January 31, 2011

pimp my imaginary house

Ever since Pioneer Woman (God bless her) introduced me to The Lettered Cottage (God bless her again), I've been playing this game.
I call it If I Had All The Money In The World.
It's a game I've played my entire life.

If I had all the money in the world, I would...
Travel around the world. But mostly travel around Italy.
Buy a Chi flat iron.
Buy Godiva every day.
Hire someone to fold my laundry.
Hire someone to do my cooking.
Hire someone to scratch my back whenever I want.
Hire a slave.
Shop at Anthropologie every day. (There. I made that a link so you can go to Anthropologie online and buy me the desires of my heart. If you wanna.)
Never work another day in my life... unless I felt like it.
Go into an old book store and buy every old book they have.

Oh, the possibilities are endless.
There are so many things I could do if I had all the money in the world.
I know money can't buy happiness, but it can buy pretty much everything else.

So, back to The Lettered Cottage.
If I had all the money in the world, I would buy a house. A lovely house. And then I would pimp the kitchen until you would not believe. You would think since I hate cooking that I wouldn't care about the kitchen, but not so. The kitchen is, in my opinion, the hub of the house. It's where the best things happen. It's where Moma would cook and we would watch. And she would sing and we would all sing along. Good smells came from there. Good homemaking sounds came from there too. I used to take my book and sit on the kitchen counter to read while Moma cooked. We did more talking, as a family, in the kitchen than anywhere else. Sitting on the countertops. We spent a lot of time there. I like the kitchen. It's the real family room.

I want an old farm house.
With floor to ceiling, wall to wall windows.
Dark hard wood floors.
A wraparound porch. (The porch is just as important as the kitchen. I must have a porch. Tim says if you were to put me and Karen in a trailer house, we would be just fine with that... so long as it had a porch.)

I won't bore you with the rest of the details, but I found some pics of what I want.
I'll share them with you right now because I know you're dying to see my dream house/kitchen.
I'm saving these pics for the day when I have all the money in the world.
(Have you ever noticed how all these interior design people are like, So we have a low budget remodel to do... we only have $12,000 to spend on this one room. What? That's low budget? My idea of low budget is a lot less. More like $100 per room. And that's on a good day when I'm rolling in the dough.)


Old house + wraparound porch = be still my heart.

Beautiful old house.
Not exactly a wraparound porch, but still... I like.

Okay, I don't like this room at all, but check out those windows!
Floor to ceiling! Almost wall to wall!

I just like it. Even though it isn't quite decorated to my taste.
I like black painted furniture.
And lots of Pier 1 throw pillows... in every color you can think of.

I stole this one straight from The Lettered Cottage.
Because I like the color they have on their walls.
Kinda dove grey-blueish. I'm not a huge fan of color on the walls so this is perfect.

And finally... the kitchen.
I want those floors. Those windows. That sink. Those appliances.
Those butcher block countertops.
I don't want the furniture or those upper cupboards though. Yikes.

The Lettered Cottage again.
I would never have thought of putting a color like that on the cupboards.
I love it. And those windows.

Here's a close up of the most perfect sink in the world.
I could wash my car in it.
And countertops anyone???
I hate granite... I love butcher block.


I'll stop there.
I have way more ideas for my imaginary kitchen though. It's borderline pathetic.
Now, if you want to know what NOT to do in your kitchen...

*shudder*

*gag*



he said i could be his queen



I love this photo.
For several reasons.

One.
How cute is Shelly's dress???
I want it. I want to wear that wrist band with it too.

Two.
How beautiful is Shelly's hair???
She mentioned cutting it off the other day... it's nearly to her waist when it's straight.
If you cut it off, Shelly... I keel you.

Three.
I love their crowns.

Four.
I love Joshua's little face.

Five.
And mostly, I love the text that Shelly sent along with the pic.
he said i culd b his queen.
What mother wouldn't love to be her little boy's queen?

January 30, 2011

there's no place like home

You know how on a sweltering hot summer day you'll be outside sweating your weight off?
And then you come inside the house?
And you stand in front of the A/C?
Chugging a tall glass of iced sweet tea?
And you then you sigh in sweet satisfaction?

Well, it's not summer and I'm certainly not sweating, but still....



*ahhh*


I'm back home.
I've been living out of my red duffle bag for the last four or five months.
Carrying my pillow and laptop everywhere I go.
Going to this church here and that church there.
Coming home for a quick stop every now and then to take care of things.
Traveling around, looking for where God wants me to land permanently.

In limbo.

But limbo is over.
Certainty and direction and belonging have taken it's place.
Don't mistake me, the last few months of limbo haven't been bad.
I've learned from them.
They've helped me grow.
They've strengthened me.
These months have brought me to a beautiful place, a place of trust and peace.
A place where the birds have busted out singing in my heart.

But still...

Home.
My toothbrush is back in the bathroom cupboard.
My socks are back in the second drawer down.
And I can take as long a shower as I want without having to worry about using up all the hot water and leaving everyone else to shiver through an icy shower. (Sorry about all those times I used up the hot water, Bro. Hoover.)

There's nothing like unpacking that red duffle bag for the last time and knowing at last that this is the right place to land.
Permanently.
This is home. My place of belonging.
Feels so good to be home.

Ahhh.
God is good to me. I can't say it enough.

January 27, 2011

making a list

Have I ever mentioned how much I love making lists?
I love making lists.
Maybe it's a dorky thing to do, but I don't care. I must make lists. I literally have to. It makes my life better in all kinds of ways.

I've been making a lot of lists lately.
... a to do list.
... not to do list.
... what makes me happy list.
... things to change list.
... what God has done for me list.
... things I want to learn list.
... things I need to buy list.
... things I don't have the money for list.
... grocery list.
... things I'm thankful for.

You get the idea.

Here's another list, a blog list. Bits and pieces of the original lists that I have floating around in my car, my purse, my bottom drawer, and oddly enough, in my fridge...
(I have no idea how that list made it into my fridge.)

1)  I'm a born teacher.
No really, I am. I love teaching things to little kids. And I'm good at it too.
I'm going to go to school for it. Hopefully this fall, but we'll see how that pans out.
I did some teaching today but not for a little kid.
I taught my big sister how to write up a rough draft for a paper in her English class, via email.
She thinks I'm all smart about writing and stuff.
I like her to think that.

2)  I need to scrub the coffee spill off the outside of my front door.
It's been there since before I moved in and every time I unlock the door I think, I should really scrub that off... it looks gross.
But then I never do.
I just pull a Scarlett O'Hara and mumble something about tomorrow.

(Dear Scarlett, you're a bad influence.)

3)  I love interior design. I'm kinda good at that too. (Man, I'm really braggadocios today aren't I?)
There's something satisfying about rolling some paint on the walls, moving the furniture around, and finding exactly the right wall hanging for above the couch. Then you step back and think, Look how great it all looks! It looks like home now.
I wouldn't mind taking some interior design classes too, but in the mean time, I do the next best thing... I steal other people's ideas.
I found this today on Pioneer WomanThe Lettered Cottage.
Go ahead. Click on that link. You will die and go straight to heaven. That's what I did this morning when I saw it... just ask Karen, she was there.

(Dear Pioneer Woman, thank you for all you've done for me. I love you.)

4)  I'm trying to read more.
Reading is one of those things that just makes me happy.
When I was a teen, I did nothing but read.
Read, read, read.
The library ladies felt sorry for me. One day they asked how I felt about my moma 'forcing' me to read all those books. They looked at my weekly stack of 20 books or so, and starting dialing Child Protective Services.
I was like, WHAT??? 
It took some serious talking to convince them that I actually prefered reading over anything else.
Anyway, I'm reading The Scarlet Pimpernel right now. It's been years since I read it last.
I'd forgotten how good that book is.

5)  I need a good flat iron. I'm sick. to. death. of my hair looking like Patty Duke's.
My flat iron is el cheapo.
Alas, el cheapo is what I can afford so Patty Duke's twin I stay.

(Dear Chi Products, can you lower your prices? It would make me uber happy.)

(And dear Patty Duke, your hair is stupid.)

6)  Wouldn't you think that patience would be harder to learn than to stop procrastinating?
Well.
Let me set you straight about that. 
It's NOT.
I'm learning patience... not so much with the procrastination thingy.
I have a feeling it'll be on my list of things to change for awhile.

7)  God has given me wings as eagles.
Laughter in my mouth. Joy in my heart. Peace that passeth all understanding.
And the ability to make the right decision.
God is good to me.

8)  Speaking of how good God is.
The other day I was... how shall I say... not worried, but definately getting there.
I had this thing that needed taken care off. It was a really big deal.
So I went to God and said, Not to be demanding or anything, but You say in Your Word that if I trust You, You'll take care of my needs. Take care of this please.
Then I went to bed and determined not to bite my fingernails.
Less than an hour later I got a phone call that took care of part of that need. And since then I've gotten several more phone calls that took care of the rest.
And God said to me, I've got you covered.

(Lord in heaven, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.)

January 26, 2011

things i want to know

1) I want to know how to use my tire jack.
That way I don't have to call someone up to come change my tire for me.

I pulled out of my driveway this morning and thought something sounded funny about my car.
Kinda like metal scrapping somewhere under my hood.
It wasn't under my hood though.
It was the sound of my tire rim scrapping the asphalt of the road.
My tire was that flat... it was pretty much off the wheel.


2) I want to know how to potty train a two year old.
That way I wouldn't have to clean up pee from off the floor every five seconds.



Karen is potty training Lily.
And I'm babysitting today.
So far we've gone thru one pair of Minnie Mouse panties, one pair of Daisy Duck panties, and two pairs of plain pink panties.   (And one pair of Valentine's Day socks with little white hearts on them.)
I made Lily help me scrub the puddles out of the carpet so she could appreciate the fact that peeing on the floor is way more work than peeing on the potty.
She got back at me by pooping in her panties immediately afterwards.
So I sat in front of her and ate marshmallows. I didn't give her any.
I would've given them to her... if she had gone on the potty.
You might think I'm being harsh. You might be thinking well, she's only two and doesn't know what she's doing.
If you're thinking that... you're wrong.

She hides behind the flippin' door every time she pees her pants!

Oh, she knows exactly what she's doing.


3) I want to know how you get a one year old to stay in her highchair.
That way I wouldn't have a heart attack every time I catch Molly sitting precariously on the kitchen counter tops.


Molly has this thing about sitting in her highchair.
Every time I put her in it, she gets this crazy death wish and tries to climb out.
Buckling her in doesn't work. Threatening her doesn't work either.
Today I found her sitting up on the counter playing with Tim's espresso machine.
She was so proud of herself.
I went into cardiac arrest.
Then, after I installed her back into the chair, she managed to stand up, crawl over to the chair beside her, and land on the floor. All while still holding onto her PB&J. 
(Insert cardiac arrest again.)



She likes to climb a lot. That's the problem.



We have way better success in getting Lily to stay in her highchair.

Maybe superglue would work?
Duct tape?

loofs toofs

Emma just lost her first tooth.
:(
She's getting big.
She should still be four, not six. I like her to be four. It's a good age for her.

Losing this tooth was a big deal though.
Tim wouldn't pull it. Too sissy. (Apparently, daddys can't do everything.)
Karen wouldn't pull it. Too squeamish.
So that left Lucy to do the deed. And do it she did. Popped that baby right out with a paper towel.



See the little gap on the bottom there?
Emma was pretty excited about getting money from the tooth fairy.
"I'll put it under my pillow! And in the morning it'll be money! Maybe quarters!"
To which Lucy replied in her best monotone...
"Don't get too excited. It'll be probably a week before the tooth fairy gets around to you."

Talk about Debbie Downer.
But, poor Lucy remembers when she lost her first tooth a few years ago.
It was a week or two before the tooth fairy got around to her. Sometimes the tooth fairy is a slacker.
Karen says she has an excuse though, "It was just that the girls fall asleep so late and wake up so early! There was never a chance to exchange the tooth for money!"

So now with all this excitement, Lily has decided that losing a tooth is her new life's ambition.
She's only two, but she knows that her teeth are practically falling out on their own. Left and right.



She asks us to pull one out every five minutes and walks around tugging on her 'loofs toofs'.
This morning she asked Karen again, "Pull my toofs Moma?"
"No, Lily. You're still little."
"Where's Daddy?"
"He's gone. Why do you want him?"
"I talk to him."
"About what, baby?"
"Daddy can pull my loofs toofs!"     (Little does she know.)

 I hate when they grow up. I like their baby teeth... securely attached to their little baby gums.

January 25, 2011

God is good

God is good.

God has shown me some things in the last few months. Even more in the last few weeks.
I mean really shown me.
I was raised in a Christian home, got saved when I was ten, kept myself on good terms with God. Really good terms even.
But, I've never known God like I have lately.
I'm not saying that I've got it all figured out and that if you want some great spiritual advice just come on over to righteous me.
No, I'm just saying that God is good.
And I'm only just getting it thru my thick head how very good He is.

He's worth it.
He's worth letting go of everything.
Whatever it is that I have to let go of.... He. is. worth it.
I've had a lot to let go of.
Fear. Doubt. Worry. The desires of my heart. Pride. Bitterness. Stupidity. The past. Anger. Indecisiveness. People pleasing. Impatience. Stubbornness.
... to name a few.

But God...

He's helped me.
I've never before realized the absolute beauty of depending on Him alone. Not on myself, not on other people, just Him.
It's precious.
Sweet.
It fills my mouth with laughter, and at the same time brings me to my knees in tears of gratefulness.

Who am I that He would care so much?
What have I ever done for Him?

I used to get jealous when I read in the Bible about John laying his head on Christ's breast.
He was so lucky to be able to do that.
But I'm not jealous anymore because that's where I'm at right now.... laying my head on His breast and it's good.


What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?     -Psalm 8:4

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!     -Psalm 107:31

January 23, 2011

unsearchable riches

When I first saw you, I fell in love.
You didn't know Me yet, but I watched you from close by.
I went to your house every day just to see you.
I waited for you to notice Me.
I gave My all for you. To show you how much I loved you.
I never left your side.

And then I waited for you to make your choice.

My joy burst thru My heart on the day you chose Me.
All of heaven rejoiced with Me.
Every sacrifice I had made was worth the effort of obtaining your love.
Every stripe, every tear, every sorrow.
.... they were all worth it because I loved you so.

You became My child on that day, My girl.
I adored you.
I delighted in you.
My heart overflowed with the joy you gave Me.
I watched you grow in Me.
My heart warmed with happiness to be able to teach you all the things you needed to know about a Father's love for His child.

Talking with you, being with you, was My joy.
You weren't just My child, you were My friend and My dearly beloved.

I gave you everything you needed.
I showered you with all that I had...
Mercy.
Grace.
Truth.
Strength.
Compassion.
Love.

I held you close to Me, trying to shelter you from all harm.
I wanted so badly to keep you safe and secure.
I put my hedge about you to keep hurt out.
I guarded you with all My powerful might.
When you lay down to sleep every night, I sat at your door and kept the night watches over you.
I would let nothing in. Nothing could get past My fierce protection, or My love.

Except you.

Soon you wanted to go past the hedge I had built for you.
Each day, you went farther and farther past it.
Each day, I went after you to bring you back to safety.
Until finally the day came when I watched you put your hand in another's and walk away from My love.
You thought you didn't need Me anymore.

On that day, My heart broke.
My grief was more than I could bear.
I knew I would have to watch you be hurt, I would have to watch the havoc unfold in your life.
I knew the pain in store for you, and there was nothing I could do but watch it happen.
I had to let you make your choice on your own.

I went out every day to find you, to see you.
I sought after you to let you know how much I loved and missed you.
I waited for you to notice Me again.
I hoped for you to come running to Me.

I waited.
And I waited.

One day I found you in the slave market.
You were broken.
Beaten. Filthy. Bruised.
You were alone. The other, who's hand you had held, was gone.
To all others, you were useless and disgusting.
But to Me, you were My beloved.
My darling.

I took you from those who had harmed you.
I fought against them and won you back.
I breathed back into you the breath of My life and joy.
I carried you home and put My hedge back around you.
I poured My goodness over you and washed you clean.
I tenderly cared for you.
I showed you My great love all over again.
I felt the sorrow of having lost you for a time lift from My aching heart.
You had come back to Me.

I want you to know something.
You are Mine and no one else's.
You always will be.
I will always love you.
I will always seek after you.
I will always guard you jealously.
I will always adore you.
I will always hold you close in My hands.
I will always forgive.
My face will always shine on yours.

So don't look over your shoulder at the past.
Put it behind you where it belongs and keep your eyes on Me.
Let go of any heaviness and submerge yourself in the glory I have in store for you.
I know you don't understand My feelings for you, but you need only to trust Me.
.... My love for you completely eclipses your unworthiness.
I will always look at you and see My dearly beloved, My beautiful child.
Because I am yours and you are Mine, and nothing can break that bond between us.

January 20, 2011

i am a pig...

This is my niece Mik and Daphne the dog....


She started school this year.
The other day Jenny asked Mik to solve a riddle.

I am pink, I like mud, I am a....

So Mik writes, prsin.
(For all you grownups, prsin is how a kindergartener spells person. Sound it out.)
I can see the wheels rolling in Mik's little mind on that one.
Well, I'm pink and I like mud so...must be a person! Yep! Got it figured out Mom!

Ah, the blog material I get from all my nieces.
I love it.

January 19, 2011

unsearchable riches

de·light noun \di-ˈlīt, dē-\     : A high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture. Something that gives great pleasure.

.....but such as are upright in their way are his delight.     -Proverbs 11:20

.....but they that deal truly are his delight.     -Proverbs 12:22

.....but the prayer of the upright is his delight.     -Proverbs 15:8


His delight.


Lily delights me.
Sometimes I look at her and just want to squeeze her chubby little self until she pops because my heart is overflowing with delight at her utter cuteness.
So when I think of delight, I think of that warm fuzzy feeling I get in my heart when I look at Lily.
And it takes. my. breath away. to think that when God looks at me, He's delighted.
He gets that same warm fuzzy feeling in His heart.
He just wants to squeeze me until I pop.
He watches me and smiles.
I can't think of a single good reason why God should delight in me, but that doesn't matter.
Because He does delight in me. With all His heart.
This I know, without the shadow of doubt.
He loves me. Delights in me.
I am His and He is mine.

If someone ever let me loose in a Godiva chocolate store, I wouldn't know where to start.
If they said, Ok, the whole store is yours. Get in there and eat chocolate to your little chocolate lovin' heart's content, I would probably screech and then pass out with the overwhelming thought of having all that chocolatey goodness to myself.
Sometimes I feel that way about God's goodness too.
It's like He's got this whole store full of wonderful goodness and He says, Ok, get in there and eat until your little chocolate loving heart is satisfied. I put it all there just for you.
And then I screech and pass out.

That's unsearchable riches for you.

January 18, 2011

ten

1)  One of the teen girls from the troubled girls school down the road got saved this past Sunday morning.
She grinned from ear to ear.
So did we.

2)  Another one of those girls wrote a rap for Bro. Hoover.
(Don't the words 'rap' and 'Bro. Hoover' sound so funny together? Ha.)
She got up and rapped it for the church.
(And before you get your panties all in a wad, we don't usually rap at our church.)
I wish I had asked her for the words so I could share them with you, but I didn't.
It was all about how she knows God is real now. How she used to think drugs were the answer, but now that she's been coming to our church, she knows God is the real answer. And right at the end, she told Bro. Hoover he's a "real inspiration with all your dedication".
It was the single most wonderful rap I've ever heard and it made me cry.

3)  I learned a new song Sunday night.
Sweet Will of God, by Leila N. Morris.
I loved it.
It also made me cry.

4)  -All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul, a prisoned bird set free.
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

5)  I loved this past Sunday.
It was glorious and fantabulous.

6)  I had a job interview yesterday and it went really well.
I don't know if I'll get the job, but I definately made a new friend in the woman who interviewed me.
When the interview was over, we sat there and talked about the virtues of getting your tubes tied.
I've never talked about whether or not I would get my tubes tied with anyone before.

7)  If I ever have more kids than I can handle, I will get my tubes tied.

8)  Heather created my little Mii on her Wii.
It looks surprisingly like me.
It's little mouth is always hanging open.
Heather said that's the way my face usually looks.

9)  The Hoovers created my little Mii on their Wii.
It looks surprisingly like me too.
It's eyes are huge and it smiles all the time, even when it loses. Like a retard.
The Hoovers were like,"So...isn't it just like you?".

10)  So I created my little Mii on the girl's Wii.
It's hot. Smokin' hot.
It looks just like me. Not surprisingly.
Hey, there's three of Mii. Get it???

January 16, 2011

non-cook

Mrs. Hoover found this blog, written by Mary Kate Frank, and said it reminded her of me.
She's so right.
I'm a non-cook, and this is me.
100%.
(Well.... minus the part about drinking beer.)
(And I have no idea what button mushrooms are either.)
So here you go folks.... this Mary Kate woman knows exactly what goes down in my kitchen.
She's been peeping tom-ing thru my kitchen window or something.



*****
Attention, please. Important food writer Mark Bittman says there are just three basic recipes one needs to master to become a cook. And last night, I made one of them for dinner.

Doesn’t sound revolutionary? Let me explain: I come from a long line of non-cooks. We are humble takeout folk, my ancestors and I. Until last night, in fact, I had barely used my stove for anything other than boiling water or heating soup. I had no idea what a button mushroom was (you will see why this is relevant as we go along). And the super sharp chef’s knife a friend once gifted me never left the kitchen drawer, save once, when I stashed it under my pillow in order to possibly defend myself against the stranger who came over to buy a console I had listed on Craigslist.

Anyway, on Sunday, I read Bittman’s piece in the New York Times. In it, he implored people to start making their own meals and offered three basic recipes—a chopped salad, rice and lentils, and a stir-fry—that could potentially change the lives of non-cooks like me.

"Make these three things and you’re a cook," he wrote. "By becoming a cook, you can leave processed foods behind, creating more healthful, less expensive and better-tasting food that requires less energy, water and land per calorie and reduces our carbon footprint."

My head full of grand “new year, new you” notions, I decided to answer Bittman’s call to action and try making the Broccoli Stir-Fry with Chicken and Mushrooms, which was billed as “lightning fast.” Here's how it went:

6:00 p.m.
Leave work and stop to pick up garlic, scallions, soy sauce and vegetable oil. I’m not a fan of ginger, so I skip that ingredient. (Look at me, already putting my own spin on Bittman's recipe!) Puzzle over what the heck button mushrooms are—I can’t find them in the store and I’m too embarrassed to ask anyone.

6:15
Stop at home, drop off groceries and google “button mushrooms.” Oh. Realize I do not own a cutting board or pepper grinder.

6:45
At Bed Bath & Beyond, purchase the basics. On my way out, a food scale with a pretty picture of strawberries on the box catches my eye. Hmm. Do I need one of these to figure out what constitutes 8 ounces of mushrooms? I decide yes.

7:00
Stop home to unload my new kitchen supplies. (Did I mention I live in a third-floor walk-up?) Then it’s back to grocery store to buy chicken, broccoli and the elusive mushrooms.

7:31
Returning to my building, I open the door for a takeout deliveryman. Follow him up the stairs as he delivers to my across-the-hall neighbor. Resist the urge to shake my bag full of sustainable food at both of them.

7:37
Start mincing garlic. Thank god that I skipped the ginger. Open a beer. Discover that pricey food scale was totally unneccessary, as a 99 cent measuring cup would have done fine.

8:40
It occurs to me that cooks define “lightning fast” much differently than non-cooks.

9:00
Finally heat up the pan. The garlic smells amazing, until I figure out that my 225-square foot apartment is probably going to smell like that for weeks. Ah, well. If anyone asks, I’ll say, “Oh, I whipped up a little stir-fry the other night, just some garlic, chicken and button mushrooms, the usual.”

9:20
Notice that it’s pretty cool when the things that are supposed to happen actually do happen: the broccoli turns bright green, the liquid evaporates, the chicken stops being pink. I take a taste and add more soy sauce. Yum.

9:35
Sit down to eat. Think: "I am now just two recipes away from becoming a cook!"

9:39
Finish eating.

9:40
Go downstairs again to put out garbage. Begin washing the staggering pile of dishes I created. Store the remaining three servings of my stir-fry and debate e-mailing Bittman for reheating instructions.

Cost (I had to buy more than I needed in most cases)
Mushrooms (10 ounces): $2.30
Skinless, boneless chicken thighs (1 pound): $5
Broccoli (one pound): $2.50
Scallions (four) .65 cents
Garlic (four ounces): $3
Soy sauce: $3
Pepper grinder: $3.19
Vegetable oil: $4.79
Cutting board, $10
Totally unnecessary food scale, $50

Total cost of stir-fry: $84.43

Total time spent on stir-fry (including clean-up and time taken to google “what are button mushrooms?” “how to mince garlic,” “how to chop broccoli,” “how to chop scallions,” and “can garlic be stored?”: 3 hours, 41 minutes

Total stairs climbed: 174

Total alcoholic beverages consumed: Two beers, extremely well deserved


-Here's the link for the original post, by Mary Kate Frank.... Link.

January 14, 2011

mostly random

Remember how I said I had made some New Year's resolutions?
I said I was going to learn patience, and stop procrastinating, and eat everything on my plate.

Well.
My laundry has been sitting in my dryer for the past two days. Just waiting for me to get around to it.
I avert my eyes any time I scuttle past the dryer. The way I figure it, my unfolded clothes need to learn patience too. I like teaching my material belongings valuable life lessons like that. It relieves my guilty feelings.

But on the flip side, I have been eating everything on my plate.
And I really think I might be probably almost kinda sorta learning patience.
I know I might be jumping the gun since it is only two weeks since I made that resolution, but please.... don't rain on my party. I have a little evidence of my progress. It might not seem like much to you, but it's a big step for me.
First, I've been needing direction from God in a few matters. Big matters. Life changing ones. And since I'm impatient, waiting on that direction should be agonizing, right? But it hasn't been! I've been content to wait for God to show me what He wants me to do. I know He'll show me in His own time and I know I'll be glad I waited. Period.
Secondly, I need a job. I have bills just like everyone else. And they need paid, just like everyone else's. But with all my job hunting, nothing has come up yet. That's okay though. I'm doing all I can do and I know God will pull thru with the rest. He's never failed me and I'm fine with waiting on Him to pop up with the right job at the right time.
To set the record straight and in the name of being completely honest, there was one day about three weeks ago when I had a nervous breakdown about the job and all and called Karen crying. She was very comforting and, hypothetically speaking, slapped me out of my hysteria.
But that was before I made my New Year's resolutions so it doesn't really count.

Speaking of job hunting.
I had a dream last night about a job interview.
It started out fine and I was like, this dream is gonna be good.
But then it turned on me.
I was sitting in one of those desk chairs on wheels and the stupid thing kept rolling around the desk and behind the lady who was interviewing me.
She had neck problems and couldn't turn around to look at me.
My legs were too short to keep the chair from moving.
And I didn't want to look stupid by slouching down in my chair so the whole interview was done with me sitting behind the woman.
Then she handed me an application to fill out, but when I tried to write, my coat expanded into this huge puffy thing that made my arms stick straight out.
I was the Michelin Man and there wasn't anything I could do about it.
Finally, the lady came around and poked her pen into my coat thus effectively deflating it.
But that just made things worse because the coat disappeared leaving me sitting there in my birthday suit.
And then I woke up sweating.

The nightmares of a job hunter...

January 13, 2011

more than sister

I'll just get straight to the point.

Karen's pregnant.
With number seven.

That's all.

No wait...
I have more to say.

Karen doesn't think this about herself, but I think she's pretty amazing.
She's my more than sister.
She's my friend, my go to person, my laughter when I'm crying.
She understands me and I her.
We can pick lint from between our toes together if we feel like it.
When we were younger and our parents would go out of town leaving her in charge, Karen would get scared at night and have me come sleep by her bedroom door. That way if an axe murderer came in the back door, he would get me first. She loves me a lot like that.
And I mucho love her too.

Karen with number six, aka Molly.

January 11, 2011

unsearchable riches

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH  is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.     -Isaiah 12:2

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.     -Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.     -Psalm 37:3


No matter who, what, where, when, or why, God never fails.
I can put my trust in Him without fear. Without fail.
Just when I start to get all scrambled up and think, Dang it...I'll never win, He goes and wins it for me.
Just when I start to feel worry nipping at the edge of my heart, I can turn to Him and everything bad fades away.
He's got it under control when I don't, He's wise when I'm stupid.
He's mine and I'm His, and it's a good thing that's so..... or I would be up a creek without a paddle.


Speaking of stupid.
The other day, one of Karen's girls learned a new word.
A cuss word.

Karen:  Tell me the word.

Girl, white faced in fear: Well, it's the S word.

Karen: And what is the S word?

Girl, whispers:  Stupid.  ....but, Moma, I already knew that one!

Karen: You may go now. Never let this happen again. I am going to the bathroom to laugh behind locked doors.


Anyhoo...
I'm glad I have a God Whom I can safely put my trust in.
That's unsearchable riches for you.

January 08, 2011

you know you're an idiot when....

1)  .... you blithely answer yes to this question on a job application  -do you think all people are essentially good?

2)  .... and you totally believe it.

3)  .... you think you know what you're doing as you calmly enter your SSN and bank account information on said job application.

4)  ....you're very happy about the potential job for about an hour until you go back to the website for more info and it isn't there.

5)  .... you suddenly realize that you've been had, that anyone else with average intelligence would've never given out their personal information so easily, and you go into a downward spiral of panic attacks.

6)  .... you google everything about identity theft for the next 24 hours solid until your eyes are bloodshot and your head is bald from nervously twirling your hair between your fingers.

7)  .... you finally accept that there's not a whole lot you can do to stop identity thieves from destroying your life as you know it.

8)  .... so you pray to The Almighty to kill them majorly dead before they can do anything destructive, or to please, please, please at least fry their computers and cause them to lose your information.



"Lightbulb."     -Gru, Despicable Me
I am an idiot. And I am resigned to my fate as an idiot for the rest of my life.
My lightbulb is permanently defective and will never work.

January 06, 2011

about those uniforms...

The other day I was job hunting on Craig's List, and found quite a few lovely professions on there.
Here's one of my options....

-Unconventional house cleaning company looking for those willing to wear flirty uniforms.
Please reply for details.-







*crickets*






"So...can you define unconventional for me?"

You guys can all let out the nervous breath you've been holding.
I chickened out at the last minute, and am still on the job hunt.

January 05, 2011

unsearchable riches

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.     -Ephesians 3:8-9

I listened to one of Bro. Kory Mears' messages this morning on the unsearchable riches of God.

Quick bio on Bro. Mears: 
He's been a missionary to the Figi Islands for the past fifteen years.
His wife's name is Wendy.
They have seven kids.
He's very intense.
I've only heard him preach twice.
I will. never. forget the first time I heard him preach. He spoke about the power of God, and let me tell you, the glory of God came down and settled in that auditorium. It was like in the Old Testament when the Isrealites could see and feel God's presence in the tabernacle. I looked around for the fiery pillar. I couldn't have gotten out of my seat if my life depended on it. I can't fully describe it for you, but let it suffice to say, I've never felt the presence of God in that wise at any other time.
And it's a good thing Bro. Mears didn't start pouring little Dixie cups of Kool-Aid, or we'd have all been goners.

Back to unsearchable riches.
He said a lot of great stuff, but what really stuck out to me was when he defined unsearchable.
He said the riches of God are kinda like the heavens. We will never be able to say, here's where they start and here's where they end because they're unsearchable to us finite humans. The heavens go on and on and on and on.....
So do the riches of God, only much farther on.
That unsearchable doesn't mean we aren't able to find, or discover His riches, it means that we have something new to 'discover' everyday.
His riches are infinite. Never ending. Unsearchable. Measureless.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
-Frederick M. Lehman

....the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.     -John 21:25
 
Not one of us can sit down, start writing a book about the riches of God, and expect to ever finish.
It's impossible.
I double dog dare you to try.
But, that said, I'm making another News Year's resolution...
Although I can't contain the whole of God's riches in a book, I'm going to start listing them on here bit by bit.
(I love lists. They make everything seem so organized and well thought out.)
I want to search out those unsearchable riches and see what treasure I find.
 
Also, if you want to hear Bro. Mears for yourself, click on the link below.
 
Link
 

January 04, 2011

more than ten

I know I'm a few days late, but... farewell 2010.
It was nice knowing you, but I'm perfectly happy to wave goodbye to you.
For the first time in my life I say, bring on the new year.
However, I've learned a lot of good things with you...


1)  "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."     -Forrest Gump

2)  Mercy is not getting what you deserve.
Grace is getting what you don't deserve.
Doesn't that just take your breath away?
I know this first hand.

3)  The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Joy is impossible to live without.
If you don't have it, you might as well curl up and die because your life is worthless.

4)  Coffee isn't as bad as I thought it was.
It's an acquired taste.
I can actually drink a cup of regular brew now, and not always have to have the fancy pants caramel macchiato.
....let me amend that, I can drink a cup of regular brew + a good dose of caramel chocolate creamer.

5)  I've come to terms with my chronic bad hair day.
My hair and I have reached a mutual agreement...it'll be bad and I'll just have to deal with it.
I can't fight it anymore.
It'll never go away.
From now until eternity.
I, personally, think I'm getting the short end of the stick in this dealio.

6)  I'm dependent.
If you can take care of your problems on your own, kudos to you.
I can't.
And I stubbornly prefer to think of this as a quality rather than a flaw.

7)  In spite of the above, I entered the mysterious realm of grown-ups in 2010.
At age 27.
I'm a late bloomer.

8)  God's forgiveness can cover any sin.
And He can untangle any mess.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God...     -Romans 8:28
(Excuse me while I go cry in utter gratefulness.)

9)  Being optimistic is a good thing.
But, I suffer a lot of disappointment because of it.
For instance, I'm certain I'll be the big winner every time I enter a Pioneer Woman giveaway.
Positively certain.
Alas, I've won nary a thing.
I'll most likely win the next time though.

10)  Don't believe everything you're told.
No really. Don't.

11)  You find out who your friends are, and I've found out all my friends are true friends.
I don't deserve them.
They've all stuck with me like so much super glue during this past year.
Through thick and thin.
Every last one of them.

12)  God knows exactly what I need, and exactly when I need it.
That's been head knowledge that I've carried around with me my whole life, but this past year made it more than head knowledge.
Now it's experience.
Sometimes you have to learn things you've always known.

13)  Speaking of learning something I've always known...
If you read your Bible every day, you will grow, grow, grow.
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.     -Ephesians 5:26

14)  It is possible to burn elbow noodles while boiling them.
Even if the noodles are water logged.
I should know. I've done it.
It was a scientific experiment, and had nothing whatsoever to do with making mac n' cheese.
I promise.


That's 2010 in a nutshell.
I made a couple of New Year's resolutions.
I've never done that before because, well, I think it's kinda dumb to wait until the new year to start a good thing.
But lets forget that, I made some this year.

I'm going to learn patience.
I'm going to stop procrastinating, and always put my laundry away as soon as it comes out of the dryer.
I'm going to eat everything on my plate.
I'm going to learn how to swim without a life vest this summer.

Ok, cross out that last one.
I'm getting a little carried away.
Swim without a life vest....     *snort*
As if.

January 02, 2011

faker



Molly isn't supposed to climb up onto the desk.
She messes up the computer.
She creates new folders, deletes pictures, and screws everything up in general.
Karen caught her at it this particular time.
This fake cry is Molly's distraction tactic.


"Hey, Mom. I'm crying so...it's like I'm already sorry...and you didn't even have to punish me."

"See the tears, Mom?"

"Feel the tears, Mom."

"Well, glad we had that little conversation....have you seen my sippy cup lying around anywhere?"


The sad thing is, it works.
I mean, how can one be expected to punish a fake cry like that?