Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just in case you thought I made this up...

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things I Did Over Thanksgiving

OK. I'm a week late, but I said I would share. By the way- we have run out of Himalayan Pink Salt. Must. Order. Now.

1. Rode in the car while listening to a Spongebob movie. Great entertainment to keep the kids busy, but let me give you some advice. Don't buy the movie that has the "Spongebob loses his laugh box" episode because before he loses his laugh box he laughs about 1000 times. You will suffer from ringing in the ears or possibly a stroke before the trip is over.

2. Arrived at Mama and Daddy's on Wednesday and started cooking. I was in charge of a pumpkin pie, sweet potato souffle, and helping with the dressing. I ended up making the dressing- HUGE responsibility. Almost as important as cooking the turkey. Mama made the cornbread and I did the rest.

3. Drove 2 hours to my Aunt Barbara's house in the "one red light town" where folks drive the hearse of the dearly beloved who have passed on. BIG news- The number of red lights has doubled. They have two now. I think it made it in the paper.

4. Ate. Ate. Ate. Aunt Barbara said my dressing tasted just like how my Granny made it. I nearly cried right there at the table. You have no idea what kind of compliment that was. I felt like I should walk up to a podium and give a speech.

5. Caught up on the small town news, like the BIG red light advancements, the number of lanes on HWY 82 and the fact that THE BBQ place was "ready" for the increase in lanes.

6. Rode around town and looked at the new lanes on HWY 82. Oh, yes we did. We live on the edge.

7. Visited family graves... sniff sniff... then we dried our tears, piled back in the car and drove around the cemetery. And talked about whose funeral tent was still up, whose huge tacky monument that was, who needs to pull weeds, who owns that plot, and who had some really pretty poinsettas already out- cause we still had spring roses on our family's graves and we feel just awful about it because it is FALL and nearly Christmas! Other families probably drove through the cemetery and commented about it. I am quite sure.

8. While in the cemetery, we discussed which plot my parents may buy, the pros and cons of said plot and the fact that they better act quickly. You know, the good ones are almost gone and they don't want to be "buried way over there where water stands when it rains", or "over there because it is too far away from the current family plot", or "over there in the new addition." OH! THE DECISIONS!

9. Drove around town and looked at old family homes, land where my Papa grew tobacco to make extra money for a down payment on a house, and the school where my uncle once jumped out the window and tried to run home. He slapped the teacher when she tried to catch him.

10. Rode through the epicenter of town- the one block where it is "happening!" They now have a French Market where a few ladies have opened up some cute booths. Aunt Barbara's friend thought they were selling pastries.

11. Discussed the recent Walking Tour where the town made a huge sum of $500 which will go towards downtown improvements. There was an overwhelming response; twenty people participated. It's a wonder that they didn't run out of refreshments. (This DID make it in the paper.)

12. Went back to Aunt Barbara's house. Looked for the cat. Ate. Looked for the cat. Drank a lot of sweet tea. My daughter finally saw the cat. She was happy. ( my daughter, not the cat.)

13. Drove back to Mama's house and looked at all the small town Christmas lights along the way. They are the same lights I saw as a child, on this same drive. Memories. Memories. And no Spongebob movie.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Can I just say that Shannon has made the coolest header for Works For Me Wednesday? Please visit her blog for more great tips.

Simple Christmas Project:

Every year I buy Christmas cards, write a note of encouragement, and just address it to a special person. I have given them to homeless people, the kids at a children's home, or anyone I happen to feel may need a smile. Last year, I ended up in the hospital on Christmas Eve and gave them to the staff!

I pray while I write them and ask God to give me the right words, and that He would help me give them to the right person. When I gave a card to a nurse during my hospital stay, she later came back to my room and said,"What you wrote was so true. Thank you." I didn't tell her that I had written that card days earlier, when I had no idea I would end up in the hospital! God is Good. :>)

My mom has a much larger Christmas card ministry. She starts at the beginning of the year, and she buys her cards on sale. This year she has written over 500 cards! Most of her cards go to the VA hospital, the Youth Detention Center, or to the local prison.

