Friday, March 28, 2008

No Favorites Today

I'm feeling slumpish (which I'd describe as a combo of sluggish and grumpy - yuck) today, so there will be no Friday Favorites today. Who wants to talk about their favorite things when they're feeling yucky? Not me. So to appease my readers, I will post a video (if I can figure out how) later this evening of my Benito "reading" a book. We got a rockin' awesome video camera for Christmas and I'm just now really starting to use it. And if after revision I deem the Easter Egg Hunt video worth public viewing pleasure, I will post that as well.

Here's hoping your Friday is less frumpy and slumpish than mine...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Favorites

Before I get started, I just have to share some WONDERFUL news, one piece of which will be very specific, the other pretty vague, but both are wonderful, God-intervening events, and frankly, miraculous.

1. Bennett has been having some SERIOUS troubles with his ears (as most of you already know). The last time we went to the doctor, he described them both as "bulging, pussing, and glue-like" and seemed pretty certain that we were quickly approaching the need for tubes. This distressed me for several reasons. A) My brother had tubes when he was little, and though the procedure went well, I've always connected the tubes themselves with his speech problems and learning delays (even though the two are not related at all and the tubes actually helped him)
B) They cost a lot of money C) Who on earth wants their baby to go through surgery of ANY kind? Even if you know it will help and make things better, of course you'd prefer that things clear up on their own and that the surgery wouldn't even be necessary.

So here's the stinkin' awesome part. At the advice of a couple of friends (see previous Kudos to You post), I've taken Benito off of milk and dairy for a couple of weeks and have been doing a massaging technique with him to help his ears drain. Today, after two weeks of doing this, we went back to the doctor to check his progress (or lack thereof) and the doc said that there is now only a thin layer of fluid that is draining and should clear up the rest of the way by itself!! YAAAAAAY!! Praise God for caring about the small things and for caring about my baby's ears! And praise God for sending me wonderful friends to show me alternatives to antibiotics and tubes! I'm so thankful that we've avoided the mess of it all.

New favorite picture of my little buddy.

2. This is a much heavier, and also much more vague message of thanks and praise, but is so close to my heart that it affects my life, my future, my hopes, and my dreams, and the Lord God Almighty has delivered me and my family from something Satan wanted to use to destroy us all. I won't go into details, though some of you know them, many do not, and it is best and wise to leave it this way. However, I will say that WITHOUT DOUBT the Good Lord above has done a literal miracle in the hearts and lives of my family. Things that were broken beyond repair are being restored and made whole again. Things that were dark and gray have a lining of sunshine and hope that I never thought I'd see again. As I type this, the song "Everlasting God" is playing in my ears from my iPod. This song has been my theme song for the past six months. For anyone out there who feels they have no hope, or is discouraged and beat down, or sees no way out, TRUST THE LORD and ASK HIM. He will make a way. Our God is faithful when no one else is. He is mighty to save. He can redeem the unsavable and the unlovable. He moves mountains. Our Lord is living and active and His miracles are real and great. I know this better and more truthfully than I've ever known it in my entire life, and I'm not sure there will be anything else to teach me this truth more than now. Thank you THANK YOU to those of you who have been praying and loving me through all of it. Please continue to do so. We are coming out on the other side of it all, and I see the beauty of the Lord's goodness everywhere I look.

And now on to a light, bright edition of Friday Favorites!

I'm not a huge movie buff, but I have recently seen a movie that I LOVE LOVE LOVE that has inspired this post. If you haven't seen it, you need to rent it immediately. I'll be buying it soon and very soon. It's number one on the list.

1. AUGUST RUSH -- okay, I'm a little biased because music is a great passion of mine, but this movie is so well made. The actors are great (the little boy - forget his name in real life) does a phenomenal job, and Robin Williams is in it too, who I also love. It was really interesting to see him play a serious, intense role. The plot is great, and there's beautiful music in it. It all wraps up in a nice, neat, beautiful bow (yes, I'm a sap) - what more could you want?? My only regret is that I didn't see it in the actual theater. This one would've been totally worth it.

2. MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA -- again, a little biased. Although this is about the Japanese practice of geisha, Michael and I have a passion for the Eastern World, and China more specifically. So the culture and society about this area of the world is fascinating to me. If you can get past the fact that a geisha is pretty much a nice way of labeling a dressed up, high maintenance prostitute of sorts, you're good to go. I just love books and movies that follow a character through numerous years of their lives, building and weaving an artistic plot that really allows you to follow along in their shoes. This movie is a work of art in my opinion. Love it.

3. THE ILLUSIONIST -- I REALLY liked this movie. We rented it randomly one night and loved it. The plot was great - very interesting - and it was intriguing pretty much the whole way through. There was another movie that I heard was very similar to this one (can't remember what it was called now), but apparently this movie is lighter and a little less intense than the other one, which I'm a fan of. I don't do "intense" very well - I always end up leaving the room :)This movie gets wrapped up in a nice neat bow at the end, too.

I won't actually list it, but obviously Pride and Prejudice is also another HUGE favorite. I love both modern versions (and own both :) ): the six hour one with Colin Firth and the newer, shorter one with Kiera Knightly (although she's so unfortunately skinny and yucky looking, it's a bit distracting).

Until next week,

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kudos to You!

Okay, so this week it ended up being a Wednesday Kudos, rather than Tuesday, which was the original plan. So sorry for the delay to all of you who have been sitting on pins and needles (ouch).

My Kudos this week goes to two ladies who have really offered a helping hand: Summer and Courtney.

I've recently gotten to know Summer better through ladies bible class and from shared life experiences, and this is one smokin' awesome chica. She's due to have her second baby in a few weeks and is busy getting everything ready, but even in the midst of this, she has been a HUGE help to me and Benito recently. Summer knows a ton about health and vitamins and the things our bodies need and has given me all kinds of information I've been needing pertaining specifically to Bennett's health (he's been having some big time trouble with his ears, for those of you who haven't been reading). So I've put a lot of things she's suggested into practice and it's been very helpful, giving me more peace of mind.

Courtney and I don't actually hang out or see each other regularly, but when she heard that I was really discouraged about Bennett's ear infections and the possibility of tubes, she offered several sources of help and information to naturally heal and help his ears so that we can avoid the tubage. Not only that, but we were having a little trouble finding a place to meet up so she could loan me a book and tape about it all, so she took time out of her busy schedule (she's got two kids and is also pregnant) to locate my house and drop it by. This meant a great deal to me because it gave me hope for trying things other than constant rounds of antibiotics, shots, and surgery. And it means even more since we don't really know each other well - she was just trying to help someone in need.

Thanks so much to both of you wonderful ladies for offering your wisdom and advice to a first-time mommy! Kudos to you for your generosity, your empathy, and your support!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Kudos to You!...coming soon

So I've decided to start another weekly post. I'm going to call it "Kudos to You" and it's basically going to be a kudos tribute to one person each week. It could be somebody as obvious as my mom, or as random as the dude at Wal-mart who let me check out in front of him when he observed my crying kid, the erratic tic in my left eye, and the small amount of items in my cart :) So tune in on Tuesdays for my thanks, appreciation, and kudos to those who absolutely deserve it!

Till then,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Favorites

As promised previously, it's the Friday Favorites Shopping edition. I'm not a shop-a-holic or anything like that, but I love a good deal (though I don't flex my bargain muscle as much as I should) and I really like clothes and jewelry, as well as decorating. So here are a few of my favorite places to shop, in no particular order:

1. WORLD MARKET -- this store has been around for a while, but I've only recently discovered its wonderfulness. It has the COOLEST stuff and the prices aren't bad at all, especially when what you're looking for just happens to be on sale :) They're kind of like a warehouse full of Pier 1 type stuff (LOVE me some Pier 1), except a bit more world-wide and cultural, and a bit cheaper. I could look at baskets, area rugs, and little decorative hooks and knobs, art and picture frames all day, so I'm pretty sure there will be some equivalent of this store in heaven (except everything will be clearanced so low you'll feel like the world's best shopper every time you go :)).

