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Month: November 2010

An escape plan for Thanksgiving …

An escape plan for Thanksgiving …

Well, it’s been awhile since we’ve had the Suburban out on the open road.  We loaded up last week and headed for Arkansas.  I told Bill I would pick him up around noon at his office downtown.  Bill works for a very large natural gas company.  Ever since 9/11, oil and gas companies in Houston have changed the design of many of their offices and are very, very tight on security.  
What I’m saying is that I haven’t been to Bill’s office since 9/11 that I can remember because it’s too hard to park, get into the building, etc.  It makes those airport scanners look like a piece of cake.  Pulling up to the curb, even for a second, will result in a security officer coming to the car and asking you to move.  (Years ago you could pull into a driveway under the building and wait as long as necessary … gone are the days.)

Wednesday I called Bill and told him we were almost there and he headed down to the street.  The outside of his building is undergoing MAJOR renovation and there is scaffolding everywhere.  In addition, jackhammers were tearing away at the surrounding concrete.  We saw Bill but he was walking to the opposite block so we quickly pulled into a partial drive at the front of his building and Savannah jumped out to yell “Daddy!!” so he would know where we were waiting.  For reasons still unknown to me, I decided to grab something from the back of the Suburban.  When I opened it all manner of suitcases came rolling out onto the street.  I silently hoped  no one would think I had a bomb in that luggage though I doubt the pink suitcases with green polka dots looked very suspicious.  I quickly put them all back in and raced to the front of the car before the Department of Homeland Security was called out on us.  

As I got back into the Suburban I could hear the jackhammers working and noticed that Jacob had rolled down a side window.  As Bill rounded the corner suddenly Jacob began to scream… “DADDY, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.  THEY ARE SHOOTING AT US!!!! RUN!!!!  RUN!!!!!! RUN!!!!!!!!! THEY ARE SHOOTING AT US!!!!!!”
Do you know HOW MANY people were standing on the street corners and in front of the building at that exact time?

A lot.  That’s how many.

Needless to say, we got out of there as quickly as we could.  
And the thought of ANYONE seeing corporate, calm Bill jumping into a Suburban full of screaming kids yelling “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, THEY ARE SHOOTING AT US” which then screeches out of town on two wheels makes me double over in laughter.

Bill just says … “yeah, real funny” and I’m sure wonders if this little incident will come up at his next review.  

About three hours down the road we decided the coast was clear and so we stopped and filled our tummy tank.  Running like a bunch of terrorists had made us hungry.

We were also the loudest family in Whattaburger.  Go figure.

We finally made it to Arkansas and had a WONDERFUL time.

I made my first ever pumpkin pie and Bill declared it “very, very good”. Yay me!

I also made a REALLY terrible broccoli rice casserole.  I have thrown away the recipe forever.

My mom made a “Mississippi turkey” which is a turkey put in the oven with some veggies around it and cooked really high for an hour or so and then you turn the oven off and it continues to cook in the oven all night long.  My mom made it PERFECTLY CLEAR that under NO UNCERTAIN TERMS were we to open the oven until morning.  

Of course I told her that I did … just to see what she would do.  🙂

The turkey was delicious.  Unfortunately Brittany never tasted it because she had seen it before it was carved.  When she sees a bird that still has it’s legs on it she literally cannot eat it.  I learned this the hard way when I bought a rotisserie chicken.  She loves chicken but once she saw it whole, it was a no go for her.  But … my mom also had ham so Brittany didn’t starve.

During the weekend, the cousins enjoyed hanging out ….

I got to hang out with some friends, shop a little and then we climbed a mountain.

Pinnacle Mountain.

It was quite exciting.

Not quite as exciting as the whole “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE” event but still a really good time!.
72 hours later …

72 hours later …

This is how it went down ….

1:00 Bill and I go to the title company and see this sign:

 It was official.  We were closing on our new house!!

Bill looked a little pale during the whole thing and I asked him several times if he was doing o.k.   You know … needed oxygen or anything.  🙂

We both signed 4,722 dotted lines … then I had to sign them all again because I hadn’t added my middle initial even though she had told me to do that.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a detail person, right?!?

2:00 Bill and I go “celebrate” by going to Einstein Brothers for a sandwich.  

