Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Trans Am Nationals

We attended the 22nd annual Trans Am Nationals in Dayton, OH over the weekend. We competed with our 30th anniversary Trans Am--1999 by the way, if you didn't know. This is six years in a row for us. We've been before any kids, during pregnancy with kid #1, with Meg as a baby, with Meg as a toddler, and during pregnancy with kid #2 while kid #1 was at grandparents'. This time, we were alone again while both kids were with the grandparents, and I'm not even pregnant! I was able to do my interior/exterior detailing without a pregnant belly or toddler to worry about. We were able to stay in the Airport Hotel for the first time, which meant we didn't have to drive back and forth, and could sleep in just a bit, eat lunch in our room and cool off, and just hang out when we got tired. So nice--we've already pre-registered for next year, though I may be with child again :) The best part--we won 2nd place in our class again. Quite a feat, really, since the number 1 car for two years in a row has less than 10,000 miles and is trailered in an enclosed trailer and has virtually no wear. And there were around 40 cars in the class--many of which were very competitive. And we had a stain on our white leather front passenger seat. So, we were feeling grateful. That makes 2 second place trophies now--we'll get 1st one of these days :)

I have to say I never was that much of a car enthusiast, but I've gotten more into it over the years we've been attending. Boy, can I clean a car. I mostly just enjoy being with my hubby, especially this time being alone, and I like being enthusiastic about his interests. Really good bonding there. I posted pics below, so enjoy!

I'll begin with this pic, because it's my favorite part of the whole trip. We have a cruise-in to Tipp City, just north of Dayton on Saturday night of the show each year. It's a great little town with Victorian style homes and wonderful antique and specialty shops. I absolutely love to eat here at the Coldwater Cafe. So cozy, such good food--I always get whatever shrimp and pasta dish they offer--it changes a bit each year, and it's always delicious. I wish we didn't have to wait a whole year to go back. Posted by Picasa

Singing the national anthem on main street during the Tipp City cruise in. Awesome how the wind picked up. Posted by Picasa

A shot I took inside the Coldwater Cafe. I love that place--such good dishes. Posted by Picasa

Standing by all my hard work. I'm getting this detailing down pat. Posted by Picasa

Some of the cars in our class--see ours with the blue wheels?  Posted by Picasa

Some nice third generations--the "classic" TA look. Posted by Picasa

A 1970's 455 H/O--or so hubby says :) Lovely car. Posted by Picasa

One of the many "Bandit" cars--remember the movie? Posted by Picasa

White flame graphics on a black TA--I really thought these were unique. Posted by Picasa

Some cool flame graphics on a black TA. Posted by Picasa

Bryan getting our trophy during the awards ceremony, which actually seemed shorter this year--probably because it wasn't 98 degrees :) Posted by Picasa

Hubby and me and our hard-earned 2nd place trophy. Posted by Picasa

Some car show friends who reside in Louisville, KY. They are such a sweet couple and have a BEAUTIFUL 2002 black Trans Am--immaculate. They won 4th place this year. Posted by Picasa

Our car and our trophies--we're going to get one of those first place ones one of these days. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Why is it so hard to grasp sometimes? Most of us have seasons in our lives where we perpetually are NOT content. We're waiting for life to slow down, for things to get quieter, for the kids to get to the next stage, for the next vacation, the next project to be over. Then, we tell ourselves, THEN we'll be content. But, we find ourselves back in the waiting game again.

I'm not talking about contentment with things and acquiring wealth. Just contentment with life in general. Life is so busy, so hectic, we are just waiting for it to slow down, but we lack the ability to be content in the current circumstances.

Paul said, "11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:11-13)

In the book of Job, it is written, "If they obey and serve him [God], they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment." (Job 36:11)

Proverbs 19:23 reads: "The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble."

