Friday, September 30, 2011

Poor Dying Blog

***tap tap tap***

Is anyone still out there?  Probably not, since I have unfortunately not updated my blog in almost :::gasp::: two years!

I have, however, started another blog to share my vegan journey and recipes.  Follow me there and I promise to try to do much better.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday in Nicaragua

Excerpts from my journal:

We arrived in Managua last evening at 9 p.m.  The ride from Managua to Diriamba took over an hour through crazy traffic and running red lights.  We were told it was "better not to look."  Our driver took us at top speed up winding roads into the mountains with the Pacific Ocean to our right and Lake Nicaragua to our left.  Not that we could see anything.  It was pitch black.  I could only compare the drive to the old Disney attraction, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!

View Larger Map

Everyone was asleep when we arrived at the mission house, so I used my flashlight to go into the bathroom and change, then get myself up to a top bunk, as all the lower ones were taken.  Between fear of falling off, fear of SNORING and waking someone up, and FREEZING (it was hot when we arrived - I only took a sheet as my covers for that night, then the wind started to blow - hard), I didn't get much sleep.

Our morning started before 5:30 with showers, then breakfast.  Today's task was to sort toys, clothing, and personal hygiene items for the children.

There was a LOT of stuff!  Many suitcases filled with items.  (BTW, we left the States with two suitcases of deflated soccer balls - 50 in one, 25 in another.  When we pumped them up, we had 150.  I like God's math!)

We started making gift bags to be given away during the week.  The team who had arrived on Friday had already bagged up thousands of pounds of beans and rice.  (Final tally:  10,300 pounds of rice and beans.)

We were also invited to participate in a graduation ceremony at the school Nicaraguan Christian Outreach helped build.  The ceremony was very sweet and included children graduating from both primary and secondary classes.  The buildings themselves would be considered extremely primitive by American standards, but the children and teachers were very proud of their facility.

After going back to the house to work for a few more hours, we went walking down the road quite a way, then off onto dirt paths.

The cinder block houses were quite small, one of the larger ones was perhaps the size of our school room in our house, and the translator told us there were 9 people living there.

The kitchen was a little lean-to attached to one side.  Outdoor toilet.  No water or plumbing in the house, but there was a refrigerator, one bare light bulb, and a tiny TV!

The children are so beautiful and are grateful for whatever we had - balls, candy, Mardi Gras beads (those were popular with the women of all ages!) and the adults were so thankful for the large bags of beans and rice.  They were so gracious and invited us into their homes.

I was so touched by what I saw, but so frustrated by my lack of ability to communicate.  Oh, to tell them how Christ loves them and that they are not forgotten by their Father in Heaven.  I will learn Spanish before I return.  That will be my #1 goal for 2010.

Friday, December 4, 2009

He Gives Us Our Heart's Desire

This past summer, our church's women's ministry had a summer Bible study that also included our junior high and high school girls.  It was fun to participate in a Bible study with my girls.  This was unlike any Bible study I had ever done before where you read a passage and expound on the meaning.  This one was personal.  What is God saying to YOU?  What dreams and desires has God placed in YOU?  Things like that.  AND it included scrapbooking!  You know I loved that part!  

The first lesson was on dreams - the dreams God has placed on your heart.  Few people outside my family knew that one of the dreams nearest to my heart was missions.  Scrapbooking that page was EASY.

I even wrote a little letter to include in my page - it was a letter to God.  A prayer, really.  And I, again, reminded God of this dream, one I feel He placed in my heart more than a dozen years ago.

That was back in the summer.  Fast forward to November 22nd.  Our church was having a newcomer's dinner.  I had no reason to be there.  I'm not a newcomer.  I'm not a pastor or ministry leader.  I'm not a member of the cooking team.  But for some reason, that morning I offered my assistance for that night.  I arrived at 3 p.m. since Brooke had to be there for the youth worship band practice.  The other volunteers and I set up the tables pretty quickly, then we stood around talking, waiting for closer to the time of the dinner to bring in the food.  Out of the blue, I told my pastor, in the middle of a bunch of people, "Pastor Jay, do you know what I want to do more than anything?  I want to go on a missions trip..."  A lady whom I had never met quietly says, "I'm going to Nicaragua in three weeks and there are two more spots for ladies.  Come with me!"  I started crying, as did most of the people around me.  So many reasons why I couldn't go - I had just gone on vacation to Washington, DC and surely couldn't get more time off work - I didn't have a passport - and, most importantly, I didn't have the money.  But the people around me assured me this was God - and that He would open all the doors.

The next day, my boss approved the time off, saying, "How can you miss this opportunity?"  Two days later, we booked plane tickets, still not sure where the money would come from.  The next day, all the money was there, a gift from my Heavenly Father, wrapped with a bow!  Then the following week, my mother-in-law, my girls, and I drove to New Orleans and got my expedited passport.  I was on my way to Nicaragua!

