Saturday, February 27, 2010

a mouse story

Over on another blog I read, Emily has been telling her tales of mice in their MS. parsonage (that's a house owned by the church). Some of her stories are hilarious (like the one for today), but some have made me shudder. You see, I HATE mice. When I say that I HATE them, that is really too kind. Some of her stories, literally, gave me nightmares. I don't want the little boogers ANYWHERE NEAR me. NO WHERE in my vicinity! Get the picture?

Well, when we lived in the country, we had mice. Actually twice that we've lived in the country we've had them. This story is from our GA days..........those KY days? Well, I'm still trying to get over the mice there so I cannot speak of them.

One night, after Steve and I went to bed, we heard this noise. Couldn't figure out what it was, just kept hearing, rattlerattlerattle, rattlerattlerattle, over and over. Finally, I told him to get up and see what was going on. During this time, you see, little miss Stevie liked to get out of bed and make herself food (she was all of about 4), so we thought it was just her.

Steve stumbles out of bed and into the dining room where the noise was, and ALLOFASUDDEN- I hear a yell! Scared me to death........almost put me into labor (I was pregnant with Luke). Steve comes running back into the bedroom and says that something ran over his foot. Of course, I don't want it to come running into my bedroom so I tell him to get back out there and find it! So, he ventures out again and this time turns on the light (novel idea, I know!). What does he see? A mouse with one foot trapped running around trying to free itself from the trap. We had set out some of those inhumane traps (you know the kind!) and it had gotten caught and Steve just happened to get in the way of its escape so it just scampered over him (gives me CHILLS). Steve did catch it and fling it outside. I'm pretty sure that it had a heart attack as it was flying through the air. EWWWWWW. I have plenty of other stories, but I just don't find them funny. Mice are gross. This one, we've laughed about for years now; although had I been the one the mouse had scampered over, it wouldn't have been nearly as funny :0)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

cruise slideshow by

fiction reviews

I have two great books from WaterbrookMutlnomah to review this week.

The first one, Yesterday's Promise, by Linda Lee Chaikin is the story of Rogan Chantry who has won his independence from Sir Julien Bley in South Africa. He begins on a journey of to find a deposit of gold, but is challenged by the impending colonization of South Africa by the British. Back at home, his love, Evy Varley is faced with her own challenges as she stands off against the man who murdered Rogan's uncle. Can they find their way back to one another safely?

This book grabbed me at the beginning. I was intrigued as I went through the story to find out what would happen next. It's an easy, enjoyable read. I had not read the first book that set up the love story between Evy and Rogan, and I wish that I had. I intend to purchase it so that I can get the whole story and be ready for book 3. If you like historical fiction, then you will like this one.

The second book is Faithful Heart by Al Lacy. To be honest, this book had me at the prologue. After reading that, I was so sad that I had missed the other series that dealt with these characters. The love story between Breanna and John is very sweet. I was intrigued with the inward struggles that Jerrod seemed to have with himself, and really felt for Dottie as she tried to deal with him. As I began to read, I got that little tingle inside that I actually haven't felt in a while when I know I'm reading something I won't be able to put down, and this book did not disappoint! Another great historical fiction piece.

The themes in this book are difficult to deal with.....war, post-traumatic stress disorder, child abuse, spousal prepared to deal with your own emotions about these issues.

These two books were provided to me for review by Waterbrook Mutlnomah.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


There are so many television programs to watch right now that I am having a hard time fitting it all in! So, here are a few observations from some of my favs..............

1. Who, exactly, decided that curling was a sport??

2. How would you like to be able to spin soooooo fast that it made your nose bleed??

3. Was it just me, or did the girls on last night's American Idol sound, NOT. SO. GOOD.??

4. Who thought Rozlyn, on The Women Tell All, sound a tad bit defensive (or uh... GUILTY)??

5. The little skater from Canada who lost her mom a few days ago was the sweetest thing last night. How brave was she?? I cried when she finished.

6. That ski cross event? Too. Dangerous. For. Words.

So, so many ponderous questions for the next week..............

Will the boys sound better tonight on AI?
Will Russell be able to pull off his shenanigans on Survivor?
Will Jake REALLY choose that horrible Vienna? (completely ruined the show for me, thanks, Reality Steve)
Will the Americans be first in the medal count when all is said and done?

Stay tuned.............and we'll see!

Monday, February 22, 2010

what a difference a year makes!

Spring 2009

Feb. 2010
My little man has gone from little boy to young man in one short year. I cannot believe how much he has changed! He's grown like 7 inches since the beginning of the school year, and his body mass index has dropped dramatically. Of course, I think wrestling and weightlifting have had a lot to do with that. They grow up so fast, don't they? And that doesn't even cover how different Steve looks--45 pounds lighter (note his pic on my facebook badge!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

an actual giveaway for my blog!

