Wednesday, December 10, 2014


With James off to Korea, we agonized with Justin over his inability to pass his final PT test. Finally we got news that yesterday his chapter paperwork was finished and they were going to separate him from the Army. His commanding officers who have really worked hard with him these past months, took him for a personal Pt test at 5:30am. The last lap his Sgt. Major ran with him, while the other commanding officers cheered him on from the sidelines! Praise God, he passed!!! He did not sign the chapter paperwork, but he will still have to meet with a JAG lawyer on Monday of next week, and there seems to be some thought that he might not get to stay in the army. We will leave it in God's hands. Pray for Justin, we had hoped to go down this weekend to celebrate with him, but that might not happen if his position in the Army is still in limbo.
As Christmas nears, Ted and I are still suffering from the crud and its various side affects. Our jobs are extremely stressful as you can imagine the retail world to be at this time of year. The Christ of Christmas is very real to us and because of His gift we can make it through each day.
Do you know the Christ of Christmas?

Gone with the Whirlwind

Well, Saturday morning bright and early we had Christmas with James, and then took him and his fiance up to Richmond, VA so that he could catch his flight to Korea. Everyone was kind and helpful and he caught his plane without a problem. We kept track of him through his whole trip and breathed a big sigh of relief when he made it to Korea the next day. He is about 14 hours ahead of us in time now. He seems to really like Korea and is getting settled in. He will be stationed there for a year. Pray for him.
So In a week's time we went to Morganton, Georgia and Virginia and back again. It was worth it, although even now weeks later I don't think I have recovered.
Hope everyone of ya'll had a blessed Thanksgiving.

Whirlwind week-Friday

Well now it's Black Friday, and at the moment I can't remember what we did. I know James was getting all packed up as he was shipping out the very next day. Oh my, now I remember, we took James to Georgia to see his brother at Ft. Gordon!! The boys hadn't seen each other since they left for the army in February!!! Our niece, Cheyenne with us too at Justin's request. What a silly fun day we all had together.
When I can figure out how to post pictures, from my tablet, I will share the pictures from this wild whirlwind of a week.


thanksgiving started bright and early as I started the turkey in the oven and then made the side dishes that we would take to share with our family and extended family in Morganton, NC. What a joy to reconnected with distant loved ones and to have James with us. After we stuffed ourselves with delicious food, we brought James back to have some time with his fiance's family. Turkey, traveling, and thankfulness, can you tell we are getting wore out?

Whirlwind week- Wednesday

Wednesday, our nieces came over first thing in the morning and helped us all make Ted's famous peanut butter balls for Thanksgiving. What sweet time with the girls as they reconnected with their cousin. James then met up with his Fiance and they had engagement pictures made before joining us at church for a special Thanksgiving Praise service. So much to be thankful for this year. God has so blessed and helped our family. We can't praise Him enough.

Whirlwind Week-Tuesday

Tuesday before Thanksgiving we had a photo shoot with James here at the house. As our favorite photographer had him in his daily fatigues posing different shots outside, many people stopped and Thanked him for his service. A sheriff car whizzed by and turned around, the officer getting out of his vehicle to thank James for his service. What a memorable time taking pictures and seeing a community that still respected and appreciated our US military personnel. Later that evening, we took James to his girlfriend's church where he proposed to her on the front steps of the church. Their tentative plans are to get married when he returns to the States in a year. Pray for both of them to grow in the Lord during this time of separation.

Whirlwind Week -Monday

The week of Thanksgiving was such a whirlwind that I am going to blog 1 day at a time so that you dont lose track of all that transpired.
Monday- Ted had picked up James from Ft. Lee at midnight and they spent the night in a hotel in VA. During the trip home to NC, they shopped for an engagement ring. They arrived home about 4:15pm, picked me up so that James could surprise his girlfriend as she got out of work. Since I had been sick so much, his girlfriend did not know if I was out sick or what. She figured he was coming home some time that week, but was still surprised to see him on MOnday. We took them out to eat and then the two of them went off to reconnect. Having Boots in the house was a definite blessing. He really had not changed much in his personality and that was a relief to know he was just as quirky as ever. And this was just the beginning....

