Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Room



Here are some hints of what the room is like.  Hopefully I will get to putting up real pictures, once I finish setting it up.  I'm still waiting for a table from some friends and all my pictures from Chicago.  Soon it will be done, though, and I hope I can show it to you then!!

Thank You

First of all, thank you for the comments!  As the little line says down there, comments rock my world.  :)  Jeff, that is a first and it was very much appreciated!  True sacrifice...  And Bethany!  I love you to pieces!

Second, I actually kind of wanted to apologize.  I feel like yesterday me writing about the comment situation was really more about feeling entitled...entitled to having people read my blog and like it... and it actually ended up feeling yucky to my heart.  So, I apologize for getting demanding... :)  I am SO thankful that people read what I write...and there are definitely people.  Sometimes (like last night) I'll be talking to someone about something and they respond with "Oh ya!  I think I read that on your blog..." and inside I'm like: "You read my blog?!  Cool!"  Amy, Suzy, Dad, Bethany, Hannah, Jeff, Noemi, Rachel, and anyone else who I don't know about... I am so thankful for you!  It truly makes me feel special and loved to know that you type that little address in the bar and visit this space.  =)

So, thank you thank you thank you for reading.  I love writing it.  And I love knowing that people read it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Three More Things. Maye Four. Or Six. Actually Seven.

1. This video:
  video

If you're not related to them, this might not be this interesting.  But for those parents, aunts and grandparents who may or may not read this blog, it will be nice.

2. I forget what the second one was.  Oops.

3. Oh wait, now I remember.  My Blog Roll on the right side...yep...right there.  Has about tripled in size.  I decided that I should just add my blog list onto it, so, there you go.  Check 'em out.  Read them, stalk them, whatever.

4. Oh. my. goodness.  Now I forgot what my third thing was that ended up being fourth.

5.  OH!  Song of the Week.  "Oh Taste and See" by Brian and Jenn Johnson.

6. Aren't you glad I remembered this time?  I actually forgot, then remembered, then decided to come write it down before I finished that last number about Song of the Week.  My blog readers vs. commentors.  If you happen to be a blog stalker or random visitor that has not de-veiled yourself, you might wonder why I continue to write when post after post has no comments.  I happen to know that there are people who read my blog that never comment. (Hi, Jeff!)  Truth is, sometimes I wonder why I keep going myself.  Like, why should I keep writing if nobody reads?  But then I remind myself that people do read and just don't let me know.  Or, at least two people do regularly...not totally sure about anybody else.  I'm being blog honest here, people.  Leave a little comment if you read, just for me?  I'm totally scared to get one of those little blog counter things because I'm worried that I only get twelve hits a month.  If for nothing else, I enjoy going back and reading my archives...they're like a journal for myself to remind me what happened in my life!  

7.  Today or tomorrow...sometime soon, I need to write a post about how seriously GOOD Jesus has been to me the last few days.  SERIOUSLY GOOD.  I just don't quite understand it.  Listen to the song again. (#5)

Pictures, pictures

When I found my camera there were just two pictures on it from whenever I last had it.  Let me share one:


Cute. ness.  This afternoon I was playing outside with these two in some neighbor's yard (we use their front yard sometimes, I hope they don't mind) and the kids were jumping on and off this metal thing that I don't really know how to describe.  Somebody from IHOP was walking down the street and I said "Hello!"  and he said "Well, there's a happy family!"  We were.  :)

So, pictures of the room will be coming up soon, I promise.  I think tonight is the night I start sleeping in there, so hopefully I will be doing some serious decorating before bedtime!  Did I mention I got the bedding yesterday?  Well, I did.  (Except for a few accent pillows I'm still looking for...)

In lieu of photos of the room, how about photos of me?!  You might not be quite as interested in them, but hopefully you'll look anyways.  Click.............HERE.  My friend Jessica is super talented and we had a blast with the shoot.  I'm excited to do a little more.  I'll admit a large part of it is that I bought a scarf since our last little photo shoot and think it would be so fun to take pictures in.  

Signing off.  The house is a mess.  There's an office upstairs that is only a little bit painted.  Mom arrives tomorrow.  Must go.

Or "Nice to meetcha!" as Judah would say (really he'll say to anyone and/or no one...he'll just say it to be funny)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Come Home to Me!

See... I told you it would be back!

Liz found it in an umbrella stroller that has been sitting in the garage for weeks and weeks. Apparently, I took it, as usual, with us somewhere to capture fun mementos of the kids, and instead left it all alone in the garage to mope. Well, now it is back. A little bit tired and out of battery, but other than that, Alfred's doing well! (Just kidding...I have a name for my computer but not for my camera...yet)

And, do I have dimples in that picture? Or just a chipmunk smile? I think I have dimples!

Moving on.

What have I been doing the last two days, you ask? "Why yes, Annie," you say, "I have been wondering that. What has been so important that you have been doing IT instead of writing blogs for my constant entertainment?"

