Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just call me Mozart...

It was probably when I was in 2nd grade that my mom & dad first decided to send me to piano lessons. I took lessons from a family friend for awhile & then started taking lessons from Mrs. Hunter a few years later. Mrs. Hunter was very strict but also a great piano teacher & I ended up taking lessons from her until my senior year of high school. I started going to music contest when I was in the 5th grade & I was actually pretty good, earning a 1 rating most years for my performances. Even though I played volleyball & softball, I still managed to cram in piano lessons afterwards--sometimes as late as 6:00pm.

Piano was something that has always been a part of my life, it's give me some of my proudest moments & it was even the cause of my most embarrassing moment (which is another story for another post). I always told myself that I wouldn't lose my ability to play, even once I got older. Well, you guessed it--I went to college, got married, & quit playing mostly due to a lack of access to a piano. My mom has always had a dream of owning a baby Grand piano and for the past few years I've been strongly encouraging her, knowing that when she got a new piano--so would I.
Well...on Monday morning, my wish came true. My parents were finally at the place where they pulled the trigger & purchased a baby Grand piano. It's actually a Clavinova, which is a digital piano with the ability to sound EXACTLY like a Grand piano but also with the ability to play hundreds & hundred of other sounds. The piano is basically smarter than any human being. Anyways, it was delivered on Monday with the promise that the delivery guys would also take the old piano from its original location & move it to my house the same day. (Much easier said than done...)

Moving in the Grand was the easy part...they had it on this little cart, rolled it in, put on the legs, & set it right up.

Sorry mom, I forgot to take a picture with the lid propped up all beautifully!

Next came the old upright piano, which just happened to be located in the loft of my parents' house & was so heavy that when my parents' built the house in 1980, they actually put the piano up there once the floor was done, covered it in plastic, & finished the rest of the house around the piano. Now, the piano was coming down...

See my Dad in the upper left...he got stuck up there & unfortunately wasn't able to help the moving guy on the bottom end! Nice smile Dad!

It was definitely one of the more tense moments I've experienced in a long time. That piano is HEAVY & one wrong move and everyone was falling down the stairs or through the railing.

Thankfully everyone & the piano ended up at the bottom of the stairs in one piece.

We headed to my house where a little more maneuvering had to take place, and finally it was in its resting place.
I really didn't know you could safely turn a piano on its side...guess I was very wrong!
The piano needs a good tuning, and a little bit of minor upkeep but it works just fine for now. My goal isn't to be able to play every piece of music out there--I really just want to be able to play the song I played at music contest my senior year in high school like I could back then. I don't want to look back one of these days and say "When I was a little girl, I used to be able to play the piano...but I can't anymore." I'm sure the new will wear off eventually, but for now I'm just so happy to have the ability to do something that brought me so much joy in my childhood.

Hello old friend...

Hopefully one day my children will also learn to play on this very piano...even if grandma does have a Grand!

Just waiting on someone to sit down & make beautiful music!

Thanks mom & dad, it means a lot that this was the piano were I learned to be a musician, not just a plunker--even if I did jump off the stage!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Rewind

Hubby & I started off the weekend with a reminder of why we don't have an indoor dog & why we haven't decided to have children yet....Josie. Gosh I love this little girl, but she is a handful...especially during the night. We had her overnight for 3 nights last week and every night she would wake up about 3 hours after falling asleep and wouldn't go back to sleep unless I put her up in bed with us. Josie darling, I love you but please start sleeping through the night again!

As for the rest of the weekend, Hubby was given the option of taking off work either this Saturday or last Saturday, so he chose this week and we headed off to Kansas City for a shopping day. SHOPPING SPREE FOR ME!!!! Since Christmas, I have been saving up extra cash here and there so I could buy some new clothes for our trip. I was super excited!!! Before we left, Hubby surprised me again with an end of tax season present. I love surprises so I was thrilled when he came in with a big box tied with a satin bow & opened it up to find this inside!!!

A new COACH purse!! It's covered in sparkly sequins & I just love it!!!

