Saturday, December 30, 2006

Welcome to the 21st Century

Just you case you ever wanted step-by-step instructions on how to photoshop a haunted house, here you go.

And if you're not sure if photoshop...and google for that matter...are really officially verbs now, look no further.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

May God Richly Bless You as You Celebrate the Birth of His Son!!

Merry Christmas to all...

... and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Red Carpet Theatre, Here We Come!

Anna and I went to see The Nutcracker, performed by the Houston Ballet, and had a great time. We went with some friends, and we all enjoyed it. The sets were very impressive, and I think some of those dancers must be made of rubber! We sat near the front of the balcony, so we had a good view of the formations.

The music was great of course, and it was fun to hear it played by a live orchestra.

Half the fun of the evening was getting all dressed up and going out for a "girls' night out." We pretended we were elegant, and complimented each other on how nicely we clean up. We coined a new phrase for the evening, too: "From grunge to glamour."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Soggy Christmas

Hmmm, maybe all this rain means we'll have a nice green spring.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Movie Review

I went to see The Nativity Story the other day, and I thought it was excellent. There were a few things that were altered from the Biblical account, but it was still very good overall. My favorite part was the way they portrayed Joseph. They took the description of him as a righteous man, and really fleshed it out. It was very touching to see the way he cared for Mary. It was also great to see how it all happened to just ordinary, simple people.

So if you're in the mood for a good movie or need some help getting in the Christmas spirit since you live in Houston and it's 80 degrees outside, then I recommend The Nativity Story.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Laura made an office for herself this week. It was very creative of her, but I find it slightly disturbing that my 7-year-old sister is eating her lunch in a cubicle.

Here's to staying out of offices as much as possible.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I've Been Tagged for a Quiz!

A - Available/Single? Who wants to know?
B - Best Friend? Jesus
C - Cake or Pie? Pie
D - Drink Of Choice? Iced Tea
E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? My computer
F - Favorite Color? Dark Blue
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Worms
H - Hair Style? Long, but NOT loose
I - Indulgence? Chocolate
J - January Or February? January (my birthday!)
K - Kids & Their Names? None yet
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? God’s Word
M - Marriage Date? Sometime in the future, I hope.
N- Number Of Siblings? 5
O - Oranges Or Apples? Oranges
P - Phobias/Fears? Speaking to crowds
Q - Favorite Quote? I love lots of quotes, but this is one of my favorites: “When a train goes through a tunnel, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” –Corrie ten Boom
R - Reason to Smile? I’m going to heaven when I die!
S - Season? Spring
T - Tag Three People? I’m going to assume that you are like me and only do the quizzes you like, whether you’ve been tagged or not.
U - Unknown Fact About Me? I have a Starbucks travel mug decorated with Lord of the Rings photos.
V - Vegetable you don't like? Broccoli
W - Worst Habit? Staying up too late at night.
X - X-rays You've Had? Do dental x-rays count?
Y - Your Favorite Food? Chocolate
Z - Zodiac Sign? Huh?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Carved Crayons

I guess crayons aren't just for coloring books.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

This is What Happens When You Combine Two Businesses

I found this in Reader's Digest:

Karate classes and footwear sales: Chop Shooey
Turkey farm and auto-detailing service: Gobble Degook
Frozen treat and mascara booth: Custards Lash Stand
Optometry and psychiatry clinic: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Isn't This a Fun Watch?

I wonder who I could buy it for? (if I had $150 to burn)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dance Camp

John and I spent last weekend at a fantastic folk dance camp. We went last year, and this time was even better. It was fun to see again all the people we had met last year. We had dance classes during the days, and learned Balkan dances and Vintage dancing, such as the cross-step waltz and galop quadrilles. I loved all the classes. Each evening was a dance party where we danced the night away. Each party had a theme, and here's a picture from Vintage night:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

Holocaust Museum

I went to the Houston Holocaust Museum recently, which was a very sobering experience. It's not the sort of thing you can say you enjoy, but it's interesting, and it's important to remember what happened, I think. The museum was a lot like a memorial. There weren't very many artifacts, and those that were there were the kind you'd have at a memorial. There were children's shoes found at Auschwitz, stones from a crematorium, and a boxcar outside just like the ones used to transport the Jews. The museum had a lot of signs to read that told the story, as well as lots of old photographs. There were a few videos that showed Nazi propaganda, the Warsaw ghetto, and stories of survivors.

It was all pretty overwhelming because it was so horrific. Two things really struck me. One was the amazing power of propaganda. It caused millions of people to believe it was right to systematically murder an entire innocent people group. It boggles the mind.

The other thing that struck me was how the Jews endured such terrible things when they’d done nothing wrong. It made me consider whether I’d be able to stand up for my faith in the face of torture and death if I had to. I have such an easy life, that the things I complain about are really nothing at all. The situation was different for the Jews because they were being attacked because of their very identity. There was nothing they could change or any faith they could recant to get off the hook, but it still made me consider the similarity to persecution against Christians.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Fun Shopping Trip

The truth is, I like shopping...some of the time. I don't like it as a form of entertainment, but when I'm looking for something in particular and I actually find it, then it's fun. This trip was especially fun because I had a bunch of coupons and gift cards to redeem.

