Friday, March 20, 2009

My 100 Things

My 100th Post~~My 100 Things

More than you ever wanted to know about me... :)

1. I was born in Athens, Georgia, on a very cold March morning.

2. I grew up with three brothers--one older and two younger. I was the middle child and the only girl.

3. Well…let me clarify that. My parents were foster parents to 20+ babies/toddlers/young children (mostly newborns) and I was the middle child to the nth degree.

4. My younger brothers are both adopted--I teased my parents that we “kept the last two” because…well…we did.

5. We traveled A LOT when I was a child. My dad worked as a consultant who traveled nationwide to inspect the places that made tires and retreads. During several summers in a row, we traveled with him for weeks at a time in a motor home.

6. I have been in most of the continental United States, with the exception of the New England states, California, and Oregon.

7. You know those maps at Welcome Centers as you cross into a new state? They kept us busy. My older brother and I learned how to read maps at an early age...probably in an effort to keep us occupied! There were many times we drove 500 miles in one day.

8. We read a lot, too. We would bring stacks of books with us, and read every last one long before we got back home.

9. I would read anything and everything. The summer before third grade, I was reading the Nancy Drew series, as well as books like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Cheaper By the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. (Cheaper By the Dozen was my mom's favorite book...see #3.)

10. I learned how to spell "Mississippi" as we traveled across the state during one of those long summer trips.

11. I'm pretty sure my mom deeply regretted teaching me how to spell "Mississippi," because I repeated what she taught me over and over and over and over again. "M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, humpback, humpback, I."

12. My mom died at the age of 53. Robert was 9 months old at the time. I remember that he learned how to clap within hours of her passing, before we had even left the hospital parking deck.

13. I miss her tremendously.

14. When I go to click on the "Save Now" button as I'm composing a post, I think "Hosanna!" Seriously. Every time. (Confused? Click here.)

15. I eat chocolate everyday...preferable dark chocolate.

16. I may have mentioned somewhere that dark chocolate M&Ms are my current favorite. There's a reason for the chocolatey theme on the blog, folks. ;)

17. My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3: 5-6.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

18. Part of the reason I love going to Bible studies is the chance to be with my friends without having my children with me. There...I said it.

19. But I truly love the learning process, too. I'm not in it for all the wrong reasons. ;)

20. The children's names on the blog? They are not the names my children go by.

21. Blogging is cheap therapy for me. Blogging also is my replacement for baby books...mostly blank baby books.

22. There are countless times during the week when I think, "I'm putting that on the blog!" And I would, too, if only I had written down whatever it was that was said before I forgot it.

23. There are also countless times when I hear, "That is not going on the blog!"

24. I cut my own hair. I began a little over 4 years ago after years of "fixing it myself" every single time I got a haircut. It saves money and my sanity!

25. I am older than my husband by 50 1/2 weeks.

26. That's not a whole year.

27. My husband makes me laugh more than any other person...and I mean that in the best way.

28. Jason and I met in mid-April 1995 at an on-campus Bible study at UGA.

29. We began dating a few days later.

30. Jason asked me to marry him in July 1995.

31. When we announced our engagement to his family no one was surprised. I think his sister Cindy actually said, "It's about time!" We were both amused and bewildered at their reaction. After all, we had only met 3 1/2 months before our engagement.

32. We were married in Athens, Georgia, on September 3, 1995.

33. We waited until after Jason had found a full-time job before we set a date for our wedding.

34. We just didn't think that the job would come with an extremely short time table.

35. It is entirely possible to plan a small church wedding in about a week.

36. Ten days later, after a brief honeymoon and driving 2000 miles or so, we moved into our new home in Lustre, Montana.

37. We lived in Lustre for one school year while Jason was teaching Bible and Social Studies at a small Christian high school. We lived in part of the former dorm building on the school's campus.

38. I had a short-term position as the cheerleading coach.

39. I am the most unlikely person ever to be a cheerleading coach.

40. I also had a small business as a freelance computer consultant, which I loved a whole lot more than the cheerleading coach gig.

41. In this case, "freelance computer consultant" sounds more impressive than it actually was.

42. But, on top of my consulting work, I sold a few copies of a Microsoft Windows tip booklet that I had written. And the cheerleading coaching and computer consulting brought in a little extra income at a time when we otherwise had a $25 grocery budget every two weeks. Yes, every two weeks.

43. We lived in a Mennonite community in the middle of an Indian Reservation. Lustre is in the extreme northeast corner of Montana.

44. It was while we were living in Lustre that I first heard of "domesticated trees." If there were trees in that area, it was because someone had planted them as a wind barrier for their home and had protected them from the deer.

This is the extreme western end of Montana (Glacier, to be exact) and is what most people think of when they think of Montana...where we lived looked nothing like this.

This is the area we lived. In the center of the photo are trees and houses.

45. I missed squirrels when we lived in Montana. There were none in our trees = no squirrels.

46. Lustre was such a dry area that the only snow we got was blown across the prairie from somewhere west of us. I saw the snow blowing towards us as I was washing dishes and looking out the window. Stepping out of our door, it looked like a blizzard swirling around. Within a couple of weeks we had a mild thaw, and then everything iced over for months when the temperature dropped again.

