Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gloria In Excelsis Deo

One thing that hit me like a gentle Mac Truck this Christmas was the deep joy of blessing. Watching Matt and Ann promise to love each other before God, being established into my own marriage to my best friend, reveling in the presence of family and listening to the words of familiar carols all had a profound effect on my small, sentimental self.

I received a gift from a dear friend who passed away last year, shortly after our wedding, by way of her sister, who is one of those "closer than brothers" kinds. Things like that are deeper than my ability to explain or even understand myself. But I do know that the gift reminded me of the goodness of my God. Maybe that doesn't make sense. But things like that - how painful loss can make me more sure of God's reality and goodness - make me realize that I have deeper parts in my soul than I knew about before.

And so my Christmas this year is described best by Isaiah:

"My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts." (64:14)

I love that I'm allowed to be His servant. And that there's no more joyful or content place to be.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

I had forgotten that Pensacola had a distinctive smell. It's kind of like a salt marsh, only watered down a little by humidity. When we got home last night I noticed it and remembered the first time I stepped out of a car to look at our apartment building. It's been over a year, but I suppose it took a full two weeks away from the smell for it to be surprise enough to my nose for the memory to pop up. The above is irrelevant, except that it sums up coming home after a long and active absence. It seems a long time since we've been home.

It has been a truly wonderful Christmas, though, and I will share snippets of my favorite parts... actually just the parts I got pictures of that were my favorites. I didn't get many pictures.

Food sweet food. At Sweet Christina's in downtown Fairfax (10409 D Main Street, Fairfax, Virginia 22030). We stumbled upon it by accident, as it is tucked around a corner, but were very pleasantly surprised. It was Christmas Eve morning and we had Starbucks in hand, so we felt obliging when we were told by a passing customer to try the Malva at Sweet Christina's. It's a South African bread pudding. Bonnie, the owner, overheard and brought out a sampler for the three of us (myself, the Hus and the Mother in Law) to try. It looked like this when it was half-eaten:

And. It was yummy. I wholly recommend Sweet Christina's and the Malva, which, as Bonnie informed us, is her adapted version of the traditional recipe. Her's isn't as sweet.

But, oh my. It is sweet.

More Christmas to come. The Hus just fell asleep on my shoulder. This is not condusive to typing. No need to explain why my shoulder is an attractive pillow when I am semi-recumbantly laptopping. I shall simply enjoy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cause for (joyful!) Celebration

Matt and Ann got married! This is the only picture I have, however, so the blogosphere will have to wait for photos of the bride & groom until I am at home at my own computer.

Needless to say, the wedding was incredible and beautiful. It seems to me that the Butterfield family is now complete. Ann is the perfect addition, my fellow immigrant into the foreign land of Butter-hood and a dear friend, to ice the cake. The joy felt by all present was great. It could even be said that my Hus teared up at the ceremony. I, most UN-ceremoniously, cried outright. God was very glorified in the proceedings. 

Altogether, it has been a rewarding weekend, albeit somewhat exhausting. We (the Hus and myself) are now at my parents until Christmas to sleep off the joy.

Merry Christmas, All! May deep joy be yours, too, as you meditate on the truth of the Season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Megan is Faithfully Posting, So I am Encouraged to do the Same

"Hey!" shouted Jon, "I wrapped this present really good!" He was in the closet with gifts, paper, scissors and tape. Several minutes later, he threw out a lumpy package onto the bed, on which was the suitcase I was packing, "That one didn't turn out so good." He sounded disappointed. Luckily, the third present was a success, as he soon showed me. I was legitimately impressed.

This was Sunday night. I left Monday to drive (all by myself!) to Charleston, then Virginia (17 hours). As I drove, I listened to a mystery on tape, the sample XM comedy channel and my mother, who called often to make sure I was safe and warn me about inclement weather. I am now in Virginia, at my parent's. Despite some close calls (one isn't used to being cut off, when one has lived for so long in Pensacola...), I arrived safely.

