Tuesday, December 21, 2010

from my family to yours:

May your Christmas season be filled with the love and joy of time shared with family and friends. May traditions be kept alive and new ones be enjoyed. May every heart be filled with happiness and may you always know the love of our savior, Jesus Christ.

May your New Year be filled with the promise of new beginnings and may you reflect upon the past with memories that make you smile. May you recall the triumphs of the year and not just the hardships or set backs. May your health be restored, your finances be abundant and most of all may true happiness enrich your life not just at the new year, but always.

May peace be with you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birthdays ....

should always be special.

Seriously. A birthday is a celebration of life and gives one an opportunity to express their appreciation of the person who is having a birthday.

Last week my daughter turned 18. What an amazing young woman she is! Amanda is a well-rounded, well balanced child. Her sense of humor makes me crack up and her intelligence makes me reach higher. Manda is far more intelligent than I could ever hope to be. I was a good student and worked hard to keep my GPA in the 3.00 - 4.00 range, but math and science were subjects I could barely fathom. Amanda - she is a whiz at science and math her brain is for more adept at complex theories and solutions. I barely made it through geometry alive (with 3 tutors!) while Manda is taking Calculus AB. Yes, she is challenged by it but she makes it seem so easy.

Amanda has panache. She is her own person with her own style and her own sense of what is important to her and what really does not matter. I admire her. With all my heart and soul, I admire the woman my daughter is.

Another great Scorpio that I admire is Jill. Today we celebrated Jill's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I love this woman. She is principled, loving, kind, intelligent, funny ..... I could go on, but finding the words to express my appreciation for Jill is like me trying to walk on an ant barefoot with out squashing it to death --- you might think about it, but it is impossible.

Jill has taught me so much about grace under pressure. About putting others needs and wants above my own desires. She has taught me that it is okay to allow others to shine while remaining in the background. And, she has taught me that it is okay to be myself and to celebrate who I am. She admires people who are true to themselves.

While being intelligent and focused and determined, Jill is also tender and caring. I love this woman! It is those little things she does: calling me if I am sick, sending me a funny text while sitting across the desk from me at the office, listening to her talk to the dogs as she shares a snuggle with them. The way she honors the special moments in every one's life. Even when her special moments often get decimated.

I am so blessed that my child was born the same week as Jill and that Manda has been able to be influenced by the person Jill is. I would walk through fire for Jill, and I know that she would do the same for me.

Happy Birthday to two of my favorite Scorpio women! Thank you both for being who you are. I love you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It has been too long ....

Yes, it has been too long since my last post. And, I don't really understand why. Especially as this has been a very busy few months with great things happening.

I'll summarize the most monumental things that have occurred in our lives since my last post:

* Manda is a SENIOR!!!!!

That is right! In August Amanda returned to school as a high school senior. Hard to believe that my baby girl is a senior and will graduate in May 2011. It truly seems like yesterday she started kindergarten at Crestmont Elementary; and in a blink of my eyes she will be an alumni of Oakmont High School.

I am very proud of my young lady. She is a remarkable person. I could tell you a million reasons why I am proud of her, but I will just keep it to the point: she is herself. And, she is wonderful!

* my gall bladder decided to make itself known.

Oh my goodness! If you have never experienced gall bladder pain, I pray that you never do. It was horrible. Shortly after Manda started her senior year I ended up in the emergency room and after several hours of lab work, x-rays, an ultra-sound and what seemed like endless waiting, I was given morphine for the pain, told to make an appointment with my primary care and released.

My diet took a radical change. I only eat what "grows" and nothing processed. No fats, carbs, excessive sodium, limited dairy products, etc. I am determined to NEVER feel that type of pain again.

My primary care referred me to general surgery, and after consulting with the surgeon it was determined that my gall bladder needed to be removed.

On October 21, using a laproscopic procedure my gall bladder was removed. And, trust me, the pain from surgery was pleasant compared to the pain from a gall bladder attack. Over all, I feel better than I have in a long time. Makes me wonder how long my gall bladder had been protesting.

