Archives for January 2008

While Perusing The Grocery Circulars

Normally I just circle the really good grocery deals. You know, like if Land O Lakes butter is two for five dollars, or Cokes are five for eleven dollars, or Pillsbury biscuits are five for five dollars.

But when I saw this? I needed arrows.

I needed three arrows, to be exact.

And then some exclamation points.

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Because while I have no idea whether or not the price is good, DO YOU SEE THAT THERE ARE TWO CHEESE FLAVORS IN ONE BOX?

TWO CHEESE FLAVORS? IN ONE BOX?

Sharp cheddar? AND parmesan?

IN ONE BOX?

This is an unexpected, precious blessing.

And while we’re at it, do y’all have a preference in the Cheese Nips / Cheez-It showdown?

Personally, I find Cheez-It to be the far superior snack cracker.

As always, I welcome your comments on this deeply important topic.

But please, let’s keep it civil.

Look! Something Crafty!

After all of your sweet comments and suggestions on Monday’s post, I’ve felt really inspired to do a few things that will hopefully make my time in Uganda a little easier on the four year-old here at home. Alex and I have had some great bedtime talks the last couple of nights, and aside from the fact that he says he wants to go to Africa with me and find all the bad guys and fight them and put them in trash cans, his little heart really is becoming increasingly tender for the people on that side of the globe.

And truth be told, I’d sort of like to put all the bad guys of the world in trash cans myself.

Anyway, I’ve had big fun putting some of your ideas into practice. Bailey’s Leaf suggested that I take a Flat Stanley with me on my trip so that we could make a scrapbook (HA! HA HA!) with all the pictures when I get home. I LOVE the idea (aside from the whole making-a-scrapbook part, because OH, THE TWITCHING), so we have the beginnings of a Flat Stanley in the works.

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Only I’m calling him Flat Howard. Naturally. And we’ll be coloring him later this afternoon.

Elizabeth also had a fun idea. She suggested that I make a paper chain to help the little man count down the days until I get home, and I thought that oh-so-cool since time can be such a nebulous concept for a preschooler.

And y’all? To do this little craft?

I ACTUALLY USED YARN.

Somewhere in Colorado, Barb is clapping her hands.

I found a template online for a Valentine’s paper chain (oh, I realize that I could’ve drawn the hearts myself, but that could have possibly resulted in some sort of pencil-related injury), and after about two hours, I managed to cut out eight little hearts.

The things you do for your kids.

I also thought it would be neat if each heart had a Scripture reference on it so that when my hubby helps Alex take a heart off the chain every morning, they can read that verse together and say a little prayer.

Now, of course, I want to cry.

Excuse me while I compose myself.

All better now.

Alex asked me to put the chain in the living room, and I hung it over a painting because, well, that’s where the nail was. Here’s what the finished product looks like.

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Two crafts! Voluntarily! In one day!

THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED.

And clearly I am all done crafting until at least 2009.

Because between traveling overseas and MAKING THINGS WITH SCISSORS, quite frankly I don’t think I can handle much more.

Jewelry Giveaway Update (Now, With Winners!)

Okay – everything is up and running again!

So here are our three Bonbon Charms giveaway winners:

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Commenter #138 – The Park Wife

Commenter #147 – Trina (hotmail email address)

Commenter #257 – Jenn

Congratulations, everyone! You’ll have an email from me shortly with details about how to claim your prize.

And even if you didn’t win, you can still get a 20% discount off of your Bonbon Charms order – just enter the coupon code BOOMAMA at checkout. Valentine’s orders need to be placed by Monday in order to guarantee delivery by the 14th.

Thanks, everybody!

Just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about posting the winners of the Bonbon Charms Valentine’s jewelry giveaway – I promise. But Erica emailed me a little bit ago to let me know that they’re having some major server issues, so I’m going to hold off on announcing the winners until people can actually visit the site and select their charm.

As soon as everything is up and running again, I’ll post the names of the winners and a reminder about the discount code that everyone can use.

Thanks a bunch, internets!

She Speaks ’08

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In a decision she’s sure to question a thousand times over once she realizes THE FULL EXTENT OF OUR CRAZY, sweet Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries has graciously asked Shannon, Melanie and me to lead a couple of sessions on blogging at this summer’s She Speaks conference in Concord, North Carolina.

(And can I just tell you? Lysa has to be the most encouraging person I’ve ever met in my life. Because every single time I hang up the phone after talking to her, I am ready to climb a mountain or compete in some sort of race.)

(That is saying something, my friends.)

Anyway, Big, Rocks and I don’t have everything set in stone just yet, but I believe that one of our sessions is going to be called Shannon Makes Many Good Points While The Other Two Talk Incessantly About Sarah Jessica Parker’s Hair.

The second session is probably going to be Shannon Shares Valuable Information And Insight While The Other Two Hide Under The Table And Whimper.

It’s going to be fabulous!

And seriously, we actually do have something resembling a plan, a plan that requires all three of us to PAR-TIC-I-PATE and talk out loud and stuff. You can read all about what we have up our sleeves – as well as all the other sessions that are being led by people who actually write books and speak in front of large groups and things – right here.

I’ve never been to a conference like this one, but it sounds phenomenal. I know there are a lot of you out there who have ideas for books because YOU ARE LEGITIMATE WRITERS, UNLIKE YOURS TRULY, and She Speaks provides an opportunity for you to receive valuable feedback from peer critiques, sit down with publishers (FACE TO FACE AND EVERYTHING) and get great advice from published writers.

And in addition to the writing track, there’s a speaking track, a women’s ministry track, and a next generation track. You can get info about each of those tracks here (look in the left sidebar for specifics).

