Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Daytime Drama...or 57 Channels and Nothing's On

When I was in high school, many of the popular girls watched soap operas, or as they are called today, DAYTIME DRAMAS. And because I wanted to be popular too (I wasn't part of that group), I started watching soaps as well. I started with "All My Children", since that was the one I had heard the most about. Once I was hooked there, I added "General Hospital" to the list. Eventually, since "One Life to Live" was right between the other two, I ended up watching three hours of soaps each day that particular summer.

Alas, if I could only have THAT time back!!!

Since then, I have cut out watching television during the day. I simply don't have time for it. Yes, ladies, even Oprah. I actually never really got in to Oprah (GASP!!!). I did watch her show a few times, and each time ended up being a huge emotional investment, usually either tears or anger. As I said before, I just don't have time, or energy, for that.

Oh, and no offense intended to those of you who do watch soaps. They're just not my thing.

Once Baby Bit was born, however, I needed something to do while nursing her. Normally I would've grabbed a book and polished it off by the time she was done feeding. But I was typically in a sleep-deprived stupor, so if I read anything, I would have to go back and read it again later since I wasn't quite coherent enough to grasp it. So I grabbed the remote and started flipping. It took me a while, but I ran across a few daytime shows that I actually like. Some I had heard of for some time but had never seen; others were completely new to me. So here, in no particular order, is some of my favorite mindless drivel from daytime TV:

1. Clean House & Clean House Comes Clean (The Style Network): okay, this one really is my favorite. They ask such great questions when helping a family declutter their home. So great, in fact, that it has inspired me to go through my stuff and get rid of some things with which I thought I would never part. My grandfather's rocking chair, for example. I never sit in it, and neither does anyone else. I don't even remember my grandfather sitting in it, for that matter, so it doesn't really hold any memories for me. All it does is act as a catch-all, so out it goes. Too bad...it's a beautiful chair with a great creaking noise. :-) But I'm getting rid of it. Little Bit has begun tossing a few things as well. Maybe by this time next year my house will be a Clean House! :-)

2. Airline (The Biography Channel): THIS one scares me a bit. It shows typical daily drama for airline employees. It's amazing what is required of the employees in this industry. One episode in particular showed a passenger that had been removed from the plane because she was drunk. The poor employee that had to deal with her got a verbal assault full of expletives that went on for quite some time. Makes me a little nervous about flying. I think I'll stick to ground travel.

3. What Not To Wear (The Learning Channel): This is a fun show! I LOOOOOOVE before-&-after shows, and this is a good one. Stacy and Clinton are just a bit on the pompous side, I think, but I suppose they can be because they are good at what they do. Nick and Carmady, the hair guy and make-up babe, are incredibly compassionate with the people they help. Stacy and Clinton could use a dose of that. After all, there's no need to ridicule someone who doesn't know better. If they know better and don't act on it, well, THEN they can be uppity. But some of these people just plain don't have a clue and DESPERATELY need the help. All in all, they do a good job, and I love the show.

4. Carter Can/Red, Hot and Green (HGTV & DIY Networks): These two shows have Carter Oosterhaus as their host, and I just like to watch him. He makes my eyes feel good. ;-)

5. Ace of Cakes (Food Network): Love, love, LOVE Duff and his gang!!! These people are absolutely AMAAAAAAAAAZING when it comes to decorating cakes!!! They seem to have a lot of fun doing it too.

So those are my top favorites, but there are a few others I like that didn't make my favorites list: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and Food Detectives (both on Food Network); I Want That! and any of its "sub-shows" like I Want That! Tech Toys/Kitchens/Bathrooms (Fine Living Network...actually this one should be on my list! It's awesome!); What You Get For The Money (also on FLN), and Cool Tools (DIY Network). That last one is an oddity for me. I'm not a tool-gal, but some of the tools this guys shows are pretty cool, even for those of use who are "DIY-challenged".

So maybe daytime TV isn't quite so mindless after all. :-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

If A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words...

...then what follows are several thousand words, and I don't need to say anything else! :-) I had hoped to post more but am having trouble, either with my laptop (no surprise there) or Blogger. Either way, I hope you enjoy what I have so far. :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

For Someone Special


Hope you have a fabulous day, Jenster! My life is richer for knowing you.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bits of Updates

Get it? I made a BIT of a joke there...small pun...remember? I call my girls Little Bit and Baby Bit? Okay, so it's not THAT funny. I got a giggle out of it.

So my girls are doing well. Baby Bit is two months old now, 10 pounds, 8 ounces, and 23 inches long...or tall. Everyone who sees her comments on how tiny she is, but she is, according to her pediatrician, tall (75th percentile for height) and healthy (50th percentile for weight). She had her first set of vaccines on Tuesday, and she did not like them ONE LITTLE BIT (no, I was not trying to make another "bit" pun.). She is a sensitive little girl; when she gets cold, it's to the bone and she cries bitterly to let us know she needs a blanket. When she feels pain, it is very intense. Little Bit handled her first shots pretty well, but not so much Baby Bit. She had a tough night getting over them. I gave her a tiny dose of Infant Tylenol and she slept and slept and slept, and felt better the next morning. She has two major accomplishments of late: 1) she sleeps through the night (AT LAST!!!); and 2) she can turn over from her back to her tummy! We are oh so proud. :-)

Little Bit has us a bit (there it is again!) puzzled. She is not a tidy girl...not even remotely. If I could post a picture of her playroom, you would see just how much STUFF we have allowed her to accumulate over her short life. If you've ever watched "Clean House", you'll get an idea of what her bedroom and playroom are like. She comes by it honestly; I was the same way as a kid. Now that I'm grown up, I'm still not terribly tidy, but I'm not quite as messy as she is. So I bought her "Clutter Control" from American Girl. She's had it for several months but not applied any of the suggestions given in the book...till recently. We gave her some new storage in her bedroom, which gave her a place to put many of her favorite dolls and stuffed animals. I'm so impressed...she has kept her room picked up and walkable. I caught her cleaning out and organizing her notebook for school. Her bathroom is actually clean...and I didn't do it...SHE DID! She asked me if she could sweep the porch. Next she wants to tackle her playroom (which, once it's done, will be Baby Bit's room. I think she has forgotten this fact.). I am fairly certain that an alien has been switched out for Little Bit.

