Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14

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Friday, June 30, 2006

The 100th Friday's Feast

A HUGE Congrats to Susan over at the FF for the 100th Friday's Feast! I have no idea how she comes up with all the questions week after week, but she does and this is one of my favorite weekly memes!

So, here is my Friday's Feast!

Appetizer
On average, approximately how many times per day do you yawn?


Depends how much sleep I got the night before, how busy I am and what time of day it is...approx 5-30 times?

Soup
What was your most memorable school field trip?


Probably the times we went to the San Antonio Zoo in elementary school. That is the only time I've ever been to a zoo.

Salad
Fill in the blank: I was extremely __________________ this week.


Excited, then happy, then shocked, then agitated, now tired.

Main Course
Which color do you think of when you hear the word "soothing"?


A lullaby. Whenever Em is upset or really cranky tired (or just plain tired) she wants me to sing a lullaby to her. It always helps ease her tears and get her to sleep

Dessert
What is something that, if you had to, you could save up the money to buy within one month?


Within one month. Hmmmmm, that is something I have never thought of and can't really say I can think of anything so I'm going to pass on dessert tonight.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Return of the Thankful Thursday

It's been busy and I've been remiss in updating these past couple of weeks, but here is the return of my Thankful Thursdays!

~1 Thessalonians 5:18~ Give thanks to God in all circumstances (no matter what they may be), for this is God's will for you (who are) in Christ Jesus.

My Peace I Leave With You



Thankful Thursday: What Nic is thankful for this week


Possibilities...and that’s all I'm going to say about that one.
Smiles that come from the heart.
Hearing my daughter whisper to me that I am the best mommy in the world as she wraps her arms around my neck tight for one last “hug, squeeze, kiss” right before she falls asleep.
Being appreciated for who I am.
The ability to find laughter with someone. Laughter lightens the spirit and the heart.
The trust in God’s promises that He will never leave nor forsake me and that He will always be there beside me, providing for me, even though I can’t see my way clear to the other side sometimes. I may not understand, but knowing that He does is enough.
Understanding that God knows the desires of my heart and trusting Him to give me the best. (Yes, that kind of goes with the last one, but it’s actually different.)

Links to other Thankful Thursdays:
Unicorn Child (new "home" of ThT and code)
A Child of God
A Revision
Anna's Place
As My World Turns
Friday's Child
Imagine Bliss
Journaling Through the Valley
LadyBug Crossing
Momma's Life
Mommy Does It All
Mommy Needs To Vent
Nightingale
no_average_girl
Show Them Through Me
Sting My Heart
Uzi's Musings
Yellow Rose's Garden

(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)


Click here for the Thankful Thursday code

Click here for Chrixean's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!





Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday Musings - Adventures in Dating Part Duex

So, I’ve been a little remiss in my blogging duties and I apologize for that. I do have a good reason though. A REALLY good one.

I’ve been corresponding with someone I met on eHarmony – someone actually really, really great, from what I can tell so far.

I'm not going to go into great detail, but you know how when you find someone that you REALLY just “click” with? Yeah, that’s this person. I can’t believe that I am admitting this to y’all, but the highlight of my otherwise rather non-eventful evenings, after Em is in bed and sleeping, is sitting up emailing back and forth. I mean, this guy is answering all of my questions rather honestly, humbly and forthrightly. He’s not trying to sugar coat or impress. He’s willing to say he's not perfect but willing to give and take with the Lord’s direction. And, he has a great sense of humor and a couple of times he’s written some unexpectedly sweet things that really made me do the giggly, grin(ny), girlie thing. The whole “AWWWWWWWWWW!” factor. This is the first time in going on 8 years that I’ve had that feeling and it feels so nice and actually brand new that I get a little (ok, a lot) nervous. You know, the whole, “is this guy too good to be true?” or “am I revealing too much about myself too fast and will it just completely scare him off?” kind of thing. DEEP BREATH NIC! DON'T HYPERVENTILLATE!

See, that last question is something that I’ve always had trouble with. Guys like a challenge, right? Well, I’ve never really been a challenge so much. I don’t believe in playing games and I kind of put it all out there, take it or leave it. And this time it actually makes me nervous that I'm not more of a "challenge". Oh, I can be coy and flirty and sassy, and I enjoy being coy and flirty and sassy but I just don’t believe in playing hard to get if I'm really interested in someone. And women all over the world are screaming “NO!” at that one. I figure if there is a right person for me that God is leading me to and vice-versa, then he’s not going to mind that I put myself out on a limb, even though I have no surety of reciprocation of interest. Oh, but this guy...this guy is one of THOSE guys. You know...the kind that you pray to find and pray hard to find. He’s funny in a quirky way that I just dig and get, he’s sweet, he’s genuine, he has a really good heart and a good head, he wants and desires God’s best for him and he’s not afraid to try new things (and those are just a few among a lot of other things that I could list). He enjoys country dancing, dark beer and all kinds of music – he even sings. (!!!!!) Not to mention he’s hella cute and has these amazing blue/gray eyes that are so kind and warm. He’s even seemingly ok with the fact that I'm divorced and have my wonderful Emily, even asks how she's doing b/c she's been sick over this past weekend (turns out she has strep!).

ACK! (Sorry, having a nervous little freakout moment.) I think he’s someone that I could talk to for hours and never get bored and THAT is super important to me. I’ve never really had someone that hasn't been "just a friend" that I have been able to talk to for long periods of time without running out of things to say, but this man is fascinating to me. I'm looking for someone who is the last person I talk to at night and when I wake up the next morning he's the first person I want to talk to. I want someone I can just be myself with and that includes the really big dork that I am sometimes and not have to be embarrassed by myself. I don't know, but this guy has that kind of potential.

One thing that I got excited reading about him was that he is from an area up North that is VERY close to the majority of my relatives (less than an hour away). So...when I saw that he was from that area, I thought “Someone who could appreciate where my family comes from and what they are all about and would not go running off in the other direction!” LOL!

