Great commercial for Visa CheckCard

Yesterday we returned from the Arlington area. We spent a day at Six Flags, a day at Hurricane Harbor, and yesterday met my family in east Texas so that they could take the kids back to Louisiana with them. More on that trip later. So I would love to use my time without kids and before starting a new job doing some little jobs around the house and getting my home in working order. (almost typed 'working odor' -- may have to do some research on what THAT could mean!)

One of my first stops when I got back to town was the bed and bath store for some things I would need for all of my projects. When I was told what the total for my purchase was, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought something must have been on sale that I didn't realize. Don't you love it when that happens?

Walking out of the store, I checked my receipt and found that they only charged me for one set of curtains when I got two. The lines were all long, so I went on to my other stops in the same shopping center before I came back (and, yes, I considered not going back at all). When I returned to the store (no lines!) I told the lady why I was back and needed to pay for the set of curtains. I joked that it made the first check I wrote a little less painful! She was amazed that I had returned. As I handed her my check she continued to thank me for my honesty, then in the same breath said, "I need to see your driver's license, please."

That made me laugh, but I guess I appreciate that she was making sure some criminal wasn't being honest with MY checkbook!



Our family has scheduled some time together. I'll tell you all about it next week!


Help for the working woman

As you may/may not know, I have a few too many blogs for a normal human. On my recipe blog, we are collecting recipes that are good to freeze to cook and serve later on a busy day. Do you have a good recipe to post? Click here, click on a 'comment' link, and post your recipe! I'll move it to the front and center of the blog to share with all of blog-world!


Funny Bumper Sticker

Seen this afternoon in Abilene, Texas:

"Silly Cowboy, Trucks are for Girls!"

Have you seen any that make you laugh? (that can be posted on a family-friendly blog?)


True Confessions

(get your mind out of the gutter -- this is a family blog. except for my kids -- you're about to understand why)

Have you ever thrown away trash that you knew was valuable trash to a shorter member of your family, then when they searched for it you tried to offer helpful advice: "Did you look under your bed?" "Is it in your brother/sister's room?" "Did you maybe accidentally throw it away?"

You've never done that? Oh, well, me neither, then.

Not much to Blog

I'm feeling overwhelmed in my life. Overwhelmed by the circumstances that other people find themselves in. Just so many hard times. My friend, Tammy, took her son, Jack, to Dallas this week for follow-up after Jack's brain surgery to remove a tumor in May (late April?) The results weren't what any of us had hoped, prayed, or expected. You can keep up with Jack on Updates on Jack. So that makes me sad, and there's just so much else right now in people I know and love. So I may be taking a blogging hiatus. I have much to say, and lots of questions to ask, but none of it is appropriate here. Again, though, it does call to mind a song. When I don't know what to pray, when words don't come, I simply can 'cry out':

I cry out
For your hand of mercy to heal me
I am weak
I need your love to free me
O Lord, my rock
My strength in weakness
Come rescue me oh Lord

You are my hope
Your promise never fails me
And my desire
Is to follow You forever
For You are good
For You are good
For You are good to me
For You are good
For You are good
For You are good to me


He's Always Been Faithful

Since my part-time work is mainly substitute teaching, summer is a time for more creative budgeting. I also teach swim lessons which helps. But, all in all, as long as we have a plan for our money at the beginning of each month, it's no problem. In conversation today, I mentioned that we've got $40 until I get paid for this next set of swim lessons, so I would wait on whatever purchase we were discussing.

The amount of $40 brought to mind a time when things were much different. When we moved to Abilene, we were not financially in a place to be making a move. And Dave Ramsey (my favorite financial guru)says that if you spend all of your emergency cash getting into a house, then Murphy (as in Murphy's Law) is going to come move into your front bedroom. Did he ever. The flood came 6 months after we moved into the house. State Farm took care of us very well, but is required to give that check to the mortgage company. The mortgage company, in turn, parcels out the check in increments as the work on the house is completed. Obviously, this protects the mortgage company's interest as well as ours since, technically, they own way more of the house than we do. So we were paying mortgage and utilities on a home we couldn't live in, a few months of the time we did live here, but had no kitchen, gasoline back and forth, my cell phone was the only phone we had. It all started to add up.

In the middle of this we received notice that we were being sued for several thousand dollars by the people that purchased our home in Temple. We still believe we are/ were right but a court fight would cost more than simply several thousand dollars. It didn't matter -- at the time, we didn't have it.

