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, February 28, 2010

Baby Shower and Rants About A Car Dealer

Today, Melanie and I drove to Ripley together for our niece's baby shower while the kids were with Mike and Mom. Jessie is due any day with baby number 2. Riley, her first child, turned one year old on January 27th. The shower was fun. We got to see family we haven't seen in a while and get our baby fix with Riley. After everyone left, Melanie and I spent time with Dad and Joan talking. It was nice getting to hang out with Melanie today. We had a good time talking, laughing and having a good time.

If you are looking for a car, I don't know if I would recommend the place where we recently purchased ours. The night we bought ours, the dealership was not prepared at all. The ad we looked at online said the name of the dealership and the location. It didn't say there were at least two locations and the place listed was not where the car was located. So, the salesman we spoke with at the first place followed us to the other lot. We beat the salesman there and waited about 15-20 minutes for him to show up. (It only takes about 15-20 minutes to go from one dealership to the other.) While out on the test drive, the salesman told us that he had only been on the job one week and wasn't familiar with the area. Luckily, I knew the area pretty well and was able to get us around the neighborhood. After making our decision to purchase the car, we waited another 10 minutes for the salesman. He wanted us to fill out all this paperwork for financing that we didn't need (Mike had gotten his own financing through the credit union). After another 10 minutes or more, we are told we have to move to the third building to complete the rest of the paperwork. When we walk over (it was on the same lot), we are directed to a dark waiting area and sit for another 15-20 minutes. While we are sitting in the finance office, the finance person is pulling the paperwork we need to sign instead of having it ready. (Now, have I mentioned that NO ONE was there except salesmen? NO ONE!! No other customers were there AT ALL!!) Mike and I then spent the next 30 minutes filling out paperwork. Form after form was completed saying we weren't purchasing this option and that warranty, etc. While all this is going on, Mom was keeping the kids and called wanting to know when we would be home because she was tired. When we finally get the car, the gas gauge is sitting on empty. We had just enough gas to get home. We arrived at the first car lot just after 6 p.m. We left the last lot about 8:45 p.m. Most of that time we played the waiting game.

Oh, Mike was also told to bring the car back in the next day or so to get a new drive out tag and to get it cleaned. The tag they put on the car was for another vehicle. Mike was also told the car manual and key card (for the keyless entry) was in the glove box. When Mike looked for it the next day, it was not there. When Mike called the dealership about the missing manual, the manager we spoke to the night before told Mike he would have to go to a Ford dealer (the car is a Ford Taurus) and purchase another key card and we would not be reimbursed. The manager said the key card would be about $60 but he wasn't sure. Luckily, Mike was able to download the manual off the internet onto his computer.

Mike took the car in to get it serviced and cleaned this past week. The people that cleaned it put the temporary plastic back in the floorboard wet underneath. They took the empty gum wrappers that were in the console and put them in the glove box instead of the trash. Yes, I said the glove box.

A few days after we purchased the car, we got a call from the salesman saying they needed a copy of Mike's driver's license because they forgot to get it while we were there. Then, they called a few days after that asking for a copy of my license. Mike called and spoke to the Finance Manager about the shoddy job the finance people were doing. Come to find out, the finance person had only been there about a month. The FM agreed to help out and took over the job himself to complete the paperwork. He came out to the house to get the Saturn's car tag, have me sign a paper, get a copy of my driver's license and get our tags taken care of (this is something the dealers do now for the owners. Not sure yet if I like this.) If you want to know the name of the dealer, just ask. I would be happy to tell and strongly advise you to find another one. The only good thing I have to say about them is that we got a good deal on the car. A really good deal.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our New Car

It just dawned on me that I haven't blogged about our new car.  Mike and I bought a 2006 Ford SEL.  It had four doors, power locks, power windows, a CD player, a sun roof and runs like a dream.  It is a beautiful medium blue color outside with tan leather seats and tan interior.  Mike feels like he has hit the lottery.  He called me the morning after he bought it and said he was going to have to remember something when he drives the car.  Thinking something was wrong, I asked him what it was.  He has to remember that the car will go without any hesitation when he presses the gas pedal!!  I cracked up laughing.  I am behind on taking pictures and getting them downloaded.  When I remember and get a chance, I will post some pictures of the car.  It is nice and, best of all, it fits all five of us comfortably!!

