Hello again! Avery is out circling the block with my parents on this:
Tonight is pizza night with Braxton and his family to round out Avery's birthday festivities. Praise God for his blessings. We adore our beautiful Avery.
Hello again! Avery is out circling the block with my parents on this:
Posted by Pen the Tale at 4:35 PM
Posted by Pen the Tale at 9:48 AM
Posted by Pen the Tale at 3:00 PM
I have come across the most beautiful song for my Christmas this year.
Last Saturday (as in the 1st), our church hosted Behold the Lamb by Andrew Peterson. He was accompanied by a few other singer/songwriters (Bebo Norman, Sara Groves, Jill Phillips and her husband Andy, and Andrew Osenga). They spent the first half of the program doing an Artist in the round deal. After that, they came back and performed the "musical". It really is just a series of songs that tell a story - no acting or costumes or live animals :-)
Having worked in a christian bookstore years ago, I was exposed to Jill Phillips and Andrew Peterson but hadn't heard anything from them in years. I like Bebo but don't have any recent stuff of his and I had no familiarity with Sara Grove's music. I don't make it to concerts too often and spend too much time listening to talk radio. So, this was a great night! I was debating about even going b/c I had had such a crummy day and was stressing about Asher spending the night at my parents for the first time and was feeling guilty about being short with Avery. Shawn had to direct the concert so he was at the church for the day. I texted him at one point saying I wasn't coming. He said to wait until closer to the time to make that decision. Thankfully the cloud lifted and I went. God used that time away from the kids and the music to refresh my soul.
Okay, so Jill Phillips has a gorgeous voice! One song from Behold the Lamb is called Labor of Love and man, it floors me everytime I hear it. I can't sing but there are a handful of songs out there that make me want to sing for all I'm worth. This would be the Christmas song for me.
Go here , scroll down until you see Behold the Lamb and then click on Open Player. Find Labor of Love and click. Take a listen and let me know what you think! (I'm sure there is a much easier way to embed a song on here but I haven't a clue how to do it.)
Posted by Pen the Tale at 8:44 AM
I'm avoiding work right now. Our Neighborhood Life ministry is coming to an end and I've more than checked out. It really hits home how hard it is to "finish strong". But I don't want to not complete our commitment through this month. It feels like that would negate three years of work and service.
We spent the day at the "arboreto" (according to Avery) today with Shawn's recently re-married parents (PRAISE GOD!). Despite a diva daughter and nap-less son, we had a nice time and the weather made it very enjoyable. Santa was there as was Mrs. Claus, a rather odd bird-like Snowman and a cute Rudolph. Avery braved a hand-holding drive by of the snow"bird"man but wouldn't touch him. She liked Rudolph and went as far as a high-five. Ash preferred them a good bunch of feet away but would wave and "talk" to them. Shawn took pics so I hope to get a few up here...someday.
There is a chocolate exhibit right now at the Arboretum. You follow the stages of production from tree to finished Dove chocolate. As you leave the Arboretum, you're given a piece of chocolate. You have the choice of milk or dark chocolate. I asked for "four darks please". I guess most folks don't go for that because she said how about 8? and heaved a pile of Dove chocolate into my hands. Oh well, one man's meat is another man's poison, right?
I'm a bit rusty so I'll close for now and get back to my overdue work before my eyes shut (Sleep is a high commodity ever since Asher decided to get all of his molars and front teeth AT THE SAME TIME! Poor kid, poor mom).
Posted by Pen the Tale at 9:04 PM
Our family has been fighting the stomach bug around here. That means no candy overload...boo-hoo.
But man, last night was perfect!! The past two years we've gone to downtown McKinney where they have Scare on the Square from 4 to 6 PM. It's a good time but sooo many folks. We did catch a quick hayride, lots of sweet tarts and asher "lost his lunch" once again all over my dad. Sorry dad!
