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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

shrinking jeans. (i wish!)

The girls and boy over at Shrinking Jeans have probably the coolest giveaway ever that starts RIGHT NOW. this from their site:

On Monday, Arpil 6th, we will be hosting the Shrinking Jeans 30 Day Shred Challenge. I know many of you know what the 30 Day Shred Challenge is, but I know many of you have probably never even heard of it before. Essentially, the Shred Challenge was created by fitness trainer Jillian Michaels. She has created a workout DVD that is intended be done daily for 30 days straight, the video is separated into three segments, Level 1, 2 and 3. Each level is done for 10 days, each workout is 20 minutes long. I think we can all spare 20 minutes a day, can’t we?

i could totally stand to lose a few, so if i win, i'll be shredding (and probably swearing and groaning and probably crying) with the rest of em. so go enter and win. you could be one of seven people who will win a free DVD in time for the contest to begin.

or don't. that way i have a better chance of winning my own DVD!

shred away, and oh, yeah. sisterhood of the shrinking jeans?? pick me!!


we escaped some serious damage when our formerly healthy ginormous pine tree decided it was time to just let go. and it did. 

and it managed to miss our newly constructed fire pit. and the camp chair, and all of the chairs that the kids left around the pit.

it missed the trampoline, and the trees in our neighbor's yard. 

it did take out both of our fences, but nothing else was touched. not the three weiner dogs. not the dog next door.

but i shuddered to think about the larger branches impaling themselves in the ground. that must have been some thud!

and i was astounded at the lack of roots for a 50 ft. tree. crazy.

well, at least we'll have plenty of wood for the fire pit!

finally, some sun!

in a brief pocket of sunshine yesterday, the ellusive tulip has finally decided that it's time to venture out. we've been waiting for you! of course, he said he was waiting for the other flowers to wither away so more attention would be focused on him. typical.

and my all time favorite tree in the world... the red bud. more blossoms now and i positively LOVE the gorgeous purple against the chartreuse green of spring. or against the brilliant blue sky. oh, what a great tree, even if it does have a pretty silly name.

and finally, the bleeding heart. why is this little delicate gem out so early? don't you know it could still frost?? why forgoodnesssakes, it snowed in ARKANSAS of all places just the other day!! be carefull, little guys. it's not yet easter. after that, i think you'll be in the clear.

i love how springtime is busting out all over, and i don't have to walk but five steps from my door to drink it all in.

now if only we could do something about that fence.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

not feelin it, not me

it's not me monday, the day when us followers of mckmama spill our guts about what we would never admit to doing. last monday was suspended because mckmama's little happy meal is in the hospital with SVT, a condition which relates to a super fast heartbeat (sorry, i know that's totally oversimplified). a week later, he's still there, and frankly, i've not been feeling much like blogging and have felt about as cold and wet as the weather outside. so in honor of mckmama, and the not me carnival, here is not me, stellan style. i'm still not feelin it, but for you stellan and jm, i'm all over it. and if you would like to see all the other people kickin it stellan-style, head over here. there's a lotta love goin on over there!

i have seriously not checked the internet a thousand times during the day and into the night to see if there is any news about stellan.

i haven't referred to stellan as a friend of mine's baby. yeah, me and mckmama go waaaaaay back!

i haven't put stellan on my facebook status most of the week. and i didn't post mckmama's blog on there either. i mean, if i'm gonna advertise a blog, it would be mine, right?

i haven't even told my husband about stellan. i mean he already thinks i'm crazy about my blog friends. and i am not crazy. not me!

my small group of freshman girls didn't pray for stellan after hearing all about him. no, they would never pray for a precious adorable baby that they have never met!

my daughter doesn't ask about stellan, either.

i don't pray for stellan non-stop every day. i haven't dreamed about him. and my heart isn't breaking. i'm not praying for him right this very second!! nope, i would never do something like that and then update my facebook status again and ask for prayers.

and i haven't thought about mckmama every single minute of every single day and lift her up. i know there's a PC out there that needs our prayers, too, and i do pray for him, but i don't have the connection that i have to mckmama. though we've never met, i feel like i've sat down and had coffee with her every day since christmas. i love how she shares her heart and her life so openly, how she shares her faith so winsomely, yet so boldly, how she is vulnerable, funny and creative. and even though she has so many followers, she takes the time to jot a note, personally, on numerous occasions. i know she must be so torn up about stellan, and also for not being home with her msc.

i'm not praying like crazy for the mckfamily. with every beat of my heart.

