Friday, July 31, 2009

Tyler.. poor desperate Tyler... whoever he is

Remember me telling you that I had taken up Zumba? (If not, click here.) Well, the lady that teaches the class... the lady that looks white but certainly doesn't move like it, Janae, she has been really sick. As a matter of fact, will you pray for her right now? Seriously, just stop and ask God to laying his healing hand upon her. She has been sick for 4 weeks with viral pneumonia and she doesn't feel better at all. In fact, she may feel worse. I am really sad and worried for her.

Janae teaches this class as a ministry to woman and after the 60-minute class, she holds a 10-15 minute devotion time. Last Saturday, when she tried to hold class, I felt so sad for her (because I could tell she did not feel well) that at then end of the class.... something overcame my body and possessed me. I am not kidding! There isn't any other thing that could have caused me to walk up to her and say, "Hey, if you need someone to lead the devotional, I could do it. I mean, I don't want to, but I could." Did I mention that I DID NOT WANT TO DO IT!

She apparently didn't care that I didn't really want to do it, so she took me up on my offer. Shoot!

She scheduled me for last night.

I am ridiculous when I have to do something like... speak in front of people. I get so nervous that I can't eat. I run to the bathroom all the time. Seriously, how old am I? I just HATE speaking in front of people.

I sat down Wednesday afternoon with my laptop and started writing out the handout for the devotional. I had just started typing... stressed out and irritable, mind you. My phone cell phone was beside me and I heard the phone alert me to a text that had just popped up on my screen.

The text said:

Hello this is Amber.

I was racking my brain trying to figure out who Amber was because I didn't recognize the number. I texted back the only thing I could think of:

Which Amber?

Huh? What do you mean which Amber? There's only one. LoL

I didn't laugh out loud. As a matter of fact, I was really annoyed.

Actually, I know more than one Amber and the one I talk to the most is out of the country right now.

This is Tyler. I am looking for Amber. Wrong number? Sorry if it is.

Wrong number. No problem.

Ok. LOL. Have a great day whatever your name is.

I went back to work. I was moving right along when......

30 MINUTES LATER..... I hear the text sound again.


Um... I'm still not Amber.

Oh. I wanted to ask you if any of the Ambers you know have the last name Pawl.

(Ok, seriously... Is there even a last name spelled like that? And, how desperate is this poor kid?)


Dang! I must have the wrong number or she hates me....

Is this a new number?


Ok, well, what's up?
My name is Tyler. What's yours?

Um..... Tyler, I am a 37 year old married woman with 4 children. Do you still want to talk to me?


I'm 19.

I was done! He sent me a few more texts but I didn't respond.

Seriously, do I have the most random things happen to me or what?

I thought about that ridiculous interchange for a few minutes. Then, I started laughing.

Because here's the thing... if you don't walk with God... you are seriously missing out. He has a great sense of humor. I think that was His way of saying, "Will you lighten up? Why do you take yourself so seriously?"

My devotional last night... I think I did just fine:-)

I'll type it up and put it on my blog when I have time later tonight or this weekend.


Monday, July 27, 2009

My blog and Seinfeld

Today I decided that... my blog is kinda like Seinfeld. It's a blog about nothing. But, I always have something to say about nothing. I just can't believe you people come back here and read it all the time... but I am glad you do!

So, I believe tooth #31 has reared it's ugly head. I think it's the fracture in the tooth that's causing the problems. When the filling is as big as the tooth itself... HELLO... eventually it's going to crack the tooth. So, I am going Thursday morning at the unholy hour of 7 am for a crown. I think I bypassed the root canal. Tooth #30 was the one that would have needed the root canal... just in case you are interested.

I hate calling my teeth by numbers.


Darja and I were sitting at the table talking the other day. She was eating breakfast/lunch and buttering some toast. She said to me, "You know, I never knew about butter when I was growing up. I don't think I knew about butter until... like I was in high school. I thought buttered bread was something magic that you got at restaurants. We only had jelly at our house. No butter."

