Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankgiving Introduction

Another introduction.

Meet Jori. She's 30. Bet you couldn't have guessed that.

She will probably kill me for putting that on here. But, she will love seeing herself on here more so I am pretty sure I'll be in the clear.

She's foxy. Don't you think? And smart. This was at her graduation party to celebrate finishing her Master's. It's not in math. BUT she loves math. I mean really, really loves math. She's not just good at it, but she has a passion for it like I can't even describe. It baffles me. But seriously, how cool is a girl who is foxy and loves math? Cool to the millionth degree, my friends.

She has a sweet tooth. No, I am NOT kidding! I wouldn't do that to you. Rarely will you find her without a stash of M&M's or Reese's cups tucked in her purse, car console, pockets, dresser drawers, kitchen cabinets, or pretty much any little crevice she can find to stash a little chocolate goodness.

Hello. You say you are a Tech fan? Nope. Not even close. Jori is Tech. No Phoenix here. Only Tech. It runs in her veins.

Know what else she loves. Dancing. She has a special fondness for synchronized dancing. So much so that she became a certified Jazzercize instructor this summer.

Unfortunately, my picture library doesn't have any of her dancing moments captured. But here we are after a night of dancing. We don't get to play often, but we play hard when we do. Can you tell?

Along with her fondness for dancing she has an unwavering love of music. This might be the one thing that took me most by surprise when getting to know this sweet friend of mine. She tends to lean toward the left a little on her selection of music. Her most current playlist probably includes a little Jay-Z, Rhianna, Lil' Wayne, Kanye, 50 Cent...shocked much? I was.

Other things that are important to know about her: 

Her heart belongs to Jesus. She LOVES Christmas. There is a soft spot in her for mission work in Russia. She adores shopping. Sometimes she thinks her mom can't hear her, but she can. She has excellent taste in friends.She loves to make up Limericks!
This is the exact reason I wanted you to meet her. She has a talent, I tell you. It's amazing what she can do with a few rhyming words. So without further ado, I'll let the words speak for themselves.

A Thanksgiving Limerick

Oh wow, look around--what a blessing!

The turkey, the pie and the dressing

We'll give so much thanks
We'll have to buy spanx
The holidays are here, but who's stressing??

Do you love it? Let her know and leave a note. Possibly we could get her started as a regular part of this blog. Limerick's just make this world a better place.

From deep down in both of our hearts, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Child of Another Mother

Hello. I'd like to introduce you to Ribbon.

She is my other child. And she really, really loves me.

She loves me almost as much as she loves food. Or anything that resembles food. Or pretty much anything that will fit in her mouth. Whether is resembles food or not doesn't really matter much to her.

Her next favorite thing, besides the food and me, is basking in the warm sunshine. It's the only time she sits still. Unless she is sleeping, of course. There is some medicinal  and calming effect in the sunshine that works similar to Ritalin on a person with Attention Deficit Disorder. By the way, I'm pretty sure she has the dog version of ADD. They have that, don't they?

Look at that irrisistible face. Cute, huh? I don't get to tell her very often. Mostly because I tend to loose my status as the Alpha when I use that sweet, tender voice. And, we are constantly vying for that position. Beagles are stong willed dogs, yall. Who knew?! Snoopy never gave us a hint of that at all.

I've lost this battle though. Mostly because I've resolved to choose my battles carefully and she has no interest in the clean dishes. Phew!

But, here you see. I am in charge. Just call me Alpha. Alpha with a fun-kee callus on my foot. Please, excuse that.

Oh, those ears. They are killing me. And those wrinkles on her chin. There is nothing softer in this world. Well, maybe my love handles. But, not much else.

Time to sign off now and go get a handful of that softness before hitting the hay.

'Night all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Belated or Not?

This post is in honor of all those who serve and have served our country. Because of you giving heart and your courage and bravery, I get to embrace freedom every day!
Let me show you what I mean.

Embracing Freedom Picture #1
I wake up and go through the same routine of dragging myself out of bed every morning and stumbling to the coffee pot. Sometimes, I am really good and get up early to have a quiet time and read my Bible. But, sometimes I walk around kicking myself because I don't. I'm just too tired to get up an extra 30 minutes early.

Those exhaustive mornings are usually because I stayed up too late the night before watching television, or going to a movie or dinner with a friend, or going to church with my kiddo and hanging around to visit with friends afterward. Bummer!

Embracing Freedom Picture #2
And then weekends roll around and I squeeze a million things into a 48 hour window, like shopping, haircuts, studying for my education and professional development, church activities, hanging out with friends, cooking delicious meals, blogging, taking Griffin to the gun range for skeet shooting (but first stopping by Academy to pick up some more ammunition because we are running low), running by the polls to cast a get the picture.

Embracing Freedom Picture #3
Before I know it, it is the dead of night and I am lying in my bed flipping through the channels and come across an infomercial with starving babies in a 3rd world country that can be fed for $34.00 a month. It crosses my mind for a brief moment, that I just dropped $200.00 at the grocery store for my son and I to eat for two weeks. I conveniently skip over the fact that we will probably eat out at least 3 meals during those two weeks. And then I roll over in the bed and just can't get comfortable. I blame it on the extra softness around my middle because I just didn't have time to get a workout in today. Of course, I start to ponder how nothing in my closet fits because of all of the stress eating I have been doing recently.

The portfolio is so large, there is no way I could fit it all in here. But, I bet you get the picture? My guess is that it's a familiar picture. It's the American way, after all!

On Veteran's Day, I caught glimpses of other people's blog posts, status updates, news stories, and the like about Veteran's Day. It's touching to hear personal stories of those who have served and given their lives for our country and freedom.

