Good Friday

Good Friday…..it may seem strange to some people that we call the day Christ was crucified “good”. I liken it to the fact that the end result is good, great even, for you & me!

Yes, on Friday Jesus was mocked, beaten & hung on a cross to die for sin–EVERYONE’S sin–whether they believe it or not. Yes, He had the power to get down off the cross and prove to everyone there who He really was and what power He had. No, He did not do that.

Why, you ask? There could be many reasons argued. One reason I believe it happened that way is because people would be shown more who Jesus was if He died and was resurrected than just if He climbed down off the cross and said “told ya so”.

When He was confirmed dead and was buried and then when His grave was being visited a stone that no one man could have moved had been moved and His tomb was empty–oh, that made much more of a statement!

I can’t imagine the pain that God went through on that “Good Friday” even though He knew the outcome! I know that I am thankful that He was thinking of ME and how MY life would be changed by His sacrifice! I pray that your life has been changed by it as well. If you are unsure or need someone to explain to you what God has done for you, please leave me a comment!

I will leave you with 2 things! 1 is words to a song that I feel like explain it all about MY part in why Jesus had to die.

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

The other is a video about the HOPE of Sunday (Easter) after the crucifixion on Friday. Click on the following link to watch it!
It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming!

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Weary Mamas

I saw a post from a friend yesterday about the struggles of her day.  As I read it, I could FEEL the words she wrote.  She was tired, her kids were sick (yet again), one of them was having a meltdown….She was weary to a certain degree.  She craved another Mama to tell her it would all be okay.

Have you been there before? I know I have! I don’t think there is a Mother out there who hasn’t felt overwhelmed at least, oh, a million times!  Sometimes we just need someone that has been there to tell us “this too shall pass”.  Now, before all the Dads get upset that I’m just talking about Moms, I know there are some Dads who do a lot to provide and help with their children, finances and cleaning.  So, I know dads do a lot too.  But for today, I am speaking to Mamas because I am one!

I saw this picture yesterday on FB and I really thought about what it said.  I know that I personally feel like I always have something going on.  Part of that is because I have children (and forgetful children) and part of that is because I am a volunteer–not just because I live in the Volunteer State either!  Ha Ha!  But I never want to be too busy to spend time with God.  I know I couldn’t make it without Him!

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When I had my youngest child, this was my life.  I had a “bonus” son who was 5, a son who was 22 months old and a newborn.  I worked full-time up until 2 weeks before my last son was born and then I stayed home.  I wanted to be able to stay home at least until my children went to school.  With the costs of daycare it totally made sense.  We even though about homeschooling our children, but that didn’t happen.  I think it was really a combination of things.  I tease it’s because my middle son was strong-willed, but that really wasn’t why.

I remember my husband worked 12 hr shifts at his job and he went to work less than a week after me coming home with our youngest son.  Trying to nurse a baby who wanted to eat every 2-3 hrs, keep up with a toddler who just wanted to go outside and play but it was too cold, trying to rest myself and get a schedule of food and naps while changing diapers and forget about trying to clean–I was exhausted!  He called me on one of his breaks and I just cried on the phone and told him I couldn’t do it.  HA!  Oh, he was so sweet and encouraged me that I really could.  But that was a WEARY time!

I worked for about 9 months right before our youngest turned a year old.  Then, I was home again!  I loved being able to spend that time with my boys–even though it wasn’t always easy.  When our middle son started Kindergarten, I started work.  Now, I understand that everyone can’t stay home and everyone can’t work outside the home.  God made us, and our situations, different.  There are probably people who are working that could stay home and people who are staying home that could work, but that’s not a question I choose to debate.  I believe we do what we feel is right and there should be no judgement on a fellow Mother regardless of whether she works inside the home or outside the home.

