Oct 21, 2009

A Better, Closer Look at Psalm 23

If you tried to read my post of a paraphrase of Psalm 23 from our Sunday School teacher, and it was cut off on the sides, first of all I want to apologize. I couldn't figure out what html code it was having a problem with, and I finally figured it out.

Please go here to read it. It will bless you.

A Meme Without a Theme...Random Dozen {neuf}

{Once again, no introductions really needed here.}

1. Candy corn: Your thoughts?

Love it. It's just one of those childhood memories that I can't give up.

2. Briefly, what was the first conversation you ever had with your spouse? (or best friend, if you're not married.) (Or someone significant, like your librarian.)

He asked me what kind of music do I listen to, and I answered, "Contemporary Christian music mainly." To which he replied, "Oh." I'm not sure he really knew what to think of me at that point. But he got pretty used to the idea quick enough!

3. Could you ever become a vegetarian?

Ummmm...I eat meat, but not a lot of it. And I really love sides more than anything else on my plate, so it sounds like I probably could be a vegetarian if I needed to. But even though I'm not an adamantly carnivorous individual, I don't think I could go FOR.EV.ER without eating meat just for fun. Capiche?

4. Have you ever dressed up your pet in a costume?

When I was a kid, I used to dress my cat (who always seemed afraid of me for some reason) in my doll's clothes.

5. Name something about childhood that you miss (like Clark Bars, Teaberry Gum, Malibu Barbie, cracking fake eggs on people's heads with your fist and "It's the Great Pumpkin" airing only once a year).

Picking tangerines by the shirtful from our neighborhood's "ancient man's" yard and eating them on the back of my best friend's dad's tailgate. We thought we were "getting away with it," but later found out he knew and just let us. Or knew he couldn't catch us running, one of the two. Knowing that he knew relieved the guilt I felt when I was older, so now I can enjoy the memory so much more.

6. Have you ever won a trophy? If not, what do you deserve a trophy for?

I once won a trophy for a hula-hoop contest! {sigh...those were the days...}

7. When do you think is the appropriate time to begin playing Christmas music each year?


I'm serious! We always have "Christmas in July" at our house...complete with smoked turkey breast, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade rolls and pecan pie. Oh, and we bring a quart of egg nog (sans the rum) out of the freezer for the occasion too.

8. What's your favorite board game?

Right now I would have to say it's Blokus. It's a strategy game, a lot of fun, and I win a lot. 'Nuff said.

9. How do you feel about surprises (receiving, not giving)?

I LOOOOOOVE surprises!!

10. Is it easy for you to say, "I'm sorry?"

Generally, it is. Especially once I've been gently enlightened to the error of my ways.

11. What is your favorite candle scent?

Oooo, this is a tough one. I'll have to say any kind of baking smell candle in the fall and winter, and clean linen scent in the summer. Sorry, I couldn't narrow it down any more than that!

12. October is traditionally "open house" time in public schools. If you had a literal open house in your home (like a reception) what light snacks would you serve visitors and what would you show them (as in art projects, graded papers) that would uniquely represent you?

Well, let's see. For light snacks, I'd have Meatballs in BBQ sauce, Stuffed Mushrooms Florentine, and miniature butter biscuits with jalapeno jelly. Then at the dessert table would be Fresh Apple Cake, Pumpkin Dip with ginger cookies, and Espresso Delights cookies.

As far as displays, I would have to say the food table would be my presentation! JUST kidding. I could show my monumental stack of books I have started but not finished, my folded up fabric that at some point might become my Christmas gifts, and for the Grand Finale, I would feature........untold stacks of folded ready-to-pack summer clothes...AND...my boys' graded papers! That's about the one thing I've actually accomplished lately.

I hope you enjoyed this week's version of Random Dozen! Now go to Linda's 2nd Cup of Coffee to read others' responses to the same questions.

Oct 20, 2009

Fall Into Flavor...Yay!

Oh Halleluiah! Lidna's doing Fall into Flavor again this year! I can always use some fantastic new fall recipes to add to my repertoire! She'll be doing this meme for the next five weeks (every Monday after today), so jump on in!

Here's my contribution to the 10 pound weight gain of the season:


2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup oil
1 cup pecans
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix first 6 ingredients, and take out 3/4 cup of mixture for topping. Add nuts and cinnamon to topping. Add buttermilk, soda, and egg to flour mixture. Pour into baking pan (9 x 13). Add topping. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. When slightly cool, mix powdered sugar and milk with a whisk until smooth and drizzle over top.

I make this for Christmas morning along with sausage balls and pigs in a blanket, but I tend to get lots of "practice" making it all fall long. {wink}

I also had these contributions last year if you'd like to read them, too. Those are really my favorite fall recipes, but since I already posted them I thought it would be cheesy to do them again.

Then go check out Lidna's other friends who contributed to this dietary bust! Happy fall, y'all!

Oct 14, 2009

Meme Without A Theme--Randome Dozen [Sei]

{I'm not sure these Random Dozens need an introduction anymore.}

1. I've always wondered why we were taught both printing and cursive. Do you prefer to print or write cursive? (Keyboard is not a choice.)

I'll bet you'll get this answer a lot, Lid. I combine printing and cursive most of the time. And how much I combine them tends to depend on my mood and/or my level of stress.

2. Are you a dreamer or a realist?

I am definitely the realist. DH is the dreamer in our house, hands down.

3. Billy Joel or Elton John?

Billy Joel I think. Elton John kinda freaks me out a little.

4. What is the scariest movie you've ever seen? Not limited to horror flicks but also includes ones where the tension or suspense is killer, for example, Flightplan (2005): A bereaved woman and her daughter are flying home from Berlin to America. At 30,000 feet the child vanishes and nobody admits she was ever on that plan.

Hmmmm...I never saw Flightplan. Sounds pretty interesting. It's funny because I don't watch scary movies anymore. I just can't fill my head with that kind of stuff. But when I was a teenager, I used to love to watch them. So my point is, I've seen a bunch of them, but they were YEARS ago.

SO, I am gonna go the one I've seen in recent years. It's called "The Others" (2001) with Nicole Kidman. The ending....blew....my....mind.

5. Now what is the scariest real-life moment you've had?

When Mini me was 2 years old, I was very large pregnant with Brown Eyes and carrying Mini me through a yard. We all fell like a tree in the Avenue of the Giants in the Redwood Forest. Hard. We all hit the grass except Mini me's head, which hit a concrete pad. An hour later, he was throwing up, non-responsive and lethargic. And the hospital was 45 minutes away.

Makes my heart rush just to think about it. You can read a more full account of the miracle God performed in my sweet son on an old post here. But to answer the question for today, that 20-minute ride to the hospital was, I would say, the scariest.

And yes, I made a 45 minute drive in 20 minutes. :-)

6. What word do you misspell without fail?

Definitely. When I do spell it correctly, I am always amazed that the spellchecker didn't underline it with that rude red line.

7. Name something you like to do but are not really talented or good at.

I love to sing, but honestly, I don't have any idea "how" to sing properly. But in heaven, I'm gonna sing like a bird.

8. Do you get your emotional/mental batteries recharged by being around people or by having alone time?

I get more charge by having alone time. I was raised an only child, so I really do enjoy being alone sometimes. For just a while.

9. Have you ever been on TV?

When I was in the second grade, our class was in a commercial for...something. I have no idea what it was! But it was around halloween time, and so we all were dressed up so we could say our one-liner collectively. I was dressed like a clown. But not like a creepy, partially bald, white-faced clown with big feet; I had a funny hat, a silly vest, knickers, mix-matched socks and big plastic red lips.

Well maybe I was a little creepy.

10. Apple or pumpkin pie? (Don't be greedy.)

Oh, this is just cruel. But I think I'm gonna have to go with pumpkin pie. But only if it's homemade. I'm a snob that way, remember? ;-) Really, I'm not a total snob, because if it's store-bought and at someone else's house, I would never think twice about eating and enjoying it.

