Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Patriotic Hodgepodge

Thank goodness we have the hodgepodge to get us through hump day! Join us at Joyce's blog for a hodgepodge hop.
1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?

Our military!  On the Sunday nearest the 4th of July our church plays the anthems of the 5 branches of service and as they play, members of the military (or a family representative) stand for those who have served or are serving.  I have to sit through the anthems to see everyone represented, but at the end, everyone stands to give one final ovation as thanks for all our service member's sacrifice.  It's my favorite service of the year! Can't wait until Sunday!

2. What's your favorite patriotic song?

The Star Spangled Banner. Love the history. Love the tune. I hope our national anthem never changes. If you haven't been to the Smithsonian to see the flag that flew over Ft. McHenry, I hope you'll get a chance to visit!

3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?

Absolutely. I think it's God's way of iron sharpening iron, both in spouses and in friends. Mark and I are very different in many ways: how we see life, adventures we'd like to take (what? no polar expeditions for you, honey?), interests, food tastes, the list is endless. But, as Joyce, mentioned in her post, we share the same faith, values, and views on family life. The stuff that binds.

4. You're going to get a behind the scenes look someplace...where would you like that someplace to be?

I would like a peek into a national women's conference, like Women of Faith. I think it would be interesting to see what goes into set up, see the man hours put in, be in the green room with the speakers, etc. It's just a world I would find interesting.

5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?

I would have to travel a couple of miles to a local park. I've promised the girls I'd take them this summer, but we might wait until their cousins visit so we can enjoy it all together.

I love carosel horses. Maybe it stems back from loving the first movie I ever saw in theaters, Mary Poppins.

6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?

Do sparklers count? We lit sparklers as my daughter and new son-in-law left their wedding for their honeymoon.

The last 4th of July fireworks I saw in person was two years ago in Washington DC. It's an event not to be missed! I always get misty-eyed when seeing the fireworks over the monuments. I have a very patriotic heart! What a view, huh!

7. Of all the 'beauty products' you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?

I just haven't bought into the over-priced stuff.  Maybe I should...

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Lately, I've been thinking about inspiriation. I hope to do a post later this week on things that inspire me.  I would like to makes some decorating changes and create something crafty and have been looking for inspirationa in all kinds of places.  What inspires you to make a change or create something?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back to P365!

Back to P365, where I take a picture a day to represent my week!

If you'd like to participate, join us over at Sara's.

Project 365 button designed by

Monday, June 20th

Had some returns at Sam's Club and came home with Pretzel Crisps and other goodies. (We'd never had them until earlier this month. Now...we're addicted!)


Pizza Burgers!  I had a meeting Tuesday night and got this ready for my family to assemble for dinner. Yum!  You can get the recipe here.


Broiled Angel Food Cake. Oh, my!


Someone's learning Spanish!


Went to a fellow homeschooler's graduation and saw old friends!

Fun day at the water park!


Put a few items on Craig's List that the puppy no longer needs! Yay!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mother's Sheep

Last night my Muslim Turkish neighbor had the kid's and I over to visit with her guest, a young man who is visiting for the summer to learn English at the local community college.  We had a wonderful time talking about our different cultures and sharing our different perspectives.

At one point in the conversation, he asked me about homeschooling. You could tell that he thought it was highly unusual and was a little confrontational, but after homeschooling for 16 years, it's not like I haven't had to defend explain my choice. I was happy to share my reasons with him, including that I believed that God has uniquely made each of my children and that I can give them time and encouragement to focus on their strengths and God-given talents and abilities.  BTW, I think each of us as parents can do that, no matter what kind of school choice we make.  It was just one of the reasons I stated.

The guest listened politely, but then commented that Rhett was a "mother's sheep."  Through interpretation I realized he was saying that my son was a "Momma's Boy" because he spent all day at home with his Momma.  To a Muslim man, I'm sure it seems that way.  I assured this young man, that although my son (who was sitting right beside me!) was taught at home, he was truly manly. I cited things that my husband had taught him and how he was just about to complete his Eagle Scout award.  Of course, much of the conversation was lost in translation and we had a wonderful time visiting, but I awoke this morning thinking about the connection between last night's conversation and a prayer that was shared in the Father's Day message at church on Sunday.

A Father Prayer by General Douglas MacArthur
(May 1952)

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper, have not lived in vain.

I have spent my life dedicated to mothering a son who will grow into a man of God who will seek the Lord wholeheartedly and be gentle in spirit/strong in character.  I want a son who can do "manly" stuff with the best of them, but be kind enough to have compassion on those who need it.(often his three sisters.) Yes, he's been surrounded by girls day in and day out; that's why we are involved in Boy Scouts. Only men, like my husband and other godly Dad's, can teach our boys how to be the men they're supposed to be, but I can promise you, my son will know the ins-and-outs of living with women.

He's my treasure, but more importantly, He's the sheep of the Lord's, not his Momma's.

Psalm 100:3

Know that the LORD, He is God;It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Hodgepodge

1. Summer's here-whoohoo! What's your favorite sight, sound, AND smell associated with summer?

My favorite sight is seeing fireworks from the vantage point of the Iwo Jima Memorial.  The display lights up the Mall and the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Memorial never looked better! With the Capitol in the background it often brings a tear to my eye as I thank the Lord for our free country.

Fave sound - kids splashing at the pool.

