August 31, 2010

In My Garden

It's nearing the end of summer (insert applause and wild cheering), and while summer does have many wonderful things to offer, the heat and humidity seem to diminish my zest come the month of August. So even though I am ready for fall, I will be sad to see my garden put to rest. This morning I went out to pick a few tomatoes and found some surprises.
Morning glories. I know they are a weed, but I think they are one of the most beautiful flowers in God's creation.
Green tomatoes in abundance. See how they've outgrown their protective fence (bottom left of photo). My mother loves fried green tomatoes. Anyone else?

I may have screamed like a little girl when I discovered this scary monster hanging very close to where I had just plucked a tomato. Check out that orange barb! This little monster is the size of my finger and strong. So strong that I couldn't remove him from the plant with a stick! Anyone know what this is? Upon further inspection, I found 3 more of these barbarians. Shivers!!!

Lastly, I found two of these Great Golden Spiders hanging out in the tomatoes. I usually like them because they eat the yucky bugs, but my feelings changed a bit when I discovered the remains of several beautiful butterflies in his web.

I've decided that I prefer gardening when all the scaries are hibernating. I guess I should look into cabbage, pumpkins and Christmas tree farming. :)

August 30, 2010

Do you really want to be a Super Mom?

Super Mom
Abiding Mom
Tries to impress others
Pleases the Lord (Eph. 5:10,Proverbs 29:25)
Is controlled by an agenda(curriculum, schedule, etc)
Is controlled by the Holy Spirit: (Gal. 5:22-26) (Uses curriculum & schedules as tools for orderliness so she's more free to follow the spirit)
Her self worth is found in her accomplishments (clean house, perfect kids, the perfect bulletin boards, etc.)
Her self worth is found in an accurate view of who she is in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10)
Her peace is found in the “perfect” environment
Her peace is found in Jesus in the midst of any storm (Is 26:3)
She is discouraged by failure
Failure reminds her that God's strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
She expects perfection from herself and others
She practices grace with herself and others (Eph 4:32)
She teaches her kids to be good
She teaches her kids to be Godly (Proverbs 22:6)
She is frustrated with her lack of spiritual fruit
She abides in Christ and bears much fruit (John 15:5)
She does things with her children
She builds a relationship with her children (Deut 6:6-7)
Her perspective is based on what is seen
Her perspective is based on what is unseen (Col 3:2)
She chooses quantity of activities
She chooses the most excellent Way (I Cor 13)

Thanks to Erica @ Confessions of a Homeschooler for this wonderful chart!

August 29, 2010

Sunday Rest

Be at rest once more, O my soul
for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:7-9

August 27, 2010

The Wedding!!!

The Happy Couple
August 21, 2010

My beautiful new sister-in-love

Just before the ceremony

My beautiful princess
Like her dress? Can you believe we found it on Amazon?!

My precious mom being walked in by my brother

A dance with my daddy ( one of my favorite photos from the day)

Me and my manly man (vavavoom!)

Check out my girls' hair! They looked like angels.

My little man cut the rug with the bride... he surprised us all by not holding back when it came to dancing.

Three generations

Chocolate Dream, Raspberry Fizz, Orange Dreamcicle,
Snickerdoodle and Key Lime Cupcakes!

It was a beautiful day, with no issues. The Lord provided for every detail.
We rejoice over this beautiful union!

August 24, 2010

Rehearsal Dinner

Over the weekend we celebrated my brother's wedding. Per his request we held the rehearsal dinner on my parents' patio around the pool. While we were a little concerned about the weather (August in NC can bring a mean evening thunderstorm) it turned out to be a beautiful summer evening.

The beautiful couple

A southern-inspired feast
My bestie drove 3 hours to be my "personal assistant"

Some dear friends gave lovingly of their time and talents to make the weekend so special.
(they are making shrimp 'n grits... mmm!!!)

The boyz are all grins because rehearsing by the pool is so much more fun than at the church

A night to celebrate the love of family and friends!

Hooray!!! Time for a wedding!!

August 23, 2010

This -n- That

Thank you for all of your well-wishes for the weekend. My brother's wedding was beautiful. We had an amazingly fun three days. It's 1:30 in the afternoon on Monday and I haven't gotten dressed yet; and there is a good possibility that I won't. My body and brain needed a refuel day.

Not to worry, plenty of stories and photos will come your way, but today I just needed to catch up on all the things that got pushed to the side last week.
One of the little gems I found in my in-box was a note from my friends at the CSN websites asking me to do another product review. They have a variety of websites and have everything from bistro sets to world globes.

