I figured I'd better get some pictures posted out here because I'm gonna get in trouble if I don't. Last week, Gage went to the doctor for his 2 month appointment. He got about 3 shots I think. He weighs 12lbs and I think was 21 or 22 inches long. I can't remember now...I have it written down somewhere. Anyway, he is growing perfectly. Steve, Jenna and I went out to see him this weekend and he's just so cuddly right now. What a sweet baby!

A couple weekends ago, we got outside and re-mulched our flower bed. Seems that we always end up picking Mother's Day weekend to do that...so, here we are...the reason I celebrate Mother's Day and me...in front of our newly mulched flower bed.

Lastly, check out Jenna's hair...she's got the best hair for this...

In Honor...

While I was the only one up and the house is still dark and quiet (yes, it's 8:45am), I thought I'd blog a little...

Just wanted to say how grateful I am to all the men and women over the past many decades who have risked their lives (and some lost their lives) so that I can enjoy freedom. I think sometimes those of us who have not been touched in this way have forgotten what Memorial Day is all about. It's a great, long weekend to go out on the lake with the boat, grill out with friends and most importantly (for us) NOT WORK! But the real reason for this holiday was to take time to remember the men and women who fought for the freedom we enjoy. I might challenge you readers, as well as myself, to take a few minutes today to honor those people. I am going to sit my almost-6 year old down and explain to her why today is "stay home day" instead of camp day. And why some people are sad on this day instead of enjoying being with family. I encourage you to do the same...in your own way...honor the men and women for which this holiday is all about.

OK, now that I'm off my soapbox, on to other Taylor happenings...first, let me wish my great-nephew, Garrett, an early HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY!!!!
He will actually be 6 on May 30th, but we always celebrate his birthday on Memorial day. Which is nice because we always have Memorial Day plans that include family and not sitting around the house being lazy! Although, don't misunderstand me...there is something to be said for sitting around being lazy! I will admit that I'm in the mood to tackle the garage, but we have to be there at noon, so I don't think I have time to get that started either before or after the party.

Congratulations! OK, I'm sure with the graduations, one would think I am congratulating all of them. However, I'm here to toot my own horn (kind of). Jenna came home from her last day of school with a Perfect Attendence Certificate! I am so proud of my little girl!

Thailand: My trip is coming up fast and there is so much still to be done. I need to make a list of stuff to pack and then figure out what I still need to get. Rachel and I are going to have lunch together this week (hopefully) and see if we can put our "to-do/to-get" lists together and split what we have to take in the way of snacks etc. I've begun to talk to Jenna about me being gone and she's really starting to understand and get sad. This is very hard for me because that bothers me more than actually being away. I'm hoping that the more we talk about it, the more she'll get used to it and when I actually leave, it won't be as hard. I know it will be harder on Steve and her while I'm gone than me because I'll be busy with my work in Thailand. I'm not going to downplay the distance effect on Steve and I either. Remember, just a few shorts weeks after my return, he'll be gone for the same number of days to Moldova.

Well, while I was typing, my sweet Jenna awoke, so I'm sure her father is not far behind. I'm going to get up from the PC and get some laundry folded and get things done around the house before we have to leave. Jenna is happy watching Arthur on the TV...


Happy Birthday and other News...

Happy Birthday!
Happy birthday to baby Gage! He's two months old today! Wow! He's got a doctor's appointment this week and of course, I will update then. Speaking of Gage, Mom (Micah) has decided to go to college!!! What a pleasant surprise! I think it must have been on her mind for a while and she saw an advertisement on TV for a local community college. She decided to give them a call and found out as a single mother, she qualifies for all sorts of financial aid. She went to meet with the counselor today and she is set to begin on June 18. She'll train for 8 months as a medical assistant and then in month 7, they will find her a job to start. She already knows her graduation date...February 14, 2008. I can't wait for her to start and see how she likes it. I think it's time that Micah does something for herself. Now that she's a mother, she's going to have to be able to take care of him because it might be the last thing she does for herself! Keep her in your prayers...I think she's going to need it especially getting started. That's always the hardest part.

Have you seen the counter lately??? Good grief! I'm leaving in less than 3 weeks! Saturday we had a mandatory cultural training meeting from 9-noon. I'm telling you, it really got me pumped. I was having a little fear about the air portion of the trip, what with it being so long and all, but not now. I'm just excited. I found out my missionary prayer partner's oldest daughter will be in my class and their youngest will be in Rachel's class. I can't wait to meet them! And...here is the most awesome news of all...MY TRIP IS FULLY PAID FOR!!!!! I couldn't believe it when I asked her for the balance. I just figured it was the same amount as two weeks ago when I asked to be sure I sent out all my thank you notes. I praise GOD that He has provided through generous donations of others. Now, we have to get Steve's Moldova trip paid for. He is counting on the sole donations of others for his trip. So far, we have about $100 donated plus the $300 we had to pay in deposit. I think the church anted up $500 in form of a scholarship. So that leaves us still about $1000 to pay...if you haven't donated to me and still want to support, please PLEASE contact me and I can tell you how to support Steve. Trust me, his mission trip will be much harder than mine...he is literally going to a 3rd world country and staying in someone's home to build beds for orphans. Don't let the fact that my trip is paid for discourage you if you were planning to give. Steve didn't send out many support letters because I had already sent them to everyone for my trip when he decided to go on his. And if you can't donate, continue to pray...

