Monday, September 17, 2018

Blog Linkage, Quotable Quotes, Pinterest Stuff (Object Lesson - Jesus is the Best Gift Ever, Ten Family-Friendly Movies to Watch with Your Kids AND Surprises for Kids), Time Spent with Judith AND a Re-Posting of WHEN YOU FALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET LEAVING CHURCH BECAUSE YOU WALK UP INTO YOUR FLOWY PANTS LEG

Good Monday evening!

Okay, I have no current pics of Little Man this week, not because I didn't see him, but because I just sat back and made mental memories.

That won't happen again.

Mentally, I'm not good at retaining such memories.

I'm sure it has something to do with my own personal "cloud."

Howeverm I have SO MUCH stuff to share today. Here's hoping something will be useful!

Blog Linkage - Go to www.thenester.com on a regular basis during the next few weeks and enjoy the Fall Tour she hosts every year. At the bottom of her post, there will be several more blogs you can click on and visit to see other fall decorating ideas. Just beautiful!

Quotable Quotes - "Parents really don't go on vacation. They just take care of their kids in a different city." Anonymous... AND SO TRUE!

Pinterest Stuff


Key Verse - Luke 2:1-7

You will need the following -

Tall clear glass or pitcher
Large clear plastic cup (1 for every two kids)
Small clear cups (4 for every two kids)
Dish soap
Vegetable oil

1. Pour a little bit of each liquid into four separate cups. (Again, you’ll need one set of four small clear cups per two kids.)

2. Mix it up.

Say: Jesus is the best gift ever. Sometimes other gifts might seem better.

Ask: What’s a gift someone might think is better than Jesus?

Say: But Jesus will always come out on top, because Jesus is the best gift ever.

Have kids form groups of two. Distribute supplies to each group. Hold up the vegetable oil and say: Let’s pretend this liquid represents Jesus. Pour it into a clear cup. Have one child in each group pour the vegetable oil into their cup.

Ask: What do you think will happen if we pour another liquid in the cup?

Have another child in each group choose a second cup to pour into the cup. The vegetable oil will rise to the top. (It may take a few seconds.)

Continue taking turns until everyone has poured the liquids into the cup. Regardless of the order you pour things, it will end up in four distinct layers in this order (from top to bottom): vegetable oil, dish soap, milk, honey.

Ask: What do you think will happen if we pour all of our cups into the pitcher?

Have groups each pour their cups into the tall glass or pitcher. Within a few seconds, the oil will create its own layer on top. (The other layers may combine a bit, but the oil will remain separate.)

Ask: Why do you think the vegetable oil always stayed on top?

How can other people see that you think Jesus is the top gift?

Say: Sometimes people make Christmas wish lists, starting with the things they want the most. Those are probably really awesome gifts! But we’ve already gotten the best gift ever... Jesus! Any other gift will sink below him because he’s the best gift!

No matter how they mix the ingredients, the vegetable oil always rises to the top. In the same way, no matter what happens, Jesus always rises to the top! He is above all else! He is the best gift ever! After the kids have seen this on a small scale in their groups, they get a real big "wow" at the end when all the groups combine their already mixed ingredients into one big clear container and still, all the vegetable oil rises to the top! This is a great object lesson for kids as they learn to trust Jesus, rely on Him and truly believe that He is above all else!

Ten Family-Friendly Movies to Watch with Your Kids

The Red Balloon – A short film with no words, this 34-minute, enchanting, imaginative tale from 1956 about a balloon who befriends a little boy in Paris captivates children on every level and is a beautiful way to spend an evening together as a family. Great for the nights when Movie Nights start later than intended! Buy it, as it deserves a place on every Classic's shelf. Not rated. Buy it on Amazon.

Miracle Down Under – This is one of my absolute favorite films of all time, and we watch it at least once a year at Christmastime. It's the tender story of a family trying to make ends meet during a severe drought at Christmastime in Australia, and how young children learn what's truly important. This one is devilishly difficult to find, but it's worth every single penny when you do. Not rated. See it on Amazon.

A Little Princess – A film version of the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this film follows a wealthy young girl who loses her fortune and her family. She is forced to live and work in grueling conditions, and yet doesn't lose her kindness and generosity towards others. This inspires an unexpected chain of events. The 1986 WonderWorks version of this film trumps all versions without question, but for some reason, it's very expensive on Amazon, so see if you can find it elsewhere first! Not rated. See it on Amazon.

March of the Penguins – What appears at first to be a documentary about the life cycle of Emperor penguins turns into a breathtaking love story that is bittersweet, gripping and engaging for kids of all ages. Rated G. Buy it on Amazon or watch it free with an Amazon Prime membership.

The Princess Bride – This may be the second-most quotable movie of all time, second only to Casablanca. This is a fantasy fairy tale at its cinematic best, exploring the ideas of loyalty, honor, valor and “true love.” We skip the Fire Swamp scene when watching this with our younger children, especially the one who is prone to vivid dreams, but overall, this can be safely watched with anyone over seven. Rated PG. Buy it on Amazon.

