Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Flashback: One Fashionable Couple

In 2002, my husband was in the Army on a remote tour (without wife and family) in Korea. My first son was 1 year old. My parents watched him for a couple of weeks and I went to Korea for a visit.

My husband and I were walking around in a Korean market when we had an opportunity to try on some traditional Korean clothes.

It took a minute or two to convince my husband to put on the clothes.

Aren't we one fashionable couple?

I love the expression on his face.

Such a happy gal!

One of the markets

I'm linking up with Alicia today at
More Than Words. Join in the fun with her Flashback Friday meme.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #98

Each Thursday I make a list of my thankful thoughts. I spend time throughout my day appreciating the little and big things in my life. My posted list gives you a glimpse of my thankful heart.

1. Quiet: I have to start with this one because I am enjoying a quiet house right now. A friend of mine took 2 of my kids with her to the park. My youngest is napping and my oldest is playing his DS. This was not planned so I feel very blessed by this surprise quiet time. (Don't get too jealous, it's the calm before the storm... she will be dropping off her kids at my house when she gets back. 5 boys and 1 little girl will make this house noisy soon enough!) As soon as they were out the door, my oldest said, "I bet you love this quiet house."

2. A man, a sign, and a safe baseball game:
I am thankful for this man (my husband). He worked really hard to make sure the company picnic at the baseball game included a food-free (peanut-free) reserved box seat area.

I'm thankful for this view

I am thankful for this sign

3. Chocolate Covered Strawberries: They are my favorite taste in the entire world. I had a couple this weekend. You cannot tell me they weren't worth the money. Oh... it's hard to look at the picture... they were that good.

4. Laughter: My family and I laugh a lot together. I just love it. (We got a good chuckle out of this: One Less Place Around the Table)

5. Water: It has been hot here, reaching a 100+ temperature several days in a row. I have been drinking a lot of water. The kids have been enjoying water.

6. My Mom: I am thankful for my mom. She celebrated her birthday this week. I miss her because I live away (way, way too far away). I am very thankful for her love.

7. My Kids: I am thankful for my kids. This morning the boys were doting on Elisabeth. It was the most precious thing. They all laughed. She was "Queen of the Kids" for about 15 minutes. It's the kind of moment that melts a Momma's heart. My kids provide fill up my heart with gladness.
Here's the gang:

8. My 3rd Son Survived VBS: Ok, that title's a joke. It's just funny. I spent the last 3 nights praying and praying for the safety of my 2nd son at VBS (due to his peanut allergy). Then, my 3rd son falls off a playset and lands on his head. He had a terrible headache and wasn't acting quite like himself (see pictures below). He's fine today, despite a sore bump on the head and sore neck. I am thankful he's okay. (Yes, you bet, I have my hands full with him!)

As I keep thinking about what I am thankful for, I keep thinking about my family. I am thankful for my family. Be sure to take time to appreciate your family today. Even more important, let them know you appreciate them.

Now, don't forget there's a contest coming up.

Speaking of which, aren't these pens cute?

Borders sold them for $2.99. I bought them there on clearance for 50 cents. I'm gonna add a few to a couple of the prizes. (What?! There's more than one prize?!! Yep.)

I hinted last week that you should comment on my Thanks Tank posts between now and the 100th Thanks Tank for extra contest entries. (That's still true.)

Thanks for stopping by. I am grateful that you take time to read my blog.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One Hot Wednesday

It was 108 degrees on Tuesday. It is supposed to be 101 on Wednesday.

I keep thinking about this awesome fan my in-laws have in Tennessee.

If only I had goggles and a really big fan, I'd be cool.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

True Story Tuesday: My Mom Almost Killed Me Once

My Mom almost killed me once.
I am serious.
It was bad.

I was driving.
My mom and my older sister were my passengers.

Here's what happened.

My sister and I were home from college. It was Christmas break and my mom thought it would be fun to take us shopping in the big town of Chattanooga, TN. I cannot remember what enticed me to go. Honestly, it was probably the lure of getting out of town and doing something different.

Anyway, we were barely on our way, not even out of the neighborhood, when my mom asks, "Hey, do either of you have a quarter?"

My sister, grabs her purse, pulls out a quarter and with a "Here ya go" hands it to my mom.

My mom swiftly takes the quarter and hands my sister a 20 dollar bill.

My eyes about popped out of my head. (Remember, I was a poor college student.)
I swerved all over the road. I couldn't contain my surprise and I couldn't control the car.

That was almost the end of everything for us. Thankfully, I pulled myself together.

In desparation, I yelled, "HEY! I have 2 quarters!"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I went "home" to Tennessee for a visit last month. My mom, my sister, and I went out one night. We had the best time. We were headed to dinner to celebrate my sister's birthday. We stopped to do a little shopping first. My mom is smarter in her old age (Happy Birthday, Momma!). She played the "Quarter Game" with us when we were in the store not in the car.

We had an incredible time when I was home.

Here's a picture of us on our girl's night out.

Want to read more true stories? Visit Rachel at Once Upon a Miracle.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Make-Do Monday: My Time

Two years ago, I moved to a rural town. My lifestyle changed. I lost conveniences that I appreciated.

I lost this.

To many, that's not a big deal. To be fair, I have to admit, my town has a couple of drive-thru coffee stands. I just don't have my favorite. Beyond not having a drive-thru Starbucks, I couldn't "get-away" for a coffee at night, after dinner or when the kids were in bed. Where I lived before I could trek to Starbucks, sit and chat with a friend until 11 p.m.

