Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Maze of Life

I was looking for something profound to share when I came upon this, "The Maze of Life" by Elderine Wyrick and I loved it.  I thought it was something everyone should know...not just teachers during their first day of school. Happy reading!  Whoever you are Elderine....I think you rock!
"You are not sure how you got here, but you are here. The path is narrow. The dimly lit corridor stretches before you offering hope of freedom and dread of things to come. Spots of light create hope, yet the shadows of exaggeration and distortion bring confusion. As your hands grope along the wall, you know there is an opening. There is a way through. You take your next step. The floor slightly collapses causing you to grab the wall for support. The lights go out. You stand still and wait for the light. Frustration, fear, panic, and hopelessness try to control you. You begin to doubt your reality. What is true anyway? Then the lights gradually come back up bringing things into focus. Hope builds and you begin to move forward again. Good, you see a turn in the path. You are making progress. The lights begin to dim again. You prepare to make the turn but there is a wall. There is no opening! There is only wall—no door. You can’t find the door! “God help me!” you scream. “Be still.” You hear a voice. “Be still, and I will lead you!” You continue to spread your hands over the wall in silence trying to make sense of it all. “Help me,” You finally whisper. “I can’t find the door.” The light increases. Your eyes began to focus again. “Look up,” You hear the whisper. “Look up for your answer.”  There it is! You push the button and the wall miraculously opens. A lighted path is in front of you. You are finally on your way again. Your steps become more confident. You are no longer alone. You now have “the voice” to lead you—and you have light. Every part of you is aware that you are not alone. You can now see a short distance in front of you. Things are clearer. You begin to gain speed. Each step is not quite so cautious. The light gives you confidence and direction. You are finally moving forward. Then the light begins to dim again. Darkness envelopes the tunnel and the shadows return. “Where did you go?” You cry out into the darkness. “Don’t leave me in the dark!”  “Don’t panic. I will lead you with my voice through the dark times.” His reassuring tone calms you. “There will be light again, but learn to trust me through the darkness. Make a slight turn to right. Remember you are not alone.”  “Others have conquered the maze. It is your turn.” You tell yourself, “Don’t be a quitter. You can do this! Keep going! Trust the voice. He’s your guide.” You move slowly to the right and find a door. It opens! Ah, light again. However, this light is creating shadows. The shadows are overwhelming. Everything seems to be moving at once. Watching the shadows, you look out into the darkness. Fear begins to take control. Nothing is focused. Nothing is clearly understood. “Help me,” You whisper. “Show me the way through.” “Keep your eyes on the light,” the voice instructed. “Keep going forward. Concentrate on the light, not the shadows.” You turn toward the light again and refocus. As your eyes adjust, you see a wall full of doors. “But there are so many doors!” you exclaim. “Which door is the right one?”  “Push on every door.” He instructed. “The right one will open. I will never leave you, so do not be afraid. Keep going. You can do this.” There are so many locked doors. You almost give up, but wait, this one seems to be opening. You cautiously push the door forward and then you see a wonderfully lit corridor filled with gentle music and colorful lights. Finally, you are enjoying the maze. This room is comfortable. The walls are not so narrow; there is a lounge chair and even a book to read. Things are finally working out for you. You stretch your legs out as you sink into the recliner. You lean back with the book provided and take a quiet respite.  After a short time of rest, you hear the voice, “It’s time to move on. There’s still more maze ahead.”  You become frustrated. It is comfortable here. You do not really need another challenge. “Why can’t I just stay here? I’m finally comfortable. My needs are met. Why should I continue to go forward?” you ask.  “There’s a prize at the end of the maze.” He reminded. “Winners finish the maze. Are you coming?” You don’t want to be accused of quitting. Reluctantly, you pull yourself out of the easy chair and walk down the next corridor. As you suspected, things begin to grow dimmer and dimmer. You try to look back but your comfort room is no longer there. There is no going back. You realize that the only way out is forward.  Oh no! Another dead end. Suddenly the light disappears. You have been here before—no need to panic. You decide to ask for help. “Which way now?” you ask confidently. No answer. “Hey, where did you go? You promised to lead me!” Still no answer. The darkness seems even darker now. “Do I stand still and wait for an answer or should I try to go forward without the voice?” you ask yourself. You decide to try to find it yourself. “There’s probably another button like before,” you reason. Your hands grope the wall above your head. You find nothing. You try the other wall—nothing. You turn to the third wall and there it is. It’s a little lower than the other button, but you push it. The floor begins to crumble. It’s like quick sand. Oh, no! You are sinking fast. You struggle to get your feet lose from the enveloping pit, but you just sink faster. “Help me,” you cry. “Save me!”  Suddenly you feel solid ground under your feet again. No more sinking. “Why didn’t you wait for me?” the voice asked. “Didn’t I tell you I would guide you? I promised I would never leave you. Learn to trust me. Learn to be still and know that I am working everything out for your good. Wait patiently on me, and I will bring you through the maze successfully. I know the right path for you. I understand the maze.” With resolution and determination, you begin the trip again. You grow more aware of the presence of the voice even when you’re not hearing it. You now know you are not alone even when things are silent. Trust grows and you relax. Your fears turn to dependency. Life becomes simpler—not in your circumstances but in your perception. You begin to trust the voice enough not to worry about the next corridor. Hasn’t He been faithful? Hasn’t He promised to be faithful? Why should you doubt? He will lead you to the end of the maze. After that is your great reward! You continue on your journey following the voice—wiser and more trusting. You understand now, the only direction is forward. Nothing exists behind you. You must keep walking forward until you win the prize. Only the voice knows where the path leads and how many trials lay ahead, but He has promised to lead you through it all.

1. Life is always going forward. You cannot go backward. There’s nothing there. It is gone forever.

2. There is no “reverse” in life, but sometimes we go in circles.

3. Must adjust our direction as we move forward to change destiny.

4. Repentance is making a U-turn—a forward motion.

5. Our spiritual walk is always a forward motion.

6. Don’t look back! Look up!

7. Gain strength from God and follow Him to new depths or heights.

8. Let Him pull you out of miry pits, clean you up, and set your path straight.

9. God can lead you out of

· Depression

· Pain

· Disappointment

· Grief

· Sin

· Hopelessness

· Addiction

· Anger

· Unforgiveness

10. Repentance is a daily thing. Permit God to change your direction.

11. God will be your light in the midst of darkness.

12. His voice will be your guide when the light becomes dim.

13. His presence will be your comfort when there is no light or voice.

14. Concentrate on the light rather than the darkness.

15. Put your eyes on Him.
He calls us, “Come, follow Me!” Philippians 3: 12-14 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.    All I can add to this is a hearty, "AMEN!"  God bless you all today!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mustard Seeds and Tests of Faith

One of the cutest stories I have ever read had a profound impact on me.  You see, I sometimes am the little boy in the story.  "A little boy was afraid of the dark. One night his mother told him to go out to the back porch and bring her the broom. The little boy turned to his mother and said, "Mama, I don't want to go out there. It's dark." The mother smiled reassuringly at her son. "You don't have to be afraid of the dark," she explained. "Jesus is out there. He'll look after you and protect you." The little boy looked at his mother real hard and asked, "Are you sure he's out there?" "Yes, I'm sure. He is everywhere, and he is always ready to help you when you need him," she said. The little boy thought about that for a minute and then went to the back door and cracked it a little. Peering out into the darkness, he called, "Jesus? If you're out there, would you please hand me the broom?" Have you ever seen a mustard seed? I mean really looked at one….they are so tiny….they are even smaller than celery seeds…..well, mustard seed faith is all we have to have to defeat the giants in our lives….but so many times we are afraid to have even that much faith. There are three faith tests I want to share with you today…

