Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Season 8 - Top 4!!!!

Hello! I had the pleasure of watching 2 of the performances last night with my son, Luke, before I had to leave the house, and he had his share of comments. I am now watching the entire show from the beginning and I will try to remember some of his comments.

Oh, yeah - Slash. His immediate response was "He's a little scary looking. Do you think so, Mom?" Yes, son. Yes, I do. But gosh, son, we must overlook the cigarette hanging from his mouth and his bare chest and remember that Slash is an icon in our rock n roll history in this country. WHAT? No, of course I didn't say that. I'd be willing to bet that Slash can't even remember most of his own rock n roll history. I'm guessing that Rock Night on Idol might just be cuh-razy.

Adam is first and he sounds AMAZING in his rehearsal with Slash. Luke's interest is definitely peaked when he sees Adam. "Mom, he looks like a girl. Is he a girl? I don't want to vote for him." I personally think Adam is very... well, beautiful... but I'm sure to a 7 yr old boy who is into Star Wars, Adam is peculiar-looking. Now, onto the singing. I do think this is Adam's niche. Beyond the Broadway slant that he has, I think he should go straight for the ROCK.

Anyway, he begins VERY sharp. Now, it COULD be the fact that the singers, as Ryan just explained, did not get a dress rehearsal... and I was wondering how that would effect their performances... but this is not the first time Adam has been sharp at performance-time. Hey, no one is perfect. We may have discovered that Adam is indeed human and gets a little nervous during clutch-time. He also rushed a few places, but I'm not going to hold it against him. Overall, it was a god performance that suites him WELL. WHOA. Hold on, though. During the guitar solo towards the end... well, it just got a little uncomfortable for me. This is a family show, people. The vision of Adam flicking his tongue out while sneering at the electric player is one that will unfortunately stick with me longer than I want it to. Ugh.

I have paused it. I don't now what the judges are going to say but I predict that they are going to fall all over themselves with praise for Adam. Let's see... Yes, I am correct! Kara. Oh, dear Kara. PLEASE shut up. HA HA HA, they just showed Diana DeGarmo in the audience and even SHE was rolling her eyes at Kara. Chill, Kara. Chill. Poor girl.

Ok, so I caught Allison's performance last night and wasn't crazy about it. She seemed lost and screamy. So much so that her mic was muffling again. Granted, no sound-check... but somebody should've been on top of that. NOT a good song for her. I mean, it's a fine song for her in general... but it's darn BORING for top 4 rock week. Actually Queen's Somebody to Love would've been better than Cry Baby OR Jefferson Airplane's Somebody to Love. Too bad she didn't consider that.

Hmmm, I had no idea they were doing duets tonight. Where have I been? Anyway, I can't think of a worse song for Kris to sing than this song. [Allow me to digress for a moment. When I sang and performed in a group in college up in Michigan (it was a bar/restaurant, but it was a family show. Read: FUN) we performed this song. I can be completely unbiased and say that we rocked the crud out of this song - harmonies, lead, band, all of it. That's really all I wanted to say. That's it. We rocked. But anyway, back to the duet.] I thought their harmonies were really good. But once poor little Kris - whom I love - started singing his solo part, it just wasn't a good fit. He couldn't hang - but you know what? He's not supposed to. He's NOT a rocker and has never pretended to be. Danny sounds AMAZING on this song. Strong and confident. Until the very last word when he completely WENT OFF on runs and left Kris in the dust, which just wasn't cool. Save that for yer solo, dude.

Powerful and Compelling, Paula??? Powerfu, maybe. Compelling, nah.

Man, every time I see a commercial for the FOX TV show, Glee, I am filled with great joy. I am SOOOO PUMPED for this show!!!! Yes, I'm a Show Choir girl at heart. Bring it ON. I'm so watching it.

Well, I really hope Kris can make up for the duet debacle with his solo. LOL! He felt like pee'ing his pants when Slash was playing guitar next to him. That was funny. I like you, Kris.

Ok, SERIOUSLY. I say it every season. I HATE THE LYRICS TO THIS SONG!!!!! It brings back horrible memories of Carly Smithson singing it, which gave me bad dreams for a solid year. Yeah, a year. Which means I JUST STOPPED having nightmares about it.

I liked Kris' performance. They're WAY too hard on him. Obvious that they want him to go home. He will do well once he goes home this week. He will still succeed.

Danny's singing Dream On? That was Johnsie's song that sent him packing last year. Rememeber Michael Johns? Of course you do. It's a hard song to sing, but it will be interesting to hear Danny's slant on it. Wow, Slash just said it could go either way. Hmmm. I would like to add that I thought Michael Johns did an AMAZING job on this song last year. It suited his voice. Not so much, Danny Boy's... but he has a great voice. Oh, man. That scream at the end was NOT good. It hurt me to hear it. Ouch. At least - not to compare or anything - Johnsie totally nailed that high note last year.

Can someone muzzle Kara? Who is she, anyway?
Simon is so dead-on about it being like a horror film on that last note.

Slow Ride. One of my least favorite songs ever. And Allison is immediately on my nerves by adding an "H" sound to make easy Heezy. Pet Peeve. Anyway, they sound really good together, but she doesn't quite have the energy that Adam does in her voice. But, they are rockers. It was good. Didn't blow me away, but it was good.

I think it's safe to say that unless something catastrophic happens, Kris Allen is going home this week. He will be fine, though. He will still be just fine in life.

I'm a little surprized they showed the screamy note when recapping the numbers for Danny. bad move.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How will we live?

I was researching some scriptures to give a friend of mine and came upon this passage. I think it's particularly noteworthy on a day like today. A day when we are filled with hope and wonder over an earthly leader. Don't get me wrong - I'm moved. I'm excited to see the nation energized again. It's good to see people rallying together. This is an historic day and I thank God that I'm alive to see it.

But what are we rallying for? Truly, my heart aches that we celebrate in the streets and throw parades and parties for a man (who, at best, will never be able to live up to all the hype that has been placed on his shoulders, bless his heart!) when at the same time, we suppress, dumb-down, and hide in shame our love and gratitude for our true Lord and Savior. I'm not saying there shouldn't be celebration for our new president. I'm just saying our celebration for the everlasting God should be BIGGER.

So, read this passage from Leviticus 26: (Message Bible)

*****"If You Live by My Decrees..."
3-5 "If you live by my decrees and obediently keep my commandments, I will send the rains in their seasons, the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. You will thresh until the grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting time; you'll have more than enough to eat and will live safe and secure in your land.

6-10 "I'll make the country a place of peace—you'll be able to go to sleep at night without fear; I'll get rid of the wild beasts; I'll eliminate war. You'll chase out your enemies and defeat them: Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand and do away with them. I'll give you my full attention: I'll make sure you prosper, make sure you grow in numbers, and keep my covenant with you in good working order. You'll still be eating from last year's harvest when you have to clean out the barns to make room for the new crops.

11-13 "I'll set up my residence in your neighborhood; I won't avoid or shun you; I'll stroll through your streets. I'll be your God; you'll be my people. I am God, your personal God who rescued you from Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians. I ripped off the harness of your slavery so that you can move about freely. *****

Now, if you are truly brave, get out your Bible and read the rest of this passage. It gives a glimpse of what will happen when we don't follow the Lord...and it sounds strangely familiar to what is going on now in our world.

I don't know about you, but I want God to set up residence in my neighborhood! I want to be able to sleep at night without fear. I want to still be enjoying last year's harvest and have to clean out the barns to make room for the new stuff!

Send Your rain in due season, Lord.

Let us give You and only You our full attention.

May Your voice be louder
May Your voice be clearer
Than all the others

May Your face be dearer
May Your words be sweeter
Than all the others

Please keep my eyes fixed on You
Please root my heart so deep in You
Keep me abiding that I might bear fruit


Ok, so Abbey just walked into my room with unbridled hope gleaming in her eyes and 2 baby pandas tied to her waist with a sweater as she proclaimed, joyfully, "Mom, I know JUST what I want to be when I grow up!"

