It's Raining - AGAIN! 12/29/10

It's raining here (again).  Don't get me wrong, I like the rain. It's just that this is not the normal weather pattern hereabouts.  So, in honor of the rain, I am going to post some pictures of snow.  It's perfectly logical.

From WunderPhotos

 You know, rain and snow are really very similar.  They are both wet.  They are both made of water.

From WunderPhotos

They both make streams and water the plants.  Snow may cause some delayed gratification since it keeps its water to itself until it melts.

From WunderPhotos
Snow is a bit colder.  But, all in, snow and rain come from the same place and end up in the same place.  My point?  It was raining here today.  That's about it.    Sam

From WunderPhotos


Photo Break 12/29/10

My post today is not about chickens.  It's about how my dear, computer literate husband backupped all my important info and then deleted it from the computer so he could take it in to get fixed or replaced---and then found out the warranty had expired.

He's gone right now.  So when I tried to upload the pictures I wanted for the intended blog post------alas, they are no longer there.  I know they are somewhere safe. They're just not where I can find them at the moment.  Did I mention that my husband is a savvy, computer literate type person?  Did I mention that I am not? 

Well, I hope you enjoy the picture of the chicken. This is one of the few photos that I did find. My chickens were once healthy and beautiful  like this one.  Right now they are molting and pretty scraggly looking.  They are definitely having a bad hair (feather) day.  So am I but I but I think I will refrain from mentioning it.

Hope you're having a good hair day and can find all of your pictures.  Luv, Sam

PS  In case you're wondering, my husband deleting a bunch of stuff helped my computer.  And concerning it's other issues, we decided to live with them until the thing just isn't usable anymore.  Why spend today what I can wait to spend tomorrow?  Right?


Merry Christmas "Hello"

By belletrouvaille from WunderPhotos
Hello and Merry Christmas. 
Our Christmas is a little different this year.  Our house does not look like the one above.  We didn't get any outside decorations up.
"Snow on Holly" by WurzelDave from WunderPhotos

We don't have any holly hung inside or out.  We do have our tree up and our nativity set in place.  What more do you really need?  Next year we might be able to go all out.  You never know.  Life happens.
By CameraDiva from WunderPhotos
We will be attending a Christmas candle light service at church.  The real reason for Christmas is still there no matter how many decorations you get up or how many presents there are under the tree.  Actually, less can be best - at least once in awhile.

I love the picture below.  I really can't tell you why but it makes my heart happy and it looks like Christmas.
I hope that whatever your Christmas is like this year, whether good, bad, or just plain simple,  you can find hope in the fact Jesus left His home so He could take us to His.    I can hardly wait.  Sam

"Merry Christmas from Rabbit Hash" by WunderPhotos


Lunar Eclipse 12/20/10

"Pre-eclipse Moon" by RNJoel from WunderPhotos

My Facebook Post:

"The lunar eclipse, beginning at 10:30 and the total eclipse beginning at 11:41, will cause the moon to look ruddy because of the light filtering through the earth's atmosphere. The moon should be in its deepest reddish shadow at 12:17 a.m. My family will be sitting outside in our lawn chairs to watch. (NOT)"

I think the fact that it is pouring rain right now (and has been the last two days and will be the next two days) is a valid reason to miss the eclipse.  Not that we would have gone to much trouble to see it anyway.  I do, however, think that a good eclipse, whether you can see it or not, is worth mentioning.

Let us consider it therefore, hereby mentioned.

"Prelude to Tonight's Eclipse" by Ralfo from WunderPhotos

And that's that.



High Tech Christmas Music

Interesting and fun but I really hope that "real" instruments don't become obsolete! Sam


A Social Network Christmas

For my friends who don't have Facebook. This is what's being passed around.

I'm remembering that doing God's will is not easy and not always socially acceptable (like when 23 people delete Joseph as a friend). It's hard to learn that we live for an audience of One. Sam


Good Day, Sad Day

"Peaceful Valley" by JasonMac78 from WunderPhotos

Good: Kind friends who help take care of loose ends so you can attend a funeral.
Bad: Aching  for the loved ones left behind.
Good: Seeing the show of support from family and friends at the service.
Good: Seeing old friends. 
Good: A young man now freed from a debilitating disease.
Bad: Grieving parents who will miss him dearly.
Good: The knowledge of a reunion in heaven.
Bad: Knowing the pain the parents will go through for a time.
Good: Knowing that God and time really do heal the brokenhearted.

