Saturday, October 31, 2009

monster mash

We attended the Monster Mash in Camden last night (otherwise known as the rodeo) and it proved to be an interesting outing. We actually hadn't planned on going, but as I was checking on people on FB, I saw that a couple of them were headed out to the rodeo for a night of fun. So, I checked it out, found out where it was, and off we went. It was mostly bull riding, which can go from boring to very, very exciting very quickly. One of the riders got hurt, and even had a seizure after being tossed off like a rag doll. One of the riders flipped over the head of his bull, and then hung onto the horns for a couple of seconds. The clown was pretty funny.....he dressed up as the Village People at one point in the evening and that was hilarious. I should have taken video of that! All in all, we had a good time getting our "cowboy" on and tromping through the dirt with the best of them.


This guy, along with his partner on the other side were suppose to rope the bulls that were frisky and didn't want to go into the pen after throwing their rider. I say suppose to because they weren't very good at it!


The oh, so, funny clown. He was hilarious!


Our cowgirl!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

it has arrived!



My camera, that is (mine is red). I'm so excited even though I haven't really had a chance to use it yet. I had to tell Steve from the get-go that I would actually like to use it. That man loves gadgets....a little too much, if you ask me. I knew that if I didn't stake my claim, I'd never get to hold it, much less take a picture with it. I don't know what it is about electronics, but he seems to think that if it uses batteries (like the remote), has cords and plug-ins (like the computer) then it is his and his alone.

I know, I know...those of you who know both of us don't believe me! However, it's true....I swear! Most of the time, I really don't mind letting him do all of that kind of stuff, but this time.....THIS TIME....I actually wanted to put my hands on the darn thing since I was the one who wanted it, who researched it, and who ordered it. I waited patiently for it......the box arrived......and then, you gals know what happened! I had to go running, yes, running (causing a minor earthquake, I might add) into the living room to grab the box from him. He looked so innocent, I almost felt sorry for him. I say almost because I knew that was his evil plan!

Hopefully, the weather will clear up tomorrow and I will take it out for a stroll (no more running for me...I've had my quota for the week). Then, I'll actually get to sit down and edit and post some pics! He won't be here tomorrow night, so I am pretty darn sure no one else will fight me for that privilege (since Luke doesn't care and Stevie will be with her dad).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

t-ball

We went to Suwanee this past weekend to see Sam and Jack in their last regular season t-ball game. Sounds odd, huh? They are 4 and 5, and their league has play-offs. Has the world gone insane? I think so, but that is another post for another time because, let me just say right now, that my two nephews are the cutest, funniest 4 and 5 year olds around.

If there were penalties in t-ball, Jack definitely would have gotten the dreaded "excessive celebration" call when after being tagged out at home, he still insisted he touch the plate and then did a whole fist pumping, both hands raised celebration dance all the way to the dug-out. He's too much!

By far the funniest moment was when Sam scored and as we cheered him on, he flipped us off!! Only, he was REALLY just saying, "We're number 1", but with his middle finger! Poor Tracy was mortified, I was laughing my tail off (not literally, of course, because if THAT worked, I'd do it all day!), Shea was hiding in shame, and Sam was oblivious.

Speaking of Sam, I forgot to mention that the child is brilliant! I honestly would hate to have him in my first grade class because what would you do with him???? He can read, write legibly, count, add, and he has countless other skills----keep in mind that this is Oct. and he is in Kindergarten! By the time he gets to first grade, he'll be able to teach it. It's SCARY.

