Tuesday, December 23, 2008

christmas spirit

over the past several days, i've consumed a ridiculous amount of cookies and wassell, and attempted to then exercise all those calories off at the gym. i think i'm thru the worst of it.
i hosted a sweet swap last tuesday and invited all the "neighbor ladies" (9 people. eeveryone brought 4 dozen cookies. you do the math). i didn't want to look at another cookie for at least 2 or 3 hours after that. ;-) we've lived in this house for 2 & 1/2 years and don't know any of the neighbors other than the obligatory wave if someone is out doing the yard or checking their mail. 4 of them came over and 1 brought a friend, and a few of my girlfriends came over, so it was a great time of chatting and eating till i felt like vomiting. ah, the christmas season.
i'm officially done with shopping as of yesterday. i needed to pick up a few last minute stocking stuffers and a gift for our nephew. now i can just enjoy the countdown.
shayne and kristen came over last night for our yearly christmas(ish) tradition.
they are 2 years apart, big brother little sister, and we just love them! they have the kind of relationship with each other that we pray colby and molly will have as they get older. so each year over the christmas break (this is the 3rd year we've done it) they come over and pray over the kids as we move into the new year. it's a sweet time and gives us an opportunity to catch up with shayne and kristen, too.

this morning erin, a friend of mine from the theatre (we were in CATS together), came over for coffee and brought homemade donuts (yum!). we hadn't seen each other in several months, so that was a fun time with her. she has a blog too, and poted this story she got off the blog of a friend of hers (she knows this guy, so this is a real story). what a sweet blessing and story of christmas spirit...
"Friday night I was out delivering pizzas, lost in the dark and looking for some semblance of address numbers on the houses as I passed. At the end of the street was a home brilliantly lit for the Christmas season. Santa Claus stood in his sleigh on the grassy front lawn, surrounded by blow up snowmen, snow-globes and a barrage of other holiday lawn decor. This was the house. As I opened the car door and grabbed 2 steamy pizzas and a box of greasy hot-wings, Mannheim Steamroller wafted gently from hidden speakers. As I rang the doorbell, Jingle Bells started playing in tinny door-chime fashion as I waited on the front stoop. The dull glow of thousands of blue-tinted LED Christmas lights illuminated the receipt for $31.95. My wife and I usually decorate our house with Christmas lights, but a fire last August destroyed all of our exterior lights. Being on a tight budget, we decided to buy a tree this year and forgo exterior decor until Christmas 2009. We had heard about the new LED Christmas lights, so I asked the homeowner how he liked them. We chatted for a bit as he paid for his pizza, and I mentioned that our Christmas lights were destroyed last year. At this his eyes brightened and he said, "I have just the tip for you." He walked me out to the front of his garage where 5 large rubbermaid tubs sat, filled with Christmas lights. A lump rose in my throat as he started hauling them out to my car. They were filled to the brim with lights of all shapes and sizes. As we loaded them into the car, he asked only that I promise to put them up and wish my neighbors a merry Christmas. I was blown away. To him, they may have just been some extra lights that he wasn't using this year. To me they were a very generous gift of Christmas Spirit."

i leave you with some very sound advice from colby:
"be careful driving out there. make sure you stay on the road."

Merry Christmas to you!! i hope you have a blessed holiday!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

its not about cupcakes

colby had his mothers day out christmas party today (sooo cute!), so i loaded molly up, headed to the school, and tried to keep her from being a distraction for an hour and a half. i must say, though, it's so nice having family upstairs--for people that don't "know" me, colby goes to school at the academy at our church. my husband is the youth pastor, my mom is his secretary, and my dad is the worship pastor, so my kids are right at home up in the church offices (on the 3rd floor of the school)--mom took molly up with her to eat her nuggets and apple dippers while i stayed down in colbys room, so that bought me about 20 minutes. thanks mom.
colbys teacher, ms brandy, pulled me aside and asked me if colby had told me about getting upset on monday. he hadn't.
one of the kids was celebrating his birthday, so the class had cupcakes at lunchtime. the options were superman and batman. colby was given a superman cupcake, but wanted a batman cupcake. this was step 1 towards meltdown, so he was whining, but no totally over the edge yet.
then the little girl across the table, feeling sorry for him and wanting to be generous, offered him her batman cupcake, but only after she had licked batman off the top of it. well, that did it.
ms brandy said he lost it; flailing arms, sobs, melt down. so she went over and picked him up and walked around the cafeteria with him, trying to calm him down, and asked
ms brandy: "colby, what was it? was it not having batman? was it because she licked it? what?"
colby: "this is not the true meaning of christmas!"
ms brandy: (trying not to crack up, i'm sure) "no it's not."
colby: "it's not about cupcakes. it's about Jesus."

well said son, well said.

