Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April Fool's Hodgepodge

It's time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Everybody go link up with Joyce and play along!  If you don't link up, at least go say hi to her!
1. April rolls in at the end of this week and in celebration of that infamous date (April 1st) answer this question-What is something foolish you've done?
Oh, too many things to count.  
I can remember one time in college when I decided to get adventurous and cook.  I had not cooked much using fresh ingredients.  I don't remember what the dish was, but it was something italian and it called for 3 or 4 cloves of garlic.  I used 3 BULBS of garlic.  By the way, The Queen of Brussels Sprouts was my roommate.  Good times.

It's a good thing I have learned to laugh at myself and not take things too seriously, although at times I still struggle with it.

2. With April comes Easter and that classic edible treat known as tell me...what's your favorite way to fix/eat chicken? That wasn't what you were expecting, was it? I 'fooled' you. teehee.

My favorite way to eat chicken is fried, but that's not the most healthy way.  More often than not I eat it marinated and grilled.  And by the way, I do not like peeps.  Not a huge fan of marshmallows.

3. What's the best museum you've ever visited? Or your favorite? Or the one you'd most like to visit?
Probably the best museum I've ever visited was the Smithsonian in Washington DC.  There are many other museums I would love to visit as well.  We love museums and aquariums!
4. You know what they say about April showers...what's your preference-a shower or a bath?

Definitely a long, hot as I can stand it, bubble bath with lots of candles and a glass of wine.

5. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"...fact or fiction? Why?
I think that's true.  Sometimes you don't realize what you have until you don't have it any more and then when you start to miss it, you realize how wonderful it is.  Hubby and I dated long distance for about 2 years and it was really tough not to be able to see each other as often as we'd like.  He was 4-6 hours away at any given time.  Even though we have been married for 9 years, I still think about those days and am so appreciative of the time we can spend together now.  I remember how rough it was to say goodbye on those Sunday afternoons and am so thankful and feel so blessed that we are now married.

6. What's your favorite product made/grown in your home state/province?
Orange juice.  I love a cold glass of OJ.

7. What is going on in the world today that affects you the most?

The end of the Space Shuttle program with no other vehicle in line behind it.  The economy here is in the tank with no sign of things getting better.  We have so many scientists and engineers that are losing their jobs with nothing to go to.  Of course it isn't just the space industry that is affected by this.  There is a ripple effect in the community with all of the businesses being affected.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Spring Break has kind of been a bust so far.  We had hoped to go to the beach Monday and it poured rain all day.  We did end up taking the kids bowling, which was lots of fun.  Yesterday Hubby stayed home from work sick so I had to look after him and get prescriptions filled, etc.  Allergy season is not fun around our house.  I'm hoping to get a little spring cleaning done and then we'll attempt the beach again on Friday.

Don't forget to leave a comment on yesterday's post, for my Blogiversary Give Away!  You have until midnight eastern time tonight.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Blogiversary Give Away!!

Tomorrow is my blogiversary ~ the one year anniversary of this blog.  In looking back over the last year, so many wonderful things have happened.  God blesses me every day and now I have a great way to remember those blessings and to share them with you all.  I have "met" many wonderful ladies with their own blogs and have used this blog as a way to stay connected with others.  As a way to thank all of you who read my ramblings, I want to do a give away.  Lots of other people have done give aways and I think it would be fun to bless someone else.  I am going to give away a devotional book to some lucky random reader.  However, I need your help.  If you would like a chance to win, you have to leave a comment on here before midnight tomorrow night, March 30th.  Tell me anything you want to, just leave me a comment.  If you read this and have never left a comment or don't know how, you don't have to register with a google account.  You can leave the comment as "anonymous user" BUT you have to sign your name in the text of your comment so that I'll know it's you.  Also, don't forget you have to type the special characters you see after you click publish or it won't take.  The winner will be selected by Random Number Generator.  Good luck!!  Don't forget to check back to see who wins!  I will contact the winner to get your mailing address.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

They Get It

Friday night we went out to dinner.  I love eating out with our children, they practice their good manners and it's such a pleasant time out.  Prince did something so unexpected but abosolutely precious, I just have to share.  We were eating biscuits, waiting for our entrees to come, when Prince pinches off a piece of bread and gives it to his daddy.  He said, "Jesus was the bread of life.  We are supposed to remember that Jesus died for our sins.  Daddy, the body of Jesus broken for you."  He then does the same for me and his sister.  Prince turned an ordinary dinner into a reminder of what this Lenten season is all about. 

