Thursday, December 31, 2009

Favorites of 2009

Here are my favorite posts from 2009. Mostly because I wanted to post something on the last day of the year, but couldn't come up with a good idea.

1. I would like to say I do not have this same drinking problem almost a year later, but unfortunately I still spend a large amount of my grocery budget on drinks.
2. 13th anniversary, love my man.
3 . and this one about shoes...I should post a picture of the new shoes Steve got me for Christmas. They are awesome.
4. This one has to be on the list, to my Wichita houswives.
5. If I was graded like I was in high school...
6. And of course, the achievement of my year.

I am looking forward to 2010. Every year has major life events, but in 2010 my oldest will graduate high school and my youngest will start high school. I'm so excited for both of them! We have some other big changes in our life coming up, and I will share them as they come to pass. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I have learned...

My entier list of "I have learned's" from 2009.

1. The heater in my car does not double as a hair dryer. No matter how hot and how high I run the fan, it does not dry my hair by the time I get to work.
2. Wet hair freezes on the ¼ mile walk to my office building. Crunchy frozen hair is really cool. Closest I will ever get to dreads.
3. A squirrel cannot run and carry a full piece of bread in his mouth. He trips over the bread. We have a “pet” squirrel. He eats from our hands. He will try to climb your leg to get food. He also likes peanuts, rice cakes, and ritz crackers.
4. My twelve year old daughter’s friends idolizing my son and flirting with him and him picking on them doesn’t bother me. My twelve year old girl idolizing my son’s eighteen year old friend who picks on her and pays attention to her, really bothers me. If that’s a double standard, I’m okay with it.
5. I have never been a fan of grounding my kids, but I’m starting to think it may be the only way to get my teenagers to spend time with me. I have recently even volunteered to help with homework, just for some face time.
6. Pick up lines and the whole act of hitting on someone is hilarious when you are watching it from the next treadmill. I witnessed this at the Y the other night when some old geezer (translated, my age) hit on the 21 (translated, looked about 16) year old girl on the treadmill next to me. She was adorable, he was pitiful, and I somehow managed to hold my laughter.
7. My high school friends can still make me laugh till I snort pop out my nose, twenty-five years later.
8. Not everyone thinks I’m funny. I was somehow shocked and saddened by this, because I think I’m hilarious. My future is looking like “crazy old lady” will be me.
9. Ice cream sandwiches cure depression. It may take 5 or 6, depending on your level of depression, but just keep eating. You will obtain euphoria. Euphoria - a feeling of happiness, confidence, or well-being sometimes exaggerated in pathological states as mania. I think Kansas is a pathological state.
10. The cleaner my bathroom, the dirtier my family. When I scrub my shower, Steve will come home from the gym after running 10 miles and bench pressing 275 lbs. Nate will come home from baseball practice and they will have practiced base running and sliding. In the mud. Ashley will have dyed her hair. Black. Which makes it brittle and fall out. There will be little black hairs, mud and stink in my newly clean bathroom. And, a clean toilet works the digestive system better than fiber. Nuff said.
11. Never lick a paring knife.
12. I learned this from my friend Wendi, not from my own personal experience, (but she did really do this, and it worked) you can close a four inch gash on your leg with super glue. Just stick the muscle that is hanging out back in and fill it up. I’m filing this info for future reference. Not sure if I’m filing it under first aid or never try this.
13. In the absence of a knife, you can cut birthday cake with a cookie. You can then use the cookie as a fork to eat the birthday cake.
14. A 12 year old should not be left in charge of cooking over an open flame grill.
15. Starbucks is not a food group. Mary Kate Olsen, put down the latte, pick up a burger already for crying out loud.
16. Some stains will not come out of the carpet. If you finally get them out, they leave a stain of their own, as the only truly clean spot on the carpet now is the stain.
17. Cell phones should not be washed in the washing machine.
18. I can have ice cream for lunch (Dairy Queen Fudge Brownie Hot Fudge Sundae) and dinner (Cold Stone Sweet Cream with strawberries {notice I said FOR not with}) and stay within my allotted daily calories. If I add exercise, I can even have a Fudgsicle for breakfast. I should add that ice cream is not a food group either.
19. A group of teenage girls will sit in 35 degree weather with 22 mph winds wearing jeans and sweatshirts to watch a group of teenage boys hit a leather bound cork ball with an aluminum bat and run in circles.
20. Arguing with a teenager is useless. If the first sentences out of their mouth do not include “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I won’t do it again”, just tell them they are grounded and be done. It’s like asking “how old are you” and getting the answer “yellow”.
21. My last “things I have learned” post also included ice cream. I’m learning I have a problem.
22. My Spiritual Gift may very well be sarcasm.
23. Solomon knew what he was talking about. Read Proverbs, in the Message version or New Contemporary Version. Wise man. And funny.
24. My love language is cupcakes. I read this in the Gary Smalley book. I read it between the lines, but I’m sure it’s cupcakes.
25. Wearing your hairpins too tight will give you a headache. I would rather my hair look bad than have a headache. This is surprising, because I always considered myself a fairly vain person with a high tolerance for pain in the name of beauty. (If you have never plucked, waxed, had your hair highlighted or cut yourself shaving, you don’t know what I’m talking about). Imagine my shock to learn that my tolerance of pain for beauty translated to beauty treatments, high heeled footwear and set in waist bands, but not hairstyles.
26. Popcorn is not a dessert. It cannot replace a dessert. Unless you pour a bag of M&M’s into the bowl of popcorn.
27. My husband killing a snake in my backyard did not make me get all gooey thinking about how he was protecting his family. It freaked me out that there was a snake 20 feet from my patio door. Even lying in bed last night next to my mighty warrior, I was petrified that a snake might somehow make it into my house. I will probably die of a snake induced heart attack.
28. Bologna sandwiches are not good pre-workout food.
29. Crying at Sonic will freak the carhop out to point that she will offer to pay for your drink, just to get away from the crazy lady. (They were happy tears).
30. That if “God is not the author of confusion” (KJV) or “God is not a God of disorder, but of peace”, (NIV) I Corinthians 14 where did teenagers come from?
31. Shaking your hair and running your fingers through it is sexy. Squeezing a pimple or plucking a stray eyebrow ruins the sexy picture.
32. Raising children is not a roller coaster ride. It’s that ride that you sit down, strap in, and it shoots you straight up and then it drops you straight back down. Over and over and over. And you can’t get off. And it costs $400,000 to ride.
33. If you wear your nastiest work out clothes to the gym and decide to stop for something from the grocery store on your way home, you will run into at least 5 people you know. If you smell really bad, it will be 7.
34. Whitney pointed out all my annoying habits the other day. I learned I have a lot of them.
35. My pet squirrel “Lerriuqs” (pronounced Lareeks, it’s French, okay, not really, it’s squirrel spelled backward, thank Whitney for the name), will now come to the front door and put his paws on the door and peer inside, (and will try to knock) waiting for his dinner. Bread makes squirrels fat. One thing I haven’t learned yet is how to tell if a squirrel is male or female.
36. My whole family probably needs tetanus boosters.
37. You can mark ugly shoes down 80% off and they still won’t sell.
38. Throwing the noodles in the sink before you put the colander in there pretty much ruins the noodles, at least if it’s the side with the garbage disposal, you haven’t cleaned your sink that day or there are dirty dishes piled in it.
39. An 11 mile run on a 90 degree day with 70% humidity is a tough workout. If you stop to use the ladies room after 8 miles, pulling your spandex pants back up over your sweaty body is a tougher work out than the 11 mile run.
40. If there is a personality trait (flaw) that you don’t like about yourself, one of children will have it. If there is a personality trait (flaw) your siblings have that you didn’t like or found especially annoying, ALL of your children will have it.
41. Getting hit on scares the living daylights out of me. It doesn’t happen often. (Twice this year, and once was via Facebook so it doesn’t really count). Last Saturday in the library a guy followed me around for 30 minutes and then finally approached me when I sat down to tell me that I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. I had a “radiant beauty”. (Pretty sure it was suntan glow and endorphins from my 19 mile run that morning). I was scared to go to my car. You can forget how to deal after many years of marriage and parenting. You feel invisible so much that when someone actually sees you it’s frightening.
42. Green beans do not make a good snack. Unless they are deep fried and dipped in ranch.
43. People that make the doors and walls of public bathrooms have a sense of humor. I was in one the other day and they were manufactured by “Hiny Hiders”.
44. Age 41 is better than age 21, even with wrinkles, gray hair and the effects of gravity. I’ve lived through both, so I’m an expert.
45. Being able to eat 2 donuts for breakfast, 2 cupcakes for lunch and a Braum’s banana split for dinner (this is what happens when I’m left on my own for a day) and still have a 2 pound weight loss at weight watcher’s the next day can set a very bad precedent.
46. I can walk 50 feet on a 3 inch wide concrete rail in 4 inch platform oxfords without falling. I did this to keep from getting mud on my light colored leather/linen oxfords. I wonder if that would have been as important had I fallen off and broke my ankle? Hindsight, anyone?
47. Four teenage boys cannot sneak through your living room, office and kitchen behind your back without being noticed.
48. You cannot text in mittens.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Training Week 2, Marathon 2

I started running again after a two week break, and while two weeks doesn't sound long, my legs rebelled against me pretty good for the first mile or so. After that, it was about the best I have felt in two weeks. Training in winter in Kansas can be rough. There are definitely places it's colder, but the last 5 days we have seen sunny, rainy, 50 degrees, 16 degrees, snow, ice, and freezing drizzle, and 35 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph.

