Friday, June 27, 2008

This Week

We are having lots of summer fun, and family fun in general. I thought I would just post a week in the life...of course this post has nothing to do with what I spend the majority of my days, laundry, cooking, wiping, holding, feeding...but here are some fun things that we try to do.
Here we are at a local nature center last Saturday. We enjoyed a little stroll, and time on the playground. This pic of Dave and the girls was taken at the very beginning of a downpour...we ended up making it to the car, but were all wet. I think most of the people watching Dave with the girls were concerned, but he LOVES being outside in the rain with them and thinks it is good for their souls. You may also notice that Dave has lost his hair. Yes, it is true. About a month ago Dave went into the garage one night and walked back in the house without any hair. He claims he got hot. Some are shocked that he did this without my approval, but if this act shocks you then you do not know my husband.

Here are the girls hanging out in the backyard after naps last Saturday. In the afternoon Dave headed over to the Hooch to catch some fish (not a previous post of his adventures), so I spent a lazy afternoon kicking it in the yard with the girls. Dave did bring home two fish which we ate for lunch on Sunday. Yummy!
Monday I have some gals over for lunch and to spend some time praying. I do not have any pictures of that, but it is a fun time. I also took the girls to the pool after naps, we have been trying to go everyday, but this week we only made it on Monday because of either rain or other obligations. Tuesday we went to the zoo with playgroup. I had planned on bringing my camera, but nearing our departure Hadleigh dropped a glass bowl (yes I do feed her in glass containers and this is the first time she has dropped anything) which shattered all over the kitchen floor. In my frazzled state I was lucky to just make it to the zoo at all. Wednesday Hadleigh and Annelise hung out in their Halloween costumes. Hadleigh has been a giraffe for every Halloween of her life (only 2), and if all goes well and the creek doesn't rise she will be able to be a giraffe this year too (don't grow, don't grow).

Thursday we had Mother's Morning Out at my house. Three other moms and myself have been doing a little co-op with our kiddos who will all be in the same preschool class in the fall. It is super tiring, but probably worth it to have 3 weeks off. Hadleigh was SO excited that it was going to be at our house, and Alex came over to give me a little extra hand with the kiddos. Here is Alex reading to Hadleigh and Anne Marie. Alex is a super girl and I am so thankful for her help. She was the flower girl in my wedding and now is almost old enough to babysit!

Today is family fun day and we went to a "local" farm and ended up picking blueberries. We had planned on picking blackberries, but found they were a bit lame...maybe all the good ones had been picked, or maybe we are just super spoiled from the AMAZING German blackberries, but the ones we found were just not good. THe blueberries were amazing, and Hadleigh could not stop eating them and saying Yu-MMY! The whole way home she was asking for more berries. Super cute! Annelise was less than impressed, but really liked the leaves and even choked on some. She also showed her disdain for berry picking by crying the whole way to the farm and the whole way home. Nice...I also picked up some squash and cucumbers and Dave grabbed a few okra...dinner tomorrow night will be Yu-mmy!

We are looking forward to another fun week and Dave is especially looking forward to fireworks next Friday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Prodigals

If you know me at all you might say that I am outstanding citizen. A hyper responsible, rule follower, first born...yea that is me. If you give me a rule, I will generally be happy to follow it. In high school I was a model student. I never got close to any alcohol or drugs (now you know that I really enjoy my wine now, but I never touched the stuff before I was 25). I never attended anything that could be considered a party. And Dave was the first man I kissed. While at Asbury I never danced, drank or smoked. I always wore the right length skirt, and was always home by curfew. I always wear my seatbelt, and always register for conferences on time.

I always attend church on Sundays and generally attend a Sunday school of some sort. I have always been in some sort of accountability group or small group Bible study and have often been asked to lead said groups. I try to read my Bible and pray everyday.

Do I really need to go on? You get it...I am a moral person.

The problem is that I could never quite be moral enough and always had this voice in my head condemning me for not being good enough. I could never go forward for enough alter calls...and I could never give "all" of myself to Jesus and so felt that I could never get "all" of him (you know the saying give all of me to Jesus for all of him). I just always felt that I held onto some of me. It was never good enough.

