Monday, December 31, 2007


It is almost gone...2007, that is. Almost a memory, a thing of the past. It was a good year, and I will be sad to see it go...but not really. With it go the things I wish I could do again, the times I wish I had paid attention more, the times I didn't stop, but barrelled on, the times I should have spoken up, but kept silent, and the times I kept silent, but should have spoken up. With it go the regrets, the missed opportunities, the mistakes. And hopefully a wiser me starts down this new road. I've heard it said that everything you have gone through and experienced is what makes you who you are today. So, then, I am compilation of these regrets, these mistakes. True...but, then I am also made up of the joys and happiness I have experienced this year. Many happy times with family, and fun times spent with friends. Fun seeing other lands, travelling, experiencing a different kind of living. Lessons learned while teaching, patience learned by being impatient. Joy experienced watching boys grow into men, and soar off to see the world for themselves. Watching talent spring forth and grow and become even greater. Watching wisdom take hold and gentleness bloom in the midst of suffering. Watching brotherly love in action. Seeing dreams come closer to reality, and new dreams following close behind. Seeing God answer some prayers with "yes," but some with "wait". And learning to wait...and wait.
This then has been my 2007. And it will be a big part of my 2008. For the 'more things change, the more they stay the same' I've heard. And there really is 'nothing new under the sun' the Bible says. What WILL change is my reactions, my understanding, and my outlook...with God's help.
So, come on in, 2008...I'm ready...and excited...and hopeful.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


One of my blogging friends got an award that looked like this...I <3 your blog. She wasn't sure what it meant until it was explained to her that <3 looks like a sideways heart. Therefore...I love your blog.

This reminded me of the years when my boys went through the "not cool to be seen with your mom" years. We were best left hidden away along with all the other embarrassing things in the world.. Of course, we still were expected to carry out our motherly duties...but we must not draw attention to ourselves in any way. Now, my boys have always been very demonstrative, and had never minded hugging or kissing. As a matter of fact, at this time in their lives, they would still crawl up in my lap for some Mama Love.

But, of course, none of their peers could know this...their 'cool factor' would plummet to new lows,,,and they would forever be tagged as a mama's boy, or something even worse. So, we made up our own secret signals that no one else that we could send a hug to one another and no one would be the wiser. Crossing your index and middle finger (like for good luck)...meant a hug. Making a circle with the thumb and index finger, the flicking the index finger was a kiss flying through the air. If I needed to write them a note of send something to them, I always signed it 303. Can you figure out why? 303...look at it spells MOM.

And, this is how we maneuvered those yucky years when the boys were finding their independence from parents...learning to deal with peer pressure...and deciding if having a Mom was OK, or the biggest hindrance to their ranking among the cool group. I will have to say, this didn't last very long. Soon, they were back to giving me a quick peck before getting out of the car. Occasionally, they still felt the need to revert to the our 'private code.' But, it all became a thing of the past when they decided they would make their own decisions as to what was 'cool' or not. I must say it was nice to be through with that.

I think, that especially in raising young men, we need to be sensitive to these feelings, help them deal with them, and wait for them to outgrow it! And they will!
'Cause every mom with male children knows that nothing warms your heart more than a big 'ole bear hug from your sweet boy.

Thank-you, my sweet boys, for blessing me with your hugs!

Saturday, December 29, 2007


My sweet niece, Tara, and her equally sweet husband, Will, have bought a house waaay out in the woods. Well, not really, but it seems that way to us who have lived right next to someone else all our lives. They are on a road that includes much land that his family owns, and hunts on. There is his grandmother's old house that they have turned into a hunting club, and a creek that runs through it all. Several of his cousins and friends and wives live there and they all enjoy doing things together. So we are very happy for them, and know they will enjoy being near their family and friends. The house is set back off the road, and has a beautiful porch running all around it.

Will, is the one I give a hard time to about hunting. I really can't stand the thought of it. But, I realize that not everyone feels the way I do. And, I have come to learn that Will has a sweet gentleness about him. So, I think he is very at ease with hunting and hunts very responsibly. I trust that his heart will do what is right. He even gave me a book for Christmas titled, THE POLITICALLY CORRECT GUIDE TO HUNTING. I haven't read it yet, but he says it will explain to me why hunters are doing their part to keep the wildlife population healthy.

And, it's not really called Bush Mountain, but Pop started calling it that, and so forever more it will be called that by our family. It just feels right. Last night, it rained and stormed terribly here and I couldn't I wrote them a song:

BUSH MOUNTAIN (to the tune of She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain)

Oh! They're moving to Bush Mountain...Yes, Indeed!
Oh! They're moving to Bush Mountain...Yes, Indeed!
That young couple, Will and his bride
They say they don't want to hide
They're just moving to Bush Mountain...Yes, Indeed!

Oh! they're moving to Bush Mountain...Yes, Indeed!
They unloaded all their boxes
Alerted all the foxes
That they're moving to Bush Mountain...Yes Indeed!

Oh! They're moving to Bush Mountain...Yes Indeed!
They'll be snug and warm and cozy
If the snakes don't get their toesies
And they're moving......

Oh! they're moving to Bush Mountain...Yes, Indeed!
There will be wild life on the outside
And wild life on the inside :)
Cause they're moving...

Oh! they're moving to Bush Mountain...Yes, Indeed!
They'll make sweet memories together
No matter what the weather
Cause they're moving..

Oh! they're moving to Bush Mountain...Yes, Indeed!
I hope that we can visit...
Will we need a hunting permit?
When you're living...

