Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Funnies

Having a younger child in the house certainly keeps us laughing. He always manages to say the darndest things. But that's the fun of having kids, right?

Some Ethanisms for your reading pleasure:

Ethan needed the potty while we were at the beach last month. Since there weren't any bathrooms nearby, we suggested going deeper in the water and tinkling there. He looked shocked. We asked if he wanted to be like fishies, and he said, "No. They have different personalities."

After saying something that made us laugh, Ethan said, "I always come up with a plan to spice things up."

The kids like to play "Punch Prius" in the same way my sisters and I would play "Punch Buggie." The idea was to tap someone when you saw a VW Bug...only they do it with Priuses. On a car trip, Ethan yelled, "Punch Prius" in the car. His siblings looked around and couldn't see one so they challenged him. Not wanting to back down and be wrong, Ethan said, "I sensed a Prius."

What funny things have your kids said?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rainbow Connection

**Soapbox WARNING: I rarely feel the need to tackle a difficult subject on this blog. I like to steer clear of controversial things...but sometimes my knickers get in a twist, and I realize there are some things that NEED to be tackled. For that, I offer no apologies. Mine is a blog of random musings. This is a musing meant to make you think...if even a little.**

It's interesting that the LGBT "community" wants to shove their agenda down our throats.


They seem to need to be validated and accepted. They demand to be validated and accepted.

I say go ahead and get married, adopt children, do your thing. I won't agree with you or accept your lifestyle. But I won't stop liking you as fellow humans.

You see, you can change everything into rainbows for your cause. You can color food and lights at the White House and Empire State Building. You can show "gay" couples in TV shows. But you can't make someone agree with your choices.

If Christians believe what the Bible says about homosexuality being a sin then we cannot accept your lifestyle choice any more than we can accept a liar or a cheater or a drunkard or any other sinner. We can't accept it in ourselves or anyone else. Sin is sin.

We can, however, accept you as equally sinful people loved so intensely by God that He sent His Son to die for you. It won't change how I will treat you. I'll still love you as a person. Serving me a rainbow burger or rainbow Doritos will not change that I love you but not your lifestyle. Making emojis that support your cause will not change that.

It's called respect. I respect you, and I expect that same respect back.

I don't think there is a color for heterosexual couples or marriage. Even if there was, I wouldn't be shoving down anyone's throats, coloring foods or buildings or flags. There are single people out there who may wish they had someone they could love and call husband/wife. I respect them, too.

And is it necessary to broadcast any kind of marriage? Celebrate milestones. Celebrate beginning love together. But stop showing off and trying to make people agree with you.

It doesn't work.

And, BTDubs, the rainbow was a sign from God to His people that He would keep His promises.

Do you know what color eternal damnation is? Because that's the color you'll see for all of eternity if you continue to live in sin. God promises that.

ALL of us fall short of God's glory and sin...and ALL of us need to turn away from our sins and accept Him.

Romans 3:21-26 (ESV)
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

And Romans 6:23 (ESV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

One of my favorite videos and songs -- both of which capture my love for this season!!
(Special thanks and credit to Myles Salak on YouTube)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday Tip

Here's your (non)helpful Tip o' the Day from Ethan at age 4 or 5:

Monday, September 21, 2015

We Are Family

Saturday, we spent the day with Emily at Albright College for Family Day, ie. Feast, I mean, spending two hours in the cafeteria...uh, no...spending time with our student.
It was fun having a more in-depth tour and seeing into Emily's classrooms and where she's been hanging out while at college. I loved seeing all the families who came in to shower love on their students. One family even brought homemade food for their son. He looked thrilled to devour it all.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Mother's Pain

My heart hurts. It hurts with a pain that only a mother can feel when her heart breaks for her children.

I write this in the moment to release the feelings that have been building -- literally -- for years. I know in this moment of pain that a moment of joy is nearby -- God is good ALL the time -- and so I write this now, while I am feeling what I am feeling.

It's odd, knowing what your own mother may have felt for you at some point in her mothering journey. Being able to identify is what links us as humans, as family.

I have yet to understand what makes some people "friend magnets," while others are stuck watching from outside, noses pressed against the window panes.


That moment that your daughter looks at you and says, "If I were beautiful, people would want to be friends with me."

There is no answer to this. I think she is already beautiful. Her father thinks she is already beautiful. Her brothers think she is already beautiful, as do her grandparents and aunts and uncles and many, many adult friends.

