Saturday, April 30, 2011

"On the Dark Side"

(by John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band) On the Dark Side - NOW That's What I Call 80s Hits (Deluxe Edition)





I've been in the mood for 80's music lately, and today's song is one of my all-time favorites. I'm sure I wasn't old enough to watch Eddie and the Cruisers when it came out on HBO, but I probably watched it about a thousand times. I was absolutely in love with Michael Paré. When I played "house" with my friend Carrie, Michael Paré was always my husband. Sigh. Anyways, I'm still on an 80's kick, so you may see more awesome songs on here later. I was at an all-day crop last Saturday, and all we listened to was 80's music! ♥ For the first half of the day, we were listening to some kind of 80's mix, then we listened to a lot of Journey, Foreigner and Chicago {for the record: Chicago 17 is the best album ever, hands down.} It was super great!

I haven't had too much blog-worthy stuff going on lately, as evidenced by my lack of posts. I had lunch with my friend Sam and her precious son (who calls me Annie! ♥), went on a couple of bike rides, picked up a few more things for goingLOCAL (which is coming up in just a few days!), went to MOPS and I got my nails done. Exciting stuff, huh? I have a feeling it's the calm before the storm, though. With the tornadoes this week, it looks like I'll be working some. So between work & goingLOCAL you may not hear much from me for a little bit.

One exciting thing this week was the end of TAKS!! The kids & I celebrated at BerriBlends:


On a completely random note, I discovered New-Skin® liquid bandage this week! And can I just say that it's a bottle of pure awesomeness?! I sliced my finger while making dinner the other night, but I had a nail appointment the very next day. I know there are more important things in life than getting my nails done, but I had broken one {while changing bike gears the other day? idk...} and it was past time for a refill. Anyways, I couldn't leave the regular bandage on, but I couldn't leave my cut exposed either. So I decided to try New-Skin®, and I'm totally impressed! It survived the nail salon and a crop night! Yay for discovering a new product!


Since I completely skipped my Scrobbled Saturday post last weekend (& I only talked about the Ladies Retreat & FM Static for the couple of weeks before that), there are a couple of things I've failed to mention lately. So I'll just take this time to play a little game of catch-up...

We finally had another Empanada Night with our friends Dan & Amanda! We discovered this empanada place about 5 or 6 years ago, & it became "our place". {We've never taken anybody else there, but they cheated on us & took some out-of-town family. I'm not bitter or anything!} Anyways, I forgot to ask if they would mind me posting a picture of their baby boy, but I know they won't mind me posting this cute pic of Cody & one of their dogs (Charlie Brown) asleep on the floor:


At baby girl's school, they have fun dress-up days every once in awhile. One day, the teachers & staff dressed like students & vice-versa. Elly decided to go as her vice principal, so he let her borrow one of his Aggie shirts. And out of all 400+ students at her school, he dressed up as my baby girl!

{You can't really tell that he's dressed like her ~ but she wears a plaid shirt a lot, and he's carrying her backpack & lunch box}

Then another day, they got to dress up as whatever they wanted, and she chose him again!

{How cute is she with her little fake ID badge?!}

Well, that's all I can think of for now...I hope y'all have a super great weekend!

Amy

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"The Storm"

(by Elenowen) The Storm - Pulling Back the Veil



The kids & I watched Tuesday night's premiere of The Voice last night, and I was stoked to see Elenowen on there! I've been a fan for awhile, but I have no idea why I haven't posted one of their songs before! The one that I really wanted to post today was "What We Hope", but Grooveshark has changed things on me again! I can't get the code to embed the little player :( Anyways, I really like Elenowen, & I think you should totally check them out!

Amy

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Serenade to Spring"

(by Secret Garden) Serenade to Spring - Songs from a Secret Garden



Though Texas may have some unbearably hot days approaching, we also have some beautiful days earlier in the year (when Northerners are still stuck in snow)! One benefit of those Spring days are loads of beautiful flowers, and I have some pictures to prove it! {Jennifer, your request has been granted! If only I was half the photographer that you are...}

My butterfly bush has grown taller than the fence, & it makes me SO happy!

{& maybe one day a vine will actually grow on that trellis! They keep dying on me!}

In the opposite corner, I have a sad little Esperanza! This thing really will get HUGE ~ but I planted it in the fall, so it didn't have a chance to get established before winter. I'm just glad it came back! It had died down to nothing, but I kept watering it this Spring. One day a few weeks ago, I discovered that it was alive! I ran into the house, excitedly yelling, "There's green on my Esperanza!" {The kids thought I was a little crazy & didn't know why I threw in some Español!} But I'm so excited, because it'll be gorgeous one day! If you'd like to see how it should look eventually, check out this site.


