Ever been licked by a giraffe?
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What a crazy weekend it's been. I must confess I failed miserably in the Christ-likeness department this weekend. And it was silly, really. At about noon or so on Saturday, my internet and phone stopped working. The friendly representative of the company who provides those services informed me that it would be Tuesday before anybody could get out to fix it. Let's just say I was not happy. I was nice to the people on the phone, but wow, was I crabby and not fun to be around. Part of it was genuine worry about leaving the kids home overnight without a phone. Part of it was withdrawl from not being able to check my email :P Hooboy, I've still got a LOT to learn. Anyway, I called again Sunday morning after work, and they said they'd try to get someone out there sooner but couldn't make any promises. When I got home from Church and the bi-weekly Costco run, the repair person had been here and gone and all was right with the world again :P So now I'm still trying to get caught up on email and blog reading and stuff, because I do have to sleep occasionally.
But now, without further delay, I have a book to give away. I wrote the names of everybody who expressed interest, put them in a paper bag, and my lovely assistant Sassy drew a name. And the winner is...................
Erna! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the address to which to send the book and I'll get it in the mail.
I wish I could give one to everyone who wanted one! Thanks for playing :D
Posted by Connie at 3:38 PM
Posted by Connie at 1:30 AM
So we were all in the car this afternoon, and the 17 year old says "I never want to go to work again." I asked him if he meant to his job (he works at Wendy's) or if he meant never ever at all. He meant never ever at all. I laughed at told him about this conversation with DQ, his 14 year old sister, where she says her life would be so much easier if she had a job! He turned around and said to her "ARE YOU MAD? Your life would SO NOT be easier! Ohmigosh, I can't BELIEVE you think that!" Then he turned to me and said "Kids! They think they know everything!"
I was pretty much speechless at that point.
Posted by Connie at 11:19 PM
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DISCLAIMER: Lisa Samson does not and has not paid me for any review I have posted on this blog, no matter how flattering or how many there are. Honest. I just really like her style of writing!
But I did volunteer to review this book on my blog in exchange for a free copy! :) I definitely got the better end of that deal! For what it's worth though, impatient me did go out and buy a copy when it released in September. I'm glad I did! The extra copy? We'll talk about that later.
I wrote for a review on Amazon.com:
For me, it's about the characters. I just can't relate to the girl who was raised in a Christian home, whose parents stayed together, who saved herself for marriage and pretty much lived happily ever after with a few frustrations along the way. I've never met anybody like that in Lisa's books, and it's one of the things that keeps me coming back for more. I've always been able to see little bits of myself in the characters that Lisa creates.That is absolutely true for cousins Georgia and Fairly in Straight Up. Wasted potential, missed opportunity, inability to deal with certain aspects of life... they both find their own ways to numb the pain of the inability to deal, and they both face the consequences for their choices. These are people you meet every day. We've all been Fairly or Georgia at one time or another to some degree. There are consequences, but there is also grace from God, just sometimes it doesn't always look the way we think it will.
Jazz drives me crazy. Crazy like New Orleans on a day so hot the heat rises into your nostrils and steams your brain like a peach dumpling. You feel the humid heat waves as they spill onto the pavement from the lips of a saxophonist who loves his horn more than any woman he's ever met because the horn never disappoints him. He may disappoint himself, his woman, his mother, and the holy church, but the horn stays true and pure and loving, shining into his heart with a brassy passion, licking his soul tenderly, lapping up his affection like crème de la crème.Is that not an amazing word picture?
Posted by Connie at 5:23 PM
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Posted by Connie at 12:33 PM
A couple weeks ago when we were at that Peacock Park (aka Sahuaro Ranch Park) I took some really good pictures of my kids. I added a little fuzz around the outside of the pictures and they look great! I finally got around to ordering prints from walmart.com last night, and went to go pick them up today. The lady at the counter said "I'm sorry, we can't reprint professional pictures." I said "Umm, they aren't professional, I took them myself." She didn't believe me! Then she said "well, since they're already paid for, I'll give them to you, but just this once."
WELL! That certainly boosts my ego a bit, but uhhh, what happens when they won't print my pictures?! I guess I can always just take memory stick into the store and print them out there so they can see where they came from. But darn, what a pain. Still, it made my day that she thought my pictures were professional :D
Posted by Connie at 11:30 AM
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Posted by Connie at 11:19 PM
I passed! YAY! The CLASS IS OVER!!!!
The final was huge, I missed 11 things and still got a 96%. After the test, and the HOURS it took for them to be graded, they had a bunch of officers set up in one of the rooms on radios and we had to respond to what they needed. The officers got a little carried away, and were saying they had emergencies like they were being attacked by bees, one said he'd hit a horse, and when it was my turn, they were saying that they had just used their taser on someone. I could hear them yelling on the radio, apparently they were yelling so loud and it sounded so realistic that the bureau commander came out of his office to see what the problem was! OOPS!
