Archive for March, 2010
LOST has completely messed with my universe.
First, we have the mysteries of the island.Â Then we have alternate timelines and realities and smoke monsters taking the form of formerly dead characters.Â As if that weren’t enough, now we have the whole mythos of the “list” and the “candidates” and the balance between light and dark.Â And to top it all off, LOST has moved to Tuesday nights, opposite American Idol!
Sheesh.Â The nerve.
So what’s a poor girl to do?Â It’s prediction time, and once again I haven’t watched the performances.Â And unfortunately this time there wasn’t much chatter on Facebook to help me out.Â But I still managed to get two out of three last week, so I’m employing the “stab in the dark” technique again this week.
In all honesty, I can’t really judge him.Â He may have rocked it last night.Â He may have brought it and been – in Randy’s words – “da bomb.”Â But the fact remains, the guy is SIXTEEN.Â And he ACTS sixteen.Â And he LOOKS sixteen.Â And he doesn’t show me that he can handle the demands of show biz.Â I will keep picking him until he is gone…and pray that he doesn’t ride the Kris Allen wave of good luck to the finals.
This one makes me sad.Â I really like her style and I think she’s a refreshing change of pace for this show.Â There have been rockers, r&b singers, and even country divas who have all made it big from this launching pad.Â But there has never been a soulsy-bluesy-jazzy crooner like Didi who has managed to make it into the finals.Â Unfortunately, the pop music niche of this show makes it difficult for her to really stand out and showcase her unique persona.Â I think she will be safe, but only by the skin of her pearly-white teeth.
Poor Tim.Â He seems like such a nice boy.Â Sincere.Â Genuine.Â And about as interesting as milk toast.Â Which, unfortunately, does not make for good radio play.Â And since we all know the bottom line of this show is about dollar signs and marketability, that bodes even worse for our boy-next-door.Â Buh-bye, Tim Urban.Â We’ll see you on the road.
This is clearly the worst case of sabotage I’ve ever seen.
Okay, it’s not technically a shipwreck yet, but the Black Rock is under full sail while Jacob and the Man in Black sit on the beach of a mysterious island, under the shadow of a large statue, discussing the balance of light and dark, good and evil, luring the ill-fated ship to its unquestioned destiny…
Oops.Â Sorry.Â I got this post confused with my “I Heart LOST” one.
But seriously.Â The “Biggest Loser” competition ends next Monday.Â April 5.Â The day after Easter.Â The day after my freaking birthday, for crying out loud.
As if that’s not bad enough, I’ve got leftovers from the Sloan Creek Estates Easter Egg Hunt baiting me in my pantry: a half-dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies, leftover resurrection rolls, and a rather hefty stash of brownies.Â Not to mention jelly beans and the special Easter Egg candies I made but forgot to take out of the fridge before the hunt.Â Oh, and let’s not forget the famous “treat bucket”, now restocked and refilled to overflowing with chocolate eggs, malted milk balls, starburst, and a plethora of Skittles.Â Oh, how I love the rainbow of fruit flavors!Â I mean, seriously, whose idea was this low-carb, no-refined-sugar, only-good-fats kind of lifestyle anyway?!
Obviously someone whose hell-bent on winning this thing, no matter what.
I’m not naming names, but Shellie, Roxann, and Reshma whoever it is better watch out!
Today was the 6th annual Sloan Creek Estates Easter Egg Hunt!
Mind you, I use the term “Hunt” loosely.Â It’s more like an Easter Egg “Scramble” as Matt calls it.Â Because 600 eggs + no landscapingÂ + REALLY BIG yard = running out of “hiding” places very quickly.
We couldnâ€™t have asked for better weather this year: sunny and warm and â€“ true to form â€“ incredibly windy.Â I think God sends the wind on purpose, to keep me humble as I have to learn to â€œlet goâ€ of my standards of perfection.Â I broke down this year and bought a new sign for the fence/photo op area, one that actually had the â€œtâ€ in Easter:
Donâ€™t worry, though.Â Our â€œHappy Easerâ€ sign still made it into the decorating scheme, this time on the garage door for the third bay.Â And we had the opportunity to introduce a few more neighbors to this very special Sloan Creek signage.
