Monday, December 31, 2007

One of those days

Ok, so DQ in Ohio, so 18 year old Sam is it right now in terms of child care. So I told him before DQ left that I needed to know his work schedule ASAP so that if he had to work when I do, I could arrange for someone to be here with the two younger kids until he gets home. When he told me his schedule, there were no days in there that he had to work late, and so I thought "no problem." Yesterday (Sunday) he told me he was working 10am till 3pm. Except when I got up at noon, he was here. He said he made a mistake, he had to be at work at 3. I didn't think much of it, because when he told me his schedule, there were no nights he was scheduled to close. So when 10:30pm rolled around, and he wasn't here, I was a little concerned. I called him, and he was still at work. Now, normally, he's a bright, good kid, and tries to think of others. But I think he has some kind of a mental block when it comes to me going to work. I mean, my schedule only changes once a year, and the hours never change. I've had to be at work at 11pm on Sunday night every Sunday for the past 3 years, except for vacations. After a lecture about communication and telling me when his schedule was different than what he said it would be, he apologized and said he was on his way home(I don't know, it might be his own work schedule he has issues with, he's been wrong more than once...) I don't know why he wouldn't get that he needs to TELL ME! Because, my job kind of puts a roof over his head, clothes on his back, and food in his belly! So I didn't even leave my house until 11, which is what time I was supposed to be there. I called the supervisor and she was understanding. So I should have been only 15-20 minutes late.

Until I saw the flashing red and blue lights behind me. Yeah. If it was a Phoenix cop, I most likely would have been told to slow down and have a nice day. No. It was a highway patrol cop. "So, where ya going?" "Work. I'm already late." "Where do you work?" Phoenix mumble mumble mumble "what's that?" Man, I just know I was as red as the flashing lights on his squad car. "Phoenix Police Communications." "Oh. Ok, I'll be right back." At least 10 minutes later, he comes back and gives me a written warning. So phew - no fine, no points, and I might be able to get away without TELLING MY SUPERVISOR that I was pulled over! Because, that's policy. Any contact with any police anywhere, we're supposed to tell our supervisor. WRITTEN policy. Because I really don't want to have to tell my supervisor that I was going 70mph down the black canyon freeway, where the speed limit is 55. Because I wouldn't even be able to blame it on Sam being late, because I do it on a regular basis!

Ok, so then I get to work and because I am almost never late, my supervisor is kind, and she lets me use comp time for the now 45 minutes that I'm late, so that means it doesn't count as an unscheduled absence. Good news. So I get settled in and do my job, until lunch time, when I had a decision to make. Do I go in the quiet room and take a nap since I've only had 4 hours of sleep, or do I eat my salad because I am pretty much starving? The salad won out, so I brought it back to my station to eat. I got the salad on the plate, but when I stood up to throw something away, I knocked the chair, which bumped the desk, which knocked my salad onto the floor. Face down. Ok, most of it wasn't so bad. Lettuce, dried cranberries, and walnuts, those are easy to clean up, and I hadn't put the dressing on yet. That feta cheese though, was a little tougher. You know the odor of feta is not really all that pleasant when you smell it for very long. I looked for something to clean it up with, but wouldn't you know, not a dust buster in the whole bureau. I asked the supervisor if there was something I could use to clean it up with, and she said to go find the housekeeper and ask her to do it. I felt bad, she cleans up after us so much already. She's a sweet girl, I don't want to make more work for her. But there went my lunch. My obnoxious coworker (with whom I get along well because he's obnoxious) kept poking fun of me and I could see the humor in how my day was going so far. I was just kind of afraid to move at that point.

I was so happy when it was finally time to go home, because I was really tired. I considered taking surface streets home rather than the freeway, because I was still smarting over being stopped by the highway patrol. But the desire to get home as quickly as possible won out. I figured there wasn't much that would go wrong at home! But when I went to check my email, the interenet wasn't working on my laptop. I debated leaving it alone, but then decided that I should at least check in to why it wasn't working. So I went into the living room, and there was a strange laptop in there, with the ethernet cable from my modem plugged into it. I have no idea who it belongs to, but yeah, I'm a little more ticked at Sam. I don't mind if he lets his friends get on our network with their laptops, however, I want it to be working and available when I, the one WHO PAYS FOR IT! wants to use it. At least put it back the way it was when you're done!

When I was in my room, I thought it felt a little cold and wondered if I'd left a window open, but then when I went to the kitchen, it felt like the air conditioner was on. So I stuck my hand up by the vent, and sure enough, cold air. So my less than 6 month old heating and A/C unit is BLOWING COLD AIR when it's supposed to be heating the house! Ahhh, but at least it's Phoenix and it's only freezing at night!

But, tonight is new years, and I have to work. New years eve at 911 is a pretty hopping place! But hopefully I'll be able to get through it without getting pulled over on my way to work and spilling stinky cheese all over the floor.

May you have a happy and safe New Year, and a blessed 2008!

Friday, December 28, 2007

30 years

The world sure is a different place than it was 30 years ago. Computers were just starting to be made for individual use, but to most people, the idea was still foreign. In my house now, we have 3... If you wanted to talk on the phone, chances are it had to be plugged into the wall. Cell phones weren't widely available then, and the ones that did exist were about the weight of a large newborn. Music was on vinyl, cassette, or 8 track. Cars I guess aren't really all that different, except for air bags, anti-lock breaks, and no more leaded gasoline. They look a little different on the outside, but they still basically function the same way, they just don't fly like people 30 years ago thought they would. And 30 years ago, you could still go to a gas station and have someone pump your gas, wash your windshield, check your oil and air up your tires. Of course, cars today probably cost as much as a house did back then!

In 30 years I've graduated from high school, gotten married a couple times, divorced a couple times, had a bunch of kids, moved 2000 miles, and still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up. It took me almost all of the 30 years but I finally have figured out my own self worth. I guess I'm a slow learner :)

30 years ago today I was 10 years old and became motherless. I often wonder how my life would have been different if my mom would have lived, but then I really can't imagine. No matter how the world has changed in 30 years, no matter how I've changed in 30 years, there's one thing that doesn't change - there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of my mom and miss her.

I'm looking forward to seeing her again, but not quite yet. I don't want my kids to wonder what it would be like to grow up with a mom.

In loving memory of Linda Jean Childers Kowalcyk - 1941-1977

Sunday, December 23, 2007

7 weird christmas things

Weird? Me? I don't know what you're talking about... my friend Janean posted 7 weird things about her - the Christmas version, so I thought I'd play along.

1) I loathe the song Christmas Shoes. I turn off the radio and scream at it if that song comes on. I just really detest that song. Why? It's not because my mother died of cancer 3 days after Christmas when I was 10, it's really not. It's because I loathe almost any song that exists only to make you cry. He's my son by Mark Schultz - hate it. Butterfly Kisses, can't stand that one either.

2) I'm usually too disorganized to get Christmas cards together and out the door. I feel bad. To a point anyway.

3) Most years, I don't start shopping until December 22nd. This year, I finished on December 22nd.

4) I always cry during Silent Night at the candle light service on Christmas eve. Because I remember singing that song with my mom in July when we would work on jigsaw puzzles together.

5) I remember one Christmas my 3 sisters and I begged our mom to please let us open all of our gifts on Christmas eve. After much whining, begging, and pleading, she gave in. In fact, she let us stay up all night opening presents and playing with our stuff. I don't think we went to bed until 4 or 5 am. And wow, were we crabby the next day. That Christmas wasn't all that much fun.

6) We don't do Santa at our house. It started before I became a Christian and wanted to focus on the birth of our Savior. It started for two reasons - because when my oldest was little, I was a single parent and worked darn hard for the money to buy her presents. I didn't want the credit to go to some fat white guy who wears fur, abuses reindeer and exploits little people ;) And because I was very very upset when I found out the truth. I felt lied to and betrayed. But then I felt better because I couldn't understand why Santa brought my cousin a lot of presents, and just about anything she asked for, but not me. I hated the "you-better-be-good-Santa's-watching!" junk the adults used to pull. I still do. Yeah, you're right, therapy might not be a bad idea... I'm so glad that's not how God works. I choose to celebrate that baby who was born to die for my sins.

