Thursday, February 25, 2010

Joannie Rochette

I have been so touched by her story and her skating. Although I don't think she will win the gold medal, I will be watching her tonight. I admire her strength in deciding to skate after losing her mother only two days earlier. I could feel her grief. I guess you feel a connection with people sometimes through their struggles and loss. -And seeing her face and her father's after she finished so beautifully just broke me. I cried for her and for myself and the loss of my own mom. I miss her so very much everyday. And I hope she is proud of me. -Good Luck tonight Joannie and God Bless.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My very favorite book growing up was The Box Car Children. I still remember walking to the library with my mom the first summer I lived in Indianola. It will always be a special memory for me. I got my first library card that day, and she helped me pick out a book. It was The Boxcar Children.

I fell instantly in love with the story of this little orphaned family. And I loved the black ink pictures. I think it helped me hold more of the story in my own imagination. The story seemed somewhat like an adventure to me, watching them find little treasures, a cup here, and spoon there, in the dump. Things we take for granted they were able to clean up enough to use and decorate their little home in the boxcar. And I loved how they took care of one another. They were family, but they were friends, as well. It is still one of my all time favorite books.

My mom was an avid reader. She visited the library every other week, and always came home with three or four books. She devoured books. I'm glad she shared that with me and passed a love of books down to me. I hope to pass that down to my children. I haven't shared this particular book with them yet, but, it is on my list. It is a wonderful children's classic. Go check it out!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Harvesting Fruit

Last night was the best night our preschool Master's Club class has had all year long. We had eleven children in attendance, and they were all well behaved and very attentive durring the entire hour and a half. And I was so impressed with how well they were able to recall the last four lessons we've covered. Even my two year olds were answering questions. Praise the Lord some of it is actually staying with them and they are learning.

We have been talking about how God can use even little people like them to do great big things. They've been learning about how Jesus used a little boy's lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish to feed 5,000 people. And we have talked about David defeating the giant Goliath, and how God spoke to Samuel as a young boy. And last night we talked about how Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me." They were such a joy to watch. They were on the edge of their seats listening and participating, singing their little hearts out and sharing colors. I can't express what joy it is to hear little voices recite scripture we've been working on. Thank you God for such precious moments. It makes all the work you put into it worth it, when you see them growing in the love of the Lord.

And as we were leaving one of the moms I invited to our ladies Bible study last week stopped me to say she will be coming tonight, and how excited she was because she never has a chance to get out. The Lord provided a baby sitter and she purchased the books and was reading to catch up to where we were in our study. Praise the Lord! I love that kind of excitement. It warms my heart and it's contagious! All the way home I was thanking the Lord because I have been praying for our group to grow in numbers and in strength.

And even better, when I got home, Mrs. Ann called and said she would like to come with me. SHE IS COMING TO BIBLE STUDY! Thank you Lord! I have been praying for Mrs. Ann for over a year now. I pick her up every month for a Christian ladies luncheon here in town. Every month they have a singer, special feature, and special speaker that shares their testimony. After this last month Mrs. Ann told me that maybe she might come to our ladies Bible study, but, she was intimidated because she has never read the Bible. I reminded her that our speaker had just shared that she also had never read the Bible before, and had been in the church her whole life. It wasn't until she accepted Christ as her personal savior that she had the desire to read it and study it for her self. I think that all this got her to thinking more about it. And I'm so happy she has decided to come even if her family is giving her grief about it. This is going to be a wonderful night!

You know this is just a confirmation to me that the Lord knows your heart and He honors our faithfulness to Him. The devil can use others to try and tear you down, but, He knows the motives of our hearts.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Time of Testing

Well, the devil came at me with both barrels this week. Isn't it just that way, whenever you take a step toward God, the devil seems to come at you full force to knock you down on your rear? Well, I'm there, or was. I've since pulled myself up from the floor, dusted myself off and I'm moving forward.

Bloggyland, facebook and other social networks are great. But, you know how sometimes someone finds you, and you really weren't sure you wanted them to find you. Well, that happened to me this week. And my husband said maybe the Lord is testing you Tiff, to see if you have forgiven them or if you have any bitterness in your heart. Wow! OK, maybe I should pray about that. And I did. And I realized I have truly forgiven this person in my heart, but, I still don't completely trust them. And I wasn't sure why they wanted to be my friend. But, then I thought, well maybe they've changed. I certainly have since I knew them years ago. And they are taking a step toward you, and maybe that is sincere. I guess we will see. So, I'm taking a step out in faith that it is the right thing and that the Lord will honor that.

