Monday, September 29, 2008

Retreat in the Mountains

We had so much fun this weekend! It started with going to the "Fireproof" movie late Friday night. Then on Saturday we packed our van and drove to Douthat State Park. We rented a cabin for two nights and had such a wonderful family time together!

The weather was yucky on Saturday...rainy and cool, but the cabin was dry! :o) We bought some firewood and built a fire that evening. I love the smell of wood smoke! It took about an hour to unpack the van and get everything in its' place.

We bought a supreme pizza at Walmart and baked it in the oven along with some french fries. Nice and easy! After supper we pulled out the "Rook" cards and taught the kids how to play. They caught on pretty quickly and we ended up playing until 2:00 in the morning! We had so much fun talking and laughing...building memories!

We slept in Sunday morning, getting up around 9:30 or 10:00. There weren't many people around, so it was nice and quiet. For breakfast I baked some biscuits and warmed up some sausage patties I'd brought along. So we had sausage biscuits with Blackberry jam.

After breakfast and clean-up we went for a long bike ride. We rode from our cabin to the campground we usually pitch our tent at. It's beside a lake and is just beautiful! The ride over there was mostly level or I knew I was in trouble on the return trip! I made it most of the way back, but just a few yards from the turn onto our road I had to get off and push. Beth had to get off too, but my guys kept on riding! WooHoo! Neal's new heart parts are working good for him! Beth and I pushed until we came to a better spot and then we rode on to the cabin (or at least most of the way). We took our dog Suzi with us, and had her tied up outside. She was glad to see us come back! Just about as soon as we got back it started raining again. It only rained about 5 or 10 minutes though, and the sun came back out.

For lunch we made Hobo stew! I took just about all the cans of soup I had in the pantry -- Beef and Vegetable, Ham and Potato, Clam Chowder, Bean and Bacon, and Italian Wedding Soup. We mixed them all together in a big pot and it actually tasted pretty good! Ben wanted to add Spaghettios, but we decided not to!

We played some more Rook since it was wet outside again. It cooled off a lot and the kids wanted another fire, so Neal built a fire. Since we had a fire built, we decided to toast marshmallows and make S'mores! Yummy! Then the kids decided they wanted to go hiking. We couldn't leave the fire, so Beth and Ben took Suzi up a trail behind our cabin. I guess they were gone about 30 minutes. That was one happy dog when they came back. They wore her out! That evening she even fell asleep sitting up. :o)

After the fire went out, we hopped in the van and drove around the park. It's such a beautiful park. The lake is lovely...especially in the evening with the sun setting.

For supper we grilled Turkey Sausage Links (like hot dogs), and had french fries again, and some Heart of Palm Salad (I make it like potato salad, but use Heart of Palm in place of the potatoes). We played a game of "Pirateer" and then played Rook again. We went to bed at 11:00 though, instead of 2:00!

Monday morning came too quickly for all of us! Check out was 10:00, so we got up at 8:00. We started packing right away, then ate a healthy (not) breakfast of Krispy Cream donuts! We finished packing and were on the road around 10:30.

The kids didn't want our vacation to end when we got home, so after putting things away and getting the laundry started, we played more games. We played another game of "Rook" (I think we've started something) and we played "Uno Spin." My mom came up and played Uno Spin with us.

Well, that's it...back to the real world tomorrow. :o) Hopefully I can post some pictures of our cabin and our vacation tomorrow.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Review on Fireproof

I truly loved this movie! If you've seen and enjoyed Flywheel and/or Facing the Giants you will not be disappointed in Fireproof! We went to the 10:00 showing tonight (the 7:30 was sold out), and there was a good size crowd there. The movie had my emotions all over the charts. I laughed, cried, got angry, and there was even some suspense in there! Ben said it was "roMANtic!" :o) That too!

I love how Sherwood Films throws in such funny scenes with every day people...I won't give it away, but the mirror scene cracked me up and some other parts as well. The humor pops up throughout the film.

It is rated PG for adult themes (I guess). We took our 10 and 13 year olds to see it and they loved it.

