Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cheating A Little

There are so many posts that I want to make, but I want them to be published on specific days, so I will just make it a point to let you know when I am cheating a bit and publish something, like this post about our travels from GA to OH and this one about music and how it affects me.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

July 2009
Both girls went through a stage last summer where they were fascinated with blowing bubbles. They would use anything that would work to blow bubbles while doing dishes. This photo catches FigNewTon's amazement perfectly.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic-Size Dreams

We all have them. Or at least we HAD them. Can you remember yours? I can't. It has been pushed aside by the now and buried by the cares and concerns of day to day life for so long that I don't even remember what mine were.
My thirteen year old wants to compete in Russia in 2014. She has the raw talent. She has the drive - and most of the time it is focused correctly. She has the commitment and determination. She doesn't have the finances. It is an expensive dream; approximately $15,000 a year and that cost will only go up as she improves. She has written a letter requesting sponsors and sent them to every local business and is sending them to every business that advertised during the Olympics on TV. She has a few. She needs more. Something as simple as money could get in the way, and she knows it.
My fourteen year old wants to be a missionary in Africa. Actually, we know the country, but I have been told it is not safe for people already working there to mention the country in that context, so we just say Africa. She has had this dream since she was two. Yes, two. Before she made a commitment to Christ, she knew she was called. Her dream seems even more Olympic-sized now, since 08-02-08, the day of her accident. She is never without adult supervision. She must keep a consistent eating and sleeping schedule or she could pass out. She has constant headaches, daily dizziness, ever present fatigue. She is learning to add. Yes, I said add. But her heart still beats for Africa. Maybe hers would be better labeled a God-size dream. And it will take a miracle of God for her to get there, to be healed and strong enough to live the life of a missionary.
I think I am going to ask God to remind me what my Olympic-size dreams are. I am going to ask Him where He wants my life to go, who He wants me to become and how I can get there. It is time to remember and dream again.
What about you? Do you have an Olympic-size dream? Or do you need God to remind you what it is? Let me know and I will pray for you as we strive to reach our dreams.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for...
camera, car, children, communication, cooperation, dishwashers, email, flowers, food, friends, mail, medicine, memories, money, movies, music, organization, pencils, pictures, prayer, sleep, snow, spontaneity, sunshine, zoo
What are you thankful for?
As a disclaimer, I know I have been lax on blogging lately. The first week we were home was just due to settling in and preparing for the home inspections, which went well. Sunday the 14th, two days before inspections, I fell on the ice and was way too sore to do much of anything for about a week and a half. Then, I had a tooth removed. I am on the mend and expect to post quite a few things in the next few days. There are so many things that I want to post about that happened on our trip. I just needed time to mend and I am almost there. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

June 2007
FigNewTon
The girls were ready for bed and I asked them if they wanted to stay up late and catch lightening bugs. They were so excited and had so much fun!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

What am I thankful for today?

I am thankful that inspections are over.
I am thankful for friends who help me through each day in little and big ways.
I am thankful for sunshine, even if it is still deceptively cold outside.
I am thankful that I have caught up reading blogs; now all I have to do is go back and check comments and emails to see if there is any I need to return.
I am thankful that even with all that is going on in our lives, all of us are basically healthy.
I am thankful for teeth and dentists. Ask me next Monday, and I may not be so thankful for either.
I am thankful for my girls. They are generally obedient and cooperative. They think of others feelings and needs. They do their schoolwork willingly most of the time. They are loving and kind. I am definitely thankful for my girls.
I am thankful for recipes. I love having new foods or being able to recreate foods that I was served at someone else's home. Last night we had Cold Sesame Noodles, veggies with hummus, and hot wings. We even made the tahini ourselves. A mishmash of cultures at our dinner table for sure, but a delicious combination. I am thankful for the Internet. Last night's feast would not have been possible without it.
I am thankful for salvation. I am thankful that I can approach God in prayer and know He hears me. I am thankful for all that knowing Him adds to my life.
What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Simple Blessings

Right before our trip, I noticed that the drawer where I keep all the stationery and thank you cards was getting rather empty. I had several people that I needed to write notes and thank you cards to and I had to be quite creative in what I used. I really didn't have the extra money in the budget to purchase more, but knew I needed them. While I was in GA, Stephanie cleaned out a box and asked me if I wanted the stuff that was in it. I said sure and brought it home without really looking through it. My drawer is now full of stationery, greeting cards, and thank you cards. As I was putting the last of it away, rearranging a bit to make everything fit, I remembered a fleeting prayer that I said asking God to provide these things for us. He is simply amazing. The way He chooses to bless me and answer even the simple prayers. Those little answers make me feel so loved and give me the faith to ask for bigger, more significant things.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

July 2007
A friend of mine met us at the rink and we chatted while the kids skated. This picture is of Butterfly helping one of the smaller children to stand back up. Butterfly looks so small here; and I thought she was so big at the time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

What am I thankful for today?
I am thankful that I was able to go on a vacation and spend time with people I love that live so far away. I am also thankful to be home, sleeping in my own bed. I am thankful for the friends that watered plants, checked mail, and took care of all things home while I was gone. I am thankful for friends that warmly greeted me when I got home.
I am thankful for music. There is something so comforting about hearing familiar songs that point my heart to Jesus.
I am thankful that I have been able to get so much done in the few short days since I have been home. Remember the stress because we were having inspections? Those inspections are scheduled for Tuesday morning. I am thankful for the creativity that God has given me, the ability to think outside of the box, the ideas that allow me to use what I have in unusual ways to make up for what I lack. I am thankful that in the end, I truly have plenty.
I am thankful for the telephone and internet and all things communication related that allows information to be shared and acted upon quickly.
I am thankful for the opportunity to know each of you and the chance that gives me to pray for you daily. I am thankful for the friendships that I have gained because of that.
I am thankful for flowers that arrived in the mail for each of my girls today, and the person who sent them.
I am thankful for the ability to laugh and smile; and being able to tease and play with my girls.
What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hurry Home

Whenever I travel, I invariably lose the signal to the radio station that I am listening to so I push the little button labeled scan and try to find a station that I will like. While doing this, I hear what I have come to call "my God song." Each trip it is different. Usually, it is a style of music that I don't listen to on a regular basis, something I would not hear at home. Often, the song does not appear to have anything to do with God.
This time, it was Hurry Home. It is added to my play list, so you can click on it and hear it if you want to. As soon as I heard the song, I thought of how God loves us. How He waits for us to turn to Him and return to Him if we walk away. How His forgiveness is complete and covers all transgressions. How He sends reminders to let us know we are loved in the midst of our pain.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Home

We are home, and although the last leg of our trip was a bit more eventful than I would like, we made it home safely. There is so much already clamoring for my attention, so it may be a few days before I check back in, but for tonight, I think I hear my bed calling my name. :0)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Great Smokey Mountains

When we left GA to go to OH, we went a bit out of our way so that we could travel through the Great Smokey Mountains. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
Driving through the mountains reminded me of a trip I took with my grandparents when I was a girl. We traveled to TN, where my Uncle Lloyd and his family lived. They took us to the Great Smokey Mountains for a picnic. The fog was so thick that day that we could barely see a few feet away, and yet the view was still breathtaking. It was even more beautiful than this past Friday. Yet, I remember Aunt Jean saying over and over that she wished we would be there longer so that we could come back and see the beauty of the Great Smokey Mountains. My grandparents, my sister, and I were sitting in the car with our mouths agape just staring at the beauty all around us.
Even now, I cannot imagine how beautiful the Great Smokey Mountains would be in all of their glory. Driving through the mountains reminded me of how big and in control that God is, how small and insignificant that I am, and how privileged I am to be loved by Him and called His child.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snapshot Saturday


November 1995
This is a photo that Stephanie had cropped for something. There is a story behind this picture. Butterfly was six months old and we were shopping for a Christmas dress for her. I kept trying to pick out something more festive, more specific to the season, something fancier; but every time I would put any other dress in the shopping cart, she would start screaming and every time I would try to put the red dress back, she would reach for this dress again. So, I bought the dress. She then went through a season that she would cry if I tried to put her in any color than red.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Who Let The Dawgs Out

While we were in GA, we went all around town looking for the bulldog statues. Each statue represents some facet of GA life. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures as much as we enjoyed finding the bulldogs. There is a website that tells a bit about the project, if you want to check it out.

