Monday, August 25, 2008

It's a Birthday Recap!

Welcome to the newly designed Higher Call blog! Our friend Faith has been at it again and I really like my new look! Ain't she good?

You guys have been so funny! It has been fun to hear your ideas and have you share my pain of trying to be original for our men! Misery loves company and you sure helped my misery! At least I am not alone!!

We ended up giving dad money because the water hose on his truck burst and he had to fix it. Not the most original gift but it's what he wanted so what is a girl to do?? You help your dad out! That's what you do!! We also met them for lunch on Sunday at Cracker Barrel. Dad LOVES to rock in the rocking chairs and eat their country cooking ... and for your birthday... our family aims to please!

Here's our girl with the Mimi and the PawPaw! Love them!!

I finally got creative with my husband's gift, but it did include socks, a shirt and pants. The dreaded gifts. He liked them though so I guess I can't complain. I got creative with the packaging so here ya go...

I got him an NC State mouse pad, a journal and pen with State on it, pants, a State shirt and socks. AND I had to throw in a birthday sucker!! Then I got a little galvanized wash tub and painted "Wolfpack" on the side!! He thought it was pretty creative.... whew!

His mom and dad cooked dinner for him... complete with a mocha chocolate cake and home made icecream...

Caroline's favorite part is singing "Happy Birthday to you.. cha, cha, cha" so we did that... TWICE! Blow out the candles, already, before she starts singing again!!!!

It was a pretty fun weekend! We got to spend time with both of our families and we got to eat cake! Sounds pretty great to me!! I mean, who doesn't like eating cake... uh, I mean spending time with family!?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Go Steve... It's Your Birthday!

Almost 12 years ago (this month) I married my EXACT opposite.

He's smart, reflective, quiet, scheduled and a huge planner.

I, on the other hand, am spontaneous, loud, a talker and enjoy doing things on the fly!

He is good with numbers. (Like scary good. Like does all sorts of math in his head.)

I am good at talking.

He is very realistic.

I am a dreamer.

When we started dating, people who knew us would just look at us and say, "REALLY?"

Thing is... the most important thing that we did have in common was our love of Jesus.

Without the saving blood of Jesus both of us would be lost and both of us would be doomed.

He has saved us from a certain life of misery and an eternity of suffering.

As we dated we found that we had more in common than either of us thought.

We both like to serve at church.

We both like football!

We both like to teach.

We both enjoy a good meal with friends.

We both like to laugh.

We both like to travel.

And we both have loving families who support us, love us and are still together after 40+ years of marriage each.

We both have one brother each, and we are both the oldest sibling in our families.

Where I am weak, he is strong. Where I lack confidence, he has it. When I get scared, he is there. His steady, constant and quiet ways are comforting to me and I know that I can depend on him no matter what.

And then to top it off I walked downstairs the other day and this is what I found:
My husband and daughter sitting in the same chair....
having their quiet time before school and work. Priceless.
Honey, I am so proud of you! You are such a hard worker. You are such an incredible dad and husband and I am really proud of how much you have grown in your responsibilities at work! God has blessed me beyond measure with you! Many people did not think that we would be a good fit, but God has had a plan for us ever since we met. He has taken our strengths and weaknesses and used them to compliment each other! PRAISE HIM! We have been through some pretty hard situations, but you have always stuck by me and shown me unconditional love and support! I am so grateful that the Lord put you in my life and I hope today is a super great day for you!!
Happy BIRTHDAY Steve!! I LOVE YOU!! (And you will always be older than me. Just a sweet little reminder.)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shopping Quandary!

Hey friends! I have to tell ya... I am in quite a quandary!

My dad AND my husband have a birthday this weekend. BOTH of them!! And I struggle. OH, I struggle to buy either one of them a gift because, let's face it, I seem to get them the same things every single year. Pants. A shirt. Maybe socks. And it's so amazingly boring.

You know, girls love to get a new top or skirt every now and then... or a new purse and we are all over ourselves with excitement!! I can shop ALL DAY LONG for my mom and still have things that I wanted to buy. For me, girls are just so easy!! I know that the men in my life appreciate the clothes, I mean they can not go naked for heaven's sake, but I just want to buy them something they will LOVE!

