Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Simple Season

Merry Christmas!
This Christmas season was quite different for me. I worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We didn't put up any Christmas decorations as our home is just getting back to order, and we didn't exchange gifts due to the effects of the recession. But -- all in all --I loved this "simple" Christmas.

Brett and I have been spending the last few weeks watching different Christmas moves. I can't tell you how long it has been since I've seen The Grinch--and I didn't remember its poignant lesson. Christmas is not just about the presents! I loved it--especially since I dislike shopping so much :)
So what is Christmas about-- It's simple. It's about the miraculous birth of a baby named Jesus who was born to set the world free from their sins. The birth of Christ was to bring "peace on earth" (Luke 2:14). Although the earth doesn't seem to have much "peace"--I know that peace is available and living in the hearts of many individuals. Despite all of life's difficulties, challenges, changes--you can have peace regardless of circumstances.

Today, I remembered that peace as I had the privilege of praying for a sweet elderly patient that was fearing a negative diagnosis. As tears welled up in her eyes--I prayed that peace would fill her--and it did. She was happily discharged with a negative test result!

So before we become frenzied about life's upsets--remember--I do and can have peace--because of the simplicity of the birth of a baby--Jesus Christ!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

An Uphill Battle

I'm back--with my armor on! The other day I was pondering the events of the last 2 months and thinking--I'm so exhausted! Since Gustav one thing after another has just "disrupted" our lives.

Now, I'm not going to go on a long spiel about how we didn't have electricity for 2 weeks, how we haven't received the check to fix the damages to our house, that the roof is leaking again, that during repairs they found significant (old) termite damage that had to be repaired, that while repairing the damage they cut a hole through our bedroom wall, that while tearing down the walled siding in the sunroom/office they broke a window, that Brett's mom fell and broke her hip leaving Brett and his siblings to care for his father who has dementia and through it all have gotten so behind on my school work. Oh, and I won't go on about how Brett was approached by a long ago friend (while at the movie theatre) who subtlely hinted that her 18 year old daughter might be his! (Anyway--thank the Lord that was negative!)

I was comforted by the Lord the other day when I was reminded--that although life keeps changing--He never changes--He is the same each and every day! (Hebrews 13:8) He remains constant and if my foundation is upon him--I can remain immoveable during these times.

The thought "Uphill Battle" came to my mind the other day. So, being the dictionary loving person I am--I looked up a definition and here are 2 that I found:
  • A challenge with the odds of success stacked strongly against
  • A struggle against unfavorable circumstances.

A "struggle" a "challenge" and "unfavorable circumstances"-- that's how I would describe the last 2 months! But I realized that each and every day I have a choice. I can choose to be miserable or I can "count it all joy" (James 1:2) that I am facing circumstances that challenge me and make me stronger. I just need to remind myself of who God is and be prepared for anything.

With confidence, I can say that Brett and I have grown closer through it all in addition to learning to deal with circumstances beyond our control. I believe it is all a time of prepartion for us (hopefully for those twins that I want to have!) :)

And it has also been a joy caring for his father who is so dear to my heart. I just love that man. He has been a wonderful husband for almost 60 years and an excellent example to Brett. For that I am eternally grateful and willing to give back!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tutorial-- how to post a music playlist to your Blogger site

Ok-- since I've been bombarded with requests for this tutorial.. .(well, not exactly--but hey--maybe some lurker will benefit)

Here are my rough steps. I think anyone should be able to follow these directions. I love having my little tunes on my blog. . . now you can too!
1. Go to (there are other sites out there--but this is what I used)
2. sign up or just start building a playlist (it's the big blue box on the center L of the screen) by entering song or an artist
3. The song or songs by the artist will come up – listen to song or hit the “+” to save to your playlist (continue until you have a list that you like—pretty self explanatory)
4. After finishing your list -- look for and select a button stating post playlist” or “generate code
At this point you have to do 3 steps:
1. You are given choices from A-E. Select E (at least for blogger)
2. Select which playlist you want to add to your blog (you probably only have 1 at this time)
3. Select auto start (yes), shuffle (I prefer yes), and color (what ever you want) –hit “get code button

