Thought Provoking

Have you ever read Dr. Del Tackett? He leads Focus on the Family's "The Truth Project." Every once in a while I'll pop over and read a post on his blog. There is no rhyme or reason to what I read, sometimes I'll just click the link to "read more." Fact is, I'm never disappointed when I do that. Somehow I click when I need to read what he has written at just that moment. It always impresses me when that happens - you know what I mean - when God has you listen to a specific sermon that you almost didn't hear or has you read something you almost didn't read... I often don't even realize I'm listening to the Holy Spirit until afterwards and I'm reflecting on what I just heard or read. With that said... and speaking of reflecting...

Reflecting on Reflecting

If you have a couple of minutes, read Dr. Tackett today.


It Has Begun

Two seconds ago, the heavens opened and the rain has started to pour down... ahhh.. the smell is heavenly!

It's official.

Summer is over. Fall is here.

I think I'll buy some pumpkins this week...



Have you ever had an experience where you sounded off at someone - in "righteous anger?" After all, they'd hurt you beyond imagination. You figure you know you have to forgive, it's the Christian thing to do but (1) you're going to do it in your own time and not before you manage to spew as much evil as possible and (2) you don't have to forget, you don't have to trust that person again, you don't have to keep that person in your life?

Then your Pastor reminds you... God doesn't forgive us that way.

"No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. ~Hebrews 8:11-13

and then...

"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. ~Hebrews 10:16-18

Last night's sermon, Pastor Steve talked about God promises to remember our sins no more. Years ago I made the connection that God goes beyond just "forgetting" our sins. Forgetting is imperfect and it's passive - Oh... oops... I forgot. I didn't have to do anything for that to happen, it just happened. But God makes a promise - He promises to not remember our sin. Once we have repented and He has forgiven them - they are gone, He won't bring them up. He doesn't say "ah... this one... again? Really? How many times must I forgive you this one? How do I trust you again? Why would I want to keep you in my life?"

Not God. How would I surivive if He did? Why do I 'know' this truth in everyday life but the moment a situation presents itself to actually live what I know, I revert back to the 'normal me?'

And yet... it is exactly what I do. I get hurt, I get angry and oh yes... I know... I'm supposed to forgive and I will. In my time, when I feel like it. In the meantime? Stay out of my life. I can't trust you. How do I know you won't do this to me again?

Exactly who do I think I am?

Jesus told us: "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15).

Please hear my heart - I am so sorry. To my sister and my brother-in-law - I am so sorry for my tirade last week when Mom tried to bring us together. I am sorry that I have held onto this for so long. I am so sorry that I put my "hurt" in a place that made it more important to me than you are.

I am sorry.


Sunday Strength

I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

~Psalm 30:1-5


Today is...

According to my incredibly official Hoops & Yo-Yo Hallmark calendar, today - September 24th - is PUNCTUATION DAY!

How exciting is that? A whole day dedicated to those little marks that can change the direction and tone of a sentence in an instant....

So... pull our your imaginations and start using those "." and the " and the ' and the ? and the : and the ; and the , and my favorite the !

And we should all listen to Hoops & Yo-Yo. Go punctuate!



All that fast-paced "moving, moving, moving" I did over the last couple of weeks has caught up with me. Last night I cleaned the kitchen and then tried to dust the living room. I made it about 1/2 way around, took a look at the rest of the wood & promptly put the Pledge & rag away.

Praying now this sudden exhaustion doesn't become permanent and is only a temporary hiccup where my body is saying "you've run me ragged for two weeks...give me a day or two off, would ya'?"

I'm going to try to get Aaron to push me out of bed at 5:15 tomorrow morning. Take the dog for a walk. Pray we do it!!!


Sunday Strength

O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.

~Psalm 141:1-4


The rest of Aaron's Party

A lot of these pictures were taken from Christopher's 9 year old viewpoint and there are a few people missing (check out the group shots with the magician - some of those missing from here are in there). We tried to get a picture of everyone.

The Food (sorry for that first picture being so blurry):
~The eggs & bacon you see when you scroll down is candy I made...

Meat Candy (oh this stuff is SO good!)

The Magician:

The Pinata:


Aaron's 40th Birthday Party

My husband turned 40 on September 1st this year. I'm not quite sure what it is about 40 but it seems like an important milestone to me. When I turned 30 I finally felt like maybe, just perhaps, I was finally a grown-up. When I turned 40 I KNEW I was a grown-up and I knew that because I had long before that realized that in order to be a true grown-up you had to be willing to act like a kid. No matter how much it embarrasses your children...

Since my husband is the quintessential "overgrown kid" (this is him stealing french fries from our then 8 year old) and the most dedicated carnivore I know, I decided that we had to celebrate 40 in a way that pulled those two major aspects of his personality together. So... I went with meat. Meat was my theme. Truth is, there really isn't much in the way of demand for meat-themed merchandise... Imagine that. The occasional bacon t-shirt, sure, but you can't really decorate for a party with just a t-shirt. So I had to get a little creative with a LOT of help from the internet and family input.

First there were the decorations... I chatted about it with my mother and my sister-in-law, both of whom thought the meat theme was great and more than just a little funny. Perfect for Aaron and pretty unique. When I said I wanted to find steaks to decorate with, we started searching online only to find that this year doesn't seem to be the year for steaks. Mom and I then spent a Saturday going from pet store to pet store (her brilliant idea) and I did manage to find a few sausage links, several pork chops, some chicken legs (ok - the package may have said hamhocks but I don't care - I labeled them chicken legs. End of story) and even a pig in a blanket and a hot dog and what butcher shop would be complete without a rubber chicken? My sister-in-law finally found a place with latex t-bones big enough for what I needed. I used those chew toys to create a butcher shop for the food table.

The pictures below are, obviously, before we put all of the food out. I was a bit busy once the food started getting to the table...

Next, I started thinking about food and again while searching the internet, I found a few awesome, creative ideas. First, there is Bakerella. She has an amazing blog on baking and she came up with a fun cupcake idea for Father's Day. I downloaded her pdf, put "Happy 40th Aaron" on the front of her french fry holder and printed off what I needed... Christopher and I spent 1/2 of a Tuesday cutting those things out. Taping them came on Wednesday and Thursday. It was quite the production. Of course - I wasn't doing just a few - I was planning for 60 guests so there was definitely going to be some time dedicated to this operation. Then, I baked 60 cupcakes and the cookies (fries) and froze them. The brownies and assembly happened the day before the party.

This would be my most wonderful assistant aka Mom. She really is one of the greatest women I know. Doesn't matter what's needed - she just dives in and does it (except for making dip... she's not fond of doing that, apparently.).

I'm pretty sure Aaron was pleased...
Hostess with the Mostess, a brilliant party and event planner, had this adorable French Circus themed baby shower on her blog. One of the food displays included zebra-striped paper cones filled with Crunch n Munch. I thought the idea was too much fun and wanted to use it. So... I found some bbq paper and some brightly colored cardstock and set to work. Fortunately someone other than me was thinking and actually took a picture of them. I'm sorry it's a little blurry but you get the idea. My intentions were to take hundreds of pictures. I only managed to take 118 and that included some of the work BEFORE yesterday so yesterday's pickins' are pretty slim. My cones, by the way, held Fiddle Faddle. Aaron's favorite treat...

That's all I'll cover in this post. Next post... more food, a magician and a pinata...