I have no pictures as proof, so I leave this post pictureless. Sad.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just Another Day Tutoring In Pensacola

Devin: You married, Ms. Butterfingers?
Me: Yep!
Devin: You shouldadonedid had a son by now.
Me: I what?
Devin: You shoulda done did had a son by now!
Me: I should have had a son by now?
Devin: Yeah.


Me: Because I'm married?
Devin: Uh huh.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jon versus the Sheets... the final showdown?

We decorated for Christmas a week before Thanksgiving, but it was a secret. Now that it's Christmastime, I can revel in the decorations publicly. So, above is my revelry. I found those ornament placecard-holders at Pier 1 Imports last year and waited until they were 75% off to snag them. They like living in my house and holding up Christmas story-inspired phrases.

A note about the title:

Jon has never gotten along well with sheets. Most of the time, I shamefully admit, we sleep without a top sheet, because they always (I'm not kidding - always) end up on the floor, in a bundle, on his side of the bed. I'm lucky if there's still duvet left by morning. His mobility-while-slumbering issues extend to all sheets. When I awake, the bottom corner of the fitted sheet on his side of the bed is usually un-fitted from around the mattress and is curled up around the mattress pad on top of the top sheet-less, duvet-less bed.
At Linens 'N Things the other day I purchased some sheet holders that claimed victory over restless sheets. I was doubtful, but for a dollar and change (thanks to the 60% off), I was willing to try.
As you can see for yourself, they seem to have been telling the truth. Only time (two more nights, perhaps) will tell if they can take the long-term attack, but I do believe my fitted sheets will live a longer, happier life where they belong. Which would be ON the mattress and UNDER the couple sleeping in the bed.Please forgive the mess. I couldn't very well make the bed and still prove the efficacy of the gadgets.

Monday, December 8, 2008

FourThousand Words - (plus captions)

Some old pictures for the brother on deployment who cannot log into facebook (what is the AirForce thinking, blocking facebook?)

First we have the siblings in Colorado:

Second in line is the dog in dad's bed and dad in the dog's bed.
Next up, Me & the best friend in St. Augustine.
Then we have the girls two nights before my wedding:
How was that, Broseph?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Sappiness

I have admitted sappiness and now I also admit that this thought was inspired by a youtube video of Il Divo singing "Amazing Grace" with bagpipes. (Bagpipes, I might add, are a big deal where I come from.) With that in mind, please enjoy the emotionality of a little housewife and know that you've been warned.

So here's something about faith in Christ that has always kinda struck me: It's meaningful at all volumes. My redemption and the realization that I'm free and unconditionally loved inpsire great "HALLELUJAH!"'s and passionate, full song, sung at the top of my lungs. It also inspires a deep need to sing quietly, eyes closed - this faith and freedom is so intensely personal and true that to fully appreciate it's depth, a realization of my smallness has to occur.

The words of the Bible, of "Amazing Grace" and "In Christ Alone" will always be true. No matter what volume they're sung at, whether the voice be old or young, reverent or mocking. The Truth remains unchanged and unchanging. And it's that very solidity that make it so versatily inspiring.

That is pretty amazing. It's the little things that dispell doubts.

"...No guilt in Life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me.
From Life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I stand."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sand Burs, Jet Fuel and a Piece of Cake

Today, VT-3, Jon's training squadron held a Taxi Day for the wives/mothers/little sister's of the students. They let us taxi (drive around) (but not fast enough to go airborne) the T-34's. Sarah Scott and I were taxi buddies, because we were practically the only ones without our husbands there to guide us through the whole process ("The Buckle has FIVE points? I push WHICH buttons? Is this a sand bur on my seat?").

The reasons for our forced independence were as follows: Mike (he belongs to Sarah) had a solo flight, which got canceled anyway and Jon (he belongs to me) was leaving for his cross country flights and had to brief and fly away during the event.

Here are pictures, with which I will explain some important things about Taxi Day.
First of all. We wore our husband's flight suits. This entirely explains the above picture. I originally intended on writing more, but I don't even want to comment. This is what I would look like in Munchkin Land, though. See? There I go commenting. I didn't mean to do that.

In light of the last picture, I thought I should add this one, so my adorable, flowery flats would show. I wore them on purpose, un-flight-like and impractical, though they may be, because I KNEW I would tromping around in Jon's flight suit all day and I wanted a touch of the feminine.

Let it be noted, lest any skeptical mind should think otherwise, I adore my husband's height and breadth and I appreciate his larger-than-me-ness VERY much. I find him irresistible. It is only inconvenient when I attempt to wear his flight suits, which are baggy, even on him. However, it is during times such as these, when I also appreciate my cute shoes.

This is me getting out of the plane, which I had just taxied. By myself. For AT LEAST several minutes of the 15 minute taxi. Please note the grin. I am thinking how cool I am.

Also worthy of mention, apparently my torso is longer than most, because my helmet got stuck on the canopy when I was trying to open it. And close it. My big head kept getting in the way and I'd fall forward or backward, depending on which way I was attempting to move the canopy.

Sarah displays her excitement through the only visible parts of her: her happy hands and grin.

I FOUND JON!!!!! He was on his way to his brief in the line shack, when I was, by God's super-duper plan, on my way to the wife-holding-area FROM the line shack. I was so excited to see him for the following reasons: 1) I just really like him and like seeing him any old time. 2) I was glad that the other flight suit-clad women would know that I HAD a husband and I was not an impostor. 3) I wanted a kiss. Which I got, once Jon made sure no one was looking. Isn't he handsome?

And that was taxi day. We also got hot dogs and Cheetos. And cake. Those were very nice, too, but not picture-worthy.

Thank you, Sarah for being my Taxi Buddy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Socks are White and Purple

I've been thinking about this off and on for a couple weeks now (So I thought about it like 4 times, including right now. That's what "off and on" means for me. And just so you know, "The other day" refers to any time within the past 9 months.) . Here is a list of things I'll never get over or get used to:

1) True worship
2) Anything to do with soldiers/sailors/pilots going off to war
3) The cuteness of babies and puppies
4) The taste of a good cheesecake
5) Watching people I love mourn
6) Christmas music
7) The faces Jon makes to make me laugh
8) The stop-breathing-beauty of a Bach sonata or the banjo playing Amazing Grace
9) The safeness of being held by my husband
10) The lyrics to In Christ Alone
11) My Salvation

Given time, I may edit that list, but it looks pretty complete to me right now.

Now I want cheesecake...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Aunt Sara was in Atlanta visiting her friends Kristina and Kevin, and their new little one, Anna Kate this past weekend, so I drove up for a couple days to visit. It was SO fun! We got lots of time to catch up and stayed up late gabbing. It was quite refreshing (and VERY cold for my Florida-accustomed rear!)
Here we are, looking a bit unsure, since my camera did not take a perfect picture on the first snap and we were waiting for it to obey. It did not comply.

This is precious Anna Kate (4 weeks old). Unfortunately, this is the only picture I got of her and she's sleeping. Take my word for it, she is simply beautiful.

Awkward foot-in-my-mouth comment of the weekend:

Kristina: I gained like 28 pounds with her ((talking about Anna Kate)).

((What I meant to say: Well aren't you supposed to gain between 20 and 30? That's a healthy amount of weight to gain over the course of a pregnancy, so it seems you did well. ))

What I ACTUALLY said: Aren't you only supposed to gain 20?


Monday, November 17, 2008

Big Fat Copycat, Give a Dog a Bone

So I read the MoneySavingMom blog, like a ton of other people and I recently saw a post recommending the use of swagbucks as a search engine. Apparently, you earn points for regular searches that you'd normally make on google or yahoo or whatever. Since swagbucks searches use Google (which I use pretty much exclusively) and Ask.com to find stuff, it seems to be essentially the same as using google. You can redeem the "bucks" you earn for using swagbucks as your search engine to get $5 gift certificates to Starbucks or Amazon. There are more places, too, but they require more swagbucks. I'm cheap, so I'd go for the Starbucks or Amazon.

