Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ring ... ring ... ring ...

Hi, you've reached Lisa's blog. I am currently unavailable, as I have decided to move to Wordpress. If you'd like to leave a message, click on the "snappy comebacks" button on the bottom of the page. If you'd like to find the real Outnumbered Lisa, check out my blog at outnumberedlisa.wordpress.com.

Thanks! And have a great day!

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Survey

Hey everyone! I decided to see how y'all like commenting on wordpress. Head on over there to answer my latest survey. Have a great day!!

A few things to let you know about ...

In honor of Presidents Day, take this quiz to see how much you know about the quirky habits of our Commanders-in-Chief. I did pretty poorly myself.

Paula is ready for us to take her survey on Christians and Depression. She is going to write an article for Christian Woman and wants to know how members of the church of Christ view depression. Paula writes:
I have developed a survey to gather additional information and hope that you can assist me by participating. This survey is completely anonymous and only takes a couple of minutes. There is no way anyone, including myself, will know who participated or have access to your e-mail address. Survey results will be posted at www.depressionsurvey.blogspot.com in April.
Go to this post and read the rest of her description, then click on the link to take the survey. It didn't take me very long, only a few minutes, and Paula would really appreciate having as many survey-takers as possible. Thanks!!

Trey Morgan
has been named Man of the Year in Childress, Texas. Apparently his town makes a big deal of choosing someone that has affected their community positively. Congratulations, Trey! (He's gonna be sooo embarrassed that I did that. :) )

Well, I'm about to take the plunge. I am going to be switching over to wordpress.com, I think, as soon as I figure out everything I want to about it. If you want to see what it looks like so far, you can go to lisaleichner.wordpress.com. I'll let you know when I make the official switch. I know it will be inconvenient to many of you who will have to edit your favorites lists and blogrolls. I'm sorry for that!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Read my lips, no new babies!! and Fun Stories from Amelia's

After my last post and the subsequent comments, I feel the need to emphasize that there are no plans for any more children in our future. I know that sometimes God has other plans for us and we are not totally in control, and that is fine. If He desires that we have another child, then so be it. If that happens, y'all need to remember that we are just as likely to have a BOY as we are to have a girl. So I want y'all to stop talking about pink yarn and baby sisters and the like. Okay?!

I must have misquoted Jeremy, as I was positive he was talking about a sister for the hermit crab. But I will check with him in the morning and get back to you. He has come a long way in his love for girls, but as far as I know, he (nor his brothers) have had many thoughts of actually having one in our immediately family. In fact, now that I think about it, that's kinda funny because you hear all the time about kids asking for baby brothers or sisters, but I've not heard my kids discussing that. I think that must mean that our family is perfect as is and the boys do not feel they are lacking for more siblings.

{{Update, Sunday afternoon: Jeremy said that it was a sister for the hermit crab that he was asking for. "Yes, I wanted a sister for the hermit crab, a friend for the hermit crab, and a cat." "Jeremy, is the cat for you or the hermit crab?" "For me." So, there you have it. He couldn't care less about having a baby sister, the kid just wants a cat and 2 more hermit crabs.}}

So that's enough talk of all the pink stuff, got it? I've got plenty of my own pink stuff to go 'round.

Now, here are a few funny stories from my last few nights at work (at least I think they're funny). Then I'm going to bed.

On Tuesday night my boss called and said not to bother coming in because freezing rain was beginning to fall, and he knew it'd be so slow that I wasn't needed (the other night-shift girl was already in, so it made sense for me to be the one to stay home). That was the second Tuesday in a row that I wasn't needed, as the previous one we had snow.

On Wednesday night some friends from church (2 couples that we're close to) told me that they had stopped in Amelia's the night before, hoping to see me. I felt really bad about that, but of course, there wasn't any way I should have assumed that someone I knew was going to stop in, nor would I have necessarily gone in anyway, just because I knew someone I knew was going to stop in. I guess I could have warned them, if I had known they were planning to go. Anyway ... they told me that they asked if I was working and their waitress, Angie, a quiet high school girl, said that I was no longer working there!!

The kicker is that my friends actually thought I had been fired!

Angie later told me that she headed away from the table after telling them that and realized who "Lisa" was, not the girl that was fired before I started working, so she ran back to tell them it was a mistake and that I was indeed still working there, but I just didn't come in that night.

Anyway, I thought it was pretty funny.

Last night, Angie told me that she really liked working with me and that she felt like we had been working together forever, rather than just a few weeks. I thought that was really sweet (especially coming from quiet Angie), but I teased her about saying that, since only a couple days before she had forgotten who I was!!

Tonight, Vicki & Mike stopped in with their kids, AND Bevin, Corey & Cooper stopped in too! It was a great night. I had so much fun, and I felt really good that friends had stopped in the restaurant to see me (though Vicki & Mike are fairly regular customers, this was the first time we'd been there at the same time). And I think my boss thought it was pretty cool that I was getting people into the restaurant. I really like working somewhere that gets rave reviews on their food. I've never had anyone complain about the food, and I personally think the food is wonderful too. It is a lot easier to work somewhere, and you can totally mean it when you say, "The food is great!"

