Friday, January 30, 2009

Reminds Me of Living in the Tent

We have been without electricity for four days now, us and 100,000 other Arkansas Entergy customers ... which is why I haven't been able to blog lately. I'm going crazy, don't think I'm not. Today, I was able to get my car out of the driveway and out our roads, which are covered with fallen limbs. I'm at Jodi's (my BFF) house. She is blessed with electricity and cable TV!!

We're on the hunt for a generator. I guess there's somewhat of a mob mentality getting D batteries, lamp oil, and generators. We do have heat, we have a small wood stove that keeps it somewhat comfortable in the house... it's staying in the low to mid 60s. But, we have no water because our well pump can't pump it to the house. We're also able to cook with the use of our gas stove top, but no oven.

This really reminds me of the days we spent living in an army tent. Although we had a TV in the tent... and we had water, even though we had to haul it a half a mile.

My only access to the internet is with my Blackberry... so if you don't hear from me on my blog for a while, you can catch me on Twitter (@jacquiewallace) which is also located on my sidebar.

Enjoy your conveniences... you just never really appreciate them until you don't have them anymore!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

You Live Out Loud So Well

I’m not exactly sure why I started blogging.  I am not all that articulate and putting into words what I feel in my heart is so difficult for me.  I am completely short of words to describe how the events that have occurred since Harper was born a week and a half ago have affected me.  At first, I was simply devastated with the prospect that this child potentially could be taken from these parents who had prayed for her and dreamed of her for so long.  I was completely broken.  I, like most or all of you, could only pray, weep, pray, and weep.  I begged God for her life.  Begged.

As the week unfolded, there was so much evidence that God was at work not only in healing Harper, but in bringing literally thousands of people to their knees.  God has moved in a mighty way, and I am forever changed by it.

There were so many things that Kelly said in her blog that really moved me and inspired me to trust Him more deeply…

“I have comfort in my Jesus. He will never leave me or forsake me. I don't know what His plans are........whether we will be able to keep Harper on this earth with us or not - but I know that I know that I know that He is good and He loves me and He is holding my hand right now.”

“We may have a very long road ahead of us but we believe that God is going to heal our baby and He is going to use her in a very mighty way. We know God says in the Bible that when two or more agree in His name - He will answer. And we know we have 2 or 3oo,ooo people praying for us. Our prayer is that all who pray for Harper will see God's might and power and His love in the miracle we know He is going to do for us.”

“We can't get over the stories we hear of all the people who are praying for our little baby. And we believe with everything in us that she WILL be healed. Because we know that God has the opportunity to show His power and love in that healing. And to NOT answer would be to have the chance to have people lose faith in the power of prayer.”

“I just have this calm assurance that she is going to be okay. God has made Himself so real to us over and over and over in so many ways.”

“Last night I received an e-mail from a lady who accepted Jesus as her Savior after finding my blog last Friday and praying for Harper which led her to re-open her Bible for the first time in years. Every second of the last week has been worth it for that fact alone. And we truly mean that.”

“Tonight we celebrated my parents 38th wedding anniversary and I'm pretty sure there is no place they would rather be than with their new granddaughter. We all just love her so much and we can't begin to explain the tears of joy we shed every day at God's goodness to us.”

“We are living the fact that God's mercies are new every morning! We have had a hard week this past week but I think it's also been one of the best weeks because we have witnessed God's hand in every moment. I know some of you who are reading this may not have had prayers answered. You may think God has forgotten you. I just want you to know that God is good and perfect and He loves you. He has a plan that may not be what you planned - but I pray that you will one day find that His plan was best. We just have to trust Him to work everything out for the good.”

“He is my strong tower, my strength, my fortress, my deliver, my shelter, my very present help in time of need.”

“We have never asked "why" about Harper. Not once. We believe everything happens for a reason.”

The words in bold above were life-changing for me.  That is a bold statement made in faith by someone who has confidence in her God.  Amazing.

Tonight as I read through some of the comments on Kelly’s blog, there was one that really stood out to me.  It was made by a girl named Holly.  She said, “You are living out loud so well, Kelly.”  I LOVED that!!  I’m forever grateful to the Martin/Stamps family – for they live out loud so well.

Oh, that I would do the same.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Friday - Saturday

So far, this has been a GREAT weekend!  I left Friday afternoon and went to our hairdresser’s to deliver the meal Jodi and I had cooked for them.


