Monday, October 19, 2015

Paper Hearts

my heart is like a piece of paper

it's mine to write on and decide its fate

i treasure it and protect it with all that i am

and then you come along

and convince me that you could take better care of it than me

or that you want to write a fairy-tale or love song 

upon its veiny lines.

so i give it to you to guard, i hope, with all that you are

and sometimes it comes back a masterpiece

or a song that i love to have stuck in my head all year round

or a story i'll read over and over and pass on to my children

and their children and their children's children

(if i live that long)

but sometimes you throw it back in my face

or crumple it up in a tiny hard wad

or let the little shreds of fiber mingle with my tears as you leave,

and that hurts, because I trusted you.

but sometimes it never comes back at all-

sometimes you keep it forever

and wrap it up in bubble wrap and keep it near your heart

and sing to me the song you've carved on its surface

when i'm old and gray and curled in your arms and we're still making out.

and this, my love, is the very best thing.

but remember, my heart is like this piece of paper- once it's given away

it never comes back

the same.




AriSoph


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dear You

This post might be a little different than the others on this blog.

Actually, it's definitely going to be a lot different. Last Sunday I spoke with a guy who has a sister around my age (maybe a little older). He also has a niece.

He spoke of sadness, of mistakes, of pain. He spoke of anger and frustration and shame. He spoke of hiding and hurt feelings. 

He spoke of a girl who knew she'd done wrong and had convinced herself that God could not forgive her for it. A girl who was hurt and angry and alone. 

He spoke of a family who was hurt and broken and probably confused. He spoke of locks being changed and a girl moving out.

He spoke of sin and people that made mistakes. 

In his story there didn't seem to be any good guys at all. Every character had a flaw or a mistake or something that fellow humans were afraid to get close to or forgive.

I don't want to embellish this story or make it something it isn't. I don't want to take sides. But I want to say this- even if you can't relate much to the hopefully very vague details of this story...please keep reading. I want you to hear this.



Dear You,

I don't know where you're from or what your story is. I don't want to pretend to. I don't want to preach you a sermon or condemn your actions or tell you that you've made a huge mistake.

Because face it, we all have. We should all be condemned to death and we should all be screamed at and told that we're unforgivable because our mistake was way too big. We shouldn't be even remotely close to forgiveness. 

And almost since the beginning of the world, we haven't been. Because a woman- a girl, like you and me- made a Big Mistake. The Biggest Mistake, you could almost say. And because of her mistake way back in Genesis 3, we all get the death penalty automatically. Because she'd sort of tampered with our DNA- she'd added a component that wasn't supposed to be there. And this wasn't a component that slowly faded away, no sir. This was here to stay and it wasn't going to fade or diminish.

She added sin to our DNA. She traded our relationship with a perfect God for a chance to know what was right and what was wrong.

But until that day in the Garden there had been no wrong. When she wanted to know what was good and what was evil, she did wrong and let wrong happen. She said, "I want to know," (I know I've definitely said that a time or fifty-eight in my short life so I'm sure she wasn't saying anything uncommon in the female world) and she traded a relationship for facts. 

I can't blame here. If it had been me, I would have probably done the same thing. But I sermonize. 

She started it, we could say. But as we've all heard a thousand times, it doesn't matter who starts it. Sometimes it matters most who finishes it.

And it's been finished. She broke what God had made so beautiful, and it's been fixed- held together by arms opened on a cross, started over by a life come back from the grave, finished by a love greater than the Biggest Mistake.

When God gave His Only Son up on that cross, Jesus paid the price for sin.

Not my sin.

Not your sin.

Not the sin that had been committed up to that point.

Not the sin that would be committed by unbelievers.

The Bible doesn't say that.

It says Jesus died and rose again for our sin. 

Our sin.

Yours and mine and past sin and unbelievers sin and sin that has yet to happen and sin that we all are afraid to talk about or get close to or forgive.

He forgave it. 

He did more than forgive it- He washed it away, scratched it out, put White-Out over it. 

He unhappened it. 

To me that says we have no right to hang on to it and say, "God, You can't forgive this, You wouldn't, it's too ugly, I messed up too much."

Saying that sounds almost like saying Jesus wasn't enough to take care of your sin. 

I think maybe God doesn't really feel so good about hearing that. 

Because He loves you, and He gave everything He had to win you back. Your Big Mistake didn't surprise Him at all. I know it hurt and you felt bad and it probably surprised you a little (or a lot) but God doesn't get surprised. EVER. About anything. 

When He planned the world, He planned your life too, with all of the little details- your first word, the first time you kicked in your mom's womb, the first tear you shed, the first lie you told. All of it. Every mistake, every joy, every smile, every tear- He cataloged it and planned it and designed it. 

So nothing you've done or ever will do will surprise Him, and He knows the rest of your story. He's got it figured out. You can trust Him in that. And if you'll let Him, He's beyond ready to forgive you and restore you and start rebuilding you. You never lost His love or forgiveness. He wants you to see that and believe it and trust Him when He says, "I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Don't hide from Him or run from His place and His people. He's forgiven you no matter what, and as hard as it is to believe (I know this from experience of my own) His forgiveness is all that matters.

Run to Him. He loves you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sorry?

I had kind of a weird thought run through my head recently. I don't remember exactly what started the thought process, even, just that I was sitting on my bedroom floor and this thought jumped into my mind.

God doesn't want my 'sorry.'

Now I am generally very much in control of my thoughts, so when a random one pops up in my head, it's best for me to sit up and take notice.

The thought bothered me a little. I mean, God surely doesn't want us to just move on with our life when we do something that is against Him; He doesn't want us to act like nothing happened, right?

Right?

Right. I mean, what kind of 'just God' would that be? It doesn't strike me as very just to let people break all your rules and not expect some sort of apology or something to make it good.

The fact is, God doesn't do that. We mess up and He will not let it slide.

But He doesn't want our apology either.

When we mess up, say, we lash out at someone irrationally, God does not want us to say "I'm sorry, God," or any variation of that, and move on with our life.

He wants it to have never happened.

That poses a slight problem for us as humans. God in His wisdom didn't give us a delete or restart button for life. I mean, imagine the chaos if He had! Say two people get into a car accident. The guy that caused the accident hits his delete button because what the heck, he doesn't want to pay for the other guy's busted fender. So his part in the accident has been unhappened.

But the other guy would love to collect some insurance on that if he could, so he doesn't unhappen his part. And the poor police people get really confused because they've got some guy with a concussion and a broken fender, and then it's like the other guy that caused the accident didn't happen and what even actually happened here?

You see what I mean. No delete or restart buttons for us. We'd never get anywhere. God knew that and He decided, 'yeah, no, bad idea for earthlings.'

