Wow! I just found 5.00$!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

There is a reason…

This post was written by my son Andrew

Caedmon’s Call released a song last year named “There is a reason.” The chorus to the song says…

He makes all things goodHe makes all things goodThere’s a time to live and a time to dieA time for wonder and to wonder whyCause there is a reasonThere is a reason

I first heard the song on the radio while driving around for work. It has been on the radio several times when I was upset about different work or life events.

Andrew Peterson is one of my most favorite Christian singer/songwriters. I have had the privilege of seeing him in concert several times and I am always scouring his website for tour dates near (or far?) from Valdosta. Earlier this year, my wife noticed a tour date in Atlanta in July.

The Test Forum is an annual gathering of the test engineers throughout the state. It is held over three days and half of the test engineers come for the first 1.5 days of the conference and the other half come for the last 1.5 days. It is a fun time for gathering, listening to technical presentations, and meeting new people. I was nominated for the committee this year so I was going to be spending the entire week in Stone Mountain, introducing speakers, facilitating activities, and helping with the general set-up/takedown of the event. On the Wednesday, during the conference, I was supposed to begin taking call in Valdosta. My supervisor worked out a schedule whereby I could work through the forum, and then take call beginning Friday afternoon when I got back from Atlanta.

That same Friday, however, was the date of the Andrew Peterson concert in Atlanta. I had thought about asking one of my co-workers to cover for me so I could attend the concert, but never felt like the timing was right, so I was prepared to miss this concert and catch the next one around.

My first thought when I heard that Ben had died was, “I wonder if this how Jesus felt standing in front of the tomb of Lazarus?” I hadn’t spoken with Ben in many years, but I still considered him a friend. I have many fond memories of playing in their backyard or hanging at their house. I was very sad that Ben had passed on.

Due to budget constraints, a week before it was supposed to begin, the Test Forum was cancelled. It was very sad to see our hard work go for nothing. Once we found out that it had been cancelled, one of my co-workers asked if I would trade with them, freeing me for the Andrew Peterson concert and Ben’s funeral. It was neat to see the reason for the cancellation of the forum.

I really enjoyed the Andrew Peterson concert. I always enjoy his concerts because there is a meaning to every one of his songs, and he tells the stories behind the songs.

The funeral was hard, especially the slideshow. One of the songs, during the slideshow, was “There is a reason” by Caedmon’s Call. I enjoyed seeing the Foxes and laughing with them.

I was thankful for the time with Kaitlin and Taylor, thankful for the foxes, thankful that there is a reason, and thankful that there is more.

“All our lives we til the ground, until we lay our bodies down, and watch the sky for rain”

30 more days

I found this over at Katy Braden's Blog. She is a friend of our from AUBURN. I am AUBURN

I am looking forward to football season.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More than we can see, From our tiny vantage point

This was written by Kaitlin for my blog.

“Dan, please tell me you didn’t, you didn’t give the kids a spoon full of peanut butter dip in the sugarbowl?” Lynda says to her husband as he picks up the spoons from the table where we, the kids, set them when we were done.

“We leave you and Carl for just a few hours and you give the kids this?” But then she gave a smile, a wonderful smile, a smile I know too well and that only one person can give. On July 15st 2008 Ben Entwistle went to a place were no tear can brim the eye. I grew up with his family, going to their house almost every Sunday after church.We would read, play outside, play dress up, run around and be kids. The timing of Ben’s US funeral was perfect for me to go. I would fly to Atlanta and then ride with Andrew and Taylor to the funeral. Getting the tickets and meeting up worked out great. I flew to Atlanta and Andrew and my Uncle John picked me up. We ate lunch with the girls and then hung out till the concert. We went to see Andrew Peterson in concert. It was amazing. Weird though.. after about half of his concert he apologized, because he felt like he was playing all his songs that were about friends dying. No way… that is what I needed to hear. These were believers who had died and now were with the Lord in heaven.