So, great time with those boys............cannot wait to see them again!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

band

This is a picture of the band, but I don't even see Luke in it! Taken with Steve's phone...my new camera has not yet arrived!
Luke is in the middle school band. He plays the saxophone, and we love listening to him. We love the band, and can't wait for those Saturdays next Fall and Friday nights when he is in high school in the marching band. Although, it will be much different from our previous experience with Stevie where the band was large, as NCHS has about 15 members! They do go to competitions and they actually placed second a couple of weeks ago. So, while we wait for that, we had the opportunity to hear the pep band for the middle school play at the JV football game last Thursday. They were actually good, and we enjoyed it. I really wish their band teacher instilled a little more confidence in them or maybe she needs more confidence in herself, because I'd love to hear them more often. Ahhh....Fall, there's just so much to love about it, and this is just one more thing!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

too cute



I totally stole these pictures from my sil's blog which you can see here. They are too darn cute just like those boys that are in it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

camera

Once again, I left my camera (actually Stevie's camera) at home when I needed it! So, that has me on the hunt for a small one that I can just keep in my purse. Now, don't get me wrong.....I am not one of those people who runs around with the camera taking these wonderful impromptu photos that look like pictures out of a magazine (Tracy!), I just want to catch those memories (generally posed!) when we do something fun. Mostly, I think about all of the blog topics I would have if only I had my camera to show you.

Anyway, I digress, on the hunt am I. I know that I want at least 10mp and 3x zoom. I know what you're thinking.............Boy, look at her camera knowledge............... oh, that's not what you're thinking? okay, anyway, I know that I want these things because when I was in that professional camera store, you know the one.....with the big yellow sign and black letters (yes, yes, Best Buy) whom I said I would never buy from again because their customer service is sooooooooooo bad, 10mp was the highest that the majority of those camera had. I'm sure it's good enough for me.

The camera I have right now, I bought 5 years ago. It's 3mp, and you can tell the difference. Actually, I couldn't tell the difference until we bought Stevie's camera last year and it took much better pictures than the one I paid a lot of money for...........I knew I had a problem. But, I thought, I'll just use her new one and not worry about it. WRONG!

There are so many choices, does it really matter what brand I get? I do have standards, though. I don't want it to cost too much! and by too much, I mean I don't want to purchase it and then find a lower price on the internet. ugh! I know this may happen because last year at Christmas, Stevie picked out her specific camera and we priced it at all of the usual suspects (Target, Wal-Mart, BB, etc.) I thought I'd check online first, and got the absolute lowest price at Amazon. I never saw it lower than what I paid all season! I was thrilled, to say the least as I am CHEAP! So, I'll take suggestions or advice or possibly Tracy to the store when we see her this weekend, and find a camera so that all of you lucky people will get to see the fun stuff we do (or the random stuff we take pics of in grocery stores......like chicken feet!) I'd upload that picture here, but for some reason Mozilla and Blogger do not like to upload my pics. I guess I'll go back to blogging in Explorer when I finally find a camera and have pics to share!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

redefining beautiful by jenna lucado

Beautiful: what God sees when God sees you



This wonderful book by the daughter of acclaimed author, Max Lucado, is a true winner. Jenna Lucado brings to life what a girl's perspective of herself through God's eyes should be. Although written with the teenage-girl in mind, it is certainly appropriate for any aged woman who struggles to see the beauty God wrote into her life. The book deals with issues from social networking to how to choose a prince through God's relationship with us.

Redefining Beautiful is written as a conversation piece, and I did feel as though Jenna and I were friends just talking around my kitchen table. She portrays relational qualities that any girl will find endearing, and uses language that is familiar to today's young woman. The book provides space for each young woman to write her thoughts in a journal-type atmosphere to be used as a tool in day-to-day learning. This is a book that I will share with both my 18 and 25 year old daughters in the hopes that they will see how much more God treasures them; even more than their earthly dad who adores them!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

revival

Our church just finished a three day revival. It was good, although I actually only got to be in the service once in the three days! Got me to thinking, though....What is Revival?

It use to be that the word revival meant a meeting where you brought in all of the unsaved people you could find to hear a fire and brimstone message that would scare them to death and they would flock to the front of the church to get some fire insurance! The evangelist would seem bigger- than- life and uber-spiritual; he'd make you want to do just about anything for Jesus (pronounced Jeee-sssuuuuuuuuus). Today's revival, however, is a little different.

