Friday, June 26, 2009

Yay for Adoption

Entire article below copied from the gender blog...

SBC Messengers Enthusiastically Support Moore's Resolution on Adoption
Jeff Robinson
June 26, 2009

Messengers at the 2009 annual meeting of The Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution proposed by Russell D. Moore promoting adoption and orphan care.

The resolution encouraged every Southern Baptist family to pray about whether God wants them to adopt or provide foster care for a child or children. It also called on Southern Baptist and other evangelical churches to devote a Sunday each year to emphasize "our adoption in Christ and our common burden for the orphans of the world."

Moore, who serves as senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, knows well of which he proposed; Moore and his wife Maria adopted two of their sons from a Russian orphanage a few years ago.

Moore hopes the resolution will provoke deep thinking that leads to action among Southern Baptists regarding the Gospel significance of adoption and orphan care; all who are saved by God’s grace were once orphans who were adopted into the Kingdom of Christ.

The number of adoptions among evangelicals has steadily increased in recent years, yet the need is profound: in the United States alone, more than 500,000 children were in foster care system in 2005, the last year for which federal statistics were available. About 115,000 were waiting for adoption.

“Something is a foot among Christian families and churches of virtually every kind,” Moore said. “God is calling the people of Christ to see the face of Jesus in the faces of orphans in North America and around the world. Southern Baptists have affirmed our belief in the authority of Scripture, and the Bible tells us pure religion is defined by care for the fatherless.

“We’ve been defined by our commitment to evangelism, and there is no greater field is 'white unto harvest’ right now as children in orphanages, group homes, and the foster care system, children who don’t know a parent’s love and who don’t know the name of Jesus. When Satan wars against children, we should be the ones who have compassion on them, even as Jesus did and does.

Moore authored a deeply personal and compellingly theological book on adoption that was published in May by Crossway books, “Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families &Churches.” In it, Moore argues that the church should view the adoption of orphans as a crucial part of its mission precisely because God has adopted helpless sinners to be His sons.

“The resolution by itself isn’t going to spark an orphan care movement among Southern Baptists,” he said.“Neither is my book, and neither are a thousand manifestoes. Only the Holy Spirit can do that as local churches start to embrace a vision for orphan care.

“The resolution though was meant to prompt some questions. If one messenger in the Convention hall is moved to simply pray, ‘Lord, how would you have me minister to orphans?’ then the resolution is a success, in my view. If one pastor is prompted to ponder how he could preach on adoption, or lead a foster care ministry among his folks, then the work is starting.

During the introduction of the resolution, Moore appeared on stage with Timothy and Benjamin, the sons he and his wife adopted seven years ago. More than 8,000 messengers met the resolution and its unanimous passage with lengthy, enthusiastic applause.

“I was overwhelmed with emotion on the platform to see my sons, two little ex-orphans, looking out on a sea of yellow ballots as thousands of Southern Baptists affirmed that we want to be the people who love fatherless children,” he said.

“I realized that, in an alternative story, my boys would still be in an orphanage, not knowing even the name of Christ Jesus. But here they are, at the Southern Baptist Convention, calling by their very presence the world’s largest Protestant denomination to recognize there are hundreds of thousands of children as helpless and alone as they once were.

“My prayer is that twenty years from now there are thousands of Southern Baptist pastors, missionaries, and church leaders who started their lives as orphans, now preaching the gospel of God their Father.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Got 20 Swag Bucks?

Then you can get one of these cute, all natural toys for about $3 from a really cool company I just found called Euphoria Baby.

I was sitting down to cash in some Swag Cash this morning, and noticed a new store where you can purchase gift cards with your Swag Bucks.

For only 10 Swag Bucks you can get a $5 e-gift card to Euphoria Baby. Hurry! Tell all your earth loving mommy friends! They will thank you.

Here's how this company is described...

If you care about having the safest, highest quality baby products for your little ones then www.EuphoriaBaby.com is a site you must visit!

From BPA-free bottles and sippy cups to non-toxic, organic baby mattresses and truly pure baby skin care, www.EuphoriaBaby.com is committed to fostering a natural lifestyle for the green baby. They offer eco-friendly choices like cloth diapers and wooden toys, and encourage families to go green through Euphoria's Blog for the Green Mama.

Still haven't jumped on the Swag Bucks train? Silly goose! Why not make money while searching online? It's so easy, and doesn't take long to get enough Swag Bucks to get gift cards to some of your favorite stores.

Right now, I'm most impressed with how much bang you get for your Swag Bucks at Euphoria Baby.

