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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day out with Thomas



Guess what we did yesterday afternoon?!!?
Yep. We went to see this guy in a town not too far from our home. Who knew that my three girls would love seeing Thomas The Train so much. I certainly didn't expect them to be so excited about it as they were. We own exactly 1 Thomas the Train video. I think it was a gift from some granddaddy who loves trains. I think he was hoping it would wear off onto my girls.


There were many, many activities set up to do before or after the train ride on Thomas.


First, we got some cool new tats! Nothing is cooler than Thomas and this helicopter guy whose name escapes me. See, I told you we don't know much about Thomas - thus my amazement that the girls were so excited about it all.
Then we visited the petting zoo. Where there were many goats and sheep to be petted and fed. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of petting zoo's but the girls loved it. Especially the baby goats. While we were there a family came up next to us and the Mom said, " You can look, but do not touch." I said something about definitely using the hand sanitizer after we were done and she informed me that the last time her daughter touched the animals at a petting zoo, she got "terribly sick even though they washed her hands." Not really something I wanted to hear.

Next, we visited the Butterfly Lady who was making balloon animals. A. chose a yellow bunny, and M. chose a pink poodle.

L. chose this pink butterfly that popped as soon as we got on the train. She had a rough day with her balloon animals. We went back for a second one after the train ride and she chose a yellow puppy that promptly popped getting into the car to go home. Poor girl. She was so upset. She cried and cried.

It was then time to go for our ride on Thomas. We did get our picture made with Thomas but I've not looked it up yet to see if it was any good. Here are my three daddies girls with their favorite person!
There was some beautiful scenery on the ride. A beautiful river that had folks floating, rafting and kayaking on it. Oh, and mountains in the background of course.



After the ride on Thomas was finished, we enjoyed a few more activities. What more could a girl ask for but a bouncy house with a slide?!!?
And then some bubbles with fans blowing them all over!!!













It was incredible hot, so after the bubbles everyone was asking for some ice cream and a drink. They did have these neat things that blew out a cool mist but it just wasn't enough.SO - we went into a little shop at the railway station that had both. A. and M. both got ice cream.

My L. was so hot and thirsty that she didn't even want ice cream. All she wanted was water.
And just look how happy she was about it!


In these late days of pregnancy, I've been craving lemonade (I wish I was close enough to my Granny to have hers!) and limeade. I had fresh squeezed lemonade and it didn't matter to me that the small cup was $3.50 (as my hubby informed me) because it was delicious! My husband just doesn't understand these pregnancy cravings.....you'd think the 4th time around that he would get it by now - but not so much.


We had a great time. This is the last time that Thomas will come to this small town. The Great Smokey Mtn. Railroad has moved their headquarters to another town and the people who own Thomas said that they wouldn't go there..... SO, I'm glad that we got to visit this year. I guess when this baby boy is old enough we will just have to go to Chattanooga to see the "real" Thomas. They do make a yearly trip there.

Have a great day everyone!

OH, please check out my previous post. I've only had 1 comment --- I need more discussion of the topic than that. Come on everyone. Let's hear your opinions!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pondering On.........God's Sovereignty

Lately, one of the things I've spent time pondering and meditating on is God's sovereignty.

What exactly does it mean that God is sovereign?

Does it mean that he so orders our lives that we have no choices? For instance, if someone is divorced and remarried does that mean that God ordained the divorce? Because some would say that God intended for them to be married to their 2nd spouse.....

I have a really hard time believing that. Not the 'who' they are married to but that God ordained the divorce. I believe that God dislikes divorce period. Yes, he allows it, but divorce causes so much pain for the people involved and their families and even their friends. I think God really hates divorce.

Also, where does our free will fit into God's sovereignty?

I am really pondering and thinking and researching this and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Once I get my thoughts more in order and 'my head together' about this I can maybe speak more clearly than I did above.

I know this is a hard thing but please, ponder with me won't you?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


It is Monday again, and like last week, we didn't fix some of the things on our menu so I do have some repeats.....Being 5 weeks from delivering a baby, by supper time - I'm often not wanting to be on my feet any longer.