So when we mess up (and we earthlings are pretty darn good at that), we're stuck. We can't undo it.

But Someone else could.

I can just see Jesus up there, watching and thinking, 'dang it, those humans aren't doing so good down there.' Then maybe He turns to the throne and says, "Dad, when's the plan happening?"

And God says, "Well, Son, right about now."

So then Jesus was born, the perfect Son of God, born in a dirty little stable in some tiny little town.

I can kind of see some of the angels up there going, "God, that's Your plan?"

And God just grins and says, "Just watch. It gets good."

And it really did get good! Jesus grew up and man He wasn't anything to look at, but people loved Him because He loved them. He didn't curse at the women and send them away, He healed them and forgave them. He didn't scoff at the tax collectors or the lepers, He loved them. He wasn't too busy for their children, He blessed them. He provided wine when there was no more. He healed and restored and beautified and made right.

The angels danced, because it was good.

But it wasn't all good. Not everyone wanted Jesus around. He was a rule-breaker, a New Way Maker, a rebel. He was new and they didn't get it, because sometimes we can study and study and study Scriptures until our eyes fall out but if we're not in tune with God and loving Him with our whole heart, we just miss things. He was not comfortable. And they wanted Him gone. Out of the picture, so they could keep on with their normal, comfortable lives.

But normal, comfortable lives sometimes get messed up by the humans that live them, and we can't fix it.

These comfortable people wanted Jesus to just go away, and they hatched a plan to do just that.

Turns out, the best way to get someone to go away is to just off them. Kill them. It was like they murdered Jesus, legally. Because they jumped through all the hoops, they avoided all the obstacles, they wove a web of deception so tight that no ruler wanted to deal with the Jews and their Jesus. "Whatever, do whatever you want with Him, just get Him out of here and don't let the people riot."

So they did. They lashed Him until He was unrecognizable, and then when He was practically dead they hung Him on a cross and left Him there. And then the people hated Him.

Most of the time, it takes a while before crucifixion actually kills you. You're in tons of excruciating pain for a while, but it won't kill you immediately. Now the Jews had a problem. These criminals and Jesus needed to be dead soon, because tomorrow was Passover and they couldn't have any dead bodies laying around then. So they sent some guards around to break the men's legs, which in turn would have killed them faster.

But Jesus was already dead. There's a prophesy in the Bible that says that not one of Jesus's bones would be broken, and it was fulfilled that day. They didn't need to speed up His death, because He had already died.

The plan of the Jews was complete. Jesus was dead, life could go back to normal. The best way to get rid of someone apparently really was to kill them.

But Jesus wasn't someone.

He was Someone, and He had a mission to complete.

We couldn't undo our sin, but He could because He had no sin of His own and He was willing to die for ours. He gave Himself when we could not pay for our mistakes, and He was enough. He undid everything we couldn't undo- starting with our punishment.

The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. We earned death, fair and square.

Jesus undid it. He died, even though He didn't have to, and death was defeated because He said 'wait.' There's a line in a fairly new song (I'd love to tell you what it's called, but I can't remember it right now) that says "The same power/that commanded death to wait" and as I'm typing this that line is playing over and over in my head. Jesus died, and said "No, death, you cannot keep Me."

And on the third day He came back because it was undone and we could be free.

Jesus is the Great Undoer. He undid our punishment and if we believe in what He did for us He will undo everything we have done that is against God.

All He asks of us is our repentance. Not apologies. Repentance. That we turn from our sin and cry out to God and say "Break me, empty me of this and restore me to the beautiful thing You created."

Not, "Sorry, God."

Repentance. "Take this from me and make me more like You. I want nothing more to do with this. I am Yours and Yours alone and I don't want this sin in me anymore."

Repentance.

That's a great word.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sunflower Hearts

A couple of weeks ago, my sister and I were babysitting for a family that lives out in the country a ways (well, technically you could probably get away with saying that anyone who lives in my end of the state probably lives more or less 'out in the country' but to us, this family lives out in the country.). Their youngest son is around two and let me just say two year olds have the energy of an NYC power plant. He was wound up pretty much every second, running here and there and quite literally everywhere from the minute we showed up. We were watching him from 8 until 5ish (my mom says that kind of babysitting is called birth control. I was under the impression that birth control was a pill, but I guess it could be babysitting too. ;) ), for three days one week and two days the week after that. It was pretty crazy.

So it's just me, my sister, and a two year old, out way in the middle of nowhere, hanging out running all over. The family is into rodeo stuff and they have cows and horses and such, along with a very large, very white dog. I think she said he was a Pyrenees. The second day we were out there, the FedEx man showed up with a large package to deliver. Squirt and I were out behind the house with the Lil Cowboy and he was splashing around in a small pool. I heard a car engine in the driveway and poked my head around the house.

The FedEx man was standing halfway between the door and his truck, with Buddy on his heels. The dog didn't bark, didn't jump up on him or anything.Just stood there, right behind the poor guy, and watched him. "Here, Buddy," I yelled. "Come here, it's okay, come on, Buddy." I walked toward the house and the dog and the FedEx man.

"I have a package for you," the man offered, holding out the box.

"I'm just the babysitter, but thanks. I'll put it inside. Come here, Buddy, it's okay."

The dog was rather reluctant to let the poor guy go, but after a second or two he called off the stakeout and ambled over to me.

Now, Buddy is a really great guard dog. Really truly fantastic. If anybody he doesn't know shows up on his turf, he's all over them. The Squirt and I sort of got grafted into his domain just because we were always with the Lil Cowboy. But otherwise, he stays right with any strangers until they're safely off his property.

Buddy is also very friendly once he decides that you're safe. He's absolutely huge, but he really loves to snuggle. We would be outside, and Buddy would come barreling over and just lean his full weight against my sister or me and stay there for several minutes. That got a little interesting, especially if there wasn't anything close by for us to lean against to avoid falling flat on our backs.

The third day we were out there, my sister and I were totally exhausted. So when the Mama Cowgirl told us about a little red wagon-stroller-thingy, we were all over that idea. "Hey, cowboy, should we take your wagon and go for a walk?"

"Sure!" He was all over that idea too.

Around nine, we headed out onto the gravel country road that led up to the house. In one direction, there were train tracks that were always busy (we probably heard seven or eight trains a day) and the highway. In the other direction, there was a bright yellow dead end sign and tons of sunflowers.

Naturally, we headed for the sunflowers. Out there, it was mostly quiet except for the wagon wheels crunching through the gravel and the birds singing. We saw a spray-plane, a tractor pulling a disk, and a farmer on a four wheeler. The Cowboy loved it. It also wore him out, which we loved.

