Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happenings Around Here and Rants

It has been raining A LOT around here. The weatherman last night said the total rainfall for September was 8.55 inches, six inches ABOVE NORMAL!!!! Soccer practices were cancelled last week and this week. The kids' soccer games were cancelled last Saturday and it looks like they may be cancelled this week too. The ground is just way to wet. There may be some relief in sight - Sunday is suppose to be sunny!! The rest of next week is forecasted to be sunny up until Thursday or Friday, but then only partly cloudy. As much as I love the rain, I am ready for the kids to be able to go outside and play. They've been couped up inside here at home and at school (they can't go out on the playground when it's wet) for too long.

This week I started back working out at the Y. They have a new incentive program called "America On The Move." The goal to to "walk" to all the local YMCAs. The total distance is 106 miles. If I do one mile on the elliptical, it counts as two. If I do a Spin class (cycling), I earn four miles for my efforts. Right now, I have gone nine miles total. I have three more to go to get to the first Y. Once you have completed the trip, you get a t-shirt. I have until November 22 or so to complete my "trip." Today, I went 1.5 miles in 51 minutes on the elliptical. I've been going one mile in about 34-36 minutes but decided to push it a little. Afterwards, I felt great and think next time I may try 2 miles. We'll see.

The members of Congress and other members of the US are aggravating me quite a bit. While working out today, I was watching Fox News. It was mentioned that the US is thinking about cutting almost 400 border patrol guards on the US/Mexican border. ALMOST 400!!!! What in the world are the people in charge thinking?!?!?! Why can't the people in power remember WHO it is they represent? Most Americans want the US/Mexico border patrols beefed up (along with the Canadian border, too). We don't mind people entering the United States, as long as they do it legally. I'm all for people to have a chance at a better life. That's the reason my ancestors came to the States. Just do it through the right channels.

Then, with all the talk of health care and the plan Congress wants to pass, it just makes my blood boil. I know the healthcare system here needs help. It's extremely sad when someone has a preexisting condition and are denied coverage because of it. But, tacking on all the PORK that has NOTHING to do with healthcare to the healthcare bill is a total waste of money that could be used for research or to cover the cost of patients. I have heard that Congress wants to design a healthcare system like the ones in England and Canada. What they aren't looking at is all the Canadians and British nationals that come to the US because they either can't get the care they need or it takes WAY TOO LONG to get help.

Situations like these two make me feel helpless, like my hands are tied. I have written my congressmen more in the last few months than I have in the entire time I've been able to vote. My prayers for this country feel like they are hitting the ceiling when I see what is happening (and not happening) in the nation's capitol. I plead with God help us and to show me (and the country) what we need to do but feel helpless. But, I AM NOT GIVING UP! I am still going to vote and make my voice heard. I plan to take advantage of this freedom guaranteed to me when possible. Most of all, I plan to keep praying and seeking God's direction and wisdom for myself and my country. GOD, not man, is the one who sets the rulers in place and can change their hearts to move the way He wants.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

Mike says it is the unofficial Marine Corp motto: improvise, adapt and overcome. That seems to be the motto I live by nowadays. With Andrew not wanting to sleep in his crib, I let him sleep in Will's bed for naps and at night. Will slept in the floor and didn't mind. I bought Andrew a Cars toddler bed yesterday. He slept in it last night and it seems to be working for his nap, so far. For some reason, Andrew hasn't wanted to sleep. He has been up early (yesterday at 6 a.m. and this morning, 5:45 a.m.) and doesn't want to take a nap until late. Maybe now he has his own "big boy bed" he'll start sleeping more.

Last night while doing laundry, our dryer stopped working. The drum isn't turning. Mike and I discovered it late last night, around midnight. He took it apart but couldn't find the belt. Mike did find a roller lying on the bottom of the dryer case. I'm thinking either the belt slipped or broke because the drum isn't turning. Our old dryer has one of the rollers brake and it made a loud racket when the drum turned. Mike's not sure but thinks it might be the belt, too. We both hope it will be something easy and inexpensive to fix.

Here are some pictures we took recently.