BUT - here is my plan for this week......We will see what gets fixed. Maybe I can do it all. My very frugal husband would love it if we don't have to go out to eat again this week.


M: Grilled Salmon, rice, green veggie


T: Buttermilk Baked Chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes


W: Cheesy Spinach Lasagna, salad, bread (an attempt to get my family to eat spinach)


T: BBQ Sandwiches (in the crockpot), French Fries


F: Leftover's Buffet


S: Beef Casserole, salad


S: out to eat


For more Menu's go on over and visit Laura. Hope everyone is having a blessed Monday.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Conversation with M

Our, soon to be, 5 year old is quite a chatty little girl. Tonight we went out to dinner and these were some of the things she discussed.

First, I asked if she would like some carrots (we were at a buffet).


M said "No."


I said, " They're good for you. They help you see well."


M said, "I don't need them, I already see good. I can see things far, far away."


Later on, just she and I were sitting at the table and we were talking about our baby that is due soon.


M asked, "Who made you?" (speaking of me)


I said, "God did."


M said, " I thought your mama and daddy did." (Really I have no idea how she knows anything about this. Aside from the fact that our baby is in my belly, I'm baffled)


I said, "The bible says that God knit you together in your mom's belly. That means he made you in my belly." (After a conversation of what 'knit' meant - I should've chosen a different word.)


M said, "How?"


I said, "I don't know - he just made us."


M said, " Did God make earrings?"


I said, "No, I think someone else came up with earrings."


M said, " You?"


I said, "No"


M said, "Grammy?"


I said, "No, earrings were invented a long time before Grammy had them."


M said, "I think Eve invented them."


I said, "Maybe Eve invented them. M, who were Adam and Eve?"


M said, "Christians"


I did correct her and tell her that Adam and Eve were not Christians, but I just wanted to record this whole conversation to remember it all."


Just over a month

That is how long we have lived in our new town. And that is how long it took for me to hear those words that REALLY drive me crazy...........

"That's not how we've always done it."

This is by far one of the things I hear that drives me most crazy.

I find that a lot of times when I hear this statement, I immediately become a bit defensive. Sometimes, things can be done differently and it building isn't going to fall to the ground. Matter of fact, if we open our hearts and minds up, things might just turn out better doing it a 'new' way.

Sorry for the rant.....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hair Disaster

Ok. It is officially driving me crazy.



My hair that is. Remember way back last October, I cut my hair short. And I loved it, I really did. I also told everyone who would listen that when I was ready I could just let it grow out, right?





WRONG!!! I've been trying to grow my hair out now for a while.....Since at least March. It is driving me nuts. I've decided that while I still have hair that can be grown long, I'd like to go back to that



Aside from the fact that I still have to find a new hairdresser (I've been given the name of someone --Thanks Sue!), I now officially feel I have a hair don't.



The problem is -- I want it to grow out and don't really know how to do that. All of that stacking in the back has come back to haunt me. It seems to me that my hair has grown out into some sort of mullet look and to be honest that looks good on no one! Not even Billy Ra*y C*yrus......

So, today I am wondering....anybody got any advice for the 'growing it out' stage?
I could really use some!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Psalm for the day

This afternoon in my quiet time I will be finishing up Nancy Leigh DeMosses book Lies Women Believe. This has been a good book but has also been a very difficult read for me.

While there are lots of things in this book that I believe are lies that the Enemy touts us with there are other things that I simply haven't agreed with and have been a real struggle for me. None the less, it was worth the time to read it. I've learned much.

One of the greatest scripture's she has offered has been this one.

Psalm 91 (New Living Translation)

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

I love this Psalm and will try and spend some more time meditating on it this afternoon. I find it very encouraging and uplifting. Especially in regard to my "fear" issues of the last couple of years that still crop back up from time to time.
I love that it says that He gives his angels to guard over us all.
I love that. The fact that His angels are watching and protecting us all.

