Sunday, May 31, 2009

Our cups pots runneth over, and I'm allergic to myself

Almost a whole week without blogging! No particular reason except that we have been busy/tired/otherwise occupied.

This weekend we got alot done around the house ~ we put fresh mulch around all our bushes and trees and also planted flowers. I LOVE to do this!! Last year because of the wedding and moving and such I never got around to it, so I was extra excited to get to it this year. Vince and I went to a local greenhouse on Saturday and bought waaaay too many flowers. Then today the kids got in on the action and we filled all of our pots and planters. We still have a ton left (I went a little overboard) so we'll just need to buy a few more pots and fill them up. Bummer. Too many flowers. Oh the hardship.

We are trying something new this year....herbs. Vince planted rosemary, thyme, basil, chives, oregano, and sage in planters on our back deck. We are really excited about it! We'll be able to just chop some off anytime we want them. There is nothing better in cooking than fresh herbs. And we also love to chop up some fresh basil for our salads. YUM!!

I'll post pictures tomorrow of the flowers and yard (which thankfully no longer looks like the Clampetts :)

Now I have to go take a shower, because I'm full of pollen and dirt and mulch dust and I'm making myself sneeze...which I actually can do but that's a post for another day. Or not. Only a select few people know this about me, and we should probably keep it that way, so sssshhhhht!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Facebook flirting and the Claritin buzz

This morning, for the first time in a very looooong time, I slept in...until 10am!!! Amazing! I don't even think I got up to pee. (Well, prolly once I did.) The only reason I was able to sleep that long was because I was coming down off my Claritin buzz...let me 'splain.

Last week, you may remember my "Not Me! Monday" post (you know, when I was not up at 2am eating hot fudge straight from the jar and having an allergy attack because I had run out of Claritin). Well, the very next day I went and bought some more - this time I opted for the 24 hour Claritin D tablets. You know...the ones that they keep behind the counter in the pharmacy and you have to sign for them. I never understood why they did that. Until now.

Day one: I was feeling a little extra chipper and perky and thought "my this Claritin is fantastic for my allergy symptoms!"

Day three: I noticed that my eyes felt a little weird, and I was a little light headed. My approach...ignore it and it will go away. I know that approach usually doesn't work in most situations but I continue to use it now and again because you never know.

Day five: In addition to the previous symptoms, I noticed that I was kind of jittery and antsy, and I was having trouble sleeping. Of course this was from all the stress that has been going on in my life as of late. Either that or I was finally going crazy. For real this time.

Day seven: I woke up at 2am and could NOT go back to sleep! I was WIRED! This was Sunday morning and by the time my alarm went off at 6am I felt like running laps around the block. That's when it dawned on me...the reason they treat Claritin D like a controlled substance is because it seriously is speed. Wow.

So last night I did not take it, and well...I crashed! For 9 1/2 hours! I prolly would have slept longer except I was awakened by - I'm not sure exactly what. It was either the intense itching of my entire face and all associated orifices, or by Hope's shrill little voice yelling at her brothers. Both of which make me want to gouge out my own eyes. (I love that girl, but when she is mad her voice could cut diamonds.) It's all good now tho, I took some of Vince's Zyrtec this morning and so far so good!

Aside from that, we had a great Memorial Day weekend! We went to the movies on Saturday, church on Sunday, and today my mom and her fiance' came over and we grilled burgers and dogs and made smores around the fire on our deck. Other than that, we all just hung out at home. There were various people's kids in and out of our house all weekend, which was fun for the kids and also fun for us. I love to watch them having a good time, and we'd much rather they have their good times here than elsewhere.

Vince and I have our own kind of fun too...such as flirting chatting with one another on Facebook when we are sitting one room away. Not only are we one room away, but if we look up from our computers (me in the kitchen and he on his laptop on the couch) we can actually see eachother. We lead an exciting life, can you stand it? Tehe. I love marriage.

Friday, May 22, 2009

American Idol, and a break in the clouds!

