It's Not Rocket Surgery!

Driving down my street recently I noticed a lady having trouble getting her gas-powered weed-eater to work. She pulled, pulled, and PULLED on the starter cord. Finally, as I was driving by, she was unscrewing the gas cap to take a peek -- with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. I accelerated to get by her quickly before a hot ash fell into the tank.

Later the same day, I passed a vehicle where the passenger was lighting a cigarette and I noticed that the driver was wearing an oxygen tube! Then I noticed that the oxygen tank was in the back seat -- directly behind the passenger seat! Again, I wanted to be very far away from those people.


What Temperament Are You?

I may be more transparent than I think I am, but I think this description may surprise some people who have known me for less than 20 years, but I think this describes me perfectly. AND, coincidentally enough, I look PRECISELY like the cartoon lady when I do my thinking at sunset in my little black dress on the rooftop -- doesn't that look just like Abilene's skyline? Time alone is truly a rare luxury for me.
You Have a Melancholic Temperament

Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything.
You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life.
You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.

Given enough time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace.
You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life.
Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.

At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you.
You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others.
You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.


Sarah's Theology

So we've established that I'm a linguistic snob. I'm not enough of a linguistic snob to know what the OPPOSITE of the word 'snob' is so that I can describe my version of Christianity. Moron? Village Idiot?

In my usual perusal of blogs, I have come to realize that the more "scholarly" blogs make my eyes glaze over. Use the words "post-modernism", "sectarian", "apostate", and especially "Stone-Campbell Dialogue" and I am scrolling through your blog so fast my mouse is throwing sparks. Give me a good muppet quiz anyday! (Incidentally, I found all of those things on the same blog, so this guy must be very balanced!)

Here are a few of my key philosophies about my personal Christianity:

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. " 1 John 4: 10-12

I don't need my dictionary for any of those words.


Run the Race

by Sarah Stirman
on heartlight

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

This passage from the book of Hebrews has always been one of my favorite verses. In the few-and-far-between seasons of my life when I am a runner, I love to meditate on this verse as I run. Life is a race — A marathon! — and I am so encouraged to think of the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds me.

The phrase in the version with which I am familiar reads "the sin that so easily entangles." This phrase kind of tripped me up. To me it sounded as if sin is a creeping vine that seems friendly, enticing, and harmless until you realize that you’re in too deep and helplessly stuck.

While I know that’s true of sin in so many ways, it didn’t fit with the running analogy to me. Most runners I know avoid running through foliage. Also sin, in my own personal experience, is much more like a wrecking ball in the cartoons than it is like a vine — creeping or otherwise. By the time I have identified the sin (wrecking ball), I am lying flat on my back, complete with stars and birdies circling my head, wondering how I got there.

However, more recently I have come to think of this phrase in a new way. I am struggling with forgiveness — even somewhat struggling with laying down the badge that identifies me as "someone wronged." I know this is not the life Christ has called me to embrace, yet I battle with finally laying down this burden of another’s sin. I have prayed and thought and meditated about why this is so difficult to let go.

I recently prayed asking God to let me run this race victoriously. That’s when this verse came to mind: I must throw off the sin that so easily entangles! Sometimes I cling to my past sins and let them weigh me down. Sometimes I cling to another’s sin against me and let that weigh me down. It’s impossible to run with perseverance the race marked out before me if I am clinging to all of the burdens of the past — my own or anyone else’s. Christ calls me to run victoriously and I can’t do that with my hands full of old junk. It hinders me and I must lay it down if I want to run the race ... victoriously.

The apostle Paul gives us this victory thanksgiving: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him." (2 Corinthians 2:14) I love to think of the "triumphal procession" as the time we are being led in as a victory parade after we have finished our race victoriously. We already know who wins this race.

Now, let’s run it victoriously!


Just Wondering. . .

Any theories as to why my powder that belongs in my gym bag is NOT in my gym bag, but the baby Jesus to my Nativity Scene Advent Calendar is?



So I sit here to write, and marvel and wonder that anyone really wants to hear how last night's sleepover went, and what we did on our day off of school. So maybe I'll tell you. Eventually.