Cars – I love anything Pixar has made, as they are master storytellers, but I would wager that Cars is the best film they have made. It has soul and an honest-to-goodness moral, while allowing us a fantastic romp in the world of high-flying race cars. It's highly enjoyable and engaging for children and adults alike. Rated G. Buy it on Amazon or rent it.

Akeelah and the Bee – This is hands-down my FAVORITE film to watch as a family. Despite a few instances of coarse language, it is gritty and real and deep and sweet and utterly compelling. It tells the story of Akeelah, an 11-year-old girl from South Los Angeles and her journey to reach the national spelling bee. It highlights lessons of choosing compassion even when it's hard, friendship, diligence and perseverance. An added bonus is after seeing this film for the first time, our spelling-averse ten year-old suddenly “got” the reason we study spelling and she *asked* to dive deeper into our All About Spelling lessons. I'll take that any day. Rated PG. Buy it on Amazon or stream it.

Mary Poppins – Speaking of Oscars, this film had 13 Academy Award nominations in 1964 and won five, including Best Actress (Julie Andrews) and Best Original Song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”). It's based loosely on the book by P. L. Travers, and the film's sweet storyline, coupled with Mary Poppins' seemingly magical abilities, has been a classic with kids since its original release more than 50 years ago. Rated G. Buy it on Amazon.

The Sound of Music – Again giving a nod to the Oscars, this film received ten Oscar nominations in 1965 and won five, including Best Picture and Best Music. Considering the film deals with the true story of a family that fled Austria as the Nazis were taking over in World War II, it's surprisingly light and heartfelt. I would consider it suitable for anyone over six, although you may want to preview the last scene ahead of time to approve it for your children. Rated G. Buy it on Amazon.

The Wizard of Oz – I list this 1939 classic only because it appears on EVERY list of “Movies Every Child Should Watch,” and because it's an absolute classic that has informed and shaped our culture. It's even listed by Common Sense Media as “one of the best family films ever made.” Not rated. Buy the movie on Amazon.

Anne of Green Gables – It's cheesy and departs wildly from the book by L. M. Montgomery, but this film is endearing and spunky and a Canadian classic. It may inspire a road trip to Prince Edward Island (be ye forewarned), and teaches some wonderful lessons about what makes a family and the blessings of good, hard work. Not rated. Buy it on Amazon.

And last but definitely not least...

Inside Out – Since I've mentioned classic Oscar-nominated films, I must mention one current nominee for 2016. This film beautifully deals with handling emotions through life's ups and downs. It's sweet and moving and endearing to kids of all ages. Rated G. Buy it on Amazon.

Surprises for Kids

1. Surprise them with a luxury bath. My daughter always envies when I have a cold drink in a fancy glass and have relaxing music when I take bath. When I did this to her, she melted. Yes, there were candles and then fancy rose lotions afterwards.

2. Surprise sleepover with a best friend. We plan a few days ahead and talk with a friend’s parents to see if they could just bring their daughter for a sleepover. Once they show up at the door, there is usually some crazy screaming and jumping up and down for a minute and a lot of laughter all night long. Best surprise ever!

3. “Kidnap” your child from school one day. I did this once, and we ended up at the bookstore reading books and drinking smoothies. It was a very memorable event.

4. Hide a sweet note under their pillow. I know my daughter always flips the pillow when she lays down to bed so she always finds finds my notes.

5. Stuff their pockets. Sometimes before we head to park or a playdate I put some tiny treats in their pockets. The surprised reactions/smiles on their faces when they feel something in their pockets in the middle of the park play when they get little hungry are priceless.

6. For no particular occasion, bake (or buy) a cake (or a cupcake). It doesn’t happen often in our house, but when it does, I love seeing the kids’ reaction when we bring in the cake after dinner. Especially when they don’t expect any kind of dessert that night. It’s like a birthday night!

7. Make a poster on their door. It could be anything from “reasons why I love you” to compliments and so on. They will be so surprised when they get home from school to see their door decorated with a huge poster.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Time Spent with Judith - Judith and I had a simple kind of day last week. It began with Story Time at our local library...

Miss Lucy is the best!

And ended with lunch with Pop at Chick-Fil-A and a good 30 minutes spent in the Play Area.

Simple, but good, fun was had by all!

RANDOMNESS #2 - WHEN YOU FALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET LEAVING CHURCH BECAUSE YOU WALK UP INTO YOUR FLOWY PANTS LEG... A SAD, TRUE STORY (This story was first posted in August of 2017) - Yeah. So this happened a year ago.

You've heard the Bible verse, "Pride goeth before a fall," haven't you?

Well, if you were one of about a hundred or more people in the parking lot of Gardendale's First Baptist Church between the first and second service on a particular Sunday in 2017, I kinda supplied the visual for the verse...

If you know what I mean...

And I think you do.