My conclusion is that contentment takes concentration. We must make ourselves slow down enough to stop and consider our circumstances and look heavenward for our perspective, to "stop and smell the roses", so to speak. When we are bogged down by the poopy diapers, wishing the toddler could use the potty, let's look at her little smile, and how she "talks" to you while you're changing her. When that deadline is looming on that big stack of paperwork at the office, and you've got a papercut for the 13th time today, consider how blessed it is to have an occupation, how nice it is to have lunch with colleagues. When you're stuck in traffic for an hour again, listen to that talk radio station you never get to hear, that Christian radio broadcast you miss most of the time.

I think you can see where I'm going with this. The secret of contentment is to change our mindset, to live in the moment, to squeeze out the goodness of each day--thankfully, prayerfully consider our situations and the good in them. We can still look forward to the future, even to hope it will be better than today, but let's not forget to look forward to today, because before we know it, we'll be asking, "Where did it go?" We'll be saying, "If only I could go back to yesterday...".

Another water myth

You may have seen this one before. Thanks to "Maggie" for sending this one my way.

Drinking Cold water after meal = Cancer!

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this "sludge" reacted with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

For the rest of this article, click here: Cold Comfort

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Are you living a legacy?

Labels... Great for food products. Not for people. Why do we as human beings try to label everyone? Is it prejudice, brought forth by observed actions, or a natural human phenomena--or maybe all three. I'll bet Adam, when given the task of naming all the animals, put them into groups--things that fly, things that swim, things that crawl, etc. There's a whole science now of naming living things--taxonomy. But people--we are all so unique, but we are categorized into races, nations, religions.

The labels that bother me most are the not-so-nice ones. Rednecks, white-trash, trailer trash, hillbillies, hicks, the "n--word", snobs, goody-two-shoes. My deep thought about this started yesterday as I was cleaning. Thoughts seem to hit me when I'm doing menial tasks. Anyway, I happened to think about that movie, Joe Dirt. Though not meant as a thought-provoking movie, I'm sure, I am struck by the extreme labels that Joe lives up to. He's living out a legacy of "white trash", though he tries to go on despite it, but keeps on being pulled down by his past.

Are you living a labeled legacy? Does it seem like you're stuck with a label from the past? Maybe you've tried to pull away from that, but you're getting sucked back in. Why do you think people remain under the thumb of labels? Do they remain there because they don't know a way out? Is it stubborn pride? "I don't care what anybody thinks!" Are they just afraid of change?
I often wonder why people don't or can't make better choices in life, especially when it's clear that some of their actions aren't right. I think that's where some of the not-so-nice labels come from--from seeing people live out the labels.

I don't want to live out a labeled legacy. I just want to be me. I hope that I can make good choices and not be stuck under any label. I want to live up to the legacy of the One without labels. Our God doesn't even need a name--He is the great "I am". Perhaps if more "Joe Dirts" looked to Him, then He could pull them out of their labeled legacy.

What are your thoughts on labels? Jesus himself was labeled, "that Nazarene" in Mark 14:67. Should we try to rise above labels, live with them, or live despite them?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Funny of the Day

Home Security System:


1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men's used size 14-16 workboots.
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of "Guns & Ammo"magazine and your NRA magazines.
3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads:
Hey Bubba, Big Jim, Duke and Slim,
I went for more ammunition. Back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls -- they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up real bad. I don't think Killer took part in it but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyways, I locked all four of 'em in the house. Better wait outside.

*Thanks to my Aunt Lu for this one!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Seasons of Change

Our first Women's Conference was held today at our church. An all-day event with women from lots of different places. The theme was the seasons of our life and how God uses those to His glory. Four speakers compared life seasons to calendar seasons. Summer harvest, fall letting go, winter emptiness and heartache, spring rebirth. Lunch was provided, and drinks, and snacks. There were a few "men in black" serving throughout the day. The men's restrooms were converted to women's rooms for the day, and for kicks, the urinals were decorated with silk ivy with witty signs that read, "Caution, poison ivy, do not sit!" and "Please don't water the plants".

