Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My New Blog Designs...

Just wanted to send a huge thank you and shout-out to my wonderful friend, Amanda, for her work on designing my new blog!  She even designed the title bar.  Don't you just LOVE it!?!?  I do!!  I am so thrilled!

I just thought while I was sending her a shout out, I would share my thoughts about her.  I am in a list mood today, so here we go again with another list!

1.  LOVE her blog.  It is profound, intelligent and filled with hope.  I sat and read her blog for like 12 hours straight.  It was like reading a novel on someone's life...it is AMAZING to see her journeys through life.

2.  I have massive respect for Amanda.  She carried herself with an air of grace that I have never seen out of anyone before.  I have such admiration for her...I really would aspire to be half the woman she is!

3.  What a writer!  What a gift God has given her!

4.  What a mother she is to her children!  

5.  Amanda is so compassionate.  I think she embodies the verse, Corinthians 1:4 to the fullest.  

6.  We are in the same CG, and I had shared a prayer request for one of my children.  OF COURSE when we started praying about it as a group, I got a little sniffly.  We hardly knew each other at this point, and in such a tender way, reached over and held my hand for the rest of the prayer.  Ugggg..the tears well up even as I type and remember that moment!  It was so caring and gentle...a sweet, sweet moment for me.  

7.  I am SO proud to call Amanda my friend.  She is one of those women that I know God has placed in my life for me to aspire to be like...

8.  Seriously, I think she posts the funniest FB comments.  So is so funny.

9.  She has a lot on her plate, but she is always calm and steady.  

10.  She once bought me a starbucks to work.  It was SO kind!  Made my week to know that someone thought of me.  Makes me smile now even thinking about it.  

I really am thankful for my friend, Amanda!!!


A day's worth of Honest Scrap

Wow!  So I guess since both my pals, Holly and Diane (BOHANNAN!!!!)  bestowed the Honesty Scrap award to me, I thought I would put a little spin on my second posting...  I will be honest about my day today!  

1.  I did not want to wake up this morning.  I am sure most people would agree with me on this one, but the honesty kicks in here:  I negotiate with myself.  I think things like this, "Okay, I will snooze until the next odd number ending in a 7."  Or one of my favorites, "I will just lay here until I reach a number that is prime while also even."  I know.  Craziness....and it doesn't help that I am trying to figure out numbers at 5:30 in the morning anyway!

2.  It AMAZES me that after much thought, efforts, organization, crying and screaming (on my part!)--there is always one child that cannot find his shoes, backpack, sock, toothbrush or underwear that has the pattern and preferred fit in the morning.  I feel like my eyes bulge out of my sockets every morning before 7:30.  I am totally not kidding.  But in my defense, try getting ready for work, getting the younger two ready for the nanny, older two ready for school, 4 lunches, 8 shoes, 80 teeth to brush, etc, etc, all by yourself every single day--and get to work before 8:00.  Not complaining...just saying!  (Side note:  it is always the same child that can never find his stuff too!) 

3.  I checked with Eric (my go-to-guy for spiritual questions) and he agreed that it is okay I do not do my devotional in the morning (see above for explanation!)   I should do it when I can give my best, and be open to what God is telling me through quiet time.  

4.  When I am at work I think I go into a zone.  Several people have commented on it...so sorry!  I get very serious and focused, and I forget to smile and be the fun person I can be.  I think I did this today...yikes!   Good thing everyone up there likes me anyway! 

5.  Okay...here is a good one.  Being very honest here.  Due to several bad ear infections, and also having 4 boys, I am slightly hard of hearing... especially when there is other noises other than what I focusing on.  Today, one of the guys was saying something to me, I totally couldn't hear what he was saying, so he said it again.  Still did not hear him.  So I just smiled and went and sat down at my desk.  He was probably asking me a question too.  sigh...

6.  Talked to Martha (wink wink) on the phone at work today...and I didn't rush the conversation either.  I have piles of work to do, but I took my 10 minutes and laughed and giggled and felt very happy.

7.  Once I leave the office at 3, it is non stop until bedtime.  I have no idea where the time goes.  It seems like this is a "non-time period."  It is the strangest thing.  It is the black hole of the day. 

8.   We went to Target to grab stuff to make dinner tonight.  We have a standard two-cart trips. One cart hold the little boys, the other cart holds the bread and stuff we are buying.  We have a crazy, crazy method of how we operate when in stores.  Very militant.  I guide the group, pushing the little boys, Noah follows me pushing the groceries, while Caleb helps steer Noah's cart when needed.  Today was different.  Caleb wanted to push the grocery cart.  I do not like change, but I was trying to be a good mother and easy going.  (I am NOT easy going, so I don't know why I bother trying!)  Let me just end this paragraph by telling you it REALLY hurts when the shopping cart runs into the back of your heal for the 10th time in 4 minutes.  why 4 minutes you ask?  After 4 minutes, Noah was back in charge of the grocery cart, and my eyes are bulging out of their sockets once again.

9.  I love my new SUV.  It has changed my life!!  I love the space!  But the funny thing is, now we have a whole extra row of seats, and all the boys still cram into the same row!  What's with that?!

10.  I really don't like sharing my drink.  All the boys always ask me for a sip of whatever I may be drinking at the time.  I always feel stingy for saying no...so I end up saying yes.  So what happens?!  When I go for a drink of MY drink it is always gone.  I am sitting here staring at an empty water bottle that I just opened.  I think my eyes are starting to bulge again...


Friday, December 12, 2008

You love me, you REALLY love me!

I won!  I won!  Thanks to Holly Peterson (www.holpertson.blogspot.com) bestowed this wonderful Honesty Blog award on me.  I am so excited....so here I go.  10 Honest Things about Me:

1.  I am so competitive.  We have discussed this before...but just to reiterate, I am crazy competitive.  In fact, when called Sandi to tell her about this "award"--I had to hurry up and post before she did!  And just to take it one step further in my honesty, when I saw that I was listed AFTER Kelly Jones (LOOOOVE HER!) I was secretly bothered...but at least I made the first line, right?

2.  I over think EVERYTHING. Just ask Eric Colquett.  I drive him nuts in the office...  

3.  I have a secret joy in driving Eric nuts in the office.  Bwahh-hahahaha......  (that is my evil laugh, could you tell?!)

4.  I love practical jokes.  love, love, love jokes.  Without naming names, I had a fake snake in the office and SOMEONE screamed like a girl.  Bwahh-hahahaha....

5.  I have a crazy fear of my children doing drugs...so I made them watch Intervention on A&E...yeah, I doubt they will ever do drugs.  Or even white tic tacs, because they look like drugs. 

6.  I get really nervous when people help me...or even offer to help.  If I accept the help, I cancel at the last minute 90% of the time.  But the Lord has put great friends in my life that don't really care if I am nervous.  They insist.  That, or Sandi will accept on my behalf.  Poor Rachel Bruce offered to take my boys to school on Fridays (my off day) so I could just stay at home with the little dudes.  I kept saying, "no, no no..."  and Sandi walked up mid-conversation, and said, "what in the world? " turns to Rachel and makes all the plans.  haha...

7.  I NEVER try  clothes on in the store. Ever. Why you ask?  don't ask. 

8.  I have an unhealthy love of makeup.   It's really bad, people...REALLY bad, I tell you.  In fact, I think I am going to start my own makeup review on my blog...because I have tried it all!

9.  Interesting fact:  I won first place in a photography contest in the state of Kentucky.  My photo hangs in the Cincinnati Airport.

10.  I pray for my children--I pray that God will be their center.  I pray that they will find and be confident in their purpose for Him.  I pray that they will know, and surrender themselves to the gifts God has given them.  

Friday, November 21, 2008

Great moment in my life...



I wish I had a way to even begin to tell you what a special moment and gift I received a few weeks ago. I had helped Brandon and Brian plan a trip to Washington D.C. for the series "Letters to the New President." I had mentioned to Brian that my father was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Due to some family drama, my older brother and I have never gotten to see where our father is buried.

I was incredibly touched and honored when the guys came back from their incredibly busy trip and showed me some wonderful photos they took of my dad's grave. Poor Brandon, I had to literally run out of his office before I went into the ugly, squeaky cry. Seeing it, was so much more emotional that I had anticipated.

That following weekend, I was sitting in church, and watched the bumper for the series, and to my TOTAL shock, Brian (bless his heart) included my dad! My sister-in-law, Kylie, and my boys sitting with me, all looked at me and say, "That's it!" It was just such a full-circle God moment in my life. I cannot even begin to tell you the emotions that have swept over me...I feel that these leaders in my life, took care of me. I felt so touched that they loved me (in a sense) to give me a gift that is beyond description. I feel that God was saying to me, "I have you right where I want you. These leaders, this church, these people are your family."