Something you may or may not know about me... I am not necessarily a vain person. I mean, I have my good hair days and my bad hair days. I have outfits that look better on me than others. I try to look presentable and wear lipstick on more days than not.

I am, after all, a Southern girl born and raised, but all in all, I don't over-obsess when it comes to appearance.

In other words, I didn't think I was very prideful about my looks.

Until that fateful Sunday...

On that particular day, I wore my navy blue patterned flowy pants, my off-white silk flowy top and my big ol' navy blue and rhinestone studded necklace.

Also, my hair was exceptionally big and coiffed.

Remember when Justin Timberlake said he was "bringing sexy back?"

Well, I am single-handedly "bringing big hair back."

I am not ashamed to admit I liked the 80s. I thrived in the 80s. I miss the 80s.

Once big hair comes back, I am going to move on to start bringing back enormous shoulder pads...

And I'm starting a petition to get Designing Women on Netflix for the next generation of Southern women to watch and learn.

All of the above being said and recorded for posterity, I may or may not have looked at myself in the full-length bathroom mirror of Gardendale's First Baptist Church second floor bathroom after Sunday School and thought to myself, "Looking good, Enchanting! Looking good!" before meeting Mikie in the hallway and heading to our seats for the first service.

Yes. I know. Very, very prideful.

Not only was it a good service, but The Chick arrived home Saturday afternoon and was sitting with us, so I was feeling especially happy and bouncy.

In hindsight, I now know I was feeling much too bouncy, because in the parking lot of the church, crossing the street to get to my car, my right toe/shoe caught in the leg of my flowy pants.

I lurched forward, but caught myself. Mistakenly thinking I had gotten my toe/shoe OUT of the flowy pants, I took another little hop/step to make up for the slight trip/stumble.

The only thing worse than tripping/stumbling in the middle of the street in the church parking lot AND catching yourself, would have to be tripping/stumbling in the middle of the street in the church parking lot AND realizing you didn't catch yourself, but instead walked up your flowy pants leg two more steps...

And then falling in front of the cars coming to and leaving church (completely stopping traffic in two lanes) on your hands and knees.

And if that wasn't enough of a humiliation (and I'm assuming it wasn't enough because it just gets worse from here), I rolled over onto my back with my hands and legs up in the air...

And I rocked back and forth very turtle-like until Mikie put his hands under my arms and HOISTED me to my feet.

There was nothing left to do except dust myself off, and do the princess wave to all of the cars who were patiently waiting to park and/or leave the parking lot.

I did not limp to the car. I needed to limp, but I refused. When I see that in writing, I immediately start thinking to myself, "That was pretty prideful, too, wasn't it? Why not just admit one toe, two knees, my right wrist and elbow and the top of my left wrist were all scraped and bleeding? Not profusely bleeding you understand, but bleeding just the same."


That's a question for the therapist if I've ever heard one. I'll need to write that down in my handy-dandy notebook.

There isn't much left to say except if and when I wear flowy pants again, I will probably hold them up in front (not unlike a wedding dress) while walking to and from church or up and down steps.

Also, I seriously doubt if I will ever look in the full-length bathroom mirror of Gardendale's First Baptist Church second floor bathroom ever again.

Nor will I utter, "Looking good, Enchanting! Looking good!"

Mentally or verbally.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

I will end this little tale with two final words...


NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - I re-posted the above because last Sunday (13 months from the above-mentioned fall), I wore the SAME... EXACT... OUTFIT...

And while leaving the first service to go to my car...

As I was stepping onto the EXACT ROAD AS LAST YEAR...

The toe of my right shoe got caught in the left leg of my flowy pants.

I kid you not.

However, instead of trying to "correct" my misstep by falling face forward in the middle of the road, I froze, yelled and allowed Mikie to yank me back from sudden and certain death...

Or humiliation...

Or another scraped knee.

But definitely one of the three.

I'll end this post with the above pic...

The flowy pants are dead to me. So dead, I will not even donate them to a thrift store. They are garbage, and hopefully, they will never cause pain, blood loss or anxiety to anyone ever, ever again.

I'm also declaring that at the age of 57 (only three short years from 60), I'm about to purchase many, many leggings...

And return the new flare legged jeans I just purchased to wear with my fall clunky shoes. (That one's going to be hard because they are just about the cutest flare legged jeans I have ever seen in my life.)

It looks like 57 is going to be my best year yet!

Or not!

Only time will tell.

Don't worry. I'll keep you updated.

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the very near future.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. I have just a couple more things I would like to comment upon...

1. Mikie and his friend, Bill, attended the Auburn game this past Saturday, and while it was a miserably hot game, they had a GREAT time. (And since it was a miserably hot game, I am forever indebted to Billy for taking the ticket, and thus, allowing me to stay home to enjoy my AC vent.) He's a good friend...

To both of us.

2. As the shirt clearly indicates, Judith is going to be a big sister.

My new title shall now be Nana to the Third Power!

I think I'm up for it!
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