Friday, October 13, 2017

Hold You??

I actually have a title for a more meaningful post going in my head right now but instead . . .I bring you some time with our sweet granddaughter.

We had the privilege of keeping her overnight a couple of weeks ago while her parents cheered on the Auburn Tigers.

We bought a trike and enjoyed pushing her around the park.



This child ADORES her pops.  Pop - pop - pop!


It is so nice living right across from the park - we walked out to the park three different times throughout the day.


She was afraid to go down the big slide by herself so Mark was sliding with her.  Later in the day, there were bigger boys sliding and she wanted to do it all by herself - peer pressure at 18 months is a real thing!!


It was a gorgeous day - sun was shining enough that we had to struggle with sunscreen.  Oh goodness - babies hate sunscreen.



When you stay overnight at Gran and Pops, you might receive a ginormous blueberry muffin from Sprouts for breakfast. . .and you might leave crumbs EVERYWHERE but Pop swept them all up and never complained because he loves this girl so much!


Whole Foods is opening a couple of miles from our house and we received an invitation to a pumpkin patch hosted by Whole Foods.  We were so excited . . .and then a tad disappointed because it wasn't really a pumpkin patch at all.  We decided to make the best of it!


Sweet girl picked out her pumpkin immediately and though we looked at others, the original pumpkin was THE ONE she wanted.



She has a totally perplexed look on her face in this one.


She enjoyed running up and down the hill after picking out her pumpkin - snack in one hand and "botcha" (bottle/cup) in the other hand!


What does Harvey have to do with a grandbaby weekend?  He is worn out when she leaves.  He is still not sure about this thing called "a child" - who is she? why is she here? why does she pull my tail? why does she try to ride me? I need to sleep now!


Everyone told us that it would be wonderful to be a grandparent and they were right.  There is nothing like hearing her say the words, "hold you" meaning she wants you to hold her.  When she says those words to either one of us, we pick her up!!  This stage is gone before you can blink so we are trying to soak up every moment!

p.s. Our Whole Foods opens this weekend!  Yay!  The redeeming part of their pumpkin patch was everyone got a $15 off $50 purchase card (but I can't remember where I put mine - wah!).

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Of Good Courage -- Catalyst 2017

This past week, Mark and I were privileged to attend Catalyst in Atlanta with some of our pastors.  The theme for the two days was "Of Good Courage" and we heard wonderful stories of the courage that can come only from God. It was an amazing two days - at times, almost more than I could possibly absorb.

The line up of speakers was top notch -- Andy Stanley; Bob Goff; Tim Tebow; Katie Davis Majors; Christine Caine; and Brene Brown just to name a few.  The music - wow - the music!!  Some of the band (the main band?) from Northpoint was phenomenal.  Mosaic and Johnnyswim and Hillsong provided music at other times - Wow!

On our way into the Infinite Energy Center, we saw Bob Goff and we were able to get a picture with him.  If you haven't read his book, Love Does, buy it right now.  Seriously - in the next sentence just click on it and you will go right to the amazon page (they are not paying me nor do they know I'm promoting the book - it is just good!!). Log onto Amazon and buy it now!!  We thought that Bob was just pretending to be a pirate but when he spoke, he shared that he had eye surgery the day before and the doctors aren't sure they can save his vision.  Of course, when we met him, Mark was talking to him non-stop  . . . inviting him to meet for a beer! hahahaha!



 Eleanor (Children's minister), Amy (one of our associate pastors) and I grabbed a quick selfie.


In between the speakers, the hosts played games (karaoke and dance offs!) and offered other fun entertainment.  Jeff Foxworthy entertained with his story about a colonoscopy.  I laughed until I really had tears running down my face and I had heard that routine before!!


I read in a follow up email that there were 8,300 people worshipping together in this place.  On day two, they led us in an old worship song - Heart of Worship - and it was amazing to hear 8,300 people worshipping God together and to feel the Holy Spirit's presence in that place.


I recorded the entertainment below but I can't get it to work in the blog so a still photo will have to do.  The guy (who had a fancy name and fancy clothes) ran around this hamster cage and jumped high in the air and I was as amazed as any little kid. I felt like I either had a big grin on my face or I was laughing . . .or I had tears in my eyes for the majority of time we were there.


