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Friday, September 29, 2017

Five on Friday (Sept. 29, 2017)

"Let love be your highest goal! -I Corinthians 14:1

I woke up this morning to a cool 53 degrees, and it is perfection. Dropped the kids off at school, dashed to my chiropractic appointment, and now I'm brewing a second pot of coffee and grabbing half a second before embarking on a very busy Friday beginning with Bible Study. In the spirit of fall, I have an orange/cardamom candle burning. The weekend is going to be very busy as we end another crazy September. We're celebrating Rory's birthday tomorrow and then a very full day at church Sunday with GrowthTrack after our regular services. It will be long, but I'm also so excited to start this new phase of discipleship with our church. Fall break is going to arrive just in time (one more week to go).

1. Brian took Camden and several teens to a live Dare2Share event this past Saturday. It was a very long day for him after a very long week, but so worth it to invest in Camden and those teens. To be honest, we had never really heard of Dare 2 Share, but it's a pretty great organization, and we'll be looking forward to next year.

2. Kids had a cross country meet Monday, and my parents were able to go with us. Rory ran 2 seconds faster than her previous race at this location, while Camden ran about 30 seconds slower. It was very hot and humid (they've been lucky enough to not have too much running in the heat this year) and miserable. We nearly broke heat records this past week. We have 3 meets left and then basketball begins.

Yearbook staff took this picture although I am planning to bring my big girl camera to next week's meet.
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3. I may have bragged on our good mornings a little too early in the year. I loosened up on bedtimes (let's not get crazy - "loosening up bedtime" merely means 8:15 for Rory and 9:00 for Camden), but will be making a few changes this week (just in time for fall break so that's probably useless) in an attempt to regain those peaceful mornings.

4. Camden would like me to document that he beat Brian in basketball this week. Definitely a milestone!

5. Rory's 11th birthday was Wednesday. Where. does. the. time. go? Her birthday list has been on the fridge since July 16 (the day after Camden's birthday, of course) and included things like a planner, silver nail polish, gift card to anywhere, a suitcase, and a dog.

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

D6 2017

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(the only 3 pictures I took!)

I left the house bright and EARLY Tuesday morning to fly to Dallas with a group of co-workers. The following days flew by in a complete blur. Serving at the D6 Conference is always an extraordinary honor, but also incredibly tough. Sixteen-hour days in addition to being "on" at all times is difficult. Also completely worth it. I was concerned this year that I wouldn't be able to carry my weight, that I would let my team down. With the exception of a few extra breaks, I managed well. The aftermath has been difficult as I've spent the last 48 hours with my feet and legs so swollen I can hardly walk. Good news is that I've been able to prop them up and recover. I serve as speaker hospitality at the conference (which means I'm in the green room and keep the speakers happy while they're on location). It certainly provides a unique backstage perspective on the whole experience.  A few highlights:

  • Gary Chapman, who authored the very popular 5 Love Languages (and has sold over 10 million copies) was such a kind gentleman. The most impressive thing? He sat and took notes while the other speakers were on stage. A life-long learner is always going to have my respect.
  • I was so impressed with Candace Payne, otherwise known as Chewbacca mom, and her confidence that Jesus has gifted her and placed her in this very unique and specific position of "fame" to further His kingdom. And she's seriously sarcastic and funny.
  • Father/son duo Josh and Sean McDowell sat backstage and discussed Ameria's Got Talent while doling out Instagram advice. Their book signing was probably the craziest thing I've ever been a part of.
  • One of our stage managers very kindly inquired about my treatment/cancer and promised to pray for me. (Several speakers that I've worked with year after year did not recognize me immediately.)
  • My parents attended the conference. Since this event is something I work toward all year long, I wanted them to have a great experience. It was good to share a couple of meals with them in the midst of the crazy. 
  • The quote I left with came from Dr. Richard Ross: "spiritually stagnant parents/youth pastors produce spiritually stagnant kids." 
The kids were out of school this week while I was gone, and Brian still had to work, of course, so they had 3 long days home alone. A few funnies:
  • Rory sent a message (we hooked up my old phone for texting) at 9:39 a.m. saying: "We may have had ice cream for breakfast."
  • She also sent a text the following day that said: "Everything is fine here except for the police outside." After a small bit of panicking, we discovered it was just a joke. ;)
  • They must have been supremely bored because not only did Camden organize the linen closet including washing and drying all of the towels/blankets, but they had official Q & A's with each other that involved questions like, "who would your boyfriend/girlfriend be if you were interested in boys/girls, etc." Ha!
We're hitting the ground running this week with a cross country meet Monday afternoon, and we are eagerly awaiting fall weather to return. This heat is no fun! Happy Sunday, friends.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

One of these days I will find the time to edit and post our travel pictures from this summer. For now, here are two of my favorites that I grabbed on the run this week.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Five on Friday (Sept. 15, 2017)

I am not ashamed, because I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day. -2 Timothy 1:12

I know I sound like a broken record when I say September has just flown by. Our weather has been especially fall-like which is so unlike September in Tennessee. (Update: heat stroke coming this week. I knew fall weather was too good to be true.) Brian has had something going on every single night for the past 10-12 days. The good news is that I have an extra week off chemo this month, but it doesn't clear up my schedule since I'm headed to Dallas next week for the D6 conference. Super excited to be going again, but sad Brian doesn't get to go with me this year. But happy because my parents are actually joining me!