There’s so much more to tell, but I think I’ll keep it low key on this one. After all, it’s something brand new, but very comfortable already and, well, exciting to me! But this, this is something that I think I want to guard for a while, see where it might go. I have some really good feelings about this one though and that’s enough for y’all to know right now.

Oh, except one more thing. He is currently stationed in Iraq as a scout for the Army. I would appreciate your prayers in keeping him safe. His deployment is supposed to end in February, so there’s plenty of time to get to know each other before then and after that, if this does go anywhere, then we’ll see what happens. I'm hoping for good things. :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

SOS - Support our Soldiers

I have got to deviate from my HDQ/Ask Nic today to bring up something of importance that is really on my mind. My friend Jack Kinsella of the Omega Letter wrote this today and I just had to share b/c every word that he says is true. It seems like the men and women who fight for our freedom and the freedom of others are getting shafted by the MSM. Of course, the MSM shafts pretty much everything conservative, right-wing and patriotic. One would actually think that being those things are akin to being a pedophile or child abuser (b/c in my mind those are two of the worst kinds of people in the world). Heaven FORBID that we should take pride in being an American, in saluting the Red, White and Blue, and in honoring those making the ultimate sacrifice for us and our country! This is why I LOVE country singers like Toby Keith ("American Soldier" anyone?!), Aaron Tippin, Big and Rich and Gretchen Wilson. They GET it! They support our men and women in uniform.

I was watching the Memorial Day Celebration from Washington on PBS and two people really stood out. Oh, they had the usual celebs out there supporting our troops and the memory of those who have died to keep us and others free from domination and oppression. One was the country group Big and Rich. They had befriended a bar tender from either North or South Dakota who was a Viet Nam vet. He told them stories about his experiences over there when they asked. They kept in touch, became good friends with him and they actually ended up taking him back there to see it all. (I'm getting chills just relaying this story) They wrote a song about him and one fight that his platoon was in. He was one of the very few survivors. Maybe y’all have heard it. It’s called the “8th of November”. Anyway, they brought him out at this celebration and sang the song for him and his fallen friends and it was just beautiful. I cried while listening to it.

Anyway, the 2nd one was Gary Sinese. Love him or hate him as an actor, he was amazing. He MEMORIZED and recited this recollection of this one soldier in Iraq who lost 4 friends to an IED attack - right in front of him - and he tried in vain to save them. The letter that this soldier wrote was describing the lives of these fours soldiers, how he hadn't wanted to be part of their group (but they were persistent and soon they had become his closest friends over there), who they were, who their families were, etc. As he got to this particularly difficult part, he had to stop a few times and gain his composure before he could go on. His voice broke as he tried to not openly cry while telling this soldier's tale of his lost friends. I cried for him, with him, for the soldier, the friends he lost and their families. What crossed my mind is that he had to memorize this letter which took easily a solid 5-7 minutes of speaking to do tell it all. How many times did he go over it? How many times did he repeat and practice it until he got it down? And he still was broken up over it after all those times and I thought that was pretty neat and spoke a lot about him as a person. But that is my opinion.

And, one more thing before I get to the briefing. A cousin of mine sent me the following information in an email.

How long has it been since you shopped at Sears? I assume some or most of you have seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist employees who are called up? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available for 30 days, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up...Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

I suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on.

My cousin took it upon herself to do some further investigation before passing on something that may not be true. These are her words:

I decided to check it out before I sent it forward. I sent the following email to the Sears Customer Service Department:

I received this email and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your store. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item even if it was cheaper at the other store.

Here is their answer to my email......................

Dear Customer:

Thank you for contacting Sears.

The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback. Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
Sears Customer Care
webcenter@sears.com
1-800-349-4358

Please pass this on to all your friends, Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military!

I also checked this out on http://www.truthorfiction.com/ -- Yes, folks it really is TRUE.

I did a double check myself at http://www.snopes.com/ and they verify it as TRUE as well.

Now...the article that my friend wrote. It should shock the hell out of you and get you plenty hopping mad. I should add that Jack, the one who wrote this, is a former Marine and a Texas State Trooper for several years.

At Least Respect Them Enough To Tell the Truth

What is it with the mainstream media? When some low-life terrorist whose handlers taught him to lie as needed claims he was tortured by US troops at Gitmo, the headlines read, "Detainees Tortured by US Troops."

But when two young American soldiers are abducted, tortured, and then brutally murdered by beheading, the New York Times headline reads, "US Says 2 Bodies Retrieved in Iraq Were Brutalized." Note the difference -- it is more than just a distinction.

If a scumbag terrorist claims he was tortured, the headline is unqualified; 'Detainees Tortured' -- period. If a murdering swine captured while trying to kill Americans claims a government he despises above all else claims he was mistreated, the media reports it as fact.

Like when the murdering swine who claimed that their guards flushed a Koran down the toilet -- it was reported as fact first, then investigated later.

When fanatical terrorists, hoping to call attention to themselves by going on a hunger strike, are force-fed by US troops (to keep them alive) -- well, THAT, according to the mainstream press, is 'torture'.

But when the bodies of kidnapped American soldiers are found tortured and beheaded, it reported as A US 'allegation' -- not a fact -- and to New York Times, 'torture' is what Americans do to terrorists. When terrorists torture and behead helpless American captives, the best the Times can do to describe it is to say they were 'brutalized.'

The South African Independent Online ran as its headline, "Kidnapped American Soldiers MAY Have Been Tortured."

Ok, let's run with that. At Gitmo, it is alleged that detainees were sometimes kept in really hot or really cold rooms for hours at a time. The detainees (terrorists all) sometimes didn't get their meals on time. They would have loud music played in their cells for extended periods.

According to the liberal media and Leftist Democrats like John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and, in particular, Dick Durbin, such tactics are 'barbaric', 'worthy of the Nazis or the Khymer Rouge' and, without question, 'torture' as the Left understands the term.

But when two young American soldiers (they were 23 and 25 years old) were captured, they weren't afforded a clean cell, three meals a day, time for religious observation and instruction, hot showers, medical care and visits from the Red Cross while being 'tortured' by having the a/c turned down too low.

