Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Only a matter of time.

Uh huh. Ok, so I turned on the TV and switched over to the Fine Living Network (because, as I've told Linda many many times, I live a life of high glamour). And I'm watching this commercial for one of their newer shows in which people are given a chance to live out their dream occupation with the help of others already in the industry. For example, this DJ in Los Angeles who wants to get into the record industry and start producting at some point so they hook him up with some record industry professionals already running their own label. And hey, this DJ guy is quite a hottie... actually he looks strangely familiar... holy cow... I know that guy! Holy poo... I dated that guy (man. He stills looks adorable, too).

So I suppose it was bound to happen, I mean with all the reality shows out there we're very likely to see someone from our past pop up when we least expect it. But still. It's way weird.

(P.S. Yes, like the very honest and devoted wife I am, I told Rusty about the show. Then informed him that I was recording it.)

Digital scrapbooking.

Digital scrapbooking. Odd phenomenon. Basically, everything you see is fake. Meaning, it's not real paper and ribbon and embellishments. It's just a file (pretty darn realistic looking files... but a bunch of pixels nonetheless). Put the files together and it looks like a scan of a real layout. A lot of people print them out and put them into books. I like to make digital layouts as wallpaper for my computer, to send email cards to people, do fun church video screen graphics (that one is for you, Betsy) and "pretty up" basic photos before I email them. An advantage to digital scrapbooking is once you buy the supplies? You can use them over and over and over... if you find a paper you like? And you use it? You don't have to go buy more. You have it. You can print it out and use it in a real scrapbook.

So. Why am I telling you this? And why is there a giant CD posted? Because I have been asked to design some digital scrapbooking kits for a fabulous site called Rocky Mountain Hobbies. Their owner, Cindy, is very nice and every experience I've had with them as been great so I said "of course I'll do it!" I've done two kits so far, the "Back to School" kit and the "Autumn Holidays" kit. They're offered as downloads or on CD (hence the ginormous CDs, above and below). By the way, the CDs in the photos? Not scans or edited photos. Totally digital.

If you're at all interested in seeing what this stuff is, feel free to click and see my digital layouts:

"The Farm"

"Tom & Jerry - Halloween 2005"

"Autumn on Crosswick"

"Home" (this layout, as well as "Sean" and "Liam at Work" were done with elements from other sites which I did not design)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Leaves on Crosswick

So, they're back. The entire yard, front and back, is covered with leaves. Actually, that's not quite true. Wednesday, Sean and I went out and raked the front yard. Yesterday was leaf pick-up for our street but we've been out of town so much over the last month that raking the yard was the last thing on our minds. I ended up taking some pictures of the yard and the street because I honestly believe we may have more leaves than anyone else in Bowie.

Ok, so anyway, Sean and I go out with our rakes - me with my normal wooden handled, green pronged "grown-up" rake, and he with his super cool, purple plastic Little Tykes rake. Personally, I'd love a purple rake. But I digress. Sean and I started raking. Sean got tired and went inside. I got tired, but had to keep raking. That's just wrong. Sean came back out and saw that I had finished the little strip between our house and Grandma Mary's house* (see photo, bottom left). He decided that he was going to help and proceeded to pick up handfuls of leaves and walked them over to the leaf pile to drop them. Sorry to gush about my kid, but it was really cute. Unfortunately, "really cute" didn't last long and Sean decided raking and the whole leaf-thing really stunk and went back inside. Until? He heard the noise.

Oh. My. Goodness. The noise. THE noise. The one that lets you know that Robert is doing something (he's our neighbor on the other side of Grandma Mary). Robert has fun tool-type stuff. And we are really very jealous. He has a riding mower. And it has a leaf vacuum attachment. And he has the biggest leaf blower I've ever seen ever. Seriously? It looks like one of those big fans my grandma's church had in their bingo hall in the summer. Yeah, it's big. So, the noise started. Robert and his dad divided and conquered - one on the mower, one with the big ol' blower. There were leaves flying everywhere. At least eight or ten feet up in the air. They were aiming for a giant tarp that they dragged to the curb when it got almost too heavy to move. Sean came running out, saw the leaves flying and thought it was better than anything he'd seen on TV lately. He proceeded to sit down - right in the middle of the leaf pile - and watch, completely enthralled. I? Continued to rake.

Now we move on to the part of the story involving pain and relief. The pain? I was stung by a Yellow-Jacket. Good times. Relief? I sent Sean in the house right before I realized that I was stung because I had just started raking over a hole in the ground that was the opening to a Yellow-Jackets' nest. I've never heard of bees or any sting-y things building a nest or hive underground. But my friend, Claudia, said they had one this summer too. It made sense, as earlier this summer Rusty was stung three or four times while mowing the lawn but we couldn't figure out where these things had come from so fast. Now we know (yay, us)**

After I finished finding the Hornet and "things-that-will-sting-you" spray and bombing the nest, I went back to raking. And more raking. I raked for a totel of almost three hours. But for the life of me I couldn't figure out why I finished around the same time as Robert and his dad, even though they had way cooler toys than I did. Then I noticed something. They weren't working on Robert's yard anymore. They had moved to the house next door to Robert, which belongs to a single mother with three little kids. The mom works full-time and trys to keep up with the yardwork when she can. Robert and his dad proceeded to clear her entire yard for her while she was at work. Did I mention Robert is a nice guy?

