Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31, 2008 ~ Slogan ~

This came to me in the tanning bed yesterday. For whatever I do I think I like this:

S tanding
T all.
R eaching
O ut.
N ever
G iving up.
E nding
R age.

I also have an idea to put pictures and statistics to a song I have in mind. I'll need assistance so we'll have to chat about it sometime. And by "we'll" I mean the 3 of you who read this..HAHAH!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30, 2008 ~ My Passion ~

For a while now I have been wanting and praying for a way that I could make a difference in the lives of abused women/children. It crosses my mind a lot and I always ask God to show me what He wants me to do. I went through hell for a reason. I've been asking God to open the right doors. Last night at my parents house the news was playing as I was talking to my mom. I just had to tell her to hold on a minute as the following story ran...and I listened:

"Little Rock - A state legislator says that to counter domestic violence, there needs to be something more than a protective order to keep an abusive person from hurting someone. Representative Dawn Creekmore of Hensley says she will work next month in the legislative session to get support to strengthen the state's domestic-violence laws. Creekmore says her proposals will include making repeated violation of a protective order a felony, making choking someone a felony, and doing away with the statute of limitations for rape and first-degree sexual assault. Currently, repeat violation of a protective order is a misdemeanor. Creekmore says her proposal would make the third violation a felony. She also says that choking someone often is the first physical act in domestic-battery case. Her proposal would make it a felony, punishable by three to 10 years in prison. "

Wow!! This is what I've wanted for the past 5 change the laws. I just didn't know how. I plan to call the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence and see if there is anything I can do to help in this incredibly important issue. I ask that you please pray that if I am supposed to be used by God in this issue that he open the right doors and close the wrong ones. Even if this post is all He has me to do...pray that it spreads and these new laws become effective. Too many lives are lost to domestic violence. Too many children have to deal with this on a daily basis. Please pray with me about this as it is my passion!

Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008 ~ Gravy For Days ~

Last night we decided that we would have breakfast for dinner. Charles came over and we went to pick up Camryn from dance and then to the grocery store to get the things we needed. He said he would make eggs, bacon, biscuits, fried potatoes and asked if I could make gravy because he can’t. Now, I have tried to make gravy before and my precious lil daughter TRIED her best to eat it. When it was all said and done, we ended up throwing it away. I just can’t get it right…it never tastes like my Momma’s. However, last night I though I’d give it a whirl. We figured between the two of us and Mimmie’s recipe we could get it right. So, we cooked the bacon in my electric skillet. It cooked up good and had plenty of “fat” to make the gravy with. I got my stuff all out and said “let’s do this”. Charles got the flour and began to pour….and pour….and pour. I kept saying “I think that’s enough flour. We are gonna have a lot of gravy” to which he responded “It’ll be ok…we gotta get rid of the grease”. So he kept pouring and pouring. We finally soaked up everything and half a gallon of milk and 3-4 small cups of water later, we had gravy that would eventually plop off the spoon….and I had HUGE arm muscles from stirring. We figure if we keep trying, one day we’ll perfect the art of gravy making. In the mean time we’ll laugh about our first experience. Lesson number 1: less grease and less flour!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11, 2008 ~ Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound ~