Check them out!

Want a Swag Bucks Account? Signing up takes about 5 seconds...maybe. Click the cute picture below, and you're on your way to starting your Swag Account.


Search & Win


You can follow Euphoria Baby's blog. There is also a Euphoria Maternity branch of this family run business. Read about the author here. This business is run by a mother and her parents!

If you're into hippy chic mommying, you will love her blog. I'm not a full blown hippy chic mom. You all know that, but I love my hippy mamma friends who share their personal convictions with me. So for my green momma girlfriends...Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Winner


I'm slowly trying all the recipes people have posted on this blog.

Mrs. Barbara Branan handed me several soup recipes at church to add to the recipe posts.

This one made me a hero. While eating it, Aaron said, "This one definitely needs to be added to the rotation."

Salsa Corn Chowder

2 Tbs. butter
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions (you can use birdseye frozen chopped onions)
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. cumin
1 can chicken broth
2 cups salsa with beans and corn (Since I double this recipe, I buy 2 jars of Newman's Own with beans and corn. See note below.)
16 oz. pkg. frozen corn
1 cup milk
8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, softened.

Saute butter and onions. (I didn't use the frozen kind. I just chopped up some fresh onions). Mix dry ingredients. Add to onions and butter. Don't let it scorch. Add chicken broth, salsa and corn. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Warm milk in the microwave. Add cream cheese and whip together (I used a beater). Spoon into hot soup and stir. Return to low heat until cheese is mixed in. Serve!

I varied it a little. Surprised?

First...I doubled it for obvious reasons. However, this soup fed my family, Aaron's brother, Kirby, Charlie, Asher and McKlayne (she eats as much as Kirby). We still had lots left over, so my family ate it again a couple nights later.

Second...I added some cooked chicken breast. I had some left over in the refrigerator from the night before. Plus, my sons and my husband don't think supper has happened unless meat is in the meal. If I served this soup without meat, they would have eaten it and then said, "That was a great appetizer mom. Now what's for dinner?"

Because I added the chicken, I also added 2 more tablespoons of flour, because I thought I might need to add more chicken broth later to compensate for the meat. I did not end up adding any more broth. So, maybe our version was a hair thicker than it was supposed to be. It was very thick and chowdery...which we LOVE.

Third...the first time we ate it, we ate cornbread with it. Delicious. The next time we ate it, we used tortilla chips. Still delicious.

Fourth...I added salt. Sorry. We like the stuff.

About the hot sauce:

Newman's Own makes a hot sauce with corn and black beans in it. It's $2.79 a jar. I almost always have a coupon for Newman's Own products. Forever, I thought the coupon was for pasta sauce only since it has a picture of pasta sauce on the coupon. But, after reading the fine print, it says it's good for pasta sauce or hot sauce! The coupons are always for 50 cents off. Kroger doubles them, so I get the organic, all natural hot sauce for $1.79 or less a jar.

Thanks Mrs. Barbara! I can't wait to try the rest of these!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Total Church Rides Again


I told you.

This book has challenged me more than any book I've read in probably a decade.

On church leadership, the authors say...

"It is important that leaders see themselves and are seen by others as part of the church. Professionalism is always the enemy of authentic gospel leadership. Leaders are not a special class set apart on their own, having to face burdensome responsibilities and forced to endure a lonely existence. Leaders cannot be detached. They must be visible believers who live their lives openly in the midst of the believing community. Jesus put it into perspective when he contrasted the leadership style of the religious leaders of his day with that of the leaders in his kingdom:

Matthew 23:8-12

"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.



It is both reassuring and challenging to discover that the shepherds of God's flock are first and foremost sheep! In Romans 12 leadership is a vital gift of God for the church, but one that nestles discreetly among the other gifts (v.8).


...The only demarcation among the people of God is that of function, not position. If my role is that of a leader in the local church, then I am a gospel minister using my gifts to serve God's people. But whatever my role, I am still a gospel minister using my gift to serve God's people. A leader is not a "special" case: he is a servant of the gospel among gospel servants, a brother among his brothers and sisters.

...Many of my minister friends speak of church as something from which they must seek solace. They protect their day off and guard the privacy of their home. They feel the loneliness of ministry, looking OUTSIDE the local church for people who will pastor them and events that will refresh them.

In contrast, the authors of Total Church describe their feelings towards their church, where they see themselves as co-laborers in Christ, not unreachable, untouchable, unconnected leaders...but brothers to their bodies very differently. I love what they say:

For us church is where we find solace. The Christian community pastors and refreshes me through the word of God. Someone put it like this..."If I were to say I needed a weekly day off from my wife and children people would say I had a dysfunctional marriage. So why, if I say I need a day off from church do people not ask whether I have a dysfunctional church family?"


