Friday

Blogger Break

I'm taking a bit of a break for a while, so while I'm away, please check out some blogs I have come to enjoy lately. . .

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer

Joy at Joy in the Journey is a missionary in Indonesia.

Mel is running about 3 blogs. I keep up with The Amazing Shrinking Mom and Actual Unretouched Photo.

5 Minutes for Mom has a wealth of stuff.

Flip Flops has been fun, but today she has a serious prayer request. Head over there and say a prayer.

I've already told you about Antique Mommy but she has a new post at Christian Women Online blog. FABULOUS -- a must read!

My friend Will, who I like to call Wilbur, paid big bucks to work at a camp for inner city kids in the Austin area. Check out Counselor Will.

Trey at Trey's Bloglicious Blog really needs to switch to decaf.

Preacher-Boy at Preacher Boy's Hideout marches to his own drumbeat.

And don't forget to find a pictorial history of my friendship with Roxanne.

Thursday

A Most Unfortuanate Name, Mr. Pitts*

The kids and I had our annual dentist appointment this week. We all have ultra-sparkly smiles now. Both our dentist and our hygienist go to our church and are wonderfully sweet people. Our hygienist has a bit of an unfortunate name, but she is so precious I never think about it.

Riley, however, could remember that it was something we're not supposed to talk about (or is it something we're not supposed to do?), but couldn't remember precisely what it was. So he asked, "Is Mrs. Hiney going to clean our teeth? Is that her name? Or is it Mrs. Butts?"

He was whispering so low I could hardly make out what he was saying. I finally got it all and realized what he was asking.

"Are you talking about Mrs. Belcher?"

"Yes, that's her."

"Yes, Mrs. Belcher is going to clean your teeth."



*Roxanne's favorite quote from the movie "Dead Poets Society".

Wednesday

Quote for the Day

One secret of life is that the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day. Another secret is that laughter is carbonated holiness.

Anne Lamott
'Plan B'

Tuesday

At Least He Has the System Figured Out. . .

Kids are loitering in the kitchen waiting for lunch in the microwave. As I am clearing off the counter, I hand Riley the Econo-Size Honey Nut Cheerios box that he had gotten out at breakfast so that he can put it away.

He stands there, holding the box as if he is clinging to it for life. I continue working.

Ashley is baffled. "Riley, WHAT are you doing?"

Riley shrugs and continues to stand there as if he and the Honey Nut Cheerios box will be one for all eternity.

Ashley is becoming more and more baffled and agitated, "What are you doing? Why are you just standing there?"

Another shrug accompanied by a self-satisfied look as if the Honey Nut Cheerios box completes his physical being.

Ashley can stand it no longer, crosses the kitchen, grabs the box from Riley and puts it away.

Riley is looking even more satisfied than ever and says, "Thank you."

Monday

How Did You Spend Father's Day?

Here's what the kids did for Father's Day:















Here's what Troy did for Father's Day:

I guess the hero really does wear the white hat! :-)

Sunday

Happy Father's Day, Indeed

I had already planned a Father's Day blog re-run from last year -- and I will post that here, too. But at some point I will have to write and tell you about the Daddy that lives at this house -- and how, at 10 last night he was sawing apart our tree that fell onto BOTH of our neighbor's cars, and did I mention that for some reason there were a lot of bees that seemed to think that tree was their home and who did we think we were cutting it apart, never mind that it had already blown over! So, I am off to help saw and drag limbs and trees. Happy Father's Day to my hard-working hubby!

From June, 2005:

So many precious men have touched my life. One of them is sitting in his big ol' green chair waiting for me to come snuggle with him, but I need to pay honor where honor is due.

