Thursday, July 31, 2008

A few movie reviews...

I just remembered this morning when I saw Angela's blog that we watched a ton of movies this weekend because of Jack's wisdom teeth, so here are my reviews, for what they're worth:

10,000 B.C. - Right down there with Indiana Jones. Not much of a plot. Blah.

21 - AWESOME!!! Worth buying.

Definately, Maybe - Very cute. Worth renting.

Jumper - Not so good - I know how this sounds, but it wasn't realistic enough for me. Sci-Fi even needs to have some realistic parts. Oh, and the girl was annoying. Nothing but trouble. Just like a girl.

Fun with Dick and Jane - Depressing. And not as funny as I thought it'd be.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It could rain as long as it wanted to - I was HAPPY!

I think one of the reasons I like being around Angela so much is that she takes joy in little things, like I do. One time, she and I ate carob-covered “rice dream” bars together, the only substitution for ice cream that she can have with her severe food allergies. She was absolutely in heaven. I don’t think she could have wiggled any lower into my couch. She was giddy and happy and cute… all over a fake ice cream treat that she can’t usually find in stores.

She laughed and laughed when I put her in my shopping cart during a trip to Kroger and wheeled her around the store, much to the surprise of other customers.

She left a note to Jack when she left last time mentioning that she really enjoyed his pre-dinner prayer the night before because he had mentioned her.

She’s fun to be around.

Today, her blog talked about the upgrade her aunt had finagled on their trip to Cancun, and she made me smile when she wrote this:

“I walked in the room and I think the bell boy had barely shut the door when I started screaming! I couldn’t believe I was here!!! I can’t even describe the room well to do it justice (the only that does are the images that are on facebook). The bathroom. The shower. The BED. The Jacuzzi. THE VIEW. I think I walked out onto the balcony and cussed. I know, I know- me?! As far as I was concerned at this point, it could rain as long as it wanted to - I was HAPPY!”

I’ve been in hotel rooms like that, so I know that feeling. It made me happy that she had that feeling too.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I made 5 pounds of mashed potatoes this weekend...

...and Jack just called and told me we're all out, asking me to make some more.

That's a lot of potatoes.

He's feeling pretty good, by the way. Not much pain so far. It looks like this one's an easier recovery than his ACL surgery (ha!).

Friday, July 25, 2008

One year ago today...

...I was in Heidelberg, Germany.

It doesn't seem that long ago. :(

But I can't complain. I get to change out Jack's gauze from his wisdom teeth surgery today.

--

So this morning was Jack's wisdom teeth removal. I had a nice time in the waiting room reading and doing some sudoku puzzles for about two hours.

After he woke up, I pulled my car around to the back of the building and went in to get the post-op debriefing from the nurse. She told me all about how I shouldn't feed him rocks and broken glass, while Jack probably sang "Daa nuuuu na na HEY! Da nuu na na" over and over in his head. After the nurse and I helped Bambi walk to the car, we were on our way. Before we got out of the parking lot, Jack was already making requests.

"Phan we go to buh fi-pon-bow spool?" he asked, through a mouthful of gauze.

"You want to go to the taekwondo school?" I asked, baffled. "Now!?"

"Yeph."

"Why?"

"To phee my phtuphentph do theow XMA."

"You want to go watch their students do their XMA after your surgery?" Jack had been working an XMA camp all week at the taekwondo school, and today was show-off day.

"Yeph."

After telling him no several times to no avail, I finally called the place we had just come from and talked to the nurse, who gave me a resounding "Seriously? What are you thinking!? Of COURSE he can't go to the karate school! He needs to go straight home and rest!"

Annoyingly, he kept whining. Finally, I gave in, and we drove by the school, only to find out that they were already finished and cleaning the school. Jack was very dissapointed.

Never let it be said that Jack Hornbuckle doesn't care about his students. Or that he's less whiney when he's not actually in any pain.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Going Green

Okay, I'll admit it. I don't really care about the environment. I mean, sure, I'll recycle if it's convenient for me and I don't litter (or like people who do), but that's kind of the extent of it. But I'm not about to buy triple-priced food for the sake of eating only "organic" or give up the convenience of driving my car around town for the sake of saving the air. I live in the 21st Century, and I think that's a blessing that God has bestowed upon me. And with the 21st Century comes disposable coffee cups and plastic grocery bags. Plus, my God has promised to come back and destroy the earth anyway, so really this is only a temporary home that I don't have to care that much about.

