Monday, December 31, 2007

happy new year


What a way to end one year and welcome another by watching the Chick-fil-a Bowl where the Tigers meet the Tigers and Orange clashes Orange.

Even if Clemson loses, we still win because what could be better than Clemson and Chick-fil-a...together!

Also...Chick-fil-a is offering a free breakfast...go heer to git u sum.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

handbell hero

Guitar Hero....Handbell Style!
Click here to play.

The Hot Seat with Emma

This is my almost 3 year old niece, Emma. I fixed her hair on picture day because her mom was out of town. I worked hard to get her hair to look like that. I usually have a 5 question interview, but I could only get three answers out of her.

1. Emma, what do you want for Christmas?

A Dora the Explorer Jeep. Pink.

2. Who is your favorite aunt?

Daddy.

3. Do you know you could make some big bucks for the Salvation Army with your little bucket and a bell?

Huh?

Monday, December 17, 2007

a very perry christmas

I saw the band Journey twice in the '80s. They went downhill after Steve Perry left for a solo gig. They tried to replace him with a fake Steve Perry. The real Steve Perry was awesome.

I miss him.



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"cow"lendarz

The 2008 Chick-fil-a Cow Calendars are cracking me up. Each month features a One Hit Wonder Cow that spoofs famous musical artists and their songs. A few featured "moo"sicians are Bobby Q. Mulletcut (Jessie's Grill), Lady Marinade (Wind Beneath My Chicken Wings), the Beefcake Boyz (Girl You Know It's Chicken), and Spicy Skirtsteak (Gimme Chicken One More Time). Funny, funny stuff!

You know you need a 2008 calendar anyway, so why not spend $5 on a Chick-fil-a calendar and get $30 worth of coupons for FREE FOOD to use all year long?

OR....you can treat yourself to a $20 Chick-fil-a gift card (or give it as a gift) and then you get the calendar and coupons for FREE FOOD for FREE!

'Cuz u no yur gona eet ther enywayz.

Monday, December 03, 2007

life is good

So. I turned 40 this weekend. People seem surprised that I'm not falling apart already and wallowing in the sorrow of celebrating a fortieth birthday. The year I turned 30 was the year I freaked out. I remember a time when I thought forty was OLD. Then a few days later, I turned forty.

I am probably one of the most immature forty year olds I know, but this past decade has been a season of maturity in the sense of life lessons:

I do not need toxic people in my life.
Saying "no" to others is a gift to myself and my family.
I realize that I can't change other people.
Not everyone will like me and I may never know why.
Love everyone, not just my BFFs.
I am created for a purpose and it is my job to pursue it.
Christ completes me.

I am healthy. I have a great family and awesome friends who care about me. I don't NEED anything. And I got to turn forty this weekend.

Life is good.






Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Hot Seat with Mrs. Claus


I had the privilege of volunteering at Hammond Hill Elementary's Santa Shop today and I had a nice little chat with Mrs. Claus. If you thought Santa was in charge at the North Pole, well you were wrong:

1. Mrs. Claus, what is your full name?

It is Jessica Mary Claus, but some fruitcakes think it is funny to call me "Mary Christmas". Pun intended, they say.

2. Why don't you go deliver toys with Santa on Christmas Eve?

Well...somebody has to stay back at the Pole and keep the spirits up and organize the chaos. With the new age of technology, we make our lists and check them twice using computers now. This younger generation of elves insisted on us purchasing Mac computers. Unfortuately with all the high-maintenance computer problems we have had, I have to stick around to constantly reboot and troubleshoot the computers. I'd rather use pen and paper.

3. What do you and Santa do during the Spring and Summer?

You can usually find us in the Florida Keys with some of our retired friends. One year we ran into Mister Heat Miser, which caused us to cut our fun-in-the-sun short. Being in the same place with "Mister Hundred and One" is just TOO MUCH! We ended up in Vegas after that.

4. Why is Rudolph's nose so bright?

Rudolph had a little "accident" in the toy shop and I hit him over the head with a frying pan. His nose fell off and now he wears a prosthetic device that glows red. Oopsie.

5. Do you do a lot of cooking at the North Pole?

Have you seen Santa's jelly belly? I have to make cookies all the time. Thank goodness for the new break and bake versions. And the elves are no better. They think the four food groups are candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. I spend a lot of time making sure everyone is happy and well-fed. It's not like we have pizza delivery around here.

Mrs. Claus, you are our hero.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

upside down

Our vacation is about to come to an end and we will be back to the real world tomorrow. We took the kids to Dollywood today. I have never been to an amusement park when I had to wear a coat, three shirts, gloves, and a hat. Usually it is 100 degrees outside and we have sweat dripping off the tips of our noses.

As we were standing in lines for the roller coasters, I started thinking about what a risk we take on these rides. We stand in line for 45 minutes to an hour so that teenage workers who are making minimum wage can operate a piece of machinery that will sling our bodies around at speeds in excess of 100mph, give us whiplash, and flip us upside down....and we don't even think twice about it. We have never even met the designers and engineers of these rides and we trust them completely.

We make the decision every day to exercise blind faith. So why is it that we sometimes hesitate to have faith in our Creator who knows us personally? Why can't we surrender ourselves to Him so that He can turn our lives upside down?

It would be a ride we would never forget!


Friday, November 23, 2007

the year we ate processed turkey meat

The Owings clan is in Gatlinburg for Thanksgiving weekend and we are hardly roughing it here in the mountains. The cousins brought the Guitar Hero and the kids have been swimming in the indoor pool. As I type it is 33 degrees and we actually saw a few snow flurries this morning. Well, that was the second time we woke up. The first time we woke up was at midnight to go to the outlet stores. We shopped until 4am and contemplated a stop at Denny's, but the wait was 30 minutes....at 4am!!!!

Did I mention that we ate Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant yesterday? Processed turkey meat, instant mashed potatoes and no macaroni and cheese.

This is the stuff memories are made of.

Monday, November 19, 2007

ima turkey

Did you know that the average, traditional Thanksgiving meal is around 3,000 calories? In comparison, the recommended calorie intake for an average person per day is 1600 to 2400 calories. To burn off 3,000 calories, one would have to walk 30 miles or swim 5 hours.

You're welcome.

the difference

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but we have gone off the deep end. Alan and I started decorating for Christmas this weekend, almost a week before Thanksgiving. The wreaths are on the windows and the trees are up, although ornament-less for now. It will take a few days before our house is back in order after emptying our attic of Christmas decorations. I was grumbling a little while decorating, wondering out loud, "WHY do we put ourselves through this? WHY do we make such a big deal about decorating for Christmas when it feels like a chore?" The answer became clear to me right away...BECAUSE IT SHOWS THAT THINGS ARE DIFFERENT AROUND HERE.

The Christmas season is a time for celebrating personally and publicly that Jesus was sent into the world to make a difference. He had a different kind of birth. A different way of ruling. He wore a different crown. And He has shown us a different kind of love.