  • Copy the code (control C).
  • Open new window with your blog in it.
  • Sign in to blogger account and go to “edit layout
  • Select “add a gadget” from the side or bottom bar
    **Here's the only tricky step -- from the "gadget" list select “HTML/JavaScript”make sure it is this one only--Look under BASICS (at least this is the only one that worked for me—I tried a couple of others only to be frustrated)

Once you find "HTML/JavaScript" --select it

  1. Put a title (or not)
  2. “paste” (Control V) the “code” that you copied from the playlist into the big box
  3. Hit save and voila! Do a little dance, make a little. . ..oh, well—hey—it is Wednesday night!! (some of you will get this)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Sticky Note" on Relationships

We have this little "sticky" on our refrigerator--just thought I'd share.

Six Times to Say "I'm Sorry"
  • When you are wrong
  • When you are rude
  • When you are defensive
  • When you are impatient
  • When you are negative
  • When you are hurtful

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So--this past Sunday we went to see the movie Fireproof.

Brett heard from a few of his clients how impacting the movie was, so we invited another couple to meet us at the theatre.

Overall, the concept of the movie was excellent. The movie is centered around a young married couple who is on the verge of divorce. --Don't worry I won't give you enough details to spoil it for you if you haven't seen it (although it's not that complex). After hearing of his marital problems, the husband (played by Kirk Cameron) is given a book by his father-- The Love Dare. The movie revolves around his reading of the book and following its instructions.

I think any marriage can benefit from watching this movie-- because the little lessons in the book are simple yet challenging and impacting. Although this movie seems to be about "marriage," if you look a little deeper you see that it is really about unconditional love.

Overall it's worth going to see (just try to avoid being too critical about the somewhat cheesy acting.)

**Oh--and there is actually a Love Dare book on the market. Just do a search online to find it--and then you can take your own 40 day challenge. I think it would be worth it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Exhausted. . .

. . . from a busy week-end!

Friday night I worked until 11:30 pm then I got up earrrrrly (6:20 am) on Saturday morning to head to Donaldsonville for the medical clinic.

I've written about Healing Hands before, but in case you missed it--you can read more about it on the HH Blog

After seeing about 18 patients and giving them there monthly medications, all of the volunteers had lunch together, and I headed home around 1 pm.

My mother arrived around 2:40-- (during which I was taking a little nap). She thankfully brought her pressure washer over and we headed to the front of the house to clean the front of the house, the porch, and the side walk. Gustav's gotta go!

After 3.5 hours of cleaning (and accidentally removing a little paint from the porch and shutters)--I headed to Albertson's to grab a few things for some homemade fried shrimp (provided by mom) and some of the traditional Talley onion rings. All of this followed by a movie and popcorn (I bailed on this one).

Up early for Church at 9 am--then home to cook shrimp fettucine. After cleaning up--off to more pressure washing! If that wasn't enough--we made 3 batches of homemade soap and Brett cut Mom's hair.

After a quick shower--we met some friends for a movie at 7 pm after which I was up until 11:30 pm finishing an assignment due at midnight.

. . . .then up again Monday at 7:00 am for a 12 hour shift.

Maybe that explains why I woke up at 6:45 am this morning -- just the time I should have been arriving at work! Oh, well--I get to go in at 10:45 tomorrow. Ahhh, a little time to sleep in.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beach? Mountains? Beach? Mountains!!

This summer for our anniversary we went to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tennessee/Georgia. We go to the beach every year, but this year we decided to make a change and take our mountain bikes for a little adventure. We both love the mountains (we actually want to move there one day), but Brett has this "thing" about long car rides--he doesn't like them. I, on the other hand -- LOVE them! But he agreed that a long car ride was worth the end result, so we packed up our mountain bikes on the back of the car--and went to the mountains for 5 days. It was awesome! Brett and I spent 2 of the days mountain biking--for REAL this time. We had great difficulties at first until we met Wayne. Wayne was a "real" mountain biker who taught us how to use our bikes on the steep inclines. He was truly our personal God-sent tour guide.

If you want to know what it feels like to ride down a mountain on a 3 foot wide curvy path, in the dark, at about 15-20 mph in the pouring rain--ask me. . . .
It was exhilarating! (And I confess--very scary!!) We've made some new mountain biking rules for our next trip including letting someone else know where you are, and NO starting a trail after 7 pm!

We invited some friends, Jack and Beverly, to come with us. I've known them for years, and they were actually our "mentors" when we were married. We love and appreciate them and all of their wisdom!

Picking wild blackberries--they were awesome!
I love this picture. It looks like it is from a fairy tale scene. No--it's not a backdrop! We also went horse back riding--my idea. After about one hour--I was done! I still have a scar 2 months later on my ankle where the stirrups rubbed the skin off my leg-- Ouch!! But the horses were just breathtaking. . .
We also went white water rafting. It was the best trip we had all been on. We had a wonderful (and a little crazy) guide. Pics to come!
Well--Just a little overdue update. Now. . . . I think I'm going to ride my bike!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I did it!

I finally figured out how to get a music playlist on my blog!! Yippee! It took a while, but after reading on the web--I did it (during which time my bath water got very cold!)

These are the moments that I really miss teaching high schoolers. I feel so computer illiterate sometimes, so if any of you computer "illiterate" need a tutorial--I'll post one.
In the meantime. . . enjoy the music.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A New Season

I just came in and am taking a break from cutting the grass and raking up the last remants of the debris post hurricane Gustav. Phew! Glad that's over!

I know it's been a while and I've never posted anything about the hurricane, but after not having electricity for 13.5 days and then attempting to "catch" up, I'm just now getting to it. The above picture is the day before the storm as we (well, actually--Brett) were "boarding" up. Notice how you can barely see our neighbor's house to the right. My, how things have changed!

After being at the hospital for 40 hours, this was what I came home to. Just slightly overwhelming! This picture below shows the most amazing testimony!

Our neighbors 60 year old pine fell between our (new) garage and our house.
The window on that wall of the house was the only window we did not board up (thinking it was the safest!)
This is a picture from inside our bedroom, and not ONE pane was even cracked!

We had a lot of family, friends, and neighbors help us clean up. I became tearful many times during that day. I was so exhausted from being at work (where it was 95 degrees in the ER without air circulating!), and looking at all we had to do was just overwhelming. I so appreciated the help of everyone who aided to lift some of this burden off of our backs.

We do have damage to the garage, the master bedroom roof, and to the roof in the front of the house, but it could have been so much worse!! We thank the Lord everyday that we have a home that we can come home to.

I'm so glad to be back at home after living out of my car for 2 weeks and staying on different people's floors. Brett learned one thing about women during all of this --that women just "want to be at home." I wanted to go home. He wanted air conditioning, but I wanted my house even if it was hot! It made me have great compassion on those in TX and in New Orleans after all of the devastation they endured. I can't begin to imagine.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sew Fun!!

Now that life has returned a little to "normal" since Gustav, I've been returning to a few of my hobbies. I usually go through spurts of enjoying certain activities, and right now I'm back to sewing. Because I don't have a sewing room, it's tedious to take everything out of various closets in the house to set up the dining room for sewing. But this week-end I did, and here are some of my latest fun creations.

When I saw this fabric, I didn't think it screamed "toddler dress," but I loved it. I later went back, bought it, and made this cool purse. Brett approves (which is good because he's the fashion police in the house!)

I also finished a beautiful gown for Selena's sweet Julia Grace. It's a pattern by the Old Fashioned Baby, and it has hand embroidered pleats and accents.

I've never made a slip before, so here's my first. The shell stitching around the neckline is all hand sewn. I put her initials at the bottom of the slip. The embroidery is not the best, but since I was delayed during 2 weeks without electricity after the hurricane, I was anxious to get the gown to the now 10 week old Julia. Wow--they grow so fast!

. . . and this week I also made a sweet little minkee blanket for a co- worker's new baby boy.

