Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter Blast

Dispatches from the homefront
A Pictorial

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

A week of being sick...

Nothing much has been going on this week. We have all been sick. I think Lauren brought something back with her from Atlanta last week and we have all taken turns passing it around. I think she and I have had it worse than Megan and Noah. Noah just had a little runny nose and a slight cough. Megan is stopped up and blowing her nose. But Lauren and I have been really stopped up with a congested cough and feeling awful!

Because of this our week has been pretty slow and filled with drug induced sleep and hazy thinking and very little conversation. We have all pretty much found our own little spaces in the house and nested. Noah has enjoyed more time on the wii this week. Mario Kart can keep him satisfied for quite some time.

The girls did spend all day one day this week working on Lauren a new photography blog site. Megan designed it and did all the necessary computer magic to make it come together. She is really good at that. She taught herself all the codes and computer language to get the colors and designs and everything working together to make the site work. I am amazed at how she does it. I wish I could find a class that she could take that would give her a little more instruction and she could have her own website design business. She is really good at it. Check out this site:

I have been doing some reading this week. I read a humorous book about southern mama's

Now I am reading one of Jon Katz books. I have never read any of his work, but picked this one up at the library and thought it sounded interesting. So far I am not disappointed.

My reading interest seem so varied that I usually end up with a stack of book at the library that are so different from each other. The librarian even commented about the wide range of books that I was checking out. I never know what I will be in the mood for, so I try to cover all the bases. Right now I am not really doing a lot of fiction reading. I usually have a stack of books by the time I make it back to the fiction section and I usually say the same thing every time I will start in the fiction section and work my way back up. But I never do, something always catches my attention in the nonfiction and I get carried away into book land...

Since I was a child, I have always loved the library. My mom took me to the library and got my first card when I was around three years old. From that point on I was so amazed that you could go to a place with all those books and get a stack and bring them home...then go back next time and get another stack and bring them home to read. Yes, I suppose I was easily amazed by simple things...

From the time I was old enough to read, I have wished that there was some type of machine that I could hook to my brain and go through the library and take in all the words and read all the scanning them with a computer but understanding and retaining each one. There were so many I wanted to read, but not enough time to read them all. I am still that way...I have to limit myself each time to a tote bag full. I know in my heart that I will not have the time to read all of them but I have to attempt it.

So I leave the library with wide eyes and pounding heart...hardly able to wait until I get home to start the first one. I often look through them while stopped at red lights on the way home. Deciding which one will be the first. I usually know that by the time I get home. I have picked out the one that I will devour, like a hungry wolf devouring its prey. The first one gets read quickly, usually by the second day I am ready to begin the next one on the list. This book will take me a little longer to complete, and on and on it goes down the line of books until it is time to return them to the library.

Usually I am a few days late returning them. I always have a fine at the's just my way of helping support such an awesome place. One dollar here, seventy-five cents there...sometimes it may even get as high as three or four dollars depending on what is going on in my life at the time. In some places that we have lived you can renew them online, and I will do that, but in other places you have to call to renew. I'm not much of a phone person, so I just let it go and willingly pay the fine.

Once I even had the privilege of working at a library. I loved it! I got to see all the new books that came in before they were put on the shelves. I actually got paid to do something I loved. I was able to read, read, and read some more...It was great. For a small town, it was one of the best libraries I had seen.

Of course, living in Little Rock was great...there were so many branches of the library that it was like an adventure. Each branch had its own feel to it, but they were all great with lots of great books. I could even visit more than one a day! Wow! Yes, I am easily amused...

I do love books and stories; reading and writing them. I am looking forward to starting this creative writing class on Monday. I just hope this sinus mess is all cleared up by then.

Well this wasn't the most interesting post I have written, but just a record of our week. Like a journal entry for my future self. One day I can compile all of these posts and sit and read them and remember how things were...I am sure it isn't of much interest to anyone else.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Bucket List...or God's Purpose for Me.