Then, the same day my sweet friend Mrs. Ann called and wanted to stop by. Her daughter was bringing her home from out of town, and she wanted to meet us, since Mrs. Ann talks about us all the time. They came by for a visit, and she even brought a little bear for Anna Grace. But, the whole visit was very awkward. She kept saying things like, "All I hear is Anna Grace this and Trey that..." or "Yeah, Molly, my daughter, says I know who your favorite gran-kids are, Trey and Anna Grace." As sweetly as she said it, I knew that it wasn't meant in kindness. Every word dripped with sarcasm. And I felt very uncomfortable, even though she was a guest in my home.

And then it happened.... In casual passing our ladies Bible study was mentioned, and I told Mrs. Ann that if she'd like to come this next week, I could pick her up. Well, her daughter immediately turned to me and said, "Yeah I keep telling my mom that if she keeps going with you, y'all are going to make her accept Jesus Christ as her personal savior." Then she looks at Mrs. Ann and says, "They're trying to get you mom." Then she immediately looks back at me and says, "We were raised Catholic."

I was so in shock, I was like is this really happening. Did she really come into my home and challenge me? For a second, I truly was at a loss for words. I smiled at her and was just about to say something, but, I felt like the Lord was saying, "It's not time." After all, she is a guest in your home and anything you say right now will probably offend her, even if you don't mean for it too. And you don't want to offend Mrs. Ann. So, I just kept smiling and tried to be a gracious hostess.

When they were leaving, she had another little snip for me. She said, "I keep telling my mom I don't know what she's going to do when you leave. I mean they're just going to forget her -(referring to my children.) And I looked straight at her and said, "No they won't." She tried to cut me off by saying that you know perfectly well... And I in turn cut her off and said, "No they won't, and let me tell you why. They don't really know their grandparents. They see them once a year, but, from the time they were six weeks old, I made a small book of pictures that I went over with them everyday. I would show them -this is your mimi. This is your paw-paw, and so on. And the first time they met them, they went straight to them as if they had always known them. They felt like they already had a relationship with them. (slight pause~) I will not forget her, and we will keep in touch, and they will know her. This time -she only smiled. But, I think I got my point across. I was quite surprised that she would come into my home and be so bold. But, I know my witness with Mrs. Ann was being tested, and beyond being raised right, I thank the good Lord for helping me to be gracious in that situation.

So, there you ole devil take that!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I am so thankful to my sweet friend Jana, who reminded me that lent was quickly approaching. It begins today, with Ash Wednesday.

She posed a very good question of why we take a whole month to celebrate the Christmas season and Christ's birth, but, we (in many Christian denominations,) only observe Holy Week, and Resurrection or Easter Sunday. I think if we are really honest we avoid Lent and Holy Week because it is not a happy and uplifting time, not the way Christmas is anyway. It is easier to be joyful and celebratory about receiving God's gift of Jesus and the promise He represents. But when it comes to His sacrifice and death, it just doesn't seem appropriate in some ways. At least not until we actually get to Resurrection Sunday. It takes on a much more serious tone, as it should. I think that is what Lent is for, a time of deep reflection and repentance because of the sacrifice Jesus made for us to redeem us.

Lent lasts 40 days to remind us of the 40 days Christ spent in the desert before beginning His ministry. During that time He fasted and prayed and underwent temptation.

I am not Catholic and I have never observed Lent before, but, I do want to prepare my heart for this special season. Christianity is meaningless without the crucifixion and resurrection. It is the climax of the love story between the Lord and all of humanity. He made a way to bring each and every one of us back to Himself. He bought us back at a very costly price, freeing us from the captivity and bondage we build through our sin and "self". And for me, my personal relationship with the Lord is about everyday making a conscious effort to put off a little more of "self" and put on more of Him. I've said before that this year the Lord's word for me is obedience. And I want to be sure that I am faithful in that especially at this time of preparation for the Easter season.It doesn't matter if it is a matter of prayer and fasting or showing forgiveness and kindness to others. I've found that obedience to Him doesn't always come in the form that initially comes to mind when we think of being obedient to Him. Sometimes it simply involves listening to His leading.

