Monday, December 27, 2010

"And I've Made Up My Mind....I Ain't Wastin' No More Time"

So here I go again.....

I have several things I would like to accomplish in the new year, so I thought I would post them on here to hold myself accountable as well as have a reminder of all of my goals.

Here goes nothing....

1. Grow closer to God. This will be on my list for the rest of my life. I don't think a human can ever stop working on this. There is always more to learn about Him and parts of my relationship with Him that I will need to work on.

2. Try to find a job off the road.

3. When number 2 happens, get plugged in at church. And get Seth plugged in at church.

4. Lose weight. I have had a wake up call this year, through a number of circumstances, that has made this one more real to me than ever. Please back me in prayer that this one can happen.

5. Pray over and for Seth every day. We need to committ, as a family, to help him grow in his walk with the Lord. He was saved at church the other night, and I really want to pour into him like never before. Praying for the Lord to lead us to the tools we need that would be the most beneficial to him.

6. Find financial freedom somehow. We seem so tied down to finances and it creates a lot of stress. We want to be better stewards of our money in the new year and really learn how to save.

7. Hold my husband a little tighter and keep my mouth shut more. I am grateful to have a husband that cherishes me and everyone doesn't have this. I need to show my gratefulness every day.

8. I am striving not to be a crap factory. Long story, but I don't want to be one. I want to lose my sense of entitlement to anything.

9. Become Patch Adams. My people know what this one is all about. It goes right along with the lose weight/get healthy one.

10. There really aren't 10. I just can't end on an odd number. Ok-number 10 should be to get over some of my neurosis. Amen.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

You've Got The Look

I was talking to a friend of mine last night, and she explained that before their 5 year old went in to see Santa's gifts this morning, he had to come wake them up. She said that one of them had to get down the hall to the living room before him so they could catch a picture of his face when he first saw his Christmas loot. It was then that I realized that we spend years looking for the reactions on peoples faces.

Our children on Christmas morning. A groom when his bride first begins her walk down the aisle. The look in the eyes of a spouse after many years of knowing. The look on someones face when you offer them a gift. The reaction of the person you are celebrating at a surprise party. All of their emotions are wrapped up in their face. This is how you know how happy, honored, grateful, surprised, appreciative they are.

My Christmas wish this year is that I would pay more attention to the looks on my peoples faces. That I wouldn't miss small blessings. That I won't take for granted the looks of Seth. God has given me him as a gift and I don't want to miss any of it. My greatest wish, however, is that I would seek HIS face more. I want to know that HE is happy, honored, grateful, and surprised at what I do. He is the one I want to get the picture of with His first reaction. My life needs to be gauged by Him-not anyone or anything else.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas and never forget to seek the look on His face.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like.....Something.....

I have a lot about nothing notable going on....but thought I would catch up with the ol' blog world. We are in the midst of trying to prepare for Christmas. Try would be the key word here. My shopping won't be finished until tomorrow, we have family dinner on Christmas Eve to prepare for, cookies to bake, presents to wrap, and so on and so forth. Not sure if it looks like Christmas around here or mayhem.

I did get up earlier than everyone else this morning (not unusual) and straighten up the front of my house. Then I realized it wasn't quite daylight so I plugged in the tree. It was very nice to sit here in total silence and look at the Christmas tree lights with a house that was picked up. Not sure how long this will last today, but it was a good start!

Not sure if anyone else experiences this, but Seth's Christmas list keeps changing. Good thing we didn't have his big gift bought yet or he would have been stuck with it. The last thing he tells us is what we will get tomorrow. Then it's done.

As we slide quickly into Thursday, my prayer is that I quieten this crazy chaos in my head before church tomorrow night. It is the one thing I am looking forward to before Christmas and I am hoping it straightens my perspective during this season. Seth has asked every day if it is the day we are going to church. I think he's excited too. :)

Here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! May we never forget that it is really for celebrating the birth of Jesus and God's sacrifice in sending us His son. It really is the greatest gift anyone could ever receive. It sure beats socks and underwear. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

A List of Reasons

This morning, a list of reasons why husbands are awesome.

1. They warm up the car on cold days.

2. Mine is a travelling space heater, and he never minds warming up my ice pop feet!

3. Olin is a fabulous cook. My body shape is a testament to this. :)

4. He gets me. All the quirkiness that is me.

5. Pillow talk. AWESOME.

6. I have a helpmate. I am not in this alone. Such a relief.

7. Accountability. He is my partner in this. He calls me out on things that I would never let anyone else see/hear me think/do. He is the little white angel on my shoulder arguing with the devil on the other shoulder.

8. He puts up with my singing. If you knew how much of a sacrifice to his ears this is, you would know why it is impressive. He even says that I sound good sometimes. (Little white lies like this that he tells me to boost my ego never hurt anyone:)

9. I get to watch him be a wonderful father. To his two legged son and four legged daughter. They both have him wrapped around their little fingers and paws and I. LOVE. IT.

10. He would give me the world. He can't, but gladly would if he could. Just because.

I look forward to adding to this list from time to time. Olin does things everyday that amaze me. I want them recorded in this virtual journal of mine so that one day Seth can see what an amazing man he is as a husband. I want this list to remind me on days that I am ungrateful. I want Olin to have this list so that he will know the little things he does are not missed.

I hope everyone is having an amazing Christmas season! Praying that my family remembers to focus on the real celebration of this season.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stopping By....

Just stopping by to let you know that if you don't see a post from me sometime soon, please send the search party out. I am about to start cleaning my house and my boys are about to work on this science fair project-again. This project may be the end of my sanity.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Of Wise Men and Christmas Miracles

A wise man once said to me..."There is always some type of storm in our life. Not on a daily basis, but after one storm, another one comes up. This is when we can see the work of God. And sometimes we are the victim in the storm but it is all to glorify Him." Then he quoted the song..."Through it all, I've learned to trust in Jesus. Through it all, I've learned to trust in God. If I never had a problem, I wouldn't know He could solve them."

The man I write about is the Pope. He had this conversation with me in the ICU waiting room while his wife of 51 years lay in the Neurological ICU due to, they believe, an infection in her brain caused by her ear drum rupturing-leading to bacterial meningitis. I just had dinner with her a couple weeks ago. She had made gingerbread houses with her grandson on Friday.

I was prepped before I walked back. "It's going to be hard to see her, but you can look at her through the window before you go in to prepare yourself." We talked with doctors, listened to them give reports as we watched her through the glass walls. We methodically put on our robes, mask, and gloves. We were surrounded by machines beeping, doctors talking, the smell of antiseptic, and the sound of the doors opening and closing as people came and went. All of them had a reason to be there. All of them had someone they loved behind those curtains.

For the record, I wasn't prepared for this. But that's how God works sometimes. If He preps us for new things that He is going to teach us we would be like Jonah and try to run and hide. Sometimes He has to thrust us into the situation and teach us as we go. As I walked the long hallway to the elevators, and entered into the waiting room with several other families, I wondered where my days of teenage immortality went to. For the record, I think they jumped out of the 5th floor window at Baptist Hospital. I can tell you that it is a new level of adulthood when you are going to visit and support your best friend as her mother is in ICU. I didn't think we were old enough for our parents to be this sick. I don't think I wanted to be this kind of an adult yet.

However-He will get the glory. He will be honored in it. He is the same God in the valley as He is on the mountain top. He isn't surprised by any of this and He is working out big plans. While this seat may be as comfortable as a concrete block, what a great seat it is!!! How often in our lives do we get a front row seat to watch God work hour by hour??? I may not have been ready, but He was. And just for the record, I can't wait to watch this Christmas miracle unfold. Sometimes we are the victim. But He is ALWAYS the Victor!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

From one turkey to another.....

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Just a small recap of ours:

We got in from work on Wednesday night. Ran to the house, unpacked, repacked, showered, and hit the road to Clover. In the small amount of time we were at home, we saw evidence that Stuart Little, or at lease one of his relatives, had moved into the house. I packed extra clothes. My in-laws were stuck with us for a couple of days, like it or not. :) (They didn't mind) There are several things in life that I just cant deal with, and mice are on the list. Near the top.

We got to my in-laws and immediately joined the ranks of people in the kitchen cooking. I was tired but there is nothing as enjoyable as the family in the kitchen cooking together. Especially with Grandma Wiggins. She is one of those women, like so many others, that will never be able to write all of her recipes down for us so we have to watch and learn. She rarely uses a measuring cup. It's like an art form.

We finally got in the bed around midnite. I walked into the room and there was an 11 year old laying in the middle of the bed, smiling like a cheshire cat. We all crawled in the bed together and he played with the dog and giggled his way into sleepiness. I had a few moments of nostalgia as his daddy carried him to his bedroom and tucked him in. Will that be the last time he feels comfortable enough to crawl in the bed with us? Will that be the last time his daddy carries him to his bed after he has fallen asleep? We are reaching an age with him that when I see these things, I have to wonder if it is the last time I will see it.