Me: What?!?

Abbey: I want to move to Africa and take care of disadvantaged animals.

LONG PAUSE as I looked at her. She looked at me, still smiling. I cocked my eyebrow and waited...

Abbey: You know, like, I could take care of orphaned monkeys and stuff. *BIG SMILE*

And at that, she turned on her heel and skipped off back downstairs.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things I'm thankful for on November 13th, 2008

Today, I am thankful for...

Older, wiser, more mature friends who will go to lunch with you and later pray for you in your car!

Prayer warriors!

Sweet, sweet children who shower me with hugs, kisses and love!

New Shutters on my house.

Breakfast for dinner.

My God.

Swapping ideas, tips and encouragement with other photographers.

I'm thinking thankful thoughts today!!!!

What are you thankful for today?

Things I'm thankful for on November 12th, 2008

Today, I am thankful for...

Non-existent Seasonal Depression. This is a major praise report!!! I have suffered with this pretty severely in the past, but this year I'm actually enjoying the time change. This is nothing short of a miracle.

Much-needed repairs getting done on my house.

My mom. She is such a strong, amazing person. I love her!!!!

My friend, Cory, being born on this day.

Friends in the ministry who just "get me".

Friends outside of the ministry who love me.

My family, as always!

I'm thinking thankful thoughts today!!!!

What are you thankful for???

Things I'm thankful for on November 11th, 2008

Today, I am thankful for...

The veterans of America. Thank you so much for selflessly serving to keep us safe.

All of the wonderfully encouraging people God has put in my life.

My awesome Beth Moore Bible Study!!!! (A Woman's Heart - God's Dwelling Place)

Digging deep into the Word of God. I'm pretty much in AWE right now.

My husband - he's so goofy and fun.

Meeting friends at Starbucks and sitting in the big purple puffy chairs in the corner while solving life's problems. ;-)

Staff Meetings at church and all that come with them. We work hard but we manage to keep it exciting.

Friends who have started blogging about things THEY are thankful for - YAY!!!!! Let's start a thankful revolution.

I am thinking thankful thoughts today!

What are you thankful for???

Things I'm thankful for on November 10th, 2008

Today I am thankful for...

No Stitches!

Quality time with my husband... and Lincoln. And Abbey and Luke when I can get it!


Mondays with NOTHING on the schedule.

The few bright orange leaves that haven't fallen off the tree in our front yard.

Leftovers night.

I am thinking thankful thoughts today!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Things I'm thankful for on November 9th, 2008

Today I am thankful...

That my Mother-in-law kept my 3 kids last night so Aaron and I could prepare for church.

That we had an AWESOME church service today!!! Thank you, God, for consistently blessing us!

For teamwork in worship today.

That people liked my curly locks, even though I wasn't sure I did... ha!

That Lincoln wasn't hurt any worse than he was after church today. Poor baby fell HARD and cut a gash in the frenulum inside his upper lip. He might need stitches tomorrow, but we've learned to just be thankful this child is alive!!!

Cheryl Linz, for telling me what that thing is called in between his upper lip and gum!!! (frenulum)

Hollie Robinson, for taking over when Lincoln had blood everywhere because I freaked completely out and was useless. And Ann Watson for getting him ice.

That I hear a little birdie outside my window right now - aw, it sounds so sweet, even though I don't care for birds.

That my husband can PREACH.

That overcast skies make great photoshoots - especially when shooting my favorite Aussie neighbors!

That in the midst of a really busy day, I was able to get all of my errands done and my soup on the stove so that I can relax for just a few minutes before those crazy young adults get to my house. Love you!!!!

For all of the neat, new people that I have been visiting our church lately!

I am thinking thankful thoughts today!

Things I am thankful for on November 8th, 2008

Today I am thankful for:

My old neighbors and forever friends, the Casanovas, coming here from Cookeville to spend the day with us. Yay!!!!

Our new-ish friends, the Taylors, for having us over for a YUMMY Mexican feast last night. Great food, lots of laughs, good conversation... and being embarrassed by our kids not wanting to leave what they called "the best house ever". Ha!

All the possibilities a Saturday has to offer!

The opportunity to do photo shoots for my friends and future friends. I love making people see how beautiful they are!

This GORGEOUS day.

Our two awesome dogs, Buster & Bianca.

Playing Nintendo DS with my kids until my arm feels like it's going to fall off, but not caring because we are screaming and high-fiving with each victory.

Laundry. That's right. Laundry.

I am thinking thankful thoughts today.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Things I'm thankful for on November 7th, 2008

Today, I am thankful for:

Pajama days.

Beautiful Fall weather.


Good friends who are secure enough in our friendship and secure enough in their beliefs that we can have a civil conversation about our differences.

Our new President-elect. He is a classy, smart, even-tempered, peace-loving man who loves his wife and his children. Thank you for the example you are to families everywhere.

My kids' teachers: Rachel McCree, Beth Shafer, Angelica Bangean and Christina Keller - you are God-sends!!! I couldn't have asked for more perfect matches for my kids.

All of the friends from high-school and college I have re-connected with!

My church family. I love you!

The world I see through my camera lens.

And last but not least, my hunky hubby and my mind-bogglingly amazing kids.

I'm thinking thankful thoughts today.

In honor of Thanksgiving month...

I am attempting to write a blog every day of the month of November in honor of Thanksgiving.

I would love to hear what you are thankful for!!! Leave me a comment!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A few thoughts... off the cuff

I'm just going to type. I'm not going to edit and I'm not going to try to be politically correct. I'm just going to type what's on my heart. I'm typing as a person, not a pastor's wife, ok? Ok.

Congratulations to Barack Obama and all who supported him. He has a hard road ahead and I pray - sincerely pray - for this man and his family.

I am so proud of John McCain. He is a true American hero in so many ways. His speech made me proud. He had a hard job to step out from President Bush's shadow. He may be old and may not be the great debater or the wonderful orator that his challenger is but he has served this country for more years than I've been alive and I thank him.

Now, here is what troubles me: In my mind, the Christian community (as I see it) has had a wake-up call in the past week. Why? Because here are some of the statements I've heard from people:

"I've never been more excited about anything in my life"

"There is hope in the world now"

"I've never been more proud to be an American"

There are more statements, but I think you get my point. How sad is it that people are more excited about an election than they are about the God of the universe? Pretty sad and pretty sobering.

I'm not disputing that there is reason to celebrate if you were one of the millions who supported Obama throughout this campaign. But when people begin to hang their hopes and general happiness on one man and that man is not Jesus Christ, that - to me - says more about the ineffectiveness of evangelical Christianity than anything. We are worried about foreign missions (and when I say "we" I say "me" because yes, I am passionate about it) and yet our brothers and sisters next door have to wait on a presidential election to be more excited than they've ever been in their lives.

Christianity has gotten a bad name of late, and I think we've earned it. To be a Christian is to be a Christ-follower and I'm not seeing a whole lot of evidence that the vast majority of people who call themselves a Christian know Christ well enough to pull that off. For too long, we've relied on occasional church attendance and an icthus sticker on the back of our car to change the world.

It ain't working.

And as far as the abortion issue goes, let me be clear: Overturning Roe vs. Wade is not going to save the unborn. I won't go into it any further than that right now because I have a little munchkin pulling on me to "come cuddle", but there is more to say. Well, ok, I WILL say that as a pastor (of sorts), I have "counseled" and prayed with people devastated and torn apart by the pain and regret of abortion. I've yet to run across ONE person who does not painfully regret the decision to abort.

Do you understand that? Legislation is not the hope of the world. Barack Obama and John McCain and Sarah Palin are not the hope of the world. Jesus Christ is the one true hope of the world. I believe that with all of my heart.

And let me just touch on the issue of homosexuality. The hatred and fear that Christians are purporting towards the gay community is not working for us. Sorry. It sure isn't drawing anyone to Christ. I'm gonna say something that is going to make a lot of my Christian friends very uncomfortable: I love my gay friends. I do. They know where I stand and what I believe - but they also know that I love them. I'm more interested in them KNOWING Jesus Christ than I am in exiling them. Because you know what? He's worth knowing.

