Who writes this stuff?

My photo

I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Friday, December 31, 2010

Track 6

After a month off, I could come up with dozens of cute little stories, and hundreds of pictures to post. I have even had a little "free time" in the last few days- I was sick enough that people have left me alone! The downside was that I was sick enough that even blogging was beyond my energy level.
 Somehow, after a month off I don't know where to start with the stories about us. Where we have been, what we have seen or even where we are going next.
 So I think I will skip straight to what I like best. Simply writing.

 A few weeks before Christmas Andy bought a new CD. He put it in the Tahoe and listened to it as we drove back and forth on all our errands. Shopping, visiting family, running yet another box of junk over to the storage building. One day my mom was riding with us and Andy was flipping through the songs, showing her his favorites. Suddenly a voice piped up from the back - "Aw dad, not track six AGAIN".
 Canaan expressed his displeasure with the constant repetition of the same songs, and got a laugh from the adults in the car.
 But he also got me to thinking.

 How often do we hit repeat on our favorite tracks and forget to listen to anything new? Perhaps even refuse to listen to anything new? Maybe not music, or at least not always music, but with many things. Scripture is what immediately came to mind for me. I cannot deny that there have been moments in my life in which one or two bible verses were what held me together. I clung to them with both hands and my whole heart. However, two verses are only a portion of what He has. There is so much more waiting to fill us up, overflow and spill into the lives of those around us. Read. (Or listen, no one said that the Bible cannot be read to you. Ipod's hold more than music you know) Soak up. Then, overflow and spill into others.
 It is the last day of 2010. Tomorrow is a new year. Consider adding some new "tracks" to your devotion time this year. Read a different devotional author. Try a new genre of music for worship. Memorize a verse that strikes you and use it in a conversation with someone.
I am asking my best friend to meet me every morning with something new, and I know that He will always have something interesting to say about the events of the day. Both for my life, and the lives of those around me. What more could I ask for?
 Let me know where He takes you. I want to add some new "tracks" to my life. Share, please, so I can listen too. Blessings,

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas my friends! Many many blessings to you as you celebrate the birth of our savior. 






Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Moment by moment

 It's always strange to move "home" again. Every time Andy deploys I come back to mom and dad, and every time I am reminded of how quickly time passes.
 He isn't technically deployed this time, just preparing to leave for training - but here I am, back with the parents and looking back for a moment on memories.

 We pulled out old Christmas ornaments and decorations. Boxes and boxes of them were dragged from the depths of the attic. Then they were hastily opened, glanced at, and shoved back into the back. Only a few select things were kept out, and new things took their place.
 Change.
 My baby sister will turn 23 on Wednesday. The baby. When Andy and I started dating she was only 10. She has moved home again for a bit, but has been a grown woman living on her own for several years now. Somehow I missed that. She is still just a little girl, right? No...
 Change.
 I ran into someone at Target today wearing a new sweatshirt from my alma mater. When I attended it was a small, private, baptist college. Close knit and homey. It is now a multi-campus university with a football team!
 Change.
 My children are so much more independent. They made their Christmas wish lists. Canaan wrote  his own Christmas letters. They even picked out Christmas presents for each other and paid for them by themselves.
 Change.
 Even our Christmas cards this year are full of change - announcing Andy's switch from AF to Army, from enlisted to officer.
 Changes are swirling around me and I seem to be having a hard time settling into a routine.
 So, moment by moment, I am just breathing in... and breathing out.

 Just when I think I have gotten use to it, something else changes! Oh well - let's just see what tomorrow brings.  I know it will bring a reminder that I shouldn't write this late at night when I am emotional!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A teaser

Oh Blogger, dear Blogger
How I have missed you, dear Blogger.
Sigh... how I have missed you.

Thoughts and words spill over
They have no where to go
Sigh... I have missed you dear Blogger!

I am coming back eventually. A few boxes left to find a spot for. A new school routine to settle into. Christmas to celebrate. Lots going on.
 Trust me, my camera is having a hey-day already.
 And that is just on my end. I haven't been able to read up on my fellow bloggers either. Comments are coming, eventually.

