Just wanted to give a quick update on Mittens...we have NOT had any luck this week. We did locate a grey and white cat that some neighbors spotted but it was most definitely not Mittens. We have seen this cat several times now in the same area our neighbor thought he saw Mittens so we believe he probably never really saw Mittens, but this cat.

At this point, we are thinking he is not in the area and probably never was. I honestly don't know what might have happened to him unless someone picked him up with the intention of keeping him and went out of the area. Someone has removed all our missing signs so I'm thinking maybe it's a sign that it's time to move on. I'll always wonder what happened to him, but I guess it's time to stop expecting him to show up. Maybe he will. I've heard many stories about cats that show up weeks after going missing. I guess we'll see.

Well, I am skipping my scrapbook day today to get this house cleaned. Call it "Fall Cleaning" but that's what is on the agenda for today. Wish me luck!


Sight, Seeing and Eyes

You may be wondering what in the world the title of my post means. Well, I have 3 things to tell you and they are all related as you will see (no pun intended).

First of all, there has been a Mittens sighting!!! It's just a sighting and it wasn't us, but someone saw our fliers over in the adjoining neighborhood and called this morning. He said there is a grey and white cat that has been hanging around his neighbor's fish pond the last few days. Steve immediately went over there and of course, couldn't find anything but talked to the guy and he said that the cat is usually out there about 9am in the morning and sometimes in the evenings. From his description, it appears to be Mittens! We are trying not to get our hopes up, but it's very hard. To think he is alive and as close as the next neighborhood makes me very happy. Steve is on his way home now with Jenna and we are going out there to look. Wish us luck!

In other news, I went for my follow-up exam from my LASIK surgery today. It can take up to a month for your vision to reach it's final resting point so to speak and it can fluctuate in between. I've been trying to test my eyesight with everything and I was quite disappointed that my left eye (the worst one) didn't seem to be at 20/20. Today I was prepared for the official disappointment. Much to my surprise, my right eye is not 20/20...it's 20/15! Better than normal!!!! My left eye (that troublemaker eye!) is "slightly better than 20/20, but not quite 20/15". HOLY COW. People. I went from legally blind (not blonde) without my glasses or contacts to 20/15! I'm here to tell you...if you are like me, LASIK is for you! And I'd highly recommend Dr. James Loden! I have some pictures I want to share, but that can come later...

Now, for the last thing...as you know, my Chase graduated Marine Boot Camp a few weeks ago. He's now gone back to NC to do his MCT (military combat training) and his job training. He'll be gone another 3-4 months, hopefully home by Christmas. At any rate, we did get his "formal" pictures and we were very pleased. This is my little 6 year old stepson, all grown up.
Talk about a sight for sore eyes....Mmmhmmm...I know. All you single women understand, you have to go through me to get to him right? A co-worker said to me last week, "There is just something about a man in uniform that makes me weak in the knees." Yes, I know. And I couldn't be more proud!


Missing Family Member

Last night after returning from church, we realized we were missing our "baby" cat, Mittens. After canvassing the house, we figured he slipped out without us knowing when the door was open at some point on Saturday afternoon.

Steve is going to spend the day looking and putting up signs, but if you live in the area, will you please be on the lookout for Mittens? He has no front claws and no collar (because he has always stayed inside) and we are all heartbroken that he is missing.

If you happen to see him, THINK you see him or actually catch him, contact me or Steve immediately. You will truly be our hero.



I can see clearly now the rain is gone....

Today was a big day for me...I took the leap. The LASIK leap.

I have been thinking about this for a while now and at my last annual eye visit, I figured it was now or never. I wanted to have it while I was still young enough to enjoy life without any glasses (including reading).

I researched a couple of doctors, did a couple free consultations and settled on James Loden of Loden Vision Centers. He came highly recommended by my friend Leigh Ann. And I was not disappointed.

I arrived today at noon and they took me right back. After a few minutes for the sedative to take effect, I was on my way to the laser room. The whole procedure took about 8 minutes. The minute I sat up I could already see better even though it was a little blurry. We came home and I rested. When I woke up, I could see even better! For someone as blind as I was, this is a miracle. About 20 minutes after I woke up, the phone rang and guess who it was? Dr. James Loden! Calling to check on me after surgery. NICE TOUCH.

Anyway, I go back tomorrow morning for a follow up appointment and I should be able to see close to 20/20 by even then. I'll let you know.

I have some beautiful goggles...reminds me of someone...


My Military Man...

OK, I'm really here to blog about our trip to Parris Island to see Chase this past weekend, but first, let's get this nasty lay-off stuff out of the way.

Steve's company has been laying off people for months. This month, they laid off 7. Yesterday, they let 2 go and one of those was Steve. The question I am getting is, "Does this have anything to do with the dog?" And my answer is, "I don't really know" and I might never know. Honestly, we figured this was coming sooner or later. There's not many employees left at the company and there was some drama last week which ended with the company losing their biggest client.