Antique Mommy is a hilarious blog with a sub-heading that says, "This blog chronicles the joys and challenges of living in the brave new world of hot flashes, sloppy cookie kisses and trimming itty bitty finger nails while wearing bi-focals." Today she touched a nerve with me about trying to get into a resealable package of cheese. It's a must read. My favorite quote is,

"I think it would foster more goodwill for the cheese people if they would just clearly and truthfully print on the packaging: 'Don’t even think about trying to open this package until you find your good sissors and your kid is asleep. And you are not on your period or about to be. Have you lost weight?'"


Random Thoughts for your Sunday Evening

If I've been wrong about the whole salvation and grace thing and end up in hell in the afterlife -- my hell will be watching any movie that contains Adam Sandler. I realize that statement alone pushes my blog WAY over the top estrogen-wise, but I'm good with that.


Dateline: April 12, 2006

Sarah is grieving/ complaining giving up caffeine due to migraines. Kendra offers this jewel of a comment: "The Texaco at S. 14th and Barrow has CHEAP caffeine free Diet Coke. Refills (in any size cup from anywhere) are 55 cents." Sarah takes grand advantage of the $.55 refills on the corner. She even comments to the manager what fabulous prices they are on fountain drinks. He informs her that prices haven't changed in 7 years.

April 22, 2006 -- Refills on a large cup climb to $.79.

Coincidence? I think not.


We don't usually have baseball games on Sunday afternoons, but we had to make up our rain-out from last week. Remember that I've said that I hate baseball? Well, let me tell you -- there is no joy like seeing your baby boy hit 2 home runs IN A ROW. There is no joy like seeing the joy on his freckled face after hitting 2 home runs IN A ROW. There is no joy like seeing your husband leap in the air in a way you did not believe he was capable of doing as he beams with pride when your baby boy hits 2 home runs IN A ROW. I may have to amend my stance on baseball. Today was a beautiful day for baseball -- did I mention that Riley had a great game? :-)


This next random thought was to include how glorious it will be to have a weather day off of school tomorrow, get a few things done around the house, and play with the kids -- oh, and most importantly SLEEP LATE after my wild and whacky weekend (for those of you keeping score at home: that's one campout, one kid at bible bowl until almost 11 p.m. Saturday night, construction of bunk beds that Troy had already de-constructed and moved from another location, early service today, baseball game, then our financial class on Sunday evenings. I'm DUE a sleep-in). However, just as I started in on this post I seem to have agreed to a brother-sister sleep-over on new-to-us said bunkbeds. I have to admit that the sounds of them getting along may be worth losing a little sleep (but only about 10 minutes' worth!)

8:50 update: I have now also agreed to a sleep-over that involves the neighbor's children. I'm not sure that nomination for "Mother of the Year" by my children will be worth how little sleep I will get tonight.


New Game Of Tag

HeartsJoy tagged me. Thankfully, it's fairly simple. I'm supposed to tell 6 random things about myself (thank goodness it doesn't say "fascinating") then tag 6 other people. And, HeartsJoy -- I would REALLY like details on singing with a 300 person choir backing you up. Are you really Sandi Patty?

1) In college I worked as an interpreter for deaf students.

2) I have a degree in Elementary / Special Education. While I use knowledge from my degree almost daily, unless the Lord has a cruel sense of humor, I will never return to teaching in a public school. The reasons are 3 or 4 whole blog posts.

3) I LOVE going on field trips or helping with my kids' classes at school. (don't hear me saying that planning classroom parties is my forte'; it isn't -- but I love to know the kids my kids are around)

4) I am VERY auditorially sensitive -- loud noises and/or repetitive noises drive me nuts. When I'm really physically exhausted, I can feel like I am being physically attacked by a loud noise. (okay, now I'm getting too close to needing a support group) Also, I guess you can chalk this up as one of the 3,472 reasons I won't be going back to teaching public school.

5) I believe that He who is able to do more than we ask or imagine will do just that in each of our lives if we daily die to ourselves and let Him take control. (Sing it with me, "Jesus, take the wheel. . .")

6) I don't understand why, when I know and believe with all of my heart that His way is better, more perfect, and holy, it is so stinkin' difficult to get my SELF out of the way and daily die to self so that He can do more than I can ask or imagine.

Now I'm supposed to tag 6 other people, but I just returned from camping with 42 kids and I'm too tired to think of 6 people and figure out whether or not they have done this. If this appeals to you, please consider yourself tagged and play along (this is like when the kids were little and we would play hide and seek by me sitting on a bench at the park, them wandering away and then "finding me". They loved it!)


Soggy Thursday

My mood is lifting for 2 reasons:

1)the good Lord saw fit to open the heavens, not only watering our dry and weary land, but canceling a baseball game (which is now re-scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday -- BLECH)!! I have seen no fewer than 6 blog posts today about the storms. I guess when you live in the desert, one thunderstorm is huge news. And it is. Since I grew up in Louisiana a thunderstorm is like a sweet lullaby. I find thunderstorms oddly comforting while also awe-inspiring. Since Troy was out of town I wrapped up in a quilt and stood outside late last night watching the storm move in.

Storm systems here move in and out so quickly, it always reminds me of the movie "Poltergeist" (don't you love my ADD train of thought?) Remember where the little boy was scared of the storm and one of his parents taught him how to count between the lightning and thunder to estimate how far away the storm is? So he starts counting, and every time he counts the storm is closer and I think finally the tree grabs his leg or something whacky like that. Around here, you can "count the storm in and out" -- you can count until lightning strikes something you feel sure is in your neighborhood and you expect to hear sirens soon, then just as quickly the numbers between lightning and thunder start going up.

The spring of my junior year in college was a particularly stormy spring. Several nights my roommates and I spent shut in our hall waiting for a storm to pass hoping no tornadoes would form. I had a desk lamp that required a fluorescent light bulb (tube?) -- you know, where you have to hold down the 'on' button long enough for the bulb to get enough "juice" to light up? Three different times that spring, lightening struck so close to that house that my fluorescent light would come on to a dull glow due to all of the electricity in the air. Imagine being dead to the world asleep (the way any college student sleeps in their 3-5 hour sleep times) being awoken by an ENORMOUS flash of light simultaneous with a huge crash of thunder while your fluorescent light comes on. Hence the "Poltergeist" reference!

2) The husband God gave me is back under my roof safe and sound. His job requires him to travel. Since we live in a military town where thousands of women here would scoff at his 4-day absence, I truly try not to complain. Sometimes are harder than others with him gone. Sometimes all goes well, the birds sing, the children are happy, clean, and frolicking, and all runs smoothly. Sometimes the car does something weird while some major plumbing malfunction happens while a child slices some part of their body to ribbons requiring me to revert to Lamaze breathing while driving to the ER (one of those trips caused me to think it's best to FIND the ER in a new town when it's daylight and there isn't a screaming, bleeding child in the backseat).

This week nothing major went wrong, but the 3 remaining occupants of this house were all pretty grouchy. Small people all got their feelings hurt at least once a day, sometimes by mom who wasn't very pleased with their rude behavior. I try to cook something that resembles actual food once while he's gone, but we don't eat the same -- I let the kids read at the table, we don't put the newspaper away from the morning, breakfast dishes get left for the day. So, yes, I slack off. It just seems we work better as a family when all of our family is here. I'm so thankful he is back safe and sound to make us a family again.

So, now that he is back safe and sound, he left the house to return the rental car. 15 seconds later, the dog came inside to throw up all of the soggy food she ate outside. It's a conspiracy!



When you say (or write) as many words as I do, you're bound to have a few favorite phrases. Some phrases that are credited to me I'm not very proud of them being mine.

For instance, Mark Phillips says he thinks of me when he feels called to reply to a situation with:

"That is SO not my problem."
Yep, that was me -- not one of my finer empathetic moments, obviously. You have to understand, though, that Mark and I were on a committee that was likened to the Bataan Death March (that was NOT me) and Mark saw more than a few of my not-so-finer moments. I don't remember what I was referring to at that moment, but my underlying sentiment was, "Just please let this project END!!"

"Bless 'em!"
This one I will claim because it can mean any one of a number of things, depending on my tone and body language. With an eye roll and exasperated sigh, it's generally, "If the person we are discussing actually has thought processes, I am not following them." With tears in my eyes and a hand clenched to my chest, it means, literally, "BLESS THEM, LORD!! How much heartache and agony is one person supposed to take!" With a laugh and headshake, it means, "I love those people so much and am glad God put them in my life!"

