Monday, August 27, 2007

Roy has passed on.

I've got to keep this terribly short, but I wanted to post that my step-dad died at 11:00 on Sunday night. I'll post more details later but wanted to update and thank you all for your prayers and loving support.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I've rec'd word from my mom that Roy is expected to live only another few days...3 to 4 at the most. Red flags were going up because he was not recovering from the surgery as they had hoped. He'd make small gains but just never seemed to make true, lasting progress. After doing an echo cardiogram and then verifying it thru another procedure, they've determined that he has an aortic tear.The surgeon says that he would not survive the surgery needed to repair it. So now we just wait til his time to pass on.

My mother is with him and is understandably hurting. But she's not alone. I told her on the phone that I wished I could be with her, that I hated her being alone. She answered, "I'm not alone. I have the Lord and I still have Roy."

We both know that Roy is going to a better place. He's lived a full life full of adventures and lots of loving relationships. Now its time for him to receive his ultimate healing from God.

Please pray for us during this time. Pray that his passing will be easy. Pray that he'll feel the very tangible presence of our sweet Lord. Pray that we will all be united in love. And I'd ask you to pray specifically that Roy will be cognizant of our goodbye visit with him. I'd especially like the grandchildren to know that their Papa Roy knew they were there. They're having a rough time with this. They lost their Grandpa Vers (J's step dad) a couple of weeks ago and now they are losing Roy, a grandparent they were close to and saw often.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and other expressions of love and support.


I wanted to tell a bit about M's bday happenings. This a.m. she had a bit of a rough time emotionally. She's got some sinus crud happening and it had her feeling fussy. She enjoyed riding Pepper our horse and playing outside, but was prone to crying jags and we had to do a lot of extra cuddling, watching of The Wiggles, letting her have her paci more than normal, and playing Hannah Montana cds which usually get her dancing and smiling.
We were afraid that she was going to cry thru her birthday lunch but Super Daddy managed to get her calmed down finally. We had macaroni and cheese, bbq chicken, and cornbread muffins for her special meal before having chocolate cake and icecream. She liked the sweet stuff and loved having it served on Hannah Montana party plates.
After lunch she opened her gifts from us, her grandparents, and Aunt Cathi ---shoes, a doll stroller, baby bottles, M&M's, a High School Musical t-shirt, a Little Einstein's shirt, tracks for the family Thomas trainset, and more shoes.
Then it was off for a nap. Our little one was worn out and to be honest, the rest of us were worn out from her crying, too!
Merry enjoyed a long nap as did most of the rest of the family. It was a rainy afternoon so it was good sleeping weather. After our snoozes, J took the 2 oldest girls to bday party for one of their church youth group friend's while I worked on laundry and just did Mommy stuff. I enjoyed watching little Miss M play with her new baby doll stroller as she was much happier after her nap.

We had a simple supper of sandwiches, chips, and bananas then got everyone washed up for the night. After Bible stories with Daddy, it was bedtime for the wee ones.


I sure do love my children. Each one is a unique treasure. And today, I'm glad we could take the chance to celebrate the life of our littlest one. She brings laughter into my days and my love for her only grows and grows. I'm looking forward to seeing where God takes this darling one.


Two years ago, a beautiful, happy baby was born into our crazy but loving family....and loved she was and is. This little darling's name means "happy" and a more aptly named child I've never known. She is a normal child, so her daddy, siblings, and I can testify to the fact that she has her moments and knows how to throw a hissy-fit like the rest of the little sinners running around our house. But all in all, she's a joyful, precious girl who loves to smile and sing and dance and laugh.
The photo above is of our sweet one with my beloved Cousin Beth when M was just a couple of months old. M's middle name is Elizabeth, a name that she shares with Beth and other wonderful women including my maid of honor. Elizabeth means "consecrated to God". And we pray that the rest of her joyful life will be one dedicated to praising, loving, and serving God.
I love you, Baby M. When God planned you, He planned a wonderful gift indeed.
(who by the way is presently crying her eyes out because Big Brother D took her away from riding the horse to change her diaper)

Friday, August 24, 2007


Does anyone else remember this show? I was goofing off at YouTube with my 13 year old daughter (one of our fave things to do) when I came across this video. I still remembered the opening line of the song even though its been over 30 years since I've heard it.

Did anyone else love this show? Did anyone want to get penpals as a result?