Monday, December 15, 2008

as promised

is anyone having trouble signing up to follow my blog? i've had someone tell me they've tried to 'follow' and it's not letting her. i wanted to see if it's just her or if others are having the same issue. so become a follower...if you can, and if you can't let me know!

drumroll please...........

wait for it.....

....wait for it....

AAAAHHHHHH!! did it scare you? check out my chins. thats my favorite.
this does not even do it justice, but it's the best i could get.
i would have liked to stand next to it so you can see how big it is, but i wasn't about to ask anyone to for that favor.
i had yet another person recognize me at the gym today.
"hey is that you?" she asked, pointing to that monstrocity of a window treatment (i.e. me).
i admited to being guilty as charged, but was quick to point out that i would have voted against that picture had anyone asked me. i also made sure to mention that i was still carrying some baby weight at the time.
i checked with zach on the 'them not asking my permission' thing, and apparently when i joined i signed some kind of waver giving them permission to publish pictures of me. smart. they must have known no woman in her right mind would consent to having a life size picture of herself working out plastered anywhere, let alone the main hallway of the most popular gym in round rock.
not that i would have the heart to tell them to take it down had that even been an option. i'm sure they spent a bundle on that thing.
their loss.

just to make myself feel better, here's a cute picture of me and april at our youth worker christmas party last night. april is married to zach--the one who would not ever take such a horrible picture of me.

april is an art teacher at a middle school, and we were talking last night about what kind of art projects she does and the messes they make and how the janitors hate her, specifically when there's glitter involved. and justin says, "glitter is the herpes of art supplies. it gets everwhere and just keeps spreading." crack me up! i have filed that away and will most definitely use it again next time the opportunity presents itself.

i would like to leave you with the lyrics to Go Tell it on the Mountain, as colby sings it...

Hope tell it for the mountain
over the hmm n evrmherrr
hope tell it for the mountain
that Jesus is the hooorrrrrnnnnnn

thank you. thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

random ramblings

thats just what this entry is. random. a hodge podge of things unrelated, occuring over the past week or so.

right now i'm wondering why i just asked my 2 year old and 4 year old if i could clip their fingernails. as if they're going to sit down with hands offered up to me and say, "oh, please mommy, please clip my fingernails. i will sit prefectly still." right.

my latest anxiety is my impending fame and noteriety.
my best friend from high school, zach, who has worked at the YMCA since we were 16 (i know, right?) called me the other day and said
zach: "i have some bad news."
me: "what's up?"
zach: "have you seen the picture on the wall at the Y?"
**zach does photography as a side business (he's awesome, and his name above is linked to his website) and a few years ago he was taking some pictures to put up around the gym. one of them is me on the eliptical machine. it's an 8X10, and for the most part, unoffensive (meaning it doesnt make me vomit everytime i see it).**
me: "the one of me on the eliptical?"
zach: "no. there's a new one."
me: "that you took?" (i know zach, wonderful thoughful zach, would not volunteer a picture of me that he knows i would not be ok with being plastered on some wall for public viewing. i think.)
zach: "no. i don't know who took this one. you're not going to like it."
me: "oh no. why?"
zach: "it's big. like, the size of one of those windows in the hallway. actually, it is a window. you're a window."
me: "what?"
zach: "it gets worse."
zach: "it was taken about 8 weeks after you had molly."
me: "oh, NO."
zach: "yeah. it's not cute."
probably the understatement of the year. imagine with me, if you will, a lifesize picture of you at your worst. for me it was right after i had my babies. yes, i was obviously bigger when i was pregnant, but when you're pregnant, it's a cute fat. no one can tell by looking at that picture that i just had a baby, thereby giving me license to be 25 lbs heavier. i digress. then imagine that picture, that very very large picture, put up in a place where the goal is to be thin and physically fit. a place that you go 3 to 4 times a week to look the complete opposite of what is exhibited the giant picture of yourself. neat.
to add insult to injury, the picture was taken in a step class, right as i stepped up and extended my extra-cushy arms up over my head and exhaled. it's awful.
so i thought, no one will recognize me. i'm don't really look like that anymore.
then today at the gym, i had 2 people say something to me about my picture being on the wall. fantastic. i'm immortalized.

