Friday, April 27, 2007


On my drive home from work last night, I pulled up and passed a souped up, retro, SWEET Dodge Charger.

Maybe here is where I should explain that as a young co-ed, I wanted to become an automotive engineer. Yes, as a teeny bopper, my magazine subscription was not to Seventeen, but to Car & Driver. I loved ALL things cars. I helped my dad change out the engine on my 1983 Honda Civic (I still have the busted piston, which Dad and I etched our names into, on a shelf at home). I could name the make, model, and usually come close to the year on most cars on the road. I read Click and Clack in the paper every week...I was obsessed...I wanted to design cars, and test drive cars, and own a whole fleet of cars myself...until, that is, I found out I would need to live in Detroit (sorry Terri), and I changed my mind...BUT, I still LOVE cars.

Ok, back to the Charger. This ride was painted deep sparkly purple, and it was loud as all get out. Behind the wheel was a guy in his 50's, and his good buddy was rockin' out right next to him. I smiled as I passed them, and before I knew it, they were speeding up to pass ME. I was up for a little fun, so I gawked again as they rumbled by. At the next stoplight, I rolled down my window to chat a bit:

Me: What year is it?
Driver: Sixty-six (as he's holding up his hands and flashing 6 fingers - since the engine is so loud I can hardly hear him)
Me: It looks great. I spent most of my high school years in a '69

The light turned green right then...I was heading straight, and they were turning, so this was the last thing I heard...

Driver: In the back seat or the front??

I was laughing so hard that I almost hit the pot hole that I work very hard to avoid every day.

Now, to clarify, I DID spend a lot of hours in a 1969 Dodge Charger (which, by the way, is the same car the Dukes of Hazzard drove), and I was usually in the front seat with my 2 best friends. See, Lenny's dad had a 1969 Charger, and us 3 girls would pitch in about $2 each for gas, and we'd drive all over our town for HOURS. The Charger had NO power steering whatsoever, so all 85 pounds of Lenny had to wrestle with the steering wheel at every turn. All 3 of us would ride in the front, side by side, and we usually had the windows down (no A/C either)...and it wasn't very often that would open the doors to climb in...oh no, we had to climb through the windows just like Bo and Luke. And I think someone once tried to slide across the hood, but it didn't work so well.

This is exactly what our sweet ride looked like:

Lenny now lives in NC, so I had to call her as soon as I could stop laughing...those were the days...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Snow and wedding don't mix...

I guess it's time to post some more about our trip to Colorado for B's brother's wedding. Our drive there was a nightmare...the roads were terrible, they hadn't been cleared, and we were ready to kill each other by the time we got there!

Here we are in Lamar, CO, right before the roads started getting better...we were 6 hours into our trip, and had 2 1/2 more to go...

We made it ok, and after a hurried lunch and some frantic errands, we headed to the church to start decorating. Here's my SIL decorating the wagon that our nephew, the ring bearer, rode in while his older sis (on the right) pulled him.

SIL and I were bridesmaids, and here we are right before the ceremony started.

Aahhh, aren't they cute? These are our nieces and nephew on B's side. They were ALL in the wedding, and they all did an amazing job. In all, there were 5 flower girls and one ring bearer.

And finally, the whole fam-damily...this is the ONLY picture we have of the entire family, and it was at the end of the night after the wedding, when we were exhausted, and had long since changed out of our wedding clothes, but there we are. What a brood! (Bride and groom are on the far left in yellow shirts...and see my handsome hubby in red in the front?? Hot stuff!)

Oh, I guess that I should mention that the snow had almost completely melted by the time we headed home, so our trek back to KS was much more peaceful than the journey on Friday. 7 1/2 hours and we were home, where B had to rush to wash the car, mow 2 yards, and get ready to head back to work on Monday. Whew! Now, when is vacation??