The magnitude of what they gave to me I could never even begin to express. I have watched this video almost every single day since. My favorite part is after the grave is shown, the next clip is of two people, one who has their eyes covered. It chokes me up every time because it just seems so symbolic of my older brother and I.

**And just as a side-note, Kara Baggett (love her!) asked me the following weekend, if my Jimmy was named after my Dad, James.... I was so proud to say yes!



#6

Actually, to be honest...this post could actually be #1.  I questioned even if I should include this one in my lineup.  I will try and write this post as delicately as possible....and you will understand why after reading it.

Have you ever watch the movie "Father of the Bride?"  My all time favorite movie series EVER.  Love it.  Practically have the whole movie memorized!  If you are familiar with the movie, you know FRANK, who is the crazy wedding planner played by Martin Short.  Short adapts a funny accent which also consists of the intermixing of incorrect vowels pronunciation.  For instance:  Tap would be pronounced with a long a, so it sounds like "top."  Now that I have explained this, one with my humiliation...


Once again, I am in my wonderful office setting.  It is my boss's birthday, and as per office tradition, we always get birthday cake.  Of course, since I am the only female in the office, I thought I would serve the cake.  I make the announcement over the intercom for everyone to gather around the conference room table...as these engineers file in one by one, I decided to try and lighten the mood with my WONDERFUL sense of humor.  Great move on my part. (read: sarcasm at it's fullest.)  And on a little side note...the typical engineer does not appreciate my sense of humor either.  Anyway, I start serving the slices of cake, and decide on a whim to talk like Frank.  "Would you like some cake?" I say in my funny accent.  I notice the guys are getting quiet, and there is an odd sense of awkwardness in the room.  I look around to make sure my dress hasn't fallen or something like that (please see previous posts explanation of my paranoia.) but I see nothing...so I am good, RIGHT?!?

 "Cake for anyone else?" still being 'funny' with my accent.  In that moment, I had an epiphany of what was actually coming out of my mouth.  If you say CAKE with the pronunciation I mentioned in the forward, you will quickly understand what was REALLY coming out of my mouth in front of 30 male coworkers.   Go ahead...sound it out.  Cake with a long a.  *WARNING: do NOT sound this out loud!

Yep.  That's right.  THAT is what I was saying with such humor over and over again.  Cake with a long a.   

Me and my stupid mouth.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just thankful...

I totally hit a brick wall of emotion yesterday.  Complete meltdown, no kidding.  

BUT:

Through out the day, I received random phone calls, emails and texts from my sweet friends.  One, especially from my buddy, Stephanie Minor, that just blew me away.  I am so glad and humbled that God has put such wonderful friends in my life that care about me, and are respond when God put me on their heart.  I needed all the encouragement that I could get yesterday...and I got more than what I thought I needed.

Love you all....and thanks.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

#7

I had my husband's  (VERY conservative) Aunt and Uncle over to our house one night.  Of course I was in full-on-stepford mode...making dinner, trying (with every bit of who I am!) to keep the boys clean and clothed. (If you know my boys, you KNOW their desire to strip in the oddest of places and the worst of times.)  

With a pat on the head, I send Noah (5 at the time) off to brush his teeth before bed.  I begin to clear the dinner plates, and I see Noah come running from the bathroom, gagging.  (I feel the on-set of panic...)  I jump over to him to try and attempt to calm him before he frabs in front of everyone.  (Because THAT would be embarassing...as I say with the rolling of my eyes)  Before I reach him, he throws something across the room and says, "That toothpaste is GROSS!"

At that same moment, I hear an almost-inaudible, "oh, my."

I look to see what my husband's elderly aunt was looking at with horror:  Sitting at the base of the uncle's feet was the tube of 'toothpaste' my son had thrown....expecting to read Colgate, or Crest, I see the one word that made me share the feelings of horror:

MONISTAT. 

My therapist started charging me double soon after this...




#8

Grace is NOT at all something that I am known for...in fact, I think I would be described as quite the opposite!  

Case in point:  I was coming down the escalator in a mall (during busy Christmas days, of course).  A stroller, 3 and 5-year old are just not a good mix.  I know this...  I warn the boys the closer we get to the bottom to be careful...pay attention...DONT FALL.  So what do I do!?!?  I FALL!  And it was not a normal fall, my friends.  This was the mother of all falls...

...On my back (I have no clue how this even happened!) my legs fly up in the air (I saw my knees, just to let you know how bad it was) and the legs proceed to go OVER my head and touch the ground behind me.  Yes, that is right...just take a moment and get a visual  of the rude position I was in....I didn't know that I was that flexible!  It was so bad, that I think my brain went into slow motion, and I remember thinking, "hmmm...if I just keep with the motion, I can do a backwards somersault and shout 'ta-da' and maybe people will think I meant to do this."  

I really don't remember what happened next, except I guess someone helped my twist out of my craziness, and I think I made an attempt at a joke, but that fell just as flat as I did!  

As I scurry from the mall as fast as I could push the stroller and drag the kids...my precious kindergarten age, Noah says:

"Mommy made 'V' with her legs."




Monday, October 27, 2008

#9 Most Embarrassing Moment

I am feeling a rush of emotions as I begin to type this next post.  Dread, dire humiliation, sorrow for those involved, and of course: embarrassment.  So, lets hurry up an get this over with!

I am 9 months pregnant with my second child, Caleb (as I type this I notice a trend...), and for some reason (shockingly) I was alone in the house with little Noah, who was just under 2 years old at the time.  Before I go on, let me just tell you about my precious Noah:  He has the ability to frab (in consideration of Sandi, we will just use that word instead of barf) at the worst possible moments.  

So, it is 9:00 at night, and Noah had, for whatever reason, frabbed.  In order to save the carpets, I positioned myself to be a human sacrifice.  Completely grossed out I stripped myself of all the clothing and dumped them straight into the washing machine.  (side note, the washer and dryer are located right beside the front door of the army housing where we lived...GREAT design plan.  really.)  

Anyway, (of course, my luck!) so happens some person knocks on the door just as soon as these events occur...  I had absolutly no intention of answering the door, and (thank the good Lord) pulled my just washed non-maternity robe out of the dryer...when I see Noah fling open the front door to reveal my male neighbor.  Panic arises in my throat at the awkwardness of him seeing me in my robe...but I assure myself that it is him who should feel awkward for obviously interupting me at a bad time...and BESIDES my robe almost touched the ground, so I was covered, right?  (Please insert the rolling of my eyes at this moment.)

I calmly greet him, while keeping my arms folded over my chest to ensure there would be no gapping of the robe (because we MUST be modest, right ladies?)!  He just stands there and looks at me with an expression on his face that cannot be classified with words.  

He looks at me.

I look at him.

Finally he askes me if this is a bad time, and I respond with some generic answer, beginning to get  annoyed that he is acting so weird and taking up my time.  I see his face getting red and he mumbles something about coming back later.  Totally annoyed now, I close the door, gently scold Noah to never open the door again, and walk upstairs to take a shower...only to be greeted with my reflection in the full-leangth mirror.  And my friends....I now understood this poor (now scared) man's facial expression.  My non-maternity rob did a GREAT job of covering up my chest.  However, everything belly and below was WIDE open.   Let me just tell you...it was NOT pretty.  To those people that say when a woman is pregnant, that is when she is sexiest...liars!  Trust me, there was nothing "radiant" or "glowing" about me at this moment (unless you count the reflection of the bathroom lights on my stretch marks!)

I totally lose it and call my husband in hysterics.  I explained what happened and this is how he responded:

"Whoa...and I know you haven't even shaved you legs in like a month.  Rough."  

Just poor lemon juice on my paper cut, why don't you?!

...and so began my therapy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Most Embarrassing moment #10

On the heels of my Keystone Staff shout out, I realize that I should post another promised blog...the dread 10 most embarrassing moments of my life.  Instead of a list (which I LOVE lists!) these deserve their own posts.  It has taken me a while to build up the courage to even post some of these...but seems my therapist thinks it will help me get over my issues.  haha...

