Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Safe & Sound"

(by Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars)

I hope y'all have had a great week! I've been doing some more Spring cleaning. That may not sound so exciting, but I love when things are clean & organized! I've had a bunch of stuff piling up in my scrapbook closet for awhile now, and it was way past time to go through it. One thing I've always had a hard time getting rid of is the kids' artwork. Elly helped me go through some of it, and we came across some funny stuff! There was a list of things from third grade that she loved {like Dr Pepper, puppies, & her dad ~ not me, just her dad!} & didn't love {like dresses & her neighbor ~ if you knew us when we lived in Sugar Land, you know the one she was talking about!} For some reason, the list made us laugh! :D

I got to spend an afternoon snuggling with my little friend Caleb this week! He's a busy little toddler now, so he's not so much a fan of sitting still anymore. Fortunately for me, he was at my house around nap time and was pretty chill. So both before and after his nap, he sat in my lap & let me rock him. That's pretty much the best feeling in the world ~ especially when he put his little hand in mine. ♥

{random side note: did you notice the little injury on my arm? I moved a grand total of one box for my dad yet somehow injured myself. I'm telling you, it's a talent!}

In the spirit of randomness...Elly thought I should tell y'all about a little game I play just about every morning. It's sorta like Where's Waldo?, except it's a coffee bean that I'm trying to find in the midst of a brown & black countertop.

I realize that it's not impossible, but I'm normally unable to find the missing bean until after I've already ground the rest of the beans. It's helpful if I position myself to where the countertop is eye level:


Elly & I were originally going to be in Austin for a youth thing today, but it got cancelled on Thursday. So we decided to take an trip up to Dallas last night to attend a birthday party for my friend Tara today! We won't get home until the wee hours of the morning, but it'll be totally worth it! {ask me if I still feel that way at church tomorrow after only a few hours of sleep!} We went to church with Tara & her family when we lived in the Dallas area. She was a mentor & good friend to me {seriously, there aren't many people who will check your chin for whiskers or your armpits for stench and be completely honest with you about the results!} She is the widow of our hero Pete, & their daughter Kristin was one of my favorite girls in our youth group {& the bride whose wedding Elly wrote about awhile back!} I also mentioned Tara in my very first Friends' Theme Songs post. Anyways, Tara turned 50 a couple of weeks ago, and Kristin is throwing her a surprise party tonight! I'm so excited to see her!! Plus, we had an excuse to stay with Uncle Dan & Aunt Sheryl at the lake last night, & they have a super cute new dog! :)

I have to admit that I am a complete failure in regards to today's song. I consider myself a fan of both Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars, yet I somehow didn't know that today's song existed until I saw The Hunger Games soundtrack this week. There are actually several songs by both of these artists (together & separately) in the movie. Maybe I would've noticed if I had seen in, but I haven't yet. :/ I've previewed the album on iTunes, and most of the songs have the same sad feel as this one. Not that I expected upbeat songs for a movie like that. But I'm liking this song, and I like what I've heard of several of the others. Have you listened to any of it?

Well, I've got to go catch some fish {not really...I don't like to touch the minnows, so I just sit on the dock & watch!} I hope you're having a super great weekend! ♥


Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Jesus, Garden of My Rest"

(by Robbie Seay Band) Jesus Garden of My Rest - Better Days

Jesus Garden Of My Rest (Better Days Album Version) by Robbie Seay Band on Grooveshark

I finally remembered {when it wasn't dark &/or raining} to take some pictures of the new plants in my garden! {& I picked today's song because I like it, & it has the word garden in it ~ lame, I know!} Everything is still pretty small & not in full bloom yet, so I plan on posting a pic or two later on to let you see how things turn out. For now I thought you might like to see a few of the pretty colors. If I had thought things through, I would've remembered what these are so I could tell you. Unfortunately, that's not the case with most of them.  Sorry about that ~ I've never really claimed to be a gardener.

Anyways...I got a few of these copper canyon daisies. They smell sorta like citrus & licorice ~ weird but good at the same time.

I also got a few salvias. They're going to be so pretty before too long!

I planted a few annuals & perennials, too...

These next couple of plants are from last year, but I'm happy that they're still alive! This is an esperanza that is only about 2' tall right now but should get huge!

