Friday, November 14, 2008

Can it Really be True?

Today, 18 years ago, I became a grandmother for the first time. It really is hard to believe that 18 years have FLOWN by. When I walked into Diana's hospital room and laid eyes for the first time on Kristin Elaine Wike, I cannot describe the joy that I felt. Seeing my child with her own child is pure indescribable joy. Krissy was the only grandchild for 4 years and she was our delight. Diana and David lived in Greenville/North Greenville and we got to see Krissy often. One of our greatest and sweetest memories is of the days that she stayed with Nannoo and Papa while Diana worked and David was a student at NGU. Papa and Krissy took an afternoon walk everyday and sometimes several times a day.

Krissy has grown into a beautiful young woman who loves the Lord, loves her friends, and has high ambitions for her life. And I can say unequivocally that she is a good girl. She is also a great student and her plans right now are to go to Clemson, majoring in pre-med. We are so proud of you Krissy, and hope that you have a wonderful 18th birthday. It still doesn't seem possible :).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Spiritual Recovery: A True/False Quiz

My dear friend, Carolyn at Wings of Eagles posted this and gave me permission to use it on my blog. Her pastor gave it to the church family and I find it very fitting for today.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be King.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one iota.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order - (1) the Kingdom of God, (2) America, not vice-versa.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the cross, not the government, will still be our salvation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our children will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see abortion ultimately overturned will still be winning men and women to a high view of life through the gospel of Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see gay marriage ultimately defeated will still be winning men and women to a biblical view of marriage through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, "Jesus Is Lord" will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

How did you score? Just remember who you are and who He is.


This is no time for fear
This is a time for faith and determination
Don't lose the vision here
Carried away by emotion
Hold on to all that you hide in your heart
There is one thing that has always been true
It holds the world together
God is in control
We believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him, we know
God is in control, oh God is in control
History marches on
There is a bottom line drawn across the ages
Culture can make its plan
Oh, but the line never changes
No matter how the deception may fly
There is one thing that has always been true
It will be true forever
He has never let you down
Why start to worry now?
He is still the Lord of all we see
And He is still the loving Father
Watching over you and me
watching over you...watching over me..
watching over every things..watching over you..
watching over me..every little sparrow..every little things...
---Twila Paris

Friday, October 24, 2008

Me with You

I dare say, I don't have too many grandpas who read my blog but I know I do have some grandmothers, soon-to-be grandmothers and mothers so listen up...If you are a grandparent, if you had a grandparent, if you know anybody who is a grandparent, or especially if you know children who have (or wish they had) a grandparent, then go to and pre-order Kristy's (my daughter's) new children's book which will be out in May 2009. If you're not a grandparent and there is just someone in your life who "completes" you...that you just wouldn't be the person you are without them...then buy Me With You for him or her. The book flap reads:
"We're a pair beyond compare,
a rare and special two,
in all the ways that I am me
and you're completely you.

Here is a special twosome. From tea time to game time, in singing or swinging, in the good times and even the grumpy ones, too, this granddaughter knows her grandpa loves her. Indeed, they are a 'pair beyond compare.'

With simple rhymes and delightfully charming illustrations, Me with You celebrates the sure love that comes from a grandfather and grandchild who dare to be 'completely themselves' while knowing that together -- they are even more!"

Don't you just love the term "sure love?" I know I do and that's exactly what a grandparents love for a grandchild is...SURE HEART-MELTING LOVE. I've seen the illustrations for the whole book and they are absolutely exquisite. You will definitely want a copy of this book and several to give away to friends that have children (or those that don't). Pre-order now at and let all your friends know to do the same.

(If you go to amazon to pre-order, author is listed as "Kristin Dempsey")

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Fall Front Porch

Melissa @ The Inspired Room is hosting a "drive-by photo shoot" and I thought I'd share mine. For more inspiration for your fall/halloween/harvest decor, check out her blog.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


My daughter, Kristy and I have always had a love of words; word games, i.e., scrabble, crossword puzzles, anagrams, etc., reading, poetry, lots of words in any form! Today is Kristy's birthday so I thought it would be appropriate to use words to describe her

When I was pregnant with Kristy, I was 3 weeks and 2 days OVERDUE; finally on a Friday evening, my water broke. We quickly made arrangements for Diana to go to a neighbor's house and I went to the hospital. When I got to the hospital, unbeknownst to me, the doctors could find NO HEARTBEAT. Don began to pray as I labored all night. All night the doctors and nurses were sure that our baby had died in utero. Don committed himself to God and also committed our unborn child, Kristy, to God. He vowed that if Kristy lived, he would do all within his power to bring her up in a Christian environment and give her every opportunity to become a Christian. He dedicated her to God and his service. At 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, Kristy was born; 9# 2 ozs, a head-full of black hair and a strong healthy heart. God spared our child and we fulfilled Don's vow to God. We gave Kristy back to God and Kristy has given herself in service to Him and strives to live her life before her children, her church family and those young college women whom she disciples in a way that they would look at her and see salvation through Jesus Christ.

