Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Snippet{Halloween Fun}


Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story. ~Mason Cooley

The Cat In The Hat, Sir Paul McCartney,FunShine Care Bear, Mickey Mouse, & Blues Brother

"Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how."
— Dr. Seuss

"I don't work at being ordinary."
— Paul McCartney

"Everybody neat and pretty? Then on with the show! "
— Mickey Mouse

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Safety

Halloween is a fun holiday. I mean who doesn’t love free candy and playing dress up for the day. Here is just a few helpful hints to review before dashing off to the costume parties and trick or treating. First and foremost, use common sense stay on sidewalks, wear costumes that are well made, drive safely, don’t take rides from strangers, and always be alert to what’s going on around you. Listed below are a few more safety tips. We hope everyone has a Happy Halloween.

1. Abide by your curfew. Don’t make your parents worry about you. Be home when they ask you to be home. They only have your best interest at heart, plus it builds trust between you and them when you follow the rules.

2. Never go into a stranger’s home. When going door to door trick or treating keep your parent/guardian in sight at all times.

3. It’s a good idea to pin contact information in the inside of your child’s costume. Talk with them and instruct them on what to do if you get separated, and who they should share the information with if they are lost.

4. Use a flashlight, and use reflective tape on costumes for better visibility.

5. Vandalism is never the right thing to do. You could be arrested and punished as a juvenile. So, be smart and just don’t do it.

6. Examine all treats before eating. Throw out any that even look as if they may have been tampered with or that could be a choking hazard in the case of smaller children. When in doubt, throw it out.


Special note: This article also appears in

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When Angels Sing

This is my personal story of my prayer life as a Mother and the power that is in believing in God’s promises. This is the story of the day I heard Angels sing. My son Wesley has had multiple health issues for the majority of his life. One of those health problems has been a handicap in his right foot. Long story short, the muscles in his foot and leg did not function properly. Some muscles were over working causing other muscles to basically not develop. All these factors lead to discomfort and pain when Wesley was on his feet for any length of time. This included grocery shopping, zoo trips, playing outside, riding bike, pretty much anything that required him to be on his feet. We had already had one unsuccessful surgery at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital when Wes was a little under the age of three. I was broken hearted that my son was still in pain, and he was broken hearted that he still couldn't wear cowboy boots. The unsuccessful surgery was at no fault of the hospital or the doctors. We knew going into the surgery that it was all going to be highly educated guess work. There was no case on record quite like Wesley’s, so figuring out a solution was not as easy as referencing medical text books or phoning doctors with similar cases. One thing that made his case so different is the inability for doctors to pin point why the muscles didn’t work. All that being said, after the first surgery I remember thinking this is not the end....This is not what God has planned for my little boy. So, I continued the daily and multiple prayers for my son's healing (1 Thessalonians 5: 17, 18). I refused to believe he was going to walk around the rest of his life in pain.

Wes taking a little rest at one of the early morning doctor visits

After almost 2 years of praying, we felt God leading us in the direction to find a new Doctor for Wesley, and I knew that there was one Doctor out there that God would gift with the wisdom to make my son pain free. This is about the point where I began saying, "I will just know the right Doctor that God has for us comes along". I said it would be as if hear the Angels sing to me from Heaven. So I would patiently wait for that moment of peace during all these trials (James 1: 2-8). We started the journey with a trip back to our home town of Livingston TN to visit a Doctor that has been looking after our families for several generations now. He gave us a couple of referrals. One of those referrals was to the Children’s Shriner’s Hospital in KY. My hopes were high. So we filled out tons of paper work, gathered all Wesley’s medical records, and said many thank you's to our Shriner's Sponsors. Now we just had to wait to see if Wesley would get accepted to be seen at the hospital. I literally jumped for joy when we got the phone call for the appointment. So off to Kentucky we went. I had been faithfully praying, and I knew that there were so many others praying faithfully with us. I just knew this was going to be it. I just knew that on this day the angels would sing. We meet with the Shriner’s doctors and staff. The whole staff was so very kind to us the whole day we were there, but they felt like the answer to Wesley’s problem was to leave it alone. At best, maybe he would grow out of it, and the muscle would begin to develop. My heart sank. I admit I was frustrated, heartbroken, and just emotionally drained by this point. I remember crying a little as we walked back to the car for the journey back to Nashville.