Now, I do not want to be one of those people who puts up posts about "amazing deals" simply for their own benefit, so I'll be honest, if you click this link to swagbucks, I apparently get bucks for you signing up, in addition to you getting your own bucks. Huh. I signed up through MoneySavingMom's blog, so it seems she gets bucks for me signing up. So let's do a little experiment, shall we? Feel no pressure to participate. I only mention it, because I, myself, am experimenting to see if it works. If you are interested, sign up here and start using swagbucks.com as your search engine. You'll get points for your everyday searches like, "How to get cheap plane tickets when the Navy doesn't approve your leave until 10 days before you want to fly". You also get three free bucks just for signing up. Then, let's wait a few weeks or a month of diligent searching and see if our points rack up. If so, we all win.

Oh, also, you get more points if you refer people. I think that's what I'm doing already. You can do it on your own blog, too, once you sign up. Or in emails or whatever. They give you a link to post.

Here's to free Starbucks and books?

Also in recent news, if you didn't get my bitter example of a search topic above: the Navy JUST NOW approved our leave for Thanksgiving (the leave that we turned in about six weeks ago!) , so the plane tickets we can now buy are RIDICULOUSLY expensive and perhaps not worth it. Sometimes the free meds aren't a large enough compensation for dealing with the military.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Long Titles Completely Defeat the Purpose, Sort of Like How Educational Reforms Get Re-reformed Every Four Years, Which Never Helps Anyone

I blog stalk when I'm bored and/or need attention. It's not that blogs give me attention, it's just a great distraction. So when nobody posts, I get even MORE lonely and bored, because obviously my friends don't care enough to update me (and the whole world) on their lives.

That said, I have absolutely nothing to write about, so I totally understand why my friends don't update their blogs every day. It's not like I have anything interesting to write about like Chris and Mari's Japanese Adventures or Megan's Hot Air Balloon Episode. (Notice I provided the link in case YOU were bored and needed blog-distraction.)

The other thing is, I always like it better when posts are FULL of PICTURES! Writing is fun, but PICTURES... they're colorful.

So I have also provided YOU with a picture. Just because I would want one to look at, too, if I
had read through an entire boring rant.

This is us at Oktoberfest. We had ingested viele bier. If we were talking Cinco De Mayo, it would be mucho cervesa. Or something like that. Who even knows how to spell anything in Spanish.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ballpoints, Ballots and Hanging Chads

(alternately titled, True Confessions of a Florida voter)

My favorite thing about voting is receiving my "I voted" sticker. It's proof to everyone that I fulfilled a major right of my citizenship - that I care about the direction of my country. I know that it's a silly sort of pride, but I really don't care. I only get to puff up about a sticker once every four years, so I'm making the most of it.

(Although, I have to admit; these stickers aren't as cool as the ones last go-around... the ones with the big check on them. I love checks. It's like an extra helping of "good job!" on my sticker.)

As proud as I am of fulfilling my "patriotic privilege", I couldn't help feeling a little bit sad as I drove away, knowing that putting my little ballot into the machine was all I could really do to make a difference as to who our Commander-in-Chief will be for the next four years. There were signs warning against voter solicitation, which stopped me from grabbing people and letting flow my great political wisdom in a last desperate attempt to convince everybody in Precinct 4 to agree with me. Truth is, even if I convinced all of Precinct four, it wouldn't make much a difference. All the democrats live downtown.

In lighter election day news, there were no machines with which to vote today, in fact, no buttons to push at all. We had to fill our ballots in with ballpoint pens, like a standardized test (only most of the grades come out "D" or "R"). I'm not sure if other states are using the same system, but I found it humorous. No hanging chads to embarrass Florida THIS year!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Magical Pencils

I tutor. That's my job. I have 5 kids who, being forced to attend two hours of tutoring after all day at school, are rather rambunctious. I use whatever I can to keep the peace. Sometimes as a reward for good behavior I let them use my mechanical pencils. Hey, if it works, right?

