Monday, April 25, 2011

Birthday Police, Easter and Second Chances

I love second chances. So many times I have the best of intentions and never get to follow through with them. Eight years ago I bought a book called, "Stories For Five Year Olds" with the intention of reading it to my daughter Sarah before her sixth birthday. She is now 13. We've never read the book.

However, Jakey is 5. And....I've never forgot the book. Nor my intentions. 

So, although I reassured Jake that I COULD read him the book after he's six....he's quite concerned that we don't waste a single moment and make sure the book is completed....he doesn't want to come up to the threshold of turning six and have the birthday police revoke his advancement due to an unfinished book about being five. *LOL* I really don't know WHAT he thinks will happen- but he finds it imperative that we forge through this book at a healthy pace. Just in case. Because, you just never know how those darn birthday police will throw around their weight! *grin*
Saturday was my day to celebrate Easter with my little one(s). My "big" ones weren't so interested in egg hunts and kiddy activities so Jakey and I headed out alone to our first Helicopter Egg Drop. Yes, that's right. A helicopter drops eggs by gazillions onto a ball field and then kids run and pick them up. ( I just did some point and shoot pictures on Saturday...I went as a mommy not a photographer)
The event was hosted by a local church and had a lot of activities for the community to participate in. The activity I enjoyed the most was the mime worship group "Silent Praise". They acted out several songs but right now the only one I remember is "I Can Only Imagine". I think it's a great outreach ministry- people were intriqued by their movements- and were able to hear about Christ through it.

Silent Praise at the end of I Can Only Imagine

Notice how full the helicopter is with bags of plastic eggs! I heard they had 27,000 eggs on the field!

Before the egg drop- I got up really early on Saturday morning and did a literature distribution and tract crusade with church. We had the objective of knocking on 2,000 doors in 6 neighborhoods in four hours. We walked and walked. We knocked and knocked. We invtied. We smiled. We talked. We walked and walked. We prayed with a few people- and tried to encourage folks in a variety of situations: cancer, divorce, sons overseas in the war, death of loved ones, sick grandchildren, defaulted mortgages. You know, it was good for me to get out of my bubble and knock on doors and see face to face- eye to eye the people of the community. I haven't done hardly any door to door evangelism in my life. I've done a lot of outreach and activites- but this is something I didn'thave a lot of experience with. But when it comes to talking....that I can do.  : )  At one point, I was reminded ...."Cass, we have 1700 more doors to knock on this morning" :)
The whole outing was really heart touching. We came across some rude folks- and some people who had churches and prior plans....but for the most part, foks were kind and willing to talk (and most importantly- listen) for a spell. Two people stick out in my mind....sad hearts....and  we were there to tell them that Jesus came so that humanity could have a second chance. I was so inspired after our tract crusade. It's good to remember there are still spiritually hungry people out there...people that just need us to set aside our agendas and make the time to reach out to them. 

In Other News:

  • I'm excited about a new business proposition. More to come.
  • In 34 days my son will be an adult.
  • A trip with my kids to Wilmington is in the planning stages
  • I have a maternity shoot this upcoming weekend -which I'm excited about
  • I'm planning a surprise luau birthday party 
  • I'm working on a scrapbook to give my son of his childhood- including letters of memories and best wishes from various people in his life.
  • I've discovered basil pesto.
  • Are you aware of the endless attributes and possibilities of basil pesto?!!!!?
  • My girls and I are going to a Mother Daugther Banquet and we've invited my sons girlfriend. I'm excited about that. <3
  • My 28-300 lens is messed up :( I'm praying for the Tamron fairy to come and bless it, heal it, fix it...whatever it takes without me having to spend money.
Take advantages of those Second Chances....and Shine All Your Light.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Have a Fashion Handicap

I am many things, but a fashionista I am not. I just that, I don't "get it". I browse through high-fashion magazines and giggle at the ridiculousness of some of the poses, giddups and designs. I'm a very laid back type of person. It's not that I don't iron my clothes or that I run around in sweatpants and least there are SOME days that I don't. ;) .....but I can't for the life of me keep up with what trends and fashions are.

Not that I really care to. I don't think.

I just simply don't get it!

The other day I was at TJ Maxx returning some highheels I bought to go with my Easter skirt. I had the shoes at home and had "practiced" walking in my high heels for two days and came to the conclusion that Jesus being raised from the dead on Easter is excitement enough; I shall not sacrafice my life and take my chances to hope for such a miracle on my behalf. So, I returned the perchy little things and found myself at a loss standing there in the shoe aisle. Accessing all the options before me-they were all either too high, too colorful or too flat, to wierd or open toed. Geez. I really was at a loss. Almost on the verge of being frustrated.

