Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Just a quick check-in before I crawl into bed for a very few hours of sleep. My mom, the kids and I are off to IL for Great-Grandma's 80th birthday. So, you won't hear from me for awhile...just wanted you to know. Maybe I'll have some good stories when I get back. Have a great week!

Friday, May 22, 2009


I've found a new toy...picnik! It's a photo editing site that kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. It's user-friendly and so much fun! Here are three pics that I've created so far...you might recognize a couple of them.

Remember the stone church post? Doesn't this pic beg to have a twilight zone-esque saying on it? Any ideas?

Ashley took this one at the butterfly exhibit at the Smithsonian. Doesn't have much editing, but I liked the picture. I might fiddle with it a little more later.

Just gotta say...I love this one!
(you can see the original below)

Go on... go play...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

One Funny Lady!

Today's post at 2nd Cup of Coffee is too good to miss...she cracks me up! I love The Office kitchen messies (we can all relate) and her slogans in which she inserts her church's name...oh, my...just hysterical! It's just screamin for a church skit!

BTW, she mentions re: American Idol, a congrats to Kris. I would like to say (gloat/brag) that in a house full of Adam-ites, I have been the one faithfully voting for Kris several weeks now. They thought "I" would lose...Sweet Victory!

Even though I've posted twice today, please don't miss my encouragement below.

A Little Encouragement

I was writing a friend a note of encouragement today and thought, "We all could use this!" Hopefully, if she reads my blog she won't mind that I've shared my thoughts with you, as well.

As I've studied Esther these past 9 weeks I am amazed at the peace that God has given me. The unseen God in Esther had a pagan King and a Jewish princess in His providential care all along. God, who formed us, loves and cherishes us and works to make it ALL turn out for good for His followers, will never leave us or forsake us. Deuteronomy 31:8 says "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Psalm 138:8 says, "The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of your Hands."
God Almighty perfects that which concerns me - not just perfects me, but everything I care about. You can trust Him!

Our Father loves each of our family members with an unspeakable love; there are no words for it. We're privileged as mothers to get a glimpse of that love - our hearts can burst or break over our children in a way words can not describe, but God loves each of us far beyond what we can ever imagine.

Ashley plays this little game with the girls. They will be sitting looking at each other and Ashley will start saying, "Wait for it...wait for it...wait for it," until the sister breaks out into a big wide smile and giggles. That reminds me of Psalm 130:5-8:

v. 5 - I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.
v. 6 - My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning,
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
(2x's-twice as much as the shepherds on a night watch wait for the morning's sun to rise - such anticipation and longing.)
v. 7 - O, Israel, hope in the Lord. For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him is abundant redemption.
v. 8 - And He shall redeem Israel from all His iniquities.
He keeps His promises.) (emphasis mine)

The Lord knows all that concerns you because it concerns Him too. Grab hold of faith and wait for the abundant redemption of God. That is what I'm praying for each of us today. God CAN do it - just wait for it and He will turn your "mourning into dancing." (Ps. 30:11)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Too Busy!

I have been very busy these past two weeks. It seems like I'm just running from one end-of-the-school-year event to another. We have one more daughter in the house with a boyfriend who has spent a few days with us off and on. Plus, she has "car needs" so I have been running just a little bit more - dropping her off at work and picking her up so that I still have a car to drive. I also interviewed for a part-time job. Did I mention we threw in a birthday party for Tara and had 21 people in the house? Now we are facing two trips out-of-state within the period of a week and a half (two states in two different directions.) Yes, I am very busy.

I have been thinking about you, though, dear blog readers. I have so much I want to share, but just haven't had the quiet to sit down and put my thoughts to "blog." The Lord has been revealing so many truths that I'm giddy about what He is going to show me each day. I've been hired for that new job and start on Sunday evening (more on that later.) I've read some thought-provoking parts of books and I just want to share some of the events we've been a part of lately. So...I post this teaser. Now I've put the pressure on myself to fill you in sometime in the near future. Please, come back for a follow-up! I'll try to not be too schizophrenic with the myriad of things I want to share with you. (Just thinking, "How can I go from Scripture to Star Trek is such a short period of blogging") That's life, though, isn't it!

See you soon!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Star Trek

Star Trek

Don't think about it...just go! This is an amazing movie! I cried; I laughed. It's got it all and IF you are a Star Trek fan, the characters are AWESOME! If you're not, then you'll miss the subtleties and still LOVE the movie! I'm willing to go with anyone who needs a friend...just call me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mother's Day & Frog Legs

I had a relaxing Mother's Day at the beach. The only tell-tale signs were the back of my calves that were bright red - the only spots that didn't get sunscreen. I'll spare you the photo on this one.

Our whole family ate lunch at The Frog House where we got to try...FROG LEGS! Yay! Katie, Mark and I liked them, Rhett and Tara did not like them, and I think Ashley was ambivelent. The skin tasted like chicken, but the meat was somewhere between chicken and cat fish...different, but fun. I didn't get a picture of Rhett with two fried frog legs sticking out of his mouth (who knew I'd need the camera in the restaurant), but it was memorable all the same. When we were ordering Mark asked, "Should we all try the frog legs?" I answered, "Yes, then I can tell about it on my blog!" Rhett fired back, "That's the only reason you're doing it!" I assured him he was right and that there was nothing wrong with that little motivation.

