Thursday, December 11, 2008

Last Call for Purse Giveaway

Sorry, I've been MIA since 11/23, but I've been CRAZY busy! This is just a quick pop-in to say that I haven't heard from Teresa at TwoCRV's. If I haven't heard from Teresa by tomorrow, I'll draw another name. Tune in tomorrow night to see if you're the lucky winner!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bad, Bad Blogger...And We Have a Winner! a week ago I was supposed to announce a winner for the purse giveaway. I had my sweet husband draw a name out of a cup to select the winner. I took pictures of the process. And then I had a crazy week and forgot to announce the winner. Bad, Bad Blogger! Sorry y'all. I had the best of intentions! I'll do better next time, if y'all promise to come back & bring a friend!

And now, without further ado...
in the cup
(ok..a little "ado")

And the winner is...
Congratulations, Teresa at twoCRVs!

Teresa, please send me an email with your name and address and I'll pop this in the mail. My email is thingspondered (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thanks for playing, everyone! I hope to have at least one more giveaway before Christmas, so stay tuned!

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Post at Kitchen Ponderings - Brownies!

I've just posted my coworker's really yummy brownie recipe...just in time for holiday goodie plates! Check it out here.

And once again, Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway!

Heart This - My First Weekly Linkage Report!

In the vein of Rocks in My Dryer's Saturday Linkage,'s Amy's Notebook, and BooMama's Linky Interwebby Awesomeness, (that's a helping heapful of happy links right there!) I've decided to create a sort of favorites notebook here with the ideas and images and projects that I can't wait to try.

To that end, I've created a separate blog for my Heart This (hopefully weekly) posts. I will post my weekly webby finds here and at my Heart This blog (button in the left sidebar) on (or near - let's be real, here) Fridays.

In this, the Inaugural Edition of Heart This, I hereby link the following:

  • I love this idea from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. What a great idea for involving your family during the holidays! h/t to Melissa at The Inspired Room.

  • Here's a creative Dollar Store Crafts gift idea for the tea lover, the bracelet lover or the crafty girl in your life. So cute. These would be darling favors for a tea party!

  • I think I'll see if my nephews want to make these fun elf hats when they come to my house at Thanksgiving. h/t to Sew, Mama, Sew!

  • This will be our first Thanksgiving to host family at our house. I'm thinking this website will come in handy. It has calculators to tell you how much turkey to buy, how much stuffing to make and how long to thaw your bird. Cool!

  • My dear friend Kirstin pointed me to this blog with the most ADORABLE turkey-day bibs & onesies! (and I love her header scripture!)

Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway!

Petite Purse & Presents - My First-Ever Giveaway!

All these purse pictures have reminded me of a random story. Bear with me...I'm about to give you way too much information, 'cause that's the way I roll. But hey - you're here for a giveaway...might as well stay for the entertainment (if you can call it that)!

Several years ago, I decided to use some frequent flier miles to take my husband on a surprise weekend skiing trip for his birthday. We didn't have much money, so I searched the internet for weeks to find a good deal. I finally found a deal at Breckenridge that included a Winter Fun pack (or something like that). The pack included free lift tickets and boot/ski rentals for 1 night of night skiing, snow tubing, a sled/wagon ride, and much more. I figured one night of skiing would be enough (although night skiing is kinda hard if you're a novice!), so I booked the condo and away we went. (See, I told you...TMI!)

At our condo, we heard about this fondue place. It sounded fun and different, so we booked reservations at 9 (they were full until then). We saved our appetites all day. That night, after the town had pretty well rolled up for the night, we hopped on the gondola for the ride up the mountain. It was freezing cold that night, and we were happy to take advantage of the wool blanket in the gondola! At the top of that mountain, we boarded another gondola, which took us to a second, higher mountain where the restaurant sits. Cool. We entered and were shocked to find that it was a prix fixe menu, with the adult meal costing $57. Each. Gulp.

Well, we decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it, since it was such a neat experience and a special occasion, and since we were hungry and all the other restaurants in town were closed. We enjoyed our fondue dinner. I liked it more than Brian since, well, I like cheese. Oh, and chocolate. ANYwho...At the end of our dinner, I reached for my purse and discovered it was missing. I knew I had it when we boarded the lower gondola! Thank goodness Brian had his wallet!

After Brian paid, we went to the upper gondola and asked the operator if he'd noticed it in any of the cars. He hadn't. We asked him to contact our condo if it was turned in. We then boarded and prayed our way down. When we reached the lower gondola, I asked the operator the same question. No, he hadn't seen it either. I sighed, frustrated, as we boarded the lower gondola. I reached for the blanket with my numb fingers and felt a lump. I moved the blanket, and Hallelujah! There was my purse! What are the chances that we'd happen to board the very same gondola car? Pretty slim. Fortunately for you, your chances at this giveaway are much better! (See how I did that? Pretty slick, huh?)

