October 31, 2008

Grand Tour, Pt. 2

Today I deemed this particular room of the house picture-worthy. So now you guys get to see. =) I give you The New & Improved Bedroom/Den:

Yep. Our T.V. now lives in the bedroom. =) See the rack of Cds and DVDs on the wall? We're even organized about it! And if you're wondering about the interesting dresser arrangement in the first picture, well . . . my dresser used to next to the bed just like Jason's . . . but a certain young man wouldn't stop spelunking on top of it and that had to stop. This mommy can only pick up chapstick, buttons, and alarm clocks off the floor so many times before enough's enough. =)

Happy Halloween everyone!

October 29, 2008

What Would Shakespeare Say About October 31st?

To dress up for Halloween or not to dress up? That is the question.

Normally, I wouldn't care, but since the holiday falls on a Friday, I will be teaching class that night and thought it might be kinda fun to go in costume.

What do ya'll think?

October 28, 2008


My husband is home. =) We are all very happy about that, dontcha know?

Sunday we splurged and bought passes to Sea World (from Costco, where they are significantly cheaper), then spent the day there just the three of us. We had such a good time! Caleb is old enough now to watch the animals and is even showing a curiosity and interest in them. So after the Shark Encounter, the Seasame Street Playground, and lunch, we decided to try a show. We don't generally take our son to shows because he generally doesn't sit still. But since it was way past nap time, we decided to try our luck and hope he'd be too tired to climb around much.

Thus, 2:30pm found us sitting in the bleachers at Shamu Stadium waiting for "Believe" to begin.

Now, I just want to say that I have a lot of respect for the trainers who work with the killer whales and other animals featured in amusement park shows. The time and effort that goes into these 30 minute productions is incredible and the results are awe-inspiring and amazing. We certainly Oooed and Ahhhed our fair share on Sunday.

That said, I was disappointed with "Believe." Why? Because of the not-so-subtle humanistic tones it incorporated. The theme of the show is about believing in your dreams, in yourself, and making your dreams come true. Not a bad theme at first glance, right? Well, I could write a whole 'nuther post about why those goals are misdirected, misinformed, and faulty. But what really smacked me upside the head Sunday was the secondary but powerful theme of being one with nature.

Sea World has taken evironmentalism to a whole new level. Now I'm all for renewable energy, recycling paper and plastics, and being a good steward of the earth's resources. But this show pushed the equality of animals (the killer whale specifically of course) and humans like nothing I've yet seen.

A number of things bothered me about the show, but mostly I didn't like the music. I may not be a professional DJ, but having Zoo passes for four years and Sea World passes for two has taught me a thing or two about animal shows: you always use catchy, loud, upbeat music. The crowds love it; they clap along and cheer. They sway and stomp. Kids jump up and down.

Not so with "Believe." The only catchy song happened when the crowd chanted "Shamu, Shamu" and then waited to be splashed. The rest of the music was slow, reflective, inspirational, and - dare I say? - worshipful. That was how Jason described it. And that was exactly the mood it created. "The earth is our mother" flashed across the big screen at one point. "Two species trying to connect as one" went the lyrics to one of the songs that played while the trainer, dressed like a killer whale, spun around in circles with his trainee. "One heart, one world . . . "

On and on it went. As Jason put it, the show was designed to feel uplifting and inspiring, but uplifting to what? To animals and humans? To our own power? To creation? That was the obvious purpose, but for the two of us who know better, the show felt just a wee bit empty.

So now "Believe" has got me thinking. What would it look like to have an animal show where, instead of worshiping creation, we worshiped the Creator? Think of it. The killer whales would still jump and spin and splash, but maybe to the tune of "Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin:

"From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea

Creation's revealing Your majesty

From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring

Every creature unique in the song that it sings

All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,

You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.

You are amazing God

All powerful, untameable,

Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim

You are amazing God"

Instead of the Circle of Life and We Are All One mantras, these words could flash across the big screen:

"Who defined the boundaries of the sea as it burst forth from the womb? . . . for I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores . . . Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you walked about and explored their depths?" (Job 38:8, 10, 16).

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Rom. 1:20).

"The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." (Rom. 8:19-21).

Then, for the finale, a rock version of "All Creatures of Our God and King." =)

Sound a bit campy? Cheesy? Well, friends, if Sea World can get away with Kumbaya and millions pay to watch it, why couldn't we create a show that would inspire us to look at God as the Creator and the Glory of the animal kingdom?