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Doctor, Doctor

After a week and a half of suffering, many sleepless nights, I went to the Doctor this morning. I was diagnosed with acute upper respiratory infection and acute bronchitis.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Jonah day

Today reminded me of Jonah in Ninevah. I felt as if I was the only representation of God in the middle of a pagan, heathen, cruel group of people and all they did was make me mad and wish for judgement to fall on them. The same lesson that I think God is trying to get me to learn keeps sending me into the belly of the whale instead. So, here I sit under my gourd vine and whine to God that I just can't seem to do it no matter how many times and opportunities to get it right.
If I can make it through the rest of the week without having a meltdown, I will take a much needed long past due vacation from miserable people that love to make their misery mine. Shout out and let me know if Ya'll are in situations that you feel like there is little hope it will change for the better. How do you plan on dealing with it?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Return

Hey Ya'll, so my darling husband heard me bemoaning the fact that I could not really blog without my laptop and my little tablet annoyed me with the touch keyboard that always puts in unwanted letters when I type. For my birthday he upgraded my tablet and got me a wireless keyboard! Yeehaw, so now I can blog or do anything else I need to do as if it was like having a laptop. I don't even have to baby it and wonder if the hard drive is dying on me!. You are joining me on my first venture with the new setup!
I feel like I have been gone for ages from the blogosphere! I really don't even know where to start to catch everyone up on what is going on in our family. What a dramatic year!
Let me jump in and say that our oldest made it through his AIT training and will be home shortly for a brief 5 day leave before he heads to Korea to his first duty station for a year. Yes, this is definitely something I would have never guessed either of my boys embarking on in their lives. Our youngest is still in AIT fighting to pass his final PT test. He gets more discouraged with each passing day that he is not able to accomplish that goal.
Ted, wow, I know I call him SuperMan, but his company must think he is superhuman as well, they have him not only running his stores, supervising another district during the absence of it's area manager, but also he has become the regional IT person. NO, none of this with added pay and all totally unofficial. Can you say STRESS???!!!
We both came down with the Carolina Crud in the last 2 weeks and had to stay home from work each a couple of days. I am still trying to recover. I remember last year was really bad too when I had it.
My job? Yup still there, God hasn't seen fit to move me. Still concentrating on the lessons that God has shown me that I need to work on in my life. To be totally honest, this is a real struggle for me, but I strive to overcome.
Thanksgiving is coming up, do you exhibit an attitude of thankfulness every day? This is something I really try to concentrate on especially when I feel miserable.

Looking forward to blogging on a consistent basis, and sharing with you the spiritual lessons and insights that God shows us in this journey to Heaven through the valleys and over the mountains.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Pssst... guess what? I am actually posting. I had someone ask me earlier this month, if I was still going to post on my blog. I was actually offended and irritated that they thought my lack of posting for awhile meant I wasn't using it. I knew they would never understand what we are going through or that my computer did not survive the move very well, and I really shouldn't be using it now. It's the only way I can post on my blog though so I am hoping it will last long enough to finish this post.
So for those of you who have been wondering what our little family has been up to lately, let me recap.

Justin graduated from Basic Training at Ft. Benning, GA,the end of April, and was able to come home for a day and a half. We had to rush him back to Ft Gordon, GA, Easter Sunday afternoon by 3pm. We left right after Ted sang at Preacher's request and made it with 10 minutes to spare.

Then we prayed for James as he did not pass his PT to graduate. He was finally sent to a Fitness Training Unit and after 3 extra weeks in Ft. Jackson, mostly spent learning patience, he passed his FTU and was sent straight to Ft. Lee, VA for his next stage of training. Because he did not graduate and did not have the honor of marching with his company, we are looking forward to his graduation from AIT.