It is very tempting when you're a church leader to become a non-person.

How ridiculous.

Last summer, we went on vacation, and during that time, some sweet friends of ours who are also in our church almost up and moved, something so dramatic and hard happened in their lives the week we were gone. When I got back into town and my friend told me, I said, "Why didn't you call us?" She said something like..."I didn't want to bother you and Aaron while you were on vacation." I was so hurt that she believed she was a job to us. I told her, "You are our friends. You aren't a job." But, it caused me to spend months examining why she would have felt weird calling us with such a huge struggle when we were on vacation. I hated thinking that she felt like our relationship was something that we, as "leaders" in the church needed a break from. I remember that night telling Aaron, "I don't want to be these people we are becoming. I don't want to see people as a job. I want to see them as family."

1 Thessalonians 2:8
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

On Parenting:: Guest Post


From Judy (or Aaron's mom...or Grandma)...

________________________________________________________

I grow increasingly convinced that God values children much, much more than we do.


We value a clean floor more than children. We value free time more than children. We value the good dishes more than children. We value going out to eat or watching grown-up television shows more than we value children.

All the world, including the church, tells us that children are a bother, perhaps even a mistake. If you don’t believe that, introduce a family with many babies into your church and see how long it takes for someone to say, “They know what causes that, don’t they?”

We have let the world convince us that a large family is a curse, when the Bible clearly teaches that many children are a blessing, a sign of God’s great favor.

If I had the choice right now, there would be more children in my family. And I think I might be brave enough to let God decide how many.

I remember that it seemed a little frantic around my house when the children were little. I never got “it all” done, whatever “it all” is. There was not much privacy or money or free time. There was lots of laundry and garbage and stinky stuff. The boys were going to be 2 and 4 forever. It was never going to end.

Don’t get me wrong - I enjoyed my boys. But it was all colored by that worldly, selfish, hurry-up-and-grow-up attitude. And then it was over. I woke up one morning and they were almost as tall as me. The next day, or so it seemed, they didn’t even live with us. Now there is not much garbage or laundry or stinky stuff. And there is much more privacy and money and free time.

I’d trade it all in a heartbeat.

I would do laundry around the clock if it meant I could have one more day with my little boys in my home. I want the piles of blue jeans back. If my family had been larger, perhaps I would have grown in wisdom and learned to treasure the tiny victories and agonies of everyday. Perhaps not, but at least it would have lasted longer.

You think they’ll be little forever. You can’t imagine being able to handle – afford – care for another little life. But you can. And it will be over before you know it, with plenty of years left to use the good dishes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And the Winners Are....

Thanks for playing along!

Hope your swag bucks accounts are growing by leaps and bounds.

I wish you could buy Kroger gift cards from Swag Bucks, since I realized today that we are officially a one loaf of bread per day family.

People keep saying, "How are you going to feed all those boys when they are grown?"

I don't know how to feed them now.

Come on, Swag Bucks. Bring on the Kroger.

Sorry there is no video of the drawing.

I joined the gym yesterday and I'm too sore to hold up a video camera.

Not joking.

So...

Ready?



The $20 Target e-gift card goes to....

Laurie.

Fun times!
The $5 e-Amazon gift card goes to....

Megan!

Hooray for Amazon!

The picture, drawn by Hayden goes to...

Kate of Will and Kate.

He said he's drawing you some animals.

The picture, drawn by Ashton goes to...

Denise Menger.

Ashton says you're getting a sea creature picture.

Your refrigerators will thank you.

I'll slip in a magnet.

Winners...

Please email me so I can get your address!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Way to Enter the Give Away!


I'm hosting a give away.

Read the details here.

At midnight tonight the code to receive 6 Swag Bucks will expire.

Tomorrow, we'll draw for a $20 Target e-gift card, and a $5 e-Amazon gift card. Fun times.

I have one more way for you to enter the drawing today.

Not many people have entered, so your chances of winning are pretty high.

Here's how you enter to win the gift cards:

Send an email to 25 friends, and include me in your email (that makes 26 people total).

My email address...

hendrickcrew@gmail.com

Tell your friends you are trying to enter a drawing for a $20 e-Target gift card and a $5 e-Amazon gift card. Ask them to read this post...

Swag Buck Promo Give Away

Just for sending the email you will get to enter the drawing.

