Friday, May 30, 2008

Gassy McFartPants

Can someone PLEASE explain to me why dogs have such bad gas??

And the worst part is that it never seems to bother them!

One minute, McStudly and I will be chillin' on the couch, maybe throwing the ball for the dog, or just watching a movie. And then WHAAMMMOOOO!!! We're slapped in the face by the stench of death erupting from my dog's foul behind.

It REALLY DOES smell like something died!!

Here are a few of Gassy McFartPants' preferred stink varieties:

The "what was that?!"
This is where the fart is preceded by a short, abrupt sound, alarming the dog, and causing him to look around as if it didn't just sneak out of it's own body. He looks around, sometimes even jumping to his feet, to investigate the source, while we all cover our faces in displeased preparation of the aftermath.

The "was that me?"
This is only similar to the first. In this case, the dog sniffs around and tracks the smell back to his hind parts. See the next one for possible outcomes.

The "save yourself!"
This can be a result of any said "release", if you will. Whatever the dog's initial reaction, he decides that leaving the room is the only option. And it's not usually a slow walk, it's more like a "RUN AWAAYYY" kind of thing, at least with my dog it is, anyway. Sometimes, you see the dog run out of the room wondering "what in the..." WHHAAMMMOOOO... you realize the reasoning behind his hasty escape. *queue Indiana Jones music*

The "crop duster"
Now this specific toot is not dog specific (then again, are any of them?). My dog is a big fan of the crop duster. He's a fart walker. Yes... he likes to "spread the love" around. (little brat) Sometimes it's a drive-by pooting, sometimes you are the finish of the race, but in any case, this one tends to come at you full force... like a big, Farty Mack Truck heading STRAIGHT at you at 60 mph. (It can even render you unconscious in the same way!)

The "sleep fart"
Simple to explain, but just as painful. The dog is sleeping and out of no where - there's a fart breeze-a-blowing. There's no warning, no avoiding it, and no way of stopping it. By the time it hits, you might as well tuck and cover until the storm clears, because it's bound to be a doozie.

The "quick Quick QUICK!!"
In this instance, your dog KNOWS it almost poo time. He's tried to warn you (or gotten too caught up in his game of fetch to stop and attempt a warning) and now it's time to GO!! If you don't take him outside immediately, he's going to be laying some fertilizer on your living room carpet, and I don't imagine you'd like to plant a flower in this stuff. Usually, this one is coupled with a nervous run to the nearest door, but squeezed, and tail pointing straight down, covering the hole. You must act quickly - there's NO TIME!!

Well, there are many more. But these are Austin's favorites. Please do share your personal experiences with us (and if it's about your husband, instead of Fido, please do feel free to call him Spot in order to save face... eh... butt... ha ha)

FYI - I am apparently not the only on who suffers from said problem - someone has ACTUALLY invented something called a "Farty Dog Thong". Check it:

Word to your mother.


Themed Weddings

Okay - so by now most of you have heard about Ashlee Simpson/Pete Wentz awesome Alice & Wonderland themed wedding. TOO cute and I absolutely LOVED their cake (though I honestly wouldn't even know where to begin cutting the thing). Check it out in today's People magazine. Love it!!

Also - somehting many of you did NOT know about me... I secretly dream of becommuing a Professional Wedding Planner. Seriously! No of any stressed out brides, or soon to be, that need any help?? I'm SO there!! (and Jamily, too! We work well together dreaming up weddings.) :-D

Now - for today's blog, I thought I'd go through different styles of Themed Weddings. Some you should steer WAY clear of and others you will TOTALLY wish you had been invited.

So without further adieu, I give you... Themed Weddings.

Now to start, here's one to stay away from. It doesn't seem like this couple went TOO Far out in their planning, but still - I could never, in good conscious, attend a Star Wars themed wedding. Sorry!

Now - it could be pretty cool to have a Renaissance (sp?) themed wedding IF done well. And I'm afraid that this is NOT an example of one that has been "done well".

This next wedding is gorgeous - simple and elegant. Good rule of thumb, you can't really go wrong with a season-themed wedding (it's possible, but... not easily done). See below: a Fall themed wedding.

Another unique wedding idea that can be both super cute and WAY not cute. A Great Gatsby themed wedding.

Please. Please please please do not do this to yourself. I don't have the wedding picture, but this "wedding dress", if you can really call it that, is from a Butterfly themed wedding. Okay - maybe a butterfly themed "Sweet 16" or something, but a wedding? Come on, now. The Theme sounds cool, but my focus is totally on this dress - spare us all... for the sake of all mankind.

I'm not even going to say anything about this next one - Pantomime Themed wedding. Just... don't do it to yourselves.

(I lied - I'm going to say something else) Please be sure to remove all hair curlers, and keep breasts safely tucked away to avoid the wedding coming to a sudden an complete crashing halt!! Thank you.

I don't know what the theme of this next wedding actually is, but to me it appears to be a Gentleman and his Vegas Show Girl ?!?!

This next one is a Fantasy themed wedding. I guess they were mixing ALL of the movies together, and allowing an "anything goes" type of atmosphere. Please do NOT try this at home. And PS - if I ever see you dresses as a robot at a wedding I attend, please know that I will probably never speak to you again. (This one has a story to follow the picture. Please read... and then sit in amazement with me.)

Jonathan Wollack dressed as "Star Wars" bounty hunter Boba Fett, while fiancée Rose Coe was dressed as Sarah from the movie "Labyrinth."
Midway through the Louisville couple's sci-fi/fantasy-themed wedding the ordained minister, dressed as an Imperial Officer, asked if there were any objections to the marriage. From the back of the crowd, another Boba Fett yelled, "Yes!" rushed to the stage and pushed Wollack aside. He then lifted his helmet to reveal his true identity: Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who portrayed Boba Fett in some of the "Stars Wars" movies!

*shaking head in utter embarrassment*

No words can describe this next one - a Fantastic Four themed wedding (stop rubbing your eyes, you read it right) - except that if you happened to go to the Festival of Lights one certain year at the Heritage Community Church, then you, as well as I, have seen a much better Wonder Woman.

I wouldn't do this next one, if I were you, BUT the cake is pretty cool - a big shout out to the creator... though it seems more like an idea for a birthday than a wedding. A Nintendo Wedding.

I must say - these are getting less and less predictable as we go on.

Minus the nightmare-stirring dragon, this cake is pretty coolio.

This British Gangster wedding seems pretty fun... but I mainly like how "the muscle" is comprised of the skinny groomsmen. ha ha

Mr. Spok... I .... can't.... believe.... someone...... would.... do.... this........

Oh nooo they didn't. Check out these Klingon newlyweds.

This next one is DEFINITELY one I would look forward to showing my kids when they are old enough to understand that their parents are COMPLETE FREAKS!!! And of course when they'll be old enough to sleep through the night without waking up screaming from terrifying nightmares of their living dead parents walking zombily (??) into their room...

This next cake is really cool (you have to click on it to see it's real genius), but I'm really hoping that the wedding party wasn't dressed like the little lego people. Here's to hoping!! A Lego themed wedding.