Nine years ago today I chose my own path. I went down the wide, flat, easy rode that I wanted. I disregarded the signs God was giving me and turned a deaf ear to the direction God was telling me to go. Six months prior I had met a man who I thought I was in love with and who I thought loved me. “Andrew” seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. He was a Christian man who went to church and studied the Bible. He worked hard and was the owner of a successful construction company in Nevada. He had 2 boys who he had custody of because their mother was such a horrible, drug abusing woman. He loved his family and spending time with them as often as possible. He loved me and I was everything he had been looking for his whole life and he knew God had sent me to him. He wanted to marry me and he would take care of me. I would never have to want for anything ever again. As long as we kept God the center of our family, we would be happy. As the six months passed I discovered that “Andrew” was not his name...but he only told me that because he didn’t want his ex-wife to know he was in town. He would yell and get mad when I wanted to spend time with my friends…but that was just because he didn’t know them and his ex had cheated on him so trust was hard for him. He would call me names because I spend time with my best friend, Ashley…but that was because his ex was bi-sexual so again he didn’t trust. He would accuse me of anything you can think of….but it was because we were so far away from each other. Once we got together, in Vegas…1500 miles away from my family and friends and everything I knew, things would be so much better. You see God was giving me signs….billboards even. But in my own stubborn pride and selfishness I chose to ignore Him. Nine years ago today I said “I Do”. “I Do” to a life of depression and anger. “I Do” to a life of abuse. Four years of walking on eggshells, afraid to do or say the wrong thing. Four years being scared and beat down by the one man who was supposed to love me forever. I couldn’t understand why God was putting me through that. Why He would let that happen to me. However, I was the one who chose that path…I made my bed and God allowed me to lay in it until I finally realized that I was not in His will. God never stopped loving me. Every single time I would pray for a way out God would give me one. I would cry in the shower for a way out of the life I was in…when I was locked in the closet God was with me…when I would lock myself in another room and was too afraid to sleep God was with me…when I found countless proofs of my ex’s unfaithfulness God was holding me up. When I felt that I was trapped forever and there was no way out, I would cry out to God and every single time He made a way for me. So many times I would again choose my own path…stay and stick it out. Even though I refused God’s help over and over and over again, He never left me. His promise to never leave me or forsake me stood true. When I finally listened to God and got out of the hell I was in, it was scary, however God protected me and has brought me so many blessings that I certainly do not deserve. For this I lift up praise to my Deliverer:
Dear God, Thank you for never leaving me even though I disobeyed you on this day nine years ago. You never left me and you protected me through it all. Thank you for your deliverance, for your mercy and your grace in my life. Thank you for the trials and the lessons you taught me through them. Thank you for the beautiful little girl you gave me out of the darkness and the bond that we share. Thank you for keeping your hands over me and protecting me. Thank you for never giving up on me and always providing an escape. Thank you for your abundant love and grace on me. I pray that you receive all glory and honor from this because you are worthy and holy. King of King, Lord of Lords, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, MIGHTY GOD! I praise your name.

“Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come. T’was Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December 9, 2008 ~ It's a circus around here ~

Saturday we had our first "family" outting. We took the girls to the circus, McDonalds then to look at Christmas lights. Here are a few pics. We had a great time and I was TOTALLY impressed and proud of Camryn. She wasn't a brat or jealous of Alaina. She was very good with her!

My favorite...the tigers pooped and a guy had to catch it in a bucket...let's all be thankful for our jobs!

Fun times in the car!

Charles spoiling Camryn *sigh*

2 silly girls!!


Cheese!!!!!!!! Alaina and Camryn

Me and Cam at the circus

Daddy's lil girl

Just getting settled for the show. It was a lot of fun and everyone got along!

Friday, December 5, 2008

December 5, 2008 ~ Bad boys, bad boys...whatcha gonna do when they come for you? ~

The following conversation ensued in the car the other day and is proof that you should never let your 6 year old watch Cops with you:

Andrea: "Ohhhh, look Cam, someone's getting arrested....that's awesome!"

Camryn: "That's not awesome....they probably have weed"

Andrea: *trying not to laugh* "You think so?"

Camryn: "Yep...Eeevvverrrybody gots weed"

I laughed so hard. I asked her where in the world she heard about weed and she said "Cops". Oh lordy, the things they pick up. That's the last thing in the world I need her going to school talking about. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 3, 2008 ~ O Christmas Tree ~

Well, the tree is up and the stockings are hung by the ....coat closet... with care!!! We got our tree up last night. As we were "fluffing" the branches Camryn said she had to take a break cause it was "pokey and cheesy and hurting her hands". I said "Cheesy?" She said "yeah". I asked her how it was cheesy and she said "ya know, like you said about that garland we took back to Dollar General". (I bought some lighted garland that was cheap and "cheesy" lookin and she heard me say that.) I said "ohhhh cheesy means like....goofy or something". Later as we were decorating she said something silly and said "I'm just being cheesy". I about fell out on the floor. Poor thing, she wanted to use that word so bad, just couldn't get it in the right context. I explained that it meant it looked fake or ugly looking. After we got all the "cheesy" branches fluffed I discovered that I couldn't find my lights so we had to make a quick trip to Dollar General to get some lights for the tree. I ended up getting some pretty sliver ribbon too. I just have to get some more curly things and a tree skirt and we're good to go!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 2, 2008 ~ It's Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas ~

