Tag Archives: NaBloPoMo

It’s a Major Award!


As you might remember, after slaving over a hot keyboard for thirty days in pursuit of that most noble of goals–completing NaBloPoMo 2009–I was pretty jazzed about the possibility of winning one of the fabulous prizes being offered on the official NaBlo site.  Alas and alack, whoever performed the random drawings utterly failed to pull my name out of the hat.  No prize for me.

Until today.

This morning, Kathy walked into my office and, with much fanfare, presented me with this bag, festively festooned with this garland of…disco balls.

My very own NaBloPoMo prize!  Isn’t she awesome?  Inside there were two splendid things.  One: Kathy’s famous chocolate-covered pretzels.  These did not make it home to share with the rest of the family.  Oopsies.

Two:  this book, which I’ve been dying to read ever since I stumbled across it on some geeky website months ago.  (Get it?  “Dying” to read?  Or maybe I should have said “undying” to read.  Hahahahaha!  I slay me!  Get it?  “Slay”?  Am I hilarious, or what?)

Thank you so much, Kathy!  You…complete me.

(Okay, maybe not.  But you certainly know what I like!  I think this might even make up for that little King incident a few weeks ago.)

I Did It!


Strike up the band and throw the confetti!  Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo 2009, and I am proud to say that I didn’t miss a single day!

Sure, some of my posts were dryer than the Sahara, but that’s not important.  What’s important is that…um…well…


Oh!  Oh!  I know!  Prizes!  That’s right–there are prizes!  And since I faithfully completed NaBloPoMo (boring posts and all), I am eligible to win a Sock Zombie.  Or a hand embroidered bookmark.  Or perhaps an angry mime rabbit.

Between you and me, I’ve been wanting one of those Sock Zombies for years now.

At the very least, though, I get a fancy new blog badge to put on my sidebar over there. Go ahead; check it out.  I’ll wait… *hums tunelessly* …

Awesome, right?  I know, I know.

It’s a prestige thing.

Thanksgiving Dinner


Not to promote sexist stereotypes, but look who's NOT in the kitchen preparing food...

That football game must be riveting!

Can we skip straight to the pies?

These two are obviously up to something. I suspect an underhanded extra bread conspiracy.

Hold on to your dinner roll, Daniel!

Katie had thirds of turkey.  It's her favorite!

Katie had third helpings of turkey. It's her favorite!

Caleb also wished to skip straight to the pie.

Mom and Dad: thirty-eight Thanksgivings together and counting...

Mmmm...I'm getting hungry again just looking at this picture!

Black Friday


Despite staying up all night the night before in order to get to the airport at 4am, then flying for six hours back to Idaho only to arrive jet-lagged and exhausted, I am proud to say that I actually ventured out to the Black Friday sales yesterday afternoon.  And I’m glad I did!

The tussle at the Walmart $2 DVD bin was long over by the time I got there, leaving only a few battered copies of “Constantine” and “Undercover Brother”, but I got a couple of movies that we’d been wanting (including the wonderful “Australia”) from the $3.99 collection at Target.  I also bought “Up” for the kids, based on the good reviews a few friends have given it.

I finished shopping for all the nieces and nephews.  I have a little sewing to do on one gift, and then I just have to wrap them all and get them in the mail before the lines at the post office get out of hand–about three days from now.

I made the most of the coupons I got in the mail, especially the ones from JoAnn’s.  I used one of them on a cart full of craft supplies at JoAnn’s, and then took two others–for 40% and 50% off–to Michael’s (they accept competitor’s coupons) where I bought some silk plants I’ve been wanting for the kitchen.

Oh!  And our new chest freezer finally has something in it: two frozen turkeys, purchased cheap and just waiting to be baked, de-boned, and sliced up for turkey sandwiches!

So there you have it–another Black Friday in the books.

Now we just have to get the tree up and the Christmas season will officially begin!

Stone Mountain


Tuesday, my sister Amber treated our whole family to a day of fun at Stone Mountain Park.  Stone Mountain is one of the world’s largest exposed granite mountains, and the famous bas-relief carving on the front of it is the largest of its kind, so huge in size that it dwarfs the one on Mount Rushmore.  (To give you a sense of the scale, at one point during the carving project, a 20-person banquet was held at a banquet table set up on Robert E. Lee’s shoulder.)

