August 30, 2007

Friday's Feast #158

Who is the easiest person for you to talk to?

My dog. My dogs have always been good listeners.
They never say the wrong thing.
They look like they are full of wisdom when they are serious.
They crawl into your lap and don't have to rush off all the time.

Of people, I would have to say it is my husband. =) He gets me to talk about more than surface things....sometimes.

If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?

Jerusalem, and I would have summered in Caesarea by the Mediterranean Sea.

What is the most exciting event you’ve ever witnessed?

Our wedding, our babies being born, seeing someone come to realize Jesus is the Way and give their life to HIm.

Main Course
If you were a celebrity, what would you do for a publicity stunt?

I would always wear those fake nose, mustache, eyebrows, glasses masks in public.

What do you consider the ideal age to have a first child?

I was 25 when I had my first child. That was a very good age. (you have no idea what emotion went in behind that last sentence.....*sigh*)

***Go to Friday's Feast to learn more or to do your own spread.***

August 29, 2007


We have a phone in our house that is almost useless. It is hard to hear on it and the person on the other line can't hear you either. I have talked to my family members when they were using this white phone and they sounded small and farrrrrrrr away. Or they sound as if they are talking to someone in the room where they are and not into the phone, as if talking to you. I will run down the hall to the bedroom, leaping over puppy and assorted girl items in the hall, to grab the black phone when the white one is right there next to me, just because it is so bad to hear or be heard on.

But today I was so tired, I just picked up the white phone, which was within reach and answered it. My sister was calling and somehow we got on the subject of schedules and being organized.....or actually being quite definitely in an organizational pit in where I am trying to sort and deal with things, all while more things are flying down at me, landing on my head. Upon pondering the question "Is your job stressing you out?" I had to answer's the most relaxing part of my day! It's when I get off work at 2pm that my feet hit the ground running. Once I'm home, I am in charge. At work people just tell me what to do and I'm not in charge of anything. It's a good thing for me. Being a mom, you're in charge of schedules, food, shopping and errands, handing out money, making sure things are done and packed in backpacks, etc etc.

"I need an Alice," I said.

"A wha? huh?" was my college-educated sister's reply.

"An on the Brady Bunch. She kept everything running and everyone organized. I need one."

"Oh, it sounded like you need analysis." She said through her laughter.

*blink blink* Yeah, or that.......

August 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Blazing sky

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Someone needs to inform the city of Phoenix that 112F is a little too hot for almost September! (actually this picture is of the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, but it seemed appropriate for today here)

***To see more entries or to join in and do your own, go to Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.***

School days: observations

Disclaimer: Even though I sound quite snarky in this post, I do really love the kids I am working with. ;)

Some observations since I've been helping in a second grade class for 2 1/2 weeks:

1. Anything you eat, drink, wear (especially shoes), do differently to your hair, jewelry you wear (or don't) WILL be noticed aloud by at least half the class...usually the girls.

Anecdote: One day last week I wore my long, 3 tiered jean skirt to school with a tshirt and sadals. A little girl looked up at me from group time and said with a loud voice, "You look like a cowgirl!" Eeeehn ....not so much the look I was going for, but okaaay. The teacher snickered, "Just wait til you lose or gain a few pounds. They don't miss a thing!" Oiy.

2. Your name, age, voice, whistle blowing ability and fragrance will be scrutinized, pondered and pronounced judgement upon during recess.

Anecdote: V, a little girl of 7, but who has the demeanor and attitude of a 13 year old, was looking me up and down. I asked her if she needed something.

"No....where did you get those shoes?"
"They were my daughter's"
"You have a daughter? How old is she?"
"Where did she buy those shoes? Probably Mervin's, huh?"
"No, I think she got them at Walmart."

Later on in the recess, same girl:

"How old are you?"
"Not going to tell you."
"Are you 30"
"No, older"
"Are you 40?"
"Okay, we're lining up now, let's go."
"Are you 41?......42?......43?...44?....45?" She is now following me counting....
My brain is going, "lalalalaaaaaa, can't hear you, ignoring are going away now...bye bye little twerpy."

3. A room full of noisy, out of control children on a Friday is much MUCH easier to take than a room full of quietly working children with one hummer. I have tried and tried to sneak up and find the hummer, but no success. When I do though...oh, yeah....I'll be on them like a jean skirt on a cowgirl. YEE haw"

4. There will be themes to your day as a teacher's aid.

~One day it was "You don't know what you are doing and you do everything wrong, so just try to blend into the wall." That was my first couple of days.
~Another day it was "Hunt down and bring back wayward children who have a bathroom pass, but who are really playing in the drinking fountain for 15 minutes....." Yes, that was as fun as it sounds. But you will not make me hunt you down, waaaaaaaay down in the bathroom at the end of the building on a day that is over 110F without paying consequences which are satisfying to ME."
~Finally, I had a day last week that was a theme I dread: Throwing up. The teacher read part of a story, ending with the little boy in the story sitting in the cafeteria, staring at his sandwich..... They were supposed to write what they think will happen next. Over half of them wrote, "He threw up." or "He got sick." Later in the morning I had to rush 2 seperate children to the nurse before they hurled on me. (I made it too.....woe to the day that I don't make it.)

5. It is almost impossible to get a group of over 40 children to stand in line quietly. Once you calm down one end, the other one begins. This happens every day when I have to take 2 classes of children from the cafeteria to the playground. A school rule is that the children have to walk QUIETLY when they are in line and on the sidewalk. *maniacal laughter* I just don't think will happen....

6. Children who are behaving very badly...VERY....will look at you with very cute cheribic faces and large brown eyes and cause you to not anhililate them on the spot. That is a good thing I guess. They are cute, that's for sure....grrrr.

7. Your classrooms will just never smell good after lunch and recess. bleh

8. Never eat or apply to yourself anything that has been given to you in a grubby little hand. And keep a large bottle of Germ X on your desk at all times.

9. Never open a second grader's milk carton for them without asking first. It is MOST offensive, in that they are very big now and can do it themselves.

10. On corndog day, mind the is EVERYWHERE.

August 23, 2007

Breaking my dry spell

I have not forgotten that I am a blogger. I am in a flurry of new schedules and the record setting heat here has totally zapped my enthusiasm or any creative thread that may run through my mind during the day. But I am so tired of opening my 'new post' page and sitting here looking at a blank slate, that I am just going to write and see what comes out. Hopefully it's something nice, positive and a little entertaining.

1. Two weeks ago, I started as a part time teaching assistant at our local neighborbood school. The first week of working at the school and then spending an hour in the car picking up my 2 daughters from their 2 schools, I would come home barely able to complete simple sentences and eyes glazed over. This week has been good and I feel like I am really starting to mesh with the teachers I work for and the children. Oh, the stories and snippets I could write about the children there. That will have to come later.... The complete sentences have come back to me but the eyes are still a little glazy.

2. My 17 year old has started her new job doing after school care at the place I worked at last year. She will come home and talk about the children she watches and tell stories. Then in the middle or beginning of the story, I stop her and say, "You mean Anthony?" or "You're talking about Kaitlin?" She likes it and I am vicariously reliving it through her stories. It's all the same stories, but the kids are another year older. I liked that job, but I think that working in the classroom suits me better. I do better with children (and like them more) in structured settings, instead of day care setting where it's freetime all the time. *shakes head and makes the 'yudda da yudda da' sound* (maybe you just have to see that in person, it's not translating well in type)

3. My oldest daughter, Hannah, is currently trying to decide whether or not to move to Phoenix and live with us again for a while. There are lots of pros and cons, but eventually she wants to make the move for schooling and she has a possible job opportunity here opening up soon. Hard life decisions! (I am rooting for her moving here of course.)

4. I am planning Maggie's birthday party for Sunday, late afternoon. It was a juggle to fit it in this year!!! She is turning 10, a double digit, which is a milestone here at our home. (meaning Charles will talk about it to the point of making us all roll our eyes and go, "yeah yeah whatever". lol)

5. I was going to announce that our puppy was completely housetrained....but....grrrrr And no one will yell at her about it except for me. Well I am the mother I guess, so it's my job to induce severe guilt and trepidation about tresspasses around here.

6. The first year of my dad's passing away has passed now. My mom is doing great, but it was a hard week for her. I kind of want to write about his death experience, but I am not sure what is appropriate or beneficial, so I am mulling that over. I feel like I was only slightly prepared to be with someone who was in the final stages of dying, thanks to Hospice. The people assigned to our family were very informative and helpful. And because of that....because they talked so openly and frankly about what could happen during those hours, I was better able to handle it. Some things may have scared me if I had seen them without prior knowledge of those things. So I feel like sharing our experience might help others to understand death better and not to be afraid to be there for someone who is dying. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated by comment or email...thanks.