The photo has no connection with the post...just a picture I took in Pike Place Market in Seattle last summer. While looking through my photos this one made me think of spring and made me think of it brought a smile to my this cold, dead of winter, these flowers and the memories of Seattle were heart warming...

Well, I finally did it...being the commitment phobe and the semi-recluse that I have become, I stepped out of my comfort zone and did something I have wanted to do for a very long time.

I suppose I have begun to realize that I need to get to work on that "life list" or as some affectionately refer to it; "my bucket list". Or maybe I just ran out of excuses why I couldn't do it...

I signed up for a Creative Writing class at the local community college. It is a continuing ed course, and not one leading to a degree. I'm not seeking a degree, I already have one of those...I think it is in my dresser drawer upstairs...anyway...

I have always been an aspiring writer. I started making up and writing stories when I was old enough to put pencil to paper. Often times just making up stories without writing them down.

So I finally decided today was the day, or yesterday to be exact.

I went and signed up on the spot. I was so pumped and excited, ready to learn...but for some reason the instructor didn't show...they couldn't get in touch with her, I hope it wasn't anything serious. Last week I was looking at taking another class and the following day I heard on the news that the instructor was killed in a car crash.

Anyway, they will be in touch with us to discuss a make up day and next week there won't be class being that it is on Monday and next Monday is MLK day.

Which means we won't start for two weeks! I hope by then I haven't found some excuse for not continuing to take the class. However, the fact that they already have my money is a pretty good incentive to continue.

In all honesty, I am looking forward to it. I am hoping that I can hone my skills, learn some techniques to improve my writing and learn how to go about submitting my writing for possible publication.

The instructor is a long time writer for the newspaper and probably has lots of stories to tell about the business. From her photo she looks like a very pleasant, engaging person. She seems like someone who is encouraging and a mentor. The type of woman who is easy with a laugh and someone with whom you feel comfortable immediately. A confident person, comfortable in her own skin, someone with wisdom and compassion.

To think I got all that from looking at her photo. A photo that probably reminds her of the DMV photo on a drivers license that no one likes. But I have always been insightful that way, you know, reading things about people just by looking at them. Feeling their spirit...Oh, I never shared that talent with you? Well, that is one of many that I have been hiding, waiting for the right moment to share. Stick around, you never know just what you might discover about me next.

So for now, this being a new year and my theme being NEW YEAR, NEW ME, this is one thing I can cross of that list of mine...On my death bed, when I am 103, I can look back with fondness and remember that I did follow some of my dreams, I took a creative writing class...only God and the future knows if anything actually came of it...if I actually learned something and used it to pursue the dream of being a writer, well a paid writer...I have always been a writer...the point of this exercise is to see if I have the stuff to actually make it pay for me...we will see. In the meantime, I hope to have a good time, meet interesting people and broaden my horizons; or as Bruce Wilkinson says, allow God to expand my territory.

Started reading The Purpose Driven Life yesterday. Day one is a reminder that it isn't about me...I am here for a purpose, God's purpose to be exact. So even with all of my talk about following my dreams or doing something I've always wanted to do, I realize that above it all, I need to pursue God's purpose for this life.

God put each of us here for a specific purpose and like most people, I got sidetracked along the way, seeking my purpose. Now with the New Year, New Me mindset, I am not just marking off items that I selfishly want to do, I am seeking Him in each of these things...using the items to move me toward where He envisioned my life...Although some of them may cause you to ponder; how could running a 5k help you reach the place God wants you to be?

Well, I'm not sure, but I feel God's leading in that direction for some reason... I only have a little light to shine on the first step, I don't see the whole journey laid out before me. God usually doesn't work that is about faith, trusting in Him that He knows where He is leading you...He sees the end from the beginning.

I truly believe that when you start in the right direction God will continue to give you a little more and a little more detail about what you are suppose to be doing along the way. The bible says that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart. That doesn't mean that He will grant all of your wishes and life will be grand. Sometimes I wish it did...well maybe, sometimes...

