Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Let Us Love"

(by NEEDTOBREATHE) Let Us Love - The Outsiders (Deluxe Version)



If you're friends with me on facebook, then you may already know about this. Otherwise, I have exciting news! To make a long story short Never mind, you know me...

I normally use my FM transmitter to listen to my iPod or iPhone when I'm out & about. Unfortunately, I discovered yesterday that my cigarette lighter/power thingamajiggy (that I plug the transmitter in to) is no longer working, so I had to listen to the radio. My regular station was playing Christmas music, & I didn't really care for the particular song that was on. So I started flipping through the other stations that we have programmed, & I came upon 103.7 FM. The DJ said that she was about to talk to NEEDTOBREATHE live in the studio.

You know how I feel about NEEDTOBREATHE, so I waited through several songs & decided against running into the store just so I could hear them! They talked some & performed "The Outsiders". The DJ was describing how she felt when she heard them sing it live in the studio, and I had a little twinge of sadness for only being able to hear it through the radio airwaves. For the record, I had known that they were coming to town. While I would've loved to have seen them, I have no extra room in the budget for concert tickets. So, I basically forgot about it. Plus, I can listen to their CDs any time I want...

Anyways, I was almost home, but I wanted to hear everything that they had to say. So I decided to stop for gas, & I even left the radio on while I pumped so I wouldn't miss a word! After they performed "Prisoner" (& sounded awesome, of course), the DJ announced that they were going to give away tickets to the show that night. I never win that type of thing, but I decided to give it a try. The phone rang until the recorded voice told me that my call couldn't go through. I tried again & got cut off. I decided to try one more time & learned that persistence is the key. Because {you may want to hold your ears while I scream}...

I WON TICKETS TO SEE NEEDTOBREATHE LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

{Good thing I got gas, huh? 'Cuz I needed it to drive in to Houston!}



My mister & I got to stand just a few feet away from the stage


If I had a decent camera, I would've had some awesome pictures!


We were very close to Seth (the bass player ~ which is cool, 'cuz my mister plays bass. We always seem to stand near the bass player. What's up with that?)

{Ya, I know. Not the best pic, but it's during "Girl Named Tennessee". Can you hear him saying, "Ooh, ooh..."? Love.}

Every time Bo came close, he moved around too much for me to get a good shot!

{He had been closer than this, but that pic was really blurry! I was just using a point & shoot}

Bear didn't get very close to us ('cuz he was singing most of the time), so this was as good as I could get.


For their 1st encore, they did an acoustic version of "Valley of Tomorrow" without mics or anything. I think I could write an entire blog post just. about. this. I just may do that sometime. Sigh.

{this was the only time we could see Joe, the drummer}

We hadn't heard "The Outsiders" yet, & I was right when I figured they'd finish with that!


There were just a few songs that I was disappointed not to hear (mostly older ones), but they didn't have time to sing ALL of my favorites! ;) This experience wasn't quite as cool as hanging out with Brandon when he played with Seabird, but it was pretty awesome. Because I love NEEDTOBREATHE  I think I may have said that a time or two. Or maybe three or four. (OK, fine, maybe more than that!)

I can't decide what part of last night was my favorite, so it was really hard to pick a song for this post. "Valley of Tomorrow" was definitely one of the highlights (as mentioned earlier). I loved "Lay 'Em Down" & "Something Beautiful", too. "More Time" was also great. I finally decided on "Let Us Love" for today, because I've already posted a couple of the ones I mentioned, & I'll probably post the others later! & because it's awesome. The whole thing was pretty much awesome sauce. I'll leave you with one more picture, just in case you haven't seen enough! ;)

Let us love
Like we were children
Make us feel
Like we’re still living
In a world I know that’s burning to the ground
Give us time
To beat the system
Make us find
What we’ve been missing
In a world I know that’s burning to the ground

Amy

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

(by BarlowGirl) It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Home for Christmas



