Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Q & A

Here are some questions and answers from last week's post. I hope I didn't miss any!

So what does the new do look like???? :)

Since the only people who mentioned it have been readers of this blog, I’ve concluded that it hardly looks different at all. It’s a tad darker, but not much.

I noticed where Melissa's getting married wasn't listed and I can imagine why. Smart move. Don't need any wedding crashers.

When Curt and I got married, our wedding coordinator’s biggest fear was that a tour bus was going to show up with a bunch of people we didn’t know. (For the record, no one in my family really thought that was going to happen.) Sure enough, on the big day a tour bus rolled in to the church parking lot. Peggy was horrified. She sent her son TJ to go handle the wedding crashers. He approached the bus, ready to handle it all, and they turned out to be a senior citizen tour group who could care less about us and our wedding. Ha ha!

I have a teenage daughter and would love to know a little more about the boundaries you had as a teenager. (Movies? Dating? MySpace?)

You know, I wrote a very long and detailed reply to this and then decided not to post it. Every kid is so different. What worked for my parents and me won’t necessarily work for you and your daughter. On the other hand, what didn’t work for us might work for you. That’s where parents have to be Spirit-led. Even though my parents set good and firm boundaries for me, by the end of high school I was breaking them outright and hiding it very well. When I was younger, I suppose my well being had a lot to do with the effectiveness of their rules. But in the end, it was all about the spiritual state of my heart and my character.

As for MySpace and other Internet issues, I would recommend for any parent to get familiar with Vicki Courtney’s ministry and get their hands on her book, Logged On and Tuned Out. My impression of MySpace is very negative. I don’t think teenagers have the wisdom to operate something like that while being safe and keeping their integrity. But that’s just my humble opinion. MySpace bombards you with seedy adds and invitations. You are always one click away from something nasty.

How did you survive a vacation without Jackson? How did you manage to get away? It is something I really want to do with hubs but I just can't bring myself to leave the kids (3 of 'em). The only night I've ever spent away from them was to be in the hospital having another one...sad, huh? Anyway, I'm on a workout kick myself and would like to plan a trip for next year. Love to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks!

Two things helped me survive four nights away from my child. One, I left Jackson with my parents and I knew he was being well taken care of. (In other words, I knew my mom would completely obsess over him like I do!) Two, we went to an all-inclusive resort where there were no children. It was so great because there weren’t any kids there to make me long for mine. We missed Jackson, but it was (mostly) a happy miss. It was very much needed – probably more than I realized – and I can’t wait to get away with Curt again. It was certainly an investment in our marriage. Plus, it is great to have something to work toward when you’re getting in shape!

What tools do you use for blogging?

Bloglines helps me keep the blogs I read organized. It lets me know when there are new posts to read.
Sitemeter helps me track visits to my blog.
Technorati shows me who is linking to my blog.

How do you make God fun for Jackson? I don't want to make our faith so serious (and yes, I do think that it is that but I want BALANCE). I have 4 kids and I struggle with this.

I think I will have more to say about this in the coming year(s). For now Jackson loves music, so we have a lot of fun jumping around the house to very loud praise songs. We have been watching a Hillsong Kids DVD while we eat breakfast (and I have my quiet time) in the morning. His teacher at mother’s day out has taught all the kids to pump their fist in the air when they say Amen! Jackson does it every single time we pray. Right now I am really praying hard for God to give him a mind to know Him and a heart to love Him.

Since you've moved to the DFW area what are your local addictions?

Mainly, my wonderful friends! Also JD’s Chippery for cookies; Scalini’s and DoubleDave’s for pizza; Northpark, the Galleria, and Southlake Town Square for shopping; specifically the Macy’s in the Galleria or any Nordstrom for my denim addiction; Baby Bliss for the Mister (more for looking than buying); Central Market for lunch and fun on the playground; Breadwinner’s for breakfast or lunch; Society Bakery for mean petit fours; Snuffers for killer cheese fries; La Duni for a girls night out; White Rock Lake Dog Park for taking Beckham swimming; the State Fair for a good corn dog; the Plano Hot Air Balloon Festival for lots of fun; Keller’s Drive-In for an amazing burger; and AMC’s The Grand for a movie with Hubs. It’s huge and no one is ever there! On Knox-Henderson we like to hit up all the great stores while walking outside and maybe snagging a hot dog or ice cream at Wild About Harry’s. DFW is great!