Steve and I both have an indescribable peace about this. We have prayed for years (no exaggeration) for God to give Steve a new job and the answer has always been "No". So now He has answered...just not in the way we'd hoped. I am reading the Chronological Bible again this year and I'm about a month behind (darn summer!). I'm desperately trying to catch up and am in Isaiah. This morning there were three verses that really stood out to me. I want to share them with you:
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3a

18 “But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19 For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19

and finally...
11 This is what the Lord says—
the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth
and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
All the stars are at my command.
Isaiah 45:11-12

So, basically He said to me, "I got your back", "I'm about to do something AWESOME and hey, I'm already working this out to My glory" and most importantly, "Who are you to question what I'm doing?" I'm so thrilled when God shows up so obviously.

I've received many comments, calls, emails and offers of help. To those of you who want to know what Steve can/wants to do the answer is he has spent his entire career in the printing business, however, with the Green movement and so many folks going paperless, I'm not sure the smartest move is staying in the printing business. We are working on updating his resume (which was pretty updated already) so if you want it to pass along, just shoot me an email and I'll forward it to you complete with references etc. I'm happy to tell you a little about what he has done in the past, but right now, I want to share some pictures with you of our little trip to Parris Island...

We were due to fly out of Nashville at 5:11 on Wednesday, but our flight was delayed by almost 90 minutes. What that meant was that we would miss our connecting flight in Atlanta. We went ahead and changed our flight out of Atlanta. The earliest flight we could get out of Atlanta was 10:30pm. We got to the Atlanta airport right on time but then our flight out was delayed and so we didn't fly out of there until nearly midnight. We had almost an hour drive from Savannah to Beaufort in the rain. Finally we got to the hotel and in bed at 2am.

That wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact that we had to be up at 4:00am in order to get to the base in time for the motivational run and catch our first glimpse of Chase in 3 months. We did pick him out of the platoon of like 70+ and watched as they ran. At about 9:30, they marched into the All Weather Facility and in about 30 minutes we had a joyous reunion! We were so excited to see him...especially Jenna...and he looked SO GOOD! We enjoyed a picnic lunch and a tour of the facility and then a second lunch (for Chase) before he had to go back at 2:30.

Friday morning we had to get there by 7am in order to get a spot for graduation. They usually make a big production of raising the flags, but it was canceled on Friday because of the MONSOON! I mean, it was raining so hard. And of course, all I had on were flip flops. And there, the area is so flat, water pools in PONDS that you could swim in. We had to sit in the very stuffy, crowded gym for 2 hours before they started. NOT FUN. But the wait was worth it. The men (no more boys) all looked so sharp in their dress uniforms. I mean...if you are single, I'd recommend going to a Marine graduation...plenty of fine looking men to choose from there!

Anyway, we did a quick stop at the MPX (the Marine Wal-Mart) and then took Chase to Applebees for lunch. That is where we had to part ways because we had a flight to catch and they (Chase with is mom and step-dad) were driving to the beach for a day or two.

What's next? He's home for now. Monday he leaves again for Camp Geiger (NC) for Marine Combat Training for about 4 weeks. From there, he will go straight to is job training (also in NC) for 3 months. He might be done in time for Christmas. Boy do I hope so. You don't realize how much you miss someone until you can't talk to or see them for 3 months! Chase came to eat lunch with me at work today and he was a hit. Everyone was talking about how good he looked in his uniform after. I should get his dress blues pictures tomorrow. When I do, I'll scan one and post it.

He did say that he kept EVERY letter and card he received and he got many that he didn't know who it was that was sending them. But he appreciated every one. And Steve and I appreciated each of you that sent something. I'm sure he'll be a little homesick while he's gone in the next few months but I think he'll have email access, so when I find out for sure I'll post his email address (with his permission) so you can send him encouraging notes there too.

Without further ado...

(and most of these were on Facebook, so if you are my friend there, they will be duplicates)...


Laid Off...




More to come, I promise...we are OK. We are not strangers to the tough times. I am looking forward to see how God is going to work through this.

But if you feel God is leading YOU to help him find another job, please feel free!!! :)


Vacay Recap

I have been promising some friends (KB!) that I would post a vacation recap this week while I was off. I have so many pictures from the week that I decided a slideshow would be best.

Monday, we arrived by plane and because we were staying in a family member's condo, we were able to get our rental CONVERTIBLE and go straight there. It rained most of the time. We did go down the street to dinner at a great little place called The Oasis and when we got back it was dried up enough to walk the beach. Although JG thought "walk the beach" meant "get in and get your clothes soaked"...

Tuesday we spent most all day at the beach and the pool. When JG was little, she preferred the pool to the beach. Now, it's just the opposite. Wednesday was more of the same, but when we came in for lunch we cleaned up and visited the Old Jail and bought Trolley tickets. Thursday we rode the trolley and went to the Alligator Farm. We also walked around St. George's Street a while. We were supposed to go horseback riding on the beach, but the storm blew up and that was postponed until Friday. I believe it was Thursday night that we did the Haunted Trolley Tour. That was fun...