Lessons from Joseph

Our sermon on Sunday at church was awesome. We missed last Sunday since we were in CO for the wedding, and our pastor started a new series on Joseph. This Sunday, he focused on the story of Joseph and Potiphar. In case you're not familiar with it, here's the text from The Message translation of the Bible. I don't usually read this translation, but for this purpose, I think it explains the story in easy-to-understand language:

Genesis 39
1 After Joseph had been taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelites, Potiphar an Egyptian, one of Pharaoh's officials and the manager of his household, bought him from them.
2-6 As it turned out, God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.

6-7 Joseph was a strikingly handsome man. As time went on, his master's wife became infatuated with Joseph and one day said, "Sleep with me."

8-9 He wouldn't do it. He said to his master's wife, "Look, with me here, my master doesn't give a second thought to anything that goes on here—he's put me in charge of everything he owns. He treats me as an equal. The only thing he hasn't turned over to me is you. You're his wife, after all! How could I violate his trust and sin against God?"

10 She pestered him day after day after day, but he stood his ground. He refused to go to bed with her.

11-15 On one of these days he came to the house to do his work and none of the household servants happened to be there. She grabbed him by his cloak, saying, "Sleep with me!" He left his coat in her hand and ran out of the house. When she realized that he had left his coat in her hand and run outside, she called to her house servants: "Look—this Hebrew shows up and before you know it he's trying to seduce us. He tried to make love to me but I yelled as loud as I could. With all my yelling and screaming, he left his coat beside me here and ran outside."

16-18 She kept his coat right there until his master came home. She told him the same story. She said, "The Hebrew slave, the one you brought to us, came after me and tried to use me for his plaything. When I yelled and screamed, he left his coat with me and ran outside."

19-23 When his master heard his wife's story, telling him, "These are the things your slave did to me," he was furious. Joseph's master took him and threw him into the jail where the king's prisoners were locked up. But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.

Now, I've heard this story a million times, and I was a little disappointed when Brent started because I didn't think I'd hear anything new...boy was I wrong. In the past, I've heard this story tied to sermons about being faithful and obedient to God, standing strong in your beliefs and always striving to do the right thing. But, Brent turned it into a sermon on marriage, and it was awesome! He said that if Potiphar's wife was looking elsewhere for satisfaction (i.e. seducing Joseph), then she must not have had a strong marriage.

He told us that we need to learn 3 lessons from this story: 1) The Lord is with YOU always (Hebrews 13:5), 2) Do the right thing because it's the right thing -- not because of what you will get out of it, and 3) Guard your marriage.

He spend a lot of time talking about that 3rd lesson...and he gave us some pointers on how to do that...basically he gave us 3 things that will help your marriage become strong and happy and loving and what God wants it to be.

1 -- Both husband and wife have to follow Jesus
2 -- Deal with issues right away -- don't be afraid or too proud to ask for help
3 -- Pursue a one-flesh marriage
-- don't let yourselves become separated...think of yourselves as 2 colors of clay that are squished together, you can still see traces of the original colors, but you can't separate them into two individual colors anymore

Then he went on to say that there are 3 kinds of marriage:

1- Selfish marriage - this is when an individual's selfishness takes over the relationship -- they start to look elsewhere, they think the grass is greener, and they think their needs are the most important. Brent said that EVERY MARRIAGE THAT ENDS IN DIVORCE IS THE RESULT OF A SELFISH MARRIAGE...I agree, and I don't think there's any simpler way to put it.

2- Contract marriage - this couple has the same issues as the selfish marriage, but someone says, "over my dead body will we get a divorce" they're not happy or healthy in their relationship, but they're staying together because of the commitment they made

3- One Flesh marriage -- This is what I described above with the 2 colors of clay, and in this marriage, the husband and wife say they're sorry to each other, they spend time together, they work less, they pray together and they go to a counselor when they need help. The biggest difference between this marriage and the others is the attitude of the husband and wife, and the effort they put into their relationship.

He also mentioned that couples don't just stay in one of these categories, they float around...and I don't know about you, but I want to have a One-Flesh Marriage...but it takes work.

I am so excited that I learned something new on Sunday, and it really made me evaluate my own marriage. If you want to listen to the whole sermon, click here, and listen to the sermon from 4/22.

