Monday, June 30, 2008


We had a great day in church yesterday with an awesome sermon from the Book of Mark. After church, we went to Bubba & Nana's house for some of Bubba's famous Steak Hoagies!  YUM!  We had been hearing about how good they were and they did not disappoint!

"E" was sportin' a new dress and wanted me to take a picture of her in it.

She enjoyed hangin' out a little bit with her Poppa.

And then it was time to get ready to go back to church for our patriotic service, Celebrate America.  She was wearing her new shirt and hairbow that Nana had made her for the occasion and I was also "donning" my patriotic attire!

I captured a picture of her and Mommy on the way out the door.

We arrived back at church and we could hardly wait for the program to start.  Bubba got the honor of holding "Miss Priss".

The service started and it was awesome!  Tribute was paid to all the various branches of the Armed Forces and to all that have served our country in any conflict.  It was very touching!  

"E's" favorite part was the Marines that "came down the strings" from the ceiling!  She kept saying that she wanted to see the strings!

It just kept getting better and better and it was a very emotional service.

Nana came down from the choir after the presentation was over and was able to capture a red, white and blue balloon for her girl!  (I'm sure that her mother really appreciated those on her ride home in the car!)

We have such a debt of gratitude to the men and women who have served and are serving our country. Help us always to remember that our freedom is anything but free.  It comes with a great price!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Control Tower of My Life

Have you ever had "one of those days" where the moment you step into your home you're "hit" with problems, concerns and worries? Where you are just struck head on with the "dailiness" of life?  I had one such day yesterday.

Finally at the end of my work week, I came home to what is supposed to be my "sanctuary", right?  I am hit by hanging baskets desperate for some water, a dining room table full of a weeks worth of bills, kitchen sinks BOTH full of dirty dishes, cat and dog toys scattered throughout the house on the floor, dried egg in the skillet on the stove and crumbs still  scattered all over the table from breakfast.  You get the picture?  The thought DID cross my mind to get back in the car and run away, but I restrained myself!  

For many of you it may be the insurmountable piles of laundry, the unsuccessful potty-training, another mechanical problem with the car, the house that hasn't sold or the search for a job with no results.

It is so easy when you have days like this for your mind to just go into a downward spiral.  Everything starts to seem worse than it is and suddenly, you're faced with a huge picture of "doom and gloom".  There seems to be something wrong with everything!  And everyone!  Am I alone here? 

God always has a way of bringing us right back where we need to be, doesn't He?  I couldn't sleep this morning so I got up around 4:30 and went to the living room to read.  Where should my reading lead me, but:

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."

Philippians 4:8

God quickly reminded me just how important my thought life is.  What occupies my mind and what I think about greatly affects my entire life.  My thought life will effect what I ultimately become in life.  In some ways, my life today is a result of my thinking yesterday; and my life tomorrow will  greatly be determined by what I am thinking today.

The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."My thoughts are like the control tower of my life.  We've all known people that we've said about them, "He just says what he thinks".  In reality, that could probably be said about all of us.  Oh, we may not blurt out everything initially, but they WILL come out sooner or later if we continue to think about them.  There is an old saying, "You never really know what's inside until someone bumps you".  What enters my mind and occupies my thoughts will eventually come out of my mouth - somewhere, sometime.  I need to be so careful about what occupies my mind because ultimately, that is what will come out when I am "bumped".

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."  This verse not only assures us of our eternal destiny, but should change our life right now.   We have to change our thought lives.  I believe that we can change our lives by starting to think different thoughts.

To a certain extent, we are all products of the environment that we live in.  Many of us are the way we are today because of the environment that we were raised in.  If we were raised around constant negativity, chances are we tend to be negative, also.  The opposite of that would also hold true. If that be true, I wonder what I can do to improve my present environment?  What changes can I make in ME to improve my environment?

How I spend my own free time will also determine what I think about. I'm sure that we've all heard, "Idle hands are a tool of the devil".  Satan brings some of his greatest temptations to us when we have time on our hands.  I need to fill my free time with the "tools" that I need to help me think right.