We had a brisket dinner before heading out to trick or treat old school. With Asher in bed getting much needed rest and my dear parents listening out for him, Shawn, my aunt and I took Avery around the neighborhood. We had a blast!!! We live in a fairly small neighborhood that is still under construction. Because of our involvement in Neighborhood Life the past 2.5 years, we know a ton of our neighbors. So, it made it that much more fun seeing everybody out last night. Perfect weather and a party atmosphere made last night great. It was Avery's first time to go door to door and she ate that up! One of the greatest things about Avery growing up is getting to experience things you loved as a child through your own child. Sweetness!
Here are some pics from Scare on the Square as well as our church fall fest last week.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 8:31 AM
Sorry, Ang! I should've been a better tag-ee.
Here's the stuff on my man:
1. Who is your man? Shawn Timothy
2. How long have you been together? 9 years total next month. Married 7 years on the 18th of Nov.
3. How long dated? 1 year 8 mos. Engaged - 3 mos.
4. How old is your man? 34
5. Who eats more? I'll say Shawn, okay?
6. Who said "I love you" first? Shawn - on my birthday back in the day.
7. Who is taller? Shawn - 6'2, me - 5'7.
8. Who sings better? nah, don't even want to go there. (that means we're both pretty sad)
9. Who is smarter? Both of us have our strengths. And I know I've dumbed down over the years...
10. Whose temper is worse? MEEEEE!
11. Who does the laundry? me.
12. Who takes out the garbage? i take it out, he makes sure it gets to the curb on trash day.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Shawn, unless it's "that" time of the month and I need my heating pad...too much info??
14. Who pays the bills? I do, except for his business stuff.
15. Who is better with the computer? need you even ask?? Shawn, of course.
16. Who mows the lawn? that's ALL shawn.
17. Who cooks dinner? Me, the majority of the time. Shawn will step up if I ask. He is kinda too creative sometimes...
18. Who drives when you are together? Shawn
19. Who pays when you go out? Does it matter? It's all coming from the same place.
20. Who is most stubborn? That would be a tie. I think he wins more often, though. So, really that's not a tie, is it?
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Mostly Shawn...
22. Whose parents do you see the most? mine - the folks live in the neighborhood across the street - hallelujah!
23. Who kissed who first? i sure tried to be first :)
24. Who asked who out? well, we were hanging out a lot as friends and just started "hanging out" as more than that. Shawn considers a DC Talk concert as our first date back in Feb '99.
25. Who proposed? shawn
26. Who is more sensitive? me - I easily get my feelings hurt...a lot.
27. Who has more friends? I don't know. We are both blessed to have lots of folks in our lives.
28. Who has more siblings? shawn - a bro and sis
29. Who wears the pants in the family? huh???
Posted by Pen the Tale at 8:58 PM
It's after the 17th...right??
So, a bit of an update on the Davis clan:
Avery started preschool and loves it! I love that she loves it.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 8:30 PM
our internet is down (I'm at the folks' place right now)...and although I miss keeping up with everybody and also want to share more pics from our trip before another year passes...it has been a VERY good thing that this "break" was forced on me. The computer was (and I hope not anymore) becoming too much of a daily, um, obsession. So, thanks to the kind wisdom of God, I've had to step back and you know, live life...
See ya again after the 17th (or so I hear).
Love to you all!
Posted by Pen the Tale at 3:36 PM
We've got until Saturday morning and then we begin the trek home. Here are some more pictures. When we get home, I'll share more "details".
The cottage is greatness. We would for sure come here again. The only drawback is you don't have an oceanview. I would love to be able to sit out on a balcony after the kids go to bed and just stare at the sea. Other than that, we LOVE it! I would highly recommend this place to everybody! Visit http://www.vacationbythebeach.com/ to see the details. Prices are great, house is cute and it is really close to the beach. We've only eaten out once - it's so relaxing to make meals here and then head back out to the beach - all about laid back, right?
