The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is…Follow the Spirit.  Sounds so simple, right?  Simple and true. 

I recently read a friends blog about her and her family’s struggle to find a church.  I wanted to share that advice with her and others. 

My testimony is nothing special.  Raised in church.  Saved young.  Was a fairly decent person.  Of course, I am not without sin by no means. 

My paternal grandmother was pianist for years.  Played by ear.  Later on my mother was pianist for years (until her stroke).   Played by ear.  NONE of us kids inherited that gift unfortunately!  I took piano lessons but I had to memorize everything cause my fingers and brain won’t work that fast together. 

I still go to the same church I was raised in.  We’ve had good times and bad times.  Good preachers and “bad” preachers.  Which my husband says one should never speak bad of a preacher.  Easier said than done at times.  And yes, I’ve read James concerning the tongue.  Anyway, even with the bad preachers I weathered it out.  After all, it was MY church.  I’m the one who had been there all my life, not this preacher. 

Just before Katrina, a new pastor started at church.  After just a few short months, he almost destroyed our church.  I won’t even begin to tell you all the things he did that turned people away from the church.  I’d be typing forever.  I’ve never met anyone like him.  Our church dwindled down to almost nothing.  I’d go to church and cry all the way home.  I’d sit at my desk at work and cry about it.  It was one of the most gut wrenching things I’d been through.  I missed my church family that had left.  I missed the way things used to be. 

And it finally hit me.  The Spirit of the Lord was no longer there.  Even with the bad preachers from the past the Lord had never left us.  But this time I just didn’t feel His presence anymore.  At all.  Some may say that was my fault because he was still there.  Maybe so.  But I knew it was time to go.  I never thought I’d be leaving.  Never.  But I did. 

Searching for a new church was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.  What an awkward feeling when you walk into a new, strange place.  I tried to “make” myself feel comfortable at the first church we went to.  We went for several months but it just wasn’t right.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a loving congregation and pastor that always welcomed us.  I just never could get comfortable. 

We tried a second church.  It was much smaller, more intimate, but it was a totally different denomination from what I had been raised in.  They had a wonderful pastor.  Wonderful spirit filled worship services.  An awesome song leader.  It was almost perfect.  I just struggled with some differences in beliefs.  I emailed a very dear friend for advice.  He told me, Follow the Spirit.  I did.  I stayed at the little church and enjoyed it until I felt that tug to go home.  Back to my home church.  The last pastor had been gone for some time.  The new pastor was young, refreshing, understanding and preached the bible.  The Spirit of the Lord was back.  We went back too.

So follow the Spirit.  He will place you where you need to be.  To glorify Him.  And I’ve got a feeling you’ll be happy where He leads you.



This was a very good article. My thoughts exactly.

Every year EVERY holiday seems to get blown up bigger and bigger and earlier and earlier. People are even going all out decorating for Valentine’s Day and Easter. Wonder how many know the true meaning of Easter rather than associating it with bunnies and eggs? But I digressed so back to my point.

Halloween has grown to be almost as big a deal as Christmas as far as decorating. And I must admit, I do love fall and that includes Halloween. Now some Christians balk at this “holiday” but we went trick-or-treating and wore costumes every year and I didn’t grow up to be a devil worshipper or a witch. I didn’t instill those scary aspects of the day into my child nor will we do it with our grandchildren. We look at it like a fun day.

Our small little rural church has made this a special event for the past few years with trunk-or-treat, hayrides, games and plenty of free food. Yeah, you know Baptists can’t do anything without food. Last year there were over 300 people there. We are expecting even more this year.

I was a bit disturbed going into the SpiritHalloween store to get costumes for the redheads. First of all they tell you either don’t bring in your purse (just a pocketbook) or else they will inspect your purse when you exit. I’ve never had that request before. But the first display you come upon is monster babies. Lots of green, bloody, sharp toothed babies. I just don’t go for that kind of scariness. I hurried the girls on past that part.

Even though they had been talking fairy costumes they settled on ladybugs.

And if you are an adult looking for a costume be prepared to go as “hoochie _______”. Fill in the blank. Every costume they had was R rated. Even some of the tween/teen costumes had the same look. Sorry, I don’t go for that.

