Monday, May 31, 2010

adoption update

I totally understand now why there is a shortage of adoptive parents. I am sure that they just get frustrated with an unjust system. Once a child has been removed and permanently separated from his/her parents, shouldn't the system try to find the best possible home? Unfortunately, they dwell on the insignificant.

I believe I mentioned that DHEC came and there is lead at the parsonage. OK, I can deal with that. Send the people out to test it, and move on.

Last week, we had our pre-fire inspection. I truly thought this would be a no-brainer since we had gone through the list sent beforehand and checked it more than once. However, one window in the child's bedroom has to have an opening of 5 square feet. No problem, I thought. Boy, was I wrong. We have NEW windows in this parsonage. They are straight from the Lowe's.......and then to our people. Do you know that even though we have windows that can be completely removed, that is not good enough? So, in order to adopt while living in the parsonage we will have to replace one of the windows with a casement the tune of about $250. AND, that's only IF the church people allow us to do that!

Here's the rub. There's nothing wrong with the windows that we have. The fire marshall has commanded a code that I would gander MOST homes do not pass. There's no way. So, while children want mommies and daddies here in SC, those of us who wish to adopt them can't because our windows aren't the "right" size. Ridiculous!

So, I totally get why people steer clear of domestic adoption. We impose rules on good people while truly horrible people do awful things to kids and get away with it.

Rant over.

The Last Christian

The Last Christian by David Gregory is the story of a young missionary woman who emerges in the year 2088 from living in the jungles. She has lived through the tragedy of her entire village dying out. She makes her way to America where Christianity is no more. Her mission, she realizes is to re-introduce Christ to a dying nation.

I don't usually like science fiction. I picked this book up and put it back down several times before actually taking the time to get into the story. I liked the premise, and I liked Abigail and the development of her character. This book, however, is not for the faint of heart or those wanting a light summer read. It is deep, and it requires thinking. To that end, it wasn't my favorite, but that doesn't mean that the book is not good. It is well-written and thought-provoking. The reader needs to be prepared to delve intellectually into the storyline because time and effort are necessary to get the book's complete message.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook-Multnomah.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the last middle school band concert

for Luke, that is. I am so proud of him! He has played the sax for the past three years. He's pretty good, too..............remember that band award?? Well, he has now decided that he also wants to play the trumpet and started his lessons with that last Monday. Here's a few pics, and if you go to Steve's blog, you can see a short video. If you look really closely you can see him in this first picture in front of the tubas.

the end.

We went to the final awards day program for Luke's middle school career today. Steve was in charge of the camera, (at least I remembered it, y'all), but the man did not take ONE SINGLE picture of his son receiving his awards! He shot video with it instead, and you know the issues we have with the internet..................suffice it to say, there is no pictorial proof, but...........................

After enduring a year long drought on the band awards, Luke received the band award of the year! That's right.....he is best of the best!!

He also received an award from USC for Top Scholar which is awarded to the top 15% of the class.

We are proud of our baby boy. He is growing into quite the young man.

Monday, May 24, 2010

which year are you?

A small group of us went to McLeod's Farm today to indulge ourselves in the last wave of strawberry goodness before the peach yumminess comes on out. I don't think any of us bought strawberries, but cantaloupes, tomatoes, and even some early peaches did make it home with us! There is a museum there that none of us had ever been through, and we had a good time looking at all of the old stuff. I had each person stand in front of the vehicle that was closest to their birth year.

Steve with a 1966 Chevy pick-up. He was born in 68, but this was as close as it was getting!
Donald in front of a 1940 something car.
Elaine, and I will be nice and not say what year this car is!
Bruce, 1941 truck.

Thelma, beside a 1930 car-like thing.

