Thursday, September 30, 2010

Auntie Bride

So I had a different post nearly completed but then stumbled upon this...

...I suspect I might be a teensy bit biased, but can you even stand the cuteness of this infant snuggling with this sweet bride?

Have I mentioned lately that I am very blessed??

Happy Thursday!
Renee :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I may be bigger - but he's faster!

This is going to be short because I'm tired. and busy. and I have to go to preschool :) over the last few days I've been hanging out with a certain four-year-old nephew of mine.  His parents ran away and have said that they will be back tomorrow sometime, but they've already hit Atlantic City, Philly, Ocean City, and the Big Apple, so I'll believe it when I see it.  (And on an unrelated-but-related note, I'd better see an I love New York t-shirt in my future.  Just sayin.)  Anyhoo, we've had some great fun! 

His parents have reported that he can be a "handful."  WhateverHe has been adorable and well-behaved for me, so I suspect they've been making things up so people will feel sorry for them. 

I kid.

- - not about the being adorable and well-behaved part.  My buddy has been, like my mama used to say, "as good as gold," and I'm so proud of him.  He is funny, & creative, & enthusiastic about everything!  It is always such a blessing to spend time with a little one - and this little one makes my heart happy.   We have had pancakes at IHOP, planted mums, and watched countless episodes of Rugrats & Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  He had four hot dogs for dinner one night and declared me a good cook. 

It has been a good visit so far.

But the energy, OH THE ENERGY of this little one!  I had forgotten how a four-year-old can quite literally - and I'm not exaggerating even a little bit - bounce off the walls

- - and the fatigue, OH THE FATIGUE.  What can I say?  I'm pooped. and a little bit shocked and yes, embarrassed, to admit that I can barely keep up with one tiny little person. 

I realized on my way to preschool this morning, after doing all the odds and ends that getting a small child out the door in the morning entails, that it has been nearly 20 YEARS(!!) since I last lived with a four-year-old. 

I'm not sure but I think I may have changed a bit in the interim.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Counting My Blessings...

This is the day the Lord has made...Let us rejoice and be glad in it! 
(Psalm 118:24)

holy experience

Another week and I am still blessed beyond measure and oh, so thankful...

27.  The yummy smell of a sweet little boy (Isaiah!) right after a bath, snuggled up beside me while I read The Cat in the Hat.
28.  I have a job I enjoy and am able to do at home.
29.  I love my cozy, just-right home!
30.  Sweet, wonderful, little Sammy whose birthday is today - what a joy he is to me! :)
31.  The Book of Psalms.
32.  God loves me all the time regardless of my perceived worthiness.
33.  A cool, rainy day after a long, hot, dry spell.
34.  Naptime! :)

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Party Time!

This child... coming to MY house to play for a few days...

...and I couldn't be happier!!

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Need Directions?

"Show me the path where I should go, O Lord;
point out the right road for me to walk. 

Lead me; teach me;
for you are the God who gives me salvation. 
I have no hope except in you!

The Lord is good and glad to teach the Proper path
to all who go astray;
He will teach the ways that are right and best
to those who humbly turn to Him.   

And when we obey Him, every path He guides us on
is fragrant with His lovingkindness and His truth."

Psalm 25: 4-5,8-9 TLB

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Will I Learn?

So I woke up Sunday morning and felt that old, familiar twinge in my back.  This is not unfamiliar to me & usually does not slow me down too much.  However, by shower time I was looking for the ibuprofen, and by the time my eyes were lined and my hair had curl I knew I have a problem.  No church for pulling out the getting anything done. 

I was stuck.

This happens from time to time when you have a temperamental back.  Sometimes I have absolutely no idea what causes the pain, and that can be frustrating, but hey - that's life! 

What makes me really frustrated, though, is when I know that I have only myself to blame.  This is one of those times.  I know exactly what I did and when I did it to bring my productivity to a screeching halt.

To make things worse, I knew it at the time.  As I was hanging the mirror in my living room I felt the discomfort and heard that little voice in my head telling me to stop NOW or be sorry.  I told the voice to hush up, that the mirror wouldn't hang itself and I was almost finished...I guess I told that voice!

I should have done less telling and more listening.

As I've been lying around on a stinkin heating pad over the past couple of days, unable to do the things I want to do, I've been pondering a larger question. 

How often do I make a choice while ignoring the Holy Spirit who is warning me to STOP?

Too many times I will forge ahead with whatever - - knowing full well that it will hurt later.  What's up with that?  When will I ever learn that certain actions will bring forth certain consequences.  I can lie to myself and say that this time the outcome might be different, but usually I end up with the exact same result.   

