Monday, January 28, 2008

Deja Vu

Psalm 139:1 O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar, 3 you discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord. 5 You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Isn't that awesome? To think that He loves us that much! I was praying this morning, and I asked God to give me a visual picture of His love. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that He knows us so intimately ("for I know the numbers of hairs on your head..."). As I was trying to picture just how much He loves us, He gave me that visual that I had asked for. Imagine having something so heavy, and so awkward in you, that you just can't carry it anymore. You try to carry it a little further, though, because we're all stubborn, and you only go a few feet and have to stop and rest. Try as you might, you just can't do it. So, Abba Father (which translates into "Daddy") reaches down and takes that load from you. You can now walk without the aches and pains that carrying that extra weight gave you! Sound familiar? The picture that came to mind was of the grandson/grandfather team on the Amazing Race. (Yes, I believe that God can work through something as mindless as a tv show!) I just kept seeing how that young grandson would stop and ask his granddad if he was okay. The granddad would always say, "Yes", remember how stubborn we all are, but the grandson would always stop and say, "Here, let me take that for you." And guess what? They would always be able to walk faster because the granddad didn't have that extra load!

I don't know why I thought of all this today, but I do believe that God has a purpose for everything, including every thought. So maybe someone needed this today. If you are the one who needed it, leave a comment. If you know of someone else I don't even know that could use this, send it to them. Leave a comment for me, though, because I also prayed that God would use me in a mighty way today, and that would be an incredible answer to my prayer!

Bill, remember our conversation about deja vu Saturday night? And you quoted part of these verses in Psalm? I didn't realize that those verses were from one of my most favorite chapters in Psalm! I love it! Love to all and have a blessed day!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Here you go, Todd and Phyllis

Okay, well, after you both told me to start titling these things, this is for you. We had an amazing weekend, once again. Friday night found us with canceled plans, so David and Sunny came over and hung out. Drew came downstairs right before they left asking if Holly could spend the night. Bless his heart, he just doesn't understand about girls and sleep overs. My friend Kelly actually grew up spending the night with her best friend, Scott. I personally don't think it's that big a deal, and we're considering letting her come over. We'll just have to explain that they're young, and as long as they're young it's okay, but after a certain age, it's boys sleeping over only. I don't know...we're talking about it. I love you, Phyllis, but I am not asking your opinion!!! :) Ha ha!

Saturday night the boys and I went out to my mom's and Todd went to the men's game night at church. They had fun, but it was only four men. It's sad that there is so little involvement. Of course today was spent at church, and ended tonight with a homecoming concert of praise. It was really good music! I told one of my favorite ladies, Joy, that Todd and I are old people stuck in younger people bodies. I love old fashioned music! We sang hymns, there were 2 quartets, and some instrumental stuff. It was a lot of fun being a part of that. I was blessed and hope that through the music, someone else was blessed.

Hallelujah that this is Mrs. Kirk's (Drew's teacher) last week! That woman is a hugely impregnated mass of hormones just waiting to scream at an unsuspecting 7 or 8 year old! I was ready for her to leave a few months ago when Drew got in trouble for spilling chocolate chips on the floor. She wrote in huge red letters, "DROPPED FOOD ON PURPOSE!", to which I responded, "He ACCIDENTALLY spilled them, he would NEVER drop them on purpose!" She got the message, I think. Teach her to mess with my baby! This week is more of the same...eating lunch with Graham and Drew, laundry, the usual fun stuff that consists of my week. I will go for now, hopefully I'll write some more this week. Love to all...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I cannot believe how fast this week has flown by. We've had quite the action around here, I must say. I am glad to see that it's finally (please, Jesus, let it be over!!!) closing to an end! Short weeks are always like that, aren't they? Let the kids out for a day, and the whole place goes nuts!
I have had not one, but count them, TWO extremely sick cats this week. Now to you who don't have pets, you're thinking, yeah, so what? SO WHAT, I ask you?!?!?! I won't go into gory detail, but it's about as bad as having a child throwing up with a stomach virus. TIMES TWO!!! Ugghh. Our washer and dryer have gotten quite the workout this week. I didn't know sheets could be that clean.
Drew has been a little under the weather with a nagging cough, and Jonah and Noah have had the crud, er I mean the croup. Same thing, right? Between laundry detergent, clorox, anti-microbial killer Febreeze, and now Lysol, you could just about eat off any surface in our house. Even the bathrooms. I had to clean, so why stop?
And now our tv remote is broken. There's a guy coming to check it out for us tomorrow, but I mean, seriously, a broken remote? COME ON! Todd says that when him and his brother were younger, THEY were the remotes! What kind of a parent makes their child change the channels for them?! Well, nevermind, that's kind of a good idea, so I think I'll do the same. Ha, ha, you guys aren't horrible, I mean, I married the guy, right?! I used to tell everybody that my mom only had me so I could fix her glasses of iced tea. Sorry, Mom, but the truth hurts. Ha, ha again.
I guess I'd better go, or everyone in my family is going to be mad at me! Love to all who take the time to read. =)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Incredible What?!?!

