Thursday, July 29, 2004

Much To Do About Rafting . . . and Other Stuff

The lists are endless. Packing list for Noelle to go to Grandma's tomorrow for the night. Packing list for us for the raft trip. Shopping list for the food to go get tonight. List of things yet to do today. I love making lists, but today I'm feeling a little overtaken by them. There is a lot to do. At the moment I am waiting for our church bulletin to finish printing so I can begin laying out the next project.

That's another thing I like - print day. I like it that every Thursday morning, with an occasion exception, I stay home and print stuff for church on Sunday. The prayer list and sermon outline, the bulletin, uploading the bulletin to the church website, checking the church calendar for things to get the word out about, printing anything extra that is needed - this week it's an insert for the bulletin on community outreach stuff that's coming up. It's a good feeling when I get done and there are stacks of papers next to the printer - a sign that I've gotten something tangible done.

I don't know why that's so important. Maybe because there is so much unfinished in my life right now. The laundry pile is never really gone, there's always one more dish to wash, one more thing I can straighten. There are very few things that I do that I can say loudly - "It is finished!" and check it off my list.

See now I'm back to my lists again. Love them! Really.

Other things . . .
  • We had dinner last night with our Summer Supper Group from church. Very fun. Four families, 3 with small kids. Noelle reached her new max number of steps last night - 5! I feel sure it was from the influence of an almost 4 year old, almost 2 year old, and almost 1 year old she was trying to keep up with! :-)
  • Noelle goes to Grandma's tomorrow night for her first overnight stay. I'm not sure I'm ready for it, but Grandma sure is. I've been getting hints since she was born about letting my Mom have her overnight and I've finally relented. (Also, the raft trip had a little something to do with it). This has caused some family tension because my sister and neice want Noelle to come out and spend then night with them. *sigh* So Noelle has already got a weekend in September booked with her cousin for a night. Travis and I have to go to a wedding out in the sticks of Tennessee and T. is playing and arranging the music for the wedding and he's the sound guy or I would just tote Noelle with us. But, in keeping up family relations, I realized this might be a good opportunity for an overnight stay.
  • The dogs . . . a short word. Sam was bad, bad, bad yesterday. I had made my dessert for our Summer Supper Group and whilst turning around for 2 seconds, heard the sound of small smacking and caught him with his head in the pan and a bite out of my spice cake. It was an ugly scene for a moment. I thought about just cutting out the part that he had nibbled on, but then realized that I couldn't, in good conscience, take that to a dinner so I made dessert #2 which I then promptly place high up and out of reach.
  • I have a new scrapbook magazine laying on the coffee table. I skimmed through it last night, but I am itching to get it and spend some quality time with it and my sketchpad. Not going to happen today. Maybe I'll have a moment while I'm lazing down the Ocoee River on a raft on Saturday?

This is very random today. Hmmm. Off to do some more work and get N.'s lunch ready for her when she awakens . . . Back on Monday with reports on our rafting experience and injuries if any! :-)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Force....

Okay, so I just read somewhere online that Star Wars Episode III has been titled and is set for release on May 19, 2005. Am I a totally geek because I already have that on my calendar? The Revenge of the Sith - sounds totally cool.

Other movies that I really want to see (although I may end up watching them on video rather than the big screen):
Spiderman 2
Hidalgo
Princess Diaries 2
The Incredibles

My Houston trip is officially off for now. Both of my friends are tied up with stuff on the weeks that I was trying to travel and part of Travis' business trip has now also been postponed until September. I'm disappointed that I'm not going, but now I can start to get some stuff lined up for while Travis is gone. I've got a bunch of church work going on in August, and it would have been tough to get a lot of it done from Houston. I'm hoping I can tag along for the September part of his business trip...

Last night I finished reading Miserly Moms. I love books that inspire me in my stay-at-home-Mom role. This book has some very good ideas about slashing the budget without making you sound like a freak for wanting to save a penny here and there. And it had a recipe that I've been trying to track down - a good recipe for homemade pizza dough. We love homemade pizza and it's soooooo much cheaper than ordering one. And, funny story, apparently the neighborhood that we live in is just rough enough that Papa John's will not deliver to our neighborhood after about 8:30 p.m. I've tried explaining that we are nice folks, but they won't buy it. :-) Anyway, I spent a chunk of time yesterday working on my meal plan for August. I like planning most of my meals for the month at one time and making only one HUGE shopping trip per month, supplemented by the little runs for more milk, eggs, etc.

