Monday, October 29, 2007

I've been to the land of Oz...

I'm kidding......sorta.

Well, I knew we (me, Mom, & Bop) were going out of town for a conference meeting. You know, where there are a few churches that get together every quarter and discuss items of business that pertain to that particular bunch of people in that particular area of the state.

So, we made a 2 hour drive on Friday evening. We were still about an hour away, but we figured getting 2 hours of it out of the way made much more sense. Since we were about to go into the middle of nowhere for this thing.

Anyway, we did ok finding the place, but it was an adventure getting there. We started on a 4-lane split highway. We turned off that onto a 2-lane road - not bad. We turned off that road onto a 1-3/4 lane road - getting a bit nervous. You stay on that road for 4.2 miles. 4.2 MILES?!?!?! WE'RE GOING TO BE OUT IN THE STICKS!!!!!!!!! (nothing against country folks, but I'm a city girl) Well, after 4.2 MILES, it said you'd see "Cokely's barn" on the right and then make a left at the "Y" intersection and go another 2-something miles.

Cokely's barn? We'd already passed 892,375 barns since we turned off the 2-lane road! None of the other barns were labeled with the owner's name. Were we supposed to know these people?!?! Well, much to my amusement, this one was labeled. =) So, we made the left at the "Y". Then the road went from 1-3/4 lane down to 1-1/4 lane. In the curves, it was only 3/4 of a lane. I was afraid - VERY AFRAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I told Mom that if anybody showed up in bibbed overalls, I was out of there. And in a hurry!!!

We had a good time at the conference (and to my relief no one showed up in bibs). Then, we made our way home. 3 hours later, we pull into Mom's driveway. Now, it's on to doing Sister's hair for a Halloween party she was going to.

I finished Sister's hair at 9:30. They were going to be up very late, I'm sure.

To complete the evening, we piled S into the carseat and made a break for the nearest Wendy's, hit the interstate (quickest route) and down the road to the Pumpkin House. You can see pics here and here. It's really cool in person. S had a blast and we had a blast watching her.

I'll be back with the rest of the story. Until then, you can just call me Paul Harvey.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Musical Happenings

Well, the kids in the Youth Group started working on different projects for the State Bible, Music & Arts Competition for the 2007-08 year. It's hard to work with the kids during regular youth meeting. I've got kids who can't do competition - they're too old and out of high school. Sometimes that is disruptive. So, we'll be having other practices.

Let me see if I can remember what everybody's doing.

C (E's niece - from the younger class) - probably a vocal solo.

E (one of "my girls") - vocal solo, photography, choir, and puppets. I'm going to see if she'll enter in poetry and piano, too. She could do really well with those.

M (another one of "my girls") - 7th grade Bible Memorization, choir, puppets, and maybe some art or a solo.

S (yet another, "my girls") - 8th grade Bible Memorization, vocal solo, choir, puppets, and I'm not sure what else. She's been out playing volleyball with her school.

D (one of "my guys") - trombone solo, choir, puppets, and powerpoint. There might be something else thrown in later.

E (D's brother) - 8th Grade Bible Memorization, choir, and puppets. He might work on something else, too.

There are a few other kids who I've not talked to about doing something for this year's competition, but we'll see what happens. I think there will be more entries.

This year is unlike any other year with these kids. The National Competition will be in our state! This also means that State Competition will be bigger than it's been in years past. It also makes the kiddos waaaaaaaaaay more nervous.

I think we may have to come up with one more bible entry. I'm not sure.

Anyway, I've already picked out the music for D's trombone solo. I had to transpose and convert the music for him into bass clef and into the key of F. It took about 45 minutes. He'll be playing "He Leadeth Me" with "Farther Along". Like a medley. I'll be playing backup on piano. E is singing "At the Foot of the Cross" with "His Life for Mine". The choir song hasn't been picked out yet, but the last thing they worked on was "Word of God, Speak" by MercyMe. They sounded pretty good. S was working on a solo for last year and ran out of time. It was "If" by Nicole Nordeman. She might do that this year.

They want to do a Christmas program. I'll be writing it. I can't ever find a program that has the right number of parts for the number of kids I have.

E, M, & S are working with the Children's Church program during morning worship on Sundays. E said that the younger kids want to do a program, too. I told E I'd help where I could - which may mean playing for their program. And I also found out that the choir director (E's dad), will start having practice for the adult program.

As you can see, things are going to get quite interesting over the next few months. We also have "Family Week" coming up a week from Sunday at church. Sunday morning, I'll be singing with Mom & Bop. Then, I'll be singing with Mom, Sister, S (my niece - age 4), and Mom suggested that we (Mom, Sister & me) sing one of the songs we sung when Mom took us to Israel.

Then, right after "Family Week", we'll convert the fellowship hall into the Operation Christmas Child collection center. Did I hear somebody say that they'd never heard about OCC?!?! Click on the link and check them out! They're a fantastic organization!

Well, I believe that I've loaded you down with more info that you'd ever want to read in one post. So, I'll see you later.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

That makes me a happy girl...

