Friday, October 30, 2009

Swiss Army

This morning- my adventurous Zoe decided to grab the (super sharp) Swiss Army Knife off my night stand.  To be exact- she grabbed it OUT of the bag that it was hidden in, which was on my night stand.  She opened it.  And she SLICED her middle and ring finger.

Blood.  Lot's of Blood.  And a whole LOT of blood curdling screams!

I wanted to be compassionate and loving, but I was more irritated than anything.  I was thinking "Ya- Mommy and Daddy have told you NOT to go into our room... and CERTAINLY not to take things out of our room."

I kept my mouth shut- I washed and bandaged her wounds.  And now- I'm working on trying to figure out how to go about re-child-proofing our bedroom.  I thought it was fairly safe.  I guess not.

I love my Zoe.  She is a precious gift.  A strong-willed-high-strung gift, but precious  none-the-less.

I want to be more compassionate than frustrated when she gets herself into situations when she knows 'better'.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Put Your Junk in My Trunk.....

In September, God ignited a passion in my heart for a little South American country called Nicaragua. Interestingly enough- He used Facebook as a tool to spark that passion- by allowing me to reconnect with a priceless couple that we've known for years. This couple did what the Rich Young Ruler could not do...... when God told them to sell everything they had, and follow Him (to Nicaragua), they obeyed.  

To set the stage, so to speak, I need to clarify that this family (they have a daughter, 12 years old) lived here, in the U.S. with a definite financial advantage. He was a contractor, she was a VP for an insurance company. We visited their (previous) house for a social event several years ago, and.... WOW!.... I mean- WOW! Her walk-in closet was bigger than our LIVING ROOM, the bathrooms and kitchen were granite and marble, hard wood (beautiful wood!) floors through out; they had intricate details all through out their home, details that indicated that money was certainly not an obstacle. I'm not sure of the property size- but we're talking ACREAGE. I bet I'd be safe calling it their "Dream Home''. And... not long after it was built- they were called!!!  

I say this to spell out how this family sacrificed the comfort and luxury of their life in order to travel to a destitute country- to live among the poor and the lost. They made a choice to give everything for the sake of The Cross. They are living their lives fully and completely in the midst of a beautiful plan that God had layed before them! Currently- they live in a very small house- on a small farm. She spends her days teaching at a local school and he has been working toward creating a source of income for the locals. 

Can you believe that this family survives on a super small income? SUPER small. They did not make petitions for 'help' like most overseas missionaries have to do. They work. They work HARD!  

So, through this family- God put a fire in me. A blazing passion for this country. In early 2010 (undecided date) a team that will include myself, my husband and another couple (as well as whomever else will decide to get on board) will travel over to Nicaragua. We will be over there for the basic 'walk through' to see WHAT the needs are in that area.  

At this time- my prayer and my goal is to be able to document the present needs that are waiting to be met in that area. I will be photographing, video taping, and journaling through out the week that we are there. We will walk through what's called "The Dump" and visit feeding centers. We will visit with the (oh so many) orphans, and the homeless.  

All of this, the traveling over, the documentation, the plan to get a clear understanding of what is needed, will be used for a much larger purpose. A plan that ONLY God could set up- because it's huge! A vision that really- actually- blows me away. This vision will be posted at a later date. It's Incredible.  

So... the purpose of THIS note- is to say "Put Your Junk in My Trunk". We are going to start the process of a 'benefit' yard sale- to make provisions for The Trip. The proceeds from said yard sale (date and location to be announced) will pay for air fare and lodging (or offset the cost) for the TWO couples that have already committed to this trip. 

I would love for it to enable us to add one more couple to the trip- so I'm believing for a 'whole lotta junk'!!! Better yet- I believe that there's a possibility to use this Social Networking tool to allow for even further provisions- maybe allowing us to purchase food and clothes for those that are starving and homeless. I've not doubt that all of us have 'stuff' laying around that we no longer need. I know I do! I've already boxed up several containers. It's a win, win, win!! I'm getting rid of the excess, decluttering my home, AND giving to a cause that is greater than I could possibly imagine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Hey friends...
I've NO CLUE who reads these blogs.  What I'd like to do is get the 'regular' readers (ahem.... JOSHUA!) to sign up/sign in and be a 'follower' just so I know who's 'reading me'.  I think I get a bit side tracked and assume it's just 'me', my husband, and a friend or 2... but?  I'm not sure.  So???   Sign in. Follow.  Blah blah... yadda yadda.  

Gar-See-Us (Gracias)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Write them on the.....

In the Bible- it says in Deuteronomy 11:

18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

So- I took this verse to heart last week.  I got white chalk and  I wrote some 'Word' on our walls.  Upstairs.  Downstairs.  Only a few places so far- soon enough though- I've no doubt our walls will be covered.  

Today, however- I decided that I need constant reminders- not just on the walls of my house.... but reminders that are with me all day long.

This morning I found a book, full of Word, and though this statement isn't a specific verse out of the Bible- it spoke to me. 

"Things Are Not What They Seem....."

So- I wrote, on my (left) forearm "Things Are Not What They Seem....", and I looked at that phrase each time I notated that there was 'something' weird about my arm.  I read that phrase at least 100x today.

And in so many ways, it spoke to me.  But in the biggest way- where my curly headed, blue eyed, "Life of God'', is concerned.  

Zoe:  She's laughing, fun-loving, and acts as if "nothing phases her''.  It's easy to allow her to carry on through out her day, bouncing back up to her lively self after being disciplined, or after one of us (her parents) snap at her with impatience and frustration.

"AMBER!  Things are not as they seem!" my forearm screamed at me.  She seems as though she hasn't a care in the world.  She seems as though she has already forgotten her big sisters' rejection.  She seems.....  she seems.....  Oh! WOW!  Thank you God.  Thank You for that Word.  Thank You for making me more aware.

Write the Word... on your door posts, your walls, your door frames.... your ARM.  Whether it be THE WORD of THE LORD... or A WORD... FROM the Lord.

In addition- as I was writing on my arm, sitting in the center of my bed, with all 3 girls bouncing around and on the bed with me this morning- Kyla asked "Why are you doing that?!?"  I told her, and then she wanted me to write on her hand, too.  So?  I did.  She wanted "I <3 God" and on the other hand she requested "Victory")

She also asked why I had written on our walls.  I told her, and she asked if she could do it, too.  I pointed her to the chalk.  I gave specific instructions: "Only on your walls- in your room- only with chalk."