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

I have this verse taped over my sink in the kitchen and have been trying to memorize for about a week. The only thing that is sticking with me is the first line so I've been thinking about it. I even went to the Bible Knowledge Commentary to look up the verse and see what it said since it's been on my mind so much.

"those who are near God find joy and safety. Though he [Asaph] had nearly slipped in his confidence in God (cf. v. 2) he now was reassured that God was keeping him secure. God was his Refuge. . . . Nearness to God always helps believers maintain a balanced perspective on material things and on the wicked.

That last line is right where I'm at. Especially the part about material things. That has always been a struggle for me. Wanting more than can be afforded, trying to keep up with the Jones's and all that. However, if my focus is on the Lord and my time with Him and how I am representing Him then I shouldn't feel like I'm missing out on anything. My nearness to Him is my good and it will complete me and fill me up. Pretty fabulous.

A shot of the girl for the day....

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

You are a Prairie Muffin!
You are a Prairie Muffin! You love God and you
love your home, and you are determined to do it
all Right. Have you read your manifesto yet?
Do a google search for Prairie Muffin
Manifesto, if you haven't.


What kind of muffin are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Not much to say today. Loads of laundry whirring, going to make some bread (yummmm), and lunch with my Mom and sister to look forward to.

I'm off.... :-)

Monday, July 26, 2004

A Little Bit Strange...

This is picture is of Noelle laying on the vacuum. She was also kissing it while I was trying to sweep last night. She is a little bit odd. :-)



A Noelle Update:
She is consistently saying DaDa now, usually at the top of her lungs. She is also saying "Baa" (her lamb) much more. MaMa is occasionally uttered, but I still don't think that she is referring to me yet when she says it. *sigh* :-) We are eating all sorts of new table food as well: chicken, cheese - she LOVES string cheese, lots of kiwi, strawberries, peas, green beans, cheerios, crackers, mandarin oranges, cantalope, honeydew. I gave her some watermelon for the first time this weekend and I don't think she was impressed with it. We haven't been able to get her to eat any red meat either, like hamburger. She turns up her nose at it. She had some pizza a few nights ago and thought it was pretty great. She is now taking two steps in a row fairly consistently. If it's more than two, she resorts to crawling. Her crawling is getting slower, though, because she usually needs to carry something now when she is going somewhere (small toy, Baa, the dog's *ick* bone, etc.) and therefore only has one hand for crawling. She's getting so big.

In other family happenings . . .

My trip to Houston is still in an on again/off again status. I emailed my friend I would be visiting and she is going to have family in town most of the time that I would be there so it's really not a good week for her. Plus, Travis's work hasn't made his reservation yet, so he didn't want to make my flight arrangements and then end up travelling at a different time than me. I don't see the point in spending a bunch of money on a plane ticket to sit in a hotel for 8 hours a day while Travis works. We had a backup week for the trip if I couldn't go the first week, but that's is now also up in the air as to whether T. will go to help with that training.

I don't like "up in the air." I like things written on my calendar so I can plan, make lists, and get excited about it. We have several things going on right now that are in various and sundry states of this. We're supposed to go on a raft trip this weekend with the youth group and I wish we could just finalize the trip plans and BE DONE WITH IT.

I also had an epiphany about part of my frustration last night. We have too much going on on the weekend and by Sunday night, I am tired because of too many "good things" that went on, and not enough just being home together time. Monday morning rolls around with no thought to what's coming up in the week, do we have clean clothes, and is there even anything in the house suitable for Travis to take for lunch? The last two weekends, we have had outings on both Friday and Saturday night, and all-day commitments for Sunday. This coming weekend looks just the same - raft trip Friday and Saturday, then Sunday is taken up with church, a lunch ministry meeting for us and then he has a band rehearsal in the evening. Then the following week we are committed to 5 day clubs every evening.

I need some margin in my life. On a whim, I looked up the word "margin" in the dictionary:

a limit in a condition or process, beyond or below which something is no longer possible or acceptable


I have reached my limit in the things that we can fit into our weekends and still be an excellent wife and mother (EW&M). (Prov. 31:10) I don't want to settle for just being mediocre at my job by giving myself to everything else and leaving T. & N. just the skimming of what's left of me. I'm going to be pondering this morning in the weeks to come and am very excited. Right now, in my role of EW&M, is clean underwear and socks for the family! :-)

Happy Monday, ya'll.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

You Go Girls...

