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Friday, February 25, 2011

the art of {non}communication

man. don't you just hate it when you get all ready to blast/vent away on your blog and then you read your devotional before you get started??
grrrr. i was already to whine and complain and then BAM… i got hit right between the eyes by sarah young. today's jesus calling
thank Me for each blessing along the way; this brings Joy to both you and Me. a grateful heart protects you from negative thinking. thankfulness enables you to see the abundance I shower upon you daily. your prayers and petitions are winged into heaven's throne room when they are permeated with thanksgiving. in everything give thanks, for this is My will for you.
okay. rant about husband averted.
but the lingering issue about communication and how men and women are wired so differently remains…
how is it that a man can come home from work and see groceries strewn about the kitchen with his wife {who has also been working all day} preparing dinner and whirling about the kitchen go and pour himself a glass of wine and open up his laptop at the kitchen bar and be completely oblivious to all that is at hand?
ummmm could you maybe offer me a libation, too?
as i became a bit frustrated with his complete lack of intuition that i could use a little help… i thought to myself that perhaps men just need to be asked.
{at one point he did do the dishes that were in the sink.}
i didn't say anything, really, because it was alright, and i wasn't getting mad… i was just noticing.
{but i really hate to have to ask… but that's my issue… not his!}

and as i turn my face toward thanksgiving…
may i take a moment to thank God for my husband.
that i have a man who comes home to me.
who provides for our family.
who engages me with witty banter as i work in the kitchen.
who eats what i prepare {thai shrimp & broccoli over whole wheat pearled couscous}.
who watches american idol with me and pretends to be interested {until he falls asleep… almost immediately}.
we have food to eat.
satellite television on a screen much bigger than we need.
a solid roof {still intact after a rather nasty storm}.
and the list goes on…
if i was really in a right heart, i wouldn't be prepared for a rant. i'd be in a spirit of thanksgiving. i mean, if i'm drinking up every dang word ann voskamp is writing {and i am… oh, i am!} in one thousand gifts, i'd already be there.
so thanks sarah for the added nudge. and Jesus… for calling me back to him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

five am and i'm awake

why is it that i am WIDE awake at 5 am… solving all the problems of the world, panicking that i've not assembled a team for a potential mission trip this summer, remembering that i need to make contact with our hosts for said trip, going over a list of all the things i must accomplish today at work… all the while, trying against all hope, to claim that last hour of sleep.
frustrated, i grab my kindle and read for thirty minutes… finally fall back into the deepest sleep just before the alarm goes off.
instead of awakening refreshed, i still have the heavy-duty-drool-stage-of-sleep fog enveloping my head and for the life of me, can't shake the cobwebs of sleep from my brain. where is the mind-on-overdrive of 5 am? i could certainly use you right about now.
i had six new blog posts already written in my head.
i got nuthin.
well… i wouldn't say nothing… i do have amazing sunshine spilling across my work area in my office. i have two of the three dogs snoring nearby. there's something oddly comforting about sharing my workspace with my dogs. i'm in my black yoga pants, a pink tshirt and a snuggly black northface fleece…hardly corporate attire. so thankful for being able to work in comfort {or even my jammies… which i did yesterday until 3 pm} even if i'm not entirely grateful to work from home. i'm learning to celebrate the positives instead of dwelling on the negatives.
i'll have to hose off at some point… need to re-enter society later today. i have two of my girls speaking at our youth group tonite. so i'll gather with them beforehand over a meal and help them put their finishing touches on their 1 John talk. we're almost finished with our journey through the entire Bible. it's been an interesting and memorable pilgrimage through each book.
for now, however, i've got lists to make, work to do, portfolios to assemble {daunting task} and calls to make before i jump in the shower.
wednesday… here i come!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

red carpet PINT




feel free to head on over to the only parent chronicles and see what other peeps are posting about!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

