Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Give a Shout!

Sometimes I just have to give out a big shout to God. I mean, Heaven awaits us! No more sorrow or suffering or pain or loss or tragedy or heartache or despair. Heaven awaits us! Give a shout!

Chris Tomlin has a great new song out called "I Will Rise." My favorite line is, "And my faith shall be my eyes."

Sometimes we just need a reminder that this is true! Sometimes it is just good to sit around and daydream about what Heaven will be like. My new favorite way to think of Heaven is this: a place where you can try new things without inhibitions of failure, fear, expense, or lack of time. I tend to imagine myself on the clearest water you have ever seen, with a huge lush and green mountain scape in the background. I am on a sailboat. I am not afraid of the depths of the water or my lack of skills in sailing. I can simply enjoy the wind and the fresh new colors. I can sail! I am a sailor! "I feel good. I feel great. I'm SAAAAAAILING!! I sail! I am a sailor! Ahoy!!" (A quote for all of you 'What About Bob' lovers out there.)

Let's encourage each other today! Let's comment on what we are looking forward to about our REAL HOME! Don't worry if it sounds outlandish...it probably won't be when our faith shall be our eyes! Give a shout out to God and tell Him you can't wait to go HOME! Don't be afraid to comment...we all need a little encouragement and a "fresh view" from time to time!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Pitt just lost. I love cheering for the underdog. It is madness around here. March madness because Pitt just lost. I am a mad woman now. I picked them to win it all. I hate to lose. I hate that my Dad is laughing right now as he reads this. He told me I was going down. I am a mad woman.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Conversations in Boyland

This morning, as I should have already been in the shower, I just couldn't leave my snuggle bunnies, ages 6 and 3. We were all snuggled up in my big bed. I just love crisp and cool mornings...having little boys to snuggle with makes it even better! So here are a couple of converations that transpired...
Eli: "guess what my favorite part of spring break is?"
Me: "What's that?"
Eli: "Getting to sleep in with my Mommy!"
Me: "ahhh" (...as I wipe tears from my eyes and snot from my nose)

Me: "Sam, you stink like a pee pee diaper."
Sam: "Well, you stink like an old pig!"
Me: "Every kid is different, huh, God!"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hyssop...what you were all dying to know

I was thinking about this plant today when I read that King Solomon, "knew all about plants, from the huge cedar that grows in Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows in the cracks of a wall." Geesh, I guess the guy did have wisdom, huh? I always thought of him as having the type of wisdom that made it easier to make decisions, not the kind of wisdom that made him a plant nerd. Guess he had both.
I thought it would be fun to see where else hyssop was mentioned in the Bible...I knew of a couple of instances, which is why, I assure you, I had any interest at all!
The first mention that I could find was in Exodus 12:22. God is instructing the Israelites how to perform the Passover and be spared from destruction. He tells them, "Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe." The hyssop was a 3-4 foot long bushy, minty herb that functioned nicely as a paintbrush to coat the doorframes with the blood of the lambs so that death would bypass their homes.
Hyssop was used as a common cleaning agent. It was also used for medicinal purposes...especially in healing cuts. It was great to use as a hedge or border. The plant's flowers can be blue, purple, white, or red...depending on the type. I will get back to what I think is awesome concerning the colors in a minute.
Hyssop was used for purification rites for the priests in Leviticus. It was also used for the cleansing of lepers and for those that had been in contact with a corpse. I am getting the impression that it was some sort of antiseptic/disinfectant.
Probably the most common reference to hyssop is when King David is pouring his heart out to God after a major sin. He is in dire need of cleansing and restoration. In Psalm 51:7, David cries, "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Hyssop was used in the washing of clothes...he knew laundry was beat and pounded in that day and he wanted the very desire for sin to be pounded away in a similar fashion.
Perhaps the most piercing mention of hyssop is in John 19:29. Our sweet Jesus in hanging on the cross. In order to fulfill scripture, he asks for a drink. He is offered some wine vinegar on a sponge. They get it to his mouth via a long hyssop branch. I read somewhere that said perhaps the sheer mention of hyssop at Calvary links Christ's death with the event that set the Israelites free from slavery (Passover)...his death now setting us free from death and sin (ultimate and final Passover.)
So, back to the colors of those flowers! In Exodus, God instructs Moses on what colors to use in the Tabernacle and the Priest's garments. They included scarlet (red), blue, and purple. The significance has something to do with this: blue represents heaven (Christ came down from Heaven)...scarlet represents the shed blood that brings us life...purple represents not only the fact that Jesus is royal, but that we are as well now that we have been washed in the blood. So in God's equation, in order to get "white" (purity), you must mix blue, scarlet and purple. Sounds good to me; I never understood the color wheel that well anyway. I am just in awe that those colors are the variant colors of the flowers!
Isaiah 53:5 says that, "...by his wounds we are healed." I couldn't help but get a visual of this as I read about Solomon (1 Kings 4:3) and the hyssop "that grows in the cracks of a wall." I instantly thought about the deep cracks left on Christ's back after he was beaten prior to the cross. It is the blood of Jesus that saves us, but I couldn't help but think of this healing remedy that pours forth from his stripes. Ready to make us clean. Ready to protect, as in a hedge or border around our lives. Ready to make us a chosen people and royal priesthood.
I think what impresses me the most is that if a plant called "ezob" in Hebrew and "hyssop" in English has such significance to the Lord, then how much more significant are we to Him...as beings created in His image?

