Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Why, yes I am quite prolific, this week! You're welcome.  It ought to make up for the next couple of weeks when I will be on Spring Break Blog Posting Hiatus.  Ok, so I'm actually just going on vacation with the fam, but it's more fun to make up Important Sounding Names. With unnecessary capital letters, of course.

I'm a little too scattered today to string together a whole blog post about one topic, so for today, enjoy Thursday Thoughts with Bethany. Cue theme music.

*Why do the gas pumps at Crystal Flash have to talk to me? No, I'm not schizophrenic, they play advertisements while you pump gas.  Just shut up and dispense my gas already!. If  I wanted to hear incessant yammering while filling up, I'd roll my windows down and listen to my kids bickering inside the van.

*I can't believe that Sandra Bullock's husband cheated on her with.......THIS.

  Are you kidding me? I do not understand men at all.

*I'm a little worried-my daughter is in a 3rd/4th grade split advanced class.  I now officially have to look at the paper to make sure she's spelling  her spelling words correctly when I quiz her at home. You'll occasionally even hear me ask "Is that even a real word?!"  Did you know that "decuple" is a word? My 9 year old does.  Do you know for sure without spell check, where all the l's and n's in the words centennial and millennium go? My 9 year old does.  I'm not bragging, I'm looking for pity.  I can't have a child who will eventually be smarter than me-that's dangerous!

*Someone please take away my husband's new Journey and Boston albums.  I don't mind a little Boston or Journey now and then, but really, do we have to drive around town blasting "Don't Stop Believing" at car-rattling decibel levels everywhere we go?

*Favorite quote of the week: My 7 year old son inspecting his new $6 Lego set that he bought with his own money- "Well, THIS was money well spent!"

*Speaking of my son, he brought home another.....umm....violent drawing.  I'm saving things up for another Disturbing Pictures My Son Draws post.  We don't expose him to violent tv shows or movies or games-I don't know where the love of missiles, and bombs and explosions comes from.  Must be in the DNA.

Well, that's all the thoughts I have for today.  I am thoughtless now.

A Whole New World

I got my first pair of glasses when I was in second grade-I think I was about seven.  They had light blue plastic frames, and I picked out a very grownup looking, blue floral polyester case to go with them, that I was quite proud of.  I remember the ride home from the eye doctor with my new glasses.  The world was a beautiful place! I could see the individual leaves in trees, the bricks in houses.  I could read signs that before had been just a blur.  I was amazed at how sharp and defined everything around me was.  My mother, a long time glasses-wearer herself, had enthusiastically tried to explain to me how exciting it was going to be-that first ride home with my new specs.  Since I had no realization of the fact that my eyesight was bad, and I didn't want to have glasses anyhow, I didn't believe her. But, wow-she was right! It was like a whole new, sharply detailed world was being unveiled before my eyes.  Even as an adult, I still enjoy that first drive home with new contacts or glasses, and I still marvel at the clarity and beauty of the world which had only recently been dull and ordinary.  I've exlained to my eagle-eyed husband that going from old glasses or no glasses to new ones, is like going from antennae television to high definition tv.

I have terrible eye-sight.  Seriously, when eye doctors think it's great fun to joke with you about how you might need a seeing eye dog (it's happened more than once, with multiple doctors) soon, then you know you have issues.  It's all my Mom's fault-her eyes are even worse than mine.  All I can say, is thank God for contact lenses, because even with the newest "feather weight thin-lens" technology, my glasses lenses are still at least a half inch thick.  So, I've always known that at some point, the bad eye genes I've passed along to my kids would rear their blurry heads.  Why is it that all the "bad" genes are dominant? Bad eyes, crooked teeth, fine, limp hair-bleh. 

My daughter is 9 years old and in the 3rd grade.  We've had an idea that she might need glasses, but we hadn't made it a priority.  She's always been a straight A student, reads constantly, and has never complained about not being able to see things, so we didn't think it was a big issue.  We were wrong.  My husband took her to the optometrist last week, who told us that "she needs glasses really bad!" and "she can't see a thing!" Yeah, she's a very straight talking optometrist, LOL. <insert Mommy Guilt here> Sigh.  So, my daughter reluctantly picked out some frames, and we waited a week for the glasses to be made.