Again, why bother trying to figure things out. She's Slovenian... maybe that has something to do with it.

I felt sorry for her. So, I told her something I didn't understand when I was little... I wanted to maker her feel better.

So, I said, "When I was little, I used to worry about growing out of my clothes. I thought I was going to have to sit in the car naked while my mom ran in and bought some."

True story. I really did sit around and worry about that.

What's a misconception from your childhood? I know you had one:-)


I said to someone at church this weekend, "We had a wedding Friday night." To which she replied, "You go to more weddings than anyone I've ever known!"

It's true! It's really a big joke amongst our neighbors. More often than not they'll say, "Got a wedding this weekend?" They think they are so funny!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I wish I would have written down all the weddings we've been in and to in the last 14 years... just for fun. Because here's the thing, if we have been doing college ministry for the last 11 years and NEVER got invited to student's weddings who've we've invested in... we've got a very lame ministry. So, hopefully, it's a least a testimony to the fact that we love students and we love what we do and that we've made some kind of impact of them (hopefully for eternity).

That being said... I thought I'd share some pictures from the weekend. Only some of the pictures are mine because.... guess why? If you have been following along for any length of time then you know..... I forgot my camera:-)


This was the wedding of our friend Stacey. If you scroll down, to a post from 2 weeks ago, you'll see Kelcey's wedding. They are sisters. We told our girls, "If you ever think about getting married 2 weeks apart, we'll kill you!" We are really loving and gentle with our girls that way. Ha!


You know what was really fun about Stacey's wedding and reception? It was held at the same place that Paul and I had our reception at 14 years ago in October. It was our first visit back since then.

Stacey had an outdoor wedding at a Bed and Breakfast. Behind the house of the B&B, stands a big barn. Attached to the barn, was a huge white tent. (We did the same thing.) Stacey's wedding was very unique. She did lots of things I have never seen before. It was very refreshing (I can't believe I just used that word. I hate that word!) I love it that she totally stepped outside the box!

There's Stacey, with her pretend bouquet, rehearsing. Well, that's what you do at rehearsal's right... rehearse!? She's so pretty, huh?

There's Kelcey, back from her honeymoon. She is beautiful too, huh? In fact, she's so beautiful.... that on her honeymoon, the cruise ship asked them if they could follow them around and film them. If they could, they'd pay for all their activities. Who wouldn't say yes? They are also being paid to be in one of Royal Carribean's commercials.

About Kelcey though, she may be beautiful but her personality is even better than her looks. She is so funny and crazy and happy... And, Stacey, she is one of the most consistently joyful, kindest, sweetest people I have ever met. Can you tell how much I love these girls? I'd give millions of bucks if they were my sisters!

Stacey married a guy named Brandon, duh? I am not sure why there's a picture of their feet... but I loved it!

They had another table like this one with jars of candy on it. The kids could get a bag and get some candy. Jackson thought he had died and gone to heaven. He didn't even have to con anyone into it. (See Cool Smooth Criminal Post, click here.)

Stacey grew wheat grass for their wedding to put on all the tables at the reception. A couple of days before the wedding she was sure Brandon killed it by over watering it... but, alas, it was alive and well! The big tin in the middle... she gave a bunch of people pie tins to make pies to put on the top. (I would be one of those peeps... hence the excuse for forgetting the camera this time. I was almost late.) Anyway, there was no wedding cake... just lots of pies. How fun is that? Everyone could move about and get their favorite.
That's the B&B. You can't see the barn and tent behind it, but it's there!

In addition to pies, they had a fire going in a fire box and people could make smores.

The barn was decorated and so pretty. Well, it was pretty until I saw a huge, dead pig setting out on the food table. I about ruined the wedding by hurling all over the table. You who know me... you know I adhere to Old Testament food laws... no pork! BARF!