This "dancing tea light candle holder" was free at Bath and Body Works

when I bought a bottle of oily skin foaming facial wash. I hope it works.

Oh, and I stopped here:

for my free hot dog. (Hmmm, maybe my face wouldn't be breaking out if I didn't eat junk food. Oh, well, I don't do it very often.) Then I got Olay lotion ribbons body wash with aloe extract (???)

for $2 off at Walmart. There was a quick stop to get more cash,

and my most exciting purchase: a new optical mouse! No more old-fashioned, troublesome rollerball for me. ($10 off at OfficeMax)

I was quite pleased with this too: a lovely bread tray on sale at Macy's. Final price after using gift card: $0.81.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Man Judges By the Outward Appearance

John and I have had a lot of dance performances this fall, which has given me the opportunity to observe the power of a costume. I've danced in ethnic costumes quite a bit, and it's a lot of fun, but I had a costume this fall that was particularly, well, cute. I don't have a picture of it handy, but it looked almost exactly like this. I pretty much looked like a china doll in it. It's not that I'm really that cute, but it was just the outfit. Well, it was amazing to me to see how differently people treated me when I had that costume on. It was like I became a different person when I stepped out of the dressing room. Complete strangers would come up to me all the time and give me a hug or ask to take my picture, even before the dance show. I'm really not very outgoing and I'm easy to overlook in a crowd, but not with that conspicuous outfit on! I met so many people just because of my clothes. The incident that topped it all was when a woman came up to me with a camera and a little girl of about three. She said to me, "Would you mind if I took a picture of you with my daughter? She thinks you're a princess!"

And the moral is: Your clothes say a LOT, so dress wisely.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Texas Day

My family has the tradition of "visiting" another country for a day by decorating, wearing costumes, having food from that place, and studying it beforehand. This year, we didn't really "go" anywhere because we did historic Texas. It was a lot of fun. Here's our table, with the children's posters and the life-size longhorns behind it.

Laura decided she was going to be a cowboy, so that gave us four "couples." The cowboy boots even made her taller than Becca!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I went to a Brad Paisley concert last night, and it was a time of great music, and also great people-watching. I enjoy concerts, but I'm certainly not the type that jumps around and screams. I usually try to ignore the people who are jumping around and screaming, but I observed something at this particular concert that I couldn't ignore. In fact, it has given me great cause for consideration.

It was during the song, "When I Get Where I'm Going." If you haven't heard it, it's a beautiful song about the joys of going to heaven. Anyway, lots of people started raising their hands and swaying to the music...exactly like the people at some church services. Even though the song was about heaven, I'm extremely doubtful that those people were praising God. They were the same people who were drinking beer and screaming their lungs out when Brad Paisley appeared on stage.

That led me to ponder several questions. Was I observing idol worship when the people raised their hands in an attitude of praise? Or, was it merely an emotional response to the touching nature of the song and the excitement of the moment? If the latter, then what is the case in so many church services? Are the people worshipping God, or is it just an emotional response to the music and the excitement of the moment?

I don't think I can answer these questions, but it's something each person should consider in their worship of God...and in their conduct at concerts.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Classification of Squash

Some people must get confused about which pumpkins are for pie and which are for jack-0-lanterns. I saw a bin of pumpkins at the grocery store that had this sign:

Face Pumpkins

Ok, you got it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Project

Well, my businesses really aren't going very well, and while I like my new job, I'm being seriously under-utilized so far. The result of all this is that I am...well...uh...bored. It's just a temporary time of limbo, but I can only hang around the house catching up on reading for a short time before I go stir-crazy. So, my new project is remodeling one of our bathrooms. The only catch is that I don't know how to remodel a bathroom! However, I'm willing and cheap labor, and I learn quickly. John's job for today conveniently got postponed, so he was able to help me get started on it. Here's what we have so far:

Have faith!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Amazing, Huh?

I think a "self-esteem fund" sounds fishy, but this is still a very interesting video.

Monday, October 16, 2006

And the Rains Came Down

We didn't have any bad flooding in our neighborhood, thankfully, but our prayers are with those who were not so fortunate.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Well, it didn't rain, and it was a pleasant day for sitting outside and reading, but it was still a long, BORING day today. I hate to say it, but the truth is, I didn't sell a single thing. It was frustrating, but I'm okay with it. The day wasn't wasted because I did get to give away a lot of tracts. I had them in a basket on my table, with a sign that said, "please take one." The million-dollar-bill tracts were by far the hottest item I had! They were so popular I probably could have sold them.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fall is Finally in the Air

It's been hot here, with only an occasional and brief tease of cool weather, until this week. A front came through that brought some very impressive storms and wonderful cool weather. We actually got down to the low 60s! Yes, that's good for Houston in October. We opened the windows this morning, and my father decided he'd better wear a coat to work. Ahhhh, I love fall!

I am hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow, though. I rented a space at a flea market, and I'm going to try to sell gift baskets and some hand-cut silhouettes I made.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Pizza Crust Acrobats

Who had any idea making pizza could be this fun?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Useful Live Cam

In keeping with the theme of live cams, here's one that's actually useful. It shows up-to-the-minute live-action shots of...are you ready?...

