Wednesday, October 17, 2007


My daughter tagged me & I decided to respond this time. So, here goes . . .

10 years ago I was trying to settle into a new house & town. I ended up having to work in my husband's office, one of the benefits of moving here was supposed to be that I wouldn't have to work in the office. We were living out of boxes as I didn't have time to unpack properly. Since I homeschooled my 4 kids, & I wasn't home very much, that was barely happening. We moved on the 2nd anniversary of the death of my dad. I was tired & depressed.

20 years ago was a better time for me! I gave birth to a daughter in 1982, another daughter in 1984, a son in 1986, and was pregnant again with my youngest & last child, another son born in 1988. All of them are miracles from God. I had suffered so much damage from endometriosis that the doctors said I would never be able to have children. I had to have a hysterectomy in 1989 & the surgeon, who was an unbeliever, said that God really wanted me to have children as I had so much damage & reconstruction that I shouldn't have been able to conceive, much less carry a child to term. What an awesome God!! We lived in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, had good friends around, lived close to all of my in-laws, & my husband's medical practice was thriving. Life was good!!

30 years ago I was single & working in a Family Practice Clinic. I loved my job!! I had given up on getting married. Then in August of 1977 I met my husband when he moved to Little Rock to start medical school. He joined our church & we were in the choir together. He asked me out, my mother talked me into going out with him, & I knew on the 2nd date that he was the one for me! Before he went to visit his family during the Thanksgiving break, he told me he loved me. Then he told his parents about me. By Christmas I had my engagement ring, which my oldest son gave to his bride when he proposed to her. I went to Vidalia, LA to meet my soon to be in-laws. We were married June 2, 1978. I'm still amazed at how quickly things happened when I finally let go & let God have complete control of my life.

I lost my grandmother, to whom I was very close, in Feb. 1978. I became an aunt for the first time the day after her death when my sister gave birth to her son. My poor mother had quite a year with loosing her mother, becoming a grandmother, & her last child at home getting married all within a 6 month period of time.

In looking back, I don't think I'd do anything differently. I've had a good life! It's had its ups & downs, but I've always learned valuable lessons during the down times and the up times were even better. I've been truly blessed by God!! I have a wonderful, loving husband who loves God & our family with all his heart. I have 4 wonderful kids, all grown now. They've all been healthy & they all have personal relationships with Jesus Christ. I gained a wonderful daughter-in-law this year who brings out the very best in my son. Things are looking up after a very long down time. And it's exciting!! My mother-in-law is responding great to radiation therapy for breast cancer. My mom is still alive after a close call several years ago & is in good health considering.

I think I have a good relationship with all of my kids & my daughter-in-law. I have grandpets instead of grandbabies but hopefully that will change one day. I'm looking forward to the next season of my life!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

bits & pieces

Yesterday was a beautiful day! Cooler temperatures (low 90's) with plenty of sunshine. Today is the same. Sure wish it would stay this way for a while.

Last week Rachel & I were in Dallas for the ACFW conference. Our first writers conference. It was a good conference. We took the Historical continuing education classes taught by Tricia Goyer. I've read her WWII books & really like her. Her teaching style was easy to follow. I've gotten to know her a little through her blog where I entered her Travel Story contest. I didn't win, but it was still fun to write about our cruise that was cut short due to the ship catching on fire.

Anyway, we also took some classes that Susan May Warren taught. Boy, she's an energetic lady! The type that's the life of the party. I've read every book she's written & love them all. She's very talented in that she can write in any genre. Not just write, but write really, really well. All of characters come to life & jump off the page to take you on their adventure. I hope to be able to write characters like that some day.

We met some of the people we've "talked" to on-line. That's always exciting. The world has gotten so much smaller through all the technology available to us. It boggles my mind!