Test 1 - Faith focuses on the possibilities, the potential, not the problems. So what kind of Christian are you? Not sure??? Well ask yourself this question: Are you more likely to point out the possibilities or the problems? Are you more likely to get excited or discouraged? Are you more likely to motivate others or discourage? Are you more likely to challenge or criticize? Are you more likely to be hopeful or pessimistic? Possibilities or Problems?  Notice the first part of this test….is what are the possibilities…Your first question is not what are the problems, but what has God promised. What has God provided. You want to evaluate your faith - examine your focus! Are you a grasshopper(destroying all you come in contact with) or does your faith in God's provision and promises make the giants in your life seem small?
Test 2 is that faith relies on God's abilities, not our own abilities. Let me tell you…if it were left up to MY personal abilities…nothing would get done. So what about you? How would you answer these questions? When I am asked to serve God in a task, do I compare myself to the task before accepting it or do I compare God to the task? When you are asked to serve in the church council, in Sunday School, in training, in the youth ministry, and the multitude of other needs we have as a church in reaching our goals, do you make your decision by looking at your own abilities or at Gods? Do you evaluate what you are capable or what God is capable of? The question should never be "CAN I DO IT?" but "Am I willing to let GOD DO IT through me?" I used to throw up….everytime I sang in public. That was ME trying to do it…..but one day…I gave that issue over to God…and it never happened again…..not only do I not throw up anymore…..I sing AND speak in public….the difference….God is standing right beside me.  I discovered...I was doing it for I do it for Him!
Test 3 is that faith is not content with the minimum, the past of least resistance, but asks for the mountain! Faith doesn't take the path of least resistance - the easy way out. So are you content to do the minimum in your service to God? Are you content to sit back and watch others work? Are you looking for the easy way out in your Christian service? Or are you asking God to give you his toughest! Give you the mountain Caleb asked for in Numbers 13-14! Is your mantra God USE me! Here I am? I'm ready. I wish I could say....YES!  This is me....and it is some time.....but not all the time.  Somedays I forget Mustard seed faith means looking to the possibilities, relying on his abilities, and asking for the mountain? I don’t know about you….but today I feel like I want a mountain! Want to join me?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fifteen Things God Won't Ask

I got an email this morning from an old friend and I was intrigued by the title of the email and after reading it felt it was a good Sunday message so I had to share it with you.
God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but will ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.  God won’t ask the square footage of your house, but will ask how many people you welcomed into your home.  God won’t ask about the fancy clothes you had in your closet, but will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.  ( I am glad I love to donate to the Mission Thrift, Salvation Army and Goodwill.)  God won’t ask about your social status, but will ask what kind of class you displayed. God won’t ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask if they dictated your life. God won’t ask what your highest salary was, but will ask if you compromised your character to obtain that salary. God won’t ask how much overtime you worked, but will ask if you worked overtime for your family and loved ones. God won’t ask how many promotions you received, but will ask how you promoted others. God won’t ask what your job title was, but will ask if you reformed your job to the best of your ability. God won’t ask what you did to help yourself, but will ask what you did to help others. God won’t ask how many friends you had, but will ask how many people to whom you were a true friend. God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights, but will ask what you did to protect the rights of others. God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived, but will ask how you treated your neighbors. God won’t ask about the color of your skin, but will ask about the content of your character. God won’t ask how many times your deeds matched your words, but will ask how many times they didn’t. I don't know about you....but I think I have a lot of work to do.  I found after reading this that I fall short in a lot of areas.  How about you?  How short do you fall?  This is a tall list to live up to....but thinking about it...I have to remember that God sent His Son to die for you put it in this does not seem quite so hard.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Amazing Grace = God's Reward at Christ's Expense

Tomorrow is Youth Sunday at our church and Beth, M.L. and I have been working feverishly on a program for the kids to do.  Beth found an awesome book that had a great program on the song, "Amazing Grace" and then found another with the help of the world wide web and the two books I have put together a program on one of the most popular songs ever....."Amazing Grace."  In my research I was really surprised at all I learned about the is a common hymn tune...and can be sung to other tunes.....I know this because at ASP one year....we learned the song to the tune of "Gilligans Island"....try works.  I also learned "Jesus Loves Me" to the "Flintstones" tune that same year.  Anyways...back on my research I discovered that the writer of the words to the song, John Newton, was a very colorful character.
"Amazing Grace" was first heard on New Year's Day in 1773. The song itself was written without "ceremony" in an attic room where Newton wrote weekly hymns to amplify the message of his sermons. When Newton put the internal rhyme "amazing grace" together, it wasn't purely for poetic reasons. He understood grace to mean God's unmerited favor to lost souls. This was a meaning Newton — with his sordid history and personal tale of redemption — could take to heart.  Newton supplied the lyrics, but the tune sung today arrived much later. The actual song,  in Newton's day, would have been sung "to another song that fit its meter" — if it were sung at all. Have you ever just spoken the words to this song?  I did the other day when I was timing our program....and let me tell is powerful.  "Amazing Grace" continued to be associated with a number of different tunes throughout much of the 19th century. In 1835, "...the tune that we now sing... was married to the words of John Newton," I truly believe that  the early popularity of "Amazing Grace" in America is attributed to the religious revivalism of that period and to the power of the first verse.  In America, according to John Newton, "the conversion experience is more prominent and more important, and this is the absolute perfect song to accompany a conversion of that sort… 'I once was lost but now 'I'm found. I was blind but now I see…' It seems to be the definitive song of the personal conversion experience.  "Amazing Grace" has been featured on more than 1,100 albums. The song reached the pop charts in the United Kingdom and the United States when Judy Collins released her version in 1971. It was another time of turbulence as U.S. military forces were mired in an unpopular war in Vietnam. In her forward to Turner's book, Judy Collins says the song has the "power to transform" and to heal.  Something magical happens when you sing it, don't you agree?  So, on Sunday our youth are going to sing, tell about, and share scriptures that relate to "Amazing Grace," and hopefully when the morning is over the congregation will leave and believe that Grace is God's Rewards at Christ's Expense.  What an awesome gift....How truly amazing the concept of grace is.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flashback Friday

My friend Mary does a neme called Flashback Friday every week and normally I just like to read her answers and comment...but todays prompt was so good I thought I would use it too. 

What role did music play in your growing up years? What, if any, music do you associate with early childhood? What music style or songs were popular when you were in high school? How did you listen to music - on the radio, albums, etc. Did you have a stereo in your room? Did you attend concerts when you were a teenager? Did the music you liked cause conflict with your parents? What song or songs take you back to a certain place and time of your youth?

Music was everything when I was growing up.  I sang my first solo in church at the age of 3.  My grandfather taught me to play the guitar by the time I was 9 and I was heavy into Karen Carpenter, Carole King, JT, and any other kind of music by my early teens.  New Dawn was our church youth choir and I loved singing in it.  My BFF, Carol and I used to dress up as the Beatles and put on little shows for our parents. Poor dears.  When I was 15 I was offered a chance to study music in New York....and I turned it down because I was 15 and stupid....and in love and just did not want to change my life.  I am not a big advocate for people moving my cheese.  I had a radio alarm clock, stereo, radio...and even now...I own an IPOD, have XM radio in my car, own over 200 CD's and records(you know the black vinyl kind)...and countless cassettes...and would still have about 200 8 tracks if the ex husband had not sold them....along with my 8 track player to someone on a whim.....I threatened to sell his bass boat after that one.  He was afraid....very afraid.  (The group I sing with, Still Magnolias, wrote a song about that.) Music has always been in my life.  I grew up thinking everyone sang...when my family got together...we always had music....I was stunned to learn....that was not the case for the rest of the world.  Music was always playing in my house.  My mom, her sister, my cousin Amanda and I always loved singing "Sentimental Journey."  I sing with a group based out of Columbus called Still Magnolias (Amanda is one of them too), I have sung with the Arbor Praise and Worship band at First United Methodist church, I sing in the choir now, I sing at other churches.....if I were to have to go to a Singers Anonymous meeting....I would have to say, Hi!  I am Karen and I sing.  I can't imagine life without it. I have to is one part mother performed in USO operetas when she was younger....and my dad had a beautiful baritone voice. I can't count the number of concerts I have attended in my life.  I have heard Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians on New Years Eve, Liberace, and the Grateful friends all laugh at me when I hear a usual response is, "Oh!  That is my favorite song!"...and to be honest it is true....they ARE all my favorite songs....Kansas and "Dust in the Wind" is one of my most favorites. "Never My Love" by the Association takes me back to an early does "I'll Say Goodbye to Love" by Karen Carpenter.  Music lifts me up....gets me over bad times....soothes the savage beast.  Is calming...and now...on my hour drive to work in the morning...sets the tone for my day.  It would be safe to say that music is the glue a lot of times that holds my life together. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cheaters Never Win

Tuesday I gave a test in my Spanish classes....and when I graded them it became very obvious that three students had cheated. do understand that I teach SPANISH...right...well these three girls missed the exact same answers...and misspelled the exact same ENGLISH!  How sad is that?  Since I did not catch them....I wrote a note on their tests and told them to watch it....but then the next day...a parent approached me and asked me if I was aware that students were cheating on my test.  I asked her how she knew this...and she told me that she had seen it on her daughter's facebook page. I asked her to send it to me and she did....and there it was.....posted on facebook....during my test.....announcing that one of them was cheating on my test.  Good stupid can you be?  Obviously this student has not gotten the hint that anything you put on the web is public domain.  So, yesterday....I announced to all my classes that I knew cheating had taken place and in the class where the cheating took place I rearranged the seating chart.  Putting the facebooker directly in front of me.  Her attitude stunk so I asked her to step into the hall.  I joined her after about five minutes....told her I was very angry at her and dared her to ask me why.  I think she got the point....she apologized for her behavior....I sent her back in the room and class went on.  Let's see what happens on the next test...cause I can assure will be an awesome test.  I have already started working on it.  Griefus...cheaters never win...and I know this first hand....I cheated caught....I was a tenth grader....the teacher catching me was the best thing that ever happened to me.  She made me come in in the mornings and work problems on her board...before cleaning them....I never had to cheat again....I learned Geometry....thank you Ms. Rizer for your object lesson.  I have never forgotten it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Randomly Speaking.....