...Houston traffic.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Victory at Last!

Well, I gave up on my cheap, off-brand router, went down to Best Buy, and bought a Linksys router which was conveniently on sale.

I plugged it in, got it configured, and had everything up and running, including hotmail, in about half an hour. That's opposed to hours of troubleshooting and endless grief with the other router. Take it from me: don't buy cheap, off-brand computer equipment. I got very suspicious with the old router when I talked to their tech support and after several failed attempts at solving my problem, the technician said the router was not compatible with my modem, and I should go buy someone else's router! You know it's bad when the tech support sends you to the competition to buy their products instead!

So now I can watch the Africa cam all day long, and immediately see the emails that people send me about it! Just kidding...sort of. The Africa cam does seem to be causing a rather peculiar contagious addiction to go around among my family, friends, distant acquaintances, and even total strangers and their friends, family, and distant acquaintances. Oh dear.

Oh, look! A herd of water buffalo is there now!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I may have created a monster. Now my whole family is popping up every few minutes to look at the computer and check on the African watering hole. Now only that, but my father called from work to say, "There's a deer at the watering hole! Go look!" Hmmm, maybe he's having a slow day.

And in other news, I finally got my wireless internet network to work! I was so excited, but then I went back to the depths of despair when I found that I can't access any MSN sites. It makes no sense to me, but MSN seems to have an issue with my router. What good is this wireless internet when I can't check my hotmail account? I don't want to have to change email addresses. That would be a huge pain, and I just got business cards printed!

I guess I'm going to have to call tech support.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

If you don't have anything to do today...

...check out this live webcam of a water hole in Africa. If you watch long enough, you'll probably see an exotic animal come for a drink!

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Hotel Room

Here are a few pictures I took of my hotel room in Fort Worth. It was the only thing I could photograph without being conspicuous, so you'll just have to imagine the two-story fountain in the lobby.

I felt very small in this room. The ceiling was about ten feet high, and the curtains went floor-to-ceiling, as you can see. Plus, there was a giant entertainment center and a king-size bed. I liked this office spot, with the phone, the high-speed internet plug, and a fresh rose!
Does one person really need seven feather pillows?
I definitely like the digital thermostat. It was so much better than a big, loud, moldy window unit.
I think I could get used to this!

But don't worry, I still like camping.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Whirlwind Trip

I'm back! It was a fast, short, full, and exhausting trip that I haven't had a chance to recover from, but I'm very glad I got to go. I was able to not only observe and learn how things are done, but also jump in and help. I spent most of my time working at the registration desk, and I did a lot of different things. The attendees were mostly hospital CFOs and vendors who were trying to sell stuff to the CFOs. Most of them were nice, but there were a few strange people like the lawyer who was walking around with a piece of junk mail he'd received that had the words, "I JUST WANT TO BE CREMATED." I guess he thought it was a good conversation starter. Oh, and then there was the, uh, person who'd had a sex change. Yikes.

The conference was held at a nice hotel in Fort Worth. Our conference was in the Grand Ballroom. I felt a little like a country girl who'd gone to a palace, but I tried not to look like someone who'd never stayed in such a nice hotel before. I did take pictures of my room, though! Maybe I'll post some tonight. Or maybe I'll just go to bed as soon as I get home since I've been experiencing fuzzy thinking due to my sleep-deprived brain.

I've decided I need two things if I'm going to continue in this business: a sharp-looking but very warm jacket for the frigid meeting rooms, and a laptop case with WHEELS. Maybe I'll go shopping for one next week when I'm finished with my current job (my last is Friday!) and I've had a chance to sleep for a day or two.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Business Trip

I'm off on my first ever business trip this weekend, which should be an interesting adventure. It'll be a flight, a taxi ride, a two-night stay in a three-star hotel, the whole nine yards. It's for a new job I'm starting working for an administrative services firm. Part of what they do is organize conferences and be on site to handle registration and make sure everything runs smoothly. I'm going in order to tag along and learn the ropes. I'll let you know how it turns out, and if they put a chocolate on my pillow, I'll be sure to take a picture of it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My Evil Side Comes Out

I was looking through a catalog last night, and it became entertaining when I found this doormat:
Someday, I'm going to have a charming house with a big, inviting wooden porch, a bay window, a porch swing, and this doormat....

...or maybe not. We'll see.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Divided House

I saw a car on my way to work this morning with two bumper stickers. One said:

Texas Aggie Grandmother

and the other said:

I'm a Longhorn Grandma

I wonder if she's pleasing everybody or nobody.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Wireless Networking Blues

I've decided to set up a wireless network at my house, and so far, the score is Computer: 1, Katie: 0. The supposedly simple network that I'm trying to set up is made more complex by the fact that our main desktop is old and doesn't have a wireless card or an ethernet connection. So, I pretty much ignored the router setup instructions and used my laptop to configure the router. Then, I unhooked my laptop and tried to access the wireless connection, which did not work (of course). Oh, the wireless network is floating around out there, just like all the others in the neighborhood, but it won't let me in.

I'm sure all you network experts out there are laughing your heads off, but go ahead. I'll figure this out if it kills me! I will not be undone by a computer! I'll have to make a trip to the computer store and get some parts, then maybe I'll be able to follow the instructions on the second round.

