Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Take 5 - A Little Late

I read these on Becca's Blog all of the time. Today I couldn't think of a good post, so I am doing this one from a few weeks ago.

5 things I collect
1. Scarecrows
2. Moose / Cabin Theme
3. Bird House Theme
4. Frogs (Fully Rely On God reminders)
5. Lighthouses

5 things about my hair
1. Straight
2. Long
3. Bland Brown
4. Ponytail
5. Soft

5 random things about my pets
1. One has feathers
2. Two have fur
3. Fritz - Guinnea Pig - Funny
4. Matilda - Cat - Shy
5. Tiki - Senegal Parrot - Loud

5 things in my junk drawer
1. Stamps
2. Tape
3. Scissors
4. Cards
5. Pens

5 of your favorite summer foods
1. Corn on the Cob
2. Cabbage
3. Anything Grilled
4. Kabobs
5. Fresh Fruit

Have a Great Day!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Anniversary & Reunion

So yesterday was our 16th Anniversary. We had a very nice evening together.

We started out at a really nice restaurant (The Iron Bridge) not too far from home. Hubby had ribs and smothered chicken and I had three cheese chicken and shrimp fettuccine. We also had their homemade chips as an appetizer and they were really good. I tried a mango mojito which was also yummy.

Then we went to see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. It was pretty good. I think his other Indiana Jones movies were better, but it was worth seeing. I also have really gotten to like Shia Leboeuf and am glad to see that their may be future movies with him. The only bad part of the evening was that the film broke about 3/4 of the way through. It was the late movie and no one was in the booth. I had to go out (as no one else was moving) and get someone. It took them about 15 minutes to get the film back on the reel and fix it and start it.

Before we left, we went to the local pizza joint and ordered pizza for the boys and had it delivered so the kids were taken care of also. I told them they could rent a movie from the TV, but they chose not too.

This morning we got up and headed about an hour and a half away to hubby's family reunion. It was okay. I didn't know a soul and really only one couple spoke to us. It was not really organized or anything.

But there was a really great community pool in the park where we had the reunion so the kids went swimming. They had a blast jumping off the diving board. Our pool here is not deep enough for a dive so that was a treat for them. Even Little (4 year old) S jumped off the dive and went down the slides.

On the way home we stopped at a convenience store/gas station to fill up and so the boys could use the restroom (not a chance in h*!! I would go in there).

When the boys came out, Tween said: "Mom, do you know what they sold in there?"
Not having a clue as to what could possibly be sold in a convenience store I said: "No, what?"
Tween says: "Condoms! In the bathroom. Can you believe it?"
My first response was: "How do you know what a condom is?" as everyone else in the car laughed.
Then Little S says "They sell gumdrops in the bathroom?"
Belly Laugh
So glad he thought that was what Tween said, certainly don't want him saying that word in church tomorrow.

Needless to say we are now home safe and sound and exhausted.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another Day

As I read Lucky Dorito this morning, I realized that we are in similar situations right now. We are both uncertain of our future employment. (Although she has a lot more riding on her end.)

When I got up this morning, I prayed that God would take me and use me in His will with my next job. I prayed that He would show me what He wanted me to do next.

For a while at my last job, I had wondered if I was where God wanted me to be. (I am thankful for my time there and so glad that the owners son accepted Christ. In fact he was baptized the same evening as Tween.) But while I was working there, I always felt that God wanted me some place else. When the opportunity came up for me to take a layoff, I took it so that God could move me into His will.

This verse popped into my head this morning as I read of Dory's situation:

Jer 29:11 - “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Wow - what a powerful verse. So from today until we both are where God wants us to be at this season of our lives, I am praying this prayer for us. Do you also need it prayed for you? Let me know and I will add you to the prayer.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Women of Faith 2008

What can I say except that the conference was:

This is the second year I have gone and it was just as amazing as last year. This years theme was Infinite Grace.

The speakers each gave a message that was different, but brought meaning to the Word.

I learned so much and hope and pray that I can apply it in my life. The Pre-Conference - I Second That Emotion, answered a lot of the questions that I went there with.

