Thursday, August 20, 2009

To School

See that smile? Brother was excited to try out his new school. Wanna know the sad part? That smile wasn't there when I picked him up. My heart is burdened because brother is not happy at his new school. I've spent the better part of the last 36 hours in prayer, begging God to give him a new friend at his new school, pleading that he will be happy in this new place. It is hard on this mom's heart. He is such a terrific kid! I think everyone should love him. Yet, he didn't have a good first day, and he even begged me to not make him go back today. This mom job isn't very fun today!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Year, New Me

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 36 -- in the second half of this decade. For some reason, this was a difficult birthday for me. I guess I just obsess over the idea of being closer to 40. So, last night, I sat down and created a list of 101 things I'd like to do before my 40th birthday. This isn't really a "bucket list" because it has a different feel to me. It is more a list of goals and a "to-do" list for my life. Being the perfectionist that I am, it is hard for me to look at this list and not try to knock it out before my next birthday. I really had to challenge myself to think ahead and make some long-term goals. It was good for me.


  1. Memorize 100 verses (That's a little more than 2 a month)
  2. Adopt a Missionary family
  3. See Sister be baptized
  4. Worship freely without worrying about what others think
  5. Plug into a teaching position (still praying about this one – as to where)
  6. Participate in family mission trip
  7. Establish “do-able” Bible study routine
  8. Read through the entire Bible
  9. Begin and maintain a prayer journal
  10. Tithe regularly and have extra to give
  11. Volunteer to help in church nursery and/or other ministry area as needed (once a month at most)
  12. Join a Sunday School class or Bible study for personal growth – not for teaching others


  1. Teach my kids 100 verses – preferable the ones I learn
  2. Go hiking with my family once a month without complaining
  3. Stop what I’m doing when the kids need me
  4. Read Bible stories together
  5. Teach sister to swim
  6. Have success in struggles with Brother
  7. Go on ski trip
  8. Record more family memories on blog
  9. Finish the baby books
  10. Take pictures/video of the kids at least once a week because they grow up too fast
  11. Have family beach portrait taken
  12. Spend more time with my grandmother before she is gone
  13. Call my sister more often
  14. Have date night with hubby at least once a month
  15. Create chore charts for the kids
  16. Re-establish allowance
  17. Make plans for educating the children (private, public, or home)
  18. Decide about a family pet (I’m still a firm NO!)


  1. De-clutter the garage
  2. Find something to hang over the couch
  3. Rid the house of all cardboard moving boxes
  4. Create filing system for bills/receipts
  5. Make a 2 week menu plan and STICK TO IT
  6. Try two new recipes a month
  7. Let Brother help more in the kitchen
  8. Limit dining out to twice a week
  9. Finish hanging pictures
  10. De-clutter/decorate the Master Bedroom
  11. Clean out and donate the clothes we never wear
  12. Establish a family budget
  13. Get out of debt
  14. Come in under budget for 2 consecutive months
  15. Set up monthly savings draft
  16. Learn to garden
  17. Get oriental rug cleaned
  18. Have shower doors installed in Master bathroom
  19. Bake treats for neighbors/co-workers/teachers monthly
  20. Establish regular laundry day
  21. Clean kitchen each evening
  22. Paint the kids’ bedrooms
  23. Reduce the number of toys in the playroom
  24. Have company for dinner at least twice a month
  25. Scan important documents (birth certificates, marriage license, etc) so we have digital copies


  1. Cut back on Diet Coke
  2. Eat breakfast everyday
  3. Learn to run
  4. Drink more water each day
  5. Get to goal weight and STAY THERE!
  6. Take a photography class
  7. Learn Photoshop
  8. Get facial
  9. Color my hair to cover the new-found grey
  10. Buy another pair of non-neutral shoes
  11. Join a gym
  12. Get a pedicure more than once a year
  13. Participate in a Girls’ Night Out once a month – and even getaway every so often
  14. Find a walking buddy
  15. Start taking a multi-vitamin
  16. Schedule dentist appointment
  17. Schedule annual physical
  18. Take medicine as prescribed
  19. Join the choir
  20. Reward myself without food
  21. Be less of a wall flower and more confident of who I am


