Archive for May, 2007

The Strong, the Brave and the Just Plain Stupid

I’m not sure I’ll ever go camping again. Ever. I know I’ve said stuff like that in the past before and some people got upset by my extremism when I was actually only joking. But this time, I think I mean it. For real. I’m done. I currently have two eight-person tents drying on my property. One is set up in the driveway, trying to take advantage of the half-hour of sunshine we have at the moment. The other is set up in my living room. You should have seen the leaves and spiders that fell out of it as we set it up this morning. I should probably fumigate my house when I’m done. As soon as I get this blog posted here (I have my priorities in order, for sure), I plan on vacuuming out the living room tent. Has anyone else ever vacuumed a tent before? I think it’s the best solution to getting all the dried mud out of that thing.

Honestly, it was a little bit of a hard weekend. It began with a total downpour Friday night, proceeded with a more than total downpour Saturday night, and continued with the downpour to end all downpours Sunday morning and afternoon. By that time, more than half of us brave souls admitted defeat. Rocky, Megan and Stephanie headed home with only one happy face in the bunch. Chris, Callie, Sadie and Grace headed home with a truckload of soaking wet towels, clothes, mattresses and sleeping bags while Grace burned up with a 102 degree fever. Dad, Mom, Wilmar, Carlee and I stuck it out until the end. Someone had to wait for a break in the weather to break camp, you know. By the time that break in the weather arrived (Sunday evening at 5:00), all three tents were completely flooded, with two of them sitting in about six inches of standing water. When we walked inside them to salvage what was salvageable, it was like walking on a water bed. We all five slept in my parents’ trailer that night. When I arrived home, twenty-four hours later, Grace’s temp was up to 103.5. She’s a little better today, but still feverish. I just finished my twenty-fifth load of laundry. I think I might be getting somewhere.

Oh well. There were some good times to be had in spite of it all. During the rain breaks, we cooked, ate, played games, rode bikes, played miniature golf, and even found some time for swimming and hot tubs. Crazy! In retrospect, it even sounds like we had fun…


Chris, cooking up dinner in his swim trunks and camping hat

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Wilmar, aka Soy, aka Carlee’s boyfriend
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Megan and her dog, Tootsie, who is not spoiled at all
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Togo, wishing someone would feed him some cheetos
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Me in my camping braids
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Callie, Grace and Sadie, roasting marshmallows over a lighter fluid fire. The wood was so soaked, it wouldn’t stay lit. We had to pour lighter fluid over it every five minutes to get any kind of flame
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If you’ve never been camping in Texas before, here is an example of what our neighbor’s campsites looked like:
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Wilmar and Carlee, making a run for the car to drive themselves down to the restrooms – notice the clothes “drying” on top of the van
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During the downpour
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After the downpour
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Wilmar and Dad, taking the bikes for a walk (???) Notice the plastic bags tied over the seats so that we didn’t get a bottom-soaking when we sat on them
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Here’s what our campsite looked like by Monday morning. Left to right is my parents’ trailer, our tent, Carlee, Megan and Stephanie’s tent and Wilmar’s tent. Guess which one stayed dry?
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When the sun came out, everything was brilliantly beautiful. There was even a complete circle-rainbow around the sun.
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No More Pencils, No More Books

Today is the last day of school. Today is the first day of summer. Here are some things I am looking forward to doing this summer:

  • Staying up past ten every night without feeling like I’ll die
  • Getting up each morning and having coffee by myself – in silence – while the kids sleep in
  • Swimming at Aunt Sally’s and Uncle Billy’s
  • Going outside to bask in the glorious heat when the insides of buildings are colder than Minnesota in January
  • Going shopping with Callie for her middle school standard dress uniforms
  • Watching my house turn into an American Girl and Barbie fantasy land for Sadie and Grace (hey, I was done with cleaning anyway)
  • Losing all my spatulas and wooden spoons since they will once again become boyfriends and husbands for Barbies
  • Going to family camp in Colorado with our church family
  • Getting movies in the mail from Blockbuster
  • Not being tied to a schedule
  • Cooking steak on the grill and eating cantaloupe (I don’t really like cantaloupe, but it sounds romantic anyway)
  • Watching the ivy continue to creep across the back of my brick house until we can’t open our garage anymore (that sounds romantic too)
  • Painting every room in my house until my eyes see spots from all the brilliant colors or until my arm falls off, whichever comes first
  • Watching Grace continue to “practice” for gymnastics camp:

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A Few Quick Plugs

I’m still taking entries on my crying songs post and listening to every song that is listed. I’m really hoping that I might break my husband’s record of having the most comments left on a single post. I’m halfway there. Do you think it’s doable? I realize that a contest with only two contestants is not very exciting, but hey, everyone’s got goals and this is one of mine. And I’m also listening to some really great music as a side effect of my little private contest. But I also wanted to take just a minute here to plug a few of my friends’ websites that I think you might be interested in if you don’t already know about them:

1. Coffee Ambassadors: My friends Tim and Mandi Taylor run this coffee business as a ministry to impoverished coffee farmers in other parts of the world. I order all our coffee from them. I told Tim this week that even if I didn’t like them so much and believe in what they’re doing, I would still order my coffee from them just because it’s the best tasting coffee I’ve had. Check out their website. They roast the beans when you order it and then ship it. My coffee always arrives in the mail just a few days after I order it online (and makes my mailbox smell really good).