She ran off the bed- to her room.  She wrote "GOD, You are more than fantastic."  and under it, she wrote "Victory".  I feel amazed- first of all- that my 6 year old can spell "Fantastic" and "Victory".  Secondly- I'm more amazed that it was her choice of words that are up on that wall.  I hope that chalk last a long time!

I've decided that the Sharpie multi-colored/multi pack was a great investment. My husband allowed me to write on his arm this evening.... and one would have to know my husband well to know that this is not something he'd have normally agreed to.  So.... on his arm I wrote (from James) "Pray With Out Doubting"

 I'm ok with not looking all pristine and well manicured due to a Sharpie-Style Tattoo that fully covers my left forearm.  If it means the Word is getting itself secured in my heart, so be it!  I am not ashamed.  I mean?  It's not like I haven't heard the term "Weirdo" plenty enough in my lifetime....after all.....  Jesus Loves Weirdos.  Oh! Yes! HE DOES!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I am so jaded.

Wait? What does jaded mean, again?

It's such a common phrase. "Oh, you know..... I'm just jaded." I think I know what it means- but? - Let me just make sure:

1.dulled or satiated by overindulgence: a jaded appetite.
2.worn out or wearied, as by overwork or overuse.
3.dissipated: a jaded reprobate.

1.a worn-out, broken-down, worthless, or vicious horse.
2.a disreputable or ill-tempered woman.

Words are so important. I tell my 6 year old "Whoa! Be careful what you're saying. What you say is important. Don't let any words come from your mouth unless you are CERTAIN they are true. " (and I am telling her this because she'll say things like "That music is making me cough....." (what does that mean?!) or she'll go off on a random 'talking tangent' saying things that make absolutely NO SENSE.)

What's happening here- is that my 6 year old is trying to "inherit'' my WORD VOMIT. It's a common disease that runs in my family. I grew up learning to say whatever came into my brain- and I learned that it didn't really matter if it just projectiled CRAPPY CHUNKS OF GROSSNESS all over the person I'm aiming at.

It's so much more challenging to UNLEARN something we shouldn't do than it is to learn what or how we should do something.

I don't want to use my words unwisely. I would like to use my words carefully. I would like to teach my daughter this- but- teaching is better done through ExAmPle.

Why am I such a bad example???

I am jaded!!
I'm worn out. Weired!
I'm a disreputable... ill tempered woman.

I don't want to be what I am. I want to unlearn what I've learned. And I don't want to teach (by example) this terrible weariness to my daughters. I don't want them to learn how to be 'ill tempered' word pukers.

Raging Seas

God is so sweet, to give us the gift of music. He is so sweet to bless us with faithful artist that have chosen to use their talents to sing His praises! I thank God for the musicians, and producers, and radio Dj's..... the creators of MP3 players, Internet downloads, etc. etc. etc. It's NOT just the singer.... it's the entire package that I am sending my gratitude to.

Last night- in my raging sea of thoughts- I turned to a certain source of 'calm'. My Bible? Nah. I wish I could erase my chaotic thoughts and focus on the written word. I turned to my CD player. I turned to Kari Jobe. I turned, in all actuality, to the "Sung Word". A beautiful melody, an extraordinary voice- a compilation of awesomeness.

I layed in bed, focusing ONLY on words that sung;

"Come and find peace... everyone needs a little rest.... everyone needs a little joy, and a song to sing, even in the darkest night... " "Life- even when it gets you down, Hope- will turn it all around, and Love- it's the greatest of these... Everyone needs a little.......Love"

I randomly found that if I took my focus off the music, my brain would begin feeling overwhelmed and exhausted all over again... then I would turn back to the music and hear that God had started singing a ' new word ' to my heart

"You lay me down to rest.... upon your faithfulness......'' Ahhh... REST! And rest- I would return to. Rest.

I continued to lay still, trying to push painful memories, fears, anger, and bitterness out- and allow The Word to come in. I journaled. I got my little notebook- and wrote, and wrote... and WROTE until my hand ached. I say- "I journaled", but it was more of a written prayer. It was every single thought that entered my head, written out to The Lord.

"GOD! Why do we keep going in circles? Can't we be finished with the struggle?"

"Oh, Lord.... Please. PLEASE. Fix me. Fix me. FIX ME. I want to be made new."

"Why won't the Devil leave me alone??!!?! Why don't YOU make him leave me alone. You can!!! Why don't You?!?! Why do we have to continue in our suffering???"

and then, through Kari's melody- God spoke:

Here... before your alter-I am letting go of all I've held
Of every motive. Every burden. Every thing that's in my self
And I just wanna wait on YOU my GOD
I just wanna dwell in who You are.

I am lost for more to say....

Here. In your presence. I am not afraid of brokeness......

I just want to wait on You my God.
I just want to dwell... on who You are!

"Holy....... Holy........ Holy......Holy. You are, You are!!!!"


There was power in these words. So simple. So very simple. What simple words they are. Reading them, alone, has no justice to their power when sung. The power that came out of the musical anointing, and the power that came from the vocal tone in the gift that God gave this artist....

God spoke. It was clear. Just. So. CLEAR! "I'm Holy. I Am. I am Holy."

Are you asking how it's possible to hear an answer to my "WHY!!!???" through the words "I'm Holy." ?

God is so tender. He's gentle. He said "It's because I am Holy. I am all knowing. I AM. Trust Me. I'm Holy. Trust Me. I'm worthy. Trust Me. I AM."

Song Number 7- God works in numbers. Oh Wow. How amazing to discover this wondrous knowledge. 7- it is the number of PERFECTION. The number seven symbolizes God's perfection, His sovereignty and holiness.

And this blog- it reflects HIS holiness. HE has been singing over me....!!!!!!

And Kari sings---- oh HOW relevant when she says:

When I waited so long.
When my tears were my song.
With my hope nearly gone... You help me God!

To believe in the face
of the dry weary place,
when you felt far away...
you held me God.

"Oh. Oh. Oh. There is Freedom in Surrender!!!!! Oh. OH. Oh. I know it.....

You're Songs have never Stopped... You've been singing... Always singing over me!
Your Words are Still enough.... When You're singing .......!!! Always Singing OVER me!

