"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I got tagged...

So my friend Krista tagged me. I had to go to the 4th picture folder on my computer and get the 4th picture. This is from the folder titled "Bear" with pictures of my adorable new nephew! In this picture he's mad at his mom because he just told her that he wanted to come stay with his Aunt Stori, and she told him no. :(

I now tag:
Anyone who's interested! I would love to hear your stories, but I don't want to put anyone on the spot.
Instructions: Go to the 4th picture folder, and get the 4th picture from it. Then post it with a story, no cheating :).






Thursday, March 19, 2009

Totally awesome Lost!

Ok, my questions and comments...


  1. Where is Claire? She's my favorite character! Is she still with Christian Shepherd and if so, will she and Sun reunite next week? They were always good friends, but Claire might be a little weird now.
  2. Christian said that Sun had a long journey ahead of her, which I'm assuming meant that she was supposed to work to get to 1977 back with Jin. Will Claire and Lapidus go with her?
  3. Why didn't Sun and Lapidus end up back in 1977 with the O6? Or Ben for that matter, although Ben didn't leave at the same time they did.
  4. Wasn't it creepy seeing a young Ben with Sawyer? Will they try to kill him or change him to be good? Maybe Ben couldn't go back to 1977 because he couldn't run into his young self.
  5. Why didn't Locke go back in time either?
  6. The previews for next week imply that Kate came back for Sawyer... has she realized that she loves him? Then why did she sleep with Jack? I will be so mad if she breaks up Juliet and Sawyer, from the way Juliet acted, I don't think she has feelings for Jack anymore. (I don't know how anyone could have feelings for Jack anyhow, he's so socially awkward.)
  7. And what happened to Aaron? I still think she got another "vision" from Claire telling her she needed to come back.
  8. I wish Jack wasn't such a jerk, I hope that being a "workman" humbles him a bit. He was so rude to Sawyer, it was uncalled for, and now it looks like everyone is going to fight next week. Once again, Jack screws everything up, he's the worst leader in the world.
  9. Will Jack develop a relationship with Ben's dad, since they are both workmen?
  10. How did the outriggers get from the Hydra station to the main island? Sawyer and crew were on the other island when they found the two outriggers, not the Hydra. And who was shooting at Sawyer and crew?
  11. Where was Daniel Faraday?
  12. The four people that the Others wanted on the List way back at the end of Season 2 (Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sawyer) were all in the Dharma Initiative. Is that why the Others wanted them, from seeing their records in the barracks?

Please comment. I'm dying to hear your theories (ahem, Jessica)!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby Bear, and everything's just right!

What a weekend! My new nephew, Barrett "Bear" Wayne Moffett was born last Friday, March 13th, weighing 6 lbs 13 oz and is 20 in long! He's just precious, and he's doubly precious because he gave us quite a scare. We have been praising God that he is here with us and is safe and healthy.

Nick's sister, Tiffany was due last Thursday, and had been told by her Doctor that she would probably deliver early. The whole family had had their cellphones glued to the hip for the past week waiting, but Thursday came and went, and still no baby. Nick and I had been planning on going to Houston if the baby came, but since Bear seemed to be taking his time, we decided to hang out and work on the pergola Friday (we have every other Friday off).

Finally Thursday night, we got a call from Nick's mom saying that Tiffany had spoken with the hospital, and that if she didn't go into labor over night, she should call at 6 AM Friday. If the hospital wasn't full, then they were going to admit her and induce labor.

Well, Nick and I got up early, and by 8 AM we still hadn't heard anything, so we called Nick's mom. The hospital was full, so Tiffany had been ordered to call back at 10 AM to see if it was still full then. By 12 PM, we called Nick's mom again, and the hospital was still full, BUT they had asked Tiffany to come in for an ultrasound. This is not routine procedure, but if her fluid levels looked low on the ultrasound, then they could admit her as an "emergency case" and induce labor then.

So we waited impatiently...

Finally, at 3:30 PM, we got a panicked call from Nick's mom. The fluid levels were fine, but the ultrasound showed that the umbilical chord was wrapped around the baby's neck TWICE, and they were going to do an emergency C-section. Nick and I immediately prayed to God for the health of the baby and Tiffany. A C-section might be routine, but it's a major surgery. I also text messaged all of my sweet, believer friends and asked them to be praying for Tiffany as well. We then got packed as quickly as I've ever been able to, and raced out the door to Houston.

Finally, as we were driving,we got the call from Nick's mom around 7:30 PM. The baby had been born, and was a boy.

