Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm going to try this again!

Well, nothing like about spending 10 weeks away! I haven't been sure what to post or if I had anything post-worthy these days.

Nothing is new on the job field. I've averaged a little more than 1 application a week since August 1, and only 1 interview with no result of that yet. The whole process is getting old and I'm praying that God will reveal something soon! There just aren't any editorial jobs open and few others that I qualify for.

Natalie has moved home since the last time I wrote. Even though we don't have much extra space, it has been good having her back. And it came at the perfect time, just before she left her last job. The office situation there was terrible, so I don't blame her a bit. But she is having as much trouble as I am finding new work. So our unemployment rate at home is 50 percent! Yikes!

I did have a three-week period of a little steady work. The job interview I had in October was for a small publisher that produces children's books and teacher supplies, such as certificates, games, and workbooks. Well, they called and needed some freelance work done. I worked about 15-18 hours a week for those three weeks. The drive into Nashville was bum for only half a day's work, and their hours stink
(8:30-5:30), but it was some cash and I am grateful. Plus, the work was fairly enjoyable. But I wonder how serious they are about hiring someone full time, since they haven't made a decision yet.

I'm still working at church for 2-3 hours a week. Budget trimmings affected the publishing of a newsletter, so the 12-15 hours I used to work have disappeared. Oh well. I still hope that God will give me full time work at church. If I can't be at LifeWay, I'd love to be at church.

Natalie and I went to a job fair last week that my career placement guy told me about. But what a disappointment! We drove the 45 minutes to Smyrna to spend 10 minutes walking around a small ballroom with less than 15 vendors/employers set up. And then the job choices were security guards, insurance sales, and cellphone customer service. We walked the circle, then hit the road again. Our time together was fun, though.

Last week I had the opportunity to be part of a writers conference for Student Ministry at LifeWay. It was strange to be a writer/participant instead of the editor/facilitator. They put me up for 2 nights in the Holiday Inn and bought a few meals, so that was nice. I did get to experience my first visit back inside the LifeWay building for lunch one day. I was a little concerned about it, but it was OK. Several folks seemed glad to see me. And being at the conference with my good friends was great!

So, if I don't have any other major freelance work in the next couple of months, I have my hands full writing youth Bible studies. This is a new challenge and I pray that I won't be a disappointment.

Other than that, nothing much is going on. I still work the church library on Thursday evenings and enjoy that.

Today I pray for another family who lost a LifeWay job and the wife was just diagnosed with breast cancer. A health event isn't fun in itself, much less with an unemployment issue.

I'm so thankful for God's provisions! He is faithful and I trust Him.

Till next time!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I've Been a Bum!

I'm back! Yes, I've spent too much time not writing here, but with all the emotions I've felt over the last 4 weeks, it was probably best not to write.

The four of us spent a good day in Dover today with Mom. And Aunt Linda was there too. We six went to our favorite Cindy's for lunch and it was good as usual. Then we spent the afternoon just hanging out. I took a nap! and David hung a curtain rod for Mom. Then got back home around 7:30.

I've been staying pretty busy lately. I'm going in to church on Tuesdays and Thursday to work on the bulletin and newsletter. Then I've had a little freelance writing/editing from a friend that has been fun to do.

The job search is pretty slow. I met with the transition placement guy that LifeWay pays for. I've had to revamp my resume and learn the new mentality of job searches. And I've spent hours online searching every job site I can find and various companies in Nashville. A couple of jobs did come up this week that I applied for, but haven't heard anything yet.

Nat completed her 2nd week of work at the ENT office. So far, so good. She likes it well.

I'm thankful we had a good trip today and for safety on the road. I'm also thankful for God's providing. About one day a week I struggle with things and question why and how. But I know He's in control and I have to wait.

Till next time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's a new world!

Well, things have changed. God is in control and I'm trusting.

LifeWay deleted about 100 jobs last week, including mine. I had been there over 14 years. Perhaps I can go back someday!

The news came on Friday and I stayed the day, instead of leaving early upon getting the news, as offered. Saturday, David and I went in and packed up much of my stuff, which was too, too much. We filled the car! You forget about how much stuff you accumulate over the years, plus a lamp or two, and 5 years of seminary books.

Then I worked all day on Monday. The work was at a good stopping place and the rest of my team was out of the office this week. So I worked the day, emptied the last couple of desk drawers, and said my goodbyes.

I have many, many friends who I'll greatly miss. This will make reasons to try to connect with folks socially, every now and then.

In the meantime, I'm sleeping in some (except that I still wake up at 4:45 a.m.), stay up late some (I'm naturally a night owl), and bumming some. I've had several phone calls from friends, checking on me, and many emails of encouragement. I am blessed! I hope to spend a little time doing some stuff at the house--you know, those things one has trouble getting to. And I hope to find some projects at church to help with.

Thankfully, after a few days of processing, the Lord has given me peace about everything. He is in charge and will order my next steps, as He has the last steps. As one of my writers encouraged me: "God is our Provider and the God of great surprises!" Like a kid at Christmas, I'm ready for my next surprise!

I'm praying for the several others who're experiencing job loss. Also, for little Kennedy, who I've written about before. She's fighting a new infection of some sort that complicates other conditions.

I am so thankful for God's hand! He is Abba Father!

Till later!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Hope everyone is enjoying this Independence Day! I love having the day off!

I've about decided that I have been suffering from Patio Furniture Envy. Now, for the first time in all these years, I'm the owner of real patio furniture. I'm a regular person now!

I guess over the years, my outdoor furniture matched the potential of the outdoor space.

First, I think in my single years I owned a matching set of aluminum and woven web lawn furniture--a chair and a chaise lounge. My space back then was a wooden balcony in my apartment complex. The set just hung out out there until I'd decide to chill on the balcony sometime.

I brought this set into marriage, and when it fell apart (the set, not the marriage!), I bought a plastic-ribbed chaise lounge--one that could be flattened for those periods of sun worshiping that was so "in" back then. It didn't last long either, but not necessarily from use. During this time, we had another small wooden balcony at our Erlanger apartment, then had the backyard with garden at the farmhouse-in-the-suburbs in Florence. Though the backyard wasn't conducive to entertaining and sitting, we did spend a fair amount of time on the front porch, where there was an old-fashioned porch swing! Most excellent! Even though that house had limitations in space and age (a 1920s Sears kit house), I think I enjoyed that place the most. Maybe it was because it was our first real house (not apartment).

The next furniture we owned were two white plastic-coated wire mesh stacking chairs--popular back then. At that point in the mid-80s, we were in our newly built brick ranch in Burlington. There we had this most excellent brick patio that David made with his own hands. He'd be out there digging in the sand and placing those bricks, while 2-year-old Zach poked around the yard, playing. Those chairs fit the bill for a time, then rusted and fell apart. Also during this time, David's siblings and families gave us a stationary bench swing. We enjoyed that on the front porch!

I think the next time we bought patio furniture was maybe to have a couple of the above-mentioned aluminum folding lawn chairs. One had to have something to take to a church picnic!

Our move to Lawrenceburg brought us to the 1920s bungalow house that was never finished, complete with no back door, but a side door. The floor plan just didn't work for having much going on in the back, except for the swing set. Life was hectic at that house, but the neighborhood was great for front-porch sitting. We had a nice large, covered front porch, and had the swing there for a time. I can still see Natalie riding her pink and white Big Wheels up and down the sidewalks.

Our Gallatin house in Tennessee had our first deck, with potential for outdoor activity. But the back of the house faced west and there weren't mature trees to block the setting sun. It was so hot in the summer. The swing was in storage, plus the corner lot exposed the yard to major neighborhood traffic, so we never pursued outdoor life there.

Now in Hendersonville, we have a patio surrounded by tall trees. The old patio is quite sad in appearance, with a few cracks in the concrete. Personally, I'd rather have a deck with a screened area. But until that happens, we're going to make an outdoor space with what we've got! At our nearby big-box store we found a nice wicker-type love seat and chairs with cushions, plus a glass-topped coffee table. Plus, it was name brand and half off! I know we'll be spastic about keeping it protected from weather and bringing it inside occasionally, but it is definitely time for this purchase.

