Friday, June 30, 2006

Stupid scammers!

I'm so irritated!

I finally listed the portable DVD player. First time, one watcher, but no bids. Second time, I got a bid. Hooray! Then right at the last minute, it got bid WAY up. The bidder was a new member, but heck, everyone has to be new at some point. I didn't really think that much about it, just hoped that I'd get paid.

Well, later that night I get a message:

Hello, i'm glad to win your item, and this is to let you know that i am commited
in buying your item as a Birthday gift for my Uncle who is presently on a
research programme in Africa Nigeria, i have contacted EMS SPEED POST so am
paying you the sum of 100USD as to cover all neccessary costs and the
will be made thru my paypal account, so expect payment for your item
and as soon
as you have confirm the payment in your paypal account ship the
item immediately
to the address here is his present address in
Nigeria: (followed by address)

So I'm thinking, "No chance." My listing was clear that I would mail it to the US only. So I sent a note stating that and said that if I didn't receive payment in five days, I'd report him to ebay for fraud.

So then I get this email today:

Hi mate thanks for yoyr email and just to let you know that am buying this from
you for my uncle who is on a research programme in nigeria so and i dont have
option than to buy and send it to him as i wish and 100usd has made for the cost
of shipping to nigeria with EMS Speed post cos i want it ship if possible by the
next available post to his address in nigeria and kindly get back to paypal for
your payment of the item if you like or not ebay is involve in this transaction
with you dont just say yopu scare of fraud activity. many thanks as you are
responding my action pls let the both of us obey the paypal instruction so that
we can have a clear deal.many thanks

Then, if that's not enough, I got two statements from "paypal" saying that the payment had been sent to my account. Never mind that my account doesn't show any activity and that the emails came from a spoofed address (yes, they have been reported).

So now I'm still stuck with this DVD player I don't need and I'm stuck with this hastle that I definitely don't need. BAH!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

100th Post!

I would normally wait for another day to do this, but since it's my birthday, I'm doin' it now!

100 Things About Alise
1. I was born June 28th, 1974.
2. I was born near Gettysburg, PA.
3. I have two sisters.
4. I met my husband 2 days before my 18th birthday at Creation (which starts today!).
5. We've been married for 9 1/2 years.
6. I didn't want any kids.
7. Once I had kids, I would have happily had a dozen or so.
8. I actually have four kids.
9. I majored in music education in college.
10. I play the piano, saxophone and organ.
11. I used to be able to play Chopin, but now only my stereo can play him!
12. I played a lot of music by female composers in college.
13. I didn't date in college at all.
14. My favorite TV show is Seinfeld.
15. No shows with any of the Seinfeld cast have ever been very funny.
16. John Irving is my favorite author.
17. My favorite John Irving book is "A Prayer for Owen Meany."
18. My favorite book all-time is "Charlotte's Web."
19. I use the word "favorite" much too liberally!
20. I think I have really petty eyes.
21. I moderate a message board about sex.
22. My parents don't know that I moderate a message board about sex!
23. I have been a Christian more or less all my life.
24. I made a very personal choice to love Jesus in the summer of 1988.
25. My favorite year of high school was my junior year.
26. I played Rizzo in "Grease" my junior year in high school.
27. The last time I acted was my freshman year in college (in "Playboy of the Western World.")
28. I kinda' miss acting.
29. I don't like cats.
30. We have two cats.
31. I have almost every letter that Jason sent me in the 2 1/2 years that we dated.
32. I wrote that I wanted to marry someone "just like Jason" in my diary the year before we hooked up.
33. This is probably the funniest thing I've ever seen on the internet.
34. I super glued quarters to the mall floor in high school with my best friend and laughed at people trying to pick them up.
35. I have a weird sense of humor.
36. I've been a SAHM as long as I've been a mom.
37. I taught middle school music for one year.
38. I'm a doula.
39. Attending a birth is one of the most intense, exciting things I've ever done.
40. I never had a fully natural birth.
41. My favorite movie is "The Joy Luck Club."
42. I love the number 42.
43. People who have read Douglas Adams will almost definitely be my friend.
44. I like the BBC TV series of HHGTTG better than the movie.
45. I worked at a local race track in high school (selling pizza).
46. I hate beer.
47. I love the smell of beer.
48. I've never had a nickname.
49. I didn't vote for president in 2000.
50. I have never voted for a winning president.
51. I'm having a difficult time believing I'm only halfway through this list.
52. I love being barefoot.
53. I hate being hot.
54. I can get pretty mean when I'm hot.
55. I like almost every kind of music except for southern gospel and rap.
56. If I ever had to move far away from our extended family, I'd want to move to CO.
57. My life is crap when I don't have a female best friend.
58. I'd be a pretty good cook if I actually enjoyed cooking.
59. I make freakin' awesome chicken wings.
60. Really, they're delicious.
61. I've loved talking on the phone since middle school.
62. One of Jason's biggest peeves is my love of talking on the phone.
63. I don't like being outside unless I'm doing something (like hiking).
64. I love to crochet.
65. I love to make jewelry.
66. Most of the jewelry I wear right now is stuff I've made.
67. I was terrible at water skiing.
68. I love Chinese food.
69. I especially love General Tso's chicken.
70. The spicier the General Tso's, the better.
71. I'm eating Chinese tonight for my birthday.
72. I hate confrontation.
73. I love debating.
74. I hate giving my kids a bath.
75. I love the smell of freshly washed kids.
76. I actually like doing laundry.
77. I think that David Crowder is a brilliant lyricist and musician and author.
78. I've been coloring my hair regularly since high school.
79. I'm pretty sure my hair would be very grey if I stopped coloring it.
80. I'd like to get my hair colored blue.
81. Everyone in the house but me gets their hair cut by me.
82. I don't actually know how to cut hair.
83. I'm getting tired of trying to think of things for this list!
84. I spend way too much time on the internet.
85. I'm a firm believer in net neutrality.
86. Some of my best friends are people I've never met except "virtually."
87. I know that my grammar is crappy in that sentence.
88. I'm getting hungry for that Chinese food.
89. I love my Bible study group, even though it's really small.
90. I don't think anyone is still reading this list.
91. My favorite hymn is "Great is Thy Faithfulness."
92. I love thunderstorms.
93. I've never met a flavor of ice cream I didn't like.
94. I'm hoping to have some Ben & Jerry's tonight after my Gen. Tso's.
95. I don't have to hope that hard, because I'm the one going to pick up the Chinese food.
96. I think I'm going to pick up stuff to make Bellini's too.
97. There's a reason I'm the weight that I am!
98. I'm gonna' start my diet AFTER my birthday!
99. I wish there was an all-ice cream diet.
100. I'm really glad I'm done with this list! Thanks for reading my blog!

