Wednesday, April 28, 2010

~Down Potters Lane~

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

8 Years

I have known my wonderful husband for 12 years. Today we celebrate our 8th anniversary. As previously noted, we are not fast movers on major decisions!

When we started dating, Patrick was 33 and I was 21. I am now 33 (for just a bit longer), and he is um - a youthful 45 ;)

We bought the little house on prairie lane in 2000...


got engaged in 2001...

...and married in 2002. I think our families breathed a sigh of relief.


Life altering changes in 2004...

and yet again in 2007.


Patrick is the best husband I could ask for. Patient when I am not. Supportive of my hair-brained plans. Non-judging of me. And an awesome father who works hard every day, then comes home and gives 100% more.

My love, I adore you. Happy Anniversary.

I Still Love You

The dog got sick.
The kids are ill.
Our bank account
Is almost nil.

The laundry’s
Stacked up in a pile,
And still I know
I have to smile.

Although our life
Might look like blight,
I get to be
With you each night.

It may be tough,
That much is true,
But still I love
My life with you.

Happy Anniversary!
by Denise Rodgers

Monday, April 26, 2010

Summer Survival List

Today I have linked up with Mama4Real for her

Those intrinsic items that will protect your mommy-ness, entertain your kids, and ward off the heat demons!
Link back to Mama's to share your ideas!


PLACES TO GO
Some of these will only apply to the areas surrounding Prairie Lane, but I bet if you look, you will find something similiar close to you, too. We will try to go to one fun place a week this summer. Most are cost friendly, if not free.

Rural Life Museum for cool photo ops & a step back in time
The Airport to watch the planes take off & land
Downtown Baton Rouge to stick our feet in the sprinklers and watch the Mississippi flow by
LA Arts & Science Museum they sponsor a free for children Saturday per month
Sprinkler Park for some wet fun
Aunt Lynn's for inground pool fun


 PEOPLE TO SEE
Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery & some adult company for the day to pass a little faster.
Grandparents
Great-grandparent
Aunts & Uncles

THINGS TO DO AT HOME
Have a paint day outside
Get your brushes or fingers and a huge roll of kraft paper and be creative. Use stencils, stamps & body parts to create works of art.

We also love printable crafts
Here are some site I use. All you need is a printer, scissors, glue & construction paper to make just about anything.

WHEN IT GETS TOO HOT TO MOVE
Cases of Pop Ice. Inexpensive & Cold.
If you want a healthier alternative, sometimes we make our own pops with ice cube trays and toothpicks. Just mix up your concoction, pour into the trays, cover with saran wrap & poke a toothpick through them. We like to blend a banana, some strawberries, milk & a little bit of sugar for ours.

I am ALL for being outside and playing, bike riding, swimming in the blow up pool or slip n slide, but sometimes the only thing it's not too hot to do is...


SUMMER NECESSITIES
A Thankful Heart
I feel pretty blessed by God and appreciative to my husband to be able to stay home with my children during this time when they are small. So when we all feel we are going crazy from looking at each other nearly every day, I will remember to be thankful for them.

Buckets of Patience
As mentioned above, we will be together almost every day, all day. My morning prayer will be (and is) for patience, patience, patience.

Music
No matter how frustrated I am, this usually seems to help soften my heart and put me back in my place.

Mosquito Spray
There is nothing Avon makes that will keep the bugs off us here. Pass the deet please.
And lastly
For those 100 degree months that the A/C runs all the time. Even when it's set on 80 degrees.
And Entergy thinks they are doing you a favor by the 32 cent federal ordered rate reduction.

So there you have it, my Summer Survival List.
Now please head on over to Mama4Real's to share your ideas!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Powderful Prayers

I came across this story a few days ago in "Journeys of Joy - 30 True Stories of Abundant Living" and wanted to share it. I should read this and be thankful every time I get the wants for a patio, new flooring, a freshly painted kitchen...because our family needs for nothing.

A large family is a blessing even if sometimes it seems the work will never end and the money will never stretch far enough. My husband and I had four children, and the one thing I always had plenty of was dirty laundry! Two of my boys lived to play outdoors, enjoying every game and making sure they brought back plenty of the outside on their clothes. My youngest son, Robert, enjoyed playing, but having been born with a heart defect, he couldn't be a part of all his brothers' games.

Because Robert was so ill, I couldn't work outside the home. I could only add ten dollars a week to our family income by keeping a friend's two children during the day. That little bit of money helped us buy staples like milk and bread. It also helped us pay the bus fare back and forth to the hospital with Robert, since we didn't have a car. We indulged in no frills, and at times even money for the much needed laundry detergent was hard to find. During one of those lean times, God proved to me how very true to His word He can be.

