Thursday, July 31, 2008

Love Adds a Little Chocolate

Last night I continued to read some of my "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" book. As I dove into the pages of the next chapter, I came upon quite a few topics of discussion that I found myself pondering over. However, one passage in particular grabbed me off the page. I read it to Kelly and he said, "I like that". So I have chosen that particular quote to express here.

I quote the book...

In the book Love Adds a Little Chocolate, Linda Andersen writes:

"Duty can pack an adequate sack lunch, but love may decide to enclose a little love note inside... Obligation sends the children to bed on time, but love tucks the covers in around their necks and passes out kisses and hugs (even to teenagers!)... Duty gets offended quickly if it isn't appreciated, but love learns to laugh a lot and to work for the sheer joy of doing it. Obligation can pour a glass of milk, but quite often, love adds a little chocolate."

Wow. What a statement. What an expression of love. A few things went through my mind after I read this quote from Andersen.

1. I thought of my mom. THAT is my mother. She loved us well during our childhood and continues to love us in that way today as adults. I'm so thankful to have experienced that kind of love. Unconditional, going out of our way kind of love. Thank you mom for the addition of a little chocolate in our lives!

2. I want to love like that. I want to love my husband like that. I want to love the children I have one day like that. I want to love like Christ does, unconditionally and going out of my way to do so.

3. I thought about my friend, Hallie's blog. She once wrote a post about being a wife and the way she can serve the Lord through her duties as a wife. There are some posts on this topic in her March archives and another in April. The most recent April post is what I reflected on again while reading Andersen's passage. Take a look at what Hallie wrote: The Call of Duty.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gas Prices

If gas keeps going up this is how all of us will be taking our vacations!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm way too much like Martha!

Over the last few months, I've been reading a book by Joanna Weaver. It's one of those books that I'm taking forever to get through. It's been fabulous. It's been very worth reading, but I find myself putting it down and picking it up randomly and over a long period of time. The title is: Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.

The basis of the book is summed up in the subtitle: Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life.

Joanna Weaver describes the Mary & Martha story found in Luke 10:38-42. Martha is the busy bodied sister that makes all the preparations for Jesus and his disciples as they come to visit her home. She's too distracted by the To Do's to stop adn focus on the Lord. Mary, on the other hand, is the sister who sees the greater task of the day, to sit intimately at Jesus' feet. Christ calls us to be more like Mary and less like Martha, and Joanna Weaver dives into what that looks like.

So today, I again picked this book up randomly. I carpool with a couple coworkers to work occasionally and today was a ride to work day, so I brought the book to work knowing I'd be stuck at the office during lunch. Within 10.5 pages of Chapter 5, I was quickly put into place and exposed to some pretty profound, yet simple concepts about intimacy with the Lord. I want to share.

Weaver tells a story she heard from her pastor's wife when she lived in Oregon. It goes something like this, paraphrased. The woman is having people over for a special meal. She cooks, she cleans, and she prepares for the grand event. An hour or so before, she realizes her tummy is rumbling. To subside the hunger, the woman eats a small Snickers bar. It works to make the hunger pains stop. The guests arrive in the next hour or so, she serves the meal and everyone begins to dine and rave over the food. Well, the Snickers bar had curved the woman's appetite to the point that she could not truly enjoy the luxury of the meal. She was no longer hungry.

The quote from the book that stuck out to me followed this story. The woman in the story reflected after the event,

"The Lord spoke to me at that moment. He showed me that we often fill our lives with Spiritual Snickers bar - things like friends, books, and shopping. They may be good things, completely innocent things - but not when they take the edge off our hunger for God."

Wow. I had to ponder during my lunch break: How many things am I letting take the edge of my hunger for the Lord? How many things do I allow to distract me from Him?

And the hits didn't stop there. Later Weaver writes, "If you're having a little trouble feeling close to God - or even wanting to draw close - you might want to consider what activities you are using to fill the empty places of your life. What's taking the edge off of your hunger for him?"

Man... My reaction to both statements means there are definitely things out there taking away my hunger for God... otherwise I wouldn't have written these two statements in my notebook. And I wouldn't be writing about them now. But the scary part is what SHOULD come... knowing that I was convicted by these statements, I should sit, reflect, and pray, asking God "what are those things in my life?" Tough questions. "Are there activities, even good activities, I need to remove from my life to focus more on Him?" Food for thought.

