Monday, November 8, 2010

Cookies and a Sneak and the Fitter-right Inner

This is my favorite platter right now.  In the theme of fall, and the love I have for it, it's a fitter-right-inner.  (That's a real word.)

So I made yummy chocolate chip cookies for the youth auction last night and presented them on my leaf plate. that I love. that screams FALL!

...and here's the sneaky snake in my house who tried to eat the cookies off my beautiful leaf plate before they even got to the youth auction.  But I couldn't get too angry with him, he makes me laugh too much!

Friday, November 5, 2010

You know, I just love fall!

I have decided that fall is my favorite time of year.  I may have said this before.  I may have written this before.  I've found myself saying this over and over to whomever will listen this fall season.  So pardon my repetitiveness if you have been on the receiving end of my, "you know, I just love fall" spiel.

I love the leaves, the graceful way they fall to the ground and when you pile them up they transform into kid magnets! Who doesn't love to dive into a pile of leaves?
I love the pumpkins, so many shapes and sizes and their colors...ya gotta be strong to sport orange!
I love the smells, cider on the stove, sweet potato pie in the oven...
I love the sounds, crunching leaves and acorns and twigs as you take a walk.
I love the preparations you make because fall signals that winter is just around the corner.  There's getting the fireplace ready, and freshening the sweaters, and opening the trunk with the heavy quilts, and finding the soup recipes and dreaming of the cozy nights with all the family under the same roof together.
I love how the mornings are crisp, and the days are shorter; we spend more time at home during fall.
I love football games with hot chocolate and looking at the cheerleaders and being thankful I get to wear more clothes than they do!

Since I'm in Texas, most of our pretty colors we see only in books, but that's ok.  Because for a few weeks, we get to experience the great weather, the here-and-there bursts of color, there's nothing like fall. 

Thanks God...You know, I just love fall!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Poor Squirrel

I've been at home today waiting on the repairmen to fix our internet/tv/link to the outside world.  We had a storm in our area on Saturday that decided to visit our front door.  Well, not exactly the front door, but we sustained some damage from a lightning strike.  It was quite an experience, and I have a whole new respect for lightning and it's power.  We can get the sprinkler system replaced, get new wiring and equipment for the electronics...but the sad little squirrel in the pic suffered the most. 

Notice the acorn still in his mouth.  He really gave his all for a good meal!  I'm sure there are life lessons or sermon illustrations that could be gleaned from this experience and visual...but I gotta go! We have internet access for the first time in 3 days!  Woohoo!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Mommy Heart

This is Landry.  He's 16.  He loves to laugh.  He loves to play guitar and drums.  He loves (ok...adores) his Dad.  He loves to skate.  He's got the whole skater look going for him.

Until...he decided he wanted to get his hair cut off.  He said he was sick of it being long.  So he asked if it was ok if he got it cut.  Short.  I wasn't sure what that meant exactly,

Until...he sent this pic from the salon.  WOWZA!  He wasn't kidding!  He said it feels way lighter, and that now he has peripheral vision (did I spell that right?). 

When you become a mom, i think you grow a special place inside which houses your "mommy heart."  It's a curious thing, this mommy heart.  And something as simple as a hair cut can bring the widest range of feelings to it! 

I just want to look at him a bunch right now because he looks so different, and every once in a while I get a brief glimpse of the little boy he was. 

That little boy is the one who made me promise that when he went to college I would go with him. 
That little boy would pose for pictures at the drop of a hat. 
That little boy loved me to sing Chababba, Chababba to him every night.

Until....he got too big for those things.

Sometimes I can see the little boy Landry at the same time as I see the 16 year old Landry.  Then when I see him with a look like this

I can catch a glimpse of the man he will become, and there's a little tug in my mommy heart as I realize how close he is to being out my door and creating his own adventure. 

So until that day, we try to live every minute we can with him! 
Until that day, we stay involved in his life as much as he needs us to.
Until that day, we will have all the kids at our house. 
Until that day, we will buy lots of pizza for them to eat. 
Until that day, we will push equipment on the band trips.
Until that day, we will stay out until 2:00am (like we did last night) with him! 

So mommies, enjoy the moments that become minutes that become memories and listen to your mommy heart, just like Jesus' mother did!

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in  her heart."  (luke 2:19)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer's Gone!