As far as my children are concerned, they have a simple understanding of death, but, I'm not sure if they will be able to comprehend the crucifixion or the sacrifice behind it at this young age. So, I am praying about how to present it to them for the first time. For Lent, I will be focusing on Jesus' life and ministry. I can focus on aspects of his personality or how He helped and ministered to people.

What ideas do you have that you might incorporate into this Lent season as you prepare your family and your life for Holy Week?

This is the children's book I chose for this week. We are studying all about dinosaurs this month. Yes, I realize for the three, maybe four of you whom actually read my other blog-I don't have my plans up for February yet. However, both of my children are fascinated with dinosaurs right now. We're going to be learning fun facts about them all this month. This is one of the books we found at the library for our book basket. This is just a silly little story. There are no fun facts in this one, but, it is quite entertaining. It's a good bedtime story. And sometimes you need a little light-hearted silliness, even as an adult. (Smiles and Blessings!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you all had a wonderful day filled with love! What a wonderful day to be with the ones you treasure most.
I love vintage Valentine cards! This was perfect for our little family this year. We celebrated Valentines together as a family Saturday and Sunday.
My honey surprised me with coral roses and a sweet card that made me cry. He always writes the sweetest love letters. I treasure every one of them and I've kept them all since we were began dating. I prepared a special dinner for when he came home from work Saturday night. Grilled pork chops with Taste of Gourmet's peach pepper pecan preserves, steamed asparagus, and red potatoes. We had pecan butter rolls for dessert. Then we exchanged cards, treats and presents.
McKinley Library had a special Valentine's event for the children where they got to color Valentines, hear stories, and make chocolate covered pretzels. They gave their pretzels to their daddy for a special Valentines treat. They also each received their own rose at the event. What a fun day together.
I'm thankful that our community provides such wonderful events for children. It was nice, not only, to have some where fun to take them, but, to give them the opportunity to make something special for their daddy. They were so proud.
Hugh decided that we were going to have a special pop corn and movie night on Sunday for our children. He even got them cotton candy and cheese pizza for our special Valentine's night. And this is the movie they chose.
It was fun! We snuggled up and spent a quiet night just the four of us. -Thank you Lord for our little family and how much they mean to me. They are the best presents I could ever ask for.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Personality Test

I found this by way of Susan at Penless Writer. It is from Tamara Lowe's Motivational DNA Test. Here is the Link where you can take the test yourself. My test revealed that....

My personality DNA is PVE (Production-Variety-External) The Champion

Champions enjoy a challenge and love to win. They are charming and enthusiastic leaders. Champions are natural persuaders. They don’t mind being the center of attention and are good at working with others while advancing their own ideas. Champions tend to be engaging and charismatic. They are skilled at getting things done in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In fact, obstacles just make tasks more interesting for a Champion. They are quick decision makers and can be impatient with those who are not. As solid negotiators, Champions are willing to compromise to get the job done. Champions have an innate ability to get others to follow their lead.

PVE Motivators: Challenging assignments, authority, profitability, freedom from supervision and control, opportunities for advancement, contests, public recognition, deadlines, calculated risk and popularity.

PVE De-Motivators: Strict controls, protracted analysis, “group think,” and deliberation without meaningful action

I like different tests like this. I think they're fun and often insightful. If you take the test let me know what your out come is in the comments below. Have a blessed day!

Read to Me Wednesday

I meant to share this book last week, but, I didn't get around to getting this post up. So, I'll share it this week. We, the children and I, were listening to and studying jazz last month, as part of our music time together. And this was a charming little book we found at the library. I was not familiar with this story, but, we all fell in love with it. Here is a little synopsis of the story.

On a beautiful evening, Miz Mozetta puts on her red dress and blue shoes and dances the jitterbug just like she did many years before.

Lively, colorful illustrations and a rhythmic text make for a jazzy dance party that readers will delight in attending again and again.

