The Shack

Wow! I just finished reading this book this week in the midst of ESL ACCESS testing and what an amazing novel. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it, so I thought encourage my readers to pick up a copy and check it out.If I had to sum it up without giving anything away...I would say it is an out of the box, faith stretching read that pushed me away from my stereotypical notions of who God is. It also really pushed my thinking in terms of the question of suffering in the world. For example, time and time again I see good people who have to face terrible circumstances like battling cancer, and I wonder why God would allow such a thing to happen. However, this book's thoughts on the matter really struck me, that perhaps God doesn't create those situations or allow them to happen, but instead they occur because of the fallen nature of the world and rather he redeems those broken situations and uses them for his purpose because of his great love for us.
You should definately check out this book and let me know how it impacts your thoughts. You can read more on the book if you visit their website


This past weekend was the weekend of women's events...let me tell you...A women's ministry event, a bridal shower and A BABY SHOWER for Lisa!We are all SO excited for Lisa and can't wait for those little girls to get here!Lisa's aunt having everyone prayer for her and the babies.
The happy momma, her sister and mother-in-law...we're about to open gifts.Nope you are not seeing double...if you haven't picked up on it already or read the earlier announcements...Lisa is have twin girls! Oh, and twin cards can be hard to find...these two matched by chance from the same family.Matching or coordinating, aren't girl's things so darling!?A family made scrapbook...all she has to add are the actual pictures. It was beautiful.
Lisa was a Sigma Kappa and so was her Grandma. These shirts came from her SWEET! I hope I have a girl someday, so I can have a future Gamma Phi.
This machine makes baby food from raw to pureed, a big savings when you start out with two from the get-go.
These monitors keep track of all the baby's feedings and poops...the high tech way to keep a log for your first doctor's visits. Our moms just kept how did we ever survive without all these gadgets!?Haley wins...she found twin paper, not just a twin card and Lisa found a diaper genee wrapped inside so she can make diaper sausages.Can you guess who the sunglasses are from....that's right Courtney, our bride from the day before. Do you remember why she would give this gift?
Two jumpsters...I can't wait to see those babies bouncing in the doorways at the same time.Mother Goose RhymesA booboo bunny and a two peas in a pod frame. AHHHH!!!Calendar's for firsts.and...My guessed it and it's becoming my very own tradition.
The bathtub, two rubber duckies and...
handmade hooded towels!The father-to-be arrives.
Dan says he wants a hooded towel too...I just might have to surprise you with one someday. Mommy and Daddy...first there were two...then there was you...I mean two more.

Courtney's Bridal Shower

Saturday, Courtney was into town so we could all get together and shower the bride with some gifts. The Bride-to-be and her Sister-in-law to be (also our lovely hostess)The shower was held at Freemason Abbey, a neat restaurant in Norfolk that was once a church and later was restored into a restaurant.
Notice the sunglasses...the bride's favorite do we know this? We played "Who knows the bride best"...Leslie, the Mother-in-law to be won!
After a delicious was on to the gifts!
Opening Leslie's, the mother-in-law to be's gift...a beautiful crystal serving piece wrapped in the bride's favorite color, blue...which we also were sure to know after playing "How well do you know the bride?"
Can you tell she loved her everyday flatware and her down comforter!
Then she opened Cola's shower basket...a cast iron pot to make a delicious spaghetti dinner. It's become her traditional gift that everyone looks forward to when they get married! It's been given to Lisa, Lindsey and now Court...who will be up next?

Haley got her thank you notes in her fave shade of blue in different motifs.
Then it was my turn...

A heart shaped non-stick baking pan, a mini trifle set, and...the full size trifle dish with a non-edible trifle inside.
(I had fun getting creative with the wrapping).
Even Austin got a electric carving knife.Then there were some spicy gifts from my mom...for Austin as well.
What should follow sexy lingerie...but the breaking of a bow to guarantee the bride and groom at least one heir to the throne. Keep breaking those bows Court...we also learned that she wants four little ones, so three more bows to break.
It was a lovely shower and we are all looking forward to the wedding! In fact I booked my mom and my plane tickets this weekend! Wisconsin here we come.

WE3 Event

The month of March has been a busy one as you may have noticed and the fun continued this weekend beginning with our spring women's ministry event. I was on the decorating committee and had a great time helping to plan and create a spring time "egg-stravaganza". We went with a cheery pink and green color scheme for the breakfast and had break out sessions on praying, the women's ministry as a whole and our God given gifts. My gift came up as the gift of encouragement. Seemed to fit...what do you think?