love the weekends

i'm breaking my own "rules" today and here i am on the computer on the sabbath. i try to fast from all things electronic on the weekend… and especially on sunday since i'm married to them all week long.
we had a very nice and relaxing day yesterday… sleeping in {sorta… if 8 am is sleeping in} and coffee, breakfast and the newspaper on the couch in the living room while we watched saturday morning news. the hubs and i went our separate ways… he to his man-cave {office} and me to the penthouse {my office} and i blogstalked and tweeted while he worked. i was freezing and indulged in a super hot bath and read one thousand gifts by ann voskamp. seriously in love with that book and that woman. but you've heard about my love affair too many times already, so i'll shut up. i promise. {but her blog is simply to die for and her photographs are visual poetry.}
went to the hub's boys' basketball game and came home only to have to make a return trip to retrieve my phone i left on the bleachers. must not try to carry on a conversation when i need to remember small details. the hubs began some yardwork and he swore i forgot my phone just so i wouldn't have to play along. {heh heh. not that that wouldn't have been a bad idea!}
upon returning, we decided to catch the fighter matinee, so we packed up our yard tools and ran to the movie theater. movie was good… pretty much hit my threshold for the f-bomb for about another 20 years. yikes. my ears were bleeding!
other than a few… we've seen most of the movies up for best picture. we like our movies and just wish we didn't have to forgo paying the mortgage every time we wanted to go! we're fortunate to have the cheapy dollar movie literally within walking distance from our house. the dawntreader is there now, so that's next on our list.
we finished the yard work today and i'm about to go off to have my small group with my girls. since it's president's weekend, there's no school tomorrow. so we'll do our Bible study, head downtown to the cereal bar {where they serve… what else? about any kind of cereal you can imagine} and then i believe it's a spend the night {not to be confused with a sleepover} at one of the other leader's home. i have to work tomorrow, so i'll be a party pooper and not stay late. {i enjoy my sleep WAY too much!}
so off i go. perhaps i'll do everyone a favor and grab me a quick shower first. it's crazy that it's 60 in mid-february. it'll turn cold again, but for now… we're soaking up every minute!

Friday, February 18, 2011

reminders of love

last night i went to see the documentary RISE, which is the story of the ill-fated 1961 US figure skating team whose plane crashed in brussels on the way to the world figure skating championships in prague. the entire 18 member team of america's best and brightest skaters along with their coaches and assorted family members perished. all 72 aboard were gone. {great article detailing it here}
while it happened just before i was born, i often heard snippets here and there as i grew up. we were a wide world of sports family. every weekend, it was on our television. jim mckay, the host, was practically a member of our family! my mom and i would watch figure skating together in the winter, and gymnastics in the summer. in between we were voracious packer fans… really, my mom was a huge sports nut. huge.
olympics were always a big deal around our house, too. bruce jenner, olga corbett, nadia comenici, scotty hamilton, brian boitano, eric heiden… we were pretty much on a first name basis with all of them and many more.
 i was in kindergarten the year peggy flemming won the gold in the 1968 olympics. i wasn't old enough to remember much, but i'll never forget her granny smith apple dress with the little white collar. i remember dorothy hamill's cute little shrug when she won the gold in 1976.
 i had my hair cut like hers… but with natural waves and no hair straighteners back then… the cut was an epic fail {at least it was for me}.
as the youngest kid in our family, i probably spent the most time side-by-side with my mom. she had some pretty significant back issues/surgeries/recoveries and i remember chilling with her on saturday and sunday afternoons with her in her lazy boy, me oftentimes sitting on the floor {too close to the television, most likely} watching with her. we'd analyze the skating and try to guess their scores and anxiously await the marks like we were sitting right there in the kiss and cry area like the skaters.
seeing RISE last night made me really miss my mom. no one can watch skating like she could. the hubs makes a miserable stand in and my own kids never sat still long enough to ever watch.
the talent and grace that emerged from the smoking wreckage february 15, fifty years ago is nothing short of amazing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

tech rant 2.0

imagine if you will…
dinner with a friend.
the waitress is polite. efficient. the music is just right. no distractions to spending some good, quality time together.
but it's confusing… why is it your friend keeps staring at her lap? what's that unnatural glow?
could it be? she's texting while you are having a nice visit together?
what? she keeps doing it? and then manages to work into the conversation some of the stuff she's texting about?
if it's so okay to text others while supposedly "engaging" with you, then why not just park the iphone on the table and text away?
what in the world is the matter with people?
has the art of being fully engaged gone by the wayside in favor of non-stop facebook and twitter? must we foursquare our every move?
egads. i sure hope not.
now the even harder question… how to tell this person that she needs to discipline herself to step away from the iphone. especially for one who is in a ministry capacity. fully engaging should come first. you can tweet about it later.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