And as far as the economy - man, I really don't want to be a socialist nation. I used to be a fierce democrat because I was such a blindly compassionate person. Then, one day my friends John and Lorna Pyka said "yeah, that's great to give money to the poor from all o these programs, but where is the money coming from?" "Why, from the government, of course!" was my reply. Ha! It comes from the working Americans. Ok, ok - according to biblical principals, we SHOULD be feeding and clothing the poor. But I believe it should come from the church and from individuals. I don't want the suits in Washington deciding who and where my money goes to, ok? I want to be led by the Spirit of God about that. I want to have enough of my paycheck (whenever I start making money again, ha ha) left over to be able to bless people as the Lord leads. I agree wholeheartedly with my husband that a legitimate third party needs to emerge, because neither one of the 2 main ones is cutting it for me right now. If you work, you should be able to keep most of your money. The church needs to do it's job but it can't if no one is able to give to the church because the government has all of the people's money. Make sense?

Here's the way I see it now. I have an opportunity and it's a golden one. Instead of relying on legislature and a leader who doesn't even know I exist to make decisions on my behalf, I can wake up and start making a difference right where I am. The ripple that my life creates right here will become a gnarly wave elsewhere. When I walk in LOVE and walk in the Spirit, I can be a salve to a hurting heart.

So, I am not downcast - I am encouraged. God's Word will not return void. He will do what He said He would do. I can either be a part of it or I can complain and moan. I can either be a part of it or I can look to a man-made leader to legislate my beliefs.

I encourage anyone and everyone to read my husband's blog:
It's wonderfully written and he's really smart. :-)

I love you all. I really do. We may not all agree on every issue, but that's ok.

God bless.

I just realized I left out something very important. Other comments that troubled me, but on the other side of the coin:

"We are all screwed"
"Life is over as we all know it"
"The sky is falling"

Yeah, those aren't helpful, either!

Monday, September 08, 2008

When depression hurts...

I cannot even believe this happened, but it did. It totally did.

This weekend, I recorded almost every single episode of the "House" marathon on USA. Lincoln would come in a play on the computer while it was on in the background, but I didn't think too much about it.

On Sunday after church, one of my friends was having a really hard time and needed me to pray with her. I grabbed a few other ladies and we began to pray. As we were praying, she began to cry pretty hard. At that same moment, Lincoln was being chased by a bunch of girls and he ran up to me, looking pretty scared. I made him sit in the chair with me and help me pray. It was pretty cute seeing him lay his hand on my friend and whisper "Jesus".

After praying, we all went out to our cars. I had all 3 kids in my van and I pulled up beside my friend to check on her one last time before driving off. I've been really worried about her and just wanted to make sure.

As I started driving off, I hear this comment from Lincoln:

"I think maybe her needs Cymbalta... for when it hurts."

WHAT????????????? Did I hear him correctly????

"What did you say, Lincoln"

He said "I think maybe her needs Cymbalta for when it hurts. I saw it on a commercial. but it's not for a child. Only for adults, like moms and dads."

There is a commercial that plays several times during each "House" episode. It starts by saying, "Where does depression hurt? Everywhere. Who does depression hurt? Everyone. But there's help with Cymbalta."

I couldn't help it, I burst out laughing. It was just absurd. He was so serious. Later that day, I began watching a House episode on my DVR. The commercial came on - he heard the music and came running in my room and had this really weird, accomplished look on his face and said "This is it, mom. Is it Cymbalta or Imbalta?" I said "Cymbalta". Without even looking away from the TV, he said "Yeah. Cymbalta."

Here is the Youtube video of the commercial.

I REEEALLY need to be more careful about the commercials he watches! (Abbey & Luke, too, I'm sure!)

Just had to share.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm NOT Mace Windu!!!

Warning to those reading this who are sensitive to the word "Poop" - read no further.

For the rest of you, however, I have a funny story to share.

Aaron made the grievous error of "accidentally" throwing away the boys' favored Light-Sabers. If you know us at all or have read any of my recent blogs, you know this is not good. Not good at all. How does one accidentally throw away light-sabers? We won't get into that right now.

Anyway for about 2 days, I listened to Luke lament the unfairness of no longer having his beloved saber. Lincoln was only occasionally annoyed - basically when he wanted to whop Luke on the head with it - but Luke became fixated on the fact that the sabers were gone at the hand of his father.

No longer able to sustain the berating on Aaron's behalf any longer, I took the boys to pick out new light-sabers. Luke is a student of all 6 episodes and knows which color saber each character has, right down to the BASE of the saber. I mean, really, who notices things like that? My son, for sure.

As we entered the Star Wars aisle, I asked the boys what color they wanted. Lincoln immediately said "The purple one" I asked him which character had the purple one and Luke replied "Mace Windu!" A young boy walking through the aisle called out "Mace Windu rocks." Wow, who knew?

After securing the purple saber for Lincoln and the blue saber for Luke, a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker (before he turned evil, mind you!), we continued on to finish our shopping. Of course, the boys flicked their sabers out and stood en garde. Luke said "I'm Anakin Skywalker and you are Mace Windu!"

Lincoln replied in a low, menacing tone "I'm NOT Mace Windu, I'm Poops Windu."

I was so caught off-guard that laughter erupted from me before I could catch myself. Lincoln seemed not to really notice or care. We continued on.

Later on in the quest for groceries, I heard Lincoln again say his name was Poops Windu. I decided to investigate a little.

Me: "Lincoln, why are you saying this?"
Linc: "Because I not Mace Windu."
Me: "You're not? Why not?"
Linc: "Because I'm Poops Windu."
Me: "Hmmm, I've never heard of Poops Windu."
Linc: "He's in EPISODE 7, mom. EPISODE 7. I can't be Mace Windu because I'm a little boy."

Ooookaaaay. My theory is that Poops Windu is Mace's son, who appears in Lincoln's imaginary episode 7. I'm too afraid to ask for confirmation.

I haven't really heard anything from Poops Windu today... which, you know, I'm ok with! Maybe he's already forgotten. :-)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ok, Jenni, this is for you!

My dear friend/sister-in-law Jenni wrote me the following email today:

Subject: I feel bad having to be the one to tell you this, but ......

Body: you haven't posted a blog in over a month and a half. There. Now, I've said it. Get busy.

I wrote back that I was surprised it had been that long.

She responded: June 17th. I'm just sayin'.

So, if you really want me to write that badly, you have to be willing to be IN the blog. Mwa ha ha ha. (that's an evil laugh, for those of you who might be confused or concerned)

Ok, on to more serious things. My kids go back to school in (now) less than a week! Where, oh where has the summer gone? I have thoroughly and completely enjoyed this summer with the kids. Last year, I was ready to be shipped off to the closest loony bin. But really, what good would that have done? They would've found me at the closest one.

But this summer, we found our sweet spot. 8, 6 and 4 is where it's at. They're cute. They're fun. They can dress themselves and (for the most part) they're potty-trained. We've had a blast.

The first part of the summer was just spent at the pool or hanging around the house. Abbey and I sat up late each night watching Phil of the Future on Disney and playing computer games. So much fun, that girl!

Shelby, Scott and the boys spent several weeks here and a miracle occurred the week of VBS. We were able to go out to eat every single night while other people cared for and fed our 5 children. Oh, and my son got saved and baptized. But back to eating out... No, just kidding! Yep, Luke gave his life to the Lord and followed that up with water baptism. He has taken it very seriously for a 6 yr old.

The last part of the Cavender visit, we ALL (Cavenders, Sherry/Mimi, Ryan & Jenni, and us) traveled to Gatlinburg and stayed in a beautiful cabin in the woods. We had SO much fun. We cooked - well, Scott was the grill-meister - we had fireworks and played in the outdoors. I will definitely be posting pictures soon - or I will come back sometime when it's not 12:30am and add pictures to this blog.