So I went to check out this new doctor this morning. It made me quite nervous.

But apparently, there were a few of you out there who remembered that I'd asked for prayer about this. Thank you!

This guy is great. Even the PA student he had in there was great. They were both a little unnerved when I told them that I wanted to change docs when I told them that I had asthma and that doc #1 (in the same facility, different dept. Doc #1 is in internal medicine. Doc #3 is in family practice.) only listened to my lungs one time in the last year. He kinda shot me a look that said "Why didn't you switch earlier?!?!?!"

He changed none of my meds (yeah!). He's leaving me on the Flexaril (yippee!!!!! it's the only thing keeping the pain at bay). He's pushing to get me the appointment with an OBGYN to get the "girlie gut" thing checked on.

He did manage to give me one "frown-y face sticker". My cholesterol was too high the last time I had blood drawn for a full panel screen. He's given me 6 months to see what I can do.

I guess it's diet time, girls! Wish me luck - I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sorry to leave you hanging...

I realized that I'd not posted anything real after asking for prayer.

Those of you who prayed for me, thank you. Emotionally I wasn't in a good place. Soemthing was said during a "heated discussion" that had never been said in the 11 years we've been together. It hurt me deeply.

Things are getting better in that area. Not great, but better.

We're struggling with a few other things right now, too. The majority of these has to do with my health. I'm only 30, but I feel like I'm 80. That may sound like the majority of you, but since I was in a car wreck about 4-1/2 years ago, I've not felt like me. My thoughts are very scattered.

Sometimes, it's almost unbearable to live with.

I go see a new Dr tomorrow morning at 7:30 (EST). If you're up then, would you whisper a little prayer for me. This will be the third new doctor in the last 2 years.

The first doctor got the boot when she was only dealing with one problem at a time. Me, I have multiple problems and she just wasn't paying attention or listening to what I was telling her. The second doc didn't get the boot. She actually listened to what I was saying and diagnosed appropriately, but she was leaving the week after I saw her to work at another facility. (insert boo's and sniffles right here) The third is the recommendation of the second doc. I feel ok about that.

I had undergone some testing last year. They were trying to figure out what's wrong with my "girlie guts" (those are C's words, btw). They found fibroids and ovarian cysts, but wouldn't rule out endometriosis, but wouldn't pursue it any further. Grrrrrrrrr.

They also did a sleep study. That determined that I have RLS (restless leg). I could've told them that. I tried Requip, since it was the "hot" new drug for RLS. Only it didn't work. It just made me sick. Like driving down a straight stretch of road and getting motion sick. Forget about taking a country road anywhere. Even the interstate was awful! Doc #1 "just couldn't believe that anyone was allergic to that drug. Nobody else has told me about that." - well, let me tell you a little something, sister - I'M NOT LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE!! THAT'S WHY WE'RE CALLED INDIVIDUALS!!! And nothing else was ever recommended to be taken to manage the RLS.

Anyway, the body pain is manageable. Not great, but manageable. The other pain is not the worst it has ever been. I'm still not sleeping well. Which could be attributed to the fact that my sleep cycle has been interrupted by this burly guy who likes to sleep cockeyed in the bed and kicks and flops and wants to sleep where I'm trying to lay. I got used to having the "big bed" to me, myself, and I. It's a little crowded with just us in there. You add C, and you've got a whole other ballgame. You'd think sleeping in a King size bed we'd have plenty of room. NO! (insert a little "teenage" eye-rolling) Arms and legs are everywhere - and it's just the 2 of us.

Just pray for us. Things are a little tight financially (C's pay schedule went crazy when he got put on The Plant's payroll, but it's getting better). Things are a little crazy emotionally. Things are a lot irritating with my health (I know that's not good grammar, but humor me).

But there's a song that I sing with my group. The chorus says, "It's been a long journey, but I have been blessed. Walking with Jesus, I have no regrets. He is so good to me, I must confess. The way has been long, but I'm blessed!"

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My sould shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried our, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who hear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalm 34: 1-8 (NKJV)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How much are you worth???

How much are you worth? - For sale by owner!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I have no title for this...

I just need you to pray for me.

I'm having an "off" day. Things just aren't quite right. Not sure what's going to make it better.

I know I'm being dramatically vague, but I just can't go in to the details.

It's just a bummer of a day.


Monday, October 8, 2007


Pics from Retreat. I hope you enjoy. The first pic is the pulpit. The other flowers in the sanctuary were just like these.

This is Patty Ross. She plays a 12-string guitar. She writes her own songs - and they are beautiful.

This is one of me and my girls doing sign language to "I Can Only Imagine". I sang and the girls did most of the sign language. They did real good. Love those girls.

I told you guys how excited I was to be invited to sing with Kyla Rowland. Here's the proof that I did, in fact, sing with her - and her sweet husband, Bob. I can really "let her rip" with them. They like to sing loud. I do too!

This is Kyla Rowland speaking to us. She delivered just the right words that were needed that night. I'm thankful that God gave her the words that were needed that night - we had one come back to the altar and rededicate her life. What a joyous time we had, but how much more were they rejoicing in Heaven?!