Well, I'm about to head out on a day trip with my dad. We're going to visit my baby brother again. I even get to indulge in a little pre-birthday yumminess with Dad (his birthday is tomorrow)! He is diabetic & is so good at sticking with his diet. Every year though, he splurges on a Blizzard & a Whataburger during the week of his birthday. Since his surgery (to remove a cancerous kidney), his blood sugar has been excellent, so he doesn't even have a reason to feel guilty this year! Over the summer, I discovered a place that makes steak fingers that remind me of these famous ones they used to make in Dad's hometown. We took him there once. Then Dad & I went back there the last time we visited Aaron. Well, at my brother's yesterday, Dad told me that he thinks he needs to add one more birthday tradition, & I knew he was talking about those steak fingers! So, we're going there for dinner after we see my baby brother! Yum!!

But before I go, let me say that the Christmas season has officially arrived! I know that decorations have been out in stores for awhile now, but I'm just now feeling in the holiday spirit. Like many people, we always put our tree up on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We like to blast the Christmas music throughout the house & enjoy the day together. The kids are such a big help now! They decorated the tree while I did everything else (with some help from my mister). Even my puppy is sufficiently "decorated" for the season!


Somehow, my wreaths aren't centered above the staircase. I don't have a clue how they got messed up, but my mister & I measured several times. We placed two CommandTM hooks the same distance to the left & right of the light & the same distance up from the banister, yet somehow they're off-center. I have no clue how that happened, but I'm leaving them the way they are (unless it still bothers me the next time I'm at the store & happen by the CommandTM strips). I would post pictures of the decorations, but my house essentially looks the same as last year ~ except for the off-center wreaths that I just realized I didn't even post a picture of back then. So, here's a shot from last year, where they don't look centered either. Pretend with me that my wreaths are positioned correctly, OK?! ;)


So, how are you doing on your Christmas decorations?? I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Amy

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Christmas Cards"

(by Alma Cogan) Christmas Cards - Paper Kisses



I don't know about you, but I LOVE Christmas cards! I love sending them, and I love receiving them! I'm super excited about them this year, because I have the opportunity to receive 50 free cards from Shutterfly just for blogging about them! Other bloggers can sign up, too, by going to the Shutterfly Blog. How awesome is that?!

My favorite type of Christmas card (both to give & receive) is the photo card. I love seeing how people change from year to year, and I love for people to be able to see my beautiful baby girl, my handsome little guy, and my adorable baby puppy (& occasionally my mister & me)! This year, I plan to get my cards out sooner than I have in the past. In fact, I have plans to take my camera to my brother's on Thanksgiving to see if somebody will snap a picture of my family. Then, I'll pick out one of Shutterfly's really cute card designs & be well on my way to getting my cards out. {Stay tuned to see how it all turns out!}

Shutterfly also has some great gift ideas, and it's not too late to order for Christmas! They have a great selection of calendars, and I absolutely love are their photo books. I have made several photo books through the years & thought I'd share one of them with you!

Click here to view this photo book larger



So, what about you? Do you send Christmas cards? If so, do you write them out on the day after Thanksgiving, or do you barely get them out before Christmas?

{I'm sorry for the incredibly cheesy song. There aren't many out there about Christmas cards, in case you ever wondered!}

Amy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"We All Fall"

(by Superchick) We All Fall - Last One Picked



What in the world am I doing up at 5:00 in the morning, you ask? Well, I've actually been up for an hour. I normally don't do 4:00 in the morning, but my crazy puppy decided that she needed to go outside. She is a full grown dog, totally capable of "holding it" through the night, but every once in awhile she feels the need to lick every single blade of grass, & this was one of those times. Once she finally came back inside, I was fully awake. And due to Aunt Flow and the migraines & stuff she tends to bring along with her, I couldn't go back to sleep. After about 30 minutes of weighing the ups and downs of taking medicine with caffeine vs. laying there in pain & discomfort, I finally decided that medicine was the better option. So here I am, after another 30 minutes of tossing & turning, with an Excedrin caffeine high. Rather than weirding you out with another incredibly random Excedrin caffeine post, I decided it had been way too long since I've posted anything in my



