Monday, April 23, 2012

What's on my nightstand.

I love books.  Love them.  I don't find as much time to read as I would like, but I probably manage to find more time than a lot of folks, so no complaints here.  I love when someone recommends a good book, so I thought I would share some of the books I have been reading lately.  Feel free to leave a comment with any recommendations you have. I will go ahead and put this out there.  I love to read all kinds of books, fiction and non-fiction.  I really love a good story, and it doesn't always matter to me whether it is true or not.  I finished the Hunger Games trilogy not long after we moved to Hattiesburg, and I loved it!  In fact, I have been kind of at a loss as to what to read next.  I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and liked it okay.  While the plot was truly fascinating, there were some parts of it that were quite disturbing.  I have not decided whether or not I am going to read the second book or not.  During my period of indecisiveness, I picked up this book.  

I have it on my kindle, so I'm not sure how long it's been out, but I'm thinking a while.  The reason I chose this book is because David has invited, Don Piper, the author, to come and share at our revival in the fall.  I wanted to be in the know when our guest speaker comes, so what better way than to read his book!  It's a very easy read, and I read it in a matter of a few days.  Without spoiling the book but hoping to share a bit about it, Don Piper is in a terrible car accident while driving home from a pastor's conference.  He dies.  For 90 minutes.  During that time, he goes to heaven.  The book talks about his time in heaven, but also of the healing that takes place in his heart and body once he returns to our less than perfect earth.  
With summertime soon approaching, I'm beginning to plan out our days while I have all the little ones at home together.  Last summer, one of my favorite things we did was to have a daily devotion in the mornings and memorize scripture together.  Last summer, we read The Jesus Storybook Bible, one of the best Bibles I have seen for children.  This summer I wanted to do something a little different, so upon the recommendation of some friends, I picked up this book.  I have several of Sarah Young's devotional books for adults, and they are fabulous!  I cannot wait to begin this one with my children.  We may even start before school gets out!  
Who isn't a fan of C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia books?  Don't answer that if you're not!  Last week, two of the books that have been made into movies came on television, and the big 3 loved The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Seeing their enthusiasm for this movie made my choice for our next chapter book an easy one.  We have all 7 books in the chronicles, so we are beginning with book 1, The Magician's Nephew.  
After finishing up Don Piper's book, I wanted to quickly find another good read.  I decided to steer away from fiction for now because I really wanted to read something that would encourage and strengthen my walk with the Lord.  I have been reading Angie Smith's blog for several years now, and I also follow her on twitter.  She's quite witty, and so very down to earth.  I love her snip its on the blog and twitter, so I knew that I would love her book as well.  I downloaded it last night and began reading it today.  What a great choice!  I see myself in so many of the pages, and I've only read the introduction and first chapter.  I think by nature I tend to be fearful.  Of many things.  Rejection.  Failure.  Loss.  I read something today that just resonated with me, and I think perhaps it might encourage you, too.  
Are you so focused on what you think is missing that you don't see what is present?  Maybe you need to ask the Lord to illuminate what it is He wants you to see.  It's possible that what you've seen as the end of the road is actually an opportunity to open your eyes and see something you haven't.  
Wow.  I can't wait to read more.  So, there you have it, our reading list for the next little bit.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hardy Street Live.

David is in the middle of a sermon series focusing on marriage.  He has spent the past two weeks talking specifically about wives and our role in the marriage.  The text David is using comes from Genesis 2:18-25.  Last week, he only got through verse 18, so this week is a continuation of last week's sermon.  We don't live close to any of our family members, and many dear friends are far away, so I thought I would share a way for y'all to listen to his sermons online.  It's actually a live stream, so you can watch him, which is way more fun.  He's quite animated when he preaches!  Below is his sermon from today.  Once you open the new page, if you look at the column on the right, you can find all of his past sermons as well.  

Live stream by Ustream

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blooms & Bushes.

Wednesday, I got to go with Carter's class on a field trip to a green house.  
Mrs. Bush the owner of the nursery and mom of another kindergartner at Carter's school taught us all about plants.  
In addition to touring the greenhouses, the children were also able to plant and take home their very own plant.  
Zinnias were the plants of choice for the day.  Aren't they pretty?  
Carter and some of his friends listening to one of the workers talk about some plants.  

Here's a close-up of the zinnias.  Carter's class got to take home two of them to plant.  What a treat!
He snuck a quick peek at me taking his picture.  
Some of Carter's sweet friends from school.  
Another shot of some cute girlies.  
Here is Mrs. G leading the pack through the greenhouse.  
It was a beautiful day for a field trip out to the greenhouse.  I had such a fun time being with my little fella and his classmates.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crawfish boil at William Carey University.

Tuesday afternoon, our family headed over to William Carey University, where a group of our friends from church were having a crawfish boil for the college students on campus.  

Josh, our student pastor, set up an area in the parking lot right in front of the baseball field, and he and several others from our church proceeded to cook 200 pounds of crawfish!  Yum!  

