Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Christmas Story

I love this movie! If you have not seen it you need to check out A Christmas Story either on DVD or during the 24 hour marathon that TNT does on Christmas Eve.

Having grown up in the state of Indiana where the film is based I find particular humor in the subtle humor regarding pronouncing city names and other small town idiosyncrasies.

The above scene came to mind today as a friend at work brought her lunch into the office and the lid of her drink slipped causing her to spill her pop all over the desk and down her jeans to the floor. In fact a few pieces of ice slid into the hallway where I was talking to a Pastor.

"Son of a ..............Gun!" is heard from the office. The Pastor smiled and said he needed to go back to his office.

Down the hallway I mused with a coworker that it was amazing that a word or two had not slipped out.

As I walked by the office to go get my coat the "spiller" commented that she was quite surprised that she didn't say, "Oh s%^t".

I chuckled to myself thinking that she would have not gotten a timeout or, in the case of this movie, become a connoisseur of the finer soap tastes.

Anyway make time to see this movie it is hilarious.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

One of those days.....

Have you ever had one of THOSE days? It isn't like anything was particularly wrong with today it just was kind of a blah day that turned into a somewhat angry day and then a "will this ever be over" kind of day.

Today was one of those days that people in general just annoyed me.

Today I felt like some people should not be allowed to reproduce offspring.

Today I thought that maybe the use of medications in young children should be given a second look.

Today 2 grown women did a "happy dance" because a child went "poopy on the potty" 2 days in a row. We didn't have to clean up her underwear.

Today I learned how the death of a high school student can affect his friends, their families and so on.

Today I learned that a child I taught in preschool several years ago just didn't wake up one morning. He was only 10. I don't think he's in Heaven right now.

Today despite all of these things I praised God. Because He asks us to.

Today I thanked God for all the blessings in my life.

Tomorrow with the help of a friend I will start to go through the boxes that Big Red dropped off last weekend. I need the support because I have learned the hard way that you don't always know what to expect when you sort through things he has packed.

Tomorrow is a fresh day and I will go on because His mercy is new every morning. I get a brand new day to make the most of every opportunity.

Maybe I can talk the squirrel into putting down the bazooka :o)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tomorrow might start a new adventure

Unless I can come up with an internet version like the one above I will need to depend on the kindness of strangers and family until I can get a connection of my own. My Mom and Beau will be taking a crucial piece of hardware that will prohibit me from going online at home. Since I have been busy doing things like pretending to be one big happy family for Thanksgiving, shopping for her birthday presents, taking care of the issues created by a "oh by the way __fill in the blank___ will be shut off on __fill in the date__" statements and cleaning up after she comes here in a whirlwind leaving scattered messes in her wake I have not had the time to do the proper research into what type of provider I need that doesn't require a land line phone connection.


I will still be checking in and posting as often as possible. I hope to not be offline very long but who knows how long it will take to get an appointment to get things hooked up.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The big drop off

So Big Red called me earlier this weekend to make arrangements to bring over some of my things that apparently I forgot during the great escape. I was in a hurry to try to get rid of him so I didn't really look through the boxes as he unloaded them into the garage and back porch.

I should have paid closer attention.

It looks as though I will have quite a bit to sell in the big spring garage sale my Mom is planning. I did refuse one box of lace curtains that he tried to give me because I know they belong to his sister. He said everything is mine.

So my thought is if he says it is mine... it is mine to sell, donate or toss out right?

The things I am happy to get are a few family heirlooms, the freezer and a bookcase! I am so happy to have another bookcase to start taking my books out of boxes. Finally!

I have discovered the things that I do value. My books and my "kid" memories are important. I still have not located my ultrasound pictures, my memory box of the children and a few other important items.

Now I must begin the process of sorting before the next load comes over next weekend.

I continue to be amazed at how God walks me through every situation. I look back at how far I have come in the last year with God's help and I am amazed. The twins would have been 4 today. I thought about it a few times but spent my day NOT dwelling on it. Grief is a process. I handled it well this year but next year could be totally different as well. Everyone handles grief in their own way. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to grieve. Keeping the process moving is really the key. As long as you are not stuck in grief then you will eventually make progress.

