inside of our safe-ness. Comfortable in our cozy little comfort zones... stupid little things.





What gift are hiding behind? What talents have you been given, but are too worried to shine in? In what ways are you a Slacker?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh dear me...


At first glance, this would seem like a dirty post... so I'll probably make the title a bit more friendly. But if you're brave enough, do read the backgroun behind the seemingly innapropriate pictures and you'll see that it's not this post that's dirty... it's your mind (you little heathen, you!) :-P







(I got this info from straightdope.com... apparently a website where they answer questions, though you wouldn't think it from the address)






"I am saddened to report that DO NOT HUMP does not have any of the off-color significance that seems to give many of the Teeming Millions their principal reason to go on living. It refers to a common method used to sort freight cars known as "humping," which involves the use of a man-made hill, or hump. A track heads up the hill and branches into numerous parallel tracks on its way down the other side. To make up new trains, a switch engine pushes a string of cars to the top of the hump, where the cars are uncoupled one at a time. Having determined the car's destination, a worker in a nearby tower pushes buttons or throws levers or whatever to get the track switches (you know, those things where one track divides into two) lined up properly. The car is then given a nudge, causing it to roll down the hump and onto the right track.







The advantage of humping is that it's a lot faster than having switch engines shuttle back and forth all day making up trains. The disadvantage is that it's sometimes a little rough on the freight cars and their contents. Occasionally a car derails going down the hill, meaning the crew has to stop working and try to get the wheels back on the rails, which is not much fun, particularly in the middle of winter. What's worse is the possibility that the car may roll down the hill too fast and crash into the car in front of it, jostling or damaging both the cars and what's inside them. Special gimmicks on the rails called "retarders" are supposed to slow things down and prevent this, but they have been known to fail. Accordingly, cars with especially delicate contents are marked DO NOT HUMP, which tells the yard crew to set the car aside for special handling. This applies particularly to the tank cars used to haul hazardous chemicals, many of which have DO NOT HUMP stenciled permanently on their sides. "










So there you have it, folks. Now, go get your minds out of the gutter!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

He SO Totally Rocks.


This week the spotlight goes to reason #124897...
He always always ALWAYS opens my car door for me. ALWAYS!!! And almost always opens every other door for me when we're together.
We've been married for a year and he STILL does it.
*sigh
Talk about dreamy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

They do exist!

Okay - most of you know about Gremlins. You've seen the movie. Had the nightmares. Bought the t-shirts.


But OhMmGee... they DO exist!!! And they're back with a vengeance... Check this out:


A Pgymy Tarsier - thought to be extinct for the past 8 decades.

*shivvers*

It's not so crazy to be afraid of Gremlins anymore.

I've got the heeby-jeebies, now. You??

Friday, November 14, 2008

Band-Aids and Lumpy Orientals


They aren't cool. Lumpy Orientals, that is - they're just not cool (Band-aids totally are cool, btw... especially if they have pictures of Strawberry Shortcake or Scooby Doo on them).



You can't put a band-aid on your issues. It's the kind of "sore" that you have to rip open to let the infection out. If you don't, it may look like it's healed, but it's really just festerring inside and slowly making you very very sick.



McStudly and I had a conversation last night. It was VERY much needed and very beneficial. Did it make everything "all better"? Well... in a way, yes. But it took some "rippin open" first. And then we came to this (not directly quoted):



Mcstudly: "I don't think either of us realized that marriage would be this much work all the time."


Me: "I don't think it's supposed to be this much work every day. It seems to me that it's like cleaning. If you do a little maintenance every day... if you clean the dirty dishes every day, it doesn't pile up. But if you leave it for even a day or two, you're kicking yourself because now - what would've taken only a minimal amount of work - takes a LOT of work. I think that relationships are supposed to be worked at a little bit everyday. And I think if you put that off, or get lazy for even a day or two, it takes a lot of time and energy - more than normal - to get it back to where it was. Back to where it can just be kept up."



We agreed.



When your room was a mess, and your mother/father/guardian would tell (more like order in my house) to clean it up, it usually got a WHOLE lot messier before it started to look even remotely cleaner than it was when you started. And even though Momma Bear was the one that coined the "it gets messier before it gets cleaner" concept (she did in my book, anyways. Don't ruin it for me!), she'd STILL come in about 10 minutes after I've started and say something like "I said CLEAN the mess, Sarah, not fung shui the mess. Now get it done!"