I was inspired hearing about how other women have struggled through seasons of their lives. Our keynote speaker was Cheryl McGuinness, whose husband was a pilot on the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center on September 11. She has a ministry now, called Beauty Beyond the Ashes, and speaks to others about hope after crisis. I've included pics below to summarize the day. Thanks to dear hubby for shooting those from the A/V booth.

As for what I learned, I have to say, I didn't get as much from it as I had hoped. I think that is because I have discovered my own season. It isn't a very defined season. It's called the Foggy Season. I think this is a common season. But since I've had kids, especially after Zoe, my mind is in a total fog. Oh, I enjoyed the day, loved the speakers and especially the worship, lunch was tasty, even bought a couple Veggie Tales movies and a t-shirt, but instead of being enraptured during some of the speaking, I found myself nodding off. Mostly because of all the travel we did this week, but also, when I get still in a dark place, I just want to zone out. I feel as if I'm in a season where joy comes in tidbits, where I'm overwhelmed just by getting behind with some housework, where I can hardly pray for more than 5 seconds at a time. It's just foggy, feeling my way through, hoping there is some light on the other side, hoping I won't miss important landmarks on the way.

There's my deep thoughts about the day. I'm pooped, so I just ate some pie and I'm going to get ready for bed. Ain't even 9 pm yet, but I'm bushed. Church again tomorrow at 8:31--why on earth they moved it back almost 15 minutes still confounds me. I'm sure I'll be late as usual, but maybe I won't forget the diaper bag this week :)

Our choir--what great praise songs they sang today--really got us moving. Posted by Picasa

My friend, "Maggie" singing some praise.  Posted by Picasa

Our drama team director, who is also our pastor's wife, and another team member performing a dramatic sketch. Great job. Posted by Picasa

Our first speaker, Marie Washington. She and her husband have a ministry in the inner city of Louisville and serve people who really, really need God's love. Great lady. Posted by Picasa

Our second speaker was Laura Carlisle, a paster's wife from Lumberton First Baptist Church in Mississippi. Their home and town were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and they pulled through to minister to so many in need there. Awesome story. Posted by Picasa

Our third speaker, a dear, wonderful lady who also attends church here, Jan Anderson. She is a talented artist and once owned a local art business. She battled breast cancer and survived to minister to others with her testimony. Posted by Picasa

Our keynote speaker, Cheryl McGuiness. Cheryl's husband was a pilot on the first airplane to crash into the World Trade Center on September 11. Powerful testimony of hope and healing after tragedy. Posted by Picasa

Our busy week

We traveled to Cinncinnati, Ohio this past Wednesday night so Bryan could do a presentation at an energy conference on Thursday. The girls and I tagged along. We spent the night in a businessy hotel on the 15th floor. We ate at a Mediterranean restaurant there for dinner. First for me--didn't care for it much. The kids didn't even eat the chicken strips and fries. After dinner, some doses of Benadryl got us all in a nice sleepy mode, and Megan was actually the first asleep. The next day, I took the girls to the Cinncinnati zoo by myself. What a feat! I only managed a few pics in the petting zoo before I got tired of lugging the camera bag around and took it back to the car. The zoo was nice, but it was almost too hot a day for it. The indoor exhibits felt good! The petting zoo only consisted of goats, so not much variety in my pics. Anyway, we went back home Thurs night and we were all bushed.

Friday, after lunch, headed to Louisville to a Louisville Bats game. Hubby's company has a box there and each power plant location gets to use it once during the season. So, we headed up and left the girls at our friends' house. They have two girls the same age as ours, so they had a good play date. We went on to the ballpark and thoroughly enjoyed the catered food and a semi-date, then had to pick up the girls and head back home for some much-needed sleep. We both had to be up early for our Women's Conference at our church. I'll post about that next.

Me sitting in a giant baseball glove in the lobby before we left. That's a first for me. Posted by Picasa

The San Diego chicken--the comedy relief at the Louisville Bats games. Not sure why they couldn't get a Kentucky chicken. Posted by Picasa

The same goat. Zoe really liked this one for some reason. Posted by Picasa

Meg and a goat. Not much else to say about that. Posted by Picasa