Friday, March 27, 2009

blame it on the rain

it's raining.


for the third or fourth day in a row, now.

my grass needs cutting. badly.

but even in the dreariest of skies, i'm lovin the brilliant chartruese of new leaves peeking out from the willow tree branches. the lush green of the recently weeded n feeded grass. the delicious purple of the red bud (odd name, considering the actual color of the blooms) in full bloom. the japanese maple whose little leaves and whirlybirds are just beginning to erupt. the dogwood, still green, opening and growing and on its way to big and white. and the way the rain lingers on the branches and petals until it can bear its weight no longer and lets go…

it's a meloncholy beauty. a somber salute to spring.


it's cleansing. and nourishing. and heavenly.

without the rain we would be empty. parched. 

i like to think of the rain as little drops from heaven. filling me up.

fill me up, Lord. till the drops lay heavy and overflow.

quench my thirst. 

fill me to overflowing.

and while i'm on the subject of rain, it is a quiet comfort. and a reminder to pray for those who need comfort.

sage's family. stellan's family. cora's family. tuesday's family. liz's family. and many, many more. i am remembering. praying. asking. interceding.

to God be the glory!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

good enough and powerful enough

trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.  ~Proverbs 3:5-6

i can still hear the song i learned when memorizing that scripture. 

but do i believe it? i mean really believe it?

i've been thinking and praying for a little guy named stellan since his life turned upside down on sunday. and i've read what his mom wrote in her blog about trusting God, knowing that He has everything just where He wants it. He is in complete control.

of course, i have no idea where all of this will end up with stellan. but of this i am certain. God is in the middle of all of this, and right there beside him is mckmamma, pointing right to Jesus. faithfully proclaiming what she knows to be true. that God has healed him once in utero, and if it's His will, He will do so again. 

in BSF this morning we were talking about Moses, and the act that landed him on the wrong side of the fence of the promised land. his lack of faith that God is good enough and powerful enough. for anything and everything. we have to trust.

trust Him with all of our hearts. leaning not on our understanding. mckmamma said it best:

"See, God is GOD. His ways are higher than mine. I am human, mortal, made of mere flesh and blood. Sure, I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me, and a very capable brain, but I am still made right now for this earth. It is impossible, literally actually honestly impossible, for me to ever (while still treading this earth that is not my ultimate home), understand God in the same way that I can understand a mathematical equation."

this side of heaven we just lack His vision.

just like moses, who couldn't see or understand why God would extend mercy and grace to the israelites again. and in moses' book, it was over. he was done. he was tired. and so over them. and he didn't trust God to know what he was doing; that He was good enough, or powerful enough. 

i'm going to continue to pray for stellan. and while i don't completely understand why a five month old little guy has to fight for his little life, i do understand that all over this situation, God is getting the glory. mckmamma, you are such a sweet witness for His mercy, grace and power. your faith is a beacon to the lost. your strength an inspiration to the weary. may God richly bless you, friend. and may you continue to proclaim His glory. and we'll stand beside you and do the same.

to God be the glory!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

speaking stellan's name before the Lord

as an encouragement to mckmamma, stellan's mommy, we're spelling out stellan's name. . . a testimony of speaking his sweet name before the Lord. and pretty much everything is better with chocolate. and dark chocolate is even better. you too, can join in here.

get better, little man. 


my heart is burdened. but my God is good. and he hears us when we pray. 

even when we use technology to storm heaven's gates on behalf of those who are hurting.

well, it's really not a techy thing, what i propose. but it has some technical components. blogs, facebook, twitter… sort of a "where two or more are gathered…" on steroids.

it's prayer, people. straight up, talk-to-the-Lord stuff. on-0ur-knees, praying-out-loud, groans-of-our-hearts, beseeching to the Father. the sort of low-tech communication that makes our Father's heart sing. 

