Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Flower Flower"

(by The Vespers)



I told y'all early in the Spring that I'd show pics from my garden once things got bigger, so here you go...

{I put a few leftover stones in the back to hold the mulch in, but I haven't gotten around to putting fresh mulch back there yet...}





My butterfly bush (in the corner) hasn't grown much yet. It probably won't get real big until next Spring, but I figured I'd show you that corner anyways! :)


& here are a few of the flowers up close:




{Can you tell that these are fuzzy?! I think they're so neat!!}

& these are some flowers that hang over the fence from the neighbor's yard :)


I know I've already shown y'all a bunch of pictures, but I really want y'all to see a couple of the critters & such...

I walked outside to a patio full of these one morning. It was kinda creepy, but I snapped a picture of this big guy anyways:


I never have my camera out when the Monarchs visit {& waiting on the patio, camera in hand, doesn't make them come for a visit. Just so you know...} but I've caught a couple stages of their metamorphosis...




Alrighty, that's all I have to show y'all today! :) Do y'all have any fun stuff going on in your gardens?

Amy

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Jesus I Am Resting"

(by Tricia Brock) Jesus I Am Resting - The Road (Deluxe Edition)

Jesus I Am Resting by Tricia Brock on Grooveshark


Man, y'all, this week wasn't so great. I was terribly sick, and it was no fun at all. Not that you need proof that I wasn't feeling well, but...I was feeling so ill that I cancelled a coffee date with Sloan, missed the first meeting for our Summer Bible study, didn't go to the ocular oncologist with Christopher {this was only the 3rd or 4th appointment that I've missed out of 72(ish)} & I didn't go to MOPS Game Night. I seriously felt like death warmed over. Before this, I don't think I knew what that phrase meant. Now I do, and I'd rather not feel that way ever again.

I woke up with a sore throat & head congestion on Monday, but I felt well enough to go to our last Moms in Prayer meeting that morning & help Jana out in the afternoon. When I got home, I crashed on the couch & woke up a few hours later with a fever. The only time I left the house for the next few days was to go to the doctor. After being on antibiotics for a few days, I ventured out to the store. That totally wore me out, and I was only away from home for 30 minutes. I could hardly sleep at night because I was achy all over, or I'd wake up burning or freezing. In fact, over the course of three nights I only got a total of 7 hours of sleep. {that's not enough, ftr!} I was able to take a nap each afternoon, though. I was hungry all of the time, but nothing sounded good. I  didn't even want chocolate. And I don't think I had the equivalent of one full cup of coffee over the course of four days (combined). So not like me!

The great thing is I have wonderful people in my life who are willing to help a sickly girl out! Amy brought my sweet boy home from VBS practice (& totally would've taken him to the church if she had known early enough that I was feeling terrible). When I had to cancel coffee with Sloan, she offered to bring me some soup. I declined, though, because Jana was already bring dinner for my family. Chris cleaned up the kitchen two nights in a row. Dad picked up some milk on his way home one night. And they all did these things without me asking, 'cuz they're awesome like that! {OK, well, I did ask Dad to pick up the milk, but that was only after he said he'd pick up anything if I needed it!}

I finally started feeling human again on Friday, which was just in time for Laura to come over & do some Pinterest baking! We made Cinnamon Bun Scones & a breakfast casserole, and I enjoyed every bite! My first real adventure out of the house was on Friday afternoon. Cody had a little celebration at school, and they needed parent volunteers. I had signed up before I knew I'd be sick all week, so I was hoping I could make it the entire two hours! Somehow I ended up working the cotton candy machine, which was a first for me. For the record, you really should be taller to work that particular machine. I had to stand on my tip-toes the entire time. {Side note: I'm really not that much shorter than the average woman, so I have no idea how people shorter than me get by in life!} I made over 100 servings of cotton candy, and by the end I was a sticky mess! My hair felt like it did in the 80's when I'd go through a can of Aqua Net each week ~ only I didn't use any hair spray yesterday. My arm hair was blue, and my shirt was all sticky. I'm also pretty sure I inhaled some. Anyways, my friend Cynthia texted me a few pictures that I thought I'd share with y'all! :)

