Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Laura and I drove to Edmond last weekend for Lacie's surprise 30th birthday dinner. I cannot tell you how fun it was to get in the car and have 1.5 of uninterrupted adult conversation and then a 4 hour dinner complete with chips and salsa and cheese dip and flour tortillas thicker than pancakes and perfect conversation. I adore comfortable friends. The kind you can be 100% authentic with....We miss Lacie SO much but it was so fun to see her and their new house!
*Oh and by the way, I am getting my dorky hair cut this afternoon! I am praying I finally have found someone that will cut my hair into a cute style!
Monday, November 12, 2007
I just wanted to write real quick to remind you not to take life....health...love for granted. You are so blessed. God has intentionally shown Himself to you, time and time again. Just this morning, you were told your daughter may have diabetes. You know first hand the ravaged results this disease leaves in its path. You spent 15 minutes driving to a lab, only to hold down your baby as she was stuck and blood was drawn from her veins. As she locked eyes with you, sobbing, you sobbed too, begging God to let it be you, not her. You spent another hour and a half waiting for the results, refusing to think what this may mean to her life while pleading this cup be passed from her. When the phone rang, good news was delivered and you felt, once again, that God was there. Listening and faithful.
A little over a year ago, you were told you had a tumor on your ovary. The C word was mentioned and you spent 4 days awaiting results that could have taken the gift of life from your lungs. You spent that 4 days clinging to your child, your husband...praying for the chance to live. You did not even consider the fact it may affect future child bearing. You merely wished to live and watch the one He had given you dance through life. You have wrestled since with what that surgery meant for your future family. Remember what He gave you. The chance to wake up again. And to love...and breathe...and taste...and see.
Ultimately, I want you to remember that life began when you accepted Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life. He never promised you it would be easy....He only said you'd never go alone. He is the only one worthy of His promise. And He promised to never leave or forsake you. He promised plans to prosper, not to harm you. Though your plans may be passed over, His are always better.
Keep your eyes on only He that is faithful,
"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
As I mentioned in a previous post, my family had precious friends. Still does. These whole families who meshed into ours and lived beside one another. We learned to ride bikes together, learned about Jesus, laughed and cried. We celebrated holidays together and took pictures on first days of school.
Halloween was no exception. We lived in a neighborhood that was perhaps the busiest in town on Halloween. I was not exaggerating when I said thousands of children would come to our door. So by 5:00, it would be impossible to get in and out of our neighborhood. My Dad would come home early, our friends would arrive and eat and then we would all set out together trick or treating in the dark. We would race from house to house laughing and screaming about the candy!
Now that I am on the other side, I know our parents loved it as much as we did. They got to spend time with each other and watch their children delight in pretending! I also now see the sacrifice my Nannie and Grumpies made by driving 2.5 hours, even on the days Halloween fell on a week night and spent making it special for us.
So tonight, I will watch my little bumblebee explore the world of her imagination and hold my Mom's hand, who came to be here and perhaps fire up a pot of chili. We will meet our friends and set out with our children. I just love tradition. Don't you?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Death surrounds us every day. People die....it is part of life. However, this tragedy has effected me so strangely. It was someones entire family. Wife and children and the pilot. I cannot fathom what he is feeling. Going from a family of five to a family of one in one day. What do you do? My heart has broken for this man. I simply do not know what to pray for him. But I am anyway.
It has just reminded me that none of us are promised tomorrow. That when my husband leaves this morning, I am going to kiss him soundly and tell him how precious he is....how proud of him I am, how much I respect him. And when my baby wakes up and we sing "Good Morning George How are You?" and her sweet voice rings of innocence and purity, I will scoop her up and kiss every exposed inch of her. I will breathe in her baby scent and tell her how much I adore her. I will be thankful for the gift of waking up. I will be thankful that I have a God that cares and is always present....even when tragedy strikes and He could of stopped it.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I am just reminding all my fellow Tulsans to go vote YES on the river tax today.
Just a tidbit of what the package would bring to Tulsa and our economy.
A $500 million private development will be built on the west bank of the Arkansas River, if the October 9 river vote passes. That word is according to the developers of the Branson Landing project in Branson, Missouri.
Those developers were in Tulsa Wednesday to show detailed plans of their proposed "Tulsa Landing". They say the drawings are very close to what the final project would look like.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
| 1 (8-ounce) package wild rice|
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (10 3/4-ounce can) condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
Salt and pepperCook the rice according to package directions minus 1/4 cup water. Drain and cool.
Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 tablespoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook the shrimp for 1 minute. Drain immediately and set aside.
Heat the butter in saucepan and saute the pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the rice, soup, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, shrimp and vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well. Spray a 9-inch square aluminum cake pan or an 11 by 7-inch glass casserole dish with vegetable spray. Place the mixture in the pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.
*I did not put in the green pepper or onion. I actually used the butter and put some minced onion in it. B hates onions. It had SUCH great flavor. We decided we might try it with chicken some time or you can omit the shrimp and just use it at a side.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
It probably was always there...but it became more and more a part of me. Day after day, choice by choice.
Truth became hazy. The world became attractive. Wants became needs. People became saviors.
I danced. I danced for those I thought wanted me to dance. I did the polka and the waltz and the salsa and the two step.
I conformed. I wanted to please. I claimed it was part of my personalitity. I secretly thought it made me likeable and sweet.
I wanted to be everything to everyone. Needed. I wanted to be a passionate believer to the seasoned. I wanted to be an intellectual to those who could not believe. I wanted to be a modest beauty. I wanted to be called hot. I wanted to give all I have to the poor, orphaned and widowed. I wanted a spa in my home and a unlimited gift card to Banana. I wanted a doting husband. I wanted to be the boss. I wanted to do full time ministry. I wanted to be a movie star. I wanted to read everything I could get my hands on about Jesus. I wanted to read every line in US Weekly. I wanted to have more time. I wanted to watch my DVRed shows 9 hours a week. I wanted to make everyone in my life feel special. I wanted everyone to ask about me.
How does this work? This paradox. This life of faith?
After reviving my quiet times with the Lord in the mornings, I have been reminded.
I prayed. He heard.
Life is different. My heart tender. News that would have provided gossip fodder has broken me. My heart is vulnerable. The things I have held with clenched hands have begun to fall.
The Me I have constructed is not who I was created to be. I am so glad.
He is so trustworthy. This life is messy. It is hard. It is fleeting.
I am so thankful He is worthy. Because I am not. I am so thankful there is more to life than me.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I also wanted to use this post to honor a life well lived. Isn't sweet, such a measure of God's care for us that He gives us precious friends to walk beside in this life? My family had PRECIOUS friends. I now realize how unusual it is to have other families that feel as close as your blood. That have walked beside you through each stage and have spoken into your life in powerful ways. One such family in our lives is the Wells family. Most of you that know me have heard me speak of them and know how special they are to us. In college, my parents finally moved next door to them and we have gotten to share a cul-de-sac as well as our lives. The mom, Suzi, is a precious Godly woman who comes from an incredible Godly heritage. You know when you meet someone whose life just screams BLESSING? She is one such woman. Not only from her own choices in life but also from her Godly parents whose prayers have followed her throughout life. Our families are close enough that we loved each others extended family as well. Suzi's Mommy, sweet Boettsie went home to be the Lord this morning. When my Mom called to tell me this morning, my heart broke for Suzi's Dad, who loved his wife more than his own life. Theirs was a love affair worth wrtiting about....But also thought of the party going on in Heaven to welcome such a precious child home. I have no doubt she heard the words "well done good and faithful servant" and that her crown was so full of the jewels of her servant's heart that they had to get help as she laid it at the feet of her Jesus. Her needlepointed picture she finished for me sits by my beside, reminding me to "keep my eyes on Jesus" as she so often told us all. But more importantly, her life showed us how. This fallen world is brighter because God shared her with us. She will be so missed....
Monday, September 10, 2007
I have been trying to think of a subject of significance to post updating on my thoughts, life, new tricks...hmmm....but I keep coming up empty.
I have been contemplating my favorite blog subject....motherhood lately. I am realizing how hard the first child sydrome is when you stay home and spend time with them all day. Lets just say she is suffering from extreme egocentric-ism. We have gone to play at the mall a few times and she just sits there fasinated but will not play unless I am glued to her side. I am trying to encourage her to play by herself by making myself unable throughout the day. She is getting better. However, this child I thought was going to be fearless seems to have a timid side when she gets around other children. I know this makes sense. She is with me all day and is always at ease with adults. She just is struggling with her counterparts. I am starting a Bible study on Thursday mornings at our church so she will have more time with other children then as well as at church on Sundays. We do play dates and she does well after a while. She does much better with older children than with other toddlers. I can see how this is a downside of children being at home instead of daycare. However, I am willing to pay this price so this is merely thinking out loud than wishing for the alternative.