As we walked, I couldn't help but notice the multitude of bright yellow flowers along the side of the road. They were bright and cheery and most of them faced the light in the east, on my right. The flowers on  my left stood straight and tall and smiled at the sun.

On my right, there was a row of large evergreen trees between the sunflowers and the sun. The poor flowers seemed to be dreadfully confused because of those trees. Instead of facing east, towards the sun, most of them faced west, towards the only light they could find. A few taller ones had found the sun behind the trees, but the majority of them were facing the wrong direction.

I started thinking about those flowers and their predicament. Sometimes I think we as humans are a lot like sunflowers. Christians are like the sunflowers on my left- connected to God (the sun) and able to see His light even through the dark times (the trees). But unbelievers can't find the light because when hard times come, they aren't able to fall on God and call out to Him for strength. So they turn away from the hard times- and consequently the hope that God wants to offer them through that hard time- and focus on something that will only temporarily help them. The sunflowers that didn't face the sun had indeed found a light in the west- but it was just the light of the sun spreading over the trees. So while they had found a light, it wasn't really a source, and eventually that light wouldn't be there anymore. Even if something blocked the sun from lighting the west, the flowers on the left that faced the sun would still be able to follow it because they had already found it and could just adjust to face it no matter where it went.

I know this illustration isn't perfect, but it got me thinking. Am I consistently looking to God and following Him wherever He goes? Or am I chasing other things that look good and bright, so that I can temporarily avoid dealing with the hard stuff?

God, make my heart like the sunflowers on the left side of the road. Help me to always look to You, even if it means facing the trees and dark things in the world. Amen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'm Baaaaack!

Hey everyone! I'm back! Sorry it's been like a billion years since my last post. There's been so much going on and so much to blog about but I didn't have time and now that I do have time... I can't remember any of the great posts that were running through my head even just yesterday. Sorry for that too.

I'm officially done with CEF for the summer. I thought I was going back out for another week, but they cancelled on us so my summer is over. And really, it almost is really over. I can't believe it's the end of July already!

The last week of clubs was kinda scary, like I expected, and there might have been a few tears. But it was also pretty awesome, like I prayed and expected it would be. I learned that people are great, in small controlled doses and after a week staying with around twelve people...I am very introverted. In case there was any doubt. Which there wasn't. But let's just say that by Wednesday I was having a kill all the people on the planet and do it now or explode moment. Or hour. Or let's just be honest and say the whole week was like that.

There were moments, though. Moments of holy cow, I love these people so much and can I just stay here forever? In between the moments of if one more person so much as looks at me I am going to tear their head off, of course, but the good moments were there. I loved driving to and from the club, loved teaching it, loved eating lunch with my team because they were my team and they liked me and they wanted me and good gracious, they needed me. I didn't feel like a fifth-wheel anymore because I was part of them and it was great.

And then we finished our first club and headed back to the house and there were like a bajillion people and it was not so great. I used to think that I wanted to grow up and get married and have a ton of kids because our family is small and big families fascinated me.

I've changed my mind. I'm going to grow up and move to Alaska and be a hermit in the snow for the rest of my life.

I just don't think I could make it in a big house. Not permanently. Temporarily, maybe, but no way could I do it for years. One week just about killed me. So yeah, if this blog sort of shuts down after I turn eighteen, you know where I am.

Wait.

Boot camp. Marines.

Phooey. Life is so complicated. Hang on while I go lock myself in a padded room until I figure this out.

Okay. I got it. I'll go to boot camp, but as soon as I'm done in the Marines I'm going to Alaska.

So you have a little longer with me. Yay!

But for now, I'm out of brain power, so that's a wrap. Adios.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Taking Off Again

Well, we're coming up to another stretch of living in Wyoming, people. I'm a little more okay with the being gone again idea this time around. I mean, I survived the first time, so why would this one be any different? God will still be with me and guide me and keep me safe, so why bother getting all worked up about it?

I say all that about being gone, yes, and then I think about the differences in this round that have me feeling a little apprehensive.

For instance: last time I was staying with a family of five, which is bigger than mine but they were very relaxed and basically gave me plenty of space. This round, I'm staying with one of my Sheridonian best friends, who has a family of nine. There are eight people in her house right now. I'm super excited to stay with them and know it's going to be a blast, and I'm really grateful that they're letting me stay...but I'm super introverted.

Like, immensely.

The Squirt has dance twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, for about an hour and a half. She's pretty much the person I spend the most time with, because it's just her and me basically until three in the afternoon. Which is great if you're not a fan of big crowds all the time.

And I still have to restrain myself from doing a little introvert's happy dance when she walks out the door (sorry, Squirt, love you) because I have the whole house to myself and I can just be all by myself for an hour.

I need to depeople. A lot. Or I go crazy. My family gets that. We're good.

A house full of nine people...might not be so good. We have some friends who will be in Sheridan next week until Tuesday and Mom has it all worked so that all I have to do is call them and be like "please how about we go to Starbucks please just us?" and it'll be good. Not that I don't absolutely love the folks I'm staying with...just I don't want to end up in the mental asylum by the time Mom picks me up on Friday.

The joke is that Mom will pull into the church parking lot, I'll climb in the backseat, and proceed to remain there, silent, clutching my blanket, rocking back and forth and sucking my thumb. And probably no one will say a word for the entire six-hour drive home. I'll run into my room and tape a sign to the door:

Caution! Do not disturb!
It's not that I didn't miss you,
Or that I don't want to be around you...
But if one more person so much as looks at me 
I am going to implode!
So please, do not disturb.

But wait- it gets better.

Last summer I worked with this team for a week. Their intern was a 20 year old dude, we'll call him Rob. 

You know how I'm severely introverted?

He's severely the opposite of me. Veeeeerrrry extroverted, veeeeerrry touchy, very inclusive and "hey look, I just met you, let's be buddies and I'm going to just randomly hug you and we'll have a blast, right?!?!?!"

I'm very much not that. Do not touch me. Especially if we just met. I will slap you in the face with a saline bag. So just stand about twenty feet away and wave, and we'll be fine. 

He's very much an 'in your bubble' kind of guy. And very loud. 

I don't do loud well either. 

Basically, Rob and I did not mesh well. At all. He wanted to be best friends from the minute we met, and I take a little more time to decide about things like that. 

This year he didn't go to CYIA because his uncle started a church and he was out there helping him with it. (I was more than a little relieved.)

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I'm going to make it through the summer without bumping into him. You know that church he's working at? 

Next week we're doing a club there. 

I don't think I'm gonna make it.

Then again, it'll probably be a blast. 

If I survive.

Prayers are requested.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Finally 15

I've only seen the Disney movie "Tangled" once in my life, but I do remember a scene that I found kind of hilarious, where Rapunzel tells Mother Gothel that her birthday's coming up (Rapunzel's, that is), and Mother Gothel says "Oh no, dear, I distinctly remember that your birthday was last year."