Oh! they're moving to Bush Mountain,,,Yes, Indeed!
For our visit, just set the date
And, NO deer meat on MY plate
When you're living......

Oh! they're moving to Bush Mountain...Yes, Indeed!
Now, the Hunting Club's excited
And all the wives delighted
That they're moving to Bush Mountain,,,Yes, Indeed!


"All kidding aside, we wish you health, happiness and only good times in your new home. May all the memories you share be full of peace and joy and laughter.
And may God abundantly pour His blessings on your life together."

The Owens' Family

Thursday, December 27, 2007



This is a post about my sister. Friends, I've had my eyes opened. She showed her true colors yesterday. Here's the evidence:

Just look at her trying to be all angelic....HUH!

Can you believe this? She had this tied to my present! Sad, sad, sad.....

Here I am opening her gift to me...when I had just given her the same thing minutes before! She's always copying me!

Here she is trying to act like she's a cook. She did not bake this pie!

Here she is trying to tickle me to death.

I've presented my case...don't you agree with me?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

IT'S BACK !!!!!!

Wonders never cease! My BIL, Tommy, called me this morning. He got a metal detector for Christmas, and I asked him to help me look for my wayward earring. He said he was on the way over to my house to help me look. So, I went into the sunroom to wait for him. There...RIGHT THERE...lying in the middle of the floor, was my earring!! I'm not was lying in the middle of my floor. Where did it come from? And where had it been? I have swept that floor several times since I lost it. Everyone uses the sunroom door to enter and exit our that particular path has been walked on many, many times since I lost the earring. It has not been on that floor...before this morning. I am amazed. awed and perplexed!

I know several of you said you would pray for me to find it...and I did, too. I think Kat even said she was looking for a Christmas miracle. Well, it happened! It's back where it rightly belongs....not in my ear yet, cause the clasp is broken...
but in my possession.

I have done a lot of thinking about losing that earring, and about what my
"treasure" really is. We spent a while talking about that yesterday at my mom's. After we opened presents, all 15 of us, it looked like a department store had moved in....a messy one at that. Our family loves giving gifts. We enjoy shopping for one another and looking for just the right surprise. But, as we looked at this abundance yesterday, it was just too much! Mom said she thought we ought to all cut back next year, so as to give more to the needy around the world. We all give to our Christmas offering at church, and help with needs as we see them...but, we can do more. And as a family, we made the commitment yesterday to change our buying habits next year, and find a way to give more to those who are in need. God has blessed our family tremendously, and we will be giving the majority of our Christmas gifts next year to others who need it much more than us.

And, my earring shows up this morning. Pop has always said, "You can not out give God." I thank Him for sending my lost earring home. Was it lost because I had been taking my blessings for granted? Did He need to get my attention? Was He pleased with what He heard from our hearts yesterday as we gathered together? I think He was. And I think He chose today to return my earring to show me just how pleased.
Whether I am correct about that or not, I am newly reminded of my blessings, of the abundance God has chosen to share with our family, and what my treasure really consists of. God is good! And I am grateful...and awed and amazed.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in HIM will not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16


Sunday, December 23, 2007


I wish for you all the most joyous Christmas ever. Enjoy your time with the ones you love. May God be especially near to you as you celebrate His birthday!
Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 22, 2007



I was thrilled to get awards today! They were passed on to me from my sweet friend and fellow "B" Clubber, Kat. I am thrilled to think that my blog would be considered to be a 'treasure'...especially in light of my last post. Thank you for thinking of me...I will strive to be even more 'BODACIOUS' in the future. :)

Friday, December 21, 2007


Well, it is another day. I'm still sore. And I still have only BUMMER! I have tried to be very philosophical about distracts me from the wailing and gnashing of teeth! I really liked these earrings. They were designed by my DIL and myself and built to my specifications. I enjoyed wearing them and no one else had a pair just like mine.
But, in thinking of how I am going to miss wearing them,,,I have done a little talking to myself. What were they really, but some metal with shiny rocks glued on. As much as a treasure as they were to me...what would I trade to have them back. Certainly not any of my other jewelry, it is as special to me as those were. So what then? I suppose I could do without some of my clothes, and shoes and purses...I really have plenty to spare. Or maybe some of my collections I have worked on for years...I really do not need all that stuff. But, all of these things are just that...things. To replace my valuable earrings, I'd need to trade in something of value. What do I have that is of value? I live in a nice home....but I certainly need my home more than earrings. I drive a nice vehicle, but if I can't leave home, there would be no one to show off my earrings to. I have china and silver...but, I wouldn't part with that. I have good books that are like old friends...I could never trade those. What IS of value to me.? It all comes down to people. Family. Friends. They are my treasures. My husband, my sons, my DIL, my Mom and Pop, my sister and BIL, my nieces, their spouses, my SILs and their husbands, their families, my aunts and uncles and cousins, my friends who are as close as my family. This is my treasure. This is what I value. And the greatest treasure of Savior, Jesus Christ. These are what I hold dear. Would I trade any on these for an earring? How silly! Sure, I'll miss looking soooo cute in my fine earrings..:)..but, I still have all that REALLY matters. I KNOW where my treasure lies.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