It means that He will put into you the desires that He has for your life. They will become your desires. They will replace the old, self serving desires that you once had for yourself. But He will put into you new desires, desires that you can pursue to take you further along the journey God put you on.

He gave each of us talents, and with those talents, He put desires to pursue those areas. He gives us an inclination toward those things. I don't know how becoming a runner or a writer could profit God or further His plan in my life, but I believe that He gave me those desires. I suspect it has something to do with the people I could meet while participating in these activities...because after all God is in the people business...and I don't believe you meet anyone by accident. I believe all of our encounters are God have something to offer that person, or they have something that God wants them to share with you. I believe that you have a connection with certain people over others, because God has a purpose in that...

Things to remember: It isn't about me...It's all about Him...
Colossians 1:16 reminds us:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

That means that we were created by Him and for Him. We were put here to fulfill His purpose...I know that I haven't been fulfilling that purpose...I have fallen far short of that purpose.

Do I know for what purpose I was put here? Not all of it, but I know that He is leading me in that direction... the more I shed of me, the more I seek Him, the further down that path I go. I don't see the whole picture, but that's okay...each day, if I seek Him He will direct me a little more and a little more. Will I ever be able to say, "this is it, this is the thing I was placed here for?" I don't know. There are probably many things we are placed here for; not great big things, just a lot of small, everyday things. Things we don't think of as purpose...but are things that in the end add up to a life pleasing to God...I think it is about relationship, about finding relationship with fellow travelers along this journey...

God put in me His Spirit, He gave me the revelation of Him, who He is and how to find Him...just as He gives to all that seek Him. Armed with just that is enough to keep someone busy for a lifetime. Sharing that with others...I use to become a bit overwhelmed with that task, trying to find a way to share that truth with people I meet. It isn't always easy for someone like me, someone who is shy and reserved. Someone who often feels intimidated by social situations...

...did I happen to mention that I have a tendency to be a border line recluse...

So at times relationships tend to be my problem...I have to push out of my comfort zone in order to reach out to people...yes, it is a big character flaw of mine...I understand that no man is an island...but some of us try, we eventually make ourselves a peninsula if not an island...(a little of my nutty geographical humor.)

But there are times when I know it is God pushing me, and I stretch myself to accomplish the task...but the last few years, I haven't been doing that...I have given in to that reclusive side and allowed the devil and my flesh to keep me from responding in the way I need to for God to use me to reach others for Him... the task of sharing His word and His gospel becomes overwhelming to me. But God begins to deal with me, that it is about relationship, building relationships and allowing God to shine through me and He would draw them to Himself. But no one is going to see Him in me, if I am not doing the necessary work of building relationships.

My heart has always been about missions...I ALWAYS cry endless tears when a missionary comes with their stories and slides of the people in other countries who are in need of God. When they share their burden, I feel that burden, I have always dreamed of mission work and being the kind of person God could send... But I understand that my own choices have limited me in that area...I understand that I haven't allowed God to use me in that way, even though that is where my heart lies...

But I also realize that the lifestyle we live; the gypsy lifestyle, that takes us places we never knew we wanted to go, allows me the opportunity to fulfill that desire. Since Andrew works as a general contractor on government jobs, we travel and move around, a brings me in contact with so many people, so many people that like in those missionary slides, are lost and needing God...I used to understand that God was allowing me to follow that aspect of my heart...somewhere I lost that...somewhere I began to get bogged down in the day to day...I forgot what God had given me, the purpose for this way of life...if I couldn't go to foreign soil and share His love, He could move me around this country, bringing me in contact with so many people, so many hurting people who need His love...

...the question I posed to myself Sunday after Bro Mitchel did such a marvelous job of preaching about our purpose...Are you fulfilling that purpose that God put you in each of these places to fulfill?

Unfortunately, the answer had to be NO! A loud and resounding NO! My spirit yelled out NO, NO, NO!

Where does that leave me? Back on my knees, back to repentance, and back to seeking His purpose for me...Understanding again, as so many times, I am in much need of Him and His mercy...I am in much need of Him...without His help, I can do nothing...but through Him I can do all things.

