Monday, February 28, 2005

Misters Robot-o

It snowed again today. It seems that after a brief flirtation with Spring, Winter has resumed for it's last hurrah and for the second time in less than a week we are getting accumulation. Schools have been closed since Thursday, and I am sure they will be again tomorrow, possibly Wednesday too. Well, since I homeschool, we operate on a different kind of schedule, but since today was special (because snow makes even homeschooled children hyper), we built some very cool robots. We have been saving up boxes, tubes and plastic bottles and I bought a big, fat roll of duct tape, broke out the glue gun and voila, two Robot men were born. (Pictures will be coming forthwith.) This project makes up for at least a couple weeks of art projects, since it took us all afternoon. The best part was when they were completed, the boys began flying them around the house and making all those cool noises that only little boys know how to make to demonstrate their fighting abilities. Apparently these robots fight. The Artist told me his was on Jupiter because it has less gravity so it can jump higher. When I informed him that Jupiter has more gravity, he corrected himself and said, "Oh, not Jupiter, the moon then, that has less gravity, right?" Oh, smart child. So I guess this was sort of an interdisciplinary art lesson, a little art and science all rolled into one.

Tomorrow we will catch up on Phys. Ed and frolic in the snow for a while. It is so gorgeous outside tonight. Everything is glowing under the snowy crystals. I love how when it snows like this everything is carpeted and soft, insulated and quiet. There is a magical stillness about it, especially at night.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Daily Affirmations

Remember Stuart Smalley from SNL's Daily Affirmations? Well, I think I need a little dose of "I'm good enough, smart enough and dog-gone-it people like me" these days. Sometimes the Lord surprises us in unexpected ways through unexpected means. I have expressed a little frustration with my Bible study group at times because I am finding that I come from a more reformed perspective, and the majority of the group does not. But let me add that I love these people dearly and in someways they have become a second family to me, picking me up and dusting me off and putting a loving arm around me in many subtle and overt ways. Last Monday our leader for the night had us tape a paper to our backs, and then write on at least three other people's papers one thing that we admire about that person. Having been feeling especially down on myself the past week or so, this was a very timely excercise. It wasn't hard to find things to say about the others, and when I took mine off and read it I was surprised at what it said. My paper had these words on it:

PERSERVERANCE, sincerity, loving/enduring, Rock-solid-long-lasting solid.

These are not the traits that I expected to see, but obviously this is how I impress the group, and it was encouraging to read those words. But even more than that, a little note that one of the gals had jotted off and given to me that same night really touched me. She wrote:
Dear Joyella,
I am so glad that you are a part of our group. I enjoy your sense of humor, and I am truly amazed at your strength. I always look forward to spending time with you.
That note brought a couple tears to my eyes. It was that last sentence that did it, because that is my greatest insecurity these days. Rejection is a powerful thing. It has caused me to question my self-worth, my beliefs, my values, and yet it hasn't changed who I am or that I am, because I have the peace that passes all understanding.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


From "Tree" with love,

The best things to say, if you're caught at your desk napping:

10. "They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen."

9. "This is just a 15 minute power nap they raved about in the time
management course you sent to me "

8. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the Whiteout. You probably got
just in time."

7. "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and
envisioning a new business strategy."

6. "I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance."

5. "I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve
stress. Are you discriminatory toward people who practice yoga?"

4. "Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out how to handle
big accounting problem."

3. "Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you
your ear down real close?"

2. "Who put decaf in the wrong pot?"

AND THE NUMBER ONE best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your

1. Raise your head slowly and say, " Jesus name, Amen."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Super Nanny

I was a nanny for many years. This was at a time when the term "nanny" had to be explained on a regular basis, because here in the U.S., it was a fairly new phenomenon. Women were heading into the work force in droves, and still having children, so there was suddenly this great need for fresh young willing people (like myself) to care for these little ones while mommy and daddy took care of their careers. Now there is this new phenomenon of reality t.v. and Super Nanny is one that has caught my attention. As a former nanny, and now a mother I was curious to see what this bold Brit would say to these parents who desperately needed parenting guidance. Last night while surfing the drab network programs I was deeply convicted by the Super Nanny.

I greatly admire how this woman comes into these homes, observes, critiques, and suggests with such authority. I wish I had been so bold as a nanny in my day, but I can't go back, only forward, and this is where the conviction comes in... My Stuntman is a bold one, and sometimes he is downright disrespectful, and I had just been putting up with it. Partly I wasn't sure how I needed to address the issue, and partly because he is so darned cute that I would play it down and rationalize it. So after watching some bits of the Super Nanny in action, I realized I have a problem in my home which needs addressing, and I started today. It started first thing, mind you, but I was strong and determined, and I think I made some good progress. I haven't been consistent enough with my disciplining, which is one of the greatest challenges as a single parent, no back up. But also there was a method in which Super Nanny said it is important to come down to the child's level, lower you voice, so they know you mean business, and explain what they did wrong and what the consequence is for it. So, parts of this technique I was doing, but not consistently, and not effectively and not completely. I think the coming down to Stuntman's level and using a calmer, but serious tone works really well with him (that was a new element for me), so I will keep trying until he can manage his angry outbursts better without disrespecting me, hurting others, or trashing his surrounding area.

My Stuntman is a vivacious, loving, affectionate soul. He is tender hearted, creative and wild, he simply just needs to learn how to tame his wildness so that he can better relate to those around him. I hope to provide a means to this taming.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Translation please?

On the cover of my latest journal, given to me by MK for fun from a $ store, there is a quote in some form of English-Chinese-hybrid. It says:

" HOPE I'll be there as an oxygen...Missing the scent of nature that life up my spirit..."

Any guesses as to what that means? Well it makes me smile anyway.

No escape

The Stuntman has had a relapse of fever, and now, I am getting IT. It is hard to escape the power of viral infection when one is surrounded by it for over two weeks. I had been hopeful to make a narrow escape of good health. I've been taking my vitamins, but I haven't been getting enough rest, so I gave the bug an opportunity for attack. I am still in the early stages of stuffy head, fatigue, headache, and scratchy throat...Just when I thought I could get back to normal activity again...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Signs of Spring

While preparing our evening meal of pasta with cheese sauce (from scratch, mind you) and salad, I happened to look out the west kitchen window and saw a flock of robins plucking their dinners from the earth. Robins are migratory birds, and this is the first I have seen of them since fall, which is good news indeed. As the clumps of snow are melting from the unseasonably warm temperatures we had last week and now again today, some tulip bulbs are poking up along the south side of my house in the narrow bed beneath the boys' bedroom windows. The Stuntman saw and squished a bug at the park today, and I found an ant in paradise on my kitchen floor amidst all of Prettiness' crumbs below her highchair. Regardless of what that groundhog saw, it is coming, and I am so ready for it. I had forgotten how pleasant it is to let the boys play outside in the fresh air and sunshine, how tired they get afterward and how they sometimes still need naps. Today they both slept for roughly two hours after our excursion to Meadowood park. After such long naps, The Artist was much revived, and had lots to say at table tonight about mucous and snot, and exoskeletons and insects, and he even had a second portion of pasta and salad. The Stuntman was still a bit groggy, but was able to contribute a little to the conversation about shark pee and dinosaur poo-poo. Ahhh, the wonderment of boys.

There is nothing like a little Spring-ish air to awake the body, soul and mind.

Monday, February 14, 2005

This just in

My friend Rae just passed this link on to me about grace and the will of God by John Piper. It is extremely helpful and relevant to my previous post on grace.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Grace and more grace

Upon preparing for my Bible study on the Grace of God for tomorrow evening, I came across this verse (in red): Titus 2:11,13,14 " For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."

So the question that follows a little later in the study about this verse is:
Although God offers salvation to every person, why do only some receive it?

Does God really offer salvation to every person?
If God's grace is irresistable, how can anyone refuse it?

I have been looking for an answer in the book "Know your Christian Life" by Sinclair B. Ferguson, and came across the concepts of "General Calling" and "Effectual Calling" which addresses the issue, but I can't help thinking the explanation a little to convenient. Being that there aren't any Calvinists in my Bible study, I thought I would try to represent... so I better read up on this some more.

more grace:
Blockbuster now has a seven day grace period for returns. This is excellent news for me, and upon being told this by the cashier, I replied, "That's great, I need more grace." The cashier let out a stifled laugh. I don't think she knew what I was talking about.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Blogger's made some changes...

I just checked my comments, and there is a new format here. It is fun to see Randy's face smiling next to his comment. I like it better too, because now you can use some html tags when posting a comment and preview it first. So, perhaps Blogger has been busy improving things after all, and not totally slacking off.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Tatoo me (it's New Year, again)

There is a new addition to my dermis, it isn't permanent, however. Yogi Bear has taken residence on my upper right arm, and The Artist is sporting Tom and Jerry on his right forearm. The boys have been sick, so I have tried to break the monotony of laying around, reading books and watching videos with a little body art. I got these freebie tatoos from Cartoon Network, and they are pretty good ones. I wore the Huckleberry Hound one for about a week before it was completely rubbed off by my jeans...still deciding where Quick Draw McGraw and Fred and Barney should be displayed...

Today is also Chinese (Lunar) New Year, Ash Wednesday, and my friend Inge's birthday. I celebrated the latter with Inge but with a little Chinese twist--some China Moon take-out, and some herbal Chinese-ish gifts and some not-so-Chinese-chocolate-raspberry-pudding-cake. Yummmy. We talked so much that there was no time for the movie, so I will have to see it another time.

I am very tired. The Stuntman decided to interupt my precious REM several times last night, and even though I did get a little nap, I am still beat.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Rory and Logan?

Okay I have a few guilty pleasures, and watching Gilmore Girls is one of them. Tonight a little romance started to simmer with Rory and Logan, and Lorelai may have blown it big time with Luke, no thanks to the meddling Emily, watch out! The Gilmore wedding was elegant, and uneventful for the most part, as it should be I suppose. Overall, an enjoyable episode, which left me hanging til next week.