7) How we're celebrating Christmas this year might be considered weird to some. We're going to grill steaks on the side of a mountain again, like we did last year. We'll hike and play games, and have ourselves a cookout. It won't be a white Christmas, but that's just the way I like it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

School angst

Apparently, my almost 8 year old has it. This morning he was crying that his stomach hurt. I mean real honest to goodness tears. It seemed like he was having sharp pains so I assumed that he was at the beginning of a stomach bug. Reluctantly, I said he could stay home. As soon as I said that, he started skipping around the house. So I made him get dressed and go to school! He was fine at school, fine at the library, fine at the park... but now he's whining that his stomach hurts again. So he said "ugh, I'm not going to be able to go to school tomorrow. I think you should take me to the doctor." I told him if he throws up, he can stay home. His response? "I'll try." Little stinker! But now I wonder what is making him not want to go. He's been having a pretty good year so I'm not sure what this is about. Unless it's that his teacher is out having a baby, that could well be it. Well, after tomorrow, he's got two weeks off. Lucky!

pictures I took today



So what did YOU do today?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's not everyday...

That my boss is able to say...


But last night she did - and I HAVE PROOF!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wordless Wednesday from my 18 year old son

Ok, it's not so wordless... my son Sam is taking an astronomy class and is doing a project on light pollution. He borrowed my camera and tripod, and came back with some stunning pictures, although some are kind of surreal, like these. These are both pictures of the moon, taken Friday night, November 23.


That was before this happened though:


Sunday, November 25, 2007

The only thing worse...

than getting in a car accident is when your kid gets in a car accident. When you're at work. And you work for 911. And your coworker stands up and says "Connie, I've got your son Sam on the line..." It's an awful awful feeling I had hoped to avoid. But, he's ok, and that's what's important. The other driver is too, and he didn't even flee the scene. He even had insurance, which is kind of a rare thing here.

But, the child has a 1994 Toyota Corolla, and it very well may be totaled. The front axle is definitely bent and there was something leaking, so, it doesn't look good. He only had collision coverage though. The thing is, the police made him vehicle #1. So even though he wasn't cited, it means he caused the accident. Even though he had a green arrow to turn left. The other driver says he had a green light too, and since there were no witnesses, they can't prove he didn't. So Sam failed to yield to oncoming traffic before turning left. What good is a green arrow at all if you have to yield to buffoons who run red lights?? Anyway... I'm trying not to freak out and worry, because if the other guy's insurance doesn't pay for it, I don't know how we're going to fix/replace his car. And he pretty much needs one. But, God has gotten us through worse than this. Way worse. So, I'll choose to trust...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Wordless Wednesday from DQ


My 15 year old took this picture last weekend.

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart

This year, for the first year since 2004, it's just going to be us for Thanksgiving. It makes me a little sad that we're not getting together with the friends that we have for the past few years, but it will still be a wonderful day. We've got a traditional meal planned, along with this yummy looking cheesecake, and since I'm off work tomorrow night, I can spend most of the day playing with the kids. Maybe we'll go to the park after dinner. Maybe we'll go to a movie. Maybe we'll just lay around being more stuffed than our turkey was before we got to it. But whatever we end up doing, thankfulness for all God has provided will never be far from our minds. But you know, we don't need thanksgiving to be thankful. I've learned it's necessary to be in a constant state of thankfulness no matter what the circumstances. For even the breath that I take, I am thankful. Because I've discovered through the past 3.5 years that it's really hard to be mopey and down in the dumps when I am thankful and praising God. Simplistic? Maybe... Maybe I'm just easily pleased. But when I stop thinking about how difficult life really can be (which is a focus on self really,) and start focusing on just being thankful, things aren't quite so hard.

My prayers this Thanksgiving is that we all can find blessings in simple gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I have officially lost my mind

I've suspected it for a while, but now there is no doubt. The proof? The fact that I willingly invited 3 children who are not mine to spend the night, and it's not even anybody's birthday. So, right now I have a 7 year old, two ten year olds, and two 12 year olds in my living room. 3 boys and two girls. 3 rambunctious loud boys, and 2 squealing girly-girls. My 18 year old says he's not coming home tonight, but I can't imagine why...

Saturday morning update: Yes Rebekah, we did survive the night, but just barely! I finally made sure they knew the address in case they set the house on fire and had to call 911, and locked myself in my room. I made sure to tell them in case they had to call, not to tell the operator they knew me. Actually, they're all having a really good time. The extra girl that's here is the only girl in a family of 6 kids, so she's having a great time with Sassy. Soon I'm going to give the girls some beads and string while the boys are busy with video games. My major complaint is that they don't eat anything. And then my kids don't eat while they are here. So last night for dinner I gave everybody the same amount that my kids normally eat. We wasted a LOT of food, then a half hour later, they were begging for something to eat. Other than that though, it's loud, but it's all good.

A must-read blog

Through following links, a couple weeks ago I came across a blog that has been constantly challenge me to think of God and faith in new ways. If you have a moment, go check out Prodigal Jon. From one of his posts:

Before I became a mailman I had to watch a video about not going on a crazy shooting spree. Honestly, part of our training was watching a news story about some mailmen that had done that. I always wondered why that was. Why was the phrase “going postal” something that had made its way into our vernacular? After a few weeks at the post office I had my answer.

The facility I worked at was a hub for other post offices, with tons and tons of mail filtering through it every day. The layout of the room I worked in was basically just a factory with standing cubes that you hand sorted the mail into. It was all pretty normal, except for the ceiling. Into the ceiling, covered catwalks had been built with black windows that looked down on the mailman. Inside those catwalks were the postal police, that secretive group that keeps mailman from stealing birthday cards or social security checks. The postal police were no joke. They had their own separate entrance and were like phantoms. I knew guys that had worked there 15 years and only seen a postal police officer once. They were constantly monitoring your every move. The brilliant thing is that because you couldn’t see into the tunnels suspended from the ceiling, you could never tell when they were there, which meant in a way that they were always there.

It sounds dumb, like having someone above your head that was waiting for you to fail would be something you could just brush off, but it was difficult. The sensation of having that hovering presence of condemnation became palpable. I wasn’t stealing mail, but it was still intimidating to have an unseen force watching my every move.

I didn’t know it then but that’s who God was to me. Separate from my daily life, he was floating above, unseen, unspeaking, waiting for me to mess up. He had me on his radar but it was only when I failed that my little light would start flashing and he would descend to punish.

I never saw him, but I could feel him up there. Watching. Watching. Watching.

I still think he does that, still think he watches me, but my understanding of what he is looking for has changed. It was actually a used car dealer that helped me change it. He told me in the midst of a project that when people come into get a loan, he looks for the good things in their credit history. He already knows they have bruised credit. He’s not surprised or shocked by that. But what he wants to do is sit down with the person and find the good in their life.

I think God is much more like that. He expects that failure I stumble through now and then on days that end with “y.” He knew I was capable of that. He doesn’t need to watch me to find that. In fact, he sent his son because he knew how desperate I would be when my mistakes caught up with me.

No, instead, he is standing next to me, watching. Waiting, creating even the good in my life. Pointing out the things I’ve missed, the moments of love and happiness and joy. He is not keeping a checklist of my mistakes, he is storing my tears in a bottle and unwrapping love upon love for me.

How are your ceilings? Is there a silent God stalking them? As you head into the weekend, will your neck hurt from craning up to see if he is there? Or will you let him show you the good you might not even know exists?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Can I just complain a little bit?

It's 8:02 am. I got home from work and taking the kids to school about 15 minutes ago. I want desperately to go to sleep. But I can't. Why? Because the next door neighbor is warming up his truck. Like he does every day right at the time when I want to sleep. It's been running in his driveway since I got home. It's the loudest truck I've ever heard in my entire life, and it's not even a semi. Complete with squealing belts and everything. See, their driveway is right next to my bedroom, so it's really really loud. For the past year or more, I've been tempted every morning to call the police for a noise disturbance, but because I work for them, I know the truck will leave before any officers can get here, and I really don't want to have a bad relationship with my neighbors. I like them, they are nice people, I just hate their stinkin truck! The thing is - this is ARIZONA! It's not even cold outside!

