The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rainy Day

Who knew I was going to become a fan of girls' lacrosse?  It happened. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hershey Park, Power Problems, Psych and Country Music

I think that title just about covers it.

Look!  Everyone in the family is now a "Jolly Rancher".  That means we can ride all of the rides.  Not that we all want to, but more on that in a minute.  I tried to make Ryan pose.  Just like last year, he refused.  I guess he isn't all that amused I get so amused by making him stand by the height markers.  ;-)  I'm pretty convinced Jac is going to be taller than any of us (That would not be a huge feat and that does not exactly mean he will end up tall.  It's weird I even think about it, I suppose.  Height is a non-issue for me.  Fortunately.)

If I could have any picture that I didn't take from when they were small, among the choices would be of the one of her standing by this sign the first time we went to Hershey.  She was 4.  And short enough to be in the smallest category of riders.  She's always been adventurous and was disappointed to find out she couldn't ride everything.  For the whole next year, whenever we wanted her to eat something, we would say "If you want to be a whatever the next size up thing is, you have to eat this."  And she would.  That went on for a few years  until she got big enough to ride everything she wanted to ride.  It's funny now.  And sort of interesting to think about.  I've never made my kids eat anything and have generally been relaxed about what they eat and when they eat it.  (Mostly, because I don't like people telling me what to eat and when to eat it?)  I guess using amusement park rides to bribe her to eat is/was a little out of character with the rest of my philosophy.  It must have been more about efficiency.  "Eat and be done with it so I can get on with things."  Yeah...pretty sure that's what it must have been about.  :-) 

Back to the rides.  Jac and I don't like them.  Ryan and Alicia can't get enough of them.  For the first time ever, we split up at the gate and didn't meet back up until the park closed.  Turns out, it was the perfect solution.  Jac and I looked at the animals and watched a sea lion show and rode little kiddie stuff and had the best of time. 

At some point, he wanted to ride some little, water thing that sort of resembled a low-level, roller coaster.  Just as we were boarding, though, there was a power failure and the thing got shut down.  I talked him into some other one.  The power went out while we were on the tracks.  That was fun.  For like 20 minutes.  Let me remind you neither of us was too keen on being on that thing in the first place.

So...we spent that whole time taking weird pictures.  This one cracks me up.  He looks like a caricature of Ryan, lol.

We found out at the end of the day Ryan and Alicia were stuck at the top of a loop on one of those things that's scary enough from the ground. For a long time.  Maybe today was the day for working out electrical problems?

And now...on to the last part.  Psych. and country music. 

If I wasn't deeply involved in a psyche class that's messing with me a little bit, it would just be about the music.  But, I am.  And it is messing with me.  Because those things always do.  Not in a bad way, just in a "I'm thinking too much about it" kind of way.  If you know me, you know I don't need to think more than I already do.

The bottom line with this class is that it has reaffirmed everything I love about myself are things I got while I was still a child.  There isn't anything about who I am that didn't originate there and there isn't anything about who I am that would have come some other way.  It is strange I have come to a point of knowing this.  It is strange if I had to do it all over again and got to choose the environment in which it occurred, I wouldn't change a thing.  It is even stranger that while I know that, I do not choose to raise my kids that way.  For a variety of reasons.

Probably on the verge of offending some will move on.

We were listening to country music on the ride home. 

For someone who doesn't listen to that kind of music, I know an awful lot of songs.  It is also worth noting my life is evidently audibly organized with country music markers.  Who knew?

Alicia does listen to it.  She's old enough to have reasonable conversations about life.  Trying to combine my markers with her experiences and level of being able to relate her life to mine....ha.

For example, this song came on:
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What does it mark?  A period of Saturday nights (possibly over a period of years) in a bar called "Elaine's" where there were dead deer on the walls, a shuffleboard table and a jukebox that gave you five songs for a quarter.  I doubt I ever had more than a quarter, but I'd pick the same song all five times.  This one.  Unless "Elvira" was a choice.  Then, I'd alternate.  Pretty sure that got on everyone's nerves.  Even if they were too drunk to care if the kids were being so rough with the shuffleboard the cornmeal was going everywhere. 