So you made it through my story. Thank you for your patience. Now for the good stuff!

Earlier this week, Cindy @ Still His Girl (who is totally artistically talented and has one of the funniest blogs ever - check her out!) stopped by my blog and left several really kind comments. Totally made my day!

Anyway, Cindy asked me if I'd ever done a giveaway. I haven't. Partly because I didn't think I had enough readers, and partly because I haven't had anything good to give away. Well, now I have something, and I know at least 2 people are good chances!

I recently posted about a purse I'd made in early October. I loved the fabrics together, but the overall result looked a little too small and young for the lady I wanted to give it to, so I just put it away in my gift closet and started over. Lucky for you, dear readers, I've decided to pull it back out and give it away. I hope it will make one of you, or some sweet girl you know, very happy!

Here's another picture of the purse...sorry the lighting is not very good.

But wait, there's more....

If you act now (or between now and Sunday evening), you'll be entered to win not only the cute little purse above, but also these lovely bonus gifts! That's right, the prize package includes the handmade purse, a Willow Tree Angel of Freedom ornament (slightly used - it used to hang on a display tree in our gifts & antiques store), a small journal, a cedar fall leaf ornament (leftover from our wedding favors - 7 years ago!), and a pecan beeswax lip balm from Bath & Body Works (never used! and sealed! for your protection!). Oh, and whatever else I decide to toss in between now and Sunday!


All of these lovely prizes can be yours for the low-low price of....

Telling all my readers your funniest purse story!
That's right...tell me about the hideous purse you had to have in 8th grade, or the time your children unpacked your purse privates at a church social. Maybe you left your purse in an embarassing place or your husband used it as a tetherball. Edited to add: If you don't have a blog, be sure to leave an email address where I can reach you!

Having never done a giveaway, I'm not going to promise I'll use a random-number-generator-thingie...maybe I will, maybe I won't....but I promise to be fair and impartial. So join in, won't you? Maybe I can help you get some Christmas gifts out of the way!

Oh, and thanks for stopping by!

Edited to add: Sorry, this giveaway is only open to residents of the US (or those with a US address, Natalie!). I can't afford to ship overseas right now. Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another Late Night Purse...and an Announcement!

Alternate title: Why do I do this to myself?
Alternate title: The Crazy Crafter Strikes Again.
Alternate title: The reason I don't have an etsy shop...yet.

But seriously folks,

I decided to do the cute Beauty Purse pattern from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing. I bought these pretty tweedy suiting fabric remnants at JoAnn Fabrics and thought the contrast of fabrics would look good with the pleats.


What I ended up with was a series of unfortunate events.

Event #1 - I didn't take a close enough look at the fabric content. It was polyester. As in doesn't take an ironed crease well. As in pain-in-the-heinie to press and sew. Lesson learned. Check your labels.

Event #2 - I piddled around deciding on which pattern to use and didn't start sewing until 9:30. PM. Now you know why it's a Late Night purse. It doesn't have anything to do with David Letterman.

Event #3 - I sewed pieces on backwards. Twice. Yup. Brilliant.

Event #4 - I tried to iron the interfacing that I substituted for the recommended flannel. It was a soft stabilizer, and had the same weight and feel as flannel. Seemed like a reasonable substitute. BUT. It was a heat-soluble stabilizer. Disappeared into the iron. Great. That may lead to another unfortunate event at a later date!

Event #5 - The fact that I still couldn't get a good sharp press when I tried to iron the finished product. So it ended up "poofy".

Finally, Event #6 - I forgot to sew a button loop into it before I sewed the top up, so I had to rip stitches out to get that in there. I finished the project at 3:00. In. The. Stinkin'. Morning.

Whew. So much for a professional-looking finished product! Thankfully, my friends are very gracious about my less-than-perfect handmade gifts. And it gives me a chance to practice and learn and hone my skills. And next time? Well, maybe next time I'll start at 7:00 PM.

tweedy beauty1 tweedy beauty3

(Please excuse the poor picture quality and backgrounds - I couldn't find my camera, so I had to borrow one at the office!)

NOW....since you've been kind enough to stick with me through the tedious and tiresome tyrade above, I have a special announcement.

Tomorrow Morning, on this very blog site, I'll be hosting my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!

Tell all your friends. I don't have tons of readers, so the chances will be pretty good! I'll announce the prize please check back in!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fun Plaid Purse for Fall

Once again, I burned the midnight oil, but the end result in this purse project was worth it! I think it's awfully cute and autumny!

