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?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

God blessed us with an absolutely gorgeous day today!!!  The temperature was around 71 degrees.  The sun was shining.  There were a few clouds in the sky and there was a slight breeze.  After basketball games this morning, I made the kids go outside to play.  The last time they did that was when it snowed on January 10.  That day, we built a snowman and had a couple of snowball fights.  We all needed to be back outside again.  (All three kids were sick with a stomach virus for almost two weeks.  We really needed this!)  Mike and I opened all the windows in the house to air it out.  The kids rode their bikes in the backyard, painted, played on the playgym and clubhouse, played horseshoes and badminton, practiced getting baskets for their next basketball game, and leaf fished (fishing without a hook).  Quite a few times I had to deal with them not wanting to stay outside but after a while, they forgot about watching television and playing inside.

After playing for a while, Mike and Will started raking the leaves in the backyard.  All three kids had fun jumping in the huge pile of leaves then picked them up and putting them in bags.  Only a quarter of the backyard was done and we filled three 55-gallon yard bags and most of a 30-gallon yard bag.  This is after Mike raked up leaves this fall.

It is suppose to rain tomorrow and everyday through Wednesday.  The high tomorrow is supposed to be 55 degrees.  Mike said a chance of snow is predicted for Wednesday.  Only in the South can you have snow one weekend, sunshine and warm weather the next weekend, and snow predicted again the week after.  Gotta love it!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lady in Waiting Book Review

SUMMARY:  Content in her comfortable marriage of twenty-two years, Jane Lindsay had never expected to watch her husband, Brad, pack his belongings and walk out the door of their Manhattan home.  But when it happens, she feels powerless to stop him and the course of events that follow Brad's departure.
     Jane finds an old ring in a box of relics from a British jumble sale and discovers a Latin inscription in the band along with just one recognizable word:  Jane.  Feeling an instant connection to the mysterious ring bearing her name-sake, Jane begins a journey to learn more about the ring - and perhaps about herself.

     In the sixteenth-century, Lucy Day becomes the dressmaker to Lady Jane Grey, an innocent young woman whose fate seems to be controlled by a dangerous political and religious climate, one threatening to deny her true love and pursuit of her own interests.

     As the stories of both Janes dovetail through the journey of one ring, it becomes clear that each woman has far more influence over her life than she once imagined.  It all comes down to the choices each makes despite the realities they face.

REVIEW:  This was an interesting book.  The story was very well written.  I was drawn into the dual time and story lines.  The idea of a ring connecting the two lives four centuries apart was thought-provoking.  Both women came to the conclusion that they needed to take charge of their lives and stop letting others make decisions for them.  Unfortunately, in Lady Jane's case, her realization came too late.  This was a charming and delightful book and I would recommend this to anyone who loves history, a good story and/or a good book. 

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review without compensation.

SUSAN MEISSNER has spent her lifetime as a writer, starting wth her first poem at the age of four.  She is the award-winning author of The Shape of Mercy, White Picket Fences, and many other novels.  When she's not writing, she directs the small groups and connection ministries at her San Diego church.  She and her pastor husband are the parents of four young adults.  Visit her web site at

Monday, January 10, 2011


At least, that is what this round of winter weather is being called.  It is predicted that our area of the South will get 2-8 inches of snow, with maybe some freezing rain/sleet.  As of 10:30 p.m. tonight (1/9), the snow measured three inches on my patio table and it was still snowing.  The weather forecasters have been predicting this storm system for about a week.  A round of icy weather has been predicted and everyone is afraid of the power lines going down, causing blackouts all over. 

 The kids are excited and can't wait to get out in it.  School has been cancelled for Monday.  We will find out tomorrow if they will miss any other days.

Here are some pictures I took of the snow around 10:30 p.m. 

The snow measured three inches on my patio table at 10:30 p.m.

This in the garden next to my van.

This is the garden along the front of the house.

Another picture of the front garden.
Can you see the snow on top of the lights?

Snow on the back patio.

A look at the lake behind our house.  
I had to lighten this picture three times.

This is the same picture as above lightened four times.

The light post at the front of the house.  I had to lighten this picture twice.  
This picture reminds me of the light post in "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe."

