Sunday, May 3, 2009

That Which Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap

I don't know how many people even read my blog anymore, but I absolutely HAD to write a post about a book I am reading that is LIFE CHANGING! I went to the Family Christian Book Store a couple of weeks ago to look for a gift and, while I was waiting to check out, I saw a book cart of books on sale. I quickly glanced through and saw a book for $5 called "The Diet Alternative" by Diane Hampton. I have struggled with weight control all of my adult life and I really didn't think there was anything that could help me since I've tried everything from starvation, to Atkins, to Weight Watchers, to LA Weight Loss, and more. But I am telling you, this book is a God send. This is it - the beginning of a lifetime of freedom and control. EVERYONE who has weight issues, is adicted to food, eats compulively, cannot control their eating or hunger in ANY way needs to buy and read this book TODAY! It is very short and VERY amazing!

Amazon Link to book (They had some copies for less than a dollar!):

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Names

This is TOO funny! This is a note I filled out on facebook:

Julie Stanton

2.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME:(mother and fathers middle names)
Gay Lee (I'm NOT kidding)

3.NASCAR NAME:(first name of your mother's dad, father's dad)
Kenneth Harry

4.STAR WARS NAME:(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)

5.DETECTIVE NAME:(favorite color, favorite animal)
Aqua Seahorse

6.SOAP OPERA NAME:(middle name, town where you were born)
Elizabeth Canton

7.SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning)
The Pink Chocolate Martini

8.FLY NAME:(first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name)

9.STREET NAME:(fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie)
Moosetracks Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk

10 ROCK STAR NAME (pet's name and street where you live)
Honey Richard

11. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on)
Cindy Sussex (I did NOT make that up!!!)

12.YOUR GANGSTA NAME:(first 3 letters of real name plus izzle)

13.YOUR GOTH NAME:(black, and the name of one of your pets)
Black Honey

I tag my mom to do this! Just copy and paste and fill in your own answers!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bring It...

I recently finished performing in my church's Christmas production - a tiring yet rewarding priviledge! I met a lovely new choir member during our dress rehearsals. When we met, we were discussing death and I shared with her that I had this fear of Heaven. That sounds crazy doesn't it? But I just kept thinking how it would just be DIFFERENT - not being with my family who was still on Earth, not being in my house, etc. I pictured myself sitting in a hard wooden pew for all of eternity - even though I know it won't really be that way. I just can't wrap my brain around what it will be like. This friend shared with me that she died when she was 12 years old. She was lifted out of her body by angels, she floated above her body watching the doctors work feverishly to revive her. She soared through the solar system and finally arrived at "the" tunnel of light. At the end was the source of this light - Christ Himself. They spoke and agreed that she should come back and, thus, here she is. Fast forward to the last night of the concert. My very favorite part of the entire concert was the manger scene. The song we sang was SO beautiful - I mean it really took my breath away to hear it, to be a part of it. All of our voices - mine and all my choir friends whom I love so much - blending together to make such a magnificent moment. I often had tears in my eyes - it just felt so sacred, so real, like you were really at the manger. It was an incredible high! I was sharing this with my new friend and she said something that changed everything for me. She said "Imagine being in that unbelievable, magnificent moment for the rest of eternity. That's what it's like in Heaven." She would know - she was there. That quick little exchange that took place in the stairwell of our church seriously changed my life! That seems a little weird. But I don't have that uncomfortable fear about the "unknown" of Heaven anymore. It will be even MORE wonderful than any moment we experience here on Earth - BRING IT!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Simple Christmas

At my most recent MOPS meeting, we were asked to consider Christmas simply. Mary was a mom, just like me (except her child was God!). I'm sure she had morning sickness, swollen ankles, exhaustion, varicose veins, weight gain, headaches and all the rest of it during her pregnancy with Jesus. And then, when she was nice and huge, she had to ride to Bethlehem ON A DONKEY?! thanks. No wonder she went into labor as soon as they arrived! Oh, and there were no epidurals. Just labor on the dirt floor covered in dirty straw. Back then, a woman's family would attend her birth. But Mary didn't have her mama. Just Joseph, who was probably as nervous as any dad would be today. Oh, and lets not forget the farm animals! thanks. What did she think when she heard Jesus' first cry? I imagine it was much the same as the rest of us when our babies were born. Except she had the added stress of knowing she had to raise God's son. After the baby was born, they had to wrap him in dirty rags and use an animal feed trough as a bassinette. The first visitors were a bunch of shepherds who probably smelled of sheep. No hand sanitizer to get rid of the sheep germs before touching the baby! But you know what, Mary pondered ALL of these things and treasured them in her heart. I had never thought of Christmas in this way, but I really enjoyed that MOPS meeting! I hope that you are able to take some time this Christmas to treasure in YOUR heart the precious simplicity of the birth of our Savior!

