Monday, April 26, 2010


Can I just say ooops.....  sorry I've been MIA lately!  Sometimes life just takes control and we get caught up in a whirlwind.  Stop the merry-go-round I want to get off for a while!!

Between owning a business and tax time coming and going (that's my biggest headache, because anyone that knows me knows I'm the world's worst bookkeeper!), then Easter came and went, we had two separate revivals we were involved with (one of which was our home church and I was busy like a beaver!), track season hit at school and I'm in charge of getting the concession stand ready at all the home track meets (which I had 4 in less than a week!), a daughter who is a senior that decided at the last minute maybe she'd go to prom after all, so we spent three days dress shopping (when I say shopping it's not a hop in the car drive a few miles to the mall type of thing..... we live 2 hours from any major stores in any direction..... it's a day long event, most of which is spent driving), two graduations to plan and announcements to finish and mail, and oh yeah.....  we just hosted a Soles 4 Souls Shoe Drive!!!!!!

I've been a tad bit busy!  ;)  (I think we can all agree that's an understatement.)

So, I'll share prom pictures and graduation as they come.  I already shared pics of my church (that should cover Easter).  I'm not a fan of track (just volunteer my time for the kiddos) so there's no pics of runners.

Best thing I can do, is show you just how much stinkin' fun we had at our Shoe Drive this weekend!  My girlfriends that co-founded Joint Heirs Adoption Ministry (JHAM) and I sat at our local shoe store on the main street in our little podunk town this weekend (in the pouring rain!) and collected over 650 pairs of shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AWESOME is the only word I can think of to describe our day.

We partnered with Soles4Souls who provided collection boxes and flyers to distribute for our 'cause'.  They are awesome to work with!  The Girl Scouts in your community can become involved to earn merit badges.  (we only had one girl scout show up but it was encouraging and fun to remind her she will be the ONLY girl scout in our area with one of the S4S's badges!  :)  The local shoe store, Brown's Shoe Fit, is a participating business with S4S, and gave each person that donated shoes on Saturday a coupon for $20 off a new pair of shoes!  Pretty awesome!

We got our schools involved and the kids at my son's school started collected two weeks prior to the drive.  They donated two full boxes of shoes!
Then we also had the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) collect shoes at the middle school and high school in our local town (my kids go to a country school so the pics you see above is the entire 8th grade class my son is in! lol)

It was so much fun to work with the girls all day and we banded shoes together from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Yes, every single pair of those 650+ shoes had to be rubber banded together.  But it was interesting to see just what kind of shoes we got!
Yes, shoes of all kinds!!!  These had never been worn!!!!  (I'm thinkin' that's a good thing!) lol  We figured they might have been bowling shoes.  It was hard to think of how many hundreds of dollars people spend on shoes......  that they never wear.  We had so many people bring shoes that still had tags on them, new soles or were still in boxes.  We as American's are so very spoiled (some are blessed....that's a better word huh?) and don't even know it.  As we banded all those shoes together we thought of where they might end up.  China, Africa, Haiti, Chile, even our own inner city hospitals in Kansas City.  I wonder where they will walk next.  Knowing my shoes have seen the sandy beaches of Hawaii and now they may walk on the rocky ground of Haiti.  One day seeing the sun and having fun, the next day comforting and protecting the feet of a mother who walks miles to bring her child fresh water.