Bad News & Prayer Request

My mom called this evening. They had to take Roy back to UAB's hospital this morning. He was in E.R. the whole day as they tried to stabilize his vitals and give the various involved physicians time to evaluate him and plan a course or treatment. Apparently, the pneumonia, that was supposedly gone, either never left or he's just come down with another case. Regardless, its been messing with his systems and he's back in ICU...this time medical ICU as opposed to Cardiac ICU.

Please pray for him. Pray that he will be strengthened and healed. Pray that he'll experience the peace of Jesus that passes all understanding. Pray that he and my mom will not be discouraged but will be encouraged thru the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for your continued prayers. They are vital and so very appreciated.

I'll post more news when more news in known.

Another T'ism

T just told his sister A, "I'm really cold and freezing hot".

This morning was our weekly park day
with our homeschool group.
After being out in this frightfully hot
weather for a couple of hours, we were ready
for some cool relief. And
this time that relief came in the form of
free ice cream from Bop's Frozen Custard.
T enjoyed his chocolate ice cream down to the last soupy bits.

And all that sugar must have sweetened up
the kids quite a bit since I was able
to capture this rare moment of sibling

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My step-dad has been released from Cardiac ICU and is now at a rehab center. The pneumonia is gone and he's getting more mobile. I'm so thankful for his steady recovery.
I was listening to my favorite Bible teacher via the internet this morning. He's been teaching on Peter and why he followed Jesus and why WE should follow Jesus.
It brought to my mind several years ago when I was in a really rough spot. I had been very hurt spiritually, was confused theologically, and had experienced great losses that had wounded me deeply. Inside, I was just a mess and the whole "God thing" had me bewildered....and this from a woman who had known Him basically her whole life! One day, I was seriously considering just chucking the whole Christianity thing but a couple of things stopped me dead in those wandering tracks. The first thing was how hurt my husband and children would be. The second thing was when I pondered where I would go and whom I would turn to?

There's the rub. Despite how confused and hurt I get at times, how can I turn my back on Jesus?

Steve's words this morning communicate that so well:

[Jesus] said, "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends... And you're My friends." WOW! Is that something else? I have a bunch of friends but my best friend is Jesus. Does that sound pious? It really does ... but He is 'cause I tell Him things I'd never tell my other friends. I tell Him my secrets and I never do that to other people...not ALL of my secrets. I can say whatever I want to say to Him and He still loves me. And Peter's not going to leave and I'm not going to leave and you're not going to leave because where in the world are you going to find somebody who loves you that way? Who forgives you that way and who promises things that will be delivered? You think about that.*

*From Steve Brown's 8/21/07 online KEYLIFE BIBLE STUDY

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy Birthday... one of my favorite "just getting better with time" friends and relatives.

Beth, the fun times we've shared together are more than I could ever enumerate. From cruising the coast to fried clams and macaroni-n-cheese, you made my teenage years so much richer.
As you add another year, my dear cousin, I dedicate to you the "old fogie" version of Xanadu. Just 'cause we're getting older doesn't mean we have to quit being fun!

(AKA Miss Piggy)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Baby M's 2 year old birthday will soon be here
and I'd not bought a thing yet. So what does a
mom of seven do? Leave them at home so I can
efficiently run errands and shop?
Well, sometimes...but not this time. THIS time,
I decided we all needed a day out so we packed up all the
stuff that's needed for a family this size and
headed off for an adventure...because with a crew
this size, everything is either an adventure or a party.
And in this case, our adventure was for the cause of a
special birthday
By the time we finally got everything done that needed to be done, got loaded up and on the road, went to the library and stopped by the bank, it was 12:00 and the majority was hungry. We went to the place that is the favorite eatery when the big girls and I go out, NEWK's. YUM-O! Think "casual deli" but with
high end ingredients (like capers on the condiments bar)
and happenin' decor.
A and B got a table of their own but close enough to help with
the littler critters. One of their fave things about
Newk's is the complimentary bread sticks...long, skinny,
and very Euro-hip to these two country girls
Baby M was just impressed with her good ole saltine crackers
as with the bread sticks but that's fine with me.
Anyone who has ever eaten out with a toddler knows
that keeping them happy and QUIET is what its all about!

