Friday, February 24, 2012

Maybe I Should've Had A V8

Remember that great weekend I had? Well, I can say with complete confidence that things went downhill from there.  I started coughing a little on Sunday.  No big deal.  Monday, on the Day of Presidents of all days, I started to feel a tad bit on the achy side.  I kind of felt like George and Abe let me down.  By Monday night, I had a temperature of almost 101.  Guess what? You haven't even heard the best part yet! I found out that same night that I had to report to jury duty Tuesday morning by 8:30.  You can imagine my excitement. 

After a very long, horrible night, I used every bit of will inside of me to get ready and drive to the courthouse.  I then sat in a chair for four and a half hours (with only ONE ten minute break mind you) while a jury was selected for a trial.  It might have been an educational experience for me if I hadn't been on death's doorstep the whole time.  Let's just say I earned my $11 that day.  As soon as they released us, I drove straight to the doctor where they commenced to sticking q-tips in both nostrils and down my throat.  So I left with a prescription for an antibiotic and the assumption that I'd feel better by morning.  Now, it couldn't be that easy, could it?

No.  The next day I still felt awful.  I stayed in bed all day except when the kids came home.  When I knew they were on the way, I forced myself to run a brush through my hair, get dressed (kind of), and move from the bed to the downstairs chair.  I just couldn't stand the thought of them coming home to me in the exact same condition as when they left that morning.  I'm not sure I was fooling anybody though.  Oh no, the story doesn't even end there. 

I woke up Thursday morning with a hot, red swollen face.  I was a vision of loveliness.  I didn't take any pictures so just trust me on this one.  Somehow that half an eyebrow became the least of my problems. If you know me, then you may know I tend to overreact in the area of health issues.  Some refer to it as hypochondria.  I just knew that somehow my swollen face in addition to all of the other symptoms must all be some horrible unidentified disease lurking in my body.  Turns out, the doctors just think it was a reaction to the first antibiotic.  That seems like the logical conclusion to draw, but when have I ever been logical?

I'm happy to report that I worked two full days this week with my chipmunk cheeks, and even though my face is still swollen, it is no longer red and hot.  I still can't sleep at all due to all of the coughing, but I am no longer feverish and achy.  I must be on the mend.  At least that's what they tell me.

When I finally went back to school, one of my student's parents said she had been really worried about me because I hadn't posted anything on Pinterest in days! I think maybe that's an indication that I usually spend too much time on Pinterest.  I must have been very sick because I didn't even give sweet Loretta a second glance for four days.

(Sidenote: As I cough all night, I find it necessary to apologize every time.  It goes something like this, "Cough, cough, sorry. Cough, sorry.  Cough, cough, cough, sorry". And so on and so forth.  All. Night. Long.  Brian says that I'm not keeping him awake and there is not need to apologize, but I can't stop myself.  I guess I am just a very considerate cougher.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

not a fan

I am not a fan.

I recently read this book, and Jesus got all up in my bidness.  It's basically about not just being a fan of Jesus, but being a completed committed follower.   

Here is the product description from Amazon (if you're interested):
Pastor Kyle Idleman doesn't just want to be a fan of Jesus, he wants to full heartedly commit to him and be a follower of Jesus. But how can you make the leap from fan to follower? In Not a Fan Idleman uses biblical examples to show how the people who met Jesus also had to decide if they were fans or followers, and what it meant for them to then become followers. Being a follower doesn't mean that you go to church every week, that you slap a Jesus fish on the back of your car, and that you give to charity. That's what a fan does. What a follower of Jesus does, Idleman observes, is die to themselves each and every moment of the day because 'you can't say yes to following Jesus unless you say no to living for yourself.' In this three part book Idleman helps you to discover whether you are a fan or a follower, how to recognize the invitation Jesus has given, and what following Jesus looks like in your daily life. With humor and real life examples to draw you closer to Jesus, Kyle Idleman compels each and every one of us to Not Be A Fan.

Here are some quotes that I highlighted because they stood out as I read.  I could have highlighted the whole book, but I'm just going to list a few of the quotes in no particular or organized order. Warning: this is long.

"Fans have a tendency to confuse their knowledge for intimacy. They don't recognize the difference between knowing about Jesus and truly knowing Jesus.  ... In fact, knowledge can be a false indicator of intimacy. 
Clearly where there is intimacy there should be a growing knowledge, but too often there is knowledge without a growing intimacy."

