This is My "Real" Blog: June 2008

Angie's Blog!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Trip From. . .or the Trip To. . . depends on your perspective! (EDITED!)

(Edited to add a few pictures)

We're doing fine. We made it to our first stop (only about 30 minutes later than we'd hoped). Having our little GPS is quite nice. Although, she didn't have a lot to say. It's pretty much one left turn, and then straight north for HOURS on end. She did have a comment or two when we stopped at Burger King and then at a Hardee's in KY for a potty break.

Caroline, on the other hand, had PLENTY to say (except for the 90 minutes when she slept). She talked, sang, played with her baby dolls, played on her Leap Pad, and just watched the clouds roll in and out.

We had a bit of rain, but nothing to really complain about. Well, I say that. .. I wasn't driving. I can crochet in the rain -- no problem. So, it didn't seem too awfully bad to me.

We arrived in Milford, OH at 5:44 (2 minutes ahead of Tom Tom) and waited just a minute or two for Steve and Bettie to meet us at the Chipotle.

Now, for the record. . . I had heard about Chipotle before (mainly from S & B, and from Becca Linsenbigler). But, other than these random conversations, I had never been to one.

I loved it. No questions asked.

Mark, Edison, and Caroline? Not so much.

The burritos are (seriously) as big as your head. Okay, maybe as big as a newborn's head. But sill, that's a serious burrito.

I had the carnitas (shredded pork) with rice, black beans, guacamole (cost extra--but worth it), lettuce, cheese, and roasted corn salsa (medium heat).

Oh my gravy. I just invoked the spirit of Rachael Ray, and enjoyed (nearly) every bite. The guacamole and salsa would have sold me. But, the total package -- 18 pounds of food -- was awesome. Mark had the shredded beef -- and said it was a bit warm for him. Edison's chicken burrito was allright, he said, but a bit spicy. Caroline ate rice, cheese, and a few pieces of chicken.

Seriously? I could eat there weekly. We'll see....if one ever arrives in our area. I might be scheduling a girl's night out -- because I don't think my boys will be rushing the front door. Oh well. . .there's still lots of vacation, and one meal won't set us back too much!

After dinner, we drove out to the fave's new house. (see Aubrey House Blog link on right) It's a work in progress -- but I'm really excited to have seen it in this particular stage -- so I'll really appreciate the process when it's done. The property is gorgeous--out (literally) in the middle of suburbia/nowhere. I love it, and am quite envious of the "solitude" they'll experience upon moving in.

After the (muddy) tour, we came back to their current house--and proceeded to entertain (I hope) everyone with Caroline's antics. She modeled her new Dale Earnhardt (Sr.) pajamas. .. courtesy of Ann T. From the first minute she saw them she started saying, "Go Jeff Burton!" Now, this makes me proud. But, it makes me laugh, too.

I have a few theories. . . 1) it's NASCAR. She recognizes the cars, the numbers, etc. But here are a few other theories to consider.

a) Dale Earnhardt, Sr. drove the #3 car. Jeff Burton's car is the #31. (There are three's on both cars.) My girl knows her numbers.

Or there's this (more far-out) option (get ready to stretch):

b) Dale Earnhardt, Sr. drove for Richard Childress Racing (RCR to those of us who love NASCAR) and Jeff Burton currently drives for RCR. . . along with Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer (va-va-va voom!) Not a bad looker in the bunch, by the way. But I digress. . .

My far-reaching theory is that Caroline acknowledges the Richard Childress Racing connection between the late Dale Earnhardt, and her mother's current obsession (I'm sorry) favorite race car driver, Jeff Burton. And, upon seeing these new stylish pajamas, can't help but yell out:

"Go Jeff Burton!"

I don't know. . . regardless of what the reason. . .baby girl knows her NASCAR. And, she knows who to cheer for -- even when it's pajama time!

I'll post pictures tomorrow -- I'm typing in the dark. (Getting her to bed was a real chore) We have not a clue where the cable is to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer. And, you have GOT to see some of our pictures.

Goodnight from Ohio!

Oh. . . and it's nearly July 1. Happy Birthday, Melany! I love you, my Canadian Geek-Friend!! Maybe next year, it will be OUR turn to meet up?!?!?

Oh. . .one last picture. . .talking to Nana on the phone.


Slave to the Muter

Through That Chick, I found this very cool site. I am going to put a link to the blog on the right side -- it's called "the Muter" and I love it. (link here) This young man -- he's just a few months older than Edison -- gives you weekly ideas for blogging.

Not that I'm ever at a loss for words. . . but this seemed like a great way to encourage this young man, and stay inspired all at the same time.

Here's this week's mission. You are welcome to join him (and me) in these weekly missions. Carry on. . .

