Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tonight I will dream of Dyson

Holy Buckets! Let me tell you a story. I mean, let me tell you a TRUE story. I own a dog. Probably the sheddingest dog on the face of the planet. I can't STAND the dog hair that is constantly embedded into my carpet. I can't sit on the floor without picking up on my clothes an entire coat of Riley's hair. I can't walk on the kitchen floor without seeing little hairballs gathered in the corners. It seems I am constantly running the vacuum cleaner. And vacuuming seems pointless.

But tonight, my friends, I borrowed our friends' Dyson. Yes, that's right. A $500 vacuum cleaner. They got it as a wedding gift this summer, and tonight they let me bring it home. I couldn't wait to get home so I could vacuum my carpet. When was the last time YOU were excited about vacuuming?! I flipped the "on" switch and couldn't believe my ears. It was so quiet. Riley didn't even get scared. She usually runs as fast as she can in the opposite direction every time I pull out the vacuum. And THEN, I couldn't believe my eyes. You would not believe how clean my carpets are now. There's almost no evidence that we even have a dog. You know, aside from the fact that she's actually in the room. I wonder what would happen if I vacuumed Riley with the Dyson...

So yeah. $500 for a vacuum. For me, the hater of Riley's hair, I could almost justify the cost. Next item on our wish list: $$ for a Dyson. Any and all contributions are welcome. :) For now, I will just have to dream.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I am thawing out...

Well, after a few weeks of very cold weather (highs in the teens and twenties), it is finally starting to warm up here. It was in the 50s yesterday, which, after weeks of cold, felt like summer. This is the first place I've lived where I've experienced REAL seasons in the weather, and that has been fun.

You all know that I work as a Children's Pastor. I think that yesterday was the worst day I've had on the job. I work at a fairly small church, so we don't have a ton of kids, but last night for our Wednesday night activities, I had 10 or 12 1st & 2nd grade BOYS. No girls. Just boys. And very active boys at that. By the end of our meeting time, I felt like I had been beat up or something. It was really exhausting. I'm not sure what to do with that many first and second grade boys... who by the way, are all really good friends and really good at distracting one another. Let me know if you have some brilliant ideas. My preschoolers did well, and my 3rd through 5th graders did pretty well, too. I just think that 1st & 2nd grade is a different sort of animal, if you will.

Today I will go to class and then my Hebrew study group. Then I will work out. My workouts have been very frustrating. I'm not sure I'm doing the right sorts of things. I'm only going 4 times per week (which is a lot for me, since I basically don't really have time to do even that much), and for a little more than an hour each time. Somehow I've managed to lose no weight or see any noticable difference in my appearance. I've also given up sodas and have TRIED to change my eating habits, so I am not sure what is going on and why I'm not losing any weight. I've only been at this for about a month, so I guess it's still pretty early, but shouldn't I be seeing some change here?? I find it very unlikely that I would be gaining exactly as much weight in muscle that I am losing in fat. Despite the "no results", I still manage to faithfully go. I guess it's time to "bump it up a notch".

This weekend Billy and I are going on a marriage retreat with Spouse & Family Ministries at the seminary. We are really looking forward to it. We will be going to a hotel in Lexington for the retreat, and everyone we know who has been before says it is an absolute blast. This is actually the first marriage retreat Billy and I will have attended. Should be fun. We'll give a full report when we get back.

I must go now and finish getting ready for the day ahead. I'm feeling very weary.



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Rice Cooker and a rocket from scratch!

Well, how many appliances can a person have in their kitchen before they go mad?! I don't really know the answer to that question, but I was just given one more appliance. For Valentine's Day, Billy got me a rice cooker. That may sound silly, but really, it's a great gift. We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day (I only got him a card), so I wasn't actually expecting to get anything.

I love rice! If I could eat rice with every meal, I totally would! But I haven't cooked a lot of rice lately because it is way too much trouble to cook on top of the stove. It sticks to the bottom of the pan, and the water doesn't ever absorb evenly. But let me tell you-- in my rice cooker, I have cooked THE most amazing rice. It doesn't stick and it's evenly cooked. Hooray!

The only drawback of course is that now I have one more kitchen appliance to store. We managed to find space for it, though.