And, lest you think this is a self-pity plea of support, it is is exactly what is happening in the life of a young girl, spreading her wings and trying desperately to fly among her peers, hoping to find a -- even just one -- friend to glide above the treetops with.

How do you answer this? What do you say?

God made you absolutely perfectly, sweet girl. You are absolutely loved and cherished.

But not necessarily by anyone your own age. And I don't understand why either.

This isn't a story of friendships lost in silly tiffs. This isn't a girl who hasn't been kind (though she isn't perfect and probably has had her moments of unkindness, conscious and unconscious).

This is a case of a girl, desperate for friendship, who finds that no one really wants to be with her. Or, when they do, it's only if nothing better is happening.

Many would claim it's because we chose to school her at home. I'd agree, if I hadn't experienced the same issues when I attended public school in a brick-and-mortar school. Or if we hadn't paid lots of money having her participate in a homeschool group in order for her to have "socialization."

But, as it turns out, this homeschool group did nothing but begin this process of "learning" about life and the erosion of her self-esteem.

Girls who excluded and verbally bullied her, asking her if she was special ed or autistic. Scoffing at her when she sat with them at "their" table. She moved to the boys' table...and eventually experienced the same thing when they suddenly reached the age of wanting to "be cool." She tried the girls' table again...and finally chose to sit alone. Where was the teacher in all of this? Oblivious. Or, worse, criticizing her artwork and telling her she couldn't draw, so why bother. In third grade. When she was 8 years old. She'd tell me what was happening, and I'd try to encourage her. I'd tell her she needed to try to "toughen up" (isn't that what the old experts say?). Don't wear her heart on her sleeve. Any number of clich├ęd platitudes. I'd speak to the teachers, who would still be oblivious and say she was fine, doing well. Did they see her pain? Did they see her loneliness? All the while, my heart broke for her. Finally, we stopped going.

Then came Sunday School and youth group. Church should be the place of refuge. A place where she should have found some comfort and love from fellow students. (Of course, it is full of sinners. We're all sinful.) She fled from Sunday School one time when she went to sit down at a table of girls, and they all moved around so there was no room. No one -- not even her teachers -- wondered where she went. Then another time she went to sit on the big beanbags only to have the others race ahead and make sure every one of the them was filled. No room for you, sweet girl. We talked to the youth pastor, asked him what we could do. He said to toughen up. Kids'll be kids. We talked to her teachers, but they were oblivious. We eventually moved churches after we began to experience the same treatment as adults.

It turns out that youth group is only for the popular. If you're not popular, you mean nothing so don't bother coming. And, B-T-Dubs, we won't miss you. (Popularity has no place in the church. Ever.) Not even serious health issues made anyone rally around her. She was talked over. Kids walked away when she was mid-sentence. Someone even said to her, "They only do that because you're not very interesting." We talked to the youth pastor, asked him what we could do, how we could change this -- expressed how sad she felt at youth group. He told us that sometimes you have a group of friends you're comfortable with. You don't really want any new friends. So look for others who don't have that yet. Or translated: Toughen up. Youth group, in his mind, is for the unsaved. The group is constantly changing, so he wants to draw the ones in who don't know Jesus. You others? Do you want love and support and prayers? Too bad.

Dance class.

Glasses made everything change for her. She could see again....but she could see the backs of the girls who wanted nothing to do with her. We got her contacts. Nothing changed. Even the teachers didn't like her. I sat outside a classroom one time. All I heard was the teacher yelling her name. Over and over. She tried out for company three times. She never got accepted. They didn't want her. Toughen up, everyone said. You have to toughen up if you want to make it in life.

She started an online group for cyber schoolers, trying to give them friendships in the forum they all felt most comfortable: online. She seemed to make some nice friends. Then one guy joined and decided he wanted to control the group. Like putting poison in a well, he killed the group. The things he and another girl wrote to her -- witnessed by Stuart and me -- were wrong. These kids were lauded by others in the group, even the ones who initially felt on her "side." They were blocked from the group, but the damage was done. The group unraveled and friendships changed. Sometimes it's hard to know exactly what is meant in typed words since there is plenty of reading between the lines...but there was not doubt with this.

