Photos and Fun

This past week my nieces (Heather and Rachel) were out of public school for Spring Break, and the kids and I were able to get with them a couple of times. We spent some time over at Grandma and Grand-Daddy’s, and we also went to the Town Park and Clemmons State Forest.  Heather, my 13 yr old niece, took the following pictures with her new digital camera:

At Grandma and Grand-Daddy’s:

Kerry and Sarah (March, 2008)

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–Sarah, Kerry, and Cousin Rachel on the trampoline

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–Rachel, Kerry, and Sarah in the “back room” at Grand-Daddy’s

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–Kerry holding his “Captain America” action figure

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At the Town Park (or the “Sand Park,” as the kids call it):

–Rachel and Sarah on the tire swing, as Kerry looks on (Kerry’s not too fond of tire swings)

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–Sarah ready for “take-off”

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–Kerry on the slide

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–Sarah with hair flapping in the breeze

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**I’m so glad we were able to see Heather and Rachel some last week, and thanks to Heather for taking great pics!

Thursday Thirteen #4

O.k….better late than never, right?! I’m usually pretty prompt, but this week’s been extra crazy! Anyway, here’s my TT list:

13 Things That Make Me Smile

1. My little boy’s morning “bed-head” and his ear to ear smile when he says, “I LOVE YOU, MOMMY! -D

2. My daughter’s peanut butter sandwiches made just for me with love

3. Spring-time–fresh air, gentle, cool breeze, warm sunshine, buds and blossoms springing forth, and birds singing

4. My hubby coming home from work in the evenings–with a hug and a kiss just for me

5. Standing with Scott, watching through the kitchen window, as our kids play and frolic in the backyard

6. The greeting I receive from my dog, Gracie, when I walk through the front door

7. Watching my children, Sarah and Kerry, singing Bible songs and doing sign language to the lyrics

8. Seeing my kids greeting people at church; shaking hands, hugging, and smiling

9. When Pastor Jim lets my kids take turns ringing the church bell (Little Kerry goes up with the rope, and his little feet leave the floor! It’s so cute! -D )

10. Hearing my little Kerry sound out a word for the first time

11. Reading a sweet note from my daughter (on no special occasion; “just because…”)

12. Walking into church on a Sunday morning with my husband Scott and our two beautiful children

13. Saturday morning pancakes at home with my family (as we sit at our quaint little kitchen table in front of the bay window; sometimes with the beautiful sunlight streaming in…)

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**If we just look for these special little “smile-maker” moments, we’ll be surprised how many we discover! Have a blessed weekend, and keep smiling! -D

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Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thankful Thursday (3/27)

1. I’m thankful for Easter. I’m thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–for His sacrifice, His victory, and His forgiveness. I’m thankful for a wonderful Easter this past weekend.

2. I’m thankful for my husband getting home safely this past Saturday. (He had been gone out of state on a business trip). I’m also thankful that he only had to be gone for a week, and that he doesn’t have to do this very often!

3. I’m thankful for Spring! I just LOVE it!

4. I’m thankful for a wonderful break I received this past weekend that I REALLY needed! I’m thankful for near-by grandparents–my parents and Scott’s!

5. I’m thankful for my nieces Heather and Rachel. I’m thankful for the time my kids and I have been able to spend with them this week, while they’re on Spring Break from school.

6. I’m thankful for my loving, faithful husband, our two beautiful children, and our dog, Gracie. I’m thankful for this wonderful life we’ve been given!

7. I’m thankful that both my mom and my dad got good reports at the doctor this week–an answer to prayer!!

8. I’m thankful for another answer to prayer this week. (I’ll write more about that next week! ;-) )

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**For more Thankful Thursday posts and participants, please visit Iris @ Sting My Heart.

Ba ba, ba ba-ba ba…

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My sweet hubby played this cute and happy ditty for me this morning. It’s such a fun little tune. When I hear this song, I just can’t help but dance around and hum along! Check out this video (and don’t be surprised if it has that effect on you too! -) ) :

If Dogs Could Pray…

…what would they say?

I’ve seen the photo below ’round the Internet several times now, and I’ve always thought it was so precious! Tonight, I’ve finally found the perfect accompaniment for this adorable photo. Check out the humorous “Dear God” messages that follow:

praying dog

Dear God,
How come people love to smell flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another? Where are their priorities?

Dear God,
If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog?

Dear God,
Is it true that in Heaven, dining room tables have on-ramps?

Dear God,
When we get to Heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it the same old story?

Dear God,
When we get to the Pearly Gates, do we have to shake hands to get in?

Dear God,
Are there dogs on other planets or are we alone? I have been howling at the moon and stars for a long time, but all I ever hear back is the beagle across the street!

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**I found the photo here and the humorous lines over here.   I sure hope you enjoyed!  -D

Kitty Cuteness

Well, if you love kittens and you love cuteness, I’m sure you’ll love these:

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Snuggling

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Kitten-in-a-Can
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Kitten

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**Found above photos at Worlds Cutest Animals.com. Hope you have a blessed day and week! -)

Great Quotes For Easter

Easter is such a wonderful time for celebration!