I'll start with the family patriarch, Poppa Max. That's my father's father. He has buried two wives, including my grandmother, and is currently married to Mrs. Marion. What a precious, precious man. Poppa Max lost his own father at a very early age and went from taking care of his own mother to his wife. I have always known him as the voice of calm. He's so many things I'm not and can only hope to be (including tall! :-) One of those things is sparing with his words. A deacon at the church where I grew up called him the "E.F. Hutton of Forsythe Avenue. When Max Riley speaks, people listen." He's also incredibly slow to anger. He has love for people so deep in his heart, anger does not come quickly to the surface. But a child at heart like you can't imagine. Not too many Thanksgivings ago -- I'm pretty sure it was within the last 9 years when I have had children -- I was thankful that I finally felt 'old enough' to sit in with the 'adults' and discuss the previous election and cholesterol levels. Poppa Max was nowhere to be found -- he was too busy playing hide and seek with the kids. I'm certain he had more fun than me that day. I could go on, but I'm so thankful for the family God placed me in and for Poppa Max.
(2006 addendum: When I called Poppa Max on his 89th birthday this year, I asked him if he had a good day. This precious man who is sufferring ill-effects and indignities associated with being in your 20th year of a prostate cancer diagnosis, as well as chronic horrible pain from arthritis said, with much enthusiasm: "Oh, every day is a good day! Sure, some are better than others, but every day is a good day!" I have so much to learn from him.)

My dad -- now known as 'Gran'dad' -- is a whole other ball of wax (and in a good way). He is different from his own father, but the love for other people is a commonality (actually, it all begins with a love of the Father that carries over to loving His children). My father taught me lots of little things about dealing with people. Most of them make good business sense ("The sound of someone's own name is the sweetest sound to their ears") and good people sense as well. My father has lived right there in Monroe, Louisiana for the last 56 of his 60 years. We can't go ANYWHERE in town that we don't see someone we know. I always notice -- people are always glad to run into my father. He'll say their name, remember important (to them) information about them, and wish them the best in their lives. I've been privileged to watch my father grow and mature in his own faith. He is a model for me to never quit growing closer to the Father, always know there is more to learn. One of the things my father said to me that I want to pass on to my children the most is when he verbalized to my brother and me: "There is nothing you can do to make me quit loving you." It made it easier for me to believe that my heavenly Father could say the same. How was I ever so blessed?

Then, there's my Troy. I don't know where to start or stop and perhaps it's the two above models that helped me to know what to look for in a man that would father my children. Troy, I have watched you, also, grow not only in your faith, but in your parenting as well (I certainly hope you can say the same for me -- I was not a model of much of anything in the diaper days). I'm so proud of the man you have allowed God to mold you into, I'm so thankful for your love and consistency with our children, and I love that you enjoy playing with them. If I had to choose all over again -- I would choose you.

I can't finish this without acknowledging the Father of us all. I'm so thankful for the countless blessings He pours into my life, including the 3 men mentioned here. I'm thankful for the unconditional love even though He's seen my ugly heart and knows my selfish wants. And there are no words (I'm doing that again) to thank Him for the blood sacrifice of His son that made it possible for me to look forward to seeing Him one day. Thank you, Lord, for sending your spirit into coaching us all into better parents.

A Father's Day honorable mention to Paul Benjamin, Tony Timms, David Mathews, David Jones, and Micah Harper as men who helped mold and shape my faith "back in the day". I have truly been abundantly blessed in my life with models of Godly men.

Saturday

When the Oceans Rise and Thunders Roar. . .

On a spring night in Central Texas, a craving for a sweet indulgence drove the two of them to the local Dairy Queen. He with a chocolate shake, she with a “Peanut Buster Parfait”, they drove to the local softball complex where he sometimes played softball for the church team and she would sit with other ladies and cheer him on. There was no softball game that night, and the park was perfectly empty, save the two of them. They were there because it was a wonderful vantage point to see the oncoming storm. She had grown up with thunderstorms as a lullaby and he knew of her love of watching a storm. They sat in the car and ate their ice creams and talked about what the future may hold for them as the lightning danced across the skies and the thunder answered in reply. They dreamed of places they would like to live and jobs they would like to have. They dreamed of children they may one day have and what they may be like. Their love was so very young, untested by time or trials. She knew she had no idea what God may put in their path, but she knew He would be there to carry them through it. She also knew without a doubt that God had sent her this man until “death do they part” and she couldn’t imagine loving him any more than she did that minute.

