Thursday, May 31, 2012

better than benadryl*

Y'all have a great Thursday!  :)

* I don't actually condone medicating tiny children in order to obtain peace & quiet so don't yell at me.   
No really.  I don't...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

an attempt at kibosh-ing the putter

So I mentioned on Twitter this morning that I might have developed a raging inability to be still, or relax, or abstain from the putter. 

I gave Sheri a call before heading out this morning to let her know that I had fruit.  

(Fruit.  It's vitally important for a pleasant pool-going experience.)  

As I rattled off my plan she gently reminded me that visiting the local pool is traditionally a vacation-y type experience, full of all manner of chilling out and not being busy.  She might have said something along the lines of "going to the pool is not a chore to mark off your list Renee."  

I don't even know myself anymore.

I used to be so laid back, so easy going, such an "Eh- whatever!" kind of person.

I miss that girl.

So once I got settled into my lounge chair I was still finding various ways to putter.  Did you know you can putter in a lounge chair?  Well you can.  Just ask Sheri...she mocked me for approximately two hours.  

Finally, at one point she said "there it she's chill!"  

And I had to confess I was focusing on slowing my breathing at the time. 

Good grief.

Whatever.  I'm optimistic that it'll all come back to me and I will find my lazy roots in a soonish fashion.

In the meantime I'll just continue my pursuit of summer goodness.  

(Apparently my camera got all foggy because of its proximity to my cooler, what with being inside my cooler and all.)

(So how do you chill out and calm down the inner frantic?  Any suggestions?  Throw 'em at me and I'll share them with the class.)

In the meantime - happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 28, 2012

for the sacrifice


So very thankful, 

...for my loved ones who have fought in faraway places on our behalf, and returned home to us safe, and healthy, and strong.

...for the oh-so-many who fought and died for my safety, and security, and freedom.

...for the families of those who have served our country with honor and courage...husbands and wives, and sons and daughters, who have sacrificed more than I will ever know, in ways I can't begin to fathom.

Happy Memorial Day


(Adapted from previous post, A Thousand Gifts #554-557)


Sunday, May 27, 2012


I am the Alpha and the Omega,

the First and the Last, 

the Beginning and the End. 

(Revelation 22:13)

...praying that we all have a wonderful day resting in
Him, our Everything!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

six on saturday

Last year!

1.  I should be not loafing around on the computer.  I should be scrubbing that toilet that never got scrubbed last week.  But don't worry, because I'm just  going to chat for a just a couple of minutes and then I'll get to work.

No really.  I will.

I will because I'm joining the pool this year!  For real.  I've already filled out the application and will drop it off whenever I get my (TMI alert!) legs shaved and cut me up some watermelon.  Because for whatever reason, I feel small Rubbermaid containers filled with fruit belong at the pool.

It helps to offset the many servings of fountain Pepsi on ice I see looming. 

Anyway, I must get back to work because I don't want to spend all my sunny time scrubbing toilets, and today is the day I have designated to get my life in order, effectively undoing 6.5 months of disorder in the next six hours. 

2.  I don't know how many of you are on Twitter, but I have two new favorites.  Here they are in no particular order.  

That @ChurchCurmudgeon, he tickles me!  I have no idea who he actually is, but he writes from the perspective of, well, a curmudgeon who loves church.  Warning:  He likes to pick on youth pastors and worship leaders.  I'm 77% sure it's all in good fun.  

The @HonestToddler is hilarious.  His (her?) (I'm not sure) tweets are written from the perspective of a toddler.  Fun!  Warning:  This little one talks (i.e. tweets) often.

3.   You know it's summer when I buy fruit and make my corn/bean salad.  I also have in my possession everything I need for more salsa.

4.  Also, I bought chips!  And they are GOOD!

5.  My friend gave me a gift card to Target a few weeks ago just because she loves me.  I deliberated long and hard on how it should be spent, and after much encouragement from Kari to not, in fact, use it on extravagances such as toilet paper and razor blades, I ultimately opted for a little MP3 player.  I've wanted one for approximately 100 years or three.  (As we've thoroughly established, I'm nothing if not at least three-quarters of a decade behind the times.)  