A couple of weeks ago, Billy got a citation for driving with expired tags on his car (I've previously posted the adventures of getting the new license plates). We thought, "Great. Here's one more thing we can't afford." I went to the courthouse on Monday in order to pay the citation for Billy. He is at work during the hours the courthouse is open, so I went for him. So... the lady looked at the citation, looked at my receipt for having gotten new license plates, and dismissed the citation. It was a great day. I couldn't believe she dismissed it. Our vehicle registration had been out for almost 6 months. But hey, I won't argue.

This weekend we built rockets. Well... sort of. We aren't finished with them yet. It turns out that building a rocket entirely from scratch is quite an involved process. The body of my rocket is made from a papertowel roll, and the fins are made from some playing cards I cut. The engine mount is made from some cardboard that I cut, and it's got a real Estes Rocket Engine in it. The tip of my rocket is made from half a plastic Easter egg. The rocket still needs to be painted, and I've got to still somehow attach a parachute. But it is well on it's way to lift-off! I will definitely post pictures as soon as it is finished.

Well, I need to get going. I'm helping cook tacos for 75 people this evening at church. But before that I have to finish planning my lesson for my kids tonight.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Sad Day

I woke up early this morning. GRRR. Tuesdays and Thursdays are supposed to be my "sleep late" day (and when I say "late", I mean 7:45 a.m. so it's not like it's SUPER late!) because I do not have class until 9:30 a.m. But today, of course, I had to wake up early so I could be at the County Clerk's office when they opened. I was going to try to complete this whole car registration thing that I wrote about in yesterday's post.

So I woke up, went out in the rain and made it there. And I actually walked away this morning with a new Kentucky license plate for each of our cars. Hallelujah! It was sort of a sad moment for me, doing the official switch. I am now 100% an official resident of Kentucky. This was sort of the last thing I was holding on to. Oh well.

Here are some interesting facts about vehicle registration in the Bluegrass state:

* There is no annual state inspection requirement.
* There is no annual "registration fee". Ha ha. There is, however, ...
* A property tax paid annually by the owner of each vehicle. The amount of the property tax is determined by the age of the vehicle
* The property tax required for each vehicle is a ridiculous sum of money-- $350 or so for a 2007 model vehicle. Luckily, our cars are a 1999 model and a 2002 model.
* Only a rear license plate is required. They do not provide a license plate for the front of the vehicle. I actually got a ticket in Texas one time because I was driving without a front license plate.

I guess that about hits the high points. It's sad that this is what I am blogging about. I mean, I really don't have a life.

I did go to school today, which was fun. I also went to the afterschool program that I coordinate in Versailles, where I work. We had 3 new kids come today, which was very exciting! The kids were all great today-- they did their homework when they were supposed to and didn't complain when we told them it wasn't quite playtime yet.

And of COURSE I spent my evening watching American Idol with friends. I have never really been in to that show (the only season prior to this one I had seen was the very first year, the year of Kelly Clarkson), but our friends have somehow roped us into watching it. Of course, part of the reason we go is for the yummy snacks they always provide. :)

I am currently baking about 50 muffins (heart-shaped of course for Valentine's Day!) to take with me to class in the morning. I'm feeling festive and generous.

Blessings, my friends.


Monday, February 12, 2007

New Semester, New Desks, Kentucky License Plates, and Corrine Bailey Rae

I have officially survived my first week of the new semester. Classes began this past Tuesday and I've now had the chance to "size up" my professors, classmates, and coursework. I am feeling very optimistic about the semester ahead. My very first class of the semester was Hebrew, and I must admit that I wanted to cry a little bit after walking away from that first class. I sat down and we did a whirlwind review of the first Hebrew course that first day and forged ahead with the quiz schedule (weekly) and the other assignments. By the end of the semester, I will have translated the book of Jonah, as well as completed several other translations and assignments. The problem with all of this is that I took the first Hebrew course a year ago. I wasn't planning on taking this current course (because it is not required for my degree plan) but decided I'd like to give it a whirl. So here I am, one year later, and much of my Hebrew vocabulary has somehow escaped my brain. Despite that, I still look forward to the rest of the semester. Some friends and I have formed a study group, and as I sat down to complete the first homework assignment, I realized that I actually remembered a lot more of my Hebrew than I initially thought. This is going to be fun.