Side note*** Tiffany and Brady did not find out the sex of the baby beforehand. I had been so sure it was a girl, it wasn't. I thought that I could end my losing streak of guessing the wrong sex with my own flesh and blood... but apparently I'm destined to be always wrong in guessing a babies sex. I have been wrong, for literally the past 8 or 9 times I have guessed for friends and acquaintances pregnancies.***

And mother and baby were doing fine! But we found out that the umbilical chord had been around his neck FOUR TIMES.

This was truly a miracle because if the hospital hadn't been full, then the Doctors would have admitted Tiffany and induced labor without performing an ultrasound. They would have realized something was wrong after labor had begun because of the baby's heart rate, but the could have been in distress for a while before they were able to get him out. And with the umbilical chord wrapped FOUR TIMES around his neck, there's no telling what could have happened. God is so merciful, loving and good at all times! I don't know why I'm not always more patient with his timing knowing how well things turn out when I trust in Him.

Needless to say, we are overjoyed that he's here with us. It was hard leaving him on Sunday, we only got to spend a little over 24 hours with him. I also missed his homecoming, which is just tearing me up! But I can't wait to see him soon. Nick is pretty enamored with him too! Before we went to the hospital on Saturday, Nick was thinking that we would only stay for a few minutes. His comment, "Well, its not like the baby will do anything. We might get kind of bored." My comment, "We'll look at the baby, and that will be enough." Sure enough, as soon as Nick held the baby, his eyes were glued to little Bear's face, Nick couldn't get enough of him! This is my favorite picture from the trip, that's Nick's hand you see.


You can find more pictures of Bear here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2695759&id=8317856&l=e66e44a184. I think he's pretty darn precious, and he gets cuter every day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Our First Auction!

Ok, so I have always wanted to go to an auction. I just always thought it would be cool to go and have one of those little paddles and then to very primly lift it up when I wanted to bid on something. I would have to have the haughty look, of course! I've been working on it.

I finally got an opportunity to go to one that was held at my friend Jessica's church. It was a combination silent and live auction, and it was to raise funds for the school that the church runs. Jessica is a very talented artist, and entered a painting that went for $525! I was so proud of my friend.

I really wanted to win a puppy at the live auction, but Nick didn't really go for it. I did win three things at the silent auction though:

A pair of plant stands that I am going to use to decorate my pergola.


A Williams-Sonoma cookbook on entertaining. With our pergola and the new table, I would officially like to start "entertaining." I have had people over before, but those were just "get-togethers". Yes, my friends, Nick and I have officially entered the ranks of bourgeoisie... :).


Finally, my new pride and joy... I literally waited by the silent auction table until they shut it down. I had to outbid this sweet man at the last minute, but I won it. What is it you ask? On the outside, it would appear to be an ordinary book on Baton Rouge...

But open the cover and look who signed it...


BOBBY JINDAL!!!

Bobby Jindal is the current governor of Louisiana, and he's a politician that I believe in. I don't believe in many, but I think he's a good, honest, genuine person who seems committed to turning things around in Louisiana. If you didn't know anything about him, here's a few tidbits:

1) Is the first Indian-American governor in US History.
2) Is a 2 time congressman, who was elected his second time with 88% of the vote.
3) Is a Rhodes Scholar.
4) Has a Masters degree from Oxford in Political Science, and an undergraduate degree from Brown.
5) At the age of 25 was put in charge of Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals, which was on the brink of bankruptcy with a deficit of more than $400M. Within three years turned it around to having a surplus of more than $220M.
6) At the age of 30, was made the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation under Dubya.
7) Successfully helped the people of LA get through two major hurricanes without any major incidents.
8) Lost his first bid for governor in 2003 because he refused to run attack adds against his opponent.
9) Is only 37!
10) He will be President one day :), maybe in 2012, although I am kind of torn between him and Romney at this point.
I feel honored to live in the state where he is governor, and I'm proud to call him a fellow conservative. He's one of my role models and heroes, and I'm just tickled pink over having his autograph :)

Cuckoo, cuckoo, Wild bird are you!

What a beautiful weekend! I think we can officially say that spring is here, and sumer is icumen in!

My yard is starting to bloom! My jessamine plan has its first flower ever. I planted it last year for my dearest friend Jessy, but it almost died under my care (I suffer from the curse of the black thumb). Nick managed to nurse it back to health the way he has done with so many of my plants, and now look at it! I can't wait to plant them along the pergola so that they grow up and overheard into a beautiful sunshine canopy.


Nick and I spent most of the weekend working on the pergola. The wooden structure is completely finished, and are trying to prep the ground for the paverstones. Its a lot of manual labor, which is not really my thing! Thankfully, I married a man that loves to work up a sweat twice as much as a normal person, so I usually leave all of that stuff up to him... but I wasn't able to get away with staying inside in the air conditioned indoors this weekend! I had to help Nick scoop up the clay in the area under the pergola and spread it over the yard. It was tough work, and I took every opportunity for a catnap :), Frodo was tired too!

