Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spreadable Disappointment

Have you seen the new Miracle Whip commercials?
Brilliance in 45 seconds is what I call it.

When we went to visit my parents this weekend, all they had in their fridge was Miracle Whip. And the line in the commercial that says, "Who wants to eat a sweet lotion sandwich?" pretty much sums up my sentiments exactly.

Where do my loyalties lie?
Duke's Mayonnaise. Just like every good Southern woman's should.

You can not make egg salad, chicken salad or have a decent roast beef sandwich with anything like Miracle Whip.

BUT, being that I grew up with Miracle Whip...there is nothing like a peanut butter, banana and Miracle Whip sandwich. Just like Elvis did. (I know he used real mayo-but let's just say he used Miracle Whip for argument's sake hmmm? Caliente!!!)
Which side are you on?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fish in a Barrel

Buncombe County Young Life is hosting a Shooting Clay's Fundraiser this spring at the Biltmore Estate here in Asheville on April 2nd. This is an incredible opportunity to raise money for Young Life, shoot guns, visit the Biltmore Estate in an unprecedented manner (since they have only had a handful of events on this range) and have a great time with a group of your friends!

The cost is $200 per shooter but the entry fee IS tax deductible (how bout them apples?) and you get an amazing day out of it.
That's called cheap entertainment my friends.

Go to this website to learn more and register. Help us to raise money for the area and to keep Young Life going in Asheville/Buncombe County. It is going to be a fantastic day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Family Weekend

This past weekend, my sister and her kids, my brother and our family went to visit my parents in our family town of Albany, Georgia. 
I love the homes here for more than just the family that inhabit them. They actually hold memories. Mine, my mothers, my grandmothers. 
It is so fun to bring my husband and kids here to make their own memories. 

Lucy and my niece Sarah. They were two peas in a pod. 

All of the great-grandchildren with my grandmother. 

Our "Olan Mills" pose

Reasons why I love my grandparents house: 
 Not bought at Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware.
 Their clothesline. Why does it look like a gas pump?
 I don't know. But I like it. 
 My grandfather's barn.
If I was more brave, I would go inside it. 
But I am scared a den of rattlesnakes live there. 
Have been since I was born. 
 Not scared. 

 You don't get old oak trees with Spanish Moss hanging down ANYWHERE near Asheville. 
There is something super mystical, serene and very peaceful to be around it. 

The swaying moss just lulls you to somewhere peaceful.
It's either that or the gin and tonics that flow like water round here. 

Through that window is the room where I stayed every summer. 
My things are still in the dresser upstairs. 
I firmly remember playing rounds and rounds of spades, hearts, Othello, calling 1-900 numbers for ghost stories, raising frogs and swimming until everyone was sure that I sprouted gills here. 
No other place compares. 
I hope my kids have memories of places like this one day. 

Introducing: Ranger Sloan

There is nothing like a puppy to bring a family together. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sigh No More

The band Mumford and Sons music (who performed at the Grammy's with the Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan) have been an organizing theme for our Work Crew Training this year.

One of the songs, more than others has meant so much to me because the words contained within the music I believe communicate the entirety of the Gospel.

I was searching for a video using "Sigh No More" and came across this one.
I love it so much.
I thought you would too.

[sigh no more | a reflection of beauty] from JJ Starr on Vimeo.

Dog Name Vote Time

A little background on the dog names:
Comet: The kids choice. They want a dog named after one of Santa's reindeer.
Levi: We are trying to build our own personal "Tribes of Israel" with Asher and Levi. But it kind of rough and tumble name. Sounds good over water and doesn't get confused with other commands like "fetch" or "stay"Next up? More pets or children named Zebulon and Gad.
Ranger: Matt was called "Sloan Ranger" a lot in college.

So what say you?

Vote for our next dog name!


View Results

Create a MySpace Poll
Not that we are going to go by the results of this silly poll. It's just fun to have a vote on something. "Democrazy" in action.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

That's what Lucy calls Valentines Day.
Which I really like.

It's about the same thing don't you think?
Time to call, write and remember why you love those in your life and tell them.
Don't be lonely, be thankful today!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Laundry Day

Little known fact: I hate doing laundry.
I have always disliked doing laundry. 
I was never properly trained to find the joy in laundry. 

What I do find joy in?
Completed tasks. 
So, laundry can be a solid enterprise for me. 
But when you have babies and a giant of a husband, it seems as though this is the worst of the mundane tasks around your household. 