What do you miss the most from Houston besides family?

My wonderful friends, my co-workers, and Tuesday night Bible study. Places like Paulie’s for very tasty, beautifully decorated cookies; Star Pizza; Dessert Gallery, where you can play games and drink coffee while eating your cake; Willowbrook Mall just because my mom, sister and I have spent countless hours there together; going on long walks with my mom in the neighborhood where I grew up; the culture of the South Texas coast.

So just to throw a question out there for your Q & A - where did you get your fabulous red coat?

Thank you for calling it fabulous. I got it at Banana Republic back in November.

How about your favorite beauty tip?

I love Benefit’s Benetint because I can get rosy cheeks without having to sit down and do my makeup. It’s just like putting a bit of red food coloring on your face, as weird as that sounds. This works well when I want to look alive but I’m just taking Jackson to MDO or going to the gym. I don’t like to work out with a bunch of makeup clogging my pores.

BTW, are you serious about some of that weird stuff--that is really weird!!

Totally serious.

If I had one question, it would be how do you make friends and keep friendships when you seem so busy, just like we all are?

I have some really wonderful friendships with people I’m busy with. When you are serving somewhere, you develop a bond with others who are serving there, too. That is one big plus to pouring yourself out at your church or in your community. And it never hurts to ask God for meaningful friendships. I specifically asked God to bring me friends to have my babies with and look what happened! Janelle and I were literally in the hospital with our babies at the same time! How’s that for an outright answer to prayer? He cares about those things. Also, think about starting a bunko/bunco (how do you really spell it?) group or something like it. It’s a great way to get to know other women. I must say that I struggle just like everyone else to maintain friendships, especially with friends I don’t get to see very much.

Before I sign off, I want to tell you how much your comments on "A Small Can of Worms" meant to me. I was completely blown away by all the loving and encouraging things you had to say. Thanks for loving on me. And it was very nice to meet so many of you!


Janelle & Ella said...

I am so blessed that God choose to answer your prayer by choosing me. I couldn't have imagined it or wanted it any other way! You are so cherished in my life.

R said...

Re: getting away with Hubby sans children...

It was hard for me in the beginning, and it still is to a degree. But I've discovered, and it's my mantra that gets me through, that time "away" makes me a much better mama when I return. :0)

Kathleen in TX said...

Wow! You must've just posted this before I got on! I did't comment to the "worms" post because there were so many. I did want to add that I enjoy reading your blog! My son is younger than Jackson so I enjoy reading about boy stuff and what's up ahead (esp. after 2 girls)!

The Preacher's Wife said...

My kids are also blessed with fabulous grandparents. It does make leaving them so much easier when you know it is a vacation for them too.

I love how girls mark their territory with shopping and food. Anytime someone asks me about my town I immediately tell them what there is to eat and where to find cute shoes...what's up with that? :))

fun post..


Kathleen in TX said...

p/s I also am surprised at all the weird stuff that happens to your family! I just would've thought the worst part would've been being recognized (at times you would rather not be)! That being said are there any houses for sale in your neighborhood? JUST KIDDING!!

CrownLaidDown said...

You have a way with pouring grace into your words...well said, Sister!

As I read about your high school days, I thought of the post I just wrote. I think we may have struggled with similar responses in completely different homes. I come from a background where church was sometimes attended throughout the year and God was never sought. Thank God for friends, whose families loved me to Christ!

And thank God for the self-less pouring out of your family and others in ministry.

Bless you, Amanda! I am praying for you in the coming days...to enjoy them in strength!
Much love,

PS Did my Uncle Wayne's Chili comment make you laugh? I hope it did!

Fran said...

You are so wise Amanda. I was completely lost at your age. I am grateful for you and your openness and love toward us "strangers!" I know we say it all the time but we do feel like one big happy family.

