Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Little Sister Came to Town

And here's where we went last night:And here's what I wore:And now my feet hurt.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away...

...a young Jedi named Tommy was born.
To commemorate the sixth year of his life, it was decided that he would host a gathering of all the young Jedi, to complete their training... and eat some cake.
The boys were put through a rigorous obstacle course in order to complete their training. They were challenged to complete tasks such as climbing over and under Little Tikes furniture, swinging on a rope swing over a river of lava, and knocking down balloon orbs from the branches of a tree. Once their tasks were complete, they were awarded gold Jedi medals and invited inside for a celebratory meal.
When the meal had been devoured, cake was demanded by all. At this time, the mother of young Tommy was horrified to discover that the cake had been stolen, and that a trail of clues had been left by the evil Darth Vader.

The Jedi leapt from the table in pursuit of the Dark Lord, following his clues even to the far reaches of the galaxy, and his wicked plot was foiled.
The Jedi were victorious over the Dark Side of the Force once again. However, no one suspected that the candles had been influenced by the Dark Side until there was one significant Jedi casualty...
( Nooooooooooooo!)
The group took their revenge on an apparition of Darth Vader that appeared in the form of a pinata, and they took turns beating it savagely with a stick. Then they scooped its innards off of the filthy ground.
Afterwards, Tommy was ceremonially presented with various Star Wars-related gifts by his friends and parents. And the Force was with them.

We will miss you, Obi-Wan.

First Day of School and Tommy's Birthday

One of these kids is confident and giddy. The other one is extremely nervous about kindergarten. The other one is also turning SIX today!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Big Weekend

We have big plans around here for this weekend, as we will be getting ready for the first day of school AND hosting Tommy's birthday party. What was I thinking giving birth to a child at this time of year? At the time, I was only worried about being pregnant in the summer in South Carolina, and I thought that was bad enough. I wasn't even considering the madness that is Back To School and Birthday Combined.

We're having a Star Wars theme, and my latent inner Star Wars geek has emerged like Han Solo from carbonite. Not to mention that my friend Kim lent us about seven light sabers for the boys to play with at the party, so my kids have been having epic battles between good and evil all over the house. I don't know if I should be concerned that two out of three of them have gone over to the dark side.

My son is a privileged kid, as he will be having birthday cupcakes with his class on the first day of kindergarten. How's that for a first impression? I'm extra privileged because I get to work a 13 hour shift on Saturday, host a party on Sunday evening, get the kids off to school on Monday morning, then show back up a few hours later with Darth Vader cupcakes. I may need a caffeine IV to get through all of it. Hopefully the Force will be with me. Have a good weekend, y'all!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Don't Turn Your Back On This Kid

The last photo in this series was canceled due to the water balloon splattering right at my feet and endangering my camera. It seems every time they aimed for one another, they ended up getting me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And Now I Have Become a Cliche

Well, it finally happened. Yesterday I went down to the Y, plunked down a significant chunk of money, and signed myself up to become a soccer mom. That's it for me, it's all downhill from here. From now on I will spend my afternoons in the minivan, shuttling two different soccer players to two different practices and two different games for the fall season. Sigh. I'm just a helmet-haircut and an ill-advised blue jean purchase away from this:

Friday, August 15, 2008

What I am Doing Right Now, But I Would Never Tell Facebook

Chrissy is...

Wondering who some of these people are who remember her so well from high school and/or college.

Getting too much imaginary crap from people she may or may not remember from high school and/or college.

Trying to think up ways to get a decent photo of herself.

Trying to make her daily activities not sound like they are duller than dirt.

Doing daily activities that are duller than dirt.

Getting tired of all the people who are bragging about going to the beach.

Not feeling sorry for people who return from the beach and exclaim about all of the laundry they have to do.

Trying to check Facebook quickly and then log off because it freaks her out that people can see when she is online.

What are you doing right now?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Open Letter to Dr. Mike Murdock, the Televangelist on at 2 a.m.

Dear Dr. Murdock:
In a fit of insomnia, I tuned to your television program last night, hoping that your droning voice would lull me to sleep. I was wrong. Some of the things that you said really caught my attention, and I was unable to sleep for quite some time.

You spoke of a time in your life in which you faced poverty, and described the scene as being a house in L.A. for which you could not afford curtains or a kitchen table. Then you described how you received a $5,000 check, and heard clearly from the Lord that if you gave that to the church, you would receive much, much more in return. And you did! You were blessed ten times over with money from places you could not have imagined. You went on to say that you "broke the back of poverty" by obeying God's decrees.

That was certainly interesting enough, but then you went on into a hard sell about how if I, the television viewer at home, would just give a $1000 donation to your ministry (and you didn't mention once what that ministry does exactly), that you promised within 90 days that I would see miracles beyond my imagination. Really, Dr. Murdock? If I just give you money, God is obligated to bless me? Do you really have that kind of a deal worked out with the Almighty? What connections you have. And not only did you promise me miracles beyond belief, a paid off house, blessings galore from just giving my $1000 donation, you also promised to include a paperback copy of your latest book, which, coincidentally, is all about the keys to financial success.

(Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the first key to financial success would be to avoid giving $1000 to scam artists in exchange for empty promises and a lousy paperback book.)

First of all, I'd like to address your definition of poverty: having a house in L.A. with no curtains or kitchen table. Let's think about that for a minute. Were you facing persecution? War? Malaria? Cholera? Famine? Starvation? Oh, no, you were sitting on the floor in really bright sunlight. How awful that must have been. Sorry, but that doesn't count as "breaking the back of poverty".

