Friday, September 28, 2007

For Love of the Pod

I just love technology. In some alternative universe I am a computer geek. In real life, as soon as my laptop has a physical memory dump, I freak out, throw my hands up in frustration and shove the PC into my husbands lap with a demanding, “Fix it!”

Consequently, you would think that an MA in Computer Science would prepare a guy to fix a simple home computer, but as I have learned that that’s not his “area.” Bummer. But he can project manage with the best of them!

Anyway, I got an ipod a few years ago. But really, I didn’t use it that much. I’m really not much of a music person. Although I spend hours and hours in the car, I usually prefer talk radio or books on tape/CD. I probably bought this ipod over three years ago and I can’t believe that it took me this long to discover the Podcast.

The podcast has changed my life. Last week I spent a couple of hours subscribing to my favorite talk radio shows and churches that podcast (which means, for those of us in the slow group, that every time a new show comes on, my ipod gets the new show to listen to at my convenience! If anyone would care to explain to me how it works if I don’t sync for a day or how long it stays on my ipod, that would be great!) My condensed list is as follows:
• Focus on the Family
• Prairie Home Companion
• Car Talk
• Andy Stanley @ Northpoint
• Louie Giglio @ Passion
• Erwin McMannus @ Mosiac
• Adventures in Odyssey (for Isabelle, of course!)

And thanks to January for inspiring me, through a recent post, to seek out how to load a podcast to my ipod! It had been at the bottom of my purse, where a pen exploded all over it, for far too long. And oh, how I can’t wait for my clinic season to get rolling so I can spend hours in the car catching up!

What’s your favorite radio talk show/podcast?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New House Update

On Sundays we always take a stroll over to our new property to see how things are progressing. Beazer has a “New Home” Website that tells you about the progress your house is making, but it only informs you of the last major stage completed.
So we were shocked when we drove onto our new street to see two whole stories up!! The week before they were just building the floor over the basement. Wow, does that go up fast!! We walked around the building and got a feel for what it would feel like to live in the house.

As far as the old house goes…we had our first (and only) 2nd showing (meaning someone came back to see the house a second time) last week. We scrubbed the house (since it was scheduled 2 days before Carol was due to come and clean!!) and left with hope in our hearts of what all a 2nd showing could mean!

The next day we got online only to find out that the electronic lockbox our realtor used didn’t work and the potential buyers couldn’t get into the house!! They have yet to reschedule. *sigh* We are trying hard not to be frustrated. On the other hand, we still have peace whether we get the new house or not. We know that God is completely directing our steps and his plans are better than our own.

On another note, we have gotten calls about people interested in Lease/Purchasing our home. This is an option...we will see!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Good Buy Old Mattress!

In anticipation of a new house we have been furniture shopping. Particularly a mattress. I feel like we have to take out a second mortgage for a good one. Some guy tried to sell us a $5k mattress a couple of weeks ago. We told him that unless it get’s 40 miles to the gallon and has cruise control, we were not interested.

We have just been window shopping, since we really don’t HAVE the new house yet. BUT, since the mattress we currently have is the same one my Aunt Sheila handed down to me when I graduated from college 10 years ago and has seen upwards of 7 moves, we thought it was time to get serious about a new one. So we looked and looked and looked. We finally decided on a nice pillow top that we got for a decent price at some “Mattress Outlet” store. But that’s not the exciting news…

A few months ago I found a bedroom set that I REALLY wanted at Sofa Express. It was pricey, so we kept looking. I never found anything else I liked. So we decided to go back to Sofa Express and maybe just look at getting the bed, not the set (since we did not have a bed that fit the king sized mattress that we bought!). When we got there it was discontinued! They no longer carried it! Of which the sales guy had specifically told me that it was a long standing style and they would carry it forever. Urggg.

So I got the style and name of the bed and went home to google. I found it online for several hundred dollars MORE than Sofa Express was selling it. *Sigh* So, I found the manufacturer, and to make a long story short, called an “Outlet” store in Columbus. They had 2 King size bedroom suites in my style! And for a fraction of the cost! So we putted our pajamaed kid in the car, drove over and bought the whole thing! I just love a good sale!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Not Readers Digest. Proceed with Caution.

