Thursday, February 28, 2008

General Observations from Today

1. Never buy cereal that's been taped shut with Scotch tape. This rule applies to many other products as well.

2. Always look at 2 things before you sit down to use the bathroom in a house with children or men in it: the status of the toilet paper roll (70% chance that it's out) and the seat (60% chance of sprinkles)

3. Carefully check pictures of any vacation spot that calls itself a "resort". This word is used far too frequently nowadays. You could end up at a dude ranch in north Alabama.

4. Always seize the opportunity to stay up way too late talking to your best friend, especially if that best friend is your husband.

5. Cereal tastes really good when eaten late at night.

6. Children should never attempt a jump of more than 2 feet especially from a leather chair to a metal bed.

7. Starbucks tastes better when enjoyed with your friends.

8. Super glue works really well on gashes to the skull.

9. Never change routine abruptly on a high strung, dramatic child.

10. Tapestries costing $750 are not as heavy as you would think.

That's really all. Just thought I'd share.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Couple of Thoughts on The Gospel

I cannot imagine my childhood without church. My mom took me to church when I was 5 days old. Therefore, I cannot remember the first time I went. My kids are the same way. Only they remember only Community. If I sit here for a minute, I might could count the number of churches that I went to growing up..... 6 or 7, I think.

We went to mostly Southern Baptist churches with a random charismatic one and a dabble into Assembly of God. Presbyterians might as well have been aliens for all I knew of them. I became a Presbyterian, of my own volition, at the age of 17. And I've been one ever since. So it's a little strange to think that all my kids have ever known is PCA. I'm glad... it's just so different from my own childhood. The same pastor married their parents (Chris and I, for those of you who just got confused) and baptized all 4 of them. I have no recollection of most of my pastors' names. Anyway...

As Burt was preaching this morning, a contrast suddenly came to mind: the difference in the definition of the gospel in my life from childhood to now.

As a child, "the gospel" seemed like a forced march. Obligatory, straightforward, dull and not a little forbidding. Very clear cut: Jesus-died-on-the-cross-to-save-me-from-my-sins-and-if-you-don't-ask-Him-to-be-your-savior-you'll-die-and-go-to-hell. *said all in one breath* Simple. Dry. A little nebulous. And not at all compelling. It's what you told people to 'get them saved'.

But today, I realized that my response was vastly different. It's been a long time since I felt that way about the gospel. In knowing that my sin is deeper than I can grasp, I can begin to see the incomprehensible enormity of God's love for me. In knowing that He delights in me, that His anger has been satisfied on the cross, I can find my satisfaction in Him. In knowing that the penalty of all my sins has been paid, I can revel in His grace to me. And in knowing that "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?", I can cling to him for my sanctification.

The gospel means freedom. It is gentle, strong, deep, vast, powerful. It is the story of what Christ has done for us. He had no sin and therefore, deserved no punishment. Yet, he gave up his freedom and glory to take on the hideousness of my sin. He took the physical punishment and the agony of being separated from his Father. He exchanged my sin and guilt for his perfect righteousness. All because of his great love for me. Me, an imperfect, lying, arrogant, cheating sinner.

Before, it was a formula. Now the gospel is the only truth. And the truth will set you free. A freedom from the dictatorship of self.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Have you been to see Adam's band perform yet? Why not? I mean, do you really think that's a good reason?

I've seen them a couple of times and have had a ball. If you get the slightest chance to see Adam perform, take it. You won't be disappointed. I promise.

Act of Congress has been nominated for Birmingham's best country/bluegrass/americana band in Birmingham Weekly magazine. You can vote for them here: http://www.bhamweekly.com/article.php?article_id=00662

Monday, February 18, 2008

Here are some videos of the kids skiing.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ode to Brandon

Here's to Brandon. Thanks to him, I now have a functioning keyboard. Hurrah!!! Three cheers for Brandon. Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray! To all the three people who have been missing the more frequent posts, give Brandon a high five next time you see him.