The eating out, the utilities, the gasoline, the cell phone bill -- we just kept pulling out of savings or putting it on the credit card. Here's where $40 sounded familiar. At one point, we were way over the limit on our credit card and had $40 in savings. I remember telling God -- I don't know how you're going to pull this one off, but I have to have faith that you will. And He did. I'm ashamed that I don't remember exactly how at this point (I think a family member dropped a check in the mail just for funsies).

As my friend Donna Leavelle tells me, "if you have problems that money can solve, then you don't really have problems." I try to remember that, but more importantly I try to remember that He's always been faithful. It calls to mind one of my favorite songs. I have a recording by Zoe Group, but I'm not sure who wrote it. My apologies to the writer because it's gorgeous:

Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed, in
awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me

I can't remember a trial or a pain
he did not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret
in serving God only and trusting his hand

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me

This is my anthem, this is my song, the
theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, he will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end.

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me

May I always remember His faithfulness and testify to His grace.


Favorite Quotes

I'm wiped out. VBS started tonight. I didn't lead little robe-clad children, or even teach them how to make a broom using hay, a dowel, and some string. My job this year was VBS data-entry. I really do enjoy that type work, but I did learn a lesson that can be summed up as: Quattro Pro (database software included in word perfect office) is the spawn of Satan and evil, evil, evil. Microsoft Excel IS indeed excel, as in EXCELlent!! Suffice it to say that I have put all 180 VBS registrants into tribes and in a database twice now. And, I have learned from Donnie Carroll -- you can try, but you can't make everybody happy, and "life goes on." That's why he's qualified to have 7 kids and I'm not (yes, he does -- ages 6 to 24, I believe).

Am I the only one that thinks in sound-bites? I doubt it, because as I rattle off a quote from a movie (from MY era -- Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's, Breakfast Club) someone invariably knows another quote from the same movie (in Abilene that someone is generally Denise -- no wonder you don't remember things that happen in life; your brain is too full of movie quotes and music lyrics!) I've thought about some of my favorites and collected a few of them here. Some of the language isn't what I use on a regular basis -- but I think that's why it appeals to me. It's my altar-ego, in quote form.

This week at one of my girls' night out, we got on a roll about our favorite 'Steel Magnolias' quote. I was raised in North Louisiana, and every character in 'Steel Magnolias' is either me, or someone I know, or a combination of the two. There are two quotes that I think about quite frequently:

"Drum Eatenton, you are a boil on the butt of humanity!" (Ouiser)

"Maybe she's praying because we were gossiping, maybe she's praying because the elastic is shot in her pantyhose." (Truvy, about Annelle)

And there are several others that I use on occasion:

"I am PLEASANT! Damn it!" (Ouiser)

"I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for the last 40 years!" (Ouiser)

"He's so confused he doesn't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt." (Truvy)

"The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize." (Clairee)

Tammy brought up another one I had forgotten:

"Oh, Ouiser, ya know I love ya more than my luggage." (Clairee)

I found lots more -- and laughed out loud all over again -- at this website.

Another quote that I have enjoyed lately is from Gwyneth Paltrow, who I still know little enough about to consider beautiful on the inside and outside (I'm sure there's some dirt out there to tell me otherwise, but don't tell me, okay?) She says:

"Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick."

Lately I feel comfortable in my own skin AND I've gotten a (well, you know) red lipstick. I must have it goin' on! :-)

Besides scripture, what quotes roll around in your head?


The Power Of One, Pt. 4

I could probably go on about this forever, but I won't! I think I've already decided what my next soapbox will be (intentionality) and this will lead right into it. Another book I have read didn't really strike me as poignant until I started thinking about it in the light of "The Red Tent" and the influence Jacob was able to have on the generations to come. The book "Outlander" is basically about a woman who accidentally falls into 1743 from 1943. Initially her struggle is to get back to 1943, then her struggle is whether or not she WANTS to go back because she has fallen in love. Her struggle is also on what she knows about history and how she may or may not be able to change it with her knowledge. The thought of changing history disturbs her, as I guess it would any of us. She confides in a priest where she came from and her struggle with what she knows about the future (future from a 1743 perspective). His reply was quite eloquent. She had been an army nurse in 1943 and he pointed out that she very well may have been changing history then -- keeping someone alive who may have otherwise died, for instance. What if that person later had a child that went on to invent great things or cure a horrible disease? She just didn't have the blessing (or curse) of having seen it written only to need it to be corrected. Everything that we do changes the pages of a history book yet to be written.