#10:

Right after the birth of my second child, Caleb, I returned to work at a high-level military office where I was an assistant to a full-colonel and his staff.    Now, before I go on, let me just say one thing, that I am sure other moms will back me up on: You go through phases after you birth a baby, one of which is feeling some-what skinny and excited that you can fit into normal clothes that were not made out the same material and patterns that make tents.  (This SHORT phase is then followed by a period of feeling fat...this phase lasts...well, I am not sure if it ever goes away!) But on with the story:

I was feeling rather thrilled that I was able to wear a silky long skirt that had a cute tie waist.  Of course, these are the days before spanx, so I wore a very sexy pair of control top nude pantyhose with reinforced toes just to smooth things up a bit.

This skirt was GREAT...light weight, flow-y, blah blah blah.  I had slight troubles with the tie waist, only because is was so silky that it didn't stay tied, but no big deal, right??

(I know you know what is coming!)

So I leave my office and prance (enjoying my non-pregnant walk!) down the hallway, I pass a retired general that I worked with, I smile and say hello...only to hear in retort,

 "WHOA!!!  HEY!!!" followed by one of those wheezing laughs where only the first haaaaaaaa gets out.

I pause and begin to turn around, to see what the commotion was about...however, in mid-turn, I happen to catch my foot on something.  I look down, and I see my skirt PUDDLED around my feet!!!  He was "Whoa, hey"ing and doing the silent laugh at ME!!! 

Of course I bend over (on a gracious note to my blog readers, if this ever happens to you, NEVER BEND over...), scoop up my skirt and RUN the nearest bathroom (that happened to be the mens!) and sobbed there for an hour.

If you want to know what I was crying about, I will let you know.  It was not the fact my skirt fell, or the general saw it, I was so upset because all I could think was the fact that instead of normal underwear that day, I had decided to wear my purple MATERNITY underwear.  And let me go back to the beginning of the blog where I mentioned the control-top pantyhose....All you ladies out there that have ever worn maternity underwear, you know what I am talking about.  These are the grandmother of all granny-pannies.  And to have them crinkled up under nude pantyhose of a woman who is just a few weeks postpartum?!  

I disgraced all womanhood that day. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Now THAT is what I call a prayer walk!

You know, someone who shall remain anonymous (A-P-R-I-L C-O-L-Q-U-E-T-T), laughed today at church in disbelief of my stories of my life with 4 boys under 9.  Let my just tell you, friends...they are ALL true.  And I have my therapy bills to prove it!

Actually, this is a sweet little note about my Caleb. (Whom, I believe is a minister-in-training!)

He came home from school with a red mark on his forehead.  I casually asked what happened, totally expecting to hear that alien life forms came to Earth and tried to kidnap him, or maybe a football injury from recess when he made the winning touch down or something. 

But no!  This was his reponse: 

"I was praying for Mr. Rob's twin babies, and I ran into a wall."

Hmmm... laugh at the obvious, or bawl because my baby has the heart of angel?!?


Friday, October 17, 2008

hose whoas


You know your house is REALLY in need of cleaning when you walk into the living-room and your 2-year old is "cleaning" the house with a jet-sprayer attached to the outside garden hose.  Items hit:  Big Screen TV (don't tell my hubby!), popcorn ceiling (don't tell my inlaws!), couch (See below), and my face while I make a mad grab for the offending child.  


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Customer Care Outsourcing is stoopid

I would like to invite you into a conversation I had today with the Customer Care hotline of American Airlines:

Customer Care Agent:  "Good morning, my name is James, how can I help you?"

Me:  "Good morning, James, how are you?" (trying to start off on a positive note...)

Customer Care Agent: "I am sorry, ma'am, I don't understand the question, let me refer you to someone else.  Hold please."

Me: ... (stunned silence)


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keystone Shout-Out: Staff Edition

Do you remember the series called, "You Asked For It?"   I will divulge a little secret to you...there were a TON of questions about the Keystone Staff and the behind the scenes questions. 
Well, of course, this got me thinking about doing my own little blog about my favorite stafferies. (I totally just made that word up, but I like it, don't you?!  But if Beyonce can get "bootylicios" in the dictionary, I THINK stafferies is a shoo-in.)

Let's start with the Big Pappa himself...don't ya just love him?!? Even my grandmother who is hard-core Episcopalian loves him! (Brandon reminds us both of my wonderful (and perfect) brother, Mat.) What I really like and admire about Brandon is the undeniable passion for his mission from God. He is so passionate about bringing people the "a whole notha' level" in understanding God's love for us and our value in Him. Amazing stuff. I respect Brandon's leadership, creativity, and fact that he does not ever allow his position of authority to ever be about himself.  Of, course we all know about Brandon's bean quirk:  He eats NOTHING with beans.  No beans, ever....except for coffee beans.  I really don't know if I have ever met someone who loves Starbucks more than Brandon!  And, I must admit, that since he is like, the last person, besides myself that is still a fan of Survivor, just gives him bonus points in my book!  

Susan, Brandon's beautiful wife, is amazing. She carries so much on her shoulders, but you would never know it because she always, always has a smile on her face, and a hug for someone! (and the fact that she is related to Diane Bohannan and Anne Hernandez is so cool...I love me some Diane and Anne!) I would just like to note for the record, that Susan, like myself, also has 4 children. But Susan's waist is like the size if my ankle...can someone please tell me the fairness of that?!  And, to further the comparison, I once offered to help pick up and do any last minute jobs around the house before a prayer team gathering...(we mom's of four have to stick together!) I figured, if it was anything like my house before people come over, it would be craziness.  Mad dashes being made to throw things in closets, and in drawers, spraying the kids down with the hose, yelling at whoever decided open the bag of cheetos and proceed to do an Indian War dance on them in the middle of the (now non) white carpet.    Nope, I walk into Susan's house to complete calmness.  Everything was perfect!  I think I pulled out a broom and pretended to sweep...  Help vacuum the living room (and just on a personal note, when I vacuum at my house, the noises that follow are insane).  But the funniest thing was right before people arrived, Susan (ever the gracious one!) says, "Wow, Heather!  None of this would be ready if it weren't for you!"  At the moment, I made a mental note hide the sign that reminds the boys to 'wipe their feet before they go outside.'

Brian Burton. Dude. For real...maybe one of the smartest and talented guys I have ever met. But what sets Brian apart from most, is he has such a grace about him. I would make the broad statement that most men struggle with showing grace!  Christ had unending grace and showed it to so many... Brian really does a great job also, and I think so many of us admire that about him! I don't know if any of you have ever studied biblical history, or even the history of war...but when Israel went to war, God actually commanded them to put the worshippers at the battle front to LEAD the army as they faced their enemies. God set this precedence so that we will know how important it is to worship when WE face the enemy (I know I am digressing here, but stay with me!). So, my point is, that each weekend when Brian rocks it out on stage with the worship team (shout out, AB and BR!), he is leading us into our personal battles for that week against the enemy. That is quite a job, my friends. Plus, I always laugh when I see Caleb watch Brian...he thinks Brian is the coolest guy ever--Caleb has said on several occasions he wants to grow up to be like Brian and "sing to God on stage and wear cool glasses." Love it.

John...oh, that John! I once referred to him as a 'ham' (while he is on stage), and he corrected me and requested that I only refer to him as a Turkey. Everyone please take note!

Of course, then we have Mary. I have blogged about my pal Mary before...but she is truly fabulous.  

Rob! Rob reminds me of the cool older brother of a family. I have to say I am partial to Rob, he has shown such kindness to my boys, especially Aidan. As a mother, to have someone take the time to show compassion and affection to a child that can be deemed "difficult" is HUGE. My eyes well up with tears even thinking about it...my boys have such a void in their little lives for positive attention from the "father-figure", and Rob has hit the nail on the head when he gives my sweet Aidan a hug or let him do cool things like hang out in the storage room with him! Rob shows the compassion of Christ to not only my children, but to everyone who crosses his path. It is amazing to observe! A little funny thing that you may not know about Rob, is he has this really weird thing about stairs. He has to RUN down them. Not once, but every single time! I can attest to this because my desk sits right by the steps in the office, and when Rob comes down the stairs, I have to stop typing. Otherwise my typing would look like this: Woiayufnao afdiahhhhajaf daa ad.  


Okay, my faithful blog readers...the person who you voted that you wanted to hear the most about is...da da da daaaaaaaaaaaaa: ERIC! (Insert applause here)


I have to tell you, Eric is my homeboy. (Anyone want a shirt that says that?!) I am sure that Sandy Walker would back me up on this statement: Eric is the funniest one out of the bunch, hands down. In fact, I am laughing now thinking about how funny he is...actually maybe I am laughing at some funny events that have happened to him, but whatever. (Okay, I still crack up about Hunter punching him "you know where" one weekend, and I think the whole Little Camper's Volunteer crew was roaring in laughter. I must tell you this story in person. The facial expression was the most hysterical part!)  I have sat here for about 30 minutes now trying to type how much I respect Eric and appreciate his leadership in our church, but I CAN'T!  All I can picture is his face when he was in the midst of his pain...I can't stop laughing!


