Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Snow this morning

I woke up this morning and snow was coming down! I mean, really. Do we need that in mid-April? I'm so glad I had the chance to take some pictures in the yard these last few days. Yes, spring was here, if only briefly.

Monday, April 28, 2008

what's been on my mind...

Lately, I have been fixated on 'what next' once Clayton is in kindergarten. I have about 18 months before that takes place, but I can't seem to get it off my mind. Right now, I work as needed at the hospital but once both kids are in school full-time, I am going to need something to do on a permanent basis. And it doesn't look like there will be anything coming up in my field. I have always entertained the idea of being in the pharmaceutical sales profession, but I lack outside sales experience. I do know that I am strong in hard science, but lacking in business courses. I've heard that what you don't know in sales, they will teach you. I am a fast learner and I do like a challenge. So, that is what's been on my mind. And I must say I feel a little out of touch. I have been living in the 'mother bubble' the last 5 years. You know, everything is based on your kids' schedules. That's not the real world for most. And, while I like some of it, I find that it is not fulfilling. I know I can do more and I want to be out there. If I don't get a job, I will definitely volunteer at a local medical clinic that offers free medical care for the uninsured and under-insured. There are some jobs right now in the area in sales so I am going to start working on Cover letters. Wish me luck. Who knows, it could take me 18 months to find something.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Me? A ballet mom?

Ahhhhhh. Spring is in the air. The sun is hot and the air is fresh. Tee-ball leagues are starting up as are the soccer leagues.

Last Thursday, Kendall went home with a little friend after school. The friend then had tee-ball practice at 6 pm, so I met the girls and the other mom at the park. I love being at a softball/tee-ball practice. It always makes me think back to my summers as a kid and all I did was play outside. Or swim. Or play softball. I was cheering on Kendall's friend as she would hit the ball off the tee. "What do you think, Kendall?" "Would you want to play tee-ball like Grace?" No answer. Kendall just wasn't into it. It hit me-- -my daughter is not like me. Oh sure, I loved Barbies as a kid, but I also played with Matchbox cars in the front yard with the neighbor boy. She doesn't love running and kicking balls or hitting balls or getting dirty. She is not a tom-boy.

I decided I need to stop wishing that she loved the outdoor rough-and-tumble sports that I loved as a child. And I have to admit I do know what she likes. I've known it for some time but I never saw myself as one of those kind of moms. I do know she likes to sing---that is something that I love to do. But for grins I asked her if she had a choice between playing soccer, playing tee-ball or taking ballet, which one would she pick. Without hesitation she said "Ballet." Oh boy. So, I've decided to look into it and if that is what she wants to try, then I will put on my happy face and be her biggest cheerleader.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Last King of Scotland

We saw a great movie last night. It is called The Last King of Scotland and it starred Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy. It is about a young, naive Scottish doctor who goes to Uganda during the 1970s. He ends up becoming Idi Amin's personal physician. At the beginning, he is caught up in Idi Amin's charisma and leadership style, but he soon sees the real personality unfold. I don't want to give too much away, but it is a movie that is packed with extraordinary acting and disturbing images. I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...

Psalm 23
The LORD, the Psalmist's Shepherd.
A Psalm of David.
1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. 4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
In the beginning of my second grade year, our family moved from a small town in Arkansas back to Fayetteville, where I had been born. I had to start a new school, make new friends, and get a new teacher. I remember that day vividly. Cheryl and Sarah became my fast friends and Mrs. Marilyn Martin was my teacher.

Mrs. Martin was the kind of teacher that always smiled and never got angry with her class. She seemed to like all the kids. I always felt welcomed in her class from day one. Everyday, after the class said the pledge of Allegiance, Mrs. Martin would read the 23 Psalm to the class. I had always gone to church, but to hear the 23 psalm regularly, really made an impression on me. I can't help but think that for some kids this was the only time they would hear that comforting psalm.

One day Mrs. Martin didn't read the psalm. I asked why. "I am no longer allowed to read it" she replied. Some decision had been made by the Supreme Court and we were no longer allowed to hear such comforting words.

She passed away Monday. She had moved to Joplin, MO after her husband died a few years back. Today she will be buried. She was 75 years old.

I really liked her and she will be remembered as one of those 'really neat teachers.' You know the kind--the ones that are in it for the right reasons.

She will be missed, but I know she is already dwelling in the House of the LORD forever.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Little Man is getting Big...