Well, friends, I have been doing something of the utmost importance. My room in Suz and OJ's house is now Green and Chocolate Brown!! We found a wonderful green that looks different at different times of the day at Restoration Hardware. This leads me to mention 1) I like Restoration Hardware. A lot. 2) Their paint is really nice and you don't have to worry because whatever color of theirs you pick, you can't go wrong and 3) their store is painted the same color through the entire thing. Silver sage, their signature color is everywhere. If you walk in, however, you will be convinced that it is blue in one room (with the blue bedding and towels) and green in another (with green such and such)...changes courtesy of different lighting and surrounding colors. It's fascinating!

Anyhoo...I got my green there and a little can of chocolate brown at Lowe's. Man, it was HARD to pick a brown. When I asked, Lizzie, however, she was decisive, and it got done.

THEN I had to deal with the walls themselves. Some are normal, but two (one brown, one green) are concrete. Concrete walls are filled with small little holes that are the worst idea for walls (at least those that will be painted) since...umm....the French Revolution. It takes FOREVER to try to fill those little pocks in.

The room is now all painted and clean, and I had my fantastically fun shopping trip to buy all the bedding. (Which is a graduation present from Suz and OJ! I am SO thankful and blessedI am still looking for green and brown decorative pillows, and a table (either high or low...) to put my Chinese tea set and some candles on. I will post a picture as soon as I can (and as soon as I feel I have it decorated enough to present to the world).

Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It sticks to the sides of the bowl...

I'm here to tell you that my mother was right.

Always, ALWAYS, fill your cereal bowl with water when you're done eating.  It saves the life of the dish-doer.  Her LIFE, I tell you. 

Last night was Ariel's Birthday party!  I hung out with her during the day, painting her toenails, and taking her to Barnes and Noble.  She ended up picking out The Grouchy Ladybug as her birthday book of choice.
It has all those coolie-doolie pages that are different sizes.  Me likey.

I still haven't picked my brown and green for the new room...  I should really put up a picture of me with all the crazy paint chips.  Eek.  I'm excited about it all, though.  I need craigslist to be helpful!!

I don't feel super inspired for blogging, as I've been making phone calls for a very long time and am now tired and hungry. Hungry.  I said, HUNGRY!

Ta-ta for now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Everyone, meet the Pre-Fast Day...

The 40 Day Fast starts tomorrow.  It is looking towards the elections (I believe the last day is Nov. 4...election day) and TheCall San Diego, and praying for the Lord to cause a spirit of righteousness to take over California and the nation.

What I want to point out, though, is the day-before-the-beginning.  Today is the day when everyone fits in that extra frozen yogurt, and the milkshake just-because, and a trip to Sonic ONE LAST TIME.  

Because, blog-readers, meet the Pre-Fast splurge.  Pre-Fast splurge, meet the ice-cream-less McDonald's at Holmes and Minor.  Why no milkshakes???  WHY?!?!

Anyways, I just want to point out that it's a reality.  Get ready, get set...GO!

In other news, I'm actually beginning to not have time for things.  Like, I'm sorry, I really want McCain and Palin to win, but I just don't have time to make calls for their phone bank.  And, today I actually hit the point where I hear the the little "You have a new e-mail" ding and that knot of dread begins to show up in my stomach, but then I check it and am THANKFUL that it's not really anything directed towards me that I have to respond to.  Me being excited to get e-mails that don't require attention is weird.  W-E-I-R-D.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I live in Kansas City

I know I haven't written in a few days, and I know how annoying that can be if you, as a reader, are anything like I am as a reader.  I can't stand it when people don't update their blogs FIVE TIMES A DAY (nobody actually does that except me on rare occasions).  My absence the last week is unexplainable.  My only demand is: don't blame me!  Blame...ummm...not me.

Today I realized that I have lived in three cities.  Chicago, Tacoma, and Kansas City.  Three whole cities in three totally different places in the country.  If I had just moved from Chicago to Gurnee to Crystal Lakes, now that would be a fake three cities...  But I have really lived in three separate places!  How exciting.

One interesting thing about living in Kansas City is that you spend much of your time in two different states.  Everyone always seems to ask me how it is living in Kansas, and I tell them "I don't know.  I live in Missouri."  The city is divided by a street called...guess...State Line Road!  Badoink.

I live in Missouri, but babysit in Kansas.  Usually this is just a fun thought to think about, but sometimes, such as when it comes down to businesses (aka TAXES) and such, it actually makes a difference which side of State Line Road you're on.  I just realized that HyVee and Blockbuster are probably in Kansas, while Target and Chipotle, just a ways down on the road, are in Missouri.  This morning I wondered if the sales tax rates are different.  Maybe if I had shopped at the Gap in Kansas it would have cheaper.  

This seems to really become an issue in adoption.  I just read a blog of an IHOP couple who have just adopted a baby, but are waiting for the papers to be totally completed.  The baby was born in Kansas, though, and so they are camping out at someone else's house because their house is in Missouri!  If they took the baby over the state line, it could be considered kidnapping.  Now that is weird.  They just have to shimmy across one by one for the various things they have to do at home or at IHOP, but they can't bring the baby across that road.  So interesting.