I needed someone's help. I looked around. Not at shoes, but at people- accessing the choices. Not the old lady dressed like Mrs. Roper from Three's Company. Not the old man with fuzzy toes hanging off the edge of his flipflops. Not the man with blue fingernail polish and orange dreadlocks putting the shoes I had just returned back on the shelf. I stood for a second tuning into to the conversation of the ladies on the size 7 aisle. I casually made it to the aisle showcasing size 7- to spy out what the lady was wearing and what she was buying. He-he ;) She passed muster.

I said, "Um. Excuse me." All three ladies looked up from their lacing and buckling of potential shoe purchases. I smiled. They stared- curiously.

"Can I ask your opinion? I'm completely lost when it comes to putting together shoes and accessories." (I felt like I was really interfering and began to ramble, like I tend to do when I'm nervous) " YOu see, I have a multicolored skirt and white battenburg lace top for Easter, but I have no idea what color of shoes to wear? There's white sandals in my size but they seemed to casual with the battenburg lace and I..." The middle lady instantly took charge. "What size? Tell me about your skirt and top."

The lady walked right over and grabbed a pair of nudey/beige heels with a modest size bow on the toe. "These are perfect! THey go with everything! Even black!"

"Really?" I ask in bewilderment, because I had passed those shoes 15 times over- thinking they were exactly what I didn't need.

"Absolutely! Nude is the new black!"

"Oh. I thought plum was the new black." I shyly said.

She informed me that plum was last years black. It changed this spring. Oh yes, silly me!  Then she filled me in on my newly prized shoes being "all the rage and totally versatile too!" ( I was beginning to wonder if she was making a commission off the shoes!?) She said I can wear them with everything. Especially black (apparently that's a trend) but she said something about NOT wearing them with other solid colors because I would want my accessories to "pop" in that case.

For the record-The only thing in my wardrobe that ever pops is buttons....but I didn't feel the need to tell her that. ;)

"Of course." I mumbled and nodded energetically like the good pupil that I am. I made a mental note: Nude is good. *ha!*
Yes, I'm totally lost. But I wholeheartedly took her advice and am hoping that she doesn't have a hobby of giving unsuspecting dorks bad advice in the shoe aisle. The bow endowed toes have me a tad nervous. She asked about my accessories.....or my lack thereof....she was nice and eager to help. I let her go back to trying on the 10 story high heeled sandles she was still carrying around. Her friends nodded and waved a happy farewell to the imposing fashion dork. ;)
I got home and put on my Easter outfit and strutted my stuff to my girls. My daughter TOTALLY dissed the wide brimmed white hat. I put it back in its box....but kept on my bowey shoes to help stretch them out. Then I changed back into my sweatpants and tshirt. ;)

I know the point of Easter is nothing to do with clothes, fashion or trends. I am totally there with you on that!
But, I figure if I'm going to buy something I want to purchase responsibly and get the most bang for my buck....and I'm just lost. Totally lost about all this fashionista stuff. I'm thankful for ladies who are eager to help, and grateful that I found shoes that I can walk in...without upping my life insurance!

So, to all my friends- I'm wishing you a "nude" Easter!! Ha!

Shine All Your Light,


Monday, April 18, 2011

Fearington Village

 Yesterday a group of friends and I went to Fearrington Village (pronounced Fair-ington).

We greeted spring with arms wide open and  No jackets! ;)

....And Spring greeted us back with a "warm" hello.

Fearrington Village is home of the Belted Galloway cows. More easily remembered as "Oreo's with Milk" (ha! I just made that up!)

And, I suppose- that this is the place that if the cow eats twice it becomes a "Double Stuft Oreo." LOL.

Leave it to me. With all the views, flowers, scenery and tourist around to photograph.....I'm laying on the ground taking pictures of grass. There was a family picnicing near by and I heard the mother say, "Stay near by, Jeremy, there are too many weirdos in this world." I tried to believe that she wasn't referring to the photographer laying on the wet grass, making a strangely contorted face while staring into the sun....shooing away an Oreo. :)

The day was beautiful. To the right of this frame, inside the fence, there was a meadow of yellow flowers...a virtual Calgon moment waiting to be experienced. I didn't keep it waiting.

Shine All Your Light, Cass

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A little of This & That

I realize I'm behind on my 52 Challenge. I'm glad I do it for myself and not for my readers (if there are any!)....So much to catch up on. I had the priviledge of going to the mountains for a photo trip several weeks back. The mountains in spring are gorgeous. We spent an afternoon on the Biltmore Estate grounds....the following pictures are a very small sampling of the pictures I took...but are a few of my favorite ones.


The garden gate looking towards Pisgah National Forest


White Blossoms

Looking toward the Carriage House (now a restaurant)

Lots has been going on. My oldest daughter is in Driver's Ed. She is my child that kept training wheels on her bike until she was 9. Not because she couldn't ride- but because she was so terrified of falling. She makes me nervous because she's so timid. She took her first written test the other day and didn't pass. She had to retake the Road Sign test- so I asked her to bring me her papers and we would study the drivers book and her old test.

I began looking over the written test...and her answers. I must admit I totally laughed out loud....a gut roll of laughter. Scanning her test- her answer beneath the picture of a  "No Right Turn" ....underneath it she wrote "No Right Curving". 

Jakey and I have been best buds. It's amazing how time changes things; instead of me reading him bedtime stories- He's reading to me each night. He has a new found obcession with kickball. It's truely the little things in life that matter. Today we bought a kickball....and you would have thought I bought the moon.

Sometimes I feel like I can't keep up with him. ;) Probably- cuz I can't!

The Other Stuff
  • Gabe will be 18 next month- which is probably why little Jakey is finding himself being smothered. Time really does fly...and I'm clinging to the baby I have left. If your a mother I'm sure you understand
  • I'm excited about an upcoming Mother/Daughter banquet at church.
  • Gabe is going to camp for a whole week next month-I'm earnestly gathering all the stuff he has to bring
  • My SEO business is going well! Word of mouth is an awesome way of advertising!
  •  Were going Easter clothes shopping tonight. Oh joy.

 Shine all your light- and stay out of the No Curving Zone!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Childhood Friendships Rekindled

I love books. I especially love children's books.  When I see a title I know- I feel like I've just spotted an old friend that I haven't seen in awhile. Out of courtesy, I pick it up and thumb the pages, soak in the pictures and read the stanzas. Out of courtesy-to an old friend because, you see, it would be rude to pass it by without an acknowlegement.
I was at a flea market a few weekends ago and came across two childhood favorites. Two old friends that we're in a dire need of a new home. ;)  The first acquaintance was Shel Silverstein's book of odd and quarky poetry "Where The Sidewalk Ends". I quickly flipped to the middle of the book and read the poem about the girl that didn't take the garbage out....but I remembered -in the back of my mind- there was another poem.....something that I could hear being recited within my mind...but couldn't form the words in my was a poem I loved- but couldn't remember. Does that make sense? I knew that if I kept flipping through the book that I would find it. And I did. I smiled big. I remembered.....and I felt like I was in fourth grade again. Yep,  I still remember what fourth grade felt like. ;)

Doesn't it just make you want to turn around a hug someone? Go ahead and do it!! I'll still be here...

So, standing there at the flea market I spotted several other "friends" The Giving Tree, A Bargain For Francis, Ms. Suzy, Ramona and Beezus, Peter Hatcher (Fudge's older brother and proud owner of a dog named Turtle!), Hooper Humperdink (who I still feel sorry for!), and I couldn't pass up a chance to say "hello" to Sam Gribley of "My Side of the Mountain". So many friends-so many memories of hiding in my bed-between the covers-reading into the night! Then. Standing in the aisle little heart pitter-pattered. Like it always does when I see a book illustrated by Eloise Wilkin.

I always felt like I knew the little girl in the book....her adventures, her clothing, her questions and stories were always so familiar and real....the pictures that Eloise Wilkin drew were real life.

My heart melts at these drawings-and I'm positive I love them more now than as a child! I always felt the drawings told a much better story than the words in the books. I could  can look at the pictures over and over.

I was in an antiques market, a fancy one too... but it was these books that I clung to as if they were treasures. They have sentimental value. I couldn't wait to bring my old friends home and introduce them to my Jake. We laid in bed that night (under the covers with a flashlight!) reading Shel Silverstein's poems until my eyes hurt and I simply couldn't read any more! I can't tell you how much I loved being cuddled under the covers in our half lit "tent" reading goofy nonsense, crazy lines of silliness that roll of your tongue with melodic  rhyming beats. 
Do you have a favorite childhood storybook? Something that instantly transports you back to a time in your life when you were bathed and in bed before the sun set? A time when your mother still kissed you goodnight... and you still believed in the toothfairy? :) Please share your treasures and memory with me!

Shine All Your Light....(especially at night, under the covers, reading a book with your kiddos!)