There's a new member to our family. An orange kitten named Aisling (not sure about the spelling). Jason found her abandoned behind the coffee shop where he works. Of course he just had to take her in. She was scratched up pretty bad so he took her to the vet. They gave her a thorough going over & cleaned her up. She's 8 weeks old, anemic, malnourished, & very hyper when she gets the run of the house. She doesn't get along with other cats, but loves people. She growls & yowls really loud at Zoe. Poor Zoe has been so traumatized by other cats during her life that she's terribly depressed that this little thing is in her house. Aisling took on Murdock yesterday & got body slammed into a tree. Didn't faze her at all. I'll have to break the news to DH next week that we have another cat. That could be "interesting".

I'm still knitting on a prayer shawl for my MIL who's getting radiation for breast cancer. She's doing very well. It's taking me longer to get it finished than I had hoped. I have it as long as the directions say but I want it longer to really be able to wrap up in it. Hopefully I can get it finished in the next week. I plan to put fringe with charms attached to it, the charms are all symbols of things that mean something special to her.

Next week is the 1853 funeral re-enactment at Kent Plantation House. This will be my 4th year to participate (I think). Things are all different this year & I'm not sure how it will turn out. Elizabeth insisted that I have a new costume this year. I'll work on getting it hemmed this week. She's in the process of making 5 new costumes for this event. She wanted a new one for herself, but ended up making sure everyone else was properly costumed. If she still works there next year, I'll make sure she has a new costume!!

Now, I need to get back to my knitting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My how time flies! The entire month of August and half of September gone in a flash. I must be getting senile since I don't seem to know where the time went.

Anyhow, it's raining again! A tropical storm is heading our way. At least it's not a hurricane! I don't really mind hurricane's since the only effect they have on us is some rain, wind, & usually a power outage. We're not in danger of flooding or losing our home to storm surge. With my son & daughter-in-law living south of here, nearly as south as you can get without being in the Gulf of Mexico, I wouldn't mind an extended visit from them as long as they didn't lose anything to the storm. But, you can't pick & choose in these situations.

My baby is in college! He's still at home this year while he goes to LSU-A & works at a local coffee shop. Bless his heart, he's having trouble with math (& it's a remedial class). He never saw the point for math. Now he regrets not doing the math assignments I gave him. Mother does know best after all. It's hard watching his frustration over it though. Mother's still don't want their children to be hurt even if they're grown.

Next week is the ACFW conference in Dallas. Rachel & I will be attending for the first time. I'm nervous about it. All I have are ideas rattling around in my head but nothing on paper. To meet these real authors who have the experience under their belts is intimidating to say the least. Rachel, on the other hand, has flourished getting ready for this. She has her business cards & her one-sheet for her Russian trilogy all ready. I keep telling myself that I'm going to learn! It's been so long since I've done anything like this I sure hope I can remember how to learn something new. And I'll be learning from one of my favorite historical fiction writers, Trisha Goyer. I am looking forward to that. A bonus will be the late night chat I signed up for with Susan May Warren, another favorite of mine. I'm taking a book written by each of them so I can get it autographed.

One thing I've noticed since joining ACFW is the number of authors that also homeschool their kids. I wish I could have been writing while I was homeschooling my kids. But, I couldn't seem to do that with having 4 kids in 5 years and a husband with a very busy rural medical practice. Most of the time I felt like a single parent. The only time he was with us without the chance of being called away was when we were out of town on vacation. We also had 40 acres of land at one point to take care of. I wouldn't trade any of it though. This has been God's plan for my life! And I wouldn't want anything less.

So, I shall embark on this new journey with God leading the way. And my special verse that got me through all those years with 4 little ones hanging on my legs. "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Rain

We're currently having another thunder storm! I can't remember ever having such a wet summer. Makes me wonder what kind of winter we're going to have. It's about time to have another ice storm.