Sure tax season isn't quite over, but he wanted me to have it for the shopping trip! Is he the best hubby or what!?!?
We got into KC right at lunchtime and grabbed lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. We managed to hit up the Country Club Plaza, Oak Park Mall, & Town Centre Plaza. I hate it when my favorite stores aren't all in one location! I picked up several cute things & still have some money left. I'm stlil searching for some great beachy dresses. We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory & were absolutely worn out. We just headed back to the hotel, watched some basketball (I managed to lose both of my Championship game teams in the same day--Kentucky & K State--BOOO!!!), & crashed for the night.
We came home fairly early yesterday so we had time to catch our breath before small group. It was the perfect opportunity for a self-portrait photo shoot. So now...without further ado...I give you my new look! Whaddya think?

A shot from the front...

and one from the side! I love how it's stacked up in the back & edgy in the front!

We were also finally able to have a quick birthday celebration for Bogey. I'm still searching for a great new toy but I'm sure he won't hold it against me. Hubby picked up another peanut butter cake from Three Dog Bakery, but definitely a little smaller than last year!

Proud momma!

It cracked on the ride home, but Bogey loved it anyway!

Hubby trying to keep him away for just a few more seconds---he can't hardly stand it, look at that tail go!

Licking up the peanut butter frosting!

Hubby broke off pieces of the actual cake & Bogey would sit just perfectly still until he threw a piece into the air!

YUM! Gotta love that frosting!!!

As usual, we finished off the weekend with small group. I'm loving our new study! I'm also trying to get in some good walking, because I tried on a swimsuit this weekend & just wasn't all too thrilled about my reflection in the mirror. We walked 2 miles last night at a great pace, did jumping jacks at each corner, & did an ab workout when we got back--whew, my abs are killing me today! The weather is supposed to be gorgeous here this week so more working out will definitely be on the schedule!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Bogey!!

Today is a special day in the Layman house as Bogey Layman is turning 2! I can't believe we've already had him for 2 years!!! Man how the time flies....Of course then I take a look at our backyard & reminisce on all the items he has destroyed & it's not so hard to believe he's 2. Even with all the frustrations, he's still currently our only child & brings a lot of fun & joy into our life. He makes me smile each day when I get home from work when he's waiting for me in the backyard.

You went from this...on your first day in your new backyard...
To only 2 years.
Last year for his 1st birthday I made a photobook from Shutterfly illustrating his first year as a Layman. Hubby & I compiled a list the of all the things Bogey had destroyed, dug up, or left his mark on. So for your reading pleasure I decided to share the list from his first year of life.

1. Broke in the house (the door just flew open) & chewed on Mom's brand new purse & destroyed one of her shoes.
2. Successfully dug up 5 different sprinkler heads.
3. Chewed off plastic piece around outdoor faucet.
4. Chewed on door frame & concrete step.
5. Destroyed plastic kiddie pool.
6. Tipped over & broke outdoor decorative table.
7. Played in ashes in firepit & scattered them all over patio
8. Eaten & destroyed several toys including tennis balls.
9. Managed to get in cabinet under grill--drained lighter fluid in yard & chewed on Dad's grill accessories.
10. Destroyed 2 different grill covers.
12. Love water including fish pond & fountain at Grandma & Grandpa's house.
13. Pulled off and chewed on metal end of gutter.
14. Chewed through 3 different grill hoses including hard electric conduit--the first time the gas was still on.
15. Pulled drip pan out of grill.
16. Chased mean lady down the street (she said I was a vicious mutt...can you believe her?)
17. Chewed holes in 2 different dog beds--it looked like there was green cotton candy all over the yard.
18. Pulled off and destroyed collar.
19. Chewed off wicker part of chair legs on a patio chair.
20. Enjoy playing with plastic gutter downspouts.
21. I love topsoil bags!!! (or any plastic bag for that matter!)
22. Ran out onto Grandma & Grandpa's pool cover in the winter time.
23. Broke into house to get my favorite indoor toy.
24. Marked my spot on my supposed new friend Josie (aka...I peed on her!)
25. Marked my spot on dad when he was standing a little too close to a flower pot!

Thankfully his second year as a Layman has included much less destruction, but the same amount of chaos & energy! I'm not sure if that has to do with us becoming smarter or him growing older. Either way, I'll take it. The best part is that as I read through this list, it makes me smile everytime. We don't have any sort of birthday party planned, but he'll for sure have a small cake & at least one new toy!

Bogey dancing with his mama a few weeks ago! No, he's not trying to attack--he just wants a big kiss!

Happy Birthday Bogey! Can't wait to spend many more years with you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Frumpy 27 Year Old

Let's start out by me saying I have almost zero hair-styling skills. I've always worn fairly simple hairstyles that only required the original use of a Chi flat iron & nothing more. I have extremely fine & thin hair so anything that requires much work is a waste of time since by the end of the day whatever style I thought I had created has given way to a limp, weighed down mess.

Today was hair-cut day and I don't think I'm alone in saying that "I love hair day!" Whether I'm getting a whole new look, new color, or just a quick trim--I love sitting in the chair and having someone else make me beautiful! I had originally planned on getting just a quick trim & letting it grow so I could have a small chance at pulling it up in a ponytail, but in the past week or so it seems that my hair has been out of control. And yesterday, I'd had it. I told one of my co-workers that I looked like a frumpy 27 year old. I went to the salon and when my stylist asked if we were just trimming I practically screamed NO! I told her it had to go and I needed to stop looking so frumpy! And I definitely don't look frumpy anymore. I'm 27 with no kids & she said that maybe I was just looking a little bit more like a PTA mom than I wanted. Not that there's anything wrong with a PTA mom, it's just not a look I want right now. She stacked it up all nice and pretty in the back, gave me a few bangs & cut A LOT of length off. I LOVE IT! We'll see tomorrow if I'm able to style it and make it look good but for now I don't care.

Oh and for all of you hoping for a picture, you'll just have to wait. I attempted a photo at work but my oily skin & self-portraits don't go well together. I'm sure I'll have at least one photo from the weekend coming up that will show you my new do!

~Also, I've been a terrible blogger recently. I haven't had time to read hardly any of your posts so I'm working on getting caught up!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wintry Weekend Rewind

Unfortunately, the First Day of Spring was not so Springy. On Thursday & Friday the weather was beautiful with highs in the upper 60s & beautiful sunshine. I was even able to snap a few photos of my beautiful crocus. They clustered up this year & just make me so ready for Spring!!!
Such a cheery sight...

However, on Sunday morning these precious little flowers were covered in about 5-6" of snow, sleet & freezing rain. Yup, the first day of Spring was instead a late season winter storm. Needless to say, the weather this weekend was less than ideal but Hubby & I tried to make the best of it.

Friday night we headed down to my parents' house for dinner & NCAA basketball. My dad & brother had gone hunting several weeks ago on a hunting preserve so Hubby & I got in on the feast. My mom fried up some dove, pheasant, & chucker and served it with biscuits & gravy! YUMMM!!! Such a fabulous home-cooked meal.

Saturday my mom & I headed out to hit up some of the Spring open houses at the local flower & gift shops. The weather was already turning bad, but we had a great time anyway. I didn't buy any home decor but I did find a great little Spring jacket & scarf. I was home fairly early in time to catch a quick nap before Hubby & I headed out to some friends' house for dinner, more basketball, & game night. I was in charge of dessert & I have to brag a little on was delicious!

Oreo Brownies with White Chocolate (recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod)

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed Oreos

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake or pie pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add in both kinds of chocolate chips. Whisk until blended.

In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, and extract with a fork until just blended.Pour the liquid over the flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until just blended. The batter will be kind of dry, don’t worry. Stir in the Oreos.

Scrape the mixture in to the pan and spread evenly. You might have to press the mixture in to the sides if you are having trouble spreading with a spatula.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in to the center comes out with only a few gooey pieces clinging to it. Transfer the baking dish to a cooling rack and let cool.
Cut into wedges. If you want to-melt white chocolate and drizzle over the brownie wedges.

We had a great time on Saturday night & managed to stay long enough that we got to drive home in the snowy, icy, slushly mixture that was on the roads. Thankfully, most of the snow storm had passed through and rain was falling so visibility wasn't too bad.