Anyway, its looking really great and I can't wait until it is finished. We went and look at furniture for the area, but Nick would like try his hand at building an adirondack sofa, chair set, and coffee table. He has built lots of things before, so I'm sure whatever he makes will be wonderful. He's also going to build a porch swing for it, which is going to be awesome! Here is it as it currently looks.


We are also gearing up for our next big outdoor project, a vegetable garden. Nick has been wanting to put one in since last year, but we just didn't get around to it. My friend Jessica started her garden this weekend, and that inspired us to get busy with it. We haven't started yet, but we bought the seeds. I really want to put in a butterfly garden along the wall to the left of the pergola, but I'm getting little support from the other members of my household. Its function over form only with a certain engineer who shall remain nameless :). I am getting excited about the vegetable garden, especially with the economy... I'm calling it my Victory Garden. It'll cheer me up thinking that in 2 years Conservatives may be victorious in congressional elections in unseating Pelosi and in 4 years... I can dream :).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Our French country kitchen table!

Last Saturday, I went on a shopping trip (much to the chagrin of my thrifty spouse) with my friend Jessica to check out all of the furniture stores around Covington and Mandeville. We spend most of the morning in Mandeville, and we found some really cool stores. I have been on the hunt for a dining room table for a while now, and there were a few tables that piqued my interest, but none that I loved. I had pretty much decided on the Provence table from Crate and Barrel; I had saved my money, and was set to buy it.

We almost decided to head home instead of to Covington. Nick was at home working on our pergola, and I hadn't heard from him and he wasn't returning my calls. I had been leery of leaving him home alone with power tools and working on a ladder, but he had a friend that was supposed to stop by. Just as we were about to pass the exit to Covington, Nick decided to call, and of course he was fine. So we headed into Covington to check out this store called Home and Garden, A Plant Gallery. I figured it was like Smith and Hawkins and I might find something fun for the pergola when its finished. Well... it is nothing like Smith and Hawkins, it is the most beautiful furniture store I have ever been to and filled with amazing furniture (most of it wayyy out of my price range).

The very first thing I spotted was this table, and I just knew that I had to have it. Actually, I knew that I wanted it, but I needed Jessica there to convince me that I should get it. Luckily the store was having a huge sale, which put the set back into my price range.

I loved the bench most of all! I just thought it seemed so homey. The white cushion below is $200!!! Who spends $200 on a white cushion?

On Sunday, Nick came back to the store with me to check it out. I was a little nervous, because I didn't think that he would want to spend the money. I usually have to spend time preparing him to spend that kind of money, so I didn't think that one day would cut it. Nick was completely wonderful about it! Not only that, but he suggested that we get the 2 blue and 2 white chairs in addition to the blue bench that you see below instead of 4 white chairs. I had wanted to do that, but I didn't want to ask because the blue chairs were more expensive that the white chairs. When he suggested it, I was tickled pink! My husband is wonderful :).

So here it is in my house! Doesn't it look pretty? We only have one breakfast area, no formal dining room, but I just think it looks perfect! Of course the blue does not match the bright blue of my living room one bit, so we'll have to repaint. I'd like to go to something more neutral, and lovely and talented Jessica will help me decide on something!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's TRUE... Rhode Island is neither a Road nor an Island

Ahh... there were so many intros that I could have used... Thank you Providence... a nod to Plymouth Rock a la Anything Goes!, but I had to settle for my favorite old Mike Meier schtick.

My first visit into New England was a blast! One thing that kind of surprised me, for all that is the oldest bunch of settlements in the New World, New England was shockingly empty and uncrowded. It was either just a seasonal lull or the economy has forced everyone to Red states since they seem to be only place that the job market isn't rapidly tanking (note to Colorado/Arizona/Nevada, do not let the influx of Californians repeat what they have done in their own state... I fear Washington and Oregon are already lost!), but I felt much like the Pilgrims must have felt when they arrived in Massachusetts and found the area virtually deserted.


