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Sunday, June 28, 2009

simple sunday

rap music is blasting out of my garage speakers as the "boys of summer" are back. running the bases in my front yard. it's a comforting sound, even if i do hate rap music!
i'm packing and purging and moving and reminiscing. (it happens when you go through your kids' old schoolwork and photo albums)
heavy sigh.
life is marching forward.
soon the kids will be back in school. and now with two in college, we are in a financial quandary. how exactly do we manage this debt? and manage it as good stewards.
heavy sigh.
i hate money woes.

dreaming can be expensive.
how to keep our feet on the ground and yet achieve our dreams. . .

Friday, June 26, 2009

enough about me, what about you?

i feel like all i've done is drone on about myself. 


has anyone followed world cup soccer over the past few days?? it's like a hive of buzzing. really. the fans all blow, incessantly, into these horn things, and it sounds like a giant swarm of bees watching soccer. (btw, USA beat spain, the number 1 ranked team in the world to get the honor of playing brazil in the finals at 2:30 on the 28th)

so i have buzzing in my brain (when don't i?) and was pondering some stuff.

the breakup of jon & kate. gah. it makes my heart hurt. i know they're only tv people, but this is a real life, a real marriage and eight very real little hearts involved. it just makes me sick! it's a reminder to my heart that as much as the hubster and i fall short of the mark for each other, that we don't ever give up, or give satan a foothold. marriage is fragile, but God is strong. i'm praying for these two. even when they're being unlovable. there are eight little futures at stake!!

michael jackson is dead. it was shocking. but then again, not. it's like he's been slowly dying for the past several years. sad.

farrah fawcett is gone, too! a veritable pop-icon of my youth. everyone had her poster up. even girls. we all wanted her haircut. and my buzzing brain reminds me. . . beauty is fleeting.

ed mcmahon died this week, too! i always loved him. especially on the tonite show. i think we can learn alot from him. laugh. often. it's a good thing. and being second banana is a good thing. be a supporter. one in the wings. the listener.

i'm learning to be a listener. so far, i'm kinda lousy at it. but i'm practicing.

so what about you? what's buzzing around in your head!?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

i feel like sally field!

they like me, they really like me!! whatintheworld? i've been given a blog award! i know, it's not really that exciting (really) but i'm honored just the same. it came from a new e-maginary friend of mine, mama4real, who has swiftly become a "must read" for me. she rocks!

so basically, i have to tell ten things about myself. this could get ugly. i never know in what direction this simple little mind of mine will go when unbridled.

so here goes:

1. i love to laugh. i love to make people laugh. it probably stems from a deep desire to be affirmed and validated, but i like to think my issues make the world a bit funner place to live in. i still have my issues, but at least i can laugh at em. (and i know "funner" is gramatically incorrect. i'm okay with that.)

2. i am seriously A.D.D. talking to me is like watching popcorn pop with the lid off. it's all good, but it's everywhere. for real. and i'm either too A.D.D. for the little verification words or i'm slightly dyslexic. i have to retype those things all the time. 

3. i love the Lord a whole lot. i knew about Him growing up but never really knew there was a whole purpose in Jesus being born and dying. never got the connection that He had with me. it wasn't until i was i was about 33 that He illuminated His desire to be the Lord of my life. i'm really happy to report that a year later my husband became a child of God's and both of our children belong to Him as well. i feel incredibly blessed to be equally yoked to an incredible man of God.

4. i spent most of my teenage years incarcerated in some sort of metal or plaster contraption designed to curb/cure/arrest scoliosis. i've had three back surgeries and even recovered from partial paralysis from one surgery. i learned to laugh at myself before i could be laughed at (remember, i have issues) and managed to survive six months of my freshman year in a body cast. back issues/surgeries negated any epidurals for my two baby birthings, but carrying them wasn't too bad. i don't have any real back pain now, but i do suffer from chronic daily headaches and migraines.

