Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Do your kids like superheroes? Then, Bibleman: Combating the Commandment of Confusion is for you! Bibleman incorporates music and the appropriate corniness factor to hook boys and girls into finding out what putting on the full armor of God looks like. When the Commandment of Confusion and his sidekick, Chaos, interrupt the Bible Adventure Training Academy, Bibleman and his team must leap into action to recover the full armor of God!

The dialogue was riddled with Bible verses, and the live action was inviting for the kids. My kids are too old for this movie, but wanted to watch it to compare to Power Rangers; but, I would certainly allow boys and girls who are aged 6-10 to view it. My nephews are sure to get a kick out of it!

This product was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

iraq-army wives edition

so, I am back to blogger not letting me load pictures. Tried through Firefox and Explorer. FRUSTRATING!! At least you can see, for today anyway, how Army Wives was working to get "Iraq" set up!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Every blog I read seems to be talking about spring cleaning.....except one.......MY OWN! I need to be doing that cleaning thing no matter what season it is. The closets are a mess, and for me, that is something! I do love a clean closet. The rest of my house can be messy, dusty, cluttery (I don't think that's a word), but dag-gum, my closets are going to be organized!

I feel the same way about drawers (the kind you put stuff in--not wear!). Wonder why that is?? Maybe because I am really an organized and efficient kind of gal who likes things in their place...IN MY MIND....but gave up having a house like that a long time ago!

Maybe one day when it's just Steve and me living alone. Although, tonight on the way to dinner, Stevie and Luke decided that we would probably never be empty nesters. We'll just keep getting kids until we die. Nice, huh??

Well, enough rambling for one night.......maybe that spring cleaning needs to start in my brain! I should be waxing poetic about how we should clean out our spiritual closets and all of that, but honestly, all I can really think about it how in the world I will ever be ready to teach on Monday since I haven't completed my powerpoint presentation yet!

Ugh......enough already!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

here burns my candle

I am generally a big fan of historical fiction. So, it was with great anticipation that I started to read Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs. Unfortunately, I did not keep the midnight candles burning to read this one. For me, this book started off slowly and never really took off. It combines the Bible story of Ruth and Naomi with the characters of this story, Lady Elisabeth Kerr and Lady Marjory. This is a story set in eighteenth-century Scotland that contains a lot of historic detail with Scottish dialogue (including a glossary at the end of the book was a great idea) which didn't seem to help me much with getting through the book.

Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of twenty-seven books with three million copies in print. That tells you that she is a great writer. I guess, for me, the authenticity of the dialogue was a little too much, taking away from the story she wanted to tell.

This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah where you can purchase all of your fiction (and other types of reading) needs!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

army wives

I love the show, Army Wives. Today, I got to visit their set. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us take pictures of anything inside, so I only got a few of the outside set of their version of Iraq. They are setting it up for the Mother's Day episode where Joan gets trapped in a sandstorm.

I was surprised that the inside was smaller than I had expected. We got to meet many people who work on the set and find out about their jobs. Of course, I was looking for the stars, and I was not to be disappointed! As we were talking to the guy who makes sure military protocol is followed within the elements of the show, Gen. Holden (Brian McNamara) walked through. Oh my......he is even better looking in person! What a shock, then when we went backstage to watch an episode being taped to see him standing RIGHT NEXT TO THE MONITOR WHERE I WAS!!!!! He talked to us a little, and he is pretty darned funny. Oh, I wanted to sneak a picture so bad. I was afraid they might yell or take my camera or I would have. The director for this episode seemed a little high strung, so goodness knows I didn't want to do anything to make him mad!

The scene that we watched being taped involved Claudia Joy (Kim Delaney) and one of Pam's kids. They taped the scene like 23 times and to my experienced eye LOL, it looked perfect the first time. Not so, said the director, and he had them do it over and over and over. I'm not sure what he was looking for but, miraculously once lunchtime rolled around, he had found it:o)
Kim is even prettier in person. Too bad that she didn't come over and see us, but they all pretty much cleared out once they yelled, "Cut!"

Some of the most interesting jobs were:
1. The set shopper: She goes around and buys all of the stuff that you see on the set including stuff for the houses and anything else that's needed......tarps, fabric, tents, today she was looking for a shopping cart carrel for a scene that they are doing in an empty parking lot.
2. The props guy: His name was Shady! He handles all types of props from water pitchers to Troll doll erasers. He said that if it's something the actors touch, he is in charge. He also said that he has to provide options for the creative team to decide from (Brooke, the set shopper, said the same thing).

A couple of things that the tour guide (who is also the unit manager) said that I found interesting:
1. Extras are local and they are paid $108 a day.
2. They employ about 130 people (not including extras) and all of those people are independent contractors. They basically work until the producer doesn't need or like them anymore. So, you are always looking for your next job.
3. She said that she may have 50-100 W-2s at the end of the year!
4. You have to learn to live below your means because you never know when your next job may be.
5. The best way to get a job is to intern somewhere.

I was so excited the entire time I was there. There was about an hour that we didn't know if we were going to make it because nobody seemed to know where we were going! I was getting frustrated to say the least.

Oh, and while I didn't see her upclose, I am pretty sure that I saw Denise (Catherine Bell) walking across the parking lot. I've seen enough Jag to know how she walks! I couldn't get my camera out and ready fast enough to catch her. I'll post the pictures when I get home. I wish they were more exciting....but the tour more than made up for it!
The episode was between

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a trip

I'm headed out to Charleston today to go to the South Carolina Association of School Librarians Conference. This is a requirement of my practicum, and normally one that I would look forward to. Unfortunately, I have to go alone, and I hate that! It won't be nearly as much fun as it could have been had my mentor been able to go. She went to a different conference, and with all of the budget issues didn't want to ask to go to this as well.

Tomorrow, I get to tour the Army Wives set. I love that show, so I am expecting that to be the highlight of the trip for me.

Since I will be alone, I do expect to get a ton of work done on my last remaining projects. I hope to finish at least two of them since I'll have all afternoon tomorrow and evening to work on them. I really need to use this time wisely although, I'd love to be free to shop or something. I need to work, so work I shall.

On Sat., I take the LAST test for my certification. So, please pray for me!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

acquire the fire

We took our youth group to Acquire the Fire this weekend. There was lots of ear-splitting, mind-numbing music; too many skinny jeans wearers, and lots of laughter to go around. The teens had a good time, and surprisingly, so did the adults! LOL Steve and I did a top ten for why we were too old to be there, and I am going to share the ones I can remember.........because, you know, I am old............my memory is going.

10. You have no idea what the bands are saying.
9. You turn around and tell the kids behind you to behave........and they aren't even with you.
8. You are totally grossed out at the speaker's analogy that sin is like chocolate covered poop.
7. You are amazed when right in the middle of a dramatic scene during the drama, they break out in a Broadwayesque number.
6. You won't let the kids wander around during the preaching and you are pretty sure you hear murmurings of Gestapo tactics.
5. You learn amazing things. Like Hitler was a gay jew.
4. Your brain liquefies from incessant talking.
3. You find the pooting contest hilarious b/c you are sleep-deprived/
2. You find out that redneck and Christian are not mutually exclusive. Like, "Those rednecks behind us need to get their feet off of our backs."

1. You forget your earplugs and spend the rest of the night with napkin pieces stuck in your ears!

Friday, March 19, 2010


When I wrote my last post, I had originally planned for it to hit the blog on Sunday after Steve had told the church our news. We thought it was important for them to hear it first from our mouths and not secondhand. However, he decided to mention it Wednesday night so I went ahead and posted. So, that means that we actually hadn't been to the orientation meeting when you read it.

