Friday, October 29, 2010

The one with spelling and coconut oil and other such nonsense

There are no words in the English language to express my chagrin and distress over my spelling quandary on this post.  I knew that the word I was using was wrong. way wrong. and I just didn't care.  And it's not even an English word.  (I have no idea why that matters but I feel it does.)  I had frankly forgotten all about it until my firstborn tweeted me the correct word.  I'm trying not to notice her delight in "helping" me.  whatever.  My sincere apologies for not remembering that "wa-la" (hehe) is of course "voila!"  It's going to take me a few days or years to get over this one people.  I would appreciate your support as I likely mention it a few thousand times during the recovery process.

In other news, I am pleased and thrilled and happy to report that I had sweet potato fries for dinner last night.  It is a testament to how much I love me some SPF that I actually do all that chopping and hacking and sawing of the hardest vegetable in the universe, and that's all I'm going to say about that at this time because this is supposed to be a grateful-toned blog and I'm thinking that going on and on. and on. about such triviality would be decidedly un-grateful.

I can't even believe it's Friday again.  The speed with which life is passing by is beginning to creep me out just a little bit.

I purchased a Christmas present this week!  I do believe this could be a first for me.  I'm a Last-Minute Sally if there ever was one.  and there was.  because it was me

It's a Christmas shopping miracle for sure. 

I am out of coconut oil.  Who would have thought that I could get so hooked on something I'd never even heard of a year or so ago?  Thanks Meg!  Your coconut oil information changed my life.  In a completely superficial way, of course.  Anyhoo, it is some seriously yummy stuff.  And if I might add...sweet potato fries are much, much tastier with it than with boring olive oil.  Just so you know.

And finally, I have discovered I now have far more random posts than any other kind.  I have yet to decide exactly what this means.  I'm learning oh-so-much about myself as I go through this bloggyventure...A lot of it is kind've embarrassing and disturbing and vexing. 

(I just really wanted to work in the word vexing, and never fear... it's spelled correctly.  I checked :)

Happy Friday Y'all!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

He's just the BEST!

Here's some scripture that makes my heart sing. every. single. time.

Enjoy!  :)

...But even so, you love me!  You are holding my right hand.  You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and counsel, and afterwards receive me into the glories of Heaven!  Whom have I in Heaven but you?  And I desire no one on earth as much as you.  My health fails; my spirits droop, yet God remains!  He is the strength of my heart: He is mine forever!  Psalm 73:23-26

But if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

Now we can come fearlessly right into God's presence, assured of His glad welcome when we come with Christ and trust in Him.  Ephesians 3:12

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Walmart comes through for me. Go figure.

I'm actually writing this late Tuesday night but please pretend it's Wednesday morning, 'kay?  I am just bursting with observations from my fun filled miserable, waste-of-time evening.  By the time you read this it will in fact be Wednesday morning and I will be sweating in the gym as my mom makes me look pathetic, again.

No, really.  I'm still going to the gym with my mama.  And she is still faster and stronger than me.

I am so tired this is going to be brief.  and I really mean it this time.

No, really.

1.  Walmart never, ever lets me down.  Visiting the Walmarts is a miserable experience every. single. time.  When, oh when, will I learn?

2.  However, I can't even tell you how excited I am to report that I finally located a box of instant Maple Brown Sugar Cream of Wheat.  I love this stuff, y'all.  I love it a lot.  It has been missing for so many months I had (almost) given up on ever seeing it again, but then out of the blue, wa-la!  There it was on the Walmart shelf just waiting for me to make my nearly-every-time-I-buy-groceries peek...just in case.  Whaddya know.

3.  I do not know how to spell "wa-la" but the above paragraph surely was the perfect usage of said word/phrase, wasn't it?

4.  My next Bible study started without me tonight.  I can't even tell you how unhappy I am that I didn't see my girls, so that is all I'm going to say about the subject right now

5.  Evidently we are going to have a storm/tornado tonight.  I am so up on current events that I had no idea until my mama informed me approximately 12 minutes ago.  My plan is to sleep under my stairs so I do not have to actually be aware of the storm and can therefore sleep through it.  You might want to come looking for me sometime Wednesday evening if I haven't tweeted my condition.

