Thursday, December 31, 2009

Movies I Saw in 2009

So glad to have returned to the movies this year. I love, love, love movies, and even saw a few of these at the theater by myself (which I still say is a fun thing to do, even if others thing it is kind of pathetic). :)

1. Doubt
2. The X-Files: I Want to Believe (dvd)
3. The Women (dvd)
4. Last Chance Harvey
5. Leatherheads (dvd)
6. Slumdog Millionaire
7. He's Just Not That Into You
8. Revolutionary Road (tied for most depressing movie I've seen this year)
9. Twilight
10. Duplicity
11. Bride Wars (don't judge me)
12. 17 Again
13. Flash of Genius (dvd)
14. The Secret Life of Bees (dvd)
15. The Proposal
16. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
17. New In Town
18. Driving Lessons (dvd)
19. 500 Days of Summer
20. Waitress (dvd)
21. Rachel Getting Married (dvd)
22. Julie & Julia
23. Amelia
24. New Moon
25. Star Trek (dvd)
26. Everybody's Fine (sucked--other most depressing movie this year)
27. The Blind Side
28. Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Books I Read in 2009

After not reading for pleasure in simply ages, I decided last December that I was going to read 30 books in 2009. I have friends in blogland who post their year-end list of books read, and a couple of them are in the hundreds. So that inspired me to read, and to keep track of what I read this year. So here is my list.

1. Believing God by Beth Moore
2. Marley & Me by John Grogan
3. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
4. On Becoming Preschool Wise by Gary Ezzo
5. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
6. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
7. Raising Respectful Children In a Disrespectful World by Jill Rigby
8. Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg

At this point I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the theater and decided to reread the series beginning, not at the beginning, but with that particular book. So the rest of my list has a bit of a theme.

9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
12 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

As you see, I came nowhere near my goal of reading 30 books this year. But you know, I've probably read a total of four or five non-Biblical books since I had Brynn (5 years ago), so this is a definite improvement for me. I love reading, and am so glad to be getting back into the swing of it, even if it's at a slow pace.

New goal: 20 books in 2010! (Care to have a guess what the first three will be?)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Giveaway

My friend Traci is out of control when it comes to give away lovely things. Check out her awesome blog for a chance to win.

In other news, I plan to revive this blog by the weekend. Brace yourselves.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Check out my friend Traci's cool blog... decorating tips, Goodwill goldmines, and encouragement for your faith. Not to mention pictures of her adorable boys. Plus I might win an awesome shelf (made by Traci) for pimping out her blog here on Diaper Days. But the fact that I have an ulterior motive does not mean her blog isn't awesome. It rocks! Check it out at and enter to win the shelf yourself!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

haiku #1

nothing, flat and cold
from shadows gray and darkness
truth awakens me

Friday, June 5, 2009

Barbie Rant: Long Time Coming?

I vaguely remember playing with Barbie as a child. I had a couple dolls myself, but mostly I played with them at my friend Vicki's house. Even then, I don't remember it being one of our favorite activities. Playing house with her little sister as the baby, or school with her little sister as our pupil, or vet with her little sister as.... poor Melanie.

Since then Barbie has catapulted herself into toy mega-stardom. She's a doll, she's a clothing line, she's got the house and the car and the pet shop and the doctor's office. Bottom line: she's become the metaphor for the physically-ideal woman. (Which means most of us are pretty much screwed, but that's another topic.) After early promises to ban her from the lives our girls, I heeded the advice of a wise friend (Hi Coleen!), and chose with Jim to filter the Barbie influence instead. We buy our girls Barbies, but they are the ballerinas and princesses and professionals, not the "hooker Barbies," as I like to call them. You know the ones I mean. Their clothes could have come from Julia Roberts' pre-Richard Gere Pretty Woman wardrobe. And our girls love the Barbies they have. I must face it: to them, its just a beloved toy, not a political statement. So in this way, we have loosened up some. We probably have 8-10 Barbies floating around the house these days.