...and still laughing...


Okay, okay...I must focus.  I don't think there is much about Eric that we don't already know, or that I haven't blogged about already.  Oh course we know about the fact that he was in Future Farmers of America and proudly watches race car driving (the roar of laughter is beginning to swell up in my throat again!) but did you know that he sang at Carnegie Hall in New York in high school?  Actually, I joke around with Eric, a lot (mainly out of defense for his teasing of the stupid things I say!) but he is the glue that holds our office together.  He works very hard, and is doing amazing work for God.  Although I still blame him for the whole twitter-thing.  I just don't get it.

Sandy openly admits that Eric is her favorite...I, however, cannot...I like them all the same.  Okay, FINE, Eric is my favorite too...but only by default because Sandy and I always find ourselves totally cracking up about Eric.  Funny, funny Eric.  (Actually, just so you know, I think Eric is everyones favorite...Rob just told me the other day that Eric was Trey's favorite too...so join the ban wagon!)


I have to say, that I am SO blessed to have this job...I love Keystone, and as I think about the staff, I am just amazed at the passion that each of them have for Christ and their duties as part of the Body.  It is so inspiring!  









Monday, October 13, 2008

Grape of Wrath...

This Sunday, if you noticed I might have smelled like grape kool-aide, let me just give you a little tip on how you too can enjoy smelling like this ALL DAY LONG:

1.  Fill your iron with water from the little red cup in the kitchen.  

2.  However, please be SURE you grab the OTHER red cup that is filled with grape kool-aide instead.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Comments from the peanut gallery...

So, today I mowed the lawn. That's right, friends, I said I MOWED the lawn. Not something I enjoy doing by any means, but I did it. I am sure it was quite a sight for the neighbors to look at...between the stalling out, backfiring (and subsiquent screaming on my part) and almost wrecking the mower into the side of the house!

Upon completion of the job, I noticed my two older 'angels' standing with their hands folded across their chest shaking their sweet heads while they surveyed the yard. This is what I over heard:

Noah: There are somethings that should just be left up to us MEN.

Caleb: Yeah...just remind me to not let her cut my hair EVER.

Friday, September 26, 2008

ATTN: SANDI WALKER

dude, seriously. I know you are reading everyone's posts, yet no posts from you in quite a while. SERIOUSLY. What's up, yo.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Holly Peterson=Woman of Grace

I am sitting here sobbing. I can't stop!! I just read Holly's blog post, and well, you just need to read it for yourself:

http://holpeterson.blogspot.com

My heart literally hurts for the road that she and her husband have had to walk. I could not imagine how difficult this season must have been for her...but here is what leaves me stunned. I would have NEVER known Holly has struggled! I have never seen her less than upbeat. i have never seen her not giving of herself to others...whether on the Welcome Team, or Worship Team, or CONSTANTLY throwing baby showers for other women at Keystone. Through, I am sure, what was painful for her...she still gave of herself. Amazing. (Okay, the tears are starting again!)

While I read her post, I could not help but think the powerful ways that God is going to use her to teach other women. Not only women that struggle with infertility, but all of us! I am so completely inspired, by you, Holly...the grace you walk in, is amazing.

So, I could go on and on...but I must go to Walmart to get some Waterproof mascara. Gee, thanks, Holls!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Say a little prayer...

Hey, Friends...if you don't mind saying a little prayer for my precious Caleb this week, I know it will be well received.

Caleb suffers from severe dyslexia...it actually is so bad that it affects other areas of his life beyond the basic reading and writing difficulties. Needless to say, he has a hard time in school. Through a series of events and discussions and conferences sweet Caleb is going to go to 1st grade on Wednesday instead of his 2nd grade class.

Caleb is such an amazing kid, that he cried (don't tell anyone!) only for a few minutes, but quickly found things to be excited about! He will be the tallest kid in the class...and probably the fastest...which of COURSE means he "will always get to be running back when they play football during recess! Score!" Ahh...the mind of a football fiend.

Anyway...if you would just say a prayer for him and his courage this week, I would be so thankful. And if you see him at church this weekend, an extra pat-on-the-back or kind word would be SO appreciated.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Next time I am buying waterproof.

Note to self:

If you ever have a little (scratch that...HUGE) emotional breakdown, always, repeat: ALWAYS check your makeup before you take your boys to football practice. Otherwise, you will end up with the following question from a random 4-year old kid:

"Are you like, batman's girlfriend, or something?"

Of course, I just did a little fake laugh, and continue to sit clueless, until I catch a reflection of my self in one of the other football mom's Chanel (that are not fake!) sunglasses. And let me just tell you, it wasn't pretty.

Oh, and by the way...a big thanks to my older boys who said NOTHING!!!!!

hmph.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Keystone Shout-out ala duex

Due to popular demand, I have decided to write another Keystone Shout-out...

So I was thinking to myself, "hmmmm.." (I told you I always start a thought to myself with 'hmmm...' a very bad habit!). Anyway, so I was thinking who should I write about this time and all of a sudden a bright idea popped into this head of mine...only it turns out it was not a bright idea, yet it was the shining reflection of Jill Hand's white teeth! Dude, seriously...she could totally be in a dental hygiene commercial. She has the biggest, prettiest and whitest teeth I have ever seen. I secretly believe that she smiles so much not because she is so happy all the time, but because she wants to show off her pearlies!! All kidding aside, I love, love, love Jill! I just could not imagine anyone ever having a mean word to say about her...she just has the best heart, and kind spirit. Her husband totally cracks me up too...so funny.

So, of course, I then think about her mother, Susan Robertson. Wow, what a role model! Susan (I have to resist the urge to call her Mrs. Robertson!) When I think of her, all I can think of is the word GRACE. She speaks with grace, carries herself with grace, and just always seems to have it all under control. I just hope she never sees me in Walmart with all of my kids...yeah, needing some grace in those moments!!

Okay, so with the Walmart thought, I HAVE to tell you about when I first met Shelly Vandiver. (She is hysterical...) I was in Walmart with all 4 boys, in the cheese section, Jimmy is screaming (he has this thing about wanting to be held at the worst possible moments!), Aidan is leaning out of the cart somehow sticking his feet into the cheese blocks, and Caleb is swinging a mop  ju-jitsu style at Noah and almost hits this poor elderly lady in the head. I am sweating bullets trying to not to absolutely have a complete freak-out moment (which would have involved child protective services), and I hear a sweet voice say, "Excuse, me...do you go to Keystone Church?" I straighten up, and flip into Carol Brady mode, and somehow try to Stepford-laugh my way out of the next few minutes. But, Shelly loved me anyway. Now THAT is a true friend!! Not to mention Shelly wrote me the sweetest card and email I have ever, ever gotten in my life. She gets what I struggle with... it is amazing the people God puts into our lives! Shelly...we MUST hang out soon!

Speaking of hanging out...I always say I want to get together with Lindsay Arita. But we never do...sigh. But at least I have a texting buddy! Lindsay is a ton-o-fun. Well, not really a ton, I think she only weight about 90 pounds, which is the weight of my right leg! But whatever. I know a little secret about Lins...she can sing, sing, sing! I sat in front of her and Bryon (such a cool way to spell that name, BTW) at a Communion Gathering and she shocked me with her voice! (I can shock people with my voice too...but not in a good way! ha ha) Beautiful.

Have you met my friend, Amanda? She comes Saturday nights, and I normally sit with her in service and subject her to my singing and hand waving. I actually met Amanda at football practice for one of my kiddos. I thought she was WAYYYY too cool to ever be my friend, but I made small chit chat anyway...and then one night she came over and kept me company in the freezing cold as I sat with my kids by myself. We have turned into great friends since! She is so level headed and coooool. Yep...I am friends with the cool crowd. (haha...)

I need to tell you about my friend, Robin Hiscott, but she really deserves her very own post. If you have ever met her, you know what I mean! She has the craziest sense of humor, ever...and a very cool story. She has a special place in my heart.

Oh, I must, must, must mention Amy Bain. Woo-hoo! Sorry...just any time I think of Amy, I mentally shout woo-hoo. Amy has an amazing heart and joy that is unmatchable. i just don't know if I have ever seen her without a huge smile on her face. Plus, she is a little crazy...she dared (repeat: DARED!!) to take Aidan and Jimmy plus her two kiddos to Main Event one night while I was moving. It actually was very very sweet of her. I have such a hard time asking people for help, and during my move I really, desperately needed help! So she offered to help, and I accepted...then felt guilty and nervous so I called her back to tell her never mind...but she insisted! Sh even drove to my house to get the kids! Wow...forever grateful! That was huge for me! It helped so much! Thanks, girl...you rock!

Okay, and I have to end with my dear friend, Mary Coker. I am SO glad to have Mary as my friend! I am here to tell you, I think she is my smartest friend. If I am ever in a mental state where I could not make a decision for myself, I would totally have Mary speak for me! She is genius...and let me tell you, I would NOT mess with her either! She really should have been a lawyer...whew...I sat with her in a meeting when she was not happy with someone, and I got a little nervous for that guy! And, I totally admit, when I have issues at work and I have done all that I can do with whomever I am having issues with...I just go get Mary. She always says the same thing, "Let me talk to them." And the issue is settled promptly. End of story. I love it! I wish I had a lot more of Mary in me! But what makes Mary special is she has the kindest eyes, and the most caring spirit. There have been several times when I have been in a bummed mood and been FINE, but when she asks me if I am okay, I lose it! haha...poor Mary, I know I don't even make sense when I start bawling to her...I get all squeaky voiced and I babble...I may even possibly drool too...I know, that is a horrible image! But I blame Mary. I am really so thankful for her!! (insert cheesy grin here!)


Okay...enough for tonight. Coming soon: Keystone Shout-Out: STAFF Edition. Everything you secretly want to know about what I know about who you want to know about... You know?

Monday, September 8, 2008

...I'm baaaack. (insert crazy laugh here)

Wow...a month and a half with no blogging outlet! I have so much to say, and i have no idea where to even start! Here is a quick break-down (almost had one of those this week, BTW) of what has happened over the last few week. And of course, this is in a list, because we all know how much I love making lists! (shout-out, Melissa Montana!)

1. buried my macbook. Ouch, that even hurts to type that! Let's just say that macs, water, and little boys pouring water on them are not a good combo. More on this story later..

2. Craig came home... God is amazing--he wants to come home for GOOD in March!!!! (I don't think there are enough exclaimations for that sentence!) !!!!

3. !!!! (Sorry, still praising God over #2)

4. We moved houses. Ugggggg...hate hate hate moving. (you hear me, right, Angie?!) It was horrible. But we moved into my inlaws home, which is much bigger and has a HUGE backyard and a pool. So I am excited to say the least. Not to mention that it is literally right behind the church, so my office, the school and starbucks is all within a 2 mile radious. Who could ask for anything more?!

4. Did I mention Jimmy had to get stitches again...well, technically he was glued, but you know what I mean. I swear I heard the nurse say, "The D'Amico's are here AGAIN." I think we go to Cook's ER more than we go through any fast food place. No kidding.

5. I started an intense diet. But I have lost 20 pounds in 4 weeks. I actually am very proud of myself! I really struggle with my weight, so the loss of 20 pounds is very exciting for me. I am going crazy telling people too...some guy honked at me while I was sitting at the light on 1709 the other day...so I rolled down my window and told him I lost 20 pounds. I think he just wanted me to drive since the light was green...and I don't think he even spoke any english. But who cares, I lost 20 pounds!

6. More to come on this later too...but I just have to say I have some pretty amazing friends. Some of the best friends I have ever had in my whole life. I am so thankful to God for these people that he has placed in my life. You guys rock...thanks for being there for me. (even when I inhale my tissues between sobs....still laughing about that, Beth.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My weekend at Keystone...(Part One)

I actually just found this draft...I think I meant to post it a while ago... But whatever.



I must warn you...you are about to enter a dangerous territory: the ramblings of my brain.

Saturday Night:
It took us almost 13 minutes to get out of the car. Between digging in the car to find Caleb's other shoe (oddly enough we weren't able to find it by smell...), realizing Jimmy threw his sippy cup out the window somewhere on 1709, and Aidan had some sort of explosion causing a smell that I think alerted the Environmental Protection Agency. (Which I think is why we were not able to smell-out Caleb's shoe.) I think I was sweating by the time I actually got in the doors.

Saw John E...felt the urge to apologize again for Aidan ripping up the paint in the 4 year old room. (Don't ask...still emotional about that one!)

Saw Eric and Rob. I love those guys...I feel like they are like older brothers. Great guys.

Oh, and Angie! She looked FABULOUS in that red dress. I am thinking about starting a petition to force her to wear bright colors more. And she called me her "favorite Suki" I love her for that. (Beth...you know what I am taking about! Shout out to all my GG fans!)

Speaking of GG...Had a conversation with Angie about it, and I totally saw Eric roll his eyes. Lemme just say, I weigh about 200 pounds more than Eric, and I will throw down if anyone ever disses Gilmore Girls. And besides...He watches race car driving. Seriously. OH...AND he was in Future Farmers of America. So, hmph!

Robin is home! If you have not meet Robin--she is so fun. I am trying to get her blogging. She is hysterical.

Chatted with Diane (Bohannan!). I always feel relieved to see her...and she gives the best hugs. Seriously, love, love, love her!

Music was great. Loved that song Surrender. (I will buy anyone a Starbucks who helps me find out who sings that on iTunes).

Brandon's Message: awesome, as always...




Friday, July 25, 2008

It's the simple lessons in life...

You know, as a mother, I am constantly thinking about what profound lessons I need to teach my wonderful, angelic boys.  For example:

 "What the Holy Spirit is...and not what they THOUGHT it was (please see previous post, Church Germs, for details.)"  

or  

 the ever-occurring lesson of the cartilage structure of the nose (they have banded together and swear they can touch their brain when a finger in jammed in deep enough in the nose.)


"the 310 reasons NOT to punch your brother."  especially when above experiment is in progress.

But, alas...I have somehow overlook a lesson.   I am truthfully surprised I did not receive suggestions on this lesson in at least ONE of the "What to Expect When..." books.  So I have decided to take this opportunity to share this lesson with everyone.

Things that do not belong in the toilet (that were rotor-rootered out of my over-flowing toilet today...)

1. toothbrushes (especially your mothers...)
2.  bouncy balls (now illegal in the D'Amico house due to multiple findings)
3.  forks (I am kinda still nervous since I am still missing 3)
4.  blue crayons (I don't CARE if you saw your friends have blue water in their toilet!)
5.  number 5 is still a mystery since it could not be identified.  I think at some point it was either a GI Joe or maybe Superman. (I knew I should have never told them what people do when fish die...)

If you think I am joking, or exaggerating in any form, I will happily introduce you to my plumber...we spent quite a lot of time together today.  

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Angie, Angie, Angie...

So, with the upcoming birthday of our friend, Angie, I began to think of some reasons I was thankful for Angie:

1.  First person to say hello to me at Keystone.  (Isn't that cool...)
2.  She ALWAYS helps me look for the child that I am missing at the moment.  (This is beginning to be a weekly occurrence...very frustrating!)
3.  Angie actually was my very first blog subject ever...kinda freaky when I think about it!)
4.  She sings my favorite songs like an angel...Come Ye Sinners, None like Jesus...
5.  She loves OU.  Boomer Sooner, baby!!!
6.  GG.  (I think only she and Beth will understand that one!)
7.  She is all-knowing of FellowshipOne.
8.  She can sing in an australian accent.  (not so much thankful for that, but hey, it's cool)
9.  Angie is the chick that girls want to be, and all the guys want to hang with...she's cool like that.
10.  She sends me random texts during the week...and I love it!  (and between you and I and the internet...I really think she is just showing off that she can text at super speeds with her new iphone!!  I am on to you, sista!!!)

Simple list...but Happy Birthday, Friend!!!
 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I think God has His Holy Bullhorn to my heart again...

I just need to forewarn you of yet another serious post, but it has just really been on my heart for a few weeks now...

As I think about how much I love the family that I call Keystone, I cannot help but see how much pain and heartache passes through the doors of the church any given weekend.  While I know pain in life is expected, and I praise Him in those times because Paul tells us God's power is the strongest while we are at our weakness.  (I have personally experienced this in an amazing way!)  But what is pulling at the strings of my heart is how sometimes when I am at church I am all smiles and "make my rounds" to say hello with a quick hug.  As I sit here and blog, I am so sad to know that I have missed an opportunity to show God's love to people who needed it.  I get so rushed and scurry about (Jimmy in tow!) I do not slow down enough to REALLY ask how someone was doing... to really focus on how I can encourage them.  My heart has been sick while I think that I did not allow someone the time to really answer my question of, "How are you doing?"  