So instead of shifting stuff around like those picture puzzles you play online - you know... the ones where can only move one block at a time - you have to take some of the puzzle pieces out and take a few steps back before you can take any steps forward.



You can't just stick a band-aid on the hard stuff. You've gotta clean out the bad stuff, first, and then put in a bit of medicine (can you tell I'm somewhat slightly addicted to metaphors? My bad... my bad folks), first... i.e. the band-aid = patience, the bad stuff = issues/arguments/trouble/disagreements/sin/yelling/anger/discontent, medicine = prayer and LOTS of it. Does that help, any?




So you gotta work through things. Not just sweep it under the rug and try to forget about it. Or you'll end up like I was a few blogs ago... with a lot of frustration, and a really lumpy rug.








... and nobody likes a lumpy oriental.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My B

I'm sorry.



I was having a really tough day yesterday. I wasn't just frustrated with McStudly, but there's actually a LOT going on right now.

Please pray for me, would ya? I can always use it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On a much lighter note - it's THURSDAY!! Which means it's almost the weekend. That's freaking FANNNtastic!! I could sure use another weekend (even though this one won't be 4-days... it's better than nothing, right?!).

So... on this Thursday, what's going on with you? Are things good? Are they rotten? (Don't you DARE say things are fine - that's never an acceptable answer with me. Let's be real... "fine" is code for "I don't wanna talk about it." or "I don't really think you care, so I'm not going to waste your time."


I would't ask if I didn't care.







So for real, people. How are things in (insert your name here)-Ville?!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One Full Year

Okay - so Monday was McStudly and I's first anniversary. Can you believe it? An entire year!!





The day started off a little rocky. We slept in, and woke up to... nothing. The power was out. Yep - Happy Anniversary! Right?! It was out until about 3 or so. Nice.







Well, I got up and going while Mcstudly slept a little longer. I took Austin over to my parents' house (they were watching him so we could have a hott date that night *wink wink*), and then headed over to my Anniversary present.



Sunday night, McStudly gave me a little card with all the deets. It said "11/10/08, at 1:30, with Jeanne". Yesss!!! He got me a full body massage. SOOO amazing. And highly recommended (I think he ruined it for himself, though, becuase now I'm hooked). It was FANtastic! After the massage, I relaxed in the "tranquility" room with NO clue what time it was (and I didn't even care, really) and then headed into the ladies area where I sat in the steam room for a while and then hopped in the shower. I was taking FULL advantage of the comps, that's for sure!



When I finaly emerged from Robert Andrews, I went over to pick up Kyle's anniversary present, but it wasn't in, yet. He knew what he was getting, at this point, so there was no rush.





So I went home and slowly started getting ready. Okay, so I watched a few tv shows, first, but then I totally did start getting ready early. I straightened my hair out and fluffed up the back of it, then I slipped into my hott little black dress, and threw a sweater on with it. I think it made me look like an old lady with the sweater, but McStudly still thought I was hott. (pictures to come)





We went to Fogo de Chao in Baltimore City. TOTALLY amazing!

I highly recommend it to everyone!! It does cost quite a bit of money, but you SO get what you pay for! My drink wouldn't be half empty before it was refilled. The food was simply mathcless, and the $10 valet made it all so perfect!! Really, people. You've GOT to check it out. So what if you drop $130 in a single meal. If it's your anniversary or any other special occasion it's DEFINITELY worth it!!

After dinner, we swung by my parents' house again and picked up our anniversary cake (I totally forgot about it earlier when I dropped off the pup) and then headed home. The cake was still frozen, so we found some other things to do to fill our time... tee hee hee

Anywho - once we ate the cake (it was delicious, by the way), the night was over. By this time it was about 3 a.m. and I was pooped so off to bed I went.

It was a great night, and having the next day off was just icing on the cake. Err - extra icing?!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Honesty... the Best Policy?

I did something last night. It wasn't good.

In fact, it was something that I SWORE I would never do. But McStudly was at work and after bringing Austin home from the dog park and eating dinner by myself in front of the television, I found myself feeling awfully lonely.

That's when it happened.

