the day after

I am sitting contentedly amongst the post-Christmas chaos that is our living room. I actually like having bits of paper strewn about and gifts not put away--for a few hours at least! It's disconcerting (to me) when gifts are rapidly opened and before you can sigh contentedly and survey the bounty, gifts, paper and all are whisked away, leaving a naked and barren landscape which gives no indication of the joy just had.
Lest one think that we have allowed our Christmas to ferment and bubble over into the "day after" take heart, for we had our family (of three) Christmas today. It was nice to return home after a busy weekend of gifts, food, and fellowship to a house still decorated, stockings still hung, and gifts still under the decorated tree. It's much less of a letdown.
Sonny wrote in his blog about adjusting to the changes of growing up and being alone on Christmas day. Tuan and I (still leaving and cleaving) have to adjust to different family tradtitions, establishing those of our own, and deciding who to spend Christmas with and when. I grew up with about five different Christmas celebrations (now whittled down to about three), while Tuan had just one. My stocking was filled with practical and fun gifts (with a little candy), Tuan's was pure candy. We took our time opening. Tuan's family opens and finishes so quickly that if you blink, you'll miss it. I suppose my gentle readers get the drift.
We both hate to miss any familial celebrations, so we have decided to start a tradition of having our family (of three and hopefully more) celebrate Christmas on the 26th. Last night (Christmas night) we celebrated advent, drank coffee and opened stockings. It was so fun! This morning, we ate breakfast and opened gifts from each other. Good times. I'll try to post some pics of Christmas later.
The events of last week (Tuan's surgery, for one) made for some craziness and necessitated rearranging my own expectations of Christmas. It got me to thinking however. Every year, you hear: "it just doesn't feel like Christmas," or perhaps, one thinks to oneself: "this isn't what I expected." Perhaps our own failed Christmas expectations are like those of the Jews, the wisemen and others who had these great expectations of the Messiah's coming and found, instead, Jesus lying in a manger, with poor parents and surrounded by animals. Rich Mullins sang: "the hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless man."
I was feeling down about a lot of things and so frustrated on Christmas eve. Tuan and I went to the service of Lessons and Carols at Columbia pres. It was manna to my soul. Their pastor, Caleb Cangelosi sang "O Holy Night" which was exactly the spiritual realignment my soul needed. Christmas eve is now my favorite part of Christmas.

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love, and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord, O praise His name forever
His power and glory ever more proclaim


surgery and pain

Tuan had surgery on his finger yesterday. It's amazing how one small part of the human body can cause so much pain. When he cut his finger, it sliced into the bone and cut a tendon. The doctor, put a pin through the bone and hope fully that will help the bone/tendon repair. He is in incredible pain--we would appreciate your prayers. He is also on heavy drugs (meperdine), which means Tuan is pretty much walking around doped up. Very doped up. Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern and is praying for him. We appreciate it!

Random quote:
"Love is pain, highness. and anyone who tells you differently is selling something."

Can anyone guess where that came from?


Bleeding Profusely

Today, as I was tackling the dishes in the mess known as the kitchen, the phone rang. "honey," said my husband, "I've cut myself on the table saw." "ha, ha, you're joking," I replied. "No, really did" said he and with that all of the day's plans were shot. He had deeply cut his left middle finger. Off we rushed to MEA (I can't believe how fast I drove) and the doctor took a brief look at it and immediately sent him to a specialist (at one of those frou-frou plastic surgery places, no less). "Don't eat or drink anything as you'll probably have to go under general anesthesia" he advised. We had a tired baby with us, who good natured as he was, would not make it through surgery/recovery. Caroline, who I was going to hang out with this evening very kindly agree to get Johnny for us, but when we arrived at the Plastic Surgery Place, Dr. Lucas decided to postpone the surgery until Thursday, so Tuan's finger is stitched up and bandaged, but not fixed. (is that a legitimate sentence?) He actually cut off some of the bone and sliced the tendon. Ouch!
Please pray folks that the bleeding will stop and that there will be no infection!!
In other news, we are getting into the Christmas spirit. Having family around makes such a difference. My mom came down Saturday, our church had it's annual formal dinner that our "couples" group puts on, my brother spent Sunday/Monday with us and we to Hattiesburg to visit our "other Mom" (Mrs. Les Fortier), and enjoyed dinner at Crescent City with her, Sonny and Tuan's folks. Today was to be girl's night with Leigh, Anna, and Caroline, but the Lord had other plans. Tommorrow night, the TLNA (Twin Lakes Neighborhood Association--aka Mitchells, Nasekos, Vincents and Las) will be having our first ever progressive dinner. Tuan and I are hosting the appetizer portion of the evening. I've been highly motivated tonight to clean and such--it's been so fun. I'm naturally nocturnal and so I'm staying up really late and getting stuff done. I need to go to sleep, but I'm so WIRED!
Johnny is going to be baptized Sunday morning. I know you are all occupied with family/church matters, but should anyone not be we would love to have you worship with us at Mt. Olive!


