Friday, July 30, 2010

I'll Have Fish... With a Side of Black Eyed Peas

Have you ever been here?
Have you ever seen this SO close up that it takes your breath away?
021020                                                                                                                 Honestly the pictures don't do it justice! My husband and I walked in to see the 50 foot tank where a whale shark swam past. It was so amazingly beautiful and HUGE and we both just stood with tears in our eyes. He said, "You do know that before man was created God made these creatures to bring Himself glory!"  008
Some of the fish didn't even look real! They were so beautiful swimming in schools and creating artwork that we'd never seen before!
One of the more fun exhibits was the one where the penguins interacted with the people. Look at how close my husband is as he sticks his head through this acrylic bowl to get a closer look!
The penguin walked right up and looked him in the eye!
Then there was this strange fish. We still have not identified this crazy creature!
The funniest exhibit was the otter exhibit. They are so well camouflaged that they may be hard to see, but they are cute as a button and so animated!
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I mean kicking back with the peeps here... and just precious!
There was so much to see that we just wanted to take our time and take it all in. Huge glassed in areas were available for you to just sit and take in the beauty of God's creation and just marvel at His creativity!
Japanese Spider Crab
If you have never been to the Georgia Aquarium I strongly advise you to make the trip! Our entire family was mesmerized by the wonderful array of exhibits and things to do.
Right across the street from the Aquarium is the Coca-Cola Museum and there were TONS of people waiting to get in so we didn't wait with two small, and rapidly tiring, children!
066 Oh wait, that's just one of them with the sweetest Paw Paw ever! Here's the other one...
... my sweet niece Taylor!
We decided to go right down the street from the Aquarium to this fun (and less crowded and not overwhelming) place...
The children's museum was not as crowded and we were able to let the kids play a little in the cool air...
Playing in the Farm...
Grammy got into the action... milking a cow!
Oh, and daddy got stuck in the slide... shhh... don't tell him I showed you!
There was even a place to play in the sand and make a new friend!
After all of the fun of the day we decided to walk a few blocks to a really good restaurant where they had the best sweet tea in the SOUTH! (Ok, maybe because we were so hot did it taste like the BEST, but it sure was good!)
Afterwards we walked back to our hotel where the streets were blocked for a concert that Microsoft Corporate was putting on for an employee conference. We saw lots of people heading towards the Centennial Park (which is between the Aquarium and Coca-Cola Museum).There were HUGE puppets...
... and a New Orleans band...
It was really cool to be there during the festivities. People were dancing and playing around.. just having a great time...
We stopped in the park to play..
And as we walked we heard an announcer say, "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR..... THE BLACK EYED PEAS!!!!!!!"
WE COULD NOT BELIEVE OUR EARS! We stopped and sure enough... through the trees there were huge screens...
... "Let's get the party started... yea!" The Black Eyed Peas played for two hours outside of our hotel!
Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yard Sale-in'

Today two of my friends and I did a yard sale together. Here are a few lessons that I learned:

1. Do not hold a yard sale in the middle of July lest you plan on sweating profusely and being even MORE attractive than the yard sale crowd.

2. Joining up with friends to do a yard sale is a grand idea! If you are gonna kill yourself for a .25 sale, you might as well do it in good company!

3.You don't have to price every single itty bitty thing. People will not pay that price anyway so why bother?

4. Just put yourself out there if you really want the sale!  One of my friends tried to sell a car seat and she was a go getter. She would even say, " You know someone who needs a car seat? Give 'em a call! I'm here until one!" YOU GO GIRL! Loved it!

5. Sending your kids to grandmas while you get ready for the sale is the BEST IDEA SINCE SLICED BREAD!

6. Spending days pulling out junk, pricing it and sitting in the drive way to sell it is a LOT of work. Somehow from year to year I forget this principle and I do it anyway! I am worn slap out!

7. Dunkin' Donuts is your friend.

8. The hubby that goes to get said donuts is your hero!

9. Always fully charge your rechargeable items. Otherwise they will not sell and you will lose the biggest sale that you could have had that day and you will kick yourself 100 times and make a fool of yourself trying to convince the buyer that you are telling the truth and that the thing REALLY is great and works great and you are an honest person that would never lie about something like that just to make a buck!!!!

Not that that HAPPENED or anything.... I'm just sayin'.

10. People will try to talk you down on things that are a quarter and for some strange reason you feel that you need to come down! FROM A QUARTER PEOPLE! A quarter. Wow.

All in all it was a good day and if nothing else it was a great way to get things cleaned out so that I can proceed with my little redo project! It was a lot of work, but I made a little money and my house is cleaner and more organized for the effort. I also got to know two of my friends a little better and appreciate them more now that we have sweated together to make something happen. I wish we would have taken pictures! We were a sight to behold!

Friday, July 16, 2010

One Thing's For Certain

I do know one thing for certain...that is that there's NOTHING for certain.

Just this week I received an e-mail from Caroline's special ed teacher that she would be leaving our school to serve at another school that is closer to her home. She was totally precious and eager to even meet with us to tell Caroline herself if I thought that was necessary. Her concern for us as she leaves is just so sweet and I obviously want what is best for her and her family, but it leaves me scratching my head.

I prayed. " REALLY, GOD!? We prayed and prayed about our decision to move Caroline from private to public school last year and it has been the hardest thing that we have had to do lately. This lady was really good to Caroline. I felt like You put her there and we are so grateful! She helped so much and we had her to go to as we tried to adjust and now You are taking her?"

Guess what He said. "Yes, child. Nothing is certain, but Me. Do you not think that I can provide someone even BETTER for Caroline? How about you obey me by trusting me and let ME do my job?"

Oh. Okay.