Andrew and Hannah in the RoadTrek
Will and Andrew in the RoadTrek

Andrew in the van on the way home from Chattanooga

Hannah on the way home from Chattanooga

Will on the way home from Chattanooga

Dick and Mike

Dick, Mike and the kids

Andrew taking a nap in Will's bed
(See the Cars video by his head. He wanted to sleep with it.)

Andrew playing with toys on his first day of school

Andrew while walking into MDO on the first day

Andrew sitting on his new bed

Andrew and his new bed while holding his lunchbox

Michelle, Dick and Mike

Monday, September 14, 2009

"You Were Born For This" Blog Tour

You Were Born For This is the newest book by Bruce Wilkinson and David Kopp.

"What happens when ordinary people start experiencing miracles on a regular basis? Most people believe that if God still works miracles, He only works through a select group of people. The truth is, you were created to help people in need experience personal miracles. You were created to cooperate with God to accomplish His work by His power. In this book, you will discover that all God needs for a miracle mission is a willing servant. No special credentials required."

When I read this on the inside of the jacket cover, I was a little intrigued and apprehensive. Working miracles for God seemed so far out of my league. Why would God use someone like me? While I was reading the book, my question changed to "why wouldn't God use someone like me?" I was also apprehensive because, at first, it sounded like some sort of "medicine doctor" type book. You know, they make this big claim but there is no follow-through or the results are not what you were told they would be. After reading the whole thing, I realized this was not the case. Bruce lays out the steps with examples and explanations in an easy to follow manner. The stories include Bruce's own experiences along with other people who have followed God's leading.

I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to experience more of God and to be used exponentially by Him.

If you are interested in purchasing this book or would like more information, you can go to or here. You can also view this video that was created about this book.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Up and Down Kind of Day

Today has been one of those up and down kind of days.

***It's Dick's 70th birthday today (as mentioned in my earlier post). YEAH!!

***We are remembering the events of 9/11/01 (also mentioned in my earlier post). Ooohhh!

***I got a lot of errands done and phone calls made this morning. The best part is I saved $14.60 in coupons today while doing a little grocery shopping!!! BIG YEAH!!!

***Right after Andrew and I got home this afternoon, Mike's Aunt LaNell called. His grandmother, Pernell, (his mother's mom) passed away around 11:30 CST today. She had been sick with dementia for a very long time now. She was 86 years old. Big OOOOHHHH!

***Hannah's school is having a Back To School Bash tonight and we are going for a little while. YEAH!

***My semi-new glasses have a scratch right in my line of sight. The eye doctor's office said they are still under warranty so it shouldn't cost anything to replace the lens. Oh! and YEAH!

We are to thank God for everything that happens in our lives: good and bad. Thank you God for all You do for us, giving us an opportunity to learn and praise You when things don't go the right way. Thank You also for giving us the opportunity for the good and pleasant things of our lives that come from You! AMEN!!

Happy Birthday Dick / Liberty Day

Today is my father-in-law's birthday!! Happy Birthday Dick!!! Hope you enjoy many, many more!!!

Today is also the day we remember the events that happened in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. Our prayers go out for the families of the victims and to the rest of the nation.

9/11 brings back so many memories and emotions. I was in my car at school headed to the library to study and wait for my next class when I heard the news. At first I thought it was a joke, like the "War of the Worlds" broadcast in the 40s/50s. You know, the one Orson Wells did that cause such calamity. Then, when reality hit, all I could think about was getting to Hannah (she was almost 8 months old and was at the babysitters) and calling Mike and my mom. My heart goes out to all our military, police officers, firefighters, and their families.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fear and God

Today, in our study of Esther, Beth Moore spoke about Esther's contemplation of going to the king without his asking for her and facing certain death. In our workbook there was a fill-in-the-blank section. It read, "Facing any fear. And if ____________, then _________." Instead of listing in the first blank the fear we are facing now that, if it actually occurred would send us over the edge, we are to leave it blank. If the enemy (Satan) knows what we fear, he will keep torturing us with the thought of it occurring. But, if we give our fears to God, He will be there with us if (and/or when) we actually face it. Here are some quotes from the video:

"Can you imagine living without fear? We can break free of our fear."
"My faith should not be conditional. We need to trust God no matter what happens. God is good and faithful."
"You may be one brave decision away from an important step in your destiny."
"My God will be faithful to me."
"We will never know abundant life if we are in the grip of the fear of death."
"Are we going to die a thousand deaths (fearing death) in fear of the one (actually dying)?"
"Courage is not the absence of fear but that something is more important than fear."
"Death is not our final destination. It is a part of our destiny."