So much for that idea!

Well, I intended to write a bunch of posts, but that kinda' fell through. *sigh* Best intentions of mice and all that, I suppose! :::nods to all Douglas Adams fans:::

Things have been pretty good around here. Crazy busy, but good.

Today is my birthday. Thirty-two, baby! Woohoo! Megan called me Monday morning about getting together today for a lunch at Prickett's Fort. Nice. It ended up as a surprise party for me! Hooray!!! I absolutely LOVE crap like that, so I was totally jazzed about it. Mom and Gram came down, plus Megan & Lydia, Jessica & Jacob, Kevin & Marie, Gramma Currey and Gramma Wright. I didn't expect it at all, so it was really cool to have everyone there. Got mostly $$ for birthday, so THAT is always appreciated! And it means I get some Chinese food tonight, hopefully from Bamboo Garden -- those guys ROCK!! Jason and I went out on Sunday night to celebrate without the children. We went to Cheddars, and I tell you, I love that place! It's about two bucks cheaper than most bar & grille type restaurants, and the portions are quite nice! We really enjoyed the date out. We're definitely trying to make time alone and away from the children a priority.

Personally, I'm in kind of a weird place. I've got a couple of things I'm trying to sort out. One is continuing to figure out how to be excellent without being a perfectionist. We're doing the "Woman of Excellence" book by Cynthia Heald in Bible study, and it's really stirring that in me even more. I want to be an excellent woman in EVERY aspect of my life. No easy task (!!!), but it's something I truly want. I've been working incrementally in various places.

The other thing I'm trying to balance is complacency with contentment. I want to be content with the areas in my life that require contentment, but I don't want to settle. I'm sure it's combined with that whole excellence thing.

The biggest, most pressing area for me is in corporate worship at church. It sounds so flipping braggy, but I'm just really gifted in the area of worship. I know a fair amount of music, I'm a talented pianist and vocalist, I'm a pretty good teacher of music, I have a pretty good ear for arranging stuff, and I've got a passion for worship music that can only be described as God-given. I know that sounds incredibly self-centered, but honestly, it's just true. It's nothing I've really done (although I do spend a fair amount of time reading and praying about worship music and just practicing and listening to new songs), but there it is. We've been at TOLC for two years now. We talked to Rich a while ago about helping in a greater way with the praise team, but no real answer was ever given (lack of answer lead us to believe "no"). I've asked to talk to Rich next Wednesday about it again. If the answer is no, I'm good with that, I just need to know if it's a maturity thing, or a music thing or a "God's not leading the congregation there now" thing or what. Just no answer is not working for me any more. If there's something that I need to do or whatever, I need to know, even if it's just to prepare me for something else. But my gifts and talents are simply not being used right now, and I need to know why. Is that discontentment? Or is just sitting there complacency? I've been praying about this discussion for nearly 4 months now and I don't feel like God is holding me back from this talk. So we'll see! I will doubtless give the update on that when it happens!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Multiple posts, pt. 2


