Thursday, July 31, 2008

He is

So I'm feeling a little down. Nothing to be concerned about, just not my jolly self. Tonight as I was driving home I called out to the Lord. Fill me, help me, God. He answered with two words, HE IS. The Lord filled in the blank in so many ways.
He is ____________.
So when I got home I began to go through the Psalms and here are some things that HE IS to me.

on my side - Psalm 124:1
surrounding me - 125:2
just - 125:4-5
forgiving - 130:3-4
my hope - 130:5
my vindicator - 135:14
exalted above all things - 138:2
all-knowing - 139:2-4
always there - 139:7
my creator - 139:13
my rescuer - 140:1
my refuge - 141:8
my road map - 143:8
so powerful - 145:6
worthy of praise - 150

I mean, what else could I ask for?? :)
I just share this as encouragement...if there's something you need, HE IS!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The long-awaited weekend update

I know all 2 of you reading out there are very excited about reading of my weekend activities! So here goes!

Saturday I went to Michael and Jill's house for a fun dinner. They are a sweet couple from church and they invited a bunch of people over to their house Saturday night. I took this Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake that I found on AllRecipes. Now, I don't like to cook or bake, and this cake didn't really require cooking or baking. It was more like putting ingredients together. That's right up my alley. I actually had fun making it.

After dinner we played one of the funniest games I have ever played. I laughed and cried all of my mascara off, and my cheeks actually hurt from smiling so much. I'm thinking of buying this game because it is something my family would have so much fun playing at our annual beach weekend.

Sunday after church I went to my Grandma's house for lunch and we chatted while we waited for the rest of the fam to come over for my birthday party. One of the best things about birthdays in my family is that it brings us all together. (duh!) I have 3 little sisters and we could not be more different but we have such a good time when we get together. One is a restaurant manager, one is a cardiac perfusion student, the youngest is going to be a sophomore in high school and then there's me, an elementary school teacher. So you can see just by our choice in profession how different we are. Seriously, though, when we get together I just love it and I love to drive all of them crazy by taking copious amounts of pictures. (Girls, did you appreciate the lack of photos I took on Sunday?)

Anyway, we had a delicious dinner and I got to open my presents!! Money (yay!) and bath stuff, along with a gift from Kristen and Kelly that is a bit too long of a story to go into at this point. (haha Kristen)

Monday (I know that really isn't part of the weekend but we'll be ok!) was my birthday and I went to my mom's house for dinner. I got presents there too: a iPod Nano (it is SOOO cute!), an ottoman (the kind that the top comes off and you can store stuff inside), and a mini-refrigerator for my classroom (and will store lots of Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry that helps me maintain my sanity during the school day).

It was a great weekend and a great birthday! One more thing that was very cool was I got a bunch of phone calls from people at my church. Even my pastor called me! I thought that was so nice...I LOVE my church.

Now I am off to continue the tedious job of converting wav files to mp3 files for my church's website! Don't worry, I only have to do all the sermons since January! :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's my birthday and I'll clean if I want to

Yep, you read that right...I have been on my hands and knees scrubbing bathroom floors, tubs, and floorboards. Vacuumed the crack between the wall and the carpet. Done loads of laundry. Got a pile of stuff ready for goodwill. Cut Toby's hair and gave him a bath. Clean clean clean.

I have no idea why I'm in this obsessive compulsive mood, but I might as well take advantage of it!

I have so much to post on but I think I will catch up later on today. (OK, maybe tomorrow!)

Happy birthday to me!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wordle

In case you haven't heard about it yet, Wordle is the coolest site I've come across lately. This site creates "word clouds" from text that you enter. The words that are repeated the most often are the words that are larger. The picture above is a word cloud of Philippians 3.

I entered my blog, and this is the word cloud it came up with. Its funny to see the words I use a lot!





Thursday, July 24, 2008

It takes a lot to get me to cry...

But this did...

By far my favorite bloggy couple, Carlos and Heather Whittaker...

Their relationship is such an inspiration to me.

Go and watch this video. Two things make it special: first, Carlos' desire to make his wife happy, second, the true friendship that Heather and Jacinda share.

I pray that one day my husband will have some of Carlos' creativity and devotion and I will be the kind of wife that reciprocates that love!

Warning, tissues are needed!