Tuesday when I ran at 5:00 in the afternoon it was 50 degrees and I wore regular running capris and a long sleeve tee shirt. Saturday when I ran it was 25 degrees with wind chill of 16, north wind, and had to run through ankle deep drifts on the sidewalk. I wore cold weather tights, cold weather dri fit compression socks, two cold weather shirts, ski gloves, ear band and my Norwegian hoodie over the ensemble. Sunday was the same weather, and the 10 day forecast shows 30 degree weather everyday, so I am prepared for it. I don't like to run inside tracks or treadmills, so I just dress warm.

I definitely feel better running, and I eat better and healthier when I'm running.

Having some pain in my right heel pretty much on a constant basis, the KC marathon was terribly hilly and that is different than what I was used to and the change in the terrain made my plantar fasciitis much worse than it was before. I have taken a total of 4 weeks off since October 17, and while it's better, it's not healed yet. I do take care of it like I'm supposed to, I splint it every night, never go without shoes, ice it and tape it when I'm running. Unfortunately it's an injury that can 6 - 9 months to heal, but fortunately it's one that can heal while you run with the right treatment and taking care of it.

This was Saturday's run, it was 5:30 p.m., and I'm a terrible photographer on most days, I had to take my gloves off and dig my blackberry out of my pocket so I was cold and shivering too.

AND IF!!! You are in the Wichita area and want to run a 10K with me either in April or May, I am running one both months, and you have plenty of time to be ready!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: Sunday after volleyball practice

Me: What happened to your face?
Whitney: I hit the pole.
Me: What?
Whitney: Alex (coach) set it too far out.
Me: Did it hurt?
Whitney: Yes, I took ibuprofen.
Me: Did you fall down?
Whitney: Yes. Regan laughed at me.
Me: Did you hit the ball?
Whitney: I told you, I HIT THE POLE!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Night Before the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Mom was screaming louder than if she had just seen a mouse
(or snake, but that doesn't rhyme)
No stockings were hung by the chimney at all,
Meaning a last minute trip to the mall
No tree in the corner, wafting the fragrance of evergreen
And brightly wrapped packages? Nowhere to be seen.
No pies were baking, no turkey had been bought
No fudge had been made, no potatoes in the pot
The family all nestled in front of their respective TV's
Oblivious to mom's screams and frantic pleas
For this was nothing new in this house, no way,
Mom was the biggest procrastinator for Christmas Day
She was too lazy to get up early on Black Friday
But on December 24 at 4:30 she'd be out not matter what she had to pay
And the turkey? Who cares we'll have chicken enchiladas.
And nothing rhymes with enchiladas except more enchiladas
Christmas would come like it always does
With presents and stockings and good food because
It's Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year
And momma loves her family, so there was never anything to fear.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Adventures in Jury Duty

The Case of the Missing Testicle. Yes, you read that right. I was on a consumer fraud case against a doctor because of a missing testicle. After it was all over the judge told us that this case was an anomaly, the only time this type would be tried in the state of Kansas. Because of malpractice laws, doctors are not governed by the Kansas Consumer Protection Act. The Kansas Supreme Court changed this law. Shortly thereafter, legislation was passed to change this back. In this time frame, the case was filed against the surgeon, malpractice and consumer fraud. The first judge tried the malpractice case, but threw the consumer fraud out because of the law. However, when it went through the appeals process, it was discovered that it could be tried as consumer fraud. It took two days to select a jury. Everyone who knew anyone who had ever had surgery performed by this doctor was released. Anyone in the law field every represented by anyone of the four attorneys was released. Anyone in the medical field was released. I knew within two hours I was sitting in the jury box. All former malpractice cases were allowed as evidence. (And this malpractice case was found in favor of the doctor when it was tried several years ago). But ultimately, we had to decide if a statement was actually made by the doctor, and if so, was it made with the willful intent to harm the patient or defraud him. Seven and a half days of trial, one hour of deliberation to find in favor of the doctor.
It was an interesting process, full of colorful people. I am always willing to perform my civic duty, but I am certainly relieved to know I won't get called again for a year. I do get full pay from my employer, and JACKPOT!!! I get to keep my jury pay too. I didn't know if I would have to turn that in or not.
I am really glad to get back to my normal schedule. It's just unsettling to be involved in something that pretty much controls your life and you have no idea when it will be over. There was one day where I was sure we would be there till Christmas. I was very discouraged.
I understand the reason you are not allowed to talk about these cases, because I talked to one of Steve's friends who is very familiar with the situation the patient was in and that would have been information I didn't previously know that would have affected my judgment. In addition, another of Steve's friend is an anesthesiologist and he was waiting to hear details about the case and when I told him, he was actually in surgery with the surgeon that had been the defendant. His opinion of the surgeon would have also affected my judgment.
To see the inside of the legal system was a new experience and one I'm glad I got to be part of, now that it's over and I understand all the delays, which were caused by the fact that it was a one time case, there was no precedence, so there was nothing prior to look at. At the time, it was just frustrating to show up for 8 hours of jury duty and sit for 4 hours (in the jury room) of it while they listened to motions and determined what evidence was allowable and what the jury could hear.
I really hated having to decide for one or the other. It really was a no win situation, not a guilty or not guilty, just a decision so everyone could get on with their lives.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Training Week 1, Marathon 2

Yes, I am planning marathon 2. It was such a great experience and now that I have recovered, I'm kind of excited. I start this week with a different 18 week training schedule. Instead of novice, I'm attempting an intermediate schedule with the plan of running the next one better. Not sure what better means, but going to see how it goes. The intermediate training schedule is more miles per week, and more days per week. The biggest difference that I can think of right now is the time of year/temperature difference. I did the majority of my training in summer which had me running in 90+ degree days and this time it will be cold. But I have cold weather gear, long socks, gloves, hats, and I'm ready to go.
I have two marathons to choose from in April and I have to work around Whitney's regional volleyball tournament. Once I get the date on that the beginning of January, I will decide. So tune in on Sundays (if you want) to hear my misadventures. This week I have to run more than I have in a while, so it may be difficult, but I only work 1.5 days this week and not at all the next so it's a good time to start. The intermediate training schedule is more miles per week, and more days per week.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: car on the way home from church after Sunday worship

Whitney: Lance sure is loving his electric guitar lately.
Me: Yes, he's been playing it alot.
Whitney: His acoustic guitar is just sitting up there lonely and jealous. It's like that mop commercial she starts singing "baby come back."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

God was in my running shoes

Today I had a very rough start to my day, only to have God make his presence very well known. First, I overslept. Not good, I woke Steve up at 4:20, 4:30, and 4:40. I woke Nate up at 6:15 for baseball practice. I fell asleep on the couch. When I get up at 8:30, Whit is already 30 minutes late for school, and I have to be at court at 9:30. I grab the first clothes I find which is jeans and a tee shirt and tennis shoes and a hoodie. I get on the highway and instead of taking East 254 towards the school, I turn and take South I35 toward the courthouse. So I get off the highway, back on, and have to run in and sign Whitney in to school. I blast back down the highway, barely pushing the speed limit, knowing I'm cutting it close because I have to park on the 4th floor of the parking garage, (the elevator is out) take the stairs down, travel by foot the one block to the courthouse, get through the metal detector and wait for an elevator to take me to the 9th floor, or run up 9 floors, (which I have done a couple times). I have a plan, I get to the parking garage and a red neon sign says FULL and there are cones blocking the entrance. Parking is hard to come by down town, and the garage is $5.00 a day, but we get validated. So I remember them saying we can park at the city building across the street, so I drive over there and the parking garage is FULL! No way. I manage to find a spot in the parking lot that will be validated, (at this point, I would've just paid and let them reimburse me, but there were no spaces anywhere). It is now 9:26, I am 3 blocks, a metal detector and 9 floors from where I'm supposed to be. I have no desire to draw attention to myself from the judge. I take off at a dead run and realize....this is the only day of jury duty I have worn jeans and tennis shoes. It's the only day I've worn a hoodie of my heavy winter coat, and I even changed purses and was carrying my big purse, so I had thrown my lunch and diet coke in my purse instead of carrying my lunch bag. All the running this past year had me in great shape for my 3 block sprint, I wasn't even winded. I walked into the jury room at 9:31, which was great.
Even on days I'm running late or wear jeans I typically wear heels. I always carry my lunch pail. I would've rather gotten up on time, but God did make sure I was up at 4:20, 4:30, 4:40 and 6:15, I went back to sleep. I am please to say that I found God in my running shoes this morning. He's always very involved in my life, but I love to see him at work, and when he shows himself in the small details, it just has a way of touching me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

All Things Common

Remember that verse in Acts? Chapter 4 verse 32 "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common."