Interestingly enough, my devotion the other day was about Christ telling us to not dwell on the past, however focus on today.  I think God is shining his grace on me at this very moment to allow me the opportunity to learn more of what my mission is for Him.  I believe that God has absolutely set my heart on fire with a passion.  Although, I am not even sure what to word is for this yet...  maybe significance?  But I do know the point.  God does not want anyone to come into His house and leave without knowing of Him and everything He is...His grace...His compassion...His desire to call you His child and comfort you when you hurt.  God encourages us to gather in fellowship with one another for so many reasons, but one is to care for each other.  To encourage each other.  To comfort each other in times of grief as He has comforted us.  (I can literally feel the Holy Spirit screaming those words in the deepest part of who I am.) 

I sit here and think of how many wonderful friendships I have developed at Keystone.  Selfishly, I have thought that God has blessed me with these friends just, well...for just ME!  But tonight God has shown me there is more to why I have the friends that I have.  Most of my closest friends have such a strong walk, and faith that cannot be rivaled.  They have openly shared their stories of heartache and times they have had in the Valley of the Shadow.  And as I sit here God is showing me how through my wonderful, wonderful job at Keystone, along with the gifts that He has given me...how important it is to connect people who are in whatever valley they are going through at the time, to those who are singing praises at the tops of the mountain over looking similar circumstances God has seen them through.  

I know there are people in place at Keystone that are already doing this...I immediately think of Jan Franke (Love you, Jan!).  Jan knew of tremendous heartache I had, and literally took my hand and led me to someone who could possibly help...or simply encourage me, if nothing else!  I know God had this profound moment for me for several reasons, one of which is to help me understand and to experience (taste and see!) what God wants me to do for Him. 

God is just so amazing...I have no more words...just humbled, thankful and excited.  My heart has just been overwhelmed with sorrow the past few days hurting for those who hurt in our church.  But in the sadness, God is near (!) and is beginning to define what He has planned for me.  Amen!!  

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just sayin'....just sayin'


So my dear, sweet friend, Sandi, challenged Noah (who, let me reiterate is NINE) to a swimming contest.    
Does anyone ELSE see how far she is stretching out?!  And look how intense her expression is...let me once again reiterate my son is NINE!!!

And here is a sweet picture of Landon.  He is saying some thing to me...I can't remember exactly what, but I think it started with, "My mom" and ended with "cheated!"



Saturday, July 12, 2008

I am in Strike.

Note to my two blog readers:

I am on strike until Sandi (my soul-sista) posts another blog.  

STRIKE, I tell you, STRIKE!


God's Purpose for you and me...

If you are like me, you have heard that phrase over and over again while we grew up in church.  "God has a purpose for you."  

I think I heard it so much I became deaf to it for many years.  Sure, I believed He had a purpose for those "power hitters" and people that had obvious talents that they could use for God.  But what about me?  To be honest, I thought maybe I was somehow skipped when God was passing out talents and gifts!  I have no huge talent, or obvious callings (or so I thought!)...I was just me.   Just me...but with a desire (that left me frustrated with what to do with it.)  I have thought that if I were a women with influence I would lead other women.  If I had a voice that could carry a note (actually on key!) I would sing to praise Jesus.  If I were uniquely creative I would create for Christ.  But I just don't have those talents--All I have is a desire. 

But news flash!  That is what God wants!  He wants us to have DESIRE to serve Him.  This revelation was huge to me!  And as a side note, I know that in the Bible it has told us that God speaks to us in the silence. "God is in the gentle breeze."  But to get this message across to me, I think my Holy Father must have pulled out His Holy bullhorn to get His point into this thick head of mine!

So, in my journey to discover what "God's purpose for me" is, I realize the first thing we must do is submit to that desire to serve God.  "I have a passion to serve You, Lord....what do You want me to do with it today?"  I encourage you to pray that prayer if you question your point and are feeling a little lost.  It has done amazing things in my life!  Acknowledging and submitting to the desire to serve God has allowed me to hear the gentle whisper that God has placed in my heart.  I get chills thinking about what God has planned for me.  

And one more thing...If you are like me, feeling frustrated at a lack of obvious talent.  Allow me to point out that TALENT and GIFTS are different.  I thought for the longest time that they were the same...but more on that later.  It is good stuff!
  

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kodak Moments...


I took the boys swimming today, and Aidan (aka:  Handsy Bernard) got ahold of my camera,  so I ended up with a shot like this:

I kind of giggled at that, and then I scroll to the next "Aidan picture"  and I see THIS (Please note background!):





Which quickly resulted in THIS:


Sigh...caught by the camera.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

a mini Donald Trump...

Aidan: I'm hungry...

Me: I am not making you another sandwich.

Aidan:  You're FIRED!




An open THANK YOU!

I am not sure who left me a note on Jimmy's stroller this weekend...but thank you so much.  The words were amazing and SO encouraging to me!  I think I must have reread it about ten times since I have gotten home!  If you are reading this, please know how touched I am.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I think we all needed this little reminder this week!

Peace and a Pedi

Wanted:  A few moments of peace.

Needed:  A pedi.  (its a little rough down there right now, ladies!)

Anyone want to go with me??  

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Team Rinn!

Okay...so not to do a back-to-back commentary on my friends, BUT I totally am lovin' me some Bethany Rinn!  I LOVE how God gives us friends that are special right from the first time you meet. 

 I remember when I first saw Beth, I thought to myself..."Hmmm....I like her.  Yep.  Need to be friends with her!" (Side note: when I think to myself I always start with Hmmmmm....  for instance, "hmmm...I wonder who always puts the empty milk back in the fridge next to the empty bottle of juice."  or "hmmm....I wonder which child stuck the fake lizard in my sheets.")

Bethany is truly fabulous.  Always a beacon of joy.  How can one NOT be happy around her?!  I love being around happy people!  

And I must say that my kiddos love her husband, David!  Jimmy loved him so much that he wiped his boogies on him all night long.  When Jimmy loves ya, he lets you know in a BIG way!

And while we are on the subjects of David...I will totally admit I have an embarrassing story involving him!  I get a little pink in the cheeks even thinking about it.  It is one of those "open mouth, insert foot" moments.  I may have to save that post for another time...That post will be  my Top 10 embarrassing moments!  No kidding.  I almost cried with embarrassment.  And, not a shocker...I ran to tell Sandi about the stupid things that come out of this big mouth of mine, and she laughed!  Yep.  I laughed too...but one of those weird "I am really embarrassed so I better laugh before I cry" laughs!  It probably sounded a bit like Betty Rubble's laugh...ha ha.   

So, let me end my endless blabberings with:

 "Hmmm...God, thank you for Bethany Rinn."

P.S.  I am going to start selling Team Rinn T-shirts.  Your choice of color, $10.00.  Interested?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Inspired and thankful

I just have to say how proud I am to call Diane (Bohannan...sorry, HAD to say it!) a friend.  She is so special and has such an amazing call from God.  What makes her so unique and special is when she ministers to people she does not wave her hands and make a big deal out of it.  She is discreet, gentle and full of God's love and grace.  

Diane puts together Ladies Night Out every couple of months.  She always makes sure to invite everyone she knows, extends the invitation to anyone new to Keystone and tells everyone to invite more people!  She does this for fun but also with a quiet purpose.  Sometimes we get so caught up in hanging with JUST our friends, that we don't realize that there may be someone on the "outside looking in."  I talked to her once about it and she said that she had felt like that! (Hard to imagine, I know!) But what is so amazing about our sweet friend, is instead of feeling sorry for herself, she turns it into a ministry to ensure that no one else ever feels the same way!  WOW!  How inspiring on so many different levels!  Instead of trying to figure out where she belongs in a certain friendship circle, God has placed it on her heart to look outside of the circles.  

God has used Diane to touch my heart in amazing ways.  My heart swells up even thinking of the times that Diane has just shown God's grace and love to me in my moments of pain.  I told you once before how when I was hit with some tough news, I asked Diane to pray with me (I actually don't know if I even got that far...I think I started crying as soon as she looked at me!).  She was so filled with empathy and compassion that she sobbed with me.  I just think about that time and it makes me think of Christ's compassion and love for us...and how special that Diane showed that to me that night.  

The past few months have been rough for me, and I have had moments when I have felt absolutely hopeless and I just sit there and pray...and NO KIDDING Diane has called me every single time right in that time of need!  It amazes me each time she does this...and I tell her and every time she responds with "God just told me to call you!"  Seriously. How cool is that.  

Diane has her own struggles...her pain is constant, she has burdens to bear that could drive a sane person crazy.  But the interesting thing?  When I think of Diane, her struggles are not the first thing that come to mind...I always think of her profound relationship with God, and how she always truly shines for Christ.  And that is so inspiring to me!  I HOPE that someday when people think about me, they would not associate me with the burdens I bear, or the struggles I deal with.  But instead think of how amazing and loving our God is through selfless actions.  



Change can be painful...

After years of begging, I finally allowed one of kiddos to throw the change into the toll booth this weekend.  I guess my sweet child got a little confused and ended up throwing the $1.25 in loose change out the passenger window...and to make matter worse it HIT the attendant who was working the next booth over!  

I was so stunned I gunned it!  Of course the alarms go off (because we didn't deposit the money into the basket) and my son starts sobbing thinking that the police are coming after him and he is going to jail for sure.  It doesn't help that I totally start to crack up thinking about trying to explain this to the TDOT.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Day So Far...

1. Took Caleb to his Dyslexic school he is going to this summer.  Left the house at 7:30 (on summer break, trust me, he is not a happy camper!)
2.  Came home to discover that the dog got back into the house and has chewed up about 5 poopy diapers from the garbage.
3.  Aidan smells the horrible stench and proceeds to run upstairs and throw up on my bed.
4. I grab all the blankets and sheets throw them into the washer.
5. Clean up diaper fiasco.
6. Shower Aidan
7. Want to call Terrie to vent...phone no where to be found....until I hear the clunking sound coming from the washer.

Plans for the rest of the day?

1. buy new phone
2. check into insane asylum

Sunday, June 15, 2008

YEA!! YIPPEE!!! WHOOO-HOOO!!!

The draught is OVER!  Sandi has finally blogged after like 6 months of NOTHING!!  I know, I know...for you fans of Sandiwalker.blogspot.com, it has been rough, hasn't it?!  Woa is me!  I have had nothing to crack up about...nothing to lift me out of a bummed mood...nothing to relate too!  

So enough about my rantings (Although I DID threaten Sandi with an all-out protest if she did not start blogging soon!): I thought that I would blog about my dear friend.  I know I gave her a shout out a couple of blogs ago, but it really did not do her justice.  So, I came up with a top 10 list!

(Drum roll please...)

10.  I first figured out that Sandi was potential BFF when I first met her at church and she couldn't remember my name so she just called me "D'Amico."  It makes me laugh even thinking about it..."Hey, D'Amico, What's up?" (Can't you just picture it in your head?)

9.  She watches the same infomercials that I do...at 4 am.  The only difference is she actually ordered what I almost did!  

8.  She really is the best mother I have ever met.  When I said before that I aspire to be like her, I was not kidding.  She is amazing!  Her children are so lucky to have her as a mom!

7.  She introduced me to Chipotle...'nuff said.  (never mind that she called Todd in the middle of Target when I told her I had never eaten there, and they had like the 10 minute laugh-fest.)

6.  I was once praying with Sandi...really serious stuff too, and one of the kids did something in the background, and she totally started laughing, and snorted!  YES!  SNORTED during my outpouring of grief to God!  ...this sealed our friendship for life!

5.  So, I know this post is about Sandi...but how could I write about Sandi and not mention what a wonderful husband she has!  Todd is so sweet...they are a perfect match.

4.  When she was pregnant, my poor friend had a problem with her pubic bone...and she showed Eric and I exactly where she hurt in detail!!  I really don't know if I have ever seen Eric walk away from a conversation so fast!

3.  Sandi will tell you that compassion is not one of her spiritual gifts, but I beg to differ.  She cares so much about her friends...she is someone that you can count on to really pray for you when you need it.  She has such a big heart and her faith is amazing.  

2.  Okay, one more story with Eric (these seem to always be the funniest ones!)...once one of my sweet children punched him...well, I will let you guess where!  I (with my 12-year old potty humor) had to run around the corner before totally lost it from laughing so hard.  Sandi walks up and asks why I am laughing so hard, I tell her in between giggles of the event (which I should tell you in detail some time--so, so funny).  She starts laughing really loud (I think a couple of snorts came out then too), and yells over to Todd to come over.  So Todd comes over and he starts laughing...then a few other people join in.  Poor Eric.  He was in pain, and he had no clue that half the Little Campers Volunteers (including his wife, I think!) were huddled together laughing at his misfortune.  Who else better to laugh with than Sandi?!  

1.  People have told me often, that I remind them of Sandi, or we are very much alike.  I take this as such a compliment because I just adore her!  When we hang out, I feel like I am hanging out with my sister or someone I have known my whole life.  I really thank God for Sandi all the time.  

If you have a funny story to share about Sandi, let me know!  I am sure that it will boost her spirits (not that she needs them boost!) to know how much we all think so highly of her...I mean, really, who doesn't love Sandi!?  


  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Leavin' it all behind...

So, had to go to the doctor today with ALL 4 boys!  

While I am there, the doctor informs me that I have to get a shot.  

N0 big deal, right?  

The boys are all watching me prepare to get this shot--I roll up my sleeves, and am acting calm...until the nurse tells me to bend over!  I look over at the boys in horror, and they look at me and the most evil little grins form on their faces!

Let me just tell you, my friend....my children are still laughing as I type this.  And my cheeks are still red...(ALL of them!)


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Keystone is so RICH!

Noah and I went up to the office (aka: The Lodge) a few days ago, and he had to go to the bathroom.  He came out with wide eyes and said, 

"This church is so rich!  They have Sports Illustrated in the bathroom!"


My New Favorite Thing!

Have you ever treated the person in line behind you at Starbucks?!  So much fun!  The drive-thru is the best though...  I am excited even thinking about it!  You must try it!

Monday, June 2, 2008

What a bummer....

The saddest thing happened today!  Someone stole my Noah's bike!  My heart just broke for him...he loved his bike.  And too make it worse, his Dad gave it to him, which made him love it even more, I think.   Man...I am just so bummed.  

Please just pray for Noah.  My eyes tear up even as I type this because he is a 9-year old boy who struggles to be happy.  It is so hard for him with out Craig here...and this week has been a rough one and the whole bike-thing just didn't help at all.   

Noah is incredibly talented.  He has amazing athletic abilities, he tested perfectly on his TAKS test, he can write profound poetry, he has a compassionate heart for the "under dog."  I love him so much, and my heart aches to the core that he just cannot find contentment and a positive attitude.  It really is heart wrenching...



Friday, May 30, 2008

Geometry--D'Amico Style

Anyone up for a little word problem?

1 unopened bag of cheetos + 4 boys wondering the trajectory of the said cheetos when jumped on =1 very mad mother resulting in congruent angles (x3) of the spank board to little rear ends.  

(if you thought that I was going to say PRICELESS, not a chance.  I will gladly show you the carpet cleaning bill!) 

Sunday, May 25, 2008

a different perspective...


Let me recant my mother's day 2008.  Worked at church, went to my inlaws to make lunch...jumped in the pool to save Jimmy (while still in my church clothes), went home to change, came back, 30 minutes later took Jimmy to the ER for stitches after he tripped over a scooter...

The cool thing is that my mother-in-law snapped a picture of me holding Jimmy in the ER, and I am so proud of this picture!  I am proud because how often do we ever get to see ourselves just simply loving on our children during non-happy moments?  We all have posed pictures, and candid snapshots of us hugging or smiling with our kids...but this one is shows me loving my precious Jimmy when he needed it.  And that is what makes me honored to be a mother.  So Happy Mother's Day to me... best gift ever.

(...and if anyone is wondering why it took me so long to post this after Mother's Day...I was slightly traumatized!   Have you ever seen someone get stitches?!?  Needless to say I will not be posting those pictures because I doubt my insurance will cover your claims after you pass out and need stitches too!)

So long Sponge Bob...

If anyone is interested in knowing how I have plan on spending my retirement, please refer to my child's teeth.  Because all I have left now if enough to buy a rocking chair (and that is after the money that I do have sitting in the bank grows during the next 40 years)....

