Friday, March 28, 2008

English as a Second Language

We've come to accept that our adopted daughter that joined our family at the age of ten will probably never be truly fluent in the English language and that is okay. There are many people born and bred here that don't have a grasp of English. I know a few. I won't name the states in which they grew up. I'm pretty good at butchering English. My East Texan is pretty good, but I can get pretty tongue tied and make a mess of things. Our President does a pretty good job of butchering it.

But sometimes Callie's take on English is just too funny. Tonight was a great example. We had brown rice, sausage, and black-eyed peas for dinner. She found a hard piece of rice. She asked me what it was and I said it looked like a piece of rice. She responded that she thought is was "a teeth". Of course that led to a discussion on what kind of "teeth" it could be.

Later she was talking to her dad about teeth and tooth and what plural means. She announced she knew the past tense of teeth. We found that surprising. Phil said teeth was a noun. "I know what a noun is! Hair is a noun." So Phil asked her what the past tense of hair was. That stumped her. Phil then explained that verbs have past tenses, but nouns don't.

Then she said the color purple was an adverb.
I almost said that it was a movie and Broadway play but decided against it.
"That would be an adjective" my husband corrected.

English is an incredibly hard language to learn. She has gotten a lot farther (or is it further?) than I would have in five years trying to learn Chinese. I used to get upset when she would butcher something that to me seems so easy and something we say every day, but I'm over it. I admire all the people that study in English as a Second Language classes at varies places in Plano. They are smarter and harder working than I am.

A friend is taking Callie to see "High School Musical on Ice". Thankfully, I don't have to go. I don't know how much English will be spoken by the cast members, but I do know that Callie is so excited she can't see straight. Of course, she also can't remember the name of the event. She just knows it involves "High School Musical" which is enough for her. It could be "High School Musical" in any language on the planet and she would be there.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere And Not A Drop To Drink...

We have a leak in our foundation. A pipe broke. At first we could hear running water at weird times when we knew there was none being used, then it became a quiet roar, then it became a rushing roar that required me to wear earplugs to concentrate on work. The park next door began to flood. Something had gone terribly wrong.

The plumber dug outside the house where it sounded like the leak was located. Nothing. Dry dirt. He studied the flooded park. Okay, it looked like it was coming from under the dining room window. They dug. Water, lots of water. Water that kept coming even though the water was turned off at the street. That corner of the house was floating. So, now it looked like the leak under the North West corner of the dining room. This morning they arrived with the jackhammer and tore into that corner. The leak wasn’t there. BUT they left my dining room cleaner than it was when they started and did a great job patching the hole. I was impressed. Now, if I could just get them to jackhammer the rest of the house…

Anyway, the broken pipe was found. It was where they thought it was the first day, just farther under the house. So they think they can get to it from the outside. They have to work around the existing foundation repair or the Pergo and kitchen sink will have to be removed.

We’ve been doing without using much water the last few days. It is amazing how much we rely on running water that is so handy dandy, right at our fingertips. I can’t stand to have stuff on my hands, like after I put on lotion, or when I’m cooking. I constantly wash or at least rinse my hands when getting ready or in the kitchen. Not OCD like, but “yuck” like.

Watching that water pool in the park has been very frustrating. My grandmother instilled in me that water was not to be wasted. She has ALWAYS gathered rainwater. We took baths as kids and gave our children baths at her house in maybe an inch of water. Just enough to cover the bottom of the tub. Dishes are scrapped and then wiped before washing. We didn’t waste water rinsing them off and still don’t.

So, hearing the rushing roar and seeing the pools has been hard, plus knowing the financial cost of paying for the wasted water and the repair has been stressful.

How is it that my family has clean water everywhere being wasted and people across the globe are going without? People hike miles daily for water that is not safe and we have safe water gushing out of our house. It seems so unfair, so wrong. I’ve thought a lot about those who are suffering and those that are trying to help. One of those people is Brody Harper. His heart was moved by blood:water mission and he has chosen to do something.

If wasted water or people drinking unsafe water bothers you, join him in making a difference. My family hasn't had to really suffer. We’ve been annoyed, but haven’t hurt physically because of this event. It isn’t the same for millions.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You're Always 17 In Your Hometown

I grew up in an itty bitty East Texas town. When I was there we only had one traffic light. It now has three, but that’s because the state highway built around the town and cars trying to cross the highway on their way to or from town were taking a beating. So, an overpass was built and two more signals put in. Now there’s a whopping three lights. That’s two too many for me. I don’t like “progress” messing with my memories. There’s a new high school. Instead of a bell they play classical music between classes. What in the heck is up with that? Actually, I think it is pretty cool. Not the lights, the classical music.

Anyway, a great guy in my hometown started an email list for anyone that loves the community to join. It has given birth to an “opinions” forum that a select few belong to. I think one of my opinions might have helped in that birthing process. It set the email list on its ear and there are heads probably still reeling from my bizarre views. I’m considered by some the liberal of the bunch. I choose to live in a fairly large city. Racial slurs send me over the edge. I believe if you make a statement you better be able to back it up, especially if you are trashing someone. Jesus is greater than ANYTHING. We should be reaching out to the “least of these”. I live in America because that is where God has put me, but I would move to a “less desirable nation” if that is where He wanted me to live. I don’t believe that our nation was built on Christianity. You get the picture. I’m not East Texas normal.