1.  Bible study started back up last week, and I love it. We're using the Beth Moore Entrusted study of 2 Timothy (hence the verse above). I know I've said it often, but you just can't beat a sweet group of women gathered together every week studying scripture.

2. I managed to crack my phone screen this week. I've had a smartphone for nearly 5 years, and this is a first for me. It's not shattered, just cracked. Probaby a reason I should upgrade, right? :)

3. We have a little houseguest in the form of a mouse, and it is freaking me out. It showed up a couple of weeks ago early one morning while Brian was up working (we're in the part of the year when he often gets up at 3 a.m.). He set out traps and we got rid of the first friend. Apparently, they came in a pair because the second one has been sneaky. He only shows up on those early mornings, eats the peanut butter off the traps, and taunts Brian. He says he feels like the old lady in Ratatouille who shoots holes all through her house. I tiptoe around, peeking around doors waiting for the mouse to jump out and attack me.

4. Camden led worship in the teen youth group for the first time this week. His parents might have been more nervous than he was, but he did a great job. It's so sweet seeing him develop. I would never have had the guts to do this at 14. I don't have the guts to do it at 41 either!

5. The kids had their first cross country meet this week, and we had absolutely no idea what to expect. We certainly didn't anticipate the hundreds of runners and parents! The kids both beat their own personal times by quite a lot (3 minutes for Rory and 2 minutes for Camden). Camden finished 17th out of 37 and Rory finished 39 out of 57. I think they both felt pretty energized and good about their run. I am so proud of their hard work. Running all these miles week after week is not my idea of a good time, but they've done it with very little complaint or prodding from us.

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Bonus: Rory announced at supper Monday night that she and a few friends had given up sweets and sugar for the rest of the cross country season. As she was eating dessert.

Our weekend is not off to a great start as Rory came home with a high fever and an asthmatic cough. She's seeing the doctor tomorrow. Our Saturday doesn't have a single item penciled in (except for Rory's appointment), and we're all looking forward to it. Not that we won't be working around the house trying to finish up a dozen tasks, but it is wonderful to have a free day. Happy weekend!

Friday, September 08, 2017

Five on Friday (September 8, 2017)

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted, but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

1. The major event this week was moving my grandparents in with my mom and dad. We had aunts and uncles and cousins visit, and it was lovely. I did not do a good job of taking pictures, however. It is a special blessing to transition from very little family to a whole lot of family all within15-minute drive.

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2. Brian was in charge of Labor Day plans and we made a trip to an orchard and dairy barn. I think we may have reached the parenting stage where kids just aren't too excited about apples and cool playgrounds made out of farm equipment. We basically drove an hour, showed up in time to pick a peck of apples, eat 2 scoops of ice cream, then drive an hour home.

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3. Today was my final brow appointment so I am 100% tatted up. These brows, however, are currently on fire; round 2 was much more painful than round 1!

Not a lick of make-up on my face, just brows and a steroid flush.
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4. I don't exactly know how I managed to not read To Kill a Mockingbird during high school or college. And once it did come across my radar, I put off reading it for at least 2 years worrying that it wouldn't live up to the hype. I finally read it this week, and it did not disappoint. I find it incredibly sad that things haven't changed nearly as much as you might expect  (the book was published in 1960, but represented 1936).

I am on a roll with my reading and To Kill a Mockingbird makes for book #36 completed in 2017.

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5. This week's chemo adventures include my feet breaking out in blisters, toenails preparing to fall off and lots of swelling. Bad news is that extended chemo means these kinds of "little" issues are going to pop up. Good news is that things could be a whole lot worse.

This weekend is Riverfest so Brian and the kids will be at the church booth most of the weekend. I'm going to catch up on some rest. And housework. Always housework. Happy Friday, friends.



Friday, September 01, 2017

Five on Friday (September 1, 2017)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7

September already?? I cannot stress enough how quickly 2017 is passing. The good news is that we are now entering my favorite time of year: cooler mornings and evenings lead to legitimate fall weather, the D6 conference, fall break, November birthday trip, holidays, etc.

1. This week the universe laughed at my bragging on Camden last week and decided to do a throwback to 13-year old behavior. Moving forward. . .

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2. Parent/teacher conference for Rory this week. She really is a delight with a little sass. Her teacher mentioned she likes to be in the middle of the drama, which we are well aware of that trait. We're on a mission to convince her drama is not good.

3. Kids both had physicals this week. Rory weighs in at a hefty 58 lbs (ha!) and is in the 5th percentile (this is actually up for her). Camden is at the top of the chart with his height and weight (5'8" and 109 lbs). He is such a bean pole. Doctor is estimating he will easily reach 6' tall.

4. I feel so embarrassed to admit that we finally made it to the park for the first time this spring/summer. We have resolved to pencil in a walk/hike/bike ride every Saturday or Sunday moving into the fall.

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5. My favorite book of 2017 thus far is The Language of Flowers. I absolutely loved it. Ignore the title and cover (the linked one actually has a better cover than the book I read) - they made me push this book to the bottom of my to-read list for many, many months. So good!

Because of hours on end of the craziest wind and rain I have ever experienced (leftovers from Hurricane Harvey), Brian has an unexpected day off school. We're going to run a few errands and then go out for lunch. I am all in for this bonus date!