Friday, December 31, 2010

A Day in the Country

This is one of my favorite spots when visiting North Carolina. It is A Day in the Country (which houses the Veranda Cafe). It has lots of neat gifts in the house and a basement full of bargains. My husband is so sweet to drive over to Hendersonville to visit this quaint little place. We were going to eat lunch at Cafe on the Veranda. He is a real trooper. He even put up with me taking his picture

He thought I was really crazy when I wanted to take a picture of his food- lol. I said I want to blog about this place and he said "oh". Mike had Charleston Tuna with Veranda Potato Salad. He laughed and told me it was really good too. He didn't think he was going to be able to eat dessert (sure honey). He told me he expected it to be "fru fru" food but it wasn't!

I had Sugar Loaf Chicken Salad, chips and soup. I love the chicken salad because it has walnuts and dried cranberries in it! My favorite chicken salad in Cleveland is Jenkins and Rebecca J's. What is yours? By the way we both had dessert- just forgot pictures- Mike had the 7 layer bar and I had peanut kiss cookies.
He asked me how I found this place. I chuckled and told him Paula and I shopped our way there one day. Paula is a friend of mine that works at Lifeway. When we were both at Ridgecrest she shared with me lots of places to shop and eat. I told him I think this was the first time I had chicken salad- well that I remember liking it a whole lot. Thanks Paula! I think of you every time I visit A Day In the Country and the Veranda Cafe. They have lots of goodies.

Another day I will show you what I purchased this time and my favorite basement bargain from A Day In the Country. You can shop their store online too! In my shopping bag was a coupon - you guys know I am all about coupons- for 10% off from January 3 - May 15. I mean I think I can drive 3 1/2 hours sometime in the next 5 months- anyone for a road trip? Paula if you are reading...............when will you be at Ridgecrest again?

A Little Getaway

Mike and I had planned for some time to getaway a few days after Christmas. The snow delayed our plans a little but we wanted to be safe. After visiting with family on Monday, we ventured to Ridgecrest Conference Center right outside of Asheville, North Carolina. If you are on church staff you should check out their incredible rate. We love this area and it was beautiful with the snow! Now it was a little tricky getting there- one lane through 16 miles of the mountains- so it took a little longer to arrive than we thought. However we were determined to have a good couple of days...... despite the fact I was coming down with a cold.
On Tuesday, we just hung out. We went to a restaurant we like a bunch but don't have near Cleveland- Cheddar's. We shopped a little and went to a movie. The movie was okay but I won't mention the title because we don't recommend it. We headed back to the conference center........ we like staying in Mountain Laurel. It was full of life because of all the youth there for a retreat. They enjoyed all the snow on the ground. It was really, really windy.
Well on Wednesday we had reservations to go over to Biltmore , we just didn't realize so did everyone else. We bought an annual pass when we were at Rec Lab back in the spring. If you plan on going more than one day, you should buy a pass. We did so saying we wanted to come back at Christmas to see the decorations. Well, we had no idea that the week after Christmas is their biggest week of the entire year. Note to anyone even thinking about going that week- just don't do it. I did find the decorations are put up in November - so maybe we should have gone then. Not to mention I am feeling pretty lousy by this time. One positive of the day is that because I had made reservations -that meant we got to go to the shortest line! Yipee! We then wind through the snowy winter wonderland and park. We hop out and head to the shuttle stop. We are told the have not cleared the ice from the over 1 mile trail so they are asking everyone to ride the shuttle. Okay no problem, I prefer to do that anyway. Well, 45 minutes later we finally get to board a shuttle. By this time we have missed our reservation time (as has everyone else). We are all told this is not a problem just to head on into the house. Oh my goodness it was wall to wall people. Not a great experience. Yes the trees and decorations were gorgeous. I think they oversold on this day. You basically were being herded through the house- not enjoyable. We loved our time at Biltmore before and will go again BUT never that week again. Here are some pictures we took (outside the house- since they do not allow pictures, video, etc. of anything inside the house):
Here is this picture from our trip in April .................. big difference huh!

We loved our time away........... although wish I had felt better (got lots of good medicine today from the doctor) and I wish Biltmore had not been so crowded. All in all I enjoyed some time away with Mike........... he gets so little time away!

Happy New Year !

Well I hope everyone has had a wonderful 2010 but it is time to say goodbye and welcome in 2011! Mike and I just returned from a few days of vacation. I will post about our trip when I can also post pictures. Although I am under the weather but hopefully the doctor can give me some meds tomorrow to knock it out of me.

Get ready to celebrate the last day of 2010................ and


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is Lottie Moon on your gift list?

It is my prayer that everyone includes Lottie Moon on their gift list for Christmas this year. Some may ask who is Lottie Moon? Well I am referring to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering for missions.
You can go here to read more about the lady the offerring is named after.

This offering (100% of it) is sent to Southern Baptist missionaries for the projects, efforts, churches, etc. they are heading to help people all over the world know that Jesus came as a baby, died on a cross and rose again just for them. Did you know if missionaries didn't go and tell some would never know of Jesus amazing love for them?

Mike and I each year have a tradition........................... the person we spend the most money on for Christmas is Lottie Moon. Yes, we add up whatever the most spent on one person and that (at least) is our gift for Lottie Moon.

Would you consider giving an offering to Lottie Moon today? Did you know that we have missionaries who are called and trained to go but haven't been sent? The reason is there is not enoough money to send them all. Help be a part of the love of Jesus being spread all over the world! Here is where you can go to give

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My heart is breaking..............

My heart is breaking ............................For several families I know who are walking down the hard road of separation and some even the road of divorce.

Marriage struggles are something every married couple face from time to time. Some continue to struggle because they never resolve the issue. So it keeps occurring. Struggles and issues do not just go away. Yes, you can ignore them and for a season things may seem better. However, more often that not that season ends and the struggle or issue resurfaces. It will continue to rear it's ugly head until the couple deals with it. Yes, it is often painful and not pleasant. BUT if we work through it and find a resolution it helps over the "long haul".

Marriage is something you have to work on- it is not easy. Yes we all think it is all wedded bliss as we walk down the aisle..... and it is lots of fun and happy times. But things change over time...... children come along, money gets tighter, your routine becomes a rut, your schedules get hectic, romance can become a thing of the past and the list goes on. But if you work to see the positive ............children are a blessing, the Lord provides, routines well they are routine, your schedule helps make memories, romance just takes a spark and the other stuff all has an upside too. The two most important things are to keep God at the center and keep your SELF last.

I have cried many tears over, for and sometimes with the families struggling right now. Oh Satan will you LEAVE families alone.............. Lord will you help us all put aside the things that so easily entangle us? Will you keep us so in love with you that our love for our spouse says strong and pure and true? Will you help the pitfalls that want to destroy our marriages away from our path? Will you help us daily say no to self and yes to you and your truth? Will you help us have eyes only for our beloved spouse? Will you help us focus on the strengths in them and not see the weaknesses?

We need you Lord. Our marriages need you. Our families need you. Bring about reconciliation in those who think there is no hope, who have given up and even moved on. Do what only you can do and restore their love for you, each other and their marriage.

Thank you Lord for the incredible gift you gave me in my spouse. Other than my salvation it is the best gift you ever gave me- thank you. His wisdom, patience and constant putting me first overwhelm me. His sense of humor keeps me laughing. His desire for missions, travel, pictures and being together make life interesting. He is my partner in ministry. His love for you makes me love him even more. Thank you he really meant in sickness and health, for richer for poorer, till death do us part! I love you Mike!

Friday, November 5, 2010

When a child moves.............

This past Sunday I said "See you later" to a friend I've had the privilege of knowing for the past six years. It has been a so neat to watch your grow up. I have seen her grow and learn both physically and spiritually. I've had fun times and sad times with her. As she came to give me a bye hug ...... I couldn't help but cry. I love that kid. I am going to miss that kid.

I realized I don't need to take one opportunity for granted. I want to hug and take in every moment I have the privilege to spend with my "little" friends. We just never know when God is going to change things in their lives when they may move. I am thankful I have been able to see this little friend trust Jesus as her Lord and Savior - I get to spend eternity with her too.

Kenli I love you and I pray you get adjusted to a new home, school and church really soon!
I can't wait to see you when you visit! We'll go to lunch at your favorite place - THE SPOT!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Grandmother's Love

I loved to watch this grandmother with her three grandgirls. She was a special lady. My fondest memories are of her smile as she talked about her granddaughters or something she had created just for them. She was so very creative and could sew and knit. Well I think she could make just about anything she set her mind to do. They love sporting whatever she has made them too! They just beam when they tell you she made it!

More than anything I loved that they knew she loved Jesus. She just had the awesome opportunity a few days ago to watch her oldest granddaughter follow Jesus in baptism. Only God would know that five days later she would enter into eternity.

Lydia also had a deep love for her children. I was able to observe the mother / daughter relationship the closest. They often attended cooking classes at our church together. They were together a lot. I know her son and daughter are going to miss her more than words could every express.

I loved Lydia's sense of humor and again her contagious smile. She was also a lady who kept going. At times I know she didn't feel well or it wasn't always easy to be out and about- it didn't stop her. I will miss her being on the back row of Cooking Classes. I will miss hearing what she did and didn't like or rather what her daughter didn't like or try! :) Oh how, I'll miss seeing her with her little granddaughters around her. I am also praying for their little hearts- what an incredible sadness this brings.

My heart is so very sad ....especially for her family. How very thankful I am of an everlasting home in eternity Christ promises for all who will:

Admit they are a sinner

Believe that Jesus is God's son

Commit our life to Him.

I love you Lydia and I am glad I get to celebrate in Heaven with you!

Please pray for my sweet friends as they walk through some very difficult days ahead. First Baptist friends............. let's be the hands and feet of Christ to this precious family.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Workshops at the Conference

Well today concluded the Southeastern Christian Writers Conference . It was another good day. The workshops I attended today were Beginning Basics, Part I by Lettie Kirkpatrick Burress, Writing for Children by Alexandria LaFaye and How to Submit a Manuscript by Rick Steele. It was also encouraging to her another keynote address by Cecil "Cec" Murphey.

The first session was very informative by Lettie. She talked about needing persistence in your journey to have an article or book published. She gave extremely practical advice on how to get started. I have had the privilege to meet Lettie through our work on the Cleveland Christian Discovery Museum . She always inspires me. Her life story always touches me. As I sat and listened to her share how she began writing for publication, tears came to my eyes. Her 19 year old handicapped daughter, on her way to what would become her last drive to the hospital, asked her if she would remember her when she was gone. Lettie wrote her a letter to her daughter, which later was published, about all the ways she had changed her life. Lettie is an amazing writer.

As the tears welled up in my eyes, I began to really think about how some life experiences have forever changed me. I so wish I had keep a journal during those times. Several published authors talked about keeping journals this weekend.

I just told my husband that the Lord has placed Lettie in my life and although I don't see her often, I wish I did. She has really impacted my heart in ways I can't even put into words.

The next session I attended was on Writing for Children. This class was taught by an award winning author and Lee professor. She has also been attending First Baptist Church. It was neat to see her "at work". It is not often I have the privilege to see parents from my ministry in action. She did a wonderful job. It wasn't actually what I was looking for because I want to write to a much younger age group and she writes for older elementary children. However, I learned so much. As a part of her teaching us about dialect, writing narratives, setting, etc. she read portions of her books.............. one in particular I can't wait to read myself. It is Stella Stands Alone by A. LaFaye.

The last session I attended was by Rick Steele with AMG Publishers. Not only was his session extremely helpful but also very practical. Even as a newbie I followed his workshop. I will say I have always realized writing is a big job BUT never realized all there is on the business side of writing. I walked away a little overwhelmed.
I also met some new friends - I already told you about Hannah. I had the opportunity to talk with her over lunch today. Her outlook on life is inspiring and her smile is contagious. I also had the opportunity to meet Shelly who is a PhD student at UGA. I so enjoyed connecting with her over lunch and hearing about her dissertation and her mission work. I also loved hearing about her sister who serves overseas in missions.
I also met a couple who I hope to be able to get to know more in the future - The Vanderpools. I have read about them in the Cleveland Daily Banner. Pete and Joyce Vanderpool are active in several organizations here in Cleveland- not to mention Pete is Santa Claus. I was able to talk to Joyce about getting involved in the Cleveland Storytelling Guild. Currently I have a conflict with their monthly meetings but hopefully can attend soon.
Well, for a first experience I had a great time. I learned a whole lot. I have decided I need to spend some time praying about how to proceed with what God has laid on my heart to write. You see what He has impressed upon me to write for children is not your traditional book. It will take God paving the way for me to even have the opportunity to do the research for writing this book. It's out of my comfort zone and unconventional but I know one day several years ago He told me to write it. I really put it away because it is "out there" and to me really funny (God has a wonderful sense of humor you know!). However, yesterday in the shower of all places- God whispered to my heart again that He really meant for me to do this and He would provide a way in His time.
I learned last night that when you write a blog- you are a published writer. You see your written words are out there. I also realize that for the 3 or 4 of you who read this I have put myself out there and it is no longer something I can ignore. Please pray for God's timing and direction.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Writer's Conference

As you read the title of this blog you maybe asking why would I decide to write about a Writer's Conference. Glad you asked! Tonight I attended the 1st Annual Southeastern Christian Writers Conference. It is being held tonight and tomorrow at a church in Cleveland. The focus of the conference is called - "Beyond Barriers: Writing for Maximum Kingdom Impact".

