Monday, September 29, 2008

On the topic of "isms"


"Mommy, I wanna hold you."

(Every morning) "Is it mornin' mom?"

"I wanna do it myself!" (about everything)

Sunday, September 28, 2008


My dad is a trip - - in a good way.

I have chronicled, in years past, some of his axioms: Deward-isms.
Recently our conversations have revolved around the topic of money and more specifically, real estate purchases.

So here are some Deward-isms of late:

"You make your money in the details."
"I didn't get to where I am today by paying people full price."
And my personal favorite:
"I'm not buying anything today unless I am paying fifty cents on the dollar."

Perhaps you have a "dad-ism" you'd like to share....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Sight for Sore Eyes

We finally have a contract on our house! Only trick is, they want to move in October 9th!
For some, this might be a problem. For the Alexanders, who live in a constant state of "wingin' it", - - piece of cake.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Today we took the kids out to the Baker Wetlands to catch and tag butterflies. The Monarch butterflies use the Baker Wetlands as a kind of rest stop on their journey down to Mexico for the winter. They fill up their tanks, grab a ham and cheese....
KU has a Monarch research department, so for the last 3 Septembers, we have gone out to the Wetlands, to help these entomologists tag butterflies, so they can be tracked on their travels.
It truly has been such a joy for the family. I love the unique memories this gives the children. It's something they will never forget.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I have really been loving Bill Hybels leadership book AXIOMS.
The chapters are 2 pages long so I feel like I am getting somewhere!

Chapter I read today was about hiring leaders.

Might seem hokey, but he always looks for the 3 C's: Character, Competence, Chemistry.

Character is top priority (in church work clearly) and that is what he spends the majority of his time checking out. Even takes people on outings to "observe" the way the handle certain situations.
Next, Competence. No brainer. You definitely need someone with the right qualifications - skills, experience, talent...etc.
Third is Chemistry. He talks about the importance of a person being a good fit within the team. "Don't overlook this", he warns, "Your team and the work will suffer if they don't have chemistry".

In the past, we (Creighton and I) have brought people on our teams just because we need to fill a position or we were in a bind or because the person really really really wanted to be there. We learned the lesson of the 3 C's early on - - and we're still learning. I'm glad to hear Bill articulate it in this memorable way.

Wipe that smirk off your face, Poo.

Poor Baby.
Cos is home - sick today. He shat his pants 3 times at pre-school yesterday...and barfed in the car this morning.
I feel sorry for him, but for me it means I get to work from home. It's quite nice to have a break from the commute today!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

List: 2

Talked about a list of functions that I WISH were a part of my everyday life. I have not carved out time for these important life goals. Maybe it's because I have it in my mind that I have to do each one an hour a day - so I put it off completely.

1. Practice Spanish
2. Work out
3. Practice guitar
4. Pray and immerse myself in the Word an hour a day
5. Do one-on-one's with each of my children (at least once a week)

And while I am on the topic of lists. Here is the list of classes I would take if I had the margin:
1. Akido or Kung Fu
2. Spanish
3. Guitar
4. Yoga instruction
5. Photography
6. Web design

I'd love to hear from you about some of your "lists".

Important Sidenote:
This is in no way meant to evoke guilt.
I do not feel guilty - I merely want to write this as a way of saying, "Keep Moving Forward!"

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Natalie Merchant is a savant. Raw, naked humanity is her inspiration. Her art is always profound and exegetic. Want earthy and authentic? Natalie will never disappoint.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The List

Tony Steward (one of the guys at put together this list. He writes:

I think most of us know at least 10 things that if we did them every day or week they would change our lives for the better. So, I wrote out this list last night of 20 rules. A checklist of actions (or inaction) that I know will make me healthier and change my life for the better. Here is my list, but what is yours (it doesn’t have to be 20 :) ? If you write a list, post the link from your blog in the comments section below!

1. In bed by 10:30pm
2. Wake up 6am
3. No soda, water at meals
4. 1 coffee a day (limit)
5. No cheese
6. Very 1st thing each day, quiet time in bible, prayer, etc.
7. 2nd thing of each day 1hr of exercise.
8. Play/Read with my children every day
9. Have an engaging conversation with my wife every day
10. Do a GTD weekly Review each week and a Daily Review each day.
11. Read 1 book a week.
12. Have one day a week that is completely “dark” (devoid of electronics and internet).
13. Never work aimlessly. Either act, review or plan. (or play)
14. Study, Fast or spend time in solitude once a week.
15. Have a Family Meeting once a week on things like budget, schedules, and goals.
16. Access email only at 3 “batch” times a day and RSS Feeds 1 a day.
17. Do 1 household chore a day. (instead of letting them accumulate for my “dark day”)
18. Always eat breakfast
19. 1 date night a week with either my wife or one of my kids
20. Write every day (journal-ing doesn’t count)

Other people had some really great additions. This is the list I posted.

