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Friday, February 28, 2014

The Refuge

Sunday was another beautiful day that felt more like Spring than Winter, although I guess this IS the way Winter feels in Shreveport at times.   After church, we changed clothes and took Joy out to the Wildlife Refuge.  It was her first real outing and she was a little skittish at first, preferring to peek out at the ducks from between Ron's legs.

But, once we began walking, she really enjoyed it.

Naturally, there were beautiful birds to be seen.  In fact, there were more cardinals that day than I think I have ever seen in one place.

It's always fun to look for tracks of deer, raccoons and other wildlife, and evidence that a beaver had been nearby.

This is the first time we've run across this sort of "souvenir".  I don't know what small animal met his demise here, but I'm sure it was a human species that left it perched in a tree.

While I took my Nikon, I had forgotten to charge the battery, so I didn't get pictures of the bluebirds that were flitting around, but we were able to get a few "selfies" with our cell phones.

After walking for about 2 miles, we decided to head back and Joy decided that the trip back was best done in someone's arms.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Nudge

Have you ever felt it before?  You know, that nudge that tells you you're supposed to be doing something.  It's different from that "I feel like I've forgotten something" feeling that I get every so often as I head out to work.  This one comes after reading an article, or meeting someone, or seeing a picture. Often when I get that nudge, I ignore it completely--hoping it will go away, because I know that if I allow it more time, I'll get totally caught up in it.

I've been feeling it again lately.  If I'm honest, that's probably one reason I picked my "word" this year---GROW.  I've been feeling that I'm supposed to be doing something--something more.  And by that, I don't really think it is supposed to be "more busy", but I DO think it is supposed to be "more depth."  As the year began, I had no idea what direction that was supposed to take.  Was it supposed to be more honest conversations?   More studying?  More _(fill in the blank)__?    Perhaps all of the above?

Lately, though, it seems to be becoming more clear.  Not the "what" or "how", but at least the direction. Perhaps this particular "nudge" began a couple of years ago when a group of my friends read and discussed the book Half The Sky.  Or maybe it was when, only a few weeks later, I re-connected and then married a man who chose to take a stand against trafficking.  That stand came at a great price for him--he knew that it would mean not only the loss of his current job, but the chance that he would never work in that city again.  Then, over the past few weeks, the nudges have come in the form of random conversations with a co-worker, a tour of a local service agency, an interaction with a client in our church food pantry last Saturday that has haunted me all week,  and then today, a blog post by someone I admire.   I didn't get to fully explore the post until this evening, and by then it was too late to participate in marking my hand with a red "x", but it certainly gave me a lot to think about.

At this point, I am not really sure what role I am being prompted to take, but Karen's post gave me a starting point--educating myself on the subject and how it manifests itself both overseas and here locally.    If you are interested in learning more along with me, here are a couple of the places to begin.
Not For Sale

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Belong With You . . .

For Christmas this year, I drew a really cool "tree" of words on my outdoor chalkboard.  Target had some paint pens in their "dollar bins" about that time, so I decided to give them a try.  I loved the way it created crisp white lines so easily.  But, with Christmas behind us, it was time to create something new on the front porch.

I took a spray bottle and paper towels out to wipe it clean, as I usually do.  But, unfortunately, chalkboard pens don't come off quite as easily as plain old chalk.

I re-read the small print on the pen (just to be sure I hadn't been mistaken about it being easily removed) and then tried again.   No luck.

I researched chalkboard pens online---everything I found stated that they are a little bit more stubborn than regular chalk and suggested using a little soap and water or even a Mr. Clean sponge.  Over the past few weeks, I have tried it all.  Along with LOTS of elbow grease!!  All to no avail.

Finally, last weekend, I gave up, bought a new can of Chalkboard paint, and started over.

I seasoned the board with chalk.

This time, I used just ordinary chalk.   The lines aren't as crisp or clean, but I know that it will erase with a little water when the time comes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gift From God

Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from God.
How true!  After the birthday party last Saturday, we drove down to Kerrville to be with Archer during his dedication at church on Sunday morning.  What a blessing!!

After the service, we joined the family out at his "Honey's" house (Jaylynn's mom) for a small reception.  They live in a beautiful house up in the hills overlooking Kerrville.  Here is the view from their back patio.

And from this beautiful sitting room.

The food was delicious, AND pretty.

We couldn't stay long since we had a long drive ahead with a little puppy in the car, but it was nice to get a chance to visit a little bit and take some photos with little Archer (who has grown SOOO much since we saw him in January)!!  Jaylynn's grandparents were able to be there, as well as Terry's mom.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Best Things In Life

Last weekend was crazy busy and totally exhausting, but, it was filled with the best of things---grandkids!   And we are are so lucky that we were able to be with them.  First up was Michael and Adellelyn's birthday party that we attended Saturday afternoon.   The lighting in this place was really awful, so my pictures are far from perfect, but it was loads of fun for the kids and that we have plenty of memories of the day.

Jaylynn, Terry and Archer came up from Kerrville, so we were able to spend some sweet time with them in the morning before the party.

The kids had their party at the Texas Twisters gym, where they both take gymnastics.  The adults watched for a while from the lobby,

but soon joined the kids in the gym.

It's amazing to me how fearless both of these kids are!  I was scared to death to try things like this, but they seem to have no fear--

and in fact, are quite good at it.

Of course, once you watch their daddy, you see where they get that daredevil spirit.

After playing hard for a while, it was time for cake.

And then it was time to open presents.  They both got tons of goodies, but Ady was especially excited about receiving a set of color-changing mermaids!  

While Michael loved the book his parents made that contained many of his favorite drawings.

Each of the kids had their own pinata, which they opened with help from their friends.

The birthday party was just the beginning of a great, grandkid-filled weekend, but it was a great start.

By the way, want to see the Valentines that Carmelle and Chad gave to Ron and I?   Huge boxes of chocolate candy with likenesses of "us" on the front----well almost like us.   ;-)   (sorry so blurry---but some things are better blurry)

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