2. NEW YORK & COMPANY -- this store is by far my favorite clothing store, for several reasons. a) their clothes ALWAYS fit me, including their pants, which is always a problem for a hipless, chicken-leg wonder who also has a bit of a gut *sigh* b) their prices are stinkin' awesome, and I especially love their sales racks where you can buy a cute shirt for around $7, as well as their deals where you buy one item and get the second 50% off. And the greatest thing is when you sign up for their member card (which is free), they send you great coupons by e-mail (that really are great) and after spending a certain amount, you get a ton of money off your next purchase. This store also has cute accessories, cute colors, and almost any type of clothing you'd want, from coats and scarves all the way down to tank tops and lingerie. Sweet.

3. FRANCESCA'S -- it's a little jewelry/accessory store in the South Lake Town Square. I LOVE jewelry and the back racks have a deal for two pairs of earrings for $20, and their earrings are awesome and worth the price in my opinion. They also have great little gifts for people, like journals with hilarious quotes and sayings, and last Christmas I gave Michael a set of "ghetto-fabulous" cards which had old-fashioned Dick and Jane-type illustrations that demonstrated and defined different ghetto sayings like "mad cheddar" (lots of money) or "po-po" (police). They'd also have hilarious sentences to put the sayings into context (just in case you were still confused). Our favorite was the one for mad cheddar. There was a picture of an old lady with a bandage on her nose and the sentence with it said, "Grandma dished out some mad cheddar for that nose job." We laughed so hard we cried at these things. Anyway, they've got cool jewelry and other neato stuff, too. Totally worth checking out.

And that's all for today, my friends.

P.S. If anyone could tell me where Sam Moon is, or the Funky Monkey, I've heard I need to check out both of these places, and have yet to do it because I'm not certain on their locations.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Okay, so I know I get on my soap box about Oprah a lot, but the way her doctrine is so mixed up and messed up REALLY bothers me because of the influence she has over so many women and people in our nation today, and really all over the world. It's our responsibility as Christian women to make sure we are questioning and evaluating what we put stock in, what influences we bring into our homes, and what theories and theology we buy into, no matter how small. This woman is powerful. She has money and influence, and is somewhat of a false prophet, if you will, so it's very disturbing to me. My friend Summer e-mailed me the latest project and "journey" Oprah is embarking on...just wanted all of you guys out there to be aware. I know she does a lot of great things for a lot of people, but this is pretty messed up stuff:

Subject: Oprah joins false prophets Bible warned about or

"Oprah and Friends" to teach course on New Age Christ

Jesus Christ being reinvented, redefined, and blasphemed and, this false New- Age Christ teaching is about to make huge inroads into the world, with the help of the queen of television talk shows, Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey, beginning January 1, 2008, on her daily radio program will offer a year-long course on the New Age Christ , in a lesson a day and completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles "Workbook."

Listeners will be encouraged to buy A Course in Miracles for the year-long course, and an audio version, recited by Richard (John Boy Walton) Thomas will be available on compact disc.

Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset-a New Age worldview that include the beliefs that there is no sin, no evil, no devil. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to rethink everything they believe about God and life, and, bluntly
states: "This is a course in mind training" and is dedicated to "thought reversal."

The Course in Miracles -in reality-is the truth of the Bible turned upside down.

Oprah told her television audience that Williamson's book, A Course in Miracles was one of her favorite books, and that she had already bought a thousand copies and would be handing them out to everyone in her studio audience. Oprah's endorsement skyrocketed Williamson's book to the top of the New York Times bestseller list .

A Course in Miracles is allegedly a "new revelation" from "Jesus" to help humanity work through these troubled times. This "Jesus"-who bears no doctrinal resemblance to the Bible's Jesus Christ-began delivering channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology, Helen Schucman.

One day Schucman heard an "inner voice" stating, "This is a course in miracles. Please take notes." For seven years she diligently took spiritual dictation from this voice that described himself as "Jesus."

Here are some quotes from the "Jesus" voice of A Course in Miracles :

"There is no sin . . . "

A "slain Christ has no meaning."

"The journey to the cross should be the last ' useless journey."

"Do not make the pathetic error of 'clinging to the old rugged cross.'"

"The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol... It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray."

"The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself."

"The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation."