Thursday morning brought an onslaught of dishes that still had to bake and be finished up. Friends and family came in from all over NC and Virginia. Caroline even had a pug friend, Ginger, come visit! The puppies were happy about their visit, the cat however still hasn't spoken to us. :) By the time we sat down to eat with our plates that weren't big enough to hold all of the side dishes, we were tired, fulfilled, thankful, and starving. When we finished eating, I don't think there were too many people at the table that could still breathe. ;)

We are home now and back to the grind of life. Cleaning house, packing to go back to work today (for me), praying that Stuart Little is gone, doing laundry, cooking meals, etc. As we come down from the rush of the first holiday meal, I am thankful for family. And friends. And hard work and big payoffs. It is every bit worth it and now on to the next one. My boys decorated the tree last night and as I sat here and watched them (They wanted to do it themselves) I couldn't help but wonder if this was the last time that Seth wouldn't be able to reach the top of the tree without his daddy's help. And so the cycle begins again. Praying that I go through the season with eyes wide open and capturing every memory in my mind. I never know if it's the last time it will be like this.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!! From one turkey to another....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Old Vs. New

I have had a lot of real, authentic friendships over the years. I do not take that for granted. Real friends are hard to come by and few. After making some new friends recently, I started to really realized how lucky I am. I have friends that will speak truth to me, even when I don't want to hear it, and do it out of sincerity and love. I have friends that I can sit at a dinner table with and belly laugh our way through the meal. (I sure hope that helps to work off some of the calories that I would be consuming at said meal). I have friends whose parents know me just as well and would be there in a minute if I needed them. They are my self-created family. We are comprised of a group of people that may be very different on a day to day basis....but we care about each other regardless. We care how the other persons day is and what they have going on in their lives. We celebrate each others triumphs and greive with each other over failures. We celebrate each others birthdays and their familys birthdays. We help each other navigate this world of marriage, parenthood, and adulthood in general.

I have been very emotional this week, so please forgive the mushy post. I just know that there is no greater feeling in the world than when an old friend calls you up and asks: "Did you sleep last night?" "How was your morning?" It's not even the question itself. It's knowing they cared and wondered about it. It's knowing that in someone else's world, no matter how busy they are, you matter. And it makes all the difference in the world.

So...Old vs. New? I think I will keep them both. After all, I can have my cake and eat it too... :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Santa Claus is comin' to town!

Good morning! I got up this morning and did some quick mathematical equations in my head and realized I may need to get on the Christmas train! It's literally just around the corner. Amazing how it sneaks up! One of my main goals this year is to get a Christmas picture done and do Christmas cards. I never mail out Christmas cards. I'm slack. However, Shutterfly has made it easy for me to be able to order cards with the pictures already printed on them and they get here quick enough so that people who procrastinate (not sure who that would be!) can still have them in time to mail them out! My kind of store!
I was browsing through their cards the other day and they have some pretty amazing designs! Here are some designs they have available this year. I love the photo cards! I will tell you from personal experience, that the quality is top-notch! It's amazing!!! I am thinking of using the 5x7 folded carded "Merry Greetings". With the picture I have planned I need a pretty big window on the front and I love the simplicity of it! I also love that you can put pictures on the inside and there is STILL room for writing! This is a great plan for me, because if you can't tell by my posts, I am wordy. I can't help it people. :)
The other thing I am looking at are their wall calendars. I think they make phenomenal gifts for Christmas-especially for grandmothers who love to brag and show off the grandchildren! These are easy to create and they are personalized! Take some time to check them out!
The last thing I want to take some time to mention, is their Holiday Party Invitations. This is my idea of an invitation. They make inviting people to that party you wanna plan so easy! I am thinking they would be perfect for the Cookie Swap I want to plan soon!
I will feature my card on here as soon as I have it ordered and mailed! I can't show it here before all the family sees it! I promise you that if you order from Shutterfly, you will not be sorry you did!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Big Things in the Little House

Hi bloggy friends!!! Really just checking in and doing a catch up post. You want a list, don't you? Come know you've missed them!!! Just for early Christmas present...

1. My friend Glittashooz finally caved to peer pressure and started a twitter. #soulsistasreunitedviatwitter #anditfeelssogood.

2. Seth, much to my joy, is developing quite a snarky sense of humor! Not disrespectful, and his comedic timing is getting better and better every day. Makes my heart swell with pride. He gets it from his step-mom!

3. Olin and I have solid leads on a local job that would pay well enough for us to come off the road. We would also have fabulous benefits. It will take us a week or so to get everything together to apply but please say a little prayer for us!!!

4. We also have a GREAT lead on a house we are looking to buy. Makes me wanna throw up in my mouth a little. Seriously, the deal is too good to pass up. If God opens the door, in we will move!!!

5. There is also other huge news in our little family. It's nothing that we can post publicly about yet, but please pray and God will know what it's for! "You make everything work together for my good." I am pete and repeating these words over and over.

6. I have fall decorations up and I also have my Christmas tree up. Confusing, isn't it? But there is nothing like the light from a Christmas tree in a room. It makes me jump for joy.... Ok, ok...maybe I don't jump. That would become a debacle. But I do squeal a little bit. :)

7. In a couple weeks, the soul sistas will be reunited for real and we will all be in one room together. The world should sit right on it's axis once again. #ourhusbandsdon'tstandachance

8. We are reuniting for the little Lenoir babies birthdays!!! Levi will be 5 and Sophie will be 1!!! Hard to believe! Let the list making begin!

9. I am seriously determined to get 10 items out of this post. IF it's the last thing I do. OH-I did want to mention that the other thing that makes me squeal right now is this weather. This glorious weather! Yet another gift from Him! It reminds me that His mercies are new every morning. The old has gone away and the new will come. He provides shelter in the cold...even when you have nothing to help cover yourself with, He is the portion. He's got my back..... (I tend to get this way every fall with the falling leaves, the bare tree branches, and winter coming when everything dies and new life is preparing to begin. I can't help it. It's the romantic in me.)

10. Last but not least, I am starting to understand this whole "coupon world" and it's a crazy world. I love it, but it's crazy. And it's hard. And it's a lot of work. But it's worth it when your cubbards are overflowing. Mine aren't yet, but working towards getting them that way! Then there is more to share!!!

I hope everyone had a safe and fun weekend this past weekend! Are you all ready for the holidays? I started shopping and then stopped. I need to start again. STAT! It will happen, though. Hopefully. What are your plans for the holidays?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

“You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful, it’s true. “

It’s no secret that I met Olin on Eharmony. Because I had a success story, I will forever suggest that site. I suppose it’s all a matter of personal opinion. Eharmony is a complex site where you have to go through “stages” of talking with someone before you are allowed to have open communication. This is to insure that you match on several different levels before you commit to becoming emotionally attached. Olin and I communicated for a couple of months before our first night on the phone. Six wonderful hours later, we decided to meet. Within a few days, we were an item.

Olin and I consider our date of officially beginning to date to be October 26, 2007. We did a lot of talking and getting to know one another. After all, we weren’t getting any younger and didn’t want to waste each others time if we weren’t compatible. I can honestly say that Olin is the first person that I ever have been ENTIRELY up front and honest with. Not that I told people that I was someone that I wasn’t but I never told them everything. Everything I am is a lot for me to handle at times. I can only imagine if you are someone looking in from the outside. Anyway…..On our first “date”, Olin asked me if anyone had ever told me how beautiful I was. It took me a second to reply, as I told him simply that nobody had ever told me-in my entire life-that I was beautiful. It’s something that bothered me from time to time but nothing I wallowed in. After all, I had a sorry opinion of myself. Why should anyone else think any better? He was genuinely surprised and immediately told me that I was beautiful. And then he kissed me. For the first time ever. Little did I know that night, but it would be my LAST “first kiss” ever.

All of this to say: I know that there are times I fuss about how messy my husband is, how scatter-brained he can be, among a list of many other things. However, when we celebrated our 3 year anniversary of dating yesterday, I realize the one thing he does do. EVERY DAY, for the past 1095 days of my life, I have heard every day that I am beautiful. Whether it’s in his “good morning beautiful” when I roll out of bed, no make-up (which is common) and my hair all over my head…..or if it’s when I come out of the bathroom after getting dressed to go on a date with him. He has not missed a single day in over 1000 days. He was the only one to say it to me on the day we were married-and somehow, that was ok. After all, his opinion was the only one I was worried about. He is the one to tell me when I am sick as a dog and have been in the bed for a couple days. He is the one to tell me when we have been confined inside a truck with one another for weeks at a time…when others would be ready to push the other half out of the truck, he greets me with a kiss and “hey beautiful”.

He totally makes up for the first 30 years of not hearing it. Today, I am thankful that God redeemed it. And boy, did He ever redeem it! I love you, Olin, and look forward to the next 30 years!!

