Monday, September 29


We loved hanging out with the Tokar girls! There will be a whole blog of our trip when I get caught up enough to write it!
The girls played great together and we loved hang out time with Kate and Trav.

I love this picture that John took of B over the weekend. I could eat this girl up she is so cute!
Don't zoom in to close or you will see the snot which has not been to cute!

Silly faces!
We were trying to get B to smile at the camera by making crazy faces at her. She thought it was so funny and that she was supposed to do them back at us.

Answered prayer for a safe trip and easy travel on the airplane. They both did so great!!

Our trip to the bakery this morning, ended with us buying the "best (and cutest) sugar cookies" in the world!
A little plug for "Shelby Lynn's" in downtown Springdale. What a treat!

Wednesday, September 24

God at Work in Little Hearts

We have been having issues lately with Emma lying to us about certain things. For a while, it was her pretending and there was no harm in it, but lately it has been full out lies. I HATE lying. (and I HATE the word "hate")It is one of those things that gets under my skin. Tell me the horrible truth, but don't lie to me.
I tried talking to her about it in my own words, but nothing was getting through to her. Then it dawned on me that it might be more effective to bring God in it. (novel idea, huh?) After a lie she told last week, we sat down together and looked up lying in my concordance. This is what we found in Proverbs 12:22:
The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in men who are truthful.

For a little girl who knows that we don't use the word "hate" around our house for anything, these words struck a chord.
Tonight, she told me another lie, so I sent her to her room so we could talk. I could tell that she was really sad about it. We said the verse together again and talked about how we want God to delight in our truthfulness. We want to do things to glorify Him and lying is not one of those things. She started crying so I held her for a bit. I was about to leave her room b/c she had asked to be alone and I asked her if she was okay. This is what she said, "Something in my heart feels really bad."
It brought tears to my eyes. Tears of sadness for her to feel that pain, but joy for her that she is hearing the Holy Spirit in her life. Thank you God for slowly beginning to reveal yourself to my child.

Monday, September 22


My sister and Claire (and her two female dogs) came to visit last week and we had a great time. John was even more outnumbered than normal.

I love Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, but the price kills me. Last year I discovered that a gas station nearby had Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino for only $1. IT IS BACK! My sister and I stopped when she was here and it was such a treat! AND, I really do think it tastes better than the Starbucks version. If only there were a drive thru.

We were invited over to John's sister's house on Friday night for smores. They had some friends in from out of town and were nice enough to let us hang with them. They just bought a fire pit thing and wanted to give it a whirl. Their house sits on a neat lot with a bunch of trees so we felt like we were in the woods. As soon as Amy and I walked out the back door, we agreed that the scene outside was a "happy".

All 4 of us are leaving on Thursday to go to Ohio to visit Kate, Travis, Olivia and Annika! They moved to Columbus 2 years ago and we have yet to make it up there. They are such great friends and we miss them terribly. Our girls are right around the same age and have a great time together. We can't wait!

Wednesday, September 17

What would you do?

What would you do if your in laws took your girls for the weekend? John and I had the weekend to ourselves and we had a great time. I met John's Mom in Harrison for the trade off and then headed back to Fayetteville. John got off work a little early, so we were at Lake Fayetteville by 5:00 and ready to ride. We rode 6 miles on our bikes (well, my borrowed bike) and got back to the car before the rain started. We went home to clean up and then headed to La Hacienda, one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. It is the home of the BEST cheese enchilladas I have ever had and they can also make a yummy tasting margarita. We headed home to watch Baby Mama, which was pretty funny. At 10:30, John make me get off the couch and head to Walmart to shop for bikes. Why at 10:30PM? Because we could! We took this lovely picture of ourselves. It is horrible, but it documents our weekend alone.
We had breakfast with Josh and Margo on Saturday morning and then headed over to Tulsa to shop for a bit before the American Idol concert. We met up with John's sister, Amy, and all of her kids + Kelley and Emily Kate Davis for dinner. All of us headed over to the concert and got drenched on our way inside. Our tickets were not together so we parted ways for the night once inside. The concert was really fun!! The top 10 each sang about 3 songs each and then David and David sang about 4. There were 2-3 group songs. This is our second AI concert and we have decided that you really have to like the season's performers as a whole to enjoy the concert. There was only one in this group who I didn't enjoy, so it made the concert really good. David Cook was amazing. Have I mentioned that I have a slight rock star crush? I can't wait for his album to be released. He can sing, but he was also really great with the audience.
We left Tulsa around 10:30 and proceeded through the hurricane to get home. It was a long, a little scary, and slow drive home, but we made it before the major stuff hit. Amy and the gang were about an hour behind us and did have to drive through some of the really bad stuff. Amy then returned home to a tree stabbed through her roof, broken window in Luke's room and a messed up back porch on their brand new home. It is a blessing that Luke was not in his bed when it all happened. Thank you AI for keeping us out that night.

We slept in on Sunday morning. John had to do some work and I headed to get groceries before John's parents brought the girls back home. It was a refreshing weekend together. We were able to relax and do some really fun stuff. One of the best parts of the weekend was having the girls come through our door calling our names and hugging our necks. We are glad to have them back home!!

Monday, September 15


I love the begining of fall! I love fall candles, candy corn, snuggling with sisters (this pic was not posed) b/c it is cold in the morning, 65 degree sunny days, the smell of brisk air, the anticipation of the fall leaves in Northwest Arkansas, playing in leaves, Arkansas football, sweatshirts, riding bikes, hiking, and new fall clothes! These are a few of my favorites. This will not be the last of fall happies over the next few weeks!

