Thursday, July 27, 2017

5th Annual Lake Vacation (Lake Martin), My Favorite Things RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, Blog Linkage AND Pinterest Stuff (Writing the Word)

Good Thursday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS - I didn't post we would be going on vacation these last few days, but we did and we are back now!

This is our fifth year to rent a house on a lake in Alabama with our immediate family.

The first year, we rented a house in Guntersville, and we decided it was a "go" as far as an annual thing was concerned, but we wanted to try a different house the next time. Just between you and me, if VRBO doesn't have pics of any of the bathrooms in a particular rental, there is usually a very good reason... and I don't want to talk about it any more.

The second year, we rented a beautiful new-to-us house in Guntersville, but two days before our vacation was to begin, we received a call from the owners telling us bed bugs were a leftover problem from the previous renters, and although they were going to "bug bomb" the house and the "bug man" assured them we would be "good to go," he didn't feel right about renting to us.

We greatly appreciated the head's up, and I found an available house the next day at Lake Guntersville.

There's a reason you book vacation rentals a year in advance... and I don't want to talk about it any more.

The next two years found us at Lake Logan Martin in a beautiful home that fit almost all of our needs. In fact, I was hoping we could go on renting this house year after year after year.

Last year when we pulled into the driveway, there was a For Sale sign in the yard... and I don't want to talk about it any more.

This year, I found a great house on Lake Martin, and I think it fit each and every need we had as a family of nine... and I do want to talk about it a little more!

Josh, Courtney and Judith rode down with us Thursday afternoon, and we unpacked and settled into our new digs.

The house was very unique...

Filled with antiques...

Collectibles of all kinds...

Beautiful inside and out.

I absolutely, positively loved it.

We even found a collection of old VHS tapes... AND a way to actually watch them!

We went on a boat ride as soon as we settled in, and Judith drove the boat for the second year in a row.

She was very "passenger aware" and kept looking to the back of the boat...

And that is why it is always good to have a co-captain when a two year-old takes the wheel.

We found a level place to set up the dishwashing/baby pool/bubble station, and Judith was good to go.

Lake hair aspirations.

Fish lip aspirations.

Roxie was finishing up her nine-week stint as a camp counselor at Camp Crestridge in North Carolina, and she was unable to join us this year.


I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Heavy sigh.

RT and his family showed up on Friday...

And he brought a Splash Pad to add to the Baby Pool Park.

The perfect addition.

We did some cookin'...

And some fishin'.


And we did some smilin'.

Lots and lots of smilin'.

And then it was time for RT's first boat ride.

He was very, very safe...

And maybe a little unimpressed.

DISCLAIMER - Boat is tied to the dock and not moving at all.

Also, six adults were standing in a semi-circle around him.

No words.

Judith loved feeding the geese...

Or as she called them, "The big ducks."

DISCLAIMER - No life jacket at that particular moment, but water is clear and about three feet deep.

Also, not counting Courtney, three adults standing right there watching, watching, watching.

This was one of my favorite things at the house. You could wash dishes and look out this giant window into a hummingbird garden. At any give time, you could see one, two...

Up to six hummingbirds flitting about and having fun.

You could also watch them and NOT do dishes. Just depended on your mood.

It was a very good trip. I would be lying if I told you it was perfect in every way, because it was not. (See tiny picture of Roxie on phone calling from North Carolina above!)

However, there were some very sweet moments, and some good memories made.

And I did not post the not-so-perfect pictures.

That will be for another time!

My Favorite Things RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE - I am starting a new heading today. It will pop up from time to time because my favorite things tend to change pretty often.

1. I love McDonald's Sugar Free French Vanilla Iced Coffee... like once a day... like five or six days a week. Depending on which McDonald's I purchase my cup of "iced joe" from on any particular day (Fultondale, Trussville, Gardendale, Cullman, North Birmingham, Homewood or Hayden), it costs between $2.08 and $2.41.

I'm starting a Go Fund Me page soon. Feel free to contribute often and much when that happens.

2. I love audio books. I spend a good deal of time in the car two or three times a week, and when that happens, I listen to audio books. All kinds of audio books.

In fact, I am so in love with audio books, I am replacing my I-pad at the gym (I watch Jimmy Fallon clips and old Johnny Carson shows, etc.) with a hand-held CD player as of tomorrow morning.

Hopefully, I will soon be one of those "well-read" people I so envy...

Or I may end up going back to Jimmy Fallon clips and old Johnny Carson shows.

We'll see how long this "favorite thing" lasts.

Blog Linkage - Go to www.creativehomekeeper.com and read this woman's blog. You will find an excerpt from it below under Pinterest Stuff. She loves being intentional about the important, eternal things and she has some wonderful ideas to share.

Pinterest Stuff

Writing the Word

(Excerpt from Creative Home Keeper Blog - Intentional Living for the Grace-Filled Life)

Sometimes I write just a verse or two, other times I am transposing whole passages of Scripture in my journal. Depending on the words or what God is revealing to me, I write them word for word, or I might paraphrase them into a prayer from deep within.

It doesn’t matter how I write, it’s the simple discipline of writing out the Word that is rapidly transforming my faith.

When God’s Word is flowing through my pen and spilling out onto my paper, it is no longer just a passive discipline to read the Word. I am fully immersed in it. Writing is slower than reading so I am able to marinade on each word longer. Truths I may miss from a read through are being highlighted in my brain and written out to completely grasp the mystery of the Gospel.

Some days I write a lot whereas other days I write a little, but there is no day when none of God’s Word is being written down. It’s a daily spiritual discipline that has drawn me closer to God.

Writing the Word is bringing my heart and mind closer to the throne of God.

This season, He has drawn me closer to Him through written words.

Do you write the Word on a consistent basis?

If not, may I suggest you start? You don’t have to write out whole or long passages, but just a verse or two to help you capture the main idea of what He is teaching you in your daily reading.

NOTE FROM THE ENCHANTING BELINDA - On Pinterest, I found a monthly scripture writing plan. Just SEARCH "Monthly Scripture Writing." Many, many options will appear since most months have not only general scripture references you can write each day, but some also have a topic for the month. For example, "Grace" or "Kindness," etc.

Have a fantastic rest of the week. I'll be back very soon with more!


The Enchanting Belinda

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The B-12 Story, The Wednesday AFTER Tuesday (the 4th of July) with Judith, Spending Time with RT, Tuesdays with Judith Combined with Splash Pad Fun with the Cousins, Spending Time with RT (Again), Zoo Trip with Josh, Courtney, Judith, Sara Grace (Judith's Cousin) and Donna (Courtney's Mom) AND Pinterest Stuff (A Few Fun Summer Activities for the Kiddos)

Good Wednesday morning!

I'm going to start today's post off with an OLD story. I first posted it in August 2010 to be exact!

RANDOMNESS #1 - B-12, Baby - When the boys were little and Roxie was a baby, Mikie went out of town for a weekend men's conference. I had encouraged him to go and enjoy himself. He rarely took time off.

Everything was going fine. The boys were... well, they were boys. Roxie was a dream baby. We ate, played, napped, ran errands and ate some more. We were a well-oiled machine. That is not to say we didn't miss Mikie. Of course, we did. But I was glad he was away having a good time.

And then IT happened.

Fun fact for you... I have a tendency to have strep throat every one to two years. When I have strep throat, I get a golf ball size lump on the right side of my throat. You can actually see it when you are standing directly in front of me.

As soon as the golf ball appears, I also have trouble swallowing because of pain and, well... the golf ball, you see.

Within a few hours after "receiving" the golf ball, I begin running a terribly high fever. (Once it got up to 101.6 degrees! If you haven't been able to tell prior to today's little story, I have ZERO pain tolerance!)

I woke up the morning after Mikie had left with a golf ball in my throat. What to do? What to do?

My parents had left town a week earlier for their fall vacation. My sister had three little ones of her own to take care of, and she certainly didn't need to be exposed to Golf Ball Strep. Naturally, the golf ball appeared on a Saturday, so my doctor's office was closed! It was going to be a long weekend.