I think I've mentioned before that Prince and Princess learn scriptures each week corresponding with a letter of the alphabet.  Last week their verse was "Visit the orphans and widows in their time of need."  Princess has such a huge heart.  I love this about her.  Lately when she prays she is truly pouring her heart out before God, just telling Him every thing that is on that little mind of hers.  She consistently prays that all of the stray dogs and cats will find good homes, all of the orphans will find new mommies and daddies with happy families, and that the widows will find new husbands.  Our pastor is retiring this summer and she is already praying for him in his retirement and for the new pastor that God will send to our church. 

The 6 year olds get it.  When I grow up I want to be like my kids. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Soul Print ~ Book Review

In his book Soul Print, Mark Batterson challenges the reader to find their destiny, their purpose for being.  He explains that God created us all in His image, but He also created each of us to be different.  We all have a purpose and while we are to live that out, it's more about our relationship with God than what we do.  Batterson writes "Jesus didn't die just to get us off the hook.  He also died to resurrect the person we were destined to be before sin distorted the image of God in us."  Jesus died to set us free from all of our imperfections and insecurities. 
Batterson uses illustrations from the life of King David to explain that God uses everything that happens in our lives to prepare us for His plan.  David was a shepherd boy, not a soldier like his brothers.  When he fought Goliath, he didn't use a sword and wear heavy armor.  He fought Goliath using experience he had gained as a shepherd, fighting off predators from the sheep.  That's how he won the battle against the giant.  Whatever we face in life is preparation for what's to come. 
I found this book to be very thought provoking and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be challenged in their walk with God.  This books requires reflection on your life and how God is using you for His purposes, but also for you to think about who you are becoming in Christ.  This book works well for self study as well as a small group study.  There are discussion questions in the back that help guide small groups or for your own personal use.  This is the first book I have read by mark Batterson, but now would like to read others he has written as well.
This probably won't be the last time you read about this book on this blog.  It has given me lots to think about and I'm sure I'll share further soon!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Springtime Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Sunday was the first day of spring. So they say. Ahem.
What is your favorite outdoor springtime activity?

Spring has sprung here and the weather is beautiful.  My favorite outdoor springtime activities include taking the kids to the park for a picnic and going to the beach. 

2. Who would you want to come into your kitchen to cook dinner for you?

Paula Deen, y'all.  She cooks some good ol' comfort food. 

3. When did you last fly a kite?
It would probably be last summer at the beach with the kids.  They don't make kites like they used to.  They tear up in the wind and aren't as sturdy.

4. What topic puts you to sleep faster than anything?

I hate to say it, but anything financial.  I'm not a figures kind of a girl, I just want all of the details to work out and for there to be money there when I need it.  That's bad, isn't it?

5. Which flowers do you associate with specific people, places, or events?

My mom's favorite flowers are daisies.  I always think of her when I see them.
Hubby's granny had beautiful azalea and camilias so I think of her when I see those.

6. What significant historical events took place during your elementary school days?
I had a fun time trying to remember things on my own, then I did a google search and found some more things.  Here's the list:

John Lennon was assassinated.
Ronald Regan was President.
US boycott of 1980 Olympics
Prince Charles and Lady Di were married.
The first space shuttle, Columbia launched when I was in kindergarten.  John Young and Bob Crippen were on that mission.
Assassination attempt on President Regan.
Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female Supreme Court Justice
Nancy Regan's "Just Say No to Drugs" Campaign was huge.
US bombing in Beirut.
Ghandi was assassinated.
Discovery of AIDS
Space shuttle Challenger exploded.

7. Do you swear? Do you pseudo-swear? (You know crap, shoot, friggin'?)

Why did you have to ask this question?  Can I plead the 5th Amendment?  OK, so here's the deal.  I try very hard not to swear.  I have small children, I work with small children and I just plain old don't think it sounds lady like or is Christ-like behavior.  I do on ocassion slip up and say things I shouldn't say. 
Do I pseudo-swear? As in using substitutions?  It depends on the word.  I'm not particularly fond of anything that sounds like the "f" word, friggin' included so that one I don't use.  I do say shoot and crap even though I don't like the word crap.  I'm a work in progress and this is something I have felt strongly about and am working to change.  I have really gotten into the mode of saying "Oh my goodness" or "Oh my heavens" more because around little ears you have to be so careful.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Today is the first day in over a week that both kids have been back to school after being sick.  We are still doing nebulizer treatments and antibiotics with Prince and eye drops and allergy meds with Princess, but I am really hoping they are on the upswing.  Now I have started feeling run down.  I'm trying to rest and keep myself from getting any worse.  At least next week is Spring Break.  Wahoo!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Princess and Prince have been battling some kind of virus this last week, which has kept me quite busy to say the least.  It is no fun for anyone to be sick, but I do feel badly when my kids are sick and there isn't much I can do for them except for try to make them as comfortable as possible.  I woke up with it at 4:00 this morning.  It was NOT fun.  My body is still trying to recover from it. 