7. With all the busyness this summer and now with work and school starting up, I feel more and more isolated and removed from my friends here in town. I depend more and more on my friends online, fellow pastor's wives at a forum I go to. They are very supportive and we connect really well because we all have so much in common. But I am thinking I need to try to build my 'in town' relationships more. I need some real arms to hug me sometimes and real women to connect with. (absolutely no offense my fellow pw's! I love you guys much much) So even though my brain is saying "stay home and relax quietly in your jammies", tomorrow night I'm going to a friend's house to watch a fun movie with some of our church women. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I wore my jammies either, but I think I will wear clothes....and shoes.

8. It is HOT here. Normal temperatures for this time of year in Phoenix are 90's or so, which is very liveable in the dry climate. The past 2 weeks and more have been 110ish and over. It makes ordinary errands, waiting at the curb to pick up kids at school, playground duty and going out to get the mail sheer torture! It also makes people grouchy. So imagine living in a large city of tortured, grouchy people. bleh The hot spell is supposed to break over the weekend....we'll see.

9. Ummm, I forgot what I was going to say....I'm trying to listen to Maggie read a story out loud on my right, Emma is practicing on the snare drum in the background, and Bethany is talking to me on my left side and typing away with homework. (I wish I had an icon face to insert here to show how I am feeling in my head, but I don't think one exists. But if you ever find a smiley icon with eyes that fly open wide, continue to grow until they pop and drumsticks pounding on it's ears at the same time, please send me the url....thanks.)

10. I may do a Friday's Feast for tomorrow. I will have to look at it first. Last week had hard questions for this pw of very little brain.

11. I do NOT know where my pretty blog outfit went. I am very sad seeing my page without the flowery swag at the top.

ETA: I went to the website where my blog design comes from and it has exceeded it's bandawith or something like that. So I think it's just temporary. ;)

August 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Behemoth

Oh my, it's Wednesday. And I haven't posted since last Wednesday.

I promise to try to do some real typing at you this week.

We are trying to get used to new schedules with schools and work. We are dropping off, picking up, doing errands and urgent things inbetween and among, then flopping on the couch at night exhausted in the evenings. But I am determined to have a life even amidst the busy.....

in spite of it even....

or i might just keep flopping on the couch....

but i'm hoping for the spite would feel more satisfying.

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled WW.

We met this little dewd on a trip to visit some mission churches that our church helps sponsor in Mexico. He came out to greet us and then retreated to this dog house, the doorway boarded up so that any animal larger than him could not get in. You can see how small he is compared to the soccer ball to his right and a frying pan to his left. He was adorable!

The pastor who lived there kept saying "Behemoth" or in Spanish you say it with a long e sound and a hard t at the end. I could figure out what he was saying but the pastor went in to get his Bible and looked up Job 40:14-16 which mentions a very large animal God created to roam the earth and eat grass. Then he pointed to his puppy and said "Behemoth". It was the dog's name! I had to snap this shot of the imposing brute. teehee

August 14, 2007

August 13, 2007

New things

I have a laptop again! Very grateful thanks to anonymous person who helped this to happen! I can now save all my work, have access to all my pictures and notes, and no one is across the room looking at me to see if I am done so they can use it! (although all have been very gracious about it)

Today was also my first day at work as a teaching aid to 2 second grade teachers at our neighborhood school. Things went very smoothly for me. The first day of school is stress out time for teachers I know, so it was nice to just hang back and help where I could, hopefully making their day a little easier. The children were all sweet and bright eyed.

I am quite sure I'll have some stories as the year goes on. There are a few characters in the bunch already. ;)

Maggie had a good first day of school too. Having been mostly homeschooled, you always wonder how they will react to a school situation. She seems really on top of things, although I did notice how much her handwriting and spelling need work! She looked taller today too. Growing up comes at you fast around this age....all of a sudden you notice their drastic physical changes and you're like, when did that get there! Or, wow they're tall all of a sudden!

Kinda sad when it's your littlest one looking so tall and maturing.

Emma will have to cultivate a new lunch crew this year. All of her cronies from last year have a different lunch time. That is hard on a teenager!

Bethany has only one class and seems quite detatched from high schoolishness, but she began her new job today, working in an after school program at Maggie's school. She came home and promply fell sound asleep on her bed. She woke up an hour later with a big crease from the pillow on her face wondering if there was any dinner....or perhaps some secret toast (heehee). She has the same job I had at the end of last year and I know exactly how she feels!

