Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How He Loves!

How He Loves
David Crowder Band

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,

Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way

He loves us
oh, how He loves us
how He loves us all

Monday, August 23, 2010

Abby is six years old!

Abby is six years old today. Where has the time gone?
Here are some of my very favorite pictures of her.

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him".
1 Samuel 1:27

Click here to view these pictures larger

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Actual Conversation....

with Abby today.

Abby: I can't wait to go to Romp N Roll tomorrow.
Me: Do you know what tomorrow is?
Abby: Monday.
Me: Anything special about tomorrow?
Abby: We're going to open gym?
Me: Anything else?
Abby: Whitt is coming?
Me: Anything else?
Abby: I don't think so.


Me: You still don't know what tomorrow is?
Abby: MOM, it's Monday!
Rick: Do you know what the date is today? August 22. So tomorrow is....
Abby: August 23rd.
Rick: and.....
Abby: (long pause)....oh, my birthday!

I guess we could have let it go and she would never have known the difference. (She had a family party in Emporia last weekend). We could have skipped the whole Chuck E Cheese thing. Oh, well.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Woman Who Reads

My friend Cindy sent this joke to me....I love it and had to share.....

One morning, the husband returns the boat to their lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap.

Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out.

She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins to read her book.
The peace and solitude are magnificent.

Along comes a Fish and Game Warden in his boat.
He pulls up alongside the woman and says, ' Good morning , Ma'am. What are you doing?'

'Reading a book,' she replies, (thinking, 'Isn't that obvious?')

'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her.

'I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.'

'Yes, but I see you have all the equipment.
For all I know you could start at any moment.
I'll have to take you in and write you up.'

'If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault,' says the woman.

'But I haven't even touched you,' says the Game Warden.

'That's true, but you have all the equipment..
For all I know you could start at any moment.'

'Have a nice day ma'am,' and he left.

Never argue with a woman who reads.
It's likely she can also think.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Steph's Favorite Books, Edition 4

Light Reads

1. Heavenly Daze series by Angela Hunt and Lori Copeland
Set in Maine, these 5 books chronicle the lives of those who live in the town of Heavenly Daze. The citizens are watched over by a group of angels who dwell among them.

2. Mitford series by Jan Karon
Enjoy life in Mitford through the eyes of Father Tim.

3. Heavens to Betsy/Earth to Betsy by Beth Pattillo
Betsy, a female pastor, has to prove to her congregation that she's as good as any male pastor.

4. These Boots Weren't Made for Walking by Melody Carlson
Interesting that another book by Melody Carlson is one of the most profound I've ever read (Finding Alice) while this one is light and fun. A young woman must move home after she has been fired, dumped, and scammed.

5. Harmony Series by Phillip Gulley
A pastor and his young family return to his hometown to pastor the congregation of Harmony Friends Meeting. This is quite possibly the craziest group of church goers ever! Pastor Sam gets frustrated but always learns something from them. I laughed out loud but also learned a lot about community.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Abby's Cheer "Performance"

Abby has been participating in a cheerleading camp this summer through Hanover County Parks and Recreation and Stretch-N-Grow. She enjoyed it despite how hot it was each week! They learned 3 cheers, 2 jumps, and a dance. Thursday was their "performance" for family and friends.
Enjoy some pictures!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dinner and a Book

Some of you may know that I lead a Christian Fiction book club at my church. We're starting up a new "year" of great book discussions and fellowship. We would love to have you! We meet on the first Thursday of each month, at 6:30 PM in the Pusey House located at the back of First Baptist Church in the fan. Bring your favorite dish to share (hence the name, Dinner and a Book!) Here is our list.

September 2, 2010 My Life as a Doormat(in Three Acts) by Rene Gutteridge

October 7, 2010 Abigail: A Novel (The Wives of King David) by Jill Eileen Smith

November 4, 2010 Breach of Trust (Call of Duty Series, Book 1) by DiAnn Mills

December 2, 2010 Dogwood by Chris Fabry

January 6, 2011* The Shepherd’s Prayer:A Christmas Novel by Richard M. Barry

February 3, 2011 Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins

March 3, 2011 Her Mother’s Hope: Marta’s Legacy by Francine Rivers

April 7, 2011 Journey to the Well: A Novel by Diana Wallis Taylor

May 5, 2011 Limelight: A Novel by Melody Carlson

June 2, 2011 Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

July 2011 no meeting due to holiday

August 4, 2011 Stirring Up Strife:A Hope Street Church Mystery by Jennifer Stanley

*location TBA

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Heard on the monitor

Approximately 6 AM, Andrew singing. His selections included "Mighty to Save", "Life is a Highway", "Do the Look Around" (From Sid the Science Kid), "Blessed Be Your Name" (From the VBS CD), "Real Gone" (Cars), and "All of Creation". I'm very proud of his diverse musical taste.

