December 31, 2008

The Miracle of the Season

Tonight we celebrated the miracle of the season in a very special way. Ted's mom, sister, Ted, and I went to visit Charlie at the Rehab center where he was moved on Monday. He had a great day! He was telling us all about how the nurses get him up to exercise several times a day, but then they try to wake him up all night to get his stats. Charlie told the nurse last night that he was having none of that poking and prodding at 2 am; she would have to come back in the morning after 6 am when he was awake. In an unrelated tell, he also told a strange story about delivering baby pigs and therefore being able to deliver a real human baby on the side of the road on the way home from his farm. He added that we should not be so stupid to wait until the last minute to go to the hospital. It was good to see him cracking jokes and enjoying life again. What an amazing way to end the year with a reminder of how powerful, how merciful, how amazing our Savior really is. Just over a month ago the doctors told us Charlie had thirty minutes to live. Weeks later we're celebrating life with him. We are filled with hope. Hope that maybe one day he can go home to live out the rest of his days. Hope that maybe the Lord will grant Him more time on this Earth to love the people around him and to make them smile as he so often does. We thank you for your continued prayers over the last few weeks. As difficult as it has been at times, it makes it easier knowing that so many people are lifting up our family. We know that Charlie would not be here if it weren't for the thousands of prayers lifted up on his behalf. God does answer prayers in ways we can't even imagine!

December 30, 2008

Jeff Foxwrthy's Take on Teachers

Ok so I am not usually a Foxworthy fan but this was too funny and too true not to share!

You might be a school employee if...

...you believe the playground should be equipped with Ritalin salt lick
...you want to slap the next person who says, "Must be nice to work 8 to 3:30 and have summers off
...it is difficult to name your own child because there's no name you can come up with that doesn't bring high blood pressure as it is uttered
...you can tell it's a full moon or if it going to rain, snow, hail
...anything!!! Without ever looking outside...you believe, "shallow gene pool" should have its own box on a report card
...you believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, "Boy, the kids sure are mellow today."
...when out in public, you feel the urge to snap your fingers at children you do not know and correct their behavior
...you have no social life between August and June
...you think people should have a government permit before being allowed to reproduce
...you wonder how some parents MANAGED to reproduce
...you laugh uncontrollably when people refer to the staff room as the "lounge."
...you encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or home schooling and are willing to donate the UHAUL boxes should they decided to move out of district
...you think caffeine should be available in intravenous form
...you can't imaging how the ACLU could think that covering your students chair with Velcro and then requiring uniforms made out of the corresponding Velcro could ever be misunderstood by the public
...meeting a child's parent instantly answers the question, "Why is this kid like this?"
...you would choose a mammogram over a parent conference
...you think someone should invent antibacterial pencils and crayons...and desks and chairs for that matter!!!
...the words "I have college debt for this?" has ever come out of your mouth

December 27, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas?



What does Christmas look like? Well, I've been wrestling with the holidays this year because they've not looked/been like I would have wished. The situations are extreme & no fault of anyone, but I've missed having my family in a "normal" Thanksgiving/Christmas situation. I love my in-laws & truly feel part of the family, but I miss being with my mom & sister. I guess we've not really had normal since dad died, but this year has seemed more abnormal than most! With all the changes going on...all our house issues...a baby on the way...I guess I long for stability/normal. As abnormal as my family is....you all probably understand what I mean. There is something about having the faces you've known for a life time around you during special times. So anyways?!?!?! The pictures are of my neighbor's yard. I think the palm tree & Christmas flamingo are a perfect illustration for all that I've been going through. Christmas/Holidays don't always look the same...and some may seem pretty crazy, but it's about the heart behind it.

December 16, 2008

Wedding Pictures












So, one of my friends asked from me to post wedding pictures. Here are two of our photos from our special day...2 yrs ago today!

Our 2nd Anniversary

I met Shana in the summer of 2005, but it's hard for me to remember my life without her. Marriage has been one of the greatest gifts God has given me, and He continues to bless me through this amazing woman. She has taught me how to love & how to be loved. She accepts me as I am, but pushes me to be the best I can be. She forgives & forgets(mostly forgets). She believes in me & the gifts God has given me. For this and so much more...I love her. She is a beauty that can not be matched....inside & out. I am so excited that in a very short time we will have our Margaret here with us. I have loved the past two years of just Shana & I, but I can not wait to see my beauty with her baby! I know that she is going to be the most amazing mother, and our daughter is blessed to have her. I am blessed to have her as my wife & my friend.....and as the mother of my child.



December 10, 2008

Don't Anger the Baby..Well..Maybe a Little!

So, our daughter is something else. Seems that even as an interior baby...she has a sense of humor and likes to mess with her daddy! Shana has been feeling her move around a lot over the past month or so, and when I'm near I try to experience our little one's movements as well. I place my hands on Shana's belly & wait patiently. That's when the game begins. Margaret will kick/punch/bump right beside where my hand is. A little to the left, up a little bit, now down some.....but never where my hand is. I usually give up....just happy to know our daughter is growing , getting stronger, & moving around. Last night I placed my hand on Shana's belly hoping to catch Margaret's night time dance. Well, it wasn't happening. Shana took my hand and placed it under her belly as she laid on her side. You see..Margaret doesn't seem to enjoy pressure. If Shana rests her arm on her belly...Margaret will start kicking her. So...my hand was pressing into her belly....and sure enough I felt Margaret moving around. I took my hand away pretty quickly...and told Shana I did not want to anger the baby! She assured me that Margaret wouldn't remember it later (if she has her mommy's memory). I don't know though...not sure I'm willing to take a chance.

December 2, 2008

...a voicemail from Mandisa...


It's no secret that I'm an American Idol junkie. I've watched it since day one! Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler...amazing singers & I own all their CD's...BUT...no one can hold a candle to Mandisa!! From the first time I saw her on the audition shows, I knew she was going to be my favorite American Idol contestant!! I loved everything about Mandisa.....her voice(amazing)...her attitude(positive)....and her heart(totally God's). I felt like she was such a wonderful ambassador for Christ while on AI, and was so sad when she got voted off. However, I knew God was going to use her, and use her He has!! From her music(Dove & Grammy nominated!!), her book, and her role with Women of Faith....she has used her gifts, talents, time, and life to bring Glory to God! If you have not heard her music or read her book...go to http://mandisaofficial.com/ and get to know this amazing Christian artist.
So...you might be wondering about the title of this blog, a voicemail from Mandisa. Well, on my way to work this morning I heard our local Christian radio station doing an interview with Mandisa. One of the DJ's is a friend of mine...so I called her & told her how jealous I was that she was getting to interview Mandisa. I didn't think she'd listen to the voicemail till after work....and was expecting NOTHING. As I went to lunch, I looked at my cell phone to check the time & saw I had a voicemail. As I checked it....my mouth dropped & I was not believing my ears. My friend told Mandisa about me & asked if she'd mind leaving me a message. She doesn't usually do this...as not to impose on the guests of the radio station, but knew Mandisa loved doing such things. OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW SWEET IS THAT!!! It truly was the pick-me-up I needed after the rough couple weeks we've been having.
GO TO MANDISA'S WEB SITE NOW...GO BUY HER CD'S & BOOK!!! :) She's got a new Christmas CD that is WONDERFUL...and would make a good gift for the host/hostess of any Christmas party!! Her CD True Beauty is a wonderful stocking stuffer!!! Be looking for her new CD in the new year!!!

