Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Stepping Away

Life is getting to me right now. I'm taking a break from the blog for a week or two (or three) to slow down, refocus and rest. I'm tired of emails and stuff that is wearing on me. Getting back to my paper journal for a while and writing some real letters to friends. Getting a head start on Bible study and some solid prayer time - new projects are heading my way where I need a time of "fasting" if you will so I can spend some time with the Lord for wisdom and guidance.

Not a permanent absence, but a needed one.

I'm sure a photo or two of Noelle will surface from time to time . . . and I might check in on a blog or two to catch up with ya'll. I'm enjoying my new on-line buddies and you have been an encouragement to me.

See ya' mid-September.

Love,
stephanie

Monday, August 23, 2004

Friends, French Bread & Deep Thoughts

Guest Map Props! Crystal is the latest and greatest to make her mark on the guest map. She has a little boy about 6 weeks older than Noelle and I love reading her journal as a sign of what is to come. :-)

On the calendar: Coffee with my best friend tonight . . . St*rbucks here I come! :-)

Major arrival: Huge congratulations to my friends Christopher and Cecilia. She brought forth a 10 lbs., 4 oz., 22 1/2 inches long baby boy yesterday. With a midwife. At home. Whoa.

Am trying my hand at making homemade French bread today. It is currently in the warm oven for its first rising and I have high hopes. We are having two other couples over for dinner tomorrow night and I'm making pasta with chicken apple sausage (yummmmm!) and, hopefully, homemade French bread. I also have on the "to do" list to make another batch of oatmeal bread, but not sure if I will get to it today. A higher need is to mop the kitchen floor before our company tomorrow night . . . it has rained off and on the last several days and the dogs have left their muddy mark.

If you want to read a great synopsis of Sunday's message from our church, go to MissBev's site. And you are right, the music did go well this week! :-) Anyway, I think it's interesting how two people can hear the same sermon and be struck by totally different things. While MissBev writes mostly about Jesus' encounter with Satan in the wilderness, I have been struck more by the person of John the Baptist and how he lived his life. When I first think of John the Baptist, I think of that weird guy who lived in the wilderness, ate bugs and honey and was just kinda strange. The culture that he was living in was completely corrupt - things like the sacredness of marriage and the value of life were replaced by promiscuousness, immorality, and gross abominations. Hmmmm, sounds familiar to me! John, through his clothing, where he ministered, and his style of ministry all showed that he refused to conform to the culture around him and people took notice. They flocked to him and to hear his message - people of that day were desperate for something other than the sin that surrounded them.

Apply that to today. Does this mean that to make an impact in the 21st century, I need to wear weird clothes and eat bugs. (I can tell you the bug part is NOT happening!) But seriously, do I make a conscious choice to set myself apart in what I wear? Do I wear clothes that sell sexuality and provocativeness or do I choose to clothe myself modestly? Do people see me slip into that R (or maybe even PG or PG-13!) rated movie that "is really okay except for that one sex scene and, oh yeah, there are just a few cuss words, I think." Then there is that TV show - you know, the one that everyone is watching and that guy is in? It doesn't matter that he's living with his girlfriend, they're going to get married this season... In the world's eyes these things are so trivial, but to someone who wants to be identified with the Lamb of God, do I want to invest in the trivial in exchange for the eternal?
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away our sin
The Holy Lamb of God who makes new life begin!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Just to say...

Have a great weekend everyone. Travis is coming home tonight so I will be housecleaning this afternoon and all that. He's home for the next two weeks before the next trip back to Houston. I'm so thankful.

It's rainy, drizzly, icky and that fits my mood. Two of my dear friends are hurting today. It's almost more than I can handle thinking about and I am grieving with them and wishing I could slap on that bandaid to make it better. I've cried, I've prayed, I've cried some more. I don't have it in me to write about the trivial and normal stuff of today.

Edit: So bummed. Just found out our freebie trip to Phoenix got cancelled. So did not need that today....

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Babbling...

