Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Alternative Uses For Everyday Foods

We hear a lot these days about food being used as fuel. Corn, water, and used cooking oil, things like that. But I have discovered some new uses for food, or rather, my kids have.

1. Grapes make perfect mini-hand grenades.

2. Grapes used as hand grenades also double as really squishy land mines.

3. Grits can strenghten the fibers of carpet when allowed to dry.

4. The chocolate from an ice cream sandwich can be used as a primitive paint. Not unlike cave paintings, only instead of caves, couches.

5. The remainder of a $6.00 bottle of imported olive oil, when mixed with water and glitter makes a great lava lamp.

6. Burned campfire marshmallows double for rubber cement when used, while still hot, to bond gravel to a wrought iron patio set.

7. Carrots, peanut butter and apples can be used to make modern art sculptures.

8. When used creatively, a tablespoon of Slim-Fast powder can completely cover a 3 foot section of countertop and the floor in front of it.

9. Certain drinks, when spilled and allowed to dry, could double as a glue trap for a mouse.

10. A sippy cup full of milk, if allowed to sit under a bed for a month, could be effectively used as a weapon in chemical warfare.

If you don't believe me, let my kids come spend a week with you. I'm sure my little scientists can come up with some more.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stink

I have a confession. Tonight, while at the talent show at church, my deodorant completely failed me. I went to take my sweatshirt off and almost choked. It was just my left armpit, the right one didn't smell at all. But my right one sweats and my left one doesn't. Chris thinks it's my hormones. He thinks that because this is the longest I've gone without being pregnant or nursing in the past 11 years. I have no idea but it's very annoying.

I leaned over to my friend and apologized, explaining that I had taken a shower this morning and applied deodorant twice. I think I'll call Dr. Mac about it. Anyway, it got me to thinking. There's the obvious truth that this is just like my sin. No matter what I do or how hard I try, I can't cover up the cesspool of my flesh. It eeks out no matter how hard I try to hide it.

But then there's the more subtle thought. The way I felt, the annoyance, the embarrassment - it shows me again that I want to be perfect. Not in a godly way, but in the sense that I want people to see me and think I have it all together. Which, of course, I don't.

The whole situation was ridiculous. But I learned to trust God better. Because, who am I really? Am I defined by my phsical condition? Nope. Am I defined by my sin? Nuh-uh. I am beautiful and loved and righteous. And nothing on this earth can change that. What a relief.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Day

I started this blog Thursday. Sorry it took so long to post.


I went back to the Oral Surgeon today for my post-op, pathology report. All good. Yeah! Relief.

While at lunch with my Dad at Jim N Nicks, I turned around to look for the waitress and my oral surgeon was sitting right behind me. Isn't that weird? I thought it was.

Kim and I bought groceries. We got to shop with no kids this time. Much faster.

Overall, a good day. Not real interesting but good none the less. Kim and I laughed soooo much. At one point, I lost my breath. It actually hurt. People might have thought we were on something. We missed you Angela. Your name was mentioned a couple of times. Cause you're our soul sister, you can make us laugh.

Anyway, hope your day was good too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hypocrisy

Henri Nouwen wrote these words in his journal:

" We who offer spiritual leadership often find ourselves not living what we are preaching or teaching. It is not easy avoiding hypocrisy completely because we find ourselves saying things larger than ourselves. I often call people to a life I am not fully able to live myself. I am learning that the best cure for hypocrisy is community. Hypocrisy is not so much the result of not living what I preach but much more of not confessing my inability to fully live up to my own words."

To me, this is profound. Avoiding hypocrisy entails being open and honest about my struggles. Not trying harder to keep up and cover up. Hmmm. Something to contemplate.

What's Worse Than...

What's worse than a trip to the DMV? Taking 4 kids under the age of 10 with you.

What's worse than a trip to the DMV with 4 kids under the age of 10? Waiting for 30 minutes and then being told that the 'system' is down and I'll have to come back another day.

AAGGHHHH!!!!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sermon Thoughts Vol. 1

I am blessed to hear the best sermons every week. I like to take notes on the sermon outlines we get. I keep them in a drawer at my house and look over them occassionally. It's a good devotional. If you have the opportunity to do the same, I encourage you to do it.