Jodi made a yummy banana pudding, complete with lots o’ Nilla Wafers.  She also got some garlic breadsticks to go along with the Lazy Lasagna from Jamie's blog.  Since I was making one to take, I decided to make an extra to leave with David while I was gone to Fayetteville.  I haven’t been able to taste it yet, but David assured me it’s GOOD!  I’ll be having a big piece tomorrow for FREE Day.

After I dropped the food off, I headed for Fayetteville.  I got there just in time for supper.  Kale made spaghetti sauce and Kayla fixed the noodles (whole wheat for me, even!).  It was delicious.  But, that IS one meal I taught him to cook.


We got up early this morning (for me) and went to Tulsa to go visit the Stamps/Martin families.  I am SO glad we made the trip.  I got to see precious Harper – and she is even more beautiful up close.  Her little arms and legs have fat rolls on them! Sweet.

After we left the hospital, we went to the Macaroni Grill.  I am on my eating plan, so this was a challenge for me to stay on target.  If you know me, you won’t be surprised that I printed off a menu (with the nutrition information) and made my selection last night, not at the restaurant.  Did you know that most meals on the menu equal a whole day’s calories??  And don’t even get me started on the fat grams.  But, the meal (Chicken Cannelloni) was really good… and I’m within 50 on my caloric goal for the day.  Not too bad.

We walked around the mall for a little while and headed home.  On my way out of town, I had to stop at Target to buy this…

Foam roller

I’m having visions of Jodi jumping up and down with excitement about this baby.

This is a “Foam Roller” and we’ll be using it this week as part of our workout – we’re doing a “rest and recovery” week.  Have you ever used one of these?  What’s your opinion??

Tomorrow is the Lord’s day.  I have so much to be thankful for this week!  Have a great Sunday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This has been a long week.  "The Preacher" was back in the office today… but I’m sure his heart is in Tulsa.  Please keep their family (especially Harper – and all those in the NICU) in your prayers.  Their family has so much yet to go through… but I am simply in awe of the work that God is doing.

I wanted to update you on our hairdresser, Kay.  She had her surgery and they found some cancer in two Lymph Nodes… so long story short, she will need to have chemotherapy – beginning in early February.  Please continue to remember them in your prayers as well.  They have meant so much to us since our early high school days.

Last Friday afternoon, Jodi and I took supper to them and visited for a while.


Jodi made Beef Tips and green beans, and I made Jamie's Heath Bar cake and some homemade bread.  I didn’t get to taste the cake, but I had word that it was good! (Jodi planned to make one so she could eat it on Free Day, but I don’t know if she got around to it.)

We’re going to try to take a meal again on Friday.  I’m planning on making Jamie's "Lazy Lasagna".  (Thanks for all the ideas, Jamie!!)  Jodi’s in charge of dessert and bread.

And, then I plan to head west to go see my two kiddos in Fayetteville!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

But, She’s Special

I have to admit that I have struggled since Friday night with the “why” of things.  I have never seen a child more loved or wanted than little Harper Brown Stamps.  There has been such joy and anticipation as the days have drawn near for her to enter this world.  And then, after a seemingly easy labor, Harper’s birth was anything but easy.

As a few days have gone by, I can see things a bit more clearly. I’ve witnessed, as you all have, the way the Stamps/Martin family has responded in faith – even in the midst of their pain.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Yesterday, a high school friend of mine sent me an email with this video attached.  It really moved me, because I’d been asking “Why Harper? She’s special!  This family is special.”  I love what God reveals to this 13 year old boy …

Today, I’m not asking “why” so much.  I know that I may never know why, but I do know that God understands what is going on, He is holding Harper is His arms, and He has a greater purpose in Harper’s life… and He will get the glory!

“The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.” (Lamentations 3:25)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Heaven Scent

I’ve been thinking a lot about Baby Harper and how her parents and grandparents have yet to be able to hold their precious baby.  That has got to be heart-wrenching.  (Thankfully, with tonight’s update… they’ve been able to at least TOUCH her today.)

It makes me think about a true story that I read a while back about a baby that couldn’t be touched for the first two months of her life and how God was there during those dark hours…

“Heaven Scent” (written in 1996)

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the Doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10,1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Danae Lu Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. I don't think she's going to make it, he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10 percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one." Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on. "No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live, and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable. David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements. Diana remembers, 'I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen. I said, "No that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care what the doctors say; Danae is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!"

