I Want


 This picture:
Mountain Bouquet by Katie Daisy on Etsy

And, I want to be pregnant...
and I want to blog about my pregnancy...
and compare the size of my growing baby to various fruits and vegetables...
and write love letters to my unborn...
and deliver a healthy baby...
and take pictures of my baby and my husband asleep together on the couch...

And I want to get what I want when I want it.

But nobody gets that.


Agreed Two

Why Speaking Well of Your Spouse Is So Important

As a leader, the health of your marriage directly affects the impact of your leadership. I have witnessed this time and time again. Being effective at work or in ministry begins by being effective at home.

Early in our marriage, Gail and I attended a church led by a dynamic, thirty-something pastor. He was an extraordinary communicator. He was a wise and empathetic counselor. As a result, the church grew rapidly.

But as we got better acquainted with him and his wife, we started noticing a disturbing trend in the way they related to one another. They would often make disparaging remarks about the other in public.
At first, it seemed cute. Their comments seemed playful and humorous. Everyone laughed. But over time, they became more and more pointed, thinly masking their frustration with one another.
We ultimately left that church. But several years later we learned they suffered an ugly divorce, both admitting to multiple affairs. They lost their family, and, of course, their ministry. To this day, it grieves me to think about it.
Conversely, I noticed that Sam Moore, my predecessor at Thomas Nelson, always spoke highly of his wife. He would often say, “I hate to leave her in the morning, and I can’t wait to see her in the evening.” They have been married now for nearly 60 years. Last time Gail and I were with them, they were holding hands. It was obvious they were still in love.
In reflecting on these two experiences, I am convinced that praising your spouse in public is one of the most important investments you can make—in your family and in your leadership.
This is important for at least five reasons:
  1. You get more of what you affirm. Have you ever noticed that when someone praises you, you want to repeat the behavior that caused it? This is just human nature. It can be a form of manipulation if it isn’t genuine. But it can be a powerful way to motivate others when it is authentic.
  2. Affirmation shifts your attitude toward your spouse. Words are powerful tools. They can create, or they can destroy. They can build up, or they can tear down. I believe most people have a drive to align their actions—and their attitudes—with their words. If you start speaking well of someone, you start believing what you say.
  3. Affirmation helps strengthen your spouse’s best qualities. Encouragement is also a powerful force for good. All of us need positive reinforcement. This is why when we are losing weight and people notice, it gives us the strength to stick with the program. This is true in every area of life.
  4. Affirmation wards off the temptation of adultery. When others see you are happily married, they are less likely to proposition you. It’s like a hedge that protects your marriage from would-be predators. You simply stop being a target.
  5. Affirmation provides a model to those you lead. To be a truly effective leader, you must lead yourself, and then you must lead your family. Your marriage is a powerful visual of how you treat the people you value the most. When you speak highly of your spouse, your followers are more likely to trust you. It takes your leadership to another level.
Affirming your spouse in public is an investment that pays big leadership dividends. In a world where fewer and fewer marriages last, it can be a difference-maker.


Christmas with the Kranks

Once, while on my way to Kansas City, I rented Skipping Christmas by John Grisham on cd to listen to in the car.

Although I thought it was "so-so" I still wanted to see the movie they made based on the book, "Christmas with the Kranks".

I rented it at the library last night.

While a big pot of collard green and ham soup (no lie) was simmering on the stove, Mr. T and I watched the movie.

It was also, "so-so". 
Actually, I didn't like it that much.

Upon completion of the move, Mr. T said, "Do you want to watch Steel Magnolias or something?"...because I was talking the day before about watching Steel Magnolias...because it's my favorite movie.

I said, "Not really, we just watched a movie."

He said, "Well it's gotta be better than Christmas with the Kranks."

That's when I realized my plan had worked!!!

Plan #4 on a list of 10 Plans:
4) Watch movies that are way sub par to Steel Magnolias, so that when the time comes to view the movie, Mr. T actually looks forward to seeing it.


