Friday, September 29, 2006

Fondue? or Fondon't?

The other day I had to be to work by 7:30, which means I was leaving the house a little before 7:00. It was a beautiful day and this was the picture as I looked out over the hills as I was driving!
I am so not a morning person, but this picture makes me want to be one!!

I had a previous post about this place that puts out tons of lawn ornaments. The started off with flamingos, then to penguins and now back to famingos! So random!

Here is the Capital Building at night. It is so cool!
Hilary and I just got an apartment and we move in on Monday! It is only about 6 blocks from the capital! So when you are going down the street to get to our place you can see this!!
It's GREAT!!

This is one of my favorite things...
HEB's version of Dr. Pepper! LOVE IT!

Last night we had one of our last dinners with the Stephen's family and we had a fondue night! It was wonderful!

Don't Mess With Texas

The "Don't Mess With Texas" slogan won with over 400,000 votes as the best-known litter prevention slogan in history, and has joined the ranks as one of the best slogans of all time!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Grab A Loop, Battling Tops

So I was on this website the other day looking at old vintage games and toys and I came across this classic!!!! Oh yes...Grab A Loop!!
My sisters, cousins and I would play this game in our grandparents basement every Christmas when we would all get together. It consisted of these belts that you would strap on and each belt had a certain number of loops attached to it and the goal was to try and grab people's loops! We would SCREAM!!! The excitement and also the terror of someone grabbing your loop caused us to let out the most horrifying scream! My Grandma would come running down thinking that someone had been killed. She finally got rid of the game. We were all very sad. It is still topic of conversation when we all get together!

Another game that we enjoyed in our grandparent's basement was Battling Tops.
The battle to see who's top could remain standing! You had a little white launcher with a string attached that you would wind around your top. You would put it in your little launch station and pull so that your top would go at maximum speed to win the battle. The tops would go at it for awhile sometimes spinning around the arena, or sometimes bumping into each other...I can still hear the sound! Sometimes if you were daring you would take your launcher and with the string you would play "jumprope" with the top. Yeah, you were cool if you did that. I think one of the coolest parts of the game were the names of the tops...each one had their own name... Hurricane Hank, Twirling Tim, Smarty Smitty, Dizzy Dan, Tricky Nicky and Super Sam. My grandma eventually got rid of this game at a garage sale...but wait...good news...I bought it back for 25 cents! It's living at my sister's house!

Carrie, Gret, Jill and Laura- I wish I could be with you when you read this post!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

'How Can I Keep From Singing'

Chris Tomlin's new CD came out yesterday, GO and get it! It is fabulous!
One of the songs that has been amazing in church is "How Can I Keep from Singing"

"There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne!

OH I LOVE IT!!! As I was typing these lyrics I just felt joy inside of me!! I LOVE the line that says..."I can sing with my last breath...sing for I know...That I'll sing with the angels...And the saints around the throne!"
I am caused to sing when I think about what God has done for me and how He has rescued me, comforted me, cleansed me, healed me, LOVED me at the cross!
Good stuff people!

"That girl Emily with the curly hair."

I got an email yesterday from my friend Shadley and she sent these pictures and said that her little girl Eden, who is 3 almost 4, drew. It's a picture of a family and as she was listing of the names of the people in the family she came to one and said, "That girl Emliy with the curly hair". She is so sweet!! Here are the pictures, one of the whole family and one close up on me!! LOVE IT!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Saturday Night at The Gristmill

This last weekend I got together with some old high school friends who are now living in San Antonio! We met halfway in New Braunfels and had dinner and walked around to some old shops. It was so much fun! We ate at the Gristmill, it was in an old barn-like place and they had big wooden tables to eat at and we first ate outside, it was a beautiful night until the rain came! HARD! So we picked up our plates and ran for shelter! We ended up sitting at this table with a bunch of other people! It was fun!
Here is Katy and Ellen!
Beautiful girls! It was so fun to catch up and talk about life.We went into this old General Store and we started being goofy!
This is one of my favorite looks! Look how HUGE my glasses are!!
Again...BIG glasses!
We had a thing for the sunglasses!
I was almost peeing my pants we were laughing so hard!

