Friday, June 25, 2010


Carrie is the winner of my postcard giveaway! Congratulations, Carrie! You will receive an email within the next several days with instructions on how to claim your prize.

I'm tired, y'all. VBS wrapped up tonight at our church, and it's been a great but long week. I'm going to bed. And, hopefully, sleeping late in the morning. And hopefully the kids will sleep late, or else I won't be sleeping late...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Overheard: The Vacation Edition

Josiah: For real?!?! We're goin' to the Boom Da Yada church?!

You would have thought we'd announced we were going to Disney. We went to the Boom Da Yada church on our way to our final destination, Gatlinburg. The kids...well, Josiah and Grace...launched into their own variations of the "I Love My Church" song, and then the lyrics about orange cones morphed into a variation of a quote from the movie Underdog...

Josiah: The great North American orange cone...natural enemy of the dog.

With all the movie references that go on around here, you'd think we didn't limit their screen time in any way. We do--just ask them--and according to them, their friends watch TV and play on the computer any time they want to. Oh, our poor, deprived children.


After the church service:

Me: What was your class about?

Grace: Oh, "love one another"...and we talked about Zoab.

Me: Zoab?

Grace [slightly exasperated at her mother's apparent lack of Bible knowledge]: You know...Zoab? Gathering grain?

Me: Do you mean Boaz? Boaz and Ruth?

Grace [giggling]: Oh! I thought it was Zoab!


We stopped at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga to break up the trip to Gatlinburg. As we were walking towards the aquarium:

Josiah [grinning, but trying to sound perplexed]: Hmmm...Something smells fishy around here...

Inside the aquarium...

Grace: That's the biggest fish in the world!

She said that at least ten times during our walk through.

Grace was disappointed that she didn't get to "pet" some of the "big fish," like these sturgeons. Her arms just weren't long enough to reach them in the tank.


Then, after the aquarium, we began the long drive towards Gatlinburg...and the whining began, too.

Josiah: How much longer? Can't we go any faster?

Me: We're driving as fast as we can. We can't go any faster.

Grace [in her 4 year old, matter-of-fact way]: Oh, yes, you could go faster...but then you'd go to jail. [Totally seriously, and throwing up a hand for emphasis] Don't do it.


Josiah [mustering all the drama he could while apparently being severely dehydrated]: We can't survive out here without water!!!

Ummm...we were just outside Knoxville. It's not exactly a desolate area. And later...

Josiah [turning up the whining to an all-time high]: I'm cold. I'm thirsty. And how much longer? We've been driving all day. [He paused, suddenly remembering the go carts that were waiting ahead of us, and immediately perked up ever-so-briefly] Hey! I remember the go carts! This is the best place for vacation!

Josiah is like a box of chocolates...You never know what you're gonna get.


Josiah explains everything to Grace...whether he has all of the facts or not. He will even explain breakfast to his little sister:

Josiah [very excited]: Hey, Grace! We're going to eat breakfast! Except it'll be like supper, with eggs, sausage, pancakes...

Jason commented that I have totally flipped their way of thinking--breakfast is supper, black is white--all because we have "breakfast" for supper occasionally.


While we were near Sevierville, we went to a minor league baseball game. It was great! We paid a total of $40 for all five of us to get in, we had awesome seats even though we walked up to the ticket booth minutes before the game began,

That's Robert walking down the steps on the left. We were in the 6th row directly behind home plate.

and it was a great game, even if I didn't know which team was the Tennessee Smokies until after the game got underway.

I got one pretty good shot of Robert during the game

where he wasn't (a) avoiding the camera or (b) making his usual goofy faces for the camera.

Grace [studying the mascots on the upper level of the stadium]: I bet they got those bears from Chuck E. Cheese. Chuck E. Cheese has, like, a hundred bears.

Well, apparently Josiah has not explained to Grace that Chuck E. Cheese is a mouse.


Jason [observing the vehicles around him as we drove through the curvy mountain roads]: It's like minivan NASCAR!

At this particular time, the only thing you could see on our stretch of road were minivans--there were 2 in front of us, 1 beside us, and 1 behind us. It was just a little bizarre, really.


Jason [shaking his head]: This is just wrong.

What was so wrong? His petite 4 year old daughter driving a go cart for the first time. :) She could barely touch the pedals, but she drove like a pro after a few times around the little track!

Getting crucial instructions like "Don't push down on both pedals at the same time."

It must be all those years of experience driving the grocery store "car" shopping carts...

Click here to check out my giveaway for a chance to win 100 professionally printed, totally customized postcards!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vacation: Kooky talk

I saw this as we were walking to the Tennessee Aquarium and immediately had a song running through my head...

Are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready to clown around? With Loonette and Molly, a clown and her dolly, on the Big (not-so-) Comfy Couch.

That's in front of a Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop, if you're curious. And Grace was the only person I ever saw sitting on that brick couch in all the times we walked past it.

The view from our hotel room balcony:

And the view after I wiped the condensation off the camera lens. (It had rained that morning.) Ahhh...humidity!

Burger Boy
livin' up to his name at Outback Steakhouse:

This was also when he requested that his nickname be changed to Bacon Burger Boy. And, yes, he did eat the whole thing. And he asked "What's for dessert?" soon afterward.

Now, this shot of the tunnel through the mountain isn't kooky--just pretty cool...

Click here to check out my giveaway for a chance to win 100 professionally printed, totally customized postcards!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You Capture: Water

Click here to check out my giveaway for a chance to win 100 professionally printed, totally customized postcards!

When I saw this week's You Capture challenge was water, I knew it would be easy.

We were heading to a little vacation, and there was an aquarium as well as a water park involved. See? Easy!

Josiah (age 7) and Grace (age 4)

We saw this big boy at the Tennessee Aquarium, and he wasn't quite this blue in person.

Grace touched the teeth of a piranha that the aquarium displayed...and hammed it up for the camera. She doesn't even look like herself in this shot!

Josiah and Robert rode the bumper boats (separately...Robert was going to drive a go cart and changed his mind after Josiah rode. Just as well--I can't imagine what they would've done to each other if they had that chance.)

Robert (age 13)

But there was an option to attack by land. Josiah was all over that! Grace wanted to be in the action, too, but didn't want to get splashed.

We also went to a water park that was part of our hotel deal. I think that the next time we go, we may stay at a hotel that actually has a water park on its premises, so it won't be a one day deal.

Here Josiah and Grace got splashed

with the water from this huge bucket at the top of this shot.

And that's where I should have stopped taking photos. After that, it was too much water...I took these shots of Grace

and I was about to put my camera away when I got splashed by another (much smaller) overhead bucket. And my camera died.

I cried.

I took out the battery and the memory card, opened all of the little compartment doors I could, and left it in the little rental locker while we continued playing in the water and I tried not to think about my poor little camera.

That was a few days ago, and my camera still shows no signs of life. But today I read here about how rice may help dry it out completely. My camera is now sitting in a bag of rice; I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm hoping and praying the rice will do the trick. I figure its chances are at least 50/50, seeing as Josiah's MP3 player went through the entire cycle in the washing machine before being discovered, and it started working after being dead for 2 months. (And, yes, I know MP3 players and digital cameras are different...I'm just clinging to hope!!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Giveaway: Customized Postcards

I have another fantastic giveaway from my blog sponsor, UPrinting--postcards!

These customized postcards are perfect for making an announcement, promoting a business or an event, creating your own unique recipe many possibilities! UPrinting's postcard printing makes the online printing process easy for all of your postcard printing and marketing needs, whether it is for personal or business use. UPrinting is an online printing company that has customer service to suit your needs, with 24 hour live support via chat or phone.