At school, she started an online newspaper in March. She organized it all and ran it all. By the time she resigned as editor-in-chief, she had 115 members and 8 advisors. She left in November after a 45-minute phone call from a school board member, chastising her for forgetting her story (well past the point of publishing even before the newspaper started) in the previous issues. This board member saw it as racist and exclusive. It was apparently unacceptable. It was impossible to understand why this woman's knickers were in such a twist, but she managed to get the other school staff members on her side, changing the intension of the newspaper as a means for students to write and get their news out into a pet project for her. Ridiculous.


It's hard when you march the beat of a different drum. It's hard to feel like the "ugly duckling," being different from the rest. You desperately want to find someone, anyone who is like you. Like Anne of Green Gables, you just wants a bosom buddy, someone who will be there.

Don't tell me your child has been there if your child has had at least one good friend in her life. Our daughter has not. While visiting her, her friends have texted with other friends or boyfriends, talked over her, invited other friends to join the visit, phoned other friends, or changed their plans because something better has come up.

Stuart won tickets to a local baseball game this summer. We thought it might be fun for her to ask some of her friends to go. She asked them about a month ahead of time. Not ONE responded. A week before the game she asked if they could go...they each casually told her it wouldn't work. She was crestfallen. If she'd known earlier, she could have asked others. In the end, the tickets went unused.

As a mom, I wish that I could fix this for her. I wish that I could understand. I tell her how proud we are of much we think she's beautiful. But, while I know that she accepts this and loves us back, it isn't the same as someone her own age showing her the same feelings through friendship.

So my heart hurts.

But only for a little while.

Psalm 46[a]
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth.[b] A song.
God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Monday, September 14, 2015


How did we get here? I'm not sure, but today is the day...

...and Ethan Samuel is officially...

Happiest of Birthdays to our fun and precious "caboose,"
the "baby toe" on our Foote, our Ethster Bunny.
We love you so very very much!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Traditions of Love Lit-Tea-really!

Tradition! Tradition! Tradition! [Click here for a video of this famous song of the same name from "Fiddler on the Roof."]

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love traditions. It's no surprise that I suggested and am working on a story for the Mature Living section of the local newspaper about how important traditions are and how to make them.

But as much as I love them, I know firsthand how incredibly hard they can be to keep going, especially with family dynamics constantly changing and growing.

Therefore, today's "Throwback Thursday" is brought to you by a wonderful tradition we've managed to keep, and Albright College, Ernest Hemingway, Starbucks, and Little Debbie's pumpkin cookies.

It's a little bit of an upgrade since kindergarten...with stories by the Brothers Grimm, milk tea, and pumpkin cookies.

But time shared together -- with books and "tea" -- always makes memories and traditions that are just as sweet!

Monday, September 07, 2015

A Labor of Love

Looking back, I can see that it's been awhile...a LOOOONG while.

So long, in fact, that the last thing I posted was about Edward's 14th birthday in....February.


SO much has happened. Good, bad, easy, fun, hard. My brain has nearly popped with it all.

I'm good at giving out advice about savoring the moments, slowing down, yadda, yadda.... But it's hard to take your own advice, huh?

So here's a quick recap. I'll post more with photos after this. I think I just need to unload my brain.

Since February...

Edward had his first Keystone Exam. Emily was accepted to Albright College and won a Shirk Scholarship. We coached Ethan's Spring U8 soccer team. Both older kids went with friends to the prom. Emily graduated from high school. Edward finished 9th grade. Emily got her first good job (after a failed first bad job complete with an office full of e-cigarettes). We renewed her permit, and Emily started learning to drive in earnest. We switched Edward to 21st Century Cyber School. He started 10th grade. Emily developed a type of seizure similar to epilepsy. (We're still investigating.) Edward started school and his second year of high school soccer. We moved Emily! (Eeek!) Ethan finished 2nd grade. And Stuart was accepted into the continuing education program at Albright College to finish his bachelor's of science degree.

Now, everyone is completely and utterly....overwhelmed!

It's amazing. We did manage to squeeze in a trip to Knoebel's with my parents, an overnight trip to Chincoteague/Assateague Islands, and our annual day of Camp Woohoohaha! But it was a tight squeeze. (And despite the millions of bites we all sustained while visiting the islands, all three kids were trying to figure out how to move down there. *wink-grin*)

So there you have it. A recap of months and months of events in one or two paragraphs.

And there it brain unloaded...I think.