Kris is a wonderful mother to Meg, Duncan and Kate. She is a wonderful wife to Demps. She is a great sister to Diana, Maggie and Charlie. She is a caring and loving daughter to Tim and me. Kris, I hope you have a great birthday and that this thirty-ninth year of your life is as wonderful as you are. We love you...HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Is Anything More Beautiful

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another Award

Two dear friends, Marian and Ellen, whom I met on the website many years ago have both award me with the BFF Award (blogging friends forever).

There are rules for this award

1. There are only five people allowed.

2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog. (Like Ellen, I have NO idea who regulary follows my blog or how "dedicated " they are to it.

3. One has to be a new follower of your blog, or live in another part of the world.

I am going to choose my recipients later; I'll be back

Saturday, September 27, 2008

K-K-K-Kate, Beautiful Kate...Happy Birthday!

Today is my "baby" granddaughter's 5th birthday. Kate is the last-born grandchild and will always be our "baby." Kate is the most loving little girl. She loves to give kisses and hugs, loves to sit on my lap and be loved on in return, and loves to have her back tickled! One of her joys is to hear a goodnight story that I sometimes tell her about her mother when she was a little girl.

This summer when we were at Surfside Beach with the whole family, Kate learned to swim. At first, she was fearful of my "letting go" but then as she realized that I would always be there to get her, she became braver and braver. Kate finally got to the point that she could swim the length of the little pool at our rental house. Before week's end, Kate was doing really well with her swimming.

Not long ago I was on the phone with Kristy when she noticed that someone had drawn with magic marker on the dining room and hallway walls. Kate readily admitted that it was her and that she just "wanted to make it look prettier." How can you scold too badly someone who just wants to make things prettier?

Kate is my very very favorite 5 year old. I love you Kate and hope you have a great birthday. I wish I could be in Belo Horizonte, Brazil to celebrate with you. Save me a piece of cake, ok. Happy birthday, Kate! I love you MORE MOST!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nice Giveaway

I met Kelly Maria at Beautiful Soul - Belle âme on the bulletin board. She is celebrating her 50th blog post with a great autumn give away. Go leave a comment and you'll be registered to win an array of autumnal goodies. Go check it out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some Ram Dumb Things About Me

Just saw on one of my favorite websites,, that somebody had begun a thread so people could list random things about themselves. It gave me an idea. Now most of you who read this are my kin and/or bosom buddies so I'm going to try to come up with things that you won't already know.

  • I love being by myself. Maybe that's because I rarely am!
  • I'd rather listen than talk.
  • My favorite color is red; my least favorite color is blue.
  • I love word games. OK, ok, you already knew that.
  • I always thought when we were growing up that I was adopted and my "real" mother lived in Hawaii and feared she would come to get me to live with her.
  • When I was a child, I dreamed (many times) that I was on a zip line of the power lines and being chased by flying witches. What in the world is the deep meaning of that dream?
  • My favorite author is Karen Kingsbury and I'm so excited about "Sunset" coming out next week. OK, you already knew that too.
  • I have gone the entire summer through 106 degree weather with no AC in my car AND the automatic window "roller-downer" on both sides is broken. Yep, I'm cooked well-done.
  • I love our church family.
  • I eat my bananas over-ripe.
  • I like Pepsi better than Coke...drink only Diet Pepsi...Love Diet Pepsi MAX...think Coke tastes like a medicine I had to take as a child.
  • In my mind I am organized. In reality, I am not.
  • I love summer because I love to wear sandals. Hasn't always been this way though. I once wouldn't wear sandals because I thought my toes were ugly. They still are ugly but I've gotten over it.
  • I would love to become a minimalist. I hate clutter.
  • I can change a flat tire, change the oil on a car, change out electrical sockets, install light fixtures, and fix leaky faucets...all because I had to do it when Don couldn't see to do it.
  • I never drove in the mountains or drove in snow until I had to do it for the same reason.
  • If I'm shopping with someone else, I have to be the buggy pusher.
  • I collect angels, especially Willow Tree and Jim Shore.
  • I love fall mornings with the faint scent of woodsmoke in the air.
  • I get really really angry when window shopping.
  • This one will be long...for years and years and years, I have had hard, dry, cracked, drive-me-crazy heels. I have used every over-the-counter remedy and even a prescription (Keralac) that the dermatologist gave me, all to no avail. This spring we were at the flower festival in Hendersonville and a family from Stone Mtn, GA were there selling pure shea butter. Now, I've used shea products like lotion and cream before (they didn't work), but never pure shea butter. I'm here to tell you that it is a miracle product. I first went for a pedicure where Erin removed as much as she could of the dry dead skin. Then for about 2-3 weeks, morning and night, I would rub my feet with the shea butter. Now, I only use the butter at night and my feet are as soft as a baby's bottom. About every 2 weeks, I also use one of those sander things when I'm in the shower in the morning. Ah, blessed relief!
  • In my mind, I'm still 40 years old but my body is screaming otherwise.
  • Mama thought when I was a child, that I wouldn't live to adulthood. I was a puny, sickly child. She said that once when they drew blood from me that it looked like orange kool-aid.
  • The waist of my wedding dress in 1963 was 22"!
  • I hate grocery shopping. I hate putting groceries away when I get home more.
  • I'm really really grateful for a husband who does most of the grocery shopping.
  • I'd rather drive than ride.
  • I love long trips.

That's all I can think of for now...if I come up with more, look for Ram Dumb Part II.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Blown Away!

