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“So here’s the thing…

“So here’s the thing…

Old story, but eh…

Filed under: Uncategorized — July 29, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

So we have these friends at church, Jami and Gabe. We met them in Pastor’s marriage seminar/class. Gabe’s 28 and Jami’s 25. Gabe leads the worship band at church as well as sings in a 70’s cover band named “Boogie Dynamite.” And Jami, well…she’s way too adorable for Gabe. LOL! Let’s just say he aimed awfully high and actually hit the target. We really like them a lot. The general concensus is that Gabe and I fell from the same tree…we both have an embarassing “burst” of laughter, we both tend to smack people as we’re telling stories, and we both like to sing. Jami has a great wit about her, so they’re just genuinely nice to be around.

When we were in class together, we over-heard Gabe talking about City of Heros and that sparked a conversation between the 3 of us with Jami joking that we all need to get lives. (I’m going to have to get her hooked on Toontown!) So, last sunday our church had this huge annual picnic called “Praise in the Park” with about 8 other churches…music, food, kids’ games, sermons…it was really awesome. And during the day I was sitting w/ Jami and Gabe (Jason had gone home to get out of the sun for awhile) talking about our computers and how their internet connection had been down for a couple days. So I invited Gabe to use my computer and play at our house seeing as it was double XP weekend, and Jami and I (and her mom) could go to the movies.

(That was the rambling part.) ( Here’s the funny part.)So Gabe drove over to our house in his car; Jami drove to their house to check on the dog; and I drove to Kroger to get snacks for the boys. (Keep in mind that Gabe has an extraordinarily wacky, loud sense of humor so you have to picture him screaming in the background.) So I called Jason from the grocery store and the conversation went something like this:

(me)”Ask Gabe if he wants anything in particular while I’m here.”

(J)”Jaimee wants to know if you want anything. She’s at Kroger.”

(G)”Yeah, bread and eggs.”

(J)”Bread and eggs.”

(me)”What?! I’m not getting him bread and eggs. Tell him to pick something else.”

(J)”She says she’s not getting you bread and eggs. What else do you want?”

(G)”What!? Oh C’mon!”

(me)”Whatever…tell him to pick something else.”

(J)”Sorry. She says pick something else.”

(G)”Fine. Tell her to get me the biggest bottle of apple juice she can find.”

(J)”Did you hear that?”

(me)”Yeah. Biggest bottle…geez Gabe. Yes sir.”

So I get home and am talking to the guys waiting for Jami to get here, and I grab a glass and pour Gabe some apple juice. Then he says, “oh thanks…cool,” with surprise in his voice like ‘Wow. How did you know I like apple juice.‘ So I said, you asked for apple juice…to which Gabe responds with that ear-piercing laugh of his. Apparently he thought I was his Jami and couldn’t believe I’d deny him bread and eggs!

Well, it was pretty darn funny at the time.  :)

Been too long…

Filed under: Uncategorized — July 26, 2006 @ 11:26 pm

I ramble.

I always have and probably always will. So when I get a thought in my head that I’d like to write about, I immediately think of two things that stop me. First, I’ll probably start rambling until I’ve lost my point and my wrists hurt from typing. And, secondly, it’s easier to just call my sister-in-law and tell her my thought since she’s one of the only people who read this blog.

But I’ve had something weighing on my mind for awhile, and I thought maybe I’d share it in case someone else happens upon this site.

I’m in the process of reading 3 books. Probably not the best idea, but hey. Anyway, one of the chapters in book #2 talks about the differences between Excellence and Obedience. Here are some excerpts of what the author talks about:

To aim for obedience is to aim for perfection, not for “excellence,” which is actually something less. 

“Wait a minute!” you reply. “I thought excellence and perfection were the same thing.”

Sometimes they appear to be. But mere excellence allows room for a mixture. In most arenas, excellence is not a fixed standard at all. It’s a mixed standard…American business are in search of excellence. They could be in search of perfection, of course - perfect products, perfect service - but perfection is too costly and eats into profits. Rather than be perfect, businesses know it’s enough to seem perfect to their customers. By stopping short of perfection, they find a profitable balance between quality and costs… How far can we go and still seem perfect? By how far can we stop short?

But is it profitable for Christians to stop short at the middle ground of excellence where costs are low, balanced somewhere between paganism and obedience? Not at all! While in business it’s profitable to seem perfect, in the spiritual realm it’s merely comfortable to seem perfect. It is never profitable.

I think I’ve been striving for excellence since I re-dedicated my life to God last year. I’ve attended church faithfully every Sunday AND Wednesday. I started singing in the choir; I became a Greeter; I even started teaching Sunday school. This is the most dedicated I’ve ever been to any church and the most dedicated I’ve ever been to “staying the course.” Pretty excellent for me.

(Now, forgive me as I try to explain the many gears my brain shifts into within a matter of minutes.)

Jami (a friend from church) and I were talking Sunday about my old friend, Kevin, and her brother, Todd, both living gay lifestyles. Both were raised in the church and consider themselves born-again christians. During an argument Jami had with Todd, he angrily asked her, “do you expect me to pretend I don’t feel the way I feel? Do you think God just wants me to be alone and miserable?!” 

This started me thinking about what it means to be a “living sacrifice.” We hear it all the time in church…”offer yourself as a living sacrifice.” What does that mean exactly? Sacrificing to give money to the church? Sacrificing your time to get involved in ministry? I think God wants more from us…from me. Can we commit to sacrificing our very selves? …sacrificing our desires, our dreams, our supposed “needs?” Americans, especially, seem to have this idea that we’re entitled to whatever makes us happy.

Like Todd assuming that his feelings make his choices acceptable in God’s eyes. Like my christian sister who recently decided that she got married too young and didn’t make the right choice so she’s entitled to a God-approved “do over.” Like me, thinking that since I go to church regularly, it’s ok to watch a movie or play a game rather than study my bible. I’m trying to get away with merely seeming excellent, but not focusing on being obedient to what God wants from me… to strive for perfection…strive to be more and more like Jesus.

I took three years “off” from what had become a stressful christian walk and in that time found other things to make me happy…things that had absolutely nothing to do with God. I had somehow convinced myself that merely loving God was still pretty close to excellent, certainly better than so many others who deny Him altogether.

This past year has had equal portions of beauty and pain. I’ve had to give some things up. I’ve had to sacrifice some desires in order to be a true living sacrifice. I’m trying day by day to stay obedient to what God wants from me, and not to what had seemed “good enough.” And now it feels like I’m entering into a new phase. Just being involved in my church is starting to feel like “good enough” again, not true obedience. It’s the harder stuff (for me) that I’ve been avoiding…regular prayer time, bible study. (I literally have 4 bible study guides I haven’t touched.)

I can honestly (and shamefully) say that studying God’s word is like getting off my butt to exercise. I suck at it. I don’t have a genuine desire. Don’t get me wrong, like I said, this is the most dedicated I’ve ever felt to staying close to God no matter what; I’m just struggling with putting forth the effort it takes to actually accomplish that goal. Pastor Tim once said, “your feelings will follow where your Will leads.” Maybe that’s the key…CHOOSING to be obedient and trusting that Godly desires will follow. Like Todd realizing someday that true fellowship with God is more important than his sexlife. Like that woman realizing that God can heal any marriage and give her a renewed appreciation for her husband. Like me choosing to find out what exactly it is God wants from me and then actually DOING IT.

Ugh!

Filed under: Uncategorized — July 11, 2006 @ 1:20 am

It’s 2 a.m. and I am just now forcing - Yes! FORCING - myself to quit my latest addiction…for the night anyway. It’s actually much like a foul smoking habit. It’s bad for my health (mental health more specifically) and yet I just can’t seem to stop for more than 8 hours-ish…that being about the time it takes me to sleep, shower, put in my contacts (which are great by the way) and sit down to the computer to start the madness all over again!! “Toontown.” This game will be the death of me. It’s like a donkey chasing after that ever-elusive carrot strung in front of his eyes, tied to a poll so that he can never actually taste it. So, too, is that never reached “finished task” because one only leads to the next until eventually you can’t even remember what the heck you were trying to accomplish in the first place!! My eyes are strained from staring at this God-forsaken (yes, He was smart enough to leave a while ago. LOL!) monitor! And I think my butt is numb from not moving out of this chair since 10:30.

It’s awful… I love it… Please help me!  LOL!

What on Earth!?!?

