Friday, July 29, 2011



How can I begin to express my love and gratitude to my husband...without getting all mushy?

How does the old joke go? We've been married for 28's been the happiest 3 years of my life! haha! Just like everyone else we've had our good years and our not so good years. But God has blessed us with each of these years. I'm thankful for all of these days.

Steve and I knew each other for a couple of years before we actually started dating. I thought he was a snob and he thought I was a flirt. He chased me until I finally caught him....that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :-) We married during my senior year of high school, that was not the smartest idea we ever had - but what God has joined together let no one put assunder.

Steve is many things to me:

MY COOK:Steve grilled out for us on our second date. Steak, bake potato, salad....he had me at steak! Since then he has wowed me with all sorts of wonderful meals...coconut shrimp, low country boil, homemade french toast, omelets and any kind of BBQ you can imagine!

MY LAWN MAN: He made a decision 16 years ago that he wanted to be with his wife and kids more, to be a bigger part of our lives. He left the retail world and started his own business. I was scared to death! But it was a great decision for our family. He is great at what he does and year after year our backyard becomes more beautiful with flowers, shrubbery, and our water fountain.

MY POOL GUY: Steve does absolutely everything for our pool. He opens it every year, maintains it all summer, closes it in the winter and repairs all broken parts. He does everything except swim it in - I guess that's my job.

Three years ago with my cancer diagnosis, he added another description. MY CARETAKER. Neither one of us wanted him to have this title - and I didn't take to it very well in the beginning. But he has been with me every step of the way. He was a watchdog while I was in the hospital, making sure all the nurses were meeting my needs. He has protected my heart, shielded me from hurts, encouraged me to fight when I didn't think I had any fight left in me. The picture at the top of this post was taken on a trip at the end of my first round of treatment. We were both so excited to be outside, away from the house after a very trying year.

These are all wonderful traits in a husband, but I also admire his traits as a Christian man.

He is GENEROUS. He always trys to help a friend or stranger anytime he can. Whether it's money, food, helping with a chore. He has taught me alot about generosity.

He is TRUSTWORTHY. If he says he is going to do something, he does it.

Marvelous attributes of a man these days...but the most important thing about my husband is that he is a Christian. He's not just a guy that believes there is a God. He is a man that believes, trusts, worships and serves God. He is sold-out and locked-in to God.

Thank you God for blessing me with this man. You knew this man was what I needed long before I did.

Happy Birthday Steve!
I love you more every day!


Happy birthday to my "older" sister - Sue, Susan, Susie, Mrs. Dial, Goose - and my favorite - "Goofy"!

Sue seems to have a lot of nicknames, maybe they are for all the different hats she wears. If someone asked me to describe her, I would have to tell them to take a seat. We grew up with the classic love/hate relationship. We loved to hate (or at least act like we hated) each other. She would finally succumb to play with me. But we always played "beauty pageant" and she insisted her dolls won. Her favorite line when we finished playing was, "I got all these toys out, so you have to pick them up". As the younger sister I truly enjoyed making her life miserable. She was a little high strung and jumpy, so my favorite game was sneaking into her room and yelling "BOO!" She would just about jump out of her skin....but the best part was that since she was also a little scatter brain, I could wait 2-3 minutes and do it again...and get the same reaction from her- over and over again! It was fantastic!!

Fortunately, we became closer when we didn't live under the same roof. I began to appreciate Sue for who she truly is. She is a completely devoted mother. She stayed at home with her girls until they were school age. She loves those girls with all of her heart and soul. When they were babies she made homemade baby food so they could have healthy food without all the perservatives. I can see parts of Sue in those girls....and that is not a bad thing...most of the time. I get amused when she makes a comment about her daughters rooms being messy. When Sue was a teenager you literally could not see the floor of her room for all the clutter - this was a permanent condition of her room. She had a little blue Mustang while she was in college. The back seat and floorboard were the same height and I never attempted to move the stuff out of the front passenger seat - I would just sit on top of it!

For several years Sue was the youth leader at our church. I watched her love those kids and get involved with their lives. A lot of those kids were not "church kids", meaning their families didn't go to church - they came on their own. Most of those kids have graduated from college, have careers and some have a family. I'm sure they can recall many of the lessons they learned in that youth group, because Sue had a way of making it real to them.

When the girls started to school, Sue started teaching again. I think this is her true calling. Her mission field is her classroom. She has a passion for learning and she has a passion for each of those kids to realize their full potential and urges them to work for it. She truly cares for each of those students. Several times she has called and said I can't tell you the students name, but please pray for this situation. For this dedication and passion she has received the Second Mile Teacher award twice. I'm very proud of this recognition she has received, but that is not why she does it. She works nights, weekends and summers to help her students succeed. If all teachers had this kind of commitment, just think how far their students could go!

Sue got a lot of our grandmother's talents. Sue likes to cook and cooks wonderfully, during her time as a full-time mom, she would long as you didn't give her a deadline! Although she did do a last-minute job of sewing Andrew's new chevrons on his uniform the night before he left for Japan!

Sue has the wonderful gift of investing herself in people. If she sits down next to a stranger in a waiting room, they will not be a stranger when she leaves...and amazingly if they ever cross paths again, she will remember them! This is a gift I wish I had...especially since I don't even know the names of all my neighbors!