Ahhhh, the joy of being gifted in bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills and of course - manipulation skills. (Partial Napoleon Dynamite quote)


Biscuit Pudding

Last night I decided to make biscuits to use up some leftover buttermilk I had.

A reliable source told me that you can "cut in" the butter using your food processor. 

So I decided to make a double recipe and proceeded to prep all the ingredients...including SIX sticks of butter.  We only had 5.  Mr. T looked at all that butter sitting on top of that little bit of flour and said, "I think 5 is plenty."  And he was right.  My heart hurts just thinking about eating one of those biscuits.

While I was measuring the flour and such, Mr. T was telling me about the time his money was tight and he only had flour and water to eat.  I've heard this story before, but this time he announced, "There's something I COULD have made!  Hard tack!  Like what they ate in the Civil War.  Of course, you can mix flour and water and let it sit for a long time...like a week...and it will eventually rise and turn into bread...." and on he went until it was time to mix the biscuit ingredients in the food processor.  

I think when you add the butter, you're supposed to cut it into pieces first.  We didn't do that.  We added whole sticks...which didn't work...so we had to "process" the biscuits a lot...until it looked more like pudding than like biscuit batter.

"I don't think this is gonna work" is the only thing I was thinking/feeling/saying repeatedly.

However, we had come this far, so I thought I might as well try to bake them.  I loaded a pan with blobs of biscuit pudding, put them in the oven and crossed my fingers.

After about 20 minutes and periodic checking, I was starting to think something was really wrong because they weren't setting up.  I put my thinking cap on, went over many possible diagnosis for the problem, and concluded that - ah - you have to turn the oven ON before they will cook right.  And that's what I did...

They actually aren't too bad.  I cut up some strawberries, mixed sugar in them and had a nice strawberry shortcake.

Let me know if you want the recipe.  


The Tree

My whole life I've had a fake Christmas tree.  Until this year...
Not only did we get a real Christmas tree - but we got a real Christmas tree that Mr. T and I gathered from the great outdoors.

Here's the story:

Last Sunday we asked our good friend, Dick Neel, if there were any trees on his property that we could cut down and use in our house for our Christmas tree.  He pointed us to the deep, deep woods and said, "You might find something in there!"  So, out we went in search of the tree that would be part of our first Christmas together.

We went through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, past the candy cane forest (JK - had to put that in for all my fellow Elf fans.)  But we did have to scale an electric fence and dodge about a zillion cow pies in order to get to the "tree lot"...where we went "shopping" for a tree...which we did not find...because there was not a single tree that would work. 

So, back we went to the Neel's house and told Dick Neel about our dilemma and he said, "Wait'll I get my jacket and we'll go out and get us a Christmas tree."  Once again we went to the same deep, deep woods.  Mr. T and I were shaking our heads the whole time, trying to convince him that, "THERE ARE NO TREES OVER THERE!" 

What do we know?
We saw several candidates.  And then we rounded a bend that revealed THE tree - a great and glorious spruce.
We were warned before we went that the tree always looks smaller than you think it's going to be.  Then you get it inside your house and it's huge.  So, like good Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, we measured and cut off the top portion of the tree, hauled it back and set it up in the house. 

Despite our efforts, the tree is quite large and fills up most of our living room.

Now, I've had Christmas fever for a long time and had been really looking forward to decorating for Christmas, but when the time came the feeling had faded.  After searching, researching, measuring, chopping, hauling, setting up and straightening the tree, Mr. T said, "I think I'll go upstairs and lay down for a little while."  That sounded like a good idea to me too, but I turned on the Christmas music, hauled out the decor and got to it.

My vote on real trees - I like them!

Sure I:
1.  Sneezed for the first 24 hours.
2.  Marveled at the fact that it's "normal" to set up a TREE in your HOUSE and decorate it.
3.  Marveled even more that Mr. T and I followed this quirky tradition with flair and not only brought a tree into our home, but brought a HUGE-MON-GOUS tree into our home.
4.  Felt kind of bad about ripping the tree out of the gentle hands of Mother Nature, just so we could save $30 bucks.
5.  Worried for quite some time because the tree really did smell like cat pee.
6.  Worried even more when a friend smelled our house, turned up their nose and said, "Do you have cats?"
7.  Thought, upon completion of tinsel hanging, "That's more of a Christmas blob, than a Christmas tree."