We woke up on Sunday to a very white yard & headed out to church. We grabbed lunch at Houlihan's & then went to finish up looking for patio furniture. I think we finally found a set at Pier One that Hubby & I both love & we'll be going to purchase it & pick it up sometime later this week. My parents came and spent a few hours at our house yesterday afternoon becuase with all the ice they actually lost power for a brief period of time. My dad also had to knock the ice off our satellite dish just so we could watch the NCAA tourney.

Last night we had small group & it was a blast. We are just starting book studies & for the first time we are splitting up with guys & girls & then meeting back at the end for some prayer time. I am already so blessed by those women & I know this book study will be fabulous. We are going through The New Eve by Robert Lewis & I already love it!

Thankfully the sun is out today & a lot of the frozen white stuff is starting to disappear. Hubby & I have Josie duty again this week while my parents are traveling for some business meetings. I should definitely have lots of fun stories with her around.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hodge Podge

In addition to playing catch up from last week's busyness, we also had a lady on vacation at work so things have been a little hectic this week as well. I haven't had much time to myself, let alone have time to read blogs, comment on blogs or write new posts.'s the hodge podge of our week so far--

~I made fruit salad earlier this week in an effort to start including more fruits & veggies in our diet. I included a fresh apple, grapes, mango, pineapple, & strawberries. It was so yummy & I wish we had been home more this week to enjoy it. Fruit salad is such a great dessert option for those of us who might have a HUGE sweet tooth.

~Tuesday night we were able to go visit Hubby's grandma & she is doing amazingly well. While I'm not sure if she'll be going back home to live by herself, she'll be more than capable to live quite independently in an assisted living facility. She was her perky, cheery self on Tuesday evening so Hubby & I were thrilled to see her in such high spirits.

~The sun has finally come out today after about 7 days of rainy, dreary, cold weather. It's supposed to be in the 60s for the next 2 days. Unfortunately they have included the S word in the forecast for Saturday...yup, that's right...Snow, on the first day of Spring in Southwest Missouri. The saying really is true--If you don't like the weather, just stick around for a bit and it will change.

~I took Bogey this morning to have the stitches taken out from his procedure. He was a really good boy & will be very happy that he won't have to visit the vet again for a long time. We got the all clear from the doctor so he's free to do whatever he wants.

~Even though we had some tentative plans for tonight, Hubby & I have made the decision to stay home & relax. In the past 2 weeks I've only cooked at home twice so I'm actually really looking forward to being in the kitchen. Waffles, eggs, & bacon are on the menu tonight (along with the fruit salad). I just love breakfast for dinner!

We've got plenty of things to do for the weekend that will definitely include taking in some basketball. I've got my bracket filled out--we'll see how it goes!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend Rewind

Even with all the activities this week, we managed to have a pretty great weekend. Friday night we had another event for our Global Impact Celebration at church. Everyone was supposed to bring a dessert, a platter of sandwiches, or a salad based on their last name. A-K was in charage of sandwiches and appartently we don't have very many people with those last names in our church. No one brought sandwiches, so the leadership committee called an audible and ran out for some lunchmeat and bread from Walmart. Thank goodness, no one even cared or noticed & God worked everything out great. Our pastor interviewed some of the local agencies and it is so awesome to see how God is working in our local area. I was feeling horribly after the service so when we got home at 9, I headed straight to bed.

Saturday morning Hubby & I both had to work but we managed to meet up for lunch with my parentsat a local hole-in-the-wall Chinese place in my hometown. Yummm...I think they have the best Chinese around. After lunch we went to a Grand Opening of a local business. They do amazing cabinet work & also have interest in a counter company. Sounds kinda boring, but they just built a million dollar plus showroom. It has 4 functioning kitchens & a ton of various little areas to show what is possible with their work. Hubby & I had a great time dreaming about what we might be able to afford someday! It is so wonderfult to see them be so sucessful because they started their business in a small storefront right across from my dad's office. You can check out their work here. Alpine Wood Products

We came home for a quick breather and then met up with our small group for a Saturday night meal & gathering with a missionary from our global impact conference. Our assigned missionary was Pastor Wendell Sapp from St. Louis, MO. In addition to being a pastor he is also the coordinator of a ministry called Inner City Ministries that reaches out to the inner city kids of St. Louis & provides a safe place for them to gather. He does amazing work for Jesus Christ & has such a love for those kids.