Since I'm not a nurse or in the medical profession in any way (I gag when my kids have a loose tooth) I'm tempted to think, "Well, that doesn't apply to me -- I'm certainly not saving lives." But I've been around long enough to see the impact my mere words have on people. Anyone's words, really -- helpful or hurtful, words stick with people. Especially children.

I also recently read an article about a grown woman who became terrified of a neighbor woman because she heard the way she spoke to her own children. THAT really spoke to me. Not only my actions, but my words have the power to change history -- if only the history of one person's life. That's so frightening to me considering how quickly words tumble from my mouth -- sometimes with very little thought behind them. I pray that others are as ready with forgiveness as I am with my words!

I have been at this computer most of today -- and I'm too tired to go into how it was all pretty much useless and I'll have to do it again tomorrow on another computer!
Let me just say that I'm the VBS data-entry person. After today, I may be in danger of losing my job!

Everybody have a great Sunday worshipping and fellowshipping!


The Power Of One, Pt. 3

I think this is my favorite character in my "Power of One" topic. I think because I'm figuring out that the "Power of One" doesn't refer to the one person -- it refers to the One God who works through ANY one person. Not you? Well, if God will choose to work through THIS woman, I feel certain He will choose to work through any of us.

We would all call this woman "a loser". That's about as nice as any of us could be -- bless her heart! Sure she had a rotten childhood, but now that she's grown up can't she get her act together, for pity's sake? Now she's been married AND DIVORCED five times. I guess we have to appreciate that she won't even try to make a mockery out of the wedding vows a sixth time since she's living with that guy. Not that any of us have really tried. She's the butt of a lot of jokes in town, and we sure don't want our husbands glancing in her direction.

She's figured out that she's an outcast. It doesn't take a genius to know that no fine, upstanding women would be seen in her acquaintance. And so it was the day she was at the well mid-afternoon when Jesus asked her for a drink. Interesting that he stopped at Jacob's well. Jacob, the one faithful to God that I wrote about earlier. So now, generations later, Jesus strikes up a conversation with her. We don't even know her name.

Jesus knew. He knew all about her life -- and he loved her. She tried so hard to change the subject and argue religion. Jesus would have none of it. Finally, she realized who she was talking to. Knowing Jesus changed her life. And she couldn't help but tell about it. She dropped everything and ran.

Who would you pick to be a missionary to a region that had never met Christ? Would it be her? That's who God used. . .

"Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me everything I ever did.'" John 4:39


"I Don't Go to Wal-Mart"

If you want people to look at you as if they think you might have said, "I worship at the camel of the fuzzy hindquarters" then tell them you don't go to Wal-Mart. Even if you do. It's so funny! If you know me even a little bit, you're probably aware that I really don't go to Wal-Mart. I have been less strident and obnoxious about this fact this year -- but it is a fact. Inevitably the question comes up, "Then, where do you go?" You can tell how frequently a person goes to Wal-Mart by how soon they ask this question. Some people simply cannot imagine a week without Wal-Mart. Think outside the box, folks. One woman said, in wonder, "I go to Wal-Mart at least three times a week." When I told her I didn't think I had been to Wal-Mart three times this calendar year, she just shook her head in amazement.

I have mis-spoken in the past by simply repeating the mantra, "I hate Wal-Mart!!" And there are things about Wal-Mart that I do, in fact hate (oh, let me count the ways). But, more than anything, I hate that the American public has said, "Yes! Give me horrible service! Give me 50 acres of merchandise with no rhyme or reason as to how it is arranged! Give me law of the jungle type courtesy in customers! Give me poor quality products! I need all of these things so that I can save 15 cents on a box of Tampax!" When I do (rarely) go in Wal-Mart I cannot believe that not only do we, as a public put up with it, we throw millions of dollars at it as a reward. Welcome, Wal-Mart shoppers. . . *sigh*

Okay, I feel better! :-) I have more on my "Power of One" line of thinking, but we are on our way out the door. Troy is on his way back from Dallas and the kids and I are heading to Temple (no, I'm not trying to avoid him -- we both thought this trip to Dallas would last longer than this). Ashley will stay and play with a friend and Riley and I will stay at Mike's and hang out together.

I'm kind of in a summer lull -- haven't read much and I've even backed way off on my exercise. Maybe it's "the dog days of summer". I would really rather just curl up in a cool spot and have a nap!


