Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall is Here!

We woke up this morning and it was freezing here in Asheville. I had a to wear a coat to take the dog for a walk and the leaves are definitely changing and starting to fall. This season used to be my favorite for years and years because of how beautiful it is. But now? I'm not so sure.
I think us having been in Colorado this summer winter (ahem) summer makes winter not such a dim memory...
But in good things to remember:
On this day a year ago,It was Black Monday.
The darkest day in the Stock Market in the last 20 years.
Everyone predicted it was the beginning of the end.
It was also the night of the Young Life Fundraising Banquet.
AND we received a contract on our house.
Here we are a year later.
It is not the end of the world.
We love our house. I took this picture this morning two doors down from our house.
And we have another fundraising banquet tonight.
Somehow we are going to end the year in the black in YL this year after major cost cutting and taking on major expenses in our own household to make it happen.
Please pray that the money for the area would get raised tonight.
That people would see their kids, their friends kids and their neighbors kids as priorities.
We love what we get to do and want to make sure that no more of this ministry gets cut back.

Here is the verse that we are using in the banquet program:
Titus 3:4-5
"When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy."

It's certainly not because of the righteous things that high school kids have done that they can count on his mercy. And it's not because of anything righteous I have done or you have done either. Mercy is mercy. We pray for it and hope for it and can do nothing to earn it or deserve. Thank God.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Yep, that's a kid sized helmet everybody. Awesome. Looks like we get to buy custom-sized head gear soon.

Asher started T-Ball last weekend with a YMCA league. It is great! They only play two innings, everybody bats, nobody gets out, the dad's stand in the field with them. It is just right for this age group.

The one thing they didn't hand out was tissues for Asher crying his face off at the first game.

He got scared when we got there. (Late of course) And he freaked. He didn't want to go stand out in the field because he didn't really know what to do and that intimidated him. So he cried. It's understandable. But maddening.

Thank goodness Matt was there to talk him down, and "sneak" him onto the field mid-inning. After that, he was pretty ok. Still had to be convinced to do everything, but I think that by the end of the game had bought into doing everything that was being asked of him.

He got warmed up and VERY into getting the ball. Which he never did. Next week.

Especially when the snacks were rolled out.

Just look at the thrill that is written all over his face! Hilarious shot.

I Made That

Last night I got a little crazy and decided to try my hand at making some bagels.
I found an easy recipe on the internet and went for it!
About two hours later, I had a dozen freshly made bagels! They are DELICIOUS! Way better than store bought, they give Panera a run for their money and are super cheap to make. It was very very fun to make them and felt great to smell bread baking in my house-it has been years since I have kneaded dough, and I loved it. Of course, I missed the high school football game because I underestimated the time required to take care of this project, but no big deal. I have bagels to show for it!

This is the recipe that I used: Making Bagels
The only deviation was that I added baking soda and honey to the water while boiling.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tip of the Day

I have been spending a lot of time in my new kitchen; cooking, cleaning and having my trusty laptop nearby.

I just learned a new trick that I wished I'd had when all the drywall dust was flying.
Did you know if you place "Press N Seal" cling wrap to your keyboard, everything-including the mouse-trackpad still works?

But, no spills. No spaghetti sauces. No flour sifting through the keyboard at the same time!
I was just making bagels and afraid of having the flour go right through my macbook.

No worries anymore!

Maybe It's the Socioligist in Me

Yes, I majored in Sociology.
My senior year in college, the sociology department put out a brochure entitled
"What CAN You DO With A Degree in SOCIOLOGY?"

Inside the brochure (and I am not making this up) it said in big BIG letters

I just spent three years working towards a useless degree. That's just perfect.

Same year; I had a professor tell us that sociologists had perfected a theory called the "I Knew It All Along Theory."
That meant that sociology was a field based on the idea that they were going to explore thoughts that people knew all along and just prove them right.

Like what makes a long distance dating relationship compelling and difficult is "absence makes the heart grow fonder" AND "out of sight, out of mind." Both are true. Both can be proven. I knew it all along.

What a great thing to get a degree in.
Anyway. I found this blog that uses sociology and social-physc thought processes in parenting and I find it really compelling. Cause I'm a nerd.
It gives me a lot of food for thought and I have liked it a lot lately.
Take a look!
Half Full: The Science for Raising Happy Kids I don't think that social science has the answers for raising happy kids, but I do think it has something to bring to the table!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Remember these 1993 AT&T Ads?

This is a link to a series of ads from AT&T in 1993 that asks you to imagine the future when you a series of nearly impossible tasks like get directions from a machine! GASP!!!

Take a look and see how AT&T has done since 1993. It is really remarkable.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I don't know a dang thing

I don't know a dang thing about this debate. Seriously.
We have great health insurance with Young Life so I have no reason to complain.
I am UNBELIEVABLY grateful in fact.
But if we didn't have that insurance? I doubt we could do what we do.

So once again, I want to remind you...I don't know anything. Except I know funny.
And this is funny cause it's sarcastic.
Who doesn't love a little sarcasm?