Last night David constructed the two chairs and we sat on the patio watching our town's fireworks display tonight from somewhere in the backyard! Just one mosquito bite, that I know of! I'll have to get some citronella candles for this outdoor living!

So, on my long list of outdoor furniture, that's one marked off. Next will be the screened porch with outdoor dining furniture, then maybe someday some Adirondack chairs under the trees!

Till next time!

I'm thankful for our country's freedom! And praying for Kennedy, who's recovering from spine surgery!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nearly All Day at Church

Well, it is Sunday night again, and I'm just now getting back here. The week has been not one of my best, as it was an extreme roller coaster. I felt pretty blue much of the beginning of the week, but bounced back up fairly well by Wednesday. I'm definitely having to rely on the Lord!

We spent many hours at church today! We went in early for the 8 a.m. service, so played/sang for 3 services instead of just 2. We grabbed a great lunch at Demos with Natalie, then was back at church by 3 p.m. Had patriotic services at 4 and 6, with snacks in between. It was good, but we were glad to get home!

The house has been quiet this weekend. Zach went to Washington DC for a long weekend, visiting some friends from college. He's due back tomorrow night.

Yesterday Natalie went with us yesterday to visit Mom. She's doing pretty well. We did our normal visit to Cindy's for lunch, then back to her house, but this time by way of Fred's and Piggly Wiggly. Wes's daughter Terri and her four children were on their way up from Texas for a visit. So Mom needed to stop for a few things. Our visit was short again, but we had a good time!

Nothing much else is going on. I dread going back to work tomorrow, as always, but at least it is only a 4-day work week. I look forward to better days!

Tonight I'm praying for Kennedy, who has spinal surgery this week. She and her whole family are in Philly for that. Even her dad is in from Afghanistan.

I'm thankful tonight for progress in the healing of Erik, the little boy who nearly drowned a few months ago in an unknown well at his daycare. He's doing well and amazing his parents and rehab staff.

Till next time!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another Sunday night

Well, I had meant to write before now, but it just didn't happen. The week has been long and hard, and full of disappointments. But I won't go into them here.

Natalie had a disappointment too. She flew out of town on a long-anticipated trip to visit an old friend, but the situation there with this girl was unacceptable and Natalie chose to come back home the next day. She felt cheated about her little vacation, and I don't blame her. But she made the right decision.

Saturday David and Zach drove to Louisville for a concert. So Nat and I met at church for a different concert. But we didn't care for the group that much, so left early and went for ice cream! That was nice!

Today we had an extra choir and orchestra rehearsal to prepare for next week's Patriotic Celebration. It went well. I always enjoy this type of music, particularly the marches. They are always a challenge to play, but fun.

I dread Monday mornings, so I dislike Sunday afternoons and nights! I spent some time Friday night reading an old diary, written during my senior year in college. I didn't like Sunday afternoons then either. It was weird reading this diary. It was only for about 10 weeks, but interestingly covered the time when my dad died. I somehow didn't write much on my feelings, but mostly the mechanics. Not that insightful.

I feel somewhat stifled. I don't know that this blog is the best idea. I have much I want to say, but just don't feel the freedom. This is primarily only an exercise in talking around the elephant in the room. But I suppose there is some benefit.

Today I want to ask for prayer for the sister of a friend. She's got cancer again, after surviving breast cancer a few years ago. Not sure what kind of prognosis she has.

I am especially thankful for God's traveling mercies lately. In the last two weeks, we've had round trips to Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Louisville, then Nat's flight to Minneapolis...all without incident. Zach has a trip to DC planned this next weekend, so I pray His cover of protection will remain.

Till next time...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lazy Weekend

Yes, I admit it: I accomplished almost nothing this entire weekend. David and I caught up on some TV and caught up on some sleep. I feel a smidge guilty, but needed the rest. The past month has just been crazy.

Today was a great Father's Day. Church was good. The choir and orchestra did "Thou, O Lord," which always gets to me. Today I remembered how Bro. Glenn would sing along to the song, and I remembered how we all miss him.

After church the family ate at Cheddar's, David's pick. I tried their Philly steak sandwich for the first time. Great!

My children are blessed with their father, as I am blessed to have him as a husband. I'm so thankful God put him in our lives!

My niece is having a life crisis, or at least experiencing something we'd consider a crisis. Unfortunately, I can't help but trace some of the trials that my sisters and their children have gone through to the sins of my father. I'll never understand all that he did and the reasons he had, but know that his choices created baggage in each of his children's lives, and now their offspring. And those choices led to his early death and caused his absence in my life today. I ask your prayers for my niece and that she'll come back to the Lord.

I'm still waiting for the Lord's reveal in other areas. The waiting is more and more difficult. I pray He'll sustain me.

Today I'm praying for the Burgess and Chapman families who lost children in the past six months. I know today has been hard.

I praise the Lord for His provision and love. He is my All in All.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wow, it's over!

Well, my time in Indy has come to a close. I've enjoyed it, even though my feet and knees hurt from the shifts of standing in the booth. I met several new folks, some old classmates from seminary, and even saw two guys I hadn't seen since high school and college. Crazy!

My all-time favorite thing of this time is the luscious stuffed chair in Starbucks. It has a magical affect on me, enveloping me in relaxation. I've been blessed to get to use this chair several times in the last two days. The hotel's free internet service is only in the lobby, so one has to come down to use it or pay for use in the room. But there's just something about this, when you stop and think, you realize you could take a nap right where you are, and you weren't even thinking of a nap before sitting down.

The rains and floods up here have been terrible. Several communities have lost homes and crops from overflowing rivers and creeks. I learned today that some of our SBC folks got stranded on I-65 trying to get up here, while roads were in process of flooding or being closed.

These last days have been good. I've needed the chill time and down time for my brain. There has been too much stress lately and I've overextended myself too.

Nat is still struggling with the job thing. She keeps getting interviews, but that is as far as it goes. She needs to find something soon! I pray it is around the corner!

David is in Cincinnati still, visiting family. He saw one aunt yesterday and another today, both of whom he hadn't seen in quite a while. Plus, he's hanging out with his siblings and getting caught up!

Zach is holding down the fort, but enjoying a quiet house to himself. When David contemplated not going away, Z pushed hard 'cause I know he wanted his own vacation from us!

Better go! I pray for those folks who can't take a break from whatever heartaches they have. I'm blessed to have health and good stuff!

Monday, June 9, 2008

First full day in Indy!

Well, it is Monday night after spending over 7 hours working the Young Adult booth at the Southern Baptist Convention. It was difficult for my knees and feet, so I'll be in trouble in the morning, probably. The marketing people brought a tall bar stool for me to use, but it wasn't like actually having a chair. But working was enjoyable anyway. I enjoy meeting folks. Saw an old friend and some newer friends I hadn't seen in a while, so that was good!

The trip up almost didn't happen. David and I had planned to leave after lunch after church, but that changed. After I dried my hair, I saw light smoke wafting in Zach's room. We had been smelling an electrical burning smell, but thought it was a bad outlet. Well, yes, that was it. I stayed home from church and made David go. Nothing else happened. Also, the Honda isn't performing well. The air is substandard and there's a rattle in the back.

Well, we cancelled David going with me and nixed my driving the Honda. So I had to hustle to find a rental car. Zach drove me to town to get the car and I was on my way. It made me 9 p.m. arriving in a strange place, but it went OK. Also, I regretted that my car didn't have cruise. Boy, do we get spoiled!

Turns out, David went on to Cincy himself today. A friend, Bob, from David's Sunday School class, came over last night and replaced the electrical outlet. Should be OK, at least until I dry my hair again. David wound up having to get a tire fixed this morning before leaving town. So things were crazy!

Well, I'm closing early tonight. Headed to bed to be horizontal, at least. Then will try to get some good sleep!

