Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lessons in Writing

Eleven blogs have found their way into my Google Reader and one made a huge difference in my entire day yesterday.  The post was all about practical ways to be a lifelong learner.  My heartbeat!  Just where to start, what to read, how to invest my time?!  I easily get overwhelmed to a standstill.  Yesterday’s thoughts revolved around one particularly:  Read quality.  Think classics, textbooks, journals, articles, historical fiction, etc.  I read none of those.  In fact, I read little at all.  I’m reminded of it every time I type a post.  I want need to be well read. 

So I took the challenge and in my favorite get-to-the-point style, here are some books I’ve been disappointed with recently and some I’ve been intrigued enough with to make a priority for October reading.

T1.  How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.  I love the cookbook for the variety and thorough explanations, but Wednesday night I served coffee cake “muffins” to some students.  They were voted biscuits instead of the melt-in-your-mouth muffins I’d hoped they’d be.  Way to fail me, cookbook!  esther

R2.  Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman by Beth Moore.  Just  started this study with three other women last night, and I’m beyond excited!  First study with Beth ever, but it seems to be just what I’ve needed.

]3.  The End of Reason by Ravi Zacharias.  It’s been sitting on my shelf for over a year, unread.  I’m diving in this month!

Three Cups of Tea_Mech.indd]4. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.  Picked this one up in stores more times than I can count but never bought or read it. 

R5.  One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda.  My friend knows the author and let me borrow this a week ago.  All she had to say was orphans and India in the same sentence, and I begged to borrow it.  Challenging material about living on purpose and raising kids to do the same!

T6.  The Weekly Curriculum:  52 Complete Preschool Themes by Barbara Backer.  Not at all what I was hoping.  Could be better titled The Weak Curriculum

These aren’t classics or textbooks, but they’re a start!  Any quality reading you’ve enjoyed recently?  I’d love to hear.  Maybe those could begin my November/December list!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

13 Weeks

It’s almost finished!  The first trimester with all of it’s night sickness, indigestion and weird food cravings.  Two unknown trimesters remain. Minus the sickness, it’s only just begun or so I hear.  So borrowing from a few fun blogs here are some questions that might make the 13 week recap a little more entertaining and direct.

How far along? 13 weeks and one day
Total weight gain/loss: 4 pounds up
Maternity clothes? Not really…just looking chunkier in my old ones
Sleep: The fatigue is diminishing, but I still enjoy an afternoon nap when I can swing it.  At night, ask my bladder.
Best moment this week:  Drooling through Babies ‘R Us with Jason.  Movement: No, yes?!  Not sure what it feels like but thought I felt something funny one night this week. 
Food cravings: Dr. Pepper (terrible, right?!), no chocolate (a true miracle since I used to be a chocoholic), and Japanese.  Really still no rhyme or reason to cravings.  They are new every morning.     Gender: Guesses- Kelley (Boy!!!)  Jason (Boy!?)
Labor Signs: Not talking about that away from the context of the word epidural
Belly Button in or out? In and defying it to change from that position.
What I miss: Sleeping without two/three bathroom trips per night
What I am looking forward to: November 5th when we’ll finally know boy or girl
Weekly Wisdom: Don’t buy the first infant car seat you see!  There will always be better down the road.
Milestones: A few people saying:  “You look pregnant today.”  Should I smile or cry in response to that?!                                            Pictures:  Finally, a glimpse of our little one.  This is an 11 to 12 week old, so our babe should be a wee bit bigger.  Still makes us shake our heads in amazement.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nanny-Locks and Keys

Monday I heard these words:  “I wocked bof doors.”  And with an innocent, wide-eyed nod of pride he added, “I did.”  We were on the back porch having a picnic.  My keys, phone and bobby pins were inside.  Every crevice of the house- sealed tight.  Thankfully the pasta and applesauce on the boys’ plates bought me time.  While they munched, I paced.  Surely the next door neighbor would be home soon for her boys’ naps.  One thing was certain though:  Maggie, her dog, wasn’t keen on me trying their door to slip in and use the phone.  The growling and motionless tail gave it away.  Bless Maggie’s poor, scary soul.  With that option scratched I hoped the boys’ dad would come by for his occasional lunch at home or maybe the neighbor two doors down would happen to be home from work.  All options after that included dragging two blonde boys from house to house in search of a kind, compassionate stranger to let us make a long distance call.  I was dreading those options even though I knew their cuteness could win almost anyone over.  

