Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A few final AI thoughts

Yo, yo, yo, Dude. Listen, listen. Tonight's AI finale was some good lookin' out, Dawg. Good lookin' out.

Listen, listen, yo, much like Randy Jackson, I don't have any new words to describe Crystal's and Lee's performances on Tuesday night. But it doesn't feel right to just leave things hanging out there, so I put together a few final comments regarding the finale in list format (but in no particular order):

1) Pants on the Ground made me SO HAPPY. Maybe my second favorite part of the entire show.

2) Boy, was I ever relieved when Janet Jackson's performance was over. I was so worried she was going to throw out her back or fall and break her hip that I couldn't relax and enjoy "Nasty," which was, sadly, one of my favorite songs in elementary school. What were my parents thinking?

3) How awesome is Christina Aguilera? Apparently too awesome to sing more than 3 notes with the peon AI contestants. But her "awesomeness" is not going to stop me from downloading "Fighter" this weekend to add to my workout playlist.

4) My favorite part of the night? All of the former idols (minus David Cook... where was he??) singing together, plus a few former contestants joining in the celebration. I surprised myself by recalling more than a few names of those contestants.

5) Was it just me, or did Kelly Clarkson look like she'd have rather been cleaning a truckstop bathroom than singing up there on that stage?

6) Again, was it just me or did anyone else think of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon on SNL doing "The Barry Gibb Talk Show" when Siobahn and whoever else was singing with The Brothers Gibb?

7) I was pleased to see Bret Michaels "taking it easy" after his brain hemorrhage and possible stroke.

8) LEE FTW!!!!!

9) I just don't know if I'll watch next season without Simon. AI will not be AI without Simon Cowell. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm sure I'll give it a shot, but I'll be thinking about Simon the whole time.

10) I really wish I had a tenth thing to say to make my list a nice round number, but I don't

Sturgmom, OUT.

What did you think?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I can hear summer calling my name

And it's sounds a lot like Satan beckoning from the pit of hell.

Don't get me wrong.

I love having unending days off with my children, and spending the hours breaking up fights, putting disobedient children in time-out, reminding them to stop tattling and be sure to use their inside voices, listening to all the whining and complaining that we can't stay at the pool for 5 more minutes b/c it's so hot outside that mama is about to spontaneously combust, and the smell of singed flesh and hair would be enough to send everyone else running home, so why put strangers through that kind of cruel and unusual punishment because IT IS SUMMER AND SUMMER IS ALL ABOUT HAVING FUN, DANG IT.

Oh, I'm only kidding. A little.

I really do love being off for the summer. Since I have to work (for financial reasons. As in, my husband is a student and a pastor. As in, the 2 most underpaid jobs in existence (and yes, being a student is a job. A job you pay dearly for, unfortunately)), at least it's in a field that gives me a (measly) 7 weeks off each year.

Granted, those are unpaid weeks, but since my 10 month paycheck is divided into 12 monthly installments, at least it feels like a paid vacation.

And, granted, those 7 weeks off are during the time of year so thick with Texas heat and humidity that you think longingly on the day (or two) that you needed a coat AND scarf last winter and a lone tear rolls down your cheek.

But other than that, it's fabulous!

I have big plans for my family this summer. I'm declaring it the summer of boredom busters and I've got a variety of activities on the docket.

However, before the fun, I have 2 weeks of work after the boys' last day of school. I asked my mom if she would be willing to come to our house for a couple of weeks to take care of them. She made a counter-offer and suggested they go to her house during that time.

Meaning Jason and I will be 100% childless for 11 full days.

After accepting her offer, I'm still not sure whether to execute a toe-touch out of excitement or cry myself to sleep while my pillow soaks up my salty tears.

They have a plethora of activities on their social calendar while they're up there. Riding horses, going to the zoo, swimming, Jump Zone, and so on. And I'm sure I can come up with 1,001 projects that will be approximately 127% easier to complete without 3 extra helpers.

