101 Random Things About Me

  1. I was born in IL and raised in AZ.
  2. I went to college at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.
  3. After 2.5 years, I left, primarily for health reasons.
  4. I didn’t find out the source of those “health reasons” until after my 3rd son was diagnosed.  We both have celiac disease.
  5. Don’t ask me about celiac disease unless you want an earful.
  6. I was 21 when I got married.
  7. I had just turned 24 when my first baby was born.
  8. I now have five kids — three boys (ages 13, 11 & 9), a 4yo girl and a toddler girl who is nearly 2.
  9. I’ve been married for 15 ½ years.
  10. We had a phenomenal honeymoon because my husband Martin won it.  Airfare and six nights at the Palmilla in Cabo.  We were broke and ate at taco stands in San Jose del Cabo.  We couldn’t afford even one meal at the resort.
  11. I really admire my husband.  He is full of integrity, he’s humble, talented, smart and hard-working.  And he’s funny.  And handsome.
  12. We are in our 9th year of homeschooling.
  13. The longer I homeschool, the more I’m convinced we’re in it for the long haul.
  14. We use Sonlight Curriculum, plus a smattering of lots of other stuff.
  15. I’m happy to be homeschooling for my own learning pleasure, as well!  I’ve learned a ton, especially in history.
  16. I live among the Sonoran Desert foothills.
  17. My husband designed our home for the homebuilder who built it (his employer).
  18. I’d like to live in a home we designed together, but on 10 acres or more.
  19. I enjoyed living in New Orleans, but always said it was a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there permanently.  Did you know N.O. has more canals than Venice?  But most of them are underground.
  20. I spent the summer I turned 19 in Ketchikan, Alaska.
  21. In Alaska, I worked at a cold storage, a.k.a. “fish disassembly plant.”
  22. Consequently, I can gut a fish faster than anyone I know.
  23. My Mom and two of my sibs have Marfan’s Syndrome.
  24. More than 12 years ago, my Mom was given 6 months – 2 years to live.
  25. Because of the “short time” we had left, my Mom & Stepdad started coming over every week for dinner.
  26. They still come over regularly.  Right now, it’s every other week.
  27. We alternate weeks for cheffing responsibilities, so at least once a month, I get a “free” dinner from my mom!
  28. I love coffee.
  29. My favorite frou-frou drink is an extra-hot almond cappuccino, but Starbucks discontinued carrying almond flavoring!!  I haven’t yet found one that I like as much.  😦
  30. I think lattes are for wimps.  My husband knows that, but he still drinks vanilla lattes.  I think he’s secure in his non-wimp status, though.
  31. My husband is the supreme coffee-maker/coffee snob in our household.
  32. I also like tea, especially at night.
  33. My current fave tea is Chinese “restaurant” tea — oolong and green teas with jasmine.  Or Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla White Chai tea (having a hard time finding that tea, now).
  34. I love baseball.
  35. I remember being in college, not having time to sit down and watch any games, because my time was eaten up by other things… so now I give thanks, nearly every game I watch, that my life is slow enough that I can take in a baseball game.
  36. I love the Diamondbacks.
  37. I believe baseball is NOT boring, especially if you’re one who enjoys thinking and details.
  38. I play the guitar.
  39. I love to sing.
  40. I coordinate background vocals for our church’s worship team, lead worship for the 6-12 year olds once a month (voice and guitar), and lead worship in a weekly small group, also on acoustic.
  41. I can pick out alto and tenor harmony by ear, and usually switch back and forth at will.
  42. I’d rather sing back-up than lead, though leading is fun sometimes.
  43. When I’m upset, I love to go on an errand by myself and BLAST worship music in the truck, singing my guts out.
  44. I love to take walks.
  45. It was/is a goal to run a marathon by the time I’m 35.
  46. Well, I missed that goal, because I’m now 37.  But, I am still working on getting in shape, and look forward to running my marathon.
  47. Every time I start to get back into shape, I really push myself to run.  Last time I was seriously training for a marathon, I damaged several tendons in my feet, so I’m taking it slower this time.
  48. Since the winter is so mild here in the Phoenix area, I plan on starting another running regimen this fall-through-spring and hopefully be able to run The Valley of the Sun Marathon.
  49. I also plan on having my 13yo son train with me, both for the company, and for his own benefit.  I’m really looking forward to that.
  50. I love birding, and take my Sibley guide nearly everywhere.
  51. When I was a kid, we usually went camping one weekend a month.
