Sunday, November 30, 2008

We had help! And ... Space and Rocket Center

We are so incredibly grateful for the help we had on Friday! We poured the final height for our end walls and some good friends joined us in the fun. Don and the kids came up from Atmore to help us out and also our friend Brian from our home group unexpectedly showed up - Lord, please bless them all! We truly would not have been able to do this without them. It was our most complicated pour yet - we were working at the full height of the wall (9') so it was challenging.

Savannah and Hadden had a great time playing with Lauren (and Perry, too, before the concrete truck arrived).

Biking and bubbles

Here's the whole crew at work. We chose not to rent a concrete pump as they are pretty expensive, so we built a trough to pull the concrete down to where we needed it. The system worked pretty well, but it was pretty labor intensive. I felt like I had played in a full volleyball tournament the next morning :)

The rain held off until we were just about finshed, so we were also very thankful of that. We have MUCH to be thankful for.


On Saturday, we took the kids to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. The admission was free with our McWane Science Center Membership, so we finally were able to take advantage of it. In some of the pictures, you have to look very closely to find us :)

John and kids with SR-71 Blackbird

Me and the kids with Saturn V

John and me in front of the Blackbird (Savannah took our picture :)

Me and kids beneath the indoor Saturn V

Me and kids with Space Shuttle

John and kids with Space Shuttle

John and Savannah going back into the building that houses the Saturn V.

For Don's sake :) - the Iron Bowl on the BIG screen! They broadcast the game on their theater screen. We only watched for a few minutes, but I think this is the place to watch the game!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


May you enjoy a blessed day being thankful to Him is worthy of Thanks!

Monday, November 24, 2008

So true

I really liked this - I received it in an email and am not sure who the author was.

Three things in life that, once gone, never come back -
1. Time
2. Words
3. Opportunity

Three things in life that can destroy a person -
1. Anger
2. Pride
3. Unforgiveness

Three things in life that you should never lose -
1. Hope
2. Peace
3. Honesty

Three things in life that are most valuable -
1. Love
2. Family & Friends
3. Kindness

Three things in life that are never certain -
1. Fortune
2. Success
3. Dreams

Three things that make a person -
1. Commitment
2. Sincerity
3. Hard work

Three things that are truly constant -
Father - Son - Holy Spirit

May you put your trust in Him who is the only true constant!

Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Uber Award

Thank you, Susan, for passing on this award to me. How very sweet of you! Y'all need to go check our her blog for some great tips, good advice, thoughtful insights and just plain fun. Be sure to leave a comment, because she is the absolute best at leaving comments!

About the award: Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who: ~ inspire you ~ make you smile and laugh ~ give amazing information ~ are a great read ~ have an amazing design ~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

The rules of this award are:
* Put the logo on your blog or post,
* Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog,
* Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.


Blogging is and has been such of a fun outlet for me - I have learned so much through, laughed with, cried with, praised God with, been challenged by, prayed for, sought prayer from many uber amazing people. I honestly had NO idea what I was in for when I started this thing back in January - I thought it would be a quick and easy way to stay connected to family and friends. And it is that, and so much more.

Just last week, I learned from blogging that sweet potatoes were on sale at Wal*Mart - I was blessed by that because I love sweet potatoes and Susan had some great ideas of how to stock up on them.

The week before that, I learned that Snapfish was offering a free photo book (and I am kicking myself that I didn't also blog about that one). John and I had a lot of fun putting together a book from our first year in Alabama.

Passing awards on is always hard for me because I would choose everyone that I read :) However, I am not always so good about commenting, so it would be strange for me to give someone an award who does not even know me :) OK - I hear you now - start commenting more.

So, if you read this, count yourself uber awarded, because even if you don't blog, I think you are uber :)


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random pictures

Spring and fall together - the white tree looks like it is blooming and the red trees are losing their leaves. Makes for a neat contrast.

This didn't fully capture the beauty of the sun peaking through the clouds and hitting Barker mountain and none of the other ridges, but I thought I would share it anyway.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

So, what's your $6 doorknob?