 For now I am going to celebrate the fact that the computer is plugged in and I am not using my phone as the only internet connection and that I uploaded 500 pictures off my camera, meaning I can view, edit and sort - and make way for more!

 One day at a time, right? See you on the other side!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grocery Store Wars

All we do is pack, eat, clean, and do laundry right now. I am exhausted. However, Andy took a break with the boys tonight to play on youtube (keep them out of my hair) and found this. He declared it to be "me", and I must agree. Please, pause the music at the bottom, press play and enjoy!



Monday, November 15, 2010

Packing away my babies

Five days left until we load the moving truck. The countdown is getting shorter and shorter. 
Since the boys and I will be staying with Mom and Dad while Andy is in training, all of my "pretties" are going to be in storage for quite some time. 
I am going to miss them!
Don't they look like they are going to miss me too?
Frogs are cute stuff but...
Did I mention I am a bit of a turtle fanatic?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Snapshot Saturday - sort of

Snapshot Saturday



Three silly boys


Loved





a day at the Air Show.. 



and were held in rapt attention

peanut butter face and all. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tag, You're it!

 My friend Autumn at Autumn Asks Why tagged me way back in september with some really fun questions. I have meant to do them, and never taken the time. So, this week, when I have nothing else going on.... (can't sleep because I am stressed out) I decided to give it a go!

1.) What is your biggest pet peeve?
 Inside-out socks. I know, I know, random. However, they have been annoying me for nearly 10 years now, with no outlook in the future for a change. Some days I think I might actually be resigned to simply accepting my fate and rolling with it. Then he brings his gym bag home, and, nope, I really hate them again! Seriously though, how hard is it to take your socks off without turning them inside out?

2.) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? 
 I can't pick one! I really want to see so many more places before we "retire". Isn't that suppose to be one of the joys of military life? Getting to "see the world"? I have only been to three out of the seven continents. I am not anywhere close to finished exploring yet.
 However, I must admit a very strong fondness for Norway in the summer. I don't think I would survive a winter, but a Norwegian summer is unbelievable!

3.) Have you ever been searched by the cops? (inquiring minds want to know...)
 Nope. I am afraid (for the sake of the interest level of this blog post) and thankful (for the sake of my sanity) that I have had a very limited and boring amount of interaction with law enforcement. I was ticketed once for not wearing my seatbelt, and another time for speeding. Another time I got a warning for speeding. That last one was about 8 years ago. I am a conservative little momma driver now.
I think this could catch me now!
 I did see an hilarious bumper sticker the other day "Caution, I drive like a Cullen". If you don't know what that means, you wouldn't get it anyway. It made me laugh though because she did drive with abandon, at least for the three or four seconds I could keep up!

4.) What is the one thing on your mind right now? 
 Pain. So many people around me have so much pain, all the time. I knew that. I did. But it is a bit more real today. I don't want to deal with it, which is why I am doing a blog like this, rather then trying to write something deep. I know we all have our own pain, but stop sometime and look around. We aren't the only ones. Every one is hurting.
 I just want to grab some people up and hold them, and make the hurt go away.
 But I am not doing a serious post tonight. See. I'm not.

5.) Favorite song right now?
 I have been into old hymns and really old praise and worship songs from when I was a kid. Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby, There is a Redeemer by Keith Green, and I have often caught myself randomly breaking out into Psalty the singing songbook music lately. My past is calling to me.

6.) What talent do you wish you had? 
 At this moment, the ability to pack boxes neatly with the assurance nothing in them would break, and with confidence that I am sending the right things to storage and the right things to my parent's. Complicated talent, huh? Try doing all that without having the talent!

7.) Favorite Drink?
 Decaf Green tea brewed with blueberry leaves for extra flavor and sweetened with Splenda.
 Blueberry Raspberry Fuze comes in a close second. Are we noticing a trend here?

8.) In one word, how would you describe yourself? 

  Real

 Upon completion I am supposed to tag 8 more people, and ask them 8 random questions too. I am not sure that 8 people actually read this blog, but I will throw some questions out there, and some names too. We'll just see what happens.

