Wednesday, May 27, 2015

With Freedom and Hodgepodge For All

It's Wednesday again, so it's time for the Hodgepodge. It has been a busy week and weekend, and it's nice to take time to look back on the fun, and answer the questions brought to us each week by Joyce, our Hodgepodge Hostess. Be sure to click on the button and pay her a visit. After you've enjoyed my answers, of course.

Here are her questions and my answers:
1.  Did you do anything 'memorable' this past weekend?

If 'memorable' means 'making memories', we did that. :) We kicked off the #sweetwater15 lake season with family and friends for the Memorial Day weekend.

Noah helped by sweeping the deck. #nevertooyoung

We had a deer who wandered down to the dock. I think she was lost.
Granny and Grandpa love taking the littles on a boat ride.
Noah loved the boat.
Piper Jayne's first ride.
Shylah and David making the buffalo chicken dip. Yum!
Sunday was a beautiful day, and we spent some time near the water. It was still pretty chilly IN the water.
Bryan and Noah did get on the water mat.
 Shylah and David, who will welcome their little boy in early September.
 Nana and Piper.
Another boat ride. Mackey giving Shylah a kiss. :)
 Shylah and David.
Kyle and Kristin, who will welcome their little girl in mid-June. Coco and Moda will have a little adjusting to do, I think. Lol.
Jay and Kylie came to hang out with Courtney and Adam (and us), and Jay even drove the boat for us. Jay knows boats. :)
MackApp loves the sofas at the lake. He was a tired puppy.
Bryan, Jennifer, Noah, Piper, and Bentley.
Noah and Gumbo. Everybody loves Gumbo.
 It was a fun weekend, and we look forward to a great summer at the lake.

 2. Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying-

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."  

Your thoughts? Do you somehow acknowledge and appreciate the freedoms you enjoy? Did your upbringing contribute to that sense of appreciation? If you're a parent, are there specific things you do to pass on this sense of responsibility and appreciation to your own children in regard to the freedoms they enjoy?

When I read this quote and the question, I immediately remembered the chorus of a song I learned in elementary school, 
Freedom isn't free. Freedom isn't free. 
You've got to pay a price, 
You've got to sacrifice, 
For your liberty.
I looked it up to see if I could find the rest of the lyrics, and the first verse is a simple reminder that freedom is not free, and must be appreciated, defended, and never taken for granted.
Freedom is a word often heard today,
But if you want to keep it there's a price to pay.
Each generation's got to win it anew,
'Cause it's not something handed down to you.
-Words and music by Paul and Ralph Colwell

3. Loudest noise you've ever heard?

Well, I'm sure it's not technically the loudest noise I've ever heard, but the first thing that came to mind was the gun signifying the lead swimmer on the last lap of the 500 free at a high school swim meet. From my spot in the timer's chair in lane six, that shot was right in my ear. Of course, veteran timers learned to cover our ears prior to the gun. :)

4. What was the last thing you ate that might be considered 'junk food'? Did you enjoy it?

Hmmmm….. Oreos? Twizzlers? Chips? I enjoyed all of them last weekend.

5. When was the last time you were somewhere the crowd felt 'packed in like sardines'?

After Adam and Courtney's wedding and reception, we headed over to a famous campus establishment for some fun and fellowship. We made our way upstairs at The Chocolate Shop, where it was standing room only. I think the young folks are used to that. :)

These photos were taken before the reception, when it wasn't crowded yet.

6. Are you organized when it comes to packing for a trip? Do you make a list weeks in advance or toss items in last minute? Are you a carry-on only sort of packer or do you need an entire suitcase for your shoes?

For as unorganized as I am at home sometimes, I am actually pretty organized when packing for a trip. We have been vacationing on Grand Cayman since our children were little, and I could pack all 7 of us for a week in 2 suitcases.  As the children grew, brought friends, married, and added grandchildren to the group, I put together a master packing list, mostly for the food that we take to feed the group for a week. While I'm good at getting it all in, I do have trouble keeping the bags under the 50 pound limit. I remember one year when a bag was 2 pounds over at check-in, so I grabbed a box of spaghetti out of the suitcase and stuffed it into one of the kids' backpacks.

I can pack for myself in a carry-on, but I prefer to check bags if possible to avoid the hoisting into the overhead bins. 

7. What was the last sporting event you attended in person? Did your team win? Did you care?

The last sporting event I attended in person was last football season. These pictures are from the game I attended in New Orleans to watch my team play.

They did win.
And of course I cared. Who Dat!! Is it football season yet??

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I spent yesterday with these two cuties, as Jennifer went back to work for her first day since Piper was born. We got along just fine. I'm sure it was a change for their mama though!
Noah ate THREE hot dogs for lunch (all beef, of course) and enjoyed watching some of Uncle Andrew's cow videos on my phone. What he doesn't enjoy is when the video is all done. Heart. Broken.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Joy to the Hodgepodge!

Hello Wednesday. Here we are again, gathering at the Hodgepodge, thanks to our friend Joyce. Be sure to click on the button to pay her a visit and join in the fun!
Before we get the the Hodgepodge, I want to wish you all a time to relax, reflect, and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend. We will be kicking off lake season, so there will be a bit of prep work to do before the relaxing begins. :) Thankfully, there are many hands, and there is nothing better than having family and friends gathered at the lake.
Now, to the Hodgepodge!

Here are Joyce's questions and my answers:
1.  Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?
I visited Ruthann, who is home from the hospital following her surgery, and we laughed together about her texts and Instagram posts while under the influence of painkillers. And laughter is good medicine.

2. What's a simple question with a complicated answer?
For me? Anything math related.

3. Rhododendrons or have to choose. Are either currently blooming in your yard?
Azaleas. They are not blooming in my yard.

They were blooming in April, and every April, at Augusta National during The Masters. "A Tradition Unlike Any Other." Wish I had been there to see them in person. Someday...
Rory McIlroy hitting out of the azaleas at Augusta National.
(Photo credit Mike Blake/Reuters)

4. May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job?

I have not ever worked as a waitress. I don't think I would have been very good at it. Our daughter-in-law, Shylah was a waitress, and a good one. 

5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men?
I'm so old and out of it that I had to look up fashion trends so I could decide which one(s) should be outlawed. Ha! I'm not a fan of ripped jeans on women or men, and find it hard to understand why someone would pay good money for pants with holes in them. Our son, Andrew, wears ripped jeans sometimes, because he has worn or torn a hole in them. He wears them to work on the farm. Not for a night on the town.

6. Name a writer who inspires tell us why.
A group of us attended Women of Joy in Louisville last weekend. The trip was all arranged by Ruthann, and she was planning to attend, until her surgery was moved up to sooner rather than later. A good thing, since she will have more time to recover before her son's wedding, but a disappointment that she couldn't join us for Women of Joy. She was with us in spirit, and we thought (too late) that we should have ordered one of those Spirit Head Ruthanns to take along with us. And yes, I'm getting to the part about a writer who inspires me. :)
Angie Smith.
Angie (or as we call her, 'our friend Angie') was on the Sandi Patty cruise with us in 2014. She is an author, mother of four beautiful girls here on earth, and wife of Todd Smith, who sings with the group Selah (love them!). I started reading her blog seven years ago when she wrote about saying goodbye to their precious daughter, Audrey. They had learned, early in the pregnancy, that the baby would live only a few minutes. They were blessed by the two hours they spent with her, and they continue to bless others by sharing their faith and her story. The blog led to the writing of her book, I Will Carry You. She has written several other books, including Audrey Bunny, for children, and her most recent, a Bible study called Seamless. She is adorable, and she inspires me.

7. What well known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

As mentioned in #6, a group of us attended Women of Joy in Louisville last weekend. We missed Ruthann, and wished she could have been with us for the fun and fellowship. (And to see our friend Angie and the other speakers.)

Just a few photos to share from our weekend
Barb, her daughter Katie (Ruthann's future daughter-in-law), and Emily (Ruthann's niece.)
Jennifer, Courtney, Darci, and I, ready for the show. And baby Piper, our littlest Woman of Joy.
Our little group with Angie Smith.
 Baby Piper, snug as a bug back at the hotel.
We left the Saturday morning session in the rain…
as Courtney said, "Soaking wet and full of joy!"