They used lights and sound and motion and video and all of the other tricks to enhance worship.


JohnnySwim was amazing.  I know I've used the word amazing and phenomenal several times but I just can't think of any other great descriptors!! 
There was a contingent from Puerto Rico sitting to his right.  I would love to know if they had originally planned to come or if they were stranded in Atlanta (able to escape from Puerto Rico to Atlanta??) and Northpoint church found out about them and offered them tickets -- I don't know - but they were there.  JohnnySwim went over to their section and sang just to them at one point - totally unscripted because they didn't have him mic'd to do that.


I took a couple of pictures of Andy Stanley because one of our Tuesday night girls has a "preacher crush" on Andy Stanley.  I was texting them to her while he spoke!!


I needed some spiritual food and was granted a feast portion during these two days.  We actually skipped out on two parts and Mark said if we ever get to go back, we are going to every session!
I loved getting to know my co-workers better. I loved worshipping.  I learned much from the speakers - oh my goodness, Christine Caine and Brene Brown were two of our favorites.  I am so thankful that Brian allowed Mark and me to go with the group and I thank God that we are in a church where the staff is continually encouraged to grow in our own faith.

THANKS BE TO GOD!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Road Trippin' . . . Hodgepodge





1. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

I want to say that I have an EXCELLENT sense of direction but my husband would laugh hysterically if I said that . . .so evidently, I don't!  My worst sense of direction is on the water.  Many years ago, I took the boat driver's certification class (or something like that!) and when I was practicing I had no idea where I was on the water!!  Mark (hubby), on the other hand, has a great sense of direction - on water and land! 

I love using my phone for directions.  I can't remember the last time I used a map - quite a few years ago.  We went to Catalyst (conference) last weekend and my phone was my life line!!

Just last night we talked about "out west" because one of our young adults is taking a long road trip this week - heading west and then north.

2. Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.
I did a lot of listening yesterday.  I took notes in a meeting . . .I listened to young adults.  I also did a lot of talking with different vendors.

3. Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?
oh goodness, I waste some of all of the above.  I waste time on the internet.  I take showers that are too long.  I love to have lots of lights on . . . plus we have lights on the outside of the house right now.  I'm pretty sure I've wasted a lot of opportunities, too.  I'll try to do better today!!



4. Did  your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.
Our family took a week long vacation to Laguna Beach (near Panama City, Florida) every summer when I was growing up.  I remember how long it took back then before interstates!!

5. If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?
Marijuana - so I could get rich!  JUST KIDDING!  REALLY - I'M JUST KIDDING!!  It is 6:20 a.m. and that thought just popped into my head and made me laugh!  Could I grow money?  That would be even better!!  Seriously, I would love to have a garden.  My daddy and granddaddy always had a garden.  I love fresh tomatoes straight from the vine.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
We are deep into the first stages of wedding planning.  Our daughter got engaged last weekend and we are so happy for them!  They have set the date and we've booked the church and a reception venue so I feel like we are definitely moving forward!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

I have started at least three blog posts and they sit there in my file . . .waiting on me!  Life has been a whirlwind.  My family loves to take a vacation in September and I WANT to be with my family but September through Easter is my busy season.  Actually, there is not a "not busy" season but at this time of year EVERYTHING ramps up a notch.  I feel like I'm running trying to catch up after vacation (but it was worth it!).

I thought I would blog today using Joyce's questions!

1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.
We had a couple of cats . . .and yes, I'm allergic to cats.  I remember a yellow cat named Tom.  The most special pet of all was a calico cat.  Her name was Missy and she was my cat.  She rode all over town in the basket on the front of my bicycle.  I wish I had a picture of the two of us!!

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?
Writing this blog - yes, please!

3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?
September 2007?  My kids were in their Sophomore year of college.  I was working full time as the Membership Secretary at our church and I was probably at the beach!!

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?
I've never made dumplings.  I did not eat dumplings today.  I did not know that yesterday was National Dumpling Day!  Who knew??  My granny made wonderful chicken and dumplings.  I have made something similar to Apple Dumplings and they are delicious.  Mark loves Chinese dumplings.  I don't think I've ever eaten pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi.
I have a good friend who loves gnocchi!  Does that count?

