Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Try for tea

Jen mentioned Adagio Teas' giveaway, so I thought I'd give it a try. They created this genius advertising plan in an effort to move up the google ranks - they're giving away free tea if you add their link to your blog!

It's not a scam, because Jen's sister already got her tea. So, what the heck? I'll try for some tea.

The free gift is "commensurate" with our site's Google Page Rank. Believe it or not, we actually have a PR of 3! I'm looking forward to getting my just reward!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Poem of the Day

(It's been awhile since I've done one of these . . .)

Poetry Reading
by Linda Pastan
from An Early Afterlife

Your words are like the knife
in the hand of my surgeon father
whose completed face was hidden
from me by that green mask,
whose eyes were so focused
he could see every organ,
every arterial river laid out
before him - a map of the world
for him to choose from.
And though that knife could kill
as well as heal, still I was willing
to lie down, belly up, like a young wolf
before the alpha dog, trusting him
with my defenseless life.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Nap Line

Allow me to introduce you to The Nap Line. Here you observe my two cats in their beds, which are actually located on top of my bed. Napping is an activity that my cats engage in up to, I believe, 15-20 hours per day. (The orange furball is shy.) Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

This is completely shocking!

Your Brain is 100.00% Female, 0.00% Male

You have the brain of a girly girl

Which isn't a bad thing at all

You're emphatetic, caring, and in tune with emotions.

You're a good friend and give great advice.

I'm surprised, considering I was raised surrounded by boys, and it's much easier for me to be friends with boys than girls. Oh well!

Lost in Translation

This morning I noticed that my mom had cleaned and organized the refrigerator. I thought it looked rather nifty. So I tried to compliment Mom on her nifty job. Unfortunately, I forgot to consider our generation gap. Perhaps I should recreate our dialogue here:

T: I dig the new fridge.
M: You what?
T: It's cool. The new fridge.
M: What new fridge?
T: The fridge. Didn't you clean it out? And you changed the shelves around?
M: OH!
T: I dig it.

Now the milk jugs are one shelf lower. Mom fixed it that way so as to accommodate her mildly arthritic condition. I figured maybe she was accommodating the fact that we're both short.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Artistic genius

"Apple Tree"
Media: Marker and crayon on paper
Artist: Nathan, age 5

Allow me to brag about my nephew for a bit. Nathan is 5 and when he was only 2-and-a-half he started drawing basic stick-figure faces. Two years later, the boy still loves drawing and will sit and draw for hours on end, easily producing twenty pictures a day. Some of these are half-hearted doodles, while others are full-blown masterpieces (as pictured above and below). He also has a photographic memory and will sit and draw scenes from cartoons he's watched. It amazes me, especially since I studied art in college and still can't do half of what he does.
If you are reading this and shall like to become a patron of Nathan's art, please leave a comment below. Cheers!

"Nathan and Daniel playing by the mud"
Media: marker and crayon on paper
Artist: Nathan, age 5

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The boys

Brandi bought Nathan this cap at Wal-mart for only $.50, and the kid LOVES it! He's worn it everyday for the past three weeks. He wakes up, gets dressed and puts his hat on; when he goes to sleep he takes it off and hangs it on his bedpost. Brandi even went back to the store and bought another one so she can switch them out when one needs washing. Daniel has a hat too, but he doesn't wear it nearly as often.  Posted by Hello

The girl

This is the only pic we were able to get of her somewhat smiling. She's still a cutie, though! Posted by Hello

I think there were four people standing behind me as I took this picture - Brandi, her mom, my mom and dad. I'm sure the neighbors thought we looked like a bunch of dorks trying to get three kids to look and the camera AND smile. Sadly, my brother is a photographer but his daughter still doesn't know what to do when there's a camera in front of her. Luckily, we got Daniel to stop pulling grass long enough to look up. We were fortunate to get Abigail to look up, but I think we were hoping for too much when we insisted that she smile. I went ahead and took the pic anyway - two smiles are better than none! Posted by Hello

The kids

The nephews and niece visited this weekend. We tried to get a cute picture of the three outside, but we didn't have much success. The pictures turned out cute anyway. I'll post a couple more. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Post Office, The Phantom, & Hemingway

