Dashing Hopes and Dreams: Another One of a Mother's Callings.

The eldest member of the offspring feels the need to be famous.

Apparently his future is mapped out to not only include being a world-renowned endangered animal rescuer, but also juggling a full 365-days-a-year concert tour and starring in his own Disney Channel hit television show.

I nod my head and smile.  Because I believe in supporting dreams.  Especially the dreams that will support me when I'm one foot in the old lady swim aerobics' class at the Y.

But all good things must come to an end.

And today it ended.

I dashed every hope and dream of fame that had ever entered that poor boy's noggin.

Hey, mom, how do I get to be famous?

Well, dude, what kind of famous are you talking about?

You know.  Movie and television famous.

Well, hon, most of all of the agents and auditions that you would need to go through are in Hollywood or New York.  And we're a long ways from there.

Can't you take me there?  We could live there.

Uh. No.  It doesn't work like that.

What about Arkansas?  Don't famous kids come from Arkansas?

Um....nope.  Not so much.

And with that I earned the Mother of the Year Award for being the complete opposite of that whole "You can be whatever you want to be, honey" thing. 

There's still animal rescuing.
Because that will get me my condo in Boca right next to the shuffleboard courts, for sure.

Oh brother.


The Post In Which I Sound Morbidly Depressed, But Really I'm Perfectly Fine

1.  I hate basketball.  I don't even like to watch my own children play basketball, let alone a bunch of smelly sweaty young twenty-somethings that I don't know and who hog my television time.  I actually think that I might be a basketball bigot of sorts.  Because I have no problem when other sporting events finagle their way into my PrimeTime viewing slots...but basketball?  Well, March Madness takes me to my mad ugly place.

2.  But, because I do enjoy Cinderella stories and because I don't live under a rock, I'll say GO BUTLER!
But I'm still not happy about it.

3.  I haven't done our taxes yet.  I'm thinking I should probably get right on that.  But the only consolation I have to my heavy-duty procrastination is that Kirk and I will just be spending our refund check while the rest of you folks have already kissed yours goodbye. 

4.  Nope.  Nevermind.  Not much of a consolation.  Because I still have to do them and you're already finished.  Blech.

5.  I slipped the gym my sanity as I slipped them a check for the Boot Camp that starts this evening.  Now I'm wondering why exactly I felt like it was a good idea for me to actually pay money for two trainers to stand over me and inform me of what I already know:  "You can't do a push-up."  "You can't do a sit-up."  "You can't run worth a flip." 

6.  I'm terrified of #5.  Like going to puke in the middle of the field terrified.  Good times.

7.  Last night our family watched Discovery's new series Life.  Have you seen it?  Aside from all the typical "the world's been around for 345,675,934,205,175,485 years" and "we all come from plankton" snippets, the show is actually very very good.  Although I am rethinking letting the boys watch it or any other Discovery/Animal Planet show ever ever again.  My whole outlook on those shows changed last night when I was asked what "sperm" was.  Disney Channel anyone?

8.  Rascal Academy declared today an extension of our Spring Break because the head teacher was suffering from a fever.  And the only cure for Spring Fever is a picnic/playdate at the park.  (It's in our school handbook...scout's honor.) 

9.  While out at the park, I as a very forward thinking woman and mother we dabbled in political correctness and tolerance.  The boys were playing around on the play-set and I heard, "Hey, Gay-man, come here."  Say, what?  "Hey, Gay-man!"  My ears doth deceiveth me.  What did he say?  "Hey, Gay-man, come here."  Oh, dear.  Time for an intervention.  So I march over to the play-set and call the culprit down.  "Please don't call your brother that.  It isn't a name that we are going to call people."   "Why?  What's wrong with GaME-man, Mom?" 

10.  Note to self:  Work on enunciation of the letter M.

That's all.


Honey, I'm Home

The husband has now been off of work for five days.

And we haven't done anything.

