Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope that all of you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! See you in 2011!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How is it possible?

How is it possible to be so busy and yet have so little to blog about???? In the mix of holiday concerts at school, parties and presents......it seems it is all running together.

Anyone else feel this way????

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Goodness!

Has it really been two weeks? Time is sure flying by. A quick look at the calendar shows that December is over 1/3 of the way gone. Where did it go?

We have been busy! Marissa had tryouts for District Honor Band last week, and she made it! She is the only student that has EVER made it from her school. She will be competing again in February for the next level. We had our Christmas pictures made this past week, and they turned out great. I will post them here after Christmas. Don't wanna ruin the surprise :) Church activities are in full swing. Marissa's dance team party was last night, today we helped get the kids costumes ready for the church wide Christmas party tomorrow night, and tomorrow I teach my class again at 900. Church next, then home to a crockpot lunch and back to church at 600 for the evening of fun at our Christmas Party. Then Monday, Marissa has the party for the entire Fine Arts dept at church. This is the last week of school for us, and we are letting Marissa skip the after school tutorials this week. (Hey, with a 94 average, she can skip a few)

I have the house decorated, and Marissa made cookies tonight. I have all of our Christmas cards addressed, and will mail them Monday. I have all of the Box Tops for Education counted, bundled and totaled for our school's IPOD giveaway for the kid who brought in the most since September. Christmas shopping for Marissa is just about finished, and I know pretty much what I am getting for everyone else.

Still feeling very guilty about not going to the hospital to see my friend with leukemia. I have kept her kids some, and I text or facebook with her almost every day, but it isn't the same. Just seems time is slipping by way too fast. I just GOTTA go this coming week! I miss her smiling face!

Friday night we are going to a Christmas party at church for the PrimeTimers. Although we don't quite fit into the 50+ age group, they welcome us and we enjoy attending the events. Marissa's band concert at school is Thursday night. And oh yeah, I did complete several scrapbook layouts yesterday.  It is a busy time of year!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What Do You Do?


What do you do when one of your longtime and closest friends is diagnosed with Leukemia? I can tell you what I did. I cried. I got mad. Then I cried some more. I know it sounds silly, but that is what I did and I did a LOT of it and repeated the cycle several times.

I knew she was not feeling well, but when she went in to the hospital ER I thought it was cellulitis in her legs causing all the problems. Then she messaged me, saying her bloodwork was off and they were admitting her. Her white count was significantly elevated, leading me to think she had a very bad infection in her legs.

Then I got a text from her.
It was two words staring back at me from my phone screen.

It's leukemia.

I was shocked. How does this happen? She is healthy, strong, 35, a wife, a mother to two kids, a friend to many. She is active in our church and works full time. She just lost her mom to cancer 2 months ago. Her husband got hurt and was out of work for months, and she lost her job as well. They were both blessed with new jobs and were getting back on track with everything when BAM!

It's leukemia.

So now she is in the hospital, facing a month of intensive, continuous chemo treatments. Her world is upside down, and so is the world of so many who love her and are affected by this, only in a different way. I feel so helpless, and so angry. I like to compartmentalize things and sort them out into where they go, sort of a mental filing system. That is how I deal with things. This has no place to go. This has no compartment or file. It is so much emotion and so many questions all rolled up into two words.

It's leukemia.

And it really, really sucks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful!

This time of year, we hear a lot about being thankful and counting our blessings. Today I am composing......

Things I am thankful for......possibly updated as time goes on :)

  • my salvation through Jesus Christ
  • my faith in God
  • my husband
  • my daughter
  • my extended family
  • my church
  • my friends
  • my husband's job
  • my health
  • my car-no car payment
  • my mentor at Church (Love you Joye!)
  • our pets
  • that my Mom is feeling better after her hospitalization
  • my comfy bed
  • Facebook-I have found so many long lost friends and family
  • warm clothes
  • plenty of food
  • my daughter's fabulous school, her teachers and staff
  • my volunteer position at the school
  • Cracker Barrel therapy session with my best friend Brenda :)
  • my scrapbooking, and the sense of accomplishment and the creative outlet it gives me
  • flannel pajama pants that I steal from my hubby--oh so comfy and toasty
I am sure this list could go on forever, but this is what is on my mind right now. What are you most thankful for? Start making a lost....you may be surprised what comes to mind.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Really?

Last Thursday my husband, daughter and I went to the mall. My darling, thoughtful husband pulled up to the door and let me out, allowing me the opportunity to go into AC Moore and browse a few moments by myself while he and the girl child parked the car and hung out in the arcade. (Sweet bliss, I tell ya. Sweet bliss. Just me and my craft supplies.....ahhhhhh.........)

As I walked towards the store, I realized something. Since I was on the upper level of the mall, I could see the top spindles of the castle/winter wonderland/Santa picture taking/highly overpiced extortion area for all parents of small children on the lower level.

Wanna know a secret? I began silently complaining about the mall having decorations up so early. I mean my goodness, it is only.......wait........could it be???????

MID NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy smokes, where did the time go? Wasn't it just 100 degrees? Is Thanksgiving really so close upon us? Yes Virginia, they were setting up for Santa just a few yards away....and yes, it really is the time for it.

Thanksgiving is just 10 days away.

I simply can't believe it. Are you prepared for the holidays that are so fast approaching?

I better start making my list and getting ready to cook!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Awakening 11/9/10 IWC Grand Opening week

Our church is having it's grand opening this week, and Marissa is so excited to finally be part of the Interpretive Dance Team, The Awakening.
The video is kind of dark in places, but she is on the right hand side, black shirt, second row. She is behind the young lady with the white shirt and the wide black belt.
WORSHIP AND ENJOY!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Things I Love, Right At This Moment


As a woman, I have the right and authority to change my mind on any given subject at any moment. This does not always gel well with my husband, however, it is the nature of the beast within me. I am woman. I am fickle.

However, at this given moment, there are several things in my life that I am really hyped-up-jacked-up-crazy- happy about. Inspired by the fabulous Jamie D., I am sharing them with you today. Now aren't you glad I got inspired to actually write something? Yes folks, the nail biting stress is over, I am BAAAACK! :)

Things I love as of this moment on 11/3/2010 in NO PARTICULAR ORDER!
1. Honey Nut Cheerios (Dry, no milk!)
This may be more than a like, it may be an obsession. I find myself happily munching on a bowl whenever I sit down at the computer or at my scrap table. I love the combination of sweet and salty, and that they are not messy and do not drop little crumbs or leave grease on my hands like chips or popcorn. Factor in the probable fiber content and reasonable calorie per serving, and you see why I am diggin' this as a snack. Think I'm nuts? Try it. Pretty soon you will be gobbling them by the handful like popcorn, with out the mess. My best friend Brenda eats them dry too, but she dips them in peanut butter. Sounds good to me, but messy and too time consuming. She actually makes little stacks of two cheerios with the peanut butter between them. Way too labor intensive. If I wanted to eat them that way, I would have to stir them into a big glob of peanut butter in a bowl and eat them with a spoon (which defeats the whole hand to mouth snack thing).

2. The Weather
Since the weather here is often labeled as bipolar, this in indeed an as-of-this-moment like. This morning it was around 50 degrees, with high today around 68. But this weekend? Oh yeah baby. Lows in the upper 30's and highs just over 60. Bring on fall! Us big girls like the cooler temps :) However, give it a few days, and we will probably be back into the upper 80s. Typical. Just when you think of breaking out a sweater, you will need your shorts again.