But now my eyes have adjusted to its size
And my nose to its smell
And I really do love it...a great and glorious tree for our first Christmas!


The Christmas Spirit

I've got it.

More like Christmas fever.

It doesn't really matter what you call it.
Potato, PoTAto.

Basically, I've never been one to wish Thanksgiving away.  I love Thanksgiving.  I'm thankful for it.
I like reading long lists of what other people are thankful for on Facebook.  It's healthy to ponder your life with a heart of gratitude.

But I want Christmas!

I want to decorate, string cranberries, buy gifts, go to Christmas parties, eat yummy snacks, look at Christmas lights and gaudy/overdone Christmas-themed lawn ornaments.  I want it all!!!

And in three more days, it all begins.  The Christmas season...

And that is exactly what's on my Thanksgiving, "What I Am Thankful For" list. 


Just Dance

I spent all last week seeing some out of town friends and family.  It was so good to catch up with everyone.

Mom and I wrapped up the weekend at my sister, Janae's, house.  One evening we were watching a movie.  Towards the middle of the show the characters busted out into a dance party.  So we, not wanting to be out done, also had our own little dance party...including a late night trip to Wal-Mart to pick up Just Dance 3 for the Wii, which we played until midnight.  And we are GOOD!  As well we should be since we've been having dance parties since we were kids.  We used to spend HOURS choreographing a dance, then we'd drag the whole family downstairs for the big performance.  Our family members were always soooooo impressed!  Sometimes we would let our brother, Joey, in on the dance as a guest performer, but usually we just made him run the music for us.  I bet he misses that. 

The only thing missing from the perfect memories was a talent scout.  One who just happened to walk by the window at the perfect moment to witness our untrained, yet impressive skills and recruit us to a life of fame and glory.  Unfortunately, that never happened.  So we've both taken different routes in life.  She chose the life of an accountant and I the life of a small town secretary.  It's a facade really.  Like how Superman was a reporter as a cover for his true identity.  Janae and I work desk jobs while our dancing talent lies under the surface, perhaps never to be discovered.  That still doesn't change the fact that every time the phone rings I think, "I've been discovered!"  Perhaps someday...


Foreign Accent Syndrome

Today in the news is a woman who claims that even though she was born in Kansas, she has had an English accent her entire life.  "I'm not faking it!" she says as if she just stepped out of a Jane Austin novel. 

Who am I to judge, but it seems that according to Wikipedia, she might be faking it.  Foreign Accent Syndrome is often caused by a stroke or head trauma and she has had her English accent since her birth in the Midwest.


Howevs, I do think I have this syndrome.
My former roomie, Melissa, and I spoke in an English accent for the better part of the day earlier this week.
My other former roomie, Jordanne, acted like she was not amused or impressed.  I dare to say she was, in fact, both.

Furthermore, on occasion it has just so happens that someone (not always me) suggests we speak in a foreign accent for the entire day.  On just such an occasion, I almost always vote for Queen Elizabeth Accent Day.  Sometimes Pakistani Accent Day, but usually Queen Elizabeth.

And, you know how people have good hair days.  I have good English accent days. 

It's only logical to conclude that I have Foreign Accent Syndrome.

I'm calling the doctor. 
I think he will prescribe a dose of Henry Higgins.
Just you wait! 

Did you know...

...you can make homemade Butterfingers with just candy corn, peanut butter and chocolate!
My lovely Mother discovered this via her dear friend, Doris.
In case you're interested...

Homemade Butterfingers


Equal parts candy corn and peanut butter.  Ex.
  1. 3 cups candy corn
  2. 3 cups peanut butter
  3. Chocolate for dipping

Melt candy corn in the microwave for about 60 seconds. Check and stir returning to microwave for 15 second intervals until completely melted.
  1. Add peanut butter and combine. Return to microwave if necessary to incorporate until creamy.
  2. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan (or whatever pan you like to get the thickness you desire) and let cool about an hour.
  3. Cut candy into desired shape and cover in melted chocolate.