Thank you Jesus for sisters in Christ!

Have a great day!

Cindy said...

I love that you mentioned different foods you love/miss more than ten times. You are my kind of girl.

Jabber Jaws said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Allison said...

Willobrook mall! And the neighborhood where you grewo up! (I won't mention the name.....but awww, my heart is longing!)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

WOW! Those were super interesting questions and answers. You should do this more often, Amanda. In fact, we all probably should, to keep our blogs a two-way conversation.

Big Mama said...

You brought back some serious memories with Willowbrook Mall. That was the mall where my daddy always took us shopping. The mall where I purchased my beloved Guess overalls when I was in 8th grade. Oh, the precious memories.

Darlene R. said...

I agree with the getting away without the kids thing. We have to have that time together. I don't want to grow my kids up too fast, but some day it will be just the two of us, and I don't want to be sitting across the room from a stranger. You know what I mean?

And, I am so thankful for the gift of friendship. I have been blessed with so many wonderful friends, near and far.

Abby said...

you are a wise woman with a big heart and quite the sense of humor! :)

thanks for the blog tools..and all those food places sound amazing!

Angela said...

Thanks for the Q and A. I so enjoy reading from someone my own age who is far wiser than I.
I could never imagine the weird things that your family deals with, but can only compare it to a preachers kid in a large church. All eyes on you and a few crazies who think the preacher is a god and so are their kids. As a deacons kid I was watched, but never by the crazies just the ones who knew my Dad and Mom and they would report back to them. I really hated the drive home from church some nights... Have you ever gotten a spanking at church, I have! I learned not to hide from my Dad in a dark Sunday School room at a young age. :-)
I noticed the number of comments on LPM roll call, holy cow! That's a lot of readers! What an awesome ministry!

debra said...

Is it on the weird side that I love reading Q and A's???



I can't help it.

Allison said...

Hey M-

I went to Htown on Sat for a shower and ran into your beautiful sis out shopping! Last time I saw her was your wedding...looking forward to seeing YOU in Feb.

Is using comments like email bad? I am too lazy to log onto hotmail!



Vicki Courtney said...

Well thank you, darlin', for mentioning by book and ministry. And I LOVE the Q&A idea so I just may try it myself in the next few days! I get so many q's on kids and Internet/cell phones/etc... that it would be a good topic to start with.

Anyway, here's my two cents on leaving the little ones when their young for some much-needed couple time: DO IT! I felt so guilty leaving mine when they were little and went so far as to wait until my oldest was over one before I EVER left him with someone. (someday I may post on the dysfunction behind this!) When I finally did start leaving them to take short trips, I was usually miserable and felt guilty the whole time. But, here is what I would want you mommies of youngin's to know: My kids are now 19, 17, and 14 and have absolutely NO recollection whatsoever of any trauma from us leaving them behind when they were younger! You are doing the right thing and I commend you for ENJOYING yourself while on vacation and giving your hubby your full attention!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Mmm, cheese fries. Ava and I ate at Central Market again today.

Marc and Charity said...

Ok, I'll comment here again- I've left a few before but always thought you were thinking how wierd it was that I would leave a comment and don't even know you...anyway.

1. I enjoy your blog, you are a great writer and funny too!

2.Reading your list of things from DFW has made me very homesick.

3. Your anniversary trip you took a while ago inspired us to get away too- our 10th anniversary is this coming June and we are trying to work out the logistics for someone to keep our 2 girls - (3 yr. old and 19 mo. old)...since family are in the states, so we can go somewhere SUNNY and get out of this dreadful, gray weather!

Sorry this is so long.

~kay said...

I did my first two years of teaching with Cypress Fairbanks ISD. My friend and I hung out at Willowbrook Mall spending our hard earned teacher dollars and eating at Ruby Tuesday's.

Amy said...

Thanks for your willingness to share!

zoom said...

Harry's Hotdogs on Henderson rocks! We go there after church sometimes. It is hard to beat a dog and cup of frozen custard. I wash all of it down with a diet coke, because I am watching my weight. ahem.....

Toknowhim said...

Thanks Amanda for the Q & A session.. I enjoyed reading your answers, and that is so funny about the tour bus and your wedding...although I am sure for a few minutes it was a bit stressful.. Blessings...

Bev Brandon said...

very humble amanda...
people of all ages enjoy reading you...

The Self Cottage said...

hey sweet friend, now you have me curious about your new look. You must post a pic or maybe I will just have to wait until Sunday. Thanks for the sitemeter info! Love ya

Terry in Tucson said...

Thanks Amanda for your Q&A!!

The blog tools are well noted.

Thanks for the reminder that a teen's heart and their character is the issue and not the outside "conforming" behavior to our rules.

When mine were little - we honored truth above all else. (i.e. Total Grace Given or a shortened time out if they told the truth) Lets hope my teens currently have hearts that are honest and true and love God with all they have. Your insights are wise - they can do what they want and hid it really well - It is an issue of the state of the heart.

I so appreciate your welcoming us strangers - I love the community Jesus has given us in Siestahood!!

Terry in Tucson

The Barfuss Family said...

Thanks for such great insight! What a fun post! Props to Willowbrook Mall - that used to be the only place I knew to shop at. :)

Anonymous said...

okay..i know i'm safe making this comment ...i read your previous post and know this won't get posted and i really didn't want to stick it onto the last lp post!@#$%^&** Bless You for reading all those entries!!!!.....i can't believe the number of responses!!!!! You need to rest those eyes under some cucumber slices!!!!!

gigetgirl said...

Hello Amanda,

I am a confessing lurker "coming out".

I love most things Houston and or Texas. I went to HS in SugarLand during the 70's and college in Austin- Oops I mean Gig'Em Aggies!
I moved to the sunshine state sometime ago and well,I get homesick for the talk/food/shopping. Thats why I find your blog is a breath of fresh air for my 45 yrs. Thank you for your kindness towards the bloggy peeps and all your sweet encouragments. I like your take on shopping and Half Price Living blog is fun and a helper for '08

Today we are celebrating our youngest son, Lincoln's 16th birthday. WOW! He is such a gift.

"I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth".

May it be so with your household!

Much Love & Respect

Lysa TerKeurst said...

What a cute blog. Glad I stumbled upon it tonight. Your workout post made me laugh-- out loud-- very loud. See, three years ago I started an adult gymnastics class. I've stuck with it- but have had those labor breathing days as well!

Mommy Dot Com said...

Would really like to try that Benetint. By the way thanks for the time you invest in the "friendship" with a thousand strangers. Yo umake life more fun.


Jenny said...

I did go check out Vicki's website and plan on ordering her book! The Myspace is the worse thing to happen to teens, in my eyes. It is a battle we have fought and right now we are having to figure out exactly how hard to fight it, or maybe try to guide the battle! Thanks for your help!

Breathing His Joy said...

So fun! Thanks for the Q&A! :)

Oh and Willowbrook mall.... I hunted down the most beautiful coat all over Houston once and found it at Willowbrook mall... makes me smile! :)

Lauren said...

Amanda- I don't ever post mainly b/c I don't really know how to set up a cute blog page and such but I wanted to say I read all of the time. I have a little girl a few weeks younger than Jackson so it's always nice to compare notes with other moms. Lauren

Jen said...

Oh Amanda! I LOVE the Dessert Gallery in Houston. You can eat yummy yummy cake and play a highly competitive card game!

I do miss Houston ALOT. Here's to making the most of where God has us!

Jaime said...

It is time that the "lurkers" are revealed! That is the most horrific terminology ever and gives me the creeps just reading it! :) Anyways, my friend and I were geered up to respond to Roll Call and make our presence know, and then I missed my window. Just wanted to let you know not to fret in the least that "strangers" in Charlottesville VA frequent the babybangs blog. We are completely harmless lovers of God who get tickled over your funny posts. This is my first comment, and entirely because I did think it strange that a "stranger" comment. I'm also not Mac/Blog savvy enough to know about meters and ratings, etc and so didn't have a clue that I was being "tracked". Yikes! Anyways- my girlfriends and I on the east coast are enthusiastically delighted to read your posts about Motherhood and other Phenomenon. You are hilarious and such a blast to read! Blessings and much love! Jaime

Emmy : ) said...

