Sunday, August 31, 2008

Can I just say...

Woo Hoo Big Blue!

We rolled over U of L with a score of 27 to 2. (Sorry Katie!) So the men at the Heigh-ho house are very happy! (and we women of the heigh-ho house are happy too because we don't have grumpy men at home.) I did ask Josh if he thought that we would win any other games this year because um...there was that one year that everybody said that they didn't care if we lost every other game as long as we beat Louisville...and we did lose every other game except that one. Anyhow, Josh assures me that we should win the next three games. We'll see.

We finally settled on a meal of Yankee Barbeque, deviled eggs, beans and chocolate pudding cake (made with homemade chocolate pudding.) I did not partake of the barbeque (for obvious reasons) but everyone else seemed to enjoy the meal.

I hope your Sunday was just as exciting!

A funny thing happened on the way to...

Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Lamentations 3:37

We last left our heroine pontificating about this and that on her way to work. However, once again she has learned that just because she says it does not make it so. Sigh.

About forty minutes before leaving for work yesterday, I began feeling distinctly green. While I am normally a fan of the color green, I don't enjoy it so much when it is the color of me. (I also have to wonder why things like this can't happen when I am off work with no plans or obligations. Any thoughts?) Anyhow, MJ (most wonderful friend and Queen of all she surveys) came to my rescue and I spent the better part of my day becoming best friends with the porcelain palace. (and wishing I'd cleaned said porcelain palace prior to taking up permanent residence there.)

Somewhere around seven yesterday evening, I got a frantic phone call from Connie, letting me know that all my rejoicing over the fixing of the women's restroom at work was for naught. They now had a "disaster" on their hands. Calmer heads prevailed and the situation was brought under control the best it could be at seven in the evening. On a Saturday. Of a holiday weekend.

All this just goes to show that we have so very little control over our lives. Oh, we might think we do. We make so many plans and set out to make them happen. But as yesterday goes to show, "How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15

For the record, I am feeling better now. Not 100% but certainly better than yesterday morning. (I'm blaming it on ragweed and stress. The sick part, not the feeling better part.) And um, Katie....Go Cats!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Daddy is fine, ya'll. Praise the Lord! He came through surgery with flying colors (whatever that means) and woke up asking why his side was hurting "a little bit." I told him it might be because that's where they "sucked his gallbladder out" but he didn't seem too convinced. Oh, the power of anesthesia and pain medication. He did ask the doctor if he could keep a gall stone so he could have it set in "jewelry" for mama for their anniversary. One of the nurses gave him a tic-tac in a specimen bottle and he gave that to her instead. I'm not sure she was impressed but I know she was glad that he was doing fine.

Today is their 50th wedding anniversary. Daddy told mama that he didn't think he'd make it to their hundredth. I told him it was one day at a time. I suspect that they'll celebrate for a long time to come. But for today, he'll be sleeping in the recliner and she'll be watching over him. The way it's supposed to be.

in other news...

I am working today. I am happy to report that they finally have fixed the women's restroom at work. After a week. We females have been less than enthused at our lack of a bathroom. Not that we don't have a men's bathroom. But we want our own. It took the plumber two trips but it appears that all is now well. (and we won't even mention the two little children who made use of the floor rather than the men's room. On accident. Because it's all behind us now.) It's been an interesting week at work. However, I expect to be busy today with the coupon (and we all know everybody loves a coupon) and ad set (and we all know that it's a great idea to reset the ad while we are celebrating a coupon) and stuff like that so the day should fly by. Then we will pop out to see how Daddy is doing and see if he's figured out why his side hurts.

Then tomorrow, after church, we have the football. Because what would September be without college football? We will plan an entire menu around the football. Forget Labor Day Cookouts. It's game time. I have no idea what we'll be serving. I'll leave that to Josh. (Did I mention that he is a much better cook than me? It's true. Trust me, this is not a ploy to escape cooking.)

Anyhow, I hope your weekend is fun and exciting and filled with new and exciting things. Blessings!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

this -n- that

a hodge podge of things tonight....

Molly's mom and dad are now updating their blog with information on how Molly is doing. There are some of the cutest pictures there...