Jury duty. I spent last week and have the pleasure of spending next week with a room full of strangers. None of us knew each other, and that is something they look for in a jury. There is a young lady that works at Mcdonald's. A young man who is a student at the fashion institute of technology. There is a golf pro, a church secretary, and an aircraft machinist. A retired lady who has a horse farm. A criminal justice student. A school teacher and a bank manager. They are great people. I have laughed harder in the jury room than I would have imagined, as we are not allowed to talk about the case, and we are learning a lot about ourselves. One lady brought fudge and another brought donuts. Looking forward to what is going to happen next week. Of course, we do have things in common. We are all residents of Sedgwick County. We are either registered to vote or have a drivers license. Interestingly enough, we are all white Caucasian on this jury, but since that matches with the plaintiff and defendent, it is okay. There are a few of these ladies that I think I would have been friends with had I met them anywhere. But without jury I wouldn't have met them. I have been thinking about how you can put a group of strangers in a room, the future of other individuals in their hands, and how quickly they bond. Will see what happens when it goes to deliberation, but right now, there is a camaraderie that surprised me. It took three days before a couple of the women were feeding the group. One offered a ride to another next week because she was gong to have scheduling difficulty. There is one young man that always holds the door for everyone. Kindness from strangers. It has made an interesting experience a positive experience, the kindness of people I don't know towards me and towards others any time, but especially at this time of year is a true blessing. Juror 13. That's me. Weird number, there are 14 on this jury.

I believe the early Church was like that, when it said they had "all things common", it was a choice to look after each other, to share. Do we choose to get along? To look for what makes us common to each other? Wouldn't we all be better if we looked for good and things to enjoy about each other?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: My kitchen, cabinets wide open

Nate: Whitney, did you eat all the Easy Mac, you fattie!
Whitney: No, you must have eaten it and don’t remember!
Nate: I didn’t eat it. You know you did. Did you drink all the Gatorade? Fattie!
Whitney: No, I didn’t drink the Gatorade. (Laughing)
Me: Nate, just eat that Clam Chowder.
Nate: We have Clam Chowder? (looking in cabinet) No we don’t, did you eat that too, Fattie?
Whitney: No, Nate, I didn’t eat that too. (Laughing)

Ten minutes later, Whitney is eating Easy Mac.

Nate: Where did you get that?
Whitney: I hid it so you wouldn’t eat it, because who’s the fattie? I hid the Clam Chowder and the Gatorade too, FATTIE!
At this exact point in time the cookie jar is full, there is left over chocolate cake on the counter and two boxes of gummi savers in the snack cabinet, milk and cherry pepsi in the fridge and my fatties are fighting over mac-n-cheese, clam chowder and gatorade. Also need to say that “fattie” is a term of endearment in our family.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Better Days

I am going to air a little family dirty laundry here and ask for prayer at this holiday season, if everyone would pray for my family even just once as they read this it would be a huge blessing to me. My three stepdaughters are all in one form of trouble or another. The effects this has on my husband and their little sister are beyond words. We all act tough, but it's difficult.
The last two months they have made life brutally difficult, and while we are trying very hard to enjoy the Christmas season, it is work. I know we do realize that at this time of year we celebrate the birth of our Savior, and our hope in Him, that there are better days coming. I've had the words to this song that was sung at our Christmas Eve service previously, Goo Goo Dolls, Better Days rattling in my head all day.
And you asked me what I want this year
and I try to make this kind and clear
just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
and designer love and empty things
just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
So take these words and sing out loud
'cause everyone is forgiven now
'cause tonight's the night the world begins again

Sunday, December 6, 2009

525,600 Minutes Post 6

36. Christmas – decorating the tree with all five kids.
37. Every person I ever prayed with when they accepted Christ as their Savior. I remember them from age 13 when they dropped us off in the West High School parking lot to Judgment House last year. There is nothing like being present when new life is born.
38. Steve went to college when he was 34 years old. Start to finish it took him 3.5 years to get his bachelors degree. It was an insane period of time with 5 kids at home, 4 of them teenagers, but his college graduation is one of the highlights of my life. I am always proud of Steve, but that was a monumental accomplishment.
39. The promo video for Newsprings “Running” series. 45 seconds of Steve running.
40. We were eating lunch at Carlos O’Kelly’s one day and my brother was with us. He had told me previously that he had a dream that Jesus called his cell phone and when he went to answer it and flipped it open he was taken up “Elijah style”. When he went to the men’s room, he happened to leave his phone on the table. I changed my name to “Jesus” in his cell phone and then dialed his phone and dropped mine in my purse. He left my number as Jesus in his phone for a long time.
41. Nate as a nominee for Homecoming King, called his name at halftime and he walked out with his escort in her fancy dress; he was wearing basketball shorts, tennis shoes and his baseball jacket.
42. Finishing a marathon.
43. This is a bonus, I couldn’t think of a way to work it in as a moment, but over the years I have been blessed, honored, privileged to be friends with some of the most amazing women who walked this planet. I couldn’t post the moments of my life without saying how much I love them. Some I have known since elementary school. Some I have known for a couple of months. These are the women that no matter how much time passes between our opportunities to visit we pick up right where we left off. Women that when we are together talk 90 mph and can talk for 5 hours straight and still have things to talk about. Women I trust my secrets with. Women that encourage me and challenge me to be better. Women that give me advice and listen to me when life is hard. Women I laugh with and cry with, women that I respect their husbands, and think their children are adorable. Sheila W., Jenny C., Cindy G., Carrie A., Meredith G., Rebecca D., my life is better because I call you my friends.

I'm thankful for every minute of the 42 years God has allowed me to live on this earth and for every individual he has put in my life. He has given me more than I deserve, and it's only gonna get better! How do I measure my life? Someday when it's over, it will be measured where it really counts. I want to live so that it measures up well.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

525,600 Minutes Post 5

29. The ocean.
30. Freeport, Grand Island Bahamas.
31. Nate’s first tee ball game, age 2.
32. My wedding/marriage to Steve. My wedding was uneventful. I would’ve eloped. The marriage was what I wanted. I don’t know how to describe it, or if I really want to try and define what Steve and I have because it’s great, dreams come true happily ever after kind of stuff.
33. Whitney was an unexpected blessing. When Steve and I got married we had 4 kids between us. The idea of 5 was just overwhelming. God knew we needed her, and he does know best. (I could write 525,600 Whitney moments).
34. My grandmother’s funeral, Mom’s side. She was a Godly woman who lived an extremely difficult life, and I still miss her 12 years later. I will see her again someday.
35. Scariest movie I ever saw, Pirates of the Caribbean. Nate went to the bathroom (age 8) and never came back in the theatre. I lost him for 30 minutes. I had the theatre ready to call the police, but we did one last check and turned the lights on low in every theatre so I could look for him. He had come in the other side of the theatre and couldn’t find us so he sat closer to the front.

Friday, December 4, 2009

525,600 Minutes Post 4

22. Baseball. I love to watch baseball. Getting to see Johnny Damon play for the Wranglers in Wichita, KS, AA ball for a season was great.
23. Trip to Chicago with my roommate Becca. We helped her mom move to Indianapolis, we got lost and stopped for directions in Indy at a fire station and got to go up 13 stories in the cherry picker. I loved it; Becca cowered on the floor with her head below the railing. She has always been much smarter than me.
24. Left Indy and went on to Chicago for a week of fun. First real mall I visited, saw the Sears tower, and after the Wichita skyline, Chicago’s is impressive. Visited many cool places in Chicago.
25. I was in Burger King on my way home from the gym (I know, that's counterproductive) and the cashier told me that the Gulf War was over.
26. Christmases at my grandparents house, Dad’s side. Heard my grandpa talking to his brothers about World War II experiences.
27. The birth of my nephew Cameron. I was never a baby person, but I discovered when he was born I did like babies. Just only certain ones.
28. The first time I heard Nate’s heartbeat was one of the most moving experiences of my life. At 24 this was brand new for me. It was a new life, and I fell in love for the first time at that moment.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

525,600 Minutes Post 3

15. Rick and Keith’s live ventriloquist act.
16. I have 3 siblings, two older brothers and 1 younger sister. My oldest brother is four and half years older than my younger sister. We were close. (Too close???) This led to many two on two football, baseball and basketball games. Black eyes and bruises. Good times.
17. Cindy’s blue firebird, the cruising vehicle of choice in high school.
18. Trip to Barnacle Bill’s FantaSea with Sheila, Mindy, Michelle and Kris when Michelle almost drowned Sheila. Seriously almost drowned her. We laugh now, but at the time, it wasn't funny.
19. My first real boyfriend, Paul. You were a real lesson in how not to treat a woman (or how not to let yourself be treated by a man). I learned a lot from you, mostly that I deserved to be treated better. Not that you treated me bad, but you didn’t treat me good. And there is difference. Love is not performance based, and it cannot be earned, it has to be given.
20. Moved out of my parents house, shared an apartment with Becca.
21. Kansas State Fair, broken Ferris wheel. Kris and Sheila at the top of the broken Ferris wheel. Again, not funny at the time, but hilarious to talk about now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

525,600 Minutes Post 2

8. Started 5th grade at Christian School. This is the school and the church where and the year when I met Sheila.
9. I started babysitting around this time. Neighbors down the street. One Friday night when I was 12 or 13 the kids were in bed and I was watching TV. I got a phone call from a guy who said he was watching me. I hung up and made sure the curtains were closed. He called right back and said he could still see me. Called twice more before my Dad could get there. Never babysat for them again.
10. Being in gym class when we heard that President Reagan had been shot.
11. Met Rebecca (Becca) my 8th grade year of high school.
12. I met Steve my freshman year of high school. Didn’t know how important he would be to my future at the time.
13. High school crushes: Robert, Tony, Steve (not my current crush Steve, either), Keith, Fred, Mike, Kevin, Donny (this list includes my first kiss at age 16 as well)
14. First job was at Dairy Queen. This was an eye opener for me as I came from Christian school, Christian home and church for everything, the kids I worked with there opened my eyes to a whole new world of teenagers. Michael and Martin Diggs were a riot, twins that I loved working with. My first two marriage proposals came when I was 16 working at Dairy Queen from two very well-bred, intellectual African American teenage boys.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

525,600 Minutes Post 1

525,600 minutes (times 42)

From the musical Rent,
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan. 525,600 minutes - how can you measure the life of a woman or man?In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried. In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.It’s time now to sing out, tho the story never ends let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends. Remember the love! Remember the love! Remember the love!
Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love.

How do I measure a year? Is it a calendar year or school year? Is it from birthday to birthday? It’s all of the above. I am celebrating my 42nd birthday on December 6. It’s not a milestone birthday and generally for me, it’s just another day with cake (the best kind of day). I have been thinking though, that 42 years is a long time. That’s a lot of minutes. So in honor of my 42 years, I’m going to share 42 events from my life over the next 6 days. (Otherwise this would be a really long post. So feel free to join me on a trip down memory lane, or just come back next week when it’s over.) Mostly they are in chronological order. It was hard to condense down to 42 events. I thought about giving you 525,600 minutes of my life but that was too much for me to remember.

1. One of my earliest memories is when I was five years old and I played in my mom’s lipstick. I had it all over my face and the bathroom. When she asked if I had been in her makeup, I lied. She explained that made Jesus unhappy and it was a sin, and we knelt by our itchy, ugly, 70’s circa sofa and I asked Jesus to be my Savior. I remember skipping to the phone to call my Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Morris to tell her.
2. Standing on an old milk crate to get baptized because I wasn’t tall enough to keep my head above water.
3. When I was five, my dad was attending Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO, and I was in half day kindergarten. I went to the Jack Van Impe Crusade with him. Event at that age I remember hating being surrounded by all those people I didn’t know sitting in the bleachers.
4. My first grade year we lived in Turon, Kansas. My dad was the associate pastor of the Baptist church there. The school was for Kindergarten through 8th grade, and I was in a combined 1st and 2nd grade class. We still return to Turon for our family reunion on Memorial Day and I believe I’m related to everyone in the cemetery, including the current gravedigger. - Hey, Uncle Rolla.
5. We moved to Larned, KS when I was in second grade. Lived there for 3 years. I hated living there, hated the schools, and that was where the meanest girls I ever knew in my life lived. (The two Shellys, Mary, Susan, Janet. How’s life treating you?) I never had friends, never fit in, and remember a lot of pain that was inflicted by the kids there. This is where I first learned to love books and escaped to the library and to books on a regular basis, and to this day the library is one of my favorite places, so thanks for the meanness. Something good did come from those three years.
6. My favorite toy was a small stuffed panda.
7. We moved to Wichita when I was in the fifth grade. I remember sitting in the car in the parking lot of the Christian School I would attend for the next 8 years while my parents enrolled us in school. (I take my kids to enrollment; I wonder now why we were banished to the car? Maybe my folks were afraid they wouldn’t let us in if they met us first.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: driving home from church on a Sunday morning, past the new Humane Society.

Nate: Animals are treated better than some kids now.
Me: Sometimes
Nate: They have more rights
Me: At least they aren't allowed in restaurants.
Whitney: Dogs aren't allowed in McDonalds, not pets.
Nate: Yeah, you could say, but this is my cat.
Whitney: Or my Cockatoo
Nate: (holding up a finger) rrraw number 12, rrraw number 12
Whitney: (at the same time) Polly wanna cheeseburger?
Whitney: they will need a sign with a picture of a ferret in a circle with a line through it.
Nate: One of the teachers at Heights has a ferret. She lets the kids take it for walks in the hall on a leash. It can't get any traction in the hallway so it's like a sock on leash. Totally pointless.

Thursday, November 26, 2009



The tangible item in my life that I am most thankful for is my Bible. Through all the rough times in my life I have always found comfort in it. Just holding it is comforting. Opening it and reading it is better, but having it in my hands makes a difference. It's what it represents, it's what it is. It is the Word of God, written for me and to me. Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path". (NLT)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's NOT okay

We were watching TV the other night and it was a show about teenagers. A couple of high school students had gotten themselves into trouble and when they told her parents she was pregnant, the parents were not happy. The dad told the daughter he was disappointed in her. At this point, the daughter got all righteous with her “YOU are disappointed in ME? Why, because I made a misTAKE? Why can’t you just tell me you love me and hold me and tell me everything is going to be okay?” Definition of okay: 1 all right; proceeding normally; satisfactory or under control: 2 adequate but unexceptional or unremarkable: 3 tolerable.
When did it become a parents job to just hold you and tell you everything will be okay when you mess up? Life hands out beatings on a regular basis. And the ones you earn by “making mistakes” can be particularly harsh. Want to make adult decisions? Suffer adult consequences.
My response to this situation is this: "It is going to be okay, eventually. But I wanted better than "okay" for you. From the first time I saw you I knew you could do great things. Maybe not be president of the USA or an astronaut on the moon, but I watched you. I saw you. You got prettier and more confident as you grew. You had a vivacious and fun personality that drew people to you. You had a knack for trying out for athletic teams and vocal auditions and earning spots that you weren’t good enough for going in, but you rose to the challenge. You became as good as or better than your competition just by being in the same room with them. You earned playing time on teams you weren’t good enough to make because you worked hard and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I watched you get a solo in big concert, very selective of who got the solos, and you earned it. So I don’t want to tell you everything is going to be okay, because that's what you want to hear and need to believe, but it's not enough. I’m looking at what life could’ve been. And while that baby is going to change your life and bring you lots of joy, sex and childbirth and parenting are experiences that only get better if you wait later in life for them. You can have sex and a baby after high school. You can’t go back to prom and homecoming and senior skip day and a myriad of other rites of passage. While those things may not sound important to you, they are. They are a part of growing up, maturing, experiencing the last year of your youth before you get thrown into the adult world. I remember the dreams you had for after high school, what you wanted to do with your life. And you had the same dreams for 3 years, until you got pregnant. And now, when others your age are going out to movies and planning college visits, you will be home changing diapers and holding a colicky baby. Those dreams you had are still possible, but at great sacrifice to you and greater sacrifice to the baby. And while that baby will be a wonderful addition to your life, it is an experience that is better left till after high school. And within a year you will understand the sadness and hurt that comes along with being a parent. The hurt of a sick baby. You can’t tell them it’s going to be "okay", they don’t understand. You can’t give them Aleve and put them to bed, because it would kill them. You can’t take the pain and sickness and hurts from them, because moms don’t get that magic power, as much as we want it. It won’t take long before you feel disappointment for the first time. The paper in elementary school that isn’t their best. The fight with a kid on the playground. The “look you in the eyes and lie to you”.
So yes, it will be okay, but you should’ve had better, could’ve had better than "okay". And I know this can't be reversed, but fight for your baby to have every opportunity like we did for you. Teach her to do right. Let her learn from her mistakes, and don’t ever let her accept that it’s going to be “okay”. Teach her to strive for better than that. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Try to follow his plan; it is so much better than ours. I know from experience, as does every other parent, that when we do things outside of the guidance of the Word of God, it is not his plan. Teach your child to walk in the Lord’s plans. Future and a hope. That’s what we want. Not okay."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney, holding up my race shirt from the Turkey Trot

Whitney: Mom, how come you always get such big shirts?
Me: Ouch! I get shirts in my size so they will fit me.
Whitney: But I can’t wear it!
Me: If you want a shirt you will have run and get your own.
Whitney: Well, let’s go register.

She is running the two mile tomorrow, already wore her shirt to school.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for all the things that have caused me frustration and discouragement recently.