She hadn't been very excited about getting glasses at first, but one day after school, she came home and told me that all of the "smartest" kids in her class all have glasses, so she felt a little better.  In order to help her get more excited, I tried to tell her about how exciting it would be to put them on for the first time, and how she would notice leaves on trees, and bricks in walls, and read far away signs.  My exuberance was meant with a disbelieving sigh and a claim that she could already see all of those things, anyhow.

Yesterday after school, we went to pick up the new specs. The Optometrist's assistant handed her the pink, flowery glasses, and she put them on.  Cue immediate smile.  "Ohhhhhh, wow", she said.  "Everything is so clear!" At this point, I was so giddy with happiness I was fairly bouncing.  As we left the doctor's office, she commented on how she could see all of the blades of grass.  "More than I can even count! I can see them all!"  On the way home, she was commenting on how she could see the outlines of the stones on the wall of a church, and was reading the logos of low flying airplanes in the sky.  She gleefully read street signs, and billboards, and the smile and look of wonder at the beautiful world around her never left her face. 

Although I'm sorry that she inherited the family bad eyesight gene, I'm glad that I got to pass this experience on to her, in a way.  She now has "new eyes" to experience the wonder of creation around her, and she looks pretty cute in them, too!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wow Moment with God

As you may have noticed, you never quite know what you might find here on my blog.  I write about a lot of random thoughts and observations, tell funny (I hope, anyhow) stories about my kids or things that have happened around here, and sometimes I'll post about things that happened when I was younger.  Generally, I like to keep things light and fluffy here, since I'm not very "touchy feely" when it comes to discussing my innermost feelings.  However, I've decided that I need to do something a little more from time to time.  (Don't worry, there will still be plenty of corny jokes and random thoughts forthcoming.)

I was raised in church, and became a Christian at a young age. I've kind of "coasted" in my faith for a long time.  It's not that I'd turned away, or stopped following Him at all, but I hadn't been growing as a Christian-I was just kind of rooted in place-still praying, still believing, but not knowing where to start with Bible study (although I was reading it), and not being very faithful in my church attendance.  That started to change a couple of years ago, very slowly.  God's been working on me, and I need a lot of work!  I've always said that if God wants to tell me something, He pretty much has to hit me over the head with it, and that's been happening more and more frequently.  I've started to refer to these times as Wow Moments.  I've decided that I would like to share some of these Wow Moments here-I pray that they will encourage or inspire others in some way, but if not, at least by recording them, I'm allowing myself not to forget them. 

My Connection Group/Bible Study Group for church is doing James MacDonald's Gripped By the Greatness of God. I've already had several Wow Moments in this study, and we are only in Chapter 3!  It's dealing with Isaiah, which I find is a difficult book to read, so this study is really helpful. Today, as
 I was catching up on the week's devotionals (yeah, I was behind-refer to the title of the blog, LOL), I ran across this verse:
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.  Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:15-16 

Now, this was written long before Jesus was ever born, but envision Jesus' nail scarred hands.  Picture Jesus looking at His hands, and thinking of you with love-because he DOES think of you with love!  He has inscribed us on the palms of his hands because he loves us THAT much.  Not because we deserve it, or because we've earned it, because we never could, no matter how "good" we are.  God, the creator of the universe and every living thing in, it cares about our problems(small, large, whatever)-yes, we'll still have problems, but he will be there with us in our trials, holding our hands, loving us, and guiding us if we listen hard enough, and wait upon Him.  Waiting is the hard part-but things happen in God's perfect time, as part of His perfect plan-He is sovereign.
If we wait, God has this promise for us:
"Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles.  They will run and not get tired." Isaiah 40:31

The next time you are worried, or lonely, or feel unloved or insignificant, remember Jesus' nail scarred hands, and rest in the comfort and overwhelming joy at the fact that He has written your name there if you are a follower of Him.  He hasn't forgotten you, and He loves you unconditionally and always will!

