Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Decorating With Kids' Artwork

Jacob came home with this awesome, colorful painting of a hot air balloon and I decided to frame it and hang it in the bathroom.

This is the picture (below) that used to hang there, done by Sarah a couple years ago. I moved it to the top shelf of the little shelving unit I have in there. Now I just need to get Libby to make something!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This Dark World

I read this book a month or so ago and it bothered me. I would have blogged about it sooner, but I couldn't remember the title... so I had to make a special stop at the library just to find it again. :-) It's still bothering me, that's what's weird. Sometimes books will stay with me a day or so... but not a month or more.

I picked it up randomly in the non-fiction (religion) department of the library. The subtitle is "A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost". It reads like a novel and was basically a good story (maybe a little long, but I had no difficulty staying interested). I liked the "Found" part of the story... which was most of the story..... And then I didn't really get the "Lost" part... why she suddenly decided she needed to leave God behind. It baffled me. I think she was trying to paint a picture of christianity, the church, etc. as being "weird", but all it seemed to me was "sweet". And her dissatisfaction with her husband (who is a good man) seems to build until she thinks she needs to leave both he and God. Why? I didn't get it. But mostly I just felt sad. And I put Carolyn S. Briggs on my prayer list. :-)

I had a hard time putting into words what I thought about this book- until I found a review of the book on Amazon and so I stole someone else's words.... this is what I felt about the book....

"The vast majority of the book details the author's life as a Christian, but it is written almost with the mindset she had at the time. That is to say, her thoughts and experiences at the time are vividly described, but moments of introspection are rare - seldom is there a thought looking critically at her inner life with the benefit of subsequent experience. There is no attempt at analysis of the Christian experience from the perspective of an experienced unbeliever. In fact, the "deconversion" is somewhat lukewarm (and sudden, in terms of the amount of space devoted to it), and is motivated mostly by a desire for a more fulfilling relationship rather than a critical examination of the narrow cosmology she espoused as a born-again."

Yeah. If I ever used words like "cosmology", I would have said the same thing! I just didn't get how someone so in love with God one moment could decide they didn't even believe in him the next. That is pretty scary. And it all seemed to be primarily because she didn't want to be married anymore. If anyone ever reads this book, or already has... let me know what you think. :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Libby

Libby is TWELVE today! Unbelievable. I love you, Lib!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dad and Melis.... I found you guys new Facebook profile pictures:


Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Storm 2010

Gotta love an inch of snow and freezing cold temperatures in Alabama! "Winter Storm 2010" they are calling it. :-) What it means for the kids is no school and what it means for me is no work. And what it means for you is lots of blogging from me today. I'm going to cover alot of ground while I have the time.....

First, we had lots of fun over the holidays traveling to Ohio and Michigan. The car ride can be a little hard... but I love these sweet moments when the kids aren't clawing and yelling at each other.

No trip through Cincinnati is complete without stopping for lunch at Skyline Chili. We always arrive there around lunch time and always seem to eat at this same location. We've started to call it "Our Skyline Chili". :-)

The kids got to go sledding with cousins in Ohio and had a great time! I even went down the hill once! No pictures of that, sorry. :-)

Sarah was so excited at Aunt Melissa's in Michigan that she was doing flips all over the living room. And here's a picture of the whole group... including a cousin from New Orleans who I rarely get to see and his little daughter, who provided us with lots of entertainment wrestling with Jacob.

Even more important to me than Skyline Chili is getting a real "Flint Style" Coney whenever I am in Michigan....
It turns out that Sarah likes Coneys, too, so we both enjoyed one. Libby ordered Lucky Charms. I have the picture right here to prove it.

See the guy at the table behind us with the ball cap? When I got up to leave, he said to me, "Coneys are good, aren't they?" Um.... yeah.... (Does that seem like a strange thing to say to a complete stranger?)

And speaking of "Flint Style"... I actually sat and watched the National Championship game last night between the Alabama and Texas. Very exciting. Did you know that Alabama's Mark Ingram is from Flint originally just like me? Well, it goes without saying that he is a good person. I bet he likes Coneys, too. Actually, it may be from growing up eating Coneys that he is the athlete he is today. He's probably carrying this ball into the endzone thinking, "I wish I had a Flint Coney right about now".

But, it is good also to mention Colt McCoy from Texas because he is a "Church of Christer" like me and even though he didn't get to play most of the game because of a shoulder injury... he gave God the glory in his post-game interview and said despite his disappointment, he was always "standing on the Rock". We also learned in church a couple weeks ago that he was responsible for teaching Jesus to and baptizing 5 of his teammates this year! He's probably never had a Flint Coney, but he's still a "class act" (as I heard someone on Facebook call him).

Well, after all that holiday eating, I am resolved to getting back on the path to a healthy life again. My good friend and I are planning to be many pounds lighter by the end of April. We've got a goal. We've got a plan. We've got each other. And we've got God. So there is just no way we can fail. I've started working out with Bob from the Biggest Loser and loving it. He is just so cute! :-)

Finally, I am trying to get a bunch of books finished up that I am currently in the middle of. I do not like being in the middle of so many books at once. I am currently reading "Fearless" by Max Lucado, two books on marriage and "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment". Also, the Bible, but that is on-going. They are all so rich in things that I need desperately to absorb... but I really am going to focus on them one at a time and get them absorbed once and for all. You may notice that I am not good about keeping up with my Shelfari account. The truth is, I just like the way that bookshelf looks on my blog. :-) Ha. One last little book to talk about, though is this one:

"Hanging Out the Wash and Other Ways to Find More in Less". It was either my MIL or SIL that gave me this for Christmas and it is so inspiring. It is collection of responses that this columnist asked her readers about how they step back from the "hurry", slow down and enjoy life. Taking pleasure in simple things like hanging out your wash or even cuddling the towels fresh from the dryer, smelling clean. It is not a christian book at all, but I am finding alot of inspiration in it to stop rushing through the seemingly meaningless "chores" of life and to start looking for God in everything. When I went to my car a couple days ago, it was covered in those icy snow flakes. And I stopped and just examined them there against the black paint of my car. Absolutely beautiful! Breathtaking, really. We can miss these things if we are always in a hurry to get somewhere. I like this quote from the book and will leave you with it:
"It matters immensely. The slightest sound matters. The most momentary rhythm matters. You can do as you please, yet everything matters". -Wallace Stevens (no idea who that is!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Encouragement for an Ordinary Day

"Doing work which has to be done over and over again helps us recognize the natural cycles of growth and decay, birth and death, and thus become aware of the dynamic order of the universe. 'Ordinary' work, as the root meaning of the word indicates, is work that is in harmony with the order we perceive in the natural environment"

-Fritjof Capra

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I will have a few pictures up soon of our trip to Ohio & Michigan. But for now I wanted to start you on my new tradition for this year. A picture of my adorable calendar which I will post near the first of each month. It always includes an encouraging verse. This one is from Proverbs 15:13 (NLT). It is hard to make it out.

Happy New Year!