Oh, I was about 8 feet from Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy today. They brought him into the exhibition hall on a golf cart with security all around. You'd think he was the president! Anyway, he signed copies of his book that people bought in the LifeWay store section of the exhibition hall.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Whew! It's over!

Hurray! VBS is over! Even though David and I are both tired and I was rather stressed through it all, we sort of enjoyed it but were thrilled to be finished. (And I only wrote "Not Sure" on the form to indicate whether I'll be available next year!)

It is crazy how hectic the VBS day is and how little time a worker really has with the children. Of the 18 kids who we met this week, I think I only know the families of perhaps 3. So it is unlikely that I'll ever see these kiddos again. Sad!

Let me do a quick rundown: First there are the two A's. One reminds me a little of Ricky Schroeder with glasses. Decent behavior, and not any trouble. He had a great quote one day. I heard him tell another boy: "Babies are my worst nightmare!" The other A seems a full year older than the others. He was very sharp and interacted well with adults. I'd love to watch him grow up!

One little guy, J, was a tiny guy, but a firecracker! Adorable and sharp as a tack! He'll probably be a surgeon. Another little J, is as fair as the other J is dark. Also a little monkey! He delighted in going against the grain in the Yes/No game. It cracked him up to choose Yes when the obvious answer was No! Too cute.

S, is the new son of some friends. He and his brother were adopted from overseas six months ago or so. Adorable! Quiet and well behaved.

Another S is also the son of friends. Also cute as a button. One morning when I was leading a segment, I ignored his raised hand while I was teaching, until I had a moment to let him have his say. His comment: "Last summer I had a stomach virus!" Funny and so random!

There were at least 5 little guys that I really didn't get to know. Either they behaved so well they blended into the scenery, or they were really quiet.

Two guys were our major discipline problems. I'd love to know what troubles little W. He has a near meltdown every day. At the drop of a hat, he starts a whine that turns into tears. He isn't that loud, but just falls apart at little things, such as wanting to sit by a specific person, or not seeing himself on the video coverage of rally time. I found that he did better on the days that I sidled up to him and assigned myself to him. He seemed to welcome the affection and attention, and behaved a little better.

D was the other troubled child. He has ADD issues and really has problems with that with his mom. He has his own agenda and we had to run herd on him. At one point he wouldn't do what I asked, so when I made a second attempt at having him mind me, he went limp and rolled his eyes to the back of his head. I guess that technique works at home. Wild!

We only had 3 girls! S was sweet and helpful, R was quiet and a little sad, and E also sweet and cute. I'm concerned about R. I don't think I ever saw her smile.

So, needless to say, I won't miss the stress, but will miss some of those little personalities. I do know I'm ready to have little people in my life again!

Changing subjects: Nat had another job interview for an AA job for a small web management company. Maybe she'll have a shot. She didn't get the pediatrician office job. Come on, people! Somebody give her a chance!

Zach also had some breakthrough about his job. He has lots more responsibility, so he could use an upgrade!

Well, I'm going. Till next time!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It has been Vacation Bible School week!

Wow, the last few days have been hectic! I should've been writing, but there hasn't been time. I haven't even read for leisure, as I had been doing prior to the last few weeks.

David and I donated our Memorial Day to help Robin and Micky do some moving. They were in that really awful early time of a move when you're still packing, but needing to move stuff out. We helped finish loading their trailer, then loaded David's pickup. I didn't move much since the tendonitis in my elbow remains an annoyance. But I filled a few boxes of pantry stuff and taped broken boxes. Just as we pulled out to head from Donelson to Fairview, the clouds broke open and torrents of rain fell. We drove a fair amount in pretty strong rain, then stopped to eat lunch at the Loveless Cafe. Yum! Thankfully, our 40-minute proposed wait was only 20!

Their new place is about 7 miles south of Loveless, and totally in the middle of nowhere, it seems. But it is cute. Just a two bedroom with basement. Very secluded. Just seems strange to go from being in the center of Donelson, with a landing pattern overhead, to a "holler" with poison ivy all around. I'm afraid I wouldn't do well there.

That whole week was spent finishing this crazy chair I'd been working on. David helped much with cleaning out the grooves, staining it, and dealing with attaching and reattaching the cushion seat. I don't want to see another one of those, ever. I undercharged her, so I lost money.

Then I spent the next several days finishing the first draft of teaching plans for Camp Kaboom. Hopefully there won't be too much revision and the bulk of the work is done.

Despite the stress of getting that chair out of the house Friday afternoon and needing to work on Kaboom, it was a tremendous feeling that day knowing I had a break from work. We started working Monday in Kindergarten VBS. I was a co-leader and was fairly frustrated with the curriculum. They offer just too much, plus it is so confusing. Also, the communication from leaders at church was poor. A lot of what I stressed over was unnecessary. I'll know not to volunteer next year.

The kids have been fun, though. We totally got slammed with an uneven boy-to-girl ratio. We've had 17 kids each day, with the addition of one on the same day another child was absent, so we had a total of 18. But 15 were boys! At least two have major ADD issues and needed extra attention. But we've enjoyed most of the personalities.

The air conditioning compressor in our wing at church was faulty this week. Of course, Nashville had temps in the 90s this first week of June! So most days we felt so gross and sweaty! Today was a tad better, since we saw a repairman yesterday.

We've decided the best part of VBS is the break for workers. They have a huge spread of food--everything from muffins and sweet rolls, to sandwiches, chips & dip, and desserts. The rally time has been not as bad as I expected. The catch is, you can't get those songs out of your head!

David especially enjoyed being the only male worker to accompany the boys into the restroom. Most of the church's lavatories have motion sensor soap dispensers. The little guys enjoyed getting the foamy soap out and pretending it was shaving cream! David said bathroom break was like a circus, even with just 5 boys at a time!

Today I heard a real funny. In rally, the mission money reporter mentioned the amounts the different grade levels have brought in. After she mentioned the preschool department of toddlers and babies, one little boy in our class said to another, "Babies are my worst nightmare!" So funny!

So, with tomorrow being the last day, we'll miss the young'uns, but will be glad to be finished. This commitment is the culmination of the triple threat commitments, lately, that have taken so much of my time. I look forward to the break!

The family met for supper tonight. It was nice. Natalie is still doing some interviews and always looking for new opportunities. She's still hoping to get good news from the doctor's office where she interviewed, but can't get an answer from the office manager. She has another interview tomorrow, but it is for part-time work, which means she'd still need another job.

Better go! Still need to finish preps for tomorrow's VBS.

Today I'm praying for Joyce, a coworker who has breast cancer. Reports are that surgery went well.

I'm very thankful for my church and the impact it makes for the kingdom.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Nice Sunday

It was a good day in church today. We had both a Gideon speaker and a guest preacher. The Gideon guy was pretty good and also had a short video. The catch on the video was to imagine singing "Jesus Loves Me" without using His name or the Bible's name. Interesting! Then Richard Ryan Jr. preached, son of church member and fellow LifeWay worker Richard Sr. and son-in-law of our dear passed Bro. Glenn. Richard's message was good, as always. It was so appropriate to hear him today, this being Memorial Day weekend. Richard is an active Navy chaplain and Irag veteran.

We did some great music today. We did a patriotic piece that our Keith Christopher arranged. Senator Orrin Hatch was one of the lyricists. The name of it was "Blades of Grass and Pure White Stone." It has an accompanying video and was very nice. We also did the "Praise the Lord" piece from our presentation last month. I do enjoy that song, especially the last 16 measures or so. And when several folks rose to their feet at that point, it just blessed me so! I could have really cried a bit!

Lunch today was one of our favs: Demos. Just can't beat it! We had a good time and had good food too!

Natalie and I went shopping again, but only because I started to have second thoughts about the sweater set I bought yesterday. So we ran over to Cato after finishing lunch. We both tried on several things. She had more luck at finding some decent stuff, but didn't buy anything. I found a couple of pretty blouses, but didn't care for them after all. I did find another royal blue sweater that both looked better and felt better on. The only glitch was that it needed a camisole, and I found a black one that will work fine. This royal blue is almost electric, but still very pretty. It will be nice to have something new. I enjoy wearing colors that make me feel good!