Stevie, of course, being the youngest had to stand in front of the only modern vehicle in the bunch! LOL

We had a good time with these, our seasoned friends, as always!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

detailed account of nothingness

I thought when I finished school that things would settle down. Boy, was I wrong! I just realized that three weeks from today.....3 weeks......we leave on our first least I hope it is just the first and not the only one we get this summer! Going to Orlando for the convention. We love going to the convention. We don't like the politics and the good ole boy system that is alive and well in the SBC, but we like going and seeing people we generally only see when we are there. We also like meeting new people. I like the minister's wives luncheon, mainly because they give good gifts! It's a good time for Steve to get refreshed in his spirit as he gets to hear (sometimes, anyway) some good preaching that gets him fired up for another year. I like to people-watch. It's an adventure. The kids like Centrifuge and the exhibits.

Yesterday, we got a call from the DHEC inspector wanting to come out and do his part for the adoption to check on lead paint and such. We do have some lead issues, but someone else will come out and deal with those. He said that most of the time they recommend that a child under 7 not be placed in a home with lead. That's fine..........I keep telling my people that the child is older anyway.

Luke went to Carowinds today with the middle school band. He had a blast! I'm glad that the band teacher opted to take them. I don't really think she wanted to, but I hope she's glad she did, because I know the kids are! Thanks, Ms. Coker!!

We had family pictures made for our new church directory. Oh boy, were they BAD!!!!! I had to pick one out for the directory, and I tell you even the one I picked was horrible. Stevie summed it up nicely when she said, "Boy, we don't photograph well." I think she's right although I don't think the photographer was that great either. I seriously came home and looked at a snapshot that a photographer who attends our church took and it looked better than the one they wanted me to pay good money for! If you need family photos and you live near us, call Tammy Jeffers...........she'll hook you up. If you live in the Atlanta area, call Tracy Anderson. She's amazing, too and will be doing our next family shoot in the fall after adoption.

Strawberry season here is on its way, in it's honor we are taking our senior adult group to McLeods on Monday for our last wave of fresh strawberries. Peaches will be here soon! Yumm-o. We will head up there once or twice a week during that time. Gotta love those peach enchiladas.

Tonight, our women's group got together at Chili's for food, fun, and fellowship. Our group was small, but we had a wonderful time. Cannot wait until we can do it again! If you missed it, be sure you are there next time.

There's been a whole lotta boring going on as you can see from this detailed account of nothingness. Maybe, one day, hopefully, I will remember to take that infamous camera with me to things and get pictures. Luke did get his glasses, and I am going to definitely, maybe, hopefully this week, take a pic for you guys to see his handsome self!

Until then...........peace out!

Friday, May 21, 2010


I read a book when I was a teenager that impacted my life in a big way. I believe that Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson could be that book for today's generation of teenagers and young adults. This book tells Kristen's story of how, as a depressed teen, she attempted to commit suicide but survived. She shouldn't have lived, but God had plans that she was unaware of! His plans to use her and her incredible story were something that she could not comprehend.

Today, when you look at her picture and read her story you are amazed at how full of life and joy she is. She exudes confidence and an appreciation for life that she had not experienced before. She is very real when talking about the struggles that God brought her through. I truly believe that everyone who reads this book will be touched and their lives will be changed for the better!

This book was provided for review by

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

purse swap

Back in April, our church hosted a purse swap. We had so much fun, and I wanted to share the idea with you! Each lady brings a purse that she wants to "swap". Then, you play a game kinda like dirty santa where the person with #1 chooses a purse from the table. The person with #2 can then steal the purse from #1 or choose from the table. We had like 30 people, and I wish I had broken us up into 2 groups just because it took about 2 hours to get through everyone, but we had so much fun!!

Here's N. and her mom, K. looking through the door prize that she won!!

Here's E. checking out a pink purse to see if she wants to steal from an unsuspecting soul (we just thought she was really sweet!!) LOL

Here I am with the little princesses explaining the musical chairs/purse swap they were going to do. Next time, we'll just let them be princesses and leave the purse swapping to the older folks! haha....they didn't quite get it.

Here's A. with her cute little princess self!

Here's M. and N. at the princess table. We provided crowns and wands for them as well as coloring sheets and crayons.

This was a wonderful opportunity for women of all ages to come together and have some food, fellowship, and laughter! Thanks to everyone who was great!

Monday, May 17, 2010

good grief!

