Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Through The Years

Happy Halloween! We always have a fun Halloween around our house. Our neighborhood has lots of kids AND lots of friendly neighbors who give out candy. People who don't live in our neighborhood even come because it's the place to be on Halloween night! Parker and Claire love trick or treating with lots of friends. Here are a few pictures from Halloweens past. (I didn't have time to go back farther than 2008!) 

You may notice some recurring themes with Parker: pirate, pirate, pirate, whoopee cushion, whoopee cushion, whoopee cushion 

Any guesses what he is dressing up as this year???






I'll be back soon with a recap of Halloween 2014!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


October 30, 1954. Sixty years ago today.

Paul Friday and Shirley Humphreys stood before family, friends, and our wonderful God to commit their lives to each other and to serving the Lord together for the rest of their lives. That was the beginning of a beautiful legacy. But a marriage like theirs doesn't just happen.

As everyone does, they had lots of ups and downs. Military service, building a home, death of parents and siblings, job changes, birth of three babies, six grandchildren, and now even two great-grandchildren. These things were all part of their story together. I'm sure there were many other small and big things during the years. Through it all, their love remained constant because of their commitment to each other and the Lord.

I am so thankful for their commitment. I had the privilege of being raised by parents who never discussed divorce. Never once did I worry that it was even an option. The security of that is priceless. Brian and I are committed that our children will never have that worry either.

As they stood up and said their vows sixty years ago, I can guarantee that they didn't have any idea what was in store for them throughout life. Together they walked through it all.

Even today, as my Daddy spends his 60th wedding anniversary in heaven and my mama spends it here on earth without him, their love is still strong. We are all eternally blessed by their legacy. I am forever thankful.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Caramel Snickers Brownies

What do you get when you put caramel, Snickers, and brownies together??? A big pile of delicious, that's what! If you are a bit bored with plain brownies, then hold on to your socks because I'm about to rock your world! 

(That's my infomercial opening. What do you think? Ha!)

Seriously, this is the easiest "recipe" ever. Notice I put recipe in quotation marks because I don't think it even really qualifies as a real recipe. I'm pretty sure Max the Furry Murray could even make these. In his sleep. Of course, he couldn't eat them because of the chocolate, but you get the point.

I used a box brownie mix because it's cheap, easy, and I've yet to find a homemade brownie recipe that tastes better than the mix. Cut up "some" (I'm very precise) mini Snickers bars into small chunks. Open a jar of store bought caramel ice cream topping. See...easy like I promised.

Combine the brownie mix according to the directions on the box, then stir in "some" Snickers chunks and a "little" caramel sauce. Pour it into the pan. Swirl a little more caramel on top of the mix in the pan and bake according to the directions. Save a few Snickers chunks and a little caramel sauce to add when you serve it. 

So yummy and not at all boring. All the Murrays up in this house approved! (Except Max....because of the unfortunate aforementioned chocolate issue.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

39: Things Not To Do While I'm 39 Edition

My first list of 39 was goals for the upcoming year. So I figured, why not make a list of things I don't want to accomplish during the next year. Here we go!

39 Things I Do Not Want To Do
1. Eat green beans
2. Waste time
3. Care what others think
4. Cook the same things over and over
5. Be fake
6. Get another crack in my windshield (It's already happened twice)
7. Worry
8. Be sick
9. Gain weight (obviously)
10. Lose my patience
11. Miss opportunities
12. Compare myself to others
13. Stay up too late
14. Sleep in too late
15. Eat licorice (gag)
16. See a snake
17. Dream about a snake
18. Find a snake
19. Step on a snake
20. Watch a show/movie about a snake
21. Be bitten by a snake
22. Drink Diet Coke (Diet Pepsi is fine. Even Coke Zero. But not Diet Coke.)
23. Write with blue pens (It's ridiculous. I know.)
24. Get more wrinkles
25. Waste money
26. Eat at Quizno's (I had a very bad Quizno's experience one time)
27. Make excuses
28. Have my house infested with brown recluse spiders (or any spiders for that matter ~ did you see that news story???)
29. Be lazy
30. Be disorganized
31. Complain
32. Be discontent
33. Procrastinate
34. Run a marathon (no thank you)
35. Have chicken pox (I've never had it)
36. Be trapped (claustrophobic am I)
37. Clean the bathtubs (that's Brian's job) :)
38. Watch The Walking Dead (WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?! Gross!)
39. Ignore God's prompting

*** Edited to add: I SAW A SNAKE!!!!! It was right across the street from our neighborhood which is entirely too close for comfort. Prayers appreciated.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blowing Rock

A few weekends ago, we headed to Blowing Rock, North Carolina for a little fun after church. If you've never driven into Blowing Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you are really missing out. It is so beautiful especially in the fall! Seriously, one of the prettiest places I've ever been ~ so GO!

