Saturday, July 23, 2005

Pictures of Friends!

The is Dee and Matt and the new baby. They are so sweet. Mark enjoyed metting Matt.

Me, Dee and the new baby girl!

Michael, Glenn, Paul, Mark, Rachel, and Taylor at New Echota.

Lauri's and my kids. I love the new Do's on Lauri's boys. LOL

This is my friend Deborah and four of her Seven children!!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Isn't over 40 fun?

Lately, I have been getting lovely emails asking me if I have bladder control problems. I always delete them and basically think, "I may be fat, have age spots, have active mono, Chronic Fatigue Syndrone and I might have Hodgkin's disease BUT at least, I don't pee my pants." Click, delete and those dang emails vanish.

Yesterday, I was fixing to take my shower and I sneezed. I sneeze all of the time. That's not unusual. But, this time it was different. I peed. I had NO control. I peed. I wanted to scream. I did say a quick prayer, "Please God, I don't want to buy diapers for me."

I told my 22 year old son want happened later in the day when we were going to the bank. His sweet reply, "Mom, that's just to gross and to much information. Change the subject."

I told my husband what happened. He stifled a laugh as I gave him an evil eye. He added, "Well, honey. I am sure that it was a one time incident. Don't worry about it."

I told him, "Mark it's happened TWICE today."

His loving response was, "Oh, hmmm, maybe you are waiting to long to go to the bathroom."


We went to the associational office and I told the secretary (she is a friend) about me sneezing and peeing. She laughed and said, "Well, join the club."

I told my best friend about it last night on the phone. Lauri sighed and told me she's been sneezing and peeing, too!!! But, she warned me that it can also happen when you LAUGH really hard.

Growing older has it's moments. I mean what will I get to do - trade in sanitary supplies (that you only need for 5 days a month) for Extra large diapers????

At least I have figured out why my grandmother always had such a large pocketbook. It was to carry her diapers. I am thinking that I should carry an extra pair of panties along with a zip lock bag in my pocketbook.

So, am I having fun, yet? NOT. But, I am developing a sick sense of humor.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Our July 4th, 2005

Yesterday was The 4th of July. It was extremely HOT. Mark and Paul worked at the rodeo from 9 AM until 3 PM. They were both extremely tired when they got home due to the heat and sun. Michael worked until 5 PM.

I went grocery shopping and then came home and fixed a huge holiday meal.

Marsha and McKenzie came over at six for dinner.

This is a photo of Paul and McKenzie. She followed Paul around all evening. It was sweet. My heart always aches when I am around her.

We had a dinner of BBQ sandwiches, corn on the cob, green beans, deviled eggs, pickles, potato salad, and sweet tea. We had banana pudding and coffee for dessert.

Paul went with friends to shot off fireworks in the country. Mark and I took Marsha and McKenzie to the local firework show. It was FANTASTIC!! McKenzie kept saying, "Oh, it's prelly." (translate - pretty)

McKenzie started feeding my cat, Sweetie, her banana pudding. She would take a bite and then give the cat a bite. Well, I tried to add another photo but I can't get it to work. LOL

I'll post some more pictures above this Blog.


Monday, July 04, 2005

And, I thought this was a good idea.

I used to have a carport that we could park under but it has been taken over by my son and his friends. No longer a place to park my van it has become skateboard central.

When Mark and I decided to have Mark do Passport2Purity with Paul, we foolishly asked Paul what he wanted the fun activity to be with his dad. I was thinking an amusement park or something along those lines. No such luck. He wanted to build a half pipe. Mark reluctantly agreed; however, the half pipe turned into a launching ramp.

The pictures that are posted is the new and LOWERED launch ramp. ***sigh*** The higher ramp Launched the first teen to test it out into space. That was a pretty scary sight and YET, the other boys were still going to attempt to make it work. Finally, after many FALLS and smashes, they ended up sitting on their boards and riding down the ramp.