I think it'll be fun to take to the pool, but that leads me to my next question.  I need some good pool tunes.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Travis Cottrell and Hillsong and Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels, but this is THE POOL, people.

I'm wanting some straight up fun music for my fun-in-the-sun times.  Anyone have any favorites right now?  Nothing sad or moody, either, so as much as I enjoy Adele, she won't fit my cool summer sound either.  

(Except, maybe, for Rolling in the Deep...LOVE!)  

I'm thinking more Britney and less Nora.  

(Except, you know, not Britney.)

Whatever.  Somehow I lost track of where I was going. 

Oh yeah.  Fun summer music suggestions?  

6.  Along the same lines, any book ideas?  I have several serious-ish, nonfiction choices in my general lineup, but for the pool I prefer borderline mindless fiction.

Again, NO SAD.  I don't want to hear about how Karen Kingsbury will change my life.  

I have zero desire to cry at the pool - and honestly - I know this makes me sound a tad senior citizen-y, but I can cry my way through Seven or One Thousand Gifts anytime.  At this point in my life I don't need crying in my pretend world.

Where was I again?

Oh yeah.  Fun fiction suggestions?

Well good grief, I just spent 35 minutes not scrubbing my toilets...Gotta run!

Happy Saturday, y'all :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Opportunity

I'm not much of a morning person, but ya know what I love about the first thing in the morning?

It's all shiny clean.  

Like, freshly-fallen-snow clean. 

Lily-white clean.  

Just scrubbed-the-floors-until-they-sparkle clean.

The whole day is spread out for each of us, spilling over with possibility.  And it doesn't matter who we are.  It doesn't matter what we have or do not have.   It doesn't matter what we look like, or feel like, or think we do or do not deserve,

When we open our eyes in the morning and start our day, we all have the exact same precious, 24 hours of potential. 

We have a brand-new, God-given opportunity to try again, to create something beautiful, to make a build a life one day at a time.

All in all, pretty astounding...

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

a little something in the way of a plea for help

Here's the thing.  My eyes were open until around three this morning.  

As in 3 o'clock.  

In the a-m.

That's a little too late for an alleged 46-year-old.

I'm not gonna lie.  I slept on the couch for the sole reason of moving as little as possible.  My alarm went off at 7:30 and I staggered over with my eyes closed to unlock/open the front door and then staggered back with my eyes closed to my bed couch.

I might have sent out a pretend-perky "Hey Sweetie!" as Elijah walked through the door, maintained consciousness until I was sure PBS was set, and returned to my coma, where I remained for approximately another 55 minutes.

I might be onto something because it helped.

But here's the thing.  I need to figure out how to fall asleep QUICKLY after finishing work at night.  It didn't matter before, but now that I'm educating the Future President of the United States of America I can't lollygag around after work.  

Lollygagging must now be a during-the-day activity no exception.

So here's where you come in.  I need some suggestions on how to fall asleep STAT after work.   I've thought about taking some Tylenol PM an hour or so before the end of my shift but am afraid it'll make me all groggy the next morning. 

And unfortunately that's all I've come up. 

Do you think exercise sort've mid-evening might help?  Warm milk (gross!)?  Help a girl out, would ya, and drop me your helpful suggestions in the comments?

(or Facebook) 

(or the Twitter) 

(or telephone, or telegram, or carrier pigeon...)?

I have to run for now.  The Future Leader of the Free World needs to practice his addition facts.

Happy Thursday-almost-Friday-Yaay!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

apparently i'm a 12-year-old girl with no self-control

Well I did it.  

I succumbed to peer pressure.  

It was mild, subliminally-introduced peer pressure, but pressure nonetheless.

You'd think by the time a person reaches the alleged age of 46 she would know to listen to that voice inside her head saying "don't do it Missy you have no self control," instead of her friends yapping on and on about how fun competing with total strangers to build wordy goodness is - but apparently not.  