Which is so incredibly weird for us.

Usually if he's off of work for vacation time, then we are traveling. Sleeping in different beds. Eating different food. Packing on the miles to Ye Ole Red Bombe.

But during these five days, the only time that any of us left our premises was to go to a baseball practice, to Wal-Mart, and to the Farm Store. Oh..and the one time that the husband got called to work at 3:00 in the morning in the middle of his vacation. But that's a sore subject. We're not to discuss it. Ahem.

We've played outside a lot.

We've worked outside a lot.

We've worked on the remodel a lot.

We've watched a lot of television. Some mindless. Some not. (Like that documentary on medieval torture devices...which I'm pretty sure the husband was watching with thoughts of that whole 3:00 a.m. work call thing.)

We've played lots of board games.

But, really, that's about it.

No laundry. No cleaning. No extreme cooking (oh, wait...I don't do that anyway.) No taking the trash out.

The house in a word: GROSS.

Why? I mean, I've been home all.week. With no school to worry about and lots and lots of hours to tend with. So why in the world isn't everything shined and polished and spotless?

I have a theory.


I can.not.clean.when.he's.here.

I just can't.

And it's not that I'm all huddled up on him. He could be outside mowing and I am physically unable to lift a broom or dust rag. His presence in the vicinity renders me absolutely helpless when it comes to my regular chores.

So what do I do?

Spend all of my time helping him clean his stuff. (He and I have a deal: I get the inside of the house; he gets all of the outside junk important matters.) I've cleaned out flowerbeds....his job. I've cleaned up the yard....his job. I've helped him work on the batting cage...his job. I've painted stuff....his job.

And yet Mt. Washmore is growing legs in my laundry room. I've had to rewash the same load of laundry 3 times because I keep letting it sour. There are critters growing in our toilets. And it is advisable to not walk barefooted across our floor...something might reach up and grab ya.

I've discussed my theory with some of my peeps and they have the same trouble.

What about you? And what do you do about it?

Because I need to figure this out...or I need to start praying heavily now over retirement.


Feeding the Fellas

This morning I made scrambled eggs for the family.  I used an entire carton of 18 eggs.  18 eggs!

I make 3 boxes of Hamburger Helper at a time.  And there aren't leftovers.

Spaghetti takes 3 lbs. of ground beef and one of those Minnesota sized boxes of noodles.

A whole box of cereal...gone in a day.

A bag of chips or tube of Pringles?  Gone with one lunch.

Grilled cheese sandwiches for the family take one loaf of bread and an entire package of 24 slice cheese.

3 gallons of milk sit in my refrigerator at all times.

A box of fruit snacks?  Fuhgetaboudit.  Gone in an hour.

One box of fishsticks...doesn't make it past one meal.  Sometimes have to bust open a second box.  You think I'm kidding.

Entire box of pancake mix for one breakfast.  Add an entire bottle of syrup.


And the oldest one only weighs 70 pounds. 

Heaven help us when we have an 18 year old, a 16 year old, and a 14 year old in the house.  My checkbook is already nervous.



I am definitely a wavy kind of person.  In every way except with my hair.  My hair is just wonky.  Nothing close to wavy.

But back to wavy.

Because I do things in waves. 

My hobbies come and go in waves.  My cooking. Waves.  My want-to to stay up on housework.  Waves.  My want-to to do nothing but practice slothdom.  Waves.  Reading.  Waves.  Interneting.  Waves. 

Keeping track of my camera.  Waves.

Seriously.  I can go months on end without even so much as unzipping the camera bag.  And then there are other times that I keep my camera with me and photograph ever millisecond of my day, not wanting to miss an ounce of it.

Today was one of those days.  When the waves were high and rolling.