Then this week a friend told me of her frustration in looking for a summertime Barbie for gift, but only finding tiny bikinis. Not surprising really. A couple of days later I was in Wal-Mart checking out Barbies for Brynn's upcoming birthday when I spotted this. Meet Pajama Party Barbie. What do you think? My question is, pajamas? or lingerie? I know she's got the cute bubble gum pink color and the fun accessories, but isn't this a teddy? I don't know about you, but none of the girls at the slumber parties I went to were wearing anything like this. Am I losing it? It looks like some twisted kids version of a Victoria's Secret ad. Am I over-reacting? Because people must be buying these for their kids if the Barbie folks keep cranking this stuff out, right? I have to wonder if the downward spiral of Barbie's wardrobe over the years is what paved the way for something like the Bratz dolls to be marketable at all. (Do not EVEN get me started Bratz.)

I guess it boils down to me being really frustrated with how quickly the world wants my babies to grow up! I am convinced that our society's desensitization to the sexing-up of our little girls is partly to blame for how little these children value themselves as they grow up. It scares me sometimes, but then it motivates me to get off my butt, put my game face on and really parent my girls. It's the hardest thing in the world, but its so worth the battle, right?

I welcome your thoughts about this... even if you think I'm a crazed Barbie-hater.

Monday, April 20, 2009


There is a house centipede on the loose in our house right now. I believe this is the first time one has been spotted and escaped destruction on my watch, maybe in the whole 15 years of our marriage. My rule for spiders and house centipedes is that if one shows up in the house, no one sleeps until it is dead. Ask Jim about it sometime... the poor guy's got stories. But this morning, a critter (thankfully on the small side for centipedes) lumbered up by my shoe in the bathroom, causing Brynn to go three kinds of crazy. Her screams went supersonic as she did this prancy, freak-out-march with her feet, getting out of the bathroom as fast as possible. By the time I could understand her well enough to know there was "a bug," it had taken cover behind the toilet. I finally found him, but he managed to wedge himself under the baseboard and completely out of sight before I could do the deed. Frustrating. But not as much as knowing I would have to either let him live, or be late for preschool. Obviously, we went to school. (I'm not THAT bad.)

At this point, I have two concerns. One, Brynn may never sit on that toilet again, since she knows it did not die. Two, I know from experience when and where my little friend is going to show up again. It will be be in MY bathroom this time. And it will crawl out onto the shower wall while I am in there naked and vulnerable without glasses on. So not only will I have nothing to kill it with, but it will look like a tarantula to this blind lady. I have no choice but to plant one of Jim's sneakers in the bathroom next to a can of hairspray and wait for him to show up. I will be ready, and he will not get away this time.

I hope he shows his wriggly-legged self sometime today. If so, he's toast. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eleven Things I Shared With Christy

(because I couldn't stop at just ten)

11. The Jill Phillips concert at Asbury. Technically it was Andrew Peterson (Jill Phillips was only the opener), but I had never heard of him, so you used Jill to get us to go. You were right as usual... Jim and I now love Andrew Peterson.

10. Hanging out in hospitals.

9. Seeing the Schuers play at High on Rose. We loved their music but regretted the venue. Remember when that drunk girl fell in your lap? Yeah, that was not so much our scene. We laughed hard that night.

8. Our girls-only weekend last August.

7. That last morning you came over to hang out while Josh played golf. I'm so glad we had that chance to sip Starbucks hot chocolate, eat muffins, and talk about everything from theology to reality tv.

6. Many, many, many meals at Fiesta.

5. Black Friday shopping in 2003.

4. Three moving days with you and Josh. I always ironed the shower curtain.

3. Roadtripping to New City Cafe in Knoxville to see Katy Bowser (who is awesome). I went to the bathroom for two seconds and she came over to our table and talked to you guys while I was gone. Betrayed by my bladder once again. Remember how we almost hit that deer at 2am on the way home?

2. Your wedding day. I was large and pregnant and wonderfully purple, haha. But you were radiant. What a JOY to be a part of your perfect day.