Rapunzel replies smoothly, "That's the thing with birthdays, Mother, they're kind of an annual thing." 

So okay, maybe it's not that funny, but I laughed. And now every time someone I know has a birthday, that scene plays in my head about a thousand times. 

And like we said, birthdays are sort of an annual thing, and mine was yesterday. 

Now please understand, I'm a big fan of birthdays. I find that everyone generally lives a lot longer if they just go ahead and keep having birthdays. (Funny how that works, isn't it?) I love giving gifts. Like actually, it's one of my favorite things to do. I feel like I'm showing you love, like now you can feel loved by me because I gave you a present. I don't know why. Maybe because my mom's love language is Gifts. I really don't know. Being given a gift doesn't really do much for me, but if I can give you one, we're all good, right? 

So anyway. I love birthdays, as long as somebody else is having them. When it's me...yeah not so much. I'm not a fan of all the fuss and fluff and all. I know some people really get a kick over making a fuss over other people (I'm one of them sometime, actually) but please, can you just be like "Hey, happy birthday," and we can move on? 

I actually get really stressed out opening gifts. Yeah. I'm crazy. It just freaks me out, sitting there with this who-knows-what all wrapped up in pretty paper and people want me to destroy this work of art that somebody spent at least three minutes on, getting it cut and taped and folded and creased just perfectly and you want me to blow through it? 

Uh. No. Sorry. I can't. Let me spend at least a minute and a half untaping and unfolding and uncreasing and laying the paper out just so, and we'll be fine.

And also? Everybody watching me, waiting, suspensefully, staring at me as I'm sitting there with this thing in my hands and they're all watching me and it freaks me out. I'm crazy, I know. It just completely overwhelms me. Christmas isn't half as bad as a birthday, because as soon as I'm done we move on and it's somebody else's turn to be watched and stared at. But birthdays...yeah. Scary. I like being recognized a little for living this long, but really, we can just hang out and have frosting (more on that later) and maybe watch the stage of Le Tour de France and we'll all be fine, please. 

I can handle family gifts, opening them in front of family. Last night SW was over for supper and that was great too. I don't mind. But birthday parties? Yeah. No. Please. I'd love to have you over to hang out and have cake or frosting or whatever, but don't bring gifts. It sounds crazy, yeah, I know, but that's just how I am. I know people have the love language of gifts, and generally you speak your own language best, so you feel like you're saying "I love you" when you hand me some little trinket in shiny paper. I get that. It's cool. I know that feeling. 

But my love language is Words of Affirmation or Quality Time. Not Gifts. Not even a little bit, not even at all. So with all due respect, please, you could bring a card if you want and that will be great. Because you can give a card, see, like a gift, and it has words inside that can say anything at all and I love words. So we are all happy. 

To all of you who are the best ever and give gifts at every birthday party and those of who who have given me presents at any or all of my birthdays, I love you dearly and truly do appreciate your skills at gift-giving. You make my birthdays rock and I love you all so much. Keep being the awesome you's that you are and keep speaking your love language to every one. 

So anyway, yesterday pretty much rocked. I've had an insanely busy summer and really just wanted to have a chill day at home, and that's absolutely what happened.

My alarm went off at 4:57 a.m. because I'm cool like that and was born at that time on July 8. My due date was July seventh, so the joke is that I overslept and realized I was going to be late being born, so I got on the stick and was less than five hours late. This year I thought, hey, let's get up then just for grins and giggles and tradition. 

It wasn't any more fun yesterday than it was fifteen years ago, I'm sure. Unlike fifteen years ago, however, I did not go back to sleep. And let me just say, three o'clock in the afternoon feels like midnight if you've been up since shortly before five. Just in case you were wondering about that.

At about seven thirty, my mom came in and my sister woke up. At this time we had the first gift-opening ceremony of the day. Unfortunately, my dad missed this one because he was at work at seven. And can I just say, my sister knows me well.
Yep. I finished this before noon. I loved it! Big thank you to the Squirt.

Pretty much, we just chilled around the house in pjs until about two. 

In the afternoon.

Because, heck, you only have one birthday a year, so why not? 

When Mom got done working in the office, we ran to Staples (not literally), the library, and Target. Upon arriving back at the house, we started yesterday's stage of Le Tour de France. We're big on cycling in our family. The idea was that  one of our favorite sprinters, Peter Sagan, aka Sparty (see, we call Fabian Cancellara "Spartacus", so then Sagan is like a smaller, younger version of Cancellara and therefore he should be called Sparty, like "little Spartacus.") would win the stage since it was my birthday. 

And he tried! He tried very hard. If the stage had been ten meters longer I think he would have won it. But he was also probably kind of tired because he worked hard for his team leader all day. So it's all good. He came in second, at least. 

Anyway. Around 5:30 pm, SW came over (she had a dinner break mid-rehearsal; she's in a musical called the Adams Family or something like that) and we hung out for about an hour. We also ate Chinese food. (oh, speaking of which, I have leftovers and it is almost time for lunch...) At this point we had the second gift-giving ceremony of the day.



This was from mi madre, a hand-painted, wall-hanging flower that says "Let your faith be bigger than your fear." I get really nervous and freak out easily, so this is really super cool!  I'm going to hang it at the end of my bed. 

And this right here was from my daddy- a book called The Founding Fathers' Guide To The Constitution. As most of you know, I'm sort of into American politics and government and such, so I'm really excited to dig into this treasure. I read the first couple chapters last night and it looks like a keeper. Maybe I'll post a review when I finish it. 

The last birthday gift I got yesterday, I cannot post here. I would absolutely love to because it was beautiful and I loved it, but I can't, so I'll just tell you about it instead.

You all remember my Sparky friend, Annie, right? She turned seven in May. She's one of my bffs and she knows it. I got to hang out with her and her baby sister and my baby sister on Tuesday, which I thought was super great and happy birthday to me. We had a blast! She was a little wild-child every once in a while, but we also just had some time to sit on the couch and chat. At one point she looked at me and said, "You're not very mean. Are you ever mean?" 

I sort of laughed and said, "Yeah, I can be. Do you want me to be mean?" 

She grinned and replied, "Yes!" (what can I say, she's all Annie.)

So for like fifteen minutes we pretended to be mean while laughing hysterically. 

It didn't work out well. For one, it's really hard to pretend to be angry with someone when you're laughing. For two, it's really hard to pretend to be angry with your little people best friend.  

I am just sayin'. And like we discussed earlier in this very long blog post, my love language is words of affirmation. So when we finally gave up and I said, "Man, Annie, we're not very good at this, are we?", and she laughed and said, "Of course not- best friends aren't good at being mad at each other!"....  