Last semester I struggled quite a bit with my Church History course. You might even say I hated it. Okay, hate is a strong word. I just really did NOT like it. This semester I am taking Church History 2 and feeling a little better about it. Though I am already drowning in reading, it's gotten a little more interesting somehow and I am feeling good about my class and my professor. There are only 14 of us in there (I am one of only 2 women!) and it already seems like a fun group. My professor has given us ALL of the essay questions for ALL of our exams already, so if we prefer taking essay tests, we can go ahead and get started on them. However, if we prefer more objective testing, he has said we can come to class on exam day and take a short-answer exam. I'm pretty excited about that.

Finally, I am taking a Philosophy of Christian Religion course. I'm loving my professor already.

In the title of this post, I've given mention to "new desks". Yes, this is a very important milestone in my graduate school career. Ha! Billy and I bought new (matching) desks over the weekend and are getting rid of the gigantic desk that used to occupy the majority of the wall and floor space in our study. It was a weird height and a weird set up, so basically it was not at all a functional workspace for me. I usually ended up writing my papers and doing my work at the kitchen table or at the library-- both annoying options. At the library I got a lot done, but that meant I wasn't at home. At the kitchen table, the workspace was temporary-- every time meal time came around (even if I was in the middle of working) I had to pack up everything and move it out of the way in order to eat (we don't eat on our couches, so the table is where we actually eat every day). After eating, I would have to get everything back out again. So now... we have 2 smaller desks in the study and have rearranged the whole room so it feels more like a study/guest room instead of the "Lawson junk room". My life is so much more organized now and already I feel great.

Okay, on to the Kentucky license plate situation. It is an absolute pain in the REAR to get a car registered from another state to Kentucky. We've been messing with it off and on since our Texas registration expired THIS SUMMER. We've been "riding dirty", if you will, with expired tags on BOTH of our cars. It's risky, yes. But the County Clerk's office keeps weird hours and there are weird forms to fill out and a Sherrif's inspection to get, and all kinds of things. Plus, because there is a lein the Camry, I had to wait 90 days for Carmax to send the courthouse the title. SO. Today was going to be the day of car registration for the Camry. I went to the clerk's office, got some forms, went to the Sherriff's office and got my inspection done (waited in very long lines to accomplish all of this of course), went BACK to the county clerk's office to show them my inspection. The woman fills out all of the paperwork and says, "I can't register your car. Your husband has to be here, too." Blah. I say, "My husband works during the hours you guys are open. He can't be here." So she says we can go to a notary and sign the paperwork in front of a notary and then come back and get the car regisitered. So tomorrow I get to go back. I'm SOOOOO excited to wait in those lines again. Wahoo! But HOPEFULLY tomorrow, both cars will be registered in Jessamine County, Kentucky. FINALLY.

Finally, I also gave mention in the subject line to Corrine Bailey Rae. My friend Tanya sent me her CD for my birthday and I've just LOVED it! If you haven't checked her out, you should. I recommend it. It's sort of a different and fresh sound, and I like it.

Peace out, homies.

All my love...

Sunday, February 4, 2007


Well, I ended up NOT going to work on Friday. I got up, got dressed, opened the door, and saw before me a Winter Wonderland of snow. It was snowing pretty hard for a while, and I had heard there was a 7-mile backup on the road I take into work. So I decided to make Friday a "work from home" day. Yesterday (Saturday), was a gorgeous (but cold) day, with no new snow, but this morning when we woke up, new snow was waiting on the ground. When I left for church this morning (around 7 a.m.), I was a little frightened to be on the road. We couldn't even tell where the lanes were on the highway. I think this snow was a little unexpected, so the salt trucks weren't quite ready. We made it to church safe and sound, and it has really turned out to be a beautiful day. I mean, besides the fact that it is 3 p.m., 21 degrees outside with a wind chill of 8. Tomorrow's HIGH is 16 degrees. Yikes. No worries. It's warming up to 22 on Tuesday. :)

Friday, February 2, 2007

School is about to start...

I'm gearing up for another semester of school. Classes start on Tuesday, and I'm not sure I am ready. I bought my textbooks yesterday. I only had to buy 5 texts this semester, which is down from 22 books last semester. I was pretty excited about only buying 5 books. I am taking the second Hebrew course this semester, and that course uses the same books we used in the first Hebrew course. I am also taking Church History 2, and I had a lot of those books as well from Church History I, so I only had to buy one additional book for that class. The only course I had to buy all new books for is my Philosophy class.

I'm headed to the office here in a bit, so I should get up and get ready to face the day. :)