Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Five Things I Learned in July

    1.  Lisa Jo Baker wrote the most beautiful post about love,  When You Think Your Love Story is Boring.

    There is a rumor, an urban myth, a fiction, a fantasy, a black and white screen cliché that love looks like the mad, romantic dash through airports for a last chance at a flailing kiss.And then the credits roll.And the lights come on.And we must go back to our real lives where we forget that love really lives.
     Extraordinary love in ordinary days.  Go read it.  It is worth the two minutes it takes.
     My love story is boring, too, and I'm okay with that.

2.  When a 12 year old boy is diagnosed with AML Leukemia, the Yankees will step up to bat for him.
     Caleb Gaylord is an athletic, musically gifted, 12 year old boy from New Milford, CT.  Caleb plays 3rd base for his travel team.  Caleb's dream is to one day wear pinstripes as a New York Yankee. 
     Caleb's life was forever changed on June 13th, when his Mom brought him to his pediatrician for strep throat. Thankfully, his pediatrician was suspicious and sent his bloodwork to top oncologists at Children's Medical Center in Hartford. Within hours the family was hearing the words no parent ever wants to hear, "Your son has leukemia." A couple of days later, Caleb started the first of four rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, to be administered over a span of six months. It is an inpatient treatment. To add to the difficulty, the family was in between insurance companies at the time of Caleb's diagnosis. 
     If God puts it on your heart to make a contribution to help Caleb, you may do so here
    The Yankees generously sent Caleb a Get Well gift basket.   Caleb was very excited to receive an encouraging phone call from pitcher, Mariano Rivera.
     Hats off to the Yankees.

3.   We are big fans of the Harry Potter Series in our house.   
     Our youngest son, Connor received his letter from Hogwarts on his eleventh birthday.  I made him a letter and scrapbook about Harry Potter. 

      Now Diagon Alley is on Google Street View.

PHOTO: The shops of Diagon Alley from Harry Potter are now on Google Maps' Street View.

4.  That it is worth it to get up very early in the morning to watch hot air balloons take off over the Hudson River.  You can read about it here.
5.   I love the Minions Banana Song.  It makes me smile, every time.

     What did you learn this month?  Linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Advice From the Ocean

Be shore of yourself.
Sea life's beauty.
Come out of your shell.
Avoid pier pressure.
Don't get tide down.
Eat ice cream!Make a splash!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Red Light, Green Light 1, 2, 3

     One of the games we played when I was a child was Red Light, Green Light.  On many summer evenings, a group of neighborhood kids would line up on the lawn.   The child who was “It” stood about forty feet away, with their back turned to the crowd.  “It” would shout, “Green light!”
     We would all thunder toward him, until a split second later, “It” would yell, “Red light!” and turn swiftly around.  We all had to become as still as statues. If momentum carried us forward, if we teetered or tottered, or just tipped over - we had to go back to the starting point.
   Oh boy, I was slow to begin with and I hated to have to start over.  All of us loved the freedom of “Green Light,” but none of us wanted to hear “Red Light."
    Many of us don’t want to take the time to stop.  We're too busy.  There is too much to do.   We have no time.  But when it comes to learning about God’s word, to serving Him and worshiping Him, we can’t afford to continue in motion.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
   I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
   When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  ~Matthew 25:34-40
     We were made for service and worship.  So let’s stop.  Not because it is convenient, or because we feel like it, or because it doesn’t conflict with something else.  Red light.  Let’s be still.  Let’s bless the Lord.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cake Boss Cafe, Times Square

      Life is a little bit sweeter in New York City.  The Cake Boss Cafe has arrived in Times Square on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue.  It was a treat to visit.  The Cake Boss Cafe storefront is much larger than Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey.  We were there on a busy Saturday morning, but happy customer's were being served quickly.
     You can read about our trip to the original Carlo's Bakery with our aspiring baker, Patty, here.