There's a really big problem with vehicle thefts here, especially when people leave their car or truck running and go back into the house. I hear it almost every day. I can almost guarantee you that this truck will never be stolen this way. Why? Just because it's so darn annoying!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

She's back

I was just sitting here with kids, when I started hearing a faint meowing. I told Sassy to go see what Zorro (our black kitty, the most awesome-est cat ever) was going on about. He was sitting in the window sill just chilling out, so then we opened the front door, and found the source of the meows. Chloe, the gray and white kitty, was sitting outside meowing incessantly. Sassy is thrilled, of course. She's the only one in the house. Well, maybe she'll be better if she's an outside cat. I just don't know how much more I can take of our clothes getting peed on at any chance she gets. Ugh.

I kind of like this one

But can't remember for the life of me where exactly I took it!

Friday, November 02, 2007

The gray and white kitty

Got out. It was a few days ago, Tuesday I think. We haven't seen her since. She had been an indoor cat, so she wasn't used to be outside. I'm kind of worried about her, but I can't say I miss her. If she found a basket with clothes in it (which happened more than I'd like to admit) she peed in it, and the thing even went on Sassy's backpack. Even still, Sassy (the 10 year old) is the only one in the house who could even touch the cat, but poor Sassy. A couple years ago we had a cat that was the same way, it was decidedly Sassy's cat, and that one died. This one was also Sassy's cat, and now she's gone too. She's taking this one well, but I think she's just being brave.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Good Read

The Elevator, by Angela Hunt. It's not even her newest book, but I just read this book and really enjoyed it. I would put the picture here, but bloggers being difficult... If you enjoy fiction at all, here's one for you to check out. Your totally hooked by the end of the first chapter and don't want to put it down until the last page. It's about 3 women who are trapped in an elevator in Tampa Florida during a hurricane. They don't know it, but they're somehow connected. It's one of those books I'll be thinking about for a long time to come.

On an unrelated note, I've quit moping about next year's schedule. There's actually a decent chance I'll be able to get thursday and friday off after all. We had 3 trainees finish training Monday, after that whole thing happened. All of the spots on the schedule were filled, so they'll have to open up new spots for the employees who finished training. One of the ones they can open is the one I want. And even if I don't get it, at least I have a job that I usually like that meets the needs of my family. Sorry for the bad attitude.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A real nailbiter

This weekend is the rebid at work - it's where they set the schedule for next year according to seniority. We have almost 300 employees on the floor between 911 and dispatch, so what they do is give each employee an assigned time to call in to choose what spot they want for next year - which shift with which days off. I'm somewhere in the middle of that list of employees, and my assigned time to call is tomorrow at 1:50pm. There are currently 4 spots open that have the days off I want. Just 4, they've gotten through maybe 40 employees. I would love so much to keep my current schedule - 3rd shift with Thursday/Friday off, but it's iffy! Of course, there are always changes mid-year, but if I can get it this year on the rebid, I won't stress out so much in future years :P Think TF for me please!

Update: Ok, maybe it wasn't such a nailbiter after all. I knew the spot I wanted was doomed this morning shortly after I got home from work, and by the time I got up shortly after noon, they were all gone. It kind of irritates me, because people who are radio trained can work either four ten hour days or five 8 hour days, but 911 people can only work the five 8's. There were a grand total of 5 spots with weekend days that were five 8's, but several more available for radio trained people. There ended up being one 911 person on 3rd shift with a weekend day off. I'm really disappointed, for several reasons. Thursday/Friday off was working so well for us, because when DQ has a play, it's a lot easier to be able to attend, and it was easier for her to have a social life with me having Fridays off. But I'll confess that the biggest reason I wanted those days off is because weekends at 911 can be awful, and I was rather enjoying having to only work one of the crazy nights. I really hate weekends at my job, I actually dread weekends during the summer (20 calls on hold until 4:30am is not fun.) I'm really not looking forward to having to deal with that again 2 nights a week on a regular basis. I'll put in my request for a change, but who knows when that would happen. So with not getting what I wanted, it came down to did I want Sunday/Monday off, or Tuesday/Wednesday. I figured with either of those two, I'd have more opportunity to go to church, which I rarely do now. I could go Wednesday nights, or just not go to sleep after work on Sunday knowing I didn't have to work that night and go Sunday morning. I could have easily chosen first shift, but that wouldn't work for us, because then I'd have to have someone else take the kids to school. In the end, the thing that decided it was - if I'm off Sunday/Monday, I have two days to recover from the weekend before I have to go back to that place. Now I'm going to go mope for a while.

One hundred bits o' junk challenge

Lisa Samson's one hundred bits o' junk challenge Lisa writes:

Anybody up for it?

I'm going to get rid of 100 things I don't need or use in the coming month. So how 'bout it? Anybody want to join me in getting rid of some clutter? Take a picture of your stuff and send it to me and I'll post it just before Thanksgiving. Who'll join me?

I'm in! Join us!
(pics to follow)

What's it worth to you?

I dunno that this is going to make much sense. It's 2:10am, early Friday morning. I'm awake because I'm usually awake at this time. Yes, it's a night off, but I have to work tomorrow night (overtime, yay!) so it's kind of pointless to mess everything up by sleeping tonight, don't you think? So what to do at 2:10am when everybody else in the house is sleeping? Well, not everybody else. The cats are being totally obnoxious, as cats are wont to do at 2am. This little one (the gray and white one of whom I'm not terribly fond) is skating on thin ice at the moment, and if she knocks anything else down, she may lose one of her nine lives.

But anyway, what to do? Why, what any normal person would do of course - blog! I've had several posts swirling around this little brain of mine for some time now, but they aren't quite sure how to come out yet. It would be boring to tell you about how things are going, because it's really SOSDD, which is not a bad thing (that's same old stuff, different day) I mean, there are mundane things like Snugglebutt (7) got straight A's on his report card, and made principals list, but brought home a note that said they're concerned about his academic progress. Had a hard time figuring that one out, but it turns out, his penmanship is pretty atrocious, so that's all it was. Ok, and Allison (22) is talking about moving back to Ohio, but I try not to think about it much because I don't want it to happen. But, everything else - eh, you don't want to hear about that. I haven't even made any purple sauce lately. My children are grateful.

The main thing on my mind lately really, is divorce. Kind of. When I filed for divorce in April of 06, I joined an email list for people who were going through divorce. It is aimed at Christians but is open to anybody, and it's all about recovering from divorce. The group owner needed some help, so I agreed to become moderator, oh, probably about a year ago. It's really become to me one of those things which I feel called to do. There are some hurting people, and every now and then, I'm able to help them see something in a way they weren't able to before. I hope I'm not coming across as tooting my own horn, because really I've never been good at musical instruments, I'm just so pleased that I can be of help once in a while. Because I've been where they are.

Oh there are several situations, several reasons, obviously. Infidelity, abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction... I'm not even the only person who has an ex in prison for crimes against children. But 99 percent of the people there have the same basic issues, and the biggest one is that they don't truly understand their worth to their creator. I confess sometimes I have this problem too, but I understand much better now than I ever have. It took a lot to get there. It took figuring out why I didn't have self worth to begin with. That looks different (but probably amazingly similar) for everyone, and I can't tell anybody how to go about getting self worth for themselves - you can't just go buy it at Stuffmart! But when I know who I am, when I remember what God says about me, it's a lot easier to have hope for healing.