I suppose it is worth mentioning there is only one person in my current world who can relate to this story?  It's interesting to laugh with someone about something that really isn't that funny.'s who we are.

My child?  She didn't laugh.  She didn't "get it".  Why would I be in a bar when I was 8 years old?  (As if I was really only there once and didn't spend a good portion of my life there from birth to thirteen.)  She has never seen a juke box and she has no idea what shuffleboard is.  Some things can only be explained so far.

Fast forward a whole lot of years to Tim McGraw.  She, at least, knows who he is.  Was asking her if she knew which song made him big.  She couldn't wrap her mind around the fact he was just singing in clubs in OKC when we lived there and then that song happened.  And then the incredulous "So, he was just a normal person?"  "Yeah.  Isn't he still?"  It makes me wonder if I ever thought famous people were somehow different than "normal" people. 

And then Travis Tritt came on which reminded me of some outdoor concert we went to when she was a baby and he was there....

Hmm...this is making me sound like I listen to country music.  I don't.  I listen to Jesus music that is too radical to be played on mainstream radio or I listen to music on the other end of the spectrum respectable, forty-year-old, white women are probably not supposed to listen to.

Can I help it if I like it?

All of this brings me back to that psyche class.  I am loving that class.  .


Friday, April 26, 2013

Tank Wigglesworth

After living here for nearly a month, this thing finally has a name: Tank Wigglesworth.  I thought, two days ago, he would be called "Mo" (short for Mozart), because Jac told me "Mozart" sounds like a lizard name.  Until today's sudden appearance of "Tank", the choices were "Mozart", "Bubba" and "Bosco".  My submissions of "Elvis" and "Solomon" were shot down immediately. 
The business of naming things is important, you know.  This thing is going to live here for roughly 10 years. 
Which brings us to the obvious...Jac is not scheduled to live here for 10 more years.  So...umm...don't kids have a history of not taking their pets with them when they leave?
You all know I am irrationally afraid of snakes.  I can't even look at them through the glass at the pet store.  Blech. 
I am sort of o.k. with this thing.  I don't have nightmares about him or anything.  (Let us not have a discussion of whether or not it's actually a him.  It was assumed he is for the simplicity of naming him.) Still, it's not like I want to cuddle up with him or something. 
Even if my friend, Tammi, told me one of the highpoints of owning a bearded dragon is that they like to cuddle up on your shoulder when you watch tv.  Umm...o.k.?  Going to just have to take her word on that.
So, I sucked it up and made myself pick him up. 
Because, let's be real.  You know who will be taking care of him.
He feels "squishy with a crust".  I wouldn't really describe that as something I enjoy, is what it is?

(P.S.  I have arrived at that point in life I've heard others talk about.  The point of looking at my own hands and realizing they are my mom's.  Sigh...)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Psalm 143:8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Here's a weird thing:  I'm not all stressed out this year.  I mean, I should be completely stressed out, but I'm not.  I have more going on right in this season than I've ever in my life had going on and so many revolving due dates (for a variety of things) it seems impossible I would not be tense.  And worried I won't get it all done.  And crunched for time.  I'm not any of that.   Instead, I'm calm.  I seem to have enough time for everything I want to do.  I'm all over the place with my kids' activities and my activities and hanging with friends.  How can this be?  I'm kind of marveling over it.
Highlight of my day = Coffee and a 15 minute quiet time challenge with my  JRNE girls.  :-)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Yard Work

Everything is green!  I love spring.  Just love it.  Even if it does take hours and hours to get my yard back together (i.e...The yard refuse collection people are probably going to put a curse on me when they come by on Tuesday.).  When we bought this house, it was for the yard.  The yard looks nothing like it used to look (Because she had a gardener and we don't?), but it's mine.  There weren't any gardens when we moved in.  Now, they are all over the place.  Love it.  Love it.  Love it.  But yeah....they take hours of my time.

