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Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's A Miracle! I'm Finished!

Finally! After 20+ years I have finally finished college! Many of you have heard the whining, moaning, groaning, and intense agony at times of my dreaded homework and class time. Of course, just as I was told, it was worth it and it really wasn't that painful....most of the time.


Luckily, all my family was able to come to my graduation last Saturday. I have a few pictures below just to prove it really happened. When my Mom emails pictures that she took, I may have a few more.




ME!!!












Hubby and Me!





Of course, the famous Bethanne (Waiting for the Shout) and Eddie (Eddie's Place) - better known as my sister and my Dad












The kids....Brandon, Anna and Zach













It can be done! If I had about $20,000 more dollars I would keep going! Sounds like a good excuse to take up a hobby! Who knows, maybe I will blog more than once a month now.


Hopefully I will talk to you again before Christmas! If not, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 8, 2008

You Gotta Be Kidding!

I decided to check out the blog analyzer that Bethanne mentioned in her blog. I'm not sure that I agreed with the analysis. The verdict is below:

ISTP - The Mechanics

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

I totally agree with the independent and problem-solving type. Most of the rest is a far reach for me. However, I definitely have to draw the line at the "enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters". That is way off the mark! Ask anyone that knows me!

I have taken the complete personality test before in my Management classes. What I found in the testing is that I am actually an INFJ personality. Below are the characteristics of the INFJ personality:

INFJs are conscientious and value-driven. They seek meaning in relationships, ideas, and events, with an eye toward better understanding themselves and others. Using their intuitive skills, they develop a clear vision, which they then execute decisively to better the lives of others. Like their INTJ counterparts, INFJs regard problems as opportunities to design and implement creative solutions.
INFJs are quiet, private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Although very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner.
Accounting for 1–3% of the population, INFJs have a rich, vivid inner life, which they may be reluctant to share with those around them. Nevertheless, they are congenial in their interactions with others. Generally well-liked by their peers, they may often be considered close friends and confidants by most other types. They are perceptive of the emotions of others and themselves easily hurt, though they may not reveal this except to their closest companions. Guarded in expressing their own feelings, especially to new people, they tend to establish close relationships slowly.
INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately and deeply woven, mysterious, and highly complex, sometimes puzzling even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world, but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they could understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired.Yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition.
In romantic relationships, INFJs tend to be modest but respond willingly to their partner's initiatives. Naturally reliable, they can have a hard time saying no to others, accumulating much too much work. They are kind and patient. Their preferred mode of communication is one on one, where they can examine the other person's problems for hours on end if need be, and they offer real solutions and good advice. They are generally economical and frugal, with minimalism their preferred way of living; however, when in a relationship with someone who is extravagant, they do not object but rather try their best to maintain the lifestyle of their partner. They are known for their love of humankind, community activism, sincere environmentalism, sense of decency, and integrity. They exude warm feelings. Violence, objects of violence, and the portrayal of violence weigh heavily on their consciousness. They are often the first to help those in need. They may seem naive, idealistic dreamers, or insincere; however, they are anything but.

My husband has already confirmed the accuracy of this evaluation. For those who know me, feel free to comment on how accurate you think this is. For those of you who don't know me, consider why it is that you don't know me? Do you not read my blog enough???? :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Tree

OK. Contrary to popular belief, I do not put up my tree the week before Christmas and take it down in March. It was February and it only happened a couple of times. Normally I put my tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving but this year I was sick all through Thanksgiving and the weekend. I have now put up my Christmas tree! That is all the decorating that has occurred but it is a start. In response to my sister Bethanne's blog, I am going to attempt to post some pictures. Just as a disclaimer, I want to let you know that the pictures are kind of blurry. Our son dropped the digital camera this summer and broke it so I am relying completely on a cell phone camera. In addition we have had some snow today so it was very fitting to be putting up the Christmas tree. I have included some pictures of our pretty snow...it wasn't alot but I love it anyway!!!

First the snow pictures....






Now the tree....I have recently changed all my ornaments so I am still in the process of collecting new ornaments. All ornaments are Blue, Silver, White or Clear...with a Navy blue tree skirt (which you can't see in the picture)....this is also a real Christmas tree so the smell is awesome! Remember the part about the pictures are taken with a cell phone...sorry.










And now for some special ornaments......
Most of the ornaments are stars, balls, snowflakes, and icicles...did I mention how much I LOVE SNOW!









This pictures doesn't do her justice, but there is a very beautiful
fiberoptic angel on top of our tree....she really is pretty and looks good.








My nephews, the famous Lake and Kaden (Bethanne's boys) made
these ornaments for their favorite Aunt Lisa last year. One says
Jesus and the other says Peace.



Sorry again for the blurriness.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

GIVEAWAY!!!!!

Check out my friend Sandy's blog....she has the coolest "Christmasy" giveaway!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Warning! Warning! This Blog May Get Graphic!

PREFACE: This is lengthy but please read it all. Please refer to this as a link in your own blog so that MANY people will read this with only a few days left before the election. The FACTS listed below are from various sources but alot of it comes specifically from something I read that was written by Huntley Brown who is a pianist for Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He is a Jamaican and his wife is from the island of Barbados.

I am going to be very controversial I am sure. I don't care. I am really frustrated with people walking around like the "Stepford Americans"! No matter what is proven to be factual about Obama, there are people who continue to support what may be the most liberal President we have ever had in office in the United States of America. Mix that with the very liberal Congress that is currently in office and we are in for a serious time. I must say that I agree with Joe Biden on one thing....we need to "gird our loins"!

I will give Obama credit for being a very charismatic speaker. He could probably sell ice cream to an Eskimo! (that was for Sarah Palin)

My greatest concern is that this is a racial election. There are many people who are voting for him because he is black. They are not voting for him because they agree with his policies, or because he is a good person or he would be a great leader. They are basing their vote on the sole fact that he is black. Many people will say that is not true but if they were being honest they would say that is their main reason for voting for him. I heard one person describe it as "processing their identity through their blackness". As Christians, we should be processing our identity through Christ and voting based on what the Bible teaches us as Christians. We should NEVER vote for anyone because of the color of their skin. When we get to heaven we won't be judged because of the color of our skin, we will be judged on whether or not we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Martin Luther King said don't judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. There are several things that should throw up red flags regarding the character of Obama. We don't know him personally so the only "character check" we can do is look at his voting record and the people that he surrounds himself and his family with in his life.