I started playing Words with Friends Sunday night. 

I kinda haven't stopped since.  

I'm pretty sure I'm going to need to take a bloggy leave of absence so I can devote myself full time to my word-building pursuits.  

I might even go pro.

(Winning optional)

Or maybe I'll just keep it casual like I have today with my incessant obsessing in a purely recreational way.

Either way, mainly I just want to meet the person who uses words like "hove" and "zeta" in their everyday conversation.

Like seriously, who does that?  

I don't want to seem paranoid, but I suspect some Googling is taking place in the great world of word games.  

I thought I knew a word or three but I'm currently feeling rather dense, which requires me to play all the more.

At least it appears my Facebook settings are okay, so I'm not annoying everyone I ever met every time I post a four-letter word equaling 13 points.  I can't think of a person in the world who needs such irrelevance.

If y'all have any other bright ideas for me just drop me a line.

Apparently I'm a sucker for every passing fad that no longer requires a smart phone.

Y'all have a great day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

hard questions and benches in the shade

Friday afternoon Elijah and I hopped in the car with his mama/my sister and headed for the far away land of Bedford.

(True story:  I can't say Bedford without thinking of George Bailey.)

We had a thoroughly tasty lunch at the local Ruby Tuesday's and then headed over to the National D-Day Memorial.  

Photo by Robin

I'm not going to tell you how long I've been meaning to get over there without actually getting over there.  To tell you would bring me great (public) shame.  

I think I'd prefer to keep my procrastinatory failures a touch more private.



It might have taken me a year or six to get there but I can tell you right now it won't take me that long to go back.  We walked through without a "guide" and it was great, but I'm thinking I would like to do it again and let them answer some of our million questions (see below).

Regarding the below evidence picture, I might or might not have crossed a line jumped a rope to get up close and personal.  I don't really want to say.  

Photo by Robin

(And I might or might not have taken Little Man with me.)

(Does it help that we were very careful not to touch?)

(I'm pretty sure that it does.)

We weren't sure how much Elijah would actually understand, and it would be a gross understatement to say he had a few questions.

Homeboy had a zillion questions.

The questions started before we got out of the car and didn't stop until we had paid for our fountain sodas in the market after leaving.

And when I say they didn't stop I mean they didn't stop EVER. 

I have no idea how much he retained or fully understood, but he was certainly fascinated by pretty much everything, and I think the whole day made an impression on him.  

The questions can sometimes feel a little wearying, but walking through the memorial and seeing it through the eyes of a child made it all seem new to me too.

And a fresh revisiting of history is a very healthy thing.

(A Thousand Gifts #1177-1189)

young men who slept in ditches and died in foxholes so we can breathe free

breezy Fridays full of sun and benches in the shade

kind waitresses who like little boys 

mini road trips filled with sister talk and fountain drinks

rainy sundays and eating leftovers and precious friends

watching him giggle and watching them love him

tiny gardens and hard questions

generous people making sacrifices to create a place of beauty and honor

Happy Monday!

p.s.  Happy Birthday Drew!!  I love ya :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

favorite reads: the time i couldn't pick just one so i picked two.

Picture by Katie

I know, I know. 

I've been a total slacker this week and I'm not even sure what my explanation would be. 

You know, if I tried to share an explanation. 

I vote we just move along and embrace mercy, how 'bout it?

(I'm sure y'all have been much too busy doing interesting things and what-have-you to have even noticed my absence anyway :)

Truth be told, I'm not only behind in my bloggy writings but also in my readings.  I'm starting to feel slightly out-of-the-loopy.

However, what I lacked in quantity this week I certainly made up for in some yummy quality. 

For this reason I'm going to leave ya with a couple of my favorites and a heartfelt suggestion that you click on the Compassion Tanzania button on your right and fill yourself right up with some healthy perspective, and encouragement, and perhaps a side dish of inspiration, because they are just that good.

First off, can I just say that Angie Smith sometimes takes my breath clean away with the beauty she creates with a few simple words? 

This week it was her blog post, simply titled, Pattern, that just about did me in. 

