From The Mud Puddle

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Plastic Happy People

Here is a link to a video that the kids and I made to a song by Casting Crowns. The kids and I have been wanting to use their old playmobil to stage a set that we could then take digital pictures of for a while now. When I heard this song, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I’ve sat here the past few days, thinking about this post. You see, first of all, I posted, then I decided to edit how I was saying what I wanted to say. I didn’t want to edit what the post meant. So with that and a terrible headache due to some eye strain here (getting older and I feel it), I had to postpone my edit. I think God works things out in ways that are good and right….so hopefully as I try to explain myself once again, it will come out saying what I want to say. Please note, nothing I say is really against what other folks choose to do, it is more acting on convictions in what I feel God has placed on my heart in how to live my life in Christ where blogging is concerned.

When I started this blog (funny, in MS Works, the word “blog” keeps being underlined as being misspelled LOL)…anyway, when I started this blog, two and a half years ago, I really was unsure what I wanted to do here. I kept knowledge of it pretty quiet, except for a friend or two. Slowly as I started to use it to post thoughts, links to sites I found interesting, my artwork etc, I started to feel a sense of what my blog was becoming to me. It was a way of introducing who I was. My blog gave me a place to come and type or post things that interested me or that I was thinking of at the time. I have always wanted it to be a positive and encouraging place to visit. I never was interested in perhaps the usual activities of trading links or surfing through people’s blogs that I didn’t already have some sort of connection with from forums or lists. I was at a point in my life that I really wanted to be somewhat silent online, minding my own business, doing my own thing. I wasn’t terribly interested in making connections with other folks. Perhaps that is good given I really never put my blog out there for many to see for a while. I think it goes deeper though into who I am offline.

Offline, in what we say is “real life”, I am pretty quite. The friends I have I’ve had for years. It takes me a long time when I meet new people to really open up and feel comfortable around them enough to really share who I am. Seems the older I get, the more this is true. I’m not going to even try to analyze that one. LOL

So what happens online is often a truer sense of what has gone on for my whole life offline….though admittedly, online it sometimes is easier to make a connection with all the physical aspects removed.

OK I sound like I am rambling, honest, I do have a point here…however vague it seems at this time.

My blog has become a haven of sorts for me online. It has become my place online…my home if you will. I control what comes into my home as much as I control my blog and what gets put on it. I have basically not linked anyone else’s blog from mine…even though through time I’ve been linked by a few here and there. I never felt that I could 100% endorse those other blogs linking mine from theirs for various reasons. Maybe it is the content, and maybe just because I dont know you well enough yet. Please know, dear readers, this is not a blanket judgment against those blogs, just a conviction that I have that I am living out in my blog life as I would in my real life. Being this blog is my home, every part should be a reflection of me and the things that I can endorse. I guess what I am really doing is trying to explain my choices of the past of why perhaps I have not linked anyone off my blog before. I say before because….well, I’ll tell you why in a bit.
What got me to thinking about all of this was a statement that I read on another person’s blog that said this:

"I've said it once, and I will say it again. No one in the history of blogging has made a successful blog without linking to other blogs, commenting on other blogs, and being part of the blogosphere community as a whole. "

It’s not that I disagree with the statement per say, it is more that I don’t adhere to it on my blog. I am not one that is concerned about how popular my blog is. I live for one, and that one is Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I love comments, but I don’t crave them. For a long time, for the most part I blogged without any concern if people were reading my blog or not. I do have a counter, though it has always been more a curiosity than a way of keeping up with traffic. I blogged without being upset for not having comments. If I got a comment-great-but I didn’t blog for those comments. (hope that makes sense-for those of you that comment-thank you…I love hearing from you, even though I wasn’t writing for you) I would have continued to blog on my own pace without concern of whether I received comment love or not . To me it becomes a dangerous trap when we start to measure our success by the world’s terms and standards. In blogland it appears that the success of one’s blog is measured in how many comments you receive or how many times you trade links. No there is nothing inherently wrong with either of those two things, it is just that I measure success differently. My life is not my own, I do not live to please myself or the world.