Now that's humbling.
Joy and some of the shoes that people had in boxes.  yep, some people actually save the boxes their shoes come in!  lol  (not me)
Now THOSE are some LOUD shoes! ;)

So....  we made a decision yesterday.  We are responsible for shipping ALL those shoes to a S4S's warehouse where they will be distributed.  Can you imagine the shipping cost of over 650 pairs of shoes?!  Staggering!  We are going on a road trip!  The girls and I decided we are driving the shoes to the main warehouse in Tennessee!  Now, that's going to make for some awesome bloggin' and pictures!  Stay tuned, in the next couple of weeks we're heading out with all those shoes!  Who knows.... we may stop in to say hi to some of you bloggy friends!
That's little Miss Jia (Joy's daughter from China that she brought home forever last summer), the kids were all a big help actually and it was fun to have them around to 'encourage people to stop and share their shoes with us!
Two of Melinda's cuties!  Acel & Meah.  Meah came home forever from China last year too!  I can't tell you how great it feels to work with these girls and do what we do.  Advocating for the orphan and the least of these.  And seeing our kids get involved with us is even more of a blessing!
Me, Melinda & Joy

Joy's mom is always our little angel in disguise too and she was kind enough to buy us all lunch.  Pizza in the trailer (you didn't expect us to sit in the rain all day did you?  ;)  Joy's hubby has a racing trailer that we were able to conduct our shoe drive out of.... nice and dry).  Thanks for the Pizza Mellanie!  But thanks even more for the shoes! :)

Hopefully, we have prevented a lot less of this...
and a lot more of this....

Maybe someday the girls and I can go on one of their distribution trips ourselves and help put all those new shoes on people's feet....

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” 
Hebrews 10:24

AND...........  the one BIG surprise that I was so anxious to share!  Yes, here it comes.....  a new little boy in our house.  (I only wish he was human! lol) ;)  But GUS has become a very big part of our family and he's worse than all of my kids put together.  A friend couldn't keep him any longer and just gave him to us.  Along with his bed, toys and food.

Now, at first I'm thinking this was a SWEET deal!  A registered mini dachshund, just like we've been looking for FOR MONTHS!  How awesome that one just is given to us!?!

Then we discovered just how SPOILED ROTTEN he is.....
Yes, completely and totally ROTTEN I tell ya!  When he wouldn't eat after two days I called my friend and ask what his 'routine' was so he would eat.  "Ummm.... I forgot to tell you....  I sit in the floor and feed him twice a day....."  Silence on my end of the phone...  HELLO?!  Excuse me?!  You hand fed the dog?!

Needless to say, we nipped that in the bud VERY quickly!  When he got hungry, he ate.  But of course he didn't want us to see that he was capable of doing it on his own so he would grab a bite and hide in the other room to eat it.  Ho hovering over the dog dish to feed himself.

She also put gravy or drippings on his food.  Did I mention I had to buy a special 'no slip with the rubber grip' food bowl for him because it just upset him when his bowl slid across the floor while he was trying to eat.

Are you getting the idea here?  The dog is ROTTEN!  And thinks he rules the house.  My husband always had dachshunds growing up as his mother loved them so he has a HUGE soft spot for these dogs.  Gus is our third ever dachshund now.  I don't know if I could handle another one if we ever lose him.  Because my husband has never talked baby talk more in the last 26 years than he has in the last few weeks since Gus came to live with us.  I'm hoping they both outgrow the 'baby stage' very soon.

Gus believes his place to sleep is in the recliner with my husband or in our bed.  Both of which he struggles to jump into at times.  But Eric is always more than willing to help him out.  Heaven forbid he 'strain' his ugly ears trying to get into the bed.....
Yes, I think he's part rabbit.  He looks like the flying nun if any of you are old enough to remember Sally Fields as a teenager.  ;o)

Don't get me wrong....  I do love him.  But I'm not about to let on like I do!  ;o)  He's been attached to my hip ever since he came home.  If you don't pay close enough attention to him, he'll root his way INTO your lap, no matter what you may be doing, just to get the attention he feels he deserves.

I'm just hoping I can convince him he needs to stay at home when I take that road trip to TN with the girls to deliver shoes!  (He's not stayed home alone except while we're gone to church....)


Monday, April 5, 2010

He Has Risen!

Just as He promised!  The last week has been a busy and AWEsome week.  We've had so many opportunities to worship Him and reflect on just what he has done for us.  What a glorious gift and sacrifice that was given for little 'ole me, and you.  Someone so unworthy of such a gift, yet it is given so freely and selflessly.