As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Danae's under-developed nervous system was essentially raw, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger.

But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later-though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero. Danae went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Today, five years later [she is now almost 18 years old], Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, what so ever, of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more-but that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain." Danae closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet, it smells like rain. Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest." Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well. . .

I trust that Harper knows the smell of God.

Please, keep praying for this precious child of God.

A Prayer for Harper


Since Friday evening, I've not been able to think about anything but the Stamps/Martin families.  They are enduring a battle for baby Harper’s life and my heart is burdened for them.  I am in constant prayer on Harper’s behalf.  Kelly posted a couple of pictures of their gorgeous baby girl this morning. All 9# 12 oz. of her!!  She’s as beautiful as her momma.

Harper Brown StampsI will be joining Angie Smith at Bring the Rain in praying this Scripture verse daily for Harper until she is home with her parents.  Won’t you join us?  PLEASE continue to pray for this precious baby.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Colossians 1:15-16)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Please PRAY!!!

Our pastor’s daughter, Kelly, delivered a much loved baby girl this evening.  Her name is Harper and she had a very rough delivery.  Harper has pneumonia and is being flown to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock tonight.  She is in VERY critical condition. PLEASE, please pray for this precious baby and her family.

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:27)

Fun Tag

I've been tagged by Susie from "Digging in the Dirt".  I always like to see what photo will turn up when I do these tags.

The rules are: open a document or file folder (I went to my Pictures folder), click on the fifth folder and then the fifth photo. Post the photo and describe it. Then tag 5 other bloggers. So here's the picture........

Karen Rosemary and Mom (2)

This picture means a LOT to me.  On the far right, is my sweet momma.  The other two are her sisters; Rosemary (middle) and Karen (left).  The photo was taken in August before my Aunt Rosemary passed away in October.  I’ll never forget that day.  I had taken my mom so I could visit with my aunt (and her daughter, Allison, who was in from Texas) because I knew my aunt wouldn’t be with us much longer.  She made such an impression on me in the way she faced death.  She was an amazing woman.  (I come from good stock!!)

I'm passing this tag onto the following bloggers:

My sweet girl, Kayla

Kayla's "Cupcake" friend – Kyla

Dawn, my next-state neighbor

Nikki, a new Flippin blogging buddy.  Nikki is new to blogging… stop by and welcome her to blawgville.

Erica, another Flippin blogging buddy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I am Marilyn Monroe


My friend, Marlene, posted her results to a Female Icon Quiz on her blog tonight.  The quiz asks you to answer two questions and it gives you your results of which female icon your personality is most like.  I thought it would be fun to see what the quiz says about me.

I am Marilyn Monroe.   I’ve never been a big fan of Marilyn’s personality, but when I read over my results… much of it rings true to me.  Odd.

You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Be direct and clear
  • Listen to me carefully
  • Don't judge me for my anxiety
  • Work things through with me
  • Reassure me that everything is OK between us
  • Laugh and make jokes with me
  • Gently push me toward new experiences
  • Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn

  • being committed and faithful to family and friends
  • being responsible and hardworking
  • being compassionate toward others
  • having intellect and wit
  • being a nonconformist
  • confronting danger bravely
  • being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn

  • the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind
  • procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
  • fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
  • exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger
  • wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right
  • being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often

  • are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
  • are anxious and hyper vigilant; anticipate danger
  • form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
  • look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel
  • are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents

  • are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
  • are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
  • worry more than most that their children will get hurt
  • sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Who are you most like?  To take this quiz yourself … click here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Mother’s Heart

I’m a mom.  If there’s one thing that I’ve done that I’m most proud of… it’s being Kale and Tyler’s mom.  It has been THE most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  At times, it’s the most painful.

When your child hurts – you want to fix it.  Don’t get me started about the times I’ve gone to battle for my boys.  Jack, our Associate Pastor, has a son that nicknamed me “the old hag” because one time I went in to have a little “talk” with the coach after I felt my son was being treated poorly.  He named me jokingly (I think??)… but the nickname has kinda stuck.

Another time, when Kale was in PeeWee ball (mind you), there was a LOUD aunt screaming at him to “PASS THE BALL” every single time he got it!!!”  He was in the 5th grade for Pete's sake. He was the point guard… and was being double and triple teamed.  But, she kept screaming AT him all game long. 