Last night I had the opportunity to chat with the wife of one of Troy's cousins. She and I get to visit about every 3-5 years, but we enjoy each other's company SO much. I was relaying a story to her that included a daddy not watching a kid very carefully, so I said, "You know, sometimes the dads don't pay very close attention." Very knowingly she agreed by only saying, "Bless 'em." We are truly kindred spirits.

I may yet poll the kids to ask them what they think I say most frequently, but tonight, Riley used something that is 100% mine (oh, I'm ducking in shame to admit this world-wide):

ASHLEY!! Use your common sense filter!!!
Now, Ashley's name isn't always the one SHOUTED at the beginning of that phrase (I generally try not to shout at all) but it's frequently a safe bet. She can be blonder than God made her. Bless 'er! :-) But anyone who said there are no stupid questions has never spent more than 4 hours in a car with an 8 year old and a 10 year old. I beg to differ.

A couple I have thought of or that have been pointed out to me today -- both exclamations of frustration, usually:

Good googly-moogly!

I'm sure there are a few more phrases out there floating around that people attribute to me. Hopefully, using much grace. Obviously, 1 Peter 4:11 is a moment-by-moment challenge for me:

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.


Chances are. . .

(blog re-run; proving the grouchy part)

I probably don't like you today. You're either too cheerful or too grouchy. I think you're either too self-centered or too nosy. You were driving too fast or too slow. You don't do your share or you make the rest of us look bad. You either refused to talk to me or you interrupted my solitude. You add to the mess or you criticize my housekeeping skills by helping me clean. (OR you may have said, "At least it's not as hot as it was yesterday," even though it's still 90 -flippin'- seven degrees on April 19!!!) Chances are, I don't like you today.

Don't take it personally -- I don't like myself too much today, either. But today is almost over (GLORY!) Tomorrow morning I will thank God for the promise of a new day, the coolness of a new season, and the never-ending well of His grace and mercy.

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22,23


Hot, Sweaty, and Grouchy

The thermometer in my car on Saturday. According to my computer, we're 3* higher than that currently.

Forecast shows at least getting closer to normal. Do you know what 40% chance of rain means? It means "fat chance". Sorry, I'm too hot to not be skeptical. EXCEPT -- I am supposed to go camping with about 45 bigs and littles on Friday. That would be a great opportunity for rain, wouldn't it?

Please send popsicles and donations to aid our electricity and water bills.


It's Friday, But Sunday's Coming!

Tony Campolo made this statement well-known throughout Christian communities, and it's never applied more to me than this week. Of course, Easter week is the very week he is referring to when he says, "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming!"

From all outward appearances, my family has had a great week, if a little busy. Lots going on, lots of excitement with school programs and egg hunts, baseball games and practices, and time with friends. Yesterday was a busy, precious day filled with an egg hunt, volunteer work, and good laughs. A great day, right? Sprinkled all throughout my day -- even starting the night before -- I have been run over and overwhelmed by the mess and heartache of this world.

Why do the faithful fall away?

Why do mommies decide to quit being a mommy?

Why are some people so self-absorbed and selfish that they believe they can treat others so awfully?

Why do godly people suffer from illnesses that can't even be diagnosed and treated?

How is the young mother going to hold her family together while her alcoholic husband decides whether he loves his family or his addiction more?

And it goes on, and you have at least a dozen questions yourself -- the hows and whys of living in a sinful, fallen world. It frequently seems to be too much. But Levi came into the world yesterday. Levi, whose mommy and daddy have asked all of the 'why's and are still without answers to many, finally made his way into this world -- on Holy Thursday -- to remind us that God has hope for us all.

I'm not sure there has ever been an Easter that I needed to celebrate the resurrection as much as I do this week -- to remember the new beginning the Lord gave us all on that Sunday morning.

Welcome to our mess of a world, baby Levi. You're one of the most recent residents of heaven, so we will cling to you to remind us of the glory that is beyond this world. No pressure.

I Don't See It. . .

You Are Fozzie Bear

"Wocka! Wocka!"
You're the life of the party, and you love making people crack up.
If only your routine didn't always bomb!
You may find more groans than laughs, but always keep the jokes coming.


