Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet Summer Getaway...

My family of five plus our best family friends, the Etters, spent Thursday-Monday on a sweet little summer getaway in Ruidoso, NM. The above picture was taken while we were downtown on Monday about to head back home to Abilene. I loved our time away. I spent a majority of my time knitting on the wrap-around back porch while other people spent time in the hot tub. I don't particularly like putting on a bathing suit. Anytime I do, I put a t-shirt over it. We also played Chickenfoot, ate yummy meals at the house we rented, played Phase 10, Uno, the card game, Golf, talked a ton, and made great memories. I loved having my brother and his wife with us.

The boys played golf twice, watched The British Open, and we all watched Lonesome Dove at night after dinner. The middle picture is me with Christin and Carly Etter plus my sweet sister-in-law. I LOVE these precious girls. Truly, they are so fun to be around, and they are three of my favorite people. The top picture is me with what I like to call my 5-family. I absolutely love being with every member of my immediate family, but we aren't all together a lot. Anytime we are, I like to get a family picture taken. Our time in Ruidoso was so fun. I love being surrounded by people I cherish, and this little vacation was full of time with people that fit that description.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hear Ye, Hear Ye...

Allow me, dear blog readers, to indroduce you to a fabulous new online business. Snowbird Design by Ashley Snow can be found here: http://www.snowbirddesign.blogspot.com/ Ashley is a friend of mine from my Abilene High days. We graduated together in May of 2001. She was Champ, the mascot of AHS during our senior year. She and I have become closer in our days out of high school. Ashley is one very classy and sophisticated designer if I do say so myself, but, be warned, this is my completely biased, humble opinion. She specializes in baby anouncements, invitations, personalized party labels, Christmas card designs, and change-of-address cards that you can send out to your family and friends. Check her out. She's just fabulous!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Choosing Praise...

Sunday I heard a very anointed sermon on how powerfully the Lord moves through us, in us, and for us as believers when we choose praise instead of dwelling on the seemingly never-ending parade of problems that are found in this world. I was very convicted to say the least. I've always held to the belief that praise holds untold amounts of power, but this week, Jerry Taylor helped me to re-examine my alleigiance to its truth. The Spirit used him to help me clean out the trash of worldly influences over my mind and to put fresh relevence on what this truly means. He fleshed it out and helped me to cling to it with ever-more deepening fervency. Here is how the Holy Spirit rephrased his thought as it swirled around in my consciousness and found a solidified and very personal, permanent place in my spirit and heart:

"Lauren, steward yourself in gratitude and thankfulness. Allow Me to fill you with an increasing joy that is fully fueled by the promise that choosing praise instead of dwelling on the never-ending parade of problems of this age is far more powerful in the life of a believer. Futhermore, fervent praise instead of selfish and incessent worry moves God's heart to rescue, redeem, and restore to its fullest measure."

As the Holy Spirit penned this upon my spirit, I was overwhelmed by the power of this thought. Can you imagine this thought being put into action? The world we live in would change in ways that are impossible for man to comprehend. I love that we serve a God that specializes in bringing about things that seem impossible in our finite minds, but are completely accessible and possible by His power and creativity. I want to rely on His creativity, power, and what stirs His heart with a white-hot passion and abandon to my own ways of thinking and doing. I love that God does not have our mind or our flawed methods of thinking or reasoning. I desperately want to allow the Holy Spirit to dictate how I spend my time and my money, I want Him to author and ordain the pursuits of my mind, and I want Him to continually reveal His secrets to me. I desire to be teachable. I don't ever want to be finished being His student. God speaks softly, yet powerfully through and in a life that is surrendered upon the altar of His teaching and a believer that is fully given to His callings is sure to be part of an unforgettable adventure full of rich rewards, fulfilled dreams, and untold blessings that await those who don't want to miss what God is bringing to those who diligently seek to know Him, His character, His precepts, and the ways he moves, that quite honesly, in my very humble opintion, put anything of this world to complete and utter shame.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Movies Galore...