Well, the National Journal said: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (1/31/2008). He did this in only two years. Think what he could do in the next four years!
I read an article that said the following:
- There is a reason Planned Parenthood gives him a 100% rating
- There is a reason the homosexual community supports him
- There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas, the nation of Islam, etc. love him
- There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court
- There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill
- There is a reason he voted NO on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage
- There is a reason he voted NO on banning partial birth abortions
- There is a reason he voted NO on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito
These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion - the same practice Obama voted to continue.
I was going to describe this 5 step procedure of partial birth abortion but I decided to spare you the details. Trust me it is bad and if you really want to know it is easily found on the internet. Once you understand what actually happens in this procedure you should be upset that we even consider it in our country....that people have even wasted the time, paper, and energy to try to pass it.
- There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law.
Do you find it strange that I have to go through an act of congress, give consent, sign papers, etc. to give my child an Ibuprofen while she is in school but that same child can have an abortion without my consent??? How much sense does this make?
- There is a reason he went to Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years. Obama says he has good judgment and wants us to believe that. Yet, he sat and listened to this man's Anti-American and Anti-Christian teachings for 20 years. Not only did he listen to it, but he took his wife and children and exposed them to it as well. Now, of course, he is condemning Wright's sermons. Why now after 20 years??? Obama credits Jeremiah Wright for leading him to the Lord and discipling him. A disciple by definition is "one who is in training". This means to teach people to think like you, walk like you, talk like you, believe what you believe, etc. What exactly did Jeremiah Wright teach him? Would you support a white President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a:
1. Commitment to the white community
2. Commitment to the white family
3. Adherence to the white work ethic
4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the white community
5. Pledge to allocate regularly a portion of personal resources for strengthening and supporting white institutions
6. Pledge allegiance to all white leadership who embrace the white value system
7. Personal commitment to embrace the white value system
Just change the word from white to black and that is what is taught and practiced at the church that Obama attended for the past 20 years.
This is nothing short of racism. The church is not about race. Jesus did not die on the cross for one specific race. He died for the whole world...red, and yellow, black and white.
Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone who authored the book in 1970 "A Black Theology of Liberation". He wrote "Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him." Cone is the man that Obama's mentor looks up to.

I don't think that God would tell one Christian to vote for McCain and another to vote for Obama. These are decisions that people are making on their own. It is possible that I am too am not listening to God by voting for McCain (which I did yesterday). One way to be sure is to compare what Obama says, believes, and votes for to what Jesus teaches in the scriptures. He definitely contradicts the scriptures so I don't think I am wrong about this one.

What if Jesus Christ was standing beside you in the voting booth. When he asked "who are you voting for?" Would you say, well Jesus, I am going to vote for Obama EVEN THOUGH I KNOW that he will continue and support the practice of partial birth abortions, I know that he will nominate liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you, I know that he will continue to support and push the homosexual agenda (even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this), but I know it is OK to look the other way because of the economic situation.

Who would Jesus vote for? Isn't that who we should choose?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just some thoughts.....

I find myself "home alone" this afternoon....just me and the dogs. That is a pretty good thing except it makes me lazy. I have only had a desire this weekend to lay around and do nothing. And I must say I have excelled at it! I am working on perfecting it right now! Technically I am on a Fall Break and do not have a class coming up this week (so no homework!) and I am enjoying it. I am getting ready to start my very last class before I graduate in December. Yeah me! (I know..I know...it has taken something like 25 years but who is counting!) Anyway, this will be a doozy of a class from what I have read on the syllabus but I need it to graduate. So, the next 8 weeks are going to be rough but then I am finished.

I don't really have anything major to blog about so I will try some random thoughts.

Did you know that generic toilet paper will last FOREVER! It is totally against my religion to buy generic toilet paper but apparently it is not against my husbands. I thought I taught him better than that. Not only did he buy generic toilet paper but he bought the huge package. We have had the same package of toilet paper for 2 months.....I don't think we will ever use it all! I actually think it is multiplying.

Why do all boys/men want motorcycles? They are so dangerous. What is it?

I am so sick of hearing about the "campaign trail" and all the ridiculous stuff about the election. I wish it was over and the bad news given. At least then we could listen to actual news. Let's get back to the stealing, cheating, lying, killing, kidnapping, and all the other garbage, I mean information, that our news usually provides to us. It is actually very similar to the campaign news now that I think about it.

Along those same lines, the whole electoral college doesn't seem fair to me. Am I missing something?

For all you Myspace and Facebook fans out there, what in the world does "crunk" mean??? These websites allow you to put your mood on there and I see alot of people with "crunk" as their mood. I have no idea what that means and maybe I shouldn't be asking...I don't know...it could be bad I guess.

I use to really fuss at my kids about texting. I asked them "why do you text a whole conversation with someone when you can just call them?" I have a confession that I am now addicted to texting and have complete conversations with people by text. I'm not sure what the turning point was but I have definitely been sucked in! Try it!

I find exercise equipment is a great place to hang clothes.

I have a secret desire to be Samantha Brown. You know the lady on the Travel Channel that gets to check out all the great vacations, hotels, spas, etc. I want her job! How great is that! You always see her on cruise ships, private islands, luxury hotels. Seriously, where do you apply for jobs like that?

I think if I were Samantha Brown, one of the greatest things about the travel would be that you would never have to unpack. I don't mind packing but I cannot stand to unpack.

A couple of light bulb moments......

Pork Barrel spending - just figured out this week what that actually was. Who knew? I thought it was some kind of stock in pork. Who thought of that?

You know the wonderful song all Tennesseeans love...Rocky Top! There is a verse that says:
"Corn won't grow at all on Rocky Top, Dirt's too rocky by far
That's why all the folks on Rocky Top, get their corn from a jar
My daughter (20 years old who shall remain nameless but does have a blog of her own.....)just learned today that the corn from a jar was not canned corn. Imagine her surprise when she found out!

Like mother like daughter!!!

That is about as random as I can be for now. Bonjour!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Halloween.....Not everyone agrees....

OK....this will probably be lengthy but important. Stay with me! I seriously love the fall season(except for the allergies) and I love the colors, the weather, mums, pumpkins and all the things that are typically associated with this time of year.....except the dreaded HALLOWEEN!

As promised, I am now going to share some of my thoughts on this pagan holiday named Halloween. Let me just begin by saying that for many years I have been chastised by friends and family regarding my distaste for Halloween. It is an ongoing joke in my workplace at this time of year. I would also like to say that I have not always had this opinion. I grew up "celebrating" Halloween by dressing up in various costumes, trick-or-treating, etc. and I actually enjoyed it. When my kids were little, we were all about dressing up and trick-or-treating to various neighborhoods, friends and family. The more candy the better! However, about 10 or 12years ago I was enlightened. I began by looking at the true meaning of Halloween and how it actually began. Many people, including myself, had never been told or researched what the actual meaning and purpose of Halloween is. When we really started reading about it and came to understand, we (my husband and I)decided our family would no longer participate in this pagan holiday.

Just a little background:

Halloween's origins actually go all the way back to the Celtic festival Samhain (pronounced SOW-ain). This was a time when they (the Celts and Druids)honored the end of summer and harvest time and prepared for a period of cold, darkness, and winter. The Celts believed that this marked the time in which the barrier between the living and the dead became thin. On October 31st (or thereabouts), the spirits would come back from the dead and create havoc, cause illnesses, damage the crops with frost and cause many other troubles.
Samhain was, and still is, considered to be a very mystical and magical time that was 'between' the seasons and the years. It was considered to be the time that the spirits of those who have passed on could walk among the living. The "veil" between the two worlds was and still is considered to be the thinnest at this time of year. Thus the perfect time for practicing witchcraft and divination and speaking with the dead.

Halloween today is usually performed by people practicing witchcraft who use this night for their rituals. Witches celebrate Halloween as the "Feast of Samhain" and it is a time for them to attempt to communicate with the dead through various forms of divination. In Deuteronomy 18, God says "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord..." I believe the Bible is very specific when it says that Christians should not be involved with occultic practice or divination.

