Saturday, January 31, 2009

Check It Out...

It never ceases to amaze me how NASTY a house can get when the Mama is down for a few days! So as I spend my Saturday (day 2 of an antibiotic) trying to regain some semblance of order in the Westie abode, I want to direct you to this post from my friend, Karlie. I just love it for so many reasons, and maybe you will too....

Happy Weekend,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Whine and Pink Grapefruit

Just in case I haven't whined enough about it on the world wide web, I will tell you that I, Gayle, am 100%, absolutely, unequivocally, SICK. I started thinking about how every single one of my senses are involved during my self-absorbed ponderings, so I thought I'd share my total body experience with you, my dear friends.

I woke up Monday morning feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. I thought it was just because I was tired from the weekend until somewhere around noon, my lungs started to act like they were receiving air through 16 layers of cotton.

I immediately went for the Halls Defense Vitamin C drops in a last ditch effort to heroically hurl some extra artillery to my little immune system army. In the end, all I had was this nasty aftertaste (of Halls rendition) of pink grapefruit and a cough that would frighten small children.

Because of my plight, I sound and look like I have smoked 12 packs a day since I was, like, 5. The great news is that I don't REALLY smoke, though, so my smell is a pleasant mixture of Vicks VapoRub and Pink Grapefruit (see above). I'm really thinking about bottling this one up to sell right beside JLo's perfume, but I don't want to knock her out of the running or anything...

My sweet Mark really loves it when I'm sick because he gets the Sensuous Treatment.

"Mark, sensuous up, would you get make me a cup of hot tea?" or "Mark, sensuous on your way home anyway, would you mind stopping by Stuffmart to get me some popsicles?" and his personal favorite, "Mark, sensuous realizing that my Nyquil was kicking in, would you be a gem and get your pillow and a blanket make your way to the couch?" Yeah. He really loves it when I'm under the weather. Poor guy.

Ah well... it's time that I move along to something way the heck more important than a stupid cold. My sweet friend DeeDee, who I am blessed enough to know in real life, just received news last night that her boy will be deployed to Afghanistan in the next month or so. The saddest thing is, that he JUST came home in June from Iraq. He got married a few months ago to a beautiful girl named Brantley, too. Please lift Jonathan up in your prayers, and even better, go to his blog and tell him that you're praying for him. Thanks, guys. You rock in the prayer department.

Blowing kisses (and my nose),

Monday, January 26, 2009

Atlanta ~ Siesta Style

I just spent the weekend in Hotlanta with a bunch of my sweet Siestas from the LPM blog and it was incredible. Absolutely incredible.

I actually learned a few things about myself while I was there, you will be bored to know. Life Lessons at their finest. My first realization, is that I can't hang on little sleep like I could back in the day, y'all. Precisely translated, that means I. am. old. I am so stinkin tired today, which is the reason I can't, for the life of me, segue to the next paragraph...

Robyn and I left the Ham on Saturday morning and chatted it up the whole way there. We were barely in our AWESOME room when we both had our feet propped up on the coffee table plucking away at our respective laptops (because that's how we bloggers roll). After we finished emailing, tweeting, updating status', ect., we went to find the girls.

I want you to know, I don't think I quit laughing my fool head off for the next 6+ hours. Have you ever done that? It's quite the workout, really.
We laughed at dinner...

And laughed in the room....

And we laughed until I literally HURT. Which leads me to the next thing I've learned about me: I am an ugly laugher. You've heard of the Ugly Cry? Well, Ugly Cry, meet Ugly Laugh because I SO have it.
There are so many pictures with me in them where my head is thrown back, howling in laughter, that those looking at them would absolutely be able to pick my uvula out of a line-up if the need ever arose. What's up with that?

The third thing I've realized is that I cannot, I repeat CAN-NOT, take pictures while hanging with my friends. This probably falls in line with multi-tasking or something, and we've already established that I have a touch of the A.D.D.. I always go on a trip with the lofty goal to take THOUSANDS of pictures and I always wind up with, like, 2. I guess I'm just too busy showing everyone my uvula to be bothered with such trivialities.

Finally, I've learned that scarves are cute, but dangerous accessories if put around the wrong neck. Here is a picture where Kim and I managed to control ourselves for more than 3 seconds (no easy feat, mind you):

Take a look at the rockin scarf that I found on clearance at Target, will ya? Cute, huh? Yeah. Well, it about took my life a time or two. Here's how:

*Apparently fringe fascinates me,
*and apparently when you play with fringe on the end of a scarf that's wrapped around your neck, you tend to pull on it gradually.
*Pulling on it gradually gives the thing enough length that it can wind up under your rear end when you sit down.
*Sitting on a scarf that is already wound a little too tightly around your neck is ALSO effective in giving people an up-close and personal view of one's uvula. I'm just sayin.

Enough about me, though, because the WHOLE reason we were there was to be in the audience of Travis Cottrell's live CD/DVD recording of his new album. Let me tell you something right now, this man and his crew can BRING IT. Wow. I have been to several of the LPM or Deeper Still conferences where he leads worship, so I already knew to expect an amazing offering of glory to God, but last night was beyond my expectations. It was so meaningful and I can't wait for the thing to come out so that I can watch it all over again.

