Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Everything Has Changed"

(by Taylor Swift, feat. Ed Sheeran) Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran) - Red

This week has been super great!! And as lame as this may seem, the most exciting thing about it was that we switched back to our old database at work!! Y'all may remember when I had a horrible week trying to adjust to [and figure out some solutions with] the new system. Well...over three months later, it hadn't gotten better. There were new problems at least every week. At times we'd be able to find a solution, but most of the time it wasn't a good one. Or we'd find one, and the function would be disabled right before our eyes (no lie). I'm sure it's a great tool for some things, but administratively it was a nightmare. So the decision was made to switch back this week, and to say that I'm ecstatic and relieved is an understatement. But I'll stop rambling about it now...

Christopher's brother is still here, and we took him to Galveston yesterday!

After a few hours at the beach, we went to our favorite coffee place and walked around The Strand. Before we left the island, we decided to eat dinner at a pizza place that we pass by every time we go to the beach. We think their sign is funny:

{And you won't really be surprised by this, but we ran into a couple of my favorite girls there: Melanie & Kassie!}

Regarding today's song...I've been listening to Taylor Swift's Red album this week. This song came on when I was shuffling my music one day, and I realized that I haven't listened to the album very much. It's one that I got around the same time as something else, so I sorta forgot about it. Anyways, I like the harmonies in today's song! :)

Alrighty, I better get to bed! I hope y'all are having a great weekend! ♥


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Come Just As You Are"

(by Crystal Lewis) Come Just As You Are - Crystal Lewis' Greatest Hits

Come Just As You Are by Crystal Lewis on Grooveshark

I received this beautiful treasure in the mail yesterday:

This Bible belonged to Mama Beth, Christopher's mom, who passed away shortly before we got married. His sister's friend Jessica has had it all of these years, and she came across it while going through some things recently.

After opening the package, I excitedly paged through the Bible only to discover that she hadn't written in it. Though I was still very happy to have the Bible, I was disappointed that it wasn't all marked up! It is quite worn, but it is not written in. I didn't look at every single page, but I flipped through it several times in hopes of discovering something.

I decided to use it for my quiet time with the Lord this morning. This may seem silly, but I asked Him to show me even a little mark, asterisk, or something. And He did! I went to my favorite book and discovered a few markings in John 4:

The story of the Samaritan woman is such a beautiful picture of God's acceptance, forgiveness, and the satisfaction that can only be found in Him. This woman was obviously searching for something/someone to fill a need in her life. And knowing that she is living in sin, Jesus offers the her eternal life. He doesn't tell her to change before coming to Him. {And He doesn't expect you to change first, either, because He is the one who does the changing!} The story goes on to show that she believes in Him. And because of her testimony, many other Samaritans believe in Jesus, the Savior of the world. There are a lot of other things to be learned from John 4, but I just love how plainly this story shows that Jesus wants you to come just as you are. ♥


Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Don't Leave Just Yet"


Don't Leave Just Yet by NEEDTOBREATHE on Grooveshark

This has been SUCH a great week!! I had two girls' nights in a row, which was a super way to start the week! The first one was with the ladies from church, when around 35 of us gathered at one of my favorite places to eat. Marcie & I shared this delicious dessert:

The next night, I got together with six of my favorite girlfriends! We went to Fadi's for dinner, then we went to one of their houses for dessert. We had fondue, which was delicious! {I mean, seriously...all kinds of good stuff dipped in chocolate?! Yes, please!} We also played a little Song Burst, which is a singing game {that we never actually play by the rules, but it's fun that way!} And of course there was a lot of laughter! :)

As I already mentioned, we also had our in-town mission this week. It was supposed to be Thursday through Saturday, but we finished early! Most of the projects were done, so only a few people went back today in order to finish what they were working on today. I didn't really have much of an opportunity to interact with people, but I'll still do a separate blog post about it one day next week. {At least, I hope to find the time...My brother-in-law is visiting for a couple of weeks, so no guarantees!}

So we're a few weeks away from Christopher's scans, and I thought I'd let y'all know how things stand. We're currently losing this round of the Pre-Authorization Game, but I've gotten pretty good at guessing the outcome based on the size of the envelope. If it's letter-sized, it means it has been authorized. Anything larger than that means it hasn't. The envelope is larger because they put a bunch of papers explaining the appeal process, and one time they included an explanation of why it was denied. But it doesn't really matter this time, because Christopher's company is changing insurance providers right before scans are scheduled to happen. Chris spoke with the new insurance representative at a meeting this week, and she wants to help him keep the date that is already on the calendar. I have no idea what the new insurance company's policy is regarding ocular melanoma, and I have no idea what this lady can do to help. But we'll see. I really hope we're able to keep the date in early July, so that maybe we can have them again in December. It just works out a whole lot better for us financially (since he will have already met his deductible). They may not even authorize scans after the five-year mark, though, so it may not matter. Anyways, that's what's going on right now. I'll keep you posted as things develop!

