Aug 30, 2006

A Different Book Meme

Okay, I found another fun meme at Barb's site and I wanted to join in too. Here is how it works.

1. Grab the book you are currently reading. (which is hard if you are like me and are reading several at a time- which I don't recommend)
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Scroll down to the 5th sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences, the name of the book and the author.

I am reading "A Beautiful Offering" by Angela Thomas. Sentences 6,7, and 8 read, "It's just me, a commom woman with a common life. Do you feel common and plain and extremely ordinary? Then Jesus is talking to me and you."

I am laughing because it sounds like it coincides with my post from 2 days ago. Give it a try and see what you come up with.

Beach Bound

I’m heading off to the beach today for the first and last time of this year's summer vacation. I only live 15 minutes from Padre Island, but for some reason or the other I haven’t taken the kids yet. Oh yeah, it might be the fact that I’ve been nursing my hubby who had his hip replaced, or the fact we spent a lot of the beginning of summer in the beautiful state of Colorado, or even that my kids have not asked once to go to the beach. Regardless, I often wonder why people who live so close to something so cool, don’t go. You know the way people who live in New York City have never been to the Empire State Building. Or people who live in Washington DC have never been to the White House. I sometimes get really frustrated that I don’t take more vacations in my own backyard. There is really a lot to do here otherwise so many tourists from up north wouldn’t come to visit. I was just curious if anyone else feels the way I do. Oops, I forgot the best reason for not going to the beach. Shall we say it together ladies? The Bathing Suit!

Aug 27, 2006

What is Behind the Name?

Barb, an amazing woman I met through blogging has asked the question, "What is your blog title all about?" I am hesitant to share mine because it is a long story, but one that is so treasured to me. Here it goes in it's entirety:The Carnation Story

This is a heart felt story I wrote after an experience I had about a year ago. My hope is that it blesses the reader in some way. My senior pastor’s wife had a dinner/fellowship at her home with all the pastor’s wives at my church. There were 7 ladies in attendance and each one came for a night of relaxation, good conversation and encouragement. The hostess did an amazing job pampering us and lifting us up with her words. If I would have left before the game portion of the night, I think I may have missed one of the most important realizations of my life. Dramatic as I make it sound, the game was harmless to most of the women sharing with me. The hostess began the game with bringing out a beautiful bouquet of 7 flowers arranged in a glass vase. I knew she was up to something special. Being that all of the pastor’s wives have close relationships with one another, she had each lady identify all 6 flowers as one of the ladies in the room. The flowers were a rose, a carnation, a lily, a sunflower, a pompom, and a gerber daisy. We could use a flower more than once, but she really stressed to try to keep one flower for each person. She added that we needed to explain why we matched the flower with the person. Immediately one of the ladies said, “We’ll I don’t want to be the carnation. I used to work in a flower shop and that was the flower that everyone bought when they didn’t have enough money for a real floral arrangement.” With that being said I thought silently to myself, “Please, Lord don’t let them pick me as the carnation. I don’t want to be just that flower that people have to settle with.” As we began writing our picks down, I easily matched my friends. Each lady there did remind me of a certain flower. Now the fun began; sharing aloud. As we went around the room heaping compliment upon compliment on one another my heart began to beat so fast and I could just feel the tears beginning to well up inside. The ladies, my so-called friends, almost unanimously picked me as the carnation. If only one or two would have come to the same conclusion I would have said, “Nice game, how clever !” Nope, I sat there stunned! Don’t get me wrong, I heard nice words like, “Susie, whenever there is a need you are always there. You’re like a filler who never minds helping out or pitching in.” I also heard something about how carnations are pretty and sweet with ruffled edges. I do like ruffles. I heard something about being natural and simple. Is that a supposed to be a compliment? All I know is I went home that night and cried for a solid 2 hours. I had my prayer journal out and boy did I let God know how upset I was. I finally fell asleep on the couch of my living room, too ashamed to show my face to my husband who had earlier said, “Now, what about this flower game.” I love him more than life itself, but he is my “Wild at Heart” man, and I knew that this was way out of his league of understanding. The next morning I tried to recount the previous evening. I remembered that I had said such lovely things to our pure, holy lily friend. I had also encouraged my spunky, fun loving pom-pom friend. Even more I gave the sunflower title to 2 ladies that were surely more carnation like than me. I am laughing at myself right now that I got into such a tizzy over this silly game. God was probably laughing at me too, because he didn’t let the story end there.
I went to work out that morning at my all girls circuit club when I was greeted at the door with a flower. You guessed it a carnation. You have got to be kidding I thought. It was an anniversary of their opening and they were making sure each one of us felt special. (I guess they were on a tight budget too.) I left the club forgetting my carnation, and one of the workers brought it to my car. Okay God, I get the message you want me to take this flower home with me. When I brought the flower in I put it in a small vase and just stared at it for a minute. What is it that I hate about this flower? It is pink, my favorite color after all. Here go the tears again. Why do I have to be so plain, and simple and sweet? I want to be more like my friends I prayed. They are somebody. They have real dreams, real ministry work, eloquent words, great senses of style and the list went on in my mind. It seemed God was not speaking to me. He just let me vent and question my purpose for even being on this earth. What if, just what if I really am just filler for the bouquet of life? I do know I am a loving and supportive wife to my very creative husband, a loveable, huggable mom and a friend many count on for a listening ear. But what if that is it? God, how can I be your child and truly have nothing to show others of your magnificence? After 2 weeks went by, I finally got my answer. It wasn’t what I hoped for, but it was exactly what I needed. Do you know after 14 days that carnation did not have a single brown spot and still smelled as pretty as if it had just been picked? I almost screamed as it finally hit me. “I get it! I am a carnation. A simple, yet beautiful in God’s eye carnation! Maybe people do look to me as a source of stability, someone who is always there for them. I wasted 2 weeks of my life worrying, but I gained years of self esteem with this simple game. I thank you God that I am who I am. Since my experience God has confirmed to me in so many ways how a behind the scenes, no flash person like me can be so important and so needed. It is almost my mission now to find others like me. I want to encourage them to be proud of what God had created them to be. If you are a lily, rejoice and be glad you are a lily. If you are a rose, be proud. And if you are a carnation like me, stand strong and never fear. God sees you and loves you and your purpose is just as important as anyone else’s. And besides, you smell good and last for weeks.

Aug 26, 2006

I Pray This Is The Final Update on the Hubby

One of my friend's emailed me and asked how Skip was doing. I guess I forgot to give an update after our last two doctor visits. He had a great report from our surgeon's appt. and was told only two more weeks with a cane(golf club as I mentioned before). The doctor for infectious disease appt. went well too. To read more go to Skip's blog. He is off antibiotics but he has a funny story to go with it. I still can't believe this summer. I am so glad we survived and can reflect on it all now. Thanks again to everyone for all the love, support and prayers! Now my sweetie is back to doing what he loves-singing his praises to God.

In the pic, Skip is on the right playing guitar when our band did music at Parkway church in Victoria in early July (before his surgery).

Aug 25, 2006

My Very Own Word Cloud

I found this neat link from a friend's blog and I thought it was really a cool thing to do. You can get an idea of words you commonly use in your writings.

Aug 23, 2006

Pizza Box Meme

I found this meme off a few of the blogs I faithfully read and thought it was clever.

What was your favorite thing about being a kid? Playing baseball in the street with all the neighbor kids and then spotlight until parents called us in, spending a week every summer at my Aunt Connie's house, riding bikes, roller skating on Friday nights at SkateLand, playing board games with the family, doing cartwheels in the front yard when a cold front was blowing in (weird I know), getting Shipley's donuts and chocolate milk on Sunday mornings (always cherry filled or coconut), and knowing without a shadow of a doubt I was loved unconditionally(Thanks Mom!).
What was your favorite subject in school? Definitely, not history or math. Language, Reading and Spelling were my favs. Extra: My favorite teacher was Mr. Harris (5th grade Language Arts teacher). I wrote my first and only book in that class.
Who was your best friend when you were ten? Melissa Toney. We met in the fourth grade and had sleepovers almost every weekend until graduation. We would play barbies, do makeup, talk about boys, and make up dances (a really good one was to "Freak Out").
If you could be any animal what would you be? I have no idea on this one. I once did a personality test and I was a golden retriever/beaver(I think). I am going to go with a grizzly bear in Alaska because I would have such beautiful surroundings and I would get a long rest every winter.
What would you change about your school, occupation, or life right now?
How about more hours in a day? I guess I would like to be more organized with my time, and be able to write more.
What is your favorite color? Pink (all shades), ooh I love red too! Oops, I can't forget yellow gold-love that too!
What is your favorite crust and your favorite pizza topping? I absolutely love the thickest crust possible, and my topping of choice is pepperoni, hamburger, onions, and green peppers(oops-that's more than one).

