Friday, January 30, 2009

The Return of Friday Night Videos

Remember way back (don't hurt yourself) late on Friday nights as a teenager watching a show called "Friday Night Videos?" (Just letting you know you are totally dating yourself if you know what I am talking about!) Growing up my family never had cable so I never got to see the new phenomenon of music videos on MTV or VH1 unless it was Friday night at 11:00. Hangin' out at my friend's houses, dressed in leg warmers and "tight-rolled" jeans, with flammable hair teased up to the ceiling we would plop down in front of the tube and take in the likes of Ah-Ha, Glass Tiger, Duran-Duran, and Tears for Fears. It was a blast!

Friday nights have changed as I have grown up. I now spend most Friday nights hanging out on the computer reading blogs, catching up on email, and surfing one of my favoritist places, YouTube. I have found some sensational videos there and other places and so I decided to start my own version of Friday Night Videos and share my favorite video find of the week!

This is my choice for my first "show." I LOVED this video. It is totally artistic, creative, unique, and lovely in it's own way.

Enjoy and come check next week to see what else I have found!




Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Love that Lasts for Eternity


I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. That cry that sounded more like a the bleating of a sheep than that of a newborn baby. Little did we know that sweet, soft cry would develop into four months of demanding and shrill screams of a colicky baby. Exhausting days of constant crying does wear on a parent. I can look back at those four months now and smile.

After the colic subsided, a whole new lovable, joyful, and precious boy appeared in our home. Life truly hasn't been the same since. Fast forward almost seven years later and that boy continues to bring unimaginable laughter into our family.

Da Hubby and I joke about writing a book with the title of, "Things You Never Thought You Would Have to Say to Your Child." A few of those comments would be, "We do not lick our napkins," or, "Please do not brush the dog's teeth with your toothbrush." Then there's the infamous, "Honey, Legos do not belong in your bottom." Of course, this book would be solely dedicated to the receiver of most corrections such as this, our sweet boy, Duglin.

One thing Duglin has always been, however, is a lover. He loves everyone and everything. There are no conditions in his eyes. If you have a heartbeat and breathe, you are loved. I believe that is why his amazing decision to follow Christ this past week was a given for him.

He can't explain the Trinity with eloquence or define why God makes the decisions He does or give deep theological reasoning for pre-destination vs. not. But he knows with his child like faith that Jesus loves him and died because of it. To Duglin, that is more than enough. It should be for us, too.

As a Christ follower it's these moments that you pray for as you are rocking them to sleep as tiny infants. You stare into their beautiful, sweet faces and pray that they honor God with thier talents and their lives. I remember asking God prior to having kids not to give them to us unless they would become lovers of Him. I really wanted kids. But even more than that, I REALLY wanted kids who loved Jesus. I understood alot of that had to do with the way Da hubby and I would raised them, and we were and still are totally willing to do our part. We fail, however. ALOT. It is our desire to live what we believe, but we take no credit. It is all God's amazing grace.

As each of our children begins his/her journey with the hand of our Saviour in theirs, I can't help but to believe it's a promise fulfilled. I will continue to pray for them and the protection of their hearts as each of them learns to worship Him in their own personal way and chooses to follow a lovingly beat out path that their Father has portioned out for each of their lives.

A week ago Monday he sweetly and quietly asked Jesus to live in his heart. Tears of joy welled up in our eyes as he did. It was a precious moment. And, in Duglin fashion, he took a deep breath after his prayer and asked his daddy if he could go play Legos now. That's my boy!

Sunday after church, among dozens of friends and family he was baptised by his father. Da Hubby and I are so blessed to have two boys who have dedicated their lives to Christ. Perri is still young, but is so wonderful to see her eyes being turned from herself to a loving and passionate God. It's only a matter of time with her!

So, it has been very exciting week in the Balentine household! Thought you might like to celebrate with us and see the video of his baptism. Stick around long enought to watch him "swim" out of the baptistry. Enjoy!

video





Friday, January 16, 2009

One

I have total "Blogger's-Block" (I think I read somewhere where someone called it Blogstipation!), and am struggling to find something to chat about! (Wow! Be sure to write this date down because that's something you will hardly EVER hear me say!)

I actually do have something I want to share, but I'm going to wait until after Sunday so I will have some pictures and video to go along with it. (And no, I'm NOT pregnant!)

