Saturday, May 30, 2009

He made it!

For those reading the blog today I wanted to quickly post a photo...just a few hours old, from Jordan's graduation. This is right after he stepped off the stage and received his diploma from the principal. Larry got this with a zoom lens from far away -- Jordan looked up knowing his Daddy was watching and waiting with the camera. We have many more pics and memories but his party is an hour away from kicking off and I must get the food in the oven, salad mixed, balloons on the mailbox...bye!

Family fun


I got up early yesterday morning to try to put some finishing touches on the house for my sister's arrival from Charlotte, NC. She got here mid morning and Dustin, Larry and I picked her up and went out for a nice early lunch at Olive Garden. Dustin had to work last night so we wanted to do something special with just the four of us before he went. Good times. Shari's favorite restaurant is Olive Garden and ever since going with her years ago she got me stuck on the pasta fagioli. Oh my. I love it. We eat the salad and that soup and dip the bread sticks in it. Fabulous! I didn't overdo it. I'm really watching what I eat, seriously watching it. We came home and spent time together all afternoon and made Jordan's graduation cake and talked and had tea, and just good conversation.


Then much later tonight after Dustin went to work Larry and I, Shari, Savanna, Jordan and Emmy (Jordan's girl) went out for a bite to eat again and bowling. (Yes, bowling again...family fav) So much fun!!! We were having a good old time shouting at all the strikes and spares and just being goofy.

We stopped for an ice cream cone on the way home at Dairy Queen so Shari could see where Jordan works. And thereafter, Shari and I (at 10 pm) went for a late night several mile walk to walk it all off. I haven't overeaten at all the past few days, but I am still watching, walking and biking. I am determined to feel healthy again. So many changes I'm making...this is just one of many.


In the midst of cleaning and cooking Thursday from 10 am - 11:30 pm, (I was SO exhausted) I managed to fit two client meetings in as well as a few loose items for church this weekend. Although my sister is here and we have the party to put on for Jordan after his graduation, it all feels rather relaxing compared to the prep work. And I never did finish my house even after all that. There was just so much to do. It has rained...torrential downpours the past few weeks...and it's been almost impossible to get any weeding done. So although cut, edged and blown, my yard is full of weeds. But I was so tired today I didn't care. Other than that with the majority of our house is done but there were a few projects I just didn't get to, and I can't stress over it. Spending time with my family is more important...so that's what I'm doing.


Took lots and lots of pictures with our new camera, and I'm sharing some of them here. I will have many, many to share over the coming weeks!!! Can't wait! Jordan's graduation is today and I will endeavor to blog tonight or at the latest maybe late Sunday night with more pictures.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Finally...new pictures of Maddie -- UPDATED!!!




We got a new camera in time for Jordan's graduation. I don't know how to use it yet. I've been too busy doing other stuff the past day or two but Larry knows how so that will get us through for Jordan's graduation. He took these photos of Maddie and I wanted to share them. Haven't take many photos of her lately because of the lack of camera. You can see how much she's growing. As an english bulldog, she's eventually going to be a little "tank". Short and very stout. Right now I call her my little "tankini"! :-) lol She's so precious. After all the initial fuss of getting her it appears I may just be the family member that is craziest about her and can't wait to come home to her.

This morning we are picking my sister Shari up from the airport. We're excited about her visit. Tomorrow is the graduation and party. Lots to do to get ready...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I've been absent...


Posting has been scarce for me (in fact non-existent yesterday which is extremely rare) because I'm very busy getting ready for Jordan's graduation. My sister Shari is flying in tomorrow morning from Charlotte, NC to be here for the weekend. I am getting things ready for her to stay here (you know, all the extra stuff you do when you have a houseguest...sheets, towels, yada yada) and cleaning and preparing for the party. Right this moment I just popped a double layer chocolate cake in the oven, which is Jordan's request for his cake. I have a special topper I'm preparing with the help of Pastor T and my husband. I hope it turns out like I envision...we'll see but either way it's the heart/thought that count and I'm sure Jordan will get the message. Been getting some media things together too...will not say too much in case Jordan is reading the blog.