In Memory of Sean Lipton
1998 - 2010


This is the Way to Decorate a House!

Many of you have probably seen this before.  It's even good the second time around.


Children and Challenges

In my last post I told you about the "It's a God Thing" stories I hope to post on some Sundays. (Click here to read the post) This is the very first one.  One of my dearest friends shared a breakthrough she had with her adopted daughter recently.  It's been a rough go but she had a glimpse of hope.  She gave me permission to share the story with you.

At the beginning of the year, I asked the Lord for a year of miracles. I was so discouraged about our adopted daughter. It had been 4+ years for us, and things still weren't going so great. There have been no big, spectacular changes, but little by little there have been little changes--a little softening, a change in attitude, a little more gratitude, little more joy in being part of the family. Just this week my daughter and I were having a conversation about a girl who started going to our church just over a year ago. This year she is in my daughter's classroom at her elementary school. Just a few weeks ago, the little girl's parents joined our church and we heard her parents' salvation story. The dad came from a Christian home, but he was not saved. His parents started coming to our church and bringing his 2 little girls with them. The girls' grandmother got cancer and died. His wife, mother of little girls, and he were arguing one day after that about how to get to Heaven. Even though he wasn't saved, he had heard the truth and to "prove his point," he quoted to her the Bible verses that lead to salvation.--The mom got saved right then! The dad still wasn't saved and didn't come to church for a while, but he did get saved and now comes to church, too. Anyway, our daughter tries to be the little girl's friend, and I think they are friends most of the time, but our daughter tells me a little bit about the other girl's behavior. I encourage her to be kind and understanding. I told her yesterday, "You know, her parents haven't been saved very long. She may have had a very rough life before her parents were saved.--You understand that, right? You had a couple of very rough years the first of your life. You came to us when you were 3. She's had to deal with it for probably about 7 years." Cassie thought and said, "Yea, I think I'm pretty lucky."--Okay, I think "blessed" would be a better word, but I'll take it!

Wow! Thank you, Lord. It is truly the year of miracles. I'm sorry I doubted. I know there are challenges ahead, but thank you for the encouragement.

No More Miracles

I was reading a Bible story to my children several years ago.  The story included one of Christ's miracles.  One of my children asked, "How come God doesn't do miracles today?  I wish He did miracles today."  I started to explain that God does miracles when His word is first introduced so that people will know it's true.  God doesn't need to do that in America."  And then the truth hit me like a ton of bricks.  Where in the world did that thought come from?

How quick we are to forget.  How quickly does our thankfulness fade into doubt. Sitting beside me on the couch was a living miracle.  Many things in my past I can only attribute to God personally choosing to intervene in my life.

I told my children, "Sister is a miracle," and reminded them of her story.  "Your cousin was born dead.  He is fine now,"  I recounted that story. "It's not that miracles don't happen.  Miracles happen every day.  The problem is that we don't see them or acknowledge them for what they are.  And when we do see them, we don't  remember them."

Our faith and the faith of our children depend, in part, on remembering what God has done for us. Remembering what He HAS done already gives us faith for the next trial. But oh how quickly we FORGET.  It makes me sad.  God is so good and we are so.....what do I say?  forgetful?  ungrateful?  childlike?  foolish?  preoccupied?

God knows our nature and our frailties. That's why in the Old Testament He constantly said, "and teach these to your children".  He set up holy days where certain stories (miracles) were to be told, he had them set up pillars of stone near places where miracles happened and told them that when they passed those pillars in the future and their children asked, "Why is that pillar there?" tell them....  He knew we need to be reminded.

He told us in the New Testament several times to encourage one another.  What better way to encourage than to share God's faithfulness to us.  Life is HARD.  We need all the encouragement we can get.  Jesus warned us, "In this world you WILL have trouble.." We need to encourage one another because bad things are going to happen.  We live in a sinful world.  God is not a magic genie to answer our every whim.  He decides when the miracles happen, not us. But He is with us ALL the time.

