Tuesday, July 31, 2007


  1. I was awakened with a sweet kiss from Tornado. What an awesome way to start the day!
  2. Maybe that is the reason why I felt surprisingly refreshed after not getting much sleep last night.
  3. My toes did not tingle much when I climbed out of bed...
  4. Or when I walked out of the bedroom to find that Tornado and Twister had actually been cleaning! They had let me sleep in a little bit, and they were cleaning!
  5. When I opened the pantry door, there was food available for breakfast. This is a big deal because I have not been to the grocery store in awhile. The food supply is - needless to say - dwindling...
  6. Which means that the pantry, as well as the refrigerator and the freezer, are clean and organized.
  7. We were able to have a nice, quiet breakfast because Bow Wow Brownstone did not bark this morning.
  8. This means that we have found a solution to our bird problem! Fake snakes. Blake, Drake, Jake, Lake, and Wake Snake - of course, they had to have names if they were going to live in the backyard!
  9. We have something fun to look forward to all day today...
  10. Which means that I can relish the gift of having good and true friends!

Monday, July 30, 2007


In this exploration into the world of blogging, I have become a fan of the weekly themed post where the blog author posts a thought or idea, and then other people link to the post sharing their similarly themed ideas.

I am not familiar with a lot of the blog terms or their meanings, so I am not sure what this blog activity is actually called. I personally like to refer to it as a "Post and Host." What I do know is that it is like one big shopping trip where you can always walk away with something new, whether it be advice, a laugh, or an actual object...for FREE!

There are three "Post and Hosts" of which I'm aware, though there are most likely countless others. I look forward each week to checking them. Following are some of my favorite links and a brief description of each:

  • Laura, at I'm An Organizing Junkie, always hosts Menu Plan Monday. Here you can read Laura's menu plan, as well as plans for more than 100 others, for the whole week, and often she includes recipes for you to try. The rest of her blog is great, too, as she gives you lots of tips to get organized.
  • Shannon, at Rocks In My Dryer, always hosts Works-For-Me Wednesday. Here you can find out something that has been working for Shannon, as well as what has been working for more than 100 others. Her blog is funny, and she just hosted the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway, a really awesome giveaway party! I wish that I was already bold enough to publish this blog because I would have given away a really cool prize. I will not reveal it, though, because my goal is to be ready for her next giveaway party, and I want for it to be a surprise!
  • Rachel, at A Juggling Mums Food Blog, always hosts Freezer Food Friday. She gives you a great recipe for something that can be easily frozen. It's great because who doesn't need an available back-up at dinner occasionally? It is strictly a food blog, so she includes lots of great recipes for other things, too.
So...those cover three days of the week. I find the alliterations very clever. I thought that it might be fun to have my own "Post and Host" someday, even if it is just for myself. The specific idea is worthwhile, and it will just happen to work on one of the other four days of the week!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'M "IT".

Well, my friend Jennifer has sort of tagged me. Her exact words were, "Okay, I now tag...Laura, Amber, and Reagan...Jill, you need to actually publish your blog and then I can tag you, too!!"

Jenn obviously knows that I began a blog not too long ago that has never been published.

I am a regular blog reader. I have a whole folder in my bookmarks which contains favorite blogs to read daily. I admire all of your bravery in actually posting your musings. I enjoy reading your tags and memes. (What IS a meme actually? I was not familiar with the word. Is it an Internet thing, a blog thing, or I have I just neglected to learn the term in my thirty-something years?) Anyway, I always think how fun it would be to participate, but I guess you actually have to publish your blog to be tagged by someone else...until Jennifer. She went and sort of tagged me anyway. Now what am I supposed to do with THAT?

For now, I will answer my first unofficial tag ~ in draft form, of course. I will save tackling the decision of to be or not to be actually published for a later time! You can go ahead and proceed with the chicken bock-bock-bocks if it gives you a chuckle. I'm not sure about how these tags work. If the answers are all supposed to be short, then mine will be wrong. I feel like writing today; and since I'll be the only one reading it, I can do it how I'd like! So there!