The chaos in the cause
Teaching me, to see Lord
The beauty... in the storm, so I believe!
When I see through your eyes, there's the testing... of time
Every cloud, silver line, cause You're with me...

Oh. Oh. Oh. There is Freedom in Surrender!!!!! Oh. OH. Oh. I know it.....

Your Songs have never Stopped... You've been singing... Always singing over me!
Your Words are Still enough.... When You're singing .......

"Give me FAITH...... Give me strength enough to WAIT!!!!.....

Stand in FAITH!!!!!! And listen for- listen for..... Your MELODY....

Your songs have NEVER stopped....
Your songs are NEVER stopped....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your songs are NEV Er stopped- you've been singing- you've been singing over me!
Your words are STILL ENOUGH, when You're singing over me.... Always singing over me..... "


And God broke me. He broke me. He stood in front of me- through that CD Player- through that CD- through that song.... through that artist....and He broke me away from my PITY ParTY.

He was loud and clear: "I'm enough, Amber."

No. Not "I've had enough- get your act together...."

"I'm enough. I'm all you need to get through this. I have a purpose. I have a plan. I'm enough!"

He's enough. He IS enough.

".......You are the light to the darkness around me. You are the HOPE to the hopeless and broken. You are THE ONLY TRUTH and the Way."

Don't tell me- EVER- that The Word has no power. I know- I should get in my Bible, and read and read...... but I struggle to focus and receive where The Written Word is concerned.

I'm an "audio/visual'' learner and receiver. And God knows it! I have books, upon books, upon books..... most unread. I have cd's, upon cd's, upon cd's... most of them WORN OUT!

He is the PROVIDER of our needs!!! He will make provisions before we even KNEW we had a need.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I can't get no... Sat-Is-Fac-Tion

I've tried. And I've tried. And I've tried.

I can't get NO.... well- I can get a "NO" but rarely do I get the "YES!!!!"

I understand, that in the world we live in, getting what we 'want' is only part of 'life'. I get it. It makes sense. WE got what we need, right? Well????? Right!?!?!?!

Not so much.

Satisfaction. I need it. I need to be 'satisfied' in my day to day.

I neeeeeed to be satisfied that we have a house (that neeeeds to be cleaned all. of. the. time.)

I need to be satisfied that I have 3 amazing girls that neeeeeeed me to take care of them.

I need to be satisfied that my job is the best job on the planet- cause God's my boss, and who could ask for a better employer?

I need to be satisfied that my husband has a job, and that he works, earns an income, and supplies the neeeeeds for our family.

But I can't get no.... satisfaction. And I've tried. OH HOW I've TRiED!

Will I be satisfied if my laundry is not toppling over?
Will I be satisfied if my husband manicures our lawn and removes various debris from his 'hobby' cars?
Will I be satisfied if I can complete school, housework, AND have dinner on the table at a decent hour with out having to inhale-exhale- and breath deep to avoid all out panic?

Hmmm? Who knows. But it might help.

Random Rants. Eeek!

I am not too keen with the whole "I'm gonna use the internet to complain" sort of thing. Don't make us read all your 'whines'- not allll the time, anyway. Only on special occassions, please.

This blog- it will be my 'special occassion'. ENJOY!!

Facebook is the 'comic relief', rant and rave, but in a sort of lethargic not so 'complainly' way that I have found to be my outlet.... (as previously stated- YES- I'm in detox mode.)

If I allowed myself to get on facebook- I'd post something light-hearted, but real, about a typical day of "Mommy World".

Here's an example:

Kyla has been 'helping' me all day- laundry, washing the table- she even walked into our room, and "spread our bed" (it's her adorable way of saying she 'makes the bed'. When I found her in our room, she said "Mommy- I'm spreading your bed for you- so that when you get in bed, you won't be like "Ugh. I have to spread this bed.'' See? It's already done for you.'' (so sweet. wow. I just love how amazing this girl is)

Zoe has been the 'mean' sister, and I've had to correct her behavior... alllll day.....(last week- she was the AMAZING sister that helped Leah find her shoes, and Kyla clean their room)

Leah made a poopie that stinked up the whole house.... ALLLL DAY!!!

I'm frustrated!! Like- UGH! Totally getting irritated- because my house smells like CRAP, and my sweet 4 year old is being MEAN!!!

All of this is in addition to the mounds-eh- mountains of laundry piled all over our house- and the storage containers here and there from our 'transistion' into winter from summer. I said winter, from summer- cause like- a few weeks ago- it was HOT- and now... it's freakin COLD!! Anyway-

I would take a break. Step 'outside' the crazy house, and 'into' the social world of Facebook... I would put, as my 'status', based on the above paragraph;

"" Kyla is making "Mommy World'' so sweet today. I wonder if it'd be possible to bottle her sweetness- spray it all around our house- and cover up the 'Leah, Eau Deu Toilet?""

I can't post it- I'll blog it. It's fair (for now). I need to get back on track here. I have some ranting to do. I'm not kidding you- if you're a guy... STOP READING. STOP.

Don't read this if you're a dude.

If you're from the male species- STOP READING.

I'm on my period. (Guys? I warned you!)

  • I'm on my period, and I'm bloated. Swollen. Painfully BLOATED. It's just UNCOMFORTABLE. To make it worse- I told myself I could eat Oreos, to make me feel better. Now? I'm bloated- have a headache, and a sugar overload. My belly is HUGE(er) than normal, because of all the bloating.... and OREOS!

  • I had the worst- and I mean, like WORST stomache bug over the weekend. It was Baaaaddd! FYI- I didn't puke. It was NOT the puke kind of stomach bug. It was 'the other' kind. So- I'm trying to rehydrate- and it's NOT easy... you know, with all the bloating.