It is almost a shame, though...I am quite fond of his teeth.  It takes an awesome personality to have teeth like these and be proud of them! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Prayerless Christians

I had a brief conversation with someone this week regarding prayer.  I was so disheartened to hear a self-proclaimed Christ-Follower say that she doesn't pray!  She doesn't think that prayer works for her...and her "wishes never come true."  I walked away from the conversation with some serious thoughts swimming in this (sometimes shallow!) head of mine.  

The major thing that was screaming in my heart is how on earth can we ever begin to feel close to God and really truly experience a relationship with Him unless we talk to him?  I mean, have you ever tried to have an intimate conversation with someone that you hardly know?  Uncomfortable!  We have to put the time into prayer...learning to pray...learning to talk with God...and learning how God speaks to us!

The Bible INSISTS that God hears and answers believed prayers.  

"Call to Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things that you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3
If you ask anything in My name, I will do that." John 14:14
"Whatever you ask in prayer, believing you will receive"  Matthew 21:22
"If you abide in Me, and I abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you" John 15:7

A prayerless Christian is like someone having a million dollars, but no concept of the value of money.  The gift that God has given to us to talk to Him whenever we want, wherever we want, however we want, is HUGE!  I mean, seriously!

And, I believe, the more we talk to God, the more powerful the bond become between us.   The bigger the bond...the harder it is for the enemy to get a strong hold through our weaknesses.  Satan wants our faith (Brandon said that this week, in fact!) Let me say that again:  Satan wants our faith!  Satan WANTS us not to feel comfortable praying.  Satan WANTS us not to be in the habit of talking to God about everything.   He wants us to feel that we are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things that God really doesn't care about the little things of our day-to-day lives.  And that, my friends, could not be further from the truth!

Most of you who read this, I know already know this amazing information...but I think the more that we as praying Christians actually "pray out", the more it might catch on with our prayerless Christian friends, and evoke questions opening doors for us to encourage them in their walk.  (BTW--What does "pray out" mean? I just sort of made that up, but I mean pray out loud, in the moment,wherever, whenever, with no shame.)

This subject is so much deeper than I could ever really blog about...and the truth is it almost midnight and it has been a long day.  I may reread this in the morning and realize it doesn't even make sense!  Oh the ramblings of a tired mom...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Keystone Shout Outs!

I was thinking today about some different people at Keystone, so I thought I would blog about them...

First person was Sandi Walker (whom I have appropriately titled in my blog address).  Possibly the funniest person I know.  But what makes me like Sandi even more than her laugh-out-loud humor is her honesty.  I don't ever feel like I need to guess where I stand with Sandi.  I can tell her anything!  Love it!  I also LOVE the way Sandi loves her children...what a wonderful mother.  I aspire to be a mother and friend like her!   

So while I was thinking how cool it was that God has let Sandi and I become friends, I had to think about Diane Bohannan.  One thing about Diane Bohannan, is I always say "Diane Bohannan."  Aways.  I just love saying her last name.  Bohannan. Bohannan. Bohannan.  Okay, so not as fun to type...but you get the point!  And on with mine...  She has an amazing amount of faith.  Have you ever heard Diane (Bohannan!) pray?!?  Profound.  Impactful.  Inspiring.   Diane was the first person that I absolutely sobbed in front of....and she is so sweet and filled with compassion, she cried right along with me.  She will be a friend for life.

Then I started to think about the family link between Diane and Anne Hernandez...I have not really hung out with Anne a whole lot yet...but LOVE her!  I will openly admit that I have signed up on the waiting list to be her new BFF.  (Although, I did have to inform her, I may have to remove my name from that list because she used the phrase "cool beans."  Luckily no one was around, so I will leave my name pending.  But I had to give her the 411 that it is not 1992 and no one says that anymore.  Geez, Anne!)   But talk about great style!  She always looks super-fab.  And I figure that if you were standing in the end-zone of a football field with Anne, and I stood waaaay back at the 50-yard line...we would look about the same size! ahhh...proportional distance does wonders!  Can't wait to get to know her more....But for some reason, I think she might be interested in getting to know Holly Peterson more first.  And a personal note to Holly...the Bible DOES say 'Turn the other cheek!"

And who cannot help but think of Amber Mahon.  Pure joy.  I wonder what her flaw is...  I mean really, she is absolutely stunning, and even more beautiful on the inside.  Talented, friendly, compassionate...she is that woman that is described in the Bible as a Woman of Grace...and she laughs at farting jokes too.  hahahah....is it bad that I even laugh as I type that?!  hahaha (still laughing!)

So I know Amber and Trey are good friends...so started thinking about Trey and Danni...but I can't blog about him again...that would be weird.  (except here is a thought...was it the Amber who made me think of Trey, or the thought of farting!?!)

To keep you on the train of thought I had...I then start thinking about my coworkers.  And I arrive at Eric.  I think Eric is one of my closest friends, and he probably doesn't even know it.  I have a ton of respect for him.  He made me feel valued at Keystone when I first joined...and it made such a difference in my own life.  He has a different style of leadership, and I think it will take him so far in his journey for God.  He is one of those leaders that is right there with you digging in the trenches...or whatever.  Sorry! I couldn't think if a good analogy.  I also LOVE the way he is in love with April.  He once told me her middle name and smiled when he said it...how sweet!  And most of all...Eric is secretly skilled in some strange form of Karate.  I saw him do this side kick in the office today, and I think I grew an ab muscle from laughing so hard!  (Side note:  If you see an 'As Seen on TV:  Rock-hard Abs from laughing at Eric', just know the idea started here!  Do I hear the cha-ching of royalties?!)

And of course, THEN I think of April.  Sweet April.  My father-in-law swears she looks like Jodi Foster.  Do I hear an Amen?!  April carries herself so well, doesn't she?  When I first met her I thought...oh, better not hang around her too much--she is really smart!  (and just until that week, I had always spelled stopid with two 'o's.  Duh...everyone knows there is only one.)  And one more thing about April...home-girl can pray!  

Okay...so enough of my mental train rides.  Maybe I will type more about my people- ponderings later...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sweetest Picture...

You never know how a simple comment will change a life...

You know, to be totally honest, I am not the most confident person.  In fact, I would have to say that is my biggest struggle in life... that being said, typically when someone gives me a compliment, I just don't believe it.  Hardly ever.  BUT, today, I had a moment!  It was HUGE for me...such a  moment in fact, that I can't sleep because I am so excited that someone expressed such confidence in me.  Me!  

So here is what went down.  I was talking to Trey at the office and I was having a completely honest conversation of what I wanted with this job and church.  Typically, I would never say what I dream and aspire to be...only because I fear that people will look at me like I am stupid for even thinking that I could be anything besides an assistant.  But I told him one of the goals that I had for myself...and he looked at me and said that I was cutting myself short--I have more potential!  It is exciting to even type those words... Trey is my boss, and I have a massive amount of respect for him and what he stands for in his faith, work ethic, his honesty  and his love for his family.  So for him to say those words to me, really is making me take another look at myself.  

You see, I have these desires that are deep in my soul of how I truly want to serve God.  But I just thought they were dreams, wistful thinking.   There are days that I feel confident that I have specific spiritual gifts that I need to use to serve Him...but then I allow my lack of self esteem to overpower my hints of potential.  And I keep them a secret...In fact, I don't think that I have ever even shared what I think my spiritual gifts are with anyone!  Not even my family.  But now...maybe I should reconsider.  Maybe I can do more that I thought was a "reasonable" goal for myself.  Maybe, I need to drop this dead-weight of worthlessness and allow myself to run for God.  Maybe...

So, now that I have blabbered on and on... you just never know how a simple comment will change someone's life!  

Saturday, March 29, 2008

...to fetch a pail of water

It was Mother Goose Day at my kid's school this past week. And of course, we are running around at the last minute trying to put together an outfit. My sweet, sweet Caleb is looking desperately for a jacket. A jacket? Seriously...it is like, 80 degrees outside! His response?

"I have to have a jacket if I am dressing up as Jacket Jill!"

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Blah.

I know God has really saved me from a depression with everything going on, but today has been a rough one. I am lonely. How can a mother of four boys be lonely? I don't know, but I am.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Waitin' for the green...

I am sitting in the truck today, kids crying, contemplating the the pros and cons of being deaf...waiting FOREVER for the green light.

I wait, and wait some more.

I really am about go nuts with impatience because this STUPID light wont turn green already!!! The anxiety and stress continue to build. Kids are crying even louder now! Help!!!!!!!

I grip the steering wheel even tighter and beads of sweat begin to form, my chest is tight with stress...this is when I realize stop signs never turn green.

hmph.



(Side note: This is not the first time I have done this either.)