Friday, May 27, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness: Iced Coffee Bribery and Packing Techniques

Photo Source
I'm actually joining my Loverbrains on a super water kick challenge.  We are each attempting to drink two quarts of water a day.  That's a lot of water.  I bribe myself with iced coffee.  If I drink all my water...I get my afternoon coffee (or Coke).  If I'm a bad girl and don' sad for me.  *Sniff, sniff.*  It's a good thing this isn't a competition because Loverbrains would be winning.  He says it's cuz he sits in a million meetings and needs to stay awake.  HA!

With humid temperatures was time to re-institute the afternoon tradition for iced coffee anyway.  The simplicity of it always surprises me.  I remember feeling super silly when I was inspired by Joanne's AZ coffee bar...and I wrote to ask her for the "recipe"...She was so sweet cuz she didn't say..."DUH, Bobbi!"  It's so simple...some crushed/cubed ice...a bit of creamer...a bit of sweetner...filled up with coffee...YUMMO!

Randomly noted:  Joanne is doing fabulously.  She is home!  There are still lots of will forever be changed...and she still needs PRAYER.  So, don't stop praying or forget about her.

I'm busily packing for our Memorial Day visitations...I realized that I'm not a counting packer.  I don't count the days and say..."I need three sets of undies, three sets of socks, etc."   Nope, I'm a detail packer...I think through each day individually.  That way, I think through every detail..."how do I need to be dressed for activities on that day," etc.  Loverbrains is a counting packer.  So, being his loving, bubbly wife...I ask him about his missing details...Did you pack dark socks for Sunday?  A tie and belt?

I shall attempt to explain, lest you think I'm odd...hahaha...right you're reading this blog so nevermind on that one...

I'm thinking about this because I'm teaching Emmer-bean to pack her own clothes.  I am teaching her to be a detail packer, of course.  "Okay, we will be there how many days (pointing on the calendar)...Okay, you'll need traveling clothes....set those out first.  Okay, now that first day with will be'll need clothes for that.  Don't forget your jammies for that night.  No, you'll wear the same pair each night.  Okay, now the next day....etc."

I've gone your whole life without this earth shattering, caffeinatedly random, helpful advice.  Hehehe...Have a great weekend ya'll...Remember to take a moment and....REMEMBER!  Freedom isn't FREE...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord,  how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise
because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 
what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memorial Day Hodgepodge

1. What is something about living in this country that you value? 'This country' is whatever country you call home.
I am blessed to live in the United States of America!  I was thinking through the Constitution and Amendments...and couldn't pick just one...I think my favorites are the 1st, 2nd, and 19th...but it made me think of this clip from Born Yesterday...
2. What is a favorite something you own that is red, white, and/or blue?
My Mom gave me an adorable Longaberger basket that's red/white/blue...I keep napkins in it in my kitchen...The whole kitchen is it.  My curtains say, "God Bless America" over and over again!!
3. Do you fly a flag at your house on patriotic holidays?
We have a mini American flag flying out front year round.
4. What ingredients do you think should be included in a great picnic basket?
Napkins/Wet-wipes...A red/white gingham tablecloth...good food, of course.
5. What is one interesting piece of trivia you know? Interesting is of course a relative term.
In honor of Memorial's some interesting flag trivia. 
*The union (the blue field of stars) should always be in the upper left-hand corner, whether it's hanging vertically or horizontally. The flag is never flown upside-down (with the union at either bottom corner) except as a distress signal.
*Because nations are supposed to be equally independent, no flag of one country can be in a greater position than another. When the flags of different countries are displayed together, they should be of the same size, and at the same height on different flagpoles. The flags must all be raised and lowered at the same time.
*When no flag is displayed, you should stand facing the music while the national anthem is played.
*Worn US flags should be burned in a dignified manner.  Outposts of the American Legion hold regular flag-burning ceremonies often on Flag Day (June 14th). You can usually contact them for disposal of worn flags.
6. Wednesday, May 24th is National Escargot day...have you ever tried them? Eww or ooh?
I have never tried them.  I would if given the opportunity.  I'm a super adventurous eater.  Where does one go to buy escargot??  I have never seen it in my local grocery.
7. What is one thing you know for sure?
 Summary of my understanding of John 1....
Before anything existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God...Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness - and the darkness can never extinguish it.
To all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them. All those who believe this are reborn! - not a physical rebirth resulting from human passion or plan - but from the will of God.
And Christ became a human being and lived here on earth among us and was full of loving forgiveness and truth. And some of us have seen his glory - the glory of the only Son of the heavenly Father
8. One of my favorite Patriotic pictures...