Spring Break started for Rascal Academy today.  The husband is off of work for the week, and we spent the whole day frolicking in the sunshine together.  We played a rousing game of backyard baseball in which Tate and I whooped up on the bigger boys.  *Woot!Woot!*  We got our ground ready for our garden.  We blew some bubbles into the blue sky.  And we all came in with pink cheeks and shoulders from the Spring sunshine.  It was blissful.  Really.

And thankfully it was a good-wavy day.  And the camera was with me.  All day.  And I was able to capture this.....

Spring is here.
And my happiness about that ain't waving.

But my thought-process regarding posting this particular picture of myself might actually wave around the other way.  Tomorrow I will wonder why I did that. 

Oh well. 


It's how I...well...roll.


Eight Rascally Years With Sawyer

It's you I like
It's not the things you wear,
It's not the way you do your hair,
But it's you I like.

The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you,
Not the things that hide you
Not your toys -- they're just beside you.

But it's you I like.
Every part of you --
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you'll remember
Even when you're feeling blue
That it's you I like, it's you,
It's you.  It's you I like.

-- Mr. Fred Rogers --

Happy 8th Birthday, SawDog.
Our lives wouldn't be the same without you.


So, Amber...What's Been Going On Lately That Is Affecting Your Cardiac Health?

Oh, I'm so glad you asked.

Here's the culprit:

That blasted four-wheeler that the husband built himself.  You heard me...he built that.

We can digress for just a second and discuss how amazed I am that he can construct something that actually runs/moves/and has more than a dozen pieces withOUT directions, because I struggle with a simple recipe on the back of a box (you know...the gourmet variations of already boxed food -- about as wild as I get in the kitchen). 

Needless to say...that thing is his baby

And for some reason, the husband has determined that the children were responsible enough citizens to take possession of the wheel, and so they have taken to cruising through our hay fields in the baby

I'm not especially fond of this arrangement, but there just comes a time when you have to pick your battles, and I had begun to decide that my aversions were probably just city/jungle girl hangups, and that I needed to release my babies to the inner workings of the redneck lifestyle.

So Tuesday wasn't much different.  The husband was at work, our school work was finished for the day, and Keaton came in flashing his pitiful face begging to call dad to see if he could ride the four-wheeler.

Please say no.  Please say no.

Ugh.  He said yes.

So I head out in full pajama glory and sans shoes to take my position on the back deck to watch them do their thing.

First Keaton zooms through the hay with Tate. 

Weeeee.  This is fun.

I give the motion to switch partners....I want to get back inside. 

Sawyer takes the passenger side and off they go. 

Zoooom... Wind blowing through their overdue-to-see-the-barber hair.

Around and around they go. 

I give the motion for one more lap.  It's time for mama's nap.

And then I saw it.

As they were making their turn around the patch of trees in the middle of the field that is their turn-around, I saw the two driver-side wheels lift up.

This cannot be happening.

(Insert a sundry of onomatopoeia here such as CRASH. BOOM. And other wreck-related noises.)

(Insert full our panicky scream and look of terror.)

(Insert me running full blast in my jammies and no shoes across the prickly hay field.)

(Insert more screaming.  And more onomatopoeia.)

Turns out the boys were fine.  Praise the Lord.  The baby wasn't as lucky.

I guess in all of Keaton's inexperience as a driver (ahem) he hadn't ever realized the consequences of turning super sharp corners while maintaining full speed.  The four-wheeler rolled a couple of times (Praise Jesus for roll bars) and then landed on its side.  Sawyer was thrown from the four-wheeler and face-planted in the middle of the hay, and since Keaton stayed in the vehicle, he landed on the ground when the four-wheeler did.

Um....Heart Attack much?

I don't know that I have ever been so frightened in all my life.  The reality of what could have happened that day has kept chills shivering up my spine for 2 days now.  In a matter of seconds, our lives could have been forever changed.

Still brings tears to my eyes and my knees to the ground in thanksgiving to the One who offers protection.

Jesus is obviously not finished with those two boys yet. 