Check out these sites for Project Blog . . . these women are going to blog for 24 hours for their charity of choice. Check them out, keep them awake, and get to know them!


Dana

Sarah

Friday, July 23, 2004

Little bits of this and that...

I've been on the run today. Finally took a breather to check email and etc. Went to the paper store to pick up the embossing plate and so must finish the wedding invitation envelopes this evening and/or tomorrow. Travis is going over to a friend's house tonight to play cards with "the guys" so it seems like the perfect opportunity to pop in a movie and finish this up. After Noelle is in bed, of course - what a total mess there would be if she was helping me with the embossing! :-)

Oh, before I forget! Special mention of Tammy - she is the latest entry into my guest map Hall of Fame. Check out her site - she has a son named Wally who makes me smile. He is ALL boy. Sign up, sign up and you too can have your moment in the spotlight. :-)

This weekend seems especially busy. I have a baby shower in the a.m., and we have a 30th birthday party to attend in the p.m. Then Sunday, it's birthday lunch for my sister at my folks' house. BBQ ribs - my Dad is the grill master. Yummmmmmm.

Also found out that we are taking a trip to Houston in about 3 weeks. Travis' job is sending him there for the month of August to co-lead a training for his company. He'll fly out on Monday mornings and back home on Friday nights, but will be for 4 weeks straight. Noelle and I are going to go with him the first week. Two of my best friends from college live in the Houston area and both have had babies in the last 9 months like me. We've been wishing we could get together and let our babies meet and God orchestrated this! It will be interesting to see how well I handle the following three weeks. We've never been separated since we were married for more than 2-3 days. I will try and refrain from too many "woe is me" entries. After he gets done with the Houston leg of the training, he'll be home for 2 weeks and then there is the possibility that he will be sent to Phoenix to help with two more weeks of training.

I'll end with a quote from Heather's site that I read last night. It made me smile.

"Encourangement is to friendship what confetti is to a party. It's light, refreshing, and fun, and you always end up finding little pieces of it stuck to you later." (page 135, Fresh Brewed Life, Nicole Johnson)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

All Done!

They are done! All 300 wedding invitations, reply cards and little direction sheets! The only thing left is to emboss the return address on the envelope and I'm still waiting to get the plate from the paper store. Yeah!

Hey, just a thought . . . if you are visiting my page here and have never signed my guestbook, would you take a second and sign in? I'd love to be able to see where folks are visiting from around the globe. And, in an idea stolen from Kara, I would be happy to give mucho publicity to new signees and try to direct traffic your way! :-) Speaking of Kara *hint, hint* visit her page and check her out.

Off to get the house cleaned and picked up a bit before Travis gets home from work. I've got a women's Bible study to go to tonight and Travis is staying home with the kiddo. We're studying Ruth, chapter 3 this week.


I would like to issue the disclaimer that it is her Daddy that drinks Mountain Dew, not me. But it was so cute, I couldn't help but get a picture! :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Tito & Kathryn

We moved into our house last August, 6 weeks before Noelle was born. Travis and I specifically chose this neighborhood for several reasons - it's the same neighborhood our church is in (actually within walking distance), about 5-10 minutes away from Travis' work depending on traffic, and we could afford it. :-)

One thing we were excited about was that over the past 4-5 years, our church has been building up a community outreach ministry to the folks that live around our building. Let me describe our neighborhood to you. It's made up of older couples/widows that bought in this neighborhood when it was just built 30 some years ago, Latino families, and African Americans. Lots of single parent families. This is the kind of neighborhood where the kids walk and ride their bikes out all day and just wander around from house to house until the parent(s) get home from work. Not much adult supervision around here. Our church saw the opportunity where we could connect with these kids and tell them about Jesus.

Sometime after the first of the year, we met Kathryn. Kathryn is an 11 year old Peruvian girl who lives at home with her single mother, older brother Carlos (around 17 yrs. old) and little brother Tito (4 years old). Her mother doesn't speak English hardly at all so I've never even been able to carry on a conversation with her, and she doesn't seem to want to get to know us to be honest. The dad took off about the time that we got to know the kids and comes around sporadically.

