Friday, April 28, 2006

Shock and Awe

Because there really is no other way to describe this.

I knew I should have changed my profile pic.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 8:24 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

To all the hard working, job-never-done Administrative Professionals, I hope you have a wonderful day!!!

(Hope everyone else has a wonderful day too!)

Update: It's a GREAT day for me!!

I've received:
$50 gift card to
$50 gift card to Whole Foods
Giant cookie
2 Balloons

I am so thankful to be blessed by a wonderful work group. YEA!!!!!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:22 AM | 19 comments

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I'd Like To Thank the Academy (and my Canon Elph)

I'm stoked! I was featured in a travel blog today. How cool is that?!?!! So, in honor of the nomination, I will feature some of my favorite pics from my recent travels.

Taken inside the great hall at Ellis Island. I was able to find a postcard of the ship my grandmother took on her voyage from Wales to America.

This is one of the first sights she saw, in this Land of the Free I call home.

Central Park Beauty.

These were taken from the top of our cruise ship in Roatan, Honduras.

The natural beauty of Belize in December.

East Texas Pines.

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sites of Oklahoma , where you can kill two birds w/ one stone.

Local beauty - my current wallpaper, taken at Dallas Blooms.

Yes, I am one happy Amstaff Mom when I am traveling!

I have plans to use my passport this summer, and some other trips are planned as well. I look forward to sharing my memories and photos with you.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 5:33 AM | 13 comments

Monday, April 24, 2006

Still here.

Don't have much to say, just figured I would post something different for my oh-so-faithful readers that check-in only to see the same post listed from last week. I've never considered myself a writer, much more as a commenter, so it's difficult for me at times to think of something to post on my own blog.

I had a nice weekend, but as usual, it flew by. Enjoyed spending time with Brian's family, eating (and eating and eating) together, sitting around chatting, and holding my wee little nephew. The fellas, with little to no help from me, cut down a very large but very dead tree. With much prayer and sweat, it came crashing down in the perfect spot. No harm done(except the tree).

We got the curtains hung up in the kitchen, and I will need to hem the ones in the living room, they're a little too long. It looks so different with the curtains and matching pillows. I will take a picture to post when I'm all finished. I'm very pleased with the results, and give my sister-in-law full credit.

Other than that, life consists of working, spending too much time in the car, church stuff, signing, and trying to find time to read. Throw some chores in there, and that's pretty much my world. It's fun though. And God is Good.

Happy Monday!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 12:29 PM | 5 comments

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Getting Immersed

Yesterday I had the best sign language lesson yet. About 10 words were voiced during an hour-long lunch with 5 people. WOW. Two deaf people, two interpreters for the Deaf (one was my friend's spouse and the other was our friend), and then me. I was very nervous before we went, just for the intimidation factor alone (they were EXPERTS after all). (And the 2 cups of caffeinated tea didn't help). But everyone was so very nice, and soon I realized I had nothing to worry about. Although I didn't understand everything that was signed, I understood a good portion of it, and enjoyed the signing so very much.

I'd never seen two deaf people sign to each other and it was AMAZING to watch. And to see my friend sign with his wife, who is an AWESOME interpreter was so very fun. I am hoping she will take me under her wing and teach me more ASL, since I don't know it. I know signs, but I'm pretty much signing English at this point, and I will need to learn and master ASL in order to interpet someday. She, on the other hand, interprets for a living so it was like learning from Master Yoda or something. Too cool.

We are hoping to go to one of the Deaf Coffee Chats soon (RR are you signing coffee or Starbucks?) . How fun will it be just sitting around, drinking coffee and signing together.

I've never enjoyed learning so much before this. I'm still in awe of the whole thing!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 11:27 AM | 9 comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Verse of the Day

Thoughts as I flipped over my verse of the day calendar....

Do I really REALLY have to COMPLETELY forgive? Because I say I do, and then a reminder flashes back and hits me right between the eyes. Does that mean I've forgiven and just not forgotten? Or maybe I really haven't completely forgiven after all.

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13

Struggling. Because I was COMPLETELY forgiven.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 6:59 AM | 5 comments

Monday, April 17, 2006

Can't Breathe....Need More Oxygen....

This humidity is killing me! Yesterday I wearing a sweatshirt as I ate my cereal outside, because it was 40 degrees. Today, I'm wiping the sweat off my brow. Yesterday I enjoyed mountainous views and air with zero humidity. Today I'm gasping for breath (well, almost).

Wednesday night, Brian, Cat and I headed west, young man. To Colorful Colorado. On the way, we went through the Land of Enchantment aka New Mexico. Enchanting, isn't it?

A couple of hours later, we hit REAL beauty - at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Brian and I enjoy the scenic views.

Hey! Be careful up there!

Cat takes in the breathtaking views.

We narrowly avoided being crushed to death.

Somehow I developed Super-Human strength when we crossed the state line.

After going through Colorado Springs, we spent time with Brian's family near Denver. My sister-in-law made me curtains, drapes and pillows for my living room and kitchen which turned out so very well. I'm so excited! Brian helped our brother-in-law turn their 100+ year old piano into a bookshelf. The piano was too old to ever be tuned again, but the wood carvings were still very nice, so now it will be treasured in different forms. Cat enjoyed spending time with her friends in Denver. Although it was a long time to be spent in the car on a short trip, we enjoyed our time together. Hopefully we will be able to go back again soon!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:06 AM | 9 comments

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Welcome to the Plaaanet

Welcome to Exist-aaance. Everyone's here, everyone's here.

OK, enough singing, but please join me in welcoming the newest addition to our family. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are now parents to a little baby boy.

I'm leaving now, as I'm on my way to go see the little guy.


posted by Amstaff Mom | 2:23 PM | 13 comments

Please. Let Us All Remember.

Seven Days that Shook the World

April 9, 2006

by Greg Kandra

After spending the last few weeks in the desert of Lent, suddenly we find ourselves in an oasis, clutching long leaves of palms.
But like so many things you see after being in the desert, it’s a mirage. What we see, or think we see, is about to shift before our eyes.
Soon enough, the palms will be whips. The leaves will be thorns. Jubilation will become jeers. That is the paradox and the mystery of Holy Week.
The liturgies of this week are powerful and primal. In the days to come, there is silence and smoke, fire and water, shadow and light. We are a part of something both ancient and new, and what we do this week reminds us of that. The altar will be stripped. The cross will be venerated. The tabernacle will be emptied. The Blessed Sacrament will be moved. Bells will be stilled.
And yet here we stand, at the gates to Jerusalem, palms in our hands and hosannas on our lips, beginning the arduous trek to Calvary.

It is easy to be distracted by the events of the world, and not really pay attention to what we will do this week. Somewhere, wars are raging, and politicians are squabbling. Somewhere, Easter eggs are being sold, and chocolate is being inventoried, and plastic grass is lining wicker baskets.

But not here. Not now. Not yet.

This week, take the time to wonder about what we are doing, and what we are remembering.

For close to two thousand years, we have gathered like this, in places like this, to light candles and chant prayers and read again the ancient stories of our deliverance and redemption.
But are we aware of what we are doing? Do we understand what it means? Do we realize the price that was paid? A proper accounting is impossible. The ledger—His life, for our souls—seems woefully unbalanced.

So try this. This week, take a moment in each day that passes to wonder: What was He doing during this time of that one week all those centuries ago? What was crossing His mind on Monday, on Tuesday, on Wednesday? What sort of anguish? What kind of dread?
Has anything we have ever worried about, or lost sleep over, or agonized about, even come close?
He was a man like us in all things but sin. He must have been terrified, His mind buzzing with questions. Long after the others had drifted off to sleep, did He stay awake and worry? Maybe He sat up alone, late at night, whittling a piece of wood, the way His father had taught Him, until a splinter sliced His skin, drawing a rivulet of blood. He might have flinched and thought: Well, this is nothing. And still it stings. How intense would the pain of death become? How long would it last? How much humiliation would He be forced to endure, stripped and bleeding? And: What about His mother? Is there anything He could do to spare her from this?

As you shop for Easter baskets and dye, think of this. Ponder this. Wonder about it. Make it a kind of prayer.

And then, remember what we are doing, and why.

Because, of all the calendars in all of human history, this is the week that changed the world.

I borrowed this from Tracey, who borrowed it from The Anchoress. Bold emphasis is mine.

Let us all remember.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 5:38 AM | 5 comments

Monday, April 10, 2006

Happy Bloggerversary To Me

I've been blogging for a whole year now. Sharing my life's story, wishes, prayers, thoughts, pictures and memes with you, my blogger friends.

