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, May 31, 2011

Randomly Speaking

Yesterday was Memorial Day.  We did all the things normal(?) people do on this holiday. No...we were not at the beach....no, we were not out of town,  no we were not having a huge gathering at our house. Frank got up and cut the back yard, I straightened the house and washed some clothes, Frank put Roundup on the new flower bed he is starting, I got my table studio(my birthday gift from Frank....and I love it) together to begin making pictures of the glass for ebay.  Really exciting huh?  We saw Sherry and Keith over at the house next door (where my glassware is being stored for the moment)...and headed out to set up.  Sherry and Keith are members of our church....and they are the most precious people....while Frank and I set up....Ms. Sherry got dishes out of the storage room and started washing them....did I mention that she has such a servants heart.  These dishes...well this is now my mess....this is all glassware my mother had hoarded collected over the years.  My heart really was not in this....to be honest we were waiting on a call to go to Amanda's and grill burgers....and to be even more honest....I was up to using any excuse not to have to deal with this....yet!  But...to be fair...they have been housing this stuff for several months and it is time we get it posted on ebay/Craig's list.  So, after chastising myself for my negative attitude, we got several items out and I snapped some pictures.  It actually became fun somewhere along the way.  We worked about an hour and then headed back to the house to get ready for the cookout.  Visiting with the family at the cookout was fun....after eating and doing some genealogy stuff with Amanda about our upcoming Prophitt reunion....the bulk of the group headed to the lake for a boat ride...Frank and I headed back to the house to resume picture taking.  Amy, another church member and neighbor, stopped in.  She knows her antiques and does a lot of ebaying.  I chatted with her as I took move pictures and the more I took, the more motivated I became....if Frank had let me...I probably would still be there this morning snapping photos.  When we finished up....we came home and got on the computer and tried to get an idea as to how much this stuff is worth.  It was amazing.  My mom had some beautiful glassware....and believe me....it was tempting not to become a hoarder collector myself.  We are so fortunate to live here in Rock Mills....and have a congregation filled with such open-hearted servants....so...back to the camera I go. I should actually be at work today....making up the professional development day(it is only a half day)....but I ate some bad potato salad last night and not feeling healthy today....so I took the half day off....I did not need the hours...and was finished in my room....and did not feel it was worth the 2 hours of drive time.  So, today is my first official day of summer....whooo hooo.....I think I have enough projects to keep me going on into retirement....three years from now!  Have a Wonderful Tuesday!  I know I will....I have a 3:30 appointment at the Main Event to get a pedi!  Sigh!  Life does not get much better than this!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Some Gave All

We had our Memorial Day tribute at church yesterday.  Kat and Brian came from Montgomery to attend church with us and cookout afterwards.  I sang, "God Bless the U.S.A."...and am not bragging....but I think it is one of the best songs I do.  It has a special significance to me too....you see, Frank proposed to me after I sang it on July 4th, 2002.  Sorry, I digressed a bit there....let me tell you a little bit about the day that you may or may not already know.  I have to admit that I did NOT know all these facts.  "Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). "Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it."   I think what saddens me about this holiday is that the traditional observance of Memorial day seems to have dimmed greatly over the years. Many Americans, especially the young ones, either don't know or have forgotten the "real" meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. I was pleasantly surprised when on the news over the weekend I saw a military cemetary in the Atlanta area being adorned with miniature flags by the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts.  It was such a tender vision....watching them quietly place each flag just so....and salute it.  But that was one....At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. They are wrong!  This is a very special day for the ones who gave all...I have sung in Andersonville, GA and been very moved by the small flags flying in the Confederate cemetary there.  I have walked through Arlington many times and cried from my first step.  Walked by the Vietnam and Korean monuments and felt the souls of the fallen and missing crying out to me. I wear a POW/MIA bracelet for CDR. William Arnold who has been missing since November of 1966.  I put this bracelet on in 1968.  He was a young navy pilot who did his duty and it cost him his life in Vietnam.  I have a long history of family who have served....My great-great grandfather fought in the War of 1812, my great grandfather was at the Battle Above the Clouds at Lookout Mtn. during the Civil War, My grandfather fought in WWI, my dad and his brothers were in WWII, my uncles and cousins were in Korea, my husband and a number of my cousins were in Vietnam, and I have a son-in-law, cousins and former students who have all fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, whereever they were needed.  Some gave all.....My first student funeral was during Desert Storm.  I hate the sound of TAPS to this day.  He was just a kid.  So when you all sit down today for your family BBQ remember what today is about, say a prayer for those who gave all....and for their families, remember who this day honors, and be greatful for the freedoms we have today because....Some gave all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A True Color Swap...How Fun!

I was reading blogs last night after we got home from seeing "Pirates...."  My blogger buddy Mary over at Mary the 1st I am, I am, had a post about a new thing she was doing that really excited me so I headed over to Jessica G's, the blogger who is hosting a True Colors Swap on her blog, and decided I would join in the fun.  It is about time I just indulged in something fun.  I just put the 22nd year of my teaching career to bed and I have been so busy trying to tie up all those end of the year things. I have blogged every day....but my sparkle seems to have dimmed a bit....and that is why I was so excited that Jessica put together this swap! My last twenty months has been one of those LIFE happened moments for me...You do not have to be my friend or follower to do this....just click on the links I gave you...all you have to do is go to DuckDuckCow and sign up with Jessica.  I am not going to give you the specifics....just go on over and read them first hand.  Come on...you know you want to join us & maybe you'll be one of the ones I send a special package too.  Are you still here?  I thought you would already have clicked on the link and be signing up.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Project 365 - Week 22 - May 22nd - 28th

This was my last week of school and it was crazy....so my pictures are kind of crazy too.  There is no rhyme nor reason to these so I hope you bear with me.  If you want to join in...it is not too late....jump on over to Sarah's blog and see what Good photographers can do.

Sunday, May 22nd - Graduation Sunday


Sunday was graduation Sunday at Rock Mills.  We acknowledged ALL the graduates....The top and bottom pictures are two of our high school graduates....Lindsey graduated from Handley High and Taylor graduated from Randolph County High.  Libby, the young lady in the middle graduated from Rock Mills Junior High...as did P.J. and Alexis...but I did not catch them to get a picture.  We also had Billy and Collin who graduated from Kindergarten.  If was fun acknowledging their accomplishments.  Lindsey is planning to study to be a nurse at Southern Union in the fall....and Taylor leaves in August for the Navy.

Monday, May 23rd
We had kindergarten graduation tonight at Rock Mills and on my way home I noticed this sweet little trellis with purple flowers on it.  I felt like that termite in the Orkin commercial...that stops and stares at the house...and then speeds off when the owner and Orkin man look back...I stopped in the middle of the road...focused as closely as I could...snapped and ran.

Tuesday, May 24th

Tuesday night after Rock Mills 8th grade graduation I caught this shot from Walmart's parking lot.  I could not believe that the trees and the sun were so helpful.

Wednesday, May 25th


Mary rode to school with me today because her husband, Bill, needed her car.  When I took her home I noticed how windy it was and got a neat shot of the glads her kids planted for her....for Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 26th
Today was the day of the horrible storm.  Frank got called out about halfway into it....a tree had fallen across CR 91 and had powerlines, cable and phone lines dangling.  This was the trunk of the tree.  He took me to see what was left after the storm.  The haze is because I had to take it out of the car window...and there was a lot of steam coming off the road.  Is that not a huge tree?  No one was hurt...and no house was damaged.  It was just a big annoyance.  The picture below I took down the road a bit later....Frank says this is where chocolate milk comes from.  What do you think?


Friday, May 27th


Today was my last day of school....Whoooo Hooo.  The light hydrangea is from the front yard....it will be in the new flower bed Frank is creating.  The other two pictures are the beds he has made for me in the back yard.  The first one...on the right side of the steps has three hydrangeas...and one azalea in it so far.  The left side bed has two azaleas and a rose bush.  I can't wait to see them grow.  Frank was really proud of his sign this week.  He is a Navy Veteran and really takes military holidays very serious. 


Saturday, May 28th

We are having trouble with night pictures...with and without a flash.  Now that I am out of school I am going to study up on this.  Frank made the top picture so you all could see his lights and his flag.  I made the bottom using night portrait mode...and it blurred the lights.  Oh well....you know the old adage...if at first you don't succeed....read the manual dummy!  We went to see "Pirates of the Carribbean" tonight in Lagrange.  It was not my favorite one...but it was good.  Hope you enjoyed my offerings and I will see you all next week.  I hope to get some cool shots this week.

Friday, May 27, 2011

This Is It!

I left Alex City yesterday afternoon just ahead of a horendous storm.  It rained on me from New Site to Daviston...and then quit.  From Wadley to the big turn in Roanoke...it rained again....and I could see terrifying lightening behind me....and I could feel the wind tossing my little HHR around...but the rain was not so bad that I could not see.  As I got out of my car...the bottom fell out....lightening was popping all around and the rain was coming in sideways.  I just made it into the house.  Lightenng hit a huge tree on CR 91 and Frank had to go out and do his Firefighter thing....the tree blocked he road and had live power lies broken.  When he got home we ate the wonderful salad he made....(enough to feed an army)....and called Renee to see if she would like the rest.  We took it to her....road around so I could get my Project 365 picture for the day.....went home and crashed.  I did not want to get up today.....I can't imagine why....griefus!  Today is MY last official day for the year.  Teachers are actually supposed to work on Tuesday after Memorial Day....but I figured for a 1/2 day the two hour drive was ridiculous.  I am going to have all my stuff done before I leave today and I feel a terrible headache coming on for Tuesday.  Late breaking news....I just found out that I am getting a new computer for next year....a Dell 790 with Office 10.  I am so excited.  So today, after I finish getting my room in order I am backing up all the files on the computer.  I cannot wait!  Today was the "official" last day of school for the kids...it was a make up day for the snow....it was supposed to have been our work day, which they bumped up to Tuesday....and at 8 this morning we had a grand total of 9 kids here.  Our student population is over a thousand...and since we took exams on Wednesday and Thursday the kids had no reason to come....so the ones who are here are helping teachers who are moving on (due to retirement)....or moving rooms....move.  I like that....my room is empty and the only sounds are coming from my Pandora radio.  I am listening to the Indigo Girls right now.  It is wonderful!  I have lots to do....so I am going to get busy and get done....maybe we will get to leave a bit early today....keeping my fingers crossed.  Be sure and stop back late tomorrow and see my Project 365 offerings.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hodge Podge Correction and Other Random Thoughts

Ok....so after I responded to #3 on the Hodgepodge questions yesterday with a negatory on the flag flying at the parsonage....I went home last night to find a flag flying from my front porch.  AMAZING!  Now you all know that blog reading can lead to results.  Here is the funny part of that story....I pulled in my drive yesterday...saw Frank, saw the dog, saw the cute little solar lights he had put along the walkway....and TOTALLY MISSED THE FLAG!  How can you miss something that is that big?  Well...I did.  I was so impressed by the solar lights....I did not look up.  Frank asked me if I had noticed ALL that had been done to the front.....I thought to myself...Oh Boy...he painted my rocker....I went to the front...looked at the rockers....Nope...one was still brown....ahhhh....I noticed he hung my fern....AND trimmed the hedges where the nasty sticky vine was taking over the porch.....still...did not see the flag!  He actually had to point it out to me....I was embarrassed big time.  So now if I answer another question like #3....I DO have a flag flying at my house....and proudly!  Randomly speaking now, we had something new for supper last night....Frank fired up the grill....and cooked....Johnsonville Brat Burgers...and let me tell you....they were delish!  I was stuffed by the time I ate mine....we are going to try the Italian Sausage Burgers next....maybe we will do some sauteed onions and peppers on that one.  I think I have created a monster....I got some hydrangeas when my mom died, plus had bought three salmon azaleas, and then got a rose bush for my birthday....and Susan planted them all in my back yard before she and hubby Chuckles left to go home after the funeral....well...Frank made me two gorgeous flower beds from that, has begun an herb bed for me, and now is tackling the front yard...after conferring with Susan on what to do....I am getting a bed in the front I never dreamed of....with flowers there too...besides the hydrangeas and azalea I already have there....I am so excited.  I love ground plantings that make the yard and house look like they belong together.....now all I need is a swing and some Adirondak chairs in the backyard and it will be SWEET!  Thank you Susan for the start...and Thank you Frank for the vision and back work.  If this is a monster....I will keep him around for a long time.  I love plants.  I need a birdhouse on a stick for my front yard.....so I will be looking.  Today is the last day of school....officially it is tomorrow....since it is a makeup day for the snow day we had back whenever....but do you think the kids are coming....I think not!  I am busy getting the stuff up off my floor so the janitors can do my floors this summer.  I have packed away so much stuff...I can't find anything.  I am leaving my desk for tomorrow....then I will shut it down....and tape the cords up on the desk.  The student desks, and the tables will be moved into the hall beginning one day next week.....my desk and bookshelves, and file cabinets will stay put.  I was going to move my file cabinets one day last year...and it was so nasty under them that I just left them where they were.  I am hoping to change rooms this year.  We are losing some teachers and I would like to move to one of the rooms with the hanging LCD projector....wish me luck.  I am NOT a core teacher so I don't know if I will get it....but I am still keeping my fingers crossed.  Who knows....I might get lucky!  Ok, I have rambled enough for one day.  I have work to do....have a Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Red White and Hodgepodge-Volume 28

Welcome to my Wednesday Hodgepodge responses.  If you want to read more....visit our weekly hostess, Joyce at "From This Side of the Pond."  What to participate?  Grab the questions each week, give your responses, and then add your link to the bottom of Joyce's post and then be sure you hop around and visit some of the other bloggers. It is a lot of fun and a great way to get to know your blogging buddies.
Ready to begin?  Well, here we go.....
1. What is something about living in this country that you value? 'This country' is whatever country you call home. I have to agree with Joyce, I love that America is still considered the land of opportunity. 
2. What is a favorite something you own that is red white and/or blue?  I have the flag that was draped on my father's coffin in a flag display box....and Frank has the flag of his grandfather also in a box.   Both flags are prized possessions.
3. Do you fly a flag at your house on patriotic holidays?
No because I do not have a flag flyer at the parsonage where I live.  I do however participate in patriotic holiday services...and usually sing Lee Greenwoods, "God Bless the USA."
4. What ingredients do you think should be included in a great picnic basket?
Chicken Salad, and/or Pimiento and Cheese with crackers, some other assorted cheeses, a fruit assortment of blueberries, strawberries, apples, and pineapple.  Some nice lemonade or a nice bottle of wine.  Yummmy!
5. What is one interesting piece of trivia you know? Interesting is of course a relative term.
I actually have two....Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable and....Los Angeles' full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula." I think I would move to Oakland if I had to say that every day.
6. Wednesday, May 24th is National Escargot Day...have you ever tried them? Eww or ooh?
I tolerate. I  do not have this dish often but when I do I enjoy them cooked in white wine and garlic as long as I don't give a whole lot of thought to what it is....and can remove the slug image from my head.  I have eaten them several times....and don't put up a big EEEEEWWWWW what is that scene when they are offered.
7. What is something you know for sure?
God gave His only Son....so that whoever believes will not perish but have eternal life!   Whooo hoooo!
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Graduations for me began last Thursday night....Taylor graduated from Randolph County High School and I so wanted to be there....it was my friend, Tammy's first graduation as principal....but did not make it.  Monday and Tuesday nights I sat through kindergarten and eight grade graduation at Rock Mills Junior High and Thursday night this week is Handley High School's and Friday is Benjamin Russell's.  How many graduations (college, elementary, high school) have YOU been to this graduation season?  I would love to know that someone besides me is warming benches in gyms.  The kindergarten had a beautifully done slide show and this song just reached out and grabbed every heart string I had....my daughter is soon to be 31....the days of kindergarten graduation are over.....Happy Wednesday and if you have children who ARE little....go give them a little love...and enjoy your time with them...it will be gone before you know it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One of Life's Sweetest Moments

The school year is winding to a close.  I personally have four days left at school with kids.  One is a whole day, two are half days, and the last one is unknown....yet.  In college we would have called that day TBA(To be announced).  But...this post is not about me....it is about the Kinder Stars of Rock Mills School who graduated last night.   I don't know that I have ever been to a kindergarten graduation.  I have never been anywhere that had one.  I have to admit I was a bit curious when we got there at 5:45  and there was a little stage set up in the middle of the gym floor.  Rock Mills is a K-8 school....last night the Kindergarten graduated and tonight we will attend the 8th grade graduation....another first in my books. But...back to last night.  We sat down with Ron and Beth....we were there to see Dr. Schnitzel (their grandson) graduate.  He is adorable and Frank and I both love him to death.  The program began with fresh faced little ones sitting patiently on the stage....that alone is a feat.  The teacher, Ms. Moore told something special about each one.  I can't believe she did that without showing any preference to any one child.  Each child had something positive said....it was amazing.  Then came the performance.  They sang a series of about ten songs to show off all they had learned. Some of these songs were from the Curious George Soundtrack.   This was so very precious....because you had the ones who were going to show out, the serious performers, and the wall flowers.  The little girls all looked like they had taken dance lessons before....and a few voice lessons as they wiggled and giggled and belted out the lyrics to "You're A Grand Old Flag."  It was very mpressive I must say....then they did a day of the week song to the tune of the "Adams Family,"  A numbers  and months of the year song to the tune of the "Macarena"....and a series of other songs to a boogie woogie beat and other familiar/not so familiar tunes.  I was very impressed with their presentation.  After the music....the students left the stage to change into their little caps and gowns.  Ok, I thought...this I have got to see. In my teaching career....I have done some 25 graduations....so I know what this looks like on a big person.  While we waited for the little ones to return we watched a slide presentation of the year.  It was one of the best I have ever seen....it started with first day with every child....now remember there was not but around 15 of them.. After first day we saw them painting, doing math, carving pumpkins, doing their Christmas program, every single thing they did throughout the year went on the screen with music to back it up.  No child was left out....and you could not tell who the teacher's pet was...if she even had one.  This teacher genuinely loved these little ones.  Many parents and grandparents....and even me....had tears running down their faces as the children filled the screen and the lyrics filled the gym...of course it did not help that Lonestar's "Let Them Be Little" was playing in the background.  These precious little  Kinder Stars....were soon going to be Kinder Graduates.  The slide show ended, the lights came up, and the little ones marched in wearing  their tiny little white caps and gowns.  Let me tell you....if you have never witnessed a kindergarten graduation....you should....those little guys were absolutley adorable.  They looked like miniatures of my seniors....the only difference was...they received awards for doing well on their Dibbles, for playing well with others....etc.  Each little name was called, they were given a rolled scroll (and the boys held it up to the light and looked through it, and popped each other with it), returned to their seat on the stage and after the applause they were presented to us as the Class of 2023.  Whoa....that is 12 years from now...and No way will I still be teaching.  The now graduates were instructed to rise and they sang their good-bye song, "See You Later, Alligator."  What a sweet way to spend 45 minutes.  I am so used to two hour+ graduations....this was absolutely precious.  So...for all the little ones who are graduating and going to first grade, ninth grade, seventh grade, another grade.....have a fun summer and be safe!  There will be a teacher there to meet you in the fall!  God Bless our Children!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sometimes You Just Want to Scream!