One other thing that I really love is in verse 1. Where the NLT uses the work Almighty, the Hebrew here is El Shaddai. And upon further research into the meaning of El Shaddai, I found that it does mean God Almighty. BUT it is even bigger than that. It means God who is all sufficient.
What a great reminder. He is the God who is ALL SUFFICIENT for my needs. Even my fear.
I am so grateful to God that he is all sufficient for me!
Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Goodness, I cannot believe another week has flown by. Our week last week turned out a little bit crazy. Crazy for us anyway because we usually don't eat out much but last week by way of dinner with friends we ate out a few times. So, there are some things on this weeks menu that are from last weeks that we didn't eat and we need to cook before it goes bad.


So, here it is:


M- Spaghetti, salad, bread


T- Roast, carrots, potatoes, onions in the crock pot


W - Garlic Shrimp & Grits, bread


T - Leftover's buffet


F - Church function to attend


S- Salmon, okra, other fresh veggie's


S - out to eat, or leftovers, or sandwiches


For more menu's visit Laura!

OH - and I wanted to tell ya'll that the chicken and dumplings from last week turned out great! YEA! Thanks, Mom for letting me in on what my troubles were! It is an easy recipe, too. So, if any one is interested Southern Living is where I got the recipe. My family all loved it....except for the 3 year old. And really she likes nothing that isn't chicken nuggets or pizza or mesican ( her pronunciation - and it has to be at the restaurant not at home).


Friday, July 18, 2008

Folkmoot Parade

Friday's are usually my husband's day off so we try to do something fun as a family. We were told by some good friends that we should check out the Folkmoot Parade.
Unless you are from the area, you've probably never heard of Folkmoot before. Before this week we hadn't either. Folkmoot is an international festival that celebrates different cultural heritages through that countries dance and music. This festival is held in a little town not far from where we live now, so we traveled there today to be at the parade. We arrived in town early to stake out our claim on the parade route. We set up our chairs in the shade (or so we thought) and then went to walk around town a bit.
This town has lots of great shops and has one of my very favorite children's boutiques, Just Ducky. And better yet, they were having a sale!!! I got a pair of L'Amour sandals for L. for next summer for $12 and got baby boy a pair of swim trunks for less than $10 for next year also. I was excited.
We ate lunch at Nick & Nate's, a great pizza place.

We then went back to our seats to wait on the parade to begin. We really didn't know what to expect at all. It was so much fun -- aside from the fact that the spot we staked out wasn't such a great spot. Turns out with the two hours that passed we placed our selves right in it! We all got too much sun!

The first country to go by was Argentina. They stopped right in front of us and did their dance.











The next country was Belarus. They didn't really dance, they just swayed and sang to their music.



Next, was Nova Scotia. I loved this group. With their scottish dance and their bagpipes.






Then came Chinese Taipei (Taiwan). Their dance was very unusual and had lots of cymbals in their music.



Next came France. Check out the costumes. They definitely weren't what I expected from France. I don't know what I expected, but not this really.



I was also fascinated by the male dancers with them on stilts....wearing heavy fur coats and leg covers no less.


After France was Japan. One of the sweet girls from Japan gave one of my girls a little toy that she was handing out.


The next dancers were from Russia.


This lady in white thought my girls were the parade I guess. She stopped and had a friend take her picture with them. Too funny!






The next group was from Slovakia.
They got children out of the crowd to come and dance with them. I was surprised that all three of mine chose to go out and dance with them.



And, last but certainly not least was the group from Trinidad.
These costumes left my 5 year old asking if the next time she comes to a parade if she can wear her swimsuit......ahem....No, no that isn't a good idea!
Check out the spider woman! And last but not least came this male dancer bearing the flag of Trinidad.


I dressed my children in their patriotic outfits today not knowing it would be a big deal. I did it for two reasons. One - it is easier to keep up with the three of them in a crowd when they are dressed alike. Two - I wanted them to get more wear out of them than just 4th of July. As we waited for the parade to start, people were handing out American flags for us to wave at the performers. LOTS of the performers took pictures of my girls. I am assuming it was because they were wearing their "American attire". I found it so ironic that I was there taking pictures of them in their traditional dance attire and they took pictures of us from in the parade lines.

This is a two week festival and it looks like there are many more fun things to attend before it ends on July 27th. I am hoping to attend a few more of them and if you find yourselves over in Western NC, you should check it all out!

