Wednesday, March 31, 2010

American Idol Top 10!!

Well, it's that time of year again!!
I'm excited to start blogging about
this season's top 10!
Tonight's theme: R&B
Mentor: Usher
( I can't hear that Usher song that they opened with
without thinking of Hitch and
wanting to do that crazy dance
no matter what Will Smith tells me I should be doing!)

First up: Siobhan
song: Through The Fire
I'm glad Usher gave her wardrobe advice.
Judging from what she practiced in
I bet he was afraid that she would
go full on Molly Ringwald from
Pretty in Pink
when she performed tonight.
His advice toned her down a bit,
but unfortunately could not help
her vocals tonight.
She's soooo not R&B
even with Missy Elliot boots on!
Randy is right....
this song was well within her range
and she should have slayed it,
but her efforts tonight were
awkward and screechy.
But we did get that token
(albeit annoying)
high note at the end.
Next up: Casey
Song: Hold On, I'm Comin'
Casey goes back to his blues roots tonight
and Killed it!!!!
I loved his vocals and
his shiny red guitar.
I do think he's still a little stiff
on stage,
but I'm guessing that he'll
loosen up more as the season
goes on.
Next up: Mike (AKA: Big Mike)
Song: Ready For Love
I thought Mike sang this song
really well tonight,
but it was a little sleepy for me
at the beginning.
He definitely got better toward the
second half of the song though.
Everytime they show his wife
on camera, all I can think about is,
"Where is that baby girl, and how do you
look so put together?"
If I had to be on camera
that soon after giving birth,
and especially with my first baby,
while my husband was away
for long days of rehersals,
ya'll would be lucky
not to see me in my nursing gown
with last nights make-up still
caked under my tired eyes!!
No smiling, no clapping,
just sleep deprived rants about
swollen breasts and 2 am feedings,
I don't care what song you are singing to me!
Bonus points for pulling it together
for national television, Mike's wife!
Next up: DiDi
Song: What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted
She is my dsughter Madison's favorite girl
this season.
I'm really not happy with this performance
which is a shame because
I really do like her voice.
She's lost herself I think and
I hope she finds that vibe she had
at the beginning
because I would hate to see
her go so soon.
I have to admit
that I was holding my breath
during her whole performance
because I was afraid she was
going to burst into tears.
Randy is right again...
this was momentless.
And boo for Ryan trying
to draw out raw emotion from her tonight.
Doesn't he know that it is very rare
for girls to "cry pretty"
and the last thing you want on national television
is you standing there with a contorted face
and a mixture of snot and tears
running down your face!
He just would not let that go
would he?!
Next up: Tim (AKA Teflon Tim)
Song: Sweet Love
Oh Tim, Tim, Tim!!!!
I'm really starting to feel sorry for him.
Even after a lesson on smoldering and swooning
from Usher,
the boy still manages to suck the swagger
right out of a great song.
But, he is adorable....
to me he looks like a mixture of
my two boys,
but like I tell them...
that pretty smile, great hair,
and sparkling baby blues
can only get you so far.
At some point you have to back that up
with talent.
As a side note,
I think there should be a drinking game
for every time Simon says
"Current or Contemporary",
but then everyone would be too drunk to vote
at the end of the show
so maybe that isn't a good idea.
Next up: Andrew
Song: Forever
Andrew delivers a straight up solid performance!!
I love this guys tone!
I disagree that he is boring.
I really think he gives off a
very cool, mellow vibe
that works for him.
Next up: Katie
Song: Chain of Fools
I just have to say that I am so sick
of hearing this song on AI!
It seems like we were bombarded with this tune
during auditions every year.
Enough already!!
Ok, rant over....
I did actually like this tonight.
I didn't love it,
but I don't think it was as bad as last week.
I do think she is in the top 2 or 3
when it comes to confidence on stage.
I do think that her dad is safe to
forego the barstool
and watch elimination night tomorrow.
It shouldn't be her leaving.
Christina???!! Really, Randy?
I have to disagree,
and we were so in synch tonight Dawg!
Next up: Lee
Song: Treat her Like A Lady
Lee is my favorite guy this season.
Love his voice,
love his backstory,
love his attitude,
love his hair,
love him!!!
I am going to go ahead and predict
that he is the last boy standing this season.
Hsi performance tonight was absolutely incredible!
I'm so glad that he is beginning to realize
how good he really is!
Next up: Crystal
Song: Midnight Train To Georgia
Crystal is my favorite girl this season.
She has so much incredible raw talent.
While not my favorite from her
I think she did really well
showing another side of herself tonight.
Her vocals were strong enough on their own,
so I agree with Simon
about the back up singers.
And bonus points for not falling on those heels!!
Next up: Aaron
Song: Ain't No Sunshine
He's definitely got a great voice,
but I wanted to love this performance
way more than I did.
I don't think he hit the
"I know, I know, I know......."
part like Usher coached him to
and like we were all waiting for.
I think Aaron's still a little raw,
but he could surprise us
over the next few weeks.
Phrase of the night:
"Gilding the lilly"....
What it means: A lilly was an ornamental decoration
which did not need further improvement or embellishment.
Gilding the lilly means to add to an already perfect thing.
Winner tonight: Lee
Bottom three:
Going home:
Until next week....
peace out music fans!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Rock and Worship Road Show!