My dad will be having his gallbladder sucked out tomorrow. (My words, not his. I'm fairly sure that wasn't as comforting a thought as he might have liked. He did chuckle a bit though.) Anyway, we would appreciate your prayers. He is a little nervous and mildly concerned. As he says, surgery like this is minor unless you're the one having it.

Krispy Kreme is good stuff!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

It is hot here in the Ohio Valley. The air is thick. The grass is dry. (Which is weird considering how humid it is.) About the only thing blooming happily is the ragweed. And I am trying to remember back to the days when I thought spring would never come and it would never be warm again. Silly me. Now I'm praying for one nice hard freeze. (No, not really. That would mean all 118 plants would have to come inside and I am not ready for that.)

This weather promotes laziness around here. (Don't tell Josh I said that. He has been working hard outside, keeping his plants and the yard in great shape.) I have to agree with Lori, however. It's really easy to become a slug. (Do slugs survive in hot, nasty weather? That might be an incentive not to be one. Something to thing about.)

There isn't a whole lot going on in the heigh-ho house right now. We are still adjusting to our school schedule. (Jessi went back to school Monday so we can now add her to the mix of new schedules and stresses.) Some of us are gearing up for the big game on Sunday. (Some of us are going to find a good book to read while the big game is on.) Daddy's getting ready to have his gallbladder stuffed and mounted. (I wonder if they really do that?) And Mom will spend her fiftieth wedding anniversary taking care of him. Other than that, we are plodding along. Being a little lazy, but mostly sticking to the course. (Speaking of courses, we are also apparently preparing for the Ryders Cup. It's a golf thing. I'm not sure what kind of golf thing but it involves lots of spectators.)

Well, I am off to scramble some eggs and wake some bodies for a brand new day. I hope yours is as ordinary as mine!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cover to Cover:falling on deaf ears

Join us at Bev's for a complete review of this weeks readings.

The Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple. But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done. 2 Chronicles 36:15-16

She made herself dirty by her sins and did not think about what would happen to her. Lamentations 1:9

Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, 'Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!' But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. Jeremiah 44:4-5

You know, reading this, I can't think of anything to add to it. Other than how clearly it seems to mirror us today. We continue to be a nation that turns it's back on God. How long will He wait before His anger can no longer be restrained against us?

And yet, still, there is hope. Even in their darkest night, even in His fiercest anger, He offers hope.

'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.' Jeremiah 33:14-16

But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more. I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. Psalm 71:14-15

May His warnings not fall on deaf ears. And regardless of our circumstances, may we keep our hope in Him.

God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. Lamentations 3:22-24

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Molly Update...

Here is an update on Baby Molly....

Molly Kathryn Mueller is still holding her own, and fairly well, I might add. She is now 3 weeks old (yesterday). She's up to 2 lbs., 10.4 oz., and we are thrilled with her weight gain. We plan on throwing a party when she gets to 3 lbs.! She is eating 22 ml of milk every three hours now. Because of how fast she was able to increase her feedings, she has been weaned off of her IV fluids. We were thrilled to see her left hand and forearm without an cute!! And we're thankful that she is tolerating her feedings well enough to get rid of the extra fluids.

Molly loves her pacifier, so they've started dipping it in her milk while she is getting her feeding (through her feeding tube). It's so cute--she totally loves that milk directly in her mouth!! She goes to town on her paci--fast enough that it squeaks. They gave her 3 ml from a bottle the other night, and she did well. Food is not an issue for her, which means she fits right into this family. :-)

Two days ago, we met with an occupational therapist and learned how to do preemie infant massage, and Molly seemed to enjoy it. She was calm while I worked on her head, back, shoulders, arms, and legs. The OT did a great job of encouraging and teaching. It was a neat experience. The point of this is to teach preemies positive touch. A lot of times, the touches that preemies feel are when the nurses are sticking them for blood, putting in IV lines, etc., so touch isn't always a good thing in their experience. Besides being held, infant massage is a good way to introduce positive touch. I'm pretty sure she loved it because she was relaxed and sleepy all afternoon.

We helped give Molly a head-to-toe bath the other night, including washing her wild, dark hair. She did great, didn't cry or anything. They bring a scale in and cover it with a blanket. They put little Molly on there--she looks super-teeny with nothing on--and weigh her. Then, we get a tub of warm water and washcloths and slowly and gently get her clean. She was wide awake, just looking up at us with her big dark-blue eyes.