If one of your friends signs up for Swag Bucks, of course they can enter the drawing too.

Good Luck, and happy emailing.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Flashback Friday

Originally posted last May. I'll tell you why I chose a camping flash back on Monday.

_________________________________________________________

So...

We get to Garner State Park.

After 5 and a half hours in the car, we all arrived safely.

I didn't jump out or throw any of my kids out.

I've learned to celebrate even the tiniest of victories.

After talking through my "road trip issues" with dear friends, it was made very clear to me why I hate them and Aaron likes them.

One of my friends pointed out that men like car rides because all they do is drive.

This was revolutionary to me.

I had never thought about it before.

For some reason, I think driving is a hard job.

"Aaron has to drive the whole way" is really how my brain thought through road trips.

But driving...

when you think about it...

that's not very taxing.

On the other hand...

crawling over seats to pass out Capri Suns or to re-buckle a child who got caught half way, trying to escape from their car seat...

that's hard work.

After being in the car for an extended period of time, the only place I hope we're driving to is a chiropractor's office.

My neck hurts from turning around to assist in some way.

I have buckled and rebuckled myself 98,000 times from the beginning of the trip to the end of the trip.

And Aaron has sat there and...

steered

as well as watch my rear end crawling into the back seat many, many times.

He admits...the driver has the best job!

I think he may even bribe the kids into being extra needy, because extra needy means extra times when Aaron gets to see my rear end in his rear view mirror.

We get to Garner.

We wait a very, very long time to get our camp spots.

If you go to Garner with a group, make sure to plan something fun for the kids to do while you all check in. We didn't...and we regretted it. Poor babies (and grown ups) we drove forever, get there and then you find out you aren't really there...you have to wait a long time to get all the details ironed out, spots picked and tags on your windows.

The entire time I was getting ready for this trip I googled "cabins in Garner" a ton of times to come up with not ONE picture of the cabins.

Why aren't there pictures of the cabins?

I need to know the lay out.

I need to know what to expect.

In my daydreams about camping, the cabins were made out of trees...so cute...so quaint...so clean...so post card campy.

The real Garner cabins...um...not so post cardy.

When we arrived, I walked in...saw TWO roaches...alive...

I sat down in a chair.

My head was spinning.

I was trying not to cry, but Aaron walked in...I saw him...and I cried a little.

I was so disappointed in myself!

I SO wanted to do this!

I can do dirty.

I can do hot.

I can do outdoorsy.

I can't do roaches.

I'm terrified of them. Remember this?

Aaron saw me, sat down in front of me, was so sweet and said...

"You can't do this, can you?"

I was trying hard to hold back the tears.

"No...I want to though. I don't want to ruin this for you and the boys. I want to be able to do this" I said.

"But you can't, can you?" You won't sleep all week, will you?"

"No...I won't. I can't."

Then he was so precious and said, "What can I do to make this better?"

Ugh. I was so upset with myself.

I did NOT want to be high maintenance.

I wanted to unload our stuff...be manly in a womanly way...and get down to that beautiful river.

I was disappointed in myself.

I should have known myself better. If I had really thought through this whole thing, I would have KNOWN I could not do this.

I'm not this kind of person, and deep down, I know that.

What was I thinking?

Next, Kirby came over.

I almost cried to her too.

It is funny NOW to remember the conversation with her and Aaron.

I was so sad that I couldn't do this. They were so calm.

I said..."I don't want people to make fun of me. I don't want to ruin anyone's vacation..." I was a mess.

They both said that YES, I was going to be made fun of, but this isn't going to surprise anyone.

Aaron even said..."This is why we like you...you're insane."

I don't know why that made me feel better...a normal person would have probably been offended...but it DID make me feel better.

Kirby added..."This is just you. No one is going to be shocked by this. You're eccentric. You're crazy...but we love you."

Aaron says..."What can we do?"

I said, "I would rather sleep in a tent than sleep in this place with the roaches."

When I'm sleeping there are some rules...and one of them is that no roaches can touch me.

That's not so high maintenance, right?

Well...we couldn't just cancel our cabin and have a tent spot because Garner is hard to get into, and the tent spots were unavailable.

So...why not put a tent right outside our cabin? We already had that spot...so that should be fine, right?

No.

No tents are allowed on a cabin spot.

And then there was the whole air conditioning issue.

Yes...go ahead and laugh...

But we brought an air conditioner.

And so did lots of other people, so just shush-it.

It's May in Texas...it's hot.

And again...for VACATION...sleeping in sweat just doesn't seem like something you can't wait to leave home and do.