I know that I am weird. No need to tell me. I am fully aware of my oddity. In fact, some may observe that I revel in it. I enjoy being weird. I have shared with you, my blogging friends, some of my idiosyncrasies. For example, I am a FREAK about cleanliness…well, not so much cleaning, as order.

The time has come for me to share another. Before I proceed, let me first preface this confession by saying I have been single much of my adult life, and I have only recently had a child…and that ONLY one child, which I find pretty manageable most of the time. So before you judge me, remember these things!

Here it goes: I have always felt like I have too much time on my hands. From the time I was a kid I lived in a constant state of “I’m bored.” Ask my mom. Besides saying “I’m running away to Grandma’s house, “ “I’m bored,” was my favorite and most used phrase. After which, she would reply, “Okay, I’ll give you some chores to do.” That always temporarily cured me of boredom.

In my adult days, I always had to have “Projects” to do. Of course, all of the church things that I was doing, but other stuff as well. Painting a room, planting a flower bed (miserable failure at that!), or creating a 10 year life plan With work, almost all of the jobs I have had since adulthood, I still had a level of discontentment because I was/am bored. My current job is REALLY bad. But it seems like I never have enough projects to be juggling at once.

I know. I’m weird! And I feel like I shouldn’t be admitting this because being over committed is a badge of honor in our society today. I guess I should also admit that I am NOT an overcommitter and never bothered to read the famous “Boundries” series because…well, it’s just not my problem. I can tell anyone “No, I can’t do that.” any day of the week, it doesn’t matter who or what(Books I HAVE read on issues I DO have is fodder for another fire...or another post!)

Okay, that said, let me add that Isabelle keeps me busy. I like that. Just the day to day running around taking care of her is itself busy-ness. Not only do I enjoy it, but the time frame that I get to do it is so compressed that I feel like its precious busy-ness too. I know what some of you are thinking, "So have more kids!" Okay. Sure,in the undetermined future. But as I mentioned before, I'm not an overcommiter.

And, I said ALL of that, only to share with you a little project: My scrapbooking. I LOVE scrapbooking. Being the checklist person that I am, I keep a running list of life events I need to scrap. My approach is that I don’t need to include E VERY picture I ever took or include every event. But I do include all of the important milestone events, plus if I take some great pictures, creativity usually seems to hover there.

I will spend days and days with ideas rolling around in my head of pages I want to do. Then I will jot them down on paper, spend an hour or so on the internet looking up quotes and fonts that I like, then I sit down and scrap 10 or 20 pages in a night or two. Then I tire of scrapbooking, and put it away for a couple of months. Repeat cycle as needed.

I have been looking for a “Family Tree” Page like you would find in a baby book to scrap for Isabelle. I sat down with Conrad’s parents while I was in India last Fall and gathered as much lineage as I could(Indian families don’t follow the surname rule, so it’s surprisingly hard to trace lineage. Example: Conrad’s last name is Michael. His parents’ last name is Williams. His sister-in-laws last names are their husbands first names. I don’t think names hold the same value that they do in the West) . Then I shook the tree on my side to gather all of the missing pieces (like my great grandfather’s last name was Golden (he was Jewish) but was then adopted by a Payne when he was a kid.)

Last week, I finally found a cool tree and a few lineage pages to go with it…yeah! It was a pre-fab page so I could conserve my elusive creative energy, but it is great heritage stuff that I’m so happy I can include in Isabelle’s book! (Of which I am officially on Book #2)

All of this blah blah blah, and this is my point?? Sadly yes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

For the Love of Meat

We are recovering from a particularly busy week last week. As I mentioned before, we had two international students staying with us. They were such nice guys, and it was a blessing for us to be able to get to know these two students. But, it was not without its challenges. They were complete vegetarians.

As you probably know, we Americans love our meat. Okay, my husband isn’t fully American, but he loves meat too, so I’ll broadly throw him in this category. So last week threw me into somewhat of a food dilemma. No eggs, no fish, no chicken….no meat. What do you cook vegitarians for 7 full days???