In the meantime, I received one of those "tell-about-yourself-and-pass-it-on" type emails that I usually ignore, but I liked this one because it forces you to compress your ideas into one word.

ANSWER USING ONLY ONE WORD


Where is your cell phone?
Sitting

Your significant other?
Amazing!!

Your hair?
BIG

Your mother?
Wise

Your father?
Sleepy

Your favorite thing?
Family

Your dream last night?
Bizarre-o!

Your favorite drink?
Cold

Your dream/goal?
Wisdom

What room are you in?
Office

Your hobby?
Singing

Your fear?
Separation

Where do you want to be in 6 Yrs?
Free

Where were you last night?
Asleep

Something that you aren't?
Angry

Muffins?
Pumpkin!

Wish list item?
Lens

Last thing you did?
Shiver

What are you wearing?
PJ's!

TV?
Definitely!

Your pets?
Loved

Friends?
Precious

Your life?
Blessed

Your mood?
Joyful

Missing someone?
Hopie

Drinking?
Punch

Smoking?
NO!

Your car?
Dependable

Something you're not wearing?
Shoes!

Your favorite store?
TARGET!!!

Your favorite color?
Coral

When is the last time you cried?
Monday

Where do you go to over and over?
Church

Five people who email me regularly?
Hubby, Hope, Sparrow, Mom, & David

My favorite place to eat?
Ruth's Chris! (OK, I know that's two words, but for this one there is NO substitute!!)

Favorite place I'd like to be at right now?
Beach!

So there ya have it! A few facts that you may or may not know about me to fill a little empty blog space! Hope you are staying warm!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Shopping! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Just a forewarning to the dudes who visit my site. Just go ahead, go turn the game on, and skip this post. I promise you'll be bored to tears. Go on, now. Ba-Bye!

OK, ladies, now that little piece of bid'ness is done, I just had to share a little something about myself. I A.D.O.R.E. shopping. (Maybe a little too much.) And not just shopping, but hunting, searching, and scavanging. For a deal. It totally rocks my world to pay a fraction of what something originally cost. Who need drugs when you can shop at the Target 75% off sale and get the same buzz! I must warn you and say it is VERY addicting so a little self control is needed for this activity. Oh, wow, I am getting woozy just thinking about it. Give me minute. Talk amongst yourselves..... (Deep steady breaths, now.) (Sigh.)

OK, I think I am better. Let's talk about this place for awhile, shall we? I heart Target! If all the stores of the world were to shut down and I had to chose just one to to bestow my patronage (and our paycheck) to, I would chose Target without even thinking about it.

I happened to be a the store a couple of weeks ago on the very day that Target went from 50% to 75% on their Christmas stuff. (O happy day!!) I very well could have gone nuts and bought the place out, but I behaved myself and only purchased a few things that I have had my eye on since the Christmas stuff came out in the beginning of October. Wanna see? OK!

I LOVED these birch-wrapped 18 and 24" trees, and they were sooooo overpriced at $29.99 and $24.99. Got 'um for $7.50 and $6.25. (Insert heart palpitations here.) I like them so much that I am keeping them up for awhile. (Yes, I am aware the holidays are now over - they aren't too terribly Christmas-y, are they?) I plan to paint them white and dust some sparkle on them for next year! Fun, fun, fun! So Be-u-ti-ful!


I also got this Fab-O wreathe. Now this I actually purchased at the 1/2 off sale because I figured they wouldn't make it to the 75%, and I was right. I usually buy a fresh wreathe for our front door, but their price keeps going up every year, and I don't have the patience to make one, so I decided to buy this beauty to put up for awhile. The question now is to bow or not to bow? What do you think?


These snowflakes were a steal for $.25 for a package of 4 small size or 2 large ones. I got tons of these in silver, white and gold for all kinds of projects next year! I am going to incorporate some of the sparkly (I've said before glitter makes me happy!) white ones in a banner and a wreathe I plan on doing for winter. I also am going to use some for my tree next year, as well as hang some in my windows and doorways. Won't they be cute on gifts, too? They are the perfect size and weight for crafts, so I am already brainstorming ideas for next year!


Because Daylor and Duglin love trains, we have always put a train in our front yard for Christmas. This year we had some fairly powerful winds that tore our current train right away from the stakes, so I happen to catch this cute train at Target on sale from $89.99 to $22.00. While I was in that department I also picked up a couple of the animated white deer for $6.00 a piece. For real!! $6.00!!