I'm SO glad the class is over, now maybe I can think about and blog about other things! Of course, as I mentioned, this is when the really hard part starts. But at least I can leave that at work. And if it doesn't work out, I've still got 911.
Tonight is my 17 year old son's play at school, and Sassy and Snugglebutt have small parts also. I'm so excited, I can't wait to see it!
Update: Julie, we went to Cold Stone! Even better than DQ :D
Posted by Connie at 3:39 PM
Because I won't be able to get to it later... Much studying to do (ack! I hate fill in tests!) and I'm coming down with something... so...
See more Wordless Wednesday by following the links in the Wordless Wednesday Blogroll in my sidebar (because I'm too lazy to link right now!)
Posted by Connie at 4:08 PM
10 tests down, 10 to go! Julie asked when the tests would be over - Friday. We had 3 today, 2 tomorrow, 4 Wednesday, 4 Thursday, and then we have a great big ole final on Friday. Today one of our instructors was pretty much going over exactly what was on the upcoming tests so that we knew what to study. She said that the training on the floor will be stressful enough, we don't need to stress out over this stuff. And she's probably right. Once we are in on the job training, that's when you can't stop to figure out what you are doing, you just have to do it. That part of the training lasts 6-9 months, and that's the stressful part. But with the on the job part, I can leave it at work and don't have to bring it home with me. So I'm definitely not as stressed out as I was last week :)
Now we're getting into information that is specific to the job of dispatcher, so things are a lot more interesting.
Thanks for the prayers!
Posted by Connie at 3:35 PM
Not that I've had any experience riding in the back... but... :)
So today I'm thankful I'm not a police officer. Last night was interesting, and we didn't encounter anything too horrific, but there was a lot that I found to be sad. Like the lady who told the convenience store clerk that she didn't have to pay for the 44 oz. Thirst Buster because she owned the store and it was perfectly ok. She also told the officers that she couldn't remember her name, and she didn't have a birthdate because she was never born. She was really an angel and therefore already dead. She was saying some really out there things. The officer had to tell her she was hallucinating. She said "I am? I'm hallucinating? Oh..." This lady had been arrested 58! times for trespassing. She was only about 3 years older than me. It's obvious by looking at her that she's had a rough life.
We took a 15 year old kid home who had been caught smashing up someone's car. He is being charged with criminal damage, but they let him go home. He was drunk when we brought him home.
We went to a 911 hang up call in the city housing project. Little kids ran to hide when they saw the police. I think that's just so sad.
I chose to go to one of the worse parts of town, because I'm not familiar with that area, and because I thought it would interesting. It ended up actually being pretty non-eventful. Most of the calls we went to were either taken care of by other officers before we could get there, or we were unable to find anything. We drove around running plates, but didn't even get to pull anybody over.
So yes, when there's a police car behind you, chances are he IS looking for a reason to pull you over :P :)
Posted by Connie at 11:27 AM
Today is the day of my ride-along with a police officer. I'm going on the afternoon shift, so things should hopefully be busier than in the daytime or at night. Since there were no tests today, I'm able to take a little break from trying to cram all that stuff in my head, thankfully. I'm still doing well, but the schedule for next week looks brutal. But, only one more week! One down, one to go!
At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to try to do the dispatch training. I like 911, I like talking to the people on the phone (except on weekends between may and october) I just really like my job! But now that I've decided to do this next step, I'm really excited about it. I'll still get to do 911 at least once a week, so that's good.
I have nothing but good things to say about our whole police department, about our bureau, about our supervisors, and about most of my co-workers. Those about whom I don't have nice things to say, I try not to say anything. I mostly like everybody who is in this class with me. There are 12 of us, which is a big class. Two of the people in there though, while I like them, are the most negative people I've ever met in my life. One makes it clear that she dislikes almost all of the supervisors in our bureau, she doesn't like how things are run, and she thinks most of the policies are stupid. She really does not want to be in this class. The other one just always has something to complain about it. You know, nobody is forcing them to be there... I want to say that to them, to say well you know, if you don't like it, you can leave and still have a job... I guess I'm finding it hard to be around those very loud, very outspoken negative people so much. Usually I can avoid them by where I choose to sit at work, but in this class, I can't.
So I was wondering, besides praying for them, how do you deal with negative people?
Posted by Connie at 10:36 AM
But I'm thankful for passing both tests today, and I think I have a good handle on the information for the 3 tests tomorrow... 4 down, 15 to go!