Here's some shots of the decor.
We had a great turn out of around 130 women! I was excited that I knew quite a few who were there that morning between the 757 ladies, middle school leaders and parents and church staff and wives. Little by little I'm getting more connected in the church and every day it begins to feel like a smaller place, which I just love!

Coupon Virgin

To tell you the truth, I debated over whether to share the folly of my first coupon shopping escapades with the world...but in the end...I decided perhaps others could learn from my experience, so I would go ahead and share.Well, the story begins this past Friday when Blooms was having a triple coupon weekend. I had been collecting coupons for the last three weeks hoping to get in the coupon game after being inspired numerous times by friends.
So I headed to blooms and found 17 items that I currently do use that I had coupons for. I got up the register and checked out. Now mind you the silly computer screens weren't working so I couldn't see how things were adding up. The total came to $85 WITHOUT the coupons...I thought to myself, "Wow I can't wait to see how much I save!" A moment later I was told the total was $55...a savings of $30...but not what I was expecting to spend (way too high!) That's when I began to question my coupon shopping and was told that they only triple coupons up to $.99. "OH NO...I used a bunch of dollar coupons and you mean to tell me those don't triple! I thought I was getting a bunch of great stuff virtually free." Well, the customer behind me just glared and glared and I was so nervous that I just decided to pay and get out of there.
As I drove home, I realized that I spent way more on things that I didn't need at that very moment...I mean I didn't even leave the store with much actual food really. So I made the decision to drive to the other blooms where I wouldn't feel as embarrassed and return some things. What you see above is what I decided to keep since I had gotten a deal anyway with my coupons and they would be needed soon anyway. I walked into the other blooms and asked to make some returns. Then I was told they didn't return items from other blooms stores due to their inventory count at which point I asked to see the manager because I wasn't driving 40 minutes back to the other blooms. I nicely explained to him that I was so embarrassed...that I had never before today shopped in a blooms...nor had I shopped with coupons and I was unaware of the fine print stipulations for the tripling so I felt the need to take some things back that I had not budgeted for. He was VERY nice and agreed to return my items. A cashier rung my items back in and handed me $55 dollars.
Did you catch that!?! That's right...I spent $55 dollars my first go round and was refunded $55 the second go...and I still had all those items in the picture above waiting for me in my trunk of my car to go home. So I took home a bunch of free stuff...totally a fluke experience...but I guess in a twisted way, when asked how I did with my first coupon shopping trip I can say "GREAT!" However, it still wasn't the true savings that I will hopefully achieve the next go round. I'll keep you posted!
Do you have any tricks when it comes to shopping with coupons?? Things you learned along the way that you didn't think to ask when you started out?


The results are in and our one act play This is a Test recieved SUPERIOR ratings!! It scored an average of 90% from all three of the judges. I am so excited that my first competition piece did SO well!

This is a Test: A One Act

Saturday, Larkspur Middle's One Act Team competed at our One Act Play festival. They performed This is a Test (which I actually saw performed at States back in '98...and the director of that performance was one of our judges interestingly enough). The show really came together and the students did a fantastic job. There were plenty of laughs had by the audience.The play begins...Allen is upset because he's not ready for his test after staying up all night studying and being interrupted by phone calls. Then he finds himself distracted by a drama exercise that occurs in his mind throughout the play and weaves in and out of the story motivating much of Allen's distraught behavior.Paranoia sets in as he sees everyone around him blatantly cheating.
The chorus girls continue to taunt him focusing on his lack of social life, bad looks and overall awkwardness.A dream sequence occurs when his mother appears to tell him he's been accepted to Magestica University (as a sophomore).
The class singing a Beethoven rendition in unison to ask for more answer sheets leaving Allen out of the loop and without extra bonus points.A football player arriving late, who receives a 100% for saying he knows all the answers without actually having to take the test.A final Freak out moment of building frustration and confusion from not knowing Chinese for an essay question and in the end running out time even though he finally knows the answer to one of the questions.
We haven't received our scores yet, but as soon as I know how we did, I'll let you know. The judges seemed very pleased with our performance in our critique, so hopefully that will lead to good scores. Keep your fingers crossed for our little play.

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