 1.) What is your favorite childhood memory?
 2.) If you could have any job, what would it be, and why?
 3.) What is your favorite sport?
 4.) Have you ever done something "dangerous" - and how do you define that?
 5.) What is your favorite holiday?
 6.) When is your average bedtime?
 7.) What is your favorite song (right now)?
 8.) In one word, describe yourself.

As you can see, I stole a couple of her questions.
Tara at Tara's world
Emilee at Another Binkley Sister Blog
Carrie at Thoughts, Ponderings, Musings
Angelia at Living, Loving, Laughing...
Nikowa at The Adventures of a Quirky Mom
Kathryn at Espy Family
Marcy at Marcy and Scott

Kelly at Are We There Yet?

 If you happen to do it, let me know. I would love to see your answers! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Practicing His Presence

 Last Sunday I was talking to a beautiful woman at our church who leads a group of ladies called the Titus Group. It is based on the verse, Titus 2:3-5, which calls for the older generation to take time to train and encourage the younger generation of women in their walk with the Lord.
 Ms. Susan is so enthusiastic that it is a joy just to be in her presence, and she has a gift for encouragement. This ministry is perfect for her. It made me realize that so many people aren't finding the ministry that is right for them.
 How many people aren't joyful about what they do in the church?
 How many people don't actually do anything for the church?

 Part one of this blog is "Find something to be involved with in your local church. Be a living, breathing, moving part of the body of Christ. - And enjoy it!"

 However, the reason I sat down to write was because of a book I recommended to Ms. Susan. It is one I read back in college, then again just a year or so ago, but it continues to make me desire more on a regular basis.

 I shared the book with her last night, and I wanted to do the same with you this morning.

 Practicing His Presence

 Fairly self explanatory title, is it not? It is about striving to be in the presence of God every moment of every day. When we have Jesus as our savior, and the Holy Spirit living in us, then God is a direct part of our lives every moment. We don't have to search for Him. He is there.
 But do we take the time to recognize Him?

 The writings are the personal journals and letters of two men, 300 years apart, who made a commitment to seek God every minute.
 Brother Lawrence, was a barefoot living, monk type "lay brother" who lived in the mid 17th century.
 Frank Laubach was a missionary in the Philippines in the 1930's when he began his quest to spend every moment seeking the presence of the One who was seeking him.
 They both made it a goal to focus their energy on seeking His communion in every part, every moment of their lives. Brother Lawrence was a cook in the ministry hospital - he had to live, and still took time to seek God.
 Frank Laubach was a missionary in a foreign country. He had duties to attend to and a ministry to lead - he had to live, and still took time to seek God.

 Seeking God every moment...

 It seems obvious to seek His kinship when you have your devotion time in the morning. When you say prayers with your children before bed, and perhaps even when you pray over the food at the table - although if your children are anything like mine, prayer at the dinner table tends to be more of an argument about who's turn it is rather then a true time of communion or thanksgiving.

 But to seek His presence continually? We have things to do. Can we brush our teeth and think about God? He provided Arm and Hammer didn't He?
 Can we think about God and vacuum the floor? Praise Him for the little feet that tracked in the dirt, and the fact that we don't have to drag the rug outside and beat it with a beater like they did 100 years ago.
 When the little ones are being absolute boogers and are going to need discipline, invite Him to be involved. Maybe we will be surprised at how much easier it is to handle it when we are not the ones in charge.
 Ask Him to be a part of quotidian moments, like laundry or washing the dishes. Thank Him for automatic washing machines or the beautiful trees you can see out the window as you scrub the dirty pots and pans. Try going over memory verses that have meant a lot to you recently as you fold the clean t-shirts.
 When you are driving down the road, avoiding crazy drivers, try to seek His guidance and peace rather then fume.
 If you are overwhelmed with paperwork for school, work or some random project, He will guide your hand if you simply ask. Time spent with Him is never wasted.

 As I said before, I have read this book in the past, and both times it reminded me that I need to spend more time simply loving my Savior.
 Life is busy. But I am pretty sure God is 'busy" too. It doesn't stop Him from taking time for me. So why in the world should I let that excuse me from taking time for Him?

 "Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matt 6:33

 "These things" are mentioned in the verses before, and are all the things we normally worry about: food, clothing, shelter.

