Friday, April 28, 2006

We are babysitting!

Actually, we are frog-sitting! Our good friend "D-too" loaned us her aquarium about a month ago. At the time, she had one African Dwarf Frog. We aren't sure whether "Herbie" is a boy or girl. (It is very hard to tell.) We have all enjoyed having Herbie stay with us! So, last Saturday, "D-too" took us and bought three more frogs - one for each child.

And so, I'd like to introduce you to them...

First of all, Pretty Princess has never been 'into' the frogs. She's just not interested, for which we are thankful. We were concerned she might want to get them out to play (if they dry up, they die!). So, here is a picture of "Snow White" (appropriately named by the Princess!). Snow White tends to be shy and hide a lot, just as you'd think a frog named Snow White would!

Second, is "Kirby", named by Game Master. When we first got Herbie, Princess kept calling him/her Kirby. Game Master liked it and named his frog Kirby. Now we have Kirby and Kirby (just like she calls my parents, "Grandpa and Grandpa"!). Here is a picture of Kirby trying to escape...

Lastly, is the frog appropriately named by Candy Man. For whatever reason, he wanted to name him/her "Bad Boy". We found this amusing, but now that we've gotten to know Bad Boy better, we've found it quite appropriate! Bad Boy is an escape artist. From the beginning, he was trying to get out of the bag, and now the aquarium! He stands on the filter and tries to pull himself up out of the tank (just like the picture of Kirby)! We must keep an eye on him/her. This picture is Herbie (the lighter skinned frog) and Bad Boy.

Well, I guess it is inevitable that we will discover the gender of at least some of the frogs when they get...well, you know... "friendly".

Thanks D-too for letting us frog-sit. We are enjoying them and taking good care of them!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thursday Thanks Tank #6 (filling up the tank with thanks)

It is an absolutely beautiful day here in East Tennessee! I'm thankful to live here! It is Thursday once again. Time to share with you my attitude of gratitude!

Yesterday it rained. In the evening, our family went down to the river for a walk. Today, the children ate lunch outside on our back porch.

I'm thankful for God's creation and want to praise Him for:

1. The sky! Blue as it is today, gray as it was yesterday.

2. The trees! Green and lush as today, orange, red, yellow, and vibrant in the fall, and bear in the winter.

3. The flowers! All kinds! Perenials, annuals. The honeysuckle tree that we saw yesterday evening that smelled so good! The ones blooming now - daffodils, tulips, and dandelions! The ones yet to bloom - roses, mums...

4. The waters! The rivers, muddy after a rain. The oceans, clear and sparkling. The small creeks to get our feet wet.

5. Grass! Especially when it is green and freshly mown.

6. Rain! It's provision for us. The fun we can occasionally have playing in it!

7. Mountains! Little hills, huge mountains, tree covered and rocky!

8. Stars, moon and sun! Make the day and night special!

9. Animals! Puppies, kittens, bunnies, birds. Frogs!

10. People! Husbands, children, other family, friends, and future friends to be made!

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." --Psalm 118;24

Monday, April 24, 2006

Whatever it takes

I attend Bible Study Fellowship each Monday evening with Game Master. It is a great in-depth Bible study - and it is international! This year we have been studying the book of Genesis.

Last Monday, we looked at Joseph's suffering. He suffered due to nothing he'd done. His suffering was all because of other's sins! His brothers sold him into slavery - he did nothing to deserve this! Potiphar had him put in jail, after his wife accused Joseph of attacking her - when really he rejected her advances! He finally had a way out of jail, but the cupbearer forgot him! It was so disheartening! I left that night angry with God.

See, I often feel that I suffer consequences from other's sin. Now, don't get me wrong! I'm not sinless or anything, by any means! I certainly suffer consequences of my own sin. It's just plain and simple. I won't name names or allude to any one person. I'm not doing this to place blame. That is my point. Last week, I left blaming.