{Queen of the Cotton Candy Machine! ha ha!}

See the mess on my hands?! :D


Me with my blue-mouthed boy:

{p.s. My serratus anterior muscles & maybe even part of my latissimus dorsi are incredibly sore today! I gave myself a little anatomy lesson by looking up what was hurting...Who knew that making cotton candy could be considered exercise?! I'm good at discovering new workout routines at school!}

As for the song...I've been doing a lot of resting this week, but this song is (obviously) talking about a different kind of rest. I have a confession to make: I went through a long spell where I didn't really care to listen to hymns. I liked current stuff that was more upbeat. While I still prefer a more current sound, I am loving what the old hymns have to say! Today's song really speaks to my experience over the last few years, and especially over the past six months or so (since around the time I wrote the post about finding rest). Things that I've known about Jesus in my head have become truth in my heart and in my soul, and I have found such peace and joy in Him that I've only known in small pieces before. I have come to know His lovingkindness, goodness, and the greatness of His loving heart in such a deep, satisfying way. Though I have my moments when I'm not as close to Him, I miss that closeness way sooner than I did in the past and draw near to Him as soon as I can! And as He continues to work in me and purify me, I can accept even what is difficult because He is so good! Well, I'm rambling and not sure if I'm making any sense. So I'll close with my favorite part of today's song:

Thous hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul.
For by Thou transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

I hope your weekend is super! ♥

Amy

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Procrastinating"

(by Stellar Kart) Procrastinating - Life Is Good - The Best of Stellar Kart

Procrastinating by Stellar Kart on Grooveshark

This is probably so not worth a blog post, but I've been home {siiiick} all week. And I've been thinking about something & wondering if any of y'all do it, too...I accomplished a lot of little things last week that felt productive and all. BUT I realized that if I would just do these things immediately instead of putting them off, they'd be done. Ya. I was third in my class & apparently wasn't smart enough to figure that out until now.

For instance, I decided years ago that there shouldn't be a stack of papers that need to be filed. If you file a bill as soon as it's paid (or received, if it's paid automatically), then there's no reason not to just go ahead & file it, right? Well, I fell off the wagon a few months ago & had to deal with it when I was doing taxes (trying to find every last receipt that could possibly help us out). It only takes a few seconds to file a paper as it comes in. But when you have months' worth, it takes much longer. Just so you know...

And do you let a stack of towels sit on a barstool for five days because you can't take the 45 seconds to put them in the kids' bathroom?? Seriously. That happened last week. And if I can be honest with y'all, it probably happens once or twice a month. I could make the kids put the towels away, and that problem would be solved. But that's not my point. Some things take less than 10 minutes to do, yet I put off doing them for way too long.

But I got some things done last week, like shredding papers, ironing a few shirts, hanging this on my patio...


& hanging this in my pantry:

{Seriously, this thing has been on the floor for a year or two! I had attached it to the door with Command hooks when we first moved in, because I didn't want to mess up the door. I know that's dumb, but everything was nice & new so I didn't want to mess it up! The problem is that one of the hooks broke. Then after I replaced it, it broke again. So it sat on the floor in the pantry until I finally decided that it was stupid to not hang it where I wanted it to be. It's the inside of a pantry door, right?! If I decide that I don't want it up there at some point, I can hang a calendar up there to hide the holes. As it turns out, I put it on the wrong door...Chris keeps bumping into it because it's on his blind side. Oops!}

Hanging this took a little bit longer {because Wade left my ladder in Houston during the last student service project...}

{Don't tell my friend Safety Dave, but I stood on the stand that holds my glider in order to screw the hook into the ceiling. It wasn't the most stable thing to stand on, and I had to stretch to reach the ceiling. But isn't the paper lantern super cute?! It was an early birthday present from Amy, and any broken bone as a result of falling off said glider would've been worth it to have it hanging on my patio!} :)

