Saturday, February 27, 2010


"Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it".


Heard that at the movie theater last night during the "stuff" they show you before the movie.... thought it was profound, thought I'd share.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Sunday Jacob had a hockey "tournament" in Birmingham. It was really just a couple of scrimmage games against a team from there. We lost both games, but my son scored the final goal for our team!!! He has come a long way in his skills while playing on this all-star team. He saw me about to take his picture before the first game and posed....Between games, we got lunch and ate it in the parking lot with some of the other families. The only person who brought a blanket was me and it happened to be the quilt my mom made me... sorry mom- I only meant to wrap up in it while in the rink! But it didn't take too much of a beating with the boys sitting on it and I've already washed it. :-)While Sarah was trying to capture the weird couple I blogged about yesterday... she inadvertantly caught a ghost on film! Which sort-of makes the weird couple seem even more weird, doesn't it? On the way home, we had two exhausted children. I just love it when they are asleep.....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Born to Amuse

Sarah and I, whilst in Birmingham waiting on Jacob's game to start this morning, went to look for a Walmart to buy some Benadryl and Kleenex, as she was having allergy problems. We were driving through a random parking lot and saw these two people just sitting there in the parking lot. I said, "Ummm... what are they doing?" And I answered myself, "I have NO idea, but I have to get a picture of this". So I took their picture from afar so you could see they are just sitting in a big parking lot-- and you can't see this, but they are looking straight at a Sonic restaurant. Sarah and I could not stop laughing.On the way back to the hockey rink, we circled back through the parking lot in order to get some more photos of them and Sarah got the picture below of them. The woman is in some kind of wheelchair, but the man is sitting in a beach chair of some sort. I assume that is their car behind them, as it was the only one anywhere near them.

Maybe you had to be there.... ;-) but it surely made Sarah and I laugh. Glad I had my camera handy, aren't you?

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Snow last weekend. Today, it was in the 60s and beautiful. I took the girls and we went to the walking trail... so the girls could run and I could walk. They each brought a friend. In the car on the way there, Sarah's friend says to me, "Mrs. Newman? Um... there might be a couple of boys meeting us there". :-) Oh.... well, I wondered why they were so anxious to go. Ha. Picture below of Sarah, friend and "boys". They are all looking at Libby and her friend who were finishing up their run/walk.

The only "boy" I met there was God. He was all around in the beauty of the day!

Friday, February 19, 2010


This is the last of many posts I am making today ... so keep scrolling down to catch up. :-) I have had a hard time getting pictures on the computer and now that they are on... and I have some time... I just wanted to sit and get caught up with things I've been wanting to blog about.

As many of you know, six faculty members at my husband's University were shot last week- three killed. Tim attended the memorial service for one yesterday, a man originally from India, and a Hindu, and brought home the memorial sheet, which I found interesting to read- not just about the man and his family, but the quotes from the Hindu sacred book (the Bhagavad Gita). To be clear, I believe Jesus is the only way to God and I am not thinking of converting to Hinduism.... but I loved this "Prayer for Peace" which translates:

Oh Lord, please lead me from unreal to real.
Lead me from darkness to light (from ignorance to knowledge)
Lead me from mortality to immortality.
May there be peace, peace and peace.

I thought it continued my thoughts from my post from a few days ago about "Vision" and asking God to show me was is true and real.

Now, this picture below was taken by me and you might be impressed and you might think I know what I'm doing with a camera... well, I really don't. But this picture of falling snow captures for me what "peace" might look like.... so keep your eyes open for God... he is all around.

Incredible Hulk

Yesterday I was stressed and depressed, down in the dumps... and then Beth brought the Incredible Hulk to my house... who needs Xanax when you have a sweet monster like this around? When she got to my house, I went out onto the porch as she was getting him out of the car and I said, "Sam!" and she put him down and he ran as fast as his little legs would carry him across the yard to me, laughing and saying, "Bread! Bread!" (Apparently Beth had told him to tell me they had brought bread for dinner). I picked him up and swung him in the air and hugged on him and asked him who I was... "Aunt Brenda!" :-) It made my day. I wish I could get a dose of him every day.


