Welcome to our adventures. I try as best as I can to document the happenings here in our family - everything from the shenanigans to the spiritual, from the kid to the kitchen, from the cat to the catastrophes. We believe that adventure can be found in everything we do...even in the mundane tasks of the day. When we set our minds on things above in gratitude to God, we find the strength to approach life with a sense of purpose & adventure. The adventure may not always be what we have planned...but isn't that what adventure is all about?

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hey y'all!

Just a little booty review for ya. We hit CVS and Walgreens today and did some good deals. The above picture represents $102.75 in retail items. Total out of pocket for me was $36.82 with ECB's and Register Rewards (this is CASH BACK people) equaling $22.49. Which makes my grand total $14.33! Once again, I had to tell Mike that what I was doing was totally legit...he feels very conflicted about the whole thing.

My pile includes:
2 6oz tubes of Colgate Total,
2 Revlon lipsticks,
1 Covergirl Liquid Foundation (money maker),
1 Covergirl Lipstick,
2 large bottles of Herbal Essence
2 bottles of Sunsilk Hair Spray
5 Softsoaps
2 large Suave Shampoos (actually - I got this at Publix today and it's not included in my grand totals, I got both for .50/each)
1 bottle Infusium
1 Fusion Razor (these bad boys normally cost $10, I got it for .99)
1 bottle of Vaseline for men (so my man will be soft and smellin' good)
1 32oz Rubbermaid bottle (this threw off my savings percentage, but I needed it!)
1 cute child, not included.

Oh yeah, I promised Abby that I would mention that SHE arranged the booty pile for the portrait...I thought she did a fabulous job, don't you?

Hope you've had a wonderful weekend...

love & miss,

SECRET MESSAGE: YOU....You're good you!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Today was a project day at Club Amaro...we have so many to do, so we're starting with the ones that don't cost any money :)

First on the list, remove the God forsaken monstrosity that is the satellite dish...that was Mike's responsibility:

My job was putting together the "craft" room so Abby and I could fire up our creative juices once again. My project was way more fun, but it took alot longer. I wish I had taken a "before" picture so you could see what a nightmare this room was. But, you'll just have to imagine it in your mind. We broke down and got 2 $17 shelves at big lots to complete the craft room look...so here is the "after"

Most of the area is mine, but Abby does have a little real estate there. Here is Abby showing off her area, complete with easel:

And then, in addition to her little craft area, she has a small table that we might put her laptop on, but for now she's rockin' the Phonic's play-top.

So...we had a productive day. And now, creativity can begin!
Thought y'all would like to see Abby's coustoume for "Character Dress Up" day at school. She was required to pick one of her favoirte books, dress up like one of the characters and give an oral book report in front of the class.

Indroducing.........RAINBOW FISH!

I made this from 4 different color foamie's, sequines, a little glitter and some foamie glue. I hand sewed the "scales" onto a cheap blue shirt I bought for $2. It turned out pretty good, I think - and Abby was proud to wear it :)

SECRET MESSAGE: There are no horses

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hey guys!

A quick check-in to let you know that Club Amaro is hosting Auntie Kathryn this week - we have been off on grand adventures taking in the local scene. We've ridden the General Jackson, toodled around downtown Nashville, shopped on Main Street in Franklin. We also roamed the beautiful grounds at the Grand Old Opry and visited Miller's Grocery for some serious country kitchen cookin' and bluegrass music by the Howling Brothers. Tomorrow we'll visit the Jack Daniel's distillery and start winding down before Kathryn leaves Wednesday afternoon.

Here's a few shots from our adventures, but feel free to check out the Dropshots to get the full meal deal.

A view of downtown Nashville from the Cumberland River

Can the River take this much beauty?

Display at the Grand Old Opry

Union Station, downtown

Miller's Grocery - a country cafe in Christiana, TN.

Miller's Grocery Watchdog

One of many new outfits from Auntie Kathryn
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Hey yall...

A quick update for you from the Club Amaro compound...

Here's a shot of Abby with a new bracelet that came in the mail from Grandma.

Abby loves, loves, loves this bracelet - not only for the fact that it's an accessory (which she is all about these days!). But, slightly more than that she was excited about having a way that she could share Christ with her class mates. (The bracelet has beads and charms that hold significance to the story of Jesus - it enables someone to briefly tell the story and have a starting point for further discussion). That night during evening prayer time, she prayed that God would give her boldness in sharing Jesus with her classmates the next day at school.

The first thing she told me when she got in the car the next day was how many kids she told about Jesus using her bracelet! The count fluctuated a few times in the telling, but it averaged out to about 6 kids. She said that some of the kids seemed "very interested" in what she had to say. She was SO excited....it made me slightly ashamed of my own lame evangelistic pursuits. I know there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus (Ro 8:1), so my shame did not last long. I was touched by her desire to see those around her know the truth of Jesus...I only pray that we as parents can fan that flame in her and that it would not die out by our complacency and luke warm Christianity.

Now, if you'll allow me to remove the heavy weight that just crashed down in the middle of my post, I'll tell you about our fun evening out last night...