little stellan is still struggling. and his mommy, who is usually a-twittering and a-blogging all the time is painfully silent. could mean just about anything, but i know she and her sweet family needs our knees right about now.

and here is where the techy stuff comes in.

karina is organizing a prayer vigil for stellan and his mckfamily. stop by and sign up.

angie has some thoughtful ideas of how it looks to pray. i couldn't say it any better, so i won't.




and encourage prayer warriors to intercede on stellan's behalf. and whatever the outcome, may God get the glory and praise.


and for more truely inspired thoughts on prayer, mckmamma has recently updated her site. stellan is still fighting to regain a normal heartrate, but ultimately, God is in control. and while we can't change God, he can certainly change us. and our prayers will not be falling on deaf ears. nosirree.

Monday, March 23, 2009

praying for stellan, not me!

i didn't blow off not me monday because the ruler of not me monday is in the hospital with her sweet mckmuffin, stellan with RVT, an issue that causes a ridiculously high heart rate. when last we heard from mckmamma, they were still working to get stellan's heart rate down and stabilized. 

so i'm not praying my guts out right now, nope, not me!


as of 11 am, the doctors have had little success getting his heart rate down, and the xrays are showing an enlarged heart. . . he can't go on like this indefinately. please continue to lift this little guy and his very worried parents up before our Father, who was not surprised by all this and is in total control. i am thankful that mckmuffin's mommy and daddy are resting in that truth right this very second. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

random picture challenge

a little fun from the folks at 4 LM & GT (where you can participate in the fun if you'd like),

3rd folder
1st picture with the color BROWN 

this is from last summer as we were prayer walking through downtown guiyang. never have prayer-walked before, but it was very gratifying. learning to walk and look and pray with the eyes of Jesus. what a blessing.
and as i look at this picture, i was praying that the Lord would make it abundantly clear about going back this summer. i have to opportunity to help lead another trip… but i have so many other things on my plate. and then there's raising support. i know, if He wants us there (and by us, i mean the hubster, bama-girl and i), He'll provide… i'm just so needing to hear His voice…

Friday, March 20, 2009


ohhhhh where to begin??

and perhaps obsession is too strong of a word, but i'm not gonna lie… there are some things that have got me rather captivated lately. (and captivators didn't sound quite right. sounds down right sketchy)

sorry, i'm back.


can i just tell you that i'm pumped about spring? 

and daffodils!

what is it about daffodils that just makes my heart sing!!? is it the way they reach their tender stalks to the sky with their trumpets of clean brilliance? or the way they bend to the earth, burdened under the morning dew or too chilled by the overnight temperatures to venture upright for fear of getting colder… i dunno, but i am lovin' the daffodils.

steel cut oats.

i was intrigued by mckmamma's steel cut oat post (please don't look for a link to the actual post here, folks, i'm much too lazy) that i emailed to ask more. bought some. tried some. love 'em! takes a bit longer than the one minute microwave job, but ohhhhh so much more flavorful. and i can just hear my arteries and my digestive system rejoicing. toss in some craisins and a little splenda, and voila!  amazingness in a bowl.

i told you i was obsessed!


i started a block of the month project a few months back in an effort to learn some new knitting stitches beyond the ole knit and purl. i'm proud to say i'm two for two in completion so far and have learned to cable! what!!? yes. yarning over, purling and knitting from the back loop, adding, subtracting and much much more! who knew?? i enjoy the fact that i can bring it wherever, i can do it while i'm watching college basketball, or whenever. and i love that each block is going to tell a story about where i was when i was knitting.

month one had a good portion completed as i sat with bama-girl at jeuvy (you know, juvenile detention) waiting for an audience with the judge. this is a post all to its own, and i promise to tell more. 

and month two i completed a tremendous amount waiting for boy wonder to get out of surgery when he was getting his bone graft. took alot longer than we were expecting. i'm really glad i had something to distract!

i'm also rather partial to my little stitch markers that i made. 

i start a new block in two weeks (whoop whoop, i finished early!) and pretty much can't wait!

there are many more things i'm passionate about, but i don't have all day to write, and i don't want to bore you. 