I remember back in day in college we used to talk about sarcasm as being "scarchasm" because the literal translation of the word means "tearing of the flesh. So it can cause scars on people because it probably has a basis in truth AND it can cause a chasm between you and other people. Thus scar-chasm.

Sorry that scar-chasm still makes me laugh even after ALL those freaking talks about taking it down a notch.
I think I am a little better than I was then. Maybe.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Wristband Night

Matt and I have had one night together in the last two weeks, so what do we choose to do with it?

Take the kids to the Mountain State Fair of course!

We started out at the animals.

Doesn't this look like a cow version of Slappy the Weiner Dog? Weird...

Our state fair is A LOT like the story of Charlotte's Web (which is one of the only reasons why I love it) and so the animals are a must visit part of the fair.

We spent the entire time convincing the kids that this was the coolest part of the fair and NOT the cotton candy or the toys that were hanging enticingly just outside of the animal section.

After the animal section, we moved onto the "I need to get my camera out" section:

My favorite part of this picture? The "metal hands" in the background.

It's always comforting to see this guy is still around...18 years after Vanilla Ice.

No comment, except in all fairness:
The Pig Ears are courtesy of Texas Pete at the Pig Races.

And well...we stayed here all night.
So we hunkered down and let the kids ride all the rides they wanted. Which meant five rides.
The first one was the Bee Ride.

They were so excited!

Until about 12 seconds into the ride, when Asher started to lose it cause the Bee went up AND down. This was horrifying to him and caused everyone to have their ride cut short by about three minutes.

All was redeemed by the car ride.
And then the motorcycle ride.
But for some reason, I had a hard time trusting the reliability of this one:
Take the time to notice BOTH words
Throw caution to the wind mom! Everyone else has!

A bite of cotton candy and a light saber ended the night. But we had to hide the cotton candy or else we were never going to hear the end of it, so Matt hid it in his shirt. (We still didn't hear the end of it)
Yes, we totally got ripped off by the light saber.
It was close to broken before we even made it home.
It's always fun to see how much your kids can cry before bedtime after you spend that much money in one single night.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This Would Totally Happen to Us

Did you see that Dad's grab? Unbelievable!

But his hug on his daughter just completely melted my heart and the mom's reaction made me laugh really hard.
Yes, this is so AshevilleSloan material.

Come Home

My dear friend Ellie Holcomb was on women's weekend doing special music and performed this song "Magnolia" that I have to be honest...not one of my favorites.

Until...she told the story behind writing it. (Isn't that the way it is?)
She said that "Magnolia" is a name that she uses for herself in songs. And the song is written from the perspective of God and how he longs to be with her. And how she busy's herself with a million other things all day long and the price that she pays for missing out on that relationship.

This is a love song from God to Ellie/Magnolia/You/Me.
(clearly sound quality is not super awesome cause I ain't no freakin' professional. Don't blame Ellie. Listen to the words and fill in the gaps. Or better yet-go listen to it on itunes after this!)

My new favorite song.

I haven't really stopped listening to Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors all summer long.
We really really love them and their music.

Go download A Million Miles TODAY. You won't regret it.
Especially Magnolia, The Valley, Love Will Bring You Home and from a different album Fire and Dynamite.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I've been having a few problems with my Macbook this week. I decided to take it upon myself and fix it. Which I did. Awesome. Right?

Except that I ended up accidently deleting every picture that I took in July, August and so far in September because I thought I had backed up my photo library on my external hard drive. I double checked it. Then I deleted my photo library.

Then I went to rebuild it.
It was gone.
Dead and gone.

I am a bit shattered.
Especially because I had some great pictures from last weekend that I never got to send to anyone and they are GONE.
Also, my Amazing Race application with my sister is gone too.
Shellie, I swear...I am about to call you as soon as I get up to tell you.

At least it's only two and half months of photos.
So it could be worse. I guess.

Like Lucy having the flu and infecting the house.
Oh yeah, that happened today too.

Two Jans

Buffy and Martha did these two characters "The Two Jans" and sang songs about things that women care about-it was hilarious. They wore pearls, Lily Pullizter dresses, visors and had sweaters draped over their shoulders. It was enough to make you want to kiss them.

I only captured two of the three songs on the Flip and I am really sad about that. The first song had me laughing so hard.

Anyways, here they are!

Monday, September 14, 2009

What is there to Say?

I just got back last night from Women's Weekend at Windy Gap and can I just say...that next year all of you who read this who didn't come: must make plans to be there next year.

Need a little more something to entice you?
Here you go:

And of course, the Single Ladies:

Did you see Beyonce on the VMA's last night?
Matt was maybe the color of puce while watching it while I had a GIANT SMILE ON MY FACE the whole time.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Lucy started dance classes today.
Modern dance is what is being offered.
Can you just imagine?

I don't think that a soccer uniform will look nearly as cute as this sassy little number.

Another mom was in there and told me that Lucy wanted to change the music the whole time.
Just like her mom.

