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?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Busy Thanksgiving Week

We arrived back home from our adventures around 5:45 p.m. It was a week filled with fun, family and food. Tuesday night, we left home and headed to Pigeon Forge. Wednesday, after Mich got off work and James and Jerrod got out of school, we left for Stedman, NC. A few months ago there was a rock slide on I-40 near Asheville so traffic has been re-routed. So, instead of taking I-40 through North Carolina, we took I-81 and went through Virginia. That was soooo neat!!!

**Side note - this was my second time to go to Virginia. The first was in November, 1999. After Mike finished his weekend drill in Johnson City, TN after the Marine Corp birthday celebration, I asked him if we could cross the state line since we were so close. He agreed so we crossed the VA/TN state line, took the first exit and turned around JUST SO I COULD SAY I HAD BEEN TO VIRGINIA!!! We had so much fun laughing about it. After we passed under the first exit's bridge, I got excited all over again.

We arrived in Stedman around 8:30 local time (I think; I can't remember exactly). The kids had a blast. Hannah played with Ashtyn, Isabelle, and Gabby while Will and Andrew played with them or the other cousins. (Hannah and Ashtyn are the only girls in their respected families. Since they are only two months apart in age, they really enjoy getting together once a year and playing.)

Thursday, we ate, and ate, and ate. Barbara, Sharon and others out-did themselves again. The food was awesome!! Thursday night we had a scare, though. Mike's Uncle Woody had a seizure while we were getting ready to have a Spades tournament. Thank the good Lord above, he is doing fine and is now at home.

Friday, Rich, Mich, their boys and I went to the movies and saw "2012." It was pretty good. The special effects were good. It was sad in parts but was interesting to see how the director and writers depicted their take on the end of the world. As I watched the movie, I kept thinking that I was glad I know the Maker of Heaven and Earth and that He holds me safely in the palm of His hand. Since He is the ONLY one who knows when the end of the world will actually end, I can rest in the fact that He will take care of me until then. After the movies, we went to Joe and Sharon's and joined the rest of the family for dinner. We had Carolina barbeque, baked beans, cole slaw, chicken tenders, and hushpuppies. It was the first time I had Carolina barbeque. It was good. I prefer Memphis barbeque since that is what I grew up with but the vinegar base of theirs was delicious.

Saturday afternoon, we left North Carolina and headed to Pigeon Forge where we spent the night. We got up this morning and left around 9:30 for home. Traffic wasn't too bad at all, not like it has been in the past. We had sunshine most of the way, then a few clouds. We encountered some misting after Nashville for about 20 miles then again once we got closer to home. It started raining after we got the van unloaded and settled in. We had a great time but it is good to be home.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I know I am a few days early but we are leaving tomorrow to head to North Carolina for the holidays.  Since I don't know if I will have access to a computer, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  Please remember to thank God for the blessings He has given you so far this year.  If you think you have nothing to thank God for, thank Him for waking up each morning and for air to breathe (no matter how stuffed up your nose is - HEHE).

Happy Thanksgiving from the Jinnettes!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not Good-bye But Until We Meet Again...

My friend, Courtney Hill, passed away Monday at 30 years of age while lying in her husband's arms.  She leaves behind Robert, her husband of eight years, and Madison, their five-year old daughter.  Courtney was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 25 and fought long and hard.  She was even fighting right up to the end, determined not to let cancer have the upperhand.  Unfortuntely, her body was tired and couldn't continue the fight any longer.

One of the verses Courtney clung to was  "Yes, may you see your children’s children." (Psalm 128:6, New King James Version).  She felt God was telling her she would beat this disease and live to see her grandchildren.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.  But, the more I thought about it, I feel like God was telling Courtney that she would see the results of her life and testimony not in flesh-and-blood children but the ones born from her courage, strength and testimony to live and God.  Courtney didn't try to hide the fact that she had cancer.  She proudly proclaimed the strength of her God to anyone who would listen.  She boldly walked around without a scarf or wig on her head after she lost her hair.  Courtney would gladly talk to anyone who approached her with questions.  I think people will see her strength in troubled times and wonder where it came from and this will lead them to Courtney's God, Jehovah Shalom (God is Peace), Jehovah Rapha (God our healer), and Jehovah Shammah (God is there).  Those who come to God through Courtney's testimony and life will become her children in the Lord.

This is a picture of Courtney giving her testimony in May at our MOPS group.

Courtney and her daughter Madison greet Maria at one of our MOPS meetings.  Even as sick as she was, Courtney was determined to get out and live instead of sitting at home mourning.