None of the kids know what the mechanical pencils are really called. Devin has demanded "Kaman-ical" pencils, Joshua has politely asked for "one of them Mech-chem-animal" ones. Needless to say, I will not correct them or add "mechanical" to their spelling tests. It's kinda cute. It makes it worth it to tutor 5 hyper kids for two hours at a time when I'm asked if, please, they could, in the words of Tobias the first grader, use one of my "Magical" pencils.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mr Bob Sweeney

Mr Bob Sweeney is my Mailbox Friend. We often check our mail at the same time in the afternoon. We met one day last spring when I ran out to vigorously greet my husband home from work. I have a tall (and attractive) husband who stands up well to having a wife thrown at him, so this is what he often gets. It's fun. After I threw myself at Jon and got a kiss in return, I went to check the mail, pretending that I was the least bit grown-up, and was greeted by an older man who introduced himself (it was Mr Sweeney) and said that that was the sweetest thing he had seen in a long time. His wife, Anne, is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's and he said he was encouraged by our obvious love.

It was a really nice thing for him to say and probably more encouraging for the newly married couple working our way through our first year of marriage "with fear and trembling" than for him. Today I saw him again and we talked about his son that went to UVA, how Jon was doing in flight school and Anne. Jon and I just celebrated our first anniversary - they just celebrated their fiftieth. He said Anne can no longer speak or use her hands & legs. She's basically bed-ridden. "She's comfortable. I guess she's happy," he said almost trying to convince himself, "or at least resigned..." In his voice was no trace of selfishness or frustration at the inconvenience of visiting a wife twice a day who can't respond to him, much less fulfill any of his needs. He was only concerned for her happiness. His frustration was at his inability to make her more happy and more comfortable.

I almost hugged him. I've never had a Mailbox Friend, and who knew when I got one that he would be exactly what I want to be when I grow up. I hope that the gratitude I feel right now for what Jon and I enjoy together stays. I hope that I remember Mr Bob Sweeney's selfless love every time I am tempted to be selfish with my husband. And most of all, I can't wait till I get to meet Mr & Mrs Sweeney in heaven, and the four of us can hang out. And I can say thank you to them for the encouragement their faithfulness brought to our baby marriage. I can't help thinking how lovingly Jesus looks at this whole painful time in the Sweeney's life and thinks how very much Mr Sweeney's love for his wife looks like the way Christ "loved the church and gave Himself up for her".

And that is the account to-date of my Mailbox Friend Mr Bob Sweeney, who looks just like Jesus.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

APA Format Says to Only Capitalize Words With More Than Three Letters. bob.

Today, while driving home from work, I was stopped behind a truck with a bumper sticker reading, "I fish. ((picture of a fish)) I VOTE."

...Please pause to reflect...

Perhaps this doesn't strike anyone else as odd. (OR perhaps it doesn't strike anyone in Pensacola (aka: "Redneck Riviera") as odd.) Honestly, though, I can't see that fishing aligns a person with any particular political party, thus striking fear into the hearts of members of the opposite political party when viewed on a bumper sticker. Crazy liberals probably get mad when they see "I love Rush Limbaugh and I Vote" stickers. I may get scared when radical hippies display their right to vote, but I'm just not sure what to think when fishermen staunchly proclaim the same rights.

Maybe drivers are supposed to read into the truck stuck to the sticky end of the bumper sticker. Maybe it says, "I don't care about the environment. I love ozone-depletion." or "I use the bed of this truck to haul reclaimed lumber so that we don't needlessly waste trees. I love ozone."

I don't know. Maybe it's just the most refreshing opinion about the current election precisely because it doesn't try to make sense. In which case, I want one.

"I Hang Out. ((picture of a pinata)) I VOTE."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Just a Thought

Hopefully I will soon put up a fun or funny post. Bear with me, however, as this is a beautifully-put opinion, and perhaps warning to Americans, about the upcoming election from Lori Kalner, a Christian woman who watched Germany turn sour during the 30's and 40's and survived the ensuing Holocaust. Keep in mind, that I don't believe Kalner is suggesting that Obama will lead us to another Holocaust, nor do I suggest that myself by this post. This article merely points out the progession of moral compromises that lead to the downfall of a society and a nation. If we cannot vote for a perfect candidate, let's vote for someone who upholds the way of Christ, regardless of their appearance as a "good man".