(by the way…You’re not so bad yourself!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Better late than never! I am a day late in posting this but better late than never, right? Yesterday was my mom's 52nd birthday!!! She celebrated with friends and family Saturday night and spent yesterday resting, I believe. They had the fire pits going, hamburgers on the grill, and no party in Abby Park is complete without the kareoke machine. (I am not sure of the spelling of kareoke...tells you how much I participate! HA!) Mom often jokes with me that I do what she should be doing and she does what I should be doing at our respective ages. She enjoys going out and dancing, etc. I enjoy being in my house with the doors locked by dark and Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Don't get me wrong, we have some common ground but for the most part, at least socially, our roles are quite reversed! She is the "fun" grandma, who lets the kids get away with stuff I never would. Hers is the house that everyone goes to to hang out and have a good time. And when things are going really wrong and they need somewhere to rest and recover. She fills all of those shoes for a lot of people. When I met my husband, I knew that he and I would go well together when he loved my mama. Lord knows, I was worried about them loving each other! I had no need to worry, though. They hit it off immediately. He likes to have her over and feed her dinner and she likes to pick on me with him. They feel safer in pairs of two or more when giving me a hard time! He would do anything for her that she needed and heaven knows she has helped us out more times than we can count! Seth loves to spend time with Green Gene and pick on her about being old. The other night, he was telling her a story about a little old lady that he loved...and he said it was his favorite old person! He then, very seriously, turned to her, patted her on the shoulder, and said: "Now, I don't want to hurt your feelings. I like you too!" LOL I sure am glad that after 52 years she still has a sense of humor!!!
Mom-I hope you had a wonderful birthday and I pray that your 52nd year of life is the greatest one yet. Please know that we love you and appreciate all you do for us and love spending time with you!! Here's to 52 more wonderful years!
Olin, Courtney, and Seth

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Under Construction

Hi! This blog will be "under construction" today! Please pardon the mess while I work to make it a bit more snazzy! If there are any problems seeing anything or pulling anything up, please email me at Thanks!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Falling in love with Fall!

Just a post to catch you up on what is new in the Wiggins family!

1. Can anyone else feel the fall in the air? The hubs and I can and we love it! We just got all of the stuff to make smores so when the little man is with us next week, that's on the schedule!!!

2. I just celebrated my second wedding anniversary with the greatest man I have ever known! We went to dinner in Charlotte at the Omaha Steakhouse and it was wonderful! He took me to Ikea before, because he speaks my love language, and we did a little Christmas shopping!

3. Speaking of Christmas, I have made a jump start on shopping. Woo hoo!!!!! Now, I am trying to con my husband in to letting me start decorating for Christmas. I think I am slowly wearing him down. I just want my tree and village up!!!

4. Um...the little guy has all B's in school! You have no idea what an accomplishment this is for all of us! We are so proud of him! When I got his grades, I decided a celebration was in order. We had a small cake from the store, and when he got home from school and I told him, he told me he was going to go put on his celebration clothes. This consisted of his pj pants and a t-shirt. Um....I love this kid! He is taking after me in his idea of celebration clothes! Love it!

5. I am oficially 32 years old. I need to add some more memories to the memory post but haven't done it yet. Call me slack. I say it's old age.

6. If anyone has any wonderful ideas for homemade Christmas ideas, please pass them along!~ We are looking to focus on the meaning of Christmas the most this year and less on materialism. That doesn't mean that nobody will get gifts, but that certainly won't be the focus. I am looking for homemade gift ideas, traditions that are neat, etc. You can comment on here or email me at

Ok...that's it you guys. I am off to read some more of Sun Stand Still and try to lure my husband in from the outside. He loves this weather as much as I do! Talk to everyone soon! Happy Fall, Y'All!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Page 23

I am reading a new book...."Sun Stand Still" by our pastor..Steven Furtick. I am not even to the half-way point yet, so I do not think this post will be conclusive or maybe even cohesive. Just roll with it. I want to get some thoughts about the book down while they are fresh. I am 32 now....and with age comes....mmm...what's that word??? Oh yea...dementia. :)

The Sun Stand Still book is based off of Joshua Chapter 10. There are a couple key verses that he points out in the book but if you read Joshua 10 you will get the idea. Pretty much, Joshua was battling the enemy and knew that if it got dark that he would lose some people. They would flee and hide. If that happened, the battle wouldn't be done. He needed to conquer EVERY enemy. After all, God had told verse 8..."Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you." NOT ONE OF THEM. Well, Joshua was probably a very literal person (something that stands true to the male population around our homes these days) and didn't want to let any of them get away. So he prays..."O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley Of Aijalon." (verse 12)

The amazing part comes in after verse 12. Verse 13 and 14 read: "The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since....Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!"

I want to be like Joshua. I want to pray prayers that are equivalent to his sun stand still prayer and pray them in confidence that if I am in God's will, there is nothing that He cannot do. After all, he DID make the sun stand still and all....

When I first started reading the book last night and again this morning, I immediately started to think of sun stand still prayers I could pray for my life. As Pastor Steven points out, it doesn't have to be something as big as making the sun stand still. It means that you are praying, and believing, in something that is impossible for you in your life. It may be easy for others, but impossible for you. This is why everyones sun stand still prayers will not be the same. Well, if you know me at all, you know I am a list maker. My first inclination was to get out a brand new yellow pad and sharpie pen and start my list of sun stand still prayers. I would have the list done in minutes and praying over them just as quickly. And then it hit me. SLOW DOWN FAST MOVER FRANNIE. Keep reading first.

So I just got out a highlighter instead. :) You see, I could make a list of what the sun stand still prayers are for my life that I think are right. But what if those things that I am praying for are not the things that God wants in my life? What if it isn't His timing to work any of that out or work it out the way I want to work it out? It would then become a futile activity. I want to first pray about God's will for my life. He created me to be a vessel for Him to reach people. I can imagine, that when I finally tap into it in it's full screen HD version, it will be quite an amazing vessel! But....and this is a big but....I want to know which vessel he wants to use. Did He give me a desire to help homeless people or abused children because there is something He is planning to do through me that would rock the world of all of that? I sit around and wonder what I can do. I even put up a msg on facebook last year to do a blanket and coat drive for homeless people in my town. I got zero...ZERO...responses. But...I didn't pray about it first. I just thought it was the right thing to do. Can you imagine if God was in charge of my plan? My daydreams are now turned to how much more I could help provide if God was the one rationing out my provisions.

And what if God's plan for me has nothing to do with the above? Maybe it's something I have ignored for my 32 years. Something I've pushed to a back corner as "kind of interesting". I want to know what it is. I want to seek it out and then I want to talk to Him. After all, He will be the one in charge here. Which, by the way, will be another huge lesson for me. I am an in charge kind of person. That's why I make lists. Things that seem too big or out of control, if I write them down in a list it mentally gets them under my control. So-write it down in the history books. I am handing the reigns over. I want God to be the provider for whatever it is that He has me do. And I'm excited. I am excited to find out what it is, what He will provide me with, how it will affect me, my family, the wee little boy. (How amazing it will be to live out an audacious faith in front of an 11 year old!) It's like Christmas morning...only all the time. I never know when I will turn a corner and there will be provision for what He wants me to do then. Can you imagine the possibilities? Because I can! I may put them down on a that's how I daydream. HA!

As I said, I am halfway through the book so I know there will be more posts to follow. Maybe it will be a "My Page 23" series. Who knows. I don't know if I can figure all of that out on here. I am just excited to put it out there and would like for everyone reading to pray that I am able to hear and understand the words that God wants me to and hold me accountable. If it seems like I am taking the reigns from Him, smack my hand! (Nicely, please)

So here we go on a journey....of the Sun Stand Still kind....will you join me?

The book releases on Tuesday I believe. You can check it out on and it is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon on the release date as well. (I would have linked all of these things but I am too technologically outdated to do all of that. Sorry. )

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

As you turn 32

Dear Courtney...

As you turn 32 today, please don't forget the best times from the last year. You say you won't, but you will get busy "doing life" and forget about all of them! Just for you, I am making a list so you won't forget. It's how I roll.

-Your boys giving you Valentine's gifts a day early because they just couldn't wait. Seth gave you a matching teddy bear to the one he got you in 2009 when he said..."Look...he has the year on his foot. This way you won't forget the first year we were a family on Valentine's Day!" No I won't, Seth. Ever. :)
-Giving your boys books for Valentine's day and walking in and seeing them lined up on the couch, nose to the pages. Life father, like son. Love it!
-Seth's birthday party debacle of 2010. It was great...but way tiring. Next year will be easier.
-The debacle of 2010 debacle.
-Your first trip to the beach as a family. The one where you lost your bathing suit bottoms and your husband lost his wedding ring. Grateful that the first was recovered and the second can be replaced.
-Getting excited about finally owning a deep freezer. Wow how our priorities change as we age!
-Caroline turning a year old in August. It feels like this little girl has been in our family forever!
-Caroline staying with her Nana the whole weekend while you were at the beach. The boys worried more than you did! Caroline wasn't worried-Nana fed her all the table food she wanted and she came home more spoiled than she went-didn't know that was possible! Thanks a lot, Nana!
-Connecting with your dad on facebook. Who would have thought? Lol.
-Starting an outside project with Olin. One that isn't finished because you need more tools to finish, but it is well on it's way. And the fact that Olin is doing it just because you asked him to! :)
-Ashley moving to GVegas! The fact that you aren't there is a little sad, b/c you love that place, but the fact that she is there and you can visit anytime? Priceless! Now you need to make time to actually go!!!
-Seth living in Lincolnton. All the world seems a little better now for you. Now if you could just get use to the school schedule.
-Since last September, you have celebrated your first anniversary, hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at your house, and then vowed never to do it again! Ha!
-You played Santa for Seth this past Christmas. Probably your first and last year of getting to do it so you worked it all up! You guys made reindeer food, cookies for Santa...all the works! He loved it and I believe it may have warmed your heart just as much as it did his!
-Going to Elevation Church for the first time. It has rocked your God world and you couldn't be happier!