I don't want to go into a lot of detail, but I will say that Hubby and I had just had about two weeks of constant arguing. God truly spoke to me during the pre-conference.

I knew what I had to do when I got home. I had to stop being so angry. I have to love my husband for who he is and not who I want him to be. I have to stop trying to control his actions and love and respect him for him.

* There are so many other things that I learned and plan to share in the next few days, but this was the biggest lesson I learned. And believe me it was needed!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

We're Outta Here!

Well, Almost Anyhow.

Tomorrow morning Laurel and I are packing up
Vacation 2
and heading to Cleveland
Low Rider
to the Women of Faith Conference.

Last year was the first time that I went and I had a blast. We went with another group of women and my mother joined us. Unfortunately, my mum couldn't join us this year.

However, at last years conference we made Laurel fill out her evaluation form and submit it. They pulled her ticket and she received 2 free tickets to this years conference. Woohoo

We had to pay for the pre-conference and the hotel, but that's it. God sure knows how to bless us when we need it.

We will be seeing: (I have linked to their websites in case you want to learn more)
Patsy Clairmont
Anita Renfroe
Shiela Walsh
Jan Silvious
Marilyn Meberg
Sandi Patty
Nicole Johnson
Nicole C Mullen
Natalie Grant
Ayiesha Woods

These women have such a wonderful message to share. If any of you ever get a chance to go to a Women of Faith Conference, please go. You will come away refreshed and renewed and on fire for Faith.

I will return Saturday evening and will post as soon as I can.

You all behave while I am gone.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Huh? Did I read that right?

As I turned the page to the next chapter in the book I am currently reading, this is what I saw as the first sentence:

God's work's boring!

Now, that is what I saw even after reading it 3 times. What it really said was:

God, work's boring!

There is a huge difference between those two statements. HUGE!

First off, I really try not to use God's name like that. I even cringe at the new "OMG" slogan everywhere. So I guess in my mind I wanted it to not say something derogatory.

So then I got to thinking - Is God's work boring?

I guess in a lot of ways it can be. Face it, us humans are a very ungrateful bunch. And we whine. A lot!

Often when we go to prayer, we go asking for something we want or want to happen. I am just as guilty as the next person. One big thing that I know a lot of people do is: If you just (fill in the blank), I will never (fill in the blank) again!

How often do we just go to God and say: Thank you for the flowers that bloom, thank you for the air we breathe, etc.?

I love to listen to my little one pray sometimes. His prayers are still innocent and spoken from his heart. He has no fear of God or the world yet. Why do we hold things back from God? Does He not know our needs and prayers before we even speak them?

I imagine it could get pretty boring every day just listening to us.

But then I also think that God has an exciting job. He gets to watch things come to life every day. Babies being born, flowers blooming, children playing and most of all our thankful hearts!

I always try to open my prayers with at least one word of thanks. Even if I just say thanks for the nice weather. Sometimes opening up on a thankful note, makes my needs seem a little less.


Monday, July 14, 2008

This is Like The Best Day!

Those were words that were uttered on Friday during our picnic by one of the little girls who went with us.

We had such a great time. I plan on doing it again soon.

We packed up a bunch of sandwiches, chips and cookies. I stop at the little store on the way and got each of the boys a slushy to drink. My friend brought sandwiches for her girls and then some strawberries and grapes to share. We had a really nice lunch and the kids talked away.

Then it was time to go in the creek. They all wore their swimsuits and flip flops so they could walk in the water. They found crayfish, minnows, frogs, water skippers and a HUGE spider. They walked way up the stream and it came out at the local park (which I did not know). There was also a path through the woods from the park back to where we were. The water was mostly below a foot deep, but there was one place where there is a slight water fall and the water is about 3 ft deep there. The kids were jumping in and ducking under the water at that point.

Even me and my friend walked in the water for a little while. Then we went back and sat on the blankets and just chit-chatted for a while.

That evening, we packed up and headed up to my MIL's camp for the weekend. It is a real small campground, but everyone knows everyone. There is a small playground right down from her camp. I can see it from where we were setting so Little S could run back and forth as much as he wanted. This was the first time we were there so next time we will know what to bring. Like bikes and basketballs.