So Long, Old Friend

I don't know if I've brought up my recurring migraines here. I had my first one in over a year a few weeks ago, then 3 or 4 in the next few weeks. When one rolled over me within 15 minutes of starting in my Sonic Route 44 Diet Coke, I suspected I may be onto something. Someone has suggested that it's the aspartame, and I'm not discounting that notion, but right now I think it's the caffeine that is giving me trouble. So far, decaf. Diet Coke isn't bothering me, so I'm suspecting the caffeine as opposed to the aspartame. So, I'm making it, but Sonic has yet to realize the glories of offering decaf. Diet Coke. Jason's Deli and our new Chick-Fil-A serve decaf, though! The only problem is that caffeine is what gets me through the afternoon without falling asleep. I'm about to drop right now!

Life continues to roll over us, and work has cranked up to busy just in time for the kids' school to ask what all I can help with in the way of field trips, end-of-year parties, and other activities. So, I must go to get us ready for pre-church baseball game, the night before the 2nd grade egg hunt. No wonder I'm so tired -- that sentence wiped me out!


Why You're Happy that Your Customer Service Agent is in Pakistan

Have your friend go down to the local laundromat and crawl in a dryer with their cell phone and calculator. I guess you'll need another friend to turn it on. Have the friend inside the dryer call you while trying to explain your latest electricity bill while trying to operate the calculator while yelling over the awful screechy dryer noise while he's tumbling about. This is about how well my phone call to my local electricity provider went yesterday.


I is A Kahluhj Gradjit

So I've got my Mexican Cornbread casserole going in the crock-pot for crazy busy night last night. In my oval cooker, one side is scorching and beyond ready, while the other side is still not done. I pass by several times, worrying about what's wrong, how to fix it, etc. I finally lifted the crock out of the cooker, and turned it around. That only took me an hour to figure out.

Victory On Monday

Again -- not much of a weekend. Camping with Big Brothers Big Sisters, baseball games, church things, and shopping for clothes for kids. That was just me! Troy had the kids Friday and Saturday while I was camping. He usually does a great job of keeping us straight and picked up while I'm gone, but he had his own hamster wheel he was running on: baseball practice, canoe trip for college kids at church, being a team mom while the team mom was camping! We are drowning under a pile of laundry both clean and dirty, as well as various souvenirs from such a busy weekend.

I'm weary. Not physically -- I should be, but I slept in Sunday morning and went to late service. When I got out of the shower, the kids were in their p.j.'s watching TV and I told them to go change into their church clothes (Troy was singing on praise team for both services). "What?!? I thought we weren't going to church!!!" I don't know who started that rumor! We were quite late for class, but I am well rested. But weary.

Last week with our busy-ness, coupled with exhaustion from the time change, I got very little of my quiet time in. Okay, I got none. That in itself makes me weary. It also gives Satan wiggle room in my life. Is it okay to hate the origin of evil? I do. Satan was able to squirm into my life, casting doubts, mistrust, and mistunderstandings -- affecting not only me, but those I love as well. I'm thankful that I recognize that as a symptom of being away from God, but it's so hard to combat.

This morning I was able to get up for my quiet time. All I could do was cry before God. I poured out my heart, and asked Him to give me encouragement in His word today. I didn't know where to start. I figured Psalm was a good place to start and in flipping there landed on chapter 60. I wasn't in my own Bible, with all the good places highlighted, so I started reading. Not much encouragement in the first 3 verses:

"1 You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us; you have been angry-now restore us!
2 You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking.
3 You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger."

Not real encouraged at this point! But verse 4:
"But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow."

I've got a banner! I belong to the winning team! Continuing. . .
"5 Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.
6 God has spoken from his sanctuary: "In triumph I will parcel out Shechem and measure off the Valley of Succoth.
7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah my scepter.
8 Moab is my washbasin, upon Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph."
9 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom?
10 Is it not you, O God, you who have rejected us and no longer go out with our armies?
11 Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless."

Yes, the help of man is truly worthless. My only comfort is in the Lord. And v. 12 (final verse) says all I need to know:

"With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies."

So thankful today for the Lord to trample down my enemies -- I can't do it!

Go out and be victorious today!


Do Blogs Have Gender?