Finally, the COOLEST thing EVER happened to The HOFFER. HE HAS A TROPHY NAMED IN HIS HONOR! Is that not WAY COOL???? Here is the announcement that was made about the trophy:

We have a special surprise this year! It has been in the making for several years. It is our new "best of show" trophy. It is being named the Cash Matthews trophy. We picked Cash because of his Oklahoma background and if you have ever met him you would know there is no other individual who deserves this more! Right attitude, loves god and family and is a top notch representative for BMX. In the years Past we have also let Cash and the current ABA Hall of famers pick the winner. This year it will probably be half Cash/HOL and half fan favorite vote! If you win the trophy you can keep it for the following year for display with your bike. There will also be a number plate on the bars to keep forever that will have info on sponsors and to be a excellent thing to hang on the bike. The only thing we ask is that the trophy be returned by Oct. 1, 2008 to be engraved with the 08 winners info. This thing is huge and weighs a ton! LOL, so be prepared to ship it back if you win out! We would like to thank thumperpilot and the ABA for all the help they give to make this a fun deal for everyone. Also thanks to Osrlracer for his help in years past. BMX cyclery of Sand Springs,Vintagebmx.com, OSBMX.com and HRP number plates for letting us use some logos and for all the good work they do! And thanks to Cash for letting us put his name on the trophy.

What else can you say about something like that except "HOW COOL!!!!"!

Gotta go pick up Little Bit from school. More on the trophy thing, as well as the girls, soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Of Babies And Their Stuffs

As I sit at The Hoffer's computer, Baby Bit on one hand while slooooooowly typing with the other, I am truly regretting my decision to wear a black shirt. The pool of spit-up on my left shoulder just doesn't go as well with it as I had anticipated. Neither does the follow-up shot flowing down the middle of my shirt. I prefer dirty diapers to spit-up. They are contained much better and have fewer surprises than a spit-up episode. Seems with spit-up there can never be enough urp rags to be found. A large tarp isn't big enough to protect me from the spit-up tsunami.

Baby Bit is 7 weeks old and doing beautifully. She has big dark blue eyes (at least for now), chubby cheeks, a dusting of red hair, and a gorgeous Gerber-baby smile. She can be embarrassingly loud, is fascinated by ceiling fans and mobiles, gets cold easily, and has a special wail for whatever she needs to communicate (hungry, tired, wet diaper, etc.). She "performs" extremely well for others: smiles, funny faces, great noises. When I nurse her, she often looks up at me like she knows something I don't and the joke's on me. She spits out her pacifier whenever something is about to come out, regardless of which end or what bodily function it may be. Except for the lack of hair, she looks just like Little Bit's baby pictures. And speaking of pictures, I have a TON that I want to post. Unfortunately, we are down to only one computer and it's not mine. I am hopeful our computer issues will be fixed soon. I am DYING to show her off!!! Till then, it's good to be back in cyberspace and feeling mostly normal again. I hope to resume my blog-hopping activities very soon! I'd better go for now. It has taken at least 30 minutes to type this short post! This one-handed stuff is anything but efficient.

Uh oh, the pacifier just came out. I NEED TO TAKE COVER! Ooops...too late. Time to change clothes...AGAIN. ;-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So....It's been awhile since I checked my mailbox...

You can see by this picture that our postal carrier is a VEEEERRRRRYYYYY understanding woman!!!!

If you have sent us something recently but haven't heard a reply from us, rest assured that it's not for a lack of gratitude, but rather a lack of sleep. I take every opportunity I get to take a much-needed nap. My email inbox looks very similar to this stack of "snail mail". If you'll bear with me for just a bit, I promise you'll hear from me soon! Know that we feel so very blessed by all of you. I am so humbled that so many are rejoicing with us over our new family member. You have all been so very generous with your lovely gifts, not just for Baby Bit but Little Bit as well!!! And the meals being brought in...I LOVE IT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE COOKS!!! (The HOFFER just appreciates THAT someone cooks...PERIOD!)

So until I am back to my "normal" self, here are some pictures to keep you occupied. Enjoy, and once again, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Girls

Chubby cheeks: born 09/09/08; 7 pounds, 14 oz, 20-1/2 inches long at 8:03 am; looks like my dad!

Little Bit and Baby Bit

Everyone home and healthy. More to come...right now I need a nap!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Last Post Before THE BIG DAY

I can't believe it...I'm almost done, and my new daughter will be here tomorrow. It's still all just a bit surreal to me, but I know it will become VERY REAL tomorrow morning. We arrive at the hospital at 5 am, and Baby Bit should be here in the flesh by 7:30 am, assuming all goes as it should. So forgive this very short post...there will be more tomorrow. :-)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Worthy Reads from Cash Flows and The Coffee Stop

I don't have a whole lot to say today, so be sure to check out The HOFFER's most recent post over at Cash Flows. He always has something worth reading.

Another good read is my buddy Shauna over at The Coffee Stop. She has a funny post today...of course about those boys of hers!!!

We had our final OB appointment before Baby Bit arrives today...pretty much the same...all is well. We go in next Tuesday, bright and early (bright being a relative term!) at 5 am. If you're up at that time, please pray for us. I expect everything to go smoothly and without incident, but there are always those inherent risks involved with surgery that, in my opinion, would be better served with a large dose of prayer and God's grace. So thanks in advance for praying for us. :-)

It's past my bedtime, so I'm heading to bed. More this weekend. :-)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy "Going Into Labor" Day?

OH, HOW I WISH!!! I am SO VERY ready to have this baby! I will give you one last belly shot later this week, as well as a look at some of our sweet baby goodies.

Yesterday we went to the mall and did some shopping. The HOFFER took Little Bit to Build-a-Bear to spend birthday money from Grandma, and I went to the maternity store to get some must-have nursing items. And now that I have THAT out of the way, Baby Bit can come anytime she wants!!! I must admit I am a bit torn: while I am anxious to be done and have Baby Bit here, I also like the stability of knowing exactly when/where/who for my C-section on September 9th. If she decides to come before then (and I don't yet have any indication that she will), everything will have to be taken care of spontaneously and there will be some questions: will my doctor or a fill-in be there; can I get WonderDog into the kennel right now; did I pack everything I need, etc. If I can hang on for EIGHT MORE DAYS for my scheduled C-section, everything is a known factor and falls easily into place. So you understand my dilemma.

