Saturday, October 27, 2007

NASCAR





Okay, I think this is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives! I took the boys to the Atlanta Motor Speedway today to see the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. They also got to see the NASCAR guys practice for tomorrows race! The boys were both very excited to be there! We were able to get tickets for $8 each through the Scouts. Here is what I thought of it...it's very loud! You can't even talk to the person next to you. Thank God we brought ear plugs with us! We stayed for about 4 hours and then walked around the vendors and stuff before we came home. The race track is only about 20 minutes from our house. Jon missed it because he is in New Jersey doing concerts this weekend. I am sure we will go again, because the Scouts do this twice a year...lucky us! It was worth it to see how excited the boys were...Ty almost hyperventilated when he saw Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon drive by! Our seats were pretty good. We were in the Petty Stands right on the 4th turn (I sound like I know what I am talking about, right!) and in the front row. It wasn't so bad until the trucks actually came around the corner at 190+ mph and threw rubber from their tires all over us! Then we decided to move up about 10 rows! The weather was also perfect. Blue sky and about 70 degrees, where was a breeze as well, but I don't know if it was from the trucks or not. Another thing, we were in the family section, so no alcohol was allowed, which is good, because I heard the other sections can get pretty bad with people drinking. So, all in all it was fun and I would go again (maybe bring a book next time!). I felt like a real southerner...scary. Enjoy the pics! By the way, my boys are not completely southernized yet...they did not know what the "General Lee" was and were wondering why everyone was going crazy when it came out onto the racetrack!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pumpkins, Leaves, and Cooler Weather...finally!





Last weekend we took the boys to get their pumpkins. It is always this event that makes me miss Half Moon Bay! We usually just go to a local church here that sets a pumpkin patch up on the front lawn. Its fine, but really just not the same as visiting Lemos Farm! I did hear there is a farm not far from here that does a pumpkin field, corn maze, pony rides and petting zoo, but it cost like $12.00 (per person) just to get in! Maybe that includes the cost of your pumpkin, but I doubt it! I love fall...it might be my favorite time of the year (I think I say that about the start of every season!). It has felt like summer here since May, so we are ready for a change! The leaves are starting to change gorgeous shades of red, orange and yellow. You look out the window and thousands of leaves are just floating through the air...very pretty and relaxing! This week our weather has finally gone from the upper 80's to a sudden drop to mid 60's. The sudden change does shock my system a bit...right now I am freezing! But, I love the crispness to the morning air! Great time to bundle up, sit on my front porch with a cup of coffee and read my Bible! I was reading again this morning about the persistent widow...and was reminded that is how we need to be with God. Always coming before him, not only with requests, but with our praise and love as well. Sometimes I find myself getting into the mindset of, "well, He's God, He knows what I need"...but I was reminded today to try to be in constant prayer throughout my day. Not always easy when there is a pile of laundry, and the boys have different places they need to be, and Jon is trying to pack for his tour this weekend...but I am going to try! Jon will be leaving tomorrow for New Jersey. He will be back Monday night. The boys and I are going to have an adventure on Saturday...we have tickets to go to the Atlanta Motor Speedway to see the Nextel Truck Races. Should be fun...for the boys! We were able to get tickets for $8 each, because it is Scout Day! Anyway, I will tell you about that next week! Gotta run, or I will be late for bible study!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mississippi







On October 11th the 4 of us with a group from our church traveled down to Pass Christian, Mississippi to build a Katrina Relief House. Pass Christian is on the gulf coast and after Hurricane Katrina hit, 90% of the homes were destroyed and 100% of the businesses were destroyed. Now 2 years later only 10% of the town has been rebuilt. Our church had partnered with a group called Square Foot Ministry and OM to build this house. The lady that will be living in it, not only lost everything in the hurricane, but has also contracted West Nile Virus from mosquitoes and is now going blind. When we got down there, we checked into our accommodations...tent city. These are the National Guard tents that were put up for the people who were left homeless. There were all girl tents and all boy tents, so Jon got the boys! We got up Friday morning and were on our construction site by 7:30 am. Our church had built all the outside walls this summer on the church parking lot and they were trucked down to Mississippi. So, we got to the site which had a foundation and front porch only to find out our house plans had been changed. None of the outside walls were right anymore. We went ahead and put them up and then the "construction" guys on our crew (the ones who really knew what they were doing!) went through and pulled apart the doors and windows, and rebuilt everything to the new plans. By the end of the first day, the exterior walls were up, windows were in, the house was wrapped and the roof trusses were up. At one point during the day, Andrew (a guy from our church) took Ty and Devon over to the railroad tracks (which were about 50 feet in front of the house!) and showed them how to put coins on the tracks. When they heard the train coming, all three of them ran to watch and wait to see what happened. Ty and Devon were excited to find there flattened coins! The next day, they placed more coins, and then decided a ham sandwich, apple and mayo packet might be just as good. Boys. So, anyway, back to the house! The second work day we put the siding up on three sides (doing this, I learned how to use a nail gun!), finished the interior walls, put plywood on the roof (which Andrew took Ty and Devon up to help with at one point!)and papered it. A ton of work for 2 days time! I was impressed with Ty and Devon. For being the only 2 kids there and on a construction site for 2 days, they did no complaining! They were always looking for jobs to do. they pulled nails our of wood, cleaned up and always made sure everyone had something to drink! they were awesome! After dinner on Saturday night our church band did an outside worship service. There weren't many people there, but I did hear that we had a few people who came over from the bar across the street to see what was going on and decided to stay for the music! Cool. Jon even got to debut a new song of his! It was a great 4 days for our family. We learned more about construction, compassion and caring for people less fortunate then we are. I would encourage anyone to find a team or organization and help rebuild the gulf coast.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pass Christian, Mississippi


The Simpson family (along with Crosspoint Community Church) is headed down to Pass Christian, Mississippi this week to help build a Katrina Relief House. Our church built all the outside walls of this house in our parking lot this summer, and now we are headed down to put it up! Pass Christian was 100% destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and now 2 years later, still only 10% of the town has been rebuilt. I read today that only 3 buildings in the whole town were left standing after the hurricane. There is still so much work to be done to rebuild the devastated areas and not enough people volunteering to go do it! It seems like after 2 years people have forgotten what happened to these cities. The lady that we are building the house for lost everything, and then contacted West Nile Virus from the mosquitoes. She is now blind. Please pray for safe travels, and that we can be Jesus in our efforts to help rebuild this city. Our band from church (which Jon is involved in) will also be putting on a worship service on Saturday night, for the whole town. Please pray for open hearts and changed lives. I am sure not only will we be changing lives down there, our own lives will be changed by this experience! Thanks for praying for us!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Home Improvement!






Ever since I moved into this house 2 years ago, I have wanted to change the kitchen cabinet hardware. The hardware was dirty, and gold...very 80's, and I really hated it. The biggest problem was I could not find anything I really liked that was under $4.00 a piece (I need to replace 50 handles)! You do the math. It seemed like an insane amount of money for me to pay for handles. So, I decided to get creative. I bought a $4 can of black hammered spray paint and painted them! I am so thrilled with the result! Anyway, just wanted to share this inexpensive decorating idea with you!