Have you ever "met" someone online and you just knew from the start that you were kindred spirits? I "met" Schotzy whose blog is "Wings of Eagles," several years ago on Schotzy is one of those people that exemplifies I Peter 3: 15-17 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. Always, on the Mitford porch and on her "Wings of Eagles" blog, Schotzy sifts everything she says through the Word of her Lord. I have come to love her and am addicted to her blog.

Yesterday Schotzy surprised me by awarding me and my blog the "Autumn Friends Award." I am shocked but that is so like her...such an encourager and pure blessing to me. Thank you, Carolyn.

In return, I am passing on the award and Carolyn's sweet words posted on "Wings of Eagles":

and I am passing the award on to:
To each of you, some related by birth
but to all of you to whom I am related
through the shed blood of our Savior,
I pray that today and this autumn season
is one of blessing, peace, and thanksgiving for
who we are because of Him. I love you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bristol Palin Deserves Privacy, published 9/11/08, The Greenville News

Ever since Sarah Palin announced that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant, the news media have made this the topic of articles and reports any time Palin's name is mentioned.

May I ask and answer the question, what does Bristol's pregnancy have to do with whether Sarah will be a great vice president? Absolutely nothing. This teenager has enough on her shoulders without seeing her name, her boyfriend's name and the fact that a wedding is being planned every time she (and he) turns on the TV or picks up a newspaper.

I think it is disgusting for the networks and print media to continue to bring this into this campaign. Please stop! We know she is an unmarried, pregnant 17-year-old who is planning a wedding. We know her mother is a running mate to John McCain. Enough said! Every American, whether Republican or Democrat should be livid. ~Martha Vaughan

Monday, September 8, 2008

Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, Happy Birthday, Duncan

Today is Duncan’s 8th birthday! It’s hard for me to believe that it was 8 years ago that I sat in an airport in Newark, NJ on my way to Brazil and Tim told me that we already had another grandson.

What a joy Duncan has always been. He’s also scared the life out of me a time or two. One day when Kristy and Tim were training for their marathon and out on one of their long runs, Duncan and his sisters were staying with me on a Saturday morning. This is when he was about 4 years old. We’d just moved into our house and Duncan was exploring. I missed him and began calling his name; No answer. I called and called and looked all through the house; No answer. I went outside and called; walked down the street and called; No answer. I began to get a little panicked. I realized the golf course nearby was an enticing area for a little boy but how in the world would I find him if he had walked down to the golf course and was chasing a ball. Now I was frantic. I began to cry and Meg and Kate didn’t know what to think. They didn’t know where Duncan was either.

In our bathroom, is a tiny little-just-four-year-old-sized area with the commode in it. I went into the bathroom and that door was closed so I opened it and there sat Duncan, on the floor, just looking up at me with those beautiful eyes. He didn’t know he was lost; didn’t know I had been frantically calling him all over the neighborhood. He was fine…just playing.

Duncan loves anything army and says he wants to be an army guy when he grows up. He loves playing on the zip line at his Ma-ma and Pa-pa’s house. He is a good swimmer and his little tanned brown back is so precious. He is also a great karate student. We got to watch a karate class when we were in Brazil and it was so much fun to watch. He loves Brazilian fútbol, especially Atlético Galos(roosters), his favorite team in Belo Horizonte. Duncan is a good student and has lots of friends at his school.

We are so proud and happy to be Duncan’s mema and pe-pop. Happy birthday, Duncan; we love you.

Editor's Note: I know that Duncan's birthday is actually 9/9/08 and not today. I got this written and hit "publish" and so here it is. I'm acting older and older :(.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Have Selective Memory

A few months ago, I wrote a blog entry about worry and included the quote, “when I look back on these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” Why can't I remember that? Why do I take back the same old worries, knowing in all probability that they aren't even going to happen.

Let me start at the very beginning of the story. Almost 4 years ago, Tim and I were empty-nesters and living in a way-too-big-for-two-people house. We began to look around for a smaller house. Well, we found what we wanted and moved. Surely it wouldn't take long with a booming housing market to sell the way-too-big-for-two-people house. In February of 2005, we moved and about the same time, the housing market began going south...way south. To make a long story short, our way-too-big-for-two-people house still has not sold and for almost 4 years, we have had two mortgages. Honestly, it's been tough; it's sometimes a struggle, but we've managed to muddle through.

About two weeks ago, we finally received an offer on the way-too-big-for-two-people house. Two sisters wanted to buy it, move in and bring their ailing, elderly parents to live with them. The ladies dad was bucking the idea of moving in with his daughters but finally made an offer and we accepted. Fast forward to last Friday when they were having home inspections done. The dad who didn't want to move in the first place, went under the crawl space WITH the termite inspector. (This is illegal, by the way). Well, dad used a FALSEFIED termite inspection report to renige on the contract. We were told that they found termites AND high moisture content in the wood. So, Monday we signed a "Release of Contract" form with the potential buyers and they received their earnest money back. Since then, I have been sick with worry...yep, that word again. Trying in my own mind to make things work out. What to do about the high moisture in the wood? What to do about the termites?