I am a teacher....and am about to blow.  I only have one more week of school....and that consists of two whole days, two half days (semester exams), and one undetermined length day (that would be Friday).  The big problem right now is that I feel like screaming, so I sat down and thought about several things that were under my craw.  I had a list of ten....but am only going to air the top three. 
Scream Scene One - We missed a day due to snow.  Instead of making it up during the last part of the year....(some schools simply added 15-30 minutes to their day)....we are adding it to the end of the year.  So Friday....when teachers should be doing Professional Development....our kids will be there.....all day....except for the seniors who will be at graduation practice.  Now honestly....do you think we will have many students on campus?  Then...to add insult to injury we will be adding the Professional Day AFTER Memorial Day!  I think I am going to be sick!  I don't need the hours...I have over 130/25.....and if my stuff is all done on Friday....I truly may be sick.  Honestly....do you think we will have many teachers on campus?
Scream Scene Two - I know people are trying to be nice....and when there is a death....they truly don't know what to say.....but come on people....don't say things like this,"I know how you feel."  Do you really?  Have you ever been walking in my shoes?   In the past 20 months....I have dealt with missing parents, cancer, altzheimers, my dad dying, my aunt dying, my mom dying, and now Randy....I had someone actually tell me they knew how I felt....and then said,  "yep, my dad died.....then eight years later my mom died."  Oh come on!  They don't have a clue...and instead of feeling comforted...all I felt was anger.  I personally feel it would be better to just say something like, "I am praying for you." 
Scream Scene Three - I teach....it is the end of the year....kids/parents who have had access to INow all along have all of a sudden discovered that they have grades missing....or are failing....or have less than desirable grades.....and now they want me to fix it.  Griefus!  They have had ten....count them TEN weeks to take care of this....our school policy says....you have the number of days you were absent to make up work.  You have three days to bring in an excuse...and I am amazed at the number of kids who were out the first part of the term....who all of a sudden have excused absenses.  Are we teaching them how to be mature adults...or just showing them that rules don't apply to them?  Will this fly when they have a job?....What exactly ARE we teaching them?
I know that this will pass....but for today....the scream is still there...waiting....for the right moment.  I hope your Monday is a good one....and I hope my screamer will stay buried until I can get to the house and bury my hands in some soil!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Graduation Sunday

Today was graduation Sunday at church.  One of our graduates has already moved his tassel and the others will move their tassels on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.  This is a very special time in the life of a young person...it is a rite of passage.....it is a huge step......it is the beginning of being an adult.  Frank's sermon was very special today and I thought I would  his words of wisdom with you. "We come here this morning to recognize the hard work and effort of these young men and women who are seated among us. They are about to make a major transition in their lives. Graduation is a sign of achievement and success – and we congratulate them. As a gift from our church, at the end of this service we will be presenting you each with a copy of the Bible.( I still have the one I got when I graduated....almost 40 years ago.)  The Bible itself makes this claim:  God’s Word – The Bible is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalms 119:105 (NKJV). Also remember that the Bible will keep you from sin, but sin will keep you from the bible.  The Bible can provide guidance as you travel through life.Kyle walked up to his teacher’s desk, holding a report card with a big red F. He said, "If I were you I would change this while you still can." "Why is that?" asked the teacher. "Because my dad told me that if I brought home one more failing report card, someone was going to get a beating."  You’ve become role models for many of the younger ones here who look up to you…you’ve become a teacher yourself! You should recognize the power of your influence and step up to the place of leadership, by always being a learner and continuing to look for wisdom.There was a school teacher injured his back in the summertime and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body for weeks. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. He transferred to a new inner-city school on top of that. On the first day of school, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in that rowdy school. Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest. From that time on he had no trouble with discipline in his class.
You’ve earned some respect…you’ve sharpened your edge…but don’t “fly off the handle” in the pride”, rather, whet the edge and keep your edge in life! Many adults lose their cutting edge by not remaining learners, growing complacent and ceasing to go forward.
• You have been in school now for 2160 days.
• You have spent 12,960 hours in classes.
• That translates into 777,600 minutes.
• So far you’ve lived approximately 18 years.
• You’ve been around 216 months.
• You have been breathing 936 weeks.
• You’ve been going through the motions for 6,552 days
• You’ve been here 157,248 hours.
• You’ve been taking up space 9,434,880 minutes.
• You’ve slept 52,500 hours.
• You’ve watched T.V. 12,173 hours.
• You’ve spent 7,488 hours eating. (Mostly pizza!)
• MOST OF YOU WERE BORN in the early 90’s
YOU WERE WRINKLED, RED, BALD, TOOTHLESS, COULDN’T HARDLY SEE, CRYING, COMPLAINING, AND HAD NO CLOTHES ON.Well, you’ve come a long way! You’ve reached a milestone. But this is not the end…it’s really just the beginning! You’ve come to the end of a big episode, but just before the credits roll, across the screen flashes the words: “To be continued!” John Adams once said, “There are two types of education: One should teach us how to make a living, and the other how to live.”  ..."
Frank finished off his sermon with these few words of wisdom written by Kurt Vonnegut:
"1 Do one thing every day that scares you.
2 Sing.
3 Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
4Floss.
5 Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
6 Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
7 Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
8 Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
9 Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
10 Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
11 Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
12 Respect your elders.
13 Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
14 Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
15 Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth."
But no matter what always remember: Go the distance…stay the course, fight a good fight, and finish the course!  I am so very proud of our graduates, as I am sure you are proud of your own.  Congrats to you all!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Project 365 - Week of May 15th - May 21st

It is that time of week again and believe me it was my salvation all week.  I don't know how I would have made it through this week if it had not been for picture taking.  Want to see some more?  Go visit Sara at ....make music from your heart to the Lord and you will be so impressed with all the other photographers out there participating in her Project 365.
 Sunday, May 15th
Frank got creative with his sign this week.