6.  I haven't eaten yet and am so hungry that I no longer care about eating...ever been there? 

7.  It is becoming painfully clear to me that I am unable to be brief.

(Insert large sigh here)

I think I'll go have some Cream of Wheat. 

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

from my playlist - - unredeemed

As I grow older I am increasingly aware of the fragility of our lives, not only the beating of our hearts, but the way we choose to live, the paths we take, the decisions we make... Sometimes the pain is more than we can bear and it all seems overwhelming, hopeless, and yes, pointless. beloved Father has shown me again and again that He is all about making broken things beautiful.  And really, when I think about it, is there anything more beautiful than something that started out a big mess?  I just love Him so much!

I'm praying for y'all on this Tuesday!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Still counting my blessings in October

holy experience

This week, as we anticipate our newest arrival, 
I am feeling particularly thankful for my beautiful family.

I'm thankful for the wonderfully good health we have been blessed with.

I am thankful for the way we enjoy each other,

and draw strength from each other,

and take care of each other.

A family is a beautiful thing...

...and I'm pretty sure I couldn't be more grateful for mine.

Happy Monday!

(A thousand gifts #76-80)

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Friday again y'all

So first off, I can't even tell you how shocked I am to discover that I'm not the only person around who sniffs her hair or pokes her nose.  Seriously and truly, I have always thought that was incredibly...strange.  I feel so free now!!  Free to be me!

I think you should all throw your idiosyncrasies my way and I'll post them & we can see if there are any more weirdos among us.

I didn't tweet any celebrities this week.  Not unless you count BooMama, the blogger from Alabama who cracks me up on a regular basis.  I love me some BooMama but I do not think she counts as a celebrity.  She's funny & all but she's no Steve Martin.  (No offense intended, BooMama)  Amazingly enough... my good buddy Steve didn't even respond to my tweet.  I may have to unfollow him.  I'm thinking things over.

What I have noticed in my twitterworld, however, is that the majority of my entries have to do with food in some context.  I find this disturbing and mildly embarrassing, but I'm not sure why.

Terrie-the-English-teacher??  If you are reading my blog (and I know you are sporadic in doing so because evidently you have a life, because we have been unable to share a salad for two or twelve months), please do not judge my sentence structure.  I know better but it just feels so good to let the commas and periods and incomplete sentences and run-on sentences fly as they will.  Thankya. and I love ya.  that's all. 

I just remembered that not one single person has given me a Bible study suggestion for whenever we start back up sometime in the next 18 months or so.  Seriously, y'all, no one has any good ideas?  Give me something to work with here, will ya?

....and finally,

...this is my daughter, Katie.  She is that firstborn I keep talking about who is giving me a grandson pretty soon.  She's Audrey's mama and you know how much I love me some Audrey.  She's nice and all, but she often does not answer her telephone.  I am her mother.  I have questions, at times many questions.  Sometimes it is so sad being me.  I try and I try and all I get is that silly voicemail. 

Katie, sweetie, if you can hear me - and I know you can because we are oh so connected and you love your mama so much -  will ya call me sometime?  I miss the lilting sound of your voice.

Hehe (she's going to be so mad at me!!  :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

still stretching...

The Treasury

We beg and plead and moan and cry
To make sense of this place.
We sweat and strive to fix it all
Then seek You just in case.

When will we learn to listen
To the Master clearly say,
"Seek treasures tucked into My Word...
It's there you'll see My face!"

Oh, hasten that sweet moment
When we'll know as we've been known.
Such secrets of Your glory
Cannot be grasped, they're shown!

This fleeting puzzle makes no sense
Except in You alone
And missing pieces swell our faith
And stretch us 'til we've grown.
                                                                               (Things Pondered - Beth Moore)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Normal shmormal

Oprah (not that I usually watch Oprah, actually I almost never watch...she kinda sorta annoys me a lot) 

Sorry.  Rabbit trail and poor sentence structure much? 

(...and the award for using a phraseological reference that none of my friends-who-are-at-least-200-years-younger-than me will remember or appreciate goes to...the goofball who likes to pretend she knows how to form a sentence.)

Sorry again.

Let's start all over.  Oprah (Winfrey) had a show last week about being normal.  The few minutes I caught were pretty funny.  She polled people about random things ranging from nose-picking to "happily" married people sleeping in separate bedrooms.  The audience would then vote yes or no - anonymously - if they also did...whatever.  It was pretty funny. that got me to thinking...I've always assumed I'm kinda weird, but maybe I'm normal and didn't know it!  Therefore, I'm going to throw out some random things - that have absolutely nothing to do with me, and you can let me know if it sounds like you.  Got it?  Good.  Let's get started.

Do you buy ice instead of using your ice maker in your own fridge because you think that ice maker ice "tastes funny?"

Do you ever play with your hair?  Do you twirl it around and around your finger like you were a toddler?  Do you sniff it, like, a lot?  Yeah, me neither.

Have you ever picked up a can of Pillsbury vanilla icing for the express purpose of snacking on it with a spoon?

Do you play with your nose while watching TV?  No, not picking it!!  Just sort've poking around on the outside, wiggling it around, etc.?  Do you think that's weird?

Do you like one soda in the fountain drink form and a different soda in a can?  Do you refuse soda altogether if it is in the wrong form?

Do you count...often?  Do you count the steps going up and the steps going down, count between sign posts or mail boxes, or maybe the steps it takes to get to the fridge to retrieve the can of vanilla frosting?

Do you think I need psychiatric help?

If you do, don't tell me - I am obviously fragile. 

Just sayin :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

just for kicks & giggles

...and a special thanks goes to Kari and her friends, who are all at least 200 years younger than me, for introducing me to such adorableness :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Counting My Blessings in October...

holy experience

This week has been crazy full of wonderful things. 
An embarrassment of riches, if you will. 

In the last week alone I have enjoyed...

an unexpected giggle-fest with an old friend

frank's pizza with my grandchildren-figures

yummy dinner prepared by someone I love

the sight of my daughter's round tummy, which is growing her first son, my first grandson

an impromptu visit with my mary


a long, happy day with my family

my mom

fresh, clean laundry

inspiration to get over myself - - same kind of different as me

clean windows that sparkle in the sunlight

the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven

my fuzzy black blanket

the precious, priceless certainty that God Almighty is moving right alongside nate as he serves his country far, oh-so-far, from his family and friends

the multitude of young men and women who are working so hard and sacrificing so much so that my family can sleep safely at night and worship freely in the daylight

my pillow, on my comfortable bed, lying under the sturdy roof that keeps me warm and dry at night

hugs, in all of the shapes and sizes of the beloved in my life

the ever awareness that the God who is the Giver of all Good Things is right here with me, enjoying me, enjoying Him!

...and I am thankful.

(I would so love to hear how God has blessed you this week :)

Happy Monday!

(a thousand gifts #58-75)

Friday, October 15, 2010

...and there was also much cake

Sorry folks, it's that time again.  What time, you ask?  Well, do you remember my past strategy of throwing words at the computer screen & calling it a day?  Yep, you guessed it - - it's time to get random! 

You're welcome.

I am very, very happy that it is Friday.  The only thing that would make me happier would be if it was actually...Saturday :)

Last night I celebrated Kari's birthday with some very fun people who were all at least 200 years younger than I am.  A lesser (or smarter!) person might have felt a little, well, old, but I was far too busy learning how to be more hip and cool and happenin.  I was given a beginner's introduction to some HI-larious you-tube postings, and I laughed...oh how I laughed.

I also have it on good authority that hip and cool and happening people do not declare themselves so.

I am a work in progress.

I'm sorry to report that I did not have sweet potato fries OR peas this week.  This makes me kind of sad.  I do know that Kari had SPF yesterday for her birthday lunch with her hubby.  That's almost as good...but not quite.