These young American heroes were 'tortured' in the sense of what Americans understand as 'torture'. You know, beaten and stabbed, eyes gouged out, fingers broken, and finally, beheaded. Not a nice, clean, beheading by a large Nubian eunuch with a keen eye and a sharp blade.

Our forces were beheaded the way Nick Berg was beheaded; screaming in terror and pain as a depraved degenerate slowly cut through their flesh to the neck bone, until the terrorist, (who practice this on animals) find the place between the neck bones where he can expertly sever the spinal cord and separate the victim's head from his body.

The young soldier's bodies, after having been tortured and then beheaded, were not merely dumped in the street. First they were booby-trapped in the hopes that other US soldiers, in their grief, might rush to the bodies where this act of compassion would be used like a weapon to kill them, too.

Too graphic? Make you want to run screaming from the room?

If Pfcs Kristian Menchaca (who married his 18 year-old bride a month before leaving for Iraq) and Thomas Tucker could endure it on our behalf, we owe it to them to at least endure the description of what they suffered to preserve our freedom.

And we owe them, and the rest of our forces, any of whom risk a similar fate, enough respect for how they died to tell it like it is.

None of them can running screaming from the room. That would be called 'cowardice'. When we can't even endure the description of what our forces endured ON OUR BEHALF, then what does that make US?

Assessment:

The Washington Post decided that it would cover how the US military was responsible for the kidnapping, torture and murder of two helpless captive GIs, giving the murdering scumbags who committed it a pass.

Under an ominous headline alleging "Question Arise After US Finds Two Bodies", the Post reports that; "top U.S. commander ordered an investigation into why the men were isolated from a larger force in such a dangerous part of Iraq." To the Post, the blame belongs to the US military.

The Post reported the killings in a concise, matter-of-fact way, as if it were perfectly acceptable for al-Qaeda to torture and behead captive prisoners, because that's what they do, going so far as to explain their justification as 'revenge' for the killing of abu Musab al Zarqawi.

The San Francisco Chronicle opined in its headline that the; "Killings of Two Missing GIs Possibly a Show of Force by Insurgents." According to the Chronicle, the GI's murders were evidence that killing al-Zarqawi was, as they claimed at the time, 'meaningless.' The insurgents are still a force to be reckoned with, says the Chronicle.

"A show of FORCE?" By brutally murdering two bound and helpless prisoners?

In the meanwhile, President Bush is in Austria attempting to 'improve' relations with the European Community after a Council of Europe report concluded the United States was mistreating terrorist detainees by allowing them to be interrogated outside the United States under a policy called 'rendition'.

Manfred Nowak, the United Nations special investigator for torture, told Agence France-Presse that the U.S.-EU summit "would be an excellent opportunity to demand, and to facilitate, an immediate closing" of the prison. Nowak participated in a U.N. investigation that produced a February report alleging treatment that "amounts to torture" at Guantanamo Bay.

It is worth noting [again] that NONE of the authors of the report even visited Guantanamo Bay. The report and its conclusions are based entirely on the testimony of the detainees who, given the chance, would have cheerfully participated in the torture and beheading of PFCs Tucker and Menchaca.

Noted the Baltimore Sun apologetically; "Human rights "is an issue that still causes considerable anguish in Europe. They almost go out of their way to put the issue on the agenda, because they need to demonstrate to their publics that they're putting pressure on Bush."

Evidently, American soldiers aren't 'human'.

AND

Finally...there are several thousand men and women in the military who do not receive care packages or letters. There is a website that was started by a soldier fighting in Iraq that will help you send care packages to “Any Soldier”. They have Military Personnel contacts on the Where to Send page. Click through the names and select the one(s) you wish to support. They list what the folks they represent want and need. They even have a search capability so you can easily identify what the troops need most. These packages all go to different fighting men and women who are in harm’s way. It is a very worthwhile thing to do to show your support for those who are fighting for freedom for others, which in turn helps to keep us free.

Click Here To Get Started!


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Adventures in Dating (well, kind of)

I bit the bullet and decided that, while I'm not ready to date that I am ready to meet people. So...instead of joining some crummy service like Match.com or some other place like that where it’s real easy to meet whack-jobs and nuts, I went with signing up for eHarmony. I haven’t subscribed yet, but I took the questionnaire, which took an obscenely long time to finish and I chose my “must haves” and my “can’t haves” from long lists. It was easier to pick the “can’t haves” than it was to pick the “must haves”. For one thing it was easier to pick between someone who is mean spirited and someone who is unhappy at work or someone who has a problem with fidelity and someone who is politically correct all the time (I mean, come on there, those are no-brainers) than it is to have to choose between someone who is kind and someone who is affectionate or between someone who is emotionally healthy or who has strong character. Now, you can only choose 10 each of the “must haves” and the “can’t haves”. It’s tough to figure out what is more important out of things like chemistry or sense of humor. I’d like both please!

*UPDATE* A friend of mine here at work uses eHarmony and they said that there are a LOT more matches if you actually subscribe instead of using the free service.

*UPDATE # 2* The subscription part is amazing! I have connected with a really great guy who really seems to be what I've been praying for for a while. Time will tell, and I'll have plenty of time as he is stationed in Iraq right now.

The one thing that eHarmony has SPOT ON is my compatibility profile summary. I felt as if they had reached inside of me and pulled out everything I was looking for and put in on paper. I actually teared up when I read parts of it b/c it was what I wanted – to a tee.

So, I'm going to share with y’all what type of person they feel would be best for me. And it is true, every single word! If only it was as easy to find someone with these characteristics who didn’t mind that I had a wonderful daughter and wanted to be involved in her life just like she was his own child and who wanted me to be a stay at home mom and could support that easily. Unfortunately, I have the feeling it will be like finding a teeny needle in a haystack the size of, well, Texas.


Nicole's Compatibility Profile Summary
No person can be fully described or defined by a few short sentences. However, here are several of the most important characteristics revealed by your eHarmony Compatibility Profile that you should keep in mind as you search for your ideal mate:

Some of your ideal mates strongest personality characteristics are:

  • He has a very strong sense of right and wrong, and it is important to him to be the best person he can be at all times.
  • He tries his utmost to be honest in all situations, even when it means putting in a lot of extra effort.
  • He generally prefers to solve problems based on rational causes, rather than emotions.
  • He enjoys knowing and learning about new things.