That was a lot of fun I love Q & A 's!

I so needed to hear this today...(about teens)

"But in the end, it was all about the spiritual state of my heart and my character."

That is SO TRUE... beautifully said... the Holy Spirit really used that to minister to my heart today... I can't wait to share that with my husband when he gets home! : )

Thanks Amanda! Emmy : )

Amy T said...

Thanks for the Q&A Amanda! Oh and about the "getting away" time? My week every summer with my Nanny was the best time every year. I'm sure Jackson will love the times he gets to stay just him with his grandparents. I miss my son when I'm away from him, but since he's with his dad every other weekend, I'm used to it, I guess. It was so hard when he was younger. Now I use those weekends for couple time and me time. Doing things my son doesn't like to do. And I loved the mental pic of Jackson pumping his arm and shouting "Amen!"

connorcolesmom said...

I love the Q& A what a fun way to answer so many questions at one time. I use a product simmilar to the Benetint and your right it is like pinching your cheeks cute :)
I also laughed at the wedding crashers bus full of old people - that did not have a clue who yall were - hehe
You are so right about God bringing us friends. When I had my oldest child I was the first of our friends to have a baby. I went to a water aerobics class while pregnant and from that group we formed a playgroup. We ended up with 3 little boy babies and 3 little girl babies. We had so much fun for the 4 yrs we were together (until we moved) and God even allowed one of the friendships to lead us to the job my husband currently has. That family and my family are still very close and the 2 boys can say they have been friends since they were babies :)
God bless sweet Amanda -

Rose said...

Amanda, love your Q&A, I asked no questions and came accross this blog I promise I don't know how and didn't mean to 'ivade' your space, but I love being part of your cyber world, you family is an inspiration (without idolizing) to me of the kind of family and bond I want to develop with my daughter and 2 boys. THANK YOU for sharing!

Sam McClure said...

What a fun post! You are so right about the part of what works for some may not work for others! He just gives us wisdom for our own. I love you so!

Amazing Racer said...

You didn't mention Sprinkles...ever since you posted about it many moons ago, I have been anxiously waiting for our local Sprinkles to open. But now it's not even an honorable mention in your DFW faves...this lover of cupcakes is quite sad. Hopefully it's omission was unintentional? Please tell me the cupcake deliciousness is all I've dreamed it to be.

Lindsee said...

LOVE Dessert Gallery! I am actually glad you just wrote about it because I kind of forgot about it. Now I have a new place to remember!

And, of course, Willowbrook Mall!!!
Can life truly get better?! Kidding. But I am so very excited to finally be back by a mall!!! (And especially one I know so well!)

And lastly, I'll have to try that benefit stuff. Sounds interesting!

Thanks for all the advice, Amanda!! :)

Darlene R. said...

Hey Amanda,
I gave you an award on my blog. I don't know if you do awards, but I do love to read this blog. You are so fun-loving and upbeat and I love that.

Sun said...

I read your blog often but hardly comment - this was a great idea for a post and so beautifully answered. I am so thankful that you allow us to read who do not know you. I pray that God outrageously blesses you in 2008 and that your sister has a BEAUTIFUL wedding! Sunshine

Living Beyond said...

Oh Banana Republic - I'll get right on that - I got a skirt for Christmas that will match that coat!!! hehe thanks for sharing the wealth!!

Have a great weekend

anita from kansas said...

As my 12 year old says you are "totally wicked awesome" - does that not sound like an oxymoron??? You are so "kool" (from the 60 generation). Thank you for sharing - I have just sorta' adopted you and Melissa' - my cyber-kids@! You have been so candid, it seems I truly 'know' you all. Prayed for a happy and blessed day for you guys!

What is your greatest dream/vision for your family for the next 10 years? (Hubs,,A.J. & Lil' guy?)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing with grace and transparency. Your blog is a blessing to read. blessings.