I have always LOVED Kris Allen (this season's winner on American Idol for those not "in the know"). Right from the beginning of the top 12, I had hoped that Kris and Adam would be the top two! But truth be told, I was actually leaning more towards Adam as the winner. Now that I saw this...PRAISE TO THE LORD that he won!!! I hope he signs onto a christian label! This is Kris leading worship at his home church.

As far as a break in the clouds...I'm experiencing just that. Peace and rest in the Father's arms. Knowing that He has all things under control. That He is working all things out for good. Another lesson in trust, and not leaning on my own limited understanding of things.

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:10

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sometimes it's so hard to be famous

Ok, is it just me or do the people at Wells Fargo bank creep you out? Seriously. They are way too excited to see me and I'm a little scared to go there now.

"Hi Lisa!!! (insert huge, exaggerated smile). Welcome to Wells Fargo!!! How can I help you today?!! A deposit? Faaaabulous!! Is there anything else I can do?? No, really, ANYTHING?! (cue feign sincerety and more exaggerated excitement). Thank you SO MUCH! Have a wonderful day! See you next time!!!"

It's not just one teller, or even one bank. We have four WF's in our town and they are all like this!

Honestly, just a friendly hello would do. Even a "how can I help you" wouldn't scare me. "Have a nice day" would be acceptable. But no, every time I go there they act like I was their best friend in highschool and we haven't seen eachother in 22 years. Oh, and now I'm a celebrity. I swear, when I drove away I heard them kibitzing...

"Guess who I just waited on......Lisa Howard!"
"No way!"
"I got to wait on her last week. It was awesome!"
"What was she wearing?"
"Green shirt, white vest, black pants. So cute!"
"Wow. What a rush! I still can't believe it was her."
"What'd you get to do for her?"
"Just a deposit".
"Oh...last week I got to give her cash back."

I didn't hear the rest of the conversation because I had to ditch the paparazzi on my way to work.

Vince told me to mention the Stepford Wives. I said why (because I know nothing about the Stepford Wives). He just said "People will think that's funny". Oh, okay.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

It's "Not me!" time again...good grief! It seems like only yesterday that I was revealing embarassing stuff about myself, and now it's time to do it again! Oh well, here goes...

This past week, I was not TOTALLY THRILLED to see that my blog has reclaimed it's #1 spot as THE most ridiculously unnecessary thing in the entire Google universe! Yesssss!! (If you don't know what I am talking about, read this to catch up.)

When I saw this, I did not do a happy dance, and then I did not subsequently take this picture to prove my position of honor (in the unfortunate event that I should be bumped out of my #1 spot sometime in the future.)

I know there is a plethora of other dumb things that I have done in the past week, but I'm having a blank moment. So, just now as I asked Mr. Wonderful, "Hon, what stupid things have I done in the past week?", he did not reply "Oh......don't trap me like that." Because I would never trap him like that and he knows it. forward 4 hours. It is not now almost 2am, and I am not awake because my face and throat are itching like crazy because I did not let myself run out of Claritin. It's just a bad, bad dream. And even if it were true, I would have taken one of Vince's Zyrtecs and gone directly back to bed. I would definitely NOT have plopped myself down in front of the computer to add this to my already published "Not Me!" post, whilst eating Mrs. Richardson's Chocolate Lover's Fudge with a spoon directly out of the jar. Nope, I would never do that. It's someone else, now go back to bed. Sheesh!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lifting my eyes to the hills

This is not the promised land that I expected.

After a long walk in the desert, enduring loneliness and uncertainty, and after many prayers, my prince came! And as we brushed the sand off our feet and took our first steps on the moist, plush green grass of our promised land last June, I looked to the horizon and saw a beautiful paradise. Of course there would be difficult times, bumps in the road, we weren't naive. But with God we would overcome them and continue on our journey unfaltered. It was finally time to enjoy life, and to reap with joy the tears that we had both sown.

As we soon came to find out, apparantly our promised land is not encased in a bubble. It is not Eden. There are days when the sun is shining brightly! And then there are days when the clouds roll in and we face a storm. Or a torrential rain. And we look to the skies and wonder where God went.

"Our promised lands are characterized by the presence of victory, not the absence of opposition." ~ Beth Moore
God is busy with me. Teaching me things that I won't learn in the sunshine. Things about my heart that I'd rather keep in the dark, thank you very much. I am thankful that Jesus has kept my heart soft enough to endure His molding and shaping and stretching. But it hurts sometimes and it scares me, this journey.

There are some pretty deep valleys and steep mountains here in our promised land that are not easy to climb. That we did not expect to find. Hills, yes. Ditches, sure. We were prepared for that. But we are following Jesus, and He certainly would save us from anything dangerous or overwhelming. He'll lead us along the safe and comfortable paths, right?

Lord, have You gotten us lost? Did You forget about us? Did we stray away from You and not even realize it?

"No, child. I'm here. And I lead only to victory. If you keep following Me, you'll get there."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting my hiking boots on

This is from my Beth Moore devotional "Praying God's Word Day By Day". I really needed this today...

If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn't, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead and see Him transfigured.

Have you ever wanted to run away and hide? Have you ever wanted God to take something out of your life so badly because you just can't believe that you can live with it? I have. I am not talking about my husband, or my children. But I am in that place, and I think we all have been to one degree or another. Faced with a mountain that seems insurmountable. Something that we are sure that God cannot redeem. At least not to our satisfaction.

But it is in these moments, in these places of doubt when we feel the weight of life crashing down, that Jesus meets us...His arms ready to hold us, His eyes searching to meet ours, where He draws us to our feet and says "keep your eyes on Me. Not on this mountain. You won't find your answers there, you will find them here. In Me. Don't take your eyes off Me. I will lead you through this, just like I have so many times before. You may not see where you are going, but I do. And I have everything you need to get there."

And if you need a laugh and a cry today, read this about doubt.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Well, this past weekend, I was not horrified to go outside and discover that the following things had been left out in our front yard all afternoon: a Schwinn bike that looks like it's from 1959, a garbage bag of bush clippings, and an oven mitt. And even if I did, I definitely would not have taken a picture of it to post on my blog, as it would be far too embarassing...

And in the same stylish flare, I also did not attach a floral blanket to the side of our dog kennel with bungee cords because we have been too lazy far too busy to properly cover it with a tarp. Nope, that was definitely not me!

And like Mckmama, we do not look like we live next door to the Clampetts.

I was definitely not excited at all about my early birthday gift from my husband.....

And since receiving it last Friday, I have not left it neatly tucked away in it's bag because I'm too afraid to use it. That would be pathetic.

And finally, when Vince and I went out on a real date Friday night (yay!) to see the *long anticipated* new Star Trek movie. Just look how excited he was! I did not find it completely adorable to watch the excitement on his face as he gave me a detailed synopsis of the first 9 Star Trek movies for 45 minutes at the restaurant prior to the movie. Then during the movie, I was not bored out of my mind. And I absolutely did not politely excuse myself on three different ocassions to text my sister about how many minutes of this torture I had left to endure. That would be very disrespectful to my husband and I absolutely did NOT do that!!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


It's been quite a rollercoaster of a day, we could really use prayer!!! Here's just one of the wild rides we have been on today...

It started off pretty normal - well, normal for our crazy house I guess! We got all the kids off to school, and Vince and I both went to work. I spent most of my morning in a meeting at our office building, then went with two co-workers and had lunch at "Betty Jo's", which is a very cool little bar & grill that serves popcorn (I love places that do that!) Then I had an in-home therapy session with a child, and headed out to my next destination.

As I was driving I looked at my wedding ring, which for some reason looked strange. Then I took a closer look and realized why...the center diamond was gone. I pulled over and tried not to panic. I resisted the urge to burst into tears, and decided that I would re-trace my steps. I know it was there this morning, because I cleaned my ring. I also know it was still there when I was in the conference room at work because I took my rings off to put lotion on during the meeting. First I looked through my "perfectly perfect" purse, thinking maybe I had caught one of the prongs while digging for something. Nope. Searched through my car, nothing. I went back to the house where I had just left, and the parents both helped me search their living room carpet. They even moved their couch! Nothing. I spent about 10 minutes walking the sidewalk and street from their house to my car. In my mind I'm thinking "it could be anywhere...on the street, in the parking lot at work, anywhere in our building. This was like looking for a grain of sand on the beach. Impossible.