One thing's for sure: I know I worked on the problem too long before calling it a night because I had a dream about internet connection properties windows. Yikes; I don't even usually remember my dreams.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Focusing on the Lord in the Dizziness of Life

I read an article yesterday that included this paragraph:

"Seeking approval from everyone in our orbit is akin to the nauseating dizziness a dancer experiences when she does not keep her eyes on one object as she twirls. Just as dancers are taught to spot, Christians are also taught by God's Word to spot. The Bible tells us that we are to keep our eyes on the Lord and seek His approval only."

Being a dancer, I know exactly what this author was talking about. The world can be whirling around you, but if you focus on a steady spot, you won't lose balance or feel sick. This analogy was a good reminder for me, because I tend to fear the people around me and lose my focus of living only for the Lord. I need to stop concentrating on myself and on the crazy world spinning around me, and trust that the Lord will guide me safely if I keep my focus fixed on him.

The Best T-shirt Ever!!

I spotted someone at the pizza shop yesterday who was wearing a shirt with these words:

Who are you, and why are you reading my shirt?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


We've been learning a fun new dance for a performance later this month. It's so much fun because I get to fly! Here's a picture of some other people doing it:

It's really not as hard as it looks. In fact, when the guys start running, it's easier to fly than to not fly. I will admit though, I got the timing wrong the first time, didn't lift my feet soon enough, and started screaming! Since I wasn't hurt, (just scared), everybody was laughing. Yeah, I really am the comic relief everywhere I go!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006



I had my first Pampered Chef party yesterday, and it went very well in spite of the fact that my director couldn't come and I forgot a bunch of stuff that I was supposed to say! My guests seemed to enjoy it though, I had fun, and there were no catastrophes. There were only minor mistakes and mishaps that just made it all light-hearted and fun. I was laughing along with everybody when I did stuff like shred the cheese onto the floor! It started turning into a comedy act and I was thinking, "This really wasn't supposed to be this funny!" Oh well, I had fun anyway, and sold a bunch of stuff, so I suppose it was a success. Whew!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pleasure and Pain

I seem to have hazardous hobbies. I keep getting a blister from playing the bass, and now I have a bruised foot from doing a lift/jump move in a dance. (I came down a little too hard on a tile floor.)


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Happy Bookworm

My sister just started a blog! Everybody stop by and say "Hi!"

Having Trouble Keeping up With My Own Life

Word to the wise: don't change jobs, start two businesses, join the Bible study and praise team at church, and begin a dance performance season all in the same month. It's entirely too much to think about.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I find it interesting that a lot of fast-food places are trying to come up with a healthier image by offering salads, wraps, and tons of nutritional info, while Dairy Queen seems to be full steam ahead with the salt, sugar, and grease. They are now advertising the Texas Chili-Cheese Beltbuster. The name says it all, but if you want a picture, here you go.

Monday, September 04, 2006


At the suggestion of my mother, I'm now giving the answers to all the questions I asked on Friday. After having the weekend to calm down and think things over, here's what I have so far:

Why do I have a crushing feeling that I must prove myself successful to people who seem to be counting on my failure? Because I don't want people to think I'm a loser, which is based on pride, but on the other hand, I'm really not a loser and shouldn't think of myself that way.
What is success anyway? It's being obedient to whatever God calls you to do.
If you try something and fail, does it mean you never should have started? Not at all. Experience is always valuable, and we have no way of knowing how God will use our efforts and experiences in ways we may never see.
Why do people seem to think that because I'm trying several things at once I'm aimless and don't know what I want? Because they don't have the whole picture and may jump to conclusions. But it doesn't really matter that much.
How come it backfires when I tell people only the part of my story they need to know? Same thing, too much jumping to conclusions. It's often just miscommunication.
Do I really have to share all my ideas and ambitions with everybody, especially when I know they won't like it? I shouldn't feel like I have to share things I'm not comfortable sharing, but I also shouldn't be afraid to share my ideas just because people may not like it.
How can I stop caring so much what people think? Just do it! (with the Lord's help, of course)
Isn't it a good thing to get out of my comfort zone and push myself to try something that doesn't necessarily come naturally? Absolutely. How else will I learn and grow? Besides, almost everyone who goes against the flow faces naysayers.
Why does everyone seem to be so wrapped up in how much money a person makes? That mentality has completely taken over our culture, and even most believers have been sucked in.
Why can't I think of all the stuff I want to say until after the opportunity is gone? Maybe I just have insufficient cleverness, or maybe if I stopped caring so much about what people were thinking about me, I could think more clearly and be able to articulate better. I think I need to practice.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Questions I'm Asking Myself Today

Why do I have a crushing feeling that I must prove myself successful to people who seem to be counting on my failure?
What is success anyway?
If you try something and fail, does it mean you never should have started?
Why do people seem to think that because I'm trying several things at once I'm aimless and don't know what I want?
How come it backfires when I tell people only the part of my story they need to know?
Do I really have to share all my ideas and ambitions with everybody, especially when I know they won't like it?
How can I stop caring so much what people think?
Isn't it a good thing to get out of my comfort zone and push myself to try something that doesn't necessarily come naturally?
Why does everyone seem to be so wrapped up in how much money a person makes?
Why can't I think of all the stuff I want to say until after the opportunity is gone?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Did You Know?

