Friday, October 31, 2008


Approaching the church in this beautiful setting, with such pretty landscaping
made me feel very peaceful. Enlarge by clicking on photo. The park like setting was so quaint.

Last Tuesday night I attended the memorial service for my friend's husband. It was a sad occasion of course, but because Scott knew the Lord Jesus as his personal Savior, and left behind a strong testimony to that, his wife and kids were able to function stalwartly and peacefully as they navigated through the evening. The church was packed. Most of their church family were in attendance, many friends from high school days in the Florida Keys were there, and MANY of Scott's fellow employees from Sarasota Memorial Hospital brought their support as well. It was so evident that Marie had the PEACE THAT PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING which only comes from our loving Lord.

Officiating the service were her current pastor, her former pastor, who performed their wedding ceremony also shared from his heart; but for me, the most moving words came from the chaplain of Sarasota Memorial Hospital. He read entries from a beautiful journal in which he had collected thoughts from Scott's co-workers. One couldn't have left that service Tuesday without being assured of Scott's testimony at work and his influence on even his patients. Everyone spoke to the fact of Scott being such a family man and truly loving his family, talking about them all the time at work. Marie was presented the journal of course which I'm sure she'll cherish. Scott's co-workers and friends from her church had brought so many groceries and meals that her fridge, pantry, her Grandma's fridge and even her sister's fridge were full and running over! What a blessing for her family.

Driving into the small town for the service was like taking a trip back in time for me. I spent ten of my most memorable years there and was anticipating seeing many friends which Marie and I have in common.

I just LOVE this woman! Una Pearl - Marie's grandma!

Scotty with his baby daughter! Marie is to the right in purple and black.

Bill with his wife.

Sherry O. and I. She was a little hesitant to having her photo taken. She had been working all evening in the kitchen, getting the food ready to feed the masses. I had forgotten about this gal's servant's heart! That is one of her many qualities which make her so beautiful. I remember the last funeral I attended here in this town. Sherry had spent most of her time in the kitchen then as well. What a sweet blessing she is to many. We taught school together back in the day. When her hubby left for boot camp (Marine), he left me with the charge to take care of her! Needless to say, Sherry and I grew very close during those months.

Bill with one of his daughters. Teresa, and Mom.

Mom and Sherry! Oh what reminders of times past!

It's always fun to drive by former homes! It was green when we lived here, but I like the yellow! I love the owners have an American flag flying along with a "Support our Troops" flag!

The side yard looking back to the pool house. I'm hoping you can see the orange trees if you enlarge this one.

Some of the ranch acreage you see when driving into town.

I had forgotten how many older but lovley homes grace the road into town!

Much love and comfort was felt and given that night! After the service and meal at the church, I was able to leave town, feeling assured Marie was being looked after. Her eldest son had arranged a red cross leave from the Navy and has been with her. Her sister lives nearby as well as her father and grandma who is amazing at 85 years of age! I plan on going back to spend some time with Marie once Scotty (her son) leaves.

Thanks for all your prayers but please don't forget about her and the children. They will need continued prayers as they face the days ahead.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Memorial Service at 6 p.m. Tonight.

I'll be heading off in just a bit to attend the memorial service for a dear friend's husband who was killed last week while riding his motorcycle home from work. Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes. It has meant so much to me and I'll deliver them in person to Marie tonight.

Marie is so strong! I'm so proud of her. She called me Thursday evening to tell me of the tragedy. I called her back Friday evening to check if she needed me to come to her town and stay with her or help with something. I just wanted to know she wasn't alone. As soon as she answered her phone, I heard many voices, LOUD voices and lots of background noise. The first thing out of my mouth was, "I called to check on you but I can tell you've got a lot of people around you." She told me she was at a football game to watch her 16 year old son walk across the field during halftime as a Junior escort for homecoming! It was also the first time her daughter attended homecoming. There are photos of them on Marie's facebook page.I'd forgotten that was coming up. It was reassuring to know the family was going on with their plans, staying busy, etc. She sounded as if everything was normal until she mentioned how she can't walk into their bedroom. We both broke down a wept a bit. I promised her lots of hugs when I arrive this evening. Please remember the family in prayer again today and then especially around 6p.m. when the service begins.

Marie will be fine. She has a faith that will sustain her. More importantly, she has a GOD that is sustaining her day by day.

Monday, October 20, 2008


1)Our Tampa Bay Devil Rays made it to the World Series!! The excitement from the die hard fans is contagious! I mean--we beat the great Boston Red Sox for goodness sakes! Sorry Brian and Vernoys!

2)Why are so many Americans ready to vote OUR FREEDOMS away for a slippery promise of more money in their pockets?

3)Said out of the blue by my ten year old son: "I like Caterpillars. Now that's an insect I can respect!"

4)My husband is ecstatic that he has seemingly swayed some college aged acquaintances away from Obama toward McCain.

5)I'm curious as to why the media ratcheted up the supposed "mean spirited" statements made at some McCain /Palin rallies, but I haven't heard a peep out of them concerning the disgusting language and hateful tirades being put out by Jo*hn St*ewart (The Daily Show) and Mad*onna about Sarah Palin.

6)The weather here is BEAUTIFUL!! I'm headed out to the patio now to bask in the warm sun, hoping it will comfort my joints. I also have a great book to read!

7)My mother and I will be making the two hour drive to Scott's memorial service Tuesday evening.

8)We watched the old Sci-Fi movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Our favorite line from the movie, which made us bust out laughing, was, "People my foot! They're Democrats!"

9)While watching a news story last week, (I'm sure it was something about this election) Shane responded with, "I guess God loves stupid people. That must be why He made so many!"

10) I've been relishing memories of a Sunday afternoon at the mall with my two boys. Photos below.

BROTHERS TOGETHER! This doesn't happen very often now that first born doesn't live at home.



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request!

Scott and Marie

It's ironic that I just posted about my long time friend Marie. I never thought I'd be bringing her up again so soon on my blog. I just hung up from a phone conversation in which Marie called to tell me that her husband Scott was killed last night on his way home from work.

He usually arrives home around 12:30. When he wasn't home by 2 a.m., Marie awoke with a start, calling out his name. She then jumped in the car to go look for him. While driving the route she knew he brought home, she called 911. After describing her husband and his motorcycle she was told they were investigating a motorcycle accident. She should turn around and get home. She called the highway patrol and was told that an officer would be at her home in a matter of minutes. She knew then that her husband wouldn't be coming home.

Please pray for this dear lady. She held up well for most of the time I was on the phone with her. She did break down a few times when she was specifically requesting prayer for wisdom. Her heart's desire is for the children to get through this without allowing bitterness to God to take root. While her and Scott's eldest son is married and out on his own, she still has 4 children in the home. Two are teenagers and the twins are ten years old. She told me that she already misses him so much! I'm so grateful that I can tell you that Scott was saved and is now in the presence of his Creator.

The next few days will be hectic for her as she is taking care of details, planning the memorial service, etc. Thankfully, she has a wonderful church family and a great pastor who is ministering to her during this difficult time. Marie lost her mom in a car accident just a few short years ago.

Thank you dear friends! Hold your loved ones near and a little tighter tonight. In the morning, be sure to start the day expressing your love for each other. One never knows what a day will bring forth.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Friend Marie!

Let me tell you a little about my friend Marie!

I received a phone call a few weeks ago from this dear friend of mine. She and her crew were coming to our area to enjoy a day at Busch Gardens and invited Shane and I to meet up with them there. Of course, I jumped at the chance to see her and visit with her. We spent the day sitting on benches, talking and catching up on each other's lives while the kids spent time waiting in lines and riding rides.

Marie and I have been friends for over 20 years. We first met when I was teaching in a small town here in Florida and she was a college student at Stetson University, majoring in business. We've shared laughter and tears, good times and bad. She even flew down to visit with me while I was living in Mexico.

Marie is a great hands on mom to five children. She is so confident and professional! A real go getter in my book! Even while at the amusement park, she was fielding business calls. She has had several different careers in banking, hospital administration, banking again, teaching, and now is involved in a start up business. She is very involved in her children's church lives and school functions. She even made it to "Grandma" status before I did! Our lives are so different but yet we have so much in common. It seems that no matter how long we go without seeing one another, we can simply "pick up" right where we left off during our last visit or phone conversation.

Thanks Marie for the fun day and the lively conversation. Next time, don't wait so long to come this way!

The kiddos!

Okay, folks! Who can guess what is going on in this photo? Leave your thoughts in the comment section if you feel so inclined!

(HINT: Marie's daughter took it when I thought the camera wasn't ready!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Vacation Photos from Orlando

The girls were craving a home cooked meal about mid way through the week. Penny, having just flown in from California, requested pinto beans and fried potatoes in particular. Mom was pleased to oblige her! She even threw in a pan of cornbread, a salad, and some green onions!
My husband joined us at the resort for a couple of days. Not sure what the face he's making is all about!
Each year, when we girls get together, Shane makes plenty of pocket money by giving massages! You can choose "The Shane Special" for $5.00.

The crew heading out for dinner one night.
We stayed in "El Torre del Viento" (The Tower of Wind). Each cafe and restaurant had Spanish names, such as "La Cocina".

Monday, October 06, 2008


Have any of you gals seen the gorgeous shoes Gov. Palin wore during her debate?

To see close ups of them, use the link I've provided here. The close ups of the shoes are photos #44 and #45.



More photos from our week in Orlando.

One night around 9 p.m. we all decided to load in the van and head to Downtown Disney. If you've never been, just imagine a really busy city street, several blocks of huge Disney themed stores, restaurants, game rooms, theatre. It was so much fun being in a large group and out so late! Our biggest chuckle was the thought that here was my mom and her 71 year old friend out shopping until 1 a.m.!!! The place doesn't shut down until 2 a.m.!The girls strike a pose!

Some of mom's sisters in the foreground, Aunt Catty and Aunt Virgie with friend Phyllis Stacy in center. Background Cousin Alicia and Mom's baby sister, Phyllis.

Shane in back, playing at the huge LEGO table which is located in front of the


Shane next to a huge "BIONACLE" figure made of Legos.

The wall behind the check out was covered with Lego people!!

The Sea Serpent was also made out of Legos.

WATCH OUT FOR THAT SHARK! (made out of Legos, isn't it amazing?)

I loved this Lego family, out walking the doggies!

Nestled in the back corner of "THE WORLD OF DISNEY" store, was this adorable beauty salon for little girls! If you can enlarge, you'll see a lovely receptionist at the desk.

The salon is called "Bippity Boppity Boutique!" Isn't that adorable? Everything is child size.

I love watching this man on the shopping network!

We were able to catch the ferry back to the parking lot. Three of mom's sisters pictured here. Aunt Phyllis, Aunt Virgie, and Aunt Catty.

Mom, Phyllis S. and I on the ferry! We were wet from getting caught in a rainshower and oh so TIRED by this time!

The captain was so sweet! He offered to take the above photo of us. (now I regret allowing him to do so, YIKES! Hair is a mess from rain!) He was the type of guy who made the entire 15 minute trip a blast.

Sunday, October 05, 2008



SO NO MATTER WHO WINS, even if my candidate doesn't make it to the White House, I'm still committed to praying for the next president. This great nation remains precious to me, and I desire to see her preserved for my sons and my grandchildren.

The following is taken from this site.

Our new president will face a huge job and will bear the weight of incredible responsibilities including:

*A budget of $2.568 trillion in revenues and $2.73 trillion in expenditures

*A debt of $ 9,697,453,381,850

*A Congress of 435 representatives and 100 senators, some members of his party, some not

*1,436,642 members of the Armed Forces of which he is Commander-in-Chief

*A workforce of 153.1 million

*An unemployment rate of 6.1% and 12% of the population living below the poverty line

Friday, October 03, 2008

After the Golf Carts----

at THE VILLAGES a week ago Sunday,

We waved goodbye to Sarah and the gang on the Straight Talk Express.

We officially started our week's vacation in Orlando! A little ways into our short road trip of an hour or so, we stopped at a FRIENDLY'S RESTAURANT. It was our first time to eat there.

ANONYMOUS - please know that we shared the ice cream sundae between three of us that evening. It was a splurge for us as we were just starting our vacation. We acknowledge we are obese, and are working on remedying that by implementing several lifestyle changes at home. However, we were in a festive mood that evening and felt like celebrating our great day and great ACTIVE week ahead. Thanks for your concern.
I've also implemented "comment moderation".

Finally, after a long day and a short trip, we arrived at the resort!

My little trooper hadn't felt well all day but never complained once, even while standing in the hot sun waiting for Gov. Palin to speak. Can anyone make out what his digital-camo hat reads?

We joined my aunts and cousin in the condo, where we spent time visiting and catching up until well into the night.
They had all flown down from West Virginia that morning.

I'll be posting more photos of our wonderful week with loved ones. I know Jungle Mom and her daughter will enjoy them. I'm not so sure the rest of my bloggy buddies will though! LOL



Job well done!

Anonymous -- I fondly thought of you when I spotted the below button on the internet. I dedicate to you!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It's Been A Hoot....

and a privilege hosting (inadvertently - lol) a lively debate on my blog! I've never broken over 30 comments but thanks to the political climate we find ourselves in, my post about attending a Sarah Palin rally really brought out some strong opinions and helped me break the 50 mark! Whoo-Hoo!

My hubby, son, and I would run to the laptop to check for any new comments each chance we've had over the past couple of days. We'd yell for the other if a new comment had been added!

I'm very happy I live in a country where we can debate our thoughts and concerns and I'm so appreciative that none of the commenters used vulgar language. What a blessing for me to "meet" so many intelligent, sharp, bright Americans who can articulate their values and beliefs so well as the various comments proved over the past 48 hours.

Now on to lighter things!

I don't think this will start a firestorm, but look who I spent this past Sunday with!


Ellie, Ron, Dad, Me, Aunt Donna

Front Row: Ellie, Ron, Dad, Aunt Donna

Second Row: Naomi, Josh, Mom, Me

This photo is especially for Jungle Mom! I'm sure she'll be happy to see her son and daughter in law were with us Sunday afternoon at Smyrna's Homecoming Dinner.

(Rita, doesn't dad look so much better than the last time you saw him? I think he was in the hospital bed when you saw him last.)

My Josh has been sick with a cold, so we drove over to Tampa last evening to take him ---SOME OF THIS. from HERE!!! We took SOME OF THIS for the rest of us. It was yummo! Unexpectedly, Jungle Mom's son and daughter in law dropped in and ate with us as well. Dear Rita, I hate to rub it in but I've seen your babies twice in one week! They look great and seem so very happy.

Now I'm off to read some great blogs which belong to some great commenters!

And to commemorate my post which gave me a record breaking number of comments, I leave you with this button to read!