I called Vince and told him the news. My diamond is gone. His heart dropped to his stomach, but he composed himself and said "well that's what we have insurance for." I had already thought of that, but it's not the same. It would never be the original diamond that he gave me. You can't replaced that.

But for some insane reason I still didn't panic. On my way back to the office, I looked at the pavement as I drove. Have you ever really looked at the streets? Or even the sidewalks? They glitter. There are little shiney pieces of rocks (I assume it's rocks) that look like little spots of glitter here and there. Parking lots are like that too. It would be impossible to detect a little diamond amongst all of that. My heart sank.

As I continued to retrace my steps for the day and think of all the possiblities, I decided to stop at Betty Jo's where we had lunch. I went back to the table where we sat over two hours earlier, got down on my hands and knees, and for about 10 minutes I searched the floor. And as I did, I prayed "God, You know where it is. Please help me find it." I wasn't ready to give up yet, but I can't say that I was very hopeful either. It wasn't there. I decided I'd try checking the bathroom, and then was planning on leaving my name and phone number with the waitress just in case someone were to find it.

As I made my way past the front door, my eyes scanned the white tile floor, when I saw it! My diamond!!! I'm not even kidding!!! Right there by the entrance, where dozens of people had been walking for the past almost 3 hours. My mouth dropped open, I gasped, and picked it up as fast as I could. It was!!!! I held the diamond tightly between my fingers, raised my hands above my head and said "I found it! THANK YOU LORD"!!! Now that I think about it - I must have looked like I had lost my mind to those who didn't know what I was doing...crawling around on the floor, then raising my arms and smiling and exclaiming like a crazy person. (Then again, if you know me well, this may not throw you.)

To say that we were relieved and amazed would be a major understatement. After sharing the news with Vince (and showing him the proof!) I decided to take the rest of the afternoon off and drive immediately to the jeweler and have it fixed. And as I drove, I continued to thank God. This was not good luck, or a coincidence. It truly was a miracle, and no one will ever convince me otherwise. God knows that sometimes he needs to slap me upside the head gently nudge me to get my attention. This was a very effective nudge. So I asked Him what He wanted to teach me through this experience. And He said this to me, "You can trust Me with the smallest details of your life. Nothing is out of my sight. Every aspect of your life matters to Me."

How could I ever not trust Him? How could I think that He is not concerned for me and what happens in my life? This is not about a diamond. This is not about me finding something special that I feared would be lost forever. This is about God showing me ~again~ Who He Is. A God who knows all, who sees all, and can handle anything that happens in my life. And despite all the times He has revealed Himself to me and even rescued me, He is the God that I still struggle to trust. This is how He chose to draw me back. And after the evening we just had, which I won't go into right now, I needed a miracle today.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

If you give a boy a nut cup athletic protector...

He will proudly display it on his dresser knob, along with his baseball cap.

And he will walk around the house wearing his baseball uniform, asking anyone and everyone to "hit me right here! Go ahead, do it!"

At least mine does.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

20 Of My Favorite Things

1. Color - brown & olive green
2. Dessert - turtle cheesecake
3. Smell - "Campfire Marshmallow" candles by McCall's Country Canning, Inc.

4. Flower - lily
5. Animal- dead...wait! no, I didn't say that did I? That's horrible. I would never say that. I "love" our dogs. But I would trade them in a heartbeat for a dolphin. And of course, a pool.
6. Month- September
7. Beverage- fresh squeezed lemonade with stevia. Seriously, it's easy and delish.

