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!”

Friday, August 31, 2012

Five Minute Friday On Change

It is that time again and I am excited about Five Minute Friday today.  The topic is change and I think I have a lot to say on that one.  So you are wondering....what exactly do you so....well....the first thing you do is clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, I hate having to figure out what all those mashed up letters spell, and besides it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!  OK, are you ready? Is your timer set?  I know mine now please give us your best five minutes on:::


Change started out for me early this morning.  I wore a black shirt honor of our seniors for the pep rally...and when I got here Trina gave me a cute Wildcat shirt.  She has been losing weight all summer and her body has been changing....lucky for me I too have lost a good many pounds and can wear her hand me down shirt.  I am tickled.  So I changed shirts before my first class. I feel poetry in me today...that is a change for sure.  I have not written anything poetic in a good while.  But this morning I was looking at a guitar my father gave me when I was 13 and saw myself in it....only not so much.  I saw what I was...and the changes I have experienced in who I am in the past forty-five years.  It is a poem about change...some good....some bad.  When I looked in the mirror this morning I saw so much change...white hair, aging know what I mean.....and I found myself asking the mirror image:

Who are you?  Where is the face I looked at yesterday....or was that last year?  God! This is so depressing.  I still feel young....yet, I am seeing me change intomy mother in this mirror more and more.  The change is rapid.  It seems to be more noticeable every single day.  I look at my hands and see that they are short and stocky, hands, remnants of my Creek Indian Heritage.  These hands were made to work hard and the calloused fingers are testimonials that they have.  When did they change from soft, delicate piano player hands to these hands who have seen work?  My eyes are the windows to my very being.  They change depending on what is happening at they time....they tell you when I 'm sick, tired, distressed, or even....lying!  My eyes have never learned to keep secrets.  My body, once looked like a sleek, classical guitar  before the days of children and marriage. Now I see change has occurred and where the classical guitar once was a bass violin stands in its place - curved, but definitely thicker.  All in all I like the changes I see in me both inside and out.  I mean we can't all be classical guitars.  Change happens and because of this change.  I am a bass fiddle, at this time in my close your eyes and hear my music.  It changes from time to time....depending on the tune I hear. 
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wildflowers From Winter

Release date: May, 8 2012
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
ISBN-13: 978-0307730381
About The Book:  A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.  Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.  For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

Want to read a sample from the book?  Click here if you do.

About the Author:  Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from the Congo. You can find her online at her blog and on Facebook

My Thoughts:  Katie Ganshert has a knack with character development.  Bethany comes off so hard in the beginning only to soften as she realizes where her love lies.  This young woman had overcome so much and I related to her turmoil where God, her mom, her grandfather, and her dad were concerned.  As a 9 year old survivor from a brother's accidental death, this story was like deja vu.  I shared every emotion and feeling Bethany had with her.  I loved this book and cannot wait to read another book by Katie Ganshert.   Once I started reading the book....I read non-stop.  This was one of those stories you give up sleep and food least I did.  Great read!  Thank you Katie!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Groups Blogging for Books program in an exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge - vol 91

I agree with Joyce that it seems only appropriate that answering the questions in this Labor Day Hodgepodge required a bit of work. I'm glad you joined the party sure to add your link to the bottom of Joyce's post before you head out to visit everyone else. Here are my answers to Joyce's questions.

1. Americans will celebrate Labor Day this coming weekend. Do you know what we're actually celebrating? (without consulting your friends google or wikipedia, ahem) What's a project you're currently 'laboring' over?
I was raised in a union household.  My dad was a member of the I.B.E.W.  I was raised never to cross a picket line.  I am a teacher and although it is not called a union per say....I pay dues to the NEA/AEA/ACEA - all education associations....if it looks like a duck, quacks, like a duck, and waddles like a is probably a duck.  Labor Day is a celebration of American workers.  Without them....a lot of things would never have come to pass.  I am currently laboring over a couple of out my parents house (which I am struggling with), and making silverware windchimes.
2. Labor Day also signifies the unofficial end of summer for most of us...what summer food will you miss the most? If you live in the Southern hemisphere feel free to substitute winter for summer.
I am going to have to mimic Joyce's answer and say watermelon, squash, and tomatoes. I too love all the summer fruits but watermelon is my favorite.  I love vine ripened tomatoes and hate the ones you buy in the grocery store in the winter.  There is no taste and no acid.