Monday, September 15, 2008

6 Quirky Things...

I've been tagged by my mom at Mimi's Garden to complete this little quiz - what are 6 quirky things about you? Here we go!

1. In addition to multiple US states and Canada, I've been to The Caribbean, England, Wales, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Brisbane Australia, Sydney Australia, Cairnes Australia (where we snorkled on the Great Barrier Reef), and Papua New Guinea.

2. I like coffee after it has cooled down to room temperature.

3. I was born with only three wisdom teeth and one of my "adult" teeth was missing as well.

4. I have sung in backup choirs for Darlene Zschech (Hill Songs Australia), Twilla Paris, Steve Green, and Fernando Ortega.

5. I cannot STAND having two or more things making noise at once (like the TV and a musical toy). It makes me feel like my head is going to explode!

6. I've been in the oval office (Seriously. OK, just my head poked in to look, but that's close enough for me!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you 7 years ago today?

I can't believe it's been 7 years. I think it will always seem like yesterday. I was a 3rd grade teacher and we were about an hour from lunch time. It was a beautiful sunny day out and the older kids were out for recess. Suddenly, they all came in way too early. I thought maybe it was because we'd been on alert for a child predator loose in the area. Then, one by one, half of my students' parents came to pick them up. I looked at my cell phone and had nearly 20 missed calls. I knew something bad was happening. There was a tv in our room, but I was afraid to turn it on because I didn't want to expose the children to whatever was happening - that was their parents' decision, not mine. When I first heard about the first plane, people were saying they thought it was a Cessna and that it was an accident. When my kids went to lunch, I went to the teachers' lounge, where the tv was on and it became apparent it was no accident. By that time, I believe the second plane had hit and I'm not sure if the first tower had collapsed yet. A friend of mine lived in Michigan where I live, but worked in the Pentagon on the day of the week the attacks occurred. For some freaky reason, she wasn't at work that day. I remember the years immediately following were difficult because the kids didn't know how to deal with it and when I had middle eastern children in my class, it was a constant battle to stop accusing comments. It's like there are two time periods in our lives - before 9/11 and after. May God give peace to the families who lost loved ones that day.

These are some pictures of our trip to NYC in September of 2005. All but the last are of Ground Zero.

"The Cross"

A building directly next to ground zero who's windows were all blown out during the events of 9/11/01. The building was scheduled for demolition because it was so badly damaged it was beyond safe repair.

The gaping hole in the ground - an entire city block - where the two towers used to stand.

"Trinity Root" at Trinity Church

Very close to Ground Zero is the earliest commisioned church in NYC, Trinity Church (There are soldiers buried there from the Revolutionary War. The church was chartered by King William III in 1697 and received a large grant of real estate west of Broadway - 311 years ago. It was re-built after it was destroyed in the 1776 NYC fire). It's the church featured in the end of the first "National Treasure" movie. Even older and closer to Ground Zero is St. Paul's Chapel. A sycamore tree sheltered the 238-year-old Chapel (which is directly across the street from Ground Zero) from the blast created by the falling towers. The tree itself was ripped out of the ground. An artist made a mold of the stump from the tree and with other tree segments made a large sculpture called Trinity Root to stand as a testament to life, humanity and the positive response to the catastrophe. It stands in the front church yard of Trinity Church. The 238-year-old St. Paul's Church not only survived the 1776 New York City fire and the attack on the World Trade Center unscathed, but it became the center of hope, refuge and faith in the months that followed. It became a sanctuary for thousands of volunteers, policemen, firemen and others who frequently made stops at the church, some after searching for bodies in what became known as "the pile" to pray as well as to seek comfort and strength. St. Paul's is the oldest public building still in continuous use in Manhattan and the city's lone remaining Colonial church. It was known primarily before Sept. 11 as the place where George Washington prayed on April 30, 1789, the day he was inaugurated as president .

Another view of "the cross" and the gaping hole in the ground.

Yep, we're still free.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall Festival

OK, I've been totally lazy in blogging, but I've been placed on blog alert by my friend Sharon! I've been sitting here staring at the computer screen and then I decided I'd tell you about our very special week! First, my baby started preschool! She absolutely loves it! Here are a few pictures of her first day:

This past weekend, we had our fabulous local fall festival - an enormous three day weekend of fun with tons of rides, a craft show, food, free crafts and face painting for kids, and THE ABSOLUTE BEST chicken dinner EVER on Sunday! The Rotary Club starts cooking over 10,000 chicken dinners in the middle of the night in bbq pits built the entire length of the movie theatre parking lot.

Here are some pictures from our weekend:

One more exciting event is that Mark and I went to see Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman in concert! Here is a pic of Michael: