Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

book review

Radio personality, Jim Fate, dies when a fatal gas is sent to him through a package in the mail. The "triple threat club" consisting of Nicole, Allison, and Cassidy each with a unique perspective and job are on the case! Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl is a craftily written book. From the first page to the last, I was captivated with the plot and couldn't wait to get to the end to find out who the killer was, and boy was I surprised!

The book reminds the reader of the consequences that come from within our own country when we ignore issues and social problems. I cannot say more than that without giving it away, but suffice it to say that it may require you to rethink some of your political positions.

I did keep looking for clues that I was reading "christian fiction". I wouldn't classify is as such, and had to keep reminding myself that Thomas Nelson was the publisher. There was nothing overtly wrong with the book--no language or other issues--but the book could certainly be classified as simply, realistic fiction. I would recommend this book.

Thomas Nelson provided this book for my review.

vbs: day 2

Tonight focused on the special abilities that God gave to Joseph. This first picture finds the first family looking for Joseph in prison, but the guard tells them that he is no longer there....he was called to the palace!




Joseph looks very different now that he is royalty! Look at that make-up.





Ms. Janet is helping Jack get into character with his fancy headband!



We like to always have an opportunity for missions, so Ms. Thelma and Ms. Clara help the children make blankets that will be given to needy kids.


Monday, June 28, 2010

preparing for Egypt

Our VBS theme this year is Egypt which talks about the journey that Joseph made from the prison to the palace. Here's a few pics of some of our preparations for the start.


Cheryl and Stevie in the jewelry shop getting things set up to make Egyptian collars and bottomless sandals.





Stevie and Zach's shop: the hieroglyphic artist where the kids (and adults) can make necklaces with their Egyptian name in hieroglyphics, get tatoos, and draw their own hieroglyphics.





The background for the photo shop. Thanks, Philip for the awesome pyramid!!






Sam with his family sash on in the Egyptian marketplace.




Jack, Sam, and Maddie waiting patiently while all of the last minute preparations are made before we begin! Aren't they cute??


Sunday, June 27, 2010

zhu-zhu pets

If you are like me, you have no idea what zhu zhu pets are. So, when the boys starting talking about them and telling me all of the cool things that they can do, I knew we would have to rush out to Wally World and pick us up a couple of those. Little did I know how much they really do look like hamsters, and with my fear of rodents you can imagine my horror at seeing them skitter across the floor and hearing them squeak. It is most distressing! However, the boys get what the boys want while they're hear....kinda like grandkids except that they're NOT.

Sam got the orange one and Jack got the black/white one. You can even buy clothes for them....which I didn't, although the cars and tracks that you can purchase do look pretty cool. With Jack's birthday just around the corner and then Christmas, I do so some of those accessories in their future!









are we there yet?

So, today we picked up Sam and Jack at the yummiest place to eat in the southeast, Sconyers BBQ, and here's some pics I took on our way home.






Those beautiful eyes tell the WHOLE picture! They were ready to be OUT of the car!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

olan mills

Notice the HUGE fat tumor on the side of Steve's neck where the photographer kept having him turn his neck. He had serious whiplash the next day. Look at my face.....I have NO idea what I was thinking...except how bad the photographer was getting on my nerves, but something was going through my mind! Stevie appears to be drugged, and Luke has apparently been drinking too much! This was the worst photo session EVER!!







Again, Stevie with the drugs......



Is this a pose from the seventies or what?????



This one is not horrible, but still.....there truly is no making up for the others!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

letting it go

I found myself today in the Oncology department at our hospital. A place I never thought I'd be..certainly never wanted to be.....as a patient. It's very sterile.....and looks a lot like an emergency room. I literally thought I was going to puke all over the floor my nerves were so fraught. After all the times I've told people over the last several weeks that "I'm okay" and "NO, I'm not worried" I guess it just all came over me like a shroud---a smothering, depressively dark one.

Then, after two appointments today with two varying opinions, I got to church and listened as Steve talked about Joshua and the walls of Jericho. I just felt like God was telling me to "let it go". I can't do anything about it anyway. Can I just tell you that I felt such a peace and freedom once I realized that was really the only thing that I can do? So, I'm letting it go.

The oncologist mostly had positive things to say. He thinks it's my blood pressure medicine, and said that even though my counts are down, they are at least doing their jobs and acting normally. I took that as GOOD NEWS. He wanted my family dr. to change my bp meds and then re-check the labs in 6 weeks. So, not one to waste any time at all, I immediately called and got an appointment with Dr. Godfrey for 6 PM. Who knew people could get an appt. that late? Dr. Godfrey, IMHO, wasn't that impressed with Dr. Wise. However, he did discontinue my bp meds.

All-in-all, I'm pleased. I have felt all week and even as nervous as I was today, that this was simply a test on that whole trust issue that I have. The question is: Do I trust God enough to take care of me? Do I trust Him enough to provide for our needs? I'm still struggling, but I certainly feel like I've made a giant leap in the right direction.

Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." Joshua 3:5

I still think He has amazing things for me to do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

movies

If you haven't seen Toy Story 3, run right out and see it! We didn't have church Sunday night (a brilliant idea on Father's Day!) so the four of us went out for dinner and a movie. TS3 is wonderful! I liked the first one, the second was ok, but this third installment was the best so far. I generally don't choose cartoons to spend my money on at the movies, but I knew I wanted to see this one, and it was totally worth it!

For our date night Saturday, Steve and I went to a sneak peak of Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Cute, cute flick! I think it comes out this Friday night, and it's worth the effort. Of course, if you are one of those people who likes to go to a movie and think.....don't bother. I like going for the pure entertainment value, and it is soooo much easier on the pocketbook now that we have discovered the $2 movie theater in Hartsville....that's right, folks, I said TWO DOLLARS...and that's for first-run movies. If you live around here, it's worth the drive!

So, there you have it. Go on a date with your honey and choose one of these two flicks....I don't think you'll be disappointed.

(We've also seen The A-Team and Prince of Persia recently.....so now you have 4 choices!)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

father's day letters

To Steve:

When God sent you to me, He knew what He was doing. How could I have asked for anyone better to love and protect our children? From changing poopy diapers to buying tampons...there's no job too big or small! The way you show your love for all three of our precious darlings is a testimony to how much you are in love with God. He oozes from your pores. Thank you for choosing me to share this life with! Today, we celebrate you............and I'm so happy you're ours.


To Billy:

Watching you with Sam and Jack makes me so proud. I am in awe of the way that you never tire of playing with them and answering the endless questions. Watching you makes me want a nap! I know that you are following the great example set forth by our dad, and I know that he is looking down and smiling at the great job you are doing! May God always bless your family as He has mine.

To Dad:

I know you are looking down and smiling at us today as with every day. Thank you for the example you set on how to love. I still miss you terribly, but know that you wouldn't choose to come back since you are with your heavenly Father who cherishes us above all. I've tried hard to live up to your legacy.....one of service to others.....I hope you're proud.

just want to share

My oldest daughter found and began reading a website called FML. I won't tell you what that stands for, suffice it to say that I was not pleased. I was especially not pleased when our youngest began frequently checking it out. I had to threaten to pull the computer plug out to get him to stop!

Today, Luke shared a site that he found called GMH. I like it much, much better and thought you would enjoy it too. Also, Luke has started blogging. Check him out, I think you will be amazed at the depths of his thoughts and the way he shares what's on his heart.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

merritt island

We love Merritt Island. It's a wildlife refuge in Florida where you can see nature being nature without the commercialization of the beauty of it. We generally see lots of birds and are always on the lookout for alligators. We saw several of those on this trip, and if you look really, really closely, you can see one too!








kids and the grandparents





Tuesday, June 15, 2010

news from the sbc

For my SBC friends who opted to opt out of the craziness also known as "The GCR Task Force", I don't want you to feel left out so I have come to rescue you with my tidbits of information:

Let me preface this with saying,
1. I was not the smartest one in the room....and I am okay with that.
2. I did not understand what the BIG deal was and I am okay with that, too because I really think a lot of those in attendance felt the same way.

Okay, my report on the first day of business:

This morning was boring with the exception of the crazy man who EVERY stinkin year brings forth the motion that we should adopt some new-type flag as the Christian flag. He obviously owns the patent of this new-fangled one, and doesn't seem to get that people are laughing....AT HIM! It's no longer amusing, it's just sad.

The Minister's Wives Luncheon was fine. The speaker, Jackie Kendall, was great! She was funny and engaging, she just didn't have enough time to speak. I plan to purchase a DVD so I can get the full effect. I want to share her! I really want to be her BFF, she is so funny. I think we'd be great together. We always get a bag of loot, but this year's loot wasn't as good as years past. However, we women love anything free (and Jackie raised money to purchase a book for everyone in attendance) so I took my bag and was proud to have it! The food? Not so much...for me, but I am really picky about textures of food so I am not a good judge of that. For $10, it's a great deal. Honestly, I'd pay that just to hear the speaker.

The afternoon session....here's where the excitement started. The place was packed...almost 11,000 messengers. Morris Chapman (he retired, ya know) spanked the GCR task force for what he considered a job NOT well done. I won't go into all of it, but suffice it to say...I don't think he'll ever be asked back to speak...and I think he's okay with that! The discussion about their report lasted way too long. I mean, do we really need to argue about the Great Commission? BORING! The report passed.....about 60%-40%, which means that we've created a divide. I hope it's worth it.
The thing that drives me crazy about the task force is that I don't really think megachurch pastors and their relatives truly understand the problems things like this cause for smaller church pastors. But, that is another post for another day b/c I can seriously get on a rant about that...and I will, but not right now!

Dr. Bryant Wright from Atlanta was voted in as president of the SBC. That's who I voted for...although I think the "powers that be" wanted that Traylor guy....I wouldn't have cared about that except that he annoyed me on Sunday night when he spoke of witnessing to an "African American" boy on an airplane. What difference did it make that the boy was black? Did that make witnessing to him special? All races and colors need Jesus. So, for that reason alone, I gave my vote to Wright. I know, I know, I shouldn't be so easily annoyed. I can't stand it when people brag about what they do instead of giving God the credit for what He does. He simply uses us, we are His vessels, and I honestly don't think bragging about it is included in the Great Commission.

So, in a serious nutshell, but really giving you more than you wanted to know....that was our day!

david platt

I was excited when I heard that David Platt was speaking at the pastor's conference tonight. Not because I had ever heard of him or of his church, but because his book, Radical, has been getting so much good press. I've read comment after comment on how the book is changing the way people think about the Great Commission.
David was the final speaker tonight, and the conference was running late so I was really afraid that I was going to be sooooooo sleepy I wouldn't enjoy it. Al Mohler started the evening service, and y'all, that man is so smart he seriously needs to dumb it down for those like me! However, the evening got wound up when Andy Stanley spoke and then it was time for David.
I've not read his book, mind you, I have a little companion book that I got for free, but I've heard that it is about doing something BIG for God and that means making big changes in the way we do things and how we do things.

Can I just say that the man had Jesus leaking out of his pores? He has such a passion for the lost. He did scare me at one point when he said, "When I am asked if an innocent African man would go to Heaven even though he has never heard the gospel, I say yes, he would." Well, I thought Steve was going to get up and leave right then. But, he came back around and said, "There is no innocent man." Whew.....I dodged a bullet! I figured I'd be sitting there alone while the rest of my clan was at Denny's feasting on pancakes!

Seriously, though, Jesus was in that place tonight. David's messaged asked an important question...."What are you willing to sacrifice for the Kingdom?" I use to think I had already sacrificed everything, but alas, I haven't and God was pretty open with me about that tonight. Can I give up my worldly dreams to make sure that everyone....all 6,000 plus people groups who have NEVER heard the name of Jesus, hears about His love? Wow....food for thought!

There was a lot of good stuff today.....The Watoto Children's Choir.....Travis Cottrell....the adoption message by Russ Moore.....the funding of one minister's adoption....God is at work in Orlando. I hope that we, the messengers and powers that be, don't squash Him tomorrow with "THE VOTE".

Monday, June 14, 2010

heat

I'm still on vacay...and loving it, but just had to post about his darned heat. We are in Orlando right now and spent a couple of days in St. Augustine over the weekend. Can't wait to show the pics from there! That place is great!

However, I akin the state of Florida to the country of Africa. I've always asked God to never, ever send me here to live. You just think it's hot where you are....ha! Try being here where the heat is so oppressive you can't walk outside for fear of melting into a puddle. I don't even understand people who come down here during the summer to go to the theme parks. How can that possibly be fun??

We are here for the Southern Baptist Convention, and honestly, I think there may be a little heat of another kind once the business starts tomorrow. If you are SB, then you've heard about the Great Commission Task Force. Now, that name begs the question.....Do we really need a task force to tell us what the Bible meant by Great Commission? I doubt it. But, that's a different post for a different day....about the arrogance of it all. God is probably shaking His head in utter disappointment.

Anyway, stay cool....however you can.....totally jealous, Janet, of that pool :0)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

bloggy hiatus

I'm taking a little trip over the next several days because I seriously need a change of scenery. I'm also suffering from writer's block...........and refuse to write about you know what which is all I can seem to think about. So, see you on the flip side!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

card playing

We have been all about some serious card playing around the Leigh house of late. I guess since we don't have to get up early, we feel the freedom to begin these games around 11 o'clock or so and they just go on and on and on.

We like to play Shanghai and Uno. We'll also jump into a game called Apples to Apples that brings out the big laughs.

It's funny how summertime has a way of just bringing a family together. I am so grateful that I don't work during the summer and that Steve has the luxury of setting his own schedule --although he's not quite the night owl that the rest of us are--and we get this incredible time with the kids. It's like a gift, really. One that I want to cherish, especially this year, since things will change come Fall. With Luke starting high school--gasp!!--and Stevie going back to Charleston, there just won't be time for playing. You know how it is.

Hug a little tighter, smile a little wider, and laugh a little longer----summer will be gone before you know it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

trust

I have trust issues. I have for some time now, and I've worked really, really hard over the past 20 years to let them go. Even though I've known that God loves me, I've had a problem believing that He wanted what was best for me or that He cared enough to care about what was happening to me and in my life.

Steve and I have had to trust God through a lot of hard times. We've had things go awry that we just couldn't fix on our own, but we've always trusted Him to come through for us. There have been times when we have jumped ahead of God, of course, thinking we knew the right way and we've had to be like Jonah and walk the 2500 miles back to Nineveh. But through everything we've never really had to worry (easier said than done) because God has always walked with us.

There are two things in my life that have been the hardest for me to let go of and trust that God would just take care of. The first was money. That was a biggie for me because even though I knew that I needed to let Steve handle it, I just couldn't seem to give it up. Now that I allow him to just do what needs to be done, I don't even worry about it anymore. I KNOW this is a God thing because I have always been a control-freak!

The second has always been my health. Now, I am a healthy person. I never really get sick with the exception of a cold every now and then, but Satan is constantly planting seeds in my mind about weird things that could be wrong or go wrong. I know that is completely irrational, but if you've ever allowed the devil to play tricks on you, you understand my frustration with myself that I worry about this. I've done so much better on this front as well over the last 5 years or so.

I've said all of that to say this. While Steve was preaching on Sunday, I felt the Lord began to speak to me and ask me if I truly trusted him with this blood issue. I told Him I did, but then I remembered my mini-meltdown on Saturday night. (as Steve said, better than a major one!) So
I had to search my heart to see if I really thought God could take care of this. Once I really gave it over to Him, the worry went away. I don't have anxiety about it anymore. Whatever the problem, we'll just deal with it together. I hope that it's nothing, but I know that if it is indeed something, that my God is big enough to handle it.

So, today, I choose to TRUST. The Bible says to Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. That's what I am going to do. Yes, it's freaky that the dr. I am going to see is in the oncology department. Yes, it's freaky to be told that something is wrong and you will have to undergo tests to see what it is. All of that freaks me out more than I can convey here, but I still contend that this is a test.....just like so many in the Bible were tested.....I want to be found worthy and faithful.

So, for those of you praying people out there, please pray specifically for the following:
1. Pray for Dr. Baldwin that he will be able to discern what the issue is.
2. Pray that when the next levels are run, they will be normal and we can chalk this up to an anomaly.
3. Pray that I will stay strong and not allow Satan to take control of my emotions.

My original appointment with Dr. Baldwin is being rescheduled because it fell on one of the days that we will be in Orlando for the SBC. I'll keep you posted as to when the new appointment is so that you can be praying specifically on that day as well.

Friday, June 4, 2010

blood work

still low! So, my next step is to see a hematologist to determine the cause. There are many concerns about this, the main FOR ME is that we don't have insurance.

We'll just pray..............

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

review

A Summer Secret by Kathleen Fuller is a good book. It hits the mark for the audience that she is trying to reach, and that is tween and younger teen girls. The cover gives away a bit of the story, but it also will intrigue the reader into wanting to know more. I felt for the main character, Mary Beth, an Amish girl who is riddled with responsibilities in her home. She finds a hideaway, knowing that her parents will not approve, but also feeling that she needs a place to call her own.

Mary Beth's problems will resonate with other girls who feel a need for privacy and a little freedom. The characters learn valuable lessons about how they can help one another, and it provides some insight into the Christian lifestyle that I want my own children to learn. I think the beliefs that Thomas Nelson hopes their authors will instill in readers may have been lacking.

I love stories about Amish people, and this one stayed true to the life they lead today.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishing.

good stuff-updated

*************The links were there, I promise!! I've changed the colors, I have NO idea why they didn't show up the first time. Let's try this again.

Yeah, last night's post should have been called, "where I ramble and make absolutely NO sense!" haha-- sorry about that!

Today, I wanted to share some interesting and funny stuff that I've recently found or been shown or told about!

The funniest sermon ever can be found here.

If you need glasses, check out this place.

Funny, funny blog can be found here.

Want some good ideas for organizing? I know I do, so I like this.

Need some advice about giving kids hard news? I just found this article written by the wife of one of "facebook" friends (actually someone I knew and didn't really like in middle school way, way, way back!). He kept mentioning his wife and I googled her. Interesting reading.

Well, that ought to get you started. What are some of your favorites? I love perusing.............

Maybe tomorrow I will list some of my fave summertime things!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

they're haunting me

The children, that is. No, not my own (although the summer break only started yesterday and I am nearly ready for them to go back to school!) Kidding--well, kinda.

Seriously, I had a dream last night that we adopted 4 kids. They were all kids that I had seen on the SC Heart Gallery, unrelated. Sooooooo not going to happen! But, anyway, it seems that everywhere we turn there's something or someone else talking about adoption---a magazine that came in the mail the other day had an article about it---a sermon we inadvertently found and listened to was about adoption--it seems that the topic is everywhere. BUT, Back to the kids---- all the ones in my dream were kids whom I've spent time looking at and reading through their profiles multiple times. Not only on the gallery, but adoptuskids. I really encourage you to go to these websites and find a child or two that you are drawn to and begin to pray that he/she find a home. A FOREVER HOME, that is. Or just pray that they are happy, safe, and feel loved. This way, you can pray for them by name. The Bible tells us to be specific in our prayers.

Adoption, like many other activities, is a calling. Not everyone is equipped for it, and that's fine. Nobody should be made to feel bad because they just don't want to do it. However, everyone can do something. I've made a list (yes, I know I've done this before) for those who need reminding of some of their options. Let me know if you try any of these:

1. Did you know that most foster children carry their belongings around in a plastic sack? They don't even have a suitcase when they move. They use trash bags. You can donate backpacks or overnight bags. Just call your local DSS office.

2. There are many, many children who need mentors. This takes one hour a week. ONE HOUR! They just want someone to care about them. The only hug they get all week may be from you.

3. Volunteer to be a guardian ad litem. This requires time so be prepared, but being an advocate for a kid so that he/she has a voice is mighty important!

Okay, I'm going to leave it at three (not counting the praying) and move on.

You're probably tired of my harping anyway.

A comment was left for the post from yesterday that said it was difficult to adopt a dog as well in GA. I found that to be hilarious because I had just had that same conversation with my brother the other night. His family adopted a dog from the "pound" they don't call it that anymore, but he said is was an ordeal. Like, when did we start filling out applications to adopt a dog?? Next, there will be homestudies for that. Actually, I think some of those rescue people actually already do a home visit! I know they threaten to take the dog back after you adopt it if they decide you aren't worthy. Ridiculous! Maybe next I'll post about the ridiculous...there's certainly plenty of fodder out there for that.

On a joyous note, The Bachelorette has started again! Yeah, me!! I get to hear "her and I" more times than I care to......... you know I'll watch it anyway!!