Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vacation Day 5/Day 6

The view at Surfside Beach

Day 5;
Sightseeing day!! Ok, remember...we didn't PLAN anything for this trip, so we spent alot of time today driving up and down the road.

We drove down to Myrtle Beach (crowded) and then back to Surfside Beach where we got out and I walked along the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. I was in awe at the vastness of it! Just the magnitude of it and all the sand that was packed so hard. I serve an awesome and mighty God!

God made the ocean and all it's power

We walked along the Pier at Surfside and just took in the sights...the parasailers, the fisherman, the families, the sharks...oh yeah...there were sharks! I had never seen a shark in it's natural habitat (not sure I ever desire to see another one).

SHARK...need I say more

We got some awesome ice cream..."Bunny Tracks" a waffle cone, and ate it along the beach. It was so carefree and peaceful...even with the waves crashing in I felt a very certain calm.

Me and JoAnn on the Pier...don't you love our windblown hair?

JoAnn gettin' her feet wet

Then we went on a souvenir hunt. I got Mal a very kewl shirt from Harley Davidson and Blake and Q just a shirt. We spent hours looking for Christina (JoAnn's daughter) a shirt. She wears a small, which you'd think would be easy to find, but wasn't! We finally found one in Myrtle Beach at one of those road side souvenir shops. We shopped a little more...bought more scrapbook supplies...cause you know we didn't have enough;)...we drove to Pawley's Island to find this cute scrapbook store, but it was closed (we'll try tomorrow). The trip wasn't wasted though. We found an awesome store called "As For Me And My House"...everything was embroidered with scripture. I'm talking everything...sheets, towels, aprons, even upholstery. I got me a really cute apron and some dish towels.

Day 6;
We went back to Pawley's Island to check out the scrapbook store (they were open!), stopped by the neat Christian store, and then went back to the beach house for more scrapping!! We got some really neat pictures of a pelican playing in the water and just tried to soak in everything on our last day!

Me and JoAnn at Scrapbooks By The Sea

Just a sign I've never seen in I ever tell you I have this thing about signs?

One more day to go...stay tuned!

Vacation Day 3/Day 4

Day 3;
This day didn't start out too great...I pulled a muscle in my low back unloading scrapbooking supplies out of JoAnn's car. Is that pathetic or what?! I was in pain most of the day. We went to WalMart for groceries and some instant heat for my back and then set up our stamping supplies on the porch.

I wasn't nearly as productive this day as I wanted to be, but the trip was really about relaxing, so I guess that's ok. It was so neat to sit on the porch, making cards, and watching people ski in the inlet...bliss.

The neighbor learning to water ski in the backyard...aka The Inlet

Campbell and Katie were wonderful hosts and made us dinner, a local favorite, "Frogmoor Stew"...aka "Low Country Boil." I really liked it and plan on preparing it for my family this week sometime...minus Mallorye (she's allergic to shell fish). It contains shrimp, summer sausage, corn, and potatoes...all prepared in one pot with crab boil and Old Bay seasoning. Spread some newspaper on the table and just throw it out there. Very messy. Serve with lots of napkins!!

Low Country Boil...yummy

After dinner, their oldest son Pierson, taught us how to tell a male crab from a female crab. Apparently males have a mark on the belly that resembles the Washington monument and females markings look more like the White House.

JoAnn, Pierson, and Hal (Katie's dad) checking the crab traps.

The night wouldn't have been complete without the evening thunderstorm.

Day 4;
I'm in more pain than yesterday and can barely walk, but it doesn't stop me from stamping!! We had planned to go to the beach this day, but thought we'd give my back one more day of rest and see how it felt.

Scrappin' and Stampin' on the porch

I made 40 birthday invitations for Mallorye's Sweet 16...crazy

JoAnn working away on her cute bucket

A group of kayakers that went by while we were stamping

Relaxing on the porch

Stay tuned for actual beach pictures...I promise...we did actually see the Ocean!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vacation Day 1/Day 2

Ok, so I have had an amazing week! I have so much to tell you guys and so many pictures to share and have no idea where to, I'll start at the beginning (good place right?)

Day 1;
We left Paragould around 9am to travel to Alpharetta, Georgia (outside Atlanta). Pretty uneventful trip, but we had a really awesome hotel that JoAnn got for us for only $59 that had a great hot breakfast. We did a little shopping at the mall (I was good and didn't buy a thing)...we got lost trying to find Target. We could see it, but we could never quite find how to get to it. Luckily, Garmin helped us out!!

Day 2;
My first experience with a mega church! It was amazing! I was privileged to hear Andy Stanley preach in person at Northpoint Community Church. He spoke on the power of ideas and how the most powerful idea is "forgiveness." He shared the story of the Rawanda people and some pictures from a trip that he and his family just went on. It was so amazing!! These people fought against each other and killed hundreds of thousand of their neighbors, yet somehow found the compassion in themselves to forgive one another and live peaceably together as brothers and sisters in Christ. The Worship Team was pretty amazing too...actually, they were flawless. I have to admit it felt a little like a concert, but I was able to finally focus and get over the shock and awe, and just worship God.

After church we headed to Greenville, South Carolina to drop Christina off at the Bob Jones University Drama Camp. It's a very conservative school and I thought she was very brave to go to a camp where she knew absolutely no one.

On the road again. A little more eventful. We stopped at this gas station where there was an irate customer. He was peeved about the price of gas and I really thought for a minute he might pull out a gun and start shooting. Freaky! We got our gas and got out of there where it rained for the last 2 hours of our trip. We arrived at Murrels Inlet, South Carolina and met our hosts for the week, set up our rooms and crashed!!

The beach house on Waterside Lane that we stayed at! Isn't it cute?!

One view of the back porch...we did most of our stamping and scrapbooking right here!

Ok, this is already I'll post some more tomorrow. Consider this your teaser!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm Home....

...and wore out from the drive! We've been on the road for over 18 hours and I'm exhausted, so blog updating will have to wait..

Traveling tomorrow to watch Blake play baseball in Searcy, but I'll be home to stay for a while on Sunday :D

Stay tuned for Myrtle Beach updates and PICTURES!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Never Fear...I'll Be Back

Well, I'm almost packed...still waiting on a few things to come out of the wash. I think I have my family situated. Let's just pray that everyone gets to where they're supposed to be. This afternoon and evening have been absolute mayhem trying to get it all together. I have to keep reminding myself that it's really worth it. It seems it's such a chore to go on vacation...making sure all loose ends are tied.

Ok, I'm totally exhausted, so I'm going to head to bed and finish packing in the morning.

I'm hoping there will be internet access (I'll be twitterning updates from my phone regardless of the internet ;D)so I can check in with my blog family, but if not...

I'll see you all in a week!! I'll be the one all refreshed and sunkissed!!

Vacation I come.

I'm getting so excited!!

Tomorrow morning I leave for vacation...a girl's week away!

A friend from church was going to have to take her daughter for a camp in South Carolina...drama camp I think...and she needed some company for the week and asked me if I'd like to go. Would I ever! We'll be staying at a beach house in Myrtle Beach, just us two girls, scrapbooking, napping, enjoying a great time of relaxation!

I'm going to miss a few ballgames.

Planning for mom to leave home and leave everyone else behind is a logistical nightmare.

I'm not packed. And the house isn't ready for me to leave for a week.

BUT, I will be a much happier and less stressed mommy when I get back!

So, now I'm going in for my last day of work until June 30th! Yeah!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lessons Learned Along The Way...

I'm going through the Bible Study by Lisa Whelchel, "This Is My Story...A Legacy Of Faith," and one of the prompts this week was...

On the road to adulthood, one of the most important lessons I learned the hard way was....

What a question! My answer?

*Parents are usually right

*Popularity that comes at a price isn't popularity, it's politics

*In 10 years, it won't matter if you were Homecoming Queen, a starter on the Basketball team, or if you aced the ACT

*It WILL matter that you were kind, treated people with respect, lived a life of integrity, and loved deeply

*Don't waste your youth on relationships with the opposite sex

*Ask the tough questions

*Don't be afraid of finding yourself. And when you do--Embrace her.

*Don't live "FOR" the moment. Live the moment.

What did you learn the hard way?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

This Father's Day is a bit different for me. After 34 years, I've decided I really want to find my biological dad. It's something I've thought about many times and have wrestled the pros and cons. I realize that I may be setting myself up for huge rejection, but there is something in me that desires to know more than anything....more than the risk of being hurt.

So, this weekend, after talking to my mom...I've made the leap to begin actively looking. I have a name. And that's pretty much it.

I'm nervous. Scared. Excited.

A little background on the story. And by little, I mean just the bare bones.

My mom got pregnant with me her senior year in high school. She never married him and they didn't see each other again. I think he did come to see me when I was one, but was told to leave. From what I can gather, he had a wife and family already and didn't really want to be a part of my life...only to console his ego. My mom met my step-dad soon after and they began dating when I was 18 months old and were married when I was 3. I never knew he wasn't my dad until I was around 10 years old and ran across my birth certificate. There wasn't a father listed and inquired "why?" My stepdad adopted me when I was 14 and I legally became his daughter and really didn't think much about the dad I never knew. At age 17, my senior year, my parents divorced and I have only seen my stepdad a few times a year at most. There's alot that goes into that divorce...I was unwed and pregnant, my dad was involved in some things he shouldn't have just wasn't a good situation at all. So, for the past 16 years I really haven't had someone to call dad and it has ignited a desire for me to find out where I came from.

I didn't think I would ever really want to know and I have no idea what I'm expecting, but here I am...searching...longing...hoping.

Happy Father's Day to my dad's....the one I don't know...and the one I never knew.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Blog Bragging

Ok, I wasn't going to blog/brag until I had pictures...but without a digital camera at the moment, I'm having to wait on film processing and I just had to do a little mama bragging...

First, Blake has made the All Star team in baseball and has his first game tonight. His league team, the Kiwanis, had an awesome 3rd place going into this weeks tournament. Well, they showed up and showed out and ended up as League Champs!! Blake pitched an awesome game in the semi-final for the win and his buddy Alex took the Championship Game. Let's see if All Stars can fare as well.

Second, he finished basketball camp today and walked away with an arm load of awards. He won the Obstacle Course, the 1-on-1 Competition, and the Outstanding Camper Award. He was beaming...and so was I. It is an awesome feeling to watch your kids succeed and develop their talents.

Last, Mallorye received her first paycheck this week! She's learning about money management and managing her time. She's babysitting for my longtime 8 yr old and an 11 yr old...she also had my nephew Caleb this past week for a few hours...he's almost 4. It was an experience! Caleb got sick and totally messed up her bed, but she handled it like a trooper.

It's been a pretty good week around here! But, I'm so looking forward to the weekend!

POW (Post of the Week)

I thought I'd join in on McMommy's Post Of The Week. I didn't post much this week, but my fave would have to be this one...

Check out McMommy's POW

What was your favorite post this week??

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Unexpected Blessings

The house is quiet...again. Q is at Guard Drill and the kids have already left to go to "Rockin' On The Ridge" (our annual church service at the park), so I'm just going through some photos on the computer and came across some from Q's deployment.

God is so good! He has used the military as a vehicle for Q to be able to experience so many different places. In 1998 he went to San Diego, CA to help with road work. In 2005 he was able to travel to Alaska to be a part of the Alaskan Road Project...he has always wanted to go there. He witnessed the destruction of Hurricane Katrina as a soldier offering help and security. This past year he served our country in Iraq and was able to see Germany and Ireland as he passed their way. He traveled through Kuwait and Baghdad and even visited some of the palaces in that area. But the one place that is an experience he won't forget is traveling to the City of Ur while on deployment in Iraq. Ur is the place that Abraham lived, the Father of our Faith. That is an opportunity that only God could've orchestrated. I love that about my God...he gives us the desires of our heart.

Here's a few pictures that I don't think I've shared here before...

Q outside the ruins of Terah's (Abraham's father) house...

The footpath leading to Terah's doubt Abraham walked this very way many!

Q standing in front of the Ziggurat (not sure of spelling), a place for idol worhsip...

Q and some other soldiers that were able to see the City Of Ur...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Then Sings My Soul--Love Is Not A Fight

This song really struck a chord with me. It's posted in my last post, but I just wanted to add it to this week's TSMS. A gentle reminder of what love isn't...

Check out other songs that are speaking to people at Amy's Blog

Friday, June 6, 2008


This is going to be an awesome movie!! Due to release in September and destined to challenge marriages all across this natoin. It's from the same people that wrote and produced "Facing the Giants." Check it out!!

Innocence Lost?

Yesterday my sister and I made the trek to Little Rock with her oldest son (he's 8yrs. old) to the Dennis Developmental Center. They specialize in assessing developmental conditions such as learning disabilities, impulsivity, ADD, atypical social interaction, inability to communicate and much more. They help the families find coping strategies and therapy that works, so that their child can thrive. We left bright and early...4:30am!! Traffic was not too bad until we reached the city and then it was at a stand-still. We knew this would be a long day for all of us. Daniel had several tests that were going to be done starting at 8am. We had a break for lunch (Cracker Barrell) and then went back for round two. We left at 4pm! LONG DAY!! He was a trooper and didn't complain too much. This was our 2nd trip and we are very pleased to have a diagnosis and a plan to help Daniel begin to have success...academically and socially...but I was struck by some things.

One thing that I seen over and over, is parents that were harsh with their children. We were there for 8 hours, so we seen ALOT, so many parents never offered kind or encouraging words to their child. They expected their child to behave like a mini adult...I remind you we were in a developmental center. I mean, let's get are kids...and these kids need a little extra love and attention. There was a play room for them to run and play in and some of these parents wouldn't even let their kids be free in there. I even seen one mother strike her child on the arm. I'm not a therapist. I don't have a PHD. But even I could see that a huge part of the problem with some of these children is their caregivers don't seem to care. My heart was broken. I fear that many of these kids may not only be a prison in their own bodies, but also in their homes, where they're supposed to feel safe and loved. Another thing I noticed is that no one ever stepped in and told the parents that this was unacceptable behavior by them. (including myself) What is wrong with our world that we sit idly by and watch innocence be destroyed over and over again? My mind cannot stop thinking about one child in particular. All I know to do is pray and cry out to the Father to comfort and protect these children.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Completely Random

Complete random thoughts going through my head at this moment...

*I love shelves lined with books, all in order, just the way they're supposed to be

*the air conditioning feels good

*should I make *B* walk to practice or ask grandma to fill in for me

*does anyone really know what love is?

*I'm tired, why do I think I have to stay up till 10:00?

*I wish I could form a complete thought

*find a way to make the Sabbath the Sabbath

Ok, these are just some of the things swirling in my head...completely random