Yep. Something is definitely different around here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

crowder

Thoughts from the David Crowder concert in Columbia last night:

The Myriad - awesomely weird/emo. The music was loud, lyrics were solid. And they sported the new fashion for male musicians...girls straight leg jeans.

Phil Wickham - well....um.....you see....nevermind.

Shadow worship must be the new thing, see picture above.

About 50-60 TNC peeps were there.

I love the Township Auditorium...small and intimate. We had great seats on the floor risers.

Why was there a gnome on the stage?

My favorite Remedy tracks: Glory of it All, Can You Feel It?, Everything Glorious, 1000 Tongues

My son's hair looks like David Crowder's in the mornings.

Alan says he is going to grow a "Crowder", the beard thing.

Great night of praise and worship!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

inside out

There was once a time when I got very uncomfortable seeing people cry in church. It's not that I am cold-hearted, I just don't cry much. If I cry, it's a BIG deal. Maybe that's why some of my friends call me The Tin Man. Not that I'm proud of that. I just tell them I'm crying on the inside. I couldn't even cry at a Beth Moore conference when everyone around me was boo-hooing. I tried though. For real.

This past week at TrueNorth Church, the message was about "Change". The challenge was for people to expose themselves to God so they could experience a radical change from the inside out that only God can accomplish. People were moved during the response time. There was a genuine desire for life change. My heart went out to those who are broken and desperate. There were tears...lots of them. And I was not uncomfortable because I was crying on the inside.

Monday, November 05, 2007

movin' on up

The Augusta area is movin' on up with the new lifestyle center opening up at the Augusta Mall just in time for the holidays. It is about time we got some new blood in town! These are the stores I am anxiously awaiting:

PF Chang's China Bistro - Oh yeah! I have been there once in the ATL. Got the lettuce wraps. Never have forgotten them.

Williams-Sonoma - a girl can't have too many kitchen gadgets.

Barnes and Noble - where I can feed two addictions at once: coffee and books

McAllister's Deli - This is why:
Orange Cranberry Club (Turkey, ham, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, lite mayo, Swiss and cheddar cheese on Wheatberry bread with our signature Orange Cranberry Sauce)

Buckle - what was once my little internet shopping secret is now coming to Augusta in the spring. I love this store!

stronger

I saw this Clemson a cappella group, called Tigeroar, perform at Tigerama a few weeks ago. I was most impressed with their rendition of Kanye West's 'Stronger', beatboxing included.

Check out this video of the guys paying tribute to the six USC students and one Clemson student who died in the Ocean Isle beach house fire recently. My own Clemson daughter was at a mountain cabin in North Carolina with her girlfriends that same weekend, so this tragedy hit close to home for me.

The Clemson/USC rivalry runs deep and there is still a football game to be played on November 24. It will be interesting to see how the game and events surrounding it play out.

Because what brings us together makes us stronger.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

flava flav

Alan's staff dresses up for Halloween. Stop by the office if you want to see some great costumes. You might can even get Flava Flav's autograph!

Friday, October 26, 2007

radio

My eleven year old, Allison, has always been infatuated with Radio. Yeah, the one with the movie about him. Now that we have been driving back and forth to Clemson so much and she has realized that T.L. Hanna High School is nearby, she constantly nags us to take her to meet Radio.

"Why do you want to see him so badly, Allison?"

"I don't know. I just have to. I want to be in breathing distance of him."


It was not an unreasonable request, actually. I had nothing to lose by trying. So I emailed the principal and asked if we could work out a meeting with Radio. And the answer was, "Absolutely."

So that is what we did to kick off our four day weekend. We watched "Radio" last night for the twenty-eleventh time and went to T.L. Hanna in Anderson today to meet Allison's hero, Radio, and Coach Jones. They were so kind and funny and down-to-earth...they just blessed our hearts!

Allison and Radio...
My family and BFF Elizabeth with Radio and Coach Jones...
We took Radio some surprises, one of them being the TrueNorth Band CD, Radiate...


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

four day weekend

So the kids have a four day weekend with school being out on Friday and Monday. If you are like me, you're looking for something fun to do. Here is a list of local events or day trips that will help fill your weekend while the teachers are crunching those report card grades:

Fat Man's Forest (Laney Walker, Augusta): a family tradition during Halloween and Christmas. Browse the costumes and "spooktacular" gifts. And don't forget the "Almost World Famous Boiled P-nuts"! They are one of my seasonal luxuries, right up there with the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. But not together. That's gross.

Jack-o-Lantern Jubilee (Georgia Avenue, North Augusta): From 10-4 on Saturday, the main drag in downtown North Augusta will be filled with craft and junk food vendors, inflatable jumping thingies, and local entertainment to celebrate the fall season. Your child will be sure to win the costume contest if their costume is homemade and insanely creative. Don't forget to stop by the Pink Dipper to get the kids a single scoop of Coffee Almond Fudge on a sugar cone (not that that's my favorite or anything).

Masters 7 Cinemas (Washington Rd, Augusta): All movies before 6pm are 99 cents. With those prices, who cares about spending a little more for coke and popcorn? The movie listings will be updated on Friday, but I know Ratatouille will still be on!

Hammond Hill Elementary Book Fair (West Woodlawn Ave, North Augusta): I volunteered at the Book Fair this week and they have lots of books and trinkets to choose from. If your kids like books, you might as well buy them from the school because they get to keep some of the money!

Chuck E Cheese (Wrightsboro Road, Augusta): 'nuff said.

North Augusta Yellow Jackets vs. Aiken Green Hornets: at Aiken, 8pm

Hunger for Life Dance Concert (Monte Sano Elementary, Augusta): Okay, so this is a shameless plug for my friend Beverlee, owner of Tip Toes and Taps Dance Studio, who has organized a fundraiser for the Golden Harvest Food Bank for nine years. Come watch a variety of dance styles that were choreographed by adults and children alike. I think some belly dancers will be there too. For real.

Scarowinds (North Carolina): Carowinds Theme Park is transformed into Scarowinds where you can "hear the creatures creeping up behind". Thriller. Oh yeah.

Edventure (Columbia): Okay, now I really can't decide what to do. Edventure is a Children's Museum in Columbia that is sponsoring an event called "Hallo-Wonka" on Friday night from 5:30 until 8pm. It's all things Wonka with activities such as Nerd Toss, Pixy Stix Art, Roarin’ Runts Relay and more! Visitors can also drool over the “Candy Sculpture” contest where all sculptures are made entirely of Willy Wonka candy.

Boo at the Zoo (Columbia): Riverbanks Zoo is decked out for Halloween and from 6 to 9pm each evening, you can take your costumed little ones trick or treating through the zoo.

TrueNorth Church (North Augusta High School): Church doesn't have to be boring! Music, skits, small groups, and relevant Bible teaching are part of the exciting environment in Journeyland (ages baby to kindergarten) and Kidzstuff (elementary). Our Baptism service, affectionately known as Dunk'd, will be held in the gym at 9:30 and 11:11am on Sunday morning. Come and see!

