Tuesday, May 29, 2018

vacation 2018

On Sunday last week after church, we all packed up and loaded the car down with luggage and food and hit the road to Branson, Missouri.  We go there every other year, to the same time share resort, and we love it.  I love those beautiful Arkansas roads.


All of us who went are Todd's parentals (Phyllis and Wiley), Todd, Graham, Drew, Jonah, Noah, Rachel (Graham's girlfriend) and me.  That's nine total. 

It's interstate driving until right outside of Conway, then it's country mountain roads the rest of the way in.  We stopped in a little town called Damascas and had the best Mexican food ever.  We had dinner there Sunday night and finally arrived in Branson at about nine.  We unpacked the cars and got everyone all settled in, and then we started having our fun.  Actually, I went to bed soon after we unpacked because I was beat. 

The house we were in sounds huge, and while it does sleep a lot, it's not as big as it sounds.  It's three floors with two rooms up top (one with a queen bed, and one with a king), one room with a king bed on the ground floor, and one bedroom in the basement with two twin beds.  All of us had beds except for Graham, and he slept on a pull out couch on the ground floor.  Rachel and I shared the basement room. 


Isn't it cute?  This was us Saturday as we were about to leave.

On Monday, we stayed at the house and enjoyed the pool.  All day, pretty much.  I made dinner for us all that night, and then we swam more and enjoyed the hot tub after dinner.


We all loved the patios here this year.  I had my quiet time there the first morning and caught up on bible reading and worked on memorizing Romans 12.  This lighthouse is by the pool. 


On Tuesday they all went to Silver Dollar City, and I stayed at the house.  My back was hurting really bad and Todd and I both thought that walking up all those hills at the park would be bad for it, so to my delight, I had a day alone.  (I'm not kidding, I am a major introvert.)  I did get out once to go buy a new swim suit and then I came back and swam for a couple of hours.  That night we ate dinner at Steak and Shake and had custard from Andy's as a treat afterward.

Also, I had a really sweet quiet time that morning, and I loved reading these verses again.  They're some of my favorite.


Wednesday was my favorite day.  We went to Top of the Rock and rented ATV's and rode down a mountain trail. 


I sat up front most of the ride, then we handed it over to Jonah and Noah and they drove us.  

We drove through a cave, too, and as soon as I saw this cleft in the rock, I thought of some verses out of Psalm 27.


I have asked one thing from the LORD; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the LORD and seeking Him in His temple. For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock.

Psalm 27:4-5.  

I had a moment with the Lord and then we went on.  

We ate a picnic lunch with no plates (shaking my head at myself still) and then we went on.  Shortly after this, we were done.  That night for dinner we ate at Cici's.  

On Thursday we woke up and had breakfast and kinda just hung out for a while at the house, then we ended up leaving to go to the fast go-karts and then to the outlets.  We got a late start and then Phyllis and Wiley met us back at the house later while Graham and Rachel took FOREVER in Rack Room, and the seven of us ended up eating at Subway.

And then...


...we went back to the pool.  We love night swimming, and it's probably my favorite part of vacation.  

On Friday, Todd, Graham, Rachel, Drew, Jonah, and Noah went to ride a roller coaster where they were able to control their own speed, and I stayed back at the house with Phyllis and Wiley.  I went to the pool for a little while and tried to read, but I got hot and left again.  Oh, and this is what I read while I was there, though I still haven't finished it.


We got dressed and left to go to the Sight and Sound theater for the afternoon show of Samson.  It was really good.  We met some friends for dinner afterward at the College of the Ozarks and then went for custard at Andy's one more time.  Drew, Noah and I went back to the house with Wiley, and the rest of them went back to Sight and Sound for a behind the stages tour.  It might have been the highlight of the week.  They got to climb on the props and see how everything works and were all amazed at how huge the stage and behind the stage areas were.  

We packed Saturday morning and arrived back home by about five that afternoon.  It was a great week, and we had a blast.  As much fun as vacation is, it is always so sweet to be back at home.  We always miss all our animals and I always miss my own bed and shower.  (We have THE BEST shower and water pressure.)  

To recover, it was nice having a holiday with all of us around to catch up on things like cleaning and laundry.  That's pretty much all I did yesterday in between reading a new fiction book and folding clothes, because we were at church on Sunday morning, and that is a whole other blog post, because I just needed to come home and sleep afterward.  (I might share more about this later in the week.)

I've already figured out that the next time we go back to Branson, they will be 21, 20, and 17.  That makes my stomach drop.  I have no idea what life will look like in two years, but I am imagining that it will be really different.  

