Wow! I just found 5.00$!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our Best Days Are Still Ahead of Us in Heaven

We had a marriage conference at our church this weekend. The guest speakers were Guy and Denise Richardson. Here are some of their thoughts from the weekend for us to all ponder

-most divorces occur in the 3rd, 13th or 23rd year.
-most are a result of not a major blow out but a slow leak
-we should never even joke about getting a divorce
-there are no perfect people and no perfect marriages
-if both of you think the exact same way then one of you is not needed
-the way I feel controls most of what I do therefore I need to think God's thoughts after him Is 26:3, Phil 2:5. II Tim 1:7
-jealously is a result of the fear of losing
-men think of the engagement/ marriage as an end while women think of it as a beginning
-we have an internal dictionary that is made up of things we have seen or heard in our home. we come to our marriages with this dictionary and it is different from our spouses. We need to talk about our dictionaries so that our spouses will be clued in to why certain things bother us or mean a great day to us ie One lady said her husband didn't love her because he never took the trash out, her daddy loved her mama and he always took the trash out and her mama never even had to ask.
-your home needs to be an emotional safe place, you should be free to share and not worry that your 'old' mistakes will always be brought up again and again. no one shares their heart with the judge.
-if you expect perfection from your family members and your goal is perfect or nothing, you will get nothing every time.
-empathize before you advise
-build your family members up to their faces and behind their backs
-happy children come form homes where their parents love each other
-men get a great sense of satisfaction out of crossing things off their to-do list, they need to learn to 'waste' time with their families
-Fathers - your family is playing Follow the Leader
-lead your family don't manage it, leadership requires personal example and involvement
-don't make your family responsible for your emotions- You make me so mad- Mark 7:15-what is on the outside doesn't make me unclean
-Biblical love doesn't come automatically, we need to be trained
-we need to give verbal appreciation for daily responsibilities that are done, this appreciation is a lubrication for our homes
-the only one you can change is you but you can make it easier for others to change.
-use words to communicate not your tone
-pick your fights-save your bullets
-don't ever tell your children you want them to be happy, happiness is a by product not something to strive for
-anger is always attached to control
-our job is to build a crown over our children's heads and then help them to grow into it- have vision
-everyday keep on choosing the mate your chose on your wedding day, in doing this we are showing a picture of God Eph 1:4
-our goal is to be with our spouse until we place them into the arms of Jesus
-know that the end game is Glory and our best days are still ahead of us in Heaven

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Good Laugh

I read this last night in my January Reader's Digest. I laughed until I cried and then told it to Kaitlin and Marisa and we laughed again. I hope you enjoy!

If the Boot Fits, Wear It By Trish Sinclair

It was the first snow of winter—an exciting day for every child but not for most teachers. Up until now, I had been able to dress myself for recess, but today I would need some help. Miss Finlayson, my kindergarten teacher at Princess Elizabeth School near Hamilton, Ontario, had been through first snow days many times in her long career, but I think she may still remember this one.
I managed to get into my itchy wool snow pants. But I struggled with my jacket because it didn't fit well. It was a hand-me-down from my brother, and it made me wonder why I had to wear his ugly clothes. At least my hat and matching scarf were mine, and they were quite pretty. Finally it was time to have Miss Finlayson help me with my boots. In her calm, motherly voice she said, "By the end of winter, you will all be able to put on your own boots."I didn't realize at the time that this was more a statement of hope than of confidence.
I handed her my boots and stuck out my foot. Like most children, I expected the adult to do all the work. After much wiggling and pushing, she managed to get the first one into place and then, with an audible sigh, worked the second one on too.
I announced, "They're on the wrong feet."With the grace that only experience can bring, she struggled to get the boots off and went through the joyless task of putting them on again. Then I said, "These aren't my boots, you know."As she pulled the offending boots from my feet, she still managed to look both helpful and interested. Once they were off, I said, "They're my brother's boots. My mother makes me wear them, and I hate them!"Somehow, from long years of practice, she managed to act as though I wasn't an annoying little girl. She pushed and shoved, less gently this time, and the boots were returned to their proper place on my feet. With a great sigh of relief, seeing the end of her struggle with me, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?"
I looked into her eyes and said, "I didn't want to lose them, so I stuffed them into the toes of my boots."
--Canadian Trish Sinclair recently self-published a collection of her life stories.


Last Thursday night we went to see The Tony Award Winning- 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

We love the National Spelling Bee. This play was written by someone who loves it too. Seeing this has been high on Kaitlin's to-do list since she first saw it advertised on the National Spelling Bee. We were thrilled when it came to our city.

We knew before hand that several would be chosen from the audience. We were relieved when none of us were called. I believe from the way they acted on stage that they were not surprised to be called.

There were 6 cast spellers and 4 from the audience. The other cast members were a pronouncer, an announcer and my favorite the comfort counselor. The comfort counselor was gangster who was assigned to do this as his community service.

The spellers spelled in order and their stories were told at the same time in a very clever way. The audience spellers were mixed in with the cast spellers.

The only questions that were asked the pronouncer were ' May I have a definition? and Can you use it in a sentence?' In the National Spelling Bee, when the spellers ask a question, the answer is given in a way to be a help to the speller. Not in this play and that led to many laughs. One word was 'cow'. The speller asked for the word to be used in a sentence. The sentence was 'There is a cow'.

You could tell when it was time for the audience spellers to go back to their original seats because their words got INCREDIBLY hard. All the audience spellers were off the stage but one. She went up to spell her INCREDIBLY hard word and shocker of all shocker, she spelled it correct! She was as stunned as the cast was. They all broke out into hearty laughter. She was called back up immediately to spell again. She was given an even more INCREDIBLY hard word. When she asked for a definition, she was told their wasn't one. (Lots of Laughter) As soon as she got one letter incorrect, the bell was rung and she was on her way back to her seat.

The cast spellers had their stories. One had a lisp, one was a scout, one wore a cape, one kept looking for her parents, but my favorite was the fat fellow. For being such a heavy fellow, he was light on his feet. He needed to be because most spellers use the placard that hangs around their neck to spell on but he used his magic foot. When given a word, he would spell it on the floor, in cursive, with his magic foot. Then he would spell the word looking at the floor like it was written there. This led to lots of laughs.

We all laughed so hard during this whole play. I hope we are able to see it again. If you have the opportunity to see it, you will not be disappointed.

In case you don't already have it on your calendar the National Spelling Bee begins on May 26 and ends on the 28th.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Knowledge is Power

I love sports and as I home schooled my children I brought my love of sports into their schooling. Here are a few thoughts for those who have a sports loving child and you can use these whether you home school or not.

You will never have to teach the 7 times tables. They just know them from watching football games. So you can quiz them with their favorite teams and say "Parker, if the Cardinals score 3 touchdowns and miss one extra point, how many points do they have?"

Teach geography as they roll the names of teams off their tongue. Where are all the NFL teams cities located? Get a blank USA map and write them in. When March Madness gets here (this will begin this year on March 12 when the different tournaments start. The big dance starts on the 19th) get out your USA maps out and find out where the colleges and universities are located and put them on your map. Through out the year, they will hear these names again. I can just hear Gavin saying "Mama, isn't Marquette in Milwaukee?" They will get attached to a certain name that is fun to say. (Kaitlin still loves to roll Gonzaga off her tongue) Learn all you can about that school or who it is named after.

If you child loves baseball watch a few games of the College World Series. Almost all the teams that make it in are from warmer climates. why? teach them about the different weather across the USA. Those teams in colder climates don't have as long a season.

When your children are small, you need to find a neutral interest that you share with each of your children. When they are teenagers you will be able to go to this interest, when you cannot agree on anything and still communicate. Sports is a good interest to have then.

You can get blank USA maps at home school supply stores.