We got a dog. He is a Whippet (got him from breeders) and his name is Tyler. He is about six months old and is seen here with the welcoming committee from the neighborhood when he arrived at his new home. So far.. we are having the normal struggles with a new puppy. I was trying to like him until he pooped all over my house repeatedly. So we are learning about crate training and such. He's also a bit skiddish and he cries ALL NIGHT long. Ummm.... *I* wanted to go get a Haitian orphan instead of a dog... I'd much rather be kept up by a crying baby than a stupid dog. (Amen?) But... anyway... maybe we will become friends some day when he learns where to deficate and learns some obedience skills. He does have a sweet temperment.


"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance". I Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)

I said I was going to post my calendar picture at the beginning of every month. Well, the 19th isn't exactly the beginning, but here it is. (I've been having trouble uploading pictures).


We've had more snow here this winter than any time in the 15 winters we have spent here. Some winters we don't even see a flake. Normally when we do, the kids get so excited they've been known to go out at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to play in it. (Before it melts!) It's weird, but they aren't even excited to see it anymore. We don't have any on the ground right now- it was in the 50s today, actually... but this picture is from the last big one last weekend. (Now don't be writing me hate mail from Michigan about how this doesn't look like a "big one" to you. For Alabama, it's big).


Delicious recipe from the back of the Land O' Lakes Margarine Box (not good for the diet):

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mini real semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons sugar
35 milk chocolate candy Kisses

* Heat oven to 350. Line 13 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over pan edges. Set aside.
*Combine brown sugar, margarine and peanut butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips.
*Pat dough into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately press evenly spaced chocolate candies into warm bars. Cool completely. Remove bars from pan using edges of foil; cut into bars, cutting between candies. Makes 35 bars.

Libby mixing and opening Kisses.

Libby mashing the batter into the pan

Ready to eat! Incredibly good!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light

Riches I heed not nor man's emptly praise
Thou mine inheritance now and always
Thou and thou only first in my heart
High King of heaven my treasure Thou are

The first time I heard this beautiful song it was on Ginny Owens' CD. You can listen to it here. (There are more beautiful verses, but these are the two she sings). She didn't write the song... it's an old hymn, but she is blind, so it has extra meaning. She definitely walks by faith and not by sight. But I wonder if I do the same.

Right now I feel very burdened with things I don't know how to explain to myself in any ways that make sense... people bringing guns to the places my child and husband spend their days and shooting other people to death, the death of my friend's father from cancer when her mother is in the early stages of Alzheimers, a friend and her baby going through a divorce, a sweet dog running lost through the cold snow, whimpering when I petted him, my young cousin with a sweet baby, fighting for her life, waiting for a kidney, people on a poor island who have nothing to lose, losing everything in an earthquake....

I feel the weight of these things.... see Satan's hand in the world... feel helpless. And if I keep walking by sight, I will crumble under the weight.

I need God to open my eyes... to remind me he is working all of this for the good of those who love Him... that while I can't understand everything, some day I will and I will bow down and praise the God who rescued me. I need to see, by faith, the armies all around me, fighting FOR me and not just the enemies fighting against me. I pray God will be my vision. He is definitely my best thought every day. Definitely my treasure.

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. Ps. 119:18

Saturday, February 13, 2010


My good friend Sonja (with BFF qualities, but not really my BFF) told me that I need to put something new on my blog because the post about the shooting at my daughter's school was beginning to depress her. I hope the Smiley will help you Sonja.

Unfortunately I have more bad news... a week after that shooting, there has been a mass shooting at my husband's school. Thank God I had already spoken to him and knew he was at home when I heard on the radio that faculty had been killed at his University when another professor had gone on a rampage. Oh, the insanity of this! And he knows most of the professors involved and he's pretty shaken. Sarah, on her way to a retreat with the youth group, called me from the van and to tell me she had heard about the shooting... wanted to make sure her dad was okay... my prayer is God will use this retreat to heal her wounded soul. I won't say much more because I don't want to depress Sonja... but just pray for our family.... this is alot to take in one weeks' time.

Meanwhile, it continues to stay heavy on my heart as another dear friend of mine watches her father die of lung cancer. I love you Lisa! I pray for you multiple times a day! Your faith encourages mine to grow stronger.

