Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vinyl banner giveaway winner

The winner of my giveaway for the vinyl banner is my friend Dannielle. Congratulations, Dannielle!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

You Capture: Sky

Oh, thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I couldn't participate in last week's You Capture theme, Depth of Field, because I don't have a camera with those fancy features. But "Sky"? Oh, yes! I can do that. ;)

The sky over "Cindy's pool," where we went for our niece's birthday party. (I'm not sure exactly why she gets all the credit, but the kids always refer to it as "Cindy's pool." I'm sorry, Kerry!)

A rainy sky on the way back home...

A beautiful sunset at the ball field on Monday evening...

Our weekly trip to the library on Wednesday...

Followed by our weekly trip to ALDI...

And then the drive home, when the kids asked, "Why are you turning around?!" I tried to explain how I wanted to get this shot, but gave up and told them they really didn't have to understand; I just wanted to.

Continuing the drive home...

And heading out again for church...

Check out other You Capture entries at I Should Be Folding Laundry, and join in on the fun!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Women of Joy 2010 recap...Part One

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating...I don't know when I've laughed so hard. I was telling one of my friends that I had more fun on this last Women of Joy trip than I did on the first Women of Joy trip last year. The reason? Last year was the first time I had been away from my kids where I didn't wear a hospital gown and come back with a baby.

My husband's parting words that year? "Don't wear a hospital gown, and don't come back with a baby!"

So, yeah, last year I was nervous about being away from my kids, missing them, and, yes, missing my husband, too, of course...This year, I missed them a little and had a whole bunch more fun.

Friday afternoon we arrived in Charleston and checked into our hotel rooms

before meeting up with the rest of our group just in time for supper. From there, we headed over to the coliseum and found some seats.

Travis Cottrell led us in our time of worship.

And then it was time for Anita Renfroe...and time to laugh...and laugh...and laugh. Anita said that her two ministry goals were (1) to bring joy where there is none and (2) to ruin every song you've ever loved.

I think she accomplished that.

If you're not familiar with Anita Renfroe--or even if you are--check her out on YouTube at these links: The Mom Song (William Tell Overture), A (More Real) Love Story, You Raise Me Up, Big Ol' Sweet Iced Tea, Don't Breathe, and Wrinkled Ladies. She performed all of these plus more.

If you only watch one, you have to watch The Mom Song. She followed that one up with The Grandmother Song, which had a big intro and then, "Whatever you want." ;)

The next morning, Travis Cottrell told how he was sitting in the audience watching Anita perform on Saturday night, texting someone about what he was having to endure among a few thousand women and praying, "Lord, come quickly" as she sang You Raise Me Up. So, yes, you need to watch that one, too.

My favorite quotes from Anita:
  • I read somewhere that a rocket burns up 80% of its energy just trying to break free from the earth's atmosphere...You moms out there know what that feels like as you were coming here.
  • On being over 40: I call it 39.95 plus shipping and handling.
  • Any day you try on swimsuits is a two Prozac day.
  • Is anyone here from the North? (applause) Yeah, you hold onto that pride for just another minute. (Part of her intro to Big Ol' Sweet Iced Tea.)
  • I figure nobody's rocked the ukulele in South Carolina in a day or two. (Another part of her intro to Big Ol' Sweet Iced Tea.)
  • Take God seriously; don't take yourself seriously at all.

Saturday morning, Liz Curtis Higgs brought us more laughter.

My favorite quotes from Liz:
  • I was chemically dependent for many years (on hair color, that is).
  • Why color it when you can polish it. (Talking about silver hair.)
  • Bless their hearts, they have a gap between their thighs. (Talking about skinny models.)
  • You are God's definition of beautiful for you.
  • Ta Da!
  • When Howard Stern tells you that you need to clean up your life...(She didn't finish this sentence, but Liz used to work in radio with Howard Stern, and he actually told her she needed to clean up her life.)

More to come soon!

For those of you who went to Women of Joy, what did you take away from that weekend?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Worship

Worship, led by Travis Cottrell and his team, with a few thousand ladies in Charleston, S.C. during the recent Women of Joy conference...