Monday, May 23, 2011

WIW: Prayer Flowers

The flowers are really just something pretty for you to look at while I talk about prayer stuffs.  I took them at our Zoo's gorgeous gardens.

Remember a few weeks ago when I said that blogging (among other things) had encroached upon my prayer life.  I felt so overwhelmed...I was out of sync with God...NOT a good place to be.
Being the perfectionist, list-making, "law bound" chica that I am...I was flummoxed by where to even start in getting back on the right track.  I was amid another long lonely spell with my Loverbrains abroad and that all spelled "depression."  Not the deepest or darkest...generally they're short lived but there ya have it.  So, it's kind of funny (not ha ha...but ironic/providentially so) that God brings you to the end of yourself to get you back on top.  This last year I heard that "He puts us in valleys so that we have no where to look but UP"...very interesting...and true. 
A combination of things have happened since then.  I started blogging a bit less, for one Bible Study ended...and I was encouraged to study Philippians alone during the summer...which of course started tying in everywhere I Sunday sermons, in verses texted, in books I was reading...Sort of freaks me out when God does that!  Cool though.  

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."  Phil. 1:6
I was also encouraged to begin reading two books...both are powerful and intense...and might kill me before the summer is over...ha!  Spiritual Depression: It's Causes and Cure by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones  and Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow.  I'll share two thought provoking quotes I've noted so far...
In connection to Mark 8: 22-26...
"But if you start with the theory that Christianity is not clear-cut, do not be surprised if you find yourself, like this man, seeing "men as trees, walking'.  If you start your Christian life and experience by saying that you do not want an exact focus or a precise definition in your picture, you probably won't have it."
Based on having an eternal perspective you should...
"NEVER...allow yourself to complain about anything--not even the weather.
NEVER...picture yourself in any other circumstance or someplace else. your lot with another's.
NEVER...allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
NEVER...dwell on tomorrow--remember that is God's, not ours."
I also learned something interesting...I need to let myself be brought to that vulnerable "end of myself" each morning when I go to prayer.  And, when I do, those lists of things and people to pray for...they pour out of me all day long...cuz, It's about Him, not me. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hodgepodge Zoo time!

1. What reveals more about a woman-her refrigerator or her purse?
Her purse...sadly... I think my refrigerator is what I want the world to see...organized, clean...but my purse although stylish Vera Bradley is a bit too jumbled and scatterbrained.
2. When was the last time you went to the zoo? Where? What's your favorite zoo animal?
 Check out our first zoo trip of Spring on my other blog where I'm the MomE and Loving It!  We went to the Indy zoo...and my favorite animal is probably the giraffe.  Probably cuz I'm so short.  Tallness is so inspiring.  LOL!
3. What social issue fires you up?
There are lots of them...probably the child sex makes me sick and angry all at once!  I also despair that in this world there is NO justice for such criminals.  Thankfully, I know that I worship a just God, who will judge all!
4. Are you a coupon clipper? If so, are you extreme?
I do, but I am not extreme.  I have friends who are WAY off the deep end.  I do price matching when it suits me...I have a budget goal to stay under.  I don't understand the whole using coupons to buy tons of stuff I DON'T NEED in the first place.
5. What is one of your favorite souvenirs brought back from your travels?
I buy cookbooks and unique journals from almost everywhere.  I have the neatest Scottish Cookbook...and an ornate, carved leather journal from Spain.
6. Lemon meringue or key lime?
Oooo...lemon meringue.  I usually chicken out though and make lemon bars instead.  Meringue is not for the faint of heart or the impatient.
7. What is the most beautiful word you know in any language?
LOVE?  or maybe....GRACE.
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
My dearest Jill (my maid of honor) is coming to visit this week.  I haven't seen her since her wedding...which is probably about 5 years ago.  Too long.  Why do we lose touch and wait so long to set up these things?  No, e-mail does NOT count!  And why do we stress about cleaning the house when we know they aren't coming to see the house anyway.  And yet, I'm off to scour my bathrooms and floors ya'll.  Toodle-loo!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tube Tuesday: Trust Fall...Mercies in Disguise...

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

by Laura Mixon Story

Monday, May 16, 2011

WIW: Mothers and Daughters...