Jeff has said my blog was "heavy on estrogen." Earlier this week Chris mentioned that my blog is "chick-intensive." This doesn't offend me -- I am, indeed, a woman, and evidently spark conversations for other women.

So I just scanned back through my March posts to see if I would label it as "for women only." No, not for women only, but I can see how it's not really "heavy on testosterone", either. Although _2_ of my posts were about sports (except one was about how much I hate baseball).

I do think that it's funny that in a moment of complete brain-fade and blog-block I posted a "What Color Green Are You" quiz, got 15 comments, all from women (about 12 of us a "very original" teal green!) but when I asked for help using my convection oven I got diddly -- other than some very valuable info from Laura! :-) Laura, you, of course, are NOT diddly!

Posts on language usage seem to bring the guys out of the woodwork (as it would the guy in my life, as well -- if he ever read my blog*), while posts about showing our children love seem to keep the guys away. hmmmmmm. . .

I guess blogs like mine are the "cocktail party" blogs -- where the guys gather on one side of the room and talk about. . . whatever it is they talk about (for Troy it generally has to do with firearms and hunting sites, for my father it has to do with anything with wheels) and the women gather in the kitchen and dining room and swap kid and childbirth stories (okay, I'm a woman and I really can't take that for more than about 22 seconds). I notice that some of the more "cerebral" blogs seem to attract a more diverse commenting crowd. No danger of this blog heading in that direction!

*Clarification: I do not think of Troy as less of a human OR husband for not reading my blog on a regular basis. He's heard it all before, several times, and if he hasn't, I fill him in!


All the Sky Is Brown. . . And My Teeth Are Gray

I took these pictures as I left work this afternoon. No, the sky isn't gray, it's brown. Notice the flags at the bank. I had the windows down a little bit while I was in work to cool off the car. There is a fine layer of sand over every surface of my car. My teeth crunch when I close my mouth, my contacts feel like I have shaken salt over them, and my throat feels like I've been eating dirt. So why do I love living here so much?


Decadent, Defined

At our ladies retreat Friday night, conversation around midnight gathered philosophical depth, as you might imagine, and the discussion turned to Chili Cheese Frito's. Some un-named blog-reader said, "Aren't they simply decadent?"

I laughed aloud and commented that I could not believe that she had used the words 'decadent' and 'Fritos' in the same sentence. Like I have mentioned, I wondered if decadent could really be applied to Frito's. True confessions: I have only heard the word 'decadent' applied to desert, so I assumed it meant it was a sweet indulgence. Oh, I was so far off the mark.

I looked it up last night. The most common definition was "in a state of decline or decay." I stand corrected -- Chili Cheese Frito's are truly decadent! We evidently use it to describe desserts and ultra-yummies because it also means, "a state of moral decline leading to self-indulgence."

I'm no Rhodes scholar, but I'm thinking that if I write a menu, I won't call anything decadent!


Blog of My Lament

Let me begin this blog by apologizing to those of you who stop in for a funny antecdote about my family, or some deeper insight and ideas about my never-ending quest for an intimate relationship with the Lord. I've got nothin'.

The time change, combined with a non-weekend, is completely killing me. Then, last night we had a baseball game, got home at 7:45, sat down to dinner at about 8:15 (record dinner-making time for me!) and finally got kids in bed around 9:15 or 9:30. The tooth fairy is also going completely broke around here -- Ashley is ripping out molars right and left. Literally -- a right and left molar have found their way under her pillow 2 of the last 3 nights.

This afternoon we went to get haircuts for the kids. Yeeshk. The one day this week we have nothing going on and we don't get home until almost 5:30. But everyone looks pretty cute. I thought about taking pictures. . .

Since my brain is completely vacant, I leave you with some thoughts:

Tom Selleck, the spokesperson for the Fatherhood Initiative? Is he even a father? Okay, I googled. He's got a stepson and a daughter. But he's always Magnum to me. (If you're too young to know Magnum, google).

Jessica is doing a research paper that I think should be interesting. She's letting her blog audience help, so I'm sending you to be her blog audience (are you an audience if you read a blog? What if you comment? are you a reader/ commenter? I don't know -- these things drive me nuts). Anyway, her question is -- how do you define 'mom', and is your definition influenced by the media? Good question, Jessica. I'm glad someone out there can string two thoughts together this week. I already told her -- Clorox has me convinced I'm a failure not only as a mother but as a human because I have dingy whites.