1. April 15th. Maybe eight or nine of them? Not enough. I loved making it a big deal with you, and even (unintentionally) giving each other the same gift once or twice. I loved the two or three phonecalls in early April deciding where we wanted to eat. Our favorites were not the same, but we took our decision seriously and always considered several restaurants before landing at Red Lobster. Your mom made us dessert and we shared the evening and the attention. I'm so sad you aren't here today. I miss you. I would honestly ignore the whole thing if I didn't know how disappointed (not to mention ticked) you would be with me if you knew. But I will not eat at Red Lobster on our birthday again. That was something special, just for you and me. Happy Birthday, Christy. This day is forever different, but I will always be celebrating with you in my heart.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Humbled and Grateful

"...Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ."

excerpt from "In Christ Alone"
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


A couple of nights ago, we were sitting around the dinner table eating dessert when Brynn said, "I bet God is eating dinner right now too." Jim shot me a look, then asked her what she thought God was having for dinner. She looked up confidently and said, "blue Jello, same as us."

Yesterday Brynn drew a very cool picture of herself and me shopping at Wal-Mart. (I know it's sad, but it's what we do.) Anyway, she was talking about the picture, saying how I was super tall in it and had really curly hair... and then she had me spell out the letters for Wal-Mart so she could write them in the background. It was a keeper. At some point during Brynn's commentary, Katy took a break from her own scribble action in the Pooh coloring book, and leaned across the table on her elbows. She scrutinized Brynn's work, then wanted to know, "Where KAY-ty?! Where ME? Where MEEEEEE?!" Brynn looked at the ceiling and sighed. Then she went back to her picture and said frankly, "You weren't BORN yet."

Tonight on the way to Wal-Mart (I can't help it, we needed diapers!), Katy was having a full-on tantrum. I don't know how to describe this event other than to say, it is truly an impressive display of emotion. Before we left the house, she jumped up in the air twice like a sumo wrestler coming down on an opponent and then threw herself in the floor on her stomach screaming, fists clenched and pounding. I love her like my next breath, but I had to turn away so she wouldn't see me doubling over in laughter. So now we're in the car on the way and the tantrum is just starting to show signs of waning. I say, "Katy, you need to dry it up Baby because there is no crying in Wal-Mart." Brynn smiles at me in the rearview mirror and says, "That's right Katy. There's a sign right on the door that says No Crying." I smiled back at her little joke. Katy continues to wail. Brynn's smile goes conspiratorial and she says, "If you get caught crying in Wal-Mart the police will come and take you to jail!" I laugh at the joke and Brynn is satisfied. Then she looks over at her still-miserable sister and says sweetly, "Oh, Katy. I'm just messing with ya a little bit."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fun at Mom's Day Out

Things that have been said in our Mom's Day Out class recently. Laura is my teaching partner, for those of you who don't know. (Who doesn't know Laura?) ;)

Mrs. Laura: Please take your hand out of your pants.
Emma: (despairing) Teach-errrrrrr... my feet are hot....
Me to a child: Ew! EW! Did... that... come OUT of you?
Trefor: (gravely) Mrs. Lori, sometimes there are STRANGERS.
Ava: (lighthearted) God LOVES strangers!
Dad to his child: If you don't behave, I'm going to have to take your (scotch) tape back home.
Me to a child: Please get your finger out of your nose.
Me: Hannah, please don't spit on the playgroud. That's rude.
Hannah: But I had snot in my mouth.
Me: Oh. Good call then.

If you've got a funny kid-line, please share it in the comment section. The little people are pretty entertaining!

Monday, January 26, 2009

in the car, this morning...

Brynn: Mommy, you know my friend Lauren?
Me: Yes.
Brynn: Well, did you know that Lauren had an elephant? In her house?
Me: No, I don't think I did know that.
Brynn: Yeah. And it went stomping all over the whole house in all the rooms, wrecking everything!
Me: Oh no! Mrs. Jennifer must have been very upset.
Brynn: Yeah. Cause it stomped all through the kitchen and broke everything and ruined all their food and they don't have anything left.
Me: What are they going to do?
Brynn: I don't know! Everything is broken and there is no food!
Me: Maybe we could help.
Brynn: We should give them some money.
Me: That's a good idea. Or we could find out something that the elephant broke, and we could get them a new one, like a toaster.
Brynn: (studying my face) Mommy, are you teasing?
Me: It's not really teasing Brynn, more like pretending. Aren't you pretending?
Brynn: No! There really was an elephant! A mean one that broke everything.
Me: I like this pretending, so I know about the elephant.
Brynn: (somewhat satisfied) I think they should get a smaller, nicer one next time.
Me: You tell Lauren that.
Brynn: I will.

