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June 2009

Selah, Todd

So Proud of Him…

First of all, I am so glad to see that you all agree with me about Kate and my dad’s sister. I laughed so hard at how many of you thought the twins look like my dad!!!! He will get a kick out of that!!!
I’m also glad you all accept my random ramblings :)
SO, tonight’s 2 minute post is about my sweet hubby…I have been getting emails about Selah’s new CD, and I wanted to let you all know that the release date is August 25th, but you can pre-order it now through Family Christian Bookstores. If you pre-order, you get a CD with 4 of the songs from the CD sent to you now so you don’t have to wait :)
I have to say, I listened to it while I was out driving today, and it is amazing. I know I’m biased, but it really is unbelievable. I also have the tremendous blessing of watching the three of them live life, and I can tell you that they are the real deal. They are so honored to do what they do, and they don’t take a minute if it for granted. The result is music that truly honors the Lord and comes from the heart, and I am so moved to even be a small part of it.
“I Will Carry You” turned out incredibly well thanks to all of the people who put their hearts and souls into it (wait until you hear John Catchings on the cello!), and I am so honored that the CD includes pictures of Audrey and tells her story. The “boy” version will be available on ITunes when the CD is released. 
One last thing…if this is a CD that you would really like to have, but don’t have the money to buy it, please email me at 
Much love,
Dad, growing up, Kate

No Doubt About It

Because so many of you made a point of noting the resemblance between Kate and me in my last post, I had to show you this picture. I saw it on my Grandma’s nightstand a few years ago and I literally gasped at how much Kate looks like my dad’s sister when she was a child. 
Check it out…..

Isn’t that HILARIOUS?!?!?!?!

And by the way, my grandma made all their clothes and she is particularly fond of this “bucking bronco” sweater my dad has on (isn’t he a cutie-pie?). My dad likes to say that she still makes him wear it to church sometimes. Hehehe :)
Had to share…now I’m off to watch a movie with Todd- you all have a great night~
growing up