First Memory - This is a hard one! It's difficult to remember how old I was when the things I remember happened, making it very difficult to remember which thing happened first! One thing I do remember, though, had to have been about age three because we lived in a little pink house. It was around Christmas time. I remember going back to my bedroom and opening a dresser drawer and getting out pajamas. I proceeded to dress myself in a little red nightgown with a matching cap, and I then dressed Thing 2, who was one at the time,
in festive nightwear as well. We were like little visions of sugarplums.

First Real Kiss - Oh, my word! This is the kind of question that is embarrassing and can fill you with that moment of regret, that moment of "What on EARTH was I thinking?!?"
I don't really remember my first little peck on the cheek (either Cheshire Cat or Bear), but my first real kiss was in the Eighth Grade (which is far TOO young!). It was in the movie theater, and his name was Slick. He was older than me, and we were not on a date. (I repeat, it was too young ~ I wasn't even allowed to date yet!) I will never forget the butterflies of a first kiss, and that's why I wish I had saved that first kiss for someone different. Slick was cute, and older, and he thought I was pretty...so it was exciting, but it was not true love.

First Love -
Mercy! This is another one of those questions! And doesn't first love come in many different forms?

  • My first love ~ or the love I put above all others, the one that transcends all earthbound love ~ is for my King, my Savior, my Jesus, my God, Elohim, El Shaddai, Jehovah...Name above all names, Name I cannot live without, my Lord.
  • But...my first love was my daddy. I am so thankful for my dad. I have been blessed with one that I know loves me and that will always be there for me, for Mr. Brownstone, and for Tornado and Twister. He is a great balance of everything a dad should be, and I love him for it.
  • My first crush was in Kindergarten. Everybody, every girl anyway, had a crush on Little Fonzie. He wore a black leather jacket just like the Fonz. I'm not sure if we all really loved him, or if we loved the fact that he had a black leather jacket like Fonzie.
  • My first boyfriend was in First Grade. Cheshire Cat had siblings that were quite a bit older than him ~ old enough to be dating. He was my boyfriend because he told me that I was going to be his girlfriend. Cheshire Cat might have attempted a kiss on the cheek, but I really don't remember because it was so long ago and the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing just embarrassed me in the first place. I think that was about the extent of our relationship, other than the fact that we were friends all the way through graduation.
  • The first boy with whom I held hands was in Fifth Grade. His name was Bear. We went to the Planetarium on a field trip and held hands under the stars. So romantic for a fifth grader, wasn't he? I got a peck on the cheek from Bear. It was very fast, very unexpected, and his cheeks turned ALL SHADES of red ~ probably because eleven years old is too young to be kissing!
  • My first love that confused me was Johnny Boy. We were such good friends. Johnny Boy moved to Our Town in Second Grade. Through all of the him liking me and me liking him when I liked someone else or he liked someone else, we remained good friends. And let me ask you, have you experienced how hard it is to listen to the girlfriend troubles of your heart's true love when you are fourteen and that girlfriend isn't you? As a result, Johnny Boy was also the first boy to break my heart, and I was the first girl to break his. We were friends all through High School, and all through College, and we still are friends ~ though we have both moved away from Our Town and never see each other except when we are both in Our Town at the same time. Though our timing was not often in sync, we did get the timing right once; but by that time, we were too good of friends ~ the "almost like dating your brother" kind of friends. We both got a friend for life, though, and now he's found Mrs. Johnny Boy, and I've found Mr. Brownstone.
  • My first real boyfriend was in High School. Star Athlete and I dated for two years. Things started out rosy, but Star Athlete was not very nice to me after awhile. It was an eye-opener for me and a life lesson in that whole "books and their covers" analogy. I was so thankful to have Johnny Boy in my life. Johnny Boy, Bear, and Fred (my dear friend) saved me from harm's way. Cue foreboding music here. And then...there was my daddy. My daddy, non-violent man that he is, found the ability to be very scary when there was a need to be very scary. Star Athlete did not bother me anymore.
  • I dated some in College, but it was just dating, no real love connections. And then...Mr. Brownstone walked into my life and never walked out of it ~ my first and only true love.
First Concert - Do concerts I saw at a County Fair count? If so, it was probably Merl Haggard, or Charley Pride. I also saw George Strait and Mickey Gilley and several other artists this way. I guess the first REAL concert I saw was Garth Brooks. He was truly phenomenal ~ I saw him on his birthday. He told us that in honor of his birthday he would like to try out a new song to see if we liked it. I guess you could call it a "World Premiere". Well, the crowd obviously liked it because it sent him from stardom to super-stardom and opened a new door in country music. He debuted "Rodeo" for us that night...and the crowd went wild.

