Butterfly Sparks Designs

Sunday, November 30, 2008

... it's over...

NaBloPoMo. national blog posting month. i committed to attempt to post every day in the month of november. 
results? i posted 24 times. that is an 80% success ratio. hmmm. a B minus. usually i wouldn't be alright with that, but these days a B minus is like an A ++ in my book. grace to me from me, which is progress!
did it accomplish it's goal? creating a habit of blogging? i think so. i surely won't be blogging everyday from now on, but i think my average will increase. we'll see.
thanks for hanging in there with me bloggy friends! :)
and i'll be posting tomorrow for sure-- about the mocha club. see you then!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

... thanksgiving 2008...


here are a few pictures from the hambrick thanksgiving feast yesterday at the our pad.
we had enough food for 50, but there were only 11 of us including the kids. you know what that means? LEFTOVERS. yum!

the first picture is of the entire group. my mom is in the black sweater next to me, my brother victor is on the other side of me, his wife julia and daughter morgan on the chair, my aunt becky front and center, my aunt nancy and my uncle bob on the other chair. and the hambricks (that's us) interspersed of course.
(i wish you could see how awesome my mantle and fireplace look all decorated for christmas but unfortunately we are covering it)

here's a cute one of the girls... and baby alive...

last but not least, us.

after everyone left, we packed up the car and drove and hour and a half to steve's dad's house. we hung out with steve's stepbrothers and their wives and kids, had a skipbo extravaganza, and then called it a day.

... dealz...


ok, so pass on the deals.  have you found anything on sale today or this weekend that is an amazing deal? i'm probably a bit late in asking this, as all of the true black friday shoppers are most likely at the stores right now. pass on your finds, fellow internets!

for those of you interested in a pure digital flip camcorder (if you aren't, you should be), walmart has the 30 minute version on sale today and tomorrow for $79.  this is an amazing deal because they usually sell for $150 and it's rare to find them for much less. we use ours ALL THE TIME, and the girls record videos on it daily.  TOTALLY worth the investment! we paid $50 thanks to the deal of the century at dell.com, but i haven't seen a price less than $129 since. 

did you get out and shop today? what awesome finds did you discover?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

.... o christmas tree...

today we pulled out the christmas tree. oh, yes, we are beginning the process of decorating for the holidays, even though thanksgiving hasn't even gotten here yet. normally i would never consider putting up a tree before thanksgiving - in fact, i would have thought it was silly. BUT a friend pointed out that thanksgiving is late this year (last year it was on the 22nd), so now we have a reason. i for one would like to be able to have my decorations out for one month, and if we wait until after thanksgiving this year we are basically left with 3 weeks. 

so what about you? when do you usually put up the tree, and are you doing it sooner this year?

Monday, November 24, 2008

...i need africa...



i was asked by mocha club to write about the concept of why 'i need africa more than africa needs me.'  Mocha Club is a community-based website where members can start a team and invite friends to join them in giving $7 a month- the cost of 2 mochas- to support a project in africa.  mocha club's vision is to provide a way for people who don't have hundreds or thousands of dollars to make a difference in africa.  i don't know about you, but i'm one of those without thousands of dollars to make a difference.  so a working, viable option like mocha club is perfect!

i need africa.... because many people there have learned to be content with less and i need to learn from them.

i need africa... because africa reminds me that the kingdom of heaven is made up of more than white middle class americans.

i need africa... because being there opens my eyes to different ways of loving jesus in community.

i need africa... because things that seem like a big deal when i'm home don't seem quite so big when i'm there.

i need africa... because i begin to appreciate things like hot water heaters, washing machines, and air conditioning, and realize they aren't a right but a gift.

i need africa... because when i'm there i become aware that success in life isn't measured by the things you attain or the ladder you climb, but how well you love others and how well you love god.

i need africa... do you?

share your thoughts in my comments. blog about it yourself. and come back december 1st to see what mocha club is doing about reforming the images we have of africa as a place to pity instead of a people to partner with.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

... to cave or not to cave...


these are pictures of my girlfriend's new labradoodle puppy. why am i posting the pictures?  well, we are considering getting a puppy for the girls as a christmas gift.  we are having a hard time deciding, and we can't seem to agree on the type of dog. 
i really would LOVE a labradoodle (lab poodle mix), and steve hates anything that looks or sounds like a poodle.  

there are several reasons i'm sold on this breed: 1.  i grew up with labs, and they are a lab mix; 2.  they don't shed (and i don't clean enough, so this is good); 3.  they are hypoallergenic, and since both girls and i take allergy medicine every day it's important that our dog would not mess with the allergies; 4. they are CUTE! 5.  they are bred to be a medium size or a large size (we would go with the smaller of the two)

a few reasons not to get this breed:  1.  they are EXPENSIVE; 2.  steve isn't sold on the whole lab poodle combination.
i've scoured the internet, and searched through rescue sites and classified ads but haven't found any available on rescue sites or puppies under $850.

what do you think?  is it worth it to pay for a dog that would fit your family requirements best (allergy free, no shedding) or should we just go with the standard ole pound pup and risk it all?
remember- this dog will become part of our family for a number of years....
also, any one have connections for labradoodle puppies? especially any FREE ones? :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

... guilty pleasure du jour...

3 words:
TO DIE FOR

i'm not a big chip fan. in fact, if i never had another chip EVER i would be just fine. 
UNLESS i was surrounded by tostitos multigrain chips. and then it would be torture. 

have you tried these yet?  they are dangerous.  over two days i ate an entire bag minus 2 handfuls i graciously shared with steve.  yikes. i might not buy these again anytime soon, but you... you should. and eat one (or a bagful) for me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

... that tricky kroger!...


i filled my minivan (gasp) up with gas at kroger today. an interesting thing has been happening when i fill up there. when i fill up, the machine always asks for a kroger plus card number or phone number.  for some unexplainable reason,  the last 3 or 4 times i've entered my phone number it somehow then offers me 20 CENTS OFF PER GALLON. i don't shop there for groceries, so i'm always stunned when if offers me this discount. (and for those of you without a kroger gas station, they actually already have some of the lowest gas prices in town) SURE i'll buy gas from you at $1.68 a gallon when everyone else is charging $1.88 or more.  the last time i filled up it was only 30 something dollars instead of 80 something dollars i paid when gas was over 4 bucks per gallon. THAT is a huge difference!   i've gotten accustomed to getting this 20 cent discount deal from kroger, so i was disappointed when i got the run-of-the-mill price today.. WHAT? no discount? ugh. looks like my fortune has run out...

what's the average price of a gallon of gas where you live?

Monday, November 17, 2008

...anticipation...

which one are you looking forward to MORE?

the 24 2 hour event on november 23rd followed by 2 day 4 hour premiere on january 11th
OR
the LOST 3 hour season premiere  on january 21st?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

... it's a done deal ...

i'm FORTY. watch out internets- it's time for me to hit my stride.

props to my husband for my birthday blog. it will be sorely missed!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

... last day of 39...

so it's official. today is the last day before i turn FORTY. yep, the big 4-0. in fact, at this  point i have about 24 more minutes.  and i think i'm gonna be alright, lord willing.

tonight we went out in downtown atlanta for a trendy, fancy dinner and later to a sports bar with 2 of our favorite couples here in dallas- the mcwhorters and the lynchs.  4 out of the 6 of us turn 40 within 3 weeks of each other, so we went out as a joint celebration for all of us.  we were all so proud that we actually drove all the way to atlanta, ate at a new, trendy spot, and stayed out later than 9 pm.  who says 40 is old?? :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

...my man's 35th birthday...

this video is in honor of steve's birthday today! if you don't know him, you should.

video

Thursday, November 13, 2008

...somewhere in middle america...





this week in waco afforded us the opportunity and privilege of spending time with some dear friends who live in omaha.  they are all part of a team of people who planted a church together called
waypoint.  
matthew and his wife amanda pastor this church, and are some of our favorite people. we spent several years in omaha working along side of them in ministry and respect them emensely.  another couple, jon and linda, are spiritual parents for us, and it did my soul good to be able to hang out with them and talk life.  i was super sad when we left, but feel refreshed just by having the time we had with them. we miss our friends in middle america...

isn't it cool when you are able to go for long periods of time without seeing someone and you feel like you pick up right where you left off when you see them again? that's how it is with these friends.  they'll be lifelong buds, and i love it. :)  if you ever find yourself in omaha, be sure to check out waypoint and give our friends our best.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

.... my katrillionth error this season...

my power got turned off today. yep, no power.  wanna know why? because the bill wasn't paid.  i suppose this is my fault since i'm the one who pays the bills.  i'm still shocked!  this type of stuff NEVER happens to me because i am an organizational freak who is never late on a payment of any sort.  if it means eating pb and j's or mac and cheese for every meal, i will get our bills paid without fail. so it came as quite a surprise today when my power was the only power on our street that wasn't working. hmmmmm.

