Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sister Saturday: Backyard Fun

We have lived in our house for almost 15 years and there have been many fun evenings spent in the backyard (it gets shady back there in the late afternoon). When Daniel was little, he rode his riding toys and played ball out there. Now it's the girls' turn.

Mary Lane doesn't like to admit that her feet don't touch the pedals.

Erica decided to try riding the trike in the grass.

Sisters in helmets.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where in the world?

The other day two of my coworkers were filling out a Visa application (the travel kind, not the credit card kind) and I asked the guy who was planning to travel how many countries he's been to. I was thinking it would be more than he could count on two hands. I think his total came in around nine.

My other coworker started counting the countries she's been to and she came up with 10. When one of our other coworkers came in, we asked him and he was able to get his total up to 11 (we have a winner, folks!). We had to create a rule to clarify that in order to count visiting a country the visit has to involve leaving the airport (i.e.: a lay-over is OK, as long as you're able to go do something outside of the airport boundaries).

So, you may be wondering, how many countries have I been to? Well, I actually surprised myself and TIED with the first guy I had asked the question! Yep, I've been to NINE foreign countries, on two continents.

Here's where I've traveled and the year:
  • Canada (not sure when, but sometime in the 70s)
  • Spain (1984)
  • Mexico (1986)
  • Germany (1999)
  • Belgium (1999)
  • Luxembourg* (1999)
  • France (1999)
  • The Netherlands (1999, and I still like to call it "Holland")
  • Poland (2004)

I would love to add to that list and hit a couple more continents along the way. Australia has been a dream vacation of mine for a long time, and I'd love to go to England and Ireland someday. It will be interesting to see what other places I can get to in my lifetime. I hope I will continue to be surprised by the total!

What about you? Care to list your countries visited? Can you top 11?

*I think it was only a drive-through on the way to or from Belgium, but I'm counting it, since if you blink, you'll miss it. I'm pretty sure we got out at a rest stop or someplace!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun with photos

If you don't already use Shutterfly to print photos or make projects, let me introduce you and encourage you to try them out. Not only is the quality great, when you're a "good customer" like I am, they send you codes for free products (an 8x8 photo book, cards, stationery). It's fun to use the pictures I take to make things that can be further enjoyed by myself and others.

Here's something I created tonight in a matter of minutes (once I uploaded my pictures). I can use these for birthday cards, thank you cards, or just to send a note. And as an added bonus, by posting about this project on my blog, Shutterfly will give me a $10 credit for me to use later.

Classic Chartruese 5x7 folded card
View this 2011's most popular holiday card designs.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Favorites: Trees in Bloom

The trees in Nashville have come alive this week and while I know the pollen bothers many people (and my car has been a nice shade of yellow-green on red), it has been good for my soul to take in the colors of Spring and to get outside and take pictures. Here are some of my favorites (and some that are favorites of those I love):

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Breastplate

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
-segment from St. Patrick's Breastplate

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Worth repeating

July 1997 - Daniel's first car

Daniel and I went to Maury County for him to take his driver's road test yesterday. (That would be Columbia, TN, an hour's drive from Nashville--long story of why we did that.)

And he passed!!! I'm very proud of him and am glad that he has reached this milestone. I'll also be happy to send him to Kroger for a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and some bananas sometime in the near future!

I know that I already used this picture when Daniel got his learner's permit, but the sentiments I shared in that blog post are worth repeating a year later. It's nothing that millions of other parents haven't already experienced. And I'm thankful that there have been others who have gone before me who I can turn to when I need some encouragement as a mom. I'm sure I'm going to continue to feel the twinges of letting go as the next few months unfold.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Flashback Friday: Harding Mall

For this flashback, I'll stay on the mall theme. If you've been in Nashville only a couple of years, you might not know that the Wal-Mart at the corner of Harding Place and Nolensville Road used to be the Harding Mall. It was a smaller mall, but had two anchor stores in it's "heydey" (maybe more, but that's what I remember).

When I was in college, there was also a movie theater there and at some point during my college years, it became a "dollar theater" making it even more attractive to me and my friends. Some movies that I remember seeing there are "Stealing Home" and "Mannequin" (remember those 80s movies?).

I can also remember taking Daniel to the Sears portrait studio at Harding Mall when he was three months old. Those were not my favorite pictures taken of him, but they were his first "professional" portraits and I have the one I bought hanging on the wall in my hallway.

Some other stores that I remember shopping in at the Harding Mall were Family Bookstore, Marshall's, Castner-Knott (and later it was bought by Dillard's, I think) and a cross-stitch store (my old hobby before scrapbooking).

Harding Mall went through a renovation at one point and the movie theater closed. Eventually, the whole mall just wasn't doing enough business and someone had the great idea to transform it into a huge Wal-Mart. I sometimes miss being able to run down there to grab a gift or just to walk around without going to the bigger mall areas of town.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hymn Sunday: 'Tis So Sweet

I can remember singing this old hymn in church through the years. It recently got "new life" by Dave Hunt, Mathew Linton and Wendy Wills, all of whom I know and have gone to church with (or currently do). It is recorded on Dave's latest CD, Ebenezer, which I highly recommend that you go right now and purchase on iTunes. I especially like the different chorus they added. This hymn is a good reminder for me when my trust is waning and anxieties are starting to take the forefront of my thoughts.

‘Tis So Sweet

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, thus saith the Lord!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’neath the healing, cleansing flood!

I will trust in You, I will trust in You
Love has proved You o’er and o’er
O for grace to trust You more

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking life
And rest, and joy and peace.

Written by Louisa Stead(1850-1917), Dave Hunt, Mathew Linton and Wendy Wills
©2010 Modine Gunch Music(ASCAP), I Believe So Music and Shparkenmusik(BMI)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Flashback Friday: Church Street Center

I had a little inspiration this week and thought I'd start a new feature on my blog called "Flashback Friday." Let me know what you think and if you have any memories of what I write about.

A couple of months ago, I was talking with my co-worker and realized that since he has only lived in Nashville since 2007, there are some places that used to be here that aren't and there some places that he currently knows that were formerly known as something else. Have I confused you yet? Well, I'll get started with my first flashback and hopefully you'll see what I'm talking about.

Back in the early 1990s when I was working at the Baptist Sunday School Board (now known as Lifeway, and no, that's not the flashback), my friends and I would often walk a couple of blocks up to a little mall called Church Street Center. There were the usual mall stores, like The Limited and Bath & Body Works, along with shoe stores, etc. It also connected to a department store that still had a presence in the downtown area, Castner-Knott (again, that could be a flashback of its own).

This mall also had a food court with several options of cuisine to choose from and lots of table scattered around. Often, I'd still bring my lunch, but would enjoy getting out of the office and spending time with my friends. It's safe to say we ventured up there at least three times a week. It definitely was a better option than eating in the cafeteria at the BSSB.

I'm not sure how many years the mall stayed open, but eventually, it wasn't doing enough business (I think maybe after Castner-Knott closed the downtown store) and it closed. By then, I was a stay-at-home mommy and didn't get a chance to go eat lunch there anymore. For me and my "twenty-something" group of friends, it was fun while it lasted!

And if you're wondering the exact location of the Church Street Center, you can go by the downtown branch of the Nashville Public Library and see it for yourself. I hate that the mall had to go bankrupt, but I really love how the city of Nashville took lemons and made lemonade by building the library in that location.