After we moved, my husband would lovingly suggest that I needed a break and that maybe I should go out. I'd say, "Go WHERE?" or "Ya, I'll go hang out at Wal-mart." Needless to say, I didn't have the best attitude.

When you decide to make-do, sometimes you discover something wonderful.

Sometime last summer, I began riding my bike again.

Bike riding became my "get-away".

It started as just something to do because it was all I could think to do. It turned into something I love.

I love my bike rides. It's peaceful and quiet. I have time to think and pray. It's a wonderful way to appreciate nature. I get exercise. It is time that is all mine.

A Saturday morning bike ride is a fantastic way to wake up. It is almost as enjoyable as sleeping in. A bike ride in the evening is wonderful way to wind-down after a busy day. It is easy to appreciate a beautiful sunset on my bike.

I still love my cup of Starbucks. I just grab it less often (which is just fine for our budget, by the way).

I look forward to my rides. They are more significant to me than any one of my Starbucks get-aways.

I wouldn't trade this beauty for a latte any day.

The pictures were taken with my phone. If you look closely, in this next one you can see a deer.

Each week Ann Kroeker hosts Make-Do Mondays. You need to stop by Ann's blog: Ann Kroeker. Writer. Ann is inspirational. She has a book, Not So Fast, coming out August 1st. Check out the Not So Fast book website: Not So Fast (I hadn't visited her book website in a while. Ironically, I just noticed her latest post there is about bike riding. I love it!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Root of the Problem

I love this pot. I am comfortable with it. I could put it almost anywhere in my home and enjoy it.

I had to take the plant out of the pot because it was not growing strong. The plant was getting less and less healthy.

The plant kept growing but the leaves were not strong or healthy. In fact, several had been falling off.

The problem was the plant had no room to grow.

The roots were growing tighter and tighter around themself.

The roots took in the nutrients from the soil and water but couldn't get them to where they were needed.

As I started working on re-potting my plant, I realized that my life has been a lot like my little plant. I am growing. I continue to give myself what I need to grow (food, exercise, friends, reading the Bible, and prayer). I have been growing. I am just not sure I am growing strong enough.

I am comfortable with my life. I have great friends. I am involved in wonderful activies. I read. I exercise. I play. I lead a healthy, happy life.

I keep myself tightly contained in my life.

I need to take myself out of my self-created comfortable space. I need to spread out. I need to look for opportunities to meet, serve, and get to know other people. I must search for ways to grow (in my relationships, my intelligence, and my spiritual understanding).

I know that if I am to get stronger, I have to face challenges.

I am open to the work that must be done in my heart and my life.

I should expect struggles and challenges, as I pull my comfort-zone apart.

I gave my plant a bigger pot, fresh soil, and water.

I know that stepping out of my comfort zone will lead to opportunities, relationships and a strengthened faith.

I want to continue to grow. I want to grow strong.

This plant is now on my kitchen counter. It's roots are on my mind and challenging me not to be so comfortable in my life that I unable to grow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #97

My Thanks Tank is full. It's full of family, summer, and smiles. Here is some of what is filling up my thanks tank.

1. Camping in the backyard: My husband and the boys had so much fun camping in the backyard last Friday night. I am thankful for those special moments.

2. Going to the pool: We took the kids to the pool on Sunday afternoon. The pool was more like a water park. There's a wonderful larger slide, two smaller slides for the little kids and lots of sprays for the littlest ones to splash in. I am thankful that we went and played together as a family.

3. Family Water Fight: On Saturday morning, we had an impromptu family water fight. Elisabeth wasn't awake yet. Everyone else (including me in my PJs) got in on the craziness. I haven't laughed that hard in ages.

4. Sweet dresses and dimples: I just adore this picture of Elisabeth.

5. My children's friends: It is such a joy to watch my children make good friends. (And, nooo, that is not his latte.)

6. Playdates: We had 6 boys and 1 little girl playing on a slip n' slide. I am thankful for the fun and that no one got hurt!

7. Local berries: I picked up some berries from a local farm this week. They were delicious. I love summer berries.

8. Date Night: Last night we went on a date to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. We had an amazing night out. We went to Clemenza's Italian Cafe. (For my local readers, you must try this place. It was incredible. Our food was delightful. I loved the atmosphere and service. Here's the website: www.clemenzacafe. We can't wait to go back.) After dinner, we went for a walk by the river. It was a perfect evening.

9. Being a Winner
I won a book from Pam at Without Fear

I won a surprise prize from Elaine at Matters of the Heart. I can't wait to find out what I am getting.

This morning, I participated in the Back to School Food Allergy Twitter Party. I won a membership to Kids With Food Allergies.

I appreciate everyone that takes time to read my blog. I am thankful for my readers. I am often surprised when I find out that someone is reading my blog. I am always touched by kind comments.

In a few weeks, I will be doing my 100th Thursday Thanks Tank and I am going to have a contest.

It is going to be fun. I am doing it because I am thankful for you. I am going to give away some things that make me happy. The contest starts on the 100th Thanks Tank post and the winner will be announced on the 101st Thanks Tank post. You will have lots of chances to get entries to the contest. The details will be explained on the 100th Thanks Tank. (Now, if I were you, I would comment on this post - but I wouldn't make your comment exclusively about the giveaway- and each Thanks Tank until the contest. That's what I would do. I'm just sayin'...Hint, Hint)

Take time today to be thankful. You have so much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday: Two Kisses, Two Monumental Moments

We're celebrating our 14 year anniversary today (or as my husband loves to joke, "12 happy years of marriage"). He's hilarious- wait until you see what he did when he was helping me scan the pictures: Stuck. (If you didn't follow the link, go now.) Oh, that man makes me laugh and I love him.