I finally gave in & got some Knockout Roses last week. They're all over the place down here, which is part of why I've resisted up to this point. But after losing some supposedly evergreen little shrubs that never really grew well last Spring, I decided it was time to get something that I knew would work well here. Plus, they're pretty!


I have some blueberries that'll be ready to eat soon!


And some pretty flowers...




{How cute is this batface?!}

I have also moved a couple of azalea bushes ~ they're quite sad right now, so I won't show you a picture yet! & I've transplanted some sod to fill in the holes where a neighbor dog has dug his way into my yard. Yes, you read that correctly. I've heard of dogs digging out of their yards, but who ever heard of a dog digging in to a yard?! Alas, it happens here in my part of Suburbia. One day we saw some movement in the back yard. Cody realized it was a dog, but Pepper was right there inside with us. Lo and behold, it was our neighbor dog Sam! We went outside to see how he got there & discovered holes under both gates!


Pepper thinks she's a big dog, so she has no idea that she can fit through Sam's hole. {He looks like Spuds MacKenzie ~ did I just age myself? OK, maybe the Target dog then. Anyways, he is definitely bigger than my baby puppy.}

{See Sam's scratch marks? Seriously, you can't make this stuff up!}

I had tried some filler grass seed & dirt, but that didn't seem to do the trick. So, I put more dirt & some pieces of sod there instead. Hopefully this works, because it ends up a muddy mess without grass there!


So, that's what's going on in my yard these days. What about yours?

Amy

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Christ is Risen"

(by Matt Maher) Christ Is Risen (Radio Edit) - Christ Is Risen



Amy

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Garden"

(by NEEDTOBREATHE) Garden - The Outsiders (Deluxe Version)



I love this song. It breaks my heart a little bit, though. I can just imagine Jesus feeling this way in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before His death. He knew that God's plan called for Him to sacrifice His life for us. There was no other way for us to be reconciled to Him. Yet Jesus, fully God and fully man, still asked God (three times) to take the cup of suffering away from Him (Matt 26:39-44). Sometimes, I forget about the "fully man" part of Him. I think that because He knew all along what His purpose was, it wouldn't be hard to follow God's will. But He was grieving, and His soul was crushed (Matt 26:38). He felt the pain that any human would feel in His circumstances, yet He loved the people who turned away from Him, beat Him, betrayed Him, denied Him & crucified Him.

And He loved His Father. So He said, "Your will be done."

"But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Rom 5:8)

What a beautiful sacrifice! His life for ours. It just doesn't seem right, but it was how God saw fit to give us eternal life. I am so grateful to be saved from a life of sin and an eternity without God!

I'll close with the chorus of today's song, which is the prayer of my heart:

Let the songs I sing bring joy to You
Let the words I say confess my love
Let the notes I choose be Your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after You


Amy

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"3 Rs"

(by Jack Johnson) 3 Rs - Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George



Tomorrow is a bunch of special days all wrapped up in one. First of all, it's my brother Kerry's birthday! You may remember the post with childhood pictures & such from last year. It's so funny when I look back at it, because (as Brooke commented) we seem to like each other a little more each year! :)

Anyways, with tomorrow being Good Friday, I decided to give that the honor of a post on the actual day & do my Earth Day post a day early...

I try to do my part to be green, but I pale in comparison to my friend Messy Mom!

I have one (or maybe three) of these reusable water bottles with me at all times:

{Yes, the one on the left is Jimi Hendrix. You know you want one just like it!}

And the kids have these:


I carry these bags to the store {when I remember them}:


I have a flex fuel van, but I rarely use the "green" gas because I get better gas mileage with the regular fuel. {Shame on me, I know! But I have a budget to stick to!} Our home & most appliances are energy efficient, though I'm sure there are a few things that we could replace/upgrade. I buy a lot of my clothes from resale stores. We recycle, but we don't have neighborhood recycling pick-up. I take our recyclables to a recycling center when I already plan to drive past one, so I don't use extra fuel & defeat the purpose. Honestly, though, that's about all I do.

But my sweet boy has been working on a little recycling project of his own. He decided that since we don't have recycling pick-up in our neighborhood, he would just do it himself! He & Chris made little flyers, and he handed them out. He also put together this wagon-type thing using one of my recycling bins, a skateboard & jump ropes:


{He wanted me to show both sides!}

He gathered some old toy bins from his closet & arranged them in the garage for sorting:


Eventually he plans to expand his territory, but for now his route is limited to only our street. There's a man that leaves stuff out each Sunday afternoon, and there are a couple of others who leave stuff out occasionally. If he gets a lot of cans, he wants me to take them to a place where I can get money for them. Then, he wants to take the money & donate it. He hasn't picked an organization yet, though.