A cool thing has happened with Luke this summer. He has become obsessed with the Presidents. No, seriously. He can name nearly all of them. He can name some I didn't even KNOW were Presidents. And he has accumulated these little bits of trivia about them. He googles them and reads as much as he can and asks me the rest. He knows that James Madison was the shortest. FDR was the first ever shown on TV. Which means there has only been a total of 10 shown on TV. Yes, he counted. The list goes on. In addition to the Presidents, he is still pretty obsessed with Star Wars. All 6 episodes. In detail. He googles that, too. Gotta watch that kid.

Lincoln continues to be the comedian of the family. He is just stinkin' funny. And he knows it. He will tell you "I'm hilarious", which makes him slightly less funny. Or, it would - if he wasn't so cute. We have this little packet of cards of - you guessed it - the Presidents and he picked 3 of them and held them up and said "Look, Mom! The Jonas Brothers when they are older!" And he might be little, but he is tougher than a corn-cob. He looks deceivingly small.

Abbey has grown up more than Aaron or I either one want to admit. In so many ways. I see so much of both of us in her. She decided at some point in the summer (about the time Shelby got here!) that she was tired of hanging out with the kids while all the good conversation was with the adults. So, we obliged for the most part and let her partake in some grown-up conversation (censored, of course!). It was hard on here when he had to shoo her from the room so we could talk sometimes, and she didn't go willingly.

Oh! The last thing I will share before scooting off to bed. I don't know if I mentioned that we gave Buster and Bianca to the Bagwells, but we did - in April. The kids were so sad... and so were Aaron and I, to be honest. We just thought they would be happier somewhere where they could get some attention and be around other animals. Boy, were we wrong! While we appreciate Doug and Sue more than they will ever know - we missed our puppies! So, when I took the kids to KY for 2 weeks to visit mom and the gang, Aaron got the dogs back from the farm. They are thrilled to be back and we are thrilled to have them. They are such good dogs.

Ok, that's it, Jenni! I'm all talked out for tonight. YAWN. Off to bed! :-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Where's my Light-Saber?

***Truly, I did not mean for funny stories of my kids to take over this blog... even though that's kind of why I created it. I had planned on writing some deep stuff on occasion. Alas, the kids win.***

Ok, this may take the cake for Funny Things Said in the Allison Household this week.

As I was cleaning the boys' room just now, the 3 kids were watching a movie on Abbey's bed. (What's wrong with this picture, I ask you?) Suddenly, I heard a blood-curdling scream, and in ran Lincoln, crying and holding his face.

"What happened?" I asked.

"Lukie hurt my face" he said.

I scooped him into my arms and tried to console him. I knew he was very tired and was basically waiting for me to finish vacuuming so he could go to bed.

He sat in my arms in great distress for a few moments before he said, in reluctant exasperation:

"I gotta find my light-saber and go destroy him."

Dramatic pause.

"What did you just say?"

He started wearily trying to get up out of my lap and in a look-what-he-made-me-do-now-attitude he said again "I have to find my light-saber and go destroy him."

I burst out laughing.

He wiped the tears from his face, put his hand on my mouth, looked me dead in the eye and said "That's not very funny."

Oh, yes, Lincoln. Yes, it is.

[As I was writing this, Abbey came down to tell me goodnight and started reading what I had written. She looked up at me with indignation. "Console him? Seriously?" I looked at her, puzzled at what her problem was with me saying that. "I don't even know what that word means... but seriously?" "Great" I said, "Now I'm going to have to add THAT to my blog."]

Speaking of Abbey... last week we were watching Nashville Star and it was showing the audition process and all the different types of people who try to make it through. It started showing various military men and Abbey got really emotional when one didn't make it through. Abbey said "Oh, I feel so sorry for the soldiers who DON'T make it – it must be heartbreaking. I mean, they just came from a heartbreaking war and then come back HERE and get their heart broken!" This was said with much angst and drama.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

My kids strike again...

Just today I braved three separate stores with three kids in tow for 4 hours... looking for the elusive swimsuit that would miraculously make me look like a size 2... ah heck, who am I kidding? I'd take any other size at this point.

My kids behaved so well that I decided they must have been in shock having seen me in various stages of contortion while trying on suits.

To reward them, I took them swimming for several hours to cap off the day.

My oldest, Abbey, looked at me at one point and asked if i ever wore a bikini (in stark contrast to the MUMU I currently opted for). I answered "Oh, yeah... before I had kids."

Her answer? "Oh, so WE made you fat?" The minute the words were out of her mouth, she recanted with "Not that you are fat now, mama. Really. Seriously. You look good."

Out of the mouth of babes.


The other day, Abbey and I were cooking breakfast together and she used a word that startled me - only because I couldn't figure out how she even new the meaning of it. I asked her how she knew what that meant and she said "because I just listen to it". She went on to add "It's just like in the 'Nancy Drew' movie... I knew that 'sleuthing' had to mean 'solving a mystery'."


Lincoln has pretty much cracked me up all summer so far. Today, while I was shopping for swimsuits, I mentioned out loud that I might need a bigger size in one of the prospects and Lincoln looked around in surprise and said "Why, mama? You're not bigger - you're little!"

As we entered the last store for the day, I bypassed the shopping stroller because I just wanted to hurry but Lincoln protested that he wanted one. I said nah, to just come on... but he stopped and looked at me with the most confused look in his BIG brown eyes and said "But, mama, it's me, Lincoln! I'm your baby boy!" Of course, I had to turn around and get him one. I'm a sap.

Lastly for Lincoln today: While we were in the pool, he kept coming up and kissing me and doing something else that felt strange to my face. I said "Lincoln, what ARE you doing?" He responded very matter-of-factly "I'm licking your nose." WHY??? "Because it's delicious!" Okkkkaaaayyy.


Luke is a man/child of few words. It's his actions that crack me up. He is really into his hair right now, and has spent many, many minutes combing it down onto his forehead into a rather odd style. We noticed just lately that there is a HUGE chunk of his hair MISSING from the middle of his bangs. When asked if he cut his hair, he responded with an all-too-fast "NO!" like we were insane to even ponder such a thought. I took him and Lincoln to get their hair cut today because it was wet with sweat just walking from the van to the store. He was a perfect angel the entire time his hair was getting cut and as soon as it was over he stared at his hair and face for quite a long time, turning from right to left and really inspecting it. He kept trying in vain to smooth the inch or so of hair he had left down onto his forehead. After a few vain attempts, he finally turned to me and proclaimed "Mom, I don't like my hair like this. Can we just put it back on?" :)


I feel like I am leaving a lot out, but it's late and this will have to do. 8, 6 and 4 are the best ages. I really wish I could freeze them like this.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Deep Thoughts by Abbey

I was tucking Abbey into bed the other night and as we laid there, she said "Mom, is global warming real?"

I was a little caught off-guard by this question for several reasons. First, I've been a little too busy to even give it much thought (sorry to all of my tree-hugging friends)... and second, it was a particularly chilly day and the last thing on my mind was global warming.

I said "Well, they do say the iceburgs are melting at an alarming rate of speed..."

To which Abbey got a dramatic look (is there another one?) on her face and replied "Oh, no, those poor Polar Bears! They are my favorite Arctic animal... well, except for the Arctic Wolf."


That was, amazingly, the end of our discussion.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Negativity, part 2

I think I'm almost over it, but the fact remains that I am still observing people I love (as brothers/sisters in Christ) just ensnared in the grip of negativity and I'm so saddened about it. At first, I was angry. Angry because the negativity came out in a very ugly, hurtful way... and let's just face it - I'm human. It's not like I'm Iron Man... or Woman. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is a load of crap. But then I just became sad because these people are really the ones being hurt by their own inability to see things on a larger scope.

Anyway, I've been really studying the Word and seeking God on how I need to respond to this. Regardless of how other people chose to think or act, I have a responsibility to respond in a godly manner.