After dinner we went and played trivia with two other couples from our small group. The event was organized to raise money for their Relay For Life team. All I can say is that I haven't laughed that hard in a really, really long time. It was so wonderful! We only managed to answer about 1/2 of the 100 questions correctly, but we had a blast laughing together & being the obnoxious team in the room. I just love spending time with our small group friends that have quickly become our best friends.

Today we had the final service for our GIC, Hubby & I have pledged to give some additional funds to our church's mission fund & also pray continuously for a couple of the missionaries that were involved with the event. Neither of us have felt called to the mission field ourselves, but that doesn't mean we can't support those who are there serving each day & sacrificing so much for the glory of God's kingdom.

I skipped out on the final meeting because I was feeling so weak again. We grabbed a quick lunch and then I came home for a Sunday afternoon nap just as I promised I would. I actually felt quite a bit better after resting & we ran some errands and then we're spending the rest of the evening watching tv & just trying to get refreshed for the weekend.

One more quick thing, I do have to say that I'm so proud of my Hubby. A couple of the other guys from small group challenged him to run with them on Sunday mornings before church. Most of it was probably peer pressure, but I also know that he's wanting to get in better shape. So...this morning even with the time change, he got up at about 7 and headed out the door for a run. When he got home I was shocked to hear that he had run about 3.3 miles this morning! Wow...nothing like starting out with a 5k! Way to go Hubby, I know you'll just keep doing better & better.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

This week is just a little more than half over & I'm already exhausted. We have so much going on this week and it's only going to spill over into the weekend as well.

Monday~A fairly normal Monday but that is enough work all by itself. Bogey had his procedure done so we had to take care of him on Monday night. I honestly don't know if I've ever seen a more pitiful dog. I think he was more affected by the drugs than he was the actual surgery because on Tuesday he was pretty much back to his normal self.

Tuesday~More work & then setup for our Global Impact Conference at church. I was in charge of setting up & laying out the displays. Of course setup took longer than expected simply because there always seems to be 1 or 2 more opinions involved than are actually necessary. However, we got it all taken care of & the church looks great.

--As a side note, I do love our GIC. We have the opportunity to get to know so many people who are serving God & spreadin the love of Jesus all over the world.

Wednesday~A half-day of work for me but then I headed back to the church to greet the missionaries & agencies as they arrived to setup their booths. I did manage to work in a short little walk & some reading outside in the sunshine before I headed up to the church so that was a nice little bonus during my afternoon. However, by the time we got home last night at 9:00 pm, Hubby & I were both worn out. We might possibly have turned off the tv and been asleep by around 9:30.

Today~Of course, work again but before work I ran Bogey by the vet's office for him to look at the incision & the progress. Hubby & I might have been a little worried that things didn't look quite right so we dropped him just for a check-up. No worries, all is well & we just have to take him back next week to have the stitches out. Also, tonight we'll most likely be taking a trip to the hospital. Hubby's grandma was taken to the emergency room on Tuesday with slurred speech & other symptoms of what was most likely a stroke. They've been running loads of tests & hopefully we'll have an answer sometime today on what exactly happened.

In addition to all this, I have a head cold that I just can't get rid of & today it seems to have taken a turn for the worse. I hope it doesn't turn into anything more than what it is now. We've also got more activities for the GIC tomorrow night, Saturday night, & Sunday morning. can probably count on seeing a nap show up sometime in my Weekend Rewind post on Monday.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Time to Share

This Sunday marked the end of our Life's Healing Choices series at church & I have to say I'm a little disappointed that things are ending. I've learned so much in this series & with it ending comes the hard part of actually putting everything into practice. However, I know that new sermon series will come that will give me the opportunity to learn even more.

This week was basically a quick recap of all that we have learned in the past 7 weeks. We quickly revisited some very important truths that I need to remember on a daily basis. I won't go into a deep discussion on them but they are all so important in the healing process.
  • We are all Broken
  • We all have a Choice
  • Healing begins with Honesty
  • Healing is a Journey
  • Healing requires Action
  • Healing happens through Helping Others

It's this last truth of helping others that was the focus of the final healing choice: The Sharing Choice. "I will yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example & by my words." Through our faults & failures, we are able to minister to others that may be experiencing the same difficulty.

