Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Serious and then Fun!

First of all, I have a prayer request for you! There is a problem with the Marine Corp and the wedding date so please, please pray for David and Christa. We know that the military changes its mind on a frequent basis but this is a little rough to take so please pray that this all works out. I will try to let you know what happens when I find something out! I know that God knows what is going on but David and Christa are struggling with this so please pray for them!

Now......does anyone know who this child belongs to?!?! I know that this picture is small but I "borrowed" it from someone on Facebook!! This child is so goofy!!! She was at Youth Camp this past week and had a great time and the next picture will tell you why!!!

Let me introduce you to the Senior Camp Queen and her "court jesters"!!!

Now, in case you all get worried....every one of those boys except one is "related" to her in some form even if it is only by marriage or in her mind!!!!! As far as she is concerned, these are all "cousins" to her but it cracks me right up that the majority of pictures I have seen of her at youth camp have all been with her surrounded by boys! Don't get me wrong, I do NOT for ONE second think that Ashley is a flirt AT ALL but she has a TON of "boy friends" just not a "boyfriend"!! Get the difference?!?!
We sat in the living room last night and listened to all the stories from Youth Camp and I can safely say that she had a great time and was very excited that she got to go! I must admit that the house was pretty quiet with her gone! I mean, Carrie was still there with me which means that Josh was there also but those two are pretty quiet in comparison to Ashley!! Ashley - now don't get mad at me! You know it's the truth!!!!!!
So, Dave and Ashley have returned and the house is back to normal! Wait - normal? NOT!!!!!! We don't believe in that word!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008


You know you are almost 40 when:
1) Eating chocolate adds 5 pound and looking at it 2 1/2!
2) Bread and potatoes are divine even though they make you look like a barn!
3) Climbing out of bed takes a good 10 minute head start!
4) You forget what you went in the laundry room to do even though you are standing there holding the laundry basket and empty hangers!!
5) CLEARLY remembering paying $.89 a gallon for gas!!
6) Playing volleyball for 2 hours makes 3 days of pain that is almost funny!
7) Having NO patience for adults who act 3!!!!!!!!! (Enough said!!)
8) Relishing a Sunday afternoon nap over - well......just about anything!
9) Your recliner is your favorite spot in the whole house!
10) Hearing your pastor talk about prunes makes you laugh and realize the "joy" of eating those things is still several years away!!!!
11) Bending over to dry your hair is getting harder and harder every day!
12) Buying milk at who knows what cost reminds you of the stories your grandparents told of the depression!!
13) Hating the smell of Ben-Gay but thinking you could sure use some on the sore spots!
14) You wonder how much farther away you can scoot the computer screen so you can see better!!
15) and finally - thinking its funny that many of my friends that are almost 40 still have little "rug rats" running around!!!!

I have been thinking about turning 40 although it is still a few months away for me! Yes I am getting old! This weekend proved that! I played more than one game of volleyball on Friday (I have bruises from "diving" which should make my girls proud!) and then cleaned my house on Saturday like a raving lunatic! Come Sunday morning, I thought someone had taken a sledge hammer to my thigh muscles!! Which reminds me - why does the song leader insist on having you stand for singing on Sunday morning when you hurt the most? I mean - really...what is up with that?

I have also been reminded of how fragile life can be at any age. My sister-in-law, Sherry, who will be 40 next month, just had a stroke this past Monday! It has been a rough week for their family! I was talking to my brother Jim and after spending most of the week in the ICU with her, he mentioned how life has taken on a different look in his eyes. So - lest you think that all I did was complain in the first part of my blog, how's this? I am thankful I can speak, sing (although not great!), walk, run, dive for volleyballs, eat whatever I want (even though it shows!), hear, smell, and generally have nothing to complain about!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beware - A Blog about Struggles

My heart hurts today and I am greatly in need of the "therapy" that I tend to gain from blogging. There is very little I can tell you about the particular struggles going on right now. There are two specific situations that are going on that seem to have me at this spot right now. I hurt - plain and simple, I hurt. I am old enough and have been around church long enough that I "know" all the right things to say and the "best" Scriptures to quote. I thank God every day that I have HIS Word to turn to in times like this. The promises can be almost over-whelming at times and it seems that once you start reading them, you can't stop. I know that there are many hurts in the world and that EVERYONE has them. Even the people that always seem to have good attitudes and smile all the time and appear to be upbeat to everyone, they have struggles. Some handle struggles and difficulties in ways that I never could. Some cry, some laugh, some scream, some go into seclusion, some take medicine, some turn to drugs or to alcohol for comfort. Some sit in darkness, some surround themselves with people. Some seek counseling, some turn into hermits. Some seek after God more than ever, some turn their backs on Him completely. Whether we do it in a good way or a bad one, we deal with our struggles. My heart hurts and it is in times like this when I find myself drawn to music. I am not all that talented but I can play the piano a little and will find myself sitting down to play "just because". Today, I have some music playing on my computer here at work for I find that I am in desperate need of a touch from my Father. I simply do not know which way to turn today! I am clinging to the promises like "ALL things work together for good" and "I will NEVER leave thee nor forsake thee" and so many others.
Here is what I am hearing right now:

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His Word.
Just to rest upon His promise. Just to know thus saith the Lord.
Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him. How I've proved Him o'er and o'er.
Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus. Oh for grace to trust Him more.

Yes tis sweet to trust in Jesus, just from sin and self to cease.
Just from Jesus simply taking, life and rest and joy and peace.
Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him. How I've proved Him o'er and o'er.
Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus. Oh for grace to trust Him more.

I'm so glad I learned to trust Him. Precious Jesus Savior Friend.
And I know that Thou art with me. Will be with me till the end.
Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him. How I've proved Him o'er and o'er.
Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus. Oh for grace to trust Him more.

The next song that came on speaks of the faithfulness of God. The verse that is speaking to me at this moment is:

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth.
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide.
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.

Great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

While I simply do not have all the right words and this blog probably seems very disjointed, I can tell you that I have made myself feel better just by typing out the words to those two songs. God IS faithful and He WILL prove Himself to be EXACTLY what I need!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day to the best Dad in the world! Things are different now, aren't they? For the last several years due to our schedules and the things that the kids have been involved in, you haven't been with your kids on this day! However, while I was shopping with the girls yesterday, they kept asking me what to get you and what to do for you!!
You are the hero in my life and I am so thankful that my kids have you as their Dad! You were the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning! There are many things that I can do and so much that I can say and this was one place I was determined to say it! Here on my blog where all the world can see it if they want! You are the greatest Dad! My kids are blessed to have you in their lives! There isn't anyone I can think of that any of them would rather be around! Oh I know - David loves to be with Christa but wonder why he doesn't play "football" with her?!?! I know that Carrie loves to be with Josh but no one can take the place of her Dad! Ashley loves to be with - well, anyone - but NO ONE like her Dad!! There is much to said about your leadership in their lives! They simply do not forget the "discussions" at family devotions or simply reading the Christmas story! They have watched you literally shine in the face of adversity time and time again! You are a true example of what Jesus would be in the eyes of this family! We have watched you cry, deal with hurt, suffer pain - both physical and emotional, yet....through it all, you have shown this family what a true Godly man is like!
Thank you for being a great Dad to our kids! Thank you for taking the time that you do with them! Thank you for being more of a "friend" to David - he won't ever forget it! Thank you for accepting Christa! It's funny - she called you "Dad" before she called me "Mom" I think!!!! Thank you for loving Carrie and for teaching her to approach "adulthood" with her head on straight! Thank you for accepting Josh and treating him like one of ours! Thank you for accepting that Ashley is....well, like her mom waaaaaaaaay too much!!! Thank you for TRYING to help her learn that being alone is not always a bad thing!! :))
Most of all, thank you for your NEVER-ENDING patience in teaching this family the path to true holy living! When we think of Jesus, we just instantly think of YOU!! I love you, Dave!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

My New Dining Room

Well, here it is!! The much anticipated, very necessary and positively wonderful new dining room! I guess I should tell you the whole story to give you a better idea of why this is so cool!! When we moved into the house, it was discovered that the north wall (the one with the windows) was not attached to the floor. We were very thankful that we discovered this BEFORE hurricane Wilma made her appearance and so we fixed that problem. However, shortly thereafter we saw this "bulge" beginning in the north-west corner. It quickly became a very large bulge! Anyway, our entrance there was a set of french doors and only one would open and that was only about half-way. We finally decided that it had to be done and so a couple of weeks ago the project was started by Dave, Matt and Terry (his two maintenance men). They moved all the furniture from the dining room into one end of the living room which made life very interesting as we ended up sitting on dining room chairs or fought over who got the soft recliners!! It turned into a bit of a bigger project than what was originally thought and I soon lost the whole front wall of the dining room! However, the finished project is absolutely wonderful and after some very hard work by my wonderful husband and his trusty side-kick Matt, you now get to see the finished project!! As a side-note before you head off into the pictures, posting pictures of my decorating skills requires A LOT from me! It used to really bother me and I always felt quite inadequate in this department! However, I have recently figured out that no one lives there but my family and if we are happy, I have succeeded!! Although, I must admit, I doubt that the members of my family are thrilled beyond words at eating their meals surrounded by bears!!! :)
This is a portion of the wall that is brand new. This is where the french doors USED to be. I now only have one door and I like it! You will notice there isn't a picture of the door or a close-up of the window. Why? Well, I don't have the curtains I want because my wallet and husband had heart failure when the cost of what I WANT was made public knowledge!!

This is the corner of the dining room that started all the problems in the first place!

Not your typical use of a bakers rack but another thing you should know about me is that I move stuff around in my house ALL THE TIME! This is the biggest majority of the bears I own!

This is the wall that separates the living room and the dining room! On the china cabinet are the Cherished Teddies I own and they are probably my favorite. I get a new one every year for Christmas and have been known to get them for special occasions through the year! I LOVE my "new" china cabinet that was given to us by a friend!! The roll top desk is also one of my favorites!! I have always wanted one and when this one became available, I was thrilled!!

The next two pictures are just close-ups of what was already described!

This is my new floor and I absolutely love it! Dave did a fantastic job laying it and I am so proud of him!

So, there you have it! The new dining room!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Update with Pictures

So I finally have a picture of Carrie's very first car!!

It is a 1990 Nissan Maxima and is all paid for! She is very proud of it! She loves the sunroof and tinted windows which of course makes her think she looks cool! She is also learning all about what it costs to fill a gas tank!
Then there is my car! It is a 1995 Nissan Maxima! I know - we have this thing about Nissan's I guess! The cool thing about this is that it is also paid for! That is a wonderful blessing!

I was told earlier that I needed to update my blog so - there ya go!!! I hope to finish the dining room tonight and so maybe I will post pictures of that when it is done!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Just me talking

I am not one of those people that has tons of "self-help" books in my house although I used to have a lot more in my possession than I do now. I finally got to the place where they all just made me frustrated at all the things it seemed I was doing wrong in my life and I got rid of almost all that I owned. However, I know "someone" that has tons and tons of books and thinks that everyone should read and read and gain all the knowledge they can and really pushes the whole idea of what I call "self-help" books! I picked one up yesterday written by an author that seems to have every one's attention. No - I won't tell you who since I will reserve that opinion for myself! You may be able to figure it out but that's ok.
I have had a few people tell me at different times in my life that I don't always have the best attitude about things. Sometimes I get too down or too frustrated or too irritated or too - whatever! I have made a few changes in recent months and have removed myself from several situations that I felt caused me to have an attitude that was somewhat questionable. I started reading this book last night and ran across a few things that have sort of stuck with me which is actually saying something! I don't seem to retain a lot in this brain so when I do, it must be big so I thought I would share them with you.
1) Who we are determines how we see others. If I am grumpy, it's easy to see others as grumpy. If I am happy, it's easy to see others happy!
2) Hurting people hurt people and are easily hurt BY them. Now that one really grabbed me. Sometimes when I am hurting, it is easy to take that hurt out on other people. Also, when I am hurting over a situation, it seems easier for me to get hurt in other areas as well.
3) Each person we meet has the potential to teach us something. To take that a step further, it isn't always something good we are being "taught". Some people we come in contact with just do not help us in any good way!
I guess what it all boils down to is our attitude. I am NOT someone who believes that attitude is everything! I DO think that it can play a huge part in our lives and how we see things. It is easy to have a great attitude when everything is going fine and dandy but it only makes a difference when the obstacles and struggles come along! I wish I could say that I always had a good attitude and handled things "well" in my life! I don't - plain and simple. I am learning I think! Please - don't think that I have this all figured out and instantly will become this positive, upbeat, sunshiny person. I actually let those kind of people irritate the life out of me!!!! It makes me want to bop them upside the head and make them feel pain!!! :) In all seriousness, I am keenly aware of the needs I have to change certain areas of my life. In the past, it was easier for me to "hang around" a situation that was not good instead of just removing myself. I never really wanted to hurt someones feelings so I just sort of stuck it out! Recently though, God has been showing me that I CAN control some things and I don't have to feel guilty when I DO control them. I am realizing more and more that I can't control other people but I can control me and the attitudes that I have.
There may be a few more blogs along this line as I read through this book. So, I guess I should say that not all "self-help" books are bad, right?!?! :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Birthdays and "Bashings"

My Mom's birthday was yesterday and no, I won't spread her age around for all the world to read! However, she has been my mom for 39 years and she gave birth to me when she was 32! Hmmm....wonder if I will see 40?!?!
My mom is great! I love her to pieces! She is living up north with my sister and brother-in-law so I wasn't with her on her special day but I did call her. I am the worlds worst with cards and she WILL get one but I thought I would give half my blog to celebrating her birthday!
I have often been told that I am a LOT like my mom! I guess I am in a lot of ways! My mom used to work a lot at youth camps and the one we attended growing up gave her the nickname of "Mean Momma". Somewhere along the line, I got the name of "Mean Momma the second". Not sure who started that one but I would sure like to remember because I would put them in their place!! Oh wait.....Charlene has called me the "Mother of Mean Looks" more times than I can count!! Guess I am like my Mom!! On the serious side, hope you had a great day, Mom! You are the best and I love you lots!
For the bashing - I think that is a bad thing right? Well, this one is! I had just sat down in church yesterday morning when my cell phone vibrated and off I went. It was Christa calling to let me know that David had spent several hours in the ER due to a "head bashing"! He had been at a friends house working on his car and was on his way back to base when he stopped to help a lady change a flat tire! He was just finishing up when she shut the trunk of her car and the car fell off the jack and cracked him in the head! He finished the job and then promptly drove himself to the ER - like any good Marine I guess!! Anyway, they kept him for observation for a few hours and then sent him back to the barracks where he had 3 different Corpmen checking on him every little bit! I talked to him a couple of times yesterday and each time he got a little more clear and "with it". Its interesting - I was ready to jump in my car and head off to take care of my boy! I know - time to let the boy grow up, right? Uh huh! Sure! Maybe next time!!