THe thing is that for the past 10 years as I have been exploring scripture and a deeper understanding of theology I have realized how my morality has gotten in the way of my relationship with God. And ultimately how being a moral person has little to do with knowing God. I was trying to come to God with all of my goodness making me acceptable...but I read the Bible everyday, God...but I have never done anything "bad". And then with all of my goodness attached to me I would make demands...why am I sick? why aren't I married? why are all these "bad" people getting things that I want? They prob don't read their Bible everyday...why are you giving them good gifts? My goodness got in the way of seeing Christ.

For the last 10 years I have been trying to undo that way of thinking...understanding that I was dead in sin and Christ searched me out, found me, and brought me back to life. That I can do nothing to gain favor in his eyes. That my morality has nothing to do with my justification. Reading my Bible and wearing my seatbelt doesn't gain any brownie points or give me a bigger crown.

All of these things put together are just some of the reasons I have concerns about things like Veggie Tales. I don't want the girls to grow up thinking if they just do right they can please God.

OK, so the point of all this rambling is, as I have mentioned before, we are studying Galatians...which has been fabulous. It is always so refreshing to dive into a book and have new things revealed. So, part of the study this week was looking at morality (the morality of the Pharisees) and seeing how it gets in the way of the gospel. I need to stop adding things to the gospel that puts up barriers...things like drinking, dancing, smoking, being a Republican...can be barriers to the Gospel. Enough can follow this link to read or listen to the sermon on The Prodigal Sons. And maybe after you have listened or read you will understand Dave and I a bit more.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Fishing Edventure

I rarely post, and for those of you who know that I made the first C in my life in freshman English at King you'll know why. In my sanctified and perfected state I will have prose and diction in a beautifully displayable bag, but you get the rural east Tennessee compromise.

Saturday I was jonesin' badly to hit the e.coli infested waters of the Chattahoochee as it courses through the city of Atlanta. My demeanor as I asked Ami whether I could leave her that afternoon or Sunday afternoon very clearly said that I REALLY badly wanted to go TODAY!!! For you fishermen out there, slightly overcast, just rained, threatening rain, countless hatches, tons of debris floating down the river(both good and bad), and very little wind all screamed hit the water. My previous experience in this part of the river proved to be very productive with some very large trout, so the level of expectancy grew even more.

In my limited knowledge of this new area, I had consulted my fellow dental friend Walt. Walt spoke of an easy hike of about a mile to arrive at the panacea of all fishing holes. He told of jumping fish, clear-wadable water, and no other fisherman, including just a small caveat of a hill and a bamboo forest on the way. After pulling into the parking spot I geared up with my waterproof waders that come up to my armpits, my vest loaded with every fake fly imaginable, my float tube(a glorified innertube) and my flyrod. Setting off at a pretty brisk pace I kept remembering Walt's words "maybe twenty minutes...about a mile...bamboo forest". Included now is a map of the area I was fishing. I was walking north and I have given you some insight into the path that I CREATED. Most of what you seen drawn in dark is the first time human feet have trod on the forest floor. My path took me near the river, and I thought that I should stick close to the river so as not to lose my bearings. Suddenly the path became much more narrow and ambiguous, at one point I looked forward where the path joined the river and thought, maybe this is where the bamboo forest starts?!? As I looked to my right there stood a CLIFF with a very legible path leading up the face. I guess this is where I am to go, so I follow. About thirty minutes into climbing the sheer face my waterproof waders are full of smelly saline water, I am breathing like an asthmatic with no albuterol, lugging an innertube the size of a tractor trailer tire and my beautifully engineered FELT boots have zero traction on the decaying leaves of the forest floor. My gut told me, "Just keep going up the hill, you'll find a path, and you would be an absolute idiot to go back and start over." I found the path. GUT: "Stay on the big path"
My doctorate degree finally worked so I wasn't about to lose what dignity still remained. Now forty minutes into my twenty minute hike I am still wondering where the stinking bamboo forest is. "Stay on the big path" keeps resonating in my sweat and spiderweb covered head. I stayed. Then the path became suddenly very narrow followed with leaf covered sheer switchbacks. My pride is gone just like Spears as I skid down numerous faces ending in a small creek. No path is on the opposite side of the creek....sacagawea!!!. But Bear Grylls' words suddenly came to mind, "Yew know if eye follow this smowller tributry doanstream, I will likely find a larger tributry." Then a roadblock and a small path appear on the opposing side!!! A twenty foot climb later, yeah another big path. This is near the devils race course shoals. Well I got in and found the whole river entirely unwadable because the generators must have been on upstream at the dam. All this to say that when I finally put my foot into the water one hour and fifteen minutes after starting I thought of my friend Walt and cursed silently, "Never believe a 72 year old man stating it's an easy hike when two months ago he ran a marathon and won his class".
P.S. The two fish I caught were awesome fried in butter and seasoned salt.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We were in Memphis this past weekend for our friend, Liz's wedding. Dave has known Liz for several years, and she was the pianist in our wedding. It was wonderful to be able to get out to Memphis to celebrate with her.