I am also a firm believer that the people you associate with have great bearing on how we think.  I used to always tell my children, "You become like those you hang around". Nothing real profound, but it is so true!  I have seen it in so many instances with my children.  That can also be a good thing!  One of the positives about attending church is that we receive encouragement from other believers.  You can tell a lot about a person just by knowing who his or her friends are.  

That's also one of the positives about all the wonderful ladies that I have gotten to know through blogging.  All of you have been such a wonderful source of encouragement to me already.  I never dreamed how valuable all of you would become to me and what an encouragement and blessing your words would be to me on a daily basis.

Thank you, Lord, for challenging me to let Philippians 4:8 become my guideline for my thought life, as well as, the standard for how I choose my friends and spend my free time! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Heart Of The Matter

Probably everyone has a character or a story in the Bible that is their favorite and for me, mine has to be David. I have always loved reading about David's life.

I was reading this week in I Samuel 16 about when Samuel went to Bethlehem to anoint the king that the Lord had told him that He had chosen. The Lord told Samuel to take a heifer with him and to invite Jesse to the sacrifice because one of Jesse's sons would be anointed king. Samuel did what the Lord asked him to do and when he saw Jesse's oldest son, he assumed that he had to be the one. (I am just picturing that he was tall, dark and handsome!) The Lord told Samuel not to look at his outward appearance, because he had rejected him. One by one each of Jesse's sons paraded by Samuel and He rejected all 6 of Jesse's sons that were at the sacrifice that day. But...guess what? Jesse had SEVEN sons and the baby boy of the family was named David. David's father was aware that a new king would soon be found and yet he had not even brought him to the sacrifice that day -- he had left him at home tending the sheep. David was obviously not his father's first choice! No one ever even thought to call David because he would never wear a crown!

Can you remember a time in your life when you felt like you weren't wanted or like you really didn't matter? Like you were someone's last choice?

I believe that Jesse, Samuel and David ALL learned something on that day. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. We can tell how men look, but God can tell what they are. We tend to make so many assumptions about people solely based on their appearances. We can be so judgmental at times, can't we? We can be driving down the street and just pass someone on the side of the road dressed differently than we are and we automatically make assumptions about what kind of person they are. Aren't you so thankful that God doesn't do that? Do you remember what you looked like when God found you? I do and I am so thankful that He was not concerned with my outward appearance. He looked at my heart! God doesn't choose any of us by accident and he didn't choose David by accident, either. He knew exactly what He was doing.

I wonder, though, if we had seen David, what we would have seen. I am afraid that I might have just seen a shepherd boy and wondered how in the world God could use him? Just think of the lessons that God had already been teaching David through his experiences of tending sheep. God had been preparing David all along.

God has also been preparing you and me. I wonder what life experiences He has allowed me to go through to better equip me for His service? What skills has He given me that will enable me to be a better servant? More importantly, am I using those skills for His glory?

David may not have thought that he had any skills that God could use . After all, he was taking care of dirty, smelly sheep! How could that equip him to be a king? But God was looking at his heart and David had a heart for the lost sheep. He wasn't the oldest or the strongest or maybe even the best looking of his brothers, but giants would fall and nations would tremble when they stood in David's way!

Things to ponder:
What life experiences has God let me go through in the past, or am I going through right now? Am I using the skills and life experiences that I have learned in the way that God wants me to? Am I learning to not look at outward appearances? Not to be judgemental? I wonder when God looks at my heart, what does He see?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh, It Was Ladies Night!!!!

My daughter, Faith , invited me to attend a "What Not To Wear" ladies class last night at our church (I don't know if she was trying to tell me something or what?!?!) by Shari Braendel . Shari came to our church to teach a group of ladies about our different body shapes and sizes.  We learned how to determine what body type we were and what clothing styles flatter our particular body type the most.  We learned which colors were good for us and which ones were....uh...well...not so good! We also learned some fashion tips that make us look slimmer! Whew Hew!!!!