Thanks for reading my memories of our trip...one of the main reasons I write on this blog all the time is so that I will have it to look back on.  I'm much faster at typing than writing, so while some of this stuff is inside a journal, I love having the pictures as well.  

Love to all.  


Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends, for the writing of this blog post. 

It's been a week!  I can't believe it's already Friday, but I wondered this time last week if the next seven days would fly by, and they sure did.  I'm not complaining, though, because we leave Sunday after church for vacation, and I'm really excited about our trip. 

Here are some favorite moments and a few things from this past week that have been my favorites. 


First up on the list is our spruced-up house.  I came home from lunch with my dad last Friday to my wonderful husband pressure washing this awning.  It had pollen and something that looked like algae all over it, and our pressure washer hasn't been working right, so we kept putting if off.  He was able to repair it, though, and now we have a new-looking awning once again. 

Plus, y'all, I am married to the busiest man on the planet.  He works full time, he volunteers a lot of hours each month to the sheriff's department, he works at our church every Sunday, plus other times when he's needed to fill in (and extra money is always nice) and to help set up and tear down for special events, and he helps out his parents a lot.  He has little to no free time.  The sheriff's department gig is his outlet and hobby, though, and I'm pretty sure it keeps him sane.  I read for fun, he helps people. 

A house ready for company is one of my very favorite things, and having a party is great because it forces you to do things that may not normally get done.  In fact, a really sweet and godly wife and mom I know told me that about a year ago.  My friend Sunday's mom gave out some advice at a prayer dinner I attended, and that was one thing she said.


Saturday was one of my favorite days to date.  Getting married, having each of my kids, and their graduation days will always be in the top spots for favorite days in my lifetime.  I know it'll only get better, but wow.  We figured out the whole cap on top of his fro situation, and I think he looks extremely handsome. 



We were posing for the top pic and the bottom one happened.  These guys are a couple of my favorites as well.  And for fun, so is my dress.  I went shopping for some tops a few weeks ago, and in going to a store that I never go into, I stumbled upon this dress.  It's right at my knees, and it's super comfy and flowy.  I don't always love dresses, but this is one I will wear for a long time to come.  Bonus: it was $15.  The last one I bought was black, and I think I wore it for eight years. 

Also, let's note that I was having an excellent hair day.  They are very few and far between.


Monday night was another favorite night from the week, and one of the greatest events that our church gives for students that are graduating.  We attended a senior banquet honoring the high school seniors.  This man above is our dear friend and pastor, and he gave the students a terrific message about living a life for God.  I am so thankful for this man, and how he shepherds the body of believers we belong to. 

Also, they were twins. 


Moving to non-graduate stuff, my best friend tagged me in this picture on social media, and I thanked her and told her I'd already made plans to be up at four so that I could watch.  (I'm up at four thirty almost every single day.)  The royals have been my favorite subject this week, and I've been slightly obsessed.


Naps are my favorite.  This was me on Mother's day.  All I wanted was to not do one thing all day, and I succeeded. 


Jonah got a new car detailing job this week, and I went one way when I took him there and a different way when I came back home.  Country road drives have always been one of my favorite things, and this was a picture I took while I was stopped with no cars around.  I love this old building!  These were my old stomping grounds.  I grew up in the Eads/Fisherville area when I was a young girl.


On Wednesday, I started making all the lists for vacation.  List making is one of my favorite things to do, and these pens are also on my favorite list.  They're Papermate Flair felt tip pens, and I love their bright colors.  Colors and list making go hand in hand.


Also on Wednesday, I was catching up in my bible reading and before I started reading, I prayed that God would give my thoughts and plans order for that day, and I immediately thought of this verse, verse 33 close to the top.  That verse is one of my favorites.


And last, but not least...didn't everyone feel this way about the past couple of days? 

I laughed so hard when I saw this.  It's one of my favorite internet things from the week. 

Thanks for reading my blog!  I'll be gone for the next week, so I won't be back on here until after we get home from vacation. 

Love to all. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

a day in the life post

Good morning!  I was up before the sun as usual yesterday and as I was sitting with Chip in my lap, I thought I would do a day in the life post.  It's been ages since I've done one, and I love reading posts like this, so if I like it, everyone does, right?!  If not, you may want to leave my blog now. 

This was my (not so typical) Monday.

Before I start, let me say that Chip used to wake me up at four thirty every single morning.  That is no longer the case, but nobody ever let my brain know that little detail, and four thirty is my new normal almost every day.  Yesterday, I actually slept until five.  It felt a little scandalous.