Regarding today's song...I just can't help it. We listened to a lot of NTB at The Warehouse & while we worked on projects over the past couple of days. One of the men said that NEEDTOBREATHE must have been an unofficial sponsor of our mission trip! ;) I don't really know why this particular song was listened to the most, but I'm glad it was something I haven't already posted!

Alrighty, I've got to get some sleep! I hope y'all are having a great weekend! ♥


Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Let Them See You"

(by Colton Dixon) Let Them See You - A Messenger

Let Them See You by Colton Dixon on Grooveshark

I know I haven't mentioned this at all, but today is the first day of our local mission trip! The kids and I will spend the next few days doing Bible Clubs, home repair, and cleaning up a graveyard. This will be a bit different from the past couple of years, because we're working with an organization who happens to be in the same area where we've been ministering! So rather than doing something on our own, we're coming alongside them. I'm excited!! I would appreciate your prayers for strength (because I'm already exhausted), but more importantly that they will see Jesus in us and that we will rely on the Holy Spirit to speak through us. Thanks! ♥


Sunday, June 16, 2013

"The Earth is Yours"

(by Gungor) The Earth Is Yours - Beautiful Things

I'm sorry I didn't post yesterday. I hope nobody has been sitting at their computer hitting "refresh" for the past 24+ hours! ;P I picked my baby girl up after she returned from camp, immediately went to my brother's for a little Father's Day get-together with my dad, then went from there to another graduation party! Needless to say, I was a little too tired to write a post when I got home last night!

As for the rest of my week...

While my baby girl was at camp I got to spend some time with my sweet boy! He went to a friend's house one day & got to do fun stuff while I worked. But we got to have a little errand & date day, too! And we rode our bikes together:

Laurien & I have a little caramel macchiato summer experiment going on. We're on a mission to find {or develop} the best recipe for one, and our first attempt was a great start!

We met up with our home group at the Skeeters game on Friday night. Kids got to run the bases with their dads after the game, so my boys ran them together:

Today's song is legitimately the one I listened to the most this week! {For two weeks in a row! How 'bout that?!} I've posted it before, but it has been awhile. So I figured y'all would be OK with that. It's the first Gungor song that I ever posted, and it's my favorite one of theirs. If you haven't listened to it, you really should. Right now.

Alrighty, I've got a busy week ahead, so I better get some rest! ♥


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Song From a Secret Garden"

(by Secret Garden) Song from a Secret Garden - Best Of/20th Century

Song From a Secret Garden by Secret Garden on Grooveshark

I thought I'd show y'all how my yard is looking before the summer heat kills a lot of the pretty stuff! I focused more on my front yard this spring.

I feel like it was really lacking some color, so I planted some lantanas under a couple of the trees. And because I'm cheap frugal, I started small. These things can get huge, though, so I really don't think I would've started big even if money wasn't a factor!

I had been looking for a big planter to fill in a bit of an empty spot, but I didn't want to spend the $80-90 that I kept seeing for the size that I wanted. I was determined to spend less than $50, and I saw some prospects at Ross & Home Goods. They weren't quite what I was looking for, though. Little did I know that I'd find one at the store I go to [almost] every day and for only $25!

Since I got such a good deal on the planter, I had some money left over to buy a few more flowers! These are my favorites:

My backyard basically looks the same as it did last year. I desperately need to weed it & put some fresh mulch down, but it's already so hot that I really don't think it'll happen until the fall. I did buy a little garden accessory, though. Elly & I thought it would be a good idea to put something back there that reminded us of Bailey, so we got this:

I was waiting on this post until my lantanas were blooming again, but it could be awhile. They're currently in a stage where they have no blooms but are covered in berries that the birds like.

So, I'll break off those pieces once the birds have eaten most of the berries, and maybe I'll remember to show y'all a picture when they're blooming again! The only bit of a picture I have of them in full bloom is when I noticed a hummingbird enjoying them & took a picture through my window (a month or so ago):

My friend Kelly had a little passion vine sucker that she dug up for me, but it didn't make it. She told me yesterday that she has her eye on another one & will let it develop deeper roots before she digs this one up for me. Maybe this one will make it in my yard, and I'll show it to y'all then. Also I hope to do some beautifying in the fall & will post some pics again then. For now, here's the rest of my backyard:

Have you planted anything new in your garden this year?