  • I have the harriest legs ever right now. I need more wax and cloth strips, so I can't wax. A razor is no where to be found! It's just GROSS!! I hate having harry legs. Seriously. My leg hairs grow so fast. Even after I wax- it's like a week later that I gotta do it again.
  • I'm 28 years old, and I have a half-a-head of gray hair! Dark, blackish brownish hair, and GRAY hair. Salt 'n Peppa. Blah blah blah. More maintenance. Dye my hair, wax my legs, drink gallons of water, pluck the chin hairs.... oh wait? I hadn't gotten to that part yet, have I?
  • I HAVE CHIN HAIRS!!!!! I can't believe I'm admitting this for the world to read- but you know what? I really wanna know if I'm the ONLY one with the 'random' wild hair that grows on a 'random' place on my FACE! Isn't it just odd? Why does this happen? Seriously? And I obsess about it, too. I do a 'check' every day- EVERY DAY- because, ohhhh.... what if- by chance- I didn't happen to notice it- and it GREW. I'd be horrified!
I have more random rants. Here they are- in no particular order:

  • LOL!!! That phrase- when written out- is just ANNOYING. Ok- if in communication in chat- fine- but- in an email or other form of communication? I don't know- there are just times it just IRKS me to read 'LOL'!! "I'm going to the bank today. LOL" "I have a new dog...LOL" (sorry if you use this phrase often- I mean you no offense... LOL
I'm stopping. I'm not giving any more rants. I don't want to be negative.

Here are some thanks in their place:

My husband built a fire. It's cozy and warm in our house. Love it!

The car broke down today (nope- it's not a rant, just wait). We now have 3 vehicles in our yard that we are not 'driving' (2 of them are hobby vehicles). My neighbors can't call the cops on us again (for the 3rd time) because every time they have called (because we had 'junk cars' in our 'yard') our vehicles have checked out, basically showing the cops that they aren't 'junk'. HA! HA! HA!! That makes me happy-happy-happy. Ok. That wasn't very nice. But STILL!!! Who needs a babysitter for your 'house'. We have no covenants or by-laws, or whatever! Our neighbors are just MEAN to us (and other families in 'da hood').

I'm not going to go back and edit this- even though I wanna take stuff out. This is pure rawness of me + PMS. So THERE!

Monday, October 19, 2009


I know- it's bad.... but I'm starting to get a little 'antsy' with this whole "Facebook Detox". What's going on out there, in the world, with all my friends and family???

I want to click the Facebook Icon so badly!

Did I mention I was doing the cleanse for... 7 days!?!?!?!


I know.

It's pitiful.

But like I noted in my previous blog- it's been my only source for socialization for so long- and not (atleast!!) reading adult conversation is pretty difficult for me.

I want to participate in the 'grown up' world. (I almost put 'adult world' but feared an out of context reading....)

My source this afternoon for 'outside world' contact; Kinder Music with Leah. I got to dance and sing to various 'baby songs', while holding my toddler, swinging my toddler, and making goofy faces at her. Ha! She's such a shy little girl. When 'the teacher' says "Hello, Leah." she turns her head to the side and sort of looks at him out of the corner of her eyes- blinking rapidly. Almost as if she's saying "I hear you, I acknowledge that you're there... but WILL YOU PLEASE quit talking to me!!!"

Leah refuses to hold hands- with anyone- during the 'sing song dancing' session that we do- each and every Monday afternoon, she's 'in' the class- but not 'of' the class. She refuses to say hello to the other 'toddlers' and most of the time, she refuses to even play with ME! She loves the musical instruments. She loves 'watching' people do 'their thing', but actually participation has yet to really completely come out.

It would seem she's not enjoying it.... and that our time is being wasted, based on how she 'acts in the class. But, once we get home- she sings the songs we had sung and she does the motions we had done. I think it's well worth our time and money to go to this class. It has a positive effect on our entire family- even the (older) girls. At 4 and 6, they enjoy the songs as well, and thing it's fun to sing them with Leah. (I enjoy their interaction!!!)

As a side note- (to the side note about Leah as opposed to the original posting)- during class today, we were singing a song called "Hot Cross Buns" The motion is to 'blow' air into our hand after each "Hot Cross Buns".... so it goes like this:

Hot Cross Buns (blow) Hot Cross Buns (blow) One 'a penny, two 'a penny...... Hot Cross Buns (blow)

Leah? She doesn't blow into her hand. She looks at me like I'm CooKoo when I do it. Today- however, after the 3rd "Hot Cross Buns", in perfect timing to when we were suppose to 'blow', she leaned over and FARTED!!!

A loud, LOUD (as she would call it) "Faht''. She looked up and GRINNED after her (personalized) BLOW. Everyone, of course, laughed and laughed. I couldn't contain it- and I think I lost a few breaths from laughing so hard (trying not to cackle). Little Miss "Shy'' wasn't so shy anymore!!

Later on, during the class, she did it again- with a different song. This was a song that said (as we shook little maraca like eggs) "Shake. Shake. Shake your eggs. Shake shake, shake your eggs. Shake. Shake. Shake your eggs, and now LET's STOP!" Leah bent over and 'fahted' during the 'STOP'. (when it's suppose to be realllly quiet).

More inward laughter- more BIG GRINNING from Leah. Cutie pie. She's so sweet! (although, as I type this last bit of the blog- I have pink ear plugs in my ears to save my ears from the painful SCREAMING that she is serenading me with. Screaming cause she's 'mad' that she has to 'play' downstairs with her sisters. Not sad. Not hurt. Not suffering in anyway. She's. Just. MAD!)

So- back to the jitters, back to my original purpose of posting this blog.. I think blogging is going to be a good cure. It's more productive anyway. I"m glad I got to note Leah's Kinder Music class today. I'm glad I admitted that I have pink ear plugs to save my sanity during the loud screaming sessions she's been prone to (lately- not always). It'll be nice to go back and read it later- sort of as a reminder that I "CAN SURVIVE" these days of "Aghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

So. Aghhhhh!!!!! I'm off to grab up my little "Fahter" and cuddle with her before bed time. I'm sure I'll post again SOON!

The Social Networking Cleanse

I've decided that Facebook consumes too much of my time. It's an easy trap for stay at home mom's, because it can be a source, if you will, to the outside world. Adult conversation. Grown-up-ness. In one respect- it's a tool that has allowed me to continue with some sort of socialization during these years I'm in- raising small children, at home.......

In another respect- it can trap you into a sort of... I don't know? What is it? Hard to explain.

Basically- I was spending my 'free' time "Facebooking". I'm doing a cleanse. A detox. Whatever you wanna call it. I'm trying to figure out a way to better spend my time.

It needs to be productive. I'm blogging during my 'Facebook Detox' in an effort to still feel like I'm talking to somebody- even though it's just myself- which in and of itself could be a pretty bad thing- 'talking to myself'... but- WAIT! I'm blogging. That means it's for other people to read. OR! It's like a journal for me to refer to. Ok. I feel better. I'm not TOTALLY and ONLY talking to myself.