I think this week marks the last of the back-to-school days. If you have a child starting school this week, I've been praying for you. I have a couple of friends with children who started kindergarten last week. It's a bittersweet milestone, isn't it?
Happy Monday!!!

August 22, 2010

Sunday Rest

O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out
and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
you know it completely, O Lord.
Psalm 139:1-4

August 20, 2010

Let the Festivities Begin

Today is the beginning of a weekend our family has looked forward to for a long time. My brother is getting married tomorrow to a wonderful young woman. We are thrilled beyond words for them.
All of the festivities are here in our hometown; with lots of guests driving/flying in to be a part of their big day. Tonight we will celebrate with the wedding party at my parents' home with a dinner around the pool. The Lord answered our prayers for no rain. Whew!!!
Tomorrow is a day full of wedded bliss. All five of us are in the wedding so it will be a busy day around here. My bestie from college is coming to be my "personal assistant" for the weekend. With all of us girls getting ready I am sure my boys will be hiding in the garage. :)
We will wrap up the weekend with a brunch at my house for all of the out of town guests.

I would appreciate your prayers over the course of the weekend. So far everything is running smoothly. We desire this weekend to be fun and void of mishaps.

I can't wait to share the photos with you next week...
So much blog fodder!

August 18, 2010

Spray Tan

It started with a gift card. Gift cards often equal guilt free when purchasing a little sumpin-sumpin for myself. The spa gift card was no exception. I decided that for our cruise, I would treat my lily-white self to a spray tan. You know, a little confidence booster for the hours I would spend in a swimsuit.
Back in college I did the tanning bed thing without a care about all of the skin cells it was killing. Now that I am older, wiser, and a little more wrinkled, I decided to take the safer route.
I opted for the salt scrub/ spray tan combo. Even the salt scrub was a new venture for me. I had heard horror stories about certain salt scrubs feeling like your skin was being removed by a sandblaster; but it turned out to be a WONDERFUL experience. Seriously, have you ever had a full body shower while laying down?? That part alone was enough to make me want to sign up for a monthly membership. Once I was scrubbed squeaky clean and breathing through every pore in my body, it was time for the spray tan.

I was greeted, not by a seasoned technician, but by a girl named Barbie in the 11th grade.
Do you know the positions?
Um, no. This is my first time ever.
Okay. It's really simple. You stand like this, then like this, then like this, and then like this. Got it?
Um... could you repeat that? Slower.
Like this, like this, like this, and like this.
Uh. One more time.
I felt like I was trying to learn the moves of a highschool cheerleader in fast forward.

Then she said, You're pretty white, so we should probably go light on the color.
Grr...Well, I am going on a cruise, you see, so I actually would like to look tan.
Oh. Okay, well we'll do medium. Make sure you blot, don't rub to dry off.

She proceeded to show me the barrier lotion (which I was to rub anywhere I didn't want the tan). And then she left me in a 4x4 closet. Noticing how quiet and serene the spa was, helped calm my nervousness.
Not wanting to look orange between my toes and on my palms, I reached for the giant bottle of barrier lotion, and pumped. And pumped. Nothing came out. One final pump with all my might brought the entire shelf crashing to the floor. Remember how quiet the spa was? Yeah. I was waiting for Barbie to come charging in and find me nekkid with a shower cap on my head, a broken shelf, and the nozzle of barrier lotion dangling from my fingers. I was almost hoping she would show up, because at this point I had forgotten all of the cheerleader/robot positions I was supposed to have memorized.

After cleaning up my mess and looking for the hidden candid camera, I proceeded to turn on the spray. If you've never experienced a spray tan, it is like a tiny enclosed shower with 4 nozzles shooting spray tan at you. It sprays, you turn a quarter turn, it sprays again, etc...
By spray #2 I was starting to feel claustrophobic. By spray #3 I couldn't breathe. By spray #4 I was contemplating just how safe this was for my lungs.

Back in the locker room I was hoping for some bohemian-friendly skin. Nope. Lily white. At the front desk I asked about the (lack of) tan. She informed me it would take 24-36 hours for it to show up. Perfect! My flight left in 27 hours.
I did, however, have to take the pale walk of shame when I showed up at home and my family wanted to know "where my tan was."