& my lantanas have these little buds all over them. They're going to be so pretty when they come into to bloom!

Alrighty, that's all for now! Are you growing anything pretty in your yard?


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Lean On Me"

(by the Glee Cast) Lean On Me (Glee Cast Version) - Glee: The Music, Vol. 2 ~ I chose this version because Julie played a lot of their songs on Venture

Lean On Me (Glee Cast Version) by Glee Cast on Grooveshark

I almost forgot that Julie & I compiled a little list that we like to call "Friends' Theme Songs: Venture Leader Edition"! I could try to come up with songs for the other adult volunteers in the student ministry, but a couple of the ones that went on Venture already had a song. So I figured these few are good enough for now! Plus, there's a super cute picture of all of us at the zoo:

We'll just go from left to right, OK? As you probably know, that's me on the left. I don't really have a song, because I prefer to assign songs to other people. {OK, well I do have a song, but it really isn't pertinent to today's topic...} So we'll start with Nicole. There are a lot of phrases that Nicole says on a regular basis. Things like: "Shut it down!" & "Oh hey" ~ just to name a couple. But my favorite thing that she says is, "Dad gum." And it's probably my favorite because of this song:

Then there's Wade, but I already told y'all his song (in the "GPBC Pastors & Wives Edition"). So we'll move along to Aaron: he loves Batman, so the theme song from the show is what suits him best. Julie is a huge Shane & Shane fan, so I love the fact that they have a song with her name! And finally...Dylan. You'd think that he'd hate me for making his a Justin Bieber song, but the dude seriously has Bieber on his iPod. And he played it for the people in their van. Hmm...

How's that for a short but sweet post?! Thanks for humoring me by reading my randomness... ♥


Monday, March 26, 2012

"What a Wonderful World"

(by Louis Armstrong) What a Wonderful World (Single Version) - Louis Armstrong's All-Time Greatest Hits

What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong on Grooveshark

I know I totally skipped this last week! I figured y'all were OK with that, because I actually had a couple of events to blog about. I was still writing things down on my list though, & I am quite grateful for...

  1. A super great Spring Break!
  2. A student who was willing to clean something incredibly nasty so I didn't have to {how could I have forgotten that in my last thankful post?!}
  3. The opportunity to sleep in a little
  4. Lunch with my bloggy friend & her family
  5. Lupe Tortilla's soft chicken tacos
  6. Buy one, get one 50% off deals {I got two backpacks for a total of $10.50 at Zumiez ~ that's pretty super!}
  7. A safe business trip for my mister
  8. My baby brother giving me scripture to look up ♥
  9. Wildflowers
  10. A book that was one of my absolute favorites from my childhood {it was from my Mema A, which is probably why it was a favorite ~ my dad found it when he was packing ♥}
  11. Having the time to do a little Spring cleaning
  12. Eating {too much} cheesecake with my baby brother
  13. Confirmation {I'm always nervous when it's my turn to give the Mentor Moment at MOPS, but God always confirms the word that is on my heart. I love that about Him!}
  14. New plants for my garden
  15. Being included in late night girl chat with my baby girl & her friend
  16. Room for my dad to stay with us for awhile {he closes on the sale of his house this week!}
  17. An afternoon with my brother {he brought Dad's TV & stuck around for the rest of the day}
  18. An encouraging email from the mom of one of our students at church ♥
  19. Tuna with dill relish & onions {one little pouch has 16g of protein ~ how about that?!}
  20. Heartbreaking yet beautiful conversation in small groups with my favorite students {gosh, I love those girls so much!}
  21. Chalk drawings on my driveway
  22. Panera with Marcie
  23. The chance to see my dad's house one last time before he sells it {they bought it when I was in 5th grade, so it was a part of my life longer than my baby brother has been!}
  24. Coffee from my favorite place in Kingwood
  25. Meandering through the town where I spent most of my childhood {a drive full of memories: my first kiss, middle school, church, my favorite Astro's house,...}

It really is a wonderful world! What's on your list of wonderful things today?


Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Farther Along"

(by Josh Garrels) Farther Along - Love & War & The Sea In Between

This week I...