3. A well known proverb states, "It's easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission." Your thoughts?
I would personally rather 'ask permission' than forgiveness.  I have done it once or twice but was most uncomfortable with the process. 
4. Food critic, film critic, art critic, book critic...which hat would you most like to wear?  I would love to be a food critic.  I do reviews on books now and enjoy that too. 
5. When you were a kid, (besides your parents) who was your favorite adult?  I had several.  I was the only child and there were more adults in my life than kids.  In my life...I loved them all.  Little grandmother (my mom's mom) was probably number one...followed by my Godmother, Francis and then Elizabeth and Ethel(she was our landlady).  This was a great springboard for upcoming posts.  Thanks Joyce!
6. The astronaut Neil Armstrong passed away last week. He was regarded as a hero by many generations of people all around the world. Do we still have modern day heroes? What makes someone a hero?  I watched a History Channel special about him tonight and I agree with Joyce that back in 1969 the courage it took for those astronauts to climb into that little bitty capsule is mind boggling.  Neil Armstrong was a humble quiet and humble man for sure.  In the special on television.  he gave credit to everyone at  NASA  who made his moon walk possible rather than shouting, "Look at me!  Look what I did!"  I think he was a definite hero and a most amazing man..   The sad thing about our society  is that today money seems to make people heros.  Sports figures, movie stars, etc are all held up as heroes and that is so wrong.  T.O., the rowdy football player was a former student of mine....young men in our town idolize him....and I hate that....this man is not someone who should be idolized.  We also had a former student killed in that is a hero.  There is a stretch of road in front of our school and they wanted to name it after T.O.  I thought it should be named after the marine who died for my freedom.  Fortunately the name was never changed.  If I had to pick a hero today....I agree with would be the firefighters and policemen and invdividuals who rushed into the World Trade Center knowing there was a possibility they might not come out.  It would be the men and women who fight for my freedom so I can sleep in peace at night.  There are common everyday heroes all over the place...average people....miners who go back down after a shaft has collapsed to save their comrades....none of them have to make millions to be great.  They are great because they are brave and humble.
7. I never get tired of __________________....spending time with my family.

8. Insert your own random thought here.  Since I am a huge fan of Debby over at Just Breathe and a huge music buff  I am going to join with Joyce and do my list of 15 vocalists and wonder who yours are???
The instructions were to name 15 vocalists (in no particular order) who will always stick with you...don't take too long to think about it, just the first 15 that pop into your head.
1.  Bqrbara Streisand
2.  James Taylor
3.  Neil Diamond
4.  Carole King
5.  Gordon Lightfoot
6.  Mary Black
7.  Wynona  Judd
8.  Travis Cottrell
9.  Natalie Grant
10.  Nat King Cole
11. George Harrison
12.  Paul McCartney
13. Mac Powell (Third Day)
14. Chris Tomlin
15. Steven Curtis Chapman
Have a great rest of the week. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Through Rushing Water

About The Book:  "Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory. Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim. With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve. It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, WillougIhby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny."  Want to know the real story behind the book?  If you do then check this link out. 
About The Author:  While Catherine Richmond  was busy raising a family, working as an occupational therapist, and trying to remember where she hid the chocolate,  a song sparked a story within her. The journey to publication was long, but full of blessings. She admits that she couldn’t have done it without ACFW, RWA, and FHL, the inspirational chapter of RWA, and Nebraska Novelists critique group.  Richmond was born in Washington, DC, grew up in northern Virginia, attended Western Michigan University, and moved around a lot for her husband’s aviation career. Her favorite place to write is the porch!  I love this woman.  Check out her website at:

My Thoughts On The Book:  When I began reading this book I thought, "Oh no...a sappy love story about a political figure and a girl."  I was far from correct on this story.  It had so many layers it was hard to keep up with them sometimes.  It drew you into the characters lives when you least expected it to,  I always dreamed of teaching school on a reservation.  This story was my dream in pen and ink.  Sophia was everything I planned on being as a teacher and then some.  I felt as if I knew her personally and then I felt as if I was looking in a mirror at myself.  My heart bled for the Ponca Indians.  I felt as if I walked each mile through the bad weather conditions with them.  I felt as if I lost the same loved ones they did.  Richmond as a way of stringing her story together where you don't want to put the book down.  I read every chance I could like a man starving for food.  It was a wonderful story about a not so wonderful time in United States History.  This book is a must read and must own.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publisher's  BookSneeze as  part of their blogger book review team in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It Is Time to Fly

About the Book:  It's Time to Fly: Daily Devotionals for Families is a book designed for families who want to grow in faith together. Linda C. Davis has written some thought provoking lessons that are simple enough for young family members and yet still have the potential to impact Christians of all ages.  The lessons in the book are based on the contemporary Christian band Ka*Pop’s CD “It’s Time to Fly.” Each song has seven days of family devotionals that center on the message of the song. For example, week four is focused on the song “Deep and Wide” and all the devotions for those seven days relate to the lyrics of “Deep and Wide.”  More information about Ka*Pop and their ministry can be found at

About The Author:  Linda Carruth Davis is a published writer, award winning journalist, musician, artist and CEO of her own company, lcd, ink: communicative arts.   A graduate of Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary she holds Masters degrees in Theology and Pastoral Counseling.
It's Time to Fly: Daily Devotionals fro Families is a book designed for families who want to grow in faith together. Linda C. Davis has written some thought provoking lessons that are simple enough for young family members and yet still have the potential to impact Christians of all ages.