moving on. like i said. random.
i took the kids christmas shopping for allen yesterday. they had at one point told me they wanted to get daddy a book, so we went to barnes and noble (note to self: i have got to get a club card). colby's first choice was a book by dennis leary (picked totally at random, i assure you) called Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy, and Stupid. after i stopped laughing, i put it back and redirected my kids to another section. although i was tempted to get it just for a moment, just to see allens reaction when he opened it on christmas morning as colby looked on, anticipating daddys reaction to his so carefully chosen gift.
he then picked a book about poker because "daddy likes checkers." again, funny, but redirected. they both picked something they think allen will like. i didn't want to pick something for them. i wanted it to be their decision (with some gentle suggestion). colby came out with something completely different than what he went in for. molly stayed pretty well on track.
i can't tell what they picked because allen will read this and i don't want to spoil it. i'll leave it at this: he will laugh, and i kept the receipt.

i was feeling artistic yesterday and took some black and whites of the kids down at the arboretum. i'm no zach lambert, but i think they turned out pretty good. :)

oh, also, i'm trying to get a picture of the picture of me (did you follow that?). i took my camera to the gym yesterday morning. i go at 530am on tuesdays and thursdays so i thought the timing would be good for me to take a picture of it without looking like i was having myself on. but there were a couple of people on the treadmills right there infront of it. i'm sure their treadmill selection was strategic. they wanted to admire the fat lady in step class while they worked hard to not look like her. i'll try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

communion and the joy of passing gas

i'm trying to figure out how to lay this story out for you to appreciate the fullness of its humor.
i'll just start at the beginning...
being a youth pastor's kid has its perks i suppose. allen is in charge of making sure the communion table is ready for services every sunday morning.
** we're southern baptist, but we have a table off to the side at the front of the worship center available for people to take communion. it's there every week.**
we never know how many people will choose to come do this, so there's always leftovers. a while back colby somehow figured out there was juice and crackers up there, so he started eating and drinking the leftover communion elements. maybe a bit sacriligious?
this is how we justify it; colby, before he eats or drinks any of it must say "thank you Jesus."
he takes it a step further and bows his head with his eyes closed before every drink and every bite, and prays those words. it's really cute and has become a weekly 'sideshow' of sorts for a handful of our friends that choose to stand around and visit rather than shoot out the door to lunch at the close of worship. when molly was old enough she got in on the action, and we explained to her the same conditions.
fast forward to last night. molly is sitting on allens lap as he's reading a book to her, and she lets out a toot. she has very good manners (surprisingly) for a 2 year old and always says excuse me, unpromted, after burping or tooting, but this time she didn't. so like any good parent allen asked, "molly what do you say?" we're both expecting the obligatory "excuse me." instead she looks at allen, and in all seriousness says, "thank you Jesus."
maybe tooting gives her the same emotional and spiritual satisfaction that taking communion does.
maybe she was having some indigestion and was thankful for the release.
maybe she was just confused.
at any rate, we didn't correct her.
if she wants to thank Jesus for tooting, then by all means.
i've been thankful for it before, too.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