Rest in Peace Courtney.  Enjoy the presence of your God and rest in His arms.  We will see you again on the other side.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My New 'Do

Tired of the same old haircut, I went to a new place called High Maintenance and had my hair done. I LOVE IT!!! After getting my hair cut for Locks of Love about a year and a half ago, I've kept it shoulder length. It's been okay but I was ready for a change. You can't see it in this picture but my hair is REALLY short in the back. It will take a little maintenance to keep it looking this nice but it may be worth getting up a few minutes earlier each morning to take care of it. Jennifer even teased my hair at the crown. I've never had my hair teased before. Shocking, I know. I've never been one for big hair but I guess I'm due. I can't wait for everyone to see it in person. Now, if I can get it to look this good tomorrow for our family pictures, I will be doing awesome!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

Today while at Chick-fil-a, Hannah picked up an Operation Christmas Child box.  We decided to fill one then decided to do two.  If you have never heard of Operation Christmas Child, you can go to Samaritan's Purse and get details.  The programs was started by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham.  This organization collects shoe boxes filled with items and gifts for a needy child.  They offer some suggestions and have a small list of items not allowed but leave it up to the giver as to what to put in their box. 

Hannah filled her box with items for a girl between the ages of 5-9, and Will did the same for a boy of the same age group.  They had a blast picking out items at Dollar Tree.  Hannah purchased a doll, an outfit for the doll, socks, hair clips, comb and mirror set, lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tissues, coloring book, paints, socks, a pink pig puppet and some candy.  Will has a sun catcher for the child to paint, coloring book, socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tissues, paints, a brown bear puppet, playdough, and some candy.  I plan to get a small box of crayons for each box either tomorrow or Monday.  The boxes have to be turned in this week so Operation Christmas Child can get them to the children by Christmas.  Hannah and Will both want to include letters and their addresses so the recipient can write to them. 

This is the first year we've done it and it has been fun.  We may have to make this an annual event. I took some pictures of the kids and their boxes but will have to post them later.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today is the day we set aside to remember those who have served, those who are currently serving, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in one of the fine branches of the United States military.  Thank you for everything.  The sacrifices you made makes it possible for me and my family to enjoy the freedoms we hold so precious and dear.   THANK YOU!!

On that note, if any of my readers are currently in the military or have served in our fine armed forces, go by Applebee's restaurants for either lunch or dinner.  Applebee's is giving our veterans and servicemen a free meal.  You get to pick one of nine choices and a drink.  You must show some sort of proof that you served or are serving to get your meal.  If you go to, you will find a list of the proof they will accept (even a picture of you in uniform) and what meals you can choose from.  They did this last year at a few select Applebee's.  The response they received was so overwhelming that they decided to offer it nationwide.

God Knows Our Hearts and Will Provide

I thought I had posted this story previously, but looking back over my blog, I don't see where I did. 

About a month ago, Beth Moore came to the Memphis area to hold a Living Proof Live event.  Tickets were $60 each.  The day before the event, we were discussing Beth Moore's visit during a bible study and asked who was going.  A few girls at our table raised their hand but my friend Shawn didn't.  When asked why, she said she couldn't afford a ticket but if God wanted her to go He would provide one for her. 

I remembered that before an event like this one, Beth would post on her blog an offer of free tickets to anyone who needed them.  When I got home, I checked Beth's blog,,  and saw her post for tickets.  Since the post had been made earlier that morning, I called Shawn right away, told her about it and gave her the number to call.  Shawn called and got an automated service.  Since all she had was the first names of the two ladies to ask for, Shawn prayed that if it was God's will He would have to get her to the right person.  There was a pause online then the call was transferred to Susan's voicemail (one of the ladies Beth had said to call).  Shawn left her information and what it was about.  About an hour later, Susan called her back.  She offered Shawn two tickets even though she only wanted one.  When Shawn asked her about the call transfer, Susan said she wasn't usually the one to get the calls. 

Shawn called me, told me what had happened and asked if I knew anyone needing a ticket.  Since we couldn't think of anyone, she called Leslie, our bible study leader, and asked her.  She knew Marva, another lady in BS wanted to go but was in the same situation as Shawn.  So, Shawn and Marva got to go to the event after all. 

A few days later, I checked Beth's blog and saw where she had posted pictures from the event.  Lo and behold, I saw a picture of Shawn and Marva worshipping God there in the post.  It was awesome!!  God had totally worked out all the details and let two wonderful women of God come and hear a word meant just for them. 

If you would like to see some pictures from the event, click on this link. It will take you to Beth Moore's blog and the post with the pictures.  Shawn, Marva and Cheryl (another lady in the group) are 2 minutes and 18 seconds into the video.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Marines!