11. How many magazine subscriptions do you have?


12. What lesson do you have to keep re-learning?

Well, we saved the doozie for the last one this week, eh?

That I really, really, truly, absolutely, positively, beyond question, firmly, DEFINITELY, seriously need to spend some quiet, meaningful time with my God every single, solitary day for the rest of my life! I am hopelessly useless to Him unless I do.

What a great week! Hop on over to Linda's 2nd Cup for a second helping...and a third.....

Oct 13, 2009

My Wonderful Birthday

My birthday was last month, so the fam and I decided to head north for the first time of the autumn season.

And no, I'm not really 25. Brown Eyes made that card for me...would you look at those lips? He asked DH how old I was going to be, and 25 was his response. What a man.


I love going up in the mountains during the fall. When you can catch a day that's not raining, the air is crisp, the aroma is either a musky pine medley or a cinnamon apple cider, depending on whether you're indoor or out. Almost any establishment you enter in the north Georgia mountains will offer some form of apple-something. It's apple season up here, and it's wonderful.

Along the way, we hit a few of my favorite antique stores because my DH both knows me and loves to spoil me. He more than tolerates antique stores; he actually enjoys most of them as long as it actually has antiques in it. Especially antique guns, knives, blacksmith tools, etc.

After a little shopping, wherein I bought myself a 1938 Illustrated World History book...

...we went to Amicalola Falls. Yeah, I figured spell check wouldn't like that. It's pronounced {am-i-ca-lola} with a short i. The word is derived from the Cherokee language, and it means tumbling waters. It is the highest waterfall in the State of Georgia, and it is absolutely beautiful.

There are three places from which to view this cascade: the bottom, from across the middle of it, and from the top. In the middle, the state built a path around the mountain from a parking lot to a bridge that goes across the falls and then continues down in hundreds of steps. We chose to drive because we didn't think the kids could handle the hike up all those stairs, but you can walk from the bottom to the top if you like!

This picture was taken on the bridge that crosses over.

Here's another one of the boys and me. Look at my sweet li'l dumplin' there on the left. Isn't he just the sweetest thing ever? {insert sarcasm here.}

Here's the view from the top of the falls as it goes over the edge. It's just beautiful!

I can't seem to resist taking pictures of pretty flowers.

Here's Lil'bit on the slide. We stopped by the "prayground" while we were there.

Here's my Brown Eyes posing on the side of the trail...what a handsome kid.

This one's kinda funny. Although I don't think I would have wanted to be the one in the truck when it fell off the side of the mountain and was finally caught by the trees!

That's a very old pick up truck, in case you can't make it out.

This is Brown Eyes hanging out in a tree beside the small, quiet creek that feeds that massive waterfall!

After Amicalola Falls, we drove around the mountains hitting more antique stores and a couple of pumpkin patches.

This is the parking lot of one that we stopped at briefly before moving on to our favorite place.

Then we got to Burt's Farm. We love this place! We have sweet memories of coming here during the first couple of months after moving here, seven years ago.

These are pretty...

These are, um, unique?...

But these are my favorite punkins of all...

You can pick a wheel barrow if you need to haul one of those grand-daddy pumpkins!

Here's my oldest, Mini-me...he looks like a young man to me now. Wow.

Brown Eyes by the baby pumpkins. They have every size you can imagine.

When went to the top of the mountain on which Amicalola Falls runs, we stopped by The Lodge, which is a place we love to stop just to go in the lobby and look out the huge glass windows...

This view is even better the more the leaves are changing.

Before we went, the boys shared a quick checkers game by the windows.

What a blessing my family is to me, and how thankful I am that we got to spend my special day together in such a lovely place.

What's your favorite thing to do for your special day?

Oct 10, 2009

Project 365...Hawai'i Post

So last May/early June we had the incredible opportunity to go to Hawai'i to do a job. Technically, the DH got the opportunity to do a job, I got to tag along. But considering it only cost us my plane ticket and my food, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to do something of this magnitude this affordably!