Whether I'm hanging a mirror or making life choices, I really want to learn from past experience and stop making the same poor decisions over & over again.

- - and who knows, maybe my back wouldn't hurt so much!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Some burning questions...

1.  As I have mentioned two or twelve times, I am new to the bloggy world.  I hate being new.  Hate. It.  Perhaps there is a blogging expert in our midst who could tell me this:  If you leave a comment and then I comment on your comment, will you see or even know about my comment to your comment?  Seriously.  I like to chat and I do not want to be rude.  (Shoot, in a perfect world you would be able to see my little happy dance when comments are received!)  However, if you don't even know I replied then perhaps I shouldn't bother.  Should I email you instead?  I don't know I JUST DON'T KNOW.  And it bothers me to not know.  Please, someone who knows stuff, please, let me know.

2.  Monday night at 9:24 it was still 80 degrees.  It is supposed to be 87 degrees today.  It is September 21.  Where in the world is fall????  I can't lie.  If it is 87 degrees for another hundred years and then is suddenly winter I'm going to be mad.  

- - just sayin.

3.  Can you freeze soup that has milk in it?  I'm doing some cooking for my sweet daughter who is great with child, trying to stock up her freezer.  There's no sense in making a big pot of soup if it will be yucky when she defrosts it. 

I hate it when that happens.

4.  Is this a cranky post?  I don't actually feel cranky but I'm now wondering if I might sound a bit cranky.  Feel free to let me know if I'm cranky, and if I am, you know, cranky, my apologies! 

Please feel free to drop me a line if you know the answers to any of the above questions.  I will accept all answers.  Guesses are fine with me.  Pretend confidence is appreciated. 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Counting My Blessings

It's been a week already since I started posting my list of blessings.  Time surely flies by quickly, doesn't it?  My prayer for this upcoming week is that God will make me increasingly aware of the countless gifts he showers upon me, and that I will slow down and actually see what He is doing in my life.  Feel free to join me!  :)

holy experience

God is so beautifully, creatively generous to me...
and I am thankful...

12.  Tuesday night Bible study with some of my girls.
13.  Chick-fil-A original chicken sandwich with mayo :)
14.  Hearing a song for the first time that speaks to my soul in some way.
15.  A clear, blue sky in September - absolute perfection!
16.  The clean, fresh, smell of new paint.
17.  That first sip of a fizzy Pepsi.
18.  Peace, peace, peace, that comes only from my God.
19.  A sunny Saturday morning with nowhere I have to be.
20.  A phone call from my daughters, just to chat.
21.  A phone call from my toddler granddaughter, just to chat!
22.  Friendly, kind neighbors who always appear happy to see me :)
23.  The Book of Ephesians.
24.  A front row parking space on a very bad back day.
25.  My sweet Mary, who is celebrating a birthday today.
26.  Jesus, Jesus, Jesus...I just love Him.

I would love for you to share something for which you are thankful.  If you would like, leave me a comment & we can all encourage each other :)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Because I'm Naynay and it's my blog and I can...

I just love this child!

...and this picture makes my heart happy

Good night, Noodle!

Friday, September 17, 2010

From writer's block to too much to say in less than 55 minutes

So here I was, thinking I had nothing to say.  I was all out of words.  NO words left for Renee one week into her blogging experience. 

Then I got over myself and went to Chick-fil-A.

Oh Chick-fil-A.  I can't even count the ways I love me some Chick-fil-A.  It isn't even so much the actual food itself, although it is seriously yummo and has been for a hundred years.  I have found that just the idea of chick-fil-A makes my heart sing.

(Your suspicions are true.  I'm weird.  At somewhere around 37 or 42-years-old I decided to accept, and yes, embrace the weirdness.)

I digress...often.   So, as I was driving to Chick-fil-A I had several profound thoughts.  I posted the more serious thoughts that I thought yesterday.  I really did have a lovely time in the car with the Lord mulling over various things.... so that doesn't need to be addressed again.

Except I kinda just did, didn't I?  Address it again, I mean.  Oh dear...

Anyway, to wrap this up before I have further humiliated myself:  A couple of thoughts about Chick-fil-A:

First off - and this is a Public Service Announcement and really should have been highlighted at the very top of this post, except that would require cutting and pasting and I'm tired so I won't - Today is FREE BREAKFAST FRIDAY at Chick-fil-A at Valley View.  This is very exciting news that I'm sure my two or six readers will thoroughly appreciate.  Go forth and eat chicken, my friends!!

Also, and this thought just came to me as I've been editing, and editing, and editing this "spontaneous" drivel... don't you think the word/name "Chick-fil-A" looks funny and odd and incorrect?  Just to ensure accuracy, I looked it up on the official website and it is, in fact, correct.  How 'bout that.  I guess it was always weird and I was too weird to notice.