To be honest, I'm more prone to resist something if "everybody who's anybody" is doing it, and with all the celebrities preaching about "going green" (while they charter their planes and inject poison into their faces), I have started hating many environmental efforts, even if they're probably valid. Plus, a lot of the efforts have worse effects than the original "bad thing," such as biodiesel as a substitution for regular diesel - people in 3rd world countries are no longer eating their corn; it's economically better to export it, leaving a ton of people starving. Not smart. Buy why not? It makes us look like we care about something. And don't get me started on the global warming hype.

But something in Rachel's blog this morning made me think about it again, and it's a question I've been turning over in my mind. Should I think about the environmental decisions I make a little more? Is this going to be something like smoking, where 20 years down the road we tell our children, "we just didn't know what the effects were, so everybody did it."

The conclusion I've somewhat come to has less to do with preserving the environment and more to do with selfishness.

I realize that the chemicals in my cleaning products probably aren't good to be around all the time, so I wouldn't mind switching over to some more "environmentally friendly" natural products that work just as well.

I'm probably also willing to switch from plastic grocery bags to tote bags at some point, if I had them, because it wouldn't be that difficult and I realize that plastic bags can cause some problems with water drainage, etc. Plus my tote bags wouldn't break as easily.

If organic foods were the same price as regular food, then sure, I'd buy it instead, but as it is, there's no way we can afford to double or triple our grocery bill.

If somebody wanted to carpool to work a few times a week, I'd probably do it, but only to save money on gas.

We turn our lights off in our house and keep our air conditioner at 77 degrees, but that has everything to do with the fact that we don't have any money, not that we care about using energy.

So here's the thing: if you want to "go green," that's fine. Do what you want. That's the great thing about America - you can do anything and everything you want, even if it's dumb. But if you're going to preach to me about it (not that I'm saying anybody was right now, other than the media), you'd better convince me with logical reasoning that not only are the effects of changing significant enough for me to care about them, but that the change is convenient enough for me to make the transition without actually disrupting my standard of living. Welcome to America.

Ps - To my "environmentally crazy" friends, I'd suggest reading some stuff Michael Crichton has written on the subject, to at least get a balanced viewpoint before you argue. The book State of Fear is great, and the research he did for the book is worth taking note of.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Coincidences

The more experiences I have, the more I am impressed at the way God perfectly orchestrates every aspect of our lives. Sometimes it takes years to become clear what God is doing, but He's always doing it.

This week, one of my good friends and co-workers, Andy, told us he was leaving us to pursue another job at his church. He's been here for 8 years, and he's one of the smartest guys I know.

Later, I was discussing the upcoming change with another co-worker, Joel. Joel mentioned that it would be harder without Andy, but they would have never been able to handle his leaving without me there, because nobody would be left to assemble the English programs.

This isn't the first time I've heard that my filling this position is "an answered prayer" from a co-worker; they had been looking for somebody to fill the position I'm in for a very long time, and I had been looking for a job for what felt like a long time. This was the perfect job, and the timing also worked out perfectly.

When I originally applied here, I was applying for a different job, a project coordinator position. The lady who was interviewing me looked at all the experience I had in audio and asked me if I had seen the posting for a Spanish Broadcast Editor. I had, but one of the requirements was being bilingual. As it turned out, the day before my interview for the other position, they had removed that requirement, and as a result I was qualified for the Broadcast Editor position, which was exactly what I was looking for.

God provided me a job and at the same time provided the ministry with some more help with the English when half the staff was in Israel, provided Joel (finally) with some much needed help with the Spanish broadcasts (he'd been the only one working on them for years), and then provided Andy with the opportunity to leave and pursue something else he thought God wanted him to do without having to worry about us.

So many things in my life have just sort of "worked out," and there's not a doubt in my mind that they have been entirely arranged, rather than simply happening by chance.