This one may be a little hard to see. We had to use the "night vision" setting on the video camera. Let me explain this picture a little. I hope you can make out the cross. It's a wooden cross. Those white things are cards with prayer requests on them. That Friday night, we nailed our prayer requests to the cross while the song "Nail it to the cross" by The Whisnants played.

This picture might be hard to see, too. After the prayer requests were nailed to the cross, Bop (in the white robe) came out with a huge red piece of fabric. The fabric represents the blood of Christ covering our prayer requests. It was a very powerful moment when the fabric was draped over the cross. It makes me think of how God would approvingly look at the finished work of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

This is Mom giving a welcome Saturday morning. The cross behind her is a little easier to see in the light.

This is me, Mom & Bop. We travel locally and sing in different churches, too. This is always a refreshing time for us - even though the 3 of us were up to our eyeballs in "stuff to do" during this weekend.

Some of those girls got a little rowdy after the praise service started. They were like that in all 3 seating sections. It was good.

Kyla reminded us about how wonderful Heaven would be. Sometimes, you just need a reminder that this is not the end.

I think Kyla was "filled to overflowing" on this song.

Hope you enjoyed getting a little glimpse of what a wonderful weekend we had. If you're interested in a video, leave me a comment. The videos are $10 for the set. All of the proceeds will go toward the State Ladies Auxillary hosting the International Women Active for Christ conference when the National Association of Free Will Baptists comes to West Virginia this next summer.

See y'all later.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I did it - again.

I must admit - I never thought that my spare time would be learning how my big car works. It never seemed like something I might even be remotely interested in.

Having said that, being raised by a single mom, you just learn the most cost effective way to do just about anything. So, if I tried, I could probably change my oil, but I'll just let the guys at Wal-Mart think they're doing me some huge favor. =)

Sister is most disgusted by the fact that I'm not afraid to try anything - and usually, I end up with something that works like it's supposed to or looks like what it's supposed to.

Anyway, I called the parts store that I originally bought the spark plugs and wires from. I spoke with someone different than I had the night before. He informed me that the lunkhead that sold me the first set of plugs failed to tell me that those plugs were for a 4-cylinder foreign made car. I have a 6-cylinder American made car. Do you see a problem?

I called said parts store, spoke with "Jim", and asked how much the correct plugs were. There was a $4 difference in the price of the plugs. Ok. These just came out of the box. Will you exchange them? No. So now, I'm out the price of the cheaper plugs and the price of the correct plugs.

So, I contacted a different auto supply store. They laughed (and then apologized) at the mistake the guy from the first store made. They set me up with new plugs and wires. Their plugs (same manufacturer, same plug) were almost $2 more than the first store, but they did a price match. YAY, SECOND STORE!!! And my new best friend's name is "John".

After amputating my arm and leg to pay for the correct plugs and wires, I went home to change them out - AGAIN!!!

Do you believe this?!?!?!?!?!?!

Anyway, after I managed to finish slicing off every finger letting my engine chew my arm off again changing out the stupid plugs for the correct ones, I held my breath and started the car. I knew something wasn't right with the first set of plugs. The car was "putting". You could hear that something wasn't quite right. After changing them to the correct ones, it only sounded like an exhaust should "putt".

(Insert fiesta music and me shaking my booty right here. Well, maybe not shaking my booty. That might be a danger to me or some innocent bystander.)

So, after much laying on my engine (it gives new meaning to the "laying on of hands" that scripture speaks of), my car runs muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch better. That's one step closer to having it back on the road.

I'll be back with the summary of the lesson I taught last night during Youth Meeting. Even the kids were commenting on how timely the lesson was.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I did it.

I finally finished changing the spark plugs and wires in my big car.

I know you're asking, "Why didn't C do that?"

My simple answer, C has not one "handy-man" bone in his body. He does ok at the plant - with the machines he works with. But not at home.

My neighbors were getting a kick out of watching me crawl into the engine of my car. At one point, I was laying on the car with my feet off the ground. I'm sure it was very funny and scary to watch.

Funny, in the fact that it looked like the engine of my car was eating me, and scary, in the fact that my hinder parts were sticking out in rare form.

I'm sure you're wondering why all the rush to get this car fixed.

Well, C informed me that they're switching him to second shift but that he did turn in a request to remain on third. He still must go to second, but his supervisor and the 3rd shift mgr are trying hard to get him back on 3rd.

So, he will probably take the little car and I'll take the big car. It's been really nice, these last few months. We've been sharing the little car because the big car was having issues. Now, I'm trying to fix the issues because we won't be able to share a car anymore.

Pray for me. I'll be calling my real mechanic to see if he can work the big car in this afternoon or tomorrow. All I know - it needs to be on the road by Monday. That's when the big "schedule shift" starts.

Pray for C. Another guy from our church started right after C. They've done the same thing to him. He said the adjustment from 3rd to 2nd isn't fun. He's been on 2nd for almost a month. He told C that it was veeeeeeeeeeeery sllllllllllllllllllllllowly getting easier.

I'll let you know how the car thing works out...