When we first got there we had to go "under the lights" to determine our skin tones, hair color, eye color, etc.  I was a little nervous about this as I came straight from a full day at work, having done my make-up and hair at about 5:30 a.m....never mind that I was definitely the "matriarch" of the group!

Faith was also there.....

As well as Melissa.....

And Jennifer .

Shari had so much helpful information to share with us. We learned everything from what size purse we should carry, to what size accessories we should wear --- for our particular body type.

The main question that Faith was there to get answered, though, (she had stressed about it ALL day!) was...... Is the Yellow Shirt OK for her and..........drum roll.......

YES!  Yellow is a great color for her!

Thank you, Melissa , for helping to plan the event and for the awesome refreshments!  The Upside Down Pineapple Cherry cake was delish!

Thank you so much, Faith, for inviting me to go.  I enjoyed just spending time with you and all of your precious friends and I also learned some really good tips to hopefully help me look better and feel better about myself--and NOT be an embarrassment to my kids! LOL

The main thing we hopefully came away with from the night is that we are ALL fearfully and wonderfully made! God made us all different --if we were all the same, how boring would that be! It was an awesome time of ladies fellowship and I wish you all could have been here!

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well"(Psalm 139:14).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Many of You Make My Day!


I got my first blog award!  As many of you know, I am new to blogging and I am still a little unsure of exactly how all of this works, (I had to call my daughter to ask her what to do when I got "tagged" last week!) but I do know that I have many of your blogs that I now look forward to reading on a daily basis.  

So, thank you so much, Heather, for the "You Make My Day Award".  I feel like I should be giving it right back to you because I look forward to your posts and enjoy them so much! Thank you, also, Faith for encouraging me to start a blog.  (Even though you did kind of trick me into it! LOL)

I would like to pass this award on to some people who also "make my day"!  Thank you for being great "bloggy friends" and for keeping me motivated, challenged and encouraged through your posts.

Betsy Maddox

"Grandma Judy"




Friday, June 20, 2008

"A Time Capsule"

On my way to work yesterday morning, I heard the hosts on the radio station I was listening to talking about a man named Jamie Livingstone that had taken a Polaroid picture of something in his life, EVERY day from 1979 through 1997.  Can you imagine?   

First of all...some of you probably do not even have a clue what a Polaroid picture is! I am DEFINITELY dating myself here!  It was a picture taken with a kind of instamatic camera with "self-developing" film.  The picture shot out of the camera after you took it and you had to shake it around, blow on it, etc. and watch the picture "develop" before your very eyes!  As you can was a very compact camera, too! LOL!

I actually had this identical camera!  It was STATE-OF-THE ART !! It was so exciting to be able to view your pictures "instantly"!  (I know this is so hard for most of you to imagine in this day of HD digital cameras where we see everything instantly.)  I remember that the film for these cameras was fairly expensive and there were only 8-10 pictures in each "box" of film.

Well...this man took a picture everyday from March 31, 1979 until the day of his death, October 25, 1997!  I was thinking about that while I was savoring my Starbucks Tall, Soy, Extra Hot, No Foam Chai Latte---that's a ton of pictures!  That's alot of boxes of film, too!

After I got to work, I did a quick Google search (while I could still remember) and sure enough, I found information on this man.  Turns out that he had terminal cancer and he "chronicled" his life, up to AND including the day he died, with a Polaroid picture every day of himself, family and friends!  Some of the pictures are missing, but there are still reportedly 6,697 pictures remaining in the collection.  WOW!

Some of the pictures that "summed up" this man's days were a little strange for me, but it got me to thinking. What a neat idea this was to take a picture EACH day that sort of "encapsulates" your day.  I started flipping through hundreds of pictures in my IPhoto of significant days in MY life and the life of those that I love. And then it dawned on me that, for a lot of us, our blogs are doing the same thing.  For many, their journal does the same thing.  Something that "summarizes" what was happening in our lives on any given day! (I love that  His Doorkeeper said that she has been journalling since her freshman year in college and she can look back and see exactly where she was and what she was doing on any given day!)