3. My Church
Have I mentioned my church lately? LOL-if you follow me on Facebook you know I never seem to shut up about it.  But guess what? I LOVE MY CHURCH! It is the first place that I have ever felt like I truly belong. The people there are very real. There is no back biting or dissension. It is peaceful, happy, and the truth of God is taught. The staff works very hard to deliver the Word of God and a whole heap of love to every single person.

4.My Family
Mom and PaPa are doing well, my sister's last procedure to help with her back pain went great, my nieces are happy and secure in their young adult lives, my husband is strong, helathy and working his hiney off, and my daughter is about at happy as she has ever been. She is growing, (2 inches in one year so far) doing well in school, secure in her friendships, happy on her dance team at church, and secure in who she is in Christ. My inlaws are doing well too.

5.My Cats
Loudmouth is doing really well. Her new food with the arthritis medicine in it is really helping. She is walking better and her coat is fuller. She looks happier and her eyes look brighter. Julio is Julio. Crazy, funny and lovable. Yesterday he was walking on the top of the door to the porch, balance beam style. NUT! Lil Bit is her sweet self. She is getting a lot more snuggly now since the weather cooled off :)

6. Scrapbooking.
Yep, I am slowly getting back into it. Yesterday I spent part of the day working with my good friend April and actually finished a page. (We also nearly finished off a large bag of M and M's.) I have another page almost done. Since I lost my mojo a while back, this feels good to get back into it. I wil post pics soon.

7. Halloween Is Over
Not to be a party pooper, but I do not like Halloween. Never have. However, the gate is now open on Thanksgiving planning, followed closely by CHRISTMAS which I really, really love!

8. Hot Tea.
Just about any kind. Add sugar or honey and lemon and I am feeling good all the way down to my toes. Can't make myself drink it in the summer, but as soon as there is a hint of cool in the air, oh yeah baby, it's on.....the kettle that is :)

So there you have it. I know your day, or perhaps even your week is complete now. You know where I stand.
HAPPY FALL!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mistakes

Yesterday, the morning newspaper screamed this headline:
Police Charge Hodge Elementary PTA President With Theft
(You can read the entire article here) 
 
I saw the paper yesterday, and felt my stomach drop. Just reading the headline brought back a flood of memories from a few years back. I didn't really need to read the entire article to know what had happened, but I read it anyway. Then I reached for my phone and made a call.

See, a few years ago, the same thing happened. However, instead of it being Hodge Elementary, it was another school. And instead of it being an unknown face plastered on the TV and news while people raged and criticized and accused, it was one of my closest and dearest friends face in the mugshot.

It was a bad time. My friend was accused of taking a large sum of money from our school's PTA. Evidence was compiled, and people talked. We live in a small town, so any tiny tidbit of info is fodder for gossip. My friend lost her job within the school system, had to move her kids to another school, resigned from our community rec center where she had worked tirelessly for years and endured all of the stares and comments from busybodies. She lost a lot of friends, and her kids did too through no fault of their own. She went to trial, pled guilty, paid all of the money back and was sentenced to probation and community service. She has fulfilled all of her obligations to the community and judicial system.

Since then, she has remarried and her kids have grown up watching their Mom go through all of this and learning that you can hold your head up when you go through bad times. They also learned that people make mistakes and sometimes pay dearly for bad choices.


However, as much as people detest the idea that someone would take money that did not belong to them, especially from children, the question that most people ask is "why?" and then they usually follow it up with "I could never do that!"


Although I can't answer that in whole, and I do believe there is always another solution, I can tell you that sometimes we forget the human aspect of people.


What most people so not know about this situation is that my friend was a single mom of 2 kids with a deadbeat dad. She also took care of her elderly and ill mother.  In her mind, the money she took was only a loan, until she could pay it back. Over time however, the amount continued to grow.


My questions to those who say "I could never do that" are:
What would you do if you had no food for your kids?
What would you do if your kid's shoes had worn holes in the bottom or they had no coats for winter?
What would you do if your Mother needed to go to the doctor and you had no gas money to take her there? 
What if you could not pay your electric bill and it was about to be turned off, when the temperature is  below freezing?
What would you do it you had a flat tire, and the spare was bad too?

Most people would say they would go to a friend or a family member for help. But not everyone has that option. Many times, the family and friends are struggling right along with you, living paycheck to paycheck and robbing Peter to pay Paul. 

So back to yesterday. I shared this story with the people I work with at my daughter's school, as they read the headlines. After a few moments, my closest friend there (no connection to the friend who took the money years ago) looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "Thank you. Thank you for reminding me that we all make mistakes."

Later yesterday afternoon, another person came in, grabbed the newspaper, rolled it up and held it high above her head proudly proclaiming "This person needs to be put under the jail! This is simply  unforgivable!"


I looked over to my coworker, and our eyes met. Although nothing was said, I could hear her voice saying again "Thank you for reminding me that we all make mistakes."


In the first part of this blog I mentioned making a call. I called the friend who endured this drama a few years back. I told her how the newspaper had headlines of a story similar to hers, and that I was thinking of her. I finished our conversation by saying how thankful I was for how far we had come from where we used to be. Her simply reply, "I love you" was all that needed to be said.


As I stated before, I do not advocate theft or breaking the law in anyway. I do however, believe that we are all human and can never conclusively say what we will or will not do in a situation. We all struggle with things and we all make bad choices sometimes. I am just so thankful that when Jesus hung on the cross, He did not look at me and my sin in my life and say:


"This person should be put under the jail! This is simply unforgivable!"

I am so thankful that instead He chose to simply say "I love you".

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We're home!

Oh goodness, I am so excited to share with you that last week, on 10-10-10, our church moved into our new facility. It has been a long awaited process, but we are so thrilled to be in our new home!

The building is simply beautiful. The hand painted murals on the walls are fabulous! The youth room is super cool, and the sanctuary is large enough to accommodate us for now, but not for long as we are already welcoming HUGE amounts of visitors and newcomers!

I wanted to share some picture with you from our opening day celebration!
For more info, go to www.iwcishere.com

This is our super cool new sign out front. It is very bright and is attracting a lot of attention!
 Our new Resource Center, which is built to hold 600-700 people in the sanctuary, has a large youth wing, big children's church, a cafe, a Fine Arts department (we have dance teams and a banner team plus an awesome praise team), offices for all the staff, several large classrooms and a beautiful bright and cheery nursery and preschool department with hand painted murals.

 This is the beginning of service, when the banner team performed.
 Here is a view from one side of the church, but it was taken before everyone got there. The place was packed! It was full of guests, visitors, church members, family, and tons and tons of LOVE!
This is our Bishop, Eddie Tomberlin.

Come visit us! You won't find another place like this!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Need a Good Laugh???

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I hate public speaking. Perhaps that is not a strong enough word. I detest public speaking. I abhor it. I shudder at the thought of it. Ok, you get the point.

Imagine the fear running through my veins like ice water downstream when I was asked to make a presentation on Boxtops For Education at our school's PTA meeting tonight. GULP!

I gathered my info, and-being technologically-impaired- with some humbling help of my daughter prepared a Power point presentation, complete with sound! (To be perfectly honest the media clerk and my daughter did most of it. I just giggled at the sound choices and made the really hard decisions like which version of "applause" we should use.)