I had intended on sprucing up my yard for the occasion (beyond cutting grass, edging) I intended to do the weeding and such but it's been pouring down rain so we may just have weeds for this weekend as much as I hate it. Larry always tells me no one will notice or care but me. (Well, no one but me and the homeowners association. They send me letters when I haven't weeded.) A few friends have offered to help me however I feel a little weird having others clean my bathrooms, fridge, you know...just awkward a little bit. Although I'm sure the kind of friends I have won't care but I just always have angst asking somebody to clean my mess.

Have to go...the house is calling me and only today to get it done before Shari's arrival. She could always help me tomorrow when she gets here but I'd really like us to spend some time together as a family without cleaning. Know what I mean?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Slow to blog...



This is a short work week because of the Memorial Day holiday yesterday, and I am extra busy with Jordan's graduation this weekend and my sister coming in from North Carolina. I had a double pile up of work today and wouldn't you know it, my computer went on the fritz. Ughh!!! I have been slow to blog with all of this going on, but Larry has it fixed up now and I'm back on track so a quick update here before nodding off to bed...

Larry and I had a few hour meeting this morning with friends Pastor Ed & Janis Russo concerning some big stuff we're planning in our church right now. They are helping us with some things as we get ready for the big reveal, and we are ever so grateful and excited about what God is going to do!! Once it's public, I'll blog all about it, you can be sure.

After the phenomenal meeting with the Russo's I came back to delve into my work on the computer and discovered that it was completely screwed up and I did not get anything done but one order of service. I was ticked but made the most of it getting other things done. Larry did fix my computer and I was able to finish a few hours more work late this evening.

We also had dinner and went bowling as a family tonight with Emilie (Jordan's girlfriend) along with us. More about Jordan and Emilie this week...it deserves it's own blog post and I will be back with one. We sure did have a lot of fun at the bowling alley...played two whole games plus another 1/2 game of just fun bowling doing crazy stuff like left handed, backwards, and all kinds of other goofy stuff. Larry tried something and ended up falling right on his rear end and I laughed so hard the tears were rolling down my face.

Until then I'll just post a few photos from yesterday and today. We went to a party at the Garland's yesterday for the holiday and then had our family outing tonight. As you can see, Jordan is quite the comic. During the party he took a Ashley Mayercak's little swim vest and floaties and put them on and was entertaining everyone with quite a few antics. Where he gets this...I don't know. :)

I've got so much to get done before his graduation and party, I don't even want to think about it... oh well, not to worry, it will all get done as it usually does.




Monday, May 25, 2009

Brie with D


My church ladies (especially my life coachers!) really love me. I am so blessed by them, all the time. Truly they are a bright spot in my everyday life that many times keeps me going.

On Saturday we had life coaching and a few of the ladies always bring something yummy to share. One of my favorite things that both Gayle Lechner and Janice Shehan both make is baked brie. OH MY. Warm and gooey...nothing like it. Janice makes it in a puff pastry that has a little bit of brown sugar and some kind of nuts with it, and Gayle makes it in a puff pastry with herbs. Gayle made her recipe for Saturday and surprised me by making it with a big PD on it, just for me. Notice the little "p" in the middle, "D" on the outside. When she presented it I said, "oh, does this mean it's all for me or do I have to share it?!" (LOL) It was so good...so good it would make a tadpole slap a whale, as I often say!

I just had to grab my phone and take a quick pic of this before we cut it open and I took the first ceremonial bite. :-)



Sunday, May 24, 2009

Raining on the inside


Bad night last night.

Painful.

God has scheduled the sun to rise this morning and I hope for something better. I do hope in the Lord and continue to place my trust in Him.


Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” ~ Lance Armstrong


At times like this it's good that:

1) I am a woman of God who goes by the Word of God.

2) I don't have money for a train or plane ticket.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My post-Idol thoughts...