5. i'm the last of four kids. my brother is 17 years older than me and has grandchildren older than my children. my sister, who is 9 years older has a son who is 8 weeks younger than my son and a daughter who is six weeks older than my daughter. my other brother, four years my senior has a son six months younger than the girls. we are spread apart in age, but our kids are all smack-dab on top of one another. they'd all be close cousins, but i live in tennessee while my whole fam lives in wisconsin. happily the entire hubster clan lives in a 10 minute radius, except for the hubster-parents who are 1 hour away.

6. my mother always said i liked the sound of my own voice, and i'm sad to say i'm still a talker and a lousy listener. my mom used to tell me hard stuff about myself. she was usually right on the mark, which i hated, but i listened. how i long to listen to her now. i miss her.

7. i'm a collecter of all things crafty. i have paper out the wazoo, jewelry making supplies, fabric, paints, canvases and a ton of ideas. i lack the ability to see things through (ADD perhaps??). i'm a great visionary, a lousy executioner, mostly because i crave perfection and loathe to make mistakes and the thought of wasting art supplies is paralyzing. i have a degree in graphic design, own a nice SLR camera and would like to learn how to really take pictures. i hate paying retail for stuff and would rather make it but then finishing has become an issue. . . i am arty. arty with A.D.D.

8. i blog and blogstalk to the point of ignoring work. it's bad. i love stories and i love to read. i'm kimberly and i'm addicted to blogs. there. i said it.

9. i'm not overly political but i like low taxes and for people (ie gov't) to stay out of my business if possible. i believe in teaching people to fish over handing them a fish sandwhich. i like the idea of working hard and providing for my family. i believe in tithing till it hurts and caring for widows and orphans. i like the idea of seeing the doctor of my choosing when i want to see him. i'd like for a big bag of money to fall on my front doorstep so i can send my kids to college without having to go into debt, but i'm realizing that that's not going to happen. i'm happy they got to choose where they wanted to go and that they'll be helping to foot the bill. i'm all about audience participation.

10. i love... the smell of fresh cut grass, cucumbers, lavender and fresh baked bread. almond m&ms. crosby, stills, nash AND young. fireflies blinking in sync at elkmont in the smokies. freshly laundered babies and snuggling their still-damp crooks of their necks. crickets chirping and bullfrogs croaking telling me spring is on the way. cold, wet, puppy noses. wrinkled baby feet. the color periwinkle. starbucks anything. robin's egg blue and milk chocolate brown. snuggling with the hubster after reading in bed. books. reading. more books.

did i mention i like to talk??

okay, so now, i nominate the following into the honest scrap hall of fame (in no particular order) for the ways they entertain, inspire and encourage:

kristina because nobody makes diet coke shoot out of my nose like she can

my new unpink friend who is inspiring me to relook at my surroundings

emily because she inspires me to press on, no matter the circumstances

patrice because she shows me that it's okay to laugh and she is SO POSITIVE!

sarah my friend overseas with whom i enjoy sharing life 

jen a woman with a sweet spirit and a precious gift for simplicity

anna, a new friend with a gift of words. and color. and makes me think: winsome.

sonya someone who shares the love alot and is quite handy in the kitchen

becky for being an encourager

kelly because she can make even a walk around the block sound interesting and the way she says ha! to alot of what she writes. i love her blog!

The Rules:

(1) Thank the person who nominated you for this award {that would be me}

(2) Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

(3) Link to the person who nominated you for this award.

(4) Name 10 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

(5) Nominate 10 Honest Scrap Bloggers.

(6) Post links to the 10 blogs you nominate.

(7) Leave a comment on each of the blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

wordless wednesday

tripped upon this today. had to share. i know it's wordless wednesday, but i have just one word.
please check this out. it will make your heart happy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

a few things. . .

here's something that a blog-friend (i like to call them my e-maginary friends) shared, and i thought i'd do the same. . . (imitation is a form of flattery, right?)

Outside my window... lavender is in full bloom and i'm captivated by the colors. and i'm understanding why monet painted the same thing in different lighting situations that would happen throughout the day. depending on the angle of the sun or the clouds in the sky, the lavender color against the lush green of the grass just takes my breath away! and there is a constant flurry of activity as the bees buzz busily all day long!