I have a few favorites that I pull out and read semi-regularly. One of them is from way back. It's accompanied by a good story too. I was in the midst of serious conflict, my first as an adult. The year was 1996 around Christmas. As any of you that know me can attest, I hate conflict. And there I was, up to my neck in it. I got to church late and met up with my good friend, Hope, in the parking lot. She could tell I'd been crying and we had a short conversation about what was going on. Then I sat through the singing feeling unsure of myself and really just torn up inside. Guess what the sermon was about? Peace. Burt preached straight to my heart. My notes quote him as saying, "True peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of Christ." And I realized that what I was comfortable with was 'absence of conflict' not a concrete reality of Christ's presence. In that moment, my faith was strengthened and I knew what was required of me. It was a huge, life changing moment. And God used Burt to teach it to me. Have I ever said 'Thank you' to you Burt? I should have. I'll say it now - Thanks for teaching what you learn and speaking truth to us every week. It is appreciated.

I have many more sermons that were specifically meaningful. I'll share more later. It's good for me to read them and learn anew. Plus, I hope you like them.

In this picture, I'd just gotten off the lift. That's Maggie just left off center in the white and purple. If you look just to the right of the evergreens in the very center of the frame, you can see our hotel. It's more of a cream colored blob. ;o) Posted by Picasa

This is Kim on the blue lift. Maggie and I were on the seat ahead of her. The three of us skied together most of the time. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Lovely Trip

As you can see from the pictures above, we had lots of snow. It was in the low 40's, so it wasn't that cold either. We skiied all day Tuesday and Wednesday. Maggie and Ty were in ski school the first day and then spent the second skiing with Chris and I. Maggie skis like me and Ty is more like Chris, only more fearless. No joke.

Our friends Boo and Evan came with us which was too fun. Kim and Scott came up the day after we did. Evan learned how to ski in about 15 minutes - big turkey. He's really good too. Makes me sick.

Maggie can ski better than me now. And Ty is even better than her. He comes down the black diamonds in a tuck. He knows how to cut back and forth but he says that he can't go fast enough when he does that. So, he just points his skis straight and goes wide open. Next year he must wear a helmet. He scares me.

I executed my one spectacular, required fall. It was, as usual, gorgeous. I was coming down the, to my mind, most insanely steep slope ever. I didn't want to but if I wanted to ski Oz it was the only way down. So down I went - literally. So as to not disappoint my fans, I made sure that I fell in the midst of the most people possible. Everyone had a chance to see and comment. Just as planned. And right on schedule.

The boys had a massive snowball battle. By 'boys' I mean Ty, Bren, Chris and Evan. Brody enjoyed wandering back and forth in the line of fire. He reminded me of a duck in the carnival shooting games. The boys had strategies, berms, forts, shields, and endless amounts of ammunition. The battle lasted almost an hour. At the end of it, everyone was soaking wet and frozen. They came in, took showers and ate some Beef Skillet Fiesta. The perfect end to the perfect day.

Needless to say, the trip was fun, adventurous, beautiful, and maybe a little crazy. No one fought or broke anything. We all laughed and joked. I was very grateful. And after two solid days of being on skis, a bit sore. I'll post more pictures when I get them developed.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Getting Ready For Vacation

As much as I love taking vacations, I hate getting ready for them. I mean, first of all there's all the pressure of packing. If it was just my clothes, it wouldn't be so bad. But I have to make sure that 6 people have everything they're going to need without going overboard. I don't want to have to buy stuff when we get there but I don't want to be so crowded in the van that we can't move. And toy selection is crucial. Just enough of just the right toys that will keep them content for a 7 hour trip. But then again, that's not really possible.

Then there's the 'clean house standard'. You know what I'm talkin' about. My house must be clean. I'm serious. I do not want to be plagued on my trip with the knowledge that my house is a mess. then I know that I have to work the day I get home. No thank you. Add to this the sad fact that, due to my recent surgery and sickness, my house had not been really cleaned in almost 2 weeks. Ugh.