We initially met Kathryn because I found her two puppies wandering around in the street and I put them in the backyard with our dogs so that they wouldn't get hit. She came up to our door panicing because I had her dogs she thought we were taking them. After assuring her that I did NOT want two more dogs, we talked for a bit. Kathryn started coming over after school 2-3 times a week just to hang out. Usually she wanted to watch a movie, but sometimes we would just chat about school and Noelle and get to know each other. After she had been coming over for several weeks, her little brother Tito came with her. Kathryn has a pretty good command of English - she's been in public school for about 2 years. Tito speaks mostly Spanish at home, and what English he knows, he has picked up from his sister and her friends. He calls Travis "Mr. Traaaaabis" and follows Travis around constantly.

God has so obviously placed us into the lives of these two kids that I am honestly overwhelmed. They frustrate the life out of me most of the time. They come over at the most inconvenient times - I'm trying to make dinner, Noelle is napping, I'm napping. They want to help Travis with yard work, washing the dogs, whatever they can do to follow him around and make whatever he is doing take twice as long. :-) What sobers me is that I am a representative of Jesus to them. How well am I representing Him to these kiddos? Kathryn and I have had some good conversations - most of which come completely out of the blue. Are we going to have Noelle baptized as an infant? What if Travis and I get a divorce? When does Noelle take her first communion? All big questions that have allowed us small opportunities to show them our faith.

I decided I wanted to introduce Tito & Kathryn to those that read my posts so that, if you feel inclined, you might pray for these kids. And I can also share about them regularly and there is some context as to who they are. :-)

Looking Up

It's amazing how much better my attitude is today. A little sleep, a little Diet Coke, and all that. I'm blaming it on a slight hormonal imbalance, etc., etc. Noelle and I got out got the emission testing done this morning, but still managed to run into a snag at the County Clerk's office - because my sister and brother-in-law gave us the car (big family car swap happenings) we have to fill out a gift form or pay over $100 in sales tax on the car. Ick. Gotta hook up with Kathy today and get those papers signed.

Speaking of Kathy,

Happy Birthday to my sister - 30 + 1 years old!!!
Woo-hoo!



My Mom and I are taking her to lunch at Chili's today. Air conditioned restaurant, free drink refills, it will be great. :-)

Off to feed the munchkin. I want to write a post soon (maybe later today) about my neighbors Tito and Kathryn. They crack me up and have pretty much adopted Travis and me as surrogate parents.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Tuesday Bluesday

This morning has not gone as planned. Noelle and I were up and ready to head out early - we needed to take Travis' car for emission testing and get the renewal stickers for the tags. I had all planned to head out as early as possible - the car doesn't have air conditioning and it's just miserable to be in if it gets too late in the day. Noelle is loaded in her car seat, I've got the paperwork, and we find that the car is locked and the door key is with Travis at work. He could bring home the key at lunchtime but by then it would be too hot to get out and run our errand. Normally I wouldn't mind being stuck home without a car (or car key), but I really wanted to get this over with. Getting the tags taken care of is one of my least favorite jobs, but it's either that or a ticket.

I was reading a post on vnxmom's page this morning and it has me thinking. She was writing about how we need to challenge ourself to test those things which we puzzle over and question about against the Word of God. How can I make a scripturally based decision if I haven't even bothered to see what the Scriptures say? God pricked me reading this post.

I don't spend near enough time reading the Bible. Unless I have a Bible study assignment due or I have to prepare for something, I don't stop to read the Word. Lady_Ashley_of_Randomness has been posting about the books of the Bible that she is reading. I'm not sure the last time I just read a book of the Bible for no reason.

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2004 was to read the 4 gospels this year. Funny how I can't get time to do that, but I have time for so many other projects. God's trying to get my attention again her because on Sunday at church, we are starting a series on the Life of Christ - going through the gospels simultaniously and comparing the accounts in each of them in the life of Christ. Hmmmm, coincidence? I think not.

God has given us His Son - the exact, most personal representation of His nature that we have. Jesus became flesh and came to earth was to explain the Father to us and open up a way to the Father Himself. He is the Word. That, if nothing else, should compel me to want to spend time with Him in His Word and get to know more about Him.

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Pause that Refreshes

I've been on the phone most of the morning trying to line up details for our youth group raft trip in two weeks.

~Call the raft company to add another chaperone - woohoo! Thank you Lord that there are adults out there (unlike me) who want to go rafting with the youth group. I mean, don't get me wrong, I want to go. I just don't want to be in the boat with crazy teenagers who want to flip over. So weird. :-)
~Call vet and make appointment for Sam-dog to get fixed. So sad. He has no idea what's coming... Get kennel recommendations.
~Call the kennel to book accomodations for the furry babies. Choice #1 is booked up for the weekend; call choice #2 and make reservations. Must get shot records for dogs before their "sleepover."
~Call police re: abandoned car in church parking lot. Learning interesting information - the police will not come tow a car on private property. They can run the plates and see if it is stolen, but then we have to get it towed ourself. Must get plate number. Hmmmm.