Meanwhile, my friends the Bohlenders are enjoying their new baby girls.  (one of them is named Anna!  Jump for joy! :)  Check out Randy's blog  for pictures and video.  The girls are SO adorable and I have been un-ashamedly plugging myself in as a possible babysitter.  

Let's see...to update you on the week of blogs I missed...

I did a photo shoot!  My friend Jessica is a photographer, and is in process of doing various practice sessions to build a portfolio!  We went to Loose Park, which is this gorgeous massive area of green grass and flowers and fountains and then we tried to go to the Plaza but ended up just driving around and around looking for a parking space (you would have thought you were in downtown Chicago only...worse) and ended up having to give up.  We had unknowingly scheduled our shoot for the opening day of the Annual Art Festival.  I never knew KC was SO enthralled by such things.

I bought some new pajamas.  This means a lot.  I have been wearing the same pajamas since my first summer in Tacoma before Ariel turned one.  And she's turning four on Thursday.  That is a long time to be wearing the same pajamas.   I think there should be a song about that.  

Anyways, I went to Gap and splurged a little bit on some of the comfiest pants in the whole wide world.  I. love. them.

AND I got a scarf.  I have been really wanting a scarf for a few weeks now, and I finally got on at Gap!!  Yay for Gap.

Saturday was Ariel's birthday party!  We all went to Chick-fil-A (I love Chick-fil-A, I really do) and the kiddos played in the play place and had chicken nuggets, and I made the cake, and met some new people, and we all had a blast!  

Here is the cake I made!  It was Strawberry and Chocolate inside, just like the birthday girl asked:

Reason #267 why it's good that I'm skinny...I usually end up accompanying those little ones that don't want to go by themselves up into the jungle gym. Let me tell you it is HARD to wrangle all my length of legs and arms in those small spaces:

Cuties:
Blowing out the candles:

Judah, when left by himself, just started digging into the cake...and kept going:


In other news, I still don't know where my camera is.  Pray hard. :(

Thursday, September 18, 2008

LIFE

I want to link to the song "You're Beautiful"  by Phil Wickham.  I'd heard it sung here in Kansas City, but had no idea it was his song.  It's on the cd that he's giving away free HERE.  

The third verse says:
When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring 
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're beautiful, You're beautiful, You're beautiful

This verse moved me today because of some news we received yesterday.  A family from IHOP has been in Myanmar doing disaster relief for a while (they are from there) and they have had CRAZY doors of favor with the government opened for them.  The Lord has provided and been using them powerfully.  We heard yesterday morning that their baby daughter, Emma, died of pneumonia.  Thankfully, they were with her...when she got sick she was staying with grandparents in a different part of the country, but I know that here we are SO thankful that her parents were with her before she passed.  

"Where death is but a memory..." What will that be like?  When this gut-wrenching pain is gone forever, banished by the LIFE of Christ.   Things like this turn your gaze toward heaven in a way that nothing else can.  Our comfort is that she is with Jesus, and there is no better place to be.  My sister had to write the e-mail letting everyone know, and I think she put it so well: "Emma now sees Him as He is."

Someday we will all see Him how He is, and that will be a glorious day.  Please pray for the Lims.  Even now, just stop and take a second and ask the Lord to cover their family.

If you would, please also pray for the Bohlenders who are in Florida right now to adopt two-day old twin girls!  

Here is the info:

Hey Friends,

I'm sending this on behalf of Kelsey and Randy Bohlender who are on their way to Florida right now to adopt twin girls who are two days old!  They have been given the verbal green light from the mother but she is unstable and could change her mind. They will know for sure by noon tomorrow/Friday. 

I am recruiting PRAYER for them. They feel this is the Lord. They asked for twins and this opportunity came up TODAY. It's been incredible. 

This is what they need right NOW.

1) Please pray that the birth mother will not change her mind and send these girls into Florida's Foster Care. (Once that happens it's nearly impossible to get them out). These girl's future lives lie in the balance. We feel that it would the Lord's will for them to be raised in the house of prayer. Randy and Kelsey need FAVOR with the mother when they meet her. 

2) Please pray for FINANCES.  Randy and Kelsey will need lots of money to adopt the girls and for supplies. You can donate through their Pay Pal Account on their website. 


3) Please check Randy's blog for updates. http://rbohlender.blogspot.com/


So!  If you would pray for them...  I am so excited and blessed by their passion for adoption.  A large part of praying for the ending of abortion encapsulates a prayer for a spirit of adoption to be raised up to love those that were otherwise "unwanted".  I was thinking the other day about what a huge dent it would make if every Christian family, even just the ones in America, each adopted one child.  I LOVE this passion for the spirit of adoption and pray that it would become even more stirred in my OWN heart.  

Monday, September 15, 2008

Neonatal Tetanus

Tonight I am babysitting for the McD's, and since the kids went to bed three hours ago and the parents won't be home for another hour probably, I have been fwamming around reading new blogs. I saw this video and some info about it on a site that looks like it's written by a pretty fun lady! Anyways, I want to quote one of the things she wrote:

Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) is one of those diseases that’s just lurking everywhere. It’s transmitted through dirt and in the air and passed through open wounds. Open wounds like UMBILICAL CORDS. Many infants in third-world countries are delivered in mud huts with no clean water available. Umbilical cords are cut with whatever sharp instrument is around instead of a clean knife. Then packed with mud to stop the bleeding. And within 5-7 days, they die from tetanus.