Cards are a great and inexpensive way to reach out to people. You would be surprised at what a card can mean to someone.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Little Life Lessons for the Day

Lesson #1:

Whenever you pull into Hardee's drive thru because you are craving their biscuit and gravy, be on the look-out for who is in front of you. If at any time, you see the Super Septic Tank Specialist truck parked next to the restaurant, you can bet it isn't a good sign. Another clue is when the driver gets out of his truck, waves everyone around, walks up to the entrance of the restaurant and knocks on the locked door because the "Lobby Is Closed Until Further Notice."

It also becomes apparent to you that other people can somehow ignore the fact that there is some sort of reason the lobby is closed and the septic guy has stopped at Hardee's for reasons other than a sausage biscuit or a 3 inch thick burger, you know, because perhaps the entire restaurant is flooded with foul substances that would kill most appetites. Or make one heave and retch. Good ole N and V. (That's nausea and vomiting to you newcomers.)

You also learn that the Health Department allows the restaurant to continue serving food, albeit on a limited drive thru basis, even though there is a foul substance erupting from toilets where even gravity has lost its influence. You wonder, "At what level of communicable diseased disgust does the health inspector shut the place down- ankle or knee deep?"

Lesson #2:

After laying rubber on the road, you head to the next fast food restaurant, the one that prides itself on not selling beef. AHEM.

Let's just say, um, their coffee and biscuits? Well, they should stick with chicken.

Lesson # 3:

After a heavy helping of nausea and a side of disappointment, you pour out your coffee and go to Wal-mart. This is when you realize one of life's greatest lessons- Never, I say never go anywhere, even to Wal-mart without make-up. (Didn't your grandmother teach you anything?) The cashier may in fact comment on the cute toy you have purchased and ask you if your granddaughter likes them. Oh, yes she did. She later looks up, gets a good look at either your fair as snow skin or the look of disdain across your not-so rosy cheeks. She then will correct her comment and say "I mean your daughter," but alas it is too late. You are scarred for life, or at least until you can get to your make-up bag at home.

Lesson #4:

You realize that the UPS guy may have done more work before 8:00 AM than you have done all day, but you have learned more before 10:00 AM than most folks will learn in a lifetime.

Or maybe not. But it sounded profound and a good ending to an otherwise uninspiring post.

Tuesdays Transformed

Whatever Happened To Bug-Off Jeans?

We haven't even reached the tween years and it has appeared that fashion has taken over our humble abode. If it ain't pink and shiny, well then, it just ain't happenin'.

Our daughter loves the bling. Modesty is a priority at our house, so the fashionable fluff is taken in moderation. She has learned our standard of modesty and what it means to act like a lady. At this point, at least, she has also embraced it- a little too much, perhaps. She not only recognizes what is appropriate for her to wear, but likes to point out rather loudly what is inappropriate for others to wear.

Moments at the convenience store counter go something like this- Yes, honey, I see that belly button ring... I have no idea why that lady got a belly button ring, but that doesn't make her a bad person; that is her choice... I just don't want you to get one... no, I don't want one either...yes, you can have some M & M's if it means your mouth will be full of chocolate...

And, can I say muffin tops and midriffs have turned into entire sermon length editorials. Oh where does she get this stuff?


As much as I am thankful for modesty being embraced at our house, I am also deeply disturbed at how fashion has become a focus for our daughter. It doesn't matter to her if it is a designer brand or if it is from Wal-mart. It also doesn't matter if the clothing item has graced the covers of any fashion magazines. What matters is if she thinks it is in fashion. She doesn't care about other people's fashion. She only cares about her own wardrobe. She would absolutely take up for any child who was teased about their clothes. She just wants to have her own sense of style at her ripe old elementary school age.

When I was a kid all I cared about was if my Garanimals matched each other. The worse possible fashion faux paus that could be committed was if I wore a giraffe shirt with a zebra skirt. Or maybe if my corduroy pant cuffs collected dirt from the playground. I had no idea what was in fashion and I really didn't care. Of course, it was the 70's. I should probably be grateful that I was not in style wearing bell bottom pants and collars that could poke your playmate in the eye.

I make an effort not to emphasize styles and trends with my daughter and we do monitor television in our home. Nevertheless, our daughter is influenced by this intense focus on fashion and trends. I do think that part of her interest in finding her own style is an effort to express herself. (I just wish she would color me a picture and put it on the frig.!)