Until I remember that a week from today our youngest turns 7!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Birthday Boy!

Every birthday brings with it a chance to reflect. ...on the speed of time, the size of our children, and how important it is to love these kids -- each and every day -- with our entire beings.

This is our little Valentine boy...

This is him today.




And, best of all, he is 14 on the 14th, his star birthday. And he is definitely our star today!!

Happiest Birthday, Budboy! We love you more and more everyday!!

Monday, February 02, 2015

The Shadow Knows

Happy Groundhog Day!

Well, I'm not sure it is happy...if you consider the fact that our ol' friend Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow...again. Six more weeks of Winter. Boo! Not that it actually means anything. Phil isn't an actual meteorologist of any kind. He's a groundhog.

And last year? When he didn't see his shadow? And we were supposed to get an early Spring? Yeah. Totally botched that one up, huh, Phil?  *wink-grin*

Still, he is rather cute, isn't he?

We had a bit of mammal day confusion in our house today. Being somewhat colder than usual and with snow in the forecast, I overheard Ethan (6) say, "If only that beaver didn't see his shadow..."

Love the funny things that pop out of kids' mouths.

Here were several adorable cupcake ideas. There are SO many of them out there. If I were less busy more inspired, we would have made some of these:

Do you have any Groundhog Day traditions?

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Sweet Sunday

This is by far my favorite contemporary song from recent years. (It's so hard to choose, though, since there are so many good ones!) But the words of this song fill me with such hope. I know that God is always in matter how much the enemy attacks. And it thrills me to think that "the demons run and flee at the mention of the name: King of Majesty. There's no power in Hell or any who can stand before the power and the presence of the Great I Am!"

Enjoy this video! And enjoy a sweet Sunday!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday Sweethearts

My three sweethearts!

A blast from the past. This was from 2011 or 2012. It's amazing how much they've changed over the years. You think they do the most changing when they're babies, and they probably do. But during the years that follow there's a lot of change happening.

Here are a few more:

And most recently:

December 2014

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Agree to Disagree

Editor's note: I've been going through the blog post drafts I have on here, and this is from 2009. Sadly, not much has changed as far as some of our freedoms of speech go. Maybe it's time to change that...

* * *

Some may be offended by this post...if you think you're one of them, don't read this. You have been warned. *wink-grin*

* * *

Shhh. Do you hear it? That's the sound of my soapbox being dragged out....

I have a peeve to pet, an annoyance to air. It's been awhile since I have felt this angry about something...a long time since I have felt so hurt. So bear with my while I vent.

What is happening to real freedom? Freedom of speech (as long as you don't say the "wrong" thing), freedom of thought (as long as your thoughts agree with what's "acceptable" be determined by certain people only), freedom of expression (as long as it's exactly the same as everyone else).


Are we becoming sheep? Lemmings? Emperor penguins even? Being all the same and told what to feel and think and do?

I've thought long and hard about the words "conservative" and "liberal," and it's ironic that the people who claim to be them are actually the opposite of the true meanings.

liberal: broad-minded; especially: not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms

conservative: tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions: traditional

The liberals are outraged when anyone conservative disagrees with them -- and has the *gasp* gall to do it publicly. How dare they! By not agreeing you are basically telling them they're wrong...even though you may never have uttered those words...or even thought that thought. You just have a difference in opinion...which used to be (I thought) accepted and guaranteed by our Constitution? Where's the "broad-mindedness" in that?

But wait. Isn't that what they claim the conservatives do? Funny how that's what the word conservative means. Thinking in a narrow-minded way...being "intolerant" of other views.

I hate Lily Allen.

Oops. Was that my out-loud voice?

Okay, I said it out loud.

Once upon a time I liked her. A lot. I thought she was cute and fun and different. Now, I think she's an obnoxious "brat" who will one day pay for all she's sowing at this moment. She's using her "fame" to promote some pretty awful things. And why? So that she can be heard? So that she can sway a bunch of people to feel like she does? Have her moment of fame?

But I want to ask her some things.

First: Where do you live?

What gives you the right to have ANY opinion on my country or my country's leaders? Last I'd heard, you live in Great Britain...not the U.S.

Next: What exactly did President Bush do to you personally?