Friday, April 20, 2007

California vs. Kansas

Ok, so the smooth flowing part of this video is how Californians navigate through 4-way stop signs...the idiot paying with cash is how Kansans navigate 4-way stop signs...need I say more??

Now what do we do?

This could be a very long post, but I don't feel like typing that much, so I'm going to abbreviate.

I'm the oldest of 3 will turn 30 this year, sis will turn 29. Sis and I grew up and did what mom and dad expected of rebelled. He started drinking when he was in high school and started smoking about the same time.

He met his supposed "love of his life" when he was about 18...he called and told me that he would marry her someday...he did...finally...when their son was 2 months old. 10 months after their wedding, their daughter was born...she turns 9 today.

When their daughter was about a year old, my brother took off. He took their only car and drove away while his wife was at work...he didn't tell anyone where he was going. His wife realized it when she had no ride home that day. 3 days later, we finally heard where my brother was -- somewhere across the country.

Time passes, brother keeps drinking heavily, kids grow up, divorce happens, brother seems to make some changes, finds girlfriend, they move back closer to the kids, then get homesick and move back again -- all this takes place over the course of about 5 years.

Brother and his girlfriend have many struggles as brother continues to drink and never gets help -- he's an alcoholic. At times brother admits this and attempts to stop drinking -- first on his own, then with the help of AA. He decides he hates AA and doesn't see it through.

Mom and Dad do their best to give advice when they're asked and try to help brother's girlfriend deal with this. Brother seems to make progress again, so brother and girlfriend get married. Things seem better than they used to be, but about every 3 or 4 months, brother has a relapse.

He drinks, gets angry, threatens divorce, stops going to work, and who knows what else. Somehow, my newest SIL sticks it out with him -- I would have left AGES ago...but she loves him and tries to help him.

Just after Christmas this past year, it seemed that brother had made some permanent progress -- drinking stopped, he started going back to church, he had a job, he and his wife had struggled through, but made it past a heart breaking miscarriage (of course, he shouldn't have more kids at this stage of his life)...and then 4 months passed...and he lost his job, he's drinking again, his oldest turned 10 w/o his dad close by...and we're back to square one.

He has a loving family, mom and dad are torn up but willing to do anything to help, his wife is STILL standing by his side...but we can't do anything until he admits his problem and is ready to help himself. I pray this happens before he winds up dead.

I'm tired...I'm sad...I'm angry...I'm upset...but all I can do is pray. My SIL asked for my advice...I have NO idea what to tell her. She's tried it all...or so it seems.

B's work will take him to brother's city next week, and I will be there to visit in 2 weeks. We were supposed to take brother out for dinner to celebrate his 30th birthday...but who knows now.

Pray for our family if you think about it. Brother needs it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

My Personality

I got this from Terri...I think mine is pretty right on...maybe I should work on being more agreeable and sensitive, huh? And what's up with being neurotic??

My Personality
Openness To Experience
You are sociable, outgoing, energetic, and lively. You prefer to be around people much of the time. Stressful and frustrating situations can be upsetting to you, but you are generally able to get over these feelings and cope with these situations. As a practical person you like to think in plain and simple terms. Others describe you as down-to-earth, practical, and conservative. People see you as tough, critical, and uncompromising and you have less concern with others' needs than with your own. You set clear goals and pursue them with determination. People regard you as reliable and hard-working.

Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report

Click here to take the most insightful personality test.

Saturday, April 14, 2007's over

We are in Colorado this weekend for B's brother's wedding. It's over now, and we're exhausted!

The short story is this...we left KS at 4am Friday morning and drove through rain, snow, wind and TONS more snow to make it to Pueblo, CO. Last night we helped the bride and groom run errands, set up the church for the wedding and the reception, had the rehearsal, ate dinner, and then ran some more errands. We fell into bed after a 20 hour separate rooms (so that the bride and groom didn't have to get 2 rooms).

This morning we were up at the crack of dawn (or at least it felt that way), and the craziness continued. It all worked out, and the wedding was beautiful! Now we're back in the hotel (in the same room tonight!), the newlyweds are on their way to their honeymoon...and we are SO ready to head home...which we will do bright and early in the morning.