I'm glad that there is a God who cares enough about us to create a perfect plan for us. Everything is calculated and planned; everything is set into motion. There are no coincidences.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Block Party

On Tuesday night, I was sitting at home after work when there was a knock at the door. It was Susan, my neighbor from down the street for whom I'd been dog-sitting the last few weeks. She and the family were back from Disney World. 

We ended up visiting for about a half an hour to an hour, when there was another knock at the door. It was my Dad, bringing over the dinner he had made that night that he was quite proud of, wanting me to taste it. My mom came soon-after, and we were all visiting when there was another knock at the door. Michelle and Chris, my neighbors from next door stopped by, which was typical of pretty much every night of the week. Then Matt, Michelle's friend. Then Robby, Michelle's brother. Soon my entire living room was completely full of people, all talking at once. Susan and I were talking about Disney World, while my Dad talked to the Bedenbaughs about Hawaii, then Chris and I would start talking about something else while my parents started talking to Susan about teaching. Then there would be times when everybody would stop their individual conversations and start one big one together. It was chaotic yet seemed perfectly natural.

I once talked about our neighborhood to my friends at work, who were astounded that I even talked to my neighbors, much less that we hung out on a regular basis and did things for each other. Susan and Chris planned my bridal shower (the best one ever, by the way). We take care of each others' houses and dogs while one of us is away (especially during an emergency, like when my grandma had her heart attack and my parents left town abruptly). Michelle and I are always willing to babysit the kids when Susan needs to be somewhere, assuming we're not at school or work. I get at least one phone call a day from a neighbor saying "We're going to [insert something like "the grocery store, take a walk, Sonic, take a bike ride, pick up Robby from x, etc." here]... Do you want to come?" The answer is almost always yes. Also, it's a sin to see a beautiful sunset or rainbow or have
a black belt testing at the taekwondo school and not call Chris, go to the vet without calling Michelle, or see an open garage door without calling the neighbor whose garage door it is (usually the Seiberts). There aren't many nights, in fact, that one of them doesn't feed Jack and me dinner.

As I looked around the big circle of people that night, as everybody was talking and more people kept stopping by, I couldn't help but feel very blessed. I love this family.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Home owners!!!!!

We finally closed on our house this morning!! It's nice to be homeowners and get the tax break, plus now we can get an American Home Shield thing and maybe get to stop paying for all the stuff that keeps breaking!

For those of you who don't know, we were already living in the house we just bought since we've been married, so it isn't a giant change for us. This is the house that I grew up in, and my parents moved about 3 years ago and have been renting it to Jack since then. As a [really freaking nice] wedding gift, they gave us the equity they had in the house, which served as our down payment, so basically we just took over the payments. It was extremely generous and we couldn't have done it without them. We appreciated it a lot.

The nice thing about this house is that because this is the house I grew up in since I was 4 years old, it has a lot of sentimental value to me as well.

This is the house where my first goldfish (Wurlitzer) is buried out in front of my original bedroom's window and the house where I received my acceptance letter to A&M [Jack was there when I got that letter, and ran inside with me to open it. When it said that I got in, my mom and Jack and I were all jumping up and down and Jack asked my mom, "can I kiss her now!?" (This was during the time we weren't allowed to kiss/date) - she said yes)]

This is the house where I used to stay up late every Christmas Eve with my brother, listening to Christmas music on KLTY. This is the living room where he and I would get up early on and get our stockings every single Christmas morning of my childhood (that I can remember), and this is probably the house where my children will have their first Christmases.

This is the master bedroom in which I would sleep on the floor when I was afraid of the dark so I could be in the same room with my parents and the same master bedroom in which I now hit snooze every morning to gain another 8 minutes to cuddle with my annoyed husband.

This is the house I stood outside to wait for the school bus with my neighbors, and the same house in front of which I sit and visit with those same neighbors now.

This is the house in which I made my brother so mad in that he punched a hole in my door, and the house I was in when I received my first (dream) job offer after college graduation (I hung up from that phone call and literally jumped into Jack's arms).

This is the house where I first fell for Jack, at 2 a.m., sitting on my kitchen counter, when I was 17 years old, and the house where we first kissed a few months later.

This is the house where Jack carried me over the threshold in my wedding dress after our wedding, and the house where friends and family gathered the next day.