2:30 Bill leaves for the airport to go to Dallas.

3:30 Title company calls and has the keys to the house … owner signed later than we did due to a late arriving flight.
4:00 Savannah asks me if we can “go home”.  It is music, sweet music to my ears.  

5:00 Take Jacob and Savannah to new house!!

I wish I had a picture (actually I do but it was taken on the camera that needs cords and well … who knows when we’ll ever see those again), but literally within a minute of getting there four neighborhood kids ran over and asked if they could climb our tree and 30 seconds later there were SIX kids perched like monkeys hanging out of our magnolia tree.  One kid shouted … WE LOVE THIS TREE.  I think they’d been wanting to climb it for a long time and trust me … that tree is OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

It was a sweet moment.

We walked around inside for a second and then realized Savannah was about to be late for her dance class so we buzzed down the street to drop her off.  On the way back I stopped and dropped off a bag of donations for Boys and Girls Country, a charity in Houston.  When I got back to the house I realized I couldn’t find my keys.  I had locked the twist lock on the back door and had no way to get back in the house.

I called Bill later that evening and told him I had good news and bad news.  The good news was that our kids loved playing with everyone and it was so fun and so good.  The bad news was that I had lost the keys.  All five of them on a key chain with the country of Ireland on it.

I figured they would show up.

24 hours later … still no keys.

48 hours later Bill breaks the glass on the door trying to get in.  He kept telling me he could NOT BELIEVE that his very first home improvement project in the new house was to fix the door he had to break in to in hopes of finding the keys. 

Unfortunately there were no keys in the house.
72 hours after losing the keys I told Bill … “my project for today is to find those keys!”  I had already alerted the Boys and Girls Country organization because I wondered if they had fallen into the donation bag.  

The first place I looked was my purse.  I literally stuck my hands in the pouch that holds the phone and THERE THEY WERE … Bill saw the whole thing.  The funny part (or not so funny, depending on how you look at it) was that I had already looked in my purse three times.  And it is not a big purse and it is really clean right now.  

But here’s the deal … and I hope you don’t think I’m trying to rationalize it away (I KNOW it was crazy on my part!) … but those weren’t our keys.  We kept saying that it was really putting it into perspective for us.  That house is God’s house … we’re only there to open the door.

But we do need the keys to do that … and so we’re really glad we found ’em!!!!
There has been some drama …

There has been some drama …

On Monday we were supposed to close on our house at 3:00.  
Turns out we didn’t.  
More than a little drama!  I will spare you the gory details but suffice it to say  Bill and I had to do a little good cop/bad cop with the mortgage company …. and, for the record, I was the bad cop.  

We are now set for Thursday.  Eek!  We’re about to have two houses.  I was reading to Bill last night about worry and how we shouldn’t do it … you know the whole … “Do not worry” theme in the Bible …. and all Bill could say was “Preach it Sistah!”

In other news, we have a cool Dodge Ram 450 white truck in our driveway.  It has a backseat and it is awesome.  Bill rented it today to drive to San Antonio on business.  Tonight he picked the kids up from church in it and THEY. THOUGHT. IT. WAS. THE. BOMB.  Bill let them ride in the back down our street and he might as well have said “let’s take this ride to Disney!”  It was hilarious.  Caroline really, really wants a truck for her 16th birthday (is that a Texas thing because I most definitely didn’t want a truck on my 16th birthday?). 
In fact, I got a yellow Volkswagen convertible when I turned 16 and it was THE COOLEST CAR OF ALL TIME.  My friends and I drove everywhere in it.  I had to buy my own gas and if I didn’t have any money, they’d chip in.  We once scrapped up a whopping 27 CENTS to get that car up and down “the drag”.  It was always a good time.  The stories I could tell …

Anyway … Bill gets to keep the truck until tomorrow and I think Jacob might not be able to sleep tonight anticipating riding in the big white truck in the carpool line tomorrow.  I’m just happy to have the morning off!

That is about all my news.  Brittany placed 12th (out of A LOT) of girls Saturday at the South State Gymnastics meet so she is an alternate.  Her coach wants her to go because if two people get scratched, she is in … we’ll see.  I’m proud of you Babs  … “you went a long way baby!”

