Thursday, March 31, 2011


An interesting experience happened to us on Spring Break which I hadn't told you all about yet. One of the days on our trip was a Sunday, so I had found on the internet a church with a website that listed the worship times, and we were set. We had passed this particular church on a main road and it looked like a large congregation, similar to what we are used to....only it wasn't. It was a pretty different experience. The auditorium, which could easily seat 300, had about 50-75 present. They had roped off about half of the pews in the back so more people would sit up front. We arrived a few minutes before the worship time, and the place was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Not to be critical, but the words we heard from the pulpit made our jaws drop. It had to be the most negative sermon I had ever heard in my life. One scripture was read in the beginning and then it was a LONG list of DON'TS for Christians. The preacher mentioned pool parties, field parties, prom, mixed swimming, cheerleader uniforms, volleyball uniforms, too tight, too short clothing, taking a drink, smoking, dipping, chewing, pornography...he just went on and on. We left thinking we knew pretty sure why that auditorium wasn't full if that's how it went every Sunday.

I dismissed it as just being there on an odd Sunday and gave the place the benefit of the doubt. Fast forward 24 hours:

My husband had scheduled a golf game, so I scheduled something at the resort spa for myself. While getting a pedicure, the lady working on me asked me a few questions about my kids, their colleges, what church the college was affiliated with, etc. Then she asked me if I went to church yesterday at the one in their town. I said yes, and she said, "Well I would really like to know what you think about that because my daughter is best friends with that preacher's daughter, and she can't do ANYTHING!" She proceeded to list several things, including spending the night at her house, and it reminded me of that sermon. Then she asks, "DO YOU THINK THAT CHURCH IS A CULT?"

Wow. Now here I am trying to defend a church I really don't know about. I explained I thought that if the preacher expected everyone to follow HIS list of rules that it could be thought of that way, but also that I thought he was trying to follow the scriptures. We are to be distinct from the world. We are to live differently. For him it meant not doing a lot of things. We are to be Christ's ambassadors, but I believe there is not a list of "do's and don'ts" in the New Testament for a reason. We are to decided for ourselves if we can go swimming and honor Christ. I believe we can. Can Christians go to prom? Well, the prom activities around here at least involve a lot of fun activities and hardly any dancing. Can it lead to promiscuity? Yes. A Christian teenager does need to be wary of that. But I don't think it necessary to avoid it altogether. Maybe I'm trying to walk too closely to the line. But I believe we can make choices to be Christians in the midst of our world's activities. Jesus partied. He made it a point to be in the world, yet making friends and teaching with everything he did. Some followed and obeyed him, while others rejected him. I believe that's the example we are to follow.

I hope we don't "water down" the scriptures in our church services, but I also think we should be correcting others gently, and not hit them over the head with a list of "WHAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT DO."

Hopefully I handled it correctly. It reminded me that I must always be ready to give an answer to anyone that asks...I Peter 3:15. I must say the whole experience really has made me think...and that's a good thing, I guess.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Just a little test this Monday to get your brain thinking...with these creative skills at work it may be a real challenge for you. This could have been a real work of art had he started on it more than 12 hours before the due date! Okay, enough about parents and late night project work. NAME THAT TALE!
Any ideas?

Okay, surely you've got it now...the lego men have got to help you out. And no, it's not a lion.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


These are too "precious" to put in the garage!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


and last night was one of those times. An event that I'm involved with quarterly at church, RefresHER, was put on last night by the YOUNGEST GROUP EVER - Youth Group girls and also Launch class (recent college grads) women. I meet with them several months before, and help the process along. To be able to give young ladies experiences in planning events, serving food, speaking to large groups, leading singing, leading table discussions, working sound and powerpoint presentations and leading prayers is just so exciting to me and very encouraging for the future! Helped by the youth ministers, they added some fun with a trivia game and even let us write "Advice to a 16 year old" on cards that were read at the end of the night. I'm smiling just thinking about it and I think God is too!Our speakers! They encouraged us to know our story, be a mentor, and listen to the Holy Spirit daily.
Rainboot decor from many youth group girls!

Let the older ladies teach the younger...
Launch class leader who is so sweet and enthusiastic!
Great sound and computer tech from a 15 yr old!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The most beautifully maintained marina at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort- view from our room!
Fairhope clock downtown
The ladies at Sandra's Place just gave my husband the pie pan since he bought the last piece of Key Lime Pie!
Every day at the resort they fire a cannon to remember the casualties of the Civil War who died at the hospital on this hotel site.
Art in the park!
Got to meet up with our daughter and 6 friends at Lamberts for dinner in Foley!
This cemetery right by the Marriott golf course - pretty cool stories of the site of the hotel that was used as a hospital during the Civil War!
The Coffee Loft - a fun place for a late night treat - and as a bonus this little kid named Noah talked our socks off!
I loved this house sign! Many of the homes by the bay have unique signs with their addresses on them. Lots of personality!
In nearby Mobile Bay you can tour the USS Alabama!
The only chain restaurant we ate at the entire trip. But a good one. We were offered some free Bread pudding since it was our first visit, and my husband had the audacity to turn it down, he said he wasn't a fan. But I said, "Yes, a small piece." It turned out to be the BEST Bread pudding I have ever eaten. Seriously!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


is what we discovered on a short Spring Break trip to Alabama! We decided to use some Marriott points and go to the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort at Point Clear, Alabama. This is in Mobile Bay, about 45 minutes from the beaches of Gulf Shores. We discovered a beautiful place with lovely people, delicious food, and a wonderful little downtown in Fairhope. Here's what we learned:

JUBILEE - a rare occurrence once or twice a year when the weather conditions are just right and an abundance of fish, crabs, etc., get caught up and wash up on the beach and can't get back out to sea. Everyone comes out, even if it happens in the dark of night, when they hear "Jubilee!" and people ringing bells, to come gather fresh seafood. This did not happen while we were there, but I saw lots of pictures and articles about it.

BEIGNETS - donut holes freshly made with powdered sugar on top! Yum. We went to a place that was featured on my husband's favorite Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," to get them. They serve them with a fresh lemon you squeeze all over which makes a lemony icing.

LIVE OAKS - the hugest trees with short trunks and long reaching branches, some that dip to the ground. We saw some centuries-old ones that were just gorgeous!

BOILED PEANUTS - so I never tried them, but they looked like green beans in ziploc bags. Let me know if you've had these before. We just couldn't imagine eating peanuts with the shell on them.

MARDI GRAS - So, I know about it, but did you know the first Mardi Gras was held in Mobile, Alabama???

ALLIGATOR ON A STICK - Fair food for them!

Y'ALL - used even more in Alabama than Oklahoma!!! And almost every lady talks like Paula Deen.

MORE a boatload of laundry to do!

Friday, March 11, 2011


I'm THRILLED to let you know that I have met my initial goal in my LOVE AND LOSE plan, just in time for SPRING BREAK!!! Pedicure here I come!

These are the things that have gotten me through the past month of counting fat grams, hunger pains, and limiting myself:
1.5 g fat per cookie DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY!

The whole pkg. only has 5 fat grams versus regular M & Ms which have 12! They do a pretty good job of satisfying chocolate cravings when you haven't had much chocolate lately!

Some nonfat flavors+ fruit! Again DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY!

One cup=0 fat!

16 of these little babies only 3 fat grams! Now if you can just put the box away after 16...

What are some of your delicious little LIGHT snacks???

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


First research paper - DONE - for our freshman! I now know more than I wanted to know about Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns in Greek architecture.

In other news, our daughter went mud-biking with 2 red-headed guys both named Chris...

Our exhausted Spring Sing director-son with his roomies after the last Spring Sing show, trying to put on a happy face after the disappointment of not winning any awards...oh well, 3 more years to try...

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Don't know why this even has the name pizza in it. It tastes nothing like pizza. But it is delicious! Another one of our Friday night cooking dates:
Step 1: Carmelize two sliced onions.
Step 2: Cut one loaf Ciabatta bread in half. Drizzle with 4 T. olive oil and 4 T. Tangerine Fig Balsamic Culinary Sauce. YUM!
Layer onions, 6oz. crumbled blue cheese or feta, then 6 slices prosciutto. Top with 6 oz. crumbled goat cheese. Broil for approximately 10 minutes on middle rack of oven.
Garnish with fresh chopped basil and more of the Tangerine Fig Balsamic!


P.S. The Tangerine Fig Balsamic Culinary Sauce came from Gourmet Gallery. I probably would not have even made this recipe, but the sauce came in one of their monthly club bags I received. If trying new recipes and products interests you, you would like the monthly Gourmet Club!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Its gotta be
More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
Its like I'm falling
Its like I'm falling in love

Love, Love
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me

This song really resonates with me at the moment. Especially a particular phrase, IT'S GOTTA BE MORE LIKE LOSING MY HEART THAN GIVING MY ALLEGIANCE . I have been a baptized believer for many years, but really LOVING him, really experiencing the joy of my salvation is what I'm wanting. Then there's that word - allegiance - makes me think of the hundreds of times I have pledged my allegiance to the flag of our country. Is my Christianity a rote one? Have I have been GIVING MY ALLEGIANCE to him, but not LOSING MY HEART to him?

I think about when I "fell in love" with my husband. What did I feel? How did I respond? Giddy. Eager to be with him. Wanting to please him. Put my best foot forward for him. Sometimes I was up and down the emotional roller coaster. So when I think about falling more in love with Jesus, I have to ask myself: Am I eager to spend time with Him, in prayer, in His Word? I am not always able to slow down and take the time to do these things, even when I have it "on my schedule" to do it first thing in the morning. Excuses, excuses. A convicting thought. I know that our Christian walk is going to involve ups and downs. We are not always going to be having mountaintop experiences. But I can still work on the relationship, as I do with my husband.

Think about falling in love with Jesus today!

Click HERE to hear the whole song!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


"Cowboy boots and Cheesy smiles" My boys - 1998