Last night a classmate of Nathan's stopped in with his mom. They were just getting take-out, so they were sitting on a bench waiting for the food, and I was able to introduce myself & talk to them a bit. When John, who happens to be one of Nathan's favorite friends at school, said that he really likes our pizza, I said, "Oh, I do too. I grew up in NJ, and the pizza is just like what I used to have, so I love it." His mom's face lit up, and she said, "You grew up in NJ? So did I!!" And wouldn't ya know we grew up like 20 miles apart, in the same county I think. She grew up in Budd Lake & her husband lived in Hackettstown (that knowledge is really for my family who will know where those places are). And when I asked what brought her down here she said that her husband worked for a company called Hercules ten years ago, but after they had a huge explosion (an explosion which we were able to feel 15 miles away, by the way), he lost his job & they relocated down to these parts. And our sons, whose birthdays are THREE days apart, are in the same class at school. I'm telling you, this whole thing just smells of God's planning to me. I cannot wait to see how this unfolds!!

As if that wasn't enough, last night I got home from work, read Neva's post about an explosion at a plant near her home, and I go to leave a comment telling her I will also pray for the men who were injured and their families, and lo & behold, my Dad has left his very first comment on her blog, relating the story of the Hercules explosion that I had just talked about with the woman at the restaurant a few hours before. What is going on in this crazy world?!

Well, that's it for tonight. I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I had actually planned to go straight to bed when I got home tonight, but Dan was watching a movie when I got in, so I decided to wait up with him ... except, where is Dan now? Oh yeah, he's gone to bed and I'm still here at the computer. Something's wrong with this picture. :)

I will tell you about the earlier part of my day in a later post (consider this my reminder), and some time I'd like to tell you about some of the people I work with, besides sweet, quiet Angie.

((P.S. for Tanya: tonight my boss saw that there was one more slice of pizza left -- the slices that they save for when someone orders just one slice -- and, assuming that I would want it, which of course I did! -- he asked me if I wanted anything on it. It took me less than a second to say, "Oooh, tomatoes!"))

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sorry for the frequent posting the past couple of days. I guess I've had a lot to talk about.

**NB, I'm sorry I didn't immediately realize who you were. Please try again. I am not trying to be intrusive, I would like to meet you. I was limiting myself to people I already knew when trying to come up with someone whose initials were "NB," ... and I can be an idiot sometimes. Maybe you'd prefer not to have an idiot for a friend, anyway, and I wouldn't blame you for that. :)

We were at the pet store today getting some supplies for our hermit crab, and Jeremy asked me repeatedly if we could get a pet for the hermit crab. I said at some point we could get another hermit crab to be its buddy, but it'd probably be a while.

A few minutes ago, Jeremy asked me, "Mommy, can we get a sister [for the hermit crab] and a friend for our hermit crab?"

Jeremy & Derek are now picking out names for our "new hermit crab." The names include "Peace" (which is what J really wanted to call our last one), "Kitty Cat," "Jeremy Christopher," and "Hemrit" (Yes, I spelled that right).

Don't miss the last few posts!
You'll be very sad if you do.

You asked, I deliver!

No, I'm not bringing over your pizza tonight (though Amelia's makes a mean NY-style pizza pie -- you'll have to stop in tonight to see me AND to get your own pizza). Trey Morgan recently asked about my kids. As I composed a l-o-n-g comment in response, I thought, "I haven't written very much about the kids lately!" So, here are some new things the kids are doing lately ... or the same old things but with a new twist. :)

My almost-6-year-old wonder ... I was beginning to think he was making all his classmates mad as he had yet to be invited to a birthday party. But last week we received not one, but two, invitations to parties that are coming up soon, and, of course, Nathan's will be next weekend as well. It will be a busy time for Nathan's classmates and their families! I don't know if you ever let your kids invite their entire class to their parties, but we decided we'd limit it to 3, along with 3 church friends, and 2 cousins (unless our Memphis cousins want to "stop in"??). Then it became 4 school friends because Nathan had a hard time narrowing it down to 3. Then we got an invitation from a girl that Nathan did not choose as his top 4, so I'm thinking it might be 5. :)

Last week we received a letter saying that Nathan had been nominated by his teacher for the gifted program. We have some paperwork to fill out to give them "a picture" of what Nathan is like, and then there will be some sort of conference or meeting to determine whether or not he will enter the program. I am very pleased. Did I tell you about the first round of testing that his teacher told me about at our parent/teacher conference back in October? The testing was out of 104 points. They look for the kindergarten children to make 28 points in their first quarter of school. Nathan got 104! After that, I would have been pretty surprised if he wasn't invited to the gifted program. I realize this sounds like a lot of bragging ... and it is. Sorry. I can't help it. I'm very proud. If you can't brag on your kids, then what are you going to do?? I don't know if the other 2 kids will be invited to the gifted program, but I know they will be recognized in other ways for excellence, so I hope we are able to show our children how proud we are of them, no matter what their strengths are. I also hope we always remind there Where their gifts come from.

On another note, one of Nathan's weaknesses is his inability to stay focused in class. I realize that at this age, maybe you can't expect much, though I'm sure his teacher knows just how much she can expect and he doesn't quite meet up with that. So we are working on encouraging him to stay focused on his work. I warned him last week that I had talked with his teacher about sending home any work that he didn't get finished in class and if the teacher tells me that he should have been able to finish it, he will work on it as soon as he gets home before he gets to do anything else. He has yet to bring home any unfinished homework, so hopefully he got the message. I'm sure it will be forgotten soon, but I'm glad he's taking it seriously now.