Last, but not least, real butter is now following me on twitter.  
I think that is hysterical.  
That’s all folks~



Yesterday … when I put a link to Big Mama’s blog … well,  it was the wrong link.  Go figure.  I have no idea how I did that but I have updated my blog and added the correct link here as well.

Chalk this up to a Darla Story.  🙂

Read the post … The Where Against the Why here.

PS  If you ever notice in the future I do something like this again … please … do tell.  I already make my proofreader work overtime.  🙂

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying other blogs …

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying other blogs …

It’s been a long week here which may or may not explain why I haven’t posted … at all … this week.  I’ve written several things in my head – which I’m fairly sure will stay there for eternity.

One thing I do want to mention …. because I’m so proud of him! …. is that Bill Baerg was the featured “speaker” from our family this week.  I told him that of all the speaking opportunities I’ve ever had, his was the one I think I was most nervous/excited about.  A group at El Paso Corporation (where he works) asked Bill to come speak on “Faith in the Marketplace” and tell how he integrates his faith with his work.  The flyer said … “You don’t want to miss this!!!” … and I didn’t want to miss it, but sadly, they did not invite me.  🙂  I know he did great though and am grateful that, for as long as I’ve known Bill, he has lived his life in a way that makes him the perfect speaker for that type of event.  I’m totally not surprised that they asked him.  And I’m totally proud to be his wife.

I did tell him I wanted a consulting “fee” though when he wanted some pointers.  🙂

Anyway, as Bill always tell the kids when they do something great … G-O-O-D  J-O-B, Good Job, Good Job!

One of the things, besides my “consulting work” that took up my time this week was taking Caroline out to her high school volleyball varsity play off match.  The coaches required the freshman team to be there.  Due to an accident on the freeway leading out there … which SHUT THE FREEWAY DOWN, we pulled into the parking lot just as someone called to tell us the last match was over.  THREE solid hours we sat in the car.  But, I have to say, it was a really, really good three hours.  Other people had offered to take Caroline and trust me, I had some A LOT of other things to do, but I also felt like she and I hadn’t had much time to “hang” lately.  And so there we sat … for THREE hours … hanging out.  At one point I said something about the other things I could be doing and then after I thought about it said … “but you know, I wanted to hang out with you and this is as good a place as any” … and she said … “that’s more like it mom”.  And anyway, even if we hadn’t stopped and recovered from the trip with a peppermint milkshake … it still would have been the best three hours of my week.

Now then, although I haven’t written any blogs this week, I have read some that I thought were really, really good.

And so … just in time for the weekend, I thought I’d post a couple of links in case you are looking for some good reads for your “free” time.

The first one is from one of my faves, Big Mama, who is very, very funny.  About every six months or so she’ll write something not funny but totally from the heart.  This post is so good.  I’d like to describe it to you but the best thing I can say is just read it.  Please and thank you.

The next one is from Pete Wilson.  He is a pastor in Nashville (he was probably in about 3rd grade when we lived there!) who I think is incredible.  He wrote a book called “Plan B” which at some point … when I unpack the book … I plan on reviewing on the blog.  I LOVED it.  But the link to his blog is from earlier this week when he wrote about letting Scripture “sink in”.  He called it “soul searching Scripture“.  I taught a Sunday School lesson a few weeks ago about “dwelling richly” in God’s word and I thought this was the perfect follow up.  Again … read it. 

As an aside, I really hate that I linked Pete’s book to Amazon in light of their TERRIBLE decision this week to sell a really horrible book on their website.  They have since changed their minds but it’s too little, too late in my mind.  UGH.  It has made me wonder if I am ready to cross over to the dark side of getting a Nook (or an Ipad!!) for Christmas.  It seems like it would be oh so easy and fun to do but I REALLY, REALLY love the feel of a book in my hand so I’m conflicted.

What about you … do you have a Nook or Ipad that you use to read books?  Thumbs up or down?

Because it’s just about time to make my Christmas list you know!

Have a good weekend!
My phone has a camera …

My phone has a camera …

Remember Chris Sligh, American Idol – Season 6?

I’m a big Idol fan … or probably should say was … since Simon is leaving I just really don’t know that it will be all that great to watch anymore… but I did love it and loved Chris Sligh back in the day.