     Cake Boss Cafe was a piece of cake to get to and there wasn't a wait to get inside to see all of the deliciousness.
      Here is a tip:  There is a ticket dispenser by the front door.  Be sure to grab one!  You'll be served by number.  We were fortunate to see Mary working the counter in Hoboken, but we did not see any family members today.
     In addition to the fondant frenzy of cakes, cupcakes, and sweets galore the Cake Boss Cafe offers fun souvenirs.  There are shirts, mugs, and the most adorable little Buddy bobble heads.
      The store features a huge bobble head of Buddy himself.  Behind me you can see part of the huge TV mosaic playing TLC's Cake Boss series.
     Next time, we will come back to visit the CakeBoss Cafe with the kids!  They will love it!  Get your cake on!

Buddy Valastro has no idea who I am.  I did not receive even a crumb for the post.  I just wanted to share for Cake Boss fans everywhere.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hat Stand DIY

      Do you have a special hat that you would like to display?  My boys have a few hats that they enjoy.   When I updated their room, I decided that I would make some simple hat stands.
      I combed the local Goodwill Store and found some wooden candlesticks.  At Hobby Lobby I found the wooden discs.  The paint was a free sample from Lowe's.  I had used it when I painted a small nightstand for their room.  Cost:  candlesticks: $3.00,  paint: free, discs: $3.16
     First, I painted everything in the dusty blue paint.  I liked the way the wood showed through the paint giving them a more vintage look.
      Next, I added some lighter blue highlights by mixing some white craft paint into the paint.  This was whisked on with a stiff dry brush and smudged a bit.  (While editing the photo, I noticed Pinterest on the scrap paper I was working on.  Smile.)
      Finally, I glued the discs onto the top of the candlesticks.  I made one taller hat stand by gluing two of the shorter candlesticks together and placing a disc on top.
     One more picture.
     Wouldn't this be cute for Mickey Ear souvenirs or baby hats?  What hat would you like to display?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Hummingbird's Guide to Heart Health

If my love could be represented by a blur, it would be the beating of a hummingbird’s wings. Did you know that my love is the only love that can fly backwards?   ~Jarod Kintz, A Zebra is the Piano of the Animal Kingdom
     My mother’s backyard is frequented by those smallest of birds, the hummingbird.  Mom serves them sweet red nectar that they seem to find delicious.  Hummingbirds love red.  Red flowers.  Red clothing hung out to dry.  Red berries.  They tirelessly search for the sweetest flowers.  The hummingbird needs to eat every ten minutes in order to maintain it's high energy levels.
     Hummingbirds do everything quickly.  Their wings beat at an amazing 50-80 beats per second creating that humming sound!   They dance through the air forward, backwards, and sideways at 55 miles per hour, the same speed that we drive down a highway in our car.  They are even able to hover like tiny helicopters.  It’s fun to relax on the porch and see the tiny acrobats dart and swoop.
      The hummingbird's amazing heart beats about 1,200 times a minute during the day when it is active.  At night, their heart slows to 250 beats per minute.  This drop in heart rate, enables them to survive the night, until they can actively pursue the sweet flowers in the morning light. Without this ability to slow their heart rate and metabolism, a hummingbird would starve to death before the sun came up on a new day.  God has designed them to store just enough energy to survive the night.
     Imagine if our heart beat like the hummingbird’s in it’s desire for a relationship with Jesus.   Imagine that with every beat of our heart, and at 1,200 beats a minute that is humming right along, we could:
 “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  ~Deuteronomy 6:5
      Imagine seeking the words of Christ, written in the red letters of our Bibles as diligently as a hummingbird searches for the red nectar in a garden.  
     And when the night is cold, and our hearts are heavy, to know that God has enabled us to make it to the morning light, when we can actively pursue the sweet aroma, and taste His goodness, in the joy of the new day.
     God is with you always.  He loves you.  I know because a little bird told me so.

Update:  This post was featured by Angie at Womanhood With Purpose!  Thank you so much for the honor.
Womanhood With Purpose
This post also won the one week space giveaway at Best Post of the Week.  Thank you!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

White Heron

     This gorgeous white heron, also known as the great white egret,  was wading in the brackish water in Assateague Island National Seashore.  He graciously allowed me to take this shot.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nothing Runs Like A Deere