what are you passionate about, or do you have an obsession to share?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

betcha didn't know

well, in the whole i can't always think of something to write about problem in my life, i've stumbled upon a friend (i know, i call all of these strangers i meet out in mommy-blogdom friends) who has invited me to participate in… you guessed it… betcha didn't know!

and i really wouldn't tell you something about myself that you didn't know if it wasn't for a chance to win some completely awesome twilight stuff. otherwise, i'd keep my dark secrets to myself.

pretty much i could say anything here, because frankly, hardly anyone will read this, and those who actually do follow this blog probably don't know me well enough to determine whether or not this is all crap.

for me to know, and you to find out!

my brother is old enough to be my dad. my parents raised kids for 38 years. whatintheworld! i'm exhausted after 19!

i once had 120 steristrips (think: butterflies for wound care) that would nowadays be staples. i had a major spinal fusion when i was 16. i remember every one of those 120 stereostrips being removed from my back. felt like a fingernail gouging down the center of the incision. sorry, betcha didn't want to know that!

one of my legs is about 1/2 inch longer than the other. makes for lots of fun finding pants that are long/not too long enough. it also proved to be a hilarious problem as i was learning how to walk again after being paralyzed in the above incident. the longer leg was "droopy" and wallaby-type shoes were popular back in the day. crepey, sticky-soled shoes. i used to trip (unintentionally theatrically) in the halls at school. so not only was i the new girl (having just moved from a small town in wisconsin to an even smaller town outside of boston) in the full body cast (think: social suicide), i was the toppling totem pole in the hall. hey somebody, catch my books as they fly in every direction!! every picture of me from this little moment in history has been burned. seriously, the most painful time of my life, but in a learning to laugh at oneself kind of way. glad those days are behind me!

i lost my voice impersonating a small foam alligator-on-a-stick during the world's fair in knoxville the summer of 1982. all day long i made witty comments in a foam-alligator-on-a-stick voice. this is the same job where one of my co-workers basically recited the entire monty python and the holy grail movie while we hung up tshirts all day. it was about the only thing that made that job bearable. just goes to show you that a poor college student would do just about any job to get a free pass to the world's fair. 

there are alot more little treasures down my memory lane, but i think that's gonna have to do it for now. 

and i better win that twilight prize package. i didn't just bare my soul for nothin!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


for the first time in days, we have a gorgeously cerulian sky with springtime busting out all over. this is the time of year i simply marvel at all the eye-candy the Lord has given us. and photographs don't nearly capture what He splashed across my morning canvas.

but can i just say that morning dew + morning sunshine + new springness = flat-out spectacularness??

okay, i'm just sayin'!

the dew on the rosebush was so pretty the way the sun was making it sparkle like spring jewelry. ahhhh pretty soon there will be magenta blossoms. can't wait!

it's hard to believe that in just a short time, these stumpy little flower casings will grow into beautiful dogwood blossoms. really. this ugly little knot will soon explode into a real live flower!! who knew!!

welcome, columbine! pretty soon you'll be big and strong!

waaaaay down in there is the reluctant tulip blossom. oh where, oh where are you?? there is a PARTY going on out here, and you're missing it!

hey chickadees!! i know you're in there!! welcome back!! can't wait till the kids can come out and play!

and what would a day frolicking in the springtime morning look like without a little weiner dog munching on some grass??

not like spring at all, says bailey!!

bailey also thought the pictures all looked better on the computer than on blogger. not sure if clicking on them will help. but oh well!

y'all have a great, splendid tuesday. and hope you're wearin' green, or ye'll get yerself pinched!

Monday, March 16, 2009

if it's monday, i know i didn't do it!

monday's the day when i'm "bruttaly honest and living to tell about it," along with the zillions of people addicted to the activity begun by mckmamma. check it out, there's alot of denying going on out there, and it's usally pretty hilarious!

this past week was a flurry of activity. boy wonder was home from college on spring break, but we were not the least bit bitter that the weather was LAME and that most of his break was spent recouperating from oral surgery. i didn't watch/enable him to spend the week chilling out, sip smoothies and watch television while facebooking for an entire week. no, and i didn't invite him to do his own laundry while hibernating, either. nah, that would be mean!

