Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Blog Linkage, Quotable Quotes, Pinterest Stuff (The Pumpkin Gospel Object Lesson), Destin in October AND Boo at the Zoo

Good Wednesday evening!

Blog Linkage - Below you will find an Object Lesson called The Pumpkin Gospel. I found this on a Pinterest Blog called Being Confident of This (www.beingconfidentofthis.com). This is an excellent object lesson AND blog for Christian mothers. Check it out if you get the opportunity.

Quotable Quotes - If I wanted to choose the perfect quote for me right this very minute in 2018, I think this would be it!

"Busy is a choice. Stress is a choice. Joy is a choice. Choose well." Ann Voskamp

Pinterest Stuff

The Pumpkin Gospel (Object Lesson)

Kids love holidays. They love pumpkins. They also love stories. Additionally, they need to be exposed to ideas over and over again for information to take root. The Pumpkin Gospel is a perfect Fall fit!


You will need a table to stand at and a medium to large sized, prepared pumpkin. To prepare the pumpkin... cut out a hole in the top and clean out the majority of the goo, but save it.

Next, cut out a face with eyes, nose and a smiling mouth, but save the pieces you remove. Then, put the removed pieces back into place so that the pumpkin looks uncut.

Set aside a few of the cleaner seeds to use at the beginning.

Then, put the rest of the gooey seeds and pulp back in the middle of the pumpkin and replace the top.

The idea is to have the majority of the work done ahead of time so you don’t have long pauses in your story/object lesson while you’re teaching The Pumpkin Gospel. You will also need a cookie sheet or tablecloth to contain the pumpkin mess during your story, and a candle and matches.

Pumpkin Gospel Story:

Once there was a Gardener who planted seeds in His garden (show clean pumpkin seeds). Each day the Gardener cared for the seeds. He watered them, pulled weeds from around them, and sheltered them from the heat of the sun. The seeds grew into seedlings, which developed into plants, until one day, they produced fruit... pumpkins! The pleased Gardener looked out at His garden and said, “It is good!”

One day, the Gardener went out into his field and picked a special pumpkin (place pumpkin on the table on top of a cookie sheet or tablecloth, etc. with the uncarved side facing the audience). It was a bit dirty from laying in the garden, so he brought it inside and gently wiped it off (wipe off exterior of pumpkin). Now the pumpkin looked clean on the outside, but what about the inside?

The Gardener took a knife and cut open the top of the pumpkin (pretend to cut open the top again and take it off). And what did He find? A bunch of slimy, yucky goo! (Show kids the goo – maybe even let them touch it if you have a small enough group.) The Gardener wanted His special pumpkin to be beautiful, so He carefully scraped out all of the goo inside until the pumpkin was as clean inside as it was on the outside! (Remove goo and throw away. Show children the clean interior.)

But the Gardener still wasn’t satisfied with the pumpkin. He decided it needed a face! So, He carefully cut out two eyes, a nose and a big smiling mouth. (Turn the carved side of the pumpkin to face the audience. Poke out the eyes, nose and mouth you carved out previously.) Now the Gardener’s special pumpkin looked clean AND happy.
br /> But the Gardener still wasn’t satisfied with the pumpkin. So He put a light inside of it (insert candle and light it). The pumpkin glowed so beautifully! The Gardener’s special project was complete.

When friends and neighbors saw the Gardener's special pumpkin, they marveled at how He took something ordinary from His garden, cleaned it inside and out, put His light inside, and made it something extraordinary!

We are like pumpkins and God is the Gardener. God creates us and cares for us. He “chooses” us from all of the other pumpkins, but inside we all have the yucky goo – sin. (Read Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23.)

Just like the Gardener cleaned out his pumpkin’s goo, God wants to clean out all our sin, too. He sent his Son Jesus to die for our sins, to take the punishment we deserved. (Read Romans 5:8, John 3:16 and 1 John 1:9.)

Just like the Gardener gave the pumpkin a new face, God makes us a new creation! (Read 2 Corinthians 5:17.)

Just like the Gardener put His light into the pumpkin to make it shine, so God gives us His light to shine through us! (Read 2 Corinthians 4:6 and Matthew 5:16.)

So when we let God clean out our sin by believing Jesus died to pay the punishment that we deserve, He turns us into new creations that can shine for Him! When others see our light, they might want to learn how to have a light of their own, too!