I had been watching various TV shows we had recorded throughout the week, and also trying to track down the name of a song from the season finale of Army Wives this past week when the temptation struck.

I tried to brush it off, but it jsut kept kitting me over and over and over and over again, like some kind of mental version of Chinese water torture.


...and I gave in.


I turned off all the lights and went upstairs.


I could still turn back, now. It wasn't too late.



I went into the bathroom and locked the door on the hallway side (it leads into my bedroom). Then I went into my room and locked the bedroom door.

It still wasn't too late. Nothing was final.



I picked the two pillow shams up and laid them on the floor next to the bed. Then... I turned off the lights and climbed into bed.


It was at that moment, I realized that I had gone against everything within me that had been screaming for me to stop what I was doing and turn back. It had been done.



As I lay down and began to get comfortable, I reached my arm over the edge of the bed and hit the side of the mattress three times.

"Austin... Austin, come lay down, baby. It's time to go night-night."



Yes. I am ashamed to say that last night, I let the dog sleep in our bedroom with me, instead of in his crate in the other room. (What?! What did you think I was going to say??)


What kind of woman have I become? I SWORE that I would never do that. In fact, McStudly and I have had a few "intense moments of fellowship" over that very subject. But alas, I had given in to my loneliness, and thus - given in the little devil on my right shoulder.





Oddly enough, it went swimmingly!! He laid down on top of the pillow shams, after about 8 little circles (why do they do that??) and didn't get up. That's right - he slept through the night!! Right there. Not whining. No destructive mid-night searches for something to chew. No trying to jump onto the bed. Nothing. It was AMAZING!!!

I actually slept pretty well, for as light of a sleeper as I am, and with having a dog in the room. Granted, it still wasn't a great night's sleep (I'm still desparately awaiting that one), but it wasn't terrible, either. This morning, he woke up at one point, stood up, and looked the room. Then he just went and sat at the end of the bed. Real quiet. Real polite. He was real "good dog" material, this pup. That CERTAINLY couldn't be my dog! Could it?! Apparently, it could.


Then McStudly got home (he's working nights right now. He gets of at around 0530, and home at or around about 0600). Austin heard something and walked like a stalking Lion over to the bedroom door. He stood quietly... patiently... then he became a man-dog.


That's right. My little pup turned into my big guard-dog. He started lightly growling. Just a little... not too much. More like a warning growl.

He stopped.

He listened.


Then he growled again... a little bit louder this time. Showing that he wasn't backing down.

He stopped.

He listened.


Then he growled - much louder this time - as if to say "this is your last chance".

He stopped.

He listened. I listened.



I thought McStudly was on his way up the stairs, by now, so I got up out of bed and opened the bedroom door (since I lock it at night, he can't get in unless I get up and open it).


Austin TOOK OFF running down the stairs (apparently, by estimation of McStudly's locations was WAY off... he was jsut coming out of the bathroom downstairs). I stuck my head over the railing to try and see what happened.


As soon as he saw McStudly his ENTIRE body language changed. His eyes got all big and he started wagging his tail like he was a small propeler jet preparing for take-off. It was too cute.



So I went back to bed.


Too much cuteness for 6 o'clock in the morning.




SO yeah. Austin surprised me with how well behaved he through the night. And then McStudly took him for a walk this morning, and when I was getting ready to leave, I checked in on my the man-dog that had overtaken my little puppy, and he was loving his life, back in his crate for the day.





Will I do it again? I'm not so sure. It's hard to top such a perfect night with Austin. But I won't rule it out. After all, I kind've liked the company. :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Fat Lady Sang

It doesn't matter, now.

... who you voted for, who you wanted to win, what your race, what your moral standings... it doesn't matter now.


Why? Because the election is over. The country has spoken (minus about 10,000 absentee ballots due to VA's huge-mongous screw-up), and they've elected a President. So it doesn't matter what you think.

It's time to start praying for President-elect Barack Obama, his family, and our country.

It's time to start respecting him. It doesn't matter if you voted for him, or even if you like him. He is going to be our leader. And, like it or not, he deserves our respect for that very reason. So let it go if you're upset, and take a chill pill if you're overly excited - Because none of that matters now.