If you are not familiar with Sherwood Films, it is run through a church in Albany, Georgia. Their first film was "Flywheel." It was a good film. You can tell they didn't have as much money in their budget, but it is still well worth watching. "Facing the Giants" is an excellent film about a high school football team and their coach. Their movies use local people for the acting, and for most (if not all) of the behind the scenes positions. This is the first time they've used a "real actor" in one of their movies. Kirk Cameron did an excellent job!

I know it's not showing in every city. If it isn't showing near you, I hope you get the chance to see it on DVD a few months from now! If it's showing in a theater near you, head on out and support this church and their effort to bring quality family movies to us!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Opening Day!

Today the movie, FIREPROOF (look to the right of my post) is opening in over 800 theaters around the country! If you can, please purchase tickets and go this weekend! We're going tonight! I can't wait!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

This is a sunrise in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina last Thursday.

I truly enjoyed viewing God's handiwork that morning!

For more Sky Watch fun head on over HERE! The picture on that page alone, is worth checking out!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


After being on vacation for a few days, I was way behind on reading my favorite blogs. Tonight I have just about caught up. (Boy, y'all sure do "talk" a lot!) Anyway, one of my favorite blogs to read is Lysa TerKeurst's from "Proverbs 31 Ministries." She always has something good to read whether it's spiritual, personal or funny (sometimes a combination of all). Recently she shared one of her deepest secrets. Why would she do that? In hopes that it helps someone out there to learn from her mistake, but also to help those who share the same secret.

You see, when Lysa was a teenager she found out she was pregnant. She was unmarried, and her family had just suffered a great loss. How could she cause them more pain by telling them she was pregnant? So she got an abortion. She shares her story here about how the Lord has helped her to heal and how He can use something for good that Satan intended for evil.

Even if you've never had an abortion yourself I'm sure you know someone who has (even if you don't know that they have). Read her story ... it will be worth your time. Oh, and while you're there read the comments. They are heart wrenching, and at the same time inspiring.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Shadow People

These "Shadow People" kept following Mom and I around, so I started taking pictures of them.

Here they are on the beach one afternoon.

They followed us to the amusement park Monday night!

And here they are the morning we left. They got up to see the sunrise with us (I think they're growing!)

Wet Feet

Miniature Golf in Myrtle Beach

If you like to play miniature golf (or putt-putt), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is the place for you! They have the most interesting and fun putt-putt courses I have seen anywhere! The problem is deciding which one to go to!

One way to narrow it down is to see who is offering coupons in the little coupon books you can pick up anywhere around town. I actually found my coupon on-line before we left for our trip. It was a good thing I did, too, because these particular putt-putt courses did not have coupons in the little books we picked up.

I also called around for prices. The "going rate" for putt-putt on the Grand Strand is around $8.00 or $8.50. Coupons are typically $1.00 off per person. Some places have cheaper rates before 6:00...others are the same all day long.

The first course we went to was Cancun Lagoon. It was a cloudy, slightly rainy day. This course is an indoor/outdoor course. Nine of the eighteen holes were indoors, and the other nine were outside. If it had been raining hard they would have let us redo the indoor holes to make up for the outside course. It was only sprinkling when we came to the outside courses, so we headed on out. We were glad we did too, it was so pretty and one of the coolest holes was outside!

Here is Beth putting in an indoor hole.

Beth and Ben posing for a shot. Ben was being a little silly!

Here are the three of us posing outside the course. We had just arrived and were excited to get started!

Here's an outside shot of Cancun Lagoon.

The outside of this mini-golf was shaped like a pyramid!

This is one of the outside holes. You putt up at the top and then the ball falls over the edge, and plinks down this board. This was our favorite hole!

After finishing your game, you put your ball into a machine. If you are a lucky winner (which I was!) you win a free game at one of their other courses. Soooo, the next day my mom said "how about we go play treat!" How could I refuse?

Mutiny Bay:

Here is the big pirate ship in front of Mutiny Bay. About half way through the course there is a pirate show. Cannons fire and a building catches on fire! It's amazing the amount of time that was put into these courses!

