Wednesday, February 29, 2012

December 2011--part 1

Princess Party and Advent Activities.

helping each other with their earrings.

cute peasant, farm boy.

rapunzel cake


a belated gift for Jackson

our advent calendar, paper snowflakes...

pictures by the Christmas tree

classic videos... rudolph and frosty

foam manger craft, John wanted me to point out that our baby Jesus was a super baby Jesus,
completely unprompted by mom and dad...

one day was baking homeade sugar cookies... we frosted the next.

 hanging stockings

sleeping by the Christmas tree

helping daddy build our kitchen stools.

coffee date night!

making yummy breakfast! Thanks, Amy!

 building a snowman...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

daddy/daughter date

starting with dinner at chik-fila-a:

to the girl taking orders behind the counter...
     "you look beautiful today.... like me."

during the previews:
a comedian was rambling on and on about something...  those in the theater started laughing... when it became quiet again, she turned to daddy...
     "I have no idea what he's talking about."

during the movie...
I (john) handed emma some of our movie snack: you guessed it… sweet tart jellybeans… maybe you weren’t thinking of that but it’s one of Daddy’s favorites. Then the faint noise of a single jelly bean hitting the concrete floor underneath her seat could be heard and Emma said, “It’s OK if I dropped one…” then as that same sound came again--click, click, click “…uh,  or two.”

after the movie, a quick stop to walk around PetSmart...

We were talking through the Petsmart and we walked around and every 10 seconds I  (john) would hear “Oh Daddy, I really need to show you something”… so after seeing various bobble head dogs, collars, and decorations… each introduced with that same phrase, “Oh Daddy, I really need to show you something” we finally made our way to the fishies. Emma noticed a couple of boys with bags of fish in their hands. She asked me if she could hold one and I said those boys were holding them because they were going to take them home… and her paused then her face lit up and she said, “Oh Daddy I am so happy for the fishies being adopted!”

Such a kind heart my little punkin has!

Monday, February 27, 2012

November 2011 in pics

So I'm a little behind... a little.  It's almost March and I haven't written a single "what's going on with us now" post since Jackson's birthday.  Yep, that was 11-11-11--3 1/2 months ago!  Here's a mish-mash of pics to remember our November.

Just relaxin'.

 cuddles with mommy...

Thanksgiving crafts...

Hanging out with Uncle Bud... 

A dinner picnic at the orchard... 

birthday money! 

lots of meals...

a little snow...

a few faceplants
(the box was not sealed and Jackson found out the hard way as he tried to climb on it)

free Colts tickets!

one of many silly outfits--please notice the shin guards she's sportin'

Thursday, February 23, 2012


in response to the animals helping princess jazelle clean the apartment....

that's silly.... we don't let rats in the house... {long pause}... just mice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Then Sings My Soul-Book 3 [Book Review]

Then Sings My Soul
The Story of Our Songs 
Drawing Strength from the Great Hymns of Our Faith
Robert J. Morgan

About the Book

The long-awaited third installment! In 2003, Robert Morgan released what would become a future classic for over a million readers, a unique book entitled Then Sings My Soul. This collection of the world’s greatest hymns and the stories behind them stirred an entire generation to better understand the heritage of our faith through song.

Now, in the long-awaited third volume of this series, Morgan expands his material to include the great history of worship, the first biblical hymns, biographical sketches of the most interesting composers, and almost 60 generations of hymn singing. The new book also includes a collection of the greatest hymns you’ve never heard, with lead-sheets included. All of this is in addition to even more standard hymns and the stories of the composers behind them. Morgan’s conclusion guides the reader into enjoying all of God’s music, blending the old and the new into a symphony of praise that keeps the worship alive for a new generation.

My Thoughts
I was really surprised at how much I soaked in of this book in my first sitting--over 200 pages!  I was very much pulled in to the history of "church music."  For a musically non-inclined person, that's saying something! Not only was there a simplified overview of the history, but then there are over 50 hymns to read through and get a brief background story.  I was able to recognize a few, and was very surprised at how old the ones I knew really were!  I also enjoyed seeing Stuart Townend and Keith & Kristyn Getty included at the end to finish up with "modern" hymn writers of today.  Following that, I was crazy impressed with some of the back story surrounding six more hymns--including "It Is Well With My Soul."  You'd never guess how that one ends up!  Definitely one worth recommending, and the first two books in the series are probably just as recommendable!

BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven [Book Review]

The Devil in Pew Number Seven
Rebecca Nichols Alonzo

Publisher's Thoughts:
Rebecca never felt safe as a child. In 1969, her father, Robert Nichols, moved to Sellerstown, North Carolina, to serve as a pastor. There he found a small community eager to welcome him—with one exception. Glaring at him from pew number seven was a man obsessed with controlling the church. Determined to get rid of anyone who stood in his way, he unleashed a plan of terror that was more devastating and violent than the Nichols family could have ever imagined. Refusing to be driven away by acts of intimidation, Rebecca’s father stood his ground until one night when an armed man walked into the family’s kitchen . . . And Rebecca’s life was shattered. If anyone had a reason to harbor hatred and seek personal revenge, it would be Rebecca. Yet The Devil in Pew Number Seven tells a different story. It is the amazing true saga of relentless persecution, one family’s faith and courage in the face of it, and a daughter whose parents taught her the power of forgiveness.

My Thoughts:
From page 1, this book had me intrigued!  I found myself quickly attaching myself to the author's character in the book as she describes when the terror begins at age 4--the age of my own daughter. Also, Rebecca's father, Robert, traveled as an evangelist (much like my father-in-law), and I was tempted to plug Norm and Teri into my imaginative recreation of the story! I So many times I turned the page and couldn't believe what I was reading, knowing that it was a true mostly autobiographical account.  I kept thinking, how in the world can this guy be so ridiculous?  how can the preacher keep staying true to what he preaches week in and week out? what would I do in this same situation?  Truly an inspirational story of an example of what forgiveness should look like in my life, and far too often--it doesn't.

About the Author
Becky Alonzo never felt safe as a child. Although she lived next door to the church her father pastored, the devil lived across the street. This tormented man terrorized her family with rifle shots and ten bombings. When these violent acts didn't scare them away, he went even further. During dinner one evening, seven-year-old Becky and her younger brother watched as their parents were gunned down. Today Becky speaks about betrayal and the power of forgiveness. Her story has been featured on The Dr. Phil Show, The 700 Club, Lifestyle Magazine, and She is a graduate of Missouri State University and has been involved in ministry, including a church plant, youth outreach, and missions, for thirteen years. She and her husband, along with their two children, live in Franklin, Tennessee.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.