Hmm... this one is weird. It's the Green Knight... apparently having something to do with Christmas. ??? (and yes... it is actually from a wedding)

A Super Mario themed wedding. I only know ONE person in the world cool enough to pull off something like this (Ben Ashley!), and I'm not sure if even he would do it. But cool cake, eh?

This one could also be pretty neato-torpedo (pun intended) if done right. It's a Wartime wedding.

I'll end here, with this next one. But there will SOOOO be an encore Post on themed weddings. I just can't keep going on forever. So here you have it... I bet you'd NEVER in a MILLION YEARS guess that someone would actually have a wedding theme like this. The TIVO wedding.


PS - I realized that I didn't do enough cool/pretty themed weddings - so here are a few more!!

A Thai themed wedding. When you have the abillity to incorporate another culture into your wedding - PLEASE do. It's usually FAR from disappointing, and very elegant.

A Tiffany & Co Themed wedding - very elegant, simple... an all around safe and beautiful idea.

Bonus tip: It's a pretty safe bet to Theme your wedding on a Flower - especially if it's a naturally beautiful flower like the Tulip, Rose, or Gerbera Daisy. See examples here:

That's all, Folks!!


You're Not Alone

a song by Meredith Andrews

I search for love
When the night came and it closed in
I was alone
But you found me where I was hiding
And though I'll never ever be the same
It was the sweetest voice that called my name
Singin' -

You're not alone for I am here
Let me wipe away every fear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest night
And I'm the one that's loved you all your life
All of your life

You cry yourself to sleep
Cause the hurt is real and the pain cuts deep
All hope seems lost
With heartache your closest friend and everyone else long gone
You've had to face the music on your own
But there is a sweeter song that calls you home
Sayin' -

You're not alone for I am here
Let me wipe away your every tear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest nights
And I'm the one that's loved you all your life
All your life

Faithful and true... Forever
For my love will carry you....

You're not alone for I... I am here
Let me wipe away every fear... Oh yeah
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through your darkest nights... Your darkest nights
And I'm the one that's loved you all your life
All of your life

Just something to think about. Love y'all!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Now - you're probably thinking I'm going to be giving someone some "props" in this post, but you'd be wrong.

I just wanted to share something I totally think it true, yet not many people - ESPECIALLY teens and younger adults - think much about.

I'm talking about our Credit Scores. Yes - that's right, folks. Your Credit Score will follow you around EVERYWHERE you go. If you made some not-so-bright decisions when you were younger, you'll still be stuck with the "fall out" of those decisions for years to come. Even just ONE teeny weeny late payment... it's there. Like a Bright RED Stain on the White Sheet of your Credit History.

I'm Lucky enough to have a bank that sends me regular credit reports, without it effecting my Credit Score. USAA has a program where you pay $5 a month and you get monthly reports of activity on your Credit - open accounts, closed accounts, inquiries, late payments, etc. And I'm ALSO lucky to be one of those people that never really got into any trouble with Credit Cards or the sort.

But here's mu suggestion:

I submit that we take away one of the practically-useless Algebra class requirements for High School Graduation, and require all students to take a class on Financial Management.

I'm not talking like "If Johnny has $300 in savings, $750 in his checking, and $30,000 in stocks and bonds, what is his Market Value?" I don't mean that kind of math - I mean really good, life altering math education. The stuff that REALLY matters, now matter WHAT job you get, or WHERE you live.

Things like:

- Debt-to-Income ratios

- Interest Rates (to include hidden fees and compound interest rates)

- Reading the fine print on ANY type of financial agreement

- Buy a car you can really afford (not just one you can pay for)

- Saving for retirement

- How to purchase stocks and bonds, and knowing if it's right for you

- Buying vs. Renting your home

- Budgeting 101

- Financial Management

- Financial Planning

Stuff like that. EVERYONE needs to know this stuff. And unfortunately, no one really "teaches" you this stuff until you're on the other side of their desk and they want your business - and then they're just giving you the "basics" or the information that benefits them, or helps them get you to sign on the dotted line.

In this world, there aren't too many people you can trust with your financial well-being. And we are all to quick to give out our Social Security numbers and personal information when it comes to just test-driving a car we like, or WHATEVER the case may be. No one sits you down and tells you that everytime you give someone permission to "check your credit", they are deducting 5 pts from your score. Or that It takes 7 - 15 years for some "black spots" to be removed from your credit history.

Had I not looked at my credit report today, I would NOT have known that they still have a WAY old car loan listed as "Current", even though it was paid off 2 YEARS ago, and has since closed in good standing. OR that there are 2 - 3 "Inquiries" on my Credit History that are about 2 years old, but were supposed to be removed after only 2 years.

So I had to put a dispute against my report, to have the bank update the old Auto Loan information as "Closed. Paid Satisfactorily." And within 10 days, the old inquiries will disappear - ALL of which will raise my Credit score. It may not raise it a lot, BUT when you are planning on buying a Home within the next few months, every little bit can help.

Your Credit History really does follow you around. And where I don't believe you should dwell on it, I do believe you should be responsible with it, and take it seriously.

Does anyone agree with me that this should be a required course in High School?

Because I promise you - if someone had REALLY sat me down and explained all this to me, I would have listened. When someone talks money - almost everyone listens. So why isn't it done more often?

I know they offer "Personal Finance" and other similar classes as electives in High School, but even though I took the class, I didn't get it. They talked more about how to start a business and "create your own business board game" then they did about the REAL LIFE stuff. I took a lot out of the class (even though it was my 1st period class, and I was late almost EVERY day). But I wished I had been taught more.

So... what do you think? Should a Financial Math class of some sort be require din High Schools in place of a 3rd or 4th year of Math that no one ever remembers, MUCH LESS uses in everyday life?

PS - Just so you are all aware (if you're like me and didn't already know), you can check your OWN Credit Report and it does NOT effect your Credit score like it does when someone else checks it and takes away 5 pts. It's considered a "soft inquiry" and doesn't change your Credit Score. So CHECK YOUR CREDIT and Dispute anything that shouldn't be there. :-D


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What really grinds my gears...

I'm going to start a new series of blogs. They will pop in here and there when something really grinds my gears. Today's gear grinder isn't so much a gear grinder as just an awkward situation, but I guarantee you there will be some MUCH better ones in the future!

You know what really grinds my gears?

How long awkward hallways seem to now be a prerequisite to the building of major corporations.

Yes... it drives me nuts. It's like they START with the long hallways, and then decide where to fit in the offices. Why does it bother me? Because if corporations were like tunnels, my "place of business" would be like the ant farm or termite hill of them all.

You know how on map quest you can select a feature called "Avoid Major Highways" if you'd prefer to stay away from them? Well, not possible here. If I wanted to "Avoid Long Awkward Hallways", I would just stay home from work.

Here's what happens in the long awkward hallways. There are many scenarios, but here are the few I come across at LEAST once daily (in no particular order):

1 - You're returning from lunch, or even just the bathroom, and you begin your long journey home (to your desk, of course). As you are walking one way, there is another poor soul walking the opposite way, towards you and their home (desk... stay with me). The hallway is SO long that you don't want to be making eye contact with them the whole way, because you'd be the lucky sap to get a call from EEO informing you of your forced early retirement. So what do we do?! You look down... admire the wall... check your finger nails... scratch your nose like 5 times. FINALLY you've reached the normal greeting distance and you throw out one of those "smile nods" where no one actually says anything, but it's more like an equal acknowledgement of "yes, we both know how awkward this was, so let's just get past it and move on with out lives."