This is just a sampling...I hope you find something fun to do. Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2007

today's funny

I woke up to my radio alarm clock this morning and the first thing I heard the deejay say:

If you are shopping for a personal trainer, you should wear a t-shirt that says:

I CAN'T DO SQUAT!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

backstreet's back

Well, we closed out the SHAPE series this week at TNC and I just had to show this clip of a backstreet bird using his abilities and talents. We would have been all over this one if the bird had just used "Shape of My Heart" instead of "Everybody". Just kidding. Not really. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Hot Seat with TJ and Kevin

These guys could barely be still for me to take their picture. TJ Barton (pronounced tee'jay) and Kevin Bradford are worship leaders at TrueNorth Church. Let's see how the BFF's handle being on the hot seat:

1. How long have you been leading worship?

TJ: Since 2004.

KB:I've been leading worship for a little over 10 years. My first leading opportunity was for my church youth group playing such greats as "Pharoah, Pharoah" and "I've Got A River of Life". Wow, those were the days...

2. What is your biggest challenge as a worship leader?

TJ: Remembering the chords and the lyrics!!!!! Really, the biggest challenge for me is trying to veer away from being performance minded. I truly believe that we have to give our best to God and that requires us to practice and strive to get better. However, I constantly have to remind myself to just trust Him...if I do that, then everything always works out.

KB: Removing who I am and what I've done to prepare and allowing God to take control. It's very easy to put confidence in how much I've prepared and how I feel about the songs going into an experience with God. The most challenging for me is to remember God and that He's on the throne, in control, no matter what I'm doing. Jesus said that the rocks will cry out if God's people don't. So he's going to be worshipped regardless of whether I'm involved or not...so I'd rather do it His way!

3. What is your favorite aspect of leading worship?

TJ: Getting to connect with and feel the heartbeat of the church! I get to be one of the few people that faces the people during worship, so I get such a different perspective. It's great to be able to worship God and hopefully take almost 1000 people with me!

KB: I have always been thankful for the unique vantage point of a worship leader. We get to watch others connect with God through song and other things. People have asked me in the past how I worship because I've got so many things I'm responsible for when I lead worship. Well, that's it...watching others. That is one of the most rewarding parts of what I do.

4. Who inspires you musically?

TJ: David Crowder, Incubus, Coldplay, Dave Mathews Band, Hillsong United, Steve Fee (FEE), Future of Forestry

KB:I have quite a range of influences...Harry Connick Jr, Maroon5, the Passion guys (Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman, etc), Switchfoot, Vertical Horizon...I could go on and on! Oh! And how could I forget Mute Math???? Those guys are amazing!

5. What have you been listening to in your spare time?

TJ: At the house I've been listening to Marshall yelling at the dog. In the car, I've been listening to Francis Chan and Craig Groeschel podcasts. Good stuff!

KB: Spare time? What's that?

Monday, October 15, 2007

the green room

Ever wonder what the TNC band does during the sermons on Sunday mornings? Well, here is a sneak peek.

We listen to the first sermon, but the second sermon is our time to chill out and take a break. Oftentimes a band has a designated place for congregating called "the green room". Here is a definition I found on the 'net:

A green room is a space in a performing venue which is set aside for band members to lounge in when they are not required on stage. It is typically set apart from the stage and the audience, so that the band members can hold conversations without being heard by the audience.

This is what our green room at TrueNorth looks like. No fluff, no comfort, just lots of interesting talks, cereal bars, and orange juice. If we miss our cue to get back on stage, just come find us in the stairwell.


Friday, October 12, 2007

The Hot Seat with Melanie Kumrow

The Hot Seat is back! This time my victim is Melanie Kumrow, a breast cancer survivor and my "fish" who I invited to TrueNorth Church. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month I asked Melanie to share her experience here:

1. How were you first diagnosed with breast cancer?

I went for my first routine mammogram at age 40. No lumps were present, just microcalcifications. One biopsy showed stage 3 breast cancer.

2. Has cancer affected your spiritual life?

I developed a staph infection from surgery that almost killed me. My friends and especially my mother-in-law prayed steadily for me. I realized it would take God's power to pull me through that situation and it was a turning point of surrendering my life to Him.

3. How has God been able to use your cancer to help others?

I am a registered nurse and I have a new job where I work directly with cancer patients in research. We are hoping to find a cure and treatments to give patients a prolonged, better quality of life.

4. Many people think that cancer is the worst thing that could happen to a person. What do you think?

I lost my dad suddenly at the age of 64 from a massive heart attack. That devasted me more than being diagnosed with cancer. There are definitely worse things than cancer.

5. How has being a breast cancer survivor changed your outlook on life?

I don't sweat the small stuff anymore. My motto is to live in the moment and not waste a single day.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

in addition

Alan got a nice surprise at work today. Some of his patients gave him a sweet thank you card for being such an awesome dentist, a gift certificate to one of our favorite restaurants, and some Clemson souvenirs. These gifts were given IN ADDITION to the dental bill they paid. This kind of gesture is rare but it shows the generous heart of the givers.

This Sunday at TNC, a special offering will be taken to help with startup costs for our new campus in Columbia County. The challenge will be for each individual to bring one day's pay to help create the TNC experience across the river. Many more lives will be changed through this new location. I hope you are praying about what God wants you to do. Perhaps He is asking you to bring something IN ADDITION to the challenge!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

i almost got beat up at van halen

Ha! Now that Perry has told his story, I feel better about telling mine.

So we are singing/yelling along with David Lee Roth at the Van Halen concert in Charlotte. He is singing "Running with the Devil". My group is singing "Running FROM the Devil". And then the devil shows up.

I begin to smell a familiar smoke smell that I haven't smelled in a long time, and I am not talking about tobacco. Every person near me spins their head around, looking for the culprit who has invaded our airspace with that stench. She is in the row in front of me, diagonally down the aisle. After she lights up her third doobie, she sees me staring at her. That is when the yelling starts. I turn my head quickly because...Is she screaming at moi? I look out of the corner of my eye and see her pointing and screaming in my direction. This is the moment I realize I just might get beat up by a Mama Cass wannabe (from the Mamas and Papas). I try to ignore her, still singing along, cell phone raised. She is still yelling at me. I picture my mug shot and my mangled body. Are they going to let me wash the blood out of my hair first? Will I pass a drug test since I have been sniffing her smoke? Should I just go ahead and lie on the ground so she doesn't pull me down by my hair? The screaming and pointing is getting louder now. I continue to ignore her. The BFF I am with takes notice, steps in front of me and points back at Mama Cass and tells her to SHUT UP! She eventually shuts up and leaves our section. My friend saved my life and my hair from getting messed up.

What did I learn from this experience?
1. Don't stare at people smoking dope.
2. Have friends who would lay down their life for you!