Blowing Rock is such a cute, quaint little town that we always enjoying visiting. There are lots of shops, restaurants, and a fun park that we like to visit. We ate the The Town Tavern on this trip. We liked it, but we enjoyed it more back in the summer when we were able to eat outside on the patio and listen to the live music.
The kids enjoyed playing Cornhole out front while we waited for our table.
It was another fun day exploring and spending time together. I'm thankful for days like that!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Visiting Gatlinburg & Ripley's Aquarium

Last weekend we hit the road to work in a couple of day trips. On Saturday, we went to Gatlinburg. It was a little early for the fall color on the trees to be at the peak, but we still enjoyed driving into Gatlinburg on the Foothills Parkway.

These mountain views are beautiful no matter what the season is!

We had fun visiting Ripley's Aquarium. Even though we've been several times before, we always love it.
We also spent some time walking around downtown Gatlinburg. The weather was really nice!
We ate dinner at The Peddler. It was fairly good, but it was pricey and not out of this world. I doubt we'll go back. Just keepin' it real!

Parker was thrilled to find that the headless horseman was back at Ripley's Haunted Adventure. We never go in there, but he likes looking at the headless horseman. A few years ago, they took it out. He was super excited to see that they finally brought it back. Here they are acting scared...
We love spending time together as a family making fun memories!

Friday, October 3, 2014

39: Goals Edition

In honor of my 39th birthday, I decided to make a little series called 39. Original, right?! I spent hours coming up with that title. I thought I might add to the series every once in a while with a new list of 39 on varying topics. If you have a fun idea for my next list of 39, let me know!

To get this little 39 series started, I thought I would make a list of 39 goals for this year. Some serious, some silly. Just like me.

1. To know Him (Chirst) and make Him known (This is my life goal!)
2. Get up earlier (eeek!)
3. Be more intentional about how we spend our time at home
4. Experiment with new recipes
5. Finish Christmas shopping early
6. Learn to like green beans (Nah! Yuck! Never mind!)
7. Blog more often
8. Memorize more Scripture
9. Paint my nails more often
10. Write
11. Change our living room furniture arrangement
12. Organize the garage (Why am I doing this to myself?)
13. Catch up on Nashville (the tv series)
14. Actually read the books I check out from the library
15. Return the library books on time
16. Drink even more water
17. Stop being so hard on myself
18. All the time! (That one needed two spots!)
19. Worry less
20. Trust more
21. Tell others I love them more often
22. Encourage others
23. Live in the moment
24. Finally complete unfinished scrapbooks
25. Floss more often
26. Stand up straight (ugh)
27. Continue my Pinterest ministry (wink, wink)
28. Paint the kids' bathroom
29. Update what's on our walls
30. Update a thousand other things in our house (Does anybody want to give me a loan?)
31. Talk Brian into another puppy
32. Serve
33. Eat circus peanuts
34. Listen
35. Learn to like coffee
36. But still drink lots of hot chocolate
37. Watch more movies
38. Spend more time with friends
39. Remember to breathe

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."       Philippians 3:13-14

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My Birthday

It's official. I'm 39. Wow.

Good thing this picture of me holding the family birthday plate is blurry because it was early. And I was looking extra old that early.

My sweet Brianaby got up extra early to fix me French toast and bacon. It was so delicious!!!
This picture is sideways, and I'm too old to try to fix it.
My sweet Mama made me a delicious birthday dinner and birthday cake.

I am so blessed!

Brian also took me to Knoxville last Saturday to shop and eat. We left the kids at home with Nana, and he was such a good sport to shop with me all day. We went everywhere!!! I was too busy enjoying the day to take a lot of pictures, but here's one from our lunch stop.

Anyone who knows me well at all should know that I always turn my birthday into a "Birthday Week Extravaganza". So the party is still going up in here...

I am so thankful for my life, my health, and all of my blessings. Each day is such a gift, and my prayer is to never take a single day for granted! 

Teach us to number our days,
 that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
 Psalm 90:12

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Welcome October!

I love October!!! When the leaves change colors and the air finally starts to cool down, I'm a happy girl. I know that the first day of fall is technically in September, but I always consider October my official beginning of fall.

There are even some fall rules that I usually make myself follow. For example, there shall be no burning of fall scented candles until October 1. Also, there shall be no using of my special body wash that I reserve for fall and winter until October 1. This year, things were different and I was breakin' all the rules!!! I just couldn't wait. Fall seemed to be dragging it's feet around here, and I was tired of waiting. So, the body wash and pumpkin candles came out a bit early. I gave myself permission to break my own dumb rules and quoted this verse to myself over and over:

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

I'm not sure that Paul was referring to self-imposed rules about body wash and candle scents, but it was a good reminder for me to stop with all the rules already!!!

 We have some exciting things planned for October around the Murray house. There are several fun trips on the horizon, some family birthdays, a church tailgate party, Halloween and more! 

And did I mention that today is my birthday?!?! 

How blessed I am to be alive and healthy ~ just another wonderful reason to love October.

Do you love fall like I do, or does your heart beat fast for a different season?