As my illness progressed (and I felt worse and worse), I parented from the couch, and prayed for Mikie's bus to return home sooner than later.

The next day was much, much worse. I didn't even make it to the couch. I was in the floor all day. But it was going to be okay. Mikie was coming home early that very afternoon. We would survive.

And then I received "The Call." "Hi, Babe. We're going to be a few hours later than I had thought. The bus just broke down."

"What?" I croaked.

"The bus broke down. But they are sending another one to pick us up, and I'll be home around 8:00 or 9:00 tonight." Mike was a little in the dark about how sick I was. I hadn't told him I was "floor parenting," because I wanted him to have a good time and there really wasn't anything he could do about it since he didn't have his own transportation.

"I don't think I'm going to make it that long," I whispered.

"What are you talking about?" he asked.

"I didn't want to tell you until you got home, but I have 'Golf Ball Strep.' And it's bad. It's REAL bad!"

"Hang in there. I'll be home in a few more hours."

"Yeah. Well, I'm going to need to go to the Emergency Room when you get home."

"Belinda. It's a sore throat. I'll pick up some throat lozenges and Tylenol before I come home." Mike had grown accustomed to my over-dramatic illnesses... and it was obvious he had never suffered from Golf Ball Strep. A throat lozenge wasn't going to cut it!

"IF I am still alive when you get home, and IF I haven't already called an ambulance to take me to the hospital... I WILL NEED to go to the Emergency Room!" Then he said something about loving me, missing me and seeing me and the kids soon (blah, blah, blah)... and he was gone.

The kids were in bed after being semi-fed (peanut butter and Pop-Tarts) and semi-cleaned (sitting in a tub of water playing for a few minutes while I leaned against a toilet)... and I was semi-dead!

Mikie arrived home at 9:00 p.m., and my sister arrived at 9:05 to sit with the kids. I was ready. I had spruced up enough to head to the Emergency Room. I needed a shot. I wanted a shot. I didn't care what kind of shot. Anything to put me out of my misery.

"Belinda. It is just a sore throat. I think you could probably wait until the doctor's office opens in the morning. Here. I brought you some throat lozenges. Oh, and look. Here's some Tylenol."

I was too weak to kill him then, but I promised myself if I survived, he would pay later.

When we arrived at the Emergency Room, my Dad was waiting. He and Mom had just returned from their vacation, and he came to wait with us. I sat down and put my head on his shoulder while Tylenol Mike filled out the paperwork.

"You are burning up," my Dad said feeling my forehead.

"I know. It's up to 101.6," I whined.

"Well, it's okay. We're not leaving until they give you something to fix this," and I leaned against his comforting shoulder again.

Believe it or not, Golf Ball Strep is not a high priority in the Emergency Room. In fact, they'll take broken bones AND/OR bullet wounds before they see someone with Golf Ball Strep. Go figure.

By the time they did call me back, they correctly diagnosed me (Golf Ball Strep), gave me a prescription of antibiotics and some Tylenol for my raging fever. Daddy kissed me on my hot, smelly forehead and sent me home to recuperate.

But recuperate I DID NOT! Two days later, I wasn't any better. I called my doctor, and INSISTED on something stronger than the pills they had prescribed in the Emergency Room. They told me to "come on down," and they would "squeeze me in." Ahh. Four hours in a doctor's waiting room with three small children. Good times... good times.

Mom was available to drive and watch the kids in the waiting room, so off we went. After only TWO hours of waiting, they called me to the back. Hallelujah! Now, if I could only make someone listen.

"I need a shot. Something strong. Something potent. Something you would give an extremely sick horse. I have to be better soon. Do... you... understand?"

The nurse said she would be back in a minute... and when she returned she was carrying a tray. On the tray was a large syringe filled with Golf Ball Strep fixin' medicine.

I wasn't prepared for the size of the needle. I can take long, but this thing was thick, too. "Wow. That really, really hurts."

I wasn't prepared for the length of time the needle would stay inserted in my hip. "Wow. It's taking forever, isn't it?"

I wasn't prepared for how much the medicine would burn as it was slowly pushed into my body. "Wow. This is very unpleasant!"

