Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aaron home!

This week I am off work for the whole week. Yea!! When I was trying to pick out which week to take off I had to check my work calendar to make sure none of my co-workers were off, I had to check my daughter's work schedule to make sure she would be off, and my husband requested that I choose a time when his summer job of driving buses wouldn't be so busy. The only week I could come up with was this one so I asked off and we started trying to decide where to go for this vacation. We thought about all kinds of places far away from home but during the planning stages we found out that Aaron, our son, was going to be coming home this week. This is the first time his band has taken a week off since they started touring over a year ago, so the only time we ever see Aaron is when the band is playing in our city. And at those times it's him and his band, and usually like one or two other bands. But this time he's planning to be home for this week that I'm off work, and without all the other guys. Wow! God is so good! It is so amazing to see how he can work things out in our lives without us even knowing what's going on. If we had all tried to coordinate a certain week to be on vacation together, we never could have come up with one.
So, we just ended up taking a weekend trip to the beach. We had great weather and enjoyed it, and when we got home Monday, Aaron was here. We enjoyed visiting with him last night and hearing about his life on the road and all the new music his band is working on. It is so great to have our whole family together again. I miss the days when the kids were little, but I can't dwell on that because I will get sad. I just can't believe how fast they grew up and how quickly life passes by. If you still have young children at home, make the most of every minute with them. Because when they grow up and move out you will wonder how it all happened so fast.
This weekend, the rest of the guys in the band will be coming here to play a show and start their next tour. Another band will also be staying at our house after the show that night, as well as a few of the girlfriends. I guess the girls will stay in Leah's room and all the guys will be wherever they can find a floor spot to put their sleeping bags. It's always a lot of fun!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Christian Bands and Christian music

I would like to mention some bands and musicians that I like a lot. I will put links to their websites so you can just click on the band name and it will take you there if you'd like to hear some of their music.

I mentioned Rush of Fools in a previous blog, but if you have not yet heard their hit single, "Undo", please go and listen to it. Or watch the video here if you'd like. It's a great song whether you are into Christian or just pop music. I know the lead singer personally and I know that his life reflects what he sings about. I've met the other guys in the band also, and I believe they are the same way.

Another band whose music I really love is Casting Crowns. While the music and singing is really good and professional, I think the best thing about them is that their lyrics really say something with deep meaning. Check them out if you haven't heard them yet.

I've recently found Jaime Jamgochian on My Space, and I really like her music. She has a beautiful voice and again, one thing I really listen for in music is what the lyrics say. Her music is very worshipful and peaceful.

Now, for the younger people who like the harder, heavy metal music, I have to put in a plug once again for the band that my son is in, A Plea for Purging. This kind of music is completely different from the ones listed above, but I know there are kids out there who like it. I realize that some people from my generation probably don't even believe that this type of music could possibly be "Christian", but it is. They might be coming to a city near you soon!

Hope you've found some music here that you will enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Poll results

As I write this, there are only two hours left to vote in my poll. Since I'm pretty sure the final result will be Yes, I have already decided to throw the party for my husband. He found out about it the other day so I had to confess. Then he told me that he didn't want a party so I asked him should I un-invite the people, but he said no. I think he's getting used to the idea now and I am sure he will enjoy getting to visit with the relatives and others who will come. Now I am trying to figure out what foods to serve in addition to cake and ice cream. This party will not be a sit down dinner, but a drop-by-after-work type thing. Let me know if you have some finger food suggestions. I need help!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pics of Leah

This is one of the first pictures of Leah after she was born. You can see how tiny she was next to my hand.

Leah at about age 4 -- Miss Personality!

Leah - high school senior class of '06

Monday, July 23, 2007


I remember one time when I was in college this guy asked me to give him a ride to the hospital to visit a friend who had a baby. So, I gave him a ride and I went inside with him. While we were there, we saw these babies in the neonatal intensive care unit who had been born prematurely and I was in shock at how tiny and helpless they looked. It was a picture that would never leave my mind. They were about the size of a burrito and they couldn't breath on their own and it was one of the saddest things I had seen at that point in my life. I remember wondering why they even tried to help these tiny, tiny babies because in my way of thinking, there was nothing that could possibly be done and they would probably die before they ever grew enough to go home from the hospital. After seeing those babies, I always had this big question mark in my mind of "WHY?" Why not just let them die -- even if they live, there will be something wrong with them and they won't have a good life. (Remember, I was only 18 at the time and had not yet learned about the sanctity of life.)