November 30, 2008

Update on Charlie

There has been some improvement. He drank a little water today, and they gave him a pill to see if he would be able to keep it down. They are talking about moving him to ICU stepdown. I believe Tues. is when the lab results will be back concerning his liver. THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH FOR PRAYING FOR HIM...HIS FAMILY...AND MY MOM! I appreciate it. God can do the amazing...and I'm not putting it past Him!

November 29, 2008

Thankful

This week we have been reminded of the many things we have to be thankful for...at the top of that list is our family and friends. On Wednesday morning, Ted's mom called to tell us that her boyfriend of two plus years was in the hospital because he had been throwing up blood. She said that the doctors found a tear in his throat and stomach causing him to lose a lot of blood. At that point, the doctors had fixed the tears and were just keeping him for observation. That night, Judy called back crying. During the day, Charlie had taken a turn for the worst and they were literally giving him minutes to live. Ted and I jumped in the car to head to KY. On the way, we called everyone we could think of to be praying for Charlie, Judy, and his family. When we arrived, Charlie was still holding on but the doctors weren't sure how long he had. By God's grace, Charlie pulled through the night. On Thursday, the doctors discovered that Charlie's liver was enlarged & covered in nodes. Since then the doctors have run multiple tests to determine what the real problem is. So far we have heard three different diagnosis from three different doctors. The nodes could be cancer, severe cirrhosis, or a type of hepatitis. What ever the problem, they all agree that the outlook is not good. We know that without your prayers he would probably already be dead. So on behalf of his family and ours we thank you for all of your prayers. We ask that you continue to pray for his family. Charlie's kids have been riding a roller coaster of emotions. There mother passed away 6 yrs ago of cancer. They are really struggling with accepting that this could be the end for their father. Just this past week Charlie spent time with each of them which we know was a complete blessing from God. But for his children's sake they really need some closer. Our prayer is that God will perform nothing short of a miracle. Of course, we would love for Charlie to be completely healed. But we realize that sometimes miracles look different. For us, we are praying that at the very least Charlie will wake up long enough to say good by to his children. We also ask that you pray for Judy. She lost her husband almost 10 years ago to cancer. Charlie has helped her find happiness again(and she ..him). They were planning on spending the rest of their lives together. They had no idea that time could be cut so short. Judy is so thankful for the time she has had with him but is sadden by the fact that he isn't going to be there for the future. The situation also brings up a lot of memories from losing the love of her life before. We can not thank you enough for all of your love and support. It has been a difficult week in many ways. But it has also been an amazing time of being reminded how truly Good God is in the ways that he blesses our lives through family, friends, and answered prayers.

November 23, 2008

A TRIP TO MAMMOTH CAVE PARK NOV '08

Each year we make at least one trip up to Mammoth Cave National Park. It is one of my favorite places in the world. Before Shana & I got married, I'd go up for day trips several times a year to hike & spend special time with the Lord. A couple weeks ago we went up & met my mom(she now lives in Bowling Green, KY). Hiking is a bit different with a pregnant woman & a woman nearing 60, but it was a good time!! Here are a few pictures

Most of the leaves had fallen, but it made for an amazing site as we walked through the forest on reds, yellows, and oranges.
Mom & Shana taking a moment to smile for the camera & catch their breath.
Next Fall...Margaret will be with us...WOW!!! :)
Margaret's first trip to the forest...I think she liked it(mommy got a bit tired though).
Some of my friends say I am a ham....I don't know why they would say such a thing?

November 21, 2008

BLIZZARD '08

This is the snow storm we didn't see coming!! Who would think that in Nashville,TN before Thanksgiving we would have such a terrible snow!! It's just unthinkable?!?!?!?! Oh wait...that is the wrong picture...go down a little bit!!!CAN YOU BELIEVE ALL THE SNOW WE GOT?!?!?! I've not seen this much snow in Nov. since I moved to Nashville 12 yrs ago!!! I thought all my family and friends from up north would enjoy this little picture!! As I walked out to my car this morning around 6am....this is what I found! I knew I had to get a picture(because it would be gone in an hour!). Hope you all are keeping safe & warm as winter knocks on our door!!



November 19, 2008

Thankful for a Laugh!


I thought because of the past two posts containing a bit of life's stressers...that we needed to have a good laugh!
Ms. Moore is an amazing Kindergarten teacher at my school. Every year she has her students do Turkey Recipes(if you live in the Nashville,TN area...watch Channel 4 News...they read them every year on the air).
Here are a few of the recipes the kids came up with! ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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AVA- Get a 5-ounce turkey. Use water to wash the crusty stuff off from the zoo. Put number one sauce on it to make it sweet. Cook the turkey for 6 minutes in the oven on 7%. Eat the turkey with corn, beans, and a little bit of pork chop, and some potatoes.
TERYN- Get a turkey as big as a brick. Put 1 ounces of salt and pepper on it. Put it in the oven for 10 minutes on 7 degrees. Put a tablecloth on the table. Put plates and cups out. Put chairs at the table. Buy a Hanna Montana cake and some cookies. Eat the dessert with the turkey.
JACKSON- Buy a one-gobble turkey. Kill the head. Put 5 chickens on it. Put another turkey with it. Pour 2 brown sauces on it. Put a Ninja Turtle on it. Put it on a plate. Cook the turkey in the oven for 5 minutes on too hot. Eat the turkey with chicken and different colors of lollipops. Also eat a Mickey Mouse Lollipop.
DEVIN- Get a turkey taller than me. Put a little soda juice on it. Put 6 pepperonis on the turkey. Put it in the grill for 6 minutes on 10 piles of hot. Drink milk and juice with the turkey and eat macaroni and rice. Eat some Cinnamon Toast Crunch with it.
TOMMY- Buy a turkey as big as the classroom. Put a ton of salt and pepper on it. Put grilled peppers and chili from Wendy's on it because my dad loves chili. Cook the turkey for 10-hundred hours in the oven. Put more salt and pepper on it. Eat the turkey with mashed potatoes & gravy and pinto beans.
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Those are just a handful of the funny recipes the kids came up with. FROM THE MINDS OF KINDERGARTENERS....ya just can't make this stuff up!!! ha ha ha

November 16, 2008

Does your house speak?

Our houses speaks to us or at least that is what I think. If you recall, a few months ago the shelf in our bathroom came crashing down at 2 am. Translation....the bahtroom was telling us it was time to remodel. A few weeks ago an air vent fell off the wall at 4 am. In hind sight, the house was trying to tell us there was a problem with the furnance. This weekend, as I was cooking breakfast, a dish fell out of the cabinet squashing my french toast. I guess that means the kitchen needs to be reorganized. Luckly, I enjoy reorganizing!

November 13, 2008

When It Rains....it Pours!!!!!!!!!

Well, we were blessed to have the issues with the furnace found...and fixed! There was some stress about it...but we both know that it's truly God's hand.. lookin' out for us and our baby on the way. However, in installing the furnace...they found that our whole house needs to be rewired. This is a a bit bigger. God is still God..and we know that He is the provider of all that we have. We have the money to cover such a thing, but in "our plans"...this money was going to be in savings....and help us through the time of Shana being home with the baby. In our "ideal" plans....with me in grad school & baby on the way......we would not have had to replace the furnace & we would not have to have the house rewired(we're kind of wondering if they're going to tell us our foundation is cracked and our whole house is going to fall into a gigantic sink hole!! ha ha..I'm kidding..kind of). But as I said...God is still God...and He will meet our needs. Please pray that we find someone to rewire our house that knows what they are doing...and gives us a good/fair price!!!! Please pray that we would continue to trust God...and not allow the things of this world stress us out(cause they do at times). Pray that Shana & the baby will not be effected by said stress. Thank you!!! Welcome to The Edingers...DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA!