I remember way back when..about a year ago when I started this blog that I wrote the obligatory post most people write to introduce themselves, saying how they've never done this before, yada yada yada...and then at some point they seem to fall off the wagon.  So here I find myself resisting the temptation to write a "Blogger Guilt" post.  So I'm not gonna take your time telling you about crashing after VBS, or desperately trying to get my son back to school in good fashion, or complain about how busy the days have been (you're welcome), you get that, right?

But summer's gone!  Can't believe it!  However, this is my favorite time of year.  The anticipation of the 3 weeks of fall we get in Texas is almost as good as the 3 weeks of fall we get in Texas!  I can't wait for the autumn colors to begin popping up everywhere, and the soups and chili, and snuggly blankets at night!  I'm trying to rush it I guess because the other night I wanted to make Frito Pie for a quick meal and both my hubs and son said, "NO!!! It's too hot!"  So I'll wait until it's in at least the 80's at night before I try again...teehee.

Monday, July 26, 2010

VBS...Is it Really Over?

VBS was last week.  It was a great time with lots of work, lots of craziness and lots of fun. Here are some of my favorite pics. 

Aren't they the cutest kids ever? 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cotton Ball Moments

A friend has been working in VBS at her church this week.  It's been a fun, exhausting week for her with 3, 4 and 5 year olds.  I've loved getting daily updates about how much fun she's been having; she's creative and relaxed and is enjoying her time with these little ones. 

I was reminded anew of how busy our lives are as she told me about a special time she had with a little girl and a cotton ball.  At some point in the evening, she touched the cotton ball to the little girl's face, and the sweet child stopped and remarked, "Oh that is so soft on my face!"  She spent a few moments with the little girl, speaking softly, giving generously and loving selflessly.  This may have been the only time in the whole day that this child had someone slow down and give her their full attention.  What a special moment she got to share!

It didn't last very long, before she knew it, something or someone called her attention away; the little ones were ready for the next activity, the night was complete and she was relaying this story to me in the middle of a stressful day at work.  Busy-ness, deadlines and demands ruled the day and drove the mood. 

And she said just to me:  "It makes me appreciate those cotton ball moments!"  I've thought about this over and over since then.  I want to make sure I'm stopping for cotton ball moments with those I love, those at work, those to whom I minister.

Days get busy, people get cranky, situations get all messed up.  But with a soft, sensitive heart, a slow down and a good listen, we can all appreciate the cotton ball moments that come our way.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Crashed the Men's Breakfast at Church!

Though it was with an official invitation...I did crash the Men's Breakfast today.  Keith, the hubs, prepares breakfast with a crew at church.  Today, no one else could make it to help, so I told him I would help if he needed me.  Sure enough, about an hour into his solo prep effort, I got the call!  I felt like the pinch hitter called to save the game!  I felt like I was entering a sacred space, as I broke through the barrier of  NO GIRLS ALLOWED, and helped him out.

See those eggs?  That was my effort!  They were amazing!

They were nice to me, they ate the eggs...but they didn't teach me the secret handshake! :(

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Camp

I've been home a week from camp, but haven't gotten a chance to tell you about it yet.  You know the running through the first few days, trying to find your routine and tripping over the remains of your trip on the floor and the catching up and reprioritizing and laundry, and man...I'm tired all over again just typing it out! 

Camp was great!  It always is.  With hours of planning, preparation, happens.  The kids come bounding out of vans and buses and SUV's with their neatly packed suitcases and their fists full of crumpled dollars to spend at the souvenir shop/snack shack.  They drag their sleeping bags and pillows through the dirt to put them on their little bunk beds and get settled in.  Their eyes are twinkly and their steps are bouncy and their voices are loud as they pick out the perfect sleep spot, check out the bathrooms and ask when they can go swimming! 

The counselors and helpers arrive fresh with makeup and new tennis shoes and their clothes are ironed and their pockets filled with patience.  On the last day...not so much! (ha)  And everyone takes their spot, and the chow bell rings and the first day begins. 

I remember being just where those campers were last week.  Enthusiastic about being independent for a week, meeting new friends, seeing old friends once again and enjoying the camp experience all the way down to my toes.  I remember one camp where it was by the Bay and the bunks were attached to poles with chains to hold them steady.  I felt like I was on a submarine.  There wasn't always air conditioning in our cabins, and I remember being sticky and hot at night and trying to stay up all night talking to my friend.  I remember one counselor who always wanted to look perfect (ha) and I would always mess up her hair right after she sprayed it.  I bet she was glad to see me go home at the end of camp!