My friend over at 2nd Cup of Coffee took a brief sabbatical from Random Dozen over the summer and I missed her prompts.  She has been back at it for a couple of weeks and I have been to busy to check in with her.  Tonight I thought I would take a shot at her comments and see how I would respond.  Some of these answers/prompts were hard....some I could just flip off....some I could have spoken volumes on. Hope you enjoy my random ramblings.

1. What is your favorite Mexican dish?...oooo...that is hard.  I teach Spanish and love the food....guacamole (homemade)....Tamales (from Solly's Tamales in Vixburg), Black Bean soup, enchiladas(made by Frank).

2. When you were a kid, did you get started on your homework right away after school, or did you procrastinate?...oh if you were Wilma's child...procrastination was not in your vocabulary.  You came home from school....I did get to watch Dark Shadows...then it was homework until supper....then piano practice time. 
3. What is your favorite store for home furnishings?  IKEA...LOVE THAT PLACE!

4. When you were young, did you like school lunches? Nope...and even now...I teach in a high school and do not like school lunches.  I don't eat succotash....I don't like lima beans....but one day...I drank my milk and put the succotash in the milk carton....somebody tattled on me...and she came up, opened my milk carton, poured the now milky mess on my tray...and made me sit there til I ate every bite.  I hate succotash even more now than I did then.  I sat at the table alone...for one hour....gagging while I tried to eat that stuff.
Whatever the object lesson was was lost on me.  I hated lima beans even more afterwards....and felt a strong dislike for Ms. Green my teacher.
5. Is religion a crutch?  Not for me.  I am a is what makes my world go round...Christ and God are the air that I breathe.  I cannot imagine life without them in it.  I can't imagine life without church....good thing I am a preacher's wife...huh?

6. In your region, what is the "big" (most popular in the community or state) high school sport? Football!  It is the Friday night social event here.

7. Do you consider yourself rich?  Monetarily love...oh yes.  I am one of the wealthiest women alive.

8. Which of these would you have the best chance for success in administering:

A) CPR - I have been certified to do this...but the idea of someone throwing up in my mouth....not happening!

B) Heimlich Maneuver - I actually did this on a student once...and it worked.  We were both pretty surprised.

C) Changing a flat tire - before my dad allowed me to drive alone...I had to learn to change a tire.  I can do this...don't like doing it...but can do it.

9. Which dance would you prefer to learn & why:

A) Salsa - this one...hello....I teach Spanish!

B) Hip Hop - not going to happen.  I have two left feet.

C) Waltz- I can do this....actually took ballroom dancing from MaeLynn House with Frank....he is a wonderful so much.
D) Swing - My nephew, David, and Kat tried to teach this to me....I am a terrible klutz.

10. What's the worst news you've ever delivered to someone? I told my mom that my dad had died.  I had to wake her up to tell her. It was the worst thing I have ever done.

11. Name something you learned in college that had nothing to do with classes or academics.  I learned that it does not matter how smart you is just what cards you are holding.

12. New variation on an old question: If there's a song in your head that just won't get out, what is your favorite (or most repeated) line in that song?  The old Doris Day line...Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be....the future's not ours to see....que sera sera. you have seen my would you have answered them?  Leave me a comment and tell me!  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is Your Hut on Fire?

My friend Bill sends me a lot of emails....some of them funny....some of them not....but yesterday he sent me one that I actually needed.  I was having a huge pity party yesterday and was feeling rather shipwrecked.  I was sitting at the desk waiting for my students to come into class after lunch and thought I was going to just sob.....but....there was this email....and after reading it.....I knew...that I would survive this pity moment.   You know sometimes when we send emails we don't know what is going on on the other side of the computer....sometimes your email might be just the medicine to make someone else's day.  The story goes like this.....the only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'  Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.
The Moral of This Story:
It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your
little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.  I just had to share this.....I did not know if your hut was on fire today.  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Be Sure to Tip Your Waitress

In 1997 I had an opportunity to help a student out.  She worked as a waitress for a local restaurant and had a chance to go see her dad in Arkansas for two weeks.  Her boss at the restaurant told her if she went she was fired.  Well, as it happened....I lived near that restaurant....ate there a lot.....and had waited tables I talked with her boss and agreed to pull her shifts so she could go.  I was hired....for two weeks I waited tables for my sweet little student.....and to be honest...when she came back and decided she wanted to work in an office....I didn't blame her.....and was delighted to keep the job. I loved this little side job.....I would go and teach, come home....change clothes....go to the restaurant...and get home somewhere around ten each night.  The money was not all that good....waitress wage at the time was about 1.56.  What?  You did not know that there was such a thing called waitress wage????  There is and people don't know this.    Waiters and Waitresses do not make minimum wage at ALL restaurants....some pay them the minimal with the idea that tips will make up the difference....well they don't!  I waited a table one was a party of 12...they were obnoxious....they wanted extra sour cream, they wanted extra everything....they wanted cake for the birthday girl (at this restaurant....I paid for the cake for the birthday girl out of my money)...these people TRIED to tell me that it was all twelves birthday....COME ON!  I brought the original lady her cake...sang Happy Birthday...and left them to their party.  They occupied a table in my quadrant for nearly 2 hours....still wanting...more, more, more.....then they all stood ready to leave....and I went to the cash register to ring them out.  The bill was $99.00.  The tall man gave me a $100 bill and told me to keep the change.  I did not think much about it....I figured it would be in addition to the tip on the table....only when I went back to bus the table....there was nothing else.  The man's tip on a $99.00 dinner to me was a $1.00.  What a slap in the face....they had been there AND been waited on for over two hours....and he gave me a DOLLAR!  About that time I heard them all standing out there laughing...and it was just too much.  I undid my apron and headed out the door of the restaurant with the dollar in that point....I did not care if this man was the governor of Alabama.....I was going to let him know....just what I thought of his tightfisted ways.  I walked up to him and said, "Oh sir, forgot this when you checked out."  He was so smooth....he smiled and said, "oh no sweetheart...that is a little something for you."  I took his hand and put it in it....and said, "I don't need a handout....and obviously you need this more than I do!"...with a smile...and turned and walked back in the restaurant shaking.  His friends all died laughing...and said...."She told you.".....yeah I did....but the sad thing....a week later...he came in.  I did not wait on them....and this time....he did not even give the girl the change from the hundred.  Tightwad!  I later found out that this man was a CEO for a major oil company....had a mansion on the lake...and I can attest to this....the best tippers I have ever had.....are usually the average joe.  That same night for a $50.00 dinner I got a 20.00 tip....because I kept them coming on an all you can eat plate.  I worked  6 hours that night and brought home about $200.00 in tips.  Do I tip?  Yes ma'am I do...especially if the service is good.  If the service is not so good....they still get a is just not a good one.  I believe in paying for good service.  Next time you go to a a sport....and be sure to tip your waitress.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pool Etiquette.....or Things You Don't Do in a Pool!