if you recall, steve and i are in texas at a church planting conference.  we are here until tomorrow, and have had a friend of ours watching the girls all week.  because she had to head back to athens this morning, we had another sitter arriving this afternoon to stay tonight.  she could not get in the garage because the garage door opener wasn't working.  and the top secret code on the outside of the house wasn't working either.  come to find out our power was off. when i called the power company i was informed that our power had intentionally been cut off. NICE.  apparently our last bill was due on october 20th and hadn't been paid. and apparently if you are 3 WEEKS LATE on a payment they cut off your power and charge you a 300 dollar deposit and a 45 dollar reconnect fee. UGH. i'm surprised they didn't insist on my firstborn.  they were quick to inform me this 300 dollar deposit will graciously be refunded after NINETEEN months of on-time payments. no grace, people. none.  to be perfectly honest, i never recall getting a bill due in october.  (i'd admit it to you if i did.)  of course i shared my opinion about this atrocious policy with the power company woman, but it got me nowhere. so she charged over 500 bucks to my american express and they finally cut the power back on.

am i the only one who thinks this is a bit ridiculous? no grace at all? even with a flawless payment record up until this point? please make me feel better by telling me you've screwed up like this before also...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

...a poll...





first of all, i know the amount of traffic i get on this site.  it's not enormous, but it's definitely enough to get some different opinions and ideas on my dilemma.  i need your opinion internets, so post a comment and help me make a decision. come on friends....

here's the scenario:

you are married with a small child, and graciously volunteered to leave your husband at home and bring your little one with you to come stay with my kids for a few days while steve and i went to a conference in texas.  
(wasn't that nice of you? basically leaving your life for 3 days to help a friend? i'm definitely impressed and grateful)

i would love to get your something to bless you for staying at my house with my kids.  would you rather have:
1.  a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant,
2.  a gift certificate to get pampered at a spa, 
3.  an actual gift of some sort, or
4.  something else?

i only have a few days to make a decision, so people let me know your thoughts!  all ideas are welcome :)

...squeeking it in...

lest you be concerned that i miss another day on my commitment, i am posting with 5 minutes to spare.  

as you know, steve and i are in waco at a church planting conference at antioch community church.  i'll reflect tomorrow a bit about what i've been processing from the conference and would love to get your feedback and opinions, but all of that will have to wait until tomorrow.

tonight i just spent the evening with kat from the secret life of kat at a local coffee shop here in town. we had never met in person before, so i was a bit nervous about meeting my blogger friend, but no worries- it was alot of fun and very comfortable.  three hours later i left with a renewed spirit and a new friend.

have any of you ever met a blog friend you didn't previously know? if so, how'd it go?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

...i lose...


the nablopomo challenge. how could i forget to post a blog yesterday????? ugh..

for those of you who aren't familiar with national blog posting month, some of us bloggers have committed to blog every day in the month of november.. and i screwed up already. on NOVEMBER 8TH for goodness sake.. only 8 days in!

(prepare for some rationalization-- a.k.a. an excuse..... preparing???? ready?)
yesterday was the last day of the merry marketplace sale, and i didn't make it home until super late. and we had to leave at 10am this morning to head to a church planting conference in waco, texas. soooooo, after i got home from the sale last night i was scurrying around cleaning my house, washing clothes, and writing a 5 page instruction book for the incredible friend who is watching our girls while we are gone most of the week.

next thing i know i'm looking at the clock and it's 12:02... in the morning... i.e. 2 minutes past my deadline to post a blog. i thought about trying to figure out a way to rig it so that it would post for saturday, but i was too exhausted to think that hard.

just another example of my life these days-messing something up and living in the need of grace pretty much every second. i'm learning, Lord, i'm learning....

so, i'm picking myself up and starting again.. (is that dramatic enough for you? especially regarding blogging?) :)
i WILL finish this race strong. hang in there other nablopomo-ites!! i'll start commenting on your blogs the moment i can find 10 minutes to read...