She is a very sweet girl and loves Jesus with all of her heart. She is just going to have to balance style with sensibility- a lesson all of us need to learn. In the meantime, we will stress the importance of beauty on the inside, that those treasures stored in the closet will only attract moths, but those stored in heaven will endure for eternity. We'll tell her the importance of being beautiful in God's Eyes.

We'll keep teaching her about modesty and moderation.

And muffin tops.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

We're back. And the natives are restless.

So, we are back from our trip to Georgia and I would love to share. I'll have to post about it later because right now my husband is heckling all of the gadgets in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.
I keep hearing things like this:

"Melanie, are we out of Himalayan pink salt? Please don't tell me we're out of Himalayan pink salt."

You can see how organized, coherent narratives are just not possible at this juncture. I'll be back later when the house is at least at a dull roar...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesdays Transformed

Shine or Whine?

"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2 Corninthians 4:3-5

Thanksgiving is almost here. Many of us are in the kitchen baking pies and breads, sprucing up the house, getting ready for company, or packing our bags to visit relatives out of town. For most of us, Thanksgiving is a time of sharing with family and friends and enjoying delicious, traditional food. It is also a time for the biggest shopping day in the United States- Black Friday.

Black Friday is the day retailers across America are no longer in "the red," ringing up profit totals that are astronomical. Many stores open as early as 6:00 AM and these opening times seem to get earlier every year. People gather outside of malls and shopping centers before the doors open, sipping hot coffee and drooling at the discounts that await them inside. A lot, if not most, of these shoppers are women.

Did you read that? A lot of these shoppers are women. Imagine the consumer power that gives us, ladies. I won't go into what we should buy, what we shouldn't buy, what stores to shop, and which stores to boycott. That would be dipping into the pool of legalism. And, frankly, swimming in the pool of legalism will leave you breathless as you try to keep your head above water. (I am so thankful for Grace, aren't you?)

Everyone has to decide which clothing they will buy or which store they will patron. Those decisions are between them and The Lord. One thing we can all remember is that we are to be a Light for Christ amid the madness.

It's hard to be a light when the lady behind you keeps grumbling about the line, or the woman in Wal-mart nearly knocked you down while you reached for a TMX Elmo (that is just an example. It will never happen. All of the TMX Elmo's are gone.) It is very difficult to shine when you get to the register and the sale item rings up at regular price. Never mind that the clerk doesn't believe you and she takes what seems like forever (while the lady behind you grumbles) to look up the price in the sale circular.

I really want to shine, Lord. I do.

When my daughter starts to complain that she is tired and hungry and all I want to do is scream, "CAN'T YOU WAIT FOR A HAPPY MEAL?!" I really want to shine.

When the store management refuses to acknowledge Christmas in their display or allow their employees to wish me a Merry Christmas, I really want to shine. It is hard to shine while you are indignantly complaining to middle management.

I want to shine for You, Lord. I do.

Help me remember that the clerk was already at work while I was crawling out of bed this morning. She has been barked at by rude customers at least a hundred times before it was even my turn in line. She has neither the desire nor the responsibility to memorize every single sale item in this store. Lord, give me the encouraging words You would have me say to her this morning. Give me a smile, Lord, because right now the humanness in me does not feel like smiling.

Lord, remind me that the lady behind me in line is human, just like me. She may be a believer. She may be lost. Help me to be kind and patient.

God, I have no idea why that lady nearly trampled me while I was simply trying to buy the most popular toy of the season. In any case, help me forgive her, brush off the dust from my knees and hold pressure on the head wound she gave me. Help me love her, because I sure can't do it on my own.

Lord, I understand why retailers are hesitant to display any religion in this over sensitive, politically correct world. Help me to express my faith and conviction in love, but to hold my ground and stand for what is right in Your Eyes. Help me to know the difference between conviction and judgementalism. I never want to be a stumbling block.

Lord, when my daughter is tired and hungry from a long day of shopping, help me remember that she is part of the reason I am out here in the madness. And maybe Mommy needs a Happy Meal, too.

God, help me make wise choices while shopping, to be a good steward of what you have given me. Help me to understand that the purchases I make may have a profound impact on what retailers choose to sell in the future.

Lord, I want to Shine for You this Thanksgiving and every other day. Help me. Guide me. Teach me. Help me Shine!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Have a safe and happy time wherever you are.