First Name: Angie
Nickname: Ang
Gender: Female
Birthday: May 12 - you don't need to know the year!
Job: Church Music Director & Mom
Siblings: 1 sister -- she just turned 40!!!! *(gulp - she's the young one!)
Pets: nope
Eye Color: brown
Hair Color: brown -- with the occasional "highlights"
Glasses: Reading glasses
Piercings: Two holes in each ear
Tattoos: None
Braces: They went away in 1982 - thank you very much!
Collections: quilts, fabric, baskets, scrapbooking supplies
Bilingual: English
Obsessions: Quilting, Scrapbooking, Sudoku
Dream Job: I'm actually doing both of them right now!

Best and Worst
Favorite Color/Least Favorite Color: Blue/Orange (sorry U.T.!)
Most Lucky Number/Least Lucky Number: 3 / 13
Favorite/Least Ice Cream Flavor: Sweet Cream /Coffee
Favorite/Least Candy: Anything sour /Dark Chocolate
Favorite/Least Music Genre: 70s and R& B /Country or Polka
Favorite/Least Movie Genre: Action - Chick Flick / Westerns
Favorite/Least TV Shows: The Office, Scrubs, Law & Order /Reality TV
Favorite/Least Day of the Week: Sunday/Monday

This or That
Pepsi or Coke? Coke (diet, please!)
McDonald’s or Burger King? Burger King
Pancakes or Waffles? Pancakes
Hamburger or Cheeseburger? Cheeseburger
Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate
Summer or Winter? Winter
Snow or Rain? Snow
Thunder or Lightning? Lightning
Shower or Bath? Shower
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
Pen or Pencil? Pen
Salt or Pepper? Salt
Music or Movies? Music
Sunny or Cloudy? Sunny
White or Dark Chocolate? White
Day or Night? Night
TV or Computer? Computer
White or Wheat Bread? Wheat (homemade)
Pop Tart or Toaster Strudel? Pop Tarts
Apple Juice or Grape Juice? Grape Juice
Oreos or Chips Ahoy? Chips Ahoy
M&M’s or Skittles? M& Ms (almonds or peanuts, please)
Sausage or Bacon? Bacon
Mexican or Italian Food? Italian
Salsa or Cheese on Chips? Salsa

. . . also? I love the fact that his name is Jake. What a cool kid. . and an awesome concept.

First blog post from the road coming up. . . !


Aubrey out.

(my homage to American Idol)

Be posting from the road. . . or the awed manor. . .or the windy city!

Love to all!

Three Days!

I'm sorry that I let three days go by between my last post and this one. I have been extremely busy -- getting ready to go on vacation. I'm still not quite ready, yet. But, I'll get there.

Edison (indeed) did get his new MP3 player. . . and yes, all is now right with the world. Mark updated my player with some new tunes. And, at last check I have the proper snacks for our trip.

It's really going to happen.

As I said on Thursday, our phones and laptop will be accompanying us on our trip. I will be able to stay in touch with you all -- and know what you're up to. I will be able to post pictures from the road -- including a chance for Henry to meet Caroline. Christy and I will be there, too. . .and we're bringing the rest of our families.

So, until we meet again, my friends. . . I bid you a fond adieu. Take care. Keep reading each others' blogs, and leave those loving comments for each other.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yes, Edison. . .Chicago has good Hot Dogs.

Okay. . . may I vent a bit here?! (You can try to say "no" but it won't work.) Here goes:

Summer only began (officially) five days ago. That's right. Summer's not even a week old yet -- and already, my son is starting to complain that it's over. Now, I do admit that he will be back in school in just a little over six weeks. But still. . .I'm not ready to concede to the end of summer just yet.

I must confess that while perusing Wally World the other day, I did notice some spiral-bound notebooks in their Back-To-School section for $.10 each. I bought four (4) because one can never be ill-prepared when it comes to notebooks for a dime!

So there you have it . . . I'm a walking contradiction. (And that's not easy with flat feet!)

On a more positive note. . . .we are heading out on vacation soon. I think I probably shouldn't say too much about the details. Security issues on the internet, and all. But, we're all getting excited. I'm starting to determine what to bring and what to leave at home.

The new 500+ Sudoku book? Coming
The new Joanne Fluke novel? Coming
The crocheting project? Coming
The new GPS? Definitely coming
The camera? Do I even have to ask this?
The laptop (for blogging purposes)? Coming
The laptop (for work purposes)? Coming. . .but not being used!

Seriously. I have to figure out what to bring along, and what to leave at home. I bought Caroline her very own (pink) suitcase the other day. Just doing that got me all jazzed up for this trip.

Friends. . . this is the first time we have ventured out as a family since Caroline was born. I don't count the trips to Nashville for her open heart surgery, and the follow up visits. So, we're going out on a limb here.

Our plan is to arrive in Cincinatti on Monday night (you getting this down, favorite brother in law?) We're going to attend the North American Christian Convention Tuesday through Friday. (That's right--out "non-denominational" church is having its yearly convention)

I know. It confuses Mark, too.