A couple months later we were off to our second referral. We went to a small town called Ringgold, GA to meet with a doctor who is based out of Atlanta GA. Ringgold is about 30 minutes outside Chattanooga. So we decided to stay all night the night before the 9am appointment. We swam in the indoor pool, Wes jumped on the big bed, and we ordered pancakes for breakfast. Wesley thought the whole hotel adventure was just grand. I think it’s the first time he remembered staying in a hotel. At 9 am the next morning Doctor Camasta walked into our lives and folks I heard the Angels sing (an amazing sense of total peace came over me). Dr. Camasta examined Wesley and looked up at us with total confidence and said I think we can fix this, and smiled this unforgettable sincere smile at me that I will never forget. I felt a sigh of relief escape my body as if I had been piled with a thousand pounds of extra weight that was now gone. I felt God at work and my prayers beginning to be answered. It was an overwhelming and humbling experience. I felt like I was glowing with love. I wanted to just tackle Dr. Camasta with a giant bear hug, and tell him how long I had prayed for him. Instead I decided to remain calm and shook his hand and said thank you so very much. Stephen and I both left the office smiling. I had always known that God loved me and would take care of me. I believed that with all my heart, and today I felt that love. It was a deep love. It was a never ending love. God had answered my prayers and it was beautiful. On November 4th, 2009 Dr. Camasta performed the 3 hour surgery to remove one muscle, and clip three others in Wesley’s foot. He also extended his Achilles heel.

Few hours after surgery

Recovery process this was about 5 days after surgery and is the first day really out of bed or off the sofa

The recovery was a painful process. It was hard to explain to my four year old that this was God’s plan. You will see you are going to be so much better soon. We had many sleepless nights, and Wesley was in a cast, moving around very little. If you know Wesley you know that moving around very little is just not him. He is very spirited and always on the go. About 3 weeks after surgery Wesley began to walk on his knees around the house. This was a pitiful sight to see, but it did not seem to bother him.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally not perfect. I would often lose my focus on God, and try to go through days without Him, and let me just say those where some miserable days for me. I needed God to give me the strength to get me and my family through this, and I knew he would. God loves me. He loves Wesley, and He answered my prayer. My son Wesley while he still walks with a limp, and this journey is far from over he has now been pain free for year this November!!!!!!

Wesley riding a Bike this is a big deal for us!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Seeing God in My Rearview Mirror(Guest Writer)

This is a story about how one couple's life was filled with hope and love through the process of adoption and the power of God's plan for their lives. I am so grateful to my guest writer Lisa Coil for sharing this beautiful, heartwarming story with my readers. Thank you Lisa =).

Seeing God in My Rearview Mirror
by: Lisa Coil

For anyone who has ever traveled the stretch of interstate known as I-40 West connecting Nashville to Memphis, Tennessee, one can truly understand just how long and boring those 200 miles can be. Perhaps it's because there is virtually nothing from Nashville to Jackson, few towns and fewer exits. It was July 2005 and my two children and I were traveling from our home just outside Memphis to visit my parents just east of Nashville for a little summer vacation. The weather was beautiful, the sky clear and sunny, so began our journey just as we had done many times before. However, on this particular trip, from the driver's seat of my Saturn Vue, I caught a glimpse of God in my rearview mirror that I had never seen before. Let me tell you what I saw.