We have been going every other weekend to see one of the boys. James sat at Ft. Lee for 4 weeks before they finally started his training this week. He has already called home begging for prayer, because he got in trouble. God stepped into that situation and James was able to see the power of prayer and the wisdom of keeping his mouth shut. He is excited about his schooling and learning to work on tanks. He will learn in a couple of weeks where his first duty station will be and although he is hoping for Stateside, we are not counting on it.

Justin loves his training at Ft. Gordon and has really drawn close to the Lord, he has already received his orders and will be heading to Korea, October 10th for an entire year. Will you pray for him?

Currently, they are both set to graduate from their training courses the very same day. We are asking God to work this out so that we can see both of them graduate and not have to choose which one of us goes to VA and which goes to GA.

Ted has been working non stop, and compiled with taking care of a new house this can be extremely taxing on him. God has kept him really close and I love seeing him grow spiritually and be that spiritual leader to the boys that he was not in the years past. The guys are growing so close to their Dad now that they are away, and I rejoice to see it happening.

Well, this brings me to what has been going on with me. My job is still with the same company, and although I no longer stress about it as much, it takes a huge toll on me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Between the job that seems to consume most of my waking hours, the little housework that I get to do, teaching every other Saturday, and then traveling the other weekends, I found myself at the point of exhaustion. I had not had a vacation in over a year.

I put in for some vacation time this week, with the sole purpose of staying home and sleeping. I really should have asked for a whole week off. This is the 3rd day and I feel like I could still sleep for a few more days. And of course this is the weekend to go to see one of the boys. We went last weekend as well since it was Father's Day. So this trip will be back to back from the other. We realize that after September we may not get a chance to see either boy for at least a year.

I keep hanging on and going through each day with sheer determination sometimes. The joy of the Lord is my strength, and listening for His words of encouragement and guidance has been my delight. When I am overwhelmed, He listens to me and gives me the little things to brighten my day. I cling to those moments with Him. He sends beautiful double rainbows right out in my back yard, hummingbirds to delight my going to work and coming home, hugs from co-workers who need the encouragement too, and encouragement around every corner if I will only look for it.
I do not know when I will post again, as I just do not have time to pull out the laptop and wait for it to decide if it can or will work. This blog is much more then just posting family news, and I yearn for the day when I can sit down and share what God has been teaching me. If you want just family news, email me, I can handle that easier and shorter on my phone or tablet. If you want posts concerning spiritual help and encouragement and lessons God is teaching us, then pray with me that I can build up strength to keep up this whirlwind pace of work, teaching, travel, and little sleep and fit in posting on this blog somewhere in there too. Maybe, in a month of two Ted can look at my laptop and see if he can fix it, or if I will have to say goodbye to a faithful friend.
Well, both the laptop and I have been up too long already for this session, so I am going to let us both get back to sleep. I need strength for this weekend, since I won't get the sleep I had planned and hoped for.
Until then, Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Testing of your Faith

My last post over a month ago was about living by faith in every aspect of our lives. Let me tell you how that came to fruition. In the last long month, we kept getting stonewalled about the home loan and running out of time. Justin was not passing basic training and was going to be sent home. Ted was having some serious issues at work. We prayed so hard and probably even recruited some of y'all to join our army of prayer warriors.
1. God stepped in at the last minute and let us move into our new house early, we are hoping to close on it April 29th.
2. That very same day we got to move in, Justin called to say that he had been given a rare chance to try one more time to pass his PT. We thought at best he might get sent to a fitness training unit. Instead, God stepped in and he more then passed each phase of his PT Test. His teammates and Drill Sergeants were completely baffled. What an opportunity for Justin to see God work His will and His way in his life. What a testimony for all who hears the story. Justin has grown so close to the Lord because of what he has gone through. The trying of his faith is molding him spiritually. We had the wonderful opportunity to watch him graduate Basic training and take him to his next stage of training at Ft. Gordon.
3. Ted's job situation eased up a bit and he is trusting God to give him wisdom and meekness.
So here we are, unpacking and getting settled in a beautiful home, waiting to hear if James will graduate next week, and encouraging Justin to dig in with all his heart and soul into his training.
Oh! Did you hear... the US is sending troops towards Russia??? My heart skipped a beat and chills came up, if y'all aren't excited about this then maybe you should read Ezekiel 38.
To God be all the honor and glory for helping us to walk on water by faith.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

By Faith

Its been awhile since I posted anything. I have thought of it numerous times, but getting used to being a mother of 2 soldiers, a working widow, and an almost new homeowner has been a bit tasking.