When I heard that this concert
was coming to our area
I knew we had to go.
That it fell so close to my birthday
was a bonus.

Because it was not a ticketed event,
we got their almost four hours early
to guarantee us a good seat.
It was rainy and cold,
but the concert was worth the wait!

We huddled up under umbrellas
and waited for the doors to open.

The bands in this tour were:
Sidewalk Prophets
Remedy Drive
Francesca Battiscelli
Family Force Five
The David Crowder Band
Mercy Me.

Each one was amazing
and sang lots of songs that
we loved.

Family Force Five was the most fun for us.
We discovered this band about four years ago
and have loved them ever since.
They are very high energy
and got us jumping around
and having a great time.

It was so fun to watch my kids
enjoy themselves so much!
Michael told me this morning
that he thought I had the best
birthday party ever!
He's right!
It was incredible!

God has been drawing me close
in very visible and tangible
ways these past few weeks.
One of the things I am realizing
is how very much he loves me.
I recently was messaging back and forth
with an old friend of mine.
I'm going to share here part of
what I wrote to her
because it decribes perfectly
what I am trying to say.
"I haven't seen Zach in 8 days,
but I cannot describe for you the
peace I feel that God is going to do a
great work in all of this.
That peace did not come during those
first few days.
I spent so much time crying and
literally groaning our prayers to God
because I could not find the words
or stop weeping long enough to say them.
I felt so helpless and afraid,
but through many people pointing out
scripture to me and telling me
their stories of how a teen
in their lives was restored,
I began to realize that maybe
all of this was happening
because God wanted to do a
work in ME.
Maybe it wasn't about Zach at all.
Maybe God was drawing me close
and letting me know how much he loved me
and how much he wanted me to
lean only on him
even in the darkest of circumstances.
Slowly I began to give up
my fear,
my worry,
my desire to control
and threw myself at his feet...
broken and bruised.
And you know what?
He picked me up and gave me joy again
in the faces of my other three kids
and in my husband.
He gave me nights of peaceful rest
and just calmed my spirit
beyond my comprehension.
I should not feel this way right?
I should be a wreck,
but God has given me peace and joy....
just like he promised!!"


How He Loves Us
by The David Crowder Band
has become my favorite
worship song.
The lyrics remind me
of how smitten God is with each of us.
This song is so brilliantly written
and speaks straight to my heart
like a personal love song
to me
from my creator.........

"He is jealous for me.
Loves like a hurricane,
I am a tree.
Bending beneath the weight of his wind
and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these
afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful you are
and how great your affections are for me.
And oh,
how he loves us so
how he loves us
how he loves us all.
We are his portion and
he is our prize
drawn to redemption
by the grace in his eyes.
If grace is an ocean
we're all sinking!
And heaven meets earth
like an unforseen kiss
and my heart turns violently
inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain
these regrets
when I think about
the way.....
He loves us!"


Click here to see
if the Rock and Worship Roadshow
is coming to your area.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The bubble gum wall

Seattle has alot of unique attractions,
but I don't think any of them are quite as unique
as this bubble gum wall at Pike Place Market.

We loaded up a bag of bubble gum and
went to visit this unusual place
and to leave our mark
this past weekend.

I couldn't help but notice the creativity that was displayed
by something as unappealing as a piece of chewed gum.
It was almost pretty in a way and definitely
an improvement on sticking your gum
underneath a restaurant table...
which seems to be the number two most popular place
to stick your gum in Seattle, according to Bren
who regularly checks and reports
whenever we are seated at a table.

While marveling at how so many pieces of gum had
come to congregate in one place,
it hit me.
This bubble gum wall is like life
or more specifically,
family life.
It is the equivalent of making lemonade out of lemons
and turning something mundane and undesirable
into a work of art that brings a smile
and draws people in.

The transparency of sticking all of your flaws out there
alongside the flaws of everyone else
is the true beauty.
It's accepting all the various colors
of used up, worn out, formally flavorful sticky wads
and creating a mosaic of imperfection
that ends up being strangely perfect.
A wall of flaws that is actually
very alluring
and quite a crowd pleaser!