Okay, well, we went to Incredible Pizza, that new indoor game place. Oh my stars, I must need my head examined. That place is absolutely insane! The only reason I didn't think it was that bad at first, was because we got there at 11, which is when the place opened. The line at noon was out the door, and around the building. Absolutely crazy!
The boys did have fun, and surprisingly, I left with no headache! Jonah played one of those games where the claw tries to grab a stuffed animal, and he actually won one! There is no way I ever would have gone without help. Trish came with me, this was her treat to the boys, and she kept up with Graham and Drew, and I kept up with the little ones. We only lost Graham a few times. The little twerp that he is loves to sneak off! Not really, he just gets really side tracked.
We had an awesome weekend, just a long and tiring one. The kids were all in bed by eight tonight. I'm praying for a little wintry precipitation tonight and in the morning! I really want to go sledding down the neighbor's driveway at least once this winter!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Touching Story

I have a friend named Colleen whom I've met since school started this year. Her husband was deployed to Baghdad back in early September and just came home this week, praise God! But he'd told her that when he came home, he didn't want any fanfare or for her to bring anyone other than their four kids. Well, the same night he came home, a couple people from that new show, Dancing Wars, came through our airport.

Needless to say, the airport was totally packed with people hoping for their five minutes of fame. Well, Colleen's husband Frank, and his best friend, John got off the plane in their dessert camo's, and when people got a look at these two HUGE men, the noise just died. Everything was totally silent except for the sound of their children crying with relief that they were home. All of a sudden, applause and shouts broke out from everyone, and they were swamped with people trying to get to them and thank them for serving our country. My friend didn't cry until the two women standing at the Northwest gate broke out in sobs. Then she lost it.

They finally got to baggage claim, and Colleen said that everyone was coming up and hugging her, and picking up her kids and hugging them, and crying and kissing Frank on the cheek. So much for no fanfare, huh? Frank said that he misses being over there. Everyone is so appreciative of the work they do, and he said it was so touching. He came back here, and his words were, "I came back and signed in at Memphis, and it was like, welcome back to the same old crap." Sad. Then he said that all the troops over there were so proud to be was more like right after 9/11, and there was no right or wrong party, they were just proud to be able to serve their country. What an honor.

God bless AMERICA!


Okay, well, it's my second most favorite day of the week, Friday, and I'm getting in my much needed Daddy~time. I love all our Fridays! For anyone who doesn't know, I spend every Friday with him because he's 20% retired, as he likes to say. And he chooses to spend that one day with me, his baby girl! Aren't I blessed?!?! Can you tell I'm STILL a daddy's girl?
Jonah and Noah are running and riding on their John Deere tractors as I write this. They've re~discovered their love of these. They've been in their room for a long time, but this week brought them back down.
We've had craziness this week! I'm glad school's out and that this is a long weekend. We need the rest! I think I may actually be child free on Sunday night. Graham and Drew are going to a sleep over, and Jonah and Noah may be spending the night with the much loved Andy. I really want to go see a movie..we may go to a late one if we can manage them all being gone at the same time! I want to see 27 Dresses...I think it comes out this weekend.
On Monday, my sister and I, along with all the kids in my church, are going to this place called Incredible Pizza. I hear it's loads of fun (I pray it's NOTHING like Chuck E. Cheese!!!), and it's all indoor. So even in the rain or cold, you can still go and expel all that pent up energy. The boys are excited, and I must admit that I am too. I'll probably have a migraine by the time I leave, but at least they will have had a fun day!
Hope you all have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Report card time!

Well, we got report cards today, and I had to express how proud I am of my boys. They try very hard in school, and all their efforts pay off!