*I am sure there are more...However, it is 5:37am and this is my second blog post for the day so I am out of the ability to process coherent thoughts. I will add to it as I remember stuff....I don't want to miss anything! :)

Where's Waldo?

I just realized it has been over a month since I posted. In my defense (if I even have one) it has been quite a busy month! Seth started 6th not only have we transitioned to a new school entirely, but we are transitioning to middle school. It's been a rough road people...rough road! We are hopefully now getting into a routine. He loves his new school. I love the new school but am counting down the days until summer again! (He doesn't know this-I don't want him to start not liking The evenings exhaust me. We don't seem to stop from the time he gets home until the time he goes to bed between homework, dinner, free time, chores, showers, reading time, family time, etc. Our days are full. And I love it. Every. Stinking. Exhausting. Minute. Of. It.

We haven't been to church in the last few weeks and I can feel it in my soul. I need to get back there and be fed spiritually. Sure-we can watch the sermons online but there is something about being surrounded by a body of believers and worshipping with them that just makes everything of the world go away. At least for a bit. It shifts my perspective to a much better place.

Speaking of shifting-I have realized that it is time that I redesign my life and shift my priorities to other things. I am in prayer mode about it. I want to shift priorities to where God wants me to shift them. I know that right now I am focused on things that aren't bad, but they certainly aren't what God would have me focus on. I get worked up and angry very easily at things that I believe are injustices. Who am I to judge??? I have quit reading blogs online that make me angry because people take things out of perspective. If it angers me, then why do I need to expose myself to it? There are people in my world that have a very distorted view of priorities in life in general. Not only spiritually, but in their everyday life and activities. It angers me. This isn't fair to me, my God, or my family. When I am angry, I lose focus on Him. Why in the world would I want that? So I am praying for a mind shift. I want to let the little things and the injustices roll off my back. I don't want to lose time with God or my family because I am too busy trying to "fix" or "right" what has been done wrong to me. It does no good and only serves to stress me out. So I am praying and making a list :) to help me along. Stay tuned for updates. :)

In one more day, I will turn 32 years old. Most people I suppose would complain about getting older, and while there is a little taste of bittersweet to it, there are many great things about it. Why would I mind being 32 when I have a life that is fulfilled? I have a wonderful husband (who I will be celebrating an anniversary with in a couple weeks) and a fabulous step-son. I have a Father who celebrates me. I have fabulous family and friends that support me. Sure-there are places I thought I would be in life by now that I'm not. However, I am realizing that I am right where God wants me to be right now in my life. I can't wait to find out what my 32nd year of life holds. It's kind of like opening up a brand new blank notebook and having a brand new sharpie pen to write in it with. Gives me butterflies. :) So I plan to celebrate another year. Another year of blessings, trials, wins, losses, sweet memories, family, friends, etc. And eat cake. LET THEM EAT CAKE! I know my mom ordered me a "Lori" cake and Sheyna and I are ready for our cake fest. That will send the year out with a bang!

Sorry I took so long to post. Hopefully, I will be quicker with it in the future. However, during school I make no promises! I hope the fact that it exhausts me has nothing to do with my age....:)

Until next time.....

Sunday, August 8, 2010

To Have and To Hold

Olin and I are quickly coming up on 2 years of marriage. I know we are still considered newlyweds to some, and there are times when we still feel like newlyweds, but we have faced many trials during these two short years. Amazingly, never wavering in our commitment or love for each other. I will admit that I look back at those and realize how blessed I am to be in a marriage where I don't have to wonder how secure I can be. I know he is here for the long haul. And I think I have shown him I am as well. I was reading a book the other day and came upon this. I felt like it deserved to be shared and I felt it was very representative of my marriage at this place we are at-and probably always will be.

"A Marriage"

You are holding up a ceiling with both arms. It is very heavy, but you must hold it up, or else it will fall down on you. Your arms are tired, terribly tired, and, as the day goes on, it feels as if either your arms or the ceiling will soon collapse.

But then, unexpectedly, something wonderful happens. Someone, a man or a woman, walks into the room and holds their arms up to the ceiling beside you. So you finally get to take down your arms. You feel the relief of respite, the blood flowing back to your fingers and arms. And when your partner's arms tire, you hold up your own to relieve him again.

And it can go on like this for many years without the house falling.

-Michael C. Blumenthal

As a person that was fiercly independent, and carried the weight of a lot of things on my shoulders for many years, this truly does represent what Olin did for me. I can't put into words (without sounding mushier than I already do) what a relief it is now to know that whatever happens or comes along, I AM NOT DEALING WITH IT ALONE. It is the most amazing feeling in the world! And the fact that he knows just when to put his arms back up? Icing on my cake. It is nice to know that no matter what we face or what tries to come between us, that we are a house that stands and holds together. With God in the middle of us, we are stronger than the enemy could ever be.

Olin-Thank you for coming to help me hold up the ceiling. I look forward to holding that ceiling with you for the next 50 years. Our arms may tire, but we will just take shorter turns. Know that there is nobody that I would rather be looking at while I am holding it. I love more ways than you could ever know.

But I Promise I'm Witty!

I consider myself a sharp, witty girl. Most of the time. I assumed when I started writing this blog that it would be full of humor and sarcasm...and sometimes it is. However, lately I have been in a serious post mood and I can't seem to get out of it. I know that it is directly relational with everything that is going on with my life right now. I guess the reason for me writing this is to let you guys know that the witty wiggins will come back soon....Hopefully. Until then, please enjoy the serious posts...because there are sure to be a few more as I am waiting to see how God works this all out in our lives!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And now...A List

1. I am not going to even introduce the blog post before I start the list. It is item number 1. There are many little things to say and no cohesive blog post to say them in.

2. After helping people move last night and not stopping until 7am this morning, I don't have many coherent thoughts going on in my brain right now. The wee one is entertaining himself today. (Don't fret-he is 11 so he is more than capable.)

3. It is hard for me to even take a nap still. Even though he knows the rules of not answering the door or going outside and to come get me and daddy if he needs something...and not to use the stove but he can use the still makes me nervous. After being up for more than 24 hours I was only able to take a 3 hour nap...most of which he was sleeping for as well. Does this make me a freak? I need to let him have a little responsibility!

4. I am on the phone now and I cannot process a phone conversation and typing. My brain isn't functioning that quick today. I promise to try to lighten things up around here. All of my blogs have been serious. They will probably continue to be that way for a while but I promise that, like Justin, I'm bringing humor back. Soon my blogger friends, soon. (I just typed blogger as blooger...You are all my blooger friends. Doesn't that make you feel loved?)

Until next time peeps....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Men In My Life

The other week I was sitting in church and as my husband reached for my hand it hit me. Life is good. In the every day running of life, I tend to get bogged down and look for the next thing that I am expecting God to make happen. I miss out on what He has given me now.

I wasn't only sitting beside fabulous friends to my left, but beside me I had my husband and the wee 11 year old. Since I have found this church, I literally will be driving down the road at times and day dream about how wonderful it would be to have my earthly father go to church with me. Just one time. When I was a little girl and lived in Louisiana, I was baptized at 11 years old. I remember constantly peeking out from the doors at the front of the sanctuary and asking friends if my dad had came. He promised he would, and he did show up. Not only was the baptism the highlight of the night, but my dad was there to watch and support me. For a little girl that doesn't have that support from her dad, this was momentous. This is the only time that my dad has ever attended church with me. Fast forward a bunch of years and I still want that. He doesn't live near me so I am not peeking out the door wondering if he will show up, but I wonder how amazing it would be for him to attend Elevation. I wonder if it would rock his world like it has mine. I wonder if the message that he would hear would be the one that changed his life. I wonder if he realizes that if he were to come to accept Christ as his Saviour, that would be the greatest gift he could ever give me.

When I was sitting beside my husband in church the other day, I began to realize that it is ok to pray for a better life for my father. It is ok that I am sometimes sad that I didn't have a prominent male role model in my life growing up. However, at the same time I need to remember that He is already in my tomorrow. He is my portion. He makes sure I have exactly what I need. When my husband reached for my hand during worship, I realized I have my protector, best friend, provider, lover, help mate, cheerleader, and soul mate. What I didn't get from my earthly father growing up, my heavenly Father provided (even though I couldn't see it.) What I missed by not having men in my life growing up, He cultivated in Olin to provide that for me with a side helping of soul mate. And when I look next to my husband to the 11 year old, I am reminded that He has given Olin and I a chance to further His kingdom. He trusts me with part of that job. He trusts me to raise Seth to be a man that is unlike my earthly father.

When I look back at childhood now and get a little sad about not having dad around, I look beside of me in church, or in the bed, or around the house and I see the two men in my life. And I am reminded that even then, He was shaping me to be what I needed to be to deserve these two. I am reminded that He is, and always has been, in my tomorrows. His portion is enough. His portion is more than I could ever dream for myself.