Made my day. She totally made my day. 

Yep. I love that kiddo.

Then last night, we were hanging out and my mom said, "okay, I gotta show you something." 

I seriously almost cried. Annie had had her mom record a video of Annie singing and dancing to the happy birthday song, and her mom posted it on Facebook so my mom could show me. She's so sweet. 

Pretty much the only other detail of yesterday that needs blogged is the frosting. Ever since I was little, I've loved frosting. More than cake. I used to scrape every molecule of frosting off my cake and then request more cake. I'm not quite that extreme anymore, but I'm still very picky with icing. And I love it. Still.

My mom once made a cake and put homemade cream cheese frosting on it. 

I've never looked at good old buttercream the same way since. It just doesn't compare.

So this year my mom asked what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday and I thought for a little while. Just as I was about to grab a flavor out of the air, she suddenly suggested, "hey, we could even just make you a batch of frosting."

I thought for like half a nanosecond. "Yes, please, let's do that." 

So we did. Yesterday evening my mom made a bowl of cream cheese frosting and that was my cake. It was divine.

It's chocolate cream cheese frosting, I promise. In the photo it somewhat resembles dog poop, which is entirely my fault because as you may have noticed, I am not the world's greatest photographer. 

It was delicious. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was Scotty's 15th birthday. 

That's a wrap.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Desert Song

Just going to post some lyrics today because honestly, I love them.

I will bring praise

I will bring praise

No weapon formed against me shall remain

I will rejoice

I will declare

God is my victory and He is here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Aaaaand I'm Off!

Well, ladies and gents, I'm off again! Tomorrow afternoon I'm taking off for Someplace Else for a week to teach a 5 Day Club. I'm excited but also kind of extremely nervous and really I'm not sure I want to leave home again. I mean, I just got home after being gone for a week and a half and I'm ready to be home for about a month and a half. 

But I'll go and it'll be a blast and all that jazz. And I'll be home for most of July so it's okay. 

I love teaching, I love my group, I love the town I get to teach in, I love all of it, I just wish I could move Someplace Else and everybody on my team out here, you know? When I left for CYIA I was excited and it was nice to get away and have a little change of pace. But now I'm just ready to stay home and knit and wander the house in slip slops and pajamas. 

Oh well. I know I'm going to love it. And then I'll get home with a hundred stories to tell about how awesome it was. So don't go anywhere, folks, I'm comin' back. 

For now, sayonara, and I'll be back on the 3rd. God bless!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fiberizing

It's been a while since I've posted anything about my WIP (work in progress, for those of you who wonder), so here you are. Right now I'm in the middle of at least two things...probably three...maybe four... I don't know. Join me as I dig through my yarn baskets and bags and we'll find out.

Probably my newest project is a pair of toe-up socks. For a while, I was pretty socked-out, but I rolled across a half-used skein of laceweight while I was absentmindedly flipping through a sock pattern book...and basically I didn't have a chance. The battle was over before it began. The S.S. Scotty was doomed. Sunk. Headed for the Cliffs of Insanity...er, Sock Making.

Anyway. Hence, I'm in the middle of the first sock (and with the way this yarn is diminishing, possibly the only) of a pattern called Peppercorn, from Melissa Morgan-Oakes' Two-at-a-Time Toe Up Socks. It's a super easy pattern, just a four-row repeat, and the stitches feel like they're literally flying off my needles.

My next project is a baby dress. I'm kind of feeling guilty just thinking about it right now because it's been perched in a heap on my dresser pretty much since I got back from CYIA. The poor project has been sadly neglected. Oh well. I'm working my way through it, and I'm almost to the sleeves in the front.
 Yes, I know it doesn't look like much and it probably looks like the wackiest baby dress you've ever seen. For one very good reason: you're looking at the wrong side. All you can see is what will be the inside of the dress because that's what I took a picture of. See, the baby dress's recipient's mother sometimes reads my blog, or used to, or I don't even know, but I don't want to post sneak peeks and have her see them because I want the finished project to be a surprise.

Last night I did a little fibery thing, not exactly knitting but I like the way it turned out so I'm posting a picture of that too. In our family, we looooooove Old Navy flip flops. So much that we call them 'slip slops'- an age-old tradition dating back to when the Squirt and I were tiny (or tinier than we are now), at least, and possibly even further back than that. So anyway, every summer we (the Squirt and Momma and I, that is, Daddy's not into slip slops, which I'm very grateful for- in my opinion dudes should not wear slip slops. Ever. Just don't.) make several trips to Old Navy and at least one of them involves sandals. This year mine are light pink and I love them.

Except the darn things rub! You know how the straps rub along the inside of your foot and it hurts? Yeah. Normally we just slap a Band-Aid on it and call it good, but this time I took action. Daddy and I were walking home from Runza (we have a weekly tradition of walking over, reading the Federalist Papers over ice cream or french fries, and walking back, occasionally in the rain.) and my shoes started acting up. Then I had a thought. What if you could find a way that was both decorative and functional and cutesy and stopped the rubbing? My first thought was of a ball of camo yarn that is THE softest ever. I don't remember what all is in it or what brand it is, but it is amazing. I haven't used a lot of it because it's pretty heavy yarn and most of my knitting lately has been for my niece on little tiny needles with lacey yarns, so it's been sitting on  my bookshelf (yes, there is yarn on almost every surface in my bedroom) for quite a while. I loooooove the idea of camo and pale pink together, so I took the camo and wound it around the straps.

And that, ladies and gents, is my WIP stash. G'day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ballet Recital


It's been almost a month since the Squirt performed in her third dance recital! How time flies when you want to blog about everything, aye?

I took tons of pictures of the getting-ready-for-dance-recital part, however, I was unable to get any pictures of the actual event. Which I was super disappointed about. But I can tell you about it and show you the getting-ready procedures.

This one is one of the first that I took, and it's one of my favorites. I did edit it a little, but seriously she's beautiful all on her own and nothing I did added to that. The first part of getting ready was the costume and tights, which I have a full picture of in a minute. Step two was the hair...and in our house we have a ton of hair. Except my dad, whose bald spot isn't shrinking any over the years. But the three of us girls have "hair to spare," as Momma says. Getting all of the Squirt's mass of hair into a bun can be a stressful chore and I have no idea how she does it but my mom always manages to get it all up perfectly. 

