Well, it's funny how sometimes God lets you wonder about these things a while and then when you least expect it, he answers it for you. Over ten years later, he answered this question for me and has continued answering it every day since. Here is my story...

It was July 28, 1987 and I was only 24 weeks into my pregnancy. (One year earlier my baby boy, Michael, had been born much too early to live, so I knew I didn't want that to happen again.) But here I was, months from the due date of November 16 and I knew something wasn't quite right and I needed to see the doctor. When I called, the doctor's office said they were double booked that day, but because of my history they would try to work me in. Sure enough, when the doctor checked me he determined that I needed to be admitted to the hospital. I actually had to continue lying down from that point until the baby would be born. They immediately started giving me IV medicines that would stop any labor; because this medicine speeds up the heart rate, I also had to be put on a heart monitor. And they also put me on a blood pressure machine that automatically took my blood pressure every 15 minutes. In addition to all that, I was constantly hooked up to the fetal monitor also. So there I was in the hospital, not allowed to even sit up, hooked up to all kinds of machinery, and throwing up because the medicine was making me so sick. Needless to say, it was NOT fun. All I could do at that point was just pray -- and that is exactly what Eddie and I did. He would read to me from the Bible and we prayed like we had never prayed before. And God answered -- as sick as I was and as frustrated as I was to possibly be losing another baby, God spoke to me so clearly that day. I didn't hear an audible voice, but God spoke to my spirit and gave me a peace that I can't describe. He didn't tell me that the baby would live, he just told me that everything would be okay. For the next few weeks, if I became discouraged I would always remember how clearly God spoke to me and how he told me that everything was going to be okay. During my stay in the hospital, my doctor noticed how God was working and he saw all the support from our church family. It was all such a great witness to him.

I stayed in that hospital bed (without getting out) for the next four weeks. Then at 28 weeks into the pregnancy, the medicine was no longer able to stop the labor and my little daughter was born weighing 1 lb. 14 1/2 oz. That is, just under 2 pounds. I won't go into all the details of the next three months and her journey through the neonatal intensive care unit, or the months following and keeping her at home and away from people, but I will say that God was with us through it all. I learned that God is faithful and that his word is true. Sometimes in life there is nothing that man can do to change a situation, but God is in control and he is able to do so much more than we can ever imagine.

So, I ended up being the mother of one of those little tiny premature babies I had seen back in my college days. And nothing mattered to me except that the doctors do everything possible to try to save my child. Yes, she was tiny, not even 2 pounds. But she was our daughter and we loved her and wanted nothing more in life than to see her live. That is the reason they help those tiny babies -- as helpless as they look, they are a human life with a purpose and they are loved by someone.

I found out that babies who have this kind of start in life actually can grow and have a very full life. Leah was so blessed to have no problems left from being tiny. She's gone all the way through school and graduated. And now, what amazes me so, is that she is going to college and is such a beautiful person. She is one of the most caring people I've ever known. She sticks by her friends who have problems and tries to help others when they are beyond help. She's an amazing person, and I just wanted to write this to say how proud I am of my daughter, Leah. I will try to add some pictures of her tomorrow.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Finding Purpose in Life

"It's not about you." I think this is one of the most profound statements I've ever heard. It is the first sentence in the first chapter of The Purpose Driven Life. When I finally got to the point in my life where I was able to grasp the simple fact that "it's not about you," it changed the way I look at everything that happens. It changed how I react to things that happen in my life. Since I have committed my life to be a follower of Christ and to try to honor and glorify Him, I have to believe that everything that happens is for a reason, and that reason is to cause me to draw closer to Him. Remember that God is the One in control of this world and He either makes things happen or allows things to happen in order to work out His purposes. Even when I don't understand with my limited human mind why something happened the way it did doesn't mean that God isn't in control. He allows the things that happen to happen for His purposes which are so much higher than the human mind can comprehend. His purpose is much bigger than my little world, and everything doesn't revolve around me. It's not about YOU -- it's not about ME -- IT's all about HIM!