Fast forward again to yesterday when I had our pest control company come out to checkd the way-too-big-for-two-people house. The man crawled over every inch of the black plastic moisture barrier. He checked every joist; he inspected every inch for termites. There was NO TERMITE ACTIVITY FOUND AND there was WITHIN NORMAL LIMITS WOOD MOISTURE CONTENT. Verification that the report the buyers had done was falsefied. It is too late now to go back to the buyers and say wait a minute since we've signed the release of contract. We probably wouldn't want to do that anyway but we are angry, hurt and disappointed.

We've re-listed with the realtor at a GREATLY reduced price, hoping that some family needs a way-too-big-for-two-people house. If you know anybody looking in the rural Greenville area, please send them our way. We'd love to sell them a worth-way-more-than-we're-asking-way-too-big-for-two-people house.

This is the new listing: LESS THAN $61PSF AND LOWER THAN TAX VALUE! Yes, there still is a place that feels safe and a place that makes you happy to come home to...Large cozy home in a very nice country community in sought after Travelers Rest. Located not far from the mountains, this home features living room, separate den/sunroom, 3 bedrooms but can easily be 5 bedrooms if needed (there are 2 bonus/craft/hobby rooms). Privacy on back deck for parties and cookouts too. 3/4 acre lot gives you room to stretch out. Property line goes into woods in back. Deer and turkey spotted all around. LAND ACROSS FROM HOUSE WILL NEVER BE DEVELOPED DUE TO ENDANGERED SPECIES OF PLANT LIVING THERE. Dryer and stove hookups can be gas or elec. for your convenience. Do you need room for hobbies, play areas or crafts? This home is for you! Located not far from hwy 25, Travelers Rest town and only 15 minutes to Greenville, 25 Minutes to Hendersonville too. THIS HOME HAS JUST BEEN REDUCED TO SELL! This listing is brokered by: SUNSHINE HOMES & PROPERTIES Office (864)331-5620

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"We're Just Friends" or otherwise titled Happy Birthday, Demps

“But, Mom, we’re just friends.”

This is a quote I heard from my daughter, Kristy, for months and months about 17 years ago. And, it was true. Kristy and Demps had been friends, in the same youth group at church, went to high school together and went to youth camps together. They had, in fact, been friends and our families had been friends, since Kristy and Demps were about 10 or 11 years old. Never thinking they would even date, they were content just to “be friends.”

Then, as they saw each other more and more and they saw in each other, a heart for missions, Demps and Kristy gradually became more than friends. We (Don & Mary; Tim and I) couldn’t have been happier. We had loved Demps for a long time and then to have him as a part of our family was absolutely wonderful.

Demps (along with our other son-in-law) have become “other sons” to us. We are so proud of the ministry Demps has had such a huge part in developing in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. What a joy it is to see him interact with his staff, with his students and with members of their church plant. God is truly blessing Demps and his ministry there.

As if that weren’t enough, Demps (and Kris) have blessed us with three of our five grandchildren. Of course, we don’t get to see them as often as we would like because he has them living in Brazil with him.

Demps, we are proud of you and love having you as a son-in-law. We pray that God would bless you particularly today. Happy 40th birthday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just In Case...

...some of you don't often read David's blog, take a look at the entry for Monday, August 25. He wrote a beautiful tribute to Diana. You'll love it. It's at

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One of Those Days

Today is just one of those days. I don't have them often but today is just one of those days. Maybe it's because it's raining or maybe it's because I drove to Slater this morning. Maybe it's because I thought about the "whoa, whoa, whoas" this morning as I had to drive in the inside lane of Geer Highway since the outside lane was knee deep with water. Maybe it's because I glanced out Webster Street as I passed by but today is just one of those days.

Today, I miss my mama and daddy. It doesn't happen as often anymore but when the days come, they come hard. I wish I could drive to Slater before I come to work and take Daddy a gravy biscuit. I wish I could drop him off at the barber shop to get his haircut. I'd like just one more time to hear those "whoa, whoa, whoas" as I meet an oncoming car or drive in the outside lane. I wish I could go to Bi-lo and pick up Mama's groceries. I'd like to go on Saturday morning to roll her hair. I'd like just one more day of making salmon patties and mashed potatoes. I'd love to pick up the phone and call her just to talk.

I know that Mama and Daddy are in heaven...with whole bodies, not hurting...feasting around the table of the Lord. I know if they could choose, they wouldn't choose to be back here. And truth be known, I wouldn't want them to be back in their hurting earthly bodies. But, that doesn't help my missing them. I'll miss them everyday until I meet them again. But today, I miss them and little more deeply...plain and simple longing in my heart for just one more time talking about nothing and everything; that's how it was with us.

I don't know what brings on these feelings/longings. I think it's different for each person who has lost a parent. They just come out of the blue, with no warning. If you have experienced such emotions, you understand. If you haven't experienced such...pick up the phone, go by to take a gravy biscuit or roll her hair. Talk about everything...and nothing. No matter how busy you are...time is short.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, David

You know, as the world looks at people it ranks them usually according to their job or position within a company. One of the people I most admire (and love) in the world is my son-in-law, David. David had a great job as a computer programmer and was rapidly advancing within the company. He knew what he was doing and was being rewarded for a job well done.

THEN, David heard and answered God's call to ministry. Not only did he give up his job but also went back to school to complete his undergraduate degree; get a master's degree; and then complete a doctoral degree. In the beginning, David was a youth minister and to this day, his "kids" are serving God as ministers and lay leaders in churches and living out what David lived before them...a life of sacrifice for God.

In 2001, David was serving as a youth pastor . After the resignation of the senior pastor, David began serving as interim pastor. All the while the committee searched for God's man for the church, David was doing a fantastic job as interim. The pastor search committee followed God's leading and recommended that David be called as Senior Pastor. Under David's leadership, Ebenezer has grown and is now in the midst of a building program.

I am proud of David. He is a wonderful husband to my daughter, Diana; a great dad to Krissy and Drew and servant to Ebenezer BC.

David, I wish you a great birthday and want you to know I am proud to have you as my son-in-law. Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cinderella Is Still Dancing

For months, I have prayed for and read every word of any print that pertained to Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman and their family after the death of their precious adopted daughter, Maria Sue. What a wonderful blessing they have been to me but also what a testimony of God's amazing grace they are to a lost world. Today I have crying "hangover" from the tears shed last night watching Larry King Live. It was such a God-honoring and God-blessed interview. The Chapman's boldly proclaimed that without God, the interview would not be possible. Without God to sustain and hold them up these last months, it would not be possible to continue their music ministry. They admitted that their human side wants to shout out "why" but at the same time they have complete confidence that they will see Maria Sue again and that even now, she is dancing in praise to Jesus. It was quite obvious that Larry King "just doesn't get it." We all need to storm the gates of heaven for Larry King. He has had the saving gospel of Jesus Christ spoken many times on his show by James Dobson, Franklin Graham and now the Chapmans among others but He continues to wonder at how these families make it through after the heartache of the death of a child or other trials life may bring. He seemingly just doesn't get it.

If you didn't see the segment on the Chapmans Wednesday morning on GMA, you can view the YouTube video here. I will continue to pray for the Chapmans but will also remember to pray for those who don't know of the hope that sustains them.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's all Behind Me

Well, it's all behind me (pun intended) and there was no pollen.

Beginning Sunday at 3 p.m., I was prepping for a colonoscopy which I had yesterday morning at 7 a.m. If you've ever had a colonoscopy, you know that the prep is worse than the actual procedure. I ABSOLUTELY HATE the prep, as I'm sure most people do. I get so nauseated but cannot lie down because of the running back and forth to the potty. Oh my goodness, it's awful. I hope by the time my young readers (Kristy, Diana, Amy, Missy) get to be 50 years old, there is a new and improved way to screen for colon cancer. It ain't fun and is certainly no walk in the park.

Now for the good stuff...I didn't have any pollen (polyps) as Maggie told Diana on the phone. The previous colonoscopy (before yesterday) I did have a polyp removed and since I had it, I had to be screened again in 3 years. This time, because there were no polyps, I don't have to have another for 5 years. YEA!!! I am, I'm overjoyed. Maybe the rapture will occur in the next five years and I won't ever have to have another.

This morning, I feel a little shaky and have a headache but thank goodness there's no pollen because my allergies would really be acting up and I'd be sneezing from you know where :). I'm grateful for small blessings and large ones too :).

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've BeenTagged

Schotzy, a friend from Mitford bb, tagged me on her Wings of Eagles blog. I'm to write about five things I love most. Some of you might guess what these will be but I'll put it down in black and white anyway.

1. My salvation through the shed blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ. What a blessing He has given us to enter His throne room through praise of Him. I love singing to Him and about Him.

2. My family, including husband, children, grandchildren, sisters and their families. I love them with my whole heart and know that I can count on them the same way they can count on me. What a blessing it is to have a family who loves each other.

3. I love my church and church family. Having come from a horrible church situation several years ago, I fully understand and appreciate what we have in our church. Our first Sunday there, I walked in, sat down and just took a deep breath. I felt as if I were breathing the exhale of the Holy Spirit and to this day, I feel the same way. I can't imagine going to church anywhere else and won't unless God calls me to somewhere else.

4. I love flowers...I LOVE flowers. I love digging in the dirt and then seeing the flowers of my labor in a few weeks. What a gift God gave us in the beauty of a bloom.

5. I love Saturday morning breakfast at Tommy's Country Ham House in Greenville, SC. I don't know when we got in the habit of having breakfast out on Saturday morning but Tim knows I love it and yes, he spoils me, so I go to The Ham House almost every Saturday that we are in town. What a generous portion of grits... two homemade sausage patties...two scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast with blackberry preserves and a hot cup of coffee to wash it down. No breakfast anywhere compares to Tommy's Country Ham House.

Now I have to tag 5 people:

Diana, my daughter (maybe this will inspire her to REALLY blog)

Kathy, my sis

Amy, my niece

Missy, my niece

Sherry, a new friend

Happy blogging everyone. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do...Martha

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Great Time was Had by All!

Well, the GREAT FAMILY VACATION 2008 was wonderful. We ate and swam and ate and played in the sand/sun and ate and shopped and ate and played Wii! What fun it was to all be together at Surfside.

At the last minute, Maggie decided to stay home and Charlie couldn't make the long trek from Oklahoma City so it was Diana and her family, Kristy and her family and Tim and I. We laughed until we cried and even shed a sad tear or two.

