Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Battle Scars

Whew!   What a long weekend.    I just delivered hot chocolate to my boys (which didn't work) and I am now hoping the smell of baking cinnamon rolls will help wake them up.     Sleeping until 8:00 is unheard of for my Little Guy so I know he is tired!   Big Guy is a teen so sleeping this late is not unusual for him.

I spent a big part of my weekend working at the ballpark again.     Before this next weekend rolls around I definitely need a new pair of tennis shoes.   My poor feet were about to fall off!    Twelve hours running around a concession stand is going to take some getting used to again.

The boys stayed busy also.    Going to the gun range for practice for their shooting sports events, biking, working in the yard, going to the movie, and enjoying the amazing weather.

Little Guy had so much fun he managed to gather some battle scars.     On Saturday he was at his friend's house and they were playing in the backyard on her hammock.     Her mom had just cut a bush underneath it.    While playing, he flipped over and landed on his back right on top of that stump.   It knocked the breath out of him and he has a huge bruise and welts on his back.     Sitting in a chair or sleeping on his back is not very comfortable right now.     

On top of that, yesterday he, Big Guy and his friend were on the trampoline.    In the midst of some game, Little Guy jumped into Big Guy's knee.    He busted his lip which is now big, swollen and blue.     He looks like he has been in a fight.   Or worse, I told him that he looked like a baseball player with some tobacco in his lip.    He thought that was awful and funny all at the same time.

It is probably a good thing that the weekend is over before we had some broken bones!

We did have a great surprise last night when our neighbors knocked on the door at 8:00.   They had just made Reese's bars and peanut butter and jelly bars.   They brought over and entire plate of warm treats to share with us.    What a yummy way to end a weekend.

Hope your week is off to a good start!    

Friday, February 25, 2011

On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand

This is been quite a week. 1 Kings 20 says that "The God of the mountain is still the God of the valley." This week has once again proven to me that Scripture is so true. Not that I doubted it because I believe that if it is in the Bible then God said it then it is true. However, I have definitely lived both mountain top and valley moments this week.

What was originally planned to be a fun week visiting with my parents and playing with my sweet twin nieces changed when my Daddy let us know last Sunday that his sister/my aunt had died.     My Aunt Sarah had been very sick for quite a while so it was not a surprise, but it is always hard to lose a member of your family.

My baby sister cancelled her business trip and my middle sister took off work so that we could all be there with my parents and go to the funeral together. 

My Aunt was a very sweet lady.    She was tall and thin and was always smiling.    I can remember her laugh.    She thought my Daddy was so funny and laughed at everything he said.     Me too!     She and my uncle were married for 46 years and dated for 3 year before that.    They loved to ride motorcycles and would take long trips often on a whim.     Apparently she was very spontaneous.    Hmmm... I definitely didn't get that family trait.    She had a tender heart for the underdog.    Whether it was literally an animal or a person, if they looked lost she took them in.     There were a lot of teens at the funeral who had adopted her as their "mom".

While we were at home we found out that the Dad of one of our homeschooling families had been killed in a car wreck and the son of one of the boys I went to high school with was killed also.     It was a very tough week.    My heart still hurts.

Driving home yesterday this song was on the radio.   I love it.    It reminds me of what I know in my heart to be true...

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand.    
All other ground is sinking sand.
I will not be moved.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Grace Card

Witness the Power of Forgiveness
"For it is by grace you have been saved..."  Ephesians 2:8

In Theaters

(My family and I had the privilege of being invited to a sneak preview of this movie.
It is a don't miss and definitely will be the best movie in the theaters this year.
While following in the tradition of Fireproof, Blind Side, and other heart changing movies,
The Grace Card touches a need deep in every soul.   The need for forgiveness.)

Everything can change in an instant ... and take a lifetime to unravel.

When Mac McDonald loses his son in an accident, the ensuing 17 years of bitterness and pain erodes his love for his family and leaves him angry with God ... and just about everyone else.

Mac's rage stonewalls his career in the police department and makes for a combustible situation when he's partnered with Sam Wright, a rising star on the force who happens to be a part-time pastor and a loving family man.

Mac's home life is as frightening as anything he encounters on the streets of Memphis. Money is tight and emotions run high as he constantly argues with his wife and his surviving son Blake, who is hanging with the wrong crowd and in danger of flunking out of school.

Sam Wright also never expected to be a police officer. He has a calling—to be a minister like his Grandpa George. But leading a small, start-up church doesn't always put enough food on the table for a young family, so Sam doubles as a police officer. With his new promotion to Sergeant, Sam starts questioning if his real calling might actually be police work rather than the pastorate.

Can Mac and Sam somehow join forces to help one another when it's impossible for either of them to look past their differences—especially the most obvious one?

Every day, we have the opportunity to rebuild relationships and heal deep wounds by extending and receiving God's grace. Offer THE GRACE CARD ... and never underestimate the power of God's love.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Already?

I can't believe it is Friday.     It has been such a busy week for us.  Every minute we have not been running we have tried to be outside in this beautiful weather.   

The week started with Valentine's Day.     Hubs and I laughed at how differently we celebrate Valentine's Day now that we have been married so long.    He and I made a date for lunch because I can't stand going to a packed restaurant.    We are both so frugal/cheap (you pick your definition) that we picked our restaurant based off a coupon from our Entertainment Book.      Being able to enjoy a delicious bbq lunch with all the trimmings for both of us for only $9 just screams "Happy Valentine's Day" for us.     *smile*  

Going out to eat was such a big deal for us.    We told the boys we were taking them out too.   They were soooo excited.     Why?    We have all given up fast food/restaurant food since January 18th.      We made this decision after our 180 weekend.    Every year before 180 weekend (a discipleship weekend of our middle school ministry), our youth pastor challenges us to fast for the 40 days leading up to it.    This year we all gave up soft drinks along with one other thing.      After making that one change, we decided to try to add one more dietary change.  So, we all agreed to see how long we could go without restaurant/fast food.   

Grabbing a $5 pizza on church night or grabbing a quick sandwich from the $1 menu on the way to night classes had become too much of a habit.     It wasn't a matter of money as much as it was a matter of we want to eat healthier.

Anyway, after going without it was fun to treat the boys.    We decided to go to Beagle Bagel for supper and then go to Sweet Tree Yogurt for a sweet treat.   With full tummies we ran to Walgreens to grab a few things.  Hubs and I stood in the card aisle giggling like teenagers reading cards and then handing them to each other saying, "I would SO buy this one for you."     Cheap fun I tell you!

The boys have joined 4H shooting sports which means at least one or two nights a week there is qualifying classes.     To be able to compete they have to put in 8 hours training for each event in which they want to participate.    You can only participate in three events which means they had to choose from the list.     Little Guy's choice was easy since his age limits what he qualifies for at this point.    He will be participating in air rifle and air pistol.     Big Guy is old enough to do any of the events, but he ultimately chose the .22 rifle, air rifle and archery.      They are loving this!

Other than that it has been the typical stuff... school, dentist appointments, choir practice, church, and occasionally some sleep!

Happy Friday!   

Monday, February 14, 2011


On Valentine's Day...
My husband called at 9:00 pm to ask me out on our first date.
After dating for a year, he asked me to marry him...again on Valentine's Day.

Twenty three years later...
We are still happily married and are very much in love.
We have two amazing boys.
I am more aware than ever how much God loves me even though I completely don't deserve it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Truth About Dating, Love & Just Being Friends

Chad Eastham, with his typical wit and wisdom for teens, brings much sought after advice on girls’ favorite topics including dating, love, friendship, and other important stuff.

Chad shines some much-needed light on these major issues for teens. Rather than let their feelings navigate them blindly through their tumultuous adolescence, Chad offers clarity, some surprising revelations, and answers to some of their biggest questions: How do I know who to date? When should I start dating? How should I start dating? Is this really love? And, Why do guys I like just want to be friends?

Packed with humor that adds to the sound advice, this book will help teens make better decisions, have healthier relationships, and be more prepared for their futures. Just a few things girls will learn include: Five things you need to know about love; Eight dumb dating things even smart people do; Ten reasons why teens are unhappy; and Ten things happy teens do.

Any teen can live a happier, healthier life: they just need to hear The Truth.

Book Review

Some parents aren't comfortable with talking to their teens about "stuff".    My husband was one of those teens.   His dad walked in his room one day and threw a book on his bed and walked out the room.     I am sure that my sweet husband isn't the only kid to have that experience.   I am so glad that there are books today for parents to rely on like this one written by Chad Eastham.

As a parent, one thing you need to know is Chad's stance on dating.    Chad says "there is nothing inherently wrong with the concept of dating... The problem happens with how we date, at what age we start dating, how we do it, the boundaries we place around it, how much of a priority we make it, and maybe most importantly, why we date."   Chad adresses each of these and explains how dating is not a "term" it is about people.

This book is written with something that teens can relate to:  humor.     While you are laughing he slides in really sound advice that you want your teens to hear.    

Chad's chapters address topics like...
  • 5 ways to know if he/she is really into you
  • Dumb dating things even smart people do
  • 5 top tips on finding true love
  • What "just friends" really means
  • 10 disgusting ways guys turn girls off
  • 10 things you should never say to a guy... I mean NEVER!
  • The problem with dating mythical creatures (One of my favorite chapters!)
  • Miserable teenagers vs Happy teenagers
If I were helping Chad edit his book (and he didn't ask me) I would have asked him to make an edit to the last chapter.     His last chapter is titled "Why This Book Could Be Stupid".    He surrounds his discussion around Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.    He relates this story to life.    The fact that sin is a profound theme in Hawthorne's story.   Every one "falls short".   Secondly, he talks about how people deal with their sin.  He says that he loves that Hester Prynne chose to hold her head and not be miserable.    He says that we all have the choice to do better with our lives.    Here comes my edit.... I disagree with you Chad.     The choice we have in our lives is not to "do better".    The choice we have in our lives is to acknowledge that we have fallen short (yes!), but that the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!     That is the real TRUTH about Dating, Love & Just Being Friends!

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes

A multi-tasking mama, Summer Finley has found ways to handle whatever life throws at her with grace and a grin. Until now, that is. An “abnormal” medical test result sends Summer into an emotional tailspin and prompts her to fulfill a life-long dream of “meeting” her best friend and pen pal since fourth grade, Noelle Van Zandt, face-to-face.

Their blissful week together in the Netherlands finds Summer and Noelle floating down a canal in Amsterdam, visiting Corrie Ten Boom’s Hiding Place, sipping decadent Dutch cocoa in Delft, and bobbing merrily along through a sea of brilliant, spring-fresh tulips. Each day takes them further from midlife anxiety and closer to trusting God in deeper ways.

When Summer finally confides in Noelle about the abnormal test results, Summer’s honesty prompts Noelle to share a long-held heartache. The two friends find they both needed to be together more than either of them realized. Could it be this adventure was tucked away in God’s imagination long before Summer bought her ticket to fly to the land of merry tulips and kalomping wooden shoes?

Book review

Pen pals.    Summer and Noelle have been pen pals their entire lives, but they have never met face to face.      However, Summer receives a phone call from her doctor that has the potential to rearrange her well ordered world.     Summer does something very out of character.    She picks up the phone and books a ticket to fly to the Netherlands to finally meet her best friend and pen pal, Noelle.

After their initial shyness, they relax and fall into the natural friendship which they have shared through childood, teenage angst, college years, getting married, children and daily lives.     They spend one entire week getting to know each other's day to day personality.     It is so fun and they find themselves in so many hilarious predicaments.     I wanted to book my own ticket to the Netherlands to walk through fields of tulips and eat pannenkoeken.      More than anything I wanted to be able to visit the Corrie ten Boome home and experience what they experienced.

Every book has treasures (and this book has many), but this book had one that I have written and posted on my "morning wall".     What is a "morning wall"?     It is actually a door in my closet.    Any time I am reading my Bible or a book like this and I read something where God whispers in my ear I write it down and post it there.    I am able to have all these God whispers in one place to glance at and see each morning before I start my day.

What was the God whisper from this book?

"You are not meant to carry such a heavy burden. Give it back to God and keep giving it back to him until you have no more grief in your heart to hand over to Him. Then wait and see what gift He places in your empty hands."   (pg. 220)

Beautiful.    Now I seriously want a pair of wooden shoes!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.   Thank you so much, WaterBrook!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Snow Pics

The local schools were let out yesterday because of the road conditions.     Since we homeschool we don't have to worry about road conditions.    When Little Guy got up I told him I thought it was the perfect day to do a photography assignment.      I told him to go out and get some pics of the snow.     The pics below are the ones he took around our house.     He is getting better and better at taking photos isn't he?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oh Snow

Stop the presses!     It is snowing in Mississippi.    I know for most of the snow covered parts of the country who are completely sick of snow this is not big news.    However, for Mississippi this is exciting.    My little sister called me as soon as it started just to make sure I knew it was snowing.   Sometimes that is all we get is to see it fall.    It was so beautiful watching those big beautiful flakes falling out over the back field.   

Snow had barely accumulated on our patio furniture, our play yard and trampoline when the kids went out to enjoy it.     You have to appreciate the resourcefulness of a Mississippi kid.     They can stretch that little tiny bit of snow into fifty snowballs.    

After they were frozen solid they would come in, throw all their coats and gloves in the drier and warm up with cups of hot chocolate.     When they were sufficiently defrosted they would get dressed to go back and do it all over again.

By the time nighttime came the snow had almost quit falling and we were sitting in front of a warm and toasty fire with hot chocolate and fresh chocolate chip cookies.    

Snow is Mississippi.     Perfection.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Winter Jam

My boys love music.    Hubs and I started introducing them to contemporary Christian music as soon as they were born.      We told them that we didn't care what type music they enjoyed (rap, country, pop, rock, worship, etc....) they could find it in contemporary Christian.     

Because of that we have a wide range of CDs in our house:   Stephen Curtis Chapman, KJ52, Newsong, Newsboys, Disciple, Red, Go Fish, Chris Tomlin, Tenth Avenue North, Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, Third Day, tobyMac, Kutless, Grits, Hawk Nelson, Johnny Diaz..... the list goes on and on and on!

When Big Guy was about seven we discovered something called Winter Jam.    It is a huge concert that features about ten popular Christian artists, but the concert only costs $10.      What a bargain!      Hubs and Big Guy drove to Tupelo for their first Winter Jam.      They were sold and have been every year since then.       

As soon as the 2011 tour was released the boys put it on their calendars.

Look at that line up!    Newsboys, David Crowder Band, Kutless, Francesca Battistelli, Red, Newsong, KJ52, Tony Nolan, Sidewalk Prophets, Chris August, and Chris Sligh.  

They loaded up the van and headed out about noon to try to beat the icy weather that was supposed to hit our area.    After everything we saw on the news about what happened in Chicago and people being stuck on the road, we packed the back of the van with a cooler, sleeping bags and an overnight bag just in case they ran into any problems.      They did not have any problems driving up, but they had only been gone an  hour when there was a huge wreck in our area that left motorists stranded on a bridge called "The Stack" for almost 8 hours.      I was so thankful my boys had left prepared.

The boys called when they arrived and said they were standing in the cold waiting with a lot of other JAM fans.    The doors opened at 6:00 and it was a non-stop party until 10:30!  

Hubs took a couple of shots with his phone.     This one is of RED.   The boys were very excited about seeing them.    RED had just released a new album this past week.     All eleven songs are based on a book by C. S. Lewis.     We all thought that was just COOL!

Have you ever heard of Sidewalk Prophets?     The boys really enjoyed them.

I think it was loud... look at that kid holding his ears!   

All three boys said the highlight of the night was Newsboys!      Apparently their stage show was as awesome as their music.     The drummer's entire drum set lifted up into the air while the drummer was playing it and tilted backwards and rotated an entire 360 degrees... all while the drummer continued playing.    They said the place went nuts.      The lead singer had a huge platform that extended out into the crowd and he walked out there and all of a sudden was lifted up into the rafters.    Outrageous!       

They said it was the BEST WINTER JAM EVER!     

Following the concert you can stay for autographs.    Yea!    This is Little Guy getting his Kutless poster signed.

Off to the side were the other Kutless band members who were cutting up and drawing on some table paper.    Apparently they were laughing and talking and talking about what their ninja turtles would look like if they created one.      The boys thought they were great.    They took a picture of the art they created...

While the boys were jamming, I was at home reading and staying toasty warm.     I also had a little chat with our local meteorologist and friend, Tony Mastro.    I asked his opinion about the boys driving home that night.   He checked out the roads and told me it just wasn't safe for them to drive home so I made them a hotel reservation and told them to use those overnight bags and stay put.      

The boys were so excited about their autographed posters.    As soon as they got home this morning, the first thing they did (after giving me hugs) was show me their items.

 This RED poster is going to look so awesome on Big Guy's autograph wall!

Little Guy is proud to start his autograph collection.    

Winter Jam... have you ever been?    

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

CSN Loves Me

When I started my blog a few years ago I wanted a way to keep up with all we were doing.    Document our adventures as well as all the funny things my boys say.   Then I discovered so many amazing bloggy friends.    Next came the fun of being able to review books!

Now, CSN stores has actually asked if they can give me money to spend at their stores to review one of their products.    Can they?   Can they?     Yes!!

CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from modern office furniture to cute cookware to chic lighting!     The only problem is figuring out what to choose.  

Have you ever shopped at CSN?     What would you choose?

I'll be revealing my choice soon! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

30 Day Husband Challenge

I love my husband so much.      I try my best to show him that 365 days of the year, but I especially love Valentine's Day.    I know that a lot of people do not care much for the holiday.    

Valentine's Day is a lot more than a holiday to us too.    It is the day that hubs asked me out for our first day.    I still remember where I was sitting in my apartment when the phone rang at 9:00 at night.    Hubs was still at work and he called to talk and ultimately ask me out for the following Friday night.   

Valentine's Day is also the day that he asked me to marry him.     With that sweet nervous smirk on his face he told me he loved me and asked me to be his wife.     Sweet memories.

I decided that as part of my Valentine's gift I would take the 30 Day Husband Challenge.   

What is the challenge?  You cannot say anything negative or critical about your husband, to your husband or to anyone else about your husband.     Every day for 30 days.      You must say something positive and admirable about your husband, to your husband and to someone else about your husband.

The 30 Day Husband Challenge was created by the Revive Our Hearts ministry.     You can go here and sign up to be a part of the challenge.   Signing up means that they will send you daily encouraging emails as well as tips on how to encourage your husband.

“If a man feels that his wife desires him, he can face the 
rest of life’s problems with confidence — even conquer the world."
-- Shaunti Feldhahn

If this 30 Day Husband Challenge can help my husband know just how much I love, admire, respect and desire him then I think I have found the perfect Valentine's gift!

Want to take the challenge too?