I went to the in-laws on Friday morning with plans to stay until today. My MIL was supposed to have an appointment with the radiological oncologist to discuss the path reports & map out her treatment. Friday afternoon his office called her & rescheduled the appointment for Aug. 22 at which time he would go ahead & start her radiation. And that's all we know! Very frustrating!! Anyway, I stayed until Sunday. She's doing really well all thing's considered. After they left to go to church Sunday morning, I straightened up a little & headed home.

I stopped at the outlet mall in Arcardia & did some shopping. Got me some new casual shoes, 5 pairs of pants, a skirt, & 4 shirts. Also got DH some new clothes for his birthday.

With my trip to Minneapolis next week & the ACFW conference in Sept., I needed to casual business clothes that will be comfortable on plane rides as well as for sitting in classes all day.

DH has a medical meeting in Feb. 2008 in Hawaii. I get to go with him of course! The first part of the meeting will be in Honolulu and the second part will be on Kaui. I'm really looking forward to this! One of the excursions we can do is whale watching. I want to do that.

I'm behind on my Bible study of Women of the Bible. It won't take long to catch up on the reading, but it takes me longer to crochet the squares. I'm not as experienced as some of the other ladies. But, I'm learning how to read a pattern & lots of new stitches.

I have several other projects going on also. I'm knitting a baby blanket for Joanna. The baby is due Dec. 26, so I have a little time to get it done. I just started knitting a "prayer" shawl for my MIL. I want to get it done ASAP. On the back burner I have a knitted scarf not quite finished. I plan to send it to a friend in the 82nd Airborne on his 2nd tour of duty in Iraq. It won't take long to finish it.

DS#2 is applying to enter LSU-A so I need to get his transcript together tonight. He's supposed to take his ACT on Aug. 9. This will be his first time to take it. He's probably nervous, but I know he'll do just fine on it.

We will get "new" neighbors in November. They're moving from Seattle to her childhood home. We're all excited about it. He's a carpenter & is going to work for us on our place. His first job will be to put a new bathroom & add a room onto the cottage. Then he'll put in a kitchenette, new floor, & french doors on the front. DD#2 is excited since she's the one that lives out there. Then he'll start demolishing our sunroom. By next summer we'll have an outdoor pool instead of an indoor pool. The list of things that need to be done in remodeling both properties is a very long list. I can't wait to get started though!

One of these days, maybe I'll remember to update this blog on a regular basis. :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

When Families Need to Stick Together

Yesterday DH & I got up early & drove to Shreveport to be with his family while my MIL had surgery for breast cancer. It was a long day of waiting. We got home after midnight. That makes 3 late nights in a row & I can really feel it today. Now we're waiting for all of the pathology reports to come back. We know that she will have to take radiation treatments, but additional treatments will depend on the reports. I'm afraid life as we've known it will be changing. DH & I will be going to his parents some during the weeks that he's not working. Just to check on them & give his dad a break from driving to & from Shreveport every day. I'm afraid that's going to get very tiring very quickly since it's an hour each way. We offered to house them at our house for the duration so she could get treatment here, but they don't want to be separated that long (I don't blame them) & he has to check all the oil wells (that's their income) every day. The grandkids are volunteering to step up & help on weekends as their work & school schedules allow. They can all cook, clean, & do the grocery shopping for them. We will all have to come together, work together, & support each other to get through this difficult time. We all know that God is a merciful, loving, healing God who will provide what's needed for each of our families. As one SIL stated, "I don't know how people deal with this when they don't know God." I totally agree!!

This is about all we've been able to think about for the last week. I'm sure there's more I could write about, but I just can't seem to think through them right now. Maybe later on this week I can update this blog with more pleasant things that have been going in my life.

BTW, the photo at the bottom of this page is the entire clan that's affected by these circumstances. It was taken at the family reunion in June.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Rain, rain go away . . .

It has been raining all week. My flower beds are flooded! Sure hope they survive.

DH is working nights this week & hasn't made it to bed before noon each day. He's really tired.