Traditions of Halloween:

One of the traditions of Halloween, dressing up in costumes, began in England where the citizens, knowing it was a time for the spirits to come back from the dead, would dress up in masks and costumes to keep the spirits from recognizing them.

Another tradition that I am not very fond of is the Jack-O-Lantern. Not to imply that pumpkins themselves are bad. But...Occultists would try to scare away the spirits by carving scary faces into a pumpkin or some other vegetable. This horrible "face" would hopefully move the spirit on to another home or village and spare their home from destruction. Sometimes they would light a candle and place it within the pumpkin and use it as a lantern (hence the name Jack-o-Lantern). There is also a story about "Stingy Jack" that I won't go into.

Remember bobbing for apples?....In some witchcraft covens, the closing rituals include eating an apple or engaging in fertility rites. In the Bible (Genesis 3), eating a piece of fruit brought sin and death into the world. In witchcraft, eating an apple is symbolic of bringing life. (Of course, the opposite) The practice of bobbing for apples actually brings together two pagan traditions: divination and the fertility ritual.

It is my opinion that by participating in this pagan holiday, we are showing our approval and promoting witchcraft (and the witch), divination, haunted houses, and other occultic practices. These are very real things in our world today. There are many people who are practicing these rituals....it is not just an ancient religion but is a religion of today as well. I don't think many people understand that. As Christians, we are suppose to be different and not of this world. Halloween is a "worldly" holiday which glorifies the dark things of this world rather than the light of Jesus Christ.

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

"Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God." (3 John 1:11)

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thess 5:21-22)

I understand that many people (including some Christians) do not share my same feelings about this. I do not judge those who choose to participate but I am very adamant in my discussions about this subject.....even to the point of being the "butt" of the joke...which is fine...there is always someone around that asks me "why" when the subject comes up and I am happy to tell them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Blame Game

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Take a look at this.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM
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I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would want to be President of the United States. No matter what you do, what you say, where you go, or what wonderful accomplishments you may have, you will always be perceived as WRONG! Every bad thing that happens will be your fault. How fun is that?

In our current economic crisis, we continue to hear how this is all George W. Bush's fault. Apparently this is not a "new" policy that has been occurring to create this mess. It appears that the Clinton Administration had the idea that everybody in the free world should be entitled to a mortgage even if they didn't have the money or didn't qualify for a normal home loan. There use to be a day when banks had certain areas or neighborhoods that were designated as "no-loan zones". These were depressed neighborhoods where lending money to home buyers was not only just a risky investment but it was pretty certain that it would be a future foreclosure.

From what I have read, this practice was referred to as "redlining" and President Clinton and his good ole boys on Capitol Hill decided that banks should no longer act like banks and lend money only to home buyers who could afford to handle the monthly payments. It was decided that people who were less than creditworthy - speculators - would be entitled by law to obtain mortgages even when it was obvious they couldn't afford them.

Then who comes on the scene???? Our wonderful friends Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac! They poured money into the banking system by buying up these mortgages from the banks. In the long run, they managed to buy up billions and billions of dollars of risky mortgages that the banks had been forced to offer and then dumped on them. At least with Enron people went to jail! With Fannie and Freddie, people just walked away with millions! Why are we allowing this?

The collapse of Lehman Brothers can be blamed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two big mortgage banks that the Feds recently spent big bucks to bail out. As Fox News pointed out, they used huge lobbying budets and political contributions to keep the regulators off their backs.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the top three U.S. Senators getting large political dollars from Fannie and Freddie were Democrats....AND surprise, surprise the #2 was Senator Barack Obama! Who, by the way, Fox noted had only been in the Senate four years but still managed to grab that #2 spot ahead of many of his longtime colleagues such as John Kerry and Chris Dodd (chairman of the Senate Banking Committee).

According to Fox, Fannie and Freddie were where the big-time Washington Democrats went to work to pocket millions of dollars. Franklin Raines, Clinton's White House Budget Director, ran Fannie and collected $50 million. Jamie Gorelick, an official in Clinton's Justice Department worked for Fannie Mae and took home $26 million. (She was the woman who built the "wall" that prevented the FBI from targeting terrorists before 9/11) Big-time Democrat Jim Johnson, who headed Obama's VP search committee also took in millions from running Fannie Mae.

Obama brazenly blames John McCain and the GOP for the current Wall Street mess when it is clear that it was truly not due to Republican policies. The truth of the matter is that it was McCain and three GOP colleagues who sought to reform the government's lending policies three years ago after the Bush Administration had failed two years earlier. On May 25, 2006, McCain spoke on behalf of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 and warned against the mess that we are now facing if it failed to pass.

He also told the Senate that a report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight charged that "Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives."

McCain warned "If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole." It sounds like he predicted the entire collapse that we are now facing. He brought to light the falsification of financial records to benefit executives and included Obama advisers Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson.

Now Obama has the nerve to try to pin the blame on McCain and the GOP when it appears that the facts actually point to the Democratic party. Don't think for a moment that I hold the Republican party blameless. There is definitely enough blame for everyone but......I do think it is pretty lame for Obama to point his finger at John McCain when he has 3 fingers pointing back at himself!

What is wrong with America? Washington has so many corrupt politicians that it is truly scary! Unfortunately, I believe that Obama is definitely one of the corrupt and we are in for some serious times ahead! I keep asking myself "how can they not see it!" Or is it maybe that their eyes are blinded for a reason and the end is very near?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hell hath no fury.....

Have you ever heard the phrase "If mama ain't happy then nobody is happy"? Or what about "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"? Maybe you have not only heard these phrases but experienced these phrases also! I know that I have. I'm sure if they were asked, my husband and children would say AMEN to the phrases....I'm not sure why they would think it though? (Do you see the halo over my head :)?)

Anyway, I received an email that reminded me of these phrases and I thought it was too funny not to share. Now all you guys that read my blog (three of you - Mitchell, Daddy, and Greg) don't get yourselves offended or your feelings hurt. I'm just trying to help you.

There are nine words or phrases that women use that men should be aware of:

1. FINE: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2. FIVE MINUTES: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3. NOTHING: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine (#1).

4. GO AHEAD: This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it!

5. LOUD SIGH: This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6. THAT'S OKAY: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7. THANKS: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says "Thanks a lot" - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say "you're welcome" - that will bring on a "whatever").

8. WHATEVER: Is a woman's way of saying _ _ _ _ _ _ _ You!

9. DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, I GOT IT: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "What's wrong?" For the woman's response refer to #3.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WooHoo!!!

ON HER WAY TO WASHINGTON!!!

GO SARAH PALIN!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Responding to the Challenge

I have decided to respond to Bethanne's challenge and ATTEMPT to identify 7 strange characteristics that I may have. It will be very hard to come up with 7 since I am the most normal person in our family. However, unlike my sister, I do tend to try to follow rules much more often than she does so I will have only 7. Here goes:

#1 I, too, have an irrational fear of snakes! So much that I don't even like to say the word...it is commonly referred to in our home as an "S" to avoid the word itself. I cannot remember when it began or why it began. It has always been there. I have a horrible fear that an "S" will be in our garage or basement and will greet me when I walk through. If I see one on TV or a picture of one I make a loud gasp that is completely unnatural and uncontrollable! My husband tells me that a fear of snakes is normal but a fear of the TV or a picture of a snake is NOT normal. What does he know....he is terrified of sharks even when he is on land!