first words, first parade, new car

This morning Johnny began babbling some consonant sounds. He said "da-ma" which will forever pacify both Tuan and myself who have both been vying for first word. My nephews first word was . . . . Al Borland. As in "home improvement" "tool time" Al Borland. My sister and bro-in-law just about fell over when he said it. Obviously that was one of their shows of choice at the time. If Johnny follows in Logan's steps it could be:
Henry Gale
I sure hope it's not McSteamy.

In other words and worlds for that matter, Mt. Olive had it's Christmas parade last night. One of the Moms in the church got really motivated and made a cute float. All told, we had ten kids riding on it. They exuberantly threw candy at folks and we won third place! One funny thing was that as we passed the grandstand, the judges tried to stop our float to give us our prize, but the somewhat deaf man driving the float never heard him and just kept going. The emcee ran after us and gave us the award as if passing a baton. It was funny.
The wife of the float driver had arranged for hot chocolate and marshmallows, our pastor's wife brought chocolate dipped pretzels and as I contributed Christmas cookies, we had quite a little party at the church afterwards (and even sang Christmas carols). It was a good, fun, spontaneous thing for our little church, and talk is already brewing about how to make the float better next year.
If you looked at the surface of all that happened last night, it looked a bit "mitford-ish." I mean, we even had the former lady mayor running up and down the sidewalk and the way the "party" came together aftwerward was something Jan Karon might have written. It was indeed, fun, but no Mitford. I really appreciate the way that sin and its complications are never absent in her writing, but there are times when I read about something and think: "oh, that is WAY too idyllic." Mitford is kind of like our memories--we don't forget the big problems, but the minor ones/those that don't directly affect us are often glossed over. I suppose, though, that is why we like and read Mitford.

In other news, the Las bought a new (to us) car yesterday! We had shopped online and at some of the local places and found this random circular with exactly the car we'd been looking for: A 1994 Toyota Landcruiser. It is so sweet.

I remember when I was younger (and practically lived with the Kimbroughs) every time they would make a significant purchase, Wendell would sit down with me and the owners manuals and explain step-by-step the features of a particular item and why that purchase was the best possible one that ever could have been made. I think it's rubbed of a "little" on me, although I now prefer imports over Fords. : )

Although it is older, the mileage is low (140000) and the toyota mechanic gave it a clean bill of health. Plus, the price was right. It has a 3rd seat, four-wheel drive, and a sun-roof. We are very happy about it and it feels like "us." The gas mileage isn't great, but as it gets the same as the wrangler . . . . why not drive a landcruiser? Also, Tuan doesn't commute, so we don't drive a whole lot.

So, good times in La-land. Does anyone read this anymore? Let me know.


amazing lyrics

Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain
could give the guilty conscience peace or wash away my stain

But Christ, the heavenly Lamb takes all my sins away,
a sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood than they.

My faith would lay her hand on that dear head of thine,
while like a penitent I stand and there confess my sin.

My soul looks back to see the burdens thou didst bear,
when hanging on the cursed tree, and knows her guilt was there

Believing, we rejoice to see the curse remove;
we bless the Lamb with cheerful voice, and sing his bleeding love.


Cleaning out the closets

Farewell, Gap sweater.
It's not you--my expectations exceeded your abilities
I expected sixties glamour--you made my arms itch
I thought I'd wear you forever--you didn't grow with me
I was sure you were the perfect red--you weren't
So, goodbye.
Into the charity bag, with my other mistakes.
Find someone who'll appreciate you for who you are.
Someone tough-skinned who seeks warmth
Someone who has short arms
Someone who suits tomato red
Ten years we were together--don't be hurt
It's not you, my expectations just exceeded your abilities.


Interesting Lessons

I've been going to "MOMS" Bible study at First Pres this fall. It's a good thing. I enjoy having a set time to get out of the house each week and the speaker (Shirley Windham) for the large group time is wonderful! The book we are doing: Holding on to Hope by Nancy Guthrie deals with her own story of suffering and the life of Job. I knew going into this that it was going to be a bit of a personal struggle/learning experience apart from lessons learned during the study. I've had to deal with my personal prejudices/preconcieved notions about "northeast Jackson" ladies, and truly get out of my comfort zone. It's been an experience. I've learned quite a few things (above and beyond the study itself): that wealthy, fashionable people can be godly and are my sisters in Christ, that I have to be content with who I am and my situation in life--pedicures, expensive, fashionable clothes, SUVS, and jewelry, are not within my means and that's okay.
I'm actually VERY happy with my life. I wouldn't trade Tuan, Johnny, our life, even our random assemblage of furniture for the world. It's really myself that I don't like--ever since third grade when I realized that I weighed more than any other kids in my class, I've struggled with liking myself. Excepting a few periods in life, I've always been discontent with the way I looked, my hair, my gifts, my personality. Having small, cute, petite friends never helped. Tuesday as I was looking through/sorting photographs, I came across photos from the ninth grade--"I wasn't "fat" at all", I thought with amazement. In reality, I was just a tall, long-legged, large boned adolescent who was blessed with clear skin. I wish long ago that I had realized that instead of wallowing in insecurity and self-loathing. I still groan when I looked at "trouble spots" in the mirror, or see photos of bad clothing choices, but I need to realize that who am I, the created, to complain about what the creator has made? Trouble spots and all, I bear His image and that counts for a lot.
My small group leader at MOMS handed out some "operation Christmas child" (the shoebox thing) info last week and said if we wanted to bring one in, then she'd get them sent off. I had a LOT of fun filling my box with stuff for a 2-4 year old and was so happy to be able to do that for some kid. I went in to our room and watched as two of the other women came in bearing four boxes a piece and my heart sank. My one little box just seemed so insignificant. But then I realized that I had given out of what I had just as those other women had. Who was I to feel subdued because God had blessed someone with the ability to give to His kingdom work? It was a little bit like the story of the widow's mite, but kind of inverted and turned upside down.
So, the LORD has been teaching me a LOT. I'm still not wholly comfortable there, but I did look around in large group yesterday and realize that not everyone there is one of the "beautiful people". That was comforting. I never speak with this much candor about how I _really_ feel, but here it is. Laid out and naked on the table. I leave you, faithful readers, with this:

(overheard in the bathroom at MOMS)
" . . . . blah, blah blah"
"oh, my gosh, it's not like it's Chi Omega rush at Ole Miss."
"Oh, yeah, like I know"


thoroughly rested

Oh, the joys of a good night''s rest! I was dragging all day yesterday (monday) as was Johnny. By late afternoon, he'd been up for two hours and had sleepy eyes--I gave him a full belly of cereal and put him to bed at five thirty. Tuan went to play tennis and after reading, I climbed into bed with a headache around seven. Three-thirty found me rested and I was awake reading/thinking until four thirty, expecting Johnny to wake up for an early bottle. Woke up again around 8:00 (Tuan was off) to Johnny finally waking up. He had slept 14 1/2 hours and I had gotten a good 10+. We were both very happy today. I have found that as a new parent, I've sort of lived between feedings for the past six months. It is a very exciting thing to calculate those times and see them exceed three hours. Johnny actually went 16 1/2 hours--a record!--last night, although he did have a good helping of cereal. He went to bed somewhat early tonight as well. It will be interesting to see how that goes.
Why am I writing all of this? I have no idea, it is not of "general interest." But I did want any readers who care to know that I am now well-rested. Oh, and I must say that although I still don't "get" facebook entirely, it is addictive.


utterly exhausted

I am so tired I can barely move, and were it not that Tuan is still up and on duty, I'd be out cold. If I go on to sleep before he gets back in, chances are I'll wake up and not be able to drift back off. Why so tired you ask?
It all started two weeks ago. Vacation was the word and we kicked Tuan's off with a late Wed. night cleaning/packing frenzy and a jaunt to Columbia for two days with his folks. (mental tally: two nights at Mrs. Dorothy's) Saturday sent us to Chattanooga (on our way to Gatlinburg). We went to church Sunday at Lookout Mtn Pres, saw Rock City and made it in to Gatlinburg in time to hit the strip and eat supper. Five days/nights followed and brought us home rested and ready to jump back into life on Friday night. Unfortunately, Tuan's grandmother had taken a turn for the worse while we were gone and the prognosis was bad (or good, depending on how you look at it). So, on Saturday, we re-packed, I dashed to Mistletoe with Caroline and then we headed to Columbia to be with the family. (Got to see Daddy Khanh, Tuan's dad, which was good) Sunday, 9 am found me on the road to church, bound and determined to teach Sunday school (had missed two weeks before). Sunday, 9:15 am found me sitting on a strange lady's front porch, discovering how we knew each other as I waited for Tuan to come and figure out why the car had overheated on me. Monday, we lunched with and were driven home by Daddy Morris since our Jeep was still in the shop and Mamaw was neither better nor worse. (2 more nights at Mrs. Dorothy's) Tuesday morning got a call from Sonny that Mamaw had passed. Took Johnny to town in search of a dress for the funeral, Re-packed, drove back to Columbia in our Jeep wrangler, went to visitation with Sonny and went to bed knowing I had to get up early because . . . Wednesday is Bible Study day for me and Sonnny couldn't miss school, so I got up at 5:30 to ride to Jxn with him, go to Bible Study and dash back for the funeral at 3:00. We hung around Thursday waiting on our car to be fixed. Surprise, surprise, it wouldn't be ready until Friday. Traveled back home, crashed, phone rang: "We" (parents and warren) "are coming for the weekend. Tried to sleep in on Friday, but heard a rumour that someone was coming by at 10:00. Up at seven something to shower, clean the public areas of the house, then had to wait for company to come by before tackling disastrous bedroom and finishing project started that Monday. That Company never came. (note to self--despise flaky people when acting flaky) But, did have other company, had Anna G. for lunch and went to Wal-mart late that night. Saturday: up at seven to get self/Johnny ready to go to Mt. Olive to visit parents and brother. Went to Hattiesburg with Sister, Mom and brother to shop/eat/see grandmother. Got home at seven and spent three hours cleaning the kitchen, baking a pie and preparing a casserole for church dinner tommorrow. Ate supper at 9:45. In the past two weeks and two days, we have spent six nights with Mrs. Dorothy (whom I love, and is so wonderful to help with Johnny and give us a break), six nights on vacation and four at home. Our bedroom refuses to be clean and whenever I bat an eye our house becomes a huge mess. And, I just heard Johnny (he is not supposed to talk at this time of night).
But you know God is so good--I am especially aware of his grace to me and my family. I am so thankful for Tuan and Johnny. I am thankful that we are very likely going to get an addition to our tiny house (and a laundry room!). I am thankful that Tuan will be home soon and that we don't have evening church tommorrow (YAY! An afternoon nap). Lastly, I am glad that tommorrow is a day that offers the promise of rest, and that if I should not see tommorrow, then an even better rest will be mine. Good night, sleep tight.