This was my way to teach my children about something I love but you have loves too. Find ways to teach your children those things.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Special Treatment

Juan Williams ,a black man, wrote about the treatment President Obama is getting from the press and is it helping or hurting him. Very interesting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thank you, Mr President

Here are the lyrics to a song Steven Curtis Chapman wrote for President Bush back in November. As we uphold our new President Barack Obama in prayer, let us also remember to give thanks for President George W. Bush and his service to our country these past eight years.
Good-bye Mr. President,I guess the time has come for you to,Pack up all your things and turn the page,So I was thinking as you left,I’d try to write a song to tell you,What so many of us want to say.
For all those sleepless nights,I am sure you must have had,For all the prayers I’m sure you prayed,For how you tried to lead us when the way was so unclear,I am sure it wasn’t always evident,But thank you Mr. President!
Good-bye Mr. President,You will not be forgotten,All the courage and the hope you helped us find,I can’t imagine how it felt,To stand where you were standing,And to try to make the calls you thought were right.
So for those sleepless nights,I am sure you must have had,That put those lines around your eyes,For how you carried the weight,Even when the lights went out,I am sure you’ll never know how much it meant,I thank you Mr. President.
So for those days ahead,When they write about the past,And everybody has their say,From all of us who know,You gave us everything you could,We hope you will remember this,Thank you Mr. President!Good-bye Mr. President.
- by Steven Curtis Chapman

Last Day of Vacation

One of the perks of staying at a Disney Motel is you get extra hours at the parks. We took advantage of this several times. There is a new roller coaster at Animal Kingdom called Everest. Andrew, Taylor, Kaitlin, John and Marisa used extra hours on our last day to ride this new ride. They were up and had the car packed by 7am. They were the only ones on the bus to Animal Kingdom from our motel. They LOVED the ride and were able to ride it twice and get to to EPCOT by 9am.

UJ and AE and Carl and I were at the bus stop at 8. We made our way to EPCOT. We got to see Mickey and Minnie as they arrived at the park. We raced to Soarin and rode it. It is one of my favorite rides. You are on a swing of sorts and you are lifted into the air in front of a screen. You soar through the air in California. As you pass the Redwoods, you can smell evergreen and when you go through an orange grove, you can smell the oranges. It is wonderful.

When we got off the ride, we met A, T, K, J, and M. That day seems very short. Andrew wanted to be on the road back to Valdosta by 5. We ate lunch in Japan and it was delicious. We didn't really stay together on this day.

Carl and I went to American and heard the beautiful acappella singers. If you have never done this, you must. It happens 30 minutes before every show that takes place in America. Go into the rotunda and sit on the floor by the inner circle on the floor. No one else will be sitting there but they will follow when you do. As soon as the singers come out they will praise you and tell everyone to join you.

Epcot has a place where you can stand in line and see lots of characters- Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy. The folks taking the pictures will take your picture with their Disney camera and then if you ask they will with your camera too. When we walked up to Donald and he saw that Andrew had on Mickey ears, he took the ears off of Andrew and handed them to someone not with our group so that they would not be in our picture with him! Donald also was quite taken with Marisa and stood between John and Marisa every chance he could.

Carl had lots of work going on, on our last day. He couldn't be with us because of phone calls as we were with the characters so we had to punt. Carl loves Goofy and if you remember he wore a Goofy hat for his Mickey ears pictures. Since we didn't have Carl, we took a family picture with a stand-in.

The last ride we rode before we left the park was Spaceship Earth. It has been upgraded wonderfully. Your picture is taken and used in a story in your little car. It is hilarious.

Kaitlin was asked by some of her friends what was she going to be doing over her Christmas break. When she said that she was going to Disney with her family, some were stunned. Why, she was asked, would she want to go on vacation with her family???? How sad. I am so blessed to be able to take such a wonderful vacation with my brothers, their wives and my children. And they all wanted to go too! Wade, my pest control expert, house painter, and bathroom remodeler, when he found out where we were going, was quick to point out that he had never been to Disney. I just didn't have any more room or we would have taken him too!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's a bird, It's a plane...It's a bird in a plane's engine

Who is in control? I love what Andree Seu says about the birds.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Orlando lV

This is a picture of us from Hollywood Studios. We wore our 'ears' every morning and had our picture made in them. How fun.

It is hard to believe that two weeks ago today we were in the magical world of the Magic Kingdom. We left our motel early so we could be at the park and see the train pull into the station and all the characters get off and welcome me (okay us and several thousand others) to the park for the day.