So, in the blank above, we should all put, "And if whatever, then GOD!!!" My God will take care of me. God is bigger than whatever it is we fear. 1 John 4:18 says "Perfect love casts out fear." Since He carries us in the palm of His hand, why should I fear? Even if I was to die, I am going to live forever in Heaven with the glory of God. Life here is temporal; life in heaven is eternal.

If you don't know, or aren't sure, if you are going to heaven to live with Jesus, please let me know. You can know for certain where you will go when you die. I hope to see you there one day (just, hopefully, not anytime soon).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Van and Bathroom Pics

While we were on our trip, we had a little trouble with the van. When we were getting ready to leave for home, the van didn't want to start right up like usual. Instead, it sounded like the battery was low after someone left an interior light on. I checked all the switches but everything was turned off. On the second try, it started right up. We had trouble again when we stopped for gas. But, it started back up on the second or third try. The rest of the trip was uneventful, thank goodness. This same thing had happened once before we left but I thought one of the kids had forgot to shut their door all the way or left an interior light on.

Yesterday, the van was slow starting but was soon running like a dream. When Andrew and I left the Board Meeting at church, the only sound I heard was a click-click-click. Oh, great!! I went over my checklist - all the lights were off and the doors were all shut. Tried the ignition again - click-click-click. Great!! I'm thinking it was either the starter, alternator, or battery. It finally started on the third try so I started home. Afraid that once I shut it off it wouldn't start again, I picked up something for Andrew and me to eat through a drive-thru and headed straight for Nathan's school. We arrived at 12:30 p.m. and left the car running. Nathan got out at 2:20 then we headed to Hannah's school to repeat the process. As soon as she got in the car, we headed to get Will. I finally shut the van off at 3:30 when we got home. Mike got home early and we went to Auto Zone. The technician there said the battery was extremely low. After soccer practice, I dropped off Mike at Walmart while the kids and I went to Chick-fil-a to get a bite to eat and to leave the van running (we had trouble getting it started after soccer practice). Mike changed out the batteries. Good thing he did because it was leaking battery acid. Now, it runs like a dream. It's nice not having to worry about getting stuck somewhere.

Now - for the BIG REVEAL!!!
Our Master Bathroom is done!!!

This is our bathroom closet.
Look at the beautiful floor and walls!!

Isn't it nice and neat?
Our bathroom sink and toilet area

Another look at our sink

The far bathroom wall (before pictures)

The far bathroom wall (after pictures)

The bathtub area

The bathroom window
Didn't Mike do a great job?! It is a big change from the pink paisley wallpaper and tan carpet. It has taken a little time to get use to it but we love it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Busy Weekend Leads Into A Busy Week

Ever have one of those weeks where you feel yourself meeting coming and going? It looks like it is going to be one of those weeks after a busy weekend.

In case some of you weren't aware, Mike, the kids and I went to Chattanooga for a quick, almost last minute trip. Mike's dad was celebrating his 70th birthday with a party for friends and family. Dick's birthday isn't until the 11th but he wanted to take advantage of the long weekend. When he first called about the party, we didn't think we could make it. The kids were suppose to have their first soccer games on Sept. 5. Since Mike is coaching Hannah's team and helping Will's coach, we couldn't miss. Monday, I called the lady directing the Upwards teams to check the schedule. Because of the holiday weekend, she decided to move the first games to the next weekend. This now freed us up to go to Dick's party. We had to find a house/dog sitter since our usual sitter was also going out of town. Thank goodness, a dear friend, Sandra, volunteered to help us out. With that taken care of, Mike and I packed for our trip.

On the road, I remembered I left my ring soaking in ring cleaner. When we stopped to get gas and take a bathroom break, we found out the diaper bag was missing. Mike left it on Will's bed when he changed Andrew's diaper before we left. When we arrived in Chattanooga (about 1:30 a.m. ET), we found out Hannah's suitcase was left on her bed back at the house. Andrew was awake for most of the trip out. He finally went to sleep around 2:30 a.m. (I'm guessing on the time because it was after I went to bed). Saturday, the fam went looking for Walmart since we had to get Hannah all new outfits, pajamas, toothbrush and toothpaste. We went WAY out of the way but finally found it. (Oh, our Tom-Tom decided it didn't want to work at all while we were gone.)

The party was great. It was held at Vandergriff Park in Hixson where there was a great playground area for the kids right next to the pavilion. The kids played on the equipment and in the sand next to the tables. Mike got to spend time talking to Brent and Rich. Mich, Jennifer, Toni and I got to spend some time talking too. This weekend was the first time Mich and I had gotten to meet Toni. She is married to Mike's half-brother, Richard (yes, Mike has two brothers named Richard). Her Richard wasn't able to make it this weekend but Toni came. Afterwards, we went to Brent and Jennifer's (Daphne's son and daughter-in-law) to cook hot dogs and s'mores. We were all exhausted and went to sleep pretty quickly once we got back to the house.

Sunday was quiet. It started raining sometime during the night and continued off and on during the day. The kids enjoyed watching the Scooby Doo marathon on Boomerang while I enjoyed a nap on the couch.

We slept late every morning (at least 9-10 a.m.). This morning, we got up, packed and got on the road about 11. When we were almost half way home, I remembered we left Andrew's sippy cup and the container of milk we brought with us in Dick's refrigerator. A perfect ending to a busy weekend!!

Tomorrow starts a busy week. I have a board meeting at church; Hannah has soccer practice; there is a PTO meeting for Will's school; and Will's school starts selling cookie dough as a fund raiser. Thursday will be an equally busy day. Fun, oh fun!!!

Stray Affections Blog Tour

Stray Affections by Charlene Ann Baumbich is a wonderful book!!

Here is a brief summary:
Cassandra Higgins, daycare provider and mother to four little boys, is at a Collectors' Convention when she's utterly charmed by a one-of-a-kind snowglobe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. She can't resist buying the beautiful globe, and it begins to spark long-dormant memories for Cassandra, of her beloved grandpa, the stray she rescued as a child, and the painful roots strangling her relationship with her mother, "Bad Betty" Kamrowski. When a strange - flurrious, as Cassandra deems it - moment happens with the remarkable snowglobe, Cassandra and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous yet grace-filled journey. Stray Affections invites you to experience the laughter and the healing of second chances.

At first, I was a little hesitant to read this book due to the recent loss of our beloved dog, Gracy. But, once I started reading, I was drawn into the characters and couldn't put it down. I love how Cassandra and her mother, Betty, gradually change their relationship with each other. God uses Burt, the town butcher, to show Betty His grace and mercy and that it is never too late to change. God is a God of second chances and Stray Affections is a wonderful example of just how He works. I would highly recommend this book!! It is great!!

According to the Acknowledgements, this looks to be the first in a series called Snowglobe Connections. If that is the case, I am looking forward to the next books being written and published.

To learn more about or purchase Stray Affections at Random House, click here. I am also including a video link of Charlene introducing the book to readers. The video is available on Facebook and/or YouTube.

Charlene Ann Baumbich is a popular author, speaker, and an award-winning journalist. In addition to her Dearest Dorothy series of novels, she has written six nonfiction books of humor and inspiration.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Two-year olds

Today while I was on Facebook posting recent pictures of the family and the master bathroom renovation, Andrew was busy. He gave Baron a container of dog jerky treats. Yes, the whole container. As of right now, Baron is panting a lot. I know he will have a HUGE tummyache, if he doesn't already. Poor baby!!

Happy Birthday To My Husband

Today is Mike's birthday!!! Happy birthday Sweetie!!! We are going to Carrabba's for dinner tonight to celebrate (my idea). His idea was to not make any decisions about dinner. So, since he left it up to me, and since it is a very special occasion, I decided we would go out.

Happy Birthday Mike!! Seventy more (at least) to go!!!