There's a town in Texas called Point Blank.

I wonder if there's a good story behind that.

From My Inbox (no offense to any attorneys or witnesses out there)

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, of what people actually said in court... word for word. They were recorded and now published by court reporters, who had to keep a straight face while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY : When is your birthday?
WITNESS : July 18th.
ATTORNEY : What year?
WITNESS : Every year.

ATTORNEY : What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS : Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY : This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY : And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS : I forget.
ATTORNEY : You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY : How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS : Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
ATTORNEY : How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS : Forty-five years.

ATTORNEY : Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS : We both do.
ATTORNEY : Voodoo?
WITNESS : We do.
ATTORNEY : You do?
WITNESS : Yes, voodoo.

ATTORNEY : Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS : Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY : The youngest son, the twenty-one year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS : Duh, he's twenty-one.

ATTORNEY : Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS : Would you repeat the question?

ATTORNEY : She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY : How many were boys?
ATTORNEY : Were there any girls?

ATTORNEY : How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS : By death.
ATTORNEY : And by whose death was it terminated?

ATTORNEY : Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS : He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY : Was this a male or a female?

ATTORNEY : Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS : No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY : Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS : All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

ATTORNEY : ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

ATTORNEY : Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY : Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY : Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY : So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY : How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS : Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY : But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS : Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Backyard Visitor

This wonderful spider took up residence in our yard today. It is called, appropriately enough, the Black and Yellow Garden Spider.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Why School?

The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursuing his own education. This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else.
- John W. Gardner, 1912 - 2002

I read this quote today, and it reminded me of how grateful I am that I was able to be home educated. I learned very early that education is not something that's separate or incompatible with the rest of life. Home schooling allows children to learn how to learn and actually enjoy it. Those who know how to teach themselves will always find the world a fascinating place.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Bend in the Road

I hope you’re sitting down, because you’re about to hear BIG NEWS.

After much thought, prayer, discussing with my parents, and keeping a secret all summer, I’ve decided to leave my full-time job and actively pursue starting my own business of making and selling gift baskets. I actually started it last May, and have finally gotten everything set up and ready to go. My project now is marketing, which I might as well do right now. Please visit my website!!!

I also signed up with Pampered Chef, and am hoping the two businesses can help each other out. I hope I’m not getting myself in over my head. It’s going to take me out of my comfort zone, but I think it’ll be fun. I’m hoping to get everything up and running in time for the holiday shopping season.

The next month is going to be nuts, since I actually gave five weeks notice at my job. So, if blog posts are scarce or not very well thought out, it’s because I’m working a full-time job, and starting two businesses!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A New Picture For My Office

There's this hilarious website called that has some fantastic pictures called "Demotivators." I think this one is my favorite.

Thanks for the link Lindsay!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Game Must Go On

My family set out to go play baseball at the park this morning. It was quite an experience, and it all started at the breakfast table. We were discussing our plans and the talk turned to safety. Various people said things like don't throw the ball too hard and don't throw the bat when you start running. Seth suggested that we wear bicycle helmets, and the conversation was all downhill from there. Next, my mother said she was going to bring her wooden spoon and spank anyone who threw the bat, so we started imagining our mother running around a baseball field with a wooden spoon! We thought someone would say, "Ma'am your bat is very small." As if that wasn't enough to have us all being very silly, the sky was getting cloudy and we heard thunder in the distance. So, we decided that we were going to be the only family in town playing baseball wearing bicycle helmets, and hitting the ball with a spoon in the rain!

Off we went, minus helmets and spoon, and had a fun time playing for a while. We don't really have enough people for a proper team, and we aren't very good at it, but we had fun anyway. That is, until it started raining. It didn't take long for most of us to take shelter in the dugout, but John, Anna, and Seth kept right on playing! I think they were nuts, but they didn't seem to mind that they were getting soaked to the bone. Plus, the ball field started turning into a mud hole, so they were very dirty too. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. These are the same people who slept out under the stars one night on our vacation even though it was drizzling!

EDIT: That was yesterday, and this is today, and the whole family is hobbling around groaning because of all the sore muscles! Hmmm, maybe we should play baseball more often.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Marriage Quote

Seeing as how I'm not married, I really don't know what I'm talking about here, but I still found this quote amusing. There may be a tiny bit of truth in it.

"Marriage is the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Beware the Red Chips

I went to Taco Cabana for lunch today. I like it, and I think it's pretty much the best place for a $5 lunch. However, there's something there that always bothers me: THE RED CHIPS. They're about the color of cherry pie filling, which is just wrong for chips. I feel like I'm eating a paint chip from Lowe's. There must be gobs of dye in those things. So my philosophy is go to Taco Cabana as often as you like, but DON'T EAT THE RED CHIPS!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

World Trade Center

I went to see this movie last Saturday, and thought it was excellent. I love stories of real-life heroism. The movie mostly showed the aftermath of the disaster, focusing on the rescue of two police officers trapped in the rubble. It was a very inspiring story. I also appreciated the portrayal of a particular character who was shown to be a Christian but also presented as a hero.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Liquid Ban

I’m thankful that the recent terrorist plot was foiled in time, but I’m also saddened at how the wickedness of a few makes everyone suffer. We gradually get treated more and more like suspects in our own homeland. Some of the new restrictions, like the complete ban on all liquids, seem ridiculous to me, but on the other hand, I understand that it’s much more efficient to just ban everything. Besides, as the world becomes a more threatening place, sacrifices become necessary in order to have safety. I wonder if we’ll ever be able to really win the war on terror.