My two favorite pictures from Mother's Day:

beach bums! :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Vacation Body!

I've been visiting other blogs this morning and decided to join the 30x5 challenge hosted by 2nd Cup of Coffee. In her original post re: the 30x5 - she challenged readers to move for 30 minutes a day/5 days a week for TWO WEEKS. In Phase 2 she added some other elements and in the next couple of days, I guess we'll get to see what Phase 3's challenge is.

I thought I'd give it a try since I'm heading back to IL in a few weeks to visit family and celebrate my Grandma's 80th birthday. TWO WEEKS is just about as long as my motivation seems to last. :)

Check out her post and let me know if you're up for the challenge too!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

She's Comin' Home!

Update: Ashley & TJ got here safely Thursday night and we had a fun visit before he left to go home. Ashley got her first job as a waitress at a small local restaurant. And...Grandma is home safely from her trip to the Midwest. Yay! All is good here on the homefront.

I don't have long to post because Ashley is coming home from her Freshman year of college today. The girls have been counting down the days and then the hours and the house is filled with excitement this morning. We're soooo glad she's coming home!

I admit to being a little anxious because Ashley is also bringing a guy home...TJ. We love him to death! I've been cleaning like crazy and still have a lot of things I want to do before dinnertime tonight. I know TJ doesn't really care about the cleanliness of the house, but I still have to do it. :) Anyone relate? He'll be with us for a couple of days and then heads home to Pennsylvania in time for Mother's Day.

Dad is also coming over for dinner tonight since Grandma is still out-of-town. He'd rather eat my cooking than tv dinners any day, thank goodness. Plus, it's a good excuse to check out Ashley's new guy. It ought to be a fun time! Hopefully, Grandpa will leave the hunting gear at home that he's joked about bringing. :)

So, I'm off to conquer! Hope you have a productive day too!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Then Shall Live

Gloria Gaither penned new lyrics to the song you may know best as Be Still, My Soul. The original tune is called Finlandia. I hope you're blessed by the video.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pioneer Woman

I've found a favorite new blog/site I like to visit. It's a website of an Oklahoma gal who shares her life via a blog, recipes, photography, home & garden ideas, and homeschooling ideas. Pioneer Woman is a must-see site! Her family has a lodge where she hosts cooking demonstrations (visited by other bloggers) and then shares them through photos and recipes. The lodge is beautiful...you'll just have to see it. Click here to see the lodge through visitor's eyes when another blogger, Bakerella, came to share her baking talents with a group of new-found friends. Ok, you get two for the price of one, Bakerella has some pretty fun baking ideas too...and she's been on Martha Stewart, or so I hear.

Pioneer Woman also has some amazing photography that you won't want to miss. That girl is good with a camera...she makes you want to go out and buy some horses and cows and then hole up in a warm cozy place somewhere and bake 'till all your dishes are dirty! :) I think you'll love her. I know a lot of other people do...she gets A LOT of comments.

Oh, BTW, I was reading one of PW's posts where she was talking about rinsing her hair with vinegar. Someone left a comment saying that she had used vinegar in her washer to get the musty smell out of things. I needed that idea because my girls had left two beach towels and their cover-ups outside after swimming (we filled the kiddie pool with warm water when it was 90 degrees out) and the items had actually sat out in the rain for a couple of days...on a wood bench...nasty! So, yesterday I put in the detergent and color-safe bleach and washed them...still nasty. I washed them a second time with detergent and vinegar and they came out fresh and clean! Awesome!! I did a little happy dance in the laundry room and then made my husband smell the towels. He's a good sport. Yay! The towels and cover-ups were saved.

If you have the time, take a look and enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Scriptures

Lamentations 3:22-26 (New International Version, emphasis mine)

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ancestors with a Past

A while back I was given a written history of my mother's side of the family. The first of our family to set foot on American soil was Martin Dye in 1665! From this family history I found out that I was an 11th generation American with relatives of many different means and ways of life. There are two stand-out relatives I'd like to tell you a little about.

The first, Avery Dye (I love his name!), was born in 1828. He married a woman named America. Wouldn't it be fun introducing your parents, "Avery and America"? Ok, well anyway, Avery was a Confederate Civil War soldier who was captured and incarcerated in the Alton, IL Yankee prison. While there, he escaped with the Quantrill Raiders. (not nice guys) From there he became friends with the Younger Brothers and rode with Jesse James and his gang to Texas. The James-Younger gang were notorious bushwhackers. (again, not nice guys) Didn't know you were in for a brief history lesson, huh?! After the war Avery escaped the James-Younger gang and returned home to Missouri. He said it was easier to break out of Alton Prison than it was to break out of Jesse James' gang. I can believe it!