This was one of the best times I've had E-VER. I love my girls so much and I seriously cannot wait till we do this again.

Blessed beyond measure by this crazy web,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

On Blocks, Kicks and Chops...

For some reason, I have avoided stating the obvious, which is that my Bloggy Block is still going strong. It's just that everything I think I might blog about sounds boring or repetitive or even whiny and, God forbid, preachy. Let me tell you, this Sistah can PREACH in a post, now. Luckily for all involved, though, I backspace and/or delete my preachin. ;) And Amen.

My point in saying that is this: I am hoping to do a mite better in the old posting department. I'm over-analyzing things and THE MADNESS MUST STOP.

Now, henceforth and tallyho (!) with the mundane....

A great big THANKYA to each of you who gave me suggestions in my musical time of need. I downloaded tons o' tunes and I am absolutely loving it. I have to say, Casting Crowns is probably my high favorite because their overall sound is amazing, but when it's coupled with words from songs such as, Slow Fade (g-r-e-a-t song), Who Am I, and Voice of Truth, it's pure awesome.

I am going to give you some whiplash to say that I'm diggin Toby Mac, too. Of course, Diverse City makes me move, but I really crank Jesus Freak. I have several others on there, like Selah, Chris Tomlin, Caedmon's Call and, of course, Travis Cottrell, but none of you mentioned Laura Story. Her song Mighty to Save is gold to me. If the neighbors haven't heard me singing it, it's because they are flat-out deaf. Which might be to their benefit, actually.

Oh, and I have Kung-Fu Fighting on there, too, because...well...that's the Westie Crew's anthem. It just fits. Perfectly, I might add.

Hang on now, because we are about to make another 180, k? I had a hair CATASTROPHE this week, peeps. I needed a haircut in a bad way because I am heading to Atlanta for a superfantabulous girls weekend on Saturday morning. It is kind of a silent rule for me that "Thou shalt not embark on such a mission with overgrown ape hair". Sorry.

Well, my week is tighter than spandex on a cow, so naturally, my regular stylist and I couldn't mesh our schedules. It was at that juncture, that I broke the cardinal rule. Against my better judgement, I went to a random person. I KNOW. I was stupid and desperate and I should have known when the girl in front of me (in the barren salon) walked out with THE choppiest haircut I'd ever seen. I couldn't leave because it would have been SO obvious, and I'm such a freak about making people feel bad, but inside my head the voices were screaming "Run, you fool, RUN!!"

Instead, I walked to her chair where she proceeded to tell me of her ex-husband who tried to kill her while giving me something largely reminiscent of Winona Ryder bangs from the movie Beetlejuice.

That was the look that I had on my face, too. I paid her (because she probably needed the money for all of her lawyers fees, afterall) and I left. So there I was, sans $35, sportin' the Winona bangs, with absolutely no way of getting my regular stylist to save the day. I was deep in the mire of my consequences for breaking The Code. Bad, BAD Gayle!

Cue: Terri Hanna to the rescue. She hooked me up with Melanie Ashley (don't you just love all the Southern names?) who had pity on my foolish plight and worked me in. 2.5 hours later she had performed her magic with the scissors/razor to get me looking presentable again. Nothing like a good girlfriend to pick up your mat and lower you to the chair of one who's capable. Terri Hanna, I am SO bringing you a Grande Caramel Macchiato WITH whip. You rock.

I guess that's all for now. I've got 50 thousand things to do today, so I'd better get started. Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Weirdo Intervention

You know I have admitted before, albeit infrequently, that I am a weirdo when it comes to music.

I'm a weirdo because I don't really listen to it. Ever. Well, ok, there's CHURCH, and every time an obnoxious teenager gets next to me in the turn lane shaking my mini-van to DEATH with their bass....

It's not that I hate music. Actually, it's quite the contrary, but I've just fallen out of the loop, I guess. I didn't want to keep listening to the stuff that I'd listened to as a teenager, and Country Music usually leaves me crying since it's all "she left me, she took the kids and the dog, and now all I have left is this shack in a bog". No thanks. I can muster up some real life drama easily enough if I really want it.

Eventually the only choice I had was Christian contemporary and talk radio. Since Christian contemporary sounded all the same to me.... Guess what I chose? And guess where I've remained for about a decade? I LOVE talk radio, people. See, I told you: Weirdo. But isn't the first step admitting that you have a problem?

I think it was in an effort to help his backward wife that Mark bought me a sweet little MP3 player for Christmas. But do you want to know what I've downloaded? Sermons.

I DID put some Mercy Me and Casting Crowns on there, but that's the extent as far as the old acoustics go. HOWEVER. I will say that listening and singing these songs have REALLY brought me out of my music-less fog. It's been nice but now I have a problem... I have no stinkin' clue what is good anymore.

I need a really awesome mix of tunes, y'all. So can you help a sorry gal out? Would you tell me a song or six that's really rockin' your boat right now? And don't forget to say who the artist is because, remember, I've been sort of asleep for about 10 years when it comes to this.