A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.  ~Author Unknown
Of all the haunting moments of motherhood, few rank with hearing your own words come out of your daughter's mouth.  ~Victoria Secunda
And thou shalt in thy daughter see,
This picture, once, resembled thee.
~Ambrose Philips

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bluebirds, Wrens, Robins, & Falcons....Oh My!!

This Spring has been wonderful for birdwatching...

I've had Bluebirds, which are incidentally HARD to catch on camera!  They have babies now....and are house cleaning and hunting with great blue flutters!  Can you see the one in this picture??

I have cheeky and mean little Wrens.  They built a nest in my hanging plant...which is actually a relief to me because they are VERY aggressive and I don't want them pecking my Bluebirds out of their box.
I have a Robin can see it better from my son's room...but the camera couldn't.  Do you see the nest in the middle of the picture?  I'm thinking their babies should hatch VERY soon...I'm hoping for some blue egg shells to collect!!  If my stupid silly dog doesn't eat them first.  Scruffy thinks she's a cow or something...and is eating lots of grass, dandelion tops, and as many helicopters as she can hold before throwing them up.  Dogs are weird...*sigh*
I also have Cardinals a plenty...and I watched a Peregrine Falcon eating a Mourning Dove in the early morning for breakfast.  I thought it was snowing under my mulberry, I got my binoculars and realized it was feathers.  I snuck out back and *pop* the Falcon's head came up and he looked right at me with feathers all over his head...and then he flew away in disgust..."Really, can't even eat breakfast in peace around here...crazy birder lady!"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

{pretty}'s pretty little bug repellents.
My jetlagged Loverbrains filled my raised garden bed with dirt...yeah!  I added tomatoes, peppers, swiss chard and scallion seeds, marigolds and zinnia seeds!  Yeah, I'm so happy!!
If at first you kill your herbs...try, try again!
I found Archibald my spotted sock owl...and a wonderful aqua basket my Mom gave me....and it's funny...
...yes, it's funny how a little spotted sock owl named Archibald can make me so happy!
It thrills my heart that as she continues to learn to read..her "pretend" reader of choice is her little pink Bible!  I couldn't find her the other day...I knew she was floating about in her princess dress....and here she was tucked away having her "quiet time."  That's what's REAL...that's why I'm staying at home!  Thank you God for the reminder!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 it thrills me!

My Loverbrains has just returned from another LLOOOOONNGGG trip...a trip that I didn't know if I was going to survive or not... the last day, as I awaited his return...I killed some time by organizing my vast stack of Real Simple favorite-st ever...This is about a year's worth...and don't look at me like that...I already gave away a whole other year's worth!  Yup, *pat myself on the back*...I was pretty proud of myself too.
So, this massive year pile.... now down to this little pile.  Mostly, I save great stories, book lists, and recipes.
AND...Real Simple is SO COOL...cuz they sent me this little solutions organizer for the pieces I chose to save!!  Hehehe!  Oh, how nerdily this thrills me!
So, what do you save out of your magazines...or do you save the whole magazine...? 

Monday, May 9, 2011

GIFA=Guilt Inducing Forgetful Advice

Mother's Day advice has been floating about the web and my life.  Most has had it's opposite intended guilt, instead of encouragement. I call it GIFA or Guilt Inducing Forgetful Advice.  Obviously, most women have blocked out the bad days...often totally forgetting them.  We all know, guilt is the gift that keeps on giving. Some of us have family and friends that encourage and precipitate guilt...some of us are just good at multiplying guilt all on our own.

Yes, I will attest to the fact that time flies and children should be enjoyed at all their levels of development. But, when such advice is flippantly handed out to an exhausted and frazzled woman, it's guilt inducing. Because, the more I think about it the more terrible it would seem to want my son to stay three forever...or to say that I enjoy the majority of his three year old behaviors. I won't EVER miss super poopy diapers...or continual nights of interrupted sleep. Nope, NOT going to happen.  If I ever get that sappy...and such flippant and unthoughtful advice flows from my mouth to an exhausted, woman...I hope she slaps me.  Just kidding.   I just hope she doesn't cry...cuz I sure did.  What is the thought here?  Allowing me to complain or temporarily commiserating with me would cause what major disaster exactly??

I hope that when I'm in my dotage...looking fondly back on my children's wee days...I too will block out the tantrums and embarrassment...and I'll give truly helpful and practical advice. Tips on how to manage the laundry and meals. Tips only given WHEN ASKED FOR!!! I shared "sleep when they sleep" the other day...because I'm finding that it works for me NOW. Frankly, I'm just not ready for round two *ding ding* if I don't catch a nap. I pay for it later. THAT'S practical and thoughtful advice. I don't want any mother's taken down by their three year olds. HA!

