Thursday, July 31, 2008

Squeeee(s)!

A couple of things. First, the new Harry Potter trailer is finally out. And it looks pretty awesome. So far, I've been pretty happy with most of the movies. The only one that didn't "work" for me was Goblet of Fire. It was my favorite book, and the movie SHOULD have been great, but they totally sacrificed the characters for eye candy. Don't get me wrong, I like good effects and all of that, but not by sacrificing important plot points.

But anyway, here's the trailer. I can't wait for November!


The other squeeee is on the down-low for now. I should be able to share it at the end of the month. But it's a good one!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Absentee

Sorry I've been an absentee blogger, but since the children have been back, I've been pretty busy. Lots to do, lots to do!

I did want to say that I've been reading Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch recently, at the insistence of a friend from TMB, and wow, it's an exceptional book. And that's from someone who is only two chapters into it! In addition to giving some excellent marriage advice, it also can speak to just about any close relationship that you have. I've found a lot of the information that I've read so far to be incredibly good for my relationship with my oldest daughter and with other friendships. Though this is not a Christian book, I would strongly recommend that anyone who finds themselves struggling in any relationships to check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

We're getting ready for vacation next Friday. I'm so jazzed. I mean, I've already had a great break (thanks again Mom & Dad!), but I'm really looking forward to spending time with all of my family. I don't get to see Laura & Jonathan nearly often enough, and it's even hard to spend much time with Megan & Justin, so having a week together is going to be a lot of fun. I'm sure there will be the regular stresses of having 14 people together for a week, but overall, I expect it to be a good time.

That's it for now. I'll try to update again soon!

Friday, July 25, 2008

They're Baaaaaack!

I went and picked up the kids and brought them back home today. It's so wild having the house all loud and rambunctious again! But I admit, it's good to have them back.

I absolutely loved the break. I know that the "staycation" is all the rage this year with the economy being what it is, but honestly, we had a wonderful time. It was just so nice to have a few dinners out, to be able to go to the movies (The Dark Night was kick awesome, btw!), to get to go bowling and other "date" activities -- it was just a nice break.

I am deeply grateful that I have such generous parents who were willing to take all four kids for twelve full days. Most folks are exhausted after having the four of them for a single day and I know that they require a lot of energy. Thank you so much, mom and dad for the vacation! You are teh roxxors!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Musical Monday

Another Monday, another song!

Today I'm posting a song by one of my favorite groups Caedmon's Call. Their early stuff is some of my favorite, but their most recent offering (with Derek Webb back!) reminds me a good bit of their older cds. Today I'm going to look at Share in the Blame.

One of my biggest pet peeves is lack of personal responsibility. This or that person made me do this or that thing. I'm not responsible for my actions because of my upbringing or the political policies or my church or whatever. I realize that outside influences can certainly make our own choices more or less difficult, but at the end of the day, only I can and should be held responsible for those choices. It is very, very rare that we make a negative choice that is truly out of our hands.

Anyway, I was listening to Overdressed in my minivan the other day, after grocery shopping and this song came on and I thought it would be perfect for my Musical Monday offering.

Share in the Blame

Don’t blame the bullet for the wars you have sown
Don’t blame the winter when you’ve forgotten your coat
When you make the same deals for a hundred years and you wanna make a change
You gotta hold up the mirror and share in the blame

Don’t blame your brother for the color of his skin
don’t blame your neighbor for the house he lives in
from the same cloth, we are made of, we are just the same
you gotta hold up the mirror and share in the blame

(chorus)
like a coming of age, I am learning how to say
all the failures I’m dragging behind
Finding freedom to speak, freedom to release
Oh tonight I wanna make peace with you

Don’t blame the writer for the doubts in your head
Don’t blame the preacher for the lovers in your bed
When you find out that the world is round, everything is rearranged
You gotta hold up the mirror, and share in the blame

(chorus)

Don’t blame the president, don’t blame the king
Don’t blame your history for what might have been
we will be free where the grass is green and the lion is tame
if we just hold up the mirror now and share in the blame


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Priceless

The irony of this is just too good not to share. Colbert does it again. Does this guy ever miss?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Locks of Love

Deborah has been growing her hair out for a long time now so she could donate it to Locks of Love. This organization takes hair donations to make wigs for children who have lost their hair. It's a really wonderful organization and when her hair started getting long, she decided to grow it out longer so she could donate it for a wig. Yesterday while she was visiting my parents, she finally got it cut by my old stylist.