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Matthew 15:8

"Instead of describing a relationship where I truly knew Jesus, I would have told you what I knew about Jesus. But when there is knowledge without intimacy, you're really no more than a fan."

"Jesus isn't just saying, "I want to be first place in your life."  He is saying, "I don't even want there to be a second place." When we compare our relationship with him to anyone else there should be no competition.  Fans will try and make Jesus one of many.  Some fans may even make Jesus the first of many.  But when Jesus defines the relationship he makes it clear; he wants to be your one and only."

"If following Jesus cost you everything, would it still be worth it?"

"Some fans are like the Sadducees.  Their faith was something they were born into.  It was never really something they chose.  Maybe when you were born your parents handed you a mask, and you grew up acting like Christians act, talking how Christians talked, listening to the music Christians listened to; but you never fell in love with Jesus.  Your faith has always been more about honoring your heritage than surrendering your heart."

(When discussing those who are new to Christ and the church)
"They just don't know any better.  And I hope nobody tells them that they're supposed to act like they've got it all together.  You don't often get to see people without a mask.  And it's such a beautiful thing.  That's what Christ wants in a follower-someone who isn't pretending on the outside to have it all together."

"Fans of Jesus sooner or later find themselves exhausted.  Fans grow tired of trying to maintain an outer appearance that doesn't match an inner passion.  They find themselves weary of trying to keep all the rules in hopes of somehow earning God's favor."

"He is not interested in enthusiastic admirers who practice everything in moderation and don't get carried away.  He wants completely committed followers."

"Even if there wasn't one when Jesus spoke these words, it seems that over the years the church has put an asterisk next to his invitation.  The sign out front of the church says, We Welcome Anyone and Everyone. But if you look real close you'll find a n asterisk.  And it turns out that Anyone means people who appear to have their lives together and don't have visible struggles.  Anyone does not include those who struggle with addictions or who have gone through a divorce.  Anyone means people who dress appropriately.  Anyone means those from certain social and economic backgrounds who are affiliated with a certain political party and have a certain taste in music."

"Jesus has invited anyone to follow him, but when they come to church they find that there is an asterisk. The not so subtle message is we have to let you in here because Jesus told us to but we are going to be keeping an eye on you. I can't help but wonder if that's how the other disciples must have felt when Jesus invited Matthew.  What about his qualifications? What about his past history? Jesus, surely you don't really mean anyone? But when Jesus says anyone, it turns out what he really means is anyone."

"It's not because God needs your time.  He has always been and always will be.  It's not because he needs your money. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. If God needed your money he could take it. It's not that God needs your worship. If you don't worship, the Bible says that the rocks and trees will cry out. The reason we talk about those things is not because God needs or wants those things; it's because he wants you. He wants your love. He longs for you to passionately pursue him, and all those things are come after indicators. They are outer signs that point to an inner reality that you love Jesus more than anything else."

Go read it and be challenged!

Any thoughts?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Fun Just Keeps Going

It's been a good weekend so far! I was off on Friday, so Brian and I went to Knoxville for the day.  I enjoyed some fun shopping, and then dinner at our favorite restaurant Altruda's.

Yesterday, we went to walk/jog at the track then to the playground next door.  Later, we took the kids to Fun Expedition which they loved of course. 

 Today, we went to church then lunch at Grandma and Granddad's house.  Tonight, we watched a movie at home. 

The best part is that the weekend isn't over yet! We have tomorrow off too!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It Might Raise A Few Eyebrows

I'm pretty sure my hair lady took a little too much off one of my eyebrows when she waxed them.  At times, it looks ok, but depending on the angle of viewing, it sometimes looks gone.  As in, half an eyebrow is there, the other half is gone baby gone.  I think it's actually just a little blonder on that end, and she yanked out any of the darker ones.  (Hold on. I'll be right back.) Yes, upon further inspection, it's still there.  I'm just warning you in case you see me and wonder.  Depending on your angle of viewing of course.  Maybe it will catch on and start a new fad.  Who's in? All the cool kids are doing it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Weekend Fun!