I am thinking...about how i'll finish up packing my office and moving it upstairs to the spare bedroom (which still hasn't been emptied and needs to be painted) and remaining "in business" so to speak while i'm in a state of flux. 

I am thankful for... proximity of family. my family all lives 600+ miles away (i'm the black sheep who moved away) so i'm particularly blessed to have my husband's three siblings living less than 10 minutes away and his parents about 1 hour away. we all get along, have kids the same ages and enjoy getting together fairly regularly. (contented sigh)

From the kitchen... the low country boil we had for father's day. corn, potatoes, sausage and shrimp. lots of crab boil seasoning and old bay. . . cornbread, butter, newspaper on table. . . and voila! dinner. amazingly tasty. summer at its best! 

I am wearing... sports bra, curves tshirt (have to work later, and i only dress once if i can help it!), black lycra skirt/skort, simple earrings and a necklace and a smidge of chanel 5.

I am menu system and coordinating posters for a new store we are building. on a "funner" note, i'm looking to create some new jewelry from my treasures purchased over the weekend.

I am have to go upstairs to finish making boywonder his smoothie. he could do it himself, but that's what moms are for.

I am reading... Merchant to Romania by Jeri Little and Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury.

I am hoping... that i can get recommitted to working out every day. 

I am hearing... the shower running in the bathroom across the hall. boywonder is home!

Around the house... there is a trail of belongings for each inhabitant of the house. i crave just a tad of audience participation when it comes to organizing.

One of my favorite the way boywonder shares his heart. after being away at frontier for a month, he had so many examples of how God is at work in his heart to share. i love how he is so open with me and is willing to be transparent. 

A few plans for the rest of the each day, tuesday menchies with a student, wednesday nite off (whoo hoo) from youth group activities, small group bible study with my girls over lunch on thursday, friday old-lady sleep over at a friends so we can love on a missionary friend that is in from khazekstan for the summer, saturday no plans and church on sunday!

A picture to share...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

on dads

is it horribly clich├ęd to blog about dads on father's day? i hope not, but even if it is, i'm gonna anyways.

like many of the kids of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, i was exposed to some great dads. you know,

the ever cool-headed ward cleaver from leave it to beaver

pragmatic fatherly jim anderson from father knows best

somewhat scatterbrained, disheveled steve douglas from my three sons

the loveable tom corbett from courtship of eddie's father

the welcoming mike brady from brady bunch.

i even got to hang out with dr. huxtable before i left home

in the early days of fathering (post WWII) dads in real life were busy working—earning a living, providing for their families, making the whole suburbia thing happen. it really wasn't so much about being on equal footing with the wife at home and being super involved with what was going on at home. that's why i think the television shows of the 50s/60s/70s were so popular, because these dads were modeling what the culture was hungry for.

i'm no expert in family dynamics of the post WWII family unit. far from it. what's interesting about my family is that my parents parented for 36 years (cradle of the firstborn to graduation day of the last) and so i feel like my dad fathered during this whole 50s/60s/70s era.

and i know that whatever these dads had, mine wasn't anything like what i saw on tv (but then whose dad is, really?).

well, maybe my dad was sorta on tv. he was no ward cleaver, but more like an archie bunker/

fred flinstone hybrid.

not that this is a combination one should shoot for.

i picture the fred flinstone who used to come home from work, open the front door until it slammed against the rock inside of the flinstone home with a huge BAM!

WILMA, I'M HOME!! (which basically translated to "what's-for-dinner-where-is-my-drink-give-me-the-paper-shaddup-so-i-can-watch-the-evening-news)

this combined with the picture of archie screwing up his face while he spews out a "meathead" or other such verbal put-down. the impatience with anyone who didn't agree with him. the bigotry. the picture of constipation + acid reflux.

don't get me wrong. i had a great dad. i just didn't have the hollywood version of the warm and fuzzy let's-fly-a-kite-go-get-a-new-puppy kind of dad.

my dad traveled a great deal. he was gone almost every week for at least three/four nights away. i didn't realize it at the time, but my mom was pretty much a single parent.