Anyway back to the sorting....

Friday, November 24, 2006

So we tried something new this year...

Ahhhh The day after Thanksgiving....A day for relaxing maybe putting up a few Christmas decorations but not this year.

My lovely sister and I had a brilliant idea to go shopping at 5:00am. You see a local store had 20 inch flat screen TV's on sale for a mere $49.99. Wow what a steal! Considering the newest TV I have is approaching 8+ years old and the oldest is at least 20 years old (NO JOKE!) Today was the day.

This is the first time I have ever braved the crowds on this day...
The race was on as we pulled into the parking lot and saw people entering into the store at 4:50AM. Hmmmmm that's early. We walk across the parking lot to the sounds of a lady swearing at a driver at the top of her lungs because he "almost ran me over with that %^$@&$$ car". He wasn't even that close but back to my point...

As we enter in we see people lined up 20 deep at the cash registers. WOW! Many with our TV's in their carts. We head back to electronics only to discover our item is over by the pets and food departments. What??? That makes no sense at all to me! Alas we start the trek with myself in the lead. As I am bobbing and weaving through the crowds my lovely sister calls out somewhat laughing, "Are you sure you have never done this before!?" I glance back to see that we have a line of about 8-10 carts following our newly opened path. I shout back without thinking,"Yes I'm sure! I teach in a daycare and we are just having a fire drill practice!" OK we aren't really having a field trip on this day but that's what I felt like as I looked behind me.

So we each get our TV's and we go wait in the line to check out. People are really not being that bad. For the most part people are almost being polite.

Then we left that store.

At the next store people were a little more lively to say the least. I managed to get the last piece jewelry to complete the set I had in my hand but it had no bar code sticker on it. Uh oh. I searched in vain for the same item but with the needed information and it could not be found. Off I went to the cash register to wait in line with my trusted little ad in my hand proving the amount. Things got ugly behind me as the people griped and grumbled and complained because I was taking so long. The first price they came up with was over double what I intended on paying for it. They continued looking for a price and UPC number while the snide comments continued to roll forward like hot lava from a volcano. The highlight was when one lady said something to the effect of, "You could have run back and gotten a different one for as long as this one is taking!" I somewhat politely said no this is the last one like this. This was followed by more rude comments at which point I was no longer being polite and pushing the being civil envelope right to the edge.

No need for bail money. I was however very happy to get back in the car and go on about my day.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

New traditions??

So we were required (no it was not optional for the folks in our half of the family) to participate in a "traditional" Thanksgiving family dinner today with my Mom, Beau, and ALL the step siblings, their children and so on. I am still processing the event itself so for now all you get is the bullet points:
  • Many members of his family didn't show up or where not expected until 4 hours after the dinner.
  • Just because you marry someone and throw their family in a room with your family doesn't make us all one big happy family. Did you follow that?
  • Relationships grow with time. And the BIG issues should be given a "heads up" notice in private so as to not offend anyone involved with jokes or icebreakers.
  • We all have family traditions that are important to us.
  • If you blend your family with another when you have adult children it is nice to include them in the changes that will be happening before they show up.
  • It would also be nice to include traditions from both sides of the family rather than just starting over and making all new traditions.
  • When someone asks a question about the menu don't make fun of them or tell them they are wrong about what we have eaten for the last 7 years.
Christmas should be to say the least...

I have already been told I am required to celebrate it twice with my Mom and Beau...Long story don't ask yet....

Monday, November 20, 2006

Is there a 12 step program for this?

It seems that I am in need of a new type of 12 step program...I can't stop watching these darn celebrities on this site. I just go from one season to another without much thought. The thing is that I really don't care about what scores points, who scores points or what the points are for...I just NEED THE POINTS!