Molly's oxygen saturation level has been pretty good...there have been some "episodes" where she gets down too low and the nurses have to turn up her oxygen intake. These are so scary...of course, the monitor goes off and makes a horrible beep, and you can tell that she has to work harder to breathe. She usually recovers quickly, and sometimes even before the nurse can come in to turn up her air...then we sigh in relief and get our own breathing back to normal.

They are still trying to get Molly used to keeping herself warm enough for an open crib. Right now, her Isolette/incubator is set on 28.5 degrees put it in perspective, an open crib would usually be 26 to 27 degrees C, so she's not requiring much help at all. They are hopeful that she will get a crib soon. That would be so nice, but I know it's important to keep her warm, so we'll see how she does.
We are still spending most of the day with her. I'm usually there around 9 in the morning and stay for the "work day" until 5:30 or 6 or so. Garrick is back to work, though they are trying hard to be flexible. He is able to break away for longer lunch hours and/or sometimes leaves a bit early in the afternoons to be with Molly. Grandparents are helping us "babysit" some mornings and also in the evenings, which has been such a huge help. We get to hold her just about all we want now since her body temp. is better...we just have to keep her swaddled in blankets.

I know all of this sounds so good, and it is. We are so proud of our little fighter--she is a joy!! The hard part still remains that there is no way to know how long Molly will be with us. Each day we come away feeling so positive--that's just what Molly does to you--she is a little bundle of hope wrapped up in a less than 3-lb. package. Every day is a gift, just like she is, and we enjoy it to the fullest.
Continue to pray for our strength--we are both admittedly exhausted in about every way possible (but Molly is worth it!). And, of course, continue to pray for Molly and her health. We can't thank you all enough for your support.

Please keep the Mueller family in your prayers.

what is that pretty yellow flower, mommy?

I know that ya'll are as thrilled as I am to know that ragweed season has officially begun. Please pass the kleenex!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why is it...

that the drafting ruler that we had to scramble madly on a Sunday afternoon to find for school on Monday still sits on my computer desk on Thursday morning? Instead of being in someone's back pack or in a school locker or in the drama tech class where it was originally intended to go?

Or why is it that we feel we need to inform mom on Thursday morning that we have no clean school pants and we must dig yesterday's school pants out of the bottom of the laundry pile (why are they on the bottom when we just wore them yesterday?) and wear them today?

Or why is it that after much loud "discussion" about telling mom that we are out of school pants the night before school and mom looks into said child's closet, she finds a perfectly clean, identical pair of school pants hanging in the closet just waiting to be worn? (Who would have ever thought to look in the closet for clean clothes?)

sigh. Do you think we will survive the school year?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge No. 26

It's been a little crazy around work these past two days. We've been expecting the Grand Imperial PooBah and PooBah #1 and PooBah #2 to come and visit at the store. So we've been spiffing everything up and making it all neat and sparkly. (Not that it looked bad to begin with. But you always want to make sure everything is ship shape when the PooBahs are coming.)

Anyhow, the PooBahs came and the PooBahs went. We all breathed a sigh of relief. And then we went home. (Well, some of us went home...Mary Jane!...some of us had to stay and close the store. Sigh.)

May all your tomorrows be PooBah-less! Or maybe all your tomorrows should be neat and sparkly...whichever you prefer. It's late and the flurry of activity has frozen my brain. (And so help me, if I dream about water buffaloes in lodge hats'll be hearing about it tomorrow.)

It's finally happened...

I have no cohesive thoughts. Just a bunch of random ones. (Although in the interest of full disclosure, I need to say that I often have a bunch of random thoughts rattling around in my head. I just don't let them all out at once. Very often.) However, this morning we are going to let them roam free. Here goes:

We are finishing a full week of school. (five days. Even though the first one didn't count. It was a half day and they played outside all day. Even though we are a junior in high school. Not that the Junior in question was complaining. He'd rather play outside all day and get credit for it.) For some reason, I thought my life would magically get back into a routine once school started. Since my children are old and have been going to school for a long time, you'd think I would have remembered that it's not that easy. I'm remembering now that it's not that easy. I'll give myself a 60 for organization. (Luckily it's the beginning of the school year and I'll have time to bring that grade up!) However, I can honestly give myself a 100 for High Hopes. That and 6.99 can buy me a copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

Have you ever opened a kitchen cabinet and vowed that you would never ever let that child put dishes away again? And then stopped to wonder if that wasn't his intent all along?