Graham~all A's with G in penmanship for the avg. semester
Drew~all A's with an E in penmanship for the avg. semester

It's funny, their grades are always identical! Usually, one will get an E and the other a G, but they always swap. So this time, Go Drew! I knew his handwriting was better than chicken scratch! He had to redo part of his homework last night, his writing was so bad! I knew he had it in him!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mean Mommy Part 2

Okay, well, I didn't have to play mean. I went to the school today to eat lunch with the boys, and I had a letter typed up to give to Mrs. Plummer, Graham's teacher. Her husband is like the rest of our husbands and didn't relay the message I'd left for her. (Ha ha ha!) Anyway, I typed up what Graham had told me happened in every situation with this fourth grader so she could handle this little problem. Well, when Jonah, Noah and I got there, we saw Ms. Gaines (afore mentioned favorite teacher). I told her what had happened, and she told me not to hand the letter in to Mrs. Plummer, but to let her handle it. She assured me it would be taken care of by this afternoon.
So, when I went to pick the boys up from school, Graham comes out to the car. When I asked him how it went, he said, "Oh, we solved it." Ms. Gaines went and got both boys out of their classes and took them to the library. She sat them down and said, "Okay, boys, let's settle this." She had Graham tell her all that had been happening, and she had Trey tell her whether or not that was true. With tears in his eyes, he said that yes, it was true. Then he started crying. Come to find out, his home life isn't really good. He has a mom who likes to yell morning, noon and night, and an older sister that teases him relentlessly. Trey said to Graham that he didn't realize how mean he'd been, and that he was truly sorry, and would he please forgive him. To which Graham answered, "it's okay. Here's my phone number in case you ever want to call me and talk, or if you ever want to come over and play. We're always home, and you're welcome anytime." WOW. What an awesome little boy, huh?!
Don't you think we should all be so willing to forgive and forget?! Graham did EXACTLY what Jesus would have done. You go boy!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Funny Story Of The Day

I was walking back upstairs to tell the boys that I loved them, and I walked in on Drew and Graham talking. They didn't know I was there, so I hung back, listening in on what they said. Graham was saying, "...he's cheating on her." Drew then asked, "What does that mean? What is cheating?" , to which Graham answered, "you know, when you like two girls, you're cheating on both of them." Stifling my laughter, I heard Drew say, "you're cheating on MADISON?!" (Madison Bailey just so happens to be the cutest girl in all of third grade, and she's won the affection of my darling oldest son). Graham replied, "I guess I am because I like Madison AND Alexandra."
Be still my heart, these years are approaching very fast, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I guess we'll be having a "chat" about this tomorrow. Good night!

Mean Mommy

When I picked the boys up from school today, I noticed that Graham was crying. He was trying not to, but I could tell that he was fighting for his composure. I didn't want to make a big deal about it until he was completely inside the car, so when he got in, I asked him what was wrong. He said that as he was walking out this kid in the FOURTH GRADE pushed him as hard he could and Graham fell and hurt his knee. I asked him if the kid was playing a little too rough, or what, but Graham said that he wasn't. He told the boy to stop, but he wouldn't.
I asked if anything like this had ever happened before, and this fourth grader had also made fun of him on Friday. He said something like, "Hey, Graham, what are you reading, a first grade book?" Then today when he shoved Graham he said, "what are you gonna do about that?" I'll tell you what Graham's gonna do, he's gonna sic his mean mommy on him. Teach him to mess around with MY kids. Not really, just kidding.
I went ahead and wrote down everything that this kid has done, and called Graham's teacher. I haven't actually talked to her yet, she's supposed to call me back later. But their school has a zero tolerance bullying policy. This year the guidance counselor has made a huge deal about this (which was apparently a problem), and they're really cracking down on this. I have complete confidence that this will be handled in the proper way, but the mommy in me wants to jump that kid.
I guess that's why I''m not a teacher...I probably wouldn't have patience to handle something like that. The door Graham and Drew walk out of everyday is the door that their favorite teacher, Ms. Gaines stands at. She'll probably say something to this kid herself if she finds out what he did to Graham. She tends to favor Graham and Drew...this is the teacher that was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and I made her the school's priority during teacher appreciation week last year. She and I have become friends, and she does watch out for my boys. It's good to have friends like her...someone who will love your kids almost as much as you do!
Hope you all had a happy Monday!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I must say that I am glad this week is almost over. It's been good, don't get me wrong, but tonight, my patience is stretched thin. I've had an awesome day, I spent it in different the yard with the kids, talking with neighbors, with my Dad flying airplanes and trying to catch pop up's, and finally with my Mom and Bill. I think the ride home got to me. The kids were starting to argue (no! Imagine that!), and Graham and Drew were playing with the Ipods. Drew said he thought he could "text" on his, and proceeded to ask me if he could text all his friends, and Aunt Tracy. Yup, I'm telling the truth. Then he said the craziest most ABSURD thing a 7 year old going on 16 year old could say...he said, "I want an Iphone soooo bad!" I almost slammed the brakes on the 'burban. I then told him that he would be lucky to see a regular cell phone during his teenage years, much less an Iphone. I mean, give me a break. Crazy kid. I'm still reeling.
I love Sundays! There's a couple references to Sunday's that I is in a song called, It's Almost Sunday", and the other one is a quote from the latest Karen Kingsbury book that I just read. She wrote, "it only matters what you do between Sunday's". How true. My Dad once told me that church was a lot like a gas station. You went there often to fill your tank up, or you would run out. You would run out of steam, energy, that awesome feeling after a Spirit filled time of worship, everything. I always feel like I'm at my wit's end once Sunday rolls around. I pray every Sunday morning (my absolute FAVORITE time of week) that God will just clear out all that 'junk' that gets in my heart during the week. Sometimes that's anger, resentment, discouragement, helplessness, whatever it may be, and every time, He does just that. I'm in the choir, and often on the praise team that helps him lead, and unless I pray that, it does me no good at all to stand up there and sing. If I don't do that, the worship becomes about me, and it shouldn't be.
So, I hope anyone who reads this stops and ponders how you spend your Sundays. Whether it's at home, or with family, or whatever else, God will meet you there. He doesn't stay cooped up in our sanctuaries, but is often found in kitchens, in cars, or in the gentle whisper of a song or a book. Zephaniah 3:16 ..."do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. 17 The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Plugged In