...did a little Spring cleaning

...worked on our taxes {ugh}

...did a little money laundering


...said goodbye to some of my brother's fellow inmates {Bible study is over, so I may never see them again, & I'm not going to lie: I totally had tears in my eyes as we were leaving}

...did a little gardening {I'll post pics soon ~ I didn't think about it until after the sun had set!}

...welcomed my dad into our home {until he finds a new place nearby ~ I'm so excited!!}

...listened to a bunch of Josh Garrels tunes :) I got an email with today's video, & I fell in love a little bit. It is so good! You really need to listen to it if you haven't already! The whole thing is beautiful. I really can't pick a favorite part! {p.s. Have I mentioned that I love getting music suggestions? Especially when you can get an entire album for free!}

I hope your weekend is going super! ♥


Friday, March 23, 2012

"Hold My Heart"

(by Tenth Avenue North) Hold My Heart - Over and Underneath (Bonus Video Version)

Hold My Heart (Acoustic) by Tenth Avenue North on Grooveshark

I've heard a lot of great things about the movie October Baby:

It's a movie about redemption, grace, love, and beauty. It is inspired by real life events & tells a story about an abortion survivor. It's in theaters TODAY! You should totally go see it if you get a chance!

"every life {is} beautiful"


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Love Through Me"

(by Jenny & Tyler) Love Through Me - This Isn't a Dream

Love Through Me by Jenny & Tyler on Grooveshark

Now for the Venture post ~ where I get to tell y'all about the mission trip that my baby girl & I took with the students last week!

We drove up to Dallas after church on Sunday in the pouring rain! It was my first time to drive a 15-passenger van, which turned out to be a whole lot easier than I thought it would be. In fact, Julie told me several times that she was impressed with my skills! {& I must confess that I felt quite empowered driving something so tall that I had to jump to get out of, but why did I get the one van without a step?!} Somehow we got to talking with British accents before we got out of Houston, so we decided to talk that way for the entire drive to Dallas. For the next few days, we would randomly slip back into it. Is that weird?

Anyways...we started out each morning with devos at a park near Mission Arlington.

After that, we got our assignments & headed out. On the first day, we got to play with kids & share Bible stories with them. That morning we dropped half of the group off at an apartment complex, while the rest of us piled into two of the vans & headed out to a different apartment complex. According to Aaron's map, it was close by. But we couldn't tell how turns out that it was right across the street, & we totally could've walked there! :D In the afternoon, we split up again & went to another apartment complex and a mobile home park.

There was a cute & sassy little girl who got ahold of my camera for awhile. She took a bunch of pictures of us, instructing us how to pose & such!

{She looked through them, trying to find her favorite picture. I told her this one [she took of herself] was mine!} :)

The second day was a little more stretching (for lack of better words). We went to another apartment complex to do some cleaning. Some people cleaned up the courtyard, while the rest of us emptied out & cleaned up some abandoned apartments. These girls were troopers & cleaned & disposed of some terribly disgusting stuff.

If I can be completely honest with y'all, this was harder than I thought it would be. I can lack the motivation to clean my house at times, but I really don't mind cleaning. This was a completely different story, though. It may not look too dirty from what you can see in the picture, but there was some extreme nastiness in the bathroom & kitchen. I don't have a very sensitive gag reflex, but I seriously had to go outside a couple of times so I could keep from puking. I kept reminding myself that it was for Jesus, and I had Joey turn on some worship music so I could get my mind off the dirt & stench. There was something in the kitchen sink that to this day makes me gag just thinking about it. Kristin (one of the students) offered to clean it for me, & I bought her dinner because I was so grateful!

A big part of my task was emptying & cleaning the fridge. I am so incredibly thankful that it had been plugged in for the two months that the apartment had been empty! Otherwise it would've been absolutely horrid. It still wasn't pretty, but it could've been so much worse! It was nearing lunchtime, and we weren't sure if we would be going back to that complex in the afternoon. I was tempted to clean the outside, because I knew I could do it quicker than I could finish the inside. I'm not trying to over-spiritualize things, but I really felt like the Lord didn't want me to do that. I saw this picture in my mind of a sparkling clean refrigerator on the outside that was still filthy on the inside, and I was reminded of the scripture about the dirty cup/plate & the whitewashed tombs. I continued working on the inside of the fridge & thought it would be a great surprise if the apartment manager saw the dirty exterior and opened it to find that it was clean inside! As it turns out, there were other apartments to clean & plenty of other work to be done in that complex. So we returned there after lunch, and I had time to complete the entire fridge (& more).

In the evenings, we did fun stuff! We saw The Lorax in 3D, went to Speed Zone...

...played whirly ball...

{ftr, you're able to stop a little easier if you remember that there's a gas pedal. And that your foot is on it.}

...and went to the zoo (before we drove home on Wednesday)!

I have SO many more pictures & stories I could share with you, but this is already quite long! Venture was a wonderful few days with some amazing people, and I'm so glad that I get to serve the Lord (& have fun) with them!


Monday, March 19, 2012

"Vous êtes mon cœur (You Are My Heart)"

(by Gungor) Vous êtes mon cœur (You Are My Heart) - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition)

Vous êtes mon cœur (You Are My Heart) by Michael Gungor on Grooveshark

In lieu of my usual Monday thing, I figured it was finally time for the post about the Gungor concert! Oh, y' was awesome! And I finally have the pictures! What's sorta funny is that I waited for my memory card all this time, and there aren't actually any pics of Gungor! But there are pics of my friends & me at the concert, so they'll have to do!

Here I am with Laurien:

Julie & me:

Laurien & Nicole:

Before I get to the details of the concert, I have a brief story of the type that you'd expect from me...We got there about an hour early (so we could get good seats) & had been sitting there talking for a little while when Julie looked around & said, "I probably know someone here." After I agreed that I probably did, too, I looked up and saw my friend Kent! :)

Anyways...The Brilliance opened up for Gungor. It really was a happy surprise, because we hadn't heard of them before & weren't sure how we'd feel about them. I sorta thought we'd just endure that part while waiting for Gungor, but that wasn't the case! Michael Gungor's brother (David) is in the band, and there are some similarities between the two bands. They even used some of the same musicians.

The concert wasn't so much a concert as it was a worship service ~ complete with the spoken Word (poetry & scripture), corporate confession & prayer, and (of course) music. It was great! There was definitely a degree of entertainment to it, but even then it was more of a reminder of how God has blessed these people with amazing talent that they are using for His glory. They went through a lot of the GUTE album, telling the story of life from creation through the fall, death, resurrection, repentance, redemption, hope, & life. They also did a few songs from Beautiful Things.

Overall, the night reaffirmed the love of my Redeemer ~ my love for Him, and His love for me. That's why I chose today's song for this post. ♥


Saturday, March 17, 2012

"So Close So Far"

(by Future of Forestry) So Close So Far - Travel II - EP

So Close So Far by Future of Forestry on Grooveshark

This week has been super great! I plan on telling y'all more about the mission trip later. Other than that {& sleeping in until 8 or 9 for the past few days!} my week has been pretty chill, but I needed it! I met my friend Sloan for coffee on Thursday, and I picked up my sweet boy from Amy's after that. I hadn't seen him in four days, but I think he would've rather stayed with his friend! :( On Friday, the kids & I met my bloggy friend & her family for lunch!! It was SO good to see her again & meet her boys! :) And tonight we went to a party where our friends revealed the gender of the baby they are having! {SO fun!}

For fear of coming across as one of those freaky dog-obsessed people, I almost didn't post the following. But I really don't think I talk about Pepper so much that I come across that way. Do I? Anyways, my baby puppy turned 5 on Thursday! We usually buy her a "fancy" canned-type meal (rather than the dry food she usually gets) & stick a candle in it. 'Cuz we're weird like that.

Sometimes she gets a toy, too...

...which she promptly destroys.

{It seriously looks like roadkill now, don't you think?!}

Then I showed her that another squeaker was still inside, so she destroyed it a little more...

& rolled around in the "remains"...

She's such a freak!

When she was done, she struck her "innocent" pose:


As for today's song, it really is just a guess. We listened to all sorts of randomness from everybody's iPods on the trip, but I'm pretty sure we heard this song the most. Emma requested it several times {referring to it as the "boom ba boom clap clap" song ~ or something along those lines!} & I can understand why she likes it! I had never heard of this band before, but I'm always happy to discover new [good] music. Have you discovered any lately?

I hope you're having a fantastic weekend! ♥