This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Drop In the Ocean

I've accepted that my arms are the lengths they are. I mean, I am 38. They aren't going to grow. I accept it. I know my limits. I also know that even though my arms measure a smooth five feet seven inches in wing span, my reach still has potential. Today, I decided to stretch my skinny hands right out in front of me and into my closet.

I am joining women across the world to raise awareness for girls held captive in the lie and bondage of sex trafficking. The statistics would cause your heart to bleed.

Awaken can fill you in on those and what is happening here locally to put an end to this darkness.

Dressember can help you be a drop in the ocean. Sound too small? So is a mustard seed. So is a chicken pock. So are two tiny little lice bugs who love each other very much. Do you get my point?

Dressember is a drop in the ocean that raised $165K last year. I am putting my dress on one leg at a time just like all the other girls on this team. You can help by sponsoring me. Make a flat donation or pledge a dollar or more for each day I wear a dress in December.

For some girls, this is easy. For me? Not so much. I lost my heart in a pair of 501s when I was in middle school. I have committed to love them forever, and it is going to break their hearts when I ground them to their hangers. Dear button flies. I can't quit you. Except for the month of December.

All of the money collected will go to these guys. 

Won't you help me send a message?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oh Rebekah

I love reading through history. Women and men that changed the world and made mistakes and learned and were still so integral to writing a great and crazy, all wrong and all right, history. I appreciate their accomplishments; I welcome the challenge to match them footstep for footstep.

Maybe I appreciate their screw ups just as much. Or more. I am good to learn from them in this way, too. This is the perfect scenario in which to live vicariously. And the amazing thing is how the worst and craziest seeming people get their stories repeated just as often. We know the infamous as well as the famous. We need to. Past improprieties are the bricks that build us.

This morning, I was reading about Abraham and his guaranteed blessings. Could you imagine that? Guaranteed blessings? Well believe, yo. We have it. When Abraham died, God sent an angel to tell Isaac he would be receiving all that was promised to his father. Whoa. What an inheritance. Brilliant work, God.
Then I moved on to reading about Abraham's daughter in law. When Abraham sent his servant to Canaan to find her, he was beyond confident in God. He prayed, his servant's prayed, and they all believed. This bride-retrieval-mission was bathed in God's will. Like a poorly kept secret, they were all in on it.
His servant arrived after days of traveling and spoke first to God when he arrived at the well. "Let the one who is to be my master's wife offer me water and go on to offer to water my cattle" (Shontell's English Translation). Bam. The first woman who approached, Rebekah, spoke his very words. The bible says even before the servant was finished speaking to God in his heart Rebekah walked up, water jar in hand.
Her words were God's words. Her heart full of the Holy Spirit before she ever met him or he ever really came here to live with us. She was smack dab in the middle of God's will for her. I know that feeling. It's overwhelming, like the ceiling can't hold you.
Nor your skin.
Your heart feels like a cartoon that keeps pumping through your fancy shirt. You're sure everyone around you can feel it. It almost hurts because you know you don't deserve it. You remember the bricks that build you.

Despite that, you sense that God is bigger in you than all of that. I am so grateful for that. That feeling that I will never again be that ignoramus out of God's will. Away from God's path. That assurance that I am complete in God's will and untouchable. And, yet.

I find myself falling for that little selfish whisper. Which turns into a murmur. And then we are having a heated dispute before I cave and believe him because that little evil genius is just a little bit louder than God. Suddenly, I am Rebekah.

Rebekah who went from so engrossed in God's will that her words were mirrors. Ventriloquy. Not a magic trick at all, but full blown Jesus Freak. But time passes and smoke clouds the glass, and she. me. I am at it again. Far from the will I know. Believing the nonsense that threatens to consume me.

Maybe I have never loved one of my twins more than the other. Maybe I have never taught my boy to lie to his brother and then his father in order for him to get ahead and cheat my husband out of his blessing and inheritance. But do the specifics matter? My sin creates space. A deep void only fillable by the one true lover of my soul. The guy that never quits or gets tired of holding me up. Even when my faith is tiny and I feel I need to take things into my own hands which inevitably fail. Grasping is always a mistake. White knuckling this world leads to death.

As always, it comes down to my choices. How do I want to be remembered? Would it bother me if someone, anyone, walked in the room and overheard me talking, working, watching, listening, debating, disagreeing, convincing. Who am I gonna be? More Rebekah or less of her?