* Amanda's appendix ruptured!

Far worse than my gall bladder, far more scary and far, far, far more emotional was what my poor sweet daughter endured.

Less than 7 days after my gall bladder surgery Manda started feeling ill. She was crampy, nauseated, and running a slight temperature. Trying not to get me sick, Manda kept her distance on Wednesday evening (Oct. 28) and went to bed early.

By 3:30 am on Thursday (Oct. 29) Amanda was in the restroom vomiting. Classic flu symptoms. She attempted to go back to bed but was feeling too uncomfortable to rest. Her abdomen was really sensitive. With our recent experience with my gall bladder we decided that her pain must not be normal and we called the advice nurse.

The advice nurse assured us that the flu can be very uncomfortable (I expressed that this was worse than normal pain) and she still felt that we should wait 24 hours to see if the pain becomes worse or not. (I will never ignore my instincts again.)

By 12 noon on Friday the 30th --- we knew there was a problem. A BIG problem. Manda called her doctor's office and was able to get an appointment for 3pm. Her doctor was out of town, but one of the other doctors was able to see her.

I took my sweet girl to the doctor's office where she was seen immediately and sent immediately to the emergency room at Mercy San Juan Medical Center. The doctor could not even touch Manda without her flinching with pain. Her fever was above 100* and she was obviously miserable.

By 3:15 we were in the ER and by 3:25 she had been in triage, and was having lab work done. Then began the wait .... for a CT scan. She had her CT scan about 6:30 that evening. The CT scan revealed that Amanda's appendix had ruptured and she would need surgery.

IV fluids, IV antibiotics and IV pain meds were administered. Before surgery could be done, Manda's fever had to be reduced, and treatment had to be started for the severe infection.

Paperwork was produced for my signature and authority and the doctors began to inform us of the best, and worst possible out-come that may or may not be expected. UGH!

I cried. I felt like a horrible, horrible mom! Had I listened to my instinct, maybe Amanda's appendix would not have ruptured. Maybe my girl would not have been in the severe pain she was in. Maybe she would not be full of a massive infection that could possibly take her life, or compromise her life if the surgery became more complicated and if worst case possible situations became reality.

I prayed. I prayed so hard.... I know God has plans for this child of mine .... and they don't include compromising her health.

At 3:00 am (now Saturday morning!) Manda was wheeled into surgery to have the ruptured appendix removed, and her abdomen cleaned to remove as much infection as possible. At about 4:05 am Dr. Misty Humphries came out of surgery with a big smile .... SUCCESS!!!!

The surgeon was able to use a laproscopic procedure and none of the worst case possibilities happened. Amanda was still one very ill young lady, and the surgeon cautioned that she would be in the hospital for 7 - 10 days while IV antibiotics were administered around the clock to cure the rest of the infection.

Manda did spend several days in the hospital with Sunday, October 31 being the worst. Her fever spiked, her heart rate was elevated, her oxygen saturation was too low and her pain was rampant.

But with a touch of His hand, God turned Amanda's health around. He allowed her to begin to heal and she was released on Wednesday, November the 3rd

It has been 2 full weeks since my girl has been home. Each day is better. She is more and more herself each and every day. She returned to school on the 9th and is looking forward to resuming full activity by the end of this month.

Today, November 17, 2010 marks a VERY SPECIAL day ......

* AMANDA is 18 today!!!!!!!

That is right! Today is Manda's eighteenth birthday!!!!!

I can not even begin to tell you how special my girl is .... but if you want just a small idea --- peruse through my blog. Most of my posts are about my girl.

Happy Birthday sweet Amanda Christine!

Words are not enough to begin to tell you how much dad and I love, respect and admire you. You are an amazing woman! We are blessed that God tucked you into my womb and allowed you to be our miracle child!

I really should have put this section on the top of this post .... but for just a moment I needed to deny that my baby is now technically an adult. A teenaged adult, but legally able to make decisions and sign contracts.

