Thursday, July 23, 2009

Photos From the Trip

Here are a few of the many photos I took on our coast trip.

This is BK's first look at the beach.

This silly girl likes to have fun wherever she is!

BK dressed up like a train engineer at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center (LMDC). This is an absolutely awesome place for creative play.

Dressing up for a tea party at LMDC.

BK was amazed that the ball was suspended by the air coming from this machine at LMDC.

BK on a ride at Chuck E. Cheese.

There was an indoor pool at the hotel where we stayed, so BK and her Daddy got to swim every day. That might have been the highlight of the whole trip.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Extended Vacation

We have been planning and canceling vacations for four years now. Something always comes up that gobbles up whatever little money we managed to put back for fun. This summer, we finally decided to go down to the coast for a few days, just to get away before Mike has to go back to work.

About an hour before we got there, it started to rain and storm on us. Finally it was raining so hard that I had to pull over in the middle of nowhere, at a dump of a convenience store, to try and wait for it to pass because I couldn't see. While we were sitting there, my windshield wipers broke. I mean really broke...stuck together in the middle...bent...then finally would not move at all.

I called AAA and told them where we were and they said they could send a truck to tow us, but only two of us could ride in the truck with them. So I waited until the rain wasn't so hard and got back on the road...without the rain. It was only about 4 miles to a Goodyear, but it felt like 100 miles, going 35 miles an hour with my flashers on.

The Goodyear folks said that the whole wiper assemblies were stripped and of course NO ONE had them in stock. They called two salvage yards, but they didn't have them either. We were planning to come back Sunday, but they said that if they order them they next day (Friday), they won't be there until Monday.

Not wanting to drive home and chance getting into rain, we had to extend our trip by a day. Who would have thought after a month of drought, it would be rain that messed us up. We tried to not not worry too much about it, and stopped by K-Mart to buy some Rain-X, so that if it rained on us over the weekend it wouldn't be so bad.

All of that aside, we have really had a great time. Friday we went to Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. That was the first time I have ever been there and I was SO impressed! BK had a great time and cried when we had to leave. It was full of fun things to see and do. Of course we went to the beach and took some pics. But probably the most fun thing has been that there is an indoor pool here at the hotel, so they have been swimming every evening.

I have been snapping photos all weekend and I will try to get some posted when we get home tomorrow.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Swap-bot Swapping Fun

I learned about something new yesterday. Swap-bot is an online community of folks who love to swap. Here is how it works: A member decides to coordinate a swap, so they create a post describing the details, such as what will be swapped, when the items must be mailed, if it is USA only or international and how many swap partners you will have. Then you can search the list of swaps and find the ones that might interest you.

I just opened my account, so I have not had a chance to look at all the swaps yet, but here are just a few that I have seen:

Handmade Cards

There are many, many more than I can list here. If you would like to check out Swap-bot, the website is:

My New Addiction - Farm Town

When I opened a Facebook account a few months ago, I had no idea that I would find a new "hobby" that would take up so much of my time. Farm Town is a game that is so much fun.

I started out with a small parcel of land (12X12) and eight plowed fields. I planted and harvested until I saved enough coins to upgrade several times. Now my farm is 20X20 and full of all kinds of growing plants, trees, flowers and animals. It's really cool!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Living a Simple Life?

Unless you live in a cave somewhere, you have probably heard about the trend toward living a simple life. I don't know if it took the economy taking a nose-dive, or what, but it seems like everywhere I look there is something about living a simple life. One of our Associate Pastors even preached on it at my church last week.

My introduction to the simple living concept came from Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution, Living as an Ordinary Radical. If you haven't had the chance to read this book, you should consider doing so, but be ready to have your nice comfortable Christian world rocked.

My struggle is trying to figure out what a simple life would look like for me. I don't consider my life to be extravagant by any means. That is when I compare myself to the American standard. However, if I compare my life to the lives of the millions of people worldwide who live in utter poverty, then it seems that I probably do live in excess. Having too much "stuff and things" is not living simply.

But it isn't only possessions that complicate life. It is activities as well. So many things to do, so many places to go. Even good things like church can become a burden when there are services three times a week and meetings in between.

I think about how I've heard that life used to be. Neighbors knew each other. Families and friends stopped by to sit on the porch and visit for a while. When there was a need, folks pitched in to help each other. People worked hard, but I'm sure that they slept well at night (without the aid of sleeping pills).

It's very hard not to get caught up in the American way of life: A full Day-Timer + lots of stuff, stuff and more stuff = Happiness

Maybe it is time to reevaluate our priorities and make some changes. Putting first things first...sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?