So, after I’d had enough… and against Jodi telling me not to…I went down to pay her a little visit.  What I didn’t know is that she was a scary woman and I’m a scaredy-cat.  But, I was beyond mad at this point and I proceeded to tell her to “shut up” and to quit screaming at my child and that I would give her the same courtesy regarding her nephew.  As I walked off, I was convicted about using the words “shut up”.  So, I turned around and apologized for my choice of words, but that I’d appreciate not hearing my child’s name being screamed out by her again.  And I left. 

The next day, one of our deacons came in the office saying “word at the Razorback (the little town restaurant) is that the church secretary got in a big fight at the PeeWee ballgame last night.”  He was joking, actually.  The father of the boy that was the “aunt’s” nephew worked for our deacon and had told him that he was impressed that I had come back and apologized. 

Don’t think people aren’t paying attention to the way you handle situations.  I’m grateful I at least apologized!!

I said all that to say that I would do anything to help my children when they are in pain or need help… so, when I read this mother’s plea on Amy's (at Chapters) blog the other day, I immediately felt a bond with her and felt her love for her daughter in the words she typed.  I’m going to post it below.

If I've learned anything from Kelly and from her prayer blog, I’ve learned that there are many women in this world who want a baby with all their heart.  I’m praying for all the women on the prayer blog and this letter from a mother who loves her daughter is just one example of what these women are going through.

If you feel you have a spare dollar in your purse,  on your dresser, or in your laundry change can … pray about sending it to Donna … for her daughter.

A Dollar For My Daughter

Amy has reluctantly allowed me to GUEST POST today. While she is somewhat uncomfortable with what I have dubbed the “harebrained idea,” she has agreed to let me present it to you, as I have previously done to my friends and family, with the hope that together we can make a huge difference in two deserving (that's subjective, Mom :-P) people’s lives.

I ask that you consider helping me with the following project: My daughter is among the seemingly growing number of young women who long for a baby and cannot conceive without fertility treatments. In her case, as in many others, none of the expensive treatments are covered by medical insurance...and it's both an emotional and costly process. My request is that you please consider the following 2 options to participate in "A Dollar For My Daughter":

1. Send a gift of $1 to the following address:

c/o 5085 W. Park Boulevard
Suite 300
Plano, TX 75093

2. If you feel comfortable doing so, forward this request (go to the envelope icon at the bottom of this post to forward via email) to any of your friends, family and/or business associates if you want to encourage them to participate...or you could even add a link to your blog about this if you feel called to do so.

I feel like it's important that you "know the facts" as you consider partnering with me to help Amy and DW in their journey - so I've asked her if I could share some personal details with you about the financial costs of infertility. The initial treatment (which they had savings to cover) consisted of the fertility injections with cycle monitoring costing $4,897. It was, unfortunately, unsuccessful. The second and, possibly, third rounds will cost approximately $2,500 each. In vitro fertilization (IVF), if ultimately required, costs approximately $15,000 per procedure. At the end of each phase, there is the potential for pregnancy and, therefore, treatments would then cease.

The idea is that your small gift, combined with those of others, will make a huge difference…just $1 at a time. If you would like to include your e-mail address with your gift, I will provide a periodic update. 100% of all gifts will be used for fertility-related medical bills only. If by some chance this request takes on a “life of its own” and there are gifts beyond her medical bills, all excess funds will be donated to a scholarship foundation for use by another couple requiring fertility treatments.

Many thanks in advance for your help,
Donna Metz

Monday, January 12, 2009

Calories Burned in 2 Hours of 24


Can I say how happy I am to have new episodes of “24” back on TV following a year and a half hiatus???  The non-stop action of two hours of Jack have left my brain incapable of anything more than a little light banter.  (I wonder how many calories I burn just watching Jack at work??  And to think there are 20 more hours yet to come!)  Between the full moon and wondering who’s “dirty” in the White House, I don’t know if I’ll get a wink of sleep tonight.

But, so far, this season’s “crisis” has not disappointed.

Oh, and just for the record, I called it last night about the truth behind Tony Almeida.

All I can say is I need to get back to a little reality tomorrow -  with The Biggest Loser and AMERICAN IDOL!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A New National Holiday

I’m thinking the one last thing President Bush should do before he leaves office is declare today another National Holiday, because… Jack is Back!