Today, we come in the hopes that we are, ourselves, "revived" or at least awakened a little to the joy and excitement that came when we first realized that we needed a Savior. It's time for the church to wake up and smell the coffee! We sit on our comfortable pews (or if you are in a new-fangled church, comfortable chairs), soaking up all of the goodness so that we can feel like we did something for "the Lord" and go happily on our way for the next week. Where, in the Bible, is this modeled? Church isn't suppose to be comfortable or about us.

I could jump on a soapbox right about here and say that I am sick of people who "play" at being christians. It's bad enough that some play church, but it's dangerous, life-threatening stuff to pretend to be a christian. Why is that dangerous, you ask? Well, since you asked......I'll answer! If you pretend that you are a christian and therefore, Christ-like, and living for Him, but your life doesn't reflect that, you probably aren't one. What that means for you is this....eternal damnation. It ain't pretty.......but it's truthful!

Are you out of church because....

someone hurt your feelings?
you didn't get your way?
you don't like church politics?
you think "those people" are hypocrites?
you don't like the music or the preacher?

Well, guess what? Jesus walked on this Earth and encountered all of those excuses.........AND, he didn't condone ANY of them. If these excuses sound like you, perhaps you need to take a look at the inside of yourself. Church is NOT about us, it's about worshiping a Holy, Righteous, Loving God and when we begin to get THAT, our church will no longer have empty pews (or chairs as the case may be); people will love one another; those quirks that bothered you before will no longer bother you; IF our focus is Jesus, then REVIVAL will come inside of us...the individual...the true church....not four walls......REVIVAL will come to God's people, and God's people will bring revival to the world.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

our weekend

Shea surprised us last Thursday evening by calling to say she was coming to see us. It ended up being a good weekend for since we already had several things planned. She had just spent the week at Disney with her "alternate family" and since she had a few days left of her vacation, we were the beneficiaries of those. It's okay, though, we don't mind the leftovers!

On Friday, Luke got out of school early for what was suppose to be a teacher workday, but ended up being a teacher furlough day. Poor teachers.....they don't get paid enough as it is, and now they have to take time off without pay :( I hope they all left and went home and didn't hang around working for free!

Anyway, we had already decided to use that day to take advantage of our zoo membership. The weather was a little cooler so the animals were quite active. We got to see several of them up close and personal as evidenced in these pictures:






We then went to see Couple's Retreat. Well, Stevie and Luke went to see Toy Story which they liked. However, Couple's Retreat? Just. say. no. Not funny at all, really and I generally like Justin Bateman, but his character was just annoying with his paralysis of analysis.

Saturday was a sad, sad, day. Georgia got beat......AGAIN. Come on, Tennessee? For real????
LSU lost............hate Florida. Enough said.

Sunday was homecoming at our church and we had a wonderful service, great crowd, and good meal. When I finally pulled Steve away, we headed out to McLeod's Farm to go to the corn maze and eat peach enchiladas. Although, now they have apple crisp so I will have to try that next time. We didn't buy apples, but we should have. They are the best place to get fruit, and their prices are great! The corn maze was not really hard, but it was fun. The weather was perfect as I have really been missing the Fall temperatures that we have grown use to!

We had a weekend to remember. These are the times in our lives that we cherish--family, friends, and good times. Life doesn't get any better does it?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

child hunger

and I don't mean in third world countries.............. I mean right here in the good ole USA.........right here in my neighborhood and yours!

Did you know?

* over 50% of children in grades K-5 are on free or reduced lunch?

* in 2006 the poverty rate for minors in the USA was the highest in the industrialized world, with 21.9% of all minors living below the poverty level

* the USDA reported in 2007 that 36.2 million people lived in household considered to be food insecure, of which 12.4 million are children.

* the ten states with the highest food insecurity were Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Maine, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri

* food insecurity is the inability to access food in a consistent manner, may require emergency food assistance, but try to have enough to feed the children. Adults in food insecure households may skip meals.

