He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9




Click the picture to go to our photography blog for more of our funny little photo shoot in the field across from Green Street Park...

The Tongue

Our pastor preached a wonderful message on "the tongue" last night. You long-time readers know this is a...very important.....topic to me.

Before I mount my soap box and embarrass myself, I have a question for you all.

"What is gossip?"

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Book Review: Love and Respect

David suggested that we read this book together. I'm not finished with it yet, so the book review will have to wait. But let me just say: I'm getting my fanny whooped!
Ladies, if you're up for a good spanking join me in this wonderful misery of learning how to respect unconditionally. It speaks to husbands too, but I'm too busy being convicted to worry too much about that. I was sharing some of what I'm learning with David the other day, and I'm almost positive I saw him trying to hold back a grin as I explained my convicted behavior. (He knew better than to agree too heartily. So he just smiled inside.)

'nuff said for now......

Book Review: Shepherding a Child's Heart

Wow. This is now one of those books that I consider a "staple" in our library. It has sharpened my vision, tested my heart, and encouraged my passion for leading our children towards having a heart of passion for God. It helped me to gently evaluate our parenting over the last 6 years and I believe has strengthened me for the next 6 years.

I've already told my family: this is a book you must read before your first kid is one year old!

I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading this.

It left my eyes and ears open for ways to apply the philosophy and principles in a minute to minute way.

Another thing it got me to thinking about: I interpreted him as coming across pretty strong against positive reinforcement systems as a means of discipline. I firmly agree that "If you obey Mommy I'll give you a sucker" is not acceptable. However, I still stick to my belief that there is an effective place for positive reinforcement plans in the home. Sticker charts, behavior games, goal setting. I think all of this helps to make the training process more effective. For instance, with our oldest in particular, playing habit games help to keep her mind on the daily work of forming good habits. All of our kids are required to clear their plate from the table after being excused from a meal. When Kayla was younger, she had an irritating habit of dropping her fork multiple times during meals. So we decided if she could go a whole meal without dropping her fork, I'd clear her plate for her. It worked beautifully, and kept her more vigilant in her habit forming. That habit solved, we moved on to the habit of her dressing herself in the morning without being reminded. And so forth. It's exciting when we get to switch habits after one is mastered. And it's amazing how such a small thing could motivate her. We also periodically use other methods of motivation like sticker charts and the like for chores. But I happily embrace Dr. Dobson's idea that these are most effective when switched regularly to keep them fresh. (That way I don't feel guilty when one method fizzles and we move on to another.)

Again, I am not talking about bribery towards obedience. But I believe in positive reinforcement and I think God does too. Heaven is positive reinforcement. A paycheck at the end of the week is positive reinforcement, etc. I am not necessarily saying that Tripp disagrees with this thought, but it is something I had to clarify for myself as I read and processed his ideas on the matter.

This book has helped me to improve in my thinking and in the practical, everyday ministry of communication with our children. It has reminded me of the rich relationships that develop from communication. It has encouraged me to help our kids to understand what is pouring from their hearts. It has helped me to refine the discipline process and given me that much-needed kick in the sitter that quality books like these always provide.

If you're a parent and haven't read it, you should!

Shepherd Press Resources

Buy it at Amazon.com

Young Love

:: Debbie and Greg :: Wedding Date - June, 2009 ::
Click the picture to see the rest of their engagent pictures.

We had a great time. Greg was most definately a trooper. We took over 500 pictures and he endured to the end. (He must really love her a LOT!) Then we treated ourselves to cold drinks and hot apple pies at McD's. A very fun and productive evening.

Lasting Love

I really loved this piece written by my honey for our picture blog. Thought I'd share it for those of you who didn't see it over there.

By David Fry

We believe commitment is the glue that holds marriage together. Sadly, most people miss out on the joy of being together with the one they love. Once a couple is married too often the individuals begin to develop individual commitments that slowly but steadily pull the marriage apart. The things that they once enjoyed and the sights and sounds that once drew them to one another are replaced by individual interests, hobbies, jobs, and relationships that deteriorate the glue of commitment.

Marriage is about writing a story--the story of two people in love. We are committed to writing one story, not two; one story in which there are two people who are creating a history from which they cannot quickly become detached. We believe that one way to maintain the proper focus in marriage is to enjoy each other. This means sharing interests, ideas, and time doing what both people enjoy. To this end, we seek to spend our time doing what we can enjoy together.