2 - You're in somewhat of a hurry - maybe you have a shortened lunch window, or you are turning in a document that's due... like 2 minutes... on someone's desk on the other side of the building (or another building altogether is more likely if you work where I work). So you get-to-stepping. AND of course you run into the Slowskies. There's like a group of 5 people that just HAVE to walk even with each other, taking up the entire hallway. Nooo... they can't hear your footsteps and move to the side, or notice your all-too-suddle throat clearing, or sniffling as I do, and notice "hey, there are other people in this world. Maybe I should make room for them". Noooo. They just keep on walking. Awkwardly ignoring, or totally missing altogether, the fact that you're behind them. So you're now in a dilemma. Do you try to find a small opening, begin pushing yourself through and then say excuse me like you do when passing a group of soccer moms and strollers at the mall? Or do you walk all the way up until you are now RIGHT behind them and just hope that you catch the corner of someone's eye? Very difficult predicament.

Am I the only one?!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Virgin Ears

DISCLAIMER: Please note, before reading the rest of this blog, that it is pretty inappropriate for anyone not married, and anyone probably not closely related to me, or knows me well enough to understand that when I cross the line into "inappropriate" territory, I do it lightheartedly and only in small circles. Just so you are aware - this blog will contain some vague sorts of sexual references (though I was stop short of calling these inappropriate) and my opinion on sex before vs. after getting married. I will not be detailed, but the word "sex" will appear more than once. So either stop reading now, or brace yourself... it's going to get a little bumpy...

I recently had a conversation about the transformation of Bridal Parties. Somewhere along the lines, it became "the norm" for gifts at Bridal Showers to be straight from the Wedding Registry. I don't believe this was always the case. However, for some reason, especially for those raised in church families, "sex" has become a bit of a Taboo word/topic/act among women of this generation.

Some of you would disagree with me - with the way Sex is plastered all over buses, billboards, and television as if it's a prerequisite to growing up, it's amazing that anyone can, and will, wait until they are married to experience it. But I think there's a big part we play in trying to "cushion" or "protect" our children from sex. Here's a few rules I would say we need to create and abide by - as parents, as mentors, as big brothers and sisters, whatever - when it comes to sex and the up-and-coming generations:

1. "Virgin" is NOT a dirty word. I love that there is a billboard (or at least there was) in Baltimore City that said "Teach you child that 'Virgin' is not a dirty word." It's very important that our kids understand that not only is it okay to be a virgin, but it's the best decision they could ever make - both for themselves and their future spouse (and their horny boyfriend or girlfriend, though they may try to convince them otherwise).

2. Sex is not gross. It's not bad. It's not something to dread. I actually know a young girl - she's around 12 or 13, now, that told me "I want to have kids, but I don't want to do what you 'have to do' in order to have them" with this HUGELY disgusted look on her face. The reason for the misunderstanding? She has learned everything she thought she knew about sex from a friend at school. And unfortunately, it was all wrong - WAY wrong. And even MORE unfortunately, her parents would NOT talk with her about it.

**sidenote - I agree that there is a right and a wrong age that is appropriate for talking to your child about this topic. I believe that is a different age for each child, and it depends on a lot of things, but if you do not talk to your child about it, someone will. And more often than not, it will be a bad/inappropriate source and they will be grossly misinformed.**

3. When engaged, it's okay to buy lingerie. I know it's okay... because you're getting ready to "need" the stuff. But I was STILL embarrassed walking around in the store. I was excited at the idea of buying things, however... the fact that Victoria's Secret does not have doors on their stores made it hard for me to walk about freely. Solution? I shopped online.

Let me stop here and say that I be NO MEANS had a shy mother and father. Sex was NOT a topic that they danced around. YES - it was embarrassing at times, but I thank God for that. I have way too many friends whose parents were the opposite, and I'm sad when I see where they learned a lot about sex and related topics, because most of it was through experience.

Okay - so I had all these rules in mind, but decided that since I'm not a parent, and I have yet to have a younger sister get married (MANY MANY MANY YEARS AWAY, my seventeen-year-old baby sister!!! MANY MANY YEARS!!), I should probably just stick to blogging on and on about how we all have the wrong idea about sex before we get married.

So - I have a friend that's about to get married, and we're throwing her a lingerie shower. Why? Because Bridal showers have changed to include mainly wedding registry gifts, and less gifts specifically for the BRIDE herself. In all fairness, she has apparently gotten several of classy "little things" to wear and has some friends that have done her well. However, you can NEVER have too many, and when you're a newlywed, you can never have enough!

Take it from a newlywed herself (that's me, folks... just in case you were wondering) - dressing up in your little sexy things can be the funnest part of the honeymoon (well... aside from a few other obvious things, like the fact that you'll probably be on a beach somewhere... and umm... filling your time with other kinds of activities *clears throat*). Let's be real, folks. When you get married, you have sex. I mean come on, now. It happens. We all know it. (And if it doesn't, I have the name of a wonderful counselor who would be willing to talk about what's going on in your relationship... because something's missing.)

The sad thing? Even for some people who have been married for MANY years, it's embarrassing to think people know that it happens. I know a Pastor's wife who got pregnant in her late 30s (closer to 40, actually). When she found out she was pregnant, this is what she told my mother

PREGNANT WOMAN: "I'm so embarrassed! When people find out that I'm pregnant, they're going to know that we... umm..."

MOM: "That you have sex?!"

PREGNANT WOMAN: "Yes! What will they think?! I mean... look at how old we are? What are people going to think?"

MOM: (God love her) "That you're human!"

I'm not 100% sure that's how the conversation went, exactly, but I'm pretty sure that includes all of the important parts. We may laugh at the Pregnant Woman's reaction, but I think, on some level, we all think that at times.

When McStudly and I returned from our honeymoon in Jamaica, we got back the weekend before Thanksgiving. We decided to sleep in the next morning (our flight had arrived late Saturday night, and we stayed up late opening all of our wedding presents when we finally got home!!), and then didn't go anywhere except for when I had to go back to work Monday morning. We stayed in the house being home-bodies until Thanksgiving day. I was somewhat dreading this all week. I just KNEW that as soon as I walked in, everyone would be thinking "they've had sex!" and be all weird. OR worse yet, they'd make comments!! (if you knew my family, you would NOT put it past them!)

But I was WAY off. This didn't happen at all. It was as if nothing had happened (now that I think about it, maybe they were slightly embarrassed, themselves). I was SO relieved!

Now that I've been married for about 6 1/2 months, it's not big deal. Sex is just a part of life, now. I'm not secretly trying to hide my embarrassment when the word is spoken, or eluded to anyways. I am perfectly fine walking into my parents house and telling my mother or sister something funny that happened regarding the topic. All because I understand it, now. It's not something that's just this crazy taboo thing anymore. God created it and that's it!

