Thursday, September 25, 2008

Be Strong and Courageous

My women's Bible study is studying the book of Joshua.
My favorite verse is 1:9.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God
will be with you wherever you go."

It was given to me by a friend my first year in college. I was scared and unsure... venturing into new territory. That verse became a part of me as I meditated on it. God used it to minister to my heart and challenge me to step out in faith.

God continues to speak to me through it almost 20 years later.

Do you have a special verse like that?

If so, I'd love to hear it and know why it is special to you.

And... I'd love to send a couple randomly selected commentors a bookmark... just because.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Poem for my Boys


Smiles and laughs

Jumps and tumbles

Sometimes a hug

And sometimes a rumble

Boys will be boys...

Or so we are told,

And brotherly love is

More precious than gold

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Goin' on a Rooster Hunt

Gonna catch a big one....

I'm not afraid!!

I live in a rather unique city. The old village area is home to several roosters who roam free and cock-a-doodle-doo to their hearts' content. I'm not sure how they came to reside there, but they have become mascots of sort.

One afternoon, the boys and I decided to go on a rooster hunt. We hunted over brick walls, under flags, through alleyways, around trash cans, across iron benches, and atop green grassy spots.

There were iron roosters and roosters made of twisted metal, a hay rooster, and a painted rooster. They peeked at us from store windows and perched themselves in pretty fenced yards. But not a one walked or doodle-dooed.

Oh, what's that up ahead? A hen house, or in this case, a rooster house?? Surely, we were getting closer!!!

And then Jason squealed and ran toward this big guy...

And Josh ran toward this handsome boy...

And I noticed this stately fellow...

And we all chased the little one...

No, we never caught one... but it was sure fun trying!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Some Days are Like That...

As a child, I read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, until the the cover was thoroughly worn... frayed and torn around the edges. I knew the details of the cross-hatched, pen and ink drawings and the cleverly told turmoil of the main character by heart. Judith Viorst's modern classic genuinely captures the very essence of a bad day through a little boy's disgruntled eyes.

As a kid, I thought I'd grow out of these "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days." I was wrong about that. Some days I still want to move to Australia.

Wednesday, I woke up groggy from a staying up too late the night before. Patrick said his goodbyes and hopped out the door to go to work a bit early. Joshua and I spent some time in the Word and then grumpy Jason woke up, in all his foot-stomping, whining glory. "Hmm, I wonder how this day will go," I thought.
At 8:15 am Josh skipped out the front door on his way to carpool. "I'll pick you up this afternoon! (This is an important detail for later.) I love you!" I called out the door into the chilly morning air. "Ok," he said, "I love you, too."

Jason and I did a few chores and then got ready to go on a few errands. Jason did not want to sit in his own seat, he wanted to sit in a "regular" seat. There are lots of battles every day... this one is worth fighting. I won. He sat in his car seat, and with great discontentment I might add.

We got to the store and Jason decided he wanted a super cool diecast airplane. Uh, oh. I forgot to warn him that this was not a toy buying excursion. "We have a plane in the car... a Transformer, even!" I exclaimed. "That's Josh's plane," he cried, stomping and frowning all the way down the sidewalk.

By the time we'd done a few errands, we were hungry, so I bought him a hamburger as a treat. He didn't want the hamburger... hamburgers, apparently, are yucky. He wanted M&M's.

At the grocery store, he got a special "car" cart to drive around while I shopped. Only, he didn't want to stay in the car, he wanted to precariously perch himself atop the car and proclaim his high state in Tarzan form. Have I mentioned Jason is part monkey? He was climbing on my kitchen table and swinging from the chandelier at 10 months... before he could even walk.

On to pick up Josh from school. We waited and waited in the line of idling cars, but Josh and our neighbor Cici never came. Jason had fallen asleep, so I woke him up and carried his limp body up to the playground only to find Cici crying and confused. Josh was not with her, and she thought maybe it was a "bus" day and she'd forgotten. As I consoled her, a wave of panic rushed over me, realizing that Josh was not in the immediate vicinity. We checked the campus, the office, the book fair, and called his name, but didn't receive an answer. The kids and I prayed for his protection and then waited to hear from my neighbor... was he on the bus?

Remember the scene from Princess Bride when Wesley is in the "torture tree" and the six fingered man... or was it Prince Humperdink, turns up the torture device and takes years off Wesley's life? I'm pretty sure I lost at least a year and a half during the missing Josh incident of 2008. I'll end the suspense... he was on the bus. Praise God.

A couple hours later...

This part is gross... but not as disgusting as what happened later. I was making dinner and I heard some gagging sounds. "I just threw up!" Jason announced. Of course you did... all over your shirt and couch. It is completely amazing to me that children can throw up and then go outside and play 2 minutes later. When I throw up it is always in the middle of the night and I have to pitch a tent in the bathroom.

Back to School night was on the schedule for the evening. Patrick and the boys dropped me off, because the parking situation on these nights is horrendous. After the teacher shared, I stayed after to ask a couple questions about an upcoming field trip. On my way back to the van, Patrick came storming down the corridor holding Jason's hand high in the air and Josh skipping behind announcing, "Jason pooed his pants."

It was on his shirt, all over his pants, running down his legs... oh, and in the van, too. He got stripped down and cleaned off in the shadows of the sleeping school and then ran back to the van in nothing but his birthday suit and a big grin, singing silly songs.

My body was feeling pretty weary at this point... remember I had lost a year and a half of my life earlier. After bathing Jason, cleaning out his clothes, sterilizing the bathroom and doing a load of laundry, I finally turned in.

Some days are like that... even in Australia. Have you ever had one?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

He's a Cool Rider...

My hubby is going to be starting a new job on Monday. He kind of worked himself out of a job at his previous employer. He's one of those types that likes to juggle and manage several projects at the same time. I admire that, because that kind of thing just stresses me out! Anyway, after prayer and consideration, he put his resume out there and got an interview with a credit corporation where he'll get to do lots of juggling and problem solving. Even the interview process entailed quizzes and doing an on the spot management activity... it was kind of like a mini Apprentice, only Donald Trump was not there. All said and done, he is very excited for a new career adventure and thanking God for the provision.

At his last job, Patrick had some unused vacation time that would need to be cashed out. I really wanted it to be just for him, to buy something that he would enjoy... that would be a fun blessing. Something like a flat screen TV or a Vespa. Well, he's been very enthused about this new prospect!!! Last Sunday, he decided he wanted to look at Vespas and asked my dad to go up to SLO to test drive one, because he didn't have a permit yet.

Everyone, meet my dad. Dean. He is a Harley Davidson riding, former police officer who has been shot at in the line of duty. He has been a patrolman, a detective, a narc, and a motorcycle officer, among other things.

Alright, back to the Vespa. My dad got on that cute, little scooter, took a ride around the block and came back with... "That thing is squirrelly and small." "A guy on a Harley stopped next to me and I just wanted to die of embarrassment." "If you are going to use this to commute, why don't you look at a real bike?" (Nothing against Vespas, mind you... I still very much like their classic, 'Roman Holiday-esque' styling, but when my father starts talking about motorcycles, there's simply no turning back.)

After that, it was all over. This past week should be deemed motorcycle week here at Casa Z. I'm going to have to break out my faux leather newsboy cap in honor of it, cause I'm just not going to get a tattoo.

In the midst of all this motorcycle talking, motorcycle brochure looking, motorcycle dealership going, motorcycle internet researching, motorcycle cruise night attending week, my parents hugely blessed Patrick by offering to pay for a huge chunk of his new motorcycle. He was completely floored, and to make a long week short, he went and bought a motorcycle today.

Here is my Cool Rider

I wanted the Cherry Red... isn't she pretty??

He looks cute, don't you think?

Women friends keep saying that they are really surprised I let him do this... should I be worried?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Blog Commenting 101

More and more frequently, I find myself having conversations with people who seem to know more about me than I know about myself. My eyes squint and my eyebrows scrunch together as I try to figure out how they've become privvy to this personal information, and then my unibrow and I remember....

"Oh, I blogged about that 2 months ago." And then I feel very silly. And then I have a variation on the following conversation:

Me: "Oh, you must have read my blog!?"

Other person: "Ya, I really enjoy reading it. I liked the one about (fill in blank)."

Me: "Oh, good. Thank you! You don't have to lurk, you know! You can comment anytime..."

OP: "I just wouldn't know how to do that."

So I have a special little class just for you...

Blog Commenting 101

Step 1: Click at the bottom of the post where it says "0" Comments

Step 2a: If you want to make an account, go to "Choose an identity" and click "Sign up here." (It'll walk you through entering email and making a password), or...

Step 2b: If you don't want to make an account, just click the dot on anonymous instead

Step 3: Next, just type your comment in the box, type the word verification in the other box, and click on "Publish Your Comment"

Step 4: Congratulate yourself!! You have commented, my friend (or acquaintance or relative, or any combination thereof)!! :)

Note: If you post anonymously, please remember to sign your name at the bottom of the comment section, so I know who you are!!

Warning: This type of activity may inadvertantly prompt you to start a blog of your own.

Easy enough, right??

Ok, then, my secret readers....

Come out, come out, wherever you are!!!!
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