We do not seek recreation for its own sake. Recreation, we believe, serves as an opportunity to rest the mind, recuperate the body, and--for purposes here--to deepen relationship. Jeremy Taylor in his classic Holy Living says it this way:
Do not allow your recreations to take up too much of your time,
but choose those that are healthful, short, transient,
and recreative, designed to refresh you. Avoid games
which require much time or which are apt to steal your
affections for more worthy activity. For to whatever you have
given your affections, you will not grudge to give your time.
God designed marriage to be a means of grace, a means whereby we may be sharpened as individuals in our own relationship with God. In order to prevent our marriage from being a source of strife, we value like passions and interests. This blog represents time and energy that we put into each other. Each picture is in some way or another a glimpse into our lives. They express our way of seeing the world in a thousand words, words that sometimes are not easily spoken.

Though marriage is much more complicated than simply sharing a hobby together, we believe that little things such as this go a long way in sustaining a relationship. The things that we enjoy together help us to enjoy each other. This being so, photography, in our case, is only a recreation. Our leading business is to love our Creator and to enjoy him forever. Let this, therefore,

"Be our leading business and all others occasional employments"
St. John Chrysostom
(Homilies in John)

New Hobby - New Blog!

(David took the title piano picture at the top of my blog and the picture at the top of this post.)

We graduated from our little Kodak EasyShare. It was held together by a rubber band, and would often only take one picture before having to remove said binding, replacing batteries, and going for the next shot. For years, we've been content with our Kodak and happy as if we had good sense. But it was becoming immensely frustrating. Not to mention the fact that it was incompetent for any type of church or program shots.

After David ordered our new camera, the company far surpassed the alloted time for shipping included in the deal. So we got a free 75-300mm telefoto lens and an upgrade to a 4 gig card free!!

Anyway....we already knew we were a couple of bonafide nerds, what with the bird watching hobby, book collecting and all.

But now we've just graduated to a whole new level of nerdy. We're mesmerized with the capabilities of our new camera. We, um, read the manual as we're driving along on our photography dates. Read photography books in the bookstore. Check out photography books from the library. I know. Weirdos.

But don't knock it too much until you see the pictures!

We're having a blast.

Scratchin' that Itch

I have had the Yard Sale bug since Spring first Sprung this year! I finally got my chance. We went to Indy to pick up the new bunk bed. So (to combine trips for gas) we also went to PetSmart to get Mya her new suave new doggie-diaper and went to some awesome Yard Sales!

I had to crack up. If David had not been along, we would have spent literally 4 times as much. I'm not kidding you, ladies. He hovered over me as I shopped, quizzing me on why we needed such-and-such and where we'd keep so-and-so. So after he had effectively weeded out my purchases, the real fun began. I have a considerably more self-preservation (pride) than does my refined husband. So I'd hand the whole mess of purchases to him and he'd wheel and deal! If the poor tired garage sale lady didn't give him the price he asked, he'd just set things aside. Oh mercy. I thought about being mad, but it was so hilarious that he CARED so much. I'm still laughing about it.

So...if you want a fun day of yard saling without over spending or gaining unnecessary clutter, you may borrow my husband....the YARD SALE POLICE!

Here are some purchases that didn't get vetoed:

Brand-new looking terry robe for Caiden: $1.00

Fresh white set of 100% cotton King Sized sheets: $5.00 (don't know what the reduced rate was)

At least I had a support system. My mother in law was with me. After a wonderful Dick and Jane Treasury Hardback book was deemed too expensive (at a whoppin' $2.00) by the Yard Sale Patrol, Mom Fry whisked it up and got it half price! She understands the burden I bear.....she lives with my husband's father!!


Skatin' and Smilin'

Having a ball with their 2nd cousin Alyssa Johnson.


Kayla Turns Six!

Kayla was begging for a friends party (and of course, planning it in complete detail). So we just invited all the church kid over after Wed. night service. It was simple and fun: Cake, Ice Cream, Sparklers and lots of friends.
Neopolitan cake and Neopolitan Ice Cream
I love this handy-dandy-humongeous cake pan that holds THREE cake mixes!
David helped me pour the three mixes at the same time so they would keep their shape.
Our favorite icing? Simply spread a tub of Cool Whip.

A few people snuck some gifts in.... Swinging, Talking, Running & Pseudo-Croquet (the kid version)


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