Saturday, May 31, 2008

Risky Business

Are you a risk taker? I totally am not! But Mark is!! For his 18th birthday we gave him a skydiving trip. He wasn't able to go before now because we've been too busy or the weather was bad. But today was the day! He did it!! He went with his best friend Michael (our next door neighbor) and Steve. Only he and Michael did the jump. I didn't want to watch it, so I just stayed home. But he brought home a video and cool pictures. I will try to put the video on YouTube maybe tomorrow. It was so FUN to watch! He had the best time. He said it was the biggest rush of his life.






Tonight was our Sunday School Class cookout. It was way hot today...90 degrees and extremely humid. We thought it was going to thunderstorm, but it turned out beautiful!! It got cool late in the day and we just hung out and talked and had a great time! I'm thankful for all these sweet couples! At the cookout, I found out that one of my friends has a blog and I didn't even know it! How fun!!

If you get a chance, stop by and say "hi" to Kellie. What a sweet, sweet girl! She is married to Brad, who looks just like Ryan Seacrest to me, and has two absolutely precious children!!




Unfortunately, the thermostat is not working upstairs in our house right now. Not sure what the problem is, but it is like a sauna up here. All of our bedrooms except for Ashley's is up here! Looks like we'll be sleeping in as little as possible tonight with the covers OFF!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Favorite Room


One of my very favorite blogging friends is Kelly.


She is a preacher's daughter just like me and is such a sweet and fun girl! I read her blog every day and LOVE it! Anyway, she had a fun idea for everyone to post pictures of their favorite room in their house, so I decided to join the party! :)

It was a hard decision whether to choose my den or my porch. But you've probably already seen my porch, so I decided to go with my den. This is where we spend the majority of our time together because it opens into our kitchen, so it's really just one big room. We have had so many fun times together in this room with just our family hanging out and with friends and neighbors over! The thing I love most about it is how much light it gets from all the windows!

We have built in bookshelves and, as you can see, I am a picture freak. I have pictures EVERYWHERE in my house. I love having reminders of the people I love all around me.

Sorry about the glare on the picture frame, but here is the couch. On any given day you can usually find a teenager here with TV remote in hand or taking a nap!


The view from the den into the kitchen. You can see a shoe on the floor. Usually there are multiple pairs lying around!
My goal for a house is that it is comfortable and welcoming. I know I'm not a decorating expert by any means, but we love it anyway!

Tonight I made a really easy meal that we like alot...stir fry! Since I already had my camera out taking pictures of the house, I decided to pretend I am the Pioneer Woman and take pictures of my dinner before and after. haha

Here are the things you need: fresh veggies of any kind- (I used celery, onion, peppers, mushrooms and broccoli), chicken, Kikkoman stir fry sauce, and LaChoy chow mein noodles for a topping.

You stir fry all the veggies...add the broccoli at the last minute so it stays nice and crunchy. Pour the sauce in and cook a few minutes more. Then spoon over rice and add the crunchy noodles on top! Yum Yum!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Brain Buzz

Last night I woke up at about 2:30 in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep! Uugh! I hate when that happens. I call it "Brain Buzz"...when your mind is just racing with everything you have to do. I should have just gotten up and written down a "to-do" list. For Pete's sake...I was planning menus in my head and wondering where I had put things I needed and thinking about how I could organize things better and planning what I was going to wear this week, etc, etc, etc.... I even went to bed early so I would be sure to get plenty of sleep. But then I lost about an hour with too much thinking!!

I wasn't tired today, though, so that was good! But let me tell you...it was raining SO HARD today when the bell rang at the end of the day. I have never seen it raining so hard when it was time to go home before.


We tried to bundle the kids up in ponchos and hoodies the best we could, but I just knew I was going to be dripping wet after I walked everyone to their buses (and I was wearing these cute little dressy sandals. I was planning on just taking them off!) BUT, lucky me, they decided that since it was raining so hard, we would just take everyone to the gym and the buses would pull up right to the door and the kids could get on. It was definitely much drier that way!!


It got cold all of a sudden today once that rain came through. I came home and made pork chops and gravy, rice, collard greens, field peas, and baked apples. It was almost like fall! :)

It's weird that American Idol is over! I guess maybe I can make Tuesday night a catch up on reading night. I love to do that anyway!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Flickr

I think Flickr is the coolest website! I went there the other day and was just having so much fun looking at all the pictures. People are so creative and so good with photography! I'm amazed at the talent in this world. Anyway...I saw so many pictures of cute kids, I just had to share a few! These are totally random, but they just made me smile.