Ben being a Ham .... Ta-Daaa!!!

Here's my mom showing us how to do it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Last night we returned from our mini-vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC. I'll be sharing lots of pictures in the weeks to come from that trip. Lots and lots of great sky shots!

Todays pics aren't the best quality, but I love them anyway. This was from Sunday night...our first night at the beach:

For more fun Sky Watch photos...head on over HERE and check them out (or join in the fun!).

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm From...

I found this on an old blog of mine. I wrote this in 2005, and thought I'd share it again. I may even add a few things:

I am from a home where love was never questioned.

I am from a small town where there were no stop lights.

I am from a town where my neighbor was a famous baseball manager, but I only knew him as Smokey.

I am from summers anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Book-Mobile and reading the Boxcar Children.

I am from a time when I could go for a bike ride around the neighborhood, go to the store, or walk to a friend's house and all my Mom worried about was me being careful crossing the street.

I am from a time when we drank Pepsi from a 16 oz. bottle and then turned in the empty bottles for change.

I am from watching The Wonderful World of Disney at 7:00 on Sundays, and watching Hee Haw on Saturday nights.

I am from a time when Elvis was King...and it was a sad day when he died.

I am from a time of catching lightening bugs, playing hide and seek, playing Spud, and sitting on the front porch and just talking.

I am from a family who went to church every Sunday, prayed before every meal, and prayed together at bedtime.

I am from a time of 4-H and learning to sew, cook and garden.

I am from a small elementary school where we all grew up together and everyone knew your parents.

I am from a church that memorized scripture verses through BMA and went to camp in Georgia every summer.

I am from a time when Daddy's worked hard, and Mommy's were there to take care of us when we got home from school.

I am from a time that was very safe and happy.



I'm from a time of having popcorn and pop on Sunday nights (it was a special treat!)

I'm from a time of playing Barbies for hours at a time.

I'm from a time of watching The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (and I wanted to be the Bionic Woman!)

I'm from a home where sports was always on...either on the TV or on the radio.

I'm from a home that rooted for the Cincinnati Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals.

I'm from a home that respected the office of President of the United States...even if you didn't agree with him.

I'm from a family that had lots and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins!

I'm from a home that had three children: two boys and a girl.

I'm from a time of playing softball at the local park.

I'm from a time of dropping by someone's house without having to call and schedule it weeks in advance!

I'm from a home where we ate supper together every evening.

I'm from a home where my parents watched the evening news together while they drank their last cup of coffee for the night.

I'm from a home where my mom made homemade meals every night, and there was usually a homemade dessert to go with it.

I'm from a time where I remember when we got our first microwave and our first clothes dryer.

I'm from a time when getting a 10-speed bike was really cool!

I'm from parents who loved me and supported me in whatever I chose to do!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I've been saying that a lot the last few days!

Last week I had a sore neck and shoulders, and then Sunday morning while I was in the shower something happened and I started have extreme pain in my neck. I went on to church and managed to sit through our ABF class and church. All day the pain just kept increasing. It didn't matter if I was sitting still, moving, laying down, it hurt!

Neal took the kids to church Sunday night and I stayed home. Around 8:00 I decided I could not stand it anymore. I gave Neal a call and told him I was going to the ER. My Mom drove me over there and Neal and the kids met us there.

First of all, I hate going to the ER. Unless you're having chest pains or bleeding profusely, you have to sit and wait for a long time. We checked in at 8:32. We sat in the waiting room, I was called back to answer questions and take my BP and temp, we went back to the waiting room, and then I was called back to answer more questions and wait in a back room. Around 10:30 I saw a physician's assistant. She and I both felt like my problem was muscular, but because I had been running a fever and because of my neurological history she wanted to do blood work and a CT scan (along with an x-ray).

She gave me a muscle relaxer around 10:45. It didn't take long for them to do the x-rays, the CT scan, and take my blood. But around 12:30 they came and told me they'd done the wrong CT scan and needed to do it over. She asked me at this time if I'd like something for pain. I said yes right away.

