Friday, October 31, 2008

one difference

I realized something vitally different between my husband and me. When he gets in trouble, he immediately starts attacking. He launches into a diatribe about how stupid [fill in the blank] is and how he totally didn't deserve [whatever it was]. This summer he got a ticket for letting the boys ride in our trailered boat on the road back to the campsite. There proceeded a weeks-long rehash of the event, culminating in a letter of explanation submitted to the Grant County District Court that I ended up fine tuning and typing out but still was too big to fit into the space provided because he wanted to explain absolutely everything so as to make the judge see how unfair the ticket was, so I taped it on the form as a kind of flap. It ended up getting dismissed. That only fueled the machine.

He came in the door tonight and announced that he got a speeding ticket. Déjà vu.

When I get in trouble, if that had been me who got a ticket, my response totally would've been I am so stupid! How could I have let that happen?! Oh, that was so stupid!

I'm thinking it might somehow be easier to blame someone else for my blunder. Being a victim allows for indignance, righteous defense, and my pride to remain intact. Sounds like a good deal all the way around.

Just can't do it though........... I'm SO clearly at fault in my mind. I can't even think that someone else might be to blame until someone either suggests it, or I stew about it so long that some telltale sign finally falls into place so as to be completely obvious. I'm talking instances like speeding tickets, dodging jury duty, snarking sarcastic replies, bellowing clever insults, evading undesirables, all things in the RCW as well as the KJV.

This sounds so judgmental. Maybe I'm half-venting, half-judging, half-confessing...... =) I must state here that I LOVE my husband. His manner toward me 99 percent of the time is so kind, patient, loving, and caring. I just wanted to mark this difference. He might disagree with it or say it's not really accurate. Whatever--it's my blog. My view, my vent, my blog. I get it out, and then I'm over it. Just so y'know......

I have to work today. I also have to drive. I pray I will walk deep inside the Vine today so that I might not speed, dodge, snark, bellow, evade, or otherwise bring any manner of unglory to my Lord, whose smile I live for.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

while on a walk

Lord, hold me perfect.

Sing me righteous.

Dance me holy.

Whisper me strong.

Power me deep.

Rock me awake.

Vision me hopeful.

Love me real.

Carry me Home.

Salty sweet happy tears,

I pray Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

Your presence insettles

So intimate I blush.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, MyMom!

My darling mama is 70 years old today. She was 30 forever when I was growing up. When I was in college she finally turned 40, and now here she is heading into her golden years. Her health is fairly mediocre, but she still works like a horse. My dad has to kinda babsit her to make sure she doesn't keel over, which she did last week. She is now recovering from a fractured vertebrae. Oh, Mom......

I love that she still makes us laugh, loves jokes and the simple yet complicated beauty of God's earth. In that picture, we're in front of a purple clematis (long out of bloom), and she's trying to jack something out of my bag! She surrounds herself with flowers and lots of color (even in her language, ahem). Her generosity is exceeded by no one, and her love for family borders on the psychotic (I mean that in the nicest possible way =).

My prayers for my precious mom:  1) the ability to trust God implicitly; 2) peace instead of worry; and 3) the revelation of seeing herself through the eyes of the One who created her, loves her, and Who alone can care fully for her.

Love you to da moon and back, MyMom! XO

Monday, October 27, 2008

morning hair

It's definitely a Monday. My hair looks ridiculous. It's completely flat on top as if I slept ON my head last night. The phone rang at six this morning, and I knew it was for a sub assignment, so I didn't answer it. I'd have to wear a hat, and I don't have anything but baseball caps, and that's not very professional, right?

After working in some mousse, gel, a little water, and silicone spray it looks much better. I'm happy now. Only I have nowhere to go. Maybe I'll work on my makeup.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

up and down and up again

I hate it when I sabotage my own progress.

Reading Isaiah 45:2-3, I ask: Abba, will You please make my crooked places straight? Are We together leveling the mountains--or do You do the absolute totality of all the doing? Am I engaging only half-heartedly? Show me where I'm slacking, and give me the courage to hear the hard things.

The old ways tarnished the success yesterday. HE is always there, flaunting and waving that bedeviled carrot. I like it when WE win. I am sad when I cause ground recovered to then again be relinquished.

I remember the days when I hardly slept and hardly ate. I read ravenously, and You spoke often and profoundly, deep-feeding roots that You wanted broadened, strengthened, and cemented. At that time I learned "I have called you by your name, I have surnamed you, though you have not known Me. I am the Lord, and there is no one else; there is no God besides Me. I will gird and arm you, though you have not known Me." (Isaiah 45:4-5 Amp) Indeed, I did not know You as I know You now.