1. Thankful for rebellious, making poor choices, living BAD lives kids. Because I have hope that they will turn it around and come back to what they know is right. I DID!
2. Thankful for a car defroster that takes forever to warm up. I had to scrape the inside of the car window this morning. But I have a car, with a defroster. And a scraper, and mittens.
3. Thankful for friends who have really great weeks on their diets when I have a bad one. And can outrun me and kick my tail in raquetball. I have friends. That are on the same diet plan and run with me and play raquetball with me. And text me and facebook me and email me to see how I'm doing on all these things. And will even sympathize with me and chastize me when necessary.
4. Thankful for my gray hair that I have to cover with Clairol. I have great hair, it's still thick and wavy (or straight if I want to use the flat iron) and the wiry gray that I have to cover is just a sign of life. I wouldn't get younger even if it was possible.
5. The nights that I can't sleep because it's extra time I read my Bible and pray and catch up on old episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies. (I tried to watch I Dream of Jeannie, but she was so pitifully jealous I couldn't stand her).
6. Pulling myself out of bed in the morning and struggling to wake up and get moving. Because I am still employed.
7. The new Star Trek movie is available on DVD. Because I’m a closet Trekkie.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I think my perfect job would be as a researcher. I love to dig for information. I love to read. Digging through the library or the web for information is like a treasure hunt for me. I love to read all the information I can find about a subject and then decide what part of it I can use and what I don’t need to use. I did (still do) this with running; training plans, methods, tips, running the races, I looked at the course maps and elevation and where the aid stops and bathroom stops are. After I read and looked at all this information, I was able to plan better and feel better about what I was attempting. I google everything. The biggest challenge is knowing what to believe. I look for people who have done what I want to do and listen to them.
So imagine my surprise this week (with myself) when I realized I wasn’t utilizing this same trait in one of the most important areas of my life. (You guys are probably tired of hearing how great my husband is, but he really is great). He said that “we” would do something this week. The actual translation was, “Patsy will spend 12-14 hours this week making this happen, without letting this affect the myriad of other duties she completes every week because she is the most amazing woman on the planet and she can do anything. I will live my normal life and show up for this event.” So our “we” was an actual commitment for “me”.
Through the course of discussion with a friend, not complaining or whining or anything like that, we were actually talking about Weight Watchers because she attends also. (Unlike me, she has having great results, I run the 6 miles to my meetings, in the dark and I’m still seeing very slow progress). Somehow I commented that this event would be hard for me as I’m making the dinner and dessert. I was told I should fix what I want, not what my husband volunteered me for. I was talking to another lady about a situation and she asked how we would handle it. I said “at our house that wouldn’t even be a question. Steve would do X and I would do Y and that would be that.” I got the whole lecture of what do you do for you and that’s not right and make sure you take time for yourself and (normally here I would say “yada yada yada”, but after Mark told us what that means in the Love Songs sermon series) blah blah blah. In another totally unrelated conversation I got the “I wouldn’t do that”, and I began to wonder what I have done or said to give the impression that Steve walks all over me.
These three women planted little seeds in a fertile heart and they grew. One day in particular I had a busy day. Not my fault, someone else decided my schedule. So I had asked for help, but no one had time to help me. Then “no one” who couldn’t help me run my errands because his day was full left his phone and other necessities for his busy day at home and needed me to bring them to him at work. Add more errands/chores. I was frustrated that not only did I not get help, I had to do more and in a week where I already had too much to do. Self pity is so ugly, thank goodness it only lasted for 15 minutes and I was alone in the car the whole time. On my way from running my errands and dropping off the stuff, I had a revelation (I had a happy meal too, wonder if that helped?) The women who gave me advice, or just offered their opinions, are Christian ladies. I love them, love to talk to them. Do not want my marriage to be anything like theirs. I REPEAT - NOTHING LIKE THEIRS. I want to suck it up on weeks like this and do these things because I know when the shoe is on the other foot I can count on Steve to pick me up. I’m no Pollyanna, (or should I say Patsyanna, because my middle name is Ann) but I do think life is pretty good. I try to live my life doing good things for others, serving and trying to meet needs. Not that I’m naturally a giving person, I work at it. It’s on purpose. Certainly nothing to brag or be proud of, but I try, and I know I could do so much more. I found myself thinking that the Bible says we should “give and it shall be given to you”, and “love others as you love yourself”. But this is not just lived in religious and Christian circles. I know many people who aren’t Christians or religious that are giving people. They give their time and money. They support charities. They raise money. I quoted some scripture above, but even Hollywood did a whole movie about this subject with “Pay it Forward”. Thinking about Hollywood, I saw in the check out line last night where Brad and Angelina are in trouble. Ya think? Tom and Katie are in trouble. SHOCKING ! These people all do great things for charities. Give money. More money than I will make in a lifetime. All have adopted kids from poverty and given them a chance at life. Travel and raise awareness of issues. And yet they miss the concept of serving each other, putting each others needs ahead of their own. Between these two couples they have 9 failed marriages and a couple failed engagements. Not saying it’s a magic formula and will fix all relationship problems, but if I am living to put Steve and his needs and wants first and he is living to put me and my needs and wants first, than we both are treating each other pretty special and it’s hard to be mad at somebody who is putting you ahead of themselves. It becomes easier to do good to them, and then, you become one of “those” couples. You know the ones that still love each other “blissfully after 23 years” and they have 4 kids. (This is a quote taken from one of my favorite bloggers, can you see why she’s a favorite of mine?) You do things to lift each other up.
So I ignored the advice to serve health conscious food and haven’t tried to figure out what I want to do for “me” time. I did exactly what Steve said “we” would do, and I finished the week feeling pretty happy about everything I got done, big smile on my face (that maybe just the dessert.)

Feel free to call me Patsyanna.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Whitney went to a Christian school for a couple of years in elementary. They had “green” day. For you environmentalists, it was not anything ecologically friendly, but I can’t remember exactly why they did it. This is Whitney on green day in second grade. She won for being the “greenest”. She won something green.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

1. Magic erasers and Swiffers. Both have added greatly to my life.
2. Starbucks Cinnamon Dulce Latte which is low cal and delicious.
3. Chap stick
4. Some of the best friends a person could ever hope to have.
5. Meat wrapped in cellophane. Vegetables I didn’t grow. Clothes I didn’t make. Bread I didn’t grow the wheat, crush the grain or bake in my oven.
6. Pretty shoes. Ridiculously high heels, strappy sandals, ankle straps, platforms, love them all.
7. Today
8. Dental floss and mouthwash

Monday, November 9, 2009

If wishes were horses...

My mom always said this. If wishes were horses beggars would ride. My family had quite a few odd ball sayings, most morphed from misunderstandings. My dad always said something was “as useless as faucets on a sow pig”. My sister thought he said fosters on a sow pig. What that even means is anyone’s guess. Another family gem, you’d complain if someone gave you a million dollars cause you had to take it to the bank. There were also the jokes that at one time probably were real jokes, but through miss-telling became funnier to us, and then funnier when we told them because no one else understood, which was the whole point of the joke.
What sits on a wall and laughs? Lemon meringue pie.
What’s the difference between an orange?
Two penguins were sitting in a hot tub. One says to the other, pass me a bar of soap. The other one replies, what do you think I am? A typewriter?
How many ADD kids does it take to change a light bulb? Hey, wanna go ride our bikes?
And family sayings…
Grandma’s funny!
Can’t we all just get along?
Ann Margaret! (Always used in trivial pursuit when we don’t know the answer.)
What prompted this trip down memory lane? Listening to my kids talk to each other and not understanding what they were saying. Sometimes they use lines from movies or TV shows that I haven’t seen, which leaves me in the dark, like “Anarchy, Anarchy!” But they have their jokes that I don’t get and their conversations I’m not a part of, and I like that. I remember how close I was to my brothers and sister growing up, and even now my brothers can make me laugh harder than anyone else I know. Except my son and my nephews. Chips off the old block, I tell you.
A life without laughter is just not as much fun. The people I enjoy most are the ones that make me laugh and laugh with me. (I can be serious, and know when I should be, although that doesn’t always work out). Life is hard, I feel like I have had more than my share of hard knocks (if I had my way I wouldn’t have any) but laughing sure helps. So this week, I’m “putting on a happy face” and I’m going to enjoy life.**

**this is directed at me, as I had discouraging news twice today already and once over the weekend and I’m choosing to be happy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: My house in the evening, Steve is watching the history channel, I'm doing paperwork. Whitney comes out of her room in sweats, tee shirt, tennis shoes with her back pack over her shoulder.

Me: Going somewhere?
Whitney: blank look
Me: It's 9:32 in the evening
Whitney: blank look
Steve: laughter
Whitney: I'm so stupid. (and she goes back to bed)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weekend in Review

It was so crazy, I just now realized it's over. Volleyball tournament was Saturday, Whitney's middle school team broke all kinds of school records this season. They were undefeated, won all city title by winning the tournament Saturday, first year ever the students beat the faculty in volleyball, and the faculty didn't give it to them, and best of all, all ten volleyball players were on honor roll so they had a special recognition of them at the honor roll breakfast. It was really cool. Two things I didn't like about the breakfast, the food wasn't great, and since I've gone back to weight watchers eating unhealthy food that is not good, not gonna do it, and I didn't have enough time to visit with the other moms.
Judgment House is over, so Steve is home a little more (YAY) I really missed him. Nate went to Manhattan for a base ball camp (Manhattan, Ks) his baseball fundraiser is over and his part time job is over for end of season, so he will have a little extra time until he finds another job, if he so decides.
I have realized that the holidays are looming right around the corner. I love some aspects of the holidays while others not so much. Unfortunately I have some relationships that will never be right this side of heaven, and while we all manage to get along and sweep junk under the rug, the junks there, and it does diminish the enjoyment of the season. My kids are all old enough Christmas shopping is hard (and expensive). Also have 6 close family birthdays to celebrate between now and the end of the year. Me and cake, now we get along waaaaaay to well.
Anyway, enough rambling, I have dishes and laundry to do before I try to get to church tonight. Everyone have a great week!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin...

I think we try to hard for analogies. Have you seen this e-mail?
“Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff-- including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see. This was passed on to me from another pumpkin. Now, it is your turn to pass it to a pumpkin. I liked this enough to send it to all the pumpkins in my patch. Happy Fall!”
Why is it so many “pumpkins” look scary and unhappy? And the longer they sit outside on the front porch the scarier they look. They wither up and everything puckers to the inside. If I’m going to compare my Christian life to a pumpkin, turn me into a pie and top me with whipped cream. Pie looks good, smells good, tastes good and doesn’t come with a scowling face. Actually brings a little pleasure to life and generally is followed by a nap. Don’t get much better than that.
I love Halloween. Some may think it’s the devil’s holiday, but anything with that much candy has to be Heaven sent. I love all things pumpkins, including jack-o-lanterns.
This year Whitney is a bee. Not a sexy bee (because she is just 13), but not bee girl from Blind Melon’s “No Rain” video either. Best part is, it’s a friends costume from last year, so NO $$$ were spent procuring this costume. She is going to a party at a friend’s house after the volleyball tournament, so I won’t get pictures unless I make her dress up again.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney (at age 8) had set up a TV box as a “store” one weekend. She talked everyone in to coming to her store and buying things from her, with real money. Nothing like spending my money to buy granola bars, cookies and diet coke that I had already paid for once at Walmart, but it kept her occupied for hours. The next morning she got up and went to her store and asked her dad to come shop. He told her she was still in her pajamas and she had to get dressed for work.

She says, “but it’s casual Friday”.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I don't know me!

I was walking through the plant today and saw someone and thought, “that lady has a dress like mine”. For those of you thinking no one else in the world would dress like me, you are right; it was my reflection in a mirror. I didn’t recognize myself. There are a few reasons, I haven’t worn this dress since cold weather, my allergies are bad and when I wear my contacts my eyes itch so I’ve been wearing glasses. I got new glasses this summer after having the same ones for about 6 years, and I rarely look at myself in the mirror at home when I’m wearing them. I just got my hair done (color) and it’s in a new style (okay, it’s not a new style, it’s raining and my hair has a mind of it’s own on rainy days). My dress also fits different than it did 600 miles ago. I laughed at myself that I saw someone and didn’t recognize myself. This goes along with the idea of our sermon this week. I have not heard a preview or even know anything about it beyond the topic, which is the monster within, and I only know this because Steve told me. Even without knowing what will be said, this is one I won’t miss, because I know the monster in me. Not recognizing myself in a mirror is funny, but it has happened in other instances as well. Have you ever been in a situation where someone told you a negative something about yourself and you didn’t get it? You don’t see yourself that way at all. Flip side, someone sees something positive in you and you don’t see that either. This has happened to me a lot. And I think I’m pretty easy to know, but then again I didn’t recognize myself walking through the factory, so I could be way off base.Fooling myself doesn’t happen often. I’m a realist. I’m not a pessimist, I don’t believe the worst is always going to happen, but I’m not an optimist either. I don’t believe the best is always going to happen. John 16:33 says “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (NLT) Jesus tells us life is going to be hard here on earth. No one gets a pass on this. But he gives us the answer to this; have peace IN HIM because he has overcome this world with its many trials and sorrows. When I think of trials and sorrows, this has been a rough season for me. Not so much my trials and sorrows, but feeling the pain from friends who have suffered. I can’t begin to say I feel it like they do. Cancer, death, job losses, children having problems, health issues in general, financial difficulties, just loss of hope that there will be something better in the days to come. Then I read this verse. I regularly read this chapter and keep it in mind where the people I love are concerned because I need the reminder that if I love these people (and I do) then this is how it’s done. This verse spoke to me just a little differently today. Romans 13:7 “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance”. (NLT)Always before I have looked at it as never giving up on the people I love, and enduring through the tough times because better days are coming. But today I realized that this love comes from our Savior. I don’t give up, because I want to do what is right. I want to hear the words from Matthew 25:21 “well done” someday. I don’t lose faith, because in Hebrews 11:6 “without faith it is impossible to please Him”, I always hope, because Romans 15:13 “God, the source of hope,” and I endure because Hebrews 12:7 “as we endure this discipline…God is dealing with us as children”. One thing I learned over the last 4 months of my physical training for a marathon is there are many parallels to life. Sometimes you are running uphill against a 25 mph straight line wind and you want to quit. But you slow down and walk and let people around you encourage to keep going. Sometimes you are hot and sweaty and hungry and thirsty, so you stop and take a break and refuel. You endure the trials and tests of training because when it’s time to really step up and face the “race” you want to have the strength to finish, and finish well. I have always hated this analogy that God gives you these struggles to prepare you, because it meant the trials and struggles I was facing were getting me ready for the race, and if the training is this hard, then what is the race going to be like? But then I did my marathon training and ran the race. I made a huge discovery. The actual race was so much easier than the training. I was prepared. I hope when I don’t recognize myself it’s because I’m getting better.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I have learned

1. Green beans do not make a good snack. Unless they are deep fried and dipped in ranch.
2. People that make the doors and walls of public bathrooms have a sense of humor. I was in one the other day and they were manufactured by “Hiny Hiders”.
3. Age 41 is better than age 21, even with wrinkles, gray hair and the effects of gravity. I’ve lived through both, so I’m an expert.
4. Being able to eat 2 donuts for breakfast, 2 cupcakes for lunch and a Braum’s banana split for dinner (this is what happens when I’m left on my own for a day) and still have a 2 pound weight loss at weight watcher’s the next day can set a very bad precedent.
5. I can walk 50 feet on a 3 inch wide concrete rail in 4 inch platform oxfords without falling. I did this to keep from getting mud on my light colored leather/linen oxfords. I wonder if that would have been as important had I fallen off and broke my ankle? Hindsight, anyone?
6. Four teenage boys cannot sneak through your living room, office and kitchen behind your back without being noticed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 21

I wasn't going to post anymore about the marathon, but this week trying to recover has been part of the marathon experience, so here is my "bonus" post. I had a horribly swollen right foot and right knee for a couple of days, but when I was ready to give in and go to the doctor, the swelling went down and I have minimal pain, so I didn't go. I think I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot, but icing, anti-inflammatories and stretching are helping a lot, so I think it will be okay. I had this before the marathon, but it only bothers me occasionally, so I can run through it. I was really tired. More so than I expected. I was also ravenously hungry. I thought I was back to normal physically, but went to watch my nephew run cross country yesterday and when I walked back to the car I had to walk up hill and across grass and my legs felt fatigue in a 200 yard walk. So maybe I still have a little resting left to do. I plan on not running till next weekend anyway, so should work okay.

Friday they posted official pictures on the marathon website and as I looked through them I was more emotional than I expected to be. The thing that struck me most was that I looked like I was having a good time. And I did. I thoroughly enjoyed the race, even though I hurt and I was tired. If you want to see pictures, and follow the links to pictures, I was bib 1989.

Now I'm going to have to be more creative again because I don't have training to share with you. Well, I'm going to keep running, next race is a 10 mile on November 21, but I won't share all my sweating with you, unless it's a funny story like getting chased by a duck or something equally ridiculous. I did get skinnier, but haven't taken measurements or checked my weight or any of that stufff, just gone by feeling in my clothes (and looking in the mirror).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: leaving Target where an associate is cleaning up a mess.

Whitney: Ewww, is that throw up?
Me: Appears so.
Whitney: That's why I'm never having kids.
Me: Are you saying I'm never getting grandkids?
Whitney: You got a problem with that?
Me: No.
Whitney: My husband will have to clean it up. And no baby is spitting on me. It will just sit in its crib all day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The winner is...

JULES! E-mail me your address at and I will get your prize in the mail.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


And I'm tired. I feel like someone beat me with a baseball bat from the neck down. Even my arms hurt, because I needed them to propel me forward.I beat my 6 hours by 6 minutes. I'm glad I did it, and plan to do another. A few lows: mile 9 was on the opposite side of the median from mile 20. I got see the two winners pass me. Mile 12 I would've given anything to have Steve with me. Mile 21 cramps in hamstrings settled in and wouldn't leave. Highs: 9500 runners, although only 1556 were full marathon. Beautiful scenery, and the volunteers and encouragers were awesome. Especially for me as I was pretty much alone miles 8 to 26 when the half marathonners split off. I was 1521 out of 1556 but the finish line felt like 1st. I was 100 feet out when I saw Steve and he came back on the course after he finished (much earlier) to finish with me. The announcer called my name, and said I had an escort to the finish line. It was a great experience, and next time will be easier. I hope.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: My friend Sheila’s car, Whitney and Sheila’s daughter Emily are in the backseat. Little history here, Sheila and I have been friends since elementary school. Whitney and Emily are a year apart, but have been friends since Whitney’s birth. We finished our run at Sheila’s house, Whitney had spent the night and Sheila is taking us home.