My friend Amy gets real creative with her man's gifts, but she's engaged and it's all new and all...
Well, I have been married for 12 years and I have used all of my creativity! Well, not really.. it's just that I have no direction.

Then my friend Jennifer had to buy her husband a birthday gift recently and he likes computer games so she got him a new game. It was a great idea!! I just don't think my husband will play it... so that's out.

My dad is a singer. He sings in a barbershop quartet group and he plays the banjo!! (YEE HAW!) Last year we got him a new guitar strap for the banjo and a pitch pipe for the a capella pitches that they need when singing barbershop. Here he is holding up his guitar strap.

Thrilling people. I tell ya.

Those were great ideas.... for last year!!!!! Now, it's this year and I am fresh out.

SO what do you do when you don't know what to buy? Gift cards? The same old clothes thing and just hope that they love it? ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Sorry to bore you with this entry. It's where I am today. :)
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Let the Lord Be Praised!

Today was a great day at church! I got a phone call early this morning that the worker in the special needs classroom would not be able to be there today. When that happens the job usually falls on me, and to be honest, I do not mind one bit! Today in the first hour they had a couple of kids show up, but in the second hour I only had one precious girl.

This is D'Kali! She is so precious and I had written an entry about her before because she was a part of our special needs VBS. She has limited language, but she is so sweet and gentle. I love spending time with her.

One Sunday, a few months ago, I took her to the worship service just for the music and prayer time. When I walked in today she said, "Amen." and smiled at me. That meant "You are here to take me to big church aren't you!?" So I asked, "Do you want to go hear the music?" And she smiled so big and nodded her head!

We went to the sanctuary and she did SO great! She shook hands with the greeters, stayed right with me and just sat in amazement as we sang. When we were done she said, "Wow." Oh, my heart just melted.It is such an honor to offer a break to her family for just a little while each week. She loves to hear that Jesus loves her and is in awe at the praise, worship and prayer time.

I think I could learn a few lessons from Miss D'Kali!! I should always allow that time before the Lord to bring awe into my heart and life too.

Sometimes it's hard to see those with disabilities struggle. But the times that they are being ministered to or loved on and doing so well are real gifts. God has such a plan for D'Kali's life. So far it is to remind me and those around her that He loves us just as we are. We had such a good time back in the classroom coloring, talking about Nehemiah and singing. She is a precious girl. A gift from the Lord straight to those who know and love her.

When she left today she came and hugged me. We had talked about the fact that Jesus loved her so when she was leaving I said, "Who loves you?" thinking that she would sign "Jesus." Instead, she pointed to me!!! Oh... again, my heart just melted! I pray that she feels loved each week in church because we truly are His hands and feet!
Thank you Lord! I just have to praise You! Thank you!! May Your matchless Name be praised!!
Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's the Simple Things

I think that this past week has, for some reason, been a really sensitive time between me and the Lord. I have noticed little things here and there and He has brought phrases or reminders to me that have just been so encouraging and timely. Some of us use the phrase "God Stops" where we see Him in the smallest things and know that He is at work. I have felt like I am TRULY just walking along holding His hand and talking. The funny thing is that so many of the things have been through animals or creation around me.

It has been sort of like this..

I saw a little baby turtle trying to cross the road and it turned the other way as my car approached. I thought, "Turn around girl! This world is not for you!"

I saw geese in a group waddling along and it was as if the Lord said, "Your walk is not always steady, but you are not alone. I have given you family and friends who walk like you and who know me."

There was a dog playing and jumping around in his yard all by himself... having a grand time! It didn't seem to matter that he was by himself. The Lord said, "Let Me be your delight. You are not alone. Have joy! No matter what comes I am here and we can enjoy our time."

It thundered and I thought, "He's bigger than even that huge, loud, uncontrollable noise, and He's in control of even the thunder."

There were three little birds on our deck and my daughter noticed that they all looked the same and they all kept singing. "Sing to Me child! I am worthy of your praise!" was what I heard.