November 11, 2008

...blessing in disguise...


We aren't sure exactly when it happened, but....this past weekend we realized that our furnace was no longer working(with our first cold snap of the season). At first, we believed it was a minor issue. We've had some problems over the past couple years, but they were fixed with a little help from Morris(Shana's brother) or the local heating repair guy. This time we called our friend Michael(who was the master mind behind our wonderful bathroom makeover) to see if he knew of someone who could look at it. We are so thankful to have a friend like Michael. Yes, he is well connected, but he is so giving & kind(and doesn't make me feel like a dumb dumb for knowing nothing about fixin' stuff!!!)


With the weather turning cold(30 degrees Sunday night)...we could not stay at the house. So off we went to Lebanon to stay at Shana's parents. They're great & gracious to let us stay(PLUS...Shana's mom enjoyed showing us all the new items she found for the baby). However, that night I was not able to sleep. The bed made me hurt all over. Thank goodness it was only for one night. WE THOUGHT! Monday we found out that the furnace did not just have a minor problem....but that it would need to be replaced. The man that came to look at it said he thought it was about 40 yrs old....there were char marks up the side(so it has been a fire risk)...and that it was a carbon monoxide risk. Knowing I could not spend another sleepless night(and still be a good teacher, husband, friend)....I found a friend to stay with near my school. Shana has been staying with her folks(and getting mom's home cookin'). Hopefully, we'll be back in our house tomorrow!!!!


Though this was not exactly what we were hoping for....with some time to reflect on the situation.....we are extremely thankful. There has been no fire! We've not had any ill effect from carbon monoxide. We aren't juggling being new parents while trying to find a place to stay, a new furnace to buy, and a person to install it! We feel so blessed that God knows our needs, looks out for us when we don't even realize it, and loves us through our anxiety & frustration. He's a good God...yes He is!!!

November 2, 2008

BABY BRAIN 2 : The Halloween Edition



I have been given permission to share this story(I don't want to be accused of being a big meanie for making fun of my pregnant wife!).

Halloween is a holiday of costumes, candy, and craziness. For teachers...it ranks up there as one of the longest days of the year(because kids minds are on costumes, candy, and craziness!!! ha ha).

So after a very long day at school...we head to church for Trunk-r- Treat(which Shana could not get straight...she kept calling it Trick-r-Trunk)! We had a great time passing out candy, talking with friends, and showing off Shana's pumpkin belly. Isn't Margaret's costume awesome!

Well, after we were done at church....we decided we'd head to Target to do our Baby Registry. We were tired, but knew we needed to get it done because of an upcoming baby shower!


After some issues getting our information logged into the system....off we went to the baby section. Shana had done her research, talked to friends, read reviews...and was ready to get this show underway! I really had no strong feelings about the baby stuff. If it's shiney, bright, and colorful...I like it! ha ha So, my job in this was to zap the items Shana handed to me. This I can do(was my job when we did our Wedding Registry). So, Shana hands me an item to zap...I zap it...hand the item back to her...and she throws it in our cart. Ok...I'm really tired...but realize this is not right. "Shana...Honey....aren't people suppose to buy these things for us???" She pauses..looks in the cart..and starts laughing. "I guess I'm really tired" she tells me. I smile, nod, and get ready to zap the next item. She hands me the item...I zap it...hand it back to her...and she throws the item in our cart. At this point I burst out laughing...Shana looks at what she has done...AGAIN...and starts laughing. Well...this is very funny..and delightful...and could be explained by the extremely long day we've had. HOWEVER.....it didn't just happen twice. BABY BRAIN STRIKES AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shana made sure that this wouldn't happen today when we did a registry at Babies-R-Us..........she didn't get a cart!!!!

October 23, 2008

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!


That's right...Baby E is a SHE! Though it was not as easy to find this out as I had thought! At first her umbilical cord was between her legs. The doctor tried shaking Shana's belly to move it. That didn't work. Then the doctor tried different angles. That too did not seem to work. So, she tried another approach. Just as she was getting to the place where we would be able to see...our modest little girl put her arm between her legs!!! Finally though...we were able to see that Baby E was a she!! YEAH!!!!
Margaret Danielle Edinger will be making her debut in March. When we first got on the baby train...her due date was March 19th. Now the doctor is saying it might be closer to March 12th. The date is still a little fuzzy because our bundle of joy is very...ummm..."healthy". If 50 % is your average size baby...Margaret is an over achiever! She scored an 89% on the Baby-Size-O-Meter. Though we're hoping she won't be too big for Shana's sake! The doctor said she was "text book perfect"....who could ask for more! Time for me to get use to PINK! (our blog will not be pink for long...I just changed it to celebrate our little girl!) I love this picture. Every time we've seen her she has her hand up on her face(well...except the first time we saw her when she just had arm buds and no hands yet!!).

October 13, 2008

Old Wives Tales

Moms have always been curious about the sex of the child they are carrying. In the days before ultra sounds were available, women used all kinds of weird and wonderful methods of defining the sex of their child. Here are a few Old Wives’ Tales…

“If you carry the baby out front then you will have a boy. If others can tell that you are pregnant when looking at you from behind, then you will have a girl.” According to the mirror, my back side looks the same.

“Have the mum-to-be pick up a key. If she picks it up by the round end, it will be a boy. If she picks it up by the long end, it will be a girl. Should she pick it up at the middle, twins are on the way.” Ok that is a little ridiculous; of course, I am going to pick it up by the head so that I can use it. But if I had known that picking it up in the middle meant twins then I would have picked it up differently.

“If the mother's age at conception and the year of conception are both even or both odd, the baby is a girl. If one is even and one is odd, the baby is a boy.” When baby E was conceived in June of 2008, I was 28.

“Hang a gold pendant (preferably one the mother wears often) over the palm of the mother’s hand. If the pendant moves in a circular motion, it will be a girl. If it swings back and forth, a boy is on the way.” My gold necklace made a circle then started swinging back and forth.

“If you suffer from acne during pregnancy, you will have a girl.” I have always had pretty faultless skin until July. Since then my skin has been blotchy and red with a few bumps, but nothing too hideous.

“What side does the mum-to-be lay on while she's resting? If she lies on her left, it's a boy; on her right, it's a girl.” I sleep on both sides. I am a bed hog!

“If young boys (pre-school age) show interest in you while you're pregnant, it will be a girl. If they ignore you, expect a boy.” Small children love me that’s just the way it has always been.

“Ask the mom-to-be to show you her hands. If she shows them palms up, it's a girl; palms down, a boy.” Palm up.

“If you dream of girls, you will have a boy. If you dream of boys, you will have a girl.” I dream of both.

“If the baby is very active, you're having a boy.” Our baby likes to dance around or kick the ultra sound machine.

“If you're craving sweets, you're having a girl. If you're craving salt, you're having a boy.” I love food and I have a little bit of an obsessive personality so any time I get something yummy in my mind I have to have it or I am not satisfied. In general, I crave potatoes of any kind which are not normally part of my diet. I also crave ice cream on a daily basis…but then again I have craved ice cream since the time I could lift a spoon to my mouth.

“A heart rate of less than 140 beats per minute means that you're having a boy, while a heart rate of over 140 beats per minutes means that you're having a girl.” At our eight week appointment, baby E had a heart beat of 165. At twelve weeks, it was at 156. At our last appoint around 16 weeks, the baby’s heart rate was 145. It kind of freaked me out until my doctor said that was normal. She also said that boys tend to have slower heart rates than girls.

