Monday, August 25, 2008

San Antonio Living Proof Live Recap Video

Click here to see highlights of the San Antonio conference.

San Antonio Girls Weekend

S. and I are just back from our fabulous girls weekend in San Antonio. We ate and shopped and slept and worshipped and met up with some dear bloggy friends at the Living Proof Live conference at the Alamodome. The pictures give just a peek at the many memories we'll have.

Black and white soup at Boudro's on the Riverwalk. Great presentation...we have to track down a recipe for this half black bean-half cheddar soup.

Just outside of Boudro's. Ready for a healthy walk down to the Market Square.

Yes, more food pics. The bakery at Mi Tierra is exceptional. Had to get something to go!

We found a funky bird sculpture at the Alameda Art Museum and a great motto on some of the merchandise at the gift shop there: "Make Tacos, Not War!"

Off to the Dome for some excellent music and teaching on Psalm 16: "Lord you have assigned me my portion and cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a beautiful inheritance."

Q&A time with Beth Moore and her daughters, Amanda and Melissa. followed by a PJ Party with bloggy friends back at the hotel.Would you believe that in the midst of all of that, we almost forgot to remember the Alamo?!

Now THAT'S a love song!!! (click here!)

"Beloved" by Tenth Avenue North!
The kids and I went to their CD release event at the beginning of the summer (I was among the oldest there) and it has been a standard in our minivan since. Very Song of Solomon/Hosea.

Monday, August 18, 2008


This week a sweet old friend of mine will be driving one of her precious girls to college for the first time, depositing her in a whole new life and beginning a new era for their family. Knowing that child for years now, I am confident that the school will be blessed just by her presence, not to mention her brilliant mind and tender heart. That said, I don't like to think about the drive home for my friend, or the adjustment of the coming days.

We moms are charged with the task of putting ourselves out of a job from the moment of conception. Thinking of this joy coupled with heartache prompted me to look up an old poem that I had tucked away for that inevitable time when we will begin to empty our own nest. Scribbled next to it is the name "Martha Snell Nicholson". Whether the writing truly originated with her or not, I have no way of knowing. Sorry Martha. The beauty pictured to the left is my S., our first fledgling.

As Any Mother To The Savior:

As Thou didst walk the lanes of Galilee,

So, loving Savior, walk with her for me,

For since the years have passed and she is grown,

I cannot follow, she must walk alone.

Be Thou my feet that I have had to stay,

For Thou canst comrade her on every way;

Be Thou my voice when sinful things allure,

Pleading with her to choose those which endure.

Be Thou my hands that would keep hers in mine,

And all things else that mothers must resign.

When she was little, I could walk and guide,

But now I pray that Thou be at her side.

As Thy blessed mother folded Thee,

So, loving Savior, fold my girl for me.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Target Photo Studio Savings Tip

I happened upon a delightfully good deal at our local Target Photo Studio that you might want to watch for at yours: This week the studio went digital and was closed for a day and re-opened for 2 days of training staff on the new equipment. They needed guinea pigs to practice on, and for our patience they gave 4 free protrait sheets, (about a $60 value I believe) plus half off of additional portrait packages.
We were way overdue for portraits of all 5 kids and needed some poses for family members and friends. I also splurged on a wall portrait for our living room. We got oodles of gorgeous pictures at a cost that was a fraction of their value. SO. You might want to contact your local Target and see if this is a chain-wide trend which will bring these training days deals to your neck of the woods. Say cheese!

...And Again...

Mommy often sits in this chair to stitch, so why not make it a giant pincushion for her? So goes the logic of MessyBoy. Look closely to see the yellow heads of dozens of straight pins all over the seat . Ouch!

MessyMan Strikes AGAIN!!

Our M. has a knack for making messes. They usually stem from a well-meaning or creative idea, so that he fails to see the fault in what he has done. Perhaps in future posts I will feature some of his other antics. Who am I kidding? He could have his own blog, The Adventures of MessyBoy!

On this particular day he was supposedly playing with a sibling, but managed to transport the goldfish to the bathtub and fill it with an inch or two of water before being discovered. His defense? "I just wanted to play with him, he's so cute!".