We flew, as I mentioned in a previous post. Yea, good thing I found my non-expired Franklin passport because the noted "McNay" didn't work. Hadleigh was SO excited to get on a plane. She has flown several times in her short life, but this was the first time she was actually aware of being on a plane. The night before we flew out I told her we would be flying on a plane and she was SO excited. She loves planes and helicopters and so I knew this would be a treat. Even though it was fun for her, it is also scary flying sometimes. I am not a huge fan of take-off and I cannot handle turbulance. We hit a good pocket of rough air and Hadleigh got really nervous. Dave was able to handle her and I was thankful that we were both flying with the girls. This was Annelise's first flight and she did as well I could expect the little elf to do.

Traveling with two babies is a lot harder than traveling with one. Getting through security with a double stroller, a car seat, two shoeless children was a bit much, but we all survived.

We stayed at a wonderful hotel in Memphis with a pool, a free cocktail hour, a cook to order breakfast, and a fabulous restaurant. Saturday morning Dave took us to Shelby Farms Park, which is HUGE park with walking trails, bison, and playgrounds. It was super fun just relaxing with the girls (without worrying about the boxes that still to be unpacked or the pictures that should be hung on the wall).

The wedding was wonderful and Dave had fun seeing some of his old Memphis pals. Hadleigh was very entertained at the reception and enjoyed dancing around and eating CAKE. At the reception some of Liz's friends sang a variety of songs, and one of the songs was "In Christ Alone". That is a fam favorite and one that I sing to Hadleigh regularly. As soon as they started singing it, Hadleigh came running to sit on my lap and exclaimed "Alone" and then started singing with them. It is funny to hear a two year singing about righteousness, but she does a good job of pronouncing the words. Annelise had a fun time dancing with her new little buddy, Douglas, the son of Dave's old buddies Will and Elizabeth.

Sunday morning we headed back to Atl, and was glad to put both girls in their own beds for their afternoon naps.

The real question at this point is, am I brave enough to fly solo with the girls back to CA to visit my fam...time will tell.

Monday, June 16, 2008


This past weekend we went to Memphis...more on that later, but we had several folks ask us if Hadleigh and Annelise were twins.

My brothers are three years apart in age, but there were several times when they were mistaken for twins...but that was more when they were kids and not babies. It seems odd to me that someone could think a 7 month old is a twin with a 2 year old. Not to mention that my girls look nothing alike (though I suppose they could be fraternal).

Dave calls Annelise his recessive baby, because she received all of his genes, which he thinks are recessive to mine. I call Hadleigh my Jewish baby and Annelise my Scottish baby. Hadleigh looks like a Franklin, that good olive skin, the dark eyes, etc. While Annelise has white skin, green eyes, red hair.

It is fun to have such different girls, and we just continue to pray that they will be great friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Whatever Lady, Get Off My Line

Telemarketers. Though I am convinced that the seventh rung of hell is reserved for those who work for Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Cherokee Nation Distributors, I might be open to the idea of the sixth ring for telemarketers.