I also cleaned out my van, which took a little longer than 10 minutes. But it didn't take so long that I couldn't have done it at some point in the last ten months. {No lie. I still had little brochures from White Sands & such on the dashboard...} And I finally replaced the vehicle registration sticker that has been in my console since January. I'm totally driving around without a front license plate (still), AND I had an expired window sticker. Again, it took less than a minute to replace the sticker {that I've had since before it expired, ftr!}

Now I will say that these things were never written down on a list. Had they been on a list, they totally would've gotten done solely based on the fact that I love to cross things off my lists! And before you think too badly of me, I don't do this with everything! My kids [almost] always have clean socks {I've had to send Cody to get a pair from his dad's drawer a couple of times, but he must eat his or something! Seriously! How does he ruin &/or lose socks so quickly?!} And the kitchen is cleaned every night {or at least by the time I sit down with a cup of coffee in the morning!} The bathrooms are generally clean {the one that Cody cleans is questionable, but I try to check it before guests come!} And I make my bed almost every day.

So it really is just the little things that don't affect my daily life that I put off until I'm tired of looking at them. Why do I procrastinate like that?! Am I the only one?? {please tell me I'm not!} Do y'all do those little things as the needs arise, or do they get put on a To-Do list? Does putting them on a list actually help you to get them done? Maybe I should stop asking so many questions & go look for something that needs to be done around my house... ;)

Amy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Faint Not"

(by Jenny & Tyler) Faint Not - Faint Not



Once again, Going Local has come & gone, and I'm sad that it's over. Those kids love to be loved on! There's a part of me that thinks we could not plan a single thing for VBS, and it would minister to them just as well. We could just show up with snacks, a few balls, coloring sheets, & crayons. We could talk to them while they sit in our laps or give them piggy-back rides. Granted, that wouldn't bring as many kids, and even fewer would probably stick around. But they really just want our attention and our love. And snacks!


Though I love all of the kids, there's one particular boy who completely stole my heart. He's the boy I mentioned on facebook. In case you didn't see that post, I'll repeat the story here: We were playing kickball the first night, and when he got to third base we told him to run home when the other little boy kicked the ball. He turned to look at me all confused (& a little sad) and said, "Go home?!" That is the moment when he stole my heart. Oh my goodness, he's adorable! After VBS was over that night, we were playing a game again. He gave me the best hug ever and said, "How are you today?" with the biggest smile. With that hug & smile, there's no way I couldn't be having the best day ever. Seriously, I'm tearing up just thinking about it. ♥


I think it's so cool how we go there to bless these beautiful people and end up being so incredibly blessed by them! {for the record: that's not why I go. Just wanted to clear that up!} One of my favorite little girls brought cookies to share with everyone on Friday. Seriously?! I had to walk away for a minute so I could compose myself. I don't know if I've mentioned that we're not reaching out to the rich people of our city, but to those who live in government housing. To see her want to give back that way brought tears to my eyes.


We had a great team of volunteers again this year! They worked hard to help us prepare the crafts. My friend Dave cut, sanded, & painted nearly 100 wood blocks for the first day's craft, and he prayed for the kids as he prepared them. ♥ The Bible story was told in the large group last year, but this year we decided to do it in the smaller groups. I really feel like they connected on a deeper level that way. Several of the small group teachers took the time to find object lessons to go along with each day's story, which I thought was super! The first child to recite the memory verse (without reading it) was the one kid who we didn't think was even paying attention to any of it! You just never know, huh?


I didn't get a count of how many people from my church were involved this year. There were several other areas of ministry going on at the same time as VBS: youth, evangelism, food outreach, and women's conference. I know I've said this before, but I really am so blessed to serve God alongside such a great group of people!

Amy

Monday, May 21, 2012

"Just a Closer Walk With Thee"

(by Doreen's Jazz)









Maybe this doesn't seem like a big deal, but I have wanted to go to Café Du Monde for about 10 years now & finally got the opportunity! When my friend Marcie found out that I wanted to go, she suggested that we take a little excursion so that I could cross it off my list! So one Friday, after Marcie, Amy, & I got our kiddos off to school, we headed out on a little road trip to NOLA!

After checking into our hotel, we set off in search of a good po-boy. Unfortunately, the [highly recommended] place where we went wasn't so great. :/ That was our only negative food experience while we were there, though.

