Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gen X

What a relief!!! I'm a Gen X-er!!! I noticed an article on The Tennessean website about Gen X-ers turning 40 and that got me to wondering if I had "made the cut" in the Generation X. For a while there, people born in the late 1960s, such as myself, were kind of in limbo, not really counted as "Baby Boomers" (too young, thank you very much), but kind of classified as "Baby Busters" (say what?).

I decided to do a little research and found out, via Wikipedia (don't judge, it can be reliable information) that indeed people born between the years of 1964 and 1980-81 are counted among those in Generation X, and I fall well within that range.

I'm sure I'd be glad to pick and choose which characteristics of Gen X-ers that I'd like to be associated with, but at least for now a) I don't feel so old and b) I feel a little more trendy and relevant! And I agree that 40 isn't as old as it used to be (to quote the article in The Tennessean).

By the way, I think I know more than I let on about pop culture and current events. The other day I didn't "get" a reference to a Will Ferrell line from a movie, and my response to the person was that I wasn't that "up" on Will Ferrell (not a bad thing, in my opinion). I was asked what am I "up" on and my answer was, "Anything that shows up on my Yahoo homepage."

OK, I think I'll go listen to some 80s music now!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Favorites: Blogs

This was not exactly the Friday Favorites post I was excited about writing today, but since I was having some technical difficulties getting my computer to upload some pictures I wanted to use in the post, that one will have to wait for another week.

So, I am now equally excited to share with you some recent favorite blogs that I've found! You probably noticed that I have a pretty long list of blogs in a sidebar on my blog and all of them are favorites in different ways (otherwise, I wouldn't have them on there, right?). I love to read blogs as a form of entertainment, and with a few exceptions, the blogs I read are written by people I personally know. I also find blogs to be inspirational, either giving me creative ideas and prompting me to write something on my own blog, or they inspire me to grow spiritually and help me to focus on God and His Word.

The first blog I want to highlight today is a favorite because I think the writer is "tops"!!! She is full of enthusiasm for life and is such a good encourager and I had a blast getting to know her better when we were both adult leaders at camp with our church youth group. Nan Goes From Nam to Nash has recently gotten a fresh, new look, which made it even more fun. And she's been highlighting some great Nashville restaurants and treateries that makes me want to blow my dining out budget for sure! I think you'll agree that this blog is worth subscribing to or adding to your "favorites" list (or just click over to it from my blog).

The second blog is one that I recently found and have been blown away with how relevant each post has been for my life. Heavenward by Scotty Smith is a series of daily prayers written by the Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. I may have met Scotty personally at some point in my years here in Nashville (I know I've been to his church and have friends who have been or are members there), but I have really appreciated the honesty and depth he shares in his prayers and like I said, I have been totally amazed at how many of the prayers deal with something that is on my mind on that particular day. God is awesome like that and I am thankful for how this blog helps me grow in my own prayer life.

One more blog that I'll list as a "favorite" is written by a guy who goes to my church and has been my Sunday School teacher for the past several months. Forward Progress is one of the blogs that I check every day, because Michael usually posts every day and I enjoy the variety of things that he posts about. One fun thing I look forward to every week is his "Fridays Are For One Question" posts. It's always interesting to see what he comes up with and also to read how others answer the question.

Well, now maybe I've given you something to do when you're bored this weekend or needing to stay inside in the air-conditioning to avoid this nasty heat wave that keeps on giving! And feel free to let me know of favorite blogs you have come across . . . or to just post a comment in general to let me know you're out there (hint, hint!)!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chasing sunsets

From Wikipedia
 I love a good sunset! I have viewed sunsets in the mountains of North Carolina and on the beaches in Florida and many places in between, and have never seen one that didn't leave me in awe of my God who created it.

Tonight, the clouds looked like they would produce a beautiful sunset, so about 8 o'clock I started walking across the street so I could get on the other side of the school, kind of up on a hill, to attempt to watch the colors and take in a good sunset. When I got on the other side of the school, I couldn't find the vantage point that I wanted, and it almost seemed like I'd missed it, so I walked back home. As I sat on my front steps, watching the colors in the sky over the school building, I realized that sunsets sometimes have to be chased to be viewed. Sure, sometimes, you find yourself in the right place at the right time and you look up and there it is, the perfect sunset. But I think some of the best sunsets have to be sought after.

I can remember times when I was growing up and we'd be visiting our long-time family friends, Bob and Fredna Vaught, in the rural Virginia mountains. One of the highlights would always be to take a ride in the back of a wagon pulled by Uncle Henry (Bob's uncle, but they were all like family to us) up to The Kingdom to watch the sunset. We had to time it just right so that we wouldn't miss it. Other evenings at "the cabin," as we called it, we'd take a hike up the mountain and watch the sunset from a different high point. Those sunsets were so worth the effort! And if we walked too slowly or started out too late, we would miss it and have to try again another day.

I also have memories of chasing sunsets while I was living in Hawaii in the fall after I graduated from college. I lived only a mile or so from Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, but when I looked out the front door of my apartment, I'd only see another apartment building. If I wanted to see the beautiful Hawaiian sunset, I had to go chase it. It wasn't the happiest time of my life for me while I was there, but I know that getting to see lots of gorgeous sunsets was definitely one of the things that gave me joy during those three months.