First Thought In The Morning - My first thought is always "just nine more minutes". That is also my second thought and my third thought ~ sometimes it's my fourth thought, too. However, when it's my fourth thought, it makes me nine minutes behind if we are trying to get out the door for anything. My first annoying thought is fear at the tingling in my left set of toes, accompanied by "isn't once enough?" ~ more on that another time. My first lucid thought is "I need a Diet Coke".

First Best Friend - Well, the obvious would be to say that Thing 2 was my first best friend, followed by Thing 3 and Thing 4. I was ~ and still am ~ very close to my siblings. My first non-sibling best friend was Jeff. Well, her name wasn't really Jeff. It was before my time, but there was a comic strip about Mutt and Jeff. Jeff was very short and Mutt was very tall. Grown-ups used to call us Mutt and Jeff because I was so much taller than her. Jeff and I are still friends. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding to Mr. Brownstone.

Last Food You Ate - Do Tootsie Rolls count as food? If so, then the answer is Tootsie Rolls. If those don't count, then it was the Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken from McDonald's. Yum.

Last CD Purchased - The last CD I purchased was Kelly Clarkson's "My December". I really love her voice and have been a fan since Season One of American Idol.

Last Good Book You Read - The last book I read was Karen Kingsbury's "Forever". It was not good, though. It was great. If you have not read her series about the Baxter Family, I highly recommend them. I say "them" because there are three different series about the Baxters ~ different, but not independent of one another.

You must first read the
Redemption Series in order:
  • "Redemption"
  • "Remember"
  • "Return"
  • "Rejoice"
  • "Reunion"
Then, you read the Firstborn Series in order as well:
  • "Fame"
  • "Forgiven"
  • "Found"
  • "Family"
  • "Forever"
Then, you read the Sunrise Series, which is a work in progress with the final three books to be released between now and Summer 2008:
  • "Sunrise"
  • "Summer"
  • "Someday"
  • "Sunset"
Last Time You Cried - Oh mercy. I cry a lot! The last time I cried was while watching "Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular" at Disneyland. I know that is SO cheesy, but I can't help it. I cry at musicals, even when they are funny, as well as instrumental music concerts ~ like a symphony, or when I watch marching bands. I KNOW. These, of course, are not the only times I cry. I cried a few days before the musical when I talked to a friend on the phone ~ please keep in mind that this is a friend I see often ~ because it had been a couple of weeks since I had seen her and thought that it was going to be a couple of more. I also cry when I get my feelings hurt, which happened the same week. I cry sometimes in commercials, movies, and television shows. I cry when I'm reading a good book. I cry when Tornado and Twister do anything, including grow!

Last "I Love You" Said - The last time I said "I love you" was when Mr. Brownstone called me earlier today. I love that man. I am a lucky girl. So lucky. Mr. Brownstone has got ALL the goods.

Last Funny Thing You Did - Hmm...Tornado and Twister find it extremely funny when I make up new words to old songs to fit whatever it is we are doing, or just to be silly. My last made up song was today. It went something like this, "Wilbur Wonka, Wilbur Wonka, for the cleanest teeth in town. Wilbur Wonka, Wilbur Wonka, helps avoid the need to frown." (Wilbur Wonka is Willy Wonka's father.)

Now for a little extra...
Last Words To Type On This Tag - The End.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Thing 4 and Thing 12 were sitting in a tree,
First comes love,
Then comes marriage.
Then come The Things pushing a baby carriage!


I am so

I'm going to be an aunt again!!!

to Thing 4 and Thing 12!!!

will be their first baby!

(Isn't that just the cutest name?)

for this new creation of God!

Friday, July 13, 2007


I am a very nervous flier. Actually, unless there is a lot of...OK, OK...unless there is ANY turbulence, I do alright once we are in the air, and the pilot has turned off the fasten seat belt sign. The first four minutes are what get me. Every time.

As a result of this, I am a procrastinator packer. I
never pack anything more than one day before a trip. (Being honest here, it's necessary to say that I am this way even if it is a driving trip.) We went on a trip last summer with several other couples, and I was still shopping at 9:00 p.m. for a dress to wear while renewing our wedding vows! (Of course, we're women, so all of us were trying to coordinate our outfits for the vow renewal with a mixture of white and brown. The six couple ceremony is a story for another time.)

Part of it is that I'm scatterbrained most ~ if not
all ~ of the time. I think it might have ADD, but that's a whole other subject! I also have a hard time saying "no" ~ whether the request is to be on some committee at school, to teach at church, or to just go have some fun with friends. I like having the ability to be flexible, so I am easily distracted.

Another part of being a procrastinator packer is due to the fact that I tend to work well under pressure. I feel more organized because the one task becomes so large that I cannot let myself be distracted by other things. If I do things too far ahead of time, I end up worrying that I have left something out or unfinished.

When it's a airplane trip, though, the biggest part of it is that I start thinking about that first four minutes of flight the moment the suitcase comes out of the closet! It's not a fun feeling. I can happily anticipate a trip, setting aside the flying part, if I'm not having to pack for it.
Packing makes it real. So...my little method actually works well for me. By the time I finally do pack, it's so important to get it done that I go into a one-track mode. I have to be so focused on the actual job that other things don't distract me as easily.

It drives Mr. Brownstone crazy.

He starts asking the week of the trip if I have started packing. I used to tell him "no", but now I just smile and say, "We'll be ready." Everyday he asks the same question. "Are we all packed? I'd really like for the bags to be by the door before we go to bed the night before we leave." I just smile and say, "We'll be ready."
(I love it how he uses the term "we" as if we were all participating in the act of packing. I also find it humorous that he actually still thinks with each trip that I will be sleeping that night.) Then once came my favorite question of all time,

"Are you packing clothes, or will we be sightseeing naked?"

The funny thing is that he was
really asking. He really asked this! So dramatic! He gets that way sometimes. I just smiled and said, "Of course." He smiled back in a panicky sort of way ~ you know half laugh, half fear, slight eyebrow raise, and then back-to-business. "Will we be packed? Will the bags be by the door the night before we leave?" I always smile and say, "We'll be ready." I never answer "yes" because I learned long ago that Mr. Brownstone never puts the bags in the car the night before we leave.

I won't lie. I am
STILL nervous about flying. It's the middle of the night. We are leaving for the airport in four and a half hours, and I will not sleep at all tonight. I will finish packing, do whatever laundry is left to do, clean things like the baseboards and the ceiling fan blades, get myself ready (because of course I haven't showered yet today - I've been too busy keeping myself busy), and then as promised, I will smile in triumph as I place all the bags by the front door for Mr. Brownstone.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


It has always amazed me that we get so much from just twenty-six tiny letters. Short words, like "a," long words like "metropolitan," and funny words like "zakuska." (For those of you that don't know, "zakuska" means "appetizer".) We get phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. We get lyrics and speeches. We get blogs, articles, stories, and books. Isn't it amazing to think that an entire book consists of only twenty-six tiny letters?

Generally, I read somewhere between thirty and forty books a year. As long as it's well-written, I'll read just about anything ~ mystery, suspense, romance, true crime, horror, biographical, autobiographical. Each time, I pause to remember that it consists of only twenty-six letters, with the occasional punctuation mark, and maybe a number or two.

This year, I must admit something that I NEVER thought I would admit. I've read *gasp* only four. FOUR! It's already well into the summer, and I've read only four. And the real truth of the matter is that I have read all four of them in the last five days! To think about how far behind I am this year makes me feel like I'm missing out on some great adventure ~ a wonderful movie in my mind! Speaking of movies, that brings me back to the original point...twenty-six tiny letters in a screenplay, which in turn becomes a movie. Think of movies that you find simply great.
Twenty-six tiny letters in "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy! Twenty-six tiny letters in "Braveheart".

What's even more amazing to think of is that there are twenty-six tiny letters in our translation of the
WORD OF GOD!!! I will never cease to be amazed at any intricacy in the design of my God's hand!