Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Like Riding a Bike

Thank HEAVEN that little freak-out episode the first day of math class didn't persist. I've worked hard to jostle loose all that rust up there, and lo and behold, the synapses can still fire! I've got A's on both tests so far... and since given the equation (95 + 99 + x) / 3 = 90, then x = 76, I can feel secure in the knowledge that if I just make above a 75 on the third test, I will still be exempt from the final and get an A in the class.

(And no, I don't plan on making a C on the third test, but it does give one a nice, comfortable feeling, does it not?)

Did you notice the little smiley on the grade? Even at my age, that little "high-five" from the teacher adds to the glow. :-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Definition of a "Smidgen"

I find it interesting that some of the hits on my blog are coming from people doing a search for the meaning of the word "smidgen". So, as a public service, I'll give a go at an explanation.

A smidgen is just a little of something. Kind of like "a tad-bit" in Texan-speak (i.e., "I'm just a tad-bit tired today."). My blog title refers to "a smidgen of this and a pinch of that" as in a recipe...a smidgen, a pinch, or a dash would probably all be about the same amount.

Since I cover lots of different topics on my blog, I figured it was an appropriate title.

So, there you have it. Just a smidgen of vocabulary for ya.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Sometimes at night, I lie awake on purpose... look at his peaceful sleeping face listen to the sound of his breathing, and him rubbing his feet together that cute way he does lay my hand on his cheek and feel the warmth of his face, and (if he's still somewhat awake) to feel his muscles pull his lips into a smile notice all those details of his presence...of his alive-ness.

I pay very close attention. I feel the absolute need to burn these things into my mind as deeply as possible for the approaching time that I will need to be able to close my eyes and pull them from my memory. I feel like if I absorb the details as much as I can, maybe they will seem more real later on.

And I try hard not to worry that this time those memories will have to last me 15 months or longer. And I try *really* hard not to wonder if they will have to last me forever.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I've Been Tagged (again)!

OK, I know way back in the archives there is somewhere that I was tagged. (Was that you, Pam?) I never did get around to doing my duty, and I apologize for that. Now along comes Tammy and tags me again! The truth is, I don't think I know seven bloggers who haven't already been tagged...I think I'm joining the game rather late. So, I'll play the game and try to think of who to tag in the meantime.

These are the rules.... each player starts with 7 random facts about themselves on their Blog. People who are tagged need to blog 7 facts about themselves and post the rules as well. At the end of their blog list 7 people you are tagging. Let them know that they are tagged by leaving them a comment.

I can't really think of anything most people don't already know, so just off the top of my head...

1. I have a twin brother. No, we're not identical twins. He's my brother. (And yes, I have been asked that before.)

2. I've been a band director's wife, a seminary student's wife, a pastor's wife, and now an Army Chaplain's wife. All with minimal bouts of identity crisis. ;-)

3. I have a degree in Music Therapy and am currently back in school to get my Special Ed teaching certificate.

4. I have a dream of visiting every continent on earth before I die. Except Antarctica.

5. I was an All-State flute player 3 years in high school, Valedictorian of my high school class, and a cheerleader. So, that made me a band-geek, egg-head rah-rah girl. ;-)

6. My family and I love sci-fi (but not the gross stuff) and crime dramas. I also totally enjoy slap-stick and romantic comedies. Laughter is good medicine!

7. I love to try new foods (at least once). There aren't a lot of foods I don't like (except sushi and beer, ew!) and I think it's a lot of fun to try foods from different cultures.

8. (bonus) I didn't become a faithful Christian until I was 21 years old and on the verge of a divorce. Now our marriage is a beautiful testimony of God's grace.

Well, instead of tagging 7 different bloggers, I'm going to cheat just a little bit. If you are reading this blog, and have never been tagged before, YOU ARE IT! :D

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Inspiring Story

Happy Father's Day, everyone! I hope you are able to speak to those dads in your lives who have made a difference to you, and let them know how much they mean to you.

A friend sent me this message today, and I was very touched by it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

And they say that patriotism is dead.....

For those civilians: In Military theaters the National Anthem is always
plays before the movie begins.