Amy

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Friends"

(by Limbeck) Friends - Limbeck



I'm calling this post "Friends' Theme Songs: GPBC Pastors & Wives Edition". I had a little help from friends who I'll call Junior & Chris. {Names may or may not have been changed to protect the innocent guilty!}

I was already thinking about posting a Johnny Cash song for Neil, and that thought was confirmed after a comment he made from the pulpit yesterday. {Something about his truck smelling like Johnny Cash & coffee!} I wag going to pick "I've Been Everywhere"...especially if they have a Waffle House there (thank you, Junior)! But I ultimately decided that "I Walk the Line" would be best for him. If you've never heard Neil McClendon preach, you're seriously missing out on a hilarious part of life. I could write an entire series of posts full of Neil quotes, & I'm pretty sure you could find some online if you googled him. Just for fun, I'll share a few of the Neil-isms that I've collected through the years: Referring to a man wearing long-sleeves in the Texas summer heat, he said, "What'd you do, just drive in from the surface of the sun? You getting acclimated?"...While traveling, Marcie (his wife) had emailed him a list of several restaurants in the area that were featured on "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives". He said that he planned to go to each of them & validated his plans by saying, "I can't be a bad steward of information!"..."'If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right.' That's what I say to my chocolate milk when I'm making it."...There are many more where those came from, but I have more people & songs to tell you about. {If you'd like to hear some Neil-sims in action, you should totally subscribe to the podcast}

I really wanted to post "Miss Mary Mac" for Marcie, because I like to sing that when I think of her (exchanging "Marcie" for "Mary", obviously). But I couldn't find a good version of it to post. And since I don't know of a song out there about friends who always have to run for tissues when they email each other, I did the only other logical thing: I picked an Aerosmith song! To some of you, that may not seem like the obvious choice ~ but because of her love for a particular band member, I had to do it. I thought these "Dream On" lyrics were appropriate for us: "Sing with me, sing for the year, sing for the laughter, sing for the tear".

"Ramblin' Man" is for Wade ~ not to be mistaken for Amy's Wade, who I've already mentioned. By the way, can I just say that I've never known a Wade in my life, but there are THREE at our church?! How'd that happen? I understand there being a bunch of Amys, but Wades?! It made it quite difficult to find another song with his name in it. Of course, the song doesn't always have to have their name in it, but it'd be WAY easier that way. Did I ever tell you the story about my brother telling me how saltwater got its salt? {Eh, Wade? Sound familiar?} I could go on, but there's no way that even I could come up with enough tangents to do Wade justice. & I'm not even going to explain the song any further, because this blog is a dictatorship ~ not a democracy! But let me just say that if there really was a "Cool Clipboard", Wade's name would be on it. Enough rambling, let's move on to Wade's hot wife...

There were lots of Sally songs that I could've picked for my friend Sal. I even discovered a 180 ska/worship song with her name. (What?!) It was just random enough that I almost picked it, but when it was all said & done I decided "Mustang Sally" was the most fun. Sal, when all of our kids are grown (& we're old enough for those haircuts that the three of us vowed we'd never get), I hope we'll still be meeting for coffee. Maybe one day you'll show up in a '65 Mustang. That'd be neat-o!

And now for Mel! {You thought you were next, didn't you, Lance? I'm saving you for last. Just to bug you. 'Cuz I'm mean like that.} I was totally going to post a Billy Idol song for Mel (you know why, girl!), but I decided it was more fitting for her to have a Pete Yorn song instead. I can't hear Pete Yorn without thinking of my friend Mel. She has a little music blog, where he was her first post. So I cheated & decided her song would be one of the ones she mentioned in that post. {Sorry, Mel. I know it's not so creative. This totally debunks your claim that I know every song ever made. I'm sorry to disappoint, but it's way better than a song about the book of Judges!}

And last but not least...this one's for you, Lance! I know you felt left out when I mentioned some of our other friends in that one post. So to make up for it, you actually have a video! ü I almost picked a song about a star, simply because you keep botching up John's song title! But "Lance the Turtle" is WAY better! {Don't worry, Mel. I will never divulge what you said to me when I told you this would be his song!}




Once again, if you've stuck with me long enough to get to the end of this post, you deserve a gold star! I hope y'all have a super great week!!