A few weeks ago, I took Clayton in for his first dental check up. He was so good. He had witnessed his sister in the same position the week before. It worked out great. He sat by himself and did everything he was asked to do. And no cavities! I can't believe how fast he is growing up. It just seems like yesterday he was a tiny newborn and to think, next month he will be 4 years old.

Two weekends ago we went to upstate New York to observe a naming ceremony for the little girl in the picture below. Her daddy is from that area and her mommy is from Taiwan. They live in Taiwan. Her daddy was one of Pete's best buddies in high school and college. It was so strange to see Clayton as the big kid. Here they are in the grocery store and Clayton is trying to entertain her by making funny faces.
And he insisted on pushing her stroller around the store. He only ran into a few things.
And here are Kendall and Clayton holding little Florence. She was a good sport.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Keith Urban Rocks! or

Better Late than Never or
Worth every dollar! or
Two for the Price of One! or
Dang! I forgot my camera!

Any one of those titles could fit this post. Last night, I saw Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban in concert. I went with my boss, Lori and her family. They are huge Carrie Underwood fans. I love Keith Urban. There's just something about a guy that plays the guitar. Anyway, I digress. Now, for the explanation of the titles.
I'll start with Better Late than Never. My daughter hurt her knee on a neighbor's trampoline Saturday. By the time we decided to take her in to get it looked at, it was 5:30 pm. Therefore, I took her in and Pete and Clayton came to the hospital to relieve me so I could make the concert. Of course, the PA came in just as I was leaving for the concert (around 7:30-which is when Carrie Underwood started). Oh well, better late than never I have always said. Anyone that knows me knows that I am chronically late.
Two for the Price of One. The concert was Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. She was the opening act, but she was great. She was like Cher or Reba in that she had a lot of costume changes. Her voice was good and she was a gracious entertainer. I enjoyed it. But, for me it was about Keith Urban. He can play that guitar like no other. There was one point where he was into this really long guitar solo. After the solo, he sat on the stage with his legs hanging off. The crowd was going crazy. He then jumped off and proceeded to play in the crowd. He walked about one third down the floor and was surrounded by fans. People were taking pictures like crazy--the back of his head, whatever. He continued to play and sing and most of us were seeing this on the big screen. At the end of that particular song he took off the acoustic guitar and signed it! Oh my Gosh! He gave it to some lucky girl. The look on her face was priceless. All through out the concert his band were throwing picks and drum sticks out to the fans. And he would bend down and slap people's hands. The stage had a cat walk to the middle of the arena. The band played on the end of the cat walk for a good while. I guess the worth every dollar could apply to the above description.
Dang! I forgot my camera! I don't think that needs any explanation. I tried to take pics with the cell phone. I need to figure out how to download them.
Keith Urban Rocks! He is country but I think he also is a little rock. I have never seen fingers move so fast across the strings. And it was obvious that he loved what he was doing. And I never realized he played the piano, as well.
So, I am tired today. Kendall is fine*. I think it was one of the best concerts EVER!

*If she had wanted me to stay or was distraught in anyway, I would have stayed with her. She was fine with her daddy being there.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ouch! That hurts.

I took my Subaru in today for a 90,000 mile service and a yearly inspection. Never mind, my car just recently passed the 100,000 mile mark (I'm a little behind). Anyway, I was expecting it to be expensive--$50 for the inspection and $525 for the service. What I didn't expect was that I needed new windshield wipers, and new brake pads. That was to be $200 more. Then, while I am running errands* in town, I get another call from the dealership. He said that the discs were worn too much and I need new brakes all together! That will be another $165! My gosh, just shoot me. I seriously wanted to throw up right then and there. Let's just say that I'm glad the Keith Urban ticket has long been paid for because I could not justify plopping down $80 right now for a concert ticket.

*I am driving my husband's Ford F150 around town and I look like the "Church Lady" from Saturday Night Live.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Skype--Just hype?

We started using skype for our long distance. We have a friend who lives in Taiwan and uses it. He loves it. I was wondering if anyone else could give me some insight on the subject. Like, do I have to buy their equipment (headphones, etc.) or can I use my own? It seems like my end cuts out or comes in and out. Does that happen to anyone else? And today a call was dropped but I was calling my mom's phone, not her computer. I was just wondering if anybody has the same problems.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Things to look forward to this week

  • Good basketball game tonight. I haven't been following the tournament like previous years, but I am going to try to stay up and watch the game! I am rooting for Memphis.
  • New episodes of The Office on Thursday.
  • Dinner with the mom friends on Thursday night
  • Keith Urban/Carrie Underwood concert Saturday night. I can't wait!