Goin' on Tour

Tomorrow I'm headed to KC.
Then to Hutch.
Then to Oklahoma.

If you'd like to see me, you can purchase tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.

Just kidding.

Tickets are sold out.



Time is a funny thing. 

It flies by, drags on, vanishes...
It flits, it floats throughout the days and years... 
And it has to be managed carefully, otherwise it will take control of your life, one way or another.

My Grandpa used to say, "Everyone has 24 hours in a day."
So true.
But time does not pass at a steady pace during those 24 hours. 

It always present, always noticed.
Time is not always a comfort, though. 
Too much or too little is often the case.

"Time" is something that has not been a comfort to me for a long, long while.

But I can see it on the horizon.
I can see it coming when, perhaps just for a season, I will have "time". 
And it will bring me comfort and rest and a moment to value those around me.


Recent Discovery

It's called StoryCorps.

You can find it on YouTube.

StoryCorps works to record and preserve stories from our fellow Americans.
They interview real people and then turn the recording into a cartoon.

The stories are funny, interesting, sad and completely wonderful.

Mr. T introduced me to them yesterday in response to the "Today" post. 
This is the first one I listened to.

I also got a big kick out of this one!
And this one.


...that's all I've seen so far.

Let me know what your favorite is!

(Note: There's some cartoons that show up on the side bar that are not from StoryCorps and are not appropriate.  Make sure you only click on the StoryCorps ones.)



Today there is a funeral at the church where I work. 
Today her family and friends fill this building to remember and celebrate her life.

It's interesting to think about how you marry someone and spend your whole lives together, getting to know each other, loving and serving one another.  All the while, knowing that the day will come when you will be separated.

Is it better to have love and lost than to have never loved at all?
Before I was married, I didn't know how to answer that question.
Now, I can confidently say - yes - it's better. 

Loving and losing is a guarantee.  But having loved is so worth it. 
The day will come when we will no longer be husband and wife because death did us part. 
I hope that day is a long, long, long time away.

But knowing it's inevitable makes me cherish today even more.
Because today, I still get to kiss his cheek and hug him and tell him I love him more than I love myself.

And for that I am very thankful. 


Domestic Annoyance

October is Domestic Violence month.  A gal came by at the beginning of the month and handed out some brochures describing what defines domestic violence.  There are a couple of things that are not on the list that I think should be considered: ie. tickling, noogies and loud smooches right in your ear.  All of which I do not appreciate.  However, Mr. T gets a big kick out of them, ergo I must endure these hardships from time to time.

On one such occasion, just after the domestic violence brochures came out, the content was fresh on my mind and I told Mr. T that, "Domestic violence is more then just punching someone.  It's also other forms of torture, like tickling!"  To which he said, "Tickling isn't domestic violence.  Tickling is domestic ANNOYANCE!" 

True.  I certainly don't have a case for domestic violence, however, I (along with many women all around the globe) can safely claim that we are victims of domestic annoyance! 

As I look down the list of what qualifies as domestic violence, I see the following:
Name calling
Driving recklessly
Interfering with sleep

After a brief moment of consideration, I've come to realize that I am guilty of all those things.  Which brings me to the conclusion that Mr. T is a victim of MY domestic violence!!! 

I hope he doesn't turn me in.  Can you blog from prison?



Breakfast of Champions

This morning Mr. T made a yummy-licious breakfast.  Waffles, bacon, coffee, juice - DOUBLE YUM! 

While I was upstairs getting ready for work, I noticed the house getting a little smoky because of the bacon cooking. 

A smoky house is a familiar sight where we live.  Mostly because I do a lot of the cooking and a lot of the burning of food.  Food that would have probably tasted okay, except I tried to cook it too fast or got distracted by something and charred it to a crisp. 

Which is kind of how the bacon was this morning.  Crispy.  Just the way I like it. 