This pictures is for my you remember playing this on our family vacation roadtrips?! AUTO BINGO!!
Here is a picture of the largest dance hall in Texas!
We tried to get in but the tickets were sold out!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Some more... cute pictures!

Laura asked the boys what they wanted to show me and then she took a picture of it and sent it to me with all of the other pictures. This is what Noah wanted to show me...
He can write his name now!! Way to go Noah!
He did a good job sharing!
And he also wanted to show me the grass stains on his pants!
Here is a sword that Jack drew and colored. He is an amazing artist!
He must have gotten that from his grandma!!

I gave Jack a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble
for his birthday and this is what he got! He's so sweet!

Some More Incredibly Cute Picutres of Sweet Lily

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Cool Kids

My sister sent me a digital camera card of pictures. I was so excited to get it!! It had lots of pictures of the kids and thought that Iwould share some of my favorites. They are soooo cute!

Here is Jack at his birthday party, he turned 10!!

Here is little Lily at the zoo, being a fashion model with her purse & a cheerleader!

Here is Noah being a cool dude!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sweet Little Man!

My sister Jill emailed this story to me the other day and I have to share it! This is my nephew Will, he is 6 and in the 1st grade!
"Last night at AWANAS (the first meeting) one of the leaders was sitting in a little tent, "afraid" to come out because it was her first time at AWANAS. (They were trying to appeal to the first time kindergartners). And they said that if you're feeling nervous or scared you can put your hands together and pray, and God and all his angels will comfort you and make you feel better. A kid piped up and said, "we don't know if that's true" and the leader was like "if what is true?" and the kid said, "if God is really true". There were 60-70 kids in this room, k-2nd grade. And out of all those kids, Will speaks up and says, "Yes we do. We know that God is true because everything in the whole bible is true." The leader, who was at a loss for words, latched on to this, and made Will stand up and repeat what he'd said so that everyone could hear it. So he went on to explain how Will was right, God can't tell a lie, everything he says is true and we can believe it."
Isn't that a great story!! I was so proud of him! Damon and Jill were so proud too! What a little man!! I wish I had that boldness!

Beautiful Night

Last night I had the windows down in the truck as I was driving home and it was so beautiful! It was 78 degrees and the roads were clear. There are a lot of hills and curvy roads on the way to the Stephens house. I had my music cranked and I felt like I was gliding! I was reminded of how much I love driving with the windows down. There is something about it that makes me so thankful, so I was reflecting on all of the amazing things God has done to show Himself faithful. It was beautiful!

Lots of Bats...millions

Last night Hilary and I went downtown. We ended up seeing the craziest thing! Every summer night between March and October hundreds of people gather at the Congress Ave Bridge to see the largest urban bat colony emerge from under the bridge! Every night at dusk 1.5 million bats storm out from under the bridge. It has become a huge tourist attraction. They estimate that they eat from 10,000-20,000 pounds of insects! I am thankful for that!
We started off on top of the bridge looking down on them, but it was hard to see because it was dark and we were looking down on the dark water. So we went down under the bridge and stood next to the water.
It was so scary! I seriously thought that they were going to fly and hit me on the head and get stuck in my hair.
It was so freaky! There were so many of them, and the sound was really scary!

The above pictures are ones that I found online, the pictures that I took of the bats didn't really turn out. But this is a picture that I took as we were waiting for them, standing on the bridge. I LOVE this picture because it's a great picture of downtown Austin! Isn't it great!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Photographer? Plumber?

I thought this was such a funny picture that Sharon sent me from when they went to the Iowa game. It had to be posted!!

Snap into a SlimJim

This is one of my new favorite things! There is just something about it that is GREAT! I know they are kind of gross, but they are good!
slim jim


So my brother-in-law, Joe, thinks that he is the funniest guy in the world! He posted some comments on a previous post and pretended to be me. So "we" were having a conversation back and forth. it was pretty funny! I had a good laugh about it! Everytime I call them and he answers the phone, he always has to do some sort of "cowboy" thing like yell "YEEE HAAW" or he will ask me if I have gotten any wrangler jeans yet. Or one of my favorites..."have you lasoed any bulls yet? You better go put something on that rope burn!" He likes to joke around, so when I saw his comments, it was very typical...but this was pretty clever! Laura said that he was chuckling to himself as he was writing it!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Austin Stone has a new website and now has sermons available through itunes. You can get them for free. Check it out, all you itunes lovers. If you don't have itunes, you can still listen to them! CHECK IT OUT! It's so good!

Buns and Pickles

So I have to "blog" about a comment that my sister made regarding coming home for Thanksgiving. She said, "If you don't make it home we will be sure to mail you buns and pickles."
So when I was little, at Thanksgiving, I would only eat buns and pickles. Nothing else. No turkey, no stuffing, no mashed potatoes...just buns and pickles. So it's been a running joke in my family about me eating buns and pickles. It then turned into my items to bring to the Thanksgiving dinner. looks like if I don't make it back, I may be back to eating just buns and pickles for Thanksgiving!

74 Degrees!

Tonight in Austin the weather is beautiful! It's 10:35pm and it's 74 degrees! I hear it's cold in Iowa! 50 degrees!? I'm still wearing tank tops and skirts! I love it!
I was playing outside with the boys tonight and enjoying the evening, then talked to my friend Em on the phone while I laid on the trampoline and looked at the stars. I'm thankful I am here. I'm missing my family and my friends back home. I hear stories and get pictures, but it will be so nice to see them and hug and kiss those kids! And spoil them!! I will be the aunt from Texas that comes home and brings them laso sets! (see previous post)

Jobless No More!

Well, folks, I have a job!!
It is so unexpected, but it's so fun how this all worked out.
Right now I have been a temp nanny for a family who is waiting for their nanny to start. It is for a 2 month old little girl, Charlotte, and it's been full time and so great!
I have been looking into finding a family to nanny for permanently, but nothing has really come up. I started to explore different options in case the nanny thing didn't work out. I randomly sent my resume to a company that was looking for a receptionist and they called me in for an interview last Thursday and then offered me the job on Friday!! (originally they were going to do some more interviewing and was going to make a decision by the first week of October!) I took the weekend to think and pray about it and today I called them and accepted their offer.
It was not what I thought I would be doing. I was sort of ready to be out of the office scene, but I felt like God was saying..."Here ya go, Em, I'm providing for you! Are you going to trust me?"
I would have been foolish to pass this up. It has amazing pay and amazing benefits. They have health, dental and vision insurance and the company pays 100%!
I know that this doesn't have to be forever, but for now it will be great.
Hilary and I are looking at an apartment that is 3 minutes away from the office! That will be nice too!
I start on October 9th. Originally the family that I am nannying for needed me until the 13th of October, but when I told them about my job and how they were wanting me to start on the 9th, she said that her permanent nanny had called and told them that she could start on the 9th!!! hmmmm...interesting isn't it!? !
I love how this is all working out!!
I knew that God would be faithful in providing and that it would be better than what I could come up with!

"Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name give glory, for Your mercy and loving-kindness and for the sake of Your truth and faithfulness!"
Psalm 115:1

God is faithful!

I am looking for flights right now to see if I can find cheap tickets to come back home for Thanksgiving. I will have Thursday and Friday off so it will be a short trip but would LOVE to come home. Right now it's not looking good. I have only found tickets in the $500 range. I hope that it works out.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Tonight at church they made an announcement that our worship leader, Chris Tomlin, has been contacted by TIME magazine! They want to do an article on him and will be interviewing him this week! They said that they were doing some research and his name kept coming up and they believe that he is one of the most influential people. His music is sung all around the world.
So pray for him this week that God would flood him with words to say that point straight to Jesus. Pray that the editors would not cut out anything and that they would accurately show Chris' passion for Jesus' name to be known throughout the world, not his own name.

You have to check out his new CD coming out at the end of September. "See the Morning". We have been singing these songs in church and they are amazing! All of you worship leaders get these songs and be blessed! They have blessed me so much! I'm excited for you to get your hands on them!

"Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." —Psalm 30:5

Here is an article from

We tremble under the weight of news reports. We shudder as cultural pillars appear to be crumbling. Yet God's commitment to all life remains unshakable. Rain washes dry roots. The sick experience healing. This is life's resurrection by the hand of God: Dawn always breaks into morning over humanity's dark night of the soul.

Inspired by the psalmist who describes God's ongoing work as provoking new beginnings, award-winning singer/songwriter Chris Tomlin releases See The Morning. After 15 years of writing songs for the church, Tomlin's new 11-track album shows joy remains possible even in the messiness of life. Praise to God is not just for life's prosperous seasons it's a constant way of living with hope.

"See The Morning expresses the idea that God's as faithful as the rising sun," explains Tomlin. "Though your life may be shifting all around you and it may be dark, there is hope." Chris cites empowering Biblical stories from Psalms, Exodus, Lamentations, Joshua, Isaiah and some accounts of Jesus' miracles in the gospels to draw a resolute conclusion. "From these stories I'm inspired to notice morning as an incredible symbol in Scripture. Morning is brand new. It's fresh. It's new life. That while the darkness came and was for a while, light is breaking through into morning."

"That's the hope I want to help people grab with this album," Tomlin says.
See The Morning started to emerge following the far-reaching success of Tomlin's 2004 sixstepsrecords/ Sparrow Records release Arriving. That record delivered a call to the Christian church to pursue life-renewing worship, and it indelibly reinforced Tomlin's distinction as the voice of today's modern expression of Christian worship. The songs breathed vitality into both corporate and devotional worship music, creating a ripple effect like nothing Tomlin had previously experienced.

Arriving gave Tomlin his first RIAA-certified gold record and made radio history by producing three No. 1 singles and three songs in the R&R AC Top 30 simultaneously (two of those in the Top 10). Tomlin led all artists this spring with 10 GMA Music Award nominations, capping off the Christian music industry's April ceremony with five statuettes, including standout awards for Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year. The recording also caused the church to sing, with "How Great Is Our God" and "Holy Is The Lord" landing in the top 15 of the most sung CCLI songs, and bringing his total CCLI charting songs to 17 being sung by tens of millions of worshipers around the world. This season also successfully perpetuated Tomlin's celebrated participation in the popular, college-focused Passion conferences.

Grateful for these opportunities, the accolades also bring Tomlin the added weight of responsibility and concern for the human condition.

"The more I live, the more I see that life is not fair," the Austin, Texas-based musician says. "Around the world, I've been exposed to much poverty and sickness. I hear about what people are going through, and I realize that some are not as blessed as others. The world is full of discouragement. I think God wants to give us all great compassion for I want to use my voice to write songs that serve as a reminder to people that Jesus' life provides hope for us all. Not just in the good times, but in the bad times, as well."

"Hebrews says, 'Therefore through Jesus let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that praise his name and do not forget to do good and serve others, for which such things God is pleased,'" Tomlin continues. "I hope this music serves others. With worship music there is a revival. The spirit of God grows in people's hearts. To worship him is not only to sing our hearts out to God but also to love and serve people and to meet people where they are. Hopefully I can give voice to some songs that help people do just that."

Combining the artist's strong signature hooks and accessible choruses with the production expertise of the award-winning Ed Cash, who also produced Arriving, See The Morning is imbued with a community spirit, as evidenced by the number of contributing songwriters. Tomin is joined by Cash and Matt Redman in the opening track that anchors the theme of hope, "How Can I Keep From Singing," a rendition of the 1860 hymn by Robert Lowry:

How can I keep from singing your praise/ How can I ever say enough/ How amazing is your love How can I keep from shouting your name/ I know I am loved by the King/ And it makes my heart want to sing

Hope also resonates vigorously on "Rejoice" (the track from which the album's title is drawn), as well as on the beautiful first radio single "Made To Worship." Producer Cash, who encouraged Tomlin to record what became his first No. 1 radio hit, "Indescribable," brought Tomlin the chorus that he and Stephen Sharp had written for "Made To Worship." Tomlin finished writing the song and audiences nationwide are responding, as it has already become a national radio hit.

The album further features the high-energy "Let God Arise" as a rowdy, rambunctious track inspired by Psalm 68:1 and affirming that death does not get the final word over humanity.

"You cannot play something titled "‘Let God Arise" as a ballad at 75 beats a minute," Tomlin laughs. "We, as a band [Jesse Reeves (bass), Daniel Carson (guitar) and Travis Nunn (drums)] love to play loud and get people going. This is our rock and roll song." Often testing new songs like that one on the road and in churches before deciding to record them, "Everlasting God," written by Brenton Brown and inspired by Isaiah 40, is already a staple chorus at Austin Stone Community Church, which Tomlin co-founded in 2002.

Closing the album is "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)," a new rendition of the classic hymn. "I wasn't sure I wanted to mess with the most recognized hymn ever," Tomlin admits. But after researching the song, he discovered the famous John Newton hymn has withstood previous editors. Reviving an original verse that had lost popular favor over the years, combined with a new chorus co-written with Passion founder/director Louie Giglio, Tomlin rekindles a church standard for a new generation of worshipers.

"My chains are gone/ I've been set free/My God, my Savior has ransomed me And like a flood His mercy reigns/ Unending love, Amazing grace!"

As millions of people around the world are already singing his songs every week at collegiate gatherings, worship services, concert settings and as they sing along with radio, perhaps like the famous hymn from Newton, the songs of Chris Tomlin will live on in the hearts and through the voices of worshipers for generations.

"I want to write songs that last more than a few weeks on the radio," Tomlin reflects. "I feel like God's given me a gift to write songs for the average person that help them communicate their feelings to God. And For See The Morning, and really all my songs, I hope they will be ones that bring people closer to God, so much so that they are sung long after I'm gone."

It has been such a privilege to be a part of this church and to have these guys lead us in worship. Their hearts are so humble, and it is clear that they cry out to God and live for Him. It doesn't feel like a concert, it doesn't feel like I come to church to hear them play. It is about coming and experiencing God and recognizing who He is and making His name GREAT! They are being used by God with the gifts that He has given them, to bring glory to His name. It's not about these guys, it's about JESUS!

ACL Fest Day 3

Day 3 of ACL Fest:
The school that we have church in is right across the river from Zilker Park which is where the festival is held. There were so many people down there, it was unbelievable, it was kind of hard to get to church, I was really late. Hopefully tomorrow this town will be back to normal!

Here were some of the bands today:
MUSE, Sam Roberts, Jack Ingram, Son Volt, G. Love & Special Sauce(yeah!), Kathleen Edwards, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Ween, The Stills, KT Tunstall, Matisyahu, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, The Flaming Lips, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

After church Andy, the worship guy, started playing Free Fallin' with the band, since Tom Petty was playing tonight! It was hilarious!
As we were leaving church, since it was so close, we could hear the music and I realized that it was Tom Petty playing. So we listened for awhile and got to hear "Last Dance with Mary Jane" and "I Won't Back Down". It was very cool! I live here!! FUN!
Here is a picture from last night. Willie Nelson!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

"Ride Sally Ride"

Today I babysat for a family and I took the kids to meet their mom at a carnival! We walked around and played games and one of the games that we played was the spinning wheel game. So you spin the wheel you get a prize depending on where the wheel stops. There was a "jackpot" prize and you could either pick a large prize could have this...

It's a laso kit! It comes with a laso rope and an instructional video on how to laso and how to be cowboy and also a cassette tape of country songs!! Not a CD, a cassette tape!
I actually spun the wheel a couple of times to try and win it but I didn't get it. One of the kids got it though! Hopefully the next time I babysit I can show 'em my skills!! I do know how to laso with a foot long twizzler! "Ride Sally Ride!!" (that was for my ya ya sisters!!)

ACL Fest: Day 2

Day 2:
Here are some of the bands that were going on today...

Pierre Guimard, Ghostland Observatory, Federico Aubele, Galactic, The Secret Machines, Los Lobos, Aimee Mann, String Cheese Incident, Iron and Wine, Centro-matic, Ben Kweller, The Shins, The Raconteurs, Willie Nelson, Massive Attack

I wasn't totally thrilled about this schedule. I don't know many of these bands. Although I would have loved to have seen Willie Nelson...classic.
Tomorrow's schedule is GREAT!


It is 11:34 pm and it's 91 degrees out and humid.

ACL Fest-Day One

Here are some pictures that I found on the ACL website that I thought were cool. These were taken on Day 1.

Gnarls Barkley

This picture reminded me of our little band joke..."I can't hear you! Are you ready to rock!?...From the front to the back!! From the front to the...front!"
(sorry, only band people will think that is funny!)

Deadboy and the Elephantmen.
(I don't know anything about this band, but they have a chick drummer...that's cool!)