So, what's the point of this post? Well, first, we have a lot of leaves (see photos). Second, educational value in finding out that Yellow Jacket's can nest underground. Consider yourself educated. Third, I thought Robert and his dad did a very nice thing and someone, somewhere, should acknowledge it. That's pretty much it.

The photos are clockwise from top left: The view of the leaf-lined street from our driveway (the brown two-story is the house Robert cleared for the single mom), our backyard with the hammock and all the trees, Sean sitting in the leaves watching Robert while picking out some keepers, and a small part of our cleared front lawn.

*Grandma Mary isn't our grandma. I refer to her as "Grandma Mary" when speaking of her because she lives right next door to us. Her daughter and son-in-law and family live next door to her on the other side. Grandma Mary's grandaughter/next-door neighbor is also named Mary. And since "Really old Mary" just sounded rude, I decided on "Grandma" instead. Also? Robert (of "Gigantic leaf-blower" fame) is Grandma Mary's son-in-law/Little Mary's dad.

**Maybe if you're all lucky I'll be able to track down the email account of Rusty's epic battle with the hornet's nest in Cincinnati, complete with detailed description of his head-to-toe "battle armor". Hee. That's a funny one. There was a hockey stick involved. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 17, 2005


This? Is for Linda. And all the other women out there with impeccable taste:

People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Joke O' the Day

A woman gives birth to a set of twins and gives them up for adoption. One twin is adopted by a Middle Eastern family and named Ahmal. The other twin is adopted by a Latin American family and named Juan. Years later, Juan sends a photo to his birth mother. The mother is touched and says to her husband, "I wish I had a photo of my other son as well". Her husband says, "Why? If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

Ahahahahahahahahahaha....... that was a good one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We're back. And we have a diagnosis for Liam.

I apologize in advance because this is going to be old news to some of you by the time you read this.

So. We're back from Cincinnati (again). One baby has been born, gorgeous little Emerson Dawn. She is so adorable that it makes my ovaries hurt (must resist... urge... to have... another). Caitlin and Joel are married and the wedding chaos has settled. That leaves only one more event, and one that we are looking forward to with such anticipation it makes me teary just thinking about it. My younger sister, Lianne, is due with her first child on Thanksgiving. It is a girl. And her arrival is highly anticipated by everyone in the family, but no more so than by both her mommy and her daddy. Her daddy has already been playing with her for months now (Daddy pokes mommy's belly, baby kicks back. Repeat.). And Lianne is so perfectly suited to be a mother. She has the most nuturing personality but is also very down-to-earth. She also has a hysterically dry sense of humor that I'm sure will serve her well in the months ahead. I'm so looking forward to watching her as a mother and getting to see her start a new phase of her life with her little family.

Ok, so on to the technical stuff. Liam was officially diagnosed last Thursday. And there is good news. And then there is more good news. First, we have been told that Liam is not Autistic, nor is he dealing with any of the 200+ disorders that fall within the Autistic Spectrum. That in itself is a huge relief. Huge. During the assessment, Liam had a session with a child psychologist. Initially, they needed to test Liam's I.Q. to see what was his ability to learn. Some children have more ability and it's just blocked by something. Other children have less abilility to learn on their own and that's one reason why they're being assessed. The average child Liam's age has an I.Q. of 80 - 105, with the higher end of that range indicating a "bright" kid. So our "even more good news"? Liam's I.Q. tested at 126. The developmental pediatrician was giddy. She was just thrilled to have great news for us instead of the sometimes somber news she has to relay.

The final report we will receive on paper in a few weeks will say the following: Liam is suffering from an anxiety disorder brought on by his lack of ability to communicate his thoughts and feelings. Essentially, his communication skills haven't caught up to his thinking abilities and it's driving him batty. He knows what he thinks and wants but can't get it out right. And he thinks about a lot of things you wouldn't necessarily think a six-year old would think about. So us "taking a guess" can often times frustrate him even more. For right now, we've decided to forego anti-anxiety medication and try therapy first. The psychiatrist agreed and seems to think that Play Therapy along with Cognitive Behavior Therapy will help Liam's communication skills develop more quickly. And that development should help alliviate most of Liam's anxiety issues. If not, we'll have to reevaluate and possibly go the medication route. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

So, this post in summary: One wedding down. One adorable baby born. Liam is not Autistic, and is actually quite a little smarty pants. And? One more little arrival in the next week or so (yes... can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?!). Things are looking up a bit.

Now if we could just get the !#%@*% kitchen finished!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Life and love. Or something.

Ok. So that last post? About Earl? Totally legitimate in that the TV show really does make me laugh. A lot. But the post overall was just nonsense. Filler, I guess. Sometimes I open this screen to work out some of my feelings in words and then get to the end and wonder if people really want to read this stuff. And even if they do? Will they read it and think I'm nuts?