Tonight I wrestled with the idiotic chair that I had to cane. I was happy to help Ms. Frances from the senior apartment complex, but I'll never do another chair like that again. I hate doing pressed cane seats, much less a rounded back, in an irregular shape, on a chair with wheels.

Also, I spent some time studying the VBS stuff. Either I am missing some stuff and/or things are more complicated than they need to be. Suddenly I'm not just a helper, but leading the thing. Not what I volunteered for. I hope it will come together soon!

It is midnight already! I do like staying up late when I don't have to get up early in the morning! And I didn't take a nap today, either, so I'm ready.

We're running over to Robin's tomorrow to help them move a few things...not that I'm that much help to anyone!

Today I found a blog for a missionary family in Mexico. Not sure who their sponsoring agency is. But they have 11 children. The newest is only about 6 weeks old, and the dad just had emergency surgery for possible cancer. It is hard enough to imagine living on the mission field, but with 11 children? and with a life-threatening emergency? They can surely use our prayers.

I am thankful for my great church! I love feeling the Spirit move, amidst the large variety of music styles and worship preferences! We are so blessed there!

Till later!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Beautiful Saturday

What a nice day! Natalie and began the day with Starbucks and a visit to Jason and Shelley's giant yard sale. I found a great footstool: cherry cabriole legs with a blue toile slipcover over an older upholstered cushion. It totally matches my bedroom and will go with the chair I don't have yet.

Then Nat and I went clothes shopping. Though I wasn't terribly thrilled with the choices, I did find a sweater set in royal. I do enjoy jewel tones! The cardigan is short-sleeved with some laciness, over a spaghetti-strapped camisole. Definitely a little different for me, but I think it will work.

The rest of the day was about a trip to Walmart and working on the teaching plans for middle school camp. Still have a little more work to do on that. And I didn't get to touch the chair caning job. Tomorrow!

In this blog I will reflect on some of my earliest memories. While I can't remember the first house my family lived in, I do remember living near a large church that had kindergarten or day care. I went to VBS one year and saw little pallets in the room, for when the children taught in that room got to take a nap. I remember thinking how cool that was! I wanted to take a nap at church!

That house was on a dead-end street, that backed up to Shelby Park. Just before I turned four, we moved to the house of most of my early memories. Rita was born soon after. The front and side yard were bordered by hedges of shrubbery, with little branches that were easily stripped of their leaves to become switches for paddling my legs! I also remember playing on the swing set in the backyard, picking strawberries from the small patch, finding an old 45 record near the garbage can, and the time when bagworms were so bad on the trees the worms were all over the house. This house was heated by a ooal furnace, and had a little square door on the side of the house where the coal truck would deliver loads of coal. That experience was always noisy and a little scary. Rita and I played in the basement a lot. She rode her tricycle all around, and we'd play Lord's Supper with our metal toy dishes, crumbled saltines, and Welch's. This house is where we lived when I had measles and mumps, where we hatched duck eggs, and where I got my first bike, first Barbie, and first watch. The tiny house became even tinier on school nights when I'd have to go to bed early, but the rest of the family stayed up to watch TV and eat popcorn! So sad! Oh well, I survived!! :)

Enough memories for now. I pray for Zach who is seeing God do some things in his life. He makes me proud!

Till next time!

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's a holiday weekend! Woo Hoo!

I found this photo this week on Facebook. Mike McClanahan posted it among others he took on a trip to Ireland. I just love this scene! Ireland is a place I'd like to visit!

Yes, this is one of my favorite times of the year: the afternoon at the beginning of a long holiday weekend!

Natalie had some good news yesterday and today. She had a callback from a job lead, and waits to hear about an interview. Then today she received a call about a job at a doctor's office where she had dropped a resume two months ago. They didn't have an opening then, but do now! So she has an interview on Wednesday!

Our friends Jason and Shelly are having a giant garage sale tomorrow to raise money to adopt two children from Ethiopia. I found a couple of things to give them that I was going to put on Craigslist. Zach heard from the Lord and gave them a couple of his prized possessions with significant value. Jason and Shelly were overwhelmed. He said that God told him to do it. I'm so proud of him and how God is using him.

The weekend will probably be very busy. I still have a chair to finish caning, after much trouble ripping out the old. Then I've got some writing and studying to do for church projects.

Work will be really hectic next week. I'll be out some the next week with VBS at church, then there's four days the next week in Indianapolis at the SBC meeting. That will be my second time at the SBC, though this time to work for LifeWay and not as a seminary student being a page for the meeting. I'm looking forward to it. David is going to drive up with me, then go on to NKY to visit with family those four days.

It is a very sad time for the Steven Curtis Chapman family. They lost their 5-year-old daughter in a tragic accident when her brother backed down the driveway and hit her. We must remember them in prayer. Also, a friend at church lost his father yesterday to cancer.

I am thankful for small surprises, and how God drops one or two in your lap every now and then. I hope to elaborate more later.

Blessings to all! Later!

Friday, May 16, 2008

It was a great Mother's Day!

Yes, again I am behind writing! Sorry!

Last weekend was a very nice Mother's Day. On Saturday we drove the 2 hours to Dover to spend part of the day with Mom. Natalie went with us, but Zach had something he was doing that night.

For lunch we four went to our favorite Dover restaurant, Cindy's. This renown fried fish place is known for their fresh fish, primarily. But they have a remarkable hamburger, as well as a chef salad. Best anywhere! Natalie and I usually get burgers, but this time Mom and I both got salads. We ordered half salads, and it was still larger than we could eat!

Then we went back to Mom's house and David did a few chores for her, such as hanging some pictures. Even though that isn't his favorite thing to do, he did it cheerfully! Mom made a fresh strawberry pie and we all enjoyed that. Unfortunately, we all got a little sleepy and took naps! But that's part of being "home!"

Sunday morning was a good normal day at church, then the fam took me to Demos's, one of my favorites! We had a great time! Then we came home for the homemade cheesecake David made! It was the best, the real thing! He is so good! I received several nice gifts and cards: a large pot of purple flowers for the front porch and a Lane Bryant gift card from David; a Bath Junkie gift card from Zach; and a personalized thermal coffee mug and a Godiva white chocolate bar from Natalie! I am blessed!

The week was fairly uneventful. Nothing too outstanding to report.

It is now Friday and I'm am thrilled. I don't have much planned for the weekend, except to catch up. I've got the chair to cane (the supplies finally arrived), Kindergarten VBS to prepare for, some writing to do for Women's Ministry, and teaching plans to write for the middle school summer camp. I've taken on too much, I think!

I am thankful for a peaceful week and my family's health.

I am praying for the Pollock family in Florida. They lost their dad and 13-year-old son/brother this week when dad's small plane crashed in NC. He was the pastor of a large Baptist church in Brandon, and leaves his wife and five other children.

Till next time!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Been Too Long!

Yes, I've been a slacker at writing. It hasn't been that I've not had anything to say; I've just had too much to say to write.

Even though work has been hectic as normal, the week has gone fairly fast. I've had several meetings all week, plus plenty to do in between. That's probably why.

I had a good meeting at church Monday night. I'm working with a few others to create some Bible studies for middle school camp this summer. It should go well.

I suppose stress is manifesting itself in my health a little more these days. I couldn't fall asleep Sunday night until nearly 1 a.m. Then it happened again last night. So I'm dragging tonight. Headed to bed as soon as Lost is over. I try to watch the caffeine, so it must be stress.

We're headed to Mom's on Saturday. It will be great to spend the day with her and hang out the day before Mother's Day!

I'm thankful tonight for family! And I'm praying for those families who've lost someone and are learning how to live without their loved one.

Till next time!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Short on Sunday

I realize that I haven't written in a while, so will do something short now. It is bedtime on Sunday night and I need to hit the bed.

The weekend was good and relaxing. Basically just saw a movie with Natalie, grocery shopped, and poked around the house some. Didn't get near done what I should have.

David and I ate at our new Qdoba restaurant down the road. I love that place and that it is so close! I still need to visit Red Robin, but that will have to wait. Also found a new pair of sandals at Rack Room. Hadn't shopped there before and found what I was looking for. Paid a tad more than usual, but it was tax-free weekend and they were on sale too. Plus, my normal cheap places didn't have anything I liked. I hope to get a couple of summers from them.

We had Home Reach meetings tonight instead of church. We have such a great group of neighbors/fellow church members. I hope we can finish our house this summer so we can host the group in the fall. But we still have rooms to paint, pictures to hang, and the dining room wallpaper to strip.

Tonight I am praying for Caroline, the 18-year-old daughter of friends. She has chosen a lifestyle with a boyfriend rather than following her Christian upbringing. Her parents have asked her to leave their home, so I also lift them to the Father. I pray that the Lord will break this girl's heart for Him.

I am thankful for my children and their lives. I look forward to what the Lord is going to do through them.

Till next time!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm in North Carolina!

Today is Tuesday and I just finished my one-day writers conference with Charity Roberson, the campus minister at NC State University. We had a good conference, with a few students, but as many as usual. The main thing is we worked through all the outlines on Psalms and got some good ideas for Charity to draw from as she writes. I think she will do fine!

It is raining here and has off and on the whole time I've been here. My flight yesterday was delayed on the runway in Nashville, then was fairly bumpy during the last half of the flight. I found my way to campus and my hotel pretty well, no thanks to Google Maps. It did not give me the correct highway number. But I found my way anyway. The campus is fairly spread out and not especially pretty, but in a quaint area. The homes are mostly 1920s-style--typical campus-town-style and my favorite!

Not far from the hotel and the BSU is Cameron Village, a fairly new shopping district. I found Starbucks for breakfast, then we went there for lunch at Moe's Southwest Grill. That was my first time for Moe's. I liked it!

The hotel is so-so. The room is fine, but the place as a whole, is older and overpriced. It could use a remodel that pays attention to detail!

And it is back to the airport in the morning to come home. These shorter conferences work OK, but there is added pressure to get everything covered in just a day. And you wind up traveling two days of the three involved. But I like to travel.

Now, as soon as I get back home, normal life starts again. Dinner theater is over, so no more rehearsals! The three performances went pretty well and it was great fun! It always feels crazy to be so glad for something to be over, but you miss it. Just like finishing seminary!

Today I'm praying for those who grieve. I know while we go about our routines, some folks are hurting very deeply.

I'm thankful for God's promises to uphold us during our trials. He is so good!

Later! That's all for now.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Friday!

Wow! I'm both a little pumped this morning and still tired! Last night was opening night of "One Mad Night," our church dinner theater production. I played a doctor again, but enjoyed it. Funny, but three different folks from the audience asked "Didn't you play a doctor last year?" Funny!

The play went pretty well. The crowd wasn't too large, but that's OK. Perhaps it will be better tonight and tomorrow night. I remembered all my lines, and even was thrown under the bus by one castmate. He totally forgot his line and threw the dialogue back to me. I had to reword my line to get us back on track. I don't think it was too obvious. It felt good to be the one to rescue the moment.

This morning I was awoken from a deep sleep by a low vibration and rattling glass. I immediately thought it was a piece of my delft porcelain on my dresser hitting the mirror or against another piece. Or it could have been the globe and glass shade in my bedside lamp. Then I fell into a deep sleep and barely even heard Zach getting ready for work. Since I took a vacation day today, I was sleeping in! I woke to tell David goodbye and mentioned the vibration I heard. Then he called to tell me that he'd heard on the truck radio that there had been an earthquake in Illinois during the morning. I felt it! Crazy!

I am so excited for a beautiful day of vacation and running a few errands. I'm headed to the chiropractor shortly, since I'm traveling next week for work and cannot make my regular appointment. Then later I'm going to get my hair trimmed and will chill for the rest of the day until needing to go to church for Play Round 2.

The neighbors had their baby this week. This is number 7 for this muslim family. Sam is 7th grade, Rita 3rd, Dema 2nd, Romy 1st, Rana Kindergarten, Dani age 2, and now little Sayid. Rana seems to be doing well after her trip to Philadelphia Children's Hospital and her pancreas surgery. I'm not sure what kind of work dad Mo is doing since his gasoline station has closed. I remain concerned about their finances and how they manage.

Today I'm praying for the family of April, a best friend of a friend at work. April died yesterday after her parents removed her from life support. April's husband recently severely beat her and caused brain damage. Her parents did not know she was in an abusive marriage and are seeking custody of her two small children. The husband/killer goes on trial in a few weeks. Unreal!

I'm thankful for life and health! With the stress I've had lately, it is amazing nothing has manifested itself. I pray it remains that way!

Till next time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy birthday to Natalie!

Well, I'm a few hours behind schedule, but I can still offer these blog wishes to Nat! Yesterday, Monday the 14th, was her 23rd birthday, or 8403rd day of life. She has brought us much delight!

I continue to pray that her job situation will change soon. She has determined that customer service by phone is not her gift. And we all want to be working in the areas of our gifts! I know that her birthday falling on a Monday in that type of office setting can make for a crazy day!

This is a wild week for the dinner theater. We're down to the wire now. We had our first dress rehearsal last night and have another tonight. Then Wednesday we'll run lines one last time. The performance will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We had hoped that the new fellowship hall with a grand stage and updated kitchen would be complete, but it is not--and just barely not! So that means no dinner for the dinner theater, plus tickets are free! We hope there will be a decent crowd! Unfortunately the publicity for the play was minimal.

This past Sunday night was our Spring choir and orchestra program. Sunday was a long day, with two presentations back to back, but it was good and always worth it. The music is so good and difficult to get out of one's head!

Today I pray for Natalie and that God's will for her life will become more evident. We love her so much! I also lift up our friend Cathy Hill, whose husband Gordon went on to heaven last week. Gordon was our contractor on the tornado house repairs, and they both became great friends.

Even though my schedule has been really hectic lately, such as being at church every day for two weeks straight, I am thankful for opportunities to throw myself into something. The timing is always when I need it!


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stuff I Forgot Yesterday

Well, in all my gabbing yesterday, I totally forgot the anniversary. I guess that was actually a good thing.

Two years ago yesterday was the Hendersonville/Gallatin tornado--the day we'll always remember. Obviously we didn't go out to celebrate Zach's birthday as we had planned. We instead sat in traffic trying to get into Gallatin to get home, then finally wormed our way there, only to have a police escort to our front door, completely kicked in, with the Emergency Management tic-tac-toe marking on the house, designating that it had been checked for injured or trapped people. We used an officer's flashlight to see to grab overnight clothes and valuables, then searched the county for a hotel room. Thus began the six-month journey through packing and moving, dealing with insurance adjusters and contractors, and our move to Hendersonville--all amidst tremendous blessings. God is good! We weathered it fine, though seeing tornado damage on TV still sends my heart to my throat.

Yesterday Natalie had an interview for a possible new job with a local doctor. It is a temporary maternity leave position that could possibly go permanent. The plus would be the Hendersonville location and that she'd then be trained for medical office work and could have experience for work elsewhere. So we're hoping it will be!

On our hearts tonight is Gordon, our friend from church who is losing his battle with cancer. We sort of knew who he and his wife were, from the choir, but weren't really acquainted. They came to us just after the tornado to offer their contracting skills on the house repairs. Just out of love, they gave their time and helped us avoid scams or anyone who'd try to take advantage of us. Anyway, he's in much pain and they don't expect him to last much longer. I've never seen such a servant!

I am thankful tonight for many great friends who continue to lift me up when I need it! I so appreciate them!


Monday, April 7, 2008

It's Zach birthday!

Well, 26 years ago today, in the Catholic hospital St. Elizabeth, in Covington, Kentucky, Zachary Jordan Delph arrived. He was 7 lbs., 8 oz., and 21 inches long.

