They Call the Thing Rodeo…

On Thursday night we headed down to the rodeo to see one of my favorite country stars…Brad Paisley! I’ve seen him a couple times in concert before (including once at UTSA before he was a “big star”) and he’s always been fantastic. Thanks to our good friends, Matt & Georgia, we had ourselves some VIP gold badges to get into the event. Due to a minor ticket discrepency however, we ended up playing musical chairs several times throughout the evening. It sorta felt like we were teenagers sneaking into a rated R movie!

Not that I ever did that.

Anyway, even though it was freezing cold and rainy, we pushed on so we could get some of that yummy rodeo food (and we had this discussion…what is it about large public events that makes canned nacho cheese taste SO GOOD??) and enjoy the show.

Brad was waving to us!

We had to take the obligatory close-up bad picture. You know what I’m talking about…where one person always gets screwed because their face looks bigger than the others… :)

Garrett & Matt waiting on their brides to get back with ice cream

Ah, I love the rodeo and wish we could’ve gone back for more this year! Maybe next year they’ll let me enter the calf scramble…

Bootleg Faith

I love the daily devotional I receive from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Lately there have been some that really hit home. I especially liked the one from today…if only I could write these words myself :)

by: Susanne Scheppmann

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)

A skeleton hangs in my family’s history closet. It’s very quiet. No one brings the skeleton to our family gatherings. It seldom rattles, but when it does, we all look at each other appalled. How can our family have a history of bootlegging?

During the Prohibition of the 1920′s when the government forbade the making or selling of any type of alcohol, my forefathers saw opportunity. My great-grandfather and grandpa contrived a small distillery in a basement and bootlegged alcohol. The original term, bootleg, comes from the attempt to conceal something, usually whiskey in a flask, inside a high-top boot. However, during the Prohibition, the term “bootleg” was used to refer to brewing a drink that was a copy of the real thing.

So, our “family wealth” expanded from the illegal activity of making “liquid gold” in the form of moonshine. Though it may have looked like the real stuff – whiskey – it smelled like oil and tasted like acid, according to those folks who remember the brew.

Sometimes our faith is bootlegged. We try to imitate the appearance of faith we see in others. We copy or fake their faith so we can feel or appear spiritual. Or, like my “family wealth,” perhaps our faith is passed down to us. “Family faith” feels comfortable, like a well-worn leather boot. We may participate in rituals, celebrations, and prayers that we don’t understand or even care about. Bootlegged faith is never authentic growing faith. It’s fake.

I want my faith to be genuine and not a hand-me-down, don’t you? Let’s pledge today to grow our own faith by reading God’s Word, praying and attending a Bible-based church. Let’s show our communities an authentic faith that glorifies God.

Dear Lord, help me not to “bootleg” my faith from others, but to walk with You. Grow authentic faith within me. Thank you for the privilege of glorifying You through my faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

1 Peter 1:6-7, In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Silent Clock

I think I might have cried for the first time ever during 24 last night. Now I won’t reveal anything for those of you who haven’t watched it yet, but one of our FAVORITE characters got the silent clock (i.e. died, blown up, gone forever)

Well, technically that may not mean gone forever because if he was given a secret injection prior to death so that he could be revived shortly afterward, ala Tony Almeida style, he COULD be back.

Doubtful though.

I was so upset. I told Seth at the beginning of the season, “He BETTER not die, I LOVE HIM!”

But nevertheless, tears were shed.

Oh the pain.

Like I have been saying for MANY seasons…WHY NOT CHLOE? WHY NOT KIM BAUER? Two prime candidates to be killed off. Instead, they chose to take the life of someone who was just trying to serve his country!

Ok, I’m over it.

Speaking of silent clocks, you would’ve thought ours was this morning. Who knew 7:30am could look so dark outside? My apologies to anyone who sees me today. Your assumptions are very correct…I did not have time to shower.

Zoom Zoom

Yesterday we lost a very important member of our family. She was old. She made inappropriate noises. She had a lot of miles on her.

Yes, we finally, finally, finally, said goodbye to the trusty 2-door 1998 Honda Civic and got ourselves a new(er) car!

::APPLAUSE::CHEERS::MORE APPLAUSE

After what felt like months and months of research, spreadsheets, heated discussions, and quizzing our friends, we finally made a decision to take the next step.

So…presenting…

ME! With my 2008 Mazda CX-7!



Now, I can comfortable tote around 5 people instead of 1. :) She has black leather, a turbo charged engine (I don’t even know what that means, but it’s got it), low mileage, and I can even play CD’s!

The Civic didn’t even have a CASSETTE TAPE PLAYER. So this is big folks.

