Friday, August 29, 2008

Jewelry making

First, I wanted to say that on this 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina- to please pray about Gustav that is sort-of heading in the same direction. I have relatives living in New Orleans and specifically have recently re-connected with my cousin Kristy after many years of not seeing each other and I know she is very, very worried. Her house was destroyed in Katrina and she is preparing to have to leave again. Please pray specifically for her and my aunt, uncles, and other cousins down there. Pray that Gustav will weaken.

On another note, below is a picture of the bracelet I made today that I am proud of. My friend Sonja and I are making jewelry for a hobby and with big dreams of maybe even selling some stuff if we can get good enough at it. It is really alot of fun and I enjoy spending the time with Sonja. This was really all her idea- her youngest started kindergarten this year and she was looking to fill some time. Also, anyone who knows her knows that she is really into accesorizing. I do not share her gift for knowing what looks good together, but we make a good team because she can create, but she can't see well enough to actually string the beads! :-) I can string the beads! But, this bracelet below is one I designed all by myself. The bigger beads are more of a green-ish than they look in this picture.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More pictures

This is Jacob and his good friend, Alec. They were in the same class at school last year and Alec lives in our neighborhood. He's a sweet kid who seems to leave an article of clothing at my house every time he is here, which is pretty much daily. Sarah has her first piano student.She says he is a very serious student and shows signs of promise as a pianist!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things That Bother Brenda

This morning I turned on the TV and lingered on PBS a minute so Sam could watch part of Curious George. When it was over, a little ad for another PBS show, Between the Lions, came on. I remember encouraging Jacob to watch that show when he was younger because it's a cute show that aims to teach reading.

So, on this ad that I saw this morning, they had two "country singers" (they could be someone famous, I don't know...) singing a little song about learning to read. They showed the lyrics they were singing at the bottom of the screen.

This is what they were singing:
"I got a reason to read, I got a reason to read...."

Yeah, I guess you do...

Shouldn't a song about learning to read actually contain properly constructed sentences? I guess in my little world, it would. And I can't really even see how changing the "I" to "I've" would affect the song at all.

That's all. Just wanted to get that off my chest. :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just Sharing a Verse...

Psalm 119:165 "Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble".

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I won't blog about soccer every week... but I had a few observations for today.

We had overlapping games today, plus piano lessons, and a tire that needed replacing, so the logistics have been fun... I know this is a typical use of time for the American family on a Saturday. (Or any day). But, it's tiring, too. I got to see up through part of the third quarter of Sarah's game and then had to run over to Jacob's game at another park. Sarah scored the game-winning goal AFTER I left. I was happy to hear about it, but I wish I could have been there.
Jacob's game was kind-of funny to watch. This is my first time at a U8 soccer game.... it's amazing to me how far "ahead" they are at Sarah's age in their skills and such. I think kids can start soccer at 4 1/2 years old... I'm sure that would be hilarious to watch!

First, Jacob's team is called the Green Goblins. And, I am proud to say... this team name was my son's idea! So now I have to yell, "Go Goblins!" all season! Today they played the Red Road-Runners. :-)

There is no goalie at this level-- so I've noticed there is either no one in the goal, or else the whole team is in the goal. I've noticed, they just tend to run up and down the field in a big pack and kick the ball whenever they can. Some of them, you can tell, though, are going to be really good players.
All that matters to me, really, is that Jacob scored a goal and our team won!! Oh, the other thing that matters to me is that Jacob was NOT the child who struck a ninja pose during the game and screamed (literally) at the top of his lungs, "STOP YELLING AT ME DURING THE GAME, DAD!!!" Wow.

Anyway..... there was a cool breeze today and it's overcast, so it was very pleasant to be outside this morning.

Here's a picture of Libby with Sam just to give equal treatment:

Friday, August 22, 2008


My mom wanted some pictures... this is what I have come up with... not too exciting... I'll have to take some more soon. :-)
Libby taking her own picture in the car.

Jacob with a spider he built from legos last Christmas.... I need some new pictures of Jacob!

Sarah after she "curled" her hair one day.

The girls at their piano recital in June.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Southern Home Cookin'

I think you'll agree it's official... We have probably lived in the South too long because I am about to share a recipe for Corn Bread with Black-Eyed Peas. Yum-yum. And, what's more... the reason I searched out this recipe is because Tim grew Black-eyed peas in our garden! Anyway, this is a unique recipe that is easy and pretty yummy. Go easy on the black-eyed peas because it tends to be a little dry, anyway. Also, I think sausage might taste good instead of the ground beef. Serve this "bread" with a tossed salad and you have a scrumptious meal your family will thank you for!!

