Friday, March 31, 2006

Beauty is as beauty does

One day closer to starting the move.... We didn't get to take Em's bed down until last night; just no time after church Wednesday. This time it went much more smoothly. Now we only have the twin beds left to disassemble. I'm guessing those won't be too difficult. Brian will start taking stuff over tomorrow while I am at Noah's ball practice with him in the morning. Then we'll all work together the rest of the day.

I got this wild idea yesterday that I can't get out of my head. The new house has one entire wall upstairs that is nothing but floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. It's probably about 8-10 feet wide (maybe even wider). I would love to actually catalog our books, like a *real* library. I have this thing about wanting to know just where each book is, and cataloging them would really help. Is there anyone else out there who shares this slightly anal trait with me???

Doing my part to make the world a little more beautiful today; I have an appointment to get my hair cut and colored this afternoon. :)

Speaking of beautiful, read this awesome Tony Campolo story I found online yesterday:

A few years ago Tony flew to Hawaii to speak at a conference. The way he tells it, he checks into his hotel and tries to get some sleep. Unfortunately, his internal clock wakes him at 3:00 a.m. The night is dark, the streets are silent, the world is asleep, but Tony is wide awake and his stomach is growling.

He gets up and prowls the streets looking for a place to get some bacon and eggs for an early breakfast. Everything is closed except for a grungy dive in an alley. He goes in and sits down at the counter. The fat guy behind the counter comes over and asks, "What d'ya want?"

Well, Tony isn't so hungry anymore so eying some donuts under a plastic cover he says, "I'll have a donut and black coffee."

As he sits there munching on his donut and sipping his coffee at 3:30, in walk eight or nine provocative, loud prostitutes just finished with their night's work. They plop down at the counter and Tony finds himself uncomfortably surrounded by this group of smoking, swearing hookers. He gulps his coffee, planning to make a quick getaway. Then the woman next to him says to her friend, "You know what? Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm gonna be 39." To which her friend nastily replies, "So what d'ya want from me? A birthday party? Huh? You want me to get a cake, and sing happy birthday to you?"

The first woman says, "Aw, come on, why do you have to be so mean? Why do you have to put me down? I'm just sayin' it's my birthday. I don't want anything from you. I mean, why should I have a birthday party? I've never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?"

Well, when Tony Campolo heard that, he said he made a decision. He sat and waited until the women left, and then he asked the fat guy at the counter, "Do they come in here every night?"

"Yeah," he answered.

"The one right next to me," he asked, "she comes in every night?"

"Yeah," he said, "that's Agnes. Yeah, she's here every night. She's been comin' here for years. Why do you want to know?"

"Because she just said that tomorrow is her birthday. What do you think? Do you think we could maybe throw a little birthday party for her right here in the diner?"

A cute kind of smile crept over the fat man's chubby cheeks. "That's great," he says, "yeah, that's great. I like it." He turns to the kitchen and shouts to his wife, "Hey, come on out here. This guy's got a great idea. Tomorrow is Agnes' birthday and he wants to throw a party for her right here."

His wife comes out. "That's terrific," she says. "You know, Agnes is really nice. She's always trying to help other people and nobody does anything nice for her."

So they make their plans. Tony says he'll be back at 2:30 the next morning with some decorations and the man, whose name turns out to be Harry, says he'll make a cake.

At 2:30 the next morning, Tony is back. He has crepe paper and other decorations and a sign made of big pieces of cardboard that says, "Happy Birthday, Agnes!" They decorate the place from one end to the other and get it looking great. Harry had gotten the word out on the streets about the party and by 3:15 it seemed that every prostitute in Honolulu was in the place. There were hookers wall to wall.

At 3:30 on the dot, the door swings open and in walks Agnes and her friend. Tony has everybody ready. They all shout and scream "Happy Birthday, Agnes!" Agnes is absolutely flabbergasted. She's stunned, her mouth falls open, her knees started to buckle, and she almost falls over.

And when the birthday cake with all the candles is carried out, that's when she totally loses it. Now she's sobbing and crying. Harry, who's not used to seeing a prostitute cry, gruffly mumbles, "Blow out the candles, Agnes. Cut the cake."

So she pulls herself together and blows them out. Everyone cheers and yells, "Cut the cake, Agnes, cut the cake!"