Now - I can't blog on the topic of sex without mentioning one of the funniest women I know. If you know Lynn B., you know exactly why she came up. This women is awesome. Let me start with her testimony (and hopefully I get this right). She was married very young (I believe it was around 16) and lived/grew up in Baltimore City, where she still lives to this day. She used to work as a "prostitute" (I'll explain the quotations, if you give me a second) along side her husband, Dave. What she would do is stand on the corner, or wherever, and be approached my a "wanting" man. They would get a hotel room, and she would begin by making him take a shower. However, while he was in the shower, her husband would come in and they would rob him - taking all of his money, etc, and leave before he got out.

I'm not sure how long they did this, but eventually, somewhere down the line, they both got saves (Amen, right?!). Now, Dave is the Pastor of a Church right in the heart of in Baltimore City. Talk about how God can, AND WILL, use anyone's life for good, right?! Well, I can't finish this story without telling you, Lynn B. is not the tiniest woman In fact, she's not tiny at all. But if she was, I don't think it would be the same. She is just so awesome - she wants to write a book, in fact, about sex and Christian women. I forget what she wanted to call it, but it's good. The whole point of the book is about how sex is God given. It's created to be good and there's nothing shameful about it - whether your a 25 in waist, 55 in waist, or just refuse to measure it. I can't do it justice, but if she ever writes it and it's published, I will tell you and you've GOT to buy it!! She is NOT a shy woman. And I love her for it! Let's just say that my youth camp years involved hearing her tell my mother stories involving her living room, a shower curtain, and a bottle of baby oil - enough said.

But she makes a good point in all of this - women, especially Christian women, are embarrassed when it comes to sex at lot of times. And this shouldn't be the case. NOW - I will say that there is a time and a place for any conversation on the topic. And I WILL say that what you and your spouse do should remain between the two of you, because it is a private thing. BUT I also believe that it's important to encourage one another in the fact that it's not a bad or shameful thing! Now - I will probably NEVER be as comfortable with the topic as Lynn is, but I do vow to NEVER be as embarrassed as the Pregnant Woman in the story above.

How did I get as far into this as I did? I have NO idea - probably just because I'm bored out of my MIND at work and needed something to occupy my time. BUT, I've said all of this to bring me to this next point.

If it hadn't been for my sister, a few close friends, and our late night "conversations" about what sex would be like... what to have with you, and what to be prepared for, I would have been SOOOO unprepared for it. I do agree that I would've eventually figured things out (obviously...), but it was SO helpful and SO worth it.

If you have any friends that are getting ready to get married, or have a newlywed friend that you know didn't have these kinds of talks with family or VERY CLOSE friends, please do bring it up in an appropriate atmosphere and conversation. Especially to someone who's waiting until marriage to have sex, this is a topic that isn't often brought up (if at all), and can help lessen the nervousness of something that weighs heavily on their mind. Lord knows it did for me!

For those of you who may be a BIT traumatized by my blog, know that I TRIED to warn you. I really did - hence the huge-long disclaimer at the very beginning of the blog. It was put there for a reason. And I HOPE that you don't look at me differently or uncomfortably. Because let's face it - at one time or another, sex is a part of life.

So let's inform our kids (at appropriate levels for each age), and keep them for looking for information on their own. Especially with as rampid as it runs in television today, they're going to be exposed to some things earlier then their innocent minds should, so don't try to avoid it. Present it appropriately ( I might hold off on having your 7 year old read through Song of Solomon). Sex was created by God for a husband and a wife. And when in the appropriate context, can be a wonderful, beautiful thing. But until then... shouldn't be messed with. As parents, we should all be open with our children's questions, and try not to be too embarrassed when a little child year old asks where babies come from.

For all you parents out there - Good Luck! I have no idea how I want to talk to my children about sex, BUT I do know that I will not be putting it off. We can't afford to - especially as Christian parents. The longer you put it off, the greater the risk you run.

Love y'all! Take care! ;-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

But teacher... my dog ate my -


No really, though. He really really did. Luckily it's working (kinda) for now. And we're not planning on replacing it anytime soon, though I would LOVE that. But I wish I could should you a picture of just how bad it is.

For those of you that don't know, I have an Orange EnV, from Verizon. I heart this phone. Or... I heartED this phone. Becuase now, I can't use it!! I can use ONLY the buttons on the outside/front of the phone. The keypad inside?! Out of use... I can hit any button on the left, and it pushes "7". I hit any button on the top or the right, and it connects me to the internet.


I love my dog, but now I can't use my phone. I'm sad. :-(

**For those willing to make donations to the "help Sarah Replace her Phone" fund, please make checks payable to Sarah Puhl, and leave comments with desire to forward cold, hard, loving cash. You will be contacted with the drop time.**

And NOW - the moment you've ALL been waiting for!!!

Random Happier Thoughts!!!

Yes that's right - this weekend is a 3 DAY WEEKEND!!! *applause applause applause*

Thank you... thank you...

AND Some of you lucky ducks get a shortened Friday, too! Wait... what's that?! I'm a lucky duck? ROCK ON!!! I get off at *drumroll* 2 O'CLOCK today! woot woot

AND Myanmar junta finally agreed to let all aid workers help the Cyclone victims. Awesome!!

Now I must admit... American Idol took me by surprise, and I heard it took David Cook by surprise, too. I think we ALL thought David Archeleta (sp?) was going to win, but he didn't. Whatever - they're still going to sign him, and he's still going to put out a CD, right?! Sounds good to me! ;-)

Blah blah blah.
So... today will hopefully go by quickly. I mean - I've already been here for about 1..2..3... just over 2 hours. And I only have about 4 to go! SCORE! It's really jsut one of those days (as I believe it is with any holiday weekend. Your boss hands you a one page, double-spaced, size 20 font document, and you're tempted to say "I'm sorry, I can't type this one page, double-spaced, size 20 font document - I only have 4 hours left! Just can't be done..."
But You do it anyways. Typing one line... then adding a little something to your blog... then typing the second line... then adding a little something to your blog... third line... checking e-mail... 4th line... doodling...

You finally realize that 3 1/2 hours have passed, and Oh shucks! It's almot time to go!! Poor little document never knew what hit it. You typed faster than Auntie Em in a Cyclone and them BAMMM! You're SO ready to go home and you watch the clock...



ttiiiiiccccckkkkk (what the heck?!)


tiiiicccckkkkkkkk (oh for the Love of Pete)


And it goes on. Just as a watched pot never boils, so a watch clock never FRIGGING STRIKES QUITTIN' TIME!!!

*queue sappy orchestra music*

And so are the days of our lives...

Memorial Day

So this weekend, we rememorialize (???) those who have served our country. Some have died, some still live on, and some still fight even today. It's not about what you believe, and it's not about your opinion. It's about these people giving of themselves for YOU and YOUR family. Not all have had to serve overseas, but every Soldier, every Airman, every Seaman, every Marine has sacrificed something for you - time with their family, a comfortable place to sleep, a chance to "live it up" like we all do - they've each given something of themselves for us.

I know some have served for the wrong reasons, a political agenda, or for no reason at all but to pay for their schooling. Whatever the reason, they still served.