You may be curious who I voted for. Does it matter? I'll tell you, but it doesn't matter. Even though I live in a very liberal state, I still voted conservative - I voted for Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin. But like I said, it doesn't matter. They didn't win the elction, and I'm not crying. It's time to be proud of my country, not add to it's division.


America has spoken. And they said they wanted President-elect Obama. So now we've got him. And it's time that we all started to give him our respect. So here's to you, sir. May God lead and guide you in the way that you run this country. May you earn respect with foreign leaders and diplomats, and may you do all that you can to bring pride back to the hearts of all Americans.



*raises glass* "Cheers." *Takes a sip*



So, since like ALLL of the headlines seem to be about having an African American President-elect for the first time in the history of the United States of America, I figured I'd add to it, just for fun.

I won't lie and call this "Wordless Wednesday", (I mean look at all of the words!), but just for jollies, this is pretty much what our New History books will look like. I'm sure they'll be hitting the presses ANY day, now.


Whether or not color should matter, sometimes, to some people, it does.








Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Freebies for Voting!

Yep - you heard right! retailers all across American are giving away freebies to people who say they voted, or those wearing an "I Voted" sticker. If you voted via absentee ballot, you may be out of luck, but be sure to try asking, at least. I mean - they most they'll do is say no, right?

But here you go - the list of retailers offering Freebies to proud voters:

http://lifehacker.com/5075721/election-day-freebies-roundup






Go vote!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Narco-what-a?

A friend on twitter went to work as a "Narcoleptic" today, or so he said. It made me laugh... literally... I actually laughed.


But even funnier was when I read this on wikipedia (to make sure I wasn't mixing it up with another disease): "Daytime naps may occur without warning and may be physically irresistible."



Does that strike anyone else as funny? ha ha.... it goes on to say this: "These naps can occur several times a day. They are typically refreshing..." ha ha ha.







Why am I so easily amused? Could it be due to my own intense lack of sleep?! I may print this information out and post it at my desk.

MHR Friday!


Here we are - it's Friday, and my Husband STILL rocks.
You see, I've been having a really rough time, lately. I have been completely exhausted. I haven't been sleeping well, and no matter what I do, nothing seems to work. I have also been wanting to start working earlier, so that I can get off work earlier, and so I've been trying to change my usual routine (as of this week, this is).
So, while talking to McStudly last night on the phone (he works nights, so that's kind've all we get), I asked him to wake me up a little after 6, when he gets home, and help me get up for the day.
Well, to sum up the complete frustration that has been my last few weeks, now, I went to bed around 10 or 1030, and didn't get to sleep until around 2 (last I looked at the clock, it was 130!).

So when he got home this morning, McStudly came in to wake me up, but could sense my hesitation (which was to be expected). Once he found out that I didn't get to sleep until around 2, instead of his usual way of forcing me out of bed, he just lay down next to me and said "Okay, but is your alarm at least set for the normal time?"
He let me go back to sleep, after I made him SWEAR to get me up last night. He's so understanding, and patient, for the most part. I know he's just as tired of all of this as I am, but at least he's understanding and patient, and not just mean about it.
I love him. He's so good to me, even though he knew I'd be beating myself up for not getting up, later... he knew I needed it.
(I know this seems like a weird MHR post, but believe me, if you had any idea what the past few weeks have been like for me, you'd know how much this meant to me.)
He knows me better than I know me, sometimes. He's so dreamy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How Did I Miss This?

So I never could quite put my finger on it. I always knew he had a familiar look, even from the time that I first met him. I just never could pin-point it. I guess I just assumed he had "one of those faces."

But Special A (my bestie, Ashley) FINALLY figured it out. I got in to work today and had an e-mail waiting for me from her. Here's what it said:


"Okay so I know this is really random but McStudly alwyas reminded me of someone.. like he had a twin out there in the world and I finally figured out who it was! I think they look so much alike!!"


Then it had a link. So naturally, I clicked on the link (who wouldn't?!).

As Internet Explorer loaded the name of the actor on imdb's website, my first thought was no way! Then, as I clicked to look through the pictures, it was al becomming clearer. How had I missed this? How had NO one caught this before now? Are we blind? Or maybe the lighting had to hit JUST right... no. It's unbelievable! Ashley was right...

