Monday, January 25, 2010

Rowdy Weekend

Last Thursday I drove to see the Rowdy Girls, who were sitting at the table having lunch when I arrived. Em had an upper respiratory infection that didn't slow her too much, and Roo was just brimming with orneriness. Grandpa braved the interstate traffic in the thick of the after work rush, driving four hours to meet us. Some of our favorite Rowdy Girl Routines include:
Roo gets a treat when she uses the potty appropriately. She took me with her, snagged a book "The Boy who Loved Words", and we read for quite awhile. Then she announced that she wanted a marshmallow, a cookie, and three lollipops. I laughed a little and told her we would need to ask permission from her mommy. She immediately told me how. "Go ask Christel."
Emme whined about as long as CB and JB could handle it one day. He was Skyping with them on the computer and Em was in CB's lap, whining. JB told her to stop, and she started to cry. He asked her why she was crying. 'I SOOOO sad!" Why so sad? "Cause I can't snuggle Daddy". Well, what could he say long distance there on the computer? Sad, indeed.
Emme went down for a nap early one afternoon and Ruby was reveling in the extra attention. JB was home from his trip that day, so he took Roo in to tuck her in her tent. On his way out we heard her call after him, "Take me with you!"
Emme loves to share my food--blueberries, pineapple, cheese, cookies. They are "Emme bites."
Roo likes to be rewarded when she eats. Upon taking the fork out of her mouth, she expects a rousing round of "Bravo!" I tried to teach her that is it "Brava!" for a lady. She digs that too.
Grandpa tried to engage Ruby in reading with him by pausing for her to "fill in the blanks". She refuted by saying, "Grandpa. Read faster!"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Temple Maintenance 2010

Temple Maintenance 2010

Writing this post after a day of working on the temple--renovating the body I live in, and looking at redecorating the house in which we live also. Our fabulous health club had a big launch day today. In plain terms that means that all Les Mills classes were updated today--new music, new moves, new choreography, new times for the day. The largest room in the club was fitted with black lights and the sound system was used all day long in classes taught by really amazing instructors who prepared many hours for this launch. They dressed in attire appropriate for each class, and some of them were pretty entertaining. One had neon orange ties in her hair, black shorts and a tank top that were spatter painted in glow-in-the-dark paint. Very fashionable under black light!

For Body Flow we had lovely white flowers at the base of the stage, battery operated tea lights, and real candles to set the mood. The class was packed, the music was great, the new choreography is beautiful, and the moves are challenging. I had spent 45 minutes on the treadmill and exercise bike before class started and Muffin did the Bodypump class. So we were ready for a late lunch afterward. It felt good to work on the "temple of the Holy Spirit" for almost two hours.

After lunching on salads while we took turns talking to Joybear we hung out for over an hour at a home improvement store, looking at tile, bathroom lighting and fixtures, kitchen counter materials, and paint samples. Didn't buy anything except a stacking divider for our lazy susan, but sure got lots of good ideas to make improvements on our twenty year old house. Now if Pioneer Woman would help me choose colors and materials since she did such a fabulous job of that with her lodge, I would be a very happy camper.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mercy Works!

The continuing news of the catastrophe in Haiti breaks my heart. Several bloggers have links to Compassion, to WorldVision, and to Red Cross. However, our church sponsors missionaries with Youth With a Mission--YWAM. YWAM sends teams of relief workers into disaster areas and makes a difference quickly. The founder of MercyWorks is a former member of our church and worked in our town as a nurse for several years before going with YWAM. Below is part of a letter from YWAM Tyler's web site. I know these people and I know that Mercy Works!

After Hurricane Katrina, which so devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, the people most impacted came to realize it was not government or corporate aid that made the biggest difference, but rather the body of Christ responding in a multi-year commitment long after the cameras and world’s attention shifted elsewhere.

I invite you to be a part of the YWAM MercyWorks response to this devastating loss of life and property by joining a response team and/or by making a generous financial donation. Your gift will help with the procurement of medicines and food, and will assist in the reconstruction and rebuilding efforts.

We also need medical personnel to assist with this effort as well as other volunteers. We need grief counselors and construction crews in the days and weeks ahead. Please contact us if you can go. Lastly please keep these precious people in your prayers.

MercyWorks brings hope and lasting change to people afflicted by war, famine, extreme poverty, and natural disaster. Now is the time for the body of Christ to rise up and demonstrate our commitment to the suffering poor.

Because of His mercy,

Debbie Lascelles
Founder, MercyWorks

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If he would just brush his teeth....