And the smoky house was fine too.  I came to work with my hair smelling like a campfire and some of my co-workers seemed confused at the unusual scent.  But now the smell in my hair has faded a bit and it simply smells like yummy bacon. 

Meat eating humans and dogs alike think I smell delicious. 

That's how I got the idea to market a bacon smelling perfume. 

Keep an eye out for it.

PS - did I ever tell you that we have a dog named Annie.  She's the quirkiest little thing you've ever seen.

PPS - did I ever tell you that in one of the houses we used to rent, I would often burn the food and set off the smoke alarm.  Annie hated the sound and would run and hide under my bed.  It got to the point where she would hide under my bed as soon as she saw me standing by the stove.  Before I even started cooking, she would find her safe place and wait out the inevitable.  I think my cooking is improving because she doesn't do that as often. 


You can take the girl out of the country...

But you can't take the country out of the girl!

Fortunately, the 7 years I spent in Kansas City didn't take all the "country" out of me. 
And last Saturday was proof.

Mr. T and I spent the day working on the yard.  At some point, a while back, he ordered a huge mound of dirt that he was going to use for something.  I can't remember what - but I do know that we ended up with way more than we needed.

Therefore, we decided to give the dirt to our good friends, the Scollards, because they are some of the best people we know and we love them and we love to give them our leftover dirt...plus they had a skid steer that someone lent them and we needed it to get the job done. 

So, we borrowed the borrowed skid steer, loaded it up with dirt and made several treks ACROSS TOWN with the thing to deliver dirt to their house.

There were some ladies sitting on their front porch who were quite entertained/perplexed that a young-ish GIRL was driving a skid steer back and forth across town. 

I felt really cool.
And really country!
Which is the way I was created to live. 
The country way.

To top it off, that evening Mr. T and I met Grandma and Grandpa T at the local grade school to watch them square dance.

Grandma and Grandpa T love square dancing and they are really, really, really good at it!  My favorite couple to watch! 

They even took a break from the norm and taught us "newbies" a few steps.  After some coaxing, Mr. T joined in and was also really, really, really good.  Must be genetics.  Is there a "good at square dancing gene"?  If so, the T's have it!  He was better than me and I pride myself on being a quick study when it comes to dance routines. 

So, the bad news is that we now have to add "square dancing" to the list of things Mr. T is better at then me.
The good news is that we all know he CAN dance, even though he claims he's terrible at it.  AND when he dances, he smiles from ear to ear, which makes me smile from ear to ear.

I'd say, between driving the skid steer and square dancing, we had one Saturday that was filled with a heaping helping of Hick!  And I couldn't be happier...


Meaghan Smith

Meaghan is my friend from college. 

Meaghan Smith

She is many things:

And a child of God.

And she works in Ethiopia with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Mr. T and I are blessed to invest in her ministry.

A wise investment indeed...


The Lemonade Stand

A couple weekends ago, Mr. T and I embarked on an adventure. 
It was an adventure called, "The Lemonade Stand." 
An adventure that was forged to raise money for Jessica Weast, who works in Ethiopia. 

We want to support her. 
Because she's doing a great job, serving a great God, in great ways!  And we love her.

But we don't love "The Lemonade Stand."
The Lemonade Stand sounds like a cheerful, yellow, stand of lemony sweetness - but it's not.
It's actually an energy draining, bee-infested, cesspool of hard work and despair. 

Last weekend was McCook's Heritage Days - a lovely event, filled with parades, hot air balloon launches, craft fairs and more.  Upon the approach of Heritage Days I thought, "Why don't we have a booth!  We could sell lemonade and bottled water for $1 and raise money for Jessica!"  Sounds simple. 

And it was simple - until we added tea, soda, coffee, hot apple cider, candy, pickles, craft jars and OH MY - what were we thinking!!!

Mr. T was such a trooper.  He hauled tons of merchandise to our little booth, then hauled half a ton of back to our car when it didn't sell (because the Methodist church was giving out FREE bottles of water.  Or maybe it was the Mormons.  Either way - UGH!)

In the end, we raised about $420 for Jessica, so not bad, all in all.

Somewhere in the midst of the whole thing I proclaimed, "It would be easier to BE a missionary than it is to try and SUPPORT a missionary!"

I don't think that's really true.  Missionaries, like Jessica, work really hard and love others well.  And compared to the work we did at the Lemonade Stand, I'd say we got the easier end of the deal.   

It Used to Be Said That...

...Monopoly Deal was my new favorite game.  

That is until Monopoly Deal almost ended my marriage this weekend.

I know you're thinking, "Monopoly Deal doesn't end marriages.  People end marriages."
Just like people say, "Guns don't kill people.  People kill people."  Well, maybe you're right.

However, PEOPLE who are overly-competitive, immature and sore losers who play Monopoly Deal are setting themselves up for failure.  

No, I'm not talking about Mr. T. 

I'm talking about myself.  That's right.  The one and only - ME - who has been playing Monopoly Deal with Mr. T for the past two days and has NOT WON ONE SINGLE GAME!!!!!!

I don't like to lose.  Really, ever.  But I can handle it most of the time. 

Unless I'm losing to Mr. T.  I really, really hate losing to him.  Not sure why. 
I'm not the only one according to this:
Anyway, we have played SEVERAL/MANY/MULTIPLE games and I have not won a single one as of recent. 

This does not bring out the best in me.  I do not triumph over my sinful nature when being faced with such a great challenge.

Instead, it brings out the card throwing, tortilla chip chucking, stomping up the stairs, slamming the door, "You're a stinky poop brain!" shouting side of me.  

It's ugly.

And worse yet, we are playing tonight with the Scollards.

And it's likely I will lose.

In which case, there will be two more people on this earth who might witness my Jekyll and Hyde act firsthand. 

I need comfort.
From the only two who can help.
And their names are Ben and Jerry.


Quote of the Day

Marriage is good for the intellegence.
Wait!  How do you spell intelligence?


I Pity Da Foo

Yesterday I told Mr. T...
"Did you know I call you 'Mr. T' on my blog?"

To which he replied, "I pity da foo!"  

To which I said, "What does that even mean?  Who does he pity?  Why does he pity them?"

Then we started to make a list of all the possibilities. 
Perhaps Mr. T (the one with gold jewelry around his neck) pities fools who...

*cross paths with Mr. T.
*get trapped in some pyramid scheme they thought would solve all their problems.
*buy neon green cars on a whim, then realize they hate the color neon green.
*say, "I'm going to finish reading Moby Dick before I start any other books."
*eat chili for lunch, then get stuck on an elevator with their boss for an extended period of time.

It is still a mystery, as the possibilities are endless. 
What are your thoughts?

Check it out




Mr. T and I went to this conference in Atlanta called Jesus in the Quran.  

Check it out:
It was a great conference, but it would take me a day and a half to tell you about it.  
One thing I will share...

Let's say I'm carrying a quiver of arrows on my back. 
My gifts and talents fill the quiver with one arrow. 
When I married Mr. T, I added another arrow.

So when it comes to doing battle with this world, I am now twice as strong.  

When we have children, I hope to raise them in such a way they too become arrows.

I know it doesn't always work out like you hope, but my hope is that our home will not be one where we constantly battle with each other.  Instead, I would love a home where we are united and peaceful and focused on bringing the Gospel to the nations.  A home where we can say, "We have fought the good fight, we have finished the race, we have kept the faith."  2 Timothy 4:7


Sign Me Up

Surely there is a blog or something out there that makes fun of all the random signs and billboards along the highway.  If there isn't, there should be. 

A prime candidate for such a blog would be the stretch of highway between Salina and Wakeeney on I-70.

This is a route I've driven many times, as my true love, Mr. T, and I dated long distance and drove it every other weekend for the better part of a year.  Not a drive I miss.

Except for the EXCEPTIONALLY entertaining billboards along the way.  As I was driving that stretch of highway yesterday, I was reminded of these billboard treasures...