I'll actually post something tomorrow. I'm exhausted right now.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Skiing

Well, we're home. It was a lovely trip.

We skied all day Tuesday. It was pretty icy at first but conditions improved over the course of the day. But by afternoon, we were starting to see bare spots on the slopes. But it was still very fun and ski-able. Brody, Gracie and Ellas went to ski school and by the end of the day were skiing pretty well. Gracie was able to get on and off the lift by herself, ski down the blue run without falling and stop with no problems. Brody was able to come down the green run with minimal face plants. He doesn't snow plow. Nope, he turns. I was amazed.

At the end of Tuesday, we were sure that there would be no more skiing. The bare patches were too big. So we spent the evening recounting the day, moment by moment, laughing and acting it out. Chris and I very deliberately tried to teach the kids to be thankful for what we got and not grumpy cause we couldn't have more.

Wednesday we woke up late, ate a leisurely breakfast and decided to head over to Grandfather Mountain. Then the coolest thing happened: it started to snow. We spent part of the afternoon in Boone and by the time we got back to Beech everything looked like a winter wonderland. We drove straight to the slopes to check it out. Chris and Scott went to see about conditions and came back nearly frozen. It was horribly foggy with really strong winds and lots of ice. Oh yeah, and it was about 10 degrees with a windchill of below zero. So Beech was out. Instead, we went to App. Ski Mountain. They have much shorter runs but a buttload of snow making equipment. Great coverage, cheaper, not too crowded and warmer. It was 19 degrees. But the wind was still strong.

We went night skiing and had a blast! The best thing about it was the fact that it was so unexpected. We had no plans to ski anymore and then were able to. By the end of the night, Brody was skiing down the green by himself without falling. And he laughed the whole time. "Momma, look! I can go speed!" (That means fast.) Gracie went down the black with Brendan a couple of times and had a great time.

At one point, Bren was going to fly past me on the blue run. I could see him out of the corner of my eye. Just as he got even with me, the wind started blasting. It blew so hard that it almost brought us to a stop. We looked at each other and died laughing. It was like something out of a movie. Then the wind died down and off he flew.

As you can tell, we had a great time. I'd never skied in my life until Chris. He taught me how when we were just dating. It's so much fun. And to see my kids fly past me, waving, yelling "Hey Momma!" is somehow very gratifying. I'm not sure why.

And if I may brag just for a moment.... I'm the only one who never fell. There is a story about the slow-witted lift operator but that's for another time. Bren says I didn't fall because I only go about 2 mph. I told him that's not the point... the point is... I did not fall.

When I finally get a working keyboard, I'll post some pictures. Until then....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thoughts on Blogging

No, I don't have my keyboard repaired. I begged and Frank let me borrow his laptop. So, I'm sitting beside my own computer, using his. Lovely.

I have noticed how creative I can get. For instance, I wanted to watch some clips of Jane Eyre on youtube. But how can I do that if I cannot type? Well, I found a link in my faves to Pride and Predjudice. I copied and pasted that into IMDB and did a 6 degrees of separation until I found the name Jane Eyre. Then I copied and pasted that into youtube (also in my faves). Voila! Done.

Changing subjects...

We leave in the morning to go skiing. I'm all packed except for the refrigerated food. My house is clean enough. My van is disgusting though... I must go clean it in a minute. I packed my knee brace. Then verified it was packed. Then had Amber verify that it was packed. I'll probably check it again before we leave. I'm scared I'll leave it and then not be able to ski. And no, KimHill, I am NOT OCD. No. Definitely not. No. Not OCD.

I've missed my blogging community. I've been here reading and yet unable to communicate. I really do love to blog. I heard Kim tell someone the other day that blogging is a great way to get to know other people. And I must agree. Of course, some people are just smart asses. (MattD) But you get used to them. ;o) Overall, it's like extending your family. I like feeling connected to them.

