Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Five: Fall Transformations

Apparently I am not the only one anticipating the blessed arrival of my favorite time of year...fall. Thanks to Mary Beth at revgalblogpals, I present the transformations that await in my life...

Here in my neck of the woods, rain is falling...a little uncharacteristic for August, but most welcome! It'll be hot and humid later, but a break in the heat is most welcome.

Also falling (especially into my driveway) are the fruits of the bois d'arc tree (also known as the Osage Orange). We call them "bowdarks" and enjoy bowling them down the driveway to the empty lot across the street. (Yes, I may be a redneck...)

Bois d'arc fruits are used only for: 1) making more trees and 2) eating by squirrels (if you have another use, please let me know!)

The wood of the bois d'arc tree, however, is very hard and very beautiful, and makes gorgeous items like the vase above. Such a lovely thing, from such an odd-looking source!
For this Friday's Five, share with us five transformations that the coming fall will bring your way.
1. LMLW will turn 4 in October!

2. Going back to seminary in a few weeks! Yikes! ;)

3. Going through Charge Conference as the pastor! Yikes!

4. Preparing for Advent/Christmas as the pastor! and yet again - YIKES!

5. DH & I will celebrate 6 years of marriage the end of September - not really a transformation, but still something to celebrate!

Bonus: Give us your favorite activity that is made possible by the arrival of fall.

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year - from September 28th (our anniversary) through Jan 2! I love the cooler weather, the change of the leaves, the brilliant colors and yes, I enjoy Halloween. We always did fun stuff as a kid - my uncle goes a little crazy the evening of trick or treat. He never had any children of his own, but I think he loves seeing the reaction of the children (and their parents) that night. He has about 15 different costumes that he interchanges during the course of the evening.

Anyway, we have carried on the tradition and love hayrides, choosing the perfect pumpkins and then carving them. LMLW is never one to shy away from getting her hands dirty, in fact she looks forward to it, as you can see below.

And sadly (though I think it is rather cute) we even tortured her baby sister - Ray Ray...

I have also included the finished products of her (and daddy's!) labor.

We have much to look forward to this fall - including our annual get-away, the beginning of October, which right now cannot come fast enough - sigh!

Happy fall!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Five - God Days of Summer

Thanks to Presbyterian Gal at revgalblogpals...
It’s August. An oppressively hot and humid month where many of us live.

I remember the Al Pacino movie though not much about the plot. Just that it was very, very hot. And he had giant sweat stains on his shirt.

As I pass through this year’s dog days in my felon ridden neighborhood (OK, just two housefuls. But isn’t that enough?), I am trying to focus on the blessings apparent around me, past and present, that I might not notice, necessarily.

In that spirit, this week’s Friday Five goes thusly:

1. What is your sweetest summer memory from childhood? Did it involve watermelon or hand cranked ice cream? Or perhaps a teen summer romance. Which stands out for you?
camping, band camp (yes, I was a total band geek!), freeze tag, family picnics, playing with my younger brother outside, celebrating my birthday, riding bike, going miniature golfing and then to the Jigger Shop, dancing on the back porch to great 80's music with my friends, many to choose from.

As I remember my childhood summer days, most of my memories involve my grandparents. My grandfather (gramps) was the caretaker of a local park, and I remember sleeping over at their house, pictured above at the entrance to the park. Every night gramps would go through the park after closing and burn the trash barrels. When Chris & I slept over, we would all pile in his pick-up - yes we kids and their great dog, Shena, would ride in the back - what fun! When he was finished, he would take us to the pool in the park where we would have the whole gigantic pool to ourselves!

2. Describe your all time favorite piece of summer clothing. The one thing you could put on in the summer that would seem to insure a cooler, more excellent day.
A t-shirt and shorts - NO shoes, which is still true :)

3. What summer food fills your mouth with delight and whose flavor stays happily with you long after eaten?
This answer is easy - smores!