I listened to a teaching by Brian Houston (whom I respect highly) on negativity, and here's what I got from it:

1) Negative people are actually unhappy with their own life. There is obviously something going on underneath that would make someone incapable of seeing the good in something. Matthew 12:34 says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If you find yourself constantly rolling your eyes and finding something negative in the things around you, I'd be wiling to bet that you are just generally unhappy and dissatisfied with your own life.

2) People who are negative will ALWAYS think they are right. They can't even fathom the possibility that they are wrong. Proverbs 16:2 says that "all a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord."

3) Negativity breeds negativity. My grandfather always said "if you mess with poop, you're gonna get it on ya." Basically I think what he was saying is that if you surround yourself with people (or even A PERSON) with a negative nature or someone that leans toward the negative, you are going to pick up that nature! Proverbs 13:20 says that he who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. I think when the Word speaks of fools in this context, it might be a self-righteous meaning. ???

4) Negativity distorts the truth. My son Luke will often get in a bad mood and make statements such as "No one loves me. Everyone hates me. This is not a good family." Now, first of all these are NOT true statements! Everyone loves Luke and we are a good family. And usually it's not long before he will recant his statements and apologize and give everyone hugs. Ah, if only it was like that with adults! It's too often that we get cranky or in bad moods and then the next thing you now, we're seeing things through a CLOUD of falsehood.

Which brings me to the last thing:
5) Negativity makes uninformed, dumb judgments. I know of someone recently who decided to make a judgment against someone else... and then decided to become OFFENDED based on the judgment he had made. It really was a very general, rash judgment that did not take into account any investigative or supportive proof. He just decided he wanted to be mad about something and so he was. He then allowed this offense to fester and take root and cloud his views on other things. Did he take his offense to the person who supposedly offended him? No. He just talked about it to other people. To make a long story short, it turns out that once he finally did talk about it to the right people, they were able to explain the other person's actions and shed a completely different light on it. See what I'm saying? Instead of choosing grace and compassion and being open to the possibility that there might be more to it than what he was seeing, he chose to make a harsh judgment.

So then what do we do? My answer right now is the answer I've been handing out like candy. "Think thankful thoughts." It's so simple, yet so profound. 1 Peter 1:13 says [ Be Holy ] Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Grace has been given to us by God. Let's pay it forward.

Friday, May 16, 2008

10th anniversary!

Wow - I can't believe it's been 10 years!!! Sometimes it seems like only yesterday and other times, it seems like we've been together a lifetime. I honestly can't remember what it was like to NOT be married to Aaron. We have melded out lives into one life so seamlessly that even our memories seem weird without the other one.

A lot has happened to us in 10 short years. I'll recap the highlights:

1998 - married after 8 months of dating (with one big breakup) and 6 months of being engaged. Pastored the Jr. High Youth Group at Cornerstone. Went on a mission trip 3 weeks after our wedding.

1999 - Got "Nash", our beagle puppy on our 1 year anniversary. Decided to move to Texas to start a church with Pastor John & Melissa. Not long after, we found out we were pregnant with our first baby! Moved to Texas in November of that year - I was about 4.5 months pregnant.

2000 - Started Hope Fellowship - had our first service in January... our grand opening service on Palm Sunday. On Easter morning at 5:33am, I had Abbey, our first baby! We lived on a farm out in the middle of nowhere in a farmhouse Aaron's grandfather built. It was rough, but we had some good memories there! When Abbey was 5 months old, we moved into Frisco to be closer to the church.

2001 - Found out we were pregnant again! Went through Sept. 11th with the rest of the world...

2002 - Gave birth to Luke on the first day of Spring!

2003 - Felt God moving us back to TN to resume our pastoral duties at Cornerstone. A few weeks after making the decision to move, we found out we were pregnant with Lincoln!!! We moved to Hendersonville with an almost 3 yr old, a 1 yr old, and me 9 weeks pregnant. In September, Aaron's father passed away. 3 weeks later, his grandmother, Ama, passed away. About a week after that, Lincoln was born, very very ill. Lincoln was in and out of the hospital for the next 5 months. Abbey was 3.5 and Luke was 1.5.

2004 - We tried to breathe in and out while Aaron pastored a large youth group and Lincoln recovered and Abbey and Luke grew.

2005 - Left Cornerstone to start Sumner Life in Gallatin! We had been married almost 7 years - had 3 kids and had pastored at 3 churches. Whew. In August of this year, my father passed away. Abbey started kindergarten.

2006 - I don't even remember this year. What happened? We pastored Sumner Life and raised our kids! Seriously, that's all I remember. Oh! My brother got married and Aaron's mom moved to Hendersonville, just down the road from us to help us with the kids. Oh, and we lost our youth pastor amidst much controversy. But, we gained David and Margie - thank you, Jesus.

2007 - Another year of raising 3 beautiful kids and pastoring a church-plant. Luke started kindergarten. At the end of the year, my mom had quadruple-bypass heart surgery.

2008 - And here we are! We merged with the Hope Center Fellowship in February after 1 short month of "negotiations", ha ha. Luke just turned 6 - Abbey just turned 8 - Lincoln is 4.5. Aaron and I have been married for 10 years! It's been a wild, wonderful ride... and I look forward to the rest of it.

I love you, Aaron! I can't imagine my life without you!!!
(I'll try to add some wedding pictures later!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008



I wrote a brilliant (tee hee) blog on negativity and the effects of it's poison. It disappeared.

I am painfully observing the ugly grasp of negativity in some people's lives right now. It would be fascinating if it wasn't so sad.

I'm of the notion that Jesus is enough - that you don't need theatrics, pep rallies or shenanigans.

Life is so much better when you walk in thankfulness instead of always looking around at what could be different or better. Be gracious. Be compassionate. Be thankful.

Jesus is enough.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Easter Weekend '08

We laughed, we cried, we got Toilet Papered. All in all, it was a great weekend of remembering what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross and out of the grave!!!! We were so blessed to have Scott, Shelby, Austin and Denton in town from Texas to have fun with us!!!

Here is a little recap of the weekend: (You might have to pause it and go through manually to read the captions - sorry!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Our trip to Sea Island, GA

Aaron and I had the blessing of spending a few days in Sea Island and St. Simons Island, GA with some other ministers to learn about the need in the country of Angola in Africa. It was a missions fundraiser of sorts, where emerging leaders could learn from more established leaders.

We were so excited to be able to spend some time with Pastor John and Melissa and Nick & Kim Serban. It was HARD to leave our babies... in fact, here's what they looked like on our way to drop them off with Mimi:
Abbey was especially thrilled... not.

We were sent information ahead of time about how nice the resort would be... but we honestly had no idea! As soon as we walked in, a butler was waiting for us in the lobby and greeted us by name. I guess when we had gotten our parking pass, they had called up to the Lodge and alerted them we were coming.

We were taken to our room by Tim, our butler. (Yes, our own butler!) He was excellent. He very pleasantly showed us around our room and told us that even though it was past the deadline (we got in around 11pm!!!), he could bring us some warm cookies and milk!
(You can't see the cookies, but OH were they good!)

Our room was INCREDIBLE. Feather beds and down comforters. Our butler opened the door to our balcony when we got there to let us hear how close we were to the water - we could hear the waves hitting the shore! Our bathroom was awesome. Huge walk-in shower, full tub, heated towel rack and heated mirror. Speaker system so you can still hear the TV. Our own bathrobes and slippers. Huge TV WITH TiVo!!!

As we woke up, I snapped a few pictures in the daylight:

The view outside our room was amazing:

That first day, I was able to go to the Spa and relax and get the best massage of my life. The Spa wasn't just any old spa. Oh, no. It was a 65,000 sq ft. monster of amazing proportions! Phuong was my massage technician. Here are some artsy pictures I took of the spa:

The next day (while the men were golfing - again), Melissa and Kim and I went to lunch at Sweet Mama's and then to see the Lighthouse.

As soon as we parked the car and walked toward the water, I saw something with a fin come up out of the water! I gasped and said "I just saw a shark!" The girls laughed at me and right after that a man walked by and said "You better get your camera ready - the dolphins are out" There were dolphins everywhere! We watched them come up in perfect synchronicity. It was such a neat moment. Neptune Park is the place where the lighthouse and dolphins were.

