I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. I Samuel 1:27

Monday, February 25, 2008

Car Suggestion?

You guys did such a great job giving me book suggestions last year, I figured I'd try with car suggestions. :)

As I've mentioned before, both of our cars have very high miles (mine - 154,000, Jay's over 250,000). So, we are starting to be in the market for a new-to-us car/SUV/mini-van/crossover.

There are just too many to choose from!!!

Does anyone have a vehicle that they really like? I would like something larger than a sedan (although I REALLY like my Chrysler 300). Something that rides nice, has lots of storage, is either front wheel or all wheel/4 wheel drive. Good gas mileage would be nice, but since I'm not driving into work every day of the week now I'm not putting as many miles on my car as before.

We will only be buying used - under 50,000 miles - and hopefully somewhere in the $10,000-$13,000 range. (since we are a Dave Ramsey family now - cash only!!!) Even if you don't think your suggestion would fit in our price range, still let me know.

The cars I've been looking at are the Chrysler Town and Country, Honda Oddysey, Kia Rondo, and the Chrysler Pacifica. I haven't gone out and done any test driving yet - but maybe in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks in advance!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What Has Alex Been Up To?

I don't know if it was because my mom was here, or he was just ready, but Alex has just exploded developmentally in the past 2 weeks.

He is now talking, talking, talking and talking. He now repeats EVERYTHING he hears, and most of the time that word then gets added to his vocabulary. I can now understand about 75% of what he says. Between his new verbal abilities and his signing he can now almost always communicate with us.

He is now REALLY playing. He's always been a good player. He could play independently or with other people. But, in just the past week he now is playing - really thinking about what he is doing and using his imagination.

Here's one of my favorite from last week. He was in the family room with my mom and starting signing lion (and saying it the way he does which is to growl), pointing down the hallway and then signing "scared." My mom asked him if there was a lion in the hallway - and he said, "Uh huh" (his other new favorite thing to say). Mom asked him if they should go scare the lion away. He said, "Uh, huh." He immediately got down on his hands and knees and started crawling down the hallway. My mom followed (on her hand and knees - she's such a great grandma!!). They got down to the end of the hallway and then yelled, "Lion, go away!!" Alex then came running back down the hallway to tell me that they scared the lion away. He has repeated this once a day every since then.

He is still really into his "La Las" but also really likes to play with his balls and cars. He LOVES his Barbie movie and now tries to dance like Barbie - which is HILARIOUS!! I will really try to get that one on camera.

It's really like overnight he went from a toddler to a boy. It's kind of sad - but also a lot of fun. He hasn't shown anymore signs of wanting to go potty on the potty, but honestly, he's been so busy learning new things, I'm sure he can't concentrate on that!

(me - I'm continuing to do better. I even got out of the house a little bit this weekend. I'm having a hard time sleeping without my medicine - I think my body got very used to sleeping with some sort of help. I still get tired very quickly, but the pain is practically gone.)

I leave you with an old video of Alex I never posted. We have this Turkey that hops and sings this annoying song. Alex used to be scared of it, but recently he has grown to love it. Whenever it goes off - he does the dance in the video (and he has to have something in his hand to dance with)


video

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Quick Update

Hey everyone! I just wanted to get on real quick before my next set of drugs kicked in to let you know that I'm still here.

The surgery went well (although it was an interesting day that I'll blog more about later) and my recovery is going better than I expected. I don't know if I had just bult it up in my head to be horrible, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. I'm keeping the drugs going every 4 hours and sleeping when I can.

Having my mom here has been a really big help, and I think she is having a great time with Alex.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts/prayers/emails/comments - I really appreciate it!!

I'm now back to la-la land!! :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's Almost Here

I think this will be my last blog post for awhile.

I work a half a day tomorrow - then run some errands - pick up Alex - and then head to the airport to pick up my mom. I'm still having choir practice tomorrow night, though!

Surgery is Thursday - I don't know what time yet - but it should be in the morning. I could sure use some prayers. I'm WAY nervous - but I so need to get this done. I'm just one walking infection. (and I haven't even blogged about half of my sickness over the past couple of months) I'm tired, and feel like crap pretty much all the time, and I haven't been a very good or fun mommy lately.

I haven't even taken any pictures in WEEKS. I promise that when I'm recovered I'll do a better job. Alex is talking more and more every day. His word for today is "help." He's been signing it for awhile, but today was the first day that he said it. He also really likes to draw pictures on his MagnaDoodle. He draws bananas, butterflies and pacifiers. (but you better make sure you ask him what he's drawn, as they all like remarkably the same) Jay gave him a nice long bath tonight and taught him how to say, "Uh oh, Spaghettios" SOO funny!!!

I also don't know when I'll be up to checking everyone else's blogs. (although I have a feeling it's going to be one of the first things I do when I'm feeling better - I don't know if I can handle the withdrawal) So, if I comment on your blog this weekend and it doesn't make sense - I blame the drugs.

Thanks in advance for the prayers!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Book and Movie Review

Book Review

"Eat, Pray, Love"

I wanted to give this book more than the one sentence reviews I gave the books in my last post. I know that many of you have read this book and I'll be interested to hear what you all thought. (for those of you who haven't read it, here's a review from The New Yorker"

At the age of thirty-one, Gilbert moved with her husband to the suburbs of New York and began trying to get pregnant, only to realize that she wanted neither a child nor a husband. Three years later, after a protracted divorce, she embarked on a yearlong trip of recovery, with three main stops: Rome, for pleasure (mostly gustatory, with a special emphasis on gelato); an ashram outside of Mumbai, for spiritual searching; and Bali, for "balancing." These destinations are all on the beaten track, but Gilbert's exuberance and her self-deprecating humor enliven the proceedings: recalling the first time she attempted to speak directly to God, she says, "It was all I could do to stop myself from saying, 'I've always been a big fan of your work.'"

