February 26, 2010

Friday Fun!!!


I won a GORGEOUS necklace several weeks back from my friend Nicole's blog. 

Here it is!!  Isn't it beautiful??!! 

This is the first thing I have ever won from a blog.  I was so excited to get it!!  Thanks a million, Nicole!!!!  OR should I say Thanks Brynne, for drawing my name??! 

February 25, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

It's Thursday and I wanted to share some photos with you.

These are some sweet, sweet boys that spent a weekend with us over the summer.  These young boys are from Africa.  They are part of a children's choir that comes to our church every other year.  We were a foster home for them while they were here.  Aren't they sweet??

We had soooo much fun with them this weekend.  We did a lot of activities.  We were all exhausted by the time it was over but very thankful that we got to share our home and time with these lovely children!! 

Here we are bowling at our local bowling alley.  They were so silly!!

Looking cool in our sunglasses while playing a video game.

Here's the entire group that came to our church last year.  Their choir is UNBELIEVABLE!!
Children of the World Choir.

These children will melt your heart!!

February 23, 2010

The Amazing Race: Valentine's Edition 2010

Here we go....I want to fill you in on what the girls put together for our husbands last Friday.  My real life and bloggy friend Nicole found a great idea on another blog:  My Insanity.  When she asked me and two other of our girlfriends to be a part of this (six weeks ago), I was immediately on board!! Soooo, here's how it went:

We all met at the Breese's home. We told our husbands we were all going to go out together for supper and we were meeting there to decide where we all wanted to go. Hee-Hee The girls disappeared back into a bedroom to change into our matching T-shirts.

Nicole, Berry, Deidra and Tamara

It was so funny when we came out because we had to track down one husband that was on the phone with a restaurant making reservations for us to eat.  ha-ha-ha!!!  They were all so shocked when we came out with matching shirts on and handed each of them their "uniform".  The mood of the room immediately went to an "oh no....what are they doing to us".  It was sooo funny!!

Jeff, Nick, Rick and Jace

The Breeses, The Olinghouses, The Taulmans and The Conners

After putting on the "uniforms", we read them the rules of the race:
1. They had to wear their uniform at all times.
2. They had to follow the clues and complete all Roadblocks.
3. They had to video each Roadblock being completed.
4. They had to use the pouch of money to buy each of us a gift.
5. They had to get each of us a bouquet of flowers without spending any money.

Then we took away everyone's wallet & cell phones.  The person driving got to keep his drivers license and cell phone.  We also gave them a PINK pouch full of $1.10 in pennies. 

Their first clue read: 
It's time to make those cards, but in order to do it right, you'll need to go to the store, where Nicole makes memories on a Friday night.

They were to go to the local scrapbook store and make a card for each one of us.  Unbelievable (hee-hee) there was an actual crop going on that night.  The guys had to go sit in the crop room with all of the other women and make a card for us.  Here's a peek at what that looked like: 

I wish I could repeat the stories these guys had to tell.  The most memorable one was the stories of the other women in the crop room texting their husbands about what our men were doing there.....LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
After making each of us a card they were given their second clue:
Now you're heading to an Island, where you'll have a Funtastic time. You'll be swinging and sliding, and finding a clue when you climb.

We have a huge new play area (Funtastic Island) where we had hidden their clue earlier.  One of the guys had to climb up in all of the slides and ramps to find the clue.  My hubby was the lucky one that decided to do that task.

Here he is looking for the clue.

And here he is after finding the clue.

The third clue (found in the slides) read: 
Next drive across town, to a Firestone who is a delight. One of you will perform a Roadblock, that's sweet and spicy and such a fright.
Firestone is the last name of a lady in our church.  She had a treat of worms and chocolate covered crickets ready for someone to eat.  I don't have a picture of that for some reason. 
After that roadblock, they were given their fourth clue:
Your next stop is a pizza place, near Uptown not down. Hopefully they'll be love in the air with your tune, and not (A)more frowns.
This was a local Italian pizzeria in town called Andolini's.  Here they were supposed to sing "That's Amore" to the patrons in the shop.  The two left in the group that had not done a roadblock were to do this portion. 
When they completed that, they were to pick up the food that we had ordered and they also got their fifth clue:
Now go (b)o(w)ling, not to the alley but the house. There you'll find your prize: not a million, but your spouse.

