Thursday, March 24, 2011

Giant Fail of a Yard

In high school, I used to love cutting the grass on my parent's few acres of land. I'm quite certain it had nothing to do with putting on a bikini, being on a riding lawn mower, and getting a tan. That would be plain vain.

When it comes to our backyard now, I do not even slightly know where to begin with our yard and flower beds. My excellent way of dealing with this has been to ignore that we have a yard or flower beds. You see, I'm very wise and like to consider the long term effects of my actions.

Because I am a mathematician, my evaluation of this issue currently goes something like this:

Baby B

It's so sad. It really is. I'd like a place for Braden to play in which I do not dread looking around me. Yes, aesthetic beauty is something that I like. So judge me. Below you can find pictures of our gorgeous flower beds. Weeds and dead shrubbery are my specialty.

And check out the pictures of my son squealing as Nikki places her paw upon the door and pleads, "Release me from the throws of domestic hell."
Here is our backyard--complete with falling fence, grass and weeds in the flower bed, and an entire yard of weeds.
Somebody please call HGTV. Isn't there a show that can help me? Please. Nikki is begging. All she has ever wanted in life is to find a beautiful place to "compost" upon. A beautiful patch of green grass. An escape from her master's demands to "stay in your bed," or "lay your head down."
Well, we did do a bit of work on everything. Pictures of that to come soon.

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Friday, March 18, 2011


Don't ask what the title means. It's Dr. Seussish, and I like it.

Also I would like to highlight some happenings at the Memphis zoo:

Yesterday was Braden's first zoo trip. He just loved all the animals. He talked about them all day. He skipped around the zoo, and he even begged for us to buy a monkey when we arrived at home. Wait. It's me who is obsessed with the zoo and joined yesterday because I need more zoo in my life. Trust me...zoos are like chocolates. Except I don't want to eat anything from the zoo. Ew.

Eli was probably the only fun kid at the zoo yesterday. Sorry Braden, Isaac, and Jude--your wonder and curiosity is just not that pleasing to me yet. You were all so cute, but let's face it, I had more fun talking to your moms. Also two of you slept in your stroller while Eli entertained me. I'm just speaking facts here, precious children.
While Eli pointed at some strange creature that looked like a brown zebra with horns, he said, "It's a goat!" Poor thing. His parents have never taken him to look at those weird animals. He is left to deliberate animal names based upon what he has seen in cartoon books.
I'm learning how to use Picasa. Don't judge. Or do judge--and teach me how to use the dang program. I'll gladly take free lessons. I'm so lazy I don't want to fix it. Especially because my son is standing in his bed right now making weird fake coughs and fake clearing of his throat noises. This means he would like for me to come and get him.

Also, can you even see the pictures? They look so tiny. I might have to post the pictures like normal until I learn how to collage properly. But until then, I think that if you click on the collage, you can see it bigger in another window.

OKOK--I really have to go. His noises are getting weirder....

Stay tuned for the next post regarding another area of my life I've largely failed in. Maybe I could start blogging all my failures and you'll feel better about yourselves. That's fine. You can laugh at me at my expense. As long as you give me free lessons or help me. Like Roxanne, can you please help me repurpose things in my house? I mean do it for me. And Kelli--can you give me photography lessons and also teach me how to make a collage? I would keep going but ummm...he's definitely getting bed sores.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Day in My Life...

I'm upstairs working while I hear this downstairs:
She's reading, playing, telling Braden, "Your mamma had a toy like this," singing, and watching Baby McDonald--all while cackling infectiously. You oughta hear her laugh. I think she more than delights in her family.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Way of Love

I have been so struck lately by the Scriptures' call to love and live in unity with one another.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing.