Tonight begins the official 7th season of “24” and my DVR is quivering with excitement even as I write this.  I get two full hours tonight and two full hours tomorrow night of action-packed Jack.  (Oh, how I wish Jack were REAL!! Obama would be wise to enlist him as his right-hand-man as his first order of business.)

I know I’ve posted Jack Facts before, but I found a few more I just LOVED so, if you know Jack, you’ll love ‘em too!

  • Jack Bauer doesn’t miss. If he didn’t hit you it’s because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.
  • When Jack Bauer was a child, he made his mother finish his vegetables.
  • Jack Bauer killed 93 people in just 4 days time. Wait, that is a real fact.
  • Killing Jack Bauer doesn’t make him dead. It just makes him angry.
  • When Google can’t find something, it asks Jack Bauer for help.
  • Jack Bauer can get McDonald’s breakfast after 10:30.
  • Every mathematical inequality officially ends with “< Jack Bauer”.
  • Jack Bauer killed so many terrorists that at one point, the #5 CIA Most Wanted fugitive was an 18-year-old teenager in Malaysia who downloaded the movie Dodgeball.
  • What color is Jack Bauer’s blood? Trick question. Jack Bauer does not bleed.
  • If Jack and MacGyver were locked in a room together, Jack would make a bomb out of MacGyver and get out.
  • People with amnesia still remember Jack Bauer.
  • It took Jack Bauer two minutes to beat a confession out of OJ.
  • Jack Bauer’s family threw him a surprise birthday party when he was a child. Once.
  • Jack Bauer literally died for his country, and lived to tell about it.
  • Tune in to FOX tonight to see what I’m talkin’ bout!!

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    High School 1982

    My friend, Jamie, posted this on her blog and I thought it was fun.  I hope you don’t mind me “borrowing” from your blog, Jamie.

    Answer these questions about your SENIOR year of high school!  The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!!

    1. Did you date someone from your school?  Yes

    2. Did you marry someone from your high school?  No

    3. Did you car pool to school?  No, almost every student road the bus.  Jodi and I rode together every single day.  Now, there are some memories.

    4. What kind of car did you have?  I never had a car until I met David.  Jodi had a vehicle every once in a while, but we weren’t allowed out in it much – or did we take it and we weren’t supposed to??

    5. What kind of car do you have now? Nissan Sentra

    6. It's Friday night...where are you?  At a ballgame.  If it wasn’t basketball season… I was probably doing something I shouldn’t have been.  Just sayin’.

    7. It is Friday night...where are you? (now) Home blogging or going out to eat with my family.

    8. What kind of job did you have in high school? During school I worked for the CETA program in the school office or cleaning the Kindergarten (which is really gross).  During the summers, I worked at the hospital (Sophomore), the school (Junior.  Jodi and I worked there together – we made so much fun out of janitorial work), and my senior year I worked at the health office and ended up full-time there.

    9. What kind of job do you do now?  Church secretary

    10. Were you a party animal?  Animal? no.  But, I did my fair share of stupid stuff.

    11. Were you considered a flirt?  I don’t think so, but for some reason  the high school voted me “Biggest Flirt” my senior year. Go figure.

    12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?  There was no such thing.  They wouldn’t have wanted me if we did have it though.

    13. Were you a nerd?  Not if you compared me to the ones that were.

    14. Did you get suspended or expelled?  No, but the teacher did tie me to a mop once in Home Ec so I wouldn’t keep disappearing from the classroom (to go shoot baskets).

    15. Can you sing the fight song?  Um, this is Bruno-Pyatt.  There may have been fights, but no fight song.

    16. Who was/were your favorite teacher(s)?  I had teachers that I will always remember, but Mr. Huddleston, the Science teacher, left a lasting impression on me.  I learned so much more than book stuff from him and he made me LOVE learning.

    17. Where did you sit during lunch?  The girl’s basketball players went to lunch earlier than everyone else so that we could combine two class periods for basketball.  We’d all eat together and I think the headstart kids came in to eat at the same time.  It was all about basketball for us!

    18. What was your school's full name?  Bruno-Pyatt School (it is a consolidation of the two town’s schools.)

    19. When did you graduate? 1982

    20. What was your school mascot? Patriot

    21. If you could go back and do it again, would you? In a minute.  I’d work harder instead of just doing what had to be done.  And, I would’ve went on to college.

