Jesus Loves Me - According to Cora

This video is from Magnolia's first birthday. Cora was singing songs at the piano and she started singing "No, Jesus don't love me." She'd been singing this version for about a week. She went to camp over the summer, and one of the songs that the music guy taught the little kids really messed up her image of Jesus for a while. It's a weird song, most people agreed on that point. Anyway, I'm pretty sure she's back to loving Jesus, but this video caught her on the fence ideas about when/if she really wanted Jesus to love her.

Here's what I got of her saying:

It’s just a little song. No I just play a whole bunch of songs

They are weak but he is strong.


Jesus loves me when I am nice to my grandma.

Yes Jesus loves me. Yes Jesus loves me. Yes Jesus loves me. The bible tells him so.

Yes Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me He is strong.

Sometimes Jesus don’t love me.

But there’s no way…

How to die…

That’s a great song.

PS: The song to avoid if you want to avoid mass confusion about Jesus in a three-year-old is this:

"If I had a little white box to put my Jesus in,

I'd take him out and "kiss kiss kiss"

And share him with my friends.

If I had a little black box to put the devil in,

I'm take him out and SMASH HIM IN THE FACE (yes, this part was yelled)

And put him right back in."

I think she got the whole smash him in the face and Jesus part mixed up. I can't blame her, I was disturbed by the song too, and I know the difference.

PSS: This video was shot over a month and a half ago, but I just got it from the friend who shot it. She's back to singing the normal version now. This was just the last half of her singing that we caught on video. It was just so funny to listen to her pounding out this tune. She LOVED camp. (LOVED is an understatement, she talks about going all the time - it's been fun trying to teach her what once a year means) This was just one of those quirky little things that only a three-year-old could glean from that song. I'm sure she'll be at camp every year for as long as she can go, and I will be glad for her because I think it's a wonderful place.

Lost and Found

Jake: [wandering around with his dress shirt] Where's the ironing board?

[Both of us look around puzzled]

[still more time goes by]


BrieAnn: OH!!! It's on the back of the door!

[hysterical laughter]

Now you know how much ironing happens in our home.

To our credit, when we moved here, we got rid of our freestanding ironing board for one that hangs out on the back of the hallway closet door. It has now been used once.

Kitchen Progress

After looking at The Lettered Cottage, and having lived with mauve floral wallpaper border for as long as I could stand it, I decided I would give our kitchen a temporary makeover until we could take care of the real thing. It was going to be easy: Wallpaper removal and new paint.

And then Jake came home from work early.

You see, our future plans didn't have the furdown/soffit. And it included open shelving, and more of the chimney being exposed. Jake said he could take the cabinets down pretty easily. Well, the soffit was in the way. Curiosity got the best of us, and I gave Jake permission to knock a hole in the furdown/soffit to see what was behind it. It could only be big enough that we could easily patch over it. hole wasn't big enough. So he made two...and then it all came down.

And it was so spontaneous, we hadn't covered anything. Demo of any size is messy.

The thing is, drywall was only below the cabinets. The rest was really, really old plaster board. So after a lot of youtube videos, we took on the drywall. We ended up doing a pretty good job for first timers. We have one bubble on a piece of tape, but something covers it anyway.

It was finally time to pull out the paint. Everything I'd seen of the color was great...until I put it on the cabinets. Country blue, anyone? I mean, I should have left the mauve wallpaper and the complete set of mid-80's cabinets. I decided to give it a while to see if it grew on me. It didn't. I ended up going with Flagstone, rather than Marina Gray - both by Benjamin Moore.

I love the white, though. It's White Dove by BM. It's the perfect creamy white, not too pink or yellow.
This is what the rest of our house looked like. Are you wondering about the light fixture in the dining room? Yes, it is an old turbine. Jake and I went to a newer furniture store when they were having a super sweet sale. We had no idea how expensive everything was going to be (the pieces are amazing, completely worth it), after being in decorating heaven and talking to one of the coolest collective staffs ever, we were on our way out, and I saw this. And then I looked at the tag and saw the red spot that meant 75% off. It was our first official purchase for Dot. The lighting is so soft and warm, it's like candle light, and the pattern on the wall coming through the turbine...perfect.

We have the walls painted as well as the cabinets, but we were awaiting the arrival of our shelves that Vaughn took to his shop and had finished for us.

New shelves. They are perfect.

And here, in all of the bad lighting is pretty much where we're at today, technically the day before yesterday.