I wake up and then I come downstairs.  I let the dogs out, and while I do that, I start the coffee for my husband and for Graham and Drew, I start the dryer to freshen the clothes inside, I turn on the mantle lights and the television, then I let the dogs back in.  I basically pretend I didn't wake up with the dogs to keep it dark and they fall back to sleep.  I do too, sometimes, but that wasn't the case Monday.  I always watch the news (mainly for the weather) and Chip is almost always in my lap.  He loves to cuddle.



Coffee pots number one and number two.  I didn't start on the first pot's coffee until six thirty.  I drink my coffee out of the Keurig because I like the coffee in the cups better than what I buy by the pound. 

I always come and sit back down and check emails and look at social media and my Timehop app.


First and favorite cup of the day.  I only drink two each morning.  Twinkles is asleep in my chair over there, can you see her?  I finish that cup and let the dogs out again, then start my second cup, let the dogs back in and come sit at the computer desk.


They love watching for squirrels.  This was right before I let them out. 

On this day, I had to finish planning for our high school community groups to meet over the summer and had correspondence with a few different people, then I sent out emails pertaining to that, and finally, I started on this blog post.  (I don't always schedule my posts after writing them beforehand, but that's what I've done the past couple of times I've written.)


While I write, I'm listening to one of my favorite podcasts.


Please excuse the horrible picture.  Before I start writing, I read all my favorite blogs that I've read for years.  Some of them I've been reading for a decade, like these two ladies (Sophie Hudson and Melanie Shankle) and the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. 

Then I write my post and start on the laundry, usually.  On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Jonah has a detailing job for a friend of ours, though, and I have to get ready to drive him to Oakland.  I was able to fold a load of clothes and start on a new load, then I left with him at eight thirty to drop him off.





It took him longer than five minutes to unload his stuff back behind this portico thing.  His first car is a Mustang, so he was pretty pumped.  ;)  He has a cart loaded down with stuff.  I packed him a lunch full of snacky protein loaded things to help him stay strong all day.  It was hotter than Hades here yesterday and he was there until almost four o'clock.  He had a giant Coleman cooler full of ice water to stay hydrated.  I told him if worse came to worse, he could wet his head down with the hose to cool off fast, but thankfully he was in the shade as he worked. 

I went one way to drop him off, and drove back home through the country roads.  That'll be the way I go from here on out, because it's a lot prettier of a drive.  I stopped at the stop sign to take this picture, since there were no other cars around.


I grew up in this area, and I love the looks of this old building.  When I came home, I started on the mountains of laundry I have today.  I didn't do a thing on Mother's day, including laundry, so I was way behind. 

Right after this, Drew came downstairs and we talked for about ten minutes, about the weekend and what was going on that night and when we would need to leave.  My friend Kristy called me asking for a favor from my boys, so I woke Noah up and he and Drew threw on clothes and ran up to our church to help out for a while.  They weren't gone very long, and the church bought them their lunch for helping.

I have to stop here and say that Drew's truck broke down yesterday and while the fix is (somewhat) easy, we are short his vehicle and we all have a million things to do.  I prayed and asked God to work out this issue for us, with all that we have going on, and with timing and such, and He keeps doing exactly that.  So while I feel a little crazy with all these details rattling around in my brain, I am so thankful that the Lord hears my pleas and helps me out with all the things.  He truly is so, so good to me. 

The boys left, and I did some laundry.



Yes, the table is still pushed back and decorated from Drew's party Saturday night, and it will stay like that until who knows when.  I don't have time to deal with it today.  I get so behind on laundry on the weekends, because I usually don't have time on Sunday to do any.  This week was no different.  In fact, here is where I was the majority of the afternoon on Sunday.


On my bed napping, or trying to, or watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.  #storyofmylife

Anyway, back to Monday.  Funny story about all those towels.  Saturday night, one of the guests we had here for the party knocked over a pitcher of grape kool-aid, and my mom-in-love spilled a cup of coffee.  So my floor, counters, cabinets, and tabletop got a great cleaning while we had a ton of people in the house.  It was hilarious.  It was a young girl who spilled the kool-aid, and her parents felt terrible, but we assured them that it was no big deal, did they know we had a house full of boys?  I don't fret over spilled things anymore.  (I said anymore.  I used to.)

While waiting on sheets to dry, I brought some stuff in here to my desk to work on.


Quiet time (I still hadn't had it at this point, and it was eleven o'clock) and pens for list making.  Also, I remembered that the cat loves to eat flowers, so I had to bring them in here with me so I could keep an eye on her with them.  I can't make this stuff up, y'all.  She eats everything and throws it up afterward.  We will never have another cat after this one passes on. 


#reallife

Aren't these beautiful?  Jonah bought them for me!