My chains are gone--I've been set free!
My God, My Savior has ransomed me.

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday participants.


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This giveaway ends May 26th.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Overheard: Women of Joy (The Anonymous Edition)

So my friends won't hate me for posting this For the sake of anonymity, I have omitted my friends' names. For the sake of hilarity and to give you a tiny reference point, I have left my own name. There was a lot of laughter this weekend, y'all. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard or laughed so often. And although some of this won't make much sense at all, I'm sharing it anyway for my Women of Joy bloggy friends. ;)

There were a total of 16 of us in our group. To simplify things (for me), I'm sticking to WOJ (Women of Joy) #1, #2, etc., as the names of my joyful buddies. And to simplify things (for me), the designation of #1, #2, etc., changes with each new item.


We stopped for lunch along the way and one person was a little slower than the rest when it came to of the ladies was, um, urging her to finish quickly....repeatedly. This was the tail-end of the heckling urging.

WOJ #1: You're still eating? Are you going to finish today or tomorrow?

Everyone stops talking and looks at WOJ #1.

WOJ #1: Why is everyone looking at me?

Me: To see what you'll say next!

For the record, WOJ #1 said she was just joking around with the slow eater.


WOJ #1 drifted off to sleep in the car and woke to find me handing the GPS back up front to our wonderful driver; she thought it was a camera in my hand...

WOJ #1: Did you take a picture of me sleeping?!

Me: No, but if I did, I still wouldn't tell you. ;)

I can't promise that there were no photos taken of sleeping people, but I didn't take any.


WOJ #1 [apologetically, to our waiter]: We're heavy drinkers.

This is what she was referring to, since there were three of us seated together who were drinking Diet Coke--not whatever you had in mind:


What happens in Charleston stays in Charleston.

Well...if you don't count this.


Posted on Facebook:

Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith tonight! Can't wait!

Immediately followed by:

uuhh concert that is.


After the concert, we headed over to IHOP. Our trip to IHOP could be a post by itself...Keep in mind all of this happened around midnight and we were wired from the awesome concert and tired all at the same time. Plus, there was a parade of ants who had found the syrup stand on the table to be an excellent dining area, and laughter helped keep our minds off of this...

WOJ #1 laughed about something and snorted. WOJ #2 immediately laughed and snorted, except she snorted
on purpose to get WOJ #1 to snort again. They kept laughing and snorting, and snorting and laughing, and I was laughing so hard I couldn't speak (but I was not joining in on the snorting).

WOJ #2 [trying to get me and the rest of our table to snort]: C'mon, snort! Try it! It's fun!

WOJ #2 is a trouble maker began rolling up all of our straw wrappers and tossing them over to the next table where the rest of our group was seated. This may or may not have resulted in more paper balls, as well as one coffee creamer, flying through IHOP.

WOJ #2 also tried to start "the wave" going in IHOP (see "troublemaker" remark above)...

WOJ #1: You're going to get kicked out of IHOP!

WOJ #2: Like it'll be the first time that's happened...

Not surprisingly, WOJ #2 also tossed wadded up pieces of toilet paper into the bathroom stall of another lady in our group in a separate incident. Once this was discovered, and it was discovered who was doing the tossing, the victim had a question:

WOJ #3: It is clean, isn't it?


WOJ #1: What's something fun we can talk about...? [Considers this for a moment, and immediately turns to me] Amy, are you gonna have any more babies?

Nothing like putting me on the spot, huh? I think she had just been wanting to ask the question and needed an opening!


A part two to this post will (hopefully) be coming soon. If you'd like to add anything about the trip...anonymously, of course...feel free to leave it in the comments! :)


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This giveaway ends May 26th.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You Capture: Yellow


This week's theme for You Capture is Yellow. Yellow is not my specialty, so I thought I would ask Grace for some help. ;)

Yellow, through the eyes of an exuberant four year old girl, who says yellow is...




And really fun to run through...

Check out other yellow entries at I Should Be Folding Laundry, and join in on the fun!


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This giveaway ends May 26th.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Robert and his white Lamborghini


Robert's debut performance on his new guitar, the "white Lamborghini," which he helped buy on his birthday! He's playing a portion of Eddie Van Halen's guitar part in Michael Jackson's "Beat It."

