Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friends, Coffee, and One Long Chat

Yesterday I had the opportunity to catch up with a friend who was in town. It was one of those completely random get togethers. She was really on my heart that morning so I sent her a quick e-mail. Her husband e-mailed me back and told me she was in Tampa. A couple of quick calls and several text messages later, we were set to meet for coffee.

I drove to Bradenton where my friend's mom lives and we found a Starbuck's. We talked and talked and talked. She filled me in on her mission trip to Thailand/Singapore that she went on about 2 months ago. We talked about how it was simpler when we lived overseas. (She and her husband were missionaries in Thailand when I was in China.) And of course we talked about all the different things that God has been teaching us.

It didn't seem like we had been talking that long, but when Angela asked me what time it was, I was shocked to discover it was almost 1 am! I felt like we had been talking for 5 minutes, not 5 hours! It was a great evening and so worth the drive and not getting back home until 2:30 am.

You know, you just got to love friends that you can do that with. Those friends that 5 hours feel more like 5 minutes. Friends that you can pick right up with even if you haven't seen them in moths or years.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lessons Learned on the House Hunt

For those of you who have not picked up on a small detail in my life...I am looking into capitalizing on the extremely sad housing market here. I spoke with a realtor a couple of weeks ago and he sent me my first set of listings. On Monday I saw four homes. I received a second set of listings (condos this time) yesterday and tonight sent a list of both condos and homes I would like to see.

This is what I have learned from a whopping two weeks of looking at homes:
  • You shouldn't take pictures of a dirty house and post those for potential buyers to see. This includes, but is not limited to: dirty dishes in the sink, wet towels on the back of the office chair, beds not made, "gifts" from any pets on the floor, and laundry in the floor.
  • Pictures listed can cover a multitude of "sins". While a picture may be worth a thousand words, they also lie.
  • When it says that there is a washer and dryer hook up and a shed that is code for the washer and dryer hook up is actually in the shed.
  • Diamond in the rough is code for "needs TLC" which is also code for prepare for some back breaking work.
  • "Quaint home in charming neighborhood," "older home in mature neighborhood," and "located in the historic district" can mean that this house is in the ghetto.
  • Located in Central Tampa with easy access to 275 and downtown also means located in the ghetto.
  • It doesn't matter if a home has hardwood floors, ceramic tile, wood burning fireplace, granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliances, if it is painted lime green, it's in the ghetto. Trust me, I drove by just to make sure because I decided the outside could always be painted.
Out of the four homes I saw, two had some potential. One was too small and the other backed up to a major road. This next set seem to have some potential, but I've already learned that the truth comes out when you walk through the front door! I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens...I'll keep you all posted!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Weebles Wobble But They Don't Fall Down

However, I am not a Weeble, and I do fall down! That's right, this morning on my jog, for no apparent reason, I just fell. Flat. Of course being the graceful athlete that I am, I caught myself with my left hand. I still fell, but managed to protect my face and the majority of my body. My hand and my shin took the brunt of the fall, and now I have a nice case of "shell rash"...which is similar to "road rash", but occurs when you fall on a shell trail. All the pieces of shell have been removed and it appears that damage is minor.

Pictures will not follow because they just didn't turn out...which proves that you shouldn't take pictures at 5:45 am!

Other titles for this post could have included:
  1. When Grace and Pavement Meet
  2. I am Not a Weeble, I Fall Down
  3. Ring Around the Rosie...We All Fall Down
  4. The Trip I Will Not Soon Forget
  5. Why I Should Sleep Later
  6. Please Laugh With Me and Not at Me
Anybody else have other ideas?

Monday, May 26, 2008


Does anybody else ever wonder if people are reading these things? Just one of those thoughts that have crossed my mind this evening.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Know, I Know

I said I'd do better this week at blogging, and now I look up and it is Friday. It has been one of those flying weeks. Last night was the first night I was actually home, so that makes things even crazier. Technically I am home tonight as well. Bible study is going on in the living room, but I have quarantined myself to my room for the evening as I am not feeling great. I thought I would keep any possible germs to myself. Of course the migraine that joined in a few hours earlier hasn't helped. Which is why I am drawing this post to an end...the lights of the computer screen are a little much.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm Still Here!