Obviously I've stuck the chewed up pieces of my own
little family of six
squarely on the brick wall of life
and so many of you have reached out and
encouraged me by sticking your own
unsavory experience right beside mine
and together we made something
that opened my eyes to the beauty
in my undesirable and unwanted distress.

A couple dozen discarded pieces of gum would never
have been able to jump the gap
between the ordinary
and the extraordinary!
All of us have distasteful and even repulsive
things happen to us or by us,
but it's when we come together
in vulnerability and honesty
to comfort, enliven and inspire
that the real artistry
is emblazoned
on life's otherwise generic
red brick wall.

Friday, March 12, 2010

God speaks through my Toyota

All I can say is wow!
If I ever had a doubt that
God speaks very specifically
and directly to my situation,
I can lay them all to rest now.
I took Zach to work this morning
because he asked me to.
We drove in silence all the way there.
Once he exited the van,
I turned the radio to an AM talk station
that I haven't listened to in a while.
The first sentence I heard was
"Can you speak to the mom out there
who is dealing with the pain of watching
a child make bad choices."
Instant tears of pure gratitude
for the reassurance that God was
invested in the deepest parts of my life
began flowing down my face.
The program was tailored to my situation
so much so that one conversation
was about how to handle the guilt
that the enemy heaps on moms
whose children don't walk the
straight and narrow.
They addressed each area of my life.
Each one!!
Everything that I have been rehashing
over the last few days....
working full time during Zach's first year of life,
attempting homeschooling and failing,
moving away from family support,
and allowing anger and hurtful words
to rule seasons of my life.
The enemy has thrown each of these darts
at me over the past two days,
but God spoke truth to me today
through my Toyota Sienna stock radio!
The woman said that she had to learn
to take every thought captive.
To bring it down and wash it with the truth of God!
She said that she'd be doing the dishes and
a condeming thought would enter her mind
and she would have to stop right then
and quote truth.
She said that in the middle of her
hardest struggles with her children,
She wrote these words in the margin of her Bible
in the book of Psalms,
"Either I believe you are sovereign
or I'm going to go insane."
So if you were driving around town this morning
and you saw a woman weeping at the wheel
of a blue mini-van,
don't worry....
it was just her expression of complete and utter surrender
to her sovereign God
who was wrapping his arms around her
and holding her tightly!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My great sorrow..................

So Zach packed a backpack yesterday and left.
The rules in our home have become too
constricting for him
and so he is trying life on his own.
He slept down the street at his friend's house
last night,
so I could close my eyes and know that he
was at least safe and warm.
I do not know if he will continue to sleep there
or if he will have to find shelter somewhere else.
Leaving was his choice
and he said it was the only choice he felt
was right for him.
He is in an independent study program
and cannot miss his Thursday meetings
or he will be dropped from the program.
I told him that I would drive him to the meeting
if he needed me to.
He called me last night and asked for that ride.
I was relieved that at least he is not
giving up on getting his high school diploma.
After the meeting he asked me to drive him
to a grocery store so that he could get
some food.
As we walked through the aisles
and he threw a bunch of junk food into the cart,
my eye caught a Buzz Lightyear cereal bowl set
on one of the shelves
and I wondered what happened to the little
blonde headed boy who
would run around the house
yelling, "to infinity and beyond!".
My heart is absolutely breaking,
and I am trying not to be consumed by
my great sorrow,
but I know I have to be strong and unwaivering
because I love him.
I know that his father and I have loved him well.
We have given him so many opportunites and support to turn his
struggles into triumphs.
Minutes ago I watched him
walk up the hill out of our neighborhood
in the cold rain
with a backpack full of food
and an extra change of clothes,
I can hardly breathe and the tears that I held in
all morning as we were together
are now a hot flood that I can no longer will away.
I want to call out to him to come back
to the safety of my arms,
but I know that this is his battle to fight.
These are his hard knocks to take
and learn from.
I am driven to my knees
pleading with God to protect him,
to keep him safe
and to draw Zach's heart back to his.
Zach knows that he is welcome back in our home
when he is willing to take responsibility for his actions
and be willing to submit to the rules we have in our home.
Right now he is not ready.
Right now he would rather
walk his own path,
and we have to let him.
This is the deepest sorrow
and the most gripping fear I have ever felt,
but I have to lean on something greater than myself.
I have to hold on to what I know.
If I am to make it through this,
I have to trust in the God who loves Zach
even more than I do.
Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse
and I have had to hold strongly to it before,
but never as much as now.
I can only take my next breath
knowing that God has a plan
and that He will restore our family.
Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you a future and a hope."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cardboard Condo

So I wrote a letter to a stuffed animal last night.
And not just me,
Daisy got letters from Brendell, David and Michael too.