So here we have it, folks - you tell me. These are the best pictures we could find for the comparison (and honestly, I don't think they do it justice at all!), but if you think about the actor in a movie, or McStudly in person, it's like they're related. It's amazing (at least we think so, anyways).










Do you think McStudly looks like Guy Pearce?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If Only You Knew...

The Underground Halloween Party this past Sunday evening was a big hit. It turned out to be loads of fun, and almost EVERYONE dressed to impress (some just dressed, and left their impressing spirit at home, I gusss).

Anywho - it was a blast. McStudly took home the prize for "funniest costume", and if you look at the pictures below, you'll probably see why. (I'm sure it helped that he totally worked it on the runway) Go get 'em, baby!


Brace yourselves...



Yep - that'd be us!


Ha ha ha - he's trying to drink his punch, but he's not used to being so big!


Aiyana rockin' her very impressive costume. "You will never be Geisha!" ha ha


The FANtastic judges: Sheena, Mrs Dee, and Pastor Travis
(American Idol ain't got NOTHING on these guys!)


Phantom and Christi (aka:Richard and Amber - fyi, they're newly engaged!!!)


I know it's dark and I look creepy with my shiny eyes, and what-not, but just imagine the Thriller video playing on a projector screen, and myself (along with a cool guy, Josh) dancing along. Oh good times...
Well, that would be that. It was SO much fun, yet QUITE an exhausting day. Good times were had by all, and tonight there's another party - Neewollah, the Youth costume party. Hopefully there will be plenty of pics to follow (AND I've been told that I'm a judge, so we shall see what happens, eh?!).
Asta Pasta!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hold on to Your Suspenders, folks!

What?! No one really wears those anymore?? Well, I heard they're coming back in to style (unfortunately)...

ANYwho - I am in class today and tomorrow, so I won't really be able to blog, unless we get out early (which is possible). BUT I have a few things coming for you later this week:

- Pics fromt he Underground Halloween Party last night
- Pics of our new bedroom furniture (which is being set up as I type!!)
- possibly some pics from The Youth's Neewollah (Yes - that is Halloween spelled backwords, for those of you who are not lisdexic - err... uhh - dislexic).


Good times... good times.

Anywho - check it later, and you won't be sorry!!





Toodles for now! ;-)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Just for Jollies

Check it out:




Ha ha ha - SOMEbody knows what they're doing with a Photoshop brush, eh?! ha ha

Pet Halloween Costumes

Well, with it almost being Halloween, I thought I'd add to the "spirit" of things and throw in a little humor for you.


Enjoy!

This poor pup - er - cow. Ha ha... I wish my dog would wear a costume. This is priceless!!

MHR Friday!


Becuase he listens. Okay - not always, but we ALL have our days where we "hear" and don't listen. It's usually when we're going through our own funk (as I have been lately), but he is listening now. And thats the best part, becuase now is when it matters.
McStudly's been exhausted lately, and he's still re-adjusting back to his old work schedule (which totally sucks, by the way), and he's still trying.
It's the simple things, most of the time. And today, it's just that he's listening to me. Truly listening to me.
He rocks.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pet Peeves, Plans, and Other Bloggy Goodness

Have I mentioned before how much I HATE IT when I can hear people's mouth noises? It drives me CRAAAZZZY!!!!

I sit on the other side of a room from this guy - at LEAST 10 feet away, with his cubicle wall adn my cubicle wall (and a small walkway) between us. And I can STILL hear his FREAKING mouth noises! IT'S SO GROSS!!

I am like tensing up and all itchy (like when you hear nails on a chalkboard - yeah. Exactly!). This is sofrigginirritating!!!

I can't handle it. I may have to go for a while. SohelpmeGOD! I may just throw my stapler!!


*breathing*





Sorry - I don't handle it very well. I need a timeout.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





ANYwho - what's on YOUR agenda for the week's end and the weekend? I have to find costumes for McStudly and I (my idea for Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson was shot down rather quickly). Our Underground (that's the Young Adult group at church, not anything scandalous) Halloween Party at church is Sunday evening, and we've got NOTHING! Granted, I was having enough trouble figuring out my own costume before he came home. Now, I have to pick it out for BOTH of us, becuase he'll be working 12 hours a day until Saturday night.

