Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday - June 30, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday button

Welcome to the first Thought Provoking Thursday.

What in the world possessed me to do this? A couple of things actually - I like to blog but sometimes I just don't have a lot to talk about (especially during the summer months - I could talk about wedding stuff but even I would get sick of that!)...this takes care of one day each week. I'll never lack for things to talk about on Thursdays now. I also got into the habit of making my students journal every day during school - typically a thought provoking question - I want those brains engaged. I would also answer the questions and I sort of miss it.

So, link up and join in the fun! Read other's posts and leave a comment. We all like to know that someone is reading, right?. :-)

1. What is the difference between living and existing?
I think we all fear certain things. I believe that fear can make a huge difference in whether we're living or simply existing. It can stifle living and throw you into a state of simply existing if you allow it to cripple you. Me? For a long time, the fear of not being good enough and the fear of failing kept me from living well. I like to do things and do them well. I'm sort of a perfectionist, but  as I walked through each day there was always something looming that kept me from really living - the fear was a hindrance. I have since come to the conclusion that I am not in as much control as I once thought and I am learning to trust God. I think it's a process, but when I get to the point that I can surrender the fear, living resumes...perhaps I'll be able to hand it over for good some day, never to be a problem again, but until then...

2. What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?
I can think of so many things. I guess that makes me a pretty blessed girl. I'll stick with one so that you won't be reading forever: When I was in college, my house burnt. My mom had called and asked me to come to my grandparents house. When I arrived there were several of my friends there to meet me - they had found out and wanted to be there when my mom told me. I'll never forget their kindness.

3. Do you see to believe or believe to see?
It sure helps to see, but I know that God says that "blessed are those who have not seen yet believe" (John 20:29 I think). That's what faith is, right? Believing in spite of our inability to see and know everything...but it sure does help to be able to see it, touch it, taste it, feel it, hear it.

Introducing....Thought Provoking Thursday

Thought Provoking Thursday button

So, I've decided to host a link party every Thursday. I'll post 3 questions on Wednesday evening and you can link up anytime on Thursday with your answers. The answers can be as short and simple or as long and complicated as you like.

So, here we go:

1. What is the difference between living and existing?

2. What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?

3. Do you see to believe or believe to see?

If you blog, come back tomorrow, add my button to your post and link up. I can hardly wait!

Wednesday Hodgepodge - June 29, 2011

1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?
The National Anthem sang well with all of the correct words (Christina, I'm looking at you!).

2. What's your favorite patriotic song?
I am not a huge band person, but I really like John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever".

3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?
Precious and I are most certainly opposites! It's kinda funny how things work out, though - we compliment each other really well. His strengths are my weaknesses and my strengths are his weaknesses. Yep, I do think that opposites attract in some areas, but I also think that life has to run a little more smoothly when you share the same belief systems regarding things like faith/religion. I mean, marriage is 2 becoming can't be at opposite ends of the spectrum on absolutely everything and technically be 'one', now can you?

4. You're going to get a behind the scenes look someplace...where would you like that someplace to be?
I am tempted to say Swamp People, but they FREAK ME OUT, so nevermind! I think I would like a behind the scenes look at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?
St. Louis (about 2 1/2 hours) or I could wait until later this summer and ride at the fair (but that one is dinky). I honestly don't think that there is one any closer. We used to have one in our local mall but it has since been replaced with a jumpy, bungee thing (L.A.M.E.).

6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?
We watch fireworks every 4th of July - it's my future sis-in-law's bday, so we party like rock stars all day (yeah right) then go and sit in the cemetery to watch the city fireworks display (yes, I said cemetery - don't judge - best seat in town and there are about 250 other people there with us - yes, I know its a little strange...ok, a LOT strange, but that's how we do it!)

7. Of all the 'beauty products' you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?
Buxom Mascara ($18) and Sugar Lip Balm ($22.50). Perhaps I need to change my beauty regimen. Yea, I don't see that happening!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Does anyone else hate preparing for a yard sale? I mean, I want to get rid of my crap, but I HATE sorting, I HATE pricing. Dear yard sale crap that I am selling - if you could sort and price yourself that would be great. Thanks, The Management.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Prayer Monday - June 27, 2011

A lot is going on in my life and I really need prayer that I will be able to focus each day on what God has for me to do and that I would be able to discern His will and heart in the midst of the chaos and commotion. I'm so thankful for the time that I am getting to spend with my family during this season. God is so awesome in that He can bring so much good from from those things that generally suck the life out of us.

I have no job. That's a little frustrating. Unemployment should start soon, but it isn't as much as I had hoped (about half of what I was making--one should consider that Cairo is one if not THE lowest paid district in IL so half is pathetic). I'm concerned about getting married in October and 'making ends meet' because Ronnie will be in school until May. Please pray that God will give us wisdom in finding a house. I have faith that He will provide, but my humanness has a few questions regarding how.

Please continue to pray for healing in my mom's body. We go for Round 3 of chemo this week. Pray that the God continues to use whatever means necessary to rid her body of cancer and that His will is accomplished in the process.

ooooo....I have something else I'm thankful for today. So, Cape Comic Con (Nerd Fest, Geek Zone, whatever you want to call it) was this weekend. Ronnie and I usually help out (READ: Ronnie helps I. I harass people.) We didn't go to church because of it, but when we got to The Osage Center a church had set up shop for the morning. I worshiped with Vantage Point Church this morning and it was refreshing! So thankful!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Bouquet!

I'm so excited to show this to everyone. Precious' aunt is doing all of our flowers for the wedding and reception. When she presented me with the idea of a brooch bouquet, I was a little less than excited, but as she showed me pics the idea grew on me. She gave me several brooches for my birthday and I began my search for the remainder. It's a little difficult to find navy flowers anyways (she painted the ones that are a base in the bouquet!), so the brooch bouquet was what I choose. It's was quite an expensive project, but so worth it!

Isn't it fabulous?!?!?!?!?!
View from the front

View from the top

Today's Deals

Farberware®8 Piece BBQ Set $24It's BBQ Season. Here is a good deal on an 8 piece Farberware Set at Housewares Deals. It's only $24!

Energizer Max Alkaline Batteries, AA or AAA, 16-Count

Need batteries? Amazon's Gold Box Deal of the Day is a pretty good one. And honestly, can you ever have enough of these laying around? Energizer AA or AAA, 16 count for $7.75.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - June 15, 2011

1. What is one thing on your bucket list? If you don't have a bucket list let's pretend you do.
I actually did a Bucket List
last August. Some of the stuff can be marked off. Go me! I think the thing that still stands out most to me as something I would really love to do it visit France, Ireland and Italy.
2. What makes a good dad?
A man who sets a Godly example for his children. 
3. Are you afraid of insects? Which ones?
I HATE BUGS! Flying ones are the worst! In fact, if one is in the car with me, I will pull the car off of the road and abandon ship. The bug can have the car! 

4. We're barbecuing...what's on the grill at your house?
Whatever Precious puts there - I don't grill. This past weekend, we had brats, burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob (LOVE LOVE LOVE sweet corn on the grill), and zucchini.
5. Do you believe that playing is more important than winning?
Absolutely. I don't think the victory comes by winning "the game", but rather how you play "the game". There's a lot to be said for someone who plays well.

6. Do you tan? Use self tanners? Visit tanning salons? See your dermatologist at least once a year?
No. No. No. and No. I am pasty white and will probably always be. I used to tan nicely when I was younger, but something happened and now I just seem to burn (even with sunblock) and then peel. Repeat. UGH!

7. Five years ago I would never imagine that today I would_______________.
have my own voice studio, actually be getting married, or that I would have all of the aches and pains that I do. Getting old sucks! Seriously, though, life is good and I've learned to roll with the punches. You take the good, you take the bad and you trust God through it all.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

See Ya Later Alligator...

My crazy life and why I've been blog slacking:
June 1 - my grandma was taken to the hospital - she aspirated and suffered brain damage
June 4 - my grandma passed away
June 6 - cancel lessons at studio - go to work because I have to finish packing up my stuff
June 7 - take off work - take mom to dr appt for cancer check-up, visitation
June 8 - take off work - funeral
June 9 - take mom for chemo


That's my Granny and Papa. She was so beautiful! My Granny was a super special person - a fabulous seamstress (who tried to teach me to sew and crochet and failed miserably - I broke the sewing machine and ended up just rolling her yarn into balls because I could seem to do that without screwing it up too bad) and such a great cook. My best memories with her are those where we were in the kitchen. I credit her with my love for all things sweet and my love for coffee (I was probably 5 or younger when she gave me iced coffee as she and Papa drank theirs.)

I have so many precious memories with Granny and she will be missed terribly, but I know that she is so much better off. She suffered with Alzheimer's for years. It began with her forgetting little things, but eventually robbed her of her memories - even her memories of who people were. Even though my mom was faithful to visit her almost every day for the last several years at the nursing facility where she resided, my granny couldn't have told you that it was my mom - her daughter. Alzheimer's is such a cruel disease. While it's always sad to see someone that you love leave this world, if you know that they're going to heaven it should make you want to celebrate, shouldn't it?

I am not always the type to be super sad at funerals - some would say it's because I don't have a soul, but that's not true. In this case, I simply knew that Granny was better off (memory back, praising Jesus with my Papa and several other loved ones) and that I'm going to get to be there with her someday. I know it's not that simple for everyone, but it seemed to be that way for me - maybe in part because I had seen her suffer so much with a disease that robbed her of everything except her life. Don't get me wrong, I have shed tears, but I would much rather go bake some cookies and eat them in her honor (except I'm trying to not be so fat at my wedding)!

Every time I would leave my Granny's house I would say, "See ya later alligator." She would reply with, "after while crocodile." As she was taking her final breaths that Saturday, I leaned over and whispered in her ear, "See ya later alligator." I'm pretty sure I heard her say, "After while crocodile."

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Lift My Hands

Some of my friends have been sharing this video on Facebook today and I am so glad they did. What a blessing! Thank you so much for sharing!

Sara RustThis is AMAZING! I spent 6 years in a house of prayer in Cairo, a run down town seen throughout this Chris Tomln video. This is what the Lord sings over you, Cairo - Let faith arise!! - Sara Rust

Kristy Tillman

All I can say is wow! Let faith arise! The town in the video is Cairo, IL - a place that I helped to start a House of Prayer in and lived and served for 7 years. God has a vision and destiny for you Cairo! I love that every time this video is watched there is a declaration going out over Cairo - "let faith arise"! God is so unfathomable in the way He works! - Kristy Tillman

Jessica McClureI had NO idea Chris Tomlin filmed a video in my beloved town of Cairo, IL. Every time this video is played, life and hope is being declared over this place. LOVE IT. - Jessica McClure

There is no way that Chris Tomlin could possibly know what God has been doing in Cairo or the prophecies that have been spoken about Cairo becoming a city of refuge. To the naked eye, Cairo looks hopeless and beyond repair, but God sees something so much more. To see THOSE words on the GEM marquee - I can't even begin to describe what I felt - BELIEVE - REFUGE - STRENGTH. God is so amazing and He is moving in Cairo! This video is like a declaration from God over Cairo. LET FAITH ARISE!

Prayer Monday - June 6, 2011

Crystal, at A Life in Ordinary hosts Prayer Mondays. Feel free to link up!

Girls, it's been quite the week and I have another one just like it approaching. God has answered prayers though. I don't want to ever fail to honor Him with the praise that is due Him. I am thankful for my family and for Precious' family. Of all the things I treasure on this earth, I treasure them the most.

Please pray for my family this week. My granny passed away on Saturday. My mom, who has Stage 3 breast cancer, has a doctor's appointment on Tuesday afternoon, visitation Tuesday evening, funeral on Wednesday and chemotherapy on Thursday.  WOAH! It's gonna be a long week, ladies. My family could use a little extra strength from Jesus.

I am also starting Bridal Bootcamp. Oh, how I loathe exercising and I have a love affair with food, but I am not at a healthy weight and I want to change that. My body does NOT respond to diet and exercise like a normal person's body. I don't know what the deal is and I don't even care. I'm asking God to change that. Period. So, pray that I can remain faithful and press on even when the results aren't always there - that I would be able to deal with this stronghold I seem to have where food is concerned. I. LOVE. TO. EAT.

Also, Precious and I are not sure what we're supposed to be doing. I don't have a job after this week ends. He is still in school until next May. We are getting married in October and have no idea where or how we are going to live. WOAH! Please pray that God would grant us discernment and open doors. We want to be walking in His will.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Great New Tool for Teachers

I think teachers should own this stamp! No, seriously, you can really buy it on Amazon

Thursday, June 2, 2011


bedroom designs funny

How would you like your bedroom in the middle of your swimming pool? WHAT!?!? So. Weird.

Or how about using your hydraulic lift to park your car in your living room? No Precious, we can't have one of those!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - June 1, 2011

1. Have you ever been to the US capital-Washington DC? If so, what's your favorite site? If not, what would you most like to see on a visit to that city someday in the future? Is it even on your list of places to visit?
I have flown into Dulles but that is the closest I have been. If I were to visit DC, I would want to go when the cherry blossoms are in bloom (when is that, by the way?). I'm not a huge history buff, but I would like to go to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

2. When did you last attend a wedding? Are there any weddings on your summer calendar? Were you a summer bride? If you're single, is summer the season of your dream wedding?
Last wedding: June of last year. Outside. Hot. In an open field, surrounded by trees which were blocking any breeze. freakin' hot. I actually don't know if that was the last wedding I attended, but it's the last one I remember. I have a wedding to attend on June 18, but it's indoors (Praise Jesus!). My wedding will be this coming October. I'm praying for 65 degrees. Did I mention outdoor weddings at the end of June are a bad idea unless you live in Alaska?

3. What is your favorite way to eat strawberries?
Mashed strawberries and sugar on sugared pie crust topped with whipped cream. So. Yummy.

4. What is one thing you are especially looking forward to this summer?
Not having to teach school. Of course I still will teach at the studio, but I set my own hours there. I'm looking forward to finishing up wedding plans and spending time with friends and family since I will not have to work every day. I am NOT digging the heat, though. I want to live somewhere that never gets above 80 degrees.

5. Do you use/like the self checker at the grocery store?
Most days I like the self checker. Well, I like the self checker when it works. However, I typically only use it when I have a few items. If I have a cart full, I would prefer to go through a lane with a human being (other than myself) doing the checking out.

6. Share a favorite piece of common sense advice.
Engage your brain before you open your mouth. (I'm still working on this. Some days are better than others.)

7. Barefoot, flip flops, tennis shoes, sassy sandals-your first choice for summertime?
I would prefer barefoot if I'm inside and flip flops if I am going out, but I am having problems with one of my feet (plantar fasciitis) so I need to wear supportive shoes and ortho inserts don't exactly fit into flip flops. I'm 33. Why do I need ortho inserts?

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Cancer sucks! The end.

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