Sitting Pretty

IMG_4605-0.JPG
Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I can’t resist giving an updated account of Lucy’s progress.

*Lucy waits patiently for minutes after kibbles are poured and doesn’t eat until she hears, “Amen!”
*She can retrieve a few specific items from around our home like her bowl, her bone, and even her leash.
*When her water dish is empty, she brings it to me to ask for more.
*She releases items without a fight. She simply flops over and shows us her belly submissively.
*Upon return from a walk, she sits down and waits for her leash to be unhooked rather than tearing off in a panic.

We still need to work on her habit of jumping on company out of excitement. She even licks them on the mouth… It horrifies me. So does her tendency to beg at the table. I am hoping that Mr. S will work with her obedience on the leash, too. She pulls so…

She has gotten too smart for her own good and tries her best to disobey commands to get into her crate by hiding under our bed, cowering behind pillows, or simply sitting at the entrance and refusing to walk in.

2-Year Anniversary

Choosing joy today! And it’s easy to do!

Today, it’s been two years of marriage. Two years of the sweetest friendship this world has to offer.

Together or miles apart, the day is just as special. Together or apart, the covenant is just as strong. Together or apart, the goodness of the Lord’s blessing doesn’t increase or decrease.

IMG_4599.JPG

IMG_4597.JPGLove this lion-hearted man who’s as strong and steady as they come. His servant-minded attitude, his sense of humor, those kind blue eyes, and the way he says, “Yes ma’am,” all make my heart skip a beat.

Small Group Fall Gathering

We are blessed beyond measure to have a Small Group at church of people we love to pieces. Nothing sweeter than friends who encourage you in life and faith, and most importantly, who crack you up. There’s no lack of laughter when this group is together. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

IMG_4584Our amazing leaders are a husband and wife who have been in the lives of Mr. S and I for many years now. Since we were 19 and 20, they’ve taught us God’s word and hosted various groups in their beautiful home.

This weekend was her birthday (and our anniversary), so we decided to have some fun! We went to Shuckle’s Corn Maze, then everyone headed back to our place for some goodies, hot chocolate, spiced apple cider, coffee, pumpkin cake, cupcakes, and cookies were all enjoyed.

I think birthdays are the perfect excuse to have a little lot of sugar, don’t you? IMG_4581.JPGIt was so much fun to get our little apartment ready to host people who have hosted us time and time again.

IMG_4585.JPGCinnamon stick for cider and marshmallows for hot chocolate were the first things on my shopping list.

IMG_4583.JPGA thoughtful parent gave me these sweet paper tags, and they have brought me so much joy. Today, they were labels. They’ve also been place cards for dinner guests tied around napkin rings. I can’t wait to use them for gifts, too.

I searched desperately for pumpkin creamer, but alas, none could be found. IMG_4586.JPGNext was a local pumpkin patch. We played some games, and one couple was hilariously lucky and seemed to win everything. We took a hayride, watched the boys fly out of the biggest slide you’ve ever seen, picked out pumpkins, and got lost in a corn maze.

IMG_4587.JPGOne of the sweetest little baby girls you’ve ever seen in her Mamie’s arms. She took it all in and was probably the best “attraction” of the whole outing. 🙂 IMG_4563.JPGOne of our wonderful couples is expecting their first child. It is such a blessing to be able to rejoice with them! IMG_4594.JPGThe whole group! These faces make me smile.

IMG_4588.JPGWe gave one of our Bible teachers (the birthday girl) a card, and a dinner-and-a-movie date night. 🙂 My friend presenting a cupcake was the mastermind behind that idea. IMG_4589.JPGShowing her (happy-go-lucky, energetic, superhero, break-dancing) grandson the card. 🙂 IMG_4590.JPGLucy was thrilled to have a living room full of people. I was thrilled to have a living room full of people who tolerate and enjoy my hyper little pup.

Thankful to share life and celebrate seasons with these folks.

So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Romans 12:5

Froggy Fun

Today in Science, as I was rifling through an animal encyclopedia of sorts, I realized there were no amphibians to be found in my book. I could NOT find my original source to save my life… That can happen in a classroom shared with 28 children who are welcome to touch any materials they choose.

With a gaggle of first-grade children at my feet eagerly awaiting pictures and information, I muttered quietly to myself, “Oh… Please let there be some frogs in this book.”

Suddenly, a few of the children began to pray. For frogs, y’all. 🙂

And a kid yelled, “DEAR JESUS, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST LET THERE BE SOME FROGS!”
Another one said,
“Oh, Lord, pleeeaaaase let some amphibians appear!”
And a third exclaimed, “JESUS PLEASE GIVE US SOME FROGS. Amen.”

Apart from a few kindergarteners during my first year arguing about whether the trinity is comprised of three distinct persons or three in one (yes, it really happened one day in snack), today had to be my favorite kids-and-faith moment at school so far. 🙂

The great news is, The Lord answered their prayers faithfully and helped us to find frog facts after all (in another book).

I continued wordlessly as though nothing had transpired, but couldn’t help the huge grin on my lips.

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matt 18:3

It is with tears of gratitude that I give thanksgiving for this profession and opportunity to love on the sweetest children.

Fellow teachers, I pray for you. If you’re worried about whether your time with your students counts in the Kingdom, especially if you’re in the public school system and feel you have to “check your faith at the door,” I want to encourage you with this scripture:

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Matt 25:40

IMG_4492.JPG

Fall Around Here

Friends, I am yearning for Autumn to arrive. It has been a long, sometimes difficult Spring and Summer (whose lessons I wouldn’t trade for the world), but good things are in store, Lord willing, in this season.

Before Mr. S came along, this summer-loving “brown” girl couldn’t stand Fall. It meant the end of summer, no more of that sunblock smell (the best perfume there is), and the beginning of Tennessee winters. You may laugh if you’re from the North and think our winters are mild, but my Southern California roots couldn’t disagree with you more. Over 15 years in Tennessee and I still don’t like the cold.

My fair-skinned, blue-eyed man, though, LOVES a crisp chill in the air. He enjoys jeans, jackets, blankets, bonfires, s’mores, hot chocolate, and homemade pumpkin anything. Somehow, his adoration of the season has totally changed my mind.

Sorry for the dark pictures. In low light, my iPhone just doesn’t cut it.

IMG_4308.JPGI resisted going full-out Fall until mid September, but caved today and picked up these pretty little pumpkins. IMG_4310.JPGI swung by Mom and Dad’s on the way home to lop off some Japanese Maple and Magnolia branches for my little wooden “toolbox.”IMG_4306.JPGI nestled the pumpkins into the foliage. I love the slight tinge of purple just being revealed in a few of the maple leaves and the lovely rust on the underside of the magnolia leaves.

Magnolias are truly a favorite of mine. I adore driving by Vanderbilt’s campus downtown and admiring the majestic, giant ones lining the streets. IMG_4312.JPGIMG_4314.JPGIMG_4316.JPG

IMG_4196.JPGIMG_4318.JPGIMG_4304.JPGLooking forward to scarves, boots, plaid, cozy sweaters, knit throws, nature walks, cooler afternoon runs, apple cider, and all that loveliness.

Options…

Big changes around here!

I said “goodbye” to our huge entertainment center. It was pretty and functional, but I was ready for something much smaller and wanted to make room for another chair (what’s a living room for if not for hosting loved ones?).

The entertainment center, cherry coffee table, and matching side table all went to Brother’s first home! Yes, he bought his first place. And he’s got just the skills to fix it up and make it truly special.

IMG_3754.JPGI got a brand new, beautiful hutch for our dining area, so the little dresser-turned-buffet has become our entertainment center! Here’s an Instagram screen shot… IMG_4151I love this cozy reading corner for morning Bible Study and evening rest.
So the new challenge is what to do on the opposite side. And I swapped out the slipcovers from white to beige. I guess our seating follows the no-white-after-Labor-Day rule, too! 🙂 IMG_4153

 

In favor of symmetry, I can purchase an identical chair for the right side. It would be comfy and cozy, though I might skip a second ottoman at first to ensure that the room would still feel spacious.

IMG_4152.JPGThe second option would add texture and a natural color I love, but at a much smaller scale. I could include a small accent table for a drink, though. I am afraid, however, that the scale would be out of proportion…

So, soothing symmetry or added interest? I can’t decide! If you have an opinion, please share! 🙂

Also, I’m SO ready to add some fall coziness, but with temperatures in the 90’s, I’ll hold off a few more weeks.