While we were at the mall yesterday, we ran into some friends of ours who were shopping for a mutual BMX buddy who is turning 40 this week. They decided, as did most of us, to get him a gag gift, and they chose a book titled "Sex After 40". Opening the book, you find a bunch of blank pages. These friends showed the book to their daughter, who is a freshman in college. She took one look at the title, and a look of abject fear at the prospect of looking inside the book spread quickly across her face! It was priceless! And yes, she took a chance and peeked inside. You could see the relief engulf her. :-)

After the mall, we headed to the Birthday Boy's house for a surprise party. When he opened his "Sex After 40" book, I was able to raise my hand and "debunk that myth!" The HOFFER raised his arms as if in victory. :-) It was a fun time but a long evening, and I was glad to get home. Today is a day to stay home, relax and do some "quiet" things, like write thank-you notes, finish some school items with Little Bit, take a much-needed nap, and of course, write the obligatory blog post. I had a pretty long post rolling around in my head early this morning as I tried to go back to sleep, but much of it has gone the way of the Dodo bird. Alas, Pregnant Brain strikes again! So it's back to bed I go for yet another nap...or perhaps to the kitchen for something to eat! More later this week!

Monday, August 25, 2008

If You Blinked, You Missed It

Didja' see any of the BMX coverage from the Olympics? Wowee...what coverage. I'm overwhelmed. I'm sorry, but plain and simple, IT SUCKED. Bob Costas, on the air, states that BMX "is a sport I know nothing about." Oh, silly me, I THOUGHT IT WAS YOUR JOB TO KNOW THIS STUFF. ISN'T THAT WHAT YOU GET PAID TO DO????? Nicely done, genius.

Oh, did I just write that out loud?

Because it rained in Beijing, BMX got rained out for a day, as the track was an outdoor track. (Yes, some tracks are indoors.) The good thing about that is our buddy Kyle Bennett had wrecked and dislocated his shoulder in one of his qualifying races, and that rain delay gave him an extra day to recover. The bad thing was it knocked most of the races off your TV screen, so BMX didn't get the coverage we had hoped to see. So in case you missed it, Latvia won the gold, and the US brought home the silver and bronze. Our friend Donny Robinson was the bronze medal winner! WOO HOO!!! Congrats!!!

Hang on...WonderDog needs a bathroom break, and I don't really want him using my carpet as his toilet.

Okay...thanks for waiting. I'm back.


School started up again for us last Thursday. I used to think this was a stupid idea, starting school with only a couple of days left in a week, but my mind has since been changed. The nice thing is it lets the kids, parents, teachers, etc., ease into the new school year. This way the getting up early for the first time in literally months isn't quite as painful, because only a couple of days later you get the weekend off to recoup from the initial shock. Little Bit LOOOOOOVES her 4th grade teacher, but school in general, and homework specifically, is definitely not her favorite thing. That should come as no surprise...neither the HOFFER nor I were that fond of school, so we get it. It's the vocalization of those dislikes that has become the issue at hand. Little Bit is not one of these people that gets things done in a hurry when assigned a task she dislikes. She draaaaaaaaaags it out, procrastinating in the hopes that she can get out of whatever task it might be, complaining the entire way, and generally making life miserable for anyone within earshot. And believe me, she does not give in easily. While I appreciate her dedication to her cause, there's always a point where she just needs to give in, suck it up and deal with it. Unfortunately, she hasn't figured that out yet.

If WE don't figure this out, this is going to be a very...long...year.

On a lighter note, if you haven't read Jenster's posts about her kids starting school, it's a riot!!! Here's "Ye Olde Tale" and "Ye Olde Tale, Part II". Quick, go read them, then pop back here. I'll wait.

Oh, back already? That Jenster is a hoot, isn't she???

So I'm just a couple of weeks away from my scheduled C-section, and let me tell you just how excited I am about it. I can't wait for someone else to hold this very precious yet very wiggly baby girl. Things continue to progress as they should, and I've noticed a few contractions here and there. Nothing very strong...yet...but contractions nonetheless. After all, my body doesn't care if I'm having a C-section or not. We are just about prepared for her arrival. I have a few nursing items still to buy, but that should be an easy thing to get done. I frequently get asked if the nursery is ready, and the answer is no. Perhaps I should have taken care of that during my second trimester when I had the energy, but I figured she's not going to be sleeping in there any time soon, so I wasn't too worried about it. The problem that has arisen, however, is where I put all her STUFF: clothes, toys, etc. So I'm having to make room in my room for everything. Not too big a deal, but some of my wonderfully generous friends have given us clothes for several months down the road. I hope I don't sound ungrateful...I'm not. I just planned poorly. Oh well...it will all work out...somehow.


I should probably add something else here, but I got nothing. So I'll stop here for now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

More BMX...And More Baby

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the BMX Hall of Fame voting! If you haven't voted yet, you need to do it soon. The deadline for voting is September 4th, so go make your voice heard! The three nominees suggested by The HOFFER (see last post) are very deserving, and voting takes a quick 60 seconds, so hop to it!!!

If you've never seen an actual BMX race, your big chance is this week while watching the Olympics! This was posted last week on the American Bicycle Association BMX website (www.ababmx.com):

"The 2008 Olympics are well underway in Beijing, China and BMX racings' debut is just a week away. The excitement is building within the industry and fans with the anticipation for BMX racing hitting the world stage. Below are the airdates and times listed by NBC. We just wanted everyone to be aware of the dates and times so they don't miss out. Please forward this on to all your friends and family to spread the BMX word. GO TEAM USA!!

Aug. 19th 8:00-9:00pm, Primetime, Live ET/CT
Men's BMX Cycling
Aug. 20th 12:30-2:00am
Men's BMX Cycling Quarterfinals
Aug. 20th 2:00-5:00am
Men's BMX Cycling, Primetime Replay

Aug. 20th 8:00-10:00pm, Primetime, Live ET/CT
Mens and Womens BMX Cycling Finals
Aug. 21st 2:00-5:00am
Mens and Womens BMX Cycling Finals, Primetime Replay"

Be sure to set your DVR/Tivo/VCR/whatever you use to record TV shows for TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY to see some of BMX's finest giving their all. While watching, be sure to cheer on a couple of The HOFFER's buddies who are riding for Team USA: Kyle Bennett and Donny Robinson. WOO HOO!!!


More baby stuff to come. Assuming she doesn't come early, we are three weeks away (as of August 19th) from welcoming Tiny Bit into the family. I'm feeling fine, although a bit panicky because I feel like I still have so much to do before she gets here. I was able to cross several big ones off my list this past weekend, after Little Bit's birthday and family leaving town. I had a huge burst of energy Sunday and got quite a bit done trying to return some semblance of order to my house and my laundry load! Yes, I know that is often a sign that the baby's coming soon. But hey, three weeks IS soon, so I'm counting on that!!! School starts on Thursday, so I will give you birthday party details and baby stuff at that time.