In spite of that, today was a very special day because it is my mom's birthday.  My mom has always made our birthdays special and I wanted to do the same for her.  She decided that for her birthday she wanted to take all of us to an afternoon movie.  We went to see Mars Needs Moms, which was pretty good, but a little intense in places for our little guys.  Afterward we went back to her house and my sister and I made her favorite homemade pizza, bruschetta, and salad.  I bought some extras for the salad to make it special with mozzarella balls, sun-dried tomatoes and made homemade bleu cheese dressing.  It was a nice gathering and we celebrated this woman who has for many years given so much of herself.

My mom always made our birthday cakes and she would stay up until all hours of the night making sure things were just perfect the night before our birthday.  She is the person that took care of us, took time with us, and was so very patient helping with homework, making up little rhymes and songs to help us remember things.  As most kids do, I took so much of this for granted.  I just thought that's what all moms did and I came to expect it.  I also never thought about the time, energy and heart my mom has put into things.  Now that I am a mom, I look at what she did in awe.  I try to do all of the same things for my kids, although I have to admit that I have bought cupcakes a few times from the grocery store instead of making them like she always did.  My mom is the one person I have always wanted to be most like, to be able to do all of the things she did for us, and I constantly feel that I don't measure up to that standard.  She never got as far behind on the laundry as I do.  She stayed up and late and got things done.  I try to stay up but then end up falling asleep.  She always had some sort of green veggie on the dinner table.  There have been a few times that I just didn't open that can of peas or steam that broccoli.  I know my mom isn't perfect, but she's the standard by which I live in whether I am a successful mom.  I hope that when my kids grow up they will think the same of me.  I hope they will think I invested in them, believed in them, took great care to make them feel as special as my mom has done of all these things for me...and she continues to do these things for me.  My mom is a beautiful lady and when I grow up, I want to be like her.

Happy Birthday Mom!  I love you and hope you had a fantastic day. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Remembering the Wedding ~ 9 Years Later

In honor of our 9th Wedding Anniversary, I wanted to share some wedding pictures of Hubby and I.  I love looking back at the old pictures and remember this special day.  But before I share the wedding pics, here are a couple of oldies but goodies.  Hubby and I have been friends since 7th grade.  Our first official date was to the homecoming dance our freshman year of highschool.
With my hairdo and all, I was actually taller than him!

We were kind of on again, off again in school.  We went to homecoming again our junior year.

He grew!

OK, so here are the pictures from 9 years ago today.  It was a magical day! 

My handsome Hubby!

Me and my girls!
My beautiful sister was my matron of honor.

The wedding day was perfect.  I can still see the sanctuary full of smiling faces and my daddy walked me down the aisle, the smile on Hubby's face as he waited for me to get to him.  I can hear the pastor's voice as he spoke.  He was the pastor from my childhood, and he came back to marry me off.  The organist was our organist when I was in high school and she and I were so close.  People joked that I brought back the "All-stars" to come do my wedding.  I guess I did.  My friends and family were there as Hubby and I were served communion, our first official act as husband and wife.  I can still see the candle lit church at the end of the ceremony as everyone in the sanctuary held up lit candles and sang "Blest Be the Tie That Binds."  The reception was great fun as we ate and danced and visited with the 300 guests that came to celebrate with us.  It really was a grand day.  I wanted the Princess, Fairy Tale wedding and I got it.  I also realize though, that the wedding is one day out of a lifetime together. I knew that being married would be great, I just never knew how much fun we'd have together.  The last 9 years have been the best of my life and I couldn't imagine spending them with anyone else. 
The scriptures and theme for our wedding was from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

This marriage takes 3 ~ Hubby, God, and me.  God is at the center of everything in our lives.  I can't imagine it any other way.  We've had some bumpy times with my health, the issues we had when the babies arrived, and just other life happenings.  Had we not had that strong cord of three strands, I'm not sure how we would have survived. 
Next year we will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and our 25th anniversary of being friends.  Time really flies when you are having fun! 
And they lived happily ever after...

Cornedbeef and Hodgepodge

It's Hodgepodge Wednesday again!  Go see Joyce at FromFrom This Side of the Pond and link up and play along.  It's fun and you'll be glad you did!
1. What would you do if you found a pot of gold? Let's pretend this pot of gold is worth exactly $1500 (which would actually be more like a cup of gold at current values). Anyway, let's also pretend you have to spend it as opposed to making a donation someplace. Now tell me what you would do with that cup pot of gold?

I hate to say it, but that $1500 would go to pay off some bills.  Hubby just got a new/used car and we'd probably put it toward that.

2. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in any way, shape, or form?
I wear green to avoid being pinched, but other than that, we don't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  However, this is a busy week for birthdays and anniversaries in our family, so we do our fair share of celebrating this week.

3. Have you been bitten by the Spring Cleaning bug? What spring cleaning job most needs doing at your house? What spring cleaning job are you most dreading?
Yes, I have been bitten by the bug and I need to act fast, before I lose motivation.  I want to get rid of stuff...we have lots of stuff and I am tired of looking at stuff.  What needs to be done most is our bedroom and it is at the top of the list.  It is also the job I am most dreading, but I know the results will be wonderful when we are done.  By we, I mostly mean me, but Hubby will do the heavy lifting.

4. lime-shamrock-sage-forest...your favorite shade of green?
I love green.  It happens to be a tie for my favorite color ~ green and purple are the top two.  My favorite shade of green is sage.

5. Thomas Jefferson once said, "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." you believe in luck or do you believe we make our own luck?
I don't really believe in luck.  I do believe in hard work and I believe that God is in control and He causes things to happen for a reason.  Things we might see as lucky are really blessings.

6. Monday (3/14) was Pi Day. Get it? Pi =3.14. Those math types are so clever aren't they? Since I'm not one of them tell me what's your favorite piE (the edible kind).

Oh so many to choose from!  My favorite two are French Silk and Cheesecake. 

Last night I bought a key lime pie for Hubby and I to celebrate Pi Day.  It was yummy!

7. That same date (3/14) happens to be the birthdate of the late physicist Albert Einstein. I bet he knew the value of Pi. So...what do you think is more important and or valuable in life... intelligence or common sense?
A combination of the two.  However, if I have to choose just one, I choose common sense over intelligence.  I have known some extremely intelligent people without a lick of common sense and I don't know how they get along in the world!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Here's a completely random thought...Last Wednesday we took the kids to Ash Wednesday Service.  Prince started talking to the people behind us, an older couple.  He then starts telling the lady knock-knock jokes and she played along.  Before I know it, I hear him say, "Knock-knock."
"Who's there?"
"Urp who?"
Before I knew what was happening, as if in slow motion, Prince makes himself belch.  Lovely.  I was mortified and apologized for his rudeness.  Luckily she kind of chuckled and said something about boys being boys, but really?!  Having a little boy is giving me quite the education.  I only had a sister growing up so I had no idea about such things.  Sure, we had our share of burping contests, but would never dream of doing so in church to a little old lady. 
He's cute and all, but how does that little brain think of these things?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Conversations with Princess

This afternoon while I was folding clothes, Princess informed me that she now knows what she wants to be when she grows up.  She says she wants to be a missionary.  I asked her what she thinks a missionary would do and she said that she would go to other countries around the world and help people and tell them about Jesus.  I said, "Wow, that's very good.  So you think that's what you want to do when you grow up?" 
She said, "Yes Mommy, there are lots of people in this world that don't have Jesus in their hearts and they need to know that he loves them and he wants them to be Christians.  And I'm also going to have a sidekick." 
Me: A sidekick?
Princess: Yes, he's going to be a dog and I am going to take him wherever I go and people will be happy to see the dog and they can pet him and love on him.  Also he will save people from snakes or other bad things that might come after them.  He will be a super missionary dog. 
Me:  That sounds great. 
Princess: I might have another job too, but I don't know what I will want to do or if God will let me have another job too.
Me:  Well, lots of missionaries are nurses and teachers and preachers. 
Princess: How will I know if God would like for me to do one of these things too?
Me:  When you have a heart for God, He will let you know what He wants you to do because He will give you special talents and interests in that area.  Everyone has a calling or a special plan from God.  You'll know and you've got lots of time to figure that out.
Princess:  I just want to make God happy and I want for other people to know that Jesus loves them and that if Jesus is in their heart then they will want to do what is right and they won't make bad choices like stealing and have to go to jail.
Me: You know you can do anything you put your mind to, but you don't have to go to other countries to tell other people about Jesus.
Princess: I know, but that's what I think God wants me to do. 

Can I just say WOW?!  I had no idea that all of that was circling around in that little brain of hers.  She's 6 years old!  I am so amazed at how God can use my children even now to talk to others about Him and His love.  Her understanding of things that are so complicated baffles me.  Thank you God for this precious child and that she has a heart for You!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Anniversary Trip

Yesterday I promised you the story of our anniversary weekend.  Let me first remind you of how awesome my Hubby is.  We know he is awesome because he has a shirt that tells us so.

He is also awesome for other reasons too, and I am about to tell you one of the reasons I think he is so awesome. 
Around the end of January Hubby asked me if I thought my parents would watch the kiddos for a weekend around our anniversary.  My parents agreed that it would be fine, and Hubby began making secret plans.  So I have been in suspense for several weeks.  Around the beginning of last week Hubby asked if I wanted him to tell me where we were going.  After waiting all of this long, I decided that being surprised would be a great thing.  It wasn't easy for me, being such a planner and all, but I knew Hubby had plans and he had it all under control.  Throughout the week he threw me a few hints, telling me we were not going far and that I would need dress-up clothes for Saturday.  On Wedensday he really threw me for a loop when he told me he needed to know what shoes I was going to wear.  Huh?!  So I tried on a couple of dresses and we decided what dress and shoes I would wear to wherever it was we were going.  I couldn't figure out why it mattered what shoes I was going to wear.

Friday evening we left the kids with my parents and off we went.  On our way in the car, Hubby told me that we were going to Orlando for the weekend.  Friday night's dinner was up to me, as he wanted me to have some choice about what we did.  After dinner we went back to the hotel and exchanged gifts.  Hubby bought me a beautiful pearl and jade necklace and earrings and a new dress.  This was why he wanted to know what shoes I was wearing!  He wanted my shoes to match my new dress.  He picked out a beautiful dress, the problem was that it didn't fit like I wanted it to.  It was too short for my taste and well, I have too much junk in the trunk to pull it off.  But it was such a thoughtful thing to do!  He might have also bought me a pretty nightie that is also comfortable.  He also brought me a rose in a little bud vase, champagne and champagne glasses, and his i-pod and speakers.

Saturday morning Hubby decided it was time to tell me of the plans he had made.  We had the morning free to take my new dress back to the store and I tried on lots of other clothes he picked out for me and I got two toher dresses for the same price of the original dress.  What a deal! 
The big surprise was...wait for it...

tickets to see Wicked!  I was so excited! 

This was a picture I took of us before we left the hotel.  I think we cleaned up pretty good.

The play was fantastical, I absolutely loved it!  At intermission Hubby bought me a CD of it.
This is Hubby waiting in line to buy my CD.

After the show, Hubby had made reservations for us to eat at Texas de Brazil, a Brazilian steakhouse that is oh so delicious.  When you go there, you don't eat all day before going because you want to save all the room you can.  They have a huge salad bar with lots of exotic salads and cheeses on it.  Then they have these gauchos that walk around with different cuts of meat on long skewers and they keep putting different kinds of meat on your plate.  It's all you can eat and they serve it with mashed potatoes and bananas that have been baked in brown sugar and cinnamon but they aren't soggy...oh, it is just all too delicious.  It's also quite costly, so you go for really special ocassions.  We have only been one other time. 

Yesterday morning we checked out and shopped a little before going home.  Hubby indulged me by watching me try on more clothes and he might have bought me a few more outfits.  It was such a nice and relaxing weekend away.  We spent time praying together that God would direct our paths and continue to be the center of our family, that we would parent according to His will. We told each other all of the things we love about the other.  I felt totally pampered and I love my amazing Hubby so much!  It was a treat for the two of us to be able to talk without interruptions and to enjoy being alone together.   And coming back home was a joy because I felt refreshed and renewed.  I wonder what we'll do next year for our 10th anniversary?!  We'll have a hard time topping this one!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Recent Happenings

We have had quite an eventful past several days, which is why I haven't been on to write lately.

1.  Princess lost 3 teeth last week!  She is really keeping the tooth fairy busy.  For the first two teeth, she paid her brother to pull them out for her.  She conned my sister into pulling her third tooth out on Friday afternoon.  This meant that the tooth fairy had to come to the Grandparents' house, which I was trying to avoid, but that's the way it happened.

2.  On Thursday night we went to see Space Shuttle Endeavour roll out from the VAB to the launch pad.  She was quite beautiful under the spotlights.  I will miss these times.

I also met up with some cute little future astronauts.  They were so cute that I decided to bring them home with me.

3.  Hubby took me away for a surprise anniversary trip this weekend.  I was busy getting children packed and ready to spend the weekend at Grandma and Grandaddy's, as well as getting myself packed without knowing exactly where we were going or what we'd be doing.  Hubby did a fantastic job planning our weekend away and I can't wait to tell you all about it...tomorrow!  Today I have to get through some laundry and get us organized and ready to start the week.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Hodge Podge ~ Mardi Gras Style

It is Wednesday Hodge Podge time again!  The time when we all link up with Joyce, who comes up with some interesting questions for us all to answer. 

1. The season of Lent begins on March 9th this you participate and if so, in what way?
I do participate in Lenten activities.  I attended Ash Wednesday service tonight with Hubby and the kiddos.  This is the first time we have taken the kids to this service.  We talked ahead of time about what Pastor would be talking about and what they would see and do.  This was the first time the kids had taken communion and at the end of the service Princess chose to get ashes on her forehead while Prince just said a polite no thank you to Pastor.  We talked to them about why Jesus had to come and sacrifice his life, because we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  They know the need for repentance and the Jesus blood covers our sins. 
My theme this Lent is More of Him, less of me.  My prayer is that God will work through me and that others will see Him in my words and actions.  See yesterday's post for more info.

2. Traditionally pancakes are eaten on the day known as Shrove Tuesday which is the last day before Lent (March 8th this year). So....butter and syrup? Blueberry? Chocolate chip? ewww, no thanks!! What's your pleasure when it comes to eating pancakes?
I like butter and syrup. I also like them with sour cream and strawberry preserves.

3. Spring is coming. (It is coming, right?) What's your favorite springtime flower and do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Two questions I know, but they're lightweights.
I love azaleas and gardenias. I don't typically suffer from allergies but Princess is having a terrible time with them this year.  Her poor little eyes have been swollen and this morning they were swollen shut when she woke up. 

4. "Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than upon what they make us see in ourselves." Author unknown. Agree or Disagree? Why?
I guess it is true that if we don't like who we are when we are around certain people, that we should limit the amount of time spent with them.  I would like to think that I could have a positive influence on those people and perhaps sway them in a more positive direction.
5. Since it's "March" and also the season of Mardi Gras....have you ever been in a parade? What's the best parade you've seen?
I have been in many a Christmas parade.  I was in band in high school so we always marched.  I have also marched in parades at Disney when I was in the band.  One year I was even the drum major.  Disney parades in the middle of the summer = HOT!
6. You would jump up and down and shout for joy right now if someone told you___________?
That I would have free maid service?  Never have to do laundry again?  Have a house that cleans itself? you see a pattern here? 

7. How clean is your car on the outside? Inside? Is there junk in your trunk?
There is ALWAYS junk in my trunk.  As a mommy, I feel I always have to be prepared with a first aid kit, extra clothes, drinks, towels, etc., etc., etc.  My car is relatively free of clutter at the present time, but on any given day that could change, depending on how much time we have spent in the car.  The outside of my car has a yellow film of pollen on it.  It's that time of the year.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
A couple of random things:
~When Princess and her Daddy went to the Father/Daughter Dance at her school, she tried to do the Macarena.  Since then, she has been singing the song, or trying to.  However, her version is "Hey Margarita!"  I'm sorry, but that is both funny and embarrassing.  I'm sure I'll be super emabarrassed when she goes to church singing it. 
~Space Shuttle Discovery came home with a safe landing today.  We were sitting in our closing circle time, reading a story when we heard the "BOOM, BOOM" sonic booms.  My little 3-year-olds didn't even flinch as I said, "shuttle."  I'm gonna miss those booms that scare you half to death as they sound like gunshots and then you realize, oh yeah, it's the shuttle landing.
~The weather is beautiful here!  I wish it could stay like this forever!  I don't want to go inside and everything is blooming.  On the other hand, poor Princess' allergies are giving her fits so I guess I don't want it to be forever.  It sure is nice though.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More of Him, Less of me

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  I used to give things up for Lent, although I haven't in the last few years.  I got to the point where everything I gave up seemed so trivial compared to Christ giving up His life for me.  The last few years I have tried to think of things I can add to my life or things I can do to become closer to Christ.  This year as I have been contemplating what I want to concentrate on during this Lenten season, I have come up with the theme: More of Him, Less of me.  This Lent I want to fix my eyes on Him, and not on me and my circumstances because guess what... it's not about me!  As the Casting Crowns song "Who Am I" says, "not because of who I am, but because of what He's done.  Not because of what I've done, but because of Who You are." 
So many times in my everyday life I am so concerned about how things affect me or how they made me feel but it isn't really about me, is it? 
Philippians 3:7-11 says " But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead."