I think Noelle is trying to say a new word - I just can't figure out what it is! :-) When she is looking at the puppies or trying to play with them, she says "gack" over and over. Maybe she's trying to say dog or something, I don't know. But it's very cute.

She's been extremely clingy and fussy today. The girl that watched her last night said that she cried for about 1/2 hour before she went to sleep and that is so unlike her. I think the past few crazy days finally pushed her to her limit, what with people in and out of the house, Daddy gone, Mama trying to get ready for a wedding shower, and then having a babysitter last night on top of it all. Our plans today are take it easy around the house and stay in for the day. I need to do some cleaning before Travis flies home tomorrow night so once Noelle goes down for a nap this afternoon, I'm off to mop the kitchen floor.

PS. Beth (a.k.a. bgrayduck) has put her pin into the guest map. She is very fun to read, and she's a Northerner! :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Much Ado

There has been a flurry of excitement on my guest map. (For directions, go right, then down and you'll spot it!) :-) Both Cheryl and Cheri have recently made there mark there and their sites are both worth a visit in my opinion. :-)

Comment responses here: Thanks for the comments on our sweet girl. :-) MissBev - I'm sooooo behind on scrapbooking it's not even funny. I should be working on it extra with Travis out of town, but it hasn't happened. And, of course I'm going to post pictures from the Grand Canyon! I have the camera bug bad - it's genetic.

Random list of happenings 'round here...

~Yesterday was wild around here. We had the air conditioning folks out to look at our unit for a fall check up and it looks like the whole system is need of a fairly imminent replacement. A manager from the company just left after giving me a quote or two to discuss with Travis. Who knew a/c units were so expensive? Actually, it's the heater part of it that is need of fixing so we have a little time before a decision has to be made, but it's looming out there...

~Took my car to get emission tested so I can renew my license plates and my little car failed. :-( So I'm trying to coordinate a ride to the auto shop tomorrow with my sister so it can get looked at and hopefully fixed. One positive is that with Travis still in Houston, I do have the other car here available for me to drive and don't have to worry about taking him to and fro from work.

~I'm trying to get my ducks in a row for the wedding shower that I am helping with tonight. All my attempts to track down my babysitter have been futile, so I finally had to resort to calling her mother to see if she was still on for tonight. The good news - she is. The bad news - she doesn't have transportation so I have to get her and figure out how to get her home.

~I made Noelle french toast this morning and she loved it! :-) I put just the tiniest dab of syrup on it - just enough for her to taste the sweetness and she devoured almost a piece and half all by herself! She is such a joy. The last two days have been kinda stressful and I've been so thankful her and how much fun she is in the midst of trying to figure out all this other stuff.

~Also is Noelle news, a woman from church that has a little girl about a year old than Noelle gave me two bags of clothes for N. on Sunday. This family has basically clothed Noelle since she was born. They don't want the clothes back (they are done having kids) and just want us to use and enjoy the clothes and pass them on if we don't need them any more. It has been such a blessing to me. Travis and I can literally count the number of outfits that we have personally bought for Noelle b/c it has been so few. I went through the clothes on Sunday to sort them by size and season and was once again completely blown away by their generosity. There were at least 7 pairs of shoes in there and a Land's End winter coat for our girl!

God is good to provide for our needs even when I don't ask or think about asking. I choose to stress about the money first before laying my need at His feet and see how He will work. What a tangible reminder of His goodness!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Quiz Fun

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Abraham Lincoln You have a Bible and a library
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prefer the Charlotte Mason Method of reading
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What Type of Homeschooler Are You?
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Monday, August 16, 2004

Pretty as a Picture



We took this picture Sunday before church. Travis scored big on this dress that he brought back from Houston for Noelle, and we found the hat at Old N*vy on Saturday when we went to buy her some socks. I couldn't believe how well she stood still for the photo. Now that she walks, it's almost impossible to keep her still! :-)

We have somewhat recovered from our early morning. I got about a 2 hour nap before my family started calling to make sure that we got Travis on the plane okay. Noelle slept for over 3 hours! This week without Daddy doesn't look to be as packed as last week which I am thankful for.