So what so you think…will it be a boy or a girl? Only time will tell...lucky for us we only have to wait a few more days. In the mean time, make your predictions on the sex of our child by voting in our poll. Tune in Friday to find out if you were right!

October 12, 2008

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Remodel?

It was about 2 a.m. …We were jolted awake by the most horrific banging crashing noise that seemed to last an eternity. My first thought was Earthquake. While this may seem like a ridiculous thought to some, we did indeed have a small earth quake last spring. Once I realized the immediate danger was over, I volunteered Ted to go check it out. What Ted found was that after six years the three-tier shelf hanging on the bathroom wall had decided to commit suicide. The noise that we had heard was the shelf giving up, sliding down the wall, hitting the top of the toilet, dumping shells and candles everywhere, and striking the other wall before clasping in the floor. The next morning I found a small hole & crack was made in the toilet bowl. The shelf’s final message… “It is time to remodel – NOW!” We called our wonderfully talented friend Michael who runs M&M Painting. Lucky for us, he happens to paint & REMODEL! So we packed our bags and moved in with my folks for a week while Michael’s talented team moved in for the demo/reconstruction. The results were more fabulous then we could have ever imagined. It looks absolutely amazing. The pictures do not begin to show you the amazing transformation(When Ted bought the house in '01...the bathroom was pink...the tile paint he used was pealing off and discolored). If your house is ever demanding to be remodeled, let us know. We can recommend one of the most talented guys in the business!
Before





















After

October 8, 2008

What Happen to My Brain?

Picture this...It's a sunny afternoon; a beautiful day to do some causal shopping. For twenty minutes or so I stroll down the isles of BabiesR'Us dreaming of the cute, fun little things that our baby might need or that mommy can't resist. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot this adorable bib that I decided a can't live without. Take it up to the register and proceed to my car. As I am driving out of the parking lot, I realize that I don't know what I did with keys. Quickly I grab my bag and begin checking the usual places. But they weren't there. My first thought is "Crap that is what I get for up sizing bags. I can't find anything. That's why no one should buy a bag bigger than their hand." Then I quickly get back to the problem at hand...looking for my keys. I begin to really fret thinking of having to hunt all over the store for my keys. I must of picked up a hundred different items in which at any point I could have put down my keys. In a panic, I pull over the car wondering how I am ever going to get home if I can't find my keys. At this point, I can only imagine Ted's reaction when I have to call him out of praise team practice to come get me on the other side of town in rush hour. After all, how am I suppose to get home if I don't have my key chain with my house key and my car key. Yes, it was then that the light bulb went off...I was driving my car...My keys weren't lost. They were exactly where they were suppose to be in my ignition. So I sat their for minute as I let my heart rate calm down wondering what happened to my brain? I guess I call it pregnancy brain, but as Ted says it's only a temporary excuse for an already frequent problem!

October 7, 2008

We're sick!

Some prayers would be great right now! Shana is at home(takin' a sick day) with strep throat. I am feelin' pretty cruddy myself(and not taking a sick day...normal for me). I'm wondering if I should have my tonsils removed??? It seems that every time I go to the doctor for sinus/throat stuff...they say, "WOW YOUR TONSILS LOOK TERRIBLE!" Always fun to hear. However, they have never suggested that they be removed? Wonder why?? I know it is harder on an adult, but if it would help me from getting sick every other week....it seems worth it? Who knows?!?

Anyways...pray for us to get better soon. Baby doesn't seem to like Shana's antibiotics.

October 3, 2008

2 WEEKS TILL WE KNOW

BOY or GIRL

October 16th we'll find out if we will be having a little Ted Jr. or a Teddwina(I'm totally kidding about the names!!). People keep asking...."NO...BE HONEST...WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT??" I can tell you with all honesty....I'd be thrilled with either!

On the Grandma front....OH MY GOSH?!?!?!?! This being the first grandchild for both sides....you can imagine it is a very exciting time for Grandma & Grandpa Lankford and Grandma Edinger!!!! Shana's mom bought a shirt or onesy for the baby that says "WHAT HAPPENS AT GRANDMA'S HOUSE...STAYS AT GRANDMA'S HOUSE!". That pretty much sums it all up! ha ha The last time I talked to my mom she was asking about when we would know if the baby was a boy or girl...BECAUSE: " I CAN'T WAIT TO START BUYING STUFF FOR THE BABY!!!!! "

This little one is going to have a lot of love...and want for nothing over the next few years!!!!! We might want for some storage space though!!!

September 14, 2008

A Trip Through the Produce Section


What does a poppy seed, half a peanut, blueberry, olive, raspberry, prune, plumb, and a peach have to do with our latest & long awaited blog? They are the sizes our baby has been over the past few months!!! Most of you know by now that we are expecting our little blessing this March(or maybe not so little...is the 9 month fruit a watermelon?). With school starting....grad school starting(Ted).....our bathroom remodel(pictures & blog coming soon)...and waiting for the right pictures.....this post has been a long time coming! The picture below is our little one at about 3 months waving hello to us! I...being a big dork...waved back at the screen. It just took me by surprise. It was like our baby was goin'..."Hey there mom & dad!!!" Seeing those five little fingers blew me away!
Baby E had his/her little hand resting on it's check. So sweet!! The doctor commented on the fact that the baby is bigger than it's actual age(Shana looked at me). Then the doctor commented on how the baby's mouth was moving the whole time(Shana looked at me again). Then the baby waved at us....and Shana looked at me and commented to the doctor on how the baby was extroverted & friendly...just like daddy! Though...I do want to point out that Shana was a big baby too(we were both 9 lbs)......and she has no problem carrying on a conversation!!! ha ha I'm sure our baby will be a fun blend of us both...and have special characteristics that are all their own!!! We will find out Oct. 16th if Baby E is a Boy or Girl! HOW EXCITING!!!! We don't care one way or the other...we're just excited that the Lord has blessed us with a little one to love!! We're happy we are finally able to share our news with our blog friends!!

September 3, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?


Wow, I can not believe it is September already?! Where does the time go? I heard that time seems to go faster the older you get, and I would say that is true. I remember as a child how long it took for hours, days, and months to arrive. Now it seems that I blink and a year has passed by. Maybe that's because we get busier as we age? When we were kids...all we had was time. When you're an adult...all you have is work, meetings, time with family, mowing the yard, trying to squeeze in some down time(when you have to schedule down time...life is too busy!)...etc. I'm not complaining, I love the life the Lord has blessed me with!!! I love my wife, my friends, my job, grad school(as of right now), and all the adventures that come my way. If I had nothing to do I'd be bored out of my mind and complaining about that!! ha ha
When it is all said & done, we are all given the same amount of time in a day. How we use it is about all we have control over. We can't make it go slower or faster, but we can use it wiser! I want to be wise with the time God has given me. I want to be able to love more in the time that I am given. I want to laugh more with each day I am blessed with. I want to live the life God has given me for His glory.

August 21, 2008

2 WEEKS DOWN...34 MORE TO GO!

I'm totally kidding!!!! That title sounds terrible! Though, we are two weeks into the new school year & there is 34 more weeks of teaching till its end!!! It has been an interesting start of the school year for me(Ted). I so love what I do, but I often struggle with change. Maybe it's my mild case of OCD(not diagnosed..but pretty obvious to those who know me...ha ha). This school year has held many changes. We have lost teachers that I greatly respected(not death..retired, moved to other jobs, or other positions)...gained new teachers to take their place...added new programs...and attempting to grasp new policies/procedures(some of which make no sense). Change like that stresses me out at times. Some of the changes affect me daily. I've really had to "practice" resting in the Lord. I breathe prayers through out the day...seeking the peace of the Lord. I talk to Him about moments of rest in Him(He knows that's all I got right now). It has been good. I still don't like all the changes. I don't like the stresses some of it has brought to me(though..honestly..the stress comes from me trying to control what I have no power to do!).