I made no secret of the fact all season that I am a huge Adam Lambert fan. I am crazy about him, and can't wait to download his album straight to my Zune. I'll probably work out to it for a long time, once it is released.
I also think Kris is an awesome singer. Very talented. I've also heard a ton of other guys who can play and sing just like him. He's a lot like John Mayer or hundreds of worship leaders across the platforms of some of the more prominent churches in America. That's not surprising as Kris is a worship leader in reality, and we've been reminded of that by Christians all season long. There has been a video circulating of Kris leading, "God of this City" in his church. It's really praiseworthy, no doubt about it. And he's cute as a button. (Are buttons cute?) Truth be told, I enjoy Kris a whole lot, I just don't think he's all that unique. I could name quite a number of my personal friends right off the top of my head who are not even famous that can sing and play as well as him. Aside from that, I'm sure Kris is going to have a huge career though, probably in worship music. I can easily see him being the next Chris Tomlin.

Adam on the other hand has amazing vocal chops like I've never heard before. I know absolutely nobody like him, personally or otherwise. I can't name anyone who even comes close to his vocal range. He's in a class by himself, and winner or not he's going to have a huge career. There's nothing for him to cry about here. He's headed for super stardom, with or without the Idol title.

I think both of these young men are great. But what I don't think is great are the deplorable actions of Christians in attacking Adam. It makes me sick what Christians have posted on their facebooks and Myspaces. Among other things I've read throughout the past few weeks have been things such as:

"It's time to make a statement and get Adam out of there!! We need a believer to win!!"

"Take a stand against freaks, America! Vote for Kris!"

"Adam needs to get saved and delivered or we need to vote him off!"

Christians filled up their facebook and myspace pages with remarks about his style of dress, and his grooming, as well as having issue with his possible lifestyle. (Rumor at this point, not fact.)Many Christians have made it clear they wanted Kris to win simply because he's a believer. . They are quick to point out he is a worship leader or that they "met his pastor one time" or that they "know the church he goes to" or that they are from the same fellowship of churches. Who cares? Is this American Idol, or American Worship Leader? American Idol or American Believer? Last time I checked, this wasn't "holiness idol." (What any oxymoron...can an "idol" be holy?") Simon Cowell reiterates again and again..."This is a singing competition..." But is it really? I'm not sure anymore.

I am embarrassed at what many of my PASTOR friends have written on facebook about this issue. One minister wrote a comment on another pastor's page that said, "hey, when they announced Kris as the winner, did you notice how tight Adam hugged him?" They insinuated he was making some sort of pass at him. How pathetic.

Anyone who has known me for longer than 5 seconds knows I'm a bible believing Christian and in fact have been a minister for 22 years.  However, I didn't realize we were electing a spiritual leader. Perhaps next time before they open the phone lines for voting they should have a pastor come and give an invocation and pray over the votes like we would if we were electing a pastor or church board members! (LOL)

To get on facebook or otherwise and make the ridiculous statements that some Christians have made about Adam vs. Kris (which has nothing to do with singing or performing but all about lifestyle and one being a believer and the other not) well it just gives reason -- good reason - to believe that many Christians are idiots who don't know their heads from a hole in the ground. If Christians supported Kris because they liked him from the beginning and they believe he is the superior singer then I think that's GREAT. Fantastic! My kids are among those who did that. And I think that's wonderful if indeed they believe he has the better performance package all around.

But if they are slamming Adam and supporting Kris solely because they thought a believer should win, then I just think it makes them look moronic. And it's no wonder why anyone would not want to follow them or their God or come to their church with such an embecilic thought process as that. Not to mention the unkind actions of calling someone a freak or worse. And we wonder why some people want absolutely nothing to do with Christians?