This morning I went out to get the paper, and as I was coming back in, I stepped in a hole that I obviously did not know was in my yard. I fell flat on my something, I'm not real sure what, cause I was too busy thinking,"I hope no one sees me laying flat out in my front yard in my penguin pajamas...with bed head!" I got up as quickly as I could and hurried in before I was discovered and turned in for indecent exposure. I didn't think I was hurt, but I sat down to regain my cool, since I knew I looked like an absolute fool just a few moments before. Everything seemed to be working o.k.. I was fine, just shaken. Then Don came through the room and said, "We have an appt. at 10:00." I went to the bathroom to get ready, and that's when I REALLY got bummed out. One of my earrings was missing. One of my diamond earrings was missing. One of my FAVORITE diamond earrings was missing! I never take them off. And, I know I had them on earlier when I first got up, so it must have gotten knocked off when I so gracefully did a swan dive on the front lawn. I had to get ready for my appt though, so I could not look. But, when I got home, I started going through the grass with a vengeance. Where is my earring? Down on my hands and knees I was scratching through the grass all around this hidden hole. No earring. I widened my search...and called in reinforcements. Adam came and helped me look. So, we were both down on our hands and knees searching through the grass. Yes, several neighbors drove by...I just ignored them. We earring. I came inside and took all the sheets off the bed and covered the bedroom floor inch by inch. No earring. Then, Don called. "Find your earring?" "NO" "Find the little rake...I'm coming home to find it." I find the little rake...and wait. He comes home and I have to go back out to show him where the paper was and where I fell. But that's not enough. I have to lay back down in the yard so he can see EXACTLY where I landed. Now, friends, I do not know about you, but when I unexpectedly take a first thought is 'am I hurt?' next thought is 'did anybody see me?'...I never once think about laying there and memorizing my position in relation to the house and the street so I will have that information for future reference. I just don't think that way. According to my DH, that's exactly what I should have been thinking. "How can you fall in the middle of the front yard and not know where you fell?" ANYWAY!!! By this time it had started raining, so we the front the rain...under a little mini umbrella...with the little rake....and me back in my penguin pajamas because I had all intentions of getting into the bed because by now my shoulder and hip are hurting. If I was a spectacle this morning...just imagine what we looked this afternoon! And, NO EARRING! Back inside, he comes and takes all the covers and sheets off the bed AGAIN, and moves all the furniture AGAIN. No earring. No earring. NO EARRING. He left and went back to work...and I am going to least I know now what position I was in when I hit the ground. Today has not been a good day to be me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I found this picture on a search for something else and it really caught my eye. Just wanted to share it with you. I have no info on who did it..sorry. If you happen to know, I will be glad to give them credit.


If you read my post on Sunday about the newspaper article that included Alex, you also read about a lady named Becky Clark. Her struggle with cancer and pain and suffering ended this morning about 5:30. She had lapsed into a coma yesterday. Please join me in praying for her family. They have all battled this with her for 15 years. And they are rejoicing that her suffering is over. But, that still does not ease the loneliness and sadness and grief. She was such a bubbly, vivacious person, and I just know she is lighting up heaven with her sweet spirit. She's home with Jesus. How blessed her family is to have that consolation and to know they will be together again with her in God's time.

Monday, December 17, 2007


I'm doing this for my sweet friend, Angie, cause I don't want her to play by herself!


1. I have waaaay more Christmas decorations than I need or can even use. I love to decorate and set up little vignettes in every room.

2. I can not bear to rid myself of any Christmas decor that I have because of the memories attached to each piece. When I go on to Glory, some flea market will have a hay day because no one in my family will want all this junk...except maybe my friends Tina and Shirl.

3. I LOOOOVE Christmas music. I start playing before Thanksgiving. Every year I look for new music with a new twist on the familiar. I have shared some of these with you in previous posts. The music I have has become a "memory keeper" of sorts. When I put on my favorite CDs, I am transported to past years when I was listening to the same music and doing the same things. Tradition...continuity...
family time.....sweet memories.

4. Many years ago, we started having a platter of boiled shrimp for our Christmas Eve meal. Now it has become a tradition. Don brings them home from work and we put the huge platter in the middle of the table and it's every man for himself. And the women have to resort to sneaky methods to get a few!

5. I am the designated turkey cooker...and Don, the carver. (However he did start teaching Ian the intricacies of the task last year). No matter where we have our Christmas meal...the turkey is always my job.

6. We either have our family Christmas meal at Mom's or here. Depending on our health status. For the past few years we've been to Mom's and that is what feels the most right.

7. We made a decision early on that we were going to be flexible as to when we share together on Christmas Day. Adam and Suzanne need to spend time with her parents, and Tara and Will need to spend time with his parents. I would feel so sad not to be able to see them all on Christmas the best way to do that is not to be selfish. They figure it all out and tell us when will be best. Mom and Pop feel the all is well. As we add more in-laws to the family, we'll continue this. It is such a blessing that we all live so close together like we do.

8. The thing that causes the men the most pain on Christmas is opening gifts. Now we ladies like to give them all out and go around from youngest to oldest and open each one in succession. This is the "proper" way so as to have the right amount of oohing and ahhing over each gift. The men and boys want to get it over with quicker, and move on to bigger and better things. Silly men! What could possibly be better than having a pile of gifts around your feet and all of them saying..TO: ME!!!!. Granny usually quiets them with a ,"Hush, now, it's once a year. Sit down and get comfortable." It has taken up to 2 hours ...but a glorious 2 hours! I LOVE selecting gifts for people. I try to put a lot of thought behind them, and it is a joyous thing for me to see when I get it right!