  52. My Mom says that the one thing she and my Dad did well together was camp.
  53. I still LOVE to camp.
  54. My parents divorced when I was 15.  Not enough camping, I guess.  😉
  55. My husband’s parents divorced when he was 2.
  56. We were determined to do things differently and break those patterns of divorce.
  57. I thought since that goal was so Godly, things would be easy.  They weren’t.  Still aren’t.
  58. However, we have reached that goal, and will continue to reach it, with thanks and praise to God!
  59. My first job was babysitting, which I loved.
  60. My first “real” job was at McDonald’s at 43rd Ave & Thunderbird Rd. in Glendale, AZ.
  61. I am still very nice to all fast food employees.  They are under-appreciated
  62. Working 2.5 years at McDonald’s paid for my first semester of room & board at college.
  63. I cussed like a sailor from ages 10-16.
  64. I stopped cussing when my fellow McDonald’s employees said, “I thought Christians didn’t cuss.”
  65. I’ve always thought it ironic that my non-Christian friends kept me more accountable to Godly principles than my Christian friends did.
  66. I went to college on a full-ride scholarship.
  67. I was fairly smart, but I did NOT deserve that scholarship!  I was a very small fish in a very large pond.
  68. I love missionaries and missionary stories.
  69. I never had a birthday party as a kid.
  70. My parents still don’t do “celebration” very well.
  71. That’s OK;  they have other fine qualities.
  72. I had three close neighborhood friends growing up:  Jennifer Phipps, Debbie Brown, and Torre Walker.
  73. It makes me sad that I have no contact with those three girls now…  I have no idea where they are.  I did run into Torre’s mom at Costco one day, and I gave her my contact info to give to Torre, but Torre never contacted me.  😦
  74. At school and church, my best friends were Lori Bryson and Brian Schmidt.
  75. In high school, my best friend became Holly Bourns, partly because Lori got a boyfriend.
  76. I still keep in touch with Lori, Brian & Holly.  Facebook rocks.  🙂
  77. Holly and I go to the same church.
  78. Her dad is pastor of that church.
  79. I’ve always made friends more easily with boys than girls.
  80. After I got married, that was a completely useless skill, and I had to learn how to be friends with women.
  81. My taste in music is a little odd.
  82. I still like rock’n’roll, even though I’m now “old” and can’t keep up with all the new music.
  83. Growing up, I always wanted to be an architect.
  84. After going to school for it (and doing fairly well), I decided that it was not how I wanted to spend my future.
  85. Now, my husband is basically an unlicensed architect, and often brings home his work to show me, and listens to my opinions and thoughts about the plan.
  86. I played volleyball, basketball, and softball in junior high and high school.
  87. The high school I went to was a very small Christian school.  We belonged to a state-wide association of similar schools, and my senior year, we took State in basketball.
  88. Also in my senior year of high school, I was co-captain of that basketball team, but in the middle of the season, my celiac disease flared up, and I struggled the rest of the season.  By the time the season ended, I wasn’t even a starter.
  89. I love Mexican food.
  90. I still have the key to my second apartment in New Orleans.  The apartment was over an uptown dive called Norby’s.  The owner (Norby), always called my roommate Marilyn, “Maryland.”  I did a little search, and it seems that the original Norby’s has been replaced by an Italian restaurant by the same name.  I KNOW the original owner would not have had an Italian restaurant.  The original Norby’s was a bar, populated by slow-moving old men who spent their days debating the merits of Tulane vs. LSU.
  91. I love to be outdoors, and in the water, but I have terribly fair skin that does not stand the sun & wind very well.
  92. I got in the best shape of my life after my second son was born, doing a Body for Life challenge.
  93. I believe moms should let their sons be BOYS — loud, dirty and gross — but not at the dinner table.
  94. I’ve never been drunk, though I have been tipsy a few times.
  95. I’ve never been stoned.
  96. I was a virgin when I got married.
  97. However, I did drink, underage, in college — one or two beers here & there.
  98. I smoked cigarettes from ages 19-20.
  99. My first cigarette was hand-rolled tobacco, and I knew how to do it from seeing way too many friends rolling joints.
  100. I messed around too much, dated too much before my husband.  I didn’t understand that the idea was to keep oneself PURE, not just a technical virgin.
  101. I love my life.
  1. Hey, I loved your list. I think I will do the same for my blog. Visit at http://www.donbryant.wordpress.com.