I wish such a thing were possible. Giving glory to God and viewing man as separate from the animal are rather unpopular ideas in our culture. If I had the money (and such an endeavor would require a lot of it) and the time, I would love to create my own Noah's Ark Theme Park/Zoo.

Hmmmmmm . . .

Maybe I will someday. And if not here on earth, maybe I'll get that chance in heaven.

October 21, 2008

Confessions of a Lonely Housewife

And now my friends, a list. A list of what I've done to pass the lonely hours without Jason. Ahem.

  • Let's start with housework. I know this will sound crazy, but hey! this post is titled confessions of a lonely housewife, right? So Confession #1: When I am stressed, worried, avoiding something or bored, I clean. Yep. Batty, I know. I clean for comfort. I find it very therapeutic. Except for bathrooms. I hate cleaning bathrooms. No matter how stressed I am, bathrooms get cleaned last. Dead last. If they get cleaned at all . . . but that's a confession for another post. Ahem. So yeah. . . the point of this entire paragraph is to say that my house is pretty clean at the moment. Even the bathrooms. Which is saying something (Not sure what it's saying exactly. Maybe something like "Jason had better come home soon because if I run out of things to clean, I'm going to go bonkers").

Next on the list is music, which is actually going to become a sublist all its own. I don't usually listen to a lot of music in the house. In the car, yes. In the house, not so much. Don't know why that is, but hey, we'll call that Confession #2. This week however, I have had music on constantly. I don't care for silence much and neither does Caleb. So here's what we've been enjoying:

  • Amy Grant's two Christmas albums "Home for Christmas" and "A Christmas Album." Classic music that I absolutely love, even if Halloween is still a week away.
  • A worship iTunes playlist I've been compiling for over a year now. Favorites include "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" arranged by Charlie Hall, "Strength Will Rise" by Brenton Brown, "The Blessing" by John Waller, and "You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman.
  • The soundtrack to Broadway's "Jekyll and Hyde." Yep, dusting off a dearly loved favorite. I blame this on my students, though. They are reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for class right now.
  • Music from the Apologetix band, the movie "Anastasia", Riverdance, Pirates of the Caribbean, swing music from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Newsboys, which is all in my iPod and what I listen to at the gym.

Ok . . . other things I've filled my time with this week:

  • WoW (big surprise there, huh?)
  • Finding, diagnosing, and fixing car problems
  • Catching up on emails
  • Snuggle and tickle time with Caleb
  • Running various family members to the airport (I've been to Point Loma and back three times this week already, and will go once more to pick up Jason on Friday).
  • Teaching

Confession #3? I haven't really been that lonely, because I haven't had much time to be. Part of that was planned. Part of it wasn't. And I think the Lord had something to do with the unplanned stuff, because He knows I need to keep busy. Which brings me to Confession #4: I've been spending extra time with Jesus this week.

The real confession here is that while I am a follower of Christ and love Him with everything I am (at least I try to), I find it very hard to write about Him here on my blog without sounding preachy or self-righteous. And since those are the last two things in the world I want to come off sounding like, I just don't mention Him much around here at all. Which, of course, is not the best course of action either.

This is something Jesus has been tapping me on the shoulder about lately: not being afraid to be a Christian and to share my faith with the people around me. Oh sure, it's easy to do in Bible Study. We all thump our chests and exclaim how mighty and wonderful He is in rich, dulcet tones. But it's another matter entirely when I'm in a room full of Korean junior highers. They don't thump their chests about Jesus. In fact, they don't thump their chests about anything, unless it's over the latest hip hop album or American Idol wanna-be. And since they don't, I don't either. I don't relish looking like a crazed gorilla in front of them.

As for this blog, sure I can be silly and funny and entertaining when I write about Caleb's latest boo-boo, my she-woman award of the year for curtain hanging and such. But when I try to share what God's been teaching me, my words POOF! right off the computer screen. I can't think of anything to say that doesn't sound just plain stupid.

So I struggle.

During those extra times with Jesus, though, He's been encouraging me to work on this area of my life. I used to be content with just loving people like Jesus did. But now I'm starting to realize that love without Jesus is like cake without sugar: bland and useless. Jesus is the Lord of Love. If I love people, but don't ever tell them where that love comes from, what have I accomplished? Basically, I've just been a nice person. The world is already full of "nice people." If I want to be a true follower, I will give that glory to God. Instead of allowing people to see me as a nice person, I want them to see me as someone who loves them because God loves them. Because they are made in His image.

Does this make any sense?


Now you know why I shy away from blogging on spiritual issues. My words poof. Bye-bye words.