In fact, it was one of those Excedrin caffeine posts that lead to this series in the first place, so it's only fitting that I share another story with you now. This is just a minor MIShap from about 6 months ago that wasn't worthy of a blog post at the time, but it came to mind the other day & made me laugh again ~ so you get the benefit of a laugh, too (or at least a little chuckle). Wow, after all of that to set it up, I think you're going to be highly disappointed by the actual story. But I've gotten this far, so I might as well go ahead & finish it out...

My mister, my little guy & myself were walking out of the grocery store one day, when I suddenly sat down Indian-style right there on the floor between the registers & the exit. The boys looked at me in utter confusion, but I was laughing too hard to explain myself. See, there was some water (or at least, let's hope it was only water) that caused me to slip. One foot went out in front of me, the other foot went underneath me, & somehow I just smoothly sat down with my legs crossed! It wasn't like a regular fall ~ which is good, because knowing me I would've ended up with a concussion! I will never forget the looks on the boys faces! I mean, one second we're walking out of the store, and the next I'm just silently sitting down on the floor like I simply decided to take a little break from walking or something! By the time we got to the car, I was finally able to stop laughing enough to explain to them why I had sat down, but they were seriously confused until then!

Below is the song I actually wanted to post, but I couldn't find the iTunes link. I sure thought it was on the same album, but I couldn't find it! Turns out, it's from a different album & isn't called "Fall Down", it's "Get Up" ~ so that's not as fitting for today's story. Here's the song, though, 'cuz it's great! It's a Twofer! {that phrase is somewhat explained in another MIS-series post, if you're wondering!} Only this time it's a Twofer [Superchick] Tuesday!



Alright, well now it's almost 6:00. My little guy is awake because of a cold that has left him unable to breathe out of his nose. So not fun! Pepper has been outside yet again to lick more grass. My alarm will go off in less than 20 minutes. I might as well make some cinnamon rolls & settle in for a long day! Do you think I can actually get in bed by 10:00 tonight?! I hope so! Have a great day, and watch out for slippery puddles of water!

Amy

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Shaken"

(by Hawk Nelson) Shaken - Healing 4 Haiti



I'm sure you remember the post where I talked about ordering my fashionABLE scarf & the post where I got it! Well, I have good news!!

TODAY from 10:00am til 1:00pm (CST), all scarves are BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!!! This applies to all scarves, including the three new styles they added today! The promotion applies to up to 8 scarves total. These make a great gift, PLUS you're helping to create sustainable business for women in Africa! How awesome is that?!

So head over there ASAP! In the shopping bag, click "add coupon" and enter "GETONEFREE". Once they're gone, they're gone.

Amy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Awake My Soul"

(by Mumford & Sons) Awake My Soul - Sigh No More





I don't know where I've been for the past few years, but I have just recently learned about Mumford & Sons. {Thanks to Brit for mentioning them!} I'm loving this song!

I've had quite a busy week, so I haven't posted much. Sorry about that! The beginning of my week was spent getting ready for the MOPS Sip & Shop. We had over 20 vendors set up shop at our church! It was a Ladies' Night Out, plus an opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done. I was there with t-shirts & such that my mister prints. Here's what my table looked like:


I also got to babysit this cute boy:


And I volunteered at my baby girl's school & had a discussion with the vice principal about his pink shirt. See, the principal loves pink. In fact, it's a strange day when she isn't wearing pink in some way, shape or form. So, the vice principal has ended up with some pink school shirts that he wears, too. Only he calls it "faded maroon". Can you guess what college he attended?