We have heard from both boys, Justin is severely homesick and really struggling. Please Please pray for him. He is halfway through Basic Training and needs to finish... by faith.

James sent us a letter and 1 phone call and we aren't sure if we will hear more from him, he too needs to finish ... by faith.

This whole buying a new home has also been a journey by faith... we should know by this Friday if we have the house.

Learning to be a godly example at work takes alot of grace and faith...

Ted has had to be out of town every week lately, and I have to have faith that God will take care of us both as we are far apart.

I had 2 good days at work this week and I praise God for them, today I was sick.... ugggggh I hate being sick! But I have faith that Lord willing I will be at work tomorrow.

Are you living by faith???

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chapter by Chapter

Since my last post, I feel like we have lived a book's worth of events, so I will format this post chapter by chapter.

Chapter 1
The Soldier

Justin left for Basic on February 3, 2014, he was able to meet up with a childhood friend while at the Military Entrance Processing Station in Charlotte. The time he spent with that Justin and his mother Wendy was pre-ordained by God. It was neat to see pictures of him after he left our care. He has been in actual basic training for a week and was able to give us a 3 second phone call this morning. Ted said he sounded so miserable. Please pray for our soldier in training.

Chapter 2
Future Solider

James decided to total his vehicle this past Sunday night, and again God spared his life without a scratch. He also has to lose weight again before Monday. He had to lose weight just to get enlisted, now he has to lose 5 lbs to make sure they will let him go to basic. Please pray that he can keep it under the limit.

Chapter 3
The Lesson
A couple of weeks ago, the day before SuperBowl I had to teach in my Super Teen class at our church's bus ministry. I agonized over what God would have me teach and finally He had me bring a lesson comparing sharing the Gospel to a football game. I set the classroom up to simulate a football field and then brought forth the very interactive lesson. After talking to my friend, Kristi, about it she said that one of our missionaries in New Zealand was always looking for lessons like that for his ministry. I went home stewing about it. I agonize over these lessons, and wait until I know what God wants me to teach. I struggled with the idea of "canning" a lesson for someone else to use maybe without God's direct planning. I wondered why they did not ask God for lessons like I do. I finally talked with Ted about it and after making my comments, he simply looked at me and said- " Maybe that is why God wanted you to teach that lesson, so you could share it around the world." I gave a lesson on sharing the Gospel around the world and here I was trying to keep that exact lesson from going to the other side of the world! I need to sit down and write out that lesson and email it! It will be up to God to make sure it's used for His honor and glory.

Chapter 4
The Job
Since coming to the conclusion that maybe God had me at my job for the people and not the position, I have tried very hard to focus on the people He puts in my path. I have seen how my trying to live for God and to be a godly example has influenced many around me. I pray for my coworkers and I let them know I am praying for them. I have been with the company almost 6 months, and if and when the Lord directs me to another field of occupation, I want to know that I did everything for Him that He wanted me to do while I was there.

Chapter 5
The House
After dropping Justin off for Basic Training, Ted and I went around looking at houses for sale. As we drove down one of the roads on our list we saw a house for sale, but it wasn't one of the places on our list. We moved onward and found the houses and discussed them. Then Ted said, "Didn't you have another place we need to check out?" I answered that we could find the house we passed by. We drove back down the road looking for it. As we pulled up the drive, we thought "OH BOY, another dump" We saw a rodent scurrying around the leftover remains of the stolen air conditioner and immediately thought that no way was this even worth looking at. We instead got out of the truck and was immediately struck with the surroundings. We started looking in windows and getting more excited the longer we stayed. It was everything we wanted and more then we had hoped for. Long Story short, after some real estate negotiating, we signed a purchase agreement, the owner will pay closing costs and replace the air conditioner! We are still praying for God's will, if all goes according to His plan we will close on the house March 31st. I am still packing and sorting a little bit every day. James has been a huge help with this and we will seriously miss his muscles when it comes time to move.