On the "to do" list for this week:
~take care of tags for our Honda
~finally go take care of getting Noelle's social security card straightened out!
~air conditioning folks come tomorrow for routine check-up for Fall
~plan and get food for wedding shower I am helping with on Wednesday night
~this, that and the other!
~some serious housecleaning spread out over the week (the worship team from church is having it's quarterly meeting here Sunday after church)

Major praise to report . . . Travis has to go to Phoenix for 2 weeks in September for another training like he is doing now in Houston. His work has approved me flying out with him for the trip (they'll even buy my ticket since they would have paid to fly him home for the weekend!) Other than food for me and Noelle and accomodations over the weekend when he would have been home - we have a free trip to Arizona. Our weekend plans will include driving up to the Grand Canyon which I am soooooo excited about! And friends of ours from church are going to housesit for us and watch the puppies saving us bundles in kennel costs. God has truly put together this little get-away for us that we would definitely not have been able to afford otherwise!

Zzzzzzz...

Up at 4:00 a.m. to take Travis to the airport. Now 8:05 a.m. and baby is already back down for a nap and Mommy not far behind.

Will journal more later . . . *yawn* . . . and post an incredibly cute picture of Noelle that we took yesterday.

Before I forget though - check out Holly's site - she's the newest person to sign up on my guest map. Woo-hoo! :-)

Friday, August 13, 2004

Singing Outloud...

with Noelle to the tune of "Merrily We Roll Along..."

Daddy's coming home today, home today, home today!
Daddy's coming home today, we pick him up tonight!!!


I live in Nashville. I should really go into music writing/publishing or something. :-)

One other thing, I was reading Stacey's post this morning whilst I was waiting for something to print and was pricked. There are some habits I have let master me and I need to (with the Lord's help) make some changes. Some I try and blame on my summer slump - it's so easy to get out of the habit of doing things when your schedule isn't so full. Does that make sense? And there are just somethings that I have let go since I quit working outside the home and started staying home fulltime.

Some of my plans...

~get back into a routine with housecleaning. I like the idea of Flylady, but I don't like all the emails. I get so many emails everyday from working at home, spam (ick), and others that 18 emails from her put me over the edge. :-) However, last fall when Noelle was so tiny, I had a routine with housecleaning that worked great - certain things done every day, and certain rooms had heavier cleaning on certain days. Time to whip this house back in shape with some serious fall cleaning.

Note: this weekend, I am going to get Travis to hopefully help me move our keyboard and drum set and sweep out under them!!

~get up consistently at the same time every morning. I usually lay in bed and wait for Noelle to wake me up in the morning. But, I have realized, that it is so much easier on her and me if I'm up, have her morning bottle ready, and am clothed, cleaned and in my right mind. :-) And by right mind, I mean . . .

~time reading the Word in the morning. Most. Important. One of my resolutions for 2004 was to read through the 4 Gospels this year. I haven't done it yet. And especially now, as we are studying the Life of Christ at church, I want to tackle them. And as our fall women's study is getting ready to start back up, I want to also read 1 Samuel as a whole several times before we start going through it slower in our study. I'm working my way through the book Your Girl by Vicki Courtney and it's all about raising a daughter in today's world. My girl is still tiny, but I want some of her first memories of me to be me sitting with my Bible and soaking in God's truth at the beginning of my day.

~and lastly, the perpetual eat better, exercise more. Last night, with Travis out of town even, I consciously made a meal that included vegetables! Woo-hoo! Less treats around the house, and more good stuff. More H2O, too!

I'm putting these in writing - which I would do in my journal - as my accountability. Anyone who reads this now knows I need to get it together around here. :-)


Thursday, August 12, 2004

Little Things...

Much miscellany today . . .