The Power Of One, Pt. 2

I saw a one-woman play this winter about six of the women mentioned in the geneology of Jesus (I BELIEVE they are the only women mentioned, but I've already showed I'm fairly ignorant of the whole of it). Donna Hester portrayed each of the women in a fairly modern setting in a play entitled, "Iron Apron Strings". (That was the name of the art exhibit -- I think the play, also). It was very creatively done and helped you think of these women as actual women, instead of 'characters'.

The woman she portrayed that has haunted me most is Bathsheba. I guess it's because we know so little about her she remains a mysterious woman, yet a crucial part of history. Let's sum up what we do know about her: she was physically beautiful, she followed the King's orders when he summoned her, she knew she was in a compromising situation when her husband had been away at war for months and she learned she was pregnant, and scripture tells us that when she learned that Uriah was dead, "she mourned for him." That's about it. I've heard speculation and presumption that she was a loose woman because she was even bathing where she could be seen. Perhaps. I doubt she ever meant for it to lead to adultery and murder.

The point that has haunted me most is how Bathsheba probably lived out the rest of her life. I'll be honest, I haven't done extensive scripture research for all of the mentions of Bathsheba (but I'm tempted to now!) But I don't recall much mention beyond her adulterous encounter with David that led her husband to be killed that led her to become David's wife and Solomon's mother. I imagine that her life was a life of material wealth and comfort living with David. But I also imagine that she felt forever shadowed by how she came to be living in such wealth. I doubt she ever fully forgave herself. I imagine that in her final years the regrets and sorrow about Uriah came frequently to mind as her body became more and more idle. I have a mental image that the weight of the guilt weighed her down and she was no longer a beautiful young woman, but a stooped elderly lady burdened with guilt and shame.

I think that's how I imagine it because I can picture myself reacting the same way. What weighed Bathsheba down the most was not knowing how God could use her sin. We all have such a limited view of creation. We try to teach our children to not be self-centered, but I don't think we ever really outgrow believing ourselves to be the center of the universe (I'm talking to/about myself here). Were I in the same situation as Bathsheba, I would only be able to see my own shame and how it had affected (i.e., ruined) my life. I'm so thankful to be able have the hindsight of Bathsheba's life and know that from her sin, from her mis-step, from her poor decision, from her listening to the wrong person -- God's plan was fulfilled. It's that vision and knowledge that enables me to trust that God can use my life to His glory, when I seem to make an enormous mess on my own.

Father, lead me to understand that I am not the universe or the entirity of your plan -- I'm simply a small puzzle piece in it. I know that you are able to use me to fulfill your plan -- but I may not even know how in my lifetime, much like Bathsheba couldn't have known how. Lord, lead me to Kingdom vision, not Sarah vision.


The Power Of One, Pt. 1

I've been reading "The Red Tent" a fictional novel told from the perspective of Dinah, Jacob's daughter. She tells her family history: of Jacob coming and working to marry Rachel, being deceived into marrying Leah, and many more details from Genesis 29-35 (some factual, some fictional). One of the threads of the story is a fairly good assumption from scripture that, although Jacob would worship God and only God, his wives were happy to call on any god they thought would answer. Since the novel is told from the perspective of the daughter who spends her days with the women, there is much talk of all the different gods. I keep thinking -- this is in Jesus' geneology. How odd that there is this family that probably looked like most families of their time in their region that God used to eventually fulfill His promise. I have also been struck by how powerful Jacob's influence over his own boys must have been that he was able to make his Lord and Father stand out as God above all gods in that atmosphere.

Of course, as we continue the story, not all of the boys lived their lives honoring God. It's so fascinating to see who God will use and how! Not having my geneology of Jesus memorized, I would think that, of the 12 boys, Joseph would be the one to be included in Jesus' lineage. Remember Joseph? Always odd-man-out with his brothers, sold into slavery by them, RAN from evil with Potiphar's wife, instrumental in Egypt becoming a powerful nation in a time of famine. That sounds like good Jesus lineage material to me. Which is why I'm not God. God used Judah, instead. Judah, what a mess. Judah, who had a son who was so evil that God put him to death. You'll just have to read Genesis 38 to be reminded of how Judah's offspring came into being by his daughter-in-law who was pretending to be a prostitute. And we wonder where Jerry Springer comes up with his story lines?

My original thought on this is that it only took one -- one person, one parent to show a "tribe" of 12 who God is. I pray to empty myself and my will to Him that I may be that one to people I encounter.