First thing the next morning, Mark LOWERED the ramp and life hasn't been the same. We have an average of 7 to 9 kids out there daily ranging in age from 12 to 16. Paul told me that we are the coolest parents in the neighborhood. I am wondering if this is a good thing coming from a kid who tried to move his tramp NEXT to the pool so he and his friends could jump into the water from the tramp?

Does anyone KNOW how loud 9 boys can get on a carport while skateboarding? Does anyone know HOW much food they can consume or cola they can drink? I do.

Does anyone know how terrible teens can smell after skateboarding for hours in the Florida heat?

But despite the noise, the smell, the chaos, I am so glad that these kids are here and not just out roaming around town. Our pool is well used, the carport no longer exist for cars, and the trampoline is a SAFE distance away from the pool. We are considered cool and if we can keep that relationship with our son and his friends over the next years, we might just survive adolescence with this kid!


Monday, June 27, 2005

It's almost the END of JUNE!!!

This is Paul receiving his First Class before he went to Boy Scout camp. His dad is on the left. Paul is the center and another Scout Leader is on the end.

Where has the time flown? I can't believe that it's nearly July. Paul and Mark had a great time at Boy Scout camp. It rained the entire week; so, everything was soaking wet and smelling when they came home.

Mark also did the Passport2Purity with Paul last week. Paul's fun bonding activity was to build a quarter pipe together. Well, the quarter pipe turned into a large launch ramp. They made it way to high and had to re-do it the next day.

Paul's attitude towards us has been changed since the Passport2Purity adventure with his dad. He is growing up into a pretty well-rounded young man. I will try and post some pictures of camp and the launch ramp later. :o)

We go on vacation in a few weeks. Well, it's not really a vacation it's visiting out of state relatives and friends in GA, KY, and TN.

I am still having health issues. Gosh, this makes me feel so old. I never thought that I would feel this way for such a length of time.

I'll try and post more later.


Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sunday musings....nothing deep....

Today is Sunday. It is warm outside and I am sure that the temperature will climb higher as the day continues.

I have been feeling down because of this mono. Mark keeps trying to hug me and when he does I could just cry. It hurts so much just to be touched. I finally was able to describe what my skin feels like - a bad sunburn. I try laying on the bed - only to have my neck hurt. So, then I try sitting up - only to have my arms and back hurt. I told Mark that I feel like a hypochondriac! The thing is that I get up each day determined to feel good, determined to not hurt, only to have my body abandon my good intentions of health and wellness.

My grandmother was hypochondriac. She was always telling us about her physical ailments by making statements like, “Goodness, I have a pain in my panaceas!” I have never wanted to sound like her.

I am very grateful that last week, I was able to get several things accomplished in my home. At least, the house isn’t getting me down as well as my health.

I stayed in my room this morning and was able to listen to Mark’s message. It was so good. He spoke on Peter and the church praying with faith. I really need to practice my faith in a deeper way.

This past week has drained me both physically and emotionally. I am praying for a gentler week. I am praying for God’s presence to abide in my home and heart this week and for me to stay away from the snares of Satan. I am also praying that I have to ability to recognize those snares because often they are camouflaged.

Friday, May 13, 2005

My Day

Today was my piano recital. All in all, it was a nice evening. Most of the children were precious and did a good job. I was very proud of them. I am teaching 22 children but 2 of them (a brother and a sister) didn't show up. They had missed their last several lessons, so this wasn't a big surprise.

The recital lasted about an hour. I gave out medals, trophies, certificates, and balloons. Paul, my son, did a wonderful job and played both of his pieces with ease and perfection. The girls who sang with him were wonderful!

It's always interesting to watch the parents' reactions! Some are so amazed that their children are doing such a wonderful job. I just love it. And, I so enjoy the children - after the recital. Most of them are walking around beaming!

