Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Roughin' and Ridin'

Severyn and I spent the weekend in Georgia, durhamtown GA to be exact. They call it a motorsports resort...I'm not sure how anyone else would define "resort", but I would think fluffy pillows, overstuffed chairs, 5 star dining and marble bathrooms.
We stayed in this:

It's called Motel 8, because technically, it could sleep 8. don't mind sharing a bed with someone and/or sleeping in a bed that you can't sit up in, without fear of knocking yourself silly on the ceiling.

(This was the room Sev and I stayed in, we did not have one of the ceiling high bunk beds)

Lucky for us, there was only 6 of us. The cabin consisted of one big room, with two picnic tables, one chair, one couch, one gas fireplace, a small fridge, and three shelves (one for a TV, one for a VCR and one above the fridge where we stored a bit of food). It had three rooms off of the main room, each room had a set of bunk-beds. The bathroom was in fact, not marble, but it was a no complaints. The minute we entered the cabin I was reminded of my summer camp days at camp La'Vida. The floors slanted and one of the rooms had paper towels stuffed between the ceiling and the walls (my guess is as good as yours...perhaps "hard rain, leak prevention" I dunno). On the first night, Christopher woke up with a roach in his bed...I wish I could tell the story of how he discovered his unwanted bed partner, but it just wouldn't do the story justice. I will say... Chris survived, the bug did not.

We woke early Saturday morning and headed down to the main lodge to grab a bite to eat. The boys had eggs, grits, bacon, and biscuits. I'm not a breakfast person, at least not before 9am, so I had a cup of coffee. The lodge itself was rather interesting. You purchased a meal ticket at the front counter, proceeded into the dining hall and made your way into the line...cafeteria style. After you waited in line, you waited for your plate to be loaded up, grabbed your plastic fork (if you were lucky, if you were figured out how to eat your entire meal with a spoon) and made your way to a picnic table to eat.
These pictures are actually from dinner on Saturday night, but this was the lodge "grab some grub" spot:
I will say, the dinner on Saturday was actually REALLY REALLY REALLY good!!...really!

Saturday was filled with riding. We rode and rode and rode...we stopped for lunch and then... rode some more.

We tend to stick to the "two by two" rule. You always have a partner and you never leave your partner behind (military style, you know, for safety). If you happen to loose your partner in the woods, you should always leave a note, you know, so they know where you are.

Directions: use small rocks and twigs to spell out the direction you take. (Does anyone else thing this looks like it says "Lady"'s suppose to say "Lodge")

On Saturday night, we seriously, saw the cutest little motocross racers...ever. I was floored by the skills these little tikes showed. I realize you can not see from the dark picture below, but these little guys (and GIRLS!!! gotta represent!) were so flippin' cute and TINY!! The youngest riders were 4!! Four years old!! We stood around and watched a number of races and at one point dad and I started to pick the little tike we thought would win. The funniest part of the race...watching the parents!! Wow! How involved these parents get!!

On Sunday, we geared up and rode again! I had a blast! I paid the price Monday, when my body was sore and tired. However, I can't wait to ride again!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm slowly falling for fall...

I'm coming to terms with the fact that it is really fall, the leaves are really changing colors, the cool air is not a figment of my imagination and my coffee creamer is now gingerbread flavor. It took a few posts, but I finally decided to share my fallish decorations.....

The cute "Happy Halloween" place mats mom gave me:

I actually got this candle a month or so ago, when my cousin spent the weekend with me, I tried to pick out a "fall" fragrance and MAN DOES THIS SMELL GOOD!!! Sev even comments on this candle every time I light it!

See...I DID put my scarecrow out!! I also purchased some baby pumpkins to accompany my front door greeter. Sev brought home the beautiful, purple, HUGE mum :)

(please pay no mind to the small, furry, wide eyed, long tongued creature behind the glass door ;) )

Friday, October 23, 2009

Love Letters

I rushed home last Thursday afternoon, fully prepared to change clothes, let the dog out and rush right back out the door. I ran through the kitchen and was headed to the back door, to let Ali out, when I noticed the stack of mail on the kitchen table.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw this:

I don't remember if I let Ali out before or after I ripped into the envelope. I was beside myself with excitement.