All that said...I love my kids, my classes have been going great, and my room makes me smile every morning I walk in. I've laughed a lot. I've been amazed at some of the work I've seen. I've been frustrated by some of the work I've seen. And daily I'm reminded of why God has me teaching art in the public schools!

July 30, 2008

....art blog....

I have a new art blog on blogspot...check it out! http://www.artwithmre.blogspot.com This is going to replace my school website I've had for years...check it out before it's gone for good! http://www.teacherweb.com/TN/TulipGrove/ArtWithMrE

**********PLEASE NOTE: I'm not above shameless self promotion!!!!! ha ha ha***********

July 20, 2008

The End of Summer



The end of summer is almost here. Those of you who are not teachers might lack an appreciation for this blog title(parents might be doing a happy dance over this blog title!!!!). I know my wife is going to pass over this blog...clinging to the last fleeting moments of summer uninterrupted by her husbands unexplained excitement for the coming school year!! I don't know what it is.....but I get so darn excited for the start of school. I've always loved school though. I've already been back in my classroom...working on bulletin boards, painting shelves, and arranging furniture. My principal saw me on her first day back & said..."How did I guess I'd see you here today?!" :o) ha ha She knows me too well. Teachers HAVE to be back Aug. 6th & kids come back Aug. 11th. I better get busy.....it will be here before we know it!!!!!!


Let me leave you with a few funnies from the 4th Grade Art Assessments........


*One of the questions from the Judgement portion of the assessment asked : WHAT DOES THE PICTURE TELL YOU ABOUT AMERICAN HISTORY? One of my students....answered, "It looks like it was done when Mr. E was a kid." Ummmm....NO ERIN...A LITTLE BEFORE MR. E's TIME!!!!! SNAP THE WHIP by Winslow Homer, 1872
*We saw "BACK IN THE DAY" thousands of times while grading the assessments(I'm not exaggerating). WHO SAYS BACK IN THE DAY?!?!?!?!?! Were they temporarily possessed by their old Aunt Nancy May? Odd...very odd.
*The students also had a great deal of trouble with Winslow Homer's name.....
Wind Slow Homer
Winlow Hawlmer
Wendlo Hoemer
and the winner is!!!!!!!
WIZ LOW HUMMER


July 4, 2008

Memories of the 4th

Happy 4th of July everyone!!!!  I know that we all have memories of this holiday.  Some very "normal"....dare I say "traditional".  But as my friends say..."Normal is just a setting on the drier"(do they even have "normal" on driers anymore??!?!).  My normal...you must remember...is flavored by my "country" upbringing.  Country really doesn't describe it though.....I grew up in South Eastern Ohio along the WV boarder....in a town of 70 people in the middle of a forest.  Hillbilly may be more like it.  Well, my dad was a demolition derby driver(where they take old cars and smash 'em into each other).  Our summers were spent at county fairs all over the region(Who else has enjoyed elephant ears w/ some fresh squeezed lemon aid??).   It's funny...the story goes that dad got into demolition derbies because stock car racing was just too dangerous(almost took an ear off or something).    So every 4th of July we were somewhere for a demo!!  Dad was known as 8-BALL ED....and he was GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!  He and his best friend would double team everyone else...then would put on a hysterical show when it just got down to the two of them..chasing each other around the field and spraying mud over the crowd(maybe that is where I got some of my showmanship).  After the heats were over...and the finals through....the fireworks would start.  I don't know how they did it...but some of those county fairs put on amazing shows!!!!  I hated the noise(would cover my ears the whole time)...but loved the fireworks!!!  After they were through...we'd make the long trek home....half asleep....with a couple bags of goldfish in our hands..maybe a stuffed animal...sticky faces...dad's trophy between my sister and I.....and a mud caked car on the trailer in tow.  Maybe not the same 4th of July tradition you grew up with.....but it was all about family...being together...and remembering that we were free to be...however that might look.  

June 26, 2008

Peep-a-Boo

If you know me at all you are probably laughing at the title because you know I can't spell worth a flip. Only the joke is on you because the title is spelled correctly (at least in my world). Let me explain. Ted loves Peeps. It is one of the only foods he is truly passionate about, unlike me who is passionate about all food. Anyway, a several months back Ted came home one day as chipper as could be because he had found the first Easter peeps of the season (which as you know starts the day after Valentines). Seeing his bright smile, I decided to make him a Peeps basket for Easter.  I spent weeks looking for all things Peeps. As I searched online for possible boy Peeps items, I found out that Peeps make many products, but they don't sell them at the same places. For instance, they make peep baskets that are only sold at Meijers or pleather peep pens only at Walgreen's. With this in mind, I kept my eyes peeled on our spring break road trip for special peep items. When I would find said items I would sneak around and buy them without Ted's knowledge.. then hide them in the car. Well somewhere between West Virginia and Pennsylvania we stopped at a store that had Peeps clay. It was like art meets Peeps right there in front of me. I picked them up and tried to scurry up to the checkout counter before he saw me. No luck, when I was almost there he caught me. Thinking quick on my feet I said "Look at this. Don't you think Superman and Ladybug would like these?" Quick side note: Superman and Ladybug are the children of Ted's teenagehood best friends who we were on our way to see at the time. Anyway, so with Ted totally believing my cover story we purchased the Peeps dough. On the way to the car, Ted ran into someone he knew who he began talking too. So I used the opportunity to hide the Peeps where he would never find them. Now, if you know me well or for that matter only met me one you will know that I pretty much have no short term memory. Yea, the light bulb is going off...you guessed it... I totally forgot about the Peeps clay until I found them TODAY in the pocket my school bag.  As I booed over the fact that I left out the Peeps, I decided the moment was too priceless not to share.  OK, so maybe I cackled... opposed to booing but Peep- a -Cackle wouldn't make any sense.

June 25, 2008

A LESSON

I believe God wires us each unique...He has designed us for a purpose & a calling.  Mine is not to work with middle schoolers!!!  This week at Art-al-Sol(the summer art camp put on by MNPS), we have the joy of working with 22 middle school students(and I do mean that..it is a joy!).  Now these kids are smart, talented, funny, and good natured..usually.  However, sometimes this age group leads me to think that everyone has multiple personality disorder...but most outgrow it toward the end of their teen years.  I don't have any scientific proof, but if you spend much time with middle school kids...you might agree with me!  One minute they are wonderful...respectful...and ready to learn.  THEN SOMETHING SNAPS!  Your once sweet student starts sassing back & questing everything you say!  WHO ARE YOU???  Two days of sweet wonderful art work...cooperation...and intellectual conversation.  Now I have some ranting & raving person that is telling me that it is her artistic interpretation not to follow my directions.   After a moment of trying to reason with her...I stood up...looked her in the eye & said..."I'm not going to argue with you...arguing does not equal intelligence..and sometimes it takes a greater mind to work within the rules than to try to get your own way." 
I walked away from her, and allowed her to process what just happened.  Ya know what...it worked?!?!?!  What I said made sense to her.   She came up to me later to ask a question...a bit unsure of how I'd receive her.  I greeted her question as I would anyone..spoke to her with kindness & respect.  I could see the tension leave her when she realized that things were good between us.  I had my sweet student back!!  UNTIL TOMORROW?!?!?!?!?! ha ha ha  

I really have enjoyed working with this age group.  It is a neat change of pace from my K-4 students I work with during the school year.  However, I know that God has given me much love & grace for my little ones.  I am wired to handle the day ins & day outs  of the elementary age student.  Middle schoolers are fun in small doses, but I know that there are those out there that God has wired with much love & grace...AND AN EXTRA HUGE HELPING OF PATIENCE for the middle school age students.  God bless 'em!!  