Always You would bring me higher and deeper. I am excited that maybe We are on the brink of another exciting adventure after such a great long span of self-inflicted desert. The anticipation of excitement though disappoints because I know that means I value highly the good feelings and memorable moments--the sensory fruits of being with You instead of simply loving the knowledge of the joy You have at just being together. Help me not to over-analyze and complicate things. Help me to enjoy the beauty of simplicity.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

MSU Parents Weekend

We got to Bozeman about 9:30 MT. A seven-hour drive from home. We forgot to factor in the hour time difference. =(

His hair's gotten long and kind of shaggy, and he grew a goatee to surprise us. When we got close to his dorm, we called him, but he didn't answer his cell phone. I called his room phone, and he didn't answer that either. I tried the dorm desk, and they hadn't seen him, but would keep trying his phone. Finally someone found him. He went to play cards and forgot to take his cell phone with him. Sorry, guys, I'm really sorry.

He seemed genuinely excited for us to be there and introduce some of his friends. We met "Bill," his roommate from China. There was also Nick, Brian, Ben, Adam, Jen, Peter................

The food service used two of the three recipes I submitted for the week before parents visited, so Ryan saved us a piece of "Triple Chocolate Fudge Zeb Cake" (after Ryan's pet freshman, my "youngest son"). It was pretty different from what I serve, gooier, with a touch of institutional taste, but it was fun to be able to see and taste it. (The other recipe was "Slap Your Face Good Blackberry Cobbler." Hey, they asked for creative names...)

The football game was against EWU, our alma mater, so that was kind of fun. We sat in the end zone in seats that weren't ours, but were conveniently up front for Kev's sake. I fretted, but no one asked us to vacate. Jylle played with her phone most of the time. We don't have free texting in our plan, so she takes pictures and renames them. During a bathroom break, I bought a cup of peanuts and asked for a second cup so I could share. The young guy accommodated me, not without questioning eyes from the older employee. She was right to question though because I used the extra to get water from the bathroom. Bottles were $2, and we're on a tight budget, so c'mon, I had to get a little creative.

EWU won, and we were off to visit the brand new fitness center. Ryan taught Jylle the basics of racquetball, which just about killed Kev who was restricted to mere verbal instruction, bah. Wish I could show them. Wish I could get down there and demonstrate how to do it!

We took Bill to dinner with us, and that was fun. He was cute, polite, witty, intelligent, and family-oriented. (I do like me some Asians...) Ryan might invite him to come for Thanksgiving, and that'd be fun for Brett as well. We recommend Famous Dave's if you're ever in Bozeman. Good food, good portions, reasonable prices, and decent service.

The president spoke at a breakfast for families on Sunday morning, and we left shortly after that. We wanted to get back in time for Jylle to make her weekly basketball clinic. The weather was beautiful all weekend, and the fall colors were glorious. Mountains and treed hills in full regalia, yellow and green peppered forests, and the bluest skies with cloud creatures everywhere, one after another for hundreds of miles--so fun! I even saw another heart-shaped cloud, only this one was winged!

My Ryan has changed even in this short time. He's more independent and confident, less reverent and careful. I hope he doesn't change too much. I like him just the way he is. If he does have to change though, I hope it's in his deeps, where change is Good and lasts forever. He's having a great college experience, meeting inspiring people, rising to invigorating challenges, and looking at the future through young eyes large with hope, and heart ready to run, climb, swim, battle, question, and fly.

Godspeed, Ryrie.

Friday, October 17, 2008

so little time, but I shall plan a flogging...

I have no business writing this post since I have more to accomplish this morning than I can manage, but it's like therapy to write, and I need a break! I'm going to flog that Jylle when I pick her up because she didn't clean anything before she left for school this morning! Aaaarrrgghhhhhh! We have some friends who are going to housesit for us this weekend, so I had to do it all. Grrrrr.... Okay, deep breath. Inhale................ exhale................... We're going to see Ryan tonight! We'll have the whole weekend together! I'm so excited!

Think I feel a little better now...

I'm still gonna flog her though.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Something's Got To Change

My current new favorite song:

"Something's Got to Change" by Josh Wilson. (Thank you, Cheryl!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


My niece, Brianna, had twins in July, and we finally got to meet them. Alan had a party at his place, and I got to hold them while he took pictures for me. Wish I had some of just them instead of with me in all of these, but it's what I have. I love how attentive they are, how they followed the camera in each shot.

Here now for your viewing please, I give you-- IVY (left) and EVE.

I have been a great aunt for 11 years, and in that time I have collected seven great-nieces and -nephews. This is the closest I've ever gotten to holding twins, and it's so cool that we're related!

From the time she was tiny and I melted into those gorgeous blue eyes, to the day she called to advise me to sit down and then sprang the news that they were going to have twins, Brianna has charmed my heart. Now she has three beautiful cherubs to charm hers (didn't forget you, Ambria =). Lord, You are. so. good.

Bless this precious family, Lord. Help these girls to grow into incredible princess-warriors whose faith and strength in Christ rocks this world for Your Kingdom. Protect them. Let them know Your nearness. Lead them surely and tenderly. XO


I watched our youth pastor's son this last weekend, and I always look forward to youth conference for this very reason. They take my teenager, and I take their toddler. He's like his father, just naturally funny. The following will mean almost nothing to anyone but me because I was there with the little voice, facial expressions, and gestures. I just wanted to remember some of it here.

Me: Make sure you don't pet the cat on his tummy because he doesn't like his tummy touched, k?

Josiah: (shocked) I like MY tummy touched!


My cousin has the movie "Chihuahua," but that's stupid... Stupid is a bad word, so I forgot.


(With wet pants after his nap) "I forgot to go potty." (I think he was afraid the dogs were in the house. There was a small wet spot right inside the bedroom door... )


Do you... do you think... do you... do you, can you... Never mind.


Do chee, cheepy yong chuppy in da safe, chooyong, speakin' Chinese, speakin' Chinese!


Me: What do you call my Jylle? (His baby sister is named after her.)

J: Big Jylle. But she likes "Fat Jylle."

Me: Who's the fattest person you know?

J: Jay Mitchell! [A man who is not at ALL fat!]

Me: Who's the tallest person you know?

J: Guido! [He's the smaller of our two dogs!]

Me: Is your mommy your best friend?

J: Yeah, but you're my bestest.

I do so adore this precious little boy. He makes me laugh, cry, pray, and enjoy the adventure of a walk through the woods. I saw again the wonders of "a beaver hole" (ground squirrel), "cool light sabers" (sticks), the thrill of climbing up and jumping off a log, and one really good, accessorized Lego hero-man. I make things so complicated. Thank You for little eyes to see the truly big things.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Past the Light

I found this among the notes in my nightstand. There's no date, but I think it's circa 2004. Sometimes writing a story helps me more than just writing out my thoughts and feelings. Wish I would've commented somewhere on it, but alas, it stands as is. I can only speculate as to what the specific circumstances were. I have a pretty good idea though.

She groped among the boulders to steady herself while she made her way along the shoreline barefoot. She could hardly discern outlines in the moonless night. The wind was stinging her cheeks and moving in more fiercely now. The water, while not terribly cold itself, made her even colder because of that merciless wind. She had to find shelter, but where? She had wandered too far from her familiar stomping grounds and had no mental inventory of this area. She was freezing, and her shorts, t-shirt and thin hoodie did almost nothing to provide any warmth, especially now that she was almost completely soaked. She muddled her way forward, trying not to slip and fall or step on something sharp.

She had done it again. She had determined she would not do it again, but here she was, in the midst of another pathetic mess, and all because of what? That blasted dragon. Always now, it was that blasted dragon.

When she'd first happened upon it, she thought it cute and fun and marveled at the novelty. It was such a delightful experience to handle it, hold it, watch it. Of course, she knew better than to spend too much time with it because she'd seen and heard all the dangers and pitfalls of befriending such a creature. No good ever came of it. Some people could maintain a healthy distance when living in fairly close proximity to a lair, but that’s where she had failed. She had not exercised self-control and gave in consistently to the desire to be near it. She could have stayed away. She should have stayed away. But she did not. That had happened so much that now she was no longer the visitor but the visited upon. It sought her out in unexpected places, and always, because of the wonder and sense of peace it seemed to give her, she would wile away the time with it, even taking it with her when it could hide in the darkness.

She thought of how she had done this to herself. Whenever she began self-pity, it was smothered by the acknowledgment that she was solely responsible for her plight. She began the relationship with the full realization of what this creature was capable of. Because of what she had sown, she was now reaping the wind.

She sloshed along slowly, one careful foot feel after another. In the distance she saw a light twinkle, and she realized she must be close to a house. Father Joshua lived on the northernmost part of the beach, so that must be his place. She continued the arduous trek, a tiny bead of hope tracing the thoughts that circled in her mind.