May He fill you with the peace, hope, and joy of His resurrection! Have a blessed Easter and check out these great quotes:

Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. –S.D. Gordon

For I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born. –Alice Freeman Palmer

Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. –Clarence W. Hall

One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.—Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

“Who can describe the bond of God’s love? Who is able to explain the majesty of its beauty? The height to which love leads is indescribable. … In love the master received us, Jesus Christ our Lord, in accordance with God’s will gave his blood for us, and his flesh for our flesh, and his life for our lives.”—Clement of Rome (c. 96)

Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;
Death is strong, but Life is stronger;
Stronger than the dark, the light;
Stronger than the wrong, the right…
–Phillips Brooks, “An Easter Carol”

We live and die; Christ died and lived! –John Stott

Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. –Floyd W. Tomkins

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**I found the above quotes at the following sites:

Christianity Today

Quote Garden

All Great Quotes

An Easter Hymn

Whenever I think of Easter, I think of this hymn:

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Up From The Grave He Arose

(Low In The Grave He Lay)

Words and music by: Robert Lowry

1. Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior,
waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!
(Refrain)

2. Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior,
vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!
(Refrain)

3. Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!
(Refrain)

Refrain:
Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

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**Found at HymnSite.com

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**Note:   The above hymn addresses the following scripture:

Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

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**Note:  See also John 20:1-18.

What Does Easter Mean To You?

I know what it means to me–it’s a time of rejoicing, a time of reflection, a time of hope, and a time of thanks. It makes sense to me that Easter is celebrated right around the beginning of Spring. Spring has always been such a wonderful season to me–one of new beginnings, hope, and new life coming forth. Easter is about new life too–Jesus defeating death and offering us the opportunity for life eternal with Him. Now I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s something to rejoice about!

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Yesterday I took the kids to Clemmons State Forest to enjoy some of God’s beautiful creation on a lovely Spring day. On the way back, we stopped off at the Wendy’s drive-through. The traffic was really bad; hoards of people out on this Easter weekend, and half of them at the nearby Wal-mart. As I was sitting in an extremely long line at a stop sign, I remember thinking about all the people out and about. I honestly thought about how Jesus loves each and every one and gave Himself for this old world. As I continued to think about all the people, I recall wondering how many knew, how many cared, and how many ever thought about it… Sadly, I’m sure there have been a few Easters that I too have given little thought to the Savior and what He has done for us.

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However, to the Christian, Easter needs to be a time of great joy and enthusiasm! (Without Easter, there wouldn’t be anything worth celebrating, but because of the Resurrection, we have every reason to rejoice!) Recently, my Pastor mentioned the movie “The Passion” and how the focus was on the crucifixion and not on the resurrection. He was disappointed that so little time was given to showing the victory of Christ. Well, the opposite is true of Easter, because it is a celebration of the Resurrection–a time to focus on the extraordinary miracle of Jesus and what it means for each of us!

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Our Daily Bread for tomorrow states: “Christ’s resurrection is the bud of promise–our resurrection is the flower of fulfillment!” Mart De Hann states, “No other event in human history is more significant. No other event is so full of immediate hope and ultimate victory for the saints in Christ Jesus.” I pray that each of us will take a little time out this weekend and thank our Lord for His awesome gift. Let us rejoice and be glad in the victory; experiencing the true essence of Easter!

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Jesus Christ today is risen,

And o’er death triumphant reigns;

He has burst the grave’s strong prison,

Leading sin herself in chains. –Luther

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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who…has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”1 Peter 1:3

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**Note: To view Our Daily Bread devotional for Easter Sunday, you may click here.

**P.S.: Other posts for this Easter include:

An Easter Hymn

Great Quotes For Easter

“What I Wish I Had Known…

…My First Year of Homeschooling” is the Friday meme for “The Heart of the Matter.” (I found it at Tracy’s blog, here).

The main thing that comes to mind for me is that I think I would have stressed a little less and enjoyed a little more. I actually answered this same meme several months ago (from a different blog host) and this was my reply:

Last year, we started off with a strict, stringent, and early schedule. Of course, it didn’t take long before we were all totally exhausted and extremely frustrated! Thankfully, I was reminded by other homeschool moms about one of the many great advantages of homeschooling. We don’t have to conform to the schedule, ideas, ways of teaching, etc. of the public school system! (Difficult lesson to learn though when a person has been through 13 years of public school education, 6 years of college, and 5 years of public school work!)

Once again, as I’ve stated before, finding a balance is key! Our school has tried at least 4 different schedules in one year! We don’t function well under a rigid schedule, but we can’t be too nonchalant about it either, or we accomplish very little. Yep, we’re still working on that balance thing!

Speaking of balance, the other thing I have realized this past year, is that you truly can “have too much of a good thing.” At times, we would start to get bogged down and exhausted from too many activities. Then, I would have to”take a step back” and remember– that the activities are to “enhance” homeschooling, not to “hinder” or “replace” it!!

Yes, I have learned a few things on this journey, and I know I have much left to learn!

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