Sunday, July 19, 2015

1 year, 31 chapters

I just wanted to catch you up on my Scripture memory process.  Funny thing is, I was going to start it by saying that I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this because I don't want to be boastful or proud (which is still true), but I just read my last post about this in January and it says almost everything I want to say here.  I had actually forgotten that I had posted that.  So, if you didn't read my blog post in January about the first six months of the process, here is the link.

I wasn't sure that I would persevere through a whole year of Scripture memory, but I couldn't imagine not having this discipline in my life right now.  It has been a crazy year of learning new things about myself, learning to apply Scripture to my life in new ways, and learning new aspects of friendship.

At the beginning of July, Ginger and I started our 32 chapter (Romans 8).  We have slowed down in our memorization a little bit because we have more to review, but we are still going strong.  So, because I am a numbers person, here is the breakdown:

1 year, 31 chapters, 607 verses, 3 books of the Bible

Here is the list of the Scripture we memorized over the last year:
James 1-5
Psalm 23
Psalm 27
Psalm 62
Psalm 67
Psalm 100
Psalm 139
Isaiah 61
Luke 2
Acts 6, 7
Ephesians 1
1 Corinthians 13
1 Peter 1, 2
Philippians 1-4
Psalm 1
Isaiah 53
Jonah 1-4 (probably the most random thing on the list, but it was a lot of fun! Where else do you get to memorize the word "vomit")
2 Corinthians 3, 4

We originally started working off a list that Ginger had made for herself, but I also added chapters along the way.  We also added chapters that had to do with specific seasons--Luke 2 for Christmas and Isaiah 53 for Easter.  We moved things around on our imaginary timeline when they would work better somewhere else (Pastor Ritch preached on 1 Corinthians 13 and we were already planning to memorize it at some point in time, so we added it into our schedule).

And others have joined us along the way, which is so much fun!  I can't emphasize enough how much I thought in the beginning, "I could never do this."  They always say, "Never say never."  And I have found it to be true in this case for myself.  Our mind is a muscle and the more we use it the more we can use it (not a very eloquent way to get that point across, but I can't think of another way to say it!).

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Today, my actual birthday!

My day started with an early wake up call from the Lord. Apparently He did not want me to miss a single moment of my birthday, so I was up at 6. Because of this I decided to go to first service, which is a rare occasion for me. As I was driving to church, I had the thought that it would be a great birthday surprise if we could sing "And Can It Be" which is my favorite hymn. I arrived to church a little late, and as I was walking in, guess what I heard coming from the sanctuary!!! I was sad to miss the first verse, but oh so excited to sing the rest. And, since the Lord woke me up early, I hung around after Sunday School so I could sing it in second service too! I didn't take very many pictures of my day. I almost snapped a picture during church just because I felt so blessed to be in church on my birthday. Sometimes, my actual birthday is a little of a let down because I am around people for the 4th and then sometimes am at home by myself most of my actual birthday.  But today, I got to celebrate my birthday amidst my church family.

After church, Emily and Sarah and I went to Red Robin for lunch.  Yummy!

And the rest of the day, I relaxed on the couch.  And refused to do anything productive.

This evening, I got a surprise visit from friends that included flowers!  I love my friends!
And my presents included pictures from my nephews:
John is the best artist ever!  I love the details that he includes in his pictures.  And he knows that I love turtles, so all of the art I get has turtles in it.
And Michael is a great colorer for a 3 1/2 year old!  Which makes my heart proud!
Have I mentioned that I have great friends and family.  Who love to humor me and my love for my birthday.

I took tomorrow off, so my birthday weekend continues a little relaxation and more free birthday food.  I think tomorrow is going to be free fries from Wing Stop.  And I'm going to get a free adjustment at the chiropractor, because even the chiropractor likes to celebrate my birthday!


Random first picture, I know. And not a very clear shot because I'm my father's daughter and apparently don't edit my pictures to make sure they are clear! It was a little iffy this last month on whether we would get to see fireworks. With all the rain, the Illinois River has been on the rise and has flooded part of downtown Peoria. But the show must go on, folks! Radio announcers and newspapers made it clear that the fireworks would not be cancelled. So, since the water had not receded, they closed down Water Street to cars and we were allowed to sit in the street. Personally, I think it was better and I hope they continue to close the street!  Anyway, we sat right behind the closed off area and sandbags.  Besides being in front of the tree line (which was under water), it was the best view we've had in years.
And here are a "few" of my favorite pictures.  Apparently, I took a lot.  Many of which were blurry.  Some of which turned out very good.