Likewise when I have visited other blogs, I do so out of curiosity and to get to know the person that either posted on my blog or that I met on some forum or list. Someone once described blogging vs. what we write on a forum as a way of sharing ideas or thoughts in a different way than we might on a public forum.

I have a friend that visits here that has had a blog for close to two years. I have long wanted to list his blog on my blog because I believe it is one of the best blogs out here online. It is called WORDprints. My friend writes about scriptures that have touched his life. Sometimes he doesn’t even comment about the specific scripture, but just posts it knowing that is enough. I can endorse his blog and list it because I feel completely comfortable with where he sits with his relationship with God. I know how he values scripture and doesn’t just give lip service to those around him concerning the value God and His word hold in his life. I know that if I link it here and you visit his blog after visiting mine, that I am not directing you to a place where you might encounter some questionable content …. Or language… etc. I have known the author of WORDprints for many years online. Our families both got computers and came online for the first time about the same time.

I guess I just wanted to explain things a bit. I know I may fly in the face of what blogging is suppose to be about, if you believe that it centers around community, linking one another (without thought to the content) and many many comments. Personally I don’t believe my blog is about that in the manner implied by the above quote. (and while I can expound on the importance of community in a Christian sense-that will have to wait for another blog one day, God willing) I have never been one out to be most popular or most successful,…but merely a follower of Jesus Christ, His disciple. I want to live my life in such a way that pleases Him alone.

When I first wrote this post, I said what I wanted it to say, but was concerned that it may not be taken with the heart it was meant. It is not meant to be judgmental against anyone I do not link, but more in support of those online ….that…well you know who you are. You can also think of it like this. When we started home schooling many years ago, some people took offense at our decision because they felt it was a statement against their choices to send their kids to school or because they were teachers in the school systems. Many times, again and again, I tried to explain that our choice was not a choice against the schools, but a choice following what God had put on our heart to do FOR Him and these kids He has entrusted us to raise.

I say this because I know there might be a few that I may meet, that may even link me from their blogs….either now or later one day. This is my statement of what I am looking for if I link a blog off mine….Unity in Christ. Unity in the kinds of content, that I may not lead anyone astray for what they may find beyond here. I try to be cautious before posting a link and do so knowing that I am accountable for where you may go from my link. I do so with this in mind:

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13

Thank you WORDprints, for permission to link you from here and for your many visits and support. I pray people will be blessed as they visit you…and encouraged in their relationships with Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

I pray my words here are taken in the spirit they are meant as I make decisions that may not always involved reciprocating a link or a comment. I’d rather be free to post and link on my blog as God may guide than to feel an obligation to do anything differently than I feel is right.

Thanks for listening….and for the comments. I may want to add some of you, fine readers /commenters to my list of encouraging blogs in time. Only God knows!
Read quick, you never know when another edit may come!

Sketch Swap

This is a fun little site where you sketch a drawing to share with someone "out there" in cyberspace. After you finish drawing, hit swap. Your picture disappears, and someone else's is drawn on your screen. Fun stuff.

Thanks Sandra for the link.

Monday, September 25, 2006

About two weeks ago, I posted some live cam links to two different sites on the African Continent. Since that time, we as a family, have become very addicted to "checking in" on the two different waterholes to see what might be there getting a drink of water. We've seen a huge range of animals, at various times of the day. Here is a movie I made of some of the video and screen shots we've been saving.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Really Neat Time Lapse Video of Hot Air Balloons

"One hundred six balloons in a mass ascension at the Reno Balloon Race."

Monday, September 18, 2006

I was trying to go back to find my sunflower scrap picture on here from last year-but right now I cannot find it. That basically means that either I am lost on my own blog, or I never uploaded it. (LOL) None the less, here are a few new sunflower pictures that I have taken of this year's sunflowers. They really havent done all that well. We planted them late, and well they are just now blooming...kind of. After my son played basketball yesterday, they are doing even worse as it appears his ball hit a few. No real big loss as I was considering pulling it all up and planting something else there now...but it also means the end of sunflowers until next year.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yesterday it rained like crazy all day. It was such a nice refreshing sound. It was also very cool, very fall like. I loved it. We did have some movies due, unfortunately. We quickly ran to the car, to the library and back again.