I am doing a little fall cleaning around here and doing massive purging. We still have so much stuff we got from our wedding that has never been out of the box....glasses that have never been used, etc...I am now just trying to figure out what is going to Goodwill and what will be consigned or yard sold (random grammar...sorry). I hate yard sales but I may have to do one with this random assortment of things. I am just craving organization in my life!
I am about to start a few new projects. Painting an armoire and iron bed and bedside tables for Abby Kate's big girl room. I am super excited about the armoire. I am painting it antique white and will distress it and am taking out the panels of the top two doors and getting coordinating fabric and gathering it on a rod at the top and bottom and hanging it over the opening. I will post pictures when I finished. I still have not figured out when we are going to transition but as soon as things settle down we will try. I really would like to make my office a playroom as well and make move the craft table in here. I would love to paint a wall with the chalkboard paint so we would have a HUGE canvas to draw upon but I am sure that would not be great for resale someday nor are we sold on what rooms will be children's bedrooms eventually so I am sure I will hold off. She is getting pretty into coloring now so the endless possibilities of art projets make me giddy!
I also started painting monogrammed canvases for friend's weddings, birthday gifts and/or baby gifts and starting selling them so that has been fun too. I am doing small canvases with wired ribbons to hang spelling "thankful" for over my mantle (or entryway....haven't decided) for fall and am going to do the same spelling "believe" for Christmas. It is super easy. Just get stencil paper and find a font you love and then print it. Cut out the stencil and trace it onto the painted canvas. The get a hard wired small paint brush and paint away. This part takes practice but you could do it! I LOVE decorating for holidays!
I so hope all is well in each of your lives. God is so good!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
I am a nester....to the core. I have been since college. I love home. The feel, the safety, the comfort. At times, I find being married to a builder a challenge to my contentment but most often, I am just grateful. We just got home from vacation, B's flooring guys cut us a great deal on hardwood floors and while we were gone, they were installed, distressed, stained and sealed. I returned to a extremely dusty house but a beautiful change. Our carpet had little juice spots from AK's sippy and the dogs love to track in dirt and Lord knows what else. I was vacuuming once a day and was getting tired of it never feeling clean. I just adore the look and feel of the new floors. The look aged yet elegant. Just the way I want my home to feel.
I got the rug at an amazing deal at the Marshall's Megastore in Osage Beach (where we vacationed), seriously, a forth of the cost I thought I would pay. I was all set to wait until Christmas or so but love that we got it early and feel it finishes the room.
As I love to pass on my housekeeping tips, and again, this is a disclaimer that I am NOT a champion house cleaner....I PROMISE. I just love reading others tips on how to get clean efficiently...ie: little time. I bought the swiffer dusters (look like the old dust puffs) and dusted all my blinds and ceiling fans and they are WONDERFUL!
I also got a great new blog passed on to me so I am passing it to you. If you love decorating and unique fun things to do with your home, this is a great site. She has a store in KC was you will see called Curious Sofa.
Okay, I would love some fun posts! I feel like I have been out of the loop a while!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I have been highlighting my hair since I was 18. As I have aged, my hair has just gotten darker and darker. Call it curoisity, call it a budget that does not afford for highlights every 6 weeks, but i did it. I got it stripped of all highlights and back to my natural color. Can you BELIEVE how dark it is. She said it will lighten as I am in the sun. FUN FUN!
Just thought I would share!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I am finally free.
Free in a marriage that has been mediocre at best. Freed by truth divinely communicated through many avenues but most clearly communicated here. Freed by TRUTH.
Free in my skin that has, for so long, been a slave to pleasing others. I cannot tell you how exhausting it has been....concern of perceptions and then the energy to manipulate that perception. Perhaps this compulsion is why I love massages so much. It will leave you in knots.
Free from the fear. Oh the fear. Fear that everything I was doing was wrong. Fear that those who loved me would soon discover the fraud I was and then stop. Fear that motherhood was the end of the road in terms of what my life had to offer the world. And then guilt. Oh the guilt. Guilt for not keeping the house clean. Guilt that when I was, I was not spending time with Abby Kate. Guilt that everything I was doing to raise her was wrong.
And the complacency. Yuck. In the words of a beloved literary character, "But who am I? Just another woman in Christendom who's trying to figure out why she feels so defeated all the time and is coming up with a long list of problems but a short list of answers.
Is it the church? Is it me? Is it Jesus?"
I feel so much of my life has led me to this discovery. The discovery of my idolatry of control. The discovery that though freedom is mine to be had...in so many more ways that one, I had left it sitting on the table....and had chosen this cage instead.
Thus leading me to the posted song. The first time I heard it, I was on my way home from the doctor during my miscarriage. I was SO far from freedom, yet huge, hot tears streamed down my face in longing. Really? Is there really no chain strong enough, no shadow dark enough, no mountain high enough, that HE can't climb? I am standing to attest. NO. In HIM there is freedom. This song has chased me. It plays every time I am still. The words bring forth tears every time. And now, they are tears of praise.
I remember Beth Moore saying once, that every morning she sits down to spend her time with the Lord, she throws back her head and says, "THRILL ME!" I remember hearing her say that and so wanting what she had. To know this God I served so well, that our relationship was thrilling. I can say, the thrill of freedom surpasses all.
And here I stand, in my own personal Hanukkah. For all my baptist sisters, rededication. The Hebrew word for dedication is Hanukkah. In other words, it is a reestablishment of worship. I am in awe of my Father, who has had it right all along. I have traded riches for rags and I for one am ready to trade. I am no longer a slave but am FREE. Free indeed.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I know it seems I only post on this blog every month or so....I have decided to try to come up with a few posts a month at least. Here are a few things that have passed my mind lately that I think might be fun to blog about...
First, EVAN ALMIGHTY. A new movie that we went to see yesterday. Now those of you who know me well know I LOVE a movie. We now see about 3-4 a year...much to my despair. There is nothing like going into a dark movie theatre and tuning out for a couple of hours. This movie was fantastic. Clean, no bad language, touching/great story and.....hysterical. I have not laughed that hard at a movie since Elf. I mean I cried I was laughing so hard. So those of you that love good dry physical comedy like I do...aka: Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell....this movie is for you. For those of you Indie film lovers, this one is not for you. You would say trite, outlandish and pat. But I LOVED IT! And really encourage everyone to see it. I love that Hollywood is producing these clean, family-friendly comedies and are getting great comedians to star. Lets encourage them to continue to do so by upping the ticket sales for these movies.
A few posts ago, I wrote about my favorite things. One thing I mentioned, the Caldrea counter top spray much to my surprise is being discontinued. My sweet Aunt Lynn emailed me to tell me it was on massive sale so if you want to try it, you can order it www.caldrea.com
My sister-in-law and brother got me a massage at a new beauty school here called Clary Sage. It really has the feeling of a big city spa...high ceilings, soothing music, lots of metal and mirrors. AND at half the price you can get great services by students. I got a 1 hour massage for $25. I laid there thinking how I could work it in the budget to get one a month. Sigh. So I just encourage you to check into your beauty/massage schools for low prices and a bit of pampering on a budget.
I also found out that if you have big dogs like us, that PetCo grooms for half price on Sunday-Tuesday. Not that we have spent the money yet but they do.
That is it for now...we are about to leave for church! Happy Sunday!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
*I read an article once that Donna Karan had one in her house and the only fabrics she used in the spa was cashmere and linen. Um Yeah, I will want that too.
2. House cleaner. Enough said.
3. Someone to iron our clothes.
4. A cook (preferably someone whose speciality is Italian food...or maybe Paula Deen) available if I wanted them and when I didn't want them to cook, they would still make the menu and do my grocery shopping. They would also be a wonderful pastry chef that could whip up sweet delicacies when I craved them at night.
*I actually love to cook...however there are nights I really hate it thus the second part of my cook's job.
5. A personal trainer. Did you see the above post?
6. Okay, I know this doesn't exist any more and I promise you, if I employed someone like this, I would treat them like royalty. Not the way they treated them in the old days (just like my favorite literary character of all times, Haddasah of the Mark of the Lion series). But you know when you read about them in books...I think they are called handmaidens or something? They were there to pick out clothes, do your hair and makeup, help you get undressed and dressed, draw you a bath, brush your hair, etc...yeah, I want one of those.
7. A personal shopper (for clothes and such). But I get to go too.
8. An endless supply of ridiculously expensive sheets with, like, 5000 thread count and a closet full of beautiful bedding that I could change out when I got bored with one set.
9. A library full of every book published.
10. Someone to manage my money. I mean come on ya'll. The lottery winnings will go pretty fast with all this stuff. I don't want to have to go through all the bankruptcy stuff that all the other yahoo lottery winners experience.
So that's that.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Oh how homesick I am for Heaven right now. For those of you that do not know, Bobby and I suffered a miscarriage this week. As I have written to many of you, it has been harder than I thought. Painful, sad, lingering....however, God is sweetly supplying His famous peace. And I am swimming in it. Many will argue when life truly begins....this is not a post to argue that. But believing life begins at conception, I have been able to picture our sweet baby sheltered in the shadow of His wings...being gently rocked and lovingly held. My heart nearly burst at the thought of meeting my Jesus face to face. I cannot wait. And I now anxiously await meeting this sweet child someday. Perfect and whole and well. Unscathed by the sins of this world. Though I do not understand God's ways, I rest knowing my pain is never wasted. I know He is already working it together for my good. I am seeing His love in action, yet once again.
I know many ask the question of why bad things happen. We walk around in grief, fumbling as if in darkness and often cry "WHY?" I asked B today if he ever felt like he was playing games with God. Like not praying for specific things like increased wisdom, depth of insight, faith, etc...for fear of what He might do to get us there. I do. However, I know His character. I know that is not like Him. He LOVES me. And I will say, though my life has been SO blessed, there have been hard things. And it has been those hard things that have taught me of who He really is. Not who the world says He is, not even who believers say He is, but who He knows Himself to be.
I was looking back in my journal at another hard thing I was forced to walk through years ago...and God led me to a verse, it states...
"Thou hast showed Thy people hard things: Thou hast made us drink the wine of astonishment." Psalm 60:3
I get it now. Each time I walk through the fire, though I ache with the burns, I am always astonished at the state of my heart. Comfort, peace and overwhelming faith. HE supplies.
"The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!" Job 1:21-22
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
"He liked landscapes. He'd always had a soft spot for old barns and dilapidated houses leaning a few degrees out of plumb, with holes in the roof, gray wood curling up and peeling off--maybe with an old rusty truck parked up against one end, forgotten, tires flat and weeds growing out from under it. There were ghosts in places like that--stories hidden in the shadows and deep in the grain of old boards that real people with callused hands once measured and sawed and nailed together on purpose to make a home, boards that they sat on and leaned against every day for so long that now they were full of memory of laughing and crying, the murmurs of lovers and barking of dogs. Old barns and empty houses, they remembered."
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
First of all, I have working friends ask me all the time if I enjoy staying home with Abby Kate. I reply almost every time (depending on how hard the day has been), every job has its up and downs. However, I feel SO blessed to be able to catch the little moments with her throughout the day. Sure it is a test in patience, sure it is a stretch in my selfishness and I am sorry to admit, it is a pull on my pride. Here I am with a Masters degree, a lifetime full of ambition and confidence and a love of people and good conversation and I am staying at home with a little girl that cannot talk or thank me and making nothing monetarily. However, I always end it saying, "I wouldn't change a thing." The next question and/or statement I get is "how to you all do it financially?" I will talk about that in a second.
I had a friend comment the other day that "they would love to be able to stay home"...and another friend bluntly commented, "you are able, but do you want to? It takes sacrifice." I know many people are in positions of debt before they have children that make it impossible to stay home. I also have many single parent friends that do not have the opportunity either. But if you can, I am the first to advocate it. That is why I am sharing this....
I will say, it has been hard financially. We have made some sacrifices and thankfully, we have family that can help occasionally. But recently, we listened to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Cd's and were extremely challenged to get our budget in order. I cannot recommend these Cd's highly enough. You may borrow mine if you are struggling with extra money as we are. I have a college friend who stays home with her 3 girls and was disciplined enough financially that they are debt free (including their house being paid off) at 28! It so inspired me. If they can do it, we can do it! Even on one income. We started making significant cuts...slower Internet, no extras on our phone (no caller id!)(and we are still considering cutting phone altogether saving $30 and just using our cell phones), no more allowance, etc...I have a few friends that also do this and it has become a bit of a game to find deals. For it is only temporary and in the end, our family will have financial peace and wealth. I contacted one insurance agency and saved $400/yr on home insurance thus lowering our mortgage payment each month and saved $375 on car insurance every 6 months. I also invested our extra money in a ING account which was recommended by a friend in the investment industry. It has a much higher interest rate than traditional savings accounts and each time you refer someone, they put $25 in your account. Not bad. In a cliff notes version, Dave recommends putting together a budget with NO MONEY unaccounted for at the end of the month...basically as he says, "tell your money what to do." That is what got us in trouble...having a vague sense of where our money was going but not knowing entirely. He recommends using the envelope system for non-billed items such as groceries, gas, medical co-pays, car repairs, etc...he says it may take 3-5 months to get this budget to work. With items like neighborhood dues, medical deductibles, etc...that you would pay once a year, take the total and divide by 12 and put that total in your monthly budget. Do the same if you have purchases coming up such as furniture or a car. Divide the total the amount of months you want to purchase it by the price and place that in your budget as well (we are a LONG way off from having enough for those things) but paying cash for these items will also gain you savings. Then he recommends having a $1000 emergency fund and then paying off debt (unless the loan interest is less than what you would make in an investment account...ie: school loan). After debt is paid, then save 6 months of living expenses in case of emergency. I am by no means an expert but I love getting good advice and wanted to pass on that which has blessed us. If you are interested in the ING account or our insurance, let me know. I am by no means plugging companies but every cent counts...many of these savings were passed on to me.
I found that Braums milk is almost $1 cheaper than the Walmart off brand. For families such as ours that goes through a gallon every 4 days, that savings adds up.
For those of you buying diapers, www.1800diapers.com is one of the cheapest places I have heard of and they ship to you for free.
For gifts, we are giving of our time instead of gifts. Homemade gift certificates for things like free organization of pantry, closet, etc...lawn work, ironing (gasp, I hate this!). Also, wedding gifts can pile up and are expensive and I made a recipe album of my favorite recipes through shutterfly.com and change the picture on the front for each couple and it is around $18 with shipping. Great personalized gift. Let me know if you want to see it.
I also try to cut coupons, though I have found it they are mostly for name brand items and the off brand is usually cheaper without the coupon.
We also do the traditional savers...no lights if not necessary, cooler in winter, warmer in summer on thermostats, turned down hot water tank unless we have company, cooking in crock pot when I can to save on gas...
Perhaps one of the hardest things as a stay at home Mom is finding inexpensive activities to get us out of the house (and not far away from home as a result of $2.50 gas prices!). We do things like the library, the pool in the summer, some communities have stay and plays for toddlers through the school system, discounted memberships to local attractions (ours is an aquarium), our community has free matinee movies for kids in the summer. Also, ask for things from family for birthdays and Christmas. How many more toys to they need, really? We go to Little Gym once a week from a gift, and it is a blessing to AK and to me!
Finally, I am enclosing a recipe that is cheap and will go a LONG way. We all love it! My Nannie always has these and has batter in the freezer. It reminds me so much of my childhood! Hope this hasn't been too boring. Love you all!
Raisin Bran Muffins
15 oz box raisin bran (can use 17 or 20 oz)
3 cups sugar
5 cups flour
5 tsp. soda
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon
4 eggs beaten
1 cup oil
1 quart buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
Mix bran, sugar, flour, soda, salt, spices in extra large bowl. Add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Store in refrigerator in tightly covered container. Grease muffin tins. Bake 15 minutes at 400. Will keep for weeks in refrigerator and are ready to bake and serve warm. Makes approx. 3 quarts.
*My Nannie wrote on this recipe card
"This is a favorite of mine. We heat 1 or 2 for breakfast. I like to keep batter on hand. They are great to take quickly to a friend (illness, death, new neighbor or b-day). I have taken plates of them to friends at Christmas."
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
My hydrangeas are my favorite. I adore the flower and cut them all summer to put in vases throughout my house. My Mom tells me they were my Grand Mumpies favorite flower and from the stories I hear of her, I want to love what she loves.
Both my Nannie and my Mom have incredible green thumbs. They can grow anything and everything flourishes in their gardens. I usually kill things. I realized this year that I love hearty plants because, lets face it, I still have pockets of irresponsibility and they play out with my flowers. But I so WANT to be a gardener. I listen to my Nannie talk lovingly about her gardens. She knows each flower by name and can tell me its likes and dislikes. My Mom even loves them. She was heartsick last year when one of my pots died and said "they are babies! You must give them water!" Ouch. I admire gardeners mostly because they are excellent caregivers. As a young mother, I still question everything I do as a parent and I so want to see her bloom. I am DETERMINED this year to watch my gardens and pots flourish!
"Like a rose, trampled on the ground, He took the fall, and thought of me, above all..."
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
THE FACE PLANT
So I was on staff with K-Life and every Sunday night, we would have a leaders meeting at the guys gross, old house. The wood floors no longer had a finish, the vents were often askew (these details will make sense in a minute), and ultimately, no matter how hard KJ and I tried to clean this house for them, it always was filthy. We have finished the meeting a few leaders were hanging around. We were all sitting around and one of the staff guys that I could create an entire blog of ridiculous stories around begin taunting me and up I hopped, chasing him (hoping to look a bit athletic) and as I rounded the corner with everyone watching, my toe caught one of the aforementioned raised vents. Before I knew what was happening, I was flying through the air in what seemed like slow motion. Before I could catch myself, my cheek slammed into the wall with my legs trailing some 4 miles behind. So slowly my hips slid to the ground until I was laying flat on my stomach. The room was silent for an entire minute and I hopped up laughing, hoping to diffuse my awkwardness. Everyone erupted but inside, I was screaming in pain, wondering, "was my cheekbone cracked?" but most importantly, "was the elusive, handsome college athlete leader watching?" That he was...and he was laughing a bit too hysterically. Thankfully he thought my klutzy actions were endearing because he married me.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
A week ago this past Sunday night, Bobby and I reached a turning point in our marriage. I have vowed authenticity and I believe one area of our lives that Satan wins most often is in marriages, so I am sharing with you a sweet victory. So many Christians painted a picture of marriage before me of a relationship that was so flawless that when mine seemed horribly flawed from the beginning, I felt alone. Marriage, most people will say, is the hardest relationship a human forges. It certainly was for us. Satan had won in so many areas, and on Sunday night, as we were in bed fuming over a fight, the sweet Holy Spirit poured in our room, diffused our anger, and opened our hearts to one another, perhaps for the first time. These past 10 days have been like the honeymoon stage we never experienced. Imagine that....1 child, 2 dogs, a mortgage and countless fights later, we are resting in the place God intended after we said "I do..."
One of the sentences in our vows was "I accept you as God's perfect gift for me." How rare is it that we actually do that? I mean really accept one another? I know there are areas of sin that our spouses will see most...and we do need to change those things but what about the things that bug us that are fundamentally them?
One of the things we did during our talk was say the things about ourselves that we were most proud of....how sad that we begin to only see the things in each other worthy of criticism rather than praise. So we made a promise to one another to "think on these things..." rather than dwell in the places of annoyance and selfishness.
So here is the song....it is by a new artist named John Waller. I am anxiously awaiting the release of his first cd (March 6th) but here is the lyrics and what he says of the song....quite appropriate in my life don't you think?
I never realized the incredible power of the spoken word until I read “Your Best Life Now” by Joel Osteen. I used to speak all kind of curses and negative self-fulfilling prophesies over my life. Not only our words, but our thoughts have tremendous power over us. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he..”psalm 23:7(NKJ). If we think thoughts of depression, we will be depressed. If we think or say we’re a failure, we will gravitate towards that. We must fill ourselves with the word of God, and then practice speaking it. He has set life and death, blessings and curses before us. It is our choice with every thought, word and deed to BE a blessing or a curse. “..now choose life that you and your children might live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.THE BLESSING (Deuteronomy 30:19) J.Waller & Troy Denning
Let it be said of us / while we walked among the living / let it be said of us / by the ones we leave behind / let it be said of us / that we lived to be a blessing for life / let it be said of us / that we gave to reach the dying / let it be said of us / by the fruit we leave behind / let it be said of us that our legacy is blessing for life / this day / you set life, you set death right before us, this day / every blessing and curse is a choice now / and we will / choose to be a blessing for life / let it be said of us / that our hearts belonged to Jesus / let it be said of us / that we spoke the words of life / let it be said of us / that our heritage is blessing for life /chorus/ for your Kingdom / for our Children / for the sake of every nation
You can listen to the song here
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
The first is the new Clorox Anywhere spray....why was this just discovered? It is wonderful! If you have children, it is a must have. You can spray down anything and it is safe for children and pets....AND it kills 99.9% of bacteria!