This turned into a LONG post. Sorry and if you are still here, thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What is your cardboard testimony?

I sat down this afternoon to finish a post on raising children, but then I visited Lots of Scotts and found this video. I just can't miss the opportunity to share it with you all. I can finish my other post later (I know you are waiting with bated breath)
I hope that JMom won't mind my sharing it here also. It is an amazing video. What courageous people to be that honest in front of their whole (BIG) church.

Watch and be blessed this day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wordle

I stole borrowed this from my friend Lisa's blog who stole borrowed it from another friend.

Here is my word cloud. I just think it is kind of neat. Looks like I talk about kids and having a new baby a lot.......Such is my life.
Have a happy Tuesday everyone.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


It's a little late in the afternoon, but here is my menu plan for the week.....
M - Jerk Steak Taco's, Spanish Rice, Black Beans
T - Chicken and Dumplings. bread and salad (ya'll pray it turns out alright!)
W- Grilled Brats, corn on the cob, and salad or another green veggie
T- Grilled Fish (whatever looks good at the market), brown rice, Asparagus salad
F - Leftover Buffet
S - Spaghetti, salad, bread
S - We have a picnic to attend so I'm thinking it will be burgers
And, just to help me remember, here is my memory verse for this week:
Isaiah 26: 3-4
"You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, is the Rock eternal."
Have a great Monday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Melt Down

I know you've been there. That point in pregnancy where you are just ready.

Ready for the pregnancy to be over.

Ready for the baby to come.

Ready for the aches and pains to be gone.

Ready to feel better.

Ready to sleep better. ( without a mountain of extra pillow's that only make me comfortable for about 10 minutes)

Ready to breathe better.

But still knowing all along that the longer the baby is safe inside my tummy, the better it is for him.

At almost 33 weeks pregnant that is where I am.

Just ready. I really don't want to wish my life, or my family's life away. I am acutely aware lately of the fact that life flies by and I need to enjoy every moment of every day of every stage of each of my children's lives.
However, there is a part of me today - that wishes the next 7 weeks would be gone and labor and delivery would be over and we would just be holding a happy, healthy baby boy.

I know that with each of my pregnancies, I was ready for the baby to come at the end. But I think this time - the 4th time- I am just about over being pregnant. I've been happily pondering that with the birth of our 4th child, our family will be complete.

Here is where the melt down went from possible (with all that above and add in hormones) to probable.
I got up this morning to do my bible study. Right now I am reading Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I have really enjoyed the challenge this book has given me to really know the Truth as presented in the bible but today's chapter is just going to send me off the deep end.

Today's chapter was "Lies Women Believe About Children". And what was the very first lie of this chapter?

" It's up to us to determine the size of our family."

UGGHHH, I thought I had already dealt with this issue. Remember, I discussed it here a while back. AND, I thought God had given me peace on this issue that this would be our final child.

After reading this chapter today, I'm struggling. Nancy talks about how Satan is a destroyer of life and wants to discourage child-bearing. I can agree with that. AND she also puts Christian "Family Planning" in the same league as abortion.

Anyone got any words for me today? I could use them! The melt down ensues!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Small Town Fun

One of the biggest blessings of this move is the place where we've been moved. It is in the mountains of western North Carolina and it is a beautiful place.
This is the view from the 'front' of our house. I think it is a breathtaking view of the mountains and for me it is a reminder of how big our God is. HE created all of this beautiful place.

My children's bedrooms, the den and patio also have the same view. Beautiful!
Also, you can't tell from the picture but we sit right above the down town area of our town. We can also see parts of that from our house.