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

sno-cones

The best part of a Clemson football game is...

Monday, October 08, 2007

cata-LIST

Here is my Catalyst Cata-LIST of my favorite conference speakers and what information stood out to me personally. Some of it was affirmation for me and some of it was toe-stepping conviction.

1. Andy Stanley - He has been reading my mind. After hearing Andy, I knew why God worked it out for me to be there. I felt like I was the only person in the room.
I am afraid of power. And I thought that was a BAD thing. I thought being afraid of power meant I wasn't a good leader. The reason I fear power is because I have seen it misused in leadership. I don't ever want to be in a position of power where I use it for my own sake. I want to be a person of influence instead.

2. Francis Chan - I was mesmerized by him, therefore I took very little notes. The big idea here was "do what God tells you to do, not what other people tell you to do. Believe that you were created for this."

3. Rick Warren - I took two pages of notes from the Purpose Driven Pastor. I loved what he said about being a church of DEEDS and not CREEDS! We should know what we believe and DO IT!

4. John Maxwell - Another extremely valuable and applicable rule of leadership: Be a people person. Value people on purpose. If I ever stop relating to other people, I am firing my own self from leadership.

5. Craig Groeschel - Great communicator! "A practical atheist believes God exists, but lives as though he doesn't." Ouchie.

6. Dave Ramsey - I want to be his new best friend. "What could the people of God do for the kingdom of God if they were debt free?"

Steve Fee and Christian Stanfill were amazing worship leaders as usual. There's nothing like singing 'Mighty to Save' with 11,000 of your closest friends!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

fashion police

Been getting some retail therapy by shopping online. It's convenient, but still not the same as getting out in the stores.

Women's clothing designers must have designers' block because apparently they had to borrow their ideas from the maternity department. Most everything that is considered stylish resembles something I wore 19 years ago when I was pregnant with Kacie. So if you see a woman wearing a shirt that looks maternity-ish, DO NOT ask her if she is expecting. More than likely, she is just wearing the latest fashion. I will be glad when this fad is over!

And look...this girl didn't even want her whole face to be shown in this picture!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

no means no

I experienced a random moment a few days ago while I was sitting in my car in Kroger parking lot, talking on my cell phone. This little Hispanic lady came out of NOWHERE and motioned for me to roll down my window.

Hello! Phone to the ear...lips moving!

I thought she needed directions or would tell me my tire was flat or something.

Her accent was so thick I could barely understand what she was saying until I looked in her hand and saw "The Watchtower" literature. Once I realized she was a Jehovah's Witness, I told her that I would not read that material, that I would only read the Bible. She was trained well and persisted to debate with me and I had to tell her no... again. She finally gave up.

It makes me sad for her. I am so glad that I don't have to get in people's faces to witness to them. Relationships are so much more meaningful.

I have had another JW experience and you can read about it here.

van. to the halen.



Alan just celebrated his TGIF birthday last weekend. That would be "Thank God I'm Forty". For his birthday, I bought him/us two tickets to see Van Halen in Charlotte tomorrow night. We both saw the Van Halen 1984 concert in Augusta and another concert with Sammy Hagar in Columbia in the '90s. So it looks like we're making the show once every decade.

This tour is different though. Shows are selling out like crazy! Tomorrow night will be the FIRST concert of the tour and the first time David Lee Roth has been with the band on stage in 22 years. Eddie's son, Wolfgang (I call him Wolfie) will be replacing bassist Michael Anthony. He brings some youth and freshness to the stage.

This will be a great moment in the history of rock and roll...and I have big expectations!!! I'm so excited I don't even know how to act!!

I know...I need to get a life. Pray for me.

Check out this commercial.

Van. to the Halen.

Monday, September 24, 2007

great football trick play

Maybe the Carolina Gamecocks should recruit this kid...or his coach!
Just kidding...not really.

Friday, September 21, 2007

trick it out

Alan has a new project and this is the before picture. My dad has had this 1965 Mustang in storage forever and Alan has offered to give it a makeover. Maybe he can get some pointers from the MTV show, Trick it Out. In my opinion, this thing is nasty. I think it has potential but it will require some Divine intervention. My only request is....can the new tires NOT have whitewalls?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

parental control

I love listening to my Sirius radio! Even though I have access to 198 stations of various genres, I usually just listen to the nine that I have programmed on my preset buttons. My nine are Spirit (Christian), The Pulse ('90s and now), Sirius Hits 1 (Top 40), Alt Nation (Alternative), Totally 70's, The Big 80's, New Country, Radio Disney, and The Coffee House. I enjoy the variety since my music mood changes from day to day. I was listening to Totally 70's last week(ok...I admit it) and found myself singing along with Neil Sedaka's "Laughter In the Rain". I knew every word and I was embarrassed of my own self. I looked at my Sirius display and it showed that song was a hit in 1974, when I was only seven years old.

Why can I remember every word to a song that was made popular when I was seven and now I can't remember to get sugar when I'm at the grocery store? How is it that I forget to return a DVD to the movie store, but I am able to remember dance routines from my years of ballet and tap?

Because the human mind is easily moldable at a very young age.

Alan and I were watching a movie one night at home when Matthew (age 3 at the time) walked through the room just as a four-letter word was shouted from the screen. About one week later, as we were celebrating Mother's Day after church on a Sunday afternoon, Matthew gave his mother and grandmother a present that will never be forgotten...he screamed his new cuss word across the restaurant for everyone to hear. The sad part is that this word cannot be erased from his mind. But he knows now not to ever say it again.

It is a huge challenge for parents today to ensure that what their children are exposed to does not compromise the development of their young minds. From video games to TV shows and movies, to music and online activities, so many opportunities are readily accessible for their minds to be corrupted. I know that I want to be a more responsible parent by helping filter out the filth while my kids are young and before it is too late to correct the damage.

I love what Plato said in reference to childhood exposure to something as primitive as a STORY:

And shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tale which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we wish them to have when they are grown up? We cannot.... Anything received into the mind at this age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts.... (Plato, 374 B.C., p. 72)

Monday, September 17, 2007

spiritual gifts

The SHAPE series at TrueNorth Church has brought back memories of the Network book we studied before we launched the church. The core group was given a spiritual gifts assessment to see what exactly this small group of people was gifted to do. In case you didn't know, I love surveys and polls and assessments and evaluations, so I was all over this assignment! Once I tallied my results, I was surprised when I saw the outcome of my spiritual gifts. Thinking that I may have been too hard or too easy on myself, I asked Alan to evaluate me as well. The outcome was pretty close to what I came up with...my top three spiritual gifts were Administration, Knowledge, and Helps.

Three and a half years later, the SHAPE series has allowed me to reassess myself with another evaluation. I decided to use the same Network evaluation for consistency-sake. This time around, I discovered my top three gifts to be Adminstration, Leadership, and Helps.