Wow, have we come a long way! Now he's 6'6" and about 280! He's still a sweety!

Yesterday was the beginning of a long, busy 2 weeks! After church yesterday, we grabbed a quick lunch at Zach's favorite Sunday lunch out: Captain D's. Oh, how he loves the all-you-can-eat! Then I was off to church for 4 hours of rehearsals: 2 hours for dinner theater and 2 for choir/orchestra. The Spring concert is next weekend, and the play the next, so it is crunch time.

Last night Zach and Natalie went out with a bunch of Z's friends for his birthday celebration at Black-Eyed Pea. There were about 15 of them, just for Z. They had fun.

Today I took Z to lunch at one of our favorites: Five Guys. If you're ever near Vanderbilt and want a great burger, try Five Guys. It is in a new complex on West End, where Fuddruckers used to be. The burgers are good and juicy, and the fries quite tasty!

Tonight we did Z's favorite home meal: Skyline Chili. Natalie came over and ate with us, then had birthday cake! I had to run to play practice, Z was going to a friend's to watch basketball, and Nat was meeting a girlfriend. I came home a little early (Yay!) to find David asleep on the couch! His normal spot!! :)

Happy birthday, Z!

I continue to be thankful for my family! Where would I be without them?!

The Smith family welcomed their newborn to the world and spent just over 2 hours with her before she went to heaven. We must continue to remember them.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Another Saturday post!

Well, it seems like I only post on Saturdays, at least lately. That's not my preference, but probably best.

The week was long and busy, like normal. As much as I enjoy dinner theater, these last weeks get long. Plus, there's the Spring choir and orchestra program next weekend. I think I only have 2 free nights for the next 2 weeks. But that's OK.

Last Monday was a momentous night. Zach played in a band accompanying a girl who sang for the Tennessee 4-H Congress at the War Memorial Auditorium. We were able to attend. It was a late night, since they didn't play until 9:15. That made it a late night, but it was fun.

Natalie came over last night for supper and to watch a movie. She had rented The Last Sin Eater and wanted us to see it. She hasn't heard anything on last week's job interview, but did get a nibble on another. She has an interview Monday for a temporary job at a local dr's office. The job could turn permanent, so it will be a good opportunity.

I finished another baby afghan in time for another shower. Today was the shower for Lewis and Mary Lea. She got lots of cute things. It will be so fun to see that little guy, when he arrives! I hope we can babysit him!

Zach has been playing guitar a lot this weekend. The worship band for our contemporary services are playing for a 2-night revival in Westmoreland. Aarron, our evangelism pastor, is preaching. I hope Rita and Shelby are able to attend.

I've not gotten much accomplished today, once again. But with everything that's going on, maybe I'm not supposed to. Rest is good.

I'm praying this week again for the Smiths, who's baby will be delivered on Monday, Zach's birthday. I pray God's will be done and He upholds this family through whatever happens.

I'm thankful He promises never to leave us! He is amazing!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gloomy Saturday!

It has been a blur of a week. Not too much extra going on, but just a week full of stuff.

Church dinner theater is actually No-Dinner Theater this year. The new fellowship hall at church with a grand new stage will be finished in time, but without the state/county documentation for occupation. So we're relegated to use the chapel stage again. But the kitchen facilities won't be available, so there will be no real dinner. We may have popcorn or snacks, so that might help!

Rehearsals were heavy this week, with a Monday rehearsal since Sunday was Easter. Then there were normal Tuesday and Thursday rehearsals too. Tomorrow is Off-Book Day. I need to really work tonight and tomorrow to try to get those last few lines ingrained in my head!

Thursday Zach and I left work early to attend the funeral of my former coworker Lee Sizemore. He was the driving force at LifeWay to begin the video-driven Bible studies that most all churches utilize. He made Beth Moore famous. She even spoke at the funeral! It was a nice service. Zach saw Lee as a mentor, in a way. Lee gave Zach an internship at LW, before Zach graduated and was employed full time.

David has been on Spring break this week. I can pride myself to say that I never asked him what he was doing that day or why didn't he tackle such-and-such project? It was a "Honey-Do-List"-free holiday! He did get some things accomplished, but not necessarily things on my list! That's OK!

Natalie is looking for a new job. Her manager knows she cannot afford the drive to work if the office moves farther away. She's been busy taking resumes to doctors' offices, testing at an employment center, and responding to jobs online. Friday she had two responses! One opportunity for office work fell through when they couldn't offer enough pay. She's in a spot where she can take a slight pay cut to compensate for the different in the drive/gas, but if they don't offer insurance benefits, it's a no-deal. She had two interviews on Saturday. This morning I sat in the car while she went to a meeting for a potential nanny job. The home is only 6 miles from her place, so that would be convenient. But she isn't sure that's what she wants. Another interview was for a new shop going into an H'ville development. But they advertised falsely by teasing with benefits when there are none. She just cannot do a pay cut with no benefits. Hopefully something else will come about!

Everything else is about the same. Most things are fine, others are not. I continue to lean on the Lord. He is faithful! I am thankful that He promised never to leave me alone!

On my mind this week has been a family who is facing the upcoming birth of their baby who won't live long, according to doctors. Of course, God is in control! I pray for them to continue to hold His hand.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

The weekend's halfway over!

We've had a good few days! I've enjoyed having some time off work, even though the weekend itself would be fairly busy.

I slept in Friday, which was great! After hanging out for while during the morning, I ran to Rivergate to look at clothes--not really looking for an Easter outfit, but just a Spring sweater or two. Found some, then battled the crowd at Walmart! Plus, the road was full of crazy drivers!

Nat came over for supper, then we were going to the Good Friday service at church. I stayed home with stomach cramps and missed the service. Don't know where that came from. Really didn't feel very good for several hours.

This morning we got up early and headed to Dover--all four of us! We hung out with Mom a while, plus did a few jobs for her, such as David hanging a curtain rod and us installing guards on her breakfast chair legs. Her new floors and paint jobs look great!

We later ran to our favorite Dover eatery: Cindy's. While they are known for catfish and their lunch buffet, they also have great cheeseburgers. Nat and I especially enjoy them.

Not long after we got back to Mom's, Robin and Mickey arrived. They were staying overnight. Then we all tackled a huge job: moving Mom's dining room suite from the living room to the den, and moving some of the den furniture to the living room. That will make her living room look more normal, rather than being a large dining room. Mickey will also change some of her light fixtures, plus they may do some painting for her. She still has a few rooms to knock out.

We had a good drive home (I even took a nap!), and were back before dark. Zach was supposed to get together with a school friend, but it fell through. David and I ran to Walmart to get a couple of ingredients for tomorrow's lunch! I hope to create a glaze for my ham that will mimic the honeybaked ham flavors.

Better go! It is late and I need to cook a little before going to bed. Plus, we will be doing 3 services tomorrow, so it will be a long morning.

It will be a great Resurrection Day!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Yes, I wore green today--sort of.

Well, today was St. Patrick's Day and no one questioned the color of my clothing. That's rare. Some years I've been fussed at for forgetting to wear green, then I raise my right hand and show my college ring with the jade inset. (Oh, today I wore teal.)

I have fun memories of this celebration: in Erin, TN. When I was a kid, we often went to visit my grandparents on the weekend of their yearly celebration. It was always exciting to go to the tiny downtown square to see the parade and all those silly people with green hair! Yes, I am proud of my Scotch-Irish heritage; I can verify the lineage! But since I'm not Catholic and do not drink beer, the day's significance doesn't mean as much!

Today was an unusually nice Monday, so that probably means another day this week will be wicked. Work was OK and not terribly stressful. In fact, I visited with a student friend who flew into town for an interview. I met Erica at Collegiate Week at Ridgecrest, got acquainted, then used her to write devotions. We met for lunch before she had to go to her interview. I hope she gets the job!

I talked to my next BCM director/writer and host of my next writers conference. That trip to NCSU in Raleigh, NC, will be in about 5 weeks. I haven't been to Raleigh before, so I'm looking forward to it.