It was a very fun wedding. I watched the 5 extroverts of the family dance the night away:-)

Stacey and her bridesmaids. Pssst! Her dress is a Vera Wang. Isn't it gorgeous?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bobby, oh Bobby

Bobby died this week. We knew him for such a short time.

It doesn't seem fair that life on earth is so short for some. There was a fondness for Bobby that... well, ... didn't seem quite natural. Even though the children knew him for such a short time, their love for him caused them to be screaming his name in the front yard, "Bobby! We love you! BOOOOBBBBBYYYYYY!!!" "Bobby!!! Why did you have to die?"

Please don't mistake the morbidity of the yelling. It sounded more like cheering.

Darja, the girl who lives with us (but only for about 7 more days.... sniff, sniff!), was awakened on her day off by Gracie crying that Bobby died. It wasn't a real cry. Oh, I am sure there was some degree of real sadness, but.... it wasn't a real cry. It wasn't even enough to get her out of bed to see who Bobby might be.

You see, Bobby, was found the day before on the curb in front of our house. To be perfectly honest, we didn't even know what Bobby was.... We did know that he was struggling for his life. We also knew his eyes were not open and he was very much naked.

I did the only thing I knew to do. I called my friend Rachael. She loves all animals. She loves them so much that she hopped in the car and drove over in a matter of seconds.

She quickly identified Bobby as a baby squirrel.

She looked, to no avail, for a squirrel's nest. I am pretty sure she was going to shimmy up the tree if she had found one. (I would have really liked to have seen that.) When one was not to be found, she wrapped him in a towel and took him home. A few hours later she called to report that she got his body temperature up, that he had had some sort of bodily... function.... movement (TMI) and that he had enjoyed some Pedialyte.

In the morning, Rachael called to tell us that despite waking up to feed him every two hours, he had not made it through the night.

I wish you could have heard the cheers for Bobby. His life was celebrated by the children in the neighborhood. His...... very........ short........... life.

And, I don't know how to talk to anyone of those people in the aforementioned story.

Before you judge me on my compassion, or lack thereof, where animals are concerned, please keep in mind that I have a precious daughter from China. Therefore, I do indeed have a heart. I also very much appreciate the hearts of people like Rachael. If not for those animal lovers, this world would be a lot worse.....


Jackson was taken to Urgent Care for a severely scratched cornea while I was at the Taylor Swift concert. I guess it's really painful. I respect that. But, did it necessitate the need for a doctor to prescribe a 6 year old child.......... OXYCOTIN?? For the love of all that is holy! Are you kidding me?

He didn't take the first one and it has since dissolved and been reabsorbed into our city's water supply... hopefully to be enjoyed in small amounts by all the stay at home moms.

On Tuesday, I had a tooth that was hurting so severely, I decided to head straight to an endodontist. $120 later, he couldn't conclude if it was tooth #30 or #31 and opted not to go digging around in the roots of multiple teeth. I appreciate that... I guess. Until tooth #30 or #31 rears it's ugly head, my liver will be filtering out massive doses of Motrin.

Maybe I should have kept the Oxycotin??

On Wednesday, I was trying to take out the trash. I pushed the trash down so as to compact it... because.... that's what I do to be GREEN. Thankyouverymuch. I pushed down, with all my might I might add, on the lid of an opened can. It fileted my finger. I am pretty sure I should have had stitches, a shot or a blood transfusion. I opted for my neighbor butterflying it. It was/is not pretty as you can see by the picture.

There you have it folks!

Just another week in our life.

Have a great weekend.!!

This may surprise you..... BUT, we are off to another wedding:-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Long Awaited Day

Gracie and I had our long awaited date to the Taylor Swift concert on Friday night.

It was such a great concert, I don't even know where to start. I do wish every parent of a girl could take their daughter to see her.

She had 2 opening acts: Glorianna and Kelly Pickler. I didn't care for first group mainly because the female singers seemed to have an attitude way bigger than their name. Kelly Pickler was really good; she seems very sweet.