Those may seem kind of silly to you, and to be honest they have made me smile and sometimes giggle to myself. I have wondered why He would use such things to speak to me, but I am also glad that He's speaking!! There are times when I can't sense Him, hear Him or know that He's even near. It is not always easy to hear that encouragement. Sometimes it's just silence and it can be deafening.

I suppose He is teaching me that I need not take my times of intimacy with Him for granted. I need to look for Him in the little things every single day and not assume that I will always hear Him speak . I am very much like Martha.. busy and not always hearing what the Lord has to say. The times that I somehow manage to quiet myself a tad and listen, like Mary, need to be times that I take in every word that He whispers through His still small voice.

Lord, I thank you for the times that You do speak. I trust that You are always here whether I can hear You or not. You are Lord. You speak through simple things that I sometimes miss because I am too busy or too stubborn to hear. Please don't stop! And please help me to be still enough to hear You. I praise You for the birds of the air, the turtles that crawl and the dogs that run and play. It's the little things that children thank you for, Lord, but I must never forget to come to You like a child.. with a childlike faith... ready to listen to my Daddy.
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Looks Like We Made It!

Through the first day of first grade, that is! We still have plenty of days to go with this whole new idea of school with no rest time, a Spanish class once a week and real homework!

My girl got into the car yesterday morning raring to go!! She was so excited and did NOT want me to walk her to her class. "I know where to go mom!" Ok, already! Gosh. Just trying to be a mom here.

Later my mom called to see how things went and she asked if I walked her to her class. When I said no... well! I might as well had been in timeout!! My mother was NOT happy with me about the fact that I let her only granddaughter walk to her first day of first grade by herself!! MAN! I was between a rock and a hard place there. My little one finally trying to be independent and my MOTHER guilting me for not being a good mom. WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO??

She looked really cute with her cupcake shirt, polka dotted skirt and matching sandals!! She has always been a BIG bow girl too, but not yesterday. "I want to wear my hair down, mom."

It was still dark when we took this photo so the lighting is not that great. She didn't care! She smiled and was ready to show the world that she was going to first grade!

When I picked her up from school she was grinning from ear to ear. I said, "Well!? How was it?"

"Good. When I got here I went straight to the stairs to get to my class, but those kids were going so slow! I told them to GO! I have to go to my class!!" My GIRL!

Her sweet little friend from last year is in her class this year too. She said, "He cried mom! He missed his mom and I told him that he would be fine and that she would come soon. Don't cry! We have to pray for him mom." Bless her little heart. She hates for her friends to be upset. I guess she gets that from her mom.

We talked about lunch in the cafeteria, having to watch a movie instead of going to the playground ("It's too wet mom! My sandals would be a mess!"), and math. She did her math page by herself. (SEE MOM? More independence there!! She's trying and I have to let her!! ) SO big. I just could not believe the conversation we had and how big she's acting!! It really is an answer to prayer!
Oh! That's the other cool part! They prayed (she attends a Christian school), read their Bible ("It looks like yours mom!') and talked about Kingdom choices vs. worldly choices! LOVE THAT! We get to talk about the kingdom choices that she makes everyday and how those choices are different from worldly ones!! I am praying that the Lord will use this time in her life to draw her to Him so that she will come to know Him as her Savior and Lord! OH! I am praying!!
So stay tuned for the continuing saga of the Tales of the First Grade Talks. I am sure that we will have plenty to share as we encounter school and all that it holds for us. Our special needs support has not started yet so we will see how God works in all of it!! Can't wait!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Please Don't Think I'm Terrible

BUT SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW and I am a bit excited!!!!!!!

Just a tad.

See lately my sweet girl has been a bit of a... shall we say... brat.

Yes, I said it. She has been a little more than I can bear and it is mainly because of her sinful nature and boredom. Sheer boredom. And that whole sinful thing that none of us would like to acknowledge about ourselves. But it's there. Oh, it's there.

