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Friday, July 31, 2009

Putting on a swim cap

Putting on my swim cap before getting in the pool is somewhat difficult for me. Maybe I bought a size too small. I've heard from different people that it's best to put it on when your hair is dry and others have said that it's best to wet your hair first. Ugh. Well, as all people do when they need a tutorial, I went to YouTube to find an easy solution. After viewing the typical routine videos of "How to put on a swim cap", I found one more interesting that I decided to share with my followers. All I need now is a friend to join me in swimming so we can put each other's swim caps on!

This one's for you, Burt

Don't get me wrong, Burt....I know you care nothing for aerobics. However, I thought you could incorporate this diddly into your sermon this Sunday. I know how you appreciate a good dance groove.

My weekly A La Carte

Ok, so Challies does it and so does AHM. I think I'll join the club and do an A La Carte, too. I mean, there's so much good and funny stuff out there in cyberspace!

Our Wayward Children
Noelle Piper describes what it was like having a wayward child reconnect with their family and to God.

My Life on Antidepressants: Taming the Beast
This article was written in preparation for a magazine feature promoting my friend, Betty Smartt Carter, who released her first volume of memoirs in the same year, 2003. I think her writings are funny and full of depth. She's even more hilarious in person.

Wedding Party Gets Their Groove On

Over 12 million people have viewed it but I can't resist posting it once more in another spot on the Internet. If you haven't seen the sweet dancin' crazy wedding party procession, you should make some time for it. Afterwards, you can read Amanda's and/or Lisa's take on it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

7 quick takes

1. Mitch and I are going white water rafting this weekend with some friends. I hope we don't tip over! One of my friends is terrified of falling in the water. Watch it be me and not her. Maybe I'll buy one of those waterproof disposable cameras since it would be difficult to paddle with my Canon Rebel XTi strapped on. That would make a cool picture!

2. At age two, Abigail is almost completely potty trained. She alerts me throughout the day when she needs to tinkle and has only had one accident in the past three days. She is consistently waking from her afternoon nap and in the mornings totally dry. She doesn't like to be "dirty" so we haven't had any issues regarding #2 yet either (did I really just type that?). Wow, can it be that for the first time in five years that we might soon be a household empty of diapers? Goodbye wipes and hello flushable Cottenelle!

3. I have ENJOYED this summer immensely. We have had so much fun with our playgroup, going to various parks in our city, visiting family, doing Disney, sleeping late, and packing picnic lunches almost every day - we are always running out of bread. But, to be honest, I am READY FOR SCHOOL TO START BACK!

4. I'm still getting up in the mornings and swimming laps. I really do enjoy the time in the pool and it's nice to be able to workout in the cool water....well, they did find a small snake in the (indoor) pool yesterday but the lifeguards quickly removed it and killed the thing. I've noticed that I'm getting a wee bit faster with my time. I've been swimming for almost two months and it's encouraging to see improvement in my speed. Of course, I seem to always get the lane next to the girl who swims competitively and always brings her coach with her. I can either see her as a challenge, or give up - 'cause there's no way I'm gonna lap her.

5. I let the kids fingerpaint on their art paper yesterday in the kitchen. Let's just say that most of the paint ended up on the kitchen floor and not on their paper. However, I haven't mopped yet and I don't think I'm going to anytime soon. I like to imagine that three little Picasso's left their masterpieces for me to enjoy. No, I just don't want to mop.

6. It's 1:13 a.m. as I type this. I'm not even gonna try to trick you by setting this post in draft to appear later today. See, you need to pray for me that I will get more sleep. I need to be more disciplined in getting to bed at a decent hour. Friends joke that sleep deprivation is gonna be the death of me but it's just that my mind begins to race like crazy once the kids are in bed. My hands get busy doing things that they couldn't do when the children were awake and sometimes I want to veg and simply just sit and be lazy since I'm on GO all day long.

