Thursday, April 30, 2009

April showers bring May flowers (I hope!)

It rains A LOT here. At least once a week. This week, it has rained every day except yesterday. In some ways, it's nice because everything is very green, but how can you enjoy the green when it's raining all the time? Also, there aren't any wildflowers here. I miss the bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and buttercups; here, we have dandelions. TONS of them! Our entire yard pretty much consists of dandelions and clover; I'm not joking. There are a few patches of actual grass. Darby spread some "Weed and Feed" yesterday, so we're hoping for the best. We can't pull the dandelions because we read that you have to dig them up to make sure you get the entire root. Ummm, no; if we did that, we'd have no yard. We did go out and snip all the heads off so that they don't go to seed and spread their seeds for next year. Ha! Within 12 hours, the heads had grown back. They are mocking us.
The one place we do have quite a bit of grass is in our flower beds. Go figure. It is embarrassing how awful our front yard looks. I am going to attempt to plant some things in the beds this weekend to spruce it up a little. Any gardeners out there got ideas for relatively cheap, low-maintenance, fast-growing perennials that like full sun? (On the days when it is sunny, our yard gets full sun; I'm hoping we have more sunny days soon!)

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm happy because...

  • I'm wearing flip-flops for the first time since November! (Well, not including after I had my toe surgery. That doesn't count, though, because my feet were freezing!) The high today is 81!
  • This morning I got 10 Swagbucks. Have you heard of this site? You win prizes just for using them as your search engine. At first, I thought it was a scam, but then I heard about more and more people using it. So I signed up. The site is powered by Google, so the searches are actually pretty good. Sometimes, you'll do a search and get nothing, but other times you'll get one, five, or ten Swagbucks. (One is the most common, of course.) You use your bucks to get prizes. When I get 45, I'm going to get a $5 Amazon gift card. I've been doing it for about a week, and I already have 21! If you're interested, go here to sign up. If you use that link, I'll win Swagbucks when you do. (Of course, if you don't really like me, you can always just go to and sign up without my referral)
  • We're going with a couple from church to Custard Cup tonight. And, if that weren't good enough, they are picking us up in their street-legal dune buggy. How awesome is that?!
  • Michael and Pam got re-hired on The Office! Okay, I know it's kind of lame to be happy about something that happened on TV, but I really liked last night's episode.
  • I get to see my family in two weeks!! We're flying to Abilene for Hannah's graduation. I think this is the longest I've gone without seeing at least one member of my family (over 4 months). It's too long!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Like a train wreck

TLC has done it again. They've sucked me in with a show that is so repulsive, so extreme that it is irresistible. First it was Toddlers and Tiaras. Now, it's I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. Has anyone seen this show? It's insane. It features women (and evidently there are a lot...I saw 12 last night alone) who didn't know they were pregnant until they delivered their babies. They interview the women and also have a dramatic re-enactment of the scene (ewww!). I'm just having a hard time believing that someone could not know they were pregnant. The first few women I saw delivered about two months early. Seven months is pretty far along, but I conceded, "Well, okay, maybe there is a slight possibility they didn't know." Then, I saw women who delivered at 38 weeks! One woman's baby weighed over 8 pounds! And one woman didn't realize she was pregnant with TWINS! You have got to be kidding me. Now, I know I've never been pregnant, but I have seen my fair share of pregnant women. I just do not understand how you could not know. Evidently, it's more common than I thought. I was just sitting on the couch going, "This is crazy! I don't believe this." Darby said, "Why don't you just watch something else?" But I couldn't. That show has some kind of hold on me. It's dangerous.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I am old

It is a long-running joke between Darby and me that I am a grandma. (Actually, a lot of grandmas are cooler than me!) I go to bed early; I'm stuck in my ways; I don't take risks. More recently, my ambivalent attitude towards technology has added fuel to Darby's fire. I'm always complaining about "kids these days and their texting." And the other day, Darby and I heard a commercial on the radio for a vibrating mascara wand. This is how the conversation unfolded:

Me: That's stupid. Why would you need vibrating mascara?
Darby: I'm guessing it mimics the repetitive motion people use when they apply mascara.
Me: Yeah, but it's not that hard. Why do you need technology for it?
Darby: Well, if the technology's out there, don't you think they should make the improvement?
Me: No. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Darby: I can't believe you just said that, grandma.
Me: Well, it just makes me mad that scientists could be spending their time researching a cure for cancer and instead they're inventing vibrating mascara wands.
Darby: You are so old.
Me: If being old means you have some sense, then yes, I am old.
Darby: (dying laughing)

I've always thought of the "old" thing as kind of a joke. I mean, for the most part, I still feel young. But today, I realized that maybe it's not a joke. They were playing a game on the radio where the caller had to guess what a bunch of text message abbreviations mean. I was thinking, "Oh, I bet I'll know these. This will be easy. They'll say j/k, lol, stuff like that." Well, I was wrong. I only knew one of the six! Am I that out of touch? Do people even say lol anymore? Is that like saying "nifty"? I don't know what to think.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For the past month, I've been filling in as a teacher for Cradle Roll at church on Wednesday nights. I'm a regular teacher on Sunday mornings, but we never have any babies on Sundays. :(

So, I go from work where I spend all day editing reference lists that have no rhyme or reason, deliberating over the exact placement of commas, trying to locate information the author left out online, filling in 1000-line Excel spreadsheets, etc. to singing: "See the daddy bunny hop, hop, hop. See the mommy bunny hop, hop, hop. See the baby bunny hop, hop, hop. All the bunnies go hop, hop, hop."

It's marvelous. Now, don't get me wrong, caring for babies is very hard work. And I know I'd get tired of talking "baby talk" all day. But it's a lovely one-hour break. If only I could get those songs out of my head!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is it really that bad...

  • To load your washing machine so full it rattles the whole house and threatens to break loose from the wall?
  • To thaw and refreeze meat, vegetables, well, practically everything two or three times?
  • To accidentally leave your mug warmer on all day almost every day?
  • To sometimes not recycle because you're too lazy to wash out the container?
  • To eat movie theater popcorn and a Dairy Queen Blizzard for dinner?
I hope not.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

I had kind of a hard week this week, and I was driving to work on Friday feeling sorry for myself. Then, I thought about how it was Good Friday, and I started thinking about the sacrifice Christ made for me on the cross and the hope I have because of his resurrection. I started feeling pretty silly for worrying about such insignificant things when I should be full of joy, peace, and hope. I'm glad we have this time of year to draw our focus back to what is truly important; I pray that we may all live our lives daily as ones who are saved by the grace of God through the power of Christ.

I want to share with you my favorite passage of Scripture about the resurrection:

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body....

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 50-57

Monday, April 06, 2009

Cooking up a storm

On Saturday night, Darby and I had our preacher and his wife over for dinner. Their daughter is our friend Katy. She came, too; her husband was working, so he couldn't come. They invite us over for dinner with their family all the time, so I was glad we could return the favor at least once.

Now, whenever we have company, I go a little crazy with the prospect of cooking for more than just two people. After deliberating for HOURS over the menu, I finally settled on poppyseed chicken, squash gratin, and homemade crescent rolls (my mother-in-law's recipe). For dessert, I knew I wanted to bake a layer cake. I usually take desserts to other people's houses, so I have to make things that can be easily transported. Layer cakes don't fit the bill. So, I decided this would be the night for a layer cake. I made a marbled lemon blueberry cake with lemon buttercream frosting.

Now, I thought I had made homemade buttercream before, but apparently I hadn't done it the "right" way. The right way involves boiling sugar and water, and gently pouring that mixture into eggs. You then beat that mixture for 20 minutes. (Thank goodness for my Kitchen-Aid!) Then, with the mixer running, you add 3 (yes, 3!) sticks of butter 2 tablespoons at a time. I added lemon juice at the end. When I tasted the frosting, it tasted pretty much like butter. So I added more sugar and some vanilla. It was still a little too buttery for my taste, but everyone else liked it. I think I'll stick to the normal butter/powdered sugar/vanilla buttercream from now on. It was a little too much work, and didn't come out very smooth. I don't think I softened the butter enough.

But, if I can brag on myself a little, my cake turned out beautiful! The layers all came out even and stacked perfectly. I forgot to get a picture before it was almost gone, but here's the remains:

Not professional quality, but pretty good for me!

My rolls turned out pretty well, but not as good as Debby's. I still need practice! It was a very fun day of cooking, and we enjoyed eating and playing games with our friends.

On Thursday, I'm cooking dinner for our college group (about 15 people). This is the largest dinner I've ever cooked, so I'm excited and nervous. I feel like this is kind of a test of whether I could even consider doing catering.

Friday, April 03, 2009

All grown up

As I was getting ready for bed the other night, I was considering skipping brushing my teeth. That's probably unthinkable to some of you, but I really don't like brushing my teeth, especially at night, when I just want to get in bed as quickly as possible. But, I went ahead and did it.

When I was younger, I used to skip brushing my teeth all the time. So I asked myself, "Why won't I let myself skip anymore?" Then I realized, "Because I'm a grown-up now." The realization was a little startling. I truly am a grown-up. It's hard to believe that, and I think the main reason is that being a grown-up is nothing like I thought it would be when I was a kid. When I was younger, these were the things I thought I would most enjoy about being an adult:
  • Going to the grocery store whenever I wanted and not having to wait for mom's scheduled trip. Ha! I would love it if Mom still did my grocery shopping for me. And I have a weekly trip. If I run out of something before then, I often just do without.

  • Buying whatever I wanted. Well, I guess technically I can, but I don't because I don't have the money.

  • Eating out whenever I wanted. See above.

  • Skipping church if I was really tired. I've never skipped on a Sunday morning and have very rarely skipped Wednesday (now, Thursday) nights.

It just seemed funny to me that most of the things I thought I would do when I was an adult (spending money, skipping church, etc.), I don't do because I am an adult. Being an adult involves a lot of doing stuff you don't want to do! (Not that I don't enjoy church; it's just that there are times when I would really like to stay home but I go anyway.) Now, don't get me wrong, I like my life, and I do plenty of things that I enjoy. Overall, I think being an adult is pretty fun. But being a kid was super fun; I don't think I appreciated that enough.