So enjoy your Halloween and keep it safe. I know I’m gonna have some of the cutest ladybugs ever!


The Chill Factor

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”…as the song says.

Two weeks ago Sunday our refrigerator went out. Our Maytag, freezer on the bottom, as seen on “I Want That”, all too expensive refrigerator went haywire. All of the control panel lights were blinking and the water dispenser flapper was steady opening and closing. Just what we need. Something else messed up.

I complained at work that morning and my friend Paul suggested we call Maytag and see if they would do anything. “Why?” I said, it’s four years old, out of warranty. So we called a local repair guy to come take a look. He came right on Monday afternoon. Took about five minutes trying to reset the panel without any luck, told us we needed a part that would probably cost around $700 and charged us $40. OH. MY. We are just getting our heads above water after the wedding. We certainly didn’t have $700 to spare.

Thankfully we have the twenty year old spare frig in the utility. What a lifesaver our ever faithful GE was. We even discussed just bringing it into the kitchen since we didn’t have money to get the other one fixed right away.

We waited for the guy to call and verify the cost of the part. Never heard from him. My husband finally called him and he said “oh, I need to listen to my voice mails and I’ll call you back”. Never heard from him.

So, I figured if this man could find a Maytag part so could I. I got online and started looking. I found that several others had the exact same problem as we did. All the solution guys said “Call Maytag, they have a repair kit”. Okay. I call Maytag. The very nice service rep says yes, they’ve been having this problem and would send a part and set up a service guy to come out. Whoa, I said, how much will this cost? The guy says “not anything. It’s on us”. WHAT? You mean I’m actually getting a break on something?

It took a few days to get the part because it was on backorder since so many people needed it. But it finally came and the official Maytag service guy came and put it on in about five minutes. No charge. Whew.

I guess this story has about three morals:
1. The Lord gives us blessings in ways we least expect it.
2. Sometimes it’s a good thing when a service man is lousy about returning calls.
3. Paul is smarter than I thought he was.



I thought I’d be all happy and relieved when the wedding was over. I’m actually kinda missing all the planning and shopping and net surfing and such. It’s like there’s a void I need to fill. Maybe I should become a wedding planner. On second thought, NO WAY. As much as I enjoyed it, it was one (if not “the”) most stressful things I’ve ever been through. But I must say, it turned out really well and was beautiful. And the bride was exceptionally beautiful.

I have deleted all the hundreds of bookmarks I had saved on centerpieces, reception food, pew markers, ideas, suggestions, talk forums, etc. There are a couple of websites I still like to look at though. Theknot.com and Brenda’s Wedding Blog. Doesn’t hurt to look.

Well, we do have Halloween coming up. We’ve already been looking at costumes. Right now the redheads want to be pirates. Then there’s Christmas, then birthdays, Easter. Actually now that I think about it I’m sure my void will be filled.


Cheesy Tot Replacement

It took quite some time but I finally found a replacement for my cheesy tots for breakfast.

Plus a 16 ounce Mt. Dew.

I had stopped drinking regular soft drinks completely but for some reason these garlic chips just need a “real” Mt. Dew with them.
So far, I have only found them in one store. But it’s a fairly new store, nice and clean, and it's right on my way to work. So I’m not having to drive all the way across town for them.
And apparently I’m not the only person that likes them. When I first started buying them, every Monday morning they would be out. I’d panic but make do. It would usually be Wednesday or Thursday before they restocked them. The store manager finally figured out that they need to stock more. They now fill FOUR of the hanging racks up. I don’t think they will run out now.
They are a bit pricey, $2.19 a bag but I munch on the bag off and on all day. And if you don’t mind garlic breath they taste absolutely super fantastic.

Not quite as good as those warm, cheesy, creamy tots, but they’ll do.



Yes, it's been forever since I've written.  I've been bogged down in a wedding.  That's over.  I'll tell you more about that later.

So HOW do you all stop the crazy spam comments?  I think I have the captcha thingy set up (don't I?) but that hasn't stopped them.  Look at my last post.  Tons of weird comments.  I started deleting them at first then I just gave up.

Any suggestions?


RIP Mamie

It’s a sad day today. When I walked into work I was told of the passing of a long time co-worker/friend. Single car wreck on her way to church. She’d been with our employer as long as I can remember and I’ve been employed by them for 29 years now.

