Friday, March 31, 2006

I wasn't expecting this for another 8 years

  • "I'll never be able to do ANYTHING!"

  • (trudging out of room, mumbling under breath)"grrr... that's not fair!"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The beginning of the end?

Yesterday while playing in the yard with Kevin, I noticed some drip marks on the driveway where
the truck is usually parked. I wiped my finger through a fresh spot, rubbed my fingers together to feel
it and took a whiff. Seemed like oil but I really wasn't sure.

When Andy arrived home I pointed out the stains and he automatically did the same thing I did -
checked the spots with his finger and determined it was oil. He got under the truck and found the
drips coming from the back of the oil pan but not at the bottom where the plug is. He said there was no
way to know for sure what was leaking without taking things apart, which it wasn't the time to do.

Realizing the possible enormity of the issue, I stated, "Oh no, my truck might be bleeding to death!"
Andy responded, "I'll go get the shotgun."

Double migraine

I woke up in the midst of a migraine aura on my left side which meant I was going to get a headache on the right side of my head. I took my medication and tried to ignore it. Now as I check email and the weather on the computer, I find myself in the midst of a migraine aura on my right side which means that I'm going to get a headache on the left side of my head. I suppose it's safe to drink some caffeine as I don't have any other sides of my head to cause a migraine on.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Made by Kevin:

The one with lots of hair is my Mama.

Pictures might finally work this time

Kevin enjoys making faces such as this one here, when he was attempting to look mean. His funniest face is when he's mad but something makes him laugh and he tries not to laugh but can't really hold it in.

Kevin and Andy played short-order cook for a few days - one of them would be the cook and the other would order food. It was all imaginary, they didn't even use plastic food.

Kevin still loves slides. This was taken in our yard when we had a few-day spurt of really warm (80's) weather a couple of weeks ago.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Which is worse?

Which is more impolite.... 1) inviting friends over and falling asleep while watching a movie or 2) going to a friend's house to watch a movie and falling asleep over there?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Conversation with God

On my way out of the office this afternoon, I stashed a handful of Hershey Nuggets in my pocket for the ride home. I'd eaten other candy today so it wasn't necessary but I wanted them anyway. On my way down the stairs to leave the building, I had this conversation with God in my head.

God: You don't need those nuggets.

Me: But I want them.

God: You shouldn't eat them.

Me: Are you sure?

God: Yes.

Me: Damn. [pause] Excuse me.

God: You're forgiven.

Me: Thanks. Ok, I won't eat them. *sigh*

By the time I got to my truck, I'd forgotten that the candy was in my pocket. I put them in the cabinet without remorse when I got home.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Lost Prayer

For the past couple of years, I've been trying to find this prayer by Thomas a Kempis that I had on a small card many years ago. I couldn't even find it online because there are too many things by him and I didn't remember enough of the prayer to look for any helpful quotes.

I decided this weekend to loan a book to a friend and when I took it off the bookshelf last night and checked to make sure I didn't leave any papers in it, the card with the prayer fell out. Pretty cool.

So here it is.

"Give us, O Lord, steadfast hearts that cannot be dragged down by false loves; give us courageous hearts that cannot be worn down by trouble; give us righteous hearts that cannot be sidetracked by unholy or unworthy goals. Give to us also, our Lord and God, understanding to know you, diligence to look for you, wisdom to recognize you, and a faithfulness that will bring us to see you face to face."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

How to be a good friend

Here are recently heard comments from friends about things I've created. Feel free to use these on your friends when they serve you a homemade dinner, hand you a homemade card or show you their hand-crafted scrapbook pages.

  • You never know, <insert spouse's name here> might like it.

  • Why couldn't you do it this other way?

  • It's certainly interesting.

  • That's one way to do it.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bests of the scrapbook weekend

Best Quote: "Of course it's too big. He's a frog, he's not going to have a hat that fits."

Juiciest gossip: "I heard that Amy is sleeping with a member of the band Forget Reason. And she got pregnant!

Best Quote #2: Someone asked me why bloggers think that other people want to read what they have to write and Beth said to me, "Well, sometimes your blog is funny."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Coincidental passages

This morning's womens' bible study at church (yes, it's a stretch for me to go but I'm *persevering*) was on Job. It was a great message (by John Ortberg, via CD) but I don't have time to go into the details now. I'll just say that the story of Job fits in mighty well with the James verse that keeps rolling through my head and that alone made the message worth hearing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


God gave me this verse from the Bible today:

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that
the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you
may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

As with all of what God gives me, it's fitting for me today. I'm on a renewed journey to fight
a particular cycle of repetitive sin. Important things that I severely lack when it comes to any difficult task
are discipline and perseverance. I often give up instead of fighting. Sometimes that is the right
response but most of the time, for me, it's not.

When I've read and studied this verse in the past, I've never stopped on the word "perseverance." I've
either concentrated on considering it joy to face trials because I can at least know that God is working
in me or I go on to the idea of gaining maturity. What is most important for me now, though,
is perseverance. I hope to gain an ability to persevere farther through my current trials. And it sounds
like I will.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Drama King

We have a Drama King in our house and while many of you who know us would think it's Andy, what with his flamboyant personality, it's not. It's Kevin. And he can turn it on at the drop of a hat and he uses his gift daily.