The great guy in my hometown that started the email list is hurting right now. His son is back in the hospital for the third time in two weeks. He has battled cancer, but the doctors don’t think that is what is going on right now, yet they haven’t ruled it out.

I grew up with Dick’s children. His son is a little older than me. Dick is a prince. He takes my kidding and harassment and dishes it right back to me. He is my kind of guy. I think some people were a little distressed by the way we went back and forth with our jabs, but he cleared it up that it was all in love and I explained that I only beat up on those I care dearly about.

Pray for Dick’s family. They are in pain. I was in bed, but I had this great urge to get this out.


as a homeschooling mother! Tonight during the NCAA tournament a commercial came on with a very large four legged animal starring. My 12 year old said that he didn't understand why they didn't just train a moose to walk through the hall.

ME: "That's not a moose."
SON: "Okay, then a gazelle."
ME: "That's an ELK!"
SON: "They're all the same."
ME: "No they aren't. I'm a failure!"
HUSBAND: "Bullwinkle's a moose and he doesn't look anything like a elk."
SON: "Bullwinkle's a cartoon character that hangs out with a squirrel that can actually fly."
HUSBAND: "But he looks like a moose."
SON: "No he doesn't."

I'm a failure.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Just Don't Understand

It has rained here in Plano ALL DAY LONG. Roads are flooding. Rescue missions are having to be done for people who choose to drive around barricades. It is still coming down. I don't like to be out in the rain. I like watching it, but I can't stand having it hit my skin. The commercial that sings "feel the rain on your skin" gives me the creeps.

My middle daughter loves to be in the rain. I don't know what is wrong with her. She didn't get that trait from me.

Since I hate being in the rain so much dinner was a "whatever is in the fridge and pantry" meal. I was not about to get out in that downpour.

I must say that I didn't like the pantry/frig combo this time. Sometimes it is a winner and I guess in a way it was. What drives me up the wall is that at least three of the occupants of this house liked the concoction. One of them is my pickiest eater. What is wrong with this boy's taste buds? He didn't get that trait from me.

Here are the ingredients of tonight's pantry/frig combo:
hamburger meat
verde enchilada sauce
fajita seasoning
jack and cheddar cheese
mozzarella cheese

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ain't No Reason

There ain't no reason things are this way.
Its how they always been and they intend to stay.
I can't explain why we live this way, we do it everyday.

Preachers on the podium speakin' of saints,
Prophets on the sidewalk beggin' for change,
Old ladies laughing from the fire escape, cursing my name.

I got a basket full of lemons and they all taste the same,
A window and a pigeon with a broken wing,
You can spend your whole life workin' for something
Just to have it taken away.

People walk around pushing back their debts,
Wearing pay checks like necklaces and bracelets,
Talking 'bout nothing, not thinking 'bout death,
Every little heartbeat, every little breath.

People walk a tight rope on a razors edge
Carrying their hurt and hatred and weapons.
It could be a bomb or a bullet or a pen
Or a thought or a word or a sentence.

There Ain't no reason things are this way.
It's how they always been and they intend to stay
I don't know why I say the things I say, but I say them anyway.

But love will come set me free
Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set me free, yes.

Prison walls still standing tall,
Some things never change at all.
Keep on buildin' prisons, gonna fill them all,
Keep on buildin' bombs, gonna drop them all.

Working your fingers bear to the bone,
Breaking your back, make you sell your soul.
Like a lung that's filled with coal, suffocatin' slow.

The wind blows wild and I may move,
The politicians lie and I am not fooled.
You don't need no reason or a three piece suit to argue the truth.

The air on my skin and the world under my toes,
Slavery stitched into the fabric of my clothes,
Chaos and commotion wherever I go, love I try to follow.

Love will come set me free
Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set me free, yes.

There ain't no reason things are this way
It's how they always been and they intend to stay
I can't explain why we live this way, we do it everyday.


Okay, so Michael being the spy on the ship is not a shock. Saw that one coming...

but i do not want jin to be dead.

I do Not want Jin to be Dead!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Have you ever felt discombobulated and not really been able to put your finger on why? That was me yesterday. I got work done. I was introduced to nice people. I saw new things. I went to new places. But, I just felt very out of sorts.

I had an overwhelming urge to know that there were still people in the world that cared for "the least of these". That cared for the hurting. That knew they existed and wanted to do something about it.

It was weird. Ever felt like this?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Michael Jackson and Puppies

I'm not a morning person. I believe that mornings should begin around 10:30 a.m. But, yesterday I found myself headed to a homeless shelter at 8 a.m. for very long meetings. No food in my belly and more important to my ability to function - no caffeine. When those meetings were over I grabbed a bowl of Raisin Bran so fast my head was spinning. It was followed by a coffee chaser. An hour later I headed to a venue to hang out with "rock stars". I think I might be getting too old for these kinds of days. I dragged myself home late last night and collapsed into bed. I think I spoke to my husband at one point.