#2 I am addicted to Mahjong Medley. It is a game that I downloaded from gamesville.com and cannot stop playing it. Before I go to bed at night, I have to play at least a few games in order to "wind down". It doesn't matter what time it is or how tired I am. Many evenings I put off homework and play Mahjong. There are many different types of Mahjong games within this one game. It is my goal to beat each and every one of them. There are still 3 in one version that I cannot beat. I have literally played one of them more than 45o times (it shows how many you have won and lost...450+!!!!). I know...pray for me. "My name is Lisa and I am a Mahjongaholic". **Note: There are others....Super Text Twist, Sudoku, Online Bingo, etc. If anyone would like web addresses to these wonderful things, I would be glad to provide those upon request.

#3 I do have one little "quirky" phrase that I like to say. Some people when frightened or surprised or stub their toe choose to use various words or phrases. I am quite fond of saying "Obie One Kanobi!" I have to stop with that because I can't say where I heard it or why I say it but I do say it alot.

#4 For those who know me I'm sure they will not disagree with this one! I'm not really a touchy-feely kind of person. Hugging does not come naturally to me and therefore being hugged does not either. I do not like people getting in my space. I would say that my personal space is a much smaller personal space than most. I do make exceptions for my husband and children although it is not my natural inclination.

#5 I always set my clock ahead by at least 15 minutes. I have now worked my way up to 30 minutes on my alarm clock. I am not sure what this is about except that I hate to wake up early in the mornings and I try to trick myself into thinking it is later than it is. The problem with this philosophy is that I know it is 30 minutes fast and I realize what the actual time is. My husband thinks I just like to do math early in the morning. For some odd reason, it just makes me feel like I am sleeping in even though I really know that I'm not. Confused yet? I'm a little scared now that I think about it....is there a psychological term for that? I'm sure Anna (her blog is More Than A Conqueror) will tell me what it is. (If someone can tell me how to link to someone elses blog, that would be great! You would think as the sister of Bethanne I could get a little blog training here!)

#6 I cannot go underwater without holding my nose. I am not sure how others do it but I get water up my nose everytime! I would love to go scuba diving sometime but I think I would still need to hold my nose. I try and try but I feel like I am drowning which is another irrational fear of mine.

#7 Last but not least, I am able to pick things up with my toes. Bending over to pick something up is much more difficult than picking it up with my feet. No matter if it is clothes, papers, something accidentally dropped on the floor, or what, I can pick it up! This is somewhat odd since I don't really like feet at all. (I do like my feet but everyone else has funny feet! LOL)

As promised, I stuck to the rules and only chose 7 strange characteristics. I use the word chose because I discovered that I actually have a few more than 7. Of course not as many as Bethanne.

That is all for now! Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Has it been 2 weeks?????

That is so hard to believe that it has been two weeks since I blogged. I have some making up to do. My goal for this week will be to blog at least three times....we will see if I can live up to that!

Don't laugh. I had my first French class tonight so I would like to say to everyone "Bonjour! Comment allez-vous?" We really did have fun in the class. Our teacher is French Canadian and of course her native language is French. I anticipate we will be hearing some very funny English comments in this class. I plan to make a list and will share with you in the future. I will give you one example tonight: Teacher says "De French speak more straightforward. Dey do not cut around de bush!" I think there will be many going forward. Of course it is much funnier to hear it with her accent. I think the class will be fun but we have alot of homework, book to read, papers due each week and ultimately a minimum of 20 page Power Point presentation on a specific french speaking country. We will also be required to bring a french dish one evening for our dinner. She has already said that French Fries are out and French bread is out....what will I do?

In case I haven't mentioned it, my husband enjoys writing poems. We also have a poem writer among us in the blogging world....you know who you are....I will leave it up to you to come forward and present us with a blogging poem. "Would the real Poet Blogger please come forward???" Moving on, my husband has also started writing a novel. I would like to share a poem with you tonight that he has written and see what you think. In the future I would like to give you excerpts from his novel to see what you think also. Feedback of any kind is good. Here goes:

Sail Away
To speak to you of love
A message from heart to heart
Is written on pillows in tears
From too many nights apart
If ships could sail the sky of blue
Traverse the mighty deep
And carry my love on twilight's hue
A gentle kiss while you sleep
In slumbers perfect world of dreams
No night could ever be
Bright sunlit days of joys extreme
At the edge of true love's sea
Beaches of pure white sand
Oceans of crystal blue
This is my dream your love demands
Perfect just for two
Let us sail away to shores afar
Carried on winds from above
Not knowing what tomorrow brings
Hand in hand with you my love
Mitchell Allen Davidson
Copyright 2008
You may also go to the website below and rate the poem:

http://www.poetry.com/dotnet/P8585400/999/1/display.aspx


Quite a few more where that came from and if it doesn't bore you too much I may post them as well. Let us know what you think. I think you may be interested in some excerpts from the book as well. We will certainly be interested in your comments. We would love for you to share the website with others as well as there are prizes presented sometimes based on the number of votes. (solicitation...solicitation).

Quite tired tonight so I am signing off. Au Revoir!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Answers to survey challenge

OK...I'll bite.

A is for age25
42 I think

B is for burger of choice
Pal's

C is for what car you drive
Honda Accord

D is for Dog's name
I have 2 - Allie and Jeremiah

E is for essential item you use every day
I would have to agree with Beth that makeup is very essential


F is for favorite tv show at the moment.
I don't really have a favorite but I do like reality TV

G is for Favorite game.
Mahjong Medley on the computer

H is for Hometown
Blountville, TN (aka Blount-vegas)

I is for instruments you play
Piano...barely - use to play Clarinet....barely

J is for favorite juice
Any kind of Cranberry...

K is for who you'd like to kiss
Nobody except family....don't like people in my space

L is for last restaurant you ate at
The Crazy Tomato

M is for your favorite Muppet
I don't know my choices...I forget

N is for number of piercings
2 in each ear....that makes 4

O is for overnight hospital stays
Quite a few....I have had 3 children and a few surgeries

P is for people you were with today
Co-workers, husband, Zach

Q is for what you do with your quiet time
Homework, TV, blog, myspace, etc.

R is for biggest regret
I'm not sure if it is the biggest but I wish I had finished school sooner

S is for status
Married

T is for time you woke up today
I am out of ambien so several times last night...ultimately around 7:30am

U is for what you consider unique
I can also pick things up with my toes like Bethanne and now that I read her answer I can't think of anything else...I'll "cheat" off her survey!

V is for vegetable you love
I don't like vegetables....is chocolate a vegetable?

W is for worst habit
Not folding laundry in a timely manner

X is for number of x-rays you've had
A few

Y is for yummy food you ate today
Manicotti, salad with extra bleu cheese dressing

Z is for zodiac sign
Gemini

Monday, July 28, 2008

Some little Bethanne unknowns......

Well, it is Monday already! The weekends go by way too fast. Can we just do away with Mondays? Two Saturdays in a week would be best. A Saturday before Sunday and a Saturday after Sunday. That would always ensure a 3 day weekend! Just a thought....