June 21, 2008

Must Eats: In-n-Out

Words can not even big to express my love for In-n-Out. If you don’t know what In-n-Out is then you should hop a plane ASAP for California because you are missing out on one of life’s finest moments. Let me elaborate...first you need to know one very important fact about me. I do not eat fast food. I think that fast food is a sorry excuse for a meal. If you ever see a fast food restaurant on this site, then call the police because I have surely been kidnapped and something terrible tragic is going to happen to me like being force fed greasy fries and overcooked grade F meat…or my husband is trying to be funny and sneak a blog onto my food site. Anyway, moving on…now that you get that I do not eat fast food under any circumstance you need to know about my one exception…In-n-Out Burger…My mouth waters at the words as I think about their out of this world unbelievably delectable burgers. At first glance, they just look like any ordinary burger. But on closer examination you can’t help but to fall in love if you know the secret. See here’s the deal. In-n-Out has a very simple menu literally burger, fries, milkshake or at least it seems that way. They have a secret not really so secret menu. It’s not posted in the restaurant you have to just know about it (or look it up http://www.in-n-out.com/). Here is a simple test…next time you meet someone who has been to Cali ask them if they have been to In-n-Out. If they answer yes in a balsa kind of way then they are boring and do not know of the secret menu. But if they answer with overwhelming enthusiasm then they are totally in. (the one exception would be my husband who’s taste buds have been deadened by years of fast food…yuck…JUST SAY NO TO FAST FOOD EXCEPT IN-N-OUT) Anyway, back to the secret menu…the most popular item on the secret menu is an animal style burger. Animal style means they coat your burger in mustard before cooking then top it with sautéed onions and a secret sauce (basically thousand island dressing with a kick) placing it on a toasted bun before serving it. Trust me try it even if you don’t like any of those ingredients you can’t help but to fall in love with the piece of heaven they serve you. This week I was in California visiting my best friend, Liz, who first introduced me to In-n-Out. We ate there everyday for lunch. It was the happiest my mouth has been in quite some time. So go and try it for yourself and you will see…YOU WILL LOVE IT!

June 18, 2008

...what's goin' on...

Greeting all you who read this thing!!  We do appreciate your reading, comments, time..etc.  Well, Shana is in CA for a handful of days & I am busy teaching at Art al Sol(summer art camp put on by MNPS).  So....we've been busy & are sorry we've not been faithful to post.  We are truly more interesting than it may appear(ha ha).  Shana went out to see Liz...one of her best friends that she talked about(and there are pictures) in a previous post.  It truly is a good time to go...I'm teaching all day on the west side of town & then go to the church after to work on VBS decorations.  Then Friday night I'm suppose to be teaching at Jo-Ann's...and then Sat. morning I'm teaching at Jo-Ann's.  IS THIS SUMMER BREAK?!?!?!?!   HA HA!!!  Anyways...hopefully things will slow down a bit in the next couple weeks.  


June 12, 2008

SICK & WRONG! blog by Ted

I am not a man that gets sick often, and if I do...I push through it.  Monday morning I woke up early with a strange cough & feelin' a bit sickly.  As the day went on my temperature climbed.  By evening, I was feeling TERRIBLE.   I drove myself to Quick Care(which is neither quick nor caring)...to find I had a pretty bad case of strep throat.  So...off I went to get my meds & then home.  I had high hopes, though, because I caught it early that it would be over in no time.  WRONG!  For three days my temp went up and down...but staying around 100 most of the time.  I hurt all over.  I didn't want to eat.  I just felt cruddy.  And then...MY YARD MOCKED ME!  It's been so hot lately & we've had little rain.  Yet as I looked out my window...seeing all the shiney happy healthy people enjoying being out & about in the summer time bliss....my parched lawn had amazing patches of green....WEEDS.  SICK & WRONG!!!!!  How is it that my few blades of actual grass have given up the ghost, but the weeds seem to be stronger than ever?!?!?!?!  Anyways...I digress.  I woke up this morning feeling hungry(good sign), the spots were gone on the back of my throat, and I no longer cared about the weeds mocking me.  However...my head hurt(hmm...Shana may have socked me a good one to stop snoring??).  With the symptoms of strep gone...I realized my ears were hurting...feeling as if the tubes were full of somethin' somethin'.  So...probably...all of this is linked to a sinus infection that stopped everything up...and is still causin' issue.  The strep....was just a bonus.  I wonder if the magical meds they gave me will take care of everything...known & unknown(including killing the weeds in my yard!!!)...hmmm.   SICK AND WRONG.  

June 8, 2008

Cupcakes

One of my favorite places in Portland was Saint Cupcake. The cupcake shop makes the most delicious cupcakes in all sorts of interesting flavors. We sampled toasted coconut cream, lemon berry, vanilla with vanilla butter cream, and the fat Elvis. My favorite ended up being the toasted coconut cream. It was perfect just the way it was...buttery vanilla cake with cream cheese icing covered in toasted coconut. Now, the fat Elvis really enticed me. This cupcake consisted of a semi-sweet banana chocolate chip cake with a peanut butter chocolate icing topped off with a banana chip. With all of that you would think that it has to be pretty close to perfect. While it was delicious, I found myself thinking of all the things that I would do to make it better. Throughout the week I kept day dreaming of fun combinations of cupcakes that I could make.

Once we returned, I decided that I was going to create my own banana chocolate chip cupcake. So I googled cupcakes finding a plathera of cupcake blogs. Apparently, I am not the only cupcake crazy person out there! One of my favorite sites is Cupcake Project. The cupcake project was started by a lady who was making cupcakes for her friends' wedding. In preparation, she worked to master the art of cupcakes by creating a new tempting treat every week. Along the way she blogged about the things she discovered, the recipes she created, and the feed back from her friends. The project began as a nine month adventure... (You must read this!)http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2008/01/sweet-success.html, but continues today as a passion for creating delicious treats. Her site is full of great ideas if your in the mood for cupcakes.

After searching blogs and recipe sites, I had million ideas floating around in my head. So I decided to start my own mini summer cupcake project. This weekend I created my first cupcake "Good Morning" which is a close cousin to the fat Elvis. Good Morning consist of a sweet moist banana-nut cake with chocolate chucks covered in a chocolate fudge icing. I topped my cupcake with a banana chip in honor of my original inspiration Saint Cupcake. If I do say so myself, they are pretty fabulous. I have several ideas in mind for June inspired by Ben & Jerry's and fresh fruit??? I bet your mind is turning....if you have any inpiring flavor combinations let me know and perhaps I'll turn your cupcake dreams into a mouth watering reality!

June 1, 2008

Imago Dei - blog by Ted

If you know me...you know I love books!  Over the past few years, I've enjoyed reading the works of Donald Miller! Blue Like Jazz, Through Painted Deserts, Searching for God Knows What, and To Own A Dragon are all amazing reads..and if you are searching for a fresh voice with fresh thoughts...check him out! 