On another note, our Memorial Day was wonderful. Nothing was on the agenda...just the way I like it!! We planted flowers, hung out on the porch, grilled out, played with Rocky. Laura and Lindy got home and told us all about the fun they had white water rafting in the mountains. (They got SO sunburned, though!) I wrote thank yous and wrapped up little flowers for all my WONDERFUL parent volunteers who have helped me so much this year! Got a little cleaning done and called it a day. Here are some images from the day.


Flowers for my volunteers





Do we have the craziest dog in the world or what??? He loves water and goes CRAZY when the hose comes on. Look how high he jumps trying to bite the water!!



Dinner was BBQ chicken on the grill!




Sparklers!! :)


Monday came and went too fast!! But it's back to reality now. Hope you have a good week!

Remembering Their Sacrifice

A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.
Bob Dylan






Just thinking today about the men and women who have paid a heavy price for what we have. There is a song by Tim McGraw that always brings tears to my eyes. It's pretty easy for us to take for granted the lives that have been lost for the freedoms and security we have. But this song makes me realize that for every loss, there is a family...a wife, a mother, a father, a friend, whose world will never be the same because of the sacrifice that was made. The song is called, "If You're Reading This."



I have a friend who was probably the first friend I can remember. Her dad and my dad went to seminary together, so we met when we were tiny little girls. Our dads were on staff together at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, TN. Her name is Betsy, too! We have been friends forever! Her son, Caleb, is serving in Iraq right now.


Could I ask you take just a minute to remember him in prayer? I remember when he was about to leave, she came through town and spent the night with me and we went to dinner together. I asked her how in the world she would be able to let him go? How would your heart not be overcome with fear and worry? How could she stand there as he boarded a plane not knowing if she might ever see him again? She told me that she knew Caleb was in God's hands. God could take him any time He chose to. It could be here or it could be in Iraq. She had peace about it. That was such a testimony to me.

Caleb is coming home in January. God has kept him safe thus far. If you are looking for a soldier to encourage this Memorial Day, you could visit his blog and leave him a note telling him that even though you don't know him, you are praying for him.

Just remembering men like this today...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Sunday!

Happy Sunday! Usually Sundays can be stressful for me because I have to get ready for school the next day. I call it the "Sunday Blues". But not today! No sirree...no school tomorrow! :)

Sunday School was great. I went to Manhattan Bagel and got tons of bagels and different cream cheeses. I just cut up some fruit to go with it...grapes, oranges, strawberries. Add some coffee and juice and there you have it...a yummy Sunday School snack. I didn't think anyone would be there today since it's Memorial Day weekend, but we had a great group and lots of good discussion! Love those guys!

After church we ate on our porch. Laura and Lindy are still gone out of town. I miss them! They are so far up in the mountains that their cell phones don't work, so I haven't been able to talk to them. I hope they are having a great time!

Ran errands this afternoon and when I got home, I had a driveway full of kids. That is a sight that makes me happy!

Mark with Kelsey and Melissa

Ashley

Michael and John playing basketball

John


Tonight was Rebeccah's graduation party. It was very sweet with lots of friends and family. That is one sweet girl! She has danced all her life so she wanted to push all the chairs back and dance tonight. So, that's what we did! Here are Mark and Ashley having fun.



Hope you are having a wonderful long weekend!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Three Day Weekends

I think every weekend should be a three day weekend! It is so much more relaxing that way! This weekend has been great so far. Friday night we finally got to go on a date. When was the last time that happened? We went to one of our favorite restaurants-Carrabas. I got a bowl of Italian soup and a mediterranian salad with grilled talapia on top. That was something new for me and it was so good. Then we came home and watched Charlie Wilson's War with Tom Hanks. I love him!


I thought that was a really good movie! Unfortunately, I fell asleep about 3/4 of the way through it, so I still need to finish it. haha! Friday nights I am always so exhausted!

Laura and Lindy are gone for the weekend to the mountains with a friend, so only Mark and Ashley are home. This morning it was rainy and dark all morning.


Steve and I got up and ate breakfast and did a few things around the house. But the house was so quiet! Ashley went to zumba and Mark was watching ESPN, so we did something I don't think we've ever done before...we took a nap at around 10:00 and slept for another hour. What on earth?! We must both be more tired than we think. Then we woke up and did chores and errands. The sun came out and we got ready to leave for my niece's (Steve's sister's daughter) graduation which was in Winston-Salem, NC.

Do you know what the best part of the day was? We got to spend 3 hours in the car together talking and catching up!! Our lives have been fast and furious lately, so that was so fun. We talked about our kids and our summer plans and filled each other in on this past week while we were apart. We listened to lots of good music...country, oldies (Eagles, Earth Wind & Fire, Peter Frampton, Van Halen) all those songs from our high school days.

Sweetest thing said to me today:
Steve: "I LOVE when I get to spend time with someone who I love to spend time with!"




Rebeccah's graduation was nice. She was homeschooled so this was for homeschoolers from all over the state. Congratulations, Rebeccah!


Now we are back home. It is late so I need to get to bed. Tomorrow we have church and I am bringing snacks to Sunday School! Busy day ahead!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Unthinkable


I really can't even find the words to express how very sad I am to learn about the tragedy in the life of Steven Curtis Chapman. I'm sure everyone knows by now that his 5 year old daughter was killed yesterday when his son accidentally ran over her in the family's driveway. Oh my goodness, there is nothing sadder in this whole world than losing a child. And it is complicated by the fact that another one of your children is going through such grief and guilt. I don't know how you even get through something like that other than with God's love and a strength that only He can give.

I remember when Steven Curtis Chapman was asked to play at the memorial service for the students who died in Paducah, KY, his hometown. He was able to encourage and strengthen those grieving families. Now it is his turn to be on the receiving end of the love and prayers of his extended Christian family.

When I went to his website today, this video was on it and it just broke my heart. It is Steven with his little girl, Maria. So, so sad!! Praying for God to be close to this family today.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Surprise!

Yay for David Cook! I really thought David Archuleta was going to win, so it was a big surprise!! It was a hard choice I thought. I liked them both, but I am happy for David C! I loved the song he sang at the end. But I still felt a little sad for David A.



I talked to Steve today and he told me it was 97 degrees in West Palm Beach yesterday! Wow! That is hot! As we were talking, he was headed to the pool to catch some sun. He's been trying to help his brother do some things around the house while he's been there. I've been trying not to be too jealous. One of the things Steve and I have been thinking about is taking a little trip to Bermuda this summer...maybe a long weekend. So I am keeping that in the back of my mind. I've never been there, but we have some friends who highly recommend it. If you've been there before, where did you stay? I would love any recommendations you might have!



Random Stuff:
*I got a new phone on Saturday and I'm LOVING it!! I wish I would have taken a picture of my old one. I don't even know how many years I've had that thing, but it was bulky and outdated. Even the ladies that do my nails commented on how old and beat up it was! I'm just a little technologically challenged so it's taking me a while to get the hang of everything.


*Went to dinner tonight with Laura and Lindy at Mario's Pizza and sat outside. Oh my goodness, it was so nice out there!! I saw several of my kids from school there. They are so cute.

*Came home and took Rocky on a walk (or he took ME on a walk!) Just enjoying the weather today.



*Got Mark's graduation invitations in the mail. I can't believe it's almost here!


Time to go to bed! Have a good day tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ups and Downs

I think life is so interesting. It really is a rollercoaster ride full of ups and downs everyday. Ups and downs so far this week (and it's only Tuesday!!):

Downs
*So sad to hear about Ted Kennedy's brain tumor. Even though I totally disagree with many of the things he stands for, I respect his years in the Senate and I would not wish that horrible diagnosis on anyone!

*Laura and Lindy have a good friend who they just learned is pregnant. They love her and have already started praying for her. I know this is difficult on her parents, though.

*A friend of mine's daughter just graduated from college and had an exciting prospect for a glamorous job. It fell through today.

*Missing Steve and Ashley!

*Lots of cars got broken into today at my kids' high school. Money and credit cards were stolen. What is wrong with people?

Ups
*Only 14 more school days!!! Can I get an AMEN?!!!

*Got a couple of good movies in the mail from Netflix today, plus one waiting for me that I got at Blockbuster. Sounds like I've got some movie watching in my future!

*Our grass is so green this year! Yay for that!

*Laundry is down this week with two people gone!

*Dinners are easy and quick. Hot dogs, french fries, and broccoli slaw tonight.

*Made one of our favorite desserts last night & everyone loved it.

Blueberry Crisp
1 can of blueberry (or any kind!) pie filling
1 1/2 cups of yellow cake mix
1 package pecan chips
1 stick of butter

Pour blueberry pie filling into shallow baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix over the top. Sprinkle with pecans. Melt one stick of butter and pour over everything. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Enjoy!


*A thunderstorm is rolling in. Maybe it will rain tonight and I will leave the windows open so I can hear it! That is some good sleeping!!

*American Idol Tonight!!

PS-I did watch the Bachelorette. Deanna is cute. She looks sooooo much like my sweet friend, Kelley Brown, who I taught school with and who was Laura's first grade teacher. Laura ADORED her...spent the night with her, played with her kids, etc. Kelley died about three years ago of breast cancer. I still miss her. You might not can tell from this picture because Kelley had just cut and lightened her hair (plus it's just one picture taken on one day--it's hard to know if you didn't see her all the time). But her hair was naturally dark and long. She was beautiful inside and out.