I want to remember God's faithfulness to me.  I want to share my miracles with my children.  I want to share them with you.  I would love for you to share your stories with me.  As often as I can, on Sundays, I would like to share a miracle story from my life or someone else's.  I want to help us remember. We can share big miracles or little encouragements.  It doesn't matter.  The fact that God cares about the smallest details of our lives is a miracle to me.  These posts will be archived under "It's a God Thing." Okay, so the title is a little goofy but at least it's accurate.

Open your eyes and see the miracles all around you, Sam


A BIG Basketball Party

I started typing this post and discovered that my L and M keys are missing.  The little black tabs are gone but you can push the silver things underneath to type your letter.  Where in the world did they go?

Wait, here's my L key sitting on the shift button. llllll It's in place now.

mmmM  key was on the floor.  I think they got knocked off when the dog ju   (M key is refusing to stay in place.)  Anyway, the dog jumped on my keyboard.  My husband is not going to be happy about this.  I think I'll tell you about the big party later.  I've got to go put the little black M key cover somewhere where it won't get lost.

 If you don't here from me for awhile - my laptop is in the shop.  Which would be good since my monitor is going out and my F key sticks. 

We're falling apart at the seams over here, Sam

Well, I'm not falling apart but my computer is (if you don't count the wrinkles and gray hair and other stuff I don't care to mention in public).


Photo Break- 12/10/10

"Christmas Colors" (NC) by : Bogon from WonderPhotos
I have a couple of posts in the works but busy days make for tired nights.  So we will look at this beautiful picture instead.  

Quick Thoughts:

The boy kept me running yesterday.  Does running a boy from here to there for a grand total of 2 hrs plus in one day earn me the tile of "Taxi Cab Driver"?  I would like something out of it.  I guess he's worth it.

We had workers at our house all day doing minor repairs on this, that, and the other thing.  But I'll tell ya, it sure is nice to have this, that, and the other thing working properly.

I'm not ready for Christmas, are you? Well, I did get my spice rack reorganized today so  I'm ready to start some holiday baking. I guess that's better than nothing. I found the BEST pumpkin pie recipe yesterday.  I'm looking forward to trying it.

I'm going to go chill and watch a show with my hubs.  Lookin' forward to a little chillaxin'.

Hope your Friday was not stressful and maybe even a little fun, Sam


A Very BLACK Friday

Our Black Friday began the night before, driving home in the BLACK of night after celebrating Thanksgiving out of town.  We were beat.  We had to get up early the next morning to take my boy to big fancy mall to perform with his band for three hours. Those BLACK Friday Christmas shoppers needed entertained.  I lay in bed that BLACK night going over in my mind all the boy would need for tomorrow's performance, (His first performance with the advanced band in formal attire): white dress shirt, BLACK pants, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The next morning came pretty early.  We were actually on schedule to leave on time (a rarity for us) when my big strapping boy comes in the kitchen, 10 minutes before it's time to leave, and queried, "Doesn't the advanced band wear a BLACK dress shirt instead of a white one?" Panic strikes! I rush to pull up the e-mail that has the instructions for that day's performance.  He's right.  There are seven minutes left before we have to leave. Okay, options, what are our options?  Does he have a BLACK shirt he can use?  NO.  Does his dad have a BLACK shirt he can use?  NO. Do I?  Doesn't matter, he wouldn't wear it anyway.  "Mom, I don't have BLACK shoes anymore either." He comes out of his room wearing his BLACK pants. "Mom, these pants are too tight." I look.  Not only are they tight, they are too short.  When is this kid going to stop growing?

Well, at this point our two options are obvious.  1. Call the band director and tell him we can't make it.  2. Since the performance is a long one, buck up, call the band director, tell him our dilemma, rush to the store, and arrive as soon as we can.  We choose option two.  The band director is so great.  He laughs and tells us to get there when we can.  So off we go.