5. 'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon

So which kind are you?
I have no idea . . .I would like to pretend that I'm one who is looking for an adventure . . .but I'm not sure that accurately describes me!

I have to close with this sweet picture which has NOTHING to do with today's post.  This is my sweet mother-in-law who is WAAYY older than she looks holding our sweet grandbaby (her great grandbaby) on Sunday.  Emma loves books and so does Grandmother.  I've tried to snap a photo every time she holds Emma.  See the blue cover on the arm of the chair?  Emma is fascinated with those and changes them from chair to chair!!



6. Insert your own random thought here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

lazy days filled with sunshine and salt water

Just a few pics from our week . . . I've thought of words I want to write but I can't quite put my thoughts together so here are some pictures with a few comments.

We've rested and chased an 18 month old and rested some more.  We've eaten some good seafood and some turkey sandwiches.  Some of us have read some books.

I needed a vacation.

Emma and I were hanging out while Glenn, Lauren, and Mark did a beer tasting at the brewery in Fairhope.  This was on our way down to Fort Morgan -- detour through Fairhope.


We had dinner at Tacky Jack's on the first night and watched the sun set.  It was actually chilly that night!


We are staying at a house on the bay and some of us (I am not one) have fished and netted and spent long hours on the pier.  Glenn was throwing the net.



We've spent some time on the beach (this is what we called the big beach -- on the gulf side) and we've spent a lot of time on our little private beach (on the bay).

This cute little munchkin has been so fun . . .and so busy . . .and so cute!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

There was evening and morning and evening and morning . . .

I had grand plans of blogging every day on vacation . . .so far that has not happened but who knows . . I still have a couple of days.

On our first night at the beach, we watched in awe as the sun set.  It was huge orange fireball that quickly melted into a pool of molten lava.  


On morning one, while the guys fished I snapped a quick photo of sunrise.  How cool - in the mornings we can see the sunrise from our pier and we can see the sunset in the evenings.  Perfect beginning and ending to each day.


We watched sunset #2 and couldn't believe that it was the end of day two.


God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. . . .and it was so good!  Yes, it is so good!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Sun and Moon HodgePodge


Joining up with Joyce at From this Side of the Pond.  Want to join?  copy and paste the questions to your blog.  Answer the questions.  Link up over at Joyce's blog.

1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?
First, I'll pick my food . . .I love Sun Chips - yummmmmm!! (I also love a really good orange!)  I just realized that I'm not that fond of Milky Way candy bars!  I haven't been eating desserts since February (I think I've mentioned that a time or two :-) ) so I might not indulge in the moon pies or starburst candies and I don't like beer AT ALL!

I did watch the solar eclipse (many thanks to my son and daughter-in-law for the glasses!).  Several of us from work gathered on the front lawn of the church and had a blast!!  The first picture is us being crazy - I'm not holding my nose I'm holding my glasses on my face - haha!



We had 92 or 93% totality and it didn't get as dark as I thought it would but we did get deep shadows and the crickets thought it was evening!


One of my favorite things was the crescent shaped shadows - they were so awesome!!



The sun is directly overhead normally at this time of the day and this is the courtyard outside my office -- usually not a shadow in sight but deep shadows on Monday.


Russell (our minister of music) and I were staring at the eclipse!

Below was posed.  I wish Amy had recorded me when I first put my glasses on.  The eclipse was just beginning and I was jumping up and down like a little kid!  It was so exciting to me.



2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'?

We continue to be "over the moon" about our sweet grandbaby.  She was trying on her great grandmother's boots on Sunday!!  This girl loves shoes!!  

I enjoy having an alcoholic drink "once in a blue moon" - I don't drink often - mainly because many drinks are so calorie laden.  But once in a blue moon . . .yum!



3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?

I love to look at the stars.  I love to wake up while it is still dark outside and go sit on the front porch and just stare up at the sky.  When I do, I am in awe of our creator!