Fave smell - anything my man cooks on the grill. Yum!

2. Fireflies or lightning bugs...what are they called in your neck of the woods?

Don't know what Virginians call them, but this Midwest girl calls them both. Generally, fireflies, though.

3. What is something from the past week that reminded you of your childhood?

This is crazy, but I watched the tv show, Hoarders, and there was a woman on the show who had the same stubbornness as my grandma. It made me miss her very much.

4. Define 'the good life'.

The good life is life with God. Knowing that He has redeemed me and walks with me makes any circumstance bearable.  Having children who love the Lord and are following Him is truly the "good life."

5. Tell us what we'd see if you took a snapshot of your desk/work space?

Well, this is motivating! You can barely see my desktop and, no, I'm not taking a picture. Well, maybe later. It would make a good before/after post. With the wedding earlier in the month, my desk was completely neglected and I have been promising myself to get it put back in order this month, but haven't had the motivation. Maybe this question (and the honest response I had to give) will be just the "kick" I need!

6. Peaches or watermelon...yes, you have to choose.

Watermelon. Love it!

7. Ever been skinny dippin'? Is that too much for the Wednesday Hodgepodge? Rest assured we won't need details...unless of course you feel you must but remember, this is a family friendly blog so keep it G rated.

Nope. Boring.

8. Meet Biscuit, our 3 month-old puppy. We're not quite sure what mix she is since she was a rescue. She has lots of personality, but is coming along in her training. On any given day, she can be a joy and a terror! Sound like a puppy? At the end of the day, we just can't resist that face.  (Here she has taken the selvages from some flannel blankets and made them her own.)

Joining Joyce for Hodgepodge Wednesday!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Perfect Quiet Time

For some time now I have been convicted about the moment by moment surrender of my will to God's.  It's a reverberating theme.  I've glimpsed some victory, but more often than not, despaired in defeat.  I long for Christ to have full reign in my life and I am slowly learning about Him and His transformational process.

Last week held a lot of defeat, born out of lazy summer days.  I am easily discouraged, which is really just a sign of being self-absorbed. "Woe is me" is really just about me, right?  Not about Christ.

Anyway, in my quiet time today I began the next lesson in my study on the Tabernacle by Beth Moore. (BTW, amazing!)  The theme of the day was the complete perfection of the Word of God.  It was a positive reminder that all we need to know about God has been given to us in His precious book, the Bible.

After I was done with the lesson, I thought I should read something more so I turned to Psalm 20.  Honestly, I thought how lame that I wasn't reading through a specific book and just turned to a Psalm that corresponded to today's date. (Obviously, my thinking needs surrendered too.)  Of course, the passage was perfect for my circumstances and thinking.

My study Bible explained that this Psalm is a ceremonial song the Israelites would sing before going into battle.  This is exactly the encouragement I need as I try to bring my body, mind and heart into subjection to the Father.

The gist:
May the Lord answer you
defend you
help you
strengthen you
remember you
accept you
grant you your heart's desire
and fulfill your purpose
Some trust in the things of man (chariots, horses) (me: my own will & thinking)
But We will remember the name of the Lord our God.

I can't transform myself. It is Christ's work alone.

While having my quiet time, my husband interrupted for good-byes before leaving for work. That was enough distraction to give me the desire for a bathroom break.

While in the restroom, I unconsciously started humming a tune.  Music is an integral part of our life and often I find the Holy Spirit puts a tune on my heart when I need to hear something specific from Him.  When I begin to recognize that I am singing, I am always amazed at the truth He melodically reveals.

Today's song was the hymn, Higher Ground.  Two verses stood out:

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Tho' some may dwell where these abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

I want to live above the world,
Tho' Satan's darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
the song of saints on higher ground.

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven's table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

With transparency, I admit that I had taken two daily devotional readers into the room with me, both Our Daily Bread and Streams In The Desert.  The themes of the recent readings spoke to me about going through the fire before you can be a light and the idea that combat precedes victory.

All together, it was quite astounding.

Perfect, really.

Lord, may your Word be a light unto our paths today. 
Meet us where we are and continue to transform us into your likeness.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Daughter's Wedding

Ashley makes a beautiful bride ready for her day.

Proud Mom!

Maid of Honor - Jessica (friend-long hair)
Bridesmaids: Chelsea (friend)
Katie (Sister on right)
Flower Girls: Tara (Sister on left)
Emma (TJ's sister-front center)

TJ (Groom - top)
Ben (Best Man - 2nd from top)
Caleb (TJ's brother - 2nd from bottom)
Peter (Friend - bottom)

Rhett (my son), plays for the ceremony

Proud Dad walks Ashley down the aisle.

Exchanging Vows

Unity Rock (Rock-climbing themed wedding)
TJ made a rock they could hook their carabiners into, signifying their unity with Jesus Christ, The Rock and each other.

Introducing the happy couple

Ashley enjoyed greeting guests as they left for the reception.
(I wanted you to see her headpiece too!)

Away to the reception
(or a short trip around town before coming back to the church for pictures)

The bride with her sisters, Tara (L) and Katie (R)
This one makes me cry.

The couple with proud parents

Arriving at the reception

So in love!

The lovely reception was held in the Groom's family  backyard.

At first they were nice...

but that wouldn't be like them.

You got something on your face!

First dance

TJ and Ashley Parnell.
May the Lord bless your marriage.
We love you both!