The small group that Mike and I are involved in at church had a "multiplication party" (our group had enough people where we were able to split off into two groups). One of the members of the small group has parents that own a 25 acre farm down the road a bit. It was like Southern Living met up with Old Mac Donald....the house was beyond beautiful and sitting next to that was a barn, farm, horses, etc. It was a whole lotta fun. Here's a few highlights:

A bonfire welcomed the guests (even though it was 90 degrees out!) and was later used for S'mores.

Abby with friends Aubrey and Ella

A nice big hay ride for all - Abby went on it twice (by herself).

Abby and Aubrey

Some of the horse stalls...one of the horses is there and tolerated all the kids bringing it grass from the nearby lawn.

Small group leaders R & E lead in prayer before dinner.

Just thought this was a cool shot.

Hope all is well!
Love and S'mores,

Monday, September 8, 2008
Awhile before school started we bought Abby an alarm clock so that she would be excited about waking up for school (oh if that was all it took for me...). It's been a great tool to encourage her to get up on time and it gives her a little bit of responsibility as she is the one to get up and turn it off.

Well, I think the excitement factor is officially null and void. Yesterday after I got out of the shower, Mike reports to me that Abby's alarm went off and she immediately got in bed and went back to sleep.

Oh, that dog ain't gonna hunt, I thought. I marched into her room and found her cozied up under the covers fast asleep. I started in on the "secondary" alarm proceedings: opening of the blinds, turning on of the light, singing her name loudly, etc. I sit on the edge of the bed and she stirs awake. After lovingly welcoming her to the day, I start in on my lawyer like questioning of the morning offense.

"So why did you get back in bed after your alarm went off?"

She responds to me in the half-asleep daze:

"I was having a dream about baking cookies"

"Oh," I said "ok...but that doesn't explain why you got back in bed"

"I got back into bed because I wanted to finish my dream up."

Well, I couldn't argue with that!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
...spoken like a true 37 year old. But I've heard it said that 40 is the new 30, so that really only makes me 27 according to my logic. Yes?

Every year on my birthday I claim my Psalm for the year (the Psalm number corresponding to the year that I have turned). Psalm 37 is a good one, and I am very excited about it. If you can stand it, I would like to share some of my favorite verses from it (all verses are taken from the New King James):

"Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday." v.5-6

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand. " v.23-24

"But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him." v.39-40

That is just good stuff. I love all the God "action items"...He shall:
- bring it to pass
- bring forth your righteousness and justice
- uphold with His hand
- be strength in times of trouble
- help and deliver
- save

My "action items" involve committing and trusting. If I commit my ways to the Lord and trust in Him, these promises are for me to hold on to! But how about those days when my commitment and trust levels are put to the test - or they just disappear completely? What happens to these promises then? Hmmmm...I guess I'm not really prepared to answer that. But, for me, I think part of the answer lies in something that Abby said to me last night as I was getting her ready for bed. She cupped my face with her precious little hands, looked me dead in the eyes and said, "Mom...you're not perfect....but you're sweet!".

God knows I'm not perfect...He knows the limits of my commitment and trust...and He knows my heart. God said to Samuel, "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7) My heart desires to commit and trust, even if sometimes my actions don't line up. Someone may look at me and disagree, but only God can judge my heart so I'll leave that up to Him. The trouble comes when our hearts get out of alignment...but that's another topic altogether (and one that I don't care to bring up on my birthday post!).

The good news is you don't have to be 37 for all of this! God's promises are for the young and old alike...no matter where you're at in your life.

Commit and trust...and may the Lord bring it to pass!

love & 37 candles,
Monday, September 1, 2008
Mike turned 40 years old today! We had a little get together in our front yard and broke in the new bbq. We were blessed to fellowship with friends both new (from our small group at church) and newer (our next door neighbors) as well as our tried and true "older" friends (and I only mean that because we've known them almost 10 years!). The bocce ball set made an appearance, although we learned that it's not possible to play bocce ball with little kids around! We had great fun and look forward to more times like this. Here's a little photo montage of the day...

Abby made the cake for Mike's party - she literally did almost everything!

Mike gets to do his first crossword puzzle as a 40 year old (I was saying that to him all day long! "It's your first breakfast as a 40 year old", "It's your first shower as a 40 year old", etc... ho eh!)

The cake baker and the crossword puzzler

Abby helps Mike with a clue

Mike and I spent some birthday money (along with a Lowe's gift card and some coupons) and bought a new grill! Of course, the grill was on sale!

Our party guests mingle...B & M were able to come with the kids as well as Grandpa Bob and Grandma Eva who had been working on B & M's house all day.

The kids, who varied in age from 2nd grade down to 20 months played so well together! We had a little basket of things for the kids and they shared and included each other - it was wonderful to see.

Abby shows the little guys her bubble blowing technique.

Grandma Eva and Judah

Mike and Michael check to see if there's enough burgers and dogs left for seconds.

"Happy Birthday to me!"

Thanks for following along...wish you could have been here too.
We hope your labor day was fabulouso...back to laboring!

summer lovin', havin' a blast!