I guess it’s all just such a reminder of how the world is hurtling towards a dramatic finish. We really shouldn’t expect things to get better, at least not long-term.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wardrobe Harrassment

Yesterday, I wore a skirt that I think is cute and fun. It's an American Eagle skirt I found at a resale shop. It's a long straight skirt made of nylon in an army green color. It has white piping along each side, two velcro-closed cargo pockets, and a back slit with a zipper.

My mother says I look like a walking duffel bag.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Moment In Time

Yeah, I know news has been slow this week, but here’s why.

Right now, I’m:

-Listening to the Chariots of Fire theme song
-Drinking water
-Eating a Hershey’s kiss
-Writing agency info on forms
-Nurturing an almost-gone jar candle to melt as much wax as possible before it burns out
-Watching an email pop up

Exciting, huh?

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I saw this bumper sticker this morning. It struck me as funny, but I’m at a loss to figure out what it means, exactly.

Don’t meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.


Any ideas?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Few Things I've Learned In My Life

  • You should turn away from the birthday cake when you blow out the match.
  • Roller coasters make me sick.
  • Wearing flip-flops in thorny grass is a bad idea.
  • Airport security x-ray machines confuse ipods.
  • Soft drinks make me feel bloated.
  • In movies: sword fights-good; gun fights-bad.
  • When dancing, focusing steadily on your partner’s nose prevents dizziness. (The eyes work too, but that has a tendency to induce blushing.)
  • Long, full skirts do not coordinate well with wheeled office chairs.
  • The later you have lunch, the faster the afternoon goes by.
  • Jumping in piles of dry leaves is a temporary pleasure followed by great sorrow if you have long hair.
  • The gas gauge in my car shows empty when it still has two or three gallons left.
  • I can go almost a hundred miles on three gallons of gas.
  • You don’t sweat as much when you ride a bicycle as when you walk.
  • Restarting cures many computer problems.
  • It’s tough to eat an ice cream cone while driving a stick shift car.
  • I’m not obligated to finish every book I start.
  • None of the cut-an-onion-without-crying tricks work.

Monday, July 31, 2006

I Think This is Good News????

Here are the results of an online quiz I just took.

You Are 36% Gross

You're a tad gross, but generally you're a clean, hygienic person.

No one can be perfectly clean all the time, and it's better to be human than a neat freak.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Wrist Vacation

Today, I'm amusing myself by seeing if I can drive the mouse left-handed all day. Well, actually my right wrist has been sore and I'm afraid I'm developing one of those repetitive-stress-injury-office-malady-whachamacallit-things, so I'm giving my wrist a break to see if it helps.

So far, it's just a good time-killer since I'm super slow with my left hand. I'm getting better, but it's still pretty pathetic. One of my co-workers walked up behind me and saw me overshooting everything on my screen and said "You aren't left-handed!"

Yeah, no kidding. Maybe I should just learn every keyboard shortcut known to man.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Concert Tricks

I found this picture on the website of the Dortignac family and thought it was fantastic. Look carefully and see if you can connect each hand to its correct person!

This reminds me of a concert my family went to last weekend that featured similar musical acrobatics. Here's my brother, Seth's description of it: "For one song [the hammered dulcimer player] said he would play the harmonica, hammered dulcimer and guitar all at once! He started with the dulcimer and harmonica. Then another man came up behind him and started playing the guitar! Afterward the guitar player lifted up his arms and scratched the other guy’s head like they were the other guy’s arms. It was really funny."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Have You Ever Stolen Anything?

Several members of my family like to give away million-dollar-bill tracts, which are very popular. That fact was driven home the other day when my sister went to the orthodontist office. Both she and my father have braces, and when she went for her appointment, the lady at the front desk asked her, “Is your father the one who gives away those million-dollar bills?” When Anna said yes, the lady asked if she had any more because someone, probably the cleaning people, had taken hers. It turned out that my mother had some in the car, so they gave the lady a replacement. Anna noticed that the lady had a big yellow post-it note on her desk that said, “To whoever took my million-dollar bill: I want it back!!”

We all thought that was hilarious, and find it fantastic that people are asking for tracts, and when they lose them, they ask us for replacements!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Surprise at the Country Club

I went to a wedding reception at a country club on Saturday. It was very nice and I enjoyed it, but that’s not the point. There would be no story if everything had been merely nice. So here is what happened.

My friend and I were in the restroom, and when we came out, we were met by a staff person who asked us if anyone else was in there because someone had just told him there was a snake in the restroom. A SNAKE!!?!!?!! There are very few things that are more startling than being told there is a snake in the restroom just as you are coming out!