*the max monthly food stamp benefit in 2004 for a family of four was $471 or $1.31 per person per meal.

Want to know more? check out these sites:

www.frac.org

www.ers.usda.gov

What can you do to help?

Across the country, organizations and individuals are banning together to feed these children who, on the weekends, aren't guaranteed a meal. Our Baptist Association started a program called Sacks of Love where churches adopt schools. Each school identified the neediest students (meaning those less likely to have any food in the home on the weekends). The churches then provide a "sack of food" for each student. Our church, along with one other, supplements 14 children over a weekend.

For about $4.25 a week, we send home:
2 protiens (like vienna sausage and beanie weanies), 1 pasta (like spaghettios), 1 pkg. crackers, 2 breakfast items (like cereal and oatmeal), 2 non-refrigerated milks, 2 juice boxes, 1 dessert type item (like pkg. cookies), 1 granola bar, 1 fruit, 1 pkg. nuts or trail mix, 1 pkg. fruit snacks, 1 pudding, and probably something I am forgetting.

We deliver these sacks to the schools and they distribute them to the students at the end of the day on Fridays. There is another program called Backpacks of Blessings (where the above statistics came from) who serves children in a number of different states.

I would encourage you to get involved. Some of these children do not have electricity or running water in their homes, and they could be living in your neighborhood. Talk to your church, help a child through backpacks of blessings, help a child through our church, talk to your co-workers, talk to your child's school about this need. If you are reading this blog, you can help! Start small, start big, just make a difference.............honestly, if your child was hungry wouldn't you hope that someone would be willing to give up the cost of 1/2 of a fast food meal to help feed him? I sure would!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

cell phones

My friend, Janet, blogged about cell phones yesterday. Her post got me to thinking because I just had to laugh that she doesn't talk on it and rarely checks her messages. I am basically the same way. I have gotten to where I just hate talking on the phone, and I especially don't like talking on my cell phone. BUT, the thing I hate most is those thingies that people wear in their ears and then proceed to walk around stores and other public places talking into them. I can understand having one in your car, but to walk around in public? That is so rude! What is even more ridiculous, and obviously they don't realize how stupid they look, is to walk around with the thing in your ear and NOT be on the phone! Our society is just getting ruder and ruder. We think that our business is the only business that matters, and so we don't mind sharing it with everyone! I agree with Janet, are people that afraid of interacting with one another face to face? Come on!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

fall tv

I watch too much tv. I know that I do, and I don't care! I like it!! Here's a few of my favorite shows:

Brothers and Sisters: comes on Sundays, ABC @ 10est. This season is gearing up to be a great one with Ryan up to no good, Kitty having cancer, Robert running for governor, Justin trying not to flunk out of med school, and the rest dealing with issues that they make bigger than they should. I love the relationships that they share with one another and how the show deals with those.


Amazing Race: love, love, love this show where couples of various types (siblings, parent/child, best friends, etc.) race around the world for the prize of 1 million dollars. It would be worth more than the million to me to just experience this thing.

Grey's Anatomy: I thought they had jumped the shark last season, but I do believe they are back! Cannot wait to see what the writers come up with since Katherine Heigl and Ellen Pompei are going to be out for several weeks. I just love the new Lexie/McSteamy romance, but hate the Callie/Arizona romance. ABC, why do you have to do this on EVERY stinking show???

Castle: This show seems even better this year, its sophomore season. Castle, a writer, and Beckett, a detective have wonderful chemistry and they make the show--about murders and such--entertaining and sometimes, funny.

These are just a few that I like. There's some new ones this year that I plan on telling you about, but for now...definitely check out The Good Wife if you haven't already. It's grrrrreat!!

slideshares using Twitter

What an interesting idea. Using the tweets of others to prepare a slideshare on important events--like 9/11. Saw this here and it is pretty cool. I do hope that one day I can be as up-to-speed as these people who come up with this stuff.