Dreams Do Come True!!- Part 2

Another smile, another very happy boy...N. had a fun season of baseball with coaches who were every little league parent's dream; patient, encouraging, and living vicariously through the kids. While the games were competitive, we did not anticipate that the guys would endure the playoffs all of the way to the end. Going to the final game seemed like just a formality, with everyone honestly expecting a loss.
Amazingly, the opposing pitcher gave up a series of walks, followed by another of their players' failing to touch the plate when trying to get one of our guys out at home. With little warning at all, victory came within reach! Even after the winning play, the coaches kept repeating to the kids, "You did it guys! Do you get it? You just won the championships!!". The kids seemed very awkward with their unexpected titles of champion, but somewhere between the field and the ice cream stand afterward they gained their confidence, singing "We Are The Champions" very badly.
Makes an exhausted sports mom like me want to sign up for next year right now! Way to go N.!!

Dreams Do Come True!!-Part 1

This is the smile of one very happy boy. The Salem County Fair is a summer tradition of ours, and having your name randomly drawn to participate in the annual Pig Scramble is the hope and dream of many a child at the fair. The Pig Scramble, in case you don't know, is an event in which about twenty 7 and 8 year olds are put into an arena with about twenty piglets. At the caller's shout, every child dashes out in pursuit of a piglet. The piglet must be caught and held by the leg until a fair official relieves the child of the pig and declares him a winner.

In years past, scramblers were required to sack the piglet in a burlap bag and were given the option of keeping the pig itself as their prize. Times have changed and now winners receive a cash prize and a t-shirt. Still a lot of fun!

With his birthday just around the corner, E. knew that if his name was not finally chosen on this, the last night of the fair, his dream of winning the famous Salem County Pig Scramble would go unfulfilled. As a mom, I envisioned the counseling sessions spent in his adulthood trying to sort out those issues. SO. Imagine our delight when his name was posted on the fair office door one hour before the competition. Five of us were there to cheer him on and ice cream at Richman's on the way home was in order. So thankful for sweet summer memories!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Unauthorized Arks?

What a wacky weather day! South Jersey generally has your traditional seasonal weather patterns, but yesterday it felt as if we were living the weather chart that I used to show at "circle time" when I taught pre-school!

Throughout the course of our Sunday we had thunder&ligntning , sheets of rain, hail, rainbows, and even a genuine TORNADO WARNING...virtually unheard of in these parts! When the hail began to fall, we treated it like a science project. Occasionally, we'll have a day around here that I am 100% sure that our kids will remember in years to come, and I think this is one of them. Love that.

We oohed and aahed at the gorgeous dark cloud with the baby blue area in the center which hovered ominously just a short distance away. A little disconcerting to notice that it was spinning counter-clockwise. I thought of my Kansas friend, Carri, who must take such events in stride.

Sadie, the yellow lab, watched nervously from inside the house.
Sunshine and storm clouds alternated all afternoon, and finally we descended into the basement in a not-so-orderly fashion when we could no longer see the road from our den window, just 35 feet away. All 9 of us: 7 humans, 1 chicken-hearted dog, and 1 bearded dragon. I could have predicted that some of us became giddy with the excitement of it all while others fell into anxious silence. Daddy, of course, was steady, as always.
We emerged after about 10 minutes and shortly afterwards a most glorious sunset broke out, and we even spotted a rainbow.

All of this put me in mind of a phrase which I think I coined recently, which is "Unauthorized Arks". Imagine if Noah had foreknowledge of the impending flood and had commenced the building of an ark without his Creator's direction and specifications. The Lord's idea of his spending a century of his life on such a venture was already a radical one. Thinking of doing so by his own ingenuity would have been futile and absurd. What a waste of cypress and pitch.

How often do I take it upon myself to evaluate a perceived problem and even execute a solution without so much as a thought to consulting my Creator? I can easily do seemingly good things for seemingly good reasons , but it's so much better to submit my visionary nature to His leading and direction.

Not to get too personal, but are you building any unauthorized arks? That might be worth pondering, and it could save you a lot of pooper-scooping in the future.

Zechariah 4:6...out of context, but still a good reminder: "'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty."

Proverbs 3:5,6(of course)..."Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight."

Enough preaching. Let the Lord float your boat.