"Good Americans, like the good Germans of my youth, many think that the issue of their nation centers around the economy. I tell you now that the fate of the greatest nation on earth does not depend on money.
Every issue must only be judged worthy and true by the Word of God. Prosperity comes to a nation and a people who serve the Lord first. That is a basic spiritual principle which is seen in every book of Holy Scripture.
But here is the TRUTH: of all men in the US government this Obama has most strongly encouraged and urged the on-going slaughter of the unborn... "the useless mouths" of America. This slaughter is performed in the name of "A woman's reproductive rights."*
In the land of my birth, the Holocaust all began with the first step of legalized abortion. Abortion was ENCOURAGED by a downturn in the world economics.
Scripture teaches us the survival of a nation is not about the economy. the only nation which will stand is the nation which follows the Lord and the true teachings of scripture."

"If my people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

*A note from a not-very-smart-person who studied biology. Scientifically, life begins at conception. (I am not even arguing the Bible here.) If life begins at conception, then a fetus is NOT scientifically (or morally) part of that woman's body, any more than (forgive the analogy) a parasite is genetically part of a cat's intestinal tract. How, then, is abortion not murder for selfish gain?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Many are the roles of the military wife. She must be supportive, creative, outgoing (or she won't have any friends), patient and flexible. I am not yet any of these things, but I do try. Below I am practicing "supportive" and "cook", which wasn't on the list, but I suppose it should be.


(Those are Walnut-Encrusted Pork Chops, for the curious. But it doesn't qualify as "creative", because I got the recipe from Cooking Light.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Today, I got a message from some Florida politicians about voting. They addressed the item of mail to the "Butterfield Family", which is the first time EVER we've gotten something mailed to our family. Hurray! We're a family!

Here's a picture of my lovely family :). It is old (from Christmas), but Jon's computer doesn't have any new pictures. What an adorable family, eh?

I think the Christmas tree in the background adds to the familiness of the photo.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A must watch! AND PASS ON!

Bush pushed for economic reform pertaining to subprime mortgages in '03. McCain pushed for economic reform pertaining to subprime mortgages in '05 and again in '07, but was out-voted. Barack Obama pushed the opposite way. He pushed to force banks to give low-income, high-risk lenders mortgages AND he made mone off Fannie Mae, and still is making money from his friends from Fannie Mae in campaign donations.

Watch the video, but be prepared to pause it. It goes fast. It's 10 minutes and it's VERY worth it.


Monday, September 22, 2008

One Time We Got Married

...and it was the second best decision either of us
had ever made. Here's how we celebrated the first anniversary of that blessed occasion:

Destin, FL

(Top left) NU Gallery, Grand Boulevard, Sandestin (Right) Poking a shark in the eye, so it doesn't eat us.

We headed out to Destin Saturday, stopped at a winery (really, did you expect anything else?) and drove into Destin for some disappointing goodwill scavenging. However, we did find "Upscale Resale", an antiques/furniture consignment shop that had beautiful furniture and accessories for delightful prices. We purchased nothing, but cheered up, walked the outlet mall for a few hours, where we did purchase a few somethings. Including new jeans for me (yay!) that were on sale for $28, down from $98. It was so beautiful, I could have cried (Madewell brand, on sale at J. Crew for a limited time only!). We finished our perfect day with P.F. Changs. Anniversaries, lettuce wraps and spicy chicken "make glad the hearts of men" (and Butterfields).

Monday, our real anniversary, we celebrated with candlelight and steak.

After an entire year of marriage, I can honestly and with as little cathartic intent as possible, say that I am the happiest of women. I thought I loved this man a year ago, but I had no idea. I love my husband and I love being married. In addition, I've been assured that it only gets better. Wahoo! Bring it on!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I blog-stalk. Especially when I'm tired and not motivated enough to blog for myself. I've had a busy week, so here is my contribution, stolen from a stalked blog (a friend of a friend of a friend's). And fear not. I shall return to force my own opinions on the few who read this particular blog. In the meantime, this was a great reminder to me, not as a mother(obviously), but as a wife and a friend. Not everything I do is visible (who even knows if you pray for them, right?), but it matters.