And I am reminded that I am very thankful for that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

F Bomb

Ok. So I need to post about the f-bomb series at church the last two weeks. I said I was going to post about it. I NEED to write about it to work through all of it myself.

I cannot figure out how to write about it.

I feel like if I say everything I need to or want to, that I may as well just put up the link to the sermon because the entire thing needs to be quoted. ( Click on media and then sermon archives and then the f-bomb icon) I also question that if I bring up things that have happened to me-am I just reliving it and allowing that situation to hurt me all over again-or is it in the name of working through it? I am also very convicted of gossipping now. Would I be gossipping if I talked about it online? Even if I changed names? Also-and this one is HUGE-I need to identify areas where I have been the one to hurt people. What do I need forgiveness for from people? It's not just about what all I have had done to me. What have I done to other people in the wake of my hurt...while I was out seeking justice?

Maybe soon I will write about it. Every time I think about it the wall of writers block gets higher and thicker. I will leave you with a few quotes from the sermons. These are what I they may not be exact quotes and if Pastor Steven isn't the original author, I apologize. I am giving him the credit-lol.

*Unforgiveness is like eating rat poison and expecting the other person to die.

*The forgiven forgive.

*Forgiveness is like setting a prisoner free...and finding out the prisoner was you.

*We come to the Kings court expecting grace for all we have done wrong. When someone has wronged us, we expect justice.

*Forgiving someone isn't forfeiting justice. It is guaranteeing it.

*Give up on the hope for a better past. If you catch up to it, what are you going to do with it? It is bigger than you. Go back in the house, under the protection of a soverign God, and let Him...who IS big enough...handle it for you.

*Living at peace with someone doesn't mean living in partnership with that person. Sometimes separation is the only way you are able to forgive.

There are more. This series blew my mind, rocked my world....made me think like nothing has in a really long time. (It was about time I knocked the cobwebs off the I will get out my notes and when the post comes to me, you will have it here for your reading pleasure. In the meantime, please check out the sermons! He says it so much better than I ever could!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits...Take Two

1. I need to blog about our most recent sermon series at church. I think because I have so much that I need to work through with it, I am hitting a wall of writers block. I decided a list would maybe break me back into the writing world.

2. We are still at home. We should have left out yesterday but our truck is in the shop. Not sure about today yet...we aren't sure when they are going to be finished working on it.

3. I had a FABULOUS weekend! Seth, Olin, and I had real quality time together. I long for more weekends like that! We had great family come in on Friday. Saturday, we went to church. Saturday night, Olin and I went "unplugged" and had great quiet time together. Seth and I made cupcakes, we all three played with water rockets, painted, etc. Good memories~!

4. It was sad that Shane, David, and Kealey couldn't stay longer. Work duty calls, though. Hopefully, soon, we will have a repeat and they can spend the weekend!

5. We are in the final countdown before school starts. I hope we get it all together!

6. There will be a middle school student in my house. Send back-up help immediately. His math is officially over my head. Amen.

7. Can you tell I have severe writers block? I also struggle with procrastination. My house needs to be cleaned-desperately. I am on the computer taking care of blogging and I don't have to do it yet.

8. This may be the time that I don't have a list of 10 things. I think I am going to take the pressure off of myself and say it's ok to stop at 8. I hope you all have a great day and I promise to come back soon with a post that will have some substance to it. Maybe. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Whose team are you on?

I may anger some people with this post. Before you read, please remember that this is MY blog....therefore, MY opinions. You are entitled to have your own.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the

I hear everyone walking around arguing about whose team they are on: Team Edward or Team Jacob. I have never read the books. I have never watched the movies. My husband and I have agreed that they will never be read or watched in our home. Then how do I know the main characters names, you ask? BECAUSE. IT. IS. EVERYWHERE. And I'm sick of it. I am tired of walking into Wal-Mart and seeing more bookshelves filled with books on vampires than with anything else. I am tired of the posters. I am tired of all of the magazine articles about the actors and what they are doing. I. DON'T. CARE. That may sound a little harsh, but I am telling you that if we were able to saturate the media with things about God as much as they are allowed to saturate the media with things about vampires, I may not be on a rant.

The thing I don't understand is this: Why does everyone think it's ok to be infatuated with vampires? I am concerned with the amount of adults that have been sucked into this, but I want to address the fact that parents allow their children to watch this and be sucked in. We, as adults, can watch things or read things and discern what is right and wrong in it. However, children do not have the ability to discern what we do. They take things in and internalize them, and process them in different ways than what we do. Why, then, would parents allow their teenage girls to watch this? Why would they let their little girl watch something where a girl changes herself for a man? If your daughter started dating someone that asked her to change for him (or that she had to change for) and someone that prevented her from seeing other guys because he was scared she would find something better out there YOU WOULD BE LIVID. So why are you going to let her watch a movie that promotes that and glorifies that????? I was told the other day that little girls were online talking about wanting to find "their Edward". WHY ARE YOU NOT ANGRY OVER THIS????? And we can talk about the little girls not needing to watch it for obvious reasons...but there is a reason boys shouldn't watch it either. It is our job as parents to teach our children how to behave and to teach them how to be productive adults. Take a moment and think about your own spouse. It was their parents responsibility to raise him (or her) and help shape them into the person they are now. Their parents taught them how to treat people in general, and people of the opposite sex. Aren't there a few things you wish they would have done differently? It is our job to raise boys to be productive people as adults, but also to teach them how to be a good husband. Why would you let them watch something with someone like Edward in it and know that he is glorified? I can assure you that if he treats his future wife like that, she will not appreciate it.

Parents need to realize that it's the little things that add up that we expose our children to that shape and mold them into who they are to become. That is a HUGE responsibility. One that some people take lightly. Every decision that you make as far as what they listen to or watch should be weighed with caution. If you decide not to let them watch something that turns out to be harmless, it is not going to kill them because they never saw it. Making sure your child sees a show or a movie does not make or break their world. I don't know when society started behaving like it was. If there are any doubts about it at all, don't let them watch it!!!!! It's not rocket science, people, and censoring children from shows and music never killed any of them.

I am convinced that if people put as much effort into pouring religion into the main stream media that lives could be changed. If they took the effort that they put into pre-ordering release movie tickets, standing in line for dvd releases, book releases, etc. and put it into their city to promote the gospel the world could be changed.

I could go on about this all day long. It is one of my soap box issues. My great friend, Jonathan, wrote a post that probably reads better and makes more on his blog.... You should take a minute and check it out. Until then....I know whose team I am going to be on. No long decision making process here. Whose team are you going to be on?

Monday, July 5, 2010


We are finally home. And I woke up at 6:30 this morning. ??? What in the world is wrong with me?!?! Not only did I wake up at the crack of dawn, I woke up and started in on a house project that is long overdue. Second sign that I have a

In my dining room of our little apartment, I have a corner hutch. I believe my great-great-great uncle built it for my great-grandmother and it is probably around 70 years old. (Not exactly sure of the age...just guessing here). As I started scraping off layers of contact paper and years of paint this morning, I couldn't help but peel back some memories of my childhood. They are starting to fade a bit, so I decided I should put them down in writing before I forget completely.

I was raised mainly by my great grandmother. Granny Kiser, as she is often referred to, was the one constant in my life for many, many years. I may have forgotten a lot of things but I don't think I will ever forget her smell. She always smelled of baby powders and sweat. Ever the lady, but she worked hard. That's what her smell makes me think of. I will never forget her hands. She always had nails. Her hands were wrinkled but her skin was thin and felt as smooth as glass. Her fingers were slim but you could tell they had seen years of hard work and diapering babies. She always wore house dresses. I never saw her in pants. Ever. Some of her house dresses were worn so thin you could about see through them. It was what she loved. We had one tiny bathroom with a clawfoot tub-no shower-so she bathed standing up and washed her hair in the sink. She had perfectly white hair and she rolled it every Saturday night. You know-it had to be fixed for church on Sunday mornings. And she rolled it in metal rollers no less. Her earlobes were thin and I loved to sit on her lap and rub them. She was never too busy to let me and to "nuss" me as she called it (this consisted of letting me sit on her lap and she would bounce me and listen to me talk about nothing important...but to her at that time it was the most important thing in the world). She was a great woman of God and even though I strayed for many years, she laid the foundation that led me to making the greatest decision ever of accepting Jesus Christ as my Saviour.