We don't have solid plans for the first few days, other than the convention. We're hoping to spend some quality time with the fave. . .and hopefully sneak in a trip to Chipotle. . . and a visit to their new house. (We don't have them here. . .seriously. Click on the link. None in Tennessee!)

Then, after that, we are headed to the Windy City. We're taking the boy back to his homeland. But I fear that we have given Edison an incorrect view of his hometown. Last night, while eating hot dogs (yes, they were cooked on the grill -- Mark lit it) Edison asked whether or not Chicago had good hot dogs.

. . . uh, yeah. Hello? We're talking Chicago, ILLINOIS!?!?!?!

I think we have talked so much about Chicago-style pizza. . .and I don't mean deep dish. . . I mean Aurelio's Pizza in Homewood, IL. Now THAT is Chicago-style pizza.

Anyway, between regailing him with stories of Aurelio's and Reza's (my all-time favorite restaurant in the WORLD)....I think we've restricted his view of my hometown as only pizza and persian food.

Oh, there's so much more, my son. There's Portillo's Hot Dogs, and the Jewel/Osco experience, and Italian Ice -- with real chunks of fruit in there. There's GYROS. . . with so much meat and onion and sauce that you walk away dripping with grease. And there's Italian Beef Sandwiches, again, dripping with au jus. And Oberweis Ice Cream. . . . and Gramma Sally's pancakes in Wheaton. And how could I forget Fannie May Candies and a Sub Sandwich from Augustino's Deli in Carol Stream. There is literally SO much meat on the sandwich, you could choke! And how in the world could I forget Liang's Chinese food in the south suburbs?

Mom. . .Do they have good hot dogs? What have we done to our beloved first-born? We have ruined him, I tell you.

But now is our time for redemption.
We can alter the future.
We have the chance to show him that there is more to life than Pizza Hut P'Zones.

And we will. Oh yes, we will.

We'll show him where he was born.
Where he lived the first 18 months of his life.
Where his dad and I met and fell in love.
Where we were married.
Where we went to church.
Where I went to school.
Where I grew up.

That's right. . .for the first time, in a long time, I'm going home.

And for some reason, reading that list and seeing the words "I'm going home" made me cry just a little.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oooh, that Smell. . . .

. . . hair anyone?

Yeah, I pretty much should *never* be allowed to grill in public, or private, for that matter. Tonight, while attempting to light our gas grill, I basically singed off a 1/4 inch of hair on my right side.

I'm fine.
I'm not physically marred in any way.
Nor, do I bear the scars of bald patches on my head.

I'm just embarrassed.

I was in a hurry. I should have allowed the pent up gas to dissipate before sticking the lighter in the grill. I didn't.

So, if you're at a campsite, or in my neighborhood, and you see me heading toward a gas grill. . . .for the love of all things holy. . . and flammable. That's all.

. . .oh the chicken?? Delicious.

An Update is Coming!

That's right. . .I've been pretty busy the last 36 hours or so. But, I promise an update is on its way. No pictures. . . just an update.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Not What I Usually Do. . .

. . .making dinner. Sunday dinner, actually.

I usually "eke" by with a quasi-dinner on Sunday afternoons. Partly because I'm tired after leading two worship services. . .but also because it's just easy. Lately, I've been trying more. I've been making things in the slow cooker. . .or we've grilled out.

But tomorrow? I'm making DINNER, babies.

I've got two pork tenderloins marinating in the refrigerator. I've made a potato casserole (similar to the Deluxe Potatoes Beth raves about). I've also toasted the ramen noodles, sesame seeds, and sliced almonds for the Oriental Slaw (ala Melany) I'm making right after church.

. . .why, I've even got a cheesecake/pie cooling on the stove. It's basically an "Easy" Chocolate Chip Cheesecake. Really delicious. Really spectacular. Really cooling on my stove.

So, for me -- it will be a Saturday night where I can go to sleep knowing that our dinner is going to be great. Of course, it's going to be dependent on Mark popping home during the sermon in 2nd service to put the casserole and tenderloins in the oven.

So. . . there you have it.

I'm exhausted from a great day -- took Edison for a haircut, did a little shopping at WalMart (and spent LESS than $100, amazingly), and took the family to a "luau" at the church tonight to celebrate the start of summer. Caroline had a great time "modeling" her new bathing suit. I'll try to post some pictures on here -- probably tomorrow.

OH. . . I nearly forgot. We have to figure out how to film this, and get it on here.

Caroline is fixated on the Olympic Gymnastics Team trials. She used to call it "Flips" but now it's "Nastics." She laughed heartily as they did their flips and twirls. But now. . .she runs across the room in a straight line. . .stops, and strikes a pose. Then, she stands up, with both hands in the air -- waiting for applause. Enjoy the mind pictures, until we can get some actual film footage of our little gymnast.