I drafted friends and school staff members to be at tonight's meeting for moral support. I was so thankful they were there. I waited nervously for my turn to speak. I was about 3/4 of the way down the agenda so I thought I had plenty of time to gather myself and my thoughts until the PTA President decided that we had no old business and the new business had already been discussed so it was my turn!

I stood up. I walked towards the podium, papers clasped firmly in my hand. I held my head up, looking ahead and fighting the nearly debilitating urge to run out of the door and never come back. Things went well......

........until........

I tripped.

Right in front of everyone. I was not looking at the floor, and my feet got caught in the speaker wire running from the laptop to the electrical outlet.

It was not one of my finest moments.

But somehow, by the grace of God, I did not fall flat on my face. I was also thankful that I did not wear the skirt I had considered, for fear of getting the back of the skirt tucked up in my underwear somehow and showing my ample assets to the entire crowd.

Also by the grace of God, I made it to the podium and heard my voice say:

"And that was just my opening act!"

I think it was a successful presentation after that. The audience clapped and laughed at appropriate moments in my little talk, and I had several people tell me I did well. (What else could they say? "Great job, GRACE?????"

Thank you God for keeping us humble, for giving us a sense of humor, and for friends who will tell you that you did a great job while keeping a sincere straight face.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Still

A few months ago, my husband and I took our daughter to see The Karate Kid. You know, the new one, with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. We felt that for her to truly appreciate the film, she needed to see the original version, with Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. (My husband also felt that she should endure the two sequels, which I thought was a bit harsh since neither of them was a particularly fantastic piece of cinematic work but I digress.)

Anyway, after nearly rolling on the floor laughing at the placement of the waistband of Daniel San's jeans in the 1984 version (were guy's waists really 6 inches higher then than they are now????) and practically having a nervous breakdown when I told her that Ralph Macchio was the Robert Pattinson of my day, her father deemed her ready to watch the new movie.

Off we went. Tickets and popcorn purchased. Diet Cokes the size of tubas in hand. Enough candy to feed a small country and turn all citizens into diabetics included. Into the theater we went.

Although the plot was fairly good, I just have to say I thought the original was better. (As it seems to be in most cases of remakes) But this post is not a movie review. Aren't you glad?

Partway through the movie, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan's version of Mr. Miyagi) tells Dre (the smaller and dreadlocked version of Daniel) that "being still and doing nothing are two very different things".

WOW!

That has resonated within for months.

Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)

How often are we still? I think that especially as a woman, I equate sitting still and doing nothing with laziness. I often find myself multi-tasking to the extreme, loosing track of what I am intending to do by doing too many things at once. I do not understand how my husband and daughter can sit and watch TV for hours, while doing nothing. Just sitting. Staring. I simply can't do it. If I watch TV, it is generally something I have DVRed (is that a word?) so that I can fast forward commercials. I am usually also folding laundry, texting, and making lists of what else I need to do at the same time I watch the program. When I cook, I am also cleaning up the kitchen, loading and/or unloading the dishwasher, helping with homework and setting the table in between stirring pots or flipping meat. When I am online, I typically have three tabs open to do several things at once. Paying bills, balancing checkbooks, checking email, reading blogs, and Facebooking can all be done simultaneously at the click of a mouse. If I am on the phone, I am typically sorting papers or folding laundry or bagging up trash to take out at the same time. You get the picture.


So then what happens when it is time to read the Word or pray? It used to be a struggle. I would get so distracted. Prayer seemed a chore, and reading the Word was uninteresting and hard to understand. I could not understand how my women friends could sit and read the Word or pray for long periods of time. And to just sit and listen to God? To be still before Him? Yeah right. An alien concept to me.

So I prayed about it. While driving. With my cell phone in my cup holder in case it rang and my radio turned down and my eyes on the road. I asked God to make His Word alive to me. To show me how to pray with vigor and enthusiasm. To show me how to listen to Him. And He answered........"Be still."

That was it. Real revelation to me. I had to slow down, and realize that the God who made the Universe and saved me from Hell deserved my undivided attention. He is worthy of so much more that just of me stopping every other activity and coming into His presence with a clear and attentive mind. I wish I could tell you that as soon as I made the decision to approach Him like this it was an instant success, but that would be untrue. Although I tried, my mind drifted, I got sleepy or distracted as I read, and I got frustrated. I pressed on. I kept trying. And it got easier.

Now, although I do not do it as often as I would like or as often as I NEED to, I pray and read the Word much more often. I find myself praying outloud as I drive, with the radio off and the cell phone muted. I pray when I shower. I read the Word and Christian books daily. But every day, I make sure that I get still and quiet and I get still before my Father............

...........and I KNOW He is God.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Proud Mama

Have I mentioned lately what a fabulous daughter I have? I mean, seriously, I know ALL moms are proud of their kids but I think I have one incredible daughter!
I mean, just look at her! 

Not only is she beautiful, smart, talented, kind, compassionate, intelligent, concerned about others and our environment, a true believer in Christ and well behaved, (as if that were not enough!) she is quickly becoming a good friend to me.

When Dad is at work, and it is just us girls, we watch movies, talk, and just hang out. We spend a lot of time together. I enjoy that she is old enough now to have adult conversations and she articulates her feelings so well. We can talk about just about anything. I cherish this time, because I know it will go by quickly.

In an age where most kids think their parents are complete idiots and can barely tolerate to be in the same room with their parents, I have an AMAZING daughter who seems to actually enjoy being with me!
I am blessed!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bloggy Direction


I am in a funk.
I am in a funk with blogging, scrapbooking, and most heartbreaking of all, cooking.

I love to do all these things, but somehow, I just have no motivation to do ANY of them. Is it the back to school thing? Is it the heat? Is it my mounting sleep deficit?

I am trying to rationalize why I do the things that I do. I cook because I love to eat, I love to see my family enjoy a meal together, I love to try new recipes and see how they work out and it is something that comes easy to me. I truly love to cook and bake, and have been doing so since I was about 8 or 10. But in recent days, more often than not, it has been a lot of sandwiches and take out pizza.

I love to scrapbook. I have scrapbooked since my daughter was 2, so over 11 years now all total. I have a room all to myself to work in, and I have tons of happy supplies that need to be used before they dry rot.  I love preserving memories for future generations, and I have boxes of great pictures. I used to walk by the door to my scrapbook room and hear the paper, ribbons, and adhesives call to me....."COME PLAY!!!!!!!!!"......now all I see is my cat sleeping on my desk and the vacuum parked in front of my sewing machine.

And blogging? I used to feel like I could write every day. I used to have something witty and/or funny to say, or something that seemed worthwhile to share quite often. Now? I just feel like blogging is another thing on my to-do list.

So what about you? Do you blog? Sew? Scrapbook? Work out? Knit? What is your passion? Why do you do the things that you do, and what KEEPS you doing them?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's Almost Time....

...for school. My daughter starts eighth grade at a new school next week. Due to district rezoning, she will not attend her old middle school. It has been an adjustment for her, but I am happy to day that we learned tonight at open house that she will be in homeroom and all core classes with her two best friends. Talk about happy!

First semester she will take:
9th grade math
math application
physical science
Georgia history
9th grade language arts/reading
9th grade Spanish
band/guitar

She is excited and so are we! I hope that 8th grade is the best year ever!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Abba Father

Every week my pastor sends out an email with something that he feels led to share with us. While each week's thoughts are always very good, today's words strummed a chord with me.

