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!”

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween - 2011

Frank and I were reminiscing about Halloweens past over the weekend and I have to admit I had some really great times back in the day.  I lived in a wonderful neighborhood growing parents knew all the other people in the area....and we were allowed to stay out and play until dusk.  Halloween night our parents would dress us up and we would parade, in large groups, up and down the blocks yelling, "Trick or Treat!"  I always knew there would be a treat....I never even thought of having to trick someone.....and homemade goodies were a big score.   I woke one day and the world had changed.....gone was the safety of neighborhoods....gone were wonderful homemade goodies.....gone were the fond memories of Halloween....I was 17.  What had happened in those few short years between childhood and teenagehood?  I have no clue....but people got mean.  People put drugs, poison, razor blades in candy and fruit....and hurt little children.  When I married and became an instant mom....I was once again able to experience Halloween the right way....there were about eight people who lived near us....I knew them all well....and Mrs. Willie V made tea cakes that were to die for.  Once again the homemade items were the big score.  When Kat came along we lived in an area where I did not know the neighbors and Halloween was a scarey thing....youth did ugly things to your home if they did not like what you gave I turned off my light....and took Kat to Fall Festivals at church.  Halloween was over.  When Katrina hit New Orleans and people came to Alex City to live in Fema Trailers at Wind Creek State Park....our church went down on Halloween and did something called Trunk or Treat for the families.  It was so much fun and they were so appreciative.  Last year our church did the same thing for the local kids and I had a ball.  This year we have moved it to the parsonage and several families are joining us there.  I am still not a huge fan of Halloween....but after Frank's sermon last night...I may be able to find something about it to enjoy.  In his sermon he gave us several suggestions on how to use Halloween as a way to glorify God.  "1.  Don't turn out the lights and ignore it.  Determine to turn a negative into a positive.  2.  Stay at home, give out candy and include some information about your church.  3.  Go Trick or Treating with your kids and hand out tracts.  Just think about often can you go door to door on a day when almost everyone will answer the door with a pleasant attitude?  4.   Play Christian music instead of scary music.  5.  Have a Halloween party and have everyone dress up as their favorite Bible character.  6.  Carve a cross in your pumpkin instead of a scary a candle inside it to symbolize that Jesus is the light of the world.  7.  Pray!  Pray for the safety of the children and their parents...and that the Gospel will go out tonight as well."  You know there are always going to be those who use special events like tonight for bad deeds.  There are always going to be vandals, pumpkin smashers, thieves,  and toilet paper rollers....but that does not make Halloween inherently just means that the human heart has a sinful nature."  Now....Halloween"s favorite memories.....we had a couple a couple of blocks over who made snow cones....we had some ladies who made wonderful always wanted to hit them early.  Least favorite memories.....when they gave you pennies.  I know now that for some it was a lot......but as a was not on the Billboards Top 100 of best Halloween things to get.  I loved getting wax lips....wax bottles.....clove gum.....beechnut gum....back in the only got one you get the whole pack.  Laurie Beth Jones, in her book, Grow Something Besides Old talks about one Halloween hight when she underestimated the number of children who would knock on her door and she ran slap out of candy.  Being resourceful she began giving out quarters, nickels, and dimes.  A little 5 year old princess came to her door.  She had the wand, the crown, the dress, the shoes...she was perfect.  Jones dropped two quarters in her pumpkin and told the little girl, "I've run our of candy, but tomorrow you can take the quarters to the store and turn them into real candy."  The little girl stepped back, scowled, looked at Jones and replied, "Lady, this isn't a real wand."  Don't you love it?  That little princess would have been me with the pennies.  Hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween.  I know I am looking forward to sharing time with friends....and greeting all the little ghosts and witches that come to my door.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Project 365 -Week 44

It is that time again....week 44 seemed to get here fast.  There are only 8 weeks left in 2011 and that is so hard to believe.  Where has the year gone?  Want to see some more cool shots then visit Sara at her blog and you can see some truly awesome work.  I have had a weird week so my pictures are a very odd combination.
Sunday, October 23rd
We had Charge Conference today and as soon as it was over we headed to Alex City to see Mary.  I had not seen her in a few days and was concerned and just needed to check on her.  We had a little prayer service with her and headed home.  

 Monday, October 24th
The Tallapoosa River in Wadley has not had a massive change of leaves....but they are beginning.  I hope the wind we are expecting this weekend don't blow the leaves off before they change fully.

Tuesday, October 25th
On my way home Tuesday I remembered the historical sign in New Site....and thought I would let you know about the Battle of Emucfau.  I have to tell you that my ancestors were Creek/Muscogee Indians.  I am quite fascinated with the Creek Indians and their story.

Wednesday, October 26th

Wednesday I came home from school feeling ill.  I spent the remainder of the afternoon in the bed.....Wednesday night our Children and Youth came to our house for a cookout and hayride.  A good time seemed to have been had by all.  

Thursday, October 27th

Decorations Bill put out at Mary's house.  Bill is the Yard Art King and I am glad to see him trying for some sort of normalcy.  Mary loves to have her yard decorated. I think the black pumpkins are frightening.

Friday, October 28th

Stopped by to see Mary before heading home.  She has really gotten some lovely flowers.  The Auburn ones(top) were gorgeous....and REAL!  Our friend, Jo, got those and they are really something.  After our brief visit I headed home because tonight we, (Marcie, Kim and I) are having a Lock In for girls at our church.
Playing Bingo with Marcie was a hit.  They all tried hard to win one of the coveted prizes she had brought.  No more Lock In's for me....I am way too old for this.

Saturday, October 29th
I baked apples and made cinnamon rolls today and they were both yummy.  I used my Little Grandmother's Baked Apple recipe...I posted the recipe and some photos earlier in the week.  Most of my Susie Homemaker Moves took place in between naps after losing so much sleep last night.  This is butter braid strawberry cream cheese bread...and no I did not make it from was a frozen let it rise to twice it's size and bake...viola...even a cooking klutz like myself can do this!  Hope you have a great Halloween, first week of November....and enjoy your family and friends!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Tender My Resignation - Effective Immediately!

I am late posting today.  I have been dragging all day long....why you ask?  Well...Marcie and Kim hosted a Lock In for girls last night, ages 3rd grade and up, in our fellowship hall.  I helped...because I had done these before (20 years ago)....and thought..."if they can do can I."  I lasted until a little after 2 this morning....I am too old for this.  I had forgotten how much energy and squeals girls this age have.  Energy I don't have.  At 2 I told Marcie and Kim I was going home.  I called Frank before I came he wouldn't shoot me....and when he answered the phone I asked, "Whatcha doin'?"  He informed me..."SLEEPING."  I went home...and got in the bed around 2:30...and Frank lovingly waited until I was just about out before he rolled over, tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "Whatcha' Doin'?"  Point taken my dear!  I lasted longer than Frank thought I would.....the girls finally went to sleep at 5 this morning......I went back at 7 to wake everybody up so we could get them ready for their 8 a.m. Mommy pick up time.  I have to admit I delighted in noise as they began to stir.  It reminded me of one time when my son came in very six the next morning I decided to vacuum his room with our ultra noisy Electrolux.  Payback is hell!  After the girls were all gone...and the fellowship hall was put back in order....I told Marcie and Kim I quit!  I came home and Frank and I went to have breakfast, go the giant book sale, and Wal-mart....when we got home...11 ish....I died for the next 2 hours.  It was a tough day....and I am headed to the warmth and comfort of my bed right now.  Hope you all sleep well.  Who invented Lock-In's anyway?  Were they sadistic?  After last night I have decided that they are an event a deranged individual thought up.  Night all!  Sweet dreams!

Friday, October 28, 2011

it Takes a Village......and I Am a Believer

I hope you forgive my rambling today.  As you all know my BFF Mary has the big "C".  Prognosis was not great....two years or I am going to tell you....I am a realist....but I DO fervently believe in miracles.  I have come to understand however that sometime the miracle is not one we see here on earth.  the State of Alabama made a most intelligent decision back during the summer to raise teachers/state employees insurance rates....a lot.  Those of us who have under 25 years and cannot retire yet....are going to be crucified.  Beginning January 1 our insurance will go up every month....and every year....until we do retire....and even then we will be penalized for every year we are under 65.  It is a good chunk of change....AND on top of that...retirement took a 100.00 bite out of our paychecks beginning this month.  Anyone who is able to retire....must submit their intent....but October 31st....or they will be nailed with the new formulas.  Mary is not coming back to work...and will have to retire earlier than we had planned.  Yesterday, her son Casey worked on her paperwork and ran it to the Central Office to have them fill out their part....only to find the doors locked.  He was so frustrated.....he needed those papers on him when he left for Auburn at 6:30 in the morning....and it did not look like it was going to happen.....and that is where it truly does take a village comes in.  I made a phone call to the CSFO of our school system and asked her where she was.....Lo and behold she was sitting at her desk at the Central Office.  I explained the problem...and she said for Casey and I to come back and she would meet us downstairs and let us in.....AND fill out the much needed paperwork.  A small problem arose....we needed a Notary....and the systems two had already left for the day.....I again got on the phone and began calling all my Notary friends to see if someone could help.  I got my dear friend Willa....who was on her way out to dinner...but said she would take her seal with her and we could meet her at the restaurant.  Problem....I could not get ahold of Casey again.....Solved...when I did get him....he informed me that Rhonda had gotten one of the system notaries, my precious friend Carolyn, and she had come back in to take care of this.  This was the topper...when this was all done...Casey had what he needed to run to Montgomery today.....and yet another angel from our village stepped good friend Robert....who works at the RSA building in Montgomery....volunteered to take the papers and turn them in....since he would already be there.  I am fortunate to have such wonderful friends....they rock my world and hold me got to school....and my cohorts here know I am hurting right told me she was praying for me....and another....wrapped her arms around me and held me......yep...God is good to me.  Miracles can happen....I know they can.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Serita Jakes, The Crossing - A Spellbinder

Format: Trade Paperback
   Other Formats: eBook, Audiobook
   ISBN: 9781400073030
       Categories: Fiction - Contemporary Women
About the Book:  I have to admit The Crossing is not one of the prettiest stories I have read, nor does it have the happily ever after, feel good  ending the reader might expect. Actually it is a gritty, down-to-earth, real life narrative in which B.J. Remington, a teacher and Cheerleader Coach is killed on a bus coming home from a football game. Now it is ten years later and her murder has yet to be solved and her death is still impacting those on the bus that fateful night.    Two of the students on the bus that fateful night experience symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Claudia Campbell, the bus driver, experiences increasing bouts of anxiety attacks. Casio Hightower, the police officer who responded to the call that dreadful night struggles with out-of-control bursts of rage that physically harm the people he loves most. Now, Victor, Claudia, and Casio find themselves embarking on an investigation leading to much more than they bargained for when the ADA, Victor (Claudia’s husband) re-opens the case.  As their investigation unfolds, so do many old memories and emotions, only to find in the end, that things are not always what they seem to be.
My thoughts:  I have read many books by Bishop T.D. Jakes but this was my first by his wife, Serita Jakes.  I was pleasantly surprised and although The Crossing was very different from most books I usually choose, I would highly recommend it for its honest and insightful look at how one event can change a life forever. I enjoyed reading The Crossing. The story immediately caught my attention and held my interest. Please be forewarned it is not your traditional light-hearted Christian fiction. The characters deal with real issues (Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anger issues, drunkenness, high spending, adultery, etc., etc.) and their portrayals are honest. It's probably not the story for the reader who wants a happy ending, but the depth and honesty of the characters and events makes the story magnetic.
 About the Author:  Serita Jakes has been involved in Christian ministry all of her adult life and has served alongside her husband, Bishop T. D. Jakes, throughout their entire marriage of nearly 30 years. Together, they have touched the lives of millions around the globe through various humanitarian projects, relief efforts, community service initiatives and record-breaking conferences. As an insightful speaker, Serita draws heavily from her education and background in theater and mass communications. She is affectionately referred to as “First Lady Jakes” by The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, a global humanitarian organization and 30,000-member church, where her husband serves as Senior Pastor.
Disclosure:I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hodge Podge - Vol 50

Today is Hodge Podge Day and can you believe it....this is Volume 50.  That is cause for a big head over to Joyce's blog and join in the party!  Her questions this week are a riot and many of them deal with Halloween, fall, and things that go bump in the night.  Enjoy reading my responses to her questions.  Happy Wednesday to All!
1. What gives you goosebumps?  Unexplained noises in the dark.
2. Halloween-are you a lover or a hater? Okay, that sounds harsh...Halloween-yay or nay?   Nay!  Halloween used to be a fun and safe time for children….that time has long past.  I love the Fall Festivals that churches are having more and more.
3. Can you respect someone you do not trust, and can you trust someone you do not respect?  No!   Nuff said!
4. Apples or oranges? Yes, you have to choose.  Ok, Ok, I will choose.  Apples always, but.....I love Temple oranges when they are in season.

5. What is something you wish was in your town? (shop, restaurant, attraction, etc)  Anything!  Have you ever been to Roanoke, AL?  It is the town time forgot.  I want a movie theater…nearest one is 30 miles away, I would love a bowling alley, I would love a Starbucks…..I would love places to shop….besides Walmart and Catos.  I want a decent hospital too.
6. What non-food item is in your refrigerator or freezer?  There is a folder with medical information about Frank and I for the Lifeflight (helicopter service).  And some Yellow Dot information too.

7. Are you at all superstitious?  Not really….although black cats give me the heebie jeebies.

8. What is your favorite fall thing to do?  Mine is riding through the mountains and breathing in the smells of fall and seeing the gorgeous colors of fall.  Growing up in South Florida I missed seeing those things….and I have a lot of time to make up for.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hermie's Blessings

Book Description:  Meet Little Hermie—the cutest baby caterpillar in the garden! Little Hermie’s thankful heart shows toddlers how to be thankful for God’s blessings.  Little Hermie is thankful for everything God has given him. He goes through his day thanking God for his many blessings in this adorable board book with flocking on the cover!  With over 5.5 million brands units sold, the new Little Hermie books open the wonderful world of the Hermie & Friends garden to an entirely new audience.
About the Author:  Max Lucado loves words – written, spoken – it does not matter. He loves to craft sentences that are memorable, inspiring and hopefully life-changing. In almost 25 years of writing, more than 100 million products—80 million books—filled with his words have been sold.  Want to know more about this phenomenal author and his writings then visit his website:
My Thoughts:  Even though this book was a children's book the message was one even an adult needs to hear from time to time.  Hermie the caterpillar is a great teacher with the help of author, Max Lucado in showing the reader that we truly do need to be grateful for all of our blessings.  This book would make a wonderful gift for a small child this Christmas.  I know I am going to give several copies.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Making Some Baked Apples - Yummmmo

 It's apple season in Tennessee and I love nothing more than a good in-season apple.  When we were visiting Chuck and Susan last week, Chucks parents had been up to Cosby, TN and brought back some amazing apples.  I have eaten three of mine so far and am making baked apples tonight.  I can't mouth is watering already just thinking about it.  I love to make.....and eat baked apples.  the apples I am going to use are huge....they are Jonathons and so firm.  The recipe is one my dad gave me several years ago....25 to be exact.  He and I shared a grand passion for baked apples.


  • 4 large good baking apples, such as Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, or Jonagold (there are several others out there....these are the ones we always use.)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash apples. Remove cores to 1/2 inch of the bottom of the apples. It helps if you have an apple corer(I love mine), but if not, you can use a paring knife to cut out first the stem area, and then the core. Use a spoon to dig out the seeds. Make the holes about 3/4-inch to an inch wide.
2 In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Place apples in a 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan. Stuff each apple with this mixture. Top with a dot of butter (1/4 of the Tbps).
3 Add boiling water to the baking pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until tender, but not mushy. Remove from the oven and baste the apples several times with the pan juices.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on the side. 
Options:  I have also put them in a bowl....with a scoop of vanilla ice cream...and drizzled some caramel ice cream sauce over it.  Believe is heavenly!
Yummmo!  I do have to say....smelling the apples bake makes me miss my dad.  This was our favorite thing to make together....and dad was a much better cook than my mom.  She was good...he was awesome!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lonestar Angel Review

About the Book:  Years ago Eden and Clay Larson's baby was stolen. Kidnappers demanded a ransom, but something went horribly wrong at the exchange: the kidnapper's car crashed into the river and was never recovered. Eden blamed herself, Clay lost himself in work. Their young and rocky marriage ended. Or so Eden thought.  Now she's met Kent. He's everything Clay wasn't: funny, stable, and eager to please her. Just as he's about to propose marriage at a romantic dinner, Clay arrives and tells Eden she can't marry Kent. She's still married to him. He never signed the divorce decree. Even more earth-shattering than this news is that he's never stopped looking for Brianna. Based on a tip, he thinks their daughter is in Bluebird, Texas, at a youth ranch. All five little girls there are the right age, but he's not sure which is Brianna. To discover the truth, the couple becomes counselors to the girls at Bluebird Ranch. They move into small quarters in the bunkhouse and oversee the kids as they try to find out more. As they work together, their love for the children grows and their love for each other is rekindled. But as danger closes in, Eden and Clay realize they've been lured to this remote West Texas location; their lives and the lives of the little girls are in danger. But as Eden learns, "hope does not disappoint."
About the Author:  Colleen Cobbles genres include romance, suspense, and historical. Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.
My Thoughts:  From the moment I began the novel I was hooked.  I felt my heart wrenching for Eden and Clay as they began their journey to find each other and their missing child.  There were a great many twists and turns in the story that kept me sitting on the edge of my chair.  I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves suspense with a romantic kick.  Loved it!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Project 365 - Week 43

Here we are at week 43.  Our host, Sara, has posted a great set of photos and I would love for you all to go and see what everyone else has been doing this week.  If you are interested.....or a wee bit curious then head over to Sara's blog and check out the photo offerings.  I have been traveling this week since it was my fall break and I hope I don't bore you with my choices...I just could not decide which ones to use.  Hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, October 16th
Today was Lay Speaker Sunday and I spoke at Rock Mills.  My scripture came from Lamentations 3:21-24.  My sermon was entitled 'Great Is Thy Faithfulness."  I sang the hymn right before I spoke.  Mrs. Beth played for me on the new piano our church just purchased.  It is lovely and sounds awesome.

Monday, October 17th

Frank's Fire Dept. did an inservice for the children at Rock Mills today.  He taught them about Stop, Drop, and Roll (when he actually showed them how to do it....they all laughed).  He and Jennifer then had a race to see who could get in their gear first.  Jennifer won because Frank's boot was not cooperating.  I took pictures of the kids trying on their was a fun morning and I was so proud of my husband.

Tuesday, October 18th

We left early this morning headed to Chuck and Susan's in Knoxville.  We met Susan at Wild Wing Cafe for lunch and then she went back to work and Frank and I headed on to her house.  I have my own key and can come and go as we want.  We waited for the two of them to get there and I thought some pictures of a few of the cool things Chuck got on one of his mission trips in Brazil would make a nice shot for the day.

Wednesday, October 19th

It was a gross day.  If it was not was really we changed our plans and we went shopping, had Starbucks coffee, looked at decorations, rode up to Wears Valley area, played with Mr. Aaron (Susan's new grandson), visited with Jan (Susan's daughter), and I got to meet my blogging friend, Mary, at Shoney's for dessert.  Chuck and Susan had a business meeting at church so while they were gone we rode over to the airport area and met Mary.  It was so exciting to finally meet her.    She is just as lovely as I thought she would be.  

Thursday, October 20th

We made it to Cades Cove was still very foggy....but occasionally the sun would break through and I would grab a fall foliage picture, or some turkey, or the lone doe.  It was a long and tedious trip through the Cove since it is peak season and everyone else decided to go today too.  After the Cove we went to the Craftsman's Fair in Gatlinburg and headed back to Susan's.  I attended Bible Study with her tonight at her church and the guys went out for Chinese food. 

Friday, October 21st

Chuck was off today so we loaded up early, headed to Shoney's for breakfast and then headed up into the mountains.  Today we are going to do the Dragon.  It is an 11 mile stretch of road with 318 curves.  Small cars and motorcycles love this stretch of road.  The HHR did remarkable on it.  The record for this is 9 minutes.  I can't imagine anyone doing this is nine minutes.  The Tree of Shame is at Deal's Gap and it is where motorcyclist hang the parts of their motorcycles when they wreck on the run.  The leaves were gorgeous and we took advantage of several of the overlooks before and after the Dragon.  We ate supper in Pidgeon Forge, went to the Smokey Mountain Knife place and headed to the house.  It was the perfect day.....until my Alabama friend Mary called with some bad news about her health.  If you follow my blog then you probably prayed for her during the summer.  She was in the hospital from July to September....well...her cancer has metastasized to her spine.  She will see an oncologist on Monday.  What is it about me coming to the mountains during a break?  My friend Trina said I was going to have to start working through breaks.

Satuday, October 22nd

We went to an auction today just outside of Roanoke.  Before leaving town we stopped at Subway for the rest of the group to get supper....the Eagle Drug store had team logos painted on their windows and I thought they looked pretty cool.  Love that team spirit.  I spent a whopping $8.40 at the auction....and brought home many "gifts" from Marcie.  I learned last night when someone gives you a gift you can't refuse I got a spotted bear lotion dispenser, a sparkly Santa Claus, a candle holder or two, and two spotted dog that Marcie.  It was loads of fun even though some of the stuff was junk....who am I kidding....most it was....but the company made the evening a success.  Can't wait for the next auction!  See you next Sunday and I hope you have a great week!