I can tell you, since I’ve been on both sides, that you WORK regardless!  Being a Mom is a full-time job!  I think sometimes the world wants us to feel like Stay-at-home moms do nothing but watch TV and lay on the couch while spending all the money their husband makes on QVC….and that Working Moms get away from the children and spend their time in a fantasy world where they don’t worry about the things at home for that 8 hrs and spend all the money we make on clothes & shoes (oh and that we don’t love our children).  Well, NEITHER of those is true!  Though I know that SAH Moms crave & need adult interaction, they are working hard at keeping up with everything that has to be done on the home front as well as the schedules of extra curricular activities and volunteer work.  And working Moms are trying to do their “outside” job, but all the while are thinking of what needs to be done at home, what the schedule for after work is and what they might be missing in their kids’ world this week.

I would like to encourage all you Mamas out there to stick together!  Not just with those Moms who are like you, but also with those who do the opposite of you.  I like having SAHM for friends–they help keep me grounded about what the important things in life are!  They help remind me of the days when my children were younger and now I can look back and see the fun we had.  Even though I missed some things my kids did because I worked, I worked even harder to enjoy the time I had with them.  And, I hope that SAHM can look at me and see that although I don’t have it all together I enjoy my family.  Family is important–whether you have a big family or a small one–and making the most of that time, as well as taking some time for yourself, is a necessity.  Whether you just started your family or like me, are almost an empty nest.

Encourage a Mom this week!  Send her a message, note or card.  Let her know that motherhood can be challenging, but some of the best things in life are worth working for!  Also let her know we don’t have to be perfect!  I could give you a long list of things I’m not perfect at, but I’m thankful that my God sees the good and sometimes sends sweet friends in to remind me that I am loved!

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Lord, I pray for all the Mothers who read this.  I pray you give them grace to see through the hard days, peace to know things will get better and rest when they have the opportunity to take it.  I pray you surround them with women who are encouragers who allow them to talk when they need to and let them know it will be okay.  I pray for both the Stay at Home moms and the working outside the home moms would respect each other and love each other–not talk down or be jealous of the other’s “perceived” way of life.  I thank You for the different abilities and strengths you give each of us as Moms, Wives, Sisters, Daughters and Friends!

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Here is a snippet of my morning today–just so you can realize that I DON”T have it all together as a mom! Most of my days are similar (& sometimes worse) than this. HA HA!

I went to bed at 11:30pm, got up at 4:30 am to let the dog out, then got back up at 6:30 to start my day.  I got Brian’s clothes ready, woke Hunter up, fed the dog & let the dog out. Then I went to make lunches for my guys and realized that we had no lunch meat or peanut butter and we had no chips or crackers and the only fruit we had was 1 over ripe banana. So, I proceeded to tell them they would need to eat at school today (which isn’t near the amount of food I pack for them). So, I let the dog back in, get Brian’s medicine for him, pray with him and kiss him goodbye. Then, back off to force Hunter to get out of the bed–that is a fight every morning. I took a quick shower because my hair HAD to be washed, got dressed & left my hair curly and just quick dried it because I didn’t have time to completely dry it. Finally got everything together and headed out the door and I thought we would be good. Then I started the car and my gas light came on. I knew I wouldn’t have time to stop on the way to get Hunter to school or he would be late! So, I drove him to school, asked him where his backpack was (he forgot it in his dad’s truck) and where his checker was (he forgot it at home). I’m not worried about the backpack, but he HAS to have his checker! I went to the closest gas station to put gas in. When I left the house I was burning up because the heat wouldn’t kick off (& I was rushing around), so I forgot to grab a sweater. Here I am pumping gas in the cold with half sleeves on freezing!  I knew I didn’t have time to go home to get his checker, so I grabbed something for breakfast and headed to work. When I got to work, I opened the passenger door and a CD case fell out of the door pocket, opened up and the CD went rolling under my car….thankfully it just kept rolling because it rolled uphill out from under the car and then hit the wheel and fell. I could just see me climbing under my car to get a CD! So, now the only thing I have to do is work, go to the post office and run home to get his checker, drop it off at school, log into the school lunch area and put money on his account (since he doesn’t normally eat at school) and come back to work!  See, life is never boring!

When I get stressed about it all I just try to remember the good times! I hope you can too!

I think about the country song “Don’t Blink”…..it is so true!

Don’t blink
Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don’t blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your “better half”
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don’t blink

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Spring is on its way!