Giraffe we saw at last night. (link posted below)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

If you scroll down, and look to the left side, you will notice I have added meebo chat. I dont know how long I'll leave it there...or use it...but thought it would be interesting for now to add.

Over the weekend, we had borrowed the Muppet Show-Season 1, disk 3 and 4 from our public library. In watching it this weekend, we saw this song on it and it gave us all a good laugh.

(Peter Pan)
Never smile at a crocodile
No, you can't get friendly with a crocodile
Don't be taken in by his welcome grin
He's imagining how well you'd fit within his skin
Never smile at a crocodile
Never dip your hat and stop to talk awhile
Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile
You may very well be well bred
Lots of etiquette in your head
But there's always some special case,
time or place To forget etiquette For instance:
Never smile at a crocodile
No, you can't get friendly with a crocodile
Don't be taken in by his welcome grin
He's imagining how well you'd fit within his skin
Never smile at a crocodile
Never dip your hat and stop to talk awhile
Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile

and on You Tube I found the clip:
Never Smile At a Crocodile

From Maureen..


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

From my friend Katie Jo..

Parachute Jump Game

Pete's Pond

Very neat live web cam. Best viewing hours, it says is between 4-8 PM EST (night viewing) and 12 am-4 am EST for early morning viewing. We were watching some gazelles a few minutes ago.

Monday, September 11, 2006

It's been a while since I've shared my church notebook doodles. Some do not have reason or rhyme, others perhaps are inspired by something our pastor is saying at the time, while still others have to do with patterns or ideas that are going on in my head as he teaches. If he is explaining a point, often I can concentrate more if I doodle something. I dont know why-but this is me and how God made me I suppose. Looking back, it's been over a year since I last shared some of these. That is why there are so many. I put them in three different posts. Um the pig head has to do with our watching Manor House. As I got these ready-I could remember drawing them, and the inspiration that inspired them. I also got excited, wanting to try something new with the design...taking more time than the doodle took. I probably have one of the most decorated notebooks in notes surrounded by pictures of various objects.
(and yes, there really are notes in between the sketches!)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I remember being handed a little green bible in college. Mr Martin was a leader in my church and also a Gideon. He was the one that handed me the little green Gideon bible on the UNCG campus. I offered the bible back because I felt it would be better served giving it to someone else that was not saved. He said to keep it anyway. He wanted me to have it. Somehow between my husband and I we ended up with three little green bibles from the Gideons over the time in college.

Eventually when we had our daughter Hannah, we gave her one of them. She would lay out on the couch "reading" it. (between 18 months and two years old at first) It was a bible I could give her that she could do what she wanted with it(meaning if she accidentally spilled milk on it, smeared peanut butter on it, crumpled a page etc-it didn't matter) She carried that little bible around in her purse...and around the house everywhere. She would lay on the couch with it singing "Jesus Loves Me" as she "read". Officially I consider it her first bible (even though the our Sunday school class gave her one when she was born and the church gave her one of the little pink ones on the day she was dedicated to the Lord) because it was the first bible she became comfortable with it in a beautiful way.

When my son was born, we gave him one...and then both would lay on the couch "reading" as he would mimic his sister. The third lays under our bed in a box with a soft white baby blanket. It was to be for our third child that basically skipped this Earth and went straight for Heaven (just like child 4 and 5).

I hope the Gideons continue in their spreading of the word one bible at a time. I pray for those that receive God's word in this manner that God will bless it to their lives.

I will close with a passage of scripture that is on my mind at this hour as I type this..

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6: 6-9

Friday, September 08, 2006

A few fun links:

click me! click me!

(LOL-looks like a spam link..but I assure you it isnt!)

and with lego men

This one is a video of this guy taking his electric guitar and putting his own unique spin on a piece of music(canon) by Johann Pachelbel. Supposedly, he is a computer science major.