Epilogue to the Drama:  The husband came home and wept over his baby.  The boys are now terrified to go anywhere near the baby.  And the husband and I are both content with that arrangement.



I'm playing Gretchen's Gladdie game this week, because I have so much to be gladdified for, and because I lurve me some fodder for bloggy block days such as these.

1.  I'm so very glad for the way that God brought us through the trenches that were last week with Sawyer.  I feel completely redundant and like a broken record, but I'm just so thankful for answered prayers and miracles and for so many people in our corner.

2.  I'm glad that baseball season is here.  Our family lives, breathes, and sleeps baseball, so it is always so much fun when the season finally arrives.  I love the smell of ballparks, the piles of dirty uniforms in my laundry room, and the endless hours of fence-climbing and voice-losing. 

3.  I'm exceptionally glad that Keaton was blessed with an amazing coach.  Most of the time, the husband coaches the boys' teams, but this year the timing didn't work out.  The husband is coaching Sawyer and Tate's team, but couldn't manage Keaton's, too.  We prayed many a prayer over his coach that he would be one that loved Jesus and loved the boys.  And we are so blessed to find out that Mr. Picture Perfect is Keaton's head coach!!  WAHOO!!!

4.  I'm so glad that Spring finally decided to show her face.  As much as I love the winter, I was getting tired of the permanent goosebumps.  So ready to get this party started with suntans and flowers and green grass.
I could do without the bugs and the allergies, but I'm willing to overlook it for a bit.

5.  So very very glad that American Idol is finally on to the big stage.  I can tolerate the auditions and Hollywood week and the little stage for only so long...and then it's just time to get.on.with.it.

6.  Glad that the in-laws are coming to spend the weekend with us to celebrate Sawyer's birthday.  My house is a wreck and my schedule is packed this week, but I'm still teetering over on the edge of excited that they're coming! 

7.  So ecstatically glad that Jim-Dad is back from his trip to Israel and that he had a fabulous time.  You can read all about his journey here.  But have a tissue ready...just sayin'.

8.  Thrilled beyond glad that my husband isn't one that fusses about a messy house.  Don't get me wrong...I want so badly to provide a clean and peaceful home for him to come home to, but am blessed that I don't feel stress when it's not.  I'm a lucky gal.  And right now, I'm a VERY lucky gal...if you catch my drift.

9.  Very glad for friends that do things that they don't have to do just because they want to. 

10.  So very very glad for certain pharmaceuticals that allow me to keep my sanity on days such as this when attempting to educate my children would most likely have ended in some sort of bodily harm had it not been for said drugs. 

What are you Gladdified about??  Tell me.  Tell me.


Wanna Know Something?????

My God is freakin' amazing.

Know how I know?

Because there is this person running around my house like a banshee.  He's fighting with his brothers and dog-piling his daddy.  He's watching too much Spongebob and not brushing his teeth when I tell him to.  He isn't putting his dirty clothes in the laundry room, and he spent yesterday afternoon in trouble for pinching his little brother because he didn't make the first putt with the toy golf clubs.  He's knocking the pictures off my walls by throwing balls in the house, and when he cleaned his room yesterday he just stuffed everything under his bed.  And today he threw a Montana-sized fit over doing 4 math problems.

And my God is freakin' amazing for every last second of it.

My sweet friends, a miracle has taken place.  I'm sure that someone will try to explain it away with medicine.  And diagnoses.  And science.

But I choose to just praise Jesus.

Because my redheaded ragamuffin is as ornery as ever.

And I wouldn't trade a second of it for all the quiet moments in the world.


Just a brief update:  Sawyer is doing UH.MAZE.ING.  He even was cleared by his doctor to play in his baseball tournament on Saturday.  SawDog played 3 games and rocked it.  He's a champion, for sure.  We will be going to Children's Hospital this Thursday for an appointment with his neurologist, and we are just trusting Jesus for more good news and an excellent prognosis!  Thanks again for your prayers!  Oh how they were heard!


