Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm Back.....

For those of you who know me, you know I normally post every day, sometimes more than that; but I haven't been feeling up to par lately. Christmas Eve I knocked myself so hard in the head getting stuff out of my van that I hit the ground! I was dizzy and nausea for days and finally ended up in the ER Friday (not very good since all the doctor's in Pensacola had been closed for three days!). Baptist Hospital and Sacred Heart both had 12 hours waits (in the waiting room alone) and West Florida had a five hour wait. I started out at Sacred, after heading home, decided to go to West Florida at my mom's coercing. I don't have a concussion, just bruised the noggin and gave myself a good jolt. I hit so hard my jaws clinched down and they've been hurting ever since. I called the dentist, she saw me this morning. I've fractured a tooth; the big molar in the back. Yeap. I have to have a root canal and crown done. I'd be OK with that, but the tooth next to it has five fractures in it! I've been babying that one to get it done later instead of sooner. Oh well, looks like it's gonna be sooner.

I've also been dealing with other issues....about six months ago I was diagnosed with depression. I guess with all that has been going on and me missing some of my thyroid medication doses (more than some...) that I've thrown my system into wack. My thyroid levels are now low, causing exhaustion and confusion which plays on the chemicals that cause one to be labeled "depressed." It's a vicious cycle.

With all that in mind...haven't felt like posting. We did have a wonderful Christmas though. We had my mom, Chris' mom and brother, Kayla's boyfriend and his grandparents over for our first Christmas Breakfast (which we will do again). It was nice. We also made a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve which we (me and the kids) decorated on Christmas Day. It was nice. We were completely blessed with an overflow of gifts for the kids replacing so much of what they have lost. They also all got bikes....real bikes....no more trikes! Christopher informed me yesterday that since he has a real bike now we have to find a boy who needs a tricycle. Made me smile. Maybe I am doing something right in this parenting thing after all.

I am really tired. We have lots and lots of pictures to put up from Christmas.

Be blessed and if I don't post again before the 1st....HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I woke up sick in the middle of the night; head is spinning and keep can't my balance. It's been bad all day. Kayla picked up the slack, without me even asking! She cleaned up the kitchen and put away the wrapping stuff, cleaned up the hallway that had pictures leaned on the wall from our mold clean up and boxes of "other stuff" that hadn't made my to-do list. I sincerely appreciate her work and efforts as we have company coming for our first Christmas Breakfast in the morning....

The weather is dreary, muggy, cloudy...yuck. Sure wish it was cold.

I have been counting down making a birthday cake for Jesus...today is the day, but with my spinning and sorts haven't gotten to it yet. Chris has started dinner, and we are going to try making the cake as soon as I finish this post. We had planned on making icing for sugar cookies also and putting together a Gingerbread House.... the cookies will be done with sprinkles and no icing and the Gingerbread House, well it will have to wait until tomorrow after gifts are opened and company is gone.

Kayla has already left with Justin to have their gift exchange and eat dinner.

In all the hustle and bustle, I hope you remember the purpose of the day...Christmas. To celebrate the birth of Christ. He came to be born, in order to die. He died for me, He died for you. Hallelujah! Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Another Day...

Another Sunday home; very discouraging. Kayla is very sick, dizzy spells, light headed, gets sick and lethargic shortly after every meal and is sleeping all the time. Chris was going to take the younger two with him this morning as I was up most of the night again. Unfortunately, we have a front coming through and there is a cold rain coming down. So much for quiet time for me. I was hoping for a cold Christmas this year, but seems the front that is leaving us with a high of 56 today will be gone by tomorrow and back in the 70's the rest of the week. Oh well, one day I will have a cold Christmas....maybe even a white one?!

Yesterday did not allow for the rest I was hoping for as Chris had to go in to work. What was supposed to be a couple hours turned into an eight hour day. I did manage to get three or four boxes unpacked from the hallway (boxes we had to pack up for the cabinets to be taken out). I don't know how I did it, but I have all the stuff put away without those bottom cabinets in! Now... where did I put the spatula?! Ha-ha:)

I have to go referee a four year old and a three year old!

More later. Be blessed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It Was Me.