Scooter had dental surgery today. He is twelve and a half years old, was born at our house to Muzzy, the world's best Sheltie mommy, and was always the gentle soul of the litter. He was born in the middle of Muzzy's second litter on May 1st, 1997, just one month before Joy graduated from high school. CB and JB had been married almost one year and Boo was finishing her first year of college when Muzzy gave birth in a little swimming pool we had filled with old towels and had put in my sewing room . Scooter was one of the fat puppies with brown and white spots--looking like a little fat jersey calf. From the get go he loved to be on the bottom of the dog pile. No matter whether the puppies were in the pool with Muzzy or outside with her as they grew older, he would always find the bottom of the heap and just lay there while the others climbed on top of him and tried to one up each other. He would look a little forlorn and hang back from the others when folks came to look at them when choosing a puppy to purchase, which is probably why he wasn't chosen.

Actually, he was chosen. By a physical therapy student who kept coming by to look at him, but honestly couldn't care for him while he was in school. Graduate school and work is very demanding and not a time to purchase a puppy! But, we saved Scooter for this student who finally decided that it wasn't fair for him to take the responsibility of a dog. By that time we were completely smitten with him and decided to keep him. Muzzy had weaned him and he was rapidly outgrowing her, little snippet of a Mama dog that she was. We tried to get him to chew rawhide during his puppyhood to keep him from chewing things he should not. He did chew some, but mostly would try to chase balls and frisbees that belonged to Muzzy, who would discipline him severely for such actions. Consequently he just never was enamored with chew toys and bones and rawhides. So he developed dental problems which can lead to more serious health problems in canines.

Today I took him in at 8 a.m. to the clinic and they called at 11 to say that he was waking up and doing fine. He also had a cyst below his ear removed, and stayed there another 3 hours to wake up better. When I went in for him he was wobbling all over the place, but turned his face to the door and would not look at anyone. Trying to hop into the car, he was so woozy that he missed the back seat and hurt himself a little. I picked him up and laid him carefully on the seat, and he promptly walked to the other side and stared out the window all the way home. Inside he hit the water dish and walked around for about an hour, bumping into furniture, the small Norfolk pine tree, and some violin cases that belonged to students. Definitely not awake fully! Finally he gave up being social and snoozed in the bedroom until the sun went down. When he woke up this time he was much more alert and capable of walking. He isn't eating ravenously, but his mouth may be a little sore. If I could just teach him to brush his teeth we wouldn't need to make these appointments.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Muffin and I went to a late matinee of Avatar. Wow! It's a sensual, visual feast of movement, color, details, effects, and sounds. Story reminded us of an old movie we have watched maybe five times, The Emerald Forest, which is based on a true story of a tribe of natives kidnapping an American child in a South American rain forest. However, Avatar is just a story, and not even a new story, actually. It's tempting to read all kinds of literary and spiritual connotations into the plot, but all in all, I think it is meant to be entertainment. I was entertained. Not bored for one minute. Couldn't look away from the screen in my big ole black 3D glasses. It was cold in the theater and somewhere between 17-24 degrees outside, but I was layered and covered with my big bear winter coat, my eyes riveted to the screen as I sat drinking in the beauty of this imaginative two plus hours of cinematic juicy juice.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Still Yummy

These little balls of delight are morsels from my junior high slumber party memories. Nannie made these Olive Cheese Balls by the dozens, and my friends and I would snarf them down. I had a jar of Old English Sharp in the pantry last week, was still in "big family cooking mode" after Christmas and decided to see if they were really as good as I remembered them to be.

Yep. They are.

Blackberry Trifle

According the Oxford Dictionary:
trifle |ˈtrīfəl|noun1 a thing of little value or importance : we needn't trouble the headmaster oversuch trifles.[in sing. ] a small amount of something : the thousand yen he'd paid seemed the merest trifle.2 Brit. a cold dessert of sponge cake and fruit covered with layers ofcustard, jelly, and cream.
According to me, the Marmee:1. Leftover frozen donuts, cut into bite size pieces2. White Chocolate pudding, made with 1 1/2 cups non fat milk3. Fresh Blackberries4. Served in my Grandmother's antique glass bowl

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Word for the Year

Every year our reunion group sisters begin to remind each other in the last days of December that the year is fading and we need a new WORD. Because each January we meet together on the first Monday of the year at noon and reveal our WORD for the YEAR. I can't remember exactly when we started this. I know the person who started it, but not the year. Lynette was in the reunion group long before I went on my walk to Emmaus almost 14 years ago. She told us one year that we should pray, asking God for a word for the new year. It seemed much harder back then to hear what God was saying, just one little word, for an entire year that wasn't even a page on the calendar at the moment. Now it is something we all anticipate eagerly, record in our journals and pray prophetically for one another.