Now, reality has hit. I am so exhausted trying to deal with this mono. This week the doctor had put me on several things, one of which was a steroid. Steroids always make me nuts. I told him that he knew how they play havoc with my emotions and that they make me feel like I am coming out of my skin. His response was that they would get my swelling in my glands to go down. My glands did go down some but my face swelled up. I look like a pumpkin head. The steroids gave me the energy to get through this week. The doc had told me you will feel lots better for a week to ten days and then you will feel horrible again!!!! ugh

He didn't lie. I was through with my steroids yesterday and my glands have swollen back up in my neck, back, and now in my legs. I can hardly walk. But the scariest thing happened to me on Thursday. I think that I may have had a stroke or something. The doctor thinks that I might have had one 2 or 3 years ago. When we ran tests back then, the findings were inconclusive. I had been dealing with a migraine since 3:30 AM. I ended up getting up at 4 because I was so ill. About mid-morning, I was in my kitchen and my right arm went numb and I thought that I was going to throw up. I literally staggered to the bathroom only to see that my face was totally white. I looked like I had put on a layer of clown make-up. I was scared silly. I ended up going to bed until my piano students started coming a little after 3 PM.

Today, while getting my hair done, I almost fell out of the chair. My stylist was alarmed. I was so dizzy.

I am so sick of being sick. I want my body to be healthy. My emotions are shot. Tomorrow I will spend the day doing nothing. I will either sit or lay down. Mark thinks that I need to go back to the doctor's and tell him what happened and get some tests ran. I have to have more test in three months to check out these abnormal cells. I figure, that I will tell them then what happened and we can determine what other tests they want me to do. ugh

I am glad the recital is over and that I can get some rest and sleep now.

I was so very proud of my son.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day Thoughts 2005

Today is Mother’s Day. I have always felt extremely blessed to have the privilege of being a mother. I have had friends that have never had a babe in their arms. I have heard their longings and deep desires to have children. As I watch them, I think what wonderful, lovely, godly mothers they would be to some sweet child. So, on this day, I feel blessed beyond measure.

Usually, I also feel some sadness. I have known a mother’s betrayal. I have felt the sting of a sorrow to big for me to bear the burden of alone. Yet, though this sorrow will always weigh upon my soul, Jesus has been with me every step of the way. He restores my soul and He has allowed my tears to fill an ocean. But, in this ocean of tears, my Savior has put in new life, love, friends, and family. In His Awesome and tender mercy, He has shown me how to have a deep relationship with His precious Son, and how to realize the joy that there is in life - no matter what befalls us.

I go back in my mind and I choose to think on the good things about my mom. I remember her saving eggshells for me to color on when I was three and four years old. I was always turning them into igloos. She knew that I loved making things, so she would save the cotton from the pill bottles and little trinkets like broken costume jewelry for me to keep in my treasure box of art supplies. I also remember her reading Bible stories to my older sister and me. We would sit in the small extra bedroom, used for a den, in the afternoons while mother sat in an old brown fake leather rocker recliner. She would slowly rock and read us stories of creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah’s ark. My first memories of the lessons of Jesus were learned at her feet. Yes, these are the memories I treasure of her and hold close and dear to my heart.

Life continues and sometimes sorrow come, businesses fail, loved one die. Some people are equipped with the faith to carry on. They march forward believing fully in Hebrews 11. When I was about 8 or 9 my parents stopped attending church. We would go when visiting with my mother’s parents because my papa was an elder in the church. However, due to my hearing the Word at such a young age and the promise of the Word never to return void or empty, I craved church and the fellowship. So, when I was old enough to drive, I took my younger sister and went to church. Hearing this Word at my mother’s knees and trusting as only a child can was her greatest gift to me.

When I was in my late teens, I knew my mother was struggling with her lack of faith. I bought her a brown velvet Bible which she read along with her Bible from her childhood. At age twenty, I left my denomination and became a Baptist. One day after I was married with a young family, I came into the house. My mother was sitting at the kitchen table with a Bible opened up and wet with tears. Slowly I knelt before her, and whispered a question as to her tears. Her face had no peace, no joy, only aguish. As long as I live I will never forget her words.