Jed and I have a good friend who has lost relationship with an entire side of his family because of his belief in the Christ of the Scriptures. His own mother has cut him out of her life entirely. I have NEVER heard him refer to this as "picking up his cross" or "spiritual persecution." Instead, many years later, he still pursues his family despite their rejection of him and speaks of his constant longing for their restored relationship. He has been deeply wounded but his response is love.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

A young woman has lost years of her life to drugs, alcohol, and a pregnancy which resulted in giving up her child for adoption. The love she experienced in order to hand over this child to a family who has the resources, support, and stable environment to raise this child is greater that this young woman could possibly muster up herself.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Still another friend's husband cheated on her and is in the process of leaving her. Her response? She fights for his heart. She does not fight for her husband to love her but fights for him to love Jesus. Do you understand the lonely, devastating nights she has experienced lately? And yet her love is great.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

We have another friend whose mother is addicted to cocaine and has been virtually his entire life. He could tell you stories that would blow your mind. I have never heard him disrespect his mother. Actually, I see him praise and respect his mother, serve her well, and love her deeply. He has devoted his life to pursuing those like him and bringing them to the same well of love that he drinks from.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Another friend was raped in high school and has experienced deeply difficult times as a result. She has walked through this and has been set free from her sadness by the joy and love that only God offers. She is now deeply and contagiously passionate about what God has done for her and in her soul. She now ministers to others with her story of redemption.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Don't get me wrong, these friends get discouraged, tired, and worn. They give in to the temptations of the flesh. But they do not just believe in what their God has done for them. They have experienced it. They live standing under the Niagara Falls of God's love. They breathe it in daily. They come to the fountain of God's restoration, peace, and joy, and they drink deeply from it.

Praying today that I drink deeply because of my deep pride, arrogance, bitterness, jealousy, and lack of love to those around me....

Credits: The passage is I Corinthians 13 and the "Niagara Falls of God's love" is from my Daddy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Love Month

February flew by. It was like the month was short or something.

Do you wonder what I do all day? When B is asleep, I write grants, manuals, and articles and also I do house things and take a shower. Just kidding about the shower part. I actually started to write out all of the things I do. Let's just say that had I been speaking aloud to Jed, he would have looked at me and asked me to please reconsider listing all those boring things. So I just called them house things. You're welcome. When he's awake, well the pictures show it well...

The Winebrenner boys and B at the park on the one gorgeous day of the month. I took this picture and then Eli said something like, "Take picture Mamma." Psh. Mamma's boy.

~Bath time~
Did you see what I did there? With the clever photo title? Just checking.

Great Minnie reading to B and Nikki.

~Spatula Boy~
He loves that thing. And I love him in only his diaper. We're even.

~Self-portrait. Take 3.~
He's working on it, give him a break.

Playdate with Isaac. I'm pretty sure he taught B to crawl.

Isaac makes the best faces I've ever seen.

I know this is two in a row, but I won't always post pictures of only Braden and other kids. And Roxanne. Hey Roxanne!

Or maybe I will. Just depends on what I decide my blog is tomorrow.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Go ahead. Say this boy doesn't look like his dad. Say his facial expressions don't look like him. Say it. I dare ya.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

P-Dub in the House

I just uploaded (downloaded? My husband is our IT Department, not me.) a ton of awesome pictures, but you'll have to sit around and wonder what they are until I blog about them. Aren't you lucky?

But I WILL tell you about one important event in my life. (Imagine me saying this next part with a reeeeeal thick and slow southern accent.) I'm from Mississippi (without one of the "iss"es) and I don't wear shoes and I ain't never seen nobody famous before....(You can revert back to my normal voice now.)

We finally met the Pioneer Woman! She told us we were a cute group of friends, asked how we knew each other, and asked if we were having dinner after we left.

Then she winked at me and said, "You are my favorite person here, and we are Best Friends Forever. Do you wanna go get a drink?" OK-I made that last part up, but I think that's what she wanted to say.

And guess what?? PW brought Marlboro Man. He had a line too. But we were too late and didn't want to wait for him too. So look what we did, much to the laughter of the line in front of him.

Rox is such a blabbermouth. She just kept talking and talking to PW. We had to pull her away! And here she is--she's just really over the top with MM--he told her he would get a restraining order if she didn't back off!!
Here I am with my boyfriend. I mean Ree's husband. Sorry--sometimes I get confused.