After our lunches of french bread pizzas(B got porto bella mushrooms on her's), a huge salad (for me...and yes, Darla, I did think of YOU!), and a roast beef sandwich (for A), along with piles of crackers and breadsticks, it was off to TARGET, our favorite super store.

Buying bday gifts for Baby M was the highest priority for us. And finding gifts for her that won't just add to the jumbled piles of stuff that we already own is quite the challenge. But with lots of people loving her and sending bday money, this mom is up to the challenge.

We and Baby M have managed to lose almost all her shoes except for one pair of rubber, yellow sandals. Oh, we've got other shoes, just none that have a match or that fit her. So, new shoes were on the top of the gift list for our little bday girl.

She patiently tried on pair after pair as big sister B and I oohed and aahed over the adorable offerings. Okay, well B didn't ooh and aah over the DORA THE EXPLORER shoes, but M sure liked them.

Above are the very colorful Dora shoes that Baby M will be dancing about it come this Saturday.

B found her a pair of fuzzy brown boots that SHE found adorable so not only will Baby M be a hit with the preschooler set with her rainbow Dora shoes, but she'll be stylin' with her big sisters' teen friends in her very with-it boots. The boots picture is a good bit higher...definitely out of order where this narrative is concerned, but it'll have to stay there. I still haven't figured out how to rearrange photos in a post. Oh well.

And after all the shoe shopping and shampoo shopping and baby doll stroller shopping and on and on and on and after saying "no, we're not buying that" for about the 77th time, I was ready to LEAVE my favorite place to shop.

As I was checking out, a lady behind me commented that I had the patience of a saint. Oh...if only she could have read my mind right about then. I guess its good at times that I still can fake goodness, because if my true thoughts had been known, she'd probably have been calling 911!

Despite the crazyness of the last bit at Target, it was a fun day. Really. Honestly.

Yes, I was wore plum out.

Yes, I was literally in the bed before 8:00 last night and asleep by 9:00.

Yes, I'm still tired today.

But they are SO worth it and seeing how excited Baby M will be on her birthday will be the icing on this mom's proverbial cake.

Oh...and when I hit Wal-Mart and Kroger tomorrow night for the last things we need? I'll be all alone.

ABSOLUTELY the FUNNIEST EBay Auction Description...

...that I've ever read can be found here:

You parents will especially get a kick out of this and be reminded of all the deliriously happy moments YOU've spent shopping with your precious progenies.

P.S. Sorry for the long, messy-looking link, I can't figure out how to do hyperlinks. :(


"The connection between Christ's death and the Christian's call to self-abnegating service is made quite explicit in such teaching of the Gospels as 'if any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me' (Mark 8:34) and 'Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple' (Luke 14). The Cross, then, stands for the entire Christian way of looking at and living life. It is the real crux of decision for or against Christ. One can do three things with the Cross-and only three. One can deny that it happened because if acknowledged, it would make nonsense of life; one can acknowledge it and decide in consequence that life is meaningless; or one can find in it a clue to a deeper meaning in life than otherwise appears. There are no other possibilities."

John Knox, The Death of Christ

I didn't get to post my regularly scheduled "Thankful Thursday" post last week so I'm taking the time to post a belated one today.
Once again, I'm reminded of what a wonderful man I'm married to. One way that he shows his love and commitment is thru acts of service. Not only does he VACUUM...but he'll shampoo the carpet, too!
Sending out BIG KISSES covered with gratitude to my love, because I know he reads my blog. And sending out BIG PRAISES to my Heavenly Father, because I know He hears my every thought.
UNIQUELY T...again

Every child is unique...a special little person created like no other. But sometimes that uniqueness is exceptionally unique.

I've posted before about some of T's thoughts and things that he likes....including foods he likes to eat. Rarely does he eat the same kind of sandwich two times in a row and often the sandwich that he DOES ask for is a rare type indeed. Saturday's sandwich was one such selection.

Saturday's main entree featured creamy peanut butter and mayonnaise. He ate it all up and I'm sure will be ready with another unique request the next time sandwiches are on the menu.

But when 5 year old LG was asked if she'd want a sandwich like this, she said, "NO WAY"! The rest of the kids are pretty satisfied with the regular ole offerings...though 8 year old P does like putting Cheetos on his! ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2007


“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”

Anne Lamott

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Talked to my mom this evening and she believes that Roy has turned a corner. There are still things to be concerned about, such as the staph infection and now pneumonia, but so many other aspects are improving or have stabilized. In fact, today he actually got to spend some time sitting in a chair! HALLELUJAH! This is BIG news!!!!