But Agnes looks down at the cake and, without taking her eyes off it, slowly and softly says, "Look, Harry, is it all right with you if...I mean, if I don't...I mean, what I want to ask, is it OK if I keep the cake a little while? Is it all right if we don't eat it right away?"

Harry doesn't know what to say so he shrugs and says, "Sure, if that's what you want to do. Keep the cake. Take it home if you want."

"Oh, could I?" she asks. Looking at Tony she says, "I live just down the street a couple of doors; I want to take the cake home, is that okay? I'll be right back, honest."

She gets off her stool, picks up the cake, and carries it high in front of her like it was the Holy Grail. Everybody watches in stunned silence and when the door closes behind her, nobody seems to know what to do. They look at each other. They look at Tony.

So Tony gets up on a chair and says, "What do you say that we pray together?"
And there they are in a hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon, half the prostitutes in Honolulu, at 3:30 a.m. listening to Tony Campolo as he prays for Agnes, for her life, her health, and her salvation. Tony recalls, "I prayed that her life would be changed, and that God would be good to her."

When he's finished, Harry leans over, and with a trace of hostility in his voice, he says, "Hey, you never told me you was a preacher. What kind of church do you belong to anyway?"

In one of those moments when just the right words came, Tony answers him quietly, "I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning."

Harry thinks for a moment, and in a mocking way says, "No you don't. There ain't no church like that. If there was, I'd join it. Yep, I'd join a church like that."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Get a move on

We're starting to get things ready for the move. Last night, Emily and I helped Brian take apart Noah's bed, a full-size metal loft bed. I much preferred putting it together... Tonight we do Emily's bed (same kind), and I hope it goes a bit more smoothly. Then we'll do Joel and Halle's beds. We're renting a U-Haul trailer Saturday and hope to get all the beds taken to the new house (about 17 miles away) that day. You're probably thinking: "You're taking the beds first? Don't the kids need them to sleep?" You don't know my kids. They much prefer camping out in the family room to sleeping in their beds. So it won't be a problem. We will get as much stuff transferred out of this house this weekend as we can, and then the kids and I will continue to take loads of books and other things over every day next week (after we finish our schoolwork). The landlord has said that we are off the hook rentwise as soon as she finds a renter. But she won't show the house until we have everything out and cleaned. Thus the hope for a speedy move. The big stuff (couches, tvs , dining furniture, etc.) we will get help with. Several of Brian's students who own trucks have said they will help. So we will have to coordinate with them when we can move the big items (and the weather has to cooperate.... doggone rain!).

It's going to be a hectic month. Have I mentioned I don't like hectic?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Faster than a speeding bullet

Yeah, I'm doing bullets again. Cuz they're faster than me trying to compose eloquent thoughts about the stuff that goes on around here.

  • Noah's ball practice was not rained out this weekend, although it started lightly raining about 5-10 minutes towards the end. The wind was blowing like crazy, though. The rest of us stayed in the van, where the littlest 2 watched Chicken Little.
  • Chick-Fil-A is the best chicken in the world. 'Nuff said.
  • I bought some cleaning product from a door-to-door guy a few weeks ago, and Brian thought I paid too much for it. Then he used it today and changed his tune. He has cleaned the car windows, the stove, the washer/dryer...
  • Tomorrow is the pre-possession walkthrough of the new rental house. This will be the kids' first time to see it. We'll be taking the measuring tape to get numbers to help us think about what furniture is going to go where. Then we'll start moving stuff over next weekend.
  • Ran across the coolest thing this week while surfing blog comments: Wonderful Graffiti. I want some!

The kids are waiting for me to watch Dreamer with them and their father, so I'd better run.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Let the sun shine

What a beautiful day we've had today! Temperature in the low 60s and lots of sun. Sure beats the rain we've been having. There's a chance for more rain this weekend, but for now, I'll enjoy the sun. Just a couple more months, and we won't be seeing any rain for quite some time!

We're taking advantage of the weather to grill out tonight. A little later on, I'll be headed to a neighbor's house for a book group, where we'll be discussing Dinner With a Perfect Stranger. As this was my suggestion for the group, I don't want to miss this meeting (I haven't been able to make it to any of the other ones.)