I love creating things-- especially gifts. There's nothing more rewarding than making something with your own hands and giving it to someone as a gift. I'm so fortunate that I had a moma who taught me to sew!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I just left work where I was standing at the bedside of a patient watching the sun set over his life. I have watched many patients die before, but I have never watched a patient request to die and then watch them do so.

This elderly gentleman was dependent on a ventilator and requested that it be removed knowing the outcome. People often use the common adage that "you don't know when you are going to die." This was not the case with this patient. He knew that once the doctor turned off the ventilator, that he wouldn't survive for very long. He was awake, alert, and completely aware of the situation. He said good bye to his wife and children prior to the end.

This was very strange to me. "What if I actually knew the date and time of my death and could even chose it?" This patient basically "chose" his time of death.

The majority of us don't have that option. We don't have the option to say goodbye or make amends with those we love or whom we have failed to love prior to our death.

Prior to his death, we discovered that there were seemingly issues of unforgiveness and a distant relationship between this patient and some of his children. He had a daughter who the family didn't think would show up, but she did. I think that is what touched me the most--that she showed up and was able to be with her father during his last five minutes on earth. Although I was thankful that she was there, it saddened me that she had waited so long. Neither one could go back and "do it over" at this moment. It was too late.
I don't want to be on my death bed and have regrets
over what I have done in life
as well as what I haven't done.
I was thankful that I had a moment alone with this man during the last hour of his life. I asked if he was a Christian and he shook his head both "no" and then "yes." I had the privilege of letting him know that it is never too late for Christ's forgiveness to take away our guilt, shame, and sin. I just hope he received it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good Ridd-ants!

Well--it looks like the ants are finally gone. Yes, it has taken this long. It was the strangest phenomenon. During the last 2 weeks we only found 1 "trail" of ants. One day you'd wake up--ants in the cabinet. Another day--5 ants on the living room floor or 5 ants on the bathroom floor. They had no trail, no coming nor going to trace. It was a little frustrating. We just put a little poison everywhere--and it looks like they are finally gone :) Good ridd-ants!
As for life--Brett started school about 3 weeks ago, and I started last week. Ho hum. I graduate with my BSN in December. The "plan" (which continually changes) is that I, tentatively, will start school for my nurse practitioners degree during the summer 2009 semester through USA in Mobile. It's a very reputable online program which would work for me. And Brett-- will graduate for ORU in May 2009!! Yea--he is so excited.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Be all there

I was sweeping the kitchen floor tonight, and I recalled a forgotten quote that was once my favorite.

"Wherever you are, be all there." Jim Elliot
Of course when I first read that quote I was single and that was the focus, but it applies to all seasons of life. I've been noticing recently how many people (including myself) often focus on "where I've been" or "where I want/'need' to be" that we miss were we are.
I don't want to miss today because I'm thinking about where I could be, should be, or want to be. I think we forget that there are no "rules" about where we should be in life. I see so many people live in dissappointment because they are not "there" yet--that they completely fail to appreciate today.
So--Wherever you are -- be all there and give it all of your energy and focus because one day -- you won't be there any more.
My desire is that I "live to the hilt every situation that I believe to be the will of God" --and that I do it without regret.
Ok, enough of my rant. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Honduras part dos

Ok--so I said I'd share what I personally learned from my trip. So here it is.

I've been on many mission trips over the years, but this trip to Honduras was my first medical trip. In that aspect it wasn't your "typical" mission trip. Here we were serving Christ by "merely" serving the people. There was no preaching, tracts, etc., yet it was awesome to just give to people as Christ did--expecting nothing in return. It was the true example of St. Francis of Assisi --"Preach the gospel. And if necessary, use words." Of course we did pray for many patients, but the true power was in loving and giving to people unconditionally. This was truly the lesson I learned--starting on the actual trip to Honduras.
We flew from Baton Rouge to Houston and then to Honduras. In Houston, there was a problem with the "navigation" system of our plane. They held us on the plane for 2 hours until they replaced this system. During this delay, I sat on the plane (quite restless if you know me) pondering a few things. First -- I thought--"There is nothing wrong with the plane-- it would still fly if taken off. BUT--the question is--Where would it end up?" Over the course of the trip, I realized more and more how this concept applies to my life. I will "fly" but where will I end up? Does my navigation system need to be changed? What truly guides, rules, directs my life, my attitudes, my direction?