The pattern is from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing. It's the "Charming Handbag". That's a really fun sewing book, by the way. If you sew at all, you should pick up a copy. Cute stuff!

plaid purse1

plaid purse2

Monday, October 27, 2008

Late-Night Purse Projects (and patterns!)

Here are a few purses I've recently made for gifts. This first one combined 2 fabric remnants that I love, but the purse came out a little too small.
Candy purse1
The pattern/tutorial is here.
I think it's cute, but the combination of the size and the fabric made it look a little to young for the friend I was making it for. I toyed with giving it to her anyway, because it was late, but finally decided to save it in my gift closet until I need a gift for a teenager. It is quite simple, but I complicated things by lining it and by adding a bottom panel.

At 10:30 pm the same night, I decided to have another go at the purse for my friend (her birthday was the next day...way to plan ahead!). I pulled out some more remnants that I'd been saving for a special project and here's what I ended up with:

MH purse6

MH purse4

I LOVE the way this purse came out. I wanted to keep it! Love the pleats. This is still based on the pattern from above, and it also has lining and an added bottom panel.

Here are a couple of other purses that I made in the early summer. This is the simplest pattern/tutorial. They come together SO quickly. I especially like the brown one.

brown purse

black purse

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Quirky Old Meme

I'm beginning to think I should have named my blog "Ponderous in my Heart", because I'm so pokey at posting! My friend, Natalie, tagged me for a meme (my first!) way back in June, but I put it off until I had a recent picture of myself, and then forgot all about it! Natalie is the wife of my husband's college roommate. Confused? That's ok...both of our husbands are named Brian, so it's confusing whenever we're together! She is a much better (more interesting) blogger than I am, and a much better writer! They've been overseas for several years. We're looking forward to them being back here in Texas!

Well, here's a recent picture:

And here's the meme:

5 Quirky Things About Me:
The rules: Post 5 quirky things about yourself. Post a recent picture so we can all look at you and laugh as we read about how interesting (weird) you are.
  1. I am totally addicted to hand lotion. Whenever I wash my hands or get them wet at all (like when I put detergent in the washing machine), I have to put lotion on before I can touch fabric or paper. If I don't, I get chills from the icky feeling of my dry skin! And it can't be just any lotion. I prefer Curel, but will use Aveeno in a pinch.
  2. I don't like lotions with heavy fragrance. I don't like to smell the fragrance everytime my hands are near my face. I love fragrances, but just not on my hands! I love Bath and Body Works, but please don't give me lotion from there!
  3. I have "A Song for Every Occasion". Truly. I always have a song in my head, and I have this little word-association thing going on that causes me to have songs popping into my head all. the. time. So I gave my insanity a name, and I pretend it's a game, rather than a sickness! (I got the rockin' pneumonia and the boogie-woogie flu. See what I mean? I'm sick.)
  4. I LOVE school supplies. Always have. I get a little rush in early August when they start stocking the stores with crayons and pencil boxes and Elmer's glue. One year my good friend gave me a box of school supplies for a Christmas gift. I loved it!
  5. I have a precious kitty, Jazzy, who is 16 1/2 years old. She is incontinent and has recently gone blind, but I love her to pieces. She is the sweetest natured cuddly kitty ever. Just look at her:

Where am I?
These are her sisters, Gracie (my cat by marriage!) and Reilly (our little red dog):
Grace reilly 010

Now, I'm supposed to tag someone, so I choose Kirstin. But if anyone else happens by here and wants to do this meme, jump in! What's quirky about you?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Answered Prayers!

On September 12th, I posted that my husband had been laid off from his job, and asked for prayers. I am pleased to report that my husband was offered an excellent job yesterday evening, and he has accepted it. He is very excited about the firm he will be working for, and we are so thankful for the way God has provided fo our needs during this 6 weeks. A few weeks ago, when Brian was very discouraged, I started asking God to show us some sign of encouragement each day, so that we would not become disheartened. I began to see daily proofs of God's provision for us. Then, I read this post by Cindy Beall. I thought it was a great idea, so I started keeping a "God's Provision Book". Let me just tell you how hopeful it has made us. When we have grown weary of the job search, these little instances of God's provisions have made us so thankful and peaceful. We will keep using our book, and I'd like to encourage you to give it a try!

Thank you, friends both near and far, for your prayers and encouragement.

Pumpkin Patch and a Precious Little Pumpkin!

Last weekend, our dear friends invited us to join them and their Bible Study class (the younger-than-us-marrieds) for a day trip to Love Creek Orchards Pumpkin Patch in Medina. It was a GORGEOUS day, and the Pumpkin Patch was a lot of fun! Here's my favorite photo from the day:

pumpkin mix

I love the multi-colored pumpkins and gourds, so I made this photo my desktop background!