Chapter 6
The Big Storm
We had a kiss of winter weather the week before Justin left, enough for everyone to panic and for Justin to total our blue car. Yesterday, started the real winter storm. I managed to work nearly all day, but today and probably tomorrow I will get to stay home. We have 2 inches of snow, and now it's being coated with a layer of freezing rain and sleet. This is supposed to last through tomorrow, so it's been perfectly timed to pack up the house and spend some real time with James before he leaves for Basic in a couple of days. Ted and I spent alot of time looking at pictures of the new house today and planning how things will fit where and what we will need. We have a fire going in the fireplace, soup simmering on the stove, but alas my coffee pot decided to give out on me literally.

As you can see, so much can happen in so little time. I do not know what will happen in the next few days, I have another lesson to plan, the previous lesson to email out, a house to finish packing, a job to do, and boys to pray fervently for, but without fail, I know that God will continue to guide me through each chapter in our lives.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Hunt Begins

Monday, Justin leaves for the Army. He has finished his pre-training classes, his last PT will be tomorrow, and he has managed to flip our blue bomb into oblivion and walk away without a scratch. Maybe you didn't catch that obscure reference, but due to the snowy ice storm we had yesterday, Justin flipped our trusty, sturdy car that the boys have totaled twice already, and while Justin walked away absolutely unharmed, the car is off to the scrap yard. We praise God for His safety and protection during the weather yesterday. Thankful to the bystanders who pulled Justin out of the wreckage unscathed.

Today, due to the weather conditions, they closed down my office, so while James is working on finishing his classes for pre-lim basic training, Ted is working on taxes, Justin is cleaning out the last of his room, I am packing and sorting.....
With the boys leaving we need to control our cost of living by downsizing. We were pre-approved for a house loan last weekend! This is the first time we have ever been approved to start looking for a house!!! So the Hunt Begins.... yes, I am already packing because a move will be inevitable. We have not found a house yet that we know is THE one. Alot of prayer will go into that decision and alot of planning and careful research.
Please pray for the boys.

On another prayerful note, my missionary friend I mentioned in a previous post is unable to return to the mission field due to ongoing health issues. Not only has she lost her mother, but now she has lost her place of ministry. Please pray for Joann.

Thirdly, Ted's fellow District manager that we have known for over a decade, lost his wife a month before Christmas, then his father died, and now his stepson has passed away, all of them suddenly. Please pray for Russell, his salvation, and comfort.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

If you knew...

If you knew that the time with your loved ones was short, would you do anything different? Would you value and treasure those loved ones and the time you have left? With both boys leaving next month we have taken to making the most of the time we have left. Many times due to sickness or death we have no warning and live with regrets about the lost time we chose not to take together. This is neither sickness nor death thank the Lord, but it's still a time to treasure and make the most of as a family.
Justin had his last day of work last Wednesday, and Thursday we packed up the family for a "last" vacation. We ended up in Gatlinburg at a beautiful hotel high on a mountain peak. We were on the 12th floor--- yikes!!! We saw snow and even got caught out walking in it. We chronicled our time together with photos and just really enjoyed being together and having fun.
I have posted one of our photos, but it's really the last one in a sequence of 10 quick snapshots that Ted took, each of us have different expressions, especially the boys. Ted has posted them on his Google page it's like looking through an old fashioned cartoon flip-book.

James turned in his notice at work today, but they have cut his hours even more, so he has decided that his last day will be this Saturday instead of the 31st. We will all get together as a family this Saturday evening and have a family dinner and then friends will come to bid them Godspeed in their future endeavors.
Both boys are working on getting their rooms packed up, although we are not pushing them out of the nest or being terribly bossy about the process.
Ted and I both resumed a busy workload after just a few days off, and I am exhausted. I came home to find Ted in the bed feeling sick. I was going to attend a Ladies Meeting at church tonight where my Sister in Love was the speaker, but I did not want to leave Ted alone. Justin went to the store for me, and has just now returned. James is working, so I am sitting here keeping an ear out for Ted and wondering if I am missing anything from the meeting.