For all you Bethanne fans, just some information.......

WARNING: This could get graphic....prepare yourself!
As you know, my sister (Bethanne) is now in Disney with Mickey. While she is away, I thought it would be good to talk about her....you know, in hopes that when she returns, she will have sooooo many blogs to read that she will miss the details of mine! (It could be the green-eyed monster coming out right now!) I've recently noticed that there seems to be a recurring theme in several of Bethanne's blogs discussing the fact that I, her oldest sister, MAYBE "made her eat dog food when she was little". This is actually a matter of perception and a very misleading statement that I would like to present in a different light. From my point of view, I did not (repeat DID NOT) force dog food into her mouth. I did, however, make a simple suggestion that she could taste the dog food and she apparently thought it was a good idea also because she did. She is obviously alive and well today. Therefore dog food is not bad for humans!

Now most of you have this picture in your head of this mean older sister forcing dog food down the sweet little Bethanne's throat. This most definitely was not the case! There could have been some serious behind the scenes issues here. Let me paint a very different picture.............
as the older sister, there were times that my sweet, darling little sister wanted to sleep in my bed with me just as many sisters like to do. With Bethanne, she apparently only wanted to sleep in my bed when she was not feeling well. I only learned this the hard way! I would estimate that approximately 98% of the times she slept with me, I was awakened in the middle of the night and found myself laying in a pool of "throw up". In my younger days, I had very long hair....not a good combination! It was extremely uncomfortable on my part and has left me with serious adverse reactions to throw up to this day. The loss of sleep, waking abruptly in the middle of the night, taking a lengthy shower to clean my LONG hair, and change sheets on my bed has potentially created many issues in my life today. Many of you may not know this, but Bethanne was quite the throw up child....at least that is my memory. Can I get any sympathy here????? My mother (Anchored on the Rock) can verify the validity of this.

And another thing......there is a difference of 6 years in our ages. Bethanne and I were very lucky to have Grandparents that spoiled us. Prior to the arrival of my sister, I did have some advantages to being the only grandchild. Needless to say, some of the attention was diverted when she was born. For instance, I use to be able to take an extra trip to the beach each year with my grandparents. However, when Bethanne was born, they were not able to take 2 little ones to the beach, and it wouldn't be fair to take me and not her, blah, blah, blah, so.....one less beach trip every year....and you know how much I love the beach! (checkout previous blog) Get the picture? Any sympathy yet????

And another thing.....remember the Grandparents that spoiled us? Well, when I was 16, my Grandfather bought me a brand new car! Much to my dismay, it would not be fair to give me a car and not my sister. (I see a pattern here. How much sense does that make? She was 10!) So, my Grandfather told her that 1/2 the car was hers. Obviously I had a license, therefore, the drivers side was mine. Unfortunately, the radio controls fell on her side of the car. And she used her Grandfather-given power to control the radio! (Technically the volume and the on/off button were on my side :)) I won't even mention the blackmail that she used as needed to force me to drive her places that she wanted to go in her 1/2 of the car. Just a side note...she also received a car when she was 16 but I was not 1/2 owner. Sympathy please????

These are just a few unknown facts about my sister Bethanne. I know you have all felt much sympathy for me over the past few minutes of reading. You can probably even understand the dog food situation now. I guess, looking back on things, all the normal sibling "stuff" provides great laughs and memories. Knowing her, she will have plenty of rebuttals when she returns and maybe even a different perspective....I really can't imagine how though!

I wonder if I will get a present from Disney???? Do you think I messed that up?

Really and truly, what would I have done or even do now without my sister. There were many times that we were all we had and we stuck together. Sisters share alot of memories that no one can take away. Overall, she is a great sister! You can see that we love to pick on each other (and we especially like to gang up on our Dad). Even with all the throw up, dog food, bossiness and blackmail we are still sisters!

Now that I have ratted her out on some things, here is a little poem (I didn't write it) just for my sister Bethanne:

A sister's love is special
in oh so many ways
Now miles stretch between us
and minutes turn to days.

We've shared so much as children
the tears, the joy, the pain
A lifetime spent together
those memories remain.

In times gone by we've pondered
the paths our lives have taken
Knowing that in spite of this
our sister love unshaken.

A sister's love is special
in ways that are unspoken
Still that binding force exists
our sister love unbroken.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New York Mission Trip

I finally heard from my youngest son today! He left last Friday to go on a Mission Trip to New York and I have hardly heard from him since he left. Boys! My daughter would have called a couple of times a day, but not him. I have to send word through others to tell him "Call your Mother!"
My husband and I have been very worried about this trip. Zach and Anna just came back from Nicaragua and I was less worried about that trip (as far as safety) than I have been about New York. They are specifically targeting many of the inner city areas which would typically be associated with high crime areas. Their mission this week is to present the gospel to as many people on the streets of New York as possible. They are performing "skits" and "human videos" on the streets and inviting people to the ultimate "Block Party" which will be held this coming Friday. They are also going door to door inviting people to come. Zach told me today that while going door to door in an apartment complex, they knocked on a ladies door and while talking with her and inviting her to the block party, the police burst into the apartment complex and arrested the woman they were speaking with! Needless to say, this did not relieve my anxiety. He did say that they have been in some pretty scarey places and have seen some really rough looking people, but everyone has been very nice to them all week.
I was sharing this information with a lady that I work with today and how nervous I have been about the recent mission trips and my children being so far away from home, etc. She said to me "But it has to make you really proud that your children are so interested in missions and doing things like this." And then I thought.....How silly of me to be so worried about the trivial things when my children are so excited and anxious to "go ye therefore into all the world" sharing the gospel with others just like Jesus commanded. This reminder has helped me focus on what is important and what they have already discovered....the important thing is that they are sharing Jesus with a lost world. Be sure to pray for the "Block Party" this week in New York where the gospel will be presented in many different ways to people who may never go to a church or may never have the opportunity to meet Jesus any other way.

Here are a few pictures from the Nicaragua Mission Trip:


Anna and Zach the day they left








Anna and Nicaraguan children










Zachary and Nicaraguan children....Zach giving his testimony in church in Nicaragua
It was a great trip....these are just a few of the 2500 pictures.
Keep praying for my children and their youth group and the many opportunities that God is presenting to them in their lives.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I've been a slacker....

I know, I know....I've been a blogger slacker! This past month has been pretty busy and I just haven't had alot of time to write my thoughts down. I have thought about alot of things to write but when the time came, the words didn't appear. I have had to write three papers this week and my mind is not working well. I feel a few moments of rambling coming on so be patient with me...all my thoughts are running together.



I just finished reading a couple of books for school. Only one of them I would recommend to everyone. The fact that we were forced to read this book and write a paper on it and the entire class LOVED the book should be an encouragement to each of you to immediately go to amazon.com (can't buy buy in bookstores yet) and purchase a copy. The book is called The Bishop of Jerusalem. It is written by Chuck Thompson who is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Religion at King College where I attend. He actually came to our class and we had about a 3 hour very informal, very interactive, and very interesting discussion about the book.



