Thursday, April 29, 2010

Random Dozen - take one!

I stumbled upon another funny blog (of course I did, what else is there to do at 3:45am when you have taken Benadryl instead of Claritin at bedtime and are now waiting for the Claritin to kick in?)  I'm so glad I did because in this funny new blog I found the "Random Dozen", and thought it would be fun to partake.  This is a weekly blog carnival (don't I just know all the bloggy lingo) kind of like "Not Me! Mondays", except it's on Tuesdays.  I know, today is officially Thursday but I just found the blog.  Get off me, gosh! 

1. Have you ever been so lost that you were really afraid?  Really?  You are asking ME this?  If you know me at all you know that I am frequently unaware of where I am.  But have I ever been truly lost and afraid...yes.  One time that I can think of.  I was 19 and driving alone in Burbank CA for the day.  (Really, I'm not making this up.  It sounds high class, but it's really not.)  I was visiting my boyfriend at the time and he had to work that day, so he let me use his car to bum around town.  He either trusted me alot or he simply did not know me very well, because I can get lost driving around my own block.  (If you think I'm bad now, can you imagine me at 19?)  I was having the time of my life seeing the sights of Burbank, which of course had celebrities on every corner (not).  I was also a little bit too confident in remembering how to get back to where I was, and all at once found myself on a freeway with a sign that said "Los Angeles" population 500 billion, or something like that.  As soon as I saw that sign and realized that I was crossing over into the big city of death, I panicked.  Being a small town girl from Minnesota, I immediately imagined that I was within moments of being attacked by gangs.  This was years before cell phones, so I had no way of calling my boyfriend for help.  I did survive, however, once I found an exit and turned around.  I miraculously found my way back to where I started and parked it.

2. Have you ever been to an island?  Why, yes I have.  I went to Maui in 1996, and if you have ever been there then you know exactly why I have been begging people via my email address to take me there ever since. (It's takemetomaui (at) hotmail (dot) com).  I think it may very well be the most beautiful place on earth.

3. Are you more of a thinker or feeler?  I think I'm a feeler.  My emotions get in the way of logical thinking more times than not.  But you know what?  I like it that way.  (I think).

4. Do you tend to see issues or situations in life as black and white or shades of gray?  I tend to see things in tie dye.  I usually have trouble taking a stand on issues because I look at them from so many angles.  This can also hinder making decisions and if you think it frustrates me sometimes, you should try being my husband for a day.

5. If you were stuck on an island, what book would you hope to have with you (Let's pretend the Bible is already there, so you can't say that.)  Dang!  That's what I was going to say.  Well, then I'd pick the book I'm currently reading by Beth Moore "So Long Insecurity".  I have just finished chapter one and have already been laughing and crying.  It's really good.

6. What are you most afraid of?  My children not being saved.  They are, but they are young and the world is shouting loudly at them.  Nothing is more important to me than their salvation and their walks with the Lord (but they would tell you it's keeping their stuff picked up and not talking with food in their mouths).

7. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?  What kind of question is THAT???  Oh my, I don't know if I can choose.  But if I have to, I'd say I'd rather lose old memories.  It would be so sad not to remember special moments, but I don't want to live in the past for the rest of my life.  I am trying to focus on today, and making everyday count.  But now that I think of it, if I made new memories they would quickly become old memories and then they would be forgotten.  See, tie dye.

8. Pretend I'm looking at a scrapbook page about you. There are three spaces for you to drop in individual pictures. What are those pictures of, and why did you select them?  I can't pick just three! 

This one is of my best friend Chris and I...we have been "BFF's" since 8th grade and my life would not be the same without her!!!  (We like to use alot of exclamation points !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

This is my sister Donna and I.  She lives in California (tear) but we are closer than ever.  My life would not be the same without my big sis :)

The love of my Mr. Wonderful, on our wedding day.  Need I say more?

And our kids...who are loved more than they can imagine.