It took a while this time to get the last CT scan, but they finally got it. Around 2:30 we were able to go home with pain killers and muscle relaxers and something for inflammation. We got home around 2:50.

Monday morning I awoke still in pain, but much less. Good thing because at 2:45 I had an appointment to get a tooth pulled. I decided to go ahead and do it since I was in pain anyway. That went okay, but today has been a very groggy, painful day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

BTW...Neal filled out my paperwork at the hospital and beside the line that asked why I was there he wrote: "Pain in the Neck." Isn't he sweet! ;o)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Where Do You Belong?

You Belong in 1966

You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

This was a fun quiz...but what's the deal with the drugs?!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Please Pray

I've been reading Marsha's blog for several years now. She always brings a smile to my face through her wit and stories of her three boys. I was a bit behind in my blog reading, so tonight I went over to her blog and was shocked to find out that her little 3-year-old son, Christian, passed away August 26th. They buried him on Saturday, August 30th.

Please pray for Marsha, her husband David, and their two surviving sons. I can't imagine the tremendous loss they are feeling right now. If they come to mind, please lift up a prayer for this sweet family. It's going to be a long, hard, sad road.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Family Fun

This past weekend we had our annual family reunion in Kentucky. This is something that has been going on for more years than I've been alive (which is 42!). This was always a favorite time for me as a child. I had cousins my age to play with, lots of room to run and play, and I could get dirty and my mom didn't say too much! Now my kids are enjoying the same fun. They also have cousins around the same age as them, and run and play and get dirty. Who could ask for more?

As adults we enjoy talking a lot, eating a lot and playing a lot. We mostly play volleyball, but there are a few other games we play, as well. The weather this year was extremely hot and humid, but we played hard anyway. This morning I felt like I ached from head to toe. At least I was able to burn off the calories I ate!

Here are some pictures from our weekend. Beth and I took 100 pictures, but don't worry ... I didn't post them all! :o)

These are my Mom's two brothers Bob and Randy. Out of 8 boys in their family, these are the only two left. I liked this picture because they were just sitting talking and enjoying each other's company!

Here was our spread of food (still covered) on Sunday. We had a cookout Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was just sandwiches and cold stuff, Sunday was the "real" food. My Mom's chicken and dumplings are down on the front end of the table. She makes enough to feed 50 or more!

Here they are setting up the tents on Saturday. We use the carport, and then add more tents. We had 41 people on Saturday and close to 50 on Sunday.

This is the view of Aunt Sally's house from my cousin Alvin's house. I slept at Alvin and Pat's in their guest room.

Here's my great-niece, Alley, playing the guitar for an audience. That's her "Papoo" on the left, my aunt Sally (Mom's younger sister) next, and cousin Hannah sitting on the floor.

Alley getting into it!

Another shot of Alley -- isn't she CUTE!

This is my mom's older sister, Lena with one of her new great-grandsons. Her grandson and his wife had twin boys!

This is my niece Susie and her dad (my brother) Robert Wayne (Uncle Bob to my kids). This is Alley's Mommy, and she's expecting a baby in November!

Volleyball is our game of choice for the weekend. This year our cousin Terry brought a new net and some rope for a boundary line. It kept us from arguing so much! ;o)

Here's another shot of some of the players. That's Terry in the black t-shirt. We always had at least 6 to a side, but sometimes as many as 9!

This was another fun game we played. Another name for it is "Corn Hole." It's a simple game of tossing the corn bag into the hole, but it is so much fun! I have plans for Neal to make us a set of these! ;o)

Here are Chester and Charles playing Corn Hole. They say it's popular on their college campus.

Here was another favorite activity on this hot weekend!

Beth didn't want to pose for me, so I decided to put this picture on here anyway!

Here is where the kids slept over the weekend. My cousin, Alvin, bought this camper about a month ago. It has two bunk beds, a queen size bed, and two more beds that can be made from the table and the couch. Pretty nice!
Jeremiah 29:11

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