Corn Bread with Black Eyed Peas

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cream-style corn (I dumped in the whole can)
1 cup cooked or canned black-eyed peas, drained
1 medium onion, chopped (I used onion powder)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk *
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. baking soda

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Baked at 350, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until it is golden.

*Did you know you can make buttermilk if you don't have any on hand? Just put 1 Tbsp. vinegar into a measuring cup and fill it up the rest of the way to 1 cup with milk. Let is sit for at least one minute to sour. Voila! Buttermilk.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Go to the Cricket

Last night, I went into my room and closed the door and laid on my bed in the darkness and just enjoyed the "silence" of just being still in a quiet room. Soon I noticed the sound of a cricket outside my window. (Yes, this is about to get really cliche..... Ha). Recently I had read something that someone had written (and I think this was on the Tenth Avenue North website) about looking for God in everything- not just in places where he is obvious to us, such as a beautiful sunset or the ocean waves, but in every place... and in everything, beautiful and not-so-beautiful. So I've been trying to practice that more... and so I started to think about God creating crickets. Ugly, yes, very. And do I want them in my house? No. And I know there are reasons that they chirp the way they do... self-defense, looking for a mate, etc. but I started to think about what the sound of a cricket means to humans... and mostly, it's symbol of night time, of quiet and of peace and rest. And I started to think about the cricket's chirping being like God's voice to me at that moment, offering peace and rest. I know this is getting weird. You probably shouldn't read my blog if you can't handle "weird". Ha.

So, this morning after my family left for school, I was faced with mounds of laundry and dirty dishes and bathrooms needing to be cleaned and groceries needing to be bought... and remembering that I had promised myself the night before that I would go out for a walk this morning and start getting back into an exercise routine, but not feeling much like doing that... and with the thought in the back of my mind that I need to go and spend some time with God... and I just got overwhelmed and went back to bed. As I was laying there, I heard the cricket (same one?) and realized that God could be speaking to me again, asking me to come and spend some time with him and find some peace there. While I was thinking about all of this, my mind got side-tracked onto its many concerns and the voice of the cricket faded for 10 or 15 minutes while the other voices in my head vied for my attention. During a lull in the voices, I suddenly was aware again of the cricket, still chirping loudly and I thought about how it is like that so often with me and God. He calls and calls and sometimes I hear him and other times, his voice fades into the background of my busy life and he is still calling, but I am not even aware of it.

You'd think at this point, having been "called" twice, I would get up and go and get my bible and journal and spend some time with God, but this time I fell asleep.

When I woke up, just a few minutes later, I immediately listened for the chirping..... and it was gone.

Is God telling me he won't "chirp" forever? That there will come a time when, if I ignore him long enough, I won't be able to hear his voice at all?

Lord, give me a willing spirit to search you out every morning, to come when you call, to tell the voices to be still and to see you in everything I see and do during my day... to always listen for your voice and seek your face first.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Grant me a Willing Spirit

A few weeks ago, I memorized Psalm 51.

It is the repentance chapter where David implores God, "Create in me a clean heart".

Two verses later he says, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me".

I keep getting stopped by that second part where David asks God to grant him a "willing spirit". (Looking at the verse in other versions, like the KJV, it reads a little differently, but I decided not to let that deter me from this thought!) After thanking God for the clean heart he created in me through Jesus' blood, I think that what I need most in my life right now is a willing spirit. NLT translates it even more to the point... "make me willing to obey you". Yes, please. :-) It is so hard at times to want to obey God and I'm not even sure why. But what good is a clean heart without a willingly obedient spirit to go with it? I have made that request a daily prayer...

God, please grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Soccer Season

Soccer games started today and Sarah and Jacob are both playing this year. This is Jacob's first year to play and I had to miss his game :-( because of another commitment at church... and even though I told him not to do this when I wasn't there... he scored a goal! Yay Jacob!! His team won 12-2. Tim said it was a "blood bath". Ha.

And so as not to be outdone, Sarah scored her first goal of the season today, too- and the only goal scored by her team! (They lost 5-1). Yay Sarah!! This is funny- her coach told her it was good that she scored, but "next time, do it the right way". ??