I'm sure you couldn't say. It's just the popular thing to diss a President who actually stood up against the evil that was done to his country...not your country. You didn't then -- still don't -- live here. And would you actually sing that horribly vulgar song to President Bush? (Yes, he is still called President and always will be. Sadly, you won't always be a singer.)

So your country joined in. Be mad at your own country's leaders NOT mine. Those leaders aren't puppets. They have their own wills to do what they deem as best. (Do you even have a full education to understand such thoughts? Doubtful. But I digress...and bow to your level by attacking you personally...)

And then: Was it YOUR country that was attacked on 9/11? Did you have any personal loss from that particular incident?

I did.

It was MY country that was attacked. It was MY countrymen that died, MY parents who lost friends in the Pentagon attack. It was MY children who lost the chance to go inside those buildings and enjoy an American landmark.

Finally: How would you feel if people started putting down your country and your country's leaders and you personally?

Oh, wait. You have no pride of country. You have no real country....not acting like that. You're a lost soul with nothing to hang onto...and that makes me sad.

When we promote hatred, we go a long way in pushing back the efforts of "peace on earth" since such "peace" starts with with a tolerance (from EVERYone) towards each other and each other's thoughts. That's TOLERANCE...not agreement. We can "agree to disagree" and still love one another...still be friends.

Until then, you keep singing such filthy songs, Miss Allen. You keep putting down people with honor who actually stand for something you'll never understand. You'll be the loser...since there's no real peace in your heart, the place that true peace on earth begins.

And remember for every finger you point (whichever one you choose) there are still four more pointing backwards. Look inside and see if this is the "agenda" you really want to push.

Okay. Okay. Soapbox away.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Mom Law

There are some things in life that defy explanation. One such thing is something I've deemed the "Mom Law of the Universe," and that's the compulsion of moms everywhere to say things that apparently don't need to be said. That are so blatantly obvious or unnecessary that they provoke the stereotypical teenager "eyeroll and sigh."

Com'on, Moms. You know what I'm talking about. Uh-huh. Yup. Been there, done that, right?

Yet somehow, despite the fact that we know our kids would never do whatever we're about to ask them not to do, we have to say it. At this point, it's not even a matter that self-control could stop.

We. Have. To. Say. It.

For instance, when they leave for a visit with friends, we always say "Behave." or "Be good." Really, if we didn't say it, would they act like monsters?

Maybe it stems from the fact that we have to constantly remind them of such things when they're toddlers. No one comes into the world knowing the rules of the road, so to speak. Most kids, as toddlers, will touch things unless they are reminded not to touch ahead of time. More often than not, kids will not remember to use their inside voice in a theatre the first time they go to see the symphony. Nor will they sit in a seat and eat a meal if they are not told that that's what we do. It's just not part of their makeup.

Just because they see other people doing it doesn't mean they'll know that that's what they're supposed to do, too. There's too much distracting them.

So at what point do we stop reminding them? Surely, they've learned a bit since toddlerhood. And even more surely we should have learned what they've learned since toddlerhood.

Since I haven't quite gotten to that part of motherhood, I honestly can't say. Though I can say with some certainty that the urge happens a little less often...either that, or it's getting easier for the kids to "smile and wave" instead of roll eyes and sigh.

But whatever the reason, we remind them, for goodness sake, be good!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sweet Sunday

From our worship time at church:

                                            "You're Beautiful"

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You're beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It's all proclaiming who You are
You're beautiful

I see You there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now You are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You're beautiful

When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're beautiful

I see Your face, I see Your face
I see Your face, You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You're beautiful

~Phil Wickham

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Sweethearts

Is it possible that these two are as big as they are? 

We feel so blessed by their close friendship, despite the 7.5 year age gap. It's going to be really hard on Ethan when Edward goes off to college one day. 

Until then, we'll enjoy these moments...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Funnies

This was us yesterday.... 

But we're officially finished with the Fall semester! Yay!! Phew! Wow! Boo-hoo!! Lots of emotions today.

It's the end of the first semester of Edward's high school years...and the end of the last Fall semester for Emily's high school years. 

Lots of emotions today......

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Some Thoughts...

Editor's note: This was written back in October 2014.

What if Michael Brown had been a white kid on drugs going after a black cop? Where would the sympathies lie? Would this even be in the news? Probably not, and it's my guess that that has happened countless times.

Racism goes both ways, and it takes both sides to see it to erase it. Even "good kids" can make bad choices.

