Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thankful

Yesterday started out as any normal Wednesday. The children and I were home, Cameo was home from work. I had some thoughts in my mind as what I wanted to accomplish for the day, and I wanted to give them a little rest because we don't begin back with school until after Labor Day, these are the last few days of break that they have left...  so it was quiet in the house. I had my Bible time and prayed for a little while, remembering a few special requests that had been on my mind and heart. And then I remembered that I had been asked to make a few things for some dear people. By that time the children were rising and I asked them if they wanted to make a quick trip with me to Hobby Lobby. 
Within just a few minutes, everyone was up and ready to head out the door.

We were low on gas so I stopped and put some gas in Bessie, the suburban. She acted a bit funny when she didn't start right off, but as with Bessie, being an older girl ('99 model to be exact) she sometimes putters. I pulled over in the parking lot and turned her off and tried again to see if I was going to have any trouble and she cranked right up as normal this time. So off we go, to make our quick trip to town... or so we thought. 

Cameo hooked up the phone and was playing music through the old burban's tape player, and we were all talking. Eli was reading over many of the requirements that he will have to meet to attain certain badges he wants in his Trail Life group and the younger two were having a conversation on their own. After a few minutes, we all heard a weird sound. I turned down the music, fully expecting that the car behind us was having trouble. To my horror, the car that was having trouble was ours. I immediately turned off the air, the radio and began to pray aloud. We were coming through the 'ridge-cut' in Chattanooga and if you are familiar, you know there is NO where to pull over safely in that spot. I pleaded with God to spare us, to grant us safety, and to allow us to pull over somewhere. Grey smoke began to billow from the hood and the noise was still there. The thermostat on the dash was pegged out at the top and still I prayed. 
I know that it was not an eloquent prayer. I know that it was basically the same thing over and over and over. But I pleaded with God because if we weren't able to get off the freeway soon, I was afraid we were going to catch fire or were going to be hit by the traffic around us. 
Though we probably only had about a mile to travel to get off the freeway, it seemed like an eternity.
I looked behind us when we were about halfway to the exit ramp and God had cleared a path. There was absolutely NO cars even close to us. Not ONE! Anyone who knows this area knows how wild this is... But we still had a little ways to go before we were out of the woods... 

We pulled off the exit and again, no cars in our way, we coasted down the ramp and were able to pull over into the first open parking lot we came to. Do you have any idea what that parking lot was for? It was an old church that had been turned into a mission. We were SAFE! Safe from the traffic. Safe from the problem with the suburban, safe in the parking lot of a mission. 
THANK YOU LORD!!! 

My God took care of us. He spared us from harms way. His mighty hand led us safely to this spot. 

My purpose on this earth is to love God, to honor God, and to make Him known. 
This little spot on the internet is a wonderful way for me to share my God with others. To give Him honor for what He has done. My heart is thankful. My soul magnifies the Lord. 

I debated whether to post this or not, because I didn't want anyone to think that I was putting on the 'poor me, we don't have a car anymore' vibe out. And that is NOT the reason for my post. 
My post is to BLESS the name of the Lord for HE has done GREAT things. My children and I are safe today. 

Thank you, LORD! You are WORTHY of our praise!!!



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pumpkin Spice and everything nice...

I know, I know, I hear it every year... it's too early! 
Fall doesn't begin til yada yada yada... 
It's still to hot to decorate for fall. 
I hear it, but I press on with my love of the season anyways. That's just who I am. I have said it before, I keep a lot of irons in the fire, so if I don't stay slightly ahead of myself, I will never get anything accomplished! So I present to you, "Pumpkin Spice!" 
Heaven knows, I LOVE pumpkins. Pumpkin in my coffee. Pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin decorations. Pumpkin pie. The smell of pumpkin with spices... It's among one of my favorite things. So when a friend of mine posted a picture of a burlap wreath that looked like a pumpkin, I was inspired. 

It's quite simple to make. I used an 18" wreath form. 2 rolls of orange burlap. And I couldn't find the exact green I wanted available anywhere, so I used some that I had left from several years ago. It's a little bright for the green... but I like it. And then of course I used the brown in the very middle for the wooden stem. And a cute jute bow.  I just LOVE everything about it. 
It's sweet. It's simple. And it screams me and my love of pumpkins and fall. 
My head is full of the smells, sights, and thoughts of all things autumn... so expect to see all things orange, green, yellow, gold, rust, and brown around here for the next little while! 
Squeal. 
I LOVE this time of the year! 


Monday, August 15, 2016

Celebrating our Anniversary

Last month, Shannon and I celebrated our anniversary. We planned an actual date night, Cameo brought home pizza and lemonade for her and the kids, and then they made peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes. Shannon and I went to eat with a gift card we had been given at Christmas and we went to a movie as well! I wanted to go to Aldi while we were in town, but he laughed and said that wasn't very 'date night-ish' and we didn't have time anyways. But we had a wonderful evening!

Carlie also wanted to make us a gift. She is such a thoughtful girl. She knows my favorite game is scrabble. And she knows that we have our picture wall in the house. So she came up with an idea of this gift for us. She took our names and some words (that she thought of, along with the placements of the words as well) and framed this collage for our wall. 

It was one of the most thoughtful gifts and we love how it looks. 





Friday, August 12, 2016

Lake Winnie '16

Lake Winnie is such a fun place. We took our youth department for a back-to-school/end of the summer trip last week. Other than the fact that it was hot as blazes, we had a WONDERFUL time. 

What's great about the park now, is that they have the water park addition, so anytime we were mega hot, we walked over into the water area and took a few turns around the lazy river or down the flumes. So refreshing!

Then when we were ready for rides again, we hopped out, dried off, and headed back to the park. 
The day we went was perfect. Very little wait time for rides and so we could hop on any ride in a matter of a few minutes. LOVE THAT! We rode and rode and rode!


I love being with the youth. They make me feel young for a little while, afterwards I feel how old I'm becoming. Haha. 


But to see the smiles on the faces, and the laughter of all the kids... TOTALLY worth the tiredness. ;) 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Camping on the River

Over the summer we finally were able to do something that I LOVE to do.... Camp on the river. We haven't been camping on the river since Eli was 6 months old. This year he will be 14, so that says a lot. I enjoy camping period... but I LOVE camping on the river. To wake up, sip coffee that has been brewing over a fire and look out at the river so calm and quiet. To watch the kids out there playing in the water from sun up to sun down. Huddling under shelter when there is a pop-up thunderstorm... 
Drying sleeping bags and blankets and sleeping in cars sometimes because all your gear is soaked from said thunderstorm. It's hard, it's tiring, but, man... what memories are made!!! 
While we were there, my kids proclaimed that this was the best vacation we have ever been on. I loved hearing that. When I was young, camping on the river was some of my favorite times too. I loved that they got to play with their cousins constantly. I loved that they got to try new things! Water skiing and knee-boarding! 
Fishing, canoeing, inner-tubing, kayaking, swimming... Such fun!
Cooking over a campfire. Making s'mores. Shadow puppets on drying laundry. 

Togetherness. 
My heart was filled to overflowing. We came back a bit tired, a bit sore, and a bit sun-burned... but boy-oh-boy, we came back smiling too. I love spending time with my family.