Today is the 234th birthday of the United States Marine Corp.  Happy Birthday Marines!!  Semper Fi!!  You've never looked better!!  Keep up the good work!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

White Picket Fences Blog Tour

The Janviers have the idyllic life - a beautiful home, great jobs, two wonderful kids - and surrounding it all is the proverbial white picket fence that protects them, offers them a serene sense of security ... and hides all their secrets.

When her black sheep brother disappears, Amanda Janvier eagerly takes in her sixteen-year-old niece Tally. The girl is practically an orphan: motherless and living with a father who raises Tally wherever he lands - in a Buick, a pizza joint, a horse farm - and regularly takes off on wild schemes. Amanda envisions that she, her husband, Neil, and their two teenagers can offer the girl stability and a shot at a "normal" life, even though their own storybook lives are about to crumble.

Seventeen-year-old Chase Janvier hasn't seen his cousin in years, and other than a vague curiosity about her strange life, he doesn't expect her arrival will affect him much - or interfere with his growing, disturbing interest in a long-ago house fire that plagues his dreams.

Tally and Chase bond as they interview two Holocaust survivors for a sociology project, and become startlingly aware that the whole family is grappling with hidden secrets, with the echoes of the past, and with the realization that ignoring tragic situations won't make them go away.

Will Tally's presence blow apart their carefully constructed world, revealing a hidden past that could destroy them all - or can she help them find the truth without losing each other? From the author of The Shape of Mercy, one of Publishers Weekly's Best Religious Fiction Books of 2008, comes a tale of family secrets smoldering behind a white picket fence.

WOW! This book had me turning the pages and not wanting to set it down. Susan Meissner's story of a family that looks and thinks they have it all together only to realize that they don't is fantastic. I love the way she weaves the lives of this family and their struggles together. You don't know what is going to happen next and are surprised with the twists and turns. I loved all the characters, especially Tally, but found myself drawn to Josef Bliss and Eliasz Abramovicz. The two men Tally and Chase interviewed were funny and inspiring. Even though they weren't related, they became brothers after all they had been through during World War II. This is an awesome book and I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone!!

Susan Meissner cannot remember a time when she wasn't driven to put her thoughts down on paper. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, winner of the Christian Book Award for Fiction, and Blue Heart Blessed. Susan and her husband, a pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, make their home in Southern California. They are the parents of four grown children.

If you are interesting in purchasing this book or would like more information, click here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Extra Long Soccer Day and Rainfall Totals

Yesterday was a great day for soccer.  Good thing, because we had four games yesterday.  Yes, FOUR!!  Will and Hannah each had two games to get caught up on some of the ones missed due to the rain.  We arrived at the field around 9:15 a.m. and didn't leave until almost 2 p.m.  Will had games at 9:30 and 11:30 while Hannah had games at 10:30 and 12:30.  Both kids did great.  Will blocked a bunch of goals and Hannah got a goal.  After we were finished, Mike, I and the kids went through the Chick-fil-a drive-through and at lunch at home.  At 5:15 p.m., we had to leave the house again to head back for the Upwards Soccer Celebration.  It ended around 7:30 then we ate dinner at Subway.  The kids were exhausted and slept until 7:30 a.m.  (Since the time change, everyone is usually up just before 7 a.m.)  Hannah and I got sunburned on our faces; I also was sunburned on my neck, behind my ear and on my ear.  You can see where my earrings and glasses were because they are white instead of red.  After all the rain we had in October, it never occurred to me to get out the sunscreen.  I hope I remember it this Saturday.  We have four games again at the same times.

Speaking of rain, the weather forecaster on the local news said that the rainfall totals in October broke records.  I didn't hear the total amount but we had at least 1-2 inches every time it rained, some days we got 4-6 inches.  This area is also 11-12 inches over the annual amount of rainfall.  According to one of the local weather blogs, Memphis received 10.56 inches of rain in October.  Normal rainfall totals are 3.31 inches.  The old record was 10.13 inches set in 1919.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Fiction Fun Blog Tour

This blog tour consisted of three books: Limelight by Melody Carlson, What Matters Most by Melody Carson, and Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh.

"I used to be a beauty... too good for our dusty little town...destined for greatness." Claudette Fiore' used to turn heads and break hearts. She relished the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle because she had what it takes: money, youth, fame, and above all, beauty. But age has withered that beauty, and a crooked accountant had taken her wealth, leaving the proud widow penniless and alone.

Armed with stubbornness and sarcasm, Claudette returns to her shabby little hometown and her estranged sister. Slowly, she makes friends. She begins to see her old life in a new light. For the first time, Claudette Fiore' questions her own values and finds herself wondering if it's too late to attain true beauty.

