Monday, April 30, 2012

"Life is Beautiful"

(by The Afters) Life Is Beautiful - October Baby Motion Picture Soundtrack

I can't believe I've reached the end of this series! I haven't determined what I'll do now. Some people continue their lists beyond 1,000. Once you start noticing all of the little gifts that God gives you, it's hard to stop. And I never want to be ungrateful, because He truly has blessed me with so many beautiful things in my life. So I'll probably continue writing my list, but I don't think I'll blog about it. In all honesty, the song is the main reason why I don't think I'll continue to post my list here. It's not so easy, people. {& y'all weren't much help, ftr!} ;) But I think today's song is the perfect one to bring this series to a close. I am incredibly thankful for the all of the things that make me feel alive & the times that make me realize life is beautiful. And to wrap up my list today, I am thankful for...

  1. New friends
  2. Encouraging emails
  3. "Thinking of you" texts
  4. Lowe's coupons
  5. The time to do some projects around the house
  6. My kids surviving the STAAR
  7. Plans to cross something off my list this week!
  8. Lunch with one of my VBS team members {she missed the training meeting, so she took me to lunch so we could go over what she missed ~ how cool is that?!}
  9. Frozen Peanut Butter Mochas
  10. A friend's mom telling me that she has been praying for me
  11. Uncle Dan & Aunt Sheryl {who are like parents to me}
  12. Surprising my "brother"Aaron by showing up at his baby girl's soccer game
  13. Misty & Rob's wedding {is it OK if I say finally?!}
  14. Spending time with my girl Cassie
  15. A nice talk with beautiful Heidi {Hannah, you are so blessed to have her in your family! I love her & hope I'm at least a little bit like her when I'm her age!}
  16. Seeing several of our former students {all grown up!}
  17. Reconnecting with Shelly
  18. Sitting down & catching up with Hannah
  19. A good talk with Natalie
  20. Yet another safe drive late at night
  21. A new CD to listen to on our way home
  22. An inspiring newspaper article about my cousin Kirby
  23. Talking on the phone with my beautiful cousin Kendra
  24. My cousin Kevin qualifying for the state track meet {for the 2nd year in a row!}
  25. Love notes on napkins {some moms put little notes in their kids' lunchboxes, but I've always just written on their napkins. & every once in awhile, I get a note back!}

What are the things that make you realize life is beautiful?


Saturday, April 28, 2012

"My Heart is Yours"

(by Abby Baker) My Heart Is Yours - What I Call Beautiful - EP

OK, people, because I love y'all & don't want to be a disappointment, I'm risking carsickness to post this! We're driving home from Dallas & will get home too late for me to post something, & I won't have time tomorrow. We drove up last night for Misty & Rob's wedding this afternoon!! {more on that in a few days, when i can post a picture!} Originally, I figured that we'd leave by 6:00 at the latest, but that was before I knew that our church back home was hosting an art festival. Dan (our former pastor) wasn't staying for Misty's reception because of it, so he asked if we'd stop by before we left town. I'm so glad we did, because I got to see Shelly (my former neighbor/Dan & Sheryl's daughter-in-law) & her kids. I also got to spend time with Hannah & Natalie! {I am so SO so glad we had that time!!}

I also discovered Abby Baker, the girl who's singing today's song. I tried to figure out how to embed a video, but I can't seem to do it on the phone. And I somehow deleted another post while trying to copy the code! So for now, I'll give y'all the link to "My Heart is Yours". {I hope that worked. I'm sorry if it didn't, but I'll fix it as soon as I can!} You should totally listen to it, 'cuz she's super! I only heard her sing one song while we stepped inside the concert venue, but I really liked her sound. I had no cash, but Dan is awesome & bought me her CD! So this isn't technically the song I should've posted today, but I have no way of knowing what that would be at this point.

I did a few things this week that were out of the norm. Some of them have pictures that I'll have to show y'all later. But I thought you might be impressed that I...