Because of one of the guys in this band and one of the guys in this band I will never be able to think of Michael Jackson and puppies in the same way. Not that I have ever spent a lot of time thinking about Michael Jackson and puppies, but if I ever do it will not be in the same way.

I rubbed my hands over one of these guy's face…because he had fuzz on his chin and it was bugging the “mama” in me. I told him he ought to be glad that I didn't give him a spit bath.

We discussed my issue with tight spaces – as in the thought of a sleeping bunk on a bus gives me the heebie jeebies and how I can’t sleep in a zipped up sleeping bag and how it is my Uncle Larry’s fault that I have this problem because when I was little bitty, and yes, I once was little bitty, he would sneak up behind me and roll me up in the quilt my grandmother put on her floor for me to play on. It was decided that I have a serious problem.

At one point a person in this band and I discussed how having four children isn't that hard. The first baby changes your life forever. With the second you are so overwhelmed that you feel you will never survive. By the third you've got it down. The fourth is a cakewalk. You barely realize you've added one.

These are just some of the deep meaningful conversations back stage last night. And you thought it was all just goofing off and laughs.

Friday, March 7, 2008

For dinner tonight...

I made Cinnamon Banana Almond Pancakes from scratch. Two out of four people voting gave these pancakes "two thumbs up" or I guess you could say "four thumbs up". One person said, "they're pancakes." One person complained about the pancakes constantly as he shoveled more and more pancakes into his mouth.

Saving Poverty-Fighting Funding

I'm taking action with ONE to let you know that Congress is on track to cut poverty-fighting funding in the 2009 budget, putting the lives of millions of people who depend on our help at risk.

ONE members around the country are sending a petition to the Senate asking that they restore that funding and uphold our promise to the world's poorest people.

You can sign the petition here:

Thanks for taking action with me.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tattoos and why I don't have one

Mr. Ivey and Mr. Bush have been discussing tattoos on their blogs of late. Showing off new design ideas and telling the histories of ones that are already inked. I find good tattoos fascinating. I like the great stories behind a great tattoo.

My cousin has an amazing collection going down his left arm. He was in the process of having them colored in when he decided he needed to take some trips to Israel to study and minister. He felt it was wrong to ask for sponsorships to help pay for his trips if he was still spending money on his tattoos. So his arm is getting a break from needles being repeatedly shot into it.

Here are my reasons for not getting a tattoo:

5. My parents went ballistic when I got my ears pierced at the age of 21. I was not living at home at the time and was getting married within the year. I can't even imagine the hullabaloo that would happen over a tattoo. Even though I have been married for 22 years, the hullabaloo would still happen.

4. I'm a chicken.

3. I can't afford one.

2. I don't like pain. (Look at Bush's face.)

1. I would never be able to make up my mind on what one to get. I mean it people, they are permanent. And I'm not Angelina Jolie who can afford to get Billy Bob blasted off her arm. I can assure you that Billy Bob would have never been on any body part of mine in the first place, but that is just probably because I wouldn't be able to make up my mind about what font to use! A tattoo artist would be half way complete when I would look up and see a design a like better. That would not be good. Because they are permanent and that means I wouldn't be able to throw it in the floor and reach for another one.

I simply can't take on the stress that looking for the perfect tattoo would mean for me. The search would be ugly for everyone around me. I drive my family batty enough as it is.

Monday, March 3, 2008


in North Texas...weird!

The kids are happy.

Corinn says the flakes are "jienormos".
She and Clay are headed back outside at 8:40 p.m.
We don't get to see snow here very often, so the kids celebrate whenever they get the chance. One year we had snowmen with lasagna and spaghetti noodles for hair and hard corn on the cob for a mouth. I don't know if that is a very traditional way to deck out a snowman, but it worked for them.

It was in the high 70's yesterday. Tonight it is sleeting and snowing. That is Texas weather for you. If you don't like the weather in Texas, wait a few hours.

These two together in one place...WOW

It was a GREAT night!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

blood:water mission

Mr. Brody Harper is on to something good. He wants to do something about the lack of good, clean water in Africa. Most of us take clean water for granted. We love it, we use it almost constantly, we waste it.

Blood:water mission
works hard at providing life giving wells in areas that need them.
P.D. Ross has created cool shirts to help raise money for these wells.

Brody wrote this in his blog:
P.D. explained to me that he wants to get behind this little project here and we are working out the details on how to link the two. Right now P.D. has offered that if someone buys a “Jesus>Thirst” shirt and mentions Blood Water Mission he will donate all of the proceeds to the goal of Two Wells Every Three Months. Pretty generous, eh?

So, get on board and order a shirt OR just donate to the fund Brody has set up. Make a difference. I know people that are so wrapped up in their neat little America that they refuse to see the pain in other countries. Christ has called us to reach out to the poor and hurting. People that don't have clean water are hurting.

Wisdom For The Ages...

When ironing DO NOT grab the white Lysol Mildew Remover bottle instead of the white Downey Wrinkle Remover bottle...unless you like funky designs on your clothes.