Good Stuff. Good Good Stuff.

I've walked through many seasons of my life.

Seasons of intense faith with eyes fixed forward on The Word. 
Seasons of valleys that were narrow.  And hard.  And cold.  And dark.  With a blindfold the whole way.
Seasons of middle ground.  No mountaintops.  No crevices.  Just middle ground.  Me and God.  Doing our thing.

But let me just tell you that I have been hurled head first into unknown territory this past week.

I've never been surrounded by so many prayer warriors in my life.  Let me rephrase:  I've never been surrounded by so many prayer warriors that were praying for me and for my family.

Up until now my walk with my Jesus has been just that:  MY walk.  A walk that Jesus and I shared together and we would sometimes involve the husband or a friend here and there or my family.  But never has my walk with Jesus been joined by heaps and mounds of Jesus-lovin' folks.

Our church family has extended their love to our family like nothing we've ever experienced before.  Our friends are genuinely concerned, not just Lee-Press-On-Nails concerned.  And the knowledge that there are people on every corner of this globe praying for our precious Sawyer through this blog and some of my other web-related connections is enough to make me do the ugly cry.

I stand of awe of my Precious Jesus.  He's healing my redheaded rascal, without a doubt, because we asked Him to.  Because YOU asked Him to. 

He is Jehovah Rapha!  The God Who Heals!

And my socks are blessed off that you walked this road with us and are able to be a part of such an amazing miracle.

Thank You isn't enough for what your prayers and thoughts have meant to us. 

I'm praying heaps and mounds of blessings are dumped all over your noggins, my sweet friends.


Update on Sawyer: 
~~ Our little man had a really good night last night.  He responded fabulously to the new pain medications that the doctor prescribed, and he was able to rest peacefully and comfortably.  Today the mobility in his neck has increased ten-fold and continues to show vast signs of improvement.  We are just beside ourselves with the evidence of healing miracles!



Today is the day that the tears are here.

I've held it in all week....and now the dam has burst.  I've been dreading this day.

I've been waiting to put a post up about what our lives have revolved around for the past 5 days, not because it was some huge secret, but because I was still just trying to process what all has happened. 

I'm not going to go into laborious detail here, basically because I don't know what to say.  It's a lot of detail and big words, and right now I'm just tired.

Here's the nutshell:

Sawyer sustained a neck injury while playing soccer last Saturday morning. Since then we have been through x-rays, a CT Scan, and an MRI. 

Again, I'm trying to not go into a huge amount of detail here, but basically the results are good news.  There is nothing life threatening, which we praise Jesus for, but the tests have showed that Sawyer has a condition that is most likely the source.

Sawyer is, however, in a significant amount of pain, and right now there is nothing to do be done about the pain except medication.

We are awaiting an appointment with a neurologist so that he can evaluate Sawyer's condition and advise us as to what the next step is. 

The waiting game is the hardest.

My baby wants to do nothing but lay in bed.  He struggles with any kind of movement that requires strain of his neck, and our nights are filled with endless sobs.  His normal 7 year old self should be out practicing baseball with his team today or helping his brothers work on the fort in the woods, but instead he is home struggling to even get out of the bed to use the restroom.

I'm struggling with perspective.  I'm so grateful for the knowledge that Sawyer is safe; that his life isn't in jeopardy; and that, most likely, our son will return to his old self.  But I know that there are parents that are saying goodbye to their babies today; that are watching their children slip away.  And so I struggle.  I know that it could be worse.  Much worse.  But when I see Sawyer scream in pain, it feels like the end of the world to me.

My emotions are high.  I'm physically and emotionally drained.  And the tears won't stop today. 

If we come to your mind, please say a prayer for Sawyer.  And for urgency on the doctors' part.  And for peace for the rest of us.

We're trying to stay strong for Sawyer.

But right now, Sawyer is the one staying strong for all of us.