I often ask him if he wants to take a drama class just to witness his response of, "I don't liiike draaaammmmaaaaa!" This morning he finally asked me, "What's drama?"

I told him that it's when people act like another person or animal or something. It's like pretending to be something else. I said that in a drama class, the teacher might tell him to act like a cat and then he would walk on his hands and knees and say 'meow' and scratch. That would be drama.

I further stretched it based on the description of one of the drama classes I read about and said that maybe he and other kids would act out a favorite story, such as "Robert the Rose Horse." Maybe he'd be Robert and sneeze a lot while other kids would pretend to be the doctor and Robert's parents. It's not like he doesn't do this stuff anyway, but he never knew it was called drama, nor does he do it when someone asks, it's only when he feels like it.

So then Kevin said, "The teacher could say, 'Let's act out the refrigerator story' and then I'd pretend to be the cold and the other kids could pretend to be the food."

Does that tell me something about his personality or is that just the 3/4-yr old in him talking??

Saturday, March 11, 2006

He'll probably start shaving for real soon

There is a sale at Kohl's this weekend (when isn't there? I know) so I bought Kevin a few clothes for the summer. Turns out that 3T shorts fit him great, although they're a little long, but 4T shirts are not big enough to last longer than a couple of months from now. I took back the 4T shirts last night and had to go to the *gasp* BOYS department instead of toddlers to get the next size up. I bought him size Small/4. That's a straight 4, note that there's no "T" after it.

I had a stronger emotional response than I expected there at the empty Kohl's at 10:30 pm on Friday night but it wasn't as bad as a few minutes later when I realized that the shirts in the boys department hang on adult-sized hangers. That was just too much.

Friday, March 10, 2006

New Pastor = Huge Wave of Relief

On Wednesday night, our small group had our church's new pastor, Matthew, over for dinner. It was supposed to be entirely social but he opened the floor up to business by asking each of us (yes, every single one of us separately) what we were hoping to see our church as in the future.

Personally, I never think much beyond the end of my nose so I have no picture of what I hope for our church in the future. I do know of many things about the church now and in the past that I want us to escape from and that's actually what all of us talked about. In specific ways, I'm sure that I disagree with what other people are thinking but in general terms, I agreed with what everyone said. Even Matthew added a few points that I agreed with and hadn't thought of on the spot when asked. In fact, he made a comment that hit a really huge nail square on the head and which I hadn't been able to formulate a description for.

I've never felt that Brian was my pastor (he and his wife and a few friends started our church and he was the senior pastor since they first voted him to be until early this year) except that he was the guy usually giving the message on Sunday mornings. When I started going to Cedar Ridge, Bob J was "my pastor." He paid attention to my spiritual development, or at least helped when I asked. He left and there was a gaping hole until Gene M came along about 4 years ago. Again, somebody seemed to care what was going on with my spiritual development. He left abruptly (or at least abruptly to many in the congregation) and I just realized on Wednesday night why it was so devastating to me that Gene left... we had a relationship beyond, "Hey, good to see you" and a hand shake.

I'm not suggesting that the senior pastor or even any pastor has to know everybody in the church and what they're going through. But it is nice if there is at least one pastor who seems to care. About me. Yes, I'm being selfish here and I'm asking what can the church do for me instead of just what can I do for it. But come on, there's got to be something, some little thread I can hold on to at the church besides my small group, don't you think?

Matthew's comment that leadership in our church needs to be relational struck a resounding and melodious tone that I was incredibly happy to hear. Of course, I don't think he's said anything yet that makes me question that he's the perfect senior pastor for our church right now, but as even he said, we'll have to see some changes to know that it's really going to work out.

I asked Matthew that since he's gotten to know the staff, heard stories from most if not all of the ministry leaders and talked to various people like us, how he would rate his level of shock or surprise at our dysfunctionality. I gave him a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being, "Holy crap, I had no idea it would be like this; get me a plane ticket out of here!" and 1 being "This is exactly what I thought it would be." He answered (and I was stunned to a level of 10) "2." Then he qualified that with little things that he noticed along the process of our search team finding him, interviewing him, etc. that told him that we're fairly dysfunctional. I was amazed at the things he noticed during the short time that he had to get to know Cedar Ridge before deciding whether to accept the position as we offered it to him. A couple things he noticed: 1) we had to go outside the church to find a new senior pastor because there was nobody in the church even remotely qualified to lead us meant to him that we didn't have a relational leadership style going on and there was no sort of mentoring or leadership training in place and 2) the rate of turnover of all levels of staff is extremely high which meant to him that something wasn't right. Add that to comments such as, "When a church or other organization starts with a charismatic leader, that leader is likely to bounce around on different whims [my word]; one expects that the organization will need another leader later on to step in after the charismatic person has found some other niche to fill for a time and the new leader will need to bring the organization to a point where it can determine its identity and how it wants to work in order to be true to that identity.

And Dianne said, "Amen!"