Allright. . .I guess I've written enough. Just hoping you all are enjoying a wonderful weekend. I hope it's warm and sunny wherever you are (Helen, it's getting cool down under, isn't it?) But for the rest of you on my side of the world -- I pray you will enjoy blue, sunny skies and lots of delicious lemonade!

Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

God's Kinda Funny Like That

Today, I guess I'm in a reflective mood. I'm pretty much done with my work for the week. And yet, I'm in the office. I had lots of "overtime" from last week. And yes, I know "overtime" is pretty much non-existent when you work part-time. . . .and are salaried rather than hourly.'s called being in the ministry. You do what's gotta get done. Even on Saturday at 3 in the morning. Thankfully, in my area of ministry there is very little call for middle-of-the-night stuff. But I think you get my point.

I'm at work -- because my daughter "kicked me out" of the house this morning. She did. Her babysitter arrived . . .

[May I mention? This is the girl that I would love to one day call my daughter-in-law.]

I'm serious. When I pray about Edison's wife -- even though I know God sees her face and clearly knows who she is -- I picture this girl. I love her. I love her mom and dad. I love that she's Edison's friend - and has no romantic interest thus far. And most importantly, my mommy heart loves that she loves being around Caroline. . . . but enough about that. I really don't want to start crying this morning.

Anyway, this is just the third time in two years that she has babysat Caroline. She's really good with her. And, Caroline obviously loves her. Why do I say obviously?

Caroline told me to leave this morning.

Yep, baby girl blows me a kiss from her room. Takes the sitter's hand, has her sit down to play, and then looks at me and says, "Goodbye." I am invisible.

So, I've been put in my place. But that's not where I intended for this blog post to go.

On my way to work this morning, I stopped at McDonalds. It's right across the street. They're doing their $1 large drink deal. . .and buddy, it's worth sitting through the drive-thru for their Diet Coke (even though I was told earlier this week that it's eating away at my bones). Bones be damned. . . the Diet Coke is good.

The lady at the first window is fairly new. In fact, she still has someone working the window with her. The one to whom I'm referring takes your money. She is older -- probably older than me. Maybe she's putting a kid through school. Or starting over. I don't know what it is. But, she blessed me.

As she handed me my change, she wished me a blessed day. Now, you all need to remember that there are at least three (3) empty McDonalds cups in my garbage can. . . I stop there nearly every morning on the way to work. (especially with that $1 deal)

This woman has a beautiful spirit. And today, I decided to let her know what a blessing she was to me. I thanked her for the way she greets people. When I did, this is what she said:

"It's not me. It's Jesus."

I smiled and said, "Yeah, I can see that. Thanks again!"

. . . and I drove off to get that Diet Coke. So, even though it's eating away at my very bones. . . this Diet Coke next to my left hand brought me a blessing today.

God's kinda funny like that.

Then, there's this past Sunday morning. It was Father's Day, as you may recall. We played a video in church. Here's the link to see it, and some other related videos. It's a nice video -- and there's one particular version that is good for a Father's Day service. However. . . in our first service, that is unfortunately not the one that we showed. Nope. We showed a version that was longer, and less "fatherish" and therefore, I assumed, the WRONG one to show.

. . .until Monday morning. On Monday morning, I received an email from a lady who has been occasionally visiting our church after being away for a long time. Her email asked specifically about the video that was shown in church on Sunday. (I assumed she meant the "correct" one shown in 2nd service)

I was wrong. She attended first service. You know, the one where we showed the wrong video. Only, it wasn't the wrong video. . . for her. She asked for a link to be able to see it again, and share it. I was blown away.

God's kinda funny like that.

So, enjoy today -- and I challenge you to look for situations where God shows himself in ways that are surprising. They can be as simple as a Diet Coke, or as complex as video projection plans gone awry.

He really is kinda funny like that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday. That's it. Tuesday.

. . . but it's been a good Tuesday. Not nearly as productive as I would have hoped. But, I somehow managed to eke out grocery shopping, baking a peach pie, baking bread, grilling salmon (Mark did that), and getting caught up on dishes that needed to be washed.

I also got to spend a couple of (unplanned) hours talking with friends today. That probably was the highlight to my day. Did I have work to accomplish? Yes. Did it get done? Nope. Will I accomplish it? Sure.

Just not today.

I also managed to upload pictures from our camera from over the weekend. We attended a beautiful wedding on Saturday, and it was literally breathtaking. . . the scenery and the wedding party itself. The wedding took place in an area called "Brother's Cove" which is located outside of Pigeon Forge, TN . . . on the way to Townsend, for those of you who have been here before.

Because of parking limitations on top of the mountain (not kidding) we were asked to park in a field and shuttles (mini-vans and SUVs) brought people up to the wedding site. Here are a few pictures.

Ross and Amanda. . the happy couple:

Was I kidding about the location? It's gorgeous.