One of the things I DON'T like about swimming pools is that there is always someone who does not understand that the P in the word pool is just that...a letter in the word has nothing to do with bathroom terminology.  My personal that if you have to go to the bathroom....get out of the pool.  This morning Frank was on facebook and one of his friends sent him this video clip....and it was just to good to pass up.....sooooooo....I had to give you a Sunday Funny.  Hope you enjoy!  God Bless You today!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mary and Bill and Wehadkee Trade Days

Wooo is Saturday...and Wehadkee Trade Days...AND Mary and Bill are coming up to go with us.  I am so excited I could pop.  I could not wait for the phone call from Mary saying they were on their way.  We met them at Huddle House for breakfast and I can't remember when I have had so much fun...we laughed...cut up....acted like ourselves.  It was great!  After breakfast we went to Clark Brothers for meat....we decided they might be closed by the time we were through messing around.  Wehadkee Trade we come.  This was a test run for the Gay, GA festival in October that we are going to.  Mary is wanting some Meckles Pickles...and knows that they are there....Mary does not like pickles...but likes these. We spent the next couple of hours at Trade Days and Mary made out like a bandit.  She bargained for a cute old chair and table, we bought a piece of blue and white stuff for our friend, Carolyn.  Her birthday is in November and this piece was pretty.  We introduced them to Shirley and Denney Pounds...members of our church...and Mary found a telescope.  It was a fruitful day for her.  We bought nothing.  I saw nothing I could not live without.  After Wehadkee we headed to Newnan and the School Box.  The airconditioning in the School Box felt wonderful.  It was miserable outside.  Mary bought a good bit....the guys and I read funny birthday cards...and I ended up buying four.  I will have to share them with you another day.  We will have to come back here before we leave Newnan...Mary is buying two tiny frogs in an ecosystem container.  We ate lunch at Five Guys....I love that place...and then hit Fanatic Fanz, DSW (my all time favorite place)....Mary bought two pairs of for for MIL, we hit several other stores and it just got hotter and hotter.  After Belks....which is at the end of the line...we decided to call it a day....go pick up the frogs....and head back to Alabama.  I overdid today.  My foot was really hurting by Frank and I sat in the car with the AC on....and chilled while they shopped.  "Bert and Ernie" (not their real names), the frogs were purchased....along with the smelliest food on the face of the earth...and we headed home.  I spent the rest of the evening flat on my back with my foot up....but the day was a fun one.  Bill is one of the funniest people I know.  He can tell the greatest jokes....and he was in prime form today.  I love days like this.....spending time with friends.....shoe just does not get any better.  Hope you have a great Saturday.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Week in Review

What a week it has been and for the second time in two weeks I have only been to school for 4 days.  I am absolutely beat every night when I come home so what will it be like next week when I have morning bus duty and work five days?
Monday was pretty uneventful - Mary, Rita, and Cindi went to see Eat, Pray, Live for Cindi's birthday.  I was invited but declined.  I was just too tired.  My biggest fear was that I would pay the huge price for a theater ticket and sleep through the movie....sorry Julia....I was that tired.  I came home and worked on lesson plans for Weds. when I was going to have to be out.
Tuesday was a flash.  I told my classes that if they misbehaved while I was out that the sub would be told to take up their portfolios worth 152 - 191 points and the grade would stand.  I also threw in that if they were good there would be a reward on Friday.  I really thought that my classes would be perfect....Thursday I would find out that that is what I get for thinking.  Went by to see my mom.  She was weird today.  She asked me again if I remembered when she was a little girl and I took them on a picnic in the woods.  To be honest....I don't ever remember being with my mom in the woods....even as a child myself.  She must have plagiarized this memory from one of my kids.  I will have to ask them.
Wednesday was court day and then the rest of the day was spent trying to take care of my mom's affairs.  I went by to see my mom with Frank and today was a better day.  She asked me if Frank and I were married.  Sigh!  Somedays I wish she remembered nothing....then it would not hurt so much.....but then I think...yeah it would hurt worse.
Thursday I returned to school to find one lonely stack of portfolios sitting on my desk.  I did not even have to open one to know which class they belonged to.  My last class of the day really showed out.  I wrote two coaches emails and told them of their athletes shenanigans and then graded the portfolios.  The highest grade was a 172/191....and that would be a 100 for me...the next grade was a 68/191.  By the time my last class got to me on Thursday I could have spit nails.  They came in complaining about the sub and I told them quickly to be quiet.  I reminded them of what they had been told....their faces spoke volumes...especially when I told them that I had graded every portfolio.  One of the offenders was absent on Thursday....good thing.  I told them that if they did not open their mouths....unless I asked them a question or asked them to repeat something.....I MIGHT give them their portfolios back to finish that night for homework.  You could have heard a pin drop in my just before the bell rang....I passed out their portfolios.  They were so relieved.
Friday was Camo Coosa day.  Tonight is our Jamboree.  It is a game that does not count against our record.  The weather forcaster said their was a 70% chance of rain.  I gave my first classes their treats....they got donuts or cupcakes...and there were a few left when my last class came in.  Several asked me if they could have one....and I told them...."no had your chance....and blew it....maybe next time you will behave when I am out."  I took three of the worst offenders to the side and told them the ground rules.  If they misbehave again....I will call their parents.  The next is a discipline referral....and everytime there after.  I meant what I said....ANY discipline is sad that 10 days of school have passed...and I have a behavior sheet already started on three students.  COME ON your job at home!  All three boys are athletes...and their coaches are aware of their shenanigans....I hope they like running hills and laps...because if I write them up...that is what they will get after detention.  At our school we give the kids multiple chances before a write up....First offense...verbal warning....second offense verbal warning with consequences explained...third...parents called...fourth...the referrals begin.  I so miss the days of corporal punishment.  I remember those huge paddles that hung on the wall behind the Dean of Boys desk.....oh yes....I think we have spared the rod and spoiled the child.....Sigh!  Went by to see my mom was storming....and headed home.  TGIF!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Unexpected Pleasures

Today, when I got home from school Frank had supper cooked....this was nice since I had three classes of tests to grade plus three classes of portfolios.  Sigh...that is what happens when you have to be out.  You give the students work and somebody has to grade it.  I came in crashed on the couch.  I was exhausted.  Frank told me that whenever I was ready he would put the noodles on.  I just wanted to veg.  While I was vegging....he dropped to one knee beside me (and no he did not propose....he did that a long time ago.)....nope....he told me that he was aware that I had had a lot on mom, court, falling, moving, leaving my friends.....and he brought out a jewelry box from behind his back  I opened it excitedly and there....inside the box was a beautiful sterling silver cross with a heart on it.  I cried. can't live with them sometimes....but you definitely can't live without him.  Ok...all you southern know what to say, "Ah isnt he precious?"  Well...right now....I think he is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Thank you baby for the unexpected made my day.  Whatever I did to deserve this man....I hope I never stop.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Jury Is In

Well, today, after almost a year of trying I am officially my mom's guardian.  I had to take today off so that I could meet with the lawyers and Gloria Sinclair, the Probate Judge, concerning my mom.  Yesterday I came home physically ill about what was facing me today.  I woke up this morning as nervous as a cat...I asked Frank why my mom suffered from dementia....why such an active, beautiful spirit was stricken by such a nasty illness....of course he had no answers for me....and I know it is all in God's hands......and I truly do know that this is all part of his plan....but this morning I had a case of the Why Me's and Why Her's.  Anyways,  once we were in chambers and sworn in and the questions began I calmed down.  I knew I was doing the right thing....although I have to saddens me to know that my mom will never experience life with me as we knew it....again.  At 11:00 we finally left the judges chambers....I am now offically bonded and that, I have to admit is scary.  After leaving Dadeville we then began the bank circuits....we had to go to each bank and see what she had and get my name on all her accounts.  The first bank was the biggest accounts....there was a safety deposit box there that we had to inventory.  We took care of that first...and it was a huge disappointment.  The box was a large one...and very heavy.  I knew it would not contain jewels and wads of money...but I really thought it would contain a will.....not so.  What it did contain was coin proof sets, silver certificates, and a few other odd pieces of coinage.  It was a numismatists delight.  I did not understand why these particular coins were in the bank.  We found others...just like the house in pizza boxes...what gives?  Who knows what was wandering through my parents minds.  We left there and went to Aliant bank...that took over an hour...because their computers were down and everything had to be done by a typewriter....can you believe that?  I did not even know they still made the things...but yep...there it was on our CSM's desk...a big old albatross typewriter.  She was lovely....but it just took a long time.  After was on to the insurance company to get that changed...then on to Mutual Savings Credit was the quickest...they have to do their stuff through their legal department.  I did not see what the big deal was...I had a certified said I was guardian...nuff said.....Obviously not.  Back to Wachovia between Aliant and MSCU because I forgot to change the address....the only bank we did not hit in Alex City was Regions...thank goodness.  We left the banks, went by the United Methodist District office, the print shop, my mom's...and headed home...just in time to get a lesson ready for Youth tonight.  I am beat.  We are by no means finished.  I have to contact lawyers in Rockford to see if a will exists and if it does...get it probated...I have to sell all her stuff.....I have to keep immaculant records...sheesh...I am not an accountant for a reason.  Anyways...finally home...long day....headed to bed.  Tomorrow...I get to see how well my students behaved in my absence....ohhhh...and my intern showed up today...without me knowing she was coming.....I had not heard from her since May/June.  I did not know when she was coming....SURPRISE!  I am excited about having an intern....I enjoy them...and learn a lot from them....but I hate that she came today and I left her with a sub.  Oh well...Que sera sera...what will be, will be.....won't it?  Happy Weds to all...and to all a good night.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Reserve at Oak Bowery