Here's a collage of some of the other sights:
Love Creek Orchards Pumpkin Patch 2008

My friend, Kirstin, and I got together the night before the pumpkin patch trip for a night of sewing and chatting. She is a precious friend, and truly a Godsend for me! Anyway, she wanted us to try making a fall-themed tutu with leaves for her little girl. We had a lot of fun experimenting and this is what we came up with:
pumpkin applique and fall tutu
Isn't she a precious pumpkin? We also made the pumpkin applique shirt. Cute, huh?

And this little rosette/bow/clippie thing:
tulle rosette clip

It was a lot of fun collaborating on this project! I'm anxious to try some other tutu projects...anyone want one for a special little girl?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Fall Decor 2008

Canyon Lake Sunrise

A few Saturdays ago, Brian and I had wanderlust. Well, let's just face it...we pretty much always do, but our budget tells us to stick close to home! Anyway, whenever we can, we map out a little day-trip adventure. Sure, it takes a little gas, but it's worth it for the emotional boost of exploring and discovering new parts of Texas. We headed out early in the morning because it was supposed to be cool in the morning and we thought we'd try to get to Canyon Lake in time for sunrise. We just made it. Here are some photos from our morning:

Sunrise from Canyon Lake Dam

I took a ton of photos, fiddling with the settings on my camera, so the light varies quite a bit. The river photos are on a little branch of the Guadalupe, just below the dam. The river there had a strong sulfur odor. Interesting...and smelly! If you would like to see the collage photos larger, just click the collage above. To see more photos from the morning, click here.

What outdoor adventures have you been on this fall?

Welcome to my Pumpkin Party

Oh, I've been meaning to post on this for several weeks now, but life has kept me awfully busy! Several weeks ago, I invited my coworkers (several ladies) over to our house for a Pumpkin Party. We try to get together a couple of times a year for an outside-of-work gathering. Whenever possible, I like to make it craft-based because, well, I like crafts! So this time the plan was to make these glittered pumpkins. How hard could it be? Paint on the glue, shake on the glitter, right? Ahem. Let me just tell you that this glitter, while beautiful, has the consistency of cornstarch. As in, it coated everything in a 1/2 mile radius, except the pumpkins! Oh well, we had a good time anyway. Here's one of the few that I made: glitter pumpkin

I wanted to make sure all the ladies went home with something they were happy with. So, on the off chance that the glittered pumpkins didn't work out, I came up with these little cuties.
Pumpkin Fall @ Home
These are so simple. Just make a largish yo-yo (mine were about 9"), stuff with fiberfill, add a twig and a leaf, then cinch up your yo-yo and tie off the thread. After that, you can create segments or grooves on your pumpkin by wrapping ribbon or yarn around it. So easy!

We ate a yummy supper of Chili and this White Chili from A Year of Crockpotting, plus cornbread, homemade applesauce (also from A Year of Crockpotting) and pumpkin bread. I made souvenier "napkins" by embroidering cheap washcloths (7 for $2) for each lady. In the end, everyone went home with a glittered pumpkin, a stuffed pumpkin, and a pumpkin "napkin":
Pumpkin Party

I think a good time was had by all. And yeah, I'm still finding glitter all over my house! Sparkly.

What special Pumpkin activities have you been up to?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Contest for a Cause

I promise that at some point this week I will post about something besides other peoples' contests! But this one? It's for a very good cause! If you haven't visited Amy Beth at Ministry So Fabulous, you totally need to. And you need to do it now...go to this post and find out how you can help support a special ministry for young women at no cost to you! Oh, and Amy Beth is providing a little additional incentive...go check it out!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Harvest Goodies

I have some catching up to do! Several posts in the works...just need time to get them posted!

But here's a quick goodie for you. Sandy at 4 Reluctant Entertainers is having a contest right now, in honor of her 2-year blog anniversary. Stop by and wish her well, and enter the contest for this delightful harvest of goodies:

And if you win, be sure to share the apple butter with me, ok?

More posts to come this weekend, including some pumpkin-rific projects!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fireproof Your Marriage

We're a Netflix family. We rarely go to the theater to watch a movie, because we find it hard to fit into our budget. In light of our current financial situation, it's especially difficult to justify spending money on a movie at the theater. But God blessed us last week with a $20 gift card to HEB (our local grocery store) - a reward for giving blood twice in the summer. We used it for groceries, which freed up $20 cash from our grocery budget. Make sense? I tell you all of this so that you will know that it is worth your money and your time to go to the theater to see this movie.