There is a small restaurant run by the owners that is only open Friday Nights and then Sat and Sun morning. We had pizza there for dinner. It was some of the best pizza I have had in a while. The owner makes the sauce & dough fresh Friday morning. It was sooooo yummy.

After we ate, one of my MIL's neighbors took us out on their pontoon boat. It was such a nice evening. The perfect temperature. We came back at dusk. We got to watch the sunset on the lake.

Then of course we sat around the campfire and made S'Mores when we got back. And just talked and got to know the neighbors. One couple goes to church with my MIL.

Saturday morning we went back to the restaurant for breakfast. It was so good and huge. None of us could finish it.

Then we took the kids to the Linesville Spillway. If you click on the link, it will take you to the Roadside America write up.

I have been going here since I was a kid. The boys haven't gone in a few years and since we were so close we took them over.

After that we went to the Pymatuning Wildlife Learning Center that was a 1/2 mile down the road. This is run by the Pa Game Commission. They have really done a nice job with it. When I was a kid, there was hardly anything there, but an Eagle Nest viewing area and a few taxidermy animals. Now they have all kinds of educational games and viewing areas.

We went back to camp and ate lunch and just relaxed. Truly just relaxed. It was so nice being away from the apartments and all of the tenants. Sometimes it just gets to be too much here and Tom needs a break from complaints and problems.

We ended up coming back Saturday early evening as there was a horrendous storm coming in and we didn't want to sit in a camper with 3 bored boys listening to a storm.

It really was "Like The Best Day!" Or two of them for that matter.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Freedom Writers

I just finished watching the movie Freedom Writers. What an amazing story. If you have not seen this movie I highly recommend it.

This movie made me laugh and it made me cry. I am in awe of what Erin Gruwell did with this group of children. I am also so shocked at the ages of these kids at the start of the movie and what they had to deal with. These kids are Teens age and younger.

Here is a preview of the movie:

Here is the web-site for the Freedom Writers.

I was never a big Hilary Swank fan, but I have really grown to love her in the last year.

I vaguely remember when this movie came out and I think there was a lot of controversy around it.

If you have seen this movie, what did you think? If you haven't seen it, rent it soon.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Lazy, Hazy, Summer Day-z

We haven't been doing much around here lately. We are trying to come up with some inexpensive ideas of things to do on a tight UC budget.

Last Thursday was hubby's company picnic. It was at a huge county fair not too far from us. He gets two free tickets so all we have to purchase are the boys. Tween was out of town so Teen invited his friend to go with us. We always have a good time at the picnic.

Hubby is required to go down and set up in the morning, so we are there way before anything opens. I don't mind though, because he gets paid for the whole day after his hour or so worth of set up is done. They put up tents and tables and chairs.

They also bring in a HUGE grill and the owners (<--- yes, you read that right) cook for all of the employees. It is all picnic style and it is a real treat.

While hubby was setting up, we walk around the grounds and the kids love to look at and pet the animals. Especially the horses.

They set up a Chinese Auction, Bingo, and Face Painting also under the tents. Little S had a snake on his cheek. It looked like it was crawling in his ear.

After we ate, we let the kids ride. We only got about an hours worth of rides in and it started to downpour. We went back to the tents and sat and tried to wait it out, but it was not letting up so we headed home. We were all a little upset that we didn't get to do more, but there is always next year.

We had plenty of picnics and fireworks over the weekend.

This week has been a catch all week. Got all the errands ran, bills paid, and house straightened up so that we can go camping this weekend.

Yesterday was spent with Laurel and her youngest at our pool. The boys had a lot of fun. She was kind enough to bring Flarp with her for each of the boys.

Flarp makes all kind of gross noises and the boys are having a blast with it.

Today we are going on a picnic with our neighbor and her 2 daughters. We are going to a little stream down the road. It is really quiet and peaceful there. The kids are going to wear flip-flops & swimming gear so that they can play in the water when we are done eating. It is only about a foot deep at the deepest point.

Hubby said that he is going to institute a new rule at our house: No swimming or playing while he has to work. LOL I think someone is a little jealous.

