Monday, January 31, 2011

Annual We Care Crusade

Last week was the annual We Care Crusade - the yearly event where men and women from all over come to Alabama and minister to the men and women in prison.

Somehow, I didn't get any pictures! We were blessed to have several men join John at St Clair and I am so grateful for all who come. John really gets a boost during this week and even though the hours are long, in the end, it is all worth it.

The kids and I joined them one day for breakfast and one night for supper. In past years, they have also made a short trip up to the house. Our road is SO bad this year, that we didn't feel it was wise to have them bring their vehicles up. In fact, one night, John wasn't even able to get the car up the last portion of the hill and had to walk in the dark! :)

MANY thanks to those who came this week and encouraged my man! It means a lot to all of us!

Proverbs 25:25 Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sometimes the hassle is worth it …

Back track with me to last summer when my sister and her family were visiting. We took a mini-vacation to Gatlingburg, TN for a few days and enjoyed a nice stay in a cabin in Pigeon Forge. To make the trip less expensive, we decided to eat all of our meals in – with just easy things to make. With that, I took my hand mixer to make an easy pudding dessert. What I didn’t realize until we got home was that I had left the most important part of the mixer in the cabin!

I was actually sad because the mixer belonged to my maternal grandmother and the mixer portion still works great. Strangely enough, I found a brand-new hand mixer at Good Will that very next week! I assumed I would just be able to interchange parts to the mixers and I didn’t really need the old parts to use the old mixer. That was not the case. For some reason (which is actually quite unlike me), I kept the hand mixer anyway.

This past weekend, some women from our church went to Pigeon Forge for a women’s retreat. Knowing that I was going, I contacted the rental company from the cabin that we had stayed in last June to see if they might still have the extra beaters in the drawer in the cabin. I was pretty sure that no one would bother throwing away parts to a mixer. The people at Kimble rentals were SO incredibly kind to send someone to go and look and then contacted me by email to let me know that they had found them!


Now, the only obstacle was asking the person who drove our carpool to take me by the rental office. I have to admit that I was just slightly embarrassed to bother someone about this, but I did ask and they were very gracious to agree to go. So, Saturday, I went shopping with a group that was driving right past the rental office, so we stopped in. I had this funny feeling that it wasn’t going to just be that easy :) When I explained who I was and what I was there for, she handed me a set of beaters … but they weren’t mine! The cabin also had a hand mixer and the man had brought the beaters to the cabin’s hand mixer instead of mine.

Long story short – they went even the extra, extra mile (as did my friends) to get the right ones to me. We returned on Sunday morning and picked up the right set before coming home.

See – sometimes the hassle is worth it!

ps - If you ever do rent from them, tell them that I sent you. :) (You may have to mention the hand mixer for them to know who I am - ha!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Too good to miss

Copied with permission from Jennifer Walker at Smelling Coffee


This list was was written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the local newspaper "The Plain Dealer", Cleveland, Ohio. Hope it makes you think and re-think a few things~

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written."

“My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Special visitors

We were blessed to have John's sisters visiting last week! They are both very special to all of us and it was great to have a chance to catch up with them. We still had pretty slippery roads, so we were thankful that they arrived safely. The weather did keep us from touring around too much, but we enjoyed wonderful conversation and I had some chick-flick buddies :)


They treated us to Jim & Nick’s BBQ – that was tasty!


We also had our usual stop at Noccalula Falls – very beautiful with the snow and ice all around.


They were here for my birthday and brought some delicious red velvet cake! They also brought shoo-fly pie. Oh my - yummers!

And, here’s a picture of Neli in the snow – she just keeps getting bigger and bigger!

Thanks again, Becky and Kathy! We already look forward to the next time you are able to come :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Strange weather here in the south

We had another snow storm last night and into this morning. Snow and ice intermixed – really made quite a mess, but a very beautiful mess. Because snow and ice are so rare in the south, the equipment to manage bad roads is virtually non-existent, so the south really just shuts down.