the elusive light up shoes

it's that time of year when we reflect on our lives and things that we're blessed with and thankful for. on thanksgiving day allen told colby that this year he should be thankful that he was born first, because had molly been born first, he probably wouldn't be here. and so he was thankful.
this was instigated by the previous night's incident that ended with her toys in the top of her closet (see previous post).
this has most recently been even more supported in my search for light up tennis shoes. i will get to that in a moment, but let me first say, i am thankful that i'm a stay at home mom and therefore not required to do my Christmas shopping, or any other kind of shopping for that matter, on the weekends. why on earth is that such a big deal, you ask?
i was at kohls today to exchange the shoes (that you don't know about yet, becuause i'm first explaining my thankfulness) and i was floored by the amount of people in line to checkout!
even more surprising were the things these people felt they needed to stand in line for. the line was, i kid you not, about 30 people deep. granted they were being filtered into many registers which is a good system in theory, but doesnt always work out so well, because we all know theres always that one person that pretends they don't see the line of 30 people waiting somewhat patiently, who walks right up to a register feigning shock at "what good luck to not have to wait in line on a satuday in december!" as they then pay and walk out seemingly oblivious to the mob they just cut in front of. i digress. so there's this one guy standing in line with, ready? a plush penguin. really, sir? a penguin? what on earth kind of patience do you have to stand in line for an hour to buy a penguin? 20 points for him. no, make it 100. i hope whoever he's giving it to carries it around till it's fur is rubbed of and it's missing an arm. he worked hard enough for it.
and so i'm thankful.

the shoes...
i was at kohls a few days ago and walked through the shoe department to see if anything caught my eye for molly- she's needing a pair of athletic-ish tennis shoes. i saw a cute pair for $20 with light up hearts on the side so i grabbed her size and paid for my treasures (pumpkin placemats for 69 cents!). when i got home i put the shoes on her and then noticed one of them wasn't lighting up. not a big deal, right? i can just go exchange them. well, first i had to get them off of her. she loved the lights. colby's tennis shoes have lights, and she wants to be just like colby (when she's not hitting him or sitting on his head). she cried. she wanted to wear her new tennis shoes. i wanted to get what i paid for, which is two shoes that light up, not one. i explained that one of the shoes didn't work and i had to go fix it, so she reluctantly complied and i knew i had 4 days to remedy the problem (4 days because allens mom came to take the kids for the weekend so i figured i'd run to kohls while they're gone and get another pair). i've been to 2 different kohls and there is not another pair of this shoe in her size. i've been to 4 other stores that sell shoes and there are either no light up shoes, or they have some but they're overpriced, ugly, or not available in her size. i'm not shopping anymore today. saturday in december? no thank you. some people are willing to wait an hour for a penguin. not me.
she comes home tomorrow. she will expect light up shoes. i should not be afraid of a 2 year old.
but i am....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

blame it on your brain

colby has recently been blaming things on his brain. it's pretty cute, so it gets him out of potential trouble on occasion.
yesterday he was coloring and i heard him...

colby: "c'mon brain! c'mon!"
me: "colby, what are you doing?"
colby: "my brain wants to get out of the lines!"

there was another time when allen had told him to do something (i believe i was busy in africa) and he didn't. when allen asked him why, he said something to the effect of, "my brain didn't want to ."

so if you're cute, and don't want to do something, or perhaps you've made a mistake that could get you into trouble, just blame it on your brain. it works for my 4 year old.

we're not to far from having some molly posts on here. she's talking very very well, but most of the time she's having a fit or telling me no.
i don't know what to do with this child. is it a girl thing or a secong child thing? or a little of both? or maybe just her temperment? i'm talkin' screaming and flailing for seemingly no reason.
i told her to pick up her toys before bedtime the other night and she threw a fit. i counted. she still didn't pick up, so i swatted her. she still didn't, so i swatted again. then i left her in the room with her door shut "until you pick up your toys." when i went back in she still hadn't done anything. i said, "molly please pick your toys up." her response? "NO!" so allen went in.
she never picked up her toys. i put them in the top of her closet and told her they would stay there for 2 days.
this was wednesday. on saturday she asked for them, so i said,
me: "molly, are you going to pick them up when you're done playing?"
molly: "no."
me: "ok, then we're not getting them down."
...a few minutes later...
me: "molly, do you want your toys?"
molly: "yes."
me: "are you going to pick them up when you're done?"
molly: "no."
me: "then we're not getting them down."
...a few minutes later...
me: "molly, do you want to play with your toys?"
molly: "no."

more of the same on sunday.
they're still up there.

if she would have just blamed it on her brain....