7. Mitch and I are about to embark on a journey we've never been on before. I can't really type details here but you can ask me privately on email and I'll be glad to share. We'd love to have friends and family praying for us.

Monday, July 27, 2009

T. Tebow

Chad, this is the only thing I like about the Gators.

He caught the reporters off guard - left them stumbling. Listen to his answer if you have 53 seconds to spare.

HT: B. Curtis

Do I display these attributes?

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and
Colossians 3:12

It's been a hard morning. I pray that I will be compassionate towards my children and to the world. I pray their little eyes will see others being kind and will want to be kind in return. I pray my children won't be arrogant but rather humble and desire no reward in life but eternal life with the Father. I pray I will display self-control and patience so that my three little ones will see the power of God at work. My heart is just as bent toward sin as theirs.

Two of many favorite hymns that are bringing me strength today:

Satisfied (1875 Clara Williams)

All my life long I had panted for a drink from some cold spring
that I hoped would quench the burning of the thirst I felt within.
Hallelujah! He has found me, the one my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies all my longings, through his blood I now am saved.

Well of water, ever springing. Bread of life, so rich and free.
Untold wealth that never faileth, my Redeemer is to me.
Hallelujah! He has found me, the one my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies all my longings, through his blood I now am saved.

Poor I was and sought for riches; something that would satisfy.
But the dust I gathered ’round me only mocked my soul’s sad cry.
Hallelujah! He has found me, the one my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies all my longings, through his blood I now am saved.

There is a Fountain

There is fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power
’Til all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be ’til I die.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Montgomery Zoo

No, not your house, Tera.

We are members of The Montgomery Zoo so we like to go as much as possible. The kids love seeing the animals and imitating their sounds. The weather was hot that day but nothing stopped us from enjoying wildlife and each other. Since the zoo is only a hour and half drive away, we hope to go several more times and take some friends along with us. Andrew says Chad would fit in great with the monkeys (schmell you later!).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stake a tent in the backyard and call it a camp-out!

We purchased a used tent from our church yard sale but decided that going to a real campground wasn't gonna happen anytime soon. So, Dad did the next best thing....he staked it up in the backyard! All three guys slept out there this past Wednesday night and I didn't hear a peep out of them until 7:00 am the next morning when they came inside. The boys thought it was the coolest thing ever!

Blueberry pickin'

I took all the kids to a blueberry patch in Opelika this morning to pick some of the juicy fruit for a cobbler I want to make. Like my friend, Nikki, exclaimed while nibbling on our pickings, "I've never tasted such sweet blueberries straight off the vine before!". I had to agree with her....we were in a large patch with some of the most delicious blueberries ever!

The blueberries are ripe for the pickin' now and will be for a few more weeks. If you'd like the information on the location of this patch, leave a comment or email me and I'll give you the phone number and driving's super easy!

After picking just a few, my kids led the expedition of a frog hunt near the neighboring watering hole. I filled up my gallon bucket with berries while Andrew and Luke filled theirs with tiny new frogs. Fun was had by all!

Holly, Nikki, Alison, Angela, and Chrissy....let's do it again. I'll look for a strawberry patch, yeah?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunday marker moment

Abigail and I had some time alone together a few Sunday mornings ago after Mitch took the boys early to church with him. So I could finish getting ready, I taped some paper to the kitchen floor and gave her our set of toddler markers with which to create something. These markers are not only washable (thank goodness!) but they also make the sound of that particular animal when the cap is removed and replaced. The kids think the sounds are so funny and I laughed all the way to the cash register when I saw the set of four was marked down to 90% off the retail price. I've never seen this set on sale anywhere before and can't even find them listed on the Crayola website. Maybe that's why they were such a steal!

Just 'cause he's cute

Wordless Wednesday

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A brotherly moment

I caught them in conversation yesterday afternoon while enjoying a snack together. We were taking a break from the slip-n-slide when I ran inside to check on Abigail who was waking from her nap. When I returned and approached the back door, I saw them laughing and talking to each other. It made my heart smile.