I'd like to talk a few minutes about the house I grew up in. It was white...nothing fancy at all. It was traditionally built to be a one bedroom house, but as grandkids became plentiful, she turned her dining room and formal living room into more bedrooms. You see-at Granny Kisers house there was always room for one more person. On the back porch, she always had her washer and dryer. She used the washer plenty of times, but never that dryer. We had two long clothes lines that stretched the length of the concrete drive and we hung clothes out...every day...unless it was raining. I'm not sure I remember all the lessons that were taught to me under that old clothes line but I do know there were many. In her kitchen, there was still a flour bin built into her cabinets. Windows right over the single sink where she would wash dishes in a metal wash tub and rinse them on the side. The dining room table was one that held thousands of meals and always had some type of food on it. Sundays were always baked bbq chicken and all the sides. And she left them out on the table for hours covered up. Anyone stopping by was pleaded with to eat something. She wasn't happy until you ate. (This fact is proven by the way I look today..ha!) In the formal living room was the upright piano that sits at my moms today. That piano bench has seen more kids behinds while she tried to teach us to play. One of my biggest regrets is never learning. I remember her going in and playing from time to time, though, and I can't say that I remember hymns sounding more beautiful than they did coming from that room. The den always held a deep freezer and a television. (No cable here!) And this corner hutch. She used the bottom for storing food and the top for whatever it needed to hold. I remember for years my baby shoes sitting it, my mothers china sitting in it. My rainbow brite pony sitting in it. (I gave my first one away in kindergarten in exchange for a "diamond" When mom bought me a new one it was guarded very carefully!) I remember the black and white tile floor and the braided oval rug.... I remember the shades (the kind that roll up and you pull down) and her chair sitting in front of those windows. That chair still exists and I promise you can sit in it and still feel her. She ate in that chair, did crafts in that chair, talked and visited in that chair, rolled her hair from that chair, and prayed. Boy, did she ever pray in that chair. There was a small closet in this room that always held toys. I can still smell it to this day. You could open it up and there would be toys piled from the bottom to the top of it. The other closet in this room was always hers. I can still see her shoes hanging on the shoe rack over the door. The rack was full of Sunday dresses and house dresses. I loved to stand in that closet and feel all of her clothes. It smelled like her.

I just realized how long this post is and I still have a couple rooms left. Maybe I will post about them tomorrow. I guess working on this hutch just has me remembering and hoping. I hope she sees me. I hope she sees the woman that I am now and I hope it makes her proud. I hope she is proud to see her hutch in my tiny apartment...where I live with my little family. Where we pray. Where we always offer people food. Where we work. Where I am trying to raise Seth and teach him the same lessons she taught me. The little apartment where we try every day to put God first like she did.

I hope she likes it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesdays Tidbits

Good morning, all....from sunny California! Actually, it is raining here. And the locals? They freak out in rain like Carolinians freak out in an inch of snow. Ahem.......Not much time so you will get a list.

1. I am currently "borrowing" internet from the place we are delivering. It is unsecured wifi so that can't be stealing, right?

2. I am assuming since it is a place of work, they had a little trouble with their employees on the internet and they blocked facebook. I thought about asking them to unblock it for me but if you refer back to number 1, you will see why I didn't.

3. If my allergies didn't hate me out here, and the liberals weren't so plentiful, I would pack up tomorrow and move to San Diego. read that right. It feels like spring time and it is beyond wonderful. It warms my heart.

4. My lovely church Elevation ( is having an Americana theme this coming Sunday and after the 11:15 service there will be a carnival. Not sure if we will make it but if you are in the Charlotte area you should check it out! As Sheyna said...they don't do anything halfway so I can only imagine it will be wonderful~

5. Speaking of Elevation.....The Sunday after next they will begin a series called "The "F" Bomb". I'll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor. Back yet? The F stands for forgiveness and people-I am about to crawl out of my skin waiting on it to start. There are many people in my life who I have tried to forgive through the years but somehow I am still in bondage from my past. I want to shout about this series from the rooftops because I feel like it will be life changing for some people. Please check it out online if you aren't in the Charlotte area. Go to media and then sermon archive. The sermons are posted the day after they are preached.

6. Speaking of the aforementioned series...I think I am going to blog all the way through it. I think it will be my constructive way of working through it. To be quite honest, I am a little nervous about it. I am expecting it to challenge me and pull me in directions that I have never gone before. I am giddy like a school girl. I want nothing more than to be free of bondage from my past...and I can assure you that my husband wants that for me too. And I want it for him.

7. I apologize (well, not really) for rambling so much about the series. I CANNOT CONTAIN THE EXCITEMENT.

8. Seth was accepted into the 6th grade in the charter school! We were a little worried because students that have been in traditional public schools are usually a bit behind charter school students. We have some work to do with him over the summer to get him totally up to speed, but she says we should be good in the fall!

9. The last time we were home we travelled. Which we were expecting. The time before that we ended up being gone the entire time we were home. That was unexpected. This time when we get home? Olin has informed everyone that if they want to see us they will have to come to our house. If I don't deep clean soon, I am afraid that the health department will shut my house down. I say we are living in filth. Some people would tell you I am being a bit melodramatic. However, if it motivates me to clean, I am erring on the side of drama. Just sayin'.

10. I always end with ten. Why break habit now? If you are still reading it is an absolutel miracle. Please be praying that Olin and I are led to jobs that will allow us to provide for our family (off the road) and that we find them in a timely manner. I know our timing isn't always God's timing.....I am just hoping He sees it the same way I do. Hey...didn't say I was a perfect christian.....Just keepin' it real. I know the job market is a difficult one right now, but He has opened every other door to allow us to come off the road and make major changes in our lives. We are trusting that He has already made provisions for work.

Thanks for reading....See you all again sometime really soon........Hopefully, sooner than later. I am trying to get better with the whole blogging thing. We'll see if it works out.....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why wait one more hour?

Dear Olin,

Technically, it is the night before Father's day. It won't start for one more hour. But why wait? :) I am nothing, if not impatient.

I want to start by saying that you are a wonderful father. I watch you grow as a man of God and a father to Seth every day and I am honored to be a part of that journey with you. I love to see Seth when we go to pick him up and he comes running out of the house yelling..."Daddy!!!" The look on his face is priceless, and one I hope that neither one of us ever forget. As we begin to navigate the waters of pre-teens, know that he won't always have that look. There will be days when he hates us. And that will mean that we are doing our job. At the end of the day, know that we are not here on earth to teach him to love us...we are here on earth to teach him to love Him. That will be all that's important.

One of my favorite things to do is walk into Seth's room and "catch" you guys with ten million legos laid out on the and Seth both laying on your bellies...creating some type of genius structure with plastic little blocks. Little blocks that, when I have to take them apart eventually will make my fingers raw! I am not sure of all the conversations that take place on the bedroom floor of our tiny apartment but I am sure they are conversations that Seth will remember for a lifetime.

If there is one thing that makes me sad this Fathers Day it is this: that I have not made you a father yet. Something about me is broken. You and I both know that God can fix it and that He can make it happen. Usually I am good with it....but I can't help but to think what you would look like the first time you held our child in the delivery room. The first time you changed their diaper. You holding those tiny little hands in your large ones as they learn to take their first steps. You see....I am honored to watch you be a father to Seth. I am sad that I missed all those times of seeing you with a baby. For this-and for maybe never making you a father to a second child-I am truly sorry. Another child deserves to have you to help raise them and teach them. If it never happens, I will rest in the knowledge that God knows what he is doing and I am not in control of that. Eventually. For now, I guess it's ok to hope.

Happy Father's Day to the man who taught me what a father looks like. To the love of my life. I hope your day is as amazing as it can be (while we are at work).....I promise a celebration with the little one when we get home!

I love you with all my heart,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Of Monkeys and Men

Dear Seth,

It is 8:38pm on Wednesday night. I don't think you are thinking about it as much as I am, but tonight is the last night you will ever be in elementary school. As of tomorrow at 10:30 in the morning, you will be a young man.

As your elementary years come to an end, it is hard to wrap my brain around all that you accomplished during them. You may not realize it now, but the foundation of who you are has been formed in the last 6 years. I wasn't around from the beginning of them but some things you did learn that I know will serve you as you grow into adulthood are these:

Share! When you started school, you learned that the world didn't just include you all day long. There are places where community things have to be shared-like it or not. While this isn't always an easy thing to learn when you start school, it is true throughout your life. The main thing to take away from this lesson is this: God gives you gifts. He had plans for you before you were even here. These gifts aren't all about you. It is all about making His kingdom grow! These gifts are yours to share!!!! If you hide it away only for yourself, it will do you absolutely no good.

Alarm Clocks! You learned to hate! You learned that discipline means that you need to go to bed earlier because you HAVE to get up for school each week morning. You may not like it-but this helps prepare you for later in life when you have to get up to go to a job or college. As you get older and more independent, it is crazy to think of you waking up to your own alarm clock and doing it all by yourself....but isn't this our job as parents? To teach you how to do these things so that one day you can do them on your own? Because I can say that I really don't like it. I'll do it-b/c I have to but I don't like it!

Education- We, along with everyone else you have encountered, have pounded into your brain that your education is one of the most important things you will ever achieve. Education unlocks doors for you that nothing else can. Always remember that people can take everything away from you-all of your material posessions-but they cannot take away what you have learned. That is yours to keep. With that being said, I promise that me and your daddy will do the best to expose you (and your brain) to things that are true. We promise to do our best to steer you towards the right path and support you in decisions you make concerning this. You see, education isn't all about text books. It is also learning about where you came from and where you are going. It is learning about what God did for you and everyone else. It's learning that everyone-including all of your family-will let you down. We will all fail you. God is the only one that will not. While you may not learn this in a classroom, Daddy and I promise to teach you this at home. This is the most important thing that nobody can take away from you. Always hold this truth the closest to your heart. We know that this only gets harder to hold onto the older you get, and peer pressure will try to convince you that it is uncool to believe. We promise to pray every single day that you become a man of God that will continue to stand up for what you know is right.