Before Taylor Swift came out to sing, she played a video of herself talking. She was very slow and methodical in her delivery- like she definitely wanted kids to hear what she had to say. She talked about being 15 (because that's one of her songs) and being in Jr. High and High School. She drove home the point that popularity doesn't matter. She talked about how unimportant most of those people will be later in life. She talked about her own experience and how she wasn't popular. She went onto say that had she been popular and caught up in all that drama that she may not have poured herself into music the way she had.


If you're like me, the first time I heard the song Fifteen, I was mortified when I hear the chorus. I remember stopping the song and giving the girls a lecture about not knowing everything when your fifteen.

Shelby stopped me and said, "Mom, that's not what she's saying. You have to listen to the whole thing. This is the chorus:

'Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You're gonna believe them
And when you're fifteen feeling like there's nothing to figure out
Well, count to ten, take it in
This is life before you know who you're gonna be

And this is the end of the song:

Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday
But I realized some bigger dreams of mine
And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy
Who changed his mind and we both cried

'Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You're gonna believe them
And when you're fifteen, don't forget to look before you fall
I've found time can heal most anything
And you just might find who you're supposed to be
I didn't know who I was supposed to be at fifteen

I was completely wrong. Basically, she told the kids, "You have no idea who you are at fifteen. Don't make life altering decisions at 15 years old."

And, all that happened before the concert.

She opened with her song You Belong with Me... again, about not being popular, hence the band uniform... which was later ripped off revealing a really cute, flashy black dress.

The next picture is from Romeo and Juliet which also seems like it may not be the greatest song. Again, one could conclude she is condoning disobeying your parents and running out to meet a boy. HOWEVER, it's Shakespeare, so I guess we parents need to take our issues up with him.

Anyway, at the end of the song....
all the people you see in the background wearing the "Shakespearian era" clothing surrounded her. We could see what was happening because we were at the side of the stage... but they ripped her dress off and under it was a gorgeous white gown. She was given a tiara to place on her head and when the song was over, she bent down and very intentionally placed it in the hands of a little girl. It was obvious she didn't want fighting over. She waited until the little girl had it completely in her possession.
One more story about the morals of Taylor Swift. She has a very popular song called White Horse. The song is dating a guy who is married. Of course, she had no idea he was married.

Before the song, she said she said, "I used to read a lot of fairy tales. And, the bad guys... they were always in black and sometimes... they even wore black capes. But, now, sometimes the bad guys... they can be really cute."

Several times throughout her show, she just stopped and thanked everyone in the crowd. "Thank you for coming. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for voting for me."

Other times, after a song, she'd just stop and smile. And, the smile was like "I can not believe this is my life. I can't believe these people came here to here me sing." Once, she stood for a good 5 minutes and just let people clap. Halfway through that five minutes she said, "I just never want to forget this."

I didn't like the first group because those girls acted like they were all that and a bag of chips. Taylor Swift on the other hand... one of the most humble, gracious people that I have ever watched perform.

She was there because she loved what she does and she loves her fans. This was so obvious because on one occasion, while a video of her doing an interview was playing on the screens, she relocated herself in the area. When she began singing again, the lights drew the eyes of the crowd up to the 200's section... where she sang a song right there. When it was over, she walked down through the crowd hugging people and allowing people to take her picture. A good 5 minutes later, in the back of the arena, she situated herself on a stage back there and sang at least 3 songs. When they were over, she made her way through the crowd again and hugged people and allowed people to take her pictures.

When she had about 3 songs left to sing, she came out with an Ohio State Buckeye jersey on- #33 and SWIFT on the back. WHen the song was over, she took off the jersey because she had on a dress, not a skirt, bent down and again... very intentionally placed the entire shirt in the hands of a little girl.
During the end of the last song, she sang in the pouring rain.
Gracie before the concert... note our proximity to the stage.