Well, I sit here today; ashamed. I posted a few days ago that I was dealing with some hurt feelings and anger. Today, I am ashamed I couldn't get past the point to see it clearly. I see it now. I honestly didn't think it was me, but it was. No ifs, ands or buts. Isn't that normally how it is though?! A few days ago, I was bound and determined to be heard and voice my anger, and thankfully I didn't get that opportunity or I'd be eating crow right about now. Today, I'm just overwhelmed and thankful. Enough said.

I have worked more this past week than I normally do, and boy am I exhausted. Last week I worked Wednesday with shopping and making diabetic cheese cakes for Pine Summit's Dessert Theater. Friday I finished baking those cheesecakes, baked cookies, made the tea, coffee...anyway, turned into a 12 hour day, Saturday and Sunday were much shorter with the cheesecakes being done, but nonetheless, I am not used to working a four day work week... then had to pull myself out of the bed yesterday to go cook for Wednesday dinner and tonight is The Most Excellent Way's Christmas Party! I love to cook and feed people, but man... am I ever tired! My house is a mess, dishes piled high, boxes of stuff still to be washed from the sawdust and sheet rock and still have boxes on my front porch of decoration and there is a huge pile of stuff still in my yard to be hauled off! I guess getting it all done by Christmas just isn't going to happen. The sooner I get that through my thick head the better off I, and my family will be! While I am tired, I am not complaining. The Lord is meeting our needs above and beyond what I could have ever imagined. Gleaning just came to my mind...inthe book of Ruth, I think it is called "gleaning" (is that the right spelling/word?) Ruth had to work for her provisions... the Lord just made it a little easier for her. The Lord's made it easier for us by using caring people to help us this year, and by giving me extra hours of work...to feed the hungry...every day folks like you and me... the hungry. I'm getting paid for what I love to do... how cool is that?! Pretty amazing to me.

Enough typing, time to wash:)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Orthopedic Doctor

Kayla and I just got in from her appointment with the Orthopedic Doctor. She has been taken off the splint and told to try using her leg as much as possible. She was given a steroid shot...yes, it was very, very painful. She goes back in three weeks. At that time, if it's not better, she will have to have a minor surgery for them to scope her knee. The doctor impressed me because when I told him she had been taken Loratab, he said, "She's coming off a narcotic, she's only 16!" I couldn't believe my ears. Usually, most doctor's want to cover up the pain and not address the issues at hand. I was impressed.

Also...we got a refrigerator today! It was being delivered as we were leaving and is set up and nice and cold! What a relief, I can cook for my family! We are having Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Mixed Veggies tonight...I am so excited! I haven't cooked a real meal in weeks.

I read a cool devotional this morning. I mentioned a few days ago how I tend to pull away from the Lord when trials occur because I don't like going to Him and complain and wine... my devotional wasn't a "real" devotional, but something out a book I picked up to read this morning. I love lighthouses. It was my first visual the Lord gave me, that He is our light, our Beacon of Hope, and just like He is that light, I too, am to be that light in a dark world. Anyway, it was a simple reading from "Lighthouse Psalms, God's Gift of Direction and Hope." I'd like to share it with you.


Search for the Lord and for his strength, and keep on searching. Psalm 105:4.

Each night without fail, the faithful beam from the lighthouse searches the waters below. It stands as a guide for passing ships, a searchlight for ships in peril, and a warning of dangerous rocks and sandbars to vessels approaching the harbor. It is a tower of strength for those who depend upon its beam to light their way.

If you are searching for a tower of strength in your life - someone who will guide you safely through the troubled waters of life, someone who will rescue you in your time of distress, someone who will warn you away from the obstacles that lay hidden in your path - open your heart to God. He will be there when you need Him most.

Something I noticed, that reading does not say He will be there for you only in good times. Does not say that in all, but in contrary. But, what's cool too, is that even in the calm, the lighthouse remains. It's not just there for the storms, it's not just there for the calm seas, it's always there. "Instead of pulling away next time Lord, help me to run to you as fast as I can."

You know, another thing, since I am being so real today. I have allowed a person, a group of person's break my heart. I am hurting very badly and I am angry. I have attempted to make an appointment to speak to one of these people, but was told I could not. I am praying, and honestly, I don't mean it when I pray it, but I am praying it anyway, that MY PART OF THIS, if it's petty and silly, would go away. I know what the Bible says that man will disappoint and that is why we are to put our trust in the Lord. All I know is my heart is hurting right now. I would appreciate your prayers in this kind of unspoken area.

I'm running to you Lord....wow...His arms are wide open and waiting on me!

Prayer Request

Ooops, I just got a frantic call from my mother saying my grandmother wanted to know what was going on with me! Sorry, this is not me, but is a copy of an email that was sent to me from my friend Lori. She is having the surgery this weekend.

Dear Family and Friends:

I am writing to you asking for prayers for me. About two weeks ago, during my annual exam at the gynecologist, they found a mass (size of a large grapefruit) on my right ovary. This Saturday, December 20th at 8:00 am I will have surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital to remove the mass, the right ovary and any thing else that doesn't appear to be "normal". The blood work called a CA125 was very promising that it is just a mass, but they will do further testing once they get it out. I will be in the hospital 1 night possibly 2. Please pray for the my doctor - Dr. Antonetti, for the anesthetic doctor, for all the other professionals that will assist in the surgery, for me for peace and for my family. Thank you in advance for your prayers. I know that God is in control, but I'm human!!!! I do appreciate and love you all. Lori

PS - Please feel free to forward this - would not decline additional prayers!!! :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Doctor Appointments and USAA

The Dessert Theater is over; I'm pooped and know all the others involved are too. Sunday night was by far the biggest in number...which I haven't gotten yet. I had planned on spending the day in my P.J.'s, but all that changed when Kayla's knee turned blood red and mooshy. She was in so much pain she was sick. Her pediatrician saw her, prescribed pain meds and nausea meds and ordered some blood work to be done. We also picked up the x-rays that were taken last week in order to take to the Orthopedic Doctor tomorrow morning.

I got some wonderful news this morning from USAA. They are going to pay us on the high end of our claim for the loss of our food in the refrigerator and freezer!! This is a very good thing. Also, Lucie is having a new refrigerator delivered tomorrow from Lowe's. Oh, and another cool thing, USAA can do a direct deposit thing... no waiting for the mail... so I get to go grocery shopping! There's nothing worse than wondering what I am going to feed my family.... it's been stressful and I am so sick of fast food I think I could gag. It's killing my "girlish figure" (yeah right) and is deeply killing our pocket book!

I'm sure I'll post after the Orthopedic appointment in the morning. Until then, rest well.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Busy Bee

I've been awake since before 4 a.m. I can't sleep. This is the first year I haven't been worried about Christmas. It's been cool. Refreshing. Keeps things in perspective. I have to say, it must be the Lord working overtime. I read Marybeth's blog http://marybethwhalen.blogspot.com/) just about daily (with Proverbs 31 Ministries......http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/). She told of how each of her children get three gifts each (she has six by the way..yikes!). Each gift is represented by Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. The Gold is the luxurious, non practical gift, the frankincense is the growth gift...something that will grown them spiritually, and the myrrh is the practical gift...clothes, shoes, maybe earrings. I tried scrolling back to find that particular post, but can't find it, sorry. BUT, if you would go through her post and read some, I know you will be blessed. She also has an e-book that you can order. WOW! It's great. I was given it as a gift. It gave me some great ideas and put things back in perspective for me this year...Christmas Joy.... it sure isn't found in the shelves of our stores, or under our trees, but in our hearts. We haven't done much shopping at all, but we did pick up a few things at LifeWay yesterday. They had a great sale on Friday and Saturday. We got her the most awesome....oh, I would tell you what we got Kayla, but I found out she has recently started reading my post when she found I talked about her:) Anyway, Chris and I have discussed this and I am pretty sure this will begin a new tradition with us. I believe it will help us keep our focus and be more "picky" in our gift giving. We are also starting this year by making a birthday cake...for Jesus! My three year old, Kaitlyn, EVERY TIME we say "Christmas" she yells, with her finger pointing in the air as if to get more enthusiastic, "JESUS' BIRTHDAY!" It's great. We are also having a Christmas Breakfast this year instead of the traditional Turkey/Ham dinner.

Friday was a long day...left my house at 9 a.m. and didn't leave Pine Summit until 9 p.m. Shopping and baking and preparing for the Dessert Theater...I was exhausted. I didn't have to be there until 4 pm last night and the same for tonight.