This lead them to their ultimate prize - US!!  We were at the Olinghouse residence.  Cute huh??  We had created a great tablescape for all of us to sit and eat our dinner and enjoy the stories.

After eating a dinner and listening to the guys tell stories of the evening, we all went into the living room and anxiously waited for our cards, gifts and flowers.  I could not wait to see what they came up with.

Nick gave Deidre a package of bulbs for his flowers and a kneeling mat he purchased from the dollar tree.

Jace gave Berry a flower arrangement he got from the Firestone residence (when he ate the bugs).

Rick gave Nicole a flower made out of paper from the scrapbook store and a Valentine wood block decoration that he also got from the Firestone residence.  It's funny they were asking for things when they went places!!

Jeff got me a bouquet of roses from the Dollar Tree and Andolini's (the pizzeria where they sang) let him have the bear I am holdingin my hand.  The bear sings "That's A'more" cute is that!!  His card was the highlight...Here's what it said inside:
HAHAHAHAHA!!!  I got the biggest laugh out of this!!

After everything was over and we sat and chatted and laughed some more, we gave our hubbies candy bars with this note attached:

After a wonderful evening of laughs, fun, food and fellowship, we all left with our sides hurting.  What an evening!!  Our husbands were such great sports to do this with us.  I can't wait to see what we plan next!!  Thanks guys!!

Sealed with a kiss!!!!
I hope you enjoyed your Valentine as much as we did!!

February 22, 2010

Valentine Plans

I CAN'T BELIEVE WE PULLED IT OFF!!!!  Myself and three girlfriends have been planning a wonderful event for our husbands for six weeks now.  This past Friday, WE DID IT WITHOUT THEM KNOWING ANYTHING!!!  hahaha  It was soooo much fun!!  I want to post everything right now and let you know but I can't do it without pictures to go along with this.

I am soooo excited to share this wonderful evening with all of my friends and family!! Stay tuned for more to come.  Waiting on my friends to share their pics with me.

Here's a hint:

February 18, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

I've decided in the spirit of trying to get my little rear in gear and keep posts coming on a weekly basis, to post a picture of something random every Thursday.  Hope I can remember!!  May have to put it as a calendar event with a reminder alarm.  ha-ha

Guess where this is:

If you guessed Hard Rock, you are correct.  Not the restaurant but the CASINO.......YES, my children are at the casino!! ha-ha  We took my husband's mother out to eat one evening in the fall and she wanted to go to Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill.  It was fairly new at the casino so we all met and had a wonderful dinner.  On the way to take her to her car, the kids and I piled into the backseat and started a private photo shoot.  Here's the results....  WARNING:  A tad goofy!!

I started off by trying to get a nice picture of all of us. 
Obviously my daughter didn't want to cooperate....haha

Then we decided to just take pictures of different emotions.




We had so much fun that night with the camera.  There were many giggles and laughs coming from the backseat of that vehicle.  Not so much from the front!!  I think they thought we had lost our minds....haha...little did they know that was done a long time ago!!!


February 15, 2010

Valentines Day Recap

As you know (from my previous post) my grand plans for the weekend were kind of spoiled due to me mixing up schedules.  The hubby and I did get out on Sunday and enjoy an entire day to ourselves.  It was super nice to just chill out, not have a schedule to keep and just do whatever we wanted.  As soon as church was over hubby and I went to grab some lunch.  We decided to go to Tulsa and take our time with lunch.  I talked him into eating at Cheddar's....YUM!  We haven't eaten there in years.  It was so nice and laid back.  We were hoping to attend the 3:00 showing of Avatar at the IMAX but found out while waiting for lunch that that time was sold out.  We then decided to stay in town and wait for the 6:30 showing. 