In Christ,

Monday, November 20, 2006

If She Only Knew...

More conversation while riding in the car-

Me- "I mailed a picture of you sleeping with your stuffed animals to MeMama and Aunt Barbara."

My daughter- "OH MY GOSH! It's like I'm all over the internet!"

Friday, November 17, 2006

Construction Update

Here is the latest on the local construction site:

Observations This Week-

1. One man was measuring a manhole with a yellow tape measure. Five other men watched him. One man then kicked something that looked like it could be important.

2. There is a new guy going through the secret construction worker initiation- He is now holding the Slow sign.

3. They have posted a new speeding sign. The one that reads "Speeding Fines Doubled When Workers Present." If I get pulled over, I think I should ask for a discount.

4. Two men were shoveling a dirt pile that was about 30 or so feet high by hand. It seems that this project is going to take a lot longer than we thought.

Freaky Friday

I woke up this morning to a little girl who wanted her bowl of apple crisp oatmeal, a big fat cat who wanted her morning attention, and the most excruciating pain above my right eye. I rolled over to try and ignore it all, you know like a good mother does. But, the pain. Oh, the pain! And the headache was pretty bad, too.

Through this morning stupor, I realized the source of this incredible, throbbing pain. It seems that Bin Laden is hiding out in my sinus cavity. Call the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the USAF, the USMC, and all of those other important letter groups. I have solved the mystery. Osama has been located and I have just sprayed him with saline solution and drugged him with some Advil Cold and Sinus gel caps. Hey, it ain't mace. But, it's all I've got.

Send in support soon. This stuff only lasts 4-6 hours.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Get the flashlight. I feel a drizzle.

Storms are sweeping across the South this week. I can bet you that the majority of the folks affected are either glued to their television screens or listening to weather radios. It's just what we do. Most of us in the Deep South don't see snow, much less blizzards. But we do take a tornado, hurricane or even a severe thunderstorm very seriously. Rightly so, considering the damage they cause.

At any given time during the day, you could walk in my grandmother's living room and find her television on. It was playing one of two channels- CMT or The Weather Channel. That's it. So, you either had to absolutely love Garth Brooks or Jim Cantore.

If I called Granny or Papa they would always tell me the weather at their house. Then they would ask me the weather at my house. It didn't really matter where I was living- across the country in the southwestern United States or just a 45 minute drive away. This information was vitally important to the conversation.

Growing up, I can remember little rules of the weather- "Get off the phone when it is lightning. Don't stand too close to a window. Get out of the bathtub, Melanie. I think I hear thunder."

I remember our school going through tornado drills. One afternoon a tornado touched down nearby.

I was actually a little excited about it. "Cool. A real tornado. We don't have to curl up in a ball on our knees and just pretend."

Hey! I was a naive little kid. I had no idea what those storms could really do. My only exposure to twisters involved a tin man and a cute little dog.

With all of this serious weather hypersensitivity, it stands to reason why my own mama would react the way she did one day last year on a "severe weather conditions" evening.

Severe thunderstorms were threatening the area. Mama and Daddy had been watching the weather all evening. (Surprised?) Let me repeat that- the weather was threatening the area. It had not actually arrived to the area to follow through on the threat. Which makes me wonder: Does the storm send a note to the weatherman outlining the threat with some demands or does it just call him and hang up the phone?

I digress in a post, yet again.

So, there was Daddy watching Wheel of Fortune in his recliner, with the severe weather banner running across the bottom of the screen.

While Mama was seeking shelter in the safest part of the house.

Mama has arthritic knees (hence my daughter's comment on "the poopy walk"). So, being the resourceful person she is, Mama got a dining room chair to sit in while she waited for the impending storm that had not arrived. She pulled the chair in the hallway, away from all doors and windows.

Daddy was still in the recliner watching television. Ya know, because the power and the cable were still on.

Then Mama went in her room and put on some decent clothes, "because a woman does not want to go through a tornado or a bad storm and end up on Channel 10 News in some old house clothes." (Her words, not mine.) Then she put on a little make-up, the really crucial items, blush and lipstick. Mama made sure she was wearing her wedding rings, and then she sat in the chair in the hallway and waited.

While Daddy watched Pat Sajak.