So with that in mind, I thought it was a good time to repeat this:

I am accepted---
I am God's child - John 1:12
As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ - John 15:15
I have been justified - Romans 5:1
I am united with the Lord, I am one with Him in spirit - 1 Cor. 6:17
I have been bought with a price and I belong to God - 1 Cor. 6:19,20
I am a member of Christ's body - 1 Cor. 12:27
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child - Eph. 1:3-8
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins - Col. 1:13-14
I am complete in Christ - Col 2:9-10

I am secure --
I am free from condemnation - Romans 8:1-2
I am assured that ALL things work together for good - Romans 8:28
I am free from any condemning charges against me - Romans 8:31-34
I cannot be separated from the love of God - Romans 8:35-39
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God - 2 Cor 1:21-22
I am hidden with Christ in God - Col 3:1-4
I am confident that God will complete His work in me - Phil 1:6
I am a citizen of Heaven - Phil 3:20
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind - 2 Tim 1:7
I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need - Heb 4:16
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me - 1 John :18

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

So what are YOU worth? Only the blood of God's own son, who died FOR YOU. That's a lot.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Picture of the day

Can you guess what it is?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Favorite cat picture in a while

But it's not of my favorite cat. We affectionately call her the ball of evil wrapped in fur. She's very lucky she's cute.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lost and Found

A few years ago for my birthday my sister gave me a beautiful ring. It's a very unusual ring, with a large center stone which is my birthstone, a peridot, and 5 small diamonds on each side. I'm sure it was a very expensive ring. She was born in August also, her birthday is 10 days after mine. This ring was one that she bought a long time ago, and decided that it represented a time in her life that she had moved on from, so she didn't feel the need to hang on to it anymore. So she gave it to me. I have no problem at all with hand-me-down diamonds :P But really, I'm not much of a jewelry wearer. I have a diamond pendant that my mother gave me, and this ring my sister gave me, and that's pretty much it as far as high quality jewelry goes. I don't know why, I just forget to wear it. But I was wearing this ring for a while. Then one day I took it off, probably while I was sleeping but I really don't remember, and a few days later, I realized I wasn't wearing the ring. I looked for it without results, but figured it would turn up one of these days, and was probably under my bed somewhere. I'm not even sure how long it's been since I took it off, but I know I haven't had it for a while. With my niece in town (this sister's daughter) I've been thinking about that ring, and hoping and praying I would find it. The other day, I got a new mattress set, so while pulling the old out, I looked for that ring. And I didn't find it. I have wondered on and off if I took it off at work and left it at one of the stations and someone picked it up. So I kind of gave up hope after it wasn't there when I moved the bed.

Now I will tell you that I am a very disorganized person, a bit messy, and I lose things on a regular basis. In fact, right now, I'm not sure what I did with a check I got in the mail the other day for $250. Ok, I REALLY need to be more organized and careful. I know this. So, it's really not all that surprising that I lost this ring.

Yesterday I spent the day with my niece, and we went to Sedona, my very favorite place on earth. I've not been feeling too well lately, I've had a cold, but she wanted to get together anyway. It was great seeing her! But on our little trip, I had forgotten my chap stick, which is absolutely necessary even when I don't have a cold. With a cold, I was suffering without it. I stopped at a little shop in Tlaquepaque, a very beautiful arts and crafts village in Sedona (it's pronounced talakapakie, in case you are wondering) and bought some lip balm. It was darned expensive lip balm too! $3.50!! But it was very nice, very soothing lip balm, and I liked it very much. When I got home I put the lip balm on my night stand so it would be close by in the middle of the night when I woke up all stuffed up and dried out as I knew I would. But sometime during the night, I knocked the precious lip balm off of my night stand. And you got, now I can't find it.

But guess what I found while looking for the lip balm? My ring! It was right there on the floor by the night stand, I'm not sure how I missed it the thousands of times I looked there! I'm so thrilled to have the ring back!

Isn't that just like God though? Sometimes when you give up the hope of being able to do it on your own, that's when God gives you what you desire most.


Sassy and my niece at Tlaquepaque, Sedona Arizona

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Almost over

Anybody know a way to slow down time so that Saturday doesn't come so fast? I have to go back to work Saturday night. So how did I do on my list?

I wanted to:
Clean up my yard - well, it's not perfect, but it's wayyyy better than it was.

Declutter my house - a work in progress, but some progress has been made.

Go somewhere - CHECK!

Make caramel apples - CHECK! and YUM!

Visit with my niece from Ohio - I'm spending Friday with her, and taking her to Sedona. Yes, I definitely can handle that place twice in two weeks (plus I wasn't there long last week.) Then I'm making her fettucine alfredo. yum.

Go clothes shopping with DQ - nope didn't do that. She is presently in Ohio until Saturday visiting her dad. So if they haven't bought her some clothes there (which they usually do) I'll take her next week.

Cook stuff put in the freezer - yeah, no.

Sleep - CHECK! I feel somewhat human again. And it's amazing how my outlook changes when I'm well rested.

Overall, this vacation has been just what I needed, and I'm thankful to God for that.

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Awards

My dear friend Janean thinks I'm worthy of another award. This one is called the Mathetes award, and according to her website, it says "Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple (per the Great Commission) is to make more disciples. I'd like to take the opportunity to award five other bloggers with this award and badge for acting in the role of a disciple of Christ." I'm truly humbled that someone thinks I deserve an award like this. But to be honest with you, I'm just not sure about these bloggy awards. I mean, I like recognition as well as the next person, but I like the idea better of just letting your fellow bloggers know you appreciate them. Part of it is how many of these are linked back to someone else's site, and it's a way for the creator of the award to generate traffic. Not that I'm against generating traffic, but if I pick 5 people, and they each pick 5 people, and then those people pick 5 people... Well, I'd rather just write a post linking to blogs that inspire me to get closer to God, and have that be the end of it. Or let people know by commenting that they have made a difference in my life. I guess I'm a stick in the mud, I don't play well with others, or something, but I can't accept this award, even though I really REALLY appreciate the thought behind it. The other thing is that in school I was always the last to be picked for the kickball team, and that wasn't fun. I don't want anybody to be left out or last to be picked!

There are several blogs out there that encourage me to look at God and my faith in ways I haven't before, so I'll just say a blanket thank you, and please, keep blogging!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Church quandry revisited

Last November, I posted about church, and how I was in a dilemma whether or not to find a different church. Almost a year has passed and not a whole lot has changed really. I've just basically been coasting along, because to be honest, I don't get to church often. Working nights and being off Thursday and Friday nights makes it really really hard stay awake after working all night Saturday night after sleeping Friday night. I've cut down how much I work in the church nursery and now only work once a month. It's also really hard to get there because even if I do stay awake at church, then I have to sleep the rest of the day to go to work Sunday night. So I'm not with my kids during church, they're off in their own classes, and then I don't get to see them the rest of the day because I'm sleeping. It becomes a choice - church, or time with my kids. Which would you choose? Because of my schedule, I haven't put much effort into finding a new church. But being on vacation, last week I did visit a new one, and I fell in love. It was spiritually refreshing and I really want to go back. Today though, was my week to work in the nursery, so we went to the old church. My two younger kids really want to stay at the old church, and one of them told me he "hated" being at the new church. I'm sure it's because he doesn't know anybody, but he also is very resistant to giving it a chance. I felt so torn today. First I dropped off the kids in their classes and found that my 7 year old isn't even on the roster anymore, at this church we've been at since before he was born! because we haven't been there in a month. He had to sign in as a visitor. That kind of broke my heart. But still, he knows people, and he's comfortable there. Then after I worked in the nursery, I went to my adult enrichment class(Sunday school) and it was like I haven't been away (because even when I make it there to work in the nursery, I rarely make it to class, I'm just too tired.) So even after a year, I'm still waffling about what to do about churches, somehow I think that's not a good thing.


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Thursday, October 04, 2007

More pictures

Here are some of the best pictures from yesterday. On Tuesday night despite being dead tired from walking all over northern Arizona, none of us slept very well, so we didn't have as much gumption to go sight-seeing before we left Flagstaff as we thought we'd have. On top of that, when we got up, Snugglebutt (the 7 year old) wasn't feeling well. He was complaining that his stomach hurt. It got the point where he was in tears after breakfast (which he didn't eat much of.) I had a sneaking suspicion that it was because he needed to go to the bathroom. The girls wanted to stop at Target before we left, so we went there and I made the child at least try to do his business. Well it worked, he felt better, and all was good with the world. We decided to save the Lowell Observatory for our next trip, and went to the Riordan Mansion. It's really just an enormous duplex - two brothers who were very successful in the logging business had houses built in 1904 that were connected by one big room that they called the ball room. It definitely is worth seeing. I was very impressed with how interested my 7 year old boy was with hearing about the mansion, the architecture, and story of these people's lives. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures throughout most of the house. After the mansion, we started heading back to phx, but decided to take the scenic route. And let me tell you, it was breath taking. If I had my way, I would have stopped every 100 yards to take pictures. It was so beautiful. Instead of taking the interstate, we took AZ-89A. Not far out of Flagstaff, there was a scenic overlook area, so we decided to stop. There just happened to be an Indian arts fair there, so we enjoyed looking at all the different tables with the bead work, pottery and jewelry. After that we made our way down the mountain on windy roads. Words can't even come close to describing the scenery down that mountain road. I spent the whole way down praising God for the beauty of His creation. For me, it's easy to feel close to God on a mountain covered in pine trees. Everything else just melts away... The road lead us through Sedona, which is my favorite place in the whole wide world. If I could choose to live anywhere, right now it would be a toss-up between right next to the beach in San Diego and Sedona. If you ever get the chance to go there, GO. Don't hesitate, JUST GO. The sunset pictures were taken at a rest stop not all that far out of Phoenix. It's the only rest stop I've come across with a real name - Sunset Point, appropriately named I'd say. So now we're back to real life, but thankfully still on vacation!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I like this one

Pictures

If you click on the slideshow, it will open up the album to see the pictures one at a time. I uploaded 42 of the 341. Some of them are pictures that DQ took. A lot of the ones she took are at odd angles - I always knew she had a different way of looking at things :) First we went to Walnut Canyon and saw the cliff dwellings of the Sinagua Indians. It was breathtakingly beautiful there, although it's hard for me to imagine living there. The walk down the canyon was great fun, the walk back up though, ummm, yeah. Then we went to the Meteor Crater, which at first seemed like "whoopee, a hole in the ground caused by a big rock..." but it really is interesting. They have a tour of the rim that lasts about an hour, and is very interesting. We enjoyed it very much, it was quite educational. Then we headed to The Petrified Forest, in which my kids kept saying "but there are no trees in this forest!" Well, we found one... The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest were beautiful, but by this time the 7 year old (along with everybody else) was pretty tired and didn't have the patience to stay long enough for me to get the sunset pictures I really wanted. But that just means I'll have to go back a different time! On our way back to the hotel, DQ insisted we get pictures of the Wigwam Motel on Route 66, which absolutely HAS to be the inspiration for that motel in the D!sney movie Cars. It was a really fun day, but to further prove that I am an airhead, I totally did not even think of sunscreen, and last night and today, I am paying for it. The kids for some reason didn't get sunburned. I however did. My face, the back of my neck and my arms. It was so bad I didn't sleep well. Today we may check out the Riordan Mansion and Lowell Observatory, both very close by here. Then it's back home.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

341

That's how many pictures are downloading from my camera to my computer at this very moment. We've had a great day! Very very tiring, but so much fun. Will post some pictures later.

some pics of our trip so far

Monday, October 01, 2007

I LOVE Flagstaff!!!!


We had to buy jackets...

Greetings from Flagstaff


The traditional hotel picture

Saturday, September 29, 2007

of bugs and blessings



Another picture of our buggy friend. I could not believe how bold that thing was, it was not afraid of us at all. I expected it would hop away, but it just stayed put. And by the way, in the picture with my daughter holding it, it's front... leg thing there is not broken off. I thought that at first, but the video was taken after it and has all it's creepy appendages intact.

So enough about the bug. The other cool thing that happened today is while we were outside pulling weeds, the neighbor across the street and just south came over and asked if he could help us. I've never met that neighbor. It's really a quiet neighborhood, but folks aren't very outgoing. Our neighbors directly across the street don't speak English, and I know there are some other Spanish speaking families on the street. Really I know both neighbors on either side, and the ones 3 doors north, and that's about it. But now I know another! He came and asked if I minded if he helped, he could take care of my bougainvilleas that were really out of control. Well, I wasn't going to turn it down. He mentioned that he'd seen other people helping me, such as when my church family fixed my roof last year, so he figured there was no Mr. in the picture. I don't think he will ever know how much it meant to me for him to help. The yard is something I just have not been able to keep up with on my own. I'm trying but it feels like I'm fighting a losing battle. Today God sent in reinforcements :)

A little bit of homeschooling

This morning, the kids and I were doing some yard work. Snugglebutt (age 7) was bemoaning the fact that he doesn't have enough money to buy the video game he wants. So he asked me how people get money. I said that usually, they work for it. I reminded him of the fact that I go to work 5 nights a week and work for the money I get. He wanted to know how employers got money to pay their employees, so we had an impromptu economy class. Then, it was on to science, where this little guy was our guest instructor. I'd love to be able to homeschool full time, but I guess I'll take what I can get.

And now that our yard looks a lot better (I won't say good - you can't go from frightening to neat just like that!) we're all ready for a nap.

What to call this?

I'm a wuss?
Afraid of little buggy?
Attack of the killer praying mantis?
It's a funny thing you know, when one screams like a little girl in one's front yard, one tends to attract a lot of attention from neighbors :P

So I was out in my yard doing yard work, and I found this on my sleeve. I managed to get it off me, and DQ thought it was cool. She ran to get our beloved "cammy" and we started taking pictures. DQ picked the thing up. This is the result. Right before I hit the record button, she said "Don't get my face, I haven't taken a shower or done my hair!" which explains the "I won't get your face if you don't lift up your hands!" comment.
video

Friday, September 28, 2007

I think I figured out what we'll do.

I really wanted to go to Canyon De Chelly, but it's a little far away (click on that link, you'll see why I want to go! Or this one!) Instead I think we'll go to Flagstaff and see things like The Painted Desert, The Petrified Forest And maybe a Meteor Crater
!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I refuse to go to work tonight.

Or tomorrow night, or the next night, or the night after that... for the next 16 nights in fact!! AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME, NEENER NEENER NEENER! Because I'm officially on vacation! I'm telling you, those last few hours this morning felt like a few weeks, but here I am!

While I'm on vacation I want to:
Clean up my yard. Because hooboy, you don't even know. It needs it.

Declutter my house. Yeah. Bulk trash pick up is coming up soon, yeeeeeeehaw!

Go somewhere. I'm not sure where. But at least overnight, I wanna get out of Dodge. Looks like I'm going to have to leave out at least one kid. If I plan it so Sam can go, DQ won't get to. If I plan it so DQ can go, Sam won't get to. But DQ is going to Ohio on Oct. 6th. Not that anybody else really would want to go there, it's still a trip away from here.

Make caramel apples with the kids.

Visit with my niece from Ohio, which I will actually get to do because she'll be here!!! And guess what?! She's pregnant! With her first baby! I'm so excited for her! Yeah, I don't know if I mentioned it, but my sister is a grandma! I have a great-niece now, because my nephew's girlfriend had a baby. They live in Montana and I haven't even seen a picture of her :( So when I turned 40 this August, that fact didn't help me feel any younger. But at least I reached 40 without being a grandma myself... so... But I can't wait to see my niece with a baby bump!

Go clothes shopping with DQ. She is in serious need of pants. Oh the poor thing... she had a mishap the other night on stage during their performance of the one-act plays they've been practicing all year. It involved squatting, and the back of her pants. I didn't notice, but I guess other people did. She said "didn't you see me kinda squatting for the rest of the scene?!?!" Well no, dear, you were playing a CHIMP!!!

Cook. I want to make stuff to put in the freezer so I can not have to use my brain on dinner so often.

But I think the main thing I want to do, is of course, SLEEP!!

Awww shucks!


Look what Janean gave me! A Blog Star award! Thanks so much, not sure why, because I haven't had much to say lately. But I appreciate it all the same. I'm not so good at giving out awards, because I don't want anybody to feel left out... I am blessed and inspired by so many blogs out there, some who stop by here and some who don't. So I'll just take this opportunity to say - keep blogging!! Even if you think you have nothing important to say, you just never know who you might bless.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My sidebar again

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We're getting there!

1 week...

Until VACATION!!!!!! No, I'm not looking forward to it at all.