A portion of Bishop Tomberlin's email reads a as follows:

Isn't it interesting that none of the Old Testament writers referred to God as "Father?"  The Old Testament is where we find "the Law" or many attempts at pleasing God (religion). This means that there was no concept of God as "Father" until Jesus came along and referred to God as "Abba Father."  Jesus came to introduce us to a bigger concept of God as our "divine parent." 

I had never thought about when and where God is referred to by specific names. But I do know that Jesus came to bring us into a loving relationship with our Heavenly Father, and His life on this earth freed us from the law of the Old Testament. What a wonderful revelation that we can approach God as our Father, who loves us so much that He sent His own Son to die for us rather than some far off mysterious entity who is so often portrayed as angry, judgmental and condemning!

Thank you Father, for loving me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Have you ever............

...........come across a picture that needs no explanation? I did. It is my niece and her husband, at their wedding reception two weeks ago.
I am honored to share it with you:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Road Trip

About ten days ago my husband, daughter and I loaded up the car and headed to Louisiana for my niece's wedding. We left our home at 5:00 AM, and hit the Interstate. After a couple of hours, my husband got drowsy so I took the driver's seat. I drove on up the Interstate, listening to the quiet hum of the tires as we rolled along. Not much traffic. The sun was up, but not shining brightly overhead yet.

I turned off of the Interstate onto a road (one I had not traveled before) on the advice of MapQuest. It was GA Hwy 96 and it promised to take us across the state of Georgia into Columbus before we headed south down through Montgomery and Mobile on Interstates 85 and 65, across I-10 and finally onto I-12 into Louisiana.

My husband and daughter were asleep. I found myself watching as the straight, gray, and incessantly boring interstate road gave way into the lush, green gracefully rolling landscape of green trees and quiet roadside land. Everywhere I looked I saw farms with fields rolling for miles of with the beautiful greenery of peas, beans, squash and tomatoes. I saw fields of towering corn stalks, tasseled at the top and promising a good crop. I saw wide expanses of rolling pastures with goats, cows, and horses munching quietly and peacefully on their breakfasts as we drove swiftly past. We passed peach tree orchards with short stubby trees heavy with fruits, and pecan groves with tall, stately trees stretching high and proud above the ground.

I began praying as I drove. I thanked God for this beauty, and repented for taking so much for granted. I prayed blessings and prosperity for the farmers that have struggled so in the past few years of drought and seemed to be having a bumper crop this year. I prayed for the merchants who had small stores along this route, that they would survive our country's current economic crisis and continue to supply their community with goods and services and that their sales would support their own family. I thanked God for His goodness and the beauty He created, and for allowing me to experience it on my quiet ride.

A little farther along I passed an open area on my right, with large silver electrical lines running alongside the highway. As I drove I saw a thin cloud of fog sweep across the valley under the power lines and it took my breath. Surrounded by all this beauty, I wondered if that thin foggy cloud was in any way similar in appearance to the Spirit of God that walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in The Garden of Eden. It floated just above the ground, wispy and light, sheer and beautiful in the morning light.

I don't know what Adam and Eve saw and experienced in their time with God, but I am thankful that I had my own time with my Heavenly Father that morning, just cruising along Hwy 96. It was amazing.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A new addiction

I have a confession to make. I am sure this will be earth shattering and somewhat shocking revelation to many readers. I never watched Sex And The City on HBO.

Seriously????? Yup. Even when it was all the rage a few years back, it never appealed to me and we did not have HBO anyway, so I didn't feel like I was missing out

Bring on the hysterectomy. While recovering, I spent a lot of time in excruciating pain and piled up in my bed. When my collection of DVR shows and on demand movies was exhausted, I scrolled through channel after channel begging for something to watch to take my mind off of my painful reality. I stumbled across the Sex and The City movie on HBO, which we got free for a month from our cable provider to suck up for screwing up our service and not fixing it right the first time. I watched it, expecting to be bored witless which combined with Demerol may not have been a hard feat to accomplish.

Guess what? I LOVED IT!!!!! It was not the sex (and believe me there was a lot of it but somehow less than I expected from all the hype)it was the story of the friendship between four women that I loved. They stuck through it all, divorce, wedding disaster, children, and still remained friends. Not just casual friends mind you, but the kind that finish each other's sentences and know each other inside and out yet still love each other.

After the movie, I wondered what I was missing out on. I searched my listings and found that TBS shows a cleaned up version in our area every morning at 1:00 and another episode at 1:30am. I watched an episode. I was hooked.

My DVR now clicks to record SATC every early morning. I watch the shows when Jamie is on the boat. There is still more sex that is probably appropriate and I am not sure that spending the time watching the reruns is exactly beneficial or edifying in ANY way, but I sure love the story of these four women. Now....who wants to go see SATC2 with me in the theater???????????????????

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Free Hugs in Sondrio, Italy

My friend Noel posted this link on Facebook this morning and I just love it.

I was sad when I first started watching the video, but as it played on it was so heartwarming to watch people's expressions change. I especially loved that these were real, genuine, open arm hugs, not those halfway stiff armed things some people give that make you feel like they are afraid to touch anyone for fear of contamination or something. These were the REAL THING!



How easy would it be to affect many people with such a simple act? You never know what a person is going through in the depths of their heart. So often people could have their whole day/life/world changed by a simple hug.


Who have YOU hugged today?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Last week of 7th grade

Today starts the last week of Marissa's 7th grade year. She is so ready for summer! I think that after the CRCT, the kids are just done. They are exhausted, frustrated, and as the weather gets hotter they are just ready to be out of school. Unfortunately, our school system has the kids in school until June 11. Thankfully, we do not return in early August as neighboring counties do, we wait until September to return. :)

So today is the last Monday of 7th grade, and also the last Monday that my daughter will attend this school. Due to redistricting she will attend  another school next year, but still in the International Baccalaureate program. She will be closer to home, but she is hesitant to change schools. She is a creature of habit, and very much like her Mama, in that she does not like change of any kind. We like things to be steady, even keeled, and predictable. :) It is also the last Monday that any of the kids at her middle school will actually be in that building for middle school, as it is being converted to a high school this fall. The middle school will move to the elementary school in September. Big changes in our district!

It is just so hard to believe that 7th grade is coming to an end.....seems she just started kindergarten last week!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

How Much Time?????

I had a discussion with someone the other day regarding how much time this person spends talking to their spouse. Although the person I was speaking to has the incredible bad luck of being 1,000 miles away from their spouse, I was shocked to find out that they spend up to 8 hours a day on weekends on the phone.

Wow.

I started wondering about this, and tried to figure out how much time I spend talking to my husband on any given day. When he is on the boat for a week, we talk maybe 30 minutes a day, and usually not in one clip. It's spread out over many short conversations, interspersed with text messages. When he is home, we talk more of course, but I can't come up with a time estimate. We spend time together because we love each other and enjoy each other's company, but I never thought about how much we actually engage in conversation. I began to think maybe we were unusual, that we were not talking enough or maybe we were just too familiar with each other and conversation was missing somehow.

I wonder though, if perhaps we are not oddballs by thinking that sometimes words are not necessary. We have a heart and spirit connection, and sometimes we can communicate with a glace or a smile that says more than a novel full of words ever could. Sometimes the silence speaks for itself. When I lay down next to my husband and rest my head on his chest, his heartbeat speaks to me in a language all it's own. It's a private language, shared by just us.

I'm not saying there is a right amount or wrong amount of time a couple should spend in conversation. I think that as relationships grow and change it varies greatly in each season. What works for some may not work for everyone. It just made me think.

So what about you? How much time would you estimate you actually spend talking to your spouse or significant other? What would you say is an average time of chatter for other couples you know?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Once Upon A Time.....

...there was a little blog. And it was a very good, sweet blog indeed. It was patient and kind, never too demanding, and always there when I needed to vent to someone.

And now, the poor thing is pouting.

My poor little blog is so neglected.

In all honesty, it has been a whirlwind of activity these past two weeks. We have had a ton of work to do on some rental property we manage, getting it ready for new renters, and in the evenings? Well, we have had something scheduled EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

Throw in that I am still not 100% after surgery the end of Feb (I know.....it's taking a lot longer than I thought too).

My recipe for my life right now woudl read something like this:
I shall call this recipe : Life in A Blender

In a standard blender combine one hard working man who is gone 6 months of every year, one very sweet  almost 13 year old girl, and one over the hill Mom.
Toss in 3 cats.
Add one truck that needs a transmission job, two rental properties in need of repairs, one school year that is winding down s-l-o-w-l-y, 48,000,000 tons of dirty laundry, band concerts, dance practice, clarinet lessons, youth group, dance performance, Church, Facebook, at least 2 family members in crisis at this point, My mom having heart cath, my cat-nephew spending a week in ICU at his vet (poor baby!), my niece is getting married in Baton Rouge in just a few weeks[insert that aforementioned almost 13 year old is a bridesmaid here], the two hamsters we are rodent-sitting for a week, and a yard that needs mowing almost every other day due to the deluge of rain we are getting.

Blend on high speed constantly for two weeks or longer, until Mom is a train wreck.

Serve half baked, just like the Mom.

Have a good week! Stay Sane! :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

19 Kids and Counting

Do you watch this show on TLC? I started watching the Duggar family way back when it was 14 Kids and Counting. My mom told me about it, and she was fascinated with the fact that the parents had named all the kids with names that start with "J".

I have followed the show off and on since then, and now with their latest addition, a premie baby girl named Josie Brooklyn, they are up to 19 kids. Oldest son Josh is married and has a child of his own. This makes Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar parents of 19 and grandparents of one.

My bff hates this show. She says it is ridiculous for someone to have that many kids. She lists off reasons like so many kids in foster care that they could adopt, so many homeless kids, and the toll it takes on a woman's body to have one child much less 19! I have mixed emotions. Apparently, the family is self supporting, debt free and relies on no government assistance, so I have no issue with that. I also feel that a couple should have the right to decide how many kids they want to have. I like to watch them shop at thrift stores to find great deals, because I like to do that too. I love the way the family works together, and I think the children are simply beautiful!

I do wonder however, if the seriousness of the premature birth of this last child will deter them from having any more children. I wonder if they will continue to have kids that will be younger than their grandchild. I wonder how the kids will feel years from now about growing up on tv. The recent Jon and Kate mess made me wonder how much of a person's life we have a right to see.

My main concern came out of a moment of curiosity. I searched Facebook for "Duggars" in Arkansas, and came across a group called "I Hate The Duggars". Further reading brought up groups called "Sterilize the Duggars and "Anti-Duggars". Now this makes me angry.I feel that the idea of hating the Duggars or demanding sterilazation of the Duggars is uncalled for. People have the freedom to dislike choices that another person makes, but is it fair to HATE people you have never even met just because of the choices they made? That to me is not a far step from racism, which is hating people based on skin color alone, or hating people for choosing an alternative lifestyle or choose an unconventional job.

Our job as Christians is to LOVE one another. John 13:34-35 tells us that we are to love each other as God loves us. We may not like the choices others make, we may not even like the things other people do, but we have no right to HATE anyone. Sometimes it is difficult to understand why people do the thing they do, but we cannot hate anther person. It is the same with us and God. We are human, with free will and a mind to make our own choices. However, because of our inherent sin nature, we make choices and mistakes that grieve the heart of our God. What if God had hatred for us when we make mistakes? Lucky for us, He is always loving and always has a plan for us. He loves us so much that He sent His own son to die for us so that we can have eternal life through Him. (John 3:16, Romans 5:8)

I guess the best way to summarize what I think is by quoting the saying "Hate the sin, love the sinner". You may not agree with the Duggars or Jon and Kate or with me, but I hope that you do not harbor hate against anyone. It makes for a lonely and bitter life!

My prayer for the Duggars is that they are seeking the plan God has for them, and that baby Josie and all of the kids remain healthy, happy and well adjusted. Is it God's plan for me to have 19 kids????  Nope. But is it for me to judge the Duggars for having 19 kids? Not at all. And to be frank, it isn't anyone else's either.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A New Friend =)

The coolest thing about blogging and Facebook is friendship. I have reconnected with many people from my school years and early childhood, old church friends, past military families that we served with, family friends that I had lost touch with, and along the way I have met many new friends!

One of the blogs I follow is called Hippy Chick. I am not sure exactly how I found this blog, I think it may have been through "Savannah Scrapbooking" or "Want What You Have" but I am not sure.
I was immediately drawn to this blog because it is quirky, funny, warm, witty, creative, and always has something new. It is the blog I wish I had because it is updated frequently and makes me smile.

Over the past few months I learned that the blog author lives about 45 minutes from me. Imagine that! About a bazillion bloggers out there and I find one practically in my own backyard! We emailed a few times, and talked to getting together face to face, but it didn't happen.

Until Saturday. :D

My husband and I ended up in Angela's town, and I facebook messaged her. We texted just about all afternoon, and ended up meeting for dinner. Her daughter is so adorable! Unfortunately, her hubby was worn out from work and couldn't join us, but that is what next time is for!

She commented on her blog that it was like we had known each other forever, and I felt the same way. It was super cool and I can't wait to see her again!

Here is to the start of a beautiful friendship, in real life, not just online :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another Point of View

Remember a few months ago when I posted about the issues my daughter was having with being bullied at school? Well, tonight's youth group message really hit home with my daughter and she told me she wanted to blog about it. 


She has her own blog, and she will post this story there tomorrow, but I invited her to be my guest blogger tonight. Here is her story. Please comment and let her know what you think!

Tonight, our youth pastor was talking about friends. True friends, cocky friends, temperamental friends, etc., etc., etc. It made me think of the first half of the school year. Most of my class was kids whose parents could no longer afford private school or kids who went to the elementary school next door. Well, I was one of few kids from Pooler.

Everything was fine for a while. Breaking the ice, making friends, learning about people, and the like. I met a girl, lets call her Pop A, she was from Pennsylvania, and so I understood the left out thing. We became good friends. I hurt my knee, and they wouldn’t let me go to school because of the medicine I was taking. So, I come back to school, I think Wednesday, she wouldn’t talk to me. She wouldn’t look at me, talk to me, or even acknowledge me. Before I go on, let’s define friend. According to dictionary.com, friend, noun, means a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. Ok, moving on.

So, I text her and we had a nice chat. Sorta how it went:
Me- Hey, what’s up?
Pop A- Nm. U?
Me- Same.
Pop A- Cool.