Johann Pachelbel - a different way

Seen on another person's blog...thought they were a lot of fun.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Since I changed my blog look, about half the time I am navigating around it, I get this error. I never got it on such a regular basis before. I am not using beta blogger yet. I wondered if anyone else has been getting these errors on blogger..or more specifically as they navigated around my blog. I would hate to have to change my template again as it took a lot of time to get set, but if it is mearly a blogger problem I'll wait it out and hope for the best.

You may recall this post about our dog Bayley's 7th birthday and bobo. Thought it would be fun to give you an update photo of both of them. They are not what I'd call "best friends", yet Bobo is there when Bayley needs him and wants to snuggle with something fluffy.

I was playing with some of the digital scrapbooking elements that I have been combing the internet for. I really should make a list here though for safe keeping of my favorite places to visit. With this photo, I was working with a tutorial that was showing you how to do torn edges with the digital paper.

I live in the south, North Carolina to be exact. We do see snow here a time or two a year, sometimes accumulating to the nice "snowed in" level. Mostly though we see ice or rain in the winter's months. It came as a surprise then, last night, to read this passage written by Bartlett Yancey in 1811 concerning wildlife in Caswell County (a county directly north and east of where I am)

"Of game we have but little; the greater part of the deer having been killed in an immensely large snow that fell about eight or nine years ago."

Amazing! There was a snowstorm in the early 1800's that killed off a good part of the deer population?

We looked up weather to see if we could find anything about a big snow in North Carolina in around 1802 or 1803 and found THIS:

February 3, 1803 -
a great snowstorm dropped 20 inches of snow over the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina.

Winston-Salem is to the west of the area in question. Depending on the system that drops the snow, the East sometimes does get more snow than the West.

For North Carolina to get 20 inches of snow is a big deal, even more so if that amount varied (as it can) to a larger amount in other parts of the state-even within 100 miles.

But it killed most of the deer population? Amazing!

Monday, September 04, 2006

After posting my last entry, I saw this on a site I frequent:

Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter" has died

We enjoyed his shows very much-He will be missed.

I have been sitting here trying to get a new template for my blog to work. This was my second choice...but honestly-I like it just as much as the first one I ran across. I was long overdue for a change.
Perhaps it is just the week for change. After several years, we have been repainting the bathroom. When we first had this house built and moved here close to 15 years ago, all the walls were a pale yellow. I was before my time, I believe, as it seems that I see that color so often used in conjunction with shades of oranges, browns and greens in the model homes I temp at from time to time.
Several years ago, we painted our bathroom a nice color of pink. We tried blue-but we did not like the shade(Grover blue I've been known to call it) went with the pink a day later. (live and learn)
This time we are painting it white. I just wanted a blank slate to start with this time, rather than a color that would box me in. I wanted to be free to go with whatever theme I wanted to, without the restraints of colors. I wanted the shower curtain and the window dressings and the towels to bring in the color this time. I also wanted the option of using a border, any border or doing a painting on the wall if I wanted to.. (had considered how it would be to paint a beach fence on the wall...borrowing from what I learned when I painted the picket fence on my daughter's wall several years ago.) No matter what I choose to do, the choice will be open...and free and I like that. It already looks a lot better.
Nothing like a change to give a new perspective, whether it is a newly painted bathroom or a new blogger template.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Alamance County Arts Council is celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a special art exhibit. They have displayed around the town of Burlington and Alamance County statues by J Seward Johnson. The pieces are a part of a bigger group of work by this man called Man on The Street.
They will be on display until the end of October.

My family and drove around Alamance County on Tuesday searching for these statues. We took over 200 photos of them. I have put some of them here on this slide show: My J Seward Johnson Kodak Slide show . I also made a slide show/movie to music displayed below in the next post.

We have seen all but two of them. It took most of the afternoon to capture the various shots. We had fun interacting with the art, enjoying the details of each one and then coming home with the memories that can only come from riding around in the car all day with your family! :)

Man on The Street