4. Tell us about the summer vacation or holiday that holds your dearest memory.
Again, memories with my grandparents (g&g) - they would always take us camping, which we loved, every summer. I remember one particular camping trip where we were having so much fun, we decided to just stay another week. We didn't even mind having to go into town to grocery shop and do our laundry because we were staying!

And another, I just cannot resist, g&g took us camping to Assateague where there are wild ponies roaming free on the island. It is posted everywhere not to leave food outside - because the ponies will come and the ponies will eat! We awoke one morning to the sound of clattering outside and thought how rude our neighbors were cooking breakfast so early in the morning! However, it was the ponies rummaging through our neighbors things. My grandmother, small as she was at about 5 foot, decided to chase the ponies away - totally characteristic of her! So she did. A few minutes later the ponies had chewed their way through a dining fly where a group of young guys were staying. Again, grandma to the rescue, (gosh, the woman had no fear!) as she went and woke up the guys so they could save their food! Go grandma!

5. Have you had any experience(s) this summer that has drawn you closer to God or perhaps shown you His wonder in a new way?
Moving our family to a new home, a new church, a new place completely has been a step of faith. Having God's affirmation nearly every step of the way has really been amazing! Thank you, Lord!

Bonus question: When it is really hot, humid and uncomfortable, what do you do to refresh and renew body and spirit?

I must admit I am pretty much of a wimp when it comes to hot, humid and uncomfortable, so I retreat inside to the coolness of the air conditioner! Or I could go to the movies. Or I could go and get ice cream! Yummy! :)

P.S. The opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games were amazing! They serve as a reminder to keep the people of China in prayer!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Five

Thanks to Songbird at revgalblogpals...the Friday Five

Friday Five: Lock Me Out, Lock Me In
For some reason, Blogger declared this blog possible SPAM and locked us down yesterday. This morning, we're free to post again, but there was a fair amount of excitement last night among our contributors, who found a dire notice on their Blogger dashboards threatening that this blog might be deleted in 20 days!
We requested a blog review, and I posted a request at the Blogger Help group, where I found we were not alone. Many other perfectly nourishing and cromulent blogs got the same notice last night.
This turned out to be a very small barricade in our blogging community life, but it seemed appropriate to explore locks and blocks and other barriers this week. Also, I liked the picture of the security team above! Could they be Blogger's Spam Prevention Robots, working overtime?
In honor of their efforts, I bring you the "Lock Me Out, Lock Me In" Friday Five.
1) How do you amuse yourself when road construction blocks your travel?
I find a great song (always need music) and turn it up really loudly! I also try to listen to the traffic reports to avoid any road construction, as I am usually in a hurry! :)
2) Have you ever locked yourself out of your house? (And do you keep an extra key somewhere, just in case?)
Yes, with my baby girl no less! Though I have found that it is easy to do with all that one must remember to take when leaving with baby. LOL Thankfully my mom had an extra key and I had remembered to bring my cell phone (thank the Lord!) so I called my mom and she came to the rescue!
3) Have you ever cleared a hurdle? (And if you haven't flown over a material hurdle, feel free to take this one metaphorically.)
At Bible study last night I talked about the hurdle of unconfessed sin. as well as the hurdle of sin that has been confessed, and forgiven by God, but that we have not accepted God's forgiveness and we have not forgiven ourselves for. Personally, there was one giant sin that I had to work through. It was something that took me a long time to acknowledge and process but with God's help and the help of a wonderful support system, I was able to fly, albeit slowly, over that hurdle and be drawn into a closer, deeper relationship with Him!
4) What's your approach to a mental block?
Walk away for awhile, do something totally different, like listen to music, take a walk, or go play with the girls and then come back to it a little later.
5) Suggest a caption for the picture above; there will be a prize for the funniest answer!
"We represent the lollipop guild, the lollipop guild, the lollipop guild and in the name of the lollipop guild you must not pass!"
What can I say, they reminded me of the munchkins!