Small towns usually have reputations for being provincial little locations where residents, often finding themselves bored, tend to gossip more than the average person. Unfortunately, Odessa tends to fall into this small-town category, even though technically it's a good-sized city (around 90,000+ population). I briefly mentioned previously about a weird encounter with the mail lady -- actually, that wasn't the first time she'd given me the creeps. When I first moved here, I had a problem with my mail forwarding properly, so I called the post office and ended up speaking with my family's mail carrier. "Oh, yeah, she's the one who went to Baylor and now she's back home, right?" When I realized she thought she was talking to my mom, I said, "This IS the girl who's back home..." And how the heck do you know all this?? I thought. (She has almost no real contact with my family.) Anyway, she's a nice lady, but it was still too weird for me... I was at the post office yesterday mailing some packages, and after I declared what was in them, the clerk behind the counter asked if I was eBaying. I replied yes. Then our conversation progressed to where I disclosed more of my plans to sell stuff online, etc., etc. Anyways, after I walked away, I thought, Great, now she's going to tell our mail lady... Hopefully I'm just overly paranoid about this. At any rate, my desire to move to a bigger city (Dallas and Ft. Worth readily come to mind) seems to increase with each passing day... Oops, I better be careful about what I write. The mail lady might find out.

* * *

A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of watching the new The Phantom of the Opera movie. Excellent film! I grew up with the music as a kid, but I had never seen the Broadway musical performed. All I had to go on was the Highlights soundtrack and several glimpses at a nifty book at the mall. And I read the original novel by Gaston Leroux, but it was in high school and I barely remember it. (Come to think of it, I also saw that movie from the '40s. Then that awful horror version from 1989, but it was sacrilegious as far as Phantom is concerned...)

The Phantom currently showing at theaters was absolutely breathtaking with the special effects, but overall the rest of it was pretty natural and sort of laid-back in some places. For instance, the Broadway soundtrack from the '80s seems to have a LOT of overacting, compared to the new movie. And the new movie's actors who play Christine and the Phantom sing with a much more pleasant vibrato than the original Broadway cast. (My voice teacher from college used to cringe at Sarah Brightman's vibrato, and I always thought Michael Crawford sounded like he was singing through his nose.)

Overall, it was totally da bomb! Awesome new flick! If nothing else, you've at LEAST got to go see Minnie Driver all spiffed up in an opera costume -- talk about comic relief!

This is all my opinion only. My brother-in-law didn't care for the movie. (But I think maybe he would have preferred the horror version...)

* * *

Recently I started reading Hemingway again. I've been told that what makes him stand out as a Modern American novelist is his writing style. Since he was a journalist, he tends to write in short, concise sentences.


But I was rather shocked as I read through the first chapter of A Farewell to Arms -- Hemingway begins most of his sentences with the letter T. If I had done that, my writing teachers would have flunked me for sure!!

But he did end that first chapter with a bang. I think Hemingway ought to be remembered for the way he disguised his deep, biting commentaries with supposedly objective journalistic prose. What a genius!

So there.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A V-Day Quiz (a day late)

Thankfully, I'm relatively level-headed when it comes to romance (Who knew?!). Or at least, that is what this quiz says . . .

You Are A Realist

You are more romantic than 20% of the population.

When it comes to romance, you tend to take a realistic approach.
You believe that love takes time, and it's something you have to work hard for.
A bit cynical, over the top romance tends to get under your skin.
Your heart is difficult to win ... but it's totally worth it.

Monday, February 14, 2005

'Twas the Ev'ning of V-Day

'Twas the Ev'ning of V-Day, but all through the house
Not a suitor was calling, not even Pete Krause.
My stockings were hung by the shower with care
In hopes that they'd not see a run or a tear.

My cat was asleep all snug in his bed
While visions of mouse-chases raced through his head.
With tunes on my stereo, with swing jazz, not rap,
I chilled on my bean bag; my fingers I snapped.

When all of a sudden, I missed when it started,
My wide-awake cat, to the bathroom he darted!
From my bean bag I crawled to the WC,
But helpless, I cried in hysterics, "No, Kitty!"

Engrossed in his dream-state, though he'd never nipped,
His claws tore through nylon -- my stockings he ripped!
"Hey, what are you doing?!?" I shouted and scream-ed.
Limp, feath'ry, and lifeless -- my stockings were shredded!

Releasing his prey, kitty crouched down to purr.
I attempted to fathom; it was all such a blur.
Good grief, what was happ'ning? what caused this odd thriller?
Was my stereo too loud? was he spooked by Glenn Miller??

Perplexed and frustrated, I let out a roar.
Then suddenly, I heard a knock at the door.
Had the neighbors been bothered by all the commotion?
Great, that's all I need! Alas, perish the notion!

But, to my surprise, stood Pete Krause at my threshold!
Spiffed up in a zoot suit. (It made him look old.)
I think he was just a bit nervous romancing.
His voice sort of cracked as he uttered, "S-swing dancing??"

I just shook my head and explained with a sigh
That an accident happened before he came by.
"Nothing to wear have I," I said, sounding like Yoda.
"Could we maybe just go out for dinner, or a soda?"