(Please excuse the shakiness--I had 4 year old Grace climbing onto my lap as I was recording this.)

Please show him some Comment Love! :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Our Brand New Teen

We recently celebrated Robert's 13th birthday. How did he get to be thirteen so quickly?

It seems like just last week that he was "cow surfing" on Josiah's rocking toy (while dressed as Woody from Toy Story)


Blowing bubbles on the driveway


Dressing up as the Boy Wonder


And loving dinosaurs.

With an exhibit of his all-time favorite kind of dinosaur, Parasaurolophus

He became a big brother to a little girl who (sometimes) has him wrapped around her little finger


Became fascinated with NASCAR (in particular, Jeff Gordon)


And skateboarding


And the electric guitar he got on his 12th birthday


As well as cars

Pretending to eat the "CHEETOZ" Mustang at a 2009 car show

And now...

He requests (certain) t-shirts for gifts

Kramer Guitars

Still doesn't mind his grandparents singing "Happy Birthday" to him over the phone

And will smile for me to take his picture if there is birthday cake (and/or presents) involved.

His new favorite t-shirt...
Family Force 5

Before you feel too sorry for him getting "only clothes" for his birthday, let me assure you he didn't get only these gifts. Robert has been saving his money to buy a special guitar he's had his eye on for a while ("a while" being less than a year, since he's only been taking guitar lessons since his 12th birthday), with the agreement that if he saved up a certain amount and traded in his current electric guitar, we would match the amount he saved so he could buy the "White Lamborghini," as he's been referring to it.

With birthday money he's received from relatives, he made it to his goal! Goodbye, guitar (plus a whole lot more money than he has ever saved up before)...

Hello, White Lamborghini!

He thought he was going to drive with Jason to pick up the guitar...Jason surprised him with it in the car.

Robert was absolutely thrilled!

And he started trying out the bells and whistles on the new guitar right away.

(I'll post a video soon of his debut performance on the White Lamborghini...)

Happy birthday, Robert!
We love you!


Check out my giveaway for a 24x36 vinyl banner!
This giveaway ends May 26th.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Giveaway: Vinyl banner

I have an exciting giveaway to offer my readers from Online Poster Printing...a vinyl banner!

This is a 24x36 vinyl banner with grommets, so it will work for both indoor and outdoor use. Maybe you have a business, ministry, or event you would like to promote...this would be perfect! You can upload a digital photo or digital image with text--the banner is completely customized by you!

Giveaway Prize:
  • (1) 24x36 Vinyl Banner with Grommets
  • Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping
  • Eligibility: Limited to US Residents only. Must be 18 years old and up.

For a chance to win this giveaway, leave a comment telling me how you would use the vinyl banner.

For an extra entry, subscribe to my feed by feed reader or by email (and leave an extra comment letting me know if you already do or just now subscribed).

A winner will be chosen randomly from the comments on Wednesday, May 26th at 10:00 p.m. The winner will receive an email with instructions on how to claim the giveaway prize.

Check out these links to learn more of the specifics about their vinyl banners as well as poster prints.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You Capture: Spring (again)


This week's theme for You Capture is Spring...again...only this time we're challenged to find different things that mean spring to us than last week.

Let's see...there are rabbits in the yard

Grass trying desperately to fill in the bare spots

Kudzu growing on whatever it finds

And beautiful tree canopies.

There are squeals on the playground

And cheeks red from the heat rather than from the cold.

Last but not least, Spring also means a certain someone's birthday...Doesn't this seem like an awful lot of candles on his cake?!?

Our brand new teenager, Robert.

What does spring look like for you? Check out other entries at I Should Be Folding Laundry, or join in on the fun!


Check out my giveaway for a 24x36 vinyl banner!
This giveaway ends May 26th.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Overheard: Burger Boy

One of Josiah's nicknames that Jason calls him is "Burger Boy", Josiah doesn't particularly like to be called this (so please don't start calling him Burger Boy...), but that doesn't stop his father one bit. The following things were recently overheard:

We were telling Jason about the incredibly warm room where the musical recital was held. Josiah misunderstood ignored my instructions of "put on your church clothes again," and decided to put his church clothes over his shirt and shorts rather than doing the logical thing of undressing before putting on new clothes. He was terribly hot with the extra layer of clothing.