Thanks. You're awesome, you know that?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Something Awesome For You...

You know how every now and then you will discover something really, really awesome and your first thought is "Man! Everyone should have this!". Well, I'm there right now.

No, it's not a B.O.G.O. pair of boots at Belk, or free coffee, or some new-fangled household gadget... it's better.... it's THE most amazing Bible study tool I have found and...wait for it...

It. is. FREE!!

I don't know where you are in your study habits, but mine, recently, have been scattered and aimless, so I have made a renewed commitment to be more purposeful this year. Call it a resolution if you will, but I think it's just a fresh call to redeem the time (Eph 5:15-16).

However, the sieve that is my brain can't seem to keep all of that "purpose" in any kind of discernable order. So, I prayed. And just like our Abba, all of a sudden, I remembered that I have this little CD in the back of my Strong's Bible Dictionary/Concordance/Biggest Most Awesome Book I Own.

So, I grabbed it and popped the thing into my beloved laptop, when LO, I found PURE GOLD! This little download left me with several different translations of the Bible, 3 commentaries, all the Greek and Hebrew transliterations of all the words, and MUCH, MUCH more. Here is a what it looks like when you pull up a passage of scripture (note: they have more add-ons than I do, so mine isn't quite so colorful).

If these images are too small, you can go to the link at the bottom to view them larger.
Another great feature is the Compare tab. It allows you to look at a particular verse in all of the different translations:

It even has an AWESOME graphics feature so that you can pull up maps and such:

My favorite thing is how personalized it is. There is a little tool that allows me to type in verses that I am trying to memorize. Then, every day it will bring it up and drill me on that verse. This proved priceless since I committed to memorizing 24 scriptures this year with the LPM Siestas.

It also has a section for prayer requests which allows me to input all that there is to pray for, label it, and add a note as to what type of request it is (i.e., thanksgiving, supplication, ect.). Then it will pop up in front of me at whatever frequency I call for. You can even mark it as answered, and keep it in a file for future reference.

Yet another personalized thing, is that it keeps track of my Bible reading. If I say I want to complete the New Testament in 6 months, then it breaks it up for me and gives me my daily reading. This is important to me because I have it set to pull up as soon as I open my computer for the day. I need that. I need that. I NEED THAT.

I can even record notes about what I've learned, keep cross-references recorded, and search to my little heart's content.

Have I mentioned that I like this program? I just can't say enough about this, seriously. This little snippet of a post can't do justice to the probably thousands of dollars worth of material that can be downloaded. It's invaluable to me not only as a teacher, but as a student of the Word, so without further ado, you can check it out right here: e-Sword

So, what are you using/studying right now? Inquiring minds want to know...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back to the Pyramid

Nothing like riling a bunch of Mama's up and then walking away, huh? :D

Anyway, thanks for all of your input/love below. I did put our outcome in the comments somewhere, if you're wondering how it all turned out.

Moving along to a subject that I kind of hate... Diet and Exercise. (By the way, I PROMISE I'm not on some warped mission called "How to Lose Your Readers in 10 Days" or something. Contrary to the fact that I left a post up here for that long about disciplining children, THEN I come busting up in here with talk about the old D&E, I DO want y'all to stick around.) ;), Diet and Exercise.

Over my Holiday break, it came to my attention that I, Gayle, have a cholesterol level of 272. Now, if you are like me 3 weeks ago, that number will mean nothing, so I will go ahead and clue you in to the fact that this is a VERY HIGH number. "Very high", in the cholesterol world = Not So Good. Think Cheerios commercial.

I have to tell you that this numero pretty much shocked the crap of me. Truth is, I am not overweight....well, there is the Muffin Top thing, but I'm still embracing that....and honestly, my diet isn't that bad. Bottom line, I've inherited some rotten genes on the cholesterol front. So, at 33, yours truly is officially on cholesterol medication.

It's not a huge deal, but it has definitely kicked me in the hindquarters to put the lockdown on my family's eating and moving habits. The great news is that I don't hate my fruits and veggies and neither does Mark. ALL food has equal opportunity with us. We're PC like that. However, it's a few of our kids that have a little enmity with the veggies. So, being the bibliophile that I am, I did what came naturally, I hopped on over to Amazon and searched for Nutrition for Kids. Here is a cute, but informative book that I received last week, so I wanted to pass the info on to you.

Sorry, I don't have a clue how to make the image a link (I would love to learn that little trick, though), so here is the direct link, if you're interested: Janey Junkfoods Fresh Adventure I have a few other books that are on their way, including a small curriculum called How to Teach Nutrition to Kids that got some pretty awesome reviews.
As far as the Moving Issues...well, it is me, and not the children, who holds the intense aversion. In other words, me no likey. Yet, me no wanna DIE, so off to the park we go a few times a week. I've been loading up my MP3 player with tons of sermons from here, and a bunch of Praise and Worship music so that my mind is is being taken off the "deed". So far, so good.
It really is perfect timing that all of this came into play when it did, because, HELLO, January seems to be THE Diet and Exercise month. Everything you see is on healthy eating habits and staying fit. Works for me.
Anybody else?