This is where things fell apart.
Me- Why won't u talk to me?
Pop A- Because
Me- Seriously, why.
Pop A- Well…
Me- What?
Pop A- I’m cool and you’re not.
Me- Oh

I went crying to my mom. She told to say something like, “Well, I guess we’re not friends anymore. But, I want you to know I care about you.” So I do that and she said ok. It ended up that we’re not friends, we’re classmates now.

After that, things started happening. Some examples:
-Pop B&C sitting in front of me, look towards me, whisper, and laugh
-Pop D (I only heard a snippet of this one) whispering with some others and I hear her say “like those” pointing at my shoes and laughing.
-Pop E (I had a Hannah Montana lanyard, “kids” shows are put down extremely) Hannah Montana? Laughs and gossips with others.
-All pops- our lunch table was divided. Pretty much into these groups:
*Boys (except for 3 pop boys)
* Pops
* Me and my two best friends.
-So, once my friends and I wanted to see why they were all laughing, and joking and just being happy. So we sat with them. Everyone became silent, ate, a few whispers, and just looked at us. We got the message and never sat there again.

Things like this kept happening. I cried every afternoon. I begged my mom not to make me go to school. My mom finally talked to teachers, counselors, vice principals, everyone.
We had a meeting. It was a Wednesday or Thursday, and I was called in. I could only recall two events before I broke down. They decided to move me. I expected the next day or Monday to be moved. No, they moved me in this period.

In my new homeroom, I walked in and everyone thought I was replacing a girl everyone liked. Well, that was solved. Then 3 boys thought my name was Deborah. Deborah? My name starts with an M!

Ever since then, I’ve had few problems.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Must Read!

I have several blogs that I follow. Two of my favorites are Jamie's blog at www.savannahscrapbooking.typepad.com, and Heather's blog  at
http://blog.wantingwhatyouhave.com


Heather's blog is mostly about how to be content with your life by living simply, with detailed hilarious accounts of her daily life.

Jamie's blog is a laugh a minute, quirky and endlessly entertaining ramble of all things in her wonderful life in Dhu Land. (I secretly wanna be her when I grow up)

Last night I flipped over to Heather's blog and was shocked and sickened by what I saw. She reported that by following stat counter (www.statcounter.com), she learned that some sick, perverted, twisted person had found her blog in a Google search by searching "little kids naked".

She wrote a very real and honest account of how this made her feel and the methods she used to report this scum sucking pervert to the proper authorities. I quickly jumped onto stat counter and set up an account for myself.

I urge you to look into it for yourself, especially if you post pictures of your children on a blog or other public forum. It is a scary, ugly world we live in sometimes and we MUST protect our kids. Sadly, technology is so far ahead of legal measures that it is up to US to do what we can to stand between our family and some low life jerk who wants to get his thrill by looking at our kids in bathing suits or precious newborns in a bathtub. Makes me want to barf.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Schwan's House Party


Check this out!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I cannot tell you all how excited I am about this! My box of goodies came yesterday, full of great coupons and recipe cards and insulated lunch bags for each guest. If you would be interested in attending my Schwan's House party and sampling great Schwan's products for FREE, just leave a comment and I will get you all the details!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Party Time!

A few weeks ago, I got an email inviting me to enter for a chance to host a Schwan's House Party. You know all about Schwan's, right? The big yellow trucks that deliver tasty treats like pizza and ice cream right to your door? Oh yeah baby....gotta love delicious eats that you don't even have to leave home to get!

Well, after I read the info, I decided to enter. Did not figure I had a snowball's chance in Hawaii of being chosen from the tens of thousands of entries in this nationwide contest, but guess what???? I DID GET SELECTED!

This week I ordered my party pack, which contains over $100 worth of food to share with my friends so that they can sample Schwan's wonderful products for themselves. In about 3 weeks my home will be party central, with folks chowing down on things like Italian meatballs, Three Cheese Pizza, Chicken Cheese Quesadillas, Mini Corndogs, Fried Green Beans, Baked Chicken Nuggets, Guacamole, Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies and Mini Ice Cream Treats. Each guest gets an insulated lunch tote and coupons for Schwan's products.

I'm excited!!!!!! I had not heard of  HouseParty until now. Check them out HERE and sign up for a chance to be chosen to host a party of your own to showcase delicious foods and new products from cool companies like Gerber, Ball, Hasbro Games and many more,.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Mom


This year Earth Day has prompted me to think a lot about our Earth. My best friend and I had a conversation a while back about recycling. She said she doesn't recycle because she does not believe that it will be long before we are with Jesus in the Rapture and the Earth won't be out home anymore. I agree that the return of Jesus is probably a lot closer than we realize, but I also believe that when God created Adam and gave him dominion over everything in the garden of Eden, he also charged him with the responsibility of taking care of the Earth and all of His creation.

I wish that I were better about living green, but I am trying. Here are some ways I do my part to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
  • I use reusable grocery totes. I bought several large totes at Save A Lot and I use them everywhere. At first I felt bad about using them at Publix or Kroger but once the baggers commented on how much they like the larger bags I felt better. They hold the equivalent of about 4 plastic bags and are much easier to carry. 
  • We recycle. Our city does not offer curbside recycling so we take our recyleables to the city recycling center which is less than a mile from our house. My husband and daughter load them into the back of our truck about every 2 weeks and take them to the center. We recycle aluminum cans, office paper, tin cans, glass, plastic, cardboard, magazines and newspapers.
  • We reuse things. We recently planted our garden seedlings in empty yogurt cups and applesauce containers. 
  • We shop at thrift stores. We find great deals on clothes and household items there and save money as well as reusing perfectly good items that someone else had no use for anymore.
  • We use Freecycle. We have gifted and received some really good stuff! This is a great way to keep stuff out of landfills!
  • I purchase a stainless steel water bottle for my daughter's lunch to limit the use of bottled water. 
  • I keep a clean dish towel hanging on my oven handle to use for drying my hands instead of using paper towels. 
  • I only wash full loads in my washing machine and dishwasher.
  • I dry my clothes on a short cycle, then check them. I am usually surprised to find out that the items dry in much less time than I thought. This saves money and energy over automatically setting my dryer timer for 60 minutes.
  • We use ceiling fans in every room. I read a study recently that shows that using a ceiling fan can lower the temperature in a room by as much as 6 degrees. In the hot humid summers of south Georgia, this really helps!
There are ways that I would like to improve in my Green (or sometimes not so green) life:
  • I would like to purchase new energy efficient appliances and low flow faucets and toilets. (I do have a large jar of water in my toilet tank to save water.) Unfortunately this is not a financial possibility right now.
  • I would like to be able to use public transportation but it is not offered in our city.
  • My biggest dream would be to have solar panels on my home to generate clean energy
  • I would like to eliminate paper napkins and paper towels completely in favor of cloth versions but I am too lazy.
  • I still take long hot showers. I enjoy them and find them relaxing. I really do not want to give up this simple luxury.
  • I would like to make a compost bin and make organic compost for our little veggie garden and my yard plants. I would like one of those kitchen counter compost pails as well. I found direction to make my own from a large plastic coffee can and a charcoal filter, but have not tried it yet. Just can't justify one of those spiffy $50 stainless steel numbers.
So what do you do to keep our planet clean? What are your thoughts on reducing waste, reusing things or recycling?
Happy Earth Day!!!!!
(image from Google image search)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pages to turn


My poor blog is so neglected. I feel like such a bad mom to my blog. Is there an agency out there like Blog Protective Services? If so I am pretty sure they will be knocking on my door and confiscating my keyboard any moment. Just seems like life has been so complicated lately.