Bullying-I struggled with whether or not I was going to address this or not. However, I decided that if I wanted this around for you to read years later, this needed to be recorded. You can take tons of lessons away from the things that you have encountered this year. There will be bullies in life. There will be mean people that just want to take what you have or make you feel like less of a person. This stands VERY true in Christianity. There will be people that don't like you simply because you are a christian. They will say hurtful things. Please know that this is just because they want what you have. I am not saying that this will not be a struggle. Even if you know why they are the end of the day it doesn't make it hurtful or hard to deal with. But know this-Your value and worth...everything that you are and held solely by God. You will never find your self worth in a person or material things.

I will end with those three. This post is getting long...but there is more to say. I am sure I will say it all at some point in time.....but as you get ready for bed....I can't help but feel like a chapter of you is closing. Rest assured-a bigger chapter is opening! One that we are all anticipating! But tomorrow as you walk the hall of that elementary school for the last time as a student remember this: You may be turning into a young man....but you will always be my monkey. I love you and will be praying for you during all of these transitions! The best is yet to come!

Love Always,
Mama Monkey

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Minus a Title

This will be a post without a title. I don't have one. I don't have the energy to come up with a creative one. Just deal with it. Please?

Ok. I work on lists, people. I have actually thought of changing my blog to one that has posts that are all in list format. I love this idea until I think of something profound I would like to write that won't fit in a list format. Then I change my mind. Here goes:

1. We are home for a couple of days. We are going to spend the evening with a certain 11 year old monkey that I'm dying to see. Soon.

2. We checked out a charter school for said monkey this morning. They amazingly had a couple of openings in the grade that he is going into...and every other grade has a waiting list. Now just to decide if that is the best for him....

3. Caroline is healing well from her surgery. She is sad that she will never give me granddogs, but her husband Artie understands. This seems to help with her hormonal menopausal symptoms. Therapy may still be needed. We'll let you know.

4. I need to get going on the gathering of all of my yard sale things. My house is a wee bit more cluttered than I would like for it to be. That problem will solved as soon as possible.

5. If any readers homeschool, please let me know what cirriculum you use. We are looking to supplement school in the fall and for work in the summer. Monkey doesn't know this.....I think I'll keep it as a surprise....

6. The hubs and I are looking for jobs in the area...and we hopefully got some great leads this morning. Praying that they pan out in the time frame we need them too. We know God isn't pacing the floors of Heaven, so we will try not to wear a path in our living room carpet either. In His time.....In His time.....(I'm currently chanting this)

7. I normally don't end on odd numbers, but I can't think of anything else that I need to say right now. I need to get packed to head towards the in-laws for the evening and get the dogs bag packed. I need to switch laundry out and keep working towards getting re-packed to head back to work. Millions of little things to do and not enough time! Maybe there will be a better post later tonight?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


*Resistance is fiercest when you're on the border of a breakthrough.*

I am being stretched and challenged in ways I have never been before. I feel like my spirit of discernment is weak. Our pastor said the other week that resistance was the fiercest when you are on the border of a breakthrough. I believe it. God is working big time in my life-every aspect of it. And the devil is working the night shift. I sometimes have a hard time maintaining my perspective of that. Generally, I regain perspective. However, it's not before I have allowed people and situations to get me all worked up and achieve what they were shooting for.

My prayer tonight is that I would regain perspective on people and situations quicker. I pray that the devil gets out of trying to mess with my marriage. Between Olin and I-and most of all God-we WILL NOT let him win. I am thankful for all of these situations. I know that I will come out on the other side stronger in my walk with God and that alone will make it all worth it. But to be honest-I am getting weary. If the construction of this post is no example, let me assure you that I am weary. I have asked God to pull me in ways He never has before. I can personally attest to the fact that I am pulled as tight as a rubber band right now.

There is something great on the other side of this. I know that I will know my God like I have never known Him when this is all over. And I know there will be more situations like this in my life that challenge me and my relationship with Him. I do not know when this particular season in my life will be over. I do not know what else God has in store for me to teach me lessons. I do not know when the devil will back off and give me a break. I do not know when I will feel at peace with everything going on around me.

The one thing I do know? The thing that keeps me going? I DO KNOW IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT. That I know without a doubt.

I am sorry that this post is not in a tidy little box with a pretty ribbon tied around it. There are things I talked about here that I will never understand on this side of Heaven. Some parts of this post do not follow any other parts. But, take it or leave it, I can guarantee you that it is real. It is authentic. It is my heart.

Please keep me and my family in your prayers as we enter what is proving to be both the hardest, and most rewarding, season so far.

Friday, May 21, 2010

11 years old

*This post is a day late. I think Olins was a couple days late. Maybe I'll make that my new tradition. In addition to typing birthday posts for my favorite people, I will post them late. It's really the new fad. :)*

Dear Monkey,

You are 11 years old now!!!!! I remember when I first met you. You were 8 years old, full of mischief, and cute as a button!

Not a lot has changed...except the numbers! You are growing into an awesome young man. We have recently started attending church in Charlotte, NC at Elevation and you love it! I love that it spurs on quite a few conversations between you and I about the greatest story ever told! I will admit here that this is the part of parenting that scares me. I want to be able to expose you to everything you need in order to grow spiritually. That's the easy part. I want to find ways to keep you fired up and sold out to God-that's the questionable part! We must be doing something right-at least for now-because you asked to take all of your friends to church after your birthday party! I love seeing what God is doing in your heart and in your life. As a pre-teen, there are some murky waters that you are getting ready to navigate. For several more years!~ Please never lose sight of God. He is the one that will get you through whatever it is, and along the way He is giving you situations that will grow you as a person, and grow your relationship with Him. Above even all of us-He is the one that loves you the absolute most and wants to give you His best for your life.

You are getting into so many different interests right now. We are talking about karate and basketball, you love to try to cook things yourself now, you still read like you wouldn't be able to breathe without a book, and you still love your Legos! Last night you helped daddy grill hot dogs for your birthday! I nicknamed you "Bobby Flay". It made you blush. (For the record-I love making you blush!) With your reading, the one thing that makes my heart do a little dance is when I get you and daddy new magazines or books at the store, come home, and we all sit on the couch in silence and read. We didn't plan for this to ever happen. You or your daddy neither one can wait to open a new book and dig in! The couch is the closest thing the the door...Ha! And your legos-If your father is any indication you will never outgrow these. That's another thing that warms my heart. To see you and your daddy laying in your bedroom floor or spread out at the kitchen table building Legos. You guys could do this for hours-as you have proven over and over again! There have been so many legos in your floor that the most responsible way for us to pick them up was with a broom and dustpan! I love that you love to tinker!

You will be in sixth grade in a few short months. Middle School! This is a grade/age that many kids will start to feel insecure about who they are. Please never lose sight of the fact that you are a child of God first, which right away makes you awesome...and that you are loved by a lot of people. It doesn't matter what you have or don't have. Objects do not define you as a person. Your heart does. And I love the definition of You!!!!!

I will quit rambling now. I just feel like there is so much I want to tell you and it is all coming out very jumbled. Never forget that I love you. I may not have carried you and gave birth to you-but you are my son. As much as you are anybody else's. I don't promise to do this pre-teen thing right. I will make mistakes. I do promise you to try to do my best and to listen to you when you have concerns. I promise to try to be the coolest step-mom ever. (In this case, I will probably do some things that will embarass the hound out of myself! All in the name of coolness, of course.) I promise to do my best everyday to set a good example for you in your relationship with Christ. I promise to have fun with you. And I promise to look back on the mistakes I will make, and we will laugh together.

I love you monkey! I can't wait for your birthday party tomorrow! (Pictures of that to come!)


Mama Monkey

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May Meanderings

Well, the month of May has turned out to be a little busy for our little family. Not too much that is notable, so to speak, but things that have kept me away from a lot of time with the computer. Surprise-I am going to list them. I can't help it. Lists are my crutch. My way of not having to construct readable paragraphs. It's how I roll.

1. For the first time in my life, I have jury duty. I can't talk about anything until it is over, but it is simultaneously boring and interesting. Bet you didn't think that would ever happen, did you?

2. Caroline had her surgery yesterday. :( Downside: She is a little doggie in a lot of pain. Upside: I will never have to deal with her going into heat. I'm afraid the OCD in me couldn't handle it. Ugh..the germs! She is perkier today than she was yesterday so things are looking up.

3. Did you ever see the movie G.I. Jane? If you did, did it make you want to leave the theatre and shave your head and blow things up? Well-the sermon at church on Sunday made me want to leave the church bldg and do something! It was very convicting and thought provoking. Go take a gander at Click on Media/Sermon Archives and it is the only sermon listed under the E Series. Poke around some of the other ones too. They are guaranteed to knock your socks off!

4. My 10 year old step-son asked to take his friends to church after his bday party. Needless to say, we are now trying to work out how we can legally transport those boys to Charlotte. God will make a way...and I am praising Him for how he is working in Seth's heart! I pray every day that I am given the things to say and do from Him, so that I can continue to provide and encourage Seth in his walk with God. It is exciting to watch his faith unfold!