Before I left for the grocery store that day, I realized my detergent would be gone within a week. I've always loved the Lord and taken Him at His word. That's how I lived with Robert's illness and coped with the many hospital stays that were completely out of my control.

Being a woman who had learned the reality of prayer in those situations, I decided to pray about my weekly shopping. Knowing I wouldn't be able to buy cleaning supplies until the beginning of the next month, I decided I needed divine help. I simply told Jesus that I depended on Him to let the soap powder last until I could afford to buy more. I then thanked Him in advance for what He was going to do.

That Saturday afternoon, as I put the few items I could afford into my shopping cart, I fought the impulse to get the laundry detergent and leave something else off my list. After all, I needed to keep the children's clothes clean for school. But I quickly decided to stand firm and let God help me with this part of m family needs.

When Monday morning rolled around, I was busy cleaning the kitchen when I heard something outside my back door. To my delight, I found a full-sized box of a new detergent hanging in a plastic bag on my door-knob! The noise had been someone delivering a product sample to my home - but not just any product, laundry detergent! I was thrilled that God had answered my prayer so quickly. I thanked Him, put the detergent away, and continued to clean.

When I reached the front of the house, I was still basking in God's provision for the small things in our life. I opened the front door to go sweep the porch, and there, to my total amazement, I found another full-sized box of the same laundry powder! By this time, I was overwhelmed by God's generosity. He had provided even more than I had hoped for. Imagine - my heavenly Father loved me enough to help me keep my children's clothes clean!

A spring filled my step as I continued my household duties. The mail had been delivered, so I ran to our mailbox to pick it up. I almost did a double-take when I spied the now-familiar plastic bag hanging on the mailbox. Here was box number three of the same soap! By now I was praising the Lord and laughing at the same time. Now I had three full-sized boxes of detergent, when only several hours earlier I barely had enough to get through the day.

I gathered my latest box of detergent and headed up the stairs that let to my house and noticed something hanging on my basement door. You guessed it: another box of detergent! I had never had that many washing products at one time in all my life!

So many times we find God trustworthy in the large areas of our lives, but fail to take Him at His word concerning our daily events. He is the God who wants to meet all our needs. Whether it's as monumental as a hospital trip with a very sick child, or as practical as having detergent delivered to the door, He truly cares. All we need to do is believe Him when He says, "Ask and it will be given to you..."(Matthew 7:7)

Since that day I've firmly believed that God not only does the miraculous, but He knows the value of a clean pair of jeans!

By: Mildren Blankenship, Union City, Georgia

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

"I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God." Luke 12:6-8

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day All Axt Fuh You

Honestly - I know this song and can't believe this is how it's spelled. No wonder sometimes people from Louisiana seem less than intelligent! If you have NO idea what this title means, check it out here. Then you will still have no idea what it means.

Anyway, Wednesday, we went on down to the Audubon Zoo. It by far exceeds our little zoo, but it's not within "spur of the moment" distance for us. Patrick decided he would take off a weekday, so it wouldn't be as crowded. Ahem. We failed to realize that it is field trip season. When we drove up, there were about 20 buses in the parking lot. My husband kindly offered to wait in the car while I brought the kids in. He is thoughtful like that.

Thankfully the hordes of people standing out front were just milling around, and we had pre-purchased our tickets through here (which we have used before and I recommend. If you don't live in town, there is surely one in your area) so we didn't have to wait in line at all.

Exhibit A - A large tire. I must have been bumped by someone, because I nearly missed the tire & caught this picture of an elephant instead.


Exhibit B - The petting zoo. Here it was determined that my children are much braver than I am. I may have touched the pointy animal given a little encouragement, but the snake? No way.

Erin was also excited to have petted these. I think if she had a pet turtle this big, it wouldn't be able to disappear from our yard while I had gone to give blood the other day.

Exhibit C - Pretty birds. No witty comments. You're welcome.

Exhibit D - More wild animals

Exhibit E - This was by far the best part. Seeing the looks on their faces, and Luke nearly falling backwards when the sea lion swam by him the first time. Awesome.



Exhibit F - The Dinosaurios (spanish lesson provided by Ms Rosa on LPB)
This was extra. The girl who we paid was nice enough to let Luke in for free. He was terrified anyway. The dinosaurs moved, they roared. Really pretty cool. We recognized some of different ones from Dinosaur Train, like the giganotosaurus.. After we all went through, Erin wanted to go back through it again. The lady at the end asked for our tickets. We didn't have tickets. The nice girl didn't give us any. She proceeded to tell us that "we didn't pay for the exhibit because we are supposed to get tickets". OH NO SHE DIDN'T. But she did. I let her know we MOST CERTAINLY did pay. She called the girl up front, but of course she said she gave tickets to everyone. Nice. Thanks for the backup, nice lady.
(Yes, Patrick, I will let it go.)



