Saturday, October 27, 2007

What's in my cart....

Ok, I have to add another website that has been an integral part of our date night Dee and Stacey have both been a walking commercial for this site for awhile now....and rightly so!

Basically, you find the restaurant you want to go on their site (not all restaurants use them, but a lot do!) and can either buy a $25 gift certificate for $10 -or- you can opt for a $10 gift certificate for $3. The fine print is that you usually have to spend a minimum of $35 or $15 depending on what gift certificate you buy, and sometimes you have to use it during the week instead of the weekend....BUT it's still a really good deal.

And right now they're having a 70% off sale until Oct 31st. Just enter "treats" in the discount box at check out. I'm about to buy four $25 gift certificates and one $10 gift certificate for $12.90!!! You just print them out and frolic off to your date night with your sweetie!

Here are a few places we want to try:

Lulu.... it was voted "Most Creative Menu" by Charlotte Magazine last year and the gift certificates have been sold out already for October. You should look at their menu!

Maddi's Southern Bistro.... it's a restaurant and art gallery in one. You shop for locally handmade jewelry, wine glasses, etc and then feast on what sounds like true southern food (in a swanky atmosphere)! I'm eyeing the low country shrimp and grits. It's at Birkdale, so some great window shopping after dinner! It's another one that has sold out until Nov 1st.

Brazilian Buffet Boi Gordo.... A little more off the beaten path and the name means "Fat Ox". Apparently, you pay a flat rate and they serve you an entire dinner featuring many different types of meat that the servers will come and shave off onto your plate. Josh and I ate at a similar place in South Africa and it was really, really good!

The Ibis.... another high recommendation from Dee and Stacey. It's a new Caribbean place in downtown Concord, that is struggling because of it's location, but who's food is, "unbelievable!" We definitely need to keep good, independently owned restaurants open in Concord.

Fuji San Japanese Restaurant.... it's sushi on a conveyer belt, ya'll!!!

Tijuana Flats.... Tex-Mex is always a safe bet with me and this place looks fun and lively.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Two websites I visited today

I am already feeling stressed about Christmas. Though there were definitely many sweet moments last year with our families, there were also things that we hope to do differently this year to take some of the stress off we felt last year. Hence, my thinking about it now.

Josh and I were talking the other night about a financial plan we're striving towards....that also MAJORLY cuts our Christmas budget. We have A LOT of family....and it happily grows every year. My gift list now stands at 23.

Sooo..... I've found some new tools I'll be using this year. Here they are :

In the meantime, I am currently taking suggestions and brown, paper bags :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vintage Blowing Rock from last year...

Blowing Rock

A couple weekends ago we got to go to Blowing Rock! Josh's parents have a time share there and couldn't use it, so they sweetly let us (we went last year too). As always, it was gorgeous! We weren't there very long, but we spent a day walking through downtown, peeking into shops, getting coffee at Kojays, eating great soup, playing at the little park there, soaking in the hot tub, talking, reading and enjoying the amazing Chetola resort. It was a great little getaway! Thank you, Grammie and Pops!

It came at the perfect time because Isaiah hadn't been feeling well (as you can tell in some of the pictures), so he and I had been stuck in the house for awhile and I was about to lose it.

(Unknown to us, he was cutting 2 molars on top and two teeth on the bottom!)

what are these things???

some of the scenery at Chetola
quiet time on the patio
sequence of desire...
and satisfaction!

embarrassing me in Kojays weeee

Isaiah takes his safety warnings very seriously

sooo tired

not having it...


almost like having a sister


"sharing" Max's ball (sorry Stacey!)
nap time
peek-a-boo fit yesterday!

Karis and the shiney "no-no"

Let's put our heads together and think....

...and then you do this....

My little Einstein

Monday, October 22, 2007

Quick prayer request

Sorry for being MIA lately. First we lost the cord that I use to get pictures on here (and I have lots to post) so I delayed....we found it right when things started really picking up here at school. I will try to do better and get some pictures up too!

My kids at CCS are doing a Chirstmas musical this year and I'm told it's the biggest one they've done so far....of course......the girl with a one year old who only works 2 days a week has once again bitten off more then she can chew.

Anyway, all the auditions for the speaking and solo parts are this afternoon and I have quite a few kids coming and few parts to offer. I am so blessed by these kids enthusiasm...they don't take this opportunity for granted. They have definitely stepped up to the plate, but despite my numerous warnings against pride and taking our eyes off of Jesus, I can just see their little hearts wrapping tightly around hopes of getting the big part that comes with the spotlight.

If you think about it today, would you just pray for their hearts and for wisdom for me to lead them well through this process in a way that would cause this Christmas season to really be about Christ in their hearts?

I'll post more about it later....

Friday, October 05, 2007

Playing with large produce

Sounds odd, but Isaiah sure likes it!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Date night

Josh and I just recently joined a date night rotation at our church where each couple in the group takes turns watching all the kids for an evening so we all can get about 3 date nights a month with free babysitting....what a beautiful thing! We are really excited about it, even though our group has been battling the stomach bug the last couple of weeks making it a slow start.

Anyway... so, we've been thinking about date nights a lot lately, but probably even more about fellowship with each other. Our couples small group has been talking about what is true fellowship and the one question that really stuck out to me was whether or not we are experiencing that fellowship in our marriage.

If I'm honest, I would say that hasn't come nearly as naturally as I thought it would before I was married. I thought, "I fellowship with God, he fellowships with God, we'll just do it together." Not so much the case for us. And having a small child has made it even more difficult...there is a lot more tiredness, distraction and scattered thoughts and a lot less intentional conversations, prayer together, even complete sentences. We miscommunicate a lot. We default to lazy recreation a lot. We have a lot to grow in.

So, my prayer is that this carved out time each week to be together for the sole purpose of being together will lead to fellowship. I easily fall into just wanting to get out of the house and "doing something fun" which, in my mind, doesn't involve formal, sit down conversation and I'm beginning to clearly see how much we need that. I even spoke with a dear friend today about how big of a role fellowship plays in her marriage...with big rewards and consequences on either side of it. And I know that this fellowship is my husband's heart for us.

All of these rambling thoughts led me to Covenant Life's "Family Room" blog which is chock full of great posts and resources along with some fantastic questions for each other to go deeper in connecting to the heart (click the Date Night link on the right). I will pass these along to Josh (as I clearly have more time to roam the internet) and maybe they'll inspire some good conversations on your marriage too!

Here's just a small sample of what was there. These are questions from Paul Tripp:

What things did you see in [me] that made you want to marry [me]?
What were your goals for [our] marriage when [we] were engaged?
What things in [our] marriage make you sad?
What things in [our] marriage make you happy?
If you could press a button and change [our] marriage, how would it change?
In what ways do you think God is honored by [our] marriage?
How would you characterize [our communication]?
Describe how [we] arrive at decisions.
Describe how [we] resolve conflicts.
How would you describe [our] spiritual life as a couple?
Are there couples you look up to? What do you respect about their marriages?
In what ways have we struggled as a couple? Why?
What do you see as the strengths of [our] marriage?
What do you see as the weaknesses of [our] marriage?
What do you think [we] need to do as a couple to get from where [we] are to where [we] need to be?
Describe the marriage of your dreams.
What could [I] do to greatly change [our] marriage?
What problems in [our] marriage do you see as your responsibility?
What do you think God is doing in [our] marriage right now?
What are some obstacles that may keep [us] from solving . . . problems?
Describe how [our] marriage has changed over the years.
When you are hurt or angry with [me], what do you do?
How do you communicate dissatisfaction to [me]?