Stone Mountain is a beacon in many of my childhood memories.  Our family attended the laser show on the front lawn of Stone Mountain Park over and over each summer, and I’ve climbed it with friends more times than I can count.  Everyone who lived anywhere nearby had a season pass, and the park was a popular hangout spot for teens all through high school.

Going back with the kids was a lot of fun.  We started out the day by taking the cable car up to the top of the mountain.  I did not scream, hyperventilate, or pass out.  (I have a weird psychological condition: I will thrill to the crazy heights and loops and hairpin turns of any roller coaster in the world, but the ferris wheel–or the cable car–renders me helpless and shuddering in a pool of terrified sweat.) 

The ride is worth it, though, when you’re standing on top of the world with the wind playing in your hair.

Amber and Caleb

A miracle: Katie and Caleb, both looking, both smiling!

My dad, a man on the edge...

After the tram ride, we took a walk around Stone Mountain Crossroads, watched a craftsman blowing glass, and experienced a 4-D production of Polar Express (we wore 3-D glasses for the movie, and there was snow falling from the ceiling, water spraying at us from the seats, and gusts of air to make us feel like we were really there!)

Here comes trouble!

We rode the open air train that goes all the way around the mountain, which the kids loved.  There were Christmas lights all over the place, and Caleb glowed with delight every time the train whistle blew. 

We finished up the day in The Great Barn, a children’s activity area that features 65 interactive games, climbing structures, trampoline floors, and slides.  Everything was powered by these fun foam balls that the kids could collect and then shoot out of air guns and feed down complex chutes to the people below.  They were pretty sad to leave, until they saw the cool toys outside.


Thank you, Aunt Amber, for a wonderful day!  It ended with the one major indicator of a successful adventure: tired kids!

Ten Things I’m Thankful For


1.  Jesus Christ, who brought me back together with God through the gift of His life’s blood spilled on the cross.

2.  Paul, my husband, best friend, and 24-hour tech support.

3.  My children, who amaze, frustrate, delight, and challenge me every day.

4.  Jobs, both mine and Paul’s, in this time of economic uncertainty.

5.  Our new home, much-anticipated and only half-decorated, but full of good memories already.

6.  Awesome friends, the deep-down kind, good for both everyday wear and special occasions.

7.  America, a country that, for all its faults, wants to do the right thing, and keeps getting up again, no matter how many times it falls down.

8.  Laughter that comes from the belly and spills up and over, wave after uncontrollable wave, until you can’t breathe.

9.  Tears that wash away the balled-up tensions of the day, leaving behind only fresh hope and a desire to start again tomorrow.

10.  Heaven, closer every moment.

Interview With Paul


Boy, do I have a treat for my readers!  Today’s NaBloPoMo post features an off-the-cuff interview with my beloved husband, lord of the castle, the head geek himself, the Amazing Paul.

I will be making up the questions as I go along, and Paul’s answers will be typed in without editing.  Let’s see what happens, shall we?

Q–Paul, what would you say has been your most embarrassing moment thus far?

A–One time, as a young kid, I went to the beach and did a cannonball into the water.  I came out of the water, and saw that the front of my shorts were ripped, so I walked out of the water and onto the shore and all the way up the beach to where our towels were, bending forward at the waist to cover the front of my torn shorts, only to discover that the rip extended all the way around from the front of my shorts to the back, and I had been mooning everyone all the way up the beach.

Q–What is the hardest thing about marriage?

A–It’s not as hard now as it used to be, but keeping an open and fair line of communication takes the most effort.  Being able to be understood as well as making sure that the other person feels understood is a tall order, especially when you’re trying to do that on a regular basis.

Q–If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A–Steak.  Or Red Vines that are soft.

Q–Name three male role models who have positively impacted your life.