Proverbs 21:21
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Andrew's bi-monthly chore

Andrew received this fish three years ago when he turned two years of age. He chose the name DIRT for his fish and he has been a good pet ever since. Andrew takes great care in feeding Dirt every other day and also in cleaning his bowl. Twice a month, this is what Andrew does at the kitchen sink. What a little caregiver!

Shrinky Dinks

About this time last year, we made Shrinky Dinks from plastic #6 (look on bottom for recycle label/number). This summer, however, we pulled some of my official Shrinky Dink plastic from the craft drawer and have had a great time coloring and tracing together on the kitchen floor. Actually, I think the children have more fun watching the plastic curl and shrink in the oven window than doing the coloring part. Especially Abigail.

Making bread

I was given an Amish bread starter bag about two months ago and I've kept it up ever since, baking bread every ten days. After two months, I have no friends left who don't already have one of the four starters produced by my single bag. So, I'm excited to try a new recipe from a friend that might allow me to use 3/4 of the starter for my own baking and leave 1/4 for the next batch (let me know if you want the recipe, Theresa M.!).

Anyway, my boys love helping me mix the ingredients. Sometimes they let visiting friends help. Thanks, Mackerdoodle!

Monday, July 20, 2009

More pictures from my brother's wedding

Ok, I know...I'm going a little overboard about my brother's wedding. I can't help it. He's so handsome and means so much to me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

They are married!

...and what a sweet day it was.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stuart's sweet day

I'm sitting in a hotel lobby alone while my husband is in the pool with the boys and my mother is watching my daughter. Being alone has allowed me some time to think back on my brother's 33 years of life. See, today, my little brother, Stuart, will marry his sweet girlfriend, Kristi.

Since we are only fifteen months apart, Stuart and I have always been close. Most memories of our childhood consist of being latchkey kids every afternoon after school. During that time, we would watch a little TV, snack, play in the backyard, argue, and sometimes play Nintendo Mario Brothers (I always won 'cause I'm older, right Stuart? Remember Bluebird Ave, Glen Arven Ave, Strong St, and Timberlake? Gosh, what memories!). He was such a slob! We would walk into his room and say, "What's that smell?"....random food left in bowls under the bed and stinky dirty clothes laying everywhere. Gross, but now we can laugh!

After high school, Stuart joined the U.S. Marines where he lived in various areas of the world for four years. Next, he moved to Colorado where he lived for a good many years until moving to the Atlanta area with a job transfer. As a family, we were thrilled to have him closer to home. Stuart watched his two sisters get married and began to pray the same for himself. Many of our phone conversations over the past three years involved conversations surrounding relationships, falling in love, and prayer for his future mate. Then, Stuart told me he joined an online dating service and I simply didn't know what to say to him. I was speechless. Do I encourage him to meet strangers? Do I tell him of my skepticism? In the end, I told him to be careful but that I hoped he would be fortunate in finding love.

Here we are almost a year later and he's getting ready this morning to take his bride as she walks down the aisle on the arm of her father....and we just adore her. Their dating history does have an initial online meeting to tell (that's another post unto itself) and we are so happy that the Lord brought them together. I can't help but get a little choked up when thinking that my brother's life will be different in about five hours. Our lives as his family will also be different because we are getting a new family member today. We love you, Krisiti, and I am honored to call you my sister-in-law.

Stuart, I watched you cry last night during the wedding rehearsal. It does my heart good to see you with Kristi and to hear you say that you'd rather be no where else than anywhere with her. That's the way it's supposed to be. Congratulations, Stuart, and enjoy your honeymoon and new life together. God is certainly good....and faithful.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A La Carte from Tim Challies

As I've written before, Tim Challies is one of my favorite bloggers. He's a Christian who posts some solid, trustworthy information and writes from a biblical worldview when posting his thoughts on specific topics. Every week he has a post titled A La Carte where he lists various links to fun, important, and random information. I thought this week's A La Carte was especially good. Enjoy!