I'm scrapbooking all day today, so any free time I had this week was spent trying to get some pages planned! I don't know if I've ever mentioned how obsessive organized I am when it comes to getting ready for a crop. It's really not so much about being organized as it is about me actually accomplishing something at a crop. I don't know if you've realized this or not, but I'm quite a talker. If I go to a crop without a plan, I don't get much done. So, I spend time beforehand planning page layouts & picking out paper. Then, when I'm at a crop, I don't have to think about anything or make decisions. That way, I get to talk with my friends AND get pages done!

On a totally random note (as if this entire post hasn't been random!), did you notice that my pictures are bigger now? Picasa made some changes, and I can now post pics the width of the rest of my post. My reason for pointing it out, though, is that I wanted to ask if it takes longer for the page to load. It doesn't for me, but does it for YOU? Thanks for the feedback!

I hope y'all have a super great weekend!

Amy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Mister C"

(by Ray Charles) Mister C. - Genius + Soul = Jazz (Expanded Edition)



When my mister hacked into my facebook account the other day, he starting updating my status to, "I love my husband!!!!" I caught him & laughed. Then I said he should change "husband" to "mister" or else nobody would believe that I wrote it. Just for kicks I decided to check how many times I have referred to him on this blog as "my husband" compared with "my mister".

I found the results to be interesting & maybe even worthy of psychoanalyzation (anyone?)

There were 87 posts with the word "mister" ~ and I'm pretty sure that I've never referred to anyone else's husband in that way, so I'm assuming they were all about my mister. I'm not exactly sure how it all started, but that is how I've been referring to him since we were newlyweds. I remember writing it as a "term of endearment" in Scattergories way back before we had kids. A friend challenged me on it, saying that it didn't count as two points. But another friend spoke up for me & said that she heard me call him that all the time! So, anyways, all that is to say that I've been calling him that pretty much since he became my mister, & I've always signed my notes, "Your Mrs" (as evidenced in this note from "To Love Their Husbands Tuesdays"). I also call him Mistopher, which is an abbreviated form of Mister Christopher (hence the song title today). So, there you have it ~ useless information that you really didn't care to know! Moving on to my original point of this post...

Of the 28 post where I had typed "husband", around five of them were referring to somebody else's husband and two were referencing when we became husband & wife. Only two were just random mentionings of him, and all of the rest (20 or so) were related to his cancer diagnosis. Now, I've occasionally used the word "mister" when talking about his vision, his eye or his scans. But I have only said the words "mister" & "cancer" in the same sentence ONE time (before this sentence you're reading right now). And it was in the two-year cancerversary post. Weird, huh?

So, what do you think that means? Am I subconsciously detaching myself from the whole cancer situation by saying, "When my husband was diagnosed with cancer..."? Like, maybe if I say "husband" I can pretend I'm talking about somebody else? Because when I say, "My mister has cancer" it's like a punch in the gut.

Gosh, that sentence was incredibly difficult to type. Like, I-had-to-put-the-laptop-down-and-go-get-tissues kind of difficult. I really don't think I've ever said that before. See, this blogging thing can be a good thing, because it helps you work through your feelings, huh? OK, well now that I've written my depressing blog post for the month, go read something funny! {Yes, I know that's incredibly old, but it was the only funny thing I could think of to reference at the moment!}

Amy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"If You're Gonna Play in Texas"

(by Alabama) If You're Gonna Play In Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle In the Band) - Greatest Hits, Vol. III



The kids & I drove in to Houston the other day & discovered a little park:


It's all about our great State!


It's right off the highway, just across the parking lot from a mall & some buildings.


There's nothing to play on or anything, but there were neat little facts about Texas throughout the little park. The kids enjoyed posing with the different statues & such.




Of course I had to take a picture of the three of us!


Have you discovered any neat little places right down the road lately?

Amy

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"You're Welcome"

(by The Beach Boys) You're Welcome - Smiley Smile / Wild Honey



Does it bother you when you thank someone, & they respond with anything other than, "You're welcome"? I've heard the argument for years. {My mister even got chewed out about this before!} But it recently came to mind again when I read this article where the author seriously has a problem with the response, "No problem." He goes into what he considers to be the interpretation of it, which is "that the phrase implies an imposition on the part of the person saying, 'Thank you.'"

Among other things, he says that his friend thinks it's "the result of a cultural shift that can be traced to an influx of citizens whose speech is descended from Romance languages." He explained what is considered to be the definition of "You're welcome" (basically, "I did something, but you deserve it.") & a traditional Romance language response of "De nada" ("of nothing" ~ which essentially means, "What little I did for you is not worthy of acknowledgment."). The friend basically concludes that "In both cases, the thankee is trying to relieve the thanker of any sense of obligation."

The author goes on to say that he probably should accept his friend's explanation & move on, but he doesn't seem quite ready. It looks like quite the hot topic, because there have been almost 400 comments since the post was written (in July).

I completely agree with the friend. In my opinion (& feel free to disagree!), "No problem" simply implies that it wasn't a problem. That's all. I don't think it means that it could have been a problem or an imposition (though sometimes, that could be the case). & I certainly don't think that anybody is implying that the deed meant nothing, especially when said with a smile! On that note, I feel that Chick-fil-A employees go a little above & beyond with their response of, "My pleasure." I like it & I don't at the same time. If it's a sincere response, it makes me happy ~ but I know that they are trained to say that!

What do you think? & what is your general response when someone thanks you for something?

  1. You're welcome
  2. No problem
  3. De nada
  4. My pleasure
  5. No worries
  6. Not a problem

{In case you wondered, I use all but "D", though my mister replies with that on a regular basis & actually means it!} ヅ

Amy

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Arms Around Me"

(by Hawk Nelson) Arms Around Me - Hawkology





I have loved this song since the album came out 2 or 3 years ago. I really can't believe I haven't posted it before! I'm not sure what put it at the top this week, though I have to be honest & say that there were several songs with the same amount of plays (once I excluded the Jonas L.A. soundtrack that my baby girl chose one day). I had my ipod on "shuffle", but had 5 songs repeated twice. How does that happen? I have plenty of songs on there, so I don't quite understand that.

Anyways, I ღ Hawk Nelson! I've probably said that a time or two, and I'm sure I'll say it again. My favorite part of this song (in addition to the chorus) is the 2nd verse. It sorta goes along with the theme of yesterday's post:

"You're always near me, even when it's ugly
Even when I'm screaming up to You
I'm thankful for Your mercy
You always seem to hear me
It's not always easy to push through"

Good stuff!

I hope you're having a super great weekend!

Amy

Friday, November 5, 2010

"There You Are"

(by Lovelite) There You Are - All Color



"Tie me to You so I cannot leave
Distance from You makes me dry and weak
Come fill me up and change what I do
All I want now is to mirror You

Chorus:
And if ever I am faithless
I can’t escape Your greatness
From the brightest of places
To the infinite spaces
There You are, there You are

My gentle frame wants to be set free
Strength from the source will outlast all need
That which is lost mercy will renew
All You have saved longs to honor You

Chorus

You have been there before time began
Crying mercy for the broken man...

Chorus..."

I haven't posted lyrics to a song in awhile, but these are just too good & true not to post. Becky at The Word of God and a Cup of Joe asked what music is speaking to our hearts lately. In addition to Needtobreathe (who she blogged about!), Lovelite songs are really meaningful to me these days. Aren't the words to thing song so honest? I love it.

"Tie me to You so I cannot leave"

Why do I choose to distance myself from God sometimes?

Especially when it leaves me "dry and weak".

I know I posted the lyrics ~ but in case you didn't read them, you really should! The chorus starts out:

"And if ever I am faithless
I can’t escape Your greatness"

He is here, waiting for me to meet with Him.

