It's time for an update on the Frames. :)
I am pleased to announce that the slogan of Kay Jewelers no long mystifies me. Every time they sang that every kiss begins with Kay, I argued with them in my head. "No, it doesn't. Couples kiss all the time without having to buy something from Kay Jewelers first." Then this week, James said to the TV, "Yeah, yeah, we get it. Kiss starts with K. Duh." OH MY GOSH!!! It was a total epiphany!!!! Every kiss DOES begin with K! Because the word KISS starts with K!!! What a clever slogan.
(Jeff was highly amused.)
This week, like Hillary from Beaches, I spent three hours dying my hair what C.C. would call "exactly the same color." But not really. I usually use brown black to eradicate my gray (because Miss Mary says friends don't let friends go gray), but *this* time, I used dark brown. One shade lighter! It was very bold of me. On top of that (literally), I added highlights to my own hair for the first time ever. I did a crappy job. Next time I will get help with highlighting. But it's not so crappy that I can't go out in public. It just doesn't really look like highlights. It looks more like I dyed the top of my hair reddish brown. It's kinda cool-lookin'.
Last week, I learned a great lesson about fire safety via fire unsafety. I wanted to burn some papers in the wood stove, which I have since discovered is actually illegal in Washington (which is quite ridiculous, yo), and I shoved too many papers into a stove already full of wood burning brightly. The paper caught fire immediately and then slid right out of the front of the stove onto the hearth, and then onto the tile floor beneath that, and then onto the laminate floor in front of that. In the process, it ignited all my newspaper that I keep for starting fires. The flames got pretty tall there for a minute, but only a few things suffered permanent damage. The soles of Jeff's shoes, a couple of towels, the wooden border around the tile floor beneath the hearth, and the telephone cord. When Jeff got home, he gave his whole family a lesson in fire preparedness. Wet towels are the way to go. He also said some other useful stuff, but I can't remember what.
Jonathan scored the lead in his class play. He will be performing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. He's giddy excited, and we are duly impressed. At least we were until we discovered how he got the role. His teacher said to the class, "Raise your hand if you want to play Scrooge." No one raised their hand. The teacher said, "Well, if no one is willing to play Scrooge, then I guess we'll have to cancel the play, because we can't have the play without Scrooge." At which point Jonathan's hand shot high into the air exuberantly. His teacher thanked him for his willingness.
He later explained that he had originally wanted to be the Ghost of Christmas Present, but the main reason he'd set his sights on that role was because he didn't think he had a chance at playing Scrooge. I've been running lines with him all weekend, and I am back to being duly impressed, this time with his memorization skills. He's good. And he's a total thespian. He keeps hollering Scrooge lines grandiosely as he walks through the house. "Carolers! Carolers! Will they never leave a man in PEACE?!"
Jonathan also began taking piano lessons last month. I've taught him in the past, but that didn't really work for either of us. He is advancing by leaps and bounds under the direction of his new instructor. The key ingredients for success are 1) The teacher doesn't mind if Jonathan plays while the teacher is talking, something which always annoyed the snot out of me, 2) Jonathan is FAR less argumentative with his instructor than he is when I'm giving him piano instruction, and 3) Piano pedagogy. It matters. Jonathan's teacher is a pedagogical genius. I'm thinking of taking lessons from him myself. Piano lessons, that is. Not pedagogy lessons. I hate teaching piano. (Which should probably be number 4.)
Jeff works ridiculously long hours. I miss him a lot. And he misses me a lot. And that's all I have to say about that.
James is taking private art lessons from his amazing Auntie Celia. I have never had any luck getting him to draw anything. Ever. When he was three, he drew about ten rainbows. Then he threw them aside because they didn't look like the rainbows in his head. They were imperfect, childish rainbows. They looked like they'd been drawn by a three year old. Of all things. Ever since then, any drawing he has done has been completely independent of me or my suggestion or my attempts to convince, etc.
Then last November, we painted pumpkins with Auntie Celia during our Long Dark Winter of the Soul transition to Washington, and James didn't want to participate. I was used to that, and like the parents of Helen Keller, I didn't push him. I just let him eat food off everyone's plates. (Not really.) But as I explained to his Auntie Celia the way things were, I saw her wheels begin to turn, and pretty soon, she and James were huddled over the table in her art studio, and a whole new world opened up to him. He is in the process of drawing a wolf, and for the first time EVER, he feels proud of his drawing. And his mama feels proud of him.
As a family, this fall we are watching Once Upon a Time, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The X-Factor. And after years of trying, I have finally molded my children into Jeopardy watchers. They are old enough to know some of the answers, and they are regular couch contestants now. Jeff not so much. He gets really fidgety when Jeopardy comes on, and then he buries his nose in a sci-fi novel.
I joined the worship team at church. It's a great group of people. I'm really thankful to be there. They're like a family. And the best part is that we have an elder who shepherds us. I'm super duper thankful for that.
We also joined a community group. At this church, they are called community groups. At our last church, they were called connect groups. At the church before that, they were called care groups. At the church before that, they were called family groups. In college, they were called small groups. During my childhood, they were called Bible studies. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, CHURCH!!!! I can't tell you how many times I've stumbled and bumbled my words in an effort to call our cell, I mean life, I mean accountability, I mean prayer, I mean COMMUNITY group by its dang proper designation. SHEESH.
Anyway, we joined a community group, and we really love it, even though we've only been twice. It's authentic and deep and a total family and accepting and loving and, like, you know, probably perfect in every way. Just kidding. It's just an honest, humble group of people who love Jesus. We fit right in. Cuz we're humble. Just kidding. But we're honest. And we do love Jesus. Or rather, Jesus loves us.
James goes to youth group now, and he loves it. He says he feels like he fits in. This is a big first for him. He has never felt like he fit in anywhere. I'm still wrapping my brain around the idea of him being old enough for youth group. But it's getting easier to accept as he voice deepens and he gets taller than me.
I'm writing the second draft of my first novel this month for NaNoWriMo. It's an Old West retelling of the Battle of Jericho through the eyes of Rahab the Harlot in which a conscripted prostitute conspires against her tyrannical uncle to return his stolen mining claim to its rightful owners. My current plan is for this to be the first of a trilogy about Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba, all set in the Old West. Then after that I want to write a prequel trilogy about Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel, set in the time of the Puritans. Then after that I want to write another trilogy about my grandma, my mom, and me. We have all had fascinating lives. Mostly, though, I want to write re-set accounts of women of the Bible. Except I also think it would be completely fascinating to write the life story of a Roman soldier that starts with the ministry of Jesus and ends with the execution of Paul. He'd have to REALLY be in the right place at the right time A LOT.
I told James my idea about the Roman soldier, and he ran with it and decided he'd like to retell a lot of Bible stories set in a parallel sci-fi universe. He calls it his Sci-Fi Bible, and a lot of the stories are half-written in his head. Speaking of James and writing, he has found his passion. He luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuvs to write. He writes every day. Way more than I do. He's working on probably half a dozen novels simultaneously. He started out with fan fiction, but he has three novel series that are his own, including the sci-fi Bible. The second is about a fallen angel (a freelancer still on God's side) posing as a mystery boy who wears a hoodie all the time. The other is about a hero named Jack Tornado who travels through time and interacts with lots of historical figures at important moments. James rocks my world.
I finished my trunk makeover project.
And started my braided rug project.
I want to make a round rug 7' in diameter. If my calculations are correct, I need to braid 364 feet of rope. So far, I have braided 100 feet. A good project for cozy winter evenings.