The book is written in a story format and is based on the last days of James, the brother of Jesus. One of the questions the author asks in the preview of the book (the back cover) is "If you knew your life was about to end, how would you prepare yourself?" That is an interesting thought and it is actually kind of difficult to answer. Some things are pretty obvious but I'm still thinking on that one. (The book is so much more than that though)



While reading the book, the thought that kept coming to my mind....Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be the brother of Jesus? Your initial thought would be that Jesus was the perfect child, never disobeyed, never talked back to his parents, knew all the answers in Sunday School, was right 100% of the time....I'm sure it is much the same way that Bethanne felt growing up with me! :) This would cause some serious sibling rivalry in most houses. But did it? I have gone back and forth on this in my head as far as picturing Jesus growing up in a household with a Mom and Dad and brothers and sisters. I don't know how on target I am, but I think to some extent Jesus did all the things that normal children do. I don't think that he came out of the womb quoting scripture and reading the Torah (let me clarify and say that I believe that he could have if he had wanted to). And I don't mean that in a blasphemous way at all. I just mean that he came into this world in human form as a baby, he grew, he slept, he ate, he drank, he played, he joked around with his brothers, maybe played a practical joke or two, he experienced human feelings and emotions. We know that at a young age Jesus knew what his role was and who he was. But what was it like to be the brother of Jesus? Was Jesus a protective brother, did his Mom ask him to watch the kids while she ran to the market, did he have to carry water? I'm just throwing some food for thought out. These are all things that have been running through my mind over the past couple of weeks.



I amazed by the fact that James did not know who Jesus really was, other than his brother, until after Jesus death. Where was James when his brother was being crucified? Why wasn't he there? Where was the rest of his family? It is just hard for me to comprehend. The truth is that many people, including the disciples, didn't know who Jesus really was until after his death. Can you imagine walking with Jesus everyday, seeing him heal people, seeing him walk on water, feed 5000 people with a little boys lunch, turn water into wine, and even raise people from the dead and not know that he was the Messiah! What were they thinking? How can that be? Or was that how it was suppose to be?



I told you my thoughts were jumbled today and that I had lots of questions. There is so much more about this subject that I would like to talk about but I would like for you to read the book first. I promise that you will like it and it gives a little different perspective to some things. Remember the book is a fiction book but based on historical and biblical facts kind of like the Left Behind Series is.

It is very late and I have been interrupted 100 times so tonight is probably not a good night for blogin'. Think about some of the things above and definitely, definitely read The Bishop of Jerusalem. For those of you who don't have alot of time to read, it is an easy read and not very long.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Compassion, Making a Difference

Compassion Definition - The Quality of showing kindness or favor, of being gracious, or of having pity or mercy.

Working with deaf people has been one thing that has helped me learn to have compassion for others. I am not always 100% there but am certainly trying. Sometimes deaf people are not as educated as hearing people, may not have as high paying jobs as hearing people, may not communicate with everyone as well as hearing people, and may even be perceived as being a "lesser" person because of their disability. I have seen and experienced this perception first hand. Usually this happens because the person simply does not understand the deaf person or their culture. They are not willing to take the time that is required to deal with that type of person. And more often than not, they really just don't care.

Isn't that what it is all about? Judgement? Perception? Apathy? Isn't it about the perception that one person is better than another person? We simply look down our noses at someone because of the way they look, the way they dress, the way they sound,the way they smell, their economic status or even the way they communicate. We are so busy and so focused on "us" that we can't even see beyond our needs. What I have seen is that people who are "different" for whatever reason tend to make us uncomfortable and since we don't want to feel awkward or uncomfortable, we just avoid the situation. Isn't it arrogant of us to take it upon ourselves to decide what a person needs or doesn't need?

Example 1: I live near the Bristol Motor Speedway. Usually after every race, there is a man and woman with a whole car full of children stuck on the side of the road with a sign that says "Spent all money at races, need gas money to get home."

I have to say, I haven't always been very compassionate at times when I see this situation. Why? Should I have been? I think I should have been. Really, the only opinion that matters is Jesus opinion and what he has commanded us to do.

  • I Peter 3:8 - "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. "
  • I John 3:17 - "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"
  • Jude 1:22 - "And of some, have compassion, making a difference."

Sure I felt bad for the people (mostly for the children) and in that respect I had compassion for them but did I do anything? No. Why? I could probably name several excuses but the main excuse was because I thought I was better than they were. I talked myself out of it because I really didn't care. and they should not have spent all their money! I would never go to the races and spend so much money that I didn't even have money to feed my children or to get them home. I was appalled that people would do this. According to the scripture above, I should have had compassion, loved the brethren, been kind to them because they had a need. It also asks how can the love of God dwell in me if I am not compassionate. Ouch!

Example 2: My husband and I are at a gas station off the interstate near Knoxville. He is pumping the gas and I am sitting in the car. A young guy walks up to my husband and tells a sob story about how he is there with his sister and her boyfriend and they are trying to get back to Knoxville but did not have enough gas money to get them there. He asked if my husband could give him some money to help with gas.

Should he? According to scripture, yes. Was I happy? Not at first. I was skeptical and thought to myself, it is going to cost $50+ to fill my car up. Gas is expensive for everyone. I don't even know if he will really even buy gas with our money. If they didn't have the money, why did they leave the house! What did my husband do? Gave him gas money. When I asked him why, he said "because he said he needed it and I had it." I said "he is probably just going to go buy alcohol or cigarettes, etc." My husband says, "I can't help that....I was just trying to help him out. It is up to him as to what he does with it."

I realized at that time, that you can't "give" with conditions. Either you are a giver or you are not. I should have been thankful that God had provided us with enough money to fill up our gas tank AND give a little more away. We have been commanded to have compassion and help those in need. It is not based on whether or not the person deserves our help. We will be held accountable for what we do and the intention of our heart. By the same token, the person who is receiving will also be held accountable for what they do and the intention of their heart.

Gods compassion was not just an emotion or feeling. His compassion was always followed by actions. He still had compassion on Israel even when they were rebellious and God restored his people. Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, he told us the parable of the Good Samaritan who had compassion on a wounded traveler (Luke 10:33) and of the Prodigal Son whose father had compassion on him when he returned home (Luke 15:20). Jesus showed his ultimate compassion on the cross when he died for our sins. We didn't deserve it, many people will never thank him, and everyday we sin in an act of rebellion after all he did for us. But he did it anyway, knowing how ungrateful and unthankful we would be and that we did not even deserve it.

People have many different needs in their life. Sometimes just kind words are sufficient. Sometimes, compassion may require giving of your time, and sometimes it may require giving of your money or a personal possession. Having compassion is not just an emotion, it requires action. To have this kind of compassion requires that we put away our judgmental "Phariseean" (probably not a word) garments and put on our compassionate Jesus robes....having compassion and making a difference. I guarantee that in the next couple of days, you will have an opportunity and be faced with the decision of should I or shouldn't I? Ask that famous question "What would Jesus do?" The answer will be obvious!

Remember, compassion comes with no strings attached. True compassion is giving out of love and expecting nothing in return. We could all stand to add more compassion to our lives!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Beach

We will call this the "beach survey"....keep reading and you will understand!

This is in response to Bethanne's survey and I assure you I will try to do better than my sister at following the rules and keep my answers to only one word.