And finally (and perhaps most importantly of all), what in the world is up with canola oil on the waffle fries?  Is nothing sacred?  I ate a whole order of said fries to see if I could discern the crummy old canola and I'm pretty sure I did after 8 or 14 fries.  BRING BACK THE PEANUTS, folks!!

The end.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We are More

I am 45(!) years old now and sometimes I still struggle with forgiving myself for things done and choices made when I was a much younger, weaker...sadder girl.  Now I can think of a couple of things I did today that required some confession and Divine mercy, but interestingly, and I think probably tragically, my biggest struggles with guilt and shame come from things long forgiven by my Father and mostly forgotten by everyone else.  Satan knows just how to knock the wind right out of me.  

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade

It's hard to always recognize such feelings as a lack of faith and understanding of what Christ did for me.  He did not die for me so that I would live stuck in my own guilt!  Getting out of my own way and allowing Christ to use me as He sees fit is one of the biggest struggles I face in my Christian walk. 

This is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to.

 This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved

Anyway, as I was driving this afternoon a song came on the radio that I hadn't heard before.  The words resonated with me and I thought I would share them with you.  I know I'm not alone.  We all have failed.  We all have things in our pasts that make us sad to remember...And quite probably some of us are right now in the middle of a big mess and feel hopeless and useless.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.*

I can promise you, this, though - 

None of us who are in Christ are hopeless.  He IS our Hope :) and He desires to use us, broken & messy, to do His work - for His glory. 

Isn't He wonderful?  I just love Him so much!

Happy Thursday!

(*You are More, Tenth Avenue North)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kelly's Poppy Seed Chicken

- - - Alternately titled One Of The Many Recipes I have Found Online That My Loved Ones Like A Whole Lot.

One of my favorite things about the Internet is the limitless potential to make something different for dinner.  I have found several really yummy recipes, often on other people's blogs, that are great - and often easy to put together.  Almost always the recipes given are someone's favorite, which makes them a pretty good risk.  Works for me! 

Tuesday night I whipped up this chicken dish for my Bible study girls.  It literally took minutes to get into the oven...and they all loved it and left my house with all the leftovers!  :)

You can find the recipe right here.  I served it with some brown rice & green beans, along with their favorite rosemary rolls.  I know, I know, rolls with rice?  What can I say...I was feeding 20-somethings and they do not care about their carb intake. 

I wish I had more appreciated being a 20-something.  It pains me how I wasted my youth not appreciating my carb freedom.

Anyhoo, if you're looking for something easy to throw together that will feed several hungry people, I'm thinking this is worth a look-see.  To quote the great Rachel Ray, it is "Yumm-O."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Random Irrelevant Information what good is a blog anyway if you can't record the heavy stuff that is weighing on your mind and psyche and guilty conscience, but probably will not be fascinating to the public at large?  Just think, girls - now you don't have to wait for a phone call from your mama to be thoroughly bored.  You're welcome

I will now list below the issues that are crushing my ability to live in denial this morning.'re welcome.

1.  I have beautifully painted walls.  I also have complete and utter chaos as a result.  If I were a better woman I would have gotten everything back on the walls and in place by now, but alas, I am not a better woman.  I'm learning to deal with this.

2.  If I do not get my cooked chicken cut up/shredded and into the freezer today I fear it will be too late and I will have wasted that great 99-cent deal Kroger had going last week.  The ramifications for this could be far-reaching as my girls like to be fed at least on Tuesday nights and Katie is having a baby(!) which compels me to feed her sweet little family lots of chicken-related dishes. 
All together now, can we say casserole?

3.  Speaking of Audrey - what's that?  Well, I was speaking of Audrey in my mind.  This happens often.  Don't judge.  Anyway, as I was saying, can you even believe how much this baby has grown since this picture was taken a little over a year ago?  I do love that kid.  She's a hoot.

3.  I still need to do two days' worth of homework before tonight or my girls might lose all faith in my qualifications to faciliate a Bible study.  - - Speaking of which... a question.  When exactly did it become so difficult for me to see the teeny little words in my Bible??  As a procrastinating well-meaner I have been known to struggle with gettin' it done, even with 44-year-old eyes. 
oh, the struggles...

4.  All of my fresh rosemary has died.  I really enjoyed having the fresh herbs this summer.  I have no idea how my rosemary rolls will taste with the 37-year-old dried rosemary from my cabinet.  Tonight we shall find out. 

I kid.  My dried rosemary is not quite 37 years old for Pete's sake.  It can't be a day over 12 or 13.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Counting My Blessings - A Thousand Gifts

I'm starting a little project that has me excited about my Mondays!  