I think her new do is absolutely adorable and I'm so proud of her willingness to cut off more than ten inches of hair to give it to someone who has none. I've posted a couple of pictures that my mom sent me. Go Deborah!!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Musical Monday

I know I'm a day late, but I missed it last week and I didn't want to miss another one. So it's a Tuesday installment of a Musical Monday.

When we took the kids up to Mom & Dad's on Sunday, I had a chance to visit with my best friend from high school. We grabbed a coffee at a local grocery store and just had a chance to shoot the breeze for a little while. Nothing major going on, just a couple of friends enjoying a cuppa while catching up on life.

I think these moments are so important. Certainly the big events are always fun. I love getting to "do stuff." But there is a niceness to being able to enjoy simple things like a cup of regular coffee in a grocery store or a night at home with your spouse or playing a game of Monopoly with your kids. Things that aren't particularly special on their own, but are a joy when you're able to do them with people that you love.

Today's song reminds me of that. Something that alone isn't anything very memorable or important in the grand scheme of things, but has its own innate beauty. Enjoy Nightswimming by R.E.M.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows.
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse.
Still, it's so much clearer.
I forgot my shirt at the water's edge.
The moon is low tonight.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
I'm not sure all these people understand.
It's not like years ago,
The fear of getting caught,
Of recklessness and water.
They cannot see me naked.
These things, they go away,
Replaced by everyday.
Nightswimming, remembering that night.
September's coming soon.
I'm pining for the moon.
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming.
You, I thought I knew you.
You I cannot judge.
You, I thought you knew me,
This one laughing quietly underneath my breath.
Nightswimming.
The photograph reflects,
Every streetlight a reminder.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vacation One

Okay, so the next two weeks I'm not really going anywhere, but the children are all going to my parents' to visit. So from tomorrow through July 25, Jason and I have the house to ourselves. We're hoping to use this as an opportunity to get some cleaning done in our (very scary) basement. The (very scary) basement is in great disarray and has needed a good cleaning for about two years, so we're hoping to make some serious headway.

We're also hoping to catch a couple of grown up movies. I really want to see the new Batman movie and even though Rotten Tomatoes gives Hancock lousy reviews, I kind of want to see that one too. The new X-Files movie doesn't come out until the kids are home, so we may have to hire a babysitter for that one. Of course, I'm pretty sure that we've already seen the best movie of the summer -- twice even! If you haven't made it out to see Wall-E yet, get your rear to the theaters to see this one. It is absolutely one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.

Beyond that, I'm just looking forward to some quality alone time with hubby. We haven't had a night alone for a while now, so twelve days without the young 'uns will be a much welcomed break. Even though we'll both be working some, it's going to be so nice to have our evenings totally free. I'm sure I'll check in occasionally, but I wouldn't count on very many posts in the next two weeks!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Where was that again?

Today in KidZone, we were studying Daniel (oh, and the slinkies were a huge hit!).

The storyteller was asking the kids where Daniel was. He said it wasn't a very nice place. The answer from one of the little sweeties?

Ohio.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Great Slinky Run of '08

Tomorrow for the kids they're talking about Daniel as a part of a superheroes theme (his superpower is confidence). Since we're talking about him, I decided to sing Lions with the kids. It's also called The Slinky Song in some circles, because Mike & Geo added some slinky riffs to it at some point.

So I'm thinking, "Okay, I need to get a couple of slinkies so the kids can participate during the song." No biggie. I know you can't find the good, big metal Slinkies any more, but I knew that they sold the smaller ones around here. I decided I'd run to the bottom of the hill to the Family Dollar to get a couple, since last time I was there they had 4 or 5. Even if they didn't have that many, I figured I'd at least be able to find one for Jason to use with me.

I got to the store and they didn't have any. Weird, since they recently had many, but okay. So I drove over to Big Lots. They have everything and again, I know I've seen metal slinkies there in the past. Couldn't find any, talked to a clerk -- nope, sold out.

I walk across the street to the Dollar General (sister to Family Dollar). Still no Slinkies.