Friday, May 22, 2009

My wonderful Madeline






Madeline has grown so much. She's become quite the "tank", looking more like a bulldog day by day. Her big teeth are coming in and her tongue sticks out the side sometimes. Last night she came by my bed while I was working on my laptop and I grabbed her and pulled her up which took literally all my strength -- it's becoming very hard to pick her up because she's getting so heavy. She laid up on my lap while I worked and I picked up my cell phone and clicked a few pictures of her. My camera is gone...for good. It went bye-byes and this makes me sad. I am officially camera-less. So, this makes for an interesting predicament being that Jordan graduates in a week and I've got to get a camera. I haven't been able to take pictures of anything lately. including the kids, Maddie or anything. There's so much lately that I've wanted to chronicle in photos and post here...can't wait to be able to do it again.

By the way, you can see in this picture some of the little patches in her skin that had come off from her "demondex mites" problem that she has. However they look REALLY 100% better now, with the medication starting to work. Remember, she can't spread this in the house or to people, it's something underneath the skin and isn't passed on humans or furniture so it's not a big deal that she's on my bed as she's clean and not contagious. Just didn't want anybody freaking and saying, "what the heck is she doing with a dog sitting on top of her bed that has mites?!"

I have been working on a big project for Jordan's graduation party...more details to come...don't want to spoil it in case by some slim chance he's reading my blog. :-) I am also working on a huge project for NJ, that they have entrusted to me. I have until Monday to complete it and it's definitely going to keep me busy. This will be a weekend where I will have just a few hours off. I have a client meeting today, a meeting with my manager, and two other team members, and the project to work on which will be at least a few hours today. Seldom will I have that much on a Friday if anything (I try to keep it sacred for Larry and I, and our kids) but right now it's kind of a special time because of this project as well as hammering out some things in the special meeting for the new responsibilites I've just undertaken as recruiting/training coordinator. Once we have that done, I can just pretty much fly on my own time as I schedule it.

I am hoping to have everything done and have a special evening with Larry and some friends who have invited us out, if we can find child care for Savanna. We'll see... if not it'll be a quiet evening in, and I'm okay with it either way. Just to get the down time will be wonderful...


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jordan's Senior Showcase



Last night was Jordan's senior showcase and it was just delightful. He and Megan Russo did a drum duet. They utilized everything but drums! It was uniquely amazing. They had garbage cans, shopping carts, and all kinds of other "junk" and this is what they did their duet with, banging on all kinds of "junk" and creating different sounds. It was so creative and fun. I know I am partial, after all I'm the Mom, but Janis (Megan's Mom -- who is also partial) agreed...these kids brought down the house and they were bar none, THE best!

The Russo's taped it and I'm hoping to get a copy and if and when I will post it on the blog.

Last night was Jordan's last thing for high school, except for the actual graduation ceremony which will be next week. It was a real celebration last night. He is now out of school with no more classes and he is just thrilled, and so are we.

We are about to cross a new milestone -- graduation with our second child and it's so hard to believe we're at this point. Seems like yesterday he was a little tyke standing on the roof of McDonalds!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And now...the backstory



My life was really changed on January 17 of this year. Sitting right here in this room that you see pictured to the left.

Lots of times here on the blog I have said things like, "there's something going on in my life...can't disclose all the details right now but God is really doing some big things..." or "something new is happening in our church -- it's not public yet but it will be soon..."

I'm always sincere when I say those things and never just blowing smoke or trying to seem mysterious. I always end up sharing whatever it is eventually but I don't always go back and link my first comments with it, to show you what I was talking about back then. So, I'm here to share a backstory today and connect the dots for those of you who are faithful readers.

Back on January 17 I blogged about something amazing that happened for me that day that changed the course of my life. I had been feeling very sick at that time and although we had a district women's ministry reps meeting in Sarasota (which I normally would never miss) I told our leader I was feeling too sick to come and was unable to drive. My friend Joy Conley who is also a rep insisted that I go and said she would come pick me up. Reluctantly I agreed and pressed on to go. I had no idea what amazing things would happen that weekend. First of all, the Lord really moved in a supernatural way in the reps meeting. Second, something else totally unexpected - a divine appointment of anther kind - was waiting for me. And in response, this is specifically what I said that day on the blog:

I pressed through and went to our meeting in Sarasota and basically all I can say is MY ENTIRE LIFE HAS BEEN GREATLY ALTERED AS A RESULT OF THIS MEETING. I hate to blog about something and then not blog about it, but truth be told I cannot tell everything that happened for me during the weekend because some of it is confidential right now."

What happened for me that weekend? Well, in the lobby of the Sarasota Hyatt hotel I struck up a conversation Tina, who is now my boss at the company where I am career coach/recruiting and training coordinator. As Joy and I were sitting with her there on couches in the lobby of the Hyatt Tina said to me, "you're hired!"

I. am. serious. It really WAS that simple.

Thank God I have people with me when I experience things like this or they'd never believe it.

That night I went back to my room at Hyatt, texted Larry and said, "save some significant time with me to talk when I get home. I have major news." I didn't want to tell him on the phone. It was too involved and I needed to explain it all in person. As soon as I got home I shared it all with him. A few days later I had an interview with the C.O.O. and then a second interview about a week later (which were really formalities) and the rest is history.

Some of you will remember how sick I was leading up to that weekend. I had been through every medical test you can think of to find out what was wrong. The enemy did everything in his power to keep me from going that weekend. But my friend Joy was listening to God and called and insisted that I go. My purpose that weekend specifically for women's ministries. I was not there for an interview, and had no idea any of this would happen. But God did.

Sitting on a couch in the Hyatt, my whole life as I know it changed in an instant! Don't ever doubt, God knows everything about you and he knows how to put you in the right place at the right time, with the right people.

So the "miracle door" God opened up that weekend was me suddenly being hired by a company I previously knew nothing about, that I am now crazy about.

Later on that weekend Marsha prophesied over me a powerful word that coincided with this, and she knew nothing about what transpired. Miraculous. God is so amazing. Just wanted to connect all the dots on this one for you who read here daily and might wonder what in the world I'm talking about sometimes! When I tell you something's going on behind the scenes...believe it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What happens when your dog eats half a huge bag full of Easter candy?


In ministry we have to learn how to be "instant in season and out" but also really in anything we do in life if we are to be successful, I believe that is true. I have been working on a project for my career coach job (which has now expanded - I am also recruiting/training coordinator there as well now) and in this new role I had a project assigned that was due this Friday. I've been working hard on it but it was only about 2/3 done this morning. Mid-day our COO (Chief Operating Officer) contacts me and says, "I am in the midst of meeting with a client and need whatever info you already have ready on that project..." My heart sunk because I knew I would be giving her something that was like a cake that was 1/3 unfrosted. But I had to, so I did. I had a delightful idea last week to add something unbeknownst to them to the project that would add some extra pizzazz and I was hoping for the grand unveiling Friday but it was sort of a good unveiling rather than a grand one. Still she said I did a great job on the project even as is. However, it needed major tweaking as what they've discovered we need and the idea I was originally presented with has changed a bit. No problem...adjust we must. You know what they say, "those who are not flexible shall be broken..."

I think the project time will be extended because it's become much more extensive now so looks like I'll be working on this next week too by all indications, which is alright by me.

Amidst that I'm working on a bazillion things for church as usual as well as Jordan's graduation. Yes, he graduates on May 30th (PRAISE THE LORD!!!) and we have a big party planned. Today I bounced back between working on my NJ (company) project, church projects, and a multi-media presentation for Jordan's graduation party that Pastor T (God bless him) is helping me with. It's going to be so awesome. I'll try to post it here once the party is over so everyone can see it.

While doing all this today Maddie got sick. It's partially my fault. If I am home she is never in the kennel. I like for her to be able to run free and don't ever like to cage her in unless we aren't home. So when I wake up I shut all the bedroom doors and just let her run in the common area of the house. Today I got very busy with my projects and was oblivious to what she was doing. She was able to jump up on Savanna's door and open the knob. Yeah, seriously. She went in and got Savanna's bag of Easter candy from her room and tore into it and ate half of the bag of candy including chocolate, multiple lollipops, tootsie rolls, smartees, etc. This was a HUGE bag of candy as we had this Easter march at our church where the kids got tons of plastic eggs stuffed with candy. It would take a human months to eat all this. Maddie tried to ingest as much of it as she could possibly stuff. Just as I noticed it and started to clean up the colossal mess, blecccckkkkkkkkk, she throws it all up. Ughhhhh!!! It was horrible. So I get that mess cleaned up. Then she goes unbeknownst to me and starts eating out of the trash can and just like that eats a photo. Seriously. I wish I were kidding. Well the poor dear has done nothing but throw up today. Multiple times. Hopefully it's over now and we can move on to have a good day tomorrow without her ingesting anything she's not supposed to. I will be every so grateful.