          World's Largest Czech Egg
          Wilson, KS

Now, if I'm from rinky-dink Wilson, KS, I might think, "What would be something great we could advertise that would draw people from far and wide to visit our little town?  Oh, I know - let's bring the World's Largest Czech Egg here!!!"  Actually, I might not think that.  Why?  Because, unless there's something about the Czech population in Wilson, KS that I'm unaware of, it's totally random!  I guess I can be pretty random sometimes, but that idea is pretty creative and I'm rarely random AND creative at the same time.  Someone in Wilson, KS is doing a fine job of thinking outside the box.  

          Get Gas.
          Wakeeney, KS

Followed by:
          It's Affordable!
          Wakeeney, KS

Hummm...I'm not sure what they are feeding you in Wakeeney, but apparently it's pretty hard on the digestive tract.  No worries, though...you can just sleep it off.

Once again, not the advertisement I would have voted for, but I guess it worked.  Mr. T and I did spend a night in Wakeeney, KS after all.  However, we didn't spend much time with any of their three attractions (especially the 2nd one).  All in all, I must say that it was, in fact, very affordable.

          2nd Friendliest Yarn Store in the Universe!
          Salina, KS

Wow!  This is the mother of all random billboards.  I love everything about their tag line.  If I'm looking for a yarn store, I want one that is FRIENDLY.  It's too bad they are only the 2nd friendliest.  However, they are the 2nd friendliest in the whole UNIVERSE, and that's saying something.  Apart from this planet, there are a lot of Yarn Stores in the Universe and to be 2nd friendliest is quite the accomplishment.

I wonder who is the 1st friendliest?  How do you measure such a thing?  What if next year, the store in Salina ups their game and works to be THE friendliest.  Do they have to change their sign?  I would.  If I owned THE friendliest Yarn Store in the UNIVERSE, I would definitely spend the money to advertise it. 

So, next time you are driving I-70, please take a few moments to check out these fine attractions.  I wouldn't be surprise if Mr. T and I plan our whole vacation around them next year!


Rented Humility

Mr. T and I went to Atlanta this weekend for a conference.  (More on that to come...)

Our rental car was a Nissan Cube. 

A funny little car, that I'm not sure we would have picked, if I felt we had the choice.

Truth be told, I felt like two pieces of white bread getting out of a toaster.

For the price of several cups of coffee a day, you can rent a dose of humility and drive it all around the ghetto in Atlanta.  Priceless...

You know how they have those Sky Mall magazines on planes that are filled with useless, but fascinating stuff to buy?

My favorite was the Pillow Tie.

Not only is it a fashionable tie, but if you get tired in your meeting you can inflate it and take a little snooze.  Your boss will be so impressed with your cool purchase, he won't even care that you're being rude by sleeping through the meeting.

Mrs. Tidyman


My New Drug

I have a new addiction.

My former roommate, the
Jordanne Bonfield came to visit Mr. T and I this weekend.
Along with her she brought Monopoly Deal, the card game version of Monopoly.

Totally fun.
Completely addicting.
My husband and I play every spare moment we have.  We sacrifice food and sleep and anything resembling respectable behavior to play another round. 
Plus, I hate to lose, so we have to play until I win at least two in a row. 
Otherwise, I'm depressed and grumpy. 
And did I mention addicted.  Maybe addicted to winning.  Who knows?
What I do know is this...
Jordanne Bonfield is the Monopoly Dealer.
(Get it?  Like drug dealer...try not to fall out of your chair laughing.)
Please take $6 to Wal-Mart and pick up a deck.
Just try it.  One little game.  You won't be addicted after just one little game.
Trust me...


The Birthday Email

(Ridiculous email informing the public of my birthday wish list.  Try not to be offended.)

30 was a Big Year!!!  
I didn't know when I was writing last year's Birthday Email that the following events would unfold.  Well, I guess I realized it was possible, but I didn't know that I would be writing this email for year 31 in MCCOOK, NEBRASKA!  MARRIED!  PREGNANT! (just kidding, totally NOT prego...yet...I don't think).  Regardless, so much has happened!  It all started with a....