My Desktop


Tony Morgan posted his very minimalist desktop and asked, "What does this say about me?" I thought that was an interesting question so I am adding my desktop to the conversation.


I think mine shows the obvious love for my dog as well as my love for clean surfaces and a lack of clutter! And, I have to be honest, I did clean up a little before taking the screen shot. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Disney Tips, WFMW

I just spent a long weekend at Disney, and I had researched so much about the trip that my mom and sister teased me the whole time about it (with love, of course!)

It was DEFINITELY WORTH THE WORK! I found some of the best tips on the Internet, and we benefited by waiting in shorter lines, hitting the best places, and finding little known parts of the parks. So, for Works for Me Wednesday, I thought I would share my favorite websites that I referred to frequently in my planning.

To read about my Disney trip and see some of the cool things we did, click here, here, here, and here!

Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more tips!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Disney, Day 4

Magic Kingdom!

This day was, by far, the most hot and crowded day of them all! I guess (duh) that the Magic Kingdom is the most popular and this was the first day that we had to wait for trams because there were so many people. Thankfully, we had a smart plan! We got to MK at about 9, used Fast Passes, and had a lot of fun on the rides that we really wanted to ride.

My favorite was Thunder Railroad Mountain (or something like that). It was on this ride that I made the discovery that it really is more fun to ride roller coasters with your arms up in the air! :) Then, we went home at about 1. We took naps (or at least I did) and got freshened up.

We went to Planet Hollywood for dinner. It was so cool! They had "artifacts" from all the famous movies. They had the outfit that Leonardi DiCaprio wore in "Titanic" and Dorothy's outfit from the "Wizard of Oz!" They had movie trivia on the screens and did you know that "Titanic" was the #1 Box Office hit of all time?!

But I digress! We went from there back to MK and did some more rides and happened to catch the fireworks. We were all of the mindset of, "seen one, seen 'em all," but we absolutely loved it! It was very "magical" and I even got teary-eyed. Call me CHEESY!

Here is the grand finale that I caught on video. Pardon the bad camera work but I was standing in the middle of the fireworks so I had to keep turning around!

video

Tell me that doesn't move you?! Haha!

Disney, Day 3

Animal Kingdom!

This is an AWESOME park! The design of the park is so neat...the foliage and the plants and flowers are just beautiful. There are animals everywhere you turn, so it is like a zoo and amusement park in one. I'm a huge animal lover, so this was a great park for me.

The first thing we did was a safari. (This was my favorite experience yet!) You actually go through "Africa" in a jeep! The animals can come right up to the jeep, and we had great luck seeing animals. One thing that my mom and I love is the 3-d shows! We saw the "Bug's Life" show and it was hilarious, if not a little alarming at times because of all the surprises that happened during the show.
(In the first picture with the rocks you can see a lioness stretched out on the second rock. Look for the tiger stretched on her back, and the momma and baby giraffe. The last picture is of a gorilla bachelor!)



All around GREAT day! It was definitely steamy and hot, so we did leave early and, after a shower and a rest, went for shopping and dinner.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Disney, Day 2

Today was absolutely perfect! It was overcast and a bit rainy, so the park wasn't very crowded. The longest we had to wait was 30 minutes! Epcot was a blast! It had a lot of "educational" rides but they were very fun. At about 3, it started to POUR down rain! We didn't want to just sit inside, so we got soaked! It was worth it though. We ended up leaving at about 5 because we were exhausted. We went to Chili's for dinner. Yum!

Some of today's highlights:
  • Mission Space where you experience an "intense" space training mission to mars! You are in a little space craft and you take off into space. You actually experience the g-forces. Very cool!
  • Spaceship Earth where you get to "see" yourself in the future!
  • Soarin' where you feel like you are hang gliding over the country. You dip down over different areas in the country including a river, a lemon orchard (smell lemons), and a desert.
  • Living with the Land is a boat ride through a greenhouse. They actually have scientists who are experimenting with growing plants in new ways. There was a tomato tree and a nine pound lemon tree!
  • Ice Station Cool where you sample Coke from all over the world! I think my favorite was Coke from Costa Rico!
We also visited Mexico and Norway! We still have 9 more countries that we hope to check out tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will go to Animal Kingdom in the morning to head out on a safari, and then in the afternoon we will take the monorail back to Epcot to finish it up. There was just too much to see in one day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Disney, Day 1!