And that big smile! My word, she's gorgeous. #don'tmindthephotobombingMcDonaldscup

We have a running joke that the Squirt develops "Ken-hair" for the last week of May, what with all the hair-gelling and pinning and such. Her hair literally feels like plastic once it's in the bun and boy howdy, Nebraska, you can huff and puff but none of your royal windiness is gonna move one hair in the bun, trust me on that one. 
I love this picture. It cracks me up. She's actually shielding her face from the hairspray, but she could so totally be hiding from the sisterazzi (sorry, Grammarly, I know sisterazzi isn't a word but just deal with it today, okay?). "No pictures, please, step away, no cameras, excuse me, ma'am, no pictures until the show..." Someday when she's a famous Radio City Rockette (her newest dream), I'll have to get a special ID or something that says I'm her sister and I have photographing rights.

Pardon the porch railing, but this is hair and costume all done. The last step on the road of Preparation for Ballet Recital is makeup, so bear with me and let's finish this baby off.
I could say this about all of these pictures, but this is one of my favorites. And the best part is I'm pretty sure she didn't even know I took this one. It's just perfect. 

Okay. Last picture. All ready to dance!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Our Town

This year our beloved SongWeaver hit a home run onstage, people. Earlier this month she starred as Emily Webb in the Little Theatre's production of Our Town and she rocked it.

Literally.

I've seen her act and perform before, and she has this way of so completely disappearing into a part that I almost forget it's really her and not actually Emily Webb. It's fantastical, like she was born for this and I really truly believe she was. SW's been acting since she was like, eight. And she loves it and she rocks the stage so well.

So anyway. Early this year she auditioned for Our Town, and one night during rehearsals for Mary Poppins, she leaned over to me and informed me quietly and somewhat calmly that she made it, that she was a lead, that she was the lead and I flew through the roof.

It was a little hectic in the weeks leading up to opening night- probably more so for her than me- with script-reading in the cafeteria and all that. It seemed like June was never going to come. Then one morning I woke up and lo and behold, it's opening night! I wasn't able to make it to the first show, but I did get to see her once and it was fantastic. To be honest, the story line was a little bit lacking but the actors were phenomenal and SW totally carried the show. I think Our Town is one that could be really super boring or incredibly thought-provoking, depending on the talent and passion of the actors. And this production was really, really great! SW was on fire and she did a great job developing Emily into her own person with personality and passion.

The third act was a little creepy for some younger audience members, as it took place in a graveyard with Emily talking to other deceased and revisiting her 12th birthday, but I loved the second act. Maybe I'm just a sucker for a little romance, but it was super sweet and I looooooooooooved it. Basically all of a sudden Emily and George realize they were made for each other and he more or less proposes over an ice cream sundae in the drugstore. Totally Hallmark Channel but I love it.

I would post like eight thousand pictures, but I don't have any yet, so maybe when I get some I'll come back and edit this and add them. Until then, use your imagination. But you won't even get close to the magnificence of seeing my SongWeaver onstage leading an entire show.

Monday, June 22, 2015

CYIA

So maybe some of you noticed that there were no new posts for like two weeks recently...sorry about that. I was living in a little tiny town across the border of Wyoming. I'm back home now and it feels like there is so much to blog about!

I think first I'll expound on where I've been. Last January, the NE State Director for Child Evangelism Fellowship came and spoke at my Sunday School class about a youth training camp in the eastern end of the state. My dad is the treasurer of the local CEF chapter so I was pretty familiar with CEF stuff, but I'd never heard of this thing he told us about. It was called Christian Youth In Action, and it was a two-week training program to train teens to teach 5 Day Clubs and VBS' and things like that to reach out to children in communities across the world. CEF is currently in 192 of 207 countries, with a goal of being in every country in the world by 2017. It was one of those things that sort of grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go. I got home and said, "Daddy, I want to go do this." We talked about it and prayed about it, and when God gave us the okay, I started raising support. I decided that I would attend the training in Wyoming since it was closer to home. It was two very intense weeks of learning and studying and practicing, but it was so worth it. One thing that I really pulled out of it was making my faith my own. All of a sudden I was out all alone, forty-five minutes away from home, and I didn't know a single soul. All of a sudden it was up to me to make sure I got to class on time, kept myself healthy, did my devotions- it was up to me and it was a little scary at first. I didn't realize how much I had grown spiritually until I got home and went to church and thought, "okay, that's all well and good, now can you teach me something deeper?" I literally had a meltdown because I was angry and tired and I didn't understand why church felt so empty. At CYIA, we have chapel every morning and every night, and our speaker was amazing. I learned so much every single day and I was challenged to grow closer to God. This year was the same. Only minus the meltdown, because I was a little more prepared for church on Sunday.

Anyway. That's where I was. It wasn't quite as overwhelming as last year, but still pretty hectic. At least this year I knew people and all that great stuff. It's kinda hard to walk into a group of people who are all divided into groups based on where they're from and they know everybody in their group and then there's you, all by yourself, trying to make friends and everybody looks so clique-ish and closed off.

It's a little worse when you go back the next year and realize how friendly and open everybody really is. Oops.

But this year was super fun. My goal is to take ten other kids with me next year. This end of Nebraska doesn't have an area director right now so I'm not completely sure how it would all look yet but that's my prayer.

I'm glad to be home, but I'll be spending three weeks of the summer in WY so blogging might get a little scanty here soon. I'll write when I can and y'all have a nice day!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Sorry I'm Not Sorry: A Review

My first book review ever on my own blog is finally ready to go up and I am super hyped! Let's do this thing!

I've so far reviewed the first two books of Nancy Rue's Mean Girl Makeover trilogy (you can find those reviews on my mom's blog). Last week I almost literally did a happy dance when the third one, Sorry I'm Not Sorry arrived in the mail.

I absolutely loved the first two books in Nancy Rue's latest trilogy, Mean Girl Makeover. The latest addition to the series proved just as delightful as the first two.

In Sorry, readers will take a peek into the mind of Grass Valley Middle School's Alpha Wolf, Kylie Steppe. Those who have read the preceding books will remember Kylie as the leader of the sixth-grade bullies. I admit, I had my doubts about this book, since Kylie seriously got on my nerves in the last two installments. But Ms. Rue has once again delivered a true-to-life, captivating, and occasionally laugh-out-loud hilarious depiction of yet another aspect of the ever-growing bullying problem in America.

Kylie is one of many characters in Mean Girl Makeover that that girls from fifth- or sixth-grade through highschool will laugh with, cry for, and cheer with in Sorry. Through weeks of guidance and mentoring with Lydia, Kylie is finally starting to find her new identity as the beautiful, loving child of God that she was created to be. But her old friends see the change- and they're definitely not fans of the new Kylie. When  they turn on her through social media, Kylie is left with a decision to make: fight for what she knows is right, or give in to her old self and retaliate against the pain she suddenly sees and feels. She begins to realize that her choices and actions affect other people as well as herself. The online bullying campaign hurts her in a way that she's unused to and she's unsure how to respond. Will she make the right decision? Will Tori and the Tribelet be willing to trust Kylie even though she's hurt them? And will Kylie have the courage to stand up and take back the 'the power to'- to be her own person?