Our church had been collecting pajamas for needy children in our community, but they decided to send the first 100 pair (or as many as they had collected so far) to Nicaragua with me.  Arriving one day before me were 107 pair of PJs, courtesy of Journey Church.

It took me about four hours to roll 90 pair of PJs and stuff them into one suitcase.  The remaining 17 were in Judy's, Carl's, and my suitcases.

This dream I had dreamed for so long was becoming a reality.  I knew when God placed this dream in my heart that my mission field for that time was in my home, raising my children, who were little at the time.  But this dream, this desire had never waned over the years.  Rather, with the help of Sonlight Curriculum, it probably strengthened.  My girls and I would read about different countries and their needs, especially for the Gospel.  We would pray for different people groups and cities and countries around the globe.  I had gone in my prayers.  I had gone in my heart.  Now my feet and hands were going to go.  God is so good.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

That's All for Football!

Today was Morgan's last football game of the season.  I took off work so I could attend.  Since her games are on weeknights - and I work every weeknight - I missed most of them.

She has had so much fun.  Now begins Basketball Season.  Oh boy!

What a sweet bunch of girls!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

She's Alive!!!

I'm sorry, dear blog readers.  I have been so terribly neglectful of my blog and I do apologize.  (Tap, tap, tap)  Hello?  Is anyone there?  Hello? 

When last I left you, I was planning a tea party in honor of Tasha Tudor's birthday.  The tea went off quite nicely.  When reviewing my photos afterwards, I discovered I didn't take any pictures of the food.  Very sad.  It was very good. 

Tasha Tudor Tea Menu

Herbed Quiche
Raspberry Cream Cheese Sandwiches
Lemon Ginger Scones
Dried Cherry Scones
Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing and Pound Cake Croutons
Lavender Honey Biscotti
Orange Curd Bars


River Shannon Irish Breakfast
Citron Oolong
Blackberry Fig

The big tea hit was the Blackberry Fig, which I ordered from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants.  It was delicious!!! 

Here are some highlights of the morning.  

This is the "under 18" table.  There was sure a lot of giggling going on.  I suppose that means they had a good time. 

Brooke Nicole.  Are you behaving yourself? 

Who?  Me?  Of COURSE I am!  Why would you think otherwise, Mother Dear?

I thought so, Brooke.  You are always the epitomy of grace and decorum.   

The grownups had less giggling, but lots of great conversation and fun!  AND, most importantly, we ate!  And drank loads of tea.

After the party, Stewart decided he wanted some tea.

Tea is not for kitties, Stewart.  How about just a teeny bit of cream.  This is a rare treat! 

Kallie didn't want to be left out, of course.

Of course, after the cream, Kallie needed a nap.  I'm SO glad my cats are obedient to the "no cats on the table" rule.  :::sigh:::

 I enjoyed hosting my first tea. I can't wait to do the next one!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Tasha Tudor Tea

I unfortunately did not discover Tasha Tudor until my girls were too "big" for her books. I plan on adding them to my collection to enjoy with my future grandbabies. I admire Tasha's art, her simple way of living, her love for a life lived slowly, yet fully. She was definitely a woman born out of her era. She loved the 1830's and harkened to recreate her own little slice of the 1830's in the woods in Vermont.

Clarice at Storybook Woods is hosting this little blog celebration. Hop on over to her blog and see what it's all about. I am so excited about having this tea with my friends on her birthday. Would you like to join me?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Love, Conditionally.

I am so loved by my kitties. They love me so much that when I work, they sacrifice comfort to be near me.

Stewart, obviously reminding me to add cat food to the shopping list.

They just can't stand to be far away. Generally I have one cat sleeping on one side of my L-shaped desk and another cat on another side.

Stewart and Libby sleeping on the uncomfortable desk. Suffering for my sake.

If I open my lower desk drawer to get my reference book out, that is an open invitation for a cat to jump in and warm that cold, lonely drawer. Holding the place for the book, you know.

Libby looks so sweet when she is sleeping.

Kallie is behind me on the school table. (That table, BTW, was a steal from Pottery Barn for $124. It was a floor model and they didn't have the leaf. It fits perfectly in my school room/office and the black/distressed finish matched my desk.)

Kallie is making sure Morgan's puzzle pieces don't jump off the table and run away. She's right behind my desk. You know, in case I need her to drink the left-over milk in the bowl after the cereal is all gone. Helpful, that's what she is.

The nearness of my cats is because they love me so much and is not influenced at all by the little special surprises in my desk drawer. No, that couldn't be it. Could it?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Punkin Goes to Alabama

Once upon a time, there was a young horse named Punkin who lived with a young girl named Marcie. Punkin learned how to run barrels. Marcie learned how to run barrels. They loved each other and had so much fun together.

After a few years, Marcie grew up and went to college. Her parents sold Punkin to someone who had more time to ride. But Marcie never forgot Punkin and missed her terribly.

Punkin then went to live with someone else who let her run barrels and poles and encouraged her to go really fast. But Punkin never forgot Marcie and missed her terribly.

After more years went by, Punkin came to live with the "C" family. Joshua rode Punkin and she went really fast because she loved Joshua - and running fast. Joshua took Punkin to many horse shows, including AQHA Youth World, where she went to the finals. Joshua loved Punkin very much and she loved him.

Then Joshua grew up and became more interested in girls and cars. Little Morgan started riding Punkin. At first, Punkin was too fast for Morgan, but Punkin was a smart horse and grew to know just how fast Morgan needed to go. Morgan loved Punkin and Punkin loved Morgan. But Punkin never forgot Marcie.

Punkin grew older and could no longer compete. Morgan still loved Punkin, but her life outside of riding became busier and busier. She loved Punkin so much she wanted her to be happy. And Morgan thought Punkin would be happier living with Marcie. And Morgan knew Marcie would be thrilled to have Punkin living with her again.

So Morgan had her mom make a call to Marcie. And early in July, Marcie came to pick up Punkin to bring her back home to Alabama.

But Morgan never forgot Punkin and loved her forever because she was the best horse a little girl could ever ask for. Just ask Marcie.

The End.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


We have had quite a busy summer! One reason I have been so neglectful of my poor blog.

The month started with the girls and me volunteering at our church's first ever spa night! We had so much fun pampering all the ladies. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law helped out as well. When it was all said and done and the church cleaned back up, we needed a pedicure and a massage ourselves!

This is the only picture I have. Sorry it's so tiny. Morgan and Connie are helping out at the paraffin wax table. (Actually, I think Morgan is getting her own paraffin treatment!)

Then the girls volunteered to help with VBS. They had SO much fun! The youth girls were used for all the songs. Our theme was Crocodile Dock - quite appropriate for South Louisiana. (Again, sorry the photo is so tiny. It is the only one I have.)

I had scrapbook class in my "Upper Room" again. We have so much fun in our very own space!

I'll have to post pictures of the layout later. I need to go up there and take pictures of the recent layouts.

Morgan went to the beach with her BFF Gina. They had so much fun. Their lives have been so busy lately, they haven't seen much of each other. It was wonderful for them to reconnect.

These girls have been best friends since before Kindergarten. What lovely young ladies they have become!
So, there's our June in a nutshell. Busy, busy, busy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

What is it?

For my birthday, my mother-in-law gave me a sweet little teapot. Wanna see it? It's here in this box.

Hey! That's no teapot! That's a stink-pot! Kallie knows the table is a no-no!

But she's not "on" the table, she's "in" a box! Cats can be just as legalistic as kids sometimes!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Birthday Celebration

Birthdays are a big deal with my in-laws. My mother-in-law always throws a big family birthday party for each person's birthday, complete with a special meal, cake, and presents. Even though it's more than a week after the fact, this was my day!

Steve and me on the front porch before we walked over to my mother-in-law's. He looks thrilled, doesn't he? :::grin:::

Morgan and me. She smiled a little nicer than Steve. Now, off for BBQ!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cats and Dogs

Doing a little filing. What "cat-a-gory" should this be filed under? :::snort:::

Someone left the file drawer open just a teeny bit and Libby thought it would be a good place for a snooze. She scared me - I didn't know she was in there until I went to shut the drawer!

And a very shaggy Cosette was giving her toy quite a workout today. Cosette usually doesn't play with toys, but today was an exception.

She thought it was a pretty tasty toy! Love that tongue!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Time for Another Episode....

...of "Name That Bug."

What IS this weird thing? It was enormous, too! Probably at least 3-4"! And it was very aggressive. See it raising that.....whatsit.....and it had big pinching mouthparts!

Do YOU know what this is?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Scrappy Birthday to Janet!

My friend, Janet, turned 40 this year and decided to throw herself a big birthday bash! She set up a private crop at a local scrapbook store, invited her friends, and had it catered by La Madeline's. Yum!

Janet, Linda, me, Elen, Heather, and Cheryl
We had SO much fun, even though I didn't get the first page done in the entire 8 hours I was there. Yes, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. I didn't do one single little page. Not even a card. Not even a bookmark! But I had a BLAST!

Arianna, Janet, and Angie check out Arianna's pages.

Elen and Heather are hard at work!

Laura and Connie, cutting up - in more ways than one!

What better way to celebrate 40 great years than with good friends, good food, and scrapbooking!