Last night, was the orientation meeting. That room was full of people who want to adopt. I couldn't believe it, although I think the vast majority of them wanted a baby. Not me, though. Although, knowing how God works, what I don't want is probably exactly what He has in mind! The lady in charge gave us tons of information to think about and process. What was funny, though, was that Steve and I each heard something different on several issues. So, I immediately had to come home and email our family worker to get some clarification--which I am not expecting until sometime next week. The one thing that we are sure about is that we have to be at a 7 hour training on April 10. The other thing that I am sure (well, almost) about is that the child we saw on the sc heart gallery is probably not the child we will end up with! The process is not at all what I thought it would be.

We are still very excited about this possibility. Still nervous about some things like that whole home study thing...........that's intense.........and I know some people who should have to have that done before they have their own children........we probably all know people like that!!

So, we keep working towards the goal and reminding ourselves that this process belongs to God. We'll keep praying for that new family member..................wherever he or she may be!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


"It" all began for me about 35 years ago (mind you I was about 8 at the time). I was intrigued by "it" and knew that I wanted to explore and learn more.

Fast forward into adulthood when things became complicated and "it" didn't seem so exciting anymore. I was married with two children when I was once again confronted with "it". I was a new, young teacher with aspirations of motivating and saving all of the children. I taught in a poor area where parental involvement meant nothing, and education was not valued. It was in that setting that I met *Frankie. His parents were divorced, and he lived with his mom in the projects. He was not well taken care of. I wanted to help, so I did what I could which wasn't much. Steve tempered my enthusiasm with realism, and the dream of "it" died again.

Fast forward many years later when, after turning 35, I decided maybe I could finally explore the possibility of "it". I did explore, but that was as far as I got since Steve, once again, was not interested. No matter what argument I made, he was not for "it" and wouldn't change his mind. I finally gave up and let go of my dream.

Fast forward one more time to the Fall of 2009. I began to sense that God was asking me to do something, but I didn't know what. I was driven crazy by this since (as I have discussed before), I am not too keen on the waiting plan of God! I really need a sky writer when it comes to Him telling me what I should do. I explored some possibilities, but nothing came of those. I was confused since I really felt like the path I was to take was totally different that the path that I was on. What did this mean?? I didn't know, but just decided that like ONE other time before (when we were called to our current church) I would actually WAIT on God to simply let me in on His plan. I wouldn't seek it out other than praying and reading the Word. I kept this up for months......and I got NOTHING!! My biggest prayer was that whatever the plan was, that He would allow the confirmation to come from Steve. I had shared my concerns with Steve, and knew that he was praying for God's will as well. When it comes to the Leighs, God's will could be anything (as those of you who know us well can attest!), so we were very, very open. We didn't want to put God in a box, so we simply waited.

God did something amazing! On Feb 19, 2010, we took our youth group to Winterjam. Tony Nolan gave his testimony, and when he concluded, my husband turned to me and said something amazing to which I simply replied, "Have you lost your MIND?????" Little did I know that God was using that moment to allow "it" to actually happen.

I'm sure that you've guessed by now that "it" is adoption. I can hardly contain the tears as I type this. I want to share with you the rest of the story.....................

Steve looked at me that night and said, "I think we should adopt a baby from China." uhh, NO. is what I said back!! I am 44 years old, and I am NOT adopting a baby when I plan to go back to work next year. AND where would you like this money to do this to come from??????? I thought he had seriously HIT.HIS.HEAD.

He hadn't! God instead had popped him upside the head. We aren't adopting a baby from China, however. We began to research options and decided that for us, the best option was to adopt an older child through DSS, and that's what we're doing. God has sent confirmation to us EVERY SINGLE DAY since Feb. 19! So far, we have filled out paperwork, researched, attended an orientation meeting, researched, been fingerprinted, researched, and on and on it goes. I want to share with you the road along the way. I know it is going to be amazing. I also covet your prayers for not only us, but for the child that God has picked out for us. We can only hope that he/she is being well cared for and shown love in the foster home. All of us in this home are anxiously awaiting the homecoming of a new Leigh family member.

*name changed to protect privacy

Monday, March 15, 2010

start here

Have you ever wanted to do something BIG? I mean, mind-blowing big for God? Well, Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are by Alex and Brett Harris is the place for you to start! These two young men are ready to inspire you as well as make you think about what you can do. Furthermore, they give you an instruction manual coupled with success stories on how to get started. This book is written with today's young person in mind. Never in our history have we seen a generation that wants to do good things, and yet can't seem to find themselves a place to belong. Here's just the tool they need!

The book is an easy read. It's engaging and motivational. It will make you want to jump up and get started on that BIG thing God has planned for you.

Want a copy of this book for your very own?? Just leave a comment on this post telling me what your BIG dream is! Remember......all dreams for God are big! (one random winner will be chosen) Just in case you don't win, you can always go to randomhouse.com to purchase.

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

Thursday, March 11, 2010

happier times ahead

Yesterday, I taught my staff development class that fulfilled one of the requirements of my practicum. It went really, really well and it is a huge relief to get that off my plate! Today, I am off to teach lesson 2 of my reading unit to a group of rambunctious 4 year olds.

So, the stress from earlier this week is dissipating. Yeah, me!! This month is still ridiculous, but it just doesn't seem as bad when things fall into place.

Tonight, we saw Luke in his first ever real production on stage, The Wizard of Oz. He was the best darned pesky tree ever! The production was very cute, but I have to say that the cowardly lion stole the show. That little guy was too, too funny. Toto was cute, too; and his timing was perfect.

My "big" thing has finally taken a step in the right direction as God continues to send confirmations my way each day. I love it when God shows up, and today He showed up in a HUGE way!

Looking forward to the weekend.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This month represents the eve of the last month of school for A VERY LONG WHILE, I hope! Accomplishing this will be great, but first I must make it through this last little bit. You know how it is when you are nearing the end of something......school, job, whatever.....you kinda get sick of it and just want it done. For me, the motivation seems to be lagging, and thus, here I sit blogging instead of finishing up my power point for my staff development I have to teach tomorrow!

I have AT LEAST nineteen projects to finish not to mention that the house needs to be cleaned....the dust bunnies are having babies again; the laundry needs to be folded....it ain't gonna fold itself ya know; VBS needs workers and supplies need to be ordered....AND, well, you get the picture.............it's LIFE. Not to mention that our new adventure is slow-going which, if you know me, you know is driving me crazy! I am a woman of action........and I don't like slow.

As I write this, Annie and the other orphans are singing "It's a Hard Knock Life".....ironic.

I'm ready to blog something happy, so I shall take my leave for today and come back when this week settles down!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

relationships review

This week, I read two books on relationships. The first one was Dancing with My Father by Sally Clarkson. When I first saw the title, I thought the book would be about a daughter's relationship with her dad. However, it focuses on your relationship with your heavenly Father. The book included a study guide to help you analyze the aspects brought out in each chapter. This relationship should be joyous, and that is the point the author makes in this book. Through her life's experiences, she takes you through her own relationship and how it changed once she let go of her preconceived notions of what she thought God expected of her. I really liked the section on letting go of worry. The book is a bit disjointed, however, in the way it is written. Each individual chapter did not flow into the other for me, so I found it hard to become very invested in what the author wanted to convey.

The second was Mother-Daughter Duet by Cheri Fuller and Ali Plum. This book is written by Cheri (the mom) and Ali (the daughter) as a very real look into their relationship and how they can strengthen it. I found it interesting since I didn't have a good relationship with my mom, and strive to break that cycle with my own two daughters. I liked their insight into letting go and what it feels like for each of them to do that. As the mother of two adult daughters who are entering into that phase of their lives that will take them on paths way different from mine, it's important that I understand how my actions and reactions will affect my relationships with them going forward. Each author shares candid emotions and experiences that helped them to realize that they needed to reform their relationship to make it into something more cohesive. They give practical suggestions for building that bond.

