Friday, July 28, 2006

Bed shopping

Hey, if you're going to move out of state, why not buy a big ol' piece of furniture to move with you? Today we took Julia "just to look" at loft beds and, of course, ending up buying one. I couldn't find the exact one online but it looks a lot like this one, only it's solid white. They'll deliver it next week and we'll just leave it in the boxes until we get to AR. Now she'll have a place to put her computer (just for games, no internet access) and room for a friend to spend the night.

If you live near Baytown, come check out our garage sale tomorrow!


This is in reference to yesterday's post:

May it be known that Mrs. Mardell Hamby of Richmond, Texas, who is an upstanding citizen in every conceivable way, had no knowledge of before yesterday morning. This fine community leader had only googled "pink whale" to see if such a marine mammal really existed when she came across the shocking definition for the term in the urban dictionary. Mrs. Hamby is in no way a "homegirl" who's been "chattin' it up in tha hood."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

You learn something new every day

Julia has two best friends named Natalie and Meagan. Here they are at our local library in a photo that was printed in the monthly library newsletter. (That's Natalie on the left, Meagan on the right and Julia in the middle.)

Because we are moving in two weeks, the girls all wanted their own email addresses so they could stay in touch with each other. So Julia and I sat down the other night to set up her account. She wanted her address to contain the words "pink whale." "Pink" for her favorite color and "whale" for her favorite animal. So I got her all set up and we added Natalie, Meagan and my parents to her address book. She's been getting mail from all of them several times a day and she's been loving it.

So my mom calls me yesterday and says, "Umm...when you get a chance, you might look up 'pink whale' at"

So I did.

Oh. My.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Warnings for Idiots

By Deana Nall
The Baytown Sun

Published July 26, 2006

Dear Target Corporation,

First, you must know how much I love your company, oh, red bullseye of comfort, solace, and little red clearance tags.

Having said that, I need to let you know about something I recently discovered in your Baytown, Texas, store.

In my continuing quest for a decent night's sleep, I was wandering the aisles in search of some kind of sleep inducer the other day. In doing so, I learned something about our society.

Apparently, we are all complete idiots.

In the "Bath & Body" aisle, I happened upon a "Satin Sleep Mask" that promised to "relax and soothe." Hey, who couldn't use that? For just $3.99, to boot. I put it in my little red cart and went on my way.

Once I got home, I examined the mask a little more closely.

"Here's a sure way to get your beauty rest!" the package proclaimed. "This pillowy satin sleep mask relaxes tired eyes while blocking disturbing light during naps or meditation. Enjoy a sound sleep and sweet dreams."

Sounded good so far. I kept reading.

"FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY," the label warned.

Now, hold on a minute. What on earth do you think I'm going to do with this thing? Cram it up my nose?

I began to wonder — although I didn't really want to know — what could have possibly happened to cause this product to be labeled in such a manner.

Then I noticed another label on the package: "MADE IN CHINA."

Is that it? Do people in China think we're stupid?

"Oh, wait. This shipment is going to the U.S. You know what total morons those Americans are. Better put a warning label on those sleep masks or who knows what they'll try doing with them."

This may not be the intention of the Target Corporation, but I think these kinds of warnings only give people ideas. Seriously, it never occurred to me to use a blow dryer in my sleep or submerge it in my bathwater until the warning label told me not to. Try telling your kids not to open the freezer to lick the metal bar on the icemaker. They won't rest until they've done it.

I think people who come up with these warnings should use reverse psychology. Just once, I'd like to see this on a package of hot dog wieners: "Cook entire package in microwave for 45 minutes."

Or on a gasoline can: "Hey, isn't it about time for a cigarette?"

Or on a paintball gun: "Aim at best friend's eyeball. Fire."

For now, the sleep mask is still in its package. I can't bring myself to use it. For some reason, the image of what some poor guy -- probably a member of a college fraternity -- must have done with one of these things to warrant such a warning is not conducive to relaxation for me. Watching the news until it depresses me to sleep is much more effective.