This particular topic isn't new to me, really, I know that God loves me, but that first verse, combined with an image of Jesus' hands, really overwhelmed me all over again with how much He loves me, and the huge significance of what He's done, despite my imperfections.  It was a major Wow Moment!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

Tomorrow is Pi Day, you know, Pi, 3.1475blahblahblahwhocares-THAT Pi. Apparently, people (really nerdy ones, I would guess) celebrate Pi Day.  If you didn't know this, then congratulations, you probably aren't a geek! The only reason I know, is because I am a member of the fan page for the tutoring company that I work for on Facebook (which makes me a geek anyhow, as my coworkers like to point out), and they posted some ideas for celebrating Pi Day with your children.  Fun.  I'd comment on those ideas, but I didn't exactly read them, because I was too busy rolling my eyes and snickering sarcastically.  I do that a lot.  Plus, it's more fun to imagine my own ideas for a Pi Day celebration.  Just think, you could invite all of your "mathy" friends-you know, the acountants, actuaries, and engineers.  That's a recipe for fun party right there! You could pass out pocket protectors and fistfulls of freshly sharpened number 2 pencils at the door, with a sweet new graphing calculator as the door prize.  Of course, games would involve contests to see who can solve equations with Pi the quickest, pie eating contests, and circle dances.  At 3:14 (am or pm, your choice) everyone could solemnly recite the digits of Pi, while marching in a circle.  Yawn.  Ok, I'm getting bored just imagining it, so I don't think we'll be celebrating this year.  However, if there's a Cake Day (with no math involved), then I'm all over it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Is it just me, or do you....

  • have an "overflow" trashbag beside the trashcan sometimes? There are times, when I'm too lazy busy to take out the trash, so I just put out an extra trashbag for the overflow.  Do other people do this? I hope so.... I'm a working Mom with busy kids to shuttle around-things slide, sometimes. I actually had to explain to one of my kids today that putting trash ON the trashbag isn't the same as putting trash IN the bag. 
  • sort of forget how old you are, and then get shocked when you are reminded of your age in some way?
  • get embarrassed when you pick up your kids at the bus stop or school, because you are afraid other people will notice how messy the inside of your vehicle is? I have Messy Minivan Amnesia.  I rarely remember that it needs to be cleaned unless I'm in it.  I have great intentions of throwing away the Starbucks cups, Coke can, fast food bags, Sunday School papers, straw papers, etc., while I am actually IN the car, but once I slam the door, my mind has moved on to other things.  If it weren't dark and raining, I'd send my kids out there now with a trashbag-it's mostly their stuff, anyhow.  (Ok, so the coffee cups are mine...)
  • think of something witty to post as your Facebook status only after you've posted some boring, mundane, thing?
  • wish you'd tried harder to talk your husband into having another child before you both got older? My husband and I are done having kids.  *I* don't want to be done, but he was ready to be done right after our second was born.  To be fair, he is more than seven years older than me-some of the people he went to school with are grandparents now, so he's ready to move on to the next stage.  I, however, just don't have that feeling of completion-I think I'll always regret not having a third.  I even miss Barney, for Pete's sake! When I was in the waiting room at the OBGYN the other day, I got a little...I can't think of the right word....emotional? sad? wistful? freaked out? when I couldn't find any other magazines to look at besides pregnancy and baby mags, and Senior Living magazine.  I couldn't find anything for the "in between years". I guess I'll have to put my uterii (yes, plural uterus-story for another day) in retirement.
  • have virtually no socks that don't have holes in them? I don't know how this happened-some of them are almost new!  Does one hole-y sock spoil the whole drawerful? Maybe one sock had sock leperosy, and the others caught it.  Yes, this is what I sit around thinking about on a Friday night.
  • discuss your Farmville farms with your coworkers?
  • not understand why everyone thinks Johnny Depp is so hot? I find him cringe-inducingly icky, kind of like the white Prince.  (It's probably just me!)
  • feel mildly guilty and unhip because you have no interest at all in food or photo blogs? Snore. I really don't need to see 10 softly lit, artsy pictures of someone else's cupcakes.  Sorry.
  • write entire blog posts in your head, yet can't think of a thing to write when you sit at the computer?
What are your "is it just me, or's"?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Catching Up

No, I haven't abandoned my blog.  I keep meaning to post, but honestly, there hasn't been much to write about.  We've had a lot going on, but the entertainment value of it all isn't very high, so I've kind of been hoping something funny would happen, so I'd have an interesting topic.  No such luck, so you are stuck with a "catching up" type post.