1. Clean my kitchen every night (shine the kitchen sink)
2. Pray and sing a lullaby with my children every night
3. Go to bed with my husband and not at separate times
4. Read before bed
5. 10 minutes of yoga with children in the morning, end with morning prayer and blesssing
6. Make sure everyone gets a vitamin in the morning - take with water
7. (My husband makes sure the kids eat a “brain-food” breakfast every morning)
8. Unlike those of you with clearly more self control - - I text, email and check facebook 63 times a day.

Certainly my list doesn't happen EVERY day - but more often than not, I'd say. Plus there is the prayer/bible study/meditation/worship stuff that weaves in and out of my daily routine.
There are, of course, many other things I wish I did regularly that didn't make my list. That is another list for another day.

What are your daily rules or habits that keep your life moving in the right direction?

Phone Etiquette

My new job in KC has me on a two hour round trip commute - which means I now have two hours a day to catch up with old friends. This is a wonderful gift (considering the circumstances), but in this transition, I have become aware of how much of my day is spent on my phone.
Besides the fact that I am going deaf in my left ear, I would not see this as a problem. Except for one thing.

When I am on the phone, people somehow transform into scenery.

I stop for coffee or a sonic-bev everyday. I stay on the phone. I run through the Chick-fil-A drive thru. I stay on the phone. I go through the toll booth. I stay on the phone. I make a deposit at the bank. I stay on the phone.

What is that about? I have been going through my days ignoring people, real people who I otherwise would be interacting with, because I am deep in conversation on my phone.

No more, "How are you today?", "Thank you for my coffee - have a great day!", "Keep the change - have a great day!"....etc.

Now, I just keep on chatting about kids nutrition with my friend Allyson, Names for a new church plant with my friend Randel, daycare and transitions with my friend Staci, and family stuff with my sister.

I literally can't recall a greeting or a 'thank you' or even an eye to eye look with any of these service providers I rely on each and every day.

People are precious, and I need to communicate that to them - YOU DO TOO! You probably don't have this problem. But in case you do - let's commit together to:

1. Wait to get on the phone till after we get coffee
2. If already on the phone, say to the caller, "Hold on just a sec while I get my coffee...."
3. Connect eye to eye with the person we interact with whether at the bank or the toll booth, the grocery or the drive-thru....

Let's show them that they are people - not scenery!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


What are bolt-ons?

Fake boobs.

I'm thinking about fake boobs because for some reason, everywhere I turn, they are in my face (figuratively speaking).
In July, we went back to dallas for a little R&R and for some reason, I started seeing these round, bulbous beauties everywhere. I suppose it is not THAT surprising to see this trend in North Dallas - - but still I was surprised at the quantity.
That is where I learned the term "bolt-ons". My friend Michelle (who we stayed with while in Dallas) educated me on this all-to-perfect term for the fake boob.
It stuck.
I love it - just really paints a picture doesn't it? Reminds me of the Fembots of Austin Powers.

Anyhoo. Ever since I have been back to Kansas, bolt-ons seem to pop up around every corner. I notice them at Starbucks and at Target, at the Plaza and at church. My new co-worker and I were getting to know each other and he shared that his wife is a nurse for a Cosmetic Surgeon here in KC. Then he and I and about 3 others discussed the ins and outs of enhancement for about 20 minutes.

This is the kicker. As my high school friends join facebook, I confirmed an old friend today, and upon viewing her profile photo, I fell on the floor.
This girl used to be as flat as western Kansas. Now, she is the rolling hills of West Virginia. I KNOW, that there is no way that my friend could explain this away. Don't tell me you're just a late bloomer. And for sure don't tell me that your boobs just grew when you had babies! I know what's up.

The fact that my friend lives in North Dallas probably doesn't mean anything. Clearly, clearly bolt-ons exist everywhere.

Are you noticing this trend?
What area of the country do you live in?
Do you have any strong feelings about cosmetic surgery?
What's your take on it?