8. Pair of shoes- really comfy sandles
9. Snack- sweet: Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips; salty:
blackbean tortilla chips dipped in garlic hummus
10. Song- all the ones on my stereo at the bottom of my blog (which I changed so it doesn't play automatically anymore, you have to choose a song and click "play". It was annoying me.)
11. Book- "Captivating" by the Eldridge's. Every woman should read this.
12. Fruit- strawberries
13. Hairstyle- easy. And I kind of miss "big hair".

14. Piece of clothing- jeans and sweatshirts

15. Store to clothes shop-CJ Banks

16. Season- fall

17. Hobby - playing piano
18. Thing to collect- miniature grand pianos
19. Movie- Napoleon Dynamite or What About Bob.
20. Restaurant - Macaroni Grill, hands down! I still have not forgiven Rochester for closing theirs.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Have you had time with God today?

I have decided to post this on my computer monitor ~ to remind myself that before I sit down to the computer, I will spend time with God first. If you are like me, it can be easy to get so busy with life that I forget to read my bible and spend some time with God everyday. We Christians like to call it "quiet time", but mine is not always quiet! Sometimes there are interruptions (external and internal) that keep me from really pressing into God. And when too many days like this pass, I start feeling the stress and the emptiness in my soul and life gets hard.

This morning, I woke up before my alarm went off at 6am, and decided that the first thing I was going to do was get my bible, devotional, and journal and spend some time with God. I am so glad I did. God didn't drop anything profound in my lap. He didn't blow me over with some big revelation. He just showed up and fed me the 'bread' that I need for today. Jesus knew we needed daily bread, and told us to pray for it.

"Give us today our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

I know I need 'daily bread' to grow and to know Him more. And I need to make that a priority above all other things. ALL other things. Things that threaten to become an idol in my life (and maybe already have?) Things like the computer ~ specifically my blog. And other people's blogs. It is so easy (and addicting) to read about other people's lives, to see their cute blog designs...and pretty soon it's time to go to work or it's time to go to bed and I haven't spent any time with God other than sporatic prayers throughout the day. Sure, God hears those prayers, but that's not how relationships are deepened or even sustained. Can you imagine if you only talked to your husband or your kids for brief moments throughout your days, when you are on the fly doing the busy things of life, but never really sat down and had a face to face, or heart to heart? If you never embraced? Shed tears together, or laughed together, or told them how much you love them?

Those are the things that join our souls together with those that we love most.....and God wants that kind of relationship with us. He wants to laugh with us, cry with us, to hear us tell Him what is on our hearts. He longs to embrace us. We just have to slow down long enough so He can. And the thing about love is that when we allow God to love on us, His love not only fills us up, it pours through us to those that we love, so that we will have the heart to hearts and the face to faces, the laughter and the tears, and the embraces that we all long for. It only comes from Him.

So if you are reading my blog and you haven't had time with God today....please go and meet with Him. You will be so glad you did...and so will He.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3

"He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me."
Psalm 18:19

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I am feeling the need to correct my husband

He just posted on his blog about the *horrible* day we had garage sale-ing today. (Is that how you spell it? Garage 'saleing' looks weird. Garage 'sailing' looks like it should involve water. Garage 'saling' looks like it's missing something.) Anyway, I'd just like to make a correction to say that our venture was not nearly as terrible as he made it sound! We had somewhat of a good time, and the squabbles among the kids were minor and easily averted.

I will concede that last year's garage sale adventure COMPLETELY ROCKED!! But we got some good buys the little table that I am currently typing on in our kitchen. We decided that we need to monitor the kids' computer activity more closely - not for any particular reason except that they are getting older and the things they could potentially expose themselves to is, well...scary to say the least. So we did two things...we purchased and installed "Net Nanny" and we moved the computer from the family room downstairs to the kitchen. I like it much better up here too, 'cause I can now sit in our sunny kitchen, which really is the hub of our house and I can be part of the comings and goings as I type. And I am also sitting under my apple shelf adorned with baskets and cutesy apple stuff and my "Basket Collector" sign! Happy day!

Oh, and can I just say that whoever invented vertical blinds, such as the ones that cover our deck doors on the right, needs to be slapped. They NEVER hang straight!