Most people, with the exception of close friends and church family, did not know that I was having a hysterectomy until it was all said and done. I had been so sick for the past few months, even a year or more, that I was really hoping that I would feel a hundred times better after surgery.  Maybe that day is coming, but it isn't here yet. I do feel better, but I am still not me. I get tired very easily, and I can't seem to think clearly. Dragging myself through the day is about all I can do most days, and even then I feel like I am only doing most things half way.

My 40th birthday is this week. I am not looking forward to it. I know it is better than the alternative (LOL) but this is a very difficult time. Most people also did not know that we had tried for years to have another child, to no avail. I had always said no more kids after 30, then 35, then finally I set my deadline as 40. Now, due to health issues, that dream has ended. I am approaching 40 not so much as "old", but more the end of a chapter in my life. It isn't the end of the book, but it is the end of an important chapter.To be perfectly honest, I am really struggling with that. I don't understand how some women can have a dozen kids and can't/won't take care of any of them, while  so many women who would be wonderful mothers struggle with infertility as I (and my sister and most of our family) did.

I am so grateful that God blessed us with our daughter. She is growing into the loveliest young lady. She is funny, smart, talented and gifted in so many ways. She is sweet and beautiful and a real joy to be around. I wish that we had been able to give her a younger brother or sister, but obviously that is not meant to be. I have heard from well-meaning friends that I should be happy with what God gave me and not ask for more, that there are too many people on the planet anyway, that we should be grateful that we have one healthy child and not "test fate", and so much other unsolicited but well intended advice. I am incredibly blessed with my daughter, and I love her dearly. She is everything parents could dream of having and more.

But somehow, even though the surgery was necessary and I know in time I will be so thankful it was done, I feel sort of like I am spinning my wheels in life. And with 40 slapping me in the face, it's tough. I warned my husband and my best friend that if anyone tries to pull any of that "over the hill" or "lordy lordy look who's 40" crap I may just explode. They were both so understanding and I am grateful for their support. I know that turning 40 is not the end of the world, but when you couple it with other major life changes, it feels like it's pretty close. It isn't the age.......it's that I wasn't ready to write this chapter in the story of my life just yet. The worst part is it was written for me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter everyone!

Yesterday was a beautiful celebration of Christ's Resurrection! We had a PACKED house at church, then came home and rested a bit. I made dinner last night. Our best friends came over as well as my in-laws. My parents are still out of town. Jamie was working. :(

I cannot believe how much my daughter has grown. No more little girl here, she has grown into a stunning young lady. We still dyed a few eggs, and did the basket thing, but honestly my heart broke a little when her PaPa and Brenda and I hid the eggs, which she hunted, but then quietly said that "some of the magic was gone." I did not cry. (At least not when she could see me.)

I know that things are changing, and I love the young lady she is becoming. I am proud of her for the choices she makes and the attention she gives her schoolwork. She is a good friend, and is approaching this first boyfriend thing with great maturity and wisdom. I am grateful for these things and thank God for them several times a day. But seriously, where did my little girl go????

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Are You a December Watermelon?


Don't you just love a ripe, sweet, juicy watermelon on a hot summer day? Living in Georgia, we have TONS of watermelons here in the hot summer months. It is a wonderful thing on the 4th of July, at a cook out, pool party, or any day "just because". I love to cut into the smooth green rind, hearing the thick striped skin split and crack as my knife goes in. A few wiggles of the blade and the melon bursts in half, exposing the beautiful red flesh inside and spilling it's sweet sticky juice onto the table. A few more hacks with the knife and it is in wedges or cut up into chunks, ready for eating. Nothing beats a happy child eagerly sinking their teeth into this sweet, delicious summertime staple.

So what happens when you crave that delicious goodness in December? A quick trip to most grocery stores shows you that watermelons are usually available year round, shipped in from somewhere on the other side of the world, usually teeny in size and big in price. Sometimes I can't help myself. I break down and buy the melon (don't even bother thumping or sniffing or tapping it, it won't tell you anything at this point) and take it home. Drooling with anticipation, I cut into it. A stab with the knife reveals no splitting rind, and I have to saw the fruit in half. The inside is a disappointing pale pink, with flat, sickly looking white seeds. I hack it into wedges or pieces, throw on some salt, and take a bite.

HUGE disappointment.  I knew better than to think I could experience that sweet perfection of a ripe south Georgia watermelon in DECEMBER!!!!!

Well, this little analogy also applies to our Christian life. You see, we all have seasons in our walk. Some seasons last a while, while others are very brief. God moves us from season to season, using us for His glory and purpose.

So what happens when we follow God's command and we do what He tells us, say teaching a class or serving on a ministry team, and we fall into a comfort zone so that we decide to stay there no matter what? God will tell us to move when He is ready, but often we resist out of that security in a certain job or position. Eventually, we begin to grow tired and stale in this capacity, and in time even grow resentful and grouchy. Finally, when we are so miserable we can't stand it, we step down or in some cases get "moved" because we have lost our effectiveness and the Kingdom begins to suffer for it.

We become a December watermelon.
Tasteless, unsatisfying, and bitter.


But when we serve a season at our fullest, listening for God's direction and urgings, we move from season to season, being satisfied in our work and effective in our mission for Christ. It's no different that pumpkins in October, strawberries in March, citrus fruit in December, and even a watermelon in July. We are best in our appointed season, and no other time.

Watermelon photo from Google images

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am at the three week mark!

Well, I went for my 3 week  post-surgery check up today. My hemoglobin is up to 11.5 which is a HUGE improvement since I was very anemic due to heavy blood loss before surgery. I am hoping I will have more energy when this is all over! My blood pressure was 126/73. My dr says I am healing well. I still have a little pain off and on, but  mostly just discomfort practically 24/7. My dr says the "zings" I was feeling a few days ago are the nerves inside trying to heal. She says my stitches are doing exactly as they should, some dissolved, some in place still. I can drive now, but cannot lift more than a gallon of milk. That is practically EVERYTHING when you think of it! Laundry basket? Nope. Jug of cat litter? Nope. Bag of trash from kitchen trash can? Nope. Still restrictions of  no vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, stretching, bending or reaching. Because of my hot flashes and crying jaunts I am now the proud owner of Estrogen patches which I sincerely hope help A LOT. Last night I had a hot flash like clockwork every thirty minutes. NO SLEEP at all last night! I really hope this little patch works well, and works quickly.

I am feeling better but still a long way to go! Hope this patch kicks in and works. If I could sleep I would feel a lot better I am sure. This Thursday my DH has to go to Charleston again for work and I got the ok from my dr to ride with him, as long as we stop every hour or so for me to stretch. No shopping or sightseeing this trip, but if I can get by that spice shop I want to get some flavored sugar! The lime flavor sugar was wonderful!  I will sit in the car and my beloved DH will trot in for me I am sure. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's been 2 weeks and 3 days since surgery..........and..........