The phrase that was used to describe this act of sharing was "recycling our pain." God can take all the garbage and hurts that we have experienced and use them to create something good for those around us. God wants to use our failures to help heal others & in turn heal us. It's always so hard to share our faults as we fear we may look weak; however, how many people could we be helping if we should just humble ourselves and show our true faces? Taking off our masks will not only help us to experience true healing but we can also show others that they are most definitely not the only ones struggling.

We have to recognize that even with all of our disgusting sin, God loves us & wants to give us a life full of hope & love. We need to pass on that hope & love to others around us even it means sharing some of our deepest darkest secrets.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will. " The Prayer of Serenity~Reinhold Niebuhr

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Rewind

I don't know about where you live, but around here Spring defintely sprung this weekend! The weather was absolutely gorgeous & Hubby & I took advantage of it all by spending lots of time outside. Oh how I love Spring!!

My crocus are blooming & my daffodils are coming up like crazy...can't wait till everything is in full bloom!
Friday night we started off with our standard Spring/Summer dinner...hamburgers & homemade french fries! YUM!!! During tax season, by the time Friday night gets here Hubby & I are both just ready to relax and lay around. So...that's exactly what we did. I honestly can't even remember what we ended up doing after dinner, guess that goes to show how uneventful it was.
Saturday morning I was at home by myself while Hubby was at work & I think I finally convinced myself to get up and out of bed by about 10:00 am. I'd been up for quite awhile but one of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning is grab a good book and stay wrapped up in the covers for a while. I did manage to get most of the laundry taken care of and fix some lunch so I was slightly productive.
Saturday was the first of 2 beautiful weekend days so we spent the afternoon at the golf course so Hubby could get in his first round of the season. I was a good spectator & just rode in the cart during the round. The course was busy and by the end of the round I was definitely getting bored from having to wait everytime for Hubby to take his next shot. I do have to say that he played really well considering he hadn't swung a club since around Thanksgiving. I just love watching him do something he loves so much & I'm so glad that he wants me to along every once in awhile.

My cute golfer!

Just a quick self-portrait...ignore my hair, it was incredibly windy out there!

Good form...I think! ;o)

After golf, we came up to freshen up and then headed out to dinner. I was craving Cheddars which always has an unbelieveable wait...however, we weren't starving yet so we decided to check out how long the wait would be. To our surprise, it was only about 30 minutes. So..we had a yummy dinner & then ran a few errands including finally getting around to buying an external harddrive to back up my almost 6,000 pictures that are on my home computer. Think that might have been a long overdue purchase. We also spent the rest of the evening going to 5 or 6 places looking for new patio furniture. We built our new deck last fall and decided to wait on buying new furniture. Wow, there are so many options but so much of it is REALLY expensive. We're trying to get the best bank for our buck so we'll probably have to spend a little bit more time looking. However, we definitely found some sets that will work if we don't find anything else.

Sunday was another beautiful day and after church and a quick lunch with friends we loaded Bogey up for one more trip to my parents as a "Real Man." We were only there for a couple of hours but he had a blast with the other dogs & always loves running with the four-wheelers & retrieving sticks from my grandma & grandpa's pond. After our visit, we rushed home to make it to Small Group on time. I love having small group on Sunday evening, it's such a great way to end our weekend. What a great & beautiful weekend God blessed us with!!

Bogey & Dallas side-by-side with the stick!

My fabulous parents & Josie

Dallas, Jack (the old man), & Bogey all retrieving the same stick

More keep away with the stick...

Don't you even think about taking my stick...or I will take you down!

Today I do have to mention that our poor Bogey is going under the knife...poor guy! Hubby dropped him off this morning and I'm planning on picking him up sometime late this afternoon. I'm sure he's going to be totally out of it all night.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Random Ramblings

The sun is shining today & the extended forecast shows temperatures may get up close to 60...whew, I think Spring is finally starting to show its face. Hallelujah!
Nothing much going on in our house this week except for a bunch of randomness to here it goes...