It is God who arms me with strength
 and keeps my way secure.           
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;                                                                                     He causes me to stand on the heights.  ~ 2 Samuel 22:33-35
     A few weeks ago, our family went to Virginia to visit my Mom and Dad.  One morning during our stay, Dad asked Anthony if he would mow the lawn.   Anthony does not mow our lawn because of a tricky hill, so this was not something that he had done before.  Anthony agreed reluctantly and looked a little apprehensive.  I have to admit that I was, too.   We might have a tricky hill, but Dad has a water canal in his backyard.  I had visions of Anthony driving the lawn mower over the sea wall and into the bay.
Mom and Dad
      I followed Anthony and Dad to the garage.  Dad rolled out the John Deere ride-on mower, with matching hat.  Anthony climbed aboard.  Dad explained the pedals and shifts.  I hoped that Anthony was paying attention, because I was totally confused.  Finally, Dad told Anthony to power it up.  Anthony turned the key, and nothing happened.  The three of us looked at each other.  “Try it again,”  Dad yelled encouragingly.  Anthony turned the key again.  The John Deere remained silent.
     “Did you break it already!”  Dad yelled jokingly.  He told Anthony to get off and slid himself into the driver’s seat.  Dad turned the key and the mower started up with a vroom.  Dad climbed off and it stuttered to a stop.  Anthony got back in the hot seat.  He turned the key again.  Nothing.
     Dad figured it out.  Slender Anthony did not weigh enough to meet the safety requirement that allowed the mower to start. I slid onto the seat.  Insultingly, the machine started right up for me.  Anthony slid onto the seat as I carefully shifted my behind off.  As advertised, the John Deere continued to run.

      Anthony faithfully mowed the lawn for his grandfather.  The John Deere hat flew off as he increased his speed.  To my great relief, Anthony did not drive into the water.
     John 6 tells us how Jesus fed five thousand people with a young boy's lunch of five small barley loaves and two small fish.    Do not underestimate yourself, no matter how small or slender you are. There are no lightweights with God.  Little becomes much when we place it faithfully in the hands of Jesus.
Look carefully, and see a double rainbow.
     Paul wrote to Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.  Do not neglect your gift,"  ~1 Timothy 4:12-14
You can read more about our past trips to Virginia.
     Fishing Isn't the Same As Catching
     Father's Day
     Return to Me

Update:  John Deere has in no way paid me to mention their product.   They do not even know who I am!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Of Prom Dresses and Chickens

      Patty's Senior Prom was during the last week of June.  When her date arrived, the chickens ran into the front yard to see if there would be any handouts for them!  Not everybody has chickens in their prom pictures.
      Patty looked beautiful.  Her dress was perfect.  It had just enough sparkle for her to feel like a princess.
     Patty pinning the white rose boutonniere on her date's lapel.  
     Her wrist corsage of lovely white roses.
      Patty outside the prom venue.  She was ready for an evening of dancing and fun.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rise and Shine

     Saturday the McMorrow family got up at about 4:30 in the morning.   We went to the Walkway Over the Hudson to see fifteen beautiful hot air balloons launch from the riverbank.
     Pat and I wanted to surprise the kids so we didn’t tell them why they were being dragged from their beds so early on a summer Saturday morning.  There were more than a few groans.  Anthony sleepily pointed out that we were up before our chickens.
    What is it that makes hot air balloons so fascinating?  Is it their ability to defy gravity so effortlessly?  A hot air balloon is made up of three simple parts - the balloon, the burner, and the basket.     The burner warms the air that is blown into the balloon and because warm air is lighter than cool air, the balloon is able to rise up into the sky. 
     Many of the balloons flew over the river and then dropped down to touch the water.  Those fortunate to be in the boats and kayaks clustered on the river had an amazing, up close, and personal view.
     I was thinking, we could be like these balloons.  We could be filled with the warm breath of God, stretched taunt, and lighter than air, casting off the tethers that hold us down, lifting and soaring as He directs.  
     We could dip into the water of the Holy Spirit, allowing others to see our good works and give glory to God.
     And when we are deflated and depleted of His power and anointing, when we feel like we have been poured out and empty;  we could allow Him to fill us again.  Because being filled with God is not a one time thing, but rather a lifetime of repeated refilling with His Word and His Spirit.
 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
  ~Romans 8:11
       So, as we were making our way back to the car, I told Anthony the reason I woke him up so early.    God invites us to fly with the eagles, not to scratch with the chickens.
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