So while I'm busy trying to convince McStudly to wear his dress blues to church on Sunday so that I can stare at his rear in those FANTASTICLY fitted navy blue pants when the Pastor asks for everyone serving in the military to stand and be recognized
(deep, dreamy breath... *sigh*), y'all show some support this weekend. Even if it's just a "Thanks man" high-five. Go for it! Connect four! (sorry... I had to. It's one of those automatic brain responses... blame the lame game commercials of the 90s. and PS - how was THAT for an alliteration?! Rock on again!!)

Peace out, homies!! And Word to the military! ;-)


Thursday, May 22, 2008

We'll be seeing you, Maria.

I can't really type much, becuase when I think about what happened, and hear the lyrics to a certain song in my mind... I almost start crying.

Yesterday, Steven Curtis Chapman's little girl, Maria, whom he adopted from China about 5 years ago, died in a horrible accident.

Please keep the family in prayer. Especially the oldest son. He was pulling out of the driveway, and didn't see her. She was rushed to a nearby Children's Hospital and didn't make it.

(Left to right Will Franklin, Maria, Steven, Shaoey, Mary Beth, Stevey Joy, Caleb and Emily)

Please keep their family in your prayers, and ask God to bring peace and joy back into their lives. Pray that their son does not hold himself responsible and that he forgives himself, which will be the hardest thing to do, I'm sure. And Pray that the entire family makes it through this situation and grows closer together because of it.

In remembering Maria, Take a look at the lyrics of one of Steven Curtis Chapman's newer songs. (If I could figure out how to get it to play, I would...)


She spins and she sways to whatever song plays,
Without a care in the world.
And I'm sittin' here wearin' the weight of the world on my shoulders.
It's been a long day and there's still work to do,
She's pulling at me saying "Dad I need you!
There's a ball at the castle and I've been invited and I need to practice my dancin'"
"Oh please, daddy, please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all to soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I'd approve of a dress
She says "Dad, the prom is just one week away, And I need to practice my dancin'"
"Oh please, daddy, please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all to soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be goneShe will be gone.

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowin' and tellin' us all they had planned
She says "Dad, the wedding's due six months awayAnd I need to practice my dancin'"
"Oh please, daddy please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song, (even one song)
Cuz all to soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mighty Good

My grandfather is a very sweet man. He can't hear very well, and if anyone gets married, he thinks the wedding was in Cleveland, BUT he means well, and he's a big sweetheart (just don't get offended if he called you some random name that sounds like it's from the 60s... his eyes aren't that great, anymore, either). Needless to say, he's gotten pretty "wise" over the years (a nice, friendly way of saying he's gotten old).

You see - Grandpa is currently in town. My Aunt Zelma, whom he now lives with, flew out here with him so that he can stay with our family while she's in Malaysia doing some missions work (or going to a conference... something cool either way). Also, my Aunt Sylvia flew in to help watch Grandpa and see the family again. It's almost become an annual thing (this is only the second year, but I've got a feeling!!).

With that said, I made a few realizations while sitting on my couch with my mother on Sunday. Whatever my Grandpa does, one of my aunts always checks with him. They kind've have to watch him closely because he can't really take care of himself alone, anymore. So if he stands up it's "Where you going, Daddy?" or... "Daddy - it's time to take a nap" or a personal favorite "Daddy, did you go number 1 or number 2?" (BONUS information!!!).

So what were these realizations that I made? I'll tell you:

- You come into this world wearing diapers, you leave this world wearing diapers.
- You come into this world being told what to do, you leave this world being told what to do.
- You come into this world having your food cut up into tiny bits so as not to make you choke - you leave the same way.

My list of these grew quite large, actually... but if you think about it - it's like a full circle!

Well, I tell you all of this to bring you to the title of my blog. Now that you understand a little bit about my Grandfather... let me tell you that he may have trouble hearing or seeing, but the man still enjoys a good meal. He's from the south - keep that in mind for the next part of our story.

Grandpa is what some ammateurs may call a "food critic". He's never mean... but it's like getting that 5th star... you've REALLY got to earn it with him. So whenever anyone cooks, he usually grades them as (and these are in order) "Good", "Pretty Good", or the infamous "Mighty Good". And there's never any confusion... becuase he always says it twice. "Pretty good... pretty good." (I think repeating it is his way of saying "just let me EAT my FOOD, people! You've got your answer, what more do you want from me?!" But that's just my opinion)

Well, I've tried MANY times to get a "Might Good", and even at the desperation of 'word planting', I fail EVERY time! (and YES I can cook... so be nice, people!!) This is usually how the conversation at dinner goes, with Grandpa and a meal that I've cooked:

ME: How is it, Grandpa?

GRANDPA: Pretty Good... Pretty Good.

ME: Is it Mighty Good, Grandpa?

GRANDPA: It's Pretty Good... Pretty Good.

ME: (sad, pouty, failure face)

FAMILY: (uncontrollable bursts of intense laughter)

So last night I get a message on my cell phone from my family. "Hey, Sarah, it's Dad. I just wanted to let you know that I grilled out some Chicken and Steak, tonight..." (this is where I think he's being sweet and inviting me over for dinner, since Kyle usually goes to bed super early when working days... I was wrong) The message continued: "...and I got an unsolicited 'Mighty Good', so... eat your heart out. (insert background of family bursting into laughter, here)"

Now I must admit that I HIGHLY doubt that this 'Mighty Good' was "unsolicited", as he said, but whatever. Even when I solicite them... I get nothing.

Life's not fair.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How Would You Respond?

How much do you know about what's going on in Myanmar? China? Anything?

Well, barring the death tolls, are you aware that Myanmar's leader will not open the country for Foreign Aid? He just won't allow it.

The leader of Myanmar insists he's got everything under control, and that he doesn't need help with bringing his country back from disaster. Want to see what the world seems to think about the US's desire to help? See the cartoon below - they believe we have a political agenda with our wanting to help (then agian... are they so far off to assume something like that? Have we done something like this in the past?). Not that I think that's the case, but when you have a certain opinion about someone, you question them when the "volunteer" to help, don't you?!

So before we get all mad at how people can think that abotu us wanting to help - think about how you'd react in a similar situation.

And that brings me to this - how often do you think you have everything "under control", when in reality, your world is totally falling apart? ... something to think about...

And in China - people are sleeping in the streets for fear of another aftershock bringing their home down on top of them in the night. What would it be like to live like that?

People are still being affected by the earthquake, plus fearing more aftershocks - but read these pieces of an article:

"In the Jiangning district of northeastern Liaoning province, a gray-haired beggar in his 60s donated five yuan for people plagued by earthquake on Thursday morning and waddled away. In the afternoon that man in patched blue coat appeared again with another 100 yuan and put the money into the donation box. "I would use my own life to exchange for mom's survival."

(Often, they are saying "mom" in these articles, but not actually referring to a mom, or their mom... it seems to have been lost in translation.)

"In the ruins of Qushan primary school in Beichuan, rescuer Zhu Yunneng found a boy covered with blood lying on several bodies. When Zhu stretched out his hand, the boy refused him, until hours later when about ten other kids were dug out. "I will not leave."

"Under a cement plate, 13-year-old Xiang Xiaolian from the Xuankou Middle School of Chongzhou city neighboring Wenchuan was in a coma after the quake until his classmate Ma Jian woke her up. "Please be by my side until I die. Don't leave," cried the girl helplessly. Ma nodded, began digging the plate with his own hands. Four hours later, Xiang was freed, while Ma's hands were badly hurt. "You have promised. You can't break your word."

"Xiao Xue and Xiao Ya were both buried when the quake toppled their school, the Xiang'e Middle School in Dujiangyan. In darkness, the girls held hands, encouraging each other and promising never to give up. Five hours later, the 15-year-old Xiao Xue was rescued, whereas Xiao Ya has been dead for quite a while."

"Four days after the deadly quake, some people were rescued, some perished. But some of their voices remained to touch many people. "Please, let me save another child. I can save one more!"

"When soldiers were rescuing students buried in the debris of a collapsed primary school in Mianzhu of Sichuan, the wreckage was jolted again in a strong aftershock and rescuers were ordered to leave. A soldier who just pulled out a kid knelt down, bursting into tears. "Dad, save me. I am still alive. [repeating the child's words]"

"The 36-year-old doctor Hao Xingjun from the Nanba township in Mianyang would never forget the last words from his daughter, Luyan. He chose to save other's kids first, and, when he turned back to search for his buried daughter, voice of the six-year-old girl has already died down. Holding tightly Luyan's bag, he watched dumbfoundedly as the girl's body was dug out. "My dear baby, forgive mom."

"Cuddling her son's body, Nie Xiaoyan wailed. The teacher from Yingxiu township kindergarten in Wenchuan saved two children when the earthquake happened, but her own kid, three years old, was killed. She wrapped the dead baby with a new quilt and wiped off dust from his cheek, so gently as if the boy would wake up. "People in the quake-hit regions are more miserable than I am. They even have their lives at stake."

So with that - I leave you with a question. If placed in the same situation... the same sorrow... the same disaster...

How would you respond?

The Chronic-WHAT-cles of Narnia

Yep - today's the day!! And the reminds me....


Today is my little sister's birthday!!! She's 17 today (woot woot). So if you see her... sing to her at the TOP of your lungs, as OFF KEY as possible, and dance like a ballerina with a broken leg. :-D

(It'll be LOTS of fun, I promise!)

So, tonight we (meaning Pulse - our Young Adults Group at church, and I) are going to see Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian. I'm super excited! McStudly and I rented the first one last night to refresh. :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Martin's Story Corner

I am a blogging slacker. I'm sorry - I should know better... but to make up for my shortcomings, today we're going to journey into the World of Martin. Let's tune in as he share's with us his crazy-exciting morning, shall we?!

*adjusting tuner to correct frequency*

Ahhh, yes - here we are:

I took these photos this morning before going to work. The mother ran off into the woods when it heard me trying to sneak up for a closer camera shot. The babies instinctively lie down, play dead and will remain still for hours at a time until the mother returns. They don’t carry a scent therefore predators have a harder time locating them while they are in hiding…like this Fawn was trying to do.

I was able to get within a few feet of it to take some close up shots for my submission to National Geographic –Don’t I wish!!! …but once I heard the cracking and snapping of fallen tree branches in the woods about 50 yards from where I was taking pictures, I didn’t hesitate to high tail it out of there and back into our house. I read that Mother Deer can be quite aggressive if their babies are in harms way. Our backyard is pretty thick woods and I lost sight of “Bambie’s Mother” once she ran off into the woods, so I figured, not sense in receiving a beat down by mommy Deer-est at 9:30 a.m. the morning while I’m wearing a business suit! J

Walida was not up on the back deck instigating a fight between Mommy Deer and myself, talking about “Yeah, just wait, you better watch your back because those deer can run up to 50 miles per hour and you ain’t gonna get that far up in those woods wearing that suit…we need to get you on camera running from its mother!” All the while, Walida’s mother was saying, “try to pick it up…move in for a closer shot…make sure you get a picture of its face”.

As far as I’m concerned, I believe that my distance to this baby deer was good enough!


Well, hopefully that's made up for my lack-o-blogs. Until next time!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mr. Hot Seat

Oh how I wish I had pictures for you.

But today I want to tell you all about... Mr. Hot Seat *dun dun dunnnnn*

Mr. Hot Seat is a dear old friend of ours. He was created by my father back when I was about 6 years old (give or take a few years) for his youth group (yes... yes I was the seat tester, and I thought it tickled). Apparently he needed to zap some Jesus into them, or at least give them some type of incentive to remembering their Bible trivia.

Anywho - let me paint a picture for you of who Mr. Hot Seat REALLY was:

He began as a small, humble wooden chair. Number 23, I believe (don't remember the actual number written on the back of it, but let's just go with it, shall we?). But it wasn't long before his true calling was discovered.

My father placed two slender metal strips (about 1'x4') on the seat of the chair, right around the middle, running front to back - right about where your "buns & thighs" would align on the seat.

But beneath the surface of the chair - that's where the magic happened.

The metal strips were wired to a big square 6volt lantern battery (not your typical little 6 volt, mind you), which was then, in turn, wired to a small button that could fit easily into the palm of your hand for comfort and ease of use.

The selected victim - umm... I mean eager volunteer!? - would step up to the chair. Now, if he was slick enough to try to wear jeans, this is where my mom would unload on his rear with a super soaker... you know... so he can REALLY feel it. ;-) And then, the no-longer-quite-as-eager volunteer would have a seat.

Upon sitting, the volunteer usually floated for a moment... lingering over the metal strips and trying not to touch them, yet... slowly easing down and onto the strips, for fear of a sudden shock upon contact. This rarely happened - and when it did, it was just because Dad, or whoever else held the button of power, really just wanted a good laugh. When the "volunteer" finally sat down, the explanation of the game began.

"You will asked 3 questions. Some will be Bible Trivia, some will be simple math, and some will be random questions I've made up in my head on the spot (I'm paraphrasing... it was always different) , but when you answer these Yes or No questions, please nod your head with the opposite answer of your response. For example, if your answer is Yes, please nod your head No. If your answer is No, please nod your head Yes. You will be given 15 seconds to respond. If you answer incorrectly, or you go past your time limit, you will be buzzed."

At this point, many volunteers are shaking so badly that they are imagining that they have been zapped and jump from the chair. They have not been zapped - it is all part of the psychological game. :-)

The game went on. Usually, in every crowd, we'd have a few people that quit part of the way through, for fear of pain (it didn't hurt... it was like getting shocked when you tough the car, but on your bumm), or would jump out of their seat right before being zapped, as soon as they realized they had the wrong answer. We'd have people who, when asked personal hygiene questions, would just answer Yes to everything, to avoid losing concentration (even if they were asked 'have you stopped showering since your last birthday' or 'did you forget to put on deodorant today'). Then there'd be the typical two - most people fell into the following categories: the Base Jumpers, and the Hard headed jock.

You did not have to be a Hard headed Jock to fall into this category. It usually just meant that the person either a) didn't feel a thing, or b) pretended not to feel a thing in order to seem tough. These people are boring, and usually kicked out of the game because they are no fun. And they also usually got an extra super soaker squirt, just for fun, as they walked off the stage (momma didn't like these guys).

