Happy 23rd birthday to Micah! I can't believe she's been part of my life since she was 10 years old. She's become such a wonderful young woman and mother. We are so proud of her. She is still hanging in school to become a medical assistant. She's got about 3 more months and has a 4.0 GPA...again, we are SO proud!

Something funny that happened today...we went to the church to have our church directory pictures made. They took several pics of us as a family, then Steve and I together and then several cute ones of Jenna alone. After all that, they take you to a computer monitor and you view the pics and decide which you like best. Of course, Jenna is sitting right up in front of the monitor giving her opinion of her favorite family photo. Next up are the photos of Steve and I alone. The Olan Mills lady puts up two pics, then asks us which of the two do we like better. Jenna, again, serious as can be, pipes in, "I don't like either one of them because I'm not in it!!!"...aaahhhh...from the mouth of babes...

: )

Things that make MY heart happy...

My friend Rachel had this on her blog and said she wanted to know what made other people's hearts happy. I thought it was a great idea, so here are just a few of mine...

*The belly laugh of my baby girl (who is 6, but will always be my baby).
*Being held by the love of my life.
*Hearing "The Great Adventure" on the radio and turning it up so loud I can't even hear myself sing (thank goodness!) and anything else that takes me back to my younger days!
*Closing my eyes to enjoy the sound of a full worship orchestra at church.
*Griping to my friends on the phone while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.
*Being part of a great place to work.
*Being part of the "coolest church around".
*Watching my baby girl run into the big, strong arms of our church pastor.
*Going through the valley to gain a more personal relationship with The One.
*My dear step mother because deep down, I know she makes my Dad happy and takes good care of him no matter the cost to her.
*Knowing I have the ability to still believe in miracles.

What makes YOUR heart happy?????


Proving the Theory...

So, lately, I've been thinking about that old saying "history repeats itself". Many times, this is quoted in respect to addiction and the like. But I've been thinking about how many times in my life and history that it has proven itself true. Check it out...
-My mom and dad were 10 years apart in age. Steve and I are 15. Not only that, but once my dad remarried, he and my stepmom are 18 years apart.
-There are 15 years between me and my youngest sibling. There are about 13-14 years between Jenna and her youngest sibling.
-My mom had grown step daughters when she had me. After she had me, her stepdaughters had more children. I have a grown step daughter and after I had Jenna, my stepdaughter had a son.

And that's just a few...some things that haven't happened yet, but could...
-My mom was 37 when she had me. I could have a second child at 37 (though it would be a miracle!)
-If I did have a second child now, that child would have a nephew that is OLDER than he/she. I have a niece several years older than me (actually I have 2!)
-My mom died at 55...let's hope she is where that similarity ends!

Anyway, those weird thoughts have crossed my mind more than once in the past several years. It is totally weird to see how that happens.

Just wanting to wish one of my online friends, "Shrink" (don't ask) a huge Congratulations! Her son just turned one recently...he was an IVF baby like Jenna...and she posted today that she is expecting again! A natural miracle! This is the second natural miracle on the boards that I'm a member of. I'm beyond thrilled for her and while hearing this kind of news makes me happy, it also dredges up a bunch of emotions I thought I'd put to bed a long time ago. I know any of my "mamas" reading this will understand. :)

I have to tell you the funniest thing Jenna said this afternoon. It was one of those times that I got so tickled I didn't think I could stop laughing. First, let me caveat the story with something to help you put it into context...every morning, I get up and after getting ready, read my devotional. Most mornings, after I finish getting dressed, I'll wake Jenna up, lay her clothes out and tell her to get dressed while I do my devotional.

OK, so this afternoon, she comes to my bedroom as I'm getting ready to shower and has a paper with a bunch of her writing on it. She's trying to show it to me. She says, "Look Mama"...and then looking me straight in my eye, as serious as a heart attack, she says, "look...I wrote my own de-noash-a-vull". I know you can't find this as humorous since you weren't here, but she was just so serious and the word that comes out in place of "devotional" was "denoashavull"...it was just more than I could stand. I didn't want to hurt her feelings, but I got to laughing and then she got to giggling too...it was just a good dose of comic relief!

Well, I gotta get busy. I have one more night of my Beth Moore study to do as well as preparing for a PLACE session I have on Wednesday night!

Our Weekend & Agnus Dei

I'm sure you are wondering what in the world my title could mean. It's an odd choice of combination I'm fully aware.

First, I'll tell you about the Agnus Dei part...yesterday at church, we sang this song. For those who don't know, one version of this song was done by Michael W. Smith. And let me tell you, with the BBC full orchestra going, it was absolutely heavenly. I mean, I could literally shut my eyes and imagine myself in what I think heaven looks like. And I do think heaven will be full of music. All I know is we know heaven will be better than anything we can possibly imagine here on earth and after this Sunday's orchestra music, I can't wait to get there!

Now, for our weekend...it was a busy one. As you know, our intent was to pressure wash and restain both the deck and the fence as well as Jenna's swing set if we could manage. Steve got up about 7am to head to the Brentwood Home Depot to rent the pressure washer. He got back home only to discover that they'd forgotten to give him the washer hose. Can't use the washer without the hose. So, back to Home Depot he goes. Home again, hook everything up and spray siding wash on the house (we wanted to wash the side of the house before starting the deck), hook up the pressure washer and turn it on. It provided about as much pressure as the garden hose. This was caused mainly by all the water squirting out from the hose where it was attached to the washer. SO. Back to Home Depost for trip #3. Needless to say, they gave us the rental for free.