But enough about me! Camp was great!  New friends were made, everyone survived, and of course, the suitcases were lighter on the trip home, because of all the unclaimed towels and underwear left behind. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Not Only's

Have you ever felt like a deer in the headlights?  You know what you should be doing, but just can't seem to get there?  That's how I'm feeling this week.  You see, I committed a few months ago to devote a portion of next week to a writing project that I have.  I am just days away from it, and instead of feeling excited, or exhilirated, or elated, or energized (enough with the 'e' words)...this is me.

I'm at that place where I need God as he was in Isaiah 41.  Not the part of the warrior fighting the enemies, but in verse 10, "Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely. I will help you, surely.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  

I love how the writer emphasizes the words of God with "surely."  To me they mean, "did you get that?"  And then he goes a step further and says, not only am I going to strengthen you, not only am I going to help you, but then...I'm going to hold you up in my very own righteous hand!

God likes to amaze us with his "not only's". 
Not only am I going to deliver my people from slavery, but I'm going to split the sea in half to ease their departure!

Not only am I going to get my prophet's attention, but he's going to live to tell the story of life inside the belly of a whale!

Not only am I going to send my son to the earth to show you how to live, but when he dies, he will arise triumphant in 3 days!

So he's saying to me, from Isaiah 41:10, "Mary, not only amd I going to strengthen you, not only am I going to help you, but I will give you rest in my own righteous hand!"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Five Random Pics #3

I live in Texas and LOVE it!  My family and I were having lunch in Subway one Saturday and some riders on horses came up and rode their horses right onto the sidewalk.  I took the pic from inside the restaurant.  Only in Texas!

When you help the Children's Pastor (me) set up for events, you get to test out all the equipment!

Driving home from work one day I saw this street vendor selling cotton candy.  In 30 degree weather.

My great-nephew.  Is this not the cutest kid ever?

This pic is so sweet.  I love the little boy wearing the man's hat. The bowed head of the man showing his love for this boy.  This is my brother and his grand son. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This Was a Happy Day

This was a happy day because:
1.  I got to see my son receive an award at the awards assembly.
2.  The choir at his school sang a gospel song called "Anchored in the Lord".  I can't get the lyrics out of my head.  "I'm anchored in the Lord.  Do you love him? Do you trust him? Do you praise him? Do you serve him?"  Cool huh?  But you'll think it's even cooler when you realize that he goes to a public school!
3.  I took a turn sitting at the front desk for the receptionist and she had miniature reese cups in her candy stash.  (it doesn't take much to make me happy)
4.  My son was able to find everything he needed for the banquet this Saturday.  And I got it on sale!  That stress is over!
5.  I made it to the office today before the hail started!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Five Random Pics #2

Here we go again...ready?

Two sweet little girls.  Wonder what they are talking about.  So glad that our church is a safe place for kids and lifelong friendships are formed.

Our Pastor's wife, Monda, has had a boot on for several weeks.  One Wednesday night, I decided she needed some bling!

Taken at Thanksgiving, the road beside the lake house where we spend the holiday with my family each year.  This is an amazing picture my son took.

Me and My hubs.  He makes me laugh.

Hot air balloon at church camp. me your randomness.  Post 5 of your own pics!

Today: My Life in Pictures

This is where I am.
(I'm working on VBS)

This is where I wish I was.

This is how I feel about it.


Monday, May 17, 2010

This is why I Love Being a Children's Pastor #5 Their Faith is Huge

When I say, "sometimes I learn more from the kids than they learn from me", that's for real! I've heard Sunday School teachers say that for many years, and to be honest, I may have uttered an internal "whatever" before, but I gotta say, it's as true as the sky is blue!

I love this picture of my great-nephew.  He is ready. He is standing firm.  And he is expecting big things to happen!

That's how it is with kids and their faith!   We tell them about an all-powerful God...a three-in-one kind of God!  They can have a relationship with him, and read about the over-the-top miracles that are in the Bible...and yet sometimes when it gets right down to it, their faith is bigger than ours. 

I've seen this over and over praying with kids at church.  I ask them to pray about something, they do, and they believe that their prayers are going to be true as the sky is blue. 

So this is what I've learned. 
Bring my petitions to God in prayer.
Pray in faith BELIEVING.
Leave them there.
I'm not big enough to answer them anyway.

I do believe, Lord, help my unbelief.  Mark 9:24

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Fun Summer Afternoon

On Saturday, I had some time all by myself.  I took my son to a skate park with his friend, and I took some work to do. I knew there was a pretty little park across the street where I could work.  I made sure the boys were in the skate park and then walked across the street, and sat down.  As I was walking, I was thinking...It might be hard to concentrate on work, because everything was so green, beautiful, and there were happy families playing together.  But I was determined.  I got all my work spread out, got comfortable in my picnic table seat and looked up...