I've told you before that Jeremy is my favorite easiest kid to get along with. And I don't know if it's him or both of us--you know, if he gets along easily with everyone, or if it's just the chemistry that he & I have. He rarely gets on my bad side. He has so much ZEST -- when he's excited about something, it shows. His voice changes, he talks more rapidly & less understandably, he uses his hands more, etc. He was a "follower-of-Nathan" until Nathan went to school. Then he became "the followed." Derek and all the other children we keep in our home look up to Jeremy and follow him around. The change amazes me. What I thought he lacked in leadership was really just lurking in the shadows until it was needed. When Jeremy accidentally (or otherwise) hurts someone, he immediately feels bad about it, he hugs & kisses the person and says repeatedly, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," until you finally say, "okay, Jeremy, it's okay."

Jeremy also has really bonded with my niece Hannah, who comes to stay with us each Tuesday & Thursday afternoon after preschool. They play very well together. He told her last week that she was his best friend. Considering his previous view on girls, he has come very far indeed! Today they were playing together and I heard the following conversation (Terri ought to get a kick out of this):

Hannah: "Let's play house, Jeremy!"
Jeremy: "No, I don't want to play that. Let's play bad guys!"
Hannah: "Umm, I don't think so." (She's sooo cute!!) "That's for boys. House is a game for girls."

How young they figure things out!! Ha!

Jeremy is sooooo athletic. I always wished I was athletic and I wasn't, so I am really excited about having an athletic child. Dan has been fairly athletic, but never really gifted in one sport especially, though he did get pretty good at volleyball. Anyway, the way Jeremy jumps and somersaults and jumps onto the couch with his hands into a headstand on the back of the couch (don't know if I described that well), he just seems so coordinated and graceful. I've told you all this before, I know. When I watched Jeremy play with Nathan's soccer team one night, and play just as well as the kids that were 2 years older, it made me so proud! :)

Jeremy also has a funny way of composing sentences. He might say something of the sort, "Are we going to the park today because I really like the park the park is my favorite so we should go." -or- "I like to play with trucks, so I wanted to go downstairs to play with them, but I just didn't!" Jeremy is the most polite of our children, the one most likely to remember his "please" and "thank you." He remembers to ask to be excused from the table before he gets up and he usually remembers to ask for something the right way, "Can I ... please?"

Have I told you that Derek's beginning potty-training? I don't know if this is just an experiment or if it is the real thing. I guess we'll know in a month or two. Maybe he just likes to be naked. :) Well, yes, we all know that, it was my Fatal Mistake. Seriously, you ought to check out that post if you haven't been reading since November. You'll be sooo glad you did. (Um, maybe I should warn you, though, that there might be a naked bottom in the post -- not mine, though!)

Derek is really charming, and that kinda worries me. You know the type of guy that babies like him turn into! So we'll be working on that. He is just so darn cute sometimes!! Here's a warning for those of you who might have children younger than 2. When they start turning on the charm, do your best to resist! Believe me, you'll thank me for it when they're older.

One thing about Derek is that you have to occasionally pull out some psychological tricks, especially when wanting him to get dressed or help you clean up. Telling him to do it is likely to get you a "no!" Occasionally it's good to go ahead and tell him (or ask him, if you prefer that terminology), take the "no!" then discipline him for that so that he understands who's the boss. :) But sometimes when you're not in the mood for a fight, starting out with different tactics are a bit easier on you. Asking him to be a big helper and give Mommy a hand is a great trick. He loves to be a helper. Act like you really need his help and he'll step up to the plate. With clothes, he almost always says he does not want to wear what you pick out for him. So, you need to pretend that you are going to wear the clothes instead and that Derek can't wear them ... works every time. I especially enjoy hamming it up and pretending to try to put his clothes on myself, which always gets a big smile.

Another warning for the young children ... try to instill the "please" and "thank you" as soon as they're learning to talk (or if you're using sign language, sooner!). And then, after you have it well-established, stay on top of it! We made the mistake, probably with all 3 of ours but maybe not as much with Jeremy, of not always correcting them if they forgot. So occasionally they'd forget to say it, we'd think, "well, they almost always say it, so I'm not going to bother with it this one time," but the next thing you know, you're having to start over practically from scratch because they get back out of the habit. So, start very early and then stay on top of it!

So, that's it. Hope you enjoyed the recap of how the kids are doing and growing!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Peanut Butter Poisoning

Just in case you were wondering ... my family is fine. I hope everyone else is too. :) There's been a recall of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter. I actually do have a can with a lot number on it that was recalled, but we haven't yet opened it. If my sister-in-law Terri hadn't called me today to let me know, however, I would have used it for lunches tomorrow.

I had to dig through the trash to find the lid of the last peanut butter jar, the one I used to make Dan's sandwich this morning. Sure 'nough ... it had the wrong number on it!! So, THAT's why I've been having stomach issues all week!! Yuck. Fortunately, miraculously, no one else seems to have been affected. Yay! (I know "yay" is traditionally spelled "yea" but I think that's changing. I like this new spelling better anyway. Since I don't plan to use the word for any formal writing assignments any time soon, I think I can spell it however I'd like)

So, if you live in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Tennessee, & you have a peanut butter lid with a long number beginning with 2111- ... don't eat it!! I also heard that you can take it back to Kroger, Wal-Mart or Food Lion for a refund.