God doesn't require more of us than He equips us to give...He places in us the desires to follow His leading...the interests He puts in our hearts are to help us come closer to that dream He had for our lives when He created us...

I am again recommitting my life and purpose to Him, Asking Him to put His desires in me and give me the necessary skills to be successful at the tasks He gives me...Whatever and where ever that may be.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas gifting, new year, and cold weather

Wow! We are already eight days into 2010! The days have been like a blur to me. The first week of the year is almost over and I am not even settled in yet.

My parents left on Tuesday heading back to Louisiana. So we are just trying to ease our way back into the usual routine of life. Megan started school again yesterday, and I did some catching up on laundry and a few other items around the house. I really need to clean my carpets, but with this cold weather, I think I will hold off on the carpet steaming until it warms a bit.

Yesterday both girls got to feeling bad with headache and just that yucky feeling. This morning I woke up early with a headache across my forehead and drainage down my throat. I got up coughing up stuff again. (I know you just wanted to know the gross details) Then when Noah woke up he told me his forehead apparently we all have the crud...

Megan had an art class yesterday, but I called and cancelled due to all of us feeling under the weather. I didn't want to drag Noah out in the cold, and Lauren didn't feel like getting out either. I think she had a temp last night.

Not the best way to start the new year...but this freezing cold weather isn't I suppose there are somethings you have no control over and must just work around it.

I am reading Max Lucado's, Cure for the Common Life. I started reading it several years ago but got sidetracked somewhere without finishing it. So I decided to try again. This year I am looking for my sweet spot.

Last week I read The Shack and Chosen by a Horse, A memoir. I started Julie & Julia, but I suppose it wasn't exactly what I was looking for, so I put it aside. Just not my type of book. To much uncalled for language and well, just didn't feed my spirit. Sometimes I am just in the mood for certain types of reading, and it just didn't meet the need.

I spent the last couple of weeks working on some Christmas gifts to send back to Louisiana with my parents. I crocheted some of them and sewed some of them. I am now working on a scarf for a gift for someone else and a baby blanket that needs to be finished today. The baby is scheduled for delivery TODAY! So I need to spend most of the day working on it. I was also working on a doll and a stuffed animal for the baby's brother and sister, but while working on the Christmas gifts, I had to put the others aside, now I am running behind schedule on these. I have another baby blanket to do by next month and some birthday's I was trying to prepare for, but something will have to slide...

I have several other projects/gifts that I wanted to complete before the end of January to send, but I don't know if I can get them all accomplished with everything else I need to be doing.

Sometimes there are so many things I would like to do, that I have to scale down and pick and choose. Noah is at a stage where he talks about friends. One day he will tell me I am his best friend and then another time he will tell Andrew that he is his best friend...So some days Noah will say to me, "your not my best friend"...Lauren is, or Megan is or Daddy is his best friend for that day...So I say to him, "well maybe tomorrow will be my day"... If you didn't get something from me all I can say is that maybe next time will be your time to be surprised with something in the mail from me...

Like I said earlier in the post, January is just racing by...I will be glad with the weather gets better. Andrew and I are wanting to start running, but there is no way I am going to START running with the temps as low as they have been. It will be hard enough to get out and run, without adding freezing temps and tons of clothing when the weather returns to the norm for this area, we plan to get started on our goal of running a 5K this spring or early summer.

Here are a few of the gifts I made this year.

Dishcloths I crocheted

After I bundled them for each recipient

A Kool-Aid pouch bag for a little girl

I put some goodies inside for her also

A scarf I crocheted to put in the bag for a special little girl

And finally, a hot/cold rice neck pillow with lavender for a hard working LSU fan. Believe me it wasn't easy to find LSU fabric in North Carolina.

I tried to go "greener" this year. So I decided on these handmade gifts along with stainless steel water bottles for everyone. To help promote a healthy lifestyle, while being nice to the planet.

Now on to the baby blankets...


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