Aaron was sure he could air condition our tent outside. I believed him. He can do anything.

But, we couldn't have a tent spot, and we couldn't pitch a tent on our cabin spot.

Alas...

Aaron thought of a brilliant plan.

This sweet man drove about 40 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart.

He bought us a huge tent.

He also bought us two queen sized air mattresses.

He drove 40 miles back to Garner, moved all the furniture around in the cabin, made room for our tent and pitched it INSIDE the cabin.

We tent camped inside a cabin with air conditioning.

That's the way the Hendricks do camping, people...

right there...

this is where it's at.

I felt so bad for Aaron having to work so hard on his first day of vacation...but he was wonderful.

Really.

While he was working, I went up to him, practically in tears again watching him work. I said, "Aaron, I'm so sorry I'm so annoying."

He said, "Heather, my mom always used to say that my dad's favorite thing in life is to save the day. It's my favorite thing to do too."

He was right.

Aaron loves to save the day, and he gets the opportunity to do it almost daily. He is amazing, such a genius and can make any bad situation good. It's a gift.

He made a potentially horrible situation wonderful. I thought of how some husbands are annoyed to have to do anything for their wives...and yet, my husband loves me so much that he would do ANYTHING for me...really...I'm not making that up.

The tent remained ZIPPED at all times unless one was entering or exiting, which was restricted to bedtime only. Under NO other conditions could the tent be open.

Once this issue was fixed, everything was WONDERFUL.

We played at the river all day, hung out and laughed with friends at night, and then went to our cabin and slept in a tent, sealed up, protecting us from roaches. We slept wonderfully on air mattresses with our own clean, wonderful bedding...all in an air conditioned environment.

Ah...vacation.

There was one breach in the tent security system...the only time during the entire trip that this mother lost it. More on that later.

We loved the beautiful, clear, cold river in Texas.

It was incredible. We lived down there last week, only coming back to the camp sites when starvation was near.

This river is so beautiful. It's completely clear. There isn't even any sand! Crazy! It's completely white rock. Even the "beach" area is all white rock...no sand in your food...in your swim suits...it really is heavenly.

Hayden caught fish all week with his goggles! Isn't that amazing? He was such the nature freak. Even random strangers at the river would joke about him being Bear Grylls. This was a huge compliment to him!

None of us wanted to come home. Hayden said something like this to someone at church this weekend...

"I don't want to live in Bryan anymore. I want to live by that river for 5,000 days."

Me too!

As scary as my cabin was...and I'm not exaggerating about the roaches. It was infested. Every day, I'd wake up and see new dead ones and new live ones. AND, the entire outside was covered in HUGE dead roaches. Ah! Okay...as scary as it was, one of my dreams DID come true this weekend. I was neighbors with my Kirby for a week! So fun!

What a great trip! If you have never been on vacation with friends...you should go! I had never really done this before where you stay with friends for a week. It will be one of my favorite memories, I'm sure.

I got the nick name, Heather Hilton this week.

Don't listen to any of them!

The worst teasing came from my brother and Mike.

Teasing me about sleeping in a tent in a cabin is unfair since they both brought a Marriot with them to camp in.

Oh...and for the record...

When we got home, the first night, I told Aaron...

I miss our tent. If I really were over my fear of man...if I really quit holding on to the last pieces of sanity I possess...I would take this bed down tomorrow and put up a tent in our bedroom.

I loved it that much.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

You Can Thank Kirby


Once you join the online Blue Bell community, you can print $1 off coupons!

We think you can print two per computer.

For sure...when you go and buy Blue Bell...if it's 2 for $8 or something like that...take in TWO coupons, and then you'll get 2 for $6. See?

College students...if you love me, you could go to the computer lab and print me a billion. Is that legal?

Butter Crunch is officially off the shelf.

Could someone come over here and hold me while I cry?

I was telling Aaron that maybe I should call Blue Bell every single day and ask them when Butter Crunch is coming back.

Aaron thinks it's a great idea...that I could really get to know the receptionist...and blog about her response every day. I've already imagined that the receptionist's name is Myrtle.

Maybe I should start tomorrow? Ya think?

I wonder if Blue Bell has caller ID.

In the News!

Our First Friday friends made it on our local newspaper's website. So fun! Thanks for telling me, Melissa!

Ways to Make Swag Bucks


Wanting to know how to make your Swag Bucks Account grow?

You can read this post I wrote several months back. It tells you everything you need to know. If you still have questions, feel free to ask me!