I guess I'll be going to the store tonight for some Skippy. :)

Some Recent Updates & Goings-On

Thanks, Mom, for wishing me a Happy Half-Birthday yesterday. That is one reason Valentine's Day is special to me ... in fact, if I didn't have kids, I probably wouldn't bother with V-Day at all, but I always want to remember my Half-Birthday! I told the kids yesterday that it was my Half-Birthday; Derek said, "Happy Birthday!" and Jeremy said, "Is that why we're getting candy?"

On Tuesday night, we got some freezing rain. I'm not crazy about ice, especially on the roads or somewhere I need to walk, but I think it is so beautiful on the trees (and everything, really). Half-way through yesterday, the sun came out and the effect on the ice was so beautiful. Behind our house we have a row of trees, then the land drops down so there is nothing directly behind those trees--it's perfect for getting a prism-like effect in our backyard. Beautiful! I didn't get the camera out again after the sun came out (though I may have another chance today--with temperatures around 10 degrees, I don't think the ice is going to melt), but here are some pictures I took yesterday morning of our backyard. Just kidding, those pictures are NOT from our backyard. Aunt Dawn will recognize those pictures from an email she sent me with some really crazy shots of icicles in a city in Switzerland.

One of the little girls that I keep, who's a few months older than Derek, was talking to him the other day. He was kinda walking away from her and she was following, trying to get his attention. I think she tried just about everything, but the one thing that finally got his attention? "Happy Holidays, Derek!" He turned around & said, "Happy Holidays!" They went back & forth with this a few times when the little girl started breaking out the specific holidays to use ... "Happy Valentine's Day!" "Happy Easter!" "Merry Christmas!" etc. It was very cute.

I really like my jobs. It's great getting to stay home and keep kids. The restaurant is great. They're not well-known yet, so it doesn't get so busy that it's very stressful. My last restaurant job could be pretty stressful. My boss & his wife are great. What's funny is that at my old restaurant, I always felt so old working with all the college students there, even though I was only a few years older than they were. Well, now I work with all high school students! I feel like their mother! And they definitely do NOT think I am cool! HA! It's a bit of a challenge being friends with them, but they're all pretty nice kids and we get along.

Derek has been a singing maniac lately. He sings all the time. He even sings when he's praying! It's so adorable. He also makes up songs. If you ask him to sing a song about a particular person or subject, there are one of two variations he might sing for you. They both have a tune similar to the first line of "Pop Goes the Weasel" (Here we go 'round the mulberry bush). It's either "Thank you for my brothers" or "This is a song about Mommy." Very cute. He sang a few songs for some friends at church last night. I get such a kick out of it.

Well ... this has been a difficult week for me. This will be the second time in about 7 months that I have to say goodbye to good friends. Angela & Travis are moving to Florida. The good news is that I will be able to get together with them when I go down to see my folks. The bad news, obviously, is that I can't run 5 minutes down the road to have a chat with Angela or share coffee & dessert with them. Both being quite witty, Angela & Travis have provided me with many laughs over the past three years. They are also really caring people, who look out for others. They've taught me a lot about hospitality as they often have people in their home.

I thought moving away from New Jersey, to a fairly rural/suburban area of Southwest Virginia, I'd be in a place where people stayed forever. I didn't think I'd be dealing with saying goodbye to friends every year, such as I did when I was a youngster living outside of New York, where many of my friends' parents worked. But alas, I didn't take into account living near a college town (two, actually), that people would be in and out of this area just as much. They come for grad school, then move on, or move in & out for other reasons. I am very happy for Angela & Travis. Travis is starting his first job with an architecture firm, and they will be so close to Travis' parents, who are really awesome people. I am very happy for them being closer to family, especially now that they're expecting their first child. So much change for them! It seems like we have a tendency to take on a bunch of change all at once, rather than taking on our big life changes one step at a time.

Well, I don't want to end this on a sad note, even though most of you are probably bored with my ramblings and just wish I'd just quit going! Derek has started the process of potty-training. I am anxious to see where he will go with it. Nathan did not start until he was nearly 3 & we really encouraged him to try. Jeremy, on the other hand, saw his big brother using the big toilet & wanted to do it too. He was completely potty-trained by the time he was 2 & 1/2. In fact, Jeremy was able to go the entire night without using the bathroom before Nathan could make it all night! So far, Derek just likes to run around the house without a diaper on. He occasionally sits on his little potty, but has yet to do anything in it. Yesterday he went for more than 5 hours without a diaper and without "going," but he finally asked if I would put his diaper back on, I guess because he wasn't able to hold it any longer.

Some more Switzerland Icicle shots:

Pretty crazy, huh?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thirteen More Things I Love

(continued from February 1st, here)
1. Having a warm husband to keep my feet from freezing at night.
2. Hot chocolate.
3. Laughing.
4. Having so many boys in my family, even if I am "outnumbered." :)
5. Hot showers.
6. Blogging.
7. My feet in warm sand.
8. Singing along with four-part harmony.
9. Closing my eyes & just absorbing a beautifully sung song.
10. Shoveling for the neighbors.
11. Making spaghetti with the Hinckleys. (we're doing it again tomorrow night!)
12. Vacation, long or short.
13. Sleeping in.

What do you love?

You can make your own candy hearts too!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Some new blogs I've come across

Some of you may have noticed comments from some "new" people lately. So I want to introduce you to ...