Hope you all have a great day!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Worst Trait

After watching Meg's post today about her son's time trials on the motorcycle, I got to thinking.

I mentioned to her that I would never be able to watch my kids do that type of thing.

One of my worst traits as a mother has got to be my over-protectiveness. I struggle with so many things with having boys. I try very hard to let them be boys, but at the same time I try even hard to not let them do anything dangerous.

Hubby wanted the boys to play football. I never did. They are in the band instead. My boys have always been small for their age and I am afraid they will get hurt. I am not talking about simple bumps and bruises type hurt. My fear is more of the break-your-neck-end-up-paralyzed type hurt.

Over the 4th weekend, hubby let the kids do a few fireworks. Nothing big, just some things they have for kids. Not sparklers - they freak me out. But I was still a nervous wreck the entire time. I was sure someone was going to get hurt and we would be in the ER by the end of the night.

I am not so over protective that they don't get to do anything. But when I do let them do things I am a bundle of nerves until they are done.

Amusement parks without me, I am on pins and needles all day.
Camp without me, I need (NEED) to hear from them at least once a day (thank God for texting and cell phones).
Even when they are staying over night somewhere, I have to hear from them before bed and again in the morning. (Sadly, even at Grandma's I am this way).
If I go away without them I NEED to call home several times throughout the day to check on them. It drives hubby nuts!

Teen is seriously considering going to DeVry in Florida for college. I will be a mess.

My kids Do Not have Seperation Anxiety - I do! Well except for Little S, he does have some SA, that is why he goes to preschool.

So now that I have admitted I am a complete freak, what is the worst trait you have as a parent?
And please tell me I am not the only one like this!


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Traveling Home

Yesterday morning my friend and I traveled to church camp to pick up the kids. We had a good ride there. She is orignally from Lebanon and her husband is from Syria so I always have her tell me stories. Most of the way up she told me the story of how her and her hubby met and how good God was to be able to bring them together in marriage with all of the fighting that was going on at that time (think Desert Storm era). It was a wonderful story of what God can do for us if only we ask him.

Anyhow, we got there and gathered up the kids and their things, packed them in the car and started out for home. My friend decided that she wanted to treat the kids to DQ on the way home. So as I start onto the highway she programs DQ into her Navigator (GPS). She picks the one that says 2.4 miles.

WooHoo - Really close by, however, the time and mileage showing up on the screen after we pick it says 20 minutes, 18 miles. That is odd. Oh well, must have something messed up somewhere.

We start chit-chatting away not paying attention to time or miles and it tells me to get off at the next exit. So I proceed off of the exit and it tells me to get back on the highway going back the way we came. I obeyed the thing, thinking I missed an exit or something while we were talking. The kids were watching a movie and not paying attention.

So we drive the whole way back to where we got on at the camp. We are laughing about how silly we are and how much time and gas we are wasting over stupid ice cream. But I really enjoyed the fellowship.

As we pull up to the DQ the kids realize that we have been driving for quiet awhile and that we are just down the road from camp. We just laugh and tell them we made an error with the GPS.

So we get out of the car and the DQ doesn't even open for another 8 minutes. Well, after driving soooo far, we will wait it out. My cell phone rings and it is an odd but familiar number. I think I know who it is and really didn't feel like talking at the time so I ignore the call and then listen to the voice mail. It was the Pastor at the camp. Apparently my friend had forgotten to pick up her daughters medicines from the nurse before we left.

We ran over to the camp and picked the med's up, had our DQ, and then made it home without further incident.

Isn't it just like God to help us out like that? Normally I wouldn't have listened to the GPS tell me to get back on the highway and head back. I would have gone to the next exit and found a DQ there.

God always puts us in the place that we are needed or where He wants us to be. By the time the Pastor had called us, we should have been almost home. But instead we were 2 miles down the road.

God has a plan for all of us, we just have to let Him be the director and not try to take things into our own hands.

This little lesson was so needed at this time for me. I have been struggling with a few things and I needed to see that God will handle it. He will direct me where I need to be. I want to be 2 miles down the road when I am needed not so far gone that it would make things worse off.