  2. You’re awesome!

  3. Hey…thanks for stopping by my blog with a comment today. I like your list — it seems like we have a lot in common.

  4. Well, everyone else was doing it, so I did too.

  5. Hi,, I went for a nice blog-walking,, and I found you,, nice,,

    I love coffee too, and that’s really good that you love your life,, 🙂

  6. Hi…I googled for Marfan Moms and found your link.
    I enjoyed reading your list, I have been meaning to do the same thing. lol

    I too have 3 boys and a girl. I was done after the 3rd boy but my husband had a dream that he was holding a baby in pink. I thought he was nuts but he convinced me to try again. Emma will be 6 in July.

    I also have Marfan Syndrome, began with my dad who died at 33 from it undiagnosed. My oldest brother and I have it and 3 out of 4 of my children have it. I was trying to find other bloggers who have it…mostly parents.

    Kudo’s to you and your husband on homeschooling. I wish I was brave enough to do it.

    Take care~

  7. hi.
    I was looking for poetry and i found you.One good thing should always happen to people early in the morning to start the day off.you are my good thing today.the list brought back memories for me. i have mine written in a diary someplace.be sure to get it out and load it.you have a nice day

  8. I made a 101 list on my blog a year or so ago. Here it is: http://gombojav.blogspot.com/2006/06/101-things.html

  9. Are you sure we camped that much? I still don’t like to pee outdoors, and I really don’t like camping at all.

  10. Yesterday, I was cleaning my kitchen and stumbled upon a container of William Sonoma never been open Valentine cookie cutters. I have celiac disease and no recipe for making those lovely cookies. I am such a romantic at heart, so your recipe was a God send.

    I love your 101 list.

    I too was a virgin when I got married at 30, and it is the best decision I have ever made. Tough, damn tough, but it really gave me vision and inner strength. As JP II said, “We become a gift to another person to the same degree as we acquire self-mastery.” Still working on that self-mastery part 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing both recipe and lovely facts about yourself. – Ann

  11. All of that seems to be the truth…except the love of Mexican food…I am pretty sure that you simply LIKE Mexican food…please refrain from exaggerating while blogging…it affects my ability to trust you and your writings…

    Please clarify your Mexican food liking intensity on a scale of 1-10

    I am very disappointed in you…

  12. OK, Charlie. I don’t know you, so I’m really hoping that your reply is tongue-in-cheek and not serious. In this whole blog, that’s the most important thing you can find to quibble about? Semantics over your favored usage (and non-usage) of the word “love”??

    In the English language, the word love has very broad scope of acceptable usage. If we spoke Greek, or a more love-vocabulary-specific language, I could easily note exactly what kind of love to which I’m referring.

    Obviously, I don’t love Mexican food as much, as, say, my husband, nor, obviously, in the same way. But, I think it’s safe to say that as far as food goes, yes, I love Mexican food.

  13. yeah…i was just trying to be funny…i really enjoy snooping around your site…just wanted to go on record to say “i was here”…

    …i guess i could have left a better sounding calling card…

    …have a blessed day.

  14. you say that u was virgin when you married and u married at 21yrs,what it suggests?
    is this means i want to ask girl is she virgin ,or isn’t?
    before marriage.
    by the way story is so nice and ur way to look life.i liked it

  15. hi karen!

    what a great blog……it’s funny that you say you got along better with boys than with girls, because i’ve been the same way forever! my best friends are girls, but they’re both athletic and quite tomboyish, i much prefer them to all the gossiping, let’s-go-to-the-mall types. i too am literally obsessed with baseball, partly because i have always been such a nitpicky person concerned with detail, and because there is so much artistry in the game. i like hockey and basketball, but not football, for the same reasons.
    i have been homeschooled since i started school; congratulations on deciding to do this because it is so incredibly important in the formation of your children’s faith! there are too many christians out there who don’t practice because they were subjected to so many bad influences in public, private, and even catholic schools. (i’m a catholic so this isn’t just prejudice!) not a big coffee fan, but i too love camping! (and charlie, this is a love, not just a like) CONGRATULATIONS! on never getting drunk, remaining a virgin, and making up your mind never to divorce! three rather difficult things in this day and age.