Then Mama realized she had forgotten something. She hopped up and went back in her room to find it. Once she found it, she got back in her chair in the hallway and sat it on her lap, clutching it to her chest, the most important possession for every Southern woman- her purse.

And she waited. And waited. And waited.

And nothing happened.

While Daddy watched Millionaire.

And that, my friends, was the night that the lights almost went out in Georgia.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Tuesdays Transformed
This Ain't New York

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2 NIV

After seeing the Dove film while reading Grafted Branch, I strongly felt led to start a new themed post that you can read here every week called Tuesdays Transformed.

We have seen an evolving (although the word evolve implies improvement) of our culture, especially of women. It is a culture of vanity and immodesty, one of selfish pursuit of pleasure masked in freedom. It is my prayer that, through this weekly post, we can lift each other up in prayer and encouragement as moms, wives, and women.

The plan is to post on subjects pertinent to this downward spiral of false beauty and success. Please check back each Tuesday for information, current events, and words of encouragement that may help you or your kids (for sons and daughters) renew and transform their minds through God's Word and guidance.

If there is something you would like to add or you would like me to post about, please leave a comment and I will try to feature it in an upcoming Tuesdays Transformed post. I hope to have a button soon!

Thanks for reading,

Dove Evolution

Let There Be A Revolution. This is the first of the Tuesdays Transformed, This Ain't New York

Monday, November 13, 2006

It was like my own personal Project Runway, really.

It was the year I became really good friends with Camille. We had known each other since elementary school, but it was in the seventh grade when we bonded. That was the year we took Home Economics.

My mama insisted on it. She was convinced that every girl should take Home Ec in order to learn all of the basic, well, home economical skills a woman needs. Like cooking and doing the laundry.

And sewing.

From what I remember about Home Ec that year, Camille and I didn't really learn anything. We mostly talked about cute boys and clothes, and how big the Home Ec's teacher's head was. Bless her heart. She was a sweet, old woman. She must've been in her late 60's, but I think we thought she was at least in her 80's. She had a sweet little voice to match her tiny frame (and not her big head.)

She never did teach either one of us to sew. For our big sewing test, we had to make a blouse for ourselves. And, get this- we had to actually wear it to school. I remember shopping for fabric with Mama and trying to select something that was inexpensive, but not hideously unfashionable. I ended up with a pink fabric with a tiny floral print. (It looked like something you'd find on an old quilt top.) Look out, Gloria Vanderbilt.

I wore it to school and it was the most uncomfortable top I ever had. I can't remember what Camille's shirt looked like, but I can guess it was some serious ugly, too. We laughed about the whole thing and somehow we made it through the school day. We passed Home Ec, mostly because we were sweet and polite to the teacher. At least we learned something that year.

So, when my daughter came home from school last week and said she would like to dress as a pigeon for her school project, you can see why I would be a little anxious. I don't own a sewing machine, and even if I did, I can't sew. I didn't learn a whole lot in junior high home economics. Unless you count the near professional skill of using a seam ripper.

I am quite skilled at using a glue gun or that near addictive foam. And I have been known to paint some serious Vacation Bible School props. But the pigeon challenge? It was a big one.

After a trip to Michael's and Target, I painstakingly began to attach a feather boa to a grey tunic top. My daughter modeled. I pinned. I even stuck the pins in my mouth like a real seamstress does, squinting my eyes a lot, and yelling "hold still!" It was all quite impressive really. I was beginning to feel pretty good about it.

Even though she looked a lot more like Chicken Little, and not the pigeon from Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus, I was determined to make it work, no matter what. Isn't that what moms do? But, I have to say that I was relieved when I overheard this conversation-

"Well, you have to tell Mommy now. She is working on it right now. Don't wait until she is almost finished."

"But I don't want to hurt her feelings."

"You won't. She needs to know, though. If you really feel that way, just tell her."

Pretending not to hear it, I stopped attaching feathers and casually walked in the room. My daughter then told me, nearly in tears, that she had changed her mind. She didn't want to be a pigeon. She really didn't want to hurt my feelings, because she "knew I had worked so hard on it." After a long talk, she shared that it was turning out to be too fluffy and that, well, she didn't want to be teased by the little boy at her table.