I was thinking, "It's all their fault that I suffer!" "It's just not fair." "How could God allow this to continue, hurting me like it does?" It has been a very difficult week for me, holding onto this bitterness.

Then, tonight, we go a bit further in the story... and realize that Joseph's attitude the whole time was humility! He never got a "I feel sorry for myself" attititude! He remained close to God. He was obedient, even to suffering. He was made closer to the image of Christ through this.

Now, isn't that what God wants of me? Isn't that what I pray? God is saying to me, "Do you mean that, or is it just words?"

Tonight, our teaching leader said many things that cut into my heart. It was all I could do to keep it together. Tears poured down my face the whole time. Here are some of the things she said:

"We should work hard and do our best, no matter what the momentary rewards are."

"God is at work in ways that are not our ways."

"Always expect and know God is working in your hopeless situation."

"God is sovereign and no person can stand in the way for His plan for you."

"Nothing is impossible with God. Do you want God to do whatever it takes to make you in the image of His Son?"

Joseph could've blamed his brothers for everything that he'd been through, but instead, he said, "it was not you who sent me here, but God." (Genesis 45:8)

And so I pray, God give me an attitude like Joseph - an attitude of humility, devotion and obedience, whatever it takes! You sent me here! Your will be done. Amen.

A moment of insanity!

Did I really put pictures of my trashed house on the web? What in the world was I thinking? I didn't want you to get to know me THAT well! I sure wouldn't have invited you over to see it. Why in the world would I give you pictures!?

I think it was a moment of insanity! Do you have those? I sure hope they don't get increasingly closer together as we age (please tell me they don't!). I'm afraid they'll all just run together!

Do you ever make decisions that sound like a good idea at the time, but later you realize that you were insane!?

I scheduled our Saturday clear full of fun activities! I thought it was going to be a great day with the kids. Papa was at work, but friends were going to be there to help with my little ducks, so it would be just fine!

We began the day with Game Master's baseball game (he hit one out of the park - woo hoo!), which was immediately followed by Candy Man's baseball game (who was more interested in the bubble gum the coach had given him!). Pretty Princess did amazingly well - sitting through 2 hours straight of baseball, finding new friends to play with and keeping herself entertained. I felt even more ready for the rest of the day!

Then we did the drive-thru/eat in the car lunch thing on the way to our next escapade...

Next stop was a nightmare for Pretty Princess. Again, what was I thinking? The boys absolutely loved it, but I think she was a bit traumatized. We went to the Civil War Living History Days. We arrived 10 minutes into the live "squirmish". It was awesome - very exciting! Live horses, real guns and canons from the times. Authentic costumes. Very impressive... well, to most anyway. Princess was not impressed in the least. I suppose it was too real to her - I mean, they WERE shooting each other and falling 'dead'. It was very loud to her too. At the end, they all lined up and did a 'gun salute' - over the heads of the watchers-on.
Poor Princess...

Then to make matters worse, as we later "toured" the campsites, she stepped into a big mud puddle. The mud squished through her toes and all into her sandal. This was quite disagreeable for her!

I went into one of those porta-potties with her. She was so scared and didn't want to go... so I went first, to show her there was nothing to be afraid of. Meanwhile, her big brother, Game Master, goes around to the back of the potty and starts beating on it! She thought it was the potty! Needless to say, it terrified her and she refused to go!

She suprisingly got over each of these things pretty quickly, but then the last offense was more than she could handle! As she was getting a drink from a water bottle, it spilled down the front of her shirt. Oh my! End of the world! She had muddy toes, and now a wet shirt. It was just too much for my princess!

After about 10 minutes of fussing, I realized that our time was up and it was time to move on...

Fortunately for everyone, she zonked out in the car ride to the next adventure and was rejuvenated to go on... which was really good, since it involved frogs!!

The Bible says He will not give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). Why do I, at times, give my children more than they can handle? I'm telling you, it is a moment of insanity!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday Thanks Tank #5 (filling up the tank with thanks)

It's Thursday again! Time for thankfulness! I've gotta be quick - forgot I had to work yesterday, so today is major cleaning day!!

I'm thankful for:

1. Christ's life on earth. He came here and set in place the church, showing us the way to live.

2. Christ's death. He took my sin (and yours) on Himself and paid the price.

3. Christ's resurrection. He defeated death and came back to life, making it possible for us to have eternal life.

4. Christ's promise to return. He promised that He'll be back. There will be an end to this world and He will reign as King.

5. I don't have to wait until then! He is King of my life now!

6. Freedom in Christ! I am free to live for Him! I do not have to worry what others think about me. (Now I must apply this one!)

7. Joy in Christ! I can have joy being a daughter of the King, no matter what my circumstances are! (Need some work on this one too!)

8. Love! I'm thankful for the love of others and being able to love them too!

9. Life! For my life, my children's lives. I want to enjoy each day that I have with them.

10. Restoration! That my heart can be restored when broken, relationships can be mended, and homes can be cleaned up!!

"Aghhhh... so much better!"

Have a thankful Thursday! Many blessings to you!

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful." --Colossians 3:15

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My Home is NOT My Own!

On Monday, Owlhaven gave a challenge. We were to take three photos that were reflections of ourself. I thought... that should be easy enough. And I walked around my house looking.....

Oh, man! This cannot be MY house! I love to be organized. I love for everything to be in it's place. These people that I live with must be crazy!! I discovered that there isn't much of me in this house... or better said... what there is of me has been covered with THEIR mess! I can't keep up! Granted, I have spent the day out running errands.

Here is NOT me:

This is my sons' bedroom! Where are the sheets? What happened in there?!? I thought the tornadoes hit middle and west Tennessee!!

This is my daughter's bedroom. (Okay, I doesn't look like this today. This is last month, the morning that I found she'd been up half the night getting all her clothes out of the drawers and playing with them!)

This is my husband's side of the bed. It is like this today, but this is actually a good day. He can actually get in the bed on HIS side!

Now, I'm bummed out! My husband is going to work and we are going to baseball practice. Tomorrow is a serious cleaning day!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

I'm a little slow, but it's a Meme!

Peach tagged me a week ago and I'm a little slow. I've never done a meme before, but here goes!

4 Jobs I've had in my life:

Medical Office Manager - that was my "career" before babies...
Photographer - worked for my parent's franchise, The Sports Section, as a youth sports photographer, and sub-contract saleswoman.
Independent Consultant - for Creative Memories (scrapbooking supplies). I did this and supported my 'habit'!!
Administrative Assistant - I work one day a week for my parent's business now. I work in the office doing whatever I can to help them out!

4 Movies I could watch over and over:

Anne of Green Gables (Peach introduced these movies to me and I LOVE them!)
Wizard of Oz
The Sound of Music
Forrest Gump

4 Websites I visit regularly:

Faith Promise Church (Our church - Pastor Chris posts daily devotions.)
Knox County's Public Library website! (We have the greatest system, where we can reserve books and just go pick them up at our closest branch. Works great as a homeschooler!)
Our bank's website (to pay bills, check balances, make transfers, etc...)
Weather websites (what to wear today...) like WBIR (local) and Weather Channel

4 Favorite Foods:

Fresh, homemade salsa w/chips
French Fries (with Ranch dressing)

4 Places I'd rather be right now:

The Beach
The Mountains
In the Pool
On a Boat

4 Books I could read over and over:

"Redeeming Love" (by Francine Rivers)
"The Excellent Wife" (by Martha Peace) (cause I'll never be perfect!)
"The Peace and Power of Knowing God's Name" (by Kay Arthur)
The Bible

4 Songs I could listen to over and over:

"I am free" (Newsboys)
"How Great is Our God" (and anything else by Chris Tomlin)
"Beautiful" (Bethany Dillon)
"Give me Jesus" (Fernando Ortega)

4 Reasons why I blog:

It is a creative outlet for me! I'm home all day with three children and when my honey comes home, he wants to talk, and so I listen!

It is a way of reflection for me - like journaling. For years, I've been saying I was going to write down the funny things that my kids do! I never did, until now - I'm putting them on my blog (see all the "Candy Man sayings" posts!)

It is growing me. I know that may sound funny to some, but really. Reading other's blogs and writing my own challenges me! I can't put it out there for all the world and not do something about it!

Just like Peach, it keeps me in touch with friends, and helps me make new ones! And so, I tag some - Bastica, Faithful Mommy, and Reverberate.

Another Candy Man saying...

Candy Man had such fun on the "Yerf Dog" (a big boy's Big Wheel - at right) yesterday at Grandma and Grandpa's house! After riding for several minutes, he was quite red-faced. I asked, "Are you hot?" He disagreed saying, "No! I'm not hot, I'm just sweating."

Oh. Okay.

Things we DON"T NEED!

Yesterday, I promised you that I was going to tell you more about my "conference weekend"! Today, I want to tell you about Friday night's speaker! Her name is Priscilla Shirer. She is the daughter of Dr. Tony Evans. (She says, "I made him what he is." ;) Her talk was about things we don't need.


Things we need to come away from:

1. Things of this world. "It's not about you!" I need to trust that He is up to something BIGGER in our difficult circumstances. She encouraged me not to concentrate on the pain of the circumstances, but to focus on the something bigger that He is trying to accomplish in it.

2. Doubt. Do you doubt that God is big enough? Do you doubt that He will answer YOUR prayers? She encouraged me to go back to what I know about Him - to think about a time when He did answer prayer, provide, heal, forgive, whatever. For example, He has shown me that He is forgiving. Why do I hesitate to ask for forgiveness, holding on to the shame and guilt? Because I doubt He'll forgive me AGAIN! And yet, really, I know He will!

3. Being caught up in customs (you know, because everyone else is doing it!). It is important for me to remember that Jesus isn't impressed with my actions (even the good ones! Did you know that?). He wants my heart. I so often want to jump ahead and do things instead. She encouraged me to check my heart and make sure I am doing things for the right reasons.

4. Gambling with His Grace. This was a harder one for me to understand. She talked about how He has poured out His grace on America and we take it for granted. We have not been asked to give up our life for Jesus.....just our pride. Ouch.


Priscilla talked about her 2 year old son, Jackson. She talked about her love for him, and his adoration of her. She shared how much it meant to her when little Jackson would crawl up in her lap... She read Matthew 11:28-30:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

She said, "When Jesus said this, He must've meant, 'Crawl up in my lap, lay your head on my chest, and plant kisses on my cheek.'" What a beautiful picture of what He wants from us... our heart...our adoration.

I adore you, Lord.

No more viruses!

We've all been green with illness now! Each family member, and now even the computer has had a virus!

Sweet Papa was trying to read his e-mail and watch the children. He wasn't paying much attention to what he was clicking on and gave the computer a virus! We've spent the weekend trying to fix it. To no avail!

Finally this morning, after an hour on the phone with Microsoft (thank you, kind Laurie!!) it is fixed!

So, now we are all well and glad to be headed outdoors to work in the yard! It is spring planting time in Tennessee!!

I will be posting more tomorrow about my conference weekend!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Thursday Thanks Tank #4 (filling up the tank with thanks)

How can I not be thankful!? This week, can I limit it to 10!?

I am thankful for:

1. My salvation. That I may have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe! That He loves me so much that He'd give His Son's life for mine! Sometimes the walk as a Christian is hard, but knowing the 'end' makes it full of hope!!

2. The Mountains! The Smoky Mountains are beautiful ANY time of the year! How wonderful it was this past weekend to drive through the mountains at the beginning of the getaway. We fought through rush-hour traffic and then all of a sudden, there was noone! It was beautiful!

3. Old friends and New friends. It was wonderful spending time with friends I've known, as well as new friends I'd never met! How awesome to spend a weekend with 4,000 sisters in Christ!

4. Music! How wonderful music is to our ears! And yet, how convicting it can be! My friend, AnnieBeth, and I are going to pick a song each week that speaks to us! I just might put mine on my blog! This week's is "Give Me Jesus".

5. God's Word - it is alive and relevant every day! I am amazed at how I can take a passage that I've heard so many times before and get something new from it! He is good!

6. Joy in the Lord! I'm thankful that I can choose to have joy, no matter the circumstances - just because He is good!

7. Family reunions! A weekend away and we appreciate our family so much more, don't we? It was so good to be missed by them and welcomed home with big hugs and cuddles from all!

8. God's justice. Sometimes it seems people don't get the justice they deserve, but I know that God is just and He is Judge. His judgement is greater than man's!

9. Another day - with God, with family, with friends, to enjoy creation, to love and be loved.

10. Delight! Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Just Give Them Jesus...

I'm so sad... This life chapter has finally come to a close for my dear friend, but I wish this part of her story was more victorious for her!

My dear friend, Melanie, was hit by an impaired driver on May 19, 2004. Her 3 year old son, Hunter, was killed instantly.

It has been a long and difficult two years awaiting justice for this family. Today, the district attorneys accepted a plea bargain with Joshua Harris (the impaired driver). He is sentenced to only two years in jail! His charges included vehicular homicide by intoxication (Zanex, Meth, and Cocaine!), reckless aggravated assault, and possession of drug paraphernalia. (Click here or here to see the news stories.)

I'm so disappointed in our justice system for allowing this man - who had 4 prior convictions - to be on the road in the first place. And now, in just 2 years time, after his 5th conviction, he will be out there once again...

And so I pray, for Melanie and her family.... give them Jesus!

Just Give Me Jesus!

I feel the need to spend a little time talking about the weekend I just had. Just like Bastica, it can't be said in just one post!

I went to the "
Women of Joy" conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee with some ladies from a local church. There were some awesome speakers! Each one touched my heart in a different way. I will share later about how each one spoke to me...

But for now, my focus is said in one of the last songs that
Fernando Ortega sang on Sunday morning....

GIVE ME JESUS (<- click on it to hear it!)
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
When I am alone
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

And when I come to die
When I come to die
When I come to die
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

And so I say... You can have all this world!.......... but give me Jesus!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thursday Thanks Tank #3 (filling up the tank with thanks)

Oh boy, this is going to be hard today...

Maybe I should get this off of my chest first... Papa is working too much, Game Master has a cold, Candy Man has croup, Pretty Princess' asthma is acting up pretty severely, and my back is hurting so bad I almost can't walk.

Whew... that feels a little better. Let's give it a try! I am thankful for:

1. Medicines! God has provided all sorts of medicines for our illnesses, aches, and pains. I'm so thankful to live in a time where my children will easily survive illnesses like croup and asthma!

2. A great pediatrician! We see a married couple (both are pediatricians). They are not only so nice and compassionate, but are so thorough! I trust them with my children's care!

3. Scrapbooking! Seriously, this is more than just a fun craft for me! It is a social event! I've met one of my bestest friends through scrapbooking (I love you, AnnieBeth!). It is a ministry - I get to share my faith and minister to others through this "fun craft"! It is therapy (but cheaper!) - I get to complete pages of memories, gives me an emotional as well as a creative outlet!

4. Pregnant Bellies (as long as it isn't mine!) - Last Saturday, I got to feed 43 pregnant women lunch! I help with a team that reaches out to low-income expectant moms. We give them a Baby Shower - including lunch, pre-natal education, gifts, and further services. It was our biggest shower yet! Can you imagine all the hormones in one room!?

5. Chemotherapy. This is a tough one to be thankful for, as it is right now making one of my best friends oh-so-very-sick! I have faith that it is curing her of the breast cancer that is trying to ravage her body! Go chemotherapy!!

6. Bible Study Fellowship. I struggle with attending this each week. I always want to not go, finding something "much more important" to do. I am always thankful when I go! It is a great in-depth study, where God is frequently convicting and challenging me!