Popular author Wayne Dyer told his PBS television audience that the "brilliant writing" of A Course in Miracles would produce more peace in the world.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Favorites

Welcome to Friday Favorites, the medicinal edition! As I said in a couple of posts back, little Benito and I have been sick, and apparently, still are :( My head cold yuckiness seems to be returning (argh) and my buddy went to the doctor today for his 15 month "wellness" check-up and we discovered he STILL has gunk filling his ears that's the consistency of glue, even after being on antibiotics again a week ago. Fantastic. So he's on ANOTHER antibiotic (the doctor has little hope of it actually working *sigh*) and is headed down the road of tubes (double *sigh*). I'm still praying that this will NOT have to happen. I know the two are TOTALLY unrelated, but my brother had to have tubes and had a LOT of ear problems when he was really little, and he ended up with big time speech problems, and is also learning disabled, which has affected him and our family all our lives. In my mind, the two just seem connected, even though they're not in reality, so tubes make me a bit nervous/anxious.
Before I begin the official favorites, I'll end this little piece of yuck on a positive note: During his check-up, I was telling the doctor that Bennett can say around 15-20 words, and he said that's fantastic because that's on the level of an 18 month old, and it's especially impressive since he probably hasn't been hearing all that well for a month or so (due to the glue in his ears). So that's great, and it made me feel a lot better! And here's the list of words (or all that I can remember right now): ball, whoa, wow, duck, this?, yes, uh-uh, outside, dog, water, banana, catch, thank you, mama, more, cookie, Joseph, stairs, book (he also nods his head and says "yeesh" or shakes his head no to answer questions we ask him, so he's a pretty good little communicator!).

Medicinal Favorites:

1. BENNETT'S DOCTOR -- he's affiliated with Cook Children's and is AWESOME!! He's totally laid back, extremely helpful, very patient, and great with babies. I have 4-5 other friends that use this doctor and we all LOVE him! He answers all of my silly questions, and one time in the midst of all this ear ridiculousness, I had to schedule an appointment with a different doctor because ours wasn't available, so we went in and were in the little room waiting, when the nurse appeared and said our doctor had seen we were here and had just gotten out of a meeting, so he'd see us instead, because he really wanted to see how Bennett was doing and to make sure we progressed the way we should with everything. SO cool. If you want to know his name/location, let me know and I'd be happy to pass it on to you.

2. SNACK TRAP/FRUIT CHEERIOS -- this is a two in one deal and is my favorite errand-running companion when Bennett is with me. My son will knock over, spill or mess up anything he can get his hands on, but the snack trap makes that a LOT less likely and would have prevented an entire cup of hundreds of cheerios from spilling out all over the floor right in front of the cash register at NY & Company (my favorite will probably see this in a future Favorite Friday)...if I'd had one at the time. The snack trap is $5 at Babies R Us and they carry them other places, too. If your kiddo moves impulsively and at lightning speed wherever food is involved like mine does, this thing is totally worth it. And as for fruit cheerios, I used to offer B. those cardboard regular cheerios, but when he got older, he let me know under no uncertain terms that these were tasteless and unacceptable. I've convinced myself (without looking at the actual box) that the fruit ones must be healthier than the honey nut, or some other sugary cereal, though I confess I don't know this for a fact. But I do think it says somewhere on the box that they use real fruit juice (probably just a drop, but it's better than nothing :)). And in case you were wondering, this item was included in the medicinal edition of Favorites because it was a lifesaver at the doctor at 8:30 this morning.

3. MUCINEX DM -- while the name totally grosses me out, this medicine rocks my socks. I get the same crud about twice a year without fail, and in the past, if I didn't immediately begin to heavily medicate myself with Robitussin (disgusting), I'd get really sick and have to go to the doctor. What I love about Mucinex DM is that you only have to take it once every 12 hours, and it's in pill form, as opposed to NASTY cough-syrup stuff that finds me wiggling, gagging, and gargling water for a full minute afterward to remove the taste from my mouth. This stuff kicks some serious tail.

That's all for this week. Peace out.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Hope is a bird,
a pretty little thing.
It is flight, and height, and wings.

Hope is a song,
a sweet sounding thing.
It grows and sows and sings.

Hope is a dream,
a wild spinning thing.
It walks and talks and breathes.

Hope is in me,
a great shining thing,
With flight, and height, and wings.