In other news, I use parentheses too much.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

God Cares About My Hair

Below is the faithful account of my very good day:

Hair appointment at 9am. A bit early for a hair appointment, but I accidentally forgot my first one Monday, so I took what I could get. Besides, an entire day of salon styled hair vs. 6 hours or so is not such a bad price to pay.
Stylist is wonderful and I get the best shampoo/massage of my life. She cuts my hair beautifully and works with my cowlicks. She blowdries and straightens it. It looks great. I go to pay.
My salon (love it love it love it) has this deal. You recommend a client and they give the new client AND you (me) $20 off. I think I have $40 credit (for recommending 2 persons). I go up to pay and find out that I have an $80 credit. I get TWO one liter bottles of Redken shampoo & conditioner to use up the remaining $40 of credit. They're actually on sale for $33. Therfore, I get a free cut ($40 value) and two free one-liter bottles of yummy smelling hair cleaner/conditioner ($40 value) for the price of a tip. I also have $5 remaining credit. I am a happy little miser.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yeah, we can dance...

So, in case what you've been wondering what we've been up to down in Florida, there's not a lot going on. Except for WINNING GOLD MEDALS in the Mount Olympus games! Don't act like you're not impressed.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Motherly Instincts

Yesterday we were able to spend quality time with our friends Adam and Hadassah and their son, Caleb. We had a wonderful time catching up and admiring Caleb's growth until it was discovered that the diaper bag was out of diapers and one was desperately wanted. While the guys ran out to grab some real diapers, I volunteered the cloth ones that I use for cleaning. Unfortunately, neither Hadassah nor I knew how to put one on. Even a google search was unfruitful. So, on my suggestion, we duct-taped it on. I am so not good enough to be a mom yet.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Florida Edukashun

This is the sad state of education in Florida.

As many of you know, I work for a company that provides tutoring services for No Child Left Behind. Title 1 schools (those whose students fail to do well on standardized tests two years in a row) are required, now, to provide free tutoring services to children who perform poorly and are from low income families. Okay. So I work for a company who provides these tutoring services. Right. Here is why I bore you with that: my boss often sends out questions asked by various county coordinators to give all of us the benefit of the answer. Below, I present to you one such question. Judge for yourselves the qualifications of this tutoring coordinator:

"Do I assign group sessions if their are little amounts of tutors and we a tutor to take on more kids? Or can a tutor ask to start off with group sessions, how will I ensure their is enough kids for all tutors? (I believe the answer to this is, I pick tutors off tutorwell as needed for a child, not everyone is choosen...let me know if this is correct)"

I am almost speechless. This human being is going to be teaching. It's so sad, it's a little bit funny. I wish I had made this up.

Be rich or homeschool.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I really like this picture.

So yesterday I had to drop off some supplies for a tutoring fair that I'll be tabling tonight. The last time I had been to this place, I got very lost and had to turn around multiple times (please imagine with me a car turning around the same bends over and over, trying to turn on a teeny side street that creeps up on you so fast that you can't ever seem to make the turn), so yesterday I called the office of the place and asked, please, for directions. The receptionist gives me directions, then ends with, "Okay. Bye.... be safe." And I was reminded again of the joys of living near the ghetto in sunny Pensacola, Florida.

Once I get there, I grab a pallet of Aquafina, on top of which are a couple packages of juice boxes. Hanging from my arms are my purse and four or so bags of cookies and crackers. I stagger through the dirt parking lot to the double doors, which I barely manage to open, nearly losing the juice boxes in the attempt. Cool air hits my hot face and I hesitate, looking for a sign or any sort of direction. I find none, so I wander up the hall, pausing every now and then to readjust my grip on the Aquafinas. I see a human being with a badge around her neck! I thank God. I ask a question. She asks many questions, which seem to make the stuff heavier. She figures out where I'm trying to go (at least one of us knows) and turns me around towards the double doors I came in. Turning left right before them, we face a long hallway. She points to my destination at the very end of it. I scramble for a grip on the water, juice and cookies and begin to stagger (again). When I almost run into a couple of women with a large cart, one offers the cart as an Aquafina carrier. I gratefully accept. The subsequent trips up and (after more refined directions) back down the hallway seem much shorter and finally, after interrupting a training session, I deposit my goodies and run away.