Anyway. Right now- it's 3:00. (almost) I spent most of the afternoon outside. With my girls. I built a HUGE fire in the fire pit, and tried to do some yard clean up. I killed an ant pile. The girls soaked in some Vitamin D while they made a 'stew' of dirt, water, leaves, sticks, and ???? I don't think I want to know what else.

It's sitting outside- as I type- waiting on Kyla to go back out and finish 'making' it.

OH!! I almost forgot this! I put a rug out on the grass (in the DIRECT sunlight- sooo warm!) and we sat out there with a book (Mrs. Pigglewiggle) It's a 'chapter' book of Kyla's. And every other day or so- I read them a chapter. It's fun, actually- because it's a great book!!!! We sat, on the rug- with dried apricots and Cape Cod Parmesan and Garlic Chips (weirdo combination, I know!!!) I read- and turned the little girl (Mary's) name into ZOE's name. It was school time- quality time- play time- outside time.

I'm learning how to be a mom. I'm learning how to NOT depend on Facebook for my daily doses of 'grown up' time. I'm sure I can figure it out (eventually)

I think, after I get through this whole process- I'm going to try to learn how to sew. You know. In my spare time.

P.S. It is now 3:09 PM and from whatever time this blog says I posted it, til now- that' show LONG it took me to type out these few paragraphs. Mommy's World is Cah-Razy!!

I just took an orange slice out of Leah's hand- and she made 'orange juice' on the floor for me when she squeezed onto it for DEAR LIFE because she wanted to 'keep it'. Not eat it. Just. Keep it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Author in Waiting....

I do think- that at some point in my life- I'll have written a book. Maybe it won't get published, maybe it will? I don't think I actually care, either way.

Joshua ONLY bought me this handy little laptop that I type on during each blog, so that I would, in fact, become a published author and make (him) a million dollars. Ha! He actually meant it- lovingly- and it was sweet to hear that he had extreme confidence in me, and then SEE it in action when he totally surprised me with the Acer on my birthday this year (Feb 09).

He was cute about it. Really cute, actually!! I woke up in the morning with a birthday card on the dining room table. It said something like "I couldn't afford to get a you a laptop for your birthday..." and then the inside said something funny.

He had already left for work. On my way to (somewhere) that morning, I went out to start the van to let it get cozy before I loaded up the girls. And there, on the front seat, was an unwrapped box that indicated I had a NEW computer. A laptop. A notebook. Something that didn't tie me down to the computer chair! "WHAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!" Speed dial #2. "OH MY GOSH!!!! DID YOU seriously BUY THIS FOR ME??!??!!"

Joshua is not exactly the Rico Suave of important dates. Anniversary, Valentines, Christmas, Birthday. It's hit or miss. When he misses, it's such a let down.... let's be real here, somewhere buried deep inside (way deep) I'm just your typical girl that wants some Wooo-Ing.

When he hits, though (aka... doesn't FORGET)- it makes up for EVERY time he has ever neglected the certain occasions that are important to me. I have 2 bottom line occasions that I really want to be 'honored' on. Ok, actually... 3.

#1 My birthday. I love birthdays. My Daddy is to blame for this. He made a point, even in our adult life, to make our birthdays super special.... complete with Ice Cream and Cake!!

#2 Our Anniversary. It's unfortunate for him, that it's ONE MONTH after my birthday.... but it's not so much the gift giving as it is the "make it super special" that I hope for. I think my hope is that he considers the fact that I've had to put up with him for *xx* years and I totally deserve a nice 'date' out. And, too, I hope to get at least one date with him per year so we can actually remember why it is we got married, and that we do, actually, still really like each other. You know, "like like", each other, not just "like".

#3 Mother's Day. Ok- I'm not his Mommy- but I'm the Mother of his children. I prefer this to be a special day set aside to just RELAX. Let me relax, totally- completely. Clean the house. Wash the car. Send me somewhere for a massage?? It doesn't matter, really.

Ok- anyway- I'm obviously side tracked.

Guess what the whole point of this blog was today???

To announce- to all 3 of my readers... that I HAVE A TITLE for the book I'll one day write. Yaaaay!!

I'll tell you in person (or via email) if you really want to know.

I told my husband, and he said "Ohhhh-Kay" He didn't get it. I'm kind of nervous now, you know, doubting myself and all. "It's lame. It's a totally lame title."

Then again? If I told Joshua we had just WON a million dollars, he'd likely say "Ohhhhh-Kay" and add a little bit of a smile just to show he's happy about it.


Our last family photo was taken...... January 2006. Yep. Really! OVER 3 years ago.

Goodness, gracious... MAN-ALIVE (as my Grandma would say.)

We have a camera. Yes.

Do I get the pictures printed? Nope. I download them. Then upload them to Snapfish. Then... I just..... PROCRASTINATE as thousands of Anderson photos float around in internet nomad's land... waiting on me to retrieve them. (Please! Print me! PLEASE!!!)

So? It's been since before Leah was conceived that we've had a sit down photo shoot with frame-able family photos.

Long overdue.

I've got a few decisions to make. Olan Mills? (they did good last time) or Family friend that does an AMAZING job? (She photographed family shots of us when Zoe was a teeny tiny newborn (more cd's of pictures to procastinate getting printed???)

Anyway. I just thought I'd share how GREAT and AWESOME I am at this whole "Mom Thing".

OH! One more. Leah will be "2" in about 12 days. I've NEVER had professional pics of her taken. NEVER. Not once.

Ok. I'm done showing off my awesomeness. Try not to beat yourself up too much for not being able to measure up to the amazing mom that I am. It's hard. (Being this good.) But? Ya know? For some of us? IT just comes so natural.

The End.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Leah Words: Zo-Oye. Goggie. Fall Dowwwn. O-kaaay

This morning, during breakfast- Zoe was talking to Leah, um?, telling Leah what to do, rather.

"Leah. Don't do that. Leah. LEAH! Leah. Leah eat your waffles. Leah. Stop playing with your food."

And Leah turned to her sister, calmly, matter-of-fact like and said "Shut UP Zo-oye"

I can't tell you where she heard this. It may have been from me. "Shut UP Schneider!!!" (when he's barking his crack head off!) Most of the time, though, she walks around saying "Hush Goggie. HUSH!!!"