She was always talking, always smiling.

Even the plant is eeriely quiet as if it is mourning her passing.  There is usually lots of noise, machinery, clanging of metal, tow motors, seeping through the office walls but I don't hear anything but an occasional door opening or closing into the plant.

She was here during the “good ol’ days”. When the plant ran at maximum capacity with several hundreds of employees. The employees respected the company and were proud to send out a good product. Plant management knew how to run the business and was good to the employees at the same time.

We still have several of those, or should I say “us” old employees but many are gone. The new hires have a completely different attitude. They tend to expect more out of the company than they want to give back. 

We’ll surely miss Mamie, as an excellent employee but mostly as a sweet, kind friend.



The redheads have hit a few peculiar stages. Right now big sis in on a “pink” kick. She will only drink out of the pink cups, only eat the pink wrapped Hershey’s kisses, pink m&m’s, pink smarites, get the new pink toothbrush…and so on. I told her she was a pink fanatic. “Yeah” she said “I’m a pink natic”.

And lil sis has decided she has to pick out what clothes they wear all the time. And she hasn’t got the “seasonal” thing down pat yet. I’ve had to hide some summer dresses cause she kept wanting to wear those. And please, make sure the training pants match. She went into a spasm one morning because her panties didn’t match her dress.

We laughed our heads off last night at them “shaking their booties”. At least they can entertain us. American Idol certainly isn’t entertaining this year.

My daughter has their flower girl dresses picked out so we’ll get those ordered when payday rolls around. I hope I have enough paydays before this wedding gets here.

I just hope the girls will actually walk down the aisle come wedding day. They are very shy at first so I just don’t know. There is an older niece from the groom’s side of the family that will be a flower girl also. We are hoping she will be able to coax them to follow her. But if they don’t, they can come sit with Mawmaw. That will be okay too.


The List...

is slowly but surely getting smaller.

Cake. check.

Bridesmaid dresses. check.


Dress #2

Okay, I honestly debated as to whether or not I even would share this with anyone because when you read it you will say either I'm the most insane person in the world or the best mother in the world.

We have bought another wedding dress.

There. I said it.

And no. We cannot cancel the other one.

A couple of weekends ago we went to a local bridal store to look at bridesmaid dresses. Well, they had gotten in the new Allure spring line. And there it was. "THE" perfect dress.


I liked the first dress she ordered because she did. It just didn't "wow" me though. This new dress "wowed" me big time. And...it fit to a T. No altering needed. That kinda was a "sign" to me I guess.

So, the dress is at our house.

I would love to show you the picture but I'll wait until after the wedding.

Go ahead, call me crazy.

Thank goodness I only have one child.

By the way, I have a beautiful Allure Couture Bridal gown, ivory/silver, size 5, I will sell very reasonable. Very, very reasonable.




You can actually buy dead grass and dirt from the endzone...



In my latest email from Hobby Lobby, I just thought this was kinda creepy. Who'd want a headless bride and groom as a placecard holder?

But I do like the tealight holder. I may have to check those out.


Midweek Ramblings

All I think about is "wedding" night and day. I am glad I only have one child! It is all so exciting yet so stressful at the same time. I want to get everything done NOW but some things just have to wait.

We did pick up a few items this past weekend. I'm sure I'll be spending tons of time, not to mention money, at Ultimate Party, Hobby Lobby and Michael's.

We also went to the church and mapped out the layout for the reception area, took some measurements and discussed the sanctuary decorations.

I am really excited about the candy favor buffet. It will be something like this:

I guess my biggest delima right now is the guest table centerpieces. I'll have a florist do the sanctuary flowers so I was trying to save some money and do the reception centerpieces myself. Right now I'm leaning towards mint julep cups with a mound of hydrangeas. That is the main flower. I am open for suggestions though...anyone, anyone!

But things are moving along. It'll be over before I know it though. My husband and I are already planning our August vacation. *sigh*


Be on the lookout...

For items similar to this...

This is a crystal gem tealight holder from Hobby Lobby. But this little thing is $49.99. YIKES! I'd like similar items to incorporate into the table centerpieces. I just can't go $50 per table. If you see any while out shopping let me know where. I've surfed the net and haven't had much luck.