We still need trim around the top of the cabinets as well as new paint on the ceiling (which will eventually be covered in bead board - you know, when we really re-do the kitchen). Please ignore the floor. I want to find some super cheap vinyl faux wood flooring to get us by, even though not totally necessary, it would just bring in some warmth. Every room needs some "natural" element. Oh, and we couldn't get our stove to go back all the way, so it's sticking out too far. It's not abnormally large or anything. And I've been thinking about painting the uppers gray, too. But I probably won't. But I like the new gray, a lot...I think the flooring just keeps throwing me for a loop.

PS: Isn't this a friendly pair?

Edwin and Regina.

I'd posted a picture of Regina, and our friend Tammy saw it and told Tracey that her mom had one just like it. And then she said we could have it. While they're not identical, I really like them for their differences. I think one of the great tragedies of good design came about in the form of matching furniture sets. Sure, they're easy (dot. dot. dot.), but they end up being much less interesting.

(I love their low profile and transparent nature.)
Thanks Dorothy and Tammy!

Jesus, Doubt, and Peach Pie

If e'er I had to pick a pie to make for Jesus, it would be the one I made tonight.

The crust is legendary. It comes out amazing every time. The filling was perfect for this summer evening. My mother-in-law, Tracey, and I had a pie making lesson from one of the sweetest women I know. I didn't really like crust until I had a Sue Anderson pie (cherry to be exact). Now I'm smitten with it, but only hers, even if someone else makes her recipe, it's still her crust. It's so flaky, but it's chewy too. Perfect, I tell you. Absolutely perfect.

Jesus would love that crust.

And I was needing some peaches in my life, so I looked up a vegan peach pie recipe, adapted it to what I had, and it happened to be a good one.

1 bag of frozen peaches, thawed (or mostly thawed. I was impatient)
1 t. lemon juice
1/3 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar (I LOVED how rich this pie was, but you could decrease the sugar and be just fine)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Place peaches in large bowl and toss with lemon juice.
Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl, then combine with peaches.
Add peach mixture to 9-inch pie plate with bottom crust prepared.
Place top crust over pie.
Crimp edges.
Vent the top crust (I chose a petal pattern).
Lightly brush top with soy milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 1 hour.
Let cool (or not).
Enjoy it with all your heart.

I'm sure Jesus would have preferred fresh peaches from a tree I grew and nurtured on my own. Hopefully in a few seasons, as Peepaw has offered us a little baby peach tree, I will be able to accommodate this.

And I really wish I could have some face time with the afore mentioned Savior. I don't want to go back in time, I want him here. I want to spend a late afternoon discussing everything that has been heavy (and light) on my heart. Back in his day, I wouldn't have had the foresight to see the influence of Christianity now. What would he think of it? This man who hung with sinners. (You can read that all kinds of ways.) This man who challenged all to be the best they could be through thoughts and acts of kindness, compassion, and love. This man who rebuked pride. Who mended broken hearts, healed physical wounds, was present at miracles that give so many hope. I want to know how he so perfectly stood up for everyone, for people holy men condemned. This man who was more than a man.

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, AR

We'd sit on the edge of Lake Michigan at Promontory Point because I love it there. He would wonder what that "thing" was not so far off shore with me, even though I'm sure he knows the answer. We'd have an intellectual conversation about the world and about hope, with all of the things we need to have hope because of in-between. (Intellect, to me, is a balance of mind and heart.)

For as much as I wonder about heaven sometimes, I'm far more interested in earth at this point in my life. How can we become united while maintaining our differences? How can we love each other unconditionally despite our religious sect, our sexuality, our gender, the language we speak, the color of our skin? I want to see how sad we make him, and I also want to see the joy he feels because of us.

I just want to sit next to him and listen to what he thinks about what I believe, and the doubts I have. Hours and hours would go by. He'd listen while I cry, and I'd do the same. Just me and Jesus and a peach pie. No plates, just two forks. I'd offer him the last bite, but I know he wouldn't take it.

Outside of Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs, AR

I've been obsessing

Our car, Staci, is acting up. Our one car. The only car we have. This is the second time this year.

We bought this car a few weeks before we moved to Chicago (about 2 years ago). We bought her because the transmission went out on our old car, you know, the one that was paid for. We bought her because she was cheap and didn't have very many miles, and we were going to be in Chicago, we were hardly going to drive anyway (and we didn' much).

And then we moved back to Oklahoma. And we drive a lot. Not a lot like some people drive a lot. I mean, I'm a stay at home mom, and Jake rides his bike less than a mile to work, but a lot more than we did.