1. Where is your cell phone? table
2. Your significant other? work
3. Your hair? blah
4. Your mother? home
5. Your father? home
6. Your favorite thing? beach
7. Your dream last night? weird
8. Your favorite drink? tea
9. Your dream/goal? skinny
10. The room you’re in? Bedroom
11. Your hobby? Homework
12. Your fear? SNAKES!
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Beach
14. Where were you last night? church (not all of us laid out!)
15. What you’re not? skinny
16. Muffins? Banana Nut
17. The last thing you did?laundry
18. What are you wearing? slouchies
19. Something you’re not wearing? socks
20. Your mood? sleepy
21. Your summer? Beach
22. Person you tag? All beach lovers

I would have liked to answer more of the questions with the word "beach". It would look something like this:

1. Where is your cell phone? beach
2. Your significant other? beach
3. Your hair? wet (from the beach)
4. Your mother? beach
5. Your father? beach
6. Your favorite thing? beach
7. Your dream last night? beach
8. Your favorite drink? Ocean water (at the beach) - that's weird I know
9. Your dream/goal? skinny (at the beach)
10. The room you’re in? patio (overlooking the beach)
11. Your hobby? walking the beach
12. Your fear? rain (while at the beach)
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Beach
14. Where were you last night? Beach
15. What you’re not? cold (at the beach)
16. Muffins? Banana Nut (eating for breakfast while watching the surf at the beach)
17. The last thing you did? walk on the beach
18. What are you wearing? bathing suit (only if #9)
19. Something you’re not wearing? shoes (while walking on the beach)
20. Your mood? rested (at the beach)
21. Your summer? happy (at the beach)
22. Person you tag? All beach lovers

I love the beach. I think I would like to live there but only if I do not have to go to work each day. I think that would surely take the fun out of it. I think it would be great to live in a tropical paradise from October - March and the mountains from April - September. Wishful thinking.....oh well, I guess I will have to be thankful for my one week a year at the beach.

Why do I love the beach? I'm not sure.......

CONS

  • I am pretty fair skinned so I don't tan really well.
  • I like to ride the waves but have become quite fearful of the sharks in the ocean (thanks to my husband)....and the pecker fishes in the ocean (Bethanne will appreciate that one).
  • Hurricanes would really stress me out.
  • I'm always afraid we will get sucked in the under toe, expecially my children
  • There are alot of strange creatures in the ocean that can hurt you
  • I am certainly not a "skinny minny" so a bathing suit is not my friend.
  • I really am disgusted and disturbed by some of the excess skin that others like to share with everyone at the beach.
  • There seems to be alot of drunk idiots at the beach....some places
  • I seriously hate seafood!
  • My least favorite thing is LEAVING the beach.

PROS

  • The sand - what better pedicure!
  • No allergies! No sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and definitely no runny nose!
  • The sound of the waves is the most calming, relaxing sound ever
  • At the beach, I am on vacation...no work, no school, no responsibility - the greatest decision to make is "where are we going to eat now?"
  • Even though I don't tan to a beautiful dark brown color like my son, I do get a little bit of a tan - any additional color to my lily white skin is an improvement
  • Sleeveless shirts seem to be more acceptable - I have a weird thing about showing my arms but for some reason I don't really care when I am at the beach...explain that one?
  • Makeup - not a requirement
  • Fixing your hair to perfection - not a requirement
  • I have NEVER seen a snake at the beach - maybe they are there but I have never seen one - don't spoil it for me!
  • Walking on the beach - I can barely walk a time or two around the track while at home, but at the beach, I can walk like 10 miles beside the ocean and not even be tired! Why is that?
  • I really think I could be skinny if I stayed at the beach for an extended amount of time - due to the walking thing and the fact that the sun usually takes away my appetite
  • Where else can you eat like 30 popsicles one right after another and not feel bad about it....it's just part of the beach! (ask Bethanne)
  • The late afternoon nap - only at the beach can I take an afternoon nap and not think I am lazy
  • The last and final....no matter how large you think you are or how bad you think you look in a bathing suit, you will always see someone else that is bigger than you and looks worse than you (at least in your mind.....ugly but true!)

Many more pros than cons which helps explain my obsession with the beach. My husband and I will be leaving in 18 days to go to the beach. Two of our children, Anna and Zach will be going on a mission trip to Nicaragua and my oldest son lives 3 hours away from home.....so, we decided to take advantage of this and go to the beach for the FIRST TIME all by ourselves! We have had weekend getaways over the years, but this will be our first time vacationing for a week by ourselves. And, just as proven above, what better place to go! THE BEACH!!!!

(I warned you I was obsessed!)

Just a little side note that I am sure Bethanne will second.....we had an awesome vacation about 3 years ago when my Dad took us to Destin....don't you think that would be a great thing for him to do again??? Hint....Hint....Hint to the blog site "Eddie's Place".

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Is there more than one creation story?

That sure sounds controversial to me! Maybe not......

I am taking an old testament class and it has turned out to be quite interesting. I have had some questions about certain things or approaches that my teacher has taken at times. So when he mentioned there are two different creation stories in Genesis....ding, ding, ding....red flag! However, after clarification and discussion, I found it to be something I really had not thought about in this way. By two "different" creation stories, he actually means two different perspectives.

The first is in Genesis 1:1 - 2:4. This is what I have mostly thought of as the creation story. Genesis 1:3 "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Genesis 1:4 "And God saw the light, that it was good". God simply said....it happened....it was good. He didn't have to work at it, have help, discuss it, etc. He just said!

The second creation story begins around Genesiss 2:5. This is the more "personal" creation story that may have been quite obvious to others but really caused me to have a light bulb moment. As Lake once told me, "Aunt Lisa, you are a slow learner".....out of the mouths of babes! It is not as much that I hadn't heard it before, but I "heard" it in a different way. This passage shows God actually coming to Earth, forming "man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)

I immediately got a more intimate picture in my head of God picking up a handful of dirt, molding and forming man, holding Adam in his hands, they were face to face, lip to lip, with God literally breathing into Adam. Adam did not have life until God breathed His breath into him. I'm not sure I have ever really had such a vivid picture come to my mind. This presents such a beautiful picture of Adam becoming a living soul. God didn't create an ape or some other form of an animal. He created Adam as a perfect man, innocent, sinless and in a right relationship with Him.

In the "first" creation story, God said "let there be light", God said "let the earth bring forth grass", God said "let the earth bring forth the living creature". Yes, God took time to create all things in the universe. It was only with Adam (human beings) that he made a personal and intimate connection. This emphasizes the fact that God created us with the purpose of having a personal relationship with him.

Throughout time, there have been (and continue to be) many different versions of the creation story. Even though this is basic Sunday School stuff, we sometimes need to go back to "in the beginning" to be reminded of the true creation story which only God could accomplish.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Girlie Wisdom

The following is certainly not an original piece of my work since I am not that funny. If you are like me, you can truly identify with some of these. Even the men can appreciate them! They say laughter is the best medicine! I sure laughed at some since they hit pretty close to home! Enjoy

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Women over 50 don't have babies because they would put them down and forget where they left them.

A friend of mine confused her Valium with her birth control pills....she has 14 kids but doesn't really care!

One of life's mysteries is how a 2-pound box of chocolates can make a woman gain 5 pounds.