I tweeted Steve Martin(!) this week because he needed vocabulary advice.  I'm sure he was grateful.  I am always willing to help out in a pretend vocabulary crisis.  I have turned into one of those crazy people who sorta kinda communicate with complete strangers and like it.  Kids, do not try this at home.

I "worked out" twice this week at the gym.  with my mom.  and she totally makes me look like a wimp and a wuss.  In fact, I told her I needed to title my blog post I am a wimp and a wuss.  She said I am too hard on myself.  

Now I ask you, who am I to argue with my mother?

I went to the zoo this week with the fam.  I don't see how life could get any better than that unless maybe we were at a zoo in, oh I don't know, Hawaii?  Otherwise life couldn't get any better than spending the day with my children at the NC Zoo.  We had a great time :)

So all in all it has been a swell week, pretty much terrific with a little bit of awesome/crazy thrown in.  However, I fear I am too old to have so much wonderfulness in one week.  Two birthdays, a road trip to the zoo, two trips to the gym, a tweet to a celebrity, and a full time job have rendered me exhausted and worn out and pooped.

In other words, I'm a wimp and a wuss.  Sorry Mom.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

That Kari. I love her.

In light of it being Kari's 23rd birthday and all,
I shall list a few reasons why I just love. that. girl!  

She is sunny :)  Kari doesn't often whine or complain about the heat, or the fatigue, or the hunger, or the stress of whatever life is throwing at her.  I'm not saying that she doesn't get hot or tired or hungry...she just doesn't complain about it so much.

She is kind.  Kari has a tender heart.  She usually treats people the way I'm sure she wants to be treated, with patience, & understanding, and love - - and if she finds that she has hurt your feelings her heart will be broken until she can make it right.

She is funny.  She isn't funny in the "hey-have-I-got-a-joke-for-you," trying to be funny, funny.  She is just fun.  She doesn't take herself too seriously.

She is capable.  I have always admired her for the way she can do things, from the way she can serve a volleyball to the cool way she can throw her hair up in pins and look like she tried really hard.  She gets the job done.

She loves the Lord with all her heart.  She greatly desires to honor God with her life, right down to the little choices we make every day.  It was always such a joy as her mom to take her shopping and watch her deliberate on modesty, etc., always wanting to be a good testimony.

She is brave.  I am still in awe that she was so fine with hopping on a plane to Thailand with one other friend for nearly two months, before she was even 18 years old, because she wanted to share the love of Christ with people who didn't know Him.  Her time there wasn't all ice cream and cookie dough, and it wasn't a simple or easy decision, but she didn't hesitate once she determined God wanted her to do it...and she is no less courageous today. 

She is loyal.  If she is your friend she will stick by you.  Period.  People/relationships are not disposable to Kari.  She may disagree with ya - and she will tell you so! - but she will be there for you however she can and treat you with love and compassion.

She is honest.  She has been known on occasion to tell me that yes, that shirt did make me look like an old lady, or the pants do in fact, make my behind look large.  If you do not want to know the truth, don't ask.  Now this can sometimes be a bit disconcerting and/or embarrassing, but it's one of my favorite Kari-things.  Not only does she tell the truth, I'm not sure she is aware of any other option.

She is beautiful.  She is beautiful on the outside, which is obvious, but that's actually pretty irrelevant.  Kari is one of the most beautiful people I have ever known - inside.  My beloved secondborn daughter is a perfect example of pretty is as pretty does.

I love you so much, Kari Beth.  I thank God every day for letting me be your Mom. 

Happy Birthday!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Two Years Old!

 It's nearly impossible to believe that this tiny, new child... 

and this happy infant... 

and this chunky one-year-old...

and this Naynay-lovin' toddler...

and this shy puggle...

...has grown SO FAST!!

Happy Happy Birthday, Audrey Faith!