Well, it's official. We are all officially "plugged in" to today's world. Not really, but that's what I feel like. All the boys now have either a Nintendo DS, a Nintendo gameboy XP, iPods', you name it and it's electronic~they've got it. They're getting to be quite expensive. And their eating habits, oh my stars, I get sick to my stomach just thinking about it.
They are so much fun, though. I never would have thought that having kids get what they want would make me feel so warm and tingly inside! I love watching them receive gifts, and I love buying them things! I don't do it often, but when they do get something, they are so thankful! I love it! My heart just feels warm and fuzzy thinking about it.
Todd found an inexpensive iPod on the internet (generic, obviously) that he bought for himself. It came in the wrong color, though, and when Drew found out, he asked if he could have it. It wasn't working out very good with them sharing the one Nana gave them for Christmas. I know, I know, Tricia told me so. I didn't listen. He's loving it, and listening to it as I write this.
I did have to tell him about the volume thing~I felt like my mom. I had to tell him that he could damage his eardrums listening to the music at that high of a volume. I mean, my mom said that almost word verbatim! Ooh, it gives me chills. I hate it when I do that. Anyway, all is better now, and he's listening to it a normal decibel.
Well, that's all for now, Tonka Fire Station is calling us all downstairs to movie and chex mix night!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

God moments

Do you ever have a serious moment with God? I have them in the weirdest places! The shower, the kitchen, in bed at night, but most often in my car. It's no surprise to anyone who knows me that God speaks to me through music. That's what He did today. I was in my car, enjoying a child~free moment, and He got me. I went to Lifeway to use a gift card I'd gotten for Christmas, and I bought several things, one of which is an AWESOME cd by a group called Austin's Bridge. The first I'd heard of this group was late one night on the Gospel Music Channel, they did a live concert, but I'd kind of forgotten them. Today I bought their cd, and there's this song on it called, He's In Control. It talks about how God is in control of every situation, whether good or bad. I've been in both lately. I've been convicted several times of not fully trusting in God...I sometimes keep praying for the same things over and over again. And one day, I felt the Holy Spirit asking, "Why do you keep asking Me? Do you not trust Me enough that I didn't get it the first time?" This song was a reminder, and amidst the strange looks of passengers around me in their respective cars, I couldn't help but shout GLORY! We serve a Mighty God, and He cradles us in His arms just like a new father cradling his new born baby...He treats us like that sometimes, I think, to remind us that He is Abba Father!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ten Secrets To A Happy Marriage (as written by Karen Kingsbury)

1. God has us here to serve one another. Love acted out is serving.
2. Women need respect and nurturing. Love your wife so she knows you'd lay your life down for her. Continue to date and admire her. Share a hobby~find something you can do to have fun together.
3. Laugh often.
4. Be patient. Love crumbles quickly under the weight of unmet expectations.
5. Spend more time trying to fix yourself than your spouse.
6. Keep short accounts. The Bible says, "Do not let the sun go down while you are angry." Make it a habit to forgive.
7. Determine up front that divorce is not an option.
8. Learn about love languages. Not all people show love or receive it the same way. You want a back rub and your wife wants a clean kitchen. The love languages are fairly simple: acts of service, time, physical touch, gifts and words of affirmation. Learn them. Love is better received when it's in the language the person speaks. (The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman)
9. Words of affirmation are a love language for all men. Use them often!!
10. Men are born to be leaders. He cannot lead unless she gives him the confidence to do so. If you love your husband, build him up. Confident men do not seek love outside the home.