It's rumored that Swag Bucks will be releasing a new gadget you can put on your blog where people not only can sign up (and get you referral money) but also search right from your blog at Swag Bucks.

Yesterday, on the Swag Bucks blog they announced a new feature on their Shop and Earn page.

Basically, Shop and Earn at Swag Bucks means you can shop at some of your favorite online stores, and for every $5 you spend online, you get ONE swag buck.

From the Swag Bucks blog...

We're pleased to announce that starting today, the Shop&Earn Mall is ready to bring its rewards to you! With the new Shop&Earn Favorites feature, you can select only the stores you're most interested in from our collection of nearly 400 name brand retailers. Whenever a new coupon or special offer is released from that store, we'll send you a timely email notification.

Go here for the full story.

And don't forget to sign up for the give away below!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Calling All Granola Girls



My next project...

Making my own granola and granola bars.

Anyone got any great recipes? There are a million online, but I don't want to try them all. Someone please help me!

One week, very soon I will do a whole week of posts on homemade goodness.

So far, I've learned to make and can jelly, to make my own yogurt, and how to effectively store and freeze several kinds of veggies. I feel like a cross between a granny and a squirrel.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Another Swag Bucks Promo and a Give Away!


So far, I've redeemed about $500 worth of Target and Amazon e-cards.

I'm being for real.

Swagbucks works.

It's legit.

Too legit.

Speaking of 2 Legit...has everyone seen this?

I will be laughing my way through at least one episode of A&E's new reality show!

Back to the bucks...

I love those swaggy bucks.

The people at Swag Bucks want to tell you all about some new improvements they are making over at www.swagbucks.com

That's nice of them to improve things, but right now, with all the free money I have for simply searching, (or asking you to search) I'm really wondering how things could get any better from Swag Bucks. Free money is already pretty nifty.

But, being the over achievers they are, Swag Bucks is going to let us in on several new perks this week.

All of us have been invited to play along.

Consider yourself invited to a week long Swag Bucks Party.

You can visit the Swag Bucks Blog this week to find out about all the new things they are adding to your favorite new search engine. Apparently, as of today, you can now trade in your video games or used game systems for Swag Bucks. More here...

Still don't know what Swag Bucks is?

Swagbucks is a search engine.

So, when you would normally go to google.com, instead, you go to swagbucks.com

The cool thing...

Swagbucks is powered by GOOGLE!

The difference between Swagbucks and google...you get MONEY for searching Swagbucks.

So, instead of going to google when I need to know stuff like...

"Why is my baby's black falling off" (I actually googled this one time)

or

"Swoopy Bangs"

or

"Hair Cancer"

or

"What on earth is a diva cup?"

or

"How do you make granola bars?"

Instead, I would type that stuff into Swagbucks...and chu-ching...I'll be making money.

Sit A Spell Swag Bucks Promo

If you have never signed up for Swag Bucks, you can do it here:


Search & Win



If you sign up through this blog, you will get SIX Swag Bucks just for joining! Yeehaw!

Signing up is EASY.

As you are signing up, next to "swag code," enter the word HEATHERSCODE (type it just like that).

Wah-lah...you are six Swag Bucks richer.

Then, from that moment on, go to www.swagbucks.com when you need to search for something. Every once in awhile you'll win some swag money! It's extremely exciting.

Check out all the great things you can buy with your swag cash.

I particularly love the gift card section. Just 45 Swag Bucks gets you a $5 Amazon gift card!

It's a GIVE AWAY!

Because I am a Swag Bucks JUNKIE...I am going to give away FOUR prizes this time!

First prize will be another $20 Target e-gift card.

Second prize will be a $5 Amazon e-gift card.

Third prize will be a picture Hayden draws.

Fourth prize will be a picture Ashton draws.

You can enter the drawing two ways...

1. If you have NEVER signed up for Swag Bucks, you can sign up, get your six bucks...and then leave a comment telling me you signed up through this blog. Don't lie. I will know if your pants are on fire.

2. If you are already a Swaggernaut, then you can enter the drawing by sending other people over here to Sit A Spell to sign up. If your friend signs up, they can leave a comment telling me they did, and that YOU sent them. That way, your friend gets entered into the drawing and so do you!

The promo code is good until Tuesday, June 16.

We'll do the drawings for prizes on Wednesday, June 17.

Think of all the things you could buy with $20 from Target.

Think of all the swag bucks you could make just by asking your computer questions.

Who says being dumb doesn't pay off?

Signed up for Swag Bucks, and want to know how to make your account grow?

Read here.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

This Friday


We love downtown Bryan.

The first Friday of every month, the shops stay open late.

