Monday, June 30, 2008

Put Your Thinking Caps On!

Well, I think my She Speaks hangover is gone. I took the week off from most writing to give my brain a break. But, that doesn't mean that I'm brimming with great ideas!

As a matter of fact, I'm posting today to get your help. I'm going to copycat Lysa Terkeurst, when she asked her blog readers to help her think of a title for her current book-in-progress.

That's what the potentially interested publisher wants to see: a knockout title. So, I'll tell you a little about my book, and you guys share your ideas with me!

As a little incentive, I'll even throw in a prize to a random winner (unless you give me THE PERFECT TITLE and then you'll win!)

In keeping with the whole book theme, how about a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble?

Here's my book in a nutshell:

This book is designed for a daughter-in-law to read. It will give her a biblical basis (largely from Proverbs) for determining the expectations her mother-in-law may have of her. So, it will also reveal some expectations that are not biblical. It will contain personal stories to support the points, some questions to help out the process, and practical tips for meeting those expectations. The main chapters will essentially lay out a "mother-in-law wish list" and how we can become the "dream daughter-in-law." Ultimately, the goal is to have readers of this book learn how to improve the relationship they have with their own mothers-in-law.

The trick here is that most of my possible titles so far have had "mother-in-law" in the title. That can be confusing, because it isn't for a mother-in-law. It's for the daughter-in-law to read.

Someone suggested "Smother-in-law" to me. While catchy, I think it has a negative feel to it. This isn't mother-in-law bashing. I want to be different and try to portray the mother-in-law in a more positive light. I really want it to have a helpful, coffee-with-your-girlfriend type feel.

So that's it. Let's go for a short attention grabber. Just leave your ideas in the comments, or email them to me at, and I'll announce the gift card winner later this week!!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Blogoversary to me!

Wow, it's been a whole year since I started this little blog. We've been through lots of backgrounds, prayers requests, serious and silly posts in that year! It will be fun to see what this second year brings!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Few Good Reasons Why I Don't Do the Grocery Shopping

1. Jeff's mom (who lives with us) doesn't work often. The daily trip grocery store is her excuse to get out of the house and interact with people she isn't related to.

2. I spend way too much money when I go. Jeff will usually go if we're desperate. Which is fine with me, because I'd rather scrub toilets than grocery shop. Seriously :-)

3. People look at you funny when your shopping cart contains:

Rice pudding
Dr. Pepper
4. When you're driving your husband's truck and are trying to cram all your bags onto an already crowded floorboard, you forget about your shopping cart. Which then leads you to turn around for the Slim-Fast box, realize that the cart is missing, and feel your heart drop to the pavement as you watch it careening across the parking lot towards a nice Mazda. Which then makes you sprint after it, narrowly avoiding disaster as you catch it before it crashes in to said nice Mazda. Whew! We'll just say that I haven't ben a runner since the 9th grade track team. Call me Grace!
And that, class, is why I don't usually do the grocery shopping.
The End.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Name Droppin'

My She Speaks wrap-up is going to be very simple. The sessions were great, and the food was good. Worship leader Lindsey Kane was ROCKIN'! But undoubtedly the people were the best part.

I met some bloggy friends in person! Remember how we used to think it was weird to personally meet someone you met on the internet? (Well, sometimes I guess it still is weird.) But this was so cool! I met, and maybe hugged :-)
Lysa TerKeurst

I saw/listened to:
Sophie, aka BooMama
Shannon, aka rocks in my dryer
Melanie, aka Big Mama

Those girls are blogging superstars, just in case you didn't know :-)

Others that were super-sweet, but I haven't looked up their web sites yet:
Today's Christian Woman contributor and published author T. Suzanne Eller
Philis Boultinghouse of Howard Pubishing
LaRae Weikert from Harvest House Publishers
and many more..

Oh wait. I almost forgot the most important One. But you already knew God was there :-)

Gotta go eat somethin' good. I'm fasting tomorrow (see my sidebar).

Are you???

You can find me...

I'm guest blogging for my pastor again today right here. Check it out!

Monday, June 23, 2008

June 25th: A Day of Prayer and Fasting

I may not be able to feed the world. I may not be able to sponsor every child that Compassion has in it's database. But I can petition the One and Only who can feed the world, and care for those that I can't. Won't you join in too?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Have you got a tissue?

Because I could have used one or two or ten earlier tonight. Don't think that you're going to go to a Christian women's conference and not meet God.

He was there tonight. Just ask all the sniffling, raccoon-eyed ladies like me. :-)

Sometimes, I don't like meeting Him, though. He reminds me of things I'd just as soon forget. Like how incredibly selfish I am. What a quitter I am. Our final speaker tonight was speaking about doubt. We were asked to think about what we doubted, what was getting in the way of doing what God has called us to. We had cards pre-printed with things like discouragement and fear. Leave it to God to catch you feeling all high and mighty, to remind you that you're not. Not without Him, anyway.

Yep. I prayed for God to reveal anything holding me back, feeling pretty smug. I thought I had been pretty obedient lately. But the conviction started to set in, followed by an answer pretty quickly: you. You, Beth, are in the way.

Oh. That again.

I'm beginning to think that this will be my thorn. Remember how Paul had a thorn that he repeatedly asked God to remove, but it never was? Yeah. I've always been selfish. Or called selfish. Or afraid of being selfish.

I'm tired of thinking I'm the center. Even if it sneaks up on me! Having this same theme resurrected over and over again is exhausting.

Lord, I thank you today for Philis and the verse she gave us. "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. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." I claim it as mine today God, and ask that you not ever let me forget that it's not about me at all, but only about You. Amen.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Today's the Day!

Ok everybody, I'm off! She Speaks starts today! I'm getting everything together and will be leaving soon. Can I ask for your prayers before I go?

Pray for:
safe travel for all the attendees
a mighty appearance by our Father
renewed spirits
dreams fulfilled
new friendships
a great, fun-filled time for everyone there

And for me:
Serenity but confidence in my publisher appointments
Contentment, no matter happens in the appointments
A joyful heart to fully enjoy this weekend, and

Thanks, y'all :-) Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I was grumpy! But now I'm not :-)

I hate bad days. I can't stand it when I wake up in a rotten mood and just can't shake it. Like today. Grumpy. Irritated by ringing phones, slack coworkers, malfunctioning internet, and way too busy. For a grump.

Like I've mentioned before, I write in my car at lunch. When I got to my car today, I just wanted to close my eyes, rest my head and pout, cry, have a pity party. Whatever. Then I remembered that She Speaks is this weekend, and I just don't have the time to waste. I so did not feel like writing. So I prayed for God to show up and whisk away my bad attitude. And He did.

I love writing in my car, because God has never failed to bless me and just pour His words out on that computer screen. Not once. No writer's block. No staring at the screen. Just writing. I make the effort to keep my "lunch date" every day, and He does, too. He hasn't stood me up yet!

(Thank you, Lord!!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

One-on-one time

This weekend just felt odd. My teenager was at the lake with his dad's family. My middle son was in Fayetteville with my mother-in-law visiting relatives. That left Jeff, Eli and me here. It was so strange to only have one kid again!

Jeff was eating it up, though. He used to have lots of one-on-one time with Aaron, and some with Michael, but not so much with Eli. So he took Eli to the movies and shopping. He played on playgrounds and bought him toys. He thoroughly enjoyed spoiling him rotten! (It was Father's Day, so I let him! That's what he wanted to do!)

I think our Heavenly Father feels the same way about us. I think He is just so happy when we choose to spend quiet time with Him and Him alone. We get to know each other better when we spend time together. (Well, God knows us up one side and down the other, but we can learn more about Him.) And that's what He wants most!

So no matter how crazy this week may get, or how full you think your schedule is, make time to get one-on-one with the Dad who loves us more than we know!

A word from our sponsor...

OK, so I'm going to do a little explaining here:

Lately my posts have not been very deep :-) There is a reason.

The She Speaks Conference is this weekend, and I am desperately trying to prepare for it. Most of my good brain power is being used up for that. Sorry you guys are getting the leftovers!

Anyway, at the conference I have two publisher appointments, and I am very excited. I've had them before, so I know what to expect. But I just feel better about it this time. Maybe God has publication in the cards for me, maybe not. But I'm trying to do my best to do what He's asked me to, and right know that's write this book.

Part of the book proposal involves marketing, endorsements, and having a platform. Well, I don't know Beth Moore (or any other big names) personally, so I won't be calling in ny favors for endorsements. I'm not famous, so I don't have anything super-special to market. But my platform? That's you guys. Believe it or not, having successful blog is gaining recognition as a benefit to an author and publisher. So what I'm doing with these giveaways and links to other folks' blogs is participating in blog carnivals to drive traffic here to my little piece of the blogosphere, to get my subscriber base going. More people see it, more people become regulars! (And the more people see my GOOD posts, when I have them!) And no, I'm not obsessing over the numbers. Just trying a few ways to help them grow.

So, for you male readers especially, that's why there's girly giveaways and garden pictures. :-) Bear with me. Maybe one day I'll have plenty of readers on my own...or someone will give away a grill or Super Bowl tickets or a Hummer that I can blog about :-P

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Save your Shirts!

How cute is this?

I used to think aprons were dumb, even though my mom always wore one when I was a kid. After ruining a few shirts with grease splatters, now I get it! Doesn't it just shout June Cleaver?

Here's your chance to win this one:

Modern June is giving away this adorable Cupcake Apron! The giveaway is being hosted by Notes From My Nest. To enter, visit Notes from My Nest for details. Deadline to enter is noon (EST), 6.21.08. Open to US residents only.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Two down...

Oldest boy is at the lake with his grandparents. Middle boy is in Fayetteville with Gramma (my mother-in-law) for the week, visiting his aunt, uncle and cousins. We still have Baby Boy (aka Spiderman) all to ourselves. He's never been away from his big brother, except for during school. He's stuck with Mom and Dad for entertainment for a few days. Poor kid!

Do you think he'll still sleep in his room? He'll be all lonely :-(

Daddy is taking him to the movies tomorrow. Good one-on-one time that just doesn't happen much with three kids. Maybe I can get some writing done while they're gone!! The She Speaks Conference (and my publisher appointments!) are NEXT FRIDAY!! And I am so not ready! But I'm not freaking out. That will wait until Thursday :-)

Have a great weekend, with kids or without!

Welcome to the Enchanted Forest!

That's what I affectionately call my home. Just missing enough trees to build the house! I've decided to give you the Garden Tour of my place today, thanks to The Preacher's Wife.

Shall we begin?

We have lots of shade so things don't grow as well as I would like. Like my rose bush here:

(Isn't time lapse great?)
Not much of a bush. Just that one flower. This plant is maybe 3 years old, and that's still all I have. This bush has been mowed over several times, crushed by a falling oak tree, and stepped on by someone who shall remain nameless. And I still got this beautiful and oh-so-sweet-smelling rose...maybe next year will be "the year" that I get two :-)

I have some veggies trying to grow on my deck, but I'm not showing you those. They're puny :-( But this guy isn't:

These birdhouses were made for me last year by my littlest boys for Mother's Day. I was about to take them down and throw them out this year when I discovered that some tiny little bird (a finch maybe?) had moved into the purple one. So they stayed...

This is my shade garden. It used to be a dumping ground for the 235 million leaves we have to rake every fall. It was a CHORE to prepare, because it was (and still is) full of tree roots, rocks, clay soil, and worms. Lots of worms. Yuk! But it looks much nicer now! This is my "God place." I never fail to feel close to Him when I'm out here.

Here's a closer look at what's growing in it, but don't ask me what they are. Because, um, I don't know:

I love to listen to my waterfall out here....

Here's my nice lush hosta bed: the ONLY plant I can grow well :-)

My feeble attempt at growing veggies in the ground:

The tall plant on the right is yellow tomatoes, with a pumpkin vine behind it. The others would be red tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and beans if they would grow. I'm not a very good gardener! Plus, we just don't have good place for veggies but I had to try!

And in honor of Father's Day this weekend, I'll leave you with a parting shot of my husband's favorite part of our outdoor space:

Thanks for visiting my gardens today! Y'all come back now, hear? :-)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

ALMOST Wordless Wednesday

This is what happens when you ask a teenaged boy to help you clean up by "getting everything off the playroom floor:"

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, June 9, 2008

On the Soapbox again!

You see all the Compassion widgets in my sidebar? This video really explains why...(Wait: didn't I start a post with that last week?)

I see this, and I see my Heidi. This could be her on a video like this one day. That's why I support Compassion...

Yes. I will be on my Compassion soapbox often. :-)

Originally shared on the Compassion Blog.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A New Giveaway: Details at Notes from My Nest!

Cascade Lemonade is giving away a free travel accessory (up to $10 in value) to one lucky winner! Her original designs in vintage patterns and prints are beautiful! To enter, visit Notes from my Nest for details. Deadline to enter is noon, (EST), 6.11.08!

I hopped over for a look, and her stuff is so cute! I especially like the lunchbags: so much neater than those "Lab Week" bags that we all got here at work :-) Check her out!

Friday, June 6, 2008

So THAT'S how you use chopsticks!

Thanks to a very generous client, Jeff took us out to a Japanese steakhouse tonight. We opted to dine by hibachi flames instead of sitting at a regular table. I was such a glutton! (I guess we all were.) But, I had enough left over for lunch tomorrow!

Anyway, the kids got the "easy" chopsticks with rubber bands on one end. Aaron used his on the salad and appeared to do pretty well. Eli decided to give it a shot. His chopsticks had been separated like for the grown-ups. He held them both for a few seconds, then he put one down. Holding the other one, he STABBED A PIECE OF CHICKEN WITH IT.

"Daddy, I got one!" he shouted.

Yep, my baby is a genius. Why didn't I think of using chopsticks like that?


Sorry guys - the yard sale has been cancelled...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Miniature Baby is a Big Boy now!

Just look at him:

He's come a long way from 4 pounds to 4 years! I can't believe it's been that long already. "Spiderman" is four today, and he was SO excited. Yesterday he kept asking, "Will I be 4 tomowwow?"

This morning, just out of bed at 6 am he came out of his room and with sleepy eyes he asked, "Mommy, am I four now?"

Oh, yes, sweet baby, you are four now. I need to savor this while I can. You will in all probability be my last baby, and you just get bigger every day. You bring me such joy with your heartbreaker smile and sweet little voice. I just melt when you say "I wuv you, mom!" My heart smiles when you says your prayers, and watch you do your Spidey poses, and jump EVERYWHERE you go.

Your life was a struggle in the beginning in that NICU, but you were an energetic little guy and fought your way home. You've been a ball of energy ever since! I wouldn't have it any other way....

We love you, sweet angel! Happy birthday!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

My house may be like a circus...

...but this weekend we visited one instead!

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey was in town, so we loaded up the two youngest boys and away we went. Four tickets, three pretzels, two drinks, one bottled water, and a partridge in a pear tree (I mean slice of pizza) later, the show began. The guy on the bike was a riot, the white tigers were gorgeous, and the girls on those ropes, well, they are just ROCK STARS!! I mean, seriously! Anyone who will wrap themselves up in a rope and fall to the floor like a yo-yo with no net is AWESOME in my book. (Either that, or just maybe they fell on their heads one time too many.) I'll simply say that my stomach did flip-flops just watching them!

The kids were distracted by their brand-new-light-up-swirling-twirling circus toys and barely saw the white tigers after intermission. The tiger trainer was waving a piece of raw meat in front of them while a tiger hopped on his back legs in an effort to grab a bite. And she did it in a full length trenchcoat and silver high-heeled moon boots. Oh, AND she was one of the rope/rings/gravity-defying airborne girls too. I think she's my hero(ine) :-)

The guys on those spinning circle-thingies were pretty cool too. I would have peed on myself had I been blindfolded and accidentally stepped off a twirling circle of death, but he was cool about it. No body fluids. Just saved himself and kept going! My little Eli is a jumping daredevil. I sure hope he didn't get any ideas...

So, I must say that I expected cheesy, but it actually was quite entertaining. Certainly a fun family afternoon!

Although, I seriously think the civic center has gotten smaller. How did we ever fit all those Motley Crue fans in there in the 90's? (Don't go there. My BIG HAIR affected my judgement...)


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