Go? Go where?  That's when it hit me.  We were about to go shopping for shoes and clothes, in a mad rush, on BLACK Friday!  I avoid the stores like the plague on that particular day of the year.  I hate crowds. Well, as ridiculous as it may sound, with visions of turmoil, and long lines, we (my husband, my son, and myself) dash off to the store.

First stop - Target. Miracle of miracles we find a shirt right off the bat.  Then I start looking for pants. I think I'm looking for a 36 " X 36". The store doesn't have them that long.  What?  Do I have to start shopping at a big and tall shop for this boy?  My pocketbook is starting to feel pained at the thought. We find a 36" X 34".  "Try these.  They'll have to do."  While I wait for the boy to change, my hubs goes off in search of shoes.  I begin to look around.  Hmm, there are definitely more people than there would usually be, but all in all, it wasn't too bad. I started to relax a little.  Hubs returns and says there are shoes in the shoe department he thinks will work.  The boy comes out. The waist is too big and they are definitely long enough. How can these be long enough and the ones at home be too short?  The boy says they will do.  Off we go tho the shoe department.  While the boy tries on the BLACK shoes, I try to solve the mystery of the pant lengths. (Envision light bulb turning on here.) "Boy (I really called him by his name), did you try on the pants I put in the dryer to wrinkle release or the pants that were in your room?" He answered. I said, "Those were the wrong pants!  I think the ones in the dryer still fit.  Do we buy these just in case or risk it?"  The shoes fit and we carry on the discussion as we make our way to the register. We buy one BLACK dress shirt and one pair of BLACK shoes and that's all. Guess what?  No waiting in line.  Not at all. I think Someone was watching out for us.

As we drive home my son says, "This day is an epic fail".  If I had a nickle for every time my boy said "epic", I would be a rich woman.  "Are you kidding me," I replied.  "This day is an epic save.  Do you realize we just found everything in one store when it could have easily taken three.  And do you realize we were in and out of that store in no time flat on BLACK Friday? It was more like an epic miracle."  Sometimes teenagers with little life experience and too many hormones just need help getting the right perspective.  And you KNOW what his response was, "Whatever."

We go home so the boy can change and get the pants that we really, really hope fit him.  Dad rushes off to the nearby music store to get the boy a new, badly needed, BLACK music stand. My boy finished changing.  You should have seen him. ( Wait, you will in the pictures at the end.)  He was so tall and handsome.  And everything fit fine.  No luck with the music stand.  He's been using an old, decrepit, silver stand for three years.  One more performance won't hurt.

Hubs drops us off at the mall and goes to park the car while the boy and I try to figure out where the band is playing. It's then we discover we are at the wrong mall and we should be at the larger mall across the street. My boy says again, "I can't believe what an epic fail this day is."  We needed another perspective check, "The only way this day would be a "fail" is if we gave up.  Mr. Hallman knows we're going to be late.  You're still going to have a good bit of time to play with your band.  As long as we don't give up, we haven't failed." "Mom, you're just too optimistic and unrealistic."  I think in my head, "Whatever."

My boy and I had quite a bit of a walk. We had to cross the street, go in the mall, ask four people for directions, go up two flights, and cross a bridge to get to the other section of the mall to FINALLY get to his band.  Now is the time I should let you know that my boy was still recuperating from a badly sprained ankle.  This was the first major walk he had since getting off of crutches. 

 The boy still has two hours he can play with the band. He (the tall guy on the left) prepares to join in.  Most of the band gets to sit but the trumpets stand. I was a little concerned about my son's ankle but a boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do.

He made it and he is playing.  I'm so proud.  He and his friends were glad to see each other. Can you hear the Christmas music?

Here's the band in their BLACK attire.

Here's the band director with the great attitude doing his thing.  And who's that guy on the bench in the background?  I think I know him.  He looks like someone I married once. He bears an uncanny resemblance to my son.

This is my good friend, Lorrie, and a fellow band mom.  Our boys have known each other since they were babes.  And look, she's dressed all in BLACK from head to toe.