9. If you were re-doing your wedding, what would you do differently? (If you're single, tell me one thing you would do if you were planning a wedding OR huge party.)  Really, honestly nothing.  Our wedding day was beautiful and more than we dreamed it would be.  Ok, maybe one thing.  We would not put disposable cameras on the tables at the reception because we spent over $200 for alot of pictures of children taking pictures of eachother taking pictures.

10. Tell me one thing you know/believe about forgiveness.  That I don't deserve it, but God gives it anyway and that just blows my mind. 

11. You're waiting in a doctor's office. What is your favorite way to pass that time?  Read People Magazine and hope that strangers don't try to talk to me.  Sorry, I know that sounds really rude, but I enjoy the quiet reading time with no other distractions.  I don't have to be doing anything else at that moment but just sit and wait.  Now that I type that out, it sounds really nice.  I think I need to go to the doctor more often.

12. If there were a clone of you in a parallel universe what is one way you hope she/he would be the same as you and one way you hope she/he would be better?  I hope that she would know Jesus, and I hope that she would know Jesus more.  Oh, and that she would be a size 10 again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

American Idol - Top 6

I'm really glad to see Shania Twain as the mentor tonight.  I'm not a huge fan of hers, although I am a country Wynnona?  THAT would be a mentor!  Anyway, I think Shania will be great and I'm looking forward to seeing what she has to offer the contestants.  I really, REALLY hope no one does "I Feel Like A Woman".  It just doesn't need to be done.

Ok, here we go.  I'm seeing Lee practice and already know he's going to be awesome.

Lee Dewyze "You're Still The One" - Yep.  He's beyond awesome.  Wow.  That was amazing on so many levels.  He is showing more style than I've ever seen him.  Such raw talent.  Can you say iTunes download? 

"The only ones who really make it in the end are the ones who feel it the most" - Shania just said that while coaching Mike.  I like it.

Michael Lynch "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing" - Uh boy.  I really want to like this, but I'm sorry - the song is just so sappy.  He sounds like Luther Vandross, for sure...and if one were a Luther Vandross fan, this would be amazing.  I don't know, it was good and all, but just not my style. 

Casey James "Don't" - Niiiiice.  Hello.  That was incredible!

What in the world???  Did you see the ProActiv commercial and the girl with the eyes that looked like targets???  Wow.  Can you say blink?

Crystal Bowersox "No One Needs To Know" I can't believe I'm saying this, but that was weak for me.  Not the right song choice, at all.  Too happy and chipper, and Crystal has far too much soul for that.  She could have done so much more vocally with a different song. 

Aaron's coming....I might need to make a trip to the bathroom.  SORRY! 

Aaron Kelly "It's In The Way" - It wasn't terrible.  Not great, but not terribly terrible.   Until he said he was singing it to his mom.  Eew.  It's a love song.  That kinda creeps me out.  And is that how you spell terrible?  It looks weird when you type it out.

Have you seen this?  Someone put this out on Facebook today and I've watched it 3 times.  It's hysterical!

One more song of the night...

Siobhan "Any Man of Mine" - Ok, I like this song, but I have to admit I didn't hear alot of it because I was busy singing it to Mr. Wonderful :)  However, I paid enough attention to it to find her performance a bit bipolar....too quiet in the beginning and manic at the end.  But I think there are enough crazies out there who like her so against my better judgement she'll probably be around next week.  No one listens to me.

Best of the night - Lee KILLED it, with Casey following a close second.
Needs to be done already - Siobhan
Vote off prediction - Aaron or Michael.  Prolly Michael (sigh).  I don't think his performance is going to appeal to alot of people, even though he did really well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random acts of thinking

Today is beautiful outside!  I am really getting in the mood for flowers, like the ones we planted on our decks last year...

Right now the decks are looking naked and I'm ready to get out the pots and the dirt and make a trip to the greenhouse for some flowers.  (It's still too cold yet, so I'll have to wait.  Sigh.)  I never really go there with a plan, I just buy whatever I like and figure it out when I get home.  Last year we got ALOT more flowers than we needed, and since I just couldn't bare (bear?) to throw any away, I just bought more pots and filled them up! 