I just do not remember this being a major issue when we lived here before but since we have returned from Germany we have bombarded. Dave came up with several systems to combat the issue...we have to have several because we only have basic telephone bells and caller id, call waiting, blah...blah...

Strategy 1. THis is the one I primarily use. I answer the phone and if there is not an immediate response on the line I hang up. Sorry to the few folks that I have actually hung up on, but most telemarketers have a delay on the line.

Strategy 2. Let the answering machine get it and if it is someone important they will leave a message.

Strategy 3. This is Dave's favorite. Answer the phone in Spanish, French, "redneck" or using the Army answer, which is "McNay residency, Dr. McNay speaking, how may I help you sir or ma'm. This generally results in the party hanging up...though has also been known to confuse several friends as well.

TOnight my strategy did not work. Dave has rubbed off on me, and so I tend to be nice to these folks, and to pleasantly get off the phone. So, the call is from some dude in a neighboring town who got our number from public record (since we just purchased our home), and was offering a free gift certificate for dinner if we just let them come out and check our water and fill out a survey. The thing that really creeps me out about some of these folks is they ask all these personal questions, like, what time do you get home from work, and do you have children. Good grief, I don't know who the heck you are, and you could be planning to rob my house or kidnap my children...why in the world would I answer your questions?

So, anyway, he keeps pushing and asking when we get home from work so they can come out. I tell him that we aren't interested. He goes on a rampage about all the evils that live in the water... I assure him that I am not concerned, I have lived in a lot worse places than Georgia...the conversation continues as he rants about the water in Somalia...and again I assure him that I am not concerned about the water in Georgia. So, as I begin to kindly refuse him, he interupts me and says, "Whatever lady, get off my line!"

WHAT? Are you joking me...were you not the one who called me? So, as of tonight we are on the do not call list...hope I don't have anyone else yelling at me to get off "their" line.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


We always like to try to keep the blog a bit in not entirely about the crazy girls (though I know that is primarily what the fam wants). Though I am sure no one has missed my random ramblings about whatever spiritual, or not so spiritual thing is on my radar.

I think that since the Elf has made her appearance I have had a hard time processing anything deep or worthwhile, and so though different things are going on in my head I am having a hard time figuring out what those things are and how they translate to anything. At this point I am living in the moment, every minute sometimes trying to make it through the it seems hard to think about the wonderful sermon that Tinnin preached on Sunday.

Our community group has just begun studying study we are using is written by (you guessed it) Tim Keller and you can buy it online here (you just download it). There is a section of questions that work through the text, and then a set of reflections and another set of questions. The reflections are from Luther's commentary on Galatians. Luther is fab and one of my fav Reformers...he is brilliant...and remember, he loves beer!

The reflections covered Christ's righteousness- passive righteousness- "God imputes it to us apart from our works...For we do nothing for it, and we give nothing for it. We only receive it."

If I could put the whole study up I would, but the main thing is looking at the purpose of the law, what the law does and what it doesn't do. The law does not save, for the believer it is a guide, and for the unbeliever it serves to point out sin. But sometimes we get mixed up with the purpose of the law...I often think, I need to do this or that, forgetting that I do these things to honor Christ, and I do it to try to gain favor with God. The thing is no matter how much I read my Bible, pray, go to church, etc I can never gain God's favor. And there is no need for me to gain God's favor...when Christ died the wrath of God rested on Christ. Through Christ, God's favor rests on me. OK, I do not know if any of that made sense...but here is my fav quote. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the movie "Luther".

O law! You would climb up into the kingdom of my conscience, and there reign and
condemn me for sin, and would take from me the joy of my heart which I have by faith in Christ, and drive me to desperation, that I might be without hope. You have
overstepped your bounds. Know your place! You are a guide for my behavior, but
you are not Savior and Lord of my heart. For I am baptized, and through the gospel am called to receive righteousness and eternal life… So trouble me not! For I will not allow you, so intolerable a tyrant and tormentor, to reign in my heart and conscience — for they are the seat and temple of Christ the Son of God, who is the king of righteousness and peace, and my most sweet savior and mediator. He shall keep my conscience joyful and quiet in the sound and pure doctrine of the gospel, through the knowledge of this passive and heavenly righteousness.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Darn Franklin

In the near future we are flying to Memphis...all 4 of us. One of Dave's buds, Liz (who played the piano in our wedding), is getting married. A couple of months ago I made our flight arrangements, which went fairly smoothly.