See that playground?  I built in when Alicia was a baby.  One of my summer projects is going to be taking it down.  It's old.  I didn't maintain it all that well.  While it's still mostly safe, the kids are too old for it.  For the most part.  I might leave a piece of it for another year or so.  Jac and  his friends still hang out there from time to time.  It's kind of sad to think of it gone.  Pretty sure it's the first thing I ever built.

That red maple in the foreground came from a seed I picked off a tree across the street.  It's finally coming into its own.  :-)

Clearly, lacrosse and archery have taken over the back.  For a season.

In the front, if you look closely, there is a very tacky gnome.  I'm not really into yard art, but Jac gave me that thing for Valentine's Day and planted it front row/center as soon as spring hit.  As soon as I find a "special spot" for him in the backyard, negotiation will begin. :-)

Totally unrelated, but I took a picture of my couponing haul today.  I don't have the patience to get good at it like those extreme couponing people.  Nor do I have the time.  They treat it like a job.  I already have a job.  Still...$120 worth of stuff for free.  I actually made money if you consider the fact they gave me almost $30 in bonus bucks for my next trip.  At any rate....proud moment, lol.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I'm pretty sure I would frustrate/annoy myself if I wasn't me.  Does that make sense?  There really isn't anyone like me (that I'm aware of...How could there be?), but if there was and I had to deal with them on a regular would get to me.  This guy at work always says "You know you are hyper, right?"  I see what he's saying, but "hyper" isn't the right word.  "Hyper" insinuates (to me) behaviorally out of control in a loud and boisterous way.  I'm not like that most of the time.  A better word would probably be "distractable."  I have no problems with that word.  It's true.  I admit it.

For example, I need to write two papers, a lesson plan and then a bibliography and outline (using research I have yet to do) for a final paper this weekend.  I also need to wash my sticky, kitchen floor (among other things).  Jac has a lacrosse game, we have a family portrait sitting today, I told my friend I'd go to her jewelry party this afternoon, church and youth group tomorrow,  I'm planting my garden this's already a fully-scheduled two days.

I made my plan of attack and was good with it for a whole ten minutes (Nine of which were spent sorting out all the laundry I need to wash and the final minute was spent with my stray eye spotting a piece of fabric I bought a year or two ago.) before it changed.

Sewing, for me, is like that itch that occurs when you can't scratch it.  You when you are kneading bread and your face gets an itch?  Sigh...I've learned it's better to just stop and scratch.

And, now, I'm all better.  :-)

Colette's Sorbetto.  The best free pattern out there.  I can make it in an hour, it's the perfect top for hot days and is as easy to wear as a t-shirt (except it looks way less sloppy).  It goes with jeans and looks nice with a skirt (I'm going to pair it with a black, scalloped hem skirt I've yet to make.).  I need more of them.

Now...on with the paper writing. :-)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Peach Blossoms

From my peach tree...the one that doesn't actually make peaches beyond tiny, green balls that fall off long before they are ripe.  The first year I planted the tree?  Tons of peaches.  After that?  This is the highlight.

I'm interested in the picture.  Not sure why the background shows up dark (since it was daylight), but it's kind of cool, don't ya think?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

15 minutes on a Tuesday afternoon.

Sometimes, my life happens in 15 minute segments from the time I get off work until dinner when I sort of lose focus.  It works for me.  I get a lot done.  Well, until Ryan comes home and then all bets are off.  Mostly, because I never moved that tv out of the living room after our Super Bowl party and we are going through a phase of pretending it's 20 years ago when families all gathered around the tv every night.  Well...maybe we are not pretending.  For some reason, that's working for us right now. :-)

15 minutes here and there of reading this book for school.  It's easy to read and picking up/leaving off is not a huge deal.  The other book?  Ha.  Tiny print, no pictures, big words, not all that exciting...I read it before I go to bed.  When I'm trying to get sleepy.

Homework supervisor...thankfully for only 15 minutes.  It's a LONG 15 minutes.

Messing around in the garden in between whatever else is happening.  Have you ever seen such a mess?  I'm just now getting out there and trying to clean it up.  I made big progress today.  I guess it's amazing what one can get done in a couple of 15 minute stints?  I don't have much growing out there right now.  Sugar snap peas, rhubarb, a few herbs...that's about it.  I've got heirloom tomatoes, peppers, basil, fennel and rainbow chard ready to go out.  If it ever gets reliably warm enough.

I spent 15 minutes sidetracked in my yard.  I love spring.  I love flowers.  I love beautiful things in nature.

15 minute drive to the next town over to drop off one kid and then 15 minutes back to pick up the other one.  Sort of a daily event.

I'm pretty convinced I love the grocery store.  Otherwise, why would I be there every single day?  I found my partner in crime, Lorelei, in there.  Normally, would have killed off 15 minutes talking to her, but my garden was calling.

Bought flowers at the store.  So, now I have 1 planter that has flowers, lol.  Kind of pathetic, but whatever.  I'll get to it.  Or not.

Dinner.  15 minutes to prep for marinade and then 15 minutes to grill on my indoor cheater grill.  Chicken, pineapple, onions and red bell with a soy/ginger/pineapple juice marinade.  At this point, I feel the need to announce that for the first time in over a year, there isn't anyone here eating strictly vegan.  Which means I'm no longer cooking 2 different dinners every night.  I guess you could call us "vegan-ish", now.  Or something.  It depends on the day/week.  We might go back to it.  We might not.  Who knows?

Saturday, April 13, 2013



I've done this for the past couple of years, but, truthfully, I don't have enough "me made" to go the whole month.  Not even close.  I might could (haha...was hanging out with a southerner today and she always says "might could") manage a few days. pledge is to do it on Sundays.  I think I can handle that.

Of course, the whole thing makes me want to stop and sew something instead of write the paper I'm working on.  The paper isn't due until tomorrow...hmm.... ;-)

(P.S.  You can check out the whole thing here.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Isaiah 58

1“Cry loudly, do not hold back;
Raise your voice like a trumpet,
And declare to My people their transgression
And to the house of Jacob their sins.

2“Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,
As a nation that has done righteousness
And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God.
They ask Me for just decisions,
They delight in the nearness of God.

3‘Why have we fasted and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’
Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,
And drive hard all your workers.

4“Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.

5“Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?

6“Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?

7“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

8“Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,

10And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.

11“And the LORD will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

That Game

It's called "Rose and Thorn".  Basically, you share at the end of the day the "good" thing and the "bad" thing that happened.  I play it with my girls on Thursday nights.  But, we didn't meet tonight.  Because of my thorn.

Today has 2 "roses":

1. Check out these standings.  Go Damascus girls!  That's nationally, folks.  I see they just fell to 4th from 3rd (The rankings will probably keep shifting as other teams have games), but still...proud moment. :-)

2.  My professor provides feedback on Thursdays.  I haven't done my homework, because I was nervous about what he was going to say about my research question (Truthfully?  It only vaguely makes sense to me and it's my question.) and I figured there wasn't any point in doing a full article analysis if he rejected the question.  Aside from me being scared of my own question, I'm all psyched up again that I can do this.  :-)

Wow! This is a powerful research question. You are demonstrating high-level analytical development vital to excellence in educational leadership. This is the type of critical thinking we are looking for when dealing with learning theories. I appreciate how you focused the research question so that your research will ultimately help students. You are on the front lines when it comes to developing better ways to help students learn. Combining the theories you selected will create a powerful theoretical framework.

