Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunday Scripture

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
--Philippians 4:6

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt


Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.

Photo Theme. Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

I'm joining TNChick's Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt! I love to take pictures and I love a good challenge! Plus, I don't usually get to blog much on the weekends anyway!

Red, White, and Blue is this week's theme! I was so torn between these two pictures, I posted them both!

I loved this first picture, because it shows the potential of spring turning into summer! Memorial Day is like the gateway, we leave behind spring and get ready for summer!

This one is more obvious. This Memorial Day, we celebrate my Father-in-law's life. He lived for 93 years. He died only one year ago. He was a WWII veteran. We will honor him with a memorial float (featuring some of his 8 children, 19 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren) in his small town's parade!

Happy Memorial Day to all of you!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Seven Deadly Sins

Okay, so I take this "Seven Deadly Sins" quiz. Maybe cause I'm bored. Maybe cause I'm a little curious. Who knows why? (Who cares, I know!)

Here are mine: (according to the quiz)

Greed:Very Low
Sloth:Very High
Lust:Very Low

Discover Your Sins - Click Here

1. GREED - ("An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth") Very Low?? I think not! (I wish though!) I will say that I have become more content over the years, but I'm always wanting MORE!

2. GLUTTONY - ("habitual eating to excess") Low?? Again, I WISH! Have you seen me lately?

3. WRATH - ("belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong") Low. Okay, maybe. Unless you are my husband! (Sorry, honey!)

4. SLOTH - ("a disinclination to work or exert yourself ") Very High? I think I'm a very hard worker, once I set my mind to it anyway. It's just that if I'm given the choice, I'd rather float on a raft in the pool!

5. ENVY -("A feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another.") Medium? How can I be envious, but not greedy!? I think this must be a little more accurate...

6. LUST - ("self-indulgent sexual desire") Very Low? Uh, yes! Definitely.

7. PRIDE - ("a feeling of self-respect and personal worth" or "unreasonable and inordinate self-esteem") Medium? Uhhh...I don't want to talk about it...

Okay, after two of these quiz things - both of which didn't turn out very well - I think I'm done! No more! I promise!

Let me know if you post your sins!

Monday, May 22, 2006

My new teaching assistants!

So many days I worry about how little I'm teaching my children. With Game Master, I had three and a half years with him before anyone else came along. He knew his colors, shapes, ABC's, could count to 20, could write his name and name the planets before he turned two! I just knew this child was a genius! (Don't get me wrong, I still think he is really smart!!)

I had so much time to spend with him. He was eager to learn, and I was a seriously ambitious instructor (attempting to achieve perfect parenthood!).

Now, with three children, things are VERY different! Candy Man is five years old and can add, but still sometimes skips 16, 17, 18, and 19 when counting. Pretty Princess is turning four soon, but doesn't know all her colors or shapes, much less how to write her name or count past 10! Sometimes it makes me feel like a failure as a mom!

And then I witness the older ones teaching the younger ones! I don't know why I haven't seen this more clearly before now! I am finally seeing the benefit of encouraging them to teach each other! When did the lightbulb go off? Saturday morning! I was suffering with my spring migraine and trying to get the children ready to go to the baseball games. I sent the younger two in to brush their teeth. Usually I help Pretty Princess (to get a good brush, and to avoid a mess). I thought, one morning won't hurt - as I rushed to cap strawberries for the after baseball party.

After a little bit, I went to check on them and found this! I was amazed! Not only was Candy Man doing a very thorough job, he was talking his way through it - telling her how to do it herself. PLUS - Pretty Princess very willingly obeyed his direction! He had her backed into the wall with her head back and mouth open wide. I hadn't asked him to do this. I'm still uncertain if it was his idea or hers, but it was very effective!

Then later, after the baseball games and party, on the way home (to bed with my headache for me!), I overheard Game Master quizzing Candy Man on his addition and subtraction in the back of the van. They were both surprisingly patient with one another and despite the fog I was in, I was able to see the light!

God has been trying to show me the high expectations that I have on myself as a mother! With Game Master, I didn't share my love of Jesus (since I didn't have it!) until he was almost three. The two younger ones were born through my prayers. At very young ages, they have a much stronger foundation of faith and knowledge of God than Game Master had. What is really important in life? This is the question I keep asking myself as a homeschooler! Is it ALL about math, spelling, and writing? NO! It's about character, integrity, individuality, faith. These are the things that I want my children to learn! This is why they are home with me. Anyone can teach them spelling and multiplication! Only God can show them the way to being the adult He wants them to be! I can rely on Him! Plus, I can rely on them!

"Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." --Deuteronomy 11:19

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." --Proverbs 22:6

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What's in a Name?

I got this one from Faith and Carol. It is a hoot! Of course, I didn't use my real name, but my bloggin name. Very interesting!


Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator

I don't think that any of them fit me - tasty?!?? And so I tried "Tennessee Mama" and here is what I got...


Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator

That's a little better. Those of you who know me... which terms apply best to me?

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

Well, "The Da Vinci Code" comes out today for the big screen. Did you read the book? Are you going to see the movie? There is much controversy out there about this story, written by Dan Brown.

As a Christian, I feel it is important that we investigate these things for ourselves. And so, I read the book. And I will see the movie.

If you have bought the book, then you know it is being sold in the FICTION section (since it is truly fiction!). There is no need for us to get all hyped up and upset about the theories presented in this story. By the way, it is a magnificent story! If you like 'edge of your seat' reading, then you'll love it! It is a great suspense novel.

But it just isn't true! Don't be confused by thinking that the theories discussed in the book are true, because they aren't! Here is what Dan Brown had to say himself about it:

HOW MUCH OF THIS NOVEL IS TRUE? The Da Vinci Code is a novel and therefore a work of fiction. While the book's characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals depicted in this novel all exist (for example, Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings, the Gnostic Gospels, Hieros Gamos, etc.). These real elements are interpreted and debated by fictional characters. While it is my belief that some of the theories discussed by these characters may have merit, each individual reader must explore these characters' viewpoints and come to his or her own interpretations. My hope in writing this novel was that the story would serve as a catalyst and a springboard for people to discuss the important topics of faith, religion, and history. (This is taken from here.)

Even Dan Brown's hopes are to stimulate discussions about religion, etc.... Well, let's do just that!

See, I don't have to argue with you.
* I know that Jesus is the Sovereign Son of God.
* He wasn't married to Mary Magdalene, nor did they have a child!
* Leonardo Da Vinci lived hundreds of years after the death of Jesus (in the 1500's!). How could his paintings reveal any truth?
* The Bible is the Word of God and is inerrant. It is ALL true (not just parts of it).
See, I have faith. I won't argue with you, because I love you! I want YOU to know what I know. I want YOU to have what I have.

If you are a Christian too, then I encourage you to...."Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15) To do this, you must know the truth and be able to back it up! Are you prepared?

I'm no expert, but I do feel confident in the truth and would love to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about the book/movie.

Certainly not the garden of Eden...

My poor pitiful garden! We just don't have a good spot for a garden where we live, so I made my best attempt at improvising! We've done this before - a garden in pots. It usually works really well! My favorite - tomato plants!!

And so, I got all the necessary supplies. Papa and the children lovingly planted six tomato plants for me. And I went about watering them regularly....

Nothing really happened. In fact, they look worse! They should be at least twice their original size by now, with at least flowers on them, if not some small green tomatoes! What happened? Here they are:

Is there any hope for fresh tomatoes at my house this year?

Jesus said: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." --John 15:1,2

Oh God, be the gardener in my life. I want to be fruitful for You! Amen.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm thankful...a bit early!

Rather than my weekly "Thursday Thanks Tank", I'm sharing my biggest joy today - on a Wednesday! Shhh! I know! Big shock! I'm thankful on the wrong day!! But tomorrow has been deemed "Family Spring Cleaning Day", which leads to two blogging problems: 1) probably won't get the opportunity to blog, and 2) probably won't be extremely thankful (at least until it is done!).

But this is BIG! No, I mean really BIG!!

My oldest, Game Master, got baptized! He received Christ as his Lord and Saviour two years ago, the day before Mother's Day. He chose Mother's Day (which was also his birthday) to be baptized! My husband, "Papa", did the 'dunking'. It was a big day! A day I will never forget!

Here is Game Master telling of his love for Jesus and proud Papa getting ready to do the honors...

Here I am posing for a quick picture before the actual event. I'm just so proud of him!! He was so excited!

On a similar note, I am still elevated from Sunday's Mother's Day message at church! It was so inspiring and uplifting, and yet challenging! I was reminded of the guilt that we put on ourselves as moms! (Okay, you know who you are! I just talked to you today and you were really kicking yourself for letting your child watch TV so much this afternoon because you were exhausted!) He also talked about the high expectations that we frequently put on ourselves to be everything to everybody all the time. He reminded us to not get our 'image' from the mirror. He told us of how God wants us to rely on Him for everything we need, for everything our families need. He encouraged us to leave free - free of all that binds us, free from the world's idealisms. It truly was freeing! I hope you are free too!

You can hear this special message "The Female Factor" - here. (just click on the "audio" under "Female Factor")

Monday, May 15, 2006

A tribute to Game Master

Game Master turned 9 years old yesterday! He is truly an amazing son. He has been a joy to me over the last 9 years. I'm dismayed by his birthday, more so by his age! Where do the years go? Nine. His last single-digit birthday. Today, he is more than nine - by one day. Each day brings us closer to ten...

This is the day my sweet boy was born. May 14, 1997. It was one of the best days of my whole life!

His first birthday! His second birthday! His third birthday!

His fourth birthday! His fifth birthday! His sixth birthday!

His seventh birthday! His eighth birthday!

And here he is on his 9th birthday, with his favorite character cake (he drew it himself!). I could not be more proud of this child! He is so special!!

Happy 9th Birthday, Game Master!

And may you have many more.....

Friday, May 12, 2006

We are Color Coordinated!

Is your family color-coordinated!? Mine is! My poor dears!

Early in life, each child chose their favorite color and it has stuck! It works out really well! Here is "their colors":

Game Master is BLUE.

Candy Man is GREEN.

Pretty Princess is PINK.

This way, there is no mixing up of toothbrushes, cups, notebooks, pencil cases, backpacks, or anything else they need help distinguishing! It works great for them and for me! Here are the boy's new notebooks/good deal finds from Big Lots!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Baseball Boys!

Today just seems like a "B" kinda day to me for some reason! Ha! I wanted to show you some pictures of my boys playing baseball!!

This is Game Master! He is high-energy (as you can see in the second picture!)! The third picture is him getting an out at second base! Go Game Master!!

This is Candy Man! You can see in the second picture that he is more interested in the bubble gum in his mouth than the game! This age of kid's playing t-ball is sooooo funny!! Go Candy Man!!

And I can't leave out a shot of my Pretty Princess!! She's all dolled up with beads and a hat! And don't forget her backpack - it goes EVERYWHERE with her!

Have I ever told you all how much I love these kids? They are so precious to me! They never cease to amaze me! I am in awe of God for this beloved brood of mine!

Thursday Thanks Tank #8 (filling up the tank with thanks)

This week my thankfuls all start with "B"!

Thank you, my Lord, for:

1. Buddy Bashes! I went out with "Thelma" on Friday night! We spent TWO hours at Big Lots finding all kinds stuff before going to dinner together!

2. Blessed Bargains! We found all kinds of good deals, since we obviously had the time to look for them!!

3. Bizarre Bits! You know, that store has some of the strangest things sometimes! You just look at it and think, "what in the world is this? and what would you do with it?" We have fun laughing together!

4. Bedlam! We were crazy ladies! We'd stop in the aisles to talk awhile (sorry if you were the one who was so irritated because we were in your way!). Some may have thought we were being childish, but it was fun!

5. Bad Business! I don't remember a time when I've ever gotten such poor service! It really was awful! I had to go track down our own silverware, and refills on drinks! Even the manager was rude! We finally just had to laugh about it! It gave us many funny stories to tell later!

6. Blah Baked Bites! The food really wasn't good either! Our baked potatoes were overcooked, but cold! Oooooey! But again, we just had to laugh about it!

7. Baseball! I have loved watching my boys play baseball this year! They both had good games on Saturday and I'm so proud of them!! (I'll post pictures soon!)

8. Blocked Blow to the Brain! Princess Laura saved the day! We were sitting on bleachers in the outfield of Game Master's game when a young man hit a long ball out to us! The ball was heading straight for the head of my Pretty Princess! Our good friend "Princess Laura" (this is what my Princess calls her and if you knew her, you'd agree!) used her bare hand to knock the ball away from her!

9. Bosses' Bi-PAP! Ha! My dad is also my boss (at my job)! He got his Bi-PAP machine yesterday and slept with it all night last night (which is astounding for the first night!). He feels great today and I'm so excited for him!!

10. Born-again Believer of my Beloved! God has saved me from my sin and I have hope in my salvation and eternal future with Him!

Well, each Thursday morning I think, "I just can't do this 'thankful' thing again this week! But God surprises me with how easy it is!" I'm thankful that I keep doing it and the way it changes my attitude each time! Hope you have a thankful Thursday too!

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Shopping Girls!

After church yesterday, I decided to go on a much needed shopping spree for myself some clothes. As Papa had worked late the night before, and he was lying on the coach "resting his eyes", and I knew the inevitable nap was coming... I decided it best to take Pretty Princess with me.

I admit that I was a bit bummed, really wanting to go off on my own. But I really didn't want to deal with the repercussions of leaving her at home with a sleeping Papa! So off we went...

Upon arriving at our first stop, she immediately started throwing a fit (of course, it was after we walked into the front doors)! So we went right to the bathroom for a little "talk". After that she was a little doll! When we left that store (with a pair of capris and a shirt for me and two outfits for her!), she said "let's go somewhere else, Mommy!" And so we did!

Once again, she went very willingly, especially enjoying playing in front of the mirror while I tried on clothes! We left that store with two pairs of capris for me! She walked just like the big girl she is out to the car, saying, "Let's go somewhere else, Mommy!" And so we did!

In this last store, she was really getting the hang of it. She'd look at different pieces of clothing and say, "Oh, Mommy! This is so beautiful! You should get this!" "Oh, Mommy!" "Look at this, Mommy!" "This is so pretty!" It was so funny. The lady working at the store mentioned that they were hiring if Princess was interested... We left this store with a pair of shorts for me.

I told Pretty Princess that I was done and it was time to go home and make dinner for the boys. She flipped her backpack up on her shoulder and took off swinging those hips to the car!

She talked all the way home about how much she loved shopping! It was a wonderful bonding moment for her and I. This morning, she is still talking about it! I actually don't care much for shopping, but obviously my sweet girl does!! And she actually made it more fun for me! What in the world are we going to do when she is a teenager!? We are in so much trouble!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Attitude is everything!

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. "Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "H-M-M, " she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today." So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head."Well," she said, "Today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. "YEAH!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

They say that...."Attitude is everything", but according to this I think I should just cut my hair!!

Thursday Thanks Tank #7 (filling up the tank with thanks)

I'm thankful for:

1. Melanie. I got to spend some time with my good friend yesterday. I went to her home to cheer her up (she's going through chemo right now), and she encouraged me! It has been weeks since I've cried, not that I didn't need to, but I just couldn't! (Do you get like that!?) I started crying at her house, cried all the way home and again later, and again this morning.

2. Thelma. (I call her this because her best friend is Louise! It is appropriate!) My sweet neighbor. Last night, we sat out on my front porch rockers and had a good heart to heart. She had me crying again! She, just like Melanie, told me exactly what I needed to hear!

3. Doppler Daddy. My weather-channel-addicted dad called this morning and I was still in bed (rare!). He was worried about me and knew that I was feeling down. Most importantly, he didn't pry too much, but just told me he cared about me.

4. Hugs and cuddles. My sweet children all piled in the bed with me at one point this morning and hugged, kissed, and cuddled with me. They are all being so sweet to me this morning (because I've been gone the last two days? because they think I forgot about doing school this morning? ah, who cares why!).

5. Days with nowhere to go. It is a good thing that we have nowhere we have to go today, and nothing that just can't wait till tomorrow!

6. Pretty days. The sun is shining. It is a perfect temperature outside. I think I'll go outside and read my bible this afternoon...

7. Anniebeth. She is away this week and I miss her, but I know she is praying for me!

8. God's grace. That He helps me to get back on track.

9. God's sovereignty. He knows everything. He is in control. I can trust Him.

10. Hope. Things will get better...

Yes, I am a bit depressed today. I am a very impatient person. See, I just can't get past this. I know that I need to "let go", but just can't figure out how! Please pray for me. Thank You!

Monday, May 01, 2006

I'm joining the Saturday Scavenger Hunt!

I'm a Tennessee Blogger!

Here are some other Tennessee Bloggers:

My sweets and me!

Okay, I guess I'll post a picture
of me with my sweets!

Family moments

I worked my one day on Wednesday last week. Papa wanted to treat us all to dinner that evening (thus eliminating the problem of who is going to cook after the difficult-for-both-of-us day!). We went to Calhouns - an East Tennessee favorite. We decided to take the family to the "on the river" location. We enjoyed a good meal.

The evening was a bit chilly, but it was such a beautiful and peaceful evening that we couldn't resist a walk down "Volunteer Landing". The children ran and climbed on everything. They tempted the water fountains to get them, and were actually successful in not getting wet (has to be a first!).

It was just so nice to have those few moments of relaxation in our busy lives. I so wish we had more of them. You know, when we just stop and enjoy each other. All five of us together.

This is my sweet three. I love them so much. They are especially sweet in pictures, when they seem so still! It is a rare moment when they are all placid! If fact, I can't think of a time...