Funny Story Of The Day

Jonah and Noah have been begging me if Andy Stalls could come over today, and I promised them that he could, so he's here even as I write this. They've been busy playing upstairs, and I hadn't seen them in a while when I heard crying. It was Noah, as usual. He's cried lots of times today, I think he must be tired, so it will definitely be an early to bed night for all.

Anyway, I heard him say that Jonah had done something to him (imagine that!), so I called them both downstairs for a chit chat (or come to Jesus meeting, as I like to say). Jonah has this rubber snake that he likes that they were playing with and Noah said that Jonah slapped him with it. I asked Jonah about it, and he said, "I did NOT slap him with it, I only hit him.", to which I told him that technically, he slapped him. All is better now, he asked forgiveness, and Noah gave it along with a twin brother bear hug (which is much different than your traditional bear hug), and now they're back upstairs playing. Ah, blessed chaos. What would my life be without it?!?!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Still not sleepy...

I still can't even begin to think about sleeping, so I'm going to write one of my most favorite passages of Scripture.

Isaiah 43 But now, this is what the Lord says-he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. 4 SINCE YOU ARE PRECIOUS AND HONORED IN MY SIGHT, AND BECAUSE I LOVE YOU,I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. 5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather them from the west, 6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

Book Savvy

I just finished yet another Karen Kingsbury book, Between Sundays. Wow! This woman totally amazes me. I've now read almost all of her books, with the exception of one Christmas one, and I'm more amazed at her each time. I mean, she's a great gal, I'm sure, but I'm amazed at the way God works through her writing. She's an open door for Him to come through, and every single time I read one of her books, I can feel the Holy Spirit moving in me. She inspires me to write, and every time I finish a book, I start writing again. I seem to forget that it's something I love to do, and something I think I'm pretty decent at. Proverbs 31 Ministries told me that, and I even forgot about that. It's like I'm so consumed with things that go on from day to day, that I'm in a daze. I tend to take my eyes off the prize, which is our Heavenly Father, and try to do things my way. I can't do that! I need someone to poke me in the side every once in a while and remind me of this. Maybe I can enlist the help of some friends...

Today was the boys' first day back at school, and I missed them. I did get some work done for a neighbor of mine, so that is out of the way. I told Jonah and Noah that I would see if Andy could come over tomorrow. If the weather is anything like it was today, I'll take them to the park to play. It was gorgeous outside...sunny and 70 degrees! In January, no less! Crazy! That's why I've been having and the rest of the fam. It was so nice that we went on a walk when Graham and Drew got home from school. Well, I walked, the rest of the boys (plus Kari from next door) rode. She made sure they didn't get too close to the stop signs. I know, paranoid mom, but those people fly around those stop signs, and Jonah and Noah aren't too sure of their stability on their new bikes. I was going to take Andy the dog, but I figured I'd save that grueling task for good 'old Toddly. We all need the exercise desperately, and that'll give us a goal for the week.

It hit me that school is half over. I cannot, absolutely cannot believe that. I've been saying that I have another year with Jonah and Noah at home, but I don't . I have a few months, then summer, then it's over! I can't even think about it. I was going to make sure they knew all their alphabet, and their numbers, but turns out I didn't have to worry. Their older brothers have taught them lots, and they're pretty much as ready as they're ever going to be. Their handwriting could be better, but they're four. I mean, what are teachers for? I had one tell me to make sure they knew all their alphabet, lower and upper case, and their sounds. Whatever. They'll do great whether they know all that or not. I just need to make sure that they know where their heel is! (Remember Graham asking to use the teacher's phone so he could call his dad and ask him?!?!)

Well, I will go for now. I have the wide awakes, and my hubby is at a friends' house watching the championship game. Go LSU! Right now the score is LSU 31, OSU 17. If you're impressed, don't be. I didn't know what else to watch, so I turned the game on. Then at least I can pretend I knew what all had happened. Ha ha ha! :)

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

  Hi, friends! As you can tell, I'm forcing myself to be here often, because my life needs to resume some sort of normalcy right now; th...