Tuesday, April 26, 2005

been there, done that.

Wow. Last night's 24 episode was almost too intense. I was so scared for Chloe because you never know what they're going to do on that show. Only 3 more hours, though, and then a 2-hour season finale. What will we do when it's all over?

And how 'bout those Rockets? That was fun. Although, I really do like the Mavs except for Dampier and Bradley (since we live here and everything), but I've been a diehard Rockets fan since I was little. It reminds me a little bit of the year the Rockets swept the Magic in the finals. Clay and I lived in Orlando at the time and I taught 5th grade. The banter was delightful and I drew a broom on the big marker board for the children as they arrived to school the next day. good times.

The forms are in place, the plumbing has been done and the foundation will hopefully be poured this week at our new place. Yea!

As promised, a 2nd list...just so you know how fascinating my life has actually been.

*some stuff I've done and some places I've been*
(in no particular order)

1. rappelled down 130' mountain face in Colorado (the same trip as the chocolate chip pancakes)
2. rode to the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, WA.
3. had my name (oh, and Clay's, too) on the scoreboard at Candlestick Park in San Francisco
4. snowmobiled (and skied, too, but that's not as impressive) in Purgatory, CO
5. Night skied at Keystone
6. snow-tubing, Durango
7. Phoenix, AZ...Tent City, the Church on Fillmore, Cubs Spring Training game
8. Orlando, FL...Church Street Station, Orlando Magic bball game against the Bulls, Michael Jordan minor league baseball game, Dinner Theaters: Sleuth's, Arabian Nights, and King Henry's Feast. The Melting Pot, Disney, Universal, Sea World, and all that stuff
9. Cocoa Beach and Melbourne Beach, FL
10. ate Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Pie in Chicago
11. threw up in Philadelphia, PA outside the Liberty Bell
12. Christmas in a mountain home in Gatlinburg, TN
13. Christmas in a beach house in Galveston
14. Seattle Mariners game, Safeco Field
15. jeeped a couple of hours up a mountain pass to a ghost town - Colorado
16. rode a motorcycle
17. toured the White House and the Smithsonian. Also, quoted the Gettysburg Address at the Lincoln Monument
18. Chicago Cubs game, Wrigley Field
19. Ruiodoso (hanging out) and Santa Fe (skiing), New Mexico
20. saw Carmel, Monterrey, Santa Cruz, CA and took the 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach
21. and more, especially all the Texas A&M, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas stuff

Well, that was fun for me, but it would be more fun if I could know your list, too. So email me or "comment" your top 5, how bout that?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Never Evers

Wednesday night, Abby was upset that she didn't get to go to The Meal at church because she'd been home from school all day with a hugely gross ear infection. They were having breakfast for dinner, and Abby's a big fan. So I decided to make French Toast because I don't know how to make just a few pancakes. But I've never made French Toast before, so it was an adventure. I even had to call my mom (thanks) to ask how you do it. Upon completion, they didn't look all that great (apparently you're supposed to spray the griddle or something), but they tasted great. Now I don't want you to get the wrong idea...I can cook, and do it with greater regularity than probably many of you. It's just that I wasn't a big fan of breakfast until recent years(inspired by:
*AL's and my quest to eat breakfast every place that served said meal in the Permian Basin
*those chocolate chip pancakes we ate every morning in Colorado two summers ago
*the previously mentioned chicken biscuit from CFA).

By now, you're probably wondering what is the point of this seemingly plot-less anecdote. Well, the French Toast experience brought to mind all the other everyman activities that I have never experienced. As a result, I feel the need to make a list:

*Some Stuff I've Never Ever Done*

1. I've never ever been to the circus.

2. I've never ever eaten Spam (SA used to call me "Silver Spoon" because of this one, but I will not cave in to such peer pressure)

3. I've never ever eaten grits (not even one grit, if there is such a thing)

4. I've never ever been out of the country (which I'm thinking should negate the "Silver Spoon" nickname. However, I have been to a lot of very cool places within the Continental U.S., but that's another list altogether)

5. I've never ever been drunk with wine (or anything else, and don't worry---I'm too old to be curious about that now)

6. I've never ever mowed a lawn (thanks to two brothers and a husband. Although once I took the handle from Clay and made a pass across the yard that made it look like #5 is a big fat lie.)