Posted by Pen the Tale at 7:16 AM
Yes, we are here! And it's glorious. We left McKinney at 4:15 AM Sunday morning and arrived in gorgeous Seaside FL around 6 PM. It was a long day but went surprisingly well, praise God! Thanks, friends for praying for us. We rented a 3 bd 3 ba cottage that is so cute...and cheap. It's in a little community with a pool. You head out the door and across a road and you're at the beach. Simple as that. When we got in yesterday, we headed over to the beach b/c Avery has been crazy excited to get out there. The sun was starting to set the sky on fire and it was gorgeous. A nice breeze and the sound of waves and I was ready to throw a sleeping bag down right there, sand be darned. Fast forward to a super cool occurence: We are on the beach this morning, playing, hunting for shells and loving it. Shawn is in the water with Asher and he starts calling to me and pointing. I look up and .... A DOLPHIN is like 50 yards away, jumping and doing flips and simply SHOWING OFF for all 10 of us out there. I cannot tell you how cool that was. That guy flipped and flopped for a few minutes and then swam off. Show off!
Here are some initial pics:
Posted by Pen the Tale at 10:46 AM
This evening Avery tried her hand at picture-taking. Enjoy.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 9:05 PM
We've begun a home group with 3 other families in our neighborhood. We've met a couple of times and it's good. Shawn is taking us through a book titled Twelve Sermons on Prayer by Spurgeon. Last night we tackled the first sermon.
I wanted to encourage you today with some of it:
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3
"Some of the most learned works in the world smell of the midnight oil; but the most spiritual, and most comforting books and sayings of men usually have a savour about them of prison-damp.
"...God's people have always in their worst condition found out the best of their God."
"call to me" - prayer commanded. We are not asked or recommended to pray, but commanded for the health of our soul. A hospital stands with the understanding that those who need it will enter. There is no command to go and be healed. So why do we need a command from God to pray? Because we are very subject to fits of worldliness: we don't forget to eat, we don't forget to pay bills (well, maybe sometimes), we don't forget to go to bed. We are very dilligent in matters of money but spend few moments wrestling with God.
God says "call to me" because He knows we will forget to "call to Him".
When we are burdened, have sinned too much and Satan has us believing we cannot possibly enter into His presence, God's command insists that at all times under all conditions, we drag ourselves if necessary to the throne of grace and "though my words fail me and my heart itself will wander, yet I will still stammer out the wishes of my hungering soul and say, 'O God, at least teach me to pray and help me to prevail with Thee.'
Unbelief also dampens our desire to pray. But still it is commanded! Call to me in every circumstance with every thought be it simple, complicated, worldly, or just too big. God's command is for a Christian at all times for all things, to pray.
So because He commands us many times in Scripture, we know it is sure and lasting. Let us buffet these ol' bodies to answer His command and bow before the One who loves us and will see to the perfecting of our souls through much time spent in our closet communing with Him.
I paraphrased and added much to this but I believe you will see the great truth Spurgeon is teaching. There are two more points: "I will answer you" - an answer promised; and "and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know." -encouragement to faith. I will hopefully share his insight into those as well on another day.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 7:28 AM
Posted by Pen the Tale at 8:30 AM
Seven years ago on this date, in the presence of his family, in the holy city of Jerusalem, Shawn got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
It was a hot Sunday afternoon thirteen days into our trip overseas. We had spent the morning going through the 12 Stations of the Cross, reflecting on the life and ministry of Jesus. When we arrived at the place believed to be where Christ was crucified, Shawn proposed. It was significant, he told me, because this is where the ultimate act of love occured - Christ dying for us. He wanted to learn from that example, lay his life down and learn to love me with that sacrificial love. He didn't have a ring, only words of love and willingness to commit himself to me. He asked the same from me.
As we know, my answer was yes and always will be yes.
After a visit to the Tower of David, we spent the afternoon roaming the streets of Jerusalem looking for a ring. We found my ring at the King David Hotel. I knew it right when I saw it. I was only sad that I had to wait a day (a whole day!) to have it sized and ready before we boarded a plane for Turkey. After passing through customs, I put that ring on and that's where it sits today.
Three months later we married.