Hey, I may not be able to sew, but I'm not cruel. I'm a girl, too. I can remember what it was like to be in elementary school. I don't want my daughter going to school covered in feathers surrounded by giggling kids. She'll probably need therapy one day as it is; I don't want to add on even more motherhood mistakes.

So, we thought it over together. We laughed about the feathers, and the fact that she was starting to look more like a chicken than a pigeon. And she picked another favorite book and character for her project, Ike from Dear Mrs. LaRue. In case you haven't read it, Ike is a dog. Yes, a cute dog and not a pigeon.

It may not be Laura Ingalls, but it doesn't get much easier than that.

For a girl who can't sew.

Because, to loosely quote Laura from the PR finale, "You just can't pull that kind of craftsmanship out of your hat."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Cousin Vinny

In honor of the yummy bowl of grits my hubby just made me this morning to soothe this yucky cold I have. And the ongoing cholesterol problem.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Kar-a-TAY, Pirates, and David Hasselhoff

I think we need an intervention.

When my husband and I first married, we spent our Friday nights out to dinner or just tucked in at home watching a movie. We saved movies at the theatre for Saturday matinees because they were, ya know, a lot cheaper. We've never led the most exciting life together. Ok. I admit it. We're boring.

Now that we have a kid, our weekends are just chock full of excitement- Barbie scenarios, trips to the park, and begging, pleading, and gnashing of teeth to clean her room. We still take in a matinee, as long as it is rated G and animated.

Yesterday was the best day ever. And, if you have any idea who Spongebob is, you are now singing those three words and the song is stuck in your head. You can thank me later. :>)

Yesterday was...


And if that weren't enough...

This marathon of sponginess led up to the new episode The Best Day Eeeeeveerrrrr!

And, I know this is getting to be too much for you. But, the best day ever? Well, that wasn't enough either. The day ended in... hold your seahorses...

The network PRE-MIERE of The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.

Ok. Give me a minute. I need to take a breath. I'm better. The post must go on.

We watched Spongebob all day long. Well, not all day. We made sure our daughter had a lot of breaks, long 2-3 hour breaks. We wouldn't want her to lose her eyesight or all of her brain cells. But, when it came time for the final countdown (did you suddenly hear an 80's song?), we sat together, the three of us, yes my husband too, and watched the little yellow guy.

We laughed out loud. Yep, we are lame. But, that's ok. After the much anticipated Best Day Eeeeveerrrr, the movie was equally riveting. The diabolical Plankton was up to his usual evil hijinks while Spongebob and Patrick saved the day. There was even a celebrity cameo by David Hasselhoff. Add in some gummy worms and you've got a real par-TAY!

You gotta love Spongebob. He's little, yellow, different. He's annoying. He needs some new pants!

And, can I say- David Hasselhoff, you are my hero! ;>)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

There Will Be Water Ready

The angels of Heaven are rejoicing!

Mommy Dearest's
son, Clayton, just joined their church, asking Jesus into his precious little heart. In her post, Mommy Dearest shared that her son had been talking with them about his decision. They talked about it again Saturday evening. Knowing that others were scheduled to be baptized, Mommy Dearest told her son "if he was really serious, there would be water ready."

My heart was filled with joy when I read that.

You see, Mommy Dearest was speaking of baptismal waters, of course. She was referring to being baptized after accepting Christ, an outward demonstration of our cleansing through Him. When I read her post, it reminded me that Jesus is the Living Water and that He is always ready to take us into His arms. All we have to do is ask.

Jesus said to the woman at the well, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." (John 4:10)

As the passage goes on, we learn that the woman does take this precious gift of living water, believing on Jesus as her savior. She leaves her waterpot (she doesn't need it anymore!) and runs into the city to share her news. Praise God!

Jesus tells us to just reach out to Him- "For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Luke 11:10)

To everyone, not just some of us. Everyone- you, me, the executive on Wall Street, the cashier at Winn Dixie, the prisoner on death row. Everyone! All we have to do is ask.

And be serious.

By serious, I mean sincere. God knows our hearts. He knows our thoughts. Once we sincerely admit our sin and believe that Christ died and rose again so that we may live, we are saved. Saved! Refreshed and renewed! Never to be thirsty again!

There were two thieves crucified on the right and the left of Jesus. One of them denied Jesus, but the other one cried out to Him. This thief believed right then and there,hanging on a cross himself, between life and death, where he could do nothing but believe, and he accepted Jesus as his savior.