I had to drive up to the Christian school today to drop off some more papers they wanted, then to the base to pick up a few groceries. I sure am looking forward to our move. We'll be so much closer to both of those places. We'll start moving thing over in a week or so. Whether we complete the move in April or not will depend on whether our current landlords will release us from the last month of our lease or not. It turns out that when we signed the lease, it was actually for 13 months rather than 12. So we're hoping our landlords will be generous and let us out of that last month. If not... well, we'll just pay 2 rents for 2 months instead of 1. Ouch.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

To dream the impossible dream

Well, maybe not totally impossible.....

Disney Cruise Lines just announced new cruise itineraries for the summer of 2007. They'll be doing 2 "repo" (repositioning) cruises, the first being in May from Florida to Barcelona, Spain. The second will be in August and make the reverse trip. Both are 14-day trips, stopping at Tenerife, Canary Islands; Cadiz, Spain; Gibraltar; and Barcelona. In between, they'll be doing 10/11 night cruises going to Barcelona, Spain; Palermo, Sicily; Naples, Italy (Pompeii); Olbia, Sardinia; Civitavecchia, Italy (Rome); La Spezia, Italy (Florence, Piza); Marseilles, France; and Villefranche, France (Monte Carlo, Cannes, Niece). Need I say how psyched we would be to take one of these trips??? What an education for the kids! I'm torn between the 14-day (6 straight days of relaxing at sea) and an 11-night (non-stop ports, with just 2 or 3 days at sea... and not all together).

We'll be checking these out to see if we can swing it. Who wants to go with us?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday smiles

Reasons to smile today:

  1. We got the house! The owner called last night to tell us we were the best applicants for the house; we meet Monday night to hammer out a rental agreement.
  2. Noah's first baseball practice went very well. His coach (Coach Marcus) seems like he will be great with the kids.... low key, no pressure, focusing on learning the game and not just winning it.
  3. Came home to a neat house. Emily did a lot of picking up and tidying while Noah and I were gone. This mean we all had time for recreation this afternoon. The kids played with friends while I
  4. Watched a really good movie that a neighbor dropped off while Noah and I were at practice. It was called The Magic of Ordinary Days; it featured Keri Russell and Skeet Ulrich. This was a movie the whole family can watch, although younger kids probably won't find it terribly interesting. Very nice review here. It's based on a novel, so readers may want to check it out as well.

What made you smile today?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Don't look at the time of this post

Too late... I bet you looked. Yeah, I'm up early. Having a puking kid does that to ya sometimes. Nothing like cleaning the remains of Benihana's chicken fried rice to really wake someone up. I'm not sure if Joel is sick, or if it is from sinus drainage. Whatever the case, since the kids were camping out in the family room last night, I had to remove the denim cover from the chaise cushion where he was sleeping and throw it in the wash, along with his quilt. That was after cleaning the floor and using the WetJet. Noah and Halle slept through it all. Joel is tucked away in my bed.

We had a good day yesterday. Big news is that we loved the rental house and are going to apply to rent it. Brian said the owner talked to him like it was a done deal and the application is a formality, so we'll see. If it does work, we probably won't move until May and will do a slow move over, since our lease isn't up here until the end of May. Should make it easy to get things put away. The house is so close to Brian's work.... maybe 10-15 minutes, as opposed to the 30-minute minimum here. That will cut back on our gas bill a lot, as Brian drives an SUV to work.

After we looked at the house, we drove over to Bodega Bay. The weather started getting a bit nasty once we were there, but it didn't stop us from getting a look at some sea lions who were mooching fish scraps from the wholesale fish market along the dock. The kids want to go back when the rainy season is over.

After that, we headed over to Walnut Creek and did a little browsing and shopping at Barnes and Noble. I picked up 2 more Francine Rivers novels and am looking forward to reading them this weekend. Benihana was next on our stop. This was the best Japanese meal we've had since we got to California; the Benihana in Concord is much better than the Benihana Grill in Sacramento, where we ate for Emily and Noah's birthdays.