4. What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child?

I loved school!  I especially loved new school supplies - pens, pencils, protractors, notebooks, new books, new lunchboxes (I'm so old that we had metal lunchboxes!!), book satchels (they weren't back packs -- I had a really cute red plaid one!!).  I also loved the first football game  . . . or maybe I should say the first Friday night football game where there was a nip in the air!  This is the deep south so that wasn't right at the beginning of school.

5. I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.

1. Grace - God's grace is truly amazing
2. Grandchild - oh my goodness!  People told me but I didn't believe them.  Being a gran is so cool!  I can love on that baby . . .and then I can give her back! hahahaha!
3. Friends - I spent a little while chatting on the phone with a close friend today.  We were both marveling at how much a good friendship means to our well being.
4. Family - we celebrated some birthdays on Sunday (maybe I'll write about it and share some pictures) and we enjoyed being together.
5. Laughter - I can't imagine a day without laughter.  A good laugh seems to cleanse the soul from the inside out.
I could keep going but I'll stop with 5!!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
We are going on vacation soon . . . to the beach . . .oh goodness . . .Beach might be one of my words, too!  I haven't taken a vacation this year - just a Friday off here or there . . .and I'm in DESPERATE need of a vacation.  I'm going to put my toes in the sand and I think I'll have a "once in a blue moon" beverage or two.  Hopefully, I'll have some time to blog, too.  I'm going to TRY to make myself totally unplug from work for at least 24 hours.

Friday, August 18, 2017

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY - SPEAK!

I'm linking up with Five Minute Friday - we are given a "word" and asked to write for exactly five minutes and then stop . . .without editing!  Today's word is Speak!

When I read the word "speak" I thought of 1 Samuel chapter 3 when Samuel thinks Eli is calling his name but Eli finally realizes it is God and tells Samuel that the next time he hears the call to say, "speak for your servant is listening."  So I looked up this scripture and it always amazes me how much I forget between readings.  I had forgotten that God spoke to Samuel about Eli's family and then the boy (Samuel) had to tell Eli what God had said!

I also thought about SPEAK in regards to my own life.  I'm a talker so you would think that SPEAK would be easy for me.

In our world today there is so much going on.  Sometimes I want to SPEAK out but there is a major problem.  I'm fairly moderate in my beliefs and I have UBER conservative friends and family AND I have UBER liberal friends and family.  I never have the courage to SPEAK up about what I really think.  I actually have opinions - if you know me you aren't surprised - but rarely feel that I can truly SPEAK my opinions.  Everyone else seems more than willing to share their opinions - the left bashes the right and the right bashes the left continuously.  Sometimes I wonder if people realize what they are actually saying or are they just spouting out words. I also wonder if folks realize how much hate they are spewing yet proclaim Christ in their next breath.

I will say that I am blessed indeed to have one or two friends with whom I can be truly honest.  I can SPEAK FREELY with those people.

As usual, my writing is all over the place from "SPEAK your servant is listening" to  . . .my thoughts about not speaking out but maybe I just needed to SPEAK the things on my own heart.

Do you speak out?

p.s. added after the five minute timer - I DO NOT THINK VIOLENCE is the answer and the thought of Nazis scares me to death.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

And God saw that it was good.


We've spent much time in our courtyard and on our screened porch this spring and summer.  One of my closest friends gave me a humming bird feeder for my birthday.  I cannot even begin to tell you the joy that Mark, Harvey (the cat), and Emma (the granddaughter) and I have received from watching the hummingbirds.  If I sit in the courtyard with my glasses on top of my head (which just happen to be orange) . . .and I sit really still . . .the humming birds will buzz my head.  The sound of their wings is amazing and they are such territorial little buggers!  They DO NOT like to share!!
A couple of weeks ago Mark asked me to try to take some pictures of the birds so I used my actual camera and sat very still on an afternoon.
When I looked at the pictures, these are the verses that popped into my head - from Genesis Chapter 1.
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Gate and pathway to the front side of the house

flowers along the stone walkway to the back gate


And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
My photos of the humming birds aren't great - I should practice my photography more often.




if you look closely, you can see the drop
of nectar on the end of his beak!!


Our creator is such a wonderful artist!!