Till then, GO TEAM USA!!!!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hall of Fame Voting Commences!

Wow...I haven't posted in weeks and now I have two posts in less than 24 hours??? What's up with that???

When I first began blogging, my very first post was about last year's ABA BMX Hall of Fame vote. Well guess what, sports fans? It's that time of year again! Anyone can vote, and all you need is a valid email address. So take about 60 seconds and cast your vote! Here's the email that The HOFFER sent out recently about how to vote and who he voted for:

One of the great honors of my life was to be inducted into the ABA BMX Hall of Fame. My time in bmx was meaningful to me as a kid and then again later as an adult. Many of you were helpful in submitting votes on my behalf, and I am still so thankful for that support.

The 2008 Hall of Fame is upon us and I would appreciate if you would take a moment now and vote for some very worthy nominees. It just takes a moment and it helps a very worthy cause.

Here is how I am voting this year:

Early BMX Pioneer: Danny Oakley. Danny was on the Mongoose Team during my own time there and was instrumental in so much about bmx, it is really hard to figure out how he isn't already in the HOF. He helped numerous companies get off the ground, was a bmx inventor, and most importantly, was a GREAT champion of bmx racing. Danny was one of the few guys to have a custom bike made in his honor by the legendary Mongoose Factory and to this day, he is one of the most respected racers and innovators in the history of BMX. Oh yea, he grew up to be an actual ROCKET SCIENTIST!

BMX Racer: Tim Judge: Tim Judge was one of the few riders from the East Coast to get excellent magazine coverage in the early days. Tim won numerous titles including a World Championship in the early 80's. Tim had perhaps the most dramatic style of any racer of his era, and frequently you would see kids imitating him "doing a Judge" over a jump. The BMX HOF has overlooked many east coast riders and the vote for Tim Judge is very worthy for that and many other reasons. Tim went on to be a Jet Ski champion and is to this day regarded as one of the finest racing talents of any sport.

BMX Industry: Roger Berg: Roger Berg was the inventor of the UNI Seat that stormed the US and the world during the 80's. His constant innovation in bmx was fueled by his experience at GM where he invented the square headlight and was near the development team of the famous Corvette. Roger was one of the first to use wind tunnel technology in the invention of bmx equipment. His products are some of the most copied to this day and his induction into the bmx hall of fame is just recognition for all he has done.

Please take a moment to vote now as the voting ends soon. Thank you for participating in bmx, one of the greatest sports for kids! BMX is in the Olympics this year as well so stay tuned on August 19 for some awesome racing! Thanks again! Oh, and if you have some friends who would like to help make history, please feel free to forward this to your address book! Anyone with a valid email can vote. You can vote from any valid email address! Have fun!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Miscellany and a Few Pet Peeves

I have been severely lacking in mental abilities and motivation of late, which partially explains my recent online absence. The other reasons are being just flat-out tired and having guests in from out of town. A friend's daughter, who for some reason thinks we are too much fun, came and spent several days hanging out with us. She's a sweet girl, and I hope she will come back very soon. Incredibly mature for a high school sophomore, I often forget she's not an adult. Regardless, we had a good time showing her around town and introducing her to our favorite eateries.

My brother is in town from Virginia for a couple more days. He and his two grown sons stayed with us for two nights and are now over "mooching from" another sibling (his words, not mine!) till early Saturday morning, when they will load up and head back to their goat farm. Little Bit and WonderDog are moping around the house now because they are gone! And by the way, if you've never been to that part of the country, it's a trip well worth taking. The scenery is incredibly beautiful, and the weather is amazing. Not to mention the TONS of history that went on in and around there. Their house is five minutes from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where John Brown conducted his infamous raid during the Civil War. Great place for history buffs, to say the very least. The house where my brother & family live, and where my sister-in-law grew up, predates the Civil War and has even been designated a historical landmark. Pretty nifty, if you ask me. Alas, no one did, but this is my blog, so I get to say what I want. ;-)

One of the places Big Brother and Sons wanted to go to while here in town is a BBQ restaurant called the Salt Lick. It's an absolute dive but has the best barbecue you'll find for miles. And I do mean miles, as it is a good ways outside the city limits. It's in a dry county, so those that want beer with their beef have to bring it with them. Seriously! On weekends, if you don't arrive before 5pm, you'll easily have a minimum 2-hour wait just to sit down and look at a menu. Thing is, it's worth the wait. We took them there the last time they came to visit eight years ago, and they've been bragging on it to their Virginia cronies ever since. After eating there the other night, one of my nephews commented, "Waited eight years for that, and it was SO worth the wait." Truer words were never spoken.

We are currently preparing for Little Bit's birthday next week, as well as my sister and her husband coming in from Kentucky for several days. School starts the following week, and we found out who our teacher will be for this next year. Little Bit had a couple of teachers she hoped to get and did get one of them, so she is very excited. All through 2nd grade she prayed to get a certain 3rd grade teacher, but God said no, not this time. So I am very happy that she has a teacher she really wanted. Add to that the fact that one of her best BFF's (best friends forever, for those of you who don't have pre-teen daughters) is in her class this year, and fourth grade seems to be shaping up into a great year.

I have just over 4 weeks to go at this point, and I am SOOOOO TIRED! My brain is shot, I can't seem to focus on anything, my house is a wreck, and I can't get comfortable to save my life. Tiny Bit is her busiest at night when I would REEEEEALLY like to get some rest. Fat chance. I try to remember at those times that it will all be worth it once she gets here, but I'm not always so successful. So while I'm in the mood to grouse, I'm going to pass on an article from the good folks at WalletPop.com: their list of what they think are the 20 most annoying things done at grocery stores. It's a great list, and I agree with most of it. I've even found myself doing a few of them...most often for me is aisle blocking. My sincerest apologies to anyone I have blocked!!! Things I would add to the list? People who don't put carts back in the cart stalls provided (there's a good reason they are provided, people!!!), and pedestrians crossing the parking lot that seem to think that they don't need to hurry and get out of the way of impending traffic (SO rude!!). So go see if you agree with their list, and I'll be back next time in a better mood and better rested.

Yeah, right.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Baby Stuff

I'm writing this shortly after reading the final blog post by Andrea at Punk Rock Mommy. It was my first time to read Andrea's blog, an online journal of her battle with breast cancer, and I am moved to tears. Her final words are beautiful, moving, and a good reminder of what's important in life. My heart rejoices with her as she is in the presence of her Maker, yet at the same time breaks for those she left behind. I look forward to meeting her one of these days when I also enter heaven. For now, I will grieve with and pray for her family.