Our only plans were to eat our way through New Orleans, but we found plenty of things to do while walking from one eating establishment to the next. We discovered our new favorite store while stopping to listen to some jazz music on Royal Street. As a song was ending, we turned around to look in the store window behind us. We stood there enamored by beautiful things until Marcie pointed out that we could just go in the store rather than only looking through the window! I think we're all so accustomed to families, schedules, & such, that it took us a little while to acclimate to simply going wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted!

We eventually meandered our way over to Café Du Monde that evening!


I enjoyed my iced coffee, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the beignets!


As we were finishing our beignets, someone mentioned that they thought we were near the water. So we ventured up some stairs & discovered the river just on the other side of the wall.


After enjoying the river for awhile, we headed back to the hotel to drop off our purchases. We decided that we didn't need a huge dinner, but a slice of pizza would be nice. We got a recommendation from someone at the hotel & accidentally walked down Bourbon Street {through smells of horse poo & vomit} to discover the best pizza of our lives!


On Saturday, we enjoyed more food & shopping as we walked through the city. There were some strange sights to see {as you'd expect}:


But there was so much beauty in the city's architecture!



& we reveled in hidden treasures like this:


The main thing on our agenda for Saturday was to find our favorite store's sister store {which we also loved!}:


We spent quite a bit of time shopping in the French Market:




I think we all agree that the best discovery of our trip was Doreen's Jazz!


We stopped to listen to them on two separate occasions! Doreen Ketchens is a beautiful soul with amazing musical talent.


If you have about 5 minutes, you can watch this little slideshow that Amy put together. It has the pictures that all three of us took while we were there, and the music is from a CD of Doreen's that we bought while we were listening to her:


Our little road trip was super fun! I'm so glad to have friends who want to help me cross things off my list! I had such a great time with them!! :)

Amy

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Better When Shared" {again}

(by Abby Baker) Better When Shared - [Un]Defined




I know I've posted a lot of Abby Baker's stuff lately, and I hope you're not tired of her! Of course I've been listening to her new album (since it came out this week), so naturally one of her songs would end up here. I know that I've already posted today's song, but I didn't really talk about it then. Plus it's the only one from the new album that's available for y'all to hear. Though I love it, I actually have a different song that is my favorite (& quite possibly my new theme song). Maybe she'll make a video of it one day, or it'll become available to post some other way. There are a couple of other songs of hers that I could post (from her other album), but I have one of them in mind for a future post, and the other one is sad (good, but sad. & it hits a little too close to home in regards to the whole cancer thing/potential for my future reality, so I just can't do it). Anyways, what I love most about today's song is the entire chorus. I love what it says & how it sounds. It's just too cute! :)

I have a few things about my week that I could tell y'all, but I don't have much time. {What's new, right?!} I did some mundane things around the house, and we had our local mission (about which I plan to devote an entire blog post). I'll be heading out to see my baby brother in a little bit, and tonight we're going to see the Astros & Rangers play ball! I've always been an Astros fan, but I didn't feel like I was cheating on them when I lived in Dallas & went to an occasional Ranger game. Have I mentioned that I have mixed feelings about them being in the same division? Right now, it's sort of a friendly rivalry (if even a rivalry at all). I'm not sure if that'll change next season or not, and whether I'll like that or not. Some people want a big rivalry, but I sorta like friendliness better! :) And whether you're a hater or not, I still like Nolan Ryan {He's my #4. & in case you care, my top five are (in order from #1 to #5): Phil Garner, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Nolan Ryan, then Jose Cruuuuuuuuuz!}

OK, that is all. I hope y'all are having a beautiful Saturday!! ♥

Amy

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Come Home"

(by Luminate) Come Home - Come Home

Come Home by Luminate on Grooveshark

OK, y'all, I'm in the middle of our local mission (sorta like this one from last year), so my little trip will have to wait. {I promise it really did happen, & I hope to remember it by the time I get a chance to post about it!} Please join me in praying for the team from my church and for the beautiful people we're interacting with! Thank you!! ♥

Amy