7. Surrender! I am thankful that I can always crawl back to my Saviour and surrender my will to His and He ALWAYS forgives and takes over for me.

8. Zoo days! Was it really a week ago that we had a fun family zoo day? Boy, it seems like so much longer. I'm thankful for that time we had together - fun, fun!

9. Squiggle Squaggles! Candy Man showed me a picture just this morning of a "squiggle squaggle". If I ever figure out how to get a picture on my blog, I'll post it! Squiggle Squaggles have brought much amusement at my house this week!

10. Hope!! I am thankful for hope! I have hope that my children will get well. I have hope that my husband will get the weekend off afterall. I have hope that I get to leave tomorrow for a girl's weekend away. I have hope that I will get spiritual renewal this weekend at the conference we will be attending. I have hope that tomorrow will be better. I have hope in my Lord Jesus and look forward to being with Him one day...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Squiggle Squaggle!

We've been having a bit of a problem about our house. My three darling children are trying to get each other in trouble! Each of them keep blaming things on another. They love to exagerate. They've even been making things up to stir up trouble! Yesterday, I decided it was time to put an end to this. Here is what prompted that decision...

After school, I was attempting to take a minute to myself. They were playing nicely in the family room (which is just off from my bedroom). Candy Man enters in exasperated and announces that Pretty Princess has written on herself (which is quite common, I might add). Game Master busts in yelling that Candy Man was the one who wrote on her! Of course Pretty Princess is not coming to discuss it at all...

Here is Candy Man's side of the story: "I had the pen in my hand and I walked up to her to write on her (does he not realize that he's telling on himself at this point??) and she squiggle squaggled!" I said, "so you wrote on her?" He said, "NO! She squiggle squaggled!"

Here is Game Master's side of the story: "Mom! He did it! I was playing Game Cube and saw him write on her! (Okay, so he has eyes that can watch the TV and his brother??)" Note: At this point Princess is in my arms terrified that someone is certainly in trouble and hoping it won't be her. I have examined her and she has a small pen mark on her leg. And so I ask Game Master, "where did he write on her?" He replies, "On her arm..... well... I didn't see where he wrote on her, but he did!!"

It took a little while for them to realize how badly they were hurting each other's feelings by telling "big ones" to me. They were once again reminded that "Mommy knows everything" and they can't put anything past me! I also spent several moments telling each one how much I loved them and all the little things about them that make me laugh (and cry!). I told them that I wouldn't love them any more or any less because of something their brother or sister did.

They were once again assured that our family is a safe place to be. May all days be like that.

And what is a squiggle squaggle anyway?!?

Monday, April 03, 2006

You all know how I feel about viruses at my house!

I've been infected! Peach must thought a lot of my computer/technical (I don't even know what to call it!!) skills to think I could do this... And I'm so new to blogging. I'm sure I'll never get it right! I must infect others... but how!?? Let's see if I can do this...

Oh My! (Lions, Tigers and Bears) Oh My!


Pearsonified has started a small, casual social experiment - it's called "The Indie Virus". Here's how Pearsonified describes this experiment: the experiment, henceforth referred to as "The Indie Virus" has two goals:

* To bring exposure to lesser known blogs - like me! (especially those outside of Technorati's top 100)
* To explore the metrics behind a viral linking campaign launched by the "little guys" (less popular blogs - like me!)


This is a virus..... a very contagious virus. Here is who I am infecting with this virus... (either current or former Tennesseans)

Bastica, I love you my friend, but I'm giving you The Indie Virus.

TN Chick, you now have The Indie Virus.

Reverberate, I know you are just getting better, but you now have The Indie Virus (just because I love your blog so much!).

Now you must go to Pearsonified to find out how to infect others with this blog virus!


Well, I have no idea if I did this right, but this is as good as it gets!
Have a happy Monday!!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

This little picture of me!

I'm trying to get this onto my blog as my picture and not having much luck...