And so what if he was a week away from going to college? What if the cop had been a week away from being married? Or having his first child? What if he had been killed by this "good kid a week away from going to college"? Would that be any less tragic -- or would it be deserved?

This was a matter for the local news in Ferguson...NOT the national news. And rioting over it? That's tragic.

No matter what "color" your pigmentation, you have to follow the law. They're there for the safety of EVERYONE.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Silly Ol' Pooh Bear

Last year, Ethan and I read A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh for school. We fell in love with all the characters and Milne's fantastic sense of humor.

More than that, we loved the imagination and charm that filled the book. We loved it so much that we had to immediately find the sequel The House at Pooh Corner and devour it as soon as it arrived.

I love sharing good books with our kids. I love reading the words, letting the rhythm and song fall on our ears. I especially love when the older kids listen surreptitiously from another room. This time they just came and joined us. Everyone was very excited every time I announced it was time to read again.

Ethan turned six last September. Can you guess the favorite book he got for his birthday?

Now We Are Six. 

And it's a definite favorite, judging by the number of times we've read and reread it.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sweet Sunday

I found my old iPod Touch the other day. It was such a gift. From the photos it held to all the music and books, I'd forgotten how much I loved it before I got my iPhone.

Here's a gem from my "Worship Songs" playlist:

I love knowing that God is FOR and WITH us!! How about you?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Sweetheart

Today, our daughter had an interview for a fairly sizable scholarship for a university she's interested in going to. (I say "fairly sizable," but it was in fact for more money than our house cost when we bought it.) She was incredibly nervous beforehand...and VERY relieved when it was all said and done. She won't hear if she got it until mid-February.

But the amount of the scholarship dims in comparison to the amount of excitement and pride we felt for this girl today. It was amazing to watch her walk away with the scholarship interview staff, looking all collegiate, and think about how fast it's all going...and how she's looking at which colleges she might like to attend next Fall....and how is that even possible? Wasn't I just in college? Wasn't she just born?

"How can we be at this point?" I asked my hubby.

However, we are at this point. And it's all exciting and sweet and daunting and joyous and amazing and scary rolled into one.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Funnies

Here's a little something to bring a smile to your face and a giggle to your heart.

Isn't this the cutest?

I grew up with bulldogs -- and we have two mixed-breed dogs that have bulldog ancestry (of some sort) -- so I love love love this breed!! So much fun-ness -- and funniness -- about them!

I hope you enjoy a fun Friday! And don't forget to SMILE!

(photo courtesy of Cup of Jo's blog)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

To Like or Not to Like

In a world that's saturated by social media, friendship is cheap.

On Facebook and Twitter, we "collect" friends and followers, even though we may never really speak to or connect with said friends and followers. We just "like" or repost photos and stories and statuses. Or retweet things we think are interesting. Sometimes we post photos in the hopes that they will draw a lot of attention and get lots of "likes" and/or comments. Then we'll feel liked, right?

But is there any real connection?

It's really just a popularity contest. We can choose the "friend of the day" like a person chooses a flavor of ice cream. We also can judge people by what they post. Sometimes, posts even cause feelings of inadequacy and jealousy, most of us forgetting that we can choose to do some of the same things we see or read about -- watch the same movies, read the same books, visit the same restaurants and cafes, save to travel to the same places, be the same patient/loving mother we think our friends are.

It just takes more effort (and money) for some.

Do you remember as a child being in a group of friends and seeing the "odd" girl hanging out on the fringe? Sometimes she was reading a book. Sometimes she was playing by herself. Sometimes she was standing, longing to be included. Do you remember feeling sad for her but hoping that someone else would invite her to join in? Do you remember when you became that "odd" girl and suddenly you understood just how lonely it felt to be on the outside edge of the circle? It made you promise yourself that if you ever made it back into the circle that you would always include any girls on the fringe.

What causes people to pick and choose who they like and don't like? Why do we separate into groups, causing others to feel on the outer edge? It takes effort to include everyone. It takes thought.


Sure, we're only human. We can't do everything perfectly, and sometimes we're going to forget to show the kindnesses that we've been shown. But when we do think of others -- include others -- we're doing something different...and we're showing God's love. Two good things.

We can't really choose to like or not like someone. Well, we can...but should we? In a world filled with loneliness and hopelessness, let's try harder to be a friend to everyone.

It'll be worth the effort.