Exhibit G - The apes. Patrick and I determined the female was on the left. How, you ask? Well, (1) because she was trying to adorn herself with grass. (2) She got up and walked around while the male just sat back doing nothing.

Whew! This took forever. The posting, I mean. Almost as long as the actual zoo trip. There are actually more pictures, but I'm saving them for the "Wednesday pics of the day" ;)


day all axt fuh you (early inuh mornin)
day all axt fuh you (early inuh eevnan)
evybody der
wanna know where
day all axt fuh you

yeah

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

~Daybreak Red Stripe Gazania~


Luke 19
37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."


The flowers and trees seem more vibrant to me this year. Maybe it is because of the long winter we had. But I can't help but think of the verses above when I see them. Because the rocks may not be crying out, but the trees and flowers are praising Him every day with all their beauty.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Faith That Sustains

Hebrews 11:1-6
1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for.

3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

5By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

Surely one of the greatest as well as interesting people from the bible was a man named Enoch. Who was Enoch? (Genesis 5) Enoch was the son of Cain. The same Cain who murdered his brother out of jealousy. Enoch was the father of Methuselah (which means "when he dies, it shall come"). This referred to the judement of the flood. Methuselah lived longer than anyone else in the bible, 969 years! God allowed him to live that long because of His mercy and grace. God did not want to flood the earth. He have man chance after chance to love and accept Him.

Enoch was also one of two men recorded in the bible who did not face death. Why did God take him? Verse 5 says it was because he pleased God. Enoch was a man who was familiar with God because he walked with Him for 300 years. To be clear, to walk with God, you follow HIS direction, not the other way around.

Enoch was favored by God, because of how he lived. He lived in a corrupt world, but he was not, himself corrupt. He was faithful to God when very few were. It seems clear that if we honor God, He will honor us.

Jude 1:14-15
14Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." 16These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
 
What was not directly mentioned today by our pastor, but immediately popped in my head, is how people sometimes justify their actions, by placing the blame on others. Enoch's father murdered his own brother. Now it is possible that Cain repented and changed his ways. But on the surface, he was not the greatest role model to have lived. What this means is this - we are not defined by what our parents have done - or not done in their lives. We are defined by what WE decide to do. Who we decide to follow. What actions we decide to take. Enoch's father was a murderer. But Enoch CHOSE to walk with God.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Letter From A Solider

Apparently Erin's preschool had made Valentine's for the soldiers. I didn't realize this until she brought a copy of this letter home today. I was touched. It was sweet and simple, written to 4 and 5 year olds who have no idea what he actually has to endure. I hope it is large enough for you to read.



I am thankful for their service. For providing us the freedom to be Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hatched

Angie gave us "the call" last week. The mama duck's eggs had hatched!

After school we went over to see the little ducklings. We had to trek all the way around the pond to try to get close & not trespass. Then trek all the way back around because she was in fact, in a different pond.

We did see some other wildlife on the way there though...


(blah! my least favorite, but cool for the kiddos to see)


We found them - finally. They were very cute. But, one of the white ducks kept pecking at one of the babies and pushing it under the water. We couldn't figure out if it was the mama duck or the nanny doing the pecking.

But it wasn't nice and it made me think a little more than I wanted to.
So I am praying to be nicer, more compassionate, and a more sensitive mama duck. Today went well, and I will be sure to pray up for tomorrow too!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

~Tung Oil Tree~

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Movin' To The Country

Gonna eat a lot of peaches...

Well, no. We are not actually moving.
But we did spend the night at the camp. I don't think we've been since New Years Eve. We had gone then to escape the loud fireworks that always wake us up in our neighborhood. Now, as I type this, back at home, we hear booming from a neighbors stereo.

We are so glad it has warmed up enough to do things like...
 mini-yacht boat ride and soak up beautiful scenery...

..."drive" the neighbors tractor...

...discover unexpected guests...
(I'm not sure who was more afraid - Luke or this poor mouse which Erin would have been thrilled to catch)

...family time...
(it was worth the ride to get this picture)


...and a little relaxing. Very little.
(photo courtesy of my sweet daughter)

Oh! And animal tracking too!
It was beautiful day. If only it could be 80 degrees & low humidity every time we go!