In other news, Katy is talking up a storm. Every day she uses new words I didn't know she even knew. Window. Backpack. McDonalds. Sunday night when Jim got home from a church meeting she asked him politely: "Daddy, fun at church?" She talks as much if not more than Brynn did at the same age. And folks, that is saying something. Crazy. And so fun.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Circle Time 1/15/09

Our Bible story today was on the good samaritan. I got some little people out and used them to act out the scene... bad robbers beating up the jewish man, priests and Levites coming by but looking the other way instead of meeting the man's need, and finally the man's own enemy showing compassion and making personal sacrifice to provide care for this victim. I talked about our Bible verse, "Do good to all people," and explained that Jesus wants all his children to do good things to our friends, our brothers and sisters, our parents, our teachers (oh yeah, I went there), and especially people who were different from us, even enemies. The children seemed more engaged than usual, probably because of the visual aids I used to explain everything. So I was feeling pretty good about getting this important message into their hearts. I summed up by saying something like, "If we love Jesus, it is so important that we obey him, and try to do good to all people, whoever they are, and even if it seems hard to try to help them. We don't want to be like those priests who said they loved Jesus but just walked by the hurt man because they didn't want to help. Do you understand?"

Sweet Hannah looked up at me with big eyes and said, "Mrs. Lori.." I hoped I would be able to answer whatever question she might ask about the story. She smiled big and said so slowly, "I have..." She lifted the cuff of her jeans. "...bunny socks!"

Monday, January 5, 2009

Holiday Highlights

(in chronological order)

1. Brynn's preschool Christmas program. We were one of many families juggling small siblings while trying to record video of our young performer (easily the cutest on stage) singing her heart out and ringing bells. We eat this stuff up!

2. Christmas at my brother's house in IL. Jenny made her famous lasagna (my favorite)--not to mention delicious sides and appetizers--and we all sat down together for a meal before letting the kids tear into the presents. Grandma got back into town just in time to join us, and it was a great night being with family. It ended too quickly. I also got to spend a lot of time with mom...dipping pretzels and rolling Oreo balls, so that was an added bonus.

3. Christmas Eve Open House at our place. I wasn't sure what to expect this year, but we had our largest attendance so far, around 27 people. Most of our Mt. Freedom regulars were there, and some new friends came by too... it was just wonderful to be with friends and celebrate the season and the hope we have because of it. We are so blessed by the friends God has given us.

4. Christmas morning. There is just nothing like it. Our girls had a ball, but we probably had even more fun than they did. Katy's favorite was her $5 Pooh stool, just like her sister's Dora one. And Brynn loved her bike (thanks Hewitts!), and is still riding it around the kitchen table several times a day. Watch out, or you will get run over.

5. Christmas with the Wells. We have a tradition of joining up around noon for homemade pizza and lots of holiday laying around on sofas. It's awesome. This year was certainly different, without Christy. I knew it would be hard, but it was much more difficult than I expected. So many times, its like I can imagine the things she would have said, the laughter, how she would have enjoyed giving her gifts and watching the kids open theirs. The silence can just be deafening. Not that the rest of us are silent, but its the space her words would have used up. Nothing else seems to be able to fill them. We went to the cemetery, and I was glad we did. As hard as that afternoon was at times, there is no where else I would have rather been.

6. Christmas with the Barkleys. We rode to PA in style this year, with a beautiful blue (rented) Toyota 4Runner. The sound system was a beautiful thing, and there was space enough that we didn't feel the girls' feet at the back of our necks. We appreciate our car (it's paid for!), but this was just a nice treat. We had a fun gift exchange with Jim's parents, and then Aunt Helen came down (or is it up?) for the big gift exchange we do with the extended family. This is always a fun time, especially for me as my family has never had a tradition like this. Jim's mom made a special Christmas dinner the next day and the Steelers shut-out the Browns... so that was a pretty perfect day all around. :)

7. Home. As great as everything has been, its so good to have the Christmas stuff put away and the house in order (well, for us). Jim had another four days off here at home, and that was really wonderful and relaxing for all of us. He's back to work today and Brynn was back at preschool... so we are slowly getting back into the regular routine, and recovering from all the travel.

Hope you all had a good Christmas as well!