I can name about 35 of you who are breathing a sigh of relief right now saying, “THANK GOODNESS WE DON’T HAVE TO HEAR HER COMPLAIN ABOUT HER CAR ANYMORE!” And good news – this one doesn’t rattle on the highway! :)

This upcoming week is also Spring Break 2K9 for Seth! He has lots of wild and crazy things planned such as NOT spending his Monday and Wednesday evenings at school…and maybe even working on the backyard. Oh, how I remember those carefree days of yore. Good news is that by the end of summer he’ll finally have all his pre-requisite classes finished and can finally actually start the MBA coursework (trying to think positive here people). That graduation in 2011 seems within arm’s reach…

Well, for me at least.

I am tempted to complain about how it’s already Sunday afternoon and I can’t believe we have to go back to work tomorrow. But I am also thankful we have a job to go to come Monday morning. Scary times people.

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

Psalms 31:24

Have a great week!

You Can’t HANDLE the Drama!

I hate to admit it, but I’ve been a little uninterested in The Bachelor tonight. Perhaps because I’ve read 80,000 spoilers in the past week and really won’t be surprised by anything short of a surprise pregnancy, Bachelor assassin, or an all-out brawl.

However, I do have one comment.

Is Molly wearing an old bridesmaid dress???

Really Molly? Is THAT what you wear when you’re hoping to be proposed to on national TV? Maybe I’m being a bit cynical here but my first thought was not “wow…gorgeous!”

She should have consulted Jillian on style before stepping out of the limo in that purple number.

Now we’re watching Jason and his gut-wrenching cry over the balcony. Boy, you better calm yourself down before you propose to Melissa…and then break up with her later tonight…and then hook back up with Molly!

Commercial break comments:

As a sidenote, you can sorta tell by looking in my pantry that I might have MAYBE gone to the grocery store hungry after work today. This is always a mistake. As a key, you should ALWAYS grocery shop after a meal. That way you don’t come home with oatmeal cream pies, cinnamon swirl bread, turtle ice cream (thank you HEB for my free ice cream coupon!), and goldfish galore.

Back on. Here’s Melissa. Pre-engagement/break-up drama.

AGH, PLEASE DON’T LET THE RUMORS BE TRUE!!!!!!!!

Hmmm…Oops

So I came across an article this morning about things to never EVER feed your dog. I saw the first one and panicked because we are very guilty of it! So here’s some info in case you didn’t know. I think most of the others are common sense but grapes I did not know!

1. Grapes and Raisins. Contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage.

2. Bread Dough and Yeast. Can expand in the digestive system and cause severe damage.

3. Chewing Gum. Sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol can be deadly. (Same goes for any food containing xylitol.)

4. Macadamia Nuts. Can upset the digestive and nervous systems.

5. Chocolate. Contains caffeine and theobromine, which affect the heart and nervous system and can be toxic.

6. Onions and Onion Powder. Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. (P.S. Keep garlic out of reach for the same reason.)

Let’s Make a Deal

There is a reason I’m not a huge fan of shopping for cars…especially used ones. It’s because of guys like this:

For real.

We spent part of our weekend looking for cars (finally – for ME) and it seemed like every place we went, before we could even get out of the car, some shmuck is knocking on the window ready to make a DEAL. And no, don’t tell me a 2005 4Runner with 50K miles is a steal at $26,000. Because it’s NOT!

And most of them, unfortunately, perfectly dress the part. Don’t they get it? I don’t want to buy a car from a sleazy pest that wears big shades and a leather jacket!

I digress.

Unfortunately, I did not drive home this evening in a new car. But I’m still on the prowl. We have a few more places to hit on our list before we make a decision. And to be honest, I’m getting a little sad about saying farewell to the Civic. We’ve gone everywhere in that thing! I get sick to my stomach when we have to make big decisions like this. However, if I got to come home showing off the SWEET Hyundai Veracruz Limited Edition I test drove yesterday…I might just get over that sick feeling…

And I just happened to google “used car salesmen” and came across a website that shows their 25 “top tricks”. Number 5 “My Wife/Sister/Mother drives one”. Dang – they got us with that one! The guy actually told us he just bought his fiancee the same car we test drove. I believed it at the time…now I’m not so sure…I’m a sucker!

We also saw Slumdog Millionaire last night and loved it!!! Now I usually don’t like movies that win Academy Awards but this was the exception. Fabulous acting and a really good story line. And the theater was packed! Everyone else must have had the same idea as us and wanted to find out what the movie was all about.

Now we have to focus on catching up on 24 this evening. Embarassing, but we are 2 episodes behind. At least watching almost 3 episodes in a row will be better than waiting a week!

And who’s ready for the finale of The Bachelor?? I just hope Jason makes the decision that is smart for him AND his son. Almost 24 hours left until we find out if the sleazy ABC rumors are true…