In this minute, I will admit I am closer to the version I don't want to be. But I am letting the death consume me to make more room for the one who really matters.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Numbers. The Fall Version

7- the number of Fridays left until Christmas. (Sorry. That one was shocking. I should have started with something calmer). 

1500- ALMOST the square footage of my new house. 

7- the number of people living in that little space. 

55+- the number of times I look out my window and smile because I live in this house with this view. 

8- the tree count in our backyard

5- the number of times I have watched You've Got Mail in the past month. 

28- the number of 5th graders I teach everyday. 

5- the number of afternoons I leave with a huge grin from my job. My heart is full even on the toughest days. 

38- the number of birthdays I have celebrated in my lifetime. 

20- the number of red and white roses my husband secretly delivered to my home while we both were at work. 

Too many- the number of times I underestimate that man. 

60- the number of boxes we have unpacked in the last week. 

3- the number of furniture pieces we still have to sell because they don't fit in our new house. 

One Bajillion- the number of candies we collected last Friday. 

6- the number of costumes I created or coordinated to lend to one of the best Halloweens to date. 

1- the number of times I have seen The Box Trolls. 

2- the number of times I want to see the Box Trolls again before we buy it on DVD and make it one of our annual October movies. 

11- the number of boxes we have left to unpack. 

11- the number of times I've thought to myself "do I really need whatever is in this box? Can't I just chuck it?"

Look around you people. The best two months of the world are about to happen. Come enjoy them at my house. My coffee and my couch are always ready. Especially if you live far away and want to have a jumbo party sleepover. 
Yah. You heard me. Jumbo party. 

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Perks

There are so many perks to my life. We all probably focus on what's holding us back more than the perks, so I'm giving today a new spin. 
First of all, I get to do the job I love. I was created to teach. The end. 
I teach in all sorts of ways and this role has looked differently over the years, but I have just always been a teacher. Right now it's in a classroom full of 5th graders. I love it, and I love them. 
And because that's my job and it's fall, I have had a week off. Round here we call it fall break. 

Never heard of it? Yah, well this here is Nevada. We do weird stuff. Like this picture. And these vests. And these poses. 
We also stumble upon insanely amazing ice cream parlors. Whoa, Nelly. You just saddle that horse and sit for a minute. If I were you, I would order the espresso chip dipped in chocolate. Come to mamma. 

Sometimes we snuggle. And watch 30 episodes of Friends. WHAT?! WE WERE ON A BREAK. fall break. 
I said that already. 
How you doin'? 

Let's just say that there were discoveries, and IHOP, and movie after movie, and theatres, minutes of miniature golfing, and snuggles, Friends, real life friends, eggs, Eggs, and on and on. 
Sigh. I'm full up. My cup runneth over. 
Now, husband. Please come home. This week has sucked (sort of) without you. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Are You Sure About Them Five Minutes

There's a chance this post will hold random interjections of movie quotes. 

That was your fair warning. 

Some of you that spend time with me know I can participate in a conversation using nearly all movie quotes. The crazy part is most people can't tell I am quoting. This happens with my kids. But, now that they are old enough to watch some of the classics, they seem to be catching on to the truth. 


See? I told you. 

I've introduced my teenagers to some great movies. What About Bob?, the old school Star Wars, Ferris Beuller's Day Off, Say Anything, Uncle Buck, So I Married an Ax Murderer. Just to name a few. 
Here's what usually happens:
I'm sitting there, happy as a clam to hear them giggle along with some of my most favorite lines. They seem to be taking this classic under their wing. My kids are going to make it! They are going to be the only ones in class who get 80's and 90's pop culture references their teachers mutter beneath their breath. I'm feeling like a superior mother. 
Then I hear "what the heck. You say that line all the time!! Don't you make anything up yourself? I've always thought you were so funny!"
:crickets. Life flashing. Sweaty armpits. Clammy palms:

"A sixth grader chased me on his bike. When I got exhausted and fell down he wailed me with his shoe for an hour."

I calm myself, restart my heart, and try to mimick Bob Wiley in his morning mantra: I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful. 

Did my kids just say I am not funny? 


Did I make a terrible mistake letting them into this carefully studied land? 


Has the time come when I accuse them of smelling like pine tree perfume and they know I am simply quoting Tommy Boy? 

Say it ain't so. 

I've decided to restrict them to VeggieTales. 

Sixteen year olds still like VeggieTales, right? 