Friday night Zach was watching the SEC basketball championships, tuning in to the end of one game to be ready for the UK game. He happened to be watching the game in overtime when the tornado hit the Georgia Dome. He called out to me from his room for me to leave my movie and turn to that channel. We watched nothing productive for about an hour as the people in that building marvelled at the rippling curtain roof of the dome and the swaying scaffolding. They had no idea that a tornado had hit. Today I learned that one of my managers was there that night. He said it was sort of crazy! I can imagine! I learned that night that I'd do well not to personally experience a tornado again, as it is very difficult (more unnerving) to see TV coverage of them.

Well, I'd better close. I'm thankful for God's hand being on us as we move through life. He knows better than I do, so I don't need to try to drive!

I'm in prayer for Renee and Kennedy at the doctor in PA and for baby Audrey's family. Audrey is due to arrive in this world in a couple of months, but probably will not survive.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Busy Weekend!

Wow, I hadn't realized so much time had passed since I last wrote. Not a lot has happened, but then again, things have been hectic.

David is in Washington D.C. with 40 middle-schoolers and a couple of other school staffers. They left Wednesday and will be home on Sunday. Sounds like a whirlwind trip. He's having fun!

I've had tons of work at work this week and lots of meetings and classes. But that makes the week go faster!

Dinner theater rehearsal are fast and furious! It does seem crazy how we've never had the entire cast there at the same time. Someone is always sick or has something else going on. I guess inconsistent attendance or lack of commitment is a pet peeve, particularly when you give your time to do something.

Anyway, this week I'm thankful for ways the Lord provides encouragement to me.

My prayer concerns are for those families with children who are ill. There are several on my heart.

Till next time!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What a beautiful weekend!

Wow, am I sorry that the weekend is nearly over! It was gorgeous here! And the weekend was way too short! Can Spring be far behind?

Natalie came over Friday night for pancakes and we watched TV and hung out a while, until she and Zach decided to go to a late movie.

Saturday I went to a baby shower, then to Mary Ann's for a hair trimming. The shower was sweet and the soon-to-be new mommy got lots of cute stuff. That baby girl will be wonderfully dressed! This was my second shower in two weeks. It is very cool to see these new little families begin. Several of Zach's peers (and also our friends) are young couples with new babies or expecting them! The shower attendees are a great mix of young and my age women.

Nothing much new happened around the house. I was able to sort through a couple more boxes, and threw away some stuff. Every little bit helps! Still want to work in the dining room!

Sunday was extra beautiful! I slipped out of third service during the first prayer and only stayed long enough to do the orchestra prelude. Then I had to book it down to the college class. Jason had asked me to teach for him. That was enjoyable. When he called me Thursday, he admitted that he should kick himself for having not asked me sooner. It went well. Wish I could do it more often.

Tonight was definitely a sunroof night. After having dinner theater rehearsal this afternoon, I went by the house and picked up David to make a Starbucks run down the road. That was a big splurge!! Two 50-somethings in our 11-year-old car with a sunroof, thinking we're really living! Ha!

Our neighbors next door are home from Philadelphia. Dad Mo and 5-year-old Rana have been at the Children's Hospital there since before Christmas. Rana had pancreas surgery for overproduction of insulin. Not sure when they got home, but I'm sure Mom Lulu and the other 5 kids are glad they're home.

I've got several folks on my heart for prayer today. I learned that two men we know from church have cancer, though we don't know yet the prognoses. Another dear friend is in his last days from his cancer. And a friend of my mother's has had a recurrence of his cancer. It surely seems rampant!

Today I'm so thankful for salvation and God's provision to us. I continue to wait for His hand in specific areas of my life.

Till next time!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Wow, I didn't realize it had been a week since I had posted. I knew I had skipped a few days, but not a week!

Things are fairly so-so. Honestly, I've been a little down lately. I've taken my focus off the Lord and onto myself. I keep watching for Him to move, but I'm not seeing anything different. I realize that I only see a small version of the bigger picture, and cannot see what lies ahead. So I have to remind myself to be still and wait. I can't get ahead of Him!

Dinner theater practices have begun. I am playing a doctor at an insane assylum, again. Some of my lines and events in the play are strangely similar to last year's play. But the play is definitely not the same. We have several new folks in the cast this year and the cast is larger as well. We still have only read the first two acts, so we don't even know how the play ends. Should be fun!!

Our friends Keith and Kim will be in the air tonight for the long trip home from China. And their little Sadie will arrive with them! We are excited for them!

I'd like you to remember my friend Renee and her family. They have so many challenges, yet she remains cheerful and energetic! Her youngest daughter is dealing with a spinal situation and could face surgery. I lift them up! I don't know how Renee does all she does!

I'm thankful for God's provision! He is always there for us!

Till next time!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Babies, the Flu, and Elbows

Today we got to see pictures of our friends Keith and Kim's new 10-month-old daughter from China! She's adorable and we are anxious to meet her. They have been in the adoption process for over two years, so we're happy it is finally happening. I'm so thankful that little orphan babes are finding homes, and that loving parents are growing their families. We'll be praying for their safe return home from China next week.

On Saturday Natalie and Zach both got to see our friends' new baby Judah. They say he is very cute and tiny!! You forget how tiny newborns are! I'm anxious to see him too! His mom said they really like the baby afghan I made.

Every Sunday after I leave the orchestra pit following the third service, I walk "miles" to the other end of the church campus to where the college class meets. In the hallways I always get to see the tot buggies roaming around. Childcare workers push these 6-seat carts of cuties up and down the long halls. It is amusing to see when the carts come to a slanted ramp as the elevations change throughout the buildings. The kiddoes already know at this young age that at the top of a ramp they are to raise their arms to anticipate the decline, as when riding a roller coaster! They are so fun to see! Our little friend Nomi is usually on one of the buggies I see and I always talk to her, but she doesn't know me well enough yet to respond. Someday!

Well, the flu is hitting more and more folks! At least two, if not three, from my floor at work. Unfortunately, Natalie's roommate is sick too! I'm afraid no amount of antiseptic spray and hand washing prevented it! I hope her flu shot will lessen the effects.

Today I finally made a trip to the orthopedic folks at TOA. After my last flight to Oregon for a writers conference, I managed to aggravate the tendonitis in my elbow with my baggage shuffling. No amount of self-massage, anti-infammatories, exercise, and armband wearing over the last month has helped. So I gave in and surrendered myself to the torment of a cortisone shot. They hurt worse each time, somehow! But hopefully, this round of annoyance will be over soon.

Tonight we tried a new recipe for a mexican casserole. Very easy, as the directions promised, and quite good. Still haven't convinced Zach to try it yet, though. He's a purist, and doesn't care for the additional ingredients that make it a casserole! Maybe we can convince him next time!

Great news! David, being off from school today because of President's Day, rummaged around in the large storage room we call the garage. He stumbled upon a container of current clothes that we'd been missing for over a year! It was only half a dozen shirts/sweaters, but the two pieces that belong to me were sorely missed! I'm so excited over finding the two old things!

I just got a call from Ken at church about this year's dinner theater. Our first rehearsal is tomorrow night. I look forward to the activity, but will miss the free evenings for the next two months. That's OK; it will be great fun!

Well, I've rambled enough. I need to try to get some extra sleep for a change!


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Natalie's Well!

Thankfully, Natalie has gotten over her bout with the flu! She went back to work yesterday, then we all gathered to eat out dinner together to celebrate her spiritual birthday! She wanted Carabba's, so we joined the many other people waiting for a table and finally got in. I do like their lasagna!

Our friends Aarron and Crytal had their baby boy yesterday--Judah! I don't have any more specifics yet, and am anxious to see him! Now his birthday will be just a day after his dad's!

Valentine's Day was good. Zach took me to lunch at one of our favorite lunch spots: Fiesta Azteca. Then for dinner we didn't go out since David and I had had a nice dinner last weekend and were planning Natalie's special dinner last night. So we got fast food. We were on the run, taking a sandwich to Natalie with her Valentine treats from us. It was nice to hear her getting back to normal.