You can browse antique stores

eat blue bell ice cream

go to Greta's Frame Gallery for art and live music

watch a movie at the Palace Theater for free
(This month they are showing City Slickers)

and of course eat at a yummy, one of a kind restaurant.

Although I can't find the details, this month's First Friday Event is supposed to be bigger and better than it normally is. There will be some sort of Art Show going on with "31 venues and loads of live entertainment" (from the executive director of the Downtown Bryan Economic Development Association).

I have an email into the lady who organizes these events, so if I hear back from her, I'll pass along the details.

To help people out...

If you have a favorite downtown restaurant...will you mention it in the comment section, along with your favorite thing to order?

Also...if you know of any places to get coupons for restaurants downtown, will you mention that as well?

These nights are very fun and eclectic. We always take the boys...and I always bring my camera. There are tons of places to set your kids and snap some great photos.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Already Laughing

I've written about Bear Grylls before.

My sons love him, pretend to be him,
will probably name their children after him.

Bear Grylls inspired my sons to eat ants.
Yes. Ants.

Will Ferrell will be on Man Vs. Wild tonight.

Will Ferrell and Bear Grylls together ...
in the wilderness, trying to survive.

It's already funny to me, and it's only 3:00.

Hayden + Nursing Home = What Was I Thinking?

Maybe it wasn't the best idea to take Hayden to a nursing home.

Hayden is

my son who talks very loudly...always has...always does...

my son whose mouth throws up EVERY single thought that flies through his brain.

my son who needs to be prepared, as best I can prepare him, for every new thing.

I couldn't prepare him for what we were about to see at the nursing home.

I guess you could figure this out on your own, but just in case you haven't had enough coffee this morning...I've never really been around the elderly, or old people, or senior citizens...I'm sure there is some pc way of talking about this...be gentle...I'm learning. I've never been around the elderly, so go figure...neither have my sons.

We weren't even inside the nursing home before I thought to myself, "I should have at least TRIED to prepare Hayden for this, or in the least, taped his mouth shut before coming into a nursing home."

As we were approaching the door, we had to walk past two ambulances. As we were approaching, both of the back doors were opening, revealing two elderly ladies on stretchers.

I thought, "Oh Jesus...can I do this? God, can I really do this? Death and sickness freak me out. Oh Lord, please...help me."

My thoughts were interrupted by Hayden pointing and talking, in the only register he has...LOUD...saying, "Look mom...are those people dead?"

In retrospect, I should have turned around RIGHT THEN and gone back to the car, given Hayden a firm talk and asked him NOT TO TALK...AT ALL...NOT AT ALL while we were in the nursing home.

Before I could grab him, he said...again...loudly...and very excitedly..."OH...no...they aren't dead, Mom! They are moving."

We walk inside...I made my way to the welcome counter.

Anson and Ashton were obviously overwhelmed by all the wheel chairs, and people who were hunched over...but these two, when overwhelmed, get close to their mother, and silently take things in. How nice.

Not Hayden.

I was trying to talk to the man at the welcome center, and this is what I hear Hayden saying to his silent brothers...

"Look at all these people in wheel chairs." Then, in the middle of his counting, I guess he got overwhelmed with what he was seeing, and so he started saying, "Look at all these people...they are all paralyzed...they can't walk I bet...they are PARALYZED."

I was trying to listen to the activities director tell me about all the volunteer opportunities...actually, I was trying to LOOK like I was listening. I wasn't. I was listening to my insane, loud son say the most ridiculous things. My ears were listening to Hayden...and my arm was DESPERATELY trying to feel for him behind me...where is he? I hear him behind me, but I can't reach him. I'd have to PEEL my other two children off me...but Hayden...he's nowhere near me. All I wanted, in that moment was to reach his hand...his arm, his shoulder, and pull him to me so I could put my hand over his mouth.

Alas...he was too far from me.

While the activities director was going over all the needs of the nursing home, I was nodding, but also daydreaming about a gadget...a gadget I could put in Hayden's pocket or something that when activated, froze him. Could someone invent one of those...I would use it several times a week.

Finally, the activities director had to go find some papers for me to fill out.

I was able to walk over to Hayden, and whisper in his ear..."Do not speak again until we're in the car."

Hayden responded with a confused, "What?"

He was shocked. He always is. It's one of the hardest things about parenting this child...but one of the funniest things as well. He had no idea that anything he said, in such a loud voice was maybe a little "off."

To his confused face I said, "I'll explain it all to you in the car...okay...in the car...but please, please be quiet right now."