    22. Did you have fun at Prom? We didn’t have a “prom”… we had a Junior/Senior banquet – no dancing allowed.  I did have a good time, but they were no way any where near my favorite memories of high school.

    23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? No, although I would like to know what happened to Roger.  He was a sweet boy.

    24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Probably, since I will be organizing it.  We just had our 25th reunion in October 2007.  I am not sure, but we’ll probably have a 30th, too.

    25. Do you still talk to people from school? Yes.  There were 25 in our graduating class.  Right now, I pay for a website that keeps us in contact, but I’m trying to switch everyone to Facebook because it’s free.  So far, only about 5 have switched.

    Friday, January 9, 2009

    Our Hairdresser

    After our workout today, Jodi and I got a call from our hairdresser.  Kay has been doing our hair off and on since I was in the 9th grade.  I think she’d been doing Jodi’s hair much longer than that.  Jodi had a little Dorothy Hammill cut that Kay gave her when I moved to Arkansas in the 8th grade.

    Kay married our high school basketball coach, and she has a shop at home, so when we go for hair appointments it’s lots of fun!  They have become very dear to us over the years. You would never guess that Kay is in her 60s, she looks exactly the same as when we were in high school.

    Kay called to ask us to move our hair appointment from next Tuesday to this afternoon because she got the results to a recent breast biopsy that she had.  She has breast cancer. Again.

    She will be having surgery again next week.

    If you have a moment, please pray for Kay.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009

    Jodi at the Cinema

    This week has just FLOWN by.  Time flies when you have lots to do.  That’s a good thing.  I’ve got the contribution statements ready to mail… and tomorrow is Friday (my favorite day of the week) – can it get any better?

    Jodi and I have been talking about going to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.  I heard that it’s looonnnggg.  Jodi has a tendency to take some of her better siestas in the movie theater, so if it’s not really good… she’ll be sleeping like a babe. 

    I had to wake her up during (my favorite part – Legolas swing mounting his horse during battle) the “The Lord of the Rings” at the IMAX!!  (Who falls asleep at the IMAX?  Jodi.)

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught her sleeping at the movies.  I don’t think she watched 30 minutes of “Bicentennial Man”. 

    Ok, can’t really blame her for that.  That was one LONG, STRANGE movie. 

    One time we went on a Sunday afternoon - after having eaten Mexican food for lunch - and she was pretty much in a coma during all of “Pride and Prejudice”, which I loved!

    Anyway, the only way she’ll stay awake is if this movie is REALLY good.  What do y’all think? Any opinions??

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009

    Taxing Tuesday

    The new year brings a lot of tasks for me at work.  I actually enjoy it, even though it’s a lot of stress – part of which I do to myself.  I am driven to get my work out as soon as possible after the first of the year, so I stress over it until it’s finished.

    I have year-end reports.  I also have payroll tax forms to get done.  But, the biggest job is reporting contributions and I want to make sure it looks good on paper as well as being completely accurate.

    This is my second year with a new church management software and since I don’t do these reports often, I needed to re-train myself.

    Today, I was trying to customize one of my user reports and realized that part of my software seemed to be missing.  A few months back, Steve had me trade computers (mine was dying a slow death and I have 14 years of work stored on it, so I was resistant to switching – it’s such a hassle).  When I did, I had to reinstall my software, and I assumed I had left the missing element off.

    So, I decided to back up my data, UNINSTALL my church software, and reinstall. 

    WHY, before I was done with my reports, right now, at the first of the year?? I’m goofy, that’s why.

    A couple years ago, I somehow messed up my contribution file and didn’t have a recent backup and had to reenter several months of contributions. 

    Note to self:  Always do a backup before starting a big job.

    Well, it ended up a scary afternoon, but I got it all reinstalled with an updated version to boot.  So, needless to say, I’ve been under a little stress today. 

    But, I’m home now enjoying the first episode of the new season of the Biggest Loser.  There are some LARGE contestants this season.  I cried when I saw the two young guys who are so big.  One of them is Tyler’s age and it just made me wonder how it has affected his self-esteem and his social life.  Bless his heart.