While in PA on our latest trip, I had a wonderful time catching up with my good friend, Andrea, while the kids enjoyed the barn party. It just so happened that the barn party was at her barn, so it was a win-win for me! She is one of those friends that you can just pick up from where you left off and just keep right on rolling. In the midst of our conversation, kids came in needing to use the bathroom and she would point them in the right direction. After a while, she commented how they had fixed the bathroom doorknob so she didn't have to rescue anyone any longer. In a tone all her own, she said something like, "how long did it take us to fix a $6 doorknob?"

Their previous bathroom doorknob didn't work - it had a special quirk that you had to know in order to get out of the bathroom. We had talked about it before, and I knew exactly what she meant.

Growing up, my family lived in a house that had a quirky doorknob for the bathroom door, too. You had to turn the handle all the way to the right or the door would not open. We had to rescue many people from our bathroom, even after the warning "you have to turn the doorknob all the way to the right".

So, why didn't we fix those doorknobs sooner? Maybe because they weren't technically "broken" - if you knew the trick, you could get out every time. However, once they were fixed - we also wondered what on earth took so long! Having the doorknob work properly certainly saved a lot of explanation and even embarassment at times. (I still vividly remember one of my sisters dates getting stuck in the bathroom once!)

As Andrea and I talked, it struck me - how many things in our lives have quirks that we do not bother to fix? Spiritually speaking. Those seemingly small, nagging things that keep us from working to our full potential. Those "$6 doorknobs".

Hebrew 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

So - what's your $6 doorknob?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


John and the kids arrived home on Thursday night. It was good to see them and I am glad that they are home safely. It's good to have a little break once in a while, but it is also good to have them back!

The kids are doing well - it seemed like they had grown the 2 days they were gone! It's just amazing how quickly they grow up!

While they were all gone, I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice - I borrowed both the old and the new versions from the library. I watched the old one ... all in one setting ... on Wednesday night. I really liked it and I can't believe that I haven't seen it. If I remember correctly (and I don't always), I think my sister Debbie chose it for us to watch one time and I just wasn't in the mood for the pace of the movie. I have not yet watched the newer version, but hope to before I have to return it to the library.

House update:
John had Friday off because of the staff meetings and we were hoping to work on the house. Unfortunately, the weather has not cooperated at all. We were only able to do some more prep work, as the wind has been blowing and it has been raining off and on for the past 2 days. Our next pour will be fairly tricky - we are planning on doing the final pour on the side walls. Although this is very exciting, it is also quite high in the air, so it makes it a little bit tricky.

On a positive note, since the weather was bad, we were able to clear some more brush and clean up about 10-12 trees that John had previously taken down. The trees were in a rocky area where it is pretty likely that some snakes live. We have been waiting for colder weather to get in there to clean them up and today was the day.

Lilly is loving the cold weather. When we still lived in PA, she loved going out and playing in the snow. She has a pretty thick coat of fur, so she would really rather live in a cold climate, I think. Alabama was probably not on her top 10 list :)

Mercy is still doing well on her 3 legs. We didn't think she was the brightest trail dog (for several reasons) and today we took a hike "through" the woods, exploring new territory and after about a half an hour, she found us!

Note: There is a LOT of unchartered territory on our land. Plant life really grows in Alabama, so most of our land is really thickly wooded. Here in the winter, we will be able to explore a little more as some of the underbrush dies off.

Well, it's time for a bedtime story for the kiddos. I must go now...

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You're just wantin' to know, aren't ya?

What did she do all day? :) I have to admit that I find pleasure in simple things - coffee, walks, and working hard.

So, here is how the day went:
Woke up this morning and read in Jeremiah. Good stuff!

Took the dogs for a walk ... a longer walk than usual.

Enjoyed some blogging time while drinking my coffee.

Took a shower - a really long shower and realized that there were no interruptions. (OK - as long as a shower as 6 gallons of hot water will get you :)

Worked on the house as much as I could. Cut insulation and drilled holes for the next pour. I also tried to clean off the threaded rods, but that wasn't very successful.

Tried to fix my carpet cleaner so I could clean the carpets (don't ask - I think it is genetic in my family - both the attempt to fix something and cleaning carpets while loved ones are away ;) My steamer has sprung a leak - a big leak. So much so that it is more like flood the carpets, make a big mess on the rest of the floor and then try to clean it up. So I ended up just using the steamer to soak up the water and to scrub the carpets.