vacationing in Gooberburg

We are enjoying our last night of vacation in Gatlinburg, or, as my dad calls it: Gooberburg. It's not a typical destination for us as we usually do the Asheville/Brevard side of the smokies. But, it's been good. Tonight, we got over our spending stupor and bought a beautifull piece of pottery (I cried over it--it's just perfect for us), and did the aquarium of the smokies. (you can find wireless anywhere here) As I write, I am sitting in front of the ray/shark tank listening to Pachelbel's canon. Tuan is feeding our little snugglebug Johnny. He has LOVED the aquarium. He's been wide-eyed at the fish and the combination or lights/music has seriously chilled him out. Tuan and I are pretty mellowed, too. The graceful, pirhouetting sting-rays are so fun to watch. When we leave, we're going to pick up the pot, grab some Wendy's and head back to our hotel and perhaps get in the hot tub. Our hotel is really great. (thanks priceline) and has a great indoor pool, etc . . I have to go now, but will write more later. You can also check out Tuan's xanga. www.xanga.com/lotr5x


diets, discussion, decorating

As some of you may know, Monday is the new Saturday in the La household. Tuan takes Mondays off since he works Saturdays. This is nice, because Sundays are usually tiring (we are gone from the house for about 11 hours straight). We like to spend our Mondays, doing projects, watching movies, sleeping late, reading, etc . . . Now that we are on this diet, we get one "indulgence" day (I won't say cheat, because it's not against the "rules"). We really look forward to Mondays now that this has developed!

Today's indulgent menu has included: Symphony Brownies, lots of milk, Nachos, and Fried Chicken Alfredo garnished with romano shavings. Oh, my goodness. My husband is the king of cooking, I am convinced. As he so rightly put it--"my frying gift is totally lost on this diet." It is his frying gift that got us here in the first place, but I digress. I cannot begin to describe how good that dish was. It may be our new company meal.
I think the diet is working as I am in pre-pregnancy jeans (WHOO-HOO!). If my measurements are right, I've lost two inches in the hips and waist. That's encouraging.

We've been working on a project all day (which I'll discuss in the next paragraph--see, the title is my outline in disguise). That's been fun, but also convenient as we have indulged in movies. We first watched Sense and Sensibility. I love that movie and have been learning to play the score. In addition, Tuan enjoys the movie, and we laugh together over the dialogue. Today we engaged in debate over whether Willoughby really loved Marianne. What do you, gentle reader, think? Tonight, we've been watching Star Wars Episode 1 and 2. In a lot of ways they are amazing, and in a lot of ways, they're pretty ridiculous (need I even mention Jar-Jar Binks or Padme/Anakin rolling in the grass?). It's put me into an ornery mood and I've been making critical comments about it all night. Tuan just shrugs helplessly and says he didn't make it up.

Our project is photos. I've bought a number of black and white picture frames, which we've been scanning, photoshopping, and framing all day long. We are going to hang them in the kitchen a la Pottery Barn. Now that we've lived here 1 1/2 years, it's time to truly commit to hanging up pictures.

So, that is our life. I do have one prayer request to shoot out to you all. Most of you are aware that our son's nursery is a walk-in closet in disguise. I am creative and willing to improvise as much as possible--but there is no way a big bed will ever fit in that closet. In order for us to be here long-term, space is needed. Would y'all pray that God would provide that space and in doing so or not doing so also direct our future steps? If several critical things happen this fall, then we could see this prayer/hope realized. So, brothers and sisters, please, please pray! We love TL and want to be here for a long while.


bargain of the week

We just purchased from Hudson's in Pearl a Kelty Journey baby carrier (backpack type) for 30.00. It retails for 99.00. As we are going to the Mountains in a week or two it should come in handy.

In other news I'm under the weather. I won't say with what, but I've spent most of the day in bed. One thing I've learned is that Johnny doesn't care whether I am sick or healthy. He just wants to eat when he's hungry and will SCREAM if I haven't met that need as soon as he thinks I should. I've worn an oversized soft fleece shirt all day and Johnny is still in his PJS. I did dishes this morning, but as it didn't seem to make a difference, I left the lunch ones in the sink. My question: who takes care of Mommies when they get sick?



