Sunday, March 25, 2012

Family Time

This weekend Lindy asked me, "Why is it that time around here moves at warp speed?" It made me laugh because that is such an accurate description of our life. They go off to college and I'm sure they have so much more time to relax. Time must move alot slower. But when you get back to our house, you are back on warp speed time where life is super busy and we are constantly on the move!

This weekend was a big weekend at our house because it was Mark's birthday yesterday and it was also my dad's retirement party. Mark brought his girlfriend, Kate, home for the weekend and Laura and Lindy both came home so it was a fun weekend. I made tacos and guacamole on Friday night and we stayed up till 1:30 in the morning watching Carolina and State play basketball. Carolina won, but sadly, State lost. I also watched a little bit of the Baylor game and they won!

On Saturday everybody but me went to see The Hunger Games. I have totally missed out on that. I know it is a huge hit right now, but I am so not a sci-fi person so I don't think I would like it too much.

We had Mark's birthday party on Saturday since Sunday was going to be so busy. I had our whole family plus Steve's mom and my parents over. We grilled out a pork tenderloin and I made Mark's favorite, mashed potatoes and some other veggies. And he isn't a huge fan of cake so I made him a fruit pizza.

Saturday was a beautiful day so we were able get outside a little bit and eat on our porch. I can't believe Mark is 22 and about to graduate from college. Yep...we are living on warp speed!

Sunday the whole family went to hear my dad preach at a church where he is the interim pastor. We took up about two rows! Then after church, we went to lunch at a yummy restaurant called Hilltop. (I took all these pictures with my phone, so they aren't the best ever.)

Oh my goodness...they had so much good, southern cooking! We pretty much ate like pigs.

That afternoon was my dad's retirement party at church. So many people came to support him and let him know how much his ministry meant to them. It was very sweet.

It was a wonderful weekend full of lots of family time. So, now it is Monday again and time to start another week. Only one more week until Spring Break! Woo hoo! I can't wait. I'm looking forward to not having anything to do except whatever I want to! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Preacher's Daughter

If you know me very well, you probably already know that my dad is a Baptist preacher. In about a week, he is going to retire and we have been getting all the pictures from his ministry together for his retirement party. As I have been looking back over these pictures, it has just reminded me what a sweet childhood I had growing up in so many wonderful churches. I know I am partial, but I personally think my dad is one of the best preachers I have ever heard and I am so thankful and proud that he has devoted his entire life to telling others about Jesus. I know I am blessed to have grown up listening to his teaching and to have been a part of wonderful congregations full of people who loved me and helped me grow closer to the Lord.

Anyway...I had so much fun going through all those old pictures, I just had to save a few for my own memories! They are kind of a random little group, but they were all special to me.

I have always been a little "mommy"....even when was a little girl! Here I am being a mommy to my brother Blake when I was about two years old.

We lived in Fort Polk, Louisiana at that time on an army base. My dad was a chaplain in the army.

Here is a picture of me and my dad the day he left for Viet Nam.

These are some of my favorite pictures of my dad in the army. I love how he ministered to the Vietnamese children and orphans.

When he got back, we lived in Fort Hood, Texas. Here I am with all my friends (I am the one with the bracelet on). We were all happy to have our daddies back home!

It was 1969 and my mom gave me a "Twiggy" haircut that I was NOT a fan of. Apparently I was a little sleepy in church on this day!

In 1970 we moved to Nashville, Tennessee where my dad became associate pastor of Two Rivers Baptist Church. That was such a happy time in my life. I had so many sweet friends who are still my friends to this day. Our church was electric with awesome preaching, good singing, and warm fellowship. This is how they greeted our family with an old fashioned "pounding" when we arrived. (Yes, my mom's name is Dwain. I bet you've never heard of a woman named Dwain before! She hasn't either. haha! What were my grandparents thinking???!!)

At the end of every service, we would link arms across the aisles and sing something like "There's A Sweet, Sweet Spirit In This Place" or some other good ole' Baptist song!

In Nashville, my mom worked for the Sunday School Board so sometimes we would be chosen to be in a publication. Here we are posing like we are having family devotions for a Southern Baptist magazine like Home Life or something!

And here we are in another staged picture for some kind of Christmas publication...

After we left Nashville, we moved to Columbia, Tennessee where my dad was pastor of First Baptist Church. I was at church every time the door opened. I was in GA's, choir, Sunday School, Bible Drill, church camp, and anything else that was going on. Church was my second home.

Then, three years later, we moved to Charlotte where I went to middle school and high school. Do you remember those Olan Mills church directories that we all used to have? This is a picture of me and my two brothers that was taken when we got our family picture done for our church here in Charlotte! I think this was around 1980.