Did I mention breathtaking? 

Did I mention how much I love beautifully arranged words? 

Yeah, well.  It bears repeating.

Going in a somewhat different direction, The Nester was in Tanzania last week, and her sweet post about meeting her sponsored child teenager was mildly funny, and tender, and respectful, and touching...and ultimately convicting. 

All in all a pretty effective result to stringing some jet-lagged, sleep-deprived, out-of-one's-comfort-zone words together.  And all that from the woman who had no intention of ever stepping foot toward anywhere not home.

God is so funny how He gets us where we never intended to be ;)

Picture by Katie

Unfortunately, I have NOT spent the last few non-writing days actually cleaning my house, so I must now bid my leave in order to clean not one, but two toilets and scrub a tub.

and wash some dishes.

and vacuum a carpet.

and remind myself to be ever thankful for my lovely home that is not a mud hut in the middle of a beautiful field in a far-away land.


Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

because apparently i'm in a lazyish state

So I thought about using words and attempting coherency but frankly I still feel rather hung-over from all the recent festivities.

I think it's a much better plan to take advantage of the old bloggy throwback of a Wordless Wednesday.

Except, you know, I just used a few drivel-y words.


Very soonish I'll tell you all about the story of the stinkin' ants.

Very soonish.

(stinkin' ants.)

For now, let's take a moment and enjoy this face - which I have not seen in, like, almost two weeks.


(Oh Y'all!!)

Happy Wednesday :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

regarding fingers and arithmetic, and other miscelleny

For the last two days I've heard about 200 times "I don't have enough fingers!!"

I'm not at all sure I'm fit for teaching first grade.  Is it normal to spend two days teaching a child to add with their fingers?  I'm desperate and pulling out the academic big guns.  

Also?  Apparently his other teacher did it differently.  It seems there are different ways to add with your fingers.

I'm pretty sure my method is superior to the college-educated, teacher-degree'd of this world.



In other news, we are making bread.  I scrapped the sour dough aspirations and went with straight whole-grain honey wheat.  I'm feeling optimistic about it coming out borderline normal.

Unfortunately that means it'll likely be all whole-grainy and is that what we really want?  All I know is I'm tired of eating eggs without toast because I can't bear to eat my beloved extra-soft, white bread because it's full of all manner of terrible, and yet I'm not a fan of the healthy bread at the local Kroger.

I'm hopeful that making it with love will somehow make it more edible.

Hi.  My name is optimism and I'm often wrong.

* * *
(insert clever segue here)

One more Elijah funny & we'll call it a day and perhaps have a nap or a  snack.

(or maybe a shower.)

I made myself a smoothie for lunch and E was intrigued.  I told him he could have  a taste and then I would share if he wanted some of his own.  He tasted it and acted all pleased & excited, so I assumed he wanted some.  However, when I asked if he wanted a straw and he said, "No thanks; I'm cutting down on my sugar right now."

I can't make this stuff up.  

I suspect his mama has polite strategies to get out of unwanted scenarios down to a T, which she has passed down to the next generation.

Whatever.  Don't tell but I didn't want to share anyway.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

sometimes you don't even need a lot of words


It was a great weekend full of a lot of him ;)

Y'all have a great night!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

favorite reads: "the growing pains of motherhood"

Y'all.  It's Saturday!!  

My day off.  

Let's all just take a moment to appreciate the goodness of a day off, shall we?

This afternoon I'm heading an hour down up whatever over the road to some more college-graduating-goodness, but first I'm sleeping until I wake up in need of a beverage.  The ringer is turned off and I can barely contain my glee at the thought of some Saturday sleep to be followed by some toe-wiggling.

Before I hit the open road, though, I wanted to leave my favorite read with ya.

Lisa-Jo, AKA The Gypsy Mama, wrote this lovely message for mamas the other day, and oh how it makes my heart smile :)

I do believe it's a little slice of Mother's Day Weekend perfection, especially for those of you who are deep in the muddy, murky trenches of mothering madness goodness.