Bill at the Spiritual Oasis, who coined the "Learning and Yearning" phrase above in my Blog subtitle. After I told you about a great post he wrote a month ago or so, he saw that people were going over to his blog from mine. I've enjoyed having him around ever since. :) If you're looking for more blogs to read that are written by Christians, check out his extensive blogroll. He does some exploring to find blogs that will encourage, uplift, inspire & challenge and is very willing to share his findings!

Two lovely women that Bill found before I did are Kathy & Neva. They are excellent writers that you will enjoy reading! (Neva was the inspiration for listing some of my "loves" in the subtitle.) To use Kathy's words, the three of us are scattered out through the generations, but I sense we are kindred spirits (despite the fact that they're from Texas).

Trey Morgan, a preacher from the huge state of Texas, has been a regular reader & commenter for the past couple of weeks. It is a bit confusing having another Trey around, but he's brought a lot of insight & good thoughts, so we'll keep him. :) Check out his blog Rediscovering Church, Rediscovering Jesus sometime; you'll be glad you did! (He's also the father of 4 boys, and you gotta love someone who can handle so many boys!)

Here are some other interesting blogs I know about that I haven't mentioned before.

Chris Gallagher's latest series of posts is on Disagreements. You'll find it very interesting! Gallagher is also indirectly the reason I began the whole new Blog title search. I won't get into how that all started, but it had to do with Galatians 6:9, which you'll see isn't even still up there! It has been moved to the left, and it was the inspiration for the "doing right, doing good" theme above.

Patrick Mead has recently begun a series on "Hidden People." It's fascinating!

If you are interested in what life is like in American Samoa, an old acquaintance of mine & Dan's from Harding lives there with his wife and three children. Philip Murphy is witty and fun to read.

[[If you try to keep up with a long list of blogs, and you go to each site every day checking for a new post, you ought to try something like Bloglines (a button in my sidebar will take you there) or Google Reader. They will alert you to a new post, so you don't have to check each one every day (or several times each day)!]]

Your help on choosing a new Blog title is very much appreciated!
Thanks to Brian for "the Y's have it" and his desire to mention gluing my fingers together in my Blog title. He's probably disappointed that I haven't changed my middle name to "Three-finger," but I don't suppose he can complain what with all the contributions he did have for the title. Thanks to "little" brother Trey for his Supermom contribution (I loved your alliteration, even though I only kept one of the S's!), and to Paula who may not have realized she gave me the idea for "sleeping in on Saturdays" (the train of thought was as follows: "lounging around with Lisa," hmmm ... lounging ... in PJs ... sleep ... sleeping in ... the only day I get to sleep in -- til 8:00 sometimes! -- is Saturday ... and there you have it). Certainly much thanks goes to Laura, who let me borrow her "creative bone" by donating a clever blog title. I love the simplicity of it--especially since I have a tendency to use too many words (among other things such as the parenthesis, quotation marks, ellipses, etc.). Shocking to learn that, isn't it?

Thanks also to those of you who voted, contributed other titles, offered jokes to keep us laughing, and keep me encouraged in so many other ways -- mainly that you keep reading this silly blog of mine! I can't believe that you're still here, but what a joy it is. Many of you also keep up ongoing email discussions with me, or let me keep pestering you with them, and those too encourage me in ways for which I can't begin to thank you. I'm still amazed by the added benefits I've received from blogging that I couldn't have anticipated when I began.

Grace and peace to you all,
(thanks to Paul for his inspiration from Philippians -- man, everyone's inspiring me these days!)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Have you gotten one of these?

I get emails all the time from various persons whose names I don't recognize, and in the subject of the email is a phrase that sounds like it would be from someone I know.

For example:
"I was supposed to see you that day, after school."
"Hey you"
"Thanks for the good time"
"Have you seen this?"

My initial thought is usually, "Huh? I know I don't know that person." Then, "Why would they use a subject like that?"

I know why they bother ... to get me to open the email. Do I do it? Yep--a little nervously for fear that I will be opening a virus, but my curiosity won't allow me to ignore an email since my forgetfulness makes it possible that I do actually know the person but don't remember the name and my polite-ness would hate to be rude and ignore an email from someone I might know. And, of course, the body of the email is about mortgage insurance or some kind of drugs (prescription, I think--I hope) or some other nonsense. Just the fact that the subject does not match up with the body is enough to make me think "SPAM."

I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that these people use a subject that will do exactly what it did: draw me in, make me curious enough to open it even though I don't recognize the name of the sender. They were counting on me being a sucker and I delivered. I don't think my email service would allow a virus to come through on the email itself and I would never open an attachment from someone I didn't know, so I think my computer will be safe from whatever virus they might be trying to send. I think for the most part these people are trying to sell me something, but they know that if the subject says, "Hey, we want to sell you something," I'm much less likely to read what they have to say.

How often does the Devil use these tactics in our lives? He's pretty sneaky, isn't he? He doesn't whisper in your ear, "Hey, I really want you to be unhappy in life and I want to separate you from the love of your Father, so why don't you deny Him for me?" He says, "You oughta try this [insert sin], it's going to make you feel sooo good." "C'mon, you know you're going to love it." He lures us away under false pretenses, convincing us that whatever sin it is we are tempted by will make us feel better than what our Father's love can do for us--fulfill us, refresh us, save us.

As Neva reminded me, our God provides us many things, and one of those things is a way out when we're tempted. "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

I couldn't wait ...