Amy

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Breaking Me Again"

(by FM Static) Breaking Me Again - My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go





What a wonderful past couple of days!! I drove four beautiful friends to Brenham, where we met up with women from our church for a Ladies Retreat. We stopped in town for delicious pie & a little shopping. I discovered that the mother of my boyfriend from high school now goes to my church & was at the retreat! {It turns out that they had a nickname for me: "Bowling Shoes". You're probably smart enough to figure out that there was a reason for that ~ I actually wore bowling shoes for several years back then! And for the record: I didn't steal them!} I had a few deep conversations with some wonderful friends that I'm sure will continue to resonate in my soul for awhile. I am so thankful for the women that God has put into my life, and I cannot put into words how much they mean to me.

We played a couple of rounds of Bunco after the Friday evening session, then we went back to our cottage for more game time. We played our own version of Moods & Catch Phrase Music Edition until about 2:45. After the larger group had dwindled down to about five or six of us, we eventually decided it was time to go to bed. Then Marcie & I went to our room & stayed up for another hour. We would talk for a little bit then think about going to sleep. Of course, that would be when the a/c would shut off & we could hear someone snoring quite loudly in the next room! Morning came WAY too early! I heard the other ladies before I was ready to get up ~ but I couldn't be mad at them for making noise, because I was sure that we had kept them up with our noise the night before! And I was right. Apparently the sounds of our singing & laughing had carried a little more than we realized on the tile floors, because when I walked into the kitchen I liked to have never heard the end of it!

Anyways, the rest of the retreat was good! I am really glad that I had the chance to go this year. I had arrived there with a bit of a heavy heart, but I am really feeling God working in it through the words of the speaker as well as my friends. I haven't fully absorbed all that God wants to get through to me yet, but I'm on my way. I sort of feel broken, but in a good way. There are some things I need to let go of & trust God with. Today's song sums up a lot of what I'm feeling {plus, it's just an all-around awesome song!}:

When everything seems crazy
And I don't know If I can take it
I know I need a little more help than I've ever had
And a little more love than I've had yet
I feel shaken
And I don't know if I can make it
I know I need a little more faith than if I believe
'Cause every step I take, You're breaking me again


I came home to an empty house & had time to process some of the things that God said over the weekend. It was a beautiful evening, so I sat on my back porch glider with the Word of God, a cup of hot tea and my Bible study book. I felt like the Psalmist in Psalm 27:8,

"My heart has heard You say, 'Come and talk with Me.'
And my heart responds, 'Lord, I am coming.'”

God continued to show me beautiful scripture about hoping in His faithfulness (Lam 3; Ps 31:5,24; Ps 56:3) and praising Him for the help of His presence (Ps 34 and Ps 42:11, NASB). There's so much more that I could say, but for now I'll close with this:

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
I will praise You forever, O God,
for what You have done.
I will trust in Your good name
in the presence of Your faithful people.
(Psalm 52:8-9)


Amy

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Home on the Range"

(by Michael Martin Murphy) Home On the Range - Cowboy Songs



I thought I'd share a series of pictures that I like to call "Weird Things We See on the Way to School". I don't know if I've mentioned that I carpool with another mom who has kids at both of my kids' schools. It's wonderful, because every other week I don't have to drive, PLUS I get an extra hour to myself those mornings! BUT, we usually have a little too much time between dropping the boys off & getting the girls to school (on time but not too early). So the girls & I meander through the country on the way to their school. We don't always go the same way, because (contrary to the way I live the rest of my life) I like to mix things up on the way to school. We have found it to be both crazy & fascinating at times, as we have come across some interesting things that you just don't see in the suburbs. I've thought about posting pics for awhile now, but I figured y'all probably didn't care. After what I saw this week though, I decided that you had to see a little bit of the sights that we see!

Of course there are your typical farm animals like cows, goats & Longhorns. But there are also your not so typical emus & llamas.


And the pure awesomeness that is peacock traffic...


We also see other randomness like...

Ummm...I have no idea what these ball-thingamajiggys are!


Good morning, Mr. Rock Man...


Flying cows?


& other random art:



{These are all on the same property. I have no idea what it's all about!}

There's one final animal that we see {& the main reason for this post}:

"Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam..."


First, there was just the one buffalo. Then the week after Spring Break, there was another one! I failed to get a picture of them, because I figured I had plenty of time...

Little did I know they'd have a baby! ヅ


In case you couldn't tell by the picture, those aren't real. I seriously don't get it! I thought it was weird enough when there was only ONE. The girls & I would laugh just about every time we drove by. Now? I'm just confused! I'll let you know if the herd increases!

Thanks for taking the leisurely drive through the country with me! Do you see anything interesting on your daily drive? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Amy