Another friend and band mom.  She is smiling because when she arrived earlier that morning it was freezing and her boy forgot his jacket.  But that's not why she's smiling.  She's smiling because when she went into the nearest big name department store to buy a jacket, she got a super BLACK Friday deal and paid $14 for a $70 jacket.

This is her boy's foot. He's a drummer. I took a picture of this because she pointed out that there was usually a drum in front of that peddle.  And even though there was not one now, her boy was pushing on the peddle out of habit. Kinda funny. I love this family.

During the two hour wait, my husband and I got to go to lunch.  It was almost like a date.

My boy and his buds goofing around and posing for the cameras afterward.

Yep, this day was an epic save.

For more information on this home school band, check out the following link:


Photo Break- 12/7/10

"Seasonal Dress" by TPB from Wonderphotos

Can you believe Christmas is so close?  I really should start getting ready for it.  I'll think about that for a couple of weeks.

I've been working on a couple of posts.  I even tried my hand at using some of my own rinky dink photos. I ran into a snag (I have to upload all the photos over again because I goofed - but I'd rather go to bed.) so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

I had a busy day but a good one.  Hope you did too.
"R to L" from WonderPhotos
I'm going to hop right outta here and hit the hay.  The boy has a band performance bright and early in the morning and this taxi cab drivin' mom needs to be ready to go.

Good Night All, Sam


50 Things About Me Part 2 (Oops, make that 54.)

Well, let's see.  Where did I leave off.  Oh yes, I believe I am on #26.

"Earlier Today" (Camden, NC) by sillygal from WonderPhotos
26. I love the country.
27. But I am doing my best to be content in the city.
28. I think it would be great fun to build a zero energy house.
29. I'm not that crazy about chocolate.
30. I'm not afraid to die.
31. My greatest fear is of..of... PEOPLE!
32. I can be shy in crowds.
33. I like history.
34. I know some truly wonderful people that I am blessed to have as friends.
35. I love my children madly.
36. I collect books.
37. I have many, Many, MANY faults but not on purpose.
38. I am a first born.  So is my husband. 
39. I grew up in a crazy family. Not the good kind of crazy.
40. I want to know 50 things about whoever (whomever?) reads this post. (This conversation is seeming a little one sided.)
Hmmm, what else, what else can I say?

A picture from a road trip.  Note the glare in the windshield. (TN)
 41. My family likes road trips.  We love to go east.
42. I've never been to the Grand Canyon and I live in CA.  That's just ridiculous!
43. My second biggest fear is that some of my dreams for my family won't happen.
44. My husband thinks snakes are cool.  I don't. (But my son has a really cool leopard gecko.)
45. My husband and kids are Trekkies.  Me too - but not quite as much.

My daughter goes gaga over Mr. Spock.
46. I'm very tall. Always have been. So is my husband and son.  How we ended up with a midget daughter, I'll never know.  But we kinda like her anyway. ;)
46.5  I love to laugh and tease and be a little bit silly.
47. I love accents.  Southern, Irish and Aussie are my favorites.
48.I believe the Bible is true.
49. I believe Jesus is who He said He is.
50. I believe that I am saved by grace because, honey, there ain't any other way I'm gonna make it to heaven.
51. I can't wait to get to heaven.  I believe it is more real than this world we live in now.
52. And I believe that God loves us all madly.
53. That love means more to me than anything else in the whole world.
54. I hope whoever (whomever?) is reading this feels especially special and loved right now.

Feel free to leave a few notes about yourself in the comments.
I would love to read them, Sam


50 Things about Me Part 1

I've seen this done on other blogs but sometimes it's 101 Things About Me.  I'm not that exciting so I'll stick with 50 (or maybe less).

Okay, here goes.  50 things you never needed to know about me.

1. I have this form of Fiona as my pic on Facebook.
2. I rarely go on Facebook.
3. I'm a neat freak.
4. I have long, red hair.
5. I grew up in Mozambique.
6. I can be mischievous and tell stories.  That is why the first five facts are false.
7. The form of Fiona below is the pic I REALLY have on Facebook.