Our entire family attended the wedding. And, we had a wonderful time. Caroline, of course, provided some of the entertainment for the people at our table. When she and Grandma got together (with the "encouragement" from Marsha) she (Caroline) took on the role of entertainer.

See what I mean? I believe they are singing "Zacchaeus was a Wee Little Man" in this picture:

But, this is probably my favorite picture of all. . . not because of the subject matter (at least the one on the right). No, I love this picture because it's the two of us. Together. Talking. Relating. Just being us.

. . .of course, I'm not real crazy about the wrinkles you can begin to see around my eyes. But, at this point, I'm powerless. And rather that concern myself needlessly, I'm going to console my soon-to-be-wrinkled face with a piece of peach pie. YUM.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Preach it, Doctor King!

"Free at last. . .free at last. . .thank God Almighty. . I'm free at last!"

I cannot express the joy that fills my heart and very being as I sit here at my desk. . . at my desk. I don't have to go wrangle 24 children, 6 teen helpers, and 4 adult teachers to bend to my whim for the next three and half hours, for the next five days.


I can sit here. Drink a cold Diet Coke (from the McD's across the street), read blogs, plan worship services, read magazine articles, and do it all in this comfy black chair that spins around and raises and lowers.

Yeah, I'm happy to be back!

Last week was amazingly fun. Tiring, but fun. The kids did an awesome job. I have a friend that took pictures. He gave me a CD yesterday morning at church. I laid it on the piano. I'll go down and get it in a few minutes. When I do, if there are good pics, I'll "edit" this entry, and add a picture or two.

But for now, I'm going to write a few thank you notes, listen to some great worship music (adults singing, thank you very much) and enjoy my office. Kinda ironic, isn't it?

Yeah, that's what a week of music camp will do for ya!

Happy Monday, everyone!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Finite. . . .Finito. . .Finally

Yep - we're done. I'm exhausted.

I'm also very sad. Coming home and learning of Tim Russert's death has made me very sad. He was one of the (very) few newsmakers that I trusted. It has been said that he was a devoted Father and beloved Son. So sad and ironic that he died on the cusp of Father's Day weekend.

Join me in praying for his family.

This election just won't be the same without his signature whiteboard. While I watch, I'll be thinking of him. . . remembering and smiling.

Happy Father's Day weekend to everyone. . .well, the *dads* mainly. Duh.

4 out of 5 Dentists. . . No, wait! 4 out of 5 DAYS.

. . .yeah, that's it.

That's right. . .I've survived four of the five days of Music Camp. Each year, I swear we're not going to do it again, and someone convinces me to do it.

The kids are doing fine. I feel like I've been run over by a truck, but I'm really doing fine, too.

I am exhausted beyond words -- and still have to write up the "take home" paper for tomorrow, so this is going to be a short post.

I will be back -- with a vengeance -- either this weekend, or next week.

Until then, I miss you all dearly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Don't. . . Don't You Want Me?

. . no, I'm not being forward here. I'm just reflecting on the ambience of my home as I write.

VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s" is playing right now.

"Don't you want me baby? Don't you want me, ohhhh?"

(yes, there will be more as I finish this blog entry)

I've survived a 2nd day of Music Camp. It was good. The kids are going to do a great job on Friday night. I'll just be glad when it's over. Last night was tough. I wore the wrong shoes yesterday at camp. My left foot/achilles tendon was aching so much. I ended up having to take a pain pill. (it was literally THAT bad)

Today? I wore the right shoes. So, although I'm tired, I can walk. (phew!)

". . .she's poetry in motion. . .when she turns her eye to me. . . she blinded me with science. . . she blinded me. . .with science!"

In other news. . . .Edison has started wanting to listen to "classic" rock on his MP3 player. So, we have given him some songs from Kansas and the Beatles. He's definitely digging them both. His "moment of reality" came the other night, as we were driving home from someplace. . .can't remember where. . .doesn't really matter. Here's the conversation between Edison and Mark:

E: So, the Beatles song, "With a Little Help from my Friends?"
M: Yeah?
E: Well, it says, "I get high with a a little help. . "
M: Yeah?
E: Well, does that mean high. . .like high??
M: Uh, yeah.
E: Hmmm.

My poor little puritanical boy. I think it will hit him, one of these days, that the drug culture (sadly) is part of the music culture. For now, we just keep bursting his bubble whenever we get a chance!

Then, today, as I was taking him to football practice, I told him that either Mark or I would pick him up when he was done. I just reminded him that he might have to wait a few minutes. . so he took his MP3 player with him. His quote:

"George, Paul, John, and that other guy will keep me company." Yeah, Edison. . .Ringo definitely is the forgettable one!

". . . 99 red balloons go by. . . "

Yeah, I'm living life to its fullest on this Tuesday night.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Not My Work. . .

But it's certainly worth celebrating.

. . .but I'll get to that in a minute.

We survived the first full day of Music Camp today. There were a couple of hiccups. . .like the Buddy Walk meeting that took place without me at one of our sponsors' offices today. I simply forgot -- or actually, didn't think the meeting had been confirmed.

It went fine. But still. I was, and am still embarrassed.

Back to Camp . . . 24 kids. Lots of good helpers. Sausage Balls for a snack this morning. What could be better??

So tomorrow is Day #2. We'll get through it, too. But, I'm tired. So, I'm really going to bed. I know I threaten that. . .but this time I mean it.

I'm giving you two links to layouts that my friends did of Caroline. Beth did one of Caroline with the butterfly from a couple weeks ago. And Melany did one of the Baby Lily pictures tonight. These guys are amazing!!!

Beth Layout

Melany Layout

Thanks for checking them both out!!! Talk at you tomorrow!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Lavender's Blue -- Baby Lily

Just this morning, on our local Sunday morning news, they did a story about a farmer's market in Downtown Knoxville. One of the local vendors sells lavender. I used to grow lavender at the old house -- and have started two plants in the bed out back. I love the smell. I love the color. I love the plant. I love it all.

Anyway, as they talked to this vendor, they asked her to sing the old song, "Lavender's Blue, Dilly Dilly. . ." The only reason I know this song? It's one of the "standards" that is in the series of piano books from which I used to teach. Otherwise, I would have been totally in the dark.

So all that said, the news story this morning, and these pictures that I took this evening, after the blazing heat subsided some, made for quite a nice day.

For her birthday, Caroline received a dress from Nana & Papa. This dress came with a matching dress for one of her baby dolls. This particular baby doll was "nekked" up until about an hour ago.

Since Caroline had worn her dress from this particular combo at the wedding yesterday, the doll dress was within her grasp. With Caroline, that's all it takes. She decided that not only did Baby Lily need a diaper -- she needed this dress.

Baby Lily's diaper is from a pack of preemie diapers we bought for this very purpose. However, being the smart parents we are -- those preemie diapers (read: EXPENSIVE) live in the upper portion of Caroline's closet -- out of reach. We only pull them down one at a time. At this rate, we've made one package of diapers last for nearly six months.

So, the following pictures are Caroline and her baby Lily. We couldn't take pictures like these inside the house. We went outside -- the temperatures had cooled considerably, and it was fun to capture two barefoot little girls in the setting sun.

And yes, I know. . .you can't tell that they're bare-footed. Trust me. . . we all were. And yes, I know. . it's almost too sweet!

What can I say?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Happy Wedding Day!

Congratulations to our friends, Adam & Megan Linsenbigler. Their wedding was held this afternoon, on the banks of the French Broad River -- in the ninety-five degree heat. But, we love them, so we attended anyway.

. . . well, Edison and I attended the wedding. Mark and Caroline met us at the reception. We figured that spending an hour in the heat would not be the best thing for Caroline's little lungs. She had a great time at the party -- but we are thankful for air-conditioning.

Other than that, it has been a busy, but productive weekend. Edison and I cleaned the house yesterday. I still want to clean the kitchen real well. But, we got bathrooms done, dusting and vacuuming done, and some minor straightening done. There's still more to do, but it felt good to get that bit done. I got my hair cut today (finally!) and it feels much better. I also made a quick stop at WalMart -- which is close to the hairdresser. Picked up some summer shirts and some more "girly" yarn to make a baby quilt.

Monday begins Music Camp. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm not. I'll keep you posted as we progress through the week. Of course, I've got to get through church tomorrow morning, and I was so busy today, I'm not sure where we stand for Sunday -- but it's a normal, uncomplicated Sunday, so we should be fine.

There's a NASCAR race on tomorrow. There's a roast that's going to be cooked in the crock pot, and there's always my bed calling out for me to take a nap.

Speaking of sleep. . . I'm tired. Good night, everyone!


Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Got Me One of Them There Award Thingies!

Yep - it's true! My girl "Tiger Lamb Girl" gave me this award, and I love it.

Who would I share it with? Oh, just about everyone whose blog titles you see on the right hand column. It amazes me that, in two years of blogging, I have gone from five names to. . . well, you count them. (I can't. I'm in create post mode - and I can't see the front page!)

Nothing like a post that makes you work, eh?

I know what you're really wondering, so here it is. . . She's doing much better today. We went to the doctor (our pediatrician) for a follow-up. He said that she sounds some better. He did, however, give her a prescription for some medicine.

Oh did I not mention? It's the same medicine we tried giving her on Sunday! However, I now know that its effectiveness will be much higher now that the steroids have gotten the infection out of her system. This is a "cousin" to Albuterol (asthma meds) which helps open the constricted airways.

Mark said that she literally "sucked in" the mist this evening, when he gave her the breathing treatment. How's that? How cool.