I was expecting to be alone on the 4th of July as DH would be sleeping & all the kids would be at work. But, one of the water lines broke & all day was spent trying to find & fix it. DH never got to bed & 2 of the 3 kids never made it to work. We finally got the water back on yesterday afternoon. There are 3 big holes (now full of water) & busted concrete where our grill sat. What a mess!

Just when I think things are going well & we can start remodeling, another problem pops up that moves to the top of the priority list. The house needs to be replumbed! Some of the water lines were run back in the 1950's before you had to map out where they were laid. Therefore, we don't know where they are! Hence all the holes in the yard. DH thinks it'll be best to run the lines through the attic & down the walls into the house. Not a warm weather job.

I spent last week visiting my mom & sister. We had a good time together. The weather was nice & we were able to get in the pool every day.

My sister & her husband are raising 2 baby deer. They are so cute! Each fawn drinks 5 bottles of goat's milk per day. I got to feed them a couple of times. When they finish eating, they run, jump & play. It's so funny! You can hear the milk sloshing in their stomachs as they run by you.

We went to a couple of flea markets & I bought a brand new living room suite! When we went in I remarked that this was the kind of sofa I wanted. The owner told me it was a brand new set handmade by a local man especially to sell in this flea market. It's Queen Anne style, burgundy sofa, love seat, wingback chair, 2 pillows, & ottoman. All for $750. I'm so happy with it. It looks just like I had it pictured in my mind.

Now I'm waiting a nephew to come claim the old sofa. He's moving to Texas to go to graduate school & needs furniture. Hopefully he'll come this weekend as it's really in the way.

My niece lost her baby last week. My brother said she's doing good & her husband was being very supportive. My SIL told him that she'd had 2 miscarriages 25 years ago! She never told him about it. I don't believe she did. We had the same friends back then & went everywhere together. All of us either getting pregnant or trying to get pregnant & discussing it all with each other. She never mentioned miscarriage. I had 1 during that time & a mutual friend did to. She has lied to him so much over the last 30 years that I don't think she even remembers what she's told him. I did send a note to my niece. She came to DS's wedding in April but never said anything to any of us, as usual.

That's all for now.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Family Reunions

Yesterday our entire family took a day trip to my in-laws for the annual family reunion. We used to go every year, but as DH got busier with his medical practice we didn't make it very often. The years that we did go, DH's sisters or their spouses didn't go. We were all there at the same time, all 23 of us! The first time since 2003. In the 4 year span, our daughter-in-law was added to the family as well as the births of a nephew's 2 little girls. Yesterday was the first time I'd seen the youngest one. She turned 1 in March & she's a cutie pie! His older one is 3 1/2, also cute as a buton. My, they do grow up fast.

My mother told me today that my niece is pregnant. That'll be the 2nd grandchild for my younger brother. It's happening the same with grandchildren as it did with having children. The younger ones have them before I do when I want them so bad. But God's timing is perfect!

Tomorrow I'm leaving to go visit my mother & sister for a few days. I haven't been to visit them since Christmas. Although I did see them when they came down for the wedding.

That's all till next month.

Friday, June 15, 2007

This & That

Last Sunday my youngest son set out on a "road trip" with 3 of his friends. They made it to their destination with no mishaps. They should be returning on Sat. night or sometime Sunday after spending the week as alumni judges at the NCFCA national tournament in Belton, TX. I'm sure they've had a good time!!

Then on Wed. I took my oldest daughter to the airport for her trip to Pasadena, CA for a Nancy Drew convention. This will make the 3rd convention she's been to. She'll be returning on Sunday night. The sleuths will be enjoying a tour of Warner Brothers Studios, a special showing of the new Nancy Drew movie, & a tour of 2 different libraries. She did call earlier today & it sounds like she's having a wonderful time.

DH is off this week. The first part of the week was spent recovering from his 2 week work shift. Wed. night we were alone for dinner so he went & picked up Chinese food. Then we watched The Fantastic Four on DVD. Yesterday we got the yard work done. With all the rain it was looking pretty bad. After cleaning up we went out to see Spiderman 3. Thoroughly enjoyed the movie!