Our children had the best time playing with the live crawfish before they were cooked.  

Here is the final product being served to some hungry college students.  It was a big hit!

Story and Tilly enjoyed spectating at the baseball game.  This was their first time in a stadium.  David and I took Carter and Summer to a Braves game last year in ATL, but Story and Tilly were too little to go.  They loved it.  Tilly had a great time cheering.  For both teams, ha!

William Carey was playing Union University, who also happened to be the bulldogs and were wearing red.  Our children were really confused as to why we were not cheering for the red bulldog team!

Look at the size of that crawfish!  I had never seen some quite that large before.  They sure were yummy to eat, too!

So thankful to be a part of Hardy Street Baptist Church.  So thankful to be doing ministry in our community.  So thankful to serve alongside some really great college students, who bring so much life to our church!  

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In the garden.

A few weekends ago, our party of six headed over to Home Depot and loaded down our car with vegetables for our summer garden.  You'll remember back on Valentine's Day, we planted our potatoes.  Well, just look at them now!
They are definitely growing.  In fact, they've grown even more since this picture was taken.  

Here are some of the plants before we put them in the ground.  
And, here is Carter's newly trimmed grass he grew at school.  
David has been busy getting the ground ready for weeks.  He's tilled the soil over and over, fertilized it, and tilled it some more.  
See what I mean.  I love my hard working man!  
The girls and I took some time off from working hard for a little modeling under the awning.  Isn't Story just dreamy?  
And Summer, she's a little model in the make with her painted fingers, beautiful smile, and professional pose.  
And sweet Tilly!  She does not like to have her picture made, but would you just look at that sweet face! When did she ever get so big?  She's gone from a toddler to a little girl right before my eyes.  
Don't let her pretty looks fool you either.  She is a tough cookie!
Then, there's big brother.  He worked so hard on planting day.  Tilly couldn't quite pull the wagon alone, so he stepped in to show her how it's done.  
Summer's favorite garden treat is tomatoes, so she got to help plant them.  
Hopefully, we will have some yummy cherry tomatoes this summertime.  
There's just something about watching a plant grow and produce fruit.  This year, we planted bell peppers, sweet banana peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, basil, and mint.  Home Depot was out of zucchini, so we hope to go back and get some to plant soon.  We'll keep you posted on our progress this summer!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Summer's Easter Egg Hunt.

Days like this make me oh so thankful to be at home this year.  Summer had an Easter egg hunt at her school, and I got to be there to help and watch all the fun!  What a gift!  
All the party mommas went outside to hide the eggs while the children sat in their classroom waiting patiently, ha!  Then, it was a mad dash to find some eggs!
I had a hard time getting Summer to stop for a minute, so I could snap a quick picture, but she managed to smile a time or two.  
Here she is lining up with her class to go inside for the Easter party.  
How cute is this place setting?  And the sweet card she made for us?  

There's my sweet girl enjoying her Easter treats!  Happy Easter, Summer!  I loved being a part of your special day at school.  

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter weekend, 2012.

Don't you just love Easter?   I love talking to our children about Jesus and what He did for us on the cross.  I love all of their deep questions about why and how He did it.  They have been learning all about it at school, so they come home hungry for more.  Oh, how I hope they will always long to know more of Him.  Friday, we had our pictures made at church for the directory.  After we were done, David took the children into the sanctuary and outside to snap a few pictures since we already had everyone dressed up in their finery.  
I love this picture of Summer smelling the Easter lily.  
Look at that handsome boy of ours.  He looks so grown up standing there with his hands in his pockets.   Summer is still smelling the flowers.  Tilly is dancing to her own little beat, and Story is trying so hard to keep up with the big 3.    
Here are the fabulous four in front of our church.  I love how Story is saying cheese and looking anywhere but the camera!
How cute are they?!?!
And they really do love each other.  Most of the time.  
Story was done at this point.  You can't see her, but she is sitting down on the floor beside Tilly in protest.  

David showed off his rockstar photography skills with the Easter lilies.  
Then, Saturday, brought on more Easter fun.  Our pastoral staff and deacons gathered together at Longleaf Plantation for food, fun, and fellowship.  
The children hunted Easter eggs outside while the adults had a time of fellowship indoors.  Run, Tilly, run!
I remember having the most fun looking for Easter eggs when I was a child.  
Before the meal, David purchased and stuffed the eggs with candy.  Is he a great daddy or what?  
Carter found one!
Story and her sweet friend, Isaiah.  His daddy is the pastor of our Chinese church.  
She looks so big to me.  I can hardly believe in just one month she will be TWO!  How can it be?
I adore this picture of all the children.  So sweet!
What a fun time we had fellowshipping and being with our church family this Easter. So thankful to be in this new place in this new season of life.  So thankful for Jesus.  So thankful He's alive.  So thankful that one day He will return for us to take us home.  So thankful.