I love the language in this story. Miz Mozetta looks in the mirror at her red dress and says, "My best color, if I do say so." She puts on her hat and says, " Now this hat is sayin something." Then she sashays down the stairs and across the street. When she asks her friends to go dancing with her, one of them replies, "My dancin' days are done, honey dear." The story is set in Harlem, but, if I didn't know better, I'd say it could also be set in the deep south.

When I was growing up in Louisiana everybody was honey child or ma shay, meaning sweetheart or my dear. And then we moved to Mississippi, where everyone is darlin, sweetie, sug or hon. I'm used to terms of endearment used in everyday language. It's part of the culture. So, I immediately took to this and my children loved the story asking me to read it to them again and again. So, I am recommending this little treasure we found, because it's always nice to find something new. -Enjoy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My New Button!

I have a new button for my new series of posts This Week In Pictures. I am so excited! Ashley was so kind after making me a button for my blog, to also take the time to make this button, as well. And isn't it cute?

Thank you Ashley!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This Week in Pictures....

So this week I turned 33. And it was one of the best birthdays I've ever had! Which is saying a lot because I really didn't want to think about my birthday this year, much less celebrate it. I've been a little blue, and missing my mom something terrible this year. Last year was OK, but, this year has been hard. And this is how sweet my Lord is. He knew how much I needed my family and friends to pull me out of this slump. And did they ever come through. I am so very blessed with wonderful friends and a loving family!
My sweet friend Marci sent me a birthday package in the mail from Mississippi this last Friday! She and Shelia and I always send each other packages on our birthdays. But, this year it was such a nice surprise, because, I had forgotten about the journal we started last year. We are passing a journal back and forth between the 3 of us, writing each other letters and sharing scripture with one another. In it we share memories, and encourage one another. It was exactly the medicine I needed. It's always nice to know how much you mean to someone, and to be able to in turn tell them how much they mean to you.
Saturday morning, my sweet Datha treated me to brunch at Cracker Barrel! It was nice to catch up and have a little girl friend time just the two of us.
Up here in Ohio, CB is the closest thing I have to down home cookin. Sweet tea, fried or blackened catfish and yummy veggies are my usual. But, that morning we decided to have breakfast. I love the front porch and fireplace there too. It gives you such a warm fuzzy country home type feeling.
Forever Friends ~Datha and I
Then she treated me to a manicure! I love getting our nails done together. -so much fun! That night my sweet husband surprised me with a baby sitter (Mrs. Ann) and and a movie and dinner out on the town. This is huge, because this is only the second movie we've seen in the theatre since before our children we're born. We went to see ... The Blind Side and we ate at... AND I only ate half so I could try to stay on track with my diet this week.
Then, on my birthday, Tuesday, my sweet friend Mrs. Ann surprised me with a birthday cake, card and gift! She came over set everything up. And it was so nice because Hugh was off of work so our whole little family was there together! Trey , Anna Grace and I took turns blowing out the candles, and Mrs. Ann stayed for a slice of cake. She gave me the book above, Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit. Such a sweetheart! And that night Hugh and I spent some "alone time" together and watched the season premiere of our favorite show!
Then on Wednesday night, my ladies Bible study threw me a surprise birthday party! They invited all my girlfriends here in town and made it a tea party, hats and all. It was so much fun. I felt like I was five years old playing dress up.One of my best friends Heidi hosted the tea party at her home, and she and my friend Dawn made all the food, punch and hot tea for the occasion. Heidi's mother-in-law, my pastor's wife did all the decorations, and hats for the party. And Heidi used her husband's grandmothers china for the tea. Heidi, her husband Glen and their son. These are gifts from the girls. The roses are made of wood, and are from my friend Amanda. Missy gave me a new Beth Moore daily devotion and journal. And Heidi gave me a bracelet and earrings from Viva Beads. I had already received presents from Mrs. Ann, Datha and Dawn.And last but certainly not least, I am so so proud that after all this celebrating I still lost 2 pounds this week! WOO-HOO! I enjoyed every minute of this week, but I didn't go over board and praise the Lord, I still lost weight! God is so good! I feel like He orchestrated every part of this week for me. I'm claiming that as a birthday present from Him. I know He worked through my family and friends to LOVE on me! When we are faithful, He is so much more faithful to us! Can I get an AMEN! Hope y'all had a wonderful week as well! ~Blessings!