To my complete relief ten minutes later as we were heading to check out “two-doors-down neighbor,” the most amazing sight pulled into view.  It was a lunch at home day!  As dad got out of the car I told him our situation without telling on the culprit.  But beaming with pride the prankster declared, “I did it!  I did!” 

Nothing like the honesty of a two-year-old!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Small Huge Things

1.  West of the Salt Flat.  Every time we see Matt Tegen’s blue Ford truck sitting empty we’re reminded of the new reality:  DSC03012He’s officially started his year of work in Haiti!  Emails tell us he’s arrived safely to the island with all of his equipment and already becoming acclimated to cold water showers, rickety boat rides and no- electricity-nights.  Now for preparing meals, teaching computers, learning Creole, blazing heat, etc.  You can read more about Matt (Jason’s oldest brother) and his work in Haiti at his website.  We’ll have updates coming periodically to Tegen Central.

2.  Answers from Heaven.  She called me weeks ago and her story made me fall to my knees.  She’s my cousin who’s living in ATL, and she’s always been the most loyal friend even when I haven’t!  My heart broke when she told me of her desperate need for a new place DSC00071to live, a new job, a renter for another house in AL and clear direction to stay in ATL or go back to AL. She’s been through so much and come so far.  My words and prayers with her were: “God, You have promised You do not fail.  You have to answer!!  Your child needs Your provision.”  Her call two nights ago is still making my heart rejoice.  A new assistant manager job is almost hers.  A sweet couple has an affordable apartment to rent.  A family member wants to rent the house in AL.  Each one is a complete miracle!  And we know enough of God to think He’s not finished.  This is our God.  How good He is!!

3. Baby Central.  Two ladies this week generously gave clothes for the coming months of pregnancy.  Tops and blue-banded pants having maternity clothesus scratching our head at the transformation that will be taking place over six more months.  Already we’re seeing my waist expand but are relieved I haven’t started the marshmallow stage yet.  Marshmallow stage= the time in pregnancy when your hips, arms and face get involved in the fun.  That Arby’s run last night probably won’t do much to ward it off, but, hey, Doctor said to eat what my body says it needs.  Enter roast beef and curly fries!   The weigh-in at the appointment this week will tell the facts.  

In addition to the thoughtful gifts of clothing, we’ll have a chance to work/shop at a huge kid’s consignment sale this week.  Hopefully we’ll find some needed items!  So proud, we even have a detailed list of what we’ll be scanning the isles for!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Life Between the Highlights

Thursday morning at 7 am we were driving home to GA. It’s sad I never realize how much family life I’m missing until I’m home.

DSC00310 I grew up with three girl cousins two of which were my inseparable playmates/friends growing up.  The older two have married and settled into family life.  We were all present to celebrate the events in each others weddings.  I even got to be at the hospital when Misty’s baby was born.  But this weekend my sweet little cousin Brooke, the youngest of the three, got married.  She was always my comic relief.  Always animated and full of fun, Brooke would memorize long movie quotes with me and act them out for anyone in earshot.  She’d make ridiculously embarrassing homemade films with me, endure torture from me and her older sister and drool right along with me over Marlin Brando in his younger years.

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This weekend watching her walk down the isle, seeing the commemoration of her father who died tragically when we were young, and seeing her become Mrs. Deverger made me realize I am tired of missing the life between the highlights in my family’s lives.  Sure we’re there for the weddings and babies and big events, but I miss the little events that knit us together when we were younger. 

So needless to say I soaked up every moment with family this weekend and made a commitment in my heart to be more involved, more intentional in loving and living life with those I love most! DSC00315