Saturday, February 28

Truly Amazing!

I was truly blessed the other night to attend this Senior Recital at Carson Newman College, and witness the amazing talent that God has blessed Livvy with.

I've known Olivia since the day she was born. Her mom is one of my best friends. I also taught Olivia from Kindergarten to 2nd grade at Fellowship. She was a timid, shy, beautiful little girl, and when she had a question, I would just about have to put my ear to her lips to hear what she was saying. Olivia was an excellent student and went on to graduate as Valedictorian of her class at Coalfield High School. Livvy also used to come to my house after school sometimes, and when I was working for her Mom & Grandma at Just Olivia's in the Oak Ridge Mall, she would ride to Oak Ridge with me. Once, Charlie had to pick all the kids up at school and Olivia was supposed to come to my house that day. I told him several times before he left not to forget Olivia. So, he got to school to pick up the kids, made sure he had Olivia, counted heads, got the usual number, and promptly left Malachi at school! I used to aggravate Olivia on the way to Oak Ridge and call her "ornery Olivia". There was absolutely not one ornery bone in her body.

I love this picture. We had a play at school and all the little kids were animals. Livvy is the pink flamingo. Bet you can't guess who the skunk is!

(Yep, you're right, that's my Jason.)
This beautiful little girl Grew up to be this amazingly talented, beautiful young woman.
Tears filled my eyes as I sat and listened to Olivia, and watched the movement of her hands across the keys. I was amazed and in awe again of the talent the Lord has given her. Not only is Olivia an intelligent, talented young lady, but she is also a fine Christian with a sweet spirit! This is Olivia's family. Her dad Ronnie, mom Gina and her brother Joe.
And hey, did I tell you?
I taught Livvy to read!

Wednesday, February 18

Valentine's Day-The Banquet

The guest speaker for the Valentine's Banquet was Bro. Tony Clower from Salem Baptist Church in Ten Mile. He brought an excellent devotion.
After the devotion and a skit done by Pastor Pallotta, Bro. Jonathan and Ms Becky, (sorry, no pictures, I was making salads) dinner was served (by me). Ms Barbara made an excellent meal for everybody. It started off with salad, then Hawaiian chicken, green beans, baked potatoes and rolls. Dessert was brownies with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

Ms Barbara

The Diners:
Pastor Pallotta, Bro. Tony, Ms Kim, and Ms Tammy
Alyssa, Faith & Lindsay Skyler, Joe, Pamela & Seth
Bro. Jonathan & Bro. Ryan (Ms Becky & Ms Robin were getting ready for the games)
Everybody participated in a couple of games. One was a memory game, and then this one you had to ask questions and guess who you were and who was supposed to be your partner. For instance, David & Bathsheba, Micky Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Salt & Pepper, etc. After that, door prizes were awarded and pictures were made.
All the kids: Back row, Lindsay, Skyler, & Joe. Front row: Emily, Faith, Alyssa, Seth & Pamela.
Seth trying to appear taller than Pamela
Seth still trying to appear taller than Pamela
Seth giving up and accepting facts as they are
Skyler & Joe
Faith, Lindsay, Alyssa & Skyler A normal picture of the girls being silly (and influencing Emily) Faith & Alyssa
Alyssa really likes having her picture made Bro. Tony and Sis. Kim Clower
Bro. Ryan & Sis. Robin Sparkman
Pastor & Mrs. Pallotta & Emily
Joe showing off his muscles to impress Skyler One last picture of Seth & Pamela

Sunday, February 15

Valentine's Banquet-Decorations

We had a Valentine's Banquet at church for our teenagers on Valentine's Day. I spent two days decorating and getting everything ready for it. Here are some pictures of the decorations.
Leading into the building, we had lights strung down the walkway (sorry, no picture)
You came down the hallway and under the arch of balloons and hearts (later used for pictures)
Immediately on the left is the bulletin board and counter space. Below is a close up of the arrangement on the shelf in the corner.Ms Roxie made this beautiful arrangement for our youth month three years ago. (I know it was three years ago because there is a picture of my granddaughter, Kylie, as a newborn, and she was born January 25, 2006. I think the kids enjoyed seeing the old pictures of everybody and how much they had changed. Going on around the room I decorated this wall with this verse from Jeremiah and used hearts with the kids names. This is the end wall of the lunchroom. I used the second part of the verse in Jeremiah on the opposite wall and more hearts with the kids names.
This was the table arrangement. I also used white lights on the floor all the way around the room, as you can see in some of the pictures. The table decorations, all lit up. These pictures are from the far end of the room, with the lights on. But I didn't have the candles lit, except in the last one.
I was real glad when I got everything finished, especially with all the computer and printer problems I had. I thought everything looked nice. Hope everyone else did. What do you think?

