Thursday, August 31, 2006

I *Love* Coffee...

...but I don't drink it every day. Use to... but too much caffeine does strange things to me (for a variety of reasons). But boy, do I *love* it!! I love everything about it...the smell, the taste...hmm, just thinking about it makes me want to jump in my car and hit Starbucks!!

Speaking of Starbucks...I found out something very exciting for those of us who are trying to shed a few pounds (or like me, more than a few!). My favorite drink is a Caramel Macchiato and if I order a Tall instead of a Grande, and have them make it with non-fat milk, it's only 170 calories with 1 gram of fat. Not bad, especially when compared with the 310 calories and 12 grams of fat that's in a regular Grande Caramel Macchiato. Next time you're in Starbucks just pick up their Nutrition By The Cup pamphlet. It makes for a very interesting read.

Well...that's my little tid-bit for the day! Have a blessed Thursday!

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ladies Day of Refreshment

I am feeling so *postie* (as Little Mama would say) tonight. : ) Now that you are thoroughly bored with all the bluegrass stuff, here's something on a much more spiritual level. You can read about here on Little Mama's blog. Because I was doing the bluegrass thing, I missed out on this special day. Although I was having a great time with my family, I am sorry to have missed it.

Bluegrass Weekend~Part 3 (last one-promise!!)

A few more pictures for those who love bluegrass too...*waves to Little Mama and Mitzi* : )

Rob Ickes (one of the best dobro players around) playing The Old Rugged Cross.

We heard the Infamous Stringdusters (from Nashville) for the first time and they were awesome!

Sara Watkins from Nickel Creek...boy, can she play the fiddle!!!

Ok...that's all my bluegrass stuff for now. ;0)

Bluegrass Weekend~ Part 2

Here are some pictures from the weekend. Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures of Fiddleboy's performance (just video). One thing I forgot to mention in the last post...we don't attend festivals EVERY weekend (I know some of you are going, "duh"!). We go about 6-8 times a year. : )

Here is Fiddleboy (in the middle) and friends jammin' Friday night at our campsite. This jam went until 2:30am.

These two pictures are of a jam (again at our campsite) that started out small, but grew to have a life of it's own. The instruments being played are fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass fiddle and banjo.

And here's Fiddleboy...asleep. The above jam lasted until about 1:30am and he just could not stay up any longer. Gee, I wonder why?!

Bluegrass Weekend

We are home from the Summergrass Bluegrass Festival. It was a great weekend! We enjoyed the much cooler weather in San Diego and meeting up with our fellow bluegrass lovers. Of course, the music was awesome!!

The Lord has been good to give us wonderful Christian friends through this endeavor we do as a family. We usually only see each other at festivals or other bluegrass related activities, but we always just pick up right where we left off. Before we leave home, we always pray and ask the Lord to use us in any way that would bring honor to Him. There are a lot of Christians in the bluegrass music world, but just like anything else, there are a lot of hurting people too. Once at another festival, my Fireman talked to a 17 year old boy for over 2 hours. He was actually a "punker" dressed all in black, piercings, ect...and was attending the festival with his dad. We invited him over to our camper to play music and ended up talking about the Lord. My husband prayed with the young man and although he did not receive Christ (he had attended church when he was younger), we believe seeds were planted. Later on while we were away from our campsite, the young man left a note for my husband, telling him "thank you" and left his phone number. So while the music is obviously a huge part of why we attend festivals, meeting people and sharing the Lord with them is a big part too.

During the day we listen to the different bands or my guys will attend workshops. Here is my Fireman (left) at a guitar workshop. He's so cute with his hat on! : ) At Summergrass they had a Kid's Camp, so Fiddleboy was busy with that during the day. They break the kids up into different ages and levels and on Sunday afternoon they performed on stage.