Indie Virus

I seem to have contracted some sort of blog virus that I don't understand in the least, but I'm willing to play along and infect others.

You see, Pearsonified has started a small, casual social experiment, it's called "The Indie Virus." Here's how Pearsonified describes this experiment:The experiment, henceforth referred to as "The Indie Virus," has two goals:

*1) To bring exposure to lesser known blogs (especially those outside of Technorati's top 100);
2) To explore the metrics behind a viral linking campaign launched by the 'little guys' (less popular blogs).

So Stephanie at Nifty Tifty is now infected with The Indie Virus.

Grant at the boone box has been infected with The Indie Virus.

Jeff at or something like it has now contracted The Indie Virus.

Check them out!


Some prayers and thoughts on prayer I have come across recently:

from St. Patrick:
May the strength of God pilot us,
May the power of God preserve us,
May the wisdom of God instruct us,
May the way of God direct us,
May the shield of God defend us,
May the host of God guard us against the snares of evil and the temptations of the world.
From one of the "Books of Hours":
God be in my head and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes and in my looking;
God be in my mouth and in my speaking;
God be in my heart and in my thinking;
God be in my ending and in my departing.
Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle,but you yourself shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonderat yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you bythe grace of God. -- Phillips Brooks


End Of Week Wrap-Up

It has been a wonderful, full and busy day. Our church's ladies retreat was last night and I had a wonderful time, as I was promised I would! So Troy took Ashley to her first Bible Bowl meet this morning, then he and Riley came to pick me up from the retreat in time to go to Riley's first game of the season. You know, I have proclaimed how much I hate baseball in the past. But what cuties these guys are. Riley was lead-off hitter -- he was most honored about that! We have also discussed with him that now he is the "big kid" on the team, and needs to be an example of sportsmanship and teamwork. I think he's thinking, "Yeah, whatever -- but I'm lead-off batter!" But it was a great game and, to me, his greatest accomplishment was walking away from home plate -- twice! -- smiling after he struck out. (he did get a great hit on his first time at bat!)

We came home, got some lunch, and got Riley to his birthday party. I came home and rested for a moment, then returned to get Riley, then went across town to see Ashley's Bible Bowl awards -- which evidently started about 30 minutes earlier than scheduled. Ashley was 5th on her team -- too low to win a trophy, but we are so impressed. She's told us some of her questions (it's over Joshua, Judges and Ruth this year -- MUCH PG-13 material) and I would be thrilled with a '50'!! She got a 72! We're very proud, of course.

Then we returned home for Troy to grill us some hamburgers! Yum! I love when Troy smells like the grill -- it's my favorite cologne of his! :-) It just makes me think of a wonderful spring/summer evening like today.

On one of my MANY trips in the car today I heard the song "Fingerprints of God" by Steven Curtis Chapman. It made me think about my friends from church -- many of which I spent time with this weekend. Among my coffee friends, I am the "baby", and I love it -- especially since I am the "DINOSAUR" (Sarah-saurus) at work! I love it mainly because I get to see women in all ages and stages of life continue to grow in God and seek His will for their lives. I get to see them have revelation moments and respond to what God is prompting them to do. The last few years of my life have been huge growing and stretching times for me spiritually and I am so thankful to have women to look to that continue to encourage me to grow and stretch. One of the things I have become convinced of is that there is no such thing as a spiritual giant -- the people I have considered spiritual giants are people who wake up in the morning, hit their knees, and say, "Lord, live through me today." I am so thankful for the front-row seat I have to witness people doing that.

Oh but when I look at you it’s clear to me that
I can see the fingerprints of god
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of god
And I know it’s true
You’re a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you’re covered with the fingerprints of god

Drumroll please. . .

The five most dangerous intersections in Abilene are, from most dangerous to still really dangerous:

S.14th @ the loop are the top two!

S. 14th @ Danville
S. 14th @ Clack
S. 1st and Sayles
Buffalo Gap and Clack
S. 11th and Treadaway

I can't believe a) none closer to college campuses were listed or b)none on Southwest Drive, especially at the loop. Let's be careful out there!
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