I had a supah-fun weekend! Friday night I got to go out with Lisa.  Even though we text every day we hadn't been out driving around after dark for hours since before Christmas.  That is way too long.  We made up for it on Friday night with some Italian Village pizza.  I KNOW.  Then shopping in Kingsport and a trip all the way back to Johnson City for a few more stops.  FYI, Hobby Lobby closes at 8:00 on Friday nights.  We found that out the hard way.

Saturday was fairly uneventful.  We were mostly at home except a few quick errands.  We made pizza for dinner, and yes I ate pizza two nights in a row.  It was mighty delicious if I do say so myself.  I only ate one piece that night though to make up for Italian Village.  I made the crust from scratch-ito. Pioneer Woman's recipe was the one I had on hand, so I used it.  This is the second or third time I've made her recipe, and we like it. is a bit too bread-yish for us.  I'm thinking of using a different one next time that I found on Pinterest.  We really prefer a thinner, crispier crust.  If you have a good one, please send it my way! I'll keep you posted on those developments as they occur. 

We also played some games with the kids so they were thrilled.

Sunday after church, I went to see The Vow with some other very lovely ladies including my mom, sister-in-law, niece, niece's friend Emily and Emily's cousin.  I'm all about the details around here.  I had NO idea what in the blue blazes the movie was even about when Megan texted me Saturday to ask if I wanted to go.  It turned out to be really good! I won't spoil it for you if you plan to see it, so I'll go against my nature and keep the details to myself.  However, I did leave with a few new opinions about some things that I'd like to share. 

Ok, since you asked, here they are...
1. I have never really enjoyed Rachel McAdams as an actress even though I loved The Notebook with all of my heart.  Until now.  She is just darlin' in this movie.  Just absolutely darlin' with her cute dimples.  Also, she is sportin' dark hair in The Vow, and it is a WAY better color for her than her usual blonde.  Rachel, if you're reading this, the dark hair is way better than your usual blonde.

2. I've seen Channing Tatum all over the place, and apparently he is ALL THE RAGE lately.  I seriously couldn't figure out what the big deal was.  Until now.  Let's just say I should have actually watched him act and generally look handsome for two straight hours before I judged.  He is a cutie.  I'm a fan.  Now he's still no Matthew McConaughey-hey-hey, and he is most certainly no Brian Murray.  Just to be clear.

So all in all, I can't complain! It was a lovely weekend.  I hope yours was just as nice!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You Give Me Hope, To Carry On

Name that tune...


It's You Light Up My Life, otherwise known as the song I sang to Brian in the most horrible singing voice I could produce over the phone during lunch today.  Because nothing says Happy Valentine's Day like the flat rendition that I delivered.  Trust me.

Otherwise, we had a great Valentine's Day.  Sure, I had to got to survive celebrate with a million some first graders before I got to spend time with my own Valentines at home.  Oh, I kid.  Party days are the highlight of every teacher's school year.  Just ask them.  Any of them.  I'm sure they'll tell you the truth.  I mean, who doesn't love a room full of wild, sugar-filled six and seven year olds AND ALL OF THEIR MAMAS (plus a few grandmas, aunts, and siblings) with more messy foods that you can imagine running around for an hour? I do.  I love it. 

(Honestly, they had a ball, and I love seeing them happy.  It can just be a wee bit stressful for the teacher.)

Once home, it was smooth sailing. Brian cooked dinner, and it was so yummy.  Mom came by to eat with us and visit for a little while.  The rest of the night was just low key.  Just the way I like it!  Home with my little family that I love more than anybody or anything.  Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

I'm so thankful this Valentine's Day for all of my sweet blessings!

Valentine's Day 2012

We had fun filling out Valentine cards for school.  Parker and Claire were both very careful to get them exactly right for their friends.

 They both took special treats for their teachers on Valentine's morning.

 Parker's school party lived up to the hype.  There was lots of yummy food and fun!

 Then he got to join Claire for her party.  Look at those silly smiles!

At home, we had a wonderful dinner and some fun Valentine presents! Nana even joined us!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Card Sharks

Parker and Claire love to play games.  Their usual game of choice is Apples to Apples, but we've been trying to get them to branch out a little.  We had so much fun playing Uno Saturday night.  It's really fun now that they are old enough to understand all of the rules of various games. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm Trying Hard Not To Show It, Baby

I would like to take this opportunity to say I miss Steve Carell on The Office.  I'm still excited when a new episode comes on, but I've lost a little bit of that lovin' feeling. I wouldn't say it's gone, gone, gone, whoa-oa, but I'm struggling a little bit. Even though I still really enjoy the show, it just will never be the same.  Andy is great so I really don't have any complaints about his new, more important role.  I just really don't care for the James Spader character and THANK GOODNESS they haven't been using the Kathy Bates character much at all anymore.  Not to mention there has been a SERIOUS lack of Jim this season.  He's around, but very uninvolved in the story lines.  I get it...Steve was having some success in movies.  It just always aggravates me though when people get a little big for their britches and leave the show that made them a star when there's still some life left in it.  Please come back Steve! 

(I did read that NBC is planning a spin-off show starring Dwight.  I think we can all see the writing on the wall.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Same Only Prettier

I found this pretty little picture of the C.S. Lewis quote I wrote about a while back.  It says the same thing but looks prettier.  No real reason for posting. Just liked it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm Shelly From The Block, Yo

I went to Zumba again tonight, and it  It always does, but tonight was especially horrific.  But lo, I will survive.  I will press on.  After all, when Jennifer Lopez tells me to "back it up like a tonka truck" and "GET ON THE FLOOR", what choice do I have????

There is no news to report regarding the mirrors.  They are still there.  They are still evil.  That is all.

(Except please don't ever call me Shelly.)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

You might want to sit down for this.  Prepare yourself.  Here we go.

I've been going to Zumba.  There.  I said it. 

And let me tell you, I am a hoot to watch.  Of course, I haven't actually watched myself except when I accidentally catch a glance of my uncoordinated self in one of those ridiculously huge mirrors that are inevitably on every wall of any exercise facility east of the Mississippi.  I'd say they are on the walls west of the Mississippi too, but anytime I've been out that way I wasn't exercising.  So I will only speak from experience.  Why do they insist on those big honkin' mirrors anyway? I guarantee you that for every one person who enjoys admiring his/her lovely physique, there are ninety-nine others who do everything within their power to position themselves as far away from the mirrors as possible.  Unfortunately for me, if I want to be in the back (and who wouldn't) for Zumba, chances are I'm going to be beside that mirror.  The very last thing I need to see if my sweaty, red-faced self bouncing around for an hour.  You would think the least they could do would be to put in one of those fun house mirrors that make you look really skinny.  I actually think that's an excellent idea.  Maybe I'll put it in the suggestion box.

Anyway, let's get back to Zumba.  It's not just any ordinary Zumba.  It's Club Zumba! It's supposed to be designed to help you pretend you're at a club dancing the night away having the time of your life so there's latin/hiphop music, colored lights, a smoke machine, and get this....a disco ball.  The truth is, while that's all well and good, everybody really goes because they turn the lights off.  Let's face it, everybody is more comfortable looking like an idiot in the dark.  It gives you the illusion that nobody can see you, but come on now, you and I both know that's not true.  However, I'm too busy splitting my time between trying to follow the "I couldn't do this in college so what makes me think I can do it now" dance steps and trying really hard NOT to have a heart attack.  There is no time or energy left to worry about whether or not somebody is looking at me.  Truth is, they're probably just trying to stay alive too.  It's hard core in there.  Not for the faint of heart.  Especially if you stand by the mirror.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Reunited And It Feels So Good

My sweet Loretta is back.  Loretta the Laptop has been sick and at the doctor since Monday.  Five days is a long time for an addicted person like me.  Hello, my name if Michele, and it's been five days since I last logged on.  In the spirit of full disclosure, we do have another computer in this house.  I did use it a very few times, but I had to be a bit sneaky.  Somebody, who shall remain nameless, doesn't like me to use the desktop for facebook, blogs, pinterest, etc. because unnamed somebody uses it for work and doesn't want to take any chances.  Apparently, I am a true wildcat on the computer.  All of those mommy blogs and mason jar pins are just so dangerous.  (I should probably confess somebody's concerns might have something to do with the virus Loretta came down with earlier in the week ~ maybe he has a tiny bit of a case.)  Anyway, she's home. I can quit singing "Near...far...wherever you are...I believe that my heart will go on".

Why is it I can think of 92 things I want to blog about when I don't have access to Loretta? Then I forget them all.  I do have a few things I want to talk (write) about, so I'll be back soon.  I'm sure you're on the edge of your seats...