About Ka-Pop:  Ka*Pop is made up of three dads from the Nashville area. They love to create music,  movies and games to share with kids and youth across the country. Jesus loves the little children. Right on. They are pop, dance pop, R & B. Bright, intricate vocals over a funky, rock-tinged musical bed.

My Thoughts On The Subject:  This was nothing like I expected it to be.  The lessons were good, I could see where families would possibly enjoy this, it just was not all that for me.  I am a traditional studier of the Bible and like my music a little more spiritual.  I might give this to my son and his family as a gift and then again might not.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Bet Galley Publishing Group Blogging Program in an exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Project 365 - Week 34

I hate to admit it but I think most of the pictures I took this week were with the camera on my phone.  I am enjoying photo stream.  I wish I had had the time to really get out and shoot Dr. M kinds of pictures this week....but the first few weeks of school truly whip me and it was all I could do to get these shots.  It seemed like everything was this rest for the weary.  I hope you will hop over to Sara's place and check out all the other photographers offerings.  You will be truly amazed at some of the gorgeous shots from all over the world. this is my week in pictures.

Sunday, August 19th

Shower number one was this weekend. My cousin, Ferris is getting married September 15th in Savannah.  I was not invited to the wedding....but was invited to the shower.  This is Kat's present.  She could not attend the shower so I took both of our gifts.  My gift was a holiday serving plate.  The shower was decorated in brown and teal with peacock feathers as the center of attraction.  Ferris's sister Emilly did a wonderful decorating job.  The bride got loads of awesome gifts.  Headed home to get ready for Monday....and students.
Monday, August 20th
Gloria and Billy Ray, some of the Rock Mills porch people,  bought an ugly old painted mailbox at an auction back in the spring.  I shot my mouth off and told her I would paint it for her.  So....Monday night I began project destress.  I went out to my korner of the shop and began painting the mailbox.  This is the beginning of the project.  I will have to take a shot of the final project.  I free hand paint....and paint what I see.  FYI...the right side will have a rock and huge red lighthouse on it and the palm tree will have fronds and leaves.  I promise it will look better.  Now that I see this I HOPE it looks better.  I worked in the shop until nearly nine and was so relaxed when I went in for the evening.
Tuesday, August 21st
Another day of school down and back out to my korner to work on the mailbox.  Frank was working on Derby South frames for the traveling team.  He is nearly finished.  I thought I would let you see some of the process of this.  They really are pretty frames.  I wish I had had something like this back in my softball playing days. 
Wednesday, August 22nd
After school today I ran by Cloud Nine to pick out a gift for shower number three, which is Sunday.  I loved this cross and it was something the bride-to-be had registered for.  I had to have it.  After paying for my gift and heading to Roanoke I stopped at Clark Brothers to get the brunswick stew I was going to have to have for shower number two on Saturday.  It is going to be a first for me....a couples baby shower dinner.  I can't wait to experience this.  I know it will have to be fun.  Anything that involves ribs, brisket, and all the trimmings has to be fun.
Thursday, August 23rd
I downloaded Instagram to my Iphone while Frank and I were in Auburn having Endless Shrimp at Red least Frank was having Endless Shrimp.  I took a rather blurry picture to try it out and then played with some of the things you can do to the picture.  I thought I would stop while I was ahead and I really did capture the true essence of Frank.  He was cutting up with our waitress.  This is our last free Thursday night....we start the bowling  process next week.  Sigh!
Friday, August 24th
Shower number two is tomorrow and tonight we finished decorating for it.  I went ahead and wrapped my gifts.  The tallest box is an airplane light fixture.  The bag gift is a precious airplane bank from Pottery Barn Kids.  If you can't guess the room is decorated with airplanes.  The baby's name is going to be Jett.  I love it!
Saturday, August 25th


Shower number two.  The top picture is the dad, mom, and Jamma to be.  Marcie said her eyes were closed but I told her they weren't.  I was wrong.  The gift table was gorgeous and this was just a small sampling of the gifts she got.  I love the vintage bi-plane rocker.  The ladies of our church and community really know how to throw a party.  It was great fun and the men were so funny because this was their very first baby shower.  Loved it.  Hope your week was a good one and I will see you here again Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Over The Edge

About The Book:  Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.  After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.  Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.  Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.
About The Author:  Mary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series, and her novel Calico Canyon was nominated for a Christy Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Think you might want to buy the book?  If so then click here and buy it.  You won't regret it.

