Wednesday, December 31, 2008

GPS Humor

My kids and I have quite a sense of humor when we've had very little sleep and have hyped up on caffeine. We came up with funny things you don't want to hear your GPS say:

Turn left..No, I mean right!

Um.. Is west toward California?

How much longer? Are we there yet? I have to go potty.

I'll give you a hint.

Maybe we should stop and ask for directions.

Please insert $1.25 for 3 additional minutes.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Destination reached... just kidding!

This intersection was brought to you by the letters S, T, O and P.

So, where were we going again?

Abort! Abort!

Make a U turn at the next legal opportunity. Make a U turn at the next available opportunity. Hey! Find a wide spot in the road and turn around!

GPS for psychics: Whatever. You're going to miss the turn anyway.

King James GPS: Thou hast missed thine exit.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Shocking, but True

Since my children were very young, I faithfully read every book they were interested in. This has led to some interesting conversations about Quidditch, missionaries, survival skills, rhyming words, and vampires. Yes, I recently read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight.

If you are horrified by this fact, I suggest that you skip this post and check back with me tomorrow for a new topic.

Are you still there?

Not only am I in the middle of the second book of the series, I also went to the Twilight movie with my teenage girls... and my mother. This story of true love isn't just for teens.

I was pleasantly surprised to find good themes in the first book. Ultimately the story is less about vampires and more about a boy and a girl resisting temptation. They must love each other with very little physical contact. Edward fulfills every girl's dream by showing self control and loving her more than himself. Each character in the story makes a choice - for good or for "evil."

Stephenie Meyer, a Mormon author, even selects and apple for the cover of her first book to exemplify the choices that each person has to make. Will you choose to be a monster? Will you choose to meet the needs of someone else even if it means making a sacrifice? Will you be like the Cullens and value human life? Will you be like Bella who takes a risk on those who are rejected by society?

Sure. There are negative things in the story, too. Bella should not be walking around at night alone. Duh! And the obvious fact that the whole vampire things is a little uncomfortable. But I would recommend that you not pass judgment until you've looked at the overall themes that Meyer conveys.

From a literary perspective, I was frustrated by the first 20 pages of the book because it need some editorial help. As most writers understand, our work improves as we write more. It was easy to relax and enjoy the read as I delved in deeper.

As I continue to share this journey with my teens, I'll let you know if I still feel the same way. For now, I am focused on this conversation about purity and the sacrifice of true love.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What not to do today...

Our family is visiting San Antonio for a few days. I've established a list of a few things things NOT to do.

1. Do NOT refer to the Air Force Training instructors as "Mounties" event though they wear those black hats with wide brims.

2. Do NOT eat anything healthy.

3. Do NOT forget to stop at every Starbucks looking for "Taylor, the latte boy."

4. Do NOT throw up on the roller coaster at Sea World.

5. Do NOT yell at the children when they ask "Are we there yet?"

6. Do NOT eat at Chipotle more than once a day.

7. Do NOT forget it's December even though it's 80 degrees.

8. Do NOT forget to take my meds!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What I learned at 7am

This morning two of my children have dental appointments. (Many of you already know where this is going.) Two months ago in a moment of total organization, I pulled out my calendar and agreed that I would have two teenagers in dental chairs by 8am on December 23rd.

What was I thinking?!?!

Though I am usually up this early, I had know way of knowing that I would be sick with the worst cold in history. I spent the night sniffling, sneezing, and coughing.. that was after I took the Nyquil!

In between kleenex, I had the joy of waking up two sleeping teens. "You have to get up now," I said in my sweetest, scratchy voice. "We have to go to the dentist."

Um... right.

So here I am, writing this post while two groggy kids growl while finding clothes to wear. It's going to be a grand day!

I think I'll stop by Starbucks.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Christmas Gift

For many of us, the Christmas season is a celebration of the humble beginnings of a Savior. The gospel of John reminds us that the story of Christ, the Redeemer, began long before this day. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Our human minds package the Christmas story neatly with Mary and Joseph in the stable surrounded by peaceful animals and visiting shepherds. Then we place a big bow on top with angels singing praises and a few fancy gifts from afar. Our picture comes from other gospel writers. John simply calls this gift “The Word made flesh.”

Our mortal eyes see the life of Christ fixed in time – beginning at Bethlehem and ending on a hillside outside Jerusalem. From the appearance one angel to a young woman named Mary, and another to Mary Magdalene outside an empty tomb. For John, the story dwells between two leaders for the kingdom – John the Baptist to warm up the crowd and Peter who would take “The Jesus Show” on its first world tour.

This season as we approach the manger where Jesus was born, let us consider the words that John uses to conclude his gospel. Just after the establishment of Peter as the future leader of Christ’s message, John writes, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

John says we have just a glimpse of who God is through His Son. He is a living God, not confined by a mere story. If Jesus’ life on earth cannot be contained within the pages of a book (nor the entire volume of cyberspace), then how much greater must be His presence throughout the ages!

His birth is merely a piece of the picture. The Word – Jesus – has been in the story of the world the whole time. The Son of God was present in the garden of Eden. The Word of God was with Moses. The King of Kings stood with David. The Messiah walked with Daniel. The Eternal God appeared to John.

And what about today? Yes, the story of Jesus Christ the Redeemer continues in my life and in yours. He offers the gift of Himself this Christmas season. A gift that keeps on giving.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's a Friday

Most mornings I open a bag of fresh coffee beans and grind those babies down to a fine silt before tossing them in the coffee pot. I've been spoiled immensely by the delight of fresh grounds and a rich cup of java.

This morning at 6:00am when I opened my coffee cabinet, I was shocked to find the first shelf empty. The second shelf hold several kinds of sweeteners - granulated sugar, turbinado sugar, sugar I bought in Hawaii, Splenda, and the like. The first shelf is always reserved for bags of coffee beans, portable cups and lids.

This was going to be a problem.

After digging through the very top shelf of miscellaneous coffee related items, I found an unopened bag of coffee - PRE-GROUND! Oh the horror of it!

As the Director of Kitchen Services in our home I declared a state of emergency and determined that an exception must be made. I ripped the bag open and dumped coffee grounds into my coffee grinder. Maybe if I grind them again, it would taste the same.

I am here to tell you that it is most definitely NOT the same. For those of you who do not even know how to use a coffee grinder, you have my sympathies. You are missing out on something incredible.

My thought for the day: If tea leaves can tell the future, I wonder what my coffee grounds are telling me about what kind of day I'm going to have?