Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Place Called Tennessee Temple University...

Yesterday felt very much like I had stepped back in time. We went to the campus of our Alma Mater, Tennessee Temple University.

It felt surreal to be walking in places I had stepped hundreds of times - only this time, I had my children with me. And this time, would be one of the last times these places would still be considered TTU.

This place has had such a significant impact on my life. While my Dad attended TTU, my parents grew so much spiritually.

While I attended, friends and professors taught me so much about the Bible and living my life for the Lord.

I met my husband my first day on campus as a student.

My sister attended and met her husband during her time there as well.

And although these familiar places are very dear to my heart, I had to agree when I heard someone say, "It wasn't really about WHERE I went to college, it was all about WHO was there WITH ME."

We were challenged to remember that despite the school's closing, the legacy and ministry of Temple lives on in us.

As I shed tears while we sang the Alma Mater and quoted the Confession of Faith one last time, I found this saying to be quite appropriate:
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

I loved revisiting some familiar classrooms where I was taught Doctrines and Survey of Old/New Testament.

As I spoke with close friends from my college days, it was as if we had never be en apart.

We laughed at memories and recounted lessons learned.

I showed my children where I answered the switchboard for 40 hours each week for several years.

We rode the elevator, for old time's sake, hoping that we wouldn't get stuck inside. I remembered how Jeremiah referred to the elevator phone as his direct line to me (because it would only dial out to the switchboard).

We celebrated the Martin's retirement. Oh, how I love that couple!

Mrs. Martin has invested so much of herself in me. When I told her that I was forever grateful for her influence and guidance and that I am still using things that I learned from her, she looked at me with tear filled eyes and said... "Anything good that you received from me was Jesus."

Mrs. Martin wanted me to be the best "Cindy Covey" I could be - and she never cared if she received any credit or praise. She encouraged me to make my projects for her look colorful and creative. She cultivated the leadership qualities that the Lord had given me. She helped me to learn that God made me to be me...and that's the "me" He wants to use.

I am also blown away by the fact that the two of them are always learning. Their name tags yesterday said that they had been at Temple from 1969-2015. I used to type Dr. Martin's notes for him and he was ALWAYS revising. Always researching. Always finding a better way to present material to students. Always trying to learn more. Just because we celebrated their retirement, I don't think these two are planning to just prop their feet up...

Jeremiah said that the day made him think a lot about Heaven.  Yesterday we found ourselves surrounded by so many alumni - some we recognized, some we knew well and some we had never met. But we were bonded together because a place called TTU had impacted our lives.

Someday, when we get to Heaven, we will see so many people that we know and recognize...what an amazing reunion it will be. We will all be bonded together because of our faith and trust in Jesus.

What a wonderful day it was...

Reconnecting with friends...

Hearing how the Lord was moving and working in other's lives...

Remembering what the Lord had done in my own life.

I am so thankful that the Lord used a place called Tennessee Temple University.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Read with Me

It has been raining for days here. I was glad to have some books to review during our stormy time inside.

Henry Hodges Needs a Friend was a fun kids book to read with my son. He seems to really appreciate rhyming books (that or since I love a rhyming book, I might be reading it a little more enthusiastically).

This hardbacked book (with slip cover) is full of beautifully illustrated pages that are colorful and glossy. I love that the book looks the same as the slip cover...because with kids, it is impossible to keep a slipcover from being bent or ripped.

The story is cute and the message is fun. I love that it emphasizes that God knows our needs and will send the perfect thing our way when the time is right.

I am excited to read this book over and over with my kids.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

How to Get Dressed by Alison Freer was an entertaining and informative read. It's described as "a costume designer's secrets for making your clothes look. fit and feel amazing." This paperback book is filled with cute illustrations in black and gold.

I loved reading through tips of getting your clothes to fit properly and when to have something altered. I also enjoyed the section on "Dumb Fashion Rules" and how they don't always need to be followed (Like wearing white after labor day or never wearing denim on denim).

It felt much like I was watching "What Not to Wear." It was a fun book to flip through. I picked up a few tips along the way, as well. I didn't agree with all of her ideas (Personally, I don't view leggings as pants) but she did have some great points to consider. The last chapter includes men's fashion tips.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Chance of Loving You was a fun anthology from three best selling romance authors: Blackstock, Calvert and Warren.

Author Terri Blackstock - view author info
Author Susan May Warren - view author info
Author Candace Calvert - view author info

I loved the length of the stories - I could easily finish one during my kid's naptimes. Because they are short, the story lines move quickly and the characters are developed almost instantly.

Terri Blackstock is one of my favorite authors. Her story was so fun and left me wanting to re-read some of her other books.

This collection is perfect for those short sessions when you want to read  something entertaining but not too involved.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Guest Post: Cora's Cozy Coupe

I love that technology allows me to keep in contact with childhood friends. When I saw what my friend Meghan made for her little girl's birthday (which is the same date as mine) I begged her to share it here on the blog.

 Meghan and I have been friends since childhood. Our dads were pastors on staff at a larger church in Ohio. We probably played together weekly, recording our own Adventures in Odysseys, pretending we were Olympic ice skaters and gymnasts,  and filming our own commercials. We were the same age and enjoyed the same things. And as you can see, we were quite fashionable!

Because of how much time we'd spent together, I figured there would be tons of pictures of the two of us. My mom helped me find a few...and it's obvious that we were pastor's kids! 

Meghan, Me, Amber, Alayna and Ashlee singing at church

All the pictures of us were either singing, speaking at a Mother/Daughter Banquet (with measuring tapes around our necks??) or going to church camp! ha. 

Stacie, Amber, Me and Meghan

Here's Meghan's cute project...

My newly 2 year old is pretty in love with Minnie. We were just a week or so from her Minnie Mouse party and I still had not decided on a gift for her.  Parties are expensive enough so I didn't want to spend a lot of money.  While party searching, I came across a post on Pinterest about a "Cozy Coupe Minnie Mouse redo" . ( don't you just love the satisfaction of doing things yourself rather than buying it?! Although my hubby swears Pinterest only exists to give him more projects .....but that's another subject!! ;))

I suddenly got inspired to search Craigslist and got lucky - someone had just posted a used Little Tykes Cozy Coupe that day for $25. Determined to get an even BETTER deal, I asked if they would take $15... and they agreed!

With my hubby's help we started the redo! Here is a picture similar to what the car looked like before.

My hubby was able to pull all the needed pieces apart to paint the yellow parts black and the red parts a "Minnie Pink". Even the little horn on the steering wheel came apart easily!

We purchased these spray paints from Lowes ( around $3.50 a can) :

Although, I will say if you know something that might bond even better to plastic- use it! We haven't been super impressed with these even though it says it bonds to plastic. (which is why we did the extra clear coat).  It took about 2 coats of the berry pink and one of the black.

I contacted a friend who lives close to me and has just started up a cute vinyl store on Etsy and placed an order with her. She made us some dots and Cora's name with her machine so that we could attach them easily rather than try to paint it on ourselves! ( also what I saw done on Pinterest) Please check out their shop! They do great work!!

Message her about the dots and specific name and I know she'd love to accommodate you!

We assembled the car after it was dry and added the vinyl name and polka dots. Voila..... The perfect girly Minnie car for my sweet 2 year old!

Here she is on her birthday loving her new car!!

This has inspired me to maybe paint a play kitchen for a certain little girl of mine. 

Meghan and her husband have a really cool pallet art business here on Etsy.

They are super reasonable in price and accept custom orders!

Thanks, Meg, for sharing your adorably creative project!