This has brought out a little competitive streak that I have not seen in a long time. It irks me to no end that my sister beat me so horribly this last round. By almost 30 points I believe.

So we had our mission report to the church tonight. Basically anyone interested in hearing of the trip was invited to come and watch a video, hear us speak and enjoy some of the things we did.

Again I say I will never be the same...Maybe I can update a little more on the trip tomorrow.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Blessing of the Thorns

I do not know who wrote this as it came to me in an email several years ago after I had lost my twins. They would have been 4 years old on this coming November 26th. This is the first year that I have been able to celebrate Thanksgiving without that date being heavily on my mind.

Maybe you are not ready for the thorns but maybe you are about to be....

The Blessing Of Thorns
Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease. During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose annual holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come. What’s worse, Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder. "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" She wondered aloud. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" The shop clerk's approach startled her.
"I... I need an arrangement, "stammered Sandra. "For Thanksgiving?
Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving Special?" asked the shop clerk. "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this
> Thanksgiving?”
"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong." Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."
Then the door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi Barbara...let me get your order." She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped...there were no flowers. "Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.
Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers!?! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed. "Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile.
"You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again,” she said as she gently tapped her chest. "Uhh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uhh... she just left with no flowers!"
"Right... I cut off the flowers. That's the Special... I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.”
"Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that?" exclaimed Sandra.
"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling very much like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery." "That same year I had lost my husband, "continued the clerk," and for the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel.
"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.
"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for good things in life and never thought to ask Him why those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others." Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God." Just then someone else walked in the shop.

"Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement... twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.
"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?”

"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks to Him for what that problem taught us." As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"
"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.
"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."
"Thank you. What do I owe you?" asked Sandra.
"Nothing." said the clerk. “Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra.
"I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you'd like to read it first."
It read:
"Dear God, I have never thanked you for my thorns. I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that have climbed closer to you along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of your rainbow look much more brilliant."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Banana trees and Jucci patties

The bananas in the grocery store just don't taste the same after you have had one that has been picked off the tree in your backyard. I have never been a real big fruit eater (I have however dated many fruits but that is another post) but while in Jamaica we were at the mercy of what the cook at the children's home decided to serve us. All the fruit down there seem to be sweeter. I even liked the fresh pineapple.

I bought bananas when I came back to my "House of no food". You see while I was gone Mom and Beau came down to "sort through some clothes and stuff to take back to the other house". I was assured none of my possessions would be altered or taken. You see I don't like change. It is partially a control issue having to do with times in my childhood when I had absolutely no control. Not many people do like change BUT for me it causes actual physical effects. I start to get agitated, start sweating, get a headache and my heart beats really hard. This lasts usually until I can take an hour or so to "explore" the changes that were made without me.

Anyway back to the "House of no food"~~~

I came home Sunday afternoon please note that I was supposed to arrive home Saturday Night but due to delays and other circumstances (beyond my control) I ended up spending the night in Atlanta before catching yet another flight home. I walked in to find the living room absolutely spotless....Great you might say until you learn that I could not find my file folder of bills due for 3 days, I am still missing a few of my knickknack type items but I am pretty sure she took those too.

I was tired. The kind of tired where you could sleep for days with no problem. I drop the one piece of luggage that came with me (the rest arrived at 2:00AM when the airport people rang my doorbell to deliver it) and stumbled to my room only to find things piled on my bed. If they couldn't find a spot for it it went on my bed...even the stuff that belonged to my Mom last May but now she has forgotten she owned.


I'll catch a nap on the couch...stumble to the kitchen to grab a hot cup of coffee (yes I know this is a new has to be flavored coffee but I am addicted) but I open the fridge to find...nothing. Well it had some things but not what I had left...a pitcher of koolaid, a few Pepsi's (I had a case before I left), a few packets of Jelly, Dr. Phil weight loss drinks (I have no idea where these came from but it had better NOT have been a hint from Mom), a half jar of Mayo, a 6 lb 13 oz can of tapioca pudding and batteries in the drawer.


