Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Millsaps Graduation and Mother's Day

Last Saturday, Kurt and I attended the graduation ceremonies at Millsaps College in Jackson. Kurt used to work with a ministry there called Millsaps Christian Fellowship before we moved to Tupelo. Some of our beloved students were graduating, and we simply did not want to miss it. Our ministry functioned as an RUF and housed a diverse group of believers -- some Catholics, some Methodists, some Episcopals -- who, we hope, all espoused the same belief that Jesus Christ alone (and nothing else: not Jesus + baptism or Jesus + good works or Jesus + fill-in-the-blank) is the only way to Salvation (See Ephesians 2:8-10). Millsaps is a school that is starved for truth and functions on the next whim or popular ideology in the name of Tolerance, so the students need an anchor of true Theology, which we suggested to them is found only in God's holy and inerrant scriptures. We had a wonderful time seeing our friends.

Kurt, Asela, Brian, and me

Kurt, Rob, and me

Me, Julia (My favorite), and Kurt

The next day we drove to West Point after church to spend Mother's Day at my grandparents' house. Kurt's parents joined us as well. My grandmother has been the best mother to me that I could ask for. If I had prayed for a mother, I'd have only listed half of Grandmom's qualities and thought they'd be the best I could get. But God gave me more than I could ever ask or imagine in Martha Braddock. When God calls me to be a mother, I hope to live in her likeness to my children. Hopefully I will since I am named after her and we are so much alike. I love you, Grandmom!

Me, Grandmom, and Leslie

Kurt's mom has also been a wonderful mother to me. As some of you know, my birth mother left my family when I was 9 years old. She hasn't done much else since then. Growing up, I prayed continually that God would give me another mother in my mother-in-law. Not only has He done that, but also He has given me a dear friend. Barbara Cooper is different from my grandmother, but it's a good different. She is wild and crazy and never meets a dull moment or a stranger. I love her generous and compassionate heart, and I hope Kurt and I can model those same qualities to our children some day. We will have wonderful stories (more like legends) to tell our children about their sassy grandmother, but I hope she will be around for years to tell them herself! We love you, too, Nicole Kidman look-alike.

Grandmom, Me, Kurt, Nicole Kidman

When this picture was taken, Barb said, "You better make me look like Nicole Kidman in this picture!" Done.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A marathon weekend

Two or three weekends ago I accompanied some runners (new friends from church) to Nashville for the Country Music Marathon. Three of my friends were running the ½ (Esther, Sarah, and Emory), and I and 2 others (Ginger and Amy) tagged along for fun and support. Upon arrival in Nashville (which took about a 4 SCORE and 7 years because one friend insisted on taking the Natchez Trace, not knowing about the 35 detours along the way), we took the runners downtown to register.

Emory and Sarah

After said registration, we went to Mafioza’s to eat. In case you aren’t familiar with Nashville, it is a large city that houses lots of people, to state the obvious. I have eaten at Mafioza’s before, but I didn’t wait an hour to be seated and another hour to receive my food at the previous visit. It was still good, though. I'm so thankful for friends in a new place!

Us waiting to be seated

Saturday morning, Amy and Ginger slept in and I met my friend Carrie Anne and her husband for a delightful breakfast. Upon returning to the room, Ginger and Amy were just rousing. The runners started their morning at 5:00 and said they’d be back by 10:30. We watched for them on the news, but didn’t see them. (No, we didn’t go watch them run.) And, 10:30 rolled around and the runners weren’t back yet, so the fans checked out and headed to the mall. Much to our surprise and delight, it was TAX-FREE weekend in TN!

As you may know, I am a bargain shopper. TO THE EXTREME. In fact, I challenge anyone to a bargain-shopping duel. No one finds better deals than I do. It’s a scientific fact. Anyway, tax-free weekend works like this: there is no tax on clothing items and other stuff that I forgot about because I stopped listening after that. Shopping for clothes is my favorite form of shopping (even more than home d├ęcor or furniture, etc.), but I never by anything at full price. I got a seersucker Gap skirt for $5.99, and it was actually $5.99 because it was TAX-FREE weekend! (Each time I type that phrase, the hallelujah chorus plays in my ears). I also got some seersucker Gap shorts for $6.99 and some black pointy-toe shoes for $9.99 – all tax free!! For some strange reason, Target wasn’t having that tax-free thing, but I still got some deals on some jeans ($12) and some green chinos ($16) there. It was a fun trip.

Ginger and I even tried on some crazy shoes for fun! The heels were so tall that I had to bend way down to put them on, but I had to do it in installments because all the blood was rushing to my head. She had the better idea of sitting down and putting them on, but it took her a while to get off the ground for the pic.

It was a fun getaway. Now, you runners need to find a marathon at the beach. I’d be really supportive then!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The thorn in my thistle

Below is a contribution I wrote for my aunt's website: Check it out. She updates it a few times a day, and it is fabulously entertaining and enjoyable. Read my post below.

I am a yard work virgin. Well, not exactly a virgin…I’ve mowed the lawn before…3 times. Ok, 2 and-a-half.

My husband and I moved to his hometown of Tupelo almost a year ago and bought our first house. We are still learning the ins and outs of keeping up the homestead, including the yard. Our yard is not huge by any means, but it’s sizeable…especially for two people who don’t do yard work. My husband hates it. He has a dad that he could never please when it came to mowing the lawn, so he doesn’t have much experience. And I just never mowed lawns growing up. Too dainty, I guess.

Anyway, upon arrival in Tupelo, we took inventory of our equipment or lack thereof: no mower. A friend of Kurt’s dad graciously gave us one. FREE! (The best kind.) However, we got what we paid for. It was also old. It is not self-propelled, and you can’t adjust the height any. Well, as newcomers to yard maintenance, we aren’t concerned with having a stellar yard just yet, so we were more than thankful to settle for this old, free lawn mower. It worked well the first handful of times we used it, but it started to show its age quickly after that. It mows fine on a flat surface, a.k.a, the front yard. However, our back yard has a pretty severe slope, and the engine immediately dies on the hill.

But I think what finally killed the mower for good are the thistles in our yard. Like I said, we aren’t “yard people,” so we didn’t really notice the weeds taking over our lawn. One day I decided it looked pretty bad and needed mowing, so off I went. I wanted to surprise Kurt when he got home from work because I know he hates mowing.

There I am mowing along, pushing the mower over the weeds (some fairly tall) and something wet hits my face. I think to myself, “Did someone just spit on me?” I look around; no one is there. Then I think the worst and look above me for a bird flying overhead. Nope. Empty sky. Then I notice that my leg is wet, too.

Then I realized: the thistle I just ran over exploded on me! I was immediately afraid that I’d have some kind of fungus or plant disease spreading through my system, but I kept mowing. My husband came home and relieved me of the mowing and finished the yard. The same thing happened to him: thistle juice to the face! So, we decided to call a local lawn care company and get a few weed treatments lined up before our yard became one big, angry thistle that spits on all passersby.

Soon our yard will be thistle free and much easier to mow. Now, if we can only get someone else to give us a mower upgrade for free. Any takers?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I still don't trust her, but Gomer's injury was not as bad as it could have been...I guess. (See below post.) Dr. Mechanic said her brake belt came off...or something...and he put it back on...or something. I stopped listening when he said it would only cost $40.00 to repair, and I started dancing in the street! Just kidding. Only in my mind. Let's see how long she can go without any more ailments. Maybe I need to put a "Faithful Gomer" ticker on my blog like others do for their children's ages. It's a thought, but I'd probably have to reset it monthly. Why bother?

She's at it again

Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. Gomer update:

Gomer's brake "warning light" came on last week. I thought she was kidding around because she has done this before. I was confused in thinking that she thought her emergency brake was on when it wasn't. However, she, as usual, is not joking. This morning I took her to the emergency room to Dr. Mechanic. Since last week, each time I try to slow down or stop Gomer, I have to push the pedal all the way to the floor. This cannot be good. Dr. Mechanic said he will X-ray her and let me know what treatment is necessary. More to come...