Last night I made a pot of soup and a pan of cornbread. Momma came over with the ladder and had dinner with us. Then we began the project of putting my my Christmas lights on my first house for the first time!! I was so excited. I even have a mailbox to put a bow on!! I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am for where God has brought me. I never would have dreamed, 5 years ago, I'd have a car that was paid for and be a homeowner. It just goes to show that once I finally gave in to God's will for my life and quit holding on to what I thought was right (my marriage) God blessed me beyond anything I could have ever imagined for myself. I had to suck up my pride and give it all to God and trust Him to lead me where He wanted me to go. Not where I wanted to go. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, to leave the boys and go through a divorce when I was raised differently. It hurt and I went through some major depression, but I can say every second of it was worth it. God knows what He's doing and it is evident in my life. Every time I drive past a car that has ice on the windshield that has been scraped off, I thank God for my house with a car port. I can't even describe how humbled I am that, after all I've done, God still blesses me. I am truly blessed far more than I deserve. Because, like all of us, I deserve hell. Thanks to God and his mercy I'm set free!

December 2, 2008 ~ Picture Time ~

Me getting the heck out the woods in the sleet.

By the camo.

No telling what I said here...but gotta love that smile!

This is when he dropped my glove and had to go get it.

My Heater!!! He spoils me! :)

This is us Sunday in the sleet.

He's getting my coffee ready. He's so good to me, y'all!

This was Sunday morning...early!

Us trying to stay warm around the fire Saturday evening.

Hangin' out at camp

Lookin' like one of the guys..chit-chatting with Leon (I have pink under the camo!!)

Scary, huh? (that's one heavy dang gun)

Scared to freakin death. This was after I prayed...when I was about to cry...when Charles realized I was really scared and came over to help me..awww!!!

Yeah, I was tired. This was Saturday morning.

What I looked at for hours on end. *sigh* My dad got excited about this picture?!?!?!?!? Really?!?!?

A-C my art work in the tree at one of my bored times.

Yes, my friends, I am holding on for dear life in this pic.

Charles cooking plate was made and brought to me by the fire..told you he's good to me. :)

Got me a lil wink while I was playing with the camera.
All in all a great weekend!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008 ~ Call me Ranger Joe ~