On a significantly lighter note, my doctor appointment this past week went, once again, very well. Since I had an emergency C-Section with Little Bit, I wanted to schedule this one. Little Bit's entry into this world was exhausting. My water broke at midnight, and after several hours of epidurals and pushing, Dr. P strongly suggested a C-section because she wasn't coming out. She was finally born at 11:42 am the next morning. Not pleasant. Tiny Bit, unless she comes sooner, is due no later than September 14th. However, she is now scheduled for her first appearance bright and early on September 9th. That means that, as of this writing, she is only 9 WEEKS AWAY. OH. MY. GOODNESS. (Panic has officially set in.) Dr. P didn't want me to go past the 14th (40 weeks), so we had to schedule it during the week prior (39 weeks). My only request was "NOT on September 11th!!!" I just couldn't saddle her with that birthday, so September 9th it is. I go back again in two more weeks, when we'll do one more sonogram. Little Bit is very excited about that, so she's going with us for this appointment.

So here I am at 31-ish weeks:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Baby News

I had hoped to have a belly picture to post last week after my doctor appointment, but as so often occurs, life gets in the way and it didn't happen. I am on the every-two-week plan now--THE HOME STRETCH!!!--and go in again this Thursday (or today, by the time most of you read this), so I will once again attempt to post a picture at that time. My last appointment went very well, and God used it to encourage me in a rather shallow area of my life.

Before I tell you how good God was to me last week, I need to give you a tidbit of information about my pregnancies. I have been pregnant only two times in my life. Both times happened shortly after I had slimmed down somewhat. Prior to Little Bit, I had lost 15 pounds; before Tiny Bit, I had gone down two sizes. I figured God could've used better timing and let me enjoy my slightly more svelte self a while longer, but ultimately who am I to tell Him what to do? So with both pregnancies I have tried to not focus on that, but rather be grateful for the privilege of getting to be a mommy. I haven't been so good at it this time around.

Last week I had been feeling somewhat akin to the Goodyear blimp, and not the scaled-down toy version, either. I kept expecting them to call and ask me to fill in for the blimp at the next major sporting event. Every time I went into my closet I got discouraged as I looked longingly at my non-pregnant clothes, aching to be able to wear them again. Some of my most favorite warm-weather pieces were ones I really didn't get to wear much, since I bought them last fall right before I found out I was pregnant. Add a tub-full of guilt on top of that desire to not be rotund--I wasn't being grateful for this precious gift--and I felt awful. In case I haven't mentioned it before, I went through 5-1/2 years of infertility before I was blessed with Little Bit. If I was still going through that battle with infertility today and someone had said to me what I was currently thinking, that she was more worried about not getting back into her non-pregnant clothes rather than rejoicing in the fact that she was getting to be a mommy, I would have clocked her upside the head with a baseball bat for being so ungrateful. It was a no-win situation, and I was absolutely pathetic. A couple of times hormones took over and I just started bawling. Poor HOFFER didn't really know what to do, and frankly, there wasn't much to do but let me vent.

When I go see my doctor, the first thing that happens when I get called in for my appointment is the dreaded weigh-in. I mentioned to the nurse on one occasion that I didn't want to know my weight, so she told me to close my eyes. On subsequent appointments I have just stood on THE BEAST with my back to it. (HA! Tell me how much I weigh, will ya???? I'll show you!!!) Last week's appointment was no exception. I outsmarted THE BEAST yet again and stood with my back to it, ignoring its evil declaration.

While I outsmarted THE BEAST, apparently no one told Dr. P that I didn't want to know my weight. And technically, he didn't tell me how much I weigh. What he did was listen to Tiny Bit's heartbeat, measured my belly, and looked over the information on my chart. Our brief conversation went something like this:

Dr. P: "Looks like you're doing great. You measured the right size, baby's heartbeat is strong, and you've only gained 10 pounds, so you're doing great."

Me: "I'm sorry...what did you say? Did you really say 10 POUNDS?"

Dr. P: "Yes, only 10 pounds. I think we talked about..."

I stopped listening at that point, because it was really all I wanted and needed to hear. ONLY TEN POUNDS!!! Then I tuned in again as he said "You should be back to your regular size in no time."

I could hear the angelic chorus singing "Aaaahhhh!!!!"

Call me shallow, but this was SO INCREDIBLY ENCOURAGING to me!!! With Little Bit I gained about 40-50 pounds...blew right past the 200 mark. I ballooned to the size of a hot air balloon, which for someone who has been relatively petite for most of my life, is very bad! But I didn't care because I was so VERY excited just to actually be pregnant. I have been a bit more careful this time around. I eat at Sonic only 2-3 times a week instead of every day. (I wish I were joking!) I honestly believe it is the vitamins I'm taking...it's the main difference between this pregnancy and my first one (other that not having a daily dose of foot-long Coney, large tater tots and a Route 44 Coca-Cola with extra ice). The cool thing is they are not prenatal vitamins...they are the same vitamins I've been taking on a daily basis for about five years. So I continue to take these vitamins (in addition to my prenatals) and am continuing to do well. The only concern was that, in spite of taking an iron supplement every day, I was still anemic. So I have been given a stronger supplement, and that seems to be working well.

I wish I weren't so shallow. But I think I will look at it in a more positive way: I'm grateful that I have a healthier pregnancy than my first one, and that I'll be back to my old self much sooner than the first time around.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm Officially A Fan

I must confess that, while I haven't used AOL in years, I love AOL's main page. There's always something there that peaks my curiosity enough to check out the picture or first paragraph of an article. Sometimes it's worth looking into, sometimes not. But look what I found there today! Definitely worth checking out!!! I believe the entire article would be found at USA Today, but this I found--via AOL's main page--at http://www.oceanup.com/oceanup/2008/06/kevin-jonas-sr.html.

I am typically a big fan of Disney movies, but generally not too hip to their TV shows or Disney radio. With the radio especially, I feel like I'm being constantly yelled at. And no, it's not a pregnancy thing either. :-) Age-related...perhaps. It does sound like something my mother would say. Anyway, what little I've heard from the Jonas Brothers has been good, so I already liked them. This article just made me an official fan. It's nice to be able to tell Little Bit that the music she so wants to listen to is something I can endorse. I love that God always finds ways to put His children in places of influence in some of the most spiritually desolate places...like Hollywood! Check it out!


June 24, 2008

Kevin Jonas Sr. "We Didn't Give The Boys Purity Rings As A Pledge Of Perfection."


