Thursday, February 28, 2008


Have you heard of it?
I had not prior to an episode of Oprah that I watched yesterday. It was amazing enough for me to take the time to watch her, so this was an added bonus for the pleasure.
IF you didn't see it or have never heard of FREEGAN, it is a grass-roots organization focusing on conservation of consumerism. That may not be the correct phrasing, but these people are all about spending less, not buying the latest this or that, and rummaging through grocery and bakery trash to find and live off the food that is found. It may sound utterly gross to most, but I was facsinated with their findings.
These freegans aren't doing this because of financial strappings, but are choosing this lifestyle. They spend an average of $10-20/wk on groceries.....CRAZY!!!
This one particular woman was an attorney in NYC making 6 digit figures, and opted out of her excess consumerism lifestyle. She is the one who found a ton of great fruit that had been trashed because of a blimish. She and others went through Whole Foods dumpster and a bagel place. They found a whole trash bag full of bagels and took them home. Kudos for her...
This other couple interviewed lived in Nashville; husband was an optometrist(?) and wife was a radiologist..not lacking in funds, but they stocked their newlywed pad with dishes and furniture from local dumps. It was amazing.
Now, I must say that I love hand-me-downs and second hand finds, but looking for non expired food in grocery dumps is a new on for me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Owen turns five

I can't believe it has been five years since my first delivery. These last few years have flown by but all the while I have tried my best to savor each moment.
Owen is a true joy and blessing in our home. Owen loves to read and listen to stories, and is now beginning to pick out sight words on his own as we read together. He loves to create. Creating sea animals with his model clay is a passion these days. He really loves being with Griffin and playing near him....maybe not always together, but they have such a precious friendship. He is a quiet leader and desires to please others with encouraging words and actions. I enjoy listening to Owen interact with his animals and brothers when he is unaware of my presence. He has a genuine care for people. Owen loves Jesus, and loves to learn new worship songs to sing. I am grateful for his tenderness to Scripture and a humbleness to training.
Since Owen chose not to have a party this year, we celebrated his actual birthday at home. He was king for the day. He chose cinnamon rolls for breakfast, we spent the morning at the Discovery Center, read books ALL during the boys naps, and we went to Applebee's for dinner. Owen was completely stoked with the idea of them bringing him a dessert while singing to him. His smile was from east to west! I know he felt loved today!-these pics were from 2/19...not today :-)
Father, thank you for the gift of children, and especially Owen as we celebrated him today. You have given him to us for a short while and my prayer is that in ALL my time and energy with him, that I would keep eternity in mind. Help me to stay focused on who you are creating in him, and that I would always bring him back to you. You love him so much more than I and I am confident that you have mighty plans for this little child....... In Jesus Name

Chattanooga Aquarium

On Friday morning we headed to Chattanooga for a day of family fun. It seems to have become a yearly tradition in our family since living here, but this year was a little different. We were going to celebrate Owen's birthday! A few months ago we were talking one day about his birthday, and he commented about going to the aquarium, so.....we told him he could decide whether he wanted a party with friends and toys or a day with family and animals. He chose the later. We had a absolute blast. The pictures will give you a glimpse into our day, but here are the highlights...
1. Eating Bojangle's (daddy's fav)
2. Petting the string rays (owen's fav)
3. Watching the penguins (grif's fav)
4. Trying to catch the butterflies.....tooooo cute (Tate's fav)
5. Being with my boys AND visiting my college roomie Amy for a few minutes

The day was full of excitement as we also went to the Creative Museum for about an hour and then on to watch "Sea Monsters" I MAX. THe boys were pooped after a full day, and mommy and daddy got to spend time talking in the car. For now, that is usually the most productive conversation time :-)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Same Kind of Different As Me

Over the last few months, I have treasured any time alone to read and finish many of the books on my nightstand. They were beginning to pile rather high, so I had the motivation to finish what I had started in many of them. This particular book was a little out-of-place with all my other mommy books, wife books, and christian lit stuff, but undoubtly, it has impacted my life more than the others. It stands in a league of its own. I wrestled through the personal lives of Denver Moore, "a dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery, Ron Hall, "an upscale art dealer accoustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel", and his wife Debbie Hall, a gutsy woman with a stubborn dream. It was a fascinating book of true friendship, sacrifice, and reconciled love. Last week as I finished the book around Valentine's day, I was once again remeinded of what TRUE love and sacrifice look like. Here is a glimpse of what the story challenges me to do with the "neighbors" in my life.