Thank you for your time. Oh -- great shoe sale this week. You guys rock!

Much love,

Deana Nall

Baytown, Texas

Deana Nall lives in Baytown with her family — for now.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Kimberly and Grant sittin' in a tree...

We just got back from the wedding of Chad's cousin Kimberly. She's the daughter of Chad's dad's brother and let me tell you -- these people know how to PARTY. We got there Thursday and there was a party at Kimberly's parents' house. The next day, Julia (flower girl extraordinaire) and I went to the bridesmaids' luncheon, which was all girly and fun. That night was the rehearsal dinner, which was also a lot of fun. Then Julia had all her beauty appointments (nails, hair), the absolutely beautiful wedding Saturday night, and then the reception, which was the party to end all parties. So all weekend, we were either hanging out in our AWESOME hotel room or at a party somewhere enjoying Chad's extended family and eating yummy food. It was great fun! Kimberly is such a wonderful Christian girl and Grant, her new husband, is a great Christian guy and we are so happy for them. Everything was perfect this weekend -- a terrific way to start a new life together. It was also nice to spend time with Chad's uncle and aunt Mark and Jill and Kimberly's sisters Kelly and Chaney. And we got to meet some of Jill's family we had never met before.

Julia LOVED being the flower girl. There were no other kids around her age so hanging out with the big girls was so exciting for her. And Kimberly made her a necklace to wear with her flower girl dress -- something she'll always treasure!

Here's Kimberly cutting a rug with Grant on the dance floor at the reception. Hard to believe she was our 12-year-old junior bridesmaid 13 years ago!

Caution: White Church of Christ girls on the dance floor! Julia and I are dancing to "We Are Family."

Blogger isn't wanting me to post any more pics, but you can see Chad's blog for a few of how Jenna responded to the weekend's festivities.

Oh -- and we're moving in two weeks!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Just a Phase

By Deana Nall
The Baytown Sun

Published July 19, 2006

I'm sure it's just a phase.

If you've been a parent for any significant amount of time, you know about the phases.

They're different for each child. In her earlier years, Julia (our oldest) went through the "I Refuse to Walk on Grass" phase, the "I Scream Any Time I'm in a Car Seat" phase and "I'm Deathly Afraid of Mommy and Daddy's Closet" phase.

The nice thing about these phases is that they tend to be short-lived. (Except for Julia's "Let's See How Long I Can Stay Alive Without Eating" phase, which started when she was about 3 and there's still no end in sight four years later.)

Now, almost-2-year-old Jenna is going through phases of her own. One of her favorites is the "I'm Going to Wake Up and Scream Bloody Murder Every Night at 3:47 a.m. For No Apparent Reason" phase. That one is always fun. And then there's the "No One Can Enjoy Sunday Lunch As Long As I'm Around" phase.

This one has been particularly hard for me. I think it's the way I was raised. Back in my day, Sunday lunch was a big deal. We either had a nice lunch at home or went to a non-fast-food restaurant after church. It was always a thrill to walk into Luby's and see a short line. "Looks like we beat the Baptists!" my dad would say, a touch of triumph in his voice.

(Apologies to my Baptist friends. I guess our closing prayer was shorter.)

Anyway, over the last six months or so, Jenna's morning and afternoon naps have merged to make for one lunchtime nap. This is not a problem -- except for Sundays. About the time church is letting out and we're ready to go eat, Jenna's ready to crash.

So our Sunday lunches have gone from eating on real dishes with real silverware to grabbing something from the Dairy Queen drive-through on the way home. Which isn't all that bad. It's just not what Sunday lunch is supposed to be.

We got brave last Sunday and decided to give Jenna another chance.

"Maybe she's grown out of it," we thought as we pulled into the parking lot at Antonio's.