Also, I severely dislike clutter. 
And laundry looks an awful lot like clutter to me. 
So it gives me a complex every time I see it sitting around. 

Life must be very difficult for me mustn't it? 

However: I have found a way to live with myself! 
The best thing about being in a Young Life family and getting going to go on assignments every summer is the lessons you learn about yourself when living amongst 15 other families. 
You have to basically die to you own "musts" and "have to's" and learn to get along with others. 
It is difficult but fantastic. 
AND since you live there for so long, whenever you come home, you basically get a "do over" in you own life. 

So this summer, we were at Frontier Ranch and they only had one laundry room for the 10 families that needed to use it. We had to sign up for our 1/2 day shift to do our laundry and it simply had to get done. Every evening it would be open if there was an emergency like someone got sick, wet the bed or you really needed your jeans washed. But overall, Tuesday morning was my morning to get my whole families laundry done for the week AT CAMP. 
It was a tall order and the laundry would pile up, but I found rest in it because I knew I couldn't do anything about it. I just had to wait. 
And then I would be serious about it. Do my laundry. Fold it in front of the dryer. I didn't have time to keep fluffing it until I felt like folding it. It had to be done THEN. 
Then I would walk it back to my cabin and be put away, that afternoon. 
5 hours. All done. 
So we came home and I went back to my old ways of doing laundry whenever I felt like it.
And the chaos of that system slowly got to me and I felt like my house and household tasks were always choking me. I never felt "done." I never had those moments of just being able to look at a pile of laundry and relaxing because it was going to get done, I felt like I was ALWAYS doing it. 
I made a change. 
Wednesday is now our laundry day. 
All of it gets brought down in the morning and it has to be done by that evening. 
I try to have it put it away as fast as possible. 
Everyone knows that it is not going to get done another time in the week. 
Wednesday is a good day for us because it gets us ready for whatever we have going on in the weekend and cleans up whatever happened last weekend. 
Also, I don't want my weekend dominated by dumb laundry. 
I like Saturdays. 
I like Sundays. 
I don't like laundry.

If people bother me about it:
this is what happens to them. 
Just kidding. It doesn't happen. The whole family has adjusted. 
They know! They like it! 
Because they like me when I don't hate them for wearing clothes.
(It's been known to happen)

Give it a try!
You don't have to leave for a month to start something new!
Just do it!
Nobody will hate you. They will question you, but hate? Nah. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Work Crew

I've been leading Work Crew training in our area for the last two weeks and it has been like a breath of fresh air for my soul.
I get to be around high school students and leaders.
I get to teach them about Jesus.
The Lord speaks to me loudly about me and then about them and how loved we are.
And how much he wants to use us in his service if we are willing.
And I get to tell them that.
It is so much fun.

And then this weekend, I was searching for videos on YouTube that could show these high school kids how Young Life camp is one of the many ways that God chooses to use people. And I found these videos.
This is a video from Saranac Village from this past summer where the work crew and summer staff created a group dance and would "perform" the dance every meal. Just for fun. 
One night, the president of Young Life happened to be there. 
In the kitchen. This is the night: 

This video is a time-lapse capture of "Western Night" at Frontier Ranch. In the same 300 square foot area; a Western Tableau, a carnival and a square dance take place in just three hours. There are other events that happen that night, but this video captures how much work is performed by volunteers and staff for this one night. I love this video so much because it captures this night in about 30 seconds.
I can't believe that we aren't going to be on an assignment this summer.
But getting to be a part of high school students going to serve is about the greatest.

I am super passionate about Work Crew and how high school students will never be the same after one month away from home and being used by God for his glory.
It could be for Young Life or in a mission organization. Any time you say "no" to your life and "yes" to what God would have for you, there is going to be greatness at hand. It so happens that I have seen firsthand for 14 years what Young Life has done in the lives of high school students.
And I love it still.
How amazing is that?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I was watching Oprah yesterday (I know, eye roll).
But, she and all of her staff were going vegan for the week and one of her staffers had a super hard time with it. This video shows the interaction that she had during the time:
Click here to watch the video

It got me thinking about the level of addiction that I have in my life.
Not just food.
Yes, I am addicted to bad food and drinks. HELLO DIET COKE.

But also, the noise and busyness level that I have in my life.
I am addicted to the need to be needed and stay relevant. Rather than the need to be quiet and be still.

I am missing the point of life. To have my heart and soul filled with the voice of the one who made me instead of those who would take that from me.

Have mercy.
I am trying to create more space for all of the above.