I Blame Laura

***Updated to say that my old BFF from the wonder days backed me up on all of my antics in a comment on this post (12:47 p.m. today). She probably has some great pictures of us to share from the good old days-love you, Tef :)  Also wanted to tell you that after so many of you commented about Kate looking like me, I have decided to pull out the big guns. I am going to try and post a little something later tonight after the ladies are in bed, and trust me, there will be NO QUESTION whose genes she got!!!!***
(Original post follows…)
I am referring to Laura Ingalls, in the event that you are wondering.
And as a warning, there will be no deep, heady thoughts here for several weeks, because I am pouring all of my smart thinking and cohesive writing structure into my book.
So, for all of you sweet Sundays, you are stuck with babbling, random, “not so well-written” Angie until September. 
That last sentence alone should prove my point.
And now back to our unscheduled program…
When I was living in Japan as a child, my sister and I would get deliriously happy every time the little green light would blink on the TV. When it did, it meant that the show was being presented “bilingually,” which usually meant ENGLISH! Typically, it also meant that we were about to watch Magnum P.I. or Little House on the Prairie. Not a lot of variety, but we would take what we could get. 
So, Jenn and I were hooked on the Ingalls.  Which, for many reasons, would eventually lead to my social downfall and also explains my obsession with bonnets and braids, but we’ll get there.
Aside from Little House, my grandma would send us Betamax tapes of the popular American shows, and honestly, we were more than a little creeped out by some of them. What was with Alf? Small Wonder? 
If you have no clue what I am talking about, please don’t say a word. You will make me feel old and embarrassed because I was amazed by the stellar graphics and acting that led me to believe we could have a robotic sister and a pet alien when we got back to the States. 
Seriously. Look into it.
We got plenty of episodes of Family Ties and the Cosby show, but when the big cardboard box showed up every few months, we tore through it like wild animals to hunt down any episodes of Punky Brewster and Rainbow Brite. Does anyone remember the episode of Punky Brewster where Candace Cameron was a runaway and her face showed up on a milk container? Well I had the great pleasure of going on a cruise with her a few years ago (we weren’t together, but I still feel cool writing that…she was speaking and Selah was singing. As a sidebar, she is incredible, and is really making an impact for the Lord…absolutely beautiful on the inside and out). I told her that I remembered that episode and she laughed her head off. I hesitated to mention the Teen Bop photos of her brother that graced my walls during the era of rainbow pillows and waterbeds. 
I will never forget the day that we ripped into the box and on the top was a tape marked “Anne of Green Gables.” I didn’t have a clue what it was, and told my mom I wasn’t really interested, but about an hour later I was hooked and ran to my parent’s bedroom, flung myself on their bed, and in my most dramatic, Anne-worthy tone, informed them that if the rest of series was not in that box, I might die.
Luckily, it was. 
Words cannot express my love for Anne, Diana, and the rest of the crew who taught me how to effectively have kids hate me for my clothing choices a few years later. What? You don’t believe that I bought a dress that could have been worn by Anne and thought it a brilliant move to wear it to my sixth grade picture day in Cincinnati? 
I have photos, people.
And many scars.
Where was I? 
Little House, oh yes.
There was drama, and plenty of it. Mary accidentally sets the barn on fire, Nellie Oleson mistreats Laura’s horse Bunny and gets thrown off and then pretends to be paralyzed, a tornado wipes out the crops, Mary wakes up screaming because she’s blind…any of these ring a bell? I’ll stop now. 
But seriously.
What could be better than living in a simple, cozy house with your family and sleeping in a loft with your sister while Pa plays the fiddle and Ma sews a new dress for you?
Nothing, I tell you.
And in my ten year old mind, that was the life I wanted. I wanted my kids to walk to school everyday and enter in the one-room schoolhouse when Miss Beadle rang the big bell and the town bustled around them. Meanwhile, Ma was at home cooking on her precious new stove and the worst thing that could happen while you were coming home was that a boy would pull your pigtails.