Did it work? A little. Let's just say that if I had forked over the cash rather than a gift card, I would have been mad at myself. Was I tan? Well, I didn't feel very tan, but when I looked at the underside of my forearms, the distinctive orange stripe told me that there was some color there.
Apparently I didn't blot very well.

Have you ever had a spray tan? How was your experience? Better than mine, I hope!

August 16, 2010

May I Suggest...

1. Have you tried the Starbucks Ice Cream yet? I'm not a big ice cream person; I can take it or leave it. But since I had a coupon, I decided to give it a try.
I chose the coffee version and I was in icy-coffee-heaven. It totally messes up my no-caffeine/ low fat eating plan since it contains large amounts of both. Moderation is key, right?

2. Old Navy and Target have their kids jeans on sale for $10 this week. I personally like Old Navy because I can find "slims" for my little man. Since it is 1,000 degrees in NC right now it was a little hard to convince the kiddos to try on jeans, but they took the bait.

3. Speaking of Target, I love these wallets. Lightweight, but big enough to carry all the stuff +change and it's available in some sweet colors.
4.I could drink this green goo with a straw, except for the pulp thing {shivers}. I have to share the jar with my daughter because we could put this stuff on just about anything and be happy as a pair of {Mexican} clams.
*If you emailed me about the Bible study, I haven't forgotten. It's a CRAZY week around here. I'll send it your way as soon as I can.

August 15, 2010

Sunday Rest

From the fullness of His grace
we have received one blessing after another.
John 1:16

August 11, 2010

Watching them Grow

Over the summer we hosted a Bible study for some precious young ladies. In the spring I felt the Lord tugging at my heart to provide something for my girls and their peers. Even though summer can be a crazy time of year (what isn't?), it turned out to be a great season to do a biweekly study.
I started the hunt for a study book appropriate for the 3-5th grade age, but was disappointed in what I found. Don't get me wrong, there are several wonderful resources available for the pre-teen/teenage girl, but most of it was just a tad too mature for this group of girls. Most of the resources I found had chapters on dating and boys. These girls are just on the cusp of that territory, so I didn't want to go there yet, especially with 3rd graders. It seemed the only answer to my dilemma was to write a study. Call me crazy! :)
Every other week we studied a topic relevant to their little hearts. We covered:
Beauty (inside and out)

What a sweet time of fellowship it was! Since we live pretty far from everyone, I tried to make it worth the moms' drive time by having it from 4:30- 7:30. They came to swim for about an hour and a half, eat dinner and then we did the study. This was a great way to provide a time of fellowship before hand since they don't get to see each other as much during the summer months. Each of the moms signed up to bring dinners, so I didn't have to worry about that part.
One thing I've learned by having two of my own, is every girl loves a new bag. So we started the summer with a personalized bag for them to carry their study book and Bible. You know that feeling of giving someone a gift and watching them open it on Christmas morning? It was like that times 11. Precious young ladies!

Each week I was amazed at their willingness to participate (I had explained at the beginning that it was a discussion type study); their respect for each other and me during the discussion time; and their ability to go the extra mile to be kind to one another and non-cliquey (which we all know is hard to do at that age!)

This week was our last meeting. As I watched them play "diving board charades," the Lord reminded me that we are all little girls on the inside. We need a Heavenly Father, good friends and time to have fun.

** If you are interested in a copy of the Girls Growing in God study for your own daughter, please email me at

August 10, 2010


1. Super glad for a relaxing weekend in the mountains, complete with hikes, waterfalls, and relaxing on the deck with an amazing view.

2. Fatteningly glad that the weekend included crepes. Twice.

3. Oh-so-glad that my brother is getting married in less than two weeks to the girl of his dreams.

4. Glad that my bridesmaid dress and the girls' junior dresses are ready at the tailor. Not so glad that the alterations will cost almost half of the dresses. But we'll keep things happy here today...

5. Glad beyond words for air conditioning. I do not like NC summers. Period. If I were "independently wealthy" I'd be living in Maine for the summer. Since I am neither independent, nor wealthy, I'll just be thankful for a.c. :)

6. Glad that the long weekend took us to one of the "Top 10 McDonalds in the World" according to the Food Network. It is at the Biltmore Village in Asheville, NC. Yes, it was pretty amazing; complete with a baby grand piano and a stone fireplace.

7. Glad for the ability to request/browse my local public library online.

8. Glad Target has a coffee bar and that I got to grocery shop alone last night. Thanks, mom!

9. Very glad to be back on my healthy eating plan after falling off the wagon for the whole. long. weekend.

10. Extra glad that my sweet man works so hard to provide for his family.

What are you glad for today?

August 9, 2010

ABC store

A few weeks ago I was out running errands with the kids looking for school supplies and educational sundries. We had visited several educational stores and were on our way home. In the spirit of helping mom out, one of my kids piped up from the backseat, "hey mom, we could stop there." I looked around the intersection and didn't see anything that would be of interest to my children. "Where?" I asked.
"Over there, the ABC Store."
Trying not to snicker loud enough for them to hear I said, "Oh that's not a teacher store. They sell drinks there."
"Can we get a drink? We're thirsty" came the reply.
Um no, they sell drinks for grown-ups.
"Whiskey?" asked my 6 year old.
"Like whiskey and a hot bath?" from my 9 year old.
I nearly wrecked the car.

Now before you get all judgy-like, I don't drink whiskey and I rarely have time for a hot bath. Thanks to hours of watching Little House on the Prairie and the Love Comes Softly series, my children have a healthy reference point when it comes to ABC stores. And it got me off the hook for having to explain the ins and outs of hard liquor.
Enjoy your day!

August 8, 2010

Sunday Rest

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalm 40:1-2

August 4, 2010

Being Real

I love to grab the camera when my kids aren't looking and capture life as it is happening. Below are two of my favorite shots from the summer.

While our school year started off with a bang, it had a shorter life than a firecracker on the 4th of July. We had a come-to-jesus-meeting today concerning poor attitudes, sibling rivalry, and complaining spirits. One of my children, who shall remain nameless dug in his heels which may or may not have ended with a nice little car ride to the local public school parking lot for a taste of reality. Upon our return, I had 3 little angels ready to love and appreciate the education they are receiving. I don't like playing bad cop, but sometimes that's what it takes. I'm just glad we got it settled now, rather than allowing myself to wear thin and give up. And do the ugly cry.

In other news...
I saw an albino buck while running yesterday. Now my hubby wants me to carry a rifle while I exercise. Apparently an albino buck is the golden challis of the league of hunters, worldwide.

I spent 30 minutes on the phone with the tailor today. Our seamstress has the cutest asian accent with a deep south twang. She was calling to tell me that she was going on vacation but the dresses would be ready and since I was so sweet and "hab saweet bebes" she'd give me a good "pwice". See, it pays to be saweet. :) Which is a good thing, since I have 3 bridesmaid dresses to have altered.

We moved all of the kids' beds around last night. Family fun, I tell ya. Today I was faced with 17 mountains of bed linen laundry. Sigh. But everybody feels like they've had a room makeover, so I'll get over it.

I moved my front porch furniture to the back porch and love it. A little change in the heat of summer is nice. Now I know where my kids get it from.

Enjoy your day!!!

August 2, 2010

ABC's of Marriage

This list was recently shared at a bridal shower I attended. It is a great list for all married women. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

A May your ADMIRATION of him be spoken both to him and in the company of others
B BUILD each other up
C Keep CHRIST as the CENTER of your marriage
D DELIGHT in each other and be DEVOTED
E ENCOURAGE each other. Be his biggest cheerleader.
F FAITH is the key that keeps you together in the storms of life. FORGIVENESS.
G GIVE unselfishly with reckless abandon to the one you love. Be GENTLE enough to need his protection.
H HELP each other be all you can be
I INITIATE healing a misunderstanding
J JESUS is the sweetest name in times of trouble. Call His name and pour your heart out to Him.
K May your opinion always be spoken in KINDNESS
L Keeping the LOVE alive is a lifetime assignment. Remember that LOVE is a choice, not a feeling.
M MANAGE your time so that he will always be your first priority, even after children
N NURTURE a truly good relationship. This means lots of time, effort and energy.
O OVERLOOK an offense and surprise him with an unselfish act of love
P PRAYER and PATIENCE are the two key pillars to a solid marriage
Q Be QUICK to forgive and QUICK to ask forgiveness
S SUPPORT him with words of encouragement and be willing to SACRIFICE for him.
V VALUE each other. Remember men are VISUAL and do your best to look good for him.
W WAIT patiently for the Lord to intervene.
X Desire to be a woman of EXCELLENCE
Y YIELD to him and the Lord will honor you for it.
Z Be ZEALOUS to make your life with him all that you dreamed it could be

August 1, 2010

Sunday Rest

For the foolishness of God
is wiser than man's wisdom,
and the weakness of God
is stronger than man's strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25