Emily: How far did you run?
Sheila: 18.75 miles
Emily: Oh, Whitney and I run twice that far everyday.
Sheila laughs
Me: Really?
Whitney: yeah I get up at 4:00 every morning and run before you get up.
Me: Dad gets up at 5:00.
Whitney: I’m back home and in bed long before that.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

You're listening to...

Whitney and I got in the car this morning and the radio came on to a popular local station’s morning show. They were doing a segment on Halloween costumes. One lady had e-mailed that her 11 year old wanted to be an exotic dancer. This request was met by mixed reviews from the morning show commentators. Some thought it was wrong and some thought there was nothing objectionable about it. I’m not going to voice my opinion till I show you Whitney’s costume last year.
Yep, my 12 year old daughter was Charlie Brown. And she was a hit everywhere we went.

And the year before…
Scarlett O’Hara minus the hat. It was in the car.

Now I’m going to voice my opinion. IT’S NEVER OKAY TO DRESS UP AS AN EXOTIC DANCER.

I was getting ready to turn the radio off when I heard something that made me leave it on. Childbirth Experience Dolls. A woman knits dolls (and will even make them special to resemble you), and they give birth to a baby. The doll comes complete with placenta and umbilical cord. All this stuff is crammed inside the doll and actually mimics the birthing process. Christmas ideas anyone?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Love Songs 2

During Newspring's Love Songs sermon series people were allowed to text questions and Pastor Mark answered them at the end of the service. While some were funny, a lot of them really made me sad. The dysfunction showed in these questions couldn't be missed. These were people asking for help and they actually need counseling, it's not issues the pastor can fix from the platform in two minutes.
My son also told me about a friend of his that moved in with a friend and his mom because her parents are getting divorced. She told him that they don't talk to each other and haven't in a long time. She has 3 younger brothers and sisters. How sad for kids growing up in these homes. I know it doesn't mean they will have dysfunctional relationships anymore than saying a kid grows up in a good home is exempt from bad relationships. It just is sad.
I wasn't comparing my marriage to anyone else, but it has made me aware of the pain people are feeling. I want to fix it, but I can't. Only God can fix these and heal these, but I am praying for the ones I specifically know about.
Sorry about the depressing posts. This has just been on my heart for a couple weeks now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Love Songs 1

We have just finished a wonderful sermon series on marriage at church. I have several thoughts about it, so I'm going to split this into two posts. It was titled "Love Songs", so our band sang several love songs as covers. My top four were Steve's rendition of Michael Bolton's "When A Man Loves A Woman", he totally nailed it and his cover of Paul McCartney's "Baby I'm Amazed". Lance's cover of "Broken" by Lifehouse, "Everything" by Michael Buble and "Amazed" by Lonestar. (Okay, 5 favorites).
I was really struck by the idea that while Steve and I do not have a perfect marriage (oxymoron?) we have a good marriage. And we are so blessed by God to be in this position. We work at it, I will say that, but we came to marriage behind the 8 ball. Both of us had destructive relationships in our past, Steve's a failed marriage. I'm going to leave that situation alone, except to say Steve suffered and had to heal.
I was different. I dated. ALOT. My first real boyfriend at age 19 broke up with me 14 months into our relationship after he had been dating one of his college tutors. I was devastated. I wouldn't let myself really fall for anyone after that. I hurt a lot of really nice guys. First guy I really fell for after that and I fell hard, we dated for 6 months. He broke up with me in the most unique way I ever experienced. He called me at 3:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning very drunk needing a ride home. He was calling from his bachelor party because his "other" girlfriend was pregnant and they had to get married (as good catholics do). He called me because he needed to end it, but he also didn't want to start his marriage off with his wife mad at him because he was too drunk to get home, but didn't want anyone from his family or the wedding party to know. If you wonder why I did this for him, I have a policy anyone that calls me for a ride when they are drunk will get one. If they know me well enough to have my phone number I care enough about them to not want them driving that way. Anyway, this guy was followed up by Nate's father which had these other guys not treated me so bad, this relationship may have been different, but hindsight and all...anyway, broke up with him, found out two weeks later I was pregnant, and I told him I was pregnant, and that's basically the end of that story.
So four years later I get Steve. I would love to say we honored God with dating relationship, but we didn't. We did all sorts of things wrong, and we had several years of trying to make a mixed up family work. Steve was trying to live a godly life earlier on then I was, I was still in survival mode. I have always known Jesus, been a believer most of my life. Jesus has always been a very prominent figure in my life, even when I wasn't trying to live good. He's always been there. But early on in our marriage I figured out that I wouldn't make it as wife, mom and stepmom if I didn't fully lean on Jesus for strength. This is what has made our marriage successful. We have made it a priority to keep God at the center. That's not always easy. There is no "me" time. Steve and the kids got the best of me and I made do with what was left over. I still do. And you know what? God has made sure that what was left over was always enough.
I was just so thankful as I listened to this series that there were things we could do better, and very good reminders, but thankful that God let two broken sinful people turn to him and he made "beauty from ashes".

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 19


I'm excited and nervous. This week even with a busy week I crammed in every workout, including cross training and strength training. The weather has changed here in Kansas and that sent me indoors to the treadmill for a midweek training run, but we chose on Saturday to brave the wind and weather and run our 12 miles in the cold. We did have to stop and buy stocking caps and gloves at Kwikshop because it was colder than we thought. But we will need them all winter, because I can't wear my $40.00 leather gloves (a gift no less) to run in. Also, if I have to throw away my .99 cent gloves on a run because my hands get hot, I can justify that. Anyway, as cold as it was (36 degrees) and windy as it was (20 mph north winds) we made the decision to drive to our church (12.64 miles from home) and run home. We had to be back there Saturday night for church anyway. We dropped off some bottled water and drove to church. Locked the keys in the car, so there was no turning back. That was the plan. I would've wimped out had I ran from home and turned around at about miles and been done. My outer shins ached and I couldn't breathe well or find a rhythm for about 4 miles. But we crossed Rock Road heading to the bike path from 29th to 32nd, and as I sprinted to keep up with Steve crossing the busy street, I realized I finally felt good. Probably one of the best runs I've had in a while. I have done 4 weeks of running every run with Steve, and I have benefited greatly from that. Plus, when I run with him I don't run with my IPOD, but he sings, and that's even better.

Did I say marathon in 6 days? Where did the time go?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: In the car driving home

Whitney: I hate cemetaries. They're creepy. They're full of dead bodies.
Me: What are we supposed to do? Burn them all in a huge crematorium?
Whitney: Yes and then sprinkle them on the crops. Can't you just see grandma? This is my corn. Grandpa helped me grow it. HAHAHA.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The small things

Have you ever felt like you were bothering God with your prayers? Praying for your daughter to get over a cough when you know a woman dying of cancer? Praying for an additional need of $400 for tires when there are people without jobs and food? Praying for your daughter to make the middle school volleyball team when there are kids who can’t walk? Baseball scholarships when there are kids who can’t afford pencils and shoes for school? (Please don’t misunderstand, I have some serious needs too, I’m just choosing not to share some of our more intense needs with family members for their protection). I read a devotional this weekend, an excerpt from a book by John MacArthur II. In a nutshell it said if it matters to you it matters to God. Used the example that as parents there is nothing in our kid’s lives that is too small for us to pay attention. I think about the things that are important to my kids. I have sat in 30 degree temperatures in freezing rain to watch my son play baseball. I have napped on wooden bleachers at a volleyball tournament with three games being played and kids running up and down said bleachers because we had to be there at 6:30 and it was two hours away. I know all about Spongebob, Pokemon and Icarly. I have read the Princess Diaries. I watch baseball, basketball and football on TV. I am working on my second hand made blanket this fall for another friend of one of my children. I buy the favorite flavor of Gatorade. Skim milk for my husband and vitamin D milk for the kids, because they like it better. I could go on and on, but I think the point is made that my kids are important to me, and I am interested in every aspect of their lives, even the “little things”. (Side note, this carries over to grandparents. I was asked to work the concession stand at the soccer game this week with Nate to make money for the baseball team and I have a commitment at church. My parents are working the concession stand with Nate. And this doesn’t embarrass him, he thinks it’s cool. Great parents, great kid.) If I put God in the role of my heavenly father, then I believe He cares about what is important to me. Matthew 7:11 says “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. (NLT)”
Recently I have been praying for some needs. Big needs and small needs, and I pray believing God will answer. I pray believing so much that God will answer that I fight disappointment when he doesn’t.
This verse says ask him. I will continue to ask him, and believe when he doesn’t do what I ask (find the lost cell phone last Thursday night) that there is a reason he didn’t answer my way, a lesson to be learned, growth opportunity to be had. I believe God wants to do great things for his children. I know my biggest challenge is aligning my view that his way is the best way. I also won’t forget that if it matters to me, it matters to him.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why Me?