This form of Fiona suits me better.
8. I LOVE Facebook.
9. I'm a messy and ashamed of it.
10. Whatever color my hair once was, it is no longer.
11. I've never been to Mozambique but I know where it is.
12. I was born in Texas and spent some of my childhood there and some in CA.
13. I went to college in SC and CA.
14. I'm a credentialed school teacher.
15. When I was a kid I was chased by a bear- in the wild. (No joke.) And I lived to tell about it.
16. I sat by Steven Curtis Chapman's parents on a plane ride once.  Wonderful people.
17. After our first date, my future husband and I agreed we would never be more than friends.
18. At times during our marriage we both wished we had stayed only friends. (But we don't feel that way now.)
19. We have two dorky kids. (Probably because my husband and I are dorky. It's in the gene pool.)
20. My first born was a preemie.  SCARY!
21. My second born was normal size and came out hungry.
22. I like dogs. I absolutely adore them.  We have three. (Does that count as one fact or three?)
23. I'm not that crazy about cats.  I'm allergic to them. They make my eyes swell. (Was that TMI?)
24. I have backyard chickens.
25. I like to garden but don't actually do it.
I'm tired of doing this right now and maybe I'll finish tomorrow.  
See ya then, Sam


Photo Break 12/4

Final Glow of November (Big Sur, CA) by AprilM from WonderPhotos
 November has recently ended and in the midst of kid's homework, playing taxi cab driver and a few loads of laundry, I have attempted to figure out some more about this blogging thing.  I have learned that it can be quite rewarding to get several posts up in a week.  I have also learned that I do not have the time, energy or brain power to do it as consistently as I would like.  So, with the beginning of December, I have come up with a plan...

December First (Pajaro, CA) by observing from WonderPhotos
  My plan is to put something quick, easy, and beautiful on my blog  that may bring peace your soul or maybe just make you smile.  And since a beautiful photograph can do just that, on those days I just can't get a regular post together, I will be posting a photo that I love and brings peace to my soul and hopefully yours.

Most of these photos will be of nature, especially country shots.  Since I am a country girl living in the city, country shots are a respite from city life.  Shots of the ocean, like today, will be rare.  Even though I live very close to the ocean, it is not what brings peace to this girl's soul.  Here in SoCal you usually have to fight traffic and crowds to get to the beach and--well, those are not my favorite things.

These photos will usually not be my own since I am not a photographer.  I will do my best to make sure that I am not bootlegging someone else's work but only post what is fair and legal.

I will call these quick, easy posts, "Photo Break".  Whether it is a break for me or a break for you from reading my ramblings....I'll let you decide.


The Christmas Care Package Challenge

"Record Snowfall" by Derek1 from WonderPhotos

My sister-in-law LOVES birds. She loves to watch birds outside her window and she especially loves Christmas cardinals.  My SIL is also a pastor's wife and has learned to hate Christmas.  Her husband is the pastor of a small church and a lot of the work falls on my SIL's shoulder.  Christmas is usually SO busy, SO rushed, and SO stressful that she dreads it each year.  I wanted to encourage her so I gave her a Christmas care package.  I won't give you all the details but it had a lot of notes of encouragement and a lot of birds.

I have a very good friend who is going through tough times right now so I am giving her a care package too.  The gift bag is full of little bags with a note and a little gift inside. She is due here any minute and I can hardly wait to watch her open it. Here are a few of the notes I put on the bags:

Tough times don't have to get ya down if you keep a few tricks under your belt:
.1. The most important thing is - Be anxious for NOTHING but cast all of your care on Him because He cares for you.
2. Praise Him.  Look for what He did for you each day.
3. Find pleasure in the small and simple things.
4. Take time to relax and think ONLY pleasant thoughts.
5. Make time to have fun with friends.
6. No matter where you roam (she might have to move), home is where Jesus is taking care of you.

The were a few more notes pertinent to my friend.  I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out what gift I chose to go with each comment. (Hint: They were small, cute, and inexpensive.)

Do you know someone who is having a hard time this Christmas season?  Why not go shopping at thrift stores, dollar stores, sale racks and collect a few gifts that would mean something to that person, pack  'em up in a gift bag, add a few encouraging notes and make 'em smile.  It is SO much fun!

Encourage one another and happy shopping, Sam

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner