Sunday, October 30, 2011

ADVENTURE GIRL CONFORMS FOR A FEW MINUTES....

Our lovely daughter - our kayaking, mountain climbing, bike riding girl found herself in a predicament recently.  She was nominated for homecoming queen!  (YAAAAAA!  from the mother who never was...)  Anyway, after I quit cheering and making plans to buy some incredible dress and shoes, she informed she did not need that and she would be wearing her Chacos.  Maybe I was being manipulated in some way, but she assured me that her Chacos are her signature.  That's how everyone knows her...

Needless to say, she conformed to my idea (and the university's email about how to dress for the occasion) and we got a beautiful grey suit AND some cute shoes last weekend in Dallas.  The nominees were presented in chapel during the week and she did what she wanted - she wore a thrift store find and her Chacos (so glad I missed that) and got lots of positive (?) comments from her friends.  Saturday was the big event at the homecoming football game.  Most of the girls were escorted by their fathers, which is a tradition.  Her Daddy liked it too!  She didn't win queen, but it was a nice honor and a great time for all of us!
                                                  The chapel appearance

Homecoming parade
Crazy knights
Delta Nu float with our girl
with Gram at the fountain
No more pictures, MOM! 
That's better.
Being escorted by Dad on the football field!
Sunglasses were a must!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

WHEN GOD WAS THERE...

Just a little question for you - can you think of that time?  I was recently asked to give a 3 minute testimony (yeah, right!) when we were learning about Jehovah Shammah, God is there.  Here's what I shared.  Many of you probably have heard part of this, but it's been a while since I reflected on it and thanked God that I've had my husband for 6 more years.

Imagine you are away from home, in a hospital cafeteria.  It's a Sunday morning, and the place is deserted.  The last 20 hours have been a blur:
  • A phone call that your husband had been crushed by a tree doing hurricane relief work.
  • Packing a bag in minutes.
  • Leaving the 3 kids and jumping on an airplane.
  • Getting to the hospital and seeing a frazzled friend who had been in and out of ambulances and helicopters with your husband.
  • Giving approval for 2 emergency surgeries.
  • Hearing the doctor say he "took care of everything that was going to kill him in an hour."
  • Taking catnaps on a waiting room floor.
  • Seeing your husband in ICU, wondering if he would recover.

That was me 6 years ago.  It was time for a shift change and I was told I couldn't go into the ICU for a while so I went downstairs to the cafeteria, thinking my morning routine of tea and reading the news would bring me comfort.  I had brought my new "Message" Bible with me.  Not really able to focus, I turned to Psalm 23 and read the familiar words.  I continued to flip the pages, then something caught my eye and I read Psalm 29.  Here's what I read:

 1-2 Bravo, God, bravo! Gods and all angels shout, "Encore!" 
   In awe before the glory, 
      in awe before God's visible power. 
   Stand at attention! 
      Dress your best to honor him! 

 3 God thunders across the waters, 
   Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness— 
   God, across the flood waters. 

 4 God's thunder tympanic, 
   God's thunder symphonic. 

 5 God's thunder smashes cedars, 
   God topples the northern cedars. 

 6 The mountain ranges skip like spring colts, 
   The high ridges jump like wild kid goats. 

 7-8 God's thunder spits fire. 
   God thunders, the wilderness quakes; 
   He makes the desert of Kadesh shake. 

 9 God's thunder sets the oak trees dancing 
   A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches. 
   We fall to our knees—we call out, "Glory!" 

 10 Above the floodwaters is God's throne 
      from which his power flows, 
      from which he rules the world. 

 11 God makes his people strong. 
   God gives his people peace.

I was amazed!  This chapter talks about storms.  It talks about trees!  But that last verse, the one that doesn't seem to fit, was what I loved most.

                    God makes his people strong; God gives his people peace.

It was for me!  It was for my husband.  I felt at that moment God was there, and that message was for us.  Spend some time contemplating "God moments" in your life.  And share them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

THE OTHER GOOD THING ABOUT TEXAS....

  
                                           BESIDES THIS, OF COURSE...

                                                IS BABE'S CHICKEN!

                             Where else could you get a picture with cow skulls?

                            Where else do you get brain food with crazy signs?
 
Where else can you get delicious smoked chicken, fresh corn off the cob, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and biscuits - all you can eat?  AND superfast service?

It's pretty close to heaven on earth!

P.S.  This is NOT a paid advertisement.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

HIGHLIGHT OF FALL BREAK...

video
was watching our daughter(she's on the back row) and the Harding concert choir performing in Texas!  Here's a tiny bit (sorry - my camera battery ran out) of one of my favorite songs they do, "Signs of the Judgement."  I didn't dwell on it, but it's probably one of the last times we'll see her perform with a chorus after 11 years of Chorus from middle school through college!  She has really enjoyed the challenge of learning and singing choral pieces in different languages and difficulties.  One of her favorite places they go to sing since performing with this group in college is a women's prison in Arkansas.  They are a really appreciative audience, and then the women prisoners also sing back to them.  So sweet!

Friday, October 21, 2011

LOOK QUICK....

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.
      Pierpoint, 1864


I love the way my mums are peeking through the sweet potato vine growing in my mailbox.  I wasn't so sure the vine wouldn't choke out my existing mums.  So nice to have some pretty colors after the intense heat this summer!  Better enjoy it now before it freezes!

                        Happy fall!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MAKING HERB BUTTER...

This year is really the first time I've grown herbs besides basil. So, I thought I'd better do something with them before it freezes! I also happened to have about 3 pounds of butter leftover from the caterer and feeding the kids in the play last week. So it didn't cost me a thing to make this fancy stuff!  There are lots of resources on the internet on how to make it, but one thing I did learn is there's really no right recipe, so you can't mess it up!
                                                              Chives
                                                               Parsley
                                                           Rosemary
             For one cup of butter, I added 2 Tablespoons each of 2-3 kinds of herbs.
                   Roll into a log after wrapping it in plastic wrap.  Label and freeze!

Monday, October 17, 2011

NOTHING LIKE DING DONG DITCHING TO HELP BOND US...

I am excited to say that I think my co-leader and I are making progress with our high school girls! We have been with them for about 6 weeks, but that isn't a whole lot since it boils down to about 30 minutes of group time each Sunday after announcements and songs as a large high school group. Most of us are facebook friends now, and we just did a little activity Sunday evening after worship. But it went really well. Might be something you'd like to try!

We went BOOing! (Ding dong ditching with a purpose!)  We decided to bless some people in our congregation with goodies. Each girl brought either a bag of candy or baked goods in ziploc bags. We ate a simple dinner together, then assembled the bags, then decorated the notes to put on them. My co-leader adapted the notes because the original notes say something to the effect of the recipient booing someone else. Ours said this:

You have been BOO'ED

The air is cool, the season fall
Soon Halloween will come to all
We have been looking for something to do
And so we brought these treats to you!
Happy Halloween!

I know the object is to be anonymous, but we did write the name of our church on the note, since we did put a few homemade treats in the bags as well.

We had to split up in two cars, but we "hit" about 25 houses in all! The girls had a lot of fun ringing the doorbells, leaving the bags and running back to the car. We had a few misses, getting stuck outside gated neighborhoods, and then worrying about running out of gas, but it was a good time!  We  made enough bags that each girl took home one to bless somebody in their own neighborhood and extend the activity.

Getting ready to go!

This sweet senior made the cutest cupcakes for our dinner together! They are hedgehogs and scarecrows!

I'm so thankful for these girls and the opportunity to get to know them better!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

HER FIRST TRI...

athlon, that is! I think I am about the most non-competitive person in our family. But our daughter is getting after it! She placed third in her age group for her first Triathlon in Heber Springs recently!

Friday, October 14, 2011

TAKING THE FOCUS OFF OURSELVES...

I heard a visiting missionary speak recently. She's from France so I thought surely we'd hear some neat stories about that country! She was given the topic, "Jehovah Shalom, the God of Peace." She was prepared and eloquent and obviously a mature Christian. As she began she ran through a list of times in our lives we especially need peace: divorce, job loss, cancer, loss of home, child lost to death or drugs, fear of an enemy, etc. and at the end of the list she admitted that all of those things had happened to her except for one! BUT what surprised me was she said she didn't want to talk about herself. I HAVE TO ADMIT I WAS A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED... She wanted to talk about the God of Peace and us, the audience. We had some brief times of song and meditation, and then some pertinent questions.

For some time now I have craved personal testimonies from other Christian women. I wanted to know details of how they dealt with whatever life was throwing at them. Maybe I'm weird or maybe I should have been a counselor or something. It was interesting to me that this woman who had experienced so much really didn't want to talk about those things. (She did give us a chance to ask questions later) It was kind of a novel thought to me, very refreshing, actually! Someone who doesn't want to talk about themself? (Blogs exempt, of course!) From time to time I notice the true focus of songs we sing, or how my prayers focus on me and my needs and not the amazing creator. But I hadn't really thought about Bible classes and how much of that time is ALL ABOUT US, rather than God. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of discussion in the Bible of how to live the Christian life, but I think sometimes God gets the short end of the stick.

So today is a reminder to put the focus where it should be - not on ourselves, but on our heavenly Father!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BETTER IN BURLAP...

Garage sale bargain

After some spray paint, burlap, and stenciling!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A "THEATER EXPERIENCE" WITH MY BLOG BUDDY...


So THIS BLOG BUDDY of mine joined my DH and me at the high school play Saturday night!  The play was "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," about children of the holocaust.  Probably not something I would have chosen to see, except I had fed the cast all week and knew most of the kids in it.  We were commanded to line up outside the theatre by Nazi soldiers, and multiple times were told to be "QUIET" as we went into the theatre.  It was interesting and intimidating.  Search lights scanned the audience as soldiers walked around the sections of seats.  It made the lost lives more personal to me.  It was somber but I'm glad we went and saw it. 

We ended the evening on a positive note!  Stopped by Starbucks on the way home for a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and chatted a bit.  It's amazing to me, the two of us are 17 years apart, but we have made a friendship through blogging.  We really didn't know each other before blogging.  I think we commented on each others' blogs after I found out she was the neighbor of another blogger friend.  Then I found out we went to the same church, then we finally met at a fundraiser auction.  My husband couldn't get us to shut up that night!  Technology can be pretty cool sometimes! 

Blessings to all my BLOG BUDDIES this week!  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

YOUR FAMILY WILL THANK YOU...




Chewy Lowfat Banana Oatmeal Cookies

1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 c. oats

2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. mashed banana (I put in one small banana)
1/2 t. vanilla

Mix  butter, sugars, egg, banana and vanilla together.  Combine the flour, baking powder, soda, spices and oats.  Gently fold into wet ingredients until just combined.  Drop by T onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 min.  Let cool a few minutes before removing from cookie sheet.  Can add chopped pecans to the batter or just on individual cookies.  

WW Recipe per cookie: 3 g fat, 85 calories

I just found this recipe recently on the web and it's our new favorite!  I especially love it because it only has 2 T. of butter in it!  My son likes it because it's a quick breakfast on the run for him.  Try it out!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW...

I was one of the original "Toddlers & Tiaras!"


P.S.  That's my real hair.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A DOSE OF HEALTHY GUILT...


Be still and know that I am God…
Psalm 46:10


That's what is running through my head...due to my lack of concentration, forgetfulness, WHATEVER that I learned about in THIS book, I got myself in a bit of a pickle this week. I should know better.  I've been down this road before.  Had to pull over, and do a little self-discipline!  Yesterday I went to a great woman's program for 4 hours, came home to start the laundry and try to figure out what was wrong with the trash compactor, only to have washing machine problems too.  Realized I couldn't take my son to the dentist because 45 minutes later I needed to be doing my volunteer job at the high school!  Well, he's a driver now, so no worries, but I still felt GUILTY not being with my kid at the dentist.  Ran to Walmart to pick up a few things for the high school gig, picked up a prescription, and made it to the highschool.  This is my volunteer job 3 x year as the Mom in charge of production meals for the performing arts kids.  I dearly love them and my kids have been in many of the shows so it's my way of giving back.  Anyway, got the 50 kids fed, then immediately went over to another dinner where a blog buddy of mine was speaking!  I snuck in the back door and the first words I hear are about cleavage.  You know you missed a fun time!  I get home ready to relax to which my husband says, "Are you about ready to go to the concert?"  OH, YEAH.  I knew my youngest was singing with the Men's Chorus (just one song) but had just dismissed it, thinking we wouldn't go this time.  It's not like they were the main attraction, but we have just NEVER MISSED ONE OF OUR KIDS PERFORMANCES.  Not that I can ever remember, at least.  So on we go to the 6th grade music festival, where they also feature a group from each highschool, to show the 6th graders and parents what they have to look forward to.  Finally, I get home.  Today it started all over again as I took my mother for outpatient surgery and put the lasagnas on time bake and got mother home just in time to take the lasagnas up there for the play meal (In my defense, she just told me about this 8 days ago and I totally forgot it would conflict with play meals!).

Yes, I need a healthy dose of guilt right now.  At the women's program, one of the sessions was about being accepted by God.  The speaker discussed healthy guilt and unhealthy guilt.  Basically, healthy guilt is comparing yourself with Jesus.  Unhealthy guilt is comparing yourself with others.  I think the healthy guilt I'm feeling is telling me to slow down and don't do so many THINGS!  Maybe the unhealthy guilt I'm feeling is trying to be WONDERWOMAN.

So I'm kinda crazy right now.  Just thought I'd let you in on it.  Reminds me of every day when my kids were in elementary and middle school.  :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

COLLEGE FRIENDSHIPS COME FULL CIRCLE...

There's a neat thing that happens when your kids go to the same college you went to - you hear last names of their friends or acquaintances and you KNOW that name.  You start asking your kid, "Is his Dad's name _______?"  You get out the old yearbook to see if that kid looks like their parent you know...and it's just kind of surreal.  Am I really that old?  Well, I knew it was happening with my college roommate who is now a doctor in Tulsa.  Her daughter is now a freshman!  And we got to have her and several others over for dinner the other night. This time it worked out perfectly, I actually had a luncheon at the house with my Bible study the same day!  So everything was clean and there were even a few good leftovers from that I could use for my college kids.  On the menu:


Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Mashed potatoes
Honey carrots
Bread
Oreo Ice Cream Dessert

We've been blessed with beautiful weather lately, so we got to eat on the patio!  My college boy absolutely HATES eating dinner outside because of bugs.  But this night was perfect.  A cool breeze, and no bugs! 

 Enjoy your fall weather!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

MY BIRTHDAY GIRL...

is now 22!  Crazy.

We celebrated in a big way last year but this year it is not to be.  For perfectly good reasons, of course.  She was asked by one of her professors to be in a leadership class, read several books this summer and took a test on them the first day of classes this fall.  She is finishing up by attending a conference in Branson on her birthday.  So were glad she's getting to do that.

Thankfully she has friends and they got her this:



which she loves because it has her signature shoes on it - Chacos!  I did send her a tower of treats that I made myself of different chocolate & peanut butter items.  UNFORTUNATELY she reported to me that all the Reese's  miniatures had melted that I threw loose in the box and it was a big mess.! But she said she could smell the delicious aroma as she was opening it!