    Last night, I watched a show called “Diet Tribe” on Lifetime.  Did y’all see that?  There are a group of girls going to a trainer (who is buff!) and for 90 days, he is putting them through the paces.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  These girls have a support group by going through it together.  On Biggest Loser, there’s a lot of game play.  I wonder how many would do it if there were no money being dangled in front of them?

    Tomorrow is Wednesday… our Awana group will start back again after being off for two weeks.  I can’t wait to hug on my little Cubbies!

    Monday, January 5, 2009

    Fitness Goals


    I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately discussing the topic of losing weight, eating better, exercising more, and such.  The new year oftentimes motivates people to make those changes and, I suppose, it’s as good a time as any.  I have been going to the gym for 4 years straight and I’ve seen the crowds come and go at this time of year.  Finding a free treadmill becomes difficult as people flock the gym at the first of the year to work on their new goals.  By the end of February… we’ve pretty much got the treadmills back!  They lose heart, until the next year.

    When I started on my fitness journey in November 2004, I had every intention to follow through on my goals.  I was starting a program called “Body for Life” (I’m a HUGE believer in it).  Often times, people don’t give their program enough time to work (I’m as guilty as the next).  When I started BFL, I decided to give it one full YEAR before I made my final judgment.  I told myself, if after one year I’m not where I want to be fit-wise, then I’ll move on to something else.

    Well, after 6 months, I had gone down 15 or 20 pounds.  After one year, I had lost 30 pounds and weighed 120.  From a size 10/12 to a size 2/4.  A full year into my BFL journey, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I lost 5 pounds! Five pounds during the holidays, reaching my lowest weight.  And I was eating between 1700-1900 calories a day.

    Not long after, people started telling me I was too skinny - which was NOT the look I was going for.  If you’ve ever seen Oxygen magazine… you know more what I’m after.  Guns.

    Anyway, because I didn’t want the wormy look, I made the decision to start eating more to put on a little more size.  Well, that size is haunting me now.  I’ve regained much of my weight.  Most of the last three years has been a struggle keeping the weight off.  I work out like a fiend.  I eat healthy.  (I feel guilty over baked chips! Most people pat themselves on the back for them.)  I’ve rearranged our workouts more ways than you can imagine.  Just ask Jodi about the stuff I put us through.  But, the weight kept creeping up.  Frustrating!!  The more frustrated I got, the more I decided to not be as diligent.

    I am 44, almost 45, so my age does play a part.  I keep hearing the word “hormones” over and over.  Something has to give, so Jodi and I made the conscious decision to take a methodic “gym break” for 3 full weeks. I never even missed a workout until a year and a half after I started working out.  This is the longest I’ve been away from the gym – ever!

    The goal behind the “gym break” was to give our bodies a rest.  Maybe fool them into believing we are sedentary people.  (I did a good job of playing the part over the holidays.)  We have eaten LARGE over the last several weeks and now, we return to healthy foods and serious workouts.

    I’m a believer in doing 12 week mini-challenges.  For twelve weeks, I will be focused on my weight loss/fitness goals before I regroup and set new goals.

    Today, we began tracking our eating.  Journaling our foods, counting calories, making healthy choices.  We also waddled our hind parts back into the gym for a good starter workout.

    I’m starting a new fitness blog to chart my daily stats and workouts – if any of y’all are interested.  Click HERE to access it.

    I AM determined to get my head back into the game 100%.  Having Jodi there to do it with me is a HUGE motivator.

    Anyone else interested in joining us for the next 12 weeks??

    Friday, January 2, 2009

    75% off!

    Look what I got today.

    7' Douglas Fir 7’ prelit Douglas fir tree… and it was 75% off!! You can’t beat that.

    Thursday, January 1, 2009

    They’re Not MY Resolutions

    2009.  I remember when we used to laugh about how saying “1990” sounded like a Sci-Fi movie!! My how time flies.

    In the interest of protecting my reputation, I feel led to clarify to y’all that my New Year’s Eve post was NOT, I repeat, NOT my New Year’s resolution list.  It was the “Top 10 for 2009” that I found on the internet. 

    Just so ya know… I have NOT taken up drinking and smoking.

    But, just for the fun of it, let’s see how I’m doing with the list of things the typical American is geared up to work on during 2009:

    1.  Spend more time with family and friends.

    I talk to or see most of my sisters and my Mom on a pretty regular basis.  Jodi and I see or talk to each other pretty much every day.  But, family and friends are so important, so I could stand to make more time for all of them.