And even though she's not playing soccer, just to be fair, and because she did sit through the last quarter of Sarah's game in the scorching sun.... Yay Libby!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thought from Isaiah

"I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. (ESV- "from the womb"). I will be your God throughout your lifetime- until your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you (KJV- "deliver you"). Isaiah 46:3-4

A friend at church pointed this verse out to me recently... she is several years older than me and she said it was her new favorite verse. For a day or so, it was mine, too. :-) Even though my hair isn't yet white (okay, a few strands, maybe) I really love the idea of being God's little "baby" even when I am old. I love the idea of Him carrying me throughout my lifetime.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sunny Sam

Here's who I'm spending my day with! Aren't I lucky?! :-) I don't have much time to post- we are just waking up from our naps. (He likes to nap as much as I do!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tenth Avenue North

First, check out my new "gadget" on the side... a direct link to a thesaurus!!! Just type in your word and you're good to go. This is going to come in so handy for me!! So useful... so available... so convenient... so facile... so nearby....

And, just so everyone knows- Sam's okay. He ended up having to get the penny dislodged from his esophagus! Poor little guy. I'm supposed to see him at some point today... I'll get the full story from him then and let you know how he's doing! :-)

Until then... I wanted to tell you about my new favorite Christian band: Tenth Avenue North. Wow ! They are really good! I first heard their song "Love is Here" on the radio a few weeks ago and the lyrics really resonated with me. I couldn't remember the name of the song or any of the lyrics by the time I got home (that's middle age!)... but I just knew I had to find out more about that song so I just waited patiently to hear it again. One night, right at the right moment when God knew I needed to hear it, it came on the radio. I wrote down the name this time and went and got the CD (by the way, it was on sale for $6.99 and I didn't know this until I got up to the register! I was expecting to pay $12.99! Don't you love it when that happens?!) . The whole CD is just so good! I love every single song- the lyrics are so powerful. My two favorites are "Times" and "Beloved". My third and fourth favorites are "By Your Side" and "Let it Go". I would describe the CD as being all about God's personal, unfathomable and unending love and concern for us. Not to mention his forgiveness. Who can't use more reminders of that? I find myself not wanting to listen to it too much because I'm afraid the songs will become old to me and I want them to stay new and powerful!

(From "Love is Here": And to the bruised and fallen, Captives, bound and brokenhearted... He is the Lord, He is the Lord!")

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tenebrific Tuesday

So my friend Misty has gotten me re-interested in using the thesaurus... and I have come up with a new word. It's actually not exactly how I feel today (maybe a little)... but the skies are overcast (and by the way, the temp is 77! Wow!) and I guess what I really am is just bored.

I was going to take some pictures and blog about my little pal Sam today, but he is at the hospital getting x-rayed so they can check on the location of the penny he swallowed (NOT while under my care, I hasten to add). I may have him later today, but I think I will save the blogging about him until tomorrow. Pray for him- and pray the penny passes while he's at home and NOT at my house. Ha ha. (J/K!)

Other than that, there is not much going on to write about. But, if I think of something, I'll be back!

Monday, August 11, 2008

My New Door Decoration

I can't think of anything exciting to blog about, so I thought I would just post a picture of my new door swag so my mom and sister can see it. I got it at Hobby Lobby a couple weeks ago and I think I really like it. It has taken me a long time to find something for the front door that I like. I have a fall wreath and a Christmas wreath, and an Easter basket thing, but that leaves several months with no wreath. What do you think?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Brenda Sings the Blues

Did you know (I didn't think so) that *I* am going to see B.B. King in September?! This is all Tim's idea. I would have seen an ad in the paper saying B.B. King is coming to the civic center and I would have said to myself, "Oh, that's nice" and never given it another thought. But Tim saw the ad and said, "Hey! Let's go see B.B. King! He's a legend. And he's old. This could be our last chance to see him!!! Go team!!!" I replied, "Huh?" But then he invited some friends of ours whose names rhyme with Small and Smamela and they pressured me into going by saying we'd make a big night of it and go out to dinner, etc. And then... to make it better.... we found out that some other friends of ours already had tickets... their names rhyme with Scott and Sonja. Ha ha. And Sonja is like me, not really wanting to go.... she started telling me about it like, "You'll NEVER guess who *I* am going to see in concert?" I waited. "B.B. King!" My eyes got big and I pointed at myself and nodded my head up and down. Me, too! Me, too! We laughed and laughed! And our seats are two rows behind them and I guess we'll all have dinner together and I am looking forward to that part of it. But it does beg the question... should a girl like me really spend an evening hearing someone singing the blues? I better take a double dose of my meds that night. It might just push me over the edge. Ha.

I'll keep you updated as it draws closer.....

I'm back....

I think I'm going to try this blog thing again. :-) Do you like my new template? I'll be back soon with some words of wisdom.... this is just so I would have at least one post on here.