These books were provided by http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/ for review.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Right now, there's a group of bloggers in Kenya through Compassion International, and they are doing what they do---blogging and posting pictures of the people and conditions there. CI allows you to sponsor children around the world for $38 per month. The children write you letters and you can write back to them. Sometimes, you get pictures from the children as well. I know this to be true because I remember as a child, my family sponsoring one of these children and looking forward to the letters we received.

I think CI is great. I really, really do. However, I believe that my heart lies closer to home. I believe that in our effort to help the world, sometimes we forget about our own backyard. With children in situations in America that most would find unacceptable, we have conditioned ourselves to overlook them or believe that things couldn't possibly be that bad since we live in such a great nation. We do live in a great nation, but even here, we have kids living without running water or electricity. We have kids who don't have enough to eat. We have kids who have never been hugged or who believe themselves to be unlovable because that is what the adults in their lives tell them.

Not every child can be saved. Not every situation can be fixed. This is true in America and in other countries. We can, however, do our part. There's so many ways to help. I know you're busy. I know the economy is bad. I know things in your life aren't perfect. Believe me, I KNOW! What can you do?
  1. Contribute to a sacks of love program (or start one if your school district doesn't have this)
  2. Give a hug
  3. Collect school supplies and donate them (your school will know someone who needs them)
  4. Give to United Way (do you know what they can do with $1 a month?)
  5. Pray for direction, God will give you a suggestion
Any of the above take very little effort on your part, but will make a difference.

Everyone has a favorite cause or charity, one that means something to them. We have all been touched by something that brings out the activist in us. Get involved. My passion is kids (can you tell?). Yours may be something entirely different. Make a difference in someone's life TODAY. I know that until I take my dying breath, I'll fight for what is right for kids. They can't fight for themselves.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Beautiful Things Happen

When a Woman Trusts God by Sheila Walsh.

Who doesn't love Sheila? She writes as though you feel you are having an intimate conversation with her. Since trust is such an issue for me, I hoped that this book would give me the courage to continue on my own journey through allowing myself to truly trust that God cares for me and wants to do what's best. I was not to be disappointed!

I love this quote, "Learning to trust was changing my life-not in one grand swoop, but moment by moment" and reading that, sent me on this road with Sheila that helped her, and ultimately me, to find that trust. She gives biblical insight into each emotion that goes along with mistrust and the brokenness that we feel. Through our pain, beauty arises just as it did with Joseph, Lot, and Samson. They were broken and needed a touch from the Lord, and in His grace, He provided just what they needed at just the right time.

This book includes an in-depth Bible study that can be used with individuals or a small group.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

my jumbled thoughts

I'm in a state of emotional upheaval right now. I cry at the drop of a hat. I'm trying not to show it and just let things pass without having a complete and total breakdown in front of others, but it seems to be coming over me more and more often. Tonight, not once, but twice, I literally could have started sobbing. I'm not sad, really. Just emotional. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear it's my "special" time of the month.......fortunately, I don't have that anymore!! (yeah, me....yes, I know you're jealous!).

I know it has a lot to do with BIG decisions coming our way, and God working those things out. It seems like every day He gives us another confirmation that we are doing the right thing. I'm so relieved to finally have made the decision. Of course, even through this, He is teaching me patience. I use to think that He was done with that lesson (hahahahahahahahaha), but I now realize that He has ONLY begun. Learning to WAIT until He is ready to reveal is a biggie for me...and I have a hard time with it. Boy, if I had learned it earlier in life......my sanity would have been so much better. Only He knows the big picture, which of course, I know, BUT that doesn't stop me from worrying about the BIG picture. Craziness!! In this situation, just like when we waited for Him to send us to SC, waiting has been sweet. Savoring the emotions that have come with watching it all come together in His time is like nothing I've ever tasted.

School is going really well. I'll be glad when it's over! I finally feel caught up although this month is going to be insane. There are more days than ever that I have multiple places to be and things to do. I will certainly be ready for a vacation when it's all over. I do hope that Steve and I will be able to go on our anniversary trip in May......we will definitely need it by then.