Subject: From a Chaplain in Baghdad

"I recently attended a showing of "Superman 3" here at LSA Anaconda.
We have a large auditorium we use for movies as well as memorial
services and other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we
stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before
the main feature. All was going as planned until about three-quarters of
the way through the National Anthem the music stopped.

Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back
in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few
rude comments, and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of
course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first
place. Here, the 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes
fixed forward. The music started again. The Soldiers continued to
quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music
stopped. What would you expect to happen? Even here I would imagine
laughter as everyone sat down and expected the movie to start.

Here, you could have heard a pin drop. Every Soldier stood at attention.

Suddenly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was
filled with the voices of a thousand Soldiers 'And the rockets red
glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our
flag was still there. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?'

It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq. I wanted you
to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you here.

Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins on 5/14/07.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

You know what's coming...

From Caitlin, 5 minutes ago...

"Mom, I think you're an artist."


"...and a really good craft girl, too."


"... and you're also very pretty.

(long pause)

"Can we go swimming?"

Yes, my darling daughter. After sweet compliments like that, who could possibly say no?

Monday, June 04, 2007

My brain has turned to dust...

So I've decided to get my teaching certificate, and I have to pick up one more college math class before I can enroll in the teaching certification program. Today was the first day of "Math for Business and Social Science". I'm a smart girl. Did really great in school. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

My head was spinning. And hurting. Wait, is it even there anymore?

I was tracking with the instructor the first half, or even two-thirds, of class, and then there was a definite point where she crossed some line of understanding in my head and suddenly it didn't even seem like she was speaking English anymore. Or even any language from this planet, really. And the farther she went, the worse it got.

She noticed (God bless her) the fact that my head had exploded, and calmly asked at which point I had lost her. I couldn't even answer the question in a coherent way. All I could do was point at the board and say, "right about there." So she pointed out some things, explained where she had gotten the values to plug into the formula, made sure I saw how she solved the equation. OK. I feel a vague sense of familiarity with that. So I found myself with a weird case of alien echolalia, nodding my head and mimicking her:

the vertex of the parabola.......quadratic equation......m is the slope...... any questions? um, no. thank you. as parts of my brain lay helpless on the floor around me.

It's just the whole concept that is escaping me. How does an equation become a curvy line on a graph? How do I know the number I just came up with is the vertex? What sort of demented mathematician came up with this stuff, anyway? These questions wouldn't form themselves into a coherent thought in class, though. My mind was a fog of x's and y's and parabolas by that point. It was on the way home that I came to the definite conclusion that I may be in over my head.

That is, I would be if I still actually had a head.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Safety on the Home Front

I have had this on my mind for a long time, and decided it's time to say something about it. For those of you who read my blog who are military wives, please give a listen and think about what I'm saying.

If your husband is deployed, I know that half your heart is in Iraq. I hear you and I feel you deeply. I have been there, and will be again before long. But please don't advertise it to the general public. When you have a bumper sticker or yard sign with the tender sentiment "Half My Heart is in Iraq" (or some other combat zone), there are bad people out there that will interpret it, "I am alone and vulnerable." Some characters out there will try to take advantage of you on many different levels since they know you are by yourself...ranging from salesmen to burglars to identity thieves. You are proud of your husband and certainly ought to be. But please don't turn yourself into a target by placing items on your house or car that indicate that he is gone for an extended time. I have a "Support our Troops" and an Army logo on my car, which I think is safe enough while still sharing my pride in what he does, but while he was gone I tried to be very careful not to indicate to people whom I didn't know well, the fact that my husband was deployed.

As you pray for your honey to be safe over in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever he is, please don't forget to do all you can to keep yourself safe as well.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Making of a Dog Person

Say hi to Murphy!

I admit it. I'm a cat person. The only cat person in my family, by the way. That being said, I guess it was inevitable we get a dog...and I can honestly say, as reluctant as I was in the beginning, I am very happy with our new pet. We got him at the local Humane Society (who saved him from the pound) and he seems to know we rescued him, and he acts like he is thankful. He is so loving and happy, and has already been a joy to our family. (Well...except for the two times he has slipped out of the yard when one of the kids opened the gate...he's a fast little guy!) He is a Silky Terrier mix, fairly small but not tiny, and so laid back and sweet. He has accepted us as his new "pack", and I already feel he is part of the family.