Why the difference? I don't think our spiritual gifts change. I think what changes is our DISCOVERY of these gifts. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

As Christians, discovering our spiritual gifts does not get us off the hook with our responsibility of exercising those qualities that are near the bottom of the list. Just because Evangelism and Intercession might not be in my top three, I still have a responsibility to share my faith and pray for others. These things just may not be my GIFTS.

As we grow and develop and USE our gifts, we will have a clearer understanding of how God has shaped us to serve in His church. Make sure you don't miss the rest of the SHAPE series because...IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

smart marketing

I can't stop laughing. Every time I see the Coke Zero billboard, it makes me LOL!

The Coke Zero website is fun too. Go to the site and watch the lawyers get punk'd. You can also sue a friend for personal taste infringement (ringtone theft, ordering the same coffee drink, etc).

pumpkin spice latte

Okay, so I'm a coffee snob.

It is that time of year when Starbucks offers its world-renown Pumpkin Spice Latte. Pumpkin, you say? A vegetable in my coffee? Don't worry, it doesn't really taste like pumpkin. It just tastes like fall with the perfect amount of cinnamon, pumpkin spices, espresso, syrup, and whipped cream. So, why am I sitting in front of my computer with Hazelnut Folgers? Glad you asked.

Although there is no proof of this, I suspect that the eleventh commandment says "Thou shalt not drink Pumpkin Spice Latte before October". It is still September and I am refusing to buy a PSL before October. It just goes against the rules of fall. I mean, it would be gross and weird to eat watermelon at Thanksgiving and Christmas, wouldn't it? "Dad, could you pass the cranberries and WATERMELON?" No. And you wouldn't sit out on the beach in 100 degree weather eating pumpkin pie either.

So, I am waiting in anxious anticipation for my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year. And it will be worth it!

what really happened

Bedtime conversation between Mommy and Matthew, age 6:

Matthew: "Mom, did you know that our Earth is the third planet?"

Mom: "Yes, and how did you know that?"

Matthew: "I told myself that. "

Mom: "Do you know what the first planet is?"

Matthew: "Oh yeah. The moon. And then the sun is second. The devil made the moon and God made the sun and there was light and the darkness went away. That's why we are the third planet."

That was deep.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

nine eleven

With today marking the sixth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attack on America, I went back and looked at some pictures I took while vacationing in New York this summer. I really expected to be overcome with emotion while visiting Ground Zero. But I wasn't. It was hard to feel anything because the towers are gone and what is left is a fenced-in construction zone. Every picture or scene I had been exposed to for the past six years was one-dimensional. Seeing the site in 3-D could not bring it to life for me.


This is Trinity Church, located across the street from the Twin Towers. I wonder how many people have entered this church looking for answers.


As dark and depressing as those days were on this side of the TV, no amount of emotion could be compared to what was experienced on those streets.

Monday, September 10, 2007

how to be lame

I followed a bread crumb trail that lead to this great list called The 31 Refutably Irrefutable Laws of Lame Leadership.

Check it out...you might see some familiar faces within these laws. I know that I saw a glimpse of myself in a few and it was U-G-L-Y.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

three out of three ain't bad

Okay, so a Bowden was bound to win the big Clemson vs. Florida State game last night. The Bobbytommy game was tense from the start with it being Labor Day, televised, and the first game of the season. I have been wondering this morning if things are tense in the Bowden family today. Is it okay to beat your dad in football three times in a row? I mean, does this qualify for a spanking or a time out?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

goin' postal

I went to the local US Post Office a couple of days ago to buy ONE STAMP out of the machine in the lobby. There was no machine. So my only option was to go stand in line for my ONE STAMP. After counting the sea of people ahead of me in line and counting the number of postal workers, the math did not seem to be in my favor because there was no way I could stand in line that long for ONE STAMP and not go postal! I left...with no stamp.

Fast forward to yesterday, I had a box I needed to overnight to a friend and I remembered my experience just trying to get ONE STAMP. The thought of being still and bored for that long did not appeal to me. Surely there was another alternative. That is when I thought about the Goin' Postal store which is "conveniently" located near the real post office. I wondered if it was legit so I went to their website to do some research. I then called my friend who does business with Goin' Postal. After my thorough investigation, I added Goin' Postal to my to-do list.

I was the only customer in the store as I approached the counter with my unsealed box. I asked how much it would cost to overnight my package. When I found out it was LESS than USPS rates AND I would receive $100 worth of insurance on my package at no extra cost, I decided to go for it. The owner condensed my items into a smaller box, sealed it shut, asked me to fill out a shipping label, totaled my purchase and gave me a free Goin' Postal pen as a first time customer reward. I was also impressed when I checked out the countless stamp designs that were available. (Cute stamps are important to me.) This whole experience lasted five minutes tops!

The franchise name, Goin' Postal, is almost an oxymoron because the store makes you want to NOT "go postal". The people are so helpful and friendly you will wonder if it is for real or just a nice dream. I am Goin' Postal from now on. And if you value short lines, lots of cute stamps, great customer service, discount shipping, and a safe parking lot, you might want to consider Goin' Postal too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

cream of mushroom soup

Did you hear all of those popping noises across North Augusta on Wednesday afternoon? Those sounds you heard were the opening of cream of mushroom soup cans all across town. Casseroles were being made in full force when news of the following story spread through the area.

A few days ago my next door neighbor (Beth) had to take her hubby(Curtis) to the emergency room because....umm, let's just say his stomach was not pretty. He ended up in day surgery with plans of getting his gall bladder removed by laparascope. At Curtis' workplace, those who get a papercut are off work for six weeks and undergo physical therapy before they come back. Beth was hoping that Curtis' gall bladder surgery would get him off work at least until spring break!

While I was in the waiting room with Beth, inventing stories that were getting more exaggerated by the minute, the doctor came in and said that they ended up doing a full surgery to remove the gall bladder. If they had waited another day or two, the gall bladder could have possibly ruptured, putting Curtis in a very dangerous situation. We got on our phones to share the news with Beth and Curtis' Journey Team and the sounds of those soups cans being opened could be heard for miles.

Do you have friends that you can count on in an emergency without even having to ask? Are there people who you can share life with in the good times and bad? TrueNorth Church has Journey Teams where small groups of people meet on a regular basis to grow in their faith and their relationships. Signups are on Sunday mornings and now is the time to get plugged in. If you are not part of a Journey Team, you are missing out. Commit to at least trying out a group or two. You will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

In case you were wondering, Curtis is at home recovering now and the casseroles are lined up in the refrigerator. Maybe they will have enough to share with their next door neighbor!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

deal or no deal

I love knowing that I got a deal on an item. My favorite bargain is the short black jacket I got on the clearance rack for $1. And then there was the $58 bathing suit I wanted this summer. By waiting three more days, I got it at 60% off. It helps to talk to sales clerks.

Shopping for school supplies in August is one of those times I go crazy. I call my office cabinet "The Office Depot". Need crayons? Come on over! Out of folders? I've got 'em. Also notebooks, pens, and pencils galore. And I got it all for dirt cheap.

Check out this week's Office Depot ad for example. Book covers, storage pouches, and wooden rulers are a penny a piece. One cent each! A quarter can get you either 10 Crayola markers, the black and white composition books that are hard to find, or a 3 pack of erasers. That's just crazy.

It is a good time to stock up for the rest of the year to avoid those runs to Wally World when the prices are back to normal. You are going to buy it anyway, so do yourself a favor and take advantage of those bargains while you can. But stay away from those drugstores or you'll pay triple the price! And that's no deal.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

high school musical 2

Last Friday night was the night we got Kacie's stuff packed and loaded up for college. She planned her whole day so that at 8pm, she could chill out with her sister and watch High School Musical 2 with 17 million other viewers. I stopped what I was doing to stand in front of the TV for about 30 seconds to see what all the fuss was about. Troy and Gabriella were singing a ballad that reminded me a lot of the scene in Grease 2 where Stephanie and Michael sang "Turn Back the Hands of Time". This is the part of the song I heard in the short time I watched HSM2:


I'm leaving today 'cause I've gotta do what's best for me
You'll be ok..I've got to move on and be who I am
I just don't belong here
I hope you understand
We might find our place in this world someday
But at least for now I gotta go my own way


Not what I needed to hear while getting my daughter ready to leave for college the next morning!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

i heart my friends

Tracy. Beth. Kelly. Cheryl. Jenny Lou. Margie. Melanie. Deborah. Claire. Tena. Becky. Nan. Laurie. My mother and my mother-in-love. They have all called or emailed to check on me since Kacie left for college and since Matthew and Allison started school today. I thought the house would be quiet, but my friends and family made sure I had no peace.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

happy new year!

Every mom knows that January 1 is not the start of a new year. The first day of school usually signifies all things new in a household with school-age children. New clothes, new teachers, new friends, and (yawn) a new schedule. In the Owings household it is not just a new chapter in our book, it's like a whole new UNIT.

Kacie. We had The Last Supper with Kacie Friday night...spaghetti, which is her favorite and her last request before going to Clemson. Move-in was a bittersweet experience. I am so proud of her, but missing her like no other! She has the biggest tears I have ever seen. I mean they are HUGE...and I can't get them out of my mind. But her tears were short-lived, because now she is talking about new friends with yuppie names like Turner and Sara Beth, who I will probably never meet!


Allison.
My "no, I'm not nervous" daughter is in her first day of middle school as I type. I am sure that she is keeping check of every detail of her day and when she gets home, she will be give me a full report, leaving nothing out.

Matthew. Unlike his sister, Matthew will probably tell me nothing. I mean, he IS a boy. Alan took him this morning for his first day of elementary school and he said there were a lot of crying mamas at the school. That is why I didn't take him.

I am all cried out for this week. Or am I?

Monday, August 13, 2007

i caved

So...I hear through the blog grapevine that one must have a picture of oneself on one's blog. After a years' resistance, I caved and decided to go for it. The picture in my blog header is ginormous! Does anyone know how I can reduce the size, but still fill up the header space? Please hook a sista up with some instructions!

Also...I've had some close friends imply that my tag line (A whole lotta lovin' is what I'll be bringin') is "suggestive". So I changed it. Then I changed it back. It is part of the C'mon Get Happy song by the Partridge Family. Unless Shirley, Keith, and the rest of the family try to take me down, I think I will stick with it.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Hot Seat with Allison

1. Happy 11th Birthday, Allison! What do you want for your birthday?

Clothes, money, Vera Bradley, and to go eat at Salsa’s!

2. Pick one. The Jonas Brothers or Zac Efron?

Zac Efron...duh!

3. What are you looking forward to in middle school?

Meeting new people and getting to change classes.

4. Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?

I have no clue. I don’t think about that.

5. Hey Allison, is my lip gloss poppin’?

Mom! You aren’t wearing any!

chillin' with my peeps

I just got back from chaperoning the Element Middle School Beach Trip…22 kids and 5 chaperones. When people found out I was going, the overwhelming question was “WHY would you do such a thing?” Having a rising sixth grade daughter was the number one reason. But having been involved in the middle school department at my last church and having another daughter actually survive middle school, I have learned a thing or two about that age group:

Middle school can be hell. I don't know any other way to put it. I hyperventilated more during the summer before Kacie went to middle school than the summer before she started high school. It is a scary place where kids first experience puberty, peer pressure, social stress, bullying, and cliques. Then there are locker combinations, seven different teachers, changing classes, and (gasp!) dressing out for PE.

The terrible twos weren’t so bad. It’s the terrible 12’s that can be more challenging! You know the attitude…hand on hip, finger pointed, neck moving in circles saying “Oh no you didn’t just sing in the car in front of my friends, Mom!” When Kacie did this to me, I ran straight to the bookstore with tear-stained cheeks, looking for a self-help book for parents of middle schoolers. I ended up with “When We’re in Public, Pretend You Don’t Know Me” by Susan Borowitz. What I learned was that they don’t want us around, but they don’t want us to get too far away either!

Middle schoolers are fragile. It doesn’t take much to tear down their self confidence. They want to fit in. They are little kids in big kids’ bodies. And the choices they make during these years will put them on the path of who they will become in their high school years and beyond.

I had fun hanging out with the TNC middle schoolers this week. I fit in better with them than I do some adults! Please pray for this group of kids as they begin a new school year of good times and trying times!

I miss them already!







Thursday, July 26, 2007

rummikub

The Games People Play series at TrueNorth Church has been a fun summer series...lots of diverse topics and surprises. And what perfect timing for my friend Tracy to teach me how to play Rummikub. My girls and I are hooked. It is not a game that is considered a quality time activity, because there is not much communication except for "Your turn" (noise breaks your thought process on this one). It is a game of strategy and luck using runs and sets of numbers. These days it is not easy to find a family activity that doesn't involve a screen or controllers!

Move over Sudoku...Rummikub is in the house!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

happy blogiversary!

Last week marked one year since I started this blog. Time flies when you're having fun! Looking back at my first blog, I remember how excited I was to begin this endeavor...but also scared at the same time. It has been a great journey of self-expression and networking. How did I ever keep all these thoughts in my head before blogging???

19 things I have learned since starting my blog one year ago (because I couldn't think of 20):

1. I have never, ever, considered myself a writer.

2. But maybe I am after all.

3. It is sometimes scary to push the 'publish' key.

4. Adding a stat counter helped me to know that people do actually read my posts.

5. How do people from places like Singapore and Guam find my blog?

6. I am encouraged when people tell me that a particular post was helpful to them, made them cry, or just laugh-out-loud.

7. I appreciate the 5 people who SUBSCRIBE to my blog through bloglines.

8. My blog reflects me and I won't apologize for that. I also blog how I talk.

9. Blogging is not a great way to make money.

10. I have deleted a few posts within 30 seconds of publishing.

11. It is better to have no post than a bad post. Some bloggers disagree on this.

12. I don't always know what I'm going to blog about...I just start typing.

13. Most readers don't like polls, but I do.

14. I can't get my husband to read my blog without my asking, but he can't get me to floss my teeth regularly either.

15. Going on vacation helps fill my mind with creative ideas, which sometimes end up as blog posts.

16. Posting more frequently results in more visitors.

17. I try to keep my blog fresh: guest bloggers, interviews, relevant content, etc.

18. I want/need a new blog design. Anyone up for the challenge?

19. I heart blogs...reading and writing them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

pop goes the culture

I was Walmartin' the other day and ended up spending two hours there. I had no idea I had been there that long. It was the greeting card aisle that sucked me in...it always does. Don'cha just love the Hallmark musical cards? Open. Close. Open. Close. Hey...the fun never ends!

Speaking of Hallmark, where greeting card writers have WAY too much fun... I went to the big Hallmark store in Augusta while I was out that way recently (yes, I played with the musical cards, all 200 of them. Go here to see them). What really caught my attention was the Pop Goes the Culture collection, a new series of cards and gift items based on memorable quotes from famous people, movie and tv shows. I was LOL while reading quotes from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Saturday Night Live, The Office, and Napoleon Dynamite, to name a few. These cards are a fun way to connect with your recipient using cultural references. And for $2.50 a pop, you could get two for the price of one musical card!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Hot Seat with Justin Benson

I have had the privilege of playing in a band with Justin Benson at TrueNorth Church for the last three years. Justin has been playing drums for TNC since he was 12 years old, barely tall enough to see over the drum set. Now at the age of 15, he is growing up right before my eyes and I hope he remembers me when he becomes famous! Isn't he just the cutest thing???

1. Justin, what was the first big concert you remember seeing?

My mom took me to see KISS in Atlanta when I was about eight years old. I still have a lot of memories of the whole night...the drum kit, the giant screen, and the confetti guns at the end of the show.

2. How long have you been playing drums?

I began playing seriously around age 11.

3. Who are your musical influences?

Peter Criss from KISS, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Stevie Ray Vaughan/Double Trouble

4. What are you currently listening to on your iPod?

tobyMac, Maroon 5, John Mayer, Family Force 5, George Benson

5. Baseball was once a big part of your life. Do you think you might play again?

I needed to choose between my music and ball because doing both was too much of a time commitment, so I put ball on hold for now. Maybe I'll play old-man softball one day!

Friday, July 13, 2007

stalker car

4:00am - Alan wakes me up and says he hears a dog barking. I don't.

4:01am - Alan walks around the house, looking out all the windows and sees a car's headlights shining down the street in front of our neighbor's house.

4:02am - I go looking for him because he's been gone way too long.

4:03am - We both peer out the front windows at the stalker car. Headlights on. Emergency flashers on. Not moving.

4:10am - The car drives off slowly, emergency flashers still flashing.

4:11am - Alan gets comfortable on the sofa in the front room, still peeking through the blinds. I go back to bed.

4:13am - The stalker car drives by again very slowly, lights still flashing. Alan tries to get the make of the car and the license plate number.

4:30am - Stalker car has not returned. Alan comes back to bed.

The next day:

11:00am - I call my teenage neighbor and warn her that there was a stalker car in front of her house at 4:00am, but not to be scared....because she can call me if there is a problem.

2:00pm - I call my dad who, being a senior citizen, is usually awake at 4:00am. And since he lives in my neighborhood, I tell him of our stalker with the flashing lights.

2:02pm - "Laura, that's the paper carrier".

2:03pm - Oh.

Monday, July 09, 2007

sand structures

Our family loves to build sand "structures" on the beach. Here is our sea turtle:

One lady asked if we minded if her son drove his toy car on our "pyramid". Doesn't she know the Hard Rock Cafe when she sees it??? And isn't there an unwritten rule that you don't mess with other people's sand art?

And this one took us all day to complete! Just kidding. This sand castle at Myrtle Beach wins the Guinness Book of World Record for World's Tallest Sand Castle at 49 feet tall. Kacie said that sand must have had Floam in it!


Sunday, July 08, 2007

mad church disease?



http://www.madchurchdisease.com/

Just got home from vacation and have been catching up on some blog reads today. I found this website from a link to a post on a blog that also linked to the site with a post. In other words, I don't remember how I stumbled upon this. I chase rabbits.

Anne Jackson is on staff at a church in Texas and is also a PK (preacher's kid). She is writing a book about a condition that is affecting church staff, their families, and volunteers alike. Symptoms include but are not limited to: fatigue, burnout, unexplained physical ailments, workaholism, and severed families. Mad Church Disease is contagious and a cure must be found.

In order to find a cure, extensive research on the disease is necessary. I encourage you to go to the website above and take a survey based on your current or past ministry position(s). Until August 3, Anne is conducting this survey to provide supporting information for her book. As of July 4, seven hundred surveys had been submitted!

Disclaimer: There is no hidden agenda behind this post. I do not have this disease (unless I am in denial) and I am not trying to infect others. But this condition is not discussed often because people are afraid to get real. The future of church ministry is at stake and a book like Mad Church Disease could put leaders on the road to healing, bringing an end to this epidemic.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

watch me!

My kids have been swimming almost every day this summer and I have seen my share of diving board tricks. Matthew has performed the Cannonball, the Triple Whip, the Can Opener, the Pencil, and the unforgettable Egg trick where his bottom hits the diving board before he lands in the water. "Mom, it's when the egg cracks!"

The Egg is now officially banned from his performance.

Allison has accomplished a backflip off the diving board, back dives, and the Flying Squirrel.

It's just more than a mom can handle.

Then there is the constant "Watch me, mom!" "Watch this, mom!" "Have you seen this, mom?" They want to show off for me and win my approval with their great olympic-worthy feats. Did I mention that I get to judge their jumps too? From zero to ten.

Aren't you glad that we don't have to perform for God to win his approval or get his attention? God is not impressed when we say, "Watch me, God!" There is nothing we can do better than what Christ did for us. God just wants our hearts and we get His seal of approval when we accept Him as our Savior.

So let's stop "flipping those gainers" and rest in Him!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

please....no!!!!!!

I just found out that the next American Idol tryouts will begin this month...already! Hasn't America had enough of this glorified karaoke show?

The last season of American Idol, number six, reminded me of when the phrase "jump the shark" became part of pop culture. It was when The Fonz did indeed "jump a shark" while on water skis on an episode of Happy Days. It was all downhill after that. Happy Days soon gave birth to Joanie loves Chachi. 'Nuff said.

Other shows and examples of "jumping the shark":

Laverne and Shirley moved to L.A.

Chrissy left Jack and Janet on Three's Company.

Martha Stewart takes over The Apprentice.

Ashley Simpson's lip synching fiasco on Saturday Night Live.

Marlena was possessed by the devil on Days of our Lives.

Corey and Topanga got married on Boy Meets World.

And in one word, the point where American Idol jumped the shark.....Sanjaya.

Do you know a show, past or present, that crossed the line and lost its audience because it did something stupid for ratings? Post a comment and tell me about it.

ready ten minute

I have been exercising and eating healthier a lot more these past few weeks than I have in a while. Treadmilling at home, getting on the elliptical machine at the rec center, messing around with some free weights, eating smaller portions, more salads, and less junk. I was hoping to permanently incorporate these disciplines into my lifestyle...

...until I went to No. 1.

No.1 is the best Chinese hole-in-the-wall in North Augusta, located next to the new Food Lion on Highway 25. Every time I call in an order, they say it will be "ready ten minute!!" and they never ask my name...it cracks me up. Their sesame chicken is to die for. So is the pork fried rice. And so are the egg rolls. Lunch was good. And I blew my new lifestyle.

I hate myself now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Hot Seat with Bob Griffin

Bob is a stay-at-home dad to Zak and Jaxson. I caught up with him on his cell while he was watching Zak at swim lessons:

1. What prompted your decision to become Mr. Mom?

I did not exactly choose to do this. But due to medical reasons, I had to leave my job, which allowed me this opportunity. We are making lemonade out of lemons.

2. What are the most difficult issues you have discovered about being a stay-at-home dad?

It is a hard job. Some days I think it would be easier to drive my UPS route. But this experience has created a special bond between the boys and me and I am grateful for that.

3. Some people have the impression that stay-at-home parents sit around eating bon-bons while watching The Price is Right all day. What do you think about that?

There may be people who can do that. But with two active boys, I don't have time for such luxuries. It is a non-stop job until they go to bed at night.

4. Do you have a support system in which you get a break?

Tracy's parents are available to help when I need them, but I try not to take advantage of that.

5. Is Tracy going to let you join the Mother's Club?

Absolutely not. She would definitely put her foot down if I started hanging out with the moms!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

about boys

Dear Kacie and Allison, this is a post from Perry Noble's blog (from NewSpring). He is getting ready to have a baby gurl (Charisse) and his message last Sunday was directed toward her when she is 12 years old. Please read this section, because it is meant for you too! This is what I have been trying to tell you.
Love, Mom

Many Boys Are Jerks–Do Not Settle!
Some key points here were…

I had a staff member tell me he would change it to “all boys are jerks…and God happens to redeem a few.” I agree!!!

The problem with many single Christian ladies is the temptation to settle. In a recent survey I saw where 60% of the Christians in America are female…so…many of them feel like that have to take what they can get.

I told Charisse, “Honey–it is the year 2019 right now…and many of the single ladies here are more in love with the idea of being in a relationship and being married MORE than they are in love with Jesus, and so, they settled…and during the past 12 years many of them are now divorced and have experienced some serious pain in their lives…all because they didn’t have high standards.”

The Bible says in Ephesians 3:20 that God is able to so much more than we could ever ask or imagine…so single ladies should set incredibly high standards…and then watch God blow them out of the water.

Lucretia, my wife, said the following question should be asked before entering ANY serious relationship! “Is this the kind of love God meant when He created Adam and Eve, the kind between two people that truly reflects His love for us (the I Corinthians 13 kind), or are you settling for less than God’s immeasurably more than anything you can ask or imagine?”
What should a man be? What am I looking for in a man who will win the heart of my daughter? (Yes, I will make that call…I am her father!)

A Priest - he needs to be in love with Jesus and know God’s Word. I tell single guys all the time that the best thing they can do to prepare themselves for marriage is to read the Bible over and over again…to memorize it…AND to apply it!!! If a guy doesn’t know Scripture–he cannot spiritually lead my daughter, and I will show him the door. I said in one service, “If he isn’t willing to go through the book of Leviticus for you then he isn’t worthy of you!”

A Protector - if a guy EVER puts a lady into a situation where she feels compromised emotionally, physically or spiritually…then he is NOT a godly man, he is actually acting more like satan–seeking to manipulate her to fulfill his own selfish desires. A true man of God protects a woman AND her reputation. It was also here that I said if a boy ever puts here into a situation like I just described…then I will put him into a “situation” that will allow me to begin a prison ministry.

A Provider - I told my little girl, “Don’t bring home some broke boy that I am going to have to support and who wants to live in my basement!” I want my little girl to date a marry a man who has dreams AND A JOB!!! Single guys–WORK!!! And do not e-mail me telling me that a job isn’t important–that is why you are single you moron!!! Fall in love with Jesus–treat women like women should be treated in the eyes of God–and WORK to provide for her!!!

I told Charisse that I want great grandkids one day…and that we can’t get racehorses breeding with mules…so date and marry a godly man!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

c-l-e-m-s-o...n!


Kacie and I were at Clemson (aka "Clempson") last week for freshman orientation. For her of course, not for me. Although someone DID ask me if I had my ID picture taken yet! It's true.

This session had 300 students and one or two of their parents....a lot of people to shuffle around. Clemson has a bus system throughout the campus and to the surrounding cities and towns so the kids can go to Walmart, Bi-Lo, the mall, etc....for FREE!

No Starbucks....nowhere. What's up with no Starbucks in a college town???

They split the students and parents up a few times, mainly for schedule advisement and registration of classes. Did they think we were going to try to interfere or something? Gosh!

There was a breakout session where the administrators had a "Parent Talk"...how parents are supposed to deal with the adjustment to college life. I am getting a little anxious about my baby gurl going to college. I will be setting the dinner table for one less person in a couple of months and I am saving up all my crying until then. I am in task mode for now, just making the plans and paying the money.

After everything is in place, then....I will have time to cry.

Monday, June 11, 2007

onion goggles

I am definitely throwing away my bag of frozen diced onions now!

My neighbor, who knows how painful it is for me to chop onions, bought a pair of ONION GOGGLES for me this past weekend from a shop in Hendersonville, NC. I still stand by what I said about swim goggles! They do work, but these have fog-free lenses, foam-lined frames, and slip on like glasses to prevent eye circles and goggle hair.

Thanks, Beth! You can borrow them anytime!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

efficiency at its worst

Check out this bathroom remodel. There are actually people who would want this.

is this for real?

Saw this at a store in NY.

Lookin' Good for Jesus Fix-it Kit. Redeems you in his eyes and takes the edge off sinning. The kit contains a mirrored Jesus statuette, vanilla nectar lip balm, Easter-Lily hand & body cream (with sparkle!) and a folding mirror compact.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the big apple...part two

Alan was very patient while Kacie and I shopped in New York, looking for bargains that could not be found. He said he was just doing as he was told. Ha!

Here he is at H & M:


Here he is at Old Navy:

And at Forever 21:

Waiting patiently at Charlotte Russe:

Too bad we didn't come across a Home Depot or Lowe's for Alan!!!