He's amazing, that kid. 


Flobby Bay

I am not a cook.

I am a professional box opener.  And dumper-in-er. 

I also have mastered the art of the can opener.  Sadly the only time that my family has consumed fresh veggies is...well....uh....never.  But I'm sure that they were fresh when they were canned. 

I do make some stuff from scratch, however....like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  And hamburgers.  And eggs.

Just call me Flobby Bay.

I stand in awe of folks who can cook without the use of boxes and packets of highly processed powdery substances.  And I stand in even bigger awe of folks who can get their children to eat food that doesn't come out of boxes and packets of highly processed powdery substances. 

*Before you tell me, I totally get that I'm not furnishing my offspring with proper nourishment, but we're coming to terms with it.  Thus the reason for the Lightning McQueen vitamins that we munch on every morning with our Cap'n Crunch.*

So although I know nothing about braising and mincing and sauteing, I am, however, fluent in boiling, frying, grilling, baking, and "cutting up."  And I'm secure in my primitive boxhood. 

Ain't no shame here.

Because I've decided that I tip-toe on the edge of crazy just a bit.  I might not flambe geese or anything, but I know how to shake things up in the kitchen.

Hang on to your Kiss the Cook aprons....because.....


Scandalous, right?  I know.

I don't wait for the water to boil before dumping in the noodles.
I never measure the milk and butter for mac-n-cheese.
I boil the noodles separately from the meat when making Hamburger Helper.
I dump-n-pour the Minute Rice until it looks right because then I don't have to wash the measuring cups.
I don't add a full can of water to Chicken Noodle Soup.

Can anyone else spell R.E.B.E.L.L.I.O.U.S. S.P.I.R.I.T.??

You scoff at my James Dean-edness?

Go ahead.  Laugh.  But I bet you are one of THOSE PEOPLE.  One of those package direction follower people.  When it says "2 cups of water" -- you add and pour little spurts of H2O until it comes right.to.the.line.  When it says "boil water" -- it has never crossed your mind to not let it boil.  When it says "450*" -- you have never punched in 451*.  Nope.  Not you.  You, rule follower, you.

So this is what I've concluded....

Although being a dumper-in-er speaks volumes about my lack of culinary expertise, it also points straight to the heart of my personality. 

I'm a natural rebel.  A rule-breaker.  A limit-pusher.  If there is a line, I'm going to cross it....or at least stare at it for a very long time.

But I've found that my well-behaved friends....the ones who let their water boil before dumping in the noodles....are born rule-followers.  It makes them nervous to go in the "out" door.  They drink a full 8 oz. of water with their medications, and they remember to take their contacts out at night.

So.....which one are you?  I bet I could already guess about most of you, so we'll see if I'm right! 

Are you a rebel?  Or a rule-follower?  Does it cross over in your cooking...ur...box dumping?

What does your dinner say about you?

(And if you just want to leave me messages about the health of my children due to the lack of my cooking skilz...save it.  I already pinned myself with the Mother of the Year Award today.) 


The Secret That I Was Keeping But Forgot I Was Keeping

I just realized that I never showed you something.

And I'm actually very proud of myself...because I'm not so good at keeping a secret.  Like the time when I bought this amazing gift for the husband two weeks before his birthday and had to call him and tell him about it before I even made it home from the store.  Or at Christmas, when I'm the worst one about making allowances to open "just one" a day early.  Or two.  Or a week.  Whatev.

But, I was actually able to keep my mouth shut on this one.  I didn't show them to you earlier because I was giving them to the parental units for Christmas, and I didn't want them taking sneaky peeks on the presentage.  But then I guess I just got busy running my mouth on here about nothing at all recording significant moments of  the inner workings of my family's blessed life, and I totally forgot to show you.

But I'm so proud of them.  (I'm also proud of the fact that I was able to get all of that orangey goodness together the night before the setting WITHOUT having to buy one new thing for anybody.  Score.)