It only consisted of 14 sentences, but those 14 sentences were more precious than gold. The letter was written in french/creole, by Love's mother. Come to find out, Love actually goes by her middle name, Woodshaina. She is a twin, loves God, enjoys math, french and social science. Her father died when she was younger. She lives with her mom, grandma and sister. I'm not sure how I can express what acrobatic move my heart made when I read the words "She promises you to pray for you. She asks you to pray for her. Woodshaina and her family really loves you. She hopes that God Bless you." ......she hopes that God blesses me!?! How do you say "My dear, dear, precious Love, God has blessed me more with your words, than with anything I could ever ask for." to a 5 year old and expect them to understand?? I don't think you can, but if you could, those would be my words to her. I realize that technically, those words could have been her mothers, but still they have the same effect on my heart. I can not wait for the day that Woodshaina is able to write a letter, to me, herself.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Iliana Georgina Rivera

Isn't she precious!?! She is 9 years old and lives with her mom and step father in El Salvador. I can't wait to get my first letter from her. One of her favorite activities is art...hello!! We were meant to be, haha. She is above average in her class! I sound like a proud mom, ha.

I'm excited to watch her grow and mature and see what all God has in store for her life!!

Feeling Festive

or maybe I was just bored.

What ever the reason, as you can see, I changed my background for the season.

I also (you will be proud Steph)...put my scarecrow out and...AND...hung a fall flag on my mailbox, courtesy of my sweet aunt. Sev also decided that I needed a mum, so he informed me that he will be picking one up today on his way home this afternoon.

I guess it's time to give up on summer and just welcome fall.
I mean, I guess since Halloween is NEXT week and the weather has been in the 40's (and YES that is COLD for me!!) every morning this week...I should just embrace it.

I received my packet of information for Iliana in the mail yesterday. She is just so precious. I will post a picture of her soon. I can't explain how much these little girls mean to me and I've never even met them. Yesterday I was having a pretty rough day at work and just wanted to crawl into my warm bed back home. I glanced at the pictures of both of my girls and just smiled. They are a constant reminder that I really don't have it all that bad. I cannot wait for the day I get to meet them. These little girls are changing my life and they don't even know it. Well, I guess it's not really them changing my life as much as it is God using them to change my life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Used Text Books

I was cleaning our garage out, last night, when I discovered that it is high time I FINALLY find a new home for all of my old used text books!! I have books from my first year in college!! I don't know WHY I kept these books. I don't know if I really thought "10 years from now I may want to know the anatomy of a hook worm, or I may want to know how to figure out what xyz X yz(10) xy / 52 yyz - zy > 3 xyz + 4(10)zyx= is!!"....really?? I don't think so! It's time to give these old books up. However, when I go to just throw them's funny, actually....but I can't help but see BIG $$$$ pop up and the sound of "cha ching, cha ching...flush". **sigh** They served a purpose, I graduated college...I don't need them anymore.

SO....does anyone out there know what I can do with over 200 lbs of text books, lol?? Do library's take them? I hate to just throw them out...what to do what to do?? Thanks for any suggestions!!!!!

PS. The thought of a big fire, roasted marshmellows and hot chocolate, did cross my mind...but the thought of throwing a perfectly good book into a fire makes me, I'm pretty sure it would cause a few teachers out there to have a heart attack.

Now...I wonder when I'll get up the nerve to toss all of my 3-ring binders, stuffed full of hand written notes, out??!!??

Friday, October 16, 2009

Read em' and weep

....these blogs:

My sweet cousin left a comment on my last post, informing me of two different bloggers that have made trips with Compassion. I had a few minutes of down time at work today (along with a cup of pumpkin spice latte-which makes for awesome reading!) and started reading the first one, by BOOMAMA.


If you find the time, read some of these posts. My favorite ones are the ones during her trip and after. She found the words to express how I feel at times about my two girls, and to think, I've only sponsored them for a few short weeks. It brought tears to my eyes. Funny how God works.