We've been anticipating the release of Fireproof: the Movie for a few months. We really wanted to support this movie on its opening weekend, and were delighted when we had the financial opportunity to go see it. Let me tell you, we are so glad we did! Brian and I have a good - a blessed marriage. We are grateful for God's hand in our marriage. It is not without struggles, and it is hard work, but God had made our home happy, even in trying circumstances. Still, this movie was such an encouragement to me to continue to seek ways to bless my husband. We both laughed, and were both moved to tears (though Brian fought them and gave himself a headache!). And we were not alone. Men and women throughout the theater were both laughing and crying. Kirk Cameron stars in this movie, and he was spot on. His acting really elevated the quality of the movie.

Fireproof is the story of Caleb, a fireman, and his wife Catherine. Their marriage is struggling, and they are ready to give up. Caleb's father challenges him to a Love Dare - 40 days of acts of love toward his wife. Given the quality of their marriage, each day is quite a challenge, and Caleb is discouraged. But he sticks with the challenge, and ultimately learns a true, sacrificial love for his wife. I don't want to give too much away, because I want you to see this movie and to experience the blessing for yourself!

We spent the rest of the evening talking about how moved and blessed we were by the movie. We thanked God for our marriage and prayed for marriages of our loved ones.

This is an excellent date movie. There's plenty of manly-man testosterone fireman stuff, including some gut-busting humor. But girls, you'll find plenty to cry and sigh over. Please make plans now to go see it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is Anybody Out There?

I don't know if anyone besides our family and a few close friends is reading this blog...but if you're out there reading, would you please pray to the Father on our behalf?

Brian was laid off today. His company has been losing business and has had to start layoffs. We know that God is not surprised by this. We believe and have faith that He has a plan for our good and for His glory. We trust that He will provide for all of our needs.

We are praying that He will help us to be faithful to seek Him and watch and listen to Him, and alert and aware as He directs our paths, so that we do not miss His direction. Would you pray that with us? We're hoping for a new opportunity that will make the most of Brian's skills and gifts.

In the meantime, we are grateful for the severance package he was given, and for the small savings we had. We weren't up to 6 months emergency savings, but we can last for 2 - 3 months, and we're really hoping it won't take that long!

And here's a testament to the goodness of God: Brian had the opportunity to point to God on the way out the door, and each conversation was well-received. May God receive all the glory!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh Brother!

Originally uploaded by thingspondered
Here's something else that's new to our home! It has taken up residence in my craft room. It's a Brother Innov-is 1500D. I'm just learning to use it. I will be taking some classes on Machine Mastery in October, and will follow those up with the Embroidery Mastery classes. But I've already been working on it.

Jamie embr
I did this little bit of embroidery last weekend, and later attached it to a cute shoulder bag for a friend's birthday. I'm very pleased with the new machine and I'm looking forward to creating some items to sell, to help pay for it!

An Heirloom Prayer

Lord's Prayer
Originally uploaded by thingspondered
Look what's (sort of) new in our house! Well, actually, it's not new at's just sort of new to us. And actually, we've had it for over a year, but it looks new. Well...oh, let me just start over!

This needlepoint Lord's Prayer was stitched by Brian's maternal grandmother at least 60 years ago. Brian's mom remembers it in her childhood home. We received it about a year ago, but it was in a different frame, and the glass was broken. It had been framed simply years ago, and the colors and material were deteriorating. Brian's parents offered to pay for us to have it reframed, and here is the beautiful result. I chose a pewter-toned frame because we have pewter accents elsewhere in our dining room. We're so happy to have this special family heirloom protected and prominently displayed. It brings back special memories of family time with Grandma Swanner. Thank you, Linda & Bobby!

Where Were You?

It was less than 2 months until our wedding, so that season was especially vivid for me. 9/11 is bookmarked in my memory of our wedding plans. I was standing in my bedroom, curling my hair, when I saw the first report on Good Morning America. Just a little later, I was in the office when I heard on the radio that Building 2 had collapsed. Brian was working upstairs, and I called him. He came down the stairs, and we both stood there, with tears streaming down our faces. I remember vividly the shock and horror as each new report came in. My whole family worked together at that time, and we spent the day listening to the radio and joining together for frequent and fervent prayer for our nation, for the families of the victims, for our President, for the emergency personnel and others who were on the scene helping.

I have not forgotten that day. I am grateful for the relative safety I enjoy as an American. I am grateful that God has allowed me and my loved ones to live in a land where terrorist attacks are not a daily occurence. I am grateful to the men and women who give their lives to govern our nation, to protect us from attack. I am grateful to the men and women who give their lives to fight for the safety and freedom we have. I am grateful that our nation so values life and liberty that we memorialize the day when life and liberty were stolen. We must not forget.

In the days and weeks immediately following 9/11, I remember watching people turn to God. I rejoiced to see people seeking the One who is bigger, the One who is Sovereign, the One who is Mighty to Save. Let us not forget that Jehovah God is still the protector. He is still the One we must turn to in our distress. And if our shores have been peaceful these 7 years, we must thank Him above all. We must not forget the One who holds ALL of our days in His hands.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Remember this disturbing sight? Well, in June I talked my sweet husband into disposing of the Little Shop of Horrors for me. Then I replaced the formerly lovely real succulents with these not-so-realistic plastic plants. Horrors, indeed. But I must say I'm sleeping better, knowing the creepy crawlies are gone!

Here's the line-up:

These two jars contain identical faux flora:
jar1 jar3

While this one holds a lovely plastic orchid.

It's a temporary me through the summer! They'll soon be holding pumpkins or gourds or something equally and delightfully ::::sigh:::: falllish!

Living Proof Live (San Antonio) - The Appetizer

My mom and I spent the weekend with 10,000 Heiresses! Oh yes, we Living Proof Live, the Beth Moore conference, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. This was my first Living Proof Live conference to attend, and I can't wait to go to another one! Thank you, Mom, for making it possibe for me to go, and for going with me!

I have called this post the appetizer, because it contains only the light stuff. I'll put the heavy stuff in the next post. Here are some terrible photos of some of the highlights from Living Proof Live.

1. These signs marked the reserved seats for the Siesta Bloggers (Bloggers who read/comment on the LPM blog).

2. Some of the Siesta Bloggers:

3. Here we go! I'm so excited!

4. An A.MAZ.ING. time of worship, lead by Travis Cottrell and the praise team. May I just say that I've been shackled to "Shackles" since Friday night? Thanks a lot, FryDaddy. :) Great song, though. But seriously, In Christ Alone, 2000 Years Ago, Before the Throne of God Above, and so many more humbled me and moved me into the presence of the Living God. Astounding.

5. And then it was Beth's turn. And let me just tell you that her hair is the thing that legends are made of. WOW. And she was wearing this long-sleeved buttoned-up jacket the whole time, and I kept thinking, "This is San Antonio. In August. I'd be sweating as soon as I stepped on the stage. How does she manage to look so cool?" We heard later that her clothes are drenched by the time she walks off the stage, but I'm telling you, she looked fresh and cool...must have been a work of the Holy Spirit! He does what we're not able to do, Amen? Anyway, this is an awful picture, but of the 10 or so I took, it's the only one that doesn't look like she has 3 heads or other mutations. Just know that she's gorgeous, and teeny-tiny, and a spitfire, and such a lovely vessel for the Lord.

6. After the Saturday morning session, the Siesta Bloggers got to enjoy a special Q & A time with all of the Moore Girls. And they are just as lovely and spirited and funny and passionate about God's Holy Word as their sweet mama.

7. Siesta Bloggers at the Siesta Fiesta:

8. See the cute lady with the big handbag? (Click the picture to enlarge it) That's THE BooMama. I know. She and BigMama were both there, along with all my other favorite bloggers. And they're just as funny in person. Hysterical. But that may have been due to sleep deprivation! No, I didn't meet them. Because I'm a GIANT DORK and I couldn't think of anything to say. I'm SO not good at social things! But just so you know, they were there! I did get to meet Amy Beth (Ministry So Fabulous). And I smiled at Cindy (Still His Girl). Still, it was a treat just to be around all these wonderful, godly women. I have been ministered to so much by their blog testimonies and the way they readily share their faith with wit and humor and grace. Maybe NEXT LPL I'll actually say hello!

9. Because I am, again, a GIANT DORK, I didn't remember to sign up for the Siesta Pajama Party, so I missed out on a wonderful opportunity to get to know the Siestas better. But the ladies who coordinated Siesta Fiesta (Pam & Kim) did a wonderful job. Hope I get to be part of another one someday! Well done, ladies.

10. And The Lone Star definitely showed up. I mean. Our Mighty God filled up the place with His Presence. And He sure did have a Word for us. For me. I can't wait to share it with you. Tomorrow, dear ones. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My 100th Post! 100 Things About Me

Bad blogger. Bad, bad blogger. I have several months of cool stuff to write about, but I haven't been in the mood to write! I clean missed my blogiversary, and since I've put off blogging for a couple of months, I decided to work on a 100th-post post. Here's everything you never cared about knowing! My 100 things about me post.