Busy Saturday

There's much I would like to write about that was running through my head at 4 a.m., but my time constraints just have me "touching blog base" today (let's all conjure a mental image of what 'touching blog base' would be! :-)

We are headed to a family reunion where I will very vaguely know about 4 people, the kids know no one, I will haul a ton of food there, and a good time will be had by all. I've already warned the kids not to ask me how soon we can leave -- we will be there most of the day and just get over it. This is a reunion that is (obviously) Troy's side of the family that he and I haven't been to since we were married 12+ years ago. Reunions have never been a big deal for my family -- partly b/c our family is fairly small on my dad's side, and most of my mom's family lived within "spittin' distance" (and that's just how you would say it there, too!)

I do think it's important to reconnect with those who have touched the lives of people who touched your life. I'm sure I'll have more to write about on my return. For now, I must go squeeze in some exercise, then make a huge batch of Southwestern Chicken Spaghetti to haul to Brownwood!


"Her children arise and call her blessed. . ."

Ashley: "What stinks in here?"

Riley: "It's either Duchess. . . or Mom."

More Rangers' Game Pics

Now that the Sullivan family has been apprised of my posting of ONE of the ultra-cuties, I must follow through and get the rest of the guys up there. My apologies to Clark, who I was unable to get a good picture of, but he is mentioned in Independence Day as my favorite fireworks memory!

Bennet and Clark, absorbed in the game (more than you can say about me, for sure).

The Stirmans, roasting at the ballpark!

Griffin, the youngest of the Sullivan cuties.

The Chick-Fil-A cows, hanging out with the fans. Can you think of a worse summer job? If it felt like 126* in the ballpark, can you imagine what it was inside a Chick-Fil-A cow costume?


From Years Gone By

I'm cleaning out some files this morning and came across an email that I sent out, then printed to keep for myself, several years ago. The date on it shows August of 2001, shortly before we learned of Troy's job in Abilene. Riley would have been 3:

Riley and I were alone in the car on the way to church tonight for a pizza dinner, then church.

Riley told me, "Mommy, God is making the cut on my leg better."

"Riley, God just takes such good care of us."

"Yep, and there's someone else up in heaven who takes care of us. Can you guess who it is, Mommy?"

"It must be Jesus."

"Yep, Jesus has a beard, but God doesn't."

"Riley, what does God look like?"

"Like Mommies and Daddies. Only my daddy has a mustache and God doesn't" (evidently God has no facial hair).

(brief pause as I bask in the thought of my son associating God with his parents)

"Mommy, what do the bottoms of pizzas look like?"

I would not have been able to re-tell that story, but now that I've read it, I remember vivid details of it and how I laughed for the fleeting theological discussion to turn toward pizzas.

We had a similar conversation this morning while I was weeding. I told him that, like my Bible reading and knowing God, I wanted weeding to be a one-time deal. Do it and be done. But weeding doesn't work that way, and neither does my prayer time because Satan is out there in the world. You have to stay on top of it every day.

Riley commented, "Satan is the weed. We have to keep him out of there."

We also noticed that a weed that had been let go for too long was all but impossible to get out and we had to dig almost to China to get to the root. We decided that it's best to get sin out as soon as you can before you have to dig to China to get it out.

Do you ever feel like the job of leading these questioning minds on The Path is way out of your league?


Independence Day

Allow me to start this post with a disclaimer: I love my country. In a quiet moment of reflection, I am so thankful for the opportunities we are all afforded here, and for the men and women who have died so that we can all be as lazy or ambitious as we choose. I know it's not a perfect country, and I don't think it's the ONLY country that's great or the only country that God blesses. But I do, indeed, love my country and am thankful to have been born here. Problem is, I have found, that July 4th is pretty much the last day of the year for any quiet reflection.

Troy was home (and that's a good thing) and the kids were extra-cuckoo. I always grieve for retail employees who have to work on holidays, but I was so thankful to have a place to go! In the early afternoon we went to the movie and saw "Herbie, Fully Loaded" -- pretty much as great as all of the Herbie movies. Lots of laughs for the kids, and only very innocent teenage romance. We had some burgers for dinner, then tried to go to the pool (they closed an hour earlier than usual -- my name was 'Mud'!) Wasted a little more time in the evening and finally headed out to the fireworks. Being early to bed people, July 4th fireworks always present a bit of a struggle for us. Just about the time we're really ready for bed, it's finally dark enough for the fireworks to start. As the kids become more and more tired, they get more and more hyped up and Troy and I get more and more tired and less tolerant of the hyper kids.