No matter how much work it is to fix things that break and upgrade the things we want, I'm so glad to be making memories as newlyweds in the same house that I made memories as a child.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Toothbrush Trouble

Maybe it's just a rite of passage in married life: in the first few months of marriage, something will go wrong with one or both of your toothbrushes.

Not long after my brother and his wife first got married, she accidentally knocked his toothbrush off the counter and into the toilet. For reasons even she doesn't understand, instead of throwing the toothbrush away, buying him another $.79 toothbrush, and telling him, she fished it out of the toilet and put it back where it was. 

Later, when he was about to brush his teeth with said toothbrush, she stopped him just in time, confessing her sins and therefore saving him from brushing his teeth with a poo-brush.

Last night, Jack and I were about to go to bed, and as is the usual routine, we went to brush our teeth. The difference between last night and most other nights before that, however, is that we were going to bed at the same time and therefore brushing our teeth at the same time. Usually, I go to bed at about 11 or 12, while Jack will go to bed sometime between 12 and 3 (I work normal business hours, while he doesn't have to be at work until later in the morning or afternoon, depending on the day, and then he doesn't get home until about 10:30 p.m.) This works out well for "absence making the heart grow fonder" and birth control, but not for toothbrushing.

Jack started brushing his teeth first as I gathered up clutter and fed the dogs, as is the nightly routine. When I entered the bathroom, my toothbrush was nowhere to be found.

"Where's my toothbrush?" I asked, looking over at Jack, who was brushing away.

"Foofbruff?" he asked, confused, and looked over to the other toothbrush in the toothbrush cup.

Then I saw it. My toothbrush. In his mouth.

"You're using my toothbrush!" I exclaimed, quite surprised. You see, Jack had a big problem with sharing toothbrushes. I think he may have even brought this up during premarital counseling. It was against the rules. It really grossed him out.

"Fif ish my foofbruff," he argued, then thought about it. "Ifn't it?"

With that moment of hesitation, Jack decided that, his toothbrush or not, it wasn't worth the risk, and took it out of his mouth, rinsing it off and then rinsing his mouth out really well. 

"The blue one's mine?" he asked, baffled.

"Yes. The blue one is yours."

"Oh."

So basically we've been using the same toothbrush for about a month now. Needless to say it has been thrown away and I have a new one. Welcome to married life.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Spaklers, a fan, and a finally-hung TV!

Jack's parents came in town for this 4th of July, which is always nice because we don't get to see them quite often enough. The other reason it's nice, however, is that things really get done around the house whenever Jack's parents are around.

Thing number one: Before his parents (or anybody, really) come in town, Jack and I make a mad-dash cleaning effort, and our house is actually semi-clutter-free for a little while, with bathrooms clean and floors vacuumed. We generally clean once a week anyway, but a little extra motivation never hurts, especially after Little Rock last weekend. (This cleaning effort wasn't quite as great as the previous cleaning efforts, but it was an effort nonetheless.)

Thing number two: Jack's dad knows everything, and can do anything, when it comes to fixing the house (the downside to this is that Jack refuses to do anything around the house without his dad). I've been watching Jack and his dad hang a celing fan/light fixture in our "new" living room, which will be quite an upgrade from our two little lamps at night.

When I got up this morning, that was finished, and the two of them were fishing wires into the wall behind where the TV would hang. These wires were coming out at another spot on the wall, which as far as I'm concerned is voodoo magic because I'm not sure how one actually makes that happen.

Thing number three: I cooked dinner last night and they always rant and rave about how wonderful it is, which is nice to hear even if it was just some grilled chicken and pre-prepared (not by me) side dishes.

Thing number four: We finally had a reason and a few more bodies to get rid of the sparklers that have been sitting around here since the wedding. I had bought them for our going-away "thing" (like birdseed or rice), but there was a burn ban at the time, and the police probably would have noticed 250 people with sparklers at night. Instead, I handed them out to the few neighbors I knew who were in town this weekend and we lit a few sparklers ourselves last night. Man, it doesn't get more exciting than that.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Worlds!!


Jack did absolutely phenomenally at World Championships this year!! He was ranked number one in the world in both forms and weapons going into the competition, and ended up with a silver medal in weapons! He was SOOOOOO excited! All the pictures are here.