As stated before, we ate our lunch without being rushed.  We just sat and enjoyed each others company.  After wasting about 2 hours on lunch, we decided to go to the mall and look around.  Hubby wanted to go to the apple store anyway, because of some issues with the new phone we upgraded to.  We did not buy anything....we just walked and looked and enjoyed our time.

When we bought our tickets to see Avatar, they told us to be an hour early to get in line.  That was the only real time factor we had on our day.  It worked out soooo perfectly.  I have never been one to say I am very frugal but in one area I definitely am.  We stopped at QuikTrip to get pop and snacks to sneak into the movie.  I do refuse to pay the prices of concessions at the's absurd!!  We waited in line for probably 45 minutes before we got to go into the theater.  I did not know this but found out that my hubby had never been to an IMAX.  This was his first experience.  How fun that I got to share in that!! 

Let me just say that after 3 hours of watching Avatar in 3D, I felt exhuberant!!  What a FABULOUS movie!!  If you haven't seen it, you MUST!!!  This was one of the best movies that I believe I have seen in a long long time.  The 3D effect at the IMAX is to die for!!  If I was doing a review for this movie, I would definitely give high marks on every aspect!!  I kind of want to go see it again. 

Well, a laid back day turned into a laid back night at home and preparations to start another week in the Conner-Mock Blend.  All in all, my Valentine's Day couldn't have been any more perfect!  A fiasco turned into a time of refreshing.  The good Lord above knows what we all need at the right time.  It's funny how you make these grand plans at times, only to have them terminated by something and the plans that come out of that seem to be even more perfect than before.  I hope that makes sense to you.  I hope that your valentine's day was just as lovely as mine was. 

February 13, 2010

Valentine Plans a Bust!!

Well, I had great plans for our Valentine weekend and they are now no longer in effect.  What a bummer!!!  I completely messed up with scheduling.  I had thought that my daughter's retreat was to start on Saturday and go through Sunday.  When I started looking at schedules, I realized it didn't start until Sunday and go through Monday.  That completely messed up the plans I had made for Jeff and I.  Oh well!!!

Here's what I had planned:  I had a romance package reserved at a local four star hotel here in the area.  Along with that executive level room came a dinner reservation and breakfast the next morning.  Along with long stemmed rose, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne in the room when you checked in. 

Instead, Jeff and I are going to get some sushi with friends tonight.  Then tomorrow we are going to go to the movies together after my daughter leaves for retreat.  The rest of the evening will just be whatever we want to do.  We will probably spend a little time out in Tulsa shopping.  Maybe this is actually what we need.  I did begin questioning spending the money on a hotel room package.  I guess all things work together for the good huh?  Trust me, there are other plans in the making for a little later.  I'll fill you in on that at another time.

What are your plans for Valentine?  Did they fall through or was it a success?  Can't wait to hear what other people have done!!

February 12, 2010

Love & War Book Review

What the Eldredge bestsellers Wild at Heart did for men, and Captivating did for women, LOVE & WAR will do for married couples everywhere. John and Stasi Eldredge have contributed the quintessential works on Christian spirituality through the experience of men and the experience of women and now they turn their focus to the incredible dynamic between those two forces.

With refreshing openness that will grab readers from the first page, the Eldredges candidly discuss their own marriage and the insights they’ve gained from the challenges they faced. Each talks independently to the reader about what they’ve learned, giving their guidance personal immediacy and a balance between the male and female perspectives that has been absent from all previous books on this topic. They begin LOVE & WAR with an obvious but necessary acknowledgement: Marriage is fabulously hard. They advise that the sooner we get the shame and confusion off our backs, the sooner we'll find our way through.