This is one of those Object Lessons that is not soon forgotten. Whether any of the kids you tell this story accept Christ as their Savior remains to be seen, but the "seed" will most definitely be planted in their hearts and minds.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Destin in October - Mike planned an October beach trip for the two of us this year.

This was odd for two reasons...

First, Mike isn't really a beach person; and

Second, Mike doesn't plan trips.


Also, Mike isn't one to get excited about a trip until maybe the day before we actually leave...

Sometimes not until we are one hour away from our destination.

All of the above being said just to let you know, this was very un-Mike-like behavior, but an interesting turn of events for me.

Of course, at the last minute, we watched all of the hurricane reports. I had already started looking for a place in the mountains as a replacement for the beach, but the day after Hurricane Michael hit, Mike called Destin, and they told us there was absolutely no damage at all to their area...

But total devastation a few miles down the road.

Saturday morning in the middle of October, we headed to the beach.

And while we were heading to the beach, Central Alabama started experiencing some much cooler temps.

Since Fall in Central Alabama lasts all of two to three weeks, I was a little bit worried about trading four whole days of Alabama Fall for four more days of finger-swelling, hair-frizzing, sweat-dripping humidity with 85 to 90 degree temps. It almost seemed disloyal.

However, I am happy to report I am now a fan of the October Beach Trip.

I LOVED walking into restaurants and not having to wait one to two hours for a table. Walking in, being seated and ordering PRIOR to the "weak-with-hunger" feeling that often accompanies going out to eat at the beach during peak season was SUCH a pleasure.

As is my practice whenever I am at the beach, I eat fried crab claws every night for dinner. Crab claws and key lime pie make me so happy it is ridiculous. It also makes me forget about my hatred of all things "humid."

We ventured out and tried something different this trip. We booked a sunset/dolphin cruise. It was a good thing!

Our captain did an excellent job of finding many, many dolphins, and it was just the most fun way to spend a late afternoon in October.

And as promised in the brochure, the sunset was pretty spectacular.

I enjoy a good bowling alley, and a few years ago, the kids and I went to Uncle Buck's Fish Bowl and played a few games waiting on Mikie to finish a meeting.

I am also a lover of themes, and Uncle Buck's did not disappoint.

Mikie beat me which isn't always the case, but every now and again he will get lucky!

Unless something changes my mind, October beach trips are now going to be one of "my favorite things." I may go ahead and try a November beach trip just to be able to make an educated decision about the best month to visit the ocean.

I will let you know my final decision in the next year or so...

Maybe, just maybe, I can get Mikie to run down to the ocean with me again in a couple of weeks.

I'll be honest...

The odds are not good!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Boo at the Zoo - Mike and I went to Boo at the Zoo with the Grand-Tots, assorted parents and grandparents this past Sunday evening, and much fun was had by all.

Judith dressed up as Owlette from PJ Masks and RT was Dennis the Menace.

Way back when I used to dress up (50 years ago!), we had horrible plastic masks held in place by a tight stretchy string across the back of our head. Rarely did I keep the mask on for any significant amount of time.

Nowadays, the masks are much more sophisticated and are made of soft fabric with Velcro fasteners. However, even with the improvements, Judith's Owlette mask slid around her face, but unlike her Nana 50 years prior, she was a real trooper and wanted to keep the mask on as much as possible.

I admired her greatly for wanting to stay true to her character. (It isn't ALL about candy, you know.)

I hope you and yours have a marvelous week and weekend. I'll be back before the end of the month to share some more pics, recipes, ideas, etc.

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Here are a few things I've picked up here and there and everywhere that I find humorous.

"Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's caffeine." Anonymous

"Remember that Winnie the Pooh wore a crop top with no pants and ate his favorite food and loved himself. You can too." (@veryjane Instagram)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What's That, Judith Day, RT Day AND Almost Everyone's Birthday Celebration

Good Wednesday morn!

RANDOMNESS #1 - What's That? - I believe I've talked in great detail about how much I HATE HAVING MY FACE TOUCHED by any human (big or small).

Also, I may have mentioned when Roxie was a tot, she loved getting as close to my face as was humanly possible and touching it with tiny fingers, so I am no stranger to a little girl's fascination with older faces.