  1. I didn’t get married until I was 32.
  2. I’ve always wanted to be a wife and a mother.
  3. I married my high school sweetheart.
  4. We started dating again after a 14 year hiatus.
  5. We went to the same college.
  6. He broke up with me a week after I started there.
  7. We do not have any children (at the time of this posting).
  8. But we are planning to adopt.
  9. I’m a creative person.
  10. Which, for me, equates to being a messy person.
  11. I have one brother.
  12. He has triplet boys.
  13. My brother is a redhead.
  14. He builds cool stuff.
  15. One of his sons is a redhead.
  16. My mother is a redhead.
  17. My dog is a redhead.
  18. I am a redhead.
  19. I don’t tan. I freckle. :P
  20. This fact used to embarass me.
  21. I used Q-T tan through high school.
  22. I was very orange.
  23. Now I'm just lily-white.
  24. I drive a 16 year old car.
  25. We paid cash for it (in 2003).
  26. It is a Lexus.
  27. We bought it at auction and have had minimal repairs on it.
  28. I have a degree in music education with a choral/vocal emphasis.
  29. I have taught elementary music and middle school choir.
  30. Now I work for our worship pastor and our discipleship pastor at our church.
  31. I plan to be a homemaker and homeschooling mama when we adopt.
  32. If I had it to do again, I would major in art.
  33. I have a Himalayan kitty who is as old as my car.
  34. She shares a birthday with my husband.
  35. She is the sweetest kitty I’ve ever known.
  36. But she has an incontinence problem.
  37. That’s why we have cement floors in our house.
  38. But I love the cement floors. They’re so easy to clean.
  39. I can kinda play piano (not well). I took lessons for 8 years, then took more in college. I still don’t play well.
  40. I have small hands.
  41. I played flute in junior high. (I was ok).
  42. I played cello in 6th grade. (I was terrible).
  43. I sang in choir…finally found my niche.
  44. I used to play jaw harp for my elementary school students.
  45. I also play nose flute. I know. Gross.
  46. My high school choir played kazoos as a “kazoo band” in our homecoming parade.
  47. My college (Baylor University) is believed to have the largest homecoming parade in the nation.
  48. I never played kazoo in that parade.
  49. I am teaching myself Photoshop.
  50. I have learned a lot from online Photoshop tutorials.
  51. I have a lot more to learn.
  52. My husband was valedictorian of his high school.
  53. He’s very smart.
  54. I did well in high school, but not that well.
  55. My husband was on the dean’s list in college. Again, very smart.
  56. I did well in college, but not that well.
  57. I got a D in Bowling.
  58. Yes, I took Bowling in college.
  59. Because the Hiking & Backpacking class got cancelled.
  60. And I got an A on my Bowling written tests.
  61. I like bowling with bumpers.
  62. I like hiking.
  63. I have never been backpacking.
  64. July 21st was my 1-year blogiversary. I celebrated it by not posting.
  65. I grew up a few miles from Mexico.
  66. Hablo un poco espaƱol.
  67. We had a Mexican-themed Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner for our wedding.
  68. We had an Autumn-themed wedding.
  69. We got married in November of 2001.
  70. I love the San Antonio Spurs.
  71. This spring we were invited to a Spurs game.
  72. Our friends have seats right behind the announcers - on the 2nd row!
  73. We sat right behind Tim Duncan's wife!
  74. It was awesome. Even though the Spurs lost. :(
  75. I'm also a Dallas Cowboys fan.
  76. My favorite color is blue.
  77. I love flowers and making arrangements with natural elements.
  78. I love to decorate for parties & events.
  79. I am getting better at sewing.
  80. But I'm not so good with patterns!
  81. It's like math.
  82. Blech.
  83. I have dabbled in scrapbooking, stamping, jewelry-making, sculpey clay, and assorted other crafts.
  84. I would like to learn to knit or crochet.
  85. And quilt.
  86. I have broken both arms.
  87. And sprained an ankle or two.
  88. I'm just a tad clumsy.
  89. I love antiques.
  90. My family used to own a gifts & antiques store.
  91. I loved it.
  92. I would love to do something like that again sometime.
  93. It was a very fun job.
  94. Except for working on Saturdays.
  95. I love thunderstorms.
  96. And cold days.
  97. And snow.
  98. As long as I don't have to drive in it.
  99. I'm almost to 100.
  100. I need to blog more!

Friday, June 20, 2008

"I don't care who you are, that's funny right there." *

*Mater, in Cars.

I just read this, and it's absolutely hysterical! We often see unlikely people wearing these "palm leaves" and wonder if they know what they're supporting!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to Pray

This post and this post have been a blessing to me today, reminding me of how to pray specifically for the Chapmans, and for others in our lives who are facing this sort of loss.

Pray for Steven Curtis Chapman and His Family

I am heartbroken at the morning news for the family of Steven Curtis Chapman. If you haven't heard the story, go here to read the AP report, or here to read it on Steven Curtis Chapman's website.

You may also wish to share your condolences with the Chapman family at this special website. Be sure to watch the sweet videos with little Maria.