Jason finally had to go to (grrrr) WalMart to find some. What I want to know is what all of the people of Fairmont needed with the Slinkies in our town???

Friday, July 04, 2008

Five Things

I got tagged in another blog that I just happened upon today after browsing through some comments. So here goes!

1. What were you doing ten years ago?
Hmmmm... I think we maybe went to visit my parents with Deborah for the Fourth of July. That or traveled down here to WV to visit Jason's family. Either way, I'm pretty sure we were headed somewhere with a relative newborn.

2.Name five things on today's "to do" list:
a. figure out how to make s'mores inside
b. go see Wall-E again because it's raining (and plus that movie is teh roxxors!)
c. learn the songs for next Thursday's Kid Stuff
d. make my bed (oops!)
e. call a friend

3.Things I'd do if I was a Billionaire: Probably blow it all on eBay. But I hope I'd give a lot of it away.

4.Three Bad Habits: ice cream, wasting time on facebook, too critical

5.Five places I've lived: Fairmont, WV, Lakewood, OH, Saxonburg, PA, Slippery Rock, PA, Sarver, PA

6.Five jobs I've had: Dairy Queen manager, race track pizza girl, Comcast customer service, church organist, college choir music filer

7..Five People I'm Tagging:
John, Chuck, Tina, Robin & An

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wii-vangelist

I was looking through some old posts and I can't believe I haven't blogged about my Wii at all!!!

Let me just say, this is the most fun ever. Jason found one right before Mother's day and bought it for our family along with a copy of Zelda: Twilight Princess for me (I heart Zelda games). O.M.G.

We have such a blast playing this thing. We only have a few games, but the game that just comes with the system is absolutely wonderful. We have so much fun. You're able to create a little avatar of yourself called a Mii. It's totally fantastic to sit down after the kids have gone to bed, pop in the boxing game and Jason and I can just beat the snot out of each other. We're thinking of creating Miis of people who annoy us and playing against them whenever we have a particularly bad day. It's very cathartic.

I know that there are far more sophisticated game systems out there, but honestly, with a family, I can't recommend the Wii enough. It's very kid-friendly, and the remote (or wii-mote) is totally smart. Plus, we've been able to download some old-time Nintendo games and play them. I'm able to play Super Mario Bros. again -- something I haven't done since sitting with my college roommates! We're hoping to get a WiiFit soon, as it's received really strong reviews and we figure that if working out is a video game, that can only be good!

If you can get your hands on one, check it out.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

God's fault?

Several of the local churches in our town have little marquees that they use to put up a message of the week or some such thing. Most are benign little quips that are plays on words ("seven days without prayer makes one weak" kind of deal) or inspirational quotes and occasionally something a bit more intriguing. I don't really like them anyway because I tend to find them too flip to really be of any good to anyone, but I know that some folks are entertained/inspired by them, and most of the time they don't hurt anyone, so I don't think about it too much.

But right now, there is one up that has me absolutely livid! The sign says, "Tsunamis, AIDS, War: Are you listening yet? ~God"

Seriously??? We're going to blame God for tsunamis, AIDS and war? This bothers me on at least two levels. First, it turns God into a bit of an arbitrary jerk. I recognize that no one is "innocent" and that we have all sinned and fallen short of God's intentions for us. But really, as soon as we start calling these things God's judgment, I think we're walking a really scary line. If these three things are God's judgment, does that mean that the mom who lost her baby to a miscarriage is being punished for something? Does it mean that a child being run over in her driveway by her brother was simply reaping what she had sown? Were the churches that were bombed in the south a few years ago just getting some kind of divine payback?

Second, I think it once again takes away the case for personal responsibility. The responsibility of people who have more to care for those who have less. The responsibility we have to be faithful stewards of our sexuality. The responsibility we have to protect those who are being harmed. The responsibility we have to exercise humility and admit when we've made mistakes. It's certainly easy to blame God -- after all, who is really going to try to go after God? And let's be honest, he's not going to come down and demand that a church sign print a retraction on next week's board. But in so many instances of death and destruction, I think it's an opportunity for us to look inward and see how we could have made different choices that would allow for different circumstances.

If we're going to listen to God about these and other issues we're facing in this fallen world, let it be that we listen to God's call to love our neighbor AND our enemies.
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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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