Sunday, April 20, 2008

Busy Bees

Wow -- life seems to have gotten very busy for us lately! A lot has happened in the last three weeks. Here is a brief recap of the major events:

I celebrated another birthday, my 31st to be exact. It was a special day. Rusty and Alex took me to lunch at Macaroni Grill. That evening, Alex went to Mackenzie's house for a few hours while we grabbed dinner at a gyro place we've been wanting to try and then went to a movie. We ended up going to the cheap theater and watching "National Treasure 2" because there just weren't any new releases worth watching. Anyway, it was fun, and the best part of the whole day was that I got a break from cooking (Rusty made breakfast, too)!

This year (the first that I can recall since we've been together), Rusty decided to try his hand at making a cake for me. When I got home from work, he was just taking it out of the oven, and it was a beautiful golden color and smelled so yummy. I wish I had taken a picture of it, because ten minutes later, this is what it looked like:

Always, always grease and flour your cake pans, folks! That's my kitchen tip of the day. No, no, no need to thank me.

A can of frosting, some Starbucks mocha syrup, and a can of mandarin oranges later, this is the masterpiece that emerged:

That's a "31" with my name below it, just in case you were wondering. You can't fault his creativity, bless his heart. (How Southern am I?)

And here I am blowing out my candles:
And, just in case you were wondering, the cake was actually quite good. We had Danny, Katie, and Gina (Katie's mom) over to help us eat cake and icecream. Rusty cut very small pieces of cake because he didn't want anyone to feel like they had to force themselves to eat it, and everyone went back for seconds! The cake did have a crumbly, cornbread-ish texture, however. Turns out, he made the cake with Bisquick. Bisquick, people. Bless his heart.

Okay, moving on.

Rusty had gall-bladder surgery on April 4th. The procedure went well, and he spent several days at home recuperating. It will be interesting to see if having no gall bladder helps with the acid reflux he has been dealing with for the past several years.

On Thursday, April 10, we went to the circus with the Gearsons. I have never been to a circus before (unless you count some of the elementary schools I visited during my AET years). Alex really enjoyed the show -- especially all the animals. He even got to ride a pony during intermission! It was a very late night, though (the show didn't even start until 7:30), so he was pretty cranky by the time we left. Our son is not usually one to just fall asleep in our laps when he gets tired -- instead, he runs around like a maniac, getting progressively more hyper. It's like he knows if he slows down he'll just fall over.

Most of our circus pics didn't turn out (still trying to figure out all the tricks to our new digital camera), but here are a couple that did:

Let's see, what else? A bunch of little things... We've had several out-of-town friends stop in and stay with us over the last few weeks. I have been getting things in order so we could file our taxes -- for the last two years. When did I turn into such a procrastinator? We had an appointment with our CPA on Monday, April 14th. Definitely getting in just under the wire, wouldn't you say? But the good news is, we are expecting a fat (phat?) refund from the IRS. Woo-hoo for the Economic Stimulus Package! Rusty has been super busy (and super stressed) with paper-writing and studying for finals. The semi-annual Highland Children's Clothing Sale was last weekend, so I went and did some shopping at that. (And can I just insert here that I LOVE consignment shopping and saving money? Definitely gonna miss these clothing sales when we move to Africa!)

Speaking of Africa, we are a little over a month away from leaving on our survey trip. Our visas are in process at the Angolan embassy, and our funds are rolling in (track our fundraising progress with the ticker above). This week, we received a very generous contribution to our cause from a church here in Memphis, which brings us over halfway to our goal and gives us enough to purchase our plane tickets. God is good, and we have faith that he will provide the rest when we need it!

All three of us have been needing to get several vaccinations before going to Africa this summer. The weekend before last, I went to a nearby clinic for mine. Four vaccines cost me a whopping $375. Ouch (in more ways than one)!

Last week, Rusty went and got the same four vaccinations and it only cost him $305. This is because, being the scatterbrained person that I sometimes often am, I set my typhoid vaccine (a set of four pills that you take orally) on top of the car, along with all my shot records and a packet of information I had printed off the CDC website, while I strapped Alex into his carseat (I had taken him with me since it was the day after Rusty's surgery and I wanted Rusty to stay home and rest). Then, you guessed it, I got in my car and drove off, completely forgetting about the stuff on top. The good news is that, after I realized my mistake (and had a complete meltdown), Rusty and I went back to look for everything. (So much for staying home and resting!) We ended up finding all of it except the typhoid vaccine (even found the instructions on how to take the pills, but not the box with the pills in it)! I am thankful to have recovered all my shot records, because those were truly irreplaceable. But it was a bit painful to go in and spend another $70 on a second typhoid vaccine.

As for Alex, he will only need two vaccinations (thank you, Starbucks insurance and well-baby check-ups for taking care of everything else!) -- but the clinic Rusty and I went to doesn't take kids under the age of five, so I will have to take him downtown to the county health department. Ugh, not looking forward to that.

And, no, I am not pregnant, so I can't even blame my scattered brains on a new life growing within!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Confessions of a Graduate Student

Well, I figured it was getting to be about time for me (Rusty) to make another post on the family blog. Which I haven't done in a year and a half. Basically, what this means is that I'm looking for an excuse to do anything except work on my term papers. I even thought about dusting on top of the broom closet the other day, but that got me thinking about sweeping the floor, which made think about mopping the floor, which got me thinking about vacuuming the carpet, which made me realize that the vacuum is kept in the closet of Alex's room, which got me thinking about playing with Alex, untill I remembered that he was napping, which of course I wouldn't want to disturb him and wake him, because he would want to play outside or watch Begietawes (VeggieTales), which means that I wouldn't be able to work on my papers. I can't wait to be done with school. At least then I won't feel guilty about playing with hot wheels and watching cartoons.

I think I should start a blog dedicated to stay-at-home dads, that work way too many hours at night, never see their wives, living a funless life while trying to complete graduate school. AAAGGGHHH!!! Okay, I'm ready to continue my work on the Psuedepigrapha of Jude. (For those of you who don't know what this is, don't worry about. It has no relevence to your life. Well, actually it does, but you'll have to wait untill the next time I post to find out how or why. Which basically won't be for at least another year and a half, or until I decide to go back to graduate school, or until Judgement Day, whichever comes first.)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

For Auntie Ronda

"When I left you, I was but a learner. Now I am the master."

Points for correctly identifying which movie this quote was taken from!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The "C" Word

Cancer -- this little word strikes fear in my heart like no other. It seems like every week, I hear of someone else who has this terrible disease.

Cancer claimed my aunt's life this past Monday. She battled it for over ten years. She was a new grandma. It just seems so unfair.

A 29-year old acquaintance was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She is the same age as my sister. And she had just met Mr. Right. It just seems so unfair.

My mother-in-law died of a cancerous brain tumor. She was 64 years old and she had a lot of living she still wanted to do. I often wonder what our lives would look like right now, had she not gotten sick. It just seems so unfair.

I have been following this little boy's story and praying for him for some time now. He's had leukemia since he was about 2 months old. Now, he's over a year old and things aren't looking so good at the moment. It just seems so unfair.

I hate cancer! I have been wondering this week if the way God feels about sin is somehow analogous to the way I feel about cancer. Cancer eats away at the body just as sin eats away at the soul. I'm sure God hates watching us destroy our lives and scar our souls with sin even more than we hate standing by helplessly and watching cancer ravage the bodies of our loved ones.

I have definitely gained a new perspective on the sin in my own life as I have pondered this.