Sometimes I get in ruts where I read His Word, but I don't actually meet with Him. What a shame, huh? Am I the only one who does this?

I love the promise in the 2nd verse:
"That which is lost mercy will renew"

I know that you totally know this verse, but Lam 3:23 says, "Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each day." (NLT) Isn't that awesome?! There's so much more that I could point out in this song, but I'll let you linger on it if you have the time. The album that includes this song (All Color) is available for free download at Come&Live!. (You have to actually click on their album. I couldn't get a direct link). You should totally check it out!

Amy

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Caring is Creepy"

(by The Shins) Caring Is Creepy - Oh, Inverted World



This song has absolutely nothing to do with today. It just happens to be the "test song" that my Grooveshark technical support girl picked when she showed me a way around the bug that has prevented me from making my little player widget. As you can see, it's working now! So, in honor of me being able to post my songs again, I picked her song for today. I've gone back & fixed the ones that had issues, too. Because I'm productive like that.

Anyways, I thought I'd play a little game of catch-up today...

A grass fire threatened our neighborhood last week. They shut the highway down for 4 hours (it actually crossed the highway in three places). Fortunately, no homes or buildings were burned and nobody was injured. I was aware of the fire, but I thought it was farter north. I started smelling smoke when I was watering the lawn in the morning. My friend Amy called to tell me that her husband was right by my house when they were shutting down the highway, so he wanted her to let me know about it. I was definitely a little concerned about it, but I'm glad I didn't realized just how close it was to my house until it was over! I could actually smell smoke in my house, but I couldn't actually see the fire. From upstairs, I could see smoke. I would go up there every once in awhile to see what direction the smoke was blowing. The wind was absolutely crazy that day. Anyways, you can't see my house in the picture below, but it's only about 4 or 5 houses to the right. Craziness!


As I mentioned before, I was scrapbooking at Jana's parents over the weekend. As usual, we had a great time & ate delicious food! Elizabeth is now officially 10 years old in her album. I didn't attend as many crops this year as I normally would, so my goal of actually getting caught up this year is not going to happen. One day it will, I just know it. My total count for the weekend:

  • Pages completed: 49
  • Hours slept: 13 {I think that's a record ~ I usually get about 1/2 that!}
  • Pounds gained: .5 {I think that's a record, also ~ I usually gain a couple!}

For the past few years, we've been going over to Amy's to enjoy Halloween with her family & our pastor's family. We eat yummy food, then the moms take the kids trick-or-treating while the dads stay at the house to hand out candy. Jana & I were running a little late on Sunday, so my family went over to Amy's ahead of me. When I arrived (about 30 minutes after the rest of them), I walked in to what I thought was a comical sight: our pastor was sewing Cody's costume! I SO wish I had taken a picture of that!! Here's a picture of my kids, though!

{Elly was art, & Cody was Luke Skywalker}

I haven't had the chance to share an exciting thing that actually happened the weekend of the wedding (like, 10 days ago or something)...I'm sure you remember the post where I expressed my desire for there to be more awareness for Ocular Melanoma. Well, I said something in passing that I decided to act on. I contacted the mateys at International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and got a couple of responses! Jezebel (the "webwench") said that they are all for connecting the day with good causes & explained how I can get something listed on their site for the event next year. I thought that would be all & was fine with that. Then, I heard from Cap'n Slappy himself! He sent me an email saying that he posted the OMF link on the Facebook International Talk Like a Pirate Day page - which has nearly 35,000 followers! As you can see from the pic below, a lot of people "liked" it. There were also several comments, some of them stating that they had shared the link.


My friend Laura has also looked into ways to raise awareness & funding for OM. One of the things she found out is that Goodsearch supports OMF! So, if you'd like, you can add their toolbar to your web browser. By doing that, each time you search the internet or shop at one of their participating stores, a donation is made to OMF. Cool beans!

I guess that's all for now! I'm sorry this post was all over the place, but that's just the way I roll sometimes!

Amy