Last night the universe aligned so that two incredibly rare events happened at the same time: Troy and I had a date, and Abilene got a thunder storm. As we drove around the loop of Abilene holding hands and watching the lightning (without having to answer questions like “Does it lightning on Jupiter?”) I was transported back to that evening 12 years ago when we drove to the Lions Park softball field in Temple to watch the lightning and dream. I thought of all that has happened in those 12 years and the different people that we have become. On the outside, we’re wearing larger clothes, and have more gray hair and wrinkles (but I pay good money so that you can’t see my gray hairs! J) We have been through pregnancy and deliveries, potty training, first days of school, and team sports of our children. We have been to too many funerals. We have lived through and rebuilt after natural disasters as well as spiritual disasters. We’ve experienced bounced checks, late fees and overdraft notices, as well as untold financial blessing. We have gone from having ‘his friends’ and ‘my friends’ to being part of church families that bring whole families as friends for us all. We have gone through valleys when we clung to each other, as well as valleys that we had to get through alone.

I still know, without a doubt, that Troy is precisely the man God would have me go through life with. Mainly because Troy has learned, like I have, that God is the most important One to go through life with. I look back and I do see hurts and heartaches, but even those are buried in my memory under mountains of blessings.

Together we can sing ‘Still’ by Reuben Morgan:
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are god


Yes, I still know without a doubt that God sent me this man until “death do us part” and I can’t imagine loving him any more than I do this minute.

Friday

My Utmost for His Highest

I had heard of "My Utmost for His Highest" for years and never read it. I still haven't read it in it's entirity. For years I actually owned two copies and never opened them to know that they are simply what we would call "daily devotionals" now. For every day of the year there is a writing -- generally full of beautiful insight and reflection on God's word. I found that you can read it all here if you don't own the book. Today's reading really spoke to me, so I copied the whole thing! I have italicized the parts that really touched my heart:

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend." . . . "I have called you friends." John 15:13, 15

Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him. Peter said - "I will lay down my life for Thy sake" and he meant it; his sense of the heroic was magnificent. It would be a bad thing to be incapable of making such a declaration as Peter made; the sense of our duty is only realized by our sense of the heroic. Has the Lord ever asked you - "Wilt thou lay down thy life for My sake?" It is far easier to die than to lay down the life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling. We are not made for brilliant moments, but we have to walk in the light of them in ordinary ways. There was only one brilliant moment in the life of Jesus, and that was on the Mount of Transfiguration; then He emptied Himself the second time of His glory, and came down into the demon-possessed valley. For thirty-three years Jesus laid out His life to do the will of His Father, and, John says, "we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." It is contrary to human nature to do it.

If I am a friend of Jesus, I have deliberately and carefully to lay down my life for Him. It is difficult, and thank God it is difficult. Salvation is easy because it cost God so much, but the manifestation of it in my life is difficult. God saves a man and endues him with the Holy Spirit, and then says in effect - "Now work it out, be loyal to Me, whilst the nature of things round about you would make you disloyal." "I have called you friends." Stand loyal to your Friend, and remember that His honour is at stake in your bodily life.

Thursday

Beat the Heat!

After recovering from my June electricity bill, I've been looking for recipes that don't require much in the way of heating the oven, etc. Several articles have said, "Beat the heat in the kitchen and fire up the grill!"

Where do these people live? Absolutely, charcoal is evidently way cheaper than electricity right now -- but cooler? So you really think it is preferable to stand in 103* heat over a grill rather than in a kitchen in an air-conditioned home?

Would anyone support me in the argument that eating at Chili's -- using their air conditioning AND oven -- is really cost-effective and cheaper than trying to cool our home, heat our oven, and feed our family? I'm going with it!

Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

(this will be the wordiest 'Wordless Wednesday' you will ever encounter):

For those few of you who are still reading, still helping me search for a sundress or keep my hair off my neck when it's sweltering, you've been aware -- probably for a painfully long time -- that I have no words of substance. I haven't for a very long time. I used to have thoughts that included words: words of encouragement, words of hope, questioning words, and seeking words. Lately I have no words.

As my soul has shriveled due to malnutrition, so have my words. For a while, I had words too ugly to post here. Angry words, bitter words, unloving words, and just all-around griping words. Those are gone now. Now there is simply a deafening silence.

A constant prayer of mine is Psalm 19:14: "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Maybe the Lord heard my mother say, "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all" and took away the words.

I have talked to the Lord about my words and where they may be. For someone who likes to consider herself a writer, a loss of words is irritating, at best.
  • I talk to the Lord about where my words are while I'm walking my dog and trying to maintain 75% of my maximum heart rate.
  • I talk to the Lord about where my words are while I'm driving in my car listening to my Spanish lessons and yelling at the kids to be quiet so I can hear my Spanish lessons.
  • I talk to the Lord about where my words are while I'm working and juggling my job and housework.
  • I talk to the Lord about where my words are while I'm reading 15 different blogs and answering 25 different emails.
  • I talk to the Lord about where my words are while I'm cooking dinner and listening to Troy's day.
  • I talk to the Lord about where my words are while I'm drifting off to sleep.

Perhaps I'm missing an important component of hearing His Words:

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Monday

Quote(s) for the Day

I recently started reading "Home To Harmony" by Philip Gulley. Precious fiction. It's a little bit "Prairie Home Companion" with much Christian insight and wisdom thrown in. In the first chapter, I laughed and cried. That's all I need! Much of what I have read I have wanted to commit to memory. Some of my favorites (so far):

"Sometimes we come to gratitude too late. It's only after blessing has passed on that we realize what we had."

"The leaves of our blessed lives fall to the ground and if we're wise like my grandfather, we gather them in a pile and keep them safe lest the winds of forgetfulness blow them away."

"There's danger in thinking joy is a matter of location. If we can't find joy where we are, we probably won't find it anywhere."

Saturday

Garage Sale Saturday

The next-door neighbors had a garage sale today.

Question: Do only poor drivers go to garage sales, or does the act of going to a garage sale cause poor driving?

My plan: I read in USA Today where an oil analyst said that if Americans would reduce their gasoline usage by 3% -- did you catch that -- 3% -- not 50% -- not even 25% -- for one month we would see our prices fall. I propose that for the month of July no one use a drive-thru window or go to a garage sale (or have one, for that matter). I'm pretty sure that would take care of that 3%! The worst that could happen is that your own personal gasoline bill would be smaller!

Friday

Positively Feminine!

Here's a new website: Positively Feminine! I know of them because they asked to use a couple of my articles. They are here and here. I think it's a pretty cool, comprehensive website. Browse a bit!

It's 9 p.m. Friday -- and my day looked nothing like it was supposed to at 8 this morning! I filled in at a group swim lesson that I have taught for previously. It called to mind why I chose not to do that this summer. Yeeeshk. Mostly fun, but what do you do with a 4 year old that says, "No, thank you. I'm not going to get in today." Well, I will tell you what I did with him (this will shock people that know me): I let him sit there. When I taught for the whole session, I felt bad for the poor mother that paid $60 for this kid to sit on the side of the pool and I would coerce and cajole, beg and bribe. Not today -- that is SO not my problem if he doesn't want to get in. Say what you will about men vs. women, boys vs. girls, but a frightened girl will do precisely what I ask her with tears rolling down her cheeks while a frightened boy will scream (so why do they call it "scream like a girl"?) and thrash and make your life miserable. I had also forgotten what it's like to "catch" the kids off the diving board. Jee-hosophat. If they don't land smack on your head, they land close enough to send as big of a tidal wave as you can get with a 50 pound child from a 4 foot board. I do admit that every parent should be able to see the look I see as they "take the leap." Joy, fear, adrenaline, anxiety, euphoria. Kind of like me and mother hood!

After swim lessons we went to McDonald's for a truly quality lunch! That was our compensation (partly) for not being able to swim this week. Then to Wal-Mart to get a snack, then to the 2:20 showing of 'Cars'. We got to the theater at 2:15. Sold out -- for the 2:20 and 2:50 show. Okay, 3 tickets for the 4:40 show. Thinking better of this, I call Troy to ask him would he like to join us, could I buy him a ticket. Sure, that would be fun -- I'll leave work a little early. Back I go (I had just walked down the shopping center a bit) to buy another ticket -- now 4:40 is sold out! I trade in my 3 4:40 tickets and buy 4 tickets for the 5:10 (are you keeping track? -- there's a quiz!) We return home, very hot from wandering at the shopping center, and very sad that our day is not going like we planned.

I went to the grocery store to get us squared away for the week, then dashed home for the kids and I to hustle and put it all away. Still sweating. Hustle BACK to the movie theater to get good seats since this was obviously a popular show. The movie is running late, we'll have to wait in the lobby. Guess what -- air conditioning is out. I know, I know, I know there are bigger problems in the world than the air being out at a movie that I've just paid $22 for my entire family to see. I know, I know, I know that some families in 3rd world countries live on $22/ month. I am here to tell you that I could think of none of that as I stood in the lobby with sweat rolling down every surface of my body. I asked 3 different theater employees (who, BLESS THEM, had to wear a long sleeve shirt, long black pants, and a vest) if the air was working in the theater. They assured me it was. I still readied my argument to the manager for when I walked in a steamy theater so that I could get my $22 back. I stood and waited and marveled at the poor guy working the concession stand. I still don't know how he didn't drip any sweat in the popcorn.

Finally, finally, 5 minutes after the movie was supposed to start we were allowed into the theater. YES! Blissful air. Blissful cool air. Approximately 25 minutes of trailers, and finally the show. For all the stinky reviews, it was really cute. One review I read said that it didn't have any great "over-riding moral theme". I disagree. Another review said it didn't pull off the 'car' idea as cleverly as other Pixar films had been. I disagree. One review said it would never live up to 'Shark Tale' or 'Finding Nemo'. If my children were much smaller, I would far more prefer 'Cars' for the simple fact that there are no intensely scary scenes like I think there are in those other two movies. One of my favorite parts of 'Shark Tale' is the reporter fish named "Katie Current" (with a famous Katie for her voice). I think one of my favorite 'Cars' characters was the sports reporter named "Bob Cutlass" (with Bob Costas as his voice). I just marvel at the creative minds that put all of that together. Obviously, far more right-brained than me!

We made it home from our "afternoon movie" at 7:30. Wrecked the kitchen making a pizza for dinner -- a state it is still in. Tomorrow we have scheduled "work in the yard day" so the kids are already gearing up to complain!

Wait a few weeks, grab your favorite kid(s), and go see 'Cars'. You won't be sorry.

Thursday

Right-Brained Thursday

Some people are left-brained: logical thinkers, organized, mathematical. Some people are right brained: creative, artistic, free-spirits. I am no-brained. Anytime I do a brain-dominance test, I am split down the middle. Some people refer to me as “balanced,” I refer to me as “no-brained.” Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

As I mentioned, I’ve been learning Spanish in my car. I’m not ready for any Spanish conversation yet, but I could find my backpack, the police, and/or the bathroom in an emergency! I started to woo you with my new language skills, but since no one commented on my demanding request for a (hotel) room with a bathroom AND shower from the other day, I’ll assume not too many of my readers/ commenters are bi-lingual (at least with Spanish – I know a few German/ English readers!) My BBBS work for this week is a lot of envelope stuffing/ shuffling, so I’ve been working on that at home and listening to my language CD’s. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night reviewing some of my Spanish words. However, when I awoke this morning, I HAD to figure out how to make the flip-flops with the curly ribbon on them like I’ve seen in Kelly’s Kids.