    Some important qualities that your ideal partner brings to the relationship are:

  • He feels that he has a lot to share with the right person.
  • He is always appreciative of the good things life has to offer.
  • His easy conversational manner makes him a great companion.
  • It is easy for him to connect with people.

    Important goals and values for your ideal mate in a relationship are:

  • He is ready and eager to begin building a family.
  • He needs someone who shares his goals to have children and create a loving home.
  • God's love and guidance is a crucial part of his life, and will be key to his marital success.
  • There are many trends and fads that he doesn't agree with.


    Social Orientation describes how much of your behavior is motivated by the desire to get along with and be liked by other people, as well as how much is driven by the desire to be seen as an effective problem solver and self sufficient. People with a strong External Orientation place a high value on communicating their thoughts and feelings with other people. People with a strong Internal Orientation place a high value on individual effectiveness, competence and autonomy. The dimensions that we assess as part of your Social Orientation are Conflict Management, Character, Vitality and Security, Communication Style, Kindness and Autonomy.

    Based on your profile, you are most compatible with men who fit the following descriptions:

    Kindness: Your ideal mate goes out of his way to shower you with attention. He is likely to perform small acts of kindness others would not even consider, like jotting you a note of appreciation or bringing home your favorite take-out meal when you're tired. He won't take you for granted. He wants to be there for you when you have a problem or when you just want to talk. He is motivated by a strong belief in the importance of treating people with kindness and consideration.

    Character: Your ideal mate is a thoughtful and caring man. He's someone who empathizes with people who are hurting or having a hard time. He not only recognizes needs that other people don't see, he often tries to help find solutions to the problems facing his friends and family. He has a can-do attitude, and his compassion for others leads him to help willingly. His friends and family think of him as unfailingly generous.

    Some additional details about your ideal mate:

    Autonomy: You will be best matched with someone who is interested to know all the important things about your past, but is equally if not more interested in experiencing the present and building a future together. You are most compatible with someone who believes that communication is vital in creating a healthy relationship, but you may have problems with someone who feels a burning need to know every last detail about your past or every thought that crosses your mind. When in a relationship: Your ideal partner sees himself as part of a couple, but still maintains his independence and identity.

    Vitality and Security: You need a man who is honest and reliable. He has a good understanding of what it takes to make a relationship work over the long haul. He wants to build a relationship that will last, but doesn't need you for constant support. He shares your desire for stability and longevity. Friends describe him as the kind of person who wants to make his partner feel cared for and safe.

    Communication: You will have the best relationship with a man who places a high value on both talking and listening. He also enjoys speaking his mind, but knows that understanding someone else's point of view is vital to healthy communication. He's accepting of what people tell him and rarely argues, even when he disagrees with their opinions. Friends and family appreciate his good listening skills and expressive, open nature.

    Conflict Resolution: You'll be happiest with a man who generally does his best to avoid conflict. When he does have a disagreement, he usually tries to keep the peace instead of trying to win the fight. However, your best match needs to have a strong backbone in order to gain and keep your respect. He won't be willing to go along with an idea if he thinks it is truly bad. If you push him too far, he will stand up for his beliefs, even if it means turning a minor disagreement into a major battle.


    The Extraversion scale assesses how you feel when you are around people. Extroverts are generally comfortable at the center of attention. They rarely feel a need for "alone time" and are almost always eager to meet new people. Introverts, on the other hand, avoid the spotlight when they can, approach many social gatherings with hesitation, and relish time spent with good friends whom they know well. While most people exhibit a mix of Introvert and Extrovert qualities based on what kind of social situation they are in, people who are strongly Extroverted often place the largest value on having many friends and making new friends easily. In contrast, people who are strongly Introverted generally place the highest value on having a few very deep and meaningful friendships. The dimensions of your profile which are associated with Extraversion are Emotional Energy, Sociability, Adaptability, Humor, Romantic Passion and Dominance.

    Based on your profile, you are most compatible with men who fit the following descriptions:

    Romantic Passion: Your ideal mate definitely enjoys engaging in the occasional romantic gesture, such as a night of soft music, candles and good conversation. He needs to have a strong romantic spark with his partner, but he doesn't think that romance is the only important part of the relationship. He has a sensual side and looks forward to physical and emotional closeness with his partner, but it might take him some time in a relationship before he opens up fully.

    Humor: Your ideal mate is the kind of man who sometimes likes to entertain people. He occasionally enjoys telling jokes, making people laugh with things like wordplay, one-liners or satirical observations about friends and family. However, he doesn't feel the need to be a constant one-man show. His friends and family see him as someone who is funny and interesting but who knows when to take things seriously.

    Some additional details about your ideal mate:

    Adaptability: Your ideal mate likes to sometimes find new ways to deal with old challenges. He can think up creative solutions to a problem but doesn't discount the tried-and-true answers. His friends describe him as someone who generally has a fresh take on any given situation but who isn't driven to recreate the wheel every time he's faced with a task or challenge. You are likely to find it frustrating to deal with someone who can never seem to do something the same way twice, but you also chafe at people who can't accept new approaches to problems when the old solutions have stopped working.

    Emotional Energy: You'll be happiest in the long run with a man who's generally outgoing and vivacious but who appreciates a regular dose of quiet and relaxation to keep him at his best. His friends might describe him as someone who'd rather do something right away rather than put it off for later, whether it's a chore at home or a complex task at the office. At the same time, he likes to carve out time for himself and his own interests. He appreciates having stability, but if he feels life is getting too routine he isn't afraid to venture out and rectify the situation. If he falls into too much of a routine, he's likely to worry that life is passing him by and take steps to rectify the situation.

    Dominance: You are best suited to someone who doesn't take competition to extremes. He likes to win but doesn't need to do so at all costs. He is competitive and aggressive when the situation warrants it, such as when vying for a promotion at work or playing football with friends - but generally accepts a loss with grace. He shares your belief that not everything's a contest, even though it's sometimes fun to pit yourself against others or push yourself to perform.