I told you earlier this week about working a wedding at The Reserve at Oak Bowery and today I thought I would share The Reserve with you.  Who may want to drive to Oak Bowery, AL someday and stay here....or get married here....or just see it.  It is an awesome place.  When you walk onto the lands it is just like being transported back into the days of Katie Scarlett O'Hara.  The picture above is the front of the house taken right before the wedding.  I thought it was so lovely.
The bride and party go down the outdoor aisle to the altar/fireplace.  This wedding was at 6:30 p.m. and in the firepit where you would find a roaring fire...there were some beautiful plants and white Christmas lights.  It was magical.  At the base of every tree in this pecan orchard...there were colored lights shining upward. 
This is were the reception was held.  It is called the Party Barn.  It is lovely on the inside and to the left of the open door above was a tent where the dancing took place.  It was a fabulous night.
I was really curious about this place by the time I got home so I did some research on it and thought I would tell you a little history about case for real you want to come and use it.
"This home has a very rich history in Chambers County. Known as the McCurdy Plantation, it once was central to a thriving cotton farm of 4000 acres, 150 slaves, and a large lot of stock all owned by Joseph McCurdy. From this plantation is also a breed of horse that the McCurdys bred to be useful on the farm. The grounds still include a now enclosed cattle barn, and large and small working barns. The site where the blacksmith’s shop used to be (just to the North of the small working barn) is evident by the constantly emerging samples of iron.During the Civil War in 1864, Federal Cavalry stopped by to water their horses. The troops were led from Selma by Col. Oscar LaGrange, regimental commander, and were headed to West Point, where another battle ensued over the railroad yards. There is a natural pure water spring just behind the current property line that has historically served as a fresh water supply for travelers and visitors with the thriving railway and agricultural industry in the area.The home was built in 1845 by Mr. Edmund S. Harris as a wedding present to his daughter and her husband, Joseph McCurdy."  (Nice wedding gift huh?  My parents gave us a crock pot.) The construction took 3 years, and was all completed by hand, by the slaves on the plantation. The house is made entirely of heart pine (from the center of the tree trunk) in the Greek Revival style and has slightly tapering fluted columns, and a cantilevered porch on the front. The house was positioned on a slight knoll and took advantage of the breeze through the open “dog trot” hallway in the center of the house. Several elder guests have talked about staying in this house as a child with the McCurdy children, sleeping on a large pallet on the floor in front of one of the fireplaces. The back portion of the house was added in the late 1980s by the Pattons- adding a modern kitchen and 3 and a half more bathrooms. Logan Patton did the work using parts from the former Parsonage to the United Methodist Church in Opelika that was torn down to make a parking lot.The front dining room used to be the master’s bedroom. It has a stairwell so that the parents could keep close at hand to their 8 sleeping children upstairs in the two rooms joined by a door. The next room used to be the dining room, with the kitchen through a door (now a window) in a separate building outside (for fire safety.) There are only three small closets in the house – one over and two under the staircases. These, of course, were taxed as rooms, so are scarce. The stairs on the back side of the house used to go directly upstairs from the outside, for field hands doing business in the office of Mr. McCurdy. They allow any vendor with no extra fees charged, so you have complete control over your event. Small or large, day or evening, they have the variety of spaces you need to accommodate your guests. Some of the events they have hosted are:
- Rehearsal Dinners
- Birthday Parties
- Bridal Showers
- Alumni Gatherings
- Luncheons
- Church Retreats
- Reunions
- Corporate Events
Small meetings or mixers can take place in the Plantation House, while larger ones can use the Party Barn or our outdoor area. Walk through the “back 40” or down to the pond and take in the fresh air! The Reserve at Oak Bowery is an elegant and picturesque location for your next event.  The Plantation House is filled with period antiques, and is a beautiful setting for more formal events, small and large from 7 to 75 people. There are three large social rooms downstairs, plus a large main hall, ½ bath, bedroom with bath, and kitchen. The upstairs, with its four bedrooms and 3 baths, provides gracious guest accommodations. On the downstairs level, the screened back porch overlooking the back yard is the perfect place to sit and swing and watch the celebrations going on in the back yard. For Weddings, the downstairs is available for food service. The Bride’s Room is upstairs and is adjoined to an enclosed porch which provides a bird’s eye view of the ceremony area below.  The Party Barn is a 1600 sq. ft. structure that is heated and air conditioned and seats approximately 100 people comfortably, and large windows on one side provide the perfect view to outdoor seating. It is a great place for rehearsal dinners and any casual party! Food service is also available in this area. The “Party Barn” was originally used with the cotton production on the plantation. The structure was formerly an antique shop, and has been recently remodeled with separate Men’s and Women’s restrooms added for event use. (wheelchair accessible)  The Plantation House is available for rent for overnight accommodations. There are 5 named bedrooms, 4 full baths, and 1 half bath.  Both downstairs and upstairs have a large central hallway and porch for lounging around - a must in such a gracious home!  Downstairs has a Parlor with piano, a Dining Room with table for 12, a multi-purpose room, laundry room, and a full kitchen overlooking back yard."  I am telling you...this place has it all.  I am so glad I got to see it.  I don't know if I would have ever believed it.  In October I am working another wedding there so I will get to see this grand ladies splender in the fall.  I can't wait.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Am Famous....Or Is That Infamous?

Am I Famous Infamous or what?  I know movie stars that don't get this much attention.  The first week we lived in Rock Mills we made the local paper, "The Leader."  In the Rock Mills column was a little blip welcoming us to the area.  A few weeks later we were in the paper again when the church held a welcoming cookout in our honor.  I need to let you know that the local paper comes out every Wednesday.....period!  This past week we were in the paper once more.  This is how the bigger than a blip read:  " Recently Rock Mills Volunteer Fire Department has had two medical calls, one weather and one fire(controlled burn) responses.  The grant for new equipment is in process.  I(Ms Sherry Yarbrough) will keep you informed.  Thank you, Rock Mills, for your support.  The first department is here for you.  The RMVFD aslo wants to welcome Rev. Frank Korb as their newest member.  He brings both professional and volunteer fire department experience to our group.  We also want to welcome Rev. Frank and Ms. Karen again to our community.  We're sorry to hear that Ms. Karen took a fall this weekend and has a bad sprain.  We hope she recovers soon."  Yeppers...that was me...I was one of the two medical calls they got last week.  Geez-o-pete....can't a girl fall down in a rabbit hole(I guess I was trying to play Alice in Wonderland) on a Sunday morning in her yard, while in her pajamas, and NOT make the paper?  Obviously not in Rock Mills.  Maybe next time I make the paper it will be for something a little less klutzy.  LOL!  Today was Monday....week two of school has begun...maybe it will be an uneventful week for me.  I certainly hope so.  Happy Trails to All!  Keep it between the ditches.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Let It Rain I Say!

Yesterday we had some much needed rain.  It was glorious.  No, I did not go out and play in it...but I wanted to.  I just figured I would not test the waters with my ankle by dancing in the rain.  It started a slow misty rain early in the morning and throughout the day we had a couple of mega downpours.  It was lovely.  The temperature never got above 84 yesterday and it was great...muggy a bit between showers...but it was not in the 90's and muggy.  We were supposed to work/attend an outdoor wedding last night.  Deborah at Your Day was catering it and we work for her from time to time.  We were not sure if I was going to be much help...but the kitchen was perfect and I did all the prep work sitting on a stool with my foot propped up.  Frank was my legs.  The kitchen was in the main house...the reception was in the Party Barn on the other side of the driveway.  The wedding was held at The Reserve at Oak Bowery.  If you ever want to have a true antibellum wedding...this is the was beautiful.  To find it, google Oak Bowery and I think it is the first site that pops up.  Anyways, funny thing, we left at 3 p.m. heading to the site and it was pouring hard that you could hardly see.....when we got to the other side of LaFayette....the rain stopped....and it did not rain a drop during the wedding.  Good thing....outdoor weddings and rain are not fun.  The site of the wedding was beautiful.  It was held in front of an old fireplace looking thing....all the trees had colored lights at their bases and then several of them had the white Christmas lights in them.  I have to was magical.  Kelli was a beautiful bride.  Her mom and dad, Mike and Carol, were so proud....and they are such easy people to work for.  They were so appreciative of everything you do.  I like working those kinds of weddings.  We got home about 10 last night and the carport was full of water....such a beautiful site.  There is a 50% chance we will get more rain today...and if the sky is any is going to rain sometime today.  I love it!  I got up this morning, checked the sky, and started whistling "Singing in the Rain."  What a glorious day.  Ain't God Good?  The Bible tells us in Acts 14:17 that, "Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." Have a Blessed Day!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Want to Be A Palm Tree When I Grow Up