I love the way the

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water gets bluer…

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trees start budding…

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flowers start blooming…

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creatures start stirring…

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Yes, even the mice & spiders…

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All of those things mean Spring is coming. Spring is a symbol of NEW life!

How do you feel about your old life?

Do you feel like you’re relaxing and watching it go by?

ImageDo you feel like there’s always a mountain to climb?

ImageDo you feel like you spend all your time looking up at the sky and asking God why?

ImageWell, if that is you–take the time to begin again this Spring. Life always has room for do-overs.

Look down the tracks of life and decide which way you are going to go and how you are going to get there.Image

Then soar to the sky and fly!Image

Don’t look back at the past–your future is ahead of you! And as the old 80’s song said….”The future’s so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades.”

Happy Birthday Sadie

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When Sadie came to us a little over a month ago, we thought we knew how old she was. Then I looked on some papers from the vet and they had her a year older than we thought. I was concerned, but had basically come to the understanding I was going to have to just make up a day for her birthday!

When I took her to get spayed, I also took her microchip we got from the Humane Society. I had called a couple weeks earlier to get the information on it changed over and they had told me to call back in a couple weeks to verify the information had been updated and so I could get a username & password for their website.
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So, I logged in and added more phone numbers (it’s imperative for you to have as many updated ones as possible) and also a picture of Sadie. While looking around on the site, I found the Humane Society had already entered some information, such as her weight and her birthdate! We had a birthday!!!!! And it was in less than a week!
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So, today is the BIG day! Sadie is a year old, is healing very well from her spaying and has captured our hearts! She loves to “talk” like you’ve probably seen in some of my videos. (Here’s a clip if you haven’t.) Sadie Talking

She also loves “hugs”. Every day when we come home from work she jumps up (standing on her back legs) and hugs us and waits on lots of talking & petting. After a minute or so she gets down and she’s good the rest of the night.

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Sadie is a very quiet and mostly extremely well behaved dog. She loves to snuggle & loves to sleep. If you are looking for an animal to share your life with, please consider adopting from a local shelter or pet rescue. There are so many animals out there that need a good home. Here is a link to the Hamblen County Humane Society MHHS Facebook Page

Think of all the memories you will be creating with a little pet food, a warm place to sleep and a lot of love!

The Making of a Soldier–Part 3

This weekend officially started the 2nd phase of Charley’s Basic Training — called “White Phase”.

The BEST part of this phase is that once a week he gets his phone to make a short call! We got ours last night and he’s doing great! He loves the things he has learned so far and is performing very well! I can’t believe he has been gone a month yesterday already!!!!

He is LOVING the letters & cards, even though because HE has received so many the Drill Sergeant is making him perform 10 push-ups per letter. The first time for mail call he received 11 letters and didn’t have to do any push-ups, but Monday he received 9 and he did 90 push-ups! He said it was SO worth it! Keep those letters and cards coming and if you need his address, please let me know.

Here is what they are doing in White Phase:

“White Phase“, is where soldiers begin actually firing weapons. With the service rifle, the M4 Carbine or M16A1 Assault Rifle, they will fire at various targets, which are progressively farther-and-farther down range, making each successive target more difficult to hit. You are required to shoot at least 28 out of the 40 targets that pop up. You will gain the skill of “Marksman”, “Sharpshooter”, or “Expert” depending on how many of the 40 targets you shoot. Additionally, there are pop-up targets at long range. Other weapons the soldier becomes familiarized with include various grenades (such as the M67 fragmentation grenade), grenade launchers (such as the M203 grenade launcher) and machine guns such as the M240B and M249 SAW “Squad Automatic Weapon”, Soldiers will also be familiarized with the M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun, referred to as the “MA deuce”, as well as the MK-19 (called Mark 19) which shoots 40mm grenades over 3000 meters.

The second week of White Phase involves familiarization with anti-tank/armor weaponry and other heavy weapons. There is also an obstacle course which the soldiers are expected to negotiate in a certain amount of time. This is also known as the confidence course since the main objective of running the course is to build self-confidence. There is also the expectation of working as a team with the assigned Battle Buddy.