Friday, my family from Jacksonville took off and chauffered us around all day. We did more trolley riding, more St. George shopping but first we did the parasailing. 1400 feet was as high as we could go and we did it. Amazing...and so quiet and peaceful. It is as close as I will ever get to flying like a bird. I would highly recommend it. That is, if you aren't afraid of heights. They will dip you in the water, but I was more concerned about taking pictures so I didn't want that. Plus, we didn't have our bathing suits on because we were spending the rest of the day (this was at 10 in the morning) in downtown St. Augustine and we didn't want to be wet. We ended the day with the horseback riding on the beach. We enjoyed some delicious seafood almost every night of the week!

We had quite the full week...we did so much...almost everything we wanted to do, we did. I would have never believed how much there was to do in St. Augustine.

Now we are back and ready for the coming festivities. Tonight, JG is having her BFF from school over to spend the night. They are not going to be in the same class this year for the first time since Pre-K, so this is a special end-of-summer sleepover! Tomorrow we are going to meet her teacher and pre-register for school since we'll miss her registration day on Thursday.

After we do that, it's off to the airport to fly to Parris Island to see Chase graduate. I promise many, MANY pictures when I return. We are coming back Friday evening, so I hope to upload my pictures and post on Saturday. It will be so good to have him home (though it won't be for long). Thanks for all your prayers, cards and letters for Chase. He received and felt every one.

OK, off to pack...


Where We've Been

I'm sure some of you have wondered where I"ve been lately. Well, life has a way of getting away from you if you aren't careful and that's what happened to me!

This past week, I worked really hard at work trying to tie up some loose ends before I take off for a couple weeks. Tomorrow, JG and I leave for the beach. We are truly looking forward to it because as you known, we’ve all had an interesting year. We have very little in the way of official plans for when we arrive. I’ve rented a convertible and we are staying on the beach, so most of our days will be spent at the beach or pool or both. I have several things that I want to do while we are there, but nothing concrete.

I experienced a first this past Friday. I went to a gold party. You know those ads you see on TV and hear on the radio about selling your unused gold? Well, this is not like a Pampered Chef or Premier Jewelry party…there’s no selling going on…just buying. I took a gallon bag about ½ full of old rings and things that I knew I’d never wear anymore. For those of you that knew me before I got engaged to Steve, I used to wear a ring on every finger (and I do mean EVERY finger) and some I had more than one on. Of course when I got that diamond engagement ring, I retired all the others. Now, I wear my wedding set and one other ring. So I took all those rings and bracelets that I would never wear and walked away with $373 in CASH! So, if you are interested in a party like this let me know. I think Rachel may be having one in the next few months and I will give her your name for her invite list.

As far as Steve and Katie are concerned, they are still doing well. Steve has had one seizure since she’s been with him. And she had already alerted him but he just wasn’t moving fast enough to catch it. He has a tendency to not realize that he’s delaying getting sugar in him when he’s getting low. He’ll fix a Coke and then instead of sitting down to drink it, he’ll look for a cookie or cake or glucose tablet and if he’s not careful, he forgets to drink and then he has a seizure. Anyway, yesterday, Katie followed him all the way up the stairs nudging his hand all the way and then literally jumped up on her back two feet (as if hugging him) and he just thought she wanted to play. Turns out, his blood glucose level was about 39 (with 120 being normal). Needless to say, he took care of himself before he had a seizure. We are constantly amazed at how Katie’s alerting is progressing. We were warned that it might take several months for her to “get it” on a regular basis, but she really is getting it already. She’s not at 100% by any means, but she’s getting closer. Steve continues to go places with her. Steve and I finally had a heart to heart talk about the changes this is going to create. After that talk, I think we finally feel united again. For a while, we were so caught up in the excitement of being together again, we kind of acted like nothing had changed. It didn’t take long for that to come to a head and so now we seem to be on the right track. Not just the right track but the SAME track!

Our letters from Chase are dwindling as he gets closer to graduation. Starting on Thursday, Chase will be doing the Crucible…this is the culmination of all the training and testing he’s gone through. In a nutshell, it’s 54 hours of food and sleep deprivation and about 45 miles of marching. It’s going to be the hardest thing these guys have been through. I have signed up on a message board, to pray for not just Chase, but his entire Company as they embark on this journey this week. Can I ask you to pray too? It’s from about 2am on Thursday until 8am on Saturday. Anytime you can pray, I would encourage you to do so. They won’t be sleeping in the barracks, but outside (when they get to sleep), so you don’t have to mail letters or cards, but I told Chase in my last letter to him that I would be asking my blog readers to pray. Thank you in advance for doing this. I know without a doubt he will feel those prayers. If you want to know more about the Crucible (and even watch a real life video, click on the link above...

I guess that’s about all going on with me. We found out this week who Jenna’s teacher for 2nd grade is and she’s excited. I got a call today asking me to be a room mom. I’m pretty excited about that since it’s been a couple years since I helped out the last time. JG is excited about school although she’s super-sad she’s not in class with her best friend, Annabelle. I am sad too, but I think this will be a good opportunity for the girls to branch out on their own and make some new friends since she and Annabelle have been in class together since Pre-K. Plus, it will encourage them to learn to maintain friendships of those they aren’t in class with every day. I am going to help make sure the girls stay in touch.

My blog will be dark for a while because I’m not taking my PC with me to the beach. I will have plenty to blog about, and plenty of pictures to share when I return.

See y’all in a week!