So what do you think?
(If you don't like it, I don't want to know.)

Scroll down, because I've made some other changes as well. Stay tuned for some more pictures! (My computer's too slow & I'm too impatient to do any more than that for now)

Friday, February 09, 2007

What do you think? Your thoughts matter here ...

I am narrowing down the Title search (not for my house, for the blog). And I'm beginning to see it was a mistake to ask for ideas for the title. Don't get me wrong--I needed ideas & in a way, I'm glad I asked. BUT, I realize now that in so doing, I will have to actually choose one of these titles. No, that doesn't bother me because I think the titles are bad. It will bother me to choose one and NOT choose the rest! I'm one of those people that doesn't like to offend anyone or hurt their feelings. I hate confrontation or conflict or disagreements of any type. That can be bad when something really does need to be said and I don't want to do it because it might hurt feelings. I am learning (perhaps a little late in life, but better late than never) how to be more honest and discuss openly the issues I have with others so that they do not become huge chasms between us, destroying our friendship.

But I digress ... choosing a title is going to be difficult. I think I will be ready to have the new one up by Monday. So, if you can handle the suspense over the weekend, this should give you something to look forward! If you want to vote, or submit an idea, there's still time. My procrastinating nature will probably prevent me from choosing one until Monday morning. (Don't forget that you can vote on others that were submitted in the comments section of my last post)

I'll give you a hint ... since the flavor of my blog is a bit silly and lighthearted, that's probably where I'm going to head with the title. Though sometimes I wish I were more serious ... well, you know me. It seems I just can't help it.

I just love posting those surveys. I am so excited that so many of you respond to them. Some of you totally surprise me--either with your specific answers or just the fact that you answered at all! Why do you think I enjoy those surveys so much? (I know, but I want to see if YOU know)

I want to congratulate my son Nathan. Last week his teacher started a reward system that allows the children who earn a certain number of points each week a treat on Friday. Last week Nathan had an ice cream. Today Nathan is going to school in pajamas; his reward was having Pajama Day. He is very excited about getting to wear his Cars pajamas to school. It was a tough decision which ones to wear, as he got a few new sets of PJs for Christmas & he loves them all. But Cars won out. So, way to go, Nathan! I'm so proud of my little man.

Our next door neighbor, Bill, has been caring for his wife for the past few years. She has Alzheimer's and she is very far progressed with the disease. The other day an ambulance pulled up to the house, in no hurry whatsoever. I feared the worst had happened. I took some dinner over to him that night. When I walked in, he introduced me to his niece. We made small talk & then I told Bill that I wanted to bring him over something to eat. Wanda said, "well, Bill, why don't you sit down and tell us what happened? Is she gone then?" And I was thinking, "WHAT?! She seems way too casual about it all. And blunt. Good grief!" Well ... I'm very happy to report that she has not passed away, but was rather taken to a nursing home. However, Bill is not happy about this. Though I can see that his family thinks it is a better situation because of how difficult it must be to care for someone like his wife, who seemingly has no idea that others are around, and no one's even sure if she is aware of Bill. Except Bill. He is confident she knows she's around, he is sure that Alma knows they sleep together at night. He thinks Alma tries to talk to him. I'm not saying I doubt Bill; he surely knows Alma better than anyone else in this world. But no one else is sure about that. The decision for Alma to go to a nursing home was not Bill's. He is very upset about it. Apparently Social Services decided the matter and went to court to have it ordered. So ... I ask you to pray for Bill, because he really misses his wife.

There's a guy from my church who writes for the Roanoke newspaper from time to time. I started asking him questions about how he got started, how someone would develop some credentials to hopefully lead to writing for a newspaper, etc. After a few email conversations, he said that he wanted to help me get an article in the paper. He has some suggestions for getting started. When I'm ready to write an article, he'll help me edit it, and he'll put in a word for me with his editor. He wants me to start by writing an essay (or more than one) to read on public radio. Now that I actually have this concrete step to take, I feel frozen! I can't think of a topic. I don't even know where to start. Do I write a devotional-type essay? Do I write an essay about raising kids? Do I write a human interest story?

What do you think I should write about? (There I go again, asking for ideas)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Renaming Lisa's Blog

I was hoping to come up with a title that went along with Galatians 6:9. I sorta liked what I came up with, but thought it could be worded more creatively. But none of you went along with that theme, so I'll have to go elsewhere. I'm actually going to put this to a vote (we do love democracy, do we not?). Here are some suggestions you all gave me, and then I went to the Sloganizer, recommended by Matt Dabbs in a recent post, to see what else I could come up with. Let me know which are your favorites!

1-- "Lisa's Life" (Dad)

2-- "Outnumbered" (Laura)

3-- "Surveys and Stories from a Semi-satirical Supermom" (Trey B)

4-- "The Blog of Life" (graciously given to me by the Blog Prophet)

5-- "Lounging around with Lisa" (Paula)

6-- "Lisa Lisa and the Strawberry Jam" (Brian)

7-- "Lisa 'Three Finger' Leichner" (seriously don't know why Brian thinks that'd be a good one)

8-- "Lisa, Boys, Chaos -- It's like Heaven!"
(this from the Sloganizer after putting in the key words: "Lisa, boys, chaos")

I'm actually torn between several of them, so I'll be interested to see where your votes go. I have to warn you, though, if you vote for #7 I will destroy this democracy & become a dictator.