Rather than being in the market for longevity, we were in the market for lowest miles/lowest payment. We were very successful. I really like our car. I do. We also bought her about 2 months before Magnolia was conceived. :) If I could have had eyes for the near future, we would have looked for something a little bigger.

So back to the point - and the title. We haven't been able to get her into the dealership yet, but I have been obsessively looking for a different car. I know exactly what I want. It's just a matter of finding "the one" that works with our budget. We went to a dealership last night and test drove a few options.

Cora was beside herself at the thought of not having "Staci Car." She loves our car. Loves is an understatement. I am also quite fond. She's not my dream car, but I really appreciate her for all that she is.

I'm going to just keep going.....

I have this thing for cars. I've been able to name every make and model since I can remember. When I was 3, I would say "ohh, a beemer" every time I saw a BMW. No joke. And I said it in my head until well into my teens. I also know completely random facts about different models, and I don't know how I know them, I just do. I like driving. I like cars. I like knowing how they work. I used to like racing people off the line. My first car, Lou, an 88 Buick LeSabre never lost.

Anyway, I guess Staci acting up, and me not wanting to put a bunch of money into her has pushed me over the edge. I'm me. Of course I jump at any little opportunity to go drive different cars. And because Staci isn't the most powerful under the hood, one of the seriously least powerful engines ever.... You get my point. I have scoured local dealerships. There's a car I love in Dallas (of course...everything is in Dallas - like IKEA), but ugh. (Dallas isn't even a local dealership! Why was I looking there?!? I have completely lost it.)

I just don't know if continuing to fix Staci will be worth it in the end, or if it would be super silly to dive into different car-dom if Staci is an easy fix.

Here and There

Cora is three. That's not new. She is three and she will be starting school in less than one month. We were so late to the game in contacting the school that we hope she'll go to. We're waiting to see if we get financial aid. I'm hopeful, but it's so late in the year, I'm also a little anxious.

SHE'S THREE! This is not college. This is not like trying to get her into the school she has her heart set on, even though she does have her heart set on school. She's three, and this process is making me scatter-brained - not because the school is making it complicated, but because this is the first time I've had to do this, and it seems crazy that I am doing it. I mean, she was born yesterday, right?

Jake and I are huge on learning. We want to give our girls wonderful educational opportunities. I want them to have a chance to be in stimulating intellectual circles. I want them to find their passions and have everything they need to nurture and follow them. Ideas are so powerful. I want them to be able to work through their own ideas and the ideas of others.

Anyway, I will be on pins and needles until we receive our official financial aid package. I want this to be possible for us.

"Throw your soul through every open door."

All[s] I know is...

A new roof is going on part of the elementary school across the street.

It's hotter than blazes here.

The roofers work at night.

There is heavy machinery.

They've been working on it for over a week.

Tonight they started scraping gravel across the parking lot while loading it in their front loader.

Did I mention they work all night? Until about 6 in the morning.

Dot is across the street from a construction site that only works at night, and all of our bedrooms are on that side. I mean, I don't know how long it takes to put a roof on, but I do know that when it's done, it should be quite some time before all of this happens again. I guess waking up with puffy eyes with an occasional dose of bloodshot will be in my future for the next few days...and hopefully no more than that.

(This is a poor example of what is going can't even see the guys on the roof...magnify it by the brightness of the sun and the sound of a big tractor...complete with reverse beeps...and men yelling to one another. All.night.long.)

Spontaneous Demolition

It started out with me starting to remove the lovely late 80's, early 90's wallpaper border from around our kitchen.

I wanted something more tolerable than peachy-pinkish white paint and mauve floral wallpaper. I mean, a temporary fix that would get us by until we got our new kitchen.

Jake came home from work early...

He reminded me of my desire for open shelving, and said he could try taking one of the cabinets down. I reminded him that this was supposed to be easy. He said it would be. Just taking down a few screws and pulling the cabinet out.

After a while, I consented. He took the screws out, the cabinet was jammed in the fur down/soffit. We eventually wanted to take that down anyway. I told him he could make a hole in it no bigger than what we could easily patch. He did. And he couldn't see what he needed to. The hole got bigger and then became two holes, and you already know where this is going...

In the process, we exposed a lot more of that old chimney. My heart is so happy about that.

We're picking up drywall and stuff for open shelving tomorrow. Don't worry, I already picked up the know, back when this was going to be easy. The uppers/shelves will be White Dove by Benjamin Moore. The lowers will be Marina Gray by BM. The walls will be the same as the rest of the house: Halo.

Wish us luck.


Today was full in the lives of women I know. My best friend from high school's sister got married, a wonderful mother brought a new baby into her family, and a sweet friend's mother passed away.

Today, we bought trees. Our neighborhood is full of beautiful, big trees. Most of the streets are lined with them. Our block seems to have missed the memo. We feel an obligation to do what we can to carry on the tree-lined theme, and being that we are on a corner not, we have lots of space calling for a trees to make their home there. After a lot of research and looking at pictures, we decided that the trees that will line our little portion of the hood will be Chinese Pistaches. They will be here on Tuesday. We will plant them in the fall.

A row of Chinese Pistache trees.

There is a large tree in our backyard. I had no idea what it was until two hours ago. I matched it's leaf pattern to one on-line and found that it is an American Elm. It has thus far survived the ravages of Dutch Elm Disease, and it is the same kind of tree as the Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City National Memorial. I like that. We're still looking for the perfect tree for our front yard. I thought I really wanted a Weeping Willow. It's not totally out, but I've lately been looking at and leaning towards a Washington Hawthorn. (And I still haven't ruled out a Redbud either, Oklahoma's state tree.)

Survivor Tree

All of this tree talk has made me think of Hootie and the Blowfish and their song "Not Even the Trees," which can be summarized as a mother's passing at the birth of her son and the father's trying to cope. While I've been thinking those words [not even the trees], I've been feeling them to "Let Her Cry" by the same group and on the same album [Cracked Rear View]. (Seriously awesome album name.)

Sometimes I wish certain things could last forever - like the sweet melancholy of my favorite music from the 90's. Or that every day, all the time, head over heels, swoony, just married feeling. Or newborn babies. Or in-person mother-daughter relationships. Or the night I sat freezing in the back of the afore mentioned little sister's truck with the afore mentioned best friend star gazing. This is some of the best stuff in life. But there are always other things, things that are just as good - and better.

For now, I'll just keep thinking about trees. I'd like to spend an evening with everyone I love, separately, lying on quilts underneath softly rustling leaves talking about the simple things that make our world go round.

A random picture from Ravina - the place where I shared one of the best evenings I've ever had under trees with friends.
It's hotter 'n fire today, and Jake decided to remove a stump from our front yard. He succeeded.

We've been looking for a great three-year-old program for Cora. We've been strIIIIIIking out. Hopefully soon. Both the schools we've visited so far have specifically mentioned cutting and gluing as activities. Those are fine and good, but they are free at home. And she's already pretty rockin' at them. She's also pretty close to mastering the task of writing her name.

We're going to LIVE! on the Plaza tonight. Hounds of the Heartland will be there. It's a greyhound rescue, and they will have Delta, a dog we've been in the talks of adopting. It will be our first meeting. I feel excited. And a little nervous about extra responsibility.

I've been hot for the last week. It's the pits. This heat wave is the pits.

I'm going to Hawaii tomorrow. That's not true. But it would be awesome if it was.

I had something else to say. I can't remember.

Jake and I are going to plant like 7 trees around our house. Shade. And we've been anxiously awaiting the results of the soil sample we sent off, so we know what we need to grow some grass. Because we have a lot of weeds and clover right now. It's not that great. It will be.

I had a super awesome time in Bentonville, AR for the Fourth. You see, I have a cousin, Alissa, who has been there for quite a while, and we haven't seen one another since her dad's funeral in Nov. 2003. Sad. But we remedied that. She has four girls. They are all so sweet. Cora cried when we left. I don't blame her. If it wasn't so hot, I'd post pictures. But that extra expenditure of energy would put me over the edge.

Gets me every time

Beethoven Sonata No. 31 A flat major, Opus 110
Movement 2

I love surprises.

I've been singing my version of this to Jake so he could play it and tell me what it was. He finally understood my singing and my soul can be at rest because I can name that tune.

And, from what I can tell, there are Mozart camps and Beethoven camps (and everything in between). If I had to pick a flag to fly. It would definitely be Beethoven. Mozart is so clean (and perfect feeling). I like things a little muddy. Beethoven gets that.

Black Bean Salad

I love this stuff. I could eat it every day of my life and never get tired of it. Really. Like fo' shiz' really. We had it for lunch today, and I couldn't believe I didn't think of it yesterday in my first round of "staples."

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 - 1 c frozen corn, thawed
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
1 TBL lime juice
a few cilantro leaves
dash of garlic powder
salt/pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and toss together.

Enjoy it with a fork, tortilla chips, in a tortilla, or over some lettuce. You will be in-love, too.

Note: You can pretty much use whatever kind of beans you have on hand. Today we used pinto and Great Northern. And because you either love or hate cilantro, use it or don't.


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