...made a vertical garden out of a shipping pallet, clay pots, & hose clamps {strike the whole clay pot thing...the wind blew the vertical garden over & broke all of the clay pots. They have now been switched to plastic ones...}

...stained my hands black from spreading mulch without gloves {'cuz I'm a dummy! I totally know better! I still have black in some of the creases in my hands, & I spread the mulch on Wednesday!}

...made a dress {I'm not too happy with it, but there's potential if I fix one part. We'll see...if nothing else, I learned a few things!}

...helped save a calf {though I'm pretty sure he didn't see it that way! I think we scared him. But we scared him off the street & back into his pasture, so I deem it a success!}

...ironed my shirt while wearing it! {I know, quite risky & quite against the rules. For the record, it was just the bottom, and it got nowhere near my skin. Though I'm definitely known to burn myself with an iron (among other things), you might be glad to know that I didn't this time. Go figure!}

That's all I can think of for now! Please forgive any typos! I better post this before I screw anything else up. I hope you're having a super great weekend! ♥


Friday, April 27, 2012

"The Bakery"

(by the Arctic Monkeys) The Bakery - Fluorescent Adolescent

The Bakery by Arctic Monkeys on Grooveshark

Jana & I have made it our mission to visit every bakery in the known world...or at least in our area! Since I don't have much to blog about, I decided to make it a series. Aren't y'all excited about that?! ヅ

Our first bakery was The Sweet Boutique. They have cupcakes, cake pops, & macarons. The flavors vary daily, so we've decided that we'll have to go back on every day of the week! ;) A certain little boy was in dessert heaven...

We decided to share the Salted Caramel cupcake as well as the Rose, Vanilla, Strawberry, & Nutella macarons:

Our favorite was the Nutella. And the Rose made us think of church in the late 70's. Not so good. {ftr: church was good, but the smell? Not so much!}

As for the cupcake...

...we thought it had just enough saltiness that it didn't take away from the sweetness. The cake itself was a little dry, though.

So that's it for our first stop in what I hope will be many in the future! This will be way more fun for Jana & me than it will be for you, but you'll at least get to see a post with some pictures. Those are way better than my lengthy & rambling posts, right?!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


(by Marty Casey & Lovehammers) Trees - Marty Casey and Lovehammers

OK, Amy, I told you I had a song for the tree climbing situation! Do you seriously not remember Marty Casey from Rock Star:INXS?? Does anybody remember him? He made it to the final two but lost to J.D. Fortune. He sang today's song a couple of times. And I like it! :) So naturally, when I ended up in a tree at the ladies retreat, this song came to mind! There's one other song by my friend David that is more appropriately titled, but I've already posted it. So I'm happy to have a reason to post this one today! :)

Anyways, Amy was taking pictures of Jana & me...

...& we were looking for a good spot. For some reason I thought this would be a good idea!

Thanks to Jana for the boost & for retrieving my flip flop!
{p.s. I totally know you could've climbed that tree with me!}

And because we all know that I'm really too old to be climbing trees, I'm not ashamed to admit that I needed a little assistance getting down! :D

{& I'll just say that I'm glad nobody but Jana was watching, because I'm pretty sure I looked like a fool sliding down onto Amy's back!}

Where would we be without friends who are willing to help us down from a tree?! ü


Monday, April 23, 2012


(by Rumer) Thankful - Seasons of My Soul (Deluxe Version)

Thankful by Rumer on Grooveshark

This post comes to you from my patio on pretty much the most beautiful day ever! I hope it's just as beautiful where you are, and I hope the birds sound just as joyful! Today I am thankful for...