The details of the giveaway prize:
  • 100 4x6 Postcards
  • 14pt Cardstock Gloss
  • 4 Color Both Sides Printing
  • Limited to US residents; 18 years old and above

I will be given 100 4x6 postcards for hosting this giveaway. I'm thinking about whether I should have more church nursery reminder postcards printed, like these:

Or maybe with the other (guy-friendly) image I use:

Or maybe a redesigned version of that...hmmm...

(Want the file to print your own nursery reminder postcards?  Let me know--I'll be glad to email you the file with both sides of the postcard as a PhotoShop file or as a JPEG.  Click on "About Me" on the sidebar to get my email address.)

We might also design some postcards that can be used by the Sunday School teachers to invite children to their Sunday School classes.

So, what would you do with 100 postcards? Leave a comment telling me how you would use the postcards for a chance to win! (Please make sure I have your email address so I can contact you if you are chosen as the winner.)

For additional entries, you can leave additional comments for each of the following things you do:

  • follow my blog
  • receive my blog posts by email (either if you subscribe now or have already done this)
  • promote my giveaway by posting a link to this post on Facebook
  • promote my giveaway by posting a link to this post on your blog
The giveaway ends on June 25th at 9:00 p.m. EDT, at which time I will randomly pick a winner from the comments. The winner will receive an email with a coded link from UPrinting to claim the prize.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Wedding dress

Click here to check out my postcard giveaway for a chance to win 100 free 4x6 customized postcards! This giveaway ends June 25th at 9:00 EDT.

When we were planning to go to my cousin's wedding in Savannah last October, Grace had the joy of picking out a beautiful dress to wear from the selection at a consignment sale. This is the dress she picked, and this is how she accessorized as soon as we got home:

She showed it off to her big brother Robert, and told him it was her wedding dress...the one she'll wear when she marries Andrew. Then she laughed and told him she was just joking because she's too young to get married yet. She said she's only three, and that Andrew would have to wait until she's older.

Much older...

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday participants.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Capture: Best Shot

This week for You Capture, we had to pick only one shot to share.

After much searching through this last week's photos, I finally picked one. This baby alligator visited a VBS my children and I have been attending this week:

So now I can say that I shot an alligator up close. Not that I would, of course...

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


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Works For Me Wednesday

I haven't participated in WFMW in a really long time, and the one week I decide to participate, they have a theme.

One that I'm not following.

Oh, well. I'm not going to link up with them since I'm not following the theme, but if you want to check out boredom busters for this summer, head over to We are THAT Family for the "Mom, I'm Bored!" Summer Edition of WFMW. There are already 140+ bloggers with great ideas for keeping busy (keeping the kids busy) over the summer break, and you can even check out the last two years' "Mom, I'm Bored" editions.

But back to my non-theme Works For Me Wednesday...These are the things I am very excited about finding online that I can't wait another week to share:

Free fonts to download at FontSpace! (If you are looking for Western fonts for this year's LifeWay VBS, go here. You will see additional categories on the left sidebar. In fact, that's a good place to start even if you're not looking for Western fonts.) There is even a link with instructions on how to install the fonts, or you can go here for a more detailed explanation.

Free virtual printer from PDF Forge! Once downloaded, the PDFCreator will show up in your drop-down list of printers on your computer, and you can save as a PDF, JPG, PNG, BMP, and other file types.

Reading the Bible in one year! At the Women of Joy conference, Becky Tirabassi challenged us to read through the entire Bible, and to do this every year. Rather than beginning with January 1st (Because...hello? It's not January when you decide to do this, right? And who wants to be that behind, or try to figure out the date you should be on?), you can begin with the 1st or 15th of any month, and you pick the sequence (chronological, historical [by the approximate date each book was written], from beginning to end, and more). You can pick your translation if you want to do you daily reading online through their site, or copy and paste the reading list to keep it in your Bible as you follow your one-year plan.

And, yes, I still need to finish my Women of Joy recap...Thanks for the reminder...
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