#1) Birthday Wishes
Go to Eric's page and wish him Happy Birthday, please! It's a day late, but do it anyway. (And today's his wedding anniversary, too!) I've known Eric since he first visited our church when he was a sophomore in college many moons ago and we've been on the music team together for a looooong time. He and his wife are some of my favorite people. :-)

#2) Blog etiquette?
When one gets a comment on a post, does one reply to the comment in the comments? Or does one go to the commenter's blog and leave a comment there? Lexie told me that her policy is to go to the commenter's blog and leave her comment in italics, but I don't know how to do that on any non-Xanga that I visit. Should I just reply to any question in the body of the next post? That seems the easiest to me, but what if I'm in the mood to write about something extremely deep and thought-provoking like my thoughts on gun-control, and someone asks me a question like "have you ever tried ketchup flavored potato chips?" Those two themes would not go together well, in my opinion.

Such decisions!

Speaking of questions, Stacey asked when Travis will be back - he flies in Friday night at 6:30 p.m. (yeah!), and then flies back out Monday morning at dark-thirty for another week in Houston. But we have the weekend to hang out.

And, thanks MissBev for your sweet thing about Travis. He's pretty cool. :-)

And, bgrayduck, now that you are married to a Southerner, do you like pimento cheese sandwiches? :-) They were my favorite food as a little girl - I asked for them for my birthday lunch every year on my birthday, much to the dismay of my sister who hated them.

#3) Lunch Plans

Am having lunch with my best friend tomorrow and her kidlets. Very excited about that.

#4) Evening Out

My Dad is coming over tonight to babysit for me while my Mom and I go to our last women's summer Bible study evening - we're studying chapter 4 of Ruth. I haven't prepared at ALL, but have been with Noelle 24/7 so far this week and need out of the house, so I will hopefully absorb something tonight! I have prepared my Dad that he will have to definitely change at least 1 diaper and give Noelle her bedtime bottle, and he is up for the challenge. :-)

#5) Noelle

Speaking of my sweet girl, she went to bed at 7:15 last night (!) and then woke up at 10:45 p.m. and wanted to talk to me for 45 minutes. I put her in bed with me and she just lay there and chattered off and on until I put her back in her bed at 11:30. She went right to sleep! Must have been something important...

#6) Lastly....

Happy Thursday!

PS. I have had ketchup flavored potato chips before. My sister and I used to eat them when we lived in Calgary (Alberta), and I found them two weeks ago at Walmart. They are yummy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Day 3

I miss Travis. I'm ready for him to come home! :-)

I had to take Sam-dog to the vet this morning for his little "fixing." Jenny-dog was spazzing out to be left at home in the kennel. With Noelle on my hip and my 45+ lb. boy dog on a leash, I staggered into the vet to drop him off. The fun part will be going back to get him this evening when he is completely drugged up.

I don't want it to sound like I miss Travis just because he would have taken Sam to the vet this morning for me, but it was just another little thing that he would have taken care of around here that I don't notice. He is the one that normally gets up with the dogs and lets them out in the morning. He would have done the vet run on his way to work, and would have picked up Sam-dog on his way home. I had to remember to take the garbage to the curb on Monday and on Tuesday evening I finally remember to put the big trash can away. :-) Just little things that I appreciate him taking care of that I don't even notice.

Another thing that I have noticed about him being gone, is that I forget to eat when he's not here. Please don't hear me say that I don't eat at all, but I forget to make dinner for me until after Noelle's gone to bed around 8 p.m.! Normally, I would be putting our dinner together about the time that I am feeding her her dinner - with him not coming home, I forget about putting something together for me until after Noelle's eaten, cleaned up and ready to be out of her high chair so she can play before bedtime. By the time I get her to bed, I don't feel like making real food for me - I've eaten a lot of pimento cheese sandwiches this week. :-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Early Morning

I woke up around 5 a.m. this morning thinking of something that I didn't pick up at Office Depot yesterday for one of our church staff. Then I started thinking about the fact that the bug guy is coming sometime between 8-10 a.m. and I needed a shower before he got here. Then I couldn't get back to sleep. :-) So I was in and out of the shower at 6 a.m., have already let the dogs outside, and Noelle is probably set to sleep for another 45 minutes or so. My schedule is all thrown off with Travis gone . . . I'm sure that's one reason I woke up early and then couldn't get back to sleep. I also felt like I needed to be praying for someone, but it was fussy who I was supposed to be praying for - does that ever happen to anyone else? A friend of mine is due with her 2nd baby any day now, so I just spent some time praying for her before I got up.