Our vacation started early Sunday morning. We were all on the road by 7am -- hooray! Beautiful day for driving. We stopped around 10:30am in VA for lunch at a farmer's market there. Picked up some delicious apple dumplings for my dad's birthday treat and let the kids run around for a little bit. Stopped again at a Russel Stover's outlet store. Awesome! We were able to pick up a case of chocolate Easter bunnies (24 6 oz. bunnies) for $10.79! It absolutely cracked us up!

We arrived at the Fairfield resort between 2:30-3pm. Got everything unloaded and then went out to explore the grounds. The kids played on the playground. James and Deborah did some mini golf and then we all went to the pool to swim. The suite was lovely. It had 3 bedrooms. Mom and dad had the room with the adjoining bathroom (and whirlpool!). Jason and I had a room with a king bed and the kids were in a room with two full beds. The boys shared a bed, Deborah had the other and Faith opted to sleep on the floor. There was a full kitchen, laundry and a living room area. Everything was really nice, but still totally functional. That evening, Jason and I played Hold 'Em with my parents. I think I came out on top with some big hands at the end of the game, but we never counted the chips to be sure.

It rained on Monday, which threw our plans a bit. We stayed in the room for a while and played some board games, and Jason took Deborah to shoot some pool. We went to a Yankee Candle store and for whatever reason, the kids absolutely loved it. Whatever! In the afternoon, my mom and I went shopping for a while and my dad and Jason took the kids to the playground to run off some steam. That evening, Jason and I went to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse, and my parents put the kids to bed.

Tuesday was a great day. It was warm right from the start, so we took the kids to the pool first thing in the morning and swam the entire morning. The water was pretty cold, but it didn't stop everyone from venturing in at least a little bit. James and Deborah were much more interested in the swimming that Faith and Christopher, but everyone had a fun time.

In the afternoon, when it was pretty hot, we took the kids to the arcade at the other branch of the resort. It was pretty empty, so the kids had a blast playing racing games, pinball and all manner of arcade-type stuff. My mom thought it was hilarious that she had to search all over to try to figure out how to turn on the different games, and her 3-year old grandson was able to get them all started with ease. Of course, he couldn't play much, but he could turn them all on!

When we finished there, we went to Colonial Williamsburg for an hour or so. The kids pet some horses, got to see some people all dressed up and played in the stocks for a while. It was nice just to get out and walk and "experience" history. I'm not much of a history buff, but I do enjoy the living history kind of things.

Mom and dad gave Jason and I yet another night off on Tuesday, so we went to a place that served awesome ribs for dinner. Then we shot pool, played at the arcade and played mini golf. It was so nice to have some time just to enjoy one another's company and just goof off for a while. I'm so thankful that my parents were willing to give us that time alone!

On Wednesday, it rained again (we got hit with remnants of Alberto). It was a warmer rain, but still threw off our plans. Mom and I went to a water aerobics class in the morning, and the kids went to a Dr. Seuss reading later in the morning. While we were in the activities center, I picked up a brochure with some rainy-day ideas in it.

There was an Army transportation museum not too far from the resort at Fort Eustace, so we decided to go there in the afternoon. What we didn't realize was that it was on the Army base, so we had to go through all of the security to get to the museum! Jason has been through this before with his job, but it was quite the experience for the rest of us! I figured that we'd have to show our ID's, but we also had to open up everything on the car, including the hood, and they were looking under random cars with a mirror. No major fire-arms displayed, so I don't guess that the threat level was super elevated, but it definitely took us a little while to get to the museum itself.

The museum was really interesting, particularly the experimental transportation section. Got to see the jet pack and some kind of one-man, standing helicopter thing that looked incredibly scary! They also had this Star Wars-looking walking transport and a UFO kind of hovercraft. Really cool. They also had uniforms from various time periods -- interesting stuff.

That evening, my parents went out for the night. We gave the kids baths, packed and just lounged around. Nothing too exciting.