Keeping in touch with dad wasn't so easy, because this was in the days when calling long distance was for emergencies—certainly not for kids to talk to dads but reserved for smoochy talk between spouses.

i remember "kissing" my dad goodnight each evening by jumping from the footstool into his "lap" of his leather chair. i would then launch off the footstool. even when he wasn't there, i would do that. my dad also used to give us these little "whisker kisses" where he would smooch, but swipe his scratchy lip across ours, much to our delight/horror. it was scratchy, but we loved it.

my dad loved his family very much, he just didn't show it the way ward, mike or jim would. he showed us love by working hard and providing. his way of loving equaled stability and comfort for his family. he showed love the way he would pat my mom and kiss her, the way his chin quivered when he walked my sister down the aisle (both in the rehearsal and the real thing), or the way he wiped a tear before hugging me at my college graduation (a real family rarity, the college thing). i loved to watch my dad swell with pride anytime the extended family got together. all his kids were intelligent, employed, contributers to society, and had all given him fabulous grandchildren.

sometimes i used to wish i could ask my dad a million questions like eddie corbett used to ask his dad. or that my dad would take us on camping trips or fun family adventures like mike brady used to do. that my dad would calmly explain discipline to me like ward used to do with wally and the beave. or have wise little nuggets to share by the fireplace like jim would do with his family. or make us understand hard things with humor the way cliff would with his kids.

i actually think my dad made a pretty good dad all on his own. i think he was a far cry from what his dad was to him. my dad wasn't an abusive alcoholic like his own father. he was a loving (in his own way), stable, married for 45 years to the same woman, consistent, strict, hard-working dad. sure he was a "my-way-or-the-highway" kind of guy, but he loved us and stuck around to parent us and loved our mom well.

and last time i checked, ward, jim, cliff, archie and all the rest of the tv dads all went home to their slightly flawed and less-than-perfect families in real life to be the best dads they knew how to be... which more than likely fell far short of the hollywood standard.

my dad was far from perfect, but he was my dad. and i love him just the way he was.

and i thank God that He brought me a wonderful Christian husband who is showing our children how to love the Lord first, and then his family. what a sweet spritual leader God has blessed our family! what a treasure of fatherhood, indeed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

missing in action

returning from a vacation, coupled with my niece moving in with us in just two short weeks, along with a week's backlog of work, laundry (why oh why is there never a getting ahead point with laundry*!!??), *this is not my laundry room, but one that exists out there somewhere. mine is not far off. it's at least sorted and has no baby!

yardwork (after two years of very droughty summers, i'm not complaining about the rain, but the grass does grow at a ridiculous pace!), and cleaning/cooking/living can be somewhat exhausting! and i haven't even written thank you notes yet (i packed my stationary in the move from "the cave" to upstairs. this is another story entirely) so i feel sorta guilty blogging.

i don't know if it much of my dishevelment relates to the fact that i am seriously A.D.D. (i know, no excuse) which the hubster thinks is purely ridiculous, so remains undiagnosed, but i fit all the "symptoms" to a T. it just means i need to pedal my little bike a little faster, don't look around too much and try to stay on that narrow path. . . gah! see? perfect example, i am talking about my dishelvelment, and off i go down an unauthorized path!


is it the A.D.D. or is it just the fact that i have a serious amount of stuff going on? i think it's a little bit of both. 

boy wonder came home from college. he brought his dormroom/apt home with him. quite literally. in fact, more than he went with (surprise, right?) because his roommates moved out without 98% of the other stuff in the apartment. for instance, pots n pans, pantry goods, bathroom rugs, and on and on and on. me being the frugal one, packed it all up (since when i arrived, the apartement wasn't all gift-wrapped waiting for me to arrive!!) and figured we'd sort through it all when we got home. well, it's all "burped up" in my garage (with my car not relegated to the driveway, grrr) awaiting said arranging. (did i say grrrrr yet?)