This story really began in 1997 when my husband was preaching in a gospel meeting near Manchester, TN. He left our home in East Tennessee to go begin the meeting when near the Monteagle Mountain his car broke down. He was stranded. He finally got the car to a station only to find out that is would take a few days to repair it. He called one of the members of the church where he was scheduled to preach that next morning to come get him. When the elderly gentleman arrived (a longtime friend of ours) his daughter and new grandson, Will, were with him. Evidently, Will captured the attention of my husband in a most unusual way. When my husband called me later that night most of the conversation was about the young Russian boy, Will, which he had met earlier that day. My husband had excitement in his voice that I had never really heard before. As the week continued with gospel meeting, I continued to hear about Will almost every night. Will had been adopted from Russia a few months earlier, and he now had a wonderful Christian home.

At that time my husband and I had been married for about ten years. We had gone thru endless fertility treatments and drugs. We had exhausted every resource we could find to help us conceive a child. We knew God was in control of our lives, and we trusted in his promise and plan for us. (" And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28) I had longed for children it seemed my whole life. I had never really desired a sophisticated career or to be a professional. I had always wanted to be a wife and mother, nothing more. I had a "hole in my heart that nothing seemed to fill." My husband was very happy with our life, just the two of us, but he was keenly aware of my heartache. He tried everything to fill my void, but nothing worked. We had spoken about adoption, but until he met Will, we had never gotten beyond the words. We kept holding out hope that I would conceive. We continued to serve God in every way we could, always believing that He had a plan for us, and that someday He would "fill the hole in my heart."

After the gospel meeting ended my husband returned home, his meeting Will lead us to a decision that would change our lives forever. We contacted Will's parents and obtained as much information as we could about their adoption process. We had many conversations with them and made the decision that God was leading us in this direction. So, the exhausting, yet fulfilling adoption process for us began!

In mid-October 2000, on Friday evening, our adoption facilitator called us from her office in Murfreesboro, TN to see if we could meet her for dinner. She wanted to introduce us (via photographs and video) to our son. He was the most beautiful, black eyed, brown haired baby boy we had ever seen. He was about 7 months old and we could bring him home, hopefully, by the end of the year. The next morning, my husband and I went on our usual 3-mile walk, and I as skipping and leaping thru most of it! The "hole in my heart" was beginning to close! My husband couldn't stop smiling, showing off the pictures and video to anyone one and everyone he could. Through exasperating paperwork and red-tape, through long and extensive trips to Russia, through snow, ice, and 14 hour long train rides, and more experiences than I can recount, we arrived at Nashville International Airport on December 23, 2000, with the greatest Christmas gift that anyone could imagine. Our son had made it home! He was ours, he was safe, and loved beyond measure.

Ivan and Lisa=Love At First Sight


In 2003, our son welcomed a baby sister! We traveled again to the other side of the world, Siberia, to embrace the baby girl that God had entrusted to us. She was 5 months old, she was tiny, she was an angel.....she was perfect. She was blonde headed and blue eyed, and now "the hole in my heart was filled and began to overflow."

Ms. Emma Claire

So you ask. "What did you see in your rearview mirror on that long boring drive on a July day in 2005?" I saw two sleeping angels, nestled snug in their car sears, heads turned to either side, and I knew beyond any doubt that God is love (....God is love 1 John 4:8). I saw His love and goodness. I say He longs to satisfy the desires of His children. I saw how he hears and answers our prayers (...The effectual fervent prayer of righteous man availeth much James 5:16) I saw how He careth for us like no other, how He hurts when we hurt and rejoices when we rejoice. I saw how He has a plan for us in His time, and His way. I saw how He blesses us beyond what we can ever begin to comprehend or imagine. I saw His unspeakable gifts (Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift 2 Corinthians 9:15). I had received two of them!

That drive for me isn't so long and boring anymore, I just take a few quick glances in my rearview mirror to remind me of all my Heavenly Father taught me that day. "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be the glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world with end. Amen" Ephesians 3:20


Special Note: This story also appears in the

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Polyvore Expressions of Autumn

A few of the Polyvore art sets that I ran across this morning that beautifully expressed the Autumn season.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Snippet{Halloween Past}

For today's Sunday Snippet thought I would share a couple photographs from 2009 Halloween Party!