Monday, July 31, 2006

A week's sabbatical

Hello everyone! Well, I am leaving this morning for family camp, so I will not be posting until next Sunday at the earliest. I will be returning home late Friday evening and then we are leaving early Saturday morning to go watch the Reds and Braves play in Cincinnati. We are taking Daniel and Erin and Erin's brother, Brian. He whined so well, that we just had to take him....:-) We love you, Brian!! So until next week, the Lord's best to all of you! ((HUGS))

Friday, July 28, 2006

My morning greeting

This sweet, happy face is what greets me at the back door every morning. Rocky!! He is the sweetest, happiest, most gentle dog. I think the Lord knew that I needed him. Even when I didn't know how much I needed him. He just makes me smile and laugh whenever I see him or am around him. He doesn't bite but he likes to take my hand in his mouth and just kind of "waller" it around. *grin* He is so obedient and humble. We lost our family dog last fall, October to be exact and it was so heartbreaking. We never thought that it would be possible to find another dog like Bearly. I truly felt the Lord brought Bearly to us, too. You see, shortly after we moved here, we found her in a briar patch next to the drive way. After talking to our various neighbors, we found out that Bearly was one of a huge litter of puppies and her mother had carried her and several of the other pups off to various locations. Well, they said we could keep her and we did. She was a lab/retriever mix and the ideal dog. We never had to chain her because she stayed in the yard by herself. The only time she left was at night to run with some other neighborhood dogs. It was so funny because in the morning around 7 o'clock, here she would come with 2 or 3 of the other dogs, after a night of running only the Lord knows where, down the road. Bearly, would come down our driveway and the other dogs would continue on to their respective homes. It was like they had their own little social club. Bearly, Joey, Heidi (Bearly's mom) and Patches. Well, Rocky's personality and demeanor is exactly like Bearly's. It makes me teary-eyed just to type about it here. You see, I think this is one of those "desires of your heart" things that the Lord speaks about in Psalm 37:4: "Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." You know, those things that you never put into words to the Lord but they are there, nonetheless. And He sees and knows them and they do not go unnoticed. He looks upon our hearts and sees those things that we long for and secretly desire, though sometimes we think that they are not even worth putting into words or bothering our great God with. While we grieved terribly for our precious Bearly, He saw our hearts and in His time, He filled that empty place in our hearts and our home........with Rocky.
P.S. We were not looking for a dog either time when Bearly and Rocky came to us. We weren't sure what kind of dog we wanted. But the Lord knew,hm? *smile* "How great is our God...."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

4 days and counting!

Four days until I go to family camp for a week! I didn't get to stay at family camp last year because I took the youth to NAYC and I couldn't take any more time off work. I went to services every night but I sure don't look forward to the drive every night. That is why I like to stay. I will be staying in the ladies' dorm this year because I am going by myself! So if any of my friends reading this would like to come join me or just come spend the day, you are most welcome! I stayed in the ladies' dorm the first few times I stayed at camp, but the last three times I have stayed, Daniel and Bethany went with me and we stayed in good old room #22 on the third floor of the hotel, but not this year. I cannot do the stairs...*sigh*. No matter, I am sooooo looking forward to camp! Daniel and Erin are staying Wednesday and Thursday night and Ed will be up Wednesday night for sure. I think he kind of doesn't want me to be gone for five days. Oh, he doesn't mind me going at all, but I think he just doesn't want to be alone so much. Though he does enjoy having time to himself, five days is a little much. But I just don't want to have to drive up there every night and I love seeing friends and so on, browsing through PPH's displays, eating leisurely meals, not to mention the great teaching and preaching, singing, presence of the Lord...oh, I could go on and on!
I have to go but I'll post some more in a little while!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ellie the Cat

I was sitting at my computer Tuesday evening and Ellie came sneaking up through the side compartment of my desk here like she used to when she was a kitten and she proceeded to climb all the way to the top! I don't know if she thought she saw a bug or what, but she hasn't done this for a loooong time. When she was a just a kitten, she used to climb up, lay down in front of the monitor and sleep while I was on the computer. She's wayyyyy too big for that now! She still hasn't made friends with Rocky, but if she is ever going to be friends with a dog, it will be him, because he doesn't chase her or growl at her. We let her out on the front porch the other evening, then let Rocky on and shut the gate. Ellie did her usual spatting and hissing but Rocky just wagged his tail and sniffed at her and nudged her with his nose. One morning, when I was feeding Rocky on the back porch, I left the back door open and Ellie came to the doorway. She and Rocky actually touched noses that morning, so there is hope of a deeper friendship developing here, I think! *smile*

On the wagon!

Well,my friend and pastor's wife, Sis. Martin and I joined Weight Watchers Tuesday evening! I am hoping that the financial investment will be enough of an incentive to keep me on track with this program. So far so good! I have eaten more food in the past two days than I have eaten in quite awhile. But, of course, that is because I am eating three meals and snacks. Also, I am eating fruit. Now I love vegetables...all of them! And I kinda like fruit but Ed is the real fruit eater of the family. But I have been having three servings of fruit a day and all kinds of veggies cause they are FREE! Well, most of them. I have been drinking 6-8 glasses of water and exercising. I have been walking. I can't walk very far, but I am hoping to build up to longer distances. Right now my goal is to lose 21 pounds and I am not to weigh myself in between meetings. That is kind of difficult but so far, I've done fine with that. Already I feel better;not so sluggish and tired. Soooo, I will keep you posted! It was funny at church last night. Cheryl, my sister-in-law (who has lost 35 pound on WW), brought these little pouches of Reese's snacks to Bro. and Sis. Martin and I and she asked us how many points we had left. I had the most with 5! Cheryl didn't have any left. Sis. Martin had 2 and I think Pastor had 1! It is good to be doing this other people. It makes it more fun! So Kaitlin, our adopted daughter (we have alot of adopted kids between us, hm, Theresa? *grin*), came home with us after church last night so she could watch Project Runway with me. She wanted some cereal and I wanted a snack of some kind. Sooooo...she got out this like mashed potato bowl and filled it with Raisin Bran, milk and an ample shower of sugar! Me??? I got out a coffee cup, measured out a half cup of cereal, about 1/3 of a cup of milk, and sprinkled just a little Splenda on mine! Kaitlin couldn't believe I was just going to eat that little pitiful bit but in all honesty, it was enough and I was satisfied. She and Ed eat cereal alike....mashed potato bowl servings! So much for healthy portions! LOL

Saturday, July 15, 2006

It is finished!

Tada! At its finished size it is 48" by 80". I made it too wide to begin with but Ed and I both can fit under it nicely, though not in this weather!! It will be nice this winter. I am thinking of taking it to the drycleaners to have it pressed and shaped. I don't know, though, I may not since I am keeping this one, but I will for the ones that I make to sell. I am going to buy some more yarn to day and get started on another one!! The plan right now is that I am going to make as many as I can by September. I am also going to make fringed fleece blankets in assorted college, are high school and NFL colors, along with afghans. I will then rent a booth in one of the area artisan malls where I will display my wares. *grin* I am going to make a sign for the booth that says: "I've Got You Covered" What do you think?? I am going to mix up the afghan patterns doing a shell pattern, ripple, and possibly broomstick. Those will all go faster than the one I made above because it is all double crochet. I'll keep you all posted!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Update on Johnny!

Well, Johnny just called me. He smoked the treadmill! The stress test! Passed with flying colors! He is pretty proud of himself. Gosh, he's hard enough to live with;now, it will be worse. They think it was stress and the fact that he had just run down and then back up this hill that Arby's is being built on. Let me tell you, if I ran down then back up a hill I KNOW I would pass out. I told Johnny that sometimes when I laugh reeealllyyyy know, when you face turns beet red and you can't breathe.....I almost pass out. I'm serious. I get dizzy and the whole bit. He said he does too. We're twins. Go figure. *grin*

Well, I am going to go run the sweeper and clean the front bathroom then settle in and crochet on my "never-ending" afghan! I hope you are all having a super day!

I have some good news AND I have some good news

Welcome to Soggy Valley, USA!! Sheesh!! Between the rain and humidity, we have our own built-in sauna! LOL What made me think I ever wanted one???
Okay, the first good news is that I received my mammogram results yesterday and they are NEGATIVE!! Isn't that wonderful?? My husband was so relieved, as was I!
The second good news is, though you might think this is a bit strange: My twin brother, Johnny, (pictured above) is in the hospital. He collapsed at the Arby's jobsite yesterday. By the time I arrived at the hospital, they were bringing him back from having a cat-scan and he seemed perfectly fine. Laughing and making jokes and so on. The nurse with him said that he DOES have a heart and a brain! LOL After doing numerous tests, they could not say that he had had a heart attack or stroke, but his oxygen level had plummeted for some reason so they asked him to stay for a day or so, so they could run some more tests and this morning, even as I type, he is having a stress test. Heart attacks, blockages, strokes and so on are prevalent on my mother's side of the family, and Johnny takes after them as far as looks, build and so on. Needless to say, he wasn't too keen on staying in the hospital AND not having his cellphone. I don't believe he has ever spent a night in the hospital or a night away from his wife, Cheryl. I'll keep you posted on how he is doing!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Me and muh sistas!

My two sisters and two sisters-in-law and my niece, Bethany, went out for my sister Bev's birthday today. Her birthday is July 16. She will be 58. All five of us kids are in our fifties. Whew.....who would have thunk it? It is pretty neat though.
We went to the China Fortune restaurant in Nelsonville which is our favorite place to go for our birthday lunches. It is such a lovely little place, the food is excellent and the prices are right. I had Happy Family which is a conglomeration of 4 kinds of meat and assorted veggies in this to-die-for sauce and it is served on a hot sizzling platter! Oh, baby, oh baby. I brought half of it home for Ed because I just couldn't eat it all, if you can believe that! *smile* Well, I did have a heavenly egg roll and wonton soup, too. Bev ordered a plate of these delicious donut-like little cakes that they make. They are served warm and coated with sugar. Yum!! When our waitress learned that we were celebrating Bev's birthday, she brought out a plate of the most beautiful little desserts. She explained to us that they are served in China on birthdays and are a symbol of good health and prosperity. They are pictured here. We talked and ate and laughed and ate and......well, you get the picture!
I am now home and since Bev picked up some more yarn for me before coming down this morning, I am going to go crochet some more on the "afghan that will never end". I'll tell you more about that later!!

Coming out of a blue funk?

I don't know why exactly but I have been in this funk for the past several days. *sigh* I think the constant pain wears me down after awhile as the pain medicine I have been taking just kind of dulls the pain. I know there are many other people who are so much worse off than me, yet I have to deal with where I am, you know? I am trying my best.....I am. Monday afternoon I went for my 4 month check-up at Dr. Keller's. He is the best doctor. He changed my pain med from Darvocet to Ultram. Two Ultram does seem to be giving me more relief. My blood pressure is great: 110/80! Aside from the pain in my back,hips, and legs, I am in good health, for which I am thankful to the Lord each day. After my doctor's visit, I went for a mammogram. Oh, joy and gladness!! *grin* About 4 months ago, I found a small lump in my right breast and have had some pain, so I thought it best to get checked. Dr. Keller said he doesn't think it is anything to be concerned about. I'll keep you posted. I should know within a week.
I had some errands to run after all of this and by the time I got home I was worn out. It was so hot and humid Monday.
Anywayyyy, I do believe my mood is improving. I am trying to get more rest. Yet, I feel that I have to be sure to be active enough, you know??? So where is the balance???
Sometimes, I just want to stay home and kind of shut myself away from everyone and everything because it takes so much effort to do anything and it hurts. But I am a social person at heart. Sooooooo.......I make myself get out there and mix it up for my own good. Like last night......we had our monthly ladies' meeting at church. I almost called off. I was hurting pretty intensely, even with pain medicine. BUT.......I got myself gussied up, grabbed my dessert and went. And I am glad that I did! We had such a great time! We prayed together, encouraged one another, ate some good food, played games, and Sis. Martin had just the devotion that I needed to hear and it was almost entirely scripture....encouraging, strengthening scripture.
When I am down in the "mully-grubs", I tend to put on this "face". You know what I am talking about. I can't let others see me down and struggling. But then I realize that I just have to let people "in" and last night I did. I shared with the ladies what I have been going through and they were all so kind and encouraging to me and today, I feel so much better.
I often remember what Paul said:
"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. " Romans 12:10
I am trusting in the Lord and His word to bring me through, to help me stand, to strengthen me each day.

"He's my hope in this world;
He's my lasting joy untold;
He's my strength in time of trouble and storm;
His love will keep me from harm."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Heading Up North!

Ed and I got up early Monday morning and headed north to visit our dear friends, Bob and Betty Sheets. We met Bob and Betty when our son, Daniel, was dating their niece. Though Daniel and their niece broke up, our friendship with Bob and Betty has continued on. Thank you, Lord. And Daniel and their niece are still good friends, too. *grin* There are some people that you meet and you go on your way, but something just clicked with us and the Sheets. For one thing, we all love the Lord and He is first in our lives. Secondly, we love to laugh and play cards. We love our families. We just have alot in common.

Anywayyyyy, we arrived at Bob and Betty's and just had to go over and say hello to Sis. Whitt, Betty's mother, who lives in a small mobile home behind them. She is from Virginia and has this soft southern accent that I just love to hear.

Then we headed out for Amish country, specifically Berlin, Walnut Creek, Sugar Creek and Millersburg. We ate at the Dutch Valley Restaurant and it was delish! We then drove around the different little communities and shopped some. I didn't buy anything but Ed, Bob, and Betty bought candy! I'm not a sweet tooth like they are. Give me the bread and noodles please! *grin*

I told Ed, Bob and Betty that we are in the wrong business! We need to find something(s) to sell and tack Amish or Yoder on it and sell it for three prices! We'd be rich in no time! LOL Seriously though, these people are making a killing!! In the cheese place where we went, I was looking at the herbal teas and they wanted $3.99 for the same tea that we pay $ .99 cents for at Walmart! Egads!! Needless to say, I didn't buy anything there. I mean, the cheese is tasty but the price is ridiculous!

Bob took us on some backroads that were beautiful, even if it was raining. One of the roads was so backwoods, we thought Ed was going to have to get out and start stomping down brush so we could get through!!! LOL We finally made it out to a two-lane road and headed home and made it safely.

When we got back to Sparta, where the Sheets live, we settled in for our usual game of Euchre. Me and Betty against the boys. I am sad to say that Betty and I lost the three-game series. *sigh* It was one of those nights when we had to fight for every point. And, yes, the guys did rub it in pretty badly. Sheesh, but they do get carried away! (Not that Betty and I have ever been known to do that when we have won....:0)

Ed and I started the drive home at about 8pm. We had such a nice ride home. We just talked about our day and wanting to get home to see Rocky and Ellie, our dog and cat. As we neared Millersport, we noticed trees and branches down and knew that we must have just missed a pretty bad storm. Thankfully, we didn't have to drive in it. When we arrived home, we could tell that it had really stormed here, too.

Happy Independence Day to all of you. I am so thankful to be an American. I know that many people in the world hate us and there are those who think we are just a bunch of self-indulgent people. But I know in my heart that we are a country of brave, big-hearted people who has helped most every other country in this world at one time or another. I am proud to be an American.

P.S. The picture is of Bob and Betty....the short people *grin*.....and Ed. I am behind the camera! (My best angle! *smile*)

Lighthouse Kids: Shining God's Light!

Here are a couple of pictures of the fellowship hall at church. This is where VBS begins each Sunday morning! Our pastor's wife and some willing helpers have put all of this together. It is just so wonderful to see everyone working together to make this VBS program so much fun for the kids and to tell them about the Lord and how much He cares about them. I woke up this morning with one of the songs going through my mind.
Here are some pictures of my classroom. We learn some wonderful truths about God's love through signing and song and dancing. Some of the kids are a little shy but tend to open up as we go along. I have assorted beach towels on the floor for the kids to sit on, though mostly we are standing, so I'm not sure that we need the towels. *grin*

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Saturday Evening In the Valley

What is it about beautiful, summer weather that makes a person not want to post so much? I've noticed it on most of the blogs that I read: that most everyone has slowed down on posting, except for Donnie and Theresa. I was a posting fool there for awhile but have REALLY slowed down here of late (hm, Pat? *grin*)
I went to Ohio Apostolic Camp last night for the first time this year!! It was awesome! This week was Jr. High camp. I was very impressed with the crowd that was there last night. The tabernacle was almost full! The music and worship was absolutely wonderful and Bro. Joki preached an awesome message: "Don't Let the Voices Prevail" Afterward, I went to the dining hall and visited with so many people I hadn't seen for a long time and I had an Italian Sub with all the fixin's. They are the best!
Before going to camp, I did my sister Debbie's monthly banking, errands, and shopping because she has been really sick all week. I am so happy to tell you that today she is much, much better, almost completely well.....thank you, Jesus. I also had to go to the bank and the pharmacy before heading to camp. I ended up being about a half hour late to camp but it was still so awesome to worship and hear the wonderful word of the Lord and to see so many friends! There is nothing like camp!
I had to take some young people home last night, so I didn't get home until after midnight. I awoke this morning to the sound of my friend Pat's voice. I forgot that she was coming down to get her hair done this morning!
After doing her hair, I made my bed, got myself ready to meet the day and crocheted on my afghan for awhile. Ed went outside and started mowing the grass for the weekend. About 1pm, we went to the church and Ed helped me finish decorating my classroom for VBS. My room is the music room...imagine that! I have big musical notes all over the walls. I have a long knitted scarf that my friend Pam made for me several years ago and I put it on one of the walls. Ed strung metallic gold and silver musical note garland across the room. The gold is strung from one corner to the other;the silver is strung in the opposite direction. I have lighthouses sitting in the windows and on the one shelf. I did the big bulletin board....oh, you know what? How about if I take some pictures and just post them here? *feeble grin* That would be easier, hm??? Our theme is "Lighthouse Kids: Shining God's Light" It is so neat! I am really looking forward to it starting tomorrow morning! We are doing something a little different this year. We are having VBS on Sunday morning only for the next two months which means our big finale will be on Labor Day Weekend. I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow.
We are having our annual July 4th church picnic tomorrow evening at 5pm, which will make it our annual July 2nd church picnic!! I just have to be a mouth! *grin* I think I am going to fix chicken and noodles and a scrumptious trifle dessert that my friend Tammy passed along to me a couple of years ago. It is supposed to be realllyyyyy hot tomorrow but hopefully there will be a nice breeze like there has been today!
Here is the trifle dessert recipe:
1 box of Little Debbie brownies (not the iced ones but the plain ones that are shaped like twinkies. I have made my own brownies and used them but I don;t want to fire up the oven in this warm weather, so these are a nice substitute)
2 boxes of white chocolate instant pudding (make each box of pudding with just 1 cup of milk instead of 2)
2 boxes of chocolate instant pudding (make each box of pudding with just 1 cup of milk instead of 2)
1 container of cool whip
1 Butterfinger candy bar crushed
Break up and crumble half of the brownies into the trifle dish. Top with half of the white chocolate and chocolate pudding. Top this with half of the Cool Whip. Sprinkle half of the crushed candy bar on top of the Cool Whip. Repeat the layering, again topping off the dessert with the Cool Whip and crushed candy bar. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Chopped pecans or pecan pieces can be added and sprinkled on top of the cool whip, too.
I hope all of you are having a great holiday weekend!!