I'm finishing up with my current trainee this week. She's doing really well, and I have great confidence she will be a fantastic 911 operator. This morning we had a caller reporting an accident involving a fire hydrant, and so we called the water department to let them know it would need to be repaired. After that, we discussed why we would call the water department and not the fire department to fix the fire hydrant. Our next call was from a lady who said "My water just broke!" Trainee stammered a little bit, and then said "oh, ok! Let me get you on the line with the fire department for medical help" and transfered the call. I asked what the hesitation was, and she said "I almost told her to call the water department! We can't do anything about water problems!"

It's been a tough time at work though. On Tuesday we had another officer killed in the line of duty. There was one in July (on the same day the news helicopters collided in midair, if you heard about that) then a couple days later there was an officer killed in a car accident. 2 months later, and here we go again. As with the last line of duty death, this officer was shot trying to arrest someone, and both were shot in the face. That breaks my heart. They were both husbands and fathers, both had two small children. The one on Tuesday survived two bouts with cancer and was determined to get back on the streets. He was offered a desk job, and he turned it down. He'd been back on his beat about a month after beating cancer only to have this hoodlum gun him down. I guess I'm pretty angry about it. I didn't know him, but I didn't need to. Is it the whole country or just this city that seems to be so much more violent than it used to be? Lord please come soon.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

What we did today


Now we just have to wait for them to get fired and pick them up on Monday!

Link: As You Wish Pottery Painting Place

What Snugglebutt made

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A "just in case you didn't know" thing

Because I didn't know before I started working for 911, and a lot of people don't seem to know this but...
As long as it has battery power, any cell phone can dial 911, even those without service. So when you get your new phone and give the old one to the kids to play with, it's a really good idea to take the battery out. It does take away the fun of the beeps and lights when you push the buttons, but it also keeps little ones from inadvertently dialing 911 and tying up lines that could be needed in emergency situations. I had one of these calls just the other night (why the kid was up at 3am, I couldn't tell you, but that's not the point...) and I was lucky enough to get the kid to give the phone to his/her dad (usually they just babble in my ear.) He was shocked to hear "This is 911" on the other end of the phone!



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Monday, September 10, 2007

Kind of upset that I'm not more upset

We had a call at work this morning that went bad. My trainee handled the call appropriately, in fact, she had it in the system within 24 seconds, which is amazing. That wasn't the bad part, it was the end result. It was a domestic violence call in which the mother was telling us her son had a knife. We could hear him repeatedly refuse to put the knife down, and say he didn't care if the officers shot him when they got there. Well, after he charged them, that was just what happened. The officers shot him. And he died. My trainee was upset by the whole thing. She was shaken when she saw that he'd been shot, but she burst into tears and practically ran from the room once she learned that he died. The supervisor called in peer counseling to talk to her, and then let her go home early, but she was feeling better by the time she left. My supervisor came over to me and asked me what happened and how I felt about it. I summarized what the mother said to us, then told her I was fine. Because, really, I wasn't bothered by it at all. I mean, I felt really bad for the parents, but it wasn't something I was going to take home with me and stew about. It's not my life. He charged the police with a knife in his hand and he knew exactly what would happen. But then I started thinking about it, and wondered how and when I got to the point where a 21 year old being shot to death is really just part of the job. And now I'm upset that I'm not more upset.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Look what I made and some other randomness

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out, considering I was really just playing around when I made it.

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything significant. I'm in one of those phases where most of what I have to say would like come out sounding shrill and not fun to read. I'm in a "I hate my job" phase and trying to figure out if God is telling me it's time to move on or I need to let God change my attitude and persevere. I know for a fact that He gave me this job, and until recently, I was really really sure it was where He wanted me to be. I've never been sure it was where He wanted me to stay though. I don't know whether it's something He gave me to get me back on my feet and give me confidence I could provide for my kids, or something He meant for me to do for the rest of forever. The thing is, working for 911 has changed me. I am no longer naive about how crazy/ignorant/mean/dishonest/deviant people can be, and I liked it better when I was blissfully unaware. At work I find myself making judgments in the first few seconds of a call based on the callers voice and word choices, and those judgments have a lot do with how much I'm going to care about what they have to say. When I'm not at work, I find myself just wanting to avoid the general population because I think what I hear on the phone is real life. Those one or two calls a night where I genuinely help someone used to be enough to feel that it was worth while. Now it seems like those are so few and far between, that the verbal abuse and general stupidity weighs more heavily on me than the feeling of doing good. My trainee and I were called the F word more times last night than I can even count.

Yes, I need a vacation! And I've got one coming up in less than 3 weeks! Two weeks! I'm really looking forward to maybe not being overwhelmed with fatigue for a little while. I'm also praying about it, because I got the crazy thought in my head that maybe I can pursue and old dream that I gave up a few years ago. When I moved out here, I dreamed of becoming a home birth midwife. In Ohio that kind of thing wasn't exactly legal, but it is here in AZ, and my ex-husband promised me he'd help me achieve that goal. Well, it was just another promise he didn't keep and when we were together, I couldn't do it without his help (because I didn't have my own money to pay for the training.) Then when he was arrested, I didn't see a way possible since my kids needed to eat and taking the time out to go to school wasn't going to work. But now, I think it's something I can do. I can afford it, I might even be able to get my tuition paid for through my job, and I can study at work between calls. The time I would have to serve as an apprentice might be a little difficult, but I can prepare for that and probably make it work. So if you feel like it, would you pray for me about this? I think the world would be a much nicer place for me if I could surround myself with the hope of new life.

Could you also pray for my 7 year old? He's struggling a little bit with understanding things with his dad. He said to me that he doesn't understand what's so bad about what his dad did that would cause him to be sentenced to such a long time in jail (30 years.) How do you explain something like that to a 7 year old without destroying their innocence? I don't think you can. I told him there were just some things he wouldn't understand until he was older, but I can tell that frustrated him even more.

I'll close with something from the slightly amusing kidstuff file - 7 year old Snugglebutt had a run-in with a thorn bush at school last week. It caught him on the back of the head, I'm not exactly sure how, and he bled quite a bit. When he got home he said to me "I don't even know why they have that thorn bush there, don't they know it's a child safety issue?!"


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Thursday, August 30, 2007

This made me smile



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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My sidebar

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This is my sidebar on my desktop. Why yes, that clock does say it's almost 7pm. And, why yes, it does say it's 111 degrees. And yes, I am counting down the days till October!

Signed,
Slow roasted in AZ


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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One Word

I stole this from Susie at Pink Carnation in Bloom who borrowed it from Chappyswife at Journey to the Prize. Answer the questions using a one word answer.

1. Where is your mobile phone? charging

2. Relationship? Someday

3. Your hair? needs cut

4. Work? Arrgh

5. Your sister(s)? Vickie Susie Vonda (one word for each sister)

6. Your favorite thing? laptop

7. Your dream last night? freaky

8. Your favorite drink? chai

9. Your dream car? clean

10. The room you’re in? Bedroom

11. Your shoes? Barefoot

12. Your fears? rejection

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? not here.

14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? kids

15. What are you not good at? lots

16. Muffin? zucchini nut

17. Wish list item? bike

18. Where you grew up? Mayfield Hts.

19. The last thing you did? email

20. What are you wearing? Shorts

21. What are you not wearing? jewelry

22. Your pet? cats

23. Your computer? pink

24. Your life? routine

25. Your mood? good

26. Missing? family

27. What are you thinking about? procrastinating

28. Your car? dirty

29. Your kitchen? needs redecorated

30. Your summer? short

31. Your favorite color? green

32. Last time you laughed? today

33. Last time you cried? yesterday, but not for long

34. School? wanna go back

35. Love? JESUS!

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Another installment of slightly amusing kid stuff

On Sunday I caught Snugglebutt (aged 7 and a half) and removed a layer of fur from his head. The kid has some wild hair - it's not sure if it wants to be blond or brown, curly or straight. When any longer than say, 3/4 inch, it just goes every which way. So I buzzed him. I can give a fairly decent clipper cut, it comes from growing up watching my sister do hair. Plus, it's not exactly rocket science. He was less than thrilled, but I told him when he can keep his hair combed and neat, he can let it grow longer. Until then, he gets buzzed. He apparently had been thinking about that, because he mentioned it again yesterday when he came home from school. Someone on the school bus called him Baldy. (3/8ths of an inch is not bald! It's just short!!) So he said "Do you really mean it that you will let me have longer hair if I can keep it neat?" I assured him that I meant what I said. He got all excited and said "OK!! You better start feeding me lots of vitamin B then, cuz I'm growing my hair out!"