August 11, 2007

Puppy Distractions

After several days of no accidents, we have evidence that the puppy is not quite there yet in housebreaking. And the evidence was stinking in the hallway, right after I took her out for her last 'relief' of the day. She even barked to go out! I took her out and she immediately went number one. Then she stared at things around the yard for about 10 minutes before I decided she was done. She happily pranced in, then did a different number on the hallway tile.

She gets so distracted outside at night, it's pitiful. I wonder if it's possible for a dog to have ADD. I stand there and say, "go potty" about 400 times while she looks at each leaf under the lemon tree, does running leaps at the pampas grass to try to 'catch' the fuzzy ends waving in the breeze, and chases each lizard up the block fence. Or she will just stand very still and survey the whole yard for up to 10 eternity when you're standing there being mosquito bait! And I can't stand where the porch light will cast a shadow or if I do, I can't move without her being spooked by the moving shadow on the ground. Right now we can't turn on the light at all because cicadas will come to the light. I spent a notable amount of time 2 evenings last week trying to 'shoo' a cicada off of our screen by the back door so I could come in. I use the pool 'scooper', a 20 foot long pole with a net on the end to scoop things out of the pool, to knock the dreadful bug off the screen, then squeal like an idiot if it flies toward me. So now the light stays off. Maisy watched the whole shebang and while I put the pole away she decided to investigate the poor, dead thing on the ground. She picked it up in her mouth until I screamed (the neighbors love me I'm sure) and she dropped it and ran in the house.

How could she be afraid of MY shadow on the grass but not be afraid of a dreadfully huge flying, buzzzzzzzing bug! bleh!!

August 9, 2007

Friday's Feast #155

For more to feast on, go to Friday's Feast. Or whip up your own feast and leave your blog address in the comments section there to share it.

What is your favorite kind of pie?

I hate it when I have to choose. I like variety! Some of my favorites are: chocolate silk, lemon meringue, apple, and pecan, as well as chicken pot pie...yum!

Name something that made you smile this week.

-My nephew Gabriel, 18 months old...he loves me.
-An impromptu dance with Maggie in the pool today.
-Driving my husband's new (used) car....smooth.
-The look on my 15 yr old's face when she got her first cell phone. Little does she realize it is for US, not for her. They should just get real and call teen cell phones tracking devices or electronic leashes.
-The sounds of my 9 yr old having a 20 minute phone conversation with her 20 yr old sister.
-My mom holding our new puppy on her lap. Maisy loves her and kept wanting up there.
-Maisy being carried into the house dripping wet by my husband. I thought she had fallen in the pool, but Charles confessed that he had simply been watering the garden. It appears she likes to chase, tackle and attack water coming out of a hose. :roll: And I think he was encouraging it.
-My 17 yr old cooking lunch for us chicken, rice and asperagus!
-Email from my friend Kelly.
-Massive late night PMing (on a forum) with my friend Michele.

What do you do to cool off when the weather is hot and humid?

Float. (in the pool) Dreyers creamy coconut fruit bars are nice too....or a Slurpee.

Main Course
You receive $1,000 in the mail with a letter that says you can only use the money to redecorate one room in your home. Which room do you pick, and what do you buy to spruce it up?

KITCHEN!! (or hall bathroom)

Fill in the blank: My _________ says __________, but I __________.

I'm not up for that tonight. Fill in your own blanks. (said in a nice way)

August 7, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Basket o' pup

This basket was supposed to be for her toys, but she took all the toys out of it and got in to take a nap!

For more Wordless Wednesday photos or to join in go to Wordless Wednesday or Five Minutes for Mom.

Happy Wednesday!

To God, Who sees our needs, no matter how small

Good news! My dear hubby has ordered a computer for me...with some help from an anonymous source. To that source I just want to say my deepest thanks. I have no idea who it was (someone from church I think). But it has blessed us beyond measure! I will be so blessed to have my own set up again and not have to tie up my husband's computer. I feel very humbled that someone would see fit to bless us like that. A computer of my own is NOT a necessity, but it is a blessing and to me, an outlet like I've never had before.

So in the next few weeks, I hope to transfer a bunch more of my old archives over here to Blogger. And hopefully be more organized and ready to write instead of wondering if I'll be able to catch time on the internet.