47. The nearest grocery store was 35 miles away in Wolf Point...and 5 of those miles were on a gravel road. Wolf Point was inside the Indian Reservation.

48. We usually went to Glasgow, which was 55 miles away (10 of those were gravel) and had a library. And the library had a cat.

The gravel road to Glasgow.

49. That year, I found out I was highly allergic to cats.

50. And also highly allergic to dust.

51. And mildly allergic to everything else the doctor tested me for (dogs, trees, grasses, mold...).

52. Glasgow was the type of area where people would leave their cars running unattended in the winter while they shopped at the grocery store (we're talking negative temperatures here, and all of the cars had block heaters).

53. We never left our car running outside the grocery store.

54. But we did have to get a block heater installed before the really cold temperatures came...which was October. Early October.

55. Wal-mart was about 2 1/2 hours away from us in Williston, North Dakota; we never went. But on the way to Lustre, we were very excited to stop there at the Pizza Hut after days of eating McDonald's food during the drive.

56. The nearest Dairy Queen was in Minot, North Dakota, which was about 3 1/2 hours away. We did go to that Dairy Queen once, and they have the best Blizzards we have ever tasted. So if you're ever in Minot, you should go.

57. Jason and I chaperoned the senior trip. There were 7 seniors. (I told you it was a small school.)

58. The seniors wanted to go to the huge mall in Edmonton, Canada.

59. We spent a week at a mall. We went to Canada to go to a mall. 60. I don't like malls.

61. I made an exception for this one.

A full size ice rink that the Edmonton Oilers (professsional hockey team) practiced on.

That's me in the center of the bridge. To the left of this bridge, a sea mammal exhibit with dolphin shows. To the right, a huge pirate ship that could be rented for birthday parties.

All of this was inside this mall! There was also a miniature golf course, an amusement park, a water park (with bungee jumping, which two of the seniors did), two sets of movie theaters, and two full food courts. There were sections that were city-theme (one was named Bourbon Street, with store-fronts that looked like you were walking in New Orleans, and one was a Parisian street that was stunningly beautiful) as well animal exhibits throughout the mall.

62. I took a few pictures of Jason throwing some calves when he helped with branding in the Spring. I just had to find a way to fit those pictures on the blog...

The ones in cowboy hats are the ones who know what they're doing the ranchers. All of us who were new to Lustre were invited to Branding Day to watch and, if interested, to help throw some calves. Jason is in the center (seated), our pastor's wife is videotaping the branding, and the dorm father/track coach is in the ball cap.

Jason with one of his students. The ranchers also vaccinated on branding day with a vaccine gun.

63. The only day it rained in Lustre the entire time we lived there was the day we packed up our things and moved back to Georgia. Naturally...

64. I have never experienced so much sensory overload (even with three children) as I did when we came back from Montana to Georgia: billboards everywhere, signs everywhere, restaurants everywhere, stores everywhere...

65. We spent the summer (1996) in the Athens area and enjoyed the Olympics fervor (soccer was in Athens), and I saw the torch being carried along the major road outside of the medical office I was working at the time. We have a small collection of Olympic pins framed.

66. Jason and I were able to go with his sister Cindy, her husband Kerry, and some friends of theirs to an equestrian Olympic event at the International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia.

67. The fall of 1996 brought another move for another teaching position for Jason--this time to the Christian school in Norlina, North Carolina. He taught Social Studies in the middle school.

68. They hired me, too. To teach. In the high school. Me.

69. I taught three computer classes, two 9th grade English classes, and 9th grade Health.

70. My eleven year old son just read that last one and said, "You taught in a high school?!"

71. Hurricane Fran hit when we were living temporarily in a modular home.

72. I didn't know it yet, but I was pregnant at the time with my firstborn, who is now eleven years old and just learned that I used to teach in a high school.

73. I had morning sickness every day for the first 5 months.

74. The morning sickness quit when I stopped teaching and began working two part-time jobs instead.

75. I thought that perhaps the morning sickness was because of stress from teaching until I had morning sickness every day for 5 1/2 months with Josiah. It lasted "only" 4 months with Grace.

76. While I was teaching in the high school, I decided that I wanted to homeschool our child once he reached school age. I have nothing but respect for teachers in public and private schools; it was the toughest job I ever had, and opened my eyes to a lot of things.

77. Before teaching, it never occurred to me that perhaps the teachers watched the clock at the end of the day as much as the students! ;)

78. We moved back to the Athens area (again) at the end of the school year, and I became (and happily remain) a stay at home mom.

79. Robert was one month old at the time. Packing with a one month old after having a C-section is harder and more tiring than packing to move across the country, even if you're packing up less stuff.

80. We moved here to our present home in 1999 when Robert was 2 years old. We had already moved briefly to South Carolina before moving here.

81. That makes 4 states we lived in within 4 years.

82. We got a dog before we got a second car. (Jason doesn't like it when I say that, but it's entirely true.)

83. The dog we got was a bull mastiff named Wyatt. He was an excellent dog, especially with rough-and-tumble boys. Wyatt died when Grace was an infant; now the younger two children in particular (with the help of their Daddy...ahem!) are conspiring to get another dog.