All's Quiet on the Southern Front

This weekend has been great and quiet so far.  It is the first weekend in about two months we haven't had basketball games to go to.  The kids played their last games last Saturday and their Awards Ceremony was last night.  Of course, the kids were up early (even though they didn't have to be) so I made scrambled eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast.  Usually I make a big breakfast on Saturday mornings but, because of basketball, I haven't been able to for a while.  In fact, the last time I made a big breakfast for the family was pancakes about two weeks ago, and I was able to do that before school one morning.  Tonight, Mike is taking Hannah and Will to the hockey game with some of the other Dads at our church.  Andrew and I get to hang out together and enjoy ourselves. 

Last Friday was Grandparents' Day at Will's school.  Mom called him that morning and gave him a suggestion.  Since she wasn't feeling well, she asked Will if it would be okay if she missed going to school with him.  Instead, she would take him out to eat anywhere he wanted to go Saturday after his ball game.  Will agreed with the plan.  So, Saturday he got dressed up and Mom picked him up for their date.  His first choice was Chuck E. Cheese's but when they arrived, they found out there was an hour and a half wait just to get a table.  So, Will's second choice was Texas Roadhouse.  He had received a coupon for a free kids meal with his last report card and was begging to use it.  He and Mom had a great time and he felt like a big boy.  Mom let him order anything he wanted, including dessert, and eat all the peanuts he wanted, too.  Afterwards, they went back to Mom's house and Will played by himself (without any other kids competing with him) for a couple of hours.  When he came home, it's all he could talk about.  In fact, the other day we were getting ready to sit down at the kitchen table and he mentioned how much fun he had and the food he ate too.  I'm glad he had a great time.  Mom wants to do it again with one of the others soon.  I know they will enjoy themselves.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Value Fiction Blog Tour

This Waterbrook Multnomah blog tour covers two books:  Faithful Heart by Al Lacy and Beneath A Southern Sky by Deborah Raney.

Faithful Heart
Al Lacy

This book is the second in the Angels of Mercy series.  This series is a spinoff of Questar Publisher's Journeys of the Stranger series.  Because of this, and because I am not familiar with the other books related to this one, I felt like I was missing something.  Faithful Heart is two stories in one:  Breanna and John's travels with the wagon train and Dottie and Jerrod's struggles with Jerrod's shell shock from the Civil War.  At times, Breanna and John's story seemed stilted and sappy.  I often wondered if people really would act in real life the way the characters did in the story.  Their history and relationship is continued from the other series and, for the most part, I felt lost and disinterested in them.

Dottie and Jerrod's story was more interesting.  Dottie is Breanna's sister who became a mail-order bride.  Jerrod, her husband, was diagnosed with shell shock during the Civil War and was given an early discharge.  Eight years later, the shell shock has created two Jerrods: one, completely normal; the second, a raving maniac that lashes out at any and everyone who is near.  This includes his wife, Dottie and their two children, Molly Kate and James.  Dottie does everything she can think of to help her husband and protect her family.  I enjoyed this section of the book.

If you are interested in getting more information about Faithful Heart, you can go to the Random House page or the page for this book.

Beneath A Southern Sky
Deborah Raney

Daria Camfield served for two years as a missionary with her husband, Nate, in the remote jungles of Columbia.  While he was providing medical care in another village two days away, it was reported that Nate was killed.  Grieving her loss, Daria returns home to Kansas to give birth to their daughter, Natalie, and start her life over again.  A year later, she finds love again with her new boss, Dr. Colson Hunter, a local veterinarian.  Cole proposes marriage and Daria accepts, all the while ignoring the still small voice of God telling her to wait.  Daria, Cole and Natalie are happy with their new life and are preparing for a new baby when Daria gets some devastating news:  her husband Nate has been found alive and is flying to Kansas City from Bogota.

Daria must make a painful choice:  return to her first love, Nate, (a man she is still in love with) and leave Cole or reject Nate and stay with Cole, a man she has come to love immensely, the only Daddy Natalie has ever known and the father of the baby she is carrying.

This was a great book that kept you guessing how it was going to end.  About the time you think you have it figured out, the author throws you a curve ball.  I love the way she works it out, glorifying God and showing how He can redeem tragedy.  I can't stop thinking about this book and how everything works out in the end.  I highly recommend this book to everyone.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, you can go to Random House's webpage or view the book here.