Brazil--Day 5 (the day of the wedding)..

This was Saturday. We got up and ate breakfast at the hotel. We skipped the lunch with the group and headed to the Central Market. We had been there two years ago and knew that it offered some bargains for souvenirs, etc. It is a crazy, packed place where one needs to watch their belongings. It is in the Central part of Sao Paulo and it took about 25 mins by taxi to get there. This is the place that people go to buy produce, meat and cheeses. There are vendors there for lunch. The market is located in a huge old building with beautiful stained glass windows.

Outside is where the street vendors are. They sell anything from purses to food to wooden bowls. There are legitimate shops around this huge building as well.
I think this area was more crowded than usual because of the holiday season. Pete ate the chicken from this outside stand. I wasn't as brave.
But the real reason for our trip was to celebrate Matt and Tati. The wedding was spectacular and elegant. Here is Tati with her father. She was radiant.
The wedding was at a hotel (not a church), but Tati had designed the space and you felt like you were in a church. The spaces were divided by sheer curtains that flowed in the breeze. After the ceremony, the curtains were pulled away to expose another space filled with tables.

The dress for the wedding was formal. Ladies in long gowns and men in suits. The attendants stood in pairs and formed a half circle around the couple with the official in the middle of the half circle facing the bride and groom. All in all, the actual ceremony lasted about 20 to 25 minutes.
I love this picture here. Matt's face says it all.
I'll post about the reception later (it requires its own post).

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Brazil--Day 4

Day 4 in Brazil was Good Friday. Most of the shops were closed, and the ones that were open were open from 2 to 6 pm. We needed to shop, however. Pete needed some shoes for the dinner that evening! I now understand why men do not like to follow the women around while they look for that must-have thing. It was driving me crazy. We went to Avenida Paulista which is this giant, busy street and found a shopping area that was open. And we found Pete some shoes. He got two pair and they were a great value. Once again, I went to Brazil and did not get a pair of shoes! And once again, Pete went to Brazil and got the shoes! What is wrong with that picture?

Friday night was the Rehearsal Dinner for Matt and Tati's wedding. They wanted everyone to wear all white. Here we are with Ben and Emmy in our white outfits:

Here are Chris and Ahn:

It was really fun to see what everyone came up with. This evening was casual and the dinner went until midnight with guests giving great toasts. The restaurant was Capim Santos in the Jardims district of Sao Paulo.

After the dinner, we all were invited to Fernando Scherer's house. He lived really close by. Pete knew I thought he was good looking so he took my picture with him.

And here I am pictured with the wedding crasher. He was taking a trip to Rio and one of his friends happens to be one of the groom's good friends from junior high. So, he tagged along to the wedding and all the parties involved. This guy is pretty interesting. He wrote a book last year called, "The Success of Robert Fitzgibbons." The book is about following your dreams. I am definitely going to buy one. He also tours and gives talks at schools, etc. I think he even borrowed a suit for the wedding. And girls, he's single. Anyway, that was day 4.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Random questions from Cheryl

In honor of Cheryl's oldest daughter getting her license, I am doing her random post.

(1) When did you get your license and what was the first car you drove? I got my license when I was 16. I drove my mom's Chevrolet Monte Carlo. It was huge and I could hardly see over the steering wheel, especially when I was cresting one of the big hills in Fayetteville.
(2) Ever had a wreck? Yes. I was 17. I was driving too fast on a curvy, narrow road. I met a car and swerved. I hit a tree and the car flipped end over end. I walked away from it. God wasn't ready for me yet.
(3) Honest now... how many speeding tickets? I have never had a speeding ticket, but rather, a warning.
(4) How much are you paying for gas right now? The "cheap" gas is $3.29/gallon in State College, PA.
(5) What would be your Dream Car now? I like the new Austin Minis.
(6) Favorite road trip you've gone on? I drove to Colorado with a boyfriend one time. We stopped in South Dakota and saw some buffalo. Once we got to Colorado, we stayed with his Aunt. I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains!
(7) Road trip you'd love to make? I would love to go to the Grand Canyon.
(8) Ever gone "parking"? Of course.
(9) Ever done the Chinese fire drill? I don't think so.
(10) Any other "crazy" car-themed activity you want to share? I used to ride around with a friend who had a little convertible. He would drive my boyfriend and me around. I sat in the back and my hair would get all messy. It was so much fun.