Why do I bring this up in light of our Portland trip??? Well, through his books I learned about an interesting fellowship of believers in Portland called Imago Dei. It just so happened that our friend Josh(who we were visiting) goes to Imago!!! HOW EXCITING! Not as exciting as reading the bible and getting to visit many of the 7 churches of Revelation(if ya don't know about my time in Turkey...lets grab some coffee/tea), but still...exciting. It was what I imagined, but much larger!!
The day we went...the pastor was talking about who they were as a church, their leaders, their ministry...etc.   The church mission statement is :  TAKING THE WHOLE GOSPEL, TO THE WHOLE PERSON, TO THE WHOLE WORLD, & EQUIPPING PEOPLE TO BECOME MATURE IN CHRIST.  Don't ya love that!!!!   They played mostly hymns(amazing band), had a beautiful time for the Lord's Supper, and had a great area set up to explain their ministries(some super cool art ministries!!!).  The church is in a high school, but the set up seems to work! We loved the Imago experience, and are so glad that was part of our trip to Portland!!  Check out the church web site....I'm sure you'll be amazed at what the Lord is doing there!!!!  

http://www.imagodeicommunity.com/ 


May 31, 2008

Words Fall Short- blog by Ted


We have experienced more than can be blogged. Once we get back to Nashville...Shana & I will post a picture or two and share a bit...post a picture or two and share a bit more. Words truly fall short of expressing what we have seen here...the beauty of God's creation. WOW, THAT'S SO BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING, AWESOME, OH MY GOSH, and THAT'S GREAT started sounding so shallow to me, but those were the only words I had to describe what we were seeing/experiencing. Place/Nature have such an impact on me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Maybe it is my artistic soul. Maybe it is because I grew up in the middle of a forest & it is what I know. Maybe it is God speaking to me in a language that meets me where I'm at. Whatever the case, I could have spent days just basking in the beauty of our Lord's design. I felt as if He was holding me tightly as the mist from the falls surrounded me. I could almost hear Him whispering "PEACE BE STILL" as the wind blew round me. I could see His love piercing threw the trees that towered over me as the sun found it's way to my face. People rushing...wanting to move on....and I...I just wanted to linger a little longer. Portland is an amazing place....I'm so glad Shana suggested we come here!!!

May 29, 2008

Unexpected Adventures

Right now we are sitting in Portland enjoying the amazing surroundings. The scene is lush green foliage filled with splashes of color at every turn set to a back drop of blue skies and sunshine. We are loving today! However, yesterday was a different story. Let's just say getting up a 4 AM should be a warning sign that the day may not go as planned no matter how excited you are. I have flown hundreds of times to places all over the world in planes of every size. The two exceptions involve a case of food poisoning in Miami and losing my luggage coming home from Vegas. Apparently, that was just preparing me for what was to come later down the road. There we were eagerly boarding our plane in Denver for the last leg of the trip thinking about all the fun that was about to be had. We had a beautiful take off followed by a few minutes of turbulence as we passed through the clouds. No biggie, neither of us get motion sickness. However, about 15 minutes into the flight I started feeling nauseous. Thinking I'm about to be totally sick, I excused myself to the lavatory. Seemingly all I needed was to move about the cabin because by the time I got to the back of the plane the nauseous had subsided a bit. As I headed back to my seat, I began feeling slightly tingly and a bit light headed. By the time I sat down, apparently I was mumbling something about this is not good I need to lay down in the floor. Then according to Ted, I keep putting my fingers in front of my face to see if they were still moving in between trying not to pass out on top of the lady sitting next to us. My wonderful husband got the flight attendant to assist us. They ended up moving us to the front of the plane to "keep an eye on me." She also informed me that if I completely passed out in the floor that they would have to call for emergency personal to meet us at arrival. Well luckily the more roomie front row gave me a chance to put my head between my legs and regain a semi normal state of consciousness. Oh but the fun was not over, when we exited the plane an airline attendant was waiting with a wheel chair to cart me to baggage claim. Now if I was eighty with a cane or even had a bum leg this might have been fun. Don't get me wrong as grateful as I was that I did not have to some how manage to walk all the way to baggage claim in my some what paralytic sate I was also equally embarrassed by the fact that I am young and healthy but for some reason can't seem to handle the flight form Denver to Portland. As all of this was shock to me it must have been equally shocking to Josh who was waiting in baggage claim fully prepared to run up and attack us with love. Instead we found him standing quite stupefied and confused as to why I was slumped down in a wheel chair with a man name Hosa who spoke very little English. So here we were filling Josh in waiting on our luggage, waiting on our luggage, waiting on our luggage...oh wait that's right my luggage didn't make it! Talk about kicking a horse while it's down! The really ironic part is that in my twenty-five years of flying the only two times that my luggage has been lost has been in the last six months. At this point I am bewildered as to how you can go from being so totally excited for weeks about an event only to be so royally disappoint at the start. It goes to show how Satan can try to take a trip meant to celebrate a friend's ministry and turn it into less. But our God is greater than that. Despite our rough journey here our time has been spent enjoying the glory of God's good work here. We are loving the wonderful beauty of Oregon. There is amazing food on every corner. Most importantly we are blown away by the way that God is working in Josh's life and using him to make a difference in people's lives.

May 23, 2008

To Be Loyal You Can Not Only Live For Yourself...

In high school, there was a guy in one of my classes who wrote “Think before you speak” on all of my folders. At the end of the year, I tore a piece off and stuck on my mirror as a reminder of how often I say the wrong thing. Ten years later I feel like I’m starting to learn just what he meant. Last summer, I read this book Discerning the Voice of God by Pricilla Shirer. The book is about recognizing God’s voice before you make a move. God used those words to deeply convict me about submitting to Him before I speak or act. Since then I have been on a journey of learning to submit my words and actions to the Lord in every regards. It’s been a difficult road. As a Leo, I am known for deep lasting relationships. The Lord has used some of those deep relationships to really drive his point home. In one situation, I have a friend who has made some choices that are clearly not of the Lord. At first, I was in complete shock. All I could do was cry out to Lord on her behalf for mercy. In interacting with her it was difficult to know what to say or do. I spent hours on my knees praying for God’s guidance and wisdom in every word I spoke or action I took toward her. As a result, of my faithfulness to the Lord I have seen our friendship grow and blossom in unexpected ways. The prayers that many of her faithful friends are prompting the Lord to transform her life. While she is still traveling a difficult road, she is growing in the Lord every day. In my foolishness, I thought this was a time in life that I was meant to pull her along. But the truth is it is a time that in our friendship that we are to walk even more closely to the Lord leaning on His direction. Along the way, I have reminded her that some day she is going to look back on this incredibly tough place and realize how far she has come. I can’t wait to hear her story of redemption. At the same time, I am beginning to realize that in a strange way it is also my story of redemption. A story of a girl who more often than not says the wrong thing but who is learning to only speak what the Lord places on her tongue. A few months back, I pride fully thought to myself “Lesson Learned.” Don’t make the same mistake I did because I am here to tell you the minute you think you have it figured out the Lord will ask “Are you sure?” You may not want to know the answer.

Another situation in life that the Lord is using to witness to me is with one of my spiritual mentors. We have literally lived through hell together. She has been there to hold my hand or let me cry on her shoulder so many times that I have lost count. You would think if we could live through the worst of times that we could live through the not so great times together. For the last several months, I have watched my friend change into a different person due to new influences in life. In some ways, I see really great things happening. But in other ways I am surprised by some of the uncharacteristic things I have witnessed. Part of this transformation has been incredibly heart breaking to me because of the cost. Yet again, I often don’t have words of my own to speak. I have had no choice but to submit my words and actions to the Lord. While I feel that in this area I have failed a few times letting my emotions get the best of my words, overall I think that I have been loyal to what the Lord has called me to say and do. The result however has been a strain in our relationship. I can’t tell you how much the situation sucks. Someone once said to me “Of course life is going to suck sometimes. What do you expect? Life is not always going to be a bed of roses just because you walk with the Lord.” Oh how true those wise words are…two situations that I have been loyal to the Lord’s calling with two very different results. Are you sure…are you sure you can be loyal no matter what the cost?