Boys & Trees

Kyra, Elijah & Owen spent the night Friday night. I was kind of busy decorating and working at the Valentine's Banquet at church, so Papaw did most of the baby sitting. Kyra went with me to the church Friday night and played with Emily, while Papaw watched the boys. He had already given them a bath and had them ready for bed by the time we got back. I did catch a chance to get a couple of pictures of Elijah climbing the tree in the yard and showing me his "trick".
There is just something about these boys and trees. Kyra was busy riding the bike through the yard and moving so fast I couldn't catch a picture of her. After I snapped the picture of Elijah, I heard a little voice saying "cheese" and snapped these of Owen.

Thursday, February 12

God Is So Good!

Debbie got the pathology report back from Vanderbilt, and it was much better than they originally thought. The report said that the cancer is a "Polymorphous low grade adenocarcinoma". This type wasn't even listed on the original path report. Dr. Scarbrough said this is a lot better than the original path diagnosis of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. This is a slow growing tumor and the quality of the surgery she gets may mean that she won't have to take radiation treatments. She will be going to Vanderbilt to see Dr. Netterville on March 2. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

Wednesday, February 11

Why Me?

Have you ever said, or even wondered "why me" when something came your way? I have, (especially this past year), as I'm sure most all of us have at one time or another. Things come in our lives that are just plain hard! Things that are almost impossible to comprehend. But even amidst the questioning, I'm always reminded that God has a plan. He has a reason, even if we don't understand it here and now. My life verse is Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Dr. Mike Bagwell, a dear preacher friend, usually holds a week of revival at our church in January. He was unable to do so this year due to his wife's health. Sister Norma passed away three weeks ago today. Bro. Bagwell has been sharing his heart on his website, in his daily Bible studies and his page entitled "Standing With the Bagwells". What he had to say today about this was a real blessing to me. I hope it will be to you, too. This is taken from his "Standing" page.
"Did you ever wonder "Why?"
Why did God let that happen?
Why me?
Why now?
Why this?
Isn't God almighty?
Could He not have stopped this terrible event?
Isn't He loving? Does He not understand how this hurts, more than anything ever?
Normal questions we ask, most often silently, deep within our hearts. Even John the Baptist asked such things! And here's what Jesus told him. "Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me." Matthew 11:6 Wow! To "be offended" here is not to be "hurt" at Jesus. Or to be "angry" at Him. No, it means "to stumble and fall, to trip" in your Christian walk. To stop following the Lord! To quit on Jesus! To fall by the wayside! The verb is "skandalizo," to fall victim to a "stumbling-block" that's been placed in front of you, especially as you run a race! Life has its pitfalls! That's just part of living on a sin-cursed earth. Holes you can fall in! Mountains that must be scaled, steep ones too! Dangers galore! The spiritual journey must be pursued relentlessly. Not being "tripped" along the way! And, if you can do this, with the Lord's Help, you will be "blessed." "Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me." The Lord will do some hard, unexplainable things in our lives. Maybe, partly, just to see if we're going to trust Him! Or if we're going to stumble over that "tricky" little issue! This is "big-league" stuff! "Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me."
Visit Bro. Bagwell's site, , and I know you'll be blessed. Be sure and check out the "Standing With The Bagwell's" page.

Tuesday, February 3

Debbie's Blog

My sister Debbie has started a blog to keep everyone updated with what's going on. Click here to go to it . There is also a link to the right under Family.

Prayer for My Sister

Please pray for my sister, Debbie. She has recently been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Click here for my neice Stephanie's post about the diagnosis. .
Besides my husband, Debbie is probably the one person who knows me better than any body else. There are only eleven months difference in our age. I won't make you guess who is the oldest, it's me. We did almost everything together growing up. When I was in the third grade and Debbie in the second, she had rheumatic fever, and spent a long time in the hospital. It seemed like forever to me, because my best friend and constant companion wasn't around and I didn't get to see her. (Don't get me wrong, we had our arguments, but we always made up.) We even took turns dating the same guy in high school (completely different time frames). We both got married in the same year, and had our kids close together, although I got two in in between Debbie's first two and last two. This last year we took a cake decorating class together and had lots of fun doing it. And don't believe a word Debbie said, I did pass the class! This past summer we took a vacation together (minus our husbands) and took our two youngest to Myrtle Beach and had a great time. We are both busy raising our families and don't spend alot of time together these days, but I know all I have to do is call and she'll be there for me. I hope she feels the same way about me. I know she's gonna have a rough road ahead of her and could really use your prayers that God would give her grace to face whatever's ahead. Pray for her family too, her husband Wendel, her son Josh and his wife Misty and daughter Rene, her daughter Stephanie and husband Michael, and daughter's Tiffany & Mikiah. Remember Jessica (as Debbie says her "not by birth daughter"), too.