You know, if he hadn't been born at home, sometimes I would wonder if he wasn't switched at birth...

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Rachel Ray I'm not...

Before my day yesterday was ruined by the bike thief, I had a bit of a mishap in the kitchen. I cooked. Sometimes that works out really well, sometimes not so much. Yesterday was a not so much time. I've seen several recipes that call for wine to be added to sauces, so I was experimenting. Maybe I picked the wrong wine or something, but uhhh... my sauce ended up... purple. It tasted good, but it sure did look, well... icky.

What was your biggest blunder in the kitchen?


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Can't say I didn't see that coming

I mentioned that I got myself a bike for my birthday. Because I'm 40 now, a few pounds overweight, and I really do need to get off my posterior end and exercise. Not necessarily to get skinny, but to be healthy. So I decided to do something nice for me and bought a bike. A pretty blue and white one. I've had it about a month, but have only gotten to ride it twice, mainly because it's still so stinking hot here. I guess I should say I HAD it about a month. It was stolen yesterday, right from my garage. Yes, the door was open, because a certain nameless 15 year old didn't close it after she took out the trash, even after I told her "make sure you close the garage door." Of course that was met with "I know, mom" followed by the obligatory eye roll. But still, they came into my garage, which is adjacent to the living room and kitchen. And they had to have carried it out because the wheels were locked together with a very strong cable. The thing is, it's not the first time a bike has been stolen from our garage, which is why I have been trying to make sure the garage door stays closed. The big people in my house have not had good luck with bikes. Sam has actually had 2 stolen, one from the garage, and one from his job when he had a part time job at a fast food restaurant about a mile away. I didn't bother to call the police, I work for them and know what kind of attention a stolen bike gets :P Of course it technically does count as a burglary since they came into the garage, but all that changes is an officer would have to be sent out on a very low priority report call. While I'm not surprised that my bike was stolen, I am upset about it. I am so fed up with crime :P

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Birthday present


I knew they were up to something when on Sunday Sam made everybody take showers and get dressed, and then left the house as I was going to sleep. "We're just going to the mall so it will be quiet in the house for you to sleep." Yeahright. They went to the mall alright. So this is pretty much the best birthday present that I could ask for really. I've been wanting a portrait of them all together for a long time, but just haven't gotten it done.

Well, and there was also a bunch of chocolate in the bag, so I'm really happy! :D And now the present that I bought myself will come in handy - a bike to exercise off all that chocolate!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Yearly inventory #2

It's that time of year again – no, it's not Christmas, it's not tax season, it's not even football season... at least not yet. No, it's that time of year when I look at my life and say “What the heck happened? Just yesterday I was 25!” But no, that was actually 15 years ago. Today, I leave my 30's behind and with mixed feelings face being 40. So that means it's time for my yearly inventory of my life, like I posted last year.

What is your favorite color? Green
What is your favorite food? A good steak if you're talking about real food, but I am a chocoholic.
What is your favorite song? At the moment probably Oh My God by Jars of Clay off of Good Monsters, and Signature of Divine by NeedToBreathe
What is your most valued possession? Aside from my Bible, my camera, and the thousands of pictures I've taken over the years, I'd say the diamond pendant that my mom gave me. That and that paddle she used to use on us on is the only thing I have from her.
What is your greatest strength? My simple faith, my compassion for others
What is your greatest weakness? Food, I have no willpower, laziness
What is your best skill? Well, I can pick up some things with my toes, but I can't juggle or anything...
What was your greatest mistake? My answer a year ago was pretty much a lifetime answer, so this question I'll answer for the past year – in the past year my biggest mistake has been feeling like I had to have a friend/coworker's significant other replace my A/C for me once she offered. I should have declined the offer, but they both seemed enthusiastic about it. It's been nothing but problems, and I'm so ticked off at myself because I didn't feel like I could just say “no thanks.” To be truthful, I thought it would be beneficial to both of us at first – a deal for me and extra money for them, which I know they need, but now that problems have come up, I'm getting the “I was trying to do you a favor” line... ok but when I've spent $5400 and it's 92 degrees in my house, and I've already spent a night in a hotel because of not having A/C, I'm having a hard time seeing the favor. Lesson definitely learned.
What is your greatest fear? Dying while my children are young and leaving them orphans. And to be honest with myself, I'm also kind of afraid of rejection. Might be the reason I haven't even attempted to date since my ex's arrest 3.5 years ago.
What is your greatest accomplishment? My kids. They are decent caring human beings. Most of the time. Brag time – recently one of our officers was killed in a car accident while off duty. The communications bureau where I work was having a bake sale to raise funds to donate to the family. I was telling the kids about it, and how we raised $4100 in the last one for the officer who was killed in the line of duty in July (it's been hard times for our dept lately :( ) 3 of my kids immediately wanted to bake things to contribute. I was content to contribute by donating money.
What is the one task you are least fond of doing? Anything which attempts to combat the law of entropy.
If your life ended today, what is the one thing everybody who knows you would say about you? I'm not really sure. I don't think it's my business to know really.
What would you want them to say? We loved her
Why wouldn't or couldn't they say what you want them to say? Not many people know me very well anymore.

Where am I? I'm a single mom in Arizona, I have a love/hate relationship with my job these days, but mostly I'm content.
How did I get here? Overcame a whole lot of crap, depended on God, and worked very hard.
What was I trying to accomplish by making that decision? Just trying to take care of my family the best I can.
What do I really want? To move forward from where I am now. There is a part of me that wants a relationship, and there is a part that absolutely does not. What I really want to is to always be content with what I have, but be willing to take the chance to make things better for those around me.
How can I get to where I want to be from here? Keep trusting God, it's the key to everything.

Things I don't like about me: I'm lazy, I hate housework, mess does not bother me, I can be pretty selfish, I am impatient, I am not outgoing and friendly enough, and I'm terrible about keeping in touch with people, and I'm not nearly as trusting as I used to be. These answers are the same as last year, I see no reason to change them. I'm also not the best at managing money.

Things I like about me: I am honest, I'm a good friend, I'm a good mom, and I love God.


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Thursday, August 16, 2007

From the weird 911 call file

The other morning, a security guard at a construction site called to report that a man who seemed very drunk had arrived in a pick up truck, gotten out of his vehicle and was looking into other vehicles in the area. The security guard thought that perhaps the pick up was stolen and the guy was looking to steal another set of wheels. The operator who took that call (It was not me) ran the plate number of the pick up, and upon finding that it had not been reported stolen, put in a suspicious person in a vehicle call. The man that arrived in that pick up had wandered off before the officers got there. A few hours later, I had a call from a gentleman who wanted to report his truck stolen. I asked the usual questions - where was it stolen, how long ago, and do you have your keys? He gave me his address and then said that he wasn't sure where it was stolen, because he was pretty sure he'd been kidnapped and they took his truck and his keys. But he wasn't totally sure, so I asked him what exactly happened. He said he'd taken sleeping pills the night before to go to sleep, and when he woke up, he was in a field 5 or 6 miles from his house and he had to walk home. When he got home, he realized his truck was missing. So he wasn't sure if the kidnappers knocked him out and drove him to the field in his own truck or what. So I took the information on his truck, and told him I'd send out officers. A little while later I checked on the call. Yes, my caller was the suspicious person from the earlier call. His truck wasn't stolen, he'd driven it to this construction site and left it there with the keys in it! He had absolutely no recollection of driving anywhere. DQ sleepwalks sometimes and that can be pretty funny, but, sleep driving?! Scary!