I do love fireworks. I have decided recently they are definitely a community activity. You simply must sit with a loved one and exclaim, "Isn't that pretty?" "Those are my favorites." "Ooooh, I liked that one!" There were fireworks after the Rangers game and my favorite moment was Clark Sullivan with hands clamped over his ears, turning to his mom with a smile squished between his hands and exclaiming, "Aren't they pretty, Momma?" Watching fireworks just has to be done with friends and family.

Last night our little family was a bee hive of noise and activity. The kids sat on top of the car, then came down, then Ashley went back up. Troy found some non-stop patriotic music on the radio to get in the spirit that the kids griped and whined about. They squirreled all over and finally, Troy just packed us all up and we headed home. As we first pulled away, we could see the last of the fireworks, so we almost made it through the whole thing. Troy was trying not to fume while they were getting louder and louder in the back seat and again, with the music, "What is this music?" "Why aren't there any words?" "But I don't know this one!!" Troy just kept turning up his music and the kids just kept talking to each other louder and louder. Good times. Finally, the music became a tune that the kids knew. With no prompting, the chatter and frivolity in the back seat turned to a sing-along and we heard two precious voices:

"America! America!
God shed His grace on thee.
And crown thy good,
With brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea."

Good times indeed.

Today, Riley continued his singing expertise:

Old McDonald had a farm,
E-I-E-I-O (what does that MEAN, anyway?)
And on that farm he had a Riley,
With a talk, talk here,
A talk, talk there. . . .

Then, feeling burdened by his jobs, continued:

Old McMommy had a farm,
And on that farm she had a Riley,
With a work, work here,
A work, work there. . . .

I have a good life.


(left) Bennet Sullivan. Is he the absolute cutest or what? His parents say that they wish they had a nickel for every time he has been compared to Jonathan Lipnicki (below) -- his college would be well funded by now. I took Bennet's picture at the Rangers game we went to a few weeks ago. You know, I'm still not a huge baseball fan, especially when it was approximately 126* in Ranger stadium. So, I just had a great time taking pictures of the Sullivan family and the Chick-Fil-A cows!

I seem to be having trouble with some of my posts. When I get back up and running, I'll post more pictures!



And more importantly -- it's PAYDAY!! And co-op (i.e., date night!!!) is tonight. And the DISH guy came and fixed our scrambled TV and I got a hair cut -- and so did Troy, come to think of it. Then I had lunch with my friend, Angela. It's a good day all around.

My favorite image of summer occurred yesterday -- Riley had seen some kids doing the same thing at our pool, so he decided that he, too, could act like a fountain. He scooped up a mouthful of water, struck a pose with one foot perched in the air, and spewed his pool water back into the pool. He did this several times, for the benefit of no one but himself, since he wasn't aware that I was watching. He got to where he had a sly grin on his face, thoroughly enjoying himself. Then he realized it's REALLY hard to spit water while you're laughing (he had totally cracked himself up -- he gets that from me). Then Ashley joined the fun and for approximately 7 blissful seconds we had a harmonious moment of being silly at the pool. Then, of course, the argument arose as to who was the best fountain. (they probably get that from me, but yeeesh). The moment was over. Of course, they did it for Troy last night and he had to point out exactly how dirty the water was. Killjoy.

I had to abort all other reading and tackle my new Janet Evanovich book, "Eleven on Top" and then on to "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd (Secret Life of Bees author). I checked both of them out from the library last night and they're only 7 day check-outs. I love my Janet Evanovich book -- certainly a nice break from realistic fiction. It's realistic -- in that, it COULD happen -- but it wouldn't be nearly as funny as it is written if it did.

What are YOU doing for the 4th? I'm beginning to hate that question. I HAVE NO PLANS, I AM A LOSER WITH NO PLANS, OKAY???? There's an ice-cream supper at church on the 3rd, but that's as close as I am to any plans at all. The pool is having all sorts of races, etc. Riley absolutely doesn't want to go (doesn't want the embarassment of not winning a race and would rather just play in the pool anyway). Ashley will not live if we don't go (wants the two of us to win the mother/daughter raft race and earn lots of $$$ in the money dive). So I'm currently thinking -- I don't know.

Maybe I'll just stay home and blog about how we should all celebrate our independence through Christ everyday -- or maybe I'll just eat all of the leftover ice cream from church and take a nap.
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