My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely.

The best way to forget your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing, someone else does.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends.

Just when I was getting use to yesterday, along came today.

Sometimes I think I understand everything, and then I regain consciousness.

I gave up jogging for my health when my thighs kept rubbing together and setting fire to my knicker's.

Amazing! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks 2 sizes!

Skinny people irritate me! Especially when they say things like "You know sometimes I forget to eat!"....Now I've forgotten my address, my mother's maiden name and my keys, but I have never forgotten to eat!

The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing and then they marry him.

I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are eating too much, impulse buying, and driving too fast. Are they kidding? That's my idea of a perfect day!

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Live Simply.....Laugh Often.......Love Deeply

Monday, May 12, 2008

All About Me

The title is deceiving. To tell you all about me would probably be pretty boring. My sister Beth, the one I call "the professional blogger" would probably call this a random post. I don't know what to call it since I am just going to write whatever I am thinking of and maybe in the process you will learn something about me and/or my family.

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I am currently going back to school to get my bachelor's degree. It is not an easy process since my brain doesn't work like it use to and my memory is always failing. A full time job, three teenagers, a husband, and school are a lethal combination at times. I should (I repeat "should") graduate in December if I don't fail or have a nervous breakdown between now and then. This summer I am taking Old Testament and New Testament. These classes are strictly from a historical perspective rather than a faith based perspective. I just took my first quiz online. I did miss 2 of the questions which on the surface doesn't seem too bad. However, considering I had the book open in front of me, you would think I would not miss any! (See what I mean about the brain!) It was a timed test and yes I do crack under pressure. I had one hour to take the test and I used 56 minutes and 6 seconds....the pressure~!

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I really enjoy working with deaf people. I have worked for the past several years improving my sign language skills. I still learn new signs everyday and probably will for the rest of my life.
I will blog a little later about the deaf community and some things I have learned. It may not be interesting to everyone but there are alot of cultural differences and things everyone should know. I do get to interpret in our church services and Sunday School and really have enjoyed it.

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I definitely like reality TV. This is the complete opposite of my husband who hates reality TV and loves Sci-Fi. We both like to watch movies...I like chick flicks and he likes action/sci-fi.
You ask how we ever sit down to watch anything together?
My husband works for the railroad as a conductor so he is gone frequently. He has a very strange schedule and is very often leaving for work as I am coming home or coming home as I am leaving for work. I am off on the weekends and they prefer that he work every weekend. It does make things difficult at times. We are waiting for the day that he can work what we call a "regular job" with weekends off at the railroad. Everything is based on seniority so he has to wait his turn. I know it is very difficult for him to be away from home alot and have such an odd schedule. He works very long hours (sometimes 16 hr days) but he does it for his family.

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I work for a Home Health Agency as a Billing Supervisor. This is a fairly new job for me and a totally different industry so I have spent alot of time "learning". It has been a very challenging thing for me but I am feeling more confident in what I am doing which makes life easier!
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I did want to thank everyone that has posted comments. I haven't figured out how to respond to your comments but I will. My plan for the weekend was to get a lesson from the "professional blogger" when I was at her house. I wasn't feeling that wonderful this weekend so I didn't have an opportunity. I will have to schedule a training session with my sister.
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Let's try some visuals:

My husband and I:












My oldest son Brandon - 22 yrs old

















My daughter Anna - 20 yrs old













My youngest son Zachary - The baby - 16 yrs old















Here they are together!

























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There are two more members of our family...Allie and Jeremiah....the Golden Retrievers!
I will have to post their pictures later. I don't have them saved to my computer yet.
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Not a really exciting post but gives you a little insight into my family.





































































































































































































































































Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happiness...many, many questions????

Do you know people who just seem to never be happy with anyone or anything? Please do not ask them how they are feeling because you may get more of an answer than you were bargaining for! Are they capable of being satisfied and happy?

What is happiness? What REALLY is happiness? Situations around me right now have brought this question to mind. The dictionary defines happiness as "the quality or state of being happy" or "good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy". (I still stand by the fact that my Dad wrote the dictionary no matter what Beth says)

Happiness is an emotion but what causes that emotion to manifest itself? We see people laugh and smile and appear to be "happy" in life but are they really? It seems to me that true and lasting happiness always comes from within. Isn't that what most of us really want? Just to be happy and content. Oh we have many different goals to pursue that we think will make us truly happy. Some people think that money will make them happy, or that big cars, fancy houses, jewelry, etc. will make them happy. I'm guilty of thinking similar things and getting sidetracked thinking "if I only had a million dollars I would be happy" or "if I only was able to stay home and not work my life would not be as stressful and I would be happier". My immediate thought is if I could just go to the beach for a couple of weeks I would be sooooo happy! (I still think that might really work....or at least put me on my way! :) Unfortuntely, this thought process, prompted by Satan, deceives us into believing that "things" and "people" make us happy. I would argue that this is very far from the truth.

True happiness is from within. God talks about being happy in the Bible. In Psalms 41:1, Happy are those who consider the poor; the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble. In Proberbs 14:21, Those who despise their neighbors are sinners, but happy are those who are kind to the poor. Can we derive from these scriptures that what WE HAVE does not actually make us happy.... is it in reality what we give to others that contributes to our happiness?

We cannot place our happiness in someone else's hands. We are in control of our own happiness. It is the choices that we make in life that determines our future happiness. Ultimately, without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ one cannot be truly happy. Jesus told the parable of the rich man who was happy in his earthly life and suddenly dies to find that earthly happiness was only temporary. He had no eternal happiness because he did not have Christ in his life. Surely Jesus implies that true happiness is not to be found in earthly treasures.

I have had plenty of times in my life where I felt I wasn't happy or things could be better, etc. When I look back, I understand that these were times in my life where my focus was not on Jesus Christ. My focus was on earthly things and earthly people. I was not following God's will for my life.

Why talk about happiness? So many people are unhappy because of circumstances in their life. The choices they have made are affecting that happiness as well as others happiness. They are looking in all the wrong places for this emotion and blaming others when they cannot find it. Lives are being destroyed, homes are being destroyed, marriages are failing all in the name of happiness...."You do not make me happy"....."I am not happy with you"....."When I am in school I am not happy".....these are nothing more than bogus statements that satan places in our minds to distract us from the truth and deceive us.

God does not command us to be happy. He does, however, command us to be holy. I think there is a coorelation between happiness and holiness. We have been commanded to be set apart by God for a relationship with him and to serve him. As holy people we are to live holy lives. Living holier lives brings greater joy. It keeps us from seeking momentary pleasures that end up destroying our true deeper joy.

I am not saying that we always get to choose our own happiness. Although we have more responsibility in this area than we think. God calls us to holinesss and tells us that true happiness is to be found through holy living.

So does God want us to be happy? Of course he does. But the way to happiness isnt found in trying to be happy. It is actually found in hearing the call of God to be holy just as he is holy.

Sorry for the rambling. This is really something that affects us all. So many people around us are battling depression, struggling with feelings of loneliness, emptiness, no direction in life, etc. They are wasting time looking for happiness when it is freely offered to them if they will only look in the right place and choose to accept it.

Are you truly happy? What is it that is making you happy?