We went back in to help the guy find the snake and to watch the door to keep out females prone to screaming. We were soon joined by another staff person with a big plastic bucket. That’s when it really got funny. These two guys in black uniforms and aprons were in the ladies restroom catching a little grass snake with a five-gallon plastic bucket! The snake turned up next to the sofa in the lounge area, and the guys slammed their upside-down bucket over him. Then, they stood there thinking, “Now what do we do?” We suggested they get a tray out of their kitchen to slide under the bucket and capture the snake that way. They were in no mood to take advice from girls, though. They eventually tilted their bucket a tiny bit, grabbed the snake, and took him outside. The bucket really served no purpose at all!

I hope no one saw the kitchen crew member walking down the stairs with a snake. If they did, at least it was after lunch!

Friday, July 21, 2006

This is Funny

Now the evolutionists say mammals began evolving into humans because they were afraid of snakes.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Have You Thanked God for Electricity Today?

I have a new appreciation for it after sitting a very quiet, very dark, very boring office for about 3 1/2 hours this morning. There's a new highway going in right behind our building, and something related to the construction knocked out our transformer. It's remarkable how little you can do with no computer and no phone: literally nothing. I lit candles and sat in a comfy chair reading a mazagine in between chatting with my co-workers. We were told the power would be back around 10:00, but that came and went. When we got back from lunch, we called again and the estimate was 4:00, so we said that's it, we're going home. Just as we were walking out the door, the lights came on. I could not believe it. What a disappointment!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another Reason to Eat at Chick-Fil-A

They just started selling milkshakes!! You can get chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, or cookies 'n cream, all with whipped cream and a cherry on top! Yum!Except, maybe not, since excessive consumption of dairy products contributes to acne, allergies, anemia, cancer, colds, colic, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis....


End Times Study: Is It Important?

First of all, I must say that anything in the Bible is certainly worthy of study and careful consideration. But, I have come to believe that end-times theology just isn’t worth arguing about. The Bible tells us a lot about the end times, but not everything. Many times, when people discuss and debate the passages that talk about the end times, it turns to mere speculation.

For another thing, what difference does it really make what scenario we come up with? As long as we believe the basics that are clearly laid out in the Bible, do we really need to try to figure out all the details? Will it make any difference in what we believe about God or how we live our lives? Won’t we be seeking righteousness, sharing the gospel, and worshipping God whether we call ourselves pre-trib, post-trib, or whatever?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Challenge: Spell English Words

from today's newspaper:

Don't you love the English language? The funny part of this is that spell check wouldn't have helped this guy, actually.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Clown Hair

My family went to the circus yesterday, which was a lot of fun. We got in a discussion on the way home though, about whether Bello the clown's hair was real or not. I'd heard that it's his real hair and it grows straight up naturally. Most of the rest of the family said something like, "yeah right."

So here you go guys. Although I must admit that the website only says that he says it's his natural hair.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Are You A Soldier?

I’ve been reading the book, Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper. It’s excellent, and has a lot of good insights in it. I’ve liked every John Piper book I’ve read, and this is no exception. The last chapter is about missions, and while he stresses that you don’t have to be a foreign missionary to keep from wasting your life, you do need to consider it and be willing to go if God sends you. He had an excellent analogy in there of comparing the church’s task of missions to a war.

In a war, certain people are rigorously trained, properly equipped, and sent out to the front lines of battle. But back at home, there are vast numbers of people building guns, planes, and tanks, sending supplies, praying for the safety of the soldiers, and excitedly receiving any news from the front.

In one sense, we should all view ourselves as soldiers in this spiritual battle, but in another sense, this is a good analogy to the way the church should function. Everyone is either sending or being sent, and every task is valuable. Also, those of us who are senders should be ready for action when it becomes clear that we’re needed on the front lines.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Is It Okay to Look for a Spouse?

This is a topic I’ve been thinking about recently, and even more so since discussing it with my family last weekend. You’ll soon see that it’s definitely still in the thinking stages. First, two disclaimers are necessary. 1. This will probably seem very disjointed, with way too many questions. But, it’s not an article. You are merely eavesdropping on a conversation I’ve been having with myself. 2. You are welcome to let me know if you think I’m nuts because it is quite possible that I am, indeed, nuts.

So, what about it then? Expect for when I dabbled with online matchmaking, I’ve generally thought that I should just contentedly wait for God to bring me a spouse: the right person at the right time. I’ve thought that if the man hasn’t shown up yet, either I’m not ready or he’s not ready, and if God wants me married he’ll bring The One along with no help from me.

But now, I’m having a fairly radical thought: what if there isn’t just one? Does God really have just one person out there somewhere who would be my ideal match? If that’s true, what if he died at birth? What if someone else married him by mistake? How does that fit with widows who remarry?

I believe that God cares about every aspect of our lives, but is it over-spiritualizing to think that God has just one person who will miraculously come across my path? Maybe it’s not true that if the man hasn’t shown up one of us isn’t ready. Maybe if everyone around me thinks I am ready, I should go find someone else who’s ready.

I also believe that it’s important to have standards and not lower them out of frustration. Better to be married to a godly man for forty years than a jerk for fifty. But what if there’s more than one person who qualifies? Or what if there’s almost nobody who qualifies and just happening across such a person is an extremely remote possibility?