Yes, you heard right............I get to do an actual giveaway from MY blog not just post about someone else's!

Waterbrook Publishing sent me an extra copy of Matthew Paul Turner's book, Hear No Evil. You can read my review here.

All you have to do to enter is answer the following question:

In the book, Matthew writes about a conversation with a woman he was in high school with. They are discussing contemporary christian music and their varying views (both come from a fundamentalist Baptist background, but Matthew has realized that may not be the best way for him to worship while Roberta still affirms that view). Matthew says. "But it's meant to be a love song to God. Or at least about God." to which the woman replies. "Why anybody would want to sing a love song to God, I'll never know."

So, tell me, Why would you (or wouldn't you) want to sing a love song to God?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner

Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost by Matthew Paul Turner is a look inside the mind of a young man who grew up in a fundamentalist baptist household where salvation was all about "fire insurance". The series of stories told are smart, poignant, and funny with a degree of compassion for those still living with that belief thrown in. He uses his music industry experience to tell the story of how music touched his life showing him that Jesus is more than a "good thought" to be put upon a pedestal and dusted off once in awhile.

I loved this book. I read it in one sitting, laughing out loud at the absurdity and honesty of the stories that were told. I highlighted passages that made me think about the way church people "do" church and how it must appear to the outsider looking in.

While there are some parts with which I disagree, there are many more statements made that need to be shouted from rooftops to anyone who will listen. One of my favorites was, "Anyone was welcome to join us for worship on Sundays, as long as they never emotionally pooped on the carpet." Wow! MPT reminds us that we, being the church, need to get over ourselves and remember that being "real" means people feel welcome regardless of the emotional baggage they carry.

If you love music, you will really enjoy this book. Turner's accounts of his dealings with Sandi Patty and Amy Grant are akin to my own feelings about the music they have created throughout their careers. They have the ability to touch the lives of many, and obviously transform one's beliefs as they did with Turner.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

If you are interested in purchasing this book or reading more about it, please visit:


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

the straw market

at port

We docked at Nassau, Bahamas where, believe it or not, it was still cold. While not as cold as the frigid temperatures the US were experiences, certainly not our own SC, it was still chilly compared to the norm for that area.

This is the view from the dock before you walk across the canal to get into Nassau. When we stepped off the ship, Luke noted that we were no longer on American soil. It was surreal, honestly as we looked around and realized this to be so.

Here we all are as we start down the main street in Nassau headed to the straw market.
This is the view from the other side of the canal. The ship that you see farthest away is the Oasis of the Sea with Royal Caribbean. It is the largest ship sailing today. This was it's maiden voyage..........glad it didn't end up like the Titanic!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

the view from our perch

while we were waiting for the ship to leave the dock, these are pictures of our view.

getting ready

Driving up to the terminal at Port Canaveral.

This is the first ship that we saw....the Disney Wonder....not our ship, but impressive none the less.
Here's our ship, Carnival Sensation, as we approach the line at the luggage check-in.

We're getting ready to shove off. It was cold!! BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Yep, that's right.............we've been cruisin'. I cannot wait to show the pictures and tell you all about this experience.

We knew that we had to go to Orlando to see Steve's parents who most of you know are not really healthy...mentally or physically. I actually felt like his mom looked worse than his dad (who is actually the sick one), but if you know anything at all about being the caregiver for someone ill, then you know what a toll it takes. So, how did we go from seeing his parents to cruising? Well, let me tell ya.

Originally at Christmas, we told our three kids that presents were going to be slim because we wanted to take a trip and create memories instead of buying stuff that they'd quickly forget about (can you say Band Hero--or whatever it's called--even I can't remember it). As they get older, it's harder to buy for them, and really we just want to cherish our time with them. So, we told them we would take some kind of trip.

However, as is always the case, we couldn't decide where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do. Luke wanted to go to Disney, Stevie wanted to go to the mountains, Shea couldn't get off work to go, and Steve and I wanted to do something relaxing. Well, we got a call that my brother and his family were going to be vacationing at Disney over the President's Day weekend so we thought, okay...we'll just kill two birds with one stone and see all of the family at the same time. But, Disney being Disney (read excessively expensive) it was going to cost me a ton of money just to buy tickets. So, off we went to AAA to see Sam, the travel expert, to see if he could help us out. AND help us out he did!!

He found us a cruise to the Bahamas for significantly cheaper than the Disney tickets! This meant that we had to sacrifice seeing the nephews, but we could still do our trip and see the in-laws in one fell swoop. So, that's what we did.