(I would love to wax poetic about how my life is so much better with this tiny little girl in it, but I have no time as I am heading to the zoo to party like it's 1999 :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Counting my blessings in October...

holy experience

A few more things for which I am thankful...

a pink morning sky chasing away nighttime

a good night's sleep

58 degrees in october

sleeping with the windows open

praise & worship music on pandora

hot pink tutus that fit tiny, little birthday girls

spending the afternoon with my lastborn

84 degrees in october(!)

the book of Hebrews

panera's fugi apple chicken salad (substitute feta for gorgonzola; 86 the chicken :)

spiritual birthdays

the wonderful anticipation of a day with my family

shenandoah, lakeside, oakland, grace

pumpkins on the porch

sweet, oh-so-sweet, memories...

Happy Monday!

(a thousand gifts #43-57)

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Best Birthdays

We have always celebrated big when it comes to birthdays in our home.  The girls still joke about Birthday Week, or maybe even birthday month!  There is cake. much cake. multiple cakes.  And lots of love & hugs, and yep - even a couple of presents.  I like my girls a lot and am absurdly grateful that God trusted me with them. 

A birthday is a good thing :)

The birthdays I am most thankful for, though, are our spiritual birthdays.  We have celebrated Katie's & Kari's each year for, well, since they were born again!  It still seems like yesterday when they separately asked the Lord into their lives - Jesus into their hearts :)  Interestingly, they were of similar age when they made the best decision of their lives, but their stories are as individual as they are.  I won't get into the specifics here because it is their story to tell, but I will tell you that there was and still is great rejoicing around these parts - and in Heaven above!

Why am I mentioning this now? 

Well... today is Kari's spiritual birthday! :) 

My spiritual birthday is August 3, Katie's is September 8, and Kari's is October 8.  I love the symmetry of it all :)  I think it is so important to remember dates like this.  If we think our physical birthday is something special, how much more wonderful the day we give our lives to Christ and begin our journey with Him. 

God has been so faithful in protecting and growing my children, and I am forever grateful. 

I love you, girls, and I am so proud of the choices you are making in your lives.  You make my heart smile, and I believe God is smiling too

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I've got nothin'

- - seriously, nothing. nada. zip.  I promised myself when I began this bloggy venture that I would be consistent, and so far I have (if consistent means throwing a few words at the computer screen & seeing what sticks several days a week).  I've been a wee bit random and probably pointless from time to time, but there have been words. many words. perhaps too many words.

But today?  I'm at a loss.  I have several half-finished posts full of deepish, theological insights or goofy observations that no one cares about, but I can't seem to finish a single, cotton-pickin thought.  I keep trying and trying...

...and still nothing. 

So here's the deal.  I shall now throw a few words at my computer screen and call it a day.  Please do not feel compelled to read them.  In fact you might be wise to just walk away.  That's entirely up to you.  But with or without you I shall press forward and stay the course to my little, nobody-probably-cares-but-me, commitment. 

* * * * *

I've had some quiet days after a crazy week last week.  It's been nice. 

The weather has been a tad chilly, which has been refreshing. 

I was weepy and emotional and thankful all day Monday, which I found interesting.  There is definitely some truth to the fact that focusing on the things I have to be thankful for and acknowledging the God who has given it all to me makes me want to draw closer to Him...and the closer I get to Him the closer I want to get to Him. 

(An awful lot of words to say I had a very weepy, and emotional, and thankful day on Monday.)

I have had some specific things on my heart this week, which has made me more prayerful than usual.  I do pray regularly, but over these last few days I have felt compelled to pray much more.  I love how God works in our hearts & lives even when we don't recognize what He's doing.  

I had homemade sweet potato fries with peas for dinner last night.  Two of my favorite. foods. ever.

Oh!  And I finally climbed back on my bike last night and pedaled my way through an entire episode of The Closer on Netflix, thus burning off a few hundred calories.  That was impressive for me, not gonna lie.

Finally, look at this cool view I snapped yesterday morning while working.  It was about 6:40 I think.  It made me so happy I had to run upstairs, find my camera, & try to catch a quick picture.  The picture is a pale imitation & I'm not sure if you can tell, but it was still pretty darkish everywhere except on the tip of the mountain.  Puh-retty.