7. I've never ever been able to watch ballet without cracking up inside.

8. I WOULD never ever have had a funnel cake except that last summer at the Lamesa Drive-In (Spiderman 2) M. Palmer got wind of it and went and bought me one. (but I didn't like it. :-))

9. I've never ever been to a carnival. (that's different than the circus, right?)

10. I've never ever bought/owned a class ring (not high school and not Texas A&M, as shocking as that is)

Naturally, this list brought to mind a lot of things I HAVE done, so I'll have to post another list soon. I certainly can't have you thinking that my life has been boring.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Hall Monitor Extraordinaire

yesterday I was hall-monitor at the kids' school during TAKS. Can't really think of a less exciting job, but somebody had to do it. Apparently the testing folks are pretty serious about heading off all attempts at cheating because test days are somewhat like prison, as far as I can tell. The kids may not speak to anyone, not even in the bathroom (hence, the need for hall monitors). And that, in itself, is pretty funny to me because what elementary schooler is going to meet up in the bathroom to discuss answers to a test? Maybe I could write a movie script about that...The Perfect Score Goes 4th Grade. Anyway, at lunch time, the teachers must lock up the tests while students eat their (brought from home or sacked in the cafeteria) lunches at their desks...in silence. I put some funny riddles in Brandon's lunch and I'm not even sure that notes from parents are legal, but y'all know that I like to live on the edge.

Today, clay smuggled the next book in the Redwall series that Brandon loves in to his teacher. He asked her to give him the book after he's finished with the test. We have to stay a step ahead of the boy; had he known about the book before test-time, he would have rushed through the test to spend the day in the world of warrior mice. And, per my previous comments, who could really blame him?

Thanks SJ for sending my new phone the CTU ring. I am so cool now! Well, I'm off to draw thumb animals with Abberooski. But here's one for the road:

What do you call cheese that isn't yours?
answer: Nacho cheese!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A Trip to Remember

Scratch number 3 on my most previous list. I'm not much in the mood for eating out right now after my apparent bout with food poisoning in Nashville. Wow... that pretty much sums up my trip. I could give you the details, but I think that in this case, a summary is best for everyone involved. I think I'll eat at home for awhile.

ON a positive note, however, Clay had done laundry and had gotten everyone where they needed to be on time AND had picked everyone up on time as well. He played Mr. Mom for Abby's Kindergarten field trip to the Ft. Worth zoo. Then he unloaded my stuff and got me a Gatorade Friday night after they got home from Brandon's baseball game and found me passed out (figuratively speaking) in bed. 15 years of marriage this May and I'm still thinking he's a keeper. :-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Chicken Biscuit and a Coke

Yesterday I blogged about my favorite breakfast food, and this morning my sweet husband went to get it for me! Maybe that will keep working for me....if I blog it, it will come???? Cool!
let's try it. Here are some other things I'd like to have:
1. the HoMedics SBM-200 Therapist Select Back Massager
2. a housekeeper, because I'm so busy all the time :-)
3. dinner at Red Lobster, because they make the perfect salad,
awesome bread, and I love shrimp.
4. a fountain drink machine in my home (see "things that make me
smile", #9)
5. a massage table (see "A massage, a shoppin' baskit, and some

I'll stop there for today so it doesn't seem like I'm taking advantage of the system.

After school yesterday, Abby told us that Evan isn't her boyfriend anymore. Naturally, I asked her why and she replied, "Well.....he has cavities." That's right. The boys better straighten up because my girl has set her standards high.

So I'm off to writers' conference tomorrow, which is really the reason I'm posting again because I probably won't sit down to do it in Nashville and I'd hate to lose the readership. Usually I like to go to wc, but I'm not really looking forward to it very much this time, even though it is GMA week (Dove Awards and everything)and I might run into someone whose music I listen to. But Clay will have to handle the baseball/softball/picking up from school duties on his own and, on top of that, I'm missing out on the ministers' wives annual retreat. sigh. AND, I'm right in the middle of fantasy basketball championship week. In order to repeat as champ, I, team Abbyoop!, must out-manage my big brother from now until next Wednesday. (which is, naturally, more important than normal simply because of my opponent. and don't judge me...you know you like to win against your older sibling, too.)