She spat out, “Debbie, I am glad that you have found a faith. I am glad that you are able to believe that God will keep you. I cannot believe that way. I have searched this old Bible. I have tried to work to keep my salvation but I fail at every turn. So, this day, I have decided if I am going to end up in hell, I am going to have what I want out of life now. I do not care who I hurt or the means that I get. But, I will have some happiness in this life now because I choose this day to no longer serve God.”

She closed her Bible and left the room. Slowly, I lowered myself into a kitchen chair, and reached for my mother’s old Bible. I opened the book to where she had been reading, and felt the pages still wet and warm with her tears. I tried several times after that to speak to her of God and His love for her but she had made her decision on the hot summer afternoon. She would tell me that someday I would see God desert and abandon me as He had her. She told me that my faith would not sustain me.

Thank God, she was wrong.

A few years later, my parents kidnapped my only daughter and oldest son. I thought my world had ended. I prayed to die. Yet, I was surrounded by people of faith and their prayers held me when I had no offerings to give to God. I sang songs to God that I would no longer serve Him or believe in His care. Then those words my mother has said a few years earlier came upon me like a flood. I knew at that moment that I was not going to let her hate destroy my faith.

I found myself flat on the floor with my face buried in the rug and I prayed for six straight hours. At first my prayer was full of bitterness, rage and tears. I would feel totally spent and silence would fall upon the room. During the times of silence, God began to speak to me. He showed me that suffering for His sake was part of our Christian walk. He showered me with thoughts of His love and goodness. My prayer began to change. Fervently I began to pray for my children’s return, for their safety, for their souls. I cried out to God and asked who would teach them of Christ? His answer to me was so soft and gentle. He impressed upon me the memories I had at four and five hearing His Words at my mother’s knees and told me that I had taught them of His Son and His Love, and He promised me that His words never return void and empty. He assured me on that floor that all of my children would know and love Him.

I began to read the Bible with a passion that exceeded my mind’s understanding. I started camping out in Isaiah and Jeremiah. My faith began to grow like a willow tree upon a river’s bank. Christ became so real to me during the next years, that I continuously feel His presence daily in my life. When sleep beckons me, I see my Savior’s loving eyes, watching over me in the night and that has enabled me to believe that the eyes that watch me and guide my life are the same eyes that my lost children have upon them.

These thoughts and remembrances come to me this day.

Now, I think on this life that I live today. I still have lost children and parents. But, God has filled my ocean with good treasures. I gaze at my adopted son and feel so blessed. He is a child with a sweet gift for seeking the joy out of life. His prayers unfold mysteries beyond his years. I look toward my older son. The son my parents rejected and I see a young man whose faith is bigger and brighter than mine will ever be able to attain. I watch him as he has to work so hard to achieve what most folks take for granted. And, I am amazed that God placed this child in my home to raise. I think on friends who have loved me as Jonathan loved David and I am constantly humbled at their goodness to me.

And, then I look at this man that God blessed me with as a husband. I remember the pain that we have lived through in our marriage and I am forever challenged by his great love for me. I went through some very unloving times after the kidnapping but his compassion towards me was always flowing to me like the waves upon the beach. They washed over me as a gentle breeze and held me as a precious jewel. I know the damage that my parents did to his career and calling and yet, this man loves me. I am so thankful more than words could ever express. I also am thankful for the happiness that we have in our marriage for the fertile ground that we have had in our children to plant a deep faith. We are able to sing and laugh not because life is always perfect but because God is perfect and the love He pours out to us is better than the our sweetest desire could ever imagine. We are blessed.