breaking up is {technologically} hard to do

while i'm hardly an expert in romance… or social media, my life right now is necessitating an upgrade to relationships 2.0.
considering both bama girl and boy wonder have only had one serious relationship in their lifetimes, i haven't had to deal with breakups and broken hearts.
just before christmas {finals eve, more specifically} bama girl was hit with an unexpected breakup after 18 months of togetherness. i love you on wednesday, see ya later on thursday. whatever. it's a case of a long distance relationship and new directions and some other stuff. i'm trying to stay out of the specifics. it's causing bama girl to really grow and stretch herself, and i've been really encouraged at how much she's leaning into God for strength and wisdom.
boy wonder's two year long relationship has had some recent ups and downs. after taking a 5 month hiatus to grow spiritually in the hopes of learning to put Jesus first and resist to the urge to make each other their god, he and girl wonder made it official again just before christmas. he even went to michigan with her family over christmas and all was well with their relationship. an unfortunate incident led boy wonder to have to walk away from the relationship… a difficult endeavor considering two days before the implosion he was talking to me about how he was going to ask her to marry him. it was a crash-n-burn of magnificent proportions.
not so much for the boy… but the for the girl… social media/technology makes breaking up so hard to do. texting. facebook stalking. just the immediacy of communication makes it so hard to let go, stay let go, and not to reconnect. unless until it's healthy to pursue that.
it all will take a level of self-discipline to just say no. say no to the caller id. say no to texting. say no to fb stalking. it's a degree of self-discipline i never had to deal with back in the stone age. seriously. i'm out of my league.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

alls well in alabama!

it's hard to believe that all campus activities were canceled on wednesday night because of snow. it's hard to believe classes were delayed on thursday because of snow. and ice.
there was little evidence of it when we arrived at bama girl's apartment on friday afternoon. it was blissfully sunny and delightfully warm. the only evidence of the previous day's frozen past was the sheet of ice covering the stairs leading up to her front door. treacherous steppage. seriously, you'd think the apartment management would have some rock salt!! sheesh!
that was the only dicey moment of the entire weekend. it was a glorious time of togetherness, wonderful weather, lots of laughter and probably more eating than was good for me… but what else do folks do when they travel? they eat!
we ate dinner with all the elderlies at the red lobster before going to the sold out gymnastics meet against auburn. nothing against the red lobster, but it's not my idea of good seafood, but it suited the pocketbook nicely, and the food was pretty good. the cheese biscuits were ahhhhmazing. seriously, a coronary in every bite. i swear my eyes rolled up in my head over every bite.
alabama clobbered auburn in the meet. not even close. and our seats were waaaaaaay up in the nose bleed section. the view was really not that bad… but the photos left much to be desired. oh well. it was fun!
it was fun to spend time with bama girl's friends.
we spent a lovely saturday running errands and checking out some sights…
like the nursing school bama girl has applied to {should hear something in the next 4-6 weeks… highly competitive, but bama girl's GPA is rock solid} and her new apartment for next year. it's not that she doesn't already live in the taj mahal… seriously college has changed since the days of roach motels with cinder block shelving units of my day… but she and her roomies want to live closer to campus. they'll be within walking distance to the stadium {super important on game days!} and she'll be able to ride her bike to the sorority house and walk to her classes from there. it's super nice {still under construction} and we'll be furniture shopping as the summer approaches. hopefully before then she'll realize that pottery barn is not in my budget. heck i don't even have it in MY house! she needs to get in tune with her thrifty side in the next six months!
Photobucketfun times. good food. family time. it seriously doesn't get better than this!

Friday, February 11, 2011

oh my word… it's friday!

i don't think i've been so happy to see a weekend come around in a really long time. thurdsay lasted for flippin ever. seriously!
i still have some work to wrap up today. before noon if possible. that might be a stretch because i'm going to go get my roots did and my hairs cut. hard to believe two months from now i could hang with grey showing through and a shaggy do if that meant me getting an iphone. alas. i don't see that happening any time soon.
 i write the best blog posts at 3:30 am. too bad i don't get out of bed to actually write them. i was awake, so i read, hoping that would do the trick. not so much. i ended up getting up at 4:30 and finished some more work, watched grey's anatomy and private practice while i finished up some valentine goodies for our family's college students and enjoyed some quiet time. i figure if i need to catch up on my zzzs, i'll do it later when we're in the car. heading out today about one to go see bamagirl. picking up boy wonder on the way. looking forward to a nice weekend with just the four of us.
lots of stuff swirling around… and all throughout, i'm trying super hard to be thankful, to find the blessings in what we're experiencing. {thank you ann voskamp for that encouragement!}
i would never in a million years complain about what's going on… in the grand scheme of what other people are journeying through, this is mild. but still, not to minimize struggle, angst and broken hearts.
don't know if any of you are following the drama unfolding with the simple wife… but her story is nothing simple. far from it. almost four weeks ago, this 38 year old homeschooling mother of two suffered a massive stroke and was unconscious/comatose for two weeks. her husband has been detailing her miraculous recovery on her blog. news yesterday of her establishing communication through an ipad was nothing short of amazing. i cried with joy.
 in the midst of struggle is thanksgiving. much like the beginnings of spring… struggle brings growth; new life.
have an outstanding weekend, peeps!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


well… there's plenty going on and i really have no business writing right now as i have an entire menu system to preflight and get to the printer. a tedious and boring job that my ADD mind wrestles to complete. i'm not really procrastinating. really.
since sunday, i've had a lot swirling around in my brain. i usually do. this is the life of one with ADD. not to harp on it or anything… it's just some days are more of a struggle than others. having so much technology at my fingertips doesn't help, either.
so anywhoo…
in my sunday school class, our pastor has been sharing about spiritual disciplines. today's message was about simplifying. it really spoke to me… not because my life is overly complicated, but because it's cluttered with things that don't really matter. not in the eternal sense, that is.
but there are things that press upon me. like too many activities. or decisions. important information. entertaining diversions. tempting temptations… even guilt.

what does a simple life look like?

perhaps choosing wisely and having discernment. a holy filter, if you will.

simplicity is a choice. it's a choice to not be overburdened.
an intentional effort to choose wisely. what is good. what is good for me…and ultimately, is what i'm choosing glorifying God?

simplifying doesn't just happen. certainly not spontaneously.
simplifying takes intentionality. for me… for the purpose of deepening my relationship with God.

for someone like me who struggles with ADD, simplifying involves FOCUS.
plan better. take time to commune… while being a tiny bit creative. that's my focus today. i'll let you know how that worked out.

there. i like that a whole lot better than talking about betrayal. that's also on my heart. i'm hoping by focusing today and communing with some creativity will help me deal with encouraging someone dear to me who has suffered a betrayal. my heart has compassion for the betrayer… but seriously struggling with wanting to kick that someone in the shins. this is where God and i are today… working through betrayal and encouragement.

as always, thanks for listening.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We interrupt this PINT for serious content!

several weeks ago {okay, really, it was months ago}, i was approached by emily patterson who wanted to use my blog to raise awareness for teaching sign language to young children and the benefits of early childhood education.
at first i was wondering how the heck she even found me… and as an empty nester, why anyone who reads me {all ten of you, ha!} would be interested? i'm posting because i believe in what emily does… that early enrichment is key in providing the strong foundation of education. read on… don't be alarmed at the use of proper capitalization, sentence structure and/or punctuation… my blog will be back to incomplete sentences and rambling lowercase text tomorrow. or the next day. until then, friends, feel free to pass on this link so your friends with little'uns can get the 411 too.
a small caveat here, friends… i've not researched primrose or any other educational curricula… all that to say is i'm no expert. i don't even play one on tv. so read with an open mind… thanks for your time.
Enriching Your Childs Education By Introducing Sign Language in their Child Care
The ability to communicate in a variety of way to the widest possible audience, and the skill of versatility are two things that are vital in a economic time like the one we are facing now. Along with the rising need of people with bilingual ability, is the need for those with the ability to communicate non-verbally, with benefit of the disabled- primarily the deaf.
The growing shortage of qualified interpreters fluent in American Sign Language has led to more career opportunities – and if current trends continue, it's likely that skilled ASL interpreters will have little problem securing lucrative employment in a society where such a commodity is destined to be in short supply.