    Sociability: You'll be happiest with a man who is outgoing and drawn to new people. He takes great pleasure in sharing his experiences with others, whether it's discussing a movie with a close friend or discussing the latest sports results with a total stranger in an elevator. Although your own sociability tends to help you in drawing out people who are socially shy, you are most likely to thrive in a relationship with a partner who shares your enjoyment in meeting new and interesting people as a core part of life.


    Openness refers to a person's willingness to experience new and creative ideas. People who score low on Openness tend to place a high value on tradition and belonging to a group. People who score high on Openness tend to place a high value on imagination and individualism. Extreme scores on Openness also often distinguish between people who enjoy thinking in symbols and abstractions to people who prefer ideas which are clear and concrete. The dimensions of your profile that we consider as part of Openness are Artistic Passion, Curiosity and Intellect.

    Based on your profile, you are most compatible with men who fit the following descriptions:

    Artistic Passion: You are best suited to a man who places a high value on experiencing art and culture in his life. He enjoys attending events and performances, such as the theater, poetry readings and art exhibitions. Friends and family see him as the kind of person who needs regular exposure to the arts in order to be happy. He needs someone who will share his appreciation for artistic accomplishments such as literature, music or architecture.

    Intellect: Your ideal mate is smart, educated and knowledgeable. He is astute and will appreciate your understanding of a wide variety of topics. He has varied interests in subjects such as literature or languages. Other people see him as someone who's looking for friends who are his equal in terms of intelligence or knowledge. He places a high priority on reflection and intellectual pursuits.

    Curiosity: You will be well matched with a man who likes to understand the world around him. He's inquisitive and knowledgeable about subjects that pertain to his life, whether he's a politics junkie or a die-hard baseball fan. His friends describe him as someone who wants to learn for the sake of learning but who doesn't have a constant drive to understand it all. If he's not interested in an issue, he probably won't feel compelled to read up on it just to expand his knowledge.


    Physicality separates people who enjoy being physically energetic and active from those who are uncomfortable or dislike engaging in sports or strenuous activity. Some people push life to the limit, scaling mountains or competing in triathlons. People with a less demanding sense of Physicality enjoy looking at mountains more than climbing them. The dimensions of your profile which compose the most important aspects of your Physicality are Appearance, Physical Energy and Sexual Passion.

    Based on your profile, you are most compatible with men who fit the following descriptions:

    Sexual Passion: Your ideal companion wants to feel a surge of physical excitement associated with falling in love. When he's with his partner he expects a physical connection that goes beyond compatible personalities and interests. Physical intimacy isn't his only (or even his primary) interest or need, but you will feel a strong physical pull towards being close to him, and he will definitely feel a strong chemical attraction towards you.

    Appearance: You are most compatible with a man who wants to look good but doesn't obsess over it. He will appreciate the time and effort you put into your appearance and be happy with the end result, but ultimately he is more concerned with who you are than what you look like. Friends and family know him as someone who is handsome but who doesn't spend hours in front of the mirror.

    Physical Energy: You are best suited to someone who likes to stay active, but also enjoys spending quiet time at home. You are most compatible with someone who makes staying healthy and exercising a normal part of their life, but also enjoys kicking back and relaxing when the time is right. Friends probably describe him as someone who enjoys getting his heart rate up but who's also content to spend a Sunday afternoon on the couch watching football or a favorite movie on TV.


    Goal Orientation refers to the drive to plan for the future versus the urge to live in the moment. People who score low on Goal Orientation are generally spontaneous and free spirited. They are likely to act on their first impulse and worry about the consequences afterwards and place a high value on being clever and lucky. People who score high on Goal Orientation, on the other hand, are more driven to think about future consequences before acting, place a high value on being wise and cautious, and like to always put their best foot forward. The dimensions of your profile that relate to your Goal Orientation are Industry, Ambition, Organization and Education.

    Based on your profile, you are most compatible with men who fit the following descriptions:

    Industry: You are most compatible with someone who works hard at the office or jobsite, but avoids bringing too much stress and worry home. He likes to stay busy, but doesn't feel the need to fill every moment of every day with some task or chore. He's generally efficient, persistent and productive, but doesn't obsess over making lists of things to do or accomplish. He will appreciate your work ethic and your ability to enjoy the relaxation of downtime as well.

    Organization: Your ideal mate is probably more interested in having fun and enjoying the "here and now" rather than constantly making extensive plans for how to get the most out of the future. He likes being organized enough to know where he's going and what he's doing on a given day, but planning every last detail of something like a camping trip or a visit to a new city would, frankly, take some of the fun out of the adventure as far as he's concerned.

    Some additional details about your ideal mate:

    Ambition: You will be happiest with a man who isn't obsessed with things like career advancement, money and power. He is content with his current status in life and isn't overly worried about working to change it. He cares about his performance professionally and wants to be popular socially, but he isn't comparing himself to everyone around him. Friends describe him as someone who doesn't care who got the fattest holiday bonus last year.

    Education: Your ideal mate isn't concerned with academic degrees. He won't care if he and his partner don't talk together about things like politics, religion, art or history. Others see him as someone who isn't concerned with such philosophical discussions. He's looking for compatibility in more important aspects of a relationship, like character, honesty, communication and romance. He shares your belief that formal education isn't necessary for success.


    While day-to-day events play a major role in our feelings, there are deep-seated patterns of emotion that underlie our personality and stretch across the span of our lives. These patterns are considered your Emotional Temperament. People who score high on Emotional Temperament are generally upbeat about life and are slow to get upset in the face of minor setbacks or disappointments. People who score low on Emotional Temperament are more likely to experience feelings such as anxiety, anger and depression on a regular basis. The dimensions of your profile that compose your Emotional Temperament are Mood Management, Self-Concept, Emotional Status, Anger Management and Obstreperousness.

