Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Instead of thinking up all the ways I love my hubby, I spent the evening Lost on an island with Jack, Sawyer & Desmond!
If you don't know the story, it's about the Van Ryns and the Ceraks whose daughters are in a horrible car accident. I believe that five people pass away due to this accident. Their children are switched and the Ceraks believe their daughter has passed away and the Van Ryns are standing beside their "daughter" who is fighting for her life. Five weeks into the fight they realize that this is not their child, but it's actually the Ceraks' daughter, and their daughter has passed away.
You may wonder how they did not know it wasn't their daughter but after hearing their story, and reading the book, it's actually completely understandable. Not only did they not know, but the hundreds of people visiting her did not figure it out.
These families have an amazing testimony and they have allowed God to work through them in great tragedy. I am really in awe of the total peace that surrounds these people and am thankful that they decided to share their stories.
So today I went back to see my amazing doctor about my hip pain (the x-ray didn't show anything in my hip). He said, "I know the nurse went over the results of the x-rays and MRI with you, but I'd like to cover it with you again." He proceeded to explain again about the DDD, which is mild and in its early stages, and then started drawing a diagram of my bulging disc. WHAT??!! Bulging disc?! It seems the nurse forgot to mention the one and only thing I hadn't already known about my neck. Suddenly the pain, tingling and numbness were explained. I felt almost happy.
It's not that I'm happy to have a disc that's supposed to be properly tucked away in my spine bulging out and compressing nerves (and for the record, I hate the word "bulging"), but I am happy to not feel like I'm suffering from something in my imagination. I have definite signs of the DDD (such as a stiff neck, especially in the morning), but I've actually had providers tell me there's no way it could be DDD because I'm too young for it. As to the continued and worsening pain, sometimes I've been so discouraged by my trips to see my care providers that I've left in tears. There's no cure for DDD, and some providers- like the last one I had in Germany- seem to think I just need to snap out of it. Now I have solid proof that I'm not making it all up and even a solid plan of treatment.
The treatment for now involves a referral to a British pain management specialist. There are several possible treatments, all different depending on how the disc responds. I'm praying that it will get embarrassed by all the attention and hide itself back where it belongs!
As for the really funny stuff from my appointment today, Capt S (not my official provider, but I'm going to try to switch to him) started giving me his take on my hip pain, "Sometimes when the muscles are lax around the joint it causes the joint to slip a bit and that could be happening, especially since the pain is most noticeable when you sit for long periods and go up stairs. What you're going to need to do is strengthen the gluteous..." blah, blah, blah.... I started laughing! "So, I need to do butt exercises?!"I asked. He laughed back. "Yeah!"
Flashback: Heather and Holly are visiting Germany and I invite them to join me in butt-lifting exercises so that when Tim gets back from Kuwait (and they get back to their respective homes) he'll be impressed with my butt (and their significant others would be impressed with theirs)! I asked Heather if she wanted to impress Dan with a high, tight backside, but she only laughed and let me do my squats and leg lifts by myself.
Flashback #2: Last time I was in America Heather's hubby Dan (a fitness buff) showed me the best way to do squats, holding onto a pole in his and Heather's workout room/computer room. Still, Heather refused to join me!
So, I laughed out loud when Captain S told me to get a firm and shapely butt and all my troubles would be over. Now I actually have been prescribed exercises for a nice rear! HA HA, Heather! What do you have to say now?! ;)
Monday, April 28, 2008
Time for my penance: I'm giving away two books AND two boxes of London Tea Company tea. There will 2-3 winners; one each for the books, and another for the tea, but you may win the tea and a book.
The first book is The Sneaky Chef, which I bought brand new a couple years back. It does have a crease in the back cover; sorry, but that's what comes of being used.
Second book: Ribbon of Years by Robin Lee Hatcher. Great book.
As for the tea, it will be 2 boxes of the following 4 possibilities:
Sometimes the store I buy them at is out of some of them, that's why I'm not committing to any two specific ones. I will notify the winner of the choices and let her choose.
There's only one catch to all this blog reader goodwill: you have to do something to be eligible to win!
To win the Sneaky Chef, you need to post either a comment here or a post of your blog (and link bag to this post) about kids and eating. It can be a humorous story of trying to get your wee one to eat healthy foods, it can be a joke, even a picture, like this one of Ian enjoying his spaghetti a couple years back:
It just needs to relate to kids and eating.
To win Ribbon of Years (you may enter to win both books), I will choose the best entry (again, comment here or a post on your own blog) from submissions on your best friend. Tell us a little about your friend, include a picture if you'd like, all the sweet details of how you met and how your friendship has grown.
For the tea, simple comment and let me know you want to be entered to win these teas from London.