I just can't say enough good things about Taylor Swift, her concert in which she played for 2 hours and 35 minutes, and the night I had with Gracie. Priceless!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

How do you like your hamburger?

We went to Taylor Swift on Friday night!! I want to tell you all about it, but I can't seem to muster up the energy. Maybe it was because I didn't get home until 1:30 IN THE MORNING. I'm no spring chicken. I'll try to have it up by tomorrow morning...

So, I was thinking about what we were going to have for dinner tonight... I think we are going to have hamburgers on the grill. When I was thinking about my hamburger in particular, I was wondering if we had any applesauce. Now, one may think that they have nothing to do with each other, but one would be very wrong. See, when I eat a hamburger at home, I really like to have cheese, mustard, ketchup and applesauce on it. Yes, applesauce. I don't so much put the applesauce on it, but I put it on a particular place right before I take a bite of it. I don't want the bun to get soggy because, well... that would just be gross.

I trace this concoction of mine back to my childhood days. We used to eat at this place called Jeds every Tuesday night- kid's eat free night. I used to get a hamburger, french fries and applesauce. I think my applesauce used to run into my hamburger and apparently... i liked it. Still do!

I thought you should know this about me. You may want to stop reading this blog now. I don't know.

I have to go scour the cabinets to see if I have any applesauce, but please let me know what kind of strange concoctions you all eat! Pretty please!

Oh... my other favorite thing at Jed's... They had an ice cream bar that was included in the meal. At this ice cream bar, they had a whipped cream machine. Yes, you read that right. A whipped cream machine. It was the coolest thing. So... for my sundae, I would get a bowl of whipped cream and nuts.. no ice cream. Weird, I know...
This is a whipped cream machine! So cool!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday.... kind of



Didn't you know when you are 22 1/2 months old that tampons double as microphones... or trumpets or some kind of musical instrument?

I don't know what else to say about that except... it's clean!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wedding Weekend Marathon

This was a busy weekend. NOTE: There is no virtue in business. I just don't know how to get off the train.

Thursday night we were at a dive meet until 9:30 pm. Jackson won first place in the diving meet.

Friday morning swim practice 9-11.

3 pm Begin getting crew ready for wedding #1

4:45 Leave home

5:30 Arrive and the girls receive their instructions for their part in the wedding.

Before I go any farther, I should tell you how great the family is and how honored we are to know them and how blessed we have been by them. I am not sure why they took a liking to us. We met them at the church I grew up in. Paul worked at the church for awhile.

For our honeymoon, they gave us a condo in the Caymen Islands. It belonged to her boss. The boss happened to be there when we arrived- he was on his way home. We just happened to be able to see them and to thank them. The boss rented us a car for 4 days and gave us a gift certificate for dinner. The Henness family also had a gift certificate to a very fancy dinner place. All these gifts were waiting for our us upon our arrival.

Since that time, they have honored every one of our children's birthdays and all holidays. For Christmas and Easter, packages would arrive for my children with coats, hat, purses, dresses, shoes, toys (All as one gift). We have been given movie passes and a gift certificate to Great Wolf Lodge. I could go on and on and on. I am sure you get the picture.

When Jackson was 1 and 2, we spent 10 weeks in Myrtle Beach with the Navigators summer training program. The first year was very hard on my. I had 3 little children and I spent a lot of time alone in a condo. The 2nd year, I asked Melanie, the mom, if she would fly her to girls down to help me. She did. That was one of the best gifts she ever gave me. I hadn't been around those girls much since they were little and now they were 16 and 19. It totally changed our relationship with them... for the good.

Anyway, all that to say, the youngest girl got married this past weekend. The older one will get married in two weeks. Yes, you read that right, 2 weeks.

Kelcey and Joel and their rehearsal. Isn't she gorgeous? And, on top of that, she is fun, funny, kind, ..... the list could go on and on. Joel's a pretty nice guy too:-)

The beautiful bride.

My girls were the greeters/program distributors. The florist taped their corsages to their real pearls... yes, real pearls from China. It looked so dorky so I had to fix it but I took their picture first.