    Based on your profile, you are most compatible with men who fit the following descriptions:

    Mood Management: You will be most satisfied with a man who avoids letting his bad moods affect others. When he is feeling down, he's conscious of his sour mood and makes sure to be considerate of others by avoiding them or being careful not to be unpleasant. When he's grouchy, he tries not to be hypersensitive and thinks twice before saying something hurtful if someone rubs him the wrong way.

    Anger Management: Your ideal mate rarely loses his temper because he is able to process his anger in a healthy way. He has the ability to think through a situation instead of reacting blindly to it. When he does get upset, he generally doesn't blame others or say things he later regrets.

    Some additional details about your ideal mate:

    Self-Concept: Your ideal match is someone who won't change himself just to fit in. Like you, he is resilient and self-confident. He's comfortable with who he is and doesn't feel the need to follow the crowd or be a slave to current fads. He believes in himself and doesn't look to others for approval. Other people see him as self-assured, caring and well adjusted.

    Emotional Status: You are best suited to a man who is stable and calm. He doesn't overreact when he faces challenges like financial setbacks or professional hurdles. He tends to maintain an even emotional keel. He rarely feels anxious, depressed or angry and always avoids taking his personal frustrations out on others. His friends probably describe him as the kind of person who can handle anything and never seems out of control or unable to cope. Like you, he is satisfied with his life, but is ready to find someone to share and grow with.

    Obstreperousness: Your ideal mate generally follows the adage: If you can't say something nice, it's better not to say anything at all. He may have strong beliefs, but he usually avoids stating them strongly if it would offend others. Your ideal mate is someone who cares about people and listens to them. He is rarely argumentative. His friends would describe him as a patient person who can generally tolerate almost anything.


    Many significant ingredients, like upbringing, family goals and spirituality combine to form a person's values and beliefs. Whatever form they take, your values are one of the most powerful determinants of your behavior. Values also play a large role in who we feel comfortable being around and who we find attractive. Dissimilarity in values generally causes discomfort or awkwardness in social situations. Although close friends, family and loved ones can often have one or two stark contrasts in their values, this is made possible by a greater number of shared values, backgrounds and experiences that provide a framework of comfort and similarity. When building an intimate relationship, establishing shared values early on is key to long-term success. The dimensions that we consider as part of your Personal Values are Traditionalism, Spirituality, Family Goals and Altruism.

    Based on your profile, you are most compatible with men who fit the following descriptions:

    Family Goals: Your ideal mate is someone who is looking for a woman who shares similar ideas about parenting. He likes kids and probably has clear ideas about raising them. He feels that a couple will be much better parents if they are like-minded in their approach to things like discipline and communication with children. They will also experience more harmony and unity as parents, something he values.

    Family Background: Your ideal mate generally feels close to his family and talks to them regularly. He looks forward to family gatherings like holidays and reunions because his relatives are generally harmonious and supportive of his goals. When conflict does arise, it's dealt with in a healthy way. Friends say his family closet probably doesn't have any skeletons, because there haven't been layers of unresolved conflict building up over the generations.

    Some additional details about your ideal mate:

    Spirituality: Your ideal mate's spiritual beliefs are the foundation of his character and affect his everyday life. He sets aside time for things like reading the Scriptures, praying or seeking a higher guidance for his life. He wants to find a woman who shares his beliefs. He demonstrates his spirituality by example and by exemplifying his values in his life.

    Traditionalism: You'll be happiest with a man who worries about the values society promotes and therefore takes a cautious approach toward popular culture. He believes many types of artistic expression like films, television or drama can be subtly subversive or downright immoral. Your ideal mate cares about moral values and tries to avoid art or entertainment that worsen society or tears down family values.

    Altruism: Your ideal mate is the kind of person who cares about helping strangers but who might not spend a lot of his time doing so. He is someone who generally takes care of his friends when they're in need and who might feel a pang of guilt when he doesn't reach out to assist strangers. Others see him as someone who, with a little encouragement, will join efforts to help, whether it's a canned food drive or a charity fundraiser.
    ===============================================
    So, what do y'all think? Is there someone out there like that? Will I be able to find that diamond in the rough, even if it takes a couple or even a few years? I've been praying for specific things that God will provide for me in a potential future spouse - but this list is exactly what I want.
  • Friday, June 16, 2006

    Friday's Feast and the FFT

    First up: Friday's Feast

    Appetizer
    What is a word that you use that would not be considered common?

    I use “peachy keen, jellybean” all the time. As in:

    Hey, Nic. How’re you doin’ today?

    Peachy Keen, Jellybean!

    It’s my standard response when things are going well. It just seems to flow.

    Soup
    What theme of calendar do you have on your wall this year?

    That would be the theme of the bare-walled calendar – as in I don’t have one up.

    Salad
    Name 3 people you speak with by telephone a regular basis.

    My mom and my two best friends MC and Amy.

    Main Course
    If you could buy a new outfit for someone you know - who would it be and what would you purchase for them?

    I either would buy a beautiful iridescent blue ball gown for my friend Amy with glittering, strappy shoes and dazzling diamond and sapphire jewelry that cascades down her ears and neck for her to accept the RITA award for best paranormal romance for her first vampire book in print – and that night she would win for Best First Novel and Best Novel in that category.

    OR

    I would buy her a sizzling blood red velvet ball gown with ravishing ruby and diamond jewelry and sexy heels for her to wear while accepting the Oscar for best adapted work for screenplay for her book to silver screen adaptation of her vampire novel – which subsequently spawns off a very successful series of movies from the following novels.

    Dessert
    What is the last beverage you drank?


    Alcohol – Wednesday night: Clos du Bois Merlot (2003) and a Fleming’s 52, which is coffee with Kaluha, Bailey’s and Gran Marnier.
    Non-alcohol: Healthy milk

    And now for the FFT. This week’s FFT is actually a very helpful piece of information. Do you HATE dealing with the automated menu’s at your bank/credit card company/airlines/government agencies/etc...instead of getting a live person?

    Of course you do! Well, now there is a website that helps you to bypass all of the automated JUNK(!) and get to a live person directly. It is simply called Get Human. This site has been featured on the Fox News channel as well as some other non-cable news shows on the 3 main stations (NBC, CBS, ABC). It is a time saver as well as a frustration saver. Use it, love it, tell others about it!