Decided I really do HATE carpet. NO carpet, thank you very much. Carpet holds dirt - disgusting.

Ran books and movies back to library that were due today. Picked out new movie - "Pride and Prejudice". The library was closed yesterday for Veteran's Day, so I went to the local video store to pick out a movie. Bad idea. Let's just say that I have decided that, in general, PG-13 movies are just trash and I won't be bothering to watch them. Hollywood, hear this - please stop making stupid, crappy movies!

Talked with my wonderful hubby and kids. I really do miss them all! It's nice to have a break, but it makes me realize how blessed I really am! I love you guys!

Off for some supper and then my movie.

Hope you had a great day today!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh boy - it's QUIET!!!

This is the most amazing thing ... I have two days "off" from the normal routine. John took the kids to a staff meeting and I stayed home to take care of the dogs.


Two days! Well, and the dogs, which means that sleeping in isn't really an option. However, going back to bed is :)

AND ... John picked the coolest bunch of wild flowers for me on his way home.

Seriously cool flowers.

Look closely - this is actually how they grow! One stem, bunch of flowers - now, there's a God stop for you.

... yes, the vase is a Starbucks thermal coffee mug ...

Oh, and MANY THANKS to the two friends that made it possible for John to bring the kiddos - hopefully, they aren't too much trouble! May He richly bless you for your kindness to us!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Time to come down off of the pole now, honey

But first, the kids and I enjoyed a day at Homestead Hollow - a nearby festival/craft fair. It was a beautiful fall day and we enjoyed walking around looking at the crafts, eating some fried food and hanging out with friends. John was in the prison enjoying a motorcycle ministry group.

Savannah enjoyed a pony ride with "Buster Brown". Like mommy, like daughter :)

And then ... there is "like daddy, like son" ...

I was very surprised when Hadden spied this from across the field and said "I want to try that, Mom". I was even more surprised that he still wanted to try it when, while we were waiting in line, an older boy got off saying "that's scary"! Let's just leave it at this - John's going to have to be the one going with him on rides at the amusement park!

Time to come down off the pole now, honey! It's getting cold out here!

"What are you doing up there?!"

Enjoying the view - he says this is motivation for building the house. After I took a turn up the tower this morning, he asked me if I was also motivated. Oh, honey, I have been motivated for a loooong time :)

And, here's the reason for the motivation!

Speaking of building:
We poured front and back portions of the wall on Tuesday morning. We rented a concrete vibrator for the first time and we are very pleased how the wall turned out. The only difficulty that we had was that all of the shaking shook the juicy smutz (that's a word, right?) in between the pvc and the threaded rod, thereby locking the threaded rod into the wall. It was a real challenge trying to get them out, but we did manage, finally.

So, now it actually kind of looks like a house. We have all four walls defined - yippee! Next, we will pour the final height on the side walls. That will be exciting. Then, two more pours on what we poured last week and then the stair well ... let's just say that we will still be pouring for quite a while :)

And, finally...
I have been drawn to read Jeremiah - good stuff and timely for what I feel the state of our nation is in. Powerful stuff, there. This one jumped out at me:

Jeremiah 2:13 "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

And the WINNER is ....

The kids helped me do the drawing. Savannah wrote all of the entries on slips of paper. We put them in Hadden's cap and then Savannah drew the name out. I video'd it, but for some reason, my camera didn't store the video clip :( Oh well.

The winner of the CD "Hello Love" is Ross' Cottage!

I am praying that you enjoy it as much as I do!

I just marvel at the tenderness of God. Kim is having an MRI this Friday (you can read details at her blog) and He chose her to receive the CD. As much as I would have wanted each person to win for different reasons, He chose her. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking how much He cares for each of us. He SEES us! Kim - we are praying for good results and for His peace as you undergo the waiting and tests.

Thanks for participating! The kids thoroughly enjoyed the drawing, too. In fact, Savannah has continued drawing, so honorable mentions are Don Metzler and Hi-d :) I am sure you will all be winners by the time she finishes!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Deadline - Thursday, 9:00 am CST

Just a reminder, if you want to be included in a drawing for Chris Tomlin's "Hello Love" CD, please post a comment before 9:00 am tomorrow morning.