And another thing... to lighten the mood a bit... I thought I lived in Alabama. What's with this winter? Global warming is giving us more snow this winter than I have seen in one winter since I've lived here. And it's cold. (Usually is when it snows). But what I am saying is that usually we get a few cold days here and there and lots of moderate days. Not this winter. Okay, so we never get enough to make it look like this, but isn't this a beautiful picture?

I don't know- but they say more snow on the way tomorrow and I am SO ready for spring.

Last night Sonja (you know, the Not-BFF) and I took our jewelry to a little show at a coffee shop and sold a bit. We had fun hanging out and seeing some old friends. I forgot my camera... but if you want to see our stuff in person and live around here... you can visit The Saving Way and see it for yourself- and a portion of what you buy there benefits this awesome ministry. :-)

Now here's some really good news...... I've lost 13 pounds since the beginning of January! Woo hoo! Go me! Well, I should say "Go God" because it's all Him. By the time it actually warms up- there's going to be alot less of me and I'm going to be ready for a new wardrobe! :-)

And no dog, yet. I'll keep you posted on that.

So........ that's my life in review. Sorry my blog entries tend to be about multiple things. My life is so full of activity, blogging time is hard to find!

"Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen." Philippians 4:20

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Friday the unimaginable happened. Here's the story from my perspective.

I was arriving at Sarah's school to check her out early (so we could go get a dog... more on that later....) and when I got there, found yellow police tape blocking the entrances, police cars, news camera crews and lots and lots of cars and people milling around...

I pulled into our street (we live across the street) and stopped and asked the first lady I saw, "What's going on?" "There's been a shooting", she said and my heart stopped. "My daughter's in there...." I replied through gasps and wide eyes and tears welling up. "They're on lock down, they won't let you get her, but," taking my hand in hers, "if you haven't heard anything... that's good news. Okay?! They have already taken the shooter and victim away. Go park your car and call your daughter." "Okay, thanks" I mumbled. Only my daughter left her phone at home. So I began to try all of her friends' cell numbers that I have in my phone, finally reaching one who said she was not with Sarah (they had been pushed into whatever classroom they were closest to), but she was sure Sarah was fine. I asked her if she had seen anything and she said yes, she had seen the victim on the ground. "I'm sorry" I said. That was all I could think to say.

You hear this all the time and our mayor said this in one of the press conferences-- but this type of thing isn't supposed to happen HERE. This is an awesome, family-oriented community with awesome schools and last year, we were voted the second best city in the U.S. to raise a family! It's safe here, I would have told you.

But for some reason.... a 14 year old decided to take a gun to school, walk up to another 14 year old, and shoot him in the back of the head. Oh... how my heart breaks for the victim's family, the shooter and his family, the kids who saw it happen, the kids who didn't see it, but who were shoved into classrooms, doors locked, lights turned off and told to stay away from the windows or get under desks as "Code Red" was announced over the loud speaker and people yelled "Someone has a gun". How my heart breaks for my daughter who had to go through this and who will have to go to school tomorrow and walk in the same hallway where this happened.

When Sarah finally called me, I was never so happy to hear her voice. My first question was, "Did you see anything?" She hadn't. And I praised God for that small blessing. It took nearly 1/2 hour of waiting in line before I had her in the car... the Mayor of our city was in the car line reassuring parents. I heard someone with a walkie talkie say, "We need to get as many kids off this campus as possible as soon as possible". The policeman I spoke to told me I couldn't cut across the parking lot because "It's a crime scene". It was surreal.

This isn't supposed to happen anywhere. It is not God's desire for his creation. But one thought I do have, and it was something I already had percolating in my brain after listening to a sermon recently where the preacher was talking about how the Church is Jesus in the world.... His very presence... I got this email from our school superintendent that was giving information about a community meeting they will have today and this sentence stuck out at me:

"Additionally, today I met with scores of church leaders, pastors, preachers, and members of our faith based community. They will be available to offer counseling and support after Sunday’s meeting and they have a willingness to help anyone at any time".

Jesus in the world. Don't ask me to tell you why He would allow something so horrific to begin with... this is a fallen world and freewill brings sin. But I do know that without fail, whenever there is a tragedy, the church turns out. Jesus turns out. And I love Him for that. Even as He embraces Todd Brown in heaven, He is on earth healing the wounds left here, once again cleaning up a mess left by his creation that continues to make bad choices.