Monthly Archives: October 2009



Below is my Twitter Tutorial.  But first, a brief history…

It took me a while to jump on the facebook  bandwagon.  Some people at work had it and kept sending me emails to “be their friend.”  I was under the impression we were already friends, what with all the lunches and cohortedness and hand-holding prayers on a weekly basis.  But no, they said.  Facebook is different, they said.  You’ll love it, they said.

And eventually they were right.  A little TOO right.

I wasn’t sold out to facebook until I moved 700 miles away from those praying friends I love.  Then I became their facebook friend to keep in touch, you know…with the prayers and all.  I admit I went a little bit facebookbizonkers.  I took daily quizzes, answered hourly surveys, shopped far too often for furniture on Yoville and losing many a minute doing it.  But I was homesick and hooked.

Enter twitter.

Twitter is like facebook on espresso.  The idea is not so much the collecting of friends and wasting of time on games and cybercities, farms & mafias but the treasure hunt for people who you know or who make you laugh, think or sometimes have a point.  Which is way more streamlined than facebook.  Here’s what I’ve gleaned from my experience so far:

1.  Tweet = Status Update  My favorite part of Facebook…making mine, reading others.   If you are a people person, it’s all gravy.

Lame Example:  Guy From Commercial:  I’m sitting on the patio.

Good Example:    MarioLopez  Video of me (shirtless, lol) getting dunked! Thanks, @extratv

Oh no, Mr. Lopez.  Thank YOU.

2.  Follow = While facebook makes both parties connect and agree to be “friends,”  Twitter gives you the option to “follow” someone’s tweets whether they follow you or not.  Example: a co-worker you really admire who has good ideas, the author of a favorite book, or excerpts from Jimmy Fallon’s monologue.

3.  RT= retweet  That’s when someone currently says something GREAT and you wish you had thought of it.  It’s not as good to RT as it is to tweet your own original thoughts, but every now & then is kinda fun.  Example:

MaxLucado Satan loves to leave us in a ill-defined fog of unrest.Our response to his cloud is simply “Details,please.”

*Note the lack of proper spacing after punctuation.  That’s due to the 140 character limit.  Othrs hv bn knwn 2 shrtn wrds 2 save valubl spc orjustrunallwordstogetherwithnospaces.  Both are acceptable.  Sorry English Teachers everywhere. **

For a RT, I would copy this into my “What are you doing” box, type RT in front of it (giving credit where credit is due) and the world is saved from my “sitting on the patio” update or lame attempt at #oneletteroffmovies ideas (see below).  For now.

4.   @ =  “to”   This is the way you easily connect a tweet to someone specific, also on twitter,  for all the world to see.  Kinda like The Wall on facebook, which I learned through trial & error IS NOT PRIVATE.  Example:

@MaxLucado  I really needed to hear that today what with all my Lopez-related fog.  Thanks & God bless.

5.  DM = Direct Message similar to Facebook’s “send ____ a message”.  THIS is the way to send that surprise party info or comment on an inside joke.  Not always clandestine, just not for everyone to see.

6.  # = hashtag   When you put # before some words or a code, it allows you to look up other tweets on the same subject such as #twilight or #RIPKanyeWest.  So you can see the intrigue, humor, fun and timeliness.  At the Willow Creek Leadership Summit the publicized hashtag was #TLS09 which led to oh so many wise and amazing tweets,  responses & questions about the speakers & content from all over the planet in real time, (many from phones during the sessions, I’m sure).  Very fun and exciting to SEE leadership for the cause of Christ taking root and making a difference all over the place.  See?  It’s not all mindless.  Only some of it is.  Which brings me to…

7.  TT = trending topics  I was so excited and amazed when #TLS09 became a TT!  (Are you following the lingo?) When you go to before even signing in you can see a bunch of topics being discussed at any given moment.  Why, just yesterday I discovered #oneletteroffmovies (many of which are dirty, scads of which are misunderstood…it’s one LETTER off, not one WORD, moron), but several dozen are clever and hilarious such as:  Mortal Wombat.  I mean, come on.  That’s one to chuckle on for DAYS.