Pete fin'lly relaxed and said, "What a relief!"
And he added, just somewhat to my disbelief,
"On the dance floor, I tell you, I have two left feet!
Happy Valentine's Day! Let's get something to eat!"

So I turned off my stereo and retrieved my purse
And wondered if kitty had found a small hearse
For the funeral of my stockings, snuffed out and decrepit.
But then I thought, "I've got a date! So to heck with it!"

I scooped up the stockings, tossed them in the wastebasket,
And thought to myself, "Why did I blow a gasket?"
I called to my cat as his eyes caught the light,
"Happy V-Day, dear Fluffy! See you later! Good night!"


T: How is your day going?
D: OK. Why?
T: It's SAD.
D: Excuse me???
T: SAD. You know, Single Awareness Day.
D: Oy! I've been concentrating on NOT knowing what day it is! Thanks a LOT!
T: No problem. It's a SAD Day.
D: You just repeated yourself.
T: Huh?
D: If SAD is an acronym, you just said it's a Single Awareness Day Day.
T: Dude, bummer. Then it needs to be SADD, right?
D: No, that's Students Against Drunk Driving. You're plagiarizing now.
T: Crap!
D: Doh!
T: That reminds me of those online photo labs with painfully long turnaround times and cheesy slogans.
D: Oh, no! You don't mean --
T: Yup. "Someday my prints will come."

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Keys to surviving SAD...

Are you a single woman who has found yourself alone on Valentine's Day? Need help? Look no further!

Here's what you need:
*an empty house/apartment/room with a vcr/dvd player
*an exercise video
*2-5 bags of chocolates, fruit chews, Twizzlers, or sweets of your choice
*favorite pet or stuffed animals
*two movies - one romantic comedy (such as Return to Me, Sleepless in Seattle, Love Actually, etc) and one girl-power movie (like Bridget Jones' Diary, Legally Blonde,
Supergirl, etc)
*a box of Kleenex
*a Bible

Here's what you do:
1. It's Valentine's Day, but for you it's become Single Awareness Day as you find yourself alone and dateless. First, embrace it!
2. Enter your house/apartment/room. Lock the doors and close the curtains.
3. Insert the sappy movie into the vcr/dvd player.
4. While viewing the film, munch on 1-2 bags of sweets.
5. Tears may begin to flow as feelings of loneliness and depression overwhelm you, so cuddle with your pet/stuffed animals for comfort (but don't squeeze Fluffy so hard that his eyes pop out) and use generous amounts of Kleenex to remove all unnecessary traces of tears and snot.
6. After two hours of this, you'll need a lift - insert the girl-power movie into the vcr/dvd player.
7. As you watch the power-flick, soak up the positive energy from the strong, independent women. Or at least picture Supergirl punching the lights out of that gorgeous guy who will never ask you out.
8. Eat another bag or two of sweets. You're da woman! Be confident and comfortable with who you are! Love the curves you have developed the years! You don't need a man to boost your self-worth -- heck no!
9. As you come down from your sugar high, you may begin to feel depressed again, especially when the movie comes to an end and you see Bridget happily hook up with Mr. Darcy and Elle with Everett. Resist it! Stop the movie if you must.
10. Insert the exercise video to boost endorphins and in an effort to burn a hundredth of the thousands of calories you've ingested throughout the evening.
11. By the end of the video you may begin to feel light-headed or have trouble beathing; perhaps there's a pain in your side and a burning in your lungs, not to mention the world's worst stomachache.
12. Crawl into the nearest bed or couch, cuddle with your pet/stuffed animals (again, don't squeeze too hard) and open your bible to Isaiah 58 -- it's time to start fasting!
You realize we need God's help to become the inwardly strong and confident women we were created to be . . . or at least, hopefully, you'll have this revelation before you pass out due to over-exertion following the excessive sugar intake.

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
Proverbs 31:30

Friday, February 11, 2005

V-Day for Singles

Here are some
DOs and DON'Ts for Singles on Valentine's Day:

DO: If you and your friends all happen to be without a date, get together at somebody's house for a candlelight dinner anyway. Follow up dinner with prayer and maybe some TV.
DON'T: Pray for your future spouses for 5 hours. Then turn on the TV and drool over Mario Lopez.

DO: If you stay alone at home for the evening, snuggle up with your cat and enjoy some Valentine's Day chocolate.
DON'T: Buy half the chocolate-bar aisle at 7-11, then bring it home, eat all of it in one sitting, and turn to your cat for comfort after you've puked. (Fluffy may or may not want to come near you...)

DO: Read the Bible and let God encourage you.
DON'T: [if you're a guy] Get stuck in Genesis and say, "Come on, God -- can I at least have my rib back??"
DON'T: [if you're a girl] Get stuck in Song of Solomon and scream at the Shulamite, "OK, so you're faint with love -- BLA, BLA, BLA!!"

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Check out this link:

Valentine, Texas

V-Day for Dating Couples

Here are some
DOs and DON'Ts for Dating Couples on Valentine's Day:

DO: Talk about your pets, if you have pets, so as to find common ground.
DON'T: Bring your pet on the date (especially if your date is allergic).

DO: [if you're a guy] Arrange for your lovely lady to be serenaded.
DON'T: Arrange for your lovely lady to be serenaded by your favorite band, Meowing Torpedoes.

DO: [if you're a girl] Compliment your man on the stunning aroma of his cologne.
DON'T: Cough so hard from his cologne's fumes that you scream in frustration, "Just use SOAP next time!!"

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Off to Mandate!

Since I only work Mondays and Wednesdays my weekends start Wed afternoon. Therefore, I'm heading back to Waco for the weekend.
This weekend is World Mandate, a missions conference geared toward students, although people of all ages usually go. It's gotten bigger and bigger every year. This is the second year they rented out the Waco Convention Center for the event. The main auditorium reached capacity a few weeks ago and they've opened up an overflow room. Thankfully I'll be in the big room where all the action takes place. :)
I'm extra excited because I have friends from King's Arms coming, and they're bringing English goodies for me. Yay! One of the guys I'm meeting up with is Mike, the director of the King's Arms Project. When I heard he wanted to get together I was a little nervous - I almost felt like a kid being called to the principal's office. We didn't get to talk much while I was over there, even though he and his family lived right across the street from me. It was exactly this time last year that I met him and first talked about going to work on Project. I never expected for it to happen. Now I don't know what to expect, but it would be good to see him and catch up on how everyone is doing.
So you people have a great rest of the week and weekend. I'll blog with ya again come Sunday!

V-Day for Married Couples

Here are some
DOs and DON'Ts for Married Couples on Valentine's Day:

DO: Enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner for two.
DON'T: Enjoy chili dogs for dinner, with frito pie and nachos on the side. And onion rings for dessert.

DO: [if you're a guy] Serenade your wife.
DON'T: Serenade your wife with "Put another log on the fire / Cook me up some bacon and some beans" (unless she has a REALLY good sense of humor).

DO: [if you're a girl] Allure your husband with your favorite perfume.
DON'T: Drench yourself in so much perfume that it causes your husband's eyes to water and his face to break out in hives.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

It's not too late!

Did you have a panic attack when you looked at the calendar and realized Valentine’s Day is less than a week away? No worries! You still have time to snag that PERFECT date.

For all you nice Christian guys out there whose tongues swell and whose insides turn to liquid when you approach that certain someone, here are 25 surefire “conversation starters,” aka pick-up lines, to aid your endeavors. My personal favorites are:

4. God told me to come talk to you.
7. Do you need help carrying your bible? It looks heavy.
13. The word says "Give drink to those who are thirsty, and feed the hungry", so how about dinner?
16. Is it a sin that you stole my heart?
17. Would you happen to know a Christian woman that I could love with all my heart and wait on hand and foot?
22. My friend told me to come and meet you, he said that you are a really nice person. I think you know him. Jesus, yeah that’s his name.

Tirzah and I even put our heads together to come up with our own lines:
*So, uh, is this pew taken?
*Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors, right? Well, hello there neighbor! My name is ______.
*It wasn't until I saw you from across the room that I began to believe in predestination.
*Hey, you're in the Young Marrieds Sunday School class, right? No? You're single?? That's inconceivable! Oh, uh, by the way, my name is ______.
*I attended a True Love Waits conference in high school . . . let's just say I don't think I have to wait much longer!
*God spoke to me in a dream, so here I am, baby!

You may want to personalize these lines, rewrite them to add your own unique flavor, or use them as a springboard to come up with your own lines. Be creative. The worst that can happen is you’re rejected and feel like an idiot, which may plunge you into deep depression, but it’s all good! There's therapy! Just let Jesus heal those hurts! Perhaps we should have turned to Him in the first place . . .

"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7

So keep knocking, baby!

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Ugh -- this looks like how I feel this morning! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

You know you're bored when...

You know you're bored when...
You almost get high on toothpaste one night.

You know you're easily entertained when...
You play with your dog's elbows just to make her growl.

You know you're broke when...
You consider it a banquet to get to eat more than two entrees at Taco Bell.

You know you're a little too excited about dental hygiene when...
You feel like doing cartwheels after your mom refills your mouthwash bottle.

You know your town is a wee bit too small when...
Your mail carrier asks you, "Have you found a job yet?" but you didn't even tell her you'd been looking.

You know you need to get out more when...
You tune in to The Lawrence Welk Show and start dancing with your cat.
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