I can't hardly say that without conjuring up a picture of Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football. I love Charlie Brown, and some days I feel like him!

We must be on the cusp of something BIG, either personally or spiritually.......something that God really, really wants because Satan, he is attacking.

He knows our most vulnerable areas to send his darts, and right now he is working overtime trying to hit my mark. I am trying to dodge all of those arrows he's sending my way and not let him hit the bulls-eye, but merciful heavens, it is tough.

We had a wonderful weekend with friends. We had a fabulous Sunday as well until about 10 pm. Luke went to bed and about 20 minutes later came into the tv room (where I was trying, unsuccessfully due to satellite issues) to watch the last hour of Survivor and the season finale of Brothers and Sisters. He was upset, holding his chest, having a hard time breathing, and complaining of the area between his shoulder blades hurting. Well, I don't know about in your house, but I really like for the people in my house to BREATHE. So, since he scared me to death, we took him to the emergency room--along with about 900 other people--and waited through something scary where the police were called--until about 3 hours later they told us he has pneumonia. WHAT?? It came on him in like 10 minutes! But, alas, there it was. So, they sent us home with medicine and the hope that he would feel better soon. Fun times!

Finally made it home and to bed only to have to get up a few, too short hours later since, not being clairvoyant, I had made my own doctor's appointment for 7:30. My doctor told me that my labs looked a little better, and we would re-check them in 2 weeks. Maybe we are going in the right direction with that. Unfortunately, he will not sign the adoption paper until we have this little issue figured out or it fixes itself so that is still up in the air!

We did complete our 2nd adoption class on Saturday and it wasn't quite as boring as the first one. We also have our pre-fire inspection next Tuesday to make sure we are ready for the "real" fire inspection. So, we are on schedule with that for now.

Back to satan and his evil plan, though. I hope he knows that my God is bigger and I have NO problem letting him fight this battle for me. He's glad to do why not let him?

Friday, May 14, 2010

health scare and healthcare

I know you guys are impressed with my mad rhyming skills! I've done it twice in a row now. That is what I learned teaching 1st grade. Haha

Seriously, though, I started to title this "where I rant and nothing happens", but it's my blog and rant and rhyme I shall. Kinda like it's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

So, I went to the dr. fully expecting him to sign my adoption paperwork and send me on my merry way with my much-needed prescriptions (let's hear it for premarin!). However, that is not what happened. Now, my doc is like 12 years old.........seriously, he looks about 25. I don't really know how old he is, so I have to just trust that he did, indeed, finish medical school. Just kidding, I'm pretty sure he finished.

He looks over my blood work results and says, "I hate to tell you, but there's something not right with your blood." He proceeds to tell me that my platelets are low. What's the first thing to pop into your mind? Yeah. Leukemia. Great. He assures me that I don't have leukemia. He thinks that it is some kind of infection. So, we re-did the test yesterday and I go back on Monday for those results. We'll see what happens then. We then have a conversation that goes like this:

doc: I don't think this will happen.

me (in my head): Then why are you telling me?

doc: But should you get a nosebleed, start bruising, get pinkish dots on your skin, or your gums start to bleed over the weekend, you should go immediately to the emergency room.

me and Steve (in our heads): Are you aware to whom you are talking? Of course, now, I will immediately get all of those things.

doc: Do not google this at home.

me (out loud): yeah. right.


I immediately come home and google away.

The sad thing is that he is aware that we don't have insurance at this time. So, before he begins the aforementioned convo, but after he says there's a problem, he says,"Now, I don't know how we are going to handle this with you being self-pay."

And that statement is what gets me to the ranting part of this post. I know people are against federally-funded health care. Mostly, because the politicians can't keep their own personal agendas out of ANY bill that is passed which makes MOST of the bills useless. BUT, what are people like us suppose to do? Until I get a job, health insurance is not cost-efficient for us. You would think that my husband being a minister in one of the largest religious organizations around that said organization could offer something that people could afford. Oh, they have a Blue Cross plan that you can the tune of over $1000 a month for my family of four. That's if they would even cover us. The last time we applied, they turned us down because I take a 5mg pill for hypertension. A condition that presented itself 14 years ago when pregnant and has been controlled ever since without an increase in dosage in all of that time. So, I ask again, what are people like us suppose to do?