That’s about the extent of my twitter knowledge.  It’s fun to know on a daily basis, (but not in rich detail) what my cousin who runs a news room in NC is stressing over, or the funny things my friend with twins reports, as well as the daily verse/thought from my MI pastor.  I have stopped following some people and don’t really prowl around for others, but I love getting the notice that I just got another follower me so stop on by!

Tweet dreams are made of these!

Tooth Fairy, Shmooth Flairy


We are totally and completely with surprising velocity exiting the rhelm of fantasy and mystery in my household and we’re thick into reality, drama and negative cash flow all the way down to our youngest family member.  I walked in my youngest’s room today to find this.  A duo of pulled molars.  Along with a ransom note.  This one isn’t even addressed to the Tooth Fairy but right to us.

tooth ransom note

It reads, “$30 please Mom or Dad sign here first and last name please.”

At least he’s using his manners.

So I’m at a loss as to what to address first.  We have the mathematical challenge, as the last note he addressed to the tooth fairy asked for $10 (since it was a molar).  If one tooth equals $10 then how does 2 equal $30?  He’s either really bad at math…or really good at sales.

Then we have the whole recession challenge.  As in, we couldn’t even afford to PAY you $30 if you actually DID EXTRA chores around here over and above the ones you are supposed to do but don’t.  I’m just afraid that might crush his little spirit.

THEN we have the need/want debate which, in my head goes something like, “IF YOU HAD $30 would you be responsible and put 10% in the bank, give 10% to the Lord and save the rest for Christmas gifts for your siblings, because it doesn’t really matter if they like it or not, it’s all about the giving?  No.  You’d whine & complain and beg me to take you to Target for $30 worth of  candy and tech decks.”  ((Insert sound of our hopes and dreams when he was born for his future personality bursting into flames)).

And, furthermore, what sort of role model would I be for his future wife if I behaved as if everything that falls out of or off of his body is something worthy of keeping, much less, PAYING FOR?  Dude.  You are my son and you’re cute but you are NOT.  ALL.  THAT.  You are welcome, Future Daughter In Law.

A good Friend/Sister (Frister) and ever- neighbor-across-the-miles gave me the brilliant solution that when her children make noises about knowing What’s What she and her husband simply remind them “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive.”

Now THIS is just the sort of cop-out response I was looking for.  That’s the way to replay to a ransom note written by a 10 year old.

Sorry ’bout yer luck, Jr.  Good look with the whole tooth business venture, though.

Maybe you can sell ’em to the bead store.

Piecing together the Promises


Have you ever wished for a neon sign?  Or wanted God to just SPELL it OUT?

Yeah.  Me too.

promise 3

So then He did.

Today I’ve been in the 3rd floor copy room working on this weekend’s K-1 lesson on how God Hears Me.  One of the tasks I am currently tackling is making 4 “promise” banners to replace the mysteriously missing “Promise Pictures” that came in the curriculum kit.  Nothing fancy, just print ’em up, trim ’em down, tape ’em together and Vi-Ola.  Promises of God.  You know, for the kids.


Only wait just a minute.  Oh yeah.  They’re for me too.

(And you).

So I’m trimming and taping, trimming & taping when it hits me.  The promises are there.  Always.  It’s me who has to piece them together and make it work.

So as I trim  & stew about overdue bills and untidy rooms and endless responsibilities, I am taping the banners and pairing each concern with a promise.  Just like David did in the Psalms and just as my Large Group Guidebook instructs me to do in the lesson:

Write four poems by taking a feeling (angry, scared, sad, happy) and allow the kids to match it with one of God’s promises….lead the kids in praying the poem to God.

So I get to the last of 28 sheets of paper and the word on the last sheet is “me.”  I’m attempting to finish trimming “me” and end up butchering “me” with an uncooperative blade.  So then I have to get the Work Room scissors to more delicately prune “me” without inflicting total destruction and I realize something.

butchered me

Trimming and pruning and refining are not fun and sometimes don’t entirely produce the end result the first time around.  A change of scenery and/or another tool/situation may be called for.