Have I ever mentioned I am a sucker for glitter? I got this cute little "Noel" sign for a dollar and these two glittered hangy-thingys at Hobby Lobby for $.75 a piece. Not sure what I am going to do with the Noel sign yet, but I do plan on replacing the red cheapy ribbon on the two white signs with something cute-r, and then hanging them off a couple of my kitchen cabinet pulls. I also got this beautiful gold, 12", three dimensional star to hang off the chandelier in our converted school room which used to be the dining room. It was $2.00. It's sparkly, too!! I forgot to get a picture of it before I packed it away. It is soo pretty, though! Am I overdoing the sparkly stuff?? Nah!



Here is a cute, three ringed, berry wrapped wreathe I found for $3.00. It about 14" long and I am thinking of hanging it off our back door.

The only bad thing about shopping after the season is you have to wait until next year to use what you got. That is unless you are the kind who likes to leave things up all year long just to irritate your neighbors. Fortunately, we happen to have amazing neighbors and want to stay on good terms, so I guess I will just have to wait until next Christmas!

Chinny, Chin, Chinchilla!

Christmas was a bit of a blur this year because of the funk floating around in our house, but we did have a great day opening presents and spending time with each other. We also received a very unusual visit from Santa this year. After much thought and debate, Da Hubby and I agreed to allow Daylor to ask for a small pet this year. He's just at that age now where he is beginning to outgrow most toys, and electronics are a wee bit high in price, so he asked us if Santa could bring him a pet.

Now, I don't know about your kids, but Daylor was born a 25 year old. He was having adult style conversations at the age of 12 months and really isn't the typical 9 year old. Because he shows an enormous amount of responsibility and because one of our dogs passed away last year, we decided to collaborate with the "Man in Red" and bring in a new member to our family. (Drum roll please....)

So. Without further a do, I would like to introduce you to "Prancer", Daylor's new chinchilla!!


OK, I know half of you just sighed and said, "How adorable!" Then there would be the other half of you who just shrieked, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?", and ran screaming out of the room. Personally, we fit in the first category and happen to think she's precious. My apologies to the rest of you I just offended! :) Can I just say though, that Daylor totally, I mean TOTALLY adores this little thing! She's quite entertaining and loves to be scratched.

For those who know me, I have always loved animals and can't think of a time in my life when I didn't have one of some kind. I am not used to standing back and letting Daylor be her primary caregiver. He has really taken ownership of the new responsibilty and we are so proud of him! He is a great daddy to her and she loves him as well.

That being said, there are a few minor things that we are learning about chinchillas that we weren't told, so if you are considering one of these guys listen up.

Number 1 - They poop EVERYWHERE and ALL.THE.TIME. We have to vacuum the carpet around her house twice a day because as she jumps up and poops on the shelves she then kicks it to the floor when she starts be-bopping around the cage. Can we say EEEEEWWWWWWWWW?!?!?!? These are the wonderful times I get to say, "She's your pet, sweetie. Go clean it up." And he does, even with a good attitude. (Seriously, he LOVES her.) Fortunately, Da Hubby has come up with a solution to that little issue. (Thank you, Lord!)

Which bring me to Number 2 on my happy, little list of "Not so Discussed Issues About Chinchillas." They need HFC. What's that? Huge Frickin' Cages. I included this picture so you could get an idea of how enormous this joker is.



See what I mean!?!?!?!?! It's as big as my love seat! Seriously!!! Da Hubby and I had agreed she would stay in the boys room thinking that Santa was going to bring us a "table-top" sized cage. Ummm. No. I think we underestimated this one big time. So, after getting her we had to rearrange the Daylor and Duglin's room just so her little Poopy Palace would fit. All this for a gray fuzzy critter. (Yes, we need therapy.)

Then last and third on my list is that chinchillas chew, chew, gnaw, and did I mention chew on any and everything. "Prancer's" current favorite thing to exercise her toofies (Perri's word) on is the wooden shelves and house in her cage. Now, I knew that chin's have to chew because unlike humans, their teeth constantly grow and they need to be filed down. We had hamsters for a couple of years and they needed chew sticks and such to do the same thing. I guess I just thought the chewing would be inaudible like that of our hamsters. WRONG, AGAIN, PIG-PIN!!! It's sounds alot like what a jackhammer would sound if splitting wood. And, oh, their favorite time to chew would be between 12:00 and 4:00. IN THE MORNING. So, the first couple of weeks have been interesting for the boys to adjust to their new roommate, but I think they are starting to tune it out and sleep through the night again. (Once again, thank you, Lord!)