But something crossed my mind, "how is that we get so busy in our lives doing all of the things that are explicitly due to the liberty's we have, that we end up losing sight of the fact that they are, in fact, freedoms?" Even bigger than that, "how can I show my gratitude for the opportunities afforded to me in freedoms?"

"I thank my God every time I remember you." - Philippians 1:3

Exercising our rights is paramount to keeping our freedom. I'm pretty sure I have that part down, but here is the part I could use some work on. We absolutely must do our part to fight for those rights as citizen's of this great country. Not being in the military doesn't mean that we sit back and take on a spectator role. We must participate- standing up for the things we believe in and finding ways to take action.

When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.- Dorothy Thompson
As I have gotten older, I have begun to grasp the concept of the price that has been paid for our freedom. Noone better understands that price like our Veteran's. But, the glimpse of that price has allowed me to more fully appreciate the land in which I live and the great and fortunate oppurtunities that are available to me.

What about you? How do you show your gratitude? What do you do to keep from sitting complacently in the spectator's role? What keeps the cost of freedom in the forefront of your mind?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Watching the wrong movies.

I needed this reminder today. I need this reminder everyday.

Watching the wrong movies.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Three Amigos and The Bevil Oaks Bandit

There is a bit of delay in getting this post up. You know how sometimes, life just gets in the way of blog posting. Just like when you have a really great series of spooky posts for Halloween which was to be topped off with the spookiest of spooky stories on the twilight of such a ghoulish evening and it just vanished into thin air. Almost as quickly as that ghost next to you will vanish.


Luckily, the ghosts and goblins stayed away this year and I was left with a peaceful and fun evening with a friend, a good hearty bowl of chili, and lemon bars to sweeten the deal. Besides a few stray supermen, ladybugs, and baseball players that made their way to my neck of the woods, the evening was fairly uneventful.

Oh, and did I mention the three amigos made an appearance?

OK, so it's just one amigo and his compadres. I'm fairly certain that it was the imminent danger that these three presented that put an inexplicable fear into the eyes of any ghosts and goblins that had their sight set on our home for the evening.

You can see it, can't you? Almost feel the way it penetrates deep into your soul. Just eerie. Downright fearful, I tell you.

Now that I have you headed toward the frightened side of life a little, let me tell you a little story. A story, true in nature and that to this day gives me more heebee-jeebee's than any Halloween trick or treat I could imainge. Well, almost.

Once upon a time, many, many, many, many years ago when I was young and full of life I lived through a horrific nightmare of my own. The day before was a comfortable, sunny, summer day and as any 16 year old was happy to do, I headed out to mow the grass. The obligatory duty of any allowance receiving  teenage daughter who needed to use the family mini-van for a night out with friends and a little extra for gas money.

I was strutting my stuff around the yard in my perfectly permed, teased and hair-sprayed hair, electric blue eye-lined eyes, sporty Bodyglove bathing suit top, and Dirty Dancing cutoff shorts atop the riding lawn mower lifting my wayfarer sunglasses emphatically in search of any head that I might turn. Who could drive by without acknowledging such brazen beauty on such a glorious day?

When suddenly, my sweet, darling sister came barreling out of the front door with telephone to let me know I had a call. The details of the call, I do not recall, but I specifically remember handing her the phone back and scooting her on her way back into the house, so as not to distort the grandiose view of any interested party who might be swept away by my loveliness that day.

Later that night, I slept soundly in my twin, trundle bed. When in an instant, my eyes opened widely and I was paralyzed by a fear like I had never known. At the foot of my bed, stood a man holding a flashlight which seemed to dimly light the outer features of his face. In that moment, every ounce of me wanted to let out a blood curdling scream, but all I could do was stare. My mouth would not open, my arms would not move and I could not find my voice.

All that I could do was close my eyes.

And so I did.

What felt like an eternity, was probably only mere seconds. My thoughts were something like this..."please be a dream, please be a dream. I'm going to open my eyes again in a second and realize that all of this is a very bad dream."

But, as these thoughts raced through my mind I felt a deepening sense of fear creep over me. Chills shivered down my neck and I bravely opened my eyes again and was blinded by the immediate light that was inches from my nose. He was there. Next to me at the side of my bed. I gasped and tried to muster up a scream for my father but again, my vocal cords were frozen. Paralyzed and still, I lay there and felt helpless. All I could do was close my eyes.

As I did, I heard the shuffle of footsteps on the parquet floor away from bed and down the hall. They moved right out the front door and crossed the yard. The sound of leaves crunched just outside my bedroom window and I lay still until I could hear the footsteps no more. Hoping still that all of this was a dream, I squeezed my eyes shut for what felt like an eternity.

After sometime, I finally regained some control of my limp and exhausted body, opened my eyes and dragged myself out of the bed. It took all I had to re-trace the footsteps of this night-time visitor down the hall and around the corner to see the front door standing wide open. And then I screamed and simultaneously realized my sister did not lock the door after she brought the phone in earlier in the day.

Somewhat of a delayed reaction, I know. But, I found my voice and ran to my father's bed as fast as I could.

To everyone's surprise, we found the next day that several other young ladies in our community experienced similar situations the same night. All encounters of a man with a flashlight. No harm done or words spoken. Just intense moments of fear.

Stories have been told about similar events in prior years but I know of none since that time. The Bevil Oaks Bandit is still at large and I have since inherited a compulsive habit of checking for locked doors each night.

Now, go check your doors. Crawl in bed and have a peaceful night's sleep. I dare you too!