  1. Go on cruise with hubby
  2. Plan and budget for annual family vacation
  3. Go to Disney
  4. Spend at least one Saturday a month doing some family activity
  5. Call or write old friends once a month
  6. Go to Crater of Diamonds State Park
  7. Go camping with the family
  8. Regularly schedule playdates
  9. Make time to read – one book per month
  10. Finish Sister’s quilt
  11. Implement “Game Nite” at our house
  12. Go to college football game
  13. Make time to sew
  14. Have a reunion with my seminary gals
  15. “Camp” under the Christmas tree once in December
  16. Carve Jack-o-Lanterns
  17. Visit “pick-your-own” fruit orchard


  1. Master clipping/using coupons
  2. Use my crock-pot weekly
  3. Get a family calendar – and use it
  4. Organize my pantry
  5. Get timer to limit computer time (for self and kids)
  6. Keep some ready-made meals in freezer for “emergency”
  7. Keep record of wants/wishes throughout year for Christmas shopping
  8. Purge life/home of unnecessary things without guilt

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'll Tell the World that I'm a Christian

Last Sunday, our family took a whirlwind trip to Mississippi to my hubby's home town. It is about a 400 mile drive round-trip. While we knew the trip would be an exhausting one, we were excited to make it, and even looked forward to it.

About a month ago, hubby made this drive by himself. He went home to visit with his grandfather. Pappaw is 87. He is in declining health, and my hubby wanted to visit with him. More importantly, God wanted my hubby to visit with Pappaw. You see, as long as I've been in the family (12+ years), people have verbally questioned Pappaw's salvation. Yet, they were always afraid of offending the family Patriarch. Well, about a month ago, God made it clear to my hubby that it was time to settle the questioning once and for all. So, out of obedience to God, and love for his Pappaw, Hubby paid a visit to Mississippi. I was still in Texas. I prayed diligently for my hubby while he traveled, and I asked the Lord to give him the right words to say and to give Pappaw a soft heart. The Lord answered our prayers. Pappaw was not at all offended by the conversation. He was in fact humbled and readily accepted the Lord into his life that Saturday afternoon.

At the time, Pappaw talked with Hubby about baptism. While he knew that baptism wasn't necessary for salvation, he wanted to make his decision public and follow in believer's baptism. He told hubby, "If I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do this all the way."

So, that is why our family made the trip to Mississippi.

Pappaw made his profession of faith public a few weeks back, walking the aisle of the church that his wife, Mammaw, has attended for 50+ years. It is the same church where hubby served as the church pianist during high school. It is also the same church where hubby got to baptize Pappaw last Sunday evening.

Pappaw is a frail man. He suffers from macular degeneration, COPD, and can only walk with the aid of a walker. The idea of him walking into a baptistry was a scary one. In fact, we had some family members call to ask us to try to talk Pappaw out of being baptized. They were afraid he would fall, or would become embarrassed by the help he needed to get in and out of the baptistry. But it was important to Pappaw. It did take a lot of work for him to be assisted up and into the baptistry. It did take a lot of time. It also required two additional helpers. But, in the end, he got to experience those baptismal waters wash over him - symbolizing his new life in Christ.
It spoke volumes to me about the powerful transformation that come when one accepts Christ as their Savior. You see, the "old" (meaning former) Pappaw would have been too proud to appear crippled in front of a group of people. And the "old" Pappaw would have scoffed at the idea of anyone climbing into the baptistry at the age of 87. But the "new" Pappaw wanted to follow his Lord to the fullest. The "new" Pappaw only had his sights on pleasing an audience of One -- not on the congregation of on-lookers. At 87, Pappaw doesn't have many more days to live for Christ on this earth, but it is clear that he intends to live each one in obedience. Christ has change the heart of this once hard man. It is so wonderful to witness

"Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, August 13, 2009

If I had a Hammer

So, before I begin. I have to say that I am the most untalented person when it comes to decorating my house. I watch a lot of HGTV, but never to say, "Hey, I'm gonna do that right now." Well, the new house has brought out a new side of me -- a person who likes to decorate and make things pretty. It is most likely because I have lived in the MOST GOD-AWFUL rent houses (not that I'm ungrateful or anything, just tellin' it like it is) in the last 2 places, so it is nice to get to do my own thing.

So, the new house has something we never had in Texas, floor vents for the AC.
These vents pose a dilemma for me because we people in the South love our AC. So, you cannot go and block these vents with anything like furniture. What's a girl to do when the "vent wall" is the only suitable location for the couch?

Well, I went searching for some inspiration and Thrifty Decor Chick had a great post about sofa tables that lead me to a WONDERFUL solution. The only problem was that I would have to create it myself -- from scratch. I've always admired people who could build, and I've always wanted to learn, but this is a totally new area for me (and I don't have a daddy who built anything either). So, I did the scariest thing first - I want to the lumber department of Lowe's. Talk about being clueless and feeling like I was in a foreign country. I survived. I bought wood, brackets, $1 spray paint, and peg board. (you will see why later). Then I came home and gathered my tools.
I then went about creating a sofa table. I connected the 1x2s to the 2x6s using the L-brackets. Then - to create ventilation for the floor vent - I used peg board for the tabletop. Genius! (It was hubby's idea).
So, I just nailed the pegboard to my tableframe -- all 8 feet of it. Love it!

Then, I stood the puppy up and spray painted the top and sides black. The inside won't ever be seen, so no need to use up all my paint.

Then, after it dried, I took it inside, placed some accessories on top, and Wah-lah. Beautiful sofa table that serves a duel purpose.
Unless you go snooping around to the back of the couch, you'd never know. Isn't it pretty?!?
I still may need to take some classes in arranging accessories, but I am pleased with the current result -- and I'm not sweating in my family room.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Somethin' New...

You learn something new everyday. Wanna know what I learned today? Sure you do!

I learned that when your worn-out bra only has one clasp left, it is best to throw it away.

You see, I was just going to be working around the house today, so I figured, "No big deal."

Then, the Fed-Ex truck came and when I jumped up from my furniture building (this time a TV stand), BOING. The last remaining clasp snapped, and there went the support - faster than a floozie's bra at a frat house.

Needless to say, I didn't greet Mr. Fed-Ex at the door.

That's all I have for today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Raindrops on Roses...

Well, I sat down to do a short post about 10 little things that make me happy. Then I remembered by coincidence that it is the 10th. Mer isn't hosting her blog party this month (please say a special prayer for her today), but I thought I'd continue anyway.

Do you ever take the time to realize the little things that bring a big smile to your life? I know we are always quick to recognize the big blessings, but how about the small things that make life happy. Here is a brief list of things I've stopped to thank God for recently:
  1. Afternoon showers -- Not rain showers (although those are nice, too), the kind where you don't have to rush to get ready for anything afterwards. You just get to sit around, wet hair and all, enjoying cleanliness.
  2. Lingering at the table after the meal
  3. Real, U.S. mail. The kind that is delivered by the mailman and is not a bill or advertisement.
  4. Afternoon naps -- the kind where you wake up confused as to where you are and what day it is. (This one, not so recent, but I'm still happy at the thought of it.)
  5. Laughter that makes your stomach hurt and your eyes cry.
  6. Rainbows
  7. Comfy chair and granny's quilts (and AC in the summertime)
  8. Waking up before the alarm
  9. Good, refreshing, shaved ice, sno-cones
  10. Patio dining on warm (not hot) summer nights (add in some live music, and it is over the top!)

And a bonus one: Pajama day!