Here is the dilemma, 2 dilemma actually. We moved to Germany very soon after getting married and I did not have time to change my passport. TO change a passport is a LONG procedure and you need all these documents (as in marriage certificate, social security card, etc) and it took me a while to obtain all of these documents and by the time I had obtained all of them it was about time to move. I have known several other ladies who have just left their maiden name on their passports and always travel under their maiden name. I figured this was a viable option. I also checked into getting my passport changed once we arrived in Germany, but I would have had to live w/o a passport for several months and blah...blah...blah...that wasn't an option for me. I'll come back to this.

The other dilemma is that I have a frequent miles card with an airline and apparently it takes an act of congress to change your name on the frequent miles card. I find this mildly amusing...but OK. So, my maiden name is on my frequent flier card.

Whenever I fly with my frequent flier airline I always put my maiden name on the ticket and use my passport for my photo ID.

I have only had one problem using this approach. We booked a Turkish vaca package, and were going to fly from Germany to Turkey. Of course we used a travel agent and in my zeal to get the package booked I accidently used my married name. Woops! Of course I called immediately when I got home and asked the agent to change the ticket. Problem averted...yea...until our tickets arrived (2 days before we were to leave) and shock of all shocks my ticket said McNay. In a panic I made numerous phone passport is the only valid photo id to travel with in Europe, and my passport say Franklin. I was assured that it would not be a problem because they had made a "documentation" of it in the computer. RIGHT. Long story short it was a nightmare, they almost did not let me on the plane or through security (as in...since when did the security check point have access to computers...they see McNay on my ticket and Franklin on my compute!). OK, crisis averted, we made it to Turkey, all is well.

Fast forward to today. I think...oh I should get out my passport and make sure I know where it is (since we just moved and in case I need to search through millions of boxes). I check my first safe place...BINGO! There it is. SWEET. I take it out and flip through it and then put it back in the "safe" place (since now I know that it is indeed there) for future use. As I put it back down I noticed something peculiar...did that say expire April 2008? $#@%!

I then proceed to reason with Dave how they should accept an expired passport as a form of identification...I mean I am not leaving the country, I just need something that say Franklin and has my mug on it. He sees my faulty reasoning and encourages me to call airline.

I call...the airline...via India (I think)...poor guy name Baul is trying to help me...but first problem is he cannot hear me. Second problem is I am convinced he cannot understand my problem since I am sure he lives in India...sorry Baul if you are an American... After much you have a birth certificate...a driver's license...a social security card...a medicare card... No my only form of ID with Franklin is my expired passport. THe answer is NO...cannot fly with the passport.

My first thought is what the heck...what does this guy know...he lives in is totally reasonable for me to travel with an expired piece of identification! So, moving past my insane rationale, I ask to change my name on the ticket. It cannot be changed, but he has made a "documentation" of it in my reservation. OK, my Turkish experience flashes through my head. I try to tell him that he HAS to send me some sort of new confirmation with McNay on it...we go back and forth...I explain how desperate I prior experience...all of this in a totally rational tone of voice (read borderline hysteria).

Of course my hysteria gets me no where...only with the documentation...I calm down, make a joke, tell him thanks for helping me though I acted like an idiot and hang up.

Dave is shaking his head at me and then starts making fun of me. I again try to reason that an expired passport is legit...and as I am speaking he interrupts me about how someone could have stolen my passport and put in their photo, etc. As I mention how ridiculous that is, I remember something.

After one of my many moves I "lost" my passport. Before I went to Bulgaria in 2002 I had to apply for a new one...and my new one has a different picture and...expires in 2012. Ugh...

As I flip through my other "safe" place Dave is mocking me and daring me to call back airline and ask them to remove the documentation...I think I will just bring all forms of identification when I fly. Doh!