Well, I did it! I hunted. Charles picked me up from Barbs Friday night around 6:30pm. He showered at her house then we loaded my stuff in the truck. I’m always one to be overly prepared. I’d rather have too much than not enough, so when he pulled my large suitcase outta the car I guess it was a shock. He said “I had all your clothes, babe, what else did you need?” Two days in the woods you never know what could happen. I had to have extra undies, socks, bra’s, clothes, hair dryer, towels, toilet paper, makeup, shoes...DUH. After about a 40 minute drive…15 of which was dirt roads, we made it to the camp site. They had the fire going in the pit so we sat around and chit-chatted by the fire. It was during this time I was informed that when I went to the bathroom, I couldn’t flush the toilet paper. It had to go in the trash can..UGH! I was also informed that when I took a shower I had to get wet, turn off the water to soap up then turn it back on to rinse off so we wouldn’t run out of water. *SIGH*. Anyway, we all got tired and decided it was time for bed. Charles, his sister, her boyfriend and I were all in one camper. We watched a little bit of a movie then it was time to turn off the generator and go to sleep. Let me just tell you…there is no quiet like quiet in the woods. I’m talking ears ringing quiet. Took me a minute to adjust. I didn’t sleep well the first night cause we had about 5 blankets and I kept getting hot and cold. Then at 5:15am…in the dark…before the sun came up…before the early bird even woke up to get the worm…I hear “It’s time to get up”. So, I put on my thermals, hot pink fleece pants, pink socks Charles bought me, camo shirt, camo bibs, orange jacket…pulled my hair back in pigtails threw on the orange toboggan (snuck some make up on), boots and out we went! I really don’t know how anyone shoots anything. I could hardly move in all that get-up. After about 10 minutes on the ATV and hiking up a hill, through pine trees I might add, we finally get to the stand. I faced my fears and climbed up the ladder, get situated, sit for about 4 minutes and say “so this is what you do for 4 hours?” He enthusiastically answered, “yep”. Literally…nothing, people…NOTHING! I tried to be as quiet and still as I could but I have to say, I got bored and restless. I had some hot chocolate then I got hungry and had a pop tart. Then I wanted my book. I read a little of it and decided that I didn’t want to do that. I took a lil nap on his shoulder. Then I decided to get my word search book and do it. I even had Charles doing it with me. I mean really, word search is much more fun than looking at some trees. He informed me that he would not be a happy camper if he missed a buck because of doing a word search. J We had a contest to see who could find the words the fastest. Of course when I was losing I decided we weren’t keep track of it. A little later I had the bright idea to carve our initials in the tree. Charles wouldn’t let me use his hunting knife so I just wrote A – C on the bark of the tree with my pen. After 4 hours of seeing NOTHING..not even a squirrel we went back to camp for breakfast. During breakfast I thought it would be fun to be a true hunter. So I stood by the fire in my camo and asked the guys “Y’all see anything?” They said no so I told them “we didn’t either..they just weren’t movin’ today”. HAHAH!!! It was fun. After breakfast Charles went to move his stand and I took a nap. I was good and asleep when it came time to go back out and stare at more dead trees. He said I did a little better that afternoon with being quiet and still. He said my max is about 2 hours. We finally got to go back to camp and sit around the fire and have dinner. I loved the sitting around the fire part! Then it came time for a shower. I was so looking forward to a hot shower and to wash my hair and feel like a girl again. It was an exciting thought. Charles told me to give the water time to heat up then he went back out to the fire. I brushed my teeth, washed my face and got in. The water was cold. Apparently I didn’t give it enough time to warm up. UGH! I slept much better the second night. We got to sleep late Sunday morning..and by late I mean 5:45am. *rolling eyes* This time Larry, his step dad, gave us a small heater for me take to the stand. On the way I had a pop quiz of the hunting terms I learned like what a rub and a scrape were. We get to the stand and I was pumped, this was the day we were gonna see some action and get a deer. I was SUPER quiet for about 30 to 45 minutes. Then I decided I wanted some coffee. A little later I wanted a pop tart. Then I wanted his phone to text Barb (my phone had no service). We were about an hour into it hunting when I informed Charles that I no longer had toes due to frost bite…I was sure of it. He told me he would take me back to camp, but being the trooper that I was, I didn’t go. I mean, he went through all the trouble for me to hunt…I wasn’t gonna go back to camp and look like a sissy. Instead I stayed and complained! We were sitting there freezing when I noticed he had his gloves off. I told him he need to put them back on and he said “Everytime I put them on you decide you want something”..hahah! I’m spoiled! In the mean time, he dropped my glove and I melted the bottom of his mom’s boot on the heater trying to get some feeling back into my toes. Around ten I heard some ticking and told Charles that it was sleeting. We stayed out a little longer then decided to head back to camp. We got packed up and headed home. It was a super fun time, although I told Charles I was all about the riding the 4 wheeler and camping, but I’d leave the hunting up to him. If I didn’t have him to entertain while I was up in the stand I’d have been bored to death. I only almost cried once and that was the first time I had to come down from the stand. He raised the bar and I could see the ground and I freaked. I told him I was just gonna stay up there forever. But, I did the sign of the cross like a catholic, said “help me Jesus”, and he got on the ladder and walked me through it, placing my foot on each rung! I was never so happy to be on the ground. Anyway, it was a great weekend. Charles said I did good and he was proud of me. I’d even do it again….minus the frost bite and cold shower! Pictures will come soon!!!