Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy New Year!

What is it about a new year that compels us to sip way too much champagne? Are we mourning the loss of another good year, or celebrating the beginning of a new one? Or, maybe we’re just thirsty from all the chips & dip?

I’ve certainly celebrated my share of new years…from Key West to Boston to Times Square in NYC; I’ve tipped glasses with the best (and the worst) of them! All I can say it that waking up the next morning with a hangover isn’t exactly the best way to kick off a new year.

This year we’re headed to a kid-friendly NYE party. I think we’re all resigned to the fact that at thirty-something with kids, the only way we’re getting out of the house is to take the kids along. It’s good stuff, and I’m looking forward to going. It’ll be like the good old days, except when I take my top off, it’ll be to nurse Amaya! Ha – just kidding, I never took my top off back in the day (and I technically don’t have to take it off to nurse).

There will be less flirting and more conversing, less alcohol consumption, but more food consumption, and getting ready will be more about comfort and less about looks. ..Now we just have to find a way to move up New Years to about 9pm and we’ll be all set!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Where it's hot, even in December

Last night I dreamt that I was hiking in Arizona and it became so hot out that lava began to fill the earth and engulf a portion of Arizona. My hiking partners & I fled to the top floor of a nearby home and hoped that the lava would not creep up to where we were. We watched the event unfold on television while we waited to see what our fate would be. The newscast was saying that the lava was melting the state and creating an island out of Arizona. It didn’t look good for us. I decided to call my mother and ask her to contact a private pilot and charter a helicopter to save me (& Jermaine & Wendy). I knew the cost for this mission would be high, but I was confident that money would not be an object for my mother; she would pay any amount for me to be saved. Unfortunately my mother told me that I should just put on an additional pair of shoes so that when the lava reached us, my feet wouldn’t burn. Disappointed by her answer, but still determined to live, I convinced Wendy and Jermaine to band our resources together to pay the helicopter rescue fee. As we approached the computer to try to do an internet search for a helicopter in nearby Las Vegas the baby began to stir, thus waking me from this horrendous night-long misadventure.

I was emotionally drained and glad to be awake. Perhaps everything felt so real because in real life I do feel that the hot lava is creeping up upon us. The Bible calls it “a lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15). Maybe the reason my mother didn’t save me is because she couldn’t?

This weird little dream reminds me of the plight of the Christian. As Christians we believe that we have the antidote for death. We believe that we know the helicopter pilot that can save our friends and relatives from the hot lava. His name is Jesus.

So forgive us if we try to introduce you to our friend. We know you can’t see the hot lava creeping up around you; but we see it and we don’t want it to consume you because we love you. Our motivation is love alone. We’re sorry if this offends you, but you’d probably be more offended if we didn’t tell you the good news. How could we claim to love you and not share the secret to eternal life with you? ..that would be like us jumping in the helicopter and leaving you to take your chances with that second pair of shoes...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

...Twas the night before Christmas...

It's finally here, the day we've been waiting for ...the day we've been saving for, and rushing around for, and sneaking around for, and sitting in traffic for, and lying....and…wait a minute...what happened to Christmas? When did the day of our Savior’s birth turn into this? It took 2000 years, but it happened. And to top it off, most of the time Jesus isn’t even invited to his own birthday party!

A few weeks ago I asked Amelle what the best Christmas gift of all was. I was expecting her to explain God’s love for us, the amazing gift of Jesus’ birth and atoning sacrifice with the articulation of a world class theologian, or at least a third year seminary student. Instead, she pondered for a moment, let out a “hmmm” and rolled her eyes back to survey her brain for the correct answer, and then she innocently answered me “a baby doll”. My heart sank. Was that baby doll’s name “Jesus” by any chance?

Avery confessed earlier this week that he thought his name might appear on the “naughty list”. When I asked him what he was going to do about that, I anticipated him telling me that he was going to get down on his knees, repent, and ask God’s forgiveness. Instead, he said that he’d just play with last year’s toys.

Nancy has a great blog post about Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas) slapping someone who taught that Jesus was “just a man”. I couldn’t help but wonder what he would do to me: my four year old didn’t understand God’s love and my six year old was more frightened of Santa’s wrath, than God’s! Thankfully we serve an understanding Heavenly Father and not the jolly old fellow in a furry red suit.

Hope you have a wonderful, Spirit-filled Christmas!

Love,
The 5 Moores

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Is Damon a Demon?

To Boston fans far and wide he was “Jesus”, perhaps not Jesus of Nazareth, but the Jesus of baseball. Johnny Damon was largely credited for breaking the 86-year curse and Sox fans everywhere revered him as their savoir. After the Sox enjoyed the sweetest of victories against the evil empire, pictures of the longhaired, beard-clad Damon appeared everywhere with his “disciples” (Schilling, Ortiz, Millar, Martinez, Ramirez, Nixon). The sports page met the Holy Bible that year with editorials quoting scripture and cartoons depicting Damon seated at the head of the table during the last supper. The Sox had even taken on a new nickname; ”The God Squad”. For the otherwise unreligious Sox fans, all of the sudden, “Jesus” was in the house performing miracles and breaking curses.

However, the Bible never lies and we were warned, “ …if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew 24:23-25). Clearly Damon was not the Jesus that Sox fans had hoped for; his true identity was revealed this week when he traded in his red socks and his soul.

Today my heart breaks for my brother. I remember going into his room as a kid and seeing pictures & newspaper clippings of Roger Clemens hanging on his wall. Many years later while Jermaine was watching ESPN I saw a clip of Roger Clemens pitching, only there was something wrong with the scene, Clemens was donned in a pin-striped Yankees uniform. When I asked Jermaine how this could be, he called it “the unpardonable sin”. Well, if Clemens selling out to the Yanks was an unpardonable sin, what Damon did this week was worse. The unapologetically unshaven face that was the face of the victorious Red Sox Nation will need a total makeover to join the evildoers. He’ll really need to call on the Fab 5 now! ...hopefully, they can do something with those pesky little horns while they’re trimming his beard and coifing his locks.

Shaun, if it’s any consolation, the story does have a happy ending: “But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. …The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (Rev 19:20) …They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev 20:10).

I leave you with the a famous quote from 70s icon Gloria Gaynor, “I (we) will survive!” (…even if it takes us another 86 years…). - Love you, Bro!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

God was Cracking Up!!

One of my favorite sayings is “if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans”. Well, I’m sure that God was laughing in hysterics throughout my pregnancy listening to me carry on about how this baby was going to be Jermaine’s. Everyone who knows me heard my plan: I was going to carry the baby for nine months, then Jermaine would carry her for the next nine. I wasn’t particularly fond of being pregnant, and the prospect of going back to mothering an infant nearly brought me to tears. I once told my mother not to worry about getting rid of her crib, we’d just pull out a dresser drawer for this one to sleep in…after all, it’s the third.

Isn’t the luster of parenthood worn off by #3? You always hear third children gripe that they don’t have baby books or even photographs of themselves as babies. I thought #3 was going to be a breeze because we already knew “everything” about parenting a baby; after all, we’d done it with some degree of success twice before.

Somehow my plans went awry. First, this baby is mine. Although her dear father would hold her every waking hour if he could, she makes sure that he can’t by crying whenever he enters her personal space. Second, Jermaine and I brim with all the emotions of first time parents; we find ourselves nervous about SIDS (me) and whether the grocery cart is sturdy enough to hold our 10lb bundle of joy (Jermaine). We have almost every gesture this baby has ever made on film. And third, a drawer would never work for this baby, in fact the bassinet and the crib don’t even seem good enough for her, as she sleeps in our bed next to her doting father every night.

I have to laugh whenever I think of how “un-cool” we are. God is funny; He keeps me smiling & teaches me to expect the unexpected. I always say that this baby has Grace written all over her. God's Grace is amazing; I look forward to all the things that He is going to teach me through Amaya; He has already shown me so much. He continues to use my children to grow me up.

I often cradle Amaya in one arm while I busy myself around the house (loading the dishwasher or doing laundry, ect...). This is a mother's view: - sometimes I even look down and catch her smiling while I'm working away. What a joy it is to be her mom.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Master of ....nothing...


triv·i·al ( trĭv ' ē-əl ) adj. Of little significance or value. Ordinary; commonplace. Concerned with or involving trivia.

During his belated birthday celebration, Nyam proved to us that he is the master of little significance or value. Happy 35th Bro, consider the win a birthday gift because it won't happen again. I'm in total agreement with you that though 35, you look 28 and act 12. I'm on deck...

Is Jeff crazy for my cake, or just crazy? Yes, he works with children.

All in all it was a nice evening - good friends, food, fun ...good times. Happy Birthday Nyam, for real. We love ya!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

FINALly!!


I have officially finished this term; I submitted my last final on Wednesday. It was only 5 questions, but it took me 13 pages & three days to answer them. I guess when you attend online classes they look for creative ways to make the exams difficult. So now I get to enjoy my first break since I started school last May. I'm off for two whole weeks. Darn, now I don't have an excuse to have an unclean house!

Some of the things I've learned in graduate school:
1. Just because someone has an advanced degree it doesn't mean that they're smart. I've been in classes with people who I would consider barely literate (and yes, an 850 on the GRE is required for entrance). I shrug my shoulders here because I don't know how they passed. I know how I passed: it was divine intervention. Maybe they know the Lord as well?
2. No one does all the assigned reading, it's impossible. The supplemental reading is a joke.
3. Group work is popular - which can be really good or really bad, depending on your group mates (see #1).
4. After taxes, tuition reimbursement is only about half of what you submit for.
5. Text books aren't worth the $120 you pay for them (see #2). Then they change editions so fast you can't sell them to anyone.
6. Oh, and yes, I've learned a few things academically, that is what I'm here for...or is it?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Square


I'm still not over this picture. I don't think there is anything better than seeing your baby smile at you for the first time. I was fortunate to catch it on film because it happened during a "photo shoot". She must've been tickled by the flash going off in her face...either that, or it was the sight of her mother making a fool of herself that did it.


...Here's a little something from the other end. I was feeling guilty about having pictures of the other two up on the blog and not having one of Amaya up here, so now we're squared away.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Philadelphians Have Big Balls!


Philadelphians have big balls! Yes, it’s true. I discovered this about 3 years ago when Jermaine took me bowling. What I ended up with was a sore wrist and blisters on my fingertips from handling those big Philadelphian balls. I thought it was strange that I needed two hands to handle my bowling ball, and I felt like Fred Flintstone having to put my fingers in the three holes, but I figured what the heck, we can try something different. What I didn’t know was that different was normal around these parts.

The next time Jermaine wanted to go bowling I beckoned him to take me “regular bowling” and thus sparked the realization that we had two totally different definitions of “regular bowling”. For me, regular bowling is Candlepin bowling. It’s the only bowling I have ever known. For Jermaine, big ball bowling is regular bowling.

Candlepin bowling uses smaller pins and smaller balls (2 ½ pounds) with no finger holes. I couldn’t believe that even kids were using those big, heavy balls! I was petrified that my fingers would get sweaty and stick to the inside of the finger holes and the weight of the enormous ball would rip my arm off when I went to throw it.

As it turns out Candlepin bowling is a “New England thing”. The game was invented 120 years ago in Worcester, Massachusetts, and apparently it never caught on with people outside of our tri-state area. Below is a photo of some candlepins, the other, taken Saturday, is of my little Philadelphian holding his very big ball. Hey! …Get your mind out of the gutter…no pun intended :-)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Feeling Pretty

A while back Kristy had given me a bag of Clinique make-up that she had gotten free from Macy’s. I came across that bag last week when I was cleaning out my work bag and I regifted that little bag by giving it to Amelle. I knew that she’d get more joy and use out of it than I would, or even could. I was right. Her eyes lit up as she unzipped the small bag and revealed sample size lotions, lipstick, and the other lip stuff that you brush on (I don’t know what that’s called).

After this particular lip product application, she asked me to take a picture of her because she was “so pretty”. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her lipstick looked like a mustache. I did tell her that no amount of make up would ever make her look prettier than God made her. He made her absolutely perfect and there was really nothing that she, or anyone else could do to enhance His perfect creation.

Ahhh…it’s all about what’s on the inside anyway…hopefully she’ll figure that out eventually.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Kristy helps me say "goodbye" to Hello!

My good friend Kristy helped me realize that Hello is a big lie! Who knew?! You don't actually need Hello to post pictures on your blog! It's like the web's best kept secret. After over a year of frustration and feelings of inadequacy ...why didn't anyone tell me?! :-)

Fortunately I saw the light before I downloaded that darn Hello onto our computer again. Jermaine was less than happy the last time that big, useless program appeared on our desktop.

Anyway, just a big "Thank you" to my pal Kristy for showing me the light! Here she is posting this picture to this blog!

Friday, December 02, 2005

A few housekeeping items

Okay, just a few things I need to put out there before I continue with this blog thing:
1) I'm usually either nursing or holding Amaya while I'm typing, therefore I refuse to accept full responsibility for typos that occur on this blog. You'll have to understand that typing with one hand has it's limitations.
2) I am not quite sure if I'm interesting enough for a blog, so please bear with me.
3) There are officially 3 things I like about the blog (despite my previous website post that says there are only 2 things). They are:
1. the word "Blog" (I could say/type it all day long, I just love it).
2. the reader can leave comments, I love that it's "interactive".
3. I forgot...darn. It just dropped from my mind, I'll post it later when I think of it.
4) I just hit the "next blog" button to see what that was all about and I was shocked to see several photos of a rather corpulent woman in a bathingsuit. Just a disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the next blog over from mine.