We got in and hurried to Space Mountain. I got two rides on this ride because Carl was pushing the wheelchair at this point and we went right inside. Carl still had on his sunglasses and couldn't see where he was pushing me. I became well acquainted with the wall as we made our way through the line. When he realized how much he was bumping me into the wall, he gave the pushing over to John.

We then went to Buzz Lightyear and then onto Splash Mountain. Uncle Charles and Aunt Frances left us at this point to catch their flight back to Atlanta. Their flight was so delayed that they ended up staying at the airport until that evening. They didn't get home til around midnight. I wish they could have been with us longer.

One of the best one liners from the trip came about this time in the day when the riding group went to ride Big Thunder Mountain. Andrew tried to convince UJ to ride with them. UJ said " No, I'll ride Big Thunder Bench" We all enjoyed that!

One ride that UJ will ride is Pirates of the Caribbean. Pirates is a boat ride mostly in the dark. Taylor rode next to UJ. UJ is an interactive rider with a running conversation the whole ride. He is saying things like " Oh my, they're shooting at us now." "That big drop is going to do us in." Pirates has a small and I mean very small drop. It is somewhat like the slope in your bathtub. UJ talked so much about the DROP that when the slight slope happened, Taylor asked Andrew when the drop was going to happen. She laughed out loud when she found out it had just happened.

We had lunch at Crystal Palace. It was a wonderful lunch and I highly recommend it. Lots of fruits and veggies plus Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and Winnie. They came around while we were eating and stayed long enough for us to get lots of pictures.
We had a WAR EAGLE moment. A couple saw that John and Carl had on AUBURN clothes and came by to say WAR EAGLE. This was the day after alabama got beat like a drum by UTAH. The couple said that they were sitting by some alabama fans but resisted the urge to say 'GO UTES'
Aunt Elaine has the knowledge of all things Disney. She is a fantastic resource to have. She directed us where to be so that we could see the light parade and the fireworks and not have to move. We set up shop in front of the Christmas tree and spread out our stuff. We took turns going to get supper and just stretching our legs. The light parade was amazing. Mary Poppins came over and shook my hand as she walked down the street. How cool! Below is the castle during the light show. It takes your breath away. We held our spot and watched the fireworks. I don't like the loud noise of the fireworks so we were in a perfect spot to see and not be bothered by the LOUDNESS.

As we were walking out Kaitlin asked UJ if he wanted to come back to Magic Kingdom next year? He said " Sure, but Aunt Elaine wants to come back next week."

We had this picture made early in the day but I thought it was fitting for the last picture.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Orlando Part lll

Disney is just magical. We decided that on our next trip to only do Disney.

On Saturday we got up early, checked out of Universal and moved into Port Orleans.

As we made the transition from one motel to another, from one park to another, Kaitlin misplaced her phone. She checked the car and purse and needed to check in Uncle John's car. She called for Andrew to help her. The doorman at the motel heard her calling Andrew's name. He began calling Andrew's name too. She found her phone and the doorman greeted Andrew by name the rest to our visit. :)

Our first park was Hollywood Studios (not MGM anymore). We got our fast passes for Toy Story on our way to Tower of Terror and the Rockin Roller Coaster. UJ and I rode the bench while the group rode. After that we went to the Beauty and The Beast show.

Taylor was in charge of tickets and she and Andrew also picked out all our meals and made our reservations. They did a great job on both they tasks.

Our first Disney meal was at Prime Time. We love this restaurant. You are seated by your 'cousin' or 'brother'. 'Mama' is in the kitchen cooking your food. The food is good home cooking. You are seated at a fifties table with Formica everywhere. The other dinners in your room are your relatives, cousins from Indiana or wherever. No elbows on the table, no phones at the table, no tattling to name a few of the rules. Your 'brother' will make you stand up, if you violate a rule, while he has the rest of your family say 'Shame, shame, shame' If you are a repeat offender, you must stand with your nose on the wall or he'll give you away to another family or you must stand and sing 'I'm a little teapot'. When Uncle Charles realized that no phones at the table was a rule, he decided to call UJ and have him answer and get into trouble. The only problem with his plan was...he got caught calling UJ. We laughed so hard as UC was standing with his nose up to the wall. He vows revenge.