We missed Wednesday evening services, but made it to Good Friday services and received communion.  On our way to church I thought of my online friends.  Some of you I've e-mailed and chit chatted with and some seem surprised and even doubting of the place we call home.  How RURAL we really live.  So I thought what better way to show you and share than letting you know where we go to church.  it takes us about 10-15 minutes to get there from our house, and our church isn't in town.  Nope, we live in the country and we worship in the country.  ;o)  Our church is so far back in the middle of nowhere I teased my mother the first time she visited by telling her 'they don't make you handle the snakes on your first visit'.  LOL  :)  Surprisingly....she took me seriously!  lol  (somewhat)  I've actually had people share with me that the 'original' church was a log cabin in the woods.  And then they built this:
And yes, it's still in the woods.  We have to turn on 4 different gravel roads to get there.  It's a beautiful place in the country that is filled with beautiful, loving people we have come to know as our church family.  Every Sunday we gather in the original church for greetings, a quick hymn and then we're off to Sunday school.  In the original church there are about 20 pews.  Yes, 20.  My family of 5 fills one pew.  There's room for a small piano in the front of the church, a pulpit that you can actually reach out and touch from the front pew and this beautiful cross hangs on the stone chimney at the front of the room.  Sanctuary seems like such a grand a LARGE word.  This is a small room.  Our family room in my house is larger.
The original hymnals are used every Sunday morning.  They are so old it's like books in an antique store.  The pages are yellowed and the covers on the books are showing the threads that make up the binding and covers.
And as wonderful of an atmosphere as this presents..... I'm sure thankful we worship in this building:
Where there's plenty of elbow room and bathrooms with stalls and pews big enough to seat all my family in one row with friends and relatives to sit with us when they visit.  :)  But, notice the background?  Yep....middle of nowhere.  Our little country church in the woods, with our gravel parking lot and play yard on the hill.

Good Friday services had me thinking about the bread and the wine.  In more ways than one.  So it gave me an idea.
I made these little cards and spent all day Saturday making homemade loaves of mini bread to give as gifts for Easter Sunday.  I love making homemade bread and I made so much Saturday that I went through almost 15 to 20 pounds of flour!  Yep, you read that right!  Good thing I buy in bulk!  lol  :) 

I bought gallon size plastic bags with twist ties to put them in, .99 at Wal Mart, bought a roll of ribbon (hind sight I should have gotten purple, but I doubt anyone really noticed), and used my scrapbook supplies and my printer to make little cards like the image above (I made in photoshop) to attach to the loaves.  

We shared the bread with our pastor and his wife, associate pastor's family, Sunday school teachers, a few special friends and family that we shared Easter dinner with.  :)  My husband was thrilled that I saved a few loaves for us.  I usually make homemade bread so he's used to it, but the thought of giving it all away and having to smell it ALL day long was killing him!  LOL

Wanna know something else that's kinda cool?  I made that big huge wicker basket too (a few years ago), and I can say with all certainty and honesty, I WILL NEVER MAKE ANOTHER ONE.  Basket weaving is not my craft of choice.  It's the size of a laundry basket and I think the blisters lasted six months from making it.  ;)  If you're going to weave....start SMALL!  lol  During my bread making day, I also made my skirt for Easter sunday, a new purse and gave both my boys those haircuts they should have had a week ago.  I was feeling a bit domestic!   Then Sunday afternoon we spent at my grandma's house having Easter dinner with our extended family and the kids had an Easter Egg Hunt.
When we arrived home Dad decided to take his Sunday afternoon nap and I snuck off to get a surprise!  Oh.... wait till you see what it was!  You'll have to check back tomorrow for that BIG surprise!  You're gonna love it!

I hope you all had a very blessed Easter weekend and maybe things can get back to a regular routine this week.  Whatever regular means....