While we were waiting on our volunteer papers, a little elderly lady started talking to us. She was overjoyed to see Hudson. She spoke in absolute gibberish. I did not understand a single word. Anson, Ashton and myself just stood there and nodded...and smiled at the sweet lady. Hayden said...loudly..."What is she saying?" I ignored him...but shot him a look...the look to remind him about only talking in the car...and this was NOT the car.

He stopped talking.

For about one minute.

We continued to let the little lady smile and "talk" to Hudson.

Then Hayden said...loudly...."Oh I know. I think she speaks a different language..."

The activities director handed me my papers to fill out so I can volunteer.

Hopefully we'll get to start reading to the residents, painting fingernails...I'm excited.

I got back in the car, and just sat there for a second. I needed to stop sweating. Hayden makes me sweaty a lot. I needed to process everything...and try to remember the 100 things I need to talk about with Hayden before we go back to the nursing home.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry as I sat there in the parking lot.

I decided to laugh.

We all did.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Now I Love Old People


The movie Up ruined me.

I know...it's a kid's movie.

I have four kids. I've done my fair share of kid's movies. In the past, I've loved kid's movies only because the little people I love, love them.

Not so with Up.

I sat watching this show, and in a moment realized it was about to get sad.

I'm a sad movie wienie.

I pretty much hate them.

Oh I love a good, sad moving story...but I like to watch those movies in the privacy of my own living room where I can have a good cry without strangers present, thank you very much.

I only have two gears...not crying or ugly crying.

I ugly cried in this movie.

Had to take off my stinkin' 3-D glasses and wipe rivers of tears off my face. Who has ever heard of anything more stupid? "Take my 3-D glasses off so I could cry." That's just not the way things are supposed to work. Could someone let Pixar know that?

Aaron reached over and squeezed my hand a lot.

I knew he was probably crying too.

I left that theater and haven't been the same since.

The truth...

Old people scare the crap out of me.

I'm thirty two years old, and I'm just being honest here...no one that I've been close to has ever died.

Never.

How weird is that?

I've never watched anyone go from not old to old. My children's grandparents are still so young, active and down right good looking. They had us when they were practically babies, and we had our babies when we were babies too.

Up sent me home with a heart heavy for the elderly.

Aaron and I hugged about a hundred times after we got home from that movie.

"I love yous" and "I want to grow old with yous" filled our house that evening.

I went to bed with hot tears running down my face, holding Aaron's hand.

We're going to get old.

We're going to wear down.

And then what will happen?

What if one of us dies?

I wasn't worried...I was just sad. Maybe you think about these things all the time, but I don't. I have never thought about getting old or what that must be like.

I told Aaron, with tears in my eyes..."If I die...you're going to be so grumpy and people aren't going to like you."

They won't.

He agreed...he will be grumpy, and people won't hardly like him.

I was a lot more upset about that revelation than Aaron.

I fell asleep holding tightly to his hand...what would I ever do without him? What will it be like when the man I think can do everything starts to wear down...slow down...?

Slow down.

I fell asleep, asking God, although I knew it was in vain...to just slow this whole darn thing down.

I can't shake these new thoughts...about the elderly...their lives, such treasures, and yet mostly unappreciated and no longer valued...certainly misunderstood.

Last night, as Aaron was singing during Lord's Supper, I watched him...strumming...singing...

I thought of him as an old man...so precious, so kind....such a sweet servant, and how hard it would be for him to not "do" all the things he does. What is his hair going to do?

I thought of how much he would want people in his life...around him, but how shy he would be to make that happen if it was just him...a little old man, alone.

I thought of how he has to have a few things a certain way...always...how special his trinkets are to him...his little routines...

What would it be like for us not to be able to take care of each other...sleep in the same bed...in the same room...on the same floor?

Hot tears again...down my face...

Ashton kept looking up at me and saying, "Why are you sad, Mom?"

I wished I could have said "Because of what Jesus did for me on the cross."

I did eventually get to that...and loved the Lord's Supper...but I was crying, in that moment because I was thinking of Aaron as an old person. I sat with that tiny cracker in my hand and thanked God that there is more than this...this place where everything breaks down and dies...I thanked him for life, and that no matter what our bodies say today or many todays for now, there is a part of me...of Aaron...of my children that will live...forever.

As I chewed that chalky bit of bread, I told God I'm sorry for not valuing the elderly and teaching my kids to do so as well.

This movie moved me.

Up moved me so much, I got UP this morning, loaded all four children into the car, and we went to the nursing home down the street.

To be continued...