Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, OH MY!!!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Camp/Lion Country 2/09
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Errr... Minus the tigers and bears...

Feb 28, 2009
This morning I was awoken by the sound of LIONS!!!  Now, I've heard a male lion roar at the Fort Worth Zoo a couple of times - it is fierce and shakes the entire zoo!  This was more like a bunch of little roars, or maybe "barks"...  well, little is relative...  

Quite disconcerting when the only thing "protecting" my family is a thin sheet of nylon!!!  Made me really reconsider this whole camping in a tent thing, and made me momentarily jealous of those in campers or cabins...  The tent thing is pretty adventurous for me  :)  Now while the Lions are quiet I feel pretty brave, but when they start up I'm frozen with fear...  the long walk to the bathroom is daunting to say the least...  

I can't imagine living in a mud and stick hut in a land where these beasts roam free!!!

This gives me a whole new respect for "The Ghost in the Darkness", which I already had a huge respect for... that movie totally freaks me out!!!  

March 22, 2009 (yes I'm finally getting around to blogging about our trip a month ago!)
I can't wait to go back in a couple of weeks! We had so much fun, full disclosure we weren't really roughing it... when you can leave your campsite and eat at Chipotle in less than 5 minutes, you are not truly roughing it!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Oh I wish I was an Oscar Mayer...

...Natural-smoked-uncured-no-nitrate-or-nitrite-Beef-Frank..."  okay so it doesn't fit into the song well, but it does fit nicely into a healthier lunch box for Caleb!  I've recently learned that nitrates and nitrites are linked to childhood cancers, so cutting them out just makes sense to me.  And Caleb LOVES them!

Thankful Thursday

Things I've noted that I'm thankful for this week:

1.  Caspian (the kitty) entertains the boys and especially Jus when Caleb is at school during the day...  poor kitty...  ;D

2.  PRESCHOOL!!!  - although I'm also really thankful that Jus is only there Tues and Thurs 1/2 days

3.  that Caleb can do some light babysitting for us - he is a GREAT babysitter and they have a blast together!

4.  the babysitter for our Life Group (small group Bible study)...  Jessie, we miss you!!!  :)

5.  the new playground - tons of fun tonight!

6.  that Caleb can give Justus baths - again, he's an amazing big bubba!  :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where the Buffalo Roam

While reading a couple of Jordan Rubin's books, and pouring over hours and hours of yahoo group postings for WAPFTampaBay (Weston A Price Foundation of Tampa) and DiscussingNT (discussing Nourishing Traditions) I've been concerned about (among many many things...) the current practices for raising beef...  Now I've had my eye out for Grass Fed Beef, but it's not easily available.  I found this ground buffalo at Publix awhile back and we've been eating it, and loving it for several months now.  It's not gamey tasting at all, which I was afraid it would be, and I was very surprised to read on the label that buffalo has 40% iron, opposed to the only 10% in ground beef...  and I KNOW I need more iron in my diet!  It is pricier for sure, but I'm hoping the healthier change will save us money in the long run.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


My favorite project all year long is Samaritan's Purse's (Franklin Graham's ministry) Operation Christmas Child!!! I seriously think and plan for it literally all year long!

This picture captures the essence of what OCC is all about! These precious kiddos living in absolute squalor, who have never received a gift in their entire lives... are getting their very first gift! The fact that they have never received a gift makes these boxes full of what we perceive as dollar store junk, true treasures not only to the kids, but to their families as well! They are so amazed at getting not only one gift, but a box full of gifts, they often ask, "Who has sent this to me???" They are puzzled that complete strangers would give them, a seemingly "no body", their first and maybe only gift of their entire childhood! This confusion is the perfect opportunity the volunteers of OCC use to share with them the love of Christ. They also include a book in their language about the life of Christ.