I don't really have anything big or profound going on right now . . . my job for the church is kind-of crazy this week. Lots of irons in the fire. I'm meeting a door guy at the church today and the carpet cleaners there tomorrow. And, things are picking up for fall and there is much work to be done on our Missions Conference, Awana start-up, and ordering stuff for the women's Bible study. I would like to read through 1 Samuel before we start our fall Bible study just to give a big picture of what the book is about. I love that we get to study David and Samuel. That's one of my favorite periods in Biblical history. One of my favorite Bible studies that I have done was Beth Moore's A Man After God's Own Heart. At the time that we did that, I had a lot of time to work on the study and journal while doing it and really enjoyed her insights into the Psalms as we read them along with what was going on in David's life. I found my life verse going through that study . . . Ps. 52:8:
"I am like an olive tree, flourishing in the house of the Lord. I will trust in the unfailing love of God, forever and forever."

I love how God has used the picture and example of an olive tree throughout scripture to illustrate his love and care for us. John 15:1-11:
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."

~He prunes me so that I may bear more fruit for Him.
~If I am not bearing fruit, He takes away.
~I cannot bear fruit if I do not abide in the Father.
~I do nothing apart from Him.
~The Father is glorified when I bear much fruit - it proves that I am His disciple!

So, be an olive tree today! :-)

Monday, August 09, 2004

Quickly...

Quick post for today. We put Travis on a plane last night for Houston for a week of work there, so it's just the girls till Friday night. We had a great family weekend before he left - we were able to celebrate our anniversary on Friday. A good friend came and hung out with Noelle while we went out to lunch and to the movies (Spiderman 2). Saturday was spent running errands and laundry to get Travis ready to go out of town. It's the first weekend in a long time where we weren't running in 27 different directions which was nice before he took off for his trip. :-)

I finally finished my 100 Things about Me list.... It took forever. Especially when I would just add one or two things at a time. But, here it is . . . :-)

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Cave Germs

"I hope y'uns didn't drink no water while you was in there."
"Why's that?"
"Oh, law, that cave water can send you high-steppin', don't you know. It don't hit you right off, might take a while, but let them cave germs get t' workin', and first thing you know . . ." The old man shook his head, grinning.

*      *      *      *      *


She sat down suddenly in a kitchen chair.
"What is it? You're white as a bed sheet."
"I don't know. Oh, dear, oh, no!" She bounded from the chair and sprinted down theh all to the guest bathroom, clutching her stomach.

His own stomach gave a loud, empathetic gurgle, signaling what he recognized as a dire emergency.

"Cave germs!" he shouted, racing upstairs.


--These High Green Hills, Jan Karon

I have come to the conclusion that the Ocoee River water must funnel from a cave. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

This, That & the Other

We're starting a study during our Worship services on the life of Christ. We're going through all 4 Gospels simultaneously and comparing what each author wrote about the different events in Christ's life and why some gospels includes certain events and others do not. This is completely fascinating. The history major in me loves it! It's so cool when you can look back over the big picture and see why A acted the way he did, which made B do such-and-such, and therefore caused C to happen.

The 4 Gospels were each written to very different audiences. This is something I had heard before, but it's fascinating if you think about it...

      ~Matthew's gospel is written to a primarily Jewish audience. He focuses on the Jesus as Messiah, King of the Jews, son of David and therefore Jesus' right to that title.
      ~Mark writes to Roman believers, emphasizing the servant of God. This identifies with his Roman readers who are slaves in Rome.
      ~Luke writes to the Greek. His emphasis in on the son of man, the perfect human, which is what the Greek culture would have sought after - a god-like status for man.
      ~John's gospel is the most evangelistic. He gives us the eternal concept about Jesus, full of grace and truth.

It is so cool that each gospel fits perfectly the need of each of its intended readers. God's hand is so completely in the writing of this, when I stop to think about it I am completely amazed at his thoroughness to clearly get the message of Jesus out. Another example of this that was brought out this past Sunday at church was in how Matthew and Luke begin their books. They both include the geneology of Jesus.

Since Matthew is written specifically to the Jew, he very clearly outlines Jesus' lineage back to Abraham and David. If this couldn't be proven to a Jew, then there was no point in trying to convince him that Jesus was the Messiah. Any Jew that knew the law, knew that for Jesus to be the Messiah, He had to be the fulfillment of the promise of God to Abraham (Gen. 12:3 and Gen. 17) and David (2 Sam 7:16) - that their households would endure forever, and that the throne of David would be established eternally. This proves that Jesus has the proper roots as the son of David.

Luke's geneology takes us back to Adam. Adam, the first man, who was tempted and failed. This proves that Jesus has the proper roots as the son of man and that would have been very important to the Greeks - to establish his humanness.

It all, to me, boils down to the fact that everything that I am looking for can be found and met in Jesus. No matter what my need, it is met in Jesus alone, not material things, not people, not schedules or accomplishment. God is good!

We had a good anniversary yesterday, although it was a fairly normal day - we haven't celebrated yet. Travis was going to take yesterday off of work, but he had been signed up for a training class for the day. We're going to spend Friday together as a family, and a good friend is going to come over for a few hours so we can at least go out to lunch and maybe a movie or something. We've been talking about buying bikes for our anniversary present for each other, too, so we may do some bike shopping.

Yesterday we also "celebrated" Noelle being 10 months old. :-) She can now be said to be officially walking and she is doing great at it! Well, she does have a small bump on her head where she fell against an end table, but it hasn't slowed her down at all. Her cousin is spending the day with us today, too, so that is encouraging her to keep up even more! She tried some egg this morning at breakfast and actually ate a few pieces this time. I do pretty good at coming up with stuff she can eat with us at lunch and dinner, but breakfast is hard at this point. She will eat fruit and Cheerios and toast, but I would like to try and get something with a little protein in her in the morning.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

2 Years Today...

On August 3, 2002, two years ago today, Travis and I were married.





This is one of my favorite pictures from my wedding. After the ceremony (August + Nashville = HOT), our ride from the church to the reception drove us by Sonic for something cold to drink. We showed up at our home church in a 12 passenger van driven by our friends Kip & Kathleen and sipping our Diet Coke (me) and Sprite with cherry (Travis). One of my favorite memories of the day. :-)

Noelle is also 10 months old today. I'll try and remember to post her monthly bday pic later . . . we are in the throws of 5 Day Clubs this week. Last night was the first night and we had about 10 kids - 8 from our neighborhood and 2 from the church. Katherine and Tito both came - yeah! Katherine and I had a chance to talk about the memory verse she memorized that night as we all walked home together:

John 3:36
"Whoever believes in the Son shall receive eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son does not have life..."


Monday, August 02, 2004

Catching Up

Monday a.m. Noelle is napping and I have a few mintues before I need to go start some laundry and start getting her lunch ready. SamDog is inside with me chillin' and JennyDog is outside sunnin' - total opposites.

Raft report


After two days of reflection and recovery, I have come to a conclusion about rafting - I'm not fond of it. I just don't have the personality where I need to pay to do things that scare me to death because I enjoy the adrenaline rush. :-) We left Friday morning with the youth group and headed to East TN to find our campground and get set up for the night. We arrived about 2 p.m. and after checking in with our raft company, we headed over the Ocoee to check out the river. Of course, the boys all had to get in and get wet! The 1996 Atlanta Olympics held their kayak (or whatever it is) event on the Ocoee and the guys were able to get out and wade through that area because the water was low. (The Ocoee is dam controlled and they release the water in the mornings so by afternoon, it's back to wading/swimming levels). After the guys got tired of wading and floating, the youth all loaded into one suburban and went driving on some mountain trails - I headed back to the campsite with the other car to wait for our late arriving vehicles. The rest of the evening progressed fairly normally with tent setup, hamburgers and other junk food.