She did manage to sit and eat bread for a few minutes. But then she remembered something: Antonio's has a fountain. And Jenna cannot stay away from water. She doesn't like to just look at water; she likes to experience it. This led to her getting quite wet, which led to an Antonio's employee informing Julia that they put Clorox in the fountain water to disinfect it, so letting her baby sister play in it may not be a good idea.

That may have been a scare tactic. At any rate, we had to remove Jenna from the temptation of the fountain, which meant removing her from the restaurant.

I got our food to go and then drove Jenna up and down Baker while Chad wrapped things up with a friend who had unwittingly joined us for lunch.

So now we're back to the Dairy Queen drive-through. And really, it could be worse. One day, Jenna will hit the "I Hate You, You're Ruining My Life and Now I'm Going to Slam My Door" phase.

When we think about it that way, our Sundays are actually quite peaceful.

Deana Nall lives in Baytown with her family — for now.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


There are so many things that make me excited about moving from Baytown to Little Rock.

But today I'm just really, really sad.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


We're back from Kadesh. What an incredible week. This year featured a new curriculum called "Freedom." We worked with teens all week trying to get them to cut themselves free from the things that hold them back from a close relationship with Christ. We had a great group (as always) and after this year's Thursday night event, I don't know that I'll ever look at Communion the same way again. It's top secret Kadesh info, though -- if you want to know what happened, attend a Kadesh session four years from now!

Another thing I love about Kadesh is that they offer childcare for group leaders with children. This is why Kadesh is the only youth group event in which I can fully participate. We had wonderful babysitters this year, including Melissa, who is the daughter of this guy. (I called Melissa "Meagan" for a whole day before she straightened me out. Ugh.) Melissa had the challenge of putting Jenna to bed one night. I asked her how it went the next day and she said, "She fought it at first, but then I just started praying over her and she went to sleep." See, even your toddlers can have a great spiritual experience at Kadesh! And Julia had a blast at KidQuest. One more year of that and she'll be old enough for Learning to Lead.

I did work in time to have a mini-reunion with some of my friends from the Highland office, where I used to work. Jenna and I met up with Brenda Chrane, Gina Lewis and Mike Cope on Tuesday. Later in the week, I ran into Beverly in the Campus Center.

Any of you ACU grads remember the Dairy Queen on Ambler on the way out of town toward Hamby? I think there was some farmland or something behind it. Now, there's a Chili's and a Cracker Barrel and a big ol' honkin' Wal-Mart back there! All that wasn't there a year ago. The new Wal-Mart came in quite handy when Chad and I realized we had showed up for a week at Kadesh without ONE SINGLE TOWEL OR WASHCLOTH.

Now we are packing and moving closer to the closing date of our house. We've been getting some really sweet cards from members of our new church. Julia and I were looking at photos on the church website of their summer kids' program and were surprised to see her in some of them. I remembered the program started the same Sunday we were there interviewing at the beginning of June. So it was neat to see those pictures and Julia already being a part of things at LRC. Speaking of LRC, I've added a link to the Little Rock Church website.

Now we're looking forward to Chad's cousin Kimberly Nall's wedding in Dallas this weekend. Julia will be the flower girl and we are all so excited. Kimberly was our junior bridesmaid 13 years ago so it's an extra honor for us that she chose Julia to be in her wedding.

I'll try to post some Kadesh pics later in the week!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Does this popcorn taste like pears?

We finally watched "Brokeback Mountain" last night. Well, half of it. We started it pretty late and ended up having to go to bed. I woke up this morning and asked Chad if we had really seen the girl from "Princess Diaries" topless. He confirmed that we had. I found that more disturbing than anything else. I'd really like to see how the movie ends, though.

Tomorrow we are leaving for Kadesh. I love Kadesh -- I think because it is youth ministry in one of its rawest forms. You don't spend months getting to know these kids, you don't take them to play Laser Tag or to ride go-karts. You just get right into the Word and right into their hearts. It's a very intense week that I look forward to every year.