He also said "I want you to pick them. That way if I look stupid, I can say I didn't pick it out." Niiice, McStudly. Thanks for that. No pressure or anything, right?! *blank face*


Any ideas? And preferrably something I can buy, relatively cheap at a local Target, Walmart, or Halloween store, that doesn't involve cleavage (umm, hello... have you seen me lack thereof?), blood and gore, or anything innapropriate. I also have to be able to wear it to the youth service the following Wednesday. Keep that in mind.


Since THAT knocks out about... oh... say 3/4 of the options that currently exist, I'll say I'm stink-outta-luck! I know I'll find something, but it won't be anything great or memorable.

I'm fresh out of the creative juices. I've got nothing.

Wow. What happened to me?! I used to be good at this stuff. My fuddy-duddy husband is ruining my Halloween spirit.






Pssh... let's face it - I didn't have much (if any) this year anyways. Who am I kidding?!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Well, It's About Dang Time!

Hey guys! Sorry - I'm a slacker. I was actually sick yesterday... McStudly gave me a fun version of whatever it is he came home with, and I was battling it yesterday. I think it won, because I'm still battling it, but I am feeling a lot better. Finally!



Well, yesterday afternoon, after my fever finally broke, McStudly wanted to go out and look at bedroom furniture. He's going back to work tomorrow, so we were short on time. So... I drugged up and we headed out. First Showman Furniture... then Roomstore... and finally Value City Furniture.





AND *ding ding ding* We HAVE a winner folks!! Value City's prices and warranty's, plus their low (compared to most) delivery/set-up fee made it the perfect place for our furniture purchase.





We found one set that we both loved:




But unfortunately, the Chest (tall dresser) was out of stock, and back ordered until December 3rd (not cool for McStudly!), so we moved on. We both really liked it, but what can ya do, folks?!

As it turned out, the furniture we "moved on" to was actually a much better deal. We got a free lifetime warranty on the set. Everything was in stock, and it's quality, real wood furniture from American Signature, so it's really nice. Here it is:

That's it! And this next picture actually has the bed that we got (even though we both LOVED the canopy bed above, this bed was only $100 with the dresser and chest. Gotta love a good deal!).

By the time we had decided on this set, I was WAY past ready to go home. We signed the papers, paid for it all, and then went on our way. I was back to feeling not-so-good, so I was VERY glad that dinner was already in the crock-pot and almost ready to eat when we got there.

So here I am, today, back at work, and wishing I was at home and cuddling in bed with my warm McStudly. Why is it that I've found it harder to get out of bed now that he's home, again?

*sigh

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Husband Rocks Friday!

Okay - I'm super late, but I have a good excuse (see below).


My Husband rocks because when I came home Friday after work - HE WAS THERE!!! He fibbed a little here and there to make the surprise work, but he was home!! I had NO idea! He got up WAY early Friday morning and drove straight through to get hom before I did from work.

Okay - so I did almost wet myself when I first realized that someone was in my house, but when it turned out to be him I was SOOO freaking excited!!! I can't believe it. He's home! And for good, too. What an awesome surprise!!

McStudly: You ROCK!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Feel Your Boobies!

Today signals the end of National "Feel Your Boobies" week, and we're only half-way through Breast Cancer awareness month.

Having known at least two people who've gone through this, and watching how it's effected them as well as their families, I can't help but encourage all of you ladies out there (and Men, tell your ladies!) to check yourself. Even those under 40. It doesn't matter. But check yourself regularly.

So anyways, I just thought I'd show some support. :-)








Well? Are you?



Feel Your Boobies and Save the Tatas!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Girl with the Apples

August 1942.
Piotrkow , Poland.


The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously. All the men, women and children of Piotrkow's Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square. Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated.

"Whatever you do," Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me, "don't tell them your age. Say you're sixteen."

I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker.

An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down, and then asked my age.

"Sixteen," I said.

He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood
My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and elderly people. I whispered to Isidore, "Why?"He didn't answer.I ran to Mama's side and said I wanted to stay with her.

"No, "she said sternly."Get away. Don't be a nuisance. Go with your brothers."

She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood: She was protecting me. She loved me so much that, just this once, she pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her.

My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany. We arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night weeks later and were led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and identification numbers.

"Don't call me Herman anymore." I said to my brothers. "Call me 94983."