Seeing as how there aren't, like, gobs of people reading this and the people reading it pretty much have probably formed their own opinions of me? And the fact that this is my blog, which I started initially to 1.) be able to comment on Jodi's blog and 2.) use it as a forum to work out my feelings and faith and such while occassionally posting ridiculous filler? Leads me to the conclusion that I should just write what I want to write and if it bugs anyone or appalls anyone, they have the right to not read it.

So, now I've set you up to think that there is some big huge thing I'm going to write. Some revelation or announcement or major statement. If so? You've apparently forgotten who's site you're reading. Ha.

Anyway, yeah. I'm working some things out. Mainly, thoughts on my marriage. My husband. My life at this point. First, I have to say that I really really love my husband, Rusty. Rusty is a good man. When it comes down to it you can count on him to do the right thing regardless of whether or not it's comfortable or convenient for him. Please understand, Rusty makes mistakes. Oh boy, does he make mistakes. And then? I freak out. But in the end? Hanging with him through the consequences of those mistakes? Has been painful. And confusing. And scary. But also the most transforming experiences for our relationship. I guess when you say, "Am I going to stick with this person and this commitment even though he did something stupid? Even though I'd be totally justified in giving him the boot?" and then you decide to stick it out, you move to a new level. Admittedly, it would be a heck of a lot easier if you could get to that level without so much junk to go through.

An example: Two years ago, Rusty was involved in a car accident. It was his fault, because of something stupid that he did. Let me say up front that it was a single car accident (Rusty's car) and no one else was involved or hurt. But Rusty himself was lucky to be alive. He knew that. He knew he'd made a mistake that was going to put our family through some crap for a while. And he was sorry. Not just "I'm sorry" and then all is expected to be forgotten. He was devestated. It was plain to see. And I was totally within my right to say, "You moron! What the hell were you thinking?!". But I remember standing there looking at him and realizing that nothing I could say would make him feel any worse than he already did. So I told him that. And his face... the expression on his face was amazement mixed with overwhelming gratitude for understanding him at that very moment. He knew I wasn't happy about it. But he also knew I love him and that trumped anything else.

So we dealt with it together. And it was a lot to deal with. But amidst all of the anger and sadness and fear? I was given what I consider a huge blessing. I got to witness the true character of my husband as a man and as a Believer. Rusty's lawyer met with the judge overseeing the case and came back to tell us that he thought he could get the case dropped because of some technical loopholes. Rusty just said, "I've done something wrong and deserved to be held accountable." Even now? Thinking about that? Gives me peace that I've married a good man.

So. What does that have to do with anything? Nothing, really. Just thinking out loud... or onscreen, as the case may be.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I love Earl

Holy crap. Do you watch this show? "My Name is Earl" I hate hopping on the bandwagon with new trendy stuff but this show seriously makes me laugh out loud pretty much the entire way through. Every time we watch it. If you don't watch it, it's hard to explain without sounding a.) totally rude or b.) kind of mean. Earl is a redneck. There is no other polite way of saying it. Essentially, it's a show about a redneck criminal who goes through a series of events that lead him to the conclusion that he needs to starting righting all of the wrongs he's done to people to restore balance in his life through Karma. The fact that Earl learns his Karmic way of life from hearing Carson Daily talk about it on TV? Hysterical. Could there be a better metaphor for our culture today? Carson Daily as our pop culture savior. Oy.

Also? "My Name is Earl" is a highly quotable show. Example:

Never underestimate the power of confidence. And never underestimate fifteen beers, a little enlightenment, and the power of Rob Base and DJ Easy Rock.

The wisdom of this show is obvious, isn't it? Seriously, it's very funny. You should watch it sometime. Click here to go to the iFilm page where you can watch a video clip of "My Name is Earl".

This blog update was originally posted from Picasa Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Warning: It's a little loud

**Edited to remove extremely loud and amazingly theraputic Linkin Park video "Faint"**

Ok. So I know it's Linkin Park. Please forgive me. They're a bit over-exposed (or they were a year or so ago; not quite as bad now). But I really really like the yelling right now. And some of the lyrics. I like the lyrics:

I am a little bit of loneliness, a little bit of disregard
Handful of complaints
but I can't help the fact that everybody can see these scars
I am what I want you to want, what I want you to feel
But it's like no matter what I do I can't convince you to just believe this is real
So I let go watching you turn your back like you always do
Face away and pretend that I'm not
But I'll be here cause you're all that I've got

I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored
Time won't heal this damage anymore
Don't turn your back on me I won't be ignored

I am a little bit insecure, a little unconfident
Cuz you don't understand I do what I can
Sometimes I don't make sense
I am what you never wanna say, but I've never had a doubt
It's like no matter what I do I can't convince you for once just to hear me out
So I let go watching you turn your back like you always do
You face away and pretend that I'm not
But I'll be here cause you're all that I've got

Hear me out now

You're gonna listen to me like it or not
I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored
Site Meter