We got up on Saturday morning at 6am and drove to NC. We got the funeral at about 1215 and there were tons of people there already. We sat down where they told us too. (there were so many people they were trying to pack as many people in as they could.) I sat by a family who I had never seen before in my life. I was still sporting the pink bracelet that I got down in Bay St. Louis, MS. The mother, leaned over to me and asked me when I had gone to Lagniappe. I was amazed. I stopped for a min before answer cause, how weird was that. I recovered and answered her question. We talked for a few minutes about what their group would be doing and the fun my group had. The families’ son was one of Ben’s roommates.

I have been to my share of funerals and I hate more then anything when people say… “o don’t cry, they have gone on to a better place and they are happier now” I hate that so much, cause yes I know that they are happy and in a better place but I still miss them and I want them back with me right here. This funeral was not like this, I had the freedom to cry through the whole thing. The service started and the whole thing was amazing. To be totally honest I don’t remember much of it. There was a slideshow of Ben and his life and I could see the pictures of when they lived here. I recognized their house and the sofa that was in their house here and the ages of the kids. The whole service was very good. We sang some song and there was a sermon. After the service was over the pastor had people stand from the different places that Ben had been. There were about 20 people from their mission work in Africa and RVA, there were about 20 to 25 kids from Covenant college and about 30 people from other places, plus peoplef rom their home town and home church and about four rows of family. After Dan and Lydia had left the service the pastor had the people who needed to leave right away and the people who had to drive a long way, go hug them first. I looked at Andrew and asked should we wait, he said yes. So we waited. We stood in a line for about an hour waiting to hug and speak to Dan and Lynda. We were standing in line with Tom and Kim Fox. We laughed and had some good conversations that helped make the line go fast and also the thought about seeing Dan and Lynda not as gloomy. We stepped in the room and saw them and hugged. It was nice to see them and be able to hug them. They looked so tired. They need our prayers. After seeing them I was done. Done for the day, I could not think, I could not function other then getting some food and then going to bed. We walked out of there and I felt better though, tired and sad, but better. I needed to go. I needed to see the family and hear the stories and be there for them, even in my small way.

We got in the car and drove about 40 minutes and stopped and ate at a steak house. We all ordered appetizers, and salads, and main dishes. Then we went and walked around a mall. We just walked and looked, not really talking, not even really thinking about what we had just been through. We decided not to drive the whole way back to Atlanta. We stopped and got a hotel and we all slept really well. We woke up on Sunday and drove back to Uncle Johns house. We ate lunch and then Andrew and Taylor left. At 415 Uncle John and Aunt Elaine took me to the airport. My flight went out at 744. It was delayed and went out at 844. I got home and was so glad to be there. I came right home and got in the bed.

These are my favorite lines from an Andrew Peterson song.

There is more
More than all this pain
More than all the falling down
And the getting up again
There is more
More than we can see
From our tiny vantage point
In this vast eternity
There is more

The title is “more” and it talks about how this is not the end, there is more. So in the future I will be with the whole family again. There is more than the pain of death and loss. In Glory we will hangout together again and eat more peanut butter and sugar,and then we won’t worry about what it is doing to ourcholesterol.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Salute to all the Military Wives!

Please read this post from Annie Ferguson.

Here's to you, Annie and to Anne the Palm Tree Pundit, Blessings upon your day and Thanks

Ethnology at the airport

Last evening Marisa and I went to the airport to get Kaitlin. Kaitlin went to the funeral for Ben Entwistle this past weekend.

Kaitlin's plane was late leaving Atlanta (imagine that- the reason I say that is I have read that whether you are going to Heaven or Hell you have to change plans in Atlanta- It is a busy place) so Marisa and I waited in this new to me area at the LR airport. The LR airport has maybe 15 gates so I think of it as small. Instead of having everyone waiting on someone to deplane, stand just outside of security, they have made a seating area, just before the baggage claim. The areas are very near each other. In the little seating area is a big TV monitor, the camera for this monitor is just before the passengers get to a non-secure place so you can see them to know your party is approaching.