"You exist only because God wills that you exist. You were made by God and for God -- and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny." The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. Colossians 1:16

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Poll question

I have added a poll question and I really do need some help in answering this question. I have asked if I should throw my husband a 50th birthday party. He says that 50 is nothing to celebrate. But I think it's a milestone and should definitely be celebrated. When he turned 40 I did a surprise party and he really enjoyed it. The memories of that party now have special meaning to him because it was the last time Eddie's father was present for his birthday -- he died less than three months later. So, help me out by voting in this poll. Please!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Chicago Cubs

It's funny how some days I can think of all kinds of things I want to write about in my blog and other days, like today, nothing comes to mind. So, I will just write about what my hubby is doing today.

It will help to know the background of his love for the Cubs. When he was a boy he had a baseball card of a guy that he really liked a lot and that guy played for the Chicago Cubs. I'm not positive but I think the player's name was Randy Hundley. So ever since then Eddie has been a faithful follower of Cubs Baseball and he has always wanted to have the opportunity to see them play in their home stadium, Wrigley Field.

So last night we were just sitting in our den and he said, "What would you think about me going to the Cubs game tomorrow?" In my mind I'm thinking, you just want to run up to Chicago for the day, watch a ballgame and then come back -- how much is this going to cost??? But out loud I said, "Sure, I would love for you to." So, he got on the internet and ordered his ticket first. Then, he checked for flights and found one leaving Birmingham at 7:25 a.m. which meant he would need to leave home around 4:30 a.m. And that is exactly what he did! He called me a little while ago and he was at his destination,
Wrigley Field in Chicago. My only regret is that I was not able to be there with him. He was so excited!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What would YOU look like?

I wish that for one day, God would change the way we look physically to match the person we are inside. I think it would be so cool to be able to see everyone for what they really are. There would be some guys who girls don't go for because they think they aren't "good looking" that would maybe look like Brad Pitt because on the inside they are such wonderful people. There would be some girls, the ones who usually get all the guys because they look so good, who would be the ugliest creatures on the earth because that's what is on the inside. And then there would be some girls who have never had a date because they are overweight, but men would be lining up at their door to take them out because they are really such beautiful people.

I guess the reason I thought about this is because I know a certain young lady who won't give some guys the time of day because their outward appearance doesn't meet her standards of what is acceptable for a boyfriend. I've told her many times that what matters is what kind of person they are and not what they look like.

I wonder what I would look like if my physical appearance matched the real person inside...

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
1st Samuel 16:7

Monday, July 16, 2007

Best Vacation Spot

It's almost time for our family vacation to be here and we have not even decided where to go or what to do. I need some help in deciding where we should go. Of course, I would love to go to the beach, either Panama City, Orange Beach, or even Clearwater. However, I know that the beach is not Eddie's favorite place to go and that is why I put him in charge of planning this vacation. He thought about taking us to Chicago because he had been there recently and saw a play called "Wicked". He really enjoyed the play and wanted to take us to see it. I thought Chicago would be a good place to go also because the Cubs are his favorite baseball team and since Eddie's 50th birthday falls during our vacation, I thought it would be great for him to get to go to Wrigley Field to see a Cubs game. But he was not able to find three tickets together for the game. Other places he thought about going was New York City, or Washington D.C. We have been to the Smoky Mountains many times and would proably rather do something different this year, even though we love the mountains.

So, help me out. We are running out of time and we need to decide where to go. Give me suggestions!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Aaron, about 20 years ago

Here is the grown up version of Aaron the drummer

I have to dedicated a blog to each of my children. This one is for Aaron, my firstborn. It all started on my 24th birthday when this precious boy was born. Yes, he was born on my birthday. He was so cute and had a headful of long hair. He learned everything so quickly as he was growing up. One thing I remember when he was just learning to talk was that I had to work at night and his daddy would keep him up until I got home from work. Sometimes, they would be waiting for me at the open window and when I drove up Aaron would start saying in the most excited voice, "Mommy home! Mommy home!" Ohhh, what special memories -- I can still hear his little voice being so excited to see me. We really had so much fun with him.
He played baseball starting from about age 6 through 7th grade, I believe. Back then, I dreamed of him becoming a professional baseball player one day. But he quit baseball and started playing soccer and then I thought well maybe he could do really well and be a star soccer player. But it didn't really matter to me whether he was the star player or not, I just loved watching him play. Then in junior high school, we encouraged him to be in band at school and to play the saxophone. So for three years, he played saxophone but by about 9th grade, he was wanting to learn drums. I never encouraged this, but he borrowed some drums from church and sat out in our garage and taught himself to play by listening to CD's and playing along with them. He joined his first garage band a short time later and then became the drummer of the youth praise band at church. I really thought all this drum playing was a passing phase, but as he nears his 25th birthday, and makes his living playing the drums, I'm beginning to wonder if maybe this is more than just a phase :).
I am proud of my son and I'm glad that he's getting the opportunity to follow his dream. As I've mentioned before, he is in the band called A Plea for Purging, and they tour full time. I don't know where this will all go, but I am most thankful that Aaron loves the Lord and is a committed Christian.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Interstate exit ramp