I've added 2 new links. Brandon and Scott H. Brandon has excellent posts but lacks blogging confidence, thus few excellent post to be read. Scott seems to show promise. Several posts in a short time. I've put them at the top of the list so that you can check them out. Come on, Brandon, get to blogging. We all laugh at you secretly anyway. So you might as well give us some material.

I cannot blog with someone reading over my shoulder. Like Ty is doing right now. It blocks the flow. There, he's gone.

Chris and I watched Forrest Gump again yesterday. It's been years since we last watched it and I think I'd forgotten how much I like it. It deals with pain and loss and love and loneliness is such a real and true way. It has great elements to it. And as I watch it I am struck by how different things could be with the love of Christ. Self-hatred replaced with grace. Despair replaced with mercy. And love really can overcome even the worst pain.

I completely redid the tornado closet. (Called the tornado closet because it is big and we hide from tornadoes there not because it looks like a tornado hit it. Which, incidentally, it did.) Anyway, I emptied it, put in a cabinet, organized the movies (which my OCD men loved), got rid of junk that had been hiding in there for 6 years and generally, made it useful space again. I give no promises as to how long it will last. If there is one thing I know about myself, it is this: I am not a naturally organized person. I wish that I was but I'm just not. Therefore my life is a series of clean-ups, mess-ups, clean-ups, mess-ups... you get the idea. It will always be that way. I will never wake up one morning and be my sister. I can only do my best.

I think I'll jog over and post on the COWS blog.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Very annoyed right now. My keyboard port on my computer is broken, thus no ability to type. Grrrr. So I'm at the church, impeding ministry, so that I can post a blog.

And now that I'm here, I feel pressured to hurry up and now cannot thing of a stinkin thing to say. Hmmm.

We went to the Act of Congress concert last night. Took the kids. And we all had the best time. Brody loved it.

But now G is making me get off the computer. He is so mean to me.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Mr. Darcy

I must confess: I'm a little in love with Mr. Darcy. As a literary character, he can't be beaten. Quiet, brooding, misunderstood, handsome, rich. Hmmm-mmm.

(for those of you who have no idea who I'm talking about: Mr. Darcy is from Pride and Prejudice)

Anyway, I have loved P&P since the first time I read it in high school. I was the only one to actually read it at first, everyone else thought it was lame. That is, until I started to rave about it. After that, I think some of the guys even read it. I loved the tension, the romance, the strength of the characters. I read it and fell in love.

I was completely taken in by Wickham. (poor Lizzie) I was annoyed by Mrs. Bennett. ( "Oh my poor nerves") I was cracked up by Mr. Bennett. (he's so superior and sarcastic) I wanted to strangle Lydia. (stupid girl) I recognized a little of myself in Lizzie. (think before you speak) But above all, I wanted to marry Mr. Darcy. He was so strong.

And then I did. There are so many similarities in my relationship with Chris. I'll list them.
1. I despised Chris when I first met him. He was arrogant.
2. I thought I knew everything.
3. I was dating a "Wickham" when Chris and I met. Humiliating.
4. My mother didn't like Chris either.
5. Chris' family was much more educated and wealthier than mine. His great grandfather was
the first mayor of Leeds. He has doctors and engineers in his family. I come from farmers and coal miners.
6. When Chris asked me out for the first time, I didn't even realize it was a date. He was so far above me, it never crossed my mind that he would be interested in me.
7. Once we really knew each other, it was completely obvious that we were made for each other.
8. Chris is a deep thinker and prone to being misunderstood.
9. He was the only man that I ever dated. The rest were all boys.
10. Chris is handsome. Alas, he is not rich.

I'm sure that I could go on and on but I won't bore you any more.

The only cinematic telling of the book that pleases me is the BBC mini-series version. It's almost 6 hours long and gets much of its dialogue directly from the book. Maggie and I watch it together. Probably too much. At least 3 or 4 times a year. Just the thought of it makes me sigh with supressed pleasure.

So now I have the joy of watching my sweet daughter fall in love with Mr. Darcy. As we watch the last hour of the mini-series, we have the exact same goofy smile on our face. Such a great story!