Why, you may ask, do we keep her her? For one thing, she needed a good home where people would love and take care of her, and despite the downsides we do. But most of all this is the reason:

Any arguments?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas with the Cooties

Most of this year I have boasted in that fact that my family has remained healthy and hasn't seen the doctor in over a year. You all remember this post in which I had the flu and conjunctivitis. Little did we know from that point on we would be on a health roller-coaster ride. I think it's totally unfair that illness doesn't recognize holidays, don't you?!

We were all set to enjoy a fabulous Christmas break. Two Tuesday's prior to Christmas was our last day of homeschooling and we had some very busy schedules between Christmas parties, baking, church activities, and just Christmas itself. Perri had come home with a fever from church the Sunday before, but was feeling better. By that Wednesday Duglin was running a fever and was complaining of an achy ear. I knew Christmas was around the corner, so I immediately packed him up and took him to our fabulous pediatrician. He indeed had an ear infection (he has never had one before!) and was able to start antibiotics in time to ward it off before Christmas. Whew!

Two days later his ear was feeling better, but I noticed that he had some discharge in his eyes. I knew that symptom all too well. He picked up conjunctivitis at the doctors office. That's OK, I thought to myself. The doctor prescribed eye drops that seemed to be clearing things up quickly, so by Sunday we should be good to go! Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. I had to put my party hat away. We weren't done yet.

That Saturday, Daylor started complaining that he was feeling yucky and had a sore throat. We missed church in hopes he would feel better, but by Monday evening he too was complaining of a ear ache. Tuesday morning, the day before Christmas Eve we rush to the doctors office again to find Daylor has a full-blown ear infection (only the second he's ever had). I was not ready to give up though, knowing he had 24 hours for the antibiotic to start working on him, and Duglin's eyes were better. We very well had a chance of making it to Da Hubby's parent's house for Christmas with them and then to church where Da Hubby had to run sound and I was singing back-up during the Christmas Eve service. All was well and there was peace on earth once again.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we hopped out of bed the next morning and Da Hubby mentioned that he was feeling a bit under the weather, but felt like he would be OK for the day. I proceeded to go get the kids ready to go to their grandparent's house. It was Christmas Eve and the boys were feeling better! It was going to be fabulous day!!!! NOT.

I went to get Perri's clothes for her and noticed she was hiding in the boys room. I went to her and pushed the hair that was hanging in her beautiful little face behind her ear. I looked her in her big, sweet, blue eyes and saw it. Her right eye was swollen shut and red with the nasty discharge that comes along with the horrible and CONTAGIOUS eye ickiness called conjunctivitis. We tried so hard to keep the kids away from each other and used separate towels and sprayed everything multiple time with Lysol. There are just some things that are going to spread no matter what you do to prevent it.

We had to postpone Christmas eve with Da hubby's folks as not to share our yuckies with them. As the day went on she went downhill and by the time Da hubby and the boys left for the Christmas Eve service at the church she had 104 degree temperature and was miserable. I was soooo sad for her. We ended up snuggled on the couch and watch Enchanted together.


We then postponed Christmas day activities with my parents. Good thing Santa still comes when you are sick! Christmas Day itself was actually very sweet. The kids were still mellow from being sick, but it was nice being able to stay home, hang out in our Christmas pj's and just be with each other, and celebrate Jesus' birthday.

On Christmas, Da Hubby was putting on his game face but was steadily declining fast. We made it through the day OK and Perri was beginning to feel better, but Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Dewayne was so bad off he was condemned to the bed and I got the pleasure of sleeping on the couch. I was seriously beginning to wonder if we were ever going to get healthy again!

So, Christmas wasn't the huge success that I had envisioned with healthy kids ripping into presents and family gatherings galore, but it was definitely a time to recognize and remember why we celebrate. The day a tiny baby that came into the world in a most peculiar way. It was because of His overpowering love for us that He came. Illness or not, it's more than worth celebrating!

I am proud to say as we kick in the New Year, everyone is recuperating nicely. I did tear my foot open this morning on a couple of carpet nails that are exposed in my floor, but hey, at least no one is running a fever! Happy New Year!!!