Please continue to pray for his healing. Also, pray for him as Mom says he's disoriented a good bit, fidgety, and easily agitated.

But all in all, we have so much to be grateful for...especially when I think back to where we were just a few days ago.

Thanks for your continued prayers and loving support.


B loves the freedom that hs'ing gives her to pursue artistic passions.

Beatrix Potter is a favorite literary and artistic friend.

Baby M loves her Leapfrog counting and phonics songs.

The big boys practice design and engineering skills as they film a LEGO STAR WARS story.

A is learning the guitar and building up callouses (and character) in the process.

Big brother D reads L one of her Alphapals readiness books.

Literature is one of A's favorite subjects. We can't keep up with her voracious appetite for books.

Lunchtime is not just about eating, but about family time, read alouds, and playing silly games at the table such as stare matches.

T loves the tortillas that the "cafeteria lady" cooked up today.

"Computer Science" is one of the favorite subjects 'round here.

"Home Ec" starts early around here and one of M and T's favorite books is a colorful cookbook given to them by Grandmommy and PapaRoy.

B enjoys the flexibility of doing math on her bed watched by all those cuties on her LORD OF THE RINGS, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, and WILL TURNER posters.

LG and T enjoying a Clifford book...and without fighting over it!

D concentrates on his Spelling Power lesson.

Where were you...

...when you heard of Elvis' passing?

This future "Girl from Graceland" was an 11 year old watching tv in our family's Clinton apartment. The next day, Elvis Presley music played nonstop as we moved to our new home on the Gulf Coast and Mississippi mourned the death of one of our most beloved sons.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I found my toddler sleeping in a most unique
position this afternoon.
I can't even imagine how stiff I would feel if I slept
THIS way!

(BTW, for those of you NOT from the South, those red bumps are not chicken pox, they are fire ant bites!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

As promised in my last post, here is a more detailed update of what's going in with my step-dad.

My friend Janine and I made it safe and sound to and from B'ham and did not get pulled over for speeding despite a crazed speedometer and seeing literally about 30 to 40 highway patrol officers. It was "take back our highways" week in Alabama and they were certainly taking up the speeding fines...I can tell you that!

ANYWAY, after that nervewracking driving challenge and having to take the "scenic, follow-our-noses" route to the hospital, we got there in time for a good visit with my mom along with Roy's son and daughter-in-law before the 1:00 visiting time. He was responsive though still pretty sedated and out of it. He was able to open his eyes some and wave his fingers to say "hello" or "goodbye". I prayed with him, told him how much I loved him, gave him messages from other people, showed him the cards David and Laura had made for him, and just tried to love on him as best as I could during the 30 minute visit.

His blood pressure is doing better. His heart rate is still erratic but the dr. says probably as best as can be expected considering some near point he will most probably need to be put on a pacemaker. His creatinin levels are still slightly elevated but not to a crucial point that would require dialysis. Yesterday his breathing was getting better and today when they took him off of the ventilator, he was able to breath on his own. All in all, his condition is slowly improving.

The downside is that he has caught a form of staph infection called MRSA ( ). It is in his lungs. This is an area of concern and something that needs to be prayed about as Roy's has very little immunity due to his kidney situation. Please pray that the antibiotics they are giving him will fight off the infection and this will not hamper his heart's recovery.

Please continue to pray for my mother that she will feel God's loving presence in very tangible ways. She is able to rest at night and getting even more sleep than I am!

Also, please pray for the other family members and close friends who are traveling back and forth to see him.

My family also covets your prayers. There are other non-related issues going on that are just plain difficult and add to the stress. But despite those circumstances, I praise God. Roy has made it past the crucial preliminary stage of recovery and we have each other to provide love and support. God's loving grace and mercy strengthens us and my children keep me smiling...when they're not driving me batty. ;) Really though, they are such a treasure and my life is so very rich.

Thanks again for all the many ways you've shown your love and support,
Elysa and Family

Monday, August 13, 2007


Going to keep this short and sweet---will post more later---but wanted to let y'all know that my step-dad is making slow but good progress. I so appreciate your prayers. I'll try to blog in detail about my visit with him today.