We began by having the littlest ones hunt first, which is always so much fun.
We allowed each child an initial limit of 15 eggs, but most of those first hunters were satisfied with far less.Â In fact, for one of our hunters, one egg was all she needed and she was happy as a clam.
Then the bigger kids got to hunt.
And once everyone had been given an opportunity to collect their 15 eggs, the scramble to clean up the yard began.Â I am pleased to say that as far as we can tell, there are NO eggs left in our yard.Â If there are, Iâ€™m sure the mowers or rabbits or raccoons will find them for us throughout the summer.
After the hunt was over, the neighbors met to socialize and visit.Â There were lots of new faces and new connections, and of course, lots of good food.
People sat in the sun, or went across the street and explored at the pond, while kids played in the back yard or hid their eggs in the â€œspooky forestâ€.Â Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and commented on how much fun it was.
And now that all the eggs are cleaned up and the decorations are taken down and stored for another year, Iâ€™m already looking forward to the next one.Â It was truly and â€œeggs-traâ€ special day!
Last week, I had the opportunity to go to the Nasher Sculpture Garden with my mom and my children.Â I’ll let that sink in for a minute: I went to an art museum.Â Willingly.Â And dare I say I even enjoyed it?Â And this time I managed NOT to ask questions like “These are all originals, right?”
Now that you’ve had a moment to compose yourself we can return to the subject at hand.Â While I enjoyed nearly all of the sculptures there, and we had lots of fun taking pictures of us interacting with several pieces, one in particular caught my attention…and held it.
It was simply called “Vertebrae”, and for those of you who know me and know my story, you can appreciate why this was significant to me.Â As I sat there next to this sculpture, with my children gazing into the reflecting pool, I had an emotional moment…a moment where I was overwhelmed with gratitude for God’s healing.Â For God’s protection.Â For God’s miraculous touch.Â I was reminded again of how different things could have been…but how God in His sovereignty chose this path of wholeness for my life.Â How God put it into a nurse’s head to draw – and carve – a heart out of my body cast, creating a touchstone of God’s love and care.Â And how God used that accident to bring a wonderful and godly man into my life who would eventually become my husband.
But I’m not the only one in my family who has received miraculous healing from Jehovah Rapha.Â It wasn’t too long ago that we were dealing with this:
And though God gave Matt the strength to handle his diagnosis and treatment with humor, dealing with cancer was still stressful.Â There were hard and difficult days.Â There was financial strain.Â There was uncertainty and fear.Â But as we approach the one-year anniversary of Matt’s final chemo treatment, and shortly thereafter his first anniversary as a survivor, I have been reminded to be grateful for the gift of each new day.Â For the gift of my husband and his continued presence in my life.Â For being able to kiss him good night before we go to bed, and each morning before he heads off to work.Â For sharing meals, and going shopping, and attending school functions, and living life together.
The Great Physician has been at work our our precious daughter’s life, too, from her very earliest days:
At the ripe old age of 2 weeks, Crisana was diagnosed with a condition called “hydromyelia”, a cyst in her spinal cord.Â After weeks of x-rays, MRI’s, CT’s and other not-so-fun medical testing, not to mention the risk and uncertainty of her condition and the recommended treatments, she underwent surgery when she was only 4 months old.Â With the help of the Great Physician, she experienced a nearly miraculous recovery less than 2 days later.
And even all these years later, we still have all the personality, all the activity, all the joy that is Crisana.
Standing.Â Running.Â Walking.Â Dancing and leaping and twirling.Â Jumping and swinging and sliding.Â Kicking soccer balls and swimming underwater and roller skating.Â Enjoying the life of a normal, active 7-year-old.Â Each year as we return for her annual follow-up scan, I’m reminded how grateful I am for God’s protection over her.Â For the way He has preserved her and kept her from harm.Â For the way He has restored her to full health.