The BEST part though, about going to a Bluegrass festival is the "jamming" (or pickin', as it's called in some that takes place after the bands are through playing. People with instruments come together to play music. (Usually until the wee hours of the morning!) Sometimes you don't even know each other, but it doesn't just join in! It's so much fun to listen to and it gives the experience of playing your instrument in a group setting. I love how people are so patient and forgiving if you make a mistake (usually). Fiddleboy's friends are all VERY good musicians. Some of them are even in bands, but they are so encouraging to him. Because Fiddleboy took classical violin (a whole other ballgame compared to bluegrass) for three years before "fiddling", he's not as advanced as these kids. But...they have never made him feel any less of a fiddler and always make him want to try harder.

Most fesitvals have a church service on Sunday and if there is, we go. We don't always stay on Sundays just depends. Another interesting thing is, we have met a lot of homeschoolers through bluegrass. I think it's because this music has history (bluegrass is *not* country music) and many songs are based on scripture or the Christian life. There is somehing special about music that is past down through the generations. The older people love to hear the young people play, because it means the music will continue.

Anyway...thought I'd share what we did this past weekend and a little bit about our family's love of bluegrass. : )

**Blogger is giving me such a hard time today. I will try to post more pictures later. : /

Friday, August 25, 2006

We're Off... cooler temps, good fellowship and great bluegrass music. I'll post pictures and tell y'all about it when we return.
Have a wonderful, blessed weekend!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why He's Called Fiddleboy...

Ok, I know it's kind of a funny name. When I started this blog, my husband asked me if I wouldn't use everyone's real name. I know most of you already know everyone's real name, but I complied with his request. : ) When I was thinking of my son and what to call him on this blog, I immediately thought of "Fiddleboy" because of his passion for playing his fiddle. But then I thought, maybe "Fiddleguy" would be better since he's 15 years old. I thought I'd better ask him because well, you know...he IS 15 years old and this kind of stuff matters in the life of a 15 year old. He said he liked "Fiddleboy" the best. So here's a couple of pictures to explain *why* we call him Fiddleboy.

This older gentleman looks like he's watching Fiddleboy, but he's actually giving him a few pointers. This ol' timer could play his fiddle behind his back...and it actually sounded good!

Fiddleboy (standing on the walkway) and two of his friends "jamming" after a concert.

My Latest (finished) Project...

I finished this cross-stitch bib last week for my precious Little Man (my grandbaby) and gave it to him on Sunday. Thankfully I finished it before he turned 10 years old. : ) At the rate I complete projects, it's a wonder I even start anything new.

Ta-daa!'s done!!!

The bib is still a little big, but isn't he just the CUTEST thing?!!! (I don't sound like a proud Grammie or anything, do I? : )

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pursuing Peace

I have found myself in an interesting place lately. I have some friends~all of whom I care about deeply~and they have "issues" with each other. They have been good to try to keep me out of it, but it still gets sticky sometimes. The issues are real and all sides have valid points, but it's definitely time to move forward.

While praying for my friends the other day, I asked the Lord to show me how I could be a help to them, instead of a possible hindrance to restoring the relationships. I struggle with trying not to take sides or getting too involved. The Lord reminded me of a few scriptures I had read when I had been dealing with my own "people issues".

"If it be possible, as much as lieth in [depend on] you, live peaceably with all men." Romans 12:18

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and the things wherewith one may edify another." Romans 14:19

And my favorite:

"Follow [pursue] peace with all men, and holiness, without no man shall see the Lord" Hebrews 12:14

I like these verses because they involve action. I am to live peaceably...follow after... and pursue peace. It takes work. It's hard. It takes dying to myself and my desire to be right. It takes letting go of little irritations and petty disagreements. It means extending grace to others, just as the Lord extends grace to me. And of course, I can't do any of this without the Lord's grace.

So how did the Lord answer my question about trying to be a help in the situation between my friends? Through His word He reminded me to pursue peace, but most importantly that HE is our Peace. I can point my friends to Jesus...and to the cross.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace."

Have a great day!!

**Sidenote: I wrote most of this post last night. Today my morning devotion was Gen. 45:1-15 (Joseph's forgiveness of his brothers) and the corresponding verse was Rom. 12:18. Think the Lord is trying to show me something? ; 0 )

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This Week in Pictures

I thought I'd try my hand at posting pictures. We'll see how it goes!

Fiddleboy and Jared (visiting from Virginia) kayaking in Big Bear. The furry black and white friend is our dog Brodie.

My Fireman, me and Fiddleboy after the "Salute to Glenn Miller" concert in Redlands.

Our little town may not have much in the way of shopping, but one thing we do have is a weekly farmer's market. It's wonderful! Most of the produce is grown locally and most of it is pesticide free. We also get eggs and bread. The bread comes from a bakery which uses only the most basic ingredients (whole wheat flour, salt, honey, yeast). It truly is the closest thing to my own homemade bread. Aren't those strawberries beautiful?!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Big Thank You and Hugs... my sweet Little Mama for making my blog so pretty!! She has become quite computer savvy and spent the day yesterday tweaking it just for her Mama. Thanks to Little Mama's Marine and Heather for their help too!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Airports, Cameras, Concerts and Hospitals

Yesterday we did a lot of driving.

In the morning we dropped off Fiddleboy's friends at the airport so they could make their way back home to Virginia. The airport is about 1hr. and 15min. away. Then we headed over to BestBuy so I could look at digital SLR cameras. I have been doing some research online and have narrowed my choices down to two Nikon's. I am going with a Nikon because I can interchange my lenses from my Nikon 35mm camera to the digital. If anyone has any advice on what to look for in an SLR camera, your comments would be appreciated. : )

After BestBuy we headed home, did some clean-up from having a houseful of teenage boys for a week : ) , then drove an hour to an outdoor concert we were invited to attend with some friends from church. During the summer, the city of Redlands hosts weekly concerts in their outdoor amphitheatre and they are FREE!! Last night's concert was "A Salute to Glenn Miller" and both my Fireman(hubby) and Fiddleboy love Big Band music. I am so impressed with the musicians Redlands hires for this venue and the fact it is free. It's completely run by donations. They have been hosting this summer series for 83 years and it's the longest running free series in the U.S.A. Pretty impressive!!

When I got back to the car after the concert, I checked my cellphone messages and there was one from my sis-in-law saying she had to take my niece to the ER. We decided we better head over to the hospital rather than go home. By the time we arrived at the hospital my niece had been admitted for observation. She is very dehydrated and this is a complication from a surgery she had a few weeks ago. If you think about it, please pray for her. Thanks!

So...we got home just after midnight. A long day, but a good day. And I am thankful to the Lord for all of it. Thankful for good friends that are like family...that when they leave, a little part of you goes with them. Thankful for opportunities for fun and fellowship. I am even thankful for our little detour to the hospital. It was good to see my niece and to *see* she was ok. I know I say it all the time...but God is good. : )

Have a great Wednesday!! : )

Monday, August 14, 2006

Birthday Blessings...

to my beloved, bestest, dearest friend...Beth.

Happy Birthday!! I love you!!

Teenage Boys

You just gotta' love them! I had four in my home today. Fiddleboy (my son) and three of his friends were here hanging out until they went on to their next adventure. One minute they were discussing life's most important issues...the next they were doing their best "Braveheart" imitations.

Some things never change and I am glad. Before you know it, these boys will be men. Two of them are joining the Marine Corps in October. One is a going to be a senior in high school this year. As I watched them today, the Lord impressed on me even more how I need to pray not only for my son, but for his friends. Not just because they are his friends, but because I love these guys. I have known them since they were young. I have watched them struggle and watched them grow. They are not perfect, but neither am I (surprise, surprise!!). They have each been a good friend to Fiddleboy and for that, I am thankful.

So today I cherished moments of laughter, swords and serious discussion. God is good. All the time.