Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Book List

In case you need to add a book or two to your summer reading list...
these will not disappoint

1.  Simple Obsession by Jamie West Zumwalt
Written by
a mom
a missionary
a daughter of the King
someone who just wants to live simply
in the constant presence of Jesus.

I just can't say what this book has meant to me...filled with true life stories that offer hope and faith...her testimony is refreshing, encouraging, and life giving.  I think it would be great for your soul.

2.  The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker
you knew I had to throw him in there...

3.  Radical by David Platt
This is the book our community group is going through...
We are taking it very slowly
so we don't just inhale the words
and then look in the mirror
to find we haven't changed at all.

If your chief aim in life is to glorify the One Worthy
then you will love this.

4.  Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider
We are all affected by clutter
time stealers

Here is a (non-judgmental) plan on how to cope
breathe easier
find things
bless others with what you don't use

It is an actual 10 day plan
that I will soon implement!

5.  One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
She utters what I couldn't utter
in my darkest hour
and I thank her for it

If you have lost joy
but long for it's reappearance
then buy this book
(if your name is Debra Kay then please wait)

What books do you think I should put on my summer reading list?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Charming Brunch

We wrapped up our ladies bible study today with a charming brunch.  Ms. Diane hosted us at her charming cottage.  (Thank you Ms. Diane!!!)  It is a beautiful combination of Victorian and Country and my heart fell in love with the front porch that has become her quiet sitting area.  Wait until you see what she did at the top of each wall frame!

 I am pretty sure God speaks clearly in this little nook.  I'd like to give it a try, anyway!  Do you see the painted wooden frame?
 See them now?  She painted scripture that means something to her heart all along the top...

 The quaint courtyard.  All ready for a girly brunch.  The soul of a woman just breathes easier once she has been able to sit outside amongst other women with strawberry shortcake and good, strong coffee.  sigh. 

 This gate makes me so happy I can't stand it.  I need one.  And a courtyard.  And a front porch that can function as my quiet-time-hiding-place with God.  sigh.

 Some of the inside touches...

 You are torn up over this house, aren't you, Bugs?

 Doing dishes might not be so bad if this were the view!
 Thank you, Barbara for leading our class and sharing real life stories.
 Me and Jennifer...
Here is what I took away from this experience:

1.  Own your house!  Don't be afraid to decorate the way that appeals to you!  If you want to put a hutch in the bedroom, then go for it!  If you want to paint meaningful scripture all over your walls, then stop being afraid!

2.  Own your yard!  If being able to sit outside amongst friends or family is important, then create a little nook for just that.  I don't know how to make this happen in our backyard, but I know that it is possible.

3.  Be thankful for the home God has given you.  It may be old.  It may not have the space you want.  But, with grace, you can create a haven where your family feels comfortable and your friends receive peace.

4.  Don't underestimate the power of fabric and good window treatments.  I only have one window treatment in my whole house (compliments of Betty and my mother in law...I'll show a pic soon) but I may have to get more!  :)

5.  Is there anything better than ivy growing up the wall of your home?

6.  Fresh flowers placed among the home and outside allow your soul to breathe.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pecan Logs and Cheap Gas

The year was 1999.  Eric and I had been married for a whole year.  We were living high on 23 thousand dollars a year.   And love.  Lots of love.  We were debt free, besides our mortgage.  We were proud of not owing any money and we proved it by both driving cars that didn't have any air conditioning.

But we wanted to go on a road trip.  And that required air.  Lots of cool air.

So, we convinced Eric's Grandmother that her new Camry needed to see the interstate a bit.  Stretch her legs out.  All the way to Colorado and back.  For some reason, she obliged us.  I think it was because we were going to go and visit her second born son and his family.

{Eric now drives that car and those miles to Colorado and back make up about half of the total miles on that baby!}

So, one morning at an hour that my eyes had never laid hold of, I stumbled into the car and told my giddy husband to be quiet so that I might fall into my pillow again.

He sped down the road for 5 or so hours (math is hard when you are asleep), got us barely into Kansas and told me he was done.

He was giving me the joy of Kansas to drive through.  Such love

The next few hours were a blur.  Kansas is like entering a time warp where your only landmarks are gas stations.  They sure aren't curves, mountains, hills, trees, or cute buildings, that is for sure.

So, when we saw a sign for a Stuckey's up ahead, we decided it might be a good chance to grab gas and see a living soul or two.  Our first red flag should have been the gravel road that led from the interstate to the gas station.  But, alas, we needed gas.  We dared to venture inside.

Mistake.  It was another time warp.

We realized immediately that every living soul inside had been drinking the kool-aid called Kansas.  Their minds were so warped for needed stimulation that they were going ga-ga over t-shirts, pecan rolls, and cheap CDs.  I wanted to give these people a number to a therapist, but I couldn't interrupt their joy.  We were in Vespers, Kansas, but to them, it might as well have been Disneyworld.

Fast forward 12 years.  We have never had a road trip so easy in all of our lives.  Gas prices have doubled.  Kids have tripled.  The luggage amount would never fit into that Camry now.  The memories of that week...being free to do as we pleased, those are priceless.

While driving those three kids to school today, I was shocked to see that one of our gas stations overnight morphed into none other than a Stuckey's.

Shoot, babe, we aren't in Kansas anymore.  Riiiiight???

Monday, May 23, 2011


 How are you?

I got to paint the boys' bathroom this weekend.  It is Benjamin Moore Buxton Blue and all I can say is that I am torn up over it.  In a happy way, of course.  I'll post pics when I get it all done...trying to find the right rug and one more thing to go on the wall.  But it is spa-dreamy.  ahhhhh.

I am getting so excited about the approaching wedding season!  My bro is getting hitched in 12 days!  Amelia is getting hitched in 33 days!  My birthday is in 10 days!  Oh, wait, that has nothing to do with wedding season, does it?  Mom got me the cutest purse ever for my birthday...I'll have to post a pic sometime.

We had beans and cornbread and ham for supper.  I love that meal with a passion.  I think the rest of my family only tolerates it, but what a cost effective meal!  As kids, we used to eat leftover cornbread chunked up into a big tall glass of milk...did you ever do that?  Don't you love childhood memories?

Thanks for all the extra summer fun ideas.  We may or may not join the local pool, depending on whether or not it ever. stops. raining. and gets above 85 for a few days in a row.

I got to photo my friend Tamekia's baby today and he is so yummy.  I love his dimples!

Well, toodles.  And hugs.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

T minus 13 days

and it shall be upon us all.


It may have already begun for you.  In that case I bet you are having the time of your life.  I bet you got your happy pills refilled, too.


That is what this post is all about:  how to avoid going to my sweet doctor for a prescription for happy pills before July 1.  Not that I have ever had happy pills, but well, I probably don't need to start, cause I am sure there will be no going back!!!

All kidding aside, I have had "summer" on my mind.  And not just because I am SICK TO DEATH of dropping off and picking up kids.  And not just because I am looking forward to sleeping in a bit more.

BUT, because I want this summer to be intentional.  Fun.  On purpose.  Dare I say, educational?  Nah, I probably shouldn't use that word around the three stooges.

I have started a summer book list for Cade and Eli (more thoughts on good books always welcome) and thinking of a good reward system for that.

We know Monday will be cleaning days.  Cha-ching, they are really starting to figure things out around here.  Gotta love writing down a list and not having to be the only one to cross things off of it!  :)

Here are a few other ideas stewing around...I thought I would make a "master list" and we can cross them off gradually...or whenever the boys say they are bored, I can point them to the list.  And if that doesn't work, I will give them each a safety pin and tell them to go kill the ants in the front yard.  (Sam came up with this idea the other day and I was shocked at how long it kept him entertained.  Is it so wrong of me to let him kill ants???)

So, here are the ideas:
1.  swim (and get Julie to teach Sam to hold his breath underwater so I can breathe myself this summer.)
2.  create recipes
3.  bake cupcakes and share with friends and neighbors
4.  have a garage sale, tell kids they get the proceeds from any toys they want to sale
5.  make animals out of rocks and felt
6.  make homemade ice cream (the joke is that we have had our ice cream machine for 13 years and still haven't made homemade ice cream....this summer ends this madness!!!)
7.  wash the car
8.  sport at home or park:  baseball, soccer, basketball, kickball, 2 square
9.  Write an ongoing summer story...we could either each write our own or have a "master" story with one plot/characters that we each occasionally contribute to
10.  catch fireflies
11.  shop garage sales for fun
12.  play flashlight tag at night
13.  throw a slumber party  (whew.  somehow have escaped this one so far...)
14.  create a city out of play do
15.  board game
16.  work a huge puzzle all together
17.  library
18.  fishing
19.  ride bikes/scooters either here or at walking trail
20.  bowling (see if is for real)
21.  play in a creek and catch crawdads
22.  memorize God's word  (seems to be easiest to pick one verse and learn all together while sitting down eating)
23.  go on a picnic
24.  set up a free lemonade stand where it can get lots of traffic (outside of Target anyone??  is that legal?)  and then take donations and give to a local charity
25.  fly kites on a windy day
26.  invite friends over for water games outside
27.  write funny poems
28.  draw a sketch of the house from the outside
29.  go hiking
30.  invent and name a new dance
31.  video that dance
32.  ZOO!  Little Rock and hopefully Memphis and St. Louis
33.  make up a treasure hunt for the boys to go on (backyard) and let there be a real "treasure"
34.  family game night once a week
35.  tie-die tshirts
36.  play chess
37.  create a holiday, complete with fun food
38.  arrange some wild flowers and give to an elderly lady
39.  have a jumping jack competition...whoever does the most wins.  (and I win because excess energy will be wiped out from three boys.)
40.  make root beer floats
41.  go to the movies (Cars 2!!)
42.  Bathe the dog  (pretty please!!!)
43.  draw a self portrait  (frame them!)
44.  learn 5 new words from the dictionary, and how to spell them
45.  Camp out in the backyard with Dad

Do you have any fun ideas?  Anywhere we can go that is fun/semi cheap?  Any amazing books I should know about for boys?

I'd love to hear your strategy for sanity

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Play Ball!

I  have lived at the ball fields.  We went ahead and bought a double wide and parked it by the concession stand.  Nachos for breakfast isn't so bad.  kidding.  Part of me hates being away from home four nights a week, but the other part says that we are doing stuff as a family and it is free entertainment!  I finally drug my big lens around last night and caught a few images.  I love watching those boys play...including the lil guy play with every girl that comes into his path.  He is smitten with girls.  This is a good thing, right?

 I love this image of Sam...ever being goofy and trying to entertain the masses.
 You win some...
and by the looks of the pouty profile of Eli...
you lose some.
But that's ok, cause there is always another game.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Field Trip!

Cade was awarded with a field trip for doing so well in his school reading program...we headed to LR to see the Clinton Presidential Library.  We later stopped off at Pinnacle for a picnic and hike.  So glad I could join him!

One of many views from the library...
 You may know it better as the glorfied double wide...

 They recreated the oval office...for what it looked like when Clinton was in office.  Very neat idea...some things are original and others are reproductions.
 The ceiling of the "oval office"

 the featured exhibit was Dr. Seuss...had some original artwork, etc. on display.  Very interesting fellow.  Still not sure what I think about him...yay for getting kids to read...but some of his "Adult" artwork is a bit creepy.
 "George Stuart" had created a ton of lifelike dolls....I mean the detail of each one just made you really want to meet the guy in person and tell him how gifted he is!

 This may have been my favorite thing...a glass Christmas tree...this is only half of it since it was too tall for the ceiling.  It kind of looks like Medusa on steriods or something...but a photographer's dream!

 They said these presidential blue boxes contained milions of Presidential documents...but I am not sure I believe them.  Or maybe I do....we had to go thru security for some reason or other.

Elvis is coming soon as the featured exhibit...