We got to stay at a very nice, rather fancy hotel on Waikiki Beach, which is on the island of Oahu near Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. Much to our dismay, we did not get to make it to Pearl Harbor. We decided that would be the thing that would draw us back next time.

[Sidebar: The hotel resort was very nice, but next time I want an open-air bungalow on a virtually uninhabited beach on Kauai! The locals told me that's where I can find "old Hawai'i." Sounds like the place for me!]

So here are just a few selected pics taken from our trip:

This was taken at one of the Luau's we went to. Good times.

One of my favorite things we made a habit of doing was walking along the beach at night. DH snapped this picture while I was putting my sandals back on after said walk. This was the night of the Luau in the above picture.

It fascinates me that clouds like this seem to hover over the island like this.

Sunset on Waikiki Beach

I've never seen so many different types of beautiful flowers. EV.ERY.WHERE.

Sands of Waikiki

Eyes of complete bliss! This was taken at Ted's Bakery, which is apparently a locally famous spot for eating chocolate haupia (coconut pudding) pies.
Oh. My. Word. Watch the video at the end of the post to see more!

Waikiki at night.
Our hotel is on the left with the rainbow on it.

I think this is some kind of ginger blossom.

Flamingos. At the hotel. Yep.
It was almost like a built in zoo at the hotel: parrots, wrens, flamingos, PENGUINS (?!), ducks, etc.

I'm not sure if this is some kind of Bird of Paradise or not. But it's pretty!

This, of course, is the hibiscus, the State Flower of Hawai'i

I could bore you to TEARS with all the sunset pictures I could've put on here.

These trees were AMAZING. See the colors painted on them? That's their natural bark color! Yellows, reds, oranges, and lime greens striped all the way up these towering trees. Just beautiful.

Dole Plantation

Heaven...I'm in heaven...and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak...come on, sing it with me!

Fields and fields of cocoa plants!
This picture makes me teary eyed.

Pineapple Row
World's BEST pineapples. Hands down.

DH on one of the beaches on the North Shore

See that big dark thing just to the left of me? Can you guess what that is?!

It's a Honu...a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle!
That previous picture was the closest I was allowed to get to her as they are carefully protected animals there. They have volunteers that stay at that beach (a honu feeding and basking area) for 4-hour intervals 24-hours a day.

Surfer on the North Shore.

This is the view from the same beach. Just breathtaking!

Mountains along the central part of the island of Oahu.

Pineapple fields forever....

Learning a hula
at the Polynesian Cultural Center
(which, if you ever get the chance...you MUST go there!)

Our tour guide at the Polynesian Cultural Center was from Tahiti, and she taught us how to make these childhood toys from palm leaves. It's a fish!

This was an Aussie named Bobbie (say it with the Australian accent!)
We met for the first time at the bottom of Diamond Head, so we decided to climb it together. She was visiting Hawai'i from Sydney all by herself!

The view looking back on the trail we were climbing to get to the top of the volcano crater.

There were tunnels to go through...

...and 282 VERY steep steps to climb...

...and an equally steep spiral staircase to climb...

This view is about half way up.

This is from the edge of the crater looking over the town behind.

This is inside the filled-in crater and also the place we started. We're not to the top yet!

THIS is from the top! View of Honolulu.

More of the same, but pulling the zoom back a little...

...and this is the actual view with no zoom from my camera. Absolutely no words.

Closer shot of Waikiki Beach from the top of Diamond Head.

Notice the curvature of the earth in the horizon. Wow.

This is an historic lighthouse at the base of the Diamond Head crater.

As promised, here's a little video of Ted's Bakery. You should watch at least the first minute or two if you'd like a good laugh.

Hope you enjoyed a walk through paradise on earth. I know I did. :-) Thanks again to Sara at Make Music from Your Heart to the Lord for hosting this awesome meme. Go check out what others have been up to! Have a great week! Aloha!