Noelle and I walked down to the church last night to watch Travis' band rehearse. He's been given the task of putting together a band for our church's community carnival we are having at the end of August. This is our 4th year for the carnival and his 2nd year and putting a band together. Last year I was in the band (6 months pregnant) and got to sing backup vocals. I thought for sure that I wouldn't miss it this summer since I am busy with Noelle, have 300 wedding invitations that will be done by this Saturday and a raft trip to organize. However, when I went to the rehearsal, I was really bummed that I wasn't in the band. Some if it was feeling left out. I'm in a different stage of life and it would be hard to find someone to watch Noelle during all the rehearsals. Some of it was being bummed because Travis didn't really ask me to be in his band. Am I not cool enough? Band-like material? Can't I rock just as good? It's got me feeling down a little today. I'm supposed to sing special music at church this coming Sunday so maybe it will help if I work on my song a bit. But it won't be the same - I won't have a cool band. :-(

Enough moping. Here's a pic of Noelle from Sunday morning . . . in her Easter dress . . . with her foot propped up on her stroller. So unladylike. She's starting to take after me. :-)


Friday, July 16, 2004

Our Other Two Babies

At the request of lbtran, I'm posting some pictures of our other two babies, Sam & Jenny, 7 month old Huskies. Enjoy. :-)


The day we got them, New Year's Day - Jenny is the gray & black and Sam is the sable/reddish blond.


So small . . . so innocent.




Noelle thinks Sam makes a great pillow!


Jenny & Baa . . . baaaaaaad Jenny.


Sam & Elmo . . . baaaaaaad Sam.


A man and his dogs.

Freaky Friday


What Beatrix Potter
storybook character are you?


Take this quiz at
Sparrow's Song
Quiz Page.



I haven't gotten near what I wanted accomplished today.
~Noelle hasn't napped all day.
~Both printers are disagreeing with me and with the computer.
~Had to completely redesign part of the wedding invitations I'm making.
~Had to meet the carpet cleaning folks at the church to get an estimate.
~The folks whose cookout we are going to tonight at 5:30 just called (around 3 p.m.) asking if I can make a dessert.

On the plus side, the house now smells like baking blueberry cobbler, compliments of a quick trip to Kroger's for a few more frozen blueberries than what I had in the freezer. I'll just mention now how great my Betty Crocker cookbook is - I had all the ingredients for a blueberry cobbler in my cabinets - with the exception of the aforementioned blueberry shortage. :-) AND, Noelle fell asleep in the car on the way home from Kroger and is now asleep in her crib (hopefully) improving her attitude for this evening's social engagement!

So now, because my brains has been mommy-fried from the day:

Appetizer
Make a sentence using the letters of your favorite color. (Example: BLUE - Bob loves using eggs.)
People using red pansies like eating. :-)

Soup
If you were to be stranded on a deserted island and could only have one CD to listen to, which one would you want it to be?
Point of Grace "Steady On." I love the harmonies on that CD.

Salad
How many people have you kissed in your lifetime?
Just one - my husband. *blush*

Main Course
Someone offers to give you $2 million, but says you can only have it if you will give half of it to charity. Which good cause would you donate the $1 million to?
An organization like Mercy Ministries, Crisis Pregnancy Center - some type of ministry that reaches out to troubled teen girls and tells them of the love of God.

Dessert
What would you like to name your next pet?
The incredible invisible dog because after these two that we have now, I may never want another pet . . . ever . . . again.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Oops!

I was trying to do something to my blog page and ended up having to start all over. It's still me, just a new look. :-) *blushing*

MaMa

This afternoon, while I was trying to clean Noelle up in her highchair, she started saying "Ma Ma Ma Ma" over and over and lifting up her hands. It took me a minute to realize that she was saying MaMa! All of a sudden I stopped wiping and said, "Are you saying MaMa?" and she just grinned. I realize she might not be actually saying MaMa to me, but she definiately has the sound down now. Huge burst of love for my girl while she was grinning at me.