The problem is that I have to do all this meticulous planning and detailed cleaning with 4 freakin' kids up my rear. If I clean the kitchen, in fifteen minutes it's dirty again. Case in point: yesterday, I finally got Brody calm and Maggie cleaning. Ty I had just given up on. My sweet compliant child was possessed, so I sent him to his bed. I made Gracie go ahead and get in the shower. She enjoys it and it keeps her occupied for a while. I was finally making progress on the kitchen when Maggie ran in the room to inform me that the bathroom was flooded. Apparently the plastic shower liner was on the outside of the tub. She had been in the tub for almost 10 minutes, so there was a good 4 gallons of water in the floor. Needless to say, that was a thirty minute detour. That was typical of yesterday.

So now, here I sit afraid to move or my house will get messy. Obsessed with the fear that I've forgotten some vital something for the trip. House clean? check. Diapers? check. Snacks? check. List? completed. I think I'm ready.

Patrick asked me one time why it was that people think that life will be magically different on vacation. Same kids. Same parents. Why do we expect a different response? I'm sure you can all think of different reasons. I think that, for me, it's that we plan trips that we can afford so that we don't have to say 'No' all the time. Isn't that what all kids want? To get what they want. But in my experience, it just makes them greedier.

My somewhat rambling point being: I have to enjoy every moment as if it's the best moment I'll ever have. Because who knows? Maybe it is. And every moment is something straight from the heart of God. Ask my Dad. The darkest, most painful moments in life hold beautiful things. So, I guess I need a chill pill. And be like the Expedia commercials, enjoy the getting ready. And thank God that we get a snow skiing trip in the midst of the 'non-month'.

So, if you want, go to www.skibeech.com this Tuesday or Wednesday and click on "live web cam". You might just see me skidding wildly down the slopes.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Fall of Man

Yesterday, I felt awful. I had a terrible headache. In my stubborn way, I pushed through it and kept busy. I visited a friend, went to the store, and took the kids to a birthday party for their cousin. We got home at bedtime, just in time to wake Chris up for work. I kept feeling worse and worse. Got Chris off to work and the kids in bed and lay in the bed trying to read a little to relax. As I lay there, a thought occured to me. "This feeling is familiar. Why? What is this feeling exactly?" I thought. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm gonna throw up. This feeling is my body getting ready for it.

Now I don't know about you but I hate to throw up. I fight it for as long as I can. But my stomach was hurting not just nauseous. I couldn't get comfortable. Finally at 3:30, I was ready. And I finally fell asleep around 6:00.

Later in the day, Maggie and Gracie started complaining of stomach pain. As Grace was crying from the pain, she looked up at me and asked, "Momma, why do we have to be sick?" As I looked at her sweet little face contorted in pain, I would have given anything to be able to take it away. All I could say was, "It's because of something called the fall of man. When sin came into the world so did sickness. I wish it wasn't so but it is. And just think.... in heaven everything will be perfect, just like God wants it to be. We won't ever get sick there." I wanted her to understand the difference between there here and now and the soon.

She looked up at me and said, "When can we go there? I wish we were there now." Amen. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Here's our first formal studio pic in many years. We had it made for our pictoral directory at church. Doesn't Chris look handsome? *wink* Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Little Part To A Big Whole

I watched a special on PBS the other day. You should know that I am addicted to PBS. It's the poor-man's cable. I can watch Brit-coms, forensics shows, mysteries, how-to's, just about anything you can get on cable. And it's free. Can I hear an 'Amen'? Anyways....

The special was about how scientists are working on bringing sight to the blind. One lady who had been blind for years had this belt of equipment with a pair of souped up sunglasses and could begin to see dots of light. Another scientist is working on this little chip with needles sticking out of it that is implanted into the eyeball and basically acts as artificial neurons. You know that toy you can get that has all the nail type things and when you hold it up to your face it makes the shape of it? This device looks like a teeny tiny one of those. Amazing!