The first red flag about my future lifestyle came in the form of sharp pencils being thrown at the back of my head on the school bus in sixth grade. This was quickly followed up by a girl pretending she wanted to do her science fair project with me and then explaining in front of our class that she was completely kidding. In fact, that same day I was completely banned from practicing “The Lift” with the cool kids who had seen Dirty Dancing. As a sidebar, the nasty Katie N. begged me to be her science fair partner later because she had blown it off and I did the whole thing with my dad. We studied how Venus Flytraps suck all the nutrients out of flies. I can see you now, writhing with envy. Venus Flytraps are the underdogs of the plant world, and had it not been for Little Shop of Horrors, they may never have earned the respect they deserve. I remember that Katie wore a Camp Beverly Hills shirt to the science fair, and I wore, umm, glasses. 
The good news is that I eventually went on to be a college cheerleader despite the lack of “lift” practice in recess. And Katie? 
Did not. 
She decided to chase after a life of harassment and cruelty which landed her exactly where her victims had been for years. Don’t worry, nothing tragic. Just a taste of her own medicine.
So, after coming home to a less than rousing welcome in the States, I decided that my “Little House” life was not going to cut it. I did my best to just blend in enough to not stick out, and as I grew into my nose and out of my braces, I started to gain some credibility with the in-crowd. I loved theatre and reading, so I think the best I could say is that I straddled the line between cool and not-so-much. I never got into trouble, although I did sneak out a few times to be rebellious. 
Ever the guilt-ridden “good girl,” I left a note for my parents in the event that they pulled back the covers and saw the pillows in my place.
I decided I had been born in the wrong century. I wanted to sit by my window and read for hours, and my prized possession was an old-fashioned rag doll I named Abigail, who still lays on the guest room bed in my parent’s house. 
I made a point of never using the phrase “bosom friend” when I met girls at school. Let’s just say it doesn’t fly like it did back in the day. But, I am happy to say that Audra is my Diana (I think there is a resemblance, actually!) and I am, well, Anne. 
And all of you who are tempted to say I resemble Anne, BITE YOUR TONGUES. Trust me, in a few seconds, you will have much more fodder to use against me. 
I bring it on myself.
The bottom line is that the world feels so complicated, and all I want is a porch swing and a horse named Bunny. You know what I mean.
So, consider this the rambling, incoherent introduction to the post I will write shortly about why I chose to homeschool. And by “shortly,” I mean “possibly before Christ returns.”
And it doesn’t really have to do with shielding my kids from life, but rather the fact that I kind of want to be Miss Beadle. 
And in the event that you do not believe that I was the girl I have described here, I give you Exhibit A, which I simply call, “What happens when a ten year old cuts her own bangs, dresses like Laura Ingalls, puts stickers on her un-pierced ears and goes Trick-or-Treating with her matching Cabbage Patch Kid in a country that doesn’t celebrate Halloween.”
So let’s make a deal.
Whenever you see a picture of me where you think I look cute, first, remember that I chose that picture, because it is my blog and I don’t necessarily want to put the bad ones on it (with the exception of Exhibit A). 
And second, picture me as an awkward kid with a weird doll, crooked hair, and an unhealthy love for the smell of books.
I assure you, the latter is more accurate.
I cannot end this post before ratting on my husband.
I’ll just come out and say it, because there is really no way to dress it up.
Todd used to be afraid of Laura Ingalls because he said that when the credits are rolling and the music ends, she is freeze-framed, frolicking down the hill in a way that makes her look, in his words, “demonic.” I asked him to be specific, and he explained (I’m assuming to make himself look better…oops) that it was “the way her braid slashed across her face when the music does that high octave finale note.”
Thank you, Sweetie.
I am trying to process this, as it was never on my list of credentials for a future husband. Please make sure and mention this phobia to my manly-man, should you meet him at a concert or something. Good times.
To his credit, he grew up in the bush of Africa, where there was no bilingual button.
Because seriously?
Laura is no match for Alf.
Faith, Homeschooling, Lisa Leonard