I know that I can never be worthy of His love or the sacrifice He made for me.  I am a sinner, no better than anyone else.  This Lent I want to follow hard after Jesus, to pursue Him and focus on Him.  In the busyness of my life, I want to make time with Him a priority and sit at His feet, to truly know Him and His heart.  I want for my heart to beat in sync with His, to see through His eyes, and to align my life with Him.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Bittersweet Day

Yesterday was a really tough day for me.  Fifteen years ago, my Grandaddy went to be with Jesus.  It's as if whenever March 6th comes around my subconscious just knows and I woke up crying before I even fully knew what day it was or what was happening.  Grandaddy was the first person I lost that I was especially close with.   I can remember that day like it just happened, yet it seems like an eternity since I have seen him.  I like to think about the special memories I have of him.  I thought about how he gave everyone a nickname.  I was his first grandchild and he called me Little Pretty.  He didn't always use it, especially as I got older, but I remember that every once in a while as a teenager he'd surprise me and call me that.  When I was little we used to sit out on their front porch swing and he'd just sit and listen to me talk.  I had a captive audience and boy did I ever talk!  (I'm remembering now that perhaps it isn't so unusual that Princess never stops talking!)  My Grandaddy wasn't perfect, but he loved his family and he always made sure we were all taken care of.  I am so blessed to have so many wonderful memories of him.  I am blessed to have grown up only a mile away and I spent many hours at their house.  Whenever I want to feel close to him I watch my DVD's of Hail Columbia or The Dream is Alive, two IMAX movies about the Space Shuttle program and you can see him in both of them, working in the Vehicle Assembly Building.  Sometimes I go to the cemetery and sit on his grave and smoke a cigar.  That's where I went yesterday morning.  The smell of the cigar takes me back and I remember getting in trouble as a small child when I would sit in his chair and pretend to puff on his cigars.  It's a comfort.  I know he isn't there, but it's a physical place I can go and sit quietly with my thoughts. 

This is a picture of me (left), my Grandaddy, and my sister (right) at our house.  I was showing him my Strawberry Shortcake watch.

March 6th is a bittersweet day for me because while I felt most of the day like I had been punched in the gut, it is also my half-birthday and Hubby always tries to make it special for me.  Yesterday he and the kids got me cards and a little gift and then took me to lunch and out shopping for a distraction.  It was a nice outing and I loved having the time with my family.  It puts the day in perspective to help me remember that while I can be sad and miss my Grandaddy, I also need to remember how incredibly blessed I am to have Hubby and my precious children and to live each moment with them to the fullest.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Newest Members of Our Family

In yesterday's post I told you about Princess' devastation over not having a pet and her insistence that she needed to take a pet to school today.  I sent their teacher a message last night but I didn't get her response until this morning.'s how this all went down.  Hubby called to tell me he was on his way home from work.  Princess, in tears, asked to talk to her daddy on the phone.  She then tells her daddy that she is supposed to bring a pet to school tomorrow but she doesn't have a pet and she had a fish this summer but then the fish died and she never got another one and she will be the only one at school without a pet tomorrow (well she and her twin brother, that is) and she doesn't want to take a stuffed animal because it's not a real pet... Hubby asks her to put me on the phone to which he says to me, "I can't understand a word she's saying.  I need you on the phone to interpret."  So after I helped Princess repeat all of this back to Hubby he says to me, "I do kind of feel bad that we never replaced the fish after they died and I don't care if we get more fish, what do you think?"  I agreed with him and negotiated dinner out and then we'd go to the pet store to look for fish.  Amazingly enough, as soon as Hubby and I told Princess we would get her a fish, her whole demeanor changed.  That chick has her daddy wrapped around her little finger!

After dinner we went to the pet store in search of the 15 cent goldfish.  Believe it or not, they do have some goldfish for 15 cents and we were all set on those.  That is, until we priced out the fishbowls they would need to take the fish to school.  Soooooo we ended up getting little beta fish that came in their own little containers that were portable to take to school.  We still had to buy them each a beta bowl since the fish can't live together.  Twenty-five dollars later we were on our way home with two happy children and beta fish named Scooby Doo and Max.  It was money well spent since we technically owed them the fish anyway and it doubled as a school project as well.

Ms. J, their teacher responded to my message last night but I didn't get it until this morning.  This week was Science Week at their school and they were doing special science themed activities.  She mentioned yesterday that they could bring a pet to school or a stuffed animal if they wanted.  It wasn't mandatory or really even a big deal.  However, once Princess had it in her head that she HAD to have a pet for school, there was no talking her out of it.  I guess it's a good thing that she is so conscientious.  Max and Scooby Doo had a great visit to school today.  Well, at least they made it home alive, I guess that's pretty great to survive a day with a class full of kindergartners.  Prince is in his room talking to Max about our house and explaining house rules to him.  Welcome to the family, Max and Scooby Doo!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

In no particular order, these are my thoughts on this thrilling Thursday... (Do you like my alliteration?  It turns out I do remember a thing or two from high school English class.)

1.  Our 9th anniversary is coming up in less than two weeks.  I can't believe it's been 9 years.  We have definitely aged.  Hubby is going to take me on a surprise anniversary trip.  I know not where and I am super excited about it.  He said if I really wanted to know he'd tell me, but I am having fun trying to guess in my head.  This is the first time he's planned a trip away for us without my input.  Yay Hubby!  He gets major points for that.

2.  Prince hugged and kissed me goodbye in his classroom this morning.  I was extremely happy about this.

He is getting to be a big boy and I am not so happy about that.  I guess it just comes with the territory.

3.  My sweet sister sent me a message the other day telling me that Slingo was a free download of the day and I should put it on my phone.  Thank you dear sister very much.  My addiction to Angry Birds has now been replaced by Slingo.  I just can't stop, it's too much fun.

4.  Today is my dear friend, Mary's birthday.  Happy birthday Mary!  I love ya!

5.  Princess came home with a contrived story about tomorrow being pet parade day at school.  She was inconsolable as she told her daddy and me that they are supposed to bring pets but no cats or dogs but we don't have a pet and she's the only one without a pet to bring to school and a stuffed animal just won't do...More on this when I get the real story at school tomorrow. 

6.  This has seemed like an incredibly long week.  I'm off to get my beauty sleep...or at least some kind of sleep so I won't be grouchy tomorrow.  Good night, all!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday so I'm you like green eggs and ham? Okay-how about this do you like your eggs? Or don't you?
I like my eggs lots of different ways.  Probably my favorite is either over easy or deviled. 
Incidentally, we did eat green and eggs and ham today at preschool and look who made a guest appearance to read!

2. Is March coming in like a lion or something less ferocious where you live?
It's been pretty mild, although we did have rain yesterday. 

3. Do you work better or worse under pressure?
I work better under pressure.  I need that deadline and the pressure to keep me going.  Otherwise I don't see the urgency in getting it done.  I think I have all kinds of time and then it gets down to the wire and voila! I somehow get it done at the last. 

4. March Madness-are you a fan? It's college basketball in case you're wondering. And if you're outside the USA tell us-is there any sort of 'madness' taking place during March in your part of the world?
The only madness that takes place for us is all of the birthdays in March and trying to keep track of all of the dates.  We actually begin in Feb. with my Dad's birthday on the 26th.  Then in March  my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and my mom all have birthdays in the same week with our anniversary is squeezed in the middle.

5. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?
I do my best thinking when I am not under pressure to think.  Honestly, my best problem solving occurs in the shower and when I am asleep.  Many times if I need an answer to something I can sleep on it and I'll dream about good possible solutions.  I'm guessing that the reason I do good thinking in the shower is that I am not distracted by other things around me.  I start to relax and can clear my head of the junk.

6. What item of clothing from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Blue jeans.  As a preschool person and mom, I am on the floor playing, reading, cleaning up, etc.  My jeans are comfy and allow me to do what I need to do.

7. Do you use sarcasm?
Not really.  I just am not a sarcastic person, nor do I like it when other people use it.  I like it better when people will just come out and say what they mean.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Something very disconcerting happened this morning when I dropped the kids off at school.  I always walk them in to their classroom and they give me a hug and a kiss goodbye.  This morning my sweet Prince would not give me a kiss in front of his friends.  I tried not to show how crushed I was that my kindergarten son wouldn't kiss me, so I told him to have a good day and walked out of the classroom.  Just as I got half-way down the hall I heard Prince's sweet voice tell his teacher that he wanted one more hug from me and he came down the hall after me with his teacher watching so he could give me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  I honestly thought I had a little longer before he found me totally embarrassing.  Kindergarten?  Seriously?  I don't know if I'm ready for this! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

God Gave Us So Much - Book Review

God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren is an amazing compilation of three stories.  Since we had already read and loved God Gave Us You, we knew we would like the stories in this book as well.  If you are not familiar with her stories, Bergren uses a cute little polar bear who is full of questions to explain God's love and His world. 
In God Gave Us the World, Little Cub learns about the wonderful world God made and how He made us all different.  Mama Bear explains that we were all made to serve and worship God, our Creator.  We are also to take care of the world He gave us.  God Gave Us Love explores different types of love and how God wants us to love others, even when we don't feel like loving them.  I love in the book when Grandpa says, "God gave us love so we could see goodness in others, even when they make us grumpy."  I think we've all felt that way and it is good for children to recognize that this is a normal feeling.  Grandpa also explains that we could NEVER do anything to lose God's love.  My favorite of the three stories is God Gave Us Heaven.  As a mother of six-year-old twins, I sometimes struggle with how to describe heaven and what comes after we die.  Papa does a great job of explaining what he thinks heaven will be like and why God sent Jesus, in a way that children can understand.
I highly recommend the book God Gave Us So Much, as it is a most useful learning tool and conversation starter for young families.  It would be a fantastic gift idea for anyone with children and a welcome addition to any child's library. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.