But if “me” submits to necessary and productive refinement, “me” may become a small part of God’s promise for someone else  in the grand scheme.


It would have looked so dumb with just a butchered up “me” up there.

Thanks God.  For your promises and for your Self.  YOU are the best thing about me.

I promise.


Sandy Cheeks


A few weeks ago was the weekend “The Locals Take Back The Oceanfront” otherwise known as Neptune Festival.   I almost didn’t make it this year to see the sand sculptures until I volunteered to babysit Sunday night for the 4 month old of our Youth Leaders.  I was pretty sure she wouldn’t ask for a $8.00 drink and then immediately spill it.   I was right. 

sept pix 015

The stroller was not outfitted with sand tires (although I bet they do have those now) so all the photos I took were from the boardwalk.  Incredible abilities and ideas these sand-art people. 



sept pix 010See how she made a hole for the actual “moon.”  I mean.  Come.  On.   sept pix 008

I think this one was my favorite.  It was called “Dancing With The Stars.”

sept pix 021

I mean look at those faces.  Beautiful emotion!

sept pix 026

sept pix 023











This one made me think of my Hubby:

sept pix 013


I thought my guitar-playing daughter would have liked seeing this one:

sept pix 012

This one made me a little bit sad.  I wondered if everyone got the “statement” it was making.

sept pix 017

I was confused by the robot/sand castle on the right but this detail was somewhat humorous:

sept pix 018

Thanks for going with me, Harper.  I would’ve totally gotten you an $8.00 drink.  Maybe next year.

sept pix 020

No Phone Booth Necessary


I’ve been thinking about my transformation lo these many years ago (15) from womanhood to motherhood and comparing myself and the other moms I know to Superheroes.  Bruce Wayne and his ward slid down a pole, landing at the bottom fully prepared to answer the Batphone and get that tiny slip of paper clue from the giant blinking batcomputer.  Superman and Maxell Smart needed their handy phone booths and Spiderman, I guess he just needed the lycra.

But it takes practically a year…and then a lifetime…and some good (and bad) examples to become any version of a mother.   Mentally, emotionally, physically–the transformation takes a toll and then takes its sweet time.

I watched a few babies this past week and it struck me how far we are chronologically from those endless days and sleepless nights and yet how emotionally it feels so “near.”  It struck me that one of the first babysitters we used who remains in my memory as a freshman in high school, is now in his 30s.  Mind=blown. 

 pumpkin wes

I’m so often tempted to say…and sometimes I don’t resist the urge….”when ________was a baby…blah blah blah”  we didn’t have matching burp cloths/car seats with bring-along seatbelts/strollers with anti-lock brakes AND WE LIKED IT!  I just can’t seem to fathom that I’m not there any more.







preschool wes

But I did and I DO like it.

I thought I knew my kid’s personality when he was an infant, but now our  knowledge and experience is so much richer.  And because of that whole infant stage he doesn’t have any memory of, we know more than he does…and we have the photos as proof.  He has hung on to some attributes from day 1 and others have come & gone with so many developmental stages.  For example, those naps I so longed for him to take and he so stringently objected to?  They are a desirable commodity now that conditioning for wrestling is overlapping with intense travel soccer training.  Those road trips that were filled with chatty ABC games and count the cows are now blissfully quiet as he’s tethered to his PSP or humming to Kings of Leon and texting his peeps.  All that time he spent making each of his baby sisters and brother laugh in their little bouncy seat is coming back now that they are competing to make him laugh on a daily basis.  He is the king of the sibs.

But I am the superhero-in-training.  Because his arrival turned me into a Mommy. 

freshman wes

“To the laundry room AND BEYOND!”