Judith LOVES to touch my face. It is her favorite activity when she is visiting. This past week, she held my cheeks, checked on my chin(s), softly stroked my eyelashes, and I was good. I really was.

I answered all of her questions about freckles and wrinkles and beauty marks, etc., etc.

And then she asked me the one question that strikes fear into any Nana while being examined by a three year-old walking/talking microscope.

"What's that?"

She was staring at my nose, but I knew it wasn't going to be as easy as that.

"You know what that is, Judith," I replied.

She didn't blink. She leaned in and gave me a little kiss.

Then she sat up straight and said, "It's like Daddy's mustache, but not as big."

Then I sat up straight and said, "NO WAY!" and ran to the bathroom mirror.

Honestly, I could not see anything at all mustache-y under my nose or above my upper lip.



"You're wrong, Judith. There's nothing there," I told her.

"But I 'seed' it, and I 'feeled' it," she said.

Obviously, an eye exam and electrolysis are in my near future, and the sooner I accept the fact I am NOT aging gracefully, the better.

Also, I am thinking about purchasing a fun mask to wear when the Grand-Tots come over to play.

But then I would get hot...

And we all know how much I hate to be hot!

I think the only logical solution to this problem is to distract them with candy of their choosing when they start staring, touching and asking questions. I am pretty sure I can handle Grand-Tots on sugar highs much easier than constantly scheduling elective non-invasive facial procedures.


That is most definitely the wisest course of action!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Judith Day - Last week, as is our custom, Judith and I met her Pop at Chick-Fil-A for some mid-day nourishment which always includes ice cream.

Miss Priss has a unique way of eating ice cream.

It either ends up in her nose...

Or dripping down her chin.

There is no "in between."

RANDOMNESS #3 - RT Day - Little Man is in the phase of his life where he is ever-changing.

His personality, his face, his sense of humor.

If you blink, you'll most definitely miss something.

When I look at these pics years from now...

All I am going to be thinking...

Why did I put a five year-old in a Pack and Play?

Seriously though...

This is not the face of an almost two year-old!

Is it?

RANDOMNESS #4 - Almost Everyone's Birthday Celebration - Courtney, Roxie and Josh have birthdays in September and October which are incredibly close together. A couple of years ago, I started having a little combo birthday celebration because hosting three separate birthday parties in a 20-day span just isn't doable for me.

It's crazy, actually.

Roxie turned 22.

Courtney turned 27.

And Josh turned 25.

Judith. (First one to the big table!)

Uncle Tommy.


Zac, Sawyer, Roxie, Judith's sweet cousin, Judith, Courtney and RT.

Aunt Bev reading a story to Judith in the midst of birthday chaos!

This guy plays hard, but when he needs a little break, he'll empty and climb into this particular toy basket.

It would appear someone else needed a little down time in a toy basket.

I am happy to report they "shared" this space without incident.

Basically, two toddlers in a smallish toy basket at the same time have the ability to appear totally unaware of the other's presence.

I think they are both destined for very happy marriages one day!

Just maybe not to each other.

Sawyer and RT talked and made some plans to get together for Thanksgiving.

I think.

They can be pretty hard to follow sometimes.

Oh! Did I tell you this year I made birthday pies.

Courtney wanted an apple pie...

Josh wanted a pumpkin pie...

And Roxie wanted pecan.

(Melia supplied a delicious chocolate cake in case autumnal pies weren't everyone's favorite.)

For the first year EVER, I didn't take pictures of the birthday desserts until AFTER we had started eating.

You can't tell, but Courtney's apple pie had a big pastry "C" in the middle of it. (A big pastry "R" and "J" graced Roxie and Josh's pies.)

My only excuse... If Courtney is 27 and Josh is 25 and Roxie is 22, that would make me 57!

We're lucky I remembered to bake the pies in the first place!

I hope y'all have a good week and a great weekend. I hear the temp is going to be below 90 degrees, and I think that is absolutely thrilling.

Talk to you soon.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. I'm missing a pic of our newest addition, Carly Beth (Sawyer's baby sister). I tried, but at three months, she is very good at pulling her dress up over her face every time I snapped. I will remedy this in the next week or two. I'm going to go hold this little one for a bit. (Her Mama said I could!)
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