Josh stopped and counted the number of plants he currently has and came up with 120. Fortunately, the two tomato plants will die back and he'll be down to 118 by the time it's time to bring them in for the winter. 118! Did I mention that we will be wintering elsewhere this year because there will be no room in the house for us? No, not really. He's working on finding good homes for some of them and some will spend the winter at his mom's house. Because there's nothing that makes her happier than having a shower full of tropical plants.

Travis has some interesting thoughts on the greatest singers of all time here. And this chicken recipe looks very tasty.

The Newsboys were here last night, performing at the christian concert night at the fair. I hear they were awesome.

(See, I told you these were random thoughts...)

I have an abundance of new books that I should be reading. I bought Kelly Minter's No Other Gods book recently along with Elizabeth George's Following God with All Your Heart, a George Muller biography, Donna Partow's Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be , A bible study on Feasts, Marvin Rosenthal's The Feasts of the Lord, Dr. Henrietta Mears What the Bible is all about and Ed Young's 10 Commandments of Marriage (which is a great buy at 5.00!).

And, last random thought, I am working late today and I probably should be tackling a dozen other tasks rather than blogging. So, I am off to do laundry, iron a few things, clean the kitchen, feed some birds and read!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cover to Cover

***Please lift up Jean and the Myers family as they grieve the loss of little CJ. ***

I don't know where to begin with this week's readings. (For more coherent thoughts, check out Bev's blog. There are lots of wonderful insights there.) Ezekiel absolutely fascinates me and I am sure that I am missing more than I am catching. However, let me share a little bit of what caught my heart these past few days.

Then the Glory of God left the Temple entrance and hovered over the cherubim. I watched as the cherubim spread their wings and left the ground, the wheels right with them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the Temple. The Glory of the God of Israel was above them. Ezekiel 10:18

Then the cherubim spread their wings, with the wheels beside them and the Glory of the God of Israel hovering over them. The Glory of God ascended from within the city and rested on the mountain to the east of the city. Ezekiel 11:23

I have to wonder if they even noticed that the Glory of God had departed. I'm guessing not. Their hearts were so fixed on their idols. Are my eyes fixed on something other that God? Henrietta Mears says, "We grieve the Spirit when we do not allow ourselves time to read the Word or pray. We limit the Spirit when we refuse to be clean vessels through which He can work. We resist Him by allowing idols to be in our hearts. Remember, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Does His presence glow in your life?" (p261 What the Bible is all about.) Or am I instead, "with my back toward the temple of the LORD and my face toward the east," bowing down to something other than Him? (Ezekiel 8:16)

After having finished up the NOG study this past week, I am somewhat sensitive to the mention of idols. (Praise God! May I not only stay sensitive, but work constantly to remove them from my path.) I thought these verses were very clear on what God thinks of idolatry.

'This is what the Lord God says: Change your hearts and lives, and stop worshiping idols. Stop doing all the things I hate. Any of the Israelites or foreigners in Israel can separate themselves from me by wanting to worship idols or by putting up the things that cause people to sin. Then if they come to the prophet to ask me questions, I, the Lord, will answer them myself. I will reject them. I will make them a sign and an example, and I will separate them from my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 14:6-8

Another thing that tugged at my heart was found in Ezekiel 20. This is something that I have caught in other places as we've read and I still have no real answers. Four different times God mentions Israel desecrating the Sabbath. He states, "and keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord your God.’ Ezekiel 20:20. He says in Ezekiel 20:16, "...they rejected My laws and did not follow My decrees and desecrated My Sabbaths. For their hearts were devoted to their idols." Warren Wiersbe says that desecrating the Sabbath would be the same as treating it as another other normal day. These scriptures rest heavy on my heart. I am afraid that I don't treat the Sabbath in a way that God would find pleasing. Too many times I wait until the end of the weekend to catch up on things that should have been done on Saturday. Too often, I let a lack of organization or just plain laziness stand in the way of getting things done Saturday. It has never been my intention to treat anything of the LORD's as "another normal thing." Something to think about.