After this, we dropped Kim off for her Spa treatment and Melissa and I just drove around and saw the sights. Some of what we saw:

Later, after the guys finished golfing Aaron and I went out to where the majestic 150+ yr old oak trees line the entrance to The Lodge.

Aaron proves that he was still working, even though we were out of town!

The last night we were there, Aaron was really tired after playing golf the whole time and learning more about missions... but I was a little wired. Thankfully, I had remembered to TiVo American Idol, so I was able to watch it and write on my other blog about it!

All in all, this trip couldn't have come at a better time for us. The last 3 months have been wonderful with the merge and everything... but nothing if not stressful, ya know?

I am so glad to be back home... but found myself wondering where my butler is!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Sometimes it snows in April... er, March

Some 20-odd years ago, I was moderately obsessed with the artist formerly known as the artist whose name was formerly a sign and is now Prince again. Or, just Prince if you're nasty.

He was (and still is) so talented and mysterious and even though he was a bit raunchy at times, I was just enthralled with his music. Always the reclusive eccentric, at one point in the late 80's, early 90's, he was asked a question about his next album. In true Prince form, he mysteriously answered "Sometimes it snows in April." And that was that. No further explanation. He left us wondering what the crap that meant, if ANYTHING. The answer really had nothing to do with the question. But, it made many of us try to figure it out.

Strangely enough, the following year it DID snow in April, by golly. Weirrrrrrrd. That didn't happen very often back then, I remember.

So, what? you ask.

Here's what.

It's due to snow a bunch tonight. Normally the snow skirts right around us here in the Tennessee Valley. In the 10 years I've lived here, we've maybe had 3 or 4 BIG snows. (By big I'm talking more than a dusting.) Or maybe we've had more than that and I've simply ignored them because I don't like snow. That's right. If I'm prepared and can sit inside by the fire and not have to go out AT ALL, it's fine. But I absolutely do not appreciate getting out in it. I'm weird, I suppose. I just don't like being cold. It drives me crazy.

So, all the fuss and hubbub surrounding this snow reminds me of a really big snow we had here in Tennessee shortly after I first moved here in 95 or 96. I was single back then and hardly ever bought groceries. However, I had left work for the day and decided to stop at the store and get some essentials before going to my apartment. I walked into this place called Super1 Foods in Madison. It was one of those Warehouse stores that had gobs and gobs of stuff for cheap, but you didn't have to have a membership.

Anyway, I walked in and went straight back to the bread (so that half the loaf could mold since I was single, but was only .45) and much to my surprise the ENTIRE bread shelf was EMPTY! The snow hadn't even gotten there yet and people had completely cleaned out the bread aisle! The milk was the same, I later found out. But standing there by the bread aisle was a lady. She was giggling to herself and taking pictures of the empty bread aisle. Really. Maybe she was mentally disturbed, I don't know.

So today I had to go to Wal-Mart because I had been putting it off all week. It was a madhouse of people stocking up on food as though there was no hope of leaving their house for days. Thankfully I didn't need bread or milk. Whew!

Going back to Prince. He actually later wrote a song on his Parade album entitled "Sometimes It Snows in April". It's a beautiful ballad - very simple with some crazy jazz chords stuck in. There is a line in the song that makes so much sense to me in regards to my previous blog about Seasonal Depression:

Springtime was always my favorite time of year,
A time 4 lovers holding hands in the rain
Now springtime only reminds me of Tracy's tears
Always cry 4 love, never cry 4 pain

Fall was always my favorite time of year. Especially October. Ahhh, my favorite month. In recent years, though, I have felt as though I cannot enjoy October because it's over before I realize it was here (due to my freakishly early SAD appearance). Now, Fall seems to only remind me of the painful things we've experienced in the past 4 years of Falls. (grammer?) Which tells me that I need to get busy making THIS Fall (yes, I realize it's only March and I have some time before Fall gets here) the best ever, full of NEW memories that will take the place in my mind of the more painful ones.

Always cry for love, never for pain.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Just saving the world...

Ever have that feeling that someone is watching you? Even writing about it makes me want to break out in Michael Jackson's classic line "I always feel like... somebody's watching me!" Who was that guy he sang that song with? Normally I would look it up, but now I'm too lazy...

Anyway, I was sitting at my dining room table working on the computer a few afternoon's ago. I had that strange sensation someone was looking at me. Sure enough, as I lifted my eyes ever so slightly to the top of the stairs, here is what I saw:
This is my son Spiderman... I mean, Lincoln. As I burst out laughing, Lincoln jerked the mask off of his face and said these words (which made me laugh even harder):

"What??? I'm just Spiderman! I'm just saving the world."

Now, these pictures were taken with my cellphone camera because I was afraid if I ran to get my camera he would leave.

My little man - so brave. So funny. Gee, he's just saving the world. All in a day's work.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The end of S A D ness...

Every year I'm surprised by it, and yet every year it's the same.

Sometime between September and January is my death. (It depends on what kind of year I'm having. Bear with me.)

But March 1st is my resurrection.

I tend to suffer from something called Seasonal Affective Disorder... or SAD as "they" like to call it. This is a condition where your brain (particularly your hypothalamus, which controls mood, energy, etc.) is affected by a lack of sunlight. In some people, it is worse than others. I'm one of those people.

Some common symptoms of SAD are:

* Depression
* Hopelessness
* Anxiety
* Loss of energy
* Social withdrawal
* Oversleeping
* Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
* Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
* Weight gain
* Difficulty concentrating and processing information

Yep, that's me in a nut shell. The first time I experienced it was in January of either 96 or 97. I woke up the first Sunday or the year and felt paralyzed with the thought of walking out of my apartment door. I just couldn't do it.

When we lived in Texas, my condition wasn't as bad - and especially when I was pregnant for some reason. I never had it when I was pregnant. Hmmm.

The worst experience I ever had with it was the year after we moved back here to Tennessee from Texas. See, TN is situated very near the time change "border", so it gets dark here WAY earlier than a lot of places in the Central Time Zone. Texas is further away from the Central Time Zone line, and as such gets more sunlight.

Anyway, the year we moved back to Tennessee, several things happened in the Fall of that year. I believe I have blogged about this many times before but I'll quickly repeat it. In September of that year (2003) Aaron's dad passed away rather unexpectedly. I was pregnant with Lincoln and Shelby was pregnant with the twins. A month after that, Aaron's grandmother passed away. Then, of course, 3 weeks after that, Lincoln was born and that was a nightmare. He was so sick he almost died and ended up spending weeks in the hospital and had to be fed by a feeding tube for 5 months. It was a LOT to handle, on top of full-time ministry and 2 other lively children.

ANYWAY... we made it through that year - if you can call it "making it through" considering I was pretty much in a fog. BUT, when the next September rolled around, I began to slip into a downward spiral. I couldn't get enough sleep - during the day - and couldn't sleep at night. I couldn't remember what month or season it was. I would catch myself putting the cereal in the fridge, leaving water running, etc. All the while, my own dad was in the process of dying from the effects of early-onset of Alzheimer's.

I couldn't understand why this was happening at this time of year - whatever time of year it was since I couldn't grasp the concept of what time of year it was. Finally, I went to the doc and told him I thought I had a brain tumor or was dying of something horrible. He figured out that I was experiencing SAD, just earlier because of everything that had happened the previous year during the same months. Crazy!

But there is good news, boys and girls.

Something happens to me on March 1st. I come back to life! It's wonderful!!! It's like turning on a light switch. I don't know that it's always been March 1st, but for the past 3 or 4 years it has been. What is so weird is that when I'm under the effects of SAD, I have the hardest time keeping up with what month, day, etc. it is. But then, one day I feel myself feeling REALLY good... and then that feeling lasts for more than 24 hours and that makes me take notice and look at the calendar and - ALAS! - it's March 2 or 3!!!