It's monsoon season here, and so there have been some thunderstorms on and off for the past few weeks. When I lived in Ohio, the snow made people a little crazy, and here, the rain has the same affect. Monday night/Tuesday morning we had a pretty good rain. I was at work the whole time so I didn't see any of it, the only way I know it rained was because we were slammed with alarm calls (storms make burglar alarms go off) and my car was covered in dirt when I left to go home. A couple hours before it was time to go though, I took a call from a lady who was very frightened, reporting that several large wild dogs had gotten into her back yard. Our huge police department has a policy of not responding to animal calls at all unless the animal is attacking someone right now, so I referred her to animal control. She said she tried them, and the office was closed (it was a little before 6am.) She said the dogs weren't being aggressive, they were just there, and there were a lot, like more than 6 of them. She was concerned because she hadn't been able to find her cat, thinking they may have killed it. I know I wouldn't want a bunch of strange dogs in my yard, that would freak me out a little bit, so I didn't feel right telling her to keep trying animal control. Plus, she said that she had a gun and if any of them got aggressive she would shoot it. So I called the PD only number for animal control, where we can reach an animal control officer if there is a true emergency, and I explained the situation to her. At least 6 large dogs in this lady's back yard, don't know how they got in, not being aggressive, thinks they killed her cat. She said that she could send someone at 6 when the office opened. So I called the lady back to tell her that. She said "well, you know, ummm, I had my neighbor go back there with me, and... well... you know how it rained last night?" I'm thinking "what does rain have to do with a pack of dogs?" "They actually aren't dogs, they're ummm, piles of dirt and mud from the rain..." Piles of dirt. Not even one dog. We went from 6 wild dogs to mud. "I could have sworn they were moving!!" she said. I felt like an idiot calling animal control back to tell them they could disregard, that the dogs were just big piles of mud. You'd think at this point I'd learn not to believe everything I hear!




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Friday, August 10, 2007

We don't call her Drama Queen for nuthin'

Once again tonight I was thoroughly entertained by the theater program at DQ's school. I am always just so impressed with the shows these kids put on. Tonight it was Is he Dead by Mark Twain. The basic story line is this artist fellow and his girlfriend's family owe some money to a shady art dealer. In order to get the money to pay the art dealer back, the artist fakes his death, because most of the time the value of the artwork goes up significantly once the artist is dead. In order to pull off the ruse, the artist pretends to be his own twin sister. The artist was played by one of my 18 year old sons' dear friends. This boy has spent countless weekends over our house, and in fact, he was the one who babysat Sassy and Snugglebutt this past summer when my 3 older kids were out of town. This is also the kid with whom Sam and their other friend decided one thanksgiving to build a fort underground... So this is the first play I've seen him in, and wow, he was GREAT! He wore a dress though most of the play, but he was fantastic! And made such a pretty girl too, LOL! They all did a fantastic job, and DQ looked amazing, SO grown up. Their dress was a Victorian style, and the girls' hair was done up in these fancy buns. I didn't get to take many pictures, because photography during the play was not allowed, but I did take one while they were taking their bows, and then one afterward when the actors were outside mingling with people. The one during their bows is kind of blurry, but you get the idea :) My daughter is the one in the white blouse sitting on the couch. Just in case you couldn't tell.




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Insanity

Life is a little crazy right now. The kids have been in school for a week, and already I'm feeling like I'm ready for school to be out. I miss my kids. I miss having some control of my life. I miss the money I had to pay for the two younger ones to take a bus from the high school to their school. I miss the time out of my life I spend in the car driving to school and waiting for the bus to get there, because working nights, there's just so few daylight hours when I'm conscious. Of course, it would be worse if they didn't take the bus, because then I'd be in the car for an extra hour or so a day. If I haven't mentioned it before, their school is 12.5 miles away. Why? Because public schools in this state mostly really aren't very good. Like, umm, 49th in the country. So my kids go to a "school of choice."

I was really enjoying our summertime schedule - I got home from work at 7, I'd sleep till noon, get up, spend time with the kids, make dinner, and then take a nap before I had to be at work at 11. I actually got stuff done too. Now the schedule looks something like this:
7 am - leave work
7:20 - arrive home
7:21-7:25 Make sure everybody has lunch/homework/folder/planner/backpack, and that they aren't wearing the shirt from yesterday or one green and one blue sock (although Sassy does this on purpose and you know, at this point, if she wants to wear mismatched socks, I think it's pretty evident that I am not the one who dressed her.)
7:26 - drive to DQ's school
7:35 - arrive at DQ's school
7:35 - wait in line to pull into the parking lot at DQ's school
7:38 - If I'm lucky, the kids are out of my car by 7:38
7:48 - arrive back at home
7:48-8:30 - check email, check blogs, look at news websites to see if any of my calls made the news. These days it doesn't happen much because let's face it, it's not all that unusual in this city for someone to get shot to death. It's just not news.
8:30 - try to sleep
9:00 - try to sleep
9-11 - sleep
11:00 - potty break
12:00 - need a drink of water
12:45 - ggp - AGAIN!
1:30 - look at the clock and sigh
2-2:45 - doze until the alarm goes off
2:45 - get up and try to become alert/presentable enough to be fit for stepping outside my door.
3:00 - leave to meet the bus at the high school.
3:10 - if I'm lucky, there won't be a queue of cars waiting to get into the parking lot of the school and I am able to find a parking space. I'm not usually lucky.
3:12 - if I'm lucky and I find a space, I settle in for the wait. Because see, the bus doesn't get there until at least 3:30. But that's also when the 7th and 8th grades get out of school. So there are parents all over the place trying to pick their kids up. After all, this is a school of choice, and they only provide limited transportation (and that is for quite a hefty fee.) It's really not that big of a school, there are probably only 300 kids there max and that's 7-12. But the parking lot is really really tiny.
3:38 - bus arrives at the school, but can't get through the queue.
3:45 - bus pulls up to where it will let students off
3:45 - throng of jr. high/high school students push in front of the parents waiting for their children so they can pick up their siblings.
3:53 - my kids are off the bus, 3rd to last ones.
3:54 - the traffic is almost as bad getting out as it is going in.
4:10 - arrive home, cook dinner, check planners, remind kids to change out of their uniforms, encourage the swift completion of homework, listen to excuses why they can't do their homework, how they already did their homework, or how they just didn't have any homework (riiiiiiiiight...)
5:20 - dinner's just about done, but now it's time to go get DQ from play practice/speech team/student counsel/whatever activity du jour.
5:30 - arrive back at the school. For the third time. This time, there is mercifully no queue. It's get in, get the kid, get out.
5:40 - put the finishing touches on dinner.
6:00 - dinner with the family, at least the ones who are home.
6:30 - get things ready for work - what I want to take with me to keep myself awake alert at work, my "lunch" (that I eat at 2:45 am) and anything else I need to take, like my headset, my ID badge, and my notebook that contains tons and tons of information pertinent to the job (that I never use.) Also get out uniforms for at least Snugglebutt for the next day.
6:45 - give reminders to bathe/finish homework/clean the kitchen/wash some stinkin towels for goodness sakes, and give hugs and kisses before I lay down to try to get some more sleep before work.
7:00 - pass out from sheer exhaustion.
8:45 - I swear I didn't drink all that much before laying down, why do I need to go so bad?!
9:30 - wake with a start when the alarm goes off, but remember I really don't have to be up for another 20 minutes.
9:50 - Even though I'm disoriented, I know I want to smash my alarm clock with a sledge hammer. But if I want a decent break time, a decent chair, and a place to sit with the phone on the right, I need to get up now.
10:20 - leave for work
10:57 - plug my headset in and pray I stay awake for the next 8 hours.
7am - lather, rinse, repeat.

And I'm pretty worthless on my night off, unless it's 3am. Then, I'm functional. Just, nobody else is.

Did I say I miss summer?




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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Where I want to be

I've never seen anything so blue and calming as the ocean in San Diego. This is quite possibly one of my favorite places in the world.
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Saturday, August 04, 2007

OT

From I Can Has Cheezburger?


I can relate kitty, I can relate. This has been my first whole weekend in over a month. I've worked at least 4 hours of one of my two nights off every week for the past 5 weeks. Being off for two nights has felt almost like a vacation!!

Toothless

I was beginning to think he didn't even have any permanent teeth, but at 7.5, he finally lost his first tooth!