The Jonas Brothers wear purity rings as symbols of their commitment to remain virgins until marriage. Their ordained minister father, Kevin Sr., strives to make time for the family to worship and give thanks for their blessings.

He revealed to USA Today: 'The boys made a decision when they turned 12 years old to put those rings on their fingers. We didn't give them these rings as a pledge of perfection, but as a reminder of values. Our hope is that they'll always know that there's a good, right way to treat the opposite sex.'

Joe added, 'Even songs we write today, if you really listen to the lyrics, it can be about love songs, but it's also about our relationship with God. It's simple. We're Christian guys in a rock 'n' roll band.'



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pleasant Words

The question was raised recently, once again by astute blogger Shauna at The Coffee Stop, as to how to share something personal on one's blog knowing that one will have to ultimately face lurkers. Here's what she said:

There is a reason I haven't been blogging as frequently, and hopefully I'll feel confident enough to share it here soon. Quick question: how do you get personal on your own blog, knowing you will come face to face with some of the lurkers?"

It's something I've often wondered myself. How do you blog about something difficult you've been facing without sharing something lousy about another person? Any suggestions? I'm listening! I haven't been blogging for long, but my basic rule of thumb, for life as well as blogging, is that if I don't have something nice to say then I should keep my mouth shut (something The HOFFER has been asking me to do for quite some time--LOL!!!). While I've learned over the years that unkind words or gossip usually come back to bite me in the butt if I don't keep quiet, that doesn't necessarily mean I follow that little nugget of great advice with any regularity. Words can be used to build up and bring joy, or they can be used to destroy and hurt. Once spoken, they can't be taken back. In print--letter, email, note, BLOG--it's even worse, because it's written out for all to see and read again and again. Here's what the Bible says about what we say and how it affects others in James 3:3-12 (I'm using The Message translation):

"A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!

It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue—it's never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!

My friends, this can't go on. A spring doesn't gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don't bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don't bear apples, do they? You're not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?"

Yikes. That IS scary!

I had originally planned on this post being about a few pet peeves I have, but reading those verses has caused me to change my mind. Pet peeves are negatives. So perhaps another time when I really need to vent...perhaps. Since words can be used for good instead of evil, positive instead of negative, I would like to share some pleasant words written about my Beloved (a.k.a. The HOFFER), as well as one more Bible verse. It's from one of my favorite books, Proverbs (New International Version, this time!).

Proverbs 16:24: Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Boy, did we find out just how true THAT is!!! Check out these pleasant words that someone wrote recently about The HOFFER! And yes, his name really is Cash. This was posted in a BMX chat room that he has been a part of for several years. (OldschoolBMX and Vintage, as referenced in this post, are both chat rooms focusing on BMX racing, mostly past but also present.)

"If anyone knows Cash, they’re a better person. What can I say but THANK YOU!

There are very few people on this earth that I look up to and admire. My dad was one. A good Christian man when he passed just after his 56th birthday. My pastor is another for instance. He brings the word of God to his flock every week in and week out. He’s genuine, not judgmental. He loves Jesus and he loves people. Then there's Cash. Cash is another person that I really admire. He is a genuine person and really loves people. When I first started back into this BMX thing, I thought it was kind of silly to be racing BMX into my late 30’s. However, with my involvement in OldschoolBMX and later Vintage, I found out that Cash was racing and that to me told me that it was alright to do so also. As time went on, I found Cash to be a warm and caring man. Never have I heard a discouraging word come from his mouth. He always has something positive to say and you can see Christ working through him. I consider myself fortunate to have met Mr. Matthews and to have him call me friend is truly an honor that I cherish.

Cash, I love you like a brother. If there’s anything you or Katy need, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I pray for you, your wife, your daughter, and the one in the womb. Cash, you are doing God’s will. Keep up the good fight!

Thank you!

Your friend, Mike"

Oh my goodness. How would you like it if someone said something like this about you? I was weeping openly after I read this. But what's important is this: our friend Mike hit the nail right on the head. The HOFFER is EXACTLY what Mike said: encouraging, always has something positive to say...pleasant words indeed. I am truly blessed to have him be such a major part of my life.

Happy 17th Anniversary and Happy Father's Day, Sweetheart! I love you.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm Speechless (And The Countdown Has Begun!)

If you look at the length of this post, you will probably think, "This woman obviously does not know the meaning of the word 'speechless'." I will explain that part later. But as you can see by the ticker at the top of my page, as of today, I have 100 days till my due date. THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN!!! WOO HOO!!! As for an early delivery, that is only wishful thinking. My family has a history of delivering big babies and delivering them late. I'm not complaining about the big...that means my baby is healthy. I'm just whining about the late. Fortunately for me, Dr. P. said that we wouldn't go past the due date given my age. What a great doctor!!! ;-)

I wish I were one of those women who enjoys being pregnant, but I'm not. My sister and my niece both absolutely love it. My sister cracked her best jokes when she was pregnant, and given that she has 5 kids, she has come up with enough material to last a career for any comedian. Me? Not so much. I hate being uncomfortable, I hate being hot (which is a constant here in Texas), I can't function without adequate sleep, I hate having to think about food 24/7, I hate having to pay ridiculous prices for and wear maternity clothes...blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine. Those of you who have been pregnant before know the drill. That being said, I am nonetheless so very blessed to have been given this great gift. I love the end result and know that going through all the stuff I don't enjoy is so very worth every minute of it. Little Bit is solid proof of that. So I try to keep my whining to myself and not complain...no one wants to be around a whiner. I don't know how successful I've been at that...I'll have to check with The HOFFER. God bless him...he is on the receiving end of most of those whines. What a saint.

I slept pretty late this morning. My allergies are giving me fits and I'm taking all the medicine I'm allowed to take, as well as what works for me. Claritin and Nasacort work pretty well but sometimes need some extra help. If I weren't pregnant, I would have two or three days of Sudafed 12-Hour to get dried up and be done with it. Alas, it's one of those pregnancy draw-backs that I can't take Sudafed, so my head feels like it's the size of a watermelon and my nose the size of a large naval orange. I can take Benedryl, but it gives me weird dreams that keep me up all night. My allergies are usually at their worst at night because (those with weak constitutions or are reading this during a meal may not want to read this next part) all that yucky drainage settles in my throat and chest since I'm lying down. So sleep is once again eluding me, hence not getting up till after 10:00 this morning. Let me tell you...I needed it!