 It clearly states we aren't suppose to waste time being worried about things. We are to spend our time seeking Him, and His kingdom.

 Just like Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach, we have lots to do. Children to raise, houses to clean, phones to answer, deadlines to meet and bills to pay. We have to live - let's still take time to seek God.

 Practicing His Presence. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

A teaser

Want to know what I have been up to lately? Besides packing like a maniac?

Cub-scout bowling on Monday
Doesn't he look like a pro?
Little brother got in on the action too.

Going to work with Andy early Friday morning.
 This is a pretty good representation of how they felt about early morning and cold weather outside...
Aren't those enthusiastic smiles? They liked it better when things started moving along!
Daddy looks so important out there, telling the pilot what to do.

Cub-O-Ree all day Saturday.
 Knights in training
Cooks in training too.
Little brother came along for this one too, and he thought he was big stuff. 
Even Daddy came after he got off work.  

We've been having fun, but I am plumb worn out! There are lots more pictures, and I am sure I will torture you with them in the future, but for now packing boxes, and eventually bed, take priority.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

12 days of Christmas Sharing

 My friend Carrie is on a creative roll right now, and wanted to capture that creativity and pass it around and share it. The original idea was to make different kinds of cookies every day, blog about them, and share them with your local friends and neighbors. 
  
 You will have to go to her blog to find out why, but plans have changed. Now....

 "I am participating in 12 Days of Christmas Sharing hosted by Carrie at Thoughts, Ponderings, Musings. Each day, from December 1st-12th, I will be sharing a Christmas recipe, craft, creation, tradition, etc. on my blog via the Christmas Share link up.  Come join us and gain new ideas for your Christmas "creating" season!  There is a giveaway for bloggers who participate in all 12 days."



Cookie Challenge



 Please, like it says, come and join us. I am so much more creative when I have someone else to inspire me. Grab the button and spend a few minutes during the holiday rush sharing your fun, easy, (money saving?) ideas with all your friends here in blogland. Start planning now, because Christmas is coming soon. Go to Carrie's to link up and I'll see you in a few weeks! 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Waste not, Want Not Wednesday

 There have been a couple of days now for the Halloween sugar high to wear off. The starburst have stuck to teeth, the Sweet-tarts have caused adorable pucker faces and the chocolate has been unfairly taken in a cruel "mommy tax". I even let them eat one of those nasty dracula teeth gummi candies.
 But what next? When I went to hide the rest of the stash I found that there was still candy from Easter up on top of the fridge. That was when I remembered a very cool website I had seen about a better way to put your candy to use. At our house the choices are fairly clear. Throw it away, put it on top of the fridge to wait to be thrown away at a much later date, or try some really fun science projects with it.

My kids picked choice number three.
Some of the leftover Easter stuff.  
A whole bucket of new Halloween loot.
 Already grossed out? It's a little early for that!
  You can just tell he is going to be a BIG help...
Warm water vs cold water
Which works better?
 Doesn't that look appealing?
 He sure is concentrating on something 
 Less then half way through Zion decided that he was a gorilla
and entertaining faces was the entirety of his input for the rest of the experiments. 
At least he tried. 
Canaan loved every minute. 
 Bubble gum made an interesting texture when melted in water. 
 Several candies let off a waxy substance which floated up to the top of the bowl or cup when they dissolved. 
 But in all our work we only found one candy that floated, and I have no idea what it was called. I had never seen it before, and Canaan had torn up the wrapper before we knew it was going to be something special. 
 The colors from skittles and jelly beans did not transfer to coffee filters very well... m&m's are supposed to work, but we weren't willing to sacrifice them. 
 By far the favorite of the day was adding baking soda to dissolved sweet-tarts. They fizz and bubble like a miniature volcano. Smarties worked a little bit, but nothing like Sweet-tarts. They win, hands down!
 It was a day full of fun, and experimenting. Learning, instead of simply throwing away. 
 The rest of the hard candies, safe for travel, will go into the Operation Christmas Child shoebox. 
Don't forget to start packing yours this week. The Christmas countdown begins, because giving time starts now! 
Waste not, Want not my friends. 

Wordless Wednesday

A spot of sunshine