Speaking of prayer...
As you pray, please remember our family right now. In the midst of many blessings (which we are so grateful for), there are several stressors weighing heavily on us at the moment. Currently at work, I'm without a manager which puts more work and stress on me, however, it does present a wonderful opportunity for me to post for her manager position. But that in itself is stressful. I'm up against 3 other internal candidates, two of whom I count as good friends. And interviewing is a stressful situation. On Steve's work front, he is very unhappy with his current job. They have changed his duties again to something that is very complicated and requires him to work from 6am to about 5pm. This has a domino effect because he was getting off in time to pick Jenna up from school, so now she's going to aftercare which she hates and she reminds Steve frequently making him feel guilty which just adds to the guilt he already feels. We've had to call all 3 summer camps she's going to this summer to add before care and after care which is upping our costs considerably and that's putting us in a financial strain. I have her birthday party coming up to pay for and it just seems there is more month at the end of the money. I know I am called to trust and have Faith and all this seems to have kicked into high gear after we committed to giving more to the church, but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Someone mentioned to me today that it is natural for things to go this way right now...we are both just weeks away from going on mission trips and Satan wants to throw everything in our way to keep our focus off what we are being called to do. But when you are in the midst of it, it's not easy to see past the pain and worry. So, as you pray, remember us.

Well, that's about it. I know it's not much of an update, but I figured I couldn't wait much longer to post or else I'd start getting nasty emails! :)


I've been tagged too...

So, my friend Rachel tagged me and since I apparently am one of only 2 of her friends that blog, I am accepting the tag and will tag someone too. Here's how it works...

Each player starts with seven random facts about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about the seven things and the rules. You need to choose seven people to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment that they have been tagged and to read your blog! Here we go...

1) I (ahem) have 3 tattoos. I'm sure there will be family to read this that does not know this about me. Well, now they do. I have a sunshine, dolphin and butterfly...all of which have connections to my beautiful child.

2) Like my friend Rachel, I have a lot of consistency in my life. I went to the same school for 13 years, to the same church for 26 years and lived in the same house for 31 years. I'm about to celebrate 9 years at my employer, so needless to say, I'm not good with change when it happens. Oh, and just a side fact, I've known Rachel for...uh...something like 25 years too.

3) When I was a teen, I was at church alot with my friends. I was a "good girl" and didn't get into much trouble at all. However, I did date one fella who was the exact opposite of me...a rebel. He smoked and one time I kissed him right after he finished a cigarette (unknowingly). That old saying..."it's like licking an ashtray"? Pretty close.

4) When I was a very little girl, I had some piece of furry brown material that was about 18 inches long and cylindrical. I called it my "wooley worm" and it went everywhere with me. Wooley died when my german shepherd dog, Smokey got hold of it. Mama tried to do surgery, but it was a lost cause. To my knowledge, there are no pictures of Wooley Worm, but he did exist!

5) I remember when I was little climbing up on the top of my swing set and getting stuck. My mother finally did look out the window and came to get me down. Oddly enough, I remember her breath smelling like mustard from a sandwich she was eating. How random is that? To this day, I do not like mustard! And to make things even weirder, Jenna got stuck on top of her swing set last week. I was not home from work yet and the neighbor girl came to her rescue (or found Steve who came to her rescue).

6) Last year I flew to New Jersey to meet about 5 or 6 girls that I'd never seen in real life before. They are part of a group from an online posting board called IVF Connections and I met them online when I was going through IVF a couple years ago. These women are phenomenal and going there to meet them was fabulous and totally unlike something I would do!

7) After nearly 11 years of marriage (in about 3 weeks), I have never had what I consider to be a major fight with my husband. We've never slept apart due to anger or being in a fight. Something I'm very proud of.

OK, so, because I really only know 2 people that blog and one of them tagged me, I'm tagging the only one I know...Stacey. I know how she loves these things... :)


I'm ready...

Allow me to share with you some thoughts of mine from our church service this morning.

It was one of the most wonderful services I've been to in a long time. First, it began with one of my favorite songs, "How Great is Our God"...if that song doesn't make you raise your hands in praise, then nothing will! It was awesome and I just couldn't stay still. But it was only to get better...the next song was "Days of Elijah". By the time the chorus was in full swing, I looked around at the congregation and hands were going up all over the auditorium. For those of you who don't know much about my church, BBC, we average around a couple thousand in service. To look around and see so many in the congregation praising Him and the choir singing and raising their hands... I'll have to tell you, at that moment, I imagined this must be what heaven will be like. All of us singing praises and just having a good time.