i didn't freeze my bootie off after two days in the 80s (ahh, sweet irony of life) in the "worship in the field" with our students at church on wednesday nite. i didn't struggle to lift my arms in worship because my blanket would fall off, and i didn't for just a small moment, wonder how that activity would have been more comfortable with a Snuggie.

and i didn't envision the commercial that i could make with that, either. i didn't grab a hershey bar and eat it while i rooted for a graham cracker and struggle to get two marshmallows out of the bag for s'mores. i didn't shrug my snuggie-less shoulders and munch away on a cold, unassembled s'more because i was just too lazy to wait for a stick to roast my marshmallow. and i didn't go back for more chocolate. no, that would be un-leaderlike!

i didn't tear up while i drove home after dropping my daughter unit (d-unit) off for her spring break trip with her friends.

i didn't lament the fact that i've spring breaked with teenagers for the last four years (and by that i mean the hubster and i have taken lots of teens with us to destin and have chaperoned their antics) and was/am having serious withdrawls. i also wasn't second-guessing the decision to not go along with the other moms.

i wasn't picturing myself on the deck of the cruiseship, all cocoa-buttered up, sipping something cool from a glass, or oogling the ice sculpures on the all you can eat buffet. i am not kicking myself for not being there to capture every moment as i hone my photography skills. no, i'm super happy to be here in rainy, cold tennessee and who wants to be all rested and tan anyway!?

no, i would never admit to wandering my house after boy wonder left to go back to school and d-unit was away, trying to get used to what an empty nest would feel like for real in five (gulp) months. i didn't talk to my dogs more than usual, didn't walk by her room and sigh, and i most certainly did NOT text my son about two hours into the experience and tell him, "oh, my aching empty nest"to which he replied, "oh, my bulging pockets. cha-ching making big bucks at work!"

i didn't snap my phone shut in disgust while failing to stifle a chuckle. and i didn't answer the husband's puzzled look with a "don't look at me! i wasn't texting!"

nope, not me!

Friday, March 13, 2009

pray, friends, pray for sweet abby

on your knees, people!! our little abby has taken a turn for the worse, so please be lifting her and and mommy and daddy up in prayer. she's got little to no white cells to fight disease, and is really depleted after this last chemo. she's unable to fight the infection in her stomach, and it's very concerning. so please, please, storm the gates on abby's behalf!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

sensory overload

we had worship in a field last nite for our youthgroup. after several days in the 70s and 80s (i'm not gonna lie, even though it's super early for weather that warm in march, i was pretty much lovin' it!), the weather turned gray and blustery and rain clouds threatened to dampen our worship. but the weather held, and despite the dipping temps and the biting wind, we stood in a field in the shadow of a mountain, enjoyed the fading daylight and the look of the ominous clouds, and sang to our King. it was chilly, but it was awesome. 

all day long, though, i'd been chewing on my next few months, and felt the onset of a panic attack. it was then that i really began to pray about how the Lord would order my steps over the next 4-5 months, and i'm hoping that He makes Himself abundantly clear, because i am really struggling over what i'm supposed to do.

there are a few things that are a given. i am in charge of the senior class baccalaureate service. i have a capable committee, but i am still heading that up, and that takes up a bit of time, and all will culminate on mother's day. so that is something that must remain on the plate.

my daughter is graduating. i have promised to make announcements for a few of her friends. i have some ideas (i did my son's last year and a few of his friends) this i think i can simplify, but again, i need to do some designing and ordering. set a deadline. this will help. 

my niece is moving in with us in july. long story, but she needs a place to call home, and so i am moving my office upstairs into boy wonder's quarters. he's taken up residence in the den (another long story). i need to excavate his room and paint it and then move the office. (think hobby lobby jammed into a room) then it's on to creating a living space for a college girl.

and then there's ch*na. i'm helping to organize the trip. i have been asked to go. the hubster is even thinking of joining me, and so is daugher-unit. here is where the panic attacks are focused. stay? go? plan? raise support in an ugly economy? trust God? go forth? wait? let go?

oh, and then there's the job. lots to do and A.D.D. attacks. focus. creativity on demand. passion for the process.

too many questions. i could use an email from God. or some skywriting. or a good door slamming. i don't know. too many questions. not enough prozac.