I've never lived in any "down- town" area before and I love the idea of being able to walk down there. Since this is a tourist destination for some, there are lovely shops and several delicious sounding restaurants and cafes within walking distance to our house. As is the post office, the library, a book store and a couple of coffee shops that I will definitely enjoy once I am no longer pregnant!
Another great thing about this little town is that the 4th of July is a really big deal. They close down the down-town streets at about 6:00 PM and have a street fair. People bring their lawn chairs and blankets and set them up on Main Street to watch the fireworks that are shot off over the court house of the town.
We had an absolutely wonderful day on the 4th. My Mom and her husband came to visit. Not only did they help us get loads done in our house, it was great to have them here to celebrate the holiday with.
Some of our new neighbors invited us down to their house for a cookout. It was a delightful time getting to know them some. Their son's family was visiting also, so it was nice to get to meet them and our girls enjoyed playing with their little boy. We've met so many of our neighbors already here. Actually, we've met more neighbors here in just two weeks than we've ever met in any town before. It has been nice feeling so welcome!
Anyway, after the cookout, we walked down through the street festival where we saw Sparky the Dog and Granddaddy bought a great big bag of kettle corn for all to enjoy.










We then walked back up to our house to set up for the fireworks. Since we live so near down town, we were able to sit at the top of our driveway and watch the fireworks. Our girls lounged on a blanket and ate kettle corn and Red Velvet Cake (provided by some other kind folks we met earlier that day) and waited on the show to start.


I did take some pictures of the fireworks display but since I am no photographer and they wouldn't do it justice I won't post them.
We had an absolutely wonderful day. The people in our church and in this community have made us feel so welcome that our transition has gone quite smoothly. This town really is a beautiful place and I am hoping it can be our 'hometown' for many years to come.





Monday, July 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I haven't done a Menu Plan in a while, with all the moving and things. I am beginning to get back to some normalcy though. My mom was here over the holiday and helped me get much accomplished. We now have very few boxes left to unpack and I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.



So, here is my menu for this week.



M- Grilled BBQ Chicken, Broccoli Mac & Cheese (shameless attempt to get my children to eat broccoli),

Fried Squash



T- Hamburgers, Homemade French Fries, Baked Beans, Fruit



W- Garlic Shrimp & Goat Cheese Pasta, Salad, bread



T- Leftovers Night



F- Hot Beef Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit



S- Tortilla Soup, bread



S- Out to eat/sandwiches/leftovers





It isn't the healthiest menu ever but to tell you the truth, at 32 weeks pregnant, I'm looking for easy right now. Which is why we are eating hamburgers and hot beef sandwiches this week.

For more menu's, go on over and visit Laura. Of course, my menu is contingent on my getting time today to actually go to the grocery store. Which I refuse to do with three little girls. I know some people can go grocery shopping with their children and I applaud them for it. I cannot. My girls chatter the whole time and ask for anything and everything that has a picture of Dora the Explorer on it. I can't think straight with them at the grocery store.



We had a great 4th of July. Hopefully tomorrow I can get some pictures posted of that. Have a great Monday everyone!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

To remember


A. and I were sitting in our living room last night watching a praying mantis on the window. That brought up lots of questions about why it is called a praying mantis and why was it on our window.

To the question of why he was on our window, I replied, "Maybe he is there to remind you to pray."


A few minutes later A. said, "I prayed and he didn't go away."


Then she asked, "Why is the sky blue?" I said, "Because that is how God made it."


She asked "Why are we God's servants?" I said,"Because we love him and we should want to serve him."


A little later, her dad came into the room and I was recapping our conversation with him thinking he might have something to add. When I got to that she asked why are we God's servants, hubs said, "Why are we God's servants...." and he was indeed going to add something for A.'s benefit.


A interrupted and said, " I know why we are God's servants!"


K said "Why?"


A said, "Because he created us!"


I think that says it all......

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Praising God for this baby news

I went for a level 2 ultrasound today. Mostly as a precaution since this baby has a single artery umbilical cord.
I am happy to report that from everything they can see, everything looked good with our little boy. He measures right where he should be - weighing in at 3 lbs 13ozs (anyone else wonder how in the world they can tell that?!!?) at 31 weeks gestation.
His heart and kidneys looked fine which can be affected when the SUA shows up. Another thing that can come along with SUA is a cleft lip. His looks fine they said.

The doctor did tell me that there is still a small chance that something (maybe chromosomal) could show up after the baby is born. I am choosing to focus on the positive and thank God for the good news I received today. And trust him for the rest.

Hope you all are having a great week!