I recently heard about "straw bale gardening".  I'm kind of interested in trying it.  I love the idea of having a vegetable garden, but I'm afraid of it turning into a weed fest if I can't keep up.  Maybe we'll just expand on our deck gardening that we did last year?  We planted herbs and were really happy with the results, and all the fresh herbs that we cooked with all summer! 

This is our basil plant, which turned into a humungus 3 feet tall basil tree! 

Maybe we'll try adding peppers and onions or something this year in some of our bigger pots (if I don't buy too many flowers again, of course.)

I've gotten alot of great feedback on the daycare, but no one has committed yet.  There is time, and I'm relying on God.  After all, this was His idea!  I'm surprisingly at peace about it, but I really shouldn't be surprised I guess.   I know from experience that God provides for our needs...all the time.

My new books came today from Amazon...

The "Stuff Christians Like" book is hilarious, and I'm more than ready to dive into Beth Moore's new book too.  I just recently read "Get Out of That Pit" and loved it.

I think Americans have an addiction to entertainment.  And to noise.  And to distraction.  I'm watching American Idol tonight and noticing that every single commercial is about self indulgence...cell phones aren't just for communicating with others, they play music and movies so that you can escape from your real life anywhere and anytime. 

I haven't been taking very many pictures lately, and I've been missing it terribly.  My allergies are kicking in.  I need to get going on the allergy meds so I don't have a repeat of last year!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday!

This is my first "Not Me" post in many moons, because I just haven't done anything embarassing or "not me" worthy in all this time.  Eh-hem, well, in the past few minutes anyway.

Ok scratch that.  I just now almost dumped my entire plate of lunch in my lap, trying to balance it in front of the keyboard as I type this.  And since it's awesomely yummy leftover pork chops and potatoes from supper last night, that really would have been a shame.  Had I actually dumped that in my lap, however, I certainly would not have taken my fork and eaten it off my clothing because it is just that good. 

Anyway, yesterday I did not bake a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting under the guise that it was for the kids.  That would be far too tempting for me to have around the house and would completely negate my (feeble) efforts at giving up sugar.  And even if I did, I would not have saved some of the chocolate frosting and hidden it in the frig so that when I snuck a piece for myself (which I did not) I could eat it with extra frosting. 

And finally...not because I have run out of dumb things that I have not done, rather I have run out of time to type them all...upon returning home from work on Friday, I did not leave my keys in my car in the garage, apparantly in the "on" position for several hours, and thus drain my battery and requiring rescue from Mr. Wonderful.  And I also did not let 4 boards of sheetrock fall against the van (in the same garage, about 30 seconds after discovering the dead battery) because I was looking for something behind them.  I'm much too careful to make either of these (dumb) mistakes. 

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!

Friday, April 16, 2010

All I need is.....more children!

Well, I jumped!

I've officially begun advertising for my new adventure!  I have put out some flyers, started telling people and asking for referrals, and generally getting the word out.  We live in a small town - a really small town (think Grumpy Old Men) so word of mouth is really all that anyone needs to get something going.  Case in point...whenever anyone asks me where we live, all I have to say is that we live in "The Miller's old house", and they know exactly what I'm talking about.  "Oh yes, the blue house with the cute little barky dog".   Yep, that would be us.

I have an ad going into our town newsletter (we have a newsletter that is delivered to our door every month - I told you it's a small town).  And Mr. Wonderful has created a website for me too!  Isn't that wonderfully techy of him?  It would have been finished days ago, except for the fact that I keep changing my mind about what I want on it.  I know, shocker.  He's being ever so patient with me about that, which I very much appreciate.  (Really, hon, I do!) 

Here is my logo for the flyer and the website:

(All kinds of
important stuff
is in this area

I have flyers hanging in the bank and the cafe downtown, attracting lots of attention I'm sure.  Crowds of people must be forming by now - pushing eachother out of the way, standing on their tippy toes just trying to get a peek at my flyer, right?!  My parent handbook with all my policies and info is finally written (no more running to the computer every 3.5 minutes to make a change) and my contract is done too.  I've developed a filing system for all the business paperwork (there is much more than I ever thought there would be), we've had the house inspected by the fire marshal and a visit by the licensing lady from the county.  All is good, but we have a little work to do.  We have to put lattice around our deck (something about small children falling through the slats) and the storage area under the basement steps needs to be sheetrocked, which Vince is already in the process of doing.  So, my clean and organized basement is now cluttered with "stuff" that had to be pulled out of it's cozy little home under the stairs, and now our basement looks like this:

Hmmph.  Thankfully I already had everything neatly packed from my home organization frenzy of the past few months, before Vince had to dig it all back out to put sheet rock in.  I can't imagine what a mess it would be if I hadn't done that.  (Actually I can.)  Have you ever had an urgent feeling that you need to get some type of project done RIGHT NOW, but you don't really know what the urgency is, you just know that you need to get it done?  Well, that's how I felt about our storage area under the steps a few months ago.  I just had to get it done.  Didn't know why, I just knew that I did.  Now I do know why...God is always planning ahead.  I'm so glad I listened! 

And then there's the family room downstairs.  We are converting that into a play and classroom area, and it is accumulating kid stuff already.  We have had lots of wonderful things given to us (including a Little Tykes play house & slide for the backyard!  Yes!)  Our kids are willing to share some of their toys, and I've started frequenting Goodwill and other consignment shops looking for fun and educational toys 'n things.  It's really been fun for me, especially to see some of the toys that my boys used to have and all the memories of them playing with these toys (that I used to own but am now re-buying for the daycare, don't get me started thinking about that).

So.....I guess this is REALLY HAPPENING!  Right?  It's happening, right?  Now all I need are some children.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

American Idol - Top 9 again

Just finished dinner and made it to the couch on time to see Crystal, no intro tonight.

Crystal "Saved" - I really love the backup singers, wow!  So cool!  Loved the bluesy soul.  I like that she didn't pick a popular song, it was very original and she did it with her own style for sure.  She definitely took Adam's advice to add some energy - loved the electric guitar and she really looked like she was having a blast!  Fantastic.  She is such a natural star and I think I'll be shocked if she doesn't win.  And may I just say that she is very classy to NOT do the number thing with her fingers during the phone number pitch.

Velma Orbison "Hound Dog" - I'm afraid to say this, but I think Andrew might do well with an Elvis song.  It just seems like it will be his style.  I'll let you know after the commercial...

Ok, I was a little worried the first verse, but after he got started he came out of his shell a bit and showed some style.  I have to say that in a smallish kind of way, I kind of half-way liked it.  But it didn't have enough wow to really be impressive, or to make me a fan.   

Tim Urban "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" - Nice depth to his voice, love the acoustic guitar, and what he's doing with the song!  He sounds like that guy that sings that song from Shrek ...anyway.  Very, very beautiful, original, emotional.....oooh, there's the charlie manson eyes, but it's ok.  I"m too distracted by the awesomeness of this performance to be scared.  One!!!!

Now I have time to look up that Shrek song on iTunes, hold on...

Lee DeWyze "Little Less Conversation" - Here we go, Lee the base solo, it added some drama and style to the song (as if he needs it).  I don't care if he doesn't get all animated, he's just a mellow guy and that boy can sing!  Very very cool!

Aaron Kelly "Blue Suede Shoes" - I don't think I need to hear this song again ever in my life.  And I also don't think anyone needs to ever never again saunter down the stairs while they are singing.  It just can't be done without looking corny.  That said, Aaron is just too much of a boy for me to take him seriously.  Everything he does just feels like a highschool performance, not authentic.  But he has a lot of teeny-bopper fans so he may not be voted off just yet.  

Siobhan "Suspicious Minds" - Ok....this is my favorite Elvis song - and actually one of my favorite songs altogether; but help me now it is just painful to listen to and see Siobhan perform it.  Ugh.  Bleck.  MUTE!!!

Come on, Big Mike!  Make us glad they saved you (even though I already am)!

Michael Lynch "In The Ghetto" - That was amazing.  And that's all I have to say about that.