5 Words


Thank you, CapriK for this stream of consciousness idea!  She gave me 5 random words to share thoughts on… 

splinter — Of course I’m thinking of the ouchie tiny piece of wood that gets in your hand or finger.  I was probably about 13 the first time I got brave enough to operate on my very own hand using a straight pin sterilized by a lit match.  I know the rush that Meredith, Izzy, and Christina experience as I poke into the dead skin on top and excavate the wee intruder.  No fun, but how brave am I?

exist — We are past the Tooth Fairy, Santa, Easter Bunny-believing ages here at my house, which is kinda sad, but we are thankfully all now old enough that we realize daily that God exists…and not just “around” but HERE.  WITH us.  He interacts with us with “kisses on the cheek” and the occasional “taps on the shoulder” and once in a while a “kick in the trousers.” 

dimension — Twilight Zone Doo DOO Doo doo…Doo DOO Doo doo  Also I had to take some measurements for a Jeep that hubby is making for our Preschool stage.  As in “get the dimensions”…of the stage it’s going on, the chairs that will go inside and something Hubby called the “footprint.”  I came home with lots of girl-type measurements.  For example:

Floor to butt=17″   Peg on back under side= 6″      height = 80″

Perceptive readers and/or those not dimensionally challenged will notice, as hubby immediately did, that 80″ HIGH might be a wee bit big for a cardboard Jeep prop.  “What number is on the other side of the 80 on a measuring tape?”  Oh….yeah…that makes more sense.

lift— Oh so many thoughts.  Initially, the Cross Your Heart Bra commercials from the 70s.  


For the life of me, I could NOT figure (ha ha–get it?  figure??  For “full figured gals”) out why in the world ladies wanted to make Them pointy.   But this particular product was touted to LIFT and SEPARATE.  I guess the pointiness was just a bonus. 

surprise — Had a lovely surprise party for my mom back in 2002 when she turned 60 and was briefly in remission.  People brought 60 items (Qtips, pennies, one guy actually brought 60 disassembled stereo speakers) and some long-distance family members flew in secretly to help celebrate.   We took her to tea while the friends assembled.


Lots of great memories from that weekend–she was glowing–and though she got a hint of the surprise as we came around the bend and saw friends’ cars all lined up, it was just enough of a surprise to be enjoyable.  








In other surprise news, 10 year old asked for a surprise party in July this year.  Requesting such somewhat hinders successful implementation but the GA cousins happened to be in town the week before his birthday so we did our very best with BK burger shots and Dollar Tree cans of silly string. 

bo silly string surprise

 I am literally still scraping that stuff off our deck chairs.

Skinny Dipping


Yes it’s true.   This summer I began an almost daily habit of Skinny Dipping. 


Oddly enough, it’s one thing that has made me feel like Virginia Beach is now home. 

Kinda like a Tim Horton’s mocha, plain bagel, toasted with strawberry cream cheese in Ypsilanti.








Or a chocolate covered frozen banana (with nuts) at Dairy King in Plymouth.frozen banana

Or hot Krispy Kremes from the Telegraph Road store in Dearborn.  krispy creme









Only Skinny Dip is way healthier.  Low/no fat frozen yogurt made fresh with new flavors daily….

SD flavors











sd toppings 2

and you can sample them all!  sd sample







Once you decide on your favorite flavor, then proceed to all manner of lucious fruit toppings.

toppings healthy

There are also other toppings as well…toppings candy store

Unbelievably yummy.  Irresistably awesome.  Two convenient locations.

One is blissfully on the way home from church 🙂  The other joyously close to soccer practice.  And also Kohl’s.

I usually go for Key Lime Tart when available and top it with a healthy spoonful or three of strawberries.    A fellow patron wisely alerted me to the container of  Pie Crust Crumbs which adds that special something.

toppings pie crust

If you become a fan on facebook, or follow The Skinny Dip on twitter-logo you can find out what the daily flavors are.  And then you’ll decide to come here to visit me.  Quite possibly several times a week.   We’ll get some to eat right on the sidewalk and maybe a container to take with us to the beach. 

But just to be clear, I’m keeping my suit on.