5. Speaking of the boys bday party.....there will be several little boys in my house overnight on Saturday night. Send reinforcements from the mental ward...STAT! Nah..they are all really good boys and they will have a blast (I hope!) and Seth is excited about turning 11. He is growing up waaay too fast!

6. Also back to the bday is all planned for outside..and there is a huge chance of thunderstorms! We are praying the forecast least to rain instead of storms. The boys can play in the rain-just not in thunder or lightning. We will see what happens!

Ok...I think that is it for today. I am exhausted and I think I am going to take a nap before American Idol. Maybe I'll even do a post about them with BooMama tonight. Stay tuned to find out!!!!!!! I hope everyone is having an amazing week......Talk to you all soon!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Two posts in one day?

What in the world am I thinking? I wanted to post this one the other day, but didn't have internet access. Go figure.

Dear Olin,

Today you celebrate your 32nd birthday!!!!! I am sorry that we have to celebrate it at work, but just remember that we are working towards a bigger common goal right now.

In your 31st year, we celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary! I never imagined I would get married, much less to a man as wonderful as you are. I know there are tons of people that say that about their husbands but when I say it I know it really is the truth. I don't know how I ever deserved someone like you, but I sure am glad that God crossed His arms on that one! You truly are a blessing in my life and in the lives of people all around you. You face every matter how hard it is showing itself to be...with a rigid determination to push through it and see the silver lining. You definitely are my opposite on that one!

As our small family faces a lot of changes in the coming months, please remember this: No matter how upset, stressed, tired, or cranky I get....I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love nothing more these days than spending a night in at home with "my boys" and the monkey! I am so excited to see what God is doing in and through our family! He has so much in store for us in this new season in our lives. Just imagine what I will be writing for your 32nd!

I love you "GL"........Happy Birthday to the best husband in the world....


May I Have Your Attention, Please?

Ahem....Now that we're all here. I have a little announcement to make. I think it's time for a major change on the ol' blog here. I want to change the name, the look (well, maybe not my layout b/c I'm in love with it. Seriously.), the purpose, etc. I just want a fresh bloggy start.'s the deal. I'm going to come up with a new name and address for the new blog within the next day or so. Please email me and I will give you all of the new info! You know you wanna....

Also-I would like to announce that the submissive buffet will be closing as of right now. For those of you who don't know me, I struggle with stepping back and letting my husband take the reigns of our household. In the past few months, I have extracted a couple unhealthy friendships from my world. The change is great-as I feel like it was becoming a very tense situation. My attitude over all of the drummed up drama? Not so great. My husband has asked me to quit mulling over it. He says it is holding me back spiritually. He asked me to cut all ties. I agree...through gritted teeth. So....let's all sing a little praise and worship song for me taking the first step in letting my husband take control! Now-if I could just hand over the finances......

Me starting a new blog is my first step in starting a new chapter in my life. One that is hopefully full of authentic Christian growth as I learn how to fall more in love with my Saviour every day! me for the new blog link...You know you don't wanna miss it! Thank you guys for all of your support!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I am trying to think of a catchy title...but, eludes me

I am trying to think of a title so I can begin doing a weekly post on Fridays, sort of like a Friday wrap-up. I don't want to call it the Friday wrap-up. I want it to be catchy. And all the words to start with the same letter. I really can't explain why. It's the crazy in me. it list format.

1. I am going to ATTEMPT to post each Friday. For your viewing pleasure it will be in list format. And guess what? It will be a wrap up from the week. Surprised? Thought so. I have to make my lists 10 items long. No less, no more. It's the other crazy in me.

2. We celebrated Olin's birthday last night with dinner (homemade white sauce chicken enchiladas and pico de gallo.....) and had a blast. I'm exhausted....but it was totally worth it. His real bday is on Sunday and we will be gone to work so we partied early. By partied I mean we had birthday cake and ice cream. What can I say? We are the type of people who like to live on the edge.

3. I feel like I should make a public service announcement and tell you that you can find the recipes for the white sauce chicken enchiladas and pico de gallo over at under her cooking section of the blog. You cannot find the cardiologist you will need after you eat this there. You will have to google that all on your own. Sorry. It'll be worth it, though.

4. We are now fully in the midst of planning the birthday party debacle of 2010 for Seth. His bday is May 20th but we are doing his party on the 22nd. Please start sending your prayers up now. I will have 8 little boys in my house...all day and all night...for a sleepover/camping party. Now-I don't like disorganization or nature. So I am facing the battle of having them in the house and deal with the stickymuddydirtydisorganization or go outside with them and deal with all the nature. I may need to be on some sort of nerve pill before I make this decision.

5. I am considering making Seth and Olin share a party next year. After last night, and I am sure after the 22nd, I will force this option on them. Democratic household? Not a chance.

6. I would like to take a moment here on this old blog and wish all the Mothers who read this a Happy Mothers Day! I know that only consists of less than a handful of people, but still. I hope you all have a great day!

7. Speaking of the old blog, do you love the new look as much as I do? Sometimes during the day I pull it up just to look at the happy background and admire the pictures of my people on the right sidebar. Just saying. Those were taken by Amy Beth at Shoot her an email if you are interested in her work! I would say I would connect you with her myself, but my schedule is looking a little full lately. You're on your own, kiddo.

8. I have recently crossed into unchartered territory while trying to learn to parent an almost 11 year old. I won't go into details, lest he eventually reads this blog when he is grown and kills me in my sleep. Just saying that I am glad to have his dad around. That's all.

9. The last sermon in the "where are they now" series over at is titled "when God crossed His arms"...and it is worth checking out. They had a guest pastor from Seattle, WA and anything I write here about that message could not ever do it justice. Go check it out! When you get to the site, go under Media on the top bar, then to Sermon Archives and it will bring up all of his series. Just click on Where Are They Now and it will show each sermon in that series. Worth watching all of it.....Just saying.

10. I am now going to say goodbye to the internet for a while. We are headed back to work very shortly and I need to sign off and be productive. Blech.... I hope you all have a fantabulous weekend and I'll be back sooner than last time! Promise! (Maybe)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wheat or Weed?

Matthew 13:24-30 says: " 24-26 He told another story. "God's kingdom is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. That night, while his hired men were asleep, his enemy sowed thistles all through the wheat and slipped away before dawn. When the first green shoots appeared and the grain began to form, the thistles showed up, too.

27"The farmhands came to the farmer and said, 'Master, that was clean seed you planted, wasn't it? Where did these thistles come from?'

28"He answered, 'Some enemy did this.'

"The farmhands asked, 'Should we weed out the thistles?'

29-30"He said, 'No, if you weed the thistles, you'll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time. Then I'll instruct the harvesters to pull up the thistles and tie them in bundles for the fire, then gather the wheat and put it in the barn.'"

God has recently been doing a lot of weeding in my life, and boy is He finding creative ways of doing it! Pastor Steven Furtick preached on this in his first sermon in the series called "Where are they now?". He talked about how when God is working in your life, the enemy is always working the night shift. That's why, when you think everything is about to get easier, everything may seem to fall apart. And in essence, some things may. However, we need to trust God that the things that seem to fall apart do so for a reason. You see-in this farmers field, as in any, when the weeds and wheat first start growing, they all look alike. How in the world would you know yourself which to pull up? God is pretty much telling us to let him do it. Give him the job of pulling out the weeds in your life and He will know exactly what to pull and what to leave.

I'll give you a moment to let that all sink in.

In beginning this series, Pastor Steven didn't know he would be throwing bricks at me....and showing me things that I needed to see a long time ago. The second sermon in the series talks about Spiritual Hearing Loss. Can I get an amen????? He pointed out that a lot of times, we hear God well on one frequency or another. In the frequencies that is easy to hear Him. However-when it is that middle frequency, or the one hardest to hear, where He may call us to difficult obedience, a lot of times we willfully tune him out. We only hear Him when it is easy. Man-that was a brick if ever I saw one. Sometimes in our lives, we only hear what is convenient. "God, I will do what you say or go where you say to go. But this area of my life? The one where I stick my head in the sand and pretend that everything is perfect? I don't need you there. I can handle that one all on my own, thankyouverymuch." And when that happens, you start to gradually get away from heariing Him at all. I don't know about you, but I want to hear His voice every every area of my life. Sure-there are times when I don't want to. And there are times when I fight him tooth and nail-because I know what He is telling me to do will be the hard road. Thankfully, God doesn't call us to have the faith to finish-He only calls us to have the faith to start. Let's hear that again- God doesn't call us to have the faith to finish. He only calls us to have the faith to start. I can start anything. I can look at something for what it is anytime. If I only have to take that first step, it really reassures me that I can handle, tackle, overcome, or deal with anything He is asking me to. You see-I have come to learn that this is easier than letting something simmer and fester...and create a mountain out of what was only a mole hill.

Well then-Can you now see why I love this church and pastor? His preachings rock my world. He is authentic. He tells the church where he struggles. He has no desire at all to pretend he is perfect himself. He preaches from his own experiences. And I like it. I love it. I want some more of it. I love having "aha" moments in church on Sundays, and realizing what I have been doing wrong so I can fix it.

For now, I will continue to let him pluck my weeds from my wheat. And boy, am I ever ready for the harvest!!!