I open the cabinets to find all of the boxed prepared food (OK so I am not a gourmet chef) gone as well. No dishes, no paper plates, DVD player gone, VCR gone, MY plant gone, blankets in the living room that I had made ... poof! gone, trash bags, zip lock bags, Hot chocolate, pots and pans, even the blankets I used on the back of the couch to stay warm... gone.

I cried.

I called Mom and she insisted she thought it was all hers. A few points here:
  1. She taught me how to "cook" doesn't it make sense that we would buy some of the same foods.
  2. Did she really think the butter in the fridge was left over from May?
  3. She thought I had dishes to use...I was scheduled to arrive home at 10:15 at night...sure let me go unpack the boxes in the garage and wash all those dishes so that I can have breakfast ...oh wait she took all that stuff too!
  4. Blankets are stored on the back porch...the non heated back porch where I needed to go search through tubs to find as I FROZE because it is 30 degrees here and 102 degrees when I went into the airport in Jamaica.
Anyway....Now that it off my chest.....

The other thing I fell in love with in Jamaica is Beef Jucci Patties. These are not really patties like we think of them here. They are more like hot pocket type products but with Jamaican flavored beef (yes cow not goat) inside. The bread on the outside in SOOOOOOOOOO good! Unfortunately I have not been able to find them in any of our local international food shops here in our fair city. I have located them in Indy and Chicago...but I'm tired of traveling at this point.

IF anyone knows where I can purchase them in Fort Wayne or a web address that will allow me to order them online and have them delivered I would be VERY grateful.

Since I have to restock the kitchen anyway I might as well make it with food I love....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My view

This is the view I had on several nights during my trip. This is the sun setting over the mountains behind the children's home I stayed at. While I was there I was reminded daily about the glory of God. His wondrous creations in nature are evident everywhere you look. From the mountains, the flowers, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets (and even the darn little bugs that have decided to plague me still with the haunting bites) I was in awe of the creativity and might of God.

It reminded me that yes God did create the universe. No I did not come from Monkeys. And as it says in:

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. (NIV)

Job 1-6 Job now resumed his response: "Oh, how I long for the good old days, when God took such very good care of me.He always held a lamp before me and I walked through the dark by its light. Oh, how I miss those golden years when God's friendship graced my home, When the Mighty One was still by my side and my children were all around me, When everything was going my way, and nothing seemed too difficult. (The Message)

God calls me His friend...Wow the Creator of the universe is my friend. The same One who made the mountains and oceans is my friend...

That is hard to even wrap your mind around...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Dear Sister of Mine!

As I have recently returned from the land of Blue Mountain coffee beans you have a bag waiting for you as soon as we can connect our schedules long enough to make the transfer.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More pictures from Jamaica...

This is a typical house in Jamaica. Most do not have screens on the windows. Many homes do not have electricity or running water. Yet we knew people lived there because candles would illuminate the night and we would see them coming and going throughout the day. I never saw a lawnmower being used but I did see many homes with goats tied in the yard eating grass.

This is a picture of the entertainment center that my friend and I designed and built. The dimensions, cutting the wood, hammering and screwing them together only took a day and a half. We had to complete a few odds and ends projects during that time as well BUT midway through the second day the shelves were ready to be sealed with shellac. I had no idea that the two of us could complete it and make it sturdy but everyone else on the team had no doubt.

I cried when we finished it. I have been told for so long now that what I did wasn't good enough, I didn't do it right and that I was incompetent that when it was finished I was overwhelmed. The biggest thing God taught me on this trip is that I can do anything I set my mind to. I got my self confidence back!
Here is a picture of another project we built. This is an end table in one of the girl's room. In the background you can see the freshly painted walls and the new bedspread as well.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A few pictures for now...

It is truly a beautiful country. It took us 2 and 1/2 hours to travel 50 miles because we had to wind through the mountains on roads that can barely be called that. The clouds can literally be touched in the mornings as the sun rises in the mountains.