Victory, even celebrated in a dirt parking lot, is indeed sweet.

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Favorite Recipe, first edition

Lesson One: Pad Thai

*Please note the delightful cloth napkins. They were my favorite recent purchases until last night when I found a delicious-smelling body wash. But I still love them.

On the menu for the evening was traditional (well it started that way) Pad Thai, Grilled Chicken with a Thai Rub and salad with a limey peanuty dressing.

The chicken was amazing. Jon invented the rub, which was such a resounding success that we might patent it. The salad dressing, which was inspired from a Real Simple recipe was truly yummy. It's mostly lime juice, with a little garlic, some red pepper flakes, a little soy sauce and peanut oil. Then you have to put cilantro and mint in the salad greens and roasted peanuts on top of the ensemble, and it's instant deliciousness. The Pad Thai was not as successful as the other two recipes. Although we cooked it in the "traditional"way, we ended up having to add cilantro and lime (which it called for on the side) in greater quantities. And Jon added hot garlic chili sauce. Those made it taste better. This only means that we're going to have to try a few Pad Thai recipes before we get it right. The good news is that we have the tamarind concentrate. The bad news is that, in it's concentrated form, it is impossible to spread gooky tamarind among the sticky rice noodles. That may have been our problem in the first place. Any Thai people with ideas or recipes, please bring them forth.

In other cooking news, and in another blatant Mari-copying move, I am reading "French Women Don't Get Fat", which I am really enjoying. And I finished all the fresh blueberries I picked. Aren't they pretty?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Jesus is the true and better

"Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.

Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who did not just risk leaving an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who did not just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He’s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.

The Bible’s really not about you — it’s about Him, the author and perfecter of your faith"

- Tim Keller

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bluegrass Butterfield

Jon got a banjo for his birthday. And he really likes it. When it arrived, he politely thanked the UPS delivery man, kindly offered him a chocolate turtle, then napkin, because the turtle was melty, and closed the door. The following dance-of-pure-bliss-and-excitement was witnessed, sadly, only by myself. It was truly joyous.

And (which is a perfectly legitimate way to start a sentence, despite what they tell you in highshool) this is what I have discovered. I like the banjo, too. Especially Amazing Grace on the banjo. Here is why: it's the way I feel when I sing that song, wrapped up in a tone and a melody. It's twangy and honest. Unpretentious. Uncomposed. It portrays the image of how my insides must look when I sing Amazing Grace; which is barefooted and unrefined, but beautiful because of the deep deep truth being sung and the gratefulness felt that a wretch like me is saved. My soul is a banjo singing Amazing Grace.

And Jon says the final word... Feel free to make fun of me playing the banjo. Laugh it up. But we'll see who's laughing when banjos become really cool... ah... and the other thing to say is that six people were treated for lightning shock Saturday (beach, airshow, storm). The lifeguards "baywatched" their little pampered selves around the beach like their lives depended on it. But alas, I guess we all like validation of our existence. We did not get struck, but did do the electric slide for about 4 hours waiting for the sky to clear up. It didn't. I think we want to start a blues band called the blues angels. Oh, and jellyfish stings really cramp my style. Not as bad as taking the old lighting rod down the spine though. IT'S ELECTRIC - Boogey woogie woogie. Over and out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rebekah Butterfield... top gun

No better wingman than a wife! Yes this is the mighty T-34C Turbomentor...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


This blog begins with a disclaimer. We were not planning on starting a blog. In fact, it is only through the steepest peer pressure that we have one now. We are, indeed, entering into the realm of blogging like curmudgeony old men signing up for email. That being said, I do believe we might secretly enjoy ourselves.

Oh. The disclaimer. This shall not be a replacement for phone conversations or expensively stamped snail mail. Please read and enjoy our humor and appreciate our intelligence, but do still call us. We know where you live. Unless our blog gets widely popular and strangers read it, in which case they are under no requirement to call.

And ooooh... look at our new couches!