Someday it would be nice to have a "sunset porch" where I could always know that I could see the sunset without anything hindering my view or having to go chase it and possibly miss seeing it that night. But part of the intrigue about sunsets for me is the thrill of the chasing and being able to catch it before it goes away. Yes, sometimes I miss them, but many times I catch one and it makes the chase so sweet!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

2011 Scripture Memory #14

The next verse in the set of verses from Crossings Camp that they called the "Six Points of the Gospel" is:

Jesus lived a perfect life.
"God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21

Each verse has an explanatory sentence or two to go with it, to help in the memorization and to help with sharing the gospel. In review, the first one was:

God is holy. We are sinful and separated from God.
"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Different, but the same

Last night, Daniel had six of his friends over to spend the night to celebrate his birthday (remember, most of them were out of town over his birthday weekend, since it was also 4th of July weekend). For several years now, this has been how Daniel chooses to celebrate his birthday. We also have gotten into a tradition of having the guys over to spend the night sometime during the week after Christmas. That means that twice a year, once every six months, I have a tempory loss of all sanity and allow my house to be completely taken over by testosterone! And I am glad to do it because they always have so much fun.

Now that they are getting older, the things they like to do while they are here all night have changed. Or have they? Here are some things that are different and some that are the same:

  • I dropped the guys off at the Japanese steak house restaurant and let them have dinner sans parents as a special treat for Daniel's 16th birthday. Of course, I still came back to pay the bill.
  • One of the guys is already 16 and has his driver's license and a car, so instead of having another parent help me transport everyone, he was able to take some of the crew in his car. Now that's different!
  • There wasn't as much "physical" activity going on. In the past, these guys have spent at least a couple of hours wrestling like puppies on the floor or playing "King of the Hill" and taking turns throwing each other off the den "ledge" (those who know my house know what I'm talking about) onto a pile of pillows and cushions on the floor.
  • Hide-and-seek-type game played with nerf guns. I'm not sure about all the specifics of this, since I stay safely hidden in my room so I don't get hit with a stray "bullet" or run over by anyone, but apparently boys will still be boys, even when they are 15 and 16 years old.
  • Playing disgusting "Dare" games, making each other eat or drink awful concoctions of things found in the fridge and pantry. Lots of laughter is involved with this game, which is how I always know that is what they're doing.
  • Lots of food and canned sodas are consumed. I think it was only an hour after they'd gotten back from dinner, I heard them raiding the pantry. And these boys can eat, no matter what age they are!
  • Movie watching.
  • Fun, fun and more fun.
I'm so thankful that Daniel has a group of guys who he can hang out with and who I am confident are good influences on each other. Many of them have known each other since they were babies and it will be fun to see how they continue to stay in each others' lives as life takes its course in the years to come.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dessert-of-the-Month: June/July

I got so caught up in other things during the month of June that I totally forgot to make Russell his Dessert-of-the-Month! By the time I realized what I had done, it was the 4th of July weekend, so it was the perfect opportunity to combine the treats for June and July into a fun summer dessert to share with the whole family!

Back at the beginning of this year, Russell had chosen things that he would like to have throughout the year and he chose Rice Krispie Treats and homemade ice cream for his June and July options, so that's what we had. I had a little bit of "user error" with the ice cream freezer, but it still tasted good and since I have some whipping cream left over, I need to try, try again to see if I can learn from my mistake. Thankfully, the ice cream still tasted good and I didn't get any complaints from anyone.

(Vintage harvest gold ice cream maker that I think my mom bought with Green Stamps)

 Patriotic Rice Krispie Treats

Yummy final result!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

53 Weeks Old

If I don't hurry up and blog about sweet Mary Lane turning one year old, I might lose my status as "aunt in good standing"!! She had her first birthday last Thursday and I have been such a slacker to not post something on my blog!! So here a year review in pictures.

We welcomed this sweet bundle to our family on 7/7/10

She joined big sister, Erica, and it was so fun to have another generation of sisters in the family!

 3 months old

 6 months old

 9 months old

12 months old

 Enjoying her birthday cake!

 And the balloons!

Now she's one!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2011 Scripture Memory #13

At Crossings Camp, the students were challenged to learn a set of verses that they called the "Six Points of the Gospel." Each verse has an explanatory sentence or two to go with it, to help in the memorization and to help with sharing the gospel.

I decided that I would rise to the challenge to memorize these six verses, too, even if they are already familiar to me or even somewhat in my head. It will be a good refresher and will be good for me to help encourage Daniel and the other GCC youth to memorize them as well. Here's the first one:

God is holy. We are sinful and separated from God.
"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
I know that at least one of our girls went to an arts and crafts class at camp where they made bracelets with the Six Points of the Gospel on them. I might check with her to see if it's something I can do on my own and that would give me even more reinforcement!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Suave Sixteen

Daniel is sixteen years old today! I'm not even going to get all into the reasons why that seems impossible. He is so much fun to be around, and also has such insight into things going on around him. I know I'm very biased, but he's my favorite guy!

While we will be celebrating Daniel's birthday with gusto, it's a little bit anticlimactic for a few reasons. First of all, I was trying to get Daniel to give me some ideas about how he'd like to celebrate his birthday in a special way this year, he told me that it's not like he'll have a "Sweet Sixteen" party like girls have. So a couple of days later, I coined the term, "Suave Sixteen" in an attempt to find the male counterpart. I don't know if it will catch on, but I did notice that Daniel himself used that term in his Facebook post tonight.

Another reason why the excitement over turning sixteen is a tad bit diminished is because Daniel will not be getting his driver's license right away. He seems to be OK with it, but I remember that I wouldn't have it any other way than going to take my driver's test on my actual birthday when I turned seventeen (the driving age in NJ, where I grew up). Since Daniel didn't get his learner's permit until March and has to have it for 180 days before he can take the road test, he'll have to wait until sometime in September to become a licensed driver.

The last reason why Daniel's actual birthday is anticlimactic is that most of his friends are out of town this weekend (holiday weekend), so we'll wait and have his party with friends in a couple of weeks. Again, Daniel's fine with that and will get to do some other fun stuff on his actual birthday (U2 concert at Vandy--hello!).

All that adds up to me having one of the most awesome kids in the universe! Happy Birthday, Daniel!