So here they are.  Three months later.  And my hair doesn't look like that anymore.  And the boys' mouths are minus a few more teeth.  But the husband still isn't smiling...so it's all good.

Without further ado, or incessant babbling by me, I give you....

The Taken Last Fall But I'm Showing Them To You In March Family Pictures

Go on.  You can tell me how cute my family is.  :)

*** Photos by Kelly of Kelly's Photography.  (She always makes my family look great!  Love ya, Kelly!!)


45 of the Most Random Things You Never Need To Know About Someone

Begging your forgiveness ahead of time.  Because I have bloggy-block, so you get this.  You're...uh...welcome.

1.  What is your name spelled backwards?  R-E-B-M-A  ....  almost like Reba.  Fancy.

2.  What did you do last night?  Watched American Idol; ate a bag of Cheetos all by myself; went to bed feeling highly nauseous due to said Cheetos.

3.  What was the last thing you downloaded onto your computer?  My good buddy, Marla's e-book.  Don't know what I'm talking about?  Go here.  You know what I'm talking about?  Cool, huh?

4.  Have you ever licked a 9 volt battery?  Uh. No.

5.  When was the last time you swam in a pool?  Last summer.  *Sniff*  Makes me misty-eyed for flip-flops and tan-lines.

6.  What are you wearing?  Pink froggie jammies and my "I Heart Edward" tee-shirt.   Oh yes.  I said Edward. 

7.  How many cars have you owned?  Me personally....3.  I had a gray '91 Oldsmobile back in da'day.  The same gray Olds that everyone else and their granny also had.  Then I upgraded to a '99 Chevy Malibu.  Loved that car.  And then it was on to the Red Bomb.  I think it's time for another upgrade....the husband, however, says not so much.  Grrr.

8.  What is the type of music you dislike most?  Gangsta Rap.  No thanky.

9.  Are you registered to vote?  Sho'nuff.

10.  Do you have cable?   Nope.  Satellite.

11.  What kind of computer do you use?  Miss Daisy June is a metallic bronze HP.  We likes the bling.

12.  Have you ever made a prank phone call?  Is your refrigerator running?

13.  Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?  Neither.  Buying something full ticket price is extreme sport enough for me.

14.  What is the furthest place you ever traveled?  Lived in Bangladesh, which happens to be EXACTLY halfway around the world from Arkansas....so there ya go.

15.  What's your favorite comic strip?  I'm a BLONDIE girl.

16.  Do you know all of the words to the national anthem?  Sure do.  But never on-key.

17.  Do you shower in the morning or at night?  I'm a morning gal.

18.  What is your favorite pizza topping?  Yum...pizza.  The Bacon Ranch pizza from the local hole-in-the-wall is the best evuh.  It's a BLT on a pizza.  Serious tastebud nirvana.

19.  Chips or popcorn?  Chips.  Always chips.

20.  What cell phone provider do you use?  I'm an AT&T girl.  But I still call it Cingular.  Even after how many years?

21.  Have you ever smoked peanut shells?  What kind of meme is this?  Uh...no.

22.  Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?  Nope.  But I got an application for the Miss Teen America pageant when I was in high school.  I thought I was hot stuff, until I realized that it was a standard mail-out....even to ugly girls.  My tiara dreams were dashed. 

23.  Orange juice or apple juice?  Apple juice.  I'm not a fan of pulp.  And they can say "pulp-free" all they want...but it.is.still.there.

24.  Who were the last people you sat at lunch with?  My 3 boys.  Over a gourmet meal of fish sticks and Cheetos.

25.  Favorite chocolate bar?  I'll take an Almond Joy, puhleeze.

26.  Who is your oldest friend and how long have you known eachother?  My oldest closest friend is Rachel.  My college roommate.  We're going on 15 years now.  And we're the type of friends that can go months without talking and pick right back up where we left off.