I'll close with a favorite bible verse of mine that seems to apply here:
2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Saturday, July 26, 2008

HGTV - More Than Addictive

For a month or so, I've had a particular phrase show up on my gmail chat tagline. It says: HGTV is either going to be my home's decorating savior, or Kelly and my demise. For those that have been around our house lately, it's not hard to see what I mean and it'll become more apparent as the months go on.

So far we've completed two major projects, and one minor. Project #1: The backyard deck. We pressure washed our back deck. Kelly repaired the side of the deck, and we stained it. Project #2: we got a new sink installed. Deeper sink, and no divider. It's been great. Project #3: The front yard. We had 1/2 of our front yard landscaped with a new flower bed... the rest is to come at a later date. Thanks to our buddy Brian Carper.

So, as my title states - HGTV is totally addictive. I love it. From House Hunters, to Hidden Potential, to What is my house worth?, to Flip That House, to Deserving Design, etc... I get hooked. I sit down to watch one show, and end up watching 3+. It's crazy. 95% of the time our TV is turned on, it's either on ESPN or HGTV.

I guess what's so intriguing about it all is the fact that Kelly and I have great hopes for our house. We own a great home with plenty of room for what we need and tons of potential. When watching HGTV, we gain more ideas, and see different ways of going about changes. It probably doesn't help that in the last few months my parents have totally redone two bedrooms, and our friends Brian and Dana have renovated and done totally cool home changes this summer on their new house. From tearing down walls, to new paint, to creating an entire new back deck, it's been impressive to be at Brian & Dana's house. It definitely gives me a fever to do the same at our home. I just have to remember, ONE project at a time!

The newest project has to do with our kitchen cabinets. This will be the mother load of all projects for me, to date. Currently the cabinets are white with big and bulky black handles. I have taken one small cabinet door down and put some paint remover on it. I've only done the back of the cabinet so far, just in case we didn't find what I was hoping. What I found is a great surprise... once fully stripped down there is a very light and pure wood. It's going to be a VERY large undertaking but my goal is to strip all the cabinets and get it to the natural wood color. A blank slate to stain. Also we'll get new hardware for the cabinets, which is a much needed update.

I started this project about three weeks ago. It has been postponed for awhile because I wanted to spend time with my in-laws while they were in town, and I also knew it would get messy. So, I have no excuse to not start again this week... we're home alone again - so time to jump back into the project. I'll keep you posted as more progress is done.

Wish me luck. And Kelly too. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Brown Bootie Wully Bug

Fun story to share today. This morning after waking up, letting the dogs out, feeding them, taking a shower, and letting the dogs out again... I took advantage of some extra time to cuddle with my hubby in bed before heading to work.

I snuggled in tight to him while he slept. His arm was up, elbow cocked in a 90 degree angle above my head as I snuggled in. He was sleeping deeply, as I could hear his deep breaths. So comfortable. I continued to relax as I laid there with my hubby, even starting to doze a bit myself...

And then it happened - POW!

Kelly's elbow comes slamming down onto my head. OUCH!

My reaction and feeling his elbow hit me woke Kelly up.

I asked, "what was that?"

And in that completely dazed, I just woke up voice voice Kelly says "I just had a dream."

"About what?"

"You'll laugh if I tell you"

"Well, you just hit me, so what happened?" - I asked, already laughing.

"Well, we were in our car, and a hornet like bug was on our windshield. It has striped green body and a brown bootie. We kept trying to figure out what it was and I asked 'What is it?'. You responded, 'it's the brown bootie wully bug'. Then the bug flew at me, so I flinched"

"yeah, you did! You flinched & hit me upside the head".

We cracked up. What's a brown bootie wully bug, and WHERE did he get that from?! :) An awesome, fun way to start the morning - minus the head trauma.

Moral of the story - Watch out for the Brown Bootie Wully Bug

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My puppy has turned into the Spawn of Satan

Yeah, you read the title to this post correctly - my puppy has turned into the spawn of Satan. I'm serious?! I don't know what his deal is, but it's pretty much driving me nuts.