Once I did wake up and get going, I ran out to grab breakfast for everyone because I am out of eggs. Must have protein first thing in the morning, and LOTS OF IT. After I got back with a bag full of breakfast tacos and started to sit down to eat with Little Bit and The HOFFER, there was a knock on my front door. We ran to see who it was, and we were pleasantly surprised to see our Mail Delivery-Babe with a big box for us. My Blog Buddy Shauna from The Coffee Stop sent me a bottomless box of baby goodies! I was speechless. So to brag on my Canadian buddy's incredible generosity, allow me to share the bounty with you. Little Bit will be serving today as our resident Vanna White.

Here is Little Bit giving Shauna the "I LOVE YOU" sign for the Littlest Pet Shop puppy/kitty (we're not exactly sure, but Little Bit doesn't care at all!) sent just for her! It's also a virtual pet that can be registered and played with online. Right up her alley!!! Her exact response was "I'M GOING TO SLEEP WITH THIS FOR ALL ETERNITY!!!"

Here she is showing off one of the baby gifts. It clips onto the car seat cover and the two little noisemakers hang down for the baby to grab. VERY cool!!!

And then came THE CLOTHES, which if you have ever shopped for baby girl clothes...OM MY GOODNESS. THEY ARE IRRESISTIBLY SWEET!!!! The first picture is a package of onesies...something there are NEVER enough of for a new baby. The second picture is of a package of long-sleeved nighties. Of course they're pink and girly!!! Love them!!!

Oh, just a side note: Little Bit and I went to register earlier this week. She didn't understand that we were REGISTERING ONLY, NOT BUYING. While I filled out some paperwork, she grabbed a cart and came back a few minutes later with about 15 outfits, nearly all of them some form of pink. When Little Bit was born, all but about two or three of her outfits were pink. I LOVED IT!!! Okay, back to the bounty:


Another onesie...the second picture has a close-up of the front. Hard to believe that Little Bit was once this size!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

HEY! How did Chester the Wonder Dog sneak in here????

A smelly-good for Mommy and Baby...

More clothes. Isn't she going to be such a sassy girl??? Check out the detail on the jeans!

And of course, Little Bit modeling the outfit!

One more of the Wonder Dog. Silly boy.

So Little Bit has spent one day of her summer vacation playing with her new online pet, and I don't mind. It has given me the opportunity to brag about a sweet and generous friend whom I have never met in person, but hope to do so one day! Shauna, thank you again for your wonderful gift. The HOFFER and I were in tears as Little Bit kept bringing more and more stuff out of the box! I am so privileged to know you, if only as an online buddy. You rock!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Modern Day Version of "Who's On First?"

Okay, THIS was just TOO FUNNY not to share with the masses, and I don't like to send out mass emails, so thank goodness I have a blog. If you've never heard Abbott and Costello's classic comedy routine "Who's On First?", click here to watch a YouTube video of this famous performance. It never stops being funny. Watch it before you read any further. This will be much funnier if you do.

So here is the email sent to me from a friend:

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, 'Who's on First?" might have turned out something like this:


ABBOTT: Super Duper Computer Store, Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer...I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses, and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommended Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office IS office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue 'W' if you don't start with some straight answers! What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes, at no extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?



A few days later...

ABBOTT: Super Duper Computer Store, can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on START...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Is This A Meme?

I'm still fairly new to blogging, so some of the lingo still escapes me. I think I get the idea of a meme, but I still don't know where the term came from. All I can figure is it's a "thing" all about me, me, me. Am I close?

My friend Jenster emailed this to me months ago (how embarrassing!), and while it looked like a lot of fun, I just didn't think I had the time to complete it myself. And frankly, I probably still don't. But I'm going to anyway. Dishes can wait a little longer. (Bathroom breaks, however...) So here we go:

1. Do you like blue cheese? DEFINITELY!!!
2. Have you ever smoked heroin? Heroin, no; cigar, yes
3. Do you own a gun? Yes. Guess I should learn to use it.
4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic?
Cherry, if I could drink carbonated drinks.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointment? No
6. What do you think of hot dogs? A GIFT FROM GOD!!! Ball park dogs & Nathan's are THE BEST!!!!
7. Favorite Christmas movie? It's a Wonderful Life (A Christmas Story comes in a very close second)
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Milk
9. Can you do push ups? I can do push up...singular, not plural. After one, I'm done!
11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My Roman coin earrings
12. Favorite hobby? Reading a good romance novel.
14. Do you have A.D.D.? Not officially...!!! Wait, I'm sorry...did you say something?
15. What's one trait you dislike about yourself? Only one? INCREDIBLY disorganized.
16. Middle name? Katherine
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. 1. I should probably be doing something a bit more productive right now; 2. Did my timer go off yet? 3. I wonder if Wonder Dog pee'd on the carpet again.
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Grilled cheese sandwich, a SuperSonic cheeseburger-no tomatoes, and a Root Beer float. No, it was NOT all mine!!!
19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Milk, water, iced tea.
20. Current worry? Is my baby going to be okay? (No, there's no indication that something's wrong...just a general concern!!!)
22. Favorite place to be? Cape Cod, Massachusetts in June
23. How did you bring in the New Year? Very quietly at home watching the ball drop. Such a sissy.
24. Where would you like to go? Cape Cod; Pennsylvania; Hawaii; San Diego
25. Name three people who will complete this: me, Jenster...uh...oh wait, she already did. Uh...me...uh...I'm stumped.
27. What shirt are you wearing? maternity tank top under sweatshirt (basic pajamas!)
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I've never tried...sounds slippery.
29. Can you whistle? So well and so loud my daughter's friends think I'm cool. Come to think of it, hubby's friends are impressed too.
30. Favorite color? Pink
31. Would you be a pirate? No. Remember? I'm a sissy.
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? None
33. Favorite girl's name? Audrey
34. Favorite boy's name? Hmmm...that's a toughie
35. What's in your pocket right now? No pockets.
36. Last thing that made you laugh? My husband!!!
37. Best bed sheets as a child? I don't remember.
38. Worst injury you've ever had? I jammed my pinky on my right hand and couldn't write for a couple of weeks. As I said before, I'm such a sissy.
39. Do you love where you live? Like a lot...not quite love.
40. How many TVs do you have in your house? Way too many...three
41. Who is your loudest friend? Pam when she's watching a University of Texas or Dallas Cowboys' football game
42. How many dogs do you have? Only one, but he thinks he's human
43. Does someone have a crush on you? Yes, I think so.
45. What is your favorite book(s)? Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers; The Measure of a Lady, by Deeanne Gist; Sharlene MacLaren's Little Hickman Creek Series; the first three books in Dee Henderson's O'Malley series (Danger in the Shadows, The Negotiator, & The Guardian); Tamera Alexander's Fountain Creek Chronicles (can you tell I like a good series???); Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion Series.
46. What is your favorite candy? Reese's Easter Eggs; they are far superior to any other Reese's product, but they're only out at Easter. The PB cups are an excellent substitute!!!
47. Favorite Sports Team? Texas Rangers...even though they are permanently ensconced in the cellar.
48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Amazing Grace
49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Hey, this is a family blog!!!
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Can't someone else let the dog out?