It’s not a silent slow killer either. It’s marked with muscle rigidity,
muscle spasms, inability to eat and seizures triggered by light and touch.

LIGHT and TOUCH.

Imagine your newborn baby, having muscle spasms and whenever you tried to comfort him he had a seizure. It’s horrifying.
First of all, I'm thankful for our tetanus vaccinations we have here. But I had never heard of this before! Isn't it terrible?? It's a reality for millions of people in the world, but we don't have to worry about it -- my sister won't have to worry about it in two weeks, and I won't have to worry about it in the years to come. Do you ever wonder "Why us?" I'm not looking to write a whole treatise right now on the idea of how blessed America and the Western world is, but come on. What did I ever do to be free of this and so many other concerns that are implicitly taken care of by various pricks in our arms when we're three months old and the pipes running underneath our houses?

Here's the video:



*Disclaimer: I'm not trying to promote the organizations in the video, it's just the only one I've seen*

Those statistics at the end: 30,000 moms a year. That's 82 a day. And the babies? A bit under FOUR HUNDRED PER DAY. FOUR HUNDRED.

Unbelievable.

She's Growing

You know, this morning I've been watching Glorie play and realizing that she has taken leaps and bounds in just the last few weeks.  She now plays with a lot more logic.  Just now she sat for a whole two or three minutes playing with one toy and putting all the animals in it where they needed to be.  Earlier she wasn't satisfied until she had all three of the play horses inside a toy that they don't even belong in, where she had to fanagle them through the narrow openings to get them inside.  Actually, just the fact that she will be entertained with one toy, by herself, for a little bit of time is amazing.  Actually, she is amazing. :)

AND...her speech is getting so much more advanced and clearer.  She can say "I want that." (This phrase is beginning to get especially clear).  She started singing on her own the other day (I'm sure it's partly an influence of Ariel, who sings and makes up her own songs constantly).  She'll try the words you tell her to, and she knows and can name the color pink ( as in, you can ask her what color something pink is and she'll answer: "pick!"  She loves to wear her "B" as a dress, and she likes to tell me where to sit.  She's begun picking up C.S. Lewis (it's always C.S. Lewis) off the bookshelf, walking into the living room, sitting on a couch, then opening up the book and try to read it.  The next step is to point to the seat next to her and say "Nannie BOOK!"

Liz just bought her Sound of Music the other day, and she ADORES it.  Her favorite scenes are the Do-Re-Mi singin, and the "Pup-pets!" which she will ask for over and over again.  

Yesterday was the first day I started tickling her by counting her ribs and she would curl up and laugh and then say "Mo-mo!" and we'd do it all over again.  

She's WAY into having you do things with her.  If she's going around the house on her truck, I have to go along too.

Amy, this post is especially for you. :)  We have your picture on the fridge right at her level, and sometimes she'll see it and say "Mamy!"  I asked her this morning while she was playing with my phone if she wanted to call Amy and she said "K" (which means yes) but it was too early to call you, Miss Five-Hours-Behind.  Maybe we'll try later.  =)  We miss you, Aunt Mamy!!!  

Pictures of Late

I just HAD to show you how cute Glorie is today.  This dress was getting a little bit small, so yesterday Liz found these Osh-Kosh pants for $3.99 to act as leggings and stretch the dress out as a dress-shirt for a season more.  My sister is S-M-A-R-T.  One fell swoop made one of the cutest outfits.  Ever.


And, please just let me point out that she is pulling off that hairstyle where you pull the front bangs back.  That one that we all think we can pull off but really just pretend to (by "we" I mean "I"...somehow when I wear my hair like that, it always look somewhat like a fish flopped down on the top of my head)

And here is me soaked after Les Mis.  (And notice I only have one earring in, because I was taking them out when realized that I didn't have any pictures of me from the night!)

And here is the clan reading after church yesterday.  I love these guys.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Dream Come True

Where to begin?  I went to Les Miserables tonight.

It was amazing.  I have been dreaming about this night for years.

First I have to say that though I ended up going with some pretty sweet people, I was missing those who had been dreaming with me for quite a while.  Rachel, Amy, Jeff...wish you were here!!!!  

Although I was seeing this amazing, redemptive, world-renowned story...there was quite a large portion of hilarity in the whole experience.  

Let's begin with explaining that this production of Les Mis was at an outdoor theatre.  The actors were dry, and it's a full on stage, but the seating is outdoor.  As in, no roof.  As in, if it rains...well, too bad.  You're wet.  It rained and we were...wet.

Then let me explain that I enjoy getting dressed up.  I really do.  I had been figuring out what I would wear...planning it, talking about it, dress-rehearsing it.  We knew it would probably rain, so I worked a pink raincoat of Suzy's into the whole mix.  I ended up wearing her little white sun dress from her rehearsal dinner (yes I know, I wore white after Labor Day.  Whatcha gonna do?  Report me to the fashion police?  I believe I live with them, and they let me go dressed in such a fashion) and I wore pink heels.  I felt darn cute.

So, when we got there and most everyone else in the theatre was wearing jeans and t-shirts and baseball caps...I held my ground and decided that I was happy I looked nice.  Half of our group dressed up, half didn't.  When it came to the rain poncho, though, I especially held my ground.  I wore a raincoat for a reason...i didn't need a poncho.  So my hair gets wet...at least I still feel cute.  
Oh, and add in that they sell concessions at the theatre.  So there we were, eating popcorn out of tubs and m&m's while one of the most famous shows in the world began.

It wasn't raining when we got there, and it lightly drizzled on and off during the First Act.  During intermission, however, it began to truly drizzle (intense drizzle, but not exactly intense rain).  I got so, so, (so!) wet.  My knees felt warm as I was sitting there, but when I touched the skin, it was icy cold.  My hand started falling asleep because of the mixture of cold and sitting in one position for so long.  My purse was pretty wet, and, it was in general a situation that was not beyond being deemed "miserable" or "pitiful".

Which does not at all mean that I was miserable.  Just the fact that I was sitting there wet through and cold was miserable.  Inside, I was smiling. :) :)

That music is incredible.  INCREDIBLE.  They run!  They show mercy!  They shoot!   Javert (who I think represents a religious spirit) hunts ruthlessly!   She loves him, he loves someone else.  She dies in his arms.  DIES IN HIS ARMS, people.  While singing about how he's finally holding her for real.  *tear*  And they wave that big red flag.  

It was awesome.  Times infinity.

I found it a lot easier to connect with how powerful the story was when I watched the movie, though.  Maybe it's because I get so caught up in the music.  I was waiting for the "and you will keep me safe...and you will keep me close" the whole play.  And, as I mentioned before, he did hold her as she died.  *tear again*  Listening and watching the conductor down in the orchestra pit made me miss music school.

So, I was really wet and cold, finally got home, and jumped in a hot shower to try to reverse any effects leading towards hypothermia/pneumonia type situations.  Now I'm all warm and in my bed, writing about all of this for you.  I do have a picture of myself all wet, but I will post it later.

Next up, seeing it in London.  Inside.  And really dressing up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Well...we're alive.

Liz is talking about "famous last words" and tornados destroying things.  I guess that's only expected since we did just hide in the basement.

See, I brought my computer along A. to protect it from the wrath of any tornado (don't worry, I grabbed the power chord too, just in case everything did get destroyed...I figured I'd still want to be able to use my computer) and B. What are the two things every person hiding from a tornado should do?  PRAY and BLOG.  Duh.

Oh, and I grabbed my wallet...why go through the trouble of getting a new license?

Glorie's hair is not combed, because they dryed her off and carried her downstairs.  We heard the sirens, looked it up, and got the message that a tornado had been sighted in our area. 

*Oh look, now the McDowells are here.  If we have to hide again, it'll be a real party.  And we'll have to hide Ariel's birthday present, a bike, which is itself hiding in our basement. *

Then we went downstairs and Anna B. and I decided where we would hide (under the workbench, away from windows, with a mattress in front of us).  It reminds me of when some kids sneaked into the school and set off the fire alarm, and I began running around grabbing everything I could.  My backpack, my essay I was working on, my mom's computer, my mom's purse (and then she looked for it and freaked out about where was her purse, when I had already appointed myself it's salvation).  Anyways, we stood out in the rain while the false alarm was taken care of.  

I am now sitting in the living room, as the sirens subsided.  We came up with the agreement that if we see any strong winds or driving rain (or any cows flying across our windows) we'll go back downstairs.  

I bet you you'll laugh!




Thanks to Brandon and Beka's blog for the introduction!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two points

HAPPY: It is Fall.  Which means, it's almost Christmas.  Which means, it's almost time for the red Starbucks cups!  Cheer is in the air!

SAD: I seem to be losing things.  I'm not really sure where my camera is at this point. (Don't worry, I didn't lose it, I'm just not sure where it is...at the moment).  And, I bought some nail polish to do Suzy's toenails and somehow it didn't make it from the store to the car. And I didn't realize it until much later.

Sad face.  :(   (especially because the red cups are actually quite a ways away)

Today's the Day



I usually have this strange neurosis about knowing why the flag is half-mast.  It always seems to happen inexplicably, and I can never figure it out.  No one else seems to know either, and it's usually never in the news.

Today was different.  I went to the gym this morning and all the flags were down, and I wondered for a second, but then quickly remembered.  Today's the day.  Seven years ago, our country changed, and, in a way, so did the world.

Think about it.  9/11 probably effected most of the people on the planet, in terms of its represcussions.  The United States and others went to war, oil prices are affected by that, and oil prices affect food prices, which effects everyone.

It's been seven years.  Can you believe it?  Seven years...that is a long time.  How can it have been that long ago?  You know, I think a lot about how we are living in historic times, and in just a few more years, I'll be able to explain to my own children what it was like to live that moment where I heard about the twin towers.  Everyone from my parents' generation remembers everything about the moment they heard that President Kennedy was shot.  I think 9/11 is that for our generation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sometimes it's really, really, really dark...

Tonight I had to take the highway home from my babysitting job, and it was very, very dark.  As I merged on, I thought about how hmmm....I've had night driving experience and hmmmm.....I've had highway driving experience...  but hmmmm....I'm actually not sure how much night-highway driving experience me and my tires have gone through.

Nothing happened of course and I am safe and sound, sitting here in my brown and blue room.  When I got on the road, I switched into high-maintenance gear (and switched Josh Groban onto high-decibel level  Secret about Annie: I BLAST MUSIC WHEN I'M ALONE IN THE CAR).  I clung to my 10-and-2 spots on the steering wheel and tensed my lower arm muscles and drove...and drove and drove.  Until I got off the highway, that is, back on familiar territory, where I noticed that I instantly eased up and relaxed my hand on the bottom of the steering wheel, and my muscles went back to their normal state.

The funny thing, it's not outright fear of driving (although i really didn't like the big truck that it took me a while to lose)...it's just tension (okay, maybe there's a little apprehension mixed in).  I pretty much just remind myself at the beginning of each drive that I'm okay, the Lord's in control, and sometimes whisper a little prayer of safety over me and whatever car I happen to be driving on that trip.  

Another funny thing that was brought to my attention is that I speed up in some places, but slow down on the highway when I get nervous.  All of a sudden, I'm wondering why people are speeding past me and oh!  it's because I was going 65 ten seconds ago, but I'm now only going 52.  Oops.

Anyways, I'm not trying to make you nervous about my driving.  My father will tell you that I am a very capable driver, and I do drive the kiddos places.  I'm really going to miss driving if I go to Hawaii...I guess there's a law that out-of-state drivers under 18 can't drive there.  :(  boohoo.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Free Phil Wickham CD!

So, I got it, and...you're supposed to tell your friends.  So, I'm telling you!  You can get a free download of a Phil Wickham live cd that he just recorded.  Click.......................  HERE!  =)

I like it


So, I downloaded Google Chrome.

Yes, I am feeling very technologically oriented today.  I spent the day at the office working, and it felt WONDERFUL.  I set my computer up, hooked in the mouse, and fell in love with Windows Mail.

Well, maybe not love, but it did come in very handy...I didn't need to worry about what was going on in my e-mail accounts because anytime I get a new e-mail in any of them, a little envelope pops up on my taskbar.

Anyways, I answered the phone, returned messages, answered e-mail after e-mail (after e-mail after e-mail!) and had a blast the whole time. 

It is necessary that I share something with you.  The other day, our IT whiz-master in the office enlightened me to something I had been wondering and pondering night after night, day after day, month after month...not really.  But I had been stumped before of how to check a click-box when you are just tabbing through the boxes you need to fill.  I had never figured out how to avoid moving my hand back to the mouse.  Here is the answer: when you tab to be highlighted on the check box, just click the space bar and it selects/deselects it!  Marvelous!

But this Google Chrome business.  I decided that if it would offer me a bar across the top where I could save my links (like Safari...I don't have a Mac...though I kinda really want one) I would download it.  And it did!  And it does!  And I'm happy with my links!  All my blogs in one place.  Bliss.

P.S. I'm happy that when I open a new tab, it shows in nice, big boxes all my favorite web pages instead of informing me of what I already know: that I've opened a new tab and the only colors that exist in this new tab are white, blue, and black.

I love that girl!

Glorie was just the cutest little munchkin bean yesterday. We spent the day laughing and playing and romping around, and it was wonderful.

She would call out : "Nannie! Nannie! Nannie!" (Annie = Nannie...go figure) and I would respond: "Baby! Baby! Baby!" She had the sweetest smile plastered on her face all day and was so joyful that I didn't quite know if I could EVER give her enough kisses. :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Yes! Yes! (That's how I feel about this article)

"This is an interesting article entitled “Why They Hate Her” . It dissects the liberal hatred for Sarah Palin and helps understand the roots of the moral relativism movement as tied to adversarial feminism. If you boil the whole article down to one point it would be this : The radical feminists have been trying to convince women for years that you can not be a real woman unless you are ultra pro-abortion and partially anti-family and that to succeed as a woman, you must escape from the perils of a life of multiple children that evil men would want to place on you so that you can be your own woman. Sarah Palin, by her very existence counters that line of thinking and her election would set the radical left back 40 years in their efforts to destroy our society." (OJ McDowell)

Read it here!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Wahoo!!!!

I feel like I have a million things to blog. One million. But first, let me say something that I usually try to keep out of my blog as much as I can. I try to keep from talking outright about this very much, but after spending the whole day with moms, moms, and more moms...I just have to write what's on my mind. All I want in the whole (whole!) wide world is my own babies. There, I said it. Moving on.

So...one of the moms I spent time with today is the AMAZING Emery. (click on the link. read it) My sisters knew Emery back when they all lived in California. It's not quite a secret that I have loved her blog for a very long while. She is funny and thoughtful, and honest...so, I have been entertained by her blog as well as encouraged, and logging on and seeing that there is a new post is one of my favorite things. All that to say that when I read that she was visiting Kansas City (and that she was here with her husband who is busy all day every day so she basically has had nothing to do), I jumped on the comment box and invited her over!