Today has been spent working on homework for the Characterization online course I'm doing through ACFW. I'm learning a lot with this course. I've had to give considerable thought to my main character, Mona, & have fleshed her out some. The bonus to that is I've also got the main outline of the story!

Zoe misses her "mommy"! She's still housebound because of her injury from the vicious Siamese. She pulled her stitches out so the "hole" has not closed up at all. It looks fine though & doesn't seem to bother her at all. She gets lonely & searches me out. Sometimes she wants to play & sometimes she just wants to be loved on. It's amazing how sweet she can be then quickly changes into a little demon. I'm really getting attached to her though, she's a lot of company.

Next weenkend we have a family reunion to go to on DH's side of the family. It'll be at his parents house with both of his siblings, their spouses & all their children in attendance. This is a yearly event, but it'll be the first time we've all been in attendance since I can remember. I went to my first one just 2 weeks after marrying into this family. Hopefully son #1 who got married 2 months ago will change his mind & attend. Everyone wants to meet his new wife & congratulate him on his marriage. I'm not sure all of the great-aunts even know about his marriage since invitations were only sent to the immediate family.

I think I'll go to Arkansas to visit my mother & sister when DH goes back to work on the 24th. I haven't been up there since Christmas.

That's it for now.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Where did May go?

I truly meant to update this blog more often than once a month. But, May simply flew by me!

We've been getting some yard work done finally. Bought a new mower that can handle our huge yard & will help with clearing out some of the brush in parts of the yard that we want to reclaim. It will be slow going though.

DH & I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. He was working so I took him lunch. Then I met my 2 daughters at the theater to see the new Pirates movie. It was a good movie & we had a good time. We've spent many anniversaries this way. But, I knew it would be that way when I married him. A successful marriage to a busy doctor who really cares about giving his patients the best care possible is not always easy. Yet, knowing that I'm married to the man God made for me & knowing how much he loves me makes all of it worth it. The times he couldn't be here for special occasions such as Christmas with the kids, the times he had to leave me in labor to go see a patient in the ER, the times we didn't get to go out to eat for our anniversary, etc. it's all OK. Why? Because our marriage was God's will for our lives & I knew from the beginning that he would not be able to give me & our children 100% of his attention.

When I hear women complaining because their husbands weren't home by 5:30 or he was off playing with the kids & not with her, I don't understand what they're complaining about. Having to handle crises & 4 children on my own has made me a stronger person. When there's no one to call on for help you learn to handle more than you thought possible. God used the verse "you can do all things through Christ" to remind me that He was looking out for me & I could handle whatever came my way.

That's not to say that crises or homeschooling 4 children or my husband not being around all the time were easy situations to handle. Some things were really hard & I wasn't always sure that I would make it. But, I did make it & I'm a stronger person because of it. God was faithful & still is!

As I'm struggling to find my place in life with all of my children grown & my husband still working those long hours, I need to remember that God is still faithful. He has a plan for this season of my life. I just have to lean on Him more & seek His guidance. Ah, peace - what a wonderful thing!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

short week

Boy, this week sure flew by fast! Not much has gone on around here. DH started back to work this week for his 2 week rotation. Leaving at 7 AM then not getting back home until after 10:30 PM makes for really long days.

I did get the laundry done & the new guest room ready for guests. Still fighting this darn cold. The cough has slowed down a lot & I have my voice back, but I still have some head congestion. There was so much I wanted to do this week but just didn't feel like doing it.

The girls have been very busy at work this spring. Next weekend is the Alexandria Afire! celebration.
We'll be very busy all weekend in our Civil War attire. It should be fun though! As long as it's not to hot, that is.

DS loves his new job! He's working nearly every day & has already made it to Assistant Manager of the Jackson Street shop. He does come home tired every day. He puts on quite a performance for the customers as he fixes their beverage. Yesterday he said he received a $10 tip as well as applause.

I guess the newlyweds are doing OK as I haven't really heard from them this week. The only way I know what they are doing is when her parents mention them in their blogs. So I eagerly scan those each day to see if they're mentioned. Once they get moved into their own place, I hope to be able to call them or get on the webcam with them so we can stay in touch on a regular basis.

Tonight is the first meeting of the Fab 4's for church. People have been assigned to different groups to meet monthly for food & fellowship to get to know each other better. I'm looking forward to it. I only know the host couple of our group. But it seems to be a variety of ages involved. That's a good thing!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Friday, April 20 our oldest son and #3 child married the love of his life! It was a very bittersweet time for me as his mother. I was on an emotional roller coaster for several weeks. On one hand I was so very happy that he's happy, and on the other hand I was so very sad that my little boy had another woman that would be first in his life.

He was my least likely to get married first. Goes to show that you just never know how things are going to turn out. They met over the internet. As they chatted on line they discovered so many common interests. They were both Christians, homeschooled, had a quirky sense of humor, liked Stephen King books & horror movies, played guitar, and very shy around people.

They honeymooned at a secluded rustic cabin right on a lake near Hot Springs, AR. From all accounts, they had a wonderful first week of married life. They stopped here & spent the night on their way home to south Louisiana. Since the bed & some other furniture pieces that they will need in their little cottage were here, they rented a U-Haul trailer to take it on down with them. They probably won't move into their cottage until next weekend.

I was really sick with a stomach bug the week before the wedding. Then spent the week of the wedding in a hotel tending to last minute details, dealing with extended family, & dealing with all of my emotions. We make it back home & I'm looking forward to a week with my husband. But, I get sick again! This time it's a sore throat, cough, runny nose, & generally aching all over. I haven't been sick in way over a year!

My husband started back to work early this morning & just got home at 1045 tonight. I really hate his long work hours!!! But, the bright side is that he's off 2 weeks after he works for 2 weeks. Now that the wedding is behind us, maybe we can start doing things around our own home. There's an endless list of things to be done.

We have the money to start some much needed remodeling. It needed to be done when we first moved here in 1997. Since we weren't able to do it then, it'll be a HUGE undertaking now. Whereas it would have been a simple remodel then, it will be major deconstruction followed by new construction. The hard part for me will be doing it in stages as we have the money for it. I tend to want it all done "right now".

I'm so behind in my Creative Memories business. I'm not even sure what all the new products are! That's a sad state of affairs. I haven't sold anything in months & haven't even worked on any of my personal albums. Showcase is coming up again in August. I tried to register tonight but the site declined my credit card! Have no idea why, so guess I'll have to call them tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have enough of a voice to do that.

My oldest daughter (and #1 child) & I are planning on going to the ACFW conference in Dallas in September. I thought now that I would have more free time for myself I could pick up my dream of being a writer. Haven't made a lot of progress in that direction yet. I do have several ideas, just haven't had the time or knowledge to take it to the next level. A couple of my favorite authors will be teaching at the conference. So, I'm anxious to meet & hear them!!

Some of the projects I want to get to this spring & summer are: planning & prioritizing the remodel, several sewing projects for various family members, working on my scrapbook albums (especially my album on Kent Plantation House), research for my story, actually writing the story, developing & maintaining my flower & vegetable gardens, starting an exercise program of walking every day, getting involved a little more at church, finding someone to do a Bible study with, spending quality time with each of my children & my husband, making time to visit & stay in touch with extended family more than I do. WOW! That's quite a list. No wonder I feel like I never get anything done. I feel so overwhelmed with it all I don't start any of it because I don't know where to start. For all of those years of homeschooling my children I knew exactly what we'd do each day. Now I feel lost, even though I've looked forward to having time to do the things I wanted to do.

My prayer tonight is Lord, show me how to prioritize things in my life so I can do the things that you want me to do!