I've given up trying to feed her anything with a spoon for right now. She wants to feed herself so badly with the spoon that she screams and flails when I try to get food in her mouth. If I can't feed it to her in little pieces on her tray, I'm not feeding it to her right now. At lunch, at the end of her meal, I gave her a little bit of applesauce in a bowl and a spoon and let her have at it. It was a mess! She does pretty well at getting the spoon to her mouth, but does NOT want me to take the spoon to help her get more food on it. Major screaming ensues. We've been eating a of kiwi which she loves, peas, cut up pancakes, cheerios and other things. I'm trying to introduce meat, but so far the only thing she has shown an interest in is chicken.

Off to get some work done - I've been fighting with my printer all day and just needed a brain break!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Much Randomness...



My plans for getting out this morning before it got too hot have taken a slight detour - Noelle crashed out in her pack-n-play! If she falls asleep on her back you know she is tired (or not feeling good). We just had a quick run to Kroger planned for more formula. I need to get Travis' car emission tested and get his tags updated, but I'm definitely not doing that unless I can go first thing in the morning. His car still has no airconditioning, but it's not a huge inconvenience anymore since mine is now working. He works literally 5 minutes from home and for that quick drive to and fro, the car wouldn't even be cooled off by the time he got home.

Another moment to say something great about my husband . . . he's working on building me a website for my invitation & custom printing business I'm trying to build up out of the home. It's not running yet, but it will be called *drum roll* Pun'kin Press. He surprised me this morning with the start of the site and what he's going to put together. :-)



I have a lot of projects in the works for my little business, but it sure would be nice if some of them were paying jobs! :-) Right now, I just finished some baby thank you cards for my sister, I'm putting together wedding shower invitations for a girl at church (I'm helping with the shower so it's a freebie), and up next is putting together my sister's baby announcements. Actually the announcements are mostly done, I just need a baby so I can get weight/height/birth day, etc. The stuff that folks actually want to know!

In other unrelated news, it looks like our women's Bible study is going to do 1 Samuel this fall. Last year (if you don't know), we trooped through Joshua, Judges, and this summer we are doing a slightly sporadic look at the book of Ruth. I just ordered a copy of the book for our leader so she can start looking at it, and it's gotten me all excited about getting back into the swing of fall - Bible study, our Community Group will start back up (the adult fellowship we go to once a week while Awana is going on at church) and stuff. This summer has been a nice break from busyness. We have had no weekly commitments at all this summer for the first time in I don't know how long. It has been refreshing...

And lastly, the official first word from Noelle . . . ."Daaa!" She spotted Travis in the bathroom yesterday morning and bounced up saying, "Daa! Daa!" Very cute.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Hard Sunday

Yesterday was a long, hard day. We found out before church that close friends had a miscarriage. She was 12 weeks along. I hurt for them. They have three precious children - 5, 4 and 2 1/2 and were so excited about having number 4. Many times I've heard Kathleen say, when asked why in the world would she want another baby, that she had a desire in her heart for one more child of her own.

Then, during our prayer time in our worship service it was announced that the husband of another family in our church has contracted Lyme's Disease. This family has so much on them and now this. I'm not going into the details, but it's a "Why God?" type situation . . . where I am literally crying out in my heart "What are you THINKING?"

Ephesians 3:13-21
Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

We thank you, Lord, and worship you with gladness;
We praise your name and lift our hearts in song;
For you are good, your love endures forever,
Your faithfulness continues all day long.
You've lavished us with every spiritual blessing;
We thank you, Lord, and praise you now in song.

God is good. Even when it is hard to say it, He still is.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Later that day...

At the moment the house is quiet. I seem to have convinced Noelle that it is not in her best interest to keep throwing Baa over the side of the crib if she really wants to take a nap. A few tears, hugs, and kisses later and she's out like a light. How blessed am I to spend my day with my sweet girl!

On the home front, the house smells like cinnamon. Yum. I tried a new recipe for cinnamon rolls and they sure smell good! They aren't pretty, but it was my first time making them and I had to improvise with my dough. I also baked a loaf of bread this morning for some new neighbors. They moved in about a month or so ago and we are finally getting around to going over and introducing ourselves. Shame on us.

Yesterday I finished laying out the wedding invitations I'm putting together for a friend. Here's what they should look like:



The cool thing is that the photos on the front were taken by my Dad and the horses and chickens belong to the bride and groom. The pictures on are a piece of cream vellum that is over the actual wedding invitation. You can't see the little ribbon tie at the top very well.

I need to go get stuff ready for our monthly church staff meeting in the morning. Other than the meeting, Travis and I have little planned for the weekend. Maybe fit in a trip to the library, Target, but not much else. Happy weekend!

Friday Fun


Which Winnie the Pooh
character are you?


Take this quiz at
Sparrow's Song
Quiz Page.



More later . . . I have errands to run in my car that now has airconditioning! Woo-hoo! And Noelle's third tooth is through on the top. :-)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

9 Month Report!

We had Noelle's 9 month Dr. visit yesterday afternoon. Her weight is now 18 lbs., 2 oz. (a gain of 3 lbs. 5 oz. from her 6 mo.); her height is now 27 inches (grew 1 3/4 inches). She's now in the 75% for her weight and the 25-50% on her height. You can tell by looking at her that all the weight gain is because she's getting taller. Her little legs are starting to hang over the end of her car seat. Boy, won't she be excited when she doesn't have to sit in a rear-facing one anymore!

Everything looked good. She had two shots and her finger pricked to check her iron level, but she was a trooper. She is allowed table food now - only exceptions are milk (although she can now have other dairy products like yogurt, cottage cheese & regular cheese), honey, and, obviously, things she still might choke on like raisins, peanuts, etc. I tried giving her some vegetable beef baby food last night and that did NOT go over at all. However, when we went to Chili's last night for a friend's birthday she took to tortilla chips very well - greasy and salty, what's not to like. Disclaimer: as the mother, I was not the one who gave her the tortilla chips. It was someone else *cough* LauraSarahBecky *cough* :-)

Because I so traumatized her with the vegetable beef baby food, I let her have some mandarin oranges to eat. She loves them! It incredibly messy, but I thought she deserved a small treat for being such a big girl for the Dr.





Apparently it wasn't enough that we eat the oranges, we needed the yummy juice at the bottom of the bowl! :-)

I had something else I wanted to write, but as it has apparently left me for the moment . . .

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

A Confession...

I don't like reading non-fiction.

I have a HUGE list of books (non-fiction) that I want to read. They sound fascinating, challenging, inspiring, et al, but as soon as I open the book and curl up, I immediately start nodding off. Has my brain atrophied so much from singing songs about dry diapers and VeggiesTales that I can't handle anything heavier? I was a history major in college - I know how to plow through the dry and dull and survive.

I'm stil working my way through C.S. Lewis' autobiography Surprised by Joy. It's a book my husband recommended, one I am eager to read. But, when I finally get it out I make it through a chapter if I'm lucky and then I'm dozing.

In contrast, I can sit and read half of the new John Grisham book (which I finally got from my sister) in one sitting without so much of an eyelid flutter.

Maybe I should take notes and read with a highlighter in my hand. That worked in college.

So....help! Inspire me. What are must-read non-fiction books (I can give you plenty of must-read fiction books in return - an idea for a future post?) Here's a few of the non-fiction books on my list - tell me what I need to add to it! And feel free to gasp in horror at what I have/haven't read.

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
Do You Think I'm Beautiful, Angela Thomas
Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer
Hinds Feet in High Places

In other completely unrelated news . . . girl dog Jenny is molting. She's starting to lose her long puppy fur and her short adult Husky fur is underneath. She looks like she has mange or something. Travis has even tried vacuuming her to get the hair to come out faster. I'm trying to set a world record on how many times a day I can vacuum. I just can't put Noelle down on the floor when it's covered in dog hair. Eeewww.

9 month appointment this afternoon. Will update with her remarkable progress probably tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Back in the Swing...

I have such a hard time refocusing after a few days of play. My mind feels like mush. Good mush, but still mush. And, in spite of that, I've still be rather productive today thus far. I ran an errand across town to pick up paper for the wedding invitations I am making for someone, hit the grocery store on the way home, and then vacuumed the house and mopped the kitchen floor. By then Noelle was ready for lunch and a nap so this afternoon hasn't been as fast paced. I did some church work - made reservations for the youth group, plus us chaperones, to go white water rafting at the end of the month. I'm not terribly excited about the trip. I'm not that great of a swimmer so hurtling downstream in a boat with nothing to restrain me sounds mildly unpleasant. The last time I went rafting/canoeing (where the main purpose of the outing seems to be to see how many times you and your boat can get dumped over) I made sure I rode with the guy who was paddling the lunch down the river. No one wanted to mess with him. I stayed nice and dry and fairly sunburned. I'm a chicken. :-)