I highly recommend this book and the entire Mean Girl Makeover series to any girl in middle or high school. Ms. Rue, you've nailed it once again! Congrats and many many thanks to you for your effort to help the campaign against bullying. I give this book five out of five stars.

We received a free copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it. All opinions are my own.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Catching Up

I feel like I haven't posted in forever. Sorry!

Well, yesterday was the last day of choir. . . and it was boring as heck. Basically, we had class for nine minutes so that all the regular students (by regular I mean non-homeschool, the full-time enrolled kids) could get checked out of their classes. The room was very, very green. Mostly because the kids had key-lime-pie-green papers that had to get autographed by all the teachers.

Maybe it was more of a minty green. It's hard to say for sure.

Oh, and also. Hopefully by Monday my first ever book review will be up! I've reviewed books for my mom and she's posted them on her blog, but I've never put one up here before. I'm super excited. Plus it's a great book so it'll be a positive review, which is very yay.

Then again, I sort of love all books. So almost all my reviews have been positive. Except for a couple.

Okay. Moving on.

SW conned me into auditioning for show choir on Tuesday. I think swimming or debate will be more up my alley, but I can't wait to see her up on stage rocking out for another year!! Dancing just isn't really my jam. (and I'm more of jelly girl anyway...) If it was just vocals, yeah, sure, I could do it. Unfortunately, it's not. And I have this tendency to get really nervous before an audition and then my performing and smiling and looking like I'm having a great time battery runs way down. We'll see how it turns out.

My garden is thriving! The sweet peas are lovin' life- I've got four or five little sprouts in there and they're getting pretty tall! I'm getting really excited. And I think my zinnias are growing... well, I'm pretty sure that's what they are. I sort of just woke up yesterday and boom, look, four little green things are poppin' up in one of the used-to-be-empty pots. I seriously need to start labeling those things.

I need to re-pot the ranunculus...again... little beast keeps getting bigger!

I think that's all the important stuff in the garden. There's lots of little greenies, but they're not doing anything super exciting yet.

Come to think of it, that might all the important stuff in general right now. So okay, adios. Next post: book review!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Please Pray

Short post today because the kitchen sink needs my attention somewhat desperately...

My aunt called two nights ago.

This isn't always a bad thing.

Except when she calls from the hospital. Then it is always a bad thing.

My grandpa seems to have had a stroke. The doctors put him in rehab today. They don't know what caused it or if it'll happen again.

All I know is a year ago this month, his wife (my step-grandma) had a stroke. She passed away last August.

I'm kind of scared and definitely not ready to go through that whole thing again. Please pray for healing and protection for my grandpa.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Choir Concert

Yesterday, I mentioned that the SHS choir concert would be happening last night. 

It was awesome. The show choirs opened the night and they were fantastic. I mean really really good. I'd never seen a show choir perform before and it was the best thing ever. SW rocked it, totally, like always. She's amazing.

The freshman choir did two songs just us, Dies Irae and Simple Gifts. I was kind of a lot scared to death about it. We started with Dies Irae, from Mozart's Requiem. It's in Latin and it's a really cool song about like the Day of Judgement and stuff. 

So anyway, we're standing up there, all sixty of us, and good choir ettiquette is to have your hands straight at your sides because folding them in front of you restricts your lung capacity and you don't sing as well 'cause your diaphram is squished. 

I have this thing, when I'm nervous (which is kind of really frequently), I play with my fingers, you know, twist them together and rub them and stuff. But the Music Man was standing up there in front of us shaking his hands at his sides to remind us to keep our hands down. Eventually I just figured out that I could hang on to my skirt at the sides and it sort of was the same thing. I play piano and knit and stuff, you know, so my hands are used to being busy all the time. Standing in front of a couple hundred people with nothing to do with my hands is super irritating. 

Moving on. The only time I've really sung in a choir (before last night) was the holiday choirs at church, and we do have a director who sort of conducts us, but we mostly just sing and he looks nice and professional. At least, I never really worried about following him that much because I knew the music and nothing he did meant a whole lot to me. 

But up there onstage in a high school choir, the conductor is just about the most reassuring thing in sight. Especially the Music Man. He stood up there and grinned at us. Like, really happy and encouraging and 'you got this'. Maybe that's not precisely what he was thinking, but it was the best thing ever to know that as long as we watched him and followed him, we'd be fine. And when you're watching the conductor, the crowd behind him sort of fades out and disappears and pretty soon it's just you and the choir and the music and the conductor. And it's going to be okay. 

I think maybe that's sort of how it is with God. He sometimes calls us as Christians to stand up and shine for Him for all the world to see and it's scary. We get weak-kneed and if you're like me you've got a fistful of your skirt in each hand and the rest of the world looks terrifying. It's easy to get caught up in the magnitude of the crowd and just see them. But then maybe you see movement out of the corner of your eye, and there's God, the Conductor, smiling and counting the tempo out with His hands. And there's comfort in that, watching Him as He cues you and smiles and mouths 'you've got this, we've practiced this, you know what we're doing. You're not alone. Watch Me. I know what's going on. It's okay.' 

Then the crowd fades out and there's only Him, keeping tempo and guiding your voice through key changes and notes that go on for three measures. 

Maybe sometimes we forget and glance out at the crowd, at all the people that are watching us and we realize how huge this is and how scary it is. But that doesn't change anything. God's still there, still guiding and shaping and leading and showing you how it is. Look back at Him. He's still there. Keep your eyes on Him and nothing else matters. It's still scary and your heart still races, but He's not going anywhere. He knows what He's doing. After all, He's the Conductor.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I'm Thankful For...

  1. Friends who add 'spice' to my life... y'all know who you are
  2. Sweet peas growing nice and tall and healthy
  3. New skirts and shirts for a choir concert tonight...oh crap, I still have to iron that shirt...
  4. Lovely people who loan us vehicles so my dad can take a week off and go east to help my grandpa pack up his farm
  5. A Momma who works six hours a day and still comes home chipper and loving and hilarious
  6. A really dumb cat that eats millers for us so our house isn't overrun with the little boogers
  7. Friends who bring me books!!!!!!!
  8. Dried apples and strawberries...mmmm....yep
  9. Safe moving shenanigans for my big sister as she moved into a new house this weekend
  10. My wild and crazy partying baby niece-in-utero...can't wait to meet you, baby girl
  11. SNOW!!!! (like 20" fell out here this weekend!! I'm getting the feeling that I was the only one rejoicing)
  12. Mi tortuga falsa (stuffed turtle from Kohls)
  13. Lunch..food... I'm a big fan
  14. Pink headphones and MercyMe music
  15. Technology. When it works.
  16. Choir concert
  17. Praise Team shenanigans this week!!!!!!!!!!! (I cannot say enough how much I love PT)
  18. My drunken-Chopin piece is coming along well on the piano
  19. "God Will Take Care Of You"- a hymn I discovered in my book today while practicing
  20. Pink highlighters to draw special attention to that one A in the middle of Chopin stuff that I can never ever remember is an A and not a G like all the rest..grrrrrrrrr
So there ye go. I got a blouse to iron and dishes to wash and such, so sayonara. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Garden-Gobbler




A few weeks ago I did a post on my indoor garden. At the time, I had one little zinnia shoot (three other seeds germinated shortly thereafter) and a pot of sweet peas that hadn't yet sprung up from the dusty earth. Approximately four days ago, my seedlings looked like this:











I also had a pink ranunculus (yes, that sounds like ridiculous- say it) and a yellow flower from the AWANA Awards night. I haven't the foggiest idea what the yellow one is, so if any of you out there recognize it, please let me know.


For the first couple days after my mom brought the ranunculus home, it was basically in constant need of water. The poor thing was just dying of thirst. I was watering it every freaking day and couldn't figure out why (note, if you ever have any sort of question on anything, ask your mom. Moms know everything. I'm not kidding.), so I asked my mom. "It probably needs a bigger pot," she said.

So yesterday, we went to Target and bought a pot. The transplanting was a little rough, but now that it's over I think the plant is way happier. The roots were curled around the outside of the dirt in the old pot. I mean! Poor flower.

Anyway. Life in my garden was all well and fine.

Until two days ago. My dad comes home early Wednesday afternoons and we read through one of The Federalist Papers (I think we're on number 15. Maybe I'll do a post on it sometimes. Cool stuff!). Lately, we've been strolling over to Runza for a treat while we read. With this stuff, you need brain food to survive it, or the little gray cells turn to mush.

This particular Wednesday was no different, except that it was pouring rain. For the record, I love rain. I have a really cool bright pink umbrella that we took along on our walk. We were gone for probably about an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Not long, right?

Earlier that day I had put all my little pots in the kitchen window by the sink. It was barely sunny, but better than just sitting on the shelf in my room all day. So my yellow whatchamacallit, my pink ranunculus, and zinnias, sweet peas, Shasta daisies, and hollyhocks (these last two have yet to sprout) were all perched happily on the windowsill. They've spent many an afternoon on that ledge, and I figured they'd be fine unattended for an hour or so.

Enter the resident fur-brained idiot. I call her The Evil, Disgusting, Puke-faced Twerp (Tedpft for short. Sorry, Grammarly.) Her real name's Darla; you probably remember her from my first post, Hello World. If not, check it out really quick and get yourself up to speed.

We'll wait for you.

You back? Great. Moving on.

Anyway. She has this habit of gorging herself on whatever junk is in her kitty food, and then she has a worse habit of displaying her food, post-digestion, all over whatever floor happens to be the closest. Once she was feeling really mean, and purposefully puked on Mom's slippers. (I say it was on purpose, anyway.) Somehow or other I sort of ended up being the one of the three girls who's in charge of dealing with these displays, which seem to happen about once every week or two. If Daddy's home, by all means, he can do it. But if he's not, and he usually isn't, I'm in charge. Yay me.

Why are we discussing this?

I don't remember. Oh well. Tedpft also tends to nibble on such delicacies as little green growing things that do not at all resemble her food. Maybe she's mostly blind or somethin'. I don't know. Whenever she gets her teeth on these green things, she produces another display of affection for us and leaves me gifts under the table or behind the chair or wherever. She's a real peach, let me tell you.

Up until Wednesday afternoon, I hadn't had a whole lot of trouble with her eating my flowers out of the windowsill, so I left them there. Eh, they'll be fine, she's not that stupid, I reasoned.

Boy was I wrong. I arrived at the house and automatically wandered into the kitchen to see if my plants were doing anything fantastic.

They weren't.

When I left, this is what they looked like.


When I got back, this is what I found:
Devastation!!! That blasted cat gobbled the leaves off my sweet peas and snarfed the tops off all but one of my zinnias!!!

No, I haven't spoken to her since.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

So That Just Happened

Today, the Music Man took the SHS show choir around the area to perform their stuff. SW went, and I'm immensely proud of her, but I am not immensely proud that she was gone for freshman choir this morning.

I'm not immensely pleased with the fact that the Music Man went gallivanting all over the city and took our accompanist with him, either. I'm glad he had the opportunity to take the show choir and I know that's part of his job, but he could have left the accompanist, sorta, right? They could have danced a capella, don't you think?

Because, see, his lovely wife subbed for us and she doesn't play the piano.

So we pretty much didn't have any music.

And no offense, Mr. Music Man, but that choir gets a little scary without the piano.

One girl, we'll call her Mercy, said she could, and I thought, 'oh, great, here we go,' because she played the keyboard in the musical orchestra. So boom, we were good.

Sort of. See, we weren't allowed to take the new music home with us, so any attempt at accompanying today was totally sightread.

Mercy quit after two songs. I can't say as I blame her, I mean, four-part harmony isn't exactly a piece of cake, especially sightreading it, I don't care who you are.

Mrs. Music Man (yep, that's going to have to change) tried to take over a little bit, but it just wasn't working out too well and we were sounding scarier by the measure.

I could play it, I thought.

Unfortunately, I thought a little too loudly, and my dear, sweet, soon-to-be-dead friend Kelly leaned over and whispered, "Could you really? You totally should. Just go tell Mrs. Music Man that you can play it! You totally have to. Just go! Go go go! Come on, come on, you should do it!"

It took about fifteen seconds of that jabbering to make up my mind. Then all of sudden, there I was, perched on the edge of the bench, in my camo jacket, hands trembling and a little voice screaming in my head- What were you even thinking?!?!? You can't do this! If Mercy can't, no way could you! What are you doing?

I was quite literally shaking for the first, say, four songs. My fingers were stiff and I was sleepy and it wasn't going well.

Basically, I fumbled through the read of the class period and just played to the choir. They sang and I kept up-barely.

It was probably the worst performance of my musical career.

It was also the most impromptu.

I'm praying it doesn't happen again anytime soon.


Monday, May 4, 2015

This Is The Stuff...and the Underwear...

Yup. 

The best part (or the worst, depending on your angle)? 

Earlier yesterday, Drummy Dude and I were sorting some stuff out and we both agreed that there's "no stuff" between us. We're friends, we're good friends, but there's no "stuff". 

And then I'm texting him eight hours later and that happened. 

I feel like that conversation was totally stuff. 

I also still have no words. 

None.