Look! I'm not blonde anymore! More on that later...

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I’m a bad daughter-in-law…evil…

We had the ILs over for Easter lunch. We had invited 2 other families to come over also, but they ended up not making it, so it was just B, me, and the ‘rents (as I call them).

We BBQ’d, my favorite thing to do in spring…of course, spring wasn’t really here on Easter, but whatever. B and I make a great team for grilling…I marinade the meat, and he cooks it. On Easter, we had chicken, sausage, and rib-eye steaks. The sausage we just threw on the grill, and I marinated the steak in garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, and ginger.

All good so far.

I marinated the chicken the way I always do. B likes it. I like it…everyone always likes it. I used the same ingredients as the steak plus one more…beer. I used the very last bottle of beer we had in the house for the chicken. And man, was that chicken good.

So good that MIL and FIL couldn’t stop talking about it. They mentioned how moist it was, how great the flavor was…and then they asked what was in it.

That’s when I froze…and then I almost busted out laughing…but I held it in and rattled off the ingredients above…minus the beer.

You see, ILs are tea-totalers…they have NEVER EVER tasted alcohol of any kind. MIL says that the wine mentioned in the Bible was actually just grape juice…it wasn’t fermented, but they just called it wine anyway. In fact, when we were first married, B would hide all the alcohol when they came to visit. He’s loosened up a bit since then (I mean, we ARE adults), but we definitely don’t flaunt it in front of them, and I would never have a glass of wine while they’re over…but there are unopened bottles of wine in the wine rack.

I have no idea what they would have said or done if they knew there was beer in the marinade. Granted, it cooked out, and there was no alcohol (man, can you imagine if MIL would have gotten tipsy – I’d like to see that!). SIL thinks they would have freaked out…she’s probably right.

I wish I could tell them…because there’s nothing wrong with it. They loved the chicken, they didn’t get intoxicated, they didn’t even actually end up consuming any alcohol…since it cooked out.

But, I sure got a kick out of it. I didn’t really do it on purpose…I mean, I did, because that’s how I make my chicken, but I wasn’t trying to trick them or make fun of them….well, maybe a little deep deep down, but not really….I’m such a bad daughter-in-law…


Obviously, the jackass drivers in Kansas DO NOT read my blog, or I'm sure they would have made the necessary modifications to their driving behavior by now. I mean, I've posted my rants about their driving time and time again, but STILL no changes.

I was cut off no less than 5 times in my 12 mile trek to work today, I used my horn twice, and yelled, "Freaking Jackass!" at least 3 times. It wasn't until I got onto the highway and heard REM playing some kick-back to my high school years song that my heart started to beat normally again....and it took until I sat down at my desk with my first cup of coffee for the day for me to realize that today is my Friday (we leave tomorrow for BIL's wedding), and I only have 8.25 hours until I'm outta here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Crazy week up ahead

I'm hoping that all the craziness that must take place this week will help balance out the extreme boredom at work. I facilitated an event all last week, so this week will be pretty work, that is. Outside of work, there are a million things I need to get done before we head to Colorado for B's brother's wedding.

I'm sure that I don't have as much to do as the bride does, but still, I'll be busy. I have an appointment to get my hair cut and colored tomorrow right after work. Then on Wednesday I have appoinments to get my nails filled and a pedicure (although I don't know why I'm bothering with the pedi since it will probably be FREEZING in CO this weekend, and I'll have to wear closed toed shoes). And Thursday is Bunco.

Besides all this, I need to pack, find a way to drag my butt out of bed and to the gym at 5am every day -- since the evenings are filled with other things, find a house sitter for the pups, and be ready to drive away by 8am Friday.

Whew! I'm tired just thinking about all of it...if only I didn't have to come to work every day, I could for sure get all this stuff done!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I'm glad I went

My sister, who I hadn't seen since last June, is in Kansas City this week for her hubby's grandma's funeral. It was very unexpected...BIL's grandma had a small stroke (she was 80, but was very independent), and went in for an angiogram. The angiogram showed an 80% blockage, so they started an angioplasty right away. They had problems getting the balloon to inflate, and then a blood vessel burst filling up her brain with blood, and she died.