Anyway, last confession of the night. I'm no longer lonely, because I'm no longer alone. =) Dearest Natalie and her darling daughter have come to my rescue this week and are staying with me until Friday. And now that this post has become much longer than I originally intended, I feel I have been neglecting my guests (translation: Natalie is getting bored with her Veggie Tales movie and keeps coming out to the livingroom to see if I'm done). =) So now I'll bid you all adieu. Later, friends!

October 19, 2008

And now I give you The Kitchen

Well friends, I've been promising pictures. Now here they are! I give you the New and Improved Kitchen/Dining Area:

Ok, so the kitchen wasn't rearranged, but I did get a new curtain for the window above the sink. And I'm very proud of that curtain. Hung it myself. =) 'Course I had to show ya!

So the grand tour's begun . . . although you'll have to wait for the rest. The kitchen and dining area are the only clean parts of the house right now. ;) The rest is *almost* there. Almost back to normal.
Well, as normal as can be with a husband 3,000 miles away. Which, come to think of it, is probably why I'm on blogger in the first place, putting up pictures of curtains and other such nonesense at 9:30 at night.

Sheesh... he's only been gone one day and I'm already going loopy. Or maybe I was already like that. Hmmmm. Well, I am listening to Christmas music and it's only October. That's probably proof enough that I'm loopy all on my own. Maybe another proof would be that I'm trying really hard to think of something interesting and witty to write, but nothing's coming to mind, so I'm just stalling now, not wanting to end this post and go back to my quiet, albeit Christmas music-filled house.
Yep, I'm loopy. I'll admit it. Whew, glad that's off my chest. Anyone know of a good 12 step program for people like me?
Ok, ok, ok. I'm going. See? This is me, going. Going going gone. Bye-Bye.

October 18, 2008

The Week of the Comedy of Errors

Laugh with me, friends. Laugh, because if you don't I might have to cry. It has been one of those weeks.

Have you seen the Veggie Tales "Jonah" movie? Remember the part where Bob the Tomato keeps getting hit in the head with the guitar because Junior's dad isn't paying attention? When Junior's dad (does this vegetable have a name? Cuz I can't recall . . . ) is confronted with his unconscious guitar bashing, he apologizes to Bob and says "Wow, I'm sorry. You know, I'm usually quite dexterous in the car."

Well, that's how I felt this week. Only not in the car. I'm usually quite dexterous in the kitchen . . .

I was late for work Monday night. First time. How was I supposed to know that when you make meatloaf (a recipe, by the way, that I've made countless times before WITH NO PROBLEMS), that you aren't supposed to completely fill the loaf pan? How was I supposed to know that the bubbling meat would drip and ooze and leak onto the bottom of the oven and start a fire?

Well, between the smoke and the smell, I learned. Don't ever underestimate meatloaf. It is a force to be reckoned with. Or as was the case Monday night, a force to be dealt with, cried over, cleaned up, thrown away, and replaced with KFC.

(as if allergies haven't been bad enough around here, I had to go and smoke up the house. My eyes watered for two days. I had to burn candles all day Tuesday to finally get the nasty smell out).

So yeah. That was Monday. Obviously, I needed to clean out the oven before I could use it again, because the drippings were wrecking havoc on the oven's delicate state of mind. But since I was already running late for work Monday night, I simply threw dinner out, ate my KFC and promised myself I would clean it "tomorrow."

Only I didn't. Because as I posted earlier, I have been busy cleaning the house all week, trying to get it put back together before Jason leaves for MA and Natalie comes to stay. Pictures need to be rearranged, books and CDs need a new home, etc. etc. The life of a busy housewife, right?

So I, erm, forgot about the oven.

Until last night. When I tried to make dinner yet again. Before work.

Laugh with me, friends.

Yep. The un-clean oven smoked up the house again. I was late for work again. Dinner was saved, but that's because dinner never made it into the oven in the first place.

But here's the hilarious part: after I'd loaded Caleb into the car to go out for Taco Bell, my car starting making funny noises. Not funny ha-ha. Funny uh-oh. Like someone had been stuffed into the glove box and was knocking to be let out. I'm dead serious. That's what it sounded like.

So I frantically call Jason, who is himself running late having worked overtime at his job, and implore him to hurry please, because not only can I not make dinner in my kitchen, I can't even go out for food. We are going to die of starvation. I have six Korean kids waiting for me to teach them English idioms and hopefully (they pray) take them to Starbucks afterward. In my car with the person hiding in the glove box.

Laugh with me, friends.

Now it's today. We put Caleb's carseat in Jason's car for the time being, since I can't take my car to the shop until Monday. And we drove out to Point Loma for a family day at the cliffs with Santana's for lunch.