Robert and Wyatt in 2001

84.Despite the challenges, homeschooling is a really good fit for our family. We are able to spend more time together, we have a lot more flexibilty...and many, many more reasons.

85. I love the ladies in my homeschool support group. I have found many godly women through that group, and several are my friends.

86. They bring much-needed perspective on various struggles and my favorite meetings with them are the ones that end at close to midnight. (Seriously!)

87. I enjoy playing around with photo software way too much and have made some buttons for my blog and a friend's blog.

88. I finished my "100 things" button before I reached the halfway point with this list. It's another piece of chocolate, of course.

89. My favorite music artists are Andrew Peterson (Christian folk music artist) and tobyMac (Christian hip hop/rap artist). As an aside, I recently heard one of Andrew Peterson's songs, Mystery of Mercy, performed by Caedmon's Call.

90. I have become a little more talkative since I began blogging.

91. And I take pictures of odd things more often, too, like for sale signs, pigs on tables, and the bathroom in a fancy restaurant.

92. I still love to read, and I don't watch a lot of TV.

93. That's probably because we don't have cable (and never have).

94. There was a time when we couldn't even pick up anything with an antenna.

95. So we have the digital converter box that they claim will allow us to watch fantastically clear TV programming.

96. Now, however, we rarely pick up NBC through the converter box.

97. I know how to iron very well but don't. Or, at least, I avoid it for years at a time. The ironing board makes a great hoodie rack leaning against the wall in Robert's room.

98. I have two dressy purses that I haven't used least 15 years but I keep them anyway, and I have one purse I use daily until it falls apart. I don't like shopping for purses because what I really want is one that is exactly like the one I have at the time...which, of course, they don't make anymore.

99. It's the same reason I don't like shopping for shoes...or one of the reasons I don't like shopping for shoes.

100. I will order the same thing at a restaurant more than nine times out of ten. Not surprised, huh?


As is my giveaway!

I have two books to give away to one winner:

  • Motherhood: The Guilt That Keeps On Giving by Julie Ann Barnhill (bestselling author of a great book my friend Donna recommended called She's Gonna Blow!)
  • Quiet Moments of Hope for Moms, a devotional by Ellen Banks Elwell

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on THIS POST. You can have another chance to win if you receive my blog posts by email (see the top of my sidebar to enter your email address) or if you are a follower (see my sidebar and click “Follow“). Leave an additional comment telling me that you receive my posts by email or that you are a follower. Comments will remain open until Thursday, March 26th at 10:00 p.m., at which time I will pick a winner using Random dot org.

* If I don’t know you in real life, please send me your email address by going to my profile and clicking on “Email” and I will be the only one to see it. Alternatively, you can leave your email address or website address within your comment.

* If you already receive my posts by email, click on the title of the post to go to my blog and leave your two comments by clicking on "Comments." Be sure to leave two comments, since you already receive my posts by email!


Anonymous said...

I have heard so many of these things from your brother. I smiled a lot reading this.

100. Runs in the family!!

Love you!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your 100 things. I had NO idea that you used different names for your kids.

You don't have cable? Seriously? Wow. I'd be out of my mind.

The whole Bible Study thing. I totally get it.

Happy 100th!!!

Love, Julie

PS - Why is it that some blogger comment boxes do not have the name/URL option. There is hardly anything that aggravates me more than trying to leave a comment for someone only to find out they have a blogger comment box that makes me sign up for a google account. Which wouldn't be such a bad thing, but I have to RESIGN UP EVERY SINGLE TIME. It's all very frustrating. Sorry to get off on that tangent, but I thought you might know why.

Anonymous said...

Hey Amy,
Donna here!! I LOVE your 100th blog! Don't sign me up for the books, because I don't have time to read them (but I DID paint my bedroom this weekend- apple blossom), but I want you to know that you are one of my most favoritest people!!
Love you,

Dannielle said...

Amy, as always I love reading about you and your family... It makes me miss GA so much!

I am so grateful that God allowed us to cross paths thru PEARL. You, my sweet girl, are counted as one of my best friends and greatest blessings!

Love ya,

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading 100 things about you!!! The pic of Robert with your dog was so cute. And I laughed so hard at the ones of Jason throwing the calves. Don't tell him I laughed... ;o)

I'm so glad you are my friend!!

Love Ya,

Anonymous said...

Hey Amy, I enjoyed reading your 100 things. I learned a little more about you thru that. Keep it up Girl!! I am glad we are friends.
Love Ya,
K Davis

Anonymous said...

Hey Amy,

This was really interesting. I learned so much about you reading your 100 things. The chocolate, the mid west, you teaching in high school:). Wow! I don't feel all alone regarding no cable any more. And those converter boxes... a waste of money and cause too much frustration.

Keep on blogging I really enjoy it. So glad to know you.


Stillmary said...

What a diverse, well-rounded person you are. I'm the same as far as liking what I have and not being too up for shopping for something different. Your 100 items were very interesting!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog by email.

Anonymous said...
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