Father Joshua will let me stay for the night, and I’ll be safe. Someplace warm. That’s all I want right now!

Wait . . . . . . He’ll ask what I’m doing in this condition at this time of night. I can’t tell him what I’ve been doing. I’m too ashamed. He’s not a gossip, but this is a small town, and somehow these kinds of things get shouted from the rooftops. I could never do that to my family—or to myself. What could I possibly tell him?

She thought. Clever scenarios presented themselves one after another as she entertained what she might possibly offer as an explanation. Little by little, feeling a misery she was all too familiar with by now, the firefly of hope that had lit her mind just a few minutes before now quietly gasped out of existence, quenched by a knowledge as profoundly cold as her skin. The safety obvious to any other person was not ultimately safety to her. She could not concoct a story reasonable enough to satisfy this good, intelligent man. He was kind and full of grace, but this was too complicated. Her mind was muddied with fatigue and worry edging on desperation. She could not think fast or well. And she could not simply tell the truth. The fear of that was graver and more daunting than her fear of the elements.

She would continue to search for a cave among the rocks. She would be all right. She had experienced cold, hunger, and discomfort worse than this. She determined to begin anew tomorrow. Tomorrow would be another day, another start, another chance to leave behind this wretched mess of habit and start fresh. She would be glad for this night to be over and would consider the memory of it payment enough if it helped launch her into the life she knew she was meant to lead, the life she was living before she met the dragon. That blasted dragon.

In the darkness, a black smile twisted the features of a scaly, silver-green face. With seeing eyes and knowing mind, it watched the girl. Tomorrow, yes. There is always tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Note From Mae

Neck deep in my currently gritchy state, I found these notes in a letter from my dear "old soul" friend, Mae. It is my heart marinade today:

Romans 8:26-26 "Therefore the Spirit supports our weakness; for we know not rightly what we should pray for, but our own spirit itself pleads with stammering sighings; and the Searcher of our hearts sees the object of our spirit when He intercedes with God for the saints." (Fenton Version)

Isaiah 40 - Who God Is
Isaiah 53 - Cost of Redemption
Romans 8 - Christian's True Life

"If you have displayed your folly, and if you have blundered, keep still." ~Proverbs 30:32 (Ferrar Fenton Version)

Look up, the moment you feel irritation, and say, "Thy sweetness, Lord!" Take the opposite of your temptation and pray that! "Thy kindness -- gentleness -- patience -- courtesy -- calmness -- unselfishness -- Lord!, etc." But the secret is instantly.

Aren't You just so caring to give words of life to the suffocating and needy?! XO

Saturday, October 11, 2008

no sissy poem

Tired of those saccharin friendship poems mass emailed to your inbox? This one's different. Just the raw truth about  awesome friendshipdom! Kinda crude in a couple places, but it suits my current mood (don't judge me). I don't know who wrote it.

When you are sad, I will jump on the person who made you sad like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!

When you are blue, I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

When you smile, I know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.

When you're scared, we will high tail it out of here.

When you are worried, I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby.

When you are confused, I will use little words.
When you are sick, stay away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.
When you fall, I'll pick you up and dust you off. Right after I finish laughing my butt off.

Friendship is like wetting your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.

I'm tired

I'm tired. I'm not a good busy person. I'm slightly irritable, kind of gritchy overall. Sudden flair-ups of despair, occasional pain, not without some burps of joy, but I've got to get my heart on straight. Kev's surgery, taking over everything at home that Kev used to do on top of my own stuff, working all week, a weekend of watching a 3 year-old, pressing cider tomorrow, a BBQ day after that, and then maybe some down time. "I can't get a job--it takes me all day to live my life," as our darling Rosie said.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Girlfriends

I found it! I thought it was long gone in the belly of the dead computer, but I just found it! Yea! This is for all my girlfriends, past, present, and future. I toast you.

My Girlfriends

By Cyndi Mulligan ©2006

  • Girlfriends laugh, even when they don’t get it because it’s simply fun just to be together.
  • Girlfriends snuggle and cuddle and get great comfort from that closeness, and there’s nothing unnatural going on.
  • Girlfriends listen with their whole hearts even when it’s not about their own selves.
  • Girlfriends care about every little thing that’s going on in their girlfriends’ lives, and if you don’t tell them the deep stuff, they might even get their feelings hurt.
  • Girlfriends love their girlfriends’ children just like their own. And they wouldn’t mind whoopin’ on ‘em a little for ya if ya don’t wanna do it your own self, but only if they really deserve it, but by the time they tell you all about it, they don’t really want you to anymore, and really, neither do you.
  • Girlfriends take up an offense and stick up for one another even when it goes beyond reasonable and sane and for the gazillionth time.
  • Girlfriends remember the special dates, even the bad ones, and mark them on their calendars.
  • Girlfriends love looking at pictures of themselves being all together, and even if they look the best in the picture, they don’t say so.
  • Girlfriends love when one of ‘em tells how wonderful they all are, and each one knows quietly deep down inside that she is the most special to that one and the real reason that just got said.
  • Girlfriends love to eat together and don’t need a special occasion to do it. Even though it always tastes better when someone else fixes it, they are willing to actually make something their own selves for the sake of community. And just to have more stuff available for all the girlfriends to eat.
  • Girlfriends love to soak in hot water up to their chins even after their skin gets all pruney, just cuz it’s so good to all be together.
  • Girlfriends love to listen to one of ‘em read out loud to ‘em, especially if it’s a book about other girlfriends.
  • Girlfriends get under one another’s skin so deep that even after carrying one of 'em for miles and miles, they'll carry her another thousand just 'cause they can't live without her.
  • Girlfriends look the sweetest to one another after they’ve just told you they not only know about the sin you’ve just confessed and have been trying to hide, but that they love you and want you anyways and have all along.
  • Girlfriends will go to great lengths not to hurt one another’s feelings, even when it would be more helpful to everyone if they went ahead and did.
  • Girlfriends love to stay up late and talk and talk and talk before they finally pour themselves into bed. And they still look beautiful to one another when they wake up all wirey haired in the morning just cuz they love each other heartloads.
  • Girlfriends love to sit and swing and hold each other’s legs and kinda rub on ‘em a little, just to be touching, especially when there aren’t any kids around and it’s a lovely, warm day. Swinging only makes it lovelier.
  • Girlfriends don’t hate the husband one of ‘em has a legitimate complaint against and has just railed against for the last two hours, because they all know he is a man and as such, automatically may not do the right thing at the right time in the right attitude, and we all know that and have one of ‘em our own selves and understand the venting thing, so we save our hate for things like spiders and wrinkles and people who are downright mean.
  • Girlfriends love to help one of ‘em get all dolled up for a special occasion, especially when she’s not used to getting all dolled up. We are just sure that our personal touches will ensure that she is the bell of whatever ball she will be attending and that her queenliness is evident to all just because of our assistance.
  • And last, girlfriends are the most precious when they tramp through your muck with you, and you find yourself on the shore of Hope with the horizon of Joy just ahead, and you have arrived there propped up by their weary yet faithful arms, and although you are all limping some from the journey, they have loved you into your Abba’s arms, singing and dancing all the way, knowing that you will sing and dance in the end, too.

Monday, October 06, 2008

What I hate..... today.....

Since it was Official "Venting" Day, (not the exact word they used at this one site), and I'm in a gritchy mood, I'm getting these things off my chest.

I hate:

~when people don't say thank you. How easy is it to offer two one-syllable words?!

~when people don't hold the door open for you, and they're two steps in front of you. How simple would it be to just keep your hand there one lousy second longer?

~when people don't leave a message on my answering machine, but keep calling and calling as if maybe I'll pick up this time.

~dog sheesh at my mailbox. I have dogs. I walk them, and I don’t let them leave these landmines for unsuspecting people.

~finding an empty ketchup bottle in the fridge as if that was okay to file away junk. Throw it AWAY, my dears.

~fake apologies, as in I’m sorry you feel that way. Or I’m sorry you‘re mad. Admit you screwed up so I can forgive you already.

~hearing people say “RE-tard” or “You‘re so retarded.” We have millions of special needs kids. They already have a tough road. Don’t add bricks.

~yellow jackets. ‘Nuff said.

~buying fruit and finding it brown and fuzzy the next day. That’s just not fair.

~lying. Go straight to jail; do not pass Go; do not collect $200. You will work your tush off trying to earn back my trust. (Are you listening, my darling daughter?)

~meanness. There’s a buttload of hateful things out there already. Take a second and look beyond your own self before you do or say something mean. Don’t be small. Be medium. Yeah, don’t be big or small, just be medium. Meanness just plain sucks.

I might add to this if I think of more later. For now I feel better. I’m grateful for this ventage. Hmm, cool word. I think I just made it up. Fodder for another blog: What I like….. today.....