And so we continue to walk through life together. Peaks and valleys, times of complacency and boredom, times of intimacy and bonding. All, times of growing.
We will probably never visit that place again. Pictures will have to do. But I will always have the memory of Shawn confessing his love for me in the place that Christ first demonstrated the ultimate act of love for all of us, there on the cross, dying so that we might live.
And be loved.
I love you, Shawn.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 4:37 AM
A little Girl's Night Out fun last night. Great dinner, GREAT conversation, a time that really filled me up AND allowed me to unwind. Thanks Lauren, Kristyn, Natalie, Amanda and Angie for a truly enjoyable evening. You are some hottie mommas with beautiful hearts, cute clothes and a good understanding of your "people group". Need there be anything more? I think not.
Let's hear it for big plates o'food and warm beignets with that amazing sauce. I really wanted to eat that last one...
Posted by Pen the Tale at 1:58 PM
Just so I wouldn't have to see that darn picture anymore. It was a moment of weakness that I posted it anyway. Glad to have given all you thrill-seeking blog gals a laugh! Or maybe a groan...
This little "random facts" tag sure has spread. I've been visiting all my fav blogs and some others I don't know and everybody is exposing their deep dark weirdness. Ok, maybe not, but there are some funny factoids.
See, moms are still exciting beings!
I awoke this morning at 5:45 am to get food in the crockpot for lunch today (we have friends coming over). I'm gonna share the recipe b/c this is easy, yummy and well, like I said, easy. I make jasmine rice and a green veggie or salad to round out the meal.
Creamy Italian Chicken
4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1/4 cup water
1 - 80z cream cheese, softened
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 - 4 oz can mushroom pieces
Rice or fettucine noodles
Place chicken in crockpot. Combine salad dressing mix and water and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
In small bowl, beat cream cheese and soup until blended. Stir in mushrooms. Pour over chicken. Cook 1 hour longer. Serve over rice or noodles.
That's it! Easy breezy! Let me know if any of you try it and what you think.
After prepping the lunch, I was awake so I made coffee, grabbed my Bible and journal and had me some good quiet time. I'm a morning person, no doubt about it. I love the stillness of the house, the sun beginning to peek over the horizon, no talking at all! I need to get my lazy bootie out of bed early every morning - days go much better, but I have a night owl hubby and more often than not, we're watching a movie until late.
It's 7:40 AM. I've got lots to do before 10:30 AM.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 7:28 AM
I was tagged by Nat for this fun little venture.
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (**if you’re a non-blogger, you can email them!)
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
8 Random facts about yours truly:
1. I listen to talk radio ALL DAY LONG. Mark, Rush, Sean and Mark L. are the men I share my days with. More often than not, they wear me out. I dunno, I'm a sucker. It is how I keep up with current events and all things political.
2. I too, choke when its time to conjure up lists and favorites. I'm doing it right now. Eight things to think of? UGGGGHHHH! My heart is beating just a little bit faster.
3. I enjoy reading Popular Mechanics magazine. I cannot tell you how funny the response is when people learn this. No bull, I learn a lot from those gearheads.
4. I am in an Aerosmith video. Nah, not the vixen, although I'm flattered you would think that. A well-meaning concert-goer many, many years ago. You can see me, if you can figure out the song and look fast. I think I get like a second of screen time. Nonetheless, it's a resume-builder, n'est pas?
5. My name is from the Old Testament and means "song of the Lord" or "Jehovah watches".
6. I am a crazy and very detailed daydreamer. Always have been, I guess always will be.
7. I was born in Dallas, Texas and have lived in Virginia, California and Massachusetts. All before the age of 14. I've been back in Texas for 20 years. Gawd, how old does that sound!
8. I firmly believe that I missed my calling as a Broadway star somewhere along the way.
Good day to you all and I'd like to hear from Sunni, Creth, Amanda M, Alexis, Courtney, Jen, Vanessa and Mitzi.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 8:54 PM
A good man went to be with the Lord. He lived 93 years on this earth. He dedicated those years to service to our Lord. His life was full. I was a better person for knowing him. Many were better for knowing this man.