In the parking lot of the church, there was a little snow cone shack. Only a dad would buy kids one BEFORE a wedding. Geesh!

"Um..... so sorry. I had to poop. It couldn't wait. I know it's right in the middle of the ceremony, but... you may want to change me. I kinda smell like I ate possum for lunch."

Yeah, I don't really know how to tell you all this, but the dog, that boxer being walked down the aisle, he was the ring bearer. Jackson may be scarred for life. (The dog was clearly chosen over him.)

Real birch trees in the front. With the lights dimmed, it was beautiful. It looked like a summer night in a park.

Kelcey and Joel in their getaway car.

The cool getaway car.

The reception was at a performing arts center. The big gathering area is used for receptions. It's a beautiful place to have a reception. See their initials////

Their was a Jones Soda bottles addressed for each person. Kelcey and Joel's picture is on the front.

The pastor who married them. Oh, and he also happened to be Joel's dad.

She really loves my kids.
If you didn't read my previous post, you must. Here is proof once again that the boy gets money everywhere he goes. He was on the dance floor and he has this move where he stands on his head and spins. I do not even know where he would have learned such a thing. But, he did it once and then some guy said, "I'll pay you 5 bucks to do it again.

The reception, with no alcohol had by nary a soul.... was so much fun. This was my favorite part. Kelcey and her dad were dancing to the song that goes... you are so beautiful to me.... All of a sudden the music literally screeched to a halt. A cowboy hat was thrown out to Doug and the whole bridal party started line dancing to Cotton-Eyed Joe. SO CUTE!!!

We got home from the wedding at 11:45 pm.

We were up at 6:40 am for Jackson's dive meet. He was supposed to be there at 7 but his age group was last so we went a little later. At 10:45, right when he was supposed to start, it began thundering... then raining... then lightening.

Dive meet postponed. Come back at 8 am on Sunday.

We raced home. Ate lunch. Got dressed... yes, everyone of us wore the exact same clothes. Rushed out the door to wedding #2.

We arrived, seriously, 1 minute before the processional.

Wedding 1:30 We were at the reception by 2:30. There were horderves and an open bar. It was supposed to be social hour from 3-4. At 5:30 pm, we made our way from the lobby to the ballroom. Yes, 5:30 with very tired kids. But, hey, this was my friend who waited 38 years to get married. She can do whatever she wants. It's her big day.

There were 5 of us there. We have been friends since jr. high. This beautiful little boy is my best friend growing up's little boy, Andrew. He refused to be in the picture with all the kids. I showed him!
The 3 girls on the left are my friend Erin's little girls. OF course my squirrelly bunch and then Amy's clone, Sarah.

Paul with Amy and Erin's husbands. They all had hair when we started dating them:-)

All our kids had so much fun playing together.

Gracie leading the dance pack.
Amy, Erin, Jenny, me, and Heather.
Emme had all she could take.

Didn't last long.

We got home at 8pm. Paul was up at 5:30. He had to speak at the local Christian schools football camp. I was up at 6:15. At the dive meet by 7:45 am.

It was so foggy. I couldn't even see the Target I had to pass on my way there.

This was taken during warmups. He's flawless front flip. The boy can execute the hardest dive perfectly every time. TODAY, on his two other dives, he made REALLY silly mistakes. I was so mad at him. I know he's only 6 but I got up really early two days in a row for this. Because of his 1st 2 dives, he placed 5th out of 17 boys 8 and under. I know it's good, but he really should have gotten 1st.

But, he was expecting 1st. Paul said it was good for him. He needs to learn to work for things. If everything is always handed to him.... blah, blah, blah Sometimes, I don't need the lecture.

5th place medal.

Noon: Dive banquet at our pool.

Jackson and Emme kicking back after the long weekend watching some toons.

STICK A FORK IN ME......... I AM DONE!!!!!!!!!!!