This was a good book. At first, I wasn't sure what to expect but Melody made this old curmudgeon likable in the end. Claudette was an aging actress that was used to the best. Suddenly, she has to adjust to living on her own and doing everyday chores such as cleaning, cooking and washing her clothes without servants to help. She was self-centered but gradually let others into her world. My favorite part was Claudette's attempts to do things on her own and making a mess of everything. It sounds like something I would do, especially not opening the flue in the fireplace. One of my favorite characters was Michael. Even though Michael was Claudette's husband's step-son, he took care of Claudette like he was her own son. He helped her get settled in her new house and tried to make the changes less harsh. I recommend this book for anyone looking for something different.

Melody Carlson is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than two hundred books including The Other Side of Darkness, On This Day, Crystal Lies, Finding Alice, and several series for teens. Melody and her husband live in central Oregon, where they enjoy an active lifestyle of skiing, hiking, gardening, camping, and biking. They are the parents of two grown sons.
To purchase this book or for more information, click here.

Sixteen-year-old Maya Stark has a lot to sort through. She could graduate from high school early if she wants to. She's considering it, especially when popular cheerleader Vanessa Hartman decides to make her life miserable - and Maya's ex-boyfriend Dominic gets the wrong idea about everything.

To complicate matters even more, Maya's mother will be released from prison soon, and she'll want Maya to live with her again. That's a disaster waiting to happen. And when Maya plays her dad's old acoustic guitar in front of an audience, she discovers talents and opportunities she never expected. Faced with new options, Maya must choose between a "normal" life and a glamorous one. Ultimately, she has to figure out what matters most.

What Matters Most (book 3, Diary of a Teenage Girl series, Maya) by Melody Carlson is great. Even though it is the third book in the Maya series and the last in the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, I could follow along with little trouble. Maya is a girl with a great head on her shoulders. She prays over every decision she has to make. She makes friends with the class outcast, despite what her "Christian" friends think, and isn't lured by the promise of fortune and fame. Maya is not afraid to let people know she is a follower of Christ. We all should strive to be the type of Christian Maya is.

Melody Carlson is an award-winning, best-selling author of nearly two hundred books for teens, children, and adults, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, The Secret Life of Samantha McGregor series, the True Color Series and the Notes from a Spinning Planet series. Melody has two grown sons and lives in central Oregon with her husband, where they enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping, and biking.

To purchase What Matters Most or for more information, click here.

They say you can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl. This girl begs to differ. Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in Los Angeles. She's even "engaged to be engaged" to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman Grant Spangler.

Now all of Piper's hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle's bout of conscience. In the wake of a health scare, Uncle Obadiah Pickwick had decided to change his will, leaving money to make amends for four generations' worth of family misdeeds. But that will reveal all the Pickwicks' secrets, including Piper's.

Though Piper arrives in Pickwick primed for battle, she is unprepared for Uncle Obe's rugged, blue-eyed gardener. So just who is Axel Smith? Why does he think making amends is about more than just making restitution? And why, oh why, can't she stay on task? With God's help, Piper is about to discover that although good PR might smooth things over, only the truth will set her free.

Being born and raised in the South, my interest was piqued by Leaving Carolina. Tamara does a great job showing that Piper's struggles with her family are ones we all face, whether you life in the South or anywhere else. Piper, on top of having to figure out how to get Uncle Obe to change his mind instead of his will, also struggles to trust family members that hurt her throughout her childhood, even though some of them have changed for the better. This was another great book, probably my favorite of the three.

Tamara Leigh is the best-selling author of twelve novels, including Perfecting Kate, award-winning Splitting Harriet, and Faking Grace. A former speech and language pathologist, Tamara lives with her husband, David, and their two sons in Tennessee.

If you are interested in purchasing Leaving Carolina, click here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Costumes

This year for Halloween Will dressed as a Thomas the Train Engineer; Andrew, Bob the Builder; and Hannah, a cat.  Will and Andrew's costumes were easy - we already had everything.  Hannah's was a bit trickier.  Mike and I went to two different stores looking for a cat costume but everything was either too big or too small.  While looking around at Target, I found a leopard outfit in a 12-18 month size and had an idea.  I bought it along with a black t-shirt that said "Happy Halloween" and some black leggings.  When Mike and I got home, I started taking the infant outfit completely apart.  I sewed the leopard front piece and one of the sleeves onto the front of the t-shirt and the other sleeve to the back.  I attached the tail to the bottom of the t-shirt on the back and the gold bow to the collar.  It took about four and a half hours but I am very pleased with the results.  The best part was:  Hannah loved it.  I found the leopard mask at Party Works.

Leopard costume:  $9.50
T-shirt and leggings:  $10.00
Leopard mask:  $2.00
Hannah's face when she saw it:  priceless