So, the first day we took them to a great Indian Veg restaurant that we love for Dosa (if you have never had Dosa…you HAVE to try it…yummm!) They went for dinner at a friend of a friends house. Day two: Pasta with veggies. Day three: Conrad cooked up some Chapatti’s and Veggie Curry. Day four: (Getting desperate) We ordered Veggie Pizza. Day Five: Completely out of ideas. Conrad to the rescue again with Veggie Curry. Day Six: The friend of a friend came and took them to Chipotle for Veggie Burritos. Day Seven….okay, you get the idea….

And breakfast was another dilemma. Every morning, I get up before everyone else to get a jump on the day, hopefully fit in a little quiet time, and start packing bags. I was in mid-swing of getting everything ready when the boys come down quietly and politely sit in the living room waiting for breakfast to begin. I thought, no need to put off the inevitable (besides what else to feed vegitarians than toast, I have no idea!). So I announce, “Welcome to America. Here, we eat breakfast in a hurry, in the car. So get ready and I’ll pack your travel mugs with coffee and toast you some nice toast.”

Luckily, they weren’t offended as they shoved down their toast and slurped their coffee (for the first time ever) from a travel mug. Cold hard culture shock. Poor fellows.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Pastor @ Crossroads Church

Many of my family already know this, but for those of you who don’t, I thought I would post some an update of kinds. My dad (who is a pastor) is building a new church! We are very excited about this venture and they have been praying and planning for a couple of years in order to do this! The church is coming up fast and one of the best things about the church?? It will be cheaper than what they have been paying in rent! That must be my pragmatic side speaking…

I am very happy for my parents who have labored for years in this particular “field.” My dad spent years being a bi-vocational pastor while pouring his heart and soul full-time into ministry. They have always told the Lord that they would love and take those who no one else wanted. They have been true to their word and have had a fair share of people that others might not find loveable.

They have been MORE than faithful in loving, caring, and depositing into these people. I can say that because I grew up there and got to witness the middle of the night freak outs that they calmly attended to, or the crazy worship leader who went off the deep that they maturely handled, or the regular stream of baggage laden gays who always came through the doors (to a small town, spirit filled church??? ) that they shared truth and love with. That’s not to mention the single mothers, drug addicts (some current, some past), and mentally handicapped folks who’s lives they impact every day!

My dad has always been THE example of what it looks like to be a Follower of Christ to me. He didn’t raise us to be only Believers, but true Disciples. Because of him (and my mom, of course!), I know that the Christian life involves service. Usually sacrificial amounts of service. I know that it involves putting your needs aside to meet the needs of others. They taught me that reaching people isn’t about playing the odds or the statistical probability that they will “stick” or “grow” but that you simply love people and choose to see them how Christ sees them…clean and perfect.

The lessons he took time to intentionally teach me as a child and young adult have stuck with me and defined who I am today. These days I have been watching him as he faithfully and tenderly sacrifices to care for my aging grandfather…his dad. This has been hard on all of us, but particularly hard on my dad who is really close to his dad. I think his actions have a reach far beyond what he knows. It reaches back a generation and forward several more!

I am so thankful for my dad and the godly heritage he has given to us. And now, I am sooo thankful that he is a part of Isabelle’s life and a big part of Isabelle’s spiritual heritage! Dad, I don’t tell you enough how much I admire you and who you are. We love you!!!

“He commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands."
Psalm 78:5-7 (NIV)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Friends

This past weekend we have had two international students staying with us that just flew in from India to work on their PhD’s at Ohio State. As part of an International Friendships Ministry, we volunteer to host students, pick them up at airports when they arrive, take them garage saleing for cheap furniture, invite them over for holidays…fun stuff. And all to share the love of Christ in tangible ways with them.

Usually it takes Isabelle a little while to warm up to people. But, I have to say that if we meet Indian’s anywhere, she’s all smiles. A few weeks ago we were at a baby shower, and we were sitting around a room with about thirty women and there was one Indian woman in the whole place and Isabelle crawled out of my lap and right to her!

I have to add that at the same shower a lady came up to me and said, “Your daughter is beautiful! Now, is she adopted?” I’m sure she wasn’t intentionally implying that my beautiful daughter couldn’t possibly be MY natural child, she was just interested because her daughter was adopted from China. Anyway, I’m on a rabbit trail…

Well, with our new friends from India, Isabelle started displaying the most outrageous (and entertaining) characteristics. She is a big flirt. These poor guys, who had been traveling for about 48 hours barely got to sit down when Isabelle started walking up to them, standing about 18 inches away, putting her ands on her hips, and making “oohhhing” noises and smiling, until they looked at her and cooed and smiled. And continued to do this and similar things the entire time they were here!

She then promptly grabbed her “Jesus Loves Me” book and took it to our Hindu friend, then crawled up in his lap to be read to. Funny girl!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Canada, eh?

On Saturday of last holiday weekend, Conrad and I took off on a mini vacation and left Isabelle to enjoy her time, while the universe revolved around her as the sole grandchild of the Payne household. It’s a hop, skip, and a jump from my parent’s house to Windsor, Canada. So we leisurely drove across the border and used the last of my hotel points for a free nights stay.

If any of you are from the Midwest, you know there is only one reason people go to Windsor…okay two. If you are a college student, you go to drink. And if you are anybody else, you go to gamble. But, I’m jumping ahead of my story. To get to Windsor you drive into downtown Detroit, go thru a tunnel and you are in downtown Windsor. But It’s like you’ve traveled into Europe. Strange how the feel is so different…and certainly different than urban Detroit. Small, quaint, and oddly….European.

We checked into our hotel to find out that we were upgraded to a room with a view. Our room overlooked the river, which overlooked the Detroit skyline. It really was beautiful. And the room had a full wall of windows. We lounged around and then went to the Casino later that night.

Not being big gamblers, we decided we would spend $40 and that’s all. We didn’t even know how to use these new fangeled slot machines! It’s not quite as simple as put a quarter in and pull the handle! They don’t even take change. So we each took $5 and started playing the 1 cent slots, after we figured out how to use it. I quickly spent mine, but Conrad won his $5 up to just over $30! A half an hour later, I was using his $30 and he was watching me. All of the sudden I hit something (not really sure why or how)on the 1 cent slot and won $130!! We were really excited then and took the money and ran like bandits!

We celebrated by getting some Lebanese food for dinner, taking it back to our room and eating it by the lights of the city. A little while later, fireworks started going off over the river….like crazy! And as it turns out, we had a beautiful 20 minute firework display in the panoramic windows of our room! Amazing! Conrad said he arranged it just for me!! Or……it could have been because of the Jazz & Ribs fest going on in Detroit…but I choose to believe that Conrad made it happen just for me!

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My Beautiful Baby, continued

Here are pictures from the Milan Melon Festival and the Baby Contest last weekend.

Getting Ready for her big debut

Oma Taking Isabelle up on stage

All of the babies in Isabelle's age group

Oh well, we lost, but we celebrated anyway with some cantaloupe ice cream...yummmm!!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My Beautiful Baby...

We had such a good Labor Day weekend. Isabelle and I took all of Friday off and Conrad took half a day off. We left in the afternoon to drive to my parent’s house. We spent time visiting with family and relaxing as my mom kept Isabelle and let us sleep the night through!

On Saturday we went to the Milan Melon Festival, in my home town of Milan, Ohio. Consequently, the birthplace of one Thomas A. Edison…for your next trivial pursuit game! We entered Isabelle into the Beautiful Baby Contest…and LOST! We were amazed as we fully expected her to win her age group! We are sure that the contest was fixed. My mom took Isabelle up on stage and after all the contestants were up there (she was number 18 out of 18 babies) everyone started to walk off and Isabelle stopped in the middle of the stage and started shaking her head no and refusing to leave the stage!! (She must get that from her dad’s side of the family!)

They ask you to list three things that your baby enjoyed doing. In the little girl baby category, the announcer kept saying, “Casey enjoys blah blah blah, blah blah blah, and playing with boys.” He mentioned this for three or four babies. I then kept thinking, “How tackey! Are these parents seriously listing that their 6 month old little girls like playing with boys??” I then started thinking that that is just the way our society is going….slipperly slope…..

Then he said it again and I turned to Conrad and asked, “Is he saying ‘playing with boys?’” He said, “No, playing with TOYS!” Oh my. Have I told you that hearing loss seems to run in my family?

(pictures to come later, left my camera cord at home!)