Voila! Easy peasy!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
I rented season 5 from the library earlier in the week and last night I watched episode 2, Monk and the Garbage Strike. I laughed so hard I thought I might pass out from lack of oxygen. I felt strangely embarrassed, laughing myself silly all alone in my room, but the Bible verse "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" kept going through my mind. Thanks to Tony, I feel sure I added at least a couple of extra weeks to my life.
Feel free to browse my Shelfari profile. If you have one of your own and want a new friend, let me know!
I enjoyed this book. I think the concept of the book is interesting.
The basic idea is that when you die and go to Heaven, it's not at all the Heaven that we would imagine it to be, but instead you go and you meet five people and you have to learn something from each of the five. The five people are people that were affected or effected your life in some way. It brings meaning to your life by explaining things you could not understand here on Earth.
I doubt for one second that this is what Heaven will be like, and it is a novel, but like I said, it is an interesting thought.
After reading The Shack, it was nice to have an easy read that I didn't have to think about ;)
Posted by Heather (who is sadly missing her Pepsi can..for some reason blogger won't let me upload it!)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
- His eyes – I always knew I’d marry a brown eyed man!
- His hair – brown hair was always my ideal in a man.
- The way he used to carry around his old, tattered NLT Bible and our youth pastor called it the TVV: the Tim V Version!
- The hulking heavy metal cross he made in metal shop and wore every day in high school
- The way he always had his Walkman in the front pocket of his grey coat in high school. I remember how honored I was when he let me borrow it once.
- How we were friend for years before we got together as a couple.
- That I already knew his family, at least a little, before we got together.
- His lifelong obsession with his hair: he used to do all sorts of wild things with a hairdryer and hairspray and he regularly got the back of his hair permed (keep in mind we were fresh out of the 80’s, his favorite decade). Later, he grew it out. Much later, he joined the military and has had to keep it short ever since. (I love it short.) Now, to his dismay, it’s thinning dramatically.
- That he knew the history with my former boyfriends and still wanted me.
- Those pink parachute pants he used to love so much!
- That he introduced me to all sorts of food I’d never had growing up, including Chinese and Middle Eastern.
- That we started going out before we could drink champagne and drank white grape juice in champagne glasses instead!
- How, when we were going out and were walking together holding hands, he’d never let anything come between us – a stop sign or post, people. He thought it was a bad sign!
- His strong Italian nose.
- How much he loves 80’s music.
- How loyal he is to his friends.
- How forgiving he is of people who have hurt him in the past.
- I love laughing with him. With life always barreling on ahead of us, it’s hard to connect sometimes for long enough to have a good laugh, but when we do it’s great. No one can make me laugh like him.
- That he loves me no matter what color or length my hair is. He’s very adaptable like that.
- That he was right next to me, sharing in my shock and fear on September 11, 2001.
- That he joined the military because of 9/11.
- That he is dedicated to taking care of his family financially and physically.
- That we stayed on the
for our honeymoon. It’s still our favorite place. Oregon Coast
- How we’ve been together so long I can predict his actions and words so often.
- The continent-shaped birth mark on his leg.
- The scar on his chin that matches little Ian’s.
- How he has called Sean “Friend” since he was born.
- The stories he tells the kids.
- How he keeps his fingernails so short.
- That he plays the keyboard, guitar, drums, and bass.
- I love to hear him play the piano. It makes me feel so much love for him when he creates amazing, harmonious sounds like that.
- That he insists we all “stick together” everywhere we go. Sometimes it drives us all nuts, but he feels strongly about it and it’s respectable when I decide to see it that way.
- How he insisted on fighting for our marriage when all hope was gone.
- How he sings “Mr Sandman, Bring me Darice” to me.
- He also sings “You Are My Sunshine” to me. So sweet.
- That he tried to propose on his front porch to me, with “Everything I Do” by Bryan Adams playing in the background. I stopped him, because I wasn’t sure it was the right time. Minutes later some friends walked up the stairs and started chatting with us and I was glad he had waited.
- That “Lovers and Dreamers” by Whiteheart was playing when he finally did get to propose.
- I used to be annoyed by how he always wanted me to accompany him to meetings and such when I didn’t feel it was necessary that I be there. It occurred to me late last year (after many, many years) that he draws confidence from my presence and I should see it as a compliment. I doubt it we will ever fight about it again.
- How he knows me so well he knows what to buy me for my birthday, where I’d like to go to dinner and what I’d order on a menu.
- How we crawl into bed and watch movies at night.
- That he learned to love Harry Connick, Jr. with me.
- That he bought me an iPod for Christmas a couple years ago because he knew I wanted one so badly. He told me we couldn’t afford it, and then bought it when I wasn’t looking and surprised me!
- That he almost always likes whatever I make him for dinner, and eats it even if he doesn’t.