Both Faithful Heart and Beneath A Southern Sky were provided by Waterbrook Multnomah free of charge for review.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Start Somewhere Blog Tour

Calvin Nowell's book Start Somewhere is a great book for anyone wanting to make changes in their life.  While the book covers his weight loss journey, it is not just another "diet" book.  The book is subtitled "Losing What's Weighing You Down from the Inside Out" and it can help anyone trying to over come an addiction or who wants to make a change, whether it is weight loss, smoking, cursing: anything that is keeping you from fully being the person God created you to be.  Calvin was morbidly obese. He details some of his 200 pounds weight loss but his story doesn't end there. The book details some of the struggles he encounters afterwards. He gives his readers hope and encouragement to stick with the changes they have made and not to revert back to their old lifestyles and habits.

As Calvin details his story and journey, he gives eight steps he used and developed to help you make the changes you want to make.  This first one is simple:  Start Somewhere.  Start small so you don't get overwhelmed.  Find an accountability partner.  Don't become complacent.  Most of them are common sense ideas.

I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to make a change, whether it is small or major.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Big Boy Underwear

We have been trying to potty train Andrew for a while now. He likes to sit on the potty and play but not to do his "business." Now, as a stall tactic at bedtime, he will tell you he needs to go potty but doesn't do anything. So, tonight, Andrew did the same thing. This time he said his pajamas were wet. (They weren't.) While he was sitting there, I started my usual discussion.

"Andrew, you know, if you go to the bathroom in the potty all the time, you can start wearing your big boy underwear. You can wear Lightning McQueen, Buzz Lightyear, Scooby Doo, and Spiderman but you have to go potty in the potty."

About 15 minutes after putting Andrew to bed, I heard the boys' door open. Andrew came out and said he had to go potty again. Here's our conversation:

M - "Andrew, go to bed."
A - "Mama, my pajamas are wet."
M - "No they are not. GO TO BED."
A - "Mama, my pajamas are wet."
M - "Andrew, come here and let me check."

They were soaked!!! When I pulled down Andrew's pajama pants to see if his diaper was on wrong or had a huge gap, I didn't find a diaper. Instead, I found a pair of big boy underwear on (they were backwards)!!! He decided he wanted to wear underwear and took it upon himself to put them on. He left the clean and dry diaper on the bedroom floor. I had to change Andrew's pjs and his bed because his sheets were also soaked. While I was getting him redressed, I told him that, for now, he needed to wear his diaper until he went pottied in the potty all the time. He would get his underwear wet and dirty if he didn't.

We will keep trying and hopefully it will click soon. I have been changing diapers for nine years straight with no breaks in between children. I am sooo ready for this one to be done!!

*I read somewhere once to put underwear on over a child's diaper while potty training. This way, the child is wearing his/her favorite while not getting them dirty. It also gives them an incentive to start using the facilities all the time. So far, that trick hasn't worked for me. You now can see why.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Here are some pictures we've taken over the last few weeks. 

If you look closely, you can see the Canada geese walking on the frozen lake.  This picture was taken on January 30, the day after we got sleet and ice.  The lake froze over and the geese and ducks were able to walk across.

Baron and the leftover sleet we received

On February 5, while Hannah was at school, Mike and I put up Hannah's new bed and rearranged her room.  Click here to read the details about the changes that were made.

Hannah and Andrew enjoying Hannah's new bed

Hannah and Andrew playing

Mama, Hannah, Andrew and Will

The rest of the pictures are of today's surprise snowfall. 
The first few pictures were taken of our backyard through our dining room windows.

The next two pictures are of our front yard and the small courtyard garden.  Look at the snow on our fountain.  It looks like a wedding cake.

After much talking in too (I was surprised), the kids finally went outside to play.

Andrew, Baron, Hannah and Will having a snowball fight.

Andrew and Hannah with Crystal, our snowwoman.

Another picture of Andrew, Crystal and Hannah



While we were eating lunch, the t.v. at the restaurant had the local news on. It said the highs were suppose to be in the low 40s, the lows were suppose to be below freezing and it was suppose to rain most of the week. I was in shock when I woke up this morning and saw snow on the ground!!!! It was a good kind of shock!!  There is about six inches of snow that was unexpected.  The weather forecasters were expecting it to hit way farther north.  YEAH!!!  I took lots of pictures of it untouched and plan to take more when we go outside to play. 