Usually Dexter (that's the puppy) sleeps through the night. We put him in his kennel anywhere from 10-1130pm and he barks at anytime around 6-630am when it's time to get up & get some grub.

However, a week ago & again last night, he was either taken over by a demon wanting to make me go crazy, turned into the spawn of satan, or there is another reason I'm aware of. I'm not sure which. ;) Rather than doing his normal 10something - 6something in the morning routine, he whined for almost an hour when we put him down, then woke me whining and barking throughout the night. Not a quick whine here or there, but a drawn out constant whining for 35 minutes to an hour at a time! The first time it happened I think the times were 3am, 415am, 445am, and 5am when I got out of bed to deal with him. By the 5am slot, I got back into bed and bawled my eyes out, I was SOOO TIRED, and felt absolutely helpless. I couldn't make him stop. The hubby slept through it all that first night. :) Minus the crying - apparently, my tears of frustration and exhaustion were hard enough they shook the bed and woke Kelly up, who hugged me till I passed out in pure exhaustion. That was a long night.

Yeah, well about the same happened last night too, but this time Kelly helped "deal" a time or two and I finally left the bed, went to a room across the house & closed the door to get my 45min of sleep before the alarm would go off. Wow.

What's wrong with our dog?! Kelly's theory in past has been that Dex has multiple personalities - two actually. He has one brown eye, angelic like his mother's, and one blue "bionic" eye (Kelly's word on the bionic, not mine). Well, the blue eye is from his daddy. Needless to say, sometimes he's angelic like his brown eye, and other times he's a punk like his blue eye. :)

This has just been two random extreme cases of it, but I can't handle more sleepless nights!!!

So the game plan.... deal with it, don't take him out or get up to be frustrated at him at all, ignore him all night, every night till he stops this mess. I'm on the search for earplugs so I'll have some sleep during this time of "tough love". :) He gets enough exercise. The first night it happened I had taken him on a walk/jog in the extreme heat - so he wasn't full of too much energy or anything. He's just being a freak!

Dexter is 16 weeks old, growing like crazy, and is overall GREAT. He's way too cute, so often when he does something to tick you off, you forget it within minutes, but this none sleep thing stinks. I'm ready for him to be out of the kennel at night, sleeping on the floor next to our bed, quiet and subdued till we wake up, just like his brother Kodi.

By the way Kodi is the most perfect dog ever. My hubby did a fantastic job on him as a pup, obviously, because he turned out fantastic.

The joys of puppy ownership. I take the good times with the bad, right? And love him, even when at moments he becomes the spawn of Satan. Let's hope that angelic side wins over quickly!

What LOVE means to a 4-8 year old . . .

So I'm not a FWD person. Rarely do I even really read forwards that make it to my inbox and ever more rarely do I actually send a forward on. However, my momma sent me this today, and I thought it was SUPER CUTE, and want to share:

Touching words from the mouth of babies. A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?' The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
- Rebecca- age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
- Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
- Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
- Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
- Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
- Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss."
- Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
- Bobby - age 7

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate."
- Nikka - age 6

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
- Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
- Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling... He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
- Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
- Clare - age 6

Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
- Elaine-age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
- Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
- Mary Ann - age 4

I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
- Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."
- Karen - age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."
- Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
- Jessica - age 8

And the final one, The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

Had to share, hope you enjoyed. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mondays. Why are Mondays so Monday?

We all have a discontent for Mondays... why? Because it's the beginning of a work week? Because it make our weekends end? Because it always seems to go roughly? What is it about Mondays?

Would Tuesday be like Monday if our weekends went from Friday evening through Monday, instead of Sunday? If Mondays are so Monday because of the things listed above, then wouldn't Tuesday be a Monday also? I don't know. Just saying. :)

I don't really like Mondays anymore than anyone else, but sometimes I find myself thinking "Why do I often wish Monday away". Monday is another day of the week, like any of the seven days, why do I constantly wish it away? Why don't I embrace Monday? Why don't I desire to be extra productive on Mondays, like any other day? Why not see who I can bless on Monday, when they do not like the day either? Wouldn't it be nice to find an extra cheery, loving person on a Monday, rather than another individual sulking because the weekend has ended?