**edited to add this link: If you don't get the chance to read any of the other posts that BooMama posted about Compassion, try and read this the to the very bottom about the ladies in Uganda singing to the Compassion sponsors. THAT is what I felt when I heard the African Childrens Choir!! I did NOT read her post before I posted about the affect the choir had on me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"When it's raining on Monday..."

okay, so it's Wednesday...but it rained Monday too. haha.

I wanted to come on here and copy a link to one of my favorite blogs I follow :)

I'm excited about this weekend, we're going camping!! I made the "camping grocery" run yesterday and our coolers are ready to go! I also picked up an extra fleece's going to be cold!! There is something about sleeping in a tent, sitting around an open fire, and listening to the crickets that just says "peace" and "relax" to me! I'm so glad my parents got me into camping at an early age.
While picking up our camping groceries, I also made a stop at Hobby Lobby. The second I stepped inside the automatic doors I heard a crash. The crash was followed by immediate loud sobs. When I looked in the direction of the noise I saw a lady hunched over the floor at the check out counter, just bawling. She had a mess of change rolling around at her feet. She was seriously having a melt down because her change purse had dumped out all over the floor. At first I was a little bit shocked. I mean, really "you just dropped your change, its okay." However, as I went to stomp down on a coin that was spinning away on the floor, I realized she had something wrong with her. It was refreshing to see people gathering around to help her pick her change up. One lady kept saying "it's okay, see we're here to help". The lady that dropped her change grunted but never really said anything, she just kept crying. The reason I'm even telling you this story is because right before anyone got to the lady, to help her, a guy walked around the corner and just started laughing at her. I could tell he had no intention of helping her, I think he thought others would join in with his laughing. This is the cool part, I wish you could have seen his face when no one else laughed but instead went to the ladies rescue. I watched him and after a second, he too bent over and started catching the coins that were rolling away. I learned a valuable lesson...always do what you know is right and you just might change the way others think and act in the process.
I found the items I needed after the coin purse incident; Two little canvas bags, a few iron on patches and some puff paint. I'm going to decorate these two little bags and send them to my girls Love and Iliana. I wish that it didn't take so long for letters and packages to go between us, they probably won't receive their bags until Christmas! However, I won't complain, I'm just thankful that there are people that can translate my letters so that my spanish and creole speaking girls can understand my words...and how much I already care about them.

Monday, October 12, 2009


all my troubles seemed so far away....and I would like to keep it that way :)