Noelle has been so cute lately. I think she is trying to say "uh-oh." I've been saying it to her for a while when she drops something or I drop something. Now when she drops Baa over the side of the crib, I'll her this "Uh!", but no "oh." It's so cute. We have her 9 month appointment tomorrow afternoon. I can't wait to find out what she is weighing and how much taller she has gotten. She seems like she has grown at least a couple inches. I watch her reach up to shelves that I didn't even know she could get to and pull stuff off. Poor girl has to have a few shots, too, but her Daddy's coming to the appointment with us. He handles the shots better that I do. I just cry along with Noelle. :-)

Saturday, July 03, 2004

4th of July Weekend Photo Post



We're going to see fireworks tonight!



The show's about to begin... I wore my USA onesie just for the occasion!



Oooooh! Aaaaaaah!



Kisses!

We went for a drive on July 4th in the evening. There was a huge thunderstorm on Sunday afternoon and after it blew through, it was just the right temperature for a drive through the Tennessee countryside with the windows rolled down.



We took all sorts of backwoods roads - some that weren't even really marked on the map. It was so much fun. Noelle rode in the carseat and kept us entertained by the conversation she was apparently carrying on with Baa (her lamb) and her feet. :-)

This morning, the 5th, we went and played sand volleyball with some church friends and Noelle watched from her play pen. Lunch was at Sonic and then showers for EVERYONE! We're cooking out with family tonight...

Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th. Rejoice in the goodness of God.

Big Girl



9 months old today. :-) *burst of love*

Friday, July 02, 2004

Happy 4th, Ya'll!

This looks to be a fairly quiet 4th of July weekend for our family. I'm looking forward to it. After travelling last week, I'm excited about the whole weekend in town, and that Travis has Monday off. We were actually supposed to be out of town this week, too - Travis' extended family has a family reunion every year at a cottage on Lake Erie around the 4th of July. But, with Travis' new position at work that he started about 2 weeks ago, he couldn't up and leave for a trip this soon. Right now I'm thankful we're not travelling again, although I miss the opportunity to catch up with family (some who I feel like I'm still trying to get to know) and for Noelle to play with her cousins.

Our/my plans for the weekend:
~ mop kitchen floor - woo-hoo!
~ recaulk the bathroom (that's actually Travis' project!)
~ possibly go to a scrapbook night at church tonight. The thought of packing up my scrapbook stuff to go down for a few hours doesn't sound appealling at the moment, though.
~ Free Casting Crowns concert today - at lunch time at a local church. Maybe - depends on the rain/drizzle that is presently occurring.
~ Nothing on Saturday's agenda!! Could possibly do some fireworks . . .
~ Nothing on Sunday's agenda!! Besides church of course . . .
~ Nothing on Monday's agenda!!



I had to put this little picture of Noelle up - a girl needs her privacy when on the phone. :-)

And lastly, Friday's Feast:
Appetizer
Name a board game you enjoy playing (Scrabble? Monopoly? Trivial Pursuit?) What's fun about it? Do you change the rules or go by the book?
I'm not a huge game person, but my favorite is probably Trivial Pursuit. I would rather play a board game where I am on a team with someone than by myself at something like Monopoly or Scrabble - both games that I am HORRIBLE at.

Soup
How's the weather been in your area lately? Hot and dry? Wet and muggy? Stormy? Beautiful?
Wet, damp, drizzly, humid, hot. In a nutshell.

Salad
Do you consider yourself an emotional person? What types of emotions do you experience most often?
Yes! Top 5 emotions: Bursts of love for my baby & husband, weepy/sad, excited, frustrated, introspective (which at times can also be depressed)...

Main Course
List 3 songs you've been listening to recently. Are these songs from a different category of music than you usually choose, or are you devoted to a certain type of tunes?
This is so embarrassing . . . Jessica Simpson's "I Think I'm in Love With You," Jeremy Camp's "Beautiful One," and "Sport Utility Vehicle" from the VeggieTale A Snoodle's Tale. I generally stick to contemporary Christian music, but the Jessica Simpson song is very summery and I like singing it. *blushes*

Dessert
What's on your refrigerator door? Magnets? Your child's drawings? Photos? Calendars?
Photos of Noelle and family, a few pictures that my neice has drawn, pizza coupons, and usually my meal plan for the month.

Happy 4th! God bless America . . .

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Today is a Picture Day



Noelle and Sam lounging around...





Our family photo (Noelle is 5 months)



One of my favorite pictures...