These 18 years have flown. I wouldn't change a moment of it. I love being Russell's wife, and Manda's mom. They make me a better person.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's official!

Amanda is teaching at her dance studio!!!!

We are so very excited, and can not thank Lisa Clement, Director of Precision Dance Center, enough for this wonderful opportunity.

To say that Amanda is excited about this is an understatement. She is really looking forward to sharing her passion for dance with others, and can not imagine a better Dance Director to teach for than Lisa Clement.

As a teacher, Manda needed to have a bio to place on Precision Dance Center's web site: precisiondancecenter.net

She was concerned that she did not have enough to put on the biography, but once she started brainstorming she discovered quite a few things. It was fun to walk through memory lane and re-discover all the places she has performed, the conventions she has attended and the great dancers she has trained with and taken classes from.
Mom and Dad are very proud of you, Amanda!!!

Her biography was a little long, and was (understandably) edited for the website. But you can read the full biography below.

Amanda Greenslade

Amanda Greenslade’s feet have not stopped moving since she attended her very first tap/ballet combo class at the age of 5 at Carrie’s Studio of Dance. At the age of 9 she was honored to become a member the dance company and attended her first competition at the age of 10.
Although she has trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip-hop and has even taken yoga classes, Amanda’s passion is for the cadence and rhythm of tap.

She has performed at several Sacramento King’s basketball games, Disneyland, Paramount’s Great America, Six Flags Marine World, the California State Fair, as well as the Downtown Santa Parade and Roseville’s Holiday Parade and Downtown Tuesday Night.

As a company dancer for Carrie’s Studio of Dance, Perpetual Motion Academy of Performing Arts, Cast & Company Dance Alliance and Precision Dance Center, Amanda has attended several dance conventions including SADA and Co. Dance where she has had the pleasure of taking classes under the direction of Nick Florez, Barry Youngblood, Nancy O’Meara, Gregg Russell, Chebar Williams, Judy Rice, Marguerite Derricks, Katie Scharr and Anthony LoCasio.

Amanda danced with her high school as a freshman as was honored to be the 1st ever freshman choreographer for their dance show. As a member of Precision Dance Center’s award winning Tap Company Amanda feels honored to share her passion for dance, the artistry of great choreography, and a love of music with others around her.

Amanda will be entering her senior year at Oakmont High School (with a 4.25 GPA) in August of 2010. She has been a member of her high school’s Peer Helper Program, Teens for Humanity, Mock Trial, Link Crew and has organized and facilitated the Summer Bridge program for incoming freshman for the past 3 years.

With a passion to help others and make a difference in the lives of other teens, Amanda used to be a Placer County Teen Peer Court Defense Attorney.

Amanda feels that she has had the best foundation of learning and technical training with Lisa Clement as her tap teacher over the past 12 years.

Amanda loves children of all ages and is looking forward to sharing her passion for dance with others.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It is dance recital weekend!!

I am so very excited! Amanda dances for a wonderful dance studio: Precision Dance Center. PDC is located right here in Roseville, CA and is under the direction of Lisa Clement who I must say is a fabulous (I do mean, FABULOUS!) tap dancer in her own right, and who shares that passion with her students.

When Lisa choreographs a dance, you can hear the story unfold from the dancers feet. It is AMAZING! Amanda has danced for Lisa for nearly 11 years, and never wants to stop tapping.

This year's dances include the multi-award winning "Money (Makes the World Go 'Round)," "Whatcha Say'" and the fun filled "New York, New York" production number. Last week I watched a rehearsal for the new "Glee" production number, and I was in awe of each beat of the tapper's feet. Stellar!

Of course, no dance recital, competition or other performance would be complete without features from the other dance styles of lyrical, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop so you can be sure that Precision Dance Center's annual dance recital at 2:30 on Saturday at the Del Oro Performing Arts Center will have plenty of rhythm and style for every one's preference.