Ahhhhhh. The birds sang, the salty breeze blew, and kid behaved, and . . .

I broke Jason's car window.

In WoW, a /facepalm would be appropriate here. Which is what I did. In real life.

How was I supposed to know the window would go *crunch* when I rolled it down??? A sickening, glass-shattering-sounding *crunch*. See, Caleb was fussy and I wanted him to enjoy that nice salty breeze. Well, he did alright. Because then the window wouldn't roll back up. Lots and lots of breeze. Now he's fussy because of the wind in his face.

Make up your mind, kid! Mommy's gotta stop breaking stuff!

Actually, the damage isn't as bad as we initially thought. The window is ok, intact and all. Not really sure where all that spine-tingling noise came from, but whatever mechanism keeps it up has broken and now as we drive, the window slowly rolls itself down. Yep. Fun times, friends. Fun times.

What with Jason leaving tomorrow, and my newly acquired ex-Midas touch, I'm a little worried what my husband will find when he comes home.

I have hope, though. Tomorrow is Sunday. First day of the week. And my prayer is that this week of comedy of errors will be at an end. That everything will go smoothly and perfectly while Jason is away. The birds will sing, the breeze will blow, windows won't go crunch, children will not get dirty, food will not set fires in the oven, that perfection itself will settle on my household and I will sprout angel wings.

Until then, however, feel free to keep laughing. I know I am.

October 13, 2008

Nope. That Ain't Makeup!

So I think Caleb will be dressing up as Harry Potter this Halloween. See?

He already has the famous lightning scar! No, that's not makeup.

Unfortunately, those marks are the real deal. Caleb got a little too friendly with our bed frame this morning while watching Cars. Metal frames and small boys do not go well together. Just in case you thought otherwise . . .

We love our "new look" here at home. The new arrangements are, however, making a clumsy boy out of our son. He's not used to all the new furniture positions, as proven this morning when he ran/hit/smacked into the bed frame. It'll take some adjustment on his part to re-learn where everything is. Hopefully we can keep those bruises to a minimum, though. I wouldn't want ya'll thinking I'm a bad parent or anything. ;)

In other news, I'm working hard to get our house back to normal this week. I'm not only doing this because I'm an organizer-bug and can't stand clutter, but because Jason is leaving this weekend for his first ever business trip. =)

*fanfare plays in the background*

(and just so's ya know, that fanfare was because I'm proud of him, not because I'm excited to get rid of him).

Yep! His work is sending him to Cambridge, MA for six days. And I am really proud of him. He works so hard! This trip is quite an event for him, even if he's going strictly on business.

So it'll just be me and Caleb next week. Oh, and Natalie and Elizabeth. Ha! I bet you thought I was gonna wing it alone for a week, right? Yeah, I'm not that adventurous (no laughing, Ashleigh, please). So dearest Natalie and lovliest Elizabeth are coming to keep us company while Hubby's away.

Anyway, time to start dinner and put away a few more pieces of "junk" before teaching tonight. The house is really looking super and we're all thrilled with the changes so far. I'll try to post pictures later this week. Happy Monday!

October 11, 2008

Busy Neuhausers

Evening, folks. Guess what we did today? We moved!

. . . furniture, that is. =) Ha, I had you going there for a minute, didn't I? Nah, our address is still 5821 Loopyville Rd., Crazytown, USA. But the configuration of our house is completely different from what it 12 hours ago. For example, I am typing this here posty from our livingroom.

Jason and I have been talking about "rearranging" for over a month now and until last Tuesday, we couldn't come up with a plan that we both liked. But then Jason, my utterly brilliant husband (yeah, I just married him for his brains ;), hit upon this great idea, and after an all-day moving adventure,

Caleb has his own room!!! For the first time in his little life, he has a bedroom. All to himself. =) And I am very, very excited about that. Can you tell?

We made other changes today, but I'll save those for a picture post. I wanted to get pictures up here tonight, but, well, our house looks like we just moved in. Go figure. Junk everywhere.

Not very camera-worthy. So. Ya'll will have to wait until we can put our home back together and find a place for erm, all our junk. =) Then I'll give ya'll the grand tour of our very much improved apartment.

And Natalie, I am very glad you are coming next week. There's no way I'll have this mess cleaned up in two days. =)

October 8, 2008

The Chocolates are on Me Tonight, Guys

Apparently, I look like Johnny Depp.

As in, Johnny Depp from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Annie informed me of this fact tonight during class while we studied homonyms. I suppose I don't mind toooooo bad. After all, I am the world's biggest choco-holic. 'Course, I am the world's biggest choco-holic girl.

*shakes head in silent amusement*

She comes up with the craziest stuff sometimes. Like saying "trouble-makers" was a Biblical name when we played Scattegories last Friday. Or that Justin Timberlake was a famous female. I'm still laughing over that one.

Annie just cracks me up. I can always count on her to make me smile. Even if she thinks I look like a famous male celebrity. And I figured I'd share this all with you tonight because it's more fun to laugh with friends than to laugh alone, right? So the chocolates are on me, guys. Eat your hearts out. Just don't fall into the chocolate river, ok? And when you sing the song, make sure you say "Charlize and the Chocolate Factory."

October 7, 2008

Whaddaya know? I have triceps!

Well. Well.


Remember when I posted my overwhelming joy at going to the gym back in June? Oh yes, I was so excited. Visions of toned muscles and old clothes that fit again danced in my head. I was on a roll, going two nights a week and once on the weekend.

(Moment of honesty here: I planned to go once during the weekend, but I think I only did that once. Total.)

Well that was, oh let's see, four months ago?

*Insert nervous giggle here*

Yeah, my big visions never happened. I got sick one week. We went on vacation another week. Caleb refused to stay in the Kid's Klub, no matter what I tried. Then came my part-time job. No more nightly trips to LA Fitness for me. Not unless I wanted to teach English to six hyper-active junior highers while running a treadmill. Ha.

Cancelling my membership started to look like my only option. Then I talked to Jason and we decided I should give it one more try. Or rather, we should let Caleb give it one more try.

So I did. Yesterday. And . . .

. . . my kid actually stayed in the kids area THE WHOLE TIME!!! I got through my entire routine without one call over the loudspeaker. This was a huge answer to prayer, friends. Huge. My son, for whatever reason, had decided that LA Fitness was Hades itself. You'd think with all the toys and blocks and cars there that he'd find something to do for an hour. But no. I usually didn't get through ten minutes before:

"Attention all LA Fitness members. Would Miz Neuhauser please come to the kids klub and pick up her emotionally-shattered son?"

So. When he stayed the whole hour yesterday, I practically jumped up and down singing my Hallalujas to Jesus for keeping my son busy, and more importantly, happy. As I said, huge answer to prayer. =)

But then I woke up this morning . . .

I guess I really do have triceps. They're screaming their existence loud and clear today, along with my deltoids, rhomboids, and other 'oids I don't even know the names of.

Major owwie time.

'Course, that didn't stop me from going back today to work my legs and thighs. =) Tomorrow they can commiserate together with my arms and shoulders about how badly I abuse them.

And Caleb? Today was a little rougher, but we got through it. Hopefully, hopefully he'll acclimate. Because, ya know, I like knowing my muscles are really there.

October 5, 2008

A New Season, A New Look

Hey friends! Using some of my new digital scrapbook supplies to create a new look for fall around here! I'd like to thank Ashleigh for the tips on templates and signatures (still haven't learned how to make your name a link to your blog . . . but I'll get there!). It was great fun chatting with you on various bloggie topics the other day. =)

Anyway, this new blog look isn't finished yet, but just wanted to give ya'll a heads up!

October 2, 2008

O Autumn, Wherefore Art Thou?

Cool weather descended upon East County last week, riding air currents down from the north like a sort of invisible weather highway . The air turned crisp, the nights felt chilly. Autumn had arrived. Last week.

In the spirit of the season, I pulled out my fall decorations from the closet. Out came the leaves, nuts, squirrels, red-and-gold dish cloths, pumpkins and gords. Oh yes, fall was here and I was ready to celebrate. Last week.

But this week . . . the weather's played a trick on me. Summer came back to chase Fall away in a seasonal game of tug-o-war. It's hard to feel all autumn-y when it's 90 degrees outside every. single. day. =( Last Friday, I stocked up on frozen cookie dough, pie crusts, and other ingredients in anticipation of the happy baking days ahead.

Sadly, I haven't baked one thing yet. I just can't justify adding 400 degrees of heat to our house when our little A/C unit is already working so hard to keep our apartment liveable. Dinners have been relegated to the crockpot and stovetop until further notice, and my frozen goodies are waiting quietly, patiently in the freezer for Summer to give up the game and go away.

A lady at bible study yesterday said that Summer did this every year, and that until the Santa Anas have blown through, we won't see real autumn weather. Well, the winds have been blowing a lot these last two days, so I am hopeful my favorite season is not far off.

O Autumn, Autumn, wherefore art thou, Autumn?