This morning I had to drive my husband somewhere and it happened to be located in one of the least desirable parts of the city. When we took the exit ramp off the interstate, the light was red so we had to stop there. But there were two guys standing there, maybe wanderers or homeless, and as I watched them I realized that they were about to fight. They were yelling at each other and one of them held up his fist and I just knew he was about to hit the other one and then he would maybe fall right into my car or something. I cannot stand to see fights or blood or anything like that because it makes me queezy, so I was really frightened to see this going on at 7:30 in the morning right in broad daylight. So what did I do? I made a quick right turn just to get away from them even though I needed to turn left. And I went up the road a little way and turned around to go to my destination. I wonder what they were fighting over? Probably fighting over that spot by the exit ramp -- you know how they stand there with signs that say "Will work for food". Maybe it's a good spot that brings in lots of work! Or food.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the thirteenth

I am not a superstitious person and I don't believe that Friday the 13th is an "unlucky" day. But I thought it was really interesting that within a week, we've had 07/07/07 which is supposed to be the lucky day, and then a Friday the 13th. In our lifetime, that will never happen again. Maybe someone who has way too much time on their hands will figure out when or if this will ever happen again.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blog traffic

I am reading up on ways to get more traffic to my blog. I've signed up with Technorati and I'm hoping this will help. If you are a reader of this blog, I would appreciate you sending a link to my blog to all your email friends.
Technorati Profile

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pictures from beach trip

Alex, Bailee, Anna Kate on the beach

Anna Kate, Leah, and Alex by the pool

Alex, Bailee, and Anna Kate at P.C.

Beach trip

Leah and I just got back from our second annual trip to the beach with my youngest sister and her three children. We went to Panama City Beach, FL and stayed at a condo called Summerhouse. We had a great time and beautiful weather. The Summerhouse is really a nice place and I would definitely recommend it for families or anyone who wants to get away from the "wild" part of P.C. They have good security there and the pool area was really situated well for children and parents with lounge chairs all around both pools. It also had a hot tub, but it was pretty small and was always occupied at night. One thing I really loved was the large pavillion area where you could sit under cover and still see the beach and ocean, or have a picnic. It was nice and cool under there, though I mostly preferred being out on the beach in the sun. We had those little short beach chairs and we enjoyed putting them right at the shore so we could sit in the sun and get wet all at the same time.

Our first day there, we wanted to get out on the beach as soon as we could since we'd spent half of the day driving. So that's what we did, and the first thing that happened before we even set up our stuff was some people offered us their floats because they were leaving the next day. That was really nice of them and we could have enjoyed the floats in the water except for the fact that the water had the green slimy seaweed stuff in it. But we still needed to buy some groceries because we didn't have room to pack a large cooler in Angie's Yukon. We decided that would be the night we would go out to eat seafood, and then we'd go buy the groceries. So, after we enjoyed the beach as long as we wanted, we went inside, took showers and then tried to go to Pineapple Willie's. As soon as we drove in, we realized that would be a mistake because it was so crowded and we couldn't find a parking place in that tiny parking lot. So we left there and went to Captain Anderson's and put our name on the waiting list. It was 7:45 by this time and the wait was going to be 45 minutes. All I could think was how miserable it was going to be to wait for 45 minutes with an 8-year old, 4-year twins and a hungry 19-year old. So we walked around behind the restaurant to look at the water while we waited, and we spotted Mel's Dockside Restaurant which wasn't crowded at all. So, we got a table outside by the dock and listened to live music while we ate a delicious seafood meal and were finishing up about the time we would have gotten seated at Captain Anderson's. We decided that it was divine intervention and that God had provided a place to eat right when we needed it most! After that, I kept the twins at the condo while Angie, Leah and Bailee went to Wal Mart for our groceries. Not a good idea! Apparently, everyone who was visiting P.C. had exactly the same idea and were going to be eating exactly the same foods on our list because Angie said the only sandwich meat left was livercheese, and she had to fight for a jar of mayo. And the lines were absolutely ridiculous -- all the way into the clothing section. It took them forever, but they finally got back with some food for us, but they were really stressed.