I'm still here...It's been a crazy week, and I will bore you with a brief synopsis:

Saturday, May 10- Walk for Life from 5:30 am to 1:00 pm. While I was gone, the last of my supplies for my super, duper, special surprise arrived and I spent the evening recupperating from my morning and working on my surprise.

Sunday, May 11- Church and continued working on surprise project.

Monday, May 12- Work and continued with surprise.

Tuesday, May 13- Work, but when I arrived home, I did not work on the surprise, but rather I cleaned my apartment since my brother and sister-in-law were to arrive the next day.

Wednesday, May 14- Work and then mad dash home to attempt to finish my surprise before the 7:10 flight arrived...which arrived early. Late dinner with brother and sister-in-law and stayed out too late. Was able to reveal super, duper, top secret project since it was for them even though it wasn't quite done...will post pictures later.

Thursday, May 15- Work, but had a special treat when I got to see my niece for the first time. Isn't she precious? Squeezed in a haircut before meeting Stuart and Michelle for dinner.

Friday, May 16- Work but it was Friday! Meet up with Stuart and Michelle in the late afternoon for a little shopping and then on to the beach for dinner.

Saturday, May 17- Girl bonding time over pedicures for me and Michelle while Stuart packed the car and checked out of the motel. Met for a late breakfast at Mimi's and then back to my apartment where we hung out until they needed to head to the airport. I caught up on things that I had neglected during the week, like laundry.

Needless to say I haven't disappeared, just a little busy over the last week. This week looks relatively normal, so I will try to do a better job on the blogging.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there and especially to my mom. I have talked to her several times over the weekend and twice today. While I know she and my dad are currently "computerless", I wanted to tell her thanks. Thanks for being a great mom. A mom who answers all my random questions like, "What is mean to have a .7 bathroom?" or "Do you have a good recipe for ________?" or "What is a good plant that will grow indoors and is difficult to kill?" or "Where in the world can you buy pumpkin pie mix?" A mom who was at every basketball game, volleyball game, softball game, soccer gamer, band concert, and church choir production. A mom who acted all strong when she and my dad dropped me off at college, but who later I found out broke down as they pulled out of campus. A mom that flew halfway across the world to see me when I lived in China. We definitely have had our differences and there have been times that we probably wanted to trade each other in, but that is when I always remind her who will take care of her as she gets older! :) Mom, I wish I could have been there today to help you celebrate. I wish the package I mailed earlier in the week had made it on time. Oh goodness, I wish I had mailed it sooner. I love you and hope you have had a blessed Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

When Is Time to Go to the Store?

You might think it would be the fourth day without milk. But no. However, when I realized that I would run out of hairspray in the morning, oh yeah, I made sure I stopped on my way home. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I am a good southern girl after all. And yes, I picked up milk too!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pushing Through

I've heard runners describe hitting the wall. It finally dawned on me that I was doing this within the last day or two. Some where after about 12 minutes of running I hit the wall, and I hit it hard and fast. Up until tonight I would just take two to three minutes and walk and then pick it back up for another 10 to 12 minutes. Tonight I was determined to push through and push through I did. I only ran for 20 minutes, but it was 20 minutes walking! Tomorrow I will begin building on that 20 minutes with the goal being to run between 30 and 40 minutes straight several times a week.

I feel quite accomplished and very tired! :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Confessions of a Channel Surfer

What you read may completely change your view of me.

First confession, I am a channel surfer. The remote is my friend. I normally watch at least two different things at the same time. If I am only watching one thing I typically flip during the commercials. I've heard that traditionally women do not have such bad habits...or at least do not confess to such things. I like to blame the fact that I grew up in a male dominated house, but that is neither here nor there.