Mothers can be the most wonderful blessing but we must never try to do it alone. We must seek the Father and His love and perfect will for our lives. I want to leave my children with a heritage rich in the power and miracles of God. I want my legacy to say, “This woman loved and cared for her family. She was a sweet friend. However, her best character was her love and faith in Jesus Christ. She knew Him. She was filled with the Holy Spirit and brought the light of Christ to all who walked in her path. Her children all know the Father, and grow like reeds beside the water’s edge. Her faith and prayers were a sweet incense and they shower over her children’s, children’s children to the tenth generation. She is now resting with Christ and worshipping her Lord.”

I want my children to never cry hot tears over me. I want them to remember me and know me as a sinner saved by grace and called to serve her King with joy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Our Disney Week-end!

We had a great time at the Disney World Resort.  All of us loved staying on site.  Mark said that not having to drive the entire three days and fight the traffic was a great benefit of being a resort guest.

We arrived at 9 AM on Friday morning and the French Quarter had our room ready and waiting for us!  I was able to pay the balance on the room and buy our park passes right in the lobby of the hotel.  This was another great time saver at the parks!  After our luggage was unpacked, we caught the bus to MGM where we spent a blissful day!
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On the advise of some online friends, I had made dinner reservations at the Hollywood and Vine which included reserved seating for the Fantasmics.  The buffet dinner was scrumptious.  Mark and I were able to chill out for a bit with coffee and the boys checked out some of the area attractions.  We got to Fantasmics at 6:30 and obtained SUPER great seats.  The show was a blast!  

Saturday morning we ate breakfast at our resort and Mark and Michael went to see the Braves play Detroit.  The Braves lost.  Paul and I went to Downtown Disney where Paul found an magic store and bought Chinese sticks and a pack of cards.  He has been entertaining us and the neighborhood with his *magic*!  LOL  It had warmed up enough for Paul to swim.  While my little fish swam, I sat by the pool in capris and a light weight coat.  Looking around Disney, one KNOWS who the northerners are - they are the ones wearing shorts, flip flops and swimsuits tops!  Goodness, I was wearing a jacket most of the time.  I really wanted to cover some of these gals up and tell them, "It's chilly!"  The weather was perfect.  It wasn't hot but felt like a fall or spring day in Tennessee. 

Saturday evening, we celebrated Michael's birthday by heading over the to California Grill!!  Watching the Fireworks Celebration fifteen stories up was a wondrous sight!  Our waiter was attentive and he brought Michael out a huge piece of chocolate cake with a candle on it.  Our seats were perfect, I just had to turn my chair around during the show.  At 10 PM, the lights were slowly dimmed in the restuarant and familiar selections of Disney songs came floating through the air.  The amazing Firework Celebration started with the entire show being narrated by the voice of the Cricket.  All eyes were fixed in child-like wonder on the dark night skies which began to explode with brilliant colors!  Indeed, it was a magical fifteen minutes.

Sunday morning, we packed our bags and emptied our room of all the treasures we had bought. After tummies were filled with a light breakfast and LOTS of coffee for the adults, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom.  We rode or did 16 different things this day!  Our favorites were Peter Pan, Mickey's Philharmonic, Stitch, and Space Mountain.  The boys had started a pin collection on Saturday, so Paul had a ball trading with any and everyone!

We finally hit the road stopping for dinner at Cracker Barrel and made it home a little before midnight.  This was a vacation to remember. The family is already planning our next trip!  I made a believer out of Mark, who has always maintained that Disney wasn't worth the cost, time, or crowds.  All in all, we had a MAGICAL time!  GO DISNEY!!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

DISNEY WORLD - Here we come!?

Well, I have been trying to get us ready to go to Disney World in the morning; however, I think that I am getting sick. My head is about to come off. I have one small load of laundry left to do and then pack our little bags. The boys are really excited and I think that Mark is even a bit happy about the trip. He cannot stand crowds. He can be a booger bear at parks.

I was hoping to be ready by now, but I am moving kind of slow. LOL Sounds like the beginning of a song. I have bought Atlanta tickets for the two older guys to see a game for Michael's birthday. Paul and I will swim and just have some fun on Saturday. Tomorrow we go to MGM studios. Saturday we are having dessert at the California grill and watching the fireworks. Sunday, we are going to Epcot. We are staying at the French Quarter.