I worry that I could spend ALL day every day browsing the internet and still not "get it", and in today's world of media center emphasis, that simply won't cut it! There's so much to do and learn, I can't possibly do it all.

The paper I am writing is on social networking in the schools. I'll definitely use this slideshare idea in the paper, but Stevie has been tweeting and she follows Melissa Joan Hart. You know, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch? Well, MJH tweets trivia questions and I thought....what a great idea! Teachers, media specialists, whoever could do that with students. The thing about school systems blocking these sites at school is....the kids use them anyway! Everyone knows that just b/c we tell them not to use their phones for texting, they do it so why do we expect them not to use their phones for the internet?

We shouldn't, we should instead capitalize on them! I've heard all of the arguments, and some of them are valid. Like, if we let them use the phone for educational things how will we know that they aren't doing non-educational things? How do you know that NOW?? We don't. We just have to constantly be on our toes. We have to keep up-to-speed. This is probably why I'm not sleeping......my brain is ON FIRE!!

Ahhh......so many ideas, so little time! LOL

Saturday, October 3, 2009

insomnia

I can't sleep. Haven't had a decent night's sleep in a couple of weeks. Why? I have no idea. I guess it could be the paper I need to write, or all of the sickness in this house, or the many, many things we have coming up to do, or the things I want to do............I. have. no. idea!

I just can't turn my mind off. Generally, when I can't sleep, I pray. That's not helping. Take a hot bath at 3 AM? tried it, didn't help. Eat? definitely NOT helpful. Count sheep? Take quizzes on Facebook? Blog? Read? Watch TV? Done it. Nada. Not working.

What do you do when you can't sleep? Maybe your remedy will help me. Next step, Nyquil!

Friday, October 2, 2009

a little happiness

These things make me happy!






my kiddos


Football Saturdays!


heroes


an empty tomb...He's Alive!


What makes you happy?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

a sacrifice?

In this news article, Michelle Obama says that it is a sacrifice for Oprah, the president, and her to travel to Copenhagen to plea for the Olympics in Chicago. A sacrifice, I ask? Indeed not. I believe it is time for a reality check, Mrs. Obama. Unfortunately for the people of America this is what our president and his wife deem a sacrifice. I don't believe they are in touch with the rest of us.

Yesterday marked the last day of September, and the last day of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that about September? Probably not. It doesn't get much press or attention in Congress. If you would like to help, see this blog for ideas. I think our fair leaders could learn a few things about sacrifice from the parents and children facing pediatric cancers. I praise God that I do not know first hand what they are going through, but I do appreciate their struggles. Take, for example, Mrs. Spady whose son died in July from an aggressive brain tumor. She, herself, has survived two types of cancer (colon and breast) and has now lost her son to this horrible disease. Sacrifice you say? I believe so.

Today is October 1, and the beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It will get a lot of press, and rightly so. Think of Mrs. Doughty whose sister died of breast cancer, and then she too fought and won a gracious yet ferocious battle with it. Sacrifice you say? I believe so.

How about the Van Pelt family whose daughter was in a horrible car accident in July and so now they have to deal with rehabilitative issues for their 17 year old who should instead be enjoying her senior year of high school? Instead of band competitions, senior pictures, graduation invitations; they are dealing with diapers, lift equipment, and handicap vans.

How about those who have lost their jobs, health insurance, homes? Sacrifice? I believe so.

Then, there's the mom here in SC whose child just died of swine flu, the one whose 13 year old son shot and killed his 10 year old brother leaving her without either one of them. The children who go hungry on the weekends because there isn't enough food/money to go around and they pray they make it back to school on Monday just so they can eat. The wife whose husband uses her and her children as punching bags, the single mother trying to make ends meet who has to leave her children alone so she can work, the list goes on and on.

When and if the Obamas have to deal with any of these types of situations,then they can talk about sacrifice. Poor choice of words, Michelle.