We had a few failed attempts at getting together, but it finally worked today for brunch after church. Leading up to it, I felt like I was getting ready to meet a movie star or something. I have read her blog for so long, and today finally got to meet the wonderful, witty, beautiful lady behind the words. Liz and Suzy got reunited with an old friend, and I met a new one! We had a wonderful brunch, and I was just thrilled to be hanging out with Emery. It was one of those meetings where you know at the beginning that you need to brace yourself because it will have to end at some point. We originally thought we would be meeting on Saturday, and I'll admit it took me a little while longer to get dressed that day than it usually does.

I got to hear a bunch of their memories from California, and I have to say it sounds like they had such a FANTASTIC time. A group of young people, getting touched by the Lord, in great community, in beautiful San Luis Obispo. DREAMY. It just makes me excited for life... to see something that purposeful set up by the Lord for me where He sticks me in something where I can look back and be like O.M.G. that was Jesus... Kind of like Kansas City and TheCall!!

Church was fun this morning ("Halalala-lelele-lujah!"), and then this evening I went with Suz and OJ to the house of some friends of theirs where I hung out with...um...couples. But it was fun. :)

Life is good, and it's gonna be a good week.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Do I Fit?

Let me begin with some amusing quotes from the McDowell house:

Judah was wearing what they call the "fancy socks". They are hot pink, fuzzy foot-coverings (I don't dare call them real socks) that go up to his knees if not farther. Suzy called him a Wookie-in-training and Judah goes, "Wookie?! What's wookie means?" Don't worry, young Padewan, you will learn in time.

Sometimes I'll just be walking randomly and Judah will run away from me. I still have a hard time figuring out whether he means it or not, because he'll often yell "No!" or "Da-ah-aaadddy!" as I hold him down with tickles or kisses, but he has the most adorable smile painted on his face with his little dimples screaming "I'm cute! I'm cute!" So, yesterday I was walking down the hallway, looking down at my planner, when I glance up, meet eyes with Judah and he says "No! Don't pick me up!" then turns around and hightails it down the hallway. I dutifully followed and tackled him.

So, onto matter Numero Dos. You know that awkward stage where a kid has really long legs and arms, and they just can't seem to control them? That famous stage of growth that defines the word gangly as limbs are just kind of everywhere all the time, but nowhere every time they need to be somewhere?

Sometimes I feel like that. Don't mistake me, I'm plenty big enough for all of my limbs (even though I have been called "all leg" due to my long, long appendages). I mean this description of myself to be true more in the social graces side of things. There are three things I've found that point me to this general conclusion:
  • I dream of the day (and it is very much not today) where I have the perfect things to say. Like, whatever group I'm with or whoever is talking to me...sometimes it's just plain responses to questions, or saying entertaining things at the right time (that's a biggie for me)...sometimes it's actually advising someone or trying to help them with problems they're dealing with or are discouraged about. When I've gotten discontented with myself in this area recently, I've decided that I really just need to grow into it, and be okay with where I am now.
  • Next, there's this state of elegance issue. I want to be that elegant lady/girl/person who just has that air about her. This may or may not be slightly silly in some aspects of its aspiration.
  • Lastly, there is this deal of always injuring myself. Remember that time I stepped on the glass while cleaning the bathroom? The river of blood... that one. Then there's how the other night I felt a pain on the back of my heel while I was driving, reached down to rub it, and when my fingers came up, they had blood on them. Where in the world did I scrape the back of my heel? (I'm guessing going out of a door or something). Lastly, while I was ironing the duvet cover I made last night, I pulled it up and felt the pin in the corner of the fabric stab my toe. Later I looked down to see the top of my toe covered in blood. I had not "jabbed" my toe...rather, I had pulled the pin across the tip, resulting in a cut the lenth of my toenail.

All this bumbling around and awkward situations that have a tendency to draw blood have led me to this feeling of having theoretical arms and legs that I am, indeed, still growing into.

I did take a step forward last night, however, as I successfull sewed a duvet cover for the baby duvet that will go in the crib. It took a while, with a lot of ironing and extraneous threads EVERYWHERE, but it did eventually get done, and I am quite happy.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Glee

Yesterday, I stood behind the kitchen sink as Glorie worked on her lunch. I noticed she had begun to try to play the "Where's Glorieeeeeee?!?!" game by placing her hands over her eyes then jerking them away and seeing if you can, in reality, see her.

As soon as I acknowledge she was trying to play, she responded. Her eyes widened (oh, those eyes!) and she just opened her hand and dropped her fork (it landed in her high chair next to her) and covered her eyes.

When I played along with the "Where's Glorie?!" she smiled the hugest smile in the whole world, and flung her arms to the side as far as they could go. Resembling a bird that was flying with all the joy and strength it has, she embodied sweetness itself.

you can kind of see the kefir-moustache above her top lip...



Those cheeks need kisses! Kisses I tell you!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

List of Randomness

"The presidency is not meant to be a journey of self-discovery." Let me first say that I am really excited about Sarah Palin. She is firm in her stance on abortion, and genuine. I like her a lot.