The top and bottom pictures are my two favorites of the night.

The above picture shows the ground show that you can only really see if you are lucky enough to be in front of the tree line.  Our fireworks are shot off from a barge in the river, which I think is pretty cool.

The above picture is my 3rd favorite (if you care about the ranking of my pictures)
The grand finale:
I mostly like the above picture because it just shows the chaos and explosiveness and brightness and loudness (I know you can't see loudness, but can't you just imagine the loudness!) of the finale!
The end.   Sigh.  I love fireworks.  They are magical.

4th of July Shenanigans!

It was another perfect weather 4th of July. Last year it was cool enough to wear jeans. This year was a little warmer, but still in the low 80s. And abundant sunshine, which was amazing because we've had so much rain lately. Per tradition, I went to Kari's parents house for a cookout before fireworks. Most of the group had fun "doing" things, while I mostly had fun sitting and talking and taking pictures of them doing things (which I enjoy just as much as all the "doing").

There was bags and ladder ball.  I know you can't flip through the pictures like on a camera, but these first two pictures are funny because Tim and Kari are watching the bag come toward the board and then they are staring at the board.  They look a little confused.  I know at this point in the game, the two teams were really close to winning and it was pretty intense!

And the other side of things.  Ash and Jena look just as concerned with things coming their way!
I really posted this second picture (below) because Nick (in the red shirt) either has really good form for ladder ball, or he is pretending to be a flamingo.  You can decide.
And then Doug got out all the "big" kid toys and the real fun began! Four wheelers, Six Wheelers, tractors, go carts.  You name it, they were zooming around the yard!

The above picture of Kari is hilarious!  Holly was having a little trouble learning how to drive the Six Wheeler and Kari was a little animated in making sure that she didn't take out anyone in the way!

The above picture is also funny because there were a couple of "roads" that everyone was using in the fields.  And Kari stopped to wait for the tractor (not pictured) to go by, just like on a real road.
One of the vehicles may have gotten a little over zealous and kicked up some rock.  Everyone chipped in to put it back where it belonged!
Several years ago, I was responsible for Amy going home with a cute little white kitten with gorgeous blue eyes.  This little gal is that kittens mother.  I took some pictures to send to Amy and Daynah so they could show Sophie what her mother looks like. :)

The Annual Tradition Continues

Ginger and I planned to take mine and Hudson's pictures at the 4th of July picnic.  Before the picnic, I got this text from Ginger: "Hudson just practiced his smile for me.  He's ready for his photo shoot with you.  He said: is this good?  That's as best as I can get."  I love this kid.  And I love the tradition of getting my picture taken with him, even if he only just humors me.

Although you would think that the above picture was the beginning of our funny faces, but Hudson was still just smiling! :)

At first, Hudson said, "I don't know what to do for a funny face.  But then he got into the swing of things. Here are a couple of our funny faces:

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Birthday Extravaganza-ness

As this card suggests, it's the beginning of the birthday posts.  I thought this card was perfect, because I always talk about my birthday being a Birthday extravaganza.

We had a party last night to celebrate my birthday and Ben's birthday on July 2nd.  Lots of fun was had, but not always the kind of fun that you would think.  Because my friends and I always "party" a little differently.  Our first order of business was to work on a service project for VBS.  Because it's always more fun to serve together!

And we were done in record time!  Seriously, the project only took about ten minutes.  And then we moved on to dessert..  Picture ice cream, eclair dessert, peanut butter pie, and chocolate chip cookie pie.  A plate full of yumminess.  And our friends sang to us, because we have great friends!

And then we went on to games.  Since we were half celebrating my birthday, I suggested a game of Dutch Blitz/Peanuts/Nertz (whatever you want to call it).  My friends often just humor me in this game.  Or they gang up on me because they get frustrated that I often win.  I can't help it that I am good at multi-tasking. :)

After we had all worked up a sweat playing the game, we moved on to calmer games of Dominion and learning a new game, Splendor.

It was another great celebration of another birthday.  I have the best of friends!