    God Bless You and your family

  16. Hi Karen,
    Your idea of “101 things about me” is fenomenal. Most people would have a hard time writing just 10 things (me included). It’s finding blogs like yours that can inspire others to be brave and get out of their comfort zone.
    Thanks for inspiring me today, and for sharing your story with others.

    PS-Sorry to hear some people like to drop negative bombs on you — I hope you’re not being hurt too badly.

  17. Wow, stumbled acrossed this after my first comment on your more recent post. I’m even more blown away by some of the things we share in common. I won’t go down your list and comment on each thing to spare you. 😉

    God bless you and happy blogging!

  18. We have sooooo much in common, I love coffee, baseball and the Olympics too!! In fact, I am on an Olympic high today, floating around on a little Michael Phelps cloud and happy for Dara T who at 41 is the oldest to win a medal! Go Team USA!!! Feel well and happy Sunday!!

    Gayle J

  19. I love the fact that you can say you love your life. I can say that too, and we are a homeschooling family as well. Maybe it has something to do with being able to be with the people you love the most and really share their lives as they grow up worship Jesus together on a daily basis. Umm…just a thought.

  20. I found your site googling for info about odd teething patterns (my 20 month old son still hasn’t gotten one of his lateral incisors!) and then was intrigued by the fact that your site mentioned homeschooling (something I’m definitely considering) and gluten-free living (which I’ve been doing since 2001 when I discovered that gluten was the source of my health issues) so I looked at more parts of your website. I love your list, and was happily surprised to see we had even more in common. I was a 29 year old virgin when I got married and didn’t do much in the way of drinking, and never used drugs, either. I’m proud of that, too, and hope I can raise my children (currently 2 sons age 20 months and 4 months, but God-willing more will join our family) to do the same. God Bless You!

  21. Wow, we have a lot in common! My first job was babysitting, which I loved. I have 3 boys and a baby girl (she’s 5 but I call her my baby girl every day). I am a Christian. I love Mexican food. I met my husband in college and got married at 21 (we didn’t want to wait until after graduation). I managed to stay a virgin before we married, but just barely. We based our marriage on Paul’s advice in I Cor. 7:9, “It is better to marry than to burn with passion…” Baby #1 was born a year and a half later (big surprise!). I have been married for 15 years. We are in our 6th year of homeschooling, you are right, it is a lifestyle. My husband supports me in this which I am so thankful. The house is usually a mess. If it isn’t a mess then I am behind in our lessons. This year my husband decided to go back to school. He never finished after we got married. He is pursuing a degree of religious studies, he wants to work in an equipping ministry. I am proud of him to take this on. It is hard to work in this noisy house. All 3 boys play the piano, 1 plays violin and another plays trumpet. Our Chihuahua found our neighbor’s Chihuahua (who managed to escape the invisible fence) and we had 4 little Chihuahuas and a big biology lesson. We finally found them all good homes. I am so relieved. 5 dogs and 4 kids (not to mention all the other kids who come through our house every week) make for chaos.
    Until tonight, I have never read a blog of someone I don’t know. I have never had a desire to blog until today when I read you 101 list. I am doing all kinds of searches on the internet because I was just diagnosed with Celiac disease. I hit a link and landed on your blog.
    I am 36 yrs. old and have spent my whole life being sick in one form or another. I have been in the hospital multiple times (and still have medical debt). I have been told I have IBS, fibromyalgia, allergies, mental illness, and many others. After one particularly expensive stay in the hospital where I saw every specialist they had around (with only catastrophe insurance coverage), the doctor who signed off on my release patted my arm and said I was just going to have to figure out what was making me sick! No one ever said the word “celiac”, it wasn’t in their vocabulary. I had never even heard that word until I went to see a doctor because I had a sinus infection. I made the flippant comment that I am allergic to the earth and all that is in it. He looked at me very seriously and asked me if I had ever been tested for CD.
    Well, it was positive. I found out 5 days ago and I am in the grieving process of all that I have to give up. I have been in a bad mood for the last 5 days and ironically my husband decided to take my 2 big boys camping. This was not planned, he just said Sat. night at 11:30 that he was going camping on Mon. I guess I don’t blame him. He knows me well enough to realize that I need some space to “process”.
    I am going to call the pediatrician and make an appointment to get all the kids tested. I have a feeling 2 of them have it now that I know the symptoms. One has terrible allergies and tooth enamel issues, the other had problems as a baby and is very small. At 7 years, he finally hit 40 lbs. and can legally ride in a booster seat.
    I’m almost certain my Dad had CD. He died at 62, he was sick for most of his life although it was amazing what he accomplished by sheer determination. I told my Mom yesterday. She is going to get tested too. She has a lot of symptoms, although most of them are not GI tract problems.
    It’s so great to hear that you have been gluten-free for 4 years. I know God will provide what I need, but right now I feel like I am at the bottom of Mt. Everest looking up and wondering how I am going to get to the top.
    Thanks for everything you wrote, it was refreshingly honest, esp. in a society that tends to justify sin and cover mistakes so they will look innocent.
    May God continue to bless your family!