Me: I told him he could go take off the shorts and shirt he was wearing underneath, but he didn't. I'm surprised he didn't melt in the heat.

Jason [to Josiah]: If you had melted, all that would have remained would have been two eyes and a burger!

Josiah nearly fell over laughing at this thought.


Someone at church heard Jason calling Josiah "Burger Boy," and asked why he called him that.

Jason: It's shorter than "Eating us out of house and home."

Seriously, he's always hungry! It wasn't that long ago that, after eating out, he would ask on the way home, "What's for supper?" I can't imagine how much he'll eat when he's a teenager. He already eats more than me.


Josiah: When it's my birthday, I want to go to Outback so I can have a bacon cheeseburger!

He's talking about eating the adult-sized burger; he has ordered and finished this burger before. Did I mention he's only 7? There's a reason for the "Burger Boy" nickname...

And it's entirely possible that between now and the end of June, he will force us decide to go to Chuck E. Cheese instead. But a mother can hope, right?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our big busy weekend

Our weekends aren't typically like this, for which I am very grateful! But this past weekend went something like this...

[Read at a frantic pace to get the full effect. Or...don't.]

Jason and Robert woke up at 6:00 a.m. so Jason could take Robert to help at the youth yard sale at our church. Jason came back home and got ready to go to a ceremony he had been invited to at the elementary school our church partners with. I was still blissfully asleep at this point and don't even know what time he left.

After I woke up, I began getting us ready: packing all of the things that would need to go into the van for the remainder of our day and making sure everyone was dressed appropriately (a bigger job than usual due to a certain child's stubborn refusal to understand English). Shortly before lunchtime, the kids and I went to the church to pick up Robert so he could take a shower, and we came back home to eat before leaving for Josiah's pre-game practice. Jason met us at the ballpark.

Josiah's baseball game was supposed to begin at 1:30 didn't start until 2:00. This wouldn't normally matter too much except for the fact that we were supposed to be in Athens at 4:00 for my Dad's 70th birthday party. We were pleasantly surprised that it was a quick game, because Jason and I were discussing what time we would need to pull Josiah out of the game...and we didn't even need to. Whew! So we got on the road and drove to the Athens area for the big birthday party. We didn't get there at 4:00, but we weren't terribly late, either.

Here are some of the family members with May birthdays who were part of the celebration:

After supper, there was time to eat birthday cake

I told him it was going on the blog anyway...He wasn't really this tired but was merely resistant to being photographed. ;)

Hang out and talk

Square dance for those who wanted to or were coerced

Chat some more

Play basketball

Do tricks with a basketball

nd twirl around with a hoola hoop.

This is our best guess as to what Robert will look like when he's all grown up: like my cousin Mike. I didn't realize how close the resemblance was until seeing the photos from Mike's childhood the night before he got married last year.

Gran'dad opened his present and commented on the number of hands. He may have even counted all the fingers just to be sure. ;)

We headed back home at a semi-reasonable time so we could be ready for church Sunday morning. I think all of us slept very well that night.

On Sunday afternoon, Robert participated in his first music recital. I was video-recording his performance since Jason couldn't be there because of a church-related meeting, so I didn't get a photo of him while performing. Here is a shot of him with his guitar teacher--there were technical difficulties with the music Robert wanted as accompaniment, and his teacher was briefly talking with him about what he needed to do until the music started.

He played the guitar part for Michael Jackson's song, "Beat It," in case you are wondering. And he played very well!

Robert also won the drawing contest to design the cover of the recital program:

"TJ's Music Academy."
Click on image to enlarge.

Josiah has been taking keyboard lessons since Christmas but he didn't want to participate in the recital. His reason? He thought he'd be too nervous to play in front of a lot of people. Can you imagine Josiah having stage fright for anything?! I don't think it's possible...

Next weekend, the only thing we have on the calendar is a wedding to attend on Saturday. Oh, and maybe a date!!
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