A–My Dad.  While that may sound cliche, he has always given me a sense of fairness and practicality and down-to-earthness in addition to a great spiritual grounding.  Dr. Daniel Stockstill, a professor at Harding University who always gave great boiled-down and wise perspectives on life that made decisions easier to make, yet leaving you to make the final call. Jeff Grow (and family), who have shared so much of my positive history as a young person that I can’ t begin to weigh all the impacts on my person now.  There are too many great men to choose from.

Q–What was your most memorable Christmas gift ever?

A–My parents always tried to get us at least one thing that we really wanted.  This one year, they went out on a limb and bought something that we hadn’t even asked for or hear of called “Crossbows and Catapults”.  It was basically a game where you build walls out of blocks and chuck round pieces of plastic at each other’s castles using rubber-band powered ballistics.  It was war.  It was action.  It was projectiles.  It was time with Dad.  We each got a starter set and were puzzled when we opened the presents, but the packaging of the game was promising enough that we were not too skeptical.  Both my parents were so intent on getting us one thing that we really wanted, and this was the big ticket item.  I remember them being fearful that they hadn’t gotten us the “one thing”.  They didn’t feel this way because they were scared we would throw a selfish fit.  They just loved us, and wanted us to have something fun.  So we cracked it open, and it was so awesome that I still have the sets to this day and play it with my own kids, who also think it is awesome.

Q–What’s your biggest fear?

A–Being separated somehow from people that I love.

Q–If you had a personal theme song, what would it be?

A–Isn’t that something someone else should compose for you?  *laughs* (The interviewer thinks his theme song should be “Harvey the Wonder Hamster”.)

Q–Why won’t you get matching tattoos with your wife?

A–I feel pretty strongly that if I’m going to permanently mark my body, it has to be a design that I feel intense about.  I haven’t felt compelled to place any symbol on my person yet.

Q–But how do you feel about the full-back Chewbacca tattoo that your wife is planning on getting next month?

A–Ummm…it will accent the hair on her face well?  *ducks and covers his face with his hands while he is pummeled by the interviewer*  No, really, Chewbacca’s a great guy, and I’m actually proud that he’ll get such a place of prominence.

Q–Last question.  In ten words or less, what do you want your tombstone to say?

A–“Gone to heaven.  Are you coming or not?”

Thank you, Paul.  You are a wonderful husband and a fine human being.  I believe I’m rather fond of you.


(By the way, should it need to be said, the interviewer is NOT getting a tattoo of Chewbacca on her back, but was merely attempting to bait the interviewee.  Relax, Mom!)

Twilight: New Moon


I think it’s fair to say that I mainly liked the first Twilight movie on behalf of the book, which was a thoroughly entertaining read. Though the key elements were there, and I enjoyed the book-turned-movie-lover’s experience of seeing events that had previously been confined inside my head playing out on the big screen, I left the theater thinking, “They could have done more with that.”

Not so with New Moon. With its new director, its heady special effects, and its improved performances by almost every member of the cast, it was easily ten times better than its predecessor.

I went to see it Saturday with the group of friends who went with me to see the first movie, and we were all of the same opinion: more like this one, please!

The vamps were vampier, the wolves were as big as horses, and Kristen Stewart delighted the world by revealing that laughing and smiling are a part of her acting repertoire after all. As the action swept through Forks and across the world to Volterra, Italy, the scope of the story widened, too; heartbreak, longing, jealousy, self-sacrifice, forgiveness: the full range of human emotion coming to bear on these not-exactly-human characters. In its own inartful way, the Twilight series touches chords that are common to each of us.

Critics have gripes, lots of them, but the fans don’t seem to share them. All the opening night midnight showings at our local theater (there were six of them, I think) were sold out days ahead of time, and the crowds just keep on coming. Stephenie Meyer must be doing something right.

Yeah, the Twilight books are fluffy. They are, in parts, cheesier than the queso dip at our last girls’ sleepover. But they’re also charming and endearing and oh, so entertaining.

Go see New Moon. I recommend attending with a gaggle of girls as part of the total Twilight experience. The gasps and giggles and sniffles of emotion are at least as diverting as what’s going on up on the screen. And if you can’t find a whole gaggle, just take me. I’m already looking forward to seeing it again.

(Go Team Edward!)