27.  When was the last time you ate a homegrown tomato?  I actually just ate a tomato today...and I'm sure it was grown near someone's home.  BUT...if we're talking real homey juice-running-down-your-arm tomatoes....it was last summer.  One of Kirk's grandmother's.  More mouth nirvana.

28.  Have you ever won a trophy?  I won lots of trophies back in my high school days.  I was a drama geek, and I earned several shiny awards at Speech and Drama Tournaments.   I know what you're thinking....Amber?  Dramatic?  I know...shocking.

29.  Favorite arcade game?  Miss Pacman.

30.  Ever ordered from an infomercial?  NO.  I'm concerned that I'm not fully American.

31.  Sprite or 7-UP?  Blech.  Neither.  I need colorful beverages.

32.  Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school/work?  Unfortunately...yes.  Nothing is more unattractive than the black pants and black shoes of a fast food employee.  Gag.

33.  Last thing you bought at Walgreens?  Milk and a pair of tweezers.

34.  Ever thrown up in public?  No...but I did pass out in the frozen food aisle at Walmart.  That's sorta the same thing.

35.  Would you prefer being a millionaire or finding true love? Already found true love, so I'll take the cash, please.

36.  Do you believe in love at first sight?  I fell in love with Mr. Schue from gLee the first time I saw him....so, yes.

37.  Spongebob or Jimmy Neutron?  Does Jimmy Neutron even come on anymore?  Anywho...I'm a Spongebob fan.  We're some of THOSE parents.

38.  Did you have long hair as a young kid? After my mom regrettably cut my sister's hair in a Beatle-ish bowl cut, she vowed to never touch mine with the shears.  So I got to wear my dog ears and ponytails proudly.  Poor Mich.

39.  What message is on your voicemail machine?  The standard "This is Amber, leave a message." is on my phone.  But at home, it's the boys talking over each other and mumbling about leaving a message and their parents will call you back.

40.  Where would you like to go right now? To Sonic for a Pineapple Diet Dr. Pepper and fried pickles.

41.  What's the name of your pet?  Indiana Jones, our cat.....the only surviving member of the animal variety.

42.  What kind of back pack do you have, and what's in it?  No backpack.  Just a giraffe print purse which is stuffed with gum wrappers, a checkbook, and a Darth Vader action figure.

43.  What kind of tennis shoes do you have?  Metallic silver Nike Shox.   I want new ones though. 

44.  Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?  My mama.
45.  Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny?  Ooohh...tough call.  Love the feely-goodness of Mickey, but love the hilarity of Bugs. 
And now you can close this screen and regret not being able to get those 3 minutes of your life back.


Jim-Dad Is On His Way

If you've hung around these parts for anytime at all, then you are familiar with this fella.


Well, Dear Ole Jim-Dad jetted off on an adventure yesterday.  He packed up his newly purchased cargo pants (because someone told him that that's what true "adventurers" do); laced up his brand spankin' new walking shoes; loaded up his fanny-pack (yes...a fanny pack) with enough batteries for his camera to rival Chernobyl; and boarded a plane.

A plane that is taking him somewhere he's never been before.

A plane that will place my daddy, in his shiny new cargo pants and New Balance tennis shoes, right on the soil where his precious Savior walked a couple of thousand years ago.

Jim-Dad will be walking by the Sea of Galilee touching the same sand that nurtured Jesus' rugged sandals.

He'll meander through the Garden of Gethsemane placing his fingers on the same rocks that supported Jesus' elbows as He prayed.

He'll walk the roads.  Smell the smells.  Taste the tastes.  And breathe the air.

And I know he'll never be the same.

And I'm so completely and ecstatically happy for him.

And just a'might green with envy.


If you think to do so, please lift a prayer or two up for not only the safety of Jim-Dad and the group he's traveling with, but also for the hearts of the people that they will come in contact with during the weeks they are there.

I covet your prayers for him.  And I know he would, too.