I still haven't gotten the picture thingy working yet, but if I email you an invitation, you can go see my pictures at kodak's website. So if you can't see it and really want to, send me an email. cchopkins@gmail.com OR, you can go to www.ofoto.com and sign in to become a member. It doesn't really mean anything except that I think it will allow you to see the picture instead of the little red x. But I'll keep checking the other photo hosting thingy to see if it's working again and will try to post future pics that way. later!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Welcome to My World

So I've waited til now to post a list regarding MY new little life here in Midlothian because I wanted to be "substantive", per my previous blog entitled, "The Stuff of Substance." And after 4 months here in Midlothian, I think I have enough of that substance for some honest-to-goodness peace, love, and joy. I'm sure I'll leave something very important out, but here goes:

As I shared at CBC's ladies' retreat last week, the body of Christ is the body of Christ--no matter where you live, which I have found to be a very comforting truth. So I'm saying that I love my old church, but I love my new church, too. And here's a subset of reasons why:

  • It's a place where freedom of worship is ok.
  • Worship isn't a performance. It's just worship.
  • It's a place where you can use your gifts in ministry. Thanks to JD, KL and BP who've already provided me with some unique opportunities. And when I figure out what God wants me to do on Sunday mornings in the fall, even better.
  • Lots of smiles and hugs. I'm not even all that huggy a person, but it's nice because it's evident that all the peeps really do love each other.
  • Wednesday Night Supper. Yes, at FBC, it does indeed seem to be a proper noun.
  • New and Old Friends - this is where i hope i don't leave anything important out, but here it goes. *breakfasts with KP where we attempt to solve all the world's problems. *BP, whose transparency and honesty challenge me every Sunday morning. *TC and Wednesday night chats after dinner--love that. *S&LsS, who I'm pretty sure we'd love even if they weren't Aggies :-) *K&TL who are just so stinking nice and who have no idea how much we would have missed Easter lunch in Midland had they not invited us over to their own. *T&LDW who are also super nice, incredibly faithful and devoted to student ministry and who brought us pizza, coke, plates, cups, napkins, and even ice our first night here. *AB who has been dying for me to mention her on my blog because I think she loves blogging even more than I do. *CM, because y'all have no idea how much Abby loves Mrs. Sheldon (Midland teacher). That was so great of God to give her a teacher she loves here, too. *MM, who drove us all around back in November. and the same MM and RB who are going to be building us a very cool house in a very cool neighborhood.--(hopefully we'll get to talk about day 1 later this week!) *KR, my ping pong buddy, who keeps up with me here even on the weeks we don't get to visit at church *lots of youth who have made me feel welcome and stuff. Looking forward to lots of years of fun with them!

Here's some more general Midlothian-stuff that may be less than substantive, but that I think is worth mentioning anyway:

  • I love the way the trees grow over the road and grab each other. It looked a little like something out of a horror flick in the winter time, but now that there are leaves, it's very pretty, even quaint.
  • I love the way everybody has so much YARD here. And you don't even really have to do anything with it for it to be cool. And also there's still that neighborhood feel. Baseball practices at people's houses, for goodness sakes. Bonfires, 4-wheelers--can I go back to age 10 again, please?
  • I love being close to the big city, but not actually in it. Kind of like growing up in The Woodlands, only different.
  • I love that feel of community that is so obvious here. and it's small enough, but it's big enough, too. (although it would be nice if I didn't have to go the whole 10 miles or whatever to Cedar Hill or Waxahachie to eat at Chick-fil-A, because a chicken biscuit in the morning is just...well, my most favorite breakfast in the whole wide world.)

OK, so I think that's it for now. I think it's probably a good little exercise for everyone to list the things they love about their current life situation because God is all over the place. I'm glad our places have been together at some point along the way.

Monday, April 04, 2005

A Massage, a Shoppin' Baskit, and Some Turkey (or ham if you're not beautiful)

I had my very first professional massage at the CBC ladies' retreat - now that I know...it definitely won't be the last. Yep, we had a great time. It was great to see many of my Midland friends and to share with them about what God is doing in midlothiancynthia's life. I love y'all! The 4 hour trip there and back was even fun; Jourdan, our worship leader for the retreat, rode with me and I enjoyed getting to know her. Random things struck us as funny, such as the "Shoppin' Baskit" grocery store in...I can't remember which town along Hwy. 67. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in that brainstorming session. By the way, if you're looking for someone who can lead worship for a ladies' retreat or other women's event, I highly recommend Jourdan. Her heart is as pure as her voice and her joy is contagious. Although, I'm not sure THAT's what that young waiter was thinking when he made sure that she got the last few slices of turkey while the rest of us were told we'd get ham. (But that's ok, because we just learned that we're all beautiful to God, right girls?)

Abby's pic is coming hopefully tonight, after her first game in uniform. They didn't come in before Saturday's game. But she would want me to tell you that they did win both games of their double-header, and Abby collected a couple of hits in her first at-bats. More later...