~Dinner tonight with 2 of my distant cousins...definitely looking forward to some good food, great company, & lots of laughs!

~My heart is heavy today for our neighbors/good friends. They are having some financial problems which has caused a few marital problems. I've been thinking about them & praying for them constantly. The good thing is that they recognize the issues & are taking steps to make changes.

~Yesterday I was the lucky winner of a giveaway hosted by sweet Heather at Step Inside. I won a $20 gift certificate to Francesca's Collection. Have you shopped at this store? It's absolutely one of my favorites! Quite inexpensive & super cute clothes! You also need to check out Heather's blog, she seriously has the most ADORABLE family & the sweetest heart.
~Thanks to my Hubby...I'll be able to use my $20 gift certificate along with a stash of cash that I've been saving to by some fun new dresses, accessories, & summery fun clothes to take on our trip here...
Catalonia Royal Tulum Beach & Spa (photo from

We'll be spending lots of time laying here and on the beach... (in the shade of course!)
Catalonia Royal Tulum Beach & Spa Resort (photo from

At the end of May we will be spending about 7 1/2 days & 8 nights in Riviera Maya, Mexico! Yippppeeee!!! I'm so excited & can't hardly wait. Hubby gets all the credit for booking this trip because I was about to have a nervous break down when I went to book the trip and all of our good flights were gone. So, my fabulous husband took it on himself to take care of it for me! He got a fabulous deal & we're going to have such an relaxing, fun time! Love you babe!

~Finally, our precious furry son will be having surgery on Monday. He will no longer be able to be a puppy daddy & it makes me sad thinking about it. We had originally thought we might try to breed him in order to also have one of his pups, but a city lot just isn't ideal for 1 dog...let alone 2. So...Monday morning bright and early Hubby will be taking him to the vet for his procedure. Poor guy, he doesn't even know what's coming. I keep having visions of the scene in Marley & Me where Marley tries to escape...poor Bogey may feel the same way! Lots of peanut butter rawhides will be in his future.
Don't you feel sorry for the poor guy?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don't Be Discouraged

The "Life's Healing Choices" sermon series is about to wrap up & with every series the end can be just as challenging if not more challenging than the beginning. This week our pastor focused on the "Growth Choice." I reserve a daily time with God for Bible reading, self-examination, and prayer in order to know God and his will for my life and to gain the power to follow his will.

While it's sometimes easy to recognize our faults & tell God that we want him to take those issues from us, in order to keep from falling back in the habit of sinning we have to grow. And growth doesn't just happen over night. It's a daily, intentional choice to experience spiritual growth.

This is probably one of the areas where I struggle the most, having a daily quiet time with God. I've actually been doing fairly well by spending 10 minutes or so before I leave the house for work reading a Bible passage or reading a chapter out of "Power of Praying Wife." However, once the weekends come around that schedule goes right out the window.

"The truly happy people are those who carefully study God's perfect law that makes people free, and they contineu to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God's teaching says." ~ James 1:25

Why is it so difficulty for me to accomplish something that would bring me true happiness? Shouldn't I be striving for those quiet times so that I can focus on God's will & what He has in store for my life?

One truth that is hard to grasp is that spiritual growth is a choice to enter the fray. When we are spending daily time in prayer & Bible reading & surrounding ourselves with godly, Christian friends, Satan will come after us stronger than ever--throwing at us those temptations that cause the biggest struggle of all. At our spiritually weak moments, the devil doesn't need to worry about us...we're not a threat to his daily attempts at pulling us down--we're doing that all on our own. It's when we are at our strongest that we are posing the strongest threat. In Matthew 4, when the devil tempts Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus has just spent 40 days fasting & praying to God. I'm pretty sure Jesus wasn't at his weakest point spiritually, but he was at his strongest.

Most importantly, since spiritual growth is a daily choice, it's one that we can strive for each day. We shouldn't be discouraged when one day we fail, because each day offers us a new opportunity for success. Eventually those days will become weeks, and those weeks will become months. And in the end, God will achieve his good & perfect will for our lives.

"I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again." ~ Philippians 1:6