I wish I could think of really great titles for my posts like Caroline, but I do everything hurriedly and titles are not a priority.
We have been somewhat busy lately and I haven't made blogging much of a priority. Johnny is getting super big. Last week he hit 20 pounds! Right now he is in his baby seat and he's almost to the point of not being able to use it anymore! We are looking for carseats now since he is two pounds away from outgrowing his car seat too! It's fun having a little sumo baby. Johnny could easily take on any of the fellow 3-5 month olds in nursery with him. They don't stand a chance! I think the fourth month has been the best so far. It seems like every day there is something new: rolling over, eating from a spoon, pushing up on his arms, almost sitting up and laughing. Parenthood is a joy. My Baby in his overalls is a joy. Overalls and onesies are the cutest things. (Johnny has now moved into his jumper--the chair got old). I can't wait to have another!
Tuan and I, between the excitement and business of parenthood have been struggling to eat healthier (aka diet), and excercise. With his work schedule, excercising together is a struggle (although we did go out to the rock wall the other night), but I've been walking away the pounds and have just started back on Pilates. Pilates focuses on your "core" the abdominals, which after having Johnny mine are VERY weak. They are very similar to marshmallows. So, Pilates has gone from being moderate to difficult with me gasping for breath and groaning aloud.
As far as the eating plan goes, we are finally getting in stride with it and not feeling too deprived. We eat roughly six times a day (three small meals and three snacks). At each meal we eat a protein and a carb and Veggies are inserted randomly throughout the day. I now make tea once a week instead of almost daily, we have discovered the joys of ground turkey, light yogurt, pistachios, craisins, and whole-grain everything else. I think it's working. I can't eat as much and we have found healthier versions of decadent favorites. How, you may ask, is Paula La surviving without chocolate? Oh, ho, ho. No, chocolate has not been forsaken. I eat small quantities of dark chocolate every day. (you can buy a bag of Nestle dark chocolate for baking in the chocolate chip section of wal-mart) We also get one "cheat day" a week. Cheese is usually the thing we both really want on that day (and sweets and red meat). Until cheat day comes, here are a couple of scrumptious recipes that are not so bad for you!

Baked fries
(Serves 2 under three hundred calories per serving and less than one g fat)
Slice five small (or 2 baking) potatoes into french fry strips and toss in two egg whites/one egg (beaten). Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet, mist with olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Bake 25-45 minutes at 450.

Tuan's Chili
(Serves 2.. This is great on top of the fries. If you like chili-cheese tots or fries from sonic this is almost just like them! Top with a small amount of grated cheddar)
Chop well:
1/4 med onion*3 cloves garlic*1/4 bell pepper
Saute above with:
1 Tbsp olive oil*1/4 c cubed turkey sausage
When turkey is cooked, Add:
1/4 c. Tomato Sauce*1/2 can kidney beans*1Tbsp chili powder*Salt to taste*H20 or chicken stock as desired
Smash a few beans before adding to thicken chili. Simmer app. 30 minutes.


good tidings!

We went to Woodland yesterday! O, what joy it was. I miss that church family. All my little kids that I used to keep are not so little anymore. My favorites don't even hardly remember me. That's kind of sad. I got to see Nicky V. among other wonderful, wonderful people. We spent the afternoon at Mrs. Les' house--my other home and our other mom. What wonderful conversations. And, I am so rarely first on the gossip train, and y'all may already know this, but Amy and Ben are engaged! I'm so excited for them. That's all I have for now. Tuan and I have a big errand to run today that is kind of top secret for now. (No, we are not pregnant) I did dream last night that I had twins at some point between May and now and spent the entire dream trying to do the math (of course it didn't work out!).


bargain of the week

I think I could start a website featuring all the bargains we stumble across. It's so fun. Yesterday Tuan and I went to Belk (formerly McRaes) because he was desperately in need of shorts. We walked out with four pairs of brand name shorts (like Columbia) for 32.00. One pair was 14.99 and all the rest averaged around 5.00 a pair. What a deal! I'm thinking about going to the other Belk in Jxn today to see if I can find some more. Tuan wears cargo shorts EVERY day and he is so hard on them--what with radios and carabiners of keys and all other sundry items he uses, that we are constantly buying shorts. This was definitely a boon. So, that was the Bargain of the week. I think this will be a new feature of the blog.