Right after this I came back my desk and started on this post, because truthfully, if I hadn't done that, I would have forgotten the majority of all this.  I ended up getting side tracked, though, and stopped to read a passage in Luke 12.  The verses about the cure for anxiety, verses 22-34. 


I was going to make a post on FB, and these verses were some of what I was going to say, but I ended up deleting the whole thing.  But these verses are so good!  I love the thought that even more than the Lord clothes the birds of the air and the flowers in the field, He cares so much more for you, for ME.  He is so good to me. 

After this, it was almost lunch time, so I got up to eat.  I ate my favorite lunch, which is a bagel with cream cheese.  It's not healthy, I know, but I do splurge every once in a while and cave in to eat this old favorite.


If I don't sit at the table to eat, I watch an episode of whatever I'm currently watching on Netflix. 

Right after this, I grabbed more laundry (I told you I had a lot) and went upstairs to wash my hair.  We had another senior event last night and the process of my hair drying takes forever.

These products help.



I use the mousse for hold instead of hairspray.

Also, it is almost impossible for me to get dressed with something coming out of that bluetooth speaker you see.  Usually it's praise and worship music, sometimes it's a podcast.

Also, I bought this lotion at Homegoods last week, and it is amazing!


I have ridiculously dry skin, and this takes care of that.  This big bottle was about $6 and who doesn't love the smell of summer in a bottle (coconut anything)?!

I came back downstairs to paint my fingernails once my hair was dry.



...and then sat and watched something else on Netflix so that they would dry, and texted with someone about a hurtful situation we went through months and months ago. 

Thought for the day: when you go through something with someone that is hurtful and it's all done over text, just say your apologies and move on.  We all mess up and we all do things that warrant us saying sorry.  We have to say that, though, because chances are the other person will not, or if they do, it will not be genuine.  And then maybe acknowledge that certain people have to be let go of, pray for them and ask God to guard your heart against bitterness and unforgiveness and then MOVE ON with your life.  That is really hard to say, but God gives people to us as friends, and He removes people from us as friends.  There is reasoning behind it all, and we have to obey His plan if we want to live our lives for Him.  This whole ordeal took a solid hour out of my day yesterday, and I had to pray for God to give me the words to say, and before anyone asks, it is nobody anyone close to me knows. 

Moving on.  These two things are the best for painting your nails.  Seche Vite is a topcoat and this rapidry spray by OPI sets them immediately once you're done with all the coats.  I do a clear coat, two coats of color, one coat of Seche Vite, and then I spray them all at the end.  People always think I get my nails done and I don't.  I do them myself.  Good polishes help.

Drew had gone to do some yardwork for a friend helping him out with his fundraising, and when he got back home, he offered to pick up Jonah for me.  Right after they got home, we all got dressed and Todd, Drew, and I left for his senior banquet.  Graham, Rachel, Jonah, and Noah went somewhere to eat.  There was much drama with that, but I will save that for another post, because sometimes the boys drive me CRAZY with their bickering.  I am still upset with one of them this morning.  #reallife

The banquet was so nice!  We ate dinner, and my friend Abbey shared for the girls, and the guys' bible fellowship teacher Ken shared for them.  Then our pastor got up and gave a brief charge to them all.  There was a video slideshow of them, and then it was all over and we got up to take pictures. 



These guys are such great friends. 




Once again, all the grandparents came and supported him with us. 


And I got the picture Drew requested.


Major drove off with a golf cart and they all jumped on.  #scandalous

And then when they saw some staff people looking for it, they all jumped off and Major drove it back. 


My beautiful friends, Abbey and Kristy. 


And the mamas and the sons.  Excuse my red face.  I was burning up!  It felt like it was a hundred degrees to me once we stepped out from under the covered tent we ate in.  There were fans blowing on us, so when we went outside afterward, I was immediately hot.

We came home after this, and I posted all these pictures to Instagram, and then shortly after that, I hit the bed.  It was a really great day, and I am so thankful for how our staff at CFBC loves on our students.  I felt so honored as I sat there listening to all that they charged them with, especially the message that Pastor Chuck gave them.  He spoke on influence and living their lives for Jesus.


This is our pastor.  I had tears in my eyes the entire time he spoke.  So before I laid my head down last night, I had a lot to thank God for, this man being one of them.  Our parents are another.  And the sweet gift of friendship. 

If you made it this far, congrats to you, this was not a short post.  Thanks for reading. 

Love to all. 

Wednesday Words

(Thank you, Google, for your image!) I'm reading along with Courtney from Women Living Well, and the founder of Good Morning Girls...