George Oakes. A grandfather but not mine.
Married for 51 years to spunky Charlene. They met in language school in Brazil. They had two boys. Those two boys married and each had two children. George's clan.
Never have I met a man so steadfast in his faith. He walked with God. He yearned to do His work. How blessed for his old bones to rest and for God to say "well done, good and faithful servant. You never tired in this race. Enter into My rest and enjoy your reward."
We visited with his widow, Charlene this past Saturday. I teared up so many times as she shared his last days. Even in the throes of a confused mind, he challenged his family, "I am going home to be with the Lord. You stay here and do His work. There is a man in the next bed who does not know our Lord. Share with him."
And his family did. Without a moment's hesitation.
I could go on and on b/c this man and his wife inspire me to love my God more, to fight through whatever sin entangles me and strive for the prize - Christ Jesus, who laid it all down in order to sit at the right hand of the throne of God.
I grieve, not because George is no longer with us. No man would find more joy than being with his Savior. I grieve that Shawn and I did not spend more time in his presence, being spurred on in our faith.
Friends, Christ's love compels us. His servants remind us of that.
One last thing. Charlene shared a George-ism with us that really sunk deep into our hearts. I pray it takes root in yours:
(hear these words in a wonderful deep British tongue) "If you are going to worry, don't pray. If you are going to pray, don't worry."
Simple but profound and so much more - challenging. A God big enough to save our souls from destruction is THE GOD watching over you and me...and the sparrow.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 11:28 PM
Posted by Pen the Tale at 9:19 AM
And busy. I admire you work at home moms. How do you get it done?
It's intermission in our movie b/c somebody's dad called for a chat and well, it's never really a chat... :-)
So I've checked my email and stopped by to at least post a little something.
I do need some feedback, gals. Because I wasn't sure what I wanted my parents to get Asher for his first birthday, they haven't yet. And for some reason I'm raring to figure out a good "thing" for my almost 14 mo. old boy. Let me say he really doesn't need anything so I'm trying to think forward to when he'll be more active (yes, it's so coming!). AND, none of us need anything with little pieces. I've got pieces comin' outta everywhere, thanks to the curse of the Polly Pocket. So, hook me up, moms! What do your young strapping males love, besides mama?
Have a great weekend!
Oh, and my wheels are spinning - when do you guys want to do Girls Night Out? Soon, right?? and what night is best (this should be the fun part...)?
Love to you all!
Posted by Pen the Tale at 9:26 PM
Posted by Pen the Tale at 8:15 AM
This is the last week of travel! We are so ready to have dad home and he's even more ready to be home. C'mon Friday!
Posted by Pen the Tale at 2:51 PM
Two more days and my hubby comes home for a pit stop. He's been gone since 4th of July. The plane gets in Saturday afternoon, we get him for Sunday and then he's back on a plane headed to Maryland. BUT, come the 20th, he's home and done!
The end of August we are headed to the Florida Gulf Coast for a week! We found a darling 3 bd/3ba beach cottage that will be ours for 6 - count 'em, 6 nights! We'll be staying right between Seaside and Rosemary Beach. I AM EXCITED! Let's start prayin' that those hurricanes will tarry.
Natalie is initiating a wonderful project...be a part of it! I'll collect and get them to her, if you'll let me know you want to do it! An easy "teachable moment", moms! Thanks, Nat, for getting this started! You're gonna blow that "goal" away!
I'm hooked on Solitaire right now. I hadn't played it since I worked full-time in the days before Avery was born. I was watching The Office and Pam was wastin' time playin' Free Cell. Right then and there, I got my computer and proceeded to waste 2 hours. I could've been sleeping. I'm taking a break right now to write this (the kids are sleeping so I'm not neglecting them...yet).
Mindless, mindless activity.
My heart hurts b/c everytime I turn around, I'm hearing of another marriage falling apart. The pain and loneliness, not to mention the kids is just devestating. Pray, girls! The enemy is gaining way too much ground on this!
This week I've been camped out in Psalm 25. Read it, it'll do your heart some good!
Peace and conditioned air to you all!
Posted by Pen the Tale at 2:37 PM
Is it bad for me to want the clouds back? Man, is it hot or what? Bring on the high energy bills! On the other hand, my, it looks nice and cheerful inside my house.
This morning I got out and to the grocery store early with Asher. Avery spent the night with my parents last night. We picked up a few things at Market Street and I decided to go "garage sale"ing for a little while in old McKinney. There are always tons of garage sales at these great old houses. It gives me an excuse to visit our old stomping ground (even though to get to the library or the square, I take our old street, so I guess I hit the old neighborhood quite often. Way besides the point!).
I had to call Shawn this morning and confess the lust in my heart. I came upon a garage sale at a beautiful home that is for sale. Oh, what a perfect remodeled Craftsman home. Green, with a beautiful big yard, an upstairs, the big wooden door with glass panes at the top, BIG front porch. I almost got out of the van to see if I could take a tour. I wanted to see that house so I would have details to add to my daydreaming. I waffled, smelled my poopy son and pulled away...slowly.
When I got home and put Asher down for a nap, I started hunting the internet for this home, this perfect home on a good street next to other perfect homes.
$315,000 worth of perfect was that Craftsman creation, so lovingly and carefully restored.
Dang, I can't even fantasize in that price range.
Posted by Pen the Tale at 3:32 PM
A few days ago, Sunni posted about Ava receiving her first Cabbage Patch Kid. That got me to thinking about the years gone by and my time with my "kids". I had two: Amanda, a redhead and Simon, a bald preemie.
Funny how life imitates mass production...
Thankfully my mom held on to Mandy. Avery has added her to her never-ending pile of "special" animals. I think she thinks we are calling them "special" when we are really saying "stuffed". Whatever.
When I was in the third grade, CPK love was at a fever pitch. You could not find the dolls anywhere (excuse my use of the term "doll". Back in the day, I had a few friends that would give it to you if you called them "dolls" and not "kids". I think I've finally outgrown the need to make them happy.). We lived in S. Cali at the time, but it sounds like it was a national crisis. I had a beloved JC Penney catalog that I would pour over day in and day out, dreaming of my sweet kid just waiting for me to bring him/her home. I would wonder what the name was, what they looked like, how sweet they would feel in my arms.
A dream, shattered, day after day. Are you telling me Mattel couldn't up the production just a bit?
Anytime my parents would leave without us I thought for sure they would return home with my precious cargo.
They never did.
Finally, my grandmother back here in the Lone Star state was able to get her hands on one. I think she shipped it. I don't remember if it was for my birthday, Christmas or Yeehaw, we got one!
After the craze tapered off, I added to my CPK family. Simon, the preemie came home. He was a bit special. His buttstitch didn't take, so he had a hemorroid-like string hanging, no dangling from his unsectioned rear. Not sure why I never snipped it. Also, one of his knee stitches came out so he looked like he had a club leg. That poor kid...
He did get married, though. To another preemie. A match made in heaven.
My best friend and I planned an elaborate wedding. We set up a cardboard stage, tossed flower petals and invited other "kids" to be attendents. I have polaroids of it somewhere. I don't remember if we sent them on a honeymoon. We were, what, like eight? The finer workings of wedded bliss were all but lost on us.
Praise the Lord.
I've got to find those wedding pictures.
Got any CPK tales for me?
Posted by Pen the Tale at 11:08 AM
In the nostalgic mood that I am, I went looking around on our desktop computer for old pictures of Avery. You just seem to take so many pictures of the first child. Anyway, here are some of my very favorite pictures of her during the first 1 1/2 years of her life. Let me tell you, if you are worn out by "big kid" attitude, spend some time looking at pics of them before they decided to exert independence. It helps put things in perspective and remind you how much you love those little toots!
Posted by Pen the Tale at 2:47 PM