The week before the big predicted event occurs, grocery stores have to scramble to keep their shelves stocked. To me, it is really funny, but then again, I am also out there trying to do some shopping myself. Let’s just say that I will be baking bread if we need any to eat because Winn-Dixie had NO bread … none. Not even hamburger buns, hot dog buns, dinner rolls. Nothing. Well, unless you count those adorable little finger-food decorative breads and even then, there were only 2 lonely loaves of those. What cracks me up is that some people must have bought this type of bread in a desperation attempt to have some bread in the house! Although milk is also normally gone, this time I was able to get milk.


I will be the first to come to their defense, though. This stuff is slippery!!!! We didn’t attempt to drive in it, either. We ended up with about 3”+ of snow with ice mixed in, so it was exceptionally slippery. Even the dogs had trouble! At the risk of my sounding mean, I did have to laugh at our 3-legged dog, Mercy, (our neighbor calls her tri-pod :) – she was having a little extra trouble. The ice didn’t deter her from going on a walk with us, though, and she is as happy as can be curled up on her blanket in the warm house now.


This isn’t a great quality picture, but I was quickly trying to snap a picture of John with 4 dogs – our 3 plus a visitor. They were all excitedly jumping around on the ice. Would have made a funny video. This is a friendly visiting dog who belongs to someone else, but spends a lot of time up with us. I have named him “Happy” because he looks like he is always smiling.


Four years ago, this was my birthday present - Lilly. John was out of town on business and the kids and I went to the animal shelter to visit our other dog, Mercy, who was not able to be released yet. There was a fluffy, white, adorable little puppy that I could take home that very day. It was my birthday, so John agreed to my request over the phone. She was a mess of a puppy – in fact, she had already been returned to the shelter by one owner. Although she still is a mess, she is my favorite. She has me wrapped around her paw pretty tightly, too, and she knows it :)


Back of the house with the snow and ice. Incidentally, the trampoline support net is frozen solid!


This is a cute little bush on the ground shot at different angles. I like the picture on the right because of some of the detail of the ice. Can I tell you how impossible it is to take macro pictures of little bushes on the ground with a very friendly 9-month old puppy “helping” me??


“Who me? I was smelling your camera and pushing my nose under your arm because I love you!” We watched the movie “UP” over Christmas!! This is a modified reference to Dug from that movie :)

Oh, how I love these dogs. And I’m showing them to you because I like you. (If you haven’t seen UP, you must – these will make more sense, I promise.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Life would be way less interesting …

So, after supper tonight, John decided to grab some chips and salsa. I was still sitting with the kids at the supper table, so I wasn’t really paying close attention to which cup he grabbed out of the cupboard.

I had just carried my dish to the kitchen when I glanced over at what he was doing. Then, JUST as he had finished pouring the salsa, and was grabbing the bag of chips in one hand and reaching for the salsa with the other hand … I shrieked “John – what are you doing????” The cup he had chosen is not a cup – it is an old (likely antique) canning funnel that was my grandmother’s! My dear husband had filled a bottomless cup with salsa and it was now sitting on the counter. We (although the term is used rather loosely here) slid it off the counter and onto a plate and then laughed at what could have been! (He’s not feeling 100%, so I’ll give him a break :)

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Here he is – I’ll bet if I just had originally showed you the pictures, you would have not thought anything was wrong.


Here’s the after :)  Oh, how I love a good laugh!

I love you, honey! I’m glad God chose you for me :)

btw: I was playing with some different settings on my point and shoot camera – that is why the pictures are of such different coloring. I don’t like how the flash washes everything out in the first shot, but then the second doesn’t have enough light and is grainy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is it too late to do gingerbread houses?

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We don’t think so! Or, maybe we’re just ahead of the game for next year :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I just wanted to post on 1-1-11 :) I also saw 11:11 on the digital clock on 1-1-11. Should I stop now?

Happy New Year!