Friday, November 7, 2008

... cheese muffins that will ROCK your world...

one of my favorite blogs to read is the pioneer woman cooks. i tried this recipe and it was TO DIE FOR! so stinkin' easy and a huge hit with our breakfast guests...

only adjustment to the original recipe: i added a few shakes of garlic powder. i mean, come on! who doesn't love a shake of garlic?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

... wow...

yesterday our country elected barack obama as our next president. i did not vote for obama, nor am i excited that he was elected. BUT-- it is refreshing that our nation is willing to elect an african american to the highest position in our government.
 
my biggest concern what he has stated as his first goal as president... 
check out this video

he is very clear that he "will not yield and planned parenthood will not yield." he's also very clear on what his agenda is. and it frightens me. ALOT.

if FOCA is signed and the issue of choice is made a priority,  may God have mercy on our nation. in all seriousness. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

...sweating it out...

i went to bed last night without setting my alarm clock.  and for me, when i do that i usually don't sleep very well.  i find myself waking up every few hours checking my watch to make sure i don't oversleep.  last night was no exception (arrrrghh), and it didn't help that i went to bed totally stressed out about the election.

my plan was to wake up at 5:45 am and then hop in the car and head to the polling place. rumors were rampant that the wait would be four or so hours today, and i wanted to knock it out as quickly as possible.  since all the schools were CLOSED for students today (insane idea), i had to figure out a time to go that wouldn't mean dragging two small children with me to wait half a day in a voting line.  i figured that if i arrived at 6 am, i could bring a chair and a good book and chill until the polls opened at 7 am and then drive home to relieve steve to go.
i woke at 5 am, and because i was horrified that i would fall back asleep and never wake up again, i tossed and turned until 5:45 am. i arrived by 6 am, and was back home at 7:30am. YES! i was happy with that.

the wait was actually very entertaining.  i met some really neat people, and we chatted it up the entire time with no lull in conversation.  we talked local real estate, children, rich people, college football and life. i was surprised to see that NOTHING political was brought up in conversation.

here's a picture of me and my buddies waiting for our turn to vote:



notice that guy in the auburn sweatshirt? of course i harassed him about his terrible team. and the cool thing was he still spoke to me afterwards..
 
because i have a two monkeys show at the end of the week, i was able to keep myself super busy today.  this is a good thing because i've been a bit (oh let's be honest- ALOT) stressed about this election, and i'm not looking forward to sitting here all evening watching election results come in. i'm tired of having a tummy that is tied in knots.  NO FUN.  this is one of those days i wish i had a different personality- you know, one that is LAID back and chill. unfortunately, i've got what i've got. and it ain't laid back and chill, let me tell you.  

the solution for me:  i have to spend time reminding myself that God hasn't gone anywhere. and He can still move. and still encounter people. and still shake the world. and change people's minds. and choices.

besides jesus, these faces also help me refocus and give me hope for the future:
 

Monday, November 3, 2008

...halloween...

here's an attempt to briefly summarize friday afternoon and evening... the hambrick halloween festivities..

the girls got home from school, and were excited to change into their nurse/vet/doctor scrubs for halloween.  the afternoon started out with the neighborhood parade at 4:30pm (packed), and then we headed to publix for their attempt to entertain for halloween. it was a bit weak- they only had 3 small stations at the store with activities, but the girls had fun.  what about smothering a sugar cookie with icing and then eating it isn't fun?
below is a picture of sara throwing rubber chickens into buckets at publix. the reward for success? a mystery decoder ring (aka orange plastic pumpkin ring). oooooohhh...

we headed home, ate dinner, and prepared for the adventure awaiting us. let me just say that our neighborhood was total CHAOS. i've never seen so many people out trick or treating EVER. i walked around with the girls and 2 other good friends and their boys (shout to karla and keirstin- two bff''s that have embraced me as a new friend). their boys are THE boys my girls talk about marrying one day.. check 'em out..

they (logan and jack) are absolutely adorable- too bad you can't tell by these photos.. their ninja gear disguises their cuteness!
steve and john (keirstin's hubby) stayed outside and handed out candy while the women took the babies around.  steve attempted to bribe small children by offering them 3 pieces of candy in exchange for a reese's, but no one caved.

the final pic is of the loot my girls scored.. 129 pieces each, according to anna katherine's statistics.

now if i can just have the discipline to stay away from the sugar babies and milk duds...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

.... nablopomo ...

ok, so i joined NaBloPoMo. national blog posting month. 

this is for people who want to set the habit of blogging by doing it everyday for a month. hear me? EVERY DAY for a month. yikes. this is a daunting task, but i've never been one to turn down a challenge. so here goes.... i will be attempting to post a blog every day in the month of november.  (i already missed yesterday, but grace- i just found out about this today)

like my friend  bill wrote- "chances are maybe one or two of them will be worth reading"... we can only hope...

one other thing--  if y'all don't leave a few comments here and there, i just might be tempted to give up. and i'm pretty sure you don't want to live with the knowledge that you caused me to give up...  :)

any one else in for nablopomo? come on internets!