Nothing much else is going on. Today is a fair day outside, so we may go run some errands. We have much to do inside, with the dining room still looming at us, but I doubt we'll accomplish much there! Someday!

Today I'm thankful for family! We are blessed!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rainy Days and Tuesdays--and Snow in the Forecast

Wow, what a nasty rain day today! We woke to thunder, drove in the mess, then had dropping temps in the evening. Oh well, at least it isn't a tornado! And, now, we have snow and ice coming tomorrow. I dread that drive to work!

Sweet Nat is so sick! She's got the flu, I'm afraid. She's had coughing, aches, fever, and chills for two days now. Sorry to say, but she still may have another day or two of it! I feel so helpless for her! We've made food and med drop-offs for her the past two days to make sure she has what she needs. She doesn't want to come to our house, which will probably help keep us from getting it. Don't know if someone at work had the flu, or if she picked it up from one of the babies in the church nursery. Just hope it hurries and goes away for her! She's miserable!

I went to a great women's ministry meeting at church last night. It was a general meeting of all the council members and a good introduction time for me, since I'm new to the group. Boy, was it an unexpected blessing! Tammy spoke on how important it is to be still and let God speak and work! I so needed that message. I think the group is going to be a sweet sisterhood for me--something I've needed for a while!

Today I'm thankful for fellowship with other believers!

Please pray for Natalie to have some relief!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Good Weekend

Well, here it is Sunday night and time to start the week over. It seems like the weekend was fairly long, but again, I'm not ready for Monday.

Friday night David and I tried the new Carabbas restaurant. Zach had gone to Jackson to help with Union's tornado clean-up and Natalie did childcare for a program at church. The restaurant was good, but a little overrated. The wait was a little long, but the food tasty. I had lasagna and David ravioli. I didn't care for my salad, so David had extra!

Saturday David went to Gallatin to volunteer in tornado clean-up in Castalian Springs. He spent the day picking up debris where homes were destroyed and a woman killed. He was surely tired when he got home! Zach came in later in the afternoon and was pooped too! He spent all Friday and Saturday morning helping pack professors' offices and hauling things down three flights of stairs. He said campus was a real mess!

I spent much of the day finishing crocheting a baby afghan to give for a gift tomorrow. I was glad to finally finish it late last night!

Church today was good. Sunday School in the college department got to me, though. We had testimonies of four of our students who experienced the storm at Union. One guy was pinned under wreckage; two guys within inches of him are still in the hospital, but he's fine. He said they were under 25 feet of debris. That is so hard to imagine. But he said it changed his life. Though he was a Christian, it made him realize how it can all be gone. He said he's changed his priorities!

After the testimonies, Jason, our college minister, ended the class by playing a song by Matt Redman. We were to listen prayerfully, with our eyes closed. Well, that's when it all started to get to me...the memories all brought back fresh again and the emotions tied to it. Just has made me a little weepy today.

So today, I'm thankful that God is in control and protects us. All we have to do is ask. He is there!

Please remember our next-door neighbors, the Saleh family. Dad Mohammed is still in Philadelphia with 5-year-old Rana. She had surgery on her pancreas because of uncontrollable blood sugar. Vanderbilt treated her for a while, then sent her there. Mom Lulu is here in H'ville with the other 5 children and #7 is due in April. Neighbors are doing what we can to help as Dad is the only breadwinner in this Muslim family and had to close his business while in PA. We've tried to spread the word that this is a good mission activity, as they could lose their home from this financial setback. Rana is recovering well and should be home soon.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tornadoes Again!

Well, last night was a doozy! We are safe and our community was spared, but there was destruction and death just up the road in Castalian Springs, the next burg east of Gallatin.

We kept a close watch on the weather. I am very thankful for the technology that tells us when tornadoes are coming our way. We called Natalie to ask that she come over to spend the night with us, rather than in her 3rd floor apartment. This request went against her attempts to remain independent. She reluctantly complied, then napped through the worst of it. We spent 10 minutes or so in our center hallway, as the storm passed. Since we don't have a basement and our bathrooms are on the end of the house, we decided the hall was probably the best bet.

Zach spent much of the evening on the phone talking to his friends in Jackson. He has many buds at Union, both on staff, in school, or working in town. One of the dorms destroyed was where he lived in '01 when a tornado hit before. So he's tired today, after all the communicating and deciding to assume the role of our family's emergency management officer!

Other than that, all is well. David is enjoying Sumner County schools being off today. Natalie made it through her root canal event just fine.

I'm glad to be safe and sound, and not picking through rubble, as many are today! Please pray for those folks who lost everything and for the families who lost loved ones.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

A Lovely Day

Today was a great Saturday! It was nice not to have anything specific to do. Natalie and I had a movie date (saw 27 dresses, which was cute), then poked around Bath Junkie to concoct some great smelling stuff! We made custom liquid bath powder, which is a satiny, moisturizing lotion that feels like powder after rubbing it in. I made some in Rose and Rain fragrances for part of Mom's birthday present tomorrow. Nat made a specific Valentine's Day recipe they had named Hot Date. I don't remember all the ingredients, but it smelled really great.

It was beautiful outside today, with temps in the 50s. David took on a task he's wanted to do for quite a while: cleaning out the gutters! Yuck! It always scares me when he's on the ladder. But all went well. He also cut down the bushy, prickly shrubs in the front yard that I've always hated! Hurrah!

Zach and I were glad to hear Rick Burgess back on the Rick and Bubba Show this week. The Lord has strengthened him so, after his son's drowning 2 weeks ago today. It was amazing how many lives have been changed through this sad, sad event. Please remember Rick, Sherry, and the Burgess children as they continue to grieve. To read more, go to

I had a small-world experience this past week. In church orchestra rehearsal we went over an arrangement of the song "Wonderful, Merciful Savior." I've always enjoyed that song; it is so pretty! I even rehearsed to sing it with a couple of other girls on our Montana mission trip last summer. Anyway, in rehearsal I noticed the names of the writers of the song: Dawn Rogers and Eric Wyse. You don't see too many incidents of that spelling of Wyse. I got acquainted with an Eric Wyse who is a church organist for a large church in Nashville. He purchased two church organs from Mom last summer. I helped her post some of her antiques to sell on Craigslist and maintained the e-mail through which potential buyers would write. Eric and I spoke by phone for me to give him directions to Mom's house. So this week I e-mailed Eric to ask if he were the same Eric Wyse on the song credits. He responded with yes, in fact, he was. He and his now-wife Dawn wrote the song in 1989 when they were dating. How cool!

Well, I'm going to close this post with a thanks, as many other posters do. What a wonderful idea! I hope to always close in this way.

I'm thankful for my family, today's sunshine, and my car's sunroof (the closest I'll get to my mid-life convertible!).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cute Babies and Dental Issues

Yesterday I was blessed with meeting the cutest little one-year-old! This cutey-pie is the son of a friend from work and was born in Taiwan. His parents waited a long time for their son and are as proud as any parents I've seen. I enjoy reading their blog and have followed their journey for some time. It was great to meet the little guy! Too cute!

Reading this family's blog is one of my latest interests: reading blogs of families and following the events in their lives. Many of the folks I follow are facing serious life events, such as childhood cancer or adoption issues. Some of the families I know personally, some I've met through cyber space, and others I know from having stumbled across their blogs from links on others' blogs. I like being able to pray for these children and families.

A major event today involved dealing with dentists, endodontists, and a dental insurance company. Natalie needs a root canal and crown, much to our surprise. I've decided that I agree with David that we should have gone into different professions. Oh, to have a career in which you can demand high fees and get away with it! Let's, dentistry, funeral, wait. Retract that last one!

Hey, that's all for tonight! So glad the winds have died down from last night! We all know that windy, stormy weather makes me nervous! :/


First Post!

Well, after years of reading others' blogs and various postings, I decided to take the plunge. Granted, I may not always have much of anything useful to say, but at least I'm trying!

Till next time!