The rest of the trip, we just enjoyed being out on the beach or out by the pool or under the beach tent (left by the same people who gave us their floats) or umbrella that someone else offered us. We ate our meals on our balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. One evening, Angie had to have her traditional "photo session" where she makes her kids dress up in cute outfits then takes them out on the sand and tortures them by trying to get them all to smile at the same time. I'm only kidding about the torture part, but I like to tease her about that. Alex, the boy twin, was just not in the mood to be cute for the camera this year. I tried to get Leah to put on something cute and let me take pictures of her, but she wasn't interested.

It was a great trip and since people were so nice to us and gave us things, we tried to "pay it forward" and gave away some stuff when we left. Actually we HAD to give away stuff because the thing we carried on top of the Yukon to pack stuff in had torn up during our trip down, so we didn't have enough space to take everything back with us.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Composing music

I had a day off work on the fourth of July and I really didn't want to go anywhere. Since it was only the one day in the middle of the week, I just wanted to stay home and not have to be somewhere. So, that's what we did and I actually got something accomplished that I've been wanting to do for a while. One of my favorite things to do when I'm off work is to get up early in the morning when no one else is up, and write new music. That seems to be the time of day when I'm most creative. So, on this holiday I got a piece of music finished that I had started in 2005.
In 2005, I had been on a trip to Germany and got the opportunity while there to ride the cable car thing up the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. This was one of the highlights of my trip because I had always wanted to visit the Alps. When I came home, I started writing this music which I was calling "Above the Alps - the Zugspitze", but I had never finished it. So, this is the music that I got to finish the other day while I was off work.
I love trying to write music and what I'd really like to do someday is to get the things I've written recorded. Most of my music is quiet and calming and it would make a good CD to use for relaxation and falling asleep. Hopefully, soon I will be able to get this done.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Rush of Fools

If you've noticed the music links I have on the right side of my blog page, then you've seen a link to Rush of Fools. If you have not yet listened to their music, I would encourage you to click on the link and listen to their hit song, "Undo". I'm so proud of these guys. The lead singer, Wes Willis, is from my church and he used to lead the youth praise band. He was a great youth leader in our church and God has blessed him by placing him in this group with other wonderful Christian young men. They sang at my church recently and they did a great job, and Kevin gave a wonderful talk. I can tell their hearts are in the right place and I plan to continue supporting the band as long as they are together. Buy their CD! It's great!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Plea for Purging

If you don't care for heavy metal music, then you might not want to check out this band. However, I have a special interest in the band, A Plea for Purging, because my son just happens to be the drummer. I have to admit that I never got into the metal music, but when this band started touring full time over a year ago and played one of their first shows in my town, I wanted to show support to my son and go to hear the music. I was pretty much in shock and awe the first time I went to one of their shows. I couldn't believe those strange sounds were actually coming out of a human being. To me, it sounded like a demonic spirit. But now after going to hear them play quite a few times, I have actually developed an appreciation and yes, even enjoyment for Plea's music. As I listen to them, I mostly focus in on the drums of course, because I think Aaron is an awesome drummer, but I also really enjoy the guitars. Blake and Lyle are super talented guys and you can tell that it is so much more than just noise -- these guys are doing stuff on the guitar that not too many people can do. I love it! And then there's John on the bass, and I don't know much about bass guitar, but I can tell that he knows what he's doing and watching him play is thoroughly entertaining. Andy is the singer, but I wouldn't really call it singing. I'm not sure what you call it, screaming, hollering, growling; but whatever it's called, Andy can do it! I love these guys so much and I know that they are doing what they feel the Lord has called them to do. They are out traveling to a different city every day in a van that sometimes breaks down because they want to minister to teenagers. They love what they're doing, but I know it's a hard life. They are now going into the studio to record a CD with Facedown Records so they'll be off the road for a few weeks. I pray that God will bless these guys!