Saturday was the annual school carnival.  In addition to the carnival style games and crafts that they usually have, the auxilary gym was set up with inflatables this year.  Having already spent most of their tickets on the games, my kids only had enough tickets left for one inflatable.  The jousting game caught our attention first.  On top of a flat, square inflatable were two pedestals where kids stand with stuffed, long stuffed sticks and try to knock their opponent off their pedestal. My kids really wanted to do this, and I thought it would be fun for them, too.  I mean, really, what Mom doesn't want to see their kids take a few whacks at each other in a controlled environment? (Just me? Really?! Huh.) Unfortunately, my son wasn't old enough to play, so we decided to find something they could both do.  Our attention turned to a long caterpillar inflatable-I snickered to myself when I saw it.  Not because the caterpillar was wearing socks and tennis shoes on it's many feet, but because the caterpillar had......... a butt.  With butt cheeks hat the children crawl out from between as they exit the caterpillar tunnel! For real! For some reason it struck me as really funny, although none of the other parents seemed to be amused.  (That happens to me a lot.) My children paid their tickets and crawled through the caterpillar's mouth, as I stationed myself with my camera poised to take their pictures as they came out the end.  A dad waiting for his kid gave me a funny look-I'm not sure why.  How can a person NOT take a photo of their child being pooped out of a caterpillar?  I'd post the pictures, but they didn't come out very well. Good times.

On Sunday, I got to have a "Mom's Afternoon Out".  My work friends and I went to see Footloose at the dinner theater.  I have to confess that I am one of the few 30-somethings in the world who has never seen the movie, but the show was enjoyable.  The cast did a good job, but it was kind of hard to pretend that the women in their 30's and 40's were teenaged girls, and Rand (who was probably about 30, too) seemed like he was more interested in boys than girls, so his character wasn't very believable as the cool, ladies man, either.  Still, it was fun to watch, and I'm anxious to go back in a month or so when they perform Hello Dolly, and again in the summer with my daughter to see High School Musical.

After the fun of the weekend, Monday and Tuesday were a blur, as I was busy back at work.  Yesterday, I had to go to the Lady Parts Doctor, which is never fun anyhow, but even less so this time, since I found out that I will need to have a "procedure" soon.  It's really not a huge deal, but there is a (very) small cause for concern, so I was pretty anxious.  I realized something about myself yesterday-when I'm worried about something, I tend to downplay it to others when I talk about it, so that they won't worry, too.  I don't really know if it's because I honestly don't want them to be afraid, or if it's because *I* need them to not be worried, so that I will be able to feel more confident myself. I'm not a very strong person, so the latter is likely the real reason. I gave it all over to God last night, and I'm actually not worried at all about it today-it's so relieving to be able to just lay it down at His feet.  Typically, when I "give" something to God, I tend to keep trying to "take" it back, but this hasn't happened yet.  Someone is obviously praying for me.  I know it probably sounds corny and trite, but yesterday my prayer was "Jesus, hold my hand", and He really is.  faith is a wonderful thing.

I know, the picture doesn't have anything to do with my post. It's my son yesterday at Cub Scouts.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The "Bethmobile"

Having never owned a brand new vehicle, I've driven many a...ummmm...."quirky" car.  My current vehicle is a seven year old minivan that makes several embarrassing noises when I turn or stop.  Rattles, whines, and when it's damp and cool (which seems like about 75% of the year here!), it shreiks. Fun.