I’m grateful for those old canvas stretchers, and the lessons we’ve learned about God through those experiences.Â But believe me, I’m equally grateful that we don’t need them any more.
Really, I should just take a mulligan on this because:
1)Â I haven’t watched the show yet and
2)Â I don’t really have time to blog about a show I haven’t even watched.
But I’m not going to do that.Â I’m going to live on the edge and make a prediction based solely on the status updates I’ve read on Facebook.Â Now THAT’S research!
So who do I predict the bottom three will be?
I like her.Â I really, really like her.Â But it doesn’t appear that America does.Â So for the second week in a row, she will be doomed to the silver stools on the dreaded “other side of the stage.”
I don’t know that it makes one bit of difference whether he is in the bottom three or safe tonight.Â Because, honestly, the final two will be Siobhan and Crystal and everyone else needs to go home and let the two of them duke it out.Â Vocally, of course.Â But because he doesn’t have a prayer of winning Idol, I predict Tim Urban will sharing Paige’s fate this evening.
If you’re going to be 16 in this competition, then you better make me believe you can handle the pressure, the attention, and the demands.Â Poor Aaron has seemed star-struck and overwhelmed from the get-go.Â I am going to continue to pick him until he goes home because seriously, he just needs to grow up a bit.
So whose montage will we be watching tonight?
My vote goes with Facebook: Paige.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
Yep, that pretty much sums up my NCAA brackets after this weekend’s games.
Let me begin my post by reminding you of one simple truth about me: I don’t make cards.Â I’ve explained it before, in great detail.Â I’ve even reiterated it in not-so-different terms.Â So imagine my surprise when, over the past few weeks, I’ve made not one, not two, but THREE separate card designs.Â I know!Â Who are you and what have you done with my Debily?
Well, I’m not quite sure.Â What’s even stranger is I have actually enjoyed making these cards.Â Crazy, huh?Â Don’t worry, though, I’m still a true scrapbooker at heart.
First, we have the thank you cards I made following our Blue & Gold banquet in February.Â These were super simple, but I was impressed with how they turned out.Â The best part was that I was able to turn out several of these in a short period of time, and I had all the materials on hand, so they didn’t cost me any extra!
My next project – which turned out to be a major undertaking – was to create save-the-date cards for my mom’s upcoming “BIG” birthday this summer.Â I had created mock-ups of 6 different designs, several of which were far simpler.Â But she liked the “vintage” look of this design and its classic appeal, so this was the design I used.Â I modified it somewhat from the original mock-up, trimming it down from a 5″x7″ size to a 5″x5″ square.Â Though far from “perfect”, I was very pleased with how they turned out.Â And after making and mailing 75 of them, I think I could make them in my sleep.
Finally, we have a birthday card for one of Trey’s good friends.Â Again, I had all the materials on hand, so the cost was essentially free.Â Simple, but fun.Â And, because I’m like that, I even matched the paper on the card to the wrapping paper used for the gift!Â I’m sure Trey’s friend will notice and comment on my awesome coordination skills.Â After all, isn’t that what 10-year-old boys do?
So who knew I could make cards?!?Â I guess it’s one more thing to add to my already long list of awesome skills and talents.Â I promise I’m still the same Debily, just perhaps new and improved.
It’s Thursday…and that means it’s time for some gratitude!
(For those of you new to the blog, or who have forgotten because it’s been so long since I’ve done this, you can read the story of my threads of gratitude here.)
This week we enjoyed Spring Break, and this year I decided to make it a true BREAK for us.Â No thinking about Cub Scouts or Pre-K worship or piano teaching.Â This was a week for family, for me to be Mom and us to spend time together as a family or with friends.Â And as I did, I was reminded of how good I’ve got it, and how much I have to be grateful for.
On Sunday, I was reminded to be grateful for our Life Group and the new friends we’re making there.Â For the encouragement we receive each week from our fellowship together, and the fun we have whether we’re digging into God’s word or hanging out over appetizers at Snuffer’s.
On Monday, I was reminded to be grateful for Girl Scout cookies. ‘nuf said.
On Tuesday, I was reminded to be grateful for children who are healthy and physically strong.Â For fun times roller skating together, even if we fall down sometimes.Â For singing out loud to Taylor Swift and Britney Spears and Michael Jackson songs and laughing at our wacked-out dance moves.Â For celebrating with our favorite flavors of ice cream at Braum’s afterward.
On Wednesday, I was reminded to be grateful for new friends and unique opportunities.Â For having the chance to be models at a photo shoot for SHW’s marketing department.Â For our neighbors’ grandchildren who love having a new friend living right next door to their grandparents.Â For reconnecting with long-time friends at AI parties each week.
Today, on Thursday, as we prepare for an adventure in downtown Dallas with my mom, I’m reminded to be grateful for inspiration.Â For God’s gift of beauty through art, architecture, and nature.Â For God’s touch in ordinary people which allows them to see the world in extraordinary ways.Â For the vision to express the real world through sculpture: metal, bronze, steel.
We’ve still got a few days left to enjoy this week, and there is the promise of beautiful springtime weather as well as one last blast of winter.Â Just enough to balance time spent outdoors with time for indoor projects.Â But the thread that binds it all together will be time spent together.
And for that, I am and will continue to be grateful.
It’s that time of year again…March Madness, Spring Forward, and Debily’s American Idol Predictions!!Â Seriously, folks, it doesn’t get much more exciting than this.
For those of you who are new to my blog, this has become a tradition for the past couple of years.Â Before I head out to party with the Idol Girls each week, I make my predictions of who will make it, who will land in the bottom three, and who is out.Â I may not be “Debily the Greek” (with my apologies to the under-30 crowd who has no idea what I mean by that or who “Jimmy the Greek” was), but I hold my own mostÂ weeks.Â Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and ideas – the more the merrier!
This week was a tribute to the Rolling Stones.Â Admittedly, I’m not a huge Stones fan.Â I appreciate their music, I acknowledge their talent, I know enough of the lyrics to “Satisfaction” to get by at parties, but I’ve never been one to buy their albums or download their songs.Â Honestly, I didn’t know most of the songs performed tonight, so I was pretty open-minded about the risks the performers chose to take.Â I also prefer to listen to AI rather than watch it, because that’s how I’ll get to know these artists: through their radio play.Â I don’t go to concerts, I don’t watch music videos, I don’t see them perform live.Â So they gotta sell me on their vocals and musicality more than their stage presence.
But stage presence doesn’t hurt and tonight there emerged one clear winner:
Holy black dress, Batman!Â In Randy-speak, Siobhan was DA BOMB.Â I haven’t felt goosebumps like that since David Cook did his rendition of “Billie Jean.”Â Awesome.Â Amazing.Â She emerged as the one to beat.
But as we all know, it’s not about who won the night, it’s about who will be tearfully watching their “American Idol Journey” montage as the show fades to credits.Â Here are my picks for the bottom three:
Sitting pretty in 10th place will be Andrew Garcia.Â I like this guy.Â I like him a LOT even though he needs to attend the Danny Gokey School of Cool and Stylish Eyewear for a few weeks.Â But he just seemed to be trying too hard this week, pushing his style and vocals beyond his own capabilities.Â I think the judges have really done him a disservice with their emphasis on encouraging him to take risks musically.Â He seems to feel pressured to have a new and creative take each week…and sometimes that’s just not possible.Â But his story is so great that he will ride the wave for a few weeks until – hopefully – he gets back on track.
I’m sorry.Â I just don’t get him.Â I know the judges loved his performance.Â Not me.Â He LOOKS young and tiny on the stage, and unlike David Archuleta (who was wise beyond his years in both style and stage presence) just doesn’t have the strong vocals or star quality to make me believe he’s worthy of winning it all.
I really like her.Â And I really *want* to like her onstage.Â She has such a unique look, and I love her distinctive sound.Â But she’s in danger of making everything sound the same.Â There was no “WOW” factor in her song tonight.Â For that reason, I believe the one we bid adieu to this evening will be Amarillo’s own Lacey Smith.
Let me hear your thoughts!Â And tune in tonight to see how I do!
Oh boy, did I ever blow it.Â Totally screwed up.Â Messed up big time.Â In a word: FAIL.Â And I’m completely sick over it.Â Tied up in knots.Â Lump-in-the-throat and tears-in-the-eyes.
Usually, the admitting part is not difficult for me.Â I make mistakes constantly.Â All.Â The.Â Time.Â I’m forever forgetting things, mixing dates and times up, getting my facts turned around.Â Matt is convinced that somewhere amidst the brown and grey hairs I’ve got blonde roots.Â My brothers have been known to check the air pressure inside my head.
But this time, things are a little different.Â Not only do I have to admit my mistake, I have to admit it to my daughter.
And…I have to ask for her forgiveness.
So what did I do, you ask?Â What heinous crime did I commit?Â What could possibly make me tremble at the thought of admitting I was wrong…to a 7-YEAR-OLD??
If I tell you, you might be tempted to shrug it off as “no big deal.”Â You might be tempted to offer cliche’ advice like, “don’t be so hard on yourself” or “we all make mistakes.”Â And from your perspective, you’d be right.Â But I’ve had to live with the anticipation and excitement that has built up within my daughter’s psyche for the past 12 months…and now I have to crush those dreams.Â And it’s completely my fault.
Last year, Crisana won Best Design for Daisies in the Service Unit’s Powderpuff Derby.Â She has been anticipating this year’s derby since we got in the car to go home after last year’s derby.Â She has been talking and planning and dreaming about what her design would be, choosing color schemes and pitching ideas.Â A couple of weekends ago, she and Matt sat down and sketched out her design: a baby carriage (pram).Â They even found a pink rubber ducky with a baby bonnet to fit inside it.Â She was beside herself with excitement!
And then this week, I found the email from our Troop leader reminding us about registration.Â The deadline to register had been a week earlier.Â I had missed it!Â In a panic, with all fingers and toes crossed, I quickly sent an email to ask if there was any way we could still register.Â The response came back:
We appreciate the response to such a great event. Unfortunately I have to let everyone know that the Powder puff derby is officially closed. We cannot take anymore registrations.
At that moment, I can’t begin to describe how I felt.Â How disappointed in myself I was.Â How devastated I knew Crisana would be.Â And Matt’s encouragement?Â “I’m going to let you be the one to tell her.”Â Great.Â Thanks.Â A lot.
I knew I would need to choose a time when we weren’t busy with other things.Â When we had time to deal with it.Â When I could be there to let her express her anger and disappointment, even though there would be nothing I could do to “fix” it.Â When I could just hold her, let her cry, and say “I’m sorry” over and over.
Saturday morning was the time.Â I sat with her on her bed and very humbly admitted that I had missed the registration deadline and as a result she would not be able to race a car in the Powderpuff Derby this year.Â I admitted that I had no good excuse.Â I told her how very sorry I was because I knew how much she had been looking forward to it.Â I looked into those precious blue eyes, held her stubby little hands in mine and asked sincerely for her to forgive me.
And with tears of disappointment welling up, struggling to control her quivering lip and shaking voice, she looked back at me and responded, “I forgive you, Mom.Â Because I love you.Â And you’re still a great Mom.”
At that moment, I caught just a glimpse of how great God’s love is for me.Â For you.Â For all of us.Â For all those times I come crawling back to Him, having blown it once again, having given in to that same old struggle, asking…begging…pleading for forgiveness.Â He looks at me and says, “I forgive you.Â Because I love you.”
How do I respond to that?Â I’m humbled beyond belief.Â Amazed beyond description.Â Awestruck at the magnitude of His desire for a relationship with one like me: imperfect…fallen…failing.
But still, I’m forgiven…and loved.Â And that, truly, is all that matters.