Illegal immigrants are covered. Pregnant teenagers are covered. People who live off of my tax dollars are covered. But, we cannot get coverage. What if something is really wrong with me? Do I just not get treatment because I have no health coverage? The stress of how to pay for any treatments has been worse than thinking that something is medically wrong. That's not the way it should be.

So, am I for federally funded health care? How about offering something for people like us on a sliding scale without punishing those who wish to stay with their own private insurance companies? I might not get the best care, but at least I could actually get care. Praying even harder now for a job in the fall so that I won't have this problem and certainly praying that perhaps there was an error in the test results.

Monday, May 10, 2010

a recap or is that a kneecap?


I thought when I finished school life would slow down. Not so! We've had an adventurous week.

Unbelievably it is almost VBS time, so we had another meeting to prepare our "family leaders" for their role this year. We are doing Group's Bible times theme (which we've done at another church before) and while I am very excited for our folks to experience this, I'm a little nervous about it, too. They aren't too sure about it yet, so it's going to be an adventure. I promise you, though, it is the easiest and most meaningful VBS I have ever been a part of! Love, love, love it.

Steve had the privilege of preaching out at Harmony BC for their senior citizens luncheon. I thought it was going to be like ours with just a few people, but there were like 100 people there. For lunch! We had a yummy fish fry and let me just man can PREACH! This prompted us to be on the lookout for a recorder that will allow me to create podcasts of his sermons so all of you good folks can be blessed by him even if you can't eat the yummy fish.

I had to have some blood work done, and Steve had his physical for the adoption on Thursday. He is doing so well with his diabetes. It is practically managing itself now! He does have one other problem that the doc thinks is easily fixed. I go back this Thursday for my physical and the results of said blood work. After that, all adoption paperwork will be done. After the 2nd class that we are attending this coming Saturday, we will be ready for the home study.

Thursday afternoon, while Luke was at his sax lesson, Stevie and I were wasting time at Burke's Outlet. When we hurried out of the store because we had lost track of the time and had to pick Luke up, I stepped off the curb and my knee started hurting. I had planned to insert a photo here of my kneecap, but I seriously think you might be scarred for life so I am refraining.

You're welcome.

Suffice it to say, it is still swollen and hurts. Not quite as bad, but walking is difficult. Glad I go back to the doc on Thurs.

Another sweet saint from our church passed away on Friday night so you can imagine where Steve and I were until the wee hours. That's the nice thing about having older kids now because I can actually go and minister when I feel needed.

Sunday brought about Mother's Day, but not a sermon on mothers. Steve just wasn't feeling it, but was instead feeling the Holy Spirit leading him in a whole other direction. He followed, and what followed is what I pray will be the start of something amazing at our church.

Today, Luke and I had eye exams. Why are glasses so expensive? or is it just that I have expensive taste? The frames I want before they bother to put lenses in them are $272. WHAT?? I may have to just find something cheaper. I don't think that is going to fit into my budget. Luke decided that he wants to wear glasses for awhile (they are becoming popular again in case you haven't noticed or you just aren't cool like that). He got some cool looking ones. He is budget-conscious!

People, in case you are wondering, this is important stuff! Just wanted to remind you in case you are now bored to tears and wish I'd just shut up.

Okay, then.



Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann was better than I expected it to be much to my delight. The story starts off slow with Police Chief Jonah Westfall and Tia Manning having a rift between them that rivals the Grand Canyon. However, after the first few chapters the story begins to warm up and so do the characters. The plot is far from anything that I expected, and the ending surprising.
Heitzmann did a good job making the characters believable and the reader sympathetic to them....even the one that ended up being the "bad guy". I was swept up into their lives and problems and wanted to know what was going to happen which kept me reading until the end when the mysteries are revealed.
This book is an easy read and would be a good accompaniment to your trip to the beach this summer.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

motherhood-what does it mean?