I did some things around the house. Then the kids and I went to get Riley’s haircut, to Michael’s for flip-flop creating supplies, then for me to donate blood. All the while, the kids quizzed me on my first CD of Spanish. When we returned home, I launched into all-out creative mode. I put on some music, baked my ribbon (don’t ask), plugged in the hot glue gun, and slapped together some darn cute flip-flops. They turned out SO cute, but more than anything, I decided that I REALLY needed to do something creative after all this language learning! My brain felt balanced again!

I think it is time to give Spanish lessons a break for a day or two. Maybe I’ll start macrame’ing some plant holders. Or not.

Wednesday

Language Lesson

The English language has the "understood 'you'" that makes the following sentences complete:

Meet my friend!
Take out the trash.
Come here.

Pre-teen language has the "understood 'duh'" that makes the following sentences complete:

I know!
I already did.
You said that.

Tone of voice is generally the biggest indicator in using the understood 'duh'.

Tuesday

Memories. . .

Summer is underway. The temperature is over 100* on a regular basis, we're doing swimming lessons, library, and all kinds of things. Today, Ashley was diagnosed with swimmer's ear. To my knowledge, I have NEVER had swimmer's ear, which is pretty amazing considering my time in the water as a kid and teen. So, we're out of the pool for a few days. I figure that will give me an opportunity to get caught up on work, laundry, and yard work. None of that sounds fun, but all of it is necessary!

Some things the last few weeks brought to mind a time in our family's history when God obviously wanted to show Himself to my Ashley. If you've been reading the blog for a while, you may have put together that our house flooded shortly after we moved to this town (about 6 months after). Our kids were 4 and 6 years old. We knew very few people, and had to rely on the kindness and graciousness of virtual strangers (and the Red Cross!) for a lot of elbow grease and manpower. We couldn't live in our home for 4 months (and even then it really wasn't ready to move into). One family that we knew from our previous church home let us live (rent free!) in the apartment they were paying rent on to hold until the end of August when their daughter would need it to come to college.

If it's been a while since you've lived in an apartment, you are missing an adventure. Especially an apartment complex full of college kids in the summer, when your apartment is close to the pool. However, we were thankful to have a place to lay our heads and cook our own meals. And, truly, that was the summer my kids became proficient swimmers! We spent most days out at the pool.

Our time in the apartment was drawing to a close. Obviously, we would have to be out for the student to come back to school. However -- we had no place to go. We were already paying mortgage and utilities on a house we weren't living in, as well as myriad other "tiny" expenses that compounded to mean "no way can you pay rent anywhere else."

I have often said, "There is a fine line between walking in faith and living in denial." I'm pretty sure I was in denial, but I couldn't even process another move. Our family had a trip to Oklahoma planned to visit several different friends and family members. When we returned from our trip, I think we were going to have 4 days to be out of the apartment. We loaded up to leave town, hopefully not to think about flood, contractors, living arrangements, or anything else.

Ashley was not to let it be. She has many gifts, worrying being one of her best. We were not yet out of town at the intersection of 16th and Judge Ely when she proclaimed, "We really need a place to live."

Simply because I didn't want to talk or think about it, I gave a good Mommy answer, "Yes, we do and God's going to take care of it."

Brushing that statement away like an annoying mosquito, she continued, "Okay, but we really need a place to live!!"

Now I was exasperated, and said, "Did you hear me? Don't you think God will take care of it?"

She couldn't see how God could possibly relate to her immediate and pressing need of a place to live! "Well, no! It's our problem, not His!"