Awfully selfish of me, I know. So there you go...more information about me than you really wanted to know. If you decide to answer these very probing questions on your blog, let me know! Back to the dishes!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Prayers for Steven Curtis Chapman and Family

In case you hadn't heard, here's the AP news story:

Daughter of Gospel Star hit, killed by car

Published - May 21 2008 10:12PM CDT | AP

By JOE EDWARDS - Associated Press Writer

The 5-year-old daughter of contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.

The girl, Maria, was hit in a driveway on the family residence Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokesman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

McPherson said no charges are expected.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made here.

To see a video of Maria Sue Chapman or to offer condolences, click here.

These links are also available at the Shaohannah's Hope website.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Little Hickman Creek Series, Or Tagged Again!

Last Friday I was tagged by my buddy Shauna over at The Coffee Stop to share about a favorite but rather lesser-known book. (If you haven't visited Shauna's blog before, it's time well spent. She has three of the funniest boys you'll ever find!) From Shauna's post last Friday:

"Patti Abbot launched this great idea. Here's her original explanation:

This is the first of what I optimistically hope will become Friday recommendations of books we love but might have forgotten over the years. I have asked several people to help me by also remembering a favorite book. Their blog sites are listed below. I also asked each of them to tag someone to recommend a book for next Friday. I'm worried great books of the recent past are sliding out of print and out of our consciousness. Not the first-tier classics we all can name, but the books that come next."

So in keeping with Friday book recommendations (yes, I know I'm posting a bit early!), I am taking some liberties with this and recommending not just one book, but a 3-book series by Sharlene MacLaren. It's her Little Hickman Creek Series, and consists of three of my all-time favorite historical romances. I'm including the synopsis from each book.

When I started this blog last year, one of my first posts was about my favorite authors. Sharlene MacLaren, who is on that list, is a new-ish author with whom I have absolutely fallen in love! Every book of hers that I have read has been one that I've read at least twice, if not more. Each book is better than the one before. And not only are her books wonderful, Shar herself is such a fun gal that you will absolutely love her. She's been so generous with me with email notes that I feel like I've known her for years. Check her out at her blog or her website. You will enjoy getting to know her better. Till then, let me encourage you--STRONGLY encourage you!!!--to read her Little Hickman Creek series.

The first book in Shar's Little Hickman Creek Series is "Loving Liza Jane":

A Divine Leading: When Liza Jane Merriwether rode into the town of Little Hickman Creek, her first thought was, "Oh Lord, what have I done?" Kentucky was much different than what she was used to back East, but she knew God had led her here for a reason. Will she discover His plan for her life?

The Handsome Widower: Soon, the petite schoolteacher is beloved by all...including Benjamin Broughton, a handsome widower struggling to raise two young children. Will he overlook the perfect wife that God has practically dropped in his lap for a mail-order bride?

A Destined Love: Liza Jane's teaching contract implicitly states that she is to have "no improper contact with the opposite sex." Will she discover that with God, all things are possible?

Sounds good, doesn't it???? I can assure it, IT WAS!!!


The second book in the series is "Sarah, My Beloved".

A Divine Mix-up: A beautiful redhead has traveled from Boston to Kentucky by stagecoach to be a mail order bride. But when Sarah Woodward arrives in Little Hickman Creek, she is greeted by her prospective husband, who tells her he has fallen in love with another woman. Disappointed but determined, Sarah refuses to leave until she finds out the reason why God led her here.

A Hardened Heart: A tall, dark and ruggedly handsome man, Rocky Callahan meets the fiery Sarah. He has tragically lost his wife, his only child, and his sister. Faced with raising his sister's two children alone, he suggests a "marriage in name only" to Sarah.

Healing the Past: Will Rocky let go of the pain in his past and trust God's plan for his life? Will Sarah leave him for a past beau, who has followed her to Kentucky to bring her home? Or will Sarah and Rocky find true love from the hand of the ultimate Matchmaker?

I love a good "marriage of convenience" story...and this one is JUST THAT!!! A REALLY GOOD ONE!!!


The third and final book in the series, just recently released and what I think to be Shar's best work to date, is "Courting Emma":

A Divine Plan: Twenty-eight-year-old Emma Browning has built a barricade around her heart to survive the pain of growing up with her alcoholic father, Ezra. As she runs Emma's Boardinghouse, she plays host to an array of unkempt, earthy characters while trying to maintain a protective emotional distance from people. No one has succeeded in getting to know the beautiful yet steely edged proprietress. That is, not until Little Hickman Creek's handsome new pastor, Jonathan Atkins, takes up residence in the boardinghouse and begins to dismantle her carefully controlled world...

A Struggle to Forgive: Clinging desperately to her stubborn ways and unable to forgive her father, Emma begins receiving letters from a mysterious sender who somehow knows about her and has secret information about Ezra's past. Amidst all this, she is surprised--and unsettled--by the attentions of both Jonathan and Billy, the smooth-talking traveling showman.

A Miraculous Love: When the town of Little Hickman Creek is stunned by an unexpected turn of events, will Emma risk removing her protective shell to accept the love of God--and the love of a man?

As good as the other two are, this one is without a doubt my favorite. Well worth the wait!!!


I love a good book, but even more I love a good series. A series gives me another book to anticipate. I also love when characters from one book show up in subsequent books. It's like visiting with old friends whom I haven't seen in a while. (Yes, I know I need to get out more!!!) Shar's "Little Hickman Creek" series has all those things, and then some. You can read these book summaries and probably guess how each book will end, but I can promise you that NONE of Shar's books are predictable. Her writing has quality and depth, and she tells a wonderful love story with a happily-ever-after ending that always leaves you sighing and wanting more. Check her out! You will be so glad you did!

And finally, to finish off my Friday book recommendation, I now tag Deb over at The Daily B. I noticed you have "Loving Liza Jane" on your Shelfari list, Deb! So next Friday is yours!!!