I read a post today about insecurity and how God helps us deal with that. WOW! I honestly never really thought about allowing Him to help me in that area. I guess I always figured that He had bigger fish to fry than my neurosis! Why, oh, why didn't I trust that He didn't want me to fret over every little thing that I said when what I really wanted was just to serve Him?? He knew I was trying my best....He knows my heart. I am so glad for that! Thankfully, He even has time for me. Thanks, Cathy, for pointing that out.

So, those are my jumbled thoughts. I cannot wait to reveal the big secret. It's so exciting and amazing................

and the winner is.........

It's taken me forever to remember to post this. The winner of her very own copy of Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner is........

Amy Bailey! Congrats, Amy. I know you are going to love this book.

To the rest of you lurkers. I love and appreciate ya! BUT, I've a got a few more of these giveaways coming up, and I don't want you to miss out.

If I promise to make the question easier, will you please leave a comment next time???

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

imma needs: bachelor edition

Imma hasn't come out in awhile, but it is definitely time with the lastest installment of The Bachelor over.

1. Imma needs for Mike Fleiss to ban a few words from his writers: journey, dramatic, and connection.

2. Imma needs for ABC to do some better polling of these contestants for love........Vienna, Really?? And what about that Michelle girl? eww Rozlyn?? double ewww

3. Imma needs for ABC to hire an English teacher.............what is up with that pronoun misuse? His and I? better yet, his and I's life!

4. Imma needs to never have to listen to Tenley's voice again for the Rest of MY life! Seriously, that girl's voice was grating. Woohoo--I thought Trista was bad.

5. Imma needs for someone to STOP leaking information to Reality Steve........you ruined it for me...........Goodbye, RS.

6. Imma needs for the media to get over what Jason did to "poor" Melissa. She's married, already, Imma thinks Melissa is over it---you should be too.

7. Lastly, Imma needs to never again hear the song, "On the Wings of Love".......totally ruined it for me!

Thanks, ABC, for listening to Imma....she's a pretty smart cookie!

Monday, March 1, 2010

what's on your heart?

I have so many things on my heart right now that I hardly know where to start. Steve and I have been praying about several things that we sense God wanting to do both at church and in our personal lives that I am full up so I thought I'd let a little bit of it spill out.

First, I have a strong burden for the women's ministry at our church. There's a gap, and it needs to be closed. So, a team of ladies and myself are trying to build a bridge. We are starting with a purse swap which I am so excited about!

Second, one of my son's friends lost his mom last week. The little guy is having a hard time, and is going to need lots of support. I don't know this family, but feel that we should do something for them. Suggestions? I hurt for them so, so much.

Third, I can't really go into the details or really even give a hint about this one. Suffice it to say that it will be a HUGE change for our family, and will require some sacrifices on the part of each person. I've known for sometime that God was asking for something big, but didn't know what. I'm still not one hundred percent sure, but have a little better feeling about what that something is. My heart overflows that HE finds us worthy.

Fourth, families all around us are seemingly falling apart. I feel so helpless knowing that I cannot do anything to help (but pray), and just fighting the urge to fix everything.

Lastly, our VBS is going to be a big challenge this year. It requires a lot of people to step outside of their comfort zone, but I know that it can be a blessing to so many.

I told you there were a ton of things.....and I didn't go into most of them or give a lot of details, so just imagine how long my prayers are getting to be!!! I'm having to pray in installments.

So, what's on your heart?


...stands for pray and share and that's what we do each Sunday!
Pray - Just leave a comment sharing how we can pray for you or someone you love and take a moment to pray for the last person on the comment list too. Or tell us happy news too!
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If you link up, please add this line to your post on your blog so others can find our community too...
"P.S. I shared this post on Heart to Heart with Holley."
(This is the actual hyperlink: http://blog.dayspring.com/pray-share/)