Saturday was raft day. Our group was going to do the full Ocoee River rafting trip - you can also do it 1/2 at a time, but the company we went with had a good deal for taking the full day trip. I learned that there are 6 classes of river rapids - 1 being the most gentle and 6 being almost unraftable. On the Ocoee we we through quite a few level 2-3's, probably 8 level 4's, and 1 level 5. I didn't mind the rafting part of the trip. The guide gives you specific instructions when to paddle, when to get down, and what to do so he doesn't lose you in a rough part of the river. What got me was when our guide deliberately led our boat into this smaller rapid called "Double Suck" and tries to capsize the boat. Needless to say, I and another boy in our boat went it. I still get the shivers when I think about it. I am not a great swimmer and when B. and I went in, we were all tangled up. (We're not sure whether he grabbed me to try and stay in the boat or I grabbed him to keep him in the boat once it was inevitable that he and I were going over). We got sucked down and were both trying to push ourselves to the top. B. bobbed up and got caught in a quicker current and pulled out of the way, but I got popped in the head with a paddle from another boat that was coming by (we had helmets on) and went back under with the boat then going on top of me. The boat went by quickly and I was back out on top of the water, but at that point I had swallowed a lot of river water and was really freaking out. I ended up just floating down to the still portion of the river where I could be fished out by our boat's guide and pulled back in the raft. The rest of the rafting was very uneventful, thankfully! :-) After we got to the spot where they pull you out of the river, we just changed into dry clothes when we got back to our vehicles and headed back to Nashville. I wasn't the only one that was exhausted - most of the kids crawled in the cars and slept all the way back home.

So that's my report. I can say I've been, but it will probably be a long while before I go again.

Something lighter before I'm off to do laundry . . .

Which amusement park is your favorite?
I would have to say DisneyWorld even though I've never been - I would love to go there someday!

2. Are you the kind of person who loves to go on most rides or just a select few?

Select few - as most will probably figure out, I'm not into being scared silly or made to throw up. I want to have fun without the possibility of physical injury or motion sickness. :-)

3. What is the scariest ride you've ever been on?
A ride that they used to have at the Opryland Themepark before they closed it down - it was a rollercoaster ride where you hung in these harnesses and were basically out there flapping around. I don't know why I got on it!

4. Do you prefer rollercoasters, water rides or the kind that go round and round?
Of the three, probably water rides, because it's usually just a big slide and you get wet. I don't like spinning at all!

5. What is the longest amount of time you would stand in line to get on a ride?
Not long... :-)

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Stuff and Nonsense

We survived the raft trip and Noelle survived her sleep over. Full report to go up Monday, but I am too pooped to do much journalling on it. :-) Travis is at a band rehearsal for another hour or so, and I just popped on to catch up and check email. Here's one picture to tide folks over for now ... my husband hanging on to a rock in the Ocoee River. He and the teen boys went wading when we arrived. I love this picture because his big grin (which ya'll can't see unless I make the picture way too big) is exactly like Noelle's - or I should say her grin is just like this one that he is sporting!



Here's something fun that didn't require tons of thought:

Name 3 things that you think are beautiful.
Frost on trees.
A garden with lots of things on the plants that you can pick and look at.
Noelle's sweet, kissable, fat cheek. :-)

What was the last concert you attended?
A free lunchtime concert by Casting Crowns given by a local church, July 2nd, 2004.

What is one thing that frightens you about getting older?
Not being able to do things for myself. Having to have someone help me with personal things.

Tell us about one of your funny quirks or habits.
I like peanut butter & cheese sandwiches - I have ever since I was little. :-)

If you could extend one month to 50 days (instead of the normal 28, 29, 30, or 31), which month would you want to lengthen?
November