  1. The money to pay our taxes this year! {this has rarely been the case, so I am incredibly grateful!!}
  2. Keiljuana {my VBS partner}
  3. Kristi {my wonderful friend & neighbor, who had a birthday last week!}
  4. A spontaneous shout of "I love you, Mom!" from my baby girl {it was because I got her some Goldfish crackers at the store, but I'll take it for any reason she wants to say it!} ♥
  5. 10-year-old girls who are excited to tell their peers about Jesus
  6. A solved mystery {there had been an incessant beeping sound next door for over a month, & nobody had seen our neighbor in that entire time. I was getting really concerned about her. Another neighbor knows someone who knew her brother in high school & was able to get ahold of him. She called me Wednesday night, and all is well! And an electrician came & took care of the beeping!}
  7. A random picnic with Kristi, her adorable kids, & our neighbor guy {not to be mistaken for creepy old neighbor guy!}
  8. Lots of playground fun with my adorable little neighbors
  9. A super great ladies retreat!
  10. Being mistaken for my beautiful friend Susan ;)
  11. Friends who randomly tell me that they like me :)
  12. Late night games
  13. Funny bits of randomness that made us laugh repeatedly {like "I don't, but..." & "door hinges"}
  14. A reminder to let go of the illusion of control {I always think of Oogway when I say that!} & trust God. With everything.
  15. Chuck Colson's legacy {Well, maybe not the whole Watergate part, but definitely the prison reformation part! He was the founder of Prison Fellowship & InnerChange Freedom Initiative ~ the program my baby brother is in}
  16. My sweet boy finally feeling better!
  17. Sharing a Kit Kat with my baby brother
  18. My brother {whose birthday was yesterday!}
  19. Elly texting her uncle on his birthday {she is the only person on the planet that Kerry texts, and I love it!}
  20. Baby girl telling me every detail of her weekend ♥
  21. Baby girl wanting to hear about my weekend :)
  22. Playing silly smart phone games with Amy :)
  23. Beautiful weather
  24. The sound of birds singing
  25. A good conversation with the Jehovah's Witnesses who come to my door every month {a long time ago, they asked me if they could continue to come back & read scripture to me. So I let them. It has been interesting, though our conversations haven't been too deep yet. We'll see how things unfold...}

What are you thankful for today?


Saturday, April 21, 2012

"I Make My Own Sunshine"

(by Alyssa Bonagura) I Make My Own Sunshine - I Make My Own Sunshine - Single

What do you know? I did manage to find the time to post today! I already told y'all about my fun day at the park with my neighbors! Other than that, the main thing I've done is deal with sickly kids all week. Cody didn't go to school at all, and Elizabeth missed most of one day because she wasn't feeling well. Fortunately, she didn't have what Cody had. She ended up going back to school the next day. But poor Cody...his temperature would be fine during the day, and he'd get his hopes up about going to school. Then at night, it would spike again. :/

We had our first training for the people who have volunteered for our local mission next month. Keiljuana & I spent a lot of time {on the phone & on our computers} getting our VBS materials ready for the training folders. We ended up with quite a few volunteers who were a part of it last year, so that made me happy! But we made a few changes in the format, and I was afraid that I'd feel like I had to explain/defend out decisions or something. It turns out that they liked the changes, which made Keiljuana & me glad that we had decided to do things that way. I know there will be unexpected things that come up, and we'll have to be flexible. We still have a lot to do, and I know the week beforehand will probably be crazy. But right now, we feel pretty confident about things. And our team seems excited! :)

I went on a retreat with nearly 100 ladies from my church today & yesterday! I rode with Jana & Felicity and roomed with Amy, Kyla, & Carrie. Jeff & Jourdan Johnson led worship {she has an album coming out on Tuesday!} Jen Wilkin was our speaker, and she was super great! I met some new people, climbed a tree, ate too much, drank a lot of coffee, played games, woke up to the smell of skunk (eeeeww!), got mistaken for my friend Susan (we get that a lot!), and enjoyed bits of time with a lot of wonderful ladies! I really am so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing women. ♥

So I have this bad habit of starting a show that I've recorded but not actually watching it. I'll get busy doing other stuff & realize I've missed half of it. And sometimes I'll rewind, play, & repeat (several times, even). It's only when I find myself humming the song from the Lowe's or Cosmopolitan commercial that I'll remember to fast forward through the commercials & finally pay attention to the show. So that's basically how today's song came about. Y'all probably know me well enough to figure that I'd like this song, huh?! I think it's super cute! :)

Alrighty, I'm off to bed! I hope your weekend is swell! ♥


Friday, April 20, 2012

"The Park"

(by Feist) The Park - The Reminder

The Park by Feist on Grooveshark

Wow, y'all...I had forgotten how tiring it can be to chase kids around a park! But that's what I did for a couple of hours yesterday, and they wore me out! I had so much fun, though!