I don't know... somehow I find myself often falling into the same funk when Monday rolls around. A funk that doesn't exist on Tuesday morning. Is it because we don't sleep enough on the weekend? Or because we didn't want the weekend to end? I don't want to be that way though... how cool would it be to be "different" than the rest on Monday. To be cheerful, and thankful, and loving, and patient...I think God calls me to love Mondays, not to sulk, not to begrudge the coming of Monday, but to embrace it and be different.

Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

I love the above verse. I have it taped to my desk as a daily reminder. A reminder I need more often than not. A reminder I sometimes forget. Funny things is, it doesn't say anywhere to do this "except on Mondays". I'm hoping to make next Monday not so Monday!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I could have had nightmares about the Joker - Heath Ledger was better than amazing!

We went to see Batman: The Dark Knight last night. 10:20pm showing, after a large amazing lasagna dinner by mom. Good thing it was a Friday night, I knew from the start that I'd struggle staying awake for a movie starting at that hour, especially with a full tummy. However, the movie kept my interest all the way through... so I stayed awake.

Every showing at the theater was sold out! And when I say "every movie" that really means something when the showings looked like this: 10:20, 10:50, 11:20, and 11:40, and that's just the ones after 10pm. Good thing we got our tickets two days ahead of time.

We showed up over an hour early for the 2.5 hours of Batman drama... ready to claim our spot in line and get a good seat. There we stood first in line - able to have our pick of the litter for seating, watching the other Batman fans file into line. And then we saw him... the man wearing the Joker T-shirt to the Batman/Joker movie. Kelly made the comment "wow, that's like wearing a concert t-shirt to the concert you're attending". We all chuckled at this and then Brent (one of our buddies in line with us) put us quickly back into our places - "uhhh, guys, we ARE the people first in line for this show". Ha. What he meant... "You are all dorks too."

I'm glad we made the effort to get there as early as we did, with prime seating... we watched the flick. All I have to say, well - I'll say more than this, but I want to make my point here... All I have to say is I could have had nightmares about the Joker - Heath Ledger was better than amazing!

I mean it. Each time the camera focused on the Joker alone, I found myself enthralled and creeped out, both at the same time. He was amazing. The demented nature of the character, and how they showed him to be the true villain of Batman was so well done. I give the movie and A+. Loved it. I wish Heath Ledger had not passed away, because another movie with THAT Joker in it would be awesome.

A couple nights before the arrival of Batman: The Dark Knight the History Channel ran a show about Batman and the psychology of it all. It was great... and really gave me an even better appreciation for the upcoming movie. I was a psych major in college, so anything involving social psychologist discussing things peaks my interest. The Show talked about how and why the Batman comics have continued through time. Beginning in 1939 or so, Batman has been a character that has peaked audiences' interest. From the point of Bruce Wayne losing his parents as a child, to his need to deal with the grief, to the psychology of the villains he fights - the show was great. They even talked about how one of the reasons everyone likes Batman is because he's not super human. He's not from krypton, he's not going to grow big and green when made angry, he's just a man. A man with a ethical code that is trying to make the world a better place. This is a man we can relate with, a man with tragedy in his life and still desires to help his fellow man. Check out the next time it is showing: Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight, it's worth it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why blog?

It all started yesterday, a typical Wednesday, nothing necessarily special going on at home after work and the words were spoken: "how about you write a blog?"

"I want you to write a blog"
"I think you would be good at it"

Once I realized my husband (his name is Kelly) was serious, we talked about the idea a bit. And now, 24 hours later, I type my first blog entry.

I still find myself asking "why blog?". I'm not sure I have the answer to this question. I don't agree with my hubby, I'm not sure I'll be good at this. Who would even want to read the words coming out of my head? But knowing he wants me to, is reason enough to try. We talked about a blog titles. I didn't want to start this adventure without have a worthy title and Kelly helped me decide on "Verbal Vomit". It is what it says it is... my verbal vomit. I'm not quite sure what I'll post here from day to day, week to week, but knowing myself and the randomness of my thoughts... this will often turn into verbal vomit. Some might entertain you, others might bore you. I guess only time will tell. Let's blog.