Drumroll please. . .

I have been SO excited to share this with you!!! I have tried to patiently wait for the web site to be ready for a reveal, and it's pretty close.

Go find out about The Coffee Group!!

Some of us that have coffee (I don't drink coffee, but whatever!) together have formed a speaking ministry. As days go by, I will try to fill you in on how it got started, what it all means to me, etc. But, for now, go check us out!!

I am SO thankful to Stephen Jacobs, our graphic designer, and Phil Ware, our web page designer, for making us look GOOD!!

Oh, and if you don't want to always come back here to find the website, go to!

Antique Mommy Strikes Again!!

Go here. Do what she says. (Can you tell I'm feeling a little bossy today?)

CELEBRATE every day!


More Curiosity

I am appealing to you, educated blog audience, to enlighten me. The phrase: "Little pitchers have big ears." What does it mean? I know that it's CODE for, "The kids are listening!!!" But what does it MEAN? I don't know pitchers of any size that have ears of any size.

Please, enlighten away.


Just Curious

Does anyone else find it ironic that a magazine entitled "Real Simple" is a monstrous 250-page publication rivaling the Sears catalog?



Riley, as usual, is keeping us in stitches this summer.

Last week when Ashley was at camp and Troy was out of town it was SO hot in his room. He has a corner room and windows on 2 walls and it stays pretty warm in there. So we hunted down a fan for his room and got it pointed at his bed. As I was tucking him in, I realized he had an extra pillow.

"Riley, why do you have Ashley's pillow?"

Reminding me of his daddy, he very methodically continued to "foof" his pillows just right, get his head nestled into them, pull up the covers, and lace his fingers across his chest before he replied:

"Why I Have Ashley's Pillow. by Riley Stirman. I was hot. I got Ashley's pillow, and now I can feel the air from the fan. The end."

It's not every night you get an oral report in answer to your question!

Later in the week I was indulging in watching the Gilmore Girls while Riley was finishing up a snack. A lady was on that is a semi-regular that I think they were trying to portray as having money, but no class (Mrs. Huntzberger). They had hoisted up her very ample bosom and plunged her neckline to a ridiculous level. I was watching the show and had this train of thought:
"Has she ALWAYS had a chest like that? Wow. That is one enormous chest. Oh, darn it! Now I've missed everything she just said thinking about another woman's chest!!"

Riley pipes up and says:
"I hate it when women wear dresses where you can see their (gesturing to his upper chest region). . . upper. . . you know!"

"Me, too, Riley. I don't want to see THAT."

(Continuing to stare at the screen) "It's like. . . I can't even take my eyes off of it!"

Bless him -- he's not even to the hormones yet. And before you write to me griping that I would allow my child to see such on TV, let me just point out that he saw no more or less than he is usually confronted with when he comes down the hall at church to the Bible class for college kids that Troy and I help in. So, gals, if your cleavage is driving an 8 year-old to distraction, imagine what it does for the poor 19 year-old that is TRYING to worship while your chest is about to spill out of your top (or your thong panties are floating above your pants/ skirt waistline). August and September are always particularly awful while the new girls are (un)dressing to impress. I spend a lot of time meditating on this verse:

Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
Proverbs 11:22


Glorious Summer Days

Last week Ashley was at camp. This week, Riley is at day camp. I have been SO blessed to be able to have one-on-one time with each of them over these days. I haven't had much opportunity to blog due to all of the playing that has taken place! The pool, movies, eating out,. . . it has been so much fun!

I haven't made an "official blog announcement" that I am in the middle of job transition. I am winding up my job as PALS co-ordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters, and getting ready to share a 2nd grade classroom with Kendra. She will teach M/W/every-other Friday, I teach Tu/Th/every-other Friday. I am getting excited about returning to the classroom, especially since it's part-time. I looked for such a job a few years ago and was basically told that they are too rare and trying to be phased out, so give it up. So, I'm very thankful for this opportunity to be able to teach some, do volunteer-mom at school some. AND I'm very thankful that I don't have to start a classroom from scratch -- I'm happy to walk in and have Kendra tell me exactly what to do and how to do it. Unfortunately, she's really not that bossy, though.

I have barely over a week before I have to get to workshops, workdays, and orientations. Until then, we are all playing as hard as we possibly can!



Irritating day: internet working occasionally, phone not working at all, hot water heater possibly in final stages of life. Irritating. Tomorrow is a new day, with new mercies, probably new annoyances, and worship with my church family. I'm ready.



In the Penney's parking lot, a family of mom, dad, and several little girls leaving the store:

"Daddy, can I pull your finger NOW?"


Birthday Greetings/ Blessings

Hey! Do me a quick favor. Run over to my friend, Wilbur's, blog and wish him a happy birthday! He's working hard at a camp for inner-city kids this summer. Once you get there, you'll see that we moms aren't exactly "his type", so all the more reason to freak him out! :-)

Love/Hate Relationship

The title is a fallacy b/c there is nothing about my husband that I hate (okay, trimming the moustache hairs over the sink comes REAL close) but the very thing I love about him is one of the things that drives me the nuttiest. The man is slow and deliberate. I don't mean his speed of walking or moving, I mean his decision-making skills.

Last week I called him to tell him that a certain family point-of-discussion needed to be discussed when I came home from VBS with the kids. "Okay", he said, we hung up. I couldn't stand it and immediately called him back: "So what ARE you thinking about it?" "Well," he replied, ever slow and methodical, "I had just started to formulate a thought when the phone rang again."

This is how it goes at our house. I have made a decision, formulated my reasoning (rationalization), acted on it, and, frequently, had to go back and apologize to someone for acting in haste while Troy is still weighing the pros and cons of the decision. Troy and I do not argue. Not because we never disagree and not because I haven't given it a valiant effort, but because Troy is still formulating his stance on something and/or weighing the repurcussions of his words before he speaks. I hate that. And I love it. More than anything, I wish I could do it.

Just another example of our little puzzle of a marriage that seems to fit together quite nicely.



Some of you (precious few, I'm sure) have gone to my Abilene Families link to try to find my article. I linked there to show you the magazine, but, alas, my article is not there. However, if you are a blog-reader, you have read all that I had in Abilene Families. I offered to really write something, but they said, "No, thanks -- we'll just rip it off of your blog!" Not a bad gig, huh? So they posted "At Least He Has the System Figured Out. . . " and "Beat the Heat".

Next month I will have some actual writing AND be featured with a very special writer, as well. But that's all I'm going to say until then.

We took Ashley to church camp for the first time ever yesterday. She was so excited! Ashley is my "go-er" and "do-er" so she was really excited about all that there is to do at camp. I know, too, that church camp is a precious memory in many people's memory (not mine) and I pray that it will be for her, as well. The funniest part about the whole thing is that my Ashley, who can insult someone no more than to describe them as "girly-girl" is in a cabin led by some precious little high school girly-girls (one of whom wears 3 threads as a swimsuit at the Swim Club where we go, so here's hoping that doesn't rub off). Their cabin has dubbed themselves "The Cotton Candy Cuties". Not getting a life-size picture of that for Ashley. But she will play along.

Did you go to church camp growing up? What do you remember most about it?


Grandad Will Be Proud

My father has always been interested in anything with wheels. Cars, motorcycles, airplanes, you name it, he loves it. I remember as a junior high girl holding intelligent conversations with my youth minister, who also owned a body shop, about the pros and cons of the (then) Datsun 280ZX compared to the Mazda RX-7. A junior high girl only knows these things from living in a home with Mike Riley. I have a nephew who seems to be just as fascinated with gears and wheels as his grandad, but neither of my kids has seemed to care one way or the other. UNTIL. . . on our trip in Colorado Riley went out to the car to get the camera while Troy and I were doing a little shopping. Evidently a car caught his eye, because we ended up with all of these pictures on our camera:

The love of shiny cars must be built into little boys (at least in my family) the way the love of shiny jewelry is built into the little girls!


Lightning Bugs

Do you have lightning bugs where you live? I was in high school on a trip to Mountain Home, Arkansas, before I saw my first lightning bug, and a college graduate before I lived anyplace that had them. "Sam and the Firefly" was one of my favorite books as a kid, but I began to wonder if lightning bugs fell into the tooth fairy and Easter bunny category -- you could believe but never see! Troy thought I was so childish when we lived in Central Texas -- where he had grown up -- and I would get SO excited to see lightning bugs. I was so glad that my children would have them in their childhood memories -- only now they don't. Do lightning bugs boycott my neighborhood or is it all of West Texas? I suspect the wind is a little violent for them to light up around here. And I guess the air is a little too soggy for them to light up in Louisiana where I grew up. So for 10 brief years I lived where there were lightning bugs -- for some reason I really only remember seeing them after we moved into our house, though, which would make it only 6 years. Anyway, I miss the little flashlights of summer.


Quote for the Day

Did you see me? I was in Abilene Families! Very exciting for li'l ol' me, but part of my bio said that I was an "active blogger". Really? According to that description, either I blog while jogging in place or update my blog more frequently than every full moon. Either way, I'm not sure that's entirely accurate.

*sigh* I used to update my blog. I used to be moving and shaking and thinking and writing. Now I'm a slug. Summer just makes me want to lie next to the pool and read magazines. Also, there are so many big things overwhelming me about other people -- both good and bad. Amy's report from after her mastectomy came back not so good. Baby Bennet is fighting for his life in a way no newborn should have to. Jack got GREAT NEWS from the oncologist the day after his great-grandma died. Some big thoughts and decisions at my home that I'm not at liberty to share. Just a lot -- up and down, victory and defeat.

So, of course, for a little light reading I picked up Maya Angelou's "Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now." I'm kidding -- Maya Angelou is anything but light reading. She has deep and profound thoughts and her writing is not to be gulped but sipped and swirled about the head. I read just a little a day and came across something I must cling to:

She is recounting that she was raised in a Christian home where her single mother would say, "I will step out on the word of God." But in her early 20's, Maya decided she was too smart and sophisticated to believe in God. But a voice teacher had her read a poem that ended with these words: "God loves me." The teacher had her read the last line again. And again. And again until:

"After about the seventh repetition I began to sense that there might be truth in the statement, that there was a possibility that God really did love me. Me, Maya Angelou. I suddenly began to cry at the grandness of it all. I knew that if God loved me, then I could do wonderful things, I could try great things, learn anything, achieve anything. For what could stand against me with God, since one person, any person with God, constitutes the majority?"


Motherhood As a Mission Field

I have really been bombarded with the message of "motherhood as a mission field" lately. Perhaps God is trying to remind me that nothing humongous I do through Him or for Him is as important as raising my children to know Him.

Today I saw this. PLEASE go read -- it's a beautiful step-by-step of living a daily life with your children at the Lord's feet.


True Confessions

Okay, with all of the talk about how picky I am about spelling I have to confess to you a word that I am having consistent trouble spelling. When I wrote the piece about Troy and I watching the lightning, I originally spelled it "lightening". Neither one of them looked right to me (and I almost wrote that it "didn't look write" -- I am LOSING it!) I wrote it, went with "lightening", published it, then started second guessing myself.

When all else fails, Google!

One defintion of "lightening" that I found: descent of the uterus into the pelvic cavity that occurs late in pregnancy; the fetus is said to have dropped

Oops. No, Troy and I were definitely NOT watching THAT! I stand corrected.


Happy 4th!!

From all sides it seems it is completely incorrect to love your country at the moment -- but I do love my country. Some groups thinks that makes me a blood-thirsty war-monger, Christians are now saying that means I think God loves America more than any other country. Whatever. I am so thankful for so many things about being born in this country, first and foremost being the opportunities I am given daily to worship, learn about, and share God. Does that mean I think God loves America more than other countries? No, but I know for sure I love God more because of the opportunities I have in this country, and allow me to be so bold as to presume that both God and I are okay with that. Happy birthday, America, and, yes, may God bless us all.

Blog re-run from last July 4:

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.


Sunday Thoughts

Yes, absolutely, there are Colorado-pics-to-come. First, family-that-may-be-reading, I need my family to email me all of the pictures you may have of me and/or my crazy family.

My question for today is: at what age is a little boy capable of standing to wait somewhere without climbing, crawling, wallowing, drumming, dismantling, poking, nudging, leaning, and causing all sorts of general disruptions? Just curious. I would even be happy with the teen "I'm-way-too-cool-to-be-standing-here" slump. Bring it on!

Okay, I saw two different blogs link to this story. Really -- go there NOW. No, don't click on my comments -- seriously, you need to read this. I still have tears running down my face. No, not sappy tears -- laughter tears. And I just don't get those from blogs too often. Well worth your time!


Back Out of the Saddle

Just returned from a glorious Colorado vacation with, not only my immediate family, but lots of extended family, as well.

Vacation included jeeping, swimming, horse-back riding, panning for gold!!, shopping, and plenty o' relaxing. Oh, and the driving. Remember the Disney (maybe Six Flags) commercial that starts with kids giving a "What I Did Over Summer Vacation" report, and one kid says, "We drived, and drived, and drived some more." Precisely.

So now the unpacking, bill-paying, message answering, email and blog wading through commences. But soon, very soon, will be blogs about Colorado.
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