9. At our house, we started this tradition when the boys were still tiny. Before we open any gifts, we read the Christmas Story from Luke 2 and pray together. Through the years it has fallen to different boys to read and pray. How sweet to hear them stumble over the hard words and then in later years become so proficient in reading. And, through the years, they have never tried to open anything before our Bible time.

10. I have collected several nativity sets over the years. And I have some from around the world. But when Adam was little, I noticed how he wanted to play with them. I went and bought an inexpensive set, made of plastic, for him. And, he found a special piece of wood for them to stand on. This has gone under our tree every year since. It has lots of pieces and has been glued back together often. But, it a MUST for Christmas to feel right in our house.

11. I do not like egg nog. I do not like fruit cake. I do, however, LOVE Christmas cookies and candy. Except peppermint...I abhor peppermint.

12. As I said in an earlier post...I watch and wait for Christmas Spirit to come each year. It is always a surprise as to WHEN...but it ALWAYS comes....right on time.

MERRY CHRISTMAS....and I say that proudly!

I am not going to tag anyone specific, but this was fun to do. It actually made me stop and think about the things that make "Christmas" for this family. So, the invitation is open to all.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Sunday, Dec 16, 2007 -


By Lance Griffin

Tonight, hundreds — maybe more than a thousand — will gather around a Dothan home to pray for Becky Clark, who has been battling an ongoing illness for many years.

Some will light candles, some will hold hands. They will ask God for healing, comfort and peace.

Tuesday night, a group of people will gather at Southside Baptist Church to pray for Alex Owens, who suffers from a rare disease characterized by intense pain, much of which can’t be treated.

They will ask God for a cure, for relief from the pain, and for strength for the family.

For churches and families throughout the Wiregrass, prayer is an essential part of daily life. Whether it’s a brief word of thanks before a meal, or an organized city-wide prayer vigil for a sick loved one, prayer is woven into the fabric of everyday living.

But what happens when prayers go unanswered? For some, it can be a faith-shaking event to pray for the healing of a sick loved one, only to see their health decline even more.

Others, however, believe no prayer goes unanswered, that our human minds are unable to comprehend the decisions of God.

That’s what Tina Davis believes. The Southside Baptist Church member said prayer is not as much about getting what we want as it is relating to God. Davis helped organize the prayer meeting for Owens. Anywhere from six to 20 members have been meeting every Tuesday night since October. Davis said they stay until they get a sense of peace from God that their prayer time is over.

“Whereas our reason for meeting is to ask God to move in (Alex’s) circumstances, the purpose behind the meeting is to acknowledge who God is,” Davis said. “It's about God’s will, his purpose in Alex's life, his love for Alex. It's about appealing to Him as our father.”

Scores of scientific studies have been conducted on intercessory prayer. While not all of the studies have shown measurable positive results, many have. A 2000 study that appeared in the Southern Medical Journal focused on 40 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nineteen of the 40 received in-person intercessory prayer for 6 months. The patients were studied one year later, and doctors found more improvement from those who had been prayed for directly. Another Southern Medical Journal study on 393 coronary care patients in 1988 showed that those prayed for showed more significant signs of improvement.

Davis, who has been a Christian for many years, said the answers to prayer are really secondary to the act of praying.

“But I think the secret to prayer is not to achieve our will, but to submit to his will and not box him in,” Davis said. “God is in charge. Ultimately, you can not box God in. If you do, you make him smaller than he is capable of being. And we want something God-sized to happen in Alex's life. And if we want that, then we have to pray an open-ended prayer.”

Davis said she doesn’t understand it all. Rev. Johnny Fain, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dothan, said he doesn’t fully understand it either.

“I accept who God is and that he has a plan so much higher than mine,” said Fain, who helped organize tonight’s prayer vigil/walk for Clark. “God sees so much farther and how everything relates to something else. All we see is the physical and the here-and-now.”

Fain and Becky Clark’s husband, Ken Clark, have met each Wednesday morning for the past four years for prayer. He said the two have developed a tight bond, due in part to their time spent in prayer together.

Fain said the power of prayer has already been revealed during Clark’s illness.

“This is something that has been going for 15 years,” Fain said. “God’s grace and power has been so real. Really, this is kind of what Christmas is about, cheering people and blessing people.”

THE DOTHAN EAGLE....12/16/07

I was up quite a bit last night with Alex and did not get much sleep. So, being awake, anyway, I went outside to get the morning paper. I never do that. Don likes to get the paper and read it before I mess it all up. He likes it still in its
tidy shape. But, this morning, something made me go ahead and get it before he even got up. I let the dog out and sat down in the sunroom to peruse the front page and check out the sales flyers. The headline of this article caught my eye and I started reading. Imagine my surprise when Alex's name jumped off the page. The lady they talked about in the article is a friend of mine from another church, and she is suffering greatly. Please pray for her. We went to school together, and I have taught all her children. They are grown and married and have all come home to be with her.
Tina Davis, who is quoted in this article, is a dear, dear friend. She is one of those people who can make you better by just being around her. She is a source of much wisdom and sensibility in my life. She loves the Lord, and she loves my family. She is especially close to Alex and he loves her, too. Tina is the kind of friend that I can say anything to...I can cry or fuss or yell or say nothing. She doesn't judge...she just listens. If something needs to be said, she'll say it. If not, she's just there. And sometimes all we need is for someone to just be there.
I know God put her into my life...and I thank Him for blessing me with her.