I had really big hair in those days. Here is a picture of me sophomore year...

And my mom had my senior picture mixed in with all the other pictures, too...

Even after I grew up and got married and started having kids, my church was still such a big part of my life just like it is today. Here I am at a shower that all the ladies in our church gave to me when I was pregnant with Laura and Lindy. My sister-in-law Angie was pregnant with her daughter Brianna at the same time!

We were two peas in a pod!

Anyway...I have just been going down memory lane as I was looking through all the memories of my life and my dad's ministry. I'm so thankful for my Baptist roots and all the people who have helped shaped my life and encouraged me and loved on me through the years. There is WAY more to the story than I could ever put on a blog post. But these were just a few of my favorites that I wanted to keep a record of. I am glad God saw fit to make me a preacher's daughter!

*By the way...the song "Thank You For Giving To The Lord" by Ray Boltz is a song that someone sang to my dad when he was leaving our church in Charlotte to move to Briarlake Baptist Church in Atlanta. It has always reminded me of him and I believe the words are so fitting for his ministry! I can't imagine the ripple effect that his life has had and I know one day when he gets to heaven there will be many, many people whose lives were changed because of his willingness to be used by God.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What's Goin' On

Well, I survived my week all alone. Actually it didn't turn out too bad. Laura and Lindy were both home for a few days with me. Lindy was at the end of her spring break and Laura was starting hers, so they crossed paths for a little while.

We had fun having a few girls' nights at Bad Daddy's on Thursday night and Pei Wei on Friday night. I love my girls! They are such a joy to me.

Steve got home around 1:30 am on Saturday morning so he was pretty exhausted all day Saturday. We didn't do a whole lot except watch basketball. Both of our teams, NC State and UNC lost in the ACC Tournament. But...they are both in the NCAA Tournament, so that is fun. We love March Madness at our house and it always reminds me of when Mark was born. His birthday is March 25th and it was right in the middle of March Madness. The whole time I was in labor, Steve was watching ball games. Haha! And Mark grew up to love basketball, so it's kind of fitting!

Yesterday we had church and then Ashley and David came by for a while. It was such a pretty day. David loves being outside and I had bought him some bubbles to play with so we had a good time. Lots of our neighbors came by to chat and visit while we were sitting outside, too, so it was a fun afternoon.

Last night we went over to our next door neighbors' house to eat some cake and celebrate their son, Michael's birthday. He is turning 22 just like Mark. He and Mark are best friends and Michael is almost like another son to me. Goodness...time has gone by so fast. When we moved here, Mark and Michael were 10 years old. Now they are all grown up. *sniff, sniff* neighbor had the BEST cake that I've had in a while. She told me it was from Taste Of Home magazine and I found the recipe so I can make it again. I am not a cake person, but this really was delicious!

Southern Chocolate Torte

•1 package (18-1/4 ounces) Swiss chocolate or devil's food cake mix
•1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
•3 eggs
•1-1/4 cups milk
•1/2 cup canola oil
•1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
•1 cup sugar
•1 cup confectioners' sugar
•10 milk chocolate candy bars with almonds (1.45 ounces each), divided
•1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

•In a large bowl, sift the cake and pudding mixes. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and oil. Add to dry ingredients; beat until well blended.
• Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
• In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Finely chop eight candy bars; stir into cream cheese mixture. Fold in whipped topping.
• Spread frosting on cake plate, between layers and over the top and sides of the cake. Chop the remaining candy bars; sprinkle over top and along bottom edge of cake. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12 servings.

If you like cake (especially chocolate!), you will love it. Promise!

Now it is back to Monday and the work week. My house is quiet again and all my kids are gone, but my hubby is back and it's going to be a good week!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Holding Down The Fort

Ever since we got back from Florida I think I have had a little bit of Spring Fever. I'm pretty sure I got a case of it while I was down there. It felt like it was already summer being there and then I had to come back to chilly weather and work. Boo!

Aren't you ready for a little of this?

(Of course, all my pictures came from Pinterest!)

All my kids are either on Spring Break this week or next. Mark went with some friends down to Florida for the week, so now he is getting to have all the fun we had last week! Steve's brother sent us this picture of Mark and his girlfriend, Kate. They are having a great time.

And Lindy is up in the mountains with friends. They are skiing and hanging out and relaxing. And Laura is going with her girlfriends to Washington, D.C. next week! Meanwhile, Steve is all the way in Portland, Oregon starting his new job. So it is just Rocky and me here holding down the fort. He's a vicious watchdog.

I am taking advantage of it though. I am trying to get some reading done and watching lots of girly TV and no basketball. Haha!

Before I know it, it will be MY spring break. Three weeks from Friday it will be here. I can do it!