Marisa and I sat in the little seating area where there are about 20 tables with chairs. We enjoyed our people watching time. Along with watching those folks who were waiting with us we also enjoyed watching those deplaneing and if someone caught our eye we could get a better look when they got to us in person ie the lady with a shaved head except these two longs pieces in the front and it was dyed BLOND but she was wearing Chacos. Marisa was thinking she look pretty weird but then the Chacos put her in the 'maybe she is cool' category.

We tried to pick the seasoned travelers by their shoes ie slip ons and those that had flown the first time ie the glad to be on ground look in their eyes. We tried to pick out relationships ie the husband with the child and her mother coming to pick her up from a trip- Can you tell we were there for an hour?

At 8:33 I got a text from Kaitlin letting me know she was on the ground in LR. Marisa walked up the stairs so she could hug her the minute she got through security. I waited at the table because I didn't know how long I could stand. I was trying to prepare myself for seeing Kaitlin on the TV monitor. I could see myself crying out THERE SHE IS !!!! and then all those who I thought looked unusual would know that I was. I felt the urge to scream move up into my throat as I saw her but my inner hand grabbed it and I was held in check. I calmly got up, threw away my trash and met the girls.

Reunions are wonderful.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's great to be an AUBURN tiger!

This is my SEC football schedule for 2008. It is 3 foot by 4 foot. It is hanging on the wall in the den. Andrew made it for me. It is laminated too. He sent me several smaller copies. Today I gave one to Kristi, my hair dresser and to Michael, my physical therapist both are HUGE sports fans. They were thrilled.

There are 34 days until college football starts. I am so excited.

Where do you have your huge conference schedule in your house? For you purist, you will see that the GA Tech schedule is at the bottom. Andrew made it such that he could give one to his boss also. He graduated from Tech.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

White Bread, Mayo and salt are a must

This is one of my favorite parts of summer. Yum Yum

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Being Married to an Engineer

For all of you who have the privilege to be married to an engineer you know they are a different breed. Here is a recent episode in our lives that I am sure you can relate too.

In May our DSL was down for a week. This only happens when Carl is gone. If you know the drill you call a certain number and you are sent to someone in India. Kaitlin and I both had trouble understanding what they were telling us but we stayed with it for HOURS and did all they asked us to do but to no avail. I called back the next day - same thing lots of questions have you plugged this in? restart you computer? etc etc etc, but no success. By this time, Carl knew it was their problem because the land line still worked. I called again and got someone in the US who said they would have our problem fixed by Friday. FRIDAY- that was three days away.

Kaitlin , Marisa and I would meet out so we could check facebook, blogs and message all our peeps. I felt like we were drug addicts getting our fix.

ON Friday the phone rang and this voice said " Ma'am you should have your DSL back." I ran to the computer and there was the magic green light on, I screamed, Kaitlin and Marisa and I did a dance and we all cheered now mind you the man is still on the phone. We all thanked him profusely, said goodbye and all got on the Internet. I sent Carl a text saying WE HAVE INTERNET. his response- What was the problem? I'm thinking " What was the problem , who cares?" Carl did. I told him that I didn't ask because I was too busy celebrating but if it happened again I would ask.

Early in July the DSL went out. We realized this before Carl had to go out of town so he made the initial call. They were to call back the next day. Carl knew from his checking that again, it was their problem. When they called the next day I answered all their question again. They said they would sent someone out on Thursday. When Thursday arrived the repair man knocked on the door. He needed to see all the phone line connections we had in the house. He checked them all out and was impressed with how they were all installed and grounded. "That would be my husband" I said. " And when you find out the problem, I need to know what it is , for my husband"

The man called 10 minutes later, he had found the problem down the road a piece. He had had to replace the 'channel unit card'. I wrote that down. As we were all busy getting connected to all out peeps, I sent Carl a text. WE HAVE INTERNET. The message I get back. What was the problem. Ha, this time I was ready. He had to replace the 'channel unit card' Next text, Where? I was ready. About 2 miles down the road on the back of such and such building. Carl was satisfied.

I think the repairman was impressed with Carl and his interest in the DSl. He gave me his phone number and said that we are to call him if we have anymore problems! Sweeet


Andrew and I laughed at the information being put out by the Chinese government about the Olympics: Should you be kidnapped by terrorists at next months olympics, you should stay calm, don't panic and text the police.

Andrew's comment- We are talking about the people who successfully captured airplanes and flew them into buildings and my best hope is that they forget to take my cel phone?

Friday, July 18, 2008

I never knew it was there.

I usually send cards of encouragement with my children when they go to camp. I, for some reason, didn't for this trip to Lagniappe. So on Monday as they began their day I sent out a text message with a Bible verse. I got rave reviews so I continued each day. I got most of the verses from my daily Bible reading.

Today, no verse jumped off the page at me from the readings. I looked in the index in the back of my Bible under Building. I looked up a few verses until I came to Hebrews 3:3-4. I was stunned. I never remember reading this verse before today.

For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses- as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor that the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

The Word of God is just amazing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

They were all wearing masks

Tonight I was sitting in the den. John was in the living room playing his new video game. I saw a family of raccoons climbing a tree- mama, daddy and 5 children. I loudly called to John to come quick. I heard the video controller hit the floor and then he appeared next to me with the fly spatter in hand. He thought I had seen something alive and in the house. I am a well cared for mama.

We had a great time watching the raccoons. John got out the video camera and shot some video to show the girls when they get home. I view this animals as pests but the girls think they are cute. I don't think cute things get into your trash and leave it everywhere. As John and I watched them climb up and down the tree, I banged on the window. The babies, who were almost to the ground, flew back up the tree. The mother turned and gave me the stink eye. I think she was thinking " You just wait and see what I do with your trash now" It will probably be outside my bedroom window when I wake up in the morning. Oh well, It was fun to see them run up the tree.

Are those goats? Yes, they are!

Kaitlin, of course, has a camera with her. Here are some pictures of the mission trip.

Carl, please don't take me to Costa Rica

In this week without Kaitlin, Marisa and Carl I've had as my project, Taylor and Andrew's wedding scrapbook. I sat most of Tuesday and Wednesday but my spirit is feeling better today.

I have told A and T that I am working on their scrapbook. I asked them if they had any pictures or items that they wanted me to include and could they send them to me.

Today I got a package from them. They saved a nice assortment of postcards and receipts for the scrapbook. As I was reading through to see what I could use I came across this little item on an info sheet they received from the resort they stayed at in Costa Rica...

Costa Rica has an abundance of "wildlife" that comes in all sizes... from spiders (scorpions and tarantulas) to coyotes to panthers to snakes (rattlers, vipers) so be aware of your surroundings. If you need help, just scream loudly and someone will assist you...Or, if you are brave there is a can of "Raid" in your closet.

Now I'm thinking that nothing on that list will be affected by a can of raid unless I get it right in the eyes of the coyote or panther and I don't think even James Bond could get it in their eyes if he were running like I would be doing. I would not be brave. I would be screaming.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We know that our Redeemer lives

I am still reeling from the loss of Ben, as is my family. I feel like I am moving in quick-sand. I am so thankful that John is home with me and not on the mission trip. I am thankful for all my friends that have called to check on me.

Andrew sent this to me in a text. It is from the Shorter Catechism-

The souls of believers are at their deaths made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory, and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves til the resurrection.

Amen and Amen

Shorter Gas lines!

Here is the bright side to our current economy situation 10 reasons to love a recession

The Power behind the power

Here is an uplifting article. Josh Hamilton

Hat tip to Andrew

Ben is Healed

I got this email this morning from Dan's dad. Life is just hard sometimes but God is Good and in control.

Dear Family and Friends,

We just had a call from Dan in South Africa. He reported that Ben did really well for the first 3 1/2 hours of the flight. Then, his heart developed problems. The team on the plane did everything possible to revive Ben, but the pulse stopped and nothing could be done. The plane had been on the ground about 20 minutes when Dan called. He was still at the plane and trying to determine what to do. He really has no one in South Africa to turn to for help. He needs immediate prayer for wisdom and he desperately needs God's presence and strength. Judy found this wonderful verse in Psalm 54:4. "Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one that sustains me." We are praying this for Dan and Lynda and for the dear children. We are also claiming it for our entire family.

At times like this it is so wonderful to have Jesus, whose eye is on the sparrow. We know He is greiving with us. He has not failed. Once again life has triumphed over death. We have total confidence that Ben is 100% well and we will see him again. God is good all the time and even Ben's passing comes through His loving hand.

If any reading this message do not know the Lord or has wandered from Him, we plead with you to come to Him. At such times in life, there is nothing like knowing that one's sins are forgiven and that Jesus is able to present us faultless before the Throne of Grace. That is what He has done for Ben. He has done it because He loves Ben, not because Ben deserved it. Oh what comfort we have despite the tears.

Our family wants to thank all of you who have prayed us through this time of pain. Your messages have brought solace and encouragement. We have felt the love of literally thousands and have thanked God over and over again that we are part of the family of God.

To God be the glory!

Monday, July 14, 2008

His eye is on the Sparrow

When we lived in Pine Bluff and drove an hour to church, there were a few homes that were always open for us on Sundays. We generally stayed in LR all day. Dan and Lynda's was one of those homes. They had four children at the time. We spent many happy hours there and often they would come down and see us too. They moved to NC and then onto Africa and the mission field. I have no idea how long they have been gone because when we are together we just start right up again where we left off with the last visit. When they have been home to the US on furlough they have been able to stay with us and that has been wonderful.

Their oldest son, Ben, who is 20, had a stroke on Friday. He had a heart valve replaced 4 years ago and now it seems that some vegetation (bacteria) has been around the valve and broke off and got to the brain. He is in Africa. They wanted to bring him to the US for surgery but his condition became too unstable. He needs heart surgery again. He is being flown to South Africa now. They hope to do surgery there or at least get him stable.

My heart is heavy. This could be John.

I am glad that God is not surprised by these events. I am glad that He loves Ben even more than his parents do. To God be the Glory

Grace, It's free for you and me

Marisa, Kaitlin and Carl left, on Saturday morning, with 27 other from our church to go to Bay St. Louis, MS and help with Katrina rebuilding. They are bases out of Jean Larroux' s church Lagniappe ( pronounced lan-yap) Presbyterian. Lagniappe means a little something extra or free like Grace.

Today at 5:17am I got a text from Kaitlin. She had on her Iowa tee shirt, shorts and tennis shoes and she was headed to the kitchen to help cook breakfast.

Carl is working on roofing as is Marisa.

I am praying for safety and unity for the group.

Yesterday, during free time a group drove to New Orleans. It is about an hour away. Carl, Kaitlin and one other are the only ones out of the group of 14 that had ever been there. They drove down town and had beignets.

I really miss them.

John and I are here. John rented some movies for us to watch. Vantage Point and Behind Ememy Lines are two that I have watched with him so far. They really get your heart pumping because of the action. I may need to watch Pollyanna or something calmer soon.

Sheryce came over today and curled my hair because my hairdressers are gone. I am blessed with wonderful friends.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It means- a little something extra

I added a new blog to my blog roll just a minute ago. It is the blog for Lagnaippe Church. Carl, Marisa and Kaitlin plus about 20 others from church are going to do work there next week. I am hoping to see pictures of them up there. Please pray for team unity and that in all they do they will bring Glory to God.

Hat tip to Andrew for this blog


A fun and moving story sent to me by Andrew.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hide it under a bushel, NO!

I am standing amazed at the exceedingly, abundantly, moreness of God- Eph 3:20-21.

We are listening to a series from Tim Keller in our College and Career group. I highly recommend all his messages. He gets you thinking. The message last night was on "How can there be a God with all the suffering in the World?" I'll search around and see if I can find a link for you. It was a wonderful message. It was encouraging. We do not know all the reasons that God has for what we go through but one thing we can hold on to is 'For His Glory'

When I helped Corrie in February, I did it because I love her and she needed me. Corrie brought me a note last night from her mama. Here it is

Dear Ellen and Family,
This is a little thank you for being Corrie's "Mommy" especially when she had her accident. And you should know, it was quite the testimony to various non-Christian family members, they were astonished I didn't fly right down there (I couldn't actually) and I explained that her church family was so 'on it' that one lady actually beat her to the hospital! Thank you, Ellen. The were amazed that Christians do that for each other, when Corrie has only been in Little Rock for a year. So your witness travels far...
Love in our Saviour, Debbie

And I thought I was only going to help a friend in need not give a testimony to non- believers. We never know how God can use what we are going through. May this give us courage today.

The world is watching. I am praying that I show them Jesus today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More pictures soon

I was not ready to get in the car and come home.

When we got home the Internet was out and just got back online this afternoon. Here are some thoughts and stories about our vacation.

Money is one of six children. All were there this year. That doesn't happen often. If we were all together we were a party of 36. We took pictures on the beach... all of us. We drew a crowd just watching us take pictures. We had different groupings, like the girl cousins then the boy cousins and then all the cousins. The cousins are heavy on boys and for the longest we just had three girl cousins with nine boy cousins. Now we have 5 girls and 10 boys. We had the different families, we had those that had married into the family and we had lots of Grandma and her six children.

Jeremy wanted to build a sand castle. He had molds and a plan and got to work on it. Larry and I sat in out chairs watching him. This man on the beach was also watching. He confronted Jeremy and told him that sand castles was the leading cause of death for children on the beach. Jeremy politely sat down until the crazy man left and then built a HUGE one. He got help from all the cousins. It was so big that folks stopped and took pictures of it.

After we talked about folks stopping to look at us as we took pictures, we stood on our balcony and watched a wedding on the beach. I guess we are all rubberneckers.

Kaitlin and I watched the sunrise one morning from our balcony.

Marisa plays a car game called the Yellow Car game. She even has rules: no work trucks, no playing on Sunday, cars in a car lot don't count etc. I have been aware of the playing of this game for awhile. Even Marisa agreed that the Yellow Car capital is in North Carolina. It is unreal how many cars we saw. Now that I've said this you look for yellow cars and see if you see lots.

Alan realized that it is easier for the cousins to say goodbye because they are so connected with face book chat etc.

I read three books. Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews, The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love by Joan Medicott and the third... I can't remember the name. I gave it to Elaine to read and it's name escapes me. All were good escapism. Nothing from my TBR list, oh well!

We stopped at the Atlanta Aquarium on our way home. John loves marine life. Marisa had never been to one. She got to pet a shark, ray and an sea anemone. (I think that is how you spell it) Kaitlin loves otters and we got to see Sea and River ones play. The Atlanta Aquarium has 4 whale sharks. This is the largest fish. We got to sit in front of a LARGE tank and watch whale sharks, hammerheads, leopard rays and a plethora of other fish. It was just amazing. John thanked us the entire way home.

I told Money that when we retire I want to spend a month at the beach. I love to watch it, smell it and hear it.

I plan to work on my scrapbook soon!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What letter are you?

I have the smartest family.  You know from previous posts that Kailtin loves glow stick pictures.  Well, this is what you get when you have 14 Monroes working together on the beach at 10 pm.  A hat tip to Carl, Alan, Meredith, Andrew, Taylor, Lydia, Sarah, Kaitlin, Marisa, Alex, Thomas, William, John, and Robert.  I am impressed.  I was sitting in a camping chair with Renee and I pushed the shutter button. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

All together

A Monroe tradition is to vacation at the beach. Right now we are at the beach in NC. In the past we have rented houses, condos, and this year we are mostly in a motel. This motel is fun because every room has an ocean view. Raymond's family is in a house about a mile from us. We rented motel umbrellas and chairs. We get up in the morning and they are set up waiting on us.

Carl has 4 brothers and one sister. All the extended family is here except one grandson. When we go out to eat we are Monroe party of 35. We are celebrating Carl's mama's 80 birthday tomorrow. She will be like the Queen of England this year and have two birthdays- one the day she was born and another one when she'll have her celebration.

Today we spent lots of time at the ocean.

Lots of fun memories.

I feel sorry for families that are here with just their small family. When we are together we always have someone to visit with or go into the water with or go back tothe motel with. What a blessing.

I hope to have pictures soon.


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