The drive back was uneventful. Went pretty quick and we had gorgeous weather again. As I wasn't the one driving, I would have rather had the rain on Wednesday. ;-D

I hope that we'll get to do this again. It was a really nice resort and we enjoyed the time with my parents. Plus, just an opportunity to get away from the daily grind is good for a while!

Multiple posts, pt. 1

I've got all kinds of random things to post about, and rather than jam them all together into one post, I'm going to try to space them out. I hope to get to all of them over the course of the next day or so, so stay tuned! ;-D

Okay, first is to show pics of Deborah from her last soccer game. Her team lost this game (like so many!), but she had a really good time playing this year. She made three goals in 2 games, and, unlike her parents, showed a fair amount of natural sports talent. She's hoping to play again in the fall. I'm hoping that she'll have a coach who actually teaches her how to play the game and who shows up to practices and games on time. I never thought I'd be a parent who cared about stuff like that, but dang! When I sit on the side-line and watch opposing team after opposing team practicing drills before a game while our team is sitting in their lawn chairs waiting for the coach to arrive (usually five minutes late!!!), it's pretty irritating. I'm hopeful that our next experience will be a little more positive and that Deborah can actually learn something. But it looks like I might get to stay a soccer mom for a while now!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Back from vacation

Finally a minute to sit down and update the blog! Jason is off at Justin's Wing-Off and Loony Toons Extravaganza tonight, so thought I'd upload a couple of pics. The pics below were taking at Colonial Williamsburg. We had rain two of the three days we were actually ON vacation, so we only had one day to really do any sight-seeing. The kids were getting pretty tired at this point, but we had a good time in the stocks.

Much more to write about, but it's really hot here (only just hitting 79 now, and it's much warmer inside, since I was cooking for the wing-off all afternoon) and my brain isn't working at full capacity. Happy Father's day to all the dads out there! A real post to follow soon!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Another trip

On Wednesday, I took the kids to Prickett's Fort again. Not many ducks this time, which was a bummer, but otherwise, we had a good time. Our friends the H's came along with us and we had fun running around exploring the woods and enjoying the beauty of creation and enjoying the treasure of friendship. Above is a picture of all of the kids. Mine are every other one. Starting on the left is Faith, Bubba, Deborah and James. A had all the kids line up in front of the fort wall. Actually getting them all to sit in some kind of line was quite challenging, but it was fun nevertheless!

Of course, this makes me lust for a digital camera again! I hate having to wait to get pictures back. I'm not someone who will "use up the roll of film" just to get the one or two pictures I want, but then I end up never getting any really recent pictures. Bah! I did win a portable DVD player in a recent contest online. Because the van has a DVD player already in it, I think I'm going to sell this and use the money to buy a digital camera. Yeah. Nice.

I'm 2/3's done packing. The girls are packed and Jason and I are more or less packed. I've got to get some of the boy's laundry done and then I'll be finished with that. If the kids are good today, I'll probably run them over to the park for a little while to run off some excess energy. I need to vacuum out the van and gas it up and all that good stuff.

Tomorrow is Deborah's last soccer game. Mom and Dad are planning on going with us, and if Lydia is awake enough, Megan & Justin probably will as well. Should be fun! I'm so glad she played this spring. I expect we'll join up again in the fall. [whisper]Hopefully we'll get a better coach in the fall.[/whisper]

Okay, that's it. I doubt I'll have time to write again til after vacation. Have a great day!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Rainy day

Ugh. After our big heat wave, it's pouring buckets today. It's much more comfortable in the house today, but it stinks that Deborah's first full day off is rainy. I would liked to have seen the kids run all day long so when bedtime came, they'd get the rest that they need.

This coming week, my primary goal is to keep up with all of the laundry and the cleaning so when it's time for vacation next Sunday, we're all set to go. I don't want to leave a messy house or any dirty clothes when we leave. I know that mom said that the condo has a clothes washer, so I'll be able to do some laundry when we're on vacation so I don't have to bring it home.

I'm definitely looking forward to vacation. We're going to Williamsburg, VA for five days/four nights. The six of us and my parents. I don't know how much of historic Williamsburg we're going to get to see (although I hope to hit Jamestown to see the ships with the kids), but I'm looking forward to the getaway. It will be nice to spend some time away from the house. The kids are finally old enough to do vacations (Bubba has come a long way with potty training. Not as far as I'd hoped, but good enough!), and time where we can just hang out sounds SO NICE. My parents said that if Jason and I listen to the sales pitch for Fairfield, we can get a gift certificate for a dinner out and that they'll watch the kids while we do both, so woohoo! We'll have no problem turning them down when the high pressure thing starts, and dinner out sounds really good right now. It's been entirely too long since we've had a date!
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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