God is so COOL!!  :) :)

Happy Thursday!
Renee :)

p.s.  That view is from my front door.  How great is that!??
p.s.s.  I just used a lot of words for someone who doesn't have any.  Don't judge me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The one with a zillion pictures

I had a wonderful weekend :)

Saturday we went to the Pumpkin patch!
Except for when I was (often) lugging Miss Noodle around as I gasped for breath, declaring I might expire at any moment and lamenting my lack of physical fitness, this was my view
- - and what a priceless view it was!
* * * * *

Are ya ready Naynay?

Get set!

Let's GO!!

Helloooo, Mr. Chicken!

Mean old Mr. Chicken!

Let's GO, Mama!

It's a bummer being little...


Stay AWAY from my bucket!

Goood where's that cow train?

This'll do just fine...

...and a good time was had by all!!  :)

(PS - This was an Audrey day when she was NOT feeling well. 
I can't even imagine how incapacitated I would be
if she had been at full strength! :)

Happy Tuesday!
Renee :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Counting My Blessings...

"Yes, we will cook and we will clean and we will make with our hands and build and dig and grow, but our real vocation in this world is giving Him glory, always giving Him thanks in all things. Mostly always giving thanks. How else can we rightly respond? What do we rightfully deserve?"  Ann Voskamp

holy experience

More blessings I do not deserve but am so very thankful to receive...
35.  The smell of a childhood favorite bubbling in the oven.
36.  Hearing sweet Audrey's gleeful voice squealing my name again and again before Kate can even get the car door open.
37.  A surprise visit from my sister.
38.  Precious, unhurried time with my firstborn, chatting about nothing and everything while my grandchild plays nearby.
39.  The gift of a just-out-of-the-oven, made-from-scratch pie prepared by loved ones just for me.
40.  I John 1:9!
41.  Grace.  Beautiful, wonderful Amazing Grace.
42.  To my knowledge, each member of my family has a warm bed to sleep in with a sturdy roof over their heads, food in their refrigerators, and clean, running water flowing with the turn of their faucets.

Thank you, Father, for showering me with such endless love.

God bless you on this wonderful Monday morning!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Morning Musings

1.  I love it love it when the girls come over for Bible study.  We have dinner together & then I get to visit with them and hear how God is working in their lives.  Invariably I feel both convicted and encouraged as I hug them goodbye & close the door behind them.  There's just nothing better than spending time with young women who love the Lord and want to honor Him with their lives.  What a blessing this study has been to me!  Last night was supposed to be our last night discussing Beth Moore's Jesus, The One and Only but we had a bit of a miscommunication situation (missed you Starr!!), so we have one more night to go before we finish this one out.  I'm so excited to start thinking about the next one! 

2.  Guess who's coming to my house this afternoon to play??

That's right!  My sweet girl is coming to town - and oh yeah, her-mama-my-daughter will be coming with her :)  They're making one of their whirlwind trips to town and I expect to have a good 12 or 18 minutes of sheer bliss/play time.  Yaay for grandchildren!

3.  I'm pooped but I kinda miss Isaiah.  His parents did, in fact, return to Virginia and reclaim their child.  He is four and a little bit messy and energetic and hungry, but he thought I was cool and we laughed a lot.  If it weren't for my Bible study girls (see number one above) I might have been lonely last night.

4.  Owen will be joining us pretty soon.  That's won't be long now!  Katie's in the home stretch, and in a matter of weeks we will have a sweet baby boy to snuggle. 

It must be said.  Life is so sweet :)

5.  So last night I was ready to crawl in the bed at around 5:30 p.m.  I am ashamed to admit that I think I could be content with an 8:00 bedtime these days.  It is such a shame that when I was a child and had an 8:00 bedtime I hated it, and now that I'm tired and would love to have an 8:00 bedtime I'm a grownup and have, you know, stuff to do.  I've mentioned it before but it bears repeating.... life seems kind've upside down to me sometimes. 

So that's about it for now.  If you have any suggestions for our next Bible study feel free to drop me a line - - and if you're a young woman in your 20s and would like to join us let me know.  We'd love to see ya :)  Hope ya'll have a great weekend!

Happy Friday!