Praising God in this storm,

Saturday, August 11, 2007

And then scary news

What a roller coaster. I had thought that my step-dad Roy was doing so good. Last I talked to my mom was Thursday and surgery had gone well.

Tonight she called and they've almost lost him twice. Two times yesterday his heart stopped and they had to shock it back into working. The first time it took one shock, or hit, or whatever you call it. A few hours later it happened again and it took two shocks. Apparently, whenever they'd do anything to him like adjust his IV or an alarm would go off or whatever, his heartbeat would get erratic, his blood pressure would go crazy, and twice, it resulted in him flat lining.

The doctor has made the decision to totally sedate him. He thinks if they can just get his heart to completely rest for another day, it'll strengthen up enough to make it. The doctor says that if his heart stops again it will be fatal.

The surgeon said that he was only able to do the double bypass as opposed to a quadruple or a triple bypass because the bottom of his heart is just so diseased.

He's also on a ventilator. Yesterday he was only breathing 2 out of the 10 times he should have breathing. Today its 4 out of 10. So that is progress.

Unfortunately his creatinin level is rising and they are fearing kidney damage. As a kidney transplant recipient with only one functioning kidney, this is not good news.

I guess its a half-empty or half-full cup issue. One way to look at it is that he almost died twice yesterday and he's in "critical but stable" condition...that he's on death door and we might lose him. That's the half-empty perspective. The half-full is that we DIDN'T lose him twice yesterday and due to the wonders of modern medicine and the excellent health care system we have, that he is alive and in stable condition despite it being critical.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be praying for him. So many people really love Roy and he has so much still to give to the world. We're not ready to let go of him yet. Please pray that he will be healed and that he'll have supernatural amounts of peace and rest during this time. And please pray for those who have been staying up at B'ham with him, especially my mom, that they'll be able to rest and God will strengthen THEM and give THEM peace that passes all understanding.

Up until now, I've not tried to travel to see him. With all that's been going on with us, its just not been a possibility. But I feel like the time has come that I need to go and my mom agrees. She said not to go tomorrow (Sunday) as he'll be so heavily sedated that he won't even know I'm there. So instead, I'll leave here early Monday morning and drive over to Birmingham with a friend from our homeschool group and church. I'll see him when he's allowed visitors at 1:00 and after visiting with my mom and other family members for a bit, we'll turn around and come on home.

Please pray for us as we, etc. Pray for my family back home. My husband is exhausted emotionally, spiritually, and physically. And things have been hard for the kids as they're dealing in their own way with all of this. God is sufficient to provide all our needs. I know that with my head. He's proven that over and over again, its just that we're tired and I'm scared. I'm really scared that we'll lose him and I won't see him first. And its so hard to know that my mom is going thru this and I can't BE there for her. BUT GOD!!! He's there with her. I know it. And He is providing SO many people to love on her. He is a good God and He has already answered so many prayers and shown His love tangibly in numerous ways. And I need to focus in on THOSE things and not on the negative.

Thank you all for your love and support,

Friday, August 10, 2007

“My hope is that the description of God’s love in my life will give you the freedom and the courage to discover . . . God’s love in yours.”

Henri Nouwen

Now for a change...some GOOD news!!!

Actually, pretty GREAT news!

PRAISE GOD! Roy's surgery went very well. The surgeon did a double bypass, his kidney is in wonderful shape, and he's recovering well. Thank you SO MUCH for all your prayers.

The second piece of good news concerns A and J's trip out to Reno. They had a good visit with J's mom. They were able to get to know some of the people who make up their "zoo family" and A was able to actually get in the cages with some of the animals and feed them. She also played "high five" with the lioness Sierra (through the fencing, of course). The memorial service was a very nice one. Grandpa V's ashes and wedding ring were buried beneath a newly planted oak tree in the meditation garden there at the zoo. That is where J's mom wants to also have her final resting place some day. The zoo family is taking good care of Grandma C as they did of Grandpa V in his last days. It eases J's mind and heart to know that she is very well loved since we are so far away. They arrived home safely but exhausted yesterday morning after an overnight flight. J's back at work today and we're trying to get back to some semblence of normalacy.

