Tuesday, April 28, 2009


If you've visited my blog in the last few weeks, you might have noticed the button on the top of the right sidebar for the Compassion Bloggers trip to India. It is going on right now and I've been riveted by the posts from the bloggers on that trip. Below are a few buttons you can click to get directly to two of the blogs and the last one is for links and an RSS feed to all of the bloggers who are documenting their time in India to see firsthand the difference $32 a month can make. I think what has struck me most deeply is the fact that $32 makes a HUGE difference to one child and that child's entire family. Just $32. We spend that in a quick run to CVS to pick up milk and diapers and think nothing of it, but to one child and one family, $32 is the key to a chance to go to school, to be able to cook, to eat, to know what a dream is (as you can see from this post).


Monday, April 27, 2009

The Noticer

"Perspective", Webster's says it means, among other things "the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship. The faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship. A mental view or prospect."

In Andy Andrews's newest book, The Noticer, that one word is a thread woven through each story in the book. For lack of a better term, Jones is the "main character" in the book and Perspective is the mantra he employs as he encounters others in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Those he encounters are each suffering in their own way; some are suffering in a failing marriage, some are suffering from loneliness. others from what appears to be just being dealt a bad hand in life. As he encounters each of those people, he enters their lives and their pain or questions or struggle by asking questions of his own. In a way his approach reminded me of law school; asking questions to get the other person to find the answer themselves instead of just telling them the answer.

There is something intriguing about the elusive Jones, I found myself wanting to know his story as he was entering the stories of those around him. While I enjoyed the book and its simple but easily forgotten reminders that each person has a story, each person makes a difference with their life; I walked away from the book feeling like it missed something. The lessons and encouragement found on its pages are certainly good, but I thought the allusion to Jesus was a little attenuated. It seemed to focus so much on YOU (or ME), that it felt a little like the lessons would be too burdensome for those who struggle with depression or other mental health issues or some of life's really big struggles. To look within myself and find "perspective" and ask the questions Jones brought forth rings a little hollow to me in some instances. I guess what I felt was missing was the next step. Yes, take a step back, gain some perspective, ask yourself the tough questions, but don't stop there. God has reached out his hand to us in the life of His Son to walk us through life's struggles, you don't have to walk it alone.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Early Morning Performance

Early one morning last week Caroline had on her princess costume and I had music playing on the computer.  She was doing a little performance that I enjoyed so much, I had to have do an encore so everyone could enjoy it!  It's a little long, so watch as much of it as you want:

Glory of it All from Ashley Beck on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Charlotte gives cereal a try

Hmmm.  What is it?  Cereal?  I'm not sure about this yet.  

Okay.  Thinking about it, thinking about it . . .

I do like it!  

LSU Spring Game

Jeff took Caroline to the LSU Spring Game on Saturday evening.  The weather was a little questionable, but we thought it would be a good trial run for possibly bringing her to a regular season game.  The weather held out for the first half and she really enjoyed being in Tiger Stadium.  The highlight of the game for her was getting to go on the field to take a picture with one of the cheerleaders.  Whenever we drive past the stadium she always says, "I'm going there to be a cheerleader."  The fact that the cheerleaders are there to cheer on the FOOTBALL players means nothing to Caroline; the stadium is all about the cheerleaders to this three year old.  

On the downside, the lowlight of the game was Caroline's run in with Mike the Tiger.  Caroline always thinks she wants to see the mascot when we are at LSU events, but the closer he gets, the more she realizes that calling him over was a really bad idea.  The same held true on Saturday and as Mike approached Caroline after she beckoned him her way, she slowly grew anxious at his approach and finally dissolved into tears as he tried to say hello.  On the way home from the game, Caroline used her "phone" to call Mike to tell him that he needs to try to be a little nicer.  

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

April 20, 2008 was Joshua's due date. Today, April 20, 2009, we are holding a precious baby girl who has brought joy to our lives in a new and wonderful way. She would not be here had we not lost him. The paradox of the intertwining of loss and death with the gift of life hits home for me in a new way on these milestone days. I am not sure I'm any closer to understanding it today than I was a year ago, but I take comfort in the fact that "at the start He was there . . . and at the end He'll be there." We will never be the same.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday

We had a great Easter, filled with lots, I mean LOTS of candy and treats for Caroline and some time with family and friends as well as of course starting the day off at church celebrating the reason for all of the egg hunting and candy eating - the resurrection of our Lord!  Jeff played a song during church and did a great job, he's doing music again next week, and I'm looking forward to hearing him play more often.  

Caroline was so worn out after the day that she fell asleep in the car on the way home at about 6:30 and didn't wake up until 6:45 Monday morning.  So much excitement and no nap will wear a 3 year old out!  

Thanks to Jo Jo, the girls looked beautiful on Easter, here are a few pics from our full day.  

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Saturday

* I tried to post this on Saturday, but it wouldn't upload, so here it is now!*

We've had a really good weekend so far; we've spent time baking and visiting with friends, watching Caroline play soccer, dyeing Easter eggs, and just enjoying a little extra time off together.  Last night Caroline and I went to Barnes and Noble for a Fancy Nancy story time and some Fancy Nancy activities while Jeff stayed home with Charlotte.  Caroline really enjoyed it and as you'll see from the pictures, she got dressed up for the occasion.  

The pictures probably say it all best, so here's the real recap:  

It was a special "big girls only" outing, so I let Caroline stay out a little late and she asked for a huge cupcake for dessert, I obliged.  I think she ate all of the icing and about two bites of the cake.  

As if the giant cupcake from Starbucks wasn't enough, we baked cupcakes today and Caroline was the decorator (are those cupcake toppers the cutest things ever?).  Charlotte was her regular happy self and watched it all from the bouncy seat:  

Here are some pics from the family Easter egg dyeing extravaganza:  

Caroline playing soccer:  

He rose!

I found this Easter cooking illustration for kids and it was really the best way to talk to Caroline about Easter in terms she could understand. There is a hands on element to it and a tangible illustration, so it was better than just reading her Bible stories about Easter or trying to explain to her the reason behind Easter. I'm not sure all of it comes together cleanly enough for a 3 year old anyway; I often have a hard time wrapping my head around it all! But, maybe that says more about me than anything else . . . ?

If you can get to the store and do it today or tomorrow, I highly recommend it, or put it in the file for next year. After you read through the linked page, this will make more sense, but Caroline's response to each part of this was really funny. The basic recipe is to dip marshmallows in melted butter then roll them in a sugar and cinnamon mixture and finally wrap the "spiced up marshmallow" in a crescent roll and bake for about 11 minutes or so. The marshmallow represents Jesus and the crescent roll represents the tomb. In the baking process the marshmallow "disappears" just as we celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the tomb. When we pulled the end product out of the oven (delicious by the way, so try it even if you don't have kids to do it with), Caroline picked up one of the rolls and looked through a tiny hole and said, "Hello? Jesus are you in there?" Then looking up at me with wide-eyes, she exclaimed, "Oh, no! Mama, he's not in there! He rose!"


Tuesday, April 07, 2009


We made our trip to Nashville this past weekend and had a great time. The one drawback to being away for a few days is all of the catching up that awaits you on your return. I am in the midst of trying to get caught up, Charlotte is a little under the weather again, Caroline is taking swim lessons this week, and my suitcase still sits packed on the floor by my bed, so I'll do my best to get some pictures posted on here as soon as I am able. In the meantime, you can check out Allison's blog and Jeremy's blog for a recap of the trip and some really great pictures too.