I don't even know how to begin to explain this, but somehow Kristi & I ended up having a picnic at the park with her kids...& our 60-something-year-old neighbor {who happens to be a man!} I know, it's a little weird. I'm actually shaking my head as I type this, because it still strikes me as funny!

While Gary cooked the "tube steaks", I played with the littles on the playground. I was so glad that I had thrown my camera in the picnic basket, because I got loads of cute pictures! I took about 9 or 10, and the kids took over 200! Once Gracie discovered the self-timer, there was no stopping her...she had us posing every single place we could possibly set the camera up to capture us! Then Elijah took my camera all over the park {mainly chasing ducks!} & took all sorts of photos. Some of them are quite impressive, while a lot of them are completely random! :) I love the pictures from the kids' perspective {though I erased nearly 100 pics of the ducks & the ground!} I was just going to post a few of my favorites, but I don't have time to go through them right now. {I'm heading out for a ladies' retreat soon!} I'm afraid I won't get my post up tomorrow, so I wanted to post something today just in case. I really don't expect y'all to look at the entire slide show, but I wanted to post these for Kristi's & my sake. And for you, if you're bored or something! ;)

It really was the most beautiful day for a picnic! I hope your day is just as beautiful. & I hope you have a wonderful weekend! ♥


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Love is Here (Live)"

(by Tenth Avenue North) Love Is Here (Live) - Tenth Avenue North Live: Inside and In Between - EP

Love Is Here [Live] by Tenth Avenue North on Grooveshark

This semester's Bible study finished up yesterday, and I enjoyed it SO much! We actually ended up extending it a week so we didn't feel like we had to rush through the end of it. I'm pretty sure y'all know how I feel about John {the disciple whom Jesus loved!} ♥ So I'm sorta sad it's over. Recently I was watching a series of videos from Tenth Avenue North's Mike Donehey & came across this one that made my heart happy. So I thought I'd share it with you! :)


Monday, April 16, 2012

"Thankful Heart"

(by Petra) Thankful Heart - Back to the Street

Thankful Heart by Petra on Grooveshark

I had a super great song picked out for today, but then I decided it'd be perfect for the last one in this series. Let me just say that I started the draft of that post & tears came to my eyes. The song is that good! But you'll have to wait a couple of weeks for you get old school Petra. Alrighty, I'm thankful for...