The first night on the ship was kinda boring except for Luke who got to go to Circle C and be with kids his own age.....which he loved. We went to the show, and it was well..........not so good. Kinda like being at the American Idol auditions, and I don't mean the good ones! Seriously, this is the best you can do, Carnival? I'm happy to say that it got better!!

Check back in a little while because I should have the pictures posted with descriptions and interesting tidbits about Nassau.

we're back

I can't wait to tell you all about it. It was a great getaway, and yes, I have tons of pictures to share.

In other news, Luke was cast as Woody, the tree in the Fine Arts Center's production of Wizard of Oz. That ought to make for some interesting posts!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


We're going on a secret excursion tonight. Hopefully, I will be able to share when we return! Pictures included, I hope:)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

love and war by john and stasi eldredge

Marriage is tough, but is it worth fighting for? This book takes an indepth look at how to fight for your marriage and make it the union you always wanted. Love and War contains many references to the author's own experiences throughout their 25 year marriage, and explains how to get past hurt and confusion that might continue to dwell in your heart from childhood, or beyond.

At times, the book reads like a comfortable conversation with a friend, and at other times seems a bit disjointed. I did find the book to be very honest and poignant. The authors share personal stories of how they have coped with various aspects of their marital life. I think those whose marriages are rocky will find this book to be very helpful. I know that I plan to share it with a couple who I think will benefit greatly from the words within.

Interested in purchasing this book? Check out Amazon or this link .

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

just when you wonder why

someone steps in and does something nice, and you remember once again why you do what you do! I was having some moments of wondering why I feel like I'm thrown under the bus when things don't go the way others think they should. Feeling sorry for myself, really, and a little inadequate again.

However, when we got to church tonight, one of our dear ladies had made supper for our family. So, so, so sweet! Not that I need for others to do for me, but I kinda felt like that was God's way of saying what you do matters, and others notice. Thank you, Elaine, for allowing yourself to be used as a way of encouragement today. Thank you, God, for sending yummy lasagna our way:)

Friday, February 5, 2010

job fair or cattle call?

There's a little thing we job-seeking teachers do that's called a job fair. I've taken to calling them a cattle call because that is the way I feel about them. They round us all up in one place and then ask everyone the same five questions as quickly as possible so they can get to the next one on their list. It actually has nothing to do with a "job" and it certainly isn't "fair"-like at all.

I went to one last Saturday where I waited for over an hour to speak to a principal who supposedly wanted to speak to any media specialists who came by her school's table. I had an appointment, but that one was taken away when I asked for this specific lady, so the waiting commenced. Why did she ask her teachers manning her table to do that? She didn't ask me one, no, NOT ONE, question about the library!

I'm going to another one this coming Saturday where I am expecting the same kind of thing, only this time.....I'm not changing my original appointment. If I can, I hope to make it back to the one here in my county so that I can be greeted at the door with a friendly, "We don't think we'll have any jobs, but thanks for wasting your time anyway."

I am really working on my attitude, but it's hard when I pick up the newspaper and listen to the local news and the only word coming out of those is how horrible the educational system is having it. When will these people who are in charge wake up? As a job seeker, it is irritating. As a parent? Infuriating. Why don't they understand that the educational system is important? Why don't they see that increased class sizes is not the way to go? So many people in our local district have lost their's horrible. How could the state of SC have let this get so bad? So out of hand?

I'll smile and go to the job fair. But, I won't like it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

this and that

I am a teacher.

I teach grammar, spelling, writing skills, reading, and the like.

So, excuse me if your "her and I" drives me crazy!!

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this on tv lately. I honestly didn't think I'd be able to see who Jillian picked on The Bachelorette last season because she said this like 40 times an episode!

Then, I heard it on the radio just the other day.

Seriously, can we butcher the English language anymore? Come on.............
On another note, Steve and I are still butchering our weight. One little pound at a time.

So, so proud of myself!! WE both lost 1.2 lbs this week bringing him to 15 (this doesn't count what he lost before Christmas---his real total is 40) and me to 10.6!

It's not easy, but I am just remembering that I really, really want to lose that 50 lbs this year.

We didn't have church last Sunday because of the frigid temps. It was coooooooooooooold!!

I missed seeing everyone. It's so nice to be in a church where you actually miss the congregation:0)

Satan is really attacking in our church right now. He is so not happy that things are moving in a positive direction. The war is on, Satan, and we are praying. Praying that we keep on the path and not deviate just because you want to spread lies.
Steve's dad is out of the hospital, for now. He may have to have a heart cath next week. Good thing we are going down there.

Thanks for the prayers......he certainly still needs them.