The Bargain/Dilemma of the Century

Oh dear, ethics . . . I went to Hudson's in Ridgeland today in search of Baby Formula and bargains--I found both. Oh, boy did I ever. They had several aisles "cram as much into a bag as possible and it's only $1. " Crazy, huh? I kind of zoomed through and found: 3 rolls of construction motif wallpaper border (for Johnny or Logan), a loveseat slipcover (for fabric), a Simpson's book and this random gorgeous piece of linen stuff. I also found (at other prices) 3 20.00 cans of formula and two boxes of nutrition bars. I went to check out and the cashier rang up all my "bag for $1" stuff as one bag and the grand total came to 24.00. Even at Hudson's thats a HUGE bargain. Well, as I was driving home, I looked at the receipt and something seemed funny. Then, when I got home, I started examining the "linen thingy" and found a Pottery Barn label in it--and a 199.00 price tag. Not only did the salesperson ring everything wrong, but I inadverdently bought a PB 80% off item as a "bag for $1." Without all the mistakes, my ticket should have been around $80.00. (not that I'd have bought the PB item at that price)
My dilemma: do I call Hudson's and tell the manager and ask what I should do? Or, do I say, "oh, the cashier made a mistake--my profit"? My sinful side wants the former, but my conscience is provoking me to the former. Being ethical is not fun.
On the other hand, we watched THE END OF THE SPEAR last night. It was one of the most moving movies I've ever seen. The way that the gospel was presented and the response of the Waidoni was just amazing. I'll not explain the plot, but there is one place where one of the Waidoni (who is unconverted) is angry at a fellow saved tribesman. He says, "why won't you go and spear our enemies!" Kimo replies (paraphrased) that God has said not to kill and he wants to walk the path that God's son walked. I covet that kind of faith--oh, may I desire to walk the way God's son walked. I suppose that is the answer to my dilemma right there.


whirl of gaeity and beautiful creepy houses

I tried to find an appropriate quote from "little town on the prairie" to begin this entry, but couldn't find the one I imagined was there. We have been busy in the best sort of way. We vacationed down around my family in Fla with the Nasekos Family and Jon and Christie Pearce. It was very, very fun to sleep a lot (Tuan needed it and I gladly joined in), to shop, eat out, and especially to have ready and willing baby-sitters (mom and grandmother). Tuan and I enjoyed our time of self-indulgence immensely and are now jumping back into life full throttle. We spread our vacation further out with a trip to Columbia to see his folks, then spent Saturday at Shuqualak, MS.
Much as my dear friend Micah once questioned why anyone would want to go to JCjC and hang out in Ellisville, anyone who has been through Shuqualak may wonder just why we would visit there (or want to for that matter). Well, the Parent of our dear friends Eric and Amanda bought a plantation--truly. It's an incredible place: acres of pastureland, woods, an incredible "big house" and a carriage house. They've just finished redoing the carriage house and are nowworking on the "big house." Big it truly is. I remember shortly after the family purchased it, a bunch of us had a "Pajama Pants Christmas Dance" out there and played hide and seek in it. Hide and seek in an empty old house with seven bedrooms, more baths than seven, dressing rooms, closets, a library, parlor and so forth makes for the creepiest and coolest game of H&S ever. I remember seeing someone's shadow on the wall as they ran to hide in the master bedroom closet and being totally unable to open the door and catch them. I just held it shut and called for someone to join me so I could find the hider not alone.
Amanda's parents are also using the land for cattle and as Eric toured us around, I learned lots about the geography and interesting cattle practices. Did you know that while Southern Baptists abhore "mash" and other liquors for personal consumption, they have not scruples giving it to their cows? I thought that was funny, but, I am being silly. Thanks so much to Eric and Amanda for a wonderful, wonderful day.