  22. glutenfree4goofs

    We are practically sisters! For over 3/4 of your list you could plug in my name-one less kid and not as “educated” hee hee. I’m glad I found your blog. I think I’ll go have a cup of coffee I thought about quitting-that lasted 10min. See ya on the jogging track after some caffeine!

  23. Hi! We have started a church in uptown New Orleans, All Nations Fellowship, we have students that come from Tulane, we have four boys, always homeschooled, we are missionaries (I am from Utopia, Ontario Canada, seriously) I am leading a women’s group, studying Captivating, that’s how I found you from your thoughts about it back in 2006, we have purchased the old Methodist church on Napoleon, which was flooded with about four feet of water and we are now fixing it with the help of volunteers from all over the country. Anyway wanted to say hi, if you are ever back in the city, come visit!

    • WOW! What are the cross streets? Napoleon and what?

      I read a great article recently that quoted a Tulane architecture professor who said that one of the results of Katrina is that it really rooted Tulane students out of apathy — that they’re really engaged in the school and the community. When I went to Tulane, out of 8,000 students or so, I knew literally about 10 Christians, and most of those few did not regularly go to church!! So, I am thrilled that you have Tulane students in your church.

      There’s an All Nations church church not far from me. Are most/all of the All Nations churches related?

  24. I just found your blog through google!

    I also just made a blog hop post on my blog for everyone who has made a complete (or partial) list of 101 things about themselves!!

    Come visit my blog and add the link to your list!


    Hope you’re having a great day!

    – CurlyJ

  25. I too had my favorite syrup discontinued from Starbucks, soooo disappointing. 😦 I know where you can get yours though! So just in case you have not found it yet here is a link for you: http://www.amazon.com/Torani-Almond-Orgeat-Syrup-750mL/dp/B000AXSG1M Don’t be thrown by the name, it is the almond syrup that Starbucks used. 🙂

    Hope you can get a bottle and enjoy a yummy cup o coffee!

  26. I came for the gf big batch cookie recipe, stumbled upon this list, and kept thinking as I read, I like this lady- she’s so human! And I like your life. It seems a bit charmed. God is good, and I’ll see you at the kingdom feast if not before!

    • Charmed!! Hahaha! I’m kind of laughing about that. However, thank you so much for the comment. Have you ever listened to Dave Ramsey on the radio? Whenever someone asks how he’s doing, he says, “Better than I deserve.” That encapsulates it for me, too. Enjoy your cookies!

  27. Thank you for sharing your blog with the world. I always enjoy it very much. I nominated you for the Liebster Award today. 🙂 http://lazyhippiemama.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/the-leibster-blog-award/

  1. Pingback: So, any questions you wanna ask me? « Only Sometimes Clever

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