    2.  Fit in fitness. 

    I work out every single week.  Since November 2004, I haven’t taken more than a week off of exercise at a time.  Although, this month, I’ve taken an intentional vacation from the gym and from eating as healthy as normal.  This week marks my 3rd week without exercise, y’all!! That is a first.  But, I’m hoping when I go back to the gym next week, my body will respond to the torture it endures – since it hasn’t been for a while.

    3.  Tame the bulge.

    If you were to spend a week with me, you’d find that I eat several small meals a day.  I used to eat 6, but I’ve cut it down to about 3 with 1 or 2 small snacks a day.  Sundays are FREE day – I eat whatever I want without worrying about the caloric cost.  Sundays are good days!  In the past couple of months, I have tried an eating plan called “Eat, Stop, Eat”.  It involves a day or two per week where you fast for 24 hours.  You never go a day without food, just 24 hours, so you sleep for a lot of the fast.  An example would be to stop eating on Sunday night at 6 PM and start back again at 6 PM on Monday evening.  I thought it was CRAZY, but actually it is more doable than eating perfect all week long!  It’s a very interesting concept that I may or may not continue.

    4.  Quit smoking.

    I know y’all are dying to know.  I started smoking when I was 13 years old.  Yep, you read that right.  My sister, Suz #3, and I went out to the curb in our front yard and she “let” me smoke with her.  She taught me to exhale (I know, I know, Bill Clinton would be ashamed of me)… and I coughed and gagged and thought she was playing a dirty trick on me.  She said I’d look like a dork if I just puffed and didn’t  inhale – so I mastered the inhale after a month or two.  I continued smoking (behind my loving parent’s backs) off and on until I turned 19.  That’s when I started getting migraines.  I blamed the cigarettes, so I dropped them.  I STILL have dreams that I smoke.  I hate that!!  Oh, for those of you who know that I used to play basketball in high school – I would NEVER touch cigarettes during ball season.  (Dedication.)  But would start smoking again during the summer. 

    I can’t believe I just typed this paragraph.

    5.  Enjoy life more (reduce stress).

    When it comes to stress, I believe everyone has their own stress level.  What is no big deal to me may be a huge deal to someone else.  Typically, what’s a BIG deal to me is mashed potatoes to someone else.  I don’t handle stress very well.  Most of my stress comes from being a mother.  Before I had kids, nothing bothered me, I was pretty fun-loving and laid back.  Having children has definitely made me aware of my “worry bone”.  This is one area of my life that God can spend a while working on.

    6.  Quit drinking.

    I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since 1990 when I gave my heart to the Lord.  And I’m good with that!

    7.  Get out of debt/Save money.

    I was completely debt free in October 2007.  The only thing I owe money on is my little Nissan Sentra we bought last summer.  If you want to reduce some stress, try getting out of debt!  Then, try saving for an added euphoria!! Amazing.

    8.  Learn something new.

    Kale gets on to me for lagging on my technology skills.  I used to be up on all the new computer stuff… but then he got smart and started reading up and tinkering and learning and I didn’t have to.  Oh, that aggravates him!  But, I do try to learn new ways to do my job easier on a regular basis and it thrills me to no end to learn something new that I can use often!!  I don’t see myself learning a new language or going back to school or anything any time soon, though.

    9.  Help others.

    I think that one of the things that is wrong with America today is that we have forgotten to care for others.  We have replaced the lost act of visiting with our neighbors with cell phones, video games, and busy-ness.    Ms. Charlsie has given me a renewed sense of the joy that comes with doing for others.  I hope to continue learning to be more kind-hearted now I’m in the (mostly) Empty Nest and my life has slowed down a bit.

    10.  Get organized.

    Most people think I’m organized.  I’m told I’m a perfectionist.  But, I see the chaos that’s all around me.  I have a Blackberry to try to help me not forget things and to keep track of my calendar… but showed up for a doctor’s appointment a week and a half early last month.  So, yes, I could work more on getting organized.  I have “tax season” on my mind today!

    The other two; prayer and Bible reading are two areas that I think I could always do more of.  I am working on understanding the love of God more each day and learning to trust Him more with the things I hold most dear.

    So, now that you know that I’m not hung over this morning… I can get on with my day.

    Have a Happy New Year!