"And Jesus said unto him, "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise." Luke 23: 43

If you want to ask Jesus into your life, do it now. You don't have to take a number. You don't have to wait in line. You don't have to do good deeds or try to be a good person. You don't have to go through any kind of church program. All you have to do is sincerely (seriously) seek Jesus. He is waiting for you right now.

The Water is ready.

I am having trouble with linking this morning. To read about Clayton's experience, click on Mommy Dearest's blog "Home Sweet Home" in my blogroll. Scroll down for "Oh Happy Day."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hot Glue and Feathers

Next week my daughter's class is dressing as their favorite book character, fictional or non-fictional. They are going to share with the class why they like the character and what makes the book a "good book." This little project is supposed to spark interest in reading.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Sure it does, if your kid loves Sleeping Beauty or Charlotte's Web. A pink princess and a cute spider- those are easy. My kid? She wants to be a pigeon. Not just any pigeon, mind you, but one that can drive.

We love Mo Willems. His stories are funny and quirky, and his illustrations are unique. Our first intro to Mo was Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus a few years ago. We later read Knuffle Bunny about a million times. The first time we read it, my daughter noticed a man in the illustration wearing a shirt that had the pigeon on it.

On the way home from school yesterday we were discussing which character she should be.

I shouted out, "KNUUUFFLLLEE BUNNNNYY!" and laughed.

She said, "I am not going to dress up like a bunny, mom."

You know, because that would be uncool.

I suggested Laura Ingalls. (Yes, pick that! Laura the pioneer girl! A long dress and some black shoes. How easy would that be?)

"No, I don't want to be Laura," she said.

You know, because that would be too plain.

By last night she had decided she wanted to be a pigeon. Let me get this one straight- It is uncool to be a bunny, but not a pigeon? I am totally not in tune with the elementary student's mind.

I am usually very creative in these matters. I am like the MacGyver of crafts. But, other than a hooded sweatshirt and a beak made from a Dixie cup, I am stumped on this one. Any suggestions on how to design a costume which represents an ugly bird that scavenges in parks and poops on your head, and can drive?

Oh, and he eats hot dogs too.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Take Your Daughter to VOTE Day

Today was a scrapbook kind of day, if I had taken any pictures and if I actually, ya know, scrapbooked.

I took my daughter with me to the polls. Before we went, we talked a lot about how the election process works (on her level), how very important it is to vote, and how she had to be absolutely on her best behavior while Mommy carried out her civic duty and all. We talked about what kinds of things would be on the ballot, about the people and the laws (amendments).

She said, "I hope they don't change the law."

"What law?" I asked.

"The American law! I hope they don't change it."

This comment launched a conversion about how the law is different than laws in general, and so on. It was quite the civics lessons in the family car.

I have to say that she was an angel. Most of the poll workers were AARP eligible and we said a lot of yes ma'ams and yes sirs. One poll worker actually thanked me for coming out to vote. I told her that if the Iraqis could do it, I figure I could, too. She literally started to cry.

Talk about patriotic. It was very moving. Seriously, I was touched.

I asked for a kids' sample ballot for my daughter and they kindly obliged. I went over my own ballot with her and told her we wouldn't discuss who Mommy voted for until we got to the car. She filled out her own little "ballot" and was very proud of herself.

We walked to the car, hand in hand, each wearing our own "I Voted" sticker. At that moment, I was filled with so much emotion and gratefulness. It struck me that it was really not that long ago that no woman could vote in this country. Here I was, taking my daughter with me to the polls for the very first time, without fear of persecution or even death. I explained to her that women could not vote many years ago, along with certain races. Thankfully, those laws have changed and we all can vote.

And that is why I vote. I vote because I can. I vote for my daughter and for others who cannot speak up for themselves. Thanks be to God for the women who went before me who fought for me to vote. Thanks be to God that I am an American citizen. I pray that I can live up to the responsibility that comes with that citizenship.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pray The VOTE

Tomorrow is election day. It may not seem like an important election, but every election is important. I won't get into political agendas, party lines, blue states or red states. When I started to blog, that was one thing I promised myself- keep this blog politics free.

The amazing thing about the country we live in is that I could pretty much say anything responsibly that I chose to say- on a blog, in the open public forum, or even in church. Praise God for The Constitution!