Here is my quandary (of a totally unrelated nature): I love the whole process of finishing a workout, showering, putting my wet hair up in a bun and putting on a t-shirt and jeans, and driving somewhere in the car. I love it...that exact routine. My trouble is that my hair really doesn't dry well in a bun, but I love putting it up like that.

Secondly...I went to work out again today (haven't done that in a REALLY long time) and worked myself pretty hard, which is always nice. Today I ran on the treadmill (like good old times) instead of doing the elliptical. My issue with treadmills is how it demands that you put your hands on the bar so that it can sense your heart rate...but then once it's switched onto Manual (which it does automatically when you don't submit to its irrational demands that you glue your fingers to the machine) and you place your hands on the sensors, a message flashes across the screen that reads "It is not recommended that you place hands on sensors while running." Badoink.

Lastly, I've gotten used to exercising at the gym, which is in public to an extent, but I have not gotten comfortable with doing push-ups there. For some reason, I think I will look really wimpy. Hmmm.....

Hope you enjoyed the randomness. I am now going on a Ben & Jerry's run for the McDowell house. Bye.

Ariel and I Compose

Ariel is my advisor/co-author on this post. She wanted to write about each of these animals and then we conducted an interview.

Cat. The cat went to a store to buy some milk.

Doggie. He went to the bank. *Did he get a sucker at the bank? (Annie)* Yes.

Giraffe. He went to the post office.

Ariel, what is your favorite color?
Pink. 'Cause. Just 'cause.
Ask me what color my shirt is.

Ariel, what color is your shirt?
It is black and blue and grey and white and black again.

If you could play anywhere, where would you play right now?
I don't know! I don't know! Well, of course I would say...the living room.

In the whole world?
Yes. Play with an instrument in the living room? I would play a trumpet.

Now, let's read...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Faithfulness Received

I hope you guys listened to that cd I recommended a few posts ago... Holy. If you didn't, please do. It's amazing.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to upload. I feel like I had a busy Labor Day Weekend...except Labor Day itself where we had a barbecue and saw an old friend of OJ's and his new wife. I spent a lot of the weekend painting a house... one of the leaders here and his wife is gone internationally for a week and a half, so there is a surprise re-vamp of their house going on... I'm thinking they don't read my blog so it's safe to admit it here.

Today was the first day of school for my Eagles Wings crew... and it's kinda weird I'm not in school! Amy pointed something out to me by saying "You've been gone most summers, but then you always came back. This year, you didn't come back." I am kind of wondering if the rest of the year will be different now that I am so starkly doing something other than what everyone else is doing. Of course, I'm surrounded by people here doing the same things I am, only at different ages. Oh well.

I have a new job with TheCall and am feeling very excited about it all. I've gone into the office for two days now, and it is so fun! I feel like I'm part of something, part of a team. I look at pictures and feel like I know people. That, my friends, is a wonderful feeling (especially when you have just moved to a new place). I even went to a party tonight. I love knowing people. Love it, love it. All this to show, Jesus knows perfectly what we need. If He hadn't stuck me in with TheCall I don't know what I would be doing right now. Probably aching for Chicago even worse than I do right now and feeling depressed about how I only know married people here. Jesus is so good and so kind. He certainly did know exactly what I needed and He has provided for it.

I have to also just say how wonderful people here are. If anyone from KC that I have met reads this, please know that in any little way you talked me or treated me like your friend (and I can say that because everyone has treated me like their friend) you have truly, truly impacted me. Being on the receiving end of "don't let anyone look down on you because you are young" isn't always so easy...how do you prevent people from treating you whatever way they're going to treat you? But here in Kansas City, I have been so incredibly blown away by the way I have been welcomed and treated. Not one person I have met has treated me as if I'm "little" or "only a teenager". They get to know me, then they find out I how old I am, then they treat me the same as they did before they knew my age. This blows. my. mind. I'm pretty sure a lot of people don't quite understand/remember from when they were young how much this means. I feel so welcomed as just normal. Not that I was ever abnormal, but I kind of expect people to use me on their team or be nice to me just to take pity on me, because I don't really have anything else to do, or, it just works. But no! I am reminded time after time after time that I have genuinely been accepted here. I work with TheCall and people are happy that I do. Again, it blows my mind.

So, thank you all my new friends in KC. and THANK YOU JESUS. Thank you, thank you, thank you. No one could have set this life in KC up better than You have. I would be nowhere without You, and I am blown away by how You have shown your love in such practical ways in my new life. :)

By the way, Jesus was my superhero in DC. Well, He's still my superhero now, but I have to just say that when I was having difficult moments or feeling discouraged, He (again and again and again) sent someone to encourage me, or specifically gave someone a word to give to me. Jesus is amazing.

Amen. Let's stand. (ha...hahahaha!)

Monday, September 01, 2008

My apologies

My blog header is having some serious issues, as you can tell, and I apologize.

Administration is working for fix this problem in the most expedient way possible and apologizes for any inconvenience it may have caused you...and your sense of style.