My first car, in 1992,  was a 1980 Thunderbird. I would love to own a current model Thunderbird, they are sporty and cute, and awesome.  Likewise, are the earliest Thunderbird models from the 50's.  However, there was a long stretch of time where the Thunderbird was less sporty and cute, and more serviceable, and.....boatlike.  The '80 Thunderbird looked like the quintessential "Granparent" car.  In fact, it was my Grandma's car-my parents bought it from her for me to drive. That is not my car in the picture, mine was a darker, very faded, maroon.  I drove it to school my Senior year of high school, and even though it was decidedly uncool, I was glad to not be riding the bus, finally.  I had Cadet Teaching for my last class of the day, and I would have to leave my class before about 15 minutes early, just so I could warm up my car.  In the Springtime. When it was warm out.  Mmmmmmhmmmmm.  Otherwise, it would die 4-5 times as I backed up.  On days when I didn't have Cadet Teaching, kids behind me would be honking their horns as I stopped and started all the way out of the parking lot. Ahhhh...good times. 

Actually, lots of good times were had in that car, most of them innocent(ish).  One good thing about  the cars from this era, were the size of the engines.  This baby had a v8 engine-something that no 17 year old with a brand new license really needs.  I used to tear around on the back roads flooring this monster.  (Oh, the foolishness of youth!) The shocks were usually busted (you'll see why, soon enough!), so whenever it hit a bump, the car would kind of rock back and forth several times.  My best friend, Angel,  and I thought it was great fun to hit bumps on purpose to make the car sway.  Hey, we had nothing else to do, and no money other than the $5 we'd put in the gas tank.  She was the pastor's daughter, and I was a good, church-going kid, so this was pretty much the most rebellious we ever got.  Angel was the friend who dubbed my car the Bethmobile, and it stuck.

Around here, there used to be lots of railroad tracks.  Many of them were pulled up in the early nineties, leaving only the built up enbankments across the road where the track used to be.  I would be screaming down a country road, windows down, radio blasting the Black Crowes, or whatever, and hit one of these embankments doing about 60.  (I was stupid, I know!)  We were always thrilled when the car would catch a little air, and then land, rocking back and forth somewhat violently for the next couple of minutes.  Of course, you know we had to let out a couple Dukes of Hazard style "Yeeeee-haaaaawwws!" during the action.  We were dorks, what can I say? I knocked off many a tailpipe this way.  ("I don't know HOW it happened, Dad!")   I have a feeling that my Dad *did* have an idea of how I kept knocking off tailpipes, but to my memory, I don't think he ever complained.

This was the car the that same friend and I would take to the drive in. One evening, we decided that we wanted to see what the big deal with smoking was.  We had no intention of taking up smoking, but we were dying to try it.  It was an experiment, really. She was already 18, so she bought the cigarettes at a Clark gas station, after a very long time spent working up her nerve.  (She was a pastor's kid, remember?)  She dragged me in with her, and we felt like everyone was starring at us.  Guilty much? Actually, they probably were, we both looked more like 14 year olds than 17 and 18.  Anyhow, we bought the cigarettes, and drove off to the old Clermont Deluxe drive-in.  At dusk, we rolled down the windows and lit up, thinking we were hot stuff.  We both expected that we would be coughing, gagging, getting sick, or whatever, since we had never smoked before.  When that didn't happen, we both thought we were pretty cool, and we wondered to each other what the big deal was.  It wasn't until a couple of years later that I realized that we hadn't been inhaling properly-that's why we didn't get chocked up.  See? We were so non-rebellious that we couldn't even smoke correctly!

Lots of sunny, summer days were spent driving around in this car.  Heading to church youth group trips, going on dates (very few of those for me, LOL), driving friends to basketball games, or just going nowhere, burning gas for the heck of it.  While I'm glad that I no longer have that car (it was such an ugly mess!), I'll always remember it fondly. RIP Bethmobile, in whatever junkyard you now make your home. 

What was your first car? What memories do you associate with it?

For the record, I am now a very cautious, responsible driver, and have remained a non-smoker, LOL!

Car picture came from here:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Breakfast of Champions (if by "Champions" you mean kinda chubby, mostly sedentary, Moms)

This is the breakfast that says "I give up.  Maybe.  Sort of."  Kind of like when I order my coffee with skim milk, and then add whipped cream, or when I order a cheeseburger and fries with a Diet Coke.  What's the point?  One make me feel better about the other, I suppose.
In my defense, I didn't eat the whole box of cookies-I've got to save some for tomorrow!
(By the way, these are the *best* Girl Scout Cookies!)
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