    Get Human

    Do you participate in the Friday's Feast? If so, please put your info below and I'll stop by!

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Thursday thoughts - dating

    I normally do the Thankful Thursdays meme, but today I'm going to talk about something not meme associated.

    I had a date last night. An honest to goodness date. It was rather unexpected. It was with someone that I’ve been working with since February. He's not with my company though.

    It started out on Tuesday. So I was working and this guy comes up to me and says “I have a couple of questions for you.” So I said “Fire away.”

    “First question...do you want to go have dinner sometime?”

    I was kind of stunned. I hesitated for a couple seconds b/c I didn’t know what to say. I said yes out of pure shock. My mind was racing and I was trying to figure out what to say. This guy has always been super nice to me. Very kind, has a wicked wit about him and listens extremely well. But...he’s not someone that I would really consider going out with – even though several other women here at work think he is “hot”, a “stud”, etc.

    So, he asked me if Wednesday would be ok. I said sure. I thought maybe it’s just that I'm kind of gunshy. You know, having been out of the dating scene for so long. Even when I was married, “the X” and I never really dated. Oh, we went out to dinner or to a club, but it was never really a date. We were just a married couple going out. More often than not going “dutch” or I would pay for most of it. I hadn’t been on a “real” date in years. You know, where the guy pays for all of it. And I have never been on a date period where they guy pulls out my chair for me, etc. You know, like a GROWN UP gentleman should.

    I talked to some friends who all convinced me to go. They said that even if this guy wasn’t someone that I wanted to see on a regular basis, that this could be “practice”.

    So, against my true instinct to have said “No”, I went. Being the safe thing we went in separate cars from work to this really trendy steak restaurant. Besides, I work way north and the restaurant was downtown. It would have been a waste of time for me to go with him and then have him drive back up north and then me drive back down south.

    On the way there, he called me and asked if I drink. To which I replied that I do. He asked me what kind. So I told him. Tequila, dark beers and red wines - merlot to be more specific. I got there and valet parked. (Seriously, valet parking downtown is the BEST option ever. 6.00 to park your car, get out right at the front door and they bring it back to you when you're done.) So we go inside and he pulled my chair out for me and pushed it in while I sat down. Whoa! A real, honest to goodness grown up! Well, we’ll get to that part later about how “grown up” he is. So, we’re talking and this guy would be my dream guy. Seriously. Now I say “would be” instead of “is” b/c of a couple of things, which I will tell you about in a paragraph or two.

    He’s tall, he’s broad shouldered, he’s charming, he is good looking. He’s a former Marine with a lot of class, travels around the world, owns a Harley (le sigh!), owns a big house in Dallas, enjoys a good cigar, loves life and knows how to live it well because he has the money to live it very well. He’s kind, sincere, very affirming, has a real heart of gold and is a total and complete true blue gentleman. He has a daughter one year younger than me.

    Heh! That last one threw you for a loop huh?! Yup. He’s 16 years older than me. That would make him 48. He has a 31 year old daughter. Actually he has 4 kids and his oldest is 31, youngest 14. I am 32 and will be 33 in 20 days.

    All the stuff before the last paragraph is just up my alley - seriously up my alley (excepting the daughter part and the age part. 48 is a "little older" than I'm looking for). Unfortch, there are three things that are deal breakers for me, the first is one that I will not compromise on.

    1. He’s not a Christian. I got into that before with “the X” and I will not go there again. To have someone who is so fundamentally different from me in beliefs and faith was like trying to mix oil and water. It doesn’t mix. I want someone who will pray with me at meals and at night. I want someone to be a TRUE spiritual leader of the household and not just a CINO (Christian In Name Only). Just because you say you’re one doesn’t mean you are one.

    2. He has a daughter 1 year younger than me. Seriously...he’s done having his kids and I would like to try and have more though I am happy with just Emily if need be. I'm not comfortable with that prospect of being a parental figure to someone who is practically my age. It just makes me uneasy.

    3. There’s no spark on my end. None whatsoever. MC (my best friend) asked me as I was on my way to dinner last night if I could tell her what color his eyes were. I couldn’t. Her response was “Yeah, you definitely have no romantic interest there.” And I honestly have to say that I still couldn’t say for sure what color his eyes are even after going out last night.

    On the way out, he walked me to my car and gave me a hug and also tried to aim for my lips to kiss me - to which I gently turned my head and he got my cheek instead. I don’t think that gave him enough of an idea that, though he was my first date in years, that it would be my last date with him. I'll let him know if he asks me out again.

    I learned something about myself too though that night. Though I have been separated for over 2 ½ years, I have truly only been divorced in my heart for just over 2 months. I'm not ready to date yet. We had a truly lovely and witty conversation last night but most of the time I was thinking about getting Emily to bed and what story I was going to read to her, etc. I just couldn’t wait to get home to my daughter. This guy said, during the course of the dinner, that I needed to take time for myself too, and I agree. I'm just not quite ready to step into the dating pool yet and last night made me realize that, but I'm glad I was able to realize that with such a nice guy.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    Princess Picture Tuesday - Picture Perfect

    Many of you have asked for pictures of the trip so I am going to oblige. We didn’t do anything spectacular, but it was a truly lovely trip overall! Those of us who went, most of us had been online friends for 2-4 years and email and chat on a frequent basis, so it was more like a family reunion than meeting for the first time! There was a level of ease and fellowship that I haven’t felt in a very long time and I had a hard time leaving.

    Anyway, first up are pictures and a short video of my Em at her graduation. (I’ll have a couple more pics posted tonight). Let me tell you, one look at the video and you will see why I said in my last post that Em will be the class clown. ;) Then again it could also be that she was just really excited!