The song service got better as we sang, "To God Be The Glory and then the choir sang their special which turned out to be one of my favorite songs of all time..."Let the Worshippers Arise". The words of the chorus go something like this, "Let the worshippers arise. Let the sons and the daughters sing. I'm surrendering my all. I surrender to the king." And during the second chorus, I look over (I love watching church members) and see a lone woman way over on the side of the auditorium slow rise with her hands raised. I turn to my right and see a second member do the same. Then I see our missions ministry assistant stand up and I couldn't sit still. I stood up, but by the time I had, there were handfuls of people all over rising to their feet and raising their hands in the air. It was just an awesome service. At that moment, I could have been taken up into heaven and been just fine with it!!!

OK, well, I just wanted to share my experience in church this morning. Gage and Micah are gone, Jenna is in bed and Steve is bowling. Tomorrow starts yet another day.



Well, I'll consider myself scolded for not updating my blog sooner! I guess there's not been a whole lot going on here, thankfully.

A week or so ago, I got the shock of my life at work. Found out my manager is leaving the company. I am very disappointed...she is wonderful and allows me to do most everything I ask with Jenna's school. I am a bit scared at who might go in above me as manager that they won't be as understanding. So, I went ahead and applied for the position myself! Of course, I realize if I end up getting it (and that's a HUGE "if"), I'll probably have less time during certain seasons to do with Jenna. But I talked it over with Steve and he's ready to step up if/when that happens. I have heard that I have some stiff competetion at work, each of whom are equally as competent and good friends as well as co-workers. I am praying daily that God's will be done. If I don't get it, then I will just know that the Lord has kept me from something that could potentially be damaging to my family.

As far as Thailand goes, as you can see from the counter at the top of the blog, I'm just a little over a month away from leaving. I've got my flight schedule and pretty much everything else in order. We leave on June 9 at 6:50AM (YIKES!) and connect in Chicago where we will fly for about 14 hours to Bangkok where we will stay overnight and then on to Chiang Mai the next morning. The 14 hours-in-a-plane-thing is starting to worry me a bit. I'm not at all afraid to fly, but just knowing that I have no choice but to be in one place for that length of time kind of makes me a bit claustrophobic. But they've given us really good tips on flying and getting our body clock regulated. Thailand is 12 hours ahead of us here in Tennessee, so that will certainly be an adjustment. But I've got my Tylenol PM, iPod and reading materials ready, so I should be fine. Plus, with my good buddy Rachel going, combined with both of our excitement, I will probably have no trouble finding stuff to keep me busy. As for the cost of my trip, I'm not sure when my final payment is due, but at last report, I had less than $300 to be paid! Praise the Lord who has provided through each of your generosity. Thank you!!!! I will let you know when I do exactly how much I raised.

Steve's in full swing preparing for Moldova. These trips are coming faster than either of us expected! I think he's about gotten everything ready (in terms of purchasing) for his trip too. He is lacking his vaccinations and so am I, but we should be taking care of that soon enough. He still has LOTS to pay on his trip. He's gotten only one donation for $50 but that is something to be proud of! Thanks to his friend Mark for being his first donator! He did send out about 80 letters of support, so hopefully these folks will start stepping up soon. Let me encourage those of you that are reading this, if you haven't sent in a donation for me and want to support, please send a check for STEVE'S TRIP. I can assure you, you will be blessed!

Right now, Gage and Micah are here for the weekend. They came down last night and we've just enjoyed them so much! That sweet baby boy is so wonderful to hold. He's a good baby and we always enjoy Micah being here. Sometimes I can't believe looking at her now that she was just a little 10 year old bob-haired blondie when I first met her! Let me tell you, there's nothing like watching the child you adored turn into a woman and then mother of her own child. Unbelievable! Micah is going to stay tonight and we'll all go to church together tomorrow. I can't wait to see Gage dressed in his church outfit. I'll have to take pictures and post them here later.

Jenna-well, not much to report on here. She's a mess as usual. We've begun to pray that the Lord blesses her with a beautiful voice because if he doesn't, it's going to be a long 18 years! That child sings ALL THE TIME! You wouldn't believe it unless you heard it. It's just all the time. And it's a different song. Sometimes she just makes up things. It's nice to hear though. She's got only about 3 more weeks of school and then she'll be going to a variety of summer camps. Also, I've been in email contact with the pre-1st teacher, Ms. Seay, at DLES. Can I just say I think we are going to get along just fine! We are going to an informational meeting on Monday at noon and I will meet her in person and learn lots more about pre-1st and the curriculum.

Well, I guess that's enough for now. I'll probably post late next week with pictures of sweet baby Gage and information about our pre-1st meeting.

Until then...