Celebrate the season...wherever you are!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Today, my youngest son, Ian leaves on a trip to London, England and Dublin, Ireland. It started out as a lecture class for his MBA and was a 3 day visit. Somehow...he has managed to turn it into a 10 day trip. He and 2 of his buddies are going a couple days early to be able to see more of London. Then as the other students head back to the states, these 3 have arranged to route themselves through Dublin and are spending several days there. Ian has always had this ability to milk a situation for all it can possibly hold. Always one to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself, this sweet son of mine loves life. He has had a wonderful time in college and has been a part of everything that has come his way. I really don't know of many boys who have been so involved. He has held a part time job most of the years, and held down a full time job some of the time. He has kept his grades up...not perfect but all "A" and "B". Two summers ago he was able to turn a week long class in Prague into a 3 week trek through Europe. He made all the arrangements and schedules and had a ball. And now he is out for one last "hurrah". He graduates in May....then he'll become part of the "real world."
He is leaving from Atlanta this evening and will be home on Christmas Eve.

I must take this opportunity to thank God for blessing Don and I with this child. He was a surprise baby...Alex was only 16 months old when Ian was born. And then he was born with a cleft lip and palatte. Quickly I learned about how to care for a child with this deformity and it wasn't easy. He has had 12 surgeries on his face. But, isn't he handsome now? He truly does have a "million dollar smile!" He has also dealt with a heart condition and gone through 2 operations for that. God has led us to wonderful doctors and specialists through it all. And, I have been able to use my knowledge to help others going through the same thing.

Don and I prayed tht God would give Ian a personality that would outshine his outward imperfections and He answered us with such blessings. Ian has always been a leader and has always been surrounded by good friends. But, most importantly, he loves the Lord. He has a strong sense of right and wrong and is not afraid to stand on his convictions. He's no "angel"...but I can truly say that I trust his judgement in most everything. God has a plan for him, and it is exciting watching it unfold.

So, if you think about it this week, please say a prayer for this mama's boy far away this Christmas season. Pray for health and safety...of course...lots of fun.


Thursday, December 13, 2007


The very best gift that I ever got
Didn't come from a department store.
It didn't come from the shopping mall,
Or the mountains or sunny sea shore.

It didn't arrive in a big red car,
Or a shiny chuggin' choo choo train.
It wasn't delivered by a man with a bag.
But, it's my favorite just the same.

It didn't come in a great big box.
It didn't have a whirly-twirly bow.
It didn't come in a pretty gift bag.
It's still my favorite, though.

I bet that you would like to have
A wonderful gift like mine.
You can take it with you anywhere
And keep it with you all the time.

It's the gift God gave us long ago
In a stable very far away.
It's a gift I'll treasure all my life
And it came on Christmas Day.

So, thank you, God, for giving me
This gift from up above.
It's good and it's perfect, and it's all I need,
And it's filled with your sweet love.

This is a poem I wrote for the children to say in their program. Just imagine angelic little faces talking about the BEST gift. So sweet. I am blessed beyond measure to be able to work with little ones each day...and blessed even more to be allowed to plant seeds of knowledge about our dear Lord.


A very sweet thing happened at school yesterday. I had 2 programs for my K-5 students, 2 classes in each. Our program was entitled GIFTS. We sang about the gifts we want for Christmas...and the gifts we are getting. All leading up to the greatest gift of all...Jesus. I used several Bible verses. "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift." "The gift of God is eternal life." "Every good and perfect gift comes from above." James 1:17. As we've learned our music, and speaking parts, I have had the chance to speak to them about what these verses mean. You can never know for sure they understand the point, but sometimes they get it. Before the program I always pray with each class before we go to the stage. As I was praying in one class, I thanked God for giving us a beautiful, sunny day for our program. When I said,"Amen", Hudson was already waving his arm in the air to tell me something. "Mrs.Owens, our sunny day came from God 'cause everything good comes from Him. Right?", said Hudson. "You're right, Hudson, today is a gift from God." So,even though there were 70 K-5 students performing yesterday....I know that at least 1 understood that EVERY good thing that happens to us is from God. And if there is just 1...that is enough.

A song I wrote for this program:


Every good and perfect gift comes from above.
Every good and perfect gift is filled with love,
From the One who watches us and knows our every need.
Every good and perfect gift is from God, indeed!



Friends, I hate to do this, but it has become necessary to make a few corrections to some of your decorating choices. I realize that we all have different tastes and likes and dislikes...but, I'm afraid some of you are in need of a little guidance.

Let's talk about your yard and outside home decor for the holidays. Personally, you can do whatever you want to inside and I have no right to comment because that's your personal space...BUT...I am forced to see the outside and there are a few things you should remember.

1. You do not have to put a light on every single tree, bush, limb and leaf in your yard. A little goes a long way. Some of those spindly, sad looking trees do not deserve to be lit up. Choose a few of your better specimens to highlight.

2. Upon deciding to use thousands of lights in your yard, it would be most considerate of you to choose one color. If you run out of lights in your chosen color, it is never OK to substitute a string of another color to fill in. We are striving for a cohesive look here friends. Not a look that says, "they ran out of blue lights, guess I'll finish out with purple." Bad idea. Buy them all at one time from the same store...different manufacturers have differing shades of color.

3. There are a myriad of ways to add your lights. They come in nets, single string, icicle lights, lights that twinkle, lights that chase, light that change colors, even rope lights. It boggles the mind, I know. But, the rule here is...choose 1 type and stick with it. It is too stressful to try to take in all the different movements going on in your yard as we drive by. It causes such a distraction that it could lead to an accident. And having cars piled up in your front yard will really cause your display to lose all effectiveness.

4. If you should choose to cover every visible limb with lights...this project will require a ladder. If you are vertically must not stop the lights at the farthest reaches of your arms. The limbs continue, people, and so should the lights. case you are is NEVER permissible to throw the lights at the tree in hopes that the branches will reach out and catch them perfectly placed. This will never happen. Don't even try!

5. Some demented mind came up with the newest of attractions...giant snow globes. I can see where these could cause small children to lose their minds with glee...but as a must set some limits. The globes are available with Santa and the Mrs., Santa and the reindeer, Snowmen, Unidentifiable creatures, even the Grinch. While I am sure, if you like this sort of thing, these choices would be hard to make...make it you must. It shows your lack of decisiveness when you have several in a row. And, how confusing,,,Santa and Mrs. Clause next to the Grinch...why! that's just ridiculous..not to mention sending mixed messages to your children.

6. Where Oh Where is Baby Jesus? Usually you'll find the glowing Holy Family waaaaay over to the side under a plastic stable. I bet if you asked, He would not mind being left out of this hodge-podge of twinkle that some of us pass off as decorating. Especially when the Grinch is 5 times as large and front and center!

7. If your neighbors move to the beach for the whole month of December...this could be a clue that you have gone overboard. They in no way want to be associated with such ostentatious, not to mention, tacky, display. It pains them deeply to have to see this each time they return from an outing....and their mail is piling up because it is too embarressing to walk to the mailbox.

8. You are a reflection of your whole neighborhood. No one, in their right mind wants to live in the vicinity of the "Land of Twinkle and Chaos" for the month of December......Please tell me you have it down by Jan.1...PLEASE!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


With our temperature today hitting 83 degrees...this is the only kind of snowman we'll ever see!


Monday, December 10, 2007


I love the look of a tree with all white tiny lights, but, I am never satisfied when I can see the cords shining. Since my tree has twigs added to it, I like to use lights with the brown cord. These are VERY hard to find. I have never found them here, but have run up on some in other cities. They are called vine lights, and are just like regular tree lights except the cord is brown. It really disappears into the tree. I bought some last year online and just received my order for some more this year. They are wonderful if you wish to light a grapevine wreath, or those reindeer for the lawn. You can find them here, Save-on Crafts. The vine lights, set of 50, end to end string are $2.99,,,that's 15 and 1/2 ft. You can get longer ones, but they do not string end to end. Also, if your decorating scheme runs in the white or cream can get the same light on a white cord. It's such a shame when the cord color distracts from the overall look. And now, it doesn't have to. This info may come too late for this year, and I know you are just wishin' I'd relayed this to you earlier, is just so hard to remember all the things I need to share. Know what I mean? Even if you don't need them this year, or even order from this co, at least you know they are available if the need should arise. That's what I'm here for, friends. Just doing my job!


Lynne, at Lynne's Little Corner of the World, tagged me for here goes:


1. working at the preschool where I am still
2. helping my last child thru high school
3. directing the drama in our church's Living Christmas Tree
4. shopping for Christmas, I'm sure
5. teaching private piano lessons


1. go to work and practice 3 programs
2. go to drug store to pick up prescriptions
3. stop at TJ Maxx on the way home from work...Christmas Gift
4. go to the bank and make a deposit
5. try to get some gifts wrapped


1. fund a research program to find some medical help for Alex
2. give more to missions
3. start a school to teach music and art to under priviledged children
4. buy a second home in on Maui
5. travel the world


1. high heels
2. mini skirt
3. teased hair
4. bikini
5. leggings


1. Nintendo DS
2. Palm Pilot
3. Art supplies
4. Bubble Blower
5. Light up Rudolph nose


1. Jean..What's Up at the Stauffer's
2. Kat...Just A Beach Kat
3. Tracey...Show Me State of Mind
4. Dianne...Glasses of Grace
5. Jill...Who Could Ask For Anything More?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Saturday, December 8, 2007


How is your shopping going? I'm getting it done, but I need to rant a beware.

1. I do not want to hear your life story, or your latest date info, or what you are cooking for dinner, or what your shopping list includes. No one else really cares either. Please do not make the other shoppers in your vicinity suffer thru your woes. We have enough of our own. Save those conversations for when you get home. Your cell phone usage should NOT infringe on my desire to shop with only the sounds of Christmas carols blaring in the background.

2. If I buy an item and it is fragile, please have enough care not to just throw it in the bag with everything else. And, when I ask you to please wrap an item in paper to protect it, don't look at me like I asked you to pay for it, carry it home for me and wrap it and place it under the tree. I do not want to cause you any extra work, but I also want to get my gifts home safely.

3. Please be kind to the little ones. Babies do not enjoy shopping. It does not amuse and delight them as it does us. Find a way to trade out with a friend or hire a babysitter, but please no more, "I told you to shut up." or "I'm telling Santa not to bring you anything." I feel so sorry for these little ones who are forced to trudge thru store after store while you wait for something to strike your fancy.

4. That being said, keep an eye on your older children. I do not want to dodge them in the aisles as they chase one another. I do not want to have to watch out for them as I am navigating the aisles. I also doubt that the management of the stores like the fact that they have shaken and dropped every toy within reach...AND pushed every toe of every singing snowman or Santa or dog in the store. PLEASE!