The local wedding rental place has the tall ones we may rent for the buffet tables (which are $20 just to rent). We like to pull that look into the eight guest tables.

Things are slowly coming together. Thanks for your advice, hints, suggestions, and help.


Next Question

I would love to find clear plates w/cup holders similar to this for the reception:

These plates are actually made to accommodate stemmed glasses. I will have the regular clear cups. These may work for that but I'm just not sure. I've looked at the website and it doesn't say.

Has anyone seen such? Any suggestions on where to look/buy the tableware?



No Replacement

Oh, how I miss my cheesy tots.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve tried some other breakfast items.

First of all nothing else can be eaten safely and comfortably while I drive. I’ve been trying not to eat at my desk to keep from leaving any crumbs behind that might attract more rodents than we already have.

First up, I tried a McDonald’s sausage biscuit. I like mustard on a sausage biscuit. Strange, I know. But, McD’s doesn’t have mustard! Plus, I had to eat a crumbly biscuit at my desk and by the time I got through all my lipstick is gone. I at least want the lipstick to last until lunch time.

I tried a McDonald’s sausage burrito. Yuck. Just yuck.

I tried tater tots with cheese from Sonic. It just isn’t the same having cheese on the outside rather than the inside. And I couldn’t eat them while I was driving and it was way too much food. My surgically altered stomach can’t take in that much at a time.

I got an apple fritter from the Donut Palace this morn. I knew I was messing up but just couldn’t think of anything else. Talk about sugar overload. And it was way too much also.

I think I’ll be better off just eating a pack of nabs.

*sigh* How I miss that perfect little six piece portion that I could safely and neatly eat while driving and without taking away the lipstick. That creamy, cheesy goodness.
Nothing can take the place of my cheesy tots.


Check One Off the List

The dress is ordered.

It was very easy (except on my wallet). She tried on two dresses and number two was it.

Have you ever watched that show on TLC, "Say Yes to the Dress"? Wow. Those women can take hours and try on hundreds of dressed it seems. I was fearing that scenario. But it wasn't anything like that thank goodness.

The dress is beautiful. Perfect for her. We got it from The Bridal Path and it is from the Allure Couture collection.

It will take four to five months to come in they say. gulp. Let's pray it's more like four because five would be putting us way too close to that June 19th date.

Y'all may get tired of reading about this wedding. Sorry! This is my only child so I hope it will be perfect! And remember, if you think of or see any neat or unique ideas or websites let me know!


The First Question (and I'm sure there will be many more)

At my church, the usual custom for the reception is basically standing room only. That is, tables are not set up for people to sit and eat. I've seen this at other weddings so this may be standard procedure.

We would like to have some tables set up.

The question is, how many?

We have large families, me, my husband, the groom, so we are planning for 150 people. I'm the kind of person that would always rather have way too much than too little.

So, is it okay if we only set up, say 8 or 10 tables?
Each table seats six. The more tables, the more the cost. Tablecloths, centerpieces, chair covers.
Or, do we have to try and accomdate all 150 people?

Oh, we are serving cake of course and a few more finger foods, not a full meal.

The Wedding Planner

My daughter and fiancé have set their wedding date. June 19th.

I’m totally stressing already.

I’ve been waking up around 2:30 or 3:00 every night and have stuff whirling through my mind. I usually fall back asleep around 6:00 or so. So much for falling back asleep now. I have to get up and go to work.

At least we have settled on a date and place. I finally convinced her the church would be so much easier on us even though she is freaking out about the ugly purple carpet and big black asphalt parking lot with no landscaping. I told her people would be focusing on them, not those things.

I think we have the décor planner out. She will use hydrangeas as her main flower. It will be kind of a garden theme. Not overly formal.

But I would love to hear any and all suggestions and ideas you all have. If you’ve seen something pretty or unique at a wedding let me know. If you have suggestions on where to buy items (such as an aisle runner) we are all open. Decorating tips, ceremony tips (I do LOVE the unity sand rather than candles), reception food. Good websites for purchases or etiquette questions. ANYTHING will help!!!

We are going dress shoppping tomorrow. I hope I don't go into sticker shock.

Thanks bunches!