Big Party.  My "Not Yet Love" threw me a "Pirates and Princesses" surprise party.  I thought, "Pirates and Princesses...doesn't he even know me!"  Then I thought, "Well, that was super great of him to organize such a big birthday party and it was really fun.  I guess he's pretty cool."  Thus was the wiffle-waffle state of my heart during the first - oh, majority -  of our dating experience.  I've sometimes joked that dating was the most difficult part of our relationship.  So far that's been true.  Dating was thumbs down!  Not because of Mr. T - he was wonderful.  But because I fought against myself the whole time.  Do I like him?  Is he worthy of my love?  Will he be a good spouse?  Oh the stress - the heartache - the sleepless nights.  I was a tortured soul.  Clear up until he asked the...

Big Question - "Will you marry me?"  Ahhhhh!  I totally choked.  We were in India at the time, right in the middle of a Big Fight.  I was drowning under a sea of doubts and my very faithful God threw me a life preserver and told me everything was going to be okay.  So, our relationship lived.  Which brings us to the...

Big Question...Again - Somewhere along the lines of, "How's about now?" To which I replied, "Duh! Totally!"  Not really.  It was actually very romantic.  The next day, I started to prepare for the...

Big Move - from Kansas City to McCook.  At first glace, it might seem like a downgrade, but it's not.  There's lots to do here.  We're busy all the time!  I thought life was going to slow way down.  The truth is there's lots we want to do, but we just don't have the time.  I do miss Kansas City, however.  I loved it and I'm so glad I was able to live there.  I miss my friends very much.  God has been so gracious to introduce me to some amazing people here - who love God.  And love people.  And inspire me to be more like Jesus.  So, if I'm not at the Super Wal-Mart or hanging out with my new friends, I'm either fixing up the house or working as a secretary by day and a waitress by night.  But before all that, we spent some time planning the...
Big Celebration - It was a beautiful wedding.  My mom found this place outside of Hutchinson...Sweetwater Farms.  It was like a little Italian Villa right in the middle of Kansas.  The owners were amazing.  They opened their charming home, set everything up, made the most scrumptious food and smiled at us as we walked by.  We felt so supported by our wonderful and generous family and friends.  The weather was perfect.  Our photographer was great.  I gained some fabulous in laws.  It was awesome!  Then, honeymoon in San Diego, planned by the delightful Michelle Scollard and back home.  My new home, in McCook, Nebraska with my new husband, living a new life - serving a...

Big God! - I'm not sure how it works.  As I age, God seems to be so much bigger, and yet, so much more personal at the same time.  He is right beside me.  In good times.  In bad times.  He's right here.  If I can sense his presence or or if I can't.  He's here.  My constant companion.  A most Holy and awesome God, Creator, Sustainer - Living, Active, Just and Worthy of every praise and sacrifice I can offer.  He Is Worthy!  So, follow him and know that this life and all it has to offer is so temporary.  The best and worst things in life are so finite in comparison to an infinite God who, by the way, loves you and will see you through.  

In case your wondering - marriage is thumbs up!  It's actually fun!  Who knew?  My Love is a wonderful husband.  He is full of integrity, wisdom, knowledge, compassion - oh - and he's funny and cute and really good at home repair stuff and business stuff.  That comparison between marriage being like Christ and the church - I can see that.  He sacrifices for me and loves me well, just like Christ and the church.  I truly treasure everyday with Mr. T.  

For some people, when their hearts are so full of love, they don't need material possessions.  Those people are not named Mrs. Tidyman.  Basically, I want all the stuff listed below.  

Here's the list:  
(*side note - when I moved from KC to McC - there were several who looked at me with panicked faces and said, "You're still going to write the Birthday Email, aren't you!?!", instead of, "Oh, I'll miss you so much!"  You know who you are.  It's okay.  I understand.  And I assume you miss me.)

Wish List for Year 31

3x5 Watercolor Flowers Printed Rug

Hand Weights

Jillian Michaels' work out DVDs.  

Collage Frame

New Clothes
Wal-Mart, I-Tunes, Amazon, Gift Cards
Canned Tamales

Until next year...
Mrs. Tidyman