I had an extremely productive day at work today. There's still quite a bit to do in order to be ready for Music Camp next week, but we made lots of positive steps today. I'm actually going to go in tomorrow (it and today were "supposed" to be non-working days for me). I think it will help me get a few steps ahead, because next week will be so consumed with camp.

Had a great band rehearsal tonight. Low attendance -- injuries, sickness, people working out of town (the usual). But, it was still good. Edison had football practice tonight. I still cannot believe he's playing Middle School football. Of course, this time next year, he'll be preparing for High School football, and I'm not sure my heart is ready for that one.

So, I'm off to get something out of the freezer for dinner tomorrow night, and then I'm off to bed. And, for those of you who know (and thereby torture) me. . . it's extremely early for me to consider going to be before midnight. But, to be honest, I'm tired.

It has been a long, stressful week. I need some rest -- and I'm bound and determined to get some. I have to admit, however, I have surprised myself. . . in the midst of all the sickness, turmoil, strange work hours, and all. . .I've cooked dinner nearly every night this week. That's pretty bizarre for me. I even grilled a couple of nights.

Tonight? Onion Roasted Chicken (Crock Pot) Want the recipe? It's super easy, and really delicious.

Take 4 -6 skin on chicken breasts (on the bone helps). Put them in the crock pot . . . top them with 1 can of cream of chicken soup. Do not dilute this. (you can use any type of soup -- including fat-free). Pour one (1) packet of dry onion soup mix (Beefy Onion works, too) over the soup/chicken. Take 1/2 c. water -- pour it down along the sides of the crock pot -- not rinsing the soup mix off of the soup.

Bake on low for 7-8 hours, or on high 4-5 hours.

When the chicken is done, strain the "gravy" through a strainer, bring it to a boil and thicken it with flour/water or cornstarch/water.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

It's really tasty.

One last thing. . . Beth asked for a picture of the girl. Of course, this is pre-CROUP. We didn't take any hospital pics this time around. Here are a couple of pictures from Caroline's program last week at her Parent's Day Out.

Now, this next picture shows what happens when children realize that a live video feed of them singing is being broadcast behind their heads. Priceless.

Okay - - I've updated you. . . enriched your lives with stories of my craziness. . . and given you a recipe. . . shared not one, but TWO pictures of Caroline. . . and passed along an award I received to all my blog friends. I've fulfilled my "excellent blog post" quotient for another day, right?

Phew. That's a relief.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Slurps of Summer

. . .are green apple flavored around here.

A new Shaved Ice place opened here in our little "town" a few months ago. They make what they call "New Orleans" style shaved ice -- which you have flavored. It's quite tasty. I've had the blackberry, orange, and have tasted strawberry.

However. . . they have a granny smith apple flavor, which calls out to me every time I drive past the place. They also can "create" a sour cherry flavor. . . so I'll be stopping by at least two more times in the next couple of weeks. . . for research, of course.

And, when they're closed, or inaccessible, I can always go to Sonic for a Green Apple slush. We now have a Sonic in Seymour. . with a drive-thru. You don't even have to pull into one of those "car-hop" stalls. Amazing. And, oh so sweet -- especially from 2 -4 p.m., when all fountain drinks and slushes are half price.

I needed to mail a letter tonight, so of course, a stop at Sonic just made sense. They're right across the street from the Post Office. Tonight's selection was a medium "Green Apple Slush with Cranberry flavor." Hello Ocean Spray. . . ? This is amazing.

I'm assuming that some of you want an update on Caroline. She's some better. She was up for a couple hours in the night last night. Mark got up with her. He's amazing. I truly don't deserve such a wonderful husband like him. As I type this, he's helping me make rehearsal CDs for Music Camp next week.

The process, unfortunately, is not going as smoothly as one might hope. So, his "brownie point" total keeps getting higher and higher. I even made brownies today -- so I hope he eats one or two--he certainly deserves them.

So, back to the wee one. . . she has a follow-up visit with her pediatrician tomorrow morning (hospital mandate) and we'll see. She's been very puny today -- tired, cranky, crying at the drop of a hat. . .you know. She still feels like crap. Can't say that I blame her.

So, that's about it for our Wednesday. With church being "out" for the summer, it's kinda nice having two or three nights in a row -- without something to do. Of course, with camp on the horizon next week, I'm staying plenty busy.

Have a great Thursday -- I'll be sure and check in with you all!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Is that not one of the greatest words of all time?

We're home. Caroline's still coughing. Mark's still exhausted. I've still got loads of work to do. Edison's still playing his guitar -- both in real life, and on a video game.

But. . . we're all at home.

Monday, June 02, 2008

And the punch line goes like this. . . .

. . . those semi-cool parents were more "semi" than they thought.

They took their daughter (not very happy, mind you) to the ER at 4:30 in the morning. She was admitted to the hospital at 8 a.m., and is currently (Monday evening) still in residence at the very hospital that this determined-yet-misguided set of parents wanted to avoid.