then there is his bedroom (my soon-to-be office). the hubster built a beautiful loft bed with a built in desk below. really it is quite amazing. however, two torn ACLs later, it's not very user-friendly, so boywonder lives in the den on the futon. i mean i would too! big television, lots of room, friends sleep over, etc. it's a sweet deal. so he's commandeered the den, in addition to his world still being in his bedroom AND the garage. 

i'd get some audience participation in the dismantling of his bedroom IF he wasn't at frontier ranch, donating his month to saving drowning children at the young life camp there. (more like preventing the drowning. he's a life guard). i am about 75% of the way there. once it's cleaned out, i'd like to dismantle (and by "i" i mean the hubster) the bed/desk, paint and recreate my oasis of creativity (hmmm. i like that!) and i really hope that can happen since i spend a heckuvalotta time in there. best part!?? WINDOW!!

so for the niece to move in, i have to move out, and my office, the not-so-oasis of creativity, needs to be packed up and moved to boywonder's storage annex, the garage. did i say grrrrr yet?

i abhor moving. 

and the packing.

and the unpacking. 

but i kinda like the organizing. 

i really hope i'm not too overwhelmed/pressed for time that i miss out on decorating well.

and i was really hoping to have the niece's diggs all ready for her, but at least this way she can have some ownership in making it beautiful/her own.

so if i've been missing in action around here, i have a pretty good excuse. i miss writing, but i have made time to blogstalk, my second favorite passtime!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

home again, home again, jiggety jig!

while i could have stayed in colorado forever (i mean, what's not to love about zero humidity and eye candy for a backdrop?) we had to return home. life goes on.

and apparently, so does laundry!

yikes! five loads and i've barely made a dent! 

unpacking, sorting, laundry, grocery shopping, catching up with work. . . how's a girl supposed to blog, goshdarnit?? or catch up with her blogbuddies?? for real!

so in the spirit of having clean underwear to wear, and keeping my job, and being a mom, i guess i'll have to squeeze in some meaningful blogpost until later. until then, i give you the downey salute!

Friday, June 5, 2009


for years, i've been lobbying to go to colorado. both sides of the hubster's family hail from denver, and a place that is so special to our hearts is frontier ranch, located in buena vista, colorado. frontier is a young life camp, a place where the campers' leaders spend a week laughing, exploring, enjoying and discovering with them. best of all is introducing the campers to Jesus. pretty much every camper comes home declaring, "that was the best week of my life!"

both of our kids pilgrimmaged to frontier, in fact, knoxville typically sends around 300 kids to frontier every summer, right after the school year ends. they hop on a bus at midnight, travel all night long and have breakfast under the arch in st. louis. after breakfast, it's off to a water park to burn off some energy and have fun. the year boy wonder went, they stopped in denver to go to a rockies game (todd helton is from knoxville and hooked them up!), had young life club at a hotel at 11 pm, then spent the night there before heading out the next morning. frontier is about a 2.5 hour drive from denver that looks like this pretty much the whole way. after spending a few days in denver meeting families i've only heard stories about (more on that another day) the hubster and i left for something we've been offered several times but were never able to work into our schedule before. we were off to be adult guests at frontier! a chance to be a "fly on the wall" and see just what goes on at a young life camp. needless to say, we were pumped!

we stopped at a little hole in the wall for a couple of bottles of water. the signs were charming. like "port-o-potty around back." thank goodness i was in good shape in that regard!not too long after our pit-stop, we entered the hallowed gate. i could have sworn that i heard angels singing!

because we needed to fulfil some family obligations first, we missed the first four days of camp. we missed opportunities to do the high ropes course, see the tableau before dinner (a real experience, i'm told), see the program (a hilarious running skit with crazy characters), go on the giant (and i mean GIANT) swing, and many others, but we are thrilled to be experiencing what we can while we're here (yes, friends, there's wireless at our cabin, a true luxury!).