And tonight he came to do a concert at our church that was great, even in spite of the fact that his smoke machine caused the smoke alarm in the church to go off multiple times.  It’s true.

It so cracks me up that Chris was kicked out of Bob Jones University for going to a 4Him concert.  Here is a guy that took the gifts God gave him and put them on a very public stage and is continuing to use those gifts for Him. Rock on Chris … rock on!

I was actually thinking about it as he was singing that there were probably some people there who don’t enjoy his type of music.  That got me thinking that I bet heaven is going to have a lot of different venues for musical preferences.  I mean, let’s face it, not everyone makes or likes the same kind of “joyful noise”. The funny thing was that while I was thinking about that he started singing a song called “make us one”.  So true, so true … God made us all so different and yet we are all made for the same purpose … to glorify Him.

Anyway … it was fun and I’m awfully glad my phone has a camera built in it.  That is the one thing I currently have a cord for!
There would be pictures but we can’t find the cords …

There would be pictures but we can’t find the cords …

We took some really cute Halloween pictures.

You’ll have to imagine them though because we’ve lost all the cords that connect our printer to the computer.  And without them I can’t download our pictures … or post them.

It should not come as a surprise that it happened.  When I got my new computer a year and a half ago, I decided I needed my own “work station”.  I set up a nice area – with the exception of my printer table.  
It is a cardboard box.  
And it was one of those things where over time I no longer saw the cardboard box, I only saw that it held the printer and the “tackiness” of that didn’t bother me in the least.  

But each time we have shown the house, Bill picks us the box and carries it to the garage.

As he carries it out he sings … “MOVIN’ ON UP … to the East Side” which makes me think that he might be expecting me to have something a little nicer once we move.

I’ve been telling Bill it’s my own version of “Design on a Dime” because that’s about ten cents more than how much my printer “table” cost him.  

But anyway … on one of those times the printer and table were banished to the garage, the cords were lost.

And we have looked and looked and looked and I’m not sure they will be found again.

No need to email me that there is a cord that goes from the camera directly to the computer because I’m about 117% sure we wouldn’t know where that is either.
But you will know we’ve found them when you see a picture on here again.
And there will be much rejoicing.
I might be so happy I buy a new printer stand.

It’s like I’m living an episode of “Everybody loves Raymond” …

It’s like I’m living an episode of “Everybody loves Raymond” …

Whew … whirlwind few days.

Lots going on around here not the least of which was the fact that I was sick on Thursday and Friday.

I’m sure staying up until 2:30 in the morning Tuesday night doing a home improvement project only exaggerated how badly I felt the rest of the week.

And to be honest, I didn’t do the home improvement project, I only watched.

You know … gave my moral support.

The whole thing was funny … especially about 2:15 in the morning when Bill and I both crossed over to the … “everything is now hysterical” side.

It was at 2:15 that I declared that “I hate home improvement projects”.

Bill said he did too.

I said that was good … proves we were made for each other.

He said that was bad because we needed at least one of us to motivate the other to do some projects.

We marveled at how some people actually enjoy those kinds of projects….and we know that they do because we saw the signs on the front of Home Depot with all their “course offerings”. 

And people were signed up!

I told Bill I could not understand how someone would want to sit around and “for fun” do some kind of home project when there are so many beautiful oceans in the world just waiting for me to come sit beside and read a book.

I mean, for realz.

It would be a beautiful thing if I could tell you that we completed the project Tuesday night, but alas, we did not.

We did finally finish it though, just in time to show the house Saturday morning.  We had a house showing at 9:30 am but they showed up at 9:15. 


I was literally making her bed while they were knocking on the front door.  Brittany had a friend spend the night and the blankets were still out so we grabbed those and ran out the back door (gives whole new meaning to the phrase … take up your bed and walk – or run!, dontchathink?!). 

The sweet “home lookers” came outside and told us we didn’t have to leave … which is good because my keys were in the house.

And my shoes.

And two kids were on the trampoline, one was on the pogo swing and one was hopping down the driveway on a pogo stick and one was scowling about the fact that she was awake.

I’ve decided they either thought our house was crazy or charming.

Either way I hope they noticed that home improvement project!