    Getting ready at the school:
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    Em’s excitement is building!
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    It’s...the pose:
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    This was in the few minutes before they called all the kids to the “holding” area to get them together by class.
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    A tired mommy and an excited child!:
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    Dun-dun-DUNNNN! The video. Try not to laugh too hard! (Even though you can hear me cracking up)


    Happy about graduating:
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    The after “party” at Red Robin. Em LOVES this place. Not only do they have the BEST fries ever, perfect every time, she loves seeing the Red Robin and giving “it” a hug. It’s the highlight of her time there – every time:
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    Now for a story and some pics from the Branson trip:

    What can I say about the Branson gathering? I can say that I didn't want it to end! I look forward for the day where we are called Home and it doesn't have to end and EVERYONE can be there!

    I do have to tell a quick story about one of the guys and his sons before going into the pictures. Joe is someone I have been chatting with online for most of the four years that I have been on the Omega Letter. He has three sons, ages 18, 17 and 14. Joe truly is a Gentle Giant (with a capital "G" - he say's he's only 6'3" but I think he's a wee bit taller than that). He can be quiet, but when he has something to say, people listen - kind of like EF Hutton. LOL! He's also incredibly intelligent and he has a real and genuine zeal and fervor for the Lord which is awesome to behold! Anyway, the youngest Jake was the object of Em’s kiddie crush. He was quiet but has a beautiful, kind smile and was super sweet to Em even though he knew she had a kiddie crush on him. I really can't say enough thanks to Jake for being gentle on Emily with her kiddie crush. Most boys his age would have been pretty unkind about a 4 year old having a crush on them.

    When Em said 'bye to Jake only the Friday afternoon we were there as I was taking her to the cabin and Jake’s 17 year old brother Joel said "Did she just say 'bye Jake?" Emily was immediately mortified and as soon as we got to the trailer she started crying and said "I should have said 'goodbye everyone'. Now everyone will know I like Jake. I'm so embarrassed!" So the drama from a little child but Emily is more sensitive, aware and grown up than most kids her age. I told her it was ok, that they would forget it. Knowing they wouldn't but hoping that they wouldn't say anything further about it. She was so scared that she would be teased for it but Joe’s boys never even mentioned it to her after that so I owe a big debt of gratitude to them for being kind and sensitive to her feelings. They really are great boys, raised right.

    The creator of the Omega Letter, Jack Kinsella, and his wonderful wife Gayle sent us off on a wonderful journey home with stomachs, spirits and hearts full on Sunday. If you have been reading my blog for a long time or have ventured over to my blog on prophecy you know that I have mentioned him numerous times. Jack has been told by God to sell everything and travel around the country, preaching at churches that will receive him regarding these End Times we are living in now. It is astounding how so many churches have NO knowledge of exactly what is happening in the world on a spiritual and Biblical basis concerning the prophecies in the Bible b/c the pastors either a) doesn’t believe that what is going on in the world has anything to do with Bible prophecy OR b) the believe but do not talk about it b/c it is regarded as “too controversial”. He literally is going across the country in a used RV to do obey God’s command to him. I told him he was the modern day equivalent of the prophets of old traveling everywhere, having no home, telling others who would receive them about God and what God had in store for the future. BTW, if you are interested in having Jack speak at your church regarding this subject, please let me know and I will get you in touch with him.

    Anyway, that Sunday Em and I didn't leave until close to 2:30. Much later than I had anticipated but I wouldn't have traded one single, precious minute of it. This time of fellowship was just amazing and it really was such an encouragement for everyone. How I pray that where ever Jack and Gayle's journey leads them that each and every visit with the gathered OL members is just as warm and wonderful as the one in Branson was! I didn't want to ever go home. I could have stayed there with everyone until the Lord called us home. Emily has said several times since we left...SIGH...very sad face...Mommy, I just really miss everybody from Branson already. I really miss them all. So do I. This was just such a special time that I will cherish always and I can't not tell you how much I am already looking forward to next year! Almost as much as going to our eternal Home.

    One of the people there said that the whole dynamic of the online relationships had changed now that those who were there and were active participants in the forums/chat had finally met. It's like we all were friends before, brought together by common bonds, but now that has deepened several notches now that the mystery has been taken away as to who those people really are and now that we have come to know each other "off-line", so to speak. I sooooooo can't wait to do this again next year!!!
    ===========================================================
    Joe and his boys (with Em and Gary in the background):
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    Em, Gary (in the background) and Jake:
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    Lynda and Larry – who are graciously letting us use their 1800’s B&B for the gathering next year!:
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    Em sitting at Gary's cabin:
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    Jack and me (The INFAMOUS short hair as it has grown out a couple of weeks by this picture – it was shortly before this picture was taken I began dealing with the beginning of a migrane - lovely circles under the eyes):
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    Em and Gary - she told me that Gary was like a grandpa to her. Em just adores him:
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    Bob listening to Jack and Helen talking to Gayle:
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    "I'm a little teapot..." No, not really! Bob, Frank, Jack and Ken having some fun:
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    Em and Laura doing chalk drawings:
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    Me, (Em's hidden), Connie, Frank, Gary, Ken, Laura, Georgia, Jack and Gayle - Frank and Connie's daughter Sandy is taking the picture:
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    Jack, Georgia and Ken chowing down at breakfast on Saturday:
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    The guys listening to Jack talk on prophecy:
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    Helen, Bob and Gary:
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    Jack really getting into the meat of the discussion:
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    Joe and two of his boys, Jake and Josh listening to Jack:
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    Saturday night - the amazing feast! Gayle and Georgia enjoying each other:
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    Listening to Jack again - I could listen to him for hours on end:
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    Em and Laura - so cute! I just love this picture!:
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    The chalk artists (clockwise) Joel, Jake, Laura and Emily:
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    Some of the chalk art:
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    The last morning - Jack, Frank and Jim (Songbird) need coffee:
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    Frank, Em and Gayle enjoying the break from the occasional rain that morning:
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    Frank was teaching Em how to do the "Hollywood Air Kiss" - Em wasn't buying it, she wanted a kiss on the cheek for real. LOL! Frank was one of Em’s favorites:
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    Jack and Joe (the Gentle Giant. Jack’s about 5’9”ish so you can imagine how tall Joe really is)
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    Jack just enjoying the company:
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