Wondering what my other guilty pleasures are? Well, I won't divulge all of them, but I do admit to watching Blind Date (it is so Bridget Jones of me)--I have to date vicariously these days, you see....and most of the time, I am glad it is them and not me. hehe

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Flippery Fish

I am a Flippery Fish in the TTLB ecosystem. What is that you ask? Go check it out and see for yourself. I will add that only a week or so ago I was an Insignificant Microbe, so there has been much progress.

In other news, I haven't felt much like blogging lately as you can probably tell from my most recent posts. I don't feel like talking about me, and I am feeling like it is time to do more with my time... Also, I've been much busier with life and real living breathing people, and for the most part, that is a good thing.

Also, feeling too tired to write and think...Sing me to Sleep, sing me to sleep, I'm tired and I want to go to bed...

Saturday, February 05, 2005

First week daily breastfeeding log

As I begin to wean Prettiness, I recall those early days of her life when I was the only source for her nourishment. I don't feel sad about weaning, it is necessary and shows that she is developing and maturing in a healthy manner. Upon tidying up her shelves today, I uncovered the first week of daily breastfeeding log. For those of you who may never have nursed an infant, and are curious, newborns eat, poop and pee, and sleep-usually in that order.

day 1: born at 12:52pm nursed directly after birth, 2pm, 5pm, 9pm; 1 wet diaper, 2 soiled
day 2: nursed at 12am, 3am, 4am, 6am, 10am, 1pm, 3pm, 7pm, 10pm; 2 wet, 1 soiled
day 3: nursed at 2:30am, 4:30, 8:30, 9:30, 12pm, 4:30, 7, 9, 10; 3wet, 4 soiled
day 4: nursed at 12am,1,2,6,8,10, 11:30, 2pm,5, 7,9, 11:30; 6 wet, 6 soiled
day 5: nursed at 12:30am,2, 4, 7,9, 12 pm, 1,3,4,6,8,11; 7 wet, 7 soiled
day6 and 7 were very much like day 5, except day 7 there were 8 wet, 7 soiled!

Okay, you get the idea. Newborns are a full time job.

The squirrel went berserk

Here's a funny little song my folks sent me about how a squirrel can minister in church. Strangely enough, we just watched The Iron Giant, and a similar thing happens to Dean when Hogarth's squirrel gets loose in the Diner.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Music Meme (slightly revised and updated 2-7-05)

Random 10 Albums Semi-Sorta Randomly pulled from my collection:
{Please note that many of my favorite "cool" albums were "ours" and are now "his", so it is somewhat of a slim pickins in my music library. These are ones I have picked or purchased without the influence of "him".}

1. Anne Lenox - Bare (Incredible! it speaks my deep sorrows so soulfully)
2. Police - Reggatta de Blanc (Walking on the Moon is a favorite of my Artist)
3. Enya - The Memory of Trees (played alot while boys were infants as lullabies, also good for bubble baths)
4. R.E.M - Life's Rich Pageant (the car cd player is holding this one hostage, and I miss it)
5. Paris Combo - LIVE (Loungy french music- tres cool!)
6. Nick Drake - Way to Blue Introduction to Nick Drake (For when I am feeling meloncholic or just mellow)
7. Suzanne Vega - Nine Objects of Desire (Heavy on the base and groovy)
8. They Might Be Giants - Flood (Serendipitously zany, fun and wacky)
for the kids:
9. Harry Connick - Songs I've Heard (Favorites from all the musicals I grew up with)
10. Veggie Tales Sing-Alongs - Bob and Larry's Sunday Morning Songs (All the old churchy songs we learned at Sunday school and camp-veggie style)

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
Uh, what? My computer can play music? (I am not smart enough to know how to do this... actually I don't think I have enough memory on this little lap top for much of anything else.)
The last CD you bought is:
Nick Drake - Way to Blue, but I have one waiting for me that I ordered and plan to purchase it in the next couple of days. It is "Where the Humans Eat" by Willy Mason.
What is the song you last listened to before this message?
The Church - Under the Milkyway, it was on the radio in my car coming home from the store this afternoon. (I love that song too.)

Five songs that you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.

1. Pet Shop Boys - "You are always on my mind" has many memories associated with a certain time, and I recall belting this one out as I thought about my sister after her death.
2. Enya - "Anywhere Is" It is very poetic, and I love the cadence of this one.

3. Anne Lennox - "Bitter Pill" It's melody is fun and funky, and yet the lyrics are dark and and full of pain.
4. Suzanne Vega - "Caramel" Mmmm, caramel.
5. "It is well with my soul" Means a lot to me and it always makes me cry.

*newly added
6. "Oxygen" by Willy Mason check out the words Here to see why.
7. "I will Survive" by Irene Cary (Do I need to explain this one?)

Who are you gonna pass this stick to? (5 persons and why)
Randy, because he asked.
Greg, because he is a music connaisseur.
Tree, because I am curious of her musical tastes.
Julie, because she is my musical sister.
Tif, because we like the same kinds of music, and I need recommendations.