"After church, Denver stopped by the Walkers to visit. He stayed for lunch and then excused himself. "I have to go check on Mr. Ballentine," he said. Curious, Scott asked if he could go to.
I had known Mr. Ballentine when he stayed at the mission. Sometime before Deborah and I started serving there, Denver told us that he had watched a car screech up to the curb on East Lancaster. The driver showed an elderly man out of the passenger-side door, pitched a beat-up Tourister suitcase out behind him, and roared away. Abandoned on the curb, the old man staggered like a druken sailoron shore leave and fired off a salvo of slurry curses. But to Denver, he also looked ......scared. At the time, Denver had still been an island , a stone-faced loner who didn't poke about other people's business. But something-he thinks now maybe it was how helpless the man looked-plucked a string in his heart.
Denver walked up to the man and offered to help him get into the mission. In return, the man cursed at him and called him a nigger.
Denver helped anyways, learning in the process that the fellow's name was Ballantine, that he was a mean old drunk who'd earned his family's contempt, and that he hated black people. He hated Christians even more, considered them a pack of mewling, insipid hypocrites. That's why, free mela or not, he would rather have starved than endured a chapel sermon. Others might have let him. INstead, for about 2 years, Denver ordered two plates of food in the serving line and took one upstairs to Mr. B. Foul-tempered, cantankerous, and utterly remorseless, Mr. B continued to address his benefactor as "nigger."
The next year a hoodlum jumped Mr. B outside the mission and demended his social security check. Rather than give in, the old man submitted to a vicious beating that left him crippled. Unequipped to care for an invalid, Don Shisler had no choice but to find a space for Mr. B in a governemnt-funded nursing center. There, minimum-wage orderlies tended to the basics, but the truth was Mr. B, at 85, found himselfhobbled, helpless, and completely alone. Except for Denver. After the old man's relocation, Denver regularly walked 2 miles through the hood to take Mr. B some non-nursing home food or a fw cigarettes.
One day, Denver asked me to drive him there. In some ways, I wish he hadn't, since the trip stripped off my do-gooder veneer to reveal a squeamish man whose charoty, at the time, had definite limits.
When we enter Mr. B's room at the nursing home, the smell hit me first - the stench of age, dead skin, and bodily fluids. The old man lay on his bed in a puddle of urine, naked except for a neon orange ski jacket. HIs ghostly chicken bone legs sprawled across the sheet that had once been white but know a dingy gray, streaked with brown and ocher stains. Around him lay trash and trays of half-eaten food....scrambled eggs, crusted hard yellow....shriveled meats....petrified sandwiches. On a couple of trays, school-sized milk cartons, tipped over, the puddles congealed into stinking clabber.
In a single sweeping glance, Denver sized up the room, then me, wobbling and on the verge of vomit. "Mr. Ron just come by to say hi," he told Mr. B. "He got to be goin now. "
I bolted leaving Denver alnoe to clean up Mr. B and his nasty room. I didn't offer to help, or even to stay and pray. Feeling guilty, but not guilty enough to change, I jumped in my car and wept as I drove away - for Mr. B, homeless and decrepit, who would stew in his own excrement if not for Denver; and I wept for myself, becasue I didn't have the courage to stay. It was easy for someone like me to serve a few meals, write a few checks, and get my name and picture in the paper for showing up at some glitzy benefit. But Denver served invisibly, loved without fanfare. The tabels had turned, and now I feared that it was he who would catch-and-release me, a person who lacked true compassion, who perhaps wasn't a catch worth keeping.
I gained a new and more profound respect for Denver that day, my perception of him changing like puzzle pieces slowly clicking into place. He wasn't showing off, only sharing with me a secret part of his life. Had his secrets included pitching dice in the alley with a hoard of drunken bums, I wouldn't have been put off. But I was shocked that they included not only praying through the night for my dying wife, but also nursing this man who never said thank you and continued to call him "nigger."
For the first time, it struck me that when Denver said he'd be a friend for life, he meant it - for better or worse. The hell of it was, Mr. B never wanted a friend, especially a black one. But once Denver committed, he stuck. It reminded me of what Jesus told hi disciples, "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
Yes, this little excerpt (pgs.159-160in the book)was long, but I hope you experienced something new and revolutional in reading it. It has convicted my life in ways never before. I desire to walk as Denver walks. Serve in silence.....seeking God's approval...not man.....

Monday, February 11, 2008

I've Been Tagged!!!!!

i was tagged by Mandy Newman, so here goes! here are the rules:

1. you have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. you must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name).

3. after you are tagged, you need to update your blog with your middle name and your answers.

4. at the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and that they need to read your blog for details).

E - enjoys being outdoors

L - loves my Heavenly Father, husband and boys dearly

I - interested in learning how to garden

Z - zealous about healthy food and nutrition

A - amateur antiquer

B - believes joy is not determined by our circumstances

E - enjoys reading, writing and anything artsy

T - treasures friends near and far

H - homeschooling mom ...... I guess now that I wrote it, it's official :-)

O.K., Anna, Amy, Chrystal, Mandy Moore, Karen and Rebekah have been tagged!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


For the last few weeks, Tate has continued to strengthen his"walking" legs. You could often see him walk from one side of the couch to the other, or from one chair to the other, or also from one end of the kitchen to the dining room. It has been so fun to watch him laugh at himself and his brothers as they pretend to chase him. Well, I finally got a video of mostly Tate and not of his brothers jumping in front of the camera. :-) Tilt your head to the left, watch and enjoy his laughter!