my nightmare

a couple of days ago i heard a lot of commotion going on outside in my neighborhood. not human commotion...just commotion.

i looked out the window and this is what i saw....


you would have to have me committed if that was my front yard. i wish y'all could have seen me trying to take this picture.


words i can't say...

so, i have a lot of friends that post the words that their infant children are learning to say. i think it's awesome. it will be something that they can look back on when they get older.

you know...to help them realize that they have made progress.

my list of words is a little different. these are words that i realize i can't say, or i struggle saying. a lot of times i don't realize i say them funny, but i have a kind sister who lets me know.

so here is my list...
i'm sure i will add to this down the road.

1. for. you think this would be an easy word to say, but i have been known to say "fir" on many occasions.

2. syrup. i can't for the life of me figure out why i struggle with this one.

3. boil/bowl. i blame this one on growing up in mississippi. i think a lot of people join me on this one.

4. pneumonia. sorry mama, but i have to blame this one on you. growing up she would tell us that we were going to catch pa-na-mone-ia. i can't get past that pronunciation.

5. ford focus. ok, so sometimes i combine words without realizing it. my brother-in-law drives a ford focus. you can't just call it a focus. we all think that you have to call it a ford focus. i guess we are suckers for alliteration. my mind thinks to fast for my mouth (or at least that's what i'm telling myself), and it pushes words together. i don't realize this til the word has come out. i accidently called the ford focus, "the forcus." this of course stuck and now that's all i can call it

6. movie theatre. my sister can tell you on her blog how this originated, but my niece calls the movie theatre, "the movieatre." i think it's genius and can no longer say movie theatre. she takes after her aunt! (let's not talk about the fact that she is 4 and it's normal for a child to do that).


don't look too closely at my bookshelf...

..because you will find a book of mormon up there. but it's not what you think.

i am still presbyterian.

however, the Lord has used a mormon in my life two times now.

the summer after my junior year of college, a big group of us lived in oxford for the summer. it was one of the greatest summers ever.
one night while we were over at newman's apartment someone knocked on the door.
it was two mormons on their mission...going door to door. we talked with them a bit, and somehow we agreed to cook dinner for them the next night to talk some more.
we weren't interested in converting. i think we were more interested in converting them, or dazzling them with our reformed doctrine intellect.
the next night they came for dinner. elder sparrow and elder green i believe. halllie commented how great it was that they were friends and had the same first name. sweet hallie.

we ate dinner and they started talking to us about their faith. we would talk to them about ours, and we realized that we were just going to have to agree to disagree. we invited them to summer RUF that night at les' house. they actually came with us, but left somewhere in the middle of les comparing dispensationalism and covenant theology. i was more focused on what they were getting out of this sermon, than actually listening myself...i wish i had listened more now b/c i don't remember any of it. isn't that always the case.

one thing happened that night that i do remember....

as we talked with them i realized that they knew every word in the Bible and in their book of mormon. i respected that greatly. i sat there thinking...i claim to love scripture, God and this religion....but i haven't actually read every single word of it....let alone committed it to memory. yeah, i've always tried to do the Bible in a year thing, but i've never gotten past february. (i'm just going to interject for a moment and apologize for my run-on sentences. when i start typing from stream of consciousness i think that i am faulkner or something, and have the right to throw all grammar out the window. me...the grammar patrol!) the elders gave us all a book of mormon to do a little of our own research. i've never actually opened it, but i keep it on my bookshelf as a reminder to cultivate the desire to learn more about the faith i love so dearly.

a couple of days ago the Lord used another mormon to inspire me.
ok...i admit...i was blog stalking. you know we all do it.
i kept seeing these things that said "donate to nie nie." i set out on a mission to find out what exactly nie nie was.
i discovered this site:




the first is nie nie herself (stephaNIE NIElson), and the second is one of her sisters, courtney. stephanie and her husband were in a horrible plane crash in august and have been recovering from burns in a hospital since then. stephanie was a lot worse than christian, and was actually in a medically-induced coma for a few months. they have 4 children who looked like they walked off of a disney movie set...they are adorable! courtney is taking care of the kids on top of her own.

stephanie always blogged before the accident, and they have tried to keep the blog up by getting strangers to post their favorite of her past entries. she talks about her children, crafting, her love for anthropologie and vintage things, decorating and her faith. you can probably figure out why i loved reading her entries so much! reading these entries reminded me that this life is too short for us not to enjoy it and glorify God through that.

here are my favorite of her posts....

Today I went on a bike ride with the children and Mr. Nielson.
I had gigs (nickname for Nicholas because Oliver couldn't say NICHolas, but could say GIGolas and then it became Gigs. Sometimes gigers, gig-o-rama, gigmister,and so forth.)
on the back of my cruiser and Mr. Nielson had Jane (who wants to be called "winny") and Ollie in the chariot.
Claire rode her own bike.
Of course we don't strap our children in the chariot,
because we are awesome parents.
Anyway, as we were minding our own beezwax, some lady with big hair and foot long cigarette,( but my children call them ZIGGeretts) stopped us to say that we were basically the worst parents on the planet.
Can you imagine what she would think if she came to the house?
The children may or may not be jumping off the couch in a big pile of pillows and
stuff like that

And of course, Claire reading Junie B.
But what little girl DOES NOT read Junie B?


Ticket city is a spot way in the back by the
kindergarten room with all sorts of colored tickets for bad kids.
Claire received a red one.
Apparently, she went to the bathroom during seat work, and instead of going back to class she helped herself to the monkey bars.
When I told Christian, we both laughed our heads off imagining Claire sneaking off for some one on one time with the playground.
Claire was ashamed and stressed out about her red ticket.
That means, Claire has been constipated including a stomach ache since then.
Claire would not eat any dinner.
Claire is staying home from school today.
I don't think a 6 year old should have stress in life-time for that later.
We are going to make pancakes with lemon whipped cream and strawberries. Read books all day long, and play at the playground until her little hearts content.



Is this what your life looks like at 7:56 pm?

Isn't it wonderful.


ok....so there are about a million more i could post. like the ones of them looking up at the stars on blankets in the back yard. or when one of the daughters gets a letter in the mail about going to dinner with her godmother & wizard...you just have to read it for yourself.

go to her site and her sister's site. read about their family and trust me you will want to live your life a little differently from now on.

*since i copied these posts i feel inclined to say that they have set up ways for people to leave donations of time, money and skills to help offset the cost of their medical bills. they do have insurance, but that only goes so far. i am poor, but i can put a link on my page where other's can donate. that doesn't cost a thing*

to learn more about their recovery go here:

nie nie recovery

p.s. i really like how she enlarges some words and changes colors....makes it so much easier to read.


i can't do this...

my niece, cailin, is in the first grade. i've probably mentioned that a time or two.
i had to repeat that because you need to understand that i am 27 years old and she is 7 years old...and i can't do what she is doing in this video.
while we were in texas, we went to a really fun restaurant near thom & katy's house. we were sitting outside and trying to entertain alex & cailin while waiting for our food. cailin learned this song in school, and i had to record it. she is not reading anything. no one is helping her out. she doesn't pause to think. it is pretty much amazing.

so here it is ladies and gentlemen.....your u.s. presidents sung in order by a 7 year old.


head hung in shame...

i am so embarrassed how long it has been since i have updated my blog! it has been even longer since i updated my art blog, so i decided to start with it.
i will update this one tomorrow.
for now...check out www.emgart.blogspot.com!