Trying to calm down, I realized how recently in my own faith I had thought the same thing as my 6 year old daughter. So I reminded her, "We're God's children. In the same way that your problems are mine, our problems are His. God is going to look out for us here." I wish I could tell you that we immediately pulled the car over to pray and petition God, or that moment a truck drove by that said "follow me to your new place to live." I wish I could even tell you that immediately Ashley got it and was at peace. The truth was she muttered, "Okay" with the tone of "whatever", but I needed to hear my own words: "I am God's child. My problems are His problems. He will take care of my smallest needs."

The conversation dropped. The kids turned to their books and other car toys and Troy and I chatted about anything but the wreck that was our (lack of) living arrangement. Twenty minutes later we were driving into Anson, America (pop. 2831) when Troy's cell phone rang. It was one of the elders from our church telling us that a woman at our church was offering her parent's house for anyone who had been flooded and needed a place to live.

To this day, I don't know who that moment had a bigger impact on, me or my daughter. But I am so thankful that in that moment that her very young faith needed something real and concrete and my not-so-young faith needed peace of heart and soul, our loving Father gave us both in about 30 seconds. What a mighty God we serve.

Saturday

Quick Get-Away

It's been a few days and this last week has been SO busy! I am ready for real summer -- bored out of my mind, nothing to do but sit by the pool --to start. I think every summer, though, I remember that doesn't exist any more.

Back in February Roxanne and I started trying to plan a get-away. She lives in Houston, has an (almost) 8 year old and an (almost) 5 year old and teaches 6th grade. It's not easy for either of us to break away from our lives. We originally had a date in May but when I got the baseball schedule we had to change it.

Of course this week was a mess of starting swimming lessons, drowning in work that needs to be wrapped up, having people in my home, trying and failing to secure a babysitter for an event in my absence, getting the kids squared away, and celebrating birthdays with friends. I couldn't even think straight and could barely get on the road.

We met betwixt our two homes in Austin-town. Henceforth dubbed, "The Land of Construction Zones and Orange Cones" OR "The Home of 10,000 Harley Riders (many with dubious fashion choices)". It was an adventure from the very beginning!

We didn't really "do" a lot -- other than eat. I am learning that I can't "travel on my stomach" like so many of us do. One fancy, heavy meal and my gut has had enough. I hung tough and forged ahead through a dinner at Chuy's!

I also expanded my language knowledge -- I think I've mentioned here that I am on a quest to learn Spanish. So, before I left town I went to the library and got some "Learn Spanish in your Car" CD's. I am truly "wowing" my family with my knowledge! :-) (not really -- but I did learn a little):
Quisiera un cuarto con bano y una regadera! y Tienne un cuarto mas barato?
I'm also learning that I will probably need a Spanish speech therapist -- the Spanish language requires nimbleness of the tongue that "southern" evidently doesn't. I'm learning the words wonderfully -- but saying them is another matter!

I came home to a husband who had a horribly frustrating day (not with the kids) and no groceries since SOMETHING had to go before I left town, and screeched into town just in time to see Riley get his trophy for closing ceremonies for baseball. I have loads of work to do to prepare to teach my Sunday school class and be ready for my Beth Moore class tomorrow. Troy asked me, "Well, was it worth it for so few hours with Roxanne?" Still overwhelmed, I said, "Ask me later. But, it's really nice to be with someone you can be 100% yourself with." And it was -- messy buns, house hair, and all.

Friday

Quote for the Day

First, let me explain that a few things lately have reminded me of the falibility of humans. Remember that I generally believe the best about people, but frequently people show me their worst.

The following quote was in my reading in "My Utmost for His Highest" this week:

"If I put my trust in human beings first, I will end in despairing of everyone; I will become bitter, because I have insisted on man being what no man can ever be -- absolutely right. Never trust anything but the grace of God in yourself or in anyone else."
Oswald Chambers
 
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