In honor of Sue's birthday I wanted to share her with you. I am thankful to be blessed with two wonderful sisters. I am uber-thankful that we have remained close through all of these years. I'm thankful that God blessed them with children so I could have the joy of nieces and nephews (and a grand-niece). I'm thankful that they love my children as if they were their own. But most of all I am thankful for heaven so they we will spend an eternity together.

Sue, happy birthday!
I love you,

"I thank my God in all my remembrances of you." Philippians 1:3

Thursday, July 28, 2011



As I was going over my activities of the day and thanking God for the energy to do these things, it occurred to me how many things I did yesterday involving the letter "C" (these are the deep thoughts one has when they no longer work or have children to raise) :-)

CLEANING day! Woohoo! I love CLEANING day - my house smells so fresh, the floors are clean, furniture is dusted. It is a beautiful thing. Heavens no, I am not the one doing all this cleaning! But I did write the CHECK to have it done!

My first activity was to use my COUPONS. This picture shows the things I purchased yesterday at CVS. Using my coupons the total for this purchase was only $26! Yay! Let me stop right here and brag on the customer service at my local CVS. They are always very helpful and friendly. I try to shop with them whenever possible, because it is just so nice to do business with people who are COURTEOUS!

Next on my list was CHATTING with a CHICK friend over some CHINESE food. The food was good, but the CONVERSATION was excellent! I am so thankful to have been blessed with friends that are entertaining and also are not bashful to talked about God, our dependency on Him and how He blesses us each day.

Now on to Wal-mart. I don't particularly like to shop at Wal-mart. Unfortunately, sometimes the ole CHECKBOOK dictates where I shop. However, I was able to use almost $8 in COUPONS.
Back at the house, I unloaded all of these purchases (whew). Thank you God for the energy to COMPLETE this task and thank You for providing food for our CUPBOARD.

Two sweet CHICK friends came by the house to visit with me for a little while. Their visits are such a sweet time of fellowship.

Time to get ready for CHURCH! I changed into a new outfit I bought while on vacation last week. Guess what color. CYAN (a shade of blue)! CHURCH was awesome again! Our time of praise and worship was so incredible. Standing among fellow believers worshiping our Almighty God! Words just can't describe it!

Onto the last stop of the day. We had after church supper with guessed it....I had CHICKEN fingers!

Last night I prayed for those fighting CANCER. I pray for strength for those who have fought for a long time and peace for those new to the fight. To each of them I offer this scripture...

"Have I not COMMANDED YOU? Be strong and COURAGEOUS. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" Joshua 1:9

Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I spent this Monday after vacation getting back in the swing of things. I made a list of things I wanted to get done today. I accomplished most of the things on my list. I'm pretty forgetful so my list is very detailed. One of the items was to make a picture of our mailbox flower garden. This is one of my favorite spots each year. This is the only color in our front yard. Steve likes to plant all sorts of flowers all over the back yard and around the pool, but he likes the front lawn to be green, as in grass, lots and lots of grass. No flower gardens, except for this one around our mailbox. I learned a long time ago to choose my battles and since Steve buys, plants, waters and weeds our gardens, I choose not to make this a battle. He can plant whatever he wants, wherever he wants as long as all I have to do is enjoy them. My only disappointment with his decisions was the loss of our pom-pass (sp?) grass. Several years ago we had a huge, beautiful pom-pass grass by our back steps. It was my favorite plant. Steve hated it! He claimed it attracted yellow jackets or some nonsense like that. Well, I took a trip to the beach and guess what I saw when I empty spot where my beautiful grass had been! Oh well, nothing I could really say about it then - the damage was done.

I ventured outside to have my TAWG (Time Alone With God) this morning. It was very muggy! An occasional light breeze was definitely on my thank you list to God this morning. I was hoping we would see some rain to cool things down a bit, but so far no rain here.

The grocery store needs to be on my To Do list for tomorrow, but I'm not sure that will happen. I'm a couponer (not extreme like on TV), so I have to go through all the coupons that came in while I was out of town and check all the sale ads before I can hit the stores. So it may happen tomorrow - maybe not.

RODNEY BRAKEFIELD - A godly man. I grew up with Rodney, we went to the same small church and attended the same schools. Rodney fought a long and courageous battle against cancer. God relieved him of his suffering on Saturday. His smile and good cheer will be missed by many. I know that Rodney is worshiping in heaven tonight. Rodney, we will worship together again!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I have just returned from a wonderful vacation with my sisters and their families. We had a great time and enjoyed spending some much needed time together. The only way it could have been better is if my husband unit, our offspring and ruler of the house (Gracie) could have gone. Steve doesn't vacation during the summer, Allie has another trip planned and Andrew is still in Japan. Gracie couldn't vacation with us because I am the only "dog-person" in my family.

We had relaxing days and ate some scrumptious meals at night. Some meals were in local restaurants, some were made by the cooks in our family (not me, of course). One afternoon we were entertained by Leah and Lizzy making homemade cinnamon rolls with maple icing. This was a first for them so they wanted to follow the recipe exactly. Unfortunately, I think the recipe made like 60 cinnamon rolls. It will be awhile before I want another cinnamon roll.

Steve and Gracie were glad to see me when I came home. They were jumping up and down and licking my face...well, one of them was anyway. :-)

I've got some projects on my agenda this week. I will post on my progress.