I will tag Skip, Tiffany, Sunny, Robin(I'm sure you've been tagged already), Alisa and basically anyone who wants to give it a try.

First Day of Ballet

Annie was so excited today because she finally started ballet classes. She has wanted to take for quite some time, but I wanted to make sure it was more her idea than mine. I have this thing about recitals and costumes. I love it! I didn't want her to dance just because her mommy pushed her into it. She did great for two years in gymnastics, but there is just something precious about a little girl in pink tights and ballet shoes. All little girls love to twirl! Well, at least in this household.

Aug 21, 2006

A Special Thank You for My Surprise Gift

Skip just brought home a surprise spa gift for me and I have no idea who sent it. There was no name but the card said it was from "Your Sister in Christ". Well there are hundreds of women at church that are my sisters in Christ. Whoever did this anonomously, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It made my month! I can't wait to use it after having such a crazy summer. May God Bless the giver tenfold!

Aug 20, 2006

Kidz Got Grill

Yo Blogosphere! We got Grill from Da Reynolds.

Sorry, I had to take a snapshot after my kids came in the room showing us their homemade grills.

Aug 18, 2006

Austin, Here We Come (hopefully never to return again)

We are heading to Austin again for a scheduled office visit with Skip's surgeon. If anyone remembers the last office visit, we checked into a hospital for 4 days of (actually I can't think of a nice word to use here) for an infection he developed. We think and pray the infection is gone, but our surgeon wants us to visit an infectious disease specialist just to make sure. We haven't been able to get an appt. for that yet. Anyway, I am trying to talk my hubby into stopping by the outlet mall in San Marcos on the way, since it is on the way. So far, no such luck with my wifely persuasion. I even told him he could wait in the car, and drive me to the door of the few stores I need to just pop into for a quick look. No, he won't fall for that one. I guess he knows me too well.

Aug 17, 2006

Off to First Date Night in a Month

Woohoo! It's about time for a night out. It has been a whole month, however, we have had endless hours together since Skip's surgery. They just weren't spent in the most romantic of ways in a hospital room with nurses walking in every hour. I'm typing as hubby is getting dressed oh, so cute. He smells good too. The kids are anxiously awaiting their favorite sitter, Sarah. She is one of those treasures who loves to play( I mean really play) with the kids. I love her, and friends living in Corpus-No, you can't have her number, she is mine. Just Kidding! Actually I'm not. Well, don't anyone wait up!

Aug 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Liana!

I don't usually post a friend's birthday on my blog, but this is a very special friend and a very special birthday. Liana is one of my spiritual mentors who encourages me like no other. She is a dedicated wife, a phenomenal mother, a gifted author, and a treasured friend to many. I don't think there is another person who has helped me along in my Christian walk more than this lady. I feel so blessed to have such a special friend. Even though you are out of the country for a couple of years, I know you are never more than an email or a very expensive phone call away. This will be Liana's first birthday in a foreign land (she moved only a few days ago), and I would love anyone who can to send prayers her way as she begins a new exciting chapter of her life. This picture was taken of us at a going away party two years ago right before she left Corpus-she has moved twice since then for her husband's job. Thank you Liana for being my sweet sister in Christ!

Aug 9, 2006

The Dreaded School Supply Shopping Trip

There are two major activities that I really dread as the school year approaches. One is taking the kids to buy new shoes, and the other is shopping for school supplies. Now let me assure you when my first child went to pick out crayons and scissors, it was a family affair. I think we even used the video camera. It was an outing I longed to enjoy with her. We took our time down each isle with hugs and smiles to boot. Now that I have a first grader, a fourth grader, and a seventh grader(ouch, that hurts to say), it is a whole new experience. Last year I decided to take one at a time and make it special. Bad idea! I was so exhausted after the first outing that I decided to do the last two at the same time. This year I only made one trip with the oldest and we got it done in record time. Well, except for the fact that HEB Plus was Minus a few items on the list. I'll probably hit Target next to fill in the gaps, not to mention to look for those new shoes, uggh!

Aug 6, 2006

Home Again...for now...