Next is the Caldrea countertop spray. A bit pricey($7) but OH so worth it. As for it in your stocking or for a birthday....it makes your WHOLE house smell clean and so good. I love the white tea scent.
Next is the best deal....my new bedding! I have a weakness for bedding. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I just bought this from Pottery Barn with my Christmas money. It is the Greta pattern. Is SO beautiful, great material (doesn't show wrinkles). Looks crisp and very french country. It is on massive sale (I even bought the shams on ebay for half the sale price) and looks wonderful.
Next is my new favorite lotion. It is Aveeno Creamy Moisterizing Oil. It is not greasy AT ALL and is tackling my dry skin like a pro. Also smells great (very clean:))
Finally is my new favorite baby lotion. It is Johnsons Nourishing Milk Lotion. It smells SOOOOOO good and really hydrates AK's skin.
So there you have it. I have a million others and may post more at some point but thought this might be fun!
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
It all started about 5 years ago. It was midway through my first year of K-Life, a season of my life where I was supposed to be "on the ball" spiritually. I can earnestly say that up until this point in my life, even through college when I made some very disobedient choices, I had always had an intimate relationship with our Father. It was passionate and defining. Now many of my friends that read this do not share my beliefs and so I am forewarning that this post is going to be laden with details of my spiritual walk.
But suddenly, I began feeling a distance from the Lord I still cannot fully describe. I daily sought any unconfessed sin...something that will distance you from the Lord every time, and I could come up with nothing (not that I was sinless :), just could not think of anything I had not confessed). So sagely, I began to reason that God must be taking away the "feelings" that accompany new believers. I thought that He must be pushing me out of the baby Christian stage and deepening me. Now that still could be the case, but I am realizing there is much more to it. My root sin is pride. I struggle desperately with it. I have worked my whole life to present an image to others that I could control. Because of my love of words, it was easy for me to manipulate what people thought of me. Then I met Bobby. Then I married. Then it all REALLY began. Before marrying Bobby, I could keep people far enough away that they got the illusion of who I was, not the up close mess of who I was. Now, with a pride struggle such as mine, I also LOVE praise. I feed off of it. So when my new husband did not see me as perfect, stand in awe of me, praise me multiple times daily, the veil desended. For my own protection, I unknowingly designed a veil to keep myself from the pain of my imperfection. But as a result, true intimacy was impossible. This veil has stood for 4.5 years and I am beginning to realize what my self-centeredness, my pride has done to my relationship with my Father. Everything became about me. My needs weren't being met, my prayer life became about me, my desires became about me. All things that the world applauds that I know are counterfeit became who I was. This past Sunday, I sat under one of the most inspired, annointed messages I can remember. Our pastor spoke on pride (if you are interested, you can access the message here, http://www.kxoj.com/churches/sites/4/sermons.php) and I left feeling more convicted than I had felt in a long time. This continued at Bible study Sunday night as I sought to be transparent with my struggle. You see, this pride even followed me into my relationship with my own child. I began thinking how hard the sacrifice of staying at home was....how hard it was to see to someone elses needs all day....how hard it was that I battled all day for my daughter's character and played the bad guy when Bobby got to ride in on his white horse and play the good guy to her delight. I was feeling a disconnect even with her. But then I remembered, Jesus NEVER put His own needs before a relationship. He "though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross." How had I, a seasoned believer, so grossly missed this essential part of becoming like Christ? How had I esteemed myself so greatly, that I stopped considering others before myself? How had I began to walk again according to this worldly age (Ephesians 2) after being so extravagantly redeemed? Because I chose selfishness, I chose self-righteousness, I chose pride. But I am His creation....created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that I should walk in them (Ephesians 2 as well) but I chose not to.
This was a hard post for me....for it is blowing my masks out of the water. But I am striving to be more authentic. I want to share in my struggles for accountability, and yes, a little encouragement (old habits die hard :)). I pray that I begin to, "clothe (my)self with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Lord knows I need grace. Love you all....