I love picture books. They teach us lessons that we don't realize we are going to learn when we first pick them up. They lure us in with their beautiful illustrations and simplistic stories, but when you delve a little deeper they show you a whole new way to look at something important.

I think being a mom is pretty darned important, don't you? And, there are some books that don't necessarily talk about motherhood but demonstrate the self-sacrificing love that nobody but a MOM understands.

For example, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. This book tells the story of a boy and a tree that he loves. The tree gives all that she has to the little boy as he grows up, and continues to give to him as an old man. Isn't that just like a MOM? We would give anything for our children....even our lives.

Mom, Mommy, Mother, matter what they call us, it's always sweet when we hear their little voices.

Making the most out of every situation.
Open arms.
Thanking God for the kids in my life.
Helping with homework.
Rather be YOUR mom than anyone else's...................Shea, Stevie, and Luke.

I count it ALL joy to be your mother. So, on this Mother's Day, let me say "I love you!!" to my kids. You make it all worthwhile.

Also, don't let us forget those without moms this year. One of our sweet members lost her mom last night. While the memories and knowing she is dancing with Jesus today will see her through, it will not make the pain any less.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Right To Lead by John Maxwell

I like John Maxwell. It is very obvious that he has a powerful ability to get across thoughts in a cohesive and engaging way so that the reader feels like the information is entirely new and certainly relevant. This newest book, The Right to Lead, is not a disappointment. It is a small, gift-sized book that while great for a gift, is also wonderful for anyone who chooses to purchase and read it for himself. John uses leaders that we are familiar with to make his points and get across the correct way to lead others.
This little book is one that would be useful to people in all areas of leadership. I gave my copy to my husband, a pastor, who is also a Maxwell fan. There are many politicians who could benefit from reading this one. I plan to purchase another couple to give to some school leaders who might benefit from some encouragement as well.

my boys

Saturday, May 1, 2010

update on 10 in 2010

I've been thinking about doing this, and then my friend Janet beat me to it! So, I thought I'd once again take my inspiration from her and update my 10 in 2010 list. It's May and before I know it June will be here and there won't be a whole lotta time for blogging what with Luke out of school and traveling to do.

So, without further ado, here's my update (in red):

1. Lose 50 pounds....yes, I know I need to lose more, but hey, gotta start somewhere : ) Okay, so this isn't going so well. What I really need to know is... Is there a 12-step program for foodaholics?? I desperately need one.

2. Get a job...and not just any job! I want my own library, but I'll settle for my own classroom. Again, not going so well. Just gonna let the Lord handle this one.

3. GRADUATE.....on target for May, 2010 but it ain't gonna be easy. YEAH...finally one that I made it through. Consider me graduated!!

4. Become an affiliate Secret Agent........remember that website? Although, I am thinking about branching out on my own with a different "secret" name and infusing some Jesus into it. There's been NO time for this. So, it's still on my agenda.

5. Make 6 new friends.....I need some local friends, people........... I've made 2 girlfriends so far...Thank goodness for Lori and Jodie!

6. Read the Bible more. Yea, I know you think the resident PW sits and reads it ALL the time, but I am just like you........sometimes LIFE gets in the way! The truth ain't always pretty.Doing much better on this front. Only being close to God could have pulled me through.

7. Go and visit all of those Facebook friends that I've reconnected with............yes, that means you, Janet!! Can't wait to see some of them in TN this month!! Just realized I didn't answer this one.....and had the answer to #6 here instead. So, still haven't visited Janet, but I intend to do that before the end of the summer! Hang in there, Janet!!

8. Collect a ton of change in my Christmas jar.....which I am already looking forward to giving away. I have change collected, but haven't transferred it to the jar. I think I'm gonna read the book again and gather my motivation.

9. Give more of my time away........I'm pretty selfish with it, and I know others really need it more. Again, not much time for this one. Now that school is over, my time will belong to others again.

10. Take a 20th anniversary trip with my husband without letting anything get in the way. (easier said than done!)Well, we took a celebratory trip (which you should have already read about), but I do hope we can do something a little better later in the year.

So, all-in-all, not too bad......considering.