How are you supposed to work with that view?  It was beautiful!  I couldn't concentrate so I turned a little to get a NEW view.  Maybe that would help!  Maybe not.

Oh no!  I came here to work!  Another beautiful view, and very shortly, a mom and her adorable little girl with ringlets and a party dress on came to take pictures on the bridge. 

Then I noticed the background...see that rail car?  I had to get a closer look!

I've always wanted a rail car to have a classroom in at church!  That would be so cool!  ( you can see, after the little girl and her mother came to the bridge, I'd had enough work and packed it all up, to walk around and enjoy this beautiful park.) 

There were some guys dressed up like knights or some such period costumes that were jousting , but I didn't take a picture of them because they were armed with styrofoam swords and who wants to be charged by an angry knight with a styrofoam sword?

The next thing that caught my attention was this:

It looked so charming and inviting, and I wasn't disappointed.


but THIS made me smile!!

It was one of those old fashioned coolers!  When I was little, and we would go visit relatives in a small Oklahoma town, there was an old country store with wooden floors and a screen door at the end of the road where my uncle's house was.  One of the coolest things about going to that store was that you could go in and get a drink and you didn't need money!  Everyone knew everyone, and you could just tell them who you were, and at the end of the month, they would send my uncle a statement.  He bought me lots of Fanta Orange Sodas without even knowing it!

I sure did enjoy my day, and the work got done later Saturday night!

Sunday School & Memphis

Gotta tell you a funny.  Today in Sunday School one of the teachers was talking with her kids and the conversation turned to a family who is moving to Memphis in the next few weeks.  She asked them to guess the most famous person who was from Memphis. 

They couldn't figure it out, and finally a little girl guessed.  Are you ready for this?

Miley Cyrus' father! 

Haha!  I love kids!

Friday, May 14, 2010

You May Not Know This About Me...

but I LOVE the circus!  Seriously.  I don't know why, can't remember when it started, but I love the circus!  It was always so fun every year when the circus came to town. 

So we were driving home from dinner tonight and passed the arena and I saw a sign like this on the marquee:

Immediately I let out a big "woohoo" because advertising has already begun for the summer run of the circus.  But my excitement was not shared by my family. 
They do not love the circus.
They do not love going to see the animals unloading from the train and led through town. 
They do not love watching the elephants get washed. 
They do not love the flying trapeze,
the car with 15 thousand clowns,
eating cotton candy
or my favorite part...

The Ringmaster!  Or more specifically, when the Ringmaster says these famous words as the evening begins:
"Ladies and gentlemen,
boys and girls,
children of all ages,
welcome to the greatest show on earth."

and the words that some people miss at the end because they leave too early:
"...and may all your days be circus days."

Corny, I know...but I love it! 
Maybe I love it because there's something for everyone: wild animals, silly clowns, displays of bravery and athleticism, junk food.
Maybe because of the mystery that surrounds circus people.  I mean really, who would choose a life like theirs?  It seems to be a family business though. 

Maybe I love it because you see people (you know, children of all ages) laughing, clapping, smiling and having fun together! 

That must be it, the children of all ages part. After all, that's what scripture directs us to come to the father as a child, no matter what our age.  I love the word picture here...of coming to God in the most simple way we a child.  Takes the pressure off!  I'm thankful for that!

So, I'll just keep enjoying the circus (sans my family), treasuring the memories of my own childhood, and making all my day circus days! (Cause my life is so crazy it really is a circus!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Five Random Pics #1

I love looking at pictures, so in that spirit, I thought I'd post 5 random pics from my phone.  They don't go together at all, but I like them and thought I'd share with you!  I'd like to see the randomness of your life!  I hope you'll post 5 of your own.

Andre is one of the teachers on Wednesday nights at my church.  He and his wife Michele are so creative and LOVE kids so much!  I always want to peek into their classroom to see what fun things they are doing with their kids!

Remember skating on Friday nights?  All-skate, frito pie right out of the bag of fritos and trying to go to the bathroom with skates on?   We had a skating party at this old school skating rink, it was so fun. 

Michele and Missy at the rental car place at the airport in Nashville.  I love these silly girls!

The youth group had a garage sale, and Tyler and I decided we'd take silly pictures.  She'll do anything!

I love back pictures!  This is Landry and his friend Nic.

Ok-so there's my 5, post 5 of your own!