Filed under: Uncategorized — June 26, 2006 @ 2:44 pm

I was bored at the computer here just googling different stuff and happened upon a bunch of “cat sites.” (Not adoption sites, I swear. Princess Chloe would never allow another feline in the house I’m sure.) And I came across the most bizarre site I’ve seen to date… www.stuffonmycat.com

So I’m looking at the dozens of pictures…some of them just too darn cute and others just down right disturbing (what cat really WANTS to have a helmet made out of an orange put on his head?)…and I’m thinking, “man, those are some pretty loyal and loving cats to let their owners put stuffed animals or jewelry or action figures on top of them for a picture.” Some of them were even sleeping!

Then I suddenly remember Keegan playing with Chloe last year with some little rubber spiders and the subsequent picture that was taken…

Copy of ChloeWithSpiders.jpg

 

Yeah, we’re just as weird over here I guess. LOL!

….

Filed under: Uncategorized — June 24, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

I’m trying out a pair of Acuvue Oasys contacts instead of the Acuvue 2 I’ve been wearing. These are a HUGE difference! Lots more moisture seems to be helping the slight blurriness. (Dr. said things aren’t as sharp when your eyes are dry.) I’m really happy with these. Just have to wear the trials for 1 week, and then I can order regular boxes. Can’t wait!

 Side note:  My father-in-law is writing another book. Looks like it will be pretty interesting. I’ll have to write about him some other time. He’s a long story. LOL! Brilliant, frazzled, Jesus freak who seems to get called into the strangest of ministries…that fit him perfectly…and God always uses him to blacken the devil’s eye!  ;o)   He had this quote as his “signiture” at the bottom of an email he sent.

The truth may live a wretched life,
but it will always survive a lie.

I like that.

D.O.C.

Filed under: Uncategorized — June 24, 2006 @ 10:51 am

I go in at 2:40pm today to have my contacts checked and see if I’ll be keeping these permanently. It’s been hard to tell. I was outside the other night at dusk talking with my neighbor and the block seemed kinda hazy to me as I looked around. (Incidentally, she actually didn’t recognize me at first! Go figure!) I don’t know if the contacts were effecting my night vision or if it was just all in my head. But I also seem to be squinting at the t.v. most of the time. My glasses still feel more comfortable or “normal” to me. The good thing is that the contacts do feel at least physically comfortable. They haven’t been bothering my eyes at all… just feels like my vision isn’t as good as it should be. But I guess that’s what these check-ups are for…  I think once I find the right prescription, I’ll really like these. I never realized just how limited your peripheral vision is in glasses.

Blink Blink

Filed under: Uncategorized — June 17, 2006 @ 8:02 pm

Ok, so I got contact lenses today. VERY WEIRD! They’re not uncomfortable per se,  but I feel like I’m REALLY aware of them in my eyes. I was only “allowed” to wear them for 3 hours today, 5 tomorrow and so forth until next saturday when the doc checks them again. Haven’t decided what I’m going to do…stay with glasses or stick with these.

The problem is that my prescription changed, AGAIN! Man, I’m going blind by the year. The right eye stayed the same, thankfully, but the left went from 2.75 to 3.00. Which in school is great; not so much in the vision world. So that means when I buy boxes of contacts (praise God, these are disposable unlike the pieces of glass they gave me 5 yrs ago that I of course quit wearing after a week), I’ll have to get 2 different boxes. Stinks. More money. Plus, when I take them out, I have to put my glasses on so as to not kill myself walking around the living room or pet a pillow instead of Chloe or… you get the point.  However, my glasses are my old prescription, and as any glass-wearing person can attest to, there’s nothing worse than trying to readjust from one prescript to another. Can we say “headache” people?

The up side was buying a pair of sunglasses. Haven’t done that in years and years. They looked pretty cool, too, if I do say so myself. It will also be nice to not be constantly trying to clean those “where-the-heck-did-I-get-that” smudges that never seem to really disappear.

I think I’m just scared that I might lose one up in my eyelid, or get dirt in my eye and have to take them out but can’t cause I don’t have enough solution with me or some other crazy scenario. Hopefully the cost won’t be too great.

You know who really needs contacts, though? Jason. He has the most beautiful eyes and no one gets to see them. He actually has blue eyes, unlike my grey ones. And there are the cutest little freckles around the very outside corners of his eyes. He tried contacts a long time ago, but he never seems to make it more than 2 or 3 days before they’re just driving him crazy, and he gives up on them. They make his eyes tired and dry and blood-shot. But that was a long time ago, and I was telling him today what the doctor told me. There are a million types of contact lenses out there, you just need to find the right ones…breathable, fitted to the eye better, etc. etc.  Plus, only giving it 3 days is probably not the most fair judge of things. I was doing pretty well in them. During dinner when we were engaged in a conversation I didn’t even notice them in my eyes, but when we left for a bookstore, I noticed them the whole drive there. Which means it’s probably more psychological. Getting used to contacts vs glasses PLUS a new prescription at the same time is going to be a feat I’m sure. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m 32!

Filed under: Uncategorized — June 15, 2006 @ 11:43 pm

Guess what? It’s past midnight now so… shoot…nevermind. The darn title of this entry already blew the surprise. I hate when that happens!

Pssst…

Filed under: Uncategorized — June 13, 2006 @ 7:30 am

I’ll be 32 in 3 days.

(Had to write something. It’s been a long time since I added anything to this blog.)  ;o)  wink.

Ode to a Sister…

Filed under: Uncategorized — May 20, 2006 @ 7:10 pm

Or maybe not an “ode” since I think that means a poem, but you’ll get what I mean…

My favorite Grandmother passed away this Mother’s Day. I’m not going to go into how painful the loss is, or how sudden her death seems to me (considering she was 86 yrs old I guess I shouldn’t have been as shocked as I was.) But what I will say is that her funeral, and all the cousins I got to speak to after years of separation, left me with a renewed sense of what’s really important - Family.

My sister-in-law mentioned later how we, as cousins, don’t really know each other as adults. She’s right. I had no idea Ryan, my closest cousin all thru our childhood, was living in New Orleans. Or that Beth had been trying to get pregnant for years only to have lost 4 children to miscarriages. Or that Shane’s 2nd son’s name is GavinTrue (sadly, not sure of the spelling.)

I walked around looking at the pictures and watched a nice video the family had quickly put together of different events and photos. There was a shot of Grandma and Grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary, and it struck me that it was 16 years ago!! There I was standing next to my cousin Todd, who accompanied me on the piano, as I sang “Wind Beneath my Wings” to my grandmother. Ironically, Todd also accompanied me on the piano as I sang “Just As I Am” at my grandmother’s funeral this past Wednesday.

There was also a picture of the whole family with spouses/significant others, and there was Gerry, my boyfriend at the time. Grandma hated him! LOL! I can’t argue the opinion looking back. But what really stood out for me as I looked at the pictures was there was one particular person standing next to me in almost every shot over the last 16+ years… my sister-in-law, Deb.

I’ve known her half my life. HALF MY LIFE! Think about that for a minute… We’ve seen each other at our absolute best and our ugliest worst… Thru her stint as a feminist and my job at a strip club (waitressing only, I swear.) Thru bad hair and worse boyfriends, to the loss of her brother. We’ve laughed till we darn near peed, cried till our heads ached, hurt each other’s feelings and even stopped speaking for a month…and yet here we are. Every visit a joy. Every laugh still coming so easily.

So I wanted to put together some pictures I found when I got home from the funeral. I wish I had more. There’s a gap between 1990 to 93′ where we just didn’t take many pictures, not together anyway.

Enjoy.

scan00011.jpg 1991-ish with my (first) step-brother, Eddie.

Copy of Jay & Debs Wedding 1994.jpg Jay & Deb’s wedding. I was her Maid of Honor.

scan0003.jpg With Keith at Thanksgiving 1995.

scan0004.jpg My friend Alison’s wedding…not even sure how Jay & Deb ended up there since they barely even knew her? lol

scan0008.jpg Picnic with Brian’s family. (ex-fiance 1996) Deb’s in the back on the swing.

scan0005.jpg The year I got saved…Deb followed shortly after.

scan0002.jpg I keep thinking this was taken as we sat in the bleachers watching Jay & Brian playing volleyball or something crazy like that.

scan0011.jpg Deb diligently taking notes as I open gifts at my wedding shower.

scan0009.jpg Ahhh! Finally found the right man. Deb was my Maid of Honor, too.

scan0010.jpg Family reunion 1998. Funny thing is, this was taken in July. Meaning I was either just barely pregnant (and didn’t know it yet) or got pregnant in the days that followed. ewww… (TMI, I know) LOL!

scan0012.jpg Trip to Aruba. I’m about 17 weeks pregnant I believe. Deb’s about 10 weeks.

scan00132.jpg On our way to my baby shower. Man! We were huge! LOL!

scan00141.jpg…And the rest is history…

I love you, Deb. I couldn’t be blessed with a better sister.