As I type this LeeAnn Womack is singing "I Hope You Dance" in the background. You know, I just want that for Caroline. I just want her to fly so high and be so successful that she can't help but to dance. When I pray and pray for things and they just seem to be HARDER instead of easier it just makes me frustrated and question God.

"Why do we have to go through ANOTHER adjustment?"
"Why are things not coming along for her like I hoped they would?"
"How will she cope with someone new along with a new 2nd grade teacher?"
The questions are never ending!

Thankfully God is big enough to hear my heart. He made me and I know that He can handle my questions and emotions and feelings. He also knows Caroline and He has a plan for her life. (Jer. 29:11) If I think about it long enough I do come to that realization and my anxious heart settles down again.

There are so many things that are uncertain. As I see my mom and dad aging it makes me begin to pray that He will prepare me for when they are no longer here. It seems like a sad thing to pray, I know, since they are pretty healthy and even still working, but my heart struggles so with the uncertainty, and no one knows how long we will live. Only God knows so I am having to trust that He will carry me when that time comes. I pray that I have them for many, many years to come, but I don't know that and my heart breaks to even think about such things.

Not long ago somone asked me how I can trust God so much. Thing is, I don't know what else to do.  I sometimes feel like I am just wandering around this earth just trying to make sense of it all.There are many days that I don't seem to trust at all, and then some how my heart comes back around. It's like He calls my heart back and somehow I just long to rest in Him and respond. If I didn't have Him to lean on, pray to and trust in I am pretty sure that I would be INSANE! The uncertanties of life sure can throw us some curve balls. Praise the Lord! He's in control!
Friday, July 9, 2010

Budget Talks 2010

You know, things are pretty tight everywhere! With so many job cuts, pay cuts and every other kind of cut the economic picture right now is pretty dim. People are doing all kinds of things just to make a buck!

Well, here at the Guinn Inn things have been a little tighter than usual. I have tried to do a few things to help cut back, but it just isn't enough and it has caused, shall we say, a little STRESS!!

Last night we had a "no kid night" (usually known as date night until the budget brought THAT to a screeching halt!) and we decided it was time for a meeting of the minds. So we cooked dinner at home (to save money!) and then sat down at the computer for a little heart to heart over spending. Oh, joy.

 It was "THE GUINN INN BUGET TALKS of  2010" and will be televized on CNN next week. Times TBA.

One thing that sorta-kinda-not really  got me in the mood to get down to the nitty gritty was this post by the Nester about saving money and getting out of debt. Thankfully my man has been diligent about keeping us out of debt but the saving money part has been harder and harder lately. I am so proud of him because he REALLY tries to not fuss when I spend, and since I do all of the shopping for the family that is a weekly thing!

One thing that has helped us TREMENDOUSLY was taking a Crown Financial Class at our church several years ago. My husband is one of those who could take a paycheck, keep $20 and put the rest in the bank or give it away to needy children around the world. I, on the other hand, would take a paycheck, put $20 in the bank and spend the rest... ON ME! Because I NEEDED A NEW OUTFIT every week! You can imagine the battles that ensued once we married. Oh yea. Not a pretty thing.

So the Crown class helped us to see spending, saving and giving from God's perspective. It helped us see that my way was not the right way (to my great surprise!) and neither was his. We needed some balance. Now that we have been married for almost 14 years we both realize that we still need God's Word as our guide and that neither of us have all the answers.

We made a little progress last night, but the BUDGET TALKS of 2010 will need to reconvein at another date and time. We are already beginning to see where we are careless and that we can do a better job if we work together to make some changes. We need to pay more attention to the details instead of just estimating here and there. I am interested in working some to help with the bills while protecting the time that I spend with my girl as she grows(so I need to do some research and be praying about what God would have for me)  AND I could do a better job of shopping around for deals and not just buying items because they are at my favorite store. THEN there's the whole eating out thing! Oh heavens!

One thing I know for sure... without the Lord as our guide I can definately see that we would be going head to head over this whole thing.What are you doing to help your family in these tight times? I'd love to hear suggestions!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Flood, The Fourth and Other Fun-ness!

Happy Summer Ya'll!

It has been a little while since I've really sat down and thought about all that has been going on around here! I am so thankful that we do not have the school schedule to live by for a few months!! Usually summer kind of throws a kink into my plans because I don't know what to do with myself or my child on these long summer days. This year, however, we have been busy some, but then we've been enjoying those not so busy times, too. Especially the extra sleep part! YAY for that!

Last week was a busy-but-in-a-fun-way week. Caroline has had lots of therapy (that she actually loves!) and it has been good to see her grow. We had lots of therapy last week with appointments and check-ups, etc. On Wed. we went for a check up and that day was a cloudy day. When we returned from the doctor's office we made it just before the big downpour! Check out our yard after the rain!

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We could have ridden the rapids down the street! I don't think we have ever had that kind of river running through our yard after any rain storm!

Well, the rain ended and the next day we decided to head to see my family. I was so glad that we went to spend a few days just hanging out with my parents and brother. Unfortunately, I didn't take ONE picture!

You see, they live in small town America and I just love it! We get to drive down named dirt roads, see all kinds of animals and farming and the food there is amazing because it is all so fresh! They even had the Peach Festival while we were there and we had to leave before the festivities really got under way! Next time, we HAVE to plan better!

We made it home for the 4th of July and man did we have a good time! Some of our long time friends invited us to their house for a cook out where there was face painting...









Nail painting...


(they were alternating red and white... very patriotic!)

... sparklers...


.. and the much anticipated...



All of the kids lined the curb and watched as the daddies lit the fireworks in the street. Aahhh yes... the men were at their finest as they reverted to their childhood days of playing with fire!

Well, hope YOU enjoyed your 4th and that your summer is going well! We are so blessed to live in a country where we have so many freedoms! God has blessed us in so many ways!

See you soon....