We made it! Thanks to my trusty GPS friend with a British accent, we have arrived in Orlando, FL with no problems. We got here around 4, and after we checked into our hotel we went to Downtown Disney. It is a boardwalk-like place with tons of shops and restaurants. It has such a neat atmosphere, except the shopping gets a little old because every shop has the same merchandise! Disney-everything. (What did I expect?) We ate at the Rainforest Cafe. Here's Karlie at the bar (just posing for the picture!)
And, by the way, this man looked really out of place at this restaurant by himself! Not the typical place for a man to unwind after a long day at work!
Karlie and Brittany posed for a picture with Belle. (Or is that Cinderella?)
This is a dog made entirely out of legos! It looks like a giant Toby!

And, just because I miss him, here's a picture of the real thing.


The plan for tomorrow is to get up early and head to Epcot! From what I've read, I think it might be my favorite park. I'll try to update tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Works for me Wednesday

Online Bible Study Tools!
  • For years I have been using BibleGateway. This one is great for looking up different topics (do you want to know what God says about heaven or marriage? Just type it in!) Also, you can check out different translations. My favorite is to compare The Message to a traditional version like NIV. It really helps to study the Word.

  • I just learned about Study Light. I could jump up and down, it excites me so much! You can do the same things as on Bible Gateway, but more. You can look at the original Hebrew or Greek. You can do word studies like looking up the Hebrew word for "redeemer," reading the Hebrew definition, and then find out other places this word is found. It also has several commentaries that you can check out to further dig into the Word.


There are other tools such as BibleTools and Crosswalk, but I am not very familiar with them. My advice is to go and click around some of these sites. I think you will be amazed at what you will find.

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more tips!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm so athletic

Yesterday a bunch of people from church met to play volleyball on the beach. It was a BEAUTIFUL evening...not too hot with a nice cool breeze. Since I'm so athletic, I decided to sit on the sidelines and take pictures! :)

I'm sure my friends would be just delighted to see their pictures on my blog (um...just kidding), but instead I'll show you some of the glorious sunset.

I love the colors of this sunset!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My exciting life (please note the sarcasm)

2 highlights of my day:
  • Kelly called me up and invited me to go to Moe's for lunch! We talked like crazy for an hour and we could have stayed there for several more hours! I thank God for friends like her who I can share my heart with. We have been friends for 9 years now. We were college roommates.
  • I found a tick on Toby! Yuck! I didn't even know what is was at first. Then I saw little legs on it. That was one of the most disgusting things I've ever had to deal with. After some consults through phone and internet, I removed it. Toby is fine, never better! He never even knew what all the fuss is about. (I thought Advantix was supposed to keep this from happening!)

Well the day is still young and who knows what other excitement may come my way! :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hungry people

I had so many compliments on my dessert at church tonight! And several comments about how nice it is to have a light, summer dessert. It made me think of the following recipe, that I have yet to try, but I may make next Wednesday. My Grandma B made it for me, knowing my love for strawberries! (When she sent it home with me that evening it didn't even last an hour before I finished it!)

No Crust Strawberry Pie

  • 16 oz fresh strawberries
  • 2 small packages of sugar free vanilla pudding
  • 6 oz package of sugar free strawberry jello
  • 2 cups water
  • Cool whip

  1. Prepare strawberries, cut them in half.
  2. Place them in the bottom of a 10 inch pie plate or pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine pudding mix, jello, and water.
  4. Stir well and bring to boil.
  5. Pour mix over strawberries and refrigerate 4-6 hours.
  6. Top with cool whip when serving.

By the way, anyone have a suggestion for a good summer movie? Grandma B and I are due for a movie date, and there hasn't been any good ones out lately, IMO. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Works For Me Wednesday


Here is an easy, light, and FAT FREE summer dessert! I am making it tonight for my church dinner and it is always a hit.
  • angel food cake
  • vanilla pudding (instant Jello pudding with 2 cups skim milk)
  • large cool whip (get the fat free)
  • fruit of your choice (I like strawberries, blueberries, grapes, cherries or nectarines)
  1. Break up half of the angel food cake in the bottom of a large bowl.
  2. Spread half of the pudding over the cake.
  3. Spread a little less than half of the cool whip next.
  4. Add some fruit.
  5. Then add the rest of the cake, pudding, and cool whip. Top with fruit. Chill and serve.

OK, now I feel like a blogger for sure; I've posted a recipe with a picture! :)

Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more tips.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My hope

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Sometimes I try to find my hope in other things or people. But when it comes right down to it, Jesus is where my hope is found. Who else can stand through the fiercest drought, or the fiercest storm? Who else has a never ending amount of love and peace? Who else can cause my fears to disappear and cause my strivings to end?

As much as I desire a husband and child(ren), as much as I value my family and friendships, as much as I love my dear puppy: not one of these people (or animals) can do for me what Christ does! He is my everything, my all in all.

"In Christ Alone" Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townsend

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Busy busy weekend

Friday...Fourth of July! It was a big day for my church. We had a celebration and about 500 people came! It was a work day for those in our church! Although it was fun and we did get time to enjoy the day, it was definitely a time to have a servant-heart and not worry about yourself!

I worked at the concessions and mostly worked the popcorn machine. (glamorous!) Then it was time to set up the dinner. After that I had time to be with my family who had come out. One of my cousins swam and played on the water toys, another cousin and his girlfriend rode horses. My aunt and grandparents watched the bluegrass band play. It was a really nice day weather-wise and they had misting fans set up to cool us down. When it got dark we had an awesome fireworks show. I tried to take pictures but of course they don't do the fireworks justice. (That's my cousin David walking, well, crawling, down the plank!)

After dinner everyone from church got busy and we had the place cleaned up in no time! I couldn't wait to get home and shower. I thought I was tired but I was so excited that I couldn't sleep. Then, when I did want to sleep, my dog Toby had other plans!

Saturday...a day of rest! I spent most of the day sleeping thanks to my dear dog! Oh the joys of parenthood (wink, wink)

Sunday...Old Fashioned Tent Meeting, Pie Social, and Southern Gospel concert. We had church outside in a tent! It was so neat to be out in the field with horses as we worshipped! It was hot, but my pastor said, what do you expect for a day in July? Everyone brought a picnic lunch and a pie to share. My grandparents came with me and my grandma brought the pie, although we didn't get a chance to try hers. :(

Then, the Hayes Family from NC put on a concert. I'm usually not a southern gospel fan but I guess being out in the tent just put me in the mood! They really sounded great and it was a time of worship.

So I've just about had my fill of being outdoors for a while now! I much prefer being in the AC with no insects or no humidity, but it was worth it. I hope you had a nice 4th of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Now summer really begins

Summer school is over! We did some fun stuff on the last day. First, we did our spelling lesson outside! You would think that I let them fly to the moon they were so excited. We used sidewalk chalk for spelling and then of course I let them play for a little bit.



Then we read Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Suess and made oobleck! Its a mixture of cornstarch and water. It is supposed to be green, but I forgot the food coloring. It is the coolest thing to play with! My kids were happy to play with it for almost an hour. If you have kids, you should try it. It is hard when you touch it, but when you let it go it turns to a liquid. It was messy, though, so I'm glad it was the last day!


Then today I finished putting everything away. I shoved everything into cabinets and cubbies so that the custodians can move furniture and clean. It is funny how high I had to pile the stuff!



On a serious note, DSS came to talk to me yesterday about my student. I basically had to repeat everything I had already said on the phone. Then they talked to the student. I couldn't be in the room, so I'm not sure what happened. I don't know if I'll find out the outcome or not.

Last night I went to church - well, it was actually a work day of sorts for the 4th of July. We are having a huge celebration for the community, and we are expecting 500 guests! I'm on the concessions committee and we are giving out pretzels, snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs, and cotton candy. I am excited but tomorrow will be a long day! I'm praying that the Lord will work tomorrow! I'm also praying for no rain and safety for all of the guests. I just love being with my church family, no matter what we are doing. Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My stomach hurts

Today I did something for the first time. I called DSS. I have made referrals before, but the guidance counselor usually takes care of it. But in summer school, you are on your own.

One of my students came in with marks and bruises.

I want to save him. I just want to take him home.

That's one of the hardest parts about being a teacher. Not being able to take control. You love them and teach them, but ultimately they are not yours.

I'm thankful for this calling. Sometimes I just wish I could do more.