2. Good Morning Sarajevo and Mezger Memo: My brother and sister-in-law and my two sweet nephews have been in Bosnia for about a month now. They are soon to be joined by Lauren, Jack and Mackenzie. If you know them and would like to keep up with what they’re doing, these are their blogs. Or if you don’t know them but want to pray for them anyway…

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Songs That Make Me Cry

I had to steal an idea from my friend over at The Cup of Silence. I’m not usually in the habit of stealing. I hope he doesn’t mind. It’s just that I really want to hear what other people have to say about this. The best songs, in my opinion, are the ones that make me cry (or at least feel something very deeply). The following are eleven (no, make that twelve) songs that I can think of that make me cry almost every time I listen to them. They are listed in order of shortest to longest (when typed out across my computer screen) because I can’t think of another way to order them. I know there are more, but this is my list for now:

Bad – U2
Amsterdam – Coldplay
Forever – Lauren Taylor
My Immortal – Evanescence
Gratitude – Nichole Nordeman
Dare You to Move – Switchfoot
Wintersong – Sarah McLachlan
Not the Land – Caedmon’s Call
Remember When – Alan Jackson
The Prayer – Andrea Bocelli w/Celine Dion
The Theme Song from Cast Away – Alan Silvestri

[audio:http://www.passivemomentum.net/audio/castaway.mp3%5D

Untitled Hymn – Chris Rice (but especially when sung by Chris Linebarger)

So what are yours? I really want to know! Just like Outback Steakhouse, there are no rules. However many you want to list, in whatever order you want to list them, for whatever reason – write as much or as little as you like.

If you introduce me to a song I haven’t heard before and it brings me to tears, you’ll win the grand prize.

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This Too Shall Be Made Right

Today I am a little bit old
I can’t tell what I’m looking at
I know my eyes will adjust
With age

With windows down and hair pulled back
And Derek blasting in my ear
My heart is tugging
Pushing the pedal
Leading the way
To where?

I drive to the grocery store, for lack of a greater destination
The wildflowers on the side of the highway
Sustain me
More than the milk I am about to buy

The faces of my little ones
Are fleeting shots in black and white
Like shadows reflected on the side of my house
While I lay in the cool breeze
And wonder how the clouds look different at night

The breeze won’t always be cool
It won’t always be night
The ones won’t always be little

Will there be shadows in Heaven, I wonder?

My ears are filled with the sounds of
hand jives
and Spider Man
and questions of where do I put my fingers on the piano

My mind is filled with the plans of
tomorrow
and the next day
and the foods I’d like to try

My heart is filled with the knowledge of
this groaning creation
this pain that grows stronger with age
and how the time for peace is yet to come

Not so very long ago, I was young
But today I am a little bit old

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Day on the Green

This Saturday we had our first ever Day on the Green. It took place at our church. We hung out for four hours outside in the parking lot, listening to four different artists perform. Then, when the skies opened up, we rushed everything inside and hung out for another hour or so, listening to two more. It was a great day. A little emotional for me, but then, most things are. My own dear husband’s band, Passive Momentum, had their debut – I was even able to sing one song with them. Chris is working on getting some of the video up on his blog. (Click HERE to see a song by Lauren, written for her son) In the meantime, here are some of my pictures:

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Grace, getting something to eat

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The smoker, where the something to eat was cooked, and some lovely friends, preparing to eat something

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Laurie Gist and Lauren Taylor

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Jack Taylor, while his mommy was singing

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Matthew Slay

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Ronnie Fauss (aka mol jr)

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Jason Mitchell (aka el mol)

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Matt and Chris

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Passive Momentum

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James Johnson (aka cAPSLOCK) on drums

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Me, singing with Passive Momentum

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Doug Burr (He’s got a cd for sale – beautiful music. Click here for more info)

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Red, still in his apron, after cooking the food

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And finally…some black and whites:

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Speaking for Myself

I was watching Channel 8 News this morning and they were telling me that most moms don’t want fancy chocolates or breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day. Most moms want some pampering time to themselves like a day at the spa.

Note to my husband: I do not want a pampering day at the spa. I have never in my life had any desire whatsoever to go to a spa. If somebody were to get me a gift like that, I would get myself so nervous about going that I would almost throw up. It doesn’t sound relaxing to me. It sounds scary. I wouldn’t know what was going to happen to me or who was going to be touching me or what they were going to do me or what I should wear or think or say or how I should behave….aurgh. My mind is an obsessive mess. I mean, I like my toenails to be painted pretty colors and all but having somebody vigorously rub the bottoms of my feet with a rough stone – that’s TORTURE.

Honestly I get a little tired of these media-created holidays. The worst, in my opinion is Valentine’s Day. People on Channel 8 News try to make husbands feel guilty if they don’t sweep their wife off their feet on Valentine’s Day. Here’s my opinion on that: When you’re married, shouldn’t every day be like Valentine’s Day? It is in my mind. Every day that I get to spend with the love of my life is a blessing and is romantic. Whether it’s a sweeping-off-my-feet romantic or whether it’s we’re-
exhausted-because-we-work-too-much-and-have-too-many-
kids-but-at-least-we’re-doing-it-together romantic. I don’t need or want Channel 8 News telling my husband that he should spend money we don’t have on gifts I don’t want so that he can make sure his marriage is romantic enough.

I guess I’m not much of a gift giver. Luckily, my husband isn’t either. We’re a good match. Obviously, some people like to give (and receive) gifts. I don’t speak for everybody.

But speaking for myself, here’s my opinion on Mother’s Day: I have a mom. I love her. I am going to get my mom a card on Mother’s Day. My husband has a mom. He loves her. He should tell her so on Mother’s Day. I am my kids’ mom. They like to make cards. I will cherish whatever they make for me. I am not my husband’s mom. No matter what the people on Channel 8 say, I don’t want anything from my husband other than to be loved and cherished, just like any other day of the year.

But that’s not to say that a box of chocolates from Jacques Torres would get thrown in the trash.

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