The thorn:

My aching, freakin' back.  I'm so over it.  I keep trying to "consider it all joy" and I've no doubt everything works together for good (and good things have come from this), but...blah...if it was my leg I would have just cut it off already and moved on. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Damascus vs. Poolesville

 Team Prayer

Best friends since kindy...3 years ago vs. today.  They've change a little bit, huh?

Here's an interesting thing:  Sometimes I worry that I've screwed up my kids.  Because, I'm weird, y'know?  And I do some things in parenting that I don't see anyone else doing. 

The other thing is that there are some things I love about myself that I was hoping my kids would also have.  Turns out, they didn't get them.  Or, not yet, anyway.  And sometimes I have to wonder about that.  Will they be alright if they don't have whatever I have that I attach so much value to? 

And then....sometimes...I see something else.  If I was going to make a list of things I wish I had?  #8 has all of them. 

Life is funny.

Just a picture.

You have to click here to see it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Posted today by my professor:

Knowledge = Heart + Mind
Knowledge - Love = Vanity
Knowledge - Application = Arrogance
Knowledge = Action + relationships
Knowledge = Obedience + Trust
Knowledge + Beliefs = Worldview

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Garden

Spring is my busy season.  Everything happens all at once, non-stop.  The downward slide into summer...  I love summer.  :-)  Sigh...I love spring.  It took a long time in coming, but I think it's finally here.

I don't exactly know where the weekend went, but I did manage to get outside to start making sense of the yard.  While I was out there, I was lost in thought (which is maybe the best place to be?). 

Had this whole post formulated in my head about that analogy of a garden as it relates to anything else in life one finds worth the effort required.  But, I'm too tired to write it all out.  No worries.  It's sappy, anyway.

So, that's where I've been.  In my garden.  At lacrosse.  At work.  Doing homework.  At church.  With friends.  And a hundred other places.  It's all worth it in the end.  But, yeah...I'm tired.

In other news...Jac turned 12 last week and is now the owner of a bearded dragon.  Despite living here for a week already, the thing is still nameless.  My vote is on Elvis, but that was vetoed.  Oh's the best lizard name I have.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The big question...for today, anyway.

What is the point of knowledge if its execution only leads to arrogance?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Puerto Rico

A sampling of our trip:

Monday: Snow on the first day of spring break.  They are all smiles, though...thinking about where they'd be in a few hours.  Our flight was late leaving which meant we were late getting there.  Spent the rest of the day walking around the area of the hotel, checking out the grocery store/restaurants/etc...

Tuesday: We went to Old San Juan with the intention of seeing the main tourist-y stuff.  We didn't actually make it that far.  Got sidetracked with looking at other stuff.  Discovered Pigeon's Park and mostly just walked around.


Wednesday:  Rented a car and went to the El Yunque Rain Forest.  Then to Luquillo Beach (filthiest beach I've ever been to in my life).  Then drove back to San Juan via the coast.  This was the day I accidentally ate pork stomach.



Thursday: Went back down to Old San Juan to see the main attractions.  Saw both forts and then went back to Pigeon's Park.  That place makes me happy.  Some guy was out walking his iguana on a leash and decided to put the lizard on Ryan's head.  I could have gotten better pictures had I been expecting it.


Friday:  Double-Whammy.  It was Good Friday and EVERYTHING in Puerto Rico was closed.  We had planned on making it a beach day, but it was stormy.  70 mph winds and rain.  All day.  Mostly, it was a nap day.  Every vacation should have a nap day, right?  We did go out on the beach for a bit.  Our beach was calm during the first part of the week and Jac was really happy the storm had kicked up some waves.

Saturday:  Rented a car and drove out to the Bacardi Distillery for a tour.  Then went to Plaza Las Americas (which looks just like a regular mall we could go to at home, but Alicia wanted to see it) and then went out to the Pinones area.  I had seen it in the dark on Wednesday and wanted to see it again in the daylight.


One last picture...I took 500ish pictures, lol.  You have to see this coffee.  I've never had such good coffee in all my life.  To have it 6 mornings in a row???  Sigh...who would ever want to leave that?