A relative with loftier goals and better friends was David "Reuben" Dye. He was born in 1835. He lived on a farm 2 1/2 miles south of Stoutsville, MO. Stoutsville is where my great-great grandparents, great-grandparents and grandparents all lived. After Cannon dam was built in 1984 the town was buried under water. Some day I'll share some of my cherished memories of that small town. Back to Reuben...He mortgaged the farm for $1000 to finance a Star Mail Route from Stoutsville, to Florida, MO. His two partners defaulted and Reuben ran the route alone with a horse and spring wagon to keep from losing the farm. One of his good friends and passengers was Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain.) It is said that Samuel Clemens fashioned many of his book's characters off of people he had known; quite possibly those he met along the mail route with Reuben.

I love ancestors who have an "past" worth remembering and sharing. Makes you wonder what they will write about us someday...look at that girl, she just blabbered and blabbered on about nothing. Ha! :) Oh well, maybe they will run across some good tidbits themselves that will make it all worthwhile.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Changing Clothes

I enjoy the many wonders of spring - the flower's blooming, the gentle rainy days, the lush green colors of the budding trees, the new grilling recipes to try out, the lingering with neighbors, and the joy of watching my kids change out their winter clothes into their summer clothes. We have often called it a "fashion show" at our house.

Today I went through Rhett's clothes with him (not quite as exciting) and then moved to the little girl's room. We went tearing through 3 boxes stored in the closet, trying on shorts, short-sleeved shirts, sleeveless jammies, and spring dresses. Of course, Tara usually gets the largest pile of clothes to try on since she gets ALL the hand-me-downs, but there are still a few for Katie each year. I have some of Ashley's old dresses that Katie can wear now. The sleeves are a tad puffy, but Katie thinks they are gorgeous so if she wants to go retro, then I don't mind either. We tried to save only the items that seemed timeless anyway. It seems like once you have the shelves (we don't have drawers) and the closets organized with the new season's clothes, it really feels like the season has changed.

We purchased a few new outfits and swimsuits for spring/summer this week that still need to be laundered, but overall, we're just about done with the switch. All these "new" things make me want to use my JCPenney's gift cards and add a little spring to my closet, as well. If I do, I hope it will be as much fun for me as it has been for them. How have you enjoyed the changing of the season?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Confessions of a Book-aholic!

Oh, my...I went to the library last night, except this time, instead of standing guard in the kid's section watching over the girls, my husband came along and I LEISURELY got to peruse the stacks. I tried my best to restrain my collection of books to take home, remembering vividly my confession of the 71 books beside my bed already, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity for more. I just couldn't.

I've updated my stacks list on the side bar to reflect the new acquisitions...some of them I'm almost giddy about reading! Seriously, do books do this for anyone else?

The first book I cracked open was the Ultimate Bread book. It's so pretty! It makes you hungry too! I could NOT put this book down last night. We turned off our nightstand lights way past bedtime and after I heard my hubby snore I reached for my book light to finish "devouring" the luscious pictures in this book...dreaming of being able to make even just ONE of these recipes. It probably won't happen. That's why I'm confessing to try and prod myself along on this idea. Bread is so temperamental for me; that's why I've worn out two or three bread machines, but I'm fantasizing about the day I can make bread by hand. We'll see...

I have also begun doing the writing exercises taken from A Year in the Life. It's a book about journaling. A line taken from the back cover says, "A Year in the Life gently leads you through one full year of introspective writing, using weekly prompts and topics as a springboard into your deepest feelings." Hmmm.... The first exercise is describing your physical journal with a bubble idea page. I'm usually not a big fan of that kind of free-flowing diagramming (no surprise there to those of you who know me), but I have definite ideas about my journal so I followed the author's instructions and had the most fun I've ever had with the whole bubble concept. I want to share that exercise with you sometime, but want to wait until I actually incorporate some of my ideas and can share via pictures.

The next exercise was to name your journal. Is this all too touchy-feely for you? I just like this kind of stuff so bear with me. I know it's not for everyone. If it's not for you, just read on and get a good laugh. (or skip it for something else that brings you joy!) Here's what I wrote:

I name you cherished friend. You are a safe place to land. I can dump all of myself on your pages and see the good, the bad and the in-between and you do not judge. You take it all in and store it for posterity - to remember it all - a life lived openly. You are a safe place to land.

You do not hug or console. You do not have a hearty laugh. You do not cook a meal or send a card. You do not reassure my doubts with optimistic encouragement. Instead you are faithful and loyal. You are always there, quietly waiting...keeping secrets, holding my heart. You are a comfort. You are a safe place to land - without judgment (except my own), without argument (except my own.) You are my cherished friend.

Now a psychologist could have fun with that, especially a Christian psychologist, but it was just the sentiments that poured out when thinking about my journal. I don't read too deeply into the meaning of what I said. I'm not looking at it critically and admonishing myself that this is what God should be to me in some of the descriptions. I'm not trying to be "all about myself." It's just what my heart felt as I wrote about my journal...flowery, flawed, but true feelings nonetheless. I have a feeling this book will bear out some interesting blog posts in the future, that is, if I don't put it down for the NEXT amazing book.

I truly do have a problem...books...how glorious!