The interviewer was asking the man how long before they could test on humans. The scientist said that as a scientist, you have to look at things with a broader view. You have to know that "your life's work may not be fulfilled in your lifetime." That the project he had dedicated his entire life to, would probably not be accomplished in his lifetime. He understood that some things just take a long time.

It reminds me of Copernicus, Kepler and Newton. None of them could have accomplished what they did if they had had to start from scratch. Newton relied heavily upon Kepler's work.

Now as someone who is totally into instant gratification, I find this very convicting. I mean, I don't even cook food that takes longer than thirty minutes to prepare! Chris once told me, in a rather exasperated voice, that I was the most impatient person he had ever met. At the time I was taken aback. Now I can own up to that sin. I am. "Hello. My name is Crissy and I am very impatient. "

Have I ever really understood that I am in the midst of God's master plan? My life is a small part to a very big whole. Something that God started in my great Grandmother may just be accomplished in my lifetime. Something that God starts in my life may not be accomplished until Maggie's grandchildren. Or the next century. Who knows? Am I willing to humble myself enough to enjoy that? What blessings are to be found in knowing that the Master of the ultimate master plan knows my name, my pain, my joy. He knows me intimately. He gives my life meaning in the midst of the universal issues at hand.

In a way, I resist the idea of being small. I remember someone asking my Granddad once why, as a successful business man, he never moved to a bigger city. His response? "I'd rather be a big fish in a small pond. If I moved, I'd just be a small fish in a big pond." Sad to say, but I can identify with that. I think there's something in all of us (pride) that longs to be big and important. And we'll take that validation in whatever form we can. Isn't that the origin of an idol?

I guess the secret of knowing God is being content to be small compared to his greatness. As John the Baptist said, "He must become greater; I must become less." "Only then will I be able to not live in competition with him.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Bored

I'm soooooo bored! My mouth still hurts enough that I have to take pain pills. They make me a little confused. I don't want to go anywhere, but I don't want to stay at home either. I'm sleepy but also tired of sleeping. Reading is hard because of the drug induced confusion. I've seen all the movies I own and have no way of getting more. Plus, it's Saturday so there's nothing on tv. Add to all that my swollen face and you get my situation. Ahhhh, I feel better now that I've gotten all that whine off my chest. ;o)

I got to thinking this morning: How would my situation be different if I'd been born a century ago? I guess I probably would be destined to die. Just think about it. The infection had already eaten through part of my jaw bone. Given time, would it have spread to my bloodstream or my brain? Or would I have just lost all my teeth and my lower jaw? Weird to think about.

It's so quiet here. I'm all by myself. I've been told that I'm not allowed to do any work. I'm not supposed to fold laundry or empty the dishwasher. Instead of feeling guilty about that, I think I'll choose to enjoy it. How shall I do that? Hmmmm. I think I'll go take a nap. Night!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Surgery Update

Just thought if Jawan can update her blog in the hospital, I can update mine the day of surgery. Because Jawan is of course my role model. ;o)

I went in this morning at 9am for my oral surgery. The surgery took about an hour. Dr. O'Neill said that there was more bone loss that he had expected and wanted. The bone loss in my jaw was all the way up to the gum line and had also spread to the back tooth beside it. He had to do a couple of more things than he expected in addition to filling in the hole with bone chips. There's still a risk that I could lose the teeth anyway.

I have six stitches in the left side of my mouth just below my teeth. It hurts but not horribly. I can't open my mouth hardly at all so talking, laughing and eating are a struggle. (keep all comments to yourselves please!) One of my stitches is poking my cheek. Very annoying.

Laura Leigh brought us supper tonight. She was so thoughtful. She cooked a creamy chicken casserole with egg noodles in it and gooey brownies. If I cut the noodles into small pieces I could eat it and the brownies are just as good smushed. Thank you Laura!

Thank you also to my Secret Pal. I loved my gift. She gave me a beautiful teacup and saucer, tea and a great magazine. With a card that read "Get well soon." Thank you for thinking of me.

Well, my jaw is starting to swell and hurt because I can't keep an ice pack on it and type at the same time. It's hard enough to just think and type at the same time. Thanks for checking my blog. And thank you for your prayers. Night!