My mom bought Brendell this bumble bee pillow pet
for Valentine's Day,
and Brendell named her Daisy.
She's been Brendell's constant pal ever since.

Yesterday, Brendell collected every box she could find in the house
and asked Michael if he would help her
make a home for Daisy.

They went up to Brendell's room
to construct Daisy's home
and came down thirty minutes later with this
cardboard condo minus the mailbox.

Brendell was so excited and proud

of what she and Michael had built.

Later she found a kleenex box in the cabinet

and the wheels in her mind started turning again.

Before I knew it,

she had unrolled a brand new roll of paper towels

to find the perfect mail box post.

She and Michael added it to the house

and then the real fun began.

Bren handed us all paper and pens and asked us
to write Daisy letters.
Daisy now has more mail than we do!
It is amazing how much fun a kid can have
with cardboard, tape and a little imagination!

When I was about Bren's age,
I remember my parents making me
an entire cardboard kitchen.
I had a stove and a refrigerator with doors
that really opened.
We drew burners on the stove top
with red marker.
I still remember that the words
"Becki's Kitchen"
were scrawled across the front of the fridge
in my kindergarten handwriting.
Funny how I remember that taped together kitchen
more than I remember any store bought toy.
Maybe it was the uniqueness of it
and the fact that it was made exactly how I wanted it,
or it could have been that I understood
the love that went into making it.
Whatever it was,
my cardboard kitchen created a lasting memory for me.

Bren has a room full of store bought toys,
but none of them have lit up her eyes
quite as much as this box house
that she made with her brother.

I'm thinking that the creating of it,
little 3 foot 10 bundle of smiles
alongside her patient big brother
putting their creative energy together
is what Brendell will remember
someday when she's a mommy.

She found two more boxes in her closet this morning.
I'm expecting a second story before dinner!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's in the blood......

Here is something that I have been thinking about
for a little while now.
Bear with me while I set it up.
Iron is very important to the body.
Being a major component of hemoglobin,
it carries oxygen to all parts of the body.
Iron also assist in oxygen utilization
within cells in every part of the body.
Iron is a very good thing.
It is a much needed thing
and too little of it is harmful to the body.
But what happens if you have too much iron in your body?
My mom has a condition called
Her body absorbs too much of a good thing.
If left untreated this extra iron would cause
her heart, liver and pancreas to fail.
The cure for hemachromatosis is phlembotomy
which is a fancy word for taking blood from the body.
Depending on the serverity,
a person with hemochromatosis
will give a pint of blood once or twice a week
for up to a year to try to get the ferritin levels in the blood
to the low side of normal.
Once the levels are controlled
a person goes on maintenance therapy
and typically gives a pint of blood every
2 to 4 months for life.
I can always tell when my mom
needs her blood drawn.
She sounds exhausted and worn out
and will sometimes tell me of a persistent pain
that she is having in a joint somewhere.
Both of these are usually the result of too much
iron build up.
Once she gives blood,
she's back to herself again.
So lately I have been thinking about the things
that I have let build up in my life.
Things that are seemingly good,
but that have begun to weigh me down and
are keeping me from my full potential.
Things that could eventually cause the failure
some important functions
that are necessary for a helathy lifestyle.
The first thing that comes to mind
is time management.
Part of my temperment is to
strive for the most fun out of life that
I can possibly get.
I'm spontaneous and adventurous.
I love anything that is fun and
brings laughter,
That's all good.
Enjoying life is important,
but too much indulgence in fun can begin to
create an unhealthy imbalance
(and dirty floors because
let me tell ya, floor mopping and laundry folding
is NOT fun or funny!).
I have had to learn (and am still learning) to give my pint of fun
every week so that my family can enjoy
a peaceful orderly home.
Another area that I thought about
was my desire to please.
Volunteering in too many places,
taking on too many responsibilities,
trying to be everything for everyone
can really begin to cause failure
in essential areas of my life.
Volunteering is great.
Social involvment is awesome,
but not when there is an imbalance
to the degree that family life suffers.
I have had to learn to give my pint of
"need to please" every week
so that I can have time to be the kind of mom
and wife that I want to be.
I am not a fan of needles at all.
I don't know if I would be as strong as my mom is
if I had to do what she does.
I know she is not a fan of needles either,
but I think she actually looks forward to
her phlebotomy because the trade off
is that she gets her energy back.
Although my personal pints aren't drawn with
a needle,
I too feel the relief that comes with making
good choices in life.....
which strangely enough is something my mom
taught me not only with her disease,
but with her life.
You are amazing mom,
and no matter how much blood they take from you,
I will always think that you are an