Seriously. Caroline's fine. She had a rough, rough night. After being admitted to the ER, we learned that the medicines we had arranged for her might have helped, but it was the "bandaid on a broken arm" kind of thing. Great thought, bad application.

She received six (6) breathing treatments from 5:15 a.m. until noon. At that point they decided to stop the breathing treatments for fear of her body "rebounding" and responding with more severe croup symptoms. They gave her another steroid dose (through an IV) and a beautiful, delicious dose of benadryl (again via IV) and she slept ALL AFTERNOON.

Mark came home and slept (some) this afternoon, and I am home tonight, with Edison. I will go back in the morning (unless I am summoned sooner).

As always, prayers are appreciated. The Princess is winning hearts left and right at the hospital, and telling every nurse and orderly "thank you" when they check her vital signs.

OH.......and I have the greatest news of all......

We got a call this morning, with the news that the couple Mark and I met with a few months back (thanks for praying, by the way) gave birth to their baby girl yesterday. She was 8 weeks early -- so she's only 3 lbs or so. She's in the NICU (two floors above Caroline). Tomorrow morning, as I go to the hospital, I will drop off a baby afghan on her floor (the clean one) before going to Caroline's floor (the germy one!)

I don't know her name -- but I know God does, and we'd all appreciate prayers for this precious little girl. She does have some heart issues, but the doctors have said that they most likely won't have to be addressed until she's 6 months old. Isn't that great news? It made my day.

God is sooooooo good! Now, I'm off to bed. . . after a few more emails. : )

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Stop me if you've heard this one. . . .

Here's a bedtime story for a gray, dark, windy Sunday night. . . .

Once upon a time, there was a family. They're pretty cool. Two semi-cool parents. . . two great kids. One kid has issues. . .being a teenager and all. . .but for the most part, his parents love him.

The other child has her own set of. . . you thought I was going to say issues, didn't you? WRONG. This child has a set of lungs. These lungs get infected with this bizarre infection called "croup" from time to time.

In years past, this somewhat cool family has taken their "croupified" daughter to the ER . . .in literal fear for her life. However, this somewhat "hip" family has learned its way around the medical community in the past four years, and have learned that there are "home remedies" for croup that can be attempted in order to save a trip to their local Children's Hospital (even though they love the staff there.)

Let's say this moderately awesome family discovers on a Saturday night that child #2 is making those barking breathing/coughing noises again. Their first thought? Why, croup, of course.

So, semi-awesome Dad lets somewhat rockin' Mom sleep through the night because she has to work on Sunday morning (two services, no waiting). When Mom wakes up about 45 minutes prior to her alarm going off, she hears the daughter "barking" through the house, and realizes that the incident that happened during Saturday Night Live was just the first of three incidents during the night -- and that the totally awesome Dad was up from 3:15 a.m. until 5:15 a.m. with this charming daughter who sounds remarkably like a seal.

Two calls later (one to the after-hours nurse at the ER, and one to the pharmacist's cell phone) Mom (not feeling awesome at all) gets ready for church and goes to "work" for the morning.

Exhausted, but Cool Dad meets up with the pharmacist, thinking that there were refills available on the nebulizer medicines ... mainly because Not-as-Tired Mom told him that there should be some left on the prescription. And there would have been...had they not expired two years ago.

After the rendezvous with the drug dealer (sounds so cool, doesn't it?) The parents have a brainstorming session in the foyer of the church as people are leaving. Their decision? Call their good friend who is also a family doctor, and see if he can link them up with something to get them through until Monday morning, when they will call the childrens' pediatrician.

This wonderful, giving doctor not only had the medicine that this family needed. . .he met them at his office (on a Sunday -- his GRAND DAUGHTER'S BIRTHDAY no less) to give them the medicine that their seal-barking child will need in order to make it through the night until they can see the pediatrician on Monday.

This absolutely wonderful doctor/friend also called the Children's Hospital just to make sure that the dosing instructions were correct for a 28-lb awesome toddler who has this wheezy breezy quality about her.

Awesome Dad drives the meds home -- and after her bath this evening, the drugs were administered via an inventive "fish" mask which is supposed to ease the fears of children receiving these drugs through the mist. (She may forever be afraid of tropical fish, but sometimes something's gotta give!)

This precious child with a half-hearted bark is now asleep. Her tired, but grateful mother is blogging about their adventure over the past 24 hours. And the blogging mother suspects that the exhausted, but triumphant dad is catching a nap in the bedroom. . .in case there are more "episodes" during the night.

Okay -- you've now read they hypothetical reality that IS my life. I'm hoping that this will explain my situation and smooth out any ruffled feathers that are upset that there are no bathroom or scrapbooking pictures posted here. I'm doing the best that I can to stay upright at this point.

Forgive me?