I'll be going tonight to the statewide homeschool leaders conference in Jackson. J, sweetheart and most excellent husband that he is, is letting me go and have a break while he stays home with the kidlets. Since he's not able to go with me as he did last year, a girlfriend from the homeschool group and church is going with me. Besides the encouraging speakers and interaction with other homeschool leaders, we'll be enjoying catered meals (NO DIRTY DISHES!!!) and a very nice hotel room with cable tv (and no DORA, POOH BEAR, or HANNAH MONTANA!!!!). Y'all can be praying for him. ;)

Daughters A and B will also get a break from everything going on as they'll be canoeing down a local river with the church youth group.

Once again, thank you all so much for your continued prayers, emails, hugs, and other forms of love and support. They make ALL the difference for us. :)

With a grateful heart for God's tremendous blessings,

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Things had continued to be very frustrating where Roy's situation and care are concerned but FINALLY when he almost had another heart attack and the dr. was able to examine him did they begin to take things seriously. The surgeon says that Roy is in too bad of shape to handle a quadruple bypass though ideally that is what would be needed. He will do a double bypass and if possible, a third one.

They tried to put in a balloon (or whatever you call what that procedure is) to relieve pressure but were unable to.

Originally, the surgeon thought the surgery would take place tomorrow afternoon but because things are so very serious, it will now start at 7:30 tonight.

PLEASE continue to pray.

Thanks so much,

As of late last night, my step-dad had still not gone into surgery. Its been a series of unfortunate events including having to wait several hours before an ambulance was available to transport him and then the records ending up in the wrong section of the hospital he was going to. His back-home doctor believes that immediate surgery is crucial. Please continue to pray for him, my mom, the staff, and the rest of our family.

My dear friend Stacy sent me this prayer for him this morning:

god of all comfort and peace...

be with roy, enfolding him in your everlasting arms of grace.

we ask for healing on his behalf.

you are the god who hears
the god who knows
the god who cares
the god of mercy.

be merciful to roy.

uphold roy's family with your strength.

surround them with the faithful...and the compassionate.

spirit of god
you know no limits
have no boundaries
of time or space
bring your comfort to roy in this hour.
bring peace to roy's family.

o lord, roy's times are truly in your hands...

Thank you, Stacy, and thank you Father for so many good friends.

Y'all's emails, calls, prayers, and other forms of support have made such an amazing difference in this situation.

Love to you all! You know who you are.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


"Love is not a natural response that gushes out of us unbidden. Infatuation sometimes does that---at the beginning of a relationship at least---but hate is always ready to naturally spring forth, like the 'Old Faithful' geyser at Yellowstone National Park. Christian love, on the other hand, must be chased after, aspired to, and practiced. The popular culture completely misunderstands this principle. One of the cruelest and most self-condemning remarks I've ever heard is the one that men often use when they leave their wives for another woman: 'The truth is, I've never loved you.' This is meant to be an attack on the wife---saying in effect, 'The truth is, I've never found you lovable.' But put in a Christian context, it's a confession of the man's utter failure to be a Christian. If he hasn't loved his wife, it is not his wife's fault but his. Jesus calls us to love even the unlovable-even our enemies!---so a man who says 'I've never loved you' is a man who is saying essentially this: 'I've never acted like a Christian.'"


Take me....

...and make me fearless for You.


I don’t understand
No I can’t comprehend
This power that draws me to you
But I know for the cross
I’ll consider all lost
In an effort to tell of the truth

That the world may know
That the world may know
That you have been heaven sent to us
That the world may see
That the captives are free
For you have been heaven sent to us

I’ll be fearless for You
I’ll be fearless for You
Take me I’m Yours
I’ll be fearless for You

All the times that I’ve failed
When my doubt has prevailed
These are the moments I’m giving to you
Cause I can’t be ashamed
No I can’t fear the pain
When it comes time to be living proof

So the world may see
That the captives are freed
‘Cause you have been heaven sent to us

Unwilling to bend
Unwilling to break
Headstrong I’ll stand
No matter what it takes

---Building 429


If Jesus Christ e God and ded for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.

C.T. Studd

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Feel like He might be leading you into something new? A ministry that's out of your comfort zone? Telling you its time for a change? That you've been comfortable long enough? Is He telling you to GO?

May these words written by Claudia Mair Burney, aka The Ragamuffin Diva, encourage you as you hear His call.