  1. Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs {especially when they're 50% off after Easter!}
  2. Mosquito repellant
  3. An impromptu VBS craft brainstorming session with my friend Susan {who is using the same material as we are for a different mission trip}
  4. Fun new knitting projects
  5. Dad finally closing on the sale of his house {apparently finance companies are dragging their heels these days, because they really don't want to loan people money at these low interest rates}
  6. Celebrating Amy's birthday with her & Kyla
  7. Finally getting to see October Baby
  8. The freedom to be silly with my friends {John Schneider was in the movie, which got us to talking about our childhood celebrity crushes. We were like teenagers at a sleepover, looking up pictures of dreamy celebrities on Amy's phone...Mark Harmon in this picture. Be still, my beating heart!}
  9. Surviving a crazy busy week
  10. Stone for our front yard {finally!}
  11. Christopher taking care of dinner while I made a few desserts
  12. Baking for the student ministry auction with my baby girl ♥
  13. My pharmacist friend who doesn't mind answering texts early on a Sunday morning {you may recall one of my Excedrin Migraine posts where I rambled on about the ingredients & such in several of their products...another strange fact: one bottle says 2 max per day while another bottle says 8. Same exact ingredients. Go figure!}
  14. Loads of baked goods donated by some great cooks in our church
  15. An apron to keep my clothes clean {though apparently it was a little misleading when I wore one at the auction yesterday. I had splattered water all down the front of myself while working in the kitchen, so Teresa tied it on me before I spilled something that might stain. Some people thought I looked official, therefore they asked questions for which I had no answer. Nope, I was wearing it because I'm a mess, not responsible!}
  16. Church members who gave generously toward the fundraiser
  17. A few leftover party balls for us to enjoy :)
  18. Thermometers {crazy little fact: our thermometer broke awhile back, and I hadn't replaced it yet. Apparently God knew that I would need one, because Toni gave me one out of the blue at our meeting on Thursday night. I needed it for Cody only a few nights later ~ my poor baby had a fever of 103.2}
  19. A desperately needed good night's sleep
  20. A break from the rain just long enough to run to the store & back
  21. Laughter coming from my sickly boy upstairs
  22. A sweet thank you card from a dear friend {even if it was way overdue! I kid, I kid ~ it never crossed my mind that one was "owed" to me!}
  23. An email from Marcie that mentioned hazing?! {thanks for making me laugh!}
  24. Doctor's offices that will see my baby boy without an appointment {if you can believe this, we left the house, went to the doctor, & got back home within an hour!}
  25. Peace of mind from finding out that my sweet boy doesn't have the flu or strep...just a virus {totally worth the $20!}

What's on your list today?


Saturday, April 14, 2012

"A Thousand Years"

(by Christina Perri) A Thousand Years - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Pt. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Version]! I know I've said this before, but I am EXHAUSTED! I'd say that this post will be quick, but I know better...I won't bore you with all of the details of my week, though. I really can't even remember anything prior to Thursday right now anyways! I have only sat down about four times since then...during a meeting Thursday night, MOPS Friday morning, and dinner & a movie on Friday night. Once again, all of my crazy busyness is my own fault. I'm really not complaining, but I will say that my only plan for Monday is to get up as little as possible.

The dinner & movie last night were to celebrate Amy's birthday with her & Kyla! We finally saw October Baby! Ya'll may remember when I talked about it a few weeks ago. I had hoped to see it opening weekend, but it didn't happen. Anyways, I'm glad we got to see it! It was an emotional movie, as we knew it would be. So rather than talk about that part of it, I'll tell you about a funny part! {It was funny to me, at least. Maybe because it made me think of myself?} The main character was trying to explain that she's not a Christian freak, and she says, "I have a wild side. You've seen me play Scrabble!" :D

Jana & I have been talking about getting stone to landscape our front yards for over a year now, and we finally did it this weekend!! It was SO much work, though! I feel bad even saying that, because I did nothing but pick out stone yesterday. Then I went to Amy's birthday celebration while Jana, our husbands, & the kids did the most of her yard last night. I did a lot of work today, though. And I am so sore! I can't even imagine how sore the rest of them are. I'm really happy with how both of our yards turned out! I'd love to show you pictures, but I didn't take any yet. I'll show you pics once I've gotten new mulch & stuff, though.

Tonight, Elly & I made a few desserts for the student ministry's dessert auction after church tomorrow! It's a fundraiser that helps the kids earn money towards summer events (like camp). They help with food prep, auction stuff, clean up, & all sorts of other stuff. We have some very generous people in our church, and it's always a huge help for the students/parents. I usually make a few things, but Elly has done a lot the past couple of years. It's so nice that she's old enough to really be of assistance. And I think we made a great team! :)

She made these Party Balls:

{They aren't pretty, but I promise they're delicious! They're sorta like Seven Layer Bars ~ only shaped into a ball & rolled in powdered sugar}

I made a Dr Pepper Cake:

{again, not pretty but delicious!}

& we both made these Cherry Pie Pops {thanks to Pinterest for the great idea!}:

{& no, ours look nowhere near as cute as the inspiration...}

Elly really was a huge help with everything!

{plus she's a cutie, so I thought I'd post another picture!} ü

I have one last food picture for y'all! This one is of the fruit that I took to MOPS on Friday morning. Since I'm apparently an incurable self-imposed busyness addict, I couldn't just cut up some fruit & put it in a bowl...This was yet another Pinterest idea (& again, not as cute as the original):

As for today's song, I really haven't listened to it the most. {I don't know why I always feel the need to tell y'all, because you'd really have no way of knowing the truth! I guess I feel like I'm being deceitful if I don't 'fess up! I'm such a nerd...} Anyways, I've heard the song a few times lately, and it was playing in my head all day. It's one of my baby girl's favorites. Plus, it is the name of a little knitting project that was an epic fail. I started it mid-February for Jana's birthday in mid-March. It was supposed to be a lace twirly scarf, but it ended up barely longer than a cowl. I knitted it on circular needles, and I never could tell how long it was. I kept doubting that it was long enough, but I just wasn't sure. Throughout the process, I kept saying that it would take a thousand years to finish it. There were over a thousand stitches on the needles, and it seriously would've taken a thousand more to make it long enough! Therefore, "A Thousand Years" seemed like the perfect name for it! :) When Jana & I were getting stone this morning, today's song came on. I decided to go ahead & tell her about her fail of a birthday present. I would still wear it, but I didn't really want to give it as a gift.

OK, I seriously have to try and get some sleep! Please forgive any typos, but I'm simply too tired to proof-read it this time. I hope y'all are having a super great weekend!! ♥


Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Revealing Too Much"

(by The Honorary Title) Revealing Too Much - Anything Else But The Truth (Expanded Edition)

Revealing Too Much by The Honorary Title on Grooveshark

I'm pretty sure today's song is about a suicidal ex-girlfriend; but the title relates, so we're just going to go with it...This post has sat in my drafts for a few weeks now, and I kept thinking about deleting it. But when the subject came up again this week, I decided to finish it & actually post it. So here goes...

My friend Marlene posted an article on facebook about Christian women showing too much cleavage. Maybe I don't understand because I don't personally have a cleavage {sorry...tmi?}, but I agreed with the article & have thought some of the same things before. I am not trying to come across as judgmental, so I hope that's not how I sound. I'm sure that most Christian women do not put on clothes with the intention of causing a man to lust. And I'm sure it can be difficult to find appropriate clothes at times. It's hard for me, & I have very little to cover! But I wear tank tops under almost everything, especially tops that are low cut. And I have several friends who are more blessed than I am, and they manage to cover up quite well.

At a women's ministry event this week, Marcie briefly touched on this same subject. She talked about us setting an example for our daughters. And she said that the way we dress needs to be more about loving others (e.g., our brothers in Christ) more than ourselves.

With all that being said, I've been thinking about my clothes lately. Other than revealing too much, there are different wardrobe situations where I could be unintentionally crossing the line. Not that I feel like anyone's looking at me, but I figure the ladies in the article didn't think people were looking at them, either. Plus, I have a daughter, and I spend a lot of time with the students at my church. Though I feel like I do a pretty good job at covering myself appropriately, I'm sure I could do an even better job. Those thoughts (& further discussion with Marlene) led me to another article that provided some guidelines based on 1 Timothy 2:9. I like that it defines the Greek words that are used in that verse, and it gives Christian guidelines without coming across as legalistic (or suggesting that our clothes be frumpy &/or completely cover us head-to-toe).

So I'm not doing anything drastic, because I honestly feel like most of what I have is fine. But maybe I have a few things that are more form-fitting than necessary? I plan on going through my closet & getting rid of anything that I feel isn't becoming, decent, or moderate, as defined in the 1 Tim. 2:9 article. There's a fine line between wearing something that fits & something that is too tight, so I might need a little help from my friends! {I'm not gonna lie: I plan on keeping the shorter shorts that I wear when I ride my bike & work in the yard. And I'll probably wear them with only a tank top that I'd normally wear under something else. Even with sunscreen, I have enough Native American blood in me to tan a little too well. And I'm not a fan of farmer tans. But I very rarely see anyone while wearing that, and I certainly won't wear it to church. Go ahead & judge me!} Anyways...aside from throwing things out, I'll also do what I usually do & wear a sweater or shrug over tighter tops. And that verse is what I'll keep in mind when I go shopping in the future. I've mentioned this before, but clothes shopping isn't easy regardless of your size. And finding modest clothes that are still cute is even more difficult! But it is possible with a little effort.

And tank tops...



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Be Thankful"

(by Sarah Connor)

Be Thankful by Sarah Connor on Grooveshark

I didn't post this yesterday because I was hanging out with my kiddos (who were off school) & ran out of time. Plus I didn't quite have 25 things, so I didn't try to to make time to post it. How's that for being honest? Anyways, today I am thankful for...

  1. Birds & butterflies visiting my garden
  2. The discovery of new flowers almost every time I go to my backyard :)
  3. Flowers from my neighbor's garden hanging over the fence into my yard
  4. Friends who make a point of talking to my baby brother when they're at his unit
  5. An interesting presentation of the Jewish Passover
  6. New music discoveries on my iPod
  7. Almond Joy coffee creamer
  8. Hanging out with a cute little guy named Asher
  9. Lunch with one of my Bible study girls from last semester ♥
  10. Pei Wei lettuce wraps
  11. Two school holidays {so I could sleep in!}
  12. Baby girl getting to spend the night with a sweet friend of hers
  13. Chocolate chip cookies
  14. A day with my sweet boy
  15. Cody putting his arm through mine {in public} ♥
  16. My Savior, who knew the agony He would endure, yet faced it anyways
  17. Jesus' victory over sin & death
  18. A great evening at my brother's house
  19. Making my niece Julia laugh
  20. Hershey Kisses
  21. Breakfast with my dad
  22. A bike ride with my kids on a beautiful day
  23. Baking cookies with Amy
  24. Walking with Dad {He usually walks 5 miles in less than an hour, & this mama is out.of.shape ~ so I'm sore, even though I'm pretty sure we only walked 4!}
  25. A random smiley face balloon on the side of the road {that made Elly giggle when she had been feeling sad}

What are you thankful for today?


Saturday, April 7, 2012

"We Will Follow"

(by Jars of Clay feat. Gungor) We Will Follow - The Shelter

We Will Follow (featuring Gungor) by Jars of Clay on Grooveshark

I had a really good week! {I hope you did, too!} I didn't do anything too terribly exciting, but it was still good. On Wednesday night, there was a Jewish Passover service presented by a man that goes to my church. He's a Messianic Jew, and he explained the different elements, why they do them, and why they don't do certain things that Jewish people still do. It was pretty interesting. On a completely random note (surprise, surprise)... bitter herb is NASTY, & I don't recommend that you try it. A little boy dared me to try it, and I let my pride get in the way of common sense. It's called bitter for a reason, just so you know! If you like horseradish, you might think it's OK. But I absolutely detest horseradish. It tastes like something that should go in a car, not a human. {Bleh!}

I got to hang out with my sweet boy yesterday! The kids were off school, and Elly was at a friend's house. After sleeping in (yay!), we went to the mall because I needed to pick up a gift for Elly to take to a birthday party today. I thought it'd be more enjoyable if Cody went with me, but I figured he wouldn't want to go. He seemed quite eager, though ~ which confused me until I realized that he had brought his wallet so he could do the climbing wall & bungee jump. He's such a boy! He was so sweet, though. He has reached the age where he'd rather me not put my arm around him in public. But sometimes he forgets. Either that, or it's only OK if he wants to do it. Several times as we were walking through the mall, he put his arm through mine! ♥

And now for today's song...Do you ever hear a song on your iPod & wonder where it came from? When my iPod is on shuffle, it's like a fun little surprise every few minutes ~ especially when I hear a song that I didn't realize I had! Today's song is one of those that makes me feel like I've found gold or something! Based on a little research, I think I got the album off NoiseTrade in the Fall. Normally I put new songs/albums in my "Latest & Greatest" playlist. I failed to do that with this album, so it got lost in the shuffle. ;) But this song features Gungor! How did I miss that?! Once again, I'm a failure as a fan. Apparently this song has been out since 2010, yet this is the first I've heard of it. :/ My favorite part is:

So set us free
To love the mystery
Until our eyes are clear enough to see You

I hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend!!


Friday, April 6, 2012

"Sweetly Broken"

(by Jeremy Riddle) Sweetly Broken - Full Attention

Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle on Grooveshark

This is a day when we are reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. In my current Bible study, we just so happen to be reading about the last week of Jesus' life. I love how the timing worked out, because I feel like I'm getting a better look at it than I usually do. On this week in years past, I might have read through a bit of one of the gospel accounts of His last week, crucifixion, and resurrection. But in this study, we are really digging in.

Something that really stood out to me recently was when Jesus knew that the time had come, & His soul was troubled (John 12:27). Matthew 26:38 & Mark 14:34 even use the words, "deeply grieved, to the point of death." And Luke 22:44 says that He was in agony & praying fervently. You really see His humanity and His internal struggle. Doesn't that just break your heart? He knew that He could ask the Father to save Him from the wrath He was about to endure, but He also knew that it was the reason He came to this world. He chose His Father's will above His own and became the sacrifice to save us from death. He loves us so much that chose to take God's wrath upon Himself so that we didn't have to face it.

Isn't He amazing?! ♥


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Remind Me Who I Am"

(by Jason Gray) ~ I totally almost typed "JJ Grey" on accident! ;) Remind Me Who I Am - A Way to See In the Dark

Brooke told me about this song awhile back, but I forgot about it until I was looking for a different video on YouTube & came across this one again. It is so good! We so often forget who we are. We forget about God's grace & label ourselves with the sin or other issues we struggle(d) with. But He wants us to see ourselves as He sees us: beloved. I pray that you believe it today. ♥


Monday, April 2, 2012

"It's a Great Day to Be Alive"

(by Travis Tritt) It's a Great Day to Be Alive - Down the Road I Go

It's a Great Day to Be Alive by Travis Tritt on Grooveshark

There was so much goodness this week ~ especially over the weekend! I am so thankful for...

  1. Finally completing our taxes {huge sigh of relief!}
  2. Pepper welcoming Dad into the family {have I mentioned that she's afraid of everyone that doesn't live here, even if she sees them all of the time? She's a freak!}
  3. No altercations between Pepper & Ash (my dad's cat) so far
  4. Lunch on Laura's patio {complete with alligator sighting!}
  5. An afternoon with my little friend Caleb
  6. My kids surviving their first STAAR tests
  7. Lunch with Amy
  8. Chips & salsa
  9. The opportunity to embrace spontaneity
  10. All of the details working out for a last minute trip
  11. Not having to take my crazy dog since she was able to stay at home with Dad {am I taking advantage of him already?}
  12. Staying up way too late catching up with Sheryl
  13. Drinking coffee on Dan & Sheryl's porch
  14. Food traditions at the lake {like biscuits & gravy and root beer floats ~ not at the same time!}
  15. A full lake for the first time in years
  16. A bonus visit from Sheryl's brother & sis-in-law
  17. Baby girl reading riddles to me {& being impressed with my riddle solving skills!}
  18. Surprising Tara
  19. A woman at the party making a point to come & tell me about something thoughtful that my sweet boy did for her {I ♥ him!}
  20. A safe drive home late at night/early in the morning
  21. My beautiful cousin Kendra's engagement to a wonderful guy
  22. Being asked to be her matron of honor
  23. A friend who let me borrow her shawl when I was freezing
  24. A drive through the country with my baby girl ♥
  25. God's hand of protection over my step-sis during her reconstruction surgery today

I'd love to know what you've got going on that makes this a great day to be alive! :)