Second confession, you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl. Well, at least not completely. I still have a pair of cowboy boots in my closet...I've even worn them in the last three months. I also happen to like country music.

These background facts are necessary to understand the actual point of this post.

Sunday after lunch I was debating whether to read a little more of Prince Caspian or check out what was on the TV. I began to flip through the channels when I landed on CMT. Since I had found nothing on, I decided to camp out and see what was actually on. Quickly I realized it was CMT's version of "American Idol" called "Can You Duet?" While it is interesting I did pick up my book and read when people where not singing. I heard them introduce the next duet that were going on and looked up just in time to catch a quick glance before they went to a commercial break. I could have sworn that the person I saw on the screen was Jared Johnson.

Jared and I went to junior high and high school together. He was the quarterback of the football team. The boy next door. Son of a pastor...technically music minister, but you get the idea. We were not great friends, but friends none the less. I have run into him over the years and it has always been fun to catch up with what he was doing.

When the show came back on, sure enough it was Jared. I was able to catch up on some of the older episodes online. He is in the top 12 at this time. I'll definitely be tunning in the this week to see how he does.

Click to see more on Can You Duet at

Sunday, May 4, 2008

ABC's of Prayer

On Wednesday this week, I had the opportunity to attend the First Ladies Prayer Brunch in honor of the National Day of Prayer. Pam Tebow, mother of Heisman Trophy Winner, Tim Tebow, was the speaker. She shared about how to become a woman of influence. During one of her points she shared an acrostic for prayer that I have heard many times over the years:
A- Adoration
C- Confession
T- Thanksgiving
S- Supplication
As she spoke about adoration, she shared an exercise that she uses with the alphabet. For each letter of the alphabet she repeats a name for God or a characteristic of His. I challenged my Bible Study group with this on Friday night. We didn't quite finish the entire alphabet as some of those last letters are a little tricky, but I thought I would share what we came up with.

Ancient of Days
Abba Father
Abounding in Love


Consuming Fire


El Shaddai



Honor due
Horn of my Salvation


Jehovah Nissi
Jehovah Jireh

King of Kings

Lord of Lords


Name above all Names

One and Only

Praise worthy
Prince of Peace

Quieter of Storms


Strong Tower


Unfailing Love

Very Present Help in Time of Need


The best we came up with was xylophone maker

(same) Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow


By no means is this list exhaustive. What would you add?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Equal Oppotunity

I believe in equal opportunity, so I thought I would take some time to share a little about my younger brother, Roger. This is an excerpt from article that my parents forwarded me a couple of weeks ago. I'll highlight the important stuff.

Braaton, Pointer leader strong Iola softball team
Eagle Columnist
The Iola softball program is soaring, ranked sixth in the state and in position to make an extended playoff run. The Lady Bulldogs are powered by a couple of the key players who helped Iola's volleyball team reach the state final last fall.

"We have a great group of young girls," coach Roger Masters said.

The Lady Bulldogs are unbeaten against Class A teams, and nobody can accuse Masters of scheduling cream puffs in nondistrict. Iola has lost twice to Franklin, the top-ranked 2A team in the state. The Lady Bulldogs' other losses were to 3A teams Gonzales and Luling.

Masters is off to an impressive start in his first season as a head coach, also his fourth overall at Iola. The 26-year-old spent two years as an assistant baseball coach, then switched to softball last season.

Former head coach Jake Marshall left the softball program late last season, with Masters directing the team during the playoffs.

[In 2007] Iola finished second in District 26-A and beat Spurger 10-0 in bi-district. Thrall edged the Lady Bulldogs in a tight best-of-3 area series, winning the third game 2-1.
My personal favorite part is the fact that the columnist used my brothers name and cream puff in the same sentence. Nope, no one can accuse him of that.

Roger, even though I don't think you know that I blog (or possibly even what a blog is), I am proud of you! Congratulations on your win tonight!