Honestly, I think very few people are truly “called to singleness” and the rising numbers of single adults make me think something must be amiss. Are we holding out for perfection? Is it possible that the idea of waiting for a “soulmate” is based in selfishness? Are we looking for someone who will make us completely happy rather than looking for someone with whom we can raise a family? Why don’t we just pick somebody, make a commitment, and then stick it out, for better or for worse?

Some have said to me that if you go looking for a spouse you might be jumping ahead of God’s timing and missing something better he had for you. But isn’t there a danger with that kind of thinking that you’ll be holding out forever for something even better? As long as we don’t abandon our values and standards, I don’t think we should be that concerned with missing out on perfection, especially since perfection doesn’t exist in this world. For example, how can we expect to find someone who’s never crabby but will happily put up with us when we’re crabby?

And what about couples in the Bible? Didn't Abraham take a look at his son, decide Isaac needed a wife, and promptly send a servant out to find one? Hmmm, I wonder how other Biblical couples got together?

  • Adam and Eve--this was definitely a miraculous, divine intervention, but it cost Adam a rib.
  • Jacob and Leah--why I'm not advocating arranged marriage
  • Jacob and Rachel--Jacob: a man obsessed with beauty; Rachel: the beautiful cousin. Ok, nevermind about that one.
  • Boaz and Ruth--She asked him because he was rich. Wow.
  • David and Abigail--Hot-headed future king meets intelligent beauty in a moment of drama. God conveniently kills her pathetic husband.
  • David and Bathsheba--no, falling in lust with a woman and murdering her husband is not a good idea.
  • Job--this might be a good case for staying single, actually.
  • Hosea--God told him to marry an unfaithful woman. She was probably easy to find.
  • Joseph and Mary--probably another arranged marriage. I guess it works sometimes.
  • Aquila and Priscilla--an excellent example of a couple who are truly partners in every aspect of life. I wish the Bible told how they met.

Well I'm not sure what to think about all that, except that there doesn't seem to any sort of magical formula, that's for sure.

Ok, that’s all. If you made it to the end of all these disorganized thoughts, congratulations! You are now free to tell me I’m losing my mind. But you might want to do it quickly, because if this train of thought continues, I might have to recant all that stuff I said about online matchmaking.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This is what happens...

...when a banjo player goes out in public.*

Just kidding. Although, sometimes I think John wishes it were true.

*Don't worry, it's just a sticker. The only girls who ever kiss him are in his immediate family (as far as I know :-) ) and we don't wear lipstick.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Quotes on Getting After It

"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up knowing it must run faster than the fastest lion or be killed. Every morning a lion awakens knowing it must outrun the slowest gazelle or starve to death. It doesn't matter if you are a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, you'd better be running." Anonymous

"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." Abraham Lincoln

Five Things Survey

I was tagged for this quite a while ago, and am just now getting around to it. Oh well, better late than never.

5 things in my refrigerator:
1. light bulb
2. drawers
3. ice machine
4. batteries
5. food

5 things in my closet:
1. pipe cleaners
2. contact paper
3. slide projector
4. luggage
5. clothes

5 things in my purse:
1. cell phone
2. pen
3. gum
4. wallet
5. nail clippers that aren't actually there right now because my brother borrowed them and hasn't given them back

5 things in my car:
1. Belkin wireless ipod FM transmitter
2. gray spring-loaded umbrella that I bought in Istanbul
3. key map
4. silver window shades
5. Kleenex box

Friday, July 07, 2006

I Think I Want to Grow My Hair Long...

...but... ...I wonder how long that took?!?!?!?!

How They REALLY Make Hondas

This might be the best car commercial EVER!!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

20 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For Smuggling Diamonds"

7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With The Prophecy."

8. Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15 Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!, I Won!"

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling, "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity....... Share this with everyone you know.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

How I Spent Independence Day, 2006

Okay, I might as well admit it right now. The only thing patriotic I did all day was wear a flag shirt. I spent the day transferring folk dance music from one computer to another, posting items for sale on ebay, cooking, cleaning, playing instruments, watching it rain, and being sick. I got a head cold somewhere, but thankfully, it wasn't enough to keep me in bed. I just carried a kleenex box around with me all day. I did go to bed early, and I lay there for a while listening to fireworks going off. We apparently have some wacko neighbors who think it's fun to shoot fireworks in the rain.

Bah humbug.

Monday, July 03, 2006


My sister Anna has a very impressive bug bite on her leg. We've had all kinds of speculations about what got her. Seth says it was probably a deer tick and is probably fatal. Everyone else thinks it must have been some sort of spider, but not a very poisonous one because Anna never felt sick. She had quite a bit of pain yesterday, but not much at all today. Hence the smiling pose.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I Love Technology!



Friday, June 30, 2006

I Might Order This Book...

...but I'm not sure. I think maybe I've read enough old maid books already, but this one looks really entertaining.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Trip Photos Part Three

Here are the girls riding the steam locomotive narrow gauge train. We rode in an open car, and even though we wound up looking like chimney sweeps from the soot, we had an excellent view the whole way. Blowing off steam over a bridge.
The boys.
The little girls in front of our locomotive. This was at the turn-around point in Silverton.
One of the many breath-taking views from the train.
It was a blast!