There are many other things that I could ramble on about. The death of Ezekiel's "delight", his wife. Oh, how that struck me. Not just that he saw his wife as his "delight" (and he must have, because God recognized it as such) but that he continued on, in unrelenting obedience to God. I don't know if I could do the same. At the very least, I think I might have hesitated just a moment. Oh, to be such a person of God.

Then there was this.

'Your priests violated my law and desecrated my holy things. They can't tell the difference between sacred and secular. They tell people there's no difference between right and wrong. They're contemptuous of my holy Sabbaths, profaning me by trying to pull me down to their level. Your politicians are like wolves prowling and killing and rapaciously taking whatever they want. Your preachers cover up for the politicians by pretending to have received visions and special revelations. They say, "This is what God, the Master, says..." when God hasn't said so much as one word. Extortion is rife, robbery is epidemic, the poor and needy are abused, outsiders are kicked around at will, with no access to justice.'
"I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn't have to destroy it. I couldn't find anyone. Not one. So I'll empty out my wrath on them, burn them to a crisp with my hot anger, serve them with the consequences of all they've done. Decree of God, the Master." Ezekiel 22:26-30

So much of this reminds me of the times in which we live today. I hope that there is someone to stand in the gap, to take a stand for Him. May we be that someone.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What we do for fun...

I have mentioned before that my husband has a green left side of his body. He loves growing tropical plants and my house often looks like a indoor jungle during the winter. (because we do not live in the tropics! No matter how much we pretend that it's true.)

Anyhow, one of his dreams has been to enter a couple of his plants in the state fair. We finally bit the bullet and filled out the paperwork a couple of months ago. He entered two categories (blooming and non-blooming) with no real idea which plants he might actually take. Because you can't actually predict what might be blooming two months in advance. And you can't predict how much damage japanese beetles and random factors of life might do to your foliage. And honestly, over the past week, you might have thought we were planning a small scale invasion of a hostile territory with all the discussion, plotting, and planning that has gone on in choosing just the right plant. (oh, and now would be a good time to mention that NOTHING was blooming! Everything had just finished blooming or was just about to bloom.) Finally, Wednesday night, (the night before said plants must be taken to the fairgrounds) a decision was made. And remade. And discussed. And fretted over.

Thursday morning, he and his dad transported the "babies" down to the fair. And Thursday afternoon, he was the proud "papa" of two prize winning "babies."

This is a ginger. I forget what kind. I know I should remember. But I don't. Josh could tell you if you really want to know. See the lovely blue ribbon? This ginger rocks!

This is a three year old plumeria that he started from seed. I am so glad that it finally cooperated and decided to bloom. (I think it's a blue ribbon plumeria but we are happy with second place.)

Here is the bloom up close. Because you can't really tell much about the bloom on the other picture.

And in case you didn't see it before...the blue ribbon!

Congratulations, Josh! (and as you might expect, he's already talking about what he's going to enter next year. It may be a long twelve months.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

blessings too numerous to count...

We are so blessed. And I would say this regardless of what news we received from the doctor today.

However, the doctors have determined that Daddy does NOT have cancer. (Woo Hoo!) As a matter of fact, he does not have a goiter either. Apparently he is the proud owner of a thyroid cyst. Which means no additional medication. Yippee!

He does, however, still have gallstones and is scheduled to have them removed the day before their 50th wedding anniversary. I reminded mom that vows really were for "sickness and health." So they will celebrate their anniversary honoring those vows.

Thank you so much for your prayers. I am blessed to have such wonderful prayer warriors petitioning the Father on behalf of my earthly father. I love you guys!

Guess what time it is?!?

This has got to be one of my favorite commercials and it properly reflects the mood around my house this morning. It's the first day of school!

We did the haircut and open house yesterday in preparation for THE BIG EVENT! (I took yesterday and today off. So "going back to school" really is a holiday!) But don't worry, Jonathan. It's only a half day of school today. Just to get back in the swing of things. Then we'll spend this afternoon shopping for all the things that we didn't know we needed for classes we didn't know we were taking.