- That he says nice things about my backside!
- That he has never once made me feel ugly, despite my having acne for most of my life and every day of our marriage (aside from times I have been on Accutane). I know he loves me as I am, no matter what I look like.
- That he wrote the music to two songs that I wrote the lyrics to.
- That funny noise he makes when he smells something stinky. It’s kind of a cross between a horse neighing and a baby sneezing.
- His lips.
- The way he rolls into bed when he’s tired and makes grunting noises like his old dog Duke.
- His fake Irish accent.
- The funny pictures and notes he leaves the kids every year from “Santa”.
- When he makes me tea in the evening and brings it to me with a small treat in the saucer.
- How he’s been willing to learn how to make my tea properly! No more leaving the bag in the cup!
- That he reads my blog when he can.
- That he encourages me to write and to take classes on photography.
- That he tolerates whatever the latest thing is that I’m excited about doing (over the years it’s been starting a baby carrier business with Heather, having a cooking blog, saving money to invest or get started in the real estate business, going on cross-country trips, starting to make jewelry, crocheting, knitting, baking, selling on eBay, buying lots of purses, getting a sewing machine with lofty plans, etc.)
- That he supported me in my buy-all-the-orange-underwear-I-can-get-my-hands-on phase!
- His amazing sense of direction.
- For the time we were asleep in
and every time he breathed out his tummy made a funny froggy-croaking sound. We both woke up laughing. Paris
- How we both like sweet red wine.
- That he likes the way I make tea and coffee.
- The way he oohs and ahhs over meals I put a lot of effort into.
- That he took me to
- He took me to
- Our date nights.
- (Stuff you don’t want to know!)
- “ “
- “ “
- “ “
- “ “
- That he’s the father of all my beautiful babies.
- That he’s not anxious for our oldest to join the military, even though he himself is in and Sean seems determined to join.
- That he has started saving money for our future.
- That he makes plans with me for what we’ll do when we retire.
- That he loves our hometown and wants to go back there eventually.
- That he’s from the same town as me.
- That he loves God.
- That he prays with our kids.
- That he takes time to teach them about God.
- That he shows the kids all sorts of stupid movies. I personally hate them, but the kids laugh with him.
- That he methodically watched all the Star Trek TV shows with the kids, starting with the oldest and moving to the newest, until they had seen them all. Now they’re watching the old Lost in Space shows.
- That he’s committed us as a family to our current church.
- That he remains friends with people he loses touch with and makes an effort to find them.
- His love for his sister and parents.
- That he readily considers my family to be his. He practically grew up with my little brother (we got married when he was 5).
- His hairy legs. Oo-La-la.
- His smooth arms. Not much hair there. I love it!
- His long, piano playing fingers. I love his hands.
- How he was among the first to call me Reese (Amber was the first, I think).
- How he used to leave love notes in my locker in high school.
- That we shared a locker for the last semester of his senior year.
- How he described our first kiss as “bombs going off” and "explosions”!
- That he was there for the births of all our children. That he still loved me after I yelled at him when he tried to give me a breath mint for my bad breath when I was panting in his face (while in labor with our daughter). I’m sorry I embarrassed him.
- For calling me on the phone when he’s away.
- For loving me.
- How he holds my hand so comfortably, and kisses me with familiarity. None of it holds the “explosions” of long ago, but instead a deeply valuable steadiness and comfort.
- Because we renewed our marriage vows and meant it.
- The much-loved nostalgic smell of his favorite colognes. They smell like our history.
- How he won’t kiss me when he’s sick because he doesn’t want to get me sick, but I kiss him anyway and sometimes he smiles when I do (other times he is insistent, and turns away.)
- Our silly nicknames for each other: Rotten and Nasty. Neither of us can remember who’s who.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
At the time I wondered if I could list 100 Things I Love About Tim. Now I feel certain I could. Wouldn't that be a great exercise for all of us married ladies?! Especially when the urge to duct tape my dear one to a chair and whack him with dead fish - what a perfect time to refocus my mental energies on love rather than bitterness.
What about you? Think you could come up with 100 things you like/love about your spouse?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
If I thought I had to say it better than anybody else, I'd never start. Better or worse is immaterial. The thing is that it has to be said, by me. We each have to say it, to say it in our own way. Not of our own will, but as it comes out through us. Good or bad, great or little: that isn't what human creation is about. It is that we have to try.
~~ Madeleine L’Engle
Monday, April 21, 2008
I have been trying to figure out the right words to say in this post. I know I wrote a review earlier, but I feel like I need to expand on it. I want to try and do that, without giving the book away.
So, what did this book do for me that so many others have failed. For some reason, this book clicked with me at the right time. I totally could relate to every single thought and action that the main character Mack had. This book showed me God's point of view. Yes, this is a novel, it's not true, but it gave me a glimpse of how God may be thinking. He explains why God doesn't always stop the bad things, but if allowed, His grace will ALWAYS work through them.