we arrived just in time for lunch, and almost immediately saw boy wonder, who is volunteering a month of his time to life guard at the camp. (it's a real sacrifice to sit in the sun and watch girls. . . um .  . . swimmers) we visited him up at the top of a huge slide that empties into the heated pool. and it would have to be heated because the weather in the area has been hovering in the 50s - 60s since he arrived two weeks ago. brrrr! 125 trips down the slide will get you into the 7-mile club (see the sign next to boy wonder) and it takes pretty much all day and all the energy you have (wait, we're talking about teenagers. they have no limit to their energy!after lunch the adult guests took the same hike that the campers had been taking all day. it wasn't the worst climb i've ever encountered, but it was maybe one of the most challenging because i was not completely acclimatized to the elevation (around 9,000 feet) and basically sucked wind the entire time. as they say on most hikes, it was completely worth the effort. the view from the top was amazing. and it wasn't just the vista surrounding us (which was pretty much incredible!) but the three crosses at the top of the mountain that were the best. badges of "i've made it!" were tied to the crosses: bandanas, t-shirts, etc. i got a lump in my throat.i'm sure the campers felt the same sense of accomplishment in knowing they had pushed themselves beyond their comfort zone, pushed themselves physically and acheived an experience shared with everyone else, and couldn't be fabricated. at the top we were given the same message of striving for the cross that the campers had been given and spent a few moments to meditate on what that meant to each of us personally. the descent was tricky and steep. the terrain was crumbly, so i went down the way we came, which was about twice as long.  actually more than that since falling off a mountain is pretty quick business! i didn't trust my knees to do it, and i'm happy to say everyone made it to the bottom in one piece!the best part of the day was after club, where each of the campers heard the story of the cross. it was a powerful message that was followed by an opportunity to go outside into the camp and sit and look at the stars and the mountains illuminated by an almost-full moon. a time to ponder the message and see how that fits into their hearts. we joined them out on the campus, secluded by our own thoughts and for twenty minutes prayed for them. that they would claim the victory of the cross.

the time was concluded by the work crew and summer staff singing

i’m forgiven because You were forsaken,
i’m accepted, You were condemned.
i am alive and well, Your spirit is within me,
because You died and rose again.

amazing love,
how can it be
that You, my King, would die for me?
amazing love,
i know it’s true.
it’s my joy to honor You,
in all i do, i honor You.

the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Monday, June 1, 2009

crimson is…

our daughter's choice for college. the university of alabama. roll tide!! (except it bears mentioning that our family's blood runs deep orange. as in go vols orange. and the song we have playing in our head is rocky top. as in the song that is a staple at every wedding. so the whole "roll tide" thing isn't exactly tripping off our tongues… yet)

but it also bears mentioning that we are exceedingly proud of our little bama girl who has worked to hard to get here. she's been a champion in the classroom and has chosen a very competitive and difficult major in nursing, and has also qualified to pursue this dream while being a member of the honors college.  we feel pretty sure that our bama girl will be doing some serious time here:

crimson is…did you know that one out of five students entering the alabama campus are honors students?? and did you know that alabama has cranked out 31 USA Today top scholars over the past six years and the next school that is even close is Harvard at 17?? yeah. we didn't either, and this is what helped her make choosing alabama a no brainer. we're hoping she takes full advantage of being a member of the honors college by spending some time engaging with the folks here:at the home of the honors program. 

crimson is…

it was a special treat to watch as she shared her passion with her dad, who has never been to the UA campus. it was sweet to watch her point out the various places and hear her explain the "quad" and sweep her arms in front of her to envision what the quad looks like on football game day. her eyes just sparkled.

crimson is…

our daughter. flying from the nest and landing in a place that i never expected. but i'm so proud of our little eaglet. she's learned to fly high, to aim for the clouds, to excell and to dream big. congratulations little bama girl. we are so very proud of you.

and i did not cry one bit while i put this together, nope! not me!

and to see what everyone else has "not been doing" this past week, jump on over here and check out not me monday, a fun, fun blog carnival.