Or I might just end up sitting on the couch, shell-shocked by the peace and quiet and nothingness.

Come to think of it, that doesn't sound half bad.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

AI Recap: Top 3

I'm struggling with formulating some original thoughts regarding AI and, to be honest, I've got nothing.

And the title of "Recap" is a misnomer, and has been since the beginning. I should call it random reviews.

So, I'm taking the lazy way out and moving forward with a bulleted list.

Actually, there will be no bullets. The only "bullets" I own are those in a stick shape made of glue that melts. More accurately, this list is numbered.

1) I was sorry that I didn't recognize more of the songs from last night. I'm sure they were well-sung, but I wouldn't know because I was familiar with only 1/2 of them: Daughters, Come to My Window (of which I'm not a fan), and Hallelujah.

2) Crystal is the most consistent contestant, but she's not the most watchable.

3) Casey is the most watchable, but probably the least consistent.

4) Regardless of #2 and #3, I like Lee the best. And I have the text votes to prove it.

5) When did the AI text voting police start monitoring phone numbers for time zones? I got a text last night at 10:00 CST informing me "Voting is currently closed for your time zone." WHAT?!?! In all fairness, I suppose my 2 hours was up, but when did the Powers That Be start caring? Because, that message? Never saw it before and my text voting practices have not varied.

6) How beautiful was Lee's performance of "Hallelujah"? I was surprised that I liked it as well as I did because Jason Castro's performance is one of my favorite AI performances of all time. I didn't think Lee could top it.

He did.

You know what? I'd love to see Casey and Lee as the Top 2. But I'm pretty sure it will be Crystal and Lee. I hate to see Casey go, but someone has to, right?

In which I channel the magical powers of Martha Stewart

(Just so you know, before you waste your time reading only to be disappointed in the end, this post is worthless without pictures.

And I don't have any pictures.

Yet, I type on. Leaving me to wonder at my newfound heights of mediocrity.)

A few weeks (or, as I prefer to remember it, days) ago, Cade came home from kindergarten with a script for his class play, in which he'll make his stage debut as Squirrel #2 in the wildly popular adaptation of "TheThree Little Kitten Who Lost Their Mittens."

No, you're not the only one who doesn't remember nameless squirrels making an appearance in the literary version of the tale. These kindergarten teachers are playing fast and loose with their artistic license. Something about wanting ALL the children to have a speaking part.

Attached to the back of the script was a list of "easy" costume ideas. Because everyone has the makings of a rodent costume lying around their house. All you need is a brown shirt and some brown pants! How simple is that?

A lot less simple than it sounds. Because unless you have the time (and the inclination) to scour a thrift store multiple times a week, plain brown shirts and plain brown pants are not something you can go pull off the rack at the local discount store in MAY. When everything is turquoise and purple and yellow and green and summery-colored. And pants? They've been off the shelves since February in this warm-weather state.

What our store did have, though, was gray shirts. And what our home closet did have was gray shorts. And since I'm pretty sure I've totally seen a gray squirrel at some time in my life, Squirrel #2 graciously agreed to be gray.

However, the tail still stumped me. And Jason, who's job it was to implement any tail idea I could envision. I'm the brains behind the project.

And by brains, I mean the one who just talks about being so stressed out because how am I supposed to make a squirrel's tail, anyway, when the only idea I had included some kind of fake fur fabric that doesn't exist at any of our local craft or discount stores and now it's Sunday night and the costume is due at school TOMORROW for dress rehearsal and I'm all out of ideas!
Jason's the man who makes it happen. And he's usually a big part of the brains as well. He listens to my hare-brained ideas, comes up with one that's actually do-able, and brings it to fruition.

My plan for the tail ended in the craft section when I couldn't find the necessary supplies. Jason decided to wander around the store for inspiration. He considered a pool noodle. We looked at feather dusters.