Little Rock news: We have a place to live now! We are going to live in this very cute (and very little) townhome for a year or so. We were on a waiting list and our names came up yesterday. Julia is elated because she's always wanted to live in a two-story house.

Anyway, I probably won't update this until after Kadesh, so have a good week!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Trying to catch some zzzz's

By Deana Nall
The Baytown Sun

Published July 5, 2006

I’m not asking for anything outrageous.

I just want to sleep all night.

For some reason, after nearly 35 years of having no problem catching Z’s, I suddenly can’t sleep.

I suspect it has to do with the fact that we’re moving to Arkansas in five weeks. At night, my brain is flooded with questions such as “Where will we live in Little Rock?” and “Where will our daughter go to school?” and “What if somebody calls me a hillbilly?”

No wonder I can’t sleep.

My problem has worsened to the point that when my almost-2-year-old wakes up in the middle of the night, I think, “Hey, at least I’ll have some company.”

I’ve tried several remedies. One of my old favorites is putting the states in alphabetical order. Before, I rarely made it to Minnesota awake. Now, my state list goes like this: “Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas... Yikes! We’d better start packing!” And sleep stays far, far away.

I’ve tried getting on the Internet. This is why my friends have been receiving e-mails and MySpace comments from me at ungodly hours. This isn’t very conducive to falling asleep, either.

So I’m afraid I’ve become one of “Those People.”

You know. Those People who have to take something to sleep.

Don’t worry. It’s just those wonderful little over-the-counter blue pills called “Tylenol P.M.”

This really isn’t that bad, is it? I mean, at least I’m not one of those Ambien junkies. That stuff is too hardcore for me.

But I have found something useful at Ambien’s Web site. It’s the company’s seven tips to getting a better night’s sleep. Let’s discuss.

1. Go to sleep and wake at the same time each day.

Um, sorry. People who have children don’t get to do this.

2. Avoid caffeine late in the day.

I’ve been doing this one for years now. If I do happen to find myself at a Starbucks after 3 p.m., I get their yummy iced green tea.

3. Watch your diet.

Why? What’s it gonna do?

4. Create a relaxing bedtime routine.

Does this include clutching a diaper and an Elmo nightgown while chasing a naked toddler through the house?

5. Exercise regularly.

See No. 4.

6. Get out of bed if you’re not sleeping.

And watch nothing but infomercials, because that’s all that’s going to be on. Kitchen gadgets? Colon cleanser? Completely useless exercise machines? In a Tylenol P.M.-induced daze, you’ll be convinced you need it all.

7. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.

Yeah, maybe he can bore me to sleep with some of his old textbooks from med school.

My sleeping problem hasn’t been all bad. The other night, when I was awake at 3 a.m., I watched a fascinating and very educational documentary on PBS.

I just wish I could remember what it was about.

Anyway, I’m going to keep working on this because we’re moving in a few weeks and I need my energy for everything we have to do. Like getting ready for the garage sale we’re having soon.

Why don’t you stop by? You’ll never find colon cleanser this cheap again.

Deana Nall lives in Baytown with her family.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Music to my ears

The phone rang this morning while I was getting myself and the girls ready for church. It was our realtor. She was calling to say we have a full-price offer on our house and to come in to the office to sign the contract tomorrow! Yay!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

True Confession #12

The topic of this one: revenge.

In college, I had a relationship with a guy that ended very badly. Even after it ended, it still kept ending badly, if that makes any sense. Anyway, a friend and I were walking through a campus parking lot one night and we spotted his car. We got the idea that it would be funny to take the gas cap off his car. So we did. (Note: By this time, the guy HATED me. This was no friendly prank between friends. If he had caught us, he probably would have called the cops.) We kept it for a couple of weeks, then decided to put it back -- just to mess with his head. We found his car again one night, and went to put the gas cap back on. But he had already bought a new one. So we took that one, too. This was in the spring of 1991. The two gas caps are still at my friend's parent's house.

So if he happens to find my blog... yes, it was ME! Ha ha!