Because of these freedoms, I think it is very important to vote. Plus, I am Baptist. We vote on everything, right down to carpet colors,hymn books, and who is bringing the fried chicken.

So, I encourage you to vote tomorrow if you have not already voted early. Be sure to make an informed decision. Know the candidates. Know the issues. Most importantly, pray, pray, pray! Ask for guidance from The Lord on how to vote. We have a responsibility as Americans to vote. We also have a huge responsibility as Christians to vote.

If the Iraqis can vote in the face of car bombers and terrorists, I know I can fight traffic and stand in line to wait my turn at the polls.

God Bless America!

Now, who is bringing the fried chicken?

You can visit the Christian Coalition's website to find out more about your state's candidates. The CC asks candidates for their stand on certain issues that are important to American families today.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Thanksgiving Quiz

Another worthless, yet delightful quiz. Like Reality TV; I just can't get enough.

My Results. (Someone call The Wiggles so I can join the tour... Hot Potato Hot Potato)

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Oridnary, comforting, and more than a little predictable
You're the glue that holds everyone together.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Festivus for the rest of us.

My dear Canadian friend Susanne asked me what chitlins are. While doing a search for a link to send to her, I found this.

People in the South can turn anything into a festival. Some things just should not be celebrated. Someone stop the madness!

The link to the Chitlin Festival also had this delightful little poem that cracked me up!!!

I am not a Chitlin' eater;
But a Chitlin' eater's son.
Someone else can eat de Chitlin's
'til de Chitlin' eater comes"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Compare and Contrast Baker's Dozen

Ya'll know I have an aversion to the compare and contrast aspect of writing. Well, only when it is forced on me for a grade...

I digress.

I am giving myself this very important assignment:

"Compare and Contrast the southernness of your/my generation to that of prior generations. You have as long as you want to complete this assignment. You may eat and drink at any time and you are not required to use a #2 pencil. Laptops and pointy things do not work well together. You will be graded on this assignment completely objectively."

1. My generation's Cadillacs have four wheel drive.

2. Prior generations ate chitlins. We don't. Sorry. There just isn't anything to compare or contrast to chitlins. Well, maybe my sushi to them is like their chitlins to me. (I know the proper spelling is chitterlings, but to people who actually eat chitterlings, they're chitlins.)

3. My daddy bought all of his tools at Sears. My husband buys them at Lowe's, Home Depot, or any other 50 acre retail store where those little trucks are always backing up.

4. Daddy owns Dickies. My husband has no idea what those are. (Can I say, "Thank Goodness!")

5. They watched Hee Haw. We watch American Idol.

6. "More cowbell" to them means, "Get a bigger bell for that cow. She keeps wandering off."

7. Atlanta or "Hot-lanta" is still where you go for serious shopping in Georgia, and you still hate driving there.

8. They would never goes to church without pantyhose- whether it is 32 degrees or 102 degrees. I have even worn pants on Sunday morning. AAAAHHHH!

9. My generation knows that Black-eyed Peas can be dried, canned, frozen or on tour.

10. My grandmother had her hair done once a week. I have my done every six weeks, if I have time.

11.Their teen heartthrobs- Elvis, James Dean, Robert Redford
Our teen heartthrobs- Rick Springfield, Tom Cruise, Kevin Bacon(OK- These are for anyone, no matter the latitude or the attitude!)

12. Their Country Music- Johnny, Patsy, and Merle
Our Country Music- Natalie, Emily, and Martie
(Maybe they have lost some of you along the way with the whole Presidential comment and all. I still love them. 'Til they deny Jesus in London or Paris or anywhere else, I still listen. Don't throw any blogger stones at me, please. :>)

13. My grandmother wouldn't be caught dead without lipstick.
My mother wouldn't be caught dead without lipstick.
I wouldn't be caught dead without lipstick.
I mean this literally, of course.
Some things never change.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wordless Wednesday? Not in our house.

Sunday on the way to church while passing the construction site:

"Surely it doesn't take this long to make a road. Mommy, why is it taking them so long?"

"Because half of the time they stand in a group and look at the road instead of actually building the road."

Fast forward to this morning on the way to school:

"No wonder the road isn't done. Just look, Mommy, at those guys standing around looking at it."