The picture that "encapsulates" my day was nothing real exciting today. Just work, as usual!

I wonder...what would a picture of YOUR day look like? I would love for you to share them.  I would love to see them!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tag I'm It !!

Nicki gave me my VERY first tag and, I'll be honest, since I am so new to "blogland" I had to call up my daughter to make sure that I understood exactly what that meant. LOL! This is such a good way to get to know more about people, though.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Oh my....I can hardly remember what I did yesterday and you want me to remember 10 years ago!

I was raising 3 teenagers! I had a 13 yr. old, a 15 yr. old and a 17 year old (that MAY be why I have no memory anymore!) AND my husband lived and worked away in West Virginia. I was also working full-time in a dental office. Needless to say, that was a very busy time in my life!

2. My Favorite Snacks

Definitely almonds or cashews. I have one or the other for snack EVERY day!

3. Five things on my to-do list today

1. Empty the cat litter box
2. Place my monthly
Miessence order
3. Water all my flower baskets and vegetable containers
4. Balance my checkbook
5. Wash a load of hand washables

4.Things I would do if I were a billionaire

I would give God His portion right off the top and then I would like to be able to practice "random acts of kindness". I would like to give lots of "just because" gifts to people. I would like to be able to support various ministries that have ministered to me over the years. I would also love to purchase and run my own Bed-And-Breakfast in the mountains of NC.

5. Five jobs that I've had

Well...I haven't really had too many jobs. I started working in a dentist office when I was 15 years old and I am still in one! I worked at the school and then in the church office when my kids went to Christian school.

1. worked after school in an Oral Surgeon's office during high school
2. assistant to English Professor while in college
3. dental hygienist
4. elementary school secretary and later church secretary
5. dental office manager

6. Five places I've lived

1. Chattanooga, TN
2. Columbus, GA
3. Toccoa, GA
4. Gainesville, GA
5. North Carolina

7.Five random things people wouldn't know about me

1. The first day that I FINALLY stayed all day at kindergarten without crying and my mom having to come get me, I fell off my bicycle that afternoon and broke my arm and had to miss school the next day!
2. I played the saxophone from the 3rd grade thru high school ( I also played the oboe in high school)
3. The first solo that I ever sang at church was "There's Just Something About That Name" (Gaither)
4. I LOVE fried green tomatoes! (And fried okra!)
5. I am extremely sensitive to chemicals and fragrances so I am obsessed with avoiding the use of chemicals whenever possible. I use all natural products to clean my house, do my laundry, etc. I make my own dishwashing powder, laundry detergent, furniture polish, bathroom cleaner and all-purpose cleaner.

8.Five cds that I'd have to take on a desert island

All my CDs are loaded onto my IPod (along with various Podcasts) so I would just carry it with me. It currently has 6542 songs loaded on it. That oughta last me awhile, huh!

9. People I tag are.........

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I have only been blogging for a few weeks now, but I realized that I have one family member that has somehow been majorly overlooked on my blog. I realized that his feelings have probably been hurt by the fact that this "new kitty on the block" has been featured multiple times on my blog -- even though HE has been in the family almost 8 years longer than this feline named Lewis!

I am talking about none other than the best friend a "man" (or woman) could have --CHAMP! Champ is our Boxer who will be 8 years old in October. We picked him out of a litter when he was about 5 weeks old. Here he is in Grace's arms on the night we picked him.

I had always heard people say "If you ever have a Boxer, you'll never have any other kind of dog" and now I certainly understand what they were talking about. He is wonderful with my grandkids. He lets them pull on him, sit on him, etc.

He sleeps all night EVERY night right beside my bed! He absolutely LOVES his bed. There have been times when he's so "comfy" that his snoring has kept ME awake!