Severyn and I spent the weekend in the upstate with my family. On Saturday we took a trip up to Brushy Mtn. Motorsports Park and did a bit of trail riding in the mud. Good times!! I took a few spills and took home a few bruises, but it was a blast. We woke up before the sun was up and we didn't get back home until the sun had gone to bed.
On Sunday morning my mom and dad fixed a nice, big, hot breakfast! After breakfast we headed to church at NewSpring, in Greenville. Severyn and I have been attending the NewSpring here in Columbia and we did not want to miss this Sunday if we could help it. We were excited to have my mom and dad join us. Even better, our cousins joined in too. We got to hear a great message but I have to admit, my favorite part was when they had the African Children's Choir perform. I absolutely loved it. I could have listened to them sing on and on and on. It really made me think. Those children come from having nothing. I also heard that they were orphans, so they don't even have parents. Yet, I wish everyone could have heard them sing. They were full of joy and worship. Why can't we all be like that? It made me think about how much I have, to some it may not seem like a lot. However, to those children I would appear to be a very rich person. We are soooo blessed to live in America where we can worship freely, work freely, and speak freely. I often catch myself wishing I had a nicer car, a bigger home, finer clothes and...okay I'll even admit....a full time chef, hehe. Some of these children don't even have shoes to get from place to place. Their bed is on the dirt floor in their mud and stick house. They wear rags and those rags definitely do not match. I want a chef, they just want food.
I have been strongly convicted in the past couple of months. I have way more than I deserve and yet I complain. I've been talking about my sweet little Love that I sponsor through Compassion in previous posts. Maybe the childrens choir had such an affect on me because I have recently started getting a glimpse of life through Loves eyes. After the service on Sunday I decided I needed to do more. I made two firm decisions. The first, I decided to sponsor another child through compassion. I can not tell you how much this organization means to me. I have been working, researching, praying and talking to people with compassions over the month and a half that I have sponsored Love and I know that this organization is fully doing work for God. I realize that there are other organizations out there like compassion, but after doing the research none of them love God as much as the compassion staff. Compassion actually works with local churches in the poverty stricken areas and through those churches they form the projects that the children become a part of and ultimately sponsored out of. I prayed long and hard about this decision. I don't know why it was such a tough decision for me. Why is it that once you have money it's so hard to part with it? Even if it's for the glory of God? Anyways, I prayed and asked God to let me know if he wanted me to take on another child through compassion. I knew that it would be a tad difficult financially, not that we don't have the money but we are trying our hardest to become debt free and to save for our future. I decided to take a leap of faith, fully rely on God and sponsor another Child. Ultimately, all that I have is Gods, what he gives me he can take away. I may need money in the future in the event that our economy washes out and we loose our jobs, but I know that God knows what he is doing and I trust him. My new little child is from El Salvador, her name is Iliana and she is 9 years old.
My second decision, I will be taking a trip to a 3rd world country next year. I have not decided, exactly, which one yet. However, I know that it is between a mission trip with NewSpring to Kenya, or to El Salvador with Compassion to see Iliana or Haiti to visit Love. Every single penny that I make from cakes is going to my sponsorship with Compassion and the rest is being saved to take this trip.
I can not express how good God's love is for each of us. I pray that he keeps my eyes and heart open and does not let me take for granted all that he has given me. I am so far beyond blessed and I know that I owe everything to him...I pray he uses me to work in the lives of these two sweet girls that I am so very excited to get to know through Compassion. I also pray this is just the beginning of the work God wants me to do.
If anyone that reads my blog is in any way interested in sponsoring a child, let me know, I would love to talk to you about it :) I'll even share all of my research and contacts that I've made so far.
I hope everyone has a lovely week and if you get a chance, check out NewSprings service to see the childrens choir that had such an affect on me! The service will be uploaded on Tuesday and you can view the whole service if you want :)

As promised: Love Woodshaina Joseph

PS: You may have figured it out, or maybe you didn't...but I started my blog off w/ the title and song quote because yesterday, I realized just how small my troubles really are compared to the bigger picture. Think about it.

Friday, October 09, 2009


Now...I am the last person to talk about politics. I hate them. I hate hearing about them, I hate talking about them, I hate thinking about them and I hate reading about them. So usually, I shy away from them. As a matter of fact...many people might not even know what my political views are and that's how I like it.

However, after getting to work this morning and reading in the news that Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize I was a little bit sad.

Then I got into a discussion about it with some fellow facebookers. That is when I decided to throw a blurb in my blog about it.
A friend of mine posted her opinion in her "status update" box. She received a few "likes" and then a few comments in the other direction. At one point she apologized for offending anyone. I know where she was coming from, not wanting to step on toes. However, I don't care which "side" you're on.....please never apologize for voicing your opinion. We lost too many good Americans in wars that were fought to save our freedoms and speech is a freedom in America. If you feel strongly enough about something, VOICE IT! I understand that sometimes voicing your opinion can start fights or unwanted conflicts, if that's the case...stop talking. Smile. Back away. Turn the other cheek. Just don't apologize. Agree to disagree :)
Because I have freedom of speech, here are my quick thoughts:
Pulled from my facebook discussion.