We just got back from a crazy three days that I don't want to ever relive again. We went to Skip's check up on Thursday in Austin and we were immediately admitted to South Austin Hospital where Skip underwent surgery at 9:00 that night. He had a hematoma in the middle of his incision which got an infection. The doctor said it could be really bad if it reached the new joint. He took cultures at the appointment which were positive for a bacterial infection, but in order to get deep cultures he had to go under the knife. We had the kids with us so we had to get the grandparents to come get them and take them to Victoria. We luckily had brought a change of clothes with us and some toiletries. As they took Skip in at 9:00p.m., I was all alone for about an hour until my sister and her husband got there. I went to a small chapel in the hospital and literally cried out to God like I never had before. My arms were lifted up and I didn't care if I was seen or not. I know what an infection at this stage can do, but I also know that my God is bigger. As I kneeled at the small altar, I saw an open bible there. I wanted to turn quickly to familiar scriptures to bring comfort, but started reading where the bible was bookmarked. I read Psalm 141:1-2. I immediately started crying even more. God gave me a scripture that I knew was just for me at that particular time. It says, "O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering." I couldn't believe the peace I had. I then spent about 45 minutes in prayer and God gave me beautiful words for a new song to top it off . My sister and her husband were there by the time the surgeon came out to speak to me. They reopened the incision which is 8 inches long and cleaned the area and took samples by the joint. He thought the infection had stopped before it reached the joint. "Praise God", I exclaimed. I knew it had not spread before the doc's words were spoken. Skip is on very heavy antibiotics and still is being closely watched for further infection. His blood level is very low but they did not do another transfusion. We will pray for the level to go up on its own. Prayers have been heard, but please continue. Skip is very sick of everything. I am praying for his mental health as well, to handle all that has happened to him. He has often broken down, as anyone could understand. We are trying to count our many blessings through it all. Thanks again to everyone who has prayed, encouraged and helped us thus far. We love you all so much. May God bless you for your kindness.

Aug 3, 2006

Prayer Needed for Skip

Hi guys,
My name is Tammi, I'm a friend of Susie's- she asked me to post up for her. They are in Austin right now, and Skip is going into emergency surgery tonight. His doctor is concerned about the infection- they are doing surgery to look at his hip, clean it out, and place in a drain. I know your prayers are so important to Skip and Susie- please pray for him. We all want the infection to be completely removed and for Skip to get back home to continue his recovery!
They anticipate about a 3 day hospital stay at this time.
Thank you so much for your prayers. This will be an even bigger testimony, and God will receive all the glory!!!!!

Welcome to Our Roller Coaster Ride

I kid you not, just 6 hours after I wrote the previous post, Skip and I were in the ER. I don't know what happened but he started having chills and feeling bad. I took his temp at midnight and it was 103. Due to the seriousness of infection with a hip replacement, I didn't want to take any chances. We called dear friends to come over and watch the kids and off we went to the hospital. They took blood, started him on iv fluids and examined the wound. It was pretty firm and slightly red. They said his blood level was about a 10.8 which is low, but the same as it had been for him at his last test 2 days before. They gave him an antibiotic through his iv and said it was most likely a surface wound infection beginning. Skip started feeling better when Bil came by with humor and a prayer. We went home when the fevered lowered and are going to see the surgeon in Austin today. Please be in prayer that God will totally heal this infection and Skip can get on with recovery. I know that God is with us and every that has happened to Skip has happened for a purpose. I will update more when I can.

Aug 2, 2006

Update on The Skipper

Oh my goodness, it has been 2 weeks since Skip's surgery. He is doing very well. He really scared me for a while there. He was feeling extremely down for about six days after we got home. He was also very pale. We had his blood tested 2 days ago and his hemoglobin was at a lower than normal level. The doc said that is probably the reason. He is getting around on crutches now and improving every day. He is working with an amazing physical therapist too which is a total blessing. He has gone to work a couple of hours this week, and is ready to go back full time(he thinks). He isn't quite ready for the stage due to the standing for 6 services that we have each week. I am in awe of Skip's strength through this whole ordeal. I have to be honest that I felt very emotionally weak at times. I think being a single mom would have to be the hardest job in the world. I really appreciate all my husband does and I can't wait to get him back to his husbandly duties. Thanks again to my family and friends for everything. We feel so blessed!