Do you ever ask this question? Look at your life and say, "Why me? Why does everything happen to me?" I have been asking this for about a week now.

Why me? Why do I have plenty of food in my house when so many are going hungry? As I chose what to have for lunch today and had the choice of a sandwich;, ham, turkey, or peanut butter and jelly on bread, buns, tortillas or pita (I'm having a frito chili pie), and then set out hamburger for supper to have with noodles and have a choice of spaghetti noodles, egg noodles or elbow noodles. With it we will have cornbread or biscuits. Don't ask me about the 6 boxes of cereal on my fridge. Why do I still have my job in this time of recession, what makes me so special that during an economic downturn I get to remain employed with good health care benefits? I have my health, my family is healthy. Even my extended family of brothers & sisters, parents, in-laws, cousins and most of my aunts & uncles. Why me? Why do I have a husband who loves me and our children? He's faithful to God and he's faithful to me. Why do I have so many great friends that I trust and enjoy? What did I do to deserve teachers and counselors at the high school that work to help my kids. I got a call today from the Nate's baseball coach who told Nate's counselor and teacher he would call me and take care of an issue. It was potentially harmful to his gpa and would be extreme amounts of work, but the teacher and baseball coach worked out a solution that was better than I had prayed for. Why me? I have clean drinking water from a tap. I have a refridgerator to put my cereal on. I have more meds in my cupboard than some families will have in their whole lives.

It's not my day to list all the things I'm thankful for, but I'm so very thankful for the blessings in my life. (And for the chocolate cupcakes in the oven).

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week 18

For all of you have stuck with me reading about my 20 weeks of marathon training, I am almost there. I finally stopped itching and needing Benadryl early Tuesday morning. This week I started out Monday at the gym lifting with Steve. So naturally, Tuesday my biceps, shoulders and abs were sore. Ran 4 miles with Steve Tuesday night, (speed training because I was running with Steve). Wednesday I took off, Thursday went out to run and ran a mile into 32 mph winds. Not gusts, straight line wind. I couldn't take it any longer after a mile and turned around. I am not lyng when I say I struggled to maintain a 13 minute mile going out and flew home with a 9 minute mile barely trying. Love Kansas wind - when it's at my back. Friday I rested up for Saturday's long run. We waited later to run because it was still 44 degrees at 10:00 a.m., and while I will run when it's cold, it's the same as moving to hot weather. I have to acclimate myself. I can't go from mild temps to cold temps overnight without feeling the affects.

Let me just say Saturday's run was brutal. Steve ran with me, and I think it's the first long run we have done together in 3 months. I started out feeling great. We ran the first 11 and I felt good. We got to 11.10 and I died. I didn't want to take another step. Happened that fast. Made it to Taco Bell for water and energy gel, that helped, and ran another mile, but still felt like I could barely put one foot in front of the other. 12.5 miles we came to Kwik Shop and got drinks, fruit and cheese and took a second energy gel, and felt pretty rejuvenated. Ran another 4 miles pretty well, or so I thought. We were coming up on a hill and Steve was in front of me and he said when we got to the twig in the road we walk up the rest of the hill. I got to the twig in the road and could barely lift my feet over it. I caught it with my foot and stabbed myself in the back of the ankle and ran the last 3.5 miles dripping blood into my sock. When we finally got home, I asked Steve if we were really insane and he said yes. But this was the fastest I have ever traversed 20 miles. Including 4 drink stops where we had to go inside and buy water (and I used the facilities once) and walking through some pretty rough terrain to get to our running path (and climbing a fence). This is encouraging, as the marathon has a 6 hour time limit. The website that predicts times based on previous races seems to think based on my two half marathons this summer I can run the marathon in 5:35 to 5:47. We will see. I do know I won't run the first 10 miles at Steve's pace. I run much better if I start slow and allow myself to finish strong than if I burn it all on the front half.
When I got home yesterday afternoon, I was seriously questioning my own sanity and whether I could run 6 more miles on top of yesterdays run. But after a shower, a chicken and black bean corn salsa quesadilla (all homemade, yummm) and a diet coke, I was a whole new woman. I have followed the training and I believe I am mentally and physically ready. I will point out that this is not the culmination of 20 weeks of training for me. I started last July training for a half marathon, so I'm not a natural runner, and a 20 week training program has taken me 15 months to actually get to the point I'm ready. I may not be fast, I may not be talented, but by golly, I'm determined.

The next two weeks are fall back weeks in the area of mileage, so I will spend some extra time on weights and elliptical machines. Hard to believe I am calling a 12 mile run a short run, but it's all in perspective.

Everyone have a great week, enjoy this beautiful fall weather.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

A couple of Whitney one-liners...

I saw that picture of you when you were in the 80's.

Don't you hate it when you are so full you can't even swallow what's in your mouth?

It's funny because it's true.

Don't defy me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm so thankful

Today I'm thankful for:

My Bible in a version other than the KJV I was raised on. Still can read it and quote it and love it, but it's much more enjoyable reading in current day language.
The ability to work my job from home. Technology is awesome.
Toilet paper.
Debit cards.
My pastor.
My daughter made the middle school volleyball team.
My friend that runs with me.
My friend that walked through rain to look at art work last Friday with me.
My comfy couch to sleep on when hubby isn't feeling well.
MY READERS! And for you all, the chance to win a small token of my appreciation. This is home grown fruit turned into home made jelly. Black Raspberry and Apple Pear. Both are delicious. The third jar is my trail mix, I like trail mix, but always pick things out of it, so I make my own with the things I like and use cereal for filler. So put your name in the comments section for a chance to win, and check back for a winner!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I was talking to Steve last night. He said he thinks blogs are work. He hasn't tried blogging, I don't think he's ever filled his text field on a text message or sent an e-mail longer than two sentences since he finished college. He hates to read. I told him I knew that, it was probably too much work to even read one. He told me he reads mine. Not all the time, and never the training or Whitney ones (he lives those). And he told me it was good stuff. Made my day. He does something he doesn't enjoy for me. What a guy.
I'm sitting in the waiting room at the doc while Nate gets a sports physical. We had lunch and opened a bank account for him. Taking a healthy kid to the doctor. Can I tell you how much I love this boy? He bought me lunch today. We are filling out college paperwork, bank accounts, etc., and when the nurse called him back he handed me his "old school" gameboy and pokemon game.
Hope everyone enjoys the fall weather, looks like most of the country has it, and know that I'm praying for you. Each one of you that reads this. I may not know, but God does, and he knows I meant you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week 17

I had a bad weekend. Through Friday I did okay with my workouts. Saturday, not so much. Had a 24 mile run I needed to get in this weekend, but Friday night was was bad, and I didn't have it in my for Saturday morning. So I figured I'd do it Saturday night or Sunday. But over the weekend I tried a new recipe and I'm very allergic to the ingredients. Hives. Eyes swollen shut, ears swollen shut, itchy burning skin. So Saturday afternoon and evening was spent drugged up on Benadryl. Sunday morning at 5:00 a.m. I woke up itching, so I took more Benadryl. Got up for church and one eye was swollen shut, they other half way. I still thought I could run this afternoon, but 2.5 miles and I was done. I'm still itching. I'm hoping by tomorrow it will all be out of my system and Tuesday I can get back into the swing of things.

3 weeks till marathon. I'm excited.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney is bumped today for a conversation with Nate.

Setting: Wednesday night after church

Me: I didn’t see you come up for communion.
Nate: Yeah, I passed on it tonight.
Me: Sin in your life?
Nate: Nah, I had that triple burger at Freddy’s and just didn’t think my stomach could take anything else.

This is our non-denom communion, except our crackers are even smaller.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm Thankful

Sometimes I find myself feeling like nothing good is happening. Life can be hard, but when I think of all the wonderful things God has blessed me with, how can I think nothing good is going on? So I have taken stock of my life and things (outside the ordinary like health and family, etc.) I'm thankful for today. Tomorrow will be different (except for the diet coke) and I won't share my list every day, but I have decided with my devotions to add thinking of 10 things I'm thankful for. They can be things I enjoy or that make my life easier, (or maybe harder) but that's the plan, and then I'm going to thank God for them.

1. Oil of Olay and all products made by them including but not limited to: firming night cream, simply ageless foundation, moisturizer, I’m a fan.
2. My co-worker Ken. He is knowledgeable and helpful, an excellent combination in a person.
3. Diet Coke. This would be on every “thankful” list I make.
4. Running water. I thought of this in the shower this morning. What a great country we live in.
5. The Public Library. A building full of books that are free to read.
6. Corrective lenses.
7. Bacon wrapped filets. Meat wrapped in meat. Yum.
8. The availability of medicine. Allergy, cold, sinus, flu, tylenol, etc.
9. Music
10. The waste management truck that comes and removes my garbage every week.

(Thursdays are a good day for me to "count my blessings" and list all the things I'm thankful for because it is my least favorite day of the week. So today I am thankful for my husband and his commitment to God.)