Word Up - It's Time to Get Wordy!

Word of the Day
I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences. Gertrude Stein

29 December 2008

To Love Without an Agenda

...All I want from you is to trust me with what little you can,
and grow in loving people around you with the same love I share with you.
It's not your job to change them, or to convince them.
You are free to love without an agenda.

-taken from The Shack
(I've decided to finish it. And I'm so glad I did...)

and then there's this, which seem to go hand in hand with the other thing:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully
as when they do it from a religious conviction.
-Blaise Pascal

Just ask anyone who has been "ministered to" from that angle.
Or ask someone who has been on the giving end.
I've been on both.

24 December 2008

Cheap Therapy

A God Who cares.
Someone to talk to and open up the gates of the ugly cry.
A cold, cold Fresca with some cold, cold ice cubes.


That feels much better.

And then my Sweet Pickle drew me a picture and labeled it Mighty Mama - with very large arm and leg muscles. Because, he says, that means I'm strong.

And then last night during supper, my little Puddin' kept leanin' his head in over and over for more and more kisses and loveys. He even rubbed my leg a little. Sweet thing.

The night may continue for a while, but the sun does come up in the morning.

Merry Christmas, y'all. And because her words are so beautiful, go read Anna Maria Horner's short closing paragraph.

**Edited: Christmas Day, I signed on, because I'm sick like that, and this is the quote that greeted me:
The birth of Jesus is the sunrise in the Bible.

Well, Amen to that.

22 December 2008


Invisibility is over-rated. I'd much prefer the super power of the balance of justice with grace.

What I'm saying over and over to my children is not getting through and so I say it louder and louder, until they cry, and it's my turn to apologize.


There's a silent angry river that runs through me. It yells and occasionally cusses and then runs and hides, somewhere deep because it's afraid of itself.

My dairy-allergic son eats M&Ms from the trash can. M&Ms that were dug up from under a 2-day old wet Pull-Up. Disgusting and Dangerous. Red splotches show up a few minutes later on his face and I give him a full tsp of Benadryl and secretly wish I was better than I am.

I just wanna go to bed.

I've had enough today.

I want to sleep until I'm better.

Earlier in the day, I'm making an impromptu felt dinosaur upon Sweet Pickle's request and he wants to watch me stitch it. I say okay. He watches me stick the needle into a fold in my jeans and says, "Mooommm, you put a hole in your jeaaannnnsss". "Don't touch it", I say. He reaches over to touch it and jabs me twice with the needle. I yell at him, my small 5 year old, something like, "What are you doing?! I just said don't touch it! How did that get lost in translation and you now think it's okay to touch it?! You stuck me with the needle twice!!" His face deteriorates and he starts to cry.

What good is an apology when I lose it so many times in a day.

I keep breaking stuff that I can't fix.

Every time I yell I think I send a loud message to my children: Why can't you get it right? And yet I feel powerless to stop. I feel like nothing else I'm doing is getting results. I feel overtaken by this ugly thing. This ugly thing that produces results that I don't want.

I think I understand to some degree the women who've said their children would be better off with someone else.

I hate this thing. And I hate that it's taking so long to change. I want my heart to embrace my roles now. It's a bitter pill to swallow. To see myself. To really see myself and that there is no good thing in me.

It's a crappy place to be.

Actually, on spiritual terms, it's probably a great place to be.

But it feels like crap.

Perhaps tomorrow will be more cheery. I hope so. For my family's sake. But today, something is under my skin and I feel discontent and bitchy.

I know it won't last. I know I'll get to a better place soon. Today's quote is suitable though, don't you think?
“He became what we are that he might make us what he is.”

Haste the day.

21 December 2008

Livin' the Dream

Wake up, injure toe by merely exiting the bed. Grace-full. [And frail, evidently.] That's me.

Take Puddin' down from kitchen table.

[And yes, my table IS always that pristine.]

From the look on his face, you can see he's highly concerned for his safety. However, this singular action is cause for his Mommy to leave her happy place no less than 15 times a day.

Make very first decoupage as gift for niece with first initial, A.
Beam, because I'm so pleased with how it turned out.

Wrap gifts - almost my favorite part of giving.
And then there's this, which really got me out of my comfort zone.

We made these:
(Mama does not like to intentionally make more messes she has to clean up.)

(Even in the name of fun and good memories.)

(Because I suck like that.)

That's Pam spray that gives their hands such a high shine.

Seriously? Pam? On 4 and 5 year old hands? Isn't that sort of, um, messy?

Yeahhhhh..... It iiisss........

And there you have it.
In part at least.
My week.
Livin' the dream.

13 December 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes '08

We begin this tour with two recipes that contain chocolate. You gonna wanna get a pen...

Ya may find my photography throughout to be a bit lack-luster [or lustre if you wish you were British, like me] but this recipe is anything but. It is totally with-lustre... have-lustre. Whichever.

Peppermint-Mocha Coffee
6 C freshly brewed coffee
4 squares Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 1/2 C hot milk
1 tsp peppermint extract
8 peppermint sticks (the soft, melt in your mouth kind)

POUR coffee into large saucepan. Add chocolate; cook on low 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally.
ADD milk and extract; stir until well blended. Garnish with RediWhip and a peppermint stick, and maybe some crushed peppermint nestled into your RediWhip waves. The recipe doesn't call for that tidbit, but you want it.

This other recipe I haven't yet tried myself. I will though, because I've had a hankering for this sort of thing for some time now.

So here it is - Put the 'HOT' in your COCOA
Melt a square or two of bittersweet chocolate in a mug of hot milk. Mix in a dash each of ancho and chipotle chile powders and cinnamon, then finish with a splash of vanilla extract (and don't forget the whipped cream).

Now, I don't know about you, but to me, that spells FASCINATING and DELECTABLE.

Now for the tour of my home - comprised mostly of pictures and words.

A few favorite ornaments:
1) The Tree - silky & beaded on the front, velvet on the back. I'm fairly certain my mansion in Heaven will be completely constructed out of velvet.
2) The Mirrored Angel and also a peek at The Red Garland That Warms & Charms
And now, please allow me to introduce you to my favorite penguins...
Joyce & Herschel.
They enjoy spending their days keeping an eye on the coffee pot and talking smack to each other...
(overheard) Herschel, do not get fresh with me...

You see dis slap? [raises eyebrows and widens gaze]
You gon' walk over, but you gon' limp back.
[She's very sassy. Poor Herschel.]

I also have some reindeer, but I prefer to call them reindiers [pronounced: dee-airs].
Now, the tree... Ta Daaaaaa! This is the part where my photography fails me. It's alot prettier in person. I swur (swear) it.
Thank you for coming! Before you go, you must watch this because I am bossy you CANNOT have a "Mady Chrithmahsth" without it! [I already posted this about 2 weeks ago (maybe you noticed?), but I never tire of it... and so, again. More Dave Barnes. You're welcome.]

For more of this kind of Tour-y thing, get yerself to BooMama's House and foller some o' them links down yonder. You'll probably enjoy it. It's always fun looking in other people's houses.

And shopping carts.

But that's a whole 'nother post entire.

Mady Christhmahsth and Happy New Jear's!

12 December 2008

Never In My Life

I've never seen it snow like this here.

Not ever.

Flurries. Sleet. Ice on the ground. A little snow piled up on windshield wipers. Yes.

But not this much. And it was stunning!

And magical.

I hope it won't be the last time...

11 December 2008

Siesta Ornament Exchange '08

I'm breaking the rules and doing this a few days early. The real exposé isn't until the 15th, but that's also the day of BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes and I didn't want to do them together.

This year I decided to participate in the Siesta Fiesta Ornament Exchange, because I [evidently] like to inundate myself with more and more things to do at the busiest time of year. I signed up initially because I thought it would be fun, and even though it put one more thing on my already tiring TO DO list, I signed up anyway.

And I'm glad I did.

It's very sweet to know that someone I've never met invested their time and resources into my little family unit in a way that I'll remember every year.

I got paired up with Rachel, of Freedom-Bound Captive, who has a beautiful family by the way. Here is the ornament her family sent to ours:
She has a tiny inscription down the side of her gown that reads, "Peace be with you". Isn't she lovely? I like her alot. So much so that by looking at her, it's as if Rachel DOES know me, because this is something I would've chosen for myself. :)

But that's not all. She went a step further and also sent these edible Rice Krispy Treat "ornaments" that her 2 beautiful girls made for my three kidlets! Sweet, huh? My kids sure liked their thoughtfulness!

LinkThank you again, Rachel! You really made this fun!

If you're interested in seeing other exchanges, follow this link, right chere.

Or this one.

They're the same. :)

But don't follow them until Monday! Because the real Show 'n Tell doesn't start officially until then.

05 December 2008

And now, I REALLY love Carol of the Bells...

GOOD. GRAVY! You have GOT to see [this]! It is Christmas GOLD!

A veritable GOLD RUSH, people.

Get thyself some gold!

Thank you Annie for introducing those of us (or maybe just me)whose lives transpire beneath a rock to the illustrious Dave Barnes video talent. I knew not the level of ya boyz skillz.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Jear's to you all!

01 December 2008

I need Africa. Do you?

Last week I told you why I need Africa. I later discovered that all these people do too!

Today, Barrett (of Mocha Club) wants you to know why he needs Africa. And from what I can tell, Barrett is the man. He lives in Ethiopia, so he knows of what he speaks. Here's where it starts...


When I think of Africa, the following images immediately come to mind: Starvation. AIDS. Child soldiers. Genocide. Sex slaves. Orphans. From there, my thoughts naturally turn to how I can help, how I can make a difference. “I am needed here,” I think. “They have so little, and I have so much.” It’s true, there are great tragedies playing out in Africa everyday. There is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe. But what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many Africans face with the joy I see in the people. It’s a joy that comes from somewhere I cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day. [read more]

After you finish reading that, come back and watch this video.

Watching that gives me chills and that song gets into me. I don't want my circumstance to define my joy. I want to have the joy of Africa in me. I also want to help and make a difference where I can - which may look like buying a (really rad) t-shirt to support the cause of Mocha Club. Don't just envy mine. Get your own! And what you give may supply water for a year. And maybe some of Africa will get into you. I hope so!

The campaign starts here - but let's not stop talking about it!