After cleaning up puke multiple times I went and put her in the kennel and headed out to bike for about 6 miles. It was raining out but I just needed a break. Then came in and showered and cleaned up and had dinner with Larry, Dustin and Savanna. Jordan had to work tonight.

Tomorrow is a new day to get a myriad of things done and hopefully my dog will not eat anything she's not supposed to and we can coexist peacefully.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rainy Day


It's a rainy day in Tampa Bay and oh how we have needed it! What a drought. It's been kind of depressing as I have biked lately, all but two of our lakes in Lexington Oaks have dried up.


I got the kids up for school but slept again until it was time for me to get up and rain makes itpwonderful for sleeping too. On days like this I'm trying to keep warm as no matter what time of year it is when it rains, I'm always cold. But I like that.

Today was a really busy workday for me. I am tackling a lot of projects for both church and NJ (my other job). I have a huge project due Friday and I'm so excited about it because I'm putting some finishing touches on it that are completely unexpected and can't wait to see the reaction!

As far as church goes we had a great weekend...service yesterday was great followed by an equally fantastic leadership meeting last night. There are a lot of changes occurring in our church right now which I'm not fully at liberty to make public. Only our leadership knows and has been in the planning stages for months but suffice it to say when the grand unveiling is done however many months from now, it's going to be amazing. Lots and lots of work behind the scenes and I never cease to be amazed at the caliber of leadership we have.

Pastor T's mother is here from Missouri and today I invited her to go to staff lunch with us. We haven't gotten to visit with her much when she's been here before and it was nice to do so today. We went to Hungry Harry's BBQ, so that Pastor T could have lots of meat. He wasn't allowed to have any carbs or sugar today because he's getting a special test done tomorrow to see where he's at in his chemo treatments and the effectiveness and to do that test he can't have carbs or sugar for 24 hours. His Mom seemed to really like the restaurant as much as we do. It's what many would classify as a "hole in the wall" and you know those are really the best places to eat! (with the exception of Carrabbas, my favorite place...lol)

I'm hoping the rain slows down at least for 45 minutes to an hour so I can bike before the sun goes down...

New quote a friend shared with me that I am making the "signature" on my NJ e-mail for a while: "The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." -M. Scott Peck

Great thoughts...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New attitude


I'm feelin' good from my head to my shoes
Know where I'm goin' and I know what to do
I tidied up my point of view, I've got a new attitude!
I'm in control and my worries are few!
Cause' I've got love like I never knew
Ooooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo
I've got a new attitude!

~ Patti Labelle



I said I'd share how my new experiment with how I handle last minute unexpected stuff went, and so here I am for a few minutes before bedtime...

Today was great! Excellent! Couldn't have been better.

I spent my morning as Wonder Woman, saving the day, lassoing (sp?) problems in and finding solutions, leaping tall obstacles in a single bound, and through God's power coming through with a banner service.

I had to get a new way of looking at things. In the past (recent past, as in...before this morning!) I would just get upset over unforseen things people would throw my way and just get so angry at them for doing it, and spend all my time focused on how wrong it was of them to do that, rather than focus on how big God is and what He can do through me in response. People become great through problems they solve, not through just showing what they can do when everything goes just as planned. This is why Sully Sullenberger, the pilot who landed the plane this past year in the Hudson River, is such a hero. When the unforseen sudden double bird strike happened and the engines went out, he had to act fast and decide what to do and his wisdom and excellent skill in landing saved hundreds of people's lives. Now he is a hero and that very unforseen challenge has made him a household name.

If I'm going to be great, I have to solve problems. This morning I solved quite a few of them. In the future, I'm committing to looking at these instances as my time to shine and instead of becoming harried, become a hero.


Woman of the cloth


Time for Wonder Woman to rise and shine...literally! This morning as I wake up at the crack of dawn as is my custom on Sunday mornings, it's not just time for me to wake up, but to save the day. Anyone in ministry knows what I'm talking about, as we all have to do this on many Sundays. On days like this, circumstances dictate that I must not only fulfill my role but a few others that I didn't expect at the last minute.

What ministers accomplish most weeks is nothing short of amazing. I have found that the quote, "your procrastination does not become my emergency" does apply in the business world, but doesn't apply when it comes to ministry. Unforseen things become our emergency in the pastorate unless we want to look like an idiot or lose a few first time visitors. I had at least a few hours notice last night that this morning will be a challenge, so now is my time to rise to the occasion.

Challenges like this typically put me in a tizzy. But I am now looking at these kinds of things as opportunities instead of obstacles...a time to rise above rather than to rail against. For so long I've gotten so depressed when unforseen things have happened that threaten the effectiveness of a service, but lately I'm taking the point of view that I can use these kinds of things to shine and show just what I'm capable of. If I'm not cut out of the same cloth so as to drop the ball, then I also have to be cut out of a different cloth so as to be able to solve things when it drops for some reason. (Maybe that's the real meaning of being a person "of the cloth", ha!) As Mike Murdock says, our value is determined by the problems we solve, not the ones we create.

To be extraordinary you have to do just that...something extraordinary. In ministry we have opportunities each week to do something extraordinary because the unforseen is always happening.

Don't lose your cool, just get out there and shine and show them you're indeed a person of the cloth...a completely different kind of cloth .

p.s. Um, i'll let you know how I do on this first experiment of rising and shining rather than railing and ranting when I do my weekend wrap up blog tonight or in the morning. :-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Very unique singer

Some church/choir members, Mike & Juleen Stramiello passed this video along to me (thanks guys) and it's very interesting. I don't think I've ever, in all my years of singing/playing heard anything like this guy... enjoy.




By the way, I love Simon's reaction to this!

Friday, May 15, 2009

My fun Friday!



Well it's Fun Friday and for the most part it's been fun!


This morning I had a client meeting (career coaching) followed by a planning meeting with some on our management team and after that I headed out to treat myself to a mani and pedi. I sat there and savored the whole thing.


Larry took Maddie to the vet today for the little patches of skin she's been scratching. We thought they were fleas and kept treating her but today we found out they are not fleas. They are demodex mites and evidently this is a condition not passed to humans nor found in your home, but it's just something that dogs get that is hereditary, passed to them from their mother. (Thankfully we don't have to worry about treating the house, our furniture, clothing, her kennel, or other things like that - we just have to treat Maddie.) They said it's a common thing that puppies get and we have about four or five medicines to give her to get rid of it. I'll be glad to see this over with because I have felt sorry for her with all this scratching she's been doing and the fact that she has little patches of hair loss all over.

Following the vet visit we met up with our dear friends Jim & Janice (who moved here from MD to be with us...I've blogged about them before) and we went to Tarpon Springs together for greek food, fun and festivities. They have never been there before and they LOVE all things greek just like we do. In fact, our fav thing to do with them back in Maryland was to go to downtown Baltimore to eat at the Acropolis. We both missed that so much when miles separated us and now here we are able to do it together again. Yay!!

Larry and I are maximizing our time off together this evening because tomorrow we won't be together much. He will be at the church working all day on the new playground. It's very exciting!! Our church just had a $12,000 - $15,000 (yes THOUSAND) playground DONATED to us!!! Yes, our kids are going to be able to enjoy this AMAZING equipment at no charge to us. A very generous donor who cares about kids gave this to us. But our men do have to put the thing together and it's going to be quite the undertaking. They do it tomorrow starting at 9 am. So Larry will be there all day and I'll be working at home on quite a few projects. Then Sunday's comin' around again and I tell you, it's going to be another amazing one at Northside so everyone had better buckle up!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day podcast



As I mentioned on my post Sunday, we had an amazing Mother's Day at Northside. In addition to the ton of stuff we gave away for women, we had four people commit their lives to Christ! I brought the message this past week which was called, "A tale of two Sarah's...". According to some, it was a great message -- one woman told me it has changed her entire life and put things in a whole new perspective for her. So, if you'd like to hear it go to the podcast here.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Braver...stronger...smarter


“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think."

- Christopher Robin to Pooh

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Respect for other women




Elizabeth Edwards is one classy woman. I knew she was going to be on Oprah last week in an exclusive interview and so I Tivo'd it to make sure I didn't miss it. I blogged about the Edwards situation a while back here when John admitted his affair.

I have even more respect for Elizabeth after this interview. She's a very intelligent woman and not only is Rielle Hunter ("the other woman") not in her league, but she's not even worthy of playing the same game.

This article quoted one of the best things Elizabeth said in the interview:

"There is no excuse for women to do this," said Elizabeth, who has terminal breast cancer. "Women need to have respect for other women. You can't just knock on that door and say, 'you're out, I'm in'" added the mother of three. "If you admire that life, you can't just take it. Build your own."

I couldn't agree more with this quote.

Like any man who cheats, John Edwards is equally guilty in this matter of infidelity. However, aside from men's culpability, women need to have more respect for other women in this world. What is another woman's is not theirs to take, plain and simple -- and they should know better.

Many times a woman will admire and desire another woman's life. However, they are sadly mistaken to think that if they were to take the wife's place they too would have the same life. Homewreckers don't realize the work that the wife has put into that home, that man, those children. Without the man's wife in the equation, the wonderful "life" they are coveting would not be the same -- not even close. A home it largely what it is because a woman has made it so. Take her out of it and it's not such a great home anymore. Second, if they want the kind of life they see, Elizabeth is right -- let them go build it on their own, not steal someone else's.

Years ago there was a lady in the church who was intent on having my husband. She went after him in no uncertain terms and declared openly her desire for him. I shared the whole story here in this blog post. Basically I told the woman if she ever came near my husband again I'd break her legs. One of the reasons Larry was upset with me for doing that was because he said none of it mattered because he had zero interest in her and found her completely unattractive. I told him I disagreed -- that she still needed to be dealt with because of her disrespect for me. I had to deal with the fact that she would be so brazen to even think it was okay to try to take what is mine. Whether Larry was attracted to her was another issue entirely.

Elizabeth has made a very important point in this interview -- a lot of cheating out there would come to a screeching halt if women just had respect for other women.

Have you ever had another woman disrespect you and your marriage and if so...what, if anything did you do about it?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Gift from Larry



I wasn't able to blog earlier about plans for today although I fully intended to. I'm late in posting because last night I got sick and remained so until a little after noon today.

Last night my family went to see Star Trek along with our friends, the Currie family. My head started aching a little bit during the movie. On the way home it turned into a full blown migraine and I was holding my head all the way home, wanting relief. All night long I was sick and woke up all through the night, nauseated, and sick. I remained like that until noon today and was hoping so much to be better by the time we had to leave for my gift from Larry (at 4:00 pm) Thank God I got better!!! I think my body was just responding to some stress I had gone through earlier. Anyhoo...



Tonight Larry and I went on a double date with our friends, Bernie and Lisa Currie, from church. It was a mother's day gift to Lisa and I, and we had dinner at Maggiano's and then saw Amy Grant in concert! It was amazing.

Amy sang some new songs that she just wrote for her album that will be forthcoming and they are AMAZING...so deep lyrically. Some of Amy's best work. I am so excited for the project to come out so I can load these songs onto my Zune.

I am so thankful and blessed for this great evening and I take joy in him doing something so wonderful for me. Thanks babe!