Monday, September 8


This week feels like "The New Year". It is the first full week of our "routine" for the school year. I am also using it as a fresh start to shape up my time with the Lord, my eating habits and an exercise plan. I am in the process of getting more organized with my time at home with the girls. I would like to be more intentional with them, but balance that with play. (Intentional meaning: crafts, reading, memorizing scripture, etc....) I'm not into organizing our whole day with crafts and games, but I would really like to do one organized thing with them on the days we are at home.
Two of my "happies" revolve around my attempt to be more active. I am excited about both of these. I can't say that I have been all that excited about exercise in a while.

John and I have been wanting to start biking since we discovered all these trails around Fayetteville. This is also another attempt of having fun exercising. We just didn't have a way of both riding with the girls with us. I borrowed a bike and a "bike tent" (that is what Em calls it) from a friend and we rode yesterday at Mud Creek. The girls did so great and I did pretty good too! I was nervous about the fact that I have not been on a bike for 5 years and I was going to be pulling "precious cargo". Emma will normally ride her bike, but she wanted to try this out with B. We had a lot of fun and are hoping to purchase a bike for me and a "bike tent" soon!

In my attempts to get in shape and have some fun doing it, I am taking tennis lessons. I have recruited a few others to join me. We start tomorrow morning. Don't laugh!
John likes to play and one of my reasons for taking is to maybe get good enough to where we can enjoy playing together.

Praise the Lord! Our children are going to sleep again without talking/playing/yelling for an hour! I don't know if it was the "timer" technique or just being back in a routine, but we are thankful.

The weekend ahead makes me happy to think about. John and I are off to Tulsa this Saturday to see the American Idol Season 7: Summer Tour. We gave each other tickets for our anniversary back in June. John's parents (thank you, thank you) are taking the girls to their house for the whole weekend, so that John and I can have some time at home alone and go to the concert. We have a fun weekend planned together, so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 6

Thanks for the Rain, Gustav!

Hurricane Gustav dumped a lot of water on Arkansas this past week, much to the dismay of almost everyone I know. However, I was yelling at Gustav to bring it on! The more rain, the bigger the waterfalls! I got up at 4:30 this morning and drove down to the Jasper/Ponca area to hit up some easy-to-find waterfalls.

First, I went to Triple Falls near Camp Orr, a Boy Scout camp in Mt. Vernon (outside of Jasper). After a very steep drive down into the valley, it's a very easy 200 yard walk upstream. Usually, there's only 1 or two falls here, but with all the rain, all three were flowing nicely. The big fall on the right was running so hard, that it was causing a decent wind and mist at the bottom. I kept having to wipe my lens dry. It was worth it!

On my way up and out of the valley, I came across a nice opening that overlooked the valley I was just in. The best thing about this part of the state is the early morning's super thick, and creates some really stunning views from above.

I then headed to Hammerschmidt Falls, a few miles west of Triple Falls (just outside of Low Gap). The best part of this one was the Jeep trail you take to get there. I have a Jeep Liberty (the pansy version of a real Jeep), but it's a free company car, so it's even more fun when it's not your own. I got to go into 4x4 Low and tackle some 2-2.5 foot ruts where the road washed out. On my way out, I did get two wheels off the ground and rocked sideways a bit. It was really fun!

Hammerschmidt Falls is another easy falls to get to. You park, then follow the creek downstream for about 200 yards, past all these great cascades. When you get to the falls, you're actually on the TOP, so you have to hike down into the base to get a good look at the waterfall. It wasn't running at full steam, though. During heavy rains, the entire top of the falls is going, not just the little spigot you see here. Regardless, it's a very cool spot, and I spent most of my time photographing the cascades at the top of the falls.

All of that, and I was home at 10:30. We had a great outdoors day celebrating the Fall weather. Allison will post more about that later. If anyone is interested in joining me for a waterfall outing, let me know...I'd love some company!!

Tuesday, September 2

Fall Retreat

I had a great time at Fall Retreat and enjoyed my group so much. This is a picture of them. I enjoyed getting to know them and I am very excited to see where God leads me with them. There is a lot I could post about Fall Retreat, but for me, I need to write about what I learned so that I can always come back to this as a reminder.

Brian Pope spoke on Friday night and it was great. He was showing us in Exodus that God chose Moses and then in many of the chapters that follow he started the chapter with "then God spoke to Moses". Meaning, God did not just throw Moses out there alone. He stayed by him and spoke to him. So, if Moses needed God by his side, surely I do too. God blessed me with 2 precious little girls to take care of on this Earth. Over the past few months of summer, I have chosen to do things my way and on my own. Where has it left me? Tired, frustrated, impatient, lonely, selfish, distant and just out of sorts.

I was reminded this weekend that I cannot do "life" without God. If I depend on myself, then my relationship with Him, John, my girls, my family and my friends will suffer. I must ABIDE in Him. I must draw close to Him. I must root my heart in Him. I must let His voice be the most clear voice in my life.

We sang this on Friday night and the words struck me hard. You might not want to listen to the video (but it is really good), but read the words.

FULL ATTENTION by Jeremy Riddle

May your voice be louder
May your voice be clearer
Than all the others, than all the others

And may your face be dearer
May your words be sweeter
Than all the others, than all the others
In my life

Please keep my eyes fixed on you
Please root my heart so deep in you
Keep me abiding, keep me abiding
Keep me abiding that I, Oh that I may bear fruit

May your presence be nearer
May your presence be truer
Than all the others, than all the others

And may your light shine brighter
May your love move deeper
Than all the others, than all the others
In my life

(Chorus 2X)