During the five or ten minutes it took to administer the shot, she told me it was a B-12 shot. It was thick and it had to be pushed in slowly. Also, that was why the needle wasn't skinny... because of the thick medicine.

"You should feel better soon," she said as I left. I wondered when "soon" would come.

I had my answer one hour and 42 minutes later. "I actually feel better," I told Mikie over the phone. By the time he came home that afternoon, I felt like a human being again. By the next morning, my throat was not hurting, my golf ball was getting smaller and my fever was gone. B-12 was a miracle drug, I tell you!

The next year when I woke up with my annual Golf Ball Strep, I immediately called the doctor's office to schedule a B-12 shot.

"We don't just give B-12 shots. We would prefer you have a Z-Pack," the nurse responded.

"That's okay. I'm a B-12 kind of gal. I'll just stop by for my shot, and I'll be feeling great tomorrow!"

A little more back and forth with the nurse and all I received was the Z-Pack... which takes forever and a day to work.

I've asked for B-12 shots many times since that first shot almost 12 years ago. I have never been given another one. It makes me wonder. What is B-12? Does it no longer exist? Did someone kill all the B-12 plants in the rainforest making it impossible for pharmaceutical companies to provide this miracle drug? Do only "special" people get B-12? How do I become a "special" person?

That may be the only B-12 shot I ever receive, but I will always remember it fondly... and I will never stop searching for B-12. And one day maybe, just maybe, I'll find it again.

RANDOMNESS #2 - The Wednesday AFTER Tuesday (the 4th of July) with Judith - Simply put, Judith spent the night on the 4th, and we spent Wednesday together revisiting the baby pools and bubble machine.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Spending Time with RT - Little Man is trying new foods, blowing homemade bubbles AND drooling from the cutting of the teeth, all at the same time.

It makes for a lovely pic, doesn't it?

RANDOMNESS #4 - Tuesdays with Judith Combined with Splash Pad Fun with the Cousins - Before We met at the Splash Pad with Chick-Fil-A bags and boxes, Judith baked a batch of strawberry muffins using a mix, fresh strawberries and milk. She did an awesome job, and next time she gets to cut up the fruit all by herself!

Please tell me you know I'm kidding about the cutting up of the fruit.

Thank you!

She won't start doing that until she's at least three.

About the same time I start letting her boil water on the stove and use the hand mixer.

As always, the Splash Pad was a delight.

Sawyer was a little tentative for a few seconds, but then he got the general idea and all was good.

He gave RT the go-ahead, and while the little guys didn't get into it quite as much as Judith, I don't think they will mind going back.

Yep. This girl has some new playmates lined up for next time.

RANDOMNESS #5 - Spending Time with RT (AGAIN) - What can I say?

I'm totally in love with a toothless, drooling six month-old...

And I think I would say that even if he didn't belong to us.

RANDOMNESS #6 - Zoo Trip with Josh, Courtney, Judith, Sara Grace (Judith's Cousin) AND Donna (Courtney's Mom) - I'm almost 100 percent certain it was because Sara Grace was with her, but Judith conquered her fear of carousel animals on this particular trip.

In fact, when the time came to visit the camels, she didn't even hesitate.

She picked her camel and got on board.

Three of the sweetest girls I know.

When all is said and done though, I still think the Train is her fave.

Another day, another Splash Pad.

In my mind, this is what I think "joy" looks like.

I may be wrong...

But I don't think so.

Pinterest Stuff

A Few Fun Summer Activities for the Kiddos

Host a toy swap
Find local free museum days
Play restaurant and have the kids “make” lunch
Make a craft from Pinterest
Build a Lego castle with all of your extra bricks
Experiment and make your own popsicle flavors
Have a summer neighborhood book exchange
Set up play dates at different local parks
Attend a local dog show
Visit other town’s libraries
Visit the dog park (even if you don’t have a dog)

There were about 99 other things on the original list, but I think these were the most unique.

Have a fantastic rest of the week! I'll be back in a few days with one more July post and some ideas for family fun before the kids head back to school.

Take care!


The Enchanting Belinda
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