Kate, our 4 year-old extra extrovert was enamored with the 5 year old and 6 year old little girls staying next door to us. The first day there, she wanted to invite them over to swim with her. Made it to the second day and Kristy told Kate it would be fine if the girl's mom and dad said OK. They came over and the first words out of Kate's mouth were, "Look, I can roll my tongue" as she proceeded to show them her trick of rolling her tongue. I thought I would die laughing. Later, as you can see from the pic, Kristy showed us her trick also :).

Family is soooooooo fun to be with. I am so glad that we are a close family and that we enjoy each other's company. We are content to do our own thing and content to be together doing the same things. I love you, family, and hope it won't be long before we can do it again!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Me-me for Today

Outside My Window... outside our bedroom window, our crape myrtle has gone crazy this year. It is absolutely covered in the most beautiful pinkish purple blooms. Love it! It must really be a HOT and DRY tree. Also the front yard/porch flowers are doing their thing. Beautiful!
I am thinking... Yuck! Just scheduled my colonoscopy for August 4 at 7 a.m. and I DREAD IT already!
I am wearing... a hot pink shirt with black capris and black shoes.
I am going... to Surfside Beach, SC on Friday! YEA!
I am reading... my Bible...nothing else right now but may start something new next week at the beach.
I am hoping... that all goes well....(everybody won't know what this means but God and my sis know).
I am hearing... office sounds: a copier running, a dehumidifier running, my office mate talking on the phone.
Around the house...I will need to do laundry, pack and get ready for vacation.
One of my favorite things...My HE front-loader clothes washer.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...In addition to working today-Friday, I get a haircut tomorrow afternoon; church tomorrow night; dermatologist Thursday morning; laundry and packing Thursday and Friday; leaving Saturday a.m. for vacation.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is this a beautiful child or what?

You know, every once in a while a grandma just wants to brag. Isn't this the most precious picture and the most precious little girl? This is 4 year old Kate. I've had the wonderful opportunity of having Kate, her 7 year old brother, Duncan and Meg, 10 (going on 20)years old to stay with us since Wednesday afternoon until this evening. They live in Belo Horizonte, Brazil where their parents are Campus Outreach missionaries. We don't have the opportunity to have them stay with us much since they are so far away so this was a real treat. In addition to being a missionary, Kristy, my daughter, is a children's book author. Each year Highlights Foundation hosts a wonderful conference for children's authors in Pennsylvania. Kris was fortunate to be able to go this year, thus, we were fortunate to be able to keep the children. Tonight we pick Kris up at the airport at 10:45 p.m. so our time with the kids will come to an end. We do look forward to all being together next week at Surfside Beach, SC for a week and that will be loads of fun.

Meantime, I just wanted to "show-off" one precious little girl. Enjoy her pic while I get to love on her for a couple more weeks.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Bunch of Randomness

None of these things are connected but I thought I'd get my racing thoughts down on paper:

  • I really really don't like bad grammar or bad spelling. Please don't use their for they're; accept for except and vice-versa. Please do use I before E except after C. The plural of berry is not berry's; it's not even's berries. That brings up another pet peeve. Don't use a plural apostrophe unless it is possessive. The plural of interest is interests not interest's. Don't use fill when you mean feel.

  • I love being a grandmother. I've had my grandchildren for a few days this week while parents are out of town and it's been great. We've had FUN. Having young ones in the house this week has "livened up" the place. We went to the community pool yesterday and it was fun to pretend to be young again.

  • I love days off work. I've enjoyed yesterday afternoon and today being home with the grandchildren. Not a planned vacation but a spur of the moment "I'm gonna stay home with the kids today."

  • My flowers are so pretty right now. The gerbera daisies, petunias, portulaca and lantana are all in full bloom. Thank you, God, for the gift of beautiful flowers.
  • I love playing scrabulous and scrabble; in fact, I love word games of every kind. I love to work crossword puzzles, play pathwords and text twirl. I have several friends and a sister who love it as much as I do and we have fun!
  • I don't like car air conditioners that won't work. Mine has been "broken" since last summer. The mechanic told me it would be $1200 to repair and my car isn't worth that much :) sooo.....I've been trying to survive without. It ain't fun.
  • Speaking of cars, I also don't like $4/gallon gas. What are we gonna do?
  • I love the smile of a little girl who just got out of bed :)...Kate! I don't like the cough she's had in the middle of the night.
  • I'm excited about vacation July 19-26. The whole family with the exception of Charlie who can't get off work, is going to the beach and staying here. We're gonna have FUN!
  • My sisters are my best friends. I'm so grateful that we are a close family. We love each other and would do anything for each other. I can't imagine life without either of them. I love you, Bibby and Kathy.
  • The hummingbirds at my feeders have been beautiful and abundant. I love watching them stop in mid-air to take a sip.
  • I don't like dirty dishes sitting in the sink. Maggie promised when she moved in with us that she would unload the dishwasher if I would load it. She's fallen down on her end of the bargain!
  • I really pray that all my spelling and grammar is correct in this post. It would really embarrass me if I've messed up after #1 above :).

Friday, July 4, 2008

New Lungs

David Gaines, a minister at our church, Biltmore Baptist in Arden, NC, was diagnosed in January 2007 with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. The complete story is on David's caringbridge website. Over the months since his diagnosis, many people have prayed and asked God for intervention for David.