I put all these titles in the Sloganizer & here's what it came back with:

1a -- "The American Way of Lisa's Life"

2a -- "Outnumbered, there's no better way"
(does anyone else have Trust & Obey stuck in their heads now?)

3a -- "The Power of Surveys and Stories from a Semi-satirical Supermom"
(kinda messes with the alliteration, doesn't it Trey B? I have to do the "B" now since I have 2 Treys)

4a -- "The Blog of Life lifestyle"
(isn't that a bit redundant?)

5a -- "Lounging around with Lisa - You see this name, you think dirty"
(I just don't know about that one!)

6a -- "Lisa Lisa and the Strawberry Jam is your safe place in an unsafe world!"
(this is too funny. I'm afraid to put in the next one)

7a -- "Call a friend, call Lisa three finger Leichner"

Oh man, that was too funny ... maybe it's just too late ... and that, Loni, is your answer to when do I find time to post: I don't sleep, I don't clean the house, and I don't even eat ... much.

Silly Questions & Probably Sillier Answers

I had so much fun with the last survey that I couldn't wait to do another one! Plus I wanted something fun to do while I'm stuck at home today (we got some snow last night & schools are cancelled). I'll keep it short again. (Same rules: 1--answer what you want to and 2--have fun!)

1. What is your favorite kind of sandwich? (the answer "whatever my wife is fixing" does not count)
2. What is your favorite item of clothing? (the answer "whatever my wife picks out for me" does not count)
3. What is the next date on the calendar that you are most looking forward to? (the answer "whatever my wife's favorite date is" does not count)
4. Have you ever glued your hand to something? (the answer "yes, when my wife made me" does not count)
5. Do you still have your wisdom teeth? (the answer "I did until my wife pulled them out" does not count)
6. Who was your favorite Bible class or school teacher? (the answer "my wife" does NOT count!!)
7. Bonus: Do you have a suggestion for a new Blog Title? I'm keeping the verse above but am unsure about what to make the title. (By the way, if anyone has me listed on their blogroll with "Adventures with My Guys" on it, by all means, just leave it that way. I'm still recording some of our adventures, so it still applies.)

My answers:
1. I love sandwiches! Even easy PB & J! My favorite, though, is a Monte Cristo sandwich, especially served with some strawberry or raspberry preserves.
2. My favorite item of clothing is a new long-sleeved Valentine shirt from Target. ... but ask me again in a few months & I'll have a different answer.
3. The next date I'm looking forward to is February 14. It's doubly fun for me: V-Day AND my half-birthday!! Woo hoo! I'm partying! (I'm also going to attempt spaghetti again for our church's Wednesday night supper, so it'll be quite the adventurous day)
4. I don't recall having ever glued my hand to something ... however, when using Krazy Glue, I inevitably manage to glue two fingers together.
5. I still have all my wisdom teeth. My wisdom teeth, however, are unusual in that I have only 3 & one of them is a baby-sized molar (I call it "my mini-molar").
6. My favorite teacher of all time (both school & Bible, as it happens) is Dr. Ross Cochran, from Harding. I had a lot of good Sunday school teachers, but my favorite is a tie between Mrs. Stockman & my mom. My favorite school teacher was either Mr. Cutler, in 4th grade, or Mr. Smith, my senior physics teacher. (So, apparently, you can choose as many "favorites" as you'd like)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


School was delayed for two hours today, due to "dangerously cold temperatures this morning."


I mean, I'm not complaining or anything. I think it's a great way to get a small break but not have to miss a whole day, a day which we might have to make up later in the year.

But have you ever heard of such a thing? I guess there are kids that stand at the bus-stop for a while before the bus gets there, so it'd be good to not have them waiting out in temperatures below 15 degrees. We're kinda spoiled. Since Nathan's bus stops right outside our house, when it's really cold I let Nathan stand at the door until the bus pulls up & then run out. Our bus also passes our house twice, so if he missed it the first time, or if she didn't stop & wait for him, he could go out & catch it the second time around.

I don't recall ever having school days delayed for cold temperatures when I was a kid!! And I walked to school when I was in elementary school (not barefoot, but there was definitely a rather large hill to walk up on my way home)!

I was also glad for Dan that he got the chance to sleep in a little (though instead of sleeping in a long time, he got up still somewhat early to get some work done that he'd otherwise have to do after school). I sorta wonder if it's hard for teachers to plan a day that's shortened. Maybe it's harder to squeeze in all you have to do. Or maybe the children are extra rowdy from the excitement of having a shorter day, so it's harder to keep the class in control.

Another one:

I was noticing on the calendar that is in Nathan's folder that the teacher has on February 19, "School Closed for Virginia Heroes Day."


I haven't looked into that, maybe some of you could help me out. When did President's Day get changed to Virginia Heroes Day?? I think the folks in New Jersey might think that's a bit strange, don't you? I'm kidding, of course!

But, seriously, what is this Virginia Heroes Day?

And, finally, I leave you with a very silly email my friend sent me this morning. Hope it's new to some of you ...

The Shoe Box
A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box.

When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000. He asked her about the contents.

"When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said, "that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the dolls."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Wrappin' it up

You guys are so great. It was such a treat to get online this morning and read all the new comments on my blog. How fun! If you haven't already done it, check out the comments for the last two posts; you will get a lot more from those than the original posts! I love the insights you shared on Clean House, Happy Heart. As Trey Morgan reminded me: it's important to remember that whereas we clean our own house, the "heart-cleaning" has to be done by God. Not only that, but Jen and Marcia pointed out that it's necessary to allow God to continually keep us clean. How do we do that? By allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. The Spirit reminds us what is necessary to keep our hearts clean. And the Spirit's dwelling keeps Satan out.

In Pop Quiz, Lisa-style, a lot of you shared some interesting tidbits about yourselves (some of which --ahem, Brian--we might have preferred not knowing). Some of you even alluded to some secrets from a past life that have me very curious indeed (what in the world Malia did that she won't "divulge," why in the world Bill has to carefully avoid revealing a secret identity). If you haven't already taken my little survey, it's pretty short (only 5 questions!) and you'll definitely get extra credit for creative answers (like these 3 stinkers).

Hope you're having a great day!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Clean House, Happy Heart

I love a clean house. The only problem is ... I'm lazy, I don't like to clean, I'd rather be doing ... anything else: reading, blogging, getting a cavity filled.

Oh, and then there's the Derek-factor (what my mother-in-law calls "putting fires out all day long"): in the same length of time I've spent cleaning a mess, the 2-year-old-tornado can make twice as much mess.

Since we've been in this new house, cleaning has been a bigger chore than ever. There are just so many rooms to keep up with! Of course, the size of our house does not explain why it seems the pile of dirty dishes has grown and why there are more piles of laundry lined up in the basement to be washed. But, nevertheless, the pile of dishes has grown, there is more laundry to clean, more dust has gathered, more beds have to be made (no, wait, that was the bad dream I had last night).

But we've also entertained more since being in this house. Our old little house was just not all that practical for having guests over. Yes, I let the size of the house embarrass me and keep me from having people over very often. But it really was difficult to have guests over when we didn't even have a table to offer. The 3-person rotation around the coffee table was a bit embarrassing. And larger groups just didn't fit. I mean, we had 4 people over once. They didn't seem too comfortable sitting on each other's laps, so we decided maybe we'd not have that many people over again.

We've had people over quite frequently since being in this house. Having more people over means the house has to be cleaned more often. Since I really enjoy having guests to entertain, I have not minded the extra cleaning involved with that. In fact, I am glad to have a reason to get the boys & Dan cleaning more often, because I really really do enjoy having a clean house.

As I was vacuuming this morning, getting ready to have the Mommy Gang over for lunch today, I was pondering the similarities between having a clean house and having a clean heart.

Having a clean house makes me feel good in so many ways. Not having a clean house makes me grumpy.
Having a clean house energizes me. Not having a clean house overwhelms me and makes me feel lazy.
Having a clean house allows me to relax. Not having a clean house makes me tense and easily upset.

What does having a clean heart mean? And what is the difference in our lives when our hearts are not clean?

When I was done vacuuming, I wrapped the cord up (are there any other tidy-cord-wrapping-obsessive people out there?) and started to roll the vacuum back to the hall closet. I noticed how the wheels left tracks on the carpet & how someone could see those tracks & assume I had vacuumed, even though I could leave those tracks without having vacuumed. Obviously, it would be a bit crazy to run the vacuum around the room without it turned on. You're putting some effort into making it look like it was vacuumed, why not have the vacuum on and actually pick up all that dirt so that the carpet will be clean? All anyone would have to do is get down a little closer to the carpet and see that it was not actually clean.

Still with me?

Why would we put some effort into cleaning ourselves of sin, but instead of staying clean we return again and again to the same old sins? Our hearts stay dirty because we just don't turn the vacuum on and truly rid our lives of those sins.

I can't think about a clean heart without this psalm running through my head:
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pop Quiz, Lisa-style

Okay y'all, if you've been around a while, you know the drill ... if not, here are the "rules": 1--Answer what you want to. 2--Have fun.
  1. What kind of toothpaste do you use?
  2. What's your favorite salad dressing?
  3. What's your favorite type of music?
  4. Have you ever been out in public in your pajamas (as an adult)?
  5. What's the most daring thing you've ever done?

So, that's it! Short & sweet, I kept it easy for you. I'll leave my answers as a comment for anyone that's curious.

Thirteen Things I Love

I doubt I'll remember to do a Thursday Thirteen post each week, but for this week, I wanted to do a post about some of the things I love. It is, after all, the month dedicated to love. There are MANY things I love, but here are some of the things that I was thinking about this week ...

  1. Finding the item I'm looking for at the store ... and being pleasantly surprised that it's marked down!
  2. Snow ... and a surprise day at home with the whole family.
  3. Warm weather.
  4. The sun.
  5. My husband ... of course.
  6. Holiday t-shirts at Target.
  7. Friends who seek you out so you can sit together (I'm talking about this girl!)
  8. Sleeping in til 8 (not today unfortunately, but maybe some other day).
  9. The song "The Joy of the Lord."
  10. Friends who will talk to you about something that's bothering them so there isn't anything hanging in the air between you.
  11. Jeremy's sweet cheek kisses & Eskimo kisses.
  12. When Nathan is really helpful around the house (there are advantages to 5-almost-6-year-olds after all).
  13. Derek's big hugs.

Wow, that list went too fast. I'll have to do another Love Post so I can share some more of the things I love. Hope you are counting your blessings today too!