There’s also an opportunity for you to earn a scholarship to attend the conference if you (like me) are not exactly in a season of life where you have big piles of cash money for things like conferences and traveling hither and yon across these continental United States. In fact, there’s a scholarship contest going on right now at Lysa’s blog.

I KNOW!

I really do hope that some of you internets will join us at She Speaks. Just think – we could drink diet Coke IN PERSON! Not that that’s necessarily an incentive for you to travel across the country, of course, but Mel, Shannon and I would absolutely love to have some bloggy buddies there with us.

Crazy loves company, you know.

Oh yes ma’am it does.

I Do Hope You’ll Pardon Me While I Have A Nervous Breakdown

Apparently I leave for Uganda in less than two weeks.

I am feeling a smidge overwhelmed.

And by “smidge,” of course, I mean that I am mere moments away from getting back in the bed, pulling the covers over my head, and staying there until at least Thursday.

I had this coming, you know. I’ve been all calm and rational and level-headed about the trip. I’ve said things like, “Oh, I just know all the details will work out” and “I’m not going to stress about what to pack” and “I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out what adapters and cords and converters and blah blah blah I need – it’ll all be FINE.”

Then, about 3 o’clock this morning, I heard Alex crying in his room, and when I went in there he told me that he had a dream that I left him and he couldn’t find me and “IT MADE ME VERY SAD, MAMA! WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME?”

And I thought, “Oh, you don’t know the half of it, because in a little over a week I’m going to VOLUNTARILY LEAVE YOU FOR EIGHT DAYS.”

Then I buried my face in his hair and inhaled for a full ten seconds.

So in the interest of releasing the anxiety, casting all my cares upon Jesus as well as the internets, and trying to GRAB HOLD OF THE REINS, ALREADY, I would like to share my concerns / prayer requests / SUDDEN, MIND-NUMBING, CRIPPLING FEARS with you.

They are as follows:

1. Separation Anxiety

HOW CAN I LEAVE MY BABY FOR EIGHT DAYS? I mean, I know I can. But as I just told the husband, I really think it would be better for everyone if I could somehow temporarily shrink the four year-old, put him in my pocket, and hold his sweet little hand the whole way to Africa. And back again.

This makes perfect sense to me.

2. Sleeping (or lack thereof)

I have been concerned for a few weeks about how well I’ll sleep while I’m away. That concern has now elevated to something akin to full-on panic. So I’m definitely calling my doctor this afternoon and getting a prescription for something to help with that.

I’ll leave out the part about how it makes me a little nervous to take something for sleeping because what if I fall so asleep on the plane that no one can rouse me from my coma-like state and I miss a connecting flight and before you know it I’m landing in Hong Kong and it’s just like that episode of Alias where Sidney Bristow wakes up and boom! it’s four years later and my baby is eight years old and CLEARLY THIS WOULD BE QUITE TERRIBLE.

I’m incredibly rational when panicked, as you can tell.

3. Words

Bottom line: I’m scared of writer’s block.

Or “writer’s” block.

Whatever.

I’m scared that the words won’t come. I’m scared that I’ll sit down to write about all the things I’ve seen and heard and felt, and all that will come to mind is, “Hey, does anyone know the score for the State game?”

Because as y’all know, I can write post after post about Walmart, fried chicken, television and basketball. But I struggle when it comes to articulating my feelings about The Big Stuff. And I’m going to be surrounded by The Big Stuff while we’re there.

So.

If any of these things come to mind over the next couple of weeks, I would really appreciate your prayers.

And I’m going to go cook something now.

Because if I can’t get back in the bed and stay there, then I guess I might as well fix something good for supper.

Something like fried catfish covered in fried onion rings topped off with fried dill pickles.

With a hearty dollop of Ranch dressing.

I’m think I’m feeling better already.

Please Join Us As We Continue To Live On The Edge

There was a period of my life – back in my early twenty-something days – when the arrival of the weekend signaled the beginning of all sorts of activities. There were movies to see, bands to hear and parties to attend, and at these things called parties people would wear festive clothing and celebrate festive occasions like engagements and weddings and birthdays, not to mention the fact that hey! it is the weekend! and we are young! and it is time to enjoy ourselves! by participating in all the festiveness!

But now? On a Friday night? Nothing makes me happier to be in my pajamas by sundown. With some delicious take-out food by my side, an ice cold diet Coke on the coffee table and the DVR remote in my hand.

The times, they have a-changed.

The little man actually has a birthday party for a couple of his friends this afternoon, so I may not achieve my goal of pajamas-by-5. But I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me to announce that, aside from this afternoon’s birthday party and our usual Sunday morning routine, we do not have a single bloomin’ thing on our agenda this weekend. No special events, no commitments, no deadlines, no errands.

We’re just going to be AT HOME, and I for one could not be more excited. Especially because I just realized that this comes on CBS tonight, and OHMYWORD, I JUST ADORE HIM.

And also because there’s a State / Ole Miss basketball game tomorrow afternoon at 4, and I have big plans to sit (or stand. or pace. or vacuum. whatever it takes.) right here and watch the game on TV and scream “COME ON NOW, SON” and call my sister 74 times in the first half alone and maybe even ring my cowbell.

While eating chips and queso, of course.

So while this weekend won’t look even remotely like my twenty-something ideal, it’ll be quite festive just the same.

Because I’ll be in my house. With my people. Wearing my pj’s. Watching all manner of quality television programming.

And that’s some serious thirty-something perfection, my friends.

Hope y’all have a great weekend!