navi·ga·tion (noun) the science of locating the position
and plotting the course of ships and aircraft

In Honduras (or on any mission trip)--we serve joyfully not expecting anything in return. We sacrifice to pay for the trip, sacrifice 3rd world country conditions, sacrifice other comforts, etc. BUT -- when we come back home--what is "plotting our course"? Is it the mind (navigational system) of Christ--or is it our selfish ways? The plane would have flown even if they didn't change this system. The engine was working fine. The only aspect that would have been affected--was the direction in which it would go.
We are no different. We will live, work, surround ourselves with people--but is it purposeful? I want to live purposefully, but so often I find myself guided/ruled by circumstances rather than having my course "plotted" out purposefully.Philippians 2 is an awesome passage. It is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, and I believe it perfectly "locates" where Christ is and perfectly "plots the course" where we should be.

Be of the same mind, same love, united in purpose (with Christ)
Do nothing from selfishness
with humility regard others as more important than yourself
look out for the interests of others --not just your own
humble yourself
do all things without complaining
Since I have returned--I have made efforts to love the people in my home, my family, and at work as I loved and served the Honduran people. I'm working at changing my perspective--to live as though every day is a mission trip!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I know it's been a while since I've returned from Honduras, but I wanted to show you a few of my favorite photos. I had a blast taking pictures there!
I went to Honduras with Healing Hands Ministry--a ministry of our church that reaches out to several communities in and around Baton Rouge offering free medical care and medications. The outreaches occur during the 1st 3 Saturdays of each month.
In Honduras we stayed/worked with Dr. Martin and his wife Wendy and their family. We held "Brigados" -- medical Brigades at his home clinic as well in surrounding communities. Several testimonies are included on the Healing Hands website if you are interested.
I will share more of my personal testimony about Honduras in my next blog entry.

Monday, August 4, 2008

the Little things

I awoke this morning to ants! Yes, ants all over the bathroom. Of course at 0600 that is not what I want to deal with especially when I needed to leave for work at 0630.

They weren't little "sugar" ants -- the kind your moma told you not to worry about, and they weren't big tree ants. They were what I call "yard" ants--the kinds from the ant piles.

Immediately (while killing them and moaning while half asleep) I thought -- I "should have" dealt with this ant pile/trail leading up the side of the house that I noticed weeks (maybe months) ago. I dismissed the trail of ants leading to the attic and never pursued the issue. I merely washed the ants off the side of the house--and there--I dealt with it.

Later I couldn't help but put the connection to so many aspects of our lives. How many times do we see a potential "issue" that needs to be dealt with in our lives--and yet we "deal" with it by merely washing away the evidence of it without dealing with the true source of the problem.

The "little" talk we should have, that "little" apology we need to make, that "little" credit card bill we hide, the "little" secret we keep, the "little" white lie. . .

--whatever it may be--can quickly--and usually-- develop into something greater--more than we expected. Those ants seemed minor on the outside of the house--but then they invaded the inside--and I was directly affected.

Don't overlook the "small" things. Song of Solomon refers to the "little foxes" that spoil the vines. We can't risk avoiding them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary. . .

. . .to me!! Can you believe--today is our 3rd anniversary . . .And it is true as most say--that it has only gotten better (and much easier!) Now--Brett understands my emotions and I understand his jokes--at least for the most part :) I can truly say that I have been blessed with a wonderful husband. What we think we want and what we need in life is often different. But when the Lord choose Brett -- He gave me both!

I just thought I'd include a couple of wedding photos for those of you who weren't there.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Taking Time

Wow--almost 2 months have gone by since I last wrote. I'm amazed at how often I think of things that I want to write or pictures I want to post--but it just doesn't get done.