I'm thankful for my 6 year old who makes me laugh. Today he told her sister that she was being so incuserating! I almost choked on my mashed potatoes! Apparently, it means being a pain in the neck... so if you want to sound intelligent and impress your friends, try this new word in a sentence today! :P
Posted by Connie at 9:03 PM
I passed my tests today! We have 19 tests in all, and so now there's two less I don't have to worry about failing! :P (I'm not actually worried about failing the tests, I'm worried about remembering all the information I need to know to succeed at dispatching. I understand what a big responsibility it is.) And I feel pretty good about the tests I have tomorrow. Thursday's information is a little trickier - it's 2 of the 6 precincts and what is in them - like addresses to schools, parks, hospitals... the places I've been, I can picture where they are and figure out the address. Most of the places on these lists though, I've never been there. I don't really have time to go driving around the city either!
I feel better today though. Thanks for praying for me, I can tell because I am much more at peace with the whole thing :)
Posted by Connie at 8:51 PM
Oh I'm really wondering what I got myself into with this dispatch training thing. It's a two week class, there are 2-5 tests every day, and if I fail 3 tests, I'm out. And there's a huge massive final at the end. After the class is over, there's 6 months worth of on the job training, but at least I don't have to study for that. Today I got home, made supper, picked my son and my friend's daughter up from play practice, ate, and then locked myself in my room to study. Now it's time for bed, and I get to do it all again tomorrow, only with different information I have to try to shove into my brain. There's SO MUCH to know! I'm looking at all this stuff, thinking... I have got to be INSANE!! (Or totally 918 in our department's cop-speak.) I am REALLY glad I had a two week break before starting this. The fun part is I get to go on another ride along with an officer on Friday. Last time I got to do that was 2 years ago in 911 training. It was a whole lot of fun, but I felt so powerless when I got back in my car to go home and it didn't have one of those computers in it.
I think I've got a pretty good handle on the information for tomorrow's tests (it's all stuff we did in the 911 class, which was 5 weeks of insanity!) Tomorrow starts the new information. I'll be praying for my bloggy friends, but I don't know that I'll get to post/comment much in the next couple weeks.
Posted by Connie at 8:48 PM
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I am significant --
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit - John 15:16
I am God's temple - 1 Cor 3:16
I am a minister of reconciliation for God - 2 Cor 5:17-21
I am God's co-worker - 2 Cor 6:1
I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm - Eph 2:6
I am God's workmanship - Eph 2:10
I may approach God with freedom and confidence - Eph 3:12
I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me - Phil 4:13
Remember, YOU are accepted, YOU are secure, and YOU are significant. If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it! If you are fighting with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, look at yourself through the eyes of truth - see yourself how God sees you. God doesn't make junk!!!
Posted by Connie at 10:12 PM
Thankful Thursday: What I am thankful for this week
Posted by Connie at 10:38 PM
Does it ever become something you just automatically do when things happen? I confess it hasn't yet for me. Although I am getting better - instead of immediately panicking over the situation, now as soon as I feel the panic starting, I think "ok, God has taken care you this far, why on Earth would you think He's going to stop now?" but still, I have to remind myself sometimes on a minute by minute basis. I guess I'm disappointed in myself! And just what is my problem anyway, why should I think I shouldn't be faced with these things? I was telling someone what it is I'm attempting to trust God for - it's a money thing. Every time I get a raise, it's one step forward, two steps back. Last time I got a raise, my house payment was going up $80 a month. Now the city has decided to give us a raise, and I was all praising God for that. I thought things would get a little easier, the ends would meet a little better. Nope. I found out the other day that I will likely be losing at least $280 in child support starting this month. So as I was telling this person that this stuff happens to me, her response was "Join the club!" I was kind of surprised. But... aren't I entitled to have things get better?! I know that happens to other people, but, after all we've gone through...And then I realized how arrogant was I to think that way. No, I'm not entitled to anything! God provides many things that in the absence of Grace that we absolutely do not deserve, but He still provides them. I suppose I really needed that reminder. OUCH. So I'll trust Him because He is Jehovah Jirah, our provider, even if I have to remind myself over and over. And I will thank Him for gently taking me down a notch and reminding me who is Boss.