5. If several people are in line and by some great miracle a cashier opens up a new register...and says, "I'll help the next one in line." She means that she will help the next one in line...not the person who can high-tail it over there the fastest. I guess it is one of the great mysteries of retail...but WHY do stores put in 25 check-out registers...and never open but 6 of them...even during the busiest shopping time of the year? Are they hoping to fool us into thinking maybe, just maybe one day all the registers will be opened? We know better.

6. Show a little kindness, people. If you have a buggy full and someone gets in line behind you with one or two items...offer to let them go ahead of you. It won't cost you a will makes someone's day, and Santa will be sure to notice.

7. This is just a personal gripe of mine. It probably doesn't even register with most of you, and that's just fine. But, this is my blog and it will make me feel so much better to include it. O.K. You know how when you buy those gift bags from any store in town and the are hanging on a rack by the little plastic doo-dah at the top? In case you were wondering, the plastic doo-dah should be cut off BEFORE using the bag to place a gift in. It just makes sense, people. The doo-dah does not add to the aesthetics of the wrapping and is akin to leaving the price tag on. I know this has probably never occurred to you before and I don't really know what it says about me that it bugs me. But, it does....and I feel better just sharing.

Now, all this advice is worth exactly what you paid for do with it what you will. Oh, yeah...MERRY CHRISTMAS!....and HAPPY SHOPPING!

Friday, December 7, 2007


This is the design of my latest shirt for the teachers and Mom's at our school. I decided to go a little less traditional in colors this time. And, I really like the way it turned out. The teachers all seem to also. I design shirts twice a Christmas and in the spring. I do one for the children and another one for the teachers. Just thought you'd like to see it.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Having received input from several of the "B"'s....I have made an executive decision.

"B" CLUB...SESSION 3 will be held in that great Southern city, ATLANTA...also fondly known as HOTLANTA.

The next session will be held in the spring of 2008. More details will follow as they become available.

Suggestions as to itinerary and lodging are welcomed.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Birmingham, Alabama was properly alerted (and warned) that the "B"'s were coming to town. And, did they ever! I'm sure the excitement of the event will be talked about for many days to come.