This picture was lightened three times.   Isn't it beautiful?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Finding Good Deals

Don't you love it when you find a deal on something you use regularly?  I know I do.  Earlier this week, I was going through the sales circulars just to see what they had.  I usually just glance through them unless something catches my eye.  This week I saw Family Dollar had their Cover Girl foundation on sale for $5 and their CG mascara for $4.25.  Since I was getting low on those two items, I filed it away in my memory bank to check out later.  Most of the time when I see a sales ad for a low price, Wal-Mart's regular price is the same or cheaper.  You also have to watch the ads closely.  If they have a specific product listed, Wal-Mart will only let you get that product for the sale price.  The Family Dollar ad just had CG mascara with no specific type.  YEAH!!!  Last night while out grocery shopping, I stopped by the make-up display.  Their CG foundation was regularly over $6 and the mascara I like was over $5.  The ad was at home so I went back this morning and got my deals!!!  I think I am going to go back and get another mascara.  Another one I like to use is over $7 so maybe I can get it for $4.25.      ;-)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Family Vacation

     After all the busyness of Christmas, Mike and I took the kids to Chattanooga to visit Dick and Daphne, Mike's dad and step-mom.  I thought we would never get on the road.

    Mike had to work Monday and Tuesday, so I tried to get everything packed and ready to go.  It is easier said than done when you are trying to unpack all the mismatched clothes and short-sleeve shirts your kids put in their suitcases and telling them they can't take everything they got for Christmas.  I could not keep my focus on what I needed to do and would get distracted at every turn.  The kids were helpful in that they cleaned my bathrooms, dusted, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher and whatever else I needed them to do.

     Hannah's friend MaKayla was going with us so her mom Ami dropped her off late Tuesday afternoon.  While going through our bags to see what to put in the van first, we realized that MaKayla's suitcase was still in the back of her mom's van - 45 minutes away.  Ami and I met halfway at Sonic.  The kids ate dinner while Ami and I made the exchange.  As I am pulling out of the restaurant, the car behind me started honking at me.  It was Ami again.  She forgot to give me a permission slip in case something happened while we were gone.  So, we both pulled back into the parking lot and Ami gave me the paper.  Once we get home, Mike helped me get the van loaded with all the suitcases, toys, bags, food, cooler, pillows, blankets, movies, DVD players, etc.  We make the kids take a potty break while we walk through the house one more time then get on the road.  We finally pull out of the driveway at 8:55 p.m.  Yes, you read that right - PM.  Since I had to make an extra trip I wasn't planning on, Mike thought it would be good to top off the gas tank.  We pull into Sam's and notice the gas station closed at 9 p.m.  It was 9:02 on the van clock.  Since Mike had not eaten, we decided to forget getting gasoline and stopped at Krystal's.  Normally we are in and out within 5-7 minutes.  That night, we left about 15-20 minutes later.  We finally got on the road at 9:30 p.m.  Mike bought two 8 ounce coffees, one for me and one for him.  I drank both of them plus most of a 24 ounce cafe mocha Mike bought when we got gas at the Linden exit.  (In my defense, I was tired after all the packing and late night plus I was driving.)  Needless to say, I was wired and could not stop talking once we finally got to Chattanooga.  Mike and his dad were amused.

      We arrived at Dick and Daphne's at 4:15 a.m. and got the kids settled quickly.  Mike and I slept until 10:30.  Mike's brother Rich, Michelle and their boys drove down from Pigeon Forge and spent the day with us.  Brent and Jennifer, Mike's step-brother and his wife, along with their two boys came over too.  We ate a wonderful dinner and opened Christmas presents.  We had a great time.

     Thursday found us being lazy all day and not doing anything.  We thought about taking the kids to the park and letting them run around and play but we never got it in gear.

     Friday, we all went to Brent and Jenn's house.  The kids ran around outside and played (the temperature was around 65).  Everything we ate was delicious.  The kids have a picnic outside and enjoyed it.  Jennifer made chocolate fondue as a snack.  GOOD!!  It started raining late and rained all night and most of Saturday.  Mike and I took the kids to the Creative Discovery Museum Saturday since it was wet.  The kids had a blast playing and looking at all the exhibits.  Their favorite was the water feature at the very beginning.  If they had a choice, they would have never left.

     Saturday night, Cody and Erinn came over along with Brent and Jenn and their kids to celebrate New Years and Cody's birthday.  Erinn is pregnant and due any day.  She wasn't feeling few well so they left early.

     After an awesome breakfast, we left Chattanooga around 1:30 for home.  We made good time and made it home by 7:15 after stopping for lunch in Dickson.  I was so excited to be home.  We really enjoyed our trip but it was nice to sleep in our own beds.