Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why I Love Preschoolers

Last Sunday night I had the opportunity to work with the 3s and 4s in our preschool ministry during our evening service with my friend, Amy. Since I'm not a Mommy, hanging out with these little ones can be a joy because, well, after an hour or so, my responsibility is over. I get to enjoy the fun stuff. Sunday night was an exceptionally fun night and caused me to reflect on a few reasons why I love preschoolers...or at least 3s and 4s....

1. They can "go potty" all by themselves...or pretty much fly solo. Although I'm not a Mommy, I've changed a few diapers in my day and being able to let a little one visit the bathroom without much assistance is glorious.

2. They think I'm hilarious. I love a captive audience. Sunday night, Amy read the story of David and Goliath. As she read certain words, I'd make hand motions or sound effects to go along with the drama of the story. Every time I'd act out "army" the girls would roll in the floor giggling. No, it isn't that funny, but to them, I'm the best thing since the last Disney movie they watched.

3. Their short little lives seem long. Their lives move at a snails pace to them and they savor every moment. Karis said, "I've had SOOOO many birthdays!" I had to chuckle to myself and think, "Honey, you have no idea..." I said, "Wow, Karis, how many birthdays have you had?" She dramatically held up her fingers and said "Three Years!!" I'll ask her in 30 years if she feels like she's had so many birthdays.

4. They give unconditional love. Maddie is full of expression and loves to tell stories. Her bouncy blond curls make her one of the most engaging little ones in there. Usually at this age, they aren't much for cuddling and are starting to shy away from the lovable huggable ways of their younger years. Not Maddie. I can always count on her for a hug. I asked her if she wanted to come home with me and with her gigantic smile and hug around my neck, she said, "Yes!"

5. You get priceless conversations like these....Amy and I were having an adult conversation while sitting with the kids and molding Play-doh,...

Amy: "When kids get older, motherhood becomes more of a duty"
Gracie: (GASPS) "That is a bad word!!"
Amy: "No, no Gracie, we're talking about 'responsibility'"

Obviously, in Gracie's house, the word "dooty" describes a bodily function and she's been instructed not to say it. Try explaining to a 4-year old about homophones.

The next time you are caught with a preschooler for an hour or so, sit back and enjoy the moment. It passes oh so quickly.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ditched the Dinosaur

After six years and 60,000 technology improvements, I finally caved and got a new laptop. I don't make major purchases like this without lots of research (and prayer) because I'm, well, cheap. Even being a techno geek like me, I'm a late adopter when it comes to the latest and greatest computer or gadget debuts. My co-workers still gasp when they realize all the TVs in my house are more than 10 years old.

The time had come to say good-bye to good ole Compaq. She has served me well since 2002, but six years in laptop years is like 80 in adult years. Her gait became pretty slow and she just couldn't load all the newfangled updates found on the internet. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but for the sake of my ability to work from home and to be able to use my computer for more than table decoration, it was time to bite the bullet.

I had heard all the bad things about Microsoft Vista and dreaded having to go that route. Just asking my tech guys at work caused them to throw up in their mouth. But, the laptops available for consumer purchase are all loaded with Vista, so I sucked it up and drank the Redmond Kool-Aid. And, actually, I like it...so far.

To sum it up, Vista is merely Microsoft's attempt at being a Mac without the ability to slap an Apple logo on their wares. It isn't as horrible as I imagined, but I also made sure I got a ginormous hard drive to carry the weight of the graphical burdens of the operating system. Compared to ole Compaq, though, anything was an improvement.

I would recommend Best Buy for those of you in the market for a laptop. My HP was on sale and the "Geek Squad" will load all your software and unload all the promo junk HP pre-loads that you don't need, for a fee, of course. But, it's well worth it. I just had to install my mouse and my wireless modem/router (which was bad...thanks, AT&T!) I'm now working with my wired modem until I get my replacement router gateway so I can move about the house untethered. Now that AT&T provides the WiFi at Starbucks, I'll be able to get free WiFi there as an AT&T subscriber...holla!

When I went to Best Buy this past weekend to purchase my goods, I told Nathan, my sales dude, "I'll be the easiest customer you have all day. Here's what I want." Sales tip: Always go into a purchase like that with your mind made up and your research done. You won't end up spending more money on things you really don't need. And, as a bonus, Nathan earns an easy commission.

I love my sleek, black HP laptop, although I did reminisce about my Compaq purchase in 2002. Best Buy got my business then and I remember getting a $200 discount for signing up for an MSN dial-up account. My how times have changed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

For All The Office Fans Out There

One of my favorite charitable organizations is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I try and donate each year because I love what their goal is - to enrich the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions by granting them wishes. I was never in that position as a child, but did spend a lot of time in the hospital with other medical issues of my own around other kids my age suffering with much more serious conditions. Trust me, you grow up really quick when you are placed in a position most often reserved for the older population. But, I digress...

I love The Office. The witty writing and hilarious daily situations the cast encounters resonates with me, an office worker. I'm completely in love with Jim Halpert and wonder where my Jim is. Now, I have even more reason to love the show, and more importantly, the cast.

A sixteen-year old named Anna from North Carolina suffers from hypoplasia, a condition that affects the development of her arms and legs. She has a passion for all things related to film, theater, and television and had one wish - to visit the set of The Office.

The story on the Make-a-Wish site details her experience and the interaction she had with the cast and the fun things she got to experience during her visit. I knew I loved the show for some reason, now I have documentation. From getting time with all the cast members to a signed copy of that episode's script, Anna got the royal treatment. If you don't watch The Office, maybe this might make you catch an episode or two.