What started as a Google search has led to some wonderful friendships that I truly cherish.

Many thanks to you, my blogger friends, and especially to Eddo and Jes who both created this blog template for me, and whose blogs were in the results of the aforementioned Google search.

The last year has been a fun ride, I look forward to what the next year will bring.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 11:57 AM | 4 comments

Thursday, April 06, 2006

And Now You Know.

FSU professor: Jesus may have walked on ice, not water
07:02 AM CDT on Thursday, April 6, 2006
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Jesus walked on water, according to the Bible, but a Florida State University professor says he may have actually walked on a hard-to-see patch of ice.
Doron Nof, a professor of oceanography, said a rare combination of water and atmospheric conditions in the Sea of Galilee 2000 years ago may offer a scientific explanation for one of the miracles recounted in the Bible.
Nof said a patch of ice floating in the Sea of Galilee – which is actually a freshwater lake – would have been difficult to distinguish from unfrozen water surrounding it.
"I'm not trying to provide any information that has to do with theology here," Nof said in an interview Wednesday. "All we've thought is about the natural process. What theologians or anybody else does with that, it's their business, so to speak."
According to the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark and John, Jesus' disciples were out on the Galilee at night when a storm came up. Jesus walked to the terrified men, who thought he was a ghost, according to the accounts.
Darrell Bock, a professor of New Testament studies at the Dallas Theological Seminary, lightheartedly dismissed the idea that Jesus walked on ice.
"I'm just cold to the theory," said Bock, author of "Breaking the Da Vinci Code," which defends traditional Christian beliefs challenged in Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code."
"I tend to treat it as a real miracle," Bock said. "Almost all the nature miracles are challenged in one degree or another."
Other reaction to the theory has not been so restrained.
"I get hate e-mail on the average every three minutes," Nof said. One e-mail called him "the most stupid person on the planet" and closed by wishing that he "go to hell where you belong."
Nof's research appears in the April issue of the Journal of Paleolimnology, a publication on the reconstruction of lake histories. Nof's co-authors are biostatistics professor Ian McKeague of Columbia University and atmospheric science professor Nathan Paldor of Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
They came up with the theory after studying records of long-ago water temperatures in the Mediterranean Sea, based on core samples of shells and other animal remains taken from the bottom.
The records indicated that two lengthy periods 2,500 to 1,500 years ago were chilly enough for ice patches to form during cold spells on the Sea of Galilee, said Nof, a native of Israel.
The unfrozen water surrounding the ice would have come from salty springs along the lake's western shore, he said. Salty water freezes at lower temperatures than fresh water.

Ha ha ha ha! Oh, and don't you just LOVE the e-mail he received? Because Christians are, of course, SUPPOSED to wish for people to go to hell. Oh my.

On a completely different subject, I think I now have a new favorite movie. Does watching it twice (for the 3rd and 4th time, respectively) in 3 days constitute a favorite movie? If so,
Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 version) is my new favorite movie. Maybe I can squeeze in a 3rd time this week, for it will be a charm for sure. I mean, scenes like this just take my breath away.

Watch it, oh please, please watch and enjoy. And yes, you will warm up to Darcy as the movie goes on. Not at first, but later. He gets more and more handsome. When he laughs - wonderful, when he walks across the field - oh the emotion. I won't say anymore. Just watch.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:19 AM | 15 comments

Monday, April 03, 2006


I am in Dallas for a few days, staying with the parents while I'm attending a conference for work in downtown Dallas. I had already planned on staying here to avoid the long commute from home to here. The term "long commute" was confirmed this morning when I spent 1 hr. and 45 min. in the car. ugh.

It actually turned out to be blessing that I was already down here. My cousin called my parents this evening and said that my uncle was at the hospital. He's been fighting cancer and has now taken a turn for the worst. He will probably begin hospice soon, and so we went to see him at the hospital tonight. It was hard to see him so weak, but thankfully they have been able to relieve his intense pain. My cousin quit her job about a year ago to faithfully take care of her daddy, and so it's hard to see the pain she's in now after she heard the news. I'm so glad I was down here so I could go see him. I'm hoping to go see him tomorrow after the conference as well.

Please pray for my uncle Sammy and his family. I would really appreciate it.

Through it all, God is good.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 8:15 PM | 10 comments