How I wish she had said "Hush Zo-Oye" But I'm not gonna lie- I couldn't contain the giggles that erupted. Which caused giggles from Kyla. Cackles from Zoe. And from Leah?

"Shut. Up. Shut. Up. Shut. Up. Heee heee heee heee. Shut. Up. Zo-Oye." as she giggled and cackled and raised her eyebrows in the most adorable way.

She's got to be the sweetest baby. Kyla was sweet, Zoe was sweet, and now.... sweetness #3. But, where Kyla and Zoe were sweet and strong willed.... Leah is sweet and compliant! Double bonus!

"Leah, let's go to bed." and she makes her way to the stairs saying "Okaaaay."
"Leah, put that down." and drops the forbidden item saying "Okaaaay."
"Leah, spit that out." and she says "Okaaay" and drops the 'yucky' into our hand

She uses her words. "Food? Eat?" and when we prepare her food, she says "FOOOD!!! Eeeeee! Eaaat!!!!!!!"

She tells us what she's doing. "Mess! Huuuhhh? MESSSSS!" (after she's dumped out a box of cereal)

She knows where things that she's 'hidden' are located. "Leah, go get your shoes." and she toddles off "Okaaaay!" and comes back with her shoes in her hand. Sometimes, she toddles to her bedroom, while others, she toddles to the playroom and opens a toy box and picks out one shoe... and moves over to the foyer and finds it's match.

I have to remind myself, during the painful process of teething (painful for her... painfully exhausting for me) that Leah is STILL the sweet, compliant baby girl that we've known and loved for the past 1 year..... 11 months.... 15 days..... 6 hours and 9 minutes.

She's still adorable when she backs herself up to sit in my lap with a book in her hand so that I'll read to her.

She's still going to grab our heart when she looks up at Joshua while he's leaning against the counter in the kitchen, and then backs up right beside him to 'lean' against the counter as well- looking up at her Daddy and showing all 16 of her teeth with her huge grin!

It will always be sweet to see her raise her eyebrows, eyes wide open sucking in an excited breath of air with if she's been given a 'gift' (a coloring book and crayons, a book, a toy....) or when she's discovered something NEW. "Ohhhh. WOW!!!!!!"

And just now... right this second, she ran into the living from (from the kitchen) and handed me a lollipop. Looking at me expectantly saying over and over, "Eh. Wan. Pop Pop? Pop Pop? Pop. Pop?" She just stared at me. Patiently. Waiting on the "Pop. Pop."

And oh how precious that she has always called a drink "NGung" and we STILL can't figure out the difference between what "NGung" is and what "Bong" is. It has SOMETHING to do with what she's drinking, but we're just not sure when it's a "bong" or when it's "Ngung"

Yes. She's typical in the "Destructo Baby" age that she's at. Our house has not EVER been as messy as it has been in the past 6 months.

And that's ok..... SOMETIMES! It's ok for this post.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Deep thoughts with Kyla......

"Mommy? Why is money more important than animals?"

First thought that ran through my brain, "Where did she hear that?!?!" Out loud I asked, "Um? I don't know what you mean?"

(Did she recently hear a random conversation somewhere??- she is an eavesdropper.... she listens to what people are talking about all of the time.)

"I don't know. I just don't understand why money is so important. I mean? Do we need money? Do we have enough?"

That was this afternoon. She was solemn when she asked me these questions; as if she'd been in deep thought. Was her heart truly sad? Or? Was she just being dramatic because I had her involved in a task that wasn't 'fun'. (dog walking)

"Money isn't important, but it's necessary. We use it to pay for our house, and our power, and our water, and our food..... Yes, we have enough. We're ok."

"Is money more important than people?" (No brainer!) "NO WAY, Kyla. Nope. I'd rather go with out food and not have a place to live than to ever be with out YOU. You're way more important than money."


I wasn't sure where that bit of q&a had come from- but I'm pondering on some deep revelation. Like- in Nicaragua- it's possible that money is more needed than animals... I'm thinking on that. Did God use Kyla to speak that to me? I do not at all even a little bit doubt it. I'll wait.

Speaking of Kyla- on Monday Kyla said

"I'm just not sure that I like God very much." (WHOA!)

"Well? That's something to really think about. It's an important decision to make."

"Does God like me?" (she already knew the answer- but I played my part)

"Yes. God DOES like you. He loves you!"

"Does God love me more than He loves himself???"

Uhh.... um?.... The answer has to be somewhere in my brain. Searching..... searching..... Oh no! I was stuck.

"Let's call Daddy. He's really wise. He'll know."

Speaker phone. "Does God love Kyla more than He loves Himself?"

..... and after a sweet chuckle, Joshua says "I'd say..... YES. He does. Because Jesus died for us, and Jesus was God. Therefore, God DOES love Kyla more than He loves Himself, because He died for her."

PHEW!!!!! Thank you AT&T for my phone-a-friend.

The Honeymoon Ain't Over Yet....

I'll be brief for the first part of this. March 3, 2000 is our wedding day. June 24, 2000 was the day we had our ceremony. I know- it's weird. We only had 3 months to wait... but really.... we had a free weekend, a car, some cash, raging hormones......and therefore a destination to Chattanooga, TN to elope. We spent the night there. Nuff said. My family (save my bff and sister Holly) was none the wiser.

So. On our '2nd' honeymoon (the day after our ceremony) we decided to go to Chattanooga, TN again- to actually enjoy the town. I was 19 years old, Joshua was 21. So young. So innocent. So NOT chubby!

I have a picture of me, in a red 'bandanna' looking dress. It's simple, mind you. Not actually CUT in the shape of a bandanna, but the same color pattern, etc. I bought it from "the mall'' in Tn. Ohhh! I thought we were awesome. Paul Harris Denim. (Is that place still around?)

I don't remember how much I weighed back then, OR what my pant size was. The dress is a "Junior" XL, though. I've kept it this whole time. That says a LOT, because I simply do NOT hang on to 'stuff'. Oh how glad I am that I saved that dress!!

I also have a pair of black pants that I wore when I was 17. It was the thinnest I'd ever been- at a size 11. I know- it's not even a 'small' size, but I'm a tall girl. It's 'small' for me.