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Our Dearly Departed Saturn and Hannah's New Room

Well, our Saturn finally bit the dust Thursday. Mike went out to check the oil when he noticed the dipstick was completely dry. Further investigation found oil in the coolant reserve and oil and coolant underneath the car. It has been a good little car. I bought it brand new in 1996 and drove it everywhere. When I was eight months pregnant with Hannah and as big as a house, I drove this car back and forth to Midtown. While I was off work during Christmas break, Mike started driving it to work in Collierville because it got better gas mileage than our new-to-us Blazer. Mike kept driving the car up until Thursday. It would have been 14 years in June that I bought my baby. It was a good little car.

One of my favorite memories was a trip home from Florida. Our Singles class took a trip to Panama City every year. One year my friend Richard, who is at least 6'2", rode back with me and a friend (I can't remember if it was Lisa or Debbie). Poor Richard volunteered to ride in the back most of the trip. (If you aren't familiar with my Saturn, it was an SC-1, a small sports-type car with a tiny backseat.) A couple of times during the trip we switched seats so Richard could try to stretch out his long legs.

Another favorite memory was a trip Mike and I took to Johnson City for the Marine Corp Ball. After Mike was able to leave his unit, we started to head home. Since we were so close to the Virginia state line and since I had never been to Virginia, I asked Mike if we could cross over then turn around. We did and it was so much fun. We were both being silly. After crossing the state line (and taking a quick picture of the "Welcome to Virginia" sign), we got off the interstate at the first exit, turned around and got back on heading west. It was a great trip.

Friday while Hannah was in school, Mike and I changed out Hannah's bed and rearranged her room. Melanie gave Hannah her old daybed. It is a lot girlier than her old one. Hannah had mentioned a few times that she wanted to move her bed around too. So, while we were assembling the bed, we took advantage of the extra room (since everything had been moved out) and moved most of her furniture around. It seems to make the room look a lot bigger. When you walk in her door, her toy box is to the right where her bed used to be. Her shelving unit moved from the wall beside her window to underneath her chalkboard. Her bed is now on the wall that had her toy box and shelving unit. Her desk was moved over closer to the window just a little. I like it a lot and so does Hannah. I guess Hannah's approval is all that matters. Mike took a couple of pictures and I'll try to post them later. I'm too tired right now to do it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Redeeming Love Movie

Facebook has a fan page for "Redeeming Love - The Movie."  I LOVE this book!!!  Francine Rivers knocked it out of the park when she wrote this.  Every time I read it, I cry.  It is a hard book to go through because of Angel's trials and hardships but it is well worth the struggles you may have.  That said, I have my reservations about this movie.

Angel, one of the main characters, goes through Hell.  I don't want to even describe some of what she went through because it is very painful, excruciating, to read.  But, because of this pain, her "redemption" is even more remarkable and touching.  I don't know how the writers will do it.  The pain is one of the reasons that makes this book so wonderful.  I hope the producers get some strong actors for this movie and do it justice.  I would hate to see the movie be a flop or destroyed due to bad acting.

Busy and Interesting Weekend

The weather man predicted our area would get between 1-4 inches of snow along with some ice on Friday and Saturday.  Instead, we got sleet and freezing rain on Friday.  After the freezing rain, it started raining really hard and continued until late Friday night.  Thank goodness, Mike stayed home and worked from home using his laptop.  The water and sleet froze and everything was covered in ice. It was soo pretty.  Quite a few people in Tennessee and North Mississippi lost power but we were blessed not to.  Saturday we stayed home.  The kids played the Wii most of the day while I nursed a sinus headache and pressure. 

Sunday, we went to church and enjoyed the beautiful scenery as we drove.  The trees, bushes, grass and power lines were covered in ice.  The sun made everything shine, like they were covered in diamonds.  It was stunning!!  Ernie's message was wonderful as was Marty's Sunday school lesson on the first part of Revelation 7.  After church, we went to lunch at Back Yard Burger.  Towards the end of our meal, the power went out.  It looked like maybe a transformer went down because we could see nearby traffic lights were also out.  As we were leaving, the traffic lights started working again.

Once we got home, Hannah and I got to work going through some boxes we had in the attic.  Most of them were toys that had been relegated to the attic about three or four years ago.  (Hannah loss the use of her toys when she got into trouble; now, I don't remember the exact reason why.)  Mike found a box of books for Hannah to read that I had as a child.  They include Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, The Dana Girls, and Bobbsey Twins.  There were even some of my Little House books!!  I can't wait to read them again.  While Hannah and I were busy, Mike reswept the kitchen and mopped it. Busy, busy, busy!!