To be a Base Jumper, you either a) have an extremely heightened sense of dramatic flair, or b) haven't been spanked enough as a child, thus resulting in complete sensitivity of the gludious maximus (in our youth, it was mostly the latter of the two). The Base Jumpers were our favorites.

THIS is why Mr Hot Seat was created. This is what he lived for. This is what my father lived for (explains a lot about my childhood, actually - if you know my or my sisters... you'll understand).

The Base Jumper was sometimes also skiddish, but often times totally taken by surprise, as they thought they were going to be a Hard headed Jock. Upon answering the question incorrectly, or going past the time limit, the Base Jumper would SKYROCKET from the Hotseat, and grab their bumm tighter than skinny jeans on Tommy Boy. *aaannnnd queue intense burst of crowd laughter*

Now, I haven't quite figured out why, yet, but there always seemed to be another volunteer, even after witnessing a Base Jumper's reaction. Again - explains a lot about some people.

This bring me to the highlight of hotseat night - the Circle of Power!!

The Circle of Power was a very simple concept (I highly recommend removing all rings, and metal jewelry before playing this particular game). Everyone stood in a circle (including Mr. Hot Seat) and held hands. The two people on either sides of Mr. Hot Seat (usually selected Circle of Power veterans) would then place their hands on the metal strips and brace themselves. Others in the circle, especially the newbies, had no idea what was coming to them. Upon counting down (and sometimes... my dad didn't wait until he finished the countdown, but would get excited and press the button at "3"). Suddenly, the power of the hotseat shot through everyone in the circle. The Circle could NOT be broken!! If anyone let go of anyone else, it didn't work.

The button would be held down until someone broke the circle - so imagine what it looks like... faces scrunching in pure intense discomfort, held-hands curling up like pigs tails, and people bending and pulling in shear mental agony! It was NEVER as painful as it looked, which is why we had to convince the newbies to try it on the first go around... otherwise they would never try it... EVER!!!

When I think back to the days of Mr. Hot Seat, I can't help but reminisce. Those were good times, Mr. Hot Seat... good times.

***disclaimer - for those of you completely and totally ready to file a lawsuit against my father, he ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS prevented anyone with a pacemaker or in ill health from playing this game (and yes, we did have a few in said conditions that wanted to try it anyways). He was very a responsible man.***

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Crazy Birthday month from He...aven?!

Oy oy OY!!

This month is pure craziness. Check it:

9 May - Carrie's birthday (sorry, but I have to miss the party!!)
9 May - Diddy's birthday (our Young Adult Pastor, and no, his name is not really Diddy...)
10 May - Bridal/Welcomming Shower for some friends (shh... it's a surprise!!)
11 May - Mother's Day (so that means 2 mommas, and 3 Grandmommas...)
12 May - Malina's birthday (Kyle's little sister)
16 May - Bekah's birthday (My little sister)
20 May - April's birthday (My big sister)
24 May - Papa Bear's birthday (My Daddy... DUH!)

AND there are a few more birthdays, but if I named them all, I'd go crazy.

So as you can tell, it's a bit of a crazy month for Kyle and I. PLUS - 10 May is Kyle and I's 6-month wedding aniversary (aww... how cute!).

*Does anyone have any Ibuprofen? I need Ibuprofen!!*

So tonight is the big shopping night for everything. I kind've know what we're getting most people, but as far as money goes - WHOA!! It's a good thing we have a Gift Savings account on the side. BUT we love to give gifts... it just stinks that it costs money, sometimes. :-P

Alrigty - we'll I'm off to pretend I'm working. But I'm sure I'll probably be blogging again soon.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I just wanted to say -


I just do. He's fantastic. I can't seem to find words, and then if I try to make some up, I just sound silly - so going along with the Grey's Anatomy theme, I decided to name my husband. BUT since this is a G rated blog, I threw out several names (and will file them away for more private days) and decided to go with McStudly. It's not quite as good as the others, but again - the names that I thought would fit better were not appropriate for a public blog forum. So let's just go with it. :-)

McStudly is the best. I seriously don't think anyone could be any better (which is how it's supposed to be). You see - Kyle and I don't get to live the normal newlywed life right now. He serves in the AirForce and works crazy 12hr shifts (beyond his control) that rotate around and get us all sorts of confused. We usually only see each other in passing when he's working, and I'm not exaggerating. His schedule is 5:30 - 5:30. So when he works nights, he leaves the house at 5, which is about 5 minutes after I get home (if that). And when he works days, he gets up at 4 am to get ready... and leaves at 5 (both before I'm up), so when he gets home at around 6 (w/ driving time), he eats something small and we MIGHT have about an hour together before he goes to bed. (Getting up at 4am is NOT a small feat! So he goes to bed like grandpa-early). BUT he e-mails me throughout his shifts whenever possible, we walk down to grab lunch together when he works days (we don't get to eat together, but we can at least see each other).

The point is that he tries. And I try. We are both working at making the best out of this cruddy situation. It's not easy, BELIEVE ME when I say that, but it works. We spend all the time we can together, even if that means cancelling other plans with our friends, or at church, etc.

He's just fantastic. I'm learning so much about him all the time, and the best part about marriage, to me, is that friendship that is always growing deeper. I feel like, especially lately, we've just been talking about anything and everything and really starting to enjoy each other's company even more than before and it's GREAT!

Anywho - just thought I'd share that. I love you, Kyle "McStudly" Puhl!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm sorry... so sorry...

My other post for today was completely and totally random, and I figure I owe you an apology for that. So I'm sorry. My bad, everyone... my bad.

Now that I've finished with that... let's move on.

It's Tuesday!! That means we're almost 2/5 of the ay through the boring, long, drawn-out work week. To me, that's good news, becuase it's not only 1/5, right? And it's better than nothing. Not quite as good of a feeling as when you suddenly realize it's Wednesday and you're further in than you thought, but still better than when you think, for some reason, that it's Thursday, when in actuality - it's only Tuesday. I do this all the time. It's those dad-gum "T" days, I tell you. They get me all the time!! At least with the "S" days, we're happy to have either one of them... but these "T" days... it's like they're out to getcha!!

Wow... moving on, again...

Sometimes I like to share with you the Random holidays of the Day, so without further adueue (sp?) here are today's Random Holidays:

- National Hoagie Day

- National Beverage Day

- National Teacher's Day (Tuesday of the first full week)

- National River Clean Up Day (First Tuesday in May)

- American Lung Association Birthday

- School Family Day

- Willie May's Birthday

- International No Diet Day

- National Nurse's Day

- Anniversary of Babe Ruth's first Major League Home Run in 1915

So basically, this is what your day should consist of: You and your family should go to school together, take a field trip to the local River and clean up the sight. Don't forget to invite the school Nurse! At lunch, break-out some greasy, no-good, fattening hoagies and a complimenting sugar-filled drink of your choosing (the School Nurse will definitely come in handy, here). No smoking, though, by the River, becuase this is the American Lung Association's Birthday - so while we're here, and going tobacco free for at least a day (if NOT your entire life, preferrably), let's sing Happy Birthday to "ALA and Willie May" (you liked the rhyming I threw in out of no where, didn't you! Admit it... you SO did.) And everyone should wear striped pants, eat Baby Ruth candy bars, and wear little Band-aid stickers that say "I love my Nurse".

I think I've said enough for today. Too much, really. Later skaters!!

Colorful Christianity.

Imagine with me, if you will - that all things worldly actually became entirely Christian and God centered (well, not entirely, but hang in there... it'll make sense soon). Before you start thinking that things will get boring, please know I submit that it cannot!! (Referencing Brian Raegan - good times... good times)

We couldn't do away with movies, the arts, or sports becuase even these things are Godly... well they can be if done right, right? But does that mean that "no one loses"? *insert soft=spoken Sunday School teacher voice saying "we're all winners with Jesus" here*. But what about those "grey areas"? The things that people argue as to whether or not they are really sports. Examples: Dance, Cheerleading, Golf, Wrestling, etc. I am not saying whether or not things examples are sports (PLEASE don't jump all over me for this one!), but just think about it... let's evaluate, shall we?

Dance is only Godly to some denominations - Lord knows in the pentacostal world that you can move and bop your head and arms until the cows-a-come home, but the minute your hips start moving, even in the slightest undeliberate motion, you have been posessed with the demon spirit of sexuality and must be fervently prayed over for immediate forgiveness and redemption (imagine what happens if you start doing it on purpose GASP!!! *suddenly lightheaded* LORD SAVE US ALL!). And in some churches, if you do more than a two-step-clap, you're just going straight to Hell! Do not pass go... do not collect your filthy 200 demon dollars. Do not touch the sweet, poor little old lady seated near you who now thinks she may have come down with a bad case of the devil after sitting within your sin-infested row of chairs.

Cheerleading. Now I don't think it woudl be possible to count just how many Church Softball, Basketball, Flag football, Ultimate Frisbee, etc, teams there are out there. BUT... what about church Cheerleading squads? Flash back for me, if you will, to those glorious Youth camp days of "Give me a 'J'. JAAAYYY You got your J you got your J..." and tell me you didn't get to clapping and throwing up those arms just WISHING someone else would do a cartwheel so that you could break into the splits without feeling foolish! You wanted to and you know it. Why do I think there aren't any Christian Cheerleading squads? Because those ungodly short floosy-skirts show thigh! What were those people thinking letting their children prance around in "elongated-belts-mistaken-for-skirts" and kicking their legs up high enough to show the world their little underoos! (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell eme you are seeing right through my incredibly thick layer of sarcasm on that last sentence. If not, please cease and desist the reading of my blog.)

Now on to Golf. There's no question as to whether or not this is a God-filled use of time. You must use patience in lining up a shot, selecting the right golf club, and looking for your ball. You have to learn to be "seen-and-not-heard" with the quiet setting necessary for the serious concentration required in this game. And then, finally, there's encourageing each other with meek, soft clapping and admiration when a putt is complete. However, with the potty mouths on some golfers these days *COUGHtigerwoodsCOUGH*, it's no wonder to me why anyone hasn't thought of this concept of Christian golf sooner.

Finally - my mind lands on Wrestling (please note what is written on the "hiney" of the man in the picture... I did not photoshop this picture) and I can't help but go back again to my younger, youth camp days. I really just want to paint a mental picture for you all, if I can. Imagine with me the following scene - it's dark... but loud. You hear cheering, but can't make out what's being said. Suddenly a spot light appears, shining STRAIGHT down to the middle of the giant arena. A microphone is hanging by a wire from the cieling. It grows almost completely silent, and finally a well dressed man, with slicked back hair and a red bow-tie descends into the beaming light. He holds the Microphone, turns his head and clears his throat... and without hesitation yells "LET'S GET READY TO RUMMBLLEEEEE!" Queue 15 circling mutli-colored spot lights chasing around the arena, and appropriately loud and catchy music (with no words... just rocking guitars and blaring bass, not forgetting the randomly inserted guitar solo). The noise and uninterpretable cheering returns, louder now. After good "pump up" crowd session, a stage seems to appear on the right wall, with a ramp coming from the front of it, and leading all the way to a large ring in the middle of the arena.

The voice returns, but no spotlight on the speaker this time. "Ladies and Gentleman... He's 6ft 4 and weighing in at 250 lbs. In one corner... the Red Letter Revelator!!" Cheers erupt from the crowd, and out walks a man, somehow already sweating bullets, as if he just returned from a 5hr Ty-Bo session at the local Gold's Gym. He's dressed in Red and Cream colored shorts, almost tight enough to expose what "God has given him" and turns sideways to fit through an unnaturally small doorway, as if to enhance his size and draw attention to his tattoo of praying hands on his left shoulder-blade. He walks slowly, prayerfully, down the ramp and into the ring, and televangelist preachers anoint him and lay hands on him before the fight begins.

Then the anouncer returns, and this time... "Ladies and Gentleman... They average 3ft 7 and average about 85 lbs. In the other corner... Kings' Kids!!" Out step about 5 Easter-Sunday-dressesd children, complete with big white hats for the girls, and 3 piece suits and ties for the boys. The stand in an arrow formation and march to the ring like the Church Mouse Children's Choir following Charity the Church Mouse on stage.

Just before the fight begins... the kids step up and it all become something of a "Stomp the Yard" style Jesus dancing competition, perhaps called "Stomp the Dark". The kids begin (echoing each other after each line). "God....(God). God's word... (God's word). God's word is powerful and mighty...(God's word is powerful and mighty). Altogether now: Beat that big bad Devil with a Bible Verse!" Stomping and jumping/flipping is of course a given. Now, up steps the Red Letter Revelator, and his goes something like this - "God is good, all the time... all the time... God is good" and starts the insanely awesome stopming and dance moves, complete with the pyramid piling televangelists that accompanied him into the arena. End round 1.

Round 2? I'll let you paint that picture for yourself. But I will say this... before it begins... there's a bit of holy trash-talking. From the kids? It's something like "Get thee behind me!!" and then from the Revelator... "Ooh... you're about to get Alpha'd and Omega'd!!" Aannnndddd queue actual fist fighting (you're now probably picturing the kids jumping all over the Red Letter Revelator, making him almost impossible to see). No worries, though, ladies and gentleman. Becuase as soon as the fight begins, the JUDGE steps in, and in a big booming God-voice says "My children... love one another." All hug... tears begin pouring out... and we all start singing "Friends are friends forever", holding hands, and swaying... all over the arena.

OKAY - I'm done...

That was fun. But I bet you really enjoyed your mental CWE (Christian Wrestling Entertainment) visuals!

I have to give a big shout out to the blog Stuff Christians Like for the inspiration. He's good times... check out the site and you'll love it. I promise. And I also promise to keep my mental visuals to a minimum and to more summarize them, rather than totally spell them out in the future.

My bad y'all... My bad.

PS: What's in YOUR bible cover?! :-P (Okay, so I stole that one from the credit card commercials, but really... what translation Bible do you read/favor?)

**disclaimer - when writing this blog, I had no idea that there actually was a Christian Wrestling Federation. I apologize for any offense. And to mend this... I post your link ~> Christian Wrestling Federation