My goal has always been to look GREAT in that dress again. I want to slip it on, and totally WOW my hottie of a hubby. Wow him in a way that says "Yes! My wife has worked hard to get herself BACK to where she was (shape-wise) when we first got married."

I tried that dress on today. Ya. It's snug. Mainly in the upper part of my body. Namely- my boobies. 3 kids later.... I mean... what do you expect? I can zip it- BUT- I need to lose a few more pounds to make it work. My arms need to slim down and tone up, and my belly.....?..... 3 kids later.... I mean?.... what do YOU expect?!?!

I guess I'm saying all this to encourage myself. I'm ALMOST pre-baby, pre-post-marriage-chub size. I'm almost there.

I've got 25 pounds to lose in order to hit my ultimate goal weight. TWENTY FIVE POUNDS! That's like NOTHING for some people. I want it. I really do. I also want to surpass it eventually, and be at a 'doctor approved weight'.

So- I'm setting a goal. THE best goal ever! I want to shed 25 pounds by March 3, 2010. 5 pounds a month should NOT be hard. I want to wear my 'honey moon' dress on our 10 year anniversary. I want to buy a 10 year anniversary dress..... and totally BLOW my honey's mind at how super-fine his wife is.

Honeymoon vs. 10 year anniversary. Which looks better? I want the latter to win.


It's 5:00 AM. Thunder. Lightning. A crying 4 year old. Ok. Ohhh-Kay!! I'm awake. I don't wanna be. But I'm up.

I roll out of bed trying to find some kind of something to throw on so I can hobble into the girls' room and soothe their thunder storm woes. Joshua is downstairs getting ready to leave for work.

"It's raining! Storming, for goodness sake! Why is he not calling his dad to let him know he'll be at work later than o'dark:thirty this morning?" This was one of many thoughts that went through my brain. That- and short word sentences such as: "Coffee, Hmmm." and "Oww. Pain. Bright Light."

Apparently, my hobble was much slower than Joshua's hop-skip-tra-lah-lah up the stairs. (He's a morning person, whether he'll admit it or not.) There he was. To Zoe's rescue! Front and center. Patiently, calmly, lovingly, "It's ok, girl. It's just thunder. It won't hurt you." He's a good Rescue Hero.

I took over Operation Don't Be Scared while he continued getting ready for work. I still didn't understand why he wasn't going to stay home for a bit longer. He's an outside worker. Specifically- he works on people's houses. More specifically, on their roofs!

"Come on down here, and sleep on the bottom bunk, I have a big fluffy blanket for you. Oh? Well- here's your purple blanket, too. Yes. I'll come lay down with you in a little bit. Ok. I'll get Polka Dots...... That's right, it's just thunder..... thunder doesn't hurt you. Mmmmm. Hugs and Kisses. Goodnight sweet girl. Love you Zoe" (and all is well)

The scenario in our girls' bedroom is pretty hilarious. Kyla is sleeping in the pack 'n play that we set up 2 weekends ago for Leah to use while we had guest. The girls enjoyed it being in their room so much, that we just left it up. For the past 2 weeks, it has been a car, a boat, a fire truck, their baby's bed, and now, it's Kyla's hide out bed.

She meticulously covers the entire "portable crib" with various blankets before bed, and then some how manages to leave the blankets in place, while she sort of slithers under them and crawls into the play pen. Her words were "It's not very comfortable to sleep in- but- it's pretty fun!"

Zoe took it upon herself to claim Kyla's top bunk, leaving the lower bunk lonely and grossly unmade. I had worked hard for a long, long time to keep their 'girly girl' room cute, organized, decorated, and CLEAN. Clothes were hung properly, drawers were labeled and in order. Toys had a place, as did books, baby dolls, shoes, and so on.....

Today, you'll find their room a whirl wind of unkempt drawers, clothes falling off hangers and toys scattered under beds, behind dressers, in the closet, and of course, on the floor.

Who has time, energy, and/or the SANITY to keep a 4 year old and 6 year old's room 'KEPT'? Not me. Not me. Oh-so-not-me-anymore.

But, this is a different story- one which I hope to tell once I'm an organized guru, one that resembles a Donna Otto or Emilie Barnes (Yes! I have their books. No. You cannot borrow them. I need both of them. And a few others.... and a how-to cd, as well as an instructional dvd. Organization- LOVE IT. The path to actually becoming (forever) organized!?!? Hate it!. It's painful.)

So. No. This isn't a story about cute kids, messy rooms, or Donna Otto. This is a story about my husband. The Rescuer.

I know- you couldn't tell, could you? I got way off subject, right? Well?! Not so much. Here's the reality. We have a busy (chaotic) household. You just never know what is going to be up, and who's gonna be down.

Leah could be a sweet heart, totally compliant, and the JOY of the house one week-and suddenly- OUT OF NOWHERE- she can turn into a teething monster that will have little or nothing to do with anything resembling the lovely child we once knew. It can make a mom crazy!

The routine we once had? GONE! It's never coming back either. I don't even remember it, now. This is the life of raising babies. Toddlers. Little Kids.... OH please. Don't comment about the rest of the growth chart. I'm taking a scripture verse, and robbing a fellow facebook friend of their claimed family motto: "Don't worry about tomorrow, for it will worry about itself!" (thanks Beth- who knows if you ever read these?- but there's your shout-out!)

More often than not, people, I am in desperate need of a Rescue. I need some light. I need some Truth. I need a break. I need a BATH!!!! I mean, I just need some of something- and sometimes, I don't even know what that something is! I just know I need it.

There isn't a single BETTER person on this planet that could offer me the kind of rescue I need better than my husband.

He knows everything about me. What makes me 'tick'. What brings me joy. What gives me relief. What stresses me out. (what doesn't stress me out?) He knows exactly how hard (or not so hard) life can be while we're going through these various stages of child 'rearing'.

Ok- let me clarify!! He knows most of the time. Let's be honest. Women are hard to read. There are times that only GOD could possibly know how to rescue us, because we're so

So. This morning. After he rescued Zoe, Joshua had to rescue me. I'm not kidding when I write this next paragraph. You'll laugh (at me), and I'm sure you'll assume I'm likely exaggerating. I assure you. What you're about to read is the truth, nothing but the truth, SO (please) help me God (cause it's just sad).

"Will you sit tight for a while?" (not go to work just yet)

"No." (flat.)