This book was recommended to my by a fellow Buckeye lover (who happens to be in Guatemala right now bringing home their second daughter!!!). I will have to admit - I just bought it without really looking at it. When I got it home I wasn't sure. Here's this women - lives in New York - just went through a divorce - and to get over her ex (and an ex-boyfriend) she decides to take a year off and travel to Italy (where she eats), India (where she prays) and Indonesia (to try to balance the two). First of all, who are these people who can just take a year "off." Maybe the practical person in me just couldn't see doing that. Granted - she wasn't married and didn't have any kids - but still......aren't there still bills to be paid?

Italy - I can understand - after all it was all about indulgence and food for her. Two things I can get into!! But the India part concerned me. The whole point was that she was going to spend half of her time in an Ashram studying with her Guru. I wasn't sure how I was going to handle that part. It seemed very much against my Christian beliefs. I didn't think I wanted to read a book about some hippies getting together to do yoga and try to find "themselves." And I was still very uncertain how Indonesia fit into the whole thing.

Let me just say - I'm SO glad I gave this book a chance. Elizabeth Gilbert's writing style is amazing. There were many times that I laughed out loud - and MANY times that I reread a passage because I needed to hear it again and again. In fact, the India section ended up being my favorite part. I'm not sure I've heard a better sermon than that section.

Elizabeth was pretty messed up at the beginning of her journey. She was having a hard time forgiving - letting go - and loving herself. She made some remarkable strides during the course of her year of travel.

My plan is to re-read the book and pull out sections and I plan on sharing those sections - and my thoughts with you guys.

I leave you with this - Near the end of the book, she finally struggles (and wins) with the horrible feelings that she was still harboring. And then this section (which I think is quite appropriate for the first Sunday in Lent)

"When all this was finished, I was empty. Nothing was fighting in my mind anymore. I looked into my heart, at my own goodness, and saw its capacity. I saw that my heart was not even nearly full, not even after having taken in and tended to all those calamitous urchins of sorrow and anger and shame; my heart could easily have received and forgiven even more. Its love was infinite.

I knew then that this is how God loves us all and receives us all, and that there is no such thing in this universe as hell, except maybe in our own terrified minds. Because if even one broken and limited human being could experience even one such episode of absolute forgiveness and acceptance of her own self, then imagine - just imagine! - what God, in all His eternal compassion, can forgive and accept."

I highly recommend this book!!!

Movie Review

"The Ultimate Gift"

We watched this Friday night during our lady's night out at church. This is NOT a "church" movie, though. Here's a synopsis of the movie:

Jason thought his inheritance was going to be the gift of money and lots of it. Was he ever in for a big surprise. Based on the best-selling book "The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall, the story sends trust fund baby Jason Stevens on an improbable journey of discovery, having to answer the ultimate question: "What is the relationship between wealth and happiness?" Jason had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy Grandfather, Howard "Red" Stevens. He hated him. No heart-to-heart talks, no warm fuzzies, just cold hard cash. So of course he figured that when Red died, the whole "reading of the will" thing would be another simple cash transaction, that his Grandfather's money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. But what Red left him was anything but simple. Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life. Twelve tasks, which Red calls "gifts," each challenging Jason in an improbable way, the accumulation of which would change him forever. Written by Sajbel, Michael O.

Let me just say what an AMAZING movie this is!!!! You must rent/borrow/buy/Netflix/RedBox/steal (ok maybe not that last one) this movie. I would also suggest you have a box of Kleenex with you when you watch it. (I pretty much cried through most of it - but I also think I'm a little hormonal right now) This is a movie about what is really important in life and how easy it is to lose sight of those things. I plan on getting the book this week. I usually like to read the book before seeing the movie, so I hope I'm not disappointed.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Randomness

Here are a few things I've been meaning to blog about for quite awhile.

** National Championship - I haven't blogged about Ohio State losing to LSU. It was a hard loss. At least we played a little better this year than last year. It was still very hard. The worst part was that I bet my boss, Kim, on the game. I ended up having to wear a LSU shirt to work one day. Everyone was making fun of me....but a bet is a bet. :) (there, Kim, I blogged about it - are you happy now???) :)

** Book Reviews - I asked for ideas for books to read on vacation back in November. I first read "The Glass Castle" OH MY GOSH - what an amazing book!!! I highly recommend it. "Three Cups of Tea"- this one was harder for me to read, but was still a really good book. People like that are amazing to me. I can't believe that someone has the guts to do what he did. I can't quite give you a review of "Eat, Pray, Love" yet as I'm still reading it - but so far I LOVE it!!!!

** New Job (ok, Kim, don't freak out!!) - I have a new job, although it's not replacing my old job. I've recently been hired by my church to be the Music Director. What that means is that I am the choir director (and I accompany the choir), play piano for church, and help plan the worship services. I've been fighting this for about 6 months. I've been praying about it for a long time. I didn't know what to do. I finally asked God to reveal to me what He wanted me to do - and boy did I hear it loud and clear. :) I'm excited about my new position, but it is a lot of work.

** I'm getting too old!! - I've never been a big partyer. Even in college - if we didn't do it by midnight - I didn't do it because I was going to bed!! And, as I revealed in a previous post, I didn't drink until my 21st birthday. Friday night I went out with co-workers and stayed out until 2:30 am. I had a good time (stopped drinking at 9:30) and haven't done that since Alex has been home. Boy - did I pay for it the rest of the weekend - and it wasn't because of the alcohol (because I really didn't drink that much). We went to Howl at the Moon (dueling piano bar) - lots of singing - lots of dancing - and very little sleep. Yikes - I feel old!!!