Last year my word was "ART". I was perplexed. I searched scriptures and found mostly information about craftsmen and the temple or the ark or the tabernacle. That was somewhat helpful because I turned my sights in the direction of artists and visual art. Not an unpleasant thing, either. Muffin and I enjoy museums and shows. I borrowed children's books from the library and studied illustrations and thought about collaborations with artists. I prayed about sewing more and being artistic with fabric--and spent a month in therapy with tendonitis in my hands and forearms rather than being creative. I prayed more. What I began to see is that sound and light are much the same. The Holy Spirit speaks in many ways that are also revealed in pictures, visions, or impressions of light and color and sound and music and fire and water and oil and wind. By the end of 2009 I had an entirely new perspective on ART.

2010--SKILL noun, the ability to do something well; expertise
ORIGIN late Old English scele [knowledge,] from Old Norse skil‘discernment, knowledge.’

From Strongs Lexicon 7919: translates as “understand” 12 times, “wise” 12 times, “prosper” eight times, “wisely” six times, “understanding” five times, “consider” four times, “instruct” three times, “prudent” twice, “skill” twice, “teach” twice, and translated miscellaneously seven times. 1 to be prudent, be circumspect, wisely understand, prosper. 1a (Qal) to be prudent, be circumspect. 1b (Hiphil). 1b1 to look at or upon, have insight. 1b2 to give attention to, consider, ponder, be prudent. 1b3 to have insight, have comprehension. 1b3a insight, comprehension (subst). 1b4 to cause to consider, give insight, teach. 1b4a the teachers, the wise. 1b5 to act circumspectly, act prudently, act wisely. 1b6 to prosper, have success. 1b7 to cause to prosper

This discovery will be an adventure! I began it by practicing for one hour this afternoon. Restoring skill as a violinist seems like the "prudent, wise, and prosperous" action to take! Tomorrow, I teach.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Grandpa Muffin

Growing up I thought it was totally normal for my parents to do most of the same work. Oh, Daddy had a job as a barber, and Mother did the laundry and bulk of the cooking and running errands, but neither of them thought twice about Daddy cooking or sewing on buttons or Mother working in the yard or doing the banking. It was "even steven" in most areas. My paternal grandmother, the progressive pioneer woman I called "Pickle" taught her four children, two boys and two girls, to all work the same, inside and outside the house.
So, when I started dating I really thought it was pretty weird when guys frowned on their Dad's doing "housework", or worse still, when said guys wouldn't help out around the house themselves. Naturally when I met Muffin and his family and his Daddy, Papaw to our girls, helped Nana around the house and did some cooking, all seemed normal to me. Muffin learned to cook both at home and in scouts and has always, always helped with the girls, in the kitchen, with the cleaning, and anything else that needed help too.
Today while I was co-hostessing a baby shower at our church for a sweet couple adopting twin 14 month old girls from South America, Muffin was unloading the car for me (two car booster seats as hostess gifts, and a half sheet cake), cleaning floors at home, as well as gluing furniture that needed repairs, emptying trash and recycling, among countless other chores and necessities. What guy!!

Here he is in profile on snowy Christmas Eve. Love the Indiana Jones hat.

Looking charming at the end of a long work day on our date night to "South Pacific".

Cheesing for our iphone camera in the church atrium.
He's a keeper. I'd like to keep him home, but his vacation is over tonight. Boo Hoo.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Merry Nutcracker Christmas!

The title of today's post is a direct quote from Roo, three year old Grandtwin deluxe. And every day for the past week Emme greeted me with "Good Morning! Merry Christmas!" But, alas, it is now the year Twenty Ten (I can't believe I'm writing that! 2010?????? Who's life is this, anyway?) and all children and grands are gone home. It was such a fun ten days that included, but was not limited to:
A thunderstorm
Many viewings of Sesame Street and The Nutcracker
Three needy dogs
Ten or so pounds of Nannie's candy, pies, crackers, and homemade bread
Four pans of cinnamon rolls
One each: ham, brisket, night at Rosa's, burgers from Lytle Land & Cattle Co., trip to Lubbock, pot of Joy & Mike's Winter Squash Soup, bag of pretzel sticks rolled in white chocolate, pan of Key lime bars, batch of mint chocolate chip cookies, Sunday church service (Christmas Eve was cancelled due to inclement weather), evening of homemade Tex Mex, grilled chicken, and
One Tournament of Roses Parade! (Click here to watch if you missed it.)

Unfortunately the happy merry nutcracker Christmas was interrupted by two viruses--one of the sinus variety and one of the terrible, awful stomach bug variety which included, but was not limited to:
2 cases of toilet paper
3 boxes of Kleenex tissues
2 bottles of Pepto Bismol
1 box of Immodium
1 trip to the Doc-in-the-Box
1 visit to the pharmacy
Many bottles of ginger ale and Gatorade
a few crackers
Many, many, many manymanymany loads of laundry
And Three Cans of Lysol Spray. (Try singing that to Twelve Days of Christmas)

And a great time was had by all.
(Someone left two pairs of white socks, 1 bottle of vanilla, 1 bottle of raspberry liqueur, and 3 foil pans with lids.)