Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm Liking This!

One day we'll teach Poptart how to weedeat and Brad and I will sit on the backporch sipping lemonade while our children do all the yardwork. But for now, I'm liking the fact that Gogurt is learning to drive the lawnmower.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My First Award

Thanks to Jennifer, I have received my first blog award.  I'm not sure what the requirements are to receive this award - I have a feeling there aren't any!  But it's an honor anyway.  (And could it match my new blog background any better???)  So now I'm supposed to pass it on to other blogs.  I don't keep up with that many blogs, I barely have time to keep up with this one!  But, if you have a blog on my list down there, I am passing this award onto you! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Reunion

Saturday was our family reunion in Scottsboro, AL.  Usually we would stay with Nana and Pop while we were up there but since they do not live there anymore, we had to find other arrangements. 

Brad's first cousin LeAnn (I hope I'm spelling your name right!), her husband Kelly, and their daughter Hartley offered their place as our temporary home for the weekend.  And boy, are we glad they did!

We had SO much fun!  The kids were immediately drawn to the pool, and after what seemed like forever to them, I finally let them jump in.  Brad and I enjoyed the company of all the family members who dropped by.  It was a reunion-time in itself. 

The actual reunion was Saturday high on Skyline mountain.  It's beautiful up there, and we enjoy the scenic drive every year.  Poptart was asking one of three questions, "Are we going up a mountain?", "Are we on top of a mountain?", or "Are we going down a mountain?"  It is sort of confusing if you picture a mountain with a sharp pointy top.  That's really not the case.  Once you get on "top" of the mountain, you can go for miles and miles, around curves and up and down hills, before you ever technically start down the mountain.  The mountains of North Alabama are beautiful to me.  Brad says if you live there you sorta get used to seeing it, but I don't think I ever would. 

After the reunion,

more fun at the Walker's house,

church on Sunday, and lunch with the family at Pizza Hut afterwards,

it was time for us to head back home.  Needless to say, my kids did not want to leave.  In fact, they are already trying to plan a return trip. 

Thank you to everyone for such a great time, especially LeAnn, Kelly, and Hartley, for opening your home  to us.  You made us feel very welcome and right at home! 

We love ALL of you!  See ya next year!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Really Don't Want to Post This

The motto this year at VBS was "Need Answers? Ask God!"  So at the beginning of each class, my (2) 6th grade students would write questions to God on sticky notes and stick them up around the big question mark on the dry erase board. 

It didn't take long for me to see a pattern.  Is ________ (fill in the blank) bad to watch?  Is __________ bad to listen to?   Is ________ bad to read?

By the end of the week, it was clear to see just how much of a struggle it is for them to fight against "popular" media choices.  It was obvious they were having second thoughts about some of their choices, but just needed a little encouragement.   

One particular verse came to mind.  Philippians 4:8.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."

On the last night of VBS, I shared this verse with them and told them it was the test.  When they are wondering if something is "good" or "bad" for them, put it to the test of Philippians 4:8. 

And as I talked I began to have these convicting thoughts about my own media choices.  (Why does that always seem to happen?)  Do I put all of our media choices to the test of Philippians 4:8?

We do not watch R rated movies.  And our rule is that if we can't watch something together as a family, we (Brad and I) probably do not need to be watching it at all.  And we do pretty good on that.  Well, at least I thought I did. 

The more I talked that night, the more the Holy Spirit began convicting me of a certain show I watch.  And later at home I was sharing about the class to Brad and very
s-l-o-w-l-y he brought up the issue of the same show. 

I have watched Young & The Restless since college.  Not every day mind you, especially during the school year, but over the summers I become, well, a little obsessed.  Y&R is different, right?  More classy than those other silly soap operas, right?  And I always turn it during the love scenes.....

I am going to stop, cold turkey.  I am not going to care whether Nick ends up with Sharon or Phyllis (although I am surely rooting for Phyllis).  I am not going to care what becomes of Adam.  And I am not going to care what crazy-girl Patty does next. 

You may think I am being silly about all this, and that's okay if you do.  You may not feel convicted about watching soap operas, and that is fine too.  I am definitely not trying to preach to anybody here.  I'm just telling you what the Holy Spirit has convicted me of, and what I'm going to try, try, try to do.  It won't be easy. 

So I've put it out there.  I watch Y&R and now I want to stop.  But I'll need your help.  Accountability partners, so to speak.  Keep me honest, people.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Saddle Ridge Ranch

This week is our Vacation Bible School at church.  We've ditched this city life for a trip to the Saddle Ridge Ranch.  It's been great so far--I love VBS!  I am teaching the 5th and 6th graders.  What a fun but terrifying age to be! 

Every year I am reminded how many "grown-up" issues our young kids are facing these days.  My heart breaks for them, but I thank God I have the opportunity to remind them just how much they mean to God and just how much God cares for them. 

My prayer is that they are having as much fun as I am and at the same time learning some fundamental truths about God that will carry them through the tough times in life. 

It's been a busy week already but it's a good busy.  I'm not sure when I'll post again.  I caught a break today since one of my doctors is off.  Yippee!!!

I hope you are each having a great day, and remember, only 26 days left before school starts!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Decision

I want to confess. 

We watched "The Decision" last night. 

Yes, a show with a title indicating a decision of life-changing proportions.  An election-night show perhaps? Maybe a decision between good and evil?  Maybe a decision of believing in God or not believing in God? 

No, this decision was coming from a basketball player, LeBron James, regarding where he would take his talent. 

And we are confessing. 

We watched it. 

The funny thing was that throughout every commercial set, we discussed why we were watching.  Did we really even care?  Is the media so powerful that it can convince us we care about something when in actuality we do not?