On a more serious note, my dad gets his test results from his biopsy today, so I would appreciate prayer for us as we wait.

Have a most blessed day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cover to Cover

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Every year, around April or May, we start getting in all kinds of product with this verse on it. Pictures, picture frames, bookmarks, plaques, desk sets, bible covers, name it and someone puts this verse on it. It is universally recognized as THE verse to go along with graduation. The thinking is that the graduate needs reassurance and a reminder that God is looking over their shoulder and He has their life mapped out. He's just waiting for them to take the next step. I've flippantly quoted the same verse any time someone expressed a lack of direction or confusion over what they should do next. And I'm not saying that any of that stuff was wrong. (except maybe the "flippant" part.)

This past week, however, as I was reading the verse in context (yay, chronological reading!), something else struck me. Here the Israelites are, getting ready to enter one of the darkest times in their history. Certainly it will be the darkest that any in this generation can remember. (and isn't it funny what they perceive to be "dark"? I'm sure God thinks their darkest times are when they turn from Him.) Yet even in this bleakest time, a time of horrible loss, God had a plan. A plan to prosper them. To give them hope and a future.

Did they believe Him?

Do I believe Him?

When days pass that aren't quite what I've expected or planned for, do I believe that God has a plan for me?

That He hasn't forgotten me during whatever loss I might be walking with?

And I guess the other thing that reached out and tugged on my heart was that no matter how angry God was at His treasured people, He left them with this promise. A promise that was designed to offer a measure of comfort in the darkness. You could even say it was a nightlight of sorts, meant to guide them back to Him.

This is God's Word on the subject: "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. "When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. "When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree. "I'll turn things around for you. I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you"—God's Decree—"bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.
Jeremiah 29:11-14

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation...

Or to be more accurate, "what I did on my Sunday afternoon..."

Josh's work sponsored a day day at the zoo so we happy campers hiked off to the Louisville Zoo. Our Zoo has grown by leaps and bounds over the last twenty years or so. They've added lots of new exhibits and the trees have grown big enough to provide lots of SHADE!

Mr. Rhino (or Mrs. Rhino. I couldn't tell. Nor did I look.) needs some wrinkle cream.

I love her eyes. They are just gorgeous! (We have a giraffe feeding station at our zoo. It wasn't open while we were there but I think it might be kind of cool to feed a giraffe.)

I think the deer-like animals get overlooked a lot because they aren't as flashy as lions and tigers and bears. So I decided to include a picture of one just for fun. Because I am an equal opportunity photographer.

This is Scotty, our new baby elephant. He is very cute and cuddly and was trying to impress us with his skill at picking up logs. I was impressed. And I wanted to take him home with me. After all, what's one small elephant when you already have 5 dogs, a cat, and various amounts of parrots?

Oh, look, it's nap time for Mr. and Mrs. Lion. They were so cute, sleeping side by side.

I liked this close up shot of her as well, but I didn't realize that she has a bump on her head. Perhaps she should get that looked at.

Zebras speak for themselves.

This poor monkey was all by himself on Monkey Island. I would think Monkey Island would be more fun with more monkeys. But he seemed to be enjoying himself.

It's meerkat manor. Jonathan thinks our Meerkats are lazy because they no longer post guards. He did have some suggestions for shaking them out of their complacency but I doubt that the zoo would approve.

I didn't see any gorillas in the gorilla exhibit so I took pictures of the goofy tourists. (Jessi and Brandon, in case you don't recognize them.)

The tiger was laying right against the glass, belly up, like she wanted a belly rub. Josh wondered how long it would take her to eat my hand if I tried it.

I love penguins! Even if they smell funny.

And we felt like turtles by the time we reached the end of the zoo. Hot, tired, and sleepy. But we had fun. I hope you had a wonderful Sunday as well!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday morning, Lawson signed to this song during devotion. (It was totally cool. Go, Lawson!) Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy the "older" songs. Anyway, the words were a lovely reminder for some of the things that are going on in my life right now and I thought I'd share them with you. (Thanks, Lawson.)

His strength in us begins
Where ours comes to an end.
He hears our humble cry and proves again . . .