Do you have a blessed life? I know I do. What are some of your little smiles?

Saturday, August 8, 2009


It only took 10 hours over 3 days to complete this project. I have to say, it was completely worth it. I *heart* my new work station!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I may be MIA for a while...

Guess what came today?

That, my friends, is the wonderful, magical computer armoire that will transform from 2 flat boxes into this beauty:
It will just take a few short hours of my life, and hopefully some well-written instructions. Who am I kidding!?! I am the designated builder in my family, so we will see how much I love it this evening. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Being Thankful...

I have so much wonderful stuff to share, that I will definitely have to have more than one day of Gladitudes this week. I am truly blessed by God, and I want to share that joy with all of you.
  1. I'm so in love with my new house! I will show pictures in the coming days of all the good stuff that I love. I'm thankful that most of the boxes will be eliminated by the end of the week and that things might be in order. HaHa! I'm also thankful that the furniture we ordered should be here this week because mindless TV just isn't as fun when you body hurts from lying on the hard floor.

  2. I'm thankful for the sweet waitress at the Arkadelphia Cracker Barrel who made my son loudly proclaim, "I'm gonna love living here!" because of her strong southern accent and wonderful southern hospitality.

  3. I'm thankful to be serving at a church where the staff wears suits on Sunday. Such apparel may be pricey, but I think if I am going to wear a dress, heals, and sometimes even don a pair of hose, then the least hubby should do is put on a tie. Plus, I have always had a thing for men in suits, so now I can gawk at my hubby at least once a week. (And can leave the bankers alone.)

  4. I'm thankful for the loving church members who have brought us food for the past few weeks. It is nice to have some home-cooked meals without all the work on my part. Of course, they have also provided an immeasurable amount of sugar and calories that I could have done without. I'm still very thankful!!

  5. I"m thankful that the puppies for sale on the side of the road were $800 - a price that quickly snapped hubby back into reality. I do not know who temporarily overtook his allergy stricken, dog forbiddin' body, but I'm glad I don't have a new critter to take care of. (Yes, I know that ends in a preposition, but I don't want to go back and fix it.)

  6. I'm thankful for Brother's proud proclamation that he will be a music minister when he grows up. His logic is priceless: "Because I love God, and I love music. That way I can spend my life doing what I love." I am, of course, very prayful, too, because I know ministry isn't always a bed of roses.

  7. I'm so very thankful that we found a good Mexican Food restaurant in North Little Rock because our family just cannot live without good salsa, fajitas, and enchiladas. I have to admit that we were a bit nervous after a miserable experience at another "Mexican food restaurant" in Arkansas. I'm also laughing that Brother commented, "It is good for Ark-Mex." (Instead of Tex-Mex)

  8. I'm thankful that brother has already made some new friends in the church, and that he seems more relaxed now that we are here and is getting settled into our new place. I'm thankful that God answered my prayer by putting some boys in our neighborhood for brother.

  9. I'm thankful for unlimited long distance on my home phone so I can stay in touch with my dear friends in Texas. I'm glad I didn't try to rely on my cell phone for said phone calls since my house is an AT&T dead zone.

  10. Most of all, I'm thankful to have my family together again and my hubby gainfully employed. I have a new respect for those who have been laid-off from their jobs. It was not a easy time for our family, but I know it was a time for God to teach us some valuable lessons. I also have a new respect for single-parents, army wives, and women who have husbands who travel frequently with their jobs. I am a spoiled woman! My family just operates better, and I require far less medication, when my family is all living under the same roof. My kids need their daddy, and I need my hubby.

As I mentioned, my heart is just full of all the blessings from God. He has been so good to me!

You will pass through deep waters.
But I will be with you.
You will pass through the rivers.
But their waters will not sweep over you.
You will walk through fire.
But you will not be burned.
The flames will not harm you.
I am the Lord your God.
I am the Holy One of Israel.
I am the one who saves you.
Isaiah 43:2-3