SO, I'm really happy right now. It's March and I've come out of my seasonal coma. The sun is coming back to me and I love it. I'm going to try and make the absolute most of this year. I will have to say that this past season has been the TAMEST I've had in many years. I attribute that to all the festivities surrounding the merging of Sumner Life with the Hope Center Fellowship. The more I'm busy, the less I have time to wallow in my dumps. However, it's a vicious cycle because the dumps usually sneak up on me and take over before I have a chance to defend myself.

Now, I DO want to add that I absolutely put my faith and trust in God and I know that He has the ability to remove this from my life. And I believe that will happen. I will overcome this. But until then, He will sustain me.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

American Idol Season 7 blog...

I have a new blogspot dedicated strictly to Season 7 of American Idol. Yes, I am that serious about it. Ha!

Here is the link:

Monday, February 18, 2008


We had the best day today. Aaron had the day off. The kids had the day off. So, we headed downtown and went wherever the crazy wind took us and goofed off. It was so much fun!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I'm not an accident-prone person, really I'm not. And after giving birth to 3 babies, I'd like to think I'm a pretty tough gal. But what I experienced today turned me into a blubbering cry-baby!

So, here's the deal: I was bringing 2 baskets of dirty clothes down from the upstairs to the laundry area. I was SUPER-careful while going down the stairs with the baskets. Once I hit the bottom floor, however, I turned toward the kitchen area and picked up the pace. To my right in the area going from my dining room to my kitchen is a wall with a chair-rail.

Exhibit A:(Notice I broke part of the chair-rail!)


I apparently did not leave myself enough room on that side and I hit that corner with the tip of my pinky to where it got wedged between the rubbermaid laundry basket and the edge of the chair-rail. I hit hard enough that it bounced me backward.

I dropped the laundry and grabbed my hand and started pacing back and forth. People, I'm being serious when I say that I momentarily lost my breath. I was afraid to look at my finger because in my mind, the pain was the equivalent to my pinky being ripped off. Seriously.

With what little breath I had left, I yelled for Abbey - my sweet, smart baby girl! She ran down and saw me holding my hand up to my chest and thought I was having a heart-attack!!! My poor baby was so scared! She ran around trying to find the phone and I told her to call Aaron and tell him I broke my finger and to come home. I wanted him to look at it for me, because I was too scared to.

Abbey handled it like a pro. All three kids began to cry and I finally looked at my finger. Ah, it was still in tact! But, bloodied. At first glance, I saw that my fingernail had been ripped away from the nail bed from the inside corner to about halfway across my nail. Yuck, I know.

Within what seemed like seconds, my mother-in-law appeared at our door - Aaron had called her because she was closer! She helped to calm the kids down and I tried to run cold water over my finger, which really hurt the nail bed which was exposed!

This happened 5 hours ago and my finger is still throbbing to beat the band. I can bend it, so if anything is actually broken, it's at the very tip. I don't even know if that's possible, but if it is then I'm sure that's what has happened.

Here is a picture of what my non-injured pinky looks like:


And here are some pictures of my injured pinky:


It looks like my thumb!!!


So, I'm gonna live. Of course, I WAS going to audition for America's Got Talent next week and play piano and sing... and that is in serious doubt at this point. Man, I really wanted to meet "The Hoff", too. ;-)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mom - Open Heart Surgery

You may or may not know but Mom had Quadruple Bypass Surgery on Friday, Dec 21st. I created one of those Caring Bridge websites because it's much easier to get info out that way. Her site is:

If you visit the site, be sure to sign her guestbook and let her know!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sumner Life Acoustic Showcase

On Sunday, we had the most wonderful service! Our friends Richie Scholl and Amy Stroup gave us a mini-concert... as well as myself and Jonathan Lee and Matt Underwood. Alex Jackson was soooo sweet to learn my songs and play percussion for me!!! It was so uplifting and ministering and fun and cool and wonderful. The unity and energy in the body of Christ was just uncontainable. If you weren't there then here is a little sample. Honestly, very little of the concert was filmed - so some of the best parts were left out - but this gives you a glimpse of how it was. :-)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Something Borrowed, Something Boo-Hoo

Alright, so part 1 of my Manifesto has been posted and the chips will fall where they may. Though I can't endorse the movie, we all know what happened to Jerry McGuire when he wrote his manifesto. God help me.

But, in part 2 of my latest ramblings, I will actually be borrowing from John Bevere. Everytime I get my feathers ruffled about something, Aaron always says "You need to read 'The Bait of Satan'". Aaron is so good about just letting things roll off his back. Me, not so much. I'm working on it, with God's help.

So, I took it upon myself to read (some of) it. It's good. Really good. I really like John and Lisa Bevere - moreso Lisa because John can be a little doom and gloom for me sometimes... but still, they are REALLY awesome. Yes, I used the word awesome.

So, here is an excerpt that particularly spoke to me:

There is a deceptive, deadly trap that imprisons countless Christians, severs relationships and widens breaches between us. It is the snare of offense, and many believers are unable to function in their calling because of these wounds and hurts they have received. They are handicapped and hindered from fulfilling their God-given potential. Jesus made it very clear that it is impossible to live in this world and not have the opportunity to become offended (see Luke 17:1). If you breathe air and walk this earth, you will have a chance to become offended—guaranteed. Therefore, it is important for us to be prepared and armed, for our response to offense determines our future.

Ok, so that slapped me in the face. Here I thought I was being passionate. Turns out that sometimes I'm taking the bait of satan. Ouch.

Here is another part I liked:

The enemy uses offense to bring people into captivity. Paul says, "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition…so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (2 Timothy 2:24-26 NKJV). Wow! Those in quarrels or opposition fall into a trap and are held prisoner to do the devil's bidding. They are unaware of their captivity and don't realize their hearts are spewing out bitter waters rather than pure. When people are deceived, they believe they are right even though they aren't.

Another word for that is "delusional". It's so easy to see when someone ELSE is being deceived or delusional... very much harder to see it in ourselves. Ouchy wowchy.

And my last little excerpt:

The truth of offense is this: Those you care about the most can offend or hurt you the most. You expect more of those you care about, and the higher the expectations, the greater the opportunity to be offended and fall into the devil's trap. In Psalm 55:12-14 David laments, For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. …But it was you, a man my equal, my companion, and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng (NKJV). Most often it is a fellow believer who has hurt you, and this causes the offense to go deeper; it feels like a betrayal.

The other plague that results from offense is the sin of lawlessness, which, simply put, is disobedience to authority. A person who has been offended by an authority figure will shy away from authority to avoid being hurt again. This is the reason Jesus says that in our day lawlessness will abound, and as a result the love of God in the hearts of believers will grow cold; but he who endures to the end will be saved (see Matthew 24:12,13).

After ministering in thousands of churches, I have had the opportunity to see the direct correlation between lawlessness and offense. One of three things happens when a person is offended by someone in authority. First, they'll avoid all forms of authority. This often comes in the form of leaving churches, marriages or places of employment in order to escape the chance of being hurt again. Second, they become spiritual vagabonds or wanderers. They will stay as long as those in authority behave exactly as they desire, but if they don't, they run again to the next relationship or organization. The third behavior of those who will not let go of an offense is that they become spiritual zombies. They may stay in the place where the hurt occurred, but they never reach their potential because they refuse to forgive and release the person who hurt them. This is tragic because life holds so little joy for them, and others miss the blessing that their lives were intended to bring.

Alright, so I know this was a little long, but it's good. God, help me not to take up offenses for myself or others (i.e. Aaron) so that the enemy may use me. God fights for us. He hates injustice more than we do... and HE is capable of righting every wrong as He sees fit. Yes, it hurts to be treated unfairly... to be spoken of untruthfully... but Jesus went through the ULTIMATE betrayal and humiliation in our place.

I'm going to try and rest in that knowledge today. :-)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Late-night, cold medicine Manifesto, Part 1

Ok, so Aaron is teaching on the life of Moses right now and it's got me thinking. Poor Moses had to put up with an incredible amount of grumbling and complaining. Hmmm. So then I got to studying Luke 6 and Philippians 2 and that got me thinking some more. What has happened to us - the modern day Christian… specifically those of the charismatic vein?