Brian is moonlighting in Sacramento this weekend, so it's just me and the kids again. As long as Joel isn't really sick, the kids and I are planning to see She's the Man some time today, after everyone's work is done. Then Noah has his first baseball practice tomorrow. Wish us luck.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Just the bullets

Yeah, it's been a few days again. Here's a recap of life since the last post in bullets:

  • Brian stayed home from church Sunday with a queasy stomach. He was mostly recovered by that evening, but said he was hit with extreme fatigue Monday afternoon.
  • I spent Monday and Tuesday being sick (no nausea, just an intestinal thing). Didn't keep me from getting school done with the kids, though. It was one of those things that didn't knock me down until late afternoon, when I started spiking a fever. Where's a good old-fashioned sick day when you need one?
  • Joel was worried about me Monday night and drew me a picture on his MagnaDoodle. He was a bit tearful and wanted me to feel better soon. (I guess this gives you some idea of how often I get sick.)
  • In spite of it all, I even ran errands on Tuesday (returning movies, going to post office, etc.)
  • Managed to get school done with the kids yesterday AND squeeze in a trip to the commissary, not realizing until I was halfway there that it was payday (typically a horrible time to set foot on base). Amazingly enough, I got a good parking space and was able to walk straight to a cashier without waiting in line to check out.

Today's bullets:

  • Today is Brian's birthday. For the next 3 months, we're the same age. Then I get to be the older woman again.
  • We will be looking at a potential rental house at noon today.
  • Dinner to celebrate his birthday at Benihana tonight.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Another Saturday night

It's been a crazy week. Since my last post, we spent a couple of days getting Emily's school application taken care of. She had to write an essay as part of the application and I had a few pages to fill out as well. We managed to get her application turned in Friday morning. Now we wait to hear back from them as to when they want to do the family interview.

We took the kids to see The Shaggy Dog up in Vacaville this afternoon. It was a cute movie. The kids sure enjoyed it. Afterwards, we looked at a house for rent up there. It was only 4 bedrooms, which wouldn't have been too bad... the rooms were big enough for the boys to share. But the yard wasn't great... had a huge hill that would have been heck to mow, plus the grass was so sparse that I am afraid we would have nothing but mud back there during the rainy season; not a good thing when you have a dog.

I've spent my free time this weekend reading "The Mark of the Lion" series by Francine Rivers. WOW. Really good reading. I think I will have to just work my way through everything she has written. She has a way of making the past come alive.

Looking forward to worship in the morning. Afterwards, we're invited to lunch with one of our shepherds. The kids are excited because he has a new puppy they enjoy playing with.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Something new ahead

Today we took Emily up to Vacaville to tour a Christian school there. If all goes well, she'll start her freshman year there this fall. She seemed to like the place and has been talking about being involved in choir and "maybe" drama there. We liked the size of the place and have heard lots of good things about it. It will be a change for us, after having homeschooled for so long. But I think in the long run, it will be good for everyone in the family.

So the hunt for a house closer to the base continues.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Taking it on the road

The family and I just got back a little while ago from being up in Sacramento at the Cordova Church of Christ. The folks there are hosting a Spiritual Training Seminar this weekend, and a few of us from Eastside are participating. Rick and Jarrod are both leading class sessions tomorrow, and Rick is also leading the worship. We've assembled an 8-person praise team consisting of 2 sopranos and 1 alto (me) from Eastside, and 2 basses, 2 tenors, and 1 alto from Cordova. It was neat getting together with people we'd never met before and joining our voices in praise. It was even neater afterwards, when the sound techs played back a recording of the evening worship so we could hear it all blended together.

We'll be driving back up in the morning for the rest of the seminar. The praise team will be singing to start the day and to close it out. I'm really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Life's a puzzle

I mean that literally. We're going through a puzzle phase in our home right now. I picked up a cute Mary Engelbreit puzzle Saturday when Halle and I were out shopping. We didn't start work on it until yesterday, but managed to get the border done and several inside details. (Still a long way to go to finish it, though.) This got the kids interested in working some of their puzzles and longing for some new ones. So today after school and a Family Fun Center clubhouse play session, we stopped in at Target to pick out some new puzzles. Noah and Halle both opted for 100-pc puzzles. Halle's had slightly larger pieces than Noah's and was a Hello Kitty picture. Noah chose a Batman Begins theme. Joel got a 24-pc. Harry Potter jigsaw. Everyone finished their puzzles tonight (except me, of course). I stayed out of their way as much as possible, only helping if they got really stumped. Thankfully, Joel is enjoying taking his apart and redoing it. The other two want to glue theirs together and hang them in their rooms. Guess that is one more thing to add to the todo list.

Related Posts with Thumbnails