Saturday, June 8, 2013

"Something Beautiful"

(by NEEDTOBREATHE) Something Beautiful - The Outsiders (Deluxe Version)

This week has been a good one, but I am worn out. I ended up with another random cold, though it wasn't as bad as the one I had around this time last year. {Who gets colds this time of year?! Apparently, I do!} I was really looking forward to sleeping in yesterday & today, but my body wouldn't let me. I was up with the sun both days. :/

As for the good parts of my week...

I got to have lunch at Torchy's with these lovely ladies:

I work for great people who occasionally bring me chocolate. Sometimes it's a cookie from Subway {which is probably just a good excuse for Lance to buy one for himself!} or even some {not always chocolate} baked goods for the entire staff. This week, Wade brought me this:


As I mentioned yesterday, my baby girl is considered a high school student now. Unbelievable.

{Isn't she beautiful?! ♥}

And my sweet boy is now in the youth group, which is craziness! There was an event for junior high students at The Warehouse last night...

At one point, I went outside where some of the students were playing on the volleyball courts. I heard someone say, "Mom, be on our team!" I thought it sounded like Cody. But since I'm not used to him being there with me, it took me a couple of seconds before it sunk in that it was him! :P

For the first time in a long time, today's song is accurate! I've posted it once or twice already, but it has actually been awhile since I've posted anything of theirs. I don't really have any particular reason why today's song was listened to the most, but we've been listening to a lot of NTB this week. They have a new album coming out in the Fall, and I can't wait! My friend Nicole pre-ordered it for me at their concert in April, and it came with an EP that I keep forgetting to get from her. Can you believe that?!

Alrighty, I think I'm done rambling for now! I hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend! I'll try to post a little more often this week...


Friday, June 7, 2013

"This is the Time"

(by Superchick)

I'm sorry that I haven't been around much lately. Now that it's summertime, I'm hoping to have a little more time to for some blog posts! I'll be working two full days instead of two partial days and one full day, so we'll see...

I was going to post a fun summer song, but was feeling a little more nostalgic this morning. Maybe it's because my baby girl is now considered a freshman in high school {what?!} Or maybe it has to do with  my small group girls graduating. These girls weren't even in the youth group when I started volunteering there, so this has been so weird for me! {Jana, I'm sure it's even crazier for you, since you volunteered there before I did!}

Whatever the reason for my nostalgia today, you really should take the time to listen to today's yet-unreleased Superchick song. The band has been through quite a bit over the last year or so, and the album hasn't been able to be completed. Not to be a downer, but one delay was their drummer's battle with cancer. Unfortunately, he lost his fight about a month ago. You can read more about Chase on his website, and you can read more about today's song on Max's SoundCloud. Here are part of the lyrics, though...

Ask anyone whose time is up
What they'd give for what you've got
And how they'd live your life

Live like your life's worth dying for
You just walked out that prison door
And you'll know how to live your life

This is the time

Good stuff, huh?

On a lighter note, I'm about to watch What a Girl Wants with my baby girl! Yes, it's a movie for teenagers, but I still like it! {I guess my volunteering with teenagers for the better part of the last 20 years has resulted in a bit of immaturity at times, huh?} This movie has one of my favorite lines ever (& is yet another sign of immaturity, I suppose):
Dude, it's chocolate. Need I say more?


Saturday, June 1, 2013

"Don't Blink"

(by Relient K) Don't Blink - Collapsible Lung

This has been another good week! And it was an especially super week for high school softball in three towns that were/are a big part of my life. Not that anyone really cares (except for possibly RRMama & Jack), but the one where I grew up made it to the state championship game, the one where my baby girl is about to attend made it to the semi-final game, and the one I graduated from won state (& their baseball team is headed to state in a few days)! How 'bout that?!

As for the rest of the week...

We spent Memorial Day at my brother's house, where my kids enjoyed swimming with their cousins!

I celebrated National Macaroon Day with Jana & my little friend Caleb! I was working, so they brought macaroons {& coffee} up to the church!

On Friday night, we met Dan, Amanda, and their kids for dinner. We got to introduce sweet Evelyn to the empanada place:

Isaac had his own seat, but he chose to share one with Cody for awhile! :)

And one of these days, I'll start carrying my real camera around again so I can take better pictures...

As for the song, you know the drill...I'm a failure at blogging these days, and I'm also a failure at providing an accurate song. But Relient K's new album releases one month from tomorrow, so I thought I'd share this new song with y'all! :)

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend! ♥