Thursday, September 04, 2014


I've yelled this word to my son at least six times tonight. I won't tell him what to do anymore. I just yell, "FOCUS!"

It's because, like so many people, he can't focus on what really matters. I say, " Son, read me this poem."
I look up and he is poking himself in his nipple with his pencil. 
I say, "write your words once each. "
I look, and he is attempting to silently open a to-go wet wipe and rub down his legs. Silently. 

I sent him to make his lunch and proceeded to read a few articles. I need a break.

 I came across one about a girl who is offended that her high school principal appears to play favorites. He has double standards for boys and girls and spouts cliche quips to both genders. 
"Modest is hottest!" Really dude? Pull your head out. I get your point, but you should promote high school girl hotness in no way. Zero. Not at all. It's creepy. Now, go shave your mustache. 

"Boys will be boys." Uh. This sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Again, I see your point, but you need to broaden your scope and realize you hold a position of influence. Are you really wanting to turn out a class of mediocre men from your campus? How about raising the bar and changing it up a bit? Be original for once and decide nothing less than gentlemen will be roaming your halls. 

Whatever you do, get some new sayings. Quick. 

I skimmed the article and had to laugh out loud because I realized I needed someone to yell, "FOCUS!" At me. I think I know where Sam gets it. I'm valid. Look. 

She's making a statement. Good for you, sister. 
::dramatic throat clearing and whisper::
Honey, if you are going to make a bold statement. Go for it. Say it however you like. However, if you want people to take you seriously use proper grammar. Why the capital A? Even more pressing than the idiotic remarks from your principal? Your use of made up words in your protest signage. "Alright" is not actually a proper word. Two words: All right. 
I know what you want to say right now. You want to tell me it's in the dictionary. Just because a word is in the dictionary does not proper a word make it. 
In the same way that millions of maroons pronouncing it "expresso" is also incorrect. If you want to be a stand out, go against the flow, and make yourself seem more correct than the one you are standing against, win with your brain. Don't be the missing line from Alanis Morissette's Ironic. 

Also. Where's your shirt? 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Eventful? We don't do subtle

It's as if we don't understand the meaning of the word. Calm? Plain? Neutral? We scoff at ordinary. We don't even like the word extraordinary around here because it really makes us think of the words extra ordinary. (Seriously? Who was the thinker on this word? I have never understood it). 

First of all, it's coming on fall. Oh beauty let me behold you. And let me watch You've Got Mail until I have to replace the movie because I've watched it too many times. Again. For the fourth time. WHAT?! It's really great. Kathleen Kelley is my family. Like her, I like to begin my sentences as if we are already in the middle of a conversation. 
Like her I love bookstores. Like her I love Pride and Prejudice. I too get lost in the language. Thither is where you'll find me. Watching this movie. Again. Oh felicity. 

Anyway. My job? Great. Better than great. I love it. I'm full. Of gratitude and tasks, but hey. Full is full. Always better than empty. Which is actually how I felt tonight when I talked to my husband. We said our "love yous". We chatted about business. I may have even spouted a catchy verse of I miss you I miss you, I really wanna kiss you". Then I had the feeling that I had something else to tell him, but instead, I suddenly declared "nope. That's it. I'm empty." And I meant it. Where the knowledge of these words which I type is coming from I know not. See? Empty. 
But it's because my brain is taking ion just. So. Much. 

New jobs take a while to settle into. New co-workers. New bosses. New expectations. New room. New students. New paperwork. New routines and schedules and people needing you. New. 
I'm getting there. I'm not the furthest behind, so I will say I am winning. Except that it's 9:40 pee em and I'm falling asleep while I type and wishing one of my  kids would get out of bed and turn off my bedroom light and brush my teeth. And since they are here, brush and floss my teeth. 
Did I mention we are house hunting? That's simple. No emotion. Not at all time consuming. 
I lied. In that last paragraph. Sorry about that. 
We are in fact house hunting. But the rest is just false. 
So completely off. 
It's consuming. I don't want it to be. But I think I'm a junkie. How can I not be when all of my house is packed and we are just waiting for the words "we accept your offer and we would LOVE to pay your closing costs." My movies? Packed. 
Ok. Not You've Got Mail. What are you, nuts? 
New job. New house. New neighbors. Go big or don't stand near me. 

*these pictures have zilcho to do with this post. We do baseball. Thought you'd like to know.