I had been lamenting the loss of all my files, nicely edited pictures, bookmarks and writing from my stolen computer. It was so sad to have lost all that work...I thought about the things I had lost every night when I tried to sleep for the first 2 weeks after the robbery. Then one day when I was telling someone how sad it was to lose it all, Charles piped in from across the room, "You didn't lose anything." Now I was not in the mood for a spiritual lecture on how Jesus should be everything to us and blah blah...which my husband is NOT prone to do, but what else could he mean? So I weakly asked, "What do you mean?" And as nonchalantly as if asking me to pass the sugar, he said, "I backed up your whole computer last month when it was acting funky."

BLESS THAT FUNKY COMPUTER! And bless my very timely husband!

I was so shocked I just started weeping. You have to understand the torment I went through, rolling the lost items through my head night after night while sleeplessness taunted me.

Who knew!? Every now and then God does something so amazingly unexpected in the way of small blessings. It was something that seemed relatively small and insignificant in perspective with life on this planet. But it was such a huge blessing to me in a very personal way. And I have been sleeping very well ever since.

So thank you Charles! And thank You God (who sees me).

August 2, 2007

Friday's Feast #154

Serve up your own Feast with the template at Friday's Feast and leave a comment there to invite people to dine.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how polite are you?

6-7: I could be more polite, but I am not very intuitive so I often do not pick up on the signals people if they are ticked off or offended by your bluntness. Ah well, live and let live. ;) j/k! Actually I think I may be getting less 'polite' as menopause is approaching. I looked up the 'symptoms' of menopause and one of them actually is that you are not as able to keep from saying what you really want to say to people. My tongue gets really sore these days from having to bite it!

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

See my last post about the dog's diary entry and the cat's diary entry. That is funny!

Who is your favorite cartoon character?

The original Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne, Linus of Peanuts and Ziggy.

Main Course
Tell about the funniest teacher you ever had.

In sixth grade....a very trying year for me....I had a homeroom teacher who would talk in a loud Jerry Lewis 'silly' voice.She had a brash sounding eastern accent and wore black horn rimmed glasses. And she would also pull stunts like having fake vomit on the floor when we came nonchalantly back in from lunch. She scared even sixth grade boys into appropriate behavior while pulling pranks herself. It was quite a balance!

Complete this sentence: I strongly believe that ______________________.

the God of the Universe sees you, knows you and loves you deeply.

Dogs vs Cats

My friend KQ posted this in a place I go to on the internet. There is a constant banter between cat people and dog people there.

Go enjoy these animal diary blog entries! Dog Diary vs. Cat Diary

Fried Potato Soup

It was super rainy here the other day and we got
soaked diving in and out of the car running errands.
So when we got home, I made potato soup, but I did a
few things differently. Here's what I did (and it was
REALLY good):

Fried Potato Soup

4 T. butter
1 onion, sliced into thinly cut strips
Salt and pepper
5 large potatoes, slice thin (skin on), then quarter
the slices
1 1/2 cups or more of sliced mushrooms (any kind)
1/4 pound bulk sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
3-4 cups chicken stock/broth
1/2- 3/4 cup half and half (or milk)
2 tsp fresh or dried rosemary, chopped
Crisp bacon crumbles for garnish

-About 4 T. butter in a dutch oven, heat on med HIGH,
toss in the onion, and fry those pups....almost to
until carmelized. Salt and pepper them.
-Add the thinly cut potatoes and fry those with the
onions. You will not need to add any extra butter or
oil, as the onions soften they add moisture. Stir a
few times, but not too often. Allow the potatoes on
the bottom of the pan to brown before stirring each
time, scraping pan each time to get all the seared
bits off the bottom (flavor, flavor).
-When the potatoes were almost cooked through, as if
making cottage fries, add a carton of mushrooms (I
used sliced baby bellas) and crumbled breakfast
sausage and cook until they just begin to look like
they are heated through.
-Add 2 cups of chicken broth...then add just enough
to cover the potatoes.
-Add rosemary and cook for about 15 minutes, then
remove from heat and stir in enough half and half to
make it look like a cream soup...not too much. This
should be a very chunky soup with a little broth, not
a cream soup with the occassional chunk. ;)
-Sample broth and add salt if needed and pepper.
-Crisp up some leftover bacon (which you should hoard
in the freezer in ziploks for just such an occassion)
in the microwave and crumble on top of each steaming
bowl of hearty soup!

My family loves potato soup, but this one was a
kicker! The difference was 'frying' the onions and
potatoes. It made the flavor much more intense and we
loved it!