Other than tears, I experience intense anger and frustration from this GIFA.  I think the advice that really steams me the most is in regards to spiritual things.  You know, those comments about either how you should "remember to pray and look to God"...gee, I'm so glad you think I'm a completely ungodly idiot and that prayer never occurred to me...or the dearies who tell you that they just "gave up on having deep and meaningful devotional time until their children were adults"..."whoa, that is SO depressing!"  So, what could those suffering from GIFA do instead?  How about starting with not condescending or patronizing?  A hug and reassuring pat would be nice!

Childrearing has brought more than it's expected fair share of spiritual lessons and challenges. I for one have loved the awesome childcare and DEEP disciplined study offered by BSF.  Some churches also have Bible study with childcare available.  Trust me...we MomE gals are already afraid we're losing brain cells and failing miserably at this "most important job on earth."  I'm writing this for I can be sure to NOT be a giver of GIFA!  I can feel inferior all alone.  Encouragement takes another person.  Encouragement means...serving to incite, support, promote, or advance;  incentive to increase confidence.  I want to encourage other women that they CAN survive motherhood...AND do it well...AND do it fully grounded and digging into God's Word.  And on those hard days...I seek out the faithful few in my corner who ENCOURAGE ME...and lift me up when I'm down.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May Day Hodgepodge

1. Have you ever been served breakfast in bed? Do you enjoy that? If someone were serving you breakfast in bed this coming weekend what would you hope to see on the tray?
No, I haven't but it sounds nice.  I guess, eggs, bacon, toast, orange juice, coffee, the paper...pretty normal.  Oh, and a little vase of flowers.  Someone show this to my husband, okay?
2. What is one piece of advice you would give a new mother?
Sleep when they sleep.  I didn't do it...but I wish I had.  It sounds really smart in retrospect.
3. When was the last time you wanted to scream? Explain.
Every day lately...and I might have done so recently, ahem...  I have a really stubborn three year old.  Need I say more?
4. Can you hula hoop?
Yup...takes me a while to get back into the groove of things...but yes.
5. What is something people do in traffic that really bothers you?
Stopping when going into traffic circles. says YIELD, people...not're gonna get us all killed!!! 
6. What do you do when people don't admit they're wrong?
Generally, I grit my teeth and seethe about it for a while.  Eventually, I get over it.  I know that I  should remember that I'm only responsible for me and move on with my life...but, I'm being honest.
7. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word 'fun'?
I'm SO tired of my hysterical little people right now...that fun sounds like WORK to me.  It just doesn't hold appeal at the moment.  I guess because if they consider it fun then I'll probably be cleaning up later.  Sounds cynical, I know...but I'm all funned out.
8. It figures...
I was all excited that today would be a NO RAIN day...and perhaps I could shuffle the Sweet Boobahs out to play.  But,'s FREEZING...because the rain evidently brought cool air with it.  It's 41 degrees F...argh.  Come on sun...warm it up!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Prayerfully Blogging Along

“The greatest tragedy in life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.” -F.B. Meyer

I figure I'm not the only person who does this...but I often find myself thinking in blog.  I don't just mean taking pictures or experiencing something and thinking "This would make a good blog post."  I mean, detailing them out in my head...word by word...sometimes to the point where I think that I already wrote them. 

Remember this.  When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold.  When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness.  This is also the case when people withdraw from God.  ~Augustine

And as I hit a giant emotional, spiritual wall this week...I realized that prayer in my life had largely fallen by the wayside...somewhere in the blogging of it all...I let this be the outlet that only prayer can be.  I say CAN be...because although I pour out thoughts and feelings here, just simply writing it down, getting comments, not getting comments, thinking it out...none of those things are remotely like my GOD...who hears and answers. 

Psalm 120 :1, "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me."

So, I'm going to meditate on "praying without ceasing."  I'm not planning to stop blogging...I do enjoy it.  It can be cathartic and helpful in the expression of ideas.  But, it should not take the place of prayer.  This may seem like a moot point to ya'll...and I'll admit that I never thought that it should take the place of prayer.  I'm not a complete idiot.  But, it happened...and by being honest about it...maybe I'll cause someone else to re-examine their blogging and it's place in their walk with Christ.  I think we all need to re think things from time to time. 

Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.  ~Diana Robinson