David is a wonderfully talented musician, playing several instruments; he is the director of our orchestra at church and arranger of LOTS of music that we use and that many churches across America uses. When you hear him play the piano, you know that he plays to an audience of One.

This week on Wednesday, I was sitting at my desk and decided to check my e-mail. The Exalt Ministry office at church had sent out an e-mail marked URGENT! As I read it, my tears came. New lungs were available for David!!! It is a wonderful feeling when you get such a visible answer to prayers that have been prayed for 18 months. When you read the caringbridge website, you can see from the guestbook that people all over the world have been lifting David to the Father. It is awesome to see God's hand at work in so many lives through what he has done for David and his family.

When David was first diagnosed, I sent a prayer request to Kristy (among others). Kristy forwarded it to other Campus Outreach staff in Brazil. It really is such a small world as another of the CO staff, Kent Bailey, recognized David's name as a friend he had grown up with in Nashville. Kent's dad was the pastor of the church where David and his family attended in Nashville and Kent and David were good friends. They had lost touch with each other over the years but have now reconnected because of Kristy sending out the prayer request.

I am continually amazed at what God desires to do in our life, whether it is through blessings or our dependence on Him through the trials of life. It is up to us to keep on singing and keep on trusting and keep on praising Him, just because He's God.

I Will Sing Praise
I will sing praise,
I will lift my voice,
I will sing praise,
I’ve made my choice.
I will sing praise in all I do.
I will sing praise to you.
No matter the storms that come my way,
No matter the trials I may face,
You promised that you would see me through.
So, I will trust in You.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


What a blessing to live in the United States of America. For those of us who have traveled out of the country, we understand just how valuable our freedoms are. I think nothing of planning a week ahead knowing I will be in church on Sunday. I don't have to pass through any checkpoints to get there. I don't have to go in the dark of night so no one will see me. I am free to carry my Bible with me anywhere I want to. I am free to sing praises to my Heavenly Father and can sing them as loud as I want to. I heard once of a house church meeting in China and all they could do was whisper/sing their praise. God has truly blessed us as a nation and a people to have the freedoms we enjoy in America.

There is another freedom that God gave us that means even more and is more valuable than the freedoms we enjoy in our country. That is the freedom we have in Christ Himself to live our lives truly free. John 8:36 says, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Because of man's inherrent sinful state, we are slaves to sin. Christ came so that our freedom from this "sin slavery" could be bought through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. There is nothing we can do to obtain this freedom; the price has already been paid on the cross. We can't be "good enough" to purchase our own freedom. We can't do enough good things to merit eternity with Him. The only way to be truly free is to acknowledge our sin, believe that Christ can save us and confess to Him our need and repent. What is repentence? It is a 180 turn-around. It simply is a u-turn away from our sin and toward a life lived for Him.

I like to use the analogy of a beautifully wrapped package. It is sitting on a table in my house and has my name on the gift tag. If I don't accept the gift, open it and use it, it isn't mine. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Christ gave His life so that we might have eternal life. John 3:16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." All we need to do is accept the gift. If you don't know Him as your personal Savior, today would be a great day to begin a new life in Him. He's waiting on you. He stands ready to save you. Trust and believe. Your life will be eternally changed.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Diana

Where do the years go? Only yesterday it seems, I went to St. Francis Hospital barely in labor but very pregnant. At that time, we didn't have ultrasounds so I had no idea if I were pregnant with a girl or a boy. I just knew I was very pregnant with a baby that had been due on June 16 and that I was still carrying around on June 27. I had felt bad all day but around midnight, I felt like we should go on to the hospital to be checked out. Pretty soon after I arrived at the hospital, I was given an injection that knocked me "out like a light." I obviously went right out and was in labor but knew nothing of it. Diana was born at around 4:30 a.m. after a relatively short time in labor. At 9:30 a.m. the next morning (June 28, 1967) I awakened to the sound of someone cleaning my room. I opened my eyes at the same time I reached down with my hands to feel my tummy. I looked at the custodian and said, "have I had my baby and was it a boy or a girl?" She said, "I don't know but I"ll go find out." She came back in shortly and told me that the nurse would be bringing my baby to me in a few minutes. Around 9:45 a.m. on June 28, 2008, I met the love of my life. I'd never before had a feeling like I had when I first saw my first child. She was beautiful; she was screaming; she was mine. What a feeling of love and wonder when I first saw her.

Diana couldn't take warm milk...always took a bottle right out of the fridge. She never drank formula...always drank whole milk. She didn't have hair until she was 2 years old and when it did come in it was so white blonde that you still couldn't tell she had hair on her bald head. She loved her passy...gave it up when she threw it out the car window to a "big truck" the day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and never took one again. She loved going to the golf course with her daddy and being pulled around the course in her red wagon while Don played 9 holes. She loved swinging and playing in the sand box. She loved her friends, Anne Marie and Christine, Happy and Sherwood, and Chet and Leigh Ann. She loved swimming and learned to swim by the time she turned 3 years old.

It thrills me to look at her now, the wife and mother she has become and I hope it's not too prideful to say I am proud of her. She loves her husband and is so supportive of him in his ministry. She loves her children as is evidenced by the fact that she's ALWAYS sitting on the 3rd baseline cheering them on. It is such a joy to see the woman she has become. I am so proud of you, Diana...proud to have you as a daughter. May God continue to bless you as a wife of a pastor and as a mother of Krissy and Drew. I don't know anybody who could do it better. I love you and hope you have a great birthday weekend.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Where I'm From

Where I'm From
by George Ella Lyons
I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the black porch.
(Black, glistening it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush,
the Dutch elmwhose long gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.
I'm from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I'm from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from perk up and pipe down.
I'm from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.
I'm from Artemus and Billie's Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.
Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments-snapped
before I budded-leaf-fall from the family tree.

George Ella Lyons wrote the poem above called, "Where I’m From.” I read it and it made me start thinking about what I would write if I wrote something similar. Now, for sure, I’m no poet; Kristy would have to write it for it to be true poetry. But I do know ‘where I’m from’ and I think I can put it down on paper (computer) and make some sense of it. It’s fun…write you own.

Where I’m From
By Martha Vaughan

I am from Ebenezer community on Highway 276,
By the outhouse and catching my pants on fire in the burning grass.
I am from a butcher knife fanning the air
and being caught in Daddy's hand; thus, a crooked finger for life.
I'm from wringer washers, clothes flapping in the wind,
kerosene stoves, homemade with love quilts and days of no tv.
I am from sandy driveways in the Shiloh community
and bare feet and Mr. Foster’s country store
where we’d buy Pepsi’s, brown mules, and moon pies,
all put on our poor old mama’s “account”
while she was a slave to a sewing machine in a sewing hall.
I’m from black salve, castor oil, Creomulsion, Vicks Vaporub, asafetida and kerosene.
I'm from granuloma knots, blood that "looked like orange kool-aid" and being so skinny that Mama often said, "I'll never raise her."
I am from beagle rabbit hunting dogs
and rabbits as pets that became food on the table.
I am from poison oak so bad that Dr. Coleman
had to give me a shot everyday for two weeks;
I couldn’t go to school so I stayed with Granny while Mama worked
and got to watch "The Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns" and drink coffee!
I’m from carrying water when the well went dry;
and from watching Grandma wash clothes
in a black iron pot over a fire in the backyard.
I'm from riding my bicycle across the yard, not seeing
the clothes line and being "clothes-lined" in the neck.
I’m from trying to burn fiberglas in Grandma’s backyard
that wouldn’t burn because it really IS glass.
I’m from having a dog named Tippy that was deliberately run over
and killed by Larry Ledfort. (name changed to protect the guilty)
I’m from borrowing Grace Cox’s sewing machine, dropping and breaking it and how it hurt me as much to see her cry as it did to see the crack in the machine!
I hail from days spent barefoot, gathering clay from Mr. Burns creek bed with Tony
and then forming it into our “dishes” set out in the sun to dry.
I'm from skating on the concrete screened-in porch, falling
and cracking my tail-bone which hurts to this day as a reminder of "good times."
I’m from Slater-Marietta Elementary School and the teachers, Mrs. McKinney, Mrs. Kerns, Mrs. Cleveland and others who loved me as their own.
I’m from the Bible Society lady who came to school
and gave us a Bible if we’d memorized enough verses.
I’m from pulling Jane Forrest out of bus-line, telling her it was “against the law”
to get back in line, all so she would come home with me from school. She believed me and she did!
I’m from all the days spent waiting up, watching, talking and praying with Mama.
I’m from times spent on our bed with Mama’s prayers rising to heaven on our behalf.
I’m from fireflies, butterflies and honeybees in their hives in our own backyard.
I’m from best friend, Dona, two doors down
and another best friend, Pat, across the street,
who were like ‘other sisters’ when we were growing up.
I’m from a Christian mother who instilled in me
her love of God and made me grow-up to want to be like her.
I’m from getting married at 17 years old and working to help Don finish Clemson.
I’m from Slater-Marietta, Travelers Rest, Clemson, Lake City, Gastonia, Statesville, Elizabethton, Greenville…finally full-circle back to my roots and home.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Gave Myself a Makeover

Nope, I didn't get a facelift, liposuction or tummy tuck...but my blog got a makeover.

I'm the type person that if I know something CAN be done, I want to figure out how to do it. I frequently read a blog that was given a free makeover. Some of these blog makeovers by professionals cost around $100. As I looked at the new look for this blog, I thought...hmmmm, I'd love to learn to do that. are viewing my humble efforts. It's probably not as good as I'd like it to be nor as good as it could be nor as good as it's gonna be; however, it's as good as it's gonna get today. It's a start; a beginning. And I'll continue to tweek it until it's as good as I want it to be. It was fun; it's always fun for me to learn new computer programs and things my computer will do to make my life easier/better/prettier :). That's why I always jump at the chance to take a computer software class when FU offers one. That and the fact that I can take them free make it doubly good.

Let me know what you think about the new look. If you do like it or if there's anything that would be better/easier to read, etc. I'll keep on tweeking until it's as good as it gets.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Getting a Jump on Kathy

I never blog twice in one day but today I feel as if I must...I have to get a jump on Kathy because if I don't 'fess up, I know she'll do it for me.

This morning after