I was put to work in the camp's crematorium, loading the dead into a hand-cranked elevator. I, too, felt dead. Hardened. I had become a number.

Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald 's sub-camps near Berlin. One morning I thought I heard my mother's voice.

"Son," she said softly but clearly, I am going to send you an angel."

Then I woke up. It had been only a dream. A beautiful dream. But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.

A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, around the barracks, near the barbed-wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was alone.

On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone: a little girl with light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree. I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in German.

"Do you have something to eat?"

She didn't understand. I inched closer to the fence and repeated the question in Polish. She stepped forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life. She pulled an apple from her woolen jacket and threw it over the fence. I grabbed the fruit and, as I started to run away, I heard her say faintly, "I'll see you tomorrow."

I returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day. She was always there with something for me to eat - a hunk of bread or, better yet, an apple.We didn't dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for us both.I didn't know anything about her, just a kind farm girl, except that she understood Polish.

What was her name? Why was she risking her life for me? Hope was in such short supply, and this girl on the other side of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and apples.

Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to The Resienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia.

"Don't return," I told the girl that day. "We're leaving."

I turned toward the barracks and didn't look back, didn't even say good-bye to the little girl whose name I'd never learned. The girl with the apples. We were in Resienstadt for three months. The war was winding down and Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed.

On May 10, 1945, my time had come. I was destined to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 am.In the quiet of dawn, I tried to prepare myself. So many times death seemed ready to claim me, but somehow I'd survived. Now, it was over. I thought of my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited.

But at 8 A.M. there was a commotion. I heard shouts, and saw people running every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers. Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was running, so I did too. Amazingly, I and all of my brothers had survived; Somehow, I knew that the girl with the apples had been the key to my survival.

In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person's goodness had saved my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none. My mother had promised to send me an angel, and the angel had come.

Eventually I made my way to England where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came to America, where my brother, Sam, had already moved. I served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years.

By August 1957 I'd opened my own electronics repair shop. I was starting to settle in. One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me.

"I've got a date. She's got a Polish friend. Let's double date."

A blind date? Nah, that wasn't for me. But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up to the Bronx to pick up his date and her friend Roma.

I had to admit, for a blind date this wasn't so bad. Roma was a nurse at a Bronx hospital. She was kind and smart. Beautiful, too, with swirling brown curls and green, almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with life. The four of us drove out to Coney Island.

Roma was easy to talk to, easy to be with. Turned out she was wary of blind dates too! We were both just doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the boardwalk, enjoying the salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by the shore. I couldn't remember having a better time. We piled back into Sid's car, Roma and I sharing the backseat.

As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject,

"Where were you," she asked softly, "during the war?"

"The camps," I said. The terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss. I had tried to forget. But you can never forget.

She nodded.

"My family was hiding on a farm in Germany, not far from Berlin," she told me. "My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers." I imagined how she must have suffered too. Fear must have been a constant companion. And yet here we were both survivors, in a new world. "There was a camp next to the farm." Roma continued. "I saw a boy there and I would throw him apples every day."

What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. "What did he look like?" I asked.

"He was tall, skinny, and hungry. I must have seen him every day for six months."

My heart was racing. I couldn't believe it. This couldn't be.

"Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?" Roma looked at me in amazement.

"Yes!"

"That was me!" I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn't believe it! My angel.

"I'm not letting you go." I said to Roma.

And in the back of the car on that blind date, I proposed to her. I didn't want to wait.

"You're crazy!" she said.

But she invited me to meet her parents for Shabbat dinner the following week.There was so much I looked forward to learning about Roma, but the most important things I always knew: her steadfastness, her goodness. For many months, in the worst of circumstances, she had come to the fence and given me hope. Now that I'd found her again, I could never let her go.

That day, she said yes. And I kept my word. After more than a half century of marriage, two children and three grandchildren, I have never let her go.







This story is also being made into a movie to be released sometime in 2010 called "The Flower of the Fence". I know I"ll be going to see it. You?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

All Dogs Go to Heaven

And I'm not talking about the movie (as great and timeless as it will always be...).


There are two churches along a busy street. One on each side, and they are facing each other. Two completely different denominations. Two different opinions. One very public battle of the church signs. Check it out:










Ha ha ha... good times. You have to have a sense of humor with stuff like this. I mean really.