I can't remember if I mentioned or not, but our refrigerator has died! Can you believe it? We noticed something was leaking when we got back in the house, but thought it was the ice maker or water filtering system...it was the ice maker alright...it was the ice melting! We have had to throw away all the food in the freezer and the fridge. We have our milk and juice in a cooler... I thought we had a fridge, but the lady called yesterday when I was resting. She hasn't returned my several phone calls since then. So, if you are reading this, pray for a refrigerator! Nothing fancy, used is great! We've already told Lucie a refrigerator takes precedence over counter tops and cabinets...so pray for a great deal of a fridge...OK! I did get some good news though. After telling a friend about the ordeal, I mentioned my renters insurance... so I called USAA. I had a message on my phone when I got through with the dessert theater than USAA will reimburse us for our loss of food!! Hallelujah! I was doin' the jig~it wasn't a pretty sight, but nonetheless, I was doing it! I'll call him back on Monday with a list of food items I thew away...whew.

Well, I have already drank my two cup limit of coffee for the day, but I think I just might need to make another cup or two.

Have a blessed Sunday. Please continue to pray for Kayla. She is hurting so bad, she voluntarily said she wanted to stay home from church this morning. Christopher is still have coughing spells and breathing treatments, BUT Kaitlyn seems to be trying to get better! Another Hallelujah!

More next week when life slows down....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pine Summit Dessert Theater

A Journey To The Manger
Friday, December 12th through Sunday December 14th
7 PM Nightly

Pine Summit Baptist Church
2920 Bellview Avenue
(Corner of Community and Bellview)

Free Admission

Free Childcare

No Reservations Needed

For more information, call 944 - 2888

Pray for An Unborn Child

I had asked the person who asked me to be in prayer for a special unborn child if I could mention names and be specific, and while he said yes, I sense the Holy Spirit leading me to not be specific. So right now, as each person reads this, I am asking you to pray for an unborn child. My Jesus knows which one, my Jesus knows the mother, the physicians and the ailments. We are praying for a miracle healing of an unborn child and salvation to it's mother.

When my precious friend Eddie was passing away, a sweet lady from Olive told me, "Stacey, People can try second guessing how soon, how long, but what they are forgetting is that Eddie will not die until he has touched the very last life that he was meant to touch for Jesus." I believe that to be so with every life. I believe no life is an accident and that regardless of the outcome, can be used for Jesus.

Stop now and pray please.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pictures Are Woth A Thousand Words...

Over the last seven weeks or so, we have had many ups and many downs. Through loss, there has been gain though. Life did go on, and progress is being made. We took pictures throughout our ordeal. Here are just a few.....these go from the beginning when we found out we had to leave, until recently when the camper was pulled out of our driveway:)

That's a dress? Where's the rest of it?!

Kayla's homecoming with Justin. We were staying at my mom's for her to get ready.

The kids did get baths...it wasn't like living in the woods! This is Duke, my mom's dog. He started off doing great with the kids, but as stress levels grew, his anxiety grew and he began snapping and biting the kids. This particular night though, Duke sat by Christopher the entire time in the tub. Once the kids got out, Duke jumped in!

Kaitlyn and Christopher playing at Grammy's.

Christopher with Duke and Kaitlyn with Cheyanne (mom's other dog.)

Kaitlyn turned three during all this. We decorated at Grammy's (my mom's) for the morning of her birthday.

This picture was taken at Memaw's where we had her actual birthday party!

During all the chaos, we took advantage of our zoo passes and took the kids to the zoo. Chris has most of the pictures on his camera, but here are just a few. This was a fun day, and much needed break from reality.

I have developed a huge fascination with Peacocks. Don't know why, but they intrigue me.

This is a picture of the camper being set up in our yard. Many, many thanks to Eddie and Lynette for letting us make their camper our home for two plus weeks. We were blessed.

The inside...the table made a bed, which became Christopher's bed. Behind him is where Chris and I slept. On the other end, was a bed also, which is where Kaitlyn and Kayla slept.

Yes, this is me, grateful, but with attitude...is it possible to have both?!

My little man...

On of many camp fires! It was rather cold our first night out, so we made hot chocolate and S'mores over the campfire! That was a fun night. The tent that is set up behind them is where we stored all our clothes, extra blankets, books for Kayla's schooling and dry food products.

Christopher had a blast!

Now, this is my Granny's roaster pan. It sustained high heat and roasted my first whole chicken over a campfire!