You are ready.
You approach Jesus with a heady mixture of humility and pride. You are chosen. Your longing has urged you to this place. He is sending you out to do His work. You pinch yourself. It is all you’ve ever wanted. It’s what you’re made for. You’re gonna make your mama proud.
He briefs you and the others for the work, and His instructions sound simple enough. “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in the money belt. Wear sandals, but not two tunics.”
You look around at the others. All of you have bags. Some of you have nice ones--calfskin, hand tooled, and one of a kind. Hey, isn’t that one over there Versace?
You look at your own bag. It’s fairly humble, but reflective of your quirky personality. You’ve carried it a long time. It’s your bag of tricks really, safely housing all the manipulations in your arsenal. It has been your security and defense. It holds your masks, and everything that makes you feel beautiful, fun, charming, desirable, talented, ambitious, and intelligent. It’s got your writing in it.
But you can’t take it with you.
You start to hyperventilate at the thought.

For the rest of the post, please visit Mair's blog:


Just talked to my mom. My step-dad's catherization surgery went well, but unfortunately, they found 4 blockages and he will require quadruple bypass surgery. This is an extremely difficult situation since he is a kidney transplant recipient. Due to this situation, he will be transferred as soon as possible to the University of Alabama in Birmingham hospital where he had rec'd his kidney transplant. At UAB, they will perform the surgery. For now, he's at the hospital near his home.

Please continue to pray for him and our family.


Monday, August 06, 2007


We received 2 pieces of bad news this past Saturday.

My step-dad Roy, had a heart attack while sleeping Friday night. He was admitted into the hospital Saturday. He will have to have surgery tomorrow morning at 8:00 for a stint to be put in or face a certain fatal heart attack in the near future. This is complicated by the fact that he's a kidney transplant recipient and the dye used during the surgery can damage his kidney.

On the same day, we learned that my husband's step-dad, Versal, had passed away. He's fought cancer off and on for years and this time the cancer won out. He's been married to J's mom for a very long time and we're going to miss him and his wry sense of humor.

If you're someone who prays, we would certainly appreciate you praying for us.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I ADORE eggplant. This year we grew some in our garden for the first time. We went a bit exotic and so had fun seeing our unusually shaped babies grow. The one above was a favorite since it looks like a purple donut! I figured there might be others out there who are also eggplant fans and since its the time of year for them to be plentiful, I thought a recipe might be in order. A year or two ago, I came up with an easy eggplant dish. If you like eggplant parmigiana but don't like all the work, frying, or high fat involved, here's a version that might be "fake" in technique, but punches "real" taste satisfaction. Just be warned, this is one of my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-capris recipes, so there aren't any exact amounts used. On to the recipe:

I sliced up the eggplant, dusted it with Italian seasoned bread crumbs mixed with whole wheat flour, salt, and pepper.

I heated up just enough healthy cooking oil (olive, safflower, grape seed, etc.) to cover a skillet (don't do more as the eggplant soaks it up and you'll get really oily eggplants) and then over medium heat, cooked the eggplant slices til they were lightly browned and soft to the touch. After each panful of eggplants, you'll have to add more oil.

As the eggplants are cooking, cook up a potful of angel hair pasta and your favorite vegetarian spaghetti or marinara sauce. Mine was simply a large can of tomato paste, some water, Italian herbs, salt and pepper, a bit of ketchup, and some water.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and put in the bottom of a large, rectangular casserole dish. Put a thin layer of sauce over the pasta. Then layer your cooked eggplant slices. Dollop the rest of the sauce over each eggplant and grate cheese over the top of the dish. Cheddar, Gouda, or mozzarella would all be fine choices.

Your casserole is going to be warm so all you have to do is put it in a hot oven (mine was set at 350) until the cheese gets nice and melted.

Then just serve it up! I made this entire dish in about 30 minutes plus garlic toast and sauteed broccoli.

It looks fancy, but its really so easy and I love fact, I love it so much that I've it for breakfast.
As an aside, I've also made an even EASIER version before (and yes, eaten it for breakfast, too!). Here's how it goes:
Do the same thing with your eggplant as above but leave off the breadcrumbs and flour. Use leftover pasta instead of cooking it up fresh. AND, instead of the sauce described above, use salsa mixed with Italian herbs and a little garlic salt and pepper. This is a good recipe for when you just want an individual serving. Simply adjust the amounts down to fit your appetite.
Happy Eating!