I grew up as a Florida native. One of the things I loved as a child and still love as an adult it a palm tree. I particularly love Coconut Palms. I used to run up them as a child and try to get the fruit that they teased me with. Did you know that there are over 300 species of Palm trees growing from 3 to 100 feet tall. I love dates. My mom used to cook with them when I was a child…..but I did not know that the date palm produces over 300 pounds of dates annually. What about the African oil palm which is very widely cultivated in the tropics? It gives a higher oil yield per hectare than any other oil plant. It produces two quite different types of oil, and that from palm kernels, used for making margarine and soap, sun tan oils (which I used my share of as a teenager ), and that from the fleshy part of the fruit, used more widely for industrial processes. This is one of the most rapidly expanding plantation crops today. Historically the palm tree has been called the representative tree of Palestine. It has stood through the years as a symbol of the land of our Lord. When Jesus made His entry into the city of Jerusalem before His death, the people broke off palm branches and waved them in front of Him. I was doing some research on palm trees the other day….you can tell I was bored to tears. What I discovered amazed me and it made me realize that the palm tree has several characteristics about it that should picture the life of the Christian. Did you know that the Palm tree breaks the bands? Other trees do not break the bands put around them. As the tree grows, the bands dig into the wood. Many of us have seen an old clothesline wire sunk deep into the trunk of a tree, well the palm tree breaks the bands as it grows. I, as a child of God can claim and have the victory through Christ thus breaking the bands sin holds on me. Is that not cool or what? What a great object lesson. One thing I learned from the palm trees that I grew up around is they bend, reshape even, but they do not break. I have seen the effects of hurricane force winds on them….it is amazing. They may reshape themselves to conquer the force of the winds…but they do not break….uproot maybe….but do not break….they BEND. When hurricanes used to hit the coast when I was growing up in West Palm Beach…one thing I could count on….my palm trees would always be there…..the avocado, the orange, the pines, the melalucca (sorry about the spelling)….they would break….but those palm trees in Mr. Gunnell’s yard….they were a constant…and would be there when the bad weather was over. I have weathered many storms in my life – death of a brother, divorce, mother with dementia, father with cancer and dying, living away from my parents….but they were not disasters….because I serve a God who does not break….he simply enables me to bend. The other thing I love about Palm trees is that they don’t die in poor soil or heat….they flourish. Ok…so when the heat is on, and the soil where I am is poor….am I going to wither and die…or am I going to flourish! I have discovered about myself throughout my life…is that my roots run deep and I AM A SURVIVOR and will flourish wherever I am planted. I never want to be a shallow person. I want to be a Christian of substance. Think about it….one palm tree does not give off a whole lot of shade. But, what is an oasis? A bunch of palm trees providing much needed shade for someone who is weary. One other thing I learned about palm trees as a child….the older the tree the better the fruit. Mr. Gunnell had one that was so scarred and mangled…and it had the best coconuts. Well…isn’t that like us as Christians….or even humans….the battles we face in life…either leave us sweet…or bitter. If we allow the scars to harden out hearts like the outside of the coconut fruit…then we are just hard…if we allow the scars to conform us to the image of Christ….how sweet it is! As a girl scout I learned that you cannot burn palm tree wood like ordinary wood. It is not good for a bonfire. As a child of God I will never…not even for one millisecond, suffer the fires of hell because I will never burn…I AM A PALM TREE! As a palm tree I am an evergreen…which is .a symbol of immortality. I am promised in John 3:16, 18 and 36…that as a child of God I will have everlasting life. I don’t know about you….but I really love Palm trees now….and want to be the best one I can be.  The Tanya Tucker song, "Strong Enough to Bend" is not about a palm tree....but it could be....anything is possible with

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy 40th Birthday, Eric!

Today is my son's 40th birthday.  He will probably never see this post....but today, as he turns 40...there are just so many feelings I want to express.  Eric did not grow under my heart...he grew in it.  I married his father when he was just 4 and I was 21.  He stole my heart from the first moment I ever met him.  He was all boy....I grew up with Eric.  I was barely 16 years older than he was.  I had a lot to learn as a parent.  I know throughout his life I made mistakes....cause parenthood does not come with a manual.  I made sure they went to church.....and every single VBS in town.  I remember one time...his dad was not going to church with us.....he was BASS fishing on Sundays....and I got Eric up....and he informed me that he "could not wait to be big like his daddy so he would not have to go to church anymore."  Ronnie went to church after that.  He was so much fun.  He loved swimming in the lake, he loved when I pulled out my guitar, he loved life.  I remember the last time I spanked him...he was 9....and he had messed with his grandmother's quilting stuff.  I popped his seat with my time....he had a back pocket full of matchbox cars and I ended up with a busted blood vessel in my hand.  Eric was not a perfect child...but he was a much loved one.  From the time he became a teen....I thought of him as my friend....not just my son.  I was married to his father for over 20 years....I cried the day he left for boot camp as though someone had ripped my heart out, I sang at his first wedding, and cried when his marriage fell apart.  I attended his wedding to Roulain....and loved her...and her girls.  He was now a father....and I knew he would be a good one...because he had such a gentle heart.  I was there...and cried tears of joy when Hayden was born.  He is the child who will make sure Eric pays for every bad thing he did when he was a child....I adore him.  Hayden is Down's Syndrome...and believe you me....nobody loves you like Hayden does.

 He is precious.  I was there barely nine months later when Hannah was born way to early.  I spent many days and nights in Birmingham with them....praying for this precious baby to fight....and fight she did.  She is a princess.

 In 2000 when I divorced his father....Eric and I tried to maintain the status quo...but it was not easy.  I know he is there....anytime I have needed him....I have called and he has been there....if he could.  Today....this precious boy child I fell in love with over 30 years 40.  I am so proud of what he has become and who he is.

 I love him today....just like I did when I first met him at age 3.  You can't help but love him.  He is something else.  Happy birthday Eric.  Here is to many many more.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Count Your Many Blessings...Name them One By One.

I had a sad day today.....and when I came home I found a DVD out of place and went to pick it up and there it was...."White Christmas"....and all of a sudden I knew what my post was going to be about today....My blessings.  I began to think about all of mine....and before I knew it I was feeling pretty sassy again.  God is so good!  I have received so many blessings in my life and they never seem to cease…and I have two very special ones that I cannot choose between so I am going to both of them with you tonight. Blessing number 1 was when Mary Rachel (one of my former students) encouraged my daughter Kathryn and me to do ASP with the church. I honestly don’t like to get dirty and know even less about construction work. I signed up…thinking I would do Back Yard Bible Study or Soup Kitchen detail. I was so wrong. I was on Willie Lemmond’s team and we were going to put a roof on a house. Now that was a riot. You see....I am terrified of heights. Willie was not bothered by that…he made me the shingle cutter and the driver on the ground. What a blessing he and the kids were to me…and what a blessing we were to the Weidenhoft family from Tazewell. I still hear from this family at Christmas….and because someone blessed me….I was able to bless others. the last day I had actually climbed the ladder all the way to the top.  ASP was one of the greatest blessings I have ever received.  I went for four years and would not take anything for the time I spent helping others. The second blessing I want to share happened when Rev. Don Cross and Rev. Keith Elder talked to me about being part of the Arbor Service that was being formed. He asked me if I was interested and if I was would I show up at an informal practice and meet with Blue Vardaman, the man who was going to be the leader. I did…and was hooked. My original role in the band was as a guitar player. I never planned to sing. I just wanted to be a part. Shortly after we started practicing, Joy Roberson, the then youth leader’s wife, moved to Texas with her husband so he could enter seminary and since we both sang alto…I stepped into the role of harmonizer and guitar player. I cannot express to you how privileged and blessed I felt each Sunday when I stepped up on that stage and shared God’s word in music. It blessed me more and more each Sunday. The church blessed me by allowing me to be part of this great ministry. I felt I paid it forward each and every Sunday by singing my heart out for my God and church family. I was devastated when Frank was going to be moved to another church.  I thought my world was going to come to an end....and believe me...I would be lying to you right now if I said I didn't miss the Arbor....I do.  I miss Rita, Rhonda, Debbie, Blue, Brian, Steve, David, Robert (x2), Bill, Sherry....Gloria, Greg....I miss the congregation.....those were my people....but Rock Mills has been a new blessing.  I have met some really loving Christian people and they have made a place for me in their hearts.  I have actually come to enjoy sitting out on the patio in the evenings and listening to the crickets and other critters.  I have enjoyed slowing down a bit....oh....don't get me wrong....I miss my Alex City life....but I am finding blessings in Rock Mills every day.  God is so good and He always seems to fill voids in my life with wonderful things.  I am glad I am a Christian. Do you have a blessing you would like to share with me?  I would love for you to leave one in the comment section.  It does my heart good to hear of other peoples fortunes and blessings.  God Bless You all tonight.  Hope you have a great Friday!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Clothed in Grace?