Monday, May 16th

I stopped for a coke on my way home from school Monday afternoon and when I got out of the car I noticed these petunias growing out of the concrete.  Are they not gorgeous?

Tuesday, May 17th
We went to Amanda's Tuesday night to wait for the family to arrive from Atlanta.  Frank and I ran to town to get some breakfast food so they would have something to eat on Wednesday morning.  This moon picture was made near her house in a pasture that is across the street.  The moon was so beautiful.  I wish I could say my mood was as bright and shiny.

Wednesday, May 17th
This shot was made from my backyard through some trees on Wednesday night after the cookout with the youth from Rock Mills.

Frank's finished with my beautiful flower beds and this plant is the hydrangea that Jeni, Sam, and Austen gave me for Mother's Day.  He has worked so hard on this project and it looks fabulous.

Thursday, May 19th
In the field next to Wal-mart I got this Queen Anne's Lace.

Friday, May 20th 
A firefighters funeral is passing under the hanging flag.  My cousin's husband, Randy died on Tuesday night and if you have never experience a firefighter/military/police ceremony you have missed something very powerful.
Randy was buried in the Lanett cemetary.  This is a shot of Little Nadine's doll house.  It is actually a grave for a little girl and her parents.  It is in the book "Alabama Curiosities."  After the little girls parents died the City of Lanett took over the upkeep on the little doll house.

 Saturday, May 22nd


Just when you think the world is crashing in on you.....there is a baby shower.  Shelby Spivey's baby shower was today in the Fellowship Hall at the church.  Shelby is one of the cutest little mama's I have ever seen.  Her smile is so infectious that it was hard to be there....and be sad.  She got some really cool stuff....things they did not have when I had babies.   Did you know that there is something called a peepee teepee?  It is for...little boys.  I have never heard of such.  One more week of school and then I am out for the summer.  Believe me I can hardly wait.  I think I will hole up in my house the first week and just read and be lazy.  Have a great week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Firefighter's Funeral

Friday, May 20th I attended a retired firefighters funeral.  It was not my first, but I do hope it will be my last.  Firefighter's funeral are hard to fathom. "When firefighters die, they are mourned with honor in accordance with an age old rich tradition. The dead man's rig leads the funeral cortege. His helmet rests beside the altar. Bagpipes play "Amazing Grace” or a lone bugler plays “Taps" As it is with soldiers: the folded flag, the crisp step of the honor guard, the stiff salutes are all present. At the conclusion of the ceremony the ringing of the bell which reflects respect and honor to those who gave their lives to their duty. The ringing of the bell represents the end of the emergency and the return to quarters, and is usually three rings of the bell, three times. Why do they ring the bell? Well, in the past, as fire fighters began their tour of duty, it was the bell that signaled the beginning of that day's shift. Throughout the day and night, each alarm was sounded by a bell, which summoned these brave souls to fight fires and to place their lives in jeopardy for the good of their fellow citizen. And when the fire was out and the alarm had come to an end, it was the bell that signaled to all the completion of that call. When a fire fighter had died in the line of duty, paying the supreme sacrifice, it was the mournful toll of the bell that solemnly announced a comrades passing. Long before the Internet was invented, or telephones and radios were used across our great nation, fire departments used the telegraph to communicate - using special codes to receive fire alarms from those once-familiar red fire alarm boxes which stood on practically every street corner of America. When a firefighter was killed, or in the language of the military and public safety: "fell", in the line of duty, the fire alarm office would tap out a special signal. This would be tapped out as five measured dashes - then a pause - then five measured dashes - then a pause - then five more measured dashes. This came to be called the Tolling of the Bell and was broadcast over the telegraph fire alarm circuits to all station houses in the vicinity. Heard outside on the streets - with the fire department's windows open, the resonating echo was similar to that of fire stations of old where fire alarm gongs sounded the locations of thousands of emergencies throughout the history of our growing country. This was done for the purpose of notification, and as a sign of honor and respect for all firefighters who had made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their communities. Such symbolism has been a time-honored fire service tradition and is repeated at each service of a fallen firefighter."  At the church, when a fireman rang the bell....I thought I would die....it is such a soleful sound.  At the end of the ringing of the bell the firefighters left the church and the family and friends all made their way to their cars. We then left the church and made our way to Randy's final resting place...firetrucks with firemen saluting blocked the streets to keep traffic from moving, firetrucks and vehicles from departments all over the south lead the way, Randy's truck was first, and when we entered the city of Lanett there were two ladder trucks on either side of the road with a huge American flag suspended between the two for us to pass under.  At the cemetary the honor guard...some in uniform....some not....lined the way for the pall bearers to bring Randy to his final resting place.  At the conclusion of the service....a lone bugler played Taps....and then....came the part that was the hardest for me to bear....there was a calling out for "Randy Brown"....it is done three times....and when it is evident that he is not returning to the station....he is pronounced 10-7.  This code mean, "Out of Service."  At that point the communication is dropped.  At that moment I watched my precious cousin/sister, Amanda and her two children accept the realization that this was final.  My heart shattered into a thousand pieces.  Randy Brown was a much loved man by a great many people and that was evident today as we gathered together to honor this great man. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Word is Just a Word....Or is It?

As most of you know....I teach....Spanish.  Usually from day one my students begin asking...."SeƱora, howcome their language is so hard?"  "Why do they have such silly rules?"  This is actually a day in and day out occurance.  Yet, it is about that time that I always stop and provide a small lesson in silly and hard. If we were to view this honestly....the kids fuss about using the adjective after the noun...for example, Es un chico divertido.  He is a fun boy.  Not such a biggie....but it drives them nuts.  So...lets look at our own language this morning.  Humm...let's see where to start....we have tough, bough, and cough, and dough.  They are all spelled just alike....yet none of them sound the same.  What is the deal here?  We are the only country where you have to be present to get the present.  What is with this?  Same word....two different meanings.  I usually write "Lead" on the board about this time and get them to tell me what the word is....they usually all shout, "LEEEEEEEEd".  Nope I reply, it is the "lead" of a pencil. (If they say lead...then I do the Leeeeed word).  I love being a teacher sometimes....you can so mess with people.  English is full of word traps.  My favorite is knight/night/nite.  They all sound the same....knight...for someone from another country is hard....they want to pronounce the "k".  Even English language speakers when they are first learning to read....pronounce the letter too.  One of my favorite stories is about a friend teaching her daughter to read...."God is good."  "God gives good food."  Ok...think about it....you have just taught the "good" word phonetically....and then you hit the child with the word "food?"  In a child's mind it should be the same.  Then of course you have the words goose and choose, word and sword, rose, lose and dose.  We make the plural of mouse, mice....but why isn't the plural or house, hice?  One moose, two moose....but one goose, two geese?  The word dead is pronounced like the thing we sleep on called a bed....NOT like the word bead, the thing we use to make jewelry from.  I got a card last week.....but my student is a ward (or sound) of the state.  We park in driveways....and drive on parkways....and my kids are calling another language confusing and silly? 
I think not!  Can you think of some other silly rules and words we use.  Leave me a comment and share.  I collect them....because I have always been fascinated by words....AND they come in handy in class.  Have a happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Memoirs of a Wonderful Man

My heart is heavy today. Randy went to be with the Lord yesterday evening. He fought such a good fight and it is sad that after beating A.L.L. pneumonia was the culprit. Please be in prayer for my precious cousin/sister, Amanda, her wonderful children, and the rest of my family as we deal with this loss. I did not want to make this sad….so I am going to make it a memoir of a wonderful man.
Just who was Randy Brown?
Randy married my cousin/sister, Amanda when she was just 17. I think we all loved him from the moment he walked into our lives. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t Randy and Amanda. He was one of the most handsome men I have ever known, he had the best hug in the world, the biggest heart, and the warmest laugh. Amanda said something to me last night that was most profound. She hugged me when she finally got home from Atlanta and said, “I have to remember that I am not the only one who is grieving Randy….” Wow. How right she is….So let me tell you a bit about Randy the worker: Randy was a firefighter the majority of his career. When he retired he just could not sit still so he went to work for a locksmith and another company who bid large water systems. He liked to work and he loved people…and it showed. I always thought he was so handsome in his fireman’s uniform. It was even better when Amanda was all decked out in her nursing attire…they always made a striking couple. Randy the father: Randy was a great dad. He made sure his kids knew he loved them. He made sure they learned good values. He made sure they had adventures in their lives….and adventures there were many. I was fortunate enough to be along on numerous adventures and what I gained from them in memories will last a lifetime. Randy the grandfather: Randy had four grandsons. Two of them were fortunate enough to have experienced his love first hand for a short while. The other two will miss out on what a wonderful man he was….but I know Ramona and David and they will see to it that those babies know the caliber of man their grandfather was…I guarantee. Randy the friend: Need something? Randy had it. Need help? Randy was there. Need to cry? Randy would hug you. Need a place to lay your head? His door was always open. Need anything? Randy was the man you called on. Amanda’s sisters and I have all drawn off of Randy’s strength at one time or another. When my marriage fell apart, Randy never judged…he just loved me…for who I was. I spent a lot of days healing in their house. When my parents came up missing….Randy rode the roads from the Valley to Alex City looking for them. When my father and mother died….Randy was there….holding me while I slowly came apart at the seams. Randy was as much a part of my life as the air I breathe. I know there are others who have stories just like mine. Randy the Christian: Randy believed in God. Randy had had many heartaches in his own life, yet he knew there was a higher power. He was a quiet man of faith….and a strong man of faith….and you just had to admire him. Randy the brother: Randy loved his family. He had a brother and two sisters and he loved them….we all did. He loved them…and us and made every effort to make us a well blended family. Randy never made Amanda chose between us or them….he just let us all love each other. I love the Brown family as if they were my own. I have to thank Randy for that. He was a smart man. Randy the husband: Randy loved Amanda with his whole heart. We used to sing a song together called “Wind Beneath My Wings” and I always thought the song was about Randy….being her wind….but you know…she was his too. They were best friends and loved each other with a love that was amazing. I remember when my marriage was failing how much I wished it could be like theirs. Neither of them were perfect…but they were the kind of material love stories are written about. Amanda was blessed to have walked beside him for the time she did. They had a life filled with adventure, love, and amazement. My heart hurts for her the most right now. I have always felt like her big sister….and even though I did not ever need too….felt like I needed to take care of her and protect her…..(can’t imagine why….she is an amazing woman)….and I wanted so much to fix this….and make it right….and couldn’t. There was nothing Randy could not do in our eyes and believe me….his bucket list was not empty. He lived a full and extraordinary life. We will miss you my dear Randy, but we will see you again someday and that is something to look forward to.

Superman Drew and Randy

The "red" shirt minus the khaki pants - Randy's signature attire

Born To Be Wild
The Chief Retires
Randy and Amanda in Knoxville
Somewhere between Gatlinburg and Cherokee
Family at Thanksgiving

Hodge Podge Et Al

Here are my questions and responses for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Anyone is welcome to join the party...answer the questions on your own blog or facebook page and then go and link up with Joyce at “From This Side of the Pond.” It is really fun to see how everyone responds to such simple questions and the stories that come from them. Ready? Here goes nothing!
1. What reveals more about a woman-her refrigerator or her purse? I would have to say her fridge…..no wait…her purse. Griefus, that is a tough one. My refrigerator says I am wasteful sometimes. I save food we don’t eat and end up throwing it out on garbage day. I wish we could just learn to cook for two. My purse says I am a scout….prepared for anything, or should be somewhere in the great unknown. Can you help me find my keys and cell phone? I know they are somewhere in there.
2. When was the last time you went to the zoo? Where? What's your favorite zoo animal? I have not been in years. Montgomery, AL would have been where I was and my favorite animals are the monkeys. I love their antics.
3. What social issue fires you up? Abuse – child or spouse.
4. Are you a coupon clipper? If so, are you extreme? Sometimes and not extreme. If it is something I use…I cut it.
5. What is one of your favorite souvenirs brought back from your travels? A tie for Frank from Trinity College in Dublin….that is artwork from the Book of Kells and the celtic cross tie pin to go with it….and my Blarney Stone.
6. Lemon meringue or key lime? Key lime of course. It rocks!
7. What is the most beautiful word you know in any language? Love….I mean…think about it….je taime, te amo, it is just beautiful.
8. Today is International Musuem Day so what is the best museum you have ever visited, why and where is it? Wow! I have two…..One is the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. I loved seeing the Ruby Slippers, the Wright Brothers plane, the first ladies dresse, et al. My favorite international would be The Dublin Writers Museum at Parnell Square. I am huge fan of Irish writers and since Ireland, and Dublin itself, have produced some of the greatest writers in history this place was a must. The museum is dedicated solely to their works and achievements. I was delighted to see first editions, manuscripts, diaries and letters from authors such as W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Becket, Patrick Kavanagh and many more. There was even a first edition of Bram Stokers 'Dracula' which was written in Dublin!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Miracles

As I said yesterday I believe in Miracles and this morning I was surfing the net looking for a short devotion on miracles...when I found this one.  It hit me on several levels.....as most of you know....my mom died a little over a month ago...and we ushered her out with the singing of, "You Are My Sunshine."   Amanda and I sing together....and have since, according to Amanda," we were nine months old."  Randy sings along too and comes from a singing family himself....so music is comforting for us....as you read this story....I hope you get from it...what I did.  It is called, "The miracle of a brother's song" and I have no clue who the author is....but whoever it is....thank you for putting it out there to touch my heart this morning.
"Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They find out that the new baby is going to be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sings to his sister in Mommy's tummy. The pregnancy progresses normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. Then the labor pains come. Every five minutes ... every minute. But complications arise during delivery. Hours of labor. Would a C-section be required? Finally, Michael's little sister is born. But she is in serious condition. With siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushes the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee. The days inch by. The little girl gets worse. The pediatric specialist tells the parents, "There is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst." Karen and her husband contact a local cemetery about a burial plot. They have fixed up a special room in their home for the new baby -- now they plan a funeral. Michael, keeps begging his parents to let him see his sister, "I want to sing to her," he says. Week two in intensive care. It looks as if a funeral will come before the week is over. Michael keeps nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. Karen makes up her mind. She will take Michael whether they like it or not. If he doesn't see his sister now, he may never see her alive. She dresses him in an oversized scrub suit and marches him into ICU. He looks like a walking laundry basket, but the head nurse recognizes him as a child and bellows, "Get that kid out of here now! No children are allowed." The mother rises up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glares steely eyed into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line. "He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!" Karen tows Michael to his sister's bedside. He gazes at the tiny infant losing the battle to live and he begins to sing. In the pure hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sings: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray --- " Instantly the baby girl responds. The pulse rate becomes calm and steady. Keep on singing, Michael. "You never know, dear, how much I love you, Please don't take my sunshine away---" The ragged, strained breathing becomes as smooth as a kitten's purr. Keep on singing, Michael. "The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms..."
Michael's little sister relaxes as rest, healing rest, seems to sweep over her. Keep on singing, Michael. Tears conquer the face of the bossy head nurse.Karen glows. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't, take my sunshine away." Funeral plans are scrapped. The next, day -- the very next day -- the little girl is well enough to go home! Woman's Day Magazine called it "the miracle of a brother's song." The medical staff just called it a miracle.  Karen called it a miracle of God's love!   Moral of this story:  NEVER GIVE UP ON THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE!"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Calling All Prayer Warriors - I Need You Now!

My heart is heavy right now.  In the past eighteen months I have called upon you all for prayers during various stressful situations in my life and once again I am here with that same request.  This time I am asking for all my blogger friends to take a few minutes and lift my cousin Amanda, her husband Randy, and their children up in your prayers.  Below is what we have been getting from Amanda since Saturday.  It has been a stressful weekend and this morning at 4 Amanda called.  I need as many prayer warriors on the job as I can get.  The following is quoted from Randy's Caring Bridge. 
Update as of Noon today:  The fiollowing Caring Bridge post is from David....
Dear Friends and Family,
"Mom asked me to let you know that the doctors came by a moment ago and said that the ventilator is not doing anything, only buying time. They had initially said that they would try dialysis to remove some of the CO2 from his blood since he was not getting it out of his system through his lungs. That is no longer an option because it might change his numbers a little, but it would not change his situation. He is needing more and more support to keep him alive. They have essentially exhausted every viable option and said that Dad will not turn around. Ramona and Dustin and Susanna are on their way here. We won't be making any decisions until they arrive, but as I've said, there's nothing else that can be done. We will keep you updated as things progress today. We ask that you would continue to pray for us, especially Mom. We want you to know that this is our comfort, knowing that...
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
 PSALM 46:1-7
Christ is our peace and our only hope in life and in death is,
"That I am not my own,
but belong—
body and soul,
in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.
(from The Heidelberg Catechism)
God bless you for your care and love for us."
Hoping in God,
David
Monday, May 16th
"Randy is not doing well on this ventilator. He is not exchanging oxygen, so they are switching him to a “jet” ventilator, which will force air into his lungs and force them to blow off the carbon dioxide that is building up in him. The staff woke me up about 4 this morning to update me and to let me know that this “jet” ventilator is the last resort. If this machine doesn’t help Randy turn things around, then there is really no hope of him getting better. His lungs are just too stiff to respond. They said if it does work, it will likely get worse before it gets better, but they should know in a couple of hours whether or not he is going to respond. They asked me if Randy and I talked about his wishes for medical care and we did. Randy doesn’t have an Advance Directive, but we talked before they put him on the ventilator and he indicated he wants to live. I just can’t bring myself to make him a DNR (do not resuscitate). The staff are trying to prepare me for the very real possibility that Randy will not pull through this. I know that’s their job, but I just can’t accept that possibility right now. I’ve been begging God all night to spare him, to heal him and give me a miracle. Please add your prayers to mine."
Sunday, May 15th
Dear Praying Friends and Family,
"We are writing this update for Mom to let you know they put Dad on the ventilator a little while ago. He fought really hard today and this will help him get the rest he needs without having to work so hard to breath. Please pray for him that he would rest and heal quickly so they can wean him off again. Thank you as always for interceding on his behalf. God is faithful."  David and Susanna (son and his wife)
Earlier on Sunday, May 15th"Another quiet, restful night. No drama, just steady, but very slow progress. I’ve been waiting for the doctor to round and let me know how the chest x-ray looked today. They just left and said the chest was definitely better. Randy has been on the Bi-pap machine since after breakfast and at first I was concerned that he wasn’t tolerating the regular mask. Then I realized they have dialed down the amount of oxygen to 75% from 100%. It’s taking him a while to get adjusted to the lower level, but he’s not de-saturating. He is breathing a little faster than I would like, but overall, he’s making progress. That’s the name of the game now. The doctors said it would likely take a couple of weeks for him to recover and they will not transfer him out of ICU until he can tolerate breathing with the oxygen at 50% and no Bi-pap. That seems like a long way off right now, but every day he will get a little stronger and closer to the goal."  "Ramona, Dustin and little Will just left to head back to Florida. David, Susanna and Tommy will also be getting on the road shortly to go back to Birmingham. They will make the trip back to Louisville tomorrow. We had some long discussions about what this means for Randy and for all of us. They know that it’s going to take some time and even then we don’t really know how well Randy will be able to function day to day. At least not until he begins to grow an immune system again. I remember being told that it will take about a year for his immune system to regenerate. Until then, he doesn’t have the weapons to fight off infections like this so we have to avoid them at all costs. I know it’s hard on the kids being so far away from their dad. I hated to call them, but I’m glad they came. He really draws strength from seeing them. He’s been sleeping most of the day today with the Bi-pap machine. I’m making him turn from side to side about every two hours to make sure his lungs don’t fill up with fluid again. We don’t want any more complications, like bed sores or other infections, so until he gets used to the lower levels of oxygen, we have to be vigilant to prevent these other potential complications. Other than keeping an eye on him, I’m trying to get rest when I can and visit with my kids while I can. I’m quickly getting back into the hospital routine. I must be getting used to this recliner, too, because I slept from midnight until 7 this morning and don’t remember waking up through the night.
I know there are a lot of Sunday school classes and churches and friends and family who are praying constantly for Randy today all across the country. We appreciate every one of you. You give us hope and strength and remind us that the Lord has everything under control. Once again, I claim Isaiah 41:10:
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. "  Things change quickly.....but I stll believe I serve a God of miracles and my family sure needs one right now. God Bless You All!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Bridge of Peace


Price: $13.99


Format: Trade Paperback

ISBN: 9781400073979

Release: 8.31.2010

Fiction - Christian - Romance


About the Book: The Bridge of Peace is the second book in the Ada’s House trilogy by Cindy Woodsmall but is a stand alone. This book is the first one I have read and I am looking forward to reading more. I am especially looking forward to her third book that should be in bookstores in early Fall 2011.


Summary: Lena Kauffman is an Amish schoolteacher whose outspoken and independent ways surprise and upset members of the Amish community in which she lives. Lena has a birthmark on her face and believes that this makes her flawed and unlovable. Her life as a teacher is not easy….and a series of events threatens all she holds dear.

Click Here to read an excerpt from chapter one

About the Author: Cindy Woodsmall is an excellent storyteller as she unravels the tale through her characters’ everyday relationships. The plot of this book is very engaging and I just could not put it down. The author obviously knows the ins and outs of the Amish world so well that it makes the reader feel as if they are right there observing life in a peaceful Amish town of Dry Lake.  If you want to know more about the author then visit her site.

My Thoughts: There several good Amish fiction writers, but I’d have to say that this one would be my number one pick. This is a must read and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of her books.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Project 365 - Week 20



It is Week 20 of Project 365 and what a relatively uneventful week I had.  I truly like those kind.  We have two more weeks left of school and I am REALLY looking forward to that!  I am so thankful that my dear blogging friend, Sara, over at ...make music to the Lord took this on as a project.  I have really enjoyed hunting for the perfect picture each day.  If you would like to see some amazing pictures....from people who are amateurs and some who are not then click on the link I provided and check out Sara's blog.  I promise that you won't be sorry.
Sunday, May 8th - Mother's Day



Monday, May 9th -Frank's Birthday
The top picture I took backing out of my driveway.  It was a hazy morning and I was on my way to good ole BRHS for another day at the salt mine.  The sun was peeking through the tree.  I thought it was glorious and looked like a huge orange in the sky.  The bottom picture was made later in the day when Frank and I were making a quick trip to Wal-mart.  The sun is going down on me....and once again it looked like a huge orange ball.  I think the sunset one looks a lot clearer...but then there was no haze.  Both pictures were made through the windshield of my car.

Tuesday, May 10th
Tonight the Alex City Education Association (I am Vice President/President Elect) had a retirement dinner for anyone who is retiring from the Alex City System at Cecil's.  I had to stay in town so I went to my friend Jo's to kill a couple of hours before the dinner.
 Jo always has a tablescape done in her dining room.  She is ready for company at a moments notice.  She changes it out often so you never know what to expect....and can that woman do some things with flowers.
Her kitchen/breakfast room is done is ivy and apples and it is so cozy.
 One of my favorite things at her house is her collection of Santas.  It is a really neat thing to see.  Each one is very unique.

Wednesday, May 11th

I love magnolias and since they are in bloom right now I found a public tree on the way home today and shot a couple of blooms and buds.

Thursday, May 12th

Just off of 8th St in Alexander City there is a little quiet neighborhood just tucked away amid some trees.  The houses are older and smack dab in the middle is this little lake.  Frank and I had to be in Alex City on Thursday night for the bowling payout and we rode around til I got the reflections and sun on the lake just right.

Friday, May 13th 

I took Frank out for dinner tonight.  We decided to go to Auburn.  The restaurant where we were going to eat did not open until 5, so I thought we could ride around a bit and see what I could find to shoot.  While waiting for a light....Frank and I both spotted this at the same time and I had to do it.  Do you know what this is????????  We both laughed our heads off.
This is where we ate supper.  It is one of our favorite places in Auburn.  Patsy, Kayla, and David introduced us to it while we were pastoring at Waverly.  It is so yummy!

Saturday, May 14th
Today was a glorious day of celebration.  The little family below adopted this precious baby and the adoption is now final.  They had a cookout/celebration and invited Frank and I to be a part and I was so delighted to be there.  The little baby is adorable.  She has the prettiest eyes.  Her mom is crazy about her...her grandmothers are crazy about her...and her daddy...well...let's just say he is already wrapped around her tiny little finger.  This baby is so blessed to be in such a loving family.  God is good!

Hope you have a wonderful week.  My countdown has begun....two more weeks = 10 more days.