Signing Before They Can Speak
The best time to educate children in different modes of communication and language has proven to be the early ages of 2 to 5. This goes beyond the spoken word (though it is an optimal time for children to learn a second language); many young children have an aptitude for signing as well. This can be taught at home or some child care programs incorporate it into their curriculum.
Many indigenous peoples around the world, including American Indian nations, have used sign language for centuries to facilitate communication with other tribes whom don't share their language. Some paleontologists and anthropologists theorize that Neanderthals – who apparently lacked the vocal mechanism to produce many spoken words – depended a great deal upon hand gestures to communicate. So it may not be as odd as you think.
Research shows that sign language is actually innate. An article from the Boulder Daily Camera presented strong evidence that babies as young as six months old communicate with their hands:
" 6 to 7 months, babies can remember a sign. At eight months, children can begin to imitate gestures and sign single words. By 24 months, children can sign compound words and full sentences. They say sign language reduces frustration in young children by giving them a means to express themselves before they know how to talk." (Glarion, 2003)
The author also cites study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which proved that young children who are taught sign language at an early age develop better verbal skills as they get older. The ability to sign has also helped parents in communicating with autistic children; one parent reports that "using sign language allowed her to communicate with her [autistic] son and minimized his frustration...[he now] has an advanced vocabulary and excels in math, spelling and music" (Glarion, 2003).

The Best Time To Start
Not only does early childhood education in signing give pre-verbal youngsters a way to communicate, it can also strengthen the parent-child bond – in addition to giving children a solid foundation for learning a skill that will serve them well in the future. The evidence suggests that the best time to start learning ASL is before a child can even walk – and the implications for facilitating the parent-child relationship are amazing.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Austin child care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of child care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


what to my wondering eyes {and wandering fingers} should appear… but my blog… completely blog-jacked!
several weeks ago i enthusiastically almost peed in my pants when i won a blog makeover from the totally talented and super-hilarious mandy hornbuckle. all courtesy of a giveaway on my sweet ellyn's blog. she is the uber-mom of five special children including the completely adorable seth, whom many of you prayed through his hearing loss and subsequent cochlear implant before age one. i love ellyn and am especially fond of mandy's humerous and supportive comments on ellyn's blog.

i love mandy's sense of humor, her love for the lord and her talented sense of design. she rocked my face off and you should certainly head over to hornbuckle design to see what other amazing things she has up her sleeves!

on another note… now that i have a rockin new blog, i've been thinking about what the heck i'm doing here. i had dinner the other night with IRL friend {i know, right?} and was mentioning that i have a blog. i blog. i'm a blogger.
ummm. i write. on the internet.
affected interest. what do you write about?
crickets… {and that was me this time}

good question.
i don't have kids anymore. well at least none at home.
i work from my home and barely get the the grocery store one time a week.
i am a youth leader of high school junior ladies… but i'm not about to start blogging about them.
i have three intelligence-challenged black n tan weiner dogs. they spend much of the day sleeping and really, is writing about three dumber-than-a-box-o-rocks weiner dogs all that spellbinding? i didn't think so.
i am married to a wonderful man of God… but he's so not on board with me blogging, spilling my guts on the internet, or wasting my time when i could be working {for him}. he doesn't like me on facebook or tweeting and goes through the roof if i text in bed. {understandable, but sometimes it just happens!}
i like to think of myself as creative, but really, i get so drained of being creative with my job, i don't have it in me to do projects. and then to photograph them well… well it's darn-right intimidating.

so it's time to really think about what i'm doing on here.
what's my function {junction}?
if anyone out there happens to know… holla.

thanks again to the sweet mandy hornbuckle. you have given me a new spring in my keyboard. hope to be back with something worthy of posting soon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

PINT: all by myself…

Only Parent Chronicles

yep it's that time again. time to work it all out on a post it. c'mon. play along. you know you want to… 
head on over and see what eveyone else has been up to!