Well, I had better get off this computer and get to packing.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

My Day: March 9, 2005

Clay and Paul!  These boys are 8 days apart in age!  They hit it off great!
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Yesterday, Dana (DeeFL) and her four children came to visit us.  Dana is lovely and just full of joy.  Her children were so well behaved and sweet.  Paul told me that they were normal, nice, and FUN!  He was asking today when they were coming back down.  Dana and I ate brownies, held her new daughter, and visited.  Dana took Paul and me out for lunch at one of our Chinese restuarants.   She was great company and I enjoyed getting to know her.   I am hoping that we can arrange another visit soon. 

After they left, I had to teach piano.  All of my students came yesterday and we got their recital pieces picked out.  It is always a BIG relief for me when those are chosen and the children are working on their selections.  The recital is the week after Mother's Day this year.  I have to decide on what I am going to give the students at the recital.  I need to get the trophies chosen and ordered.

My last student came late and left late.  As soon as her mother got her, we went shopping to get the guys some new clothes for Disney World.  Paul told me that he needed new jeans and some shirts.  That kid has me wrapped around his finger.  Mark even bought himself some new casual slacks to wear.  I couldn't believe that he spent money on himself.  Michael picked out a few shirts and a pair a long jean shorts.

We came home and ate left-overs rather late.  ugh  Eating late is not a good way to lose weight. 

The Cotillion director called and wanted to know if Mark could film the classes on Sunday.  I reminded her that we would be AT Disney.  She then decided to share with me that she is RAISING the prices of the different classes.  I asked her what the cost of year two was NOW, and she told me $295.00!!  I cannot afford Cotillion if she continues to raise rates.  I called a friend, who has two daughters in Cotillion, and she told me that she is very concerned about the cost of Cotillion.  So, today, I have been looking into starting a local chapter.  We are having to drive out of town now to attend and our local parents are the ones doing all of the work! 

All in all, I had a really nice day.  I love it when God brings new people into my life!!


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

My precious guys!!
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My husband is a pastor and a middle school band director. He has been in the ministry for 30 years! We have been married for 25 years. I have known him since I was 14 years old. He is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY with an MCM. He is a leader in our local Boy Scout troop. He is the pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church. We meet in our home right now because the building we were meeting in was knocked off its foundation during Charley.

My older son, Michael, is attending college and works at Wal-Mart. Michael is a wonderful artist and is finding out that he’s pretty gifted in math, too. His father and I are trying to talk him into majoring in math. He collects, trades, and sells baseball cards. He and his father have started working out in the local gym. He loves Sci-Fi and video games.

The little guy is Paul. He is 12 years old. He is home educated and goes to the middle school for band and reading lab. He is very active in Boy Scouts. He plays the drum and the piano. Paul is attending Cotillion this year and TRYING to learn some social graces. LOL He is Amer-Asian. We were extremely blessed and got him as a tiny guy when he was five weeks old.

But, the best thing about these wonderful men in my life is that they all love the Lord and seek to serve Him. They are giving and generous to others and live for Christ. They bring me great joy.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Starting to figure Things OUT!!!

I am so excited because I added a picture to my profile!

This blogging is totally new to me so it's going to take a while to figure it all out. Today is going to be a long and busy day. I start teaching private piano at 2:15 and work until nearly 6:00 PM. Tonight is Boy Scout night. I need to start cleaning this house and get ready for company tomorrow.


Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sunday, March 6

Well, I have no idea what I am doing! In fact, my plan wasn't to start a blog but just to comment on someone elses.

We had church today here at the house. Mark was barely able to speak so I led the worship and sang a solo and he saved his voice for preaching.

We went out for lunch. I picked my some piano books for my students and then we went to the mall. I ended up buying a few new outfits for Disney World.

I'll write more later!

Debbie B