We finished our afternoon with lunch, shopping, pedicures, and a trip to our favorite, The Comfy Cow. There's always joy in ice cream!
It was fun to have a weekend with special women, for a time of worship, teaching, and fellowship. We missed Ruthann, and wish Shylah could have also joined us! We will remember our time together, and try to focus on the theme of STRONGER Philippians 4:13 to guide us each day. Amen!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Grace for the Hodgepodge

I have been absent from the Wednesday Hodgepodge for too many weeks, and I was determined to be a participant today. It seems like sometimes the schedule is too tight, the questions too hard, or the motivation too weak, so I write myself a pass. Today, I'm here in an effort to get back to blogging, to exercise the grey matter, and to connect with my friends all over the world wide web. Thanks to Joyce for being faithful to the HP each and every week, and for showing grace to those of us who are a little random in our participation. Joyce, you rock! Be sure to click on the button below to visit Joyce and the others. And if you're a blogger, please join in the Hodgepodge fun!
Here we go with her questions and my answers:

1. When is your next big deadline? What's it for?

We have deadlines for Show Grace, like this recently finished vest, which will be shipped out soon. One of our clients will ride these sparkles into the horse show pen hoping to catch the eye of the judge.
2. May is National Barbecue Month. Do you prefer cooking indoors or out? What's the best thing about a barbecue? What's the last thing you cooked on an outdoor grill?

I'm not much of a cook, and when we do cook outdoors, my husband is usually the one to do it. So that's what I prefer. :) Not that I can't, but it usually falls to him (or one of the boys). We grill outdoors all year long, even in winter. Best thing about it? The way it tastes, of course. The last thing we grilled was probably juicy steak. Beef. It's what's for dinner. :)

3. What is one thing on your "never again" list?

I have learned that a wise woman never says never. That being said, many years ago, we received a 2-night stay at a resort in exchange for listening to their time-share sales presentation. I never plan to do that again. :)

4. What's something that annoys you about people your own age? Something you love about your generation?

I guess I might get annoyed when people 'my age' think they're 'too old' to learn something new.
I do love that people 'my age' have lived and learned enough to have a better idea of what's really important. The best things in life aren't things.

5. Lilac, iris, hyacinth, pansy...your favorite purple flower?

Lilac. We have a bush in the front yard that we planted the year Jennifer was born. She'll be 30 this year. I love to bring them in the house for the color and the smellllll. Mmmmm.

6. Whats a song that always calms you down?

Great is Thy Faithfulness by Todd Smith of Selah. 
Selah, Todd, and his darling wife, our friend Angie Smith, were on the cruise we took in 2014. This song is one of my favorites.

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

7. What's the last thing you donated?

I try to make stops at Goodwill when I have managed to clean out a closet or cabinet. Lord knows that job could take the rest of my days! We recently gave away a futon, and we also cleaned a bit at the lake house last weekend. A few things will be give to the church near the lake, for their garage sale, and a few more things were 'donated' to our son, the new homeowner. :) He has, in fact, been the recipient of several items generously donated to him, and for which he is most grateful. The items include a stove, a lawn mower, a recliner, a gas grill, a microwave, kitchen supplies, a refrigerator, and several pieces of furniture. What a blessing it has been for him to receive such generous gifts! It is by giving and receiving that we learn about love and compassion, and as we are able, to pay it forward in a cycle of generosity.
"For everyone to whom much is given, 
 from him much will be required."
Luke 12:48 (NKJV)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Will you please pray for my friend Ruthann? She is the one in the turquoise sweater with our group that went cruisin' with Sandi in February 1014. She had finished chemo by then, and it was a blessing to spend a week away with friends.
Her cancer has returned, and she will be having surgery today. Please pray for Ruthann, her family, her doctors, and for her healing. Her faith is strong, and we know that God blesses us with grace upon grace.
Through her journey, Ruthann has been strengthened and comforted through music, especially her favorite Gaither Vocal Band. Here is a video posted as a prayer for her today.
Praise oh praise Him, praise the glory
Of this lavish grace so full
Lift your souls now and receive
The Glorious Impossible.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's All About That Face

You may remember reading about the Spirit Faces I ordered to use as decorations for Adam and Courtney's rehearsal dinner. They added to the fun of our basketball-themed evening, which took place in the beautiful new Spurgeon Club in Mackey Arena.

Everyone enjoyed pretending to be the bride and groom behind their cute faces-on-a-stick.
The bride and groom with the bride and groom. :)
The fun didn't stop at the rehearsal dinner, though, as the faces made several more appearances throughout the weekend. LinneaLiz Photography captured this one in the detail shots of Courtney's wedding dress.
Kyle and Erin pretended to be Adam and Courtney as they made their entrance into the ballroom at the reception.
I think that's called 'face time',
or 'facing the music.' :)
I previously wrote about Courtney's sister Britney cleverly writing her toast speech on the back of Courtney's face.
Groomsman Clark was cruising with Adam on his way home Sunday morning.

Little Noah took Uncle Adam home with him as well, and likes to have little talks with him now and then.
The cute couple also found a spot in our basement where they can watch over the game table. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face!