Also, get used to seeing pictures taken from this location.
The lighting plus the neutral background is sure to be seen for years to come!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Blog-Times

Have any of you seen this blog?

Just pictures captured on camera phones of people shopping at Wal-Mart.
Truly, truly hilarious.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Long Walk

I just finished a book that has gripped me for days now.
The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz

Of course, it does have to do with Russia AND World War of course it peaks my interest.

But this is what the synopsis says:
"Cavalry officer Slavomir Rawicz was captured by the Red Army in 1939 during the German-Soviet partition of Poland and was sent to the Siberian Gulag along with other captive Poles, Finns, Ukranians, Czechs, Greeks, and even a few English, French, and American unfortunates who had been caught up in the fighting.

A year later, he and six comrades from various countries escaped from a labor camp in Yakutsk and made their way, on foot, thousands of miles south to British India, where Rawicz reenlisted in the Polish army and fought against the Germans. The Long Walk recounts that adventure, which is surely one of the most curious treks in history."

These men walked over 4000 miles without supplies through Siberia on FOOT and in the Himilayas on a trek to freedom.

Is it a true story? There are doubts to be sure.
But the story had me by the throat and I can't stop thinking about it.
It is a book that is gripping and fantastic.

One of my favorite sections in the book said this:
"In the shadow of death we grew closer together than ever before. No man would admit to despair. No man spoke of fear. The only thought spoken out again and again was that there must be water soon. All our hope was in this."

It has been out of print for quite awhile, but this year was reprinted.
It was a fantastic read. I recommend it!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Great Golf Giveaway!

Asheville Young Life has entered a local contest to win a free Golf Tournament as a fundraiser, that they value at over $7,000. The main part of the contest is we need people to go to their website and send them an email requesting Young Life to win the Golf Giveaway.

If you help us to do this, we could win a golf tournament that could help us to raise a good portion of our budget that we are short every year at the end of the fiscal year.

Could you go to the Broadmoor Golf Links Website, then go to the bottom of it and click on the "Email" link? Fill out the form and request that Young Life win the Great Golf Giveaway!

Only one email can be submitted, so only do it once. And you ONLY have until September 9th to enter Young Life in the contest.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Marine Core Fitness Test

I just read this article on the Art of Manliness website (don't ask. Once you start clicking on the just takes you places!)

And it's an article about taking the Marine Core Fitness Test.
Ain't No WAY I'm gonna run 3 miles in 18-minutes.
But I am interested in seeing how I would do in everything else.

I will stink up the joint in pull-ups.
In college, my whole team went crazy when I got to seven.
Up from my one that I was very excited about my entire college career.

I've not done a single pull-up since except the diapers. On my kids that is.
Anybody willing to try it?
Post your results?
Eh? Crickets?
It's Labor Day Weekend. Put your body through some Labor this weekend!

Post the results here on Monday or Tuesday!

College Football is Here. Like it or Not.

Matt and I got to take a much needed date night and drove to Raleigh, NC last night to watch our beloved Gamecock's take on NC State last night in the very first college football game in ALL of college football.

Can you tell that we are little excited?
Matt is so fired up he doesn't want to stop for the camera.
And I can't stop my eyes from making crazy-wide-open-eyes face. Yay for pictures.

Here is Matt Williams attempting to tell my Big Man how the Gamecocks are going to go down. Ummm. It was a close game. But not that close.

The student section declared a "White-Out" for the game. Which is novel. Except that is what you use to erase mistakes. Is this this game? Or last season? Tough call.

Gamecocks scored a touchdown after their player fumbled on his first carry in two years after he battled injuries. You had to feel for the guy. Almost.

At least we were on the side of the field that we could see the flag waving. It held our Spirit's up as we saw Garnet and Black in a sea of Red and White.

The Williams were great hosts and we got to see a bunch of our high school friends who have now transitioned into "College Friends" and college friends who have now transitioned into "FRIENDS".
Well, at least once the game was over.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So Very Busy

I feel like when your kids are babies, you think to yourself...
life can't get any slower.
Then two years fly by.
And all of the sudden, I have two kids who are hilarious and keep me on my toes daily.

Somehow this summer has both been slow and fast simultaneously and I don't think that I have quite processed it.

We went to Lake Norman in Charlotte two weekend's ago for Brad and Leigh Bucklad's son's birthday party. Really it was a party for us. But there was cake involved for a one year old and that was good enough. Also, it was about the most beautiful house that I have ever been in. Humble and gorgeous all at the same time. How does someone manage that? It was a beautiful day and somehow, looking back at the feels like the last weekend of the summer.

And that makes me want to throw a fit.
But here are some of the pictures.

Happy Birthday Miles!

Can you tell that she is growing up right in front of you?
Something about that is so great and so sad all at the same time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Truth Hurts

Sometimes, the truth hurts.
And for parents who have just sent their kids to college...this will be either really really funny or be a really great idea!

*Just a note, there is a language warning here.

Facebook, Twitter Revolutionizing How Parents Stalk Their College-Aged Kids