What burns me up, Dr. Murdock, and what's keeping me up late tonight, is not just the fact that you are conning vulnerable people out of their hard-earned money using the name of my God, although that alone is enough to make me lose sleep; it is the arrogance that you have in presuming that God owes us anything.

I do not have substantial monetary wealth. But I'll tell you what I do have: liberty and freedom, a stable government, a roof over my head, food on my table, clean water to drink, the laughter of my three healthy, immunized children who do not have to worry about anything, every breath that fills my lungs, it's all from Him. And those are just the physical blessings I have, that doesn't even count God's love, His mercy, His faithfulness to me, His forgiveness, and His gift of eternal life, blessings which are immeasurable and more valuable than any earthly possession.

I have more than a lot of people in this world, and I did absolutely nothing to deserve it. It was just given to me by God. How dare you suggest that God is obligated to shower me with money? If I gave away every penny I ever earned and served God with every moment for the rest of my life, I wouldn't even come close to paying back what He has already given me. He has given me things that I do not deserve. That's called grace, and that's how God operates. It's not about having faith that he will shower me with blessing. It's about being recognizing the blessings He has already given me, and serving Him out of gratitude from my heart.

It is most certainly not about trying to contain God in an agreement that if I just give money, he will be bound "by scripture" to pour out monetary blessing on me in 90 days. That scripture that you claimed was absent from my Bible, I'm sorry to say. I couldn't find a 90 day guarantee anywhere.

You really exhibited a special kind of audacity when it came time to close the program. My favorite part was when you said that "even if you don't have a thousand dollars, call the number to give it, and watch how God provides it!" (Or watch how God allows you to be prosecuted for check fraud, is more like it.) Or maybe it was when you spoke to those people with credit card debt. Your advice was to just call and use the credit card to give $1000, and then watch how God will pay off your credit cards in no time at all. (WHAT?!)

What is really sad, Dr. Murdock, is that there are probably a lot of vulnerable, hurting people out there who believed what you said. They probably called and gave, even though they couldn't afford to, trusting that what you said was true. And we both know it wasn't.

Because I actually like to use the reference to scripture when I quote the Bible, I will leave you with Matthew 6:24:

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

I am afraid, sir, that you have chosen the wrong one to serve.


(okay, rant over. Going to bed now.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Boys of Summer

There is a 'Summer Fun' photo contest going on now at 5 minutes for mom, and I've been looking through the eleventy jillion photos I took this summer, and I can't decide which is best. So I'll leave it up to you, dear reader(s), to vote for your favorite. A lot is riding on this, the prize for the contest is $500. So leave me a comment voting for your favorite one, and I will promise to share the prize with you think of you fondly if I win. Also, look through your own photos and enter for yourself over there as long as your photo isn't better than mine.

P.S. The sizes of the photos are all goofy, and I think it's flickr's fault. Also, they are all boys. Apparently the girls didn't have that much summer fun.

I wish this one wasn't as blurry as it is.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Taking the Kids Into the City, or, Someone Call Security

Earlier this week, I decided to take the kids (plus a neighbor kid) on an outing into the city. First, we got on the trolley.
By the way, you should never never never do this on the trolley. Because this guy is watching very closely. And peeking out the windows is not allowed. (Understandably.)

We got off at Museum of Art, and were stalked by docents everywhere we went. The kids were well behaved, but I got in trouble for trying to take a photograph of the wrong painting. Sooo not allowed. (Good to know.)

Finally, we ended our outing with a stop at this lovely fountain plaza. This is the same one we visited a few weeks ago with my sister, and since we had seen some other kids playing in it, my kids have been begging to go back with their bathing suits to try it out. You'll never guess what the security guard told me about thirty seconds after the children started running through the water.

Nope. Not allowed. (Come to think of it, those other kids didn't play in it very long either.)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Last week, Grace was in fine arts camp at our church, and so of course on Friday night they had their little performance of the musical they had been working on. It went really well, and I have to say that my baby carried the whole show. She was the best one. Here's a photo of her in action:She really was indispensable, let me tell you. And how do you like that crackerjack photography of mine? It was tough to pull off such an awesome photo considering I had to sit half a mile away and try to squeeze off shots with a whiny four-year-old climbing all over me. The blurriness was totally intentional, you know, to keep from posting the identities of minors on the internet and what-not.

In all seriousness, she really did have a good time and did a wonderful job. After the performance, we went to an after-party in the parking lot that consisted of about seven bounce house water slides. That was a lot of fun for the kids. Not too much fun for me trying to keep track of their whereabouts by myself in a crowd. I left with as many children as I came with, so I suppose it was a success.

The rest of the weekend was spent trying to recover from our late-night partying on Friday. Yes, I have reached the age where eating chicken nuggets from a drive-thru on the way home from a bounce house party at 10:30 can be considered late-night partying that requires a recovery period.

This week we're going to be hiding out in the air-conditioning because the temperature is supposed to be 107 or something equally as obscene for a while. I've rented an old Muppet movie for the kids, and I'm going to just sit in my nice cool home with the shades drawn for the next few days in an effort try to keep my skin from melting off my body.

A couple of years ago, Greg was interviewing for a job in Orange County, California right around this time of year. We flew out there for the weekend to check it out, and it was a lovely 72 degrees the entire time. We could not believe how nice it was there compared to the heat that we had left back home. Talking with a couple of the pastors at the church there, one of them quipped that Texas was such a great place to live because the property values were so much lower than in California, and that the same price for a normal house there would buy you a mansion in Dallas. To which the other fella next to him responded, "Yeah, but in the summertime, you'd be living in a mansion two doors down from hell."

Truer words were never spoken.

The kiddos

The kiddos

Kidney Peril Updates
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