Katie Stevens "Baby What Do You Want Me To Do" - Get voted off.  That's what I want you to do. 

The judges are having more fun tonight, tho, which is kind of refreshing.  And have you noticed that Ryan hasn't had any smart comments or even questions for the judges tonight?  Coincidence?  Hmmm...

Casey James "Lawdy Miss Claudie"  Thiiiiiiiiis is gonna be good!  Ummm, yea.  Hello.  That was a-maz-ing.  And the judges........are you serious??????????  I don't understand it.  At all.  Their criticisms of him are ridiculous.  I'm getting mad now.

I wasn't excited about Adam Lambert being the mentor this week.  I liked him last year, but since then I have not at all been impressed with his image and how he is marketing himself.  However, I thought he did a great job of mentoring and I was pleasantly surprised.  He was honest and gave some constructive advice.  He could have used a little more eye make up tho.  Wow.

Best of the night:  As always, Casey, and I just can't decide for second place between Mike, Lee and Crystal....and even Tim. 

Need to go:  Aaron, Siobhan, Andrew and Katie...don't care which, they all just need to go.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fear, passion, and poptarts

I don't like being in a state of limbo.

I don't like change.

And I have a fear of regret.  Not just a passing fear, but a crippling fear of doing the wrong thing and then regretting it and beating myself up because of it and ruining everyone's life including my own.  (I tend to get a little dramatic when I'm afraid).  I don't like having to make decisions where I don't know what the outcome is going to be for sure - which is true of about 90% of decisions we make, I know, but for many decisions we at least have the illusion of knowing what the outcome is going to be and it's kind of comforting at least for a while until the bottom falls out and we realize that it was a bad bad idea and then we have regret, which is exactly what I'm afraid of.  Breath.  (I also tend to ramble when I'm stressed, which you prolly already know).

I've alluded to this "big thing" in my life that God is doing, and I'm finally ready to share what it is....and no, I'm not pregnant.

(Drum roll please)

I'm seriously considering...

making plans...

pretty much for surely going to...

(taking a deep breath here)

...quit my job of 17 years and open my own in-home daycare & preschool!

Whew.  There.  I said it.  It's happening.  I think. 

I'm tetering on the edge of this cliff, and I either need someone to push me over it or pull me back.  I'm not sure which, but one thing I do know is that I don't want to teter anymore, and I don't want me to be the one to make the decision!  I want someone else to do it because I'm having a whole gamut of emotions and thoughts from excitement to terror, and like I said I have this massive fear of regret.  I know that sounds dramatic, but I've made some pretty bad decisions before and this is a huge step for me.  Not only me, but my whole family.  It's a long term decision - not one that I can try out for a few weeks and then change my mind. 

So, I'm stressed.  And when I'm stressed I tend to do alot of things to try and deal with it, which can quite often resemble a rollercoaster ride.  Here are some of those things that I do, mixed with some things that I should do in order to deal with it and make a decision already:

Ramble alot.  (done).

Make a list of the pros and the cons.  (I've done that and the list is really "do it" heavy).

Pray.  (I'm doing that alot and welcoming anyone and everyone to join me).

Get up at 3:16am and blog about my stress while eating poptarts.  (Which is what I'm currently doing.  I'll let you know later if it helps).

Remember that God is not a God of confusion.

He's also not the God of fear. 

Pray some more.

Get Godly counsel.

Look at what my options are and spend some time imagining what each option would be like, and how it would effect my family.  (This is the step that is currently tripping me up).

Trust.  Trust that God will provide for our needs, no matter what.  (Also tripping on this one a bit, even though I know that I know that I know).

Figure out where my true passion is...what God is placing on my heart to do.  As I contemplate that, and seek to follow His leading, here is what I know for sure that I am passionate about:

1)  I want to be there for my kids....truly be there.  I want to be the one raising them, guiding them, and loving them everyday.  It's what I've wanted since before they were born, and even though they are 8 and older, I know it's not too late.

2) I love working with children and families.  I love making a difference in their lives...helping children grow, helping parents become more empowered and improve their relationships with their kids.  This is what I do in my job know, the one I've had for 17 years that I am terrified and sad about leaving.

These are my true passions.  I know that for sure.  And I also know for sure that God has a plan for my life.  And when I look at how He has used the past two years...actually how He has worked in my life over the past 13 years since I was pregnant with my first born, I can clearly see how He has prepared my heart, guided my steps, and opened doors for these two passions of mine to come together to fruition. 

I think I have my answer.

I'm ready to jump.  Well, I'm close.

Oh, and the getting up at 3am eating poptarts and blogging thing?  Works for me!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

American Idol - Top 9

Ok, first of all I have to get something off my it just me or is Ryan just not very happy this year?  He used to be so cheerful and smiled alot, and the playful banter he had with the judges always made me chuckle.  But this year it's different.  There's an edge to it, and it's sometimes even uncomfortable. 
Ok, here we go!

Aaron Kelly - "The Long and Winding Road". Oh baby boy...he's so cute, but soooo not ready for the big time.  His vocals were pretty weak and the poor thing seemed very, very nervous.  I don't blame him at all, how could he not be nervous? 

I love how they are having the contestants talk about eachother between performances!  It helps them not be so "me me me" focused.  It's nice to see how they all support eachother and they obviously develop close relationships on the show.  The backstage interviews are an interesting addition too...except they kind of make me feel like I'm at the Olympics.

Katie Stevens - "Let it Be"  She's doing ok, but like Mr. Wonderful just said, I'd rather have heard Didi sing this song.  Sigh.  (They should have saved her.)  Katie has a nice voice, but not nearly enough power to pull off this song.  Randy....her best performance ever?  Ridiculous?  Wha???  I don't get it.

Velma Orbison - "Can't Buy Me Love".  Oh dear.  No.  Just no.

Michael Lynch - "Eleanor Rigby".  Go Big Mike!  That was really, really good!  I love that he chose a song that wasn't really popular, something different and original.  He did fantastic.

Ok, can I just say that Simon needs to stop arguing with the audience.  And pretending to be surprised that they boo him.  

Crystal Bowersox - "Come Together".  Oh yes, AWESOME song!  Aaaaand, of course Crystal is amazing.  I feel like I'm at a concert!  She's so comfortable and shows her style consistently.  And thanks to my husband, I learned what a didgeridoo is (had to google how to spell that).  Best performance of the night so far. 

Ok, Velma made me laugh with his "I love you Tim" comment.  Maybe he's not so bad?

Tim Urban - "All My Lovin'".  Wooooow!  I'm surprised!  Pleasantly surprised!  That was really good!

Commercial break, time for some Googlie fun... I wrong?

Ok, here we go...Casey's next!  Casey's next!  He's the best performance of the night, for, wait.  He hasn't sung yet. 

Casey James - "Jealous Guy".  I would type something about how beautiful the cello is, but I'm too busy drinking in his beautiful voice.  Aaaaaaah.  Excellence.

Siobhan Magnus - "Across The Universe".  I think that's where her brain is.  Sorry.  One word...vacuous.  Aaaand she has managed to get a half-scream in on a ballad.  I'm she an artist or just a crazy person?  I'm not sure, but I'm leaning towards the latter.  And trust me, I know crazy.

Lee DeWyze - "Hey Jude".  Started off a little rough, but that's what I like about his voice.  He's doing pretty good, until..........the bagpipe dude?  What in the world?  That kinda creeped me out.  Simon totally had it right, it was like he turned up on the wrong show!  That aside, I like Lee, but he ended up kind of shouting the song.  It reminded me of a bar band doing their final song of the night.  Well, hypothetically speaking.  I of course have never seen a bar band, and for sure have never been around for their last song.  But if I ever had, in my very distant past, I can imagine it would have sounded something like that.  Eh-hem.

Best of the night:  Casey, my Casey - with Crystal a very close second.
Vote off prediction:  Siobhan. 

Saturday, April 03, 2010


It's why He came. 

It's why He died. 

It's why you and I were born. 

It's why we live with hope. 

And it's why we'll die with hope.

Thank You, Jesus!