What to know what others think about this book then check out the link to the blog tour by following  this link:

My Thoughts On The Book:  Although I have not read the first two books in the Kincaid Bride series I was instantly drawn to the characters in Mary Connealy's third book in the series.  Seth Kincaid, one of the stories main characters was quite interesting. This man had survived the Civil War and also survived a fire in a cave. Because he had witnessed many terrible things during the years he was away many  of those things were blocked from his memory...  one of them being his wife, Callie.  Callie, is not your typical wife in the 1800.  As the story begins she is in a stagecoach with a pastor and his wife firing at some men who are trying to overtake the coach.  I loved these two characters.  I now have to go back and read the other two books.  Once I started this book i could not put it down.  It was wonderful.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the Litfuse Publisity Group as part of their Blogging tour in exchange for a fair and impartial review.  I have found a new favorite author! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Joining Five Minute Friday

It is Friday....the end of my first week back at school with kids and time for Lisa-Jo's Five Minute Friday meme.  It is an easy thing to do you just:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking on the topic she gives you.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

I promise you will love reading what everyone writes about.  It is a great way to help writer's block...which is the reason I joined.  I needed some brainstorming accountability.

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::
(These are my cousins who came from near and far to join with my dad at his 80th birthday party)
Over the years I have joined things.  I like being a part of as an adult.  When I was a teenager I was not so much a joiner.  I was a loner.  I was a member of my church choirs and that was about it.  Now, as an adult I find that joining in can be fun.  I joined facebook because my daughter told me it was something I needed to do.  I am glad I did because many of my high school classmates were also joining and it was a good way to connect with them and see what has been going on in their lives since 1972.  I joined two National Honor Societies in college because I earned the right to join them.  I loved being a part of them and wearing the gold tassles when I graduated.  I joined a teachers sorority when I was in my third year of teaching and loved that for a while.  It was a great way to get with fellow educators and discuss teaching topics.  I went from there to joining the AEA (alabama Education Association) where I became very active and have held several officers.  I joined a church because I love being part of the family of God and in God's house and I love having one I call home.  But, as much as I love joining groups there is another kind of joining I love even more.  I love joining hands with my family as we say the grace before a meal.  I love the feel of hands interlocked (joined).  I love joining my family to celebrate monumental occassions and holidays.  I love joining the faculty, community, fans at BRHS football games and yelling my boys on to victory.  Joining....gathering together of more than one.  Won't you join in with us today?  Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What I Didn't Say

About the Book:  Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat. His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again. When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn't the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.

About the Author:  Keary Taylor grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now resides on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two young children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night.  She is the bestselling, Wall Street Journal featured author of BRANDED, FORSAKEN, VINDICATED, AFTERLIFE (Fall of Angels series), EDEN, and WHAT I DIDN'T SAY.  
My Thoughts On The Book:  I found the book a bit slow at first.  It seemed like it was a typical American teenage book about partying, drinking, and sports.  It was not until the accident that I found myself hooked.  I could not put this book down and felt as if Jake and Samantha were students I had had in my own classes.  Taylor did an excellent job making her characters life-like and I loved the book.  I hated to see it end.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone.  It definitely sends a powerful message to young people on the results of drinking and driving or riding.
If you would love to see a bit of the book click here and see the book trailer.
Disclaimer:  I received this book for free  from Net Galley Publishing Group for a fair and unbiased review.  The opinions you have read here are 100% my own and I appreciate them giving me the chance to review this book for them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hodge Podge Volume 90

Welcome to this week's edition of Joyce's Wednesday Hodgepodge, aka HP90. It's a lot like PX90 except this is a workout for your brain.  Sometimes. Sometimes it's just fluff, but in mid August as summer winds down and the school year gears up fluff may be just what your brain needs. Add your link to the bottom of Joyce's post and then you run off and see the neighbors. It is a lot of fun and you can join in anytime....or just once.  It does not matter. 
Here are my answers to Joyce's questions:

1. Aloha! On August 21, 1959 Hawaii officially became a US State...have you ever been? Upon arrival would you prefer an orchid or a hibiscus to tuck behind your ear?
I've been. I won a trip in 2005 and tok my best friend Mary for her 50th birthday.  We had a blast and upon arrival I got an orchid and loved it.  Orchids are my favorite flowers.  My mom used to raise them and so did my best friend, Susan's, mom.  I have grown up around orchids forever.  I also got a lei of orchids.  I felt special.  If you have never been to need to go....and be sure to see the whole thing....and do a luau.....see the Arizon Memorial.  You will be touched.  I promise you.
2. Since we're talking tropical...what's your favorite food or beverage made with pineapple?
My dad's pineapple and cheese casserole and curried pineapple.  I love I had a blast at the Dole Plantation in Hawaii.  I ate so much pineapple I had a rash all over my mouth area.  I looked so funny.
Pineapple Cheese Casserole - super easy
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
 1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a medium-size casserole dish with butter. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.  In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved pineapple juice, stirring with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
3. Do you believe in soul mates? Explain.
Yes....but not necessarily spouses.  I have two friends that are my soul mates.  We can be apart and then get together and it is like we have never been apart.  We can finish each others sentences.  We know when the other is in trouble or needs something....even when we have not been physically told.  I know both of them as if they were me.  It is amazing and scary sometime.  As far as spousewise....Frank and I have been married for almost ten years and he has become my soulmate too. 
4. Share a memory about the house you grew up in.  My house was coral colored and had flowering bushes everywhere.  In the back yard there were fruit trees and I kept a knife and salt shaker outside and would go out back and eat oranges, grapefruits, Japanese plums, tomatoes, mangos, Myeres and Ponderosa my own little world under the shade of these trees.  We had two huge ficus trees that were so fun to climb on, swing from, and hide in.  We also had a banyon tree that was an amazing place for a child with an imagination.  I loved my house in Florida and I love my life in that backyard.  Sad thing....the house and neigborhood is gone.  There is no reminder that I existed.  It is now a sports practice field for FAU.  Sigh!

5. Are you comfortable with silence?  I love silence when I want to read or crafting in the shop.  I do not care for silence when it is angry.  When I afraid and alone I prefer white noise.

6. You spot a giant spider on your bedroom wall...what's your next move? Find Frank and get him to take care of the intruder.  If I am alone...get the broom and smash him.  I hate spiders, snakes, roaches, and rats.
7. My idea of fun does NOT include_____________.  Hummmm...let me see.  Anything painful, loud mouth people, people fighting, bigots, people who have to always be right....even when they are not.
8. Insert your own random thought here. Saturday night I went to a 1962 class photograph it for a friend.  They had a classic car exhibit out front and it was a riot to see cars from my past.  So, with that in mind...what was your first car?  Mine was a 1969 Plymouth Satellite.  It was red with a white top, 383 engine, crager mags with knock off spinners.  I loved it!  Tell me about yours.
Have a wonderful rest of the week.  I am back in school and really enjoying my year so far.  Ask me again about January.  LOL!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Testifying to Love

I heard a humorous story of a guy who prayed this prayer every morning: "Lord, if you want me to witness to someone today, please give me a sign to show me who it is." One day he found himself on a bus when a big, burly man sat next to him. The bus was nearly empty but this guy sat next to the man who had prayed the prayer. The timid Christian anxiously waited for his stop so he could exit the bus. But before he could get very nervous about the man next to him, the big guy burst into tears and began to weep. He then cried out with a loud voice, "I need to be saved. I’m a lost sinner and I need the Lord. Won’t somebody tell me how to be saved?" He turned to the Christian and pleaded, "Can you show me how to be saved?" The believer immediately bowed his head and prayed, "Lord, is this a sign?" I laughed at this because of the last comment....he actually had to bow and ask if that was a sign?  That was more than a sign....that was a billboard.  As of yesterday I began 119:11 Project and my first verse was Acts 1:8.  8 Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  I made a notecard for memorizing this verse and am praying on it each day for 15 days.  As some of you know my daughter and her husband are going to be missionaries to orphans and I have really struggled with letting her go and letting God do his work with her.  It is funny....I taught her about missions and missionaries all her life....and then when she felt the call to be one....I shouted out in my heart...."NO!  I was talking to everyone else's children....not mine."  But again I came to the realization that she was never mine....she was always His....and I would not have it any other way.  I am proud of them both.  They are a reminder to me that even though I probably won't ever be a missionary in some foreign country....I can do my part in the way I live.  I can witness on a daily basis....and I don't want to have to ask God if this is a sign....when it is like you were hit in the head with a sledge hammer.  So I got up yesterday morning and asked myself.. "Hey, Karen, are you looking for a "sign" to start witnessing?"  I smiled and knew I in my car and headed to work.....on my radio was this song...and I truly believe I am going to Testify to Love!  Have a blessed day!  I know I am going to

Monday, August 20, 2012

119:11 Project

This morning as I was getting ready to start my day I had a forwarded email from one of my sweet friends.  She graduated with my daughter and I adore this precious Christian woman.  It seems a group of some of the Christian faculty and staff are intersted in this project and after reading Kimberly's blog post I know I am.  Her original letter began like this:

"Hey everyone, 
I am trying something this year, and I wanted to let you know about it in case you are interested as well.  As I was thinking of godly women who have influenced my life, you all came to mind.  I want God to plant His word in my heart, and I want to give Him the opportunity to do it through scripture memorization.  I have started a blog about what I am doing to keep me accountable and also to let other people join in if they are interested.  I would love for you to check it out and join in with me if you feel it is right for you at this time in your life!  There is definitely NO PRESSURE!  If you know of someone else that you think might be interested, just forward them this e-mail.  The more the better!  The link is   Hopefully it all makes sense, but if I have been unclear or you have any questions, please let me know.  To all you sweet teachers, I, as well as several other people I am sure, will be praying for you as you touch the lives of the precious children God has put into your care this year.  Hope you have a great first day!" 
In His Grace,  Kimberly. 
So I went to her blog and checked it out and was so touched I had to share it with you.    I truly believe that "God's word is a mighty, powerful force that equips us to be His light in a fallen world.  In Jeremiah 31:33, God speaks about a new covenant that He will make with His people.  He promises, "I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts."  The 119:11 Project is about claiming that promise.  I want God to write His word on my heart, but I know that I have a part in this process as well.  Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."  God desires to write His word on my heart more than anything, but I have to give Him the opportunity by meditating on His word.   With the help of the Holy Spirit, I want to plant God's word so deep into my heart that His words become my own."
How The 119:11 Project Works

"(First of all, let me give credit where it is due.  The 119:11 Project is modeled off of Beth Moore's scripture memorization team.  You can read more about it on her blog.) 

1.  On every 1st and 15th of the month, I will post a scripture verse that God has used to speak to me on " The 119:11 Project Blog." (See the tab at the top of this page.) 

2.  After my post, I will be meditating on that verse for the next 15 days.  The idea is to do this for one year, and at the end of the year, I will have hidden 24 pieces of God's word deep in my heart.  Now, this is where you come in.

3.  Ecclesiastes 4:12 talks about the power found in a triple-braided cord.  God never meant for us to face this world on our own; that is why He has given us our brothers and sisters in Christ.  I would love for anybody that is willing to join in with me on The 119:11 Project.

4.  If you decide that you want to join in, just post a comment to my original blog (see the tab at the top of this page) and let everyone know the verse, as well as the location in the Bible, you will be meditating on for the next 15 days.  It is helpful to post your translation as well. 

Hints for Memorization
1.  Beth Moore suggests using spiral bound note cards to write down your verses.  One card for each verse.  Spiral bound is great because you  can take them with you everywhere that you go.
2.  Get your family involved.   I started off by speaking my first verse (3 John 1:4) about my daughter and her husband and their new mission venture, she does not even know I am doing this for her. 
3.  You can meditate on your verses ANYWHERE!

Sample Note Card/Post Its
Here is how my first note cards looks:
August 20, 2012

8 Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 1:8
You know I spent my whole life teaching her about missionaries and I have to let God lead her heart and let her go. 

Thank you for taking the time to check out The 119:11 Project! 

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Project 365 - Week 33

What a week.  Between inservice meetings and working in my room the week has flown by and now I wonder if I am really ready for the students to arrive on Monday.  I still have a bulletin board to fix because I never remembered to get my black fabric from the house to get started. I guess I will get there a little early and do it first thing Monday morning.  I don't have early morning duty til September so I will have some time to get it done.  I have a clean room and my first block class books are all assigned and on their desks.  Here is a little glimpse of what my week has been like;

Sunday, August 12th
Susan and I came home from our class reunion and stopped for gas in Ocala, FL.  The Big Daddy Don Garlits museum was behind the gas station so we took a few minutes to stretch our legs.

That is a drag racer on top of the pink marble stand.  My dad used to take me to the drag races when I was a kid.  I loved the likes of Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, and Connie Colletta.  If you have never watched it you need to watch "Heart Like a Wheel."  It is the story of Shirley Muldowney.