Speaking of prayers, Stevie is developing a cold which I hope doesn't turn into anything else; AND Steve has been suffering since the dr. increased his meds. Ugh.......I hope they get better before our trip. I'd hate to have to leave them behind! LOL

I think that's all for now! Have a great Wednesday!!

Monday, February 1, 2010


I am sure that you have heard the saying, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." I know I've heard that many times over. Here's the deal, though. I don't like lemonade. I never have. I've heard people say, "Oh, a large glass of lemonade just quenches my thirst." It really doesn't quench mine, it makes me thirstier. And, it makes my mouth feel dry.

As I was contemplating this random thought that had popped into my head, I was drawn to that idea......that it makes me thirstier. Isn't that why God allows lemons into our lives? I know when life has handed me a bowlful of lemons, I have become thirstier for God. So, it stands to reason that He allows things to happen so that I will want Him more.

I think about the trials we have been through simply in the last few years. If not for His grace, I simply couldn't have made it through. I've sought Him more, and when I turn around, there He is. It's not about turning the lemons into lemonade for me. It's about the thirst that they create. What tastes sour when first experiences turns sweet after He has quenched me. More like, in my case, drenched me......because I am a slooooooooooooow learner!

There is no better example for me than when during our first year in KY, I was working at a small private, christian school. I loved those students and the faculty that was part of that school. I didn't love the administration of the school, however. I tried to love him. I tried to please him and make his job easier by piling more work upon myself than I could ever complete. By Christmas that year, I was depressed and sad. Disgusted and fed-up. By the end of January, I gave up and told him I needed to leave my job. That experience left a sour taste in my mouth. Little did I know, but that God was using that situation to create a sweet experience that I will never regret having.

That January, my very first nephew was born. That May, I was able to take my dad, who we knew was sick....we just didn't understand how PA to visit my brother and his new little baby boy. How sweet a memory that is to me....especially when I see the three generation picture that we made of daddy, Billy, and Sam that week. We didn't know that daddy would never see Sam again. Had the situation at the school not happened, I would have been unable to spend that time with my dad nor would he have ever seen Sam before he left us.

You may be thinking, sour moment turned into another when he died. Sorta. Kinda. But not really. Because although, six years later I still grieve deeply, I rejoice and have since the day he left us that he never suffered. I never had to watch him lose himself to that awful disease called Alzheimer's. God turned a perfectly horrible, no lemonade making, experience into a wonderful rejoicing. Because now, when I think of daddy, I think of him at the feet of Jesus where, for most of my life, he longed to be.

You see, God quenches the thirst better than anything else. So, when life hands you lemons, remember this verse from John 4:14 (The Message)

Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst - not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life."


What is the expectation of a pastor's wife? Is it to be perfect? Is it to have everything in order all of the time? Is it that she must do everything at the church that nobody else wants to do? I really don't know! You'd think that having been in several churches over the course of my lifetime, I'd have some sense of what people expect me to be. I don't. I am as lost as last year's Easter egg on this one!

I think for me the problem is not what the church perceives me to be, but what I expect myself to be, and even that is getting muddier as the days go on. Sometimes, I feel like a basketball bouncing around the court without the prospect of LeBron James happening by to pick me up and give me some direction. I forget that God is standing at the ready to help me out. Stupid. I. Know.

I'm kind of dealing with something right now that leaves me befuddled. I don't know to do. I'm floundering. I know God wants something of me, but I don't know what that something is. I'm ready, or........maybe I'm not......don't you love how I have these epiphanies while I am typing and just throw them in for everyone to experience :o) In my mind, I am ready.....maybe my heart, not so much. There have been many times when I have cried out asking for a skywriter to just fly past where I'm standing, with a message. Is that too much to ask? I guess so, because I've never gotten one.

I was thinking about this today, and the simple verse: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 A verse that we are all familiar with. This did bring some comfort, knowing that maybe He just isn't ready to reveal the plan to me. Whatever. I don't know what the future will hold, but I know if I wait on Him, it will be amazing.

But, back to the expectations. I'm working on those. I expect for myself, and what I think God expects of me is to love in the only way I know how.......BIG. I love big. I like to give gifts, and share what I believe, and hug you, and pray for you, and send you a card, and on and on......anything that I believe may bring a smile to your face. I like planning and organizing. Do I come on too strong? Probably! Sorry!! But make no mistake, I'm gonna love you even when I'm aggravated, or tired, or sick, or sick and tired. I want to make you happy, but if I can't, I'm not going to worry about it. I can't. I have a life to live and kids to raise, and a husband to support, and myself to keep sane. I like who I am, and I'm not gonna change to suit anyone except the ONLY one who matters most to me......................and you know who that is.............God.