Wednesday, May 30, 2007


This is bound to sound whiny.

I haven't been able to get to computer for any length of time recently due to end of school activities and Memorial day and all. But, maybe a more accurate reason would be the constant chaos that surrounds me. Thank God for the gift of multitasking, for with that gift I am able to juggle: two arguing teens, one four year old's constant curiosity, one cat in need of petting, all while talking on the phone. I can't seem to squeeze the computer time in though. Not the non-work computer time, that is.

Now for the not whiny part. I got word today about the unexpected death of an 8th grader. I don't know the young man who died but the news fell heavily on my heart. I grieve for his parents and in his honor I celebrate the constant chaos at my house. My kids are here, healthy and happy (though they don't always realize this) at least for now. I will cherish this time. I will squeeze the stuffing out of them at every opportunity and tell them I love them, even in front of their friends.

It's often all in your perspective isn't it?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sharing life

Quick update on As the Teen World Turns. Situation is diffused. At least till the next drama. All in all it was a good lesson to me because, well, the drama doesn't stop after the teen years and churches are prime breeding ground if we don't submit to God. Thanks for the comments and email.

I had an appointment to give blood yesterday and I asked the seventeen year old if he'd like to come along. When he was but a wee lad I used to take him with me and he would watch, fascinated, as the procedure took place. Now he is a donor himself. He has given blood a couple of times at school so I thought he'd enjoy sharing the experience with me. Now it's my turn to watch, fascinated as he towers over the teeny tiny nurses and they take out the very blood that I've taken great pains to keep inside his body. Turns out it was a good day to give blood, free ice cream day, mmmmm. They also had a drawing going on for a Harley Davidson Motorcycle causing great covetousness on the part of the seventeen year old. I found it rather ironic that they were offering an instrument capable of causing loss of blood at an establishment responsible for providing for those who have lost said blood. Thankfully you have to be eighteen to be considered for the drawing. On a side note: when I shared this with my husband he immediately made plans to go there himself. This from a man who can't stand up straight for nearly an hour after giving blood. Boys and their toys. Sheesh.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mama bear

I find myself in a curious position. It's one of those milestone moments comparable to your child's first step. My oldest son has just surpassed me in maturity.

Some background. My son has been dating one of the girls from the youth group off and on for about 10 months now. She recently broke up with him causing great heartache on his part. It has now come to my attention that she has been, well, not completely honest in some of the things she has said to my son and has also been saying some things to others causing stirrings of division within the youth group. Now, I realize that in teen culture this is probably all very normal behaviour. Having never been a teen I wouldn't know. However, my mama bear hackles are all in an uproar and I tell you I am ready to raise some........ well, something unpleasant.

There is now a facebook war starting to brew. Rumblings of warfare are all over the wall posts and message boards. I admit to having taken a side in this battle and my internal comment to those on the "side of good" pretty much consists of "Have at them. They've got it coming" Thankfully I have enough sense not to stick my adult nose into a teen battle by leaving any "real" comments anywhere. (except here) Then, here comes my son, who is at the heart of this battle, with this comment:
"Honestly guys, I'm just gunna stay out of this one, cuz anything that is said from now on is just going to cause more drama, and I'm not for that. If you know what I mean, so I'm gunna let this one slide!"
And, that is directed at those on the "side of good".

I am humbled.

But still ticked off.

Monday, May 21, 2007


When you add church with a headache to a cup of coffee and multiply it by two Excedrin it all equals up to a bad case of ADHD. I addressed this condition by passing notes to and making faces at my daughter. Did you ever notice that some of the songs we Christians sing are a little wacko. I was fixated on "drinking the blood of the lamb". I don't mean to say that the songs are wrong or bad but are people really listening to what they are singing? Because when I listen, really listen to the words sometimes it freaks me out. Do I really believe what I'm singing here? It makes me ponder, so I suppose that's a good thing.

To add to the mix, the guy in front of me had his collar all messed up and it was all I could do not to reach forward and fix it for him. Luckily he fixed it as I was writing a note to my daughter about how it was bugging me.

Now, as a testimony to the power of the female brain, I tell you that not only did I hear every word of the sermon but I comprehended it too. It was fantastic and I'm going to start put it into practice this very minute, slowly but surely.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

I made it

From an email I got from Flickr:
"Greetings from Flickr HQ. The photo you submitted into Flickr’s “24 Hours of Flickr” group has been chosen to appear in Flickr’s “24 Hours of Flickr” book!"
So, how about that?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Look! here is what I got for Mother's Day. No, not the cowboy, the dirt. For several years now I've been asking for some dirt to fill in my garden area so I can get rid of the lovely red Kansas clay that dominates. One flooded basement later and voila! Dirt. My husband used my red clay to regrade around the house so hopefully no more watery basement, and maybe, just maybe, we'll get some decent tomatoes this summer.

In other Mother's day news: we spent the day in Lawrence doing family stuff. I managed to steal away with my two older boys and spend some time on campus at the Spencer art museum. One of my professors had an exhibit of some prints and I wanted the boys to see his stuff. This was the professor who told me I should drop out of graphic arts and pursue a fine arts degree. I loved him for that but didn't take his advice. I regret it some but the ultimate outcome would probably have been the same.

Here is how I live with my regret (albeit minor). When I am feeling blue about not becoming the famous artist I was surely destined to be (please note sarcasm) I look at the four little lives I've had a hand in shaping. God put them in our family and give them my husband and I to parent them. One moment with them is more satisfying than the greatest painting ever made. Nothing I could create would ever compare. That totally works for me.

Back to the dirt. My husband and I spent the day yesterday hauling dirt all over the yard in an effort to get it distributed before today's forcasted rain. Hence the title of this post. Ow. My muscles hurt. I'm also aching from the aforementioned "running with my daughter" plan but today it's mostly my shoveling muscles that ache. It would have been nice to get some planting done to hold the dirt down during the rain but that will have to wait a couple of days now. Now, anyone got any advil?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Your mother should know

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's day is one on those love it or hate it holidays. I'm sure its awful to have to endure the day if you have lost your mother or by choice or fate are unable to be a mother. I suppose there are all kinds of reasons to dread a holiday manufactured by a card company to make money. I personally have to gear myself up for a week in order to bring my expectations down to zero so that I am not dissappointed. I hate being so shallow. The ironic fact is if I could have my hearts desire on Mother's day it would be to spend the day alone. With a book. Or the Lord of the Rings trilogy on a loop. The truth is, you can't get away. On the rare occasion that I find myself enjoying some solitude my thoughts eventually slip back into that motherhood nirvana where my kids are all adorable, obediant and kind to each other. Pretty soon I can't wait to get back to them. Five minutes after I return I come crashing down to earth as someone does something to someone else and it was all his fault and etc. etc. That's when I choose to appreciate it. The good the bad and the ugly, besides, the crazier it is the better story it makes when you are visiting around the kitchen table a decade later.

And mom, I get it now.

No one was hurt

So, I had a car accident.

I've been in a few accidents in my life but this time I was the one driving so it was somewhat different. It always amazes me how time nearly crawls to a stop during these situations. It's as if you can fit a lifetime of thoughts into the few seconds between seeing the unavoidable and then making contact. My life did not flash before my eyes, thankfully. I have felt that before and don't wish to experience it again. No, this time I just analyzed the situation as it unfolded before me. "Look at that car turning right in front of me. Why is that car doing that? There's not enough time for that car to get out of my way. Wow, I think I'll slam on the brakes. This huge van is not going to stop before I hit that car. Come on little car if you gun it you might make it, come on." Bang!

Here's the thing, though. I had to drive probably four blocks ahead before I could turn and come back to the scene. The lady I hit called it in as a hit and run. Ha Ha. There was no way I was going to sit in rush hour traffic when my car was perfectly drivable. The sad thing about it is I think the lady I hit expected to be treated as the victim when she called the police, but, she is the one who ended up getting the ticket for making an improper turn. The officer who assisted us assured my that I wasn't at fault. I still have guilt though because when it comes down to it I'm the one who hit her and that feels yucky. Complicating matters is the fact that she had her little boy in the car and was taking him to the doctor because he was sick. I feel about as tall as the period at the end of this sentence. I'm praying for her, for her boy, for me and for the insurance company. When unpleasant things like this happen I just want to get it over with and move on. I wish I was deeper than that and could find the blessing in it somehow. Maybe in time.

Ok, now I've got that off my chest.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

God is not great?

I wish I was more intelligent. I wish I could have an intelligent discussion with Christopher Hitchens about the existence of God. I wish I could do it without annoying him.

How do I wrap my brain around those who will not believe as I do, putting aside the fact that most of those who wear the label "Christian" disagree on specifics. A great guy and minister once said. "I don't care if you believe what I do, I don't care what you believe, but I do care that you know why you believe what you do." That was Chris Bullard. (Chris died last September, way too young.) That is how I want to be. It is a worthy goal but one that has eluded me so far. Maybe if I jettison a lot of the unnecessary junk clogging up my brain I can make some headway. Anyone have any tips for decluttering the brain?

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

Monday, May 7, 2007

24 hour observations

This Saturday I participated in a group project over at Flickr called 24 hours of Flickr in which you were supposed to capture your entire day in photographs and then post your favorite in the group pool. The group was brought to my attention by Jules over at Maced with Grace. Thanks Jules!

My day included a road trip from KC to Lincoln, NE with two of my offspring to visit my parents. I got to see my little brother from Colorado who was in town to run in the Lincoln marathon Sunday morning. My Uncle and Aunt from Colorado were also there to see my dad perform in a production of King Lear that never materialized. The day was different and special but also a fair representation of the kind of day that we often have. Not always, but often.

I have a lot to say about the project but as usual, not enough time. That's probably good...keeps me from rambling. Here are some short observations.

  1. It is very difficult to manage daily duties and a camera at the same time. Several times I thought to myself "oh man I should have gotten a picture of that" only to have the moment pass before I knew it. Life is so fleeting. One of my great regrets is not getting a picture of my Grandma. She's not to keen on getting here picture taken. though, so maybe that's for the best.
  2. Vowing to record a day makes you observe things in a much more deliberate way. It would be exhausting to live every moment that way but I could stand to do a lot more of it. From nature to personal interactions everything seemed just a little more significant when I was on a hunt to capture every moment.
  3. I live a very ordinary life.
  4. I like that.
  5. I am not a good photographer. I like to think of myself as an artist since, you know, it's what I majored in, but, I was never satisfied with my photographic skills. That and watercolor have always eluded me. It doesn't keep me from trying though, and having a great time doing it.
  6. It was a good bonding time for my daughter and me. It gave us a common goal, was open ended, creative, and thanks to digital technology, there were no boundries on quantity.
  7. It was lots of fun.
As soon as I get all the tags and such in place I will update this post with a link to the flickr page with my photos. I still haven't settled on a favorite, not that it matters much, but I'll post that too, when I decide.

*UPDATE - here's the link.

I pick this photo as my favorite, not the best but my favorite.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Thursday, May 3, 2007


As far as I'm concerned a day spent fighting a migraine is unredeemable. In my attempts to do something useful I managed to wash the remote control in the washing machine.

Today can only be an improvement.