Approximately 6:45 AM, Abby enters Andrew's room. They chat for a few minutes, then it sounded like Andrew was giving her a book to read (he's in his crib). She says, "No, Andrew, I'm going to read you Nursery Rhymes because you are a baby". She begins reading. Andrew very nicely says, "Read Bible. Read this. Read Bible, please" (He has a book about Jesus, he calls it the Bible. At least he makes the connection, right?) She ignores him and keeps reading the book she chose. He starts getting louder. "Read Bible PLEASE". Again, she ignores him. He's quiet for a few minutes while she reads. Then it's, "Read Cars. Read Cars. Read Cars, please". More ignoring and reading of nursery rhymes by Abby. "Read Cars PLEASE!" Then thump. Obviously he threw the book at her.

At this point Rick decided he better intervene.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How is Martin's doing?

As many of you know, central Virginia grocery shoppers are adjusting to a major change. Our beloved Ukrop's sold to Martin's and the switchover happened in the spring. I did a very informal poll on my facebook page asking my friends to give me the pros and cons of Martin's.

The bad news first....

  • Customer service is not as good. Checkout is much slower, especially because you now have to sign a paper receipt. There aren't as many baggers and folks to carry groceries to your car. The new bagging carts don't hold nearly enough so many times it requires two carts to get purchases to your car. There are not as many workers in the deli and "fried chicken" area so there is a longer wait. The employees overall do not seem as happy as they did when it was Ukrop's.
  • Produce. The selection of produce is MUCH smaller than before (they took space from produce to add beer and wine). The produce is not nearly the quality of Ukrop's. Bananas in particular were mentioned several times. They are also not selling much local produce, which I always enjoyed purchasing (and eating!)
  • Pharmacy. Some complained of pharmacy mistakes and that you are no longer able to pay for your medicines when checking out with groceries. Having to wait in line twice is not fun with small children in tow.
  • While they carry a larger selection, the number of each items is much less. For example, they may only have 3 or 4 six-packs of a brand of bottled water. Often items are sold out.
  • Bag credit is often forgotten.
  • You have to check expiration dates. Ukrop's was always great about removing expired items so you didn't have to worry as much. There are also reports of moldy flower stems. The general upkeep of the store is not as good.
  • The shelves seem very cluttered with sale stickers, new item stickers, etc. It makes it hard to really find what you are looking for.
  • There are not as many people with disabilities working for them now.
  • Trouble with fuelperks! working.
  • They are open on Sundays and holidays, which means their employees don't get to spend that time with their families.

  • They still carry many Ukrop's items--bakery goods, prepared foods, white house rolls, etc.
  • Better prices and deals. They send coupons in the mail and have good discounts with their BonusCard--including buy 1, get 1 free deals.
  • Good selection of organic and specialty items, including Nature's Promise meats.
  • More variety and brand options. My friends from north of Virginia enjoy being able to purchase some of the items Ukrop's did not carry.
  • Efficient self-checkout.
  • Deli and Bakery are open until store closes (unlike Food Lion and Kroger).
  • Convenience of shopping on Sundays and the store is open more house in the day.
So there you have it. Martin's still has some work to do to completely win over loyal Ukrop's customers.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Steph's Favorite Books, Edition 3

Historical Fiction

1. Refiner's Fire series by Lynn Austin
A Civil War trilogy that I really enjoyed. The first one is set in Richmond!

2. Dakota Moon series by Stephanie Grace Whitson
These books chronicle the lives of missionaries in the Dakota territory and the Indians they encounter there. I found it fascinating, as this was a topic I didn't know much about. I believe these are out of print but they can possibly be found in libraries and from used booksellers.

3. Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
Three Swedish sister immigrate to Chicago in 1897. A moving look at what life was like for those coming to America.

4. Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers
These powerful books look at the persecution of Christians in Rome in the first century.

6. A Woman's Place by Lynn Austin
Four women work together in a factory during World War 2, each have their own issues to deal with.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Book Review: Chasing Fireflies

Chasing Fireflies, by Charles Martin

Have you ever read a book that just really sticks with you once you've finished it? This, for me, was one of those. It chronicles Chase Walker's search for his identity. He grew up in a wonderful foster home but was still searching for where he came from, who his parents were, and his real name. During this search he meets and helps care for a young boy, Sketch, who is in a similar situation. At the center of their lives is Uncle Willee, the man who raised Chase and is fostering Sketch. Willee is a man of many mysteries but is very wise.

The writing is amazing. It rarely mentions God or Jesus, but the book shows the very nature of them. Most of the wonderful quotes come from Uncle Willee's discussions with the boys. One of my favorites, though, is from Willee's speech at his niece's (who practically lived with Willee and his wife) funeral:
"....every day, no matter what I'd painted the day before, I got a new canvas, washed white. 'Cause each night the tide rolled in, scrubbed it clean, and receded, taking the stains with it." (Chasing Fireflies, pg 301).

Isn't that what God does for us?