I have consistently found that one of my strongest coping mechanisms when facing disappointment, or stress...or just life(!) is to focus on what God has given me rather than on what I wish I had. It works every. single. time.

I started this blog because I wanted to have a place to document some of the immeasurable gifts (blessings!) that God has given me.  Just my way of sharing out loud and for the record that I know my beloved Creator and Savior loves me and showers me with that love in countless ways...but for the next few months I am going to try to count them anyway :)  After reading this blog post I thought she had a great idea & have decided to join along.  I am specifically dedicating my Mondays to thanksgiving, and I am going to share my observations with you.   If you'd like to join me, I would love to hear what God is doing in your life too!

This list is in no particular order.  I know myself.  If I focus too much on the mechanics of the list I'll be completely distracted from the point!  Sad. Yet true.

A Thousand Gifts, A Thousand Blessings:

1.  I am so thankful for my salvation.  I have a personal relationship with the King of Kings.  He loves me and provided a way for me to be with Him forever and ever.  Thank you, Father!
2.  That good tired I get after I've worked hard and been productive.
3.  A strong, healthy body that is capable of getting up and getting things done.
4.  My children are thoughtful.
5.  My children are healthy!
6.  Low humidity :)
7.  The sunshine streaming through my windows early in the morning.
8.  Audrey, Audrey, Audrey.
9.  The night sky filled with stars.
10.  Birthday greetings from loved ones.
11.  I get to talk to the God of the universe any time I want to, as much as I want to.  How cool is that?!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mucho Gracias!!

So I was not planning to blog over the weekend, and I have no idea why I felt compelled to title this in Spanish when I do not, in fact, speak Spanish & I had to google the phrase to ascertain that I was using it correctly.  It is so hard to be spontaneously clever. 

It is also hard to avoid run-on sentences when feeling somewhat hyper.  My apologies.

That being said, I have had such a fabulous day that it only seems right to brag about my fam for a second.  I won't go into too much detail because later in the week I will in fact have pictures (yaaay!!), but I was able to spend the whole, entire, wonderful day with some of my very favorite people who are much younger than my other very favorite people :) 

We went to Olde Salem Days and ate disgusting, greasy, yummy food.  I bought myself a candle & a light bulb (I lost all control of my senses and went hog-wild!) and then we spent the next several hours taking care of some business around the house. 

Kari, Drew, Lauren, Steven, and Starr (& Katie & Jeremy who could only be with us in spirit).... consider this my bloggy world shout out - - Thanks for a wonderful day, you're the best. 

Ya'll make my heart happy & I love ya!

...just sayin.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hug, Hug?

Things I love (in no particular order):
  1. Audrey knocking my laptop, or drink, or book, or blanket, or supper, for goodness sakes(!) out of her way in order to retrieve her "hug, hug" again, and again, and again...
  2. The requisite "kiss" she demands after said hug.
  3. Watching that child trot all around the house collecting every. single. ball, one. by. one, and chucking them into the tub in preparation for "splash splash."
  4. Hearing her say, "Heeyy, Naynay!" in delight and surprise each time she makes eye contact, as if she had not greeted me moments before.
  5. Scooping up that sweet, dripping wet baby in a towel after she is finished swimming with her "baaawls" - for yet another round of the aforementioned hugs and kisses.
Things I do not love: 
  1. The long two hours between my house and hers...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today is my mother's birthday.

I am a blogging newbie
and I don't know what I am doing.

I am also a procrastinator.

Therefore, I'm keeping it simple.
It's good to know your limitations - - just sayin.

Happy, happy birthday, Mom!

Thanks for everything.
- and I love ya!  :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


From the time I was a small child
I knew what I wanted my life to look like. 
It would be a simple life.  
I've never cared too much about...stuff. 
Peace of mind and lots of family to love,
that would not only be enough for me,
it was everything! 

Others might want to be a doctor, or a lawyer,
maybe a ballerina...or perhaps even a lion tamer,
but my only career goal was to be someone's mama...
preferably lots of "someones." 

In some ways my life looks nothing like my childhood dreams,
and I'm not gonna lie,
my heart has broken at times when my expectations were not met.

But that's okay because I have never, ever been alone. 
Brokenhearted or giddy from joy, my Father is with me!  
He is holding me, comforting me, teaching me...
He is directing my steps,
giving me so much more than I deserve.

I am continually awestruck to see how perfectly and completely
God has answered my prayers & made my dreams come true. 
My life might not be quite as simple as I had requested,
but it is filled with love and joy,
and yep...beautiful, precious family!

I am abundantly blessed!