What a great day we had on our fun day visiting the waterfalls. This was after we had worked all week completing all the projects we had planned plus a few extra ones.

I will never again complain about gas prices here in the US. Ok so it is in Jamaican dollars and the price is for a liter of gas but it is still almost $3.00 a gallon once you do the conversions. Did you notice the dog in the bottom of the picture? Dogs are as common as squirrels are here. They are wild and are not really ever seen as pets. The garbage that lays in the streets is where they find food and shelter.

Houses scattered among the hills of Jamaica.

I'll never be the same

I will have many pictures to share and stories to tell soon. For now I can tell you that I will never be the same person ever again. Because of an airport mishap and delays etc instead of coming home Saturday night I spent too much time in airports and arrived home on Sunday afternoon minus my luggage and slept until almost 11am this morning. More to come soon...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Play nice for awhile....

Ok now I am trusting you all to play nice until I get back. I will be back in blog world around the 12th provided I am not sleeping the day away. I know this may be difficult for some of you so I have painstakingly pulled together some of the best distractions on the web so here you go:

Here is a fun little game where you can make your own sledding hill to send your person to their certain doom.

This one is a chance to design and make your own snowflake complete with a personal message to send off.

Oh and one of those thinking games can be found here.

Like the movie Message in a Bottle? Try this site to create your own.

Here is a little sample of the Jamaican music I will be hearing as you read this. Or this one is a traditional dance.

Here is a place to let your creativity run wild...well sort of.

Ok try to keep the place clean while I am gone and don't forget to come by and feed the monkey.

And anyone who would like to pray for me...that would be much appreciated.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Not sure what to make of this...

So I just got done removing a post from November of 2005. I am not a big fan of editing my thoughts and feelings but when faced with removal of my post and a possible lawsuit I feel like I must comply. I received an email today from blogger stating that they had received a complaint that I allegedly infringed on the copyrights of others.

I have received in an email most likely 25 times a poem called "In my Dash". <--Please see the fact that credit is given to this person and that I have not published anything other than the title and a link to the site.

No where on any of these emails does it list an author's name, author unknown or anything like that. I believed it to be a touching poem that was making the rounds on the net. I have removed the poem in it's entirety from my website. But I did a search for other sites with this poem and found these...Make sure to read the comments on this one and for a complete list check out this page.

I guess I would like to take this opportunity to ask if someone has a problem with something on my site to please click on my profile to gain access to an email address to contact me personally. If I would have been contacted I would have taken it down or given the proper credit to the Author. If anyone has spent much time on this site they will now know that I am not a person to intentionally violate the law.

But who knows I may have violated the law by publishing links to the other people's site with the poem as well....If so I will remove this one as well.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quick little post...

Neat little meme but the answers can only be two words!

1. Explain what ended your last relationship?

His adultery
2. When was the last time you shaved?
Last Saturday
3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Refereeing children
4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
reading blogs
5. Are you any good at math?
tested out
6. Your prom night?
Drunken blur
7. Do you have any famous ancestors?
Sam Houston
8. Have you had to take a loan out for school?
Paid off
9. Do you know the words to the song on your myspace profile?
MySpace stinks
10. Last thing received in the mail?
Jamaica Instructions
11. How many different beverages have you had today?
Pepsi Milk
12. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machines?
Voice Mail
13. Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
Warrant Poison
14. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
Too White
15. What's the most painful dental procedure you've had?
Braces smashed
16. What is out your back door?
Car Garage
17. Any plans for Friday night?
Packing luggage
18. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
Don't care.
19. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
Teacher standard
20. Have you ever been to a planetarium?
Yes sleep
21. Do you re-use towels after you shower?
Yes Duh!
22. Some things you are excited about?
Jamaica Heaven
23. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO?
Cherry Grape
24. Describe your keychain(s)
Crosses Superman
25. Where do you keep your change?
Coke Bottle
26. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
Training meeting
27. What kind of winter coat do you own?
Land's End
28. What was the weather like on your graduation day?
Hot swam
29. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
open cat