Lately, I have found myself getting wounded and exasperated with people who call themselves Christians and yet show no signs of being "Christ-like" at all. What I see is selfishness, hate, unforgiveness and judgment…just to name a few adjectives. Aren't we supposed to be different? Aren't we supposed to be the ones who love? Ugh. Puke. Where is Christ in our version of Christianity?

Oh, wait. Am I not supposed to say things like this because I'm a pastor's wife? Well please bear with me. I'm a human. I would like to believe I'm entitled to some raw emotions. And don't think that I'm necessarily talking only about the people in our church...

There is such an overwhelming sense of "I love you... as long as you are meeting my expectations" and "I love you... if I feel like it" or my favorite: "I love you... as long as you never do ANYTHING to piss me off because if you do then I will forever keep a record of it in my mind and things will never be the same between us." Are you getting the picture? What happened to grace? What happened to preferring one another? [Zechariah 7:10-13: 'Treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. 
Be compassionate with each other. Don't take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don't plot and scheme against one another—that's evil.' "But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God's revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn't listen to a word he said.]

Grrr, of course I'm preaching to myself right now, too. And I know my husband is going to be like "Oh, Beth... why?" But I can't help it. I see these things and my heart cries out "NO!" If we have to walk on eggshells around each other and can't speak the truth in love, then what have we come to? [Luke 6:26: There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.]

Yes, it’s easier to just keep quiet. You don’t step on any toes like that…but that’s not the way God made me.

Anyway, here are some passages I’ve been studying and meditating on tonight. First is Philippians 2…

1-4 If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process.
14-15 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society.

Next is in Luke 6…

31-34 "Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.”

And now I am very tired and must go to bed. I love God’s people. I really do. It’s just church people that exasperate me sometimes. ☺

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Various Photo Albums, etc.

Morgan and kids

I have taken tons of pictures while being in KY. (Almost 400 at last count.) If you click on each of the pictures, it will take you to the online album. There are captions for your viewing enjoyment. Ha!

My Deer Encounter

Summer fun in KY - day 1

Funniest video ever!
(Ok, so this last one wasn't actually taken in KY... but it's darn funny!)

Friday, June 01, 2007

There's no place like home...

Ahhh, home! This is where the magic happens.

On Tuesday, me and the kids traveled to my hometown to visit my mom and family. The drive was wonderfully uneventful... and absolutely GORGEOUS. This is the second best time of year to make the drive. Of course, Fall is the best... but this is a close second! Everything was so lush and alive. Even Abbey just stared out the window at times and commented on how beautiful everything was and how much life was in the hills.

When we arrived at my mom's house (the house I grew up in!) I got out of the car and the smell of honeysuckle completely overwhelemed me. So many memories came flooding at once. Seriously, the smell in the air is remarkable. You know, you can take a picture of a beautiful sight that you want to share with others... but you can't bottle up the smell of good ole nature. It's almost a shame.

So far, this has been one of the best trips home we've had... except for the fact that Aaron isn't with us yet. He's coming next week with my mother-in-law! We can't wait.
All day Wednesday, we went to my uncle's pool with all the kids in the family and took pictures, laughed, goofed off, etc. Oh, did I mention that Lincoln didn't have an accident the whole 5 hour drive here? Everytime we stopped, he had on a dry pull-up - AND... (drumroll) he seems to be completely potty-trained all of a sudden. It's about time, I know. He's the baby. He's just a little spoiled. But he's darn cute.

Last night, we went out to eat for my nephew's 18th birthday and then took the kids to see Shrek the Third. It was really cute. There was 12 of us and we laughed so hard at the movie. After that, I took Abbey and Morgan to Walmart for 2 hours. There's not much else to do in P-burg! Well, I say that, but mom's house stays buzzing with activity. Literally, from about 30 seconds after we pull in people start coming over. Mom's house is like a big revolving door. The kids love it. I think they would stay here if I let them... which I won't! I would miss them too much! My niece, Morgan, usually stays with us when we come home and she lets me sleep in while she feeds my kids breakfast. Does it get any better than that?

I love being home. I feel safe here. This is where the magic happens.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bon Jovi night - my thoughts

I must say I went into tonight thinking that no one but Phil Stacey could pull off a Bon Jovi song... and if the truth be told, I was probably right.

Let's get right on down to it, shall we? My throat is hurting like the dickens - whatever that is - and my benedryl just kicked in. Yeehaw.

Phil - Rocked. The. House. Seriously, he could NOT have picked a better song. I KNEW that he was gonna kick some butt tonight. He has pipes. He gets my award for most improved contestant. Most everyone else peaked WAY too early... but not Phil. He waited until just the right moment (which, imho was "Every Breath You Take") to pull out the big guns and join the competition for realsies. I like this guy. He's nice. He loves his wife and kids. He's a Christian. And boy, can he sing. (Funny: Abbey watched with me for the first time all season. She said "He's good, but he screamed that last part." I said he didn't. We got into a mini-argument about it. Tee hee.)

Jordin - Is that Sanjaya? What the...? Ohhhh, we're halfway there... Whoa-oh, Jordin's now living on a prayer. Her singing that song was so dang uncomfortable, I wanted to fast-forward through it. I haven't had that urge since Scott Savol and Anthony Federov were in it. It just wasn't good. That's 2 weeks for Ms. Sparks. I think she has enough fans to push her above Lakisha and Chris... but you never know at this stage in the game.

Lakisha - My first thought with Kiki was "What the heck is she wearing????" And then she said she didn't want to sit so people could see her slimmer side. Honey. No. Now, I have no room to talk... but come on. Not a flattering outfit. She sang the song better than any she has in awhile... but for Simon to kiss her? He slaughtered Phil - which was highly uncalled for, I might add - and was giddy that Lakisha sang well. Blah. Too little too late, I say. She should've been singing like that the past 2 months.

Blake - I was sooo nervous going into his song! Jon Bon Jovi made it seem like he was going to do the polka or something. I actually liked it, but I want to go back and watch it again because I was so scared of what he was going to do, I couldn't enjoy it. It was original. By FAR the most original thing anyone has done on Idol ever. Yes, he was very pitchy throughout the song... and yes, his stamina seemed to slip towards the end. BUT... he pulled it off. I say, kudos to Blake for having some guts.

Chris - I was a little scared for Chris tonight. He has such a pinched voice, and Jon Bon Jovi's is so open... I had no idea what he was going to do. Now... let's get something straight. If Lakisha wants to resurrect Carrie Underwood and Fantasia, then whatever. But for Chris R to attempt a song that Chris Daughtry rocked out on last year? Not his smartest move, I was thinking. Here's the deal. It wasn't horrible. SOME of it was even original and good. But when he would sing "ALIVE" from the back of his throat... I wanted to claw my own eyes out! (I'm hormonal, can anyone tell?) Project and focus that sound, Chris! Cover the vowel a little, for heaven's sake. Don't that have a vocal coach? Anyway, hopping down off of my soap box... definitely not the worst of the night. That spot belongs to Jordin, unfortunately. Until...

Melinda - I didn't dare to predict what song Melinda was going to sing... I just knew she would give it her all and make it her own. I was not wrong on that... I just didn't love it. She tried. She really did. Worst Bon Jovi song to pick, I think. That didn't help her. The section of the song where she was dancing back to back with that awkward guitarist was just straaaaange. Aaron walked in during that part and we had a good laugh. That guy was trying so hard to be cool and it just wasn't working. Melinda looked more "rock" than he did, if that tells you anything! As always, it's hard to pick on her voice... except that I didn't think it fit the song at all.

Here is my ranking for tonight's show:

1) Phil
2) Melinda
3) Blake
4) Chris
5) Lakisha
6) Jordin


Who SHOULD go home? (Remember it's TWO this week!) Chris and Lakisha
Who WILL go home? I honestly have no idea.

Love to all!