This week the Lord has really brought this lesson home for me. On Sunday, we shared the story of Jonathan and David from 1 Samuel 20. While I have read this story many times, I have never been touched more by the words than I am now. I always thought the story was about David, but really I think the story is about Jonathan. Jonathan is a shining example of loyalty. In this passage, he had to choose between loyalty to his earthy father and his best friend. His choice was to be loyal to God no matter what the cost. His loyalty to God guided him through opposing aspects of human relationships. The conflicting demands of our relationships challenge us as well. If we attempt to settle them our way, then they will end with a sense of failure. But if we continue to be loyal to God’s truth our choices will me much clearer.

My Jonathans


I am blessed to have two Jonathans in my life. They have been witnesses to me for over twenty years. With every day that passes I realize more and more how incredibly lucky I am to have them. Elizabeth, who I have known since I was five, is probably one of the most generous people you will ever meet. She would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it and not think twice about it. She has taught me to be grateful for every gift life has to give from food to eat to time with family. She has stood by me for every major moment in life. At the same time, she has given me room to make my own mistakes. Even when I make really bad decisions she loves me anyway. She has had amazing patience to put up with some of the stupid things I have done. Her gracious heart is always there willing to forgive me even if I don’t deserve it. Emily, who I have known since I was eight, is quite different. She is a lively spirit, an encourager. Although she is a year younger than me, her wisdom seems to out succeed mine. She is very in tune with God’s desires for us. In every situation, she always points back to the Lord’s desires. Both of these amazing women have been an unbelievable blessing in my life. I don’t know where I would be today without them. They have been examples of faithfulness to the Lord who have held me accountable to God’s truth time and time again. They are my Jonathans. My prayer is that some day I too can be like Jonathan…a loyal follower to the Lord in every word and deed.


Proud "Art" Papa




I thought if I said Proud Papa for the title...ya'll would get the wrong idea! Probably some of you still have the wrong idea. NO BABY! ha ha As an art teacher though, I often feel like the father of many & that I'm instilling ideals, values, information, and skills to my kids. Last night I was a very proud "art" papa. I went to Wal-Mart & ran into one of my students. He had an arm full of yard & his mother was right behind him with his weaving(yesterday was the last day of school, and I passed out their work). I had informed my students that if they did not finish their weaving that they could get the same yarn at Wal-Mart that I had in the classroom. Not in a million years would I have guessed that this 4th grader would be the one to actually do it!!! He wasn't my most motivated student during the year, but really seemed to enjoy the weaving project. I had praised him for his amazing color choices...and sure enough..he found those colors to finish off his weaving. What a nice way to end my school year...maybe someone listened...maybe someone learned...maybe someone gained a new appreciation for art.....maybe someone found they had talents they never knew they had.

May 21, 2008

My Guy Finally WON!

Before I met Ted , I was not into Idol at all. I hate riding the trendy-train with everyone else. American Idol certainly holds the crown for popular band wagon. However, when Ted and I were dating he insisted that I watch Idol with him. He wanted to teach me all about the Idol ways and I wanted to cuddle so I went along with it. Well some where along the way I became hooked. I loved watching to see what crazy thing Kelly Pickler was going to do next or Taylor Hick's Vegas like performances. But what I really loved was Chris Daughtry. He had it all...the vocals, the look, the total package! What did America do...send him home! By the end of season five I was through with Idol forever!



Life went on...Ted and I got married...then it was time for Idol again. Being blissfully married I had totally forgotten how mad I was at the end of season five so I began watching Idol again. As much as I hate to admit it, my addictive personality gets so easily entangled into the whole Idol world. Yet again, I found myself tuning in every week to watch. First, I watched in dismay that Sinjaya who couldn't hit a note to save his life could make it to the top six. I actually enjoyed watching Gina and Chris rock out! Of course, Melinda Doolittle was phenomenal! She nailed the vocals every time and made her audience just want more and more...but yet again America sent her home. To make matters worse they chose a whiny teenie booper as the Idol over someone with original talent like Blake. Let's just say I am still ill about season six!


By the time this season of Idol came around, I was completely disinterested...or at least I tried to be. But I feel in love with Brooke White. I know she didn't give the best performances but I loved her bubbly personality. Besides if you put her in folk music she'll do great. while I loved Brooke I knew she didn't have a shot of actually winning. However, I was quite ticked when hippie dread locks guy made it farther than her. What was that all about? I have yet to find anyone who liked him! Moving on...my real vote went for David Cook. I believe he is the epitome of what Idol is...the look, the vocals, and the performance that keeps you wanting more. Now, David A's vocals were on spot every time, but he annoyed me because he didn't sing to his age group. The songs were too old for him therefore unbelievable in my book. Despite all of that, I was convinced he was going to win because my guy never wins. The teenie boopers have nothing else to do but hit redial for four hours so their guy always wins. But not tonight...my faith in Idol was restored when MY GUY FINALLY WON! So here's to you David Cook...Rock on!

May 20, 2008

DAVID VS DAVID


Ok, so tonight is the sing off between David & David on American Idol(I captured the image from the AI page..is that illegal?). I like both the guys a lot. I love AC type music(big Clay fan) & I enjoy modern pop/rock...so it's win win for me this year. I have a feeling if David A wins...they will push him into more of an R&B flav. I think he could do it, but not sure if people would believe him in that roll. Kind of like what happened with Katharine McPhee. She is AC, and for her to go the pop diva R&B route was just not believable. I was glad to hear she was going to do an album with David Foster. Right move on her part!! Now if David C wins, I just pray they let him have creative control over the vibe of the album. What we have seen from past winners(and finalists)...when they are pushed into a box that is not their own...they will not fit(Katharine, Bo, Taylor..etc). David C has a great thing going! He knows who he is musically, and has done some amazing things on the show this year!!! He has proved himself to be a true talent.
Anyways..those are my thoughts on AI for now. Should be good!!!! Let me know what you are thinking!!
P.S. Shana wants David Cook to win!
P.S. again......I CAN'T WAIT FOR MELINDA DOOLITTLE'S CD TO COME OUT!!!!!

May 19, 2008



Hi-Ho Hi-Ho...it's off to Portland we go! Well, not yet, but with us being in the last week of school...I'm dreaming of a white Christmas....I MEAN...I'm dreaming of a great vacation. Often people say..."Oh, must be nice being a teacher...get your summers off!!!!" Well, to those people...I say...YES IT IS! However, I know few teachers that actually have a full summer off. I'm trying to work as much as possible so I have the cash for grad school! However, Shana & I are taking a quick trip out to Portland, Oregon before I start teaching my summer camps & scrapbooking classes! Why Portland....WHY NOT?!?!? We actually have a close friend of ours out there right now...and thought this would be a great time to see the city! Per Shana's request...and Josh's great joy...I believe our trip is going to be based around great places to eat in Portland. I'm kind of along for the ride. I'm as happy at Taco Bell as I am some 5 star foodie heaven. When we went to Las Vegas for our anniversary in Dec.....that was the farthest west I had been. Portland will be a new record for me!! :o) Now Shana has been to CA a good bit...so she has me beat, but never to Portland. So we'll enjoy this new adventure together. It will be wonderful to get away & let the cares of the school year melt away...and have some time to dream of the future together.