THIS is the 8 word start of a ridiculous argument. I got emotional, and started crying. I hate crying. And being emotional. It's just annoying!! He had every right to walk out the door, mad at me for being an unappreciative jerk, but he didn't. He rescued me.

"You're exhausted, Amber. You need to rest. Why don't you go back to bed?" He knew exactly what I needed (though, I didn't.) He stopped me, and explained that all that emotionalism was not real. It was fake. I was just burnt out (extra crispy)!

(The tone in his voice is the most important part of the above phrase. Not impatient. Not sarcastic. It was sweet. Calm. Patient. Loving.... it was exactly what I needed.)

Of course, it made me cry even more. I was a blubbering idiot by the time he had to walk out the door. It was reversed from a sobbing emotional basket case to a relieved that he was so awesome so I'm gonna cry out of humility.

I love being rescued. I love it. I love that Jesus is my ultimate rescuer. And I love that God gave me the man I married to rescue me, too. (It hasn't always been this way. Let me be real about that. It's been 10 years. 9.9 of them NOT always awesome. But I'm living in the awesome right now, so I'm talkin' 'bout it!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dog Cat

We have a CRACK HEAD dog. He's like a 50 or 60 pound "Pointer" mix. We 'rescued' him from the Humane Society. He's smart- as in, he'll sit.... and 'go to bed' (in his kennel in our house). Yep. He's an 'inside' dog. He chews everything! He barks if he gets left 'alone' tied outside on his runner. He Yelps. He Yaps. He knocks Leah's little 2 year old dainty body down if he gets excited. He eats A LOT!! Ugh! It's annoying!

We have a cross eyed Siamese cat. He's just plain ol' DUMB! He runs into the house everytime the door is cracked open.... and EVERY time he does this, we chase him out the OTHER door. One time (shame shame) I was so frustrated with that Darn Cat for having to chase him- while I was in the midst of rushing out the door with all 3 girls'... that I yanked him up and threw him out the door. (He, of course, landed on his feet and looked at me like "Ya, lady. What else you got?!")

If he gets freaked out, his tail starts swishing. Kyla now knows NOT to touch him while his tail swishes- and she had to learn the hard way. His claws met up with the side of her face and on top of her head the LAST time she tried holding him once he set off his 'tail warning'.

Leah- on the other hand- at 2- does NOT know the tail warning. He was laying down in front of our door (on the outside.... just waiting to scurry in once we opened it) while we were playing outside. Crack Schneider (the dog) was also outside. The cat was freaked out- Leah was petting him.... and BAM! Up he went into the air, claws out- and onto the side of her sweet little face. I hated that cat in that very moment- and it's a good thing for him I had to scoop Leah up and start up the pieroxide/triple antibiotic clean up on her face, or he'd have SEEN what else I had for him. I wanted to kick his cross eyed little head!

All this to say- although the cat and dog have their typical 'features' of house hold animals. The barking, chewing, scurrying, and moodiness... these animals are NOT your typical breed.

Our dog RUNS AWAY from our cat. In pure terror. Our cat!!!! He CHASES our dog... growling, hissing, and jumping up in the air AT and TOWARD the dog. It makes for a good laugh to the person that has not witnessed such backwardness.

But?! After about a month of hearing the dog bark his head off at our cross eyed cat, because The Cat is chasing The Dog all around our yard- I have to say- it gets pretty old.


You know how if you have a bottle of 'soda', and you shake it, shake it, shake it, and then shake it some more- it sort of gets all 'excited' and the bubbles start spewing out when you take the lid off?

It gets all over the place! A bubbly sticky array of soda gets all over you (and), should anyone be anywhere near you while you're holding that bottle, they get spewed as well. The floor gets all sticky and gross, and for days, you're finding books or containers with random sticky 'water spots' all over them!

But after the bubbles have stopped exploding all over everyone, and the fizz stops fizzing, you're left with a flat bottle of soda. Now what? Who's gonna drink that?! It's all used up. The carbonation is gone, it's no longer soda, it's like a brown sugar water with a stale flavor. Nasty.

This illustration could be used for so many references in so many directions- but the bottom line is-

Take it easy. Don't try to get too excited and fizz yourself out. Slowly take a step, here and there, savor the excitement, keep it 'carbonated'. Enjoy it til the last drop! Ideas. Goals. Plans. Soda... WHATEVER it is.

Keep the fizz fizzy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shamefully Distasteful

I got dressed- and rushed out the door, and as I opened the passenger side door, my husband said "Are you going to wear that?!?!"

There I was- in a pair of blue sweats, and a green Veggie Tales t-shirt (shout out to my favorite cucumber Larry.... what! what!)

I wanted to be comfortable. We were going to do a hang out-talk-out-teach-me-more session with some awesome friends and spiritual leaders. I didn't give a pickle about how I looked. I didn't want to worry about a low cut shirt (ugh!!!!) and fidget with my jeans that seem to NEVER fit me right. Sit down, stand up, adjust my britches because I'm 700 feet tall and can't find any that rise the right way.

So- I had to really stop myself. First! My husband has been told a gazillion times to TELL me if I look stupid before going out in public. And I'm the chick that means it! Tell me the truth- I can handle it- and really very often need a good dose of it lest my head stays in the clouds.

I am not girly enough to care if my sweats are too baggy and my shirt is 14 years old (hey hey thrift store friends) if I'm JUST going to sit down and hang out with- basically- my family.

HOWEVER- this is my man. I wanna look fine and dandy for him. Ok- not dandy.... just Fine! I do. So, when he notated that "I- did- not- look- good -at- ALL" I scurried into the house and (quickly) found a pair of jeans, a girl-a-fied top, and a fitted jacket (his fave look on me... ). I tossed on a pair of dressy flats, and Voila!

This event made me ponder on something very mischevious. I need to tell him how convenient it was that I could go from slob to 'hey baby!' in a matter of 4 minutes. The answer to all my woes of shame and dis-taste..... Clothing. Stylish, on the hanger, in my closet, CLOTHES! (the ones I threw on just happened to be fairly new (to me) and to my closet . A hand me down shirt, consignment store jacket, clearance shoes.....

I could score a shopping spree. I'm just saying.... if he likes me to look good in what I'm wearing, he could possibly be willing to let me lose in Eddie Bauer- or Gap- or.... I don't even know! Those places that have cute clothes but over do my budget.