Then, I saw this
Only it was gray. And it was a dog bed. And I knew it would be PERFECT for a squirrel costume.
Once we got home, I cut the padded rim off and held a flawless tail in my hands. The bottom "mattress" part became a furry squirrelly belly that I hot glued to a t-shirt.

I can't sew, but I do have mad hot glueing skillz. Who needs needles, threads and stitches when you have melted glue and a gun?

Jason fashioned the tail MacGyver-style, using some plastic cable ties and a few well-placed stitches. He actually took home economics in high school.

If only I'd known back then that dance team and show choir wouldn't get me through elementary school with my own offspring, things might have turned out so differently.

My original plan was to sew the tail to the back of Cade's gray shirt, but instead I fell back on my trusty hot-glueing skills. Because it was getting late and I was tired and impatient.

Hot glue = instant gratification.

At the end of the day, I was more than pleased with the final product. I can't wait to show you the finished version in this tale of the tail.

But you'll have to wait until Friday.

****UPDATE*** Today is the dress rehearsal for "The Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens" so Squirrel #2 was required to wear his costume to school. Therefore, I have the opportunity to flaunt my subpar photography techniques. I'm only limited by the fact that I don't know my shutter speed from my aperture. And that I use a phone to take 95% of my pictures. Other than that, they're the essence of art.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Linky Love 05/13/10

We're getting off to a great weekend here in the House of Sturg! Our dear friends are visiting from out of town and we're planning a big cookout for tomorrow evening. Delicious food and delightful friends promise to be the stars of the next 2 days!

Because I'm feeling so happy, I want you to feel inspired as well. Here are a few things from around the web that you NEED to know about. Don't go another day without clicking these links!

Kristen from We Are That Family is hosting an adoption blog carnival. Families with plans for adoption are linking up their blogs and fundraisers, and that's where YOU come in. Please go visit the links, spend time in prayer for the families and prayerfully consider making purchases from the adoption fundraisers. One of my favorites is Hope Suds. "Do laundry. Save Orphans."

Angie Smith's book I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy is available as a free ebook download through Barnes and Noble. If you have an iPhone, you can even download a Barnes and Noble reader for FREE.

If you're on Twitter, can you please read this piece of advice from Anne Jackson? And follow it? Thanks! It's a few months old, but still COMPLETELY relevant.

Finally, I plan to make this gluten-free, egg-free dessert for our guests tomorrow. I'm pretty sure it will inspire me to get back of the elliptical machine STAT.

Y'all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

AI Recap: Top 4

Is it terribly indicative of the lameness of my life that my LAST post was an AI (non)recap? Or maybe it means that my life is so full of meaningful ventures that I simply do not have time to chronicle the sum of it.

You'll never know.

I'm still hanging in there for each episode of AI, even though my fondness for Glee is quickly surpassing my affinity for AI. I'd almost rather fast forward through the AI performances just to see Sue Sylvester mocks Mr. Shu's overuse of hair products while Finn and Rachel bust out a power duet.

Speaking of duets (I'm the master of the segue), how 'bout those duets on AI last night? INCREDIBLE! I love the song Falling Slowly a million times over and I loved the Crystal/Lee version a million times over. Casey and Mike rocked the harmony on that Bryan Adams song, although it was painfully obvious that Casey is the superior guitarist. But, this isn't a guitar talent show.

The individual performances were strange choices, I thought, but I enjoyed the show overall.

Lee: He makes singing appear effortless, but he was "pitchy" last night. I think "Kiss From a Rose" must be one of THE most difficult songs to sing of all time, so considering that, I thought he did well. But he is sort of Kris Allen redux.

Mike: When I think of popular songs from movies, the one that comes to mind (after "My Heart Will Go On") is that Michael Jackson song from Free Willy. Yes. If I could sing any song from any movie, Free Willy would be right up there in my top 2000. I thought Mike's vocals were good, but it was a bit theatrical for my preference. And obscure.