Birthday Greetings to Ken, Tim, DJ, my mother, and James. James turns 21 tomorrow!!!!

Well, my husband is up eating some soup, but not feeling himself. James is on his way home from work, Justin is cleaning up my kitchen for me. I'm coming down with a headache and realizing that my priorities right now is just staying home taking care of hearth and home.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Small Comforts

The first day of a new year.... I asked my husband if we really had to do anything today. and he said we just had to breathe.

Since my last post, alot has happened mostly emotionally. A meeting just before Christmas left me reconsidering my longevity with the company. There seems to be alot of upheaval there in the past month, and I began questioning God's plan. That night after the meeting, I went through another round of spiritual anguish. The devil has in the last 3 months seriously attacked the very core of my faith usually when I am weak emotionally and battered from stress. I was scared that Christmas would be miserable and deeply yearned for a Christmas to remember, and not one that I wished to forget. The morning of Christmas Eve after a sleepless, tormented night, I begged God for peace. He gave it both in mind and spirit. Later that morning, I checked my phone for messages and found that my Mother in love had texted me that she was praying for me about the same time I was begging God. It was additional proof that God answers prayer. How comforting to know that someone is praying for you just when you need it most.

Christmas Eve was everything we had hoped it would be. We played games as a family, opened presents, enjoyed alot of fun and made memories. Christmas Day we joined the clan to celebrate, eat, reminisce, and enjoy being together as a family. My nephew Jordan surprised everyone by joining us for his brief break in Marine training. This was a great Christmas!

The next day back at work, I followed up on the meeting and was not really reassured that this job would last very long. I resolved that I would just do my best until the Lord opened the door elsewhere.

Saturday, we met up with Tim, Jen, and Emily to share Christmas with them. Again, it was a great time and stress reliever. Sunday, Ted and I both woke up with a virus that kept us home for the day. Ted was still sick Monday, and I still have some residual aches even now. I don't think it was the flu per se, I think it was just our bodies giving out after all the work and stress we put it through without proper rest.

I went back to work Monday, resolved to just keep my head down and work my job regardless of the tension swirling around, or people's issues. That resolve kept me going strong, knowing that I don't HAVE to work this job, but that I will do my best at it for the Lord. Yesterday went much better and one of the sources of my tension filled days tried to make amends. As this is a reoccurring situation, I began to pray for that individual who seems to be nice one moment and mean as a snake the next. Maybe God just wants me there to pray for these people.

Last night, our little family rung in the New Year by watching an animated movie together while gorging on snacks and soda. I could barely stay awake and seriously wanted to sleep in the New Year. I must be getting OLD!!
So this brings me to Today- I have a special meal planned for the family, James has to work, and I might get around to baking something. The boys will probably take down the Christmas tree and I want to savor each moment of peace and tranquility.

Here are the small comforts that I have found really help me let go of the stress and "clock-out". A cup of hot coffee or hot herbal tea, some classical music playing in the background, and a lovely scented candle burning. Right now we have a Mint Chocolate scented candle and it's wonderful!

This month will breeze by and soon we will be saying goodbye to our two boys as they launch out into the next phase of their lives. Justin will finish working his job on January 18th, and finish packing up his room.
James' last day of work will be January 31, but they are already cutting his hours for the winter slow season. He has already cleaned his room in preparation for packing it up.
Near the end of the month, we will have a joint send-off/birthday celebration for them.

Will you pray for them?

Will you also pray for a missionary named Joann? Her mother passed away the day after Christmas and she had to fly back from the mission field in time for the funeral today. I know what she is going through in losing a mother. My heart and prayers go out for her. May she find the grace that only God gives for each moment.
He is even the Giver of small comforts to keep us going when all else seems to be falling apart.

Happy New Year!!!