The toy story ride is fantastic. It is a arcade style ride, where you are trying to shoot your gun and rack up points by hitting and knocking things over. It is 3-D. I could have ridden this several times but the lines wouldn't let us.

We rode several rides and ended our day together at the Christmas lights. These lights are AMAZING. They are from Jennings Osborne from Little Rock, AR. We saw these lights when they were on his house before his neighbors took him to court over them. He donated them to Disney.

We rode our bus back to the motel and got our situated in our rooms. Carl, Andrew,Kaitlin, John and Marisa went back to the park at 9:30 and rode Toy Story again and the Rockin Roller Coaster.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Orlando ll- Taylor is Amazing

Andrew went off call and we headed down the road early on the 31st.

We were in Florida at 8:45am and Kaitlin was thrilled to be in the same state as Tim Tebow. As we drove to Orlando we saw cars going to bowl games in that area. We saw Iowa, SC, GA and MI State fans.

Taylor was given the task of finding out tickets prices for Universal and Disney. She found that at Costco you can buy a 3 month pass to Universal for 90.00. We were looking for 3 day tickets. As we were in line, getting our tickets printed with our names, we heard other's buying tickets at the gate. They were paying 95.00 for a single day ticket. Wow! How about a hand for Taylor!

Universal consists of two parks- Islands of Adventure and Studios.These parks are small enough to walk between the two. We began at Islands on our first day and stayed there all day. Our second and third days we hopped between parks starting at one and ending at another.

We stayed in a motel that was on the Universal site. This provided two big perks. We would walk to the parks and there was a special fast line at the rides for motel folks. We headed right to The Hulk. This coaster is unique in that the coaster is shot like a cannon ball not caught on a chain to get it's momentum.

Carl brought walkie-talkies with us to the park. He had one and Uncle John had the other. Uncle John rode the bench with me on most rides. Carl would let UJ know when they were on the next car and then I'd get the camera ready. This was so much fun. I felt sorry for the folks standing near us who kept wondering if their folks were on that car or maybe the next one.

They rode Dueling Dragons, the Mummy, Dr Doom to name a few. I could ride Spiderman as did UJ. One of my favorites.

Day two we headed back to Islands and rode lots of the rides using the fast pass line. We also had Uncle Charles and Aunt Frances with us now and they like to ride the rides too. The pictures below were taken by me as Kaitlin found the best place for me to be to get some good shots. Here again the wonderful walkie talkies helped as I knew exactly what cars they were on and that they were on the front.

I like to plan and I like to have a plan. It cracks me up folks that pay money to get into an amusement park and walk through the gates and stop and say to their group "What do you think we should do?" Really, it doesn't crack me up, it frustrates me. I want to say to them "Make a plan before you get here, time is precious and now, move out of my way"

I rode in a wheelchair for the whole trip. We brought one from LR. Someone at church told me to get a motorized cart and let my family have a vacation too. I gave that some thought and asked the fam and they were happy to push me. Kaitlin said that she was glad that I wasn't driving a cart so that my hands were free to hold the camera so it could be out lots. Andrew said that he was glad for the wheelchair because it slowed us down and he enjoyed the slower pace. Taylor's response to that was "THIS, is a slower pace!!!???" We laughed and told her, yes, this was slower. It was funny to me when I needed to get out of the wheelchair, it never stayed empty for long. Andrew, Kaitlin and John LOVED seeing how fast they could go, how tight they could turn corners, and how they could weave between people. When I was ready to get back in the wheelchair often we had to find them and make them get out.

Things I learned while riding in a wheelchair: Universal and Disney were beautiful at my eye level too. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion- Don't stop walking in front of a wheelchair-you will be hit. In fact, we all need to learn situational awareness. What you do affects those around you, so know what is going on around you and teach this to your children.

One last story on Universal. One night we ate at Margaritaville. This is a Jimmy Buffett restaurant. I love Jimmy Buffett music. And yes, you can get a cheeseburger and a cold draft beer, you can even find the lost shaker of salt! Music from Jimmy is played and it is an interactive experience. Singers are leading you so that you can sing too. My favorite song was Volcano. There is a two story Volcano on a wall. During the singing of the song it 'blows'. It was great. It went off twice while we were there. I had Mahi for supper that night and it was really good too.

Our Orlando Trip I

We left on Monday the 29 and we drove. We made it to Taylor and Andrew's 14 hours later.

The Christmas lights in the small south Georgia towns were amazing. I especially enjoyed the lights in Sylvester, GA.

On the 30th Carl went to work with Andrew. Andrew had gotten permission for that to happen and sweet Carl got up after only sleeping 7 hours. Carl had to wear special boots, hard hat and 100% cotton clothes. I was moved with the whole idea of the father-son bonding time, that they both worked in the same industry and Carl understood what Andrew did, and that Andrew wanted his papa to go with him to work, that I committed a big faux pas. I asked Andrew to have someone take their picture at work! The look on Andrew's face told me all I needed to know. There is no picture. Silly Mama.

That evening we opened our gifts to and from Taylor, Andrew, Uncle John and Aunt Elaine. Uncle John and Aunt Elaine joined us about 3 in the afternoon and were with us until we parted on the 6th.


Wow! It sure takes feeling bad to appreciate feeling good. Today I feel good.

It was such a blessing last week to have the family of God minister to us in so many ways. Thanks to Clare for the powerade slushies from Sonic, to KimT for the Lysol, to Sheryce for the toothbrushes and flowers, and to JanR for the best food in the world. They were all so sweet but they sure didn't want to 'get' what we had so they would leave it at the front door and call us when they were back in their cars. We all understood but it was funny too.

John bounced back soonest and was so glad to have food to eat. He waited on us when he was better.

We all made it to church yesterday but I went to bed at 7 last night and slept til 6 this morning.

My friend, Kay, has been at the hospital round the clock with her daddy who had cancer surgery on the 31 of December. When I was at my sickest, I prayed for Kay and her daddy. They would have traded places with me in a heart beat and I knew it.

I hope you feel good today!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start

We have been on vacation and it was a wonderful vacation and I should start at the beginning but I must start on our way home.

The stomach virus and a 12 hour drive home don't go well together. I am speaking from experience.

I woke up at Andrew and Taylor's house at 5:00am on Tuesday and my first thought was, whoa, I am getting too old to go and go and go. My head and tummy didn't feel too great but my spirit was soaring so off we went. We opened the Chickfila in Tifton at 6:30. After a quick breakfast we told Andrew and Taylor and John and Elaine good by.

Now fast forward to 2:00pm. We are now at a motel in Tupelo, MS. It was either the fourth time I had to completely change all my clothes or the pouring rain so that every time I got sick in the car, Kaitlin and Marisa gagged and couldn't roll down the window to get a breath, that made for the stop.

Carl has nerves of steel. He drove in the POURING RAIN while he handed me bags to throw-up in as he had to move over three lanes of traffic to get me to a bathroom. During this he calmly said to John " Hand your mother something else, son, the bag is now leaking." He never raised his voice or lost his cool. I knew he would take care of me.

We checked into a wonderful motel and I got in a wonderful bed. It wasn't moving and that helped a great deal. John, Marisa and Carl went to a laundromat so I would have clothes to wear and Kaitlin stayed to be my nurse. She put lotion on my feet and got me cool wash cloths for my head. Carl stayed with me while John, Marisa and Kaitlin went to eat supper with Chris. I was sad not to have a visit with him but thankful that he could get J, M and K out of the sick room for awhile.

Blessing that we saw from our day on the road. No one was ever in any bathroom that we stopped at along the road. The motel in Tupelo had two rooms ready at 2 in the afternoon. Because of the rain the motel room was dark and I fell right to sleep. I was the only one at the time with the virus- notice I said at the time, we all have it now.

I plan to tell you all about our trip when I can sit up for awhile, until then it is off to sip some more ice chips


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