......... I am very discouraged today. My mom left yesterday to go home since my husband was coming back from work for a week. (He works on a tugboat and is gone 7-10 days and nights, then home 5-7 days and nights) When I walked out of my bedroom yesterday morning, I saw that she had stripped her bed and had her stuff packed. I started crying and I am not sure I have stopped yet. Last night I cried because I had to ask my BFF to sweep my kitchen floor. She was happy to do it of course but I felt like an idiot asking. Today I cried because I walked in my daughters room and her bed was not made. I realized for the past week my mom had made her bed and opened her drapes every morning. The after a shower I cried because none of my granny panties were clean. Not that I wanted to wear the granny panties AT ALL but my bikinis hurt my incisions. So.... I cried because my fat old lady underwear was dirty and also because I had to wear granny panties at all LOL. The I walked in the kitchen and saw that the biscuit pan was on the counter and I cried because my mom had made me homemade biscuits every night while she was here and I loved them so much. I realized I won't get those tonight. My husband just hugs me and laughs, then I cry because he is laughing "at me".  He really isn't, but hey, the sight of a usually (fairly) sane woman crying over her underwear is kinda funny if you think about it. And he is a guy, who is doing the very best he can.

SHEESH! I am a  TRAIN WRECK!

clipart from picturesof.net

Monday, March 8, 2010

Where Have I Been????

For the past two weeks, I have been pretty much confined to the comfort of my bed. Or my recliner. Or my couch.

I had a total hysterectomy, including ovaries, on Feb. 23. I did not make details of this public thru cyberspace for many personal reasons.

Please continue to pray for my recovery. I developed several minor complications after surgery including a severe UTI, an infection at one of my incision sites, and an infection in my throat from the scrapes of the tube.

Thanks so much for praying for me, and I hope to be back to blogging (and life in general) very soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time for Tea in Charleston SC

Yesterday, my husband has some business matters that had to be handled in Charleston, so we spent a day in the beautiful city. We walked in the open air market for a little while, before we realized that it was really too cold for that kind of activity. :) We were going to get lunch and on the way I spotted a tea shop across the street and wanted to go in.


The name of the shop is The Spice and Tea Exchange and when we walked in we were met with the most delicious scents swirling together to create an intoxicating aroma. The walls are lines with clear glass jars that hold spices ranging from cinnamon sticks and bay leaves to exotic little numbers I had never even heard of! The owner Stacy was very friendly and she and her employee  (who's name I forgot to get!!!!) helped us by providing information about each spice, and explained that they compound the spices into their own rubs and seasoning blends right there in the store.
 
  
 

 In addition to spices and spice mixtures, they also have flavored sugars, flavored salts and loose leaf teas. We found sugar that was flavored with lime, lemon, blueberry, and many other flavors but decided that the lime sugar was the best. Once we got home we were devastated to realize that in our excitement we neglected to get any of the sugar! We played around with some salts, and decided to purchase some hickory flavored sea salt. I plan to use this when I cook Boston butt in my crockpot, hoping it will give a smoked flavor without actually smoking it.

Our last stop was the wall lined with teas. We sniffed and thought and enjoyed all of the offerings before deciding to purchase an ounce of three different teas.

Our first choice was the Lemon Twist tea, which is a blend of lemon verbena, hibiscus, and other delicious herbs. We also got some Green Tropical tea, which is flavored with pineapple and other tropical fruits. Lastly we chose the California Fields Tea, which is a blend of green and black tea, cactus flowers, sunflowers and other tasty bits.

I cannot wait to go back and try more of Stacey's delicious blends and creations. Visit Charleston and go into her shop or for some online Southern charm visit the website here and shop with her. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The last guest blog for a while

I finished up my guest blog series over on Kimchi's blog "Hope on the Horizon" today. It will be my last writing as a guest blogger for a little while. Please check it out and let me know what you think!
Read her blog here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Can you believe this?

We actually had SNOW in south Georgia! I had not seen snow stick to the ground in years! Marissa, Barry and Shaw had a great time playing in the snow and then we had hot chocolate to warm up again. Then I did loooooooads of wet, cold laundry...... :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

At it again....

Guest blogging again. Check it out HERE. What began as a two part blog based on my pastor's recent teachings is stretching on. Part 3 is up today, part 4 will be up next Wednesday.
Let me know what you think!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Love is in the air.....

Oh wow, my baby girl is in love. Hard to believe isn't it? Well, a few weeks ago I wrote about the young man at church who was asking if she was ok, and quickly became her biggest cheerleader/encourager. They really bonded over that time, and now since she has moved classrooms and things are so much better they have grown from being friends to "like-liking" each other.

Ah, young love....so sweet.

Today they are celebrating what they call their "one month-a-versary".





He is a great kid. He encourages her. He is called to be a pastor. He is musically gifted as well, and they spend a lot of time working on band pieces and he transposes stuff so they can play his trumpet music together. (He plays French horn, trumpet and is learning piano, she plays clarinet, piano and is learning guitar) They text all the time, and talk once or twice a day. Last month my daughter used nearly 5,00 text messages. Thank goodness for unlimited text!!!!

I am not ready for this.....but it is here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Guest blogging again.....

Check out my second post as a guest blogger. Please leave a comment!
http://hopeonthehorizon-kimchi4.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-is-sin-part-2by-michelle.html

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Under The Big Top

Last Thursday we took Marissa to her very first circus. It was amazing! Until we bought tickets to go, I did not realize that my husband had never been to the circus either! I can remember going as a kid with my mom. I always loved everything about the circus, except the clowns. They always...even now....freak me out.

These were made before the show.




We got there early, for the meet and greet.





The animals were amazing!

All in all, we had ONE HAPPY GIRL!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guest blogging

Hi everyone,
I want to invite you all to begin following a new blog called Hope on the Horizon. It is written by a good friend and sister in Christ that I had the honor to meet a few years ago. Although the military life has moved her to the opposite side of our great country, we are working together on some exciting endeavors.

Please check out her inspirational blog here. I will be a guest blogger each Wednesday. My first post for her is called "What is Sin", and it is a two part blog. Please read it and let us know what you think! Lastly, post a comment here and on her blog to give your feedback.

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Totally random here.....

A list of total random current happenings:

  • Took my daughter and my husband to the circus Thursday. First time for both of them. Pics to come. They both loved it and said they liked it more than they thought they would. I remember going to the circus with my mom as a kid. My biggest excitement was over how much the elephants peed. Still amazed me this week.
  • Mom and PaPa are renovating some rental property that Mom owns, the house I grew up in actually. The guy who moved out left it TRASHED and now they are working hard to try to make it livable again. Jamie helped all last week as well.
  • Bible study started up Tuesday. Although I was not feeling nearly well enough, I led it and we had a great group. Looking forward to the next 5 weeks with these ladies!
  • Marissa had her "friend" Barry over last night. It was great to see them practicing their band music together. He encourages her like no other. They took pics of themselves....more of those to come also. I can tell you the encouraging "friend" role has changed a bit :)
  • Sleepover tonight......my childhood best friend and her two daughters are coming to stay. We will watch G Force and eat pizza. They are going to church with us tomorrow!
  • My beautiful daughter donated 10 inches of hair today for Locks of Love. She looks so grown up! Pics of this to come as well. 
Thanks for being patient, it has been a crazy week and I am STILL not completely well. I have a doctor appointment Monday, hoping for a good report.
Have a great weekend!!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Under the weather

Sorry my blog has been rather quiet this week, but I have been under the weather. I will be back with you ASAP! In the meantime, check out my blog list and go read some of the stellar stuff over there!