I personally am a purist, and just love, love, LOVE tap. Maybe that is because tap is my daughter's passion, and all she dances in. Or, maybe it is because Manda is passionate about dancing for Lisa Clement who choreographs the most amazing tap dances.

We are totally blessed to have members of our family joining us for Saturday's dance recital.

My mom and brother are here from Nevada and at least one of my other brother's will be joining us along with my sister-in-law (from Russ' side of the family!) and my neice and her fiance.

Thank you everyone for supporting my daughter's passion for dance and her love of performing!

Happy recital weekend!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sometimes, you just have to LAUGH!

We all know that I have a great daughter whom I totally adore. I think she is a wonderful kid, and I know without a doubt that Russ and I are very blessed to be her parents. Why God decided to give us such a miraculous blessing, I'll never know, but I give thanks for her each day.

Even when she dents the car.

I noticed a distinct vertical dent in the back of my car the other day. I knew I had not bumped into anything, and knew my husband had not driven the car in several days. That left two options: (a) a random act in a parking lot where a shopping cart, or other object backed into my car, or (b) the 17 year old driver {yes, that would be my daughter} backed into something and didn't want to confess.


Having recently heard Pastor Dan's message on "refrain" I thought this would be a great time to practice what he preached and see what would happen. Rather than question anyone in my family, I just kept quiet. Each day as I saw the tail end of my car, I just giggled and kept otherwise quiet.

Mind you, the dent is VERY small, and I won't even bother having it fixed. None of us is perfect, my car does not have to be either.

Manda has been driving for 2 years. That's right. Two years ago this month she took the test and earned her permit. She immediately began driver's training and we began the process of allowing her to drive us everywhere. She needed 6 months and a minimum of 50 hours of behind the wheel experience before she could take the driver's test and earn her license.

Honestly, she had 50 hours in the first 6 weeks. We had her driving us everywhere. We quizzed her constantly on the DMV handbook, and made her practice, practice, practice. She is a good driver. She earned her driver's license in December of 2008.

So - she's been driving for 2 years. And for nearly 18 months she has been driving by herself. Having this be the first "bump" is pretty darned awesome. Especially as it is really minor damage. Very, very minor damage!

Last night my husband decided to wash both the cars. My car: the 2005 sturdy Ford crossover that we have Manda drive when it is raining. Amanda's car: the 2008 adorable, sporty, totally sweet 2 door coupe with tricked out rims and tires. (Can you tell she daddy's princess?)

Russ washes her car first. He polishes the rims and makes sure that "Baby Blue" is pampered and well taken care of. Then he quickly washes mine, intending just to make it clean. But wait ~ he discovers what I have kept quiet about for several days ~ "the dent."

He finishes my car, puts away the stuff he was using, cleans up the garage and comes into the house. "Ummmm, one of you want to tell me about the dent on the green car?"

Sitting on the couch surrounded by homework and trying not to be noticed is Manda. Oh ya!!! My "refrain" reward was sweet to watch. It took her only a few seconds of sputtering, turning bright red and considering her options to tell us what happened. She backed into a concrete/brick/cement pillar last week. There were no other cars, no other people and no other damage involved.

No harm, no foul. Just the sweetness of life. Why sweet? Not because I got to watch her guilt. But rather, because I was able to just giggle over the situation. Her life and confidence are more important that a bump on my car. And, besides, I was a teenage driver once.

Thank goodness for the grace of God! He forgives me for my accidents and bumps. He is a teacher of life, and the most forgiving of all. I am thankful that I know that He wishes me to forgive others as He has forgiven me. Life is never going to be perfect, but that doesn't mean I can't laugh about it and be thankful for each moment.

Have you hit a bump in the road lately? What are you going to do with your bump? Are you going to let that bump consume you? Or are you going to take a moment, and find the intestinal fortitude to move forward? Are you going to be grumpy and sullen, blaming others and holding a grudge for your circumstances? Or are you going to let it go and find a new path to a better place of happiness?

Thanks Amanda for reminding me that the little bumps in our life do not matter. It is what we do with them, and how we react that matter.

Friday, April 16, 2010


There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States.

Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course their freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him.

"How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Dr. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know.... I've never done 300 at a time"

"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can...yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday.. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

"Sure!" Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship..

When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Dr.. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten push-ups.

Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Dr.. Christianson said, "Look! This is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No."

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?"

Steve did ten....Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say, "No!" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks.

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row.. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut."

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut."

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room..

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone; I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not.. When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said, "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, 'Into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten. "

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding, "Not all sermons are preached in words."

Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not His Only Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"

Share this with someone. It's bound to touch their heart and demonstrate Salvation in a very special way.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oakmont High School!

Congratulations to the cheerleaders of OAKMONT HIGH SCHOOL for their well-deserved victory at Cheer Nationals!

"What about? What about? What about our color shout!"
A blue blue blue blue blue
and a white white white white white!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oh ya....

I'll admit it!

My daughter has read (multiple times) each and every page of each book in the Twilight series.

When she first started reading them, I was not at all interested. Not even slightly. I could not even make myself work up enough interest to be curious about the series. I knew that it came highly recommended by her freshman English teacher. And, I knew that Manda was loving the books.

I had no idea who Bella Swan was; nor did I care why Jacob Black or Edward Cullen seemed to cause most living females into arguing over which team deserved loyalty.

It wasn't until Breaking Dawn was released that my interest was tickled into curiosity. It was as we were sitting at Borders waiting for the midnight release that I began to question what the whole "Team Edward" vs. "Team Jacob" even meant.

About 2 weeks before Twilight was to be released into the theaters; I decided I should actually read the book. I justified this as a due process any responsible parent would take since I was driving and paying for a car load of girls to see the movie for my daughter's 16th birthday.

As we stood in line at the theater, I was about 1/2 way through Twilight. I was not hooked, but I was no longer apathetic about it either. Stephanie Meyer is a prolific writer who knows how to capture a readers attention and I felt like I was inside the story, watching it unfold as a part of my life. Much like watching a bunch of people you know live their lives.

By the time we took our seats the energy in the theater was tangible and my daughter's group of friends were tingling with the energy and excitement that was radiating off of them like fairy dust off of Tinkerbelle.

By the time the movie was over ----- Tinkerbelle could have dumped a truck load of fairy dust on me, and the only thing I would have cared about was wiping the dust away from my eyes so that I could go home, devour the rest of Twilight and read the other 3 books in the series.

I was hooked.

And, by the way ---- I am "Team Edward." I love Edward's old world manners, and his protectiveness over Bella. I understand that his abandonment of her was in fact his way of trying to protect her. I adore the Cullen family - with all of their quirks and pet peeves. I love that his advanced age gives him a wisdom and knowledge about the reality of life as he has experienced it.

Besides - Jacob is just way too young for me to be on his team. He is just a baby. I'll leave him to my daughter and all of her friends.

Manda picked up her copy of "New Moon" on Sunday after church. We popped some pop corn, poured tall glasses of sparkling water, and had a Twilight festival in the comfort of our own living room. We were just going to watch the ending of "Twilight" and then pop in "New Moon" but we watched every moment of both movies.

I love spending quality time with my sweet 17 year old. And, I love that she shared her love of reading with me and got me hooked on the wonderful Twilight Saga.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I love it ....

when I stumble upon a new blog that catches my attention, and yesterday - I found a great new (to me) blog to read.

Her name is Lysa TerKeurst. You can find her at: http://lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com/

I have only just started perusing her blog, but I am already captured and intrigued and inspired and uplifted and challenged.

God is good, and I find that He blesses me in just the simplest ways as I need it. I am grateful He lead me to Lysa TerKeurst.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rain, Rain Do NOT go away!

That's right! I love the rain! I love the sound of the rain falling, I love the fresh scent that rain leaves behind. I love the way it makes the ground look. I don't even mind the worms that appear when it is raining.

I am not fond of my teen-aged driver having to drive in the rain, but she is learning to be cautious and allow extra travel time. She doesn't mind driving in the rain.

The cats - well, they are not very impressed by the rain and the wind. In fact they are pretty freaked out by the combination of mass amounts of precipitation and the wind which screams across our back yard.

Russ doesn't like to work in the rain, and I can not say that I blame him for feeling that way.

But - still, I LIKE the rain.

So ...

Rain, Rain don't go away, stay to play another day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ah!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So nice!

There is such a feeling of vibrancy and newness within my soul this morning. I can not help but to say,

"Thank you, God! Thank you for working in me, through me, and for me. Thank you for refreshing my spirit and lifting me up to a new awakening. Thank you Lord for sacrificing your life for me, that I may live and enjoy the beauty of each day."

Friday, January 8, 2010

I've got a Pointer Sisters tune playing

...in my head that is!!!

"I'm so EXCITED!!!!!"

Why is that tune looping in my head, and why am I excited?? Because I signed up for my first SU4Me swap of the new year!!!! After having an emotional breakdown early last year, I am finally ready to jump back into life.

And, I have scheduled the first stamp party for our lil stampin cult of friends on January 21!!!! Oh yea!!!! I can not tell you how much each of the women in this group of friends mean to me.

We may just be a bunch of Carmen's SU groupies --- but they are such wonderful women.

Yes! Life may have changed, my budget may been stretched to the absolute limit, but I refuse to be depressed and feel unworthy of enjoying life. My God has taught me that I am ok. I can be happy with "enough" and be happy in who I am.

Whoo hooo!!!!! That is right, I am feeling like it is time to dive back into me, and relish and enjoy the creative side of who I like to be. I am determined that this year is going to be a much better year than last, and that I am going to be in control of who I am and how I feel about me.

How am I going to do this?? By faith.

That is right. By my faith in God, and by living my life with Him in control, I am going to LIVE my life!!

I can achieve my wants, needs, desires and dreams simply by turning my fears, worries and concerns over to God and letting Him guide me. With God, all things are possible, and I know that happiness is one of the greatest blessings He shares with us.

Maybe happiness seems like it should be "given" to us, but I believe that happiness is a blessing from God. I believe that He gives us what we need to be happy. I am blessed to have happiness, and I am blessed to be secure in my Christianity and know that I can walk with God.

I am excited that I can be happy and feel like being me. Being me is important. It means that I am living life how I feel it should be lived, and that I am not ashamed to be who I am. Who I am is not more important than who others are, but who I am means being true to my beliefs and feelings and not having to pretend that life is perfect.

This quote came over in a Facebook "chain" letter of fun. I really liked it, and found it appropriate to what I was blogging about right now, so - here it is:

'May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are.. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us..'

I am me. And, today - I am EXCITED!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year! ... and those silly things we do ...

First off ~~~ HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! I hope that our lord Jesus Christ will rain down His blessings upon your life this year. May He work within your life to provide you with all you need for true contentment and happiness.

So last night I decided that omelets sounded great for dinner. After all they are warm and tasty.

I concocted an omelet for Manda and slid it onto her plate - piping hot from the frying pan - it looked DELICIOUS! I was excited to start mine. I was hungry and the scent of the golden cooked egg with melted cheese and sausage was making my stomach growl and my mouth water.

Well, I should have reigned in my sensory overload ... and I might have realized sooner that I was holding the blazing hot ring of the metal pan (the connection piece between the actual pan and the safety cooled handle) on the side of my left hand. All of a sudden my left hand pointer finger felt like I had melted it clean off!

Yikes! So not smart of me. My finger has a 2 - 3 inch blister on it today, and it burns like heck. But - in the light of day it is pretty funny.

Oh and my omelet -- it didn't get made. I am left handed and could not use the pointer finger at all last night. But - I had great scrambled eggs with egg and sausage. My stomach was still satisfied.

Life - sometimes you just have to laugh at the silly things we do.

Have a great day!