Speaking of Pilgrims, weren't they awesome? I've become a bit obsessed with all things Puritan. It was so cool to visit Plymouth and the Pilgrim Hall Museum. I didn't know that much about them beyond what I learned in the third grade, so it was neat to rediscover that part of our history. Half of the Pilgrims that left England and the Netherlands didn't make beyond the first winter, literally entire families were wiped out. Yet somehow through the grace of God some live through that first winter of no food and managed to survive the Native intrigues and power grabs that could have easily resulted in the destruction of their colony. Its just a reminder to me that God is Good and Faithful... To Him be the Glory! As most people know, I am not gifted in the arts or understanding art, but this one painting, The Mayflower on her Arrival in Plymouth Harbor really struck a chord with me. You can almost feel the biting cold and bleakness of a New England winter during the Little Ice Age when you look at it. Its clear that the men and women on the little barge headed to the mainland will have no food or shelter, and will probably encounter hostile natives, and they should be desperate and afraid. But somehow even in the darkness, you can still feel a sense of their hope and faith in God's provision. I liked this painting so much, I even bought a little print of it, my first one ever.

Let me back up... this was our itinerary, as decided by Nick and my mom. They are best buds when we travel as they both like to plan trips down to the last second (and my mom down to the last pose).

Tuesday - Arrival in Newport
Wednesday - Salem, MA; Kittery, ME
Thursday - Plymouth, MA; Martha's Vineyard
Friday - Newport's the Breakers; Home

My favorite part was definitely Plymouth, but Salem was kind of fun. I was really looking forward to learning about the witch trials, but most of the real museums were closed. The only museum that was open was the Salem Witch Museum, which turned out to be a front for Wiccan propaganda. They started us out in a Disney-like room with different tableaus, which they highlighted as they narrated the story of the Witch trials. They didn't tell you the history as much as illustrate the evils of Christianity and use the witch trials as an allegory (how original!) for how people throughout the centuries have been persecuted for being of different ethnic groups/religions/political persuasion. They then implied that the Devil was really working on the side of Christ to cause this. Then they marched you to another room where they had three more scenes for you to watch and listen to prerecorded narratives:

Scene 1: A wise woman, she helped her village by giving them medicine and helping women give birth. When Christianity spread, she was vilified by the church who didn't want women to have power.

Scene 2: A green skinned witch, a stereotype perpetuated by the Christian church.

Scene 3: A modern day male and female witch: Wiccans. They believe in doing no harm to anyone, try to make the world a more balanced place, respect nature, and they don't believe in a devil or evil (unless you count Christians, that is). And if you'd like to hear more, there's an attendant waiting by...

Finally, they marched you to the Wall of American Shame. Where they proceeded to spell out exactly how the Witch trials are direct parallels to McCarthyism and the Japanese Internment camps of WW2. I was a bit irritated at this point by their falsehoods, so I couldn't help but speak up say that I thought that McCarthy was a great man and was completely under appreciated. I mean come on... communism killed over 100 million people, many of them were brutally tortured first. She clearly didn't like my opinion, but was classy enough not to engage me in an argument. I say "classy" because I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. I really should have controlled my annoyance and remembered that she is one of the lost, but its not fun going into a place where everything that you believe is misrepresented and portrayed as evil. I just wanted a history lesson, not some liberal, attempted-shame inducing nonsense... although they seem to be one and the same lately.

After that we got to visit the real House of Seven Gables that inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel of the same name. They had also moved his home to the same site, so we were able to take a tour of that as well. It was completely delightful and made our trip to Salem worth it! I haven't read THOSG, but I bought a copy and I intend too. Fun Fact: Closets used to be taxed, and a family showed off their wealth by the amount of nails that they had in patterns in their front doors. Ooohhh, and it had a secret staircase!!!! Who in their lives hasn't wanted a house with a secret chamber? One day, I will have one!

We also stopped at Martha's Vineyard, we were literally there an hour and a half before we had to get back on the ferry to head back. We just wanted to say that we had been, and there was no one there and almost everything was closed. I would love to visit in the summer time, apparently it goes from a population of 15k in the winter and can get as high as 150k in the summertime!

And on our last day, we went to the Vanderbuilt summer home, The Breakers, which was incredible. The house is roughly 130k square feet!!! and even that is only half the size of what their home in New York city (its torn down now) was. It was really beautiful and well preserved (its only 100 years old), and it was so cool to visit the kitchens and see all of the novelty cake pans... I have a weird obsession with novelty cake pans and many a time, I have been thankful that I was born in a time with novelty cake pans because I was so sure they didn't exist in the days of yore. It just goes to show you the arrogance of every generation, we always think we're the first and the best. I would have liked to have seen more of the servants quarters, but those were mostly closed off.

Finally, if anyone wants to see pictures of the trip, you can find them in the link below. The pictures are really, really dull because my mom spent most of her time forcing us into awkward and uncomfortable positions instead of being on the altert for good candids. So basically the pictures are all Stori and Nick by the (insert place), and I promise we changed our clothes, it was just so cold we had to wear our jackets everywhere.

And that's pretty much it!
Love,
Stori

Pure and Undefiled Religion

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