LOVE & WAR shows couples how to fight for their love and happiness, calling men and women to step into the great adventure God has waiting for them together. Walking alongside John and Stasi Eldredge, every couple can discover how their individual journeys are growing into a story of meaning much greater than anything they could do or be on their own.

My Thoughts:
I truly enjoyed reading this book, Love & War, by John and Stasi Eldridge.  I have always been very intrigued by books on marriage.  I am always wanting to learn more on how to make my  marriage better.  This past year was definitely one of those years when the marriage just didn't feel like it was "working".  This book was a great eye-opener.  The first thing I appreciate about this book is how candid the authors are about their own personal marriage.  Sometimes, as an outsider, we stand back and look at our friends and acquaintances and wish we had their marriage, but do we really want their marriage?  After reading what the Eldridges had to say about marriage, it truly has made me feel normal in my marriage. 

Marriage is truly a WAR.  It's a war to fight for your mate no matter what.  As stated in the book, (marriage) "It's like throwing a dog and a cat in a dryer."  How true!  Sometimes I do feel that way.  It's okay to feel the struggle in our marriage.  It is just a growing process and makes us stronger as we learn and grow.

My favorite paragraph in the book is this:  "Learning to live with our opposite and all their little quirkinesses is part of learning to love.  'Love is a rock', Shawn Mullins sings, 'smoothed over by a stream'.  We want love to be stable and immovable, like a rock.  Steady and sure.  But that stream part is another matter.  Some force constantly washing over us, smoothing our rough edges.  We don't much go in for that.  But let's face it - we've all got some roughness to our personalities, don't we?  We've all got a good bit of smoothing over to do.  For this wonderful process, God gives us...each other.  Marriage is the rushing stream God uses to shape us into more loving people."

I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone out there who is married, about to be married or wanting to be married.  A book like this would've truly enlightened me a little more and allowed me to realize that the "fairytale marriage" is just that, a fairytale.  I believe this is one of those books that I will have to read a few more times to dig a few more gems out.  I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.  It was definitely great timing to read this book this close to the Valentine weekend. 

If you would like more information about where to purchase this book, please click here.

February 4, 2010

Book Review: Angels

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Summary (by Multnomah): What are angels? What is their role in God’s plan? Are they present? Do they appear? Do they give us personal insight about our work, our worship?

Many contemporary beliefs about angels are based on misconception and myth. Dr. David Jeremiah uses scripture to unveil the remarkable truth about these agents of heaven, and their role and work in our world—and lives.

More than 60,000 units of this powerful book have sold in two past editions. This repackage of the original 1996 paperback will surely capture the attention of readers of all ages who seek a broad and thorough survey of scripture that clearly separates fact from fiction as it relates to angels. The book will appeal to the thousands who follow Dr. Jeremiah’s books, and radio and TV broadcasts.

Relevant, little known biblical facts help readers sharpen their knowledge and sensitivities toward the spiritual reality of angels. Dr. Jeremiah’s enlightening findings are supported with illustrations and insights from Billy Graham, Corrie ten Boom, C.S. Lewis, and more.

My Thoughts:
When I was asked to review this book and saw the title Angels, I must confess the first thing that came to my mind was winged creatures that fly around in white gowns with a glow about them and their long blonde hair flowing behind them as they soar gently and wisp by.  Dreamy...  As I dove into this book, truly not knowing what to expect, it surpassed any previous mindset I had. 

Dr. Jeremiah's detail and scripture references put a new and renewed thinking in my mind of Angels.  This is not one of those books that will sit on a shelf collecting dust over the next several years until it's donated to Goodwill.  This is the type of book that you need to take down every now and again and DIG a little deeper and find out more information.  I typically don't read these kinds of books.  I usually migrate more to the fiction novels.  This book has left me craving more and wanting to know more.

Dr. Jeremiah takes us on a journey from the beginning of time to the end of the world explaining to us the role of angels.  They are seen in so many different ways throughout the Bible and makes you wonder and think, how many ways can they be showing up all around us and we don't have the spiritual insight to notice?  This book will take you on a journey like no other and enlighten you to a realm of beings that know nothing but to worship God.  How truly wonderful that must be!  I highly recommend you to read this book if you are ready for a look into a spiritual world that will blow your mind!!   

Author Bio:
Dr. David Jeremiah is senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego , and founder of Turning Point Radio and TV Ministries. His radio program is carried on over 2,500 stations worldwide, while the TV broadcast is received by 500 million homes via cable and satellite. The recipient of numerous awards for broadcast excellence, his books have garnered Gold Medallion awards and become bestsellers with The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times. He is a sought-after conference speaker by organizations nationwide.

February 2, 2010

Valentines Is Coming

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching us.  I love this time of year!  I love Valentine's Day.  I don't enjoy the crowds or the push to buy expensive things for each other but I do enjoy knowing that we are going to be taking time out for each other!  That is what I look forward to.  I have something up my sleeve this year.  I don't want to mention anything as of yet - just in case hubby reads this blog.  I'm sooooo excited I can't hardly stand it!! 

Moving on, before I spill the beans!  We had a great night last night at OFA's Ladies Night.  We played bunco until we just had to make ourselves stop.  It was so nice to see all of the new faces and familiar faces.  We had about 50 women there...WOW!  We had baked potatoes and the best desserts you could ask for!!  I took my camera to take pics of the event and do you know I got so wrapped up in talking and playing that I did not take a single pic?  Shocking, I know!!  I saw other people taking pictures.  I am hoping to maybe "steal" some of theirs. 

I know I mentioned on my blog yesterday about having to be in 3 or 4 places at the same time.  Well, about 4:30 yesterday, Drew's coach sent a text saying that they had cancelled the basketball game.  All of that planning and shuffling for nothing.  Bummer for Drew but yay for the family!  It sure made things a lot easier for all of us.  We now have a game scheduled for tonight, Thursday night and Friday night!!  Not to mention Saturday morning Pinewood Derby Car Races!  Drew is our busy one this week it looks like.

The kids FINALLY went back to school today.  I think they were ready to go back.  Five days of being home gets to them after a while.  Hopefully we will get our lives back to normal (what is that?) again soon and pray that is the last of the "ice storms" for this season.  A little snow doesn't hurt but Ice...GO AWAY!!

February 1, 2010

We Made It! - ALMOST

Well, we made it through the storm - almost.  It's not even close to being melted away as of yet but we are all still living and breathing and warm in our homes!!  The kids are out of school today because the roads are still AWFUL!!

I would like to report that my hubby made it home safe and sound on Saturday morning.  He had been in Alabama since Tuesday of last week.  I got to brave this storm all by myself!!  It was a little intimidating at first because of the thought of having no electricity without him here to take care of us, but I made it through!  Hallelujah!!  We all got out and went to Hobby Lobby to get supplies for my son's pinewood derby race that's coming up this Saturday.  He is so excited!  It's always such a fun time!!  While we were out, the kids begged to go to CiCi's Pizza.  Sooooo, I caved and treated them to that.  What is the fascination with CiCi's to a child?  I don't get it!

Sunday was a great day as well.  We got up and went to church, which had been re-arranged because of the storm.  We had one service (10:00) and after that, we had our annual business meeting, followed by our annual steak dinner and evening service was cancelled.  We went straight home after church, changed into our PJ's, Jeff and Andrew worked on the pinewood derby car, Andrew had a buddy come spend the night, and Hannah and I enjoyed watching the Grammy's together.  Oh did you see Lady Gaga??  Woah!

It's going to be very busy tonight around here.  It seems we all have something going on!  I have a ladies church event to be at, Jeff has physical therapy and my son has a basketball game.  Wouldn't you know they are all happening at the same time tonight??  We are having to make some major adjustments to get to all of these things.  WHEW!!  Feels like just another Conner Night!