He is so sweet that he even gladly shares his bed with this bossy little Ragdoll kitten that just moved in a few weeks ago!

He's a 63 pound LAP DOG!

That LOVES to play Frisbee and
"chew" on the leaf blower -- with it running!

Champ, you're the best bud a family could ever have and we love you very much!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Walt!

We had a wonderful Father's Day at our house today. It started out with a great day in the Lord's House and was followed up by all of my kids spending the day with their dad. Here are Faith, Josh and Grace with Walt. (Getting that one in the middle to smile is like "pulling teeth"!)

Of course, anytime our family gets together, there is usually food involved and today was no exception. This is just a little sample of what we had today --- all gluten-free, of course, because my son is allergic to gluten! The ribs are one of my family's favorites and we can definitely polish off some ribs in record time! We had Baby Back ribs (and some Beef Spare ribs), corn on the cob and baked beans. We even had a gluten-free Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream! I just can't understand why I don't lose any weight! LOL!

"E" stayed outside with Poppa and helped him with the grilling. How pretty is she in her dress that "Nana" made her!!

She also got to play with Lewis. Pretty soon she won't be able to lift him-- he'll be bigger than her!

I had a little surprise, too ---I wasn't expecting a gift on Father's Day, but Faith had me a belated Mother's Day gift! How cute is this?!?!?? The monogrammed panels are interchangeable depending on what you're wearing. I love it!

The rest of our day was spent watching "Cars" and dozing off a little. It was so nice having all of my children here to celebrate with their dad on his special day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I warned you all in one of my very first blog posts that you would probably be seeing a lot of this little guy!  Who, by the way, is not so little I found out today!   

Lewis had his second vet appointment today and it was time for some immunizations. He seemed like he remembered the place when we got into the exam room.

He was not near as "opinionated" about having his temperature taken today, as he was the last time!  He weighed in at a WHOPPING 4.2 pounds today.  The vet said that most kittens do not weigh 4 pounds until they are 4 months old and Lewis is only 3 months old.  (He was also the largest kitten the breeder had ever had in any of her litters!)  Maybe we should have named him HOSS!!

It was great to be back home with his own cat tree and his "own"  bed where he spent the rest of the day. 

We are so thankful that he appears to be completely healthy! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Real Men DO Eat Quiche!

Well...I finally did it!  I had been saying that I was going to cook quiche for dinner for about 3 nights in a row and I finally took time to do it! My husband actually loves quiche and had been asking me to make it.  This is a simple recipe that can be used for basically any kind of quiche  -- I typically make Broccoli and Cheese, but this time I added a little ham to ours because my husband happens to love it this way. YUM!

This is even better the next day and we sometimes even eat it for breakfast!

Broccoli, Ham and Cheese Quiche

9 inch frozen pie shell
5 oz. can Hormel lean ham 
10 oz. frozen chopped broccoli
6 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
4 eggs beaten until blended
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onions

Bake pie shell 1/2 as long as directions recommend. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. While pie shell is baking, cook broccoli according to package directions and drain well.

Drain ham and crumble in bottom of pie shell.  

Sprinkle broccoli on top of crumbled ham.  

Sprinkle cheese over top of broccoli. 

Mix all remaining ingredients together and pour over ham, broccoli and cheese in pie shell.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

*** Can use any cooked meat or vegetable, drained well. Makes enough filling for 2 thin  (regular) pie shells or 1 deep dish pie.  Can also be frozen after baked.

Other filling suggestions: Bacon & Cheese, Zucchini; Spinach; Cauliflower; Mushroom; Asparagus and Crab.

I was going to make it after church on Sunday, but my daughter, Grace, said, "I don't think I really like quiche."  Well... she showed up at our house last night in time for dinner and we were having leftover quiche.  She said, "I might like quiche; I can't remember".  To make a long story short --there was NONE left at the end of the meal!  She said, "Oh my word!  I forgot how good this was!"

Note:  If your man has a problem with eating "quiche", you can always just call it a Ham and Cheese Pie!   (-;