Additionally, there is continual, intense physical training, as well as drill and ceremony training. At the conclusion of White Phase, soldiers are expected to demonstrate proficiency with the various weaponry in which they trained, using numerous “go or no-go” (pass/fail) exercises, prior to being allowed to move on to Blue Phase. There will also be an off-record PT test in White Phase, which is for the drill sergeants to assess where you are in your physical fitness goals.

What’s in a name

2 plane tickets $300
Hotel & Rental Car $200
Getting to take maternity pictures for your first grandchild- priceless!

I have been excited about this ever since Tammy asked if I was interested in planning a trip. The day before we were flying to Kansas there was a huge snowstorm “Q” that completely covered most of Kansas/Missouri! We were hoping we could get there and not be delayed…..especially since I was driving 3 1/2 hrs to Tammy’s house!

That day the entire airport in KC had been shut down, so we weren’t sure what the next day held for us. Once I got there, we were double checking and re-packing our bags. We were also trying to decide what we would take for them to have to wear for pictures out of the clothes we had, going through props and pictures to decide what to take.

We went to bed late, but I couldn’t sleep a lot because of the excitement. I just kept checking the phone for updates. I finally just got up and showered so i could be ready. Tammy got up just a few minutes after me, so we double checked all our luggage & we headed to the airport.
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We got there and enjoyed our wait. We just milled around and took a few pictures. Here is us at the airport and also on the plane.

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The plane ride was great and short, but when we landed we realized the entire runway was covered in snow! That was a little scary, but our pilot did a great job and you would never have known if you weren’t looking out the window.

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Once we got near KC we could see all the snow through the clouds. I have never seen that much snow before. Maybe 1 time TN got anywhere near that much snow and I was a little kid.

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The airport was lots different than what I am used to (in my very limited amounts of flying), but we went straight out into the corridor and had someone snap a quick picture of us in the airport.
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We left the airport in our rental car, grabbed a quick bite and checked in the hotel. Just look at all the snow piled up at the Wendy’s where we ate!
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Then we headed to Brittney’s house to meet her and her family and to wait on Chris to get off work. We had both missed him so much and hugging his neck was worth it all!

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We had a great time getting to know them and searching for baby pictures of Brittney. Once Chris got there, we headed out to eat. We were all hungry, especially Brittney!

Our choice was Cracker Barrel and while we were there we found some pink owl booties that were perfect for the pictures the next day! We headed back to the hotel and spent a long time just talking about all kinds of things.

We got on the subject of names and they had picked a name they liked, but were having a hard time picking a middle name. We talked through a lot of names and nothing seemed to fit. Tammy explained that picking a name was important and you have to pick a name that you feel like they won’t get picked on for later in life. Chris left the room for a few minutes and as we were talking I had this thought.

I said how names should have a meaning. So, I told Brittney that they couldn’t really name the baby after her daddy (since she is a girl), but they could come up with a name that had the same initials. She loved the idea and said she had liked the name Chloe, but she didn’t think Chris liked it.

When Chris came back in Brittney told him I had an idea — then she made me tell him. Lol! (She is so cute!) So I told Chris about the initials and his face just lit up and he had an ear to ear grin! (Yep, he’s already wrapped!) Brittney said she liked Chloe, but she said he didn’t. Chris said he DID like Chloe, he just didn’t know what name to put with it. Then came the task of going through all kinds of names that started with an S.

We all 4 started throwing out names. Some we were serious and others were completely just silly! Tammy & Chris were talking to each other and all of a sudden Chris said he really liked Savannah. So we started saying the names together and while Tammy was talking to them I jumped up and took the scrabble letters and spelled it out on the bed (I’m a visual person). We took pictures of it and they said they really liked it.
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After they left Tammy & I talked about how happy they were and we really wanted Britt’s parents to like it and for them to have a peace about the name. We liked it a lot and practiced saying Chloe instead of “the baby”. 😉

And that’s how Day 1 ended. Boy, we had lots to do the next 2 days! But we were like teenagers talking and not sleeping a lot. We were just so excited over this special time we got to spend with them!
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Day 2…..coming soon!