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong;

Friday, August 8, 2008

Question of the Day #4

Where does a basset with a mouthful of peanut butter english muffin go?
Answer: Anywhere that causes the most mess. But he sure looks funny while he's chewing!
(and why does he feel the need to run off with messy food? and who keeps giving him messy food to begin with?)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You know it's going to be an interesting day when...

Cleaning the cat litter is not my favorite chore. (and I'm thinking that sentence is probably totally unnecessary because why would it be any one's favorite chore?)

Anyhow, I was cleaning the cat litter, putting everything in the little baggy thing, daydreaming about whatever else I would rather be doing, not paying any attention to the odd little thumping noise that I normally don't hear when I do this delightful task.

So, when I'm finished, I look down and what do I see?

All the cat "contributions" all over the floor.

Because the baggy thing has a hole in it the size of my head! (not that I measured. Because it did have cat contributions that passed through it. Besides, we all know that plastic bags are not toys.)


So here's to what promises to be an interesting day.

May yours be one as well. (Without cat whatnots all over the floor, of course.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


We are now trusting our Sovereign God to reveal whatever path He would have my family take.

The biopsy is done...Daddy is doing "okay" (he was less than thrilled with the three needles and Novocain. I don't guess I blame him. And being a diabetic, mom can't even take him for ice cream for being a "good patient."). Now we are awaiting results. His appointment is next Wednesday so hopefully it will be a peaceful week of waiting. (Dad is still a little bummed because the surgeon is still telling him he has to have surgery regardless. Those pesky gallstones.)

I so appreciated your prayers for him and I know he does too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm asking...

We just received news that Molly is a Trisomy 18 baby. The doctors have told Brianna and Garrick to enjoy her to the fullest over the next few days as they believe this is all the time she has left. Please lift Brianna and Garrick up as they face this most difficult time.

You all are so faithful to I am asking once again for specific requests. My father (his name is John) will be going to have a biopsy tomorrow and I'm asking for prayer for his healing. In a perfect world, I would prefer that the mass be completely gone. However, I know that only God's will is perfect so I'm also asking for peace over whatever the outcome is. (We are supposed to have to wait a week for the results. I'm thinking this is a patience test. Sigh. I don't do very well with patience tests.)

Also, the assistant manager at one of our LifeWay stores has a prayer request as well. Her daughter, Molly, was born last Wednesday weighing in at a little over 2 pounds. Because of some other health issues that she has, the doctors suspect that she may have a chromosomal abnormality that is, in the doctor's words, "incompatible with life." I cannot imagine ever hearing those words coming out of a doctor's mouth. (And I'm thinking he needs some lessons in tact but that's just me.) Anyway, they're praying for a "Molly sized miracle." Would you lift them up in prayer today as well?

Thank you so much. You are much appreciated!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cover to Cover: Me Too!

My thoughts are a bit scattered but I am going to try and see if I can get this point across. If you're still confused at the end, just nod your head and say, "uh huh." I get that a lot. Then pop on over to Bev's and get some clarity there.

I have lots of moments where I am reading something or hearing someone speak about something and a lightening bolt strikes, and I think, "me, too!"

Sometimes the Me Too realization isn't a pleasant one. During the sermon today, when Kyle was talking about a certain "idol" behavior, I had a Me Too moment. These moments are usually followed by an "uh oh" moment. And hopefully a "I'm not going to do that anymore" moment.

Sometimes my Me Too moments are a moment of shared kinship. A positive thing. A feeling of, "oh yeah, I get that. I do that too. I totally know where you are coming from." And I had one of those this weekend.

Beth taught about the parable of the seed this weekend. During the last session, she talked a little about her life and the abuse that she'd suffered and how she didn't know at one point how she was going to survive it.

Friends, I can totally relate to that.

And not in a good way.

But that wasn't my real Me Too moment.

She went on to talk about how she began really reading her Bible. As she read, she fell in love with the Word. And my heart started shouting, Me Too! Me Too! Because I am loving my Bible. I can't describe how much JOY the Word brings to my heart. I am fascinated by the Words that He put there for me. (and you!)

Beth went on to say that she didn't realize it, but as she read, God began to heal her heart.

And this time, my heart was asking "Me Too? Could this happen to Me Too?" Psalm 107:20 says, "He sent His word and healed them; He rescued them from the Pit."