Zapp It
Artist ~ Robin Fay
Classic City Bulldog
Artist ~ Deanna Anglin
Santa Paws
Artist ~ Jessica Chavez
Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dawg
Artist ~ Gretchen Fennell
Athens Music Scene
Artist ~ Jamie Calkin
Dollar Dawg
Artist ~ Nick Helton

Unknown
Argo Dawg
Artist ~ Jack Davis
Classic Bulldawg
Artist ~ Gretchen Fennell

Dog Walker
Artist ~ Chris Wyrick
EduDawg
Artist ~ Unknown
AnAtomic Dawg
Artist ~John Ahee
A-pooch-ecary
Artist ~ Jennifer Flournoy
Ol' Silver
Artist ~ Kelly Stevens

Georgia Power Dawg
Artist ~ Unknown
Theana
Artist ~ Arwen Blane
"ABC Dawg"
Artist ~ Margot Dorn & students of Gaines Elementary

Daisy Dawg
Show Dawg
Artist ~ Stan Mullins
Bugga
Artist ~ Bruce McPhearson
Dawg House
Artist - Charlotte House
Georgia Dawgs
Artist - Wayne Walters
Dawg Fan
Artist ~ Martha Johnson
Ceasar Dawgustus
Artist - Gretchen Fennell
Dawgwood Bark
Artist ~ James Carroll
Georganium
Artist - Christine Shockley Gholson
Game Dawg
Artist ~ Brent Chitwood
Dr. I C Dawg
Artist - Unknown
Archie
Artist - The Arch Society
Vincent Van Go Dawg
Artist - Kathy Whitehead
Scarlet
Artist - Celia Brooks
Flower Power
Artist - Robin Fay
Chase the Dawg
Artist - Krista Dean and students
Freedom Stands Guard
Artist - Peg and Wanda Harvard
Thurston LaDonnahue III
Artist - Scott Sosebee
Chick-fil-UGA
Artist -Brent Chitwood
Manu
Artist - Prisca Zaccaria
Sky Dawg
Artist - Kathy Whitehead

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

What am I thankful for today?

Butterfly is acting good, and for that I am thankful. FigNewTon has had a great attitude for the last few days, and for that I am thankful. We are all healthy, and for that I am thankful. We are having fun, and for that I am thankful. I have been able to enjoy many visits with Jackie, and for that I am thankful. We enjoyed baking cookies, and for that I am thankful. Jackie took us to lunch the other day, and for that I am thankful. I have been able to spend time with Stephanie and her family, and for that I am thankful. We were able to enjoy warmth, sunshine, and a picnic today, and for that I am thankful. The girls have had several days in this last week to have a girls day out with Taylor, and for that I am thankful. We were able to find most of the bulldog statues, and for that I am thankful. I have a camera to record the memories, and for that I am thankful. God has breathed fresh life into me these last few weeks, and for that I am thankful. I feel refreshed and ready to handle the stress of life again, and for that I am thankful. God gives grace to cover my insufficiencies, and for that I am thankful. I am on my way to see Autumn and her family, and for that I am thankful. I have an abundance of friends, and for that I am thankful. I have a home to return to, and for that I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bittersweet

Tonight I am busy packing up all of our things so that we can leave GA in the morning. bitter

It has been a good visit. sweet

It is the last night I will hug Caiden goodnight, the last day that I will spend hanging out with Taylor, the last jokes I will hear Nathan tell, the last day that I will get to watch Jaycob growing in to a godly young man, the last time I will hear Stephanie teaching my girls yarn crafts, the last moments with dogs that I thought I would never get accustomed to and now know I will miss, the last few hugs and moments to sit and talk with Jackie. I know these are not the last, last moments; but rather they are last for a while. I just don't know how long a while will be. Before this visit, it had been 5 1/2 years since I had spent time in GA enjoying these people I love so much. bitter

I am looking forward to seeing new parts of the country as I drive to Ohio, hanging out with Autumn, watching my girls reconnect with their one time best friend, hearing MM call me "my Tricia," seeing Dion again. Although it has only been a few months since I have seen Autumn, I have never seen her new home, I haven't seen the girls in over a year, and I haven't seen Dion for four years. sweet

And I am looking forward to getting home. I feel refreshed and ready to handle the stresses of life again. bittersweet

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ice Skating

Sunday, January 24, we took the kids ice skating. As much as FigNewTon would like it if we had gone every day, the closest rink is 77 miles away, so we were only able to go once. Stephanie's kids had never been ice skating before. Everyone had fun. Butterfly chose to do some yarn work while she sat on the sidelines. The day was really hard on her with the noise and lights and chaos. We were all reminded just how much her injury impacts life.