Brad was almost furious with himself.....we would watch in silence waiting for the "big announcement."  Cut to commercial, and Brad would start spewing, "Why am I even watching this????"  "This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen!!!!"  "They are making way too big of a deal about this!!!!"  "I hope wherever he goes they don't win a game." (that last one was kinda mean I thought).  

Shhhh...honey, it's back on.  And back we would go to complete silence.  Waiting for the "big announcement." 

And so it finally came.  He's going to play for Miami where he will apparently be joining two other great players. 

So here's the question we proposed after the big announcement was made and the TV was off.  If the media talked nonstop about something, say for example, whether Brad would have a turkey sandwich or a ham sandwich for lunch, and they brought in experts to say why turkey would be the better choice and why ham would not benefit him as much, and they splashed it over every website in ads and teasers, and they held an online poll, "Will he choose ham or turkey?" and tweeted the results daily, would people tune in to see the decision?

Well, would ya?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back to Work

I certainly enjoyed my little hiatus from the computer (a/k/a transcription) over the holiday weekend.  I didn't turn on the computer for 3 whole days!  But all good things must come to an end, and I'm sitting here about to start working.  But before I started, I wanted to drop a line to my friends and family and say I hope you had a great 4th of July! 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lost in Yazoo

A couple of weekends ago, I talked my family into hopping in the truck and taking a small road trip to Yazoo City, Mississippi. Some of you may remember this town as being the one ravaged by a tornado a few months ago. I really wanted to go volunteer, especially since Samaritan's Purse was in town heading up a relief effort, but things kept getting in my way (shame on me) and I never did. But my curiosity got to me, and I wanted to at least see the damage for my own eyes that I had seen on TV.  

It took less than 2 hours to arrive and what we saw took our breath away.  One minute, we're driving along the highway and everything looks normal.  Then over the top of one hill you begin seeing it.  Trees snapped off, businesses destroyed, and homes decorated with blue tarps on their roofs.  We turned down a road to our right and saw the restaurant where the media had been stationed and did all their reports from.  It had been repaired enough to have a sign out front saying "Grand Re-Opening."  I read in the paper just last week it has in fact now reopened. 

Apparently this road was the worst hit area.  There was still debris everywhere and the homes were barely inhabitable.  An eerie silence filled our truck.  There's something about coming face to face with the fact that we are so small and God is so big.  

We turned around, not sure where this road led, and came back to the main highway.  Down the highway we saw the Wendy's that had sustained damage and then Brad took another right turn and that is where our story ends begins. 

We realized almost immediately there was no damage to be seen on this road, but figured we would run back into the aforementioned road if we just kept taking rights, you know, if we make a square circle.  We were wrong. 

After going miles and miles and miles and going deeper and deeper into the woods, we discussed turning around.  Brad wanted to, I didn't.  I was sure we were almost to civilization.  Wrong again.  Miles and miles and more miles.  We tried to decide if we had gone so far as to be out of Yazoo County.  But there was no way to tell.  Then I remembered hearing after the tornado the little fact that Yazoo is the biggest county in the state.  Oh, great!

I was almost irritated....I mean, we had seen the damage for a total of umm, maybe 4 minutes, and now we were headed who-knows-where on this barely-paved road. 

Before I go any farther, let me remind you I grew up where there were dirt roads .  I normally love riding around on the back country roads, and we often do just that when I return home.  Just get in the car and ride and listen to Momma's stories about what it looked like when she was a little girl.  The difference is there I know where we are, and in Yazoo County, a place I had never been in my life, none of us had a clue.  Or a map. 

So we just kept riding.  Pop-Tart gave up and went to sleep.  I guess it was just too much excitement for her.  Gogurt starting sharing about a book he had read based in Yazoo City.  It was by Willie Morris and it told about his days growing up in Yazoo City in the 1940s.  Gee, I wish we could find the city again and then maybe we could find some of the things mentioned in the book. 

Somewhere between hour 6 and hour 8 on this trip (okay, that's an exaggeration, we weren't gone that long) we started laughing.  Brad kept his cool - which was a slight miracle in itself - and started making light of our situation.  If we ran out of gas we would just squat on a piece of land and call it home.  Gogurt started laughing at all of Brad's antics, and instead of being irritated I decided to sit back and enjoy the ride. 

We were seeing beautiful country, and we were also spending some good, quality time together as a family (although PopTart missed all of it).  She did wake up before we wound our way back to a main road.  Her first question was "Where are we?"  Good question.  "I think we're still in Missississippi.  I think."

During this trip we came to many forks in the road and had to decide which way to go.  We finally, and I mean FINALLY, saw a "To 55" interstate sign.  Sweet heaven!  We're gonna make it out alive!

It still felt like another hour before we found the actual interstate but we felt better knowing we were at least headed in the right direction.  We got on the interstate and drove.  Then we saw the Exit, "Yazoo City."  Brad looked at me, I looked at him.  "You wanna try it again?" he asked.  I thought about it for a second.  We had seen the damage but for a very short time.  We had not even made it into the acutal city I don't think.  I certainly did not feel like we had accomplished what we went there to do.  "Sure," I said.  He exited.  Less than a mile down this road we saw the sign.  "Yazoo City 27 miles." 

We collectively gasped, turned around, got back on the interstate and headed back toward Jackson. 

The day wasn't a total loss however.  We stopped at a mall we had never been to and found Five Guys.  That was one of the best hamburgers I've ever had.  Ironically (I think he had this whole thing planned out) Brad found an Apple store and we all went in and played with iphones and ipads. 

Brad reminded me that if he had had an iphone we never would have gotten lost in Yazoo.  Yeah, but what fun would that have been?