Craving Coral Anyone??

It is sunny. It is Friday. It is the perfect day to showcase my new spring toenail color. Craving Coral by Revlon, baby! I am even willing to show you my fat feet and deformed toes. I am such a faithful and loyal blog friend. Craving Coral. That is where it is at! (A special sorry to my toe and feet hating friends...hang with me, the toe and feet posts will be far and few between.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Few of My "New" Favorites

It is time to showcase some of my new favorite finds!

1. Not exactly what you would expect to see on a list of faves, but Tamiflu seemed to keep the rest of us from getting the flu after Cade had it. (Or maybe that was just the grace of God.)

2. The Old Navy Town Gown. I love anything long, flowing, and full of spring!
3. The whole reason for this post. Just go get it. Especially if you are of the female gender. I like mine on bananas or straight out of the jar.

4. Kiss my Face Organic Wash...kind of slimy, but it does the trick without drying out my skin. A bonus is that it smells identical to "Simply Limeade."

5. Stacy's Pita Chips...I am not a big chip eater, but I could eat the whole bag in one sitting. Great with hummus when you are feeling healthy.

What are some of your new faves that you have tried recently??

Oh, and I had to throw in my umbrella story. As I was getting out of my car this morning to go visit Eric's sick Grandmother, I attempted to open up the umbrella via the cute little automatic button on the bottom. The umbrella shot out of my hand like a rocket and flew over the shiny Cadillac next to me and parked itself on the shiny pavement. I was laughing so hard I couldn't stand it! I was also thankful it didn't land on the Cadillac!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dental Drudgery

AHA! I have your attention if you, too, hate going to the dentist!

So, I stalled the past couple of years in getting us back to the dentist to get our teeth checked and cleaned. Going today reminded me why I was stalling. I knew I couldn't postpone it any longer when I noticed dark discolorations in the 3 year old's teeth. Arg. I am prone to cavities and I guess he will be, too. I truly dreaded them asking me if I ever brushed his teeth and if he drank soda all day long. Yes, I brush. No, he doesn't drink soda. (My new friend from the north will be proud of me for saying "soda!") But, it does feel awkward as I type it in. "Coke"...now that is more like it! No, he doesn't drink Coke all day long.

Since Sam had never been to the dentist, the hygienist and I agreed to have him watch me while in "the chair" so he could see that it was no big deal. This sounded like a great plan until I got in the chair. My palms started sweating and I started shaking. The first foreign object placed into my mouth was an "x-ray-thingy-ma-jobber" that just didn't belong. I slowed my breathing and pushed through that experience while quoting, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Then, the cleaning began. I am sorry, but it is hard to not flinch when she is jabbing an object that resembles an ice pick into your gums in order to test the bone strength. It hurts. Really bad. Remember, Sam is standing by my side, peering into my mouth. I am doing my best to smile at him and say reassuring words while all the while I am wanting to scream, "Run! Flee for your life! Don't look back, just GO!"

While still in "the chair," Sam had found a large rubber snake to play with. The boy was not afraid to dangle it on one side of my face while the hygienist sucked and squirted and poked and prodded. I was helpless. I felt violated.

Sam wasn't the only one with cavities...I had another as well. My GOODNESS! I didn't know I had another spot for a filling to go into! Lucky us, we get to go back in one whole month. Arg.

If you are a dentist or a hygienist, thank you for your role. I truly do want my teeth when I am older. But, consider this: if 3 year olds receive shiny red balloons for all their effort, shouldn't adults receive gift certificates to P. F. Chang's?? I am just saying...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Being Great

I have been wrestling with an issue the past few weeks. I haven't felt like I am really "great" at anything. Satan often throws this in my face, but this time, it has felt different, as if I was going to eventually learn something from it. You know how sometimes you have a nagging thought in the back of your brain, but it doesn't even make it to the surface and it certainly isn't a thought that has been prayed about. Well, that is what this "great" concept has been...wading beneath the waters of complete consciousness. Today, God decided to bring forth that thought and His answer to it as if it were a humpback whale surfacing...fast, shocking, and mighty majestic. He did this all without me even asking for an answer, which I think is so personal, loving, and good of Him!

I have struggled with feeling like I enjoy many things...and being decent at things, but not "amazing" at anything. I love to sing, but if I were great, I would have an album. I love to cook, but if I were great, I would have a cookbook. I love to take pictures, but if I were great, I would have a huge business. I love to be a wife and mother, but if I were great, I would have received some award along the way. :) I love to write, but if I were great, I would have a published book. Well, you get the picture. Part of my thoughts may have bordered on self pity and definitely self consumption...so bear with me as I am being honest!

My answer came via Beth Moore's study on Esther. She quotes Laura Fraser, "if your identity is wrapped up in the magnificent things you're destined to achieve...the thought that you might produce something mediocre can be devastating." If you tend towards being a perfectionist, as I do, then the thoughts of failing or doing something simply "good" may hinder you from doing something at all. This isn't good! Nor is it great!

And, oh, listen to this word! Personal greatness is an unworthy goal! We were meant to live for the greatness of GOD. Beth says, "every one of us who embraces the glory of God as our purpose will end up doing great things precisely because we do God-things. His holy hand resting on the least act renders the ordinary extraordinary. Spooning soup into the mouth of the weak or manning the nursery so a tired mom can go to church are acts of high worship when offered in the name of Christ."

Mark 10:43-44 says this: "Whoever wants to be great must first become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served--and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage."

Sweet Jesus, help me get that oxymoron concept through my thick skull! Help me relish in the fact that You are "great enough for the both of us!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

What's Your Guess??

So, I was wondering what you thought was happening during the course of these pictures?
Clue 1: mindless gaze
Clue 2: The intense side clutch of the face

Clue 3: Talk about "double doubles" and "triple doubles"

Clue 4: TV Screen

Yep...you guessed it. It is March.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Big Reveal

A special shout out to Anna for inspiring and to Barbara for her hard work and vision. I love my "new" home! We did lots of free things to spruce things up...set out spring dishes with a spring floral arrangement, replace picture frames with more current pics, and rearrange furniture. What fun! Thanks to everyone for their ideas...some may still transpire!

See my new side table? It was FREE! When a tenant moved recently, they left it!

Meet Jibbers!

This is my friend's baby, Jibbers! I thought I would showcase him to introduce you to MY new baby! I used my Christmas "quarter" money and bought an external flash (speedlight) for my camera. This is my first experience with such a thing and it is sooooooo much fun! I just can't believe what a difference it makes! Yippee!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Sad news here in our household. Eli's Webkinz (stuffed animal) manatee, "Manny," officially has "Ammonia." I am sure he would appreciate any prayers on the sea creature's life.

I asked him how he got ammonia and it was real simple..."Manny ate a half dead fish." I asked Eli how the fish was half dead..."a piranha ate half of it." Oh.

He informed me that the doctor prescribed "no swimming" for the little guy. Tough on a sea creature, I am sure.

Hopefully, Manny will keep his germs to himself and not infect the rest of us with the vicious disease.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Bug

Thankfully, we don't have the stomach bug! The bug I am referring to is the fabric bug. The decorating bug. The buy a new recliner bug. The dream of paint colors bug. The scrub your house from top to bottom bug. The look at a 10 month old naked baby and get the baby bug. The desire to shell out moolah and get your carpets cleaned bug. The orange vanilla Trapp candle bug.

Ahhh! Anna is to blame.

I can't wait for her to reveal her house transformation to you guys...but let me warn you...you, too will get the bug!

So, I need your help! What are some free things that I can do to my house to spruce it up a bit? Something about the spring wants me to resurrect my house from its winter slumber!

I can't believe how much her new fabric treatments changed the whole look of her house! Someone needs to pin me down lest I run out the door to Hobby Lobby.

If you know the culprit, go see for yourself! She will even offer you a glass of peach iced tea and ya'll can sit for a bit and talk all things southern. :) Or dream of yesteryear.

Don't forget to leave me your free "spruced up" ideas!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The ZOO!!

Ever since last July, when we braved the 100 degree heat in order to take the kids to the zoo, we have heard one thing nonstop from Sam: "Can I go to the zoo?" He has said it for 8 months straight. We were finally able to oblige his request! Well, all I can say is that the word "free" got out...everyone in the central Arkansas area was at the zoo today.

Ode to our mascot! (Well sort of...I guess there is a difference between a wart hog and a razorback...)

Cade took one look at the below and said, "Look! A two-headed rattlesnake!" I could see how he arrived at that hypothesis...but it was funny!

The alligators always wig me out. They look so fake!

Reticulated python...always a hit.
This little guy was fun to watch.
Cade had a good idea...he decided to write down every animal they saw so they could remember them better later on.
Hmmm, my baby looks like an old man today...white legs, white socks and black shoes. Shame on me.

Yep, we know who his daddy is.
Ahh, the color on these Lorikeets is awesome!
I think he should be named Moe, don't you?

The weather was perfect! What a fun day!