Steven Curtis Chapman's music has been a major part of the soundtrack of my adult life. In college, his music encouraged me to grow in Christ. His music played a significant role in the romance of my husband and I (I mean, who in the 90's/early 00's didn't have "I Will Be Here" sung at their wedding?). And in recent years, the Chapman family's commitment to adoption, sharing their experiences, and founding Shaohannah's Hope, has influenced us in our decision to adopt. Brian and I feel as though we know them. They're our brothers and sisters in the faith. Our hearts are breaking for them right now.

I find it interesting, that in his long career, Steven has shared many songs that contain the truths of the hope that we can find in the Lord. How precious that God has given Steven and his family songs, now hidden in his heart, that are filled with the words of God, and that can serve as anchors to their faith. Take a moment to review the lyrics of With Hope, Carry You to Jesus, Hiding Place, More to this Life, Hold on to Jesus, and many more. And, though I'm sure it's not what he had in mind when he wrote the song, consider this line from Cinderella:

So I danced with Cinderella / While she is here in my arms / 'Cause I know something the prince never knew / Oh, I danced with Cinderella / I don't want to miss even one song / 'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight / And she'll be gone

The best thing we can do for this precious family right now is to get down on our knees before the God of all comfort and lift them up to Him in prayer. Pray for peace that surpasses understanding, for caring friends and family to rise up and minister to them, for protection from the attacks of the evil one, for healing and protection for their sweet son, and that the Chapman family will find a way to praise God through this terrible storm. And even as we grieve, we also celebrate, that precious Maria is safe and whole and loved in the arms of Jesus.

And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.
I Thessalonians 4:13-14 The Message

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Let's Get Ready to Rumble - American Idol Finals

Here we go, interpeeps. The finals of American Idol have come down to Battle of the Davids.

Umm...OK...the intro? And my title, for that matter? Pure Cheese. Break out the tortilla chips, and let's have some queso.

Quit the jabbering already, and lets do some singing!

-----Round One-----

"DC Comics" David Cook - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (Clive Davis' choice) Wow...what a difference a good theatre makes! The acoustics strike me as being much nicer...much rounder. I think that will help with the pitch issues we heard last week. This was an awesome choice for Cook. And a prize-worthy performance. LOVED it.

Paula, dear? Please stop with those song segue compliments...they're cheesier than the boxing references!

"The Shaggy DA" David Archuleta - Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me (Clive Davis' choice) DA is clearly the better vocalist in these finals. But I believe that DC is the better performer, and the more entertaining of the two. I could listen to DA sing all day, but I'd rather watch DC.

-----Round Two-----

DC - Dream Big (Songwriter's Choice) Hmmm...I didn't like this as much. He's singing his heart out, with passion, but it sounded like he was screaming. And that's not good, on the heels of DA's velvet vocals.

DA - In This Moment (Songwriter's Choice) The first few words were a little thin and unsupported. But he took off at the chorus. I don't get the anchor jacket. Vocals still great, but he can do even better.

-----Round Three-----

DC - The World I Know (David's Choice) DC has given us a nice variety tonight. I loved this gentle rocker version. I love the way he "gets" the music. He doesn't just look earnest, he looks like the song is real for him. That said, I think Simon may be right when he said that DC should have chosen one of his former "hits" for this show. It's clear that this song is meaningful to DC, so it was a nice choice for him, if not the best choice for the finals.

DA - Imagine (David's Choice) WOW. WWOWWWW! I remember that this was uh-may-zing the first time he did it. But this? This was the best vocal performance of the season, in my opinion.

And the Winner is...David!

Um, yeah. This was a weird finals night. I went into it rooting for David Cook. I think he has been consistently strong, choosing fresh songs (or choosing moldy oldies and making them fresh), and adding a sensitive rocker twist to them. I think he has a poet's soul, and that he analyzes the text of the song, then highlights it musically and vocally. He has a rocker's voice, so it's coarse and rough, but he's careful with how he applies it to the music, and I appreciate that. I really like his performances, because I believe he communicates the songs he chooses.

David Archuleta, on the other hand, has amazing depth to his voice. His vocals are pure and refined, and he sings earnestly, but I don't always believe he's communicating the meaning of the song. It appears to me that he focuses on the general feeling of the song, then tries to look happy or sad or inspirational. I think this is something that he will improve with time, and that there will be certain songs that he "gets" and pours himself into, like he did with Imagine. But his youthfulness makes his songs seem a little shallow to me sometimes.

All that said, I would be delighted for either of these young men to win this season. I'm glad it came down to these two...this is the ending I hoped for, even though it's not all I hoped it would be. As far as I'm concerned, DAVID is the next American Idol!

OK, Interpeeps, that's all I've got. I won't be weighing in tomorrow night. This is my season finale. Don't forget to stop by BooMama's to read what all the cool people are saying about the American Idol finals!