Andrea's blog



I made it home, which means I must have had a successful shopping trip....(this makes sense if you read my "Today I am..." ticker. Today's says: Today I am not coming home until I have purchased a new pair of tennis shoes. My current pair is 6 years old...I bought them in Searcy, AR! (3/4))


The most crucial purchase of the day, from Dicks Sporting Goods (on sale for $39.99):



And, while I was in shoe-shopping mode, I picked these up at DSW (also on sale for $24.26):





But before we went shoe shopping, Ayla and I walked the aisles of the Kids Market & Mom consignment sale. I was not in the mood to shop for kid clothes...they were way too overpriced for consignment, so we took a look at the toys and picked up these gems for only $2 each:




Then, I spotted this for only $25 (usually $80 new), which I've been eyeing for a long time at various consignment sales. It's a little big for her now, but Ayla just HAS to have her own scrapbooking and craft desk. And it fits just perfectly right by mine! Now we need to find a chair and stuff to fill it up with. Some little artist has sharpie-d the dry erase board, so I'm going to try and clean it, paint it (maybe with chalkboard paint), or replace it.




Nothing feels better than snagging good deals on things you "need".




This afternoon, Rachel graciously offered to watch Ayla so that Ben and I could join Josh, Zach and Janel at the theater for U23D. We'd planned to go a couple of weeks ago for Zach's birthday, but it kept getting bumped back because of Hannah Montana in 3D...I guess she's more popular around here. Especially since there were only about 10 people in the theater this afternoon...including the 5 of us!

Regardless, it was pretty cool. Kind of like having a box seat to a huge concert. I was never a big U2 fan and actually I used to tease Zach because as long as I'd known him, I'd never known a conversation with him that didn't somehow come back to Bono or U2. A couple of years ago though, he showed us a DVD of a U2 concert in Dublin. I was so impressed with their talent and ever since I've considered myself a fan--although not anywhere close to as big a fan as Zach is!
But now I can say I reached out and "touched" Bono's hand at a concert....and it'll be virtually true...



I ran across this site today in my blog-reading, and I'm LOVING it.  It's a web site made for people like me, who aren't even sure how to boil an egg. They have all kinds of step-by-step videos for dummies like me.  
Check it out!


So, my question about "What Comes in Fours" does have a project behind it.  I loved everyone's responses, but I haven't necessarily narrowed my plan down to what we should use.  You see, we're looking for photograph ideas to put into four frames in our kitchen.  And, although the 4 Ninja Turtles would definitely be a guaranteed conversation piece (Thanks Rachel), I'm not sure it's quite what I had in mind! :)
I do like the idea of seasons, US time zones, and Janel suggested photographs of the 4 states we've lived in (IL, AR, MN, and AL).  Earth, Fire, Air & Water might be neat, and I liked Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Sour too (since it's for the kitchen).  Any more ideas budding now that you know what it's for?

Those Who Save Us

I just finished reading
Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum. It was a book my grandmother recommended. Written by a Jewish author, it flashes between the late 90's and the 1930's - 40's and follows the story of a German mother and her daughter. The mother lived in Germany during WWII and falls in love with a Jewish doctor, has a baby, and so on... (don't want to ruin the story too much). The daughter is a German history professor (in Minneapolis, of all places) and is doing research on the experiences of Germans during the war.
It reads just like a Lynn Austin book, which I love, teaching all about the history and pulling you into the time frame with a captivating story. Although the author is Jewish, I found it to be remarkably
un-religious. Actually there are very few Jewish characters in the
I had never read a book about the Holocaust before, and it's very sobering to read about how awful people were treated. Hearing about it in school and in history books doesn't really pull you in emotionally like a story like this does.
I definitely recommend this book. Very interesting and easy-to-read. Thanks Grandma! :)



Question for you...

What things come in 4's? I'm asking for a reason, but I don't want to limit anyone's let's brainstorm:

  1. winter, spring, summer, fall
  2. heart, diamond, spade, club
  3. north, south, east, west
  4. up, down, left, right
  5. morning, afternoon, evening, night (? - that's probably a stretch)
  6.  ---  help me think of more!

The Birds

I haven't actually seen the movie, but I think you'll agree there's an eerie similarity between our backyard full of screeching birds and the movie "The Birds".   This is a daily occurrence:



Ayla "LUVS" cheap toys...


I got crafty during nap time today and surpised Ayla with this:

She liked it. :)



Blue Like Jazz

I just finished reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Ben has been telling me to read it for the past two years, so it was only fitting that in my resolution to read at least one non-fiction book per quarter, I started with this one. Besides, we own it, so I didn't even have to go to the library to pick it up.
Overall, I enjoyed it. Since it's written in a sort of heres-my-experience narrative, it's hard to summarize it. So instead of a review, I thought I'd present you with some quotes from the book that stood out to me:

“I believe that the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather to have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man’s mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God.”

Habit--it's such a huge thing for me, and I can see it emerging in Ayla. She's all about routine and knowing exactly what comes next. I can only assume she's learned that from me. This was a good reminder that it's good to mix it up a little bit to prevent something important and meaningful like worship and prayer from becoming a mindless habit.

“So much of me believes strongly in letting everybody live their own lives, and when I share my faith, I feel like a network marketing guy trying to build my down line.”

This has always been awkward for me...telling other people about God. I think I'm better at it now, but probably just with certain audiences. I can relate to his comparison to a salesman...I don't want people to think I'm selling something everytime I talk to them.

“Rick said he thought it meant we should live missional lives, that we should intentionally befriend people who are different than us. I didn’t like the sound of that, to be honest. I didn’t want to befriend somebody just to trick them into going to my church. Rick
said that was not what he was talking about. He said he was talking about loving people just because they exist—homeless people and Gothic people and gays and fruit nuts. And then I liked the sound of it. I liked the idea of loving people just to love them, not to get them to come to church.”

This is a good description of the core feeling we've found at Disciples Fellowship, where we've been worshipping here in Birmingham. Missional...loving's so basic, but so different than the typical "church" formula.

“I am something of a recluse by nature. I am that cordless screwdriver that has to
charge for twenty hours to earn ten minutes use. I need that much downtime.”

I just related to this because I feel this way sometimes. If I have a big day planned during the week, I need two days of nothing to recover. It's nice to know I'm not alone in that!

“At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my math is wrong we are still going to be okay.”

Amen. We don't have it right, but we're trying and I think that's what matters. I'm sure I've said that before....



Uncle Kyle must've seen that I had little to no blogging material this week, so he tagged me in a blogging game:

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!)
Find Page 123.
Find the first 5 sentences.
Post the next 3 sentences.
Tag 5 people.

It wasn't really cheating, but I do have an entire bookshelf-worth of books sitting in my office (still in cardboard boxes).  I picked one of the 10 or so that are sitting on top of all the boxes.  It's a book my Aunt Susan gave me called "Games to Play with Babies" by Jackie Silberg.  
Then put the napkin on the baby's head, pull it off and say "Peek-a-boo".  Put the napkin on the baby's head and see if she will pull it off herself.  Keep pulling it off until she learns to do it herself. 
My friends, consider yourself tagged:
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