I have always seen how God worked through James. Even in our families darkest moments, I could see God's hand, but it wasn't enough to open my eyes to His love. Through James' disease God changed a church and our family. There have been many times that I have been angry that James was the sacrifice that was made so that a lot of people could learn how to love at a deeper level. I can now understand that it's not my place to judge why God allowed James to die, and to be born with this horrible disease, but I can see how He worked through it, and I'm done judging why it had to happen.
I've learned through this book that God is ready to walk with me through all the junk that life brings, and bring me safely through it. I think I have a long ways to go on this journey, but I don't feel so alone in it anymore.
As you can see from the picture above, my yard is still unfinished. My landlord has begun working on it, starting first on a patio, then he will move on to putting in grass, a deck, and a play area with gravel or bark dust for the kids. I'm really excited to get a patio; I'm looking forward to breakfasts outside in the summer. I'm sure the boys will appreciate the first fenced yard we've ever had, since they will have the chance to play without me insisting on them standing directly next to an adult or an older kid.
This morning I took a few pictures of some of the plant life springing up in the yard ("garden" as it's called here in England). Among Stinging Nettle (which stung me as I took a picture) and a sprouting blackberry vine, I found these:
Does anyone recognize this next plant? I don't know much about plants, and this one looks really familiar. It's enchanting, whatever it is. I love the way the purple/red leaves fade into green as you follow the stem downward.
Every time I read a book set in a place like Afghanistan, India, Africa, etc., I am struck anew by how blessed and spoiled we are in the Western world. I have never been on the verge of starvation or had to live in a war torn land or been forced to become a refugee from my country. I appreciate that I can travel to other cities and cultures through books and come back to view my life with a better perspective. That's what this book did for me (as did The Poisonwood Bible and Red Letters, among others.).
This is from Publishers Weekly:
Afghan-American novelist Hosseini follows up his bestselling The Kite Runner with another searing epic of Afghanistan in turmoil. The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny through the lives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age 15 into marrying the 40-year-old Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal as she fails to produce a child. Eighteen later, Rasheed takes another wife, 14-year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation. Against a backdrop of unending war, Mariam and Laila become allies in an asymmetrical battle with Rasheed, whose violent misogyny—"There was no cursing, no screaming, no pleading, no surprised yelps, only the systematic business of beating and being beaten"—is endorsed by custom and law. Hosseini gives a forceful but nuanced portrait of a patriarchal despotism where women are agonizingly dependent on fathers, husbands and especially sons, the bearing of male children being their sole path to social status. His tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters.
I highly recommend it. The pages flew by and when I put it down I was eager to pick it up again. I haven't read The Kite Runner yet, but I can't imagine that it's better than this.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Alas, my views will be quite obvious with this review.
So it is from a Christian perspective that I say that I really enjoyed this book. Coulter’s argument is that the liberal stand-which belittles Christians as Bible thumping radicals-, is a religion in itself. The chapters are organized around the following themes that make up what she believes is the liberal religion of Godlessness:
- Creation mythology (theory of evolution)
- Sacraments - abortion
- Holy Writ (Roe v. Wade)
- Martyrs (from Alger Hiss to Mumia Abu Jamal)
- Clergy (public school teachers)
- Churches (government schools, where prayer is prohibited but condoms are free)
- Doctrine of infallibility (as manifest in the "absolute moral authority" of spokespeople from Cindy Sheehan to Max Cleland)
- Cosmology (Big Bang, in which mankind is an inconsequential accident)
One of the most fascinating discussions in the book is where we end up as humans if we are indeed, as the government-run public schools teach, only animals. If we are no better than animals- not made in the image of a holy God- then there is no end to the atrocities that can be carried out- from abortion to euthanasia, eugenics to approval and/or encouragement of bestiality. As a matter of fact, many examples are given of leaders and philosophers in our time who actively push the ideas of infanticide and having a baby simply to harvest parts for other family members, among other unthinkable practices.
Ann Coulter is very intelligent and witty, and shamelessly makes herself a target for ruthless attacks by the media and liberal pundits. I am grateful to her for her willingness to be a target, as it has enabled me to think beyond the fact that I dislike an idea because it isn’t a Godly one, to the consequences that are inevitable when these ideas are carried to their completion. It has also helped me to open my eyes again to how far public schools have slipped away from parental control and how little parents have to say in the educating of their own children when it is left up to the state.
I would recommend this book to anyone, Republican, Democrat, Independent, or third party. Whether one agrees with the author or not, it’s an eye-opening read.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
~Reese, who plans to slip into a deep sleep ASAP.