She has not been the best listener, shall we say, and she has talked back to me more than once... ok, more than 10 times a day lately. I mean I have had to really talk to this kid about her mouth and lack of listening skills. I have also had to follow up with other... more physical... "talking". It has not been fun!! AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!

Is anyone with me here?

I am sure that her attitude has not been the only contribution to our state of frustration of late. It's hard to admit, but MY attitude could sometimes use a little adjustment as well. There have been times that I have said (to quote my friend Jennifer) "SOMEBODY needs a nap here! And it's MOMMY!" (Makes me crack up every time, Jen!)

Anyway!! School is starting and we will get up bright and early to head over to our first day of first grade!! I seriously can not believe that she is starting REAL school. It will be really, seriously great to have a new routine and a little time to get a few things done that I have been putting off. She is so ready to be with kids her age and she wants to read and do math too!

YEA!!!!!! Let me just shout it from the roof tops here.

We got a shower, washed her hair, got out the new cute little outfit that she will wear, got out the new sandals and went to bed on time!! The routine begins tonight!!

Sick, aren't I? Who gets this excited about this stuff? My husband even told his mom that he thinks that the mom is AS excited as the girl, if not more!!

Pitiful, isn't it?
Just pitiful.

One Word Meme

My friend Amy (who is getting married and is not ONE bit excited about it!) tagged me with a meme! You have to answer the questions with one word. So... here we go... and this is not easy for me because I can not usually answer in one word! HA!

where is your cell phone?purse
your significant other? smart
your hair? wet
your mother? funny
your father? sentimental
your favorite thing? laughing
your dream last night? dumb
your favorite drink? tea
your dream/goal? glorify
the room you’re in? office
your hobby? store
your fear? loss
where do you want to be in 6 years? home
what you’re not? quiet
muffins? blueberry
one of your wish list items? puppy
where you grew up? Columbia
last thing you did? quiet time
favorite gadget? cell
your pets? none :(
your computer? great!
your mood? mellow
missing someone? yeah
your car? new
favorite store? target
like someone? alot!
your favorite color? pink
last time you laughed? yesterday
last time you cried? Sunday

So I tag Jennifer, Valarie, Faith and Mimi (Faith's mom), and Heather! Have fun girls!! :)
Monday, August 4, 2008

Spontaneous Vaction-ous

Well, HOWDY YA'LL! It has been more than a week since I sat down to work at this ol' blawg. It has been a busy week with my mama here for a few days, new shipments of fun things for our store and a spontaneous vacation thrown in for good measure!

It was really amazing that my hubby agreed to such madness because he is The Plan and Research Department around here. (I love him!) We literally had no reservation for our quick little get away until Friday afternoon around 4! We were packed and ready to go and thought, "You think we need a reservation?"

This look says it all. Madness and just craziness for this very planned family! (I love this picture. It just makes me laugh out loud!!)
My mama left that morning so we had to recover from Caroline's little sad spell over her Mimi leaving and then we headed to our little store to put these CUTE suckers out!

They are so cute and such great gift ideas for anyone! AND they taste great!! They come in every letter and I just love that they are able to make a gift really personal for just a little money!

Then we headed home, packed, made our reservation and headed to the mountains! I forgot my camera for our late dinner that night, but we had a yummy Italian meal and then headed to our hotel for bed. It was just nice to get away.

So we woke up the next day and headed to TWEETSIE RAILROAD!

We rode rides....

Danced on a stage... she did a little cloggin'!

Played in the covered wagon and tee pee...

Fed the cutest little goats! Oh my word! They would stick their heads through the pickets in the fence and just watch you until you stopped with a little ice cream cone of food for them! They were the cutest things!!

We panned for gold!

AND THEN.. my battery died in my camera and I could not take any more pictures! OH! I was so mad! And no one had a battery that I could use as a replacement so the rest is just a memory!!

I was so glad to get away with just my little family! We also went hiking on a trail, did a scavenger hunt and saw a waterfall! It was fun to be away from work and the other stresses that keep us so busy. Each of us needed the time together for different reasons and our little three day get away was entirely too short, but we had a ball!

Happy Summer! School starts soon!! Yea!! oh, I mean...