Why? Simply because I just don't take the time. We all have 24 hours in a day, but how we use our time differs. Now I have been busy (I just returned from Honduras on a medical missions trip--I'll give an update soon--this is a picture of a suspended bridge that we crossed), but we make time for what we want to make time for.
Being in Honduras was actually quite relaxing. We worked during the days, but my mind and every minute was not filled with "all of the things" "I need to do." You know those thoughts. It really made me think about what I have on my plate and should it all be there.
Now, I don't know if my plate will change, but I do want to make a commitment to do the things I feel impressed to do and to call people when their names come to mind (or e-mailing, texting, etc.) instead of waiting for that "perfect" moment. As we know--perfectionism is often the causing factor for procrastination. We often wait for the "perfect" time--which we also know--never comes. I think I have missed many blessings in addition to blessing others because of this.

Scripture often refers to "today." "This is the day. . . " "Today is the day. . ." "Don't worry about tomorrow. . ." So my challenge is to not delay those things that will cause more grief if put off another day and to avoid putting off contacts that may end up having eternal consequences and rewards.

Now, I have many things I "need" to be doing--but I have a friend on my mind, and instead of waiting for the perfect moment . . .I'm off to call her. . . I hope you do the same.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fun for Two

This past week I told Brett that I wanted to go ride bikes around the LSU lakes. I just finished the semester (1 more to go!), but he is still studying, so time is limited.

I was so excited when I saw him taking out the bikes. I love being outside, especially riding with him. We rode for an hour around the LSU lakes--and it definitely wasn't just just a joy ride as Brett kept going faster and I kept panting louder.
(Brett running down the street--not sure what he was doing! :) and loading the bikes in the truck)

But all in all--it was great exercise and a great day! I can't wait for another one like it. Maybe next time we'll hit them Louisiana "mountain" trails!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

An Heirloom

I've been sewing a lot lately, and I'm often distracted mentally because I'm thinking up some new design or idea for a little girl's dress. It's amazing how God uses everything--even that which distracts us--to speak to us.
Tonight, I had a simple revelation of how the Lord intricately hand stitches our lives --each stitch carefully sewn with precision and utmost control. What I love about hand sewing is that you do have control over each stitch. When I sew something predominately by hand, I choose the best fabrics and laces--because the time invested and the resulting heirloom is worth the best materials. We are no different. We were not put together on an assembly line, but we have been carefuly crafted "woven in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13) by the hand of the Lord.

We are an heirloom, precious in His sight.

This was a newborn gown I made for my a friend's miracle son. The tatting, pleats, and embroidery were all sewn by hand (I didn't make the tatting--just sewed it on!) Below is a bonnet that I also made for a friend.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Special Girl

I've been thinking about Caroline a lot this week. I'll never forget when she was born. She was such a wonderful, content baby. She hardly ever cried and was incredibly peaceful. As she grew--she became "my special girl."

She went everywhere with me--Chi Alpha functions, high school football games (when I was teaching), speech tournaments--everywhere. I'll never forget the 1st time I baby sat her. She was a few months old and I called Lisa at 1:00 am--because she was "breathing funny." I was so afraid something would happen to her under my "watch."

She has and still is such a giver of life. She was my friend, my special girl.

I won't forget the time we were just hanging out on a Saturday in an antique store. She was about 4 years old. She just started crying in the store. When I asked her what was wrong, she said "I don't want you to get married." Her reasoning "Because I won't be your special girl any more."

Well, God waited until she was 8--and then I got married. And I was proud to have her in my wedding as my maid of honor.

Now--she is so grown up and absolutely gorgeous. Her heart is so tender and loving toward others and the Lord. She has a beautiful singing voice and is in the UL children's choir. She also plays the guitar, sews, crochets, and is willing to do just about any adventurous thing! A girl after my own heart!

Now instead of going to speech tournaments with me--she is competing in them! I was so proud. Two years in a row she has received a "Superior" rating--and of course, this year, Lisa and I thought she should have placed in the top 3! (She was the best after all!)

Thank you, Caroline--for being who you are. And thank you, Lisa--for sharing your little joy with me!