ME: "Obama was given a prize for a promise basically...and if that's what its worth now, then the prize has just been made cheap. Heck, I promise to end world hunger, where is my prize??. America is turning into one big laughing stock. Really though, what can you do? Pray for our country and those that have to make decisions for it and then be glad you're a child of God and won't have to spend eternity here on earth with Obonzo as president...cause that would be hell ;)"
Peep on FB (friend of my FB friend): "Just to point out...Obama neither nominated nor awarded the prize to himself. You don't like him is one thing, but me, I will be proud to be in the USA and that some parts of the world see the potential good in that while some take it for granted. Voicing concern over issues is one thing. Rooting for our President to fail is another. And sadly that's what too many people are doing these days."
ME: "I will agree w/ what *** said :) Rooting for a president to fail is like rooting for America to fail and that is the last thing any American citizen should want. The case here is that a prize that was once a symbol for the good one DID just turned into a cheap prize for a promise :( and that's sad. Now...if all that was promised comes' then maybe it was well maybe instead of getting upset that he was awarded the prize we should all just hope and pray he really earns it :) though *** is also right when he said he didn't nominate himself and that is why I said America is turning into a laughing stock."

and then I read this article and realized it summed up my thoughts on the whole situation:

The End, lol.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Slow Down Time!

Is it just me or does time seem to go by faster and faster each year?
Maybe that comes with age...who knows. I just know I don't think I like it!
It is ALREADY OCTOBER!!!! It is already considered "fall". Where did the summer go? Christmas will be here in a few short weeks! I know this because Walmart already has decorations out, along with Michael's and Hobby Lobby (my two favorite stores). I think I'm still in denial though. My cousin was spending the weekend w/ us, the weekend before last, and she saw my scarecrow decoration (something my mom finds decorations) in the corner of my garage. She promptly asked me "WHY is your scarecrow not out?" My first response was "uhm, because its a SCARECROW! and its not fall yet!"...and then I realized it was the last weekend in was FALL!! (side note: the scarecrow is still in my garage....I think that if I pretend its not fall, it won't get cold out...I said I was in denial!)
I woke up this morning and it was raining. It was dark out, cold, and raining! A perfect day to stay in bed! However, duty calls...and here I sit at work. My boss has a cold, therefore he's not in today, another yucky side of fall. burrrr!
I also find that I consume way more coffee (=caffeine) in the fall/winter months.
I didn't like living in Hawaii as much as some people would think they might like it...but I will say I miss the weather! I love snow. I love how everything looks so clean and peaceful when it snows....but the cold, wet weather that comes along before and after snow...yuck.

We have a camping trip planned for the weekend after next. I LOVE camping!! I love campfires, s'mores, the smell of the outdoors, the trees, lightening bugs, a clear sky, bright stars and the sound of a creek. I don't like trying to sleep in a tent when its cold outside! I'm already packing extra blankets, jackets and dry clothes! I've never tried making coffee over an open fire, but I'm going to learn! It never fails, during the cold months, when we're camping, I ALWAYS have to get up at least once in the middle of the night to use the ladies room (AKA: the tree farthest from camp, in the middle of the woods, that was scoped out before night fall and checked for bugs, snakes or poison ivy)!!! It is the worst feeling EVER...crawling out of a pile of sleeping bags, warming your hands with your breath, fumbling around for the zipper to the tent door, falling out of the tent into the pitch black night, feeling around on the wet grass for your shoes, finding your shoes, stuffing just your toes in your shoes, so that you can make your way away from the tent, but not actually putting your whole foot inside the shoe. THEN comes the worst part, trying to go to the bathroom, in the dark, in the woods, and its COLD! The last thing you want to do is remove ANY articles of clothing......this may be tmi, but its the one thing I fear when camping in the cold :) and never fails, nature WILL CALL in the middle of the night! **Sigh**

I guess fall isn't alllll that bad. It does give me a good excuse to pull out my 1928938910382 jackets. No, a person does NOT need 15 LLBean jackets, but I get that from my daddy. I love jackets! I also like driving to the upstate and seeing all of the pretty leaves. Boots don't bother me either, I do like a good pair of, warm, cute boots. I also like Christmas and Thanksgiving at my grandmas, so no complaints there. I'm looking forward to a good ski season!

Well, those are just a few of my random thoughts about the new season that is now upon us. Happy Fall fellow blog readers!! Here's to you nutty people that try and claim they like this crazy, cold, red nosed, windy, wet season!! Bring on the snow, let's hit the slopes and then I'll feel a bit better towards this cold weather!! ;)