I started last weekend a little earlier than usual. It is my custom to pack and ready myself for time at my parents' house on Friday morning or afternoon. My mom called late Thursday afternoon and asked if I might enjoy an extra night at their house, and I never turn that down. I am treated like royalty when I'm with them. My mom and dad are two of the most generous people I know on the planet. Well, we knew it was going to be a great 3-day weekend for my mom and I and a great 4-day weekend for my dad. July 4th is always fun and festive. Plus, in myh family we love to celebrate any occasion. There were several movies out that we wanted to see, so it was decided that a majority of the holiday weekend would be spent at the movies. All together we saw three movies at the theatre. My mom also slipped Eclipse in on Monday afternoon. Here is a rundown on all the movies we saw last weekend:We started the movie festivities off with Toy Story 3. It was my favorite of the trilogy, but be warned it does have some moments during the show that I thought might be a little graphic and on the major scary side for young viewers. My 3-year-old cousin would've bawled her little eyes out. The Betsy-Wetsie doll reminded me and mom of Chucky. She was really big, had scary flashing eyes, and was sent to scare the toys into submission. There is also a bear in the movie that pretends to be loving and happy-go-lucky, but turns out to be scary and vindictive. Ken and Barbie were absolutely hilarious though. They were two of my favorite characters in the film. Another favoite was Mrs. Potato Head and Buzz when he played his alter ego - so funny! I think it is worth seeing. Anything Pixar puts out is good in my opinion.The next stop on the movie train was Robin Hood. It was so good. Everyone in our family loved it. If you haven't seen it please go. I love anything set in Medieval times. I happen to really enjoy that paricular time in history, although, I am thankful I was created and chosen to live in the 20th and 21st centuries in many ways. I love knights and ladies, castles, banquets, the costumes of the time, and the customs. Seeing beautiful parts of England and France in that time period wasn't bad either. I LOVE England. I love its sense of tradition, its centuries-old architecture, and the rich and vibrant sense of history of the country. I could live in England. Cate Blanchett did a wonderful job playing Maiden Marian, too. It took me the entire movie to relize who the actress was. At the end after the credits rolled past her name I thought, "THAT'S who that was." All in all, Robin Hood was so worth seeing. The third adventure we took was a trip to Beijing as we watched Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, and Taraji P. Henson in Karate Kid. I loved it. Except watching kids who were taught Kung Foo in a horrible violent way. Mr Hahn, (Jackie Chan) taught Dre (Smith) how Kung Foo was used as an ancient way to earn respect and to learn to defend yourself in a non-volent, honorable manner. I really enjoyed this film. The cinematography and scenery was absolutely gorgeous. Beijing is a beautiful city and China as a whole is a gorgeous country. It is well worth the money and time to check out. I also really liked what I read before the movie about the Smiths doing this a family project. Will was a producer, Jada went along too, and I don't think Willow would have been left behind in the action. I have liked all the movies I've seen Jaden in. I think he's a really good actor for a twelve-year-old boy, and he seems very grounded, like his parents. I really respect actors who don't allow Hollywood to sway their love and commitment to goodness, family values, and wholesomeness. Will, Jada, and Jaden seem to have their heads on straight.

My movie-saturated weekend ended on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, my cousin Dailey took me to the newest branch of the Abilene Public Library which I adored. Have I ever mentioned that I love books, and that this is a clean and very inviting place to hunker down with a good read or to check out DVDs? I updated my information and got a new library card that I am so excited to put to good use in the near future. We both slowly perused the DVD section, and, with our mutual love of old movies, decided to check out Some Like it Hot. I had never seen it. This movie is so hilarious. Plus, I don't think I had ever seen Marilyn Monroe perform as an actress. Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis were the male leads in the movie. I loved it. As we pulled away from the library, it was decided that a trip to Hobby Lobby and Sonic were in order. I needed some cranberry yarn for a scarf I'm working on and we both were sweating, so a nice cool Route 44 Lemon Berry Slush and Diet Coke were just the thing we needed as sustenance.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of Movie Weekend 2010! I am now going to go enjoy the rain, watching Road to Avonlea on DVD, and some delicious chocolate. Toota Loo! ;)