I am sad that BIL lost his grandma, but I'm thankful that sister traveled closer to me. KC is only 3 hours away. So, I drove the 3 hours to see her yesterday. I was dreading the long drive (6 hours round trip for just a short visit), but I'm glad I went.

I got there about lunchtime, so we had a nice chat over lunch at Cheesecake Factory, and then we ran a couple errands to help her MIL. It was so cold! Definitely didn't feel like April, so we tried to stay inside as much as possible.

We only had a couple hours and then I had to take her back to her MIL's house...where we took the fun picture above...I CAN NOT believe my little sis is preggers!

Here's my sis w/ her hubby.

My eyes well up...

There are several movies that make me cry every single time that I watch them...and I've watched them many many many times.

Right now I'm watching Mr. Holland's Opus on TV, and I cry EVERY time that he opens the auditorium doors and walks into his retirement celebration.

I also cry every time I watch Beaches, Steel Magnolias, Top Gun (when Goose dies), The Notebook, and West Side Story.

I bet I've seen some of those movies more than 15 times...and I still cry. What's up with that?

What movies make you cry?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Which one of these doesn't belong?

It's April.
It's Spring.
Daffodils and tulips are in bloom.
It was 85 degrees on Monday.
My flip flops have been resurrected from the back of my closet.
It's snowing.

Yes, that's right...I said IT'S SNOWING!!! Of course, this is the one that doesn't belong...what the *&%$# is going on???

Monday it was 85 degrees, today it's 36! So crazy! I CAN NOT understand I have to go round up some sheets to cover my plants with tonight. Oh joy!

Guess I better not color those Easter eggs...we should be hunting white eggs on Sunday!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Scrap Attack!

How many scrapbookers are out there? I am a relatively new scrapbooker (3 years), but I'm definitely hooked! I spent ALL weekend scrapbooking at our clubhouse. I hosted an event for the weekend for our neighborhood, and we had about 9 women work on the scrapbooks, as well as a rep from one of the home based scrappin' suppliers. Between Friday and Sunday, I spent over 20 hours scrapbooking, 7 hours trying to get a prescription filled for my niece, 13 hours sleeping, and an hour and a half cleaning up and lugging my stuff around.

I didn't get as much done as I would have liked to...but I did complete all the pages from our trip to Disneyland last year. Now I just have to do our trip to Ireland (from a YEAR ago) and catch up on my Buddies scrapbook...which is actually a HUGE amount of work. My goal is just to find a way to work on it before another year passes.

So, after the crazy scrapbooking weekend, I've had a crazy week at work. I'm teaching another continuous improvement event, and yesterday and today we started work at 3:00am. I chose the time so that we could work with both our 3rd and 1st shift production teams, and it's working out well -- we get done by noon each day. But, it is so hard to get up at 2:00 AM!! Yesterday I came home and crashed, but I did manage to get up and go to the gym. This morning, it was easier to get up and I felt more awake when I got home, but I crashed about 4:00 PM, and now I'm sitting in my sweats on the couch procrastinating working on the presentation for my team tomorrow.

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel -- tomorrow is my Friday because we have Good Friday off. My plan is to go to the gym after work tomorrow, then come home and get ready for the Maundy Thursday service at church.

Maundy Thursday (as described by Wikipedia) is the feast or holy day on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is followed by Good Friday. On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas.

My church back home has a Tenebrae service on Maundy Thursday. A Tenebrae (latin for Shadows) service is held to represent Jesus' death. Lighting is gradually reduced throughout the service, starting out fully lit (often including candles), and as the service progresses with the singing of songs and reading of scripture, lights are extinguished, and eventually ending in total darkness.

It's a very moving and emotional service, and it allows a lot of time to examine your own life and think about the life of Jesus. I look forward to it every year. On Good Friday, my plan is to clean up around the house, hit the gym, and maybe even do a little scrapbooking.

Have a great Easter weekend!