The second washer we brought home was fine, thank goodness! But what all these fun trips to Home Depot in Brentwood (for those that aren't local, this is a good 25 minute drive ONE WAY per trip) meant was that we didn't really get started working until almost noon. What that also means is that the sun was just starting to peek over the house to the back yard about that time. So we pressure washed and stained in the full sun about 90 degrees (yes, in mid September!). But, we got it mostly done. We still lack the inside of the fence washing and staining and some staining of the deck...just touch ups on the outside of the railing...Oh, and we washed the swing set but didn't get to stain it.

Steve went out and bought a pressure washer (they were on sale) and he's taking off on Friday because Jenna doesn't have school and hopefully get the fence washed, the few touch ups on the deck done and now that we OWN a pressure washer, we'll wash the driveway and seal it again...hopefully the weather will be a little cooler and the rain will hold off. Not sure how much you can see from the before and after pictures, but trust me, there's a HUGE difference!!!


A full weekend ahead...

I think I've gotten yelled at twice today for my lack of an update, so here it is! I'm so thankful for all of you that keep up with me here. Like many fellow bloggers, you write and write and wonder if anyone out there is reading, so even though I fuss about getting my hands slapped, I like to hear from you all to let me know someone is reading.

My friend Christy in AZ has just started her blog, so welcome Christy to blogworld!!!! She's got 4 kids all age 6 or under so I'll be anxious to follow their developments!

The reason for the delay in my blog updates have been that we've just been busy. It seems that every night of the week this week, we've had something going on. Steve's been busy at work and I had to take off a little early Monday to take Jenna to gymnastics and violin. Her violin teacher expressed some concerns with Jenna's lack of concentration. I got all bummed out thinking about it but now I just don't know whether both activities on one day is too much (we did that to keep more evenings free) or if being 6 means 15 minutes of concentration and that's it. Anyway, next week we'll have Steve sit in on the lesson to help her focus and then if that doesn't work, we're going to try moving gymnastics to another night. I hate to do that, but I also don't want to have her quit violin. She told me she likes it but "it's just hard". I don't want to teach her to quit when something gets hard.

On a sad note, Chase's girlfried of 2 years broke up with him this week. Needless to say, Chase is beside himself. Unfortunately, being that this was his first real girlfriend and first heartbreak, he cannot let well enough alone. I, personally, think she just needs some time apart from him to "find herself" and find out who she is before she can give herself to anyone. Chase of course, doesn't understand that and just can't bring himself to leave her alone. He wants to call and talk about it. Last night on the way home from work, I tried to put my very expensive psychology degree to work with him. Not sure if it did any good, but for those of you with little ones at home, let me tell you, watching your child go through this is NO FUN! I know he's not my flesh and blood, but I love him and Micah like they are mine and it's miserable. I take on what I refer to as "Bob the Builder" personality and want to "fix" the situation. Which is ironic because I believe that's what Chase is trying to do right now and I keep trying to tell him some things just can't be fixed and sometimes as a woman, we just want the men to be there and NOT FIX it!

Anyway, it's been a busy week and next week is shaping up to be no different. I found out late yesterday I will be traveling in a little over a week to Charlotte and Orlando on business. It's the first business trip I've taken in a while and while I'm looking forward to it, I will fly out on an early flight one day, do a presentation in Charlotte, then fly out of there that evening to Orlando. Spend the night in Orlando, do a presentation the next day and fly out for home that night. So, on the first day of travel, I'll have breakfast, lunch and dinner in 3 different states/cities. Cool. I'll be beat on Friday when I come back to work...not to mention I'll have TONS of emails to sift through!

OK, I hope that's enough updates for all of you blog addicts! I'm keeping Hannah tonight and she and Jenna are in her room playing. Steve's bowling and I'm about to do tonight's Bible Study while the TV isn't on. Tomorrow, Steve and I are refinishing and restaining our deck, fence and Jenna's swing set. That should be loads of fun. No rest for the weary. I'll try to do before and after pictures tomorrow.



A short update

Before I get yelled at for not posting, I thought I'd give a quick update on us.

Not much has been going on to be honest. Well, that's a lie. We've been extremely busy, but it's just the same ole stuff. We had a great labor day. Pretty much hung around the house, slept late and enjoyed the extra day off. But last week was the longest short week I've had in a while!

I started getting sick on Wednesday afternoon and really didn't feel 100% until yesterday morning when I woke up. I got on antibiotics right away, so that was good. I still have a bit of a cough, but other than that, I'm good.

Jenna is still doing her gymnastics and violin lessons, although she got the day off last Monday due to the holiday. The next few weekends are going to have a busy-ness all their own!

I guess that's about it for now. Seems like I should have lots to tell, but not so much. I'll keep you posted as (if) that changes!


I got this in an email today. I thought it was appropriate for what our family has just gone through.

The Purpose of a Dog - from a 4 year old

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for the four-year old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life- - like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?"

The four-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.