Isn't it beautiful! Martha Stewart has nothing on Stacey Paden!

These are the mold guys ripping out the walls and floors....

more ripping out....


Once the mold people got everything treated and the A/C people treated and cleaned the unit and vents, I was able to clean the living room and bathroom so we could get out of the camper!! We had four blow up mattresses placed side by side, and it was crowded, but it was in the house and we got to take a shower in our own house! Christopher and Kaitlyn got to decorate their "Charlie Brown Tree" also.

We had donuts the next morning....can you tell they were chocolate?!

1,800 pounds of wet, rotten, stinky smelling particle board and vinyl was hauled to the dump over a two day period. In this picture, you can see where the water line ended...

The insurance company is not paying for us to get cabinets. If not for the generosity and kindness of Dewayne (our contractor), we would not even have a partial counter or sink. Dewayne built this to "make do."

This is "Uncle Ronnie." DeWayne is under the sink:)

DeWayne and Uncle Ronnie went above and beyond to take care of us. DeWayne shoots it straight, gives a best case and worse case scenario so we always knew the top and bottom of the line for cost. My life and my kids life has been blessed to meet DeWayne and Uncle Ronnie. If you every need any work done around your home, you contact me and I'll give you their number. You too, will be blessed.

Now, let me tell you about these guys! THEY DID A FANTASTIC JOB LAYING OUR NEW VINYL! The company is J.C. Crenshaw. There number is 850-291-7944. I asked them if I could put their picture on my blog and they said only if you advertise for us! Ha-ha! Seriously though, they really did a great job. Lowe's had come in about a year ago and laid vinyl for Lucie, they did a horrible job. These guys really do good work and I highly recommend them.


This is Eddie....gee, is the camper being taken down? Yeah! This means we are completely in the house!! We actually got to get in the house on Thanksgiving night....we have much to be grateful for. It took about a week to get stuff cleaned in the house and move all the stuff from the camper and tent and our outside kitchen back in the house. We are so thankful for the generosity of Eddie and Lynette for letting us use their camper. We truly are blessed. Please pray an abundance of blessings over this family for their generosity!

Going, going, gone....:)
My little man is really sick. He has been nearly a week of school...running fever, crouping, sinus yuckiness...took him to the doctor on Tuesday. He is wheezing...so they started him on breathing treatments every four hours. He is also being treated for a sinus infection. For some reason his skin coloring is changing...he's almost yellowish and very pale. He wakes up going strong, but within a few hours, he is curled up in the recliner (which was donated for us!) and stays there until bed time. His appetite is next to nothing and he sure is getting skinny. Please be praying for my little man.

Kaitlyn seems to be getting over the worse of her sinus infection. Kayla, in case you haven't heard, is on crutches. She fell again this past weekend and I had to take her to the Emergency Room. She's been giving a leg sprint, pain medications and we are still waiting to hear from the Orthopedic Dr. I am so glad all this is happening in the house though and not in the camper! Can you imagine?!
So, these are our pictures. I have lots more, but I know I have already added too many.
Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Sick Little Man

Christopher is still running fever after six days. We took him to the doctor yesterday. He is being treated for a sinus infection, he has fluid on his ears (Christopher is prone to ear infections) and has been put on breathing treatments for wheezing. Hopefully he will be back in school by Monday.

On a positive note, THE CAMPER IS GONE!! Hallelujah! Chris will be downloading pictures for me today from the last six weeks while I am cooking diabetic cheesecakes all day for the Dessert Theater at Pine Summit Baptist. I will try posting pictures this weekend of the last few weeks.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Psalm 91:4

I usually open my Bible to Psalm 91:4 because I have feathers on the page of that scripture. Psalm 91:4 is one of my favorite scriptures. I haven't been faithful in the reading of my Bible or spending quality time with the Lord in several, several weeks. I don't know if anyone else does this, but when trials come my way, I seem to drift away from the Lord like that because I feel qualty asking Him for help...I can't describe it. Anyway, this morning, when I went to open my Bible to my starting point of Psalm 91:4, it opened at 2 Kings 18:6. How my feathers got on that page, I'll never know. The scripture for that verse says, "He held fast to the Lord, and did not turn from following Him but kept the commandments the Lord had commanded Moses. Verse 7 says, "The Lord was with him, and wherever he went he prospered." Hallelujah! I needed that love note from the Lord this morning. I've thought about it all day long.

I had to get Kayla to the ER this morning. She fell again on the already bad knee. It's not broken, but has fever in it, swollen and bruised. She is in a leg brace and was given pain pills. We are waiting to hear from an Orthopedic Dr. Christopher and Kaitlyn are both sick. Christopher has been running fever since Saturday.

I've made little progress in getting my home cleaned up and put together. Our yard is still full of piles of debris that has to go to the dump. ECUA will not pick it up as it is too big of a pile. All I need is a sign that reads "RED NECKS LIVE HERE!" Heck, we don't even need the sign!

Kids are calling my name, drier buzzer is buzzing and the dog needs out.

More later.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Real Quick

Home with not only two kids, but all three. Kaitlyn woke up crouping like Christopher. Kayla's knee is swollen and has fever in it. She was moaning and whimpering in her sleep all night. Satan sure hasn't given me much of a break between jumpin' back on my back...all I can say is, "Get behind me satan and no weapon formed against me will prosper!" I sure am glad all three of my kids aren't sick and we are still in that camper (which is being taken home today)!!!!

Chris and I got to sleep in a REAL bed last night for the first time in five weeks! It was wonderful!! We are getting ready to eat breakfast at our kitchen table...first time in five weeks. (Sigh..) even with everything in boxes and clothes baskets and the house a mess, and the dust of sanded sheetrock everywhere, it's so good to be home...it's good to be home.

Have a blessed Sunday...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Been Crazy...

I mentioned a few days ago that Kayla was back on crutches; well, she fell today by slipping on the edge of a blanket that was covering the couch. She fell straight down on the same knee that is already hurt. She is in excruciating pain. She was able to hobble, but now can not put any pressure on the leg at all. My little Christopher is also very sick. He is running a high fever, and hurting.
On a positive note, Chris and I get to sleep in a REAL bed tonight! Hallelujah!
Gotta get my little man in a lukewarm bath...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Job, A Tough Lesson Learned

I learned something new today. During the last month I have had more people tell me, "look at Job; look what he went through and he never doubted." Well, I've heard that so much, that it began making me angry, because I wasn't measuring up. I had never read the book of Job all the way through, so, I, and my daughter started reading it and studying it. We've been using it as her Bible Course for homeschooling and I have been using it for me, to learn and grow. (Hopefully Kayla will benefit more from it than "just a school credit." After reading a few chapter, I started getting confused. The reason I was getting confused was because, in my opinion, based on what I was reading, Job did doubt God. How can someone have such remorse over the day they were born, and even conceived, and not call that doubting God?! Today, it was explained to me. After Job went through the wavering period and wondering why, he began to be remorseful. And while he did doubt, he never turned his back on God! The experience drew him closer to the Lord, causing him extreme remorse...bringing him to a repentant heart! As soon as Noveta said that, my heart was filled with pain. Just this past Sunday, as I shared earlier this week, my Pastor preached on a repentant heart and he even referred to Job's repentance! I was overwhelmed with such emotion I could not control the tears. In my heart, I knew Sunday's message was for me, but I also knew I hadn't dealt with it. I went to the ladies room, sat in the stall and cried and cried, asking the Lord to forgive me for doubting, asking Him to forgive me for wanting to be dead at times during these five weeks, asking Him to forgive me for wavering in my faith and in any area I have missed. When I got through sobbing like a baby, I realized, and while I know this, it became reality, I don't have to be in Church to repent, don't have to be in Church to worship, don't have to wait for the invitation from the pastor to come to the alter... Jesus met me today, in the stall of the ladies room at Pine Summit Baptist Church. He heard my prayer, He forgave me for doubting and wavering, and He is teaching me how to not do that the next time trials come my way.

Kayla is writing a paper on the book of Job. One of her assignments is to give five other scripture references in the Bible where someone is going through the storm, and how they praised the Lord while going through it. I'm taking on this assignment also.

I actually came home from work sick today. My husband was up most of the night sick and coughing. I knew I felt bad too, but man it hit me hard this afternoon with fever. I'm spread out on my couch (YES, WE GOT A COUCH AND RECLINER TODAY!!!!), watching QVC with Mrs. Prindable's Caramel Apples...yum. My mother-in-law is feeding the kids and my husband. Her house is packed with six grand kids there and three of her four kids.... I'm glad I'm here, in the quiet...and resting.

Also, as I just mentioned, we were GIVEN a couch and recliner today. I could not believe it. A friend of mine stopped by The Waterfront Mission in Milton yesterday to see what they had in way of furniture. Everything they had was new...and way out of our price range. She explained the situation to the person working there, that we had lost almost everything, and the clerk said, "I have a couch and recliner they can have!" I couldn't believe it. Chris and his brother went and picked it up this morning. The recliner is dark blue and nice. The couch is old, BUT in good condition AND it gives us a place to sit! We also had the vinyl laid today. It's beautiful! I so wish we could have afforded to have the vinyl laid throughout the kitchen. We had to leave half of the old vinyl and put in a seam thing in the kitchen. I can't remember what it's called...but, we have a floor. That's all I care about. The contractor blessed my socks off also. They not only laid the floor in the utility room, they put sheet rock up in there today! It was an unfinished room for 20 years. It's now finished. I could not believe it! I want you to please, please, please pray an abundance of blessings on our contractor for going above and beyond. Lucie's insurance company has really just pulled one over on her. I'm still praying for them too. My God is bigger than any insurance company! Our cabinets are being given to us... hopefully. Chris went and looked at them this morning, and they had been demolished. West Florida is renovating for the Baptist Hospital buy out. The gentleman that is trying to get them for us is hoping to get there before the ones tonight are demolished. All I want is a sink! Washing from the bath tub has not been a pleasant experience! Although, I'd rather wash in the bath tub and have hot water to do so than to have to use the hose like we had to while in the camper.

OK, my mind is fuzzy and I just can't think any more. I hope I haven't made too many mistakes, I'll have to proof it later....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We Are Getting There!

I got the tent emptied today from clothes, books, toys and four weeks of mail. I also got the tent down today. WHEW! I feel much better. Progress is being made on the clean up. The contractor is hauling off all the debris and then some tomorrow. The vinyl is being laid tomorrow also. Friday ECUA is picking up all the mattresses and as much debris that we can fit in a 6 foot by 6 foot section. Chris picked up a washer and drier from a friend in our Sunday School Class. Our washer broke. She wanted a new one, so we were blessed with not having to purchase a new washer right now. I got a phone call today from another friend in S/S Class. She was at the Waterfront Mission in Milton. A worker there has a couch and love seat for us! Chris is picking that up tomorrow and a co-worker from Olive is giving us one of her Queen size beds. We'll need to get a frame, but Waterfront sales them for like $15 (so I've been told). Seems like things are coming together. OH, and Chris is meeting with a guy at West Florida Hospital tomorrow morning to look at the cabinets they have that are being taken out for a renovation because of the Baptist Hospital buy out. We will probably have to purchase new counter tops as the counter tops on the existing cabinets have the sinks in the corner of the counters, and not centered under my window:) I know the Lord will provide. Our contractor has blessed us beyond measure. He laid plywood in the utility room that was not even supposed to get done. He took out all the rotten particle wood for me, which I was thrilled about. But to have the plywood down...simply wonderful! I am praying the Lord will bless him beyond measure because of his kindness.

I cook tomorrow at Pine Summit...Roasted Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Vegetable Medley, Roll, Salad and a dessert. Yum. I'm hungry. I also have to make a diabetic cheesecake tomorrow for the staff to sample. Pine Summit's Dessert Theater is coming up next week and I have to make the diabetic cheesecakes. Normally I am further ahead than this, but with all the events that have taken place, I'm behind. I haven't even bought all my cheesecakes for the theater! I have to have 80 of them; I've only bought 9!

I have to unstack all the stuff I brought in from the camper and tent today so my husband will have a place to put the couch and love seat tomorrow. It is true you know, the Lord does provide. I was so bummed about our insurance companies not taking care of our "stuff." It's all worked out though. We need an entertainment center or shelves to put our videos and all my pictures out. That too will come.

On to the putting away, and IF I can stay awake, finish decorating our tree. I was up again for hours in the middle of the night...just not sleeping well.

Leo Day & Friends/Olive Baptist Church

Don't forget! A CLASSICAL CHRISTMAS with Leo Day & Friends (December 7, 2008) Leo Day (Minister of Music at Olive Baptist Church) will celebrate Christmas by presenting a concert entitled A CLASSICAL CHRISTMAS with Leo Day & Friends! Leo Day and Friends begins at 6:00PM. This concert will feature many Christmas selections from the classical repertoire as well as several traditional tunes.

The concert commences in the Worship Center of Olive Baptist Church.

Don't miss it!

Leo Day
The Music Man

I copied and pasted this announcement Leo sent out today about the musical this Sunday night. If you can't be here in person, I'd like to encourage you to attend by live streaming (olivebaptist.org). Olive has been blessed to have Leo with us since he and his family left New Orleans because of Katrina. I've been a Christian for 10 years; however, I did not know nor understand the freedom of worship until sitting under Leo Day. (Olive's Sunday morning services, both 9:30 and 11:00 are also streamed.)

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, THERE IS FREEDOM!


Monday, December 1, 2008


Kayla hurt her knee in February of this year. She fell right on it when she slipped on her blow drier (I know, what was it doing on the floor?....She's 16. That should say it all.) Kayla is a slow healer and is very sensitive to pain. She has a very, very, low pain tolerance level. I sometimes tend to ignore her complaints because of that. Something I am working on. Kayla started having shooting pain in that same knee a few weeks ago. The pain was waking her up at night. Then, this past Saturday, she must have pulled something in moving and cleaning stuff because on Sunday she was in a lot of pain. Today, it was worse. The doctor saw her at 5:15 this afternoon. It appears she has bruised the joints somehow. She will be on crutches for one week. If it's not better by next Monday, she'll have to have X-rays done. Kayla said she is going to personalize the crutches and trim them in pink lace and sequences. She's a nut.

The contractor said he hauled off 800 pounds of flooring today! Hard to believe it was that much. They will be back at 8:00 tomorrow morning to lay the floors and hang the sheet rock.

We let Christopher stay up and watch the Grinch. He is enjoying it. I just asked him, "they are still singing, even though the Grinch stole all their stuff. Do you know why?" He said, "Because...it's Jesus' Birthday!" Hallelujah! My baby gets it:) One my favorite parts of this movie is when the Grinch's heart grows three times. I often use that analogy when sharing my testimony. Ezekiel 36:26 says that the Lord will take that heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh. The Lord, and only the Lord can take a cold, hard heart and make it warm, sensitive, and real. I'm thankful the Lord took my heart of stone, and has given me a heart of flesh!

Kitchen Work Begins...Laundry OVERLOAD!

I got the biggest blessing today!! A friend of mine called me and asked if she could help with laundry, I said, "yeeeeah!" We loaded my van up full of sheets, blankets, bedspreads, comforters, quilts, and all the laundry the five of us have that had to be washed. I'm not kidding. We are talking a van load full (with the seats out of it)! With my washer broken and not getting another one till tonight, I was just overwhelmed. With no exaggeration, we had to of washed 20 loads of laundry! Everything is now washed, dried, AND FOLDED! Now comes the putting away part. I am pooped beyond pooped. I was very surprised it cost tso much. I spent $70 and my friend spent some of her own money too. I had no idea it would cost that much; but it would have been that on my water and electric bill plus it would have taken a month to get it all completed. Oh I am so thankful! She blessed me. Kayla Lou worked very hard today too. She was in there sorting, loading, switching out and then she took complete control of the driers! We took the joint over. It was great:) We only had to throw away one thing that was obviously contaminated with the mold and unfortunately it was Kayla's feather bed. After washing it in hot water, lots of detergent and borax, and drying it, it still smelled horrible. Upon further examination, it was covered it mold spots and ripped. She's very disappointed. I don't see how we are going to replace it, we'll see.

Kaitlyn has been at Memaw's all day. Her Aunt Sheri is in town with her children. Both kids love playing with their cousins. Christopher didn't want to go to school today because he wanted to play with them.

Dewayne came today and ripped off the flooring. Got pictures, but still have to get my husband to download them all.

I have to unload my van and get Kaitlyn home and get ready for Christopher to get off the bus.

Will post more later...and by the way, the kids slept great in their own rooms, in their own beds, and Chris and I got to sleep in our own room, and in our own beds! It was absolutely wonderful.

I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. Whew. It's been a long tunnel, that's for sure!

Be Blessed.