Monday, August 13th
Happy Birthday Eric!
Got the desks lined up....for the first of three times....and clean. I am going to have some really large classes this year.  I am lucky though....there are some classes that are huge and will not fit in the classroom.   They are meeting in the auditorium.  We are short teachers this year and all classes are larger than before.  I will be glad to see proration end.  I also miss the days when I took Jill and Kat to school with me and they helped me get ready.  Now they are in their own classrooms getting ready.

Tuesday, August 14th

First Day handouts are done and run.  I am now going through markers and discarding the ones that don't write anymore so I can replace them with new ones.

Wednesday, August 15th
One of our inservices has to do with how to do a successful collaborative project and assess it.  In this example the group of four have to build a rectangle for a porch.  It was so funny to watch.  The men all seemed to stand and discuss what they were doing wrong.  I have built a deck with ASP so I know how to....but I sure was glad my name was not called out.

Thursday, August 16th

Tonight we celebrated Ryden Spiveys first birthday at a Mexican restaurant outside of Wedowee.  The food was great, Ryden was precious and the four girls in the last picture are his mom and her sisters.  The one in the black top, Shelby is the mom and expecting baby number 2 in December.  They live in Virginia where her husband is stationed.  I love these girls.  They are all so unique and such fun.  I am glad we were included in the birthday dinner.  They are having another party on Saturday evening but we will not be able to go.  I am working at a 50th year class reunion for Valley High.  I am taking pictures of everyone as they come in and during the event.

Friday, August 17th
Today I got my quince doll put in her place of honor in my classroom.  Today I finished everything except the bulletin board and my Spanish II pacing chart.  I am as ready as I can be for Monday and excited/  I love the beginning of school.

Saturday, August 18th

The class of '62 had a classic car group bring cars to the parking lot of Sunny's.  It was great seeing cars from my childhood.  I loved these guys and they loved their cars.  The backdrop picture with the three band students is where I took everyones photo.  The band students served as my living mannequins in the picture.  These are the new Valley High band uniforms and the young man in the center is their drum major.  They were all quite dapper.  I had a great night and was glad to get home. It has been a great week and if you want to see what everyone else has been doing then hop over to Sara's blog and check it out.  Have a great week.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Class of 1962

Last night I had the opportunity to shoot some candids of the Valley High School class of 1962 at their 50 year reunion.  It was interesting to me to see how these people have aged.  Last week I was at my own 40 year reunion and 10 years did not make a huge difference in how we looked and how they look.  I loved snapping them as they came in.  I had three Valley High band members that I called my living mannequins that stood in each picture.  I loved shooting these shots.
The reunion was held at Sunny's in the Valley and they room was decorated beautifully by their decoration committee.  Each table had a lovely floral centerpiece, a plate of chocolates, and a sunflower chocolate sucker made by a classmate.

Outside the reunion committee had arranged for a classic car exhibit.  It was awesome to see all the cars of my childhood.

It was a fun night even if I was not part of this class.  They all seemed to have so much fun.  I am glad Emily invited me to take part in this event. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Stretch

So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for over a year hundreds of people join a kind of writing flash mob over here. We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that Lisa-Jo posts here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday.  There is no extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. It is unscripted, unedited, real and sometimes raw.  It started because She’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And she figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.  So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes.
Your words. This shared feast.  It’s easy to join in, just:
  1. Check what the prompt is on my blog.
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
  3. Link over here and invite friends to join in.
  4. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url but your post url }
  5. Using the linky tool at the bottom of my Five Minute Friday post enter your link.
  6. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky.
  7. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!
Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it Five Minute Friday rule: you must link up with Lisa-Jo by clicking here and then visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.  Are you ready to get started?  I know I am.

Today's word is Stretch

I got up this morning and the first thing I did was stretch.  I stuck my leg out from under the warmth of the covers and pointed my toes as far as I could.  I then took my right arm out of the warmth and pointed my finger at the ceiling.  Ummmmm that felt good.  I did not stretch the left side of my body just then.  I waited until I turned the covers away from me totally and quietly so I did not wake up my sleeping husband.  After standing beside the bed and locating my glasses I stretched up on my toes and envisioned myself as a prima ballerina.  Believe me...that is a stretch.  Monday will be the beginning of a long stretch known as the school year.   This whole week, and part of last week,  I have been stretching myself at work trying to improve my lesson plans and classroom to enable my students to learn more effectively.  I have attended many inservices on teaching with video clips, modifying assessments, making assessments count and today I will be learning about bloodborne pathogens, school safety, entering textbooks into INow, and all about Educate Alabama (which is our evaluation program).  I feel like today will be the biggest is the home stretch.  Smiling faced, happy students will enter into the building at 7:45 on Monday and begin to stretch their minds.  I am excited.....and I hope they are.......but that will be a stretch.  Happy Friday to you!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Twist on Breakfast

I am a huge oatmeal fan.  I used to eat it every morning for breakfast...and none of that in a package stuff.  I ate steel cut or Irish oatmeal.  The kind you have to cook for 30 minutes.  Somewhere over the past decade I lost site of oatmeal and when I was so sick back in the spring rediscovered it...because it was all I could keep down.  I especially love it with fruit....blueberries are my favorite.  You can imagine my delight to kind a new twist to my old favorite breakfast food.....oatmeal (and it is good for your cholesterol too).  I had to share this wonderful recipe with you.  It could even be a great dessert.

Blueberry & Raspberry Baked Oatmeal


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I have used the steel cut and Irish for this)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided (I leave these out because I can't have them)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used sugar free)
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 large egg, lightly beaten (I use egg beaters)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup blueberries or raspberries, fresh or frozen, divided


1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, half of the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the syrup, milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
3. Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the berries. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats.
4. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

If you like will love this.  If you have not had oatmeal in a while you might begin to like it again.  I promise you this is a great recipe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Hodge Podge-Vol 90

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Everyone's welcome to play I see you are wondering how.....well all you have to do is answer the questions on your own blog then add your link to the bottom of Joyce's post. The more the merrier!   Here are my answers:

1. Joyce gave us this quote (attributed to William H. Danforth) "The best cure for a sluggish mind is to disturb its routine." When was the last time you 'disturbed your routine' and how'd you do it?  I joined the Rock Mills Fire Dept last night.  It is a volunteer group...and no I don't have any great desire to run into a flaming building.....but I can free up a man to run in by directing traffic and the go-fer jobs.  It was one of my 101 of 1001 things I posted earlier this month.
2. What's your favorite fried food indulgence?
Dixie Crossroads (Titusville, FL) corn fritters.  They are to die for.  Fortunately I don't get them very often....maybe once every couple of years.
3. Did you have an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it? Do you give your own kids an allowance?
I got an allowance as a child.  I had to tithe 10%, and then I saved it to go horseback riding out off of Military Trail.  Once I got my first paying job my allowance ended.   I gave my kids allowances and they had to tithe 10% and then they could spend or save it.  Once they went to work their allowances ceased.
4. What's something you wish you knew more about?
How to play the banjo and the mandolin.....and Photoshop.

5. Is there anything you feel too old to do anymore? If so, what?
Pretty much anything where I might possibly get hurt.  At 58 I have no desire to break any part of my body.
6. What's a song you think has a great first line?
Beautiful by Mercy Me - It has brought me to my knees many times.
"Days will come when you don't have the strength
When all you hear is you're not worth anything"
7. Who are you writing to/for when you create a blog post. In other you write, who is the audience in your head?
I  don't write for any one person all the time.  Each post has its own audience in my head.  I too use the space here to record my (admittedly many) random thoughts about the world today, but also as a place to record family memories and experiences. I write a lot about my take on motherhood and mid life and as crazy as it seems, one day my girls will be 50. I started writing as an avenue when I was dealing with ailing parents and I just needed somewhere to vent.  The blog worked.  I wrote my first few posts while crying like a baby.  I have written journals for years (since the death of my brother) and my blog took it on to the 21st century.  I love writing....and then seeing how people respond to what I have written. 
8. Insert your own random thought here. "Cherish those you have in your life because you never know when they won't be there anymore."  I attended my 40 year class reunion this past weekend and this quote hit home.  My graduating class has lost many friends and I was shocked.  I have not seen many of these people in over 30 years.  Do you go to your school reunions?  Do you go to family reunions? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Item 90 of 101

Several weeks ago I wrote a post of 101 things of 1001 that I want to accomplish before I retire.  Item 90 was to join the local volunteer fire department.  I completed that task last night when I joined the Rock Mills Volunteer Fire Department.  Last nights meeting was a taste testing meeting to try out some new fish for our yearly fish fry.  It was fun sitting with the fire fighters and socializing.  After dinner we had the business meeting.  There were two openings and Keaton and I were put up for them.  The votes were unanimous and after the meeting I had my picture made for my badge and was fitted for gear.  I looked really funny in the coat, boots and red fire hat. Since I am not a man things are gloves are huge, the shoes are too big, and the hat covers my face.  I put my stuff in the trunk of Frank's car where he keeps his stuff.  No...I am not planning to run into a flaming building....but can free up a man to do that by directing traffic and straightening out the hose.  I can also be a go-fer.  I think I want to become certified to drive one of the trucks....of course it will have to be one that is automatic because straight-shifts and I are not friends. I am.... F132.  Look out Rock I come!