Now, back to why I am attending this conference. Over a year ago I shared with a new found friend- Lettie Kirkpatrick Burress that I wanted to write a book for children. She recommended I attend a writer's workshop. Several of those were in the summer and I was unable to attend. Actually, summers are pretty busy in my line of work and so I thought I'd never get to venture down this path. Until Lettie sent me info on this conference. Despite still being really busy from our church's move AND Fall Festival 9 days away- I took the plunge and decided to attend.

I am glad I attended. Not to mention it was very informative tonight but I ran into several people I know AND I met some new people. I had dinner with a lady from my church who is writing a book and I was encouraged and impressed with hearing her journey. I also was very encouraged and challenged by talking with a new friend Hannah. Much to my surprise I also ran into Jennifer Mathewson Speer. It was great to see her smiling face and hug her neck. I have attended several Women's Ministry events including a retreat where she was the speaker.

Tonight we heard incredible songs glorifying God from the Voices of Lee. The keynote speaker was Cecil Murphey. Mr. Murphey or "Cec" is best known for bestsellers 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). He spoke about "writing well means you must live well." He shared about being real and authentic in your writing. He says that although you must go in depth and share from your heart that also means we will learn things about ourselves that we don't necessarily like about ourselves. Murphey shares that "a good writer touches your emotion on some level" and you should "open your self up so your writing truly comes from within." He also quoted Danish theologian and philosopher Soren Aabye Kierkegaaard- "Life can only be understood backward, but must be lived forward." As I pondered that statement, I realized how true that really is. Often it is only after a trial, tribulation, challenge and the blessings of life that I truly see the "BIG" picture of what God is teaching me. The ability of looking backward is an incredible gift but oh the living it forward is where the "rubber meets the road". That is where it is hard stuff. Hard but good.

My favorite thing Mr. Murphey said all night is how "the more he tells someone about who he is, the more that person responds." Think about it. Isn't that so true. I think of those in my path who openly share with me. They share their life, their kids, their joys, their hurts, etc. I am naturally closer to these families. This is what doing life together is all about. It is one of the beautiful things about being a part of God's family.

Breakout sessions followed the main session. I attended Internet Writing and Publishing a book. The evening was emceed by State Representative Kevin Brooks. The Bradley High School - Bears Bistro provided an incredible dinner. It is an amazing program at a local high school that teaches students all about running a restaurant. They learn every aspect - cooking, cleaning, business, etc.

I look forward to what tomorrow brings and eventually I will share that the children's book I want to write is actually what I feel God told me to write several years ago. Pray I will be obedient to Him. Obedience often requires us to step out of comfort zone and this is most definitely the case with this venture for me. We had to identify barriers for us in writing. My top three are - fear, lack of time and poor grammar (which you have most likely already noticed)! Will you pray for me as I follow this path?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Week

Well I had a week full of a variety of things...............

Monday - I enjoyed spending time with my family. Fun times cooking out and enjoying the pool!

Tuesday- It seemed like Monday all day but fun times planning the Fall with the Childhood Ministries staff. Tuesday night the baby I have asked you to pray for, Joshua, was born.

Wednesday- Baby Joshua died after 12 hours. Thanking Jesus for the gift of children and his grace to allow his momma to hold him. Wednesday night we have the Team Family Scavenger Hunt = Team Scannapiego wins!

Thursday- A busy day with new church stuff........I head to my parent's house to celebrate my youngest cousins 1st Birthday! (Yes, I will be 40 this month and he turned 1- LOL).

Friday- Lunch with a friend for more Fall Planning. Head to my mamaw's house to help her with her computer. Then I think I am headed to swim BUT the much needed rain comes and cancels those plans. I head to eat at my favorite lakeside restaurant - Dockside (in Harrison Bay State Park). Head to new church and WOW!

Saturday - doing nothing but watching all the MATLOCK shows I have on DVR. Yes, I love Matlock.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Please continue to pray for a miracle for Baby Hadley. I also ask you to pray for my friend Sheron's sister/hubby as their whole family grieves the loss of Joshua.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Children are a blessing!

Yesterday was a fun day- although busy. I got to visit a family in our church who just had twins- Ariel and Aiden. The family has 6 boys already so with the new babies they have 8 children. What a fun time I had getting to hold these precious wonders. I also enjoyed getting to see how much the boys had grown - especially Micah and Ethan. Ethan made me laugh because he giggled a WHOLE lot.

Then I went to an Adoption Celebration for another family in our church- Jake and Merica. I have the privilege of serving on staff with Jake. The celebration was for their new son who will hopefully get an approved visa soon so they can go get him in India. At the celebration I got to play/see with lots of little friends -Cade, Mary Evelyn, Lia, Harper, Dosen, Matthew, Andrew, Morgan and I got to see some older siblings (see because they were playing older kids games) Luke, Dosen, Fletcher, Winston, Emmy, Anna Grace,.............. hope I didn't leave anyone out. It was a sweet time of fellowship, fun and prayers over a family who hope to bring their son home soon. Please pray all comes together soon.
There was also a family there who was to leave today to go and get their child from Ethiopia.

I was very excited I got to hear my friend Cade talk for the very first time. He is normally very quiet around me. It was so sweet. Also I was so proud of my friend Mary Evelyn for sharing her toys. She was such a big girl. I had let some of the little kids put my keys in her lunchbox. Matter of fact I gave them to and said put them in the lunchbox. Well as Mary Evelyn said goodbye I luckily remembered my keys! I could have been stuck- OH NO!

I also got to see a family in our church who is expecting very soon!

Today I have been praying for two families- Jared & Jane and Ryan & Crystal- who need a miracle for their unborn babies. Jared and Jane's baby girl Hadley has been diagnosed with thanatophoric dysplasia. Jane is due in early November. Ryan and Crysal's baby boy Joshua Matthew has been diagnosed with a bone dysplasia. Crystal is due in early August.
Both have been told this is fatal to their babies. Both couples were encouraged to abort their babies. These couples decided to carry their babies and trust God with their precious children! Will you join me in praying for them? Jared and Jane have a group on Facebook you can join (and leave them encouraging words) - Search for the group Praying for Hadley. Jane is my Co-Pastor- Jim's daugther. Crystal is the sister of one of my volunteers at church Sheron.
I am praying for a miracle for Hadley and Joshua.

I am thankful for children. I have been deeply impacted to pray for all the unborn children. I have been reminded to pray for those awaiting forever families both here and around the world. I have been praying for all children as they continue to learn and grow. I love children. I am also thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves them MORE!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm Alive

Hello friends! Just wanted to drop a note to say I am alive and hopefully will doa better job of blogging. I have been busy with lots of things at work................ our new church campus, Vacation Bible School, Family Round Up Nites, etc.

Just wanted you to know I will begin to play catch up over the next few weeks !

Thanks! I pray you are doing well.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The real deal!

Valentine's Day 2010 I had the privilege to share with these five precious friends about following Jesus! Oh sometimes I feel so unworthy of sharing such things. As I have shared I am not a "physical" parent but it is times like these I realize the privilege I have been given to have come alongside their parents to help "spiritually" parent my young friends. It is an amazing privilege and one I will always treasure.
First of all I realize and acknowledge their parents are the main players in this role. However, on days like this it is so neat to be able to have the conversations with children. I am so thankful for those opportunities. I feel it helps keep me in touch with children and their faith, fears and dreams. It is also overwhelming. It can be deep. I can be challenging. It can be inspiring! Here are some snippets of conversations I had or heard today..............

What if people don't believe in Jesus? I am afraid they will think He is a fairy tale.
I remember praying and accepting Jesus and I felt WOW!
When I asked Jesus to come in my life, He did. I know it. I even knew He was there.
What if I am too short when I get baptized?
No, the water doesn't really wash away your sins.
Do we get to keep our robe when we get baptized?
Will you pray for me about doing what Jesus wants me to do, I am having trouble making good choices.
When I start to do something wrong I know it, it is like a little person is whispering in my ear- STOP!
I want everyone to go to heaven.

Wish you each could have been there! It is always precious. The questions, concerns and thoughts are amazing- I think we know someone who had a lot to say about the faith of a child! Do you remember when you accepted Christ? Do you remember how that felt? It is my prayer you are more in love with Him today than you were that day. If not, talk to Him right now!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Paisley is having a giveaway!

Thanks to Allison's blog I was able to hear about a giveaway from a local store (Cleveland, TN) is having. Paisley is giving away a stamp but hurry you have to enter before Feb. 22nd! I haven't had the chance to go to Paisley yet but can't wait. I keep telling my hubby I want to go there. We have even driven by it but realized it was closed.

I am definitely going to go after checking out there blog today! You can visit too

Thanks so much Allison for sharing about this giveaway and store!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cool contest I found to win free groceries for a year

"This is an awesome website and they are having an amazing contest!"
Hey, I just entered this contest on to win free groceries for a year. All you have to do is put in your email address.

Even if you don’t enter, please click the link to help me win. (I get an extra entry for telling you.) Thanks!