And I believe it!

When I got home yesterday and began reading through my chronological list, I came across this: When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16

I had to smile...and my heart was shouting...Me Too!

True Confessions...

I am not a fan of pictures...of me. For some reason, I seem to think that I cannot possibly be that "fluffy", old, wrinkled, tired, grey, or insert any other adjective here. However, at the LPL event, Tracy told me that she would have never guessed that it was me from the picture of the back of my head. (I did turn around so that she could see the back of my head. She still didn't recognize me.) She thought that the picture of the back of my head made me look older than I do in person. (Thank you, Tracy.) And Ang wanted to see a picture of my eyes. (They are green. More or less.) So, this is what you get. At least until I can photo shop my person and make me a little less fluffy, old, wrinkled, tired grey and insert adjective here.

I was around eight days old in the above picture. I came to live with my parents about that time. I think this is the first picture they ever took of me. I did not have hair. Sigh.
This was my first Easter. Love the plastic kitty. Drool proof. I was six months old or so. Still no hair. (Which is why my mom was forced to put bows in Keith's hair when he was little. Somehow she knew she would have a hairless daughter. Is that anything like a hairless Chihuahua?)

Ah, finally, we have hair. (I don't know why hair is so important to me. I guess I got tired of being bald.) Anyhow, I was three-ish here. Loving my grandma, sitting on her front porch swing. Hmmm...I just noticed how chubby my cheeks were. It's nice to know that I am returning to my childhood shape. Just as long as I don't go bald.
How about you? Did you have hair when you were a baby? I promise I won't be jealous if you did. (After all, Jessi had tons of hair when she was born. Curly, brown hair. Jonathan was bald but that's okay. He's a boy. Boys don't have to have hair when they are babies.)

Sunday Scripture

Rain and snow fall from the sky and don't return without watering the ground. They cause the plants to sprout and grow, making seeds for the farmer and bread for the people.

The same thing is true of the words I speak. They will not return to me empty. They make the things happen that I want to happen, and they succeed in doing what I send them to do.

So you will go out with joy and be led out in peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees in the fields will clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:10-12

Friday, August 1, 2008

more adventures with Frank

Frank and I got up early this morning. Actually, Frank and I did not sleep much last night. Frank is not a comfortable sleeping companion. Anyway, we decided that we needed an early start to the day because we had errands to run outdoors. In the heat. Which isn't much fun when several unmentionable body parts are covered with adhesive tape.
We decided to make pancakes for breakfast.

Notice Frank has a new look. He decided to jazz up his floral look with some hearts and "hello kitty" stickers. What a classy guy.

Safety first. Even Frank buckles up.

Our first stop was Lowe's. Frank was impressed with all the gadgets and tools. I didn't think I'd ever get him out of the dangly hooky wires department.

Our next stop was LifeWay. Frank wanted to check out the book "No Other Gods" as companion reading to the bible study. I think he's afraid that I might be missing something. Or that reading might reinforce some of God's ideas. We also picked up our copy of Third Day's new CD. Frank is a big Mac Powell fan.

I also introduced Frank to Mary Jane and Helen. (Helen is the one on the left.) They were excited to meet him since they'd heard so much about him. Frank thought they were pretty cool too.

Our next stop was Wal-mart. Neither Frank nor I particularly care for grocery shopping but it's a necessary evil. Josh would go if I asked him too but then who would get my impulse snacks? You know...the ones that leap off the shelf and into your cart. Frank and I did pretty good today though. The only extra thing we got was a new nail file. (We even said "no" to the chocolate covered almonds...which happen to be someone's newest snack obsession. And that someone is regretting saying no.)

Then we were off to the library. We had some books to return. We finished A Vineyard in Tuscany. Frank and I both really liked it. Of course, we are Ferenc fans. We're ready to rush off and buy an abandoned friary right now!
Alas, it's finally time for Frank to go back home. To be perfectly honest, as much fun as Frank and I have had, I'm not sorry to see him go. (but don't tell him I said so.) Once Frank spills his guts about everything he knows about me, I should meet with the doctor sometime next week and get the scoop. I'll let you know how it goes.

Have a blessed evening!