Casey: I liked Casey's version of Mrs. Robinson, even if the "banter" from the judges shot my Comfort-O-Meter into the red/danger zone.

Crystal: I don't really have anything else to say about Crystal that I haven't already said 35 times. She was good, as always. I'm not as convinced as I once was that she will win, but she doesn't have anything to worry about regarding a recording contract. Good for her and her feathery hairpieces.

I spent the time I was watching Glee texting votes for Lee and Casey 2 or 400 times. I love the simplicity of the "vote" text on the iPhone. Paste, send, paste, send, lather rinse repeat.

Who's going home tonight? No idea.

I predict Mike or Casey, and I'm hoping for Mike. Not because I don't think he's great. I've just wanted Crystal, Casey and Lee to be Top 3 all along.

But everyone know the real top 3 are Rachel, Finn, and Puck. Awesomeness.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

AI Recap: Top I Didn't Really Pay Much Attention

There are 5 contestants left this season of Ameican Idol and as much as I want to care, I'm actually finding it more and more difficult each week to muster the energy to press the play button on my remote control.

Last night's viewing was made more problematic since, in true Sturgmom fashion, I was frantically mod podging clipboards and binder clips at the last minute so my children were not traumatized today by their mom's non-effort leading to their lack of participation in the Teacher Appreciation Week Wednesday theme of "office supplies."

They turned out pretty cute, despite my paralyzation getting started due to the fact that I couldn't find my corner punch. And the sideways bows, which I added this morning when the boys were on their way out the door. Bow-tying skills elude me. As well as photography skills. And recapping skills.
But I've never let my inadequacies hold me back, as evidenced by this post:
Aaron: Aaron was singing while I was tearing the house apart looking for my corner punch, and I have to be honest- I didn't even consider pushing pause on the DVR. I bet I know what happened, though. Aaron stood in one place with his legs spread apart awkwardly for the entire performance. He sang it decently, albeit without an ounce of stage presence or personality. The judges praised him profusely.
Casey: Casey was singing while I was sitting on the floor completely debilitated by my corner punch deficiency. But I listened to Casey with one ear and he wasn't that great, unfortunately. Frank Sinatra is clearly not his genre. Since it's unexpected that he will ever have another occasion requiring him to perform such a song, I feel bad for him that the Sinatra theme was chosen so close to the end of the season.
Lee, Michael, Crystal: I spent the time during these performances measuring, cutting, trimming, glueing, and hair-pulling (my own). As far as I could tell, all the performances were all decent. I think Michael actually stepped it up a bit, and Crystal needs to stop having "conversations" with (AKA talking back to) the judges, otherwise I will dub her Talkbacky McGee. I always love Lee.
Harry Connick Jr. made a great mentor, although the styles of his arrangements weren't what I would call "relevant" or "current." But what do I know really?
I'm afraid Casey will be going home tonight, even if I think it should be Aaron. I was too preoccupied last night to cast any votes, so I'm just going to have to hope Lee stays in the competition by the sheer force of my will.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

One day I'll look back on this and laugh

While Jason was out fishing this afternoon, I thought it would be lovely to take the children on a walk to the creek near our house to feed the ducks.

We were gone less than 30 minutes.

When we got home, my feet looked like this:

and my lone remaining shoe looked like this:

There must be humor somewhere in the situation. I'll let you know when I find it.

Until then, can someone please just assure me that Mary Jane-style Crocs really aren't in style anymore anyway?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Free stuff! Don't miss it!!

I would be completely remiss if I didn't tell you that you can go here and download a FREE copy of PAGE CXVI's Hymns album.

Jason and I had the privilege of worshiping with and getting to know this band back in October, and let me tell you, they are the Real Deal. And to celebrate the release of their 2nd Hymns album, they're offering the first one for FREE!!

Don't waste any time downloading this because I'm not sure how much longer it will be available. GO NOW!