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

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



Straight paths

 The ladies bible study I have been a part of recently has had a different verse to memorize every week. Last weeks was Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight."
 At least, that is what the NIV says.
 We were all allowed to pick what translation we wanted, whatever we were comfortable with. The book uses NIV, and as I switch out often, but grew up with NIV or NKJV, it was easy enough for me to use the NIV. All but one of the verses I had already memorized at some point in time during my life. One of them was a new attempt, and one of them was very rusty, but the other three have been like visits to old friends. Comforting, full of memories, and reminders of the strength of a lifetime spent in The Word. Once again, I am so very, amazingly grateful to my parents.
 But that is not what this post is about - just a side note of thankfulness thrown in!

 When I first memorized Pro 3:5-6, years ago, I memorized it in the NKJV. Rather then saying "make your paths straight" it says "He will direct your paths."
 That just seems so much more appropriate. The translation there seems to fit, at least in my life.

 I know that I cannot lean on my own education, because with every year the things I have already learned are swallowed alive by the new things needing to be learned now.
 I know that I cannot lean on my own experience, because I have tripped and fallen when I tried to do things "my way."
 I know that I cannot lean on my own judgement, because I certainly don't understand why people do what they do, think what they think, or live as they live.
 I know that I cannot lean on my own knowledge, because I can barely understand the basics of, say, physics.
 I know that I cannot lean on my own wisdom, because I don't always keep my eyes open and my mouth shut when I should.
 Most of all, I know that I cannot lean on my own understanding - because all of those things listed above are a lot to understand - and I don't.

 So, what does that mean?

 "In all your ways acknowledge Him." Acknowledge - "to recognize the rights, authority or status of - or  to express gratitude or obligation for" (Merriam-Webster's online dictionary)

 By acknowledging Him, I am letting Him know that I am giving Him the reins. Letting Him have the steering wheel, and the gas pedal, and the brakes too.
Ouch.

 But that is where the TRUST comes in. With all my heart. Because I have already Acknowledged that I cannot lean on my Own Understanding......

 But straight paths?

 I don't think so. 

 Even looking back, my paths are pretty twisty, and hilly, and sometimes full of potholes. 

 Looking forward at them, they sometimes seems insurmountable. 

 That is why I like the NKJV better. Even though they are not straight, I have complete faith that He "directs" my paths. Looking back, I can always see His gentle leading. The cliff I almost fell off, but didn't. The curve that was so sharp, but somehow I made it around without tipping. Those moments when I really was out of gas, truly and honestly, yet somehow kept running.
 Sometimes in the middle of it all, I really want some straight paths. But then, how would I grow? What would I have to teach later? And truthfully, how boring would that be?