The many accounts of new faith in Christ that come from this ministry are amazing, heart warming, goose-bumpy accounts of how a loving God reaches down to touch these very children and their families! One I just heard about this year is the story of Lejla Allison from Bosnia. I won't ruin it for you (although I will issue a tissue warning!), but go watch the video for yourself at:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

M&M's are truly MAGICAL!!!

My backyard looked like the toy box had blown up!  I know what I'm about to admit is going to be highly frowned upon...  considered bribery...   and I totally get all that, but still...

 I took one look at the suddenly sluggish neighborhood kids along with my very own and shouted, "I'll give you an M&M for every toy you clean up!"  And VIOLA! Instantaneously spotless!  And it only cost me about 30 M&M's, and the big bonus - I didn't loose my sanity  ;) 

However, this is a very, VERY rare occasion!  I've only used it once before, and basically it's used to bribe neighborhood children...  and they think it's a blast.  My kids know better...  it's a TREAT!

Thankful Thursday

1. A husband that totally spoils me! :)

2. My Facebook friends! I know I've already been thankful for them in another post, but it is so encouraging to get a response to my status, or to just get a glimps inside their world through their status updates. It's a great tool to help me pray for them as well!

3. New friends God's brought into my life through Life Group and Lake Wales MOPs

4. Fingernails... I know, odd, and I'm not talking about the fancy kind either...  just plain 'ol nails...  They've protected me from chopping off my fingers a time or two when dicing the veggies ;)

5. Bun warmers in the van! Something I would have never wanted, but when we bought our van a few years ago it had 'em... and who would of thought bun warmers would be a plus down here in sunny Florida? But it is just so relaxing on my lower back... (refer back to #1 ;)

6. Having a dear precious friend who just happens to be a massage therapist!!! God totally spoils me too! ;D

7. Awesome opportunities! Our lives are filled with them!!!

8.  Caleb's Tae Kwan Do school - they work so well with him!

9.  ...on that note, my friends April and Ted!  They are both so patient with my boys and especially Caleb, and they work so well with him!

10.  My forgiving and understanding mom!!!  I forgot her birthday earlier today, but mom it's totally not personal...  I also forgot Justus at preschool today!!!  (and NO it's NOT pregnancy brain!!!)

11.  That Eric works so close to the preschool, and has a flexible schedule...  ;}  (refer back to #1 and #10...)

12.  That I don't have to lug all my dirty laundry to a laundromat!

13.  That I didn't discontinue our subscription to 24 hr. Baby First TV when I thought Justus was over it...  It's totally rescued us a few late nights!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Living Grenier: Techies Camping

Living Grenier: Techies Camping

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

1. Church Planters Wives Retreat - the teachers are so incredible and have totally challenged and ministered to me every year!

2. Finding my CDs from high school right before my road trip. I'm a rock sta in da ca ;D

3. Amanda for helping me get to the CDs :)

4. Cold nights so I can snuggle under my warm blankies... (although it was in the 80's today...) and dreaming about ordering a Snuggie... ;D

5. Avocados... They're just the most amazingest fruit ever YUM!!! Although I think they should be in a different category other than "fruit"!! "Fruit" should be sweet in my opinion.

6. Chipotle. No explanation needed on that one!

7. Sharing food with friends at restaurants. Especially desserts, right girls! ;)

8. My fresh honey and milk ladies! Very Very Full o' Thanks!

9. All of the EXCELLENT help I've been getting these last couple of days! Y'all Rock!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Justus and Daddy

Click to play Justus and Daddy
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Techies Camping

Saturday Morning Cartoons
A few weekends ago Caleb begged us to go camping... that is, set up the tent in the backyard... ;) We were really roughing it with two mattresses off the beds, two iphones, two macbook laptops, and a heater... all plugged into a heavy duty extension cord... yup, totally techie... ;D


Psalm 119:48 (New International Version)

 48 I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, 
       and I meditate on your decrees.

While reading the Bible, I've come across the word "meditate" many times, but never truly understood what it meant.  I knew it didn't mean sit "indian style" (or "crisscross apple sauce" for the younger generations) and touch your middle fingers and thumbs together...  and I did know that it meant to continue to "think about" something, to ponder...  but I still didn't get it...  Until one day I was re-hashing a painful experience in my mind...  going over and over in my head what I could have done differently, what had been done to me, why had it been done to me, should I do something else, if so what else should I do, will this situation ever change, will this pain ever heal, will the situation ever be mended...  and suddenly it hit me...  I was meditating on my pain!  It was as if a lightbulb went off in my brain!  This is what it means to meditate!  It has been such an amazing learning experience to realize when I'm meditating on negative thoughts, and choose to stop myself and choose instead to mediate on God's Words.  What an amazing burden is lifted when I choose the later!  

I've heard it said, "Anything you DON'T feed, Dies..."  By meditating on my pain, I'm "feeding" my pain - causing it to increase!  Yikes!  But by meditating on God's word, I'm "feeding" my spirit, I'm renewing my mind, and I'm increasing my PEACE!

What have you been meditating on?  What are some things you do to stop yourself from focusing on pain or negativity?

While I'm Waiting

During a sermon I heard in Carlsbad, New Mexico on waiting on the Lord, the pastor pointed out that the word "wait" can mean several things:
to stay in place in expectation of, to remain stationary in readiness or expectation, to look forward expectantly, to hold back expectantly, AND / OR  to serve as waiter for, to be ready and available, to attend as a servant.

I've come back to this thought time and time again, especially when I heard the song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller.  Below I've included the lyrics and a link to the video on YouTube.

This song has really ministered to me (on constant replay on my ipod since september!!!) during a very difficult time for me, and continues to minister me now.  Even though when I first heard this song in September I couldn't even imagine myself as "bold and confident", or even "moving ahead" for that matter, singing this song and praying these lyrics have helped tremendously!  

What song has ministered to you lately, and how?

While I'm Waiting   by:  John Waller
I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

Thankful Thursday

1.  Coffee!!!!!!!

2.  Justus running with his arms flailing behind him...  looks like a non-flying birds wings flapping behind him

3.  Justus asking for "sqwooshy huggie"s

4.  Going to eat and hang out with people from church and really get to know them.

5.  Caleb's precious response to finding the kitty, "God answered my prayers mom!  It must be God's will that we have a cat instead of a dog!"

6.  Pizza day at school, not having to pack a lunch!  

7.  Exciting possibilities that might be opening up

8.  God's gentle guiding and direction

9.  My kids when they first wake up in the mornings...  They are so cuddly and adorable and say the cutest things and make the cutest faces

10.  Great teen girl friends to hang with and be silly with and play makeup with and who love my kids!  It's fun to have them to talk to about things other than Star Wars, Transformers, Spiderman, and dinosaurs!  :)

I thought I heard a puddy tat!

Click to play Here Kitty, Kitty
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I did, I did hear a puddy tat!  We found this little bitty kitten in our backyard on Saturday.  Now, we are not cat people as Shawna Lawhorn can attest to...  (and NO I did not intentionally launch Warf across the room...  I was very much asleep when he jumped in my lap at 3am!!!  And don't even attempt to contact PETA on this incident folks, it happened over a decade ago and it's way past the statue of limitations I'm sure...  ;}  However, Caleb has been praying everyday for the last few weeks for a small dog, specifically a Chihuahua, "but if you would rather me have another pet, then that's okay too God."  When we found this little kitten in our yard, Caleb's eyes got as big as platters as he excitedly exclaimed...  "God answered my prayers Mom!  It's His will that we have a cat instead of a dog!"  Now...  how does one argue with that? Caleb named him Prince Caspian... however, our friends Sarah and Jessie think he may be a she... in that case, Caleb named it Princess Laya... I guess we won't know for sure until the kitty's vet visit...