Most of my life I have felt  uncomfortable about myself? How about you?  I have thought many times that perhaps it was something I had done or said. Or just 'one of those days' when there seemed to be something about me that just wasn't right. My 'body language' said . . . 'I'm a mess." And anyone who cared to notice would have easily known I was not a happy camper.  Usually when I start a day out like this I am fortunate to run into a good friend. The first thing she would say was, "I have always loved that dress. It makes you look just terrific!" Terrific? Me? Her words, so full of friendship, made me stand a little taller. She was happy to see me. Just being with her made me feel better . . . and when I walked on, my mood and my day had definitely changed.  I have to ask myself though....why does it take someone else to make me believe these things about myself?  I know that God is like that friend. Grace is the dress that makes me 'look terrific'. I cannot put on that dress, unless I choose to go into my closet and take it from the hanger. Slip it on. And go out into the world clothed in grace. I seem to love hanging out in the dark places. I tend to love wearing the shabby, torn garments of sin. And then one day, a package arrived – Special Delivery! For me? I tear into it and there it will be . . . the most beautiful garment I've ever seen. Just exactly my size. Perfect for me in every way. The enclosed card said . . . Paid in full. Nothing is due.  That is the moment I think,"I love you so much, God." That is GRACE. It's tailor-made just for me....and for you too if you want it. It covers all of my 'sinful lumps and bumps' (and believe me....I have a few after Sunday's little spill)– and you know....I have never felt or looked as good. There is no other one like it, for it is mine.....all mine. Every single day it is renewed . . . as fresh as the day it arrived. Clothed in its beauty, I can  walk continuously in grace. Forgiven completely. The rag-tag garments of sin are no longer are stuffed into the dark recesses of my closet. Next time I go shopping.....and am tempted to buy something 'On Sale' . . . I only need to think of how it will look hanging next to the 'garment of grace.' I am notorious for keeping things that no longer fit.... do you? What keeps from tossing them away? Could we be thinking that one day we might again want to put them on? Oh, I do hope not. I am really liking my new Garment of Grace.....Note to self: Clean Out Your Closet Girlfriend!  I feel like a song today.....I am going to put on my Garment...and I am going to Praise Him for all he has done for me.  Thank you Jesus!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another Day Bites the Dust

Day two for the students....but Day one for me.  I was met at my parking space by Danny, the custodian....with a wheelchair.  Hard as I tried to fight him and tell him I was not getting in the thing...the quicker he seemed to hem me up in it.  I quit fighting and he gave me a royal escort to my room.  I had a good day....the ankle and knee only hurt a couple of times.  I used the walker...and stayed off the foot as much as I could.  I was so glad when they day was foot felt like it belonged to Neanderthal man.  It was huge.  I went by the drug store to pick up a through....and then went to see my mom.  The walk from my car to her room was agonizing.  By the time I got to her room....and it literally took me 15 minutes to walk there...I wanted to cry.  Melissa, one of the Adam's staff members...saw that my walker was too she took it while I visited with momma and adjusted it.  I sat and visited for about 20-25 minutes and then made my way back to the car.  Wow...what a difference 3 inches makes.  It only took me 9 minutes to get back to the car.  The ride home was pleasant and I am glad to be resting now.  I have the foot up and am chilling waiting for Frank to get home from a meeting and fix supper. I am going to ride my pity pony a little more.  LOL!  I hope tomorrow goes better as far as my stamina....I was beat by 3:30 today.  Ahhh...those first days of school.  And I wanted to go back to school because why?  Have a great rest of your day and I will see you on Wednesday!  Toodles!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hop-A-Long Korb Rides Again

I did not attempt work today.  At 9 last night the pain was so intense I was crying.  Two Tylenol P.M.'s did the trick and I slept until 8 this morning.  I took Advils on a regular basis and stayed off the leg most of the day.  By 8 tonight it felt good enough to attempt a shower.   I am going to work I have everything out and ready....and called my boss to make sure the elevator was on so I did not have to attempt the stairs.  I am going with the walker. I have decided that I don't need to let pride get in the way here.  I will just look like an old lady tomorrow.  Frank has been neighing all day when I asked for something.  Larry, one of the Rock Mills members, told me yesterday to ride the pity pony as long as I can.  I have to admit...everytime Frank neighs I find it extremely funny.  He has been a great nurse.  I have had meals delivered in bed....or on the couch.  I have never wanted for something to drink.  He has been a dear....which is probably more than I could say about myself.  This has been a true learning experience for let others do for me.....when in need.  Keep the prayers coming that I will make it through the day tomorrow....and that the foot and knee will continue to heal.  Sigh!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Middle Name Definitely Ain't Grace

This morning I went outside to water my plants.  It was cool and I knew the water would absorb into the dirt and treat them to a nice drink....if I waited much longer, I would have had to wait until the evening.  It was going to be a scorcher and the water would have evaporated before it go to the roots....I stepped off the carport....into a hole and the next thing I knew I was flailing in a rose bush with my ankle and knee immobile....and the pain was breathtaking (and not in a good way.)  Frank was standing right there and watched the whole incident transpire and called 911 immediately.  The 911 dispatcher wanted to talk to me...I guess to calm me down some.  Who arrived first???  The Rock Mills VFD....what a great way to meet your local fire dept.  They took my vitals and my blood pressure was skyrocketing....well duh....woman on the ground in pain here.  The Roanoke EMT's arrived shortly, took the vitals again, loaded me on a stretcher and away we went...headed to the local hospital.  Once inside they gave me something to ease the pain....yeah for demoral and phenergan....took exrays....and told me they did not see a break....but it was a bad twist.  My knee and ankle were twice their size.  The nurses put a splint on the ankle, wrapped it and sent me home....without anything for pain.  I slept off and on most of the day, people from the church stopped by and asked what they could do, I moved around the best I could with the aid of a walker, and then about 8 last night...the pain kicked in and it hurt!  Frank and run to Wal-Mart to get some Advil...when he came home I took a couple....and about 45 - hour later...the pain became a dull thud.  I took Tylenol PM last night about 11 and slept great.  Needless to 8 I called my boss and told him I needed a sub....I hate that....a sub for the first day of class.  I then made out some lesson plans and emailed them to my friend Mary who was going to make sure the sub had them.  I died the recliner and slept until 11 when I got up, took the Tylenol P.M.'s and went to bed.  What a cruddy way to start the new year out.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

There is Nothing Lean About This Cuisine

Larry and Betty Jean, from Rock Mills, gave us a bunch of tomatoes last week and I could not eat them fast enough.  They were getting ripe way to fast.  So, tonight I was in the kitchen cooking supper and decided I would peel a few and make tomato gravy for the cube steak and biscuits I fixed.  I thought Frank would love this new recipe....WRONG!  I had no clue that he did not like tomato gravy.  Oh well...I enjoyed it so much I thought I would share my recipe with you all.  I grew up eating this wonderful concoction.  My parents were poor when I was little...and this meal stuck to your ribs....hips, and thighs too....but it is very good.  A good friend of mine from up northern way....also ate it as a child....but they ate it on rice.  I will have to try that sometime too.  Bon Appetit!

1/4 cup bacon drippings, extra virgin olive oil, or canola oil...whatever kind you like
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water
15 oz can of stewed tomatoes (I cut up 16 oz of fresh tomatoes)
salt and ground black pepper to taste

1.Heat bacon drippings in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir the flour into the bacon drippings and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Slowly pour the water into the flour mixture while whisking. Whisk in the tomatoes. Cook the mixture until it begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.   Serve over hot biscuits.  Yum Yum!
Since I moved to Rock Mills and live around some crazy cooking women...I have taken a shine to cooking once again.  I have enjoyed the summer and the fresh veggies and cooking.  It has been great fun creating in the kitchen.  I am not a Cordon Bleu Chef...but I can hold my own in a kitchen....when I want to be there.  I am already planning my menu for my Christmas Open House.  I cannot wait to have one at the Parsonage.  It is going to be great fun.  I won't be going as all out as Amanda does for her Open House every year...but I will have some really good treats to be sampled.  If they are as good as I think they are going to be I will share the recipes with you.  I am using some of Amanda's recipes too.  She always does a cook book for whatever she has cooked that I am going to use some of the recipes that I love the best....oh yes...there will be orange balls on the list.  They are awesome.  I don't know where she got that recipe...but I am so glad she did.  I am doing Time for Children at church in the I have to work on my thoughts.  Have a great Saturday night...and blessed Sunday.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Week in Review