Updated to say that you all are listing AMAZING ideas, books, etc…I can’t wait to visit these cool blogs and track down these songs!!!! Seriously, if you have a couple minutes, scroll through and make some notes! Blessings…
(original post follows)

This is kind of a weird post because I don’t usually write when I don’t have something specific to say, but I want to today.  We have had a hard few days, and I would love to write more about it later, when the kiddos are in bed. I am going to teach and head to the park in a bit…they are really in need of a “full-time mommy” after being at yet another funeral this week.  For those of you who don’t follow me on twitter, my dear aunt Fran passed away early Sunday morning and we have been in Georgia since Tuesday.  I have so many thoughts that I am trying to process about the heaviness of life right now…

When I feel like I am getting discouraged, I seek beauty and peace through scripture and prayer, and it may sound silly to some of you (and that’s okay! please keep reading :)), but it really does help.  I may be quiet for a few days because I sense that the Lord is asking me to pull back from the blog and really be focused on the kids. I don’t really spend that much time on here, but I can just sense that they are a little off and I need to be more deliberate with my time.  We have been having some intense discussions about death and hurt and I feel like they are in a place of seeking.  It is really hard to watch them go through the process.
A precious friend of mine (thank you, Hollie!) made dresses for the girls, and as I dressed them for the funeral, I told them that my friend Hollie had made them for them, and I showed them the way the piping went along the collars and the seams, and told them how hard it was to sew like that and how grateful we should be to have these dresses. They are, by far, the most exquisite dresses they have ever had, and her talent is incredible. Ellie looked at me and said, “Is she alive, still, mommy?”  I told her yes, Ms. Hollie is alive and she said, “Oh good. I am so glad.”
The fact that they think to ask questions like that has really affected me and challenged me to make sure that I am responding fully to what they are walking through. Please pray for that, and that they will be able to see the Lord in all of this, and that death will not permeate their thinking. We try, and I think we are successful for the most part, but if you are a mommy who has walked through this, will you email me any suggestions you have on the subject? I would love to hear from you…I know there are a community of us who are trying to raise our children to face difficult situations with the Lord as our strength.
When I have a bit more time, I am going to post a bit about Aunt Fran and I am going to post a picture of the beautiful quilt she made for Audrey. Several of you tweeted me and suggested that, and I think it is a great idea.
For now (and I know this is random), I was wondering if you all would play along with me.
I realized last night as I skimmed through some of my favorite blogs that I am drawn to things that are beautiful in their simplicity, and just through images and words, I find great peace. One of those blogs is Lisa Leonard’s, a woman who has a beautiful heart, story, and incredible gift. She was kind enough to send me a necklace with my daughter’s initials on them after Audrey passed away. I didn’t know about her then, but I just love reading her blog because it is so pure and beautiful…if you need something inspiring, please click on over. It is so beautiful…to see her store of jewelry, just click on Lisa’s Store in the top right corner.
Another blog I love to read is the NieNie Dialogues, which tells the story of a sweet woman and her husband-they were involved in a private plane crash last year that took the life of the pilot, and while her husband Christian escaped with about 30% of his body burned, she had much more serious burns (85% I think?) and is still walking a very, very difficult road in her recovery. She has the most amazing outlook, and I am so drawn to her irrepressible hope. She is also insanely creative and infectious in her approach to love and life. Our theological backgrounds and beliefs are very different, but she is a true inspiration and I love the way she loves her family and her role as a mommy. Please join me in praying for her…she has never posted images of herself after her plane crash, and recently put the first one up.  You can see her eyes and the marks that this horrific crash has had on her, but the beauty is the same…
Another one I love is Amanda Soule’s. She inspires me in creativity and I could spend hours looking at her creative projects and ideas. I have her book, and if you are a mommy (or daddy!) who is looking for a great book of projects to do with your kids, I would highly recommend it. Mine is tattered and covered in post-it notes. I wish I had HALF of her creativity!!!! Love it. She has another book coming out soon, and you can be sure I will be talking about it :)
I could list many, many more, but today these come to mind and I wanted to share them with you in the event that you don’t know them…in the event that you need a happy place to drift off to for a bit, here are some tidbits :)
Random, right. I know. I warned you.
But I do hope you enjoy :) And as a sidebar, none of these people know that I am linking to them, and I don’t think Stephanie knows I exist :)
So, there’s a bit of beauty for the day.
(Switching gears)
I am going to write a post on homeschooling because a bunch of people have asked me questions about it. Keep in mind that I have only done it for one year so I am a total novice, but I would love to share my experiences with you all.  If you have any specific questions for me, could you put them in the comments section of this post or email me so I can try to address them? I also have some online and IRL friends that are way ahead of me in the process and I would love to have them chime in with their knowledge as well if you have questions about being “further down the road.”
So, in summary, today I am in processing mode and looking for inspiration and beauty in life. It comes in the form of music, art, books, nature, all of that. SO, this isn’t a contest, but I would love for you all to tell me where you go to seek solace from this crazy world. A song? A favorite place you go? A fun movie? A book you read and reread? A blog that inspires you? (And don’t any of you turkeys list mine! I am bored with myself :)) Anything!!!
Make sure and read through the comments, because people say the coolest things. That’s my FAVORITE part of having a blog. I absolutely love what you all wrote when I asked about being “Her, here.”  I am printing them out for myself and have already used several!!! I have the coolest readers on the planet.
I love our friendship…
OK, off to teach. It may be an “on-the-lawn” day…the weather is gorgeous. I’ll stop back later tonight to read your thoughts.
Love to all of you, friends.