On December 30, the "B"'s began to converge on the city, filled with anticipation for a week-end like no other! And it didn't disappoint. Kat and Tonja (accompanied by sister, Joy) arrived early in the day and began the arduous task of fulfilling the wishes of those on their lists. As fun as shopping can be...their minds were looking forward to the night's meeting, when the "B"'s would once again be together. Kat and Tonja got checked into their rooms and began the debate as to how early to arrive at the famed Cheesecake Factory. Tonja called early in the day to reserve their best can imagine her dismay when told that they did not accept reservations on week-ends. She quickly reminded them that this was the "B" Club we were talking about, but even after checking with the manager...the answer was still no. Strike 1 for the C. Factory. Tonja's son, Ian, who lives in B'ham, advised them to expect at least an hour's wait. So, Tonja and Kat, being the kind souls that they are, decided it was they who should sit and do the waiting in probably the noisiest lobby in town. Factories do tend to be noisy...and as you would expect, cheesecake building requires the use of much loud, heavy equipment. What's the deal here? Was it declared C.Factory Day in B'ham? Or was every "with-it" person in town just trying to catch a glimpse of the "B" girls? Lo, there were throngs of famished persons as far as the eye could see...and the "B"s were vexed...sorely. Finally, Kat could stand it no longer, and left in search of liquid refreshment to sustain herself. Over the roar of the crowd Tonja heard a voice akin to a 'cry in the wilderness' saying, "Make haste, and get thee over to the bar. I have snagged a place for thee and me to wait. And, liquid refreshment flows freely there." Tonja went, with much haste, and found a ledge with 2 chairs where she and Kat kept watch over the throng of hungry people...watching with anticipation for the next "B" to arrive. After watching for nigh unto an hour...2 "B"s buzzed on in. Sure enough, it was the Dianne the Delightful and Tracey the Twinkly making the room just glow with excitement! Hugs all around and an abundance of good cheer. Tonja left to remind the keepers of the list that our allotted wait time had been exceeded. "Soon" was all they said. Kat, the Kind, with her second sense ability to sniff out any "B" in the vicinity, said she had a feeling that the arrival of another "B" was imminent. She left to stand watch...and returned quickly, followed by Sandi the Super. More hugs and welcomes...much Boisterous Babbling by the Babes...until the sound of a cell phone snapped us back to reality. On the phone...calling all the way from PA. was charter club member Jean the Jolly. We strained to hear her over the workings of the factory, and were able to tell that she wished she were here in body...while we assured her she was in spirit. Jean, we missed you much! Tonja went back to the List Keeper to insist on proper treatment for her fellow "B"s and this time, she was heard."We're cleaning your table as we speak", said they.
And soon the "B" girls were following the leader to our table. The wait for Tonja and Kat was a l-o-n-g 75 minutes....but the reward of being seated together with friends...IRL...priceless! Of, course, being a party of 5, sitting at a table for 6, was no accident. It was in the extra seat that we paid homage to our distant Jean. Our waitress, Gladys, came over quickly and introduced herself ,proceeded to take drink orders, and fill them. "Ready to order?" said she..."Not yet," said we. And, Gladys, obviously new to the workings of the Factory, disappeared. We kept seeing her breeze by, but stop she did not. Word is there was a malfunction of the whipped cream whipper and Gladys was the only trained professional able to work on such delicate equipment. Luckily, she saved the day, a crisis was averted, and she could finally take our order. Salads seemed to be the preferred dinner offering. They arrived soon, and our tummies tingled with delight. Delicious! Unable to finish them and anxious to bring the evening to it's logical conclusion, we had Gladys take them away. We waited with girly anticipation for the next offering...DESSERT! Yes, we would like dessert. Yes, we would like to see the cheesecake menu. yes we were all going to partake in this divine tradition. And partake we did...of our own choice...and everyone else's. YUMMY! One more quick picture outside, then we all went our own way for a restful night's sleep with visions of new friends and new adventures for Saturday.
And a glorious Saturday, it dawned. We placed an order for this day...and it was delivered just as we asked. Our meeting to start the day was set for 9:00 at Panera Bread. Tonja was the first to arrive, and sat close to the door to watch for the "B" girls. In walks a tall, blond who looks vaguely it?..could it be? IT IS...It's Rhoda the Rosy. She and Tonja begin to get acquainted and soon Kat joins the group. A quick call from Sandi to say she was on the way. And then, in walks another tall, willowy blond with a big smile. We think it is...yes, it is, Jill the Joyful. She has driven in from Atlanta. What a delight to finally meet she and Rhoda. They look just as we expected...and it's just like seeing old friends. Tonja, Kat, Rhoda, Jill, Sandi proceeded to sample breakfast goodies, and get the low down on each other's lives. Tonja presented each of the girls with a sterling "B" charm on a cord to signify their membership in the "B" Club. Tonja and Kat had a tiny computer charm added to their "B", since they were in attendance at meeting 1 and 2. We ate and talked until we heard from Tracey and Dianne, who were only minutes away. It was time now for the shopping to begin for the day. Rhoda and Sandi had great ideas for places to unload our dollars. Delightful shopping at the Summit, then over to the Homewood area, to explore the treasures there. Jill had to leave us to head back to Atlanta for a previous engagement. Before she left, Kat presented everyone with a cute flamingo ornament to remind us of the beach where she lives. Hugs to our new found friend and godspeed as she travels. Found a wonderful place to eat for lunch...O'Carr's. Yummy food...yummy company! What a lively group..especially after being sprinkled with magic reindeer dust! Tonja thought they all needed just a tiny sparkle added to their already glowing selves! After lunch, which actually was around 3:00, Jill and Sandi had to return to their responsibilities and Tracey and Dianne had to begin their journey back to Montgomery. Tracey had an appointment that evening, too. Busy ladies are we...and much in demand. So, now we are down to 2...Tonja and Kat, and a guest. We headed back toward the Summit to shop, with plans to meet again for dinner.
Dinner plans were for PFChang's. Tonja went in to secure a pager from the List Keeper, and was told it would be 90-100 minutes wait...unless they could snag a table next to the bar...they were first come, first served. Always one to welcome a challenge...and unwilling to wait 100 minutes, Tonja began staking out the tables near the door. There..that young couple is finishing their dessert, now paying their bill. Slowly they make their way out and no one..NO ONE standing in the area makes a move for their table. Never one to be bashful, Tonja and sister, Joy, ease over and SIT DOWN! No one says,"Move" they relax and wait on Kat, who calls in about 2 minutes asking where we are. She can't believe we are already seated. Neither can we. All within about 10 minutes of walking in the door. I am thinking that after the fiasco at the Factory last night, word was around town that whoever had the pleasure of our company this evening had to make it up to us. Good job B'ham. We enjoyed our dinner, even though the service was not terrific. Again, being the kind souls that we are, and wishing to pass along our good fortune at securing a table quickly, we gave our table to 2 young mothers with little ones. They were most appreciative. Hugs all around as we exit...bringing to a close Meeting 2 of the "B" Club.
In summary, we travelled, we shopped, we ate, we shopped, we ate, we slept, we ate, we shopped, we ate, we shopped, we ate, we slept, we travelled.
Tucked into our hearts is a new corner, filled with sweet memories of time spent with new friends, yet old. Memories of time spent getting acquainted, even though
already acquainted. Time spent talking of things heard of before yet not spoken of face to face. This new area of friendship through blogging is a strange one. You feel you really know someone, then you meet, and you experience a new friendship...with an old friend. It is unusual, yes, but quite pleasant and warming and comfortable. Just like friendship is supposed to be...however it comes to be.
God Bless Us, Everyone!

Minutes respectfully submitted by Tonja the Thankful...December 4, 2007.


I know you are all waiting...anxiously...for the minutes. And because I care so deeply for you all, I am posting this to hold you over.

Birmingham, you did NOT live up to our expectations....we were a little disappointed. Yes, the weather was perfect..couldn't have been better! But, whoever got the memo regarding traffic control, dropped the proverbial ball. We actually had to waste valuable "B" time sitting in the car, traveling at a snails pace, to get to our motel. This does not a happy camper make. The very idea! Also, our wait at eating establishments...bad...very bad. More to follow on this...Be afraid, CF, be very afraid.

But, the thing that has upset me the most....and dropped you to a C+...was the virus you allowed to escape into the air. You, priding yourself on being such a 'fine' medical community and all. I am so unhappy with this goof-up. And feeling quite poorly, I might add. It hit me after I got home last night, and has been needling me ever since. I guess it was not enough to send a single ended just HAD to send the doubled ended kind. So from both ends of this "B"....."*!!!!***%^###2****up chuck88!!!!??!:( :( :0 :( !!."


Sunday, December 2, 2007



It is LATE...

Good-Night...MINUTES WILL FOLLOW.....tomorrow...I hope