This is my final week before school starts and it has been a hectic one.  I have had to get used to the hour commute to school and back.  It was pleasant this week.....schools were not in session yet.  I can't wait to see what it is like next week when I leave an hour earlier.
Monday - Frank and I went to Newnan to find him some sandals and to go to the movies.  I had my heart set of seeing Eclipse...but settled for the Socerer's Apprentice.  I love Nicholas Cage and this movie was very good.  The beginning was a little slow....because it set the scene for what was to come....but once the action started it was very fast paced, even scary in some parts.  I would not recommend this for small is definitely not a Disney animated flick....but then...I personally thought the Disney movie was a little on the dark side.
Tuesday - First day at work.  We had a meeting at 8:00 for the entire system so I had to be there early to get a parking space that was not in the lower 40.  Our campus is laid out weird and we are land locked so parking is at a premium.  Billy Coleman was our motivational speaker and if you read my Tuesday post you got the gist of his speech.  I like hearing him talk.  He is Southern through and through.  It sounds cute.  I know...what grown man wants to be cute sounding....but he does.  After lunch, unless you had a department meeting (core classes only) then you worked in your room.  I did just that.  I cleaned my desks, straightened them into rows, hooked up the computers in my room, and put my stuff back on my desk.  By the end of the day I was well pleased with my progress.  After work I went by to see my mom and visited with her for about 45 minutes.  I got home an hour 5:15.  Long day.  I tried to crash on the couch....but Frank was not having any of I was up and moving bed by 9:30.  What happened in the World today....How would I know...I did not wait up for the 10:00 news. 
Wednesday - Second day at work.  I had a training session at 8 and then one at 1:15.  Today I had a MacBook training session with my boss, Mr. Reyes and it was fun actually.  I have a MacBook and love it.  I took this session because I wanted a refresher course in my computer.  I am glad I did.  The second session was after lunch (on your own - my favorites)....and it was about the new information accountability program our system has gone to.  It is replacing STI.  I am not a fan of the new INow.  It has many bugs in very fragile....and because of this we are going to have to keep hard copy back ups.  If one of the other schools in our systems program goes down....we all go down.  We just thought STI was a pain.  I hate being part of a pilot program sometimes.  I got home about 4:30 and we went to see Randy and Ramona in the Valley.  I had a couple of Christmas ornaments I wanted to get to Ramona as a small token of thanks for her hospitality back in June.  Mary and I got them at Bronners in Frankenmuth.  I want Dustin and Ramona to go to Frankenmuth....they are big fans of Germany...and they would love this place. 
Thursday - Third day at work.  We had a technology training session at 8 and it was so much fun.  Mr. Reyes did an inservice on using cell phones in the classroom with a polling program, iTouch, iPad, Skype, MacBooks, he covered it all.  I looked at my watch when we began....right on time...and I looked at my watch again...thinking we had only been there about 45 minutes....and 2 hours had passed....NOW that is my kind of training session.  We are going to have several mini sessions like that throughout the session on how to use GarageBand in your fun is that going to be.  I am so glad we did not have to sit for 4 hours and listen to someone teach us how to Kill Dendrites(Don't ask).  Lunch today was catered for us by our new lunchroom program, Chartwell.  WE HAVE A CHEF on our campus.  They served us...freshly made pizza (delish), Caesar salad (yummy)...and a peach crisp that was to die for.  The manager came around and asked us how we liked the food...and asked us to encourage the kids to give them a try.  This lunch was a far cry from the pruneghetti days. (Our lunchroom manager used prunes to thicken spaghetti sauce and the teachers could not understand why the kids all seemed to have to go to the bathroom at the same time after lunch....well DUH!  Nobody understood this phenomena...until a teacher found a whole prune in her spaghetti....I think that was the last time I ate in the lunchroom....I pack my lunch now)....besides....we have 22 get to the lunch room, get the food, eat it, and get back to class.  If I eat my lunch in my room....I have 22 minutes to eat my lunch and go to the restroom.
Friday - today is the last free non-weekend day I will have for a while.  We are NOT required to go to school today....BUT...if you are not finished...the school is open and you can go and work.  I am done.  I have first period planning on Monday and I brought some things home with me....I decided to opt out of the hour commute today.  Frank and I are going visiting.  I like visiting....BUT....I have worked this week....and he has been here....I don't want to feel like every day I have off....I am going to have to go visiting with him.  HE can do that during the week while I am away.  My week days, starting next week will be long ones...leaving the house at 5:45 - working til 3:30 at least...visiting with my mom...til 4:15...and getting home about 5:15ish.  That is nearly a twelve hour day....four hours later...I will be crashing I assure you.  I am expecting....cleaned least bed made and dishes in the dishwasher....and supper at least started.  Come that too much to ask?
Saturday - the Ministerial Association has been invited to the Middle School here to pray for the schools and the school year.  We will be in attendance.  It is also Wehadkee Trade Days and we will be there too.  Sometime during the day I am going to work on school stuff and do some light housekeeping (dusting, mopping, vacuuming). 
Sunday - We will be at church, I have a shower in Alex City at 2 for one of my former students.  She is getting married and I have to put in an appearance.  I will also go see my mom, back for church again and choir practice.  Sundays can sometime be the neverending day.  This sounds like it might be one of those.  Of course it will be early to bed since I want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the kiddos on Monday.  Have a wonderful weekend!  God Bless Each and Everyone One of You.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The First Day of High School

Our first day of high school will be Monday, August 9th. I know,stinks, right? It will be the freshman year for several, and the final year for just as many.  The big thing is that there will be a lot of students stressing out over the days leading from 9th to that final 12th grade year.  Before I begin to tell you about the big day, I think I should tell you that our school is huge. There are two stories and about 50 bazillion sets of stairs. If a student can survive in a school as big as this one, they can survive a day in a smaller one. And if it’s bigger, well, then, more power to ya!  It makes me think back to my first day of high school.  I was a 10th grader when I went to high school because I went to junior high, which was 7th - 9th grade.  Well, my day started with my alarm failing to go off. But, that was ok because, I was too anxious to sleep, so I was already awake. After a wonderful breakfast of cold pizza left over from Sunday lunch it was time to go. Notebooks were bulky in my arms....and I did not even have a book yet.  We would not get our lockers until sometime during the first few days of school.  It would be my luck that my locker would be nowhere near any of my classes....and it wasn't.  It was not cool to use a backpack or book we carried them....and they were cumbersome and heavy.  My objective was to fit in.  I did not want anyone to know I was just a lowly sophomore.  As I stepped off the bus with my gym bag full and binders in tow, someone with a megaphone (could have been the principal, or just some random person off the street trying to confuse us) shouted at us that instead of going right to first period, we were to report to study hall to get a finalized schedule.  Great.  They had all that information posted on a wall outside the principals office...This was not good news for me. I had made a map of the school with  nice little lines marking my path from the front door to my first class. Now I had to locate a room that I had no idea even existed. Everything went well. I got through second period, third, fourth, and then came fifth. Math class...and I was a little confused.   My friends were all in Geometry....but for some reason....I was in Analytical Geometry and Trig.  Houston...we have a problem here.  I was missing a step.  I got to the room and sat at the very back.  Everyone in the class was a senior....that is everyone but me.  So in the back of the room, I picked a desk and watched students file in, one by one. I don't remember the teachers name....but I can tell you that the teacher was a guy! And to make things worse, he began....where he should have.  I didn't know who Pythagorus was...let alone anything about all the theories this guys kept talking about.  After class I went to the teacher and told him a mistake had been made.  He informed me very quickly that computers don't make mistakes....well....people...let me tell you....this one did and a big one.  It took six weeks to get me out of the class and into the Geometry class I was supposed to be in.  By then.....I had missed all the lectures and notes on Pythagorus.   I was screwed.  Lunch was the part of the day I'd really been looking forward to. I’d heard that  you could sit with anyone you wanted to...but you better make the right decision. No one seemed to care about where you planned to sit...until you tried to sit there. The lunch line was slow, so by the time I had my food, the only seats left were not near any of my friends.  Sigh!  I learned to get to lunch early.  That way you could pick your seat.  Sixth and seventh period blew by, and I freaked out about finding my afternooon bus. Looking back, I don’t even know what I was worried about! I climbed on, and that was that! Over and done! All that stressing I had done the night before was for nothing!  The funny part of the whole high school experience for me is that I was the child who was the wall flower.  Nothing about me stood out.  I was very timid.  I hated high schoool.  I am living proof that God has a sense of humor....because for the last 24 years I have been in a high school....sure I am on the other end of the stick, yes I am no longer a Forest Hill Falcon, I am a Benjamin Russell Wildcat....and experiences in high school have been a good thing...because I know what to look for in those kids that were like me.....and my word of advice to them would be.... If I could do it, and if millions of other underclassmen all over the country have done it, there’s no doubt that the class of 2014 and 2013 will do it, too! And once the first day is over with, all you have to do is enjoy the next 179 days, because the toughest one is already over.  So readers, comment and tell me what YOUR first day of high school was like? you remember your high school Alma Mater?  I do!