Posted by Connie at 11:10 PM
My family didn't go to church on a regular basis when I was growing up. My dad was raised in a Russian Orthodox church in Pennsylvania, and I'm not really sure what kind of religion or faith my mom had. I believe that she believed though, if that makes sense. It was just understood in my house that God was real, and that's just the way it was. I guess I've always just known that I've needed God, I was just not sure how that all worked for a long time. I used God and Faith as a crutch to get me through difficult times on and off, I was never really around anybody who lived out their faith. Everybody I knew went to church on Sundays and then did whatever they wanted the rest of the week. I didn't know what a life of faith looked like. I started going to church on a regular basis when my oldest daughter was a baby, but I was young, and had no support. I got married when my daughter was 3. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway because I convinced myself that love was something you decided to feel. I could decide to love this man, because my daughter needed a dad and we both needed something more stable than I was able to provide. Yes, I do see how messed up that thinking was! But remember I came from a home without a mother and with a father who didn't show any interest in me at all. About 2 years later, I met someone who lived out her faith. We became friends, and I started going to church with her. It felt like the thing I was looking for. I spent a bunch of years praying for my husband, who was Jewish, but the thing was, I didn't love him. My friend eventually moved away, and I stopped going to church because I had to work. My husband and I tried to make it work for almost 10 years, but when things fell apart, they fell apart in a big way. I was so hurt and away from church, away from God, I did some things in that time period that I really regret. I hated myself for those things, and I was pretty sure God hated me too. The marriage fell apart, I was single again, and again I didn't really believe I had what it takes to take care of myself and my kids alone. Pretty soon I met someone. He seemed to be everything I thought I wanted. He was a Christian, he was smart, funny, handsome, had definite leadership qualities. We became friends and then it progressed to being more than friends. When he asked me to marry him, I said yes immediately. For 5 years we went to church every Sunday at the same church, and things seemed really good. It wasn't perfect at all - we lacked discipline and didn't pray as much as we should, or read the Bible as much as we should, but I though it was good. I believed this marriage was a God thing. I believed God rescued me from the life I had and gave me a Godly husband. But I didn't know that this "godly husband" was hiding some major things. Without going in to all of the very specific details and how I should have known he was a controlling, manipulating narcissist, I'll just say I didn't see it at all. I didn't see things in me either. I didn't see that I just wanted so badly to be rescued because I had zero self worth and still hated myself for all the mistakes I'd made, that I mistook making another poor choice for God rescuing me. So when the FBI knocked on my door on March 1st 2004 and told me that my husband had been sexually abusing my daughter, I argued with them for 30 minutes telling them he had to have been framed, because he was a good church going man and would never do such a thing! My world fell apart right then and there. They took us to ChildHelp to interview each of the kids and while we were gone they came and arrested my husband. I had no idea how we were going to make it through the next 24 hours, let alone have any kind of a life at all ever again. I was devastated. I realized pretty quickly that there was only one real choice - I had to depend on God like I had been professing I did. There was a period there were everyday I listened to the song Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman (lyrics here) over and over to remind myself that I had to choose to praise God, even when things just sucked really bad. As I trusted Him, miracles began to happen, and the knowledge of how He has ALWAYS had us in His hands became clear. After God gave me my job, after I got back on my feet, God began healing some of those other parts of my life that contributed to the bad decisions I've made. He let me know in no uncertain terms that He does in fact love ME.
Shortly before my husband's arrest, I read a book by Bruce Wilkenson called First Hand Faith. He started off talking about the Israelits, how when God brought them out of Egypt, those people saw what God did first hand. They knew God and believed him because they saw Him work with their own eyes. They told their kids what they saw, and their kids told their kids, but after a while it wasn't first hand. They didn't see it, they only heard about what God did, so their faith was not as strong. Makes sense. And now that I've seen God work first hand, I know I can never go back to living without Him or only using my faith as a crutch. I know it was God Himself who reached down and rescued us, and I will tell anybody who will listen - God is alive, He is good, and He loves YOU!
Posted by Connie at 8:52 AM
I've been tagged! Julie at A Joyful Life tagged me and said I get to pick which meme I did. I'm so bad at making decisions, I'll just go ahead and do both...
Friday FIVE - even though it is Monday :)
1. What would I do with Five Minutes To Myself: What I SHOULD do with 5 minutes to myself right now is study the things I will need to know for the dispatcher training class that starts next week. I need to relearn the names and corresponding numbers of a lot of the named streets in the city, and I need to learn the boundaries of the precincts. Fun fun stuff there, woohoo. That's what I SHOULD do. What I would do is check my email and my bloglines, of course.
2. Five dollars to spend to spend right now: I'd take Sassy and Snugglebutt to McDonalds for an ice cream cone and let them play in the play place. Well, I wouldn't do that right now because it's only 7:47am. Or I'd buy some beads. Or gummy bears.
3. 5 Items in my house that I could part with right now:
Only 5? Hmmm ok...
1) The huge old extremely heavy TV that is sitting in my living room. It still works but the color isn't right on it anymore. Bulk trash pick up is coming soon! But that thing takes at least two people to move.
2) The tile in the kitchen, I absolutely hate it.
3) The couch.
4) Still have a lot of my ex-husbands junk I need to deal with. I need to pack it up and take it to his mother's house, but then I'd have to deal with her and sometimes it's just easier not to.
5) 75% of the clothes in this house, no matter who they belong to.
Posted by Connie at 7:36 AM