Saturday, August 30, 2008

Heeeere's Titus!

We brought him home today, and I must say, he's quite amazing.

He didn't make any kind of mess in the car. He looked like this:

He makes QUITE a mess when he eats. Which he loves. But he does let you wash his face when he's done. (food gets in his wrinkles)

It can't all be gone!

He loved his first bath. Actually, he even fell asleep as soon as we took him out of the tub.

Apparently, he'll sleep just about anywhere:

It's been a long day, OK?

He has not had an accident in the house yet, AMAZINGLY. We've made it outside every time. But, he's a healthy eater, so he's also a healthy pooper. My back yard should be nice and green next year! But right now, you walk through it at your own risk :-)

He was a little shy at first, but he's warmed right up. He'll play, jump, bite, bark and growl. I think he's settling in just fine. That's good, because I think we're already in love!

And what's not to love???

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Total Randomness.

The “Low Tire Pressure” light in my mini-van won’t go off. My tires look fine. It’s getting on my nerves.

Mango makes for thick (but tasty) smoothies.

I love the sound of rain. Especially right now since we're in a drought and all. (Thank you, Tropical Something Fay!)

Where have the crickets been all summer? We usually have tons of crickets. I heard one in my garage, escaping the rain this morning and realized that I haven’t heard or seen crickets all summer!

I want to go get my new puppy.

I really can’t sing. Not even when I’m all alone in my car. Nope.

Yeah, I know. It’s just how my brain works :-)

Happy Random Tuesday!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day One of Afterschool. Ever.

I knew it wouldn't be good when the gate to the school was closed and locked.

Um, OK. Guess I'll try the bus lot.

Good. It's open.

I was told that the cafeteria was the starting point for afterschool, so I tried to go that way. But the doors were locked, and the hallways were dark.

OK. Maybe they went to the gym. Except that it's also locked, and dark.

I still had thirty minutes to find him, so I kept walking, and poor baby Spiderman is running to keep up.

I call my hubby to get him to check the handbook. But, he's not home. Rats.

I call information, get transferreed, listen to the ringing, only to get the answering machine of afterschool. Well, it gave me the director's phone number, so all is good. Except that I got her voice mail, too.

Finally, finally, thank you Lord Jesus, I saw a car drive up, so I decided to follow it. Right to the dungeon door underneath the gym.

That's where I found him.

On the bright side, I got my exercise :-)

And tomorrow, I'll know where to start!

Am I the only mom who feels unprepared and totally inadequate? :-)

By the way, Aaron loved it!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Well, THAT was fast!

Before I explain the title of this post, I first need to give you some background. Bear with me :-)

My mother-in-law lives with us, and has for 4 years now. I love her dearly, and having her here has been a great blessing.

Essentially, life around here is like this:

I leave for work while everyone else is still asleep.

My husband and his mom chat over coffee, and she usually takes the kids to school while he gets ready for work.

She doesn't work, so she picks them up from school. It makes for a long, boring day, so she usually does the grocery shopping, laundry, housekeeping and starts dinner to keep busy.

I know. You all want her :-)

That is an IMMEASURABLE blessing to me. But...sometimes having her do so much made me feel inadequate, unnecessary.

That's all coming to an end.

Well, you know in my last real post how I shared my discontentment? How God has turned off my desire for the things I usually do, and I'm not sure what to do next?

Little did I know just how soon I would have an answer.

The very next day after that post, I came home to see some scribbled notes on a piece of notebook paper. The following day some included some conversations, which ended with a handshake.

Three days later: suddenly Jeff's mom is working, and life as I've known it has been turned upside down.

Aaron will now have be enrolled in after-school care, because gramma won't be able to pick him up anymore.

She will also not have time to cook, and clean, and all the stuff she spoils me by doing now.

So guess who will? Me.

How's that for God speaking clearly?

My feelings of inadequacy as a wife and mom, my mother-in-law's need for something more, financial provisions in a tough economy, my discontent - God planned them all, to bring us to this place. This place where my kids will be mothered by their mother. Where I can do the things my traditional housewife mother trained me to do, so I can get back my confidence as a wife and mother.

I know this will be a big change, and it will be tough. Tough with increased responsibilites for me, tough adjustment for my kids. But God knows what He's doing, and this is His best for us right now.

So I gladly receives this blessing, and praise God for loving me and my family enough to take care of all the details.

But, if I don't post in like, 3 months, now you'll know why: I'll probably be falling asleep while I try to fold laundry :-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Latest Bible Study from Beth Moore - Esther

I just love this woman (and it's NOT because she has the coolest name ever :-))

Beth Moore's Esther, Web Promo from Greg, LifeWay on Vimeo.

So who else wants to do this study???

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Plain and Simple

A plain gold ring adorns my left hand. It's a reminder of the vow that I made to a wonderful man, promising to be his forever. A reminder of who I am: his wife.

Sometimes an anniversary band joins that plain one on my finger. It's a stunning, jewel-studded ring that also reminds me of my vows, and my husband. It may be more expensive, and more beautiful, but it doesn't change my promise. It doesn't make me a better wife, or guarantee a perfect marriage.

That simple gold band means exactly the same thing as the diamond one. The diamonds just get more attention!

I have a ministry. Several, actually. We all do. Mine are in my home, my church, my workplace, to my family, friends, and coworkers. Small spheres of influence. Local impact. Seemingly minor, right?

Having a worldwide organization, a bestselling book, or a calendar full of speaking engagements will not make me a better Christian. Those may give me a bigger ministry, or lead to a different one. They would create much larger spheres of influence. But they wouldn't change the fact that my home, my church, and my workplace are mission fields, and are still included in that sphere. God will use me to teach my children about Him in the same way He could use a bestseller to teach strangers about Him.

Having a big ministry doesn't make you a better Christian, and you don't have to have one to make an impact on God's kingdom. It just means that you aren't getting as much worldly attention for it.

If you're getting rejected by publishers, it's OK. Write something that touches your best friend. If you teach a Bible study of 3 instead of 30, it's OK. Those 3 may need more attention than you could give in a larger class. God will use you wherever you are, no matter how many people you have the potential of reaching at that moment. But you must be willing to let Him!

Lysa Terkeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries started out with a cut-and-paste newsletter from her home. She's now author of 11 books and leads a worldwide ministry.

She started small.

Beth Moore, beloved Women's Ministry teacher and founder of Living Proof Ministries, started with a small Bible study in her living room and watching children in the church nursery.

She also started small.

So, if you're feeling discouraged and wishing for "more," take heart in this: that plain gold band conveys the same message that the diamond one does. And an "unknown" Christian can share the love of Jesus just like a famous one can!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just in case you haven't seen this

I really want to see this movie. Watch the trailer, and I think you'll agree!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Time for a Change

Well, in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t exactly been writing much around here lately.

After I came back from She Speaks, the writing portion of my brain has basically been turned off. I had been so diligent in the days leading up to it, writing daily on my lunch hour. I prayed for God to bless the time that I had, and He did. I composed and edited and deleted and rewrote and right up until the conference.

But when it was over, I just didn’t want to write anymore. My “want to” was gone.

The funny thing is, I am not knitting much right now, either. And THAT is highly unusual for me. I’ve been "commissioned" to knit a pair of hats for soon-to-be twins, and I just can’t get into it. I’m bothered by that, but I just can’t.

I’m typically an all-or-nothing kind of girl. I am not lukewarm. I am on fire for something, or I could care less about it. And apparently, right now, I am in the care less category.

I frequently seem to be searching for what it is that I should be doing. I’m an “I need a Bible study all the time” kind of girl. An “I can’t just sit here” kind of girl. (Although my husband may argue on that one!) I always need some kind of project or goal to keep me going.

So, in my quest to find what was “missing”, I started thinking about improving my health. Changing my diet. Exercising. (YUK!) I am doing some of those things, but it just wasn’t it: that something that I thought I should be doing.

We’re in between Bible studies at church, so maybe a new, independent one is what I needed.

While browsing the aisles of a local Christian bookstore, I came across “Character Makeover.” It’s a Bible study of sorts, written by Katie Brazelton. It caught my attention, but I passed it by, only to keep returning my gaze to it. Finally I opened it, and saw what would be made-over: Me. I would be tackling things like Confidence, Courage, Patience and Perseverance.
But the first chapter?


Remember how God revealed to me at She Speaks that I was getting in His way? I was given a verse that weekend which I have been praying about: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

I flipped to the Humility chapter, and guess what was written across the top of the first page?

You got it: Philippians 2:3-4!

How’s that for a sign? So I bought the book, and went right to work on the Humility chapter. That’s when my writing and knitting desires really evaporated. So here’s my thought: is it possible that my desire for those things has been at least temporarily diminished so I can focus on becoming what God wants of me, instead of what I want for me?

My kids can’t write with me. My husband can’t knit with me. All of my activities are always so “me” focused.

Now they’re not.

I feel a bit more engaged with my family. That’s not to say that I never write, or knit, because I do occasionally. But I just feel like this time of restless discontentment is a time for me to listen to what God is teaching me. He wants to teach me humility. Confidence. Contentment. Patience.

I have always felt like I needed the next, biggest, best ministry. That if I’m not doing some Grand Thing, then I’m not fulfilling my calling. The problem is, the calling He wants me to fulfill right now is to be Mom. Wife. Daughter.

Not Exasperated Writer who can’t find twenty minutes of silence.

Not The “don’t talk to me, I’m counting” Knitter on the couch who doesn’t want to be distracted.

My family needs to be first. I see now that I tried to use “writing is a ministry” and “I’m knitting for charity” as excuses to get my own way. That’s the very definition of “selfish.”

Enough of that! So, I don’t know how frequently I’ll post here. When it works for all of us. The kids are back in school, and that means help with homework. The new puppy will require a lot of time and attention. And of course there's that handsome devil I'm married to :-)

So, for now, I’m not hopping on any bandwagons, like this post at “Laced with Grace” so beautifully said. Writing contests? Not right now. New charities? Nope. Right now I’m going to focus on my family and whatever my Heavenly Daddy tells me to :-)

How about you? Do you need a character makeover, too?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I thought weekends were for relaxing.

Well, not so this time! Saturday began as a "let's have a picnic" kind of day. OK, I can do that. Not a cookout, mind you. Just sandwiches. So, off we go until we find the playground at Lake Junaluska. Which, as many times as I've driven past, I have never noticed :-)

Grumpy lady there shooed us away from the picnic shelter before we even reached it. But that was OK, because a bench worked out just fine. The kids got to play here:

and even Gramma had fun:

After lunch we headed across the pedestrian bridge, feeding few ducks along the way. These were taken around or on the bridge:

Then we played a round of mini golf, where we ALL got at least one hole in one! I like that course. Good for the ego :-)

And as we're leaving the parking lot, I get this question from my husband: "So what happens if we go that way?" He's pointing towards Soco, and a curvy ride to Cherokee that will probably make him carsick. So, of course, we HAD to go that way. Twenty minutes later, we're in the parking lot of Santa's Land. (Sorry, I forgot the camera. Bad blogger!)

We saw baby bears, a camel, reindeer and various other "critters" in the zoo. The boys slid down probably four different playground slides, rode race cars and trains, and even paid a visit to Santa. Top it off with a Pizza Hut dinner, and it was a LONG day, but a lot of fun.

So Sunday is a day of rest, right?


Start off with a church service, add in a school-supply-shopping-trip to Wal-Mart (bad move), and end with an afternoon of fellowship and baptisms by the river.

Whew! I need another weekend to recover from my weekend!

So what did y'all do??

Friday, August 8, 2008

Well, here he is!

We looked and we looked and we called and we surfed and finally, we drove, and here's what, or rather who, we found:

This is Titus. He is an AKC registered English Bulldog, and he is only 3 weeks old! His mommy died a week after he was born :-( So, he and his six remaining siblings from a litter of TEN are being bottle fed right now. We are all SO excited here in our household - we want our puppy! But, he's not ready yet so we have to wait a few more weeks before we can bring him home.

There will likely be lots of posts and pictures and posts about Titus, since he's been the main topic around here and we don't even HAVE him yet!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - BUSTED!

So that's where all my bird seed has been going!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

OK. Let's try this again.

Is this a face only a mother could love?

(photo courtesy of Welcome to the

Well, I used to think so. But, I have to say, these English Bulldogs have grown on me.

Good thing, because in a moment of weakness I told my husband he could have one.

The problem? Finding one!

Any of you fine blog readers know where I could get one of these cuties?

Monday, August 4, 2008

We interrrupt your (un)-regularly scheduled blog post

because Blogger is experiencing technical difficulties.

At least I hope it's Blogger, and not me.

Because that would totally stink.

I'm trying to write a fun little post for your reading pleasure, but Blogger won't cooperate by letting me add my photo right now. And frankly, this post HAS to have this picture. I'll try again later.

And now, back to the show.....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Vacation Wrap-Up: FINALLY!

I know you guys just can't wait to her about the rest of our vacation. Well, I just want to wrap up this little series and not be a quitter (which I sometimes AM!) So bear with me: this is the last post. I promise...

Friday morning, we woke up to this:

This would soon become Tropical Storm Cristobal. Sorry the picture is hazy, but the longer I was ouside, the more my camera fogged up. I couldn't see anything through the lens at all about 10 seconds after I took this shot!

That storm ruined any outdoor activities for our last two days, so we did an INSANE amount of outlet shopping in Charleston. (I got free Reeboks!!) We also conveniently had an excuse to go see "The Dark Knight" on it's opening day!

#1: That theater in Mt. Pleasant ROCKS!! Big comfy sets, fold-up armrests, and staggered seating so that even short people like me can see over the Giant that alway sits down in front of you!

#2: GREAT movie. I won't spoil it for anyone, but I thought it was really good. Four stars :-) (Although a tad too long at two and a half hours)

Saturday we finally headed home, and the closer we got, the more Middle Son was anxious to see Furball, the hamster. I just had a bad feeling that one of the adults should peek at him first, you know, just in case.

Didn't happen.

Aaron beat us donstairs, only to come running back up with tears streaming minutes later. Furball was gone. We found evidence that he had been out and about, and fairly recently by the looks of the tiny wet footprints we found next to the dessicant in the basement.

Unfortunately, we didn't make it home in time to save the poor little bugger. He found his way into my bathroom looking for water, and that's all I'll say about that. Thank Heaven Aaron didn't find him. We didn't tell him, for his benefit (I know that doesn't sound right, but hear me out).

We had to have our very sick 16 year old dog put down last Halloween, and the poor little guy is still grieving that dog. He still visits her grave in the back yard, and even shows it to visitors. Even still two weeks ago. We told him that the hamster probably got outside, and was living in the woods. Maybe hanging out with the squirrels. He's still sad about Furball being gone, but he's much more accepting of it this way. We couldn't decide if we should tell him the truth or not, but, although not completely honest, I think we made the best decision. It just would have been a lot of grief for one very tender-hearted little boy.

What do you think? If it were your kids, would you tell them that another pet had died?

So, aside from the very end, our week at Isle of Palms was a good one. Now, when is my next vacation??? :-)

Have a great tax-free weekend everybody!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Guess what? I COOKED!!

Well, baked, actually. Same difference.

My thoughtful young teenager picked these for me behind his dad's house:

These were begging to be made into a cobbler, so that's just what I did. Here's a little photographic evidence, in case you don't believe that I was actually cooking:

2 cups of berries...

Melted butter...

A bowl full of batter...

Ready for the oven...

And...VOILA!! Blackberry Cobbler a la Ingersoll!

I'd give you the link to my recipe, but I wasn't totally happy with the way it turned out. I had to cook it nearly twice as long as the recipe called for to get my nice golden brown top, and the inside was still a bit gooey. I shoulda just called my mama for her recipe! :-) Good eats, right there.

Gooey or not, everyone got a big bowl, topped off with some extra churned vanilla bean ice cream:

So, how was it?

What do you think?? :-)

Here's hoping you find some good eats this weekend!!


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