Note: Please do not take any of the above words as racial was merely trying to communicate my insane, unrational state of mind.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Miss Hadleigh Claire Is 27 Months

This month we have officially entered the TWOs, meaning Hadleigh's will has caught up to her age. We have good days and bad days, hard days and easy days, fun days and days that I just need a large margarita.

Last week I thought I was going to die...this week has been fun and with only minor drama. It was nice to have a bit of break from the drama. She goes through spells of defiance and "no" and "mine" and whining...oh help us all! Last weekend I spent some time with friends who are just a bit ahead of me. It was so encouraging to get some perspective on my current life stage. This is just a hard stage.

Hadleigh has become quite a little singer. She sings all the time, and I am always impressed with the amount of words she remembers from different songs. Her new songs for this month are ABC, Halleluja-Praise ye the Lord, Sing a Song (from Sesame Street), Old McDonald, Wise Man Built His House, Happy Birthday (after we sing it she always, cake! Yu-mmy!).

She loves all her little friends and asks to see them everyday. The pool has been a big hit so far and she likes putting her face in and blowing bubbles. We are going to look into getting her some lessons, which I think will prove easier than trying to teach her myself. Drama!

The phone is a new favorite "toy" and she always asks to call Grandma or Nana, the main problem is that she doesn't talk when someone is actually on the other line.

She seems be a pretty shy little girl, and will only greet people when they are a safe distance away from us. A few of us are doing a little coop this summer and taking turns watching 4 toddlers. I was told that Miss HC did not say a word this past week. She was happy, just did not talk. Hilarious! I am not surprised at all.
Becoming more verbal comes with fun and dramatic interactions. It is so fun to hear her express herself. She loves talking about the helicopters and planes that she sees, her friends, her books, and what she wants to do/eat. It is dramatic to hear her express her frustration when she doesn't get her way. But overall there are days when she shows signs of being polite and it is always nice to see that after instructing her again and again she is slowly understanding how to ask for things.
I just adore my little Miss. She is such a fun and hilarious little girl and it is a joy to be her Mama.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Keller at Google

Many of you-all know that Dave and I LOVE Tim Keller. Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC. He is an amazing teacher and apologist. He is gifted at making the Word alive, and I don't recommend doing any of his studies if you think you are a good Christian. His studies point to the greatness of God, to the depth of my sin, and to the cross and the gracious mercy and love he gives his children.

Keller has just authored a new book called "The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism". We just ordered it, so I am sure will give a report on it later.

A couple months ago Keller spoke at Google, and his lecture and Q&A session was posted on YouTube. It is very interesting. Enjoy!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Hadleigh at 7 Months

The Elf is 7 Months

Today Annelise is 7 months old. She is getting SO big and we are enjoying her more and more. Several milestones were hit this past month. She began sleeping through the night...FAB! She continues to sleep 6pm-5am. The 5am wake-up is a little painful, but Dave gets up at 5.30 anyway, so we are just going to leave it as is. She also will go back to sleep until 7.30-8, and then has a regular morning nap and an afternoon nap. Since she began sleeping through the night her nap routines have evened out as well.

She is now sitting up on her own albeit a little wobbly. She is loving the added independance and loves reaching for everything. Rolling to get things is also a nice trick from this month, anything to bother her big sister!

We started solids, but have been a bit inconsistent with it. It is just hard to get everything done in a day and so if anything has to go it is feeding Annelise. However she has enjoyed sweet potato, oatmeal, apple, banana, and avocado. We will work on other foods this month.

She loves using her hands snd does this little twisty thing with her wrists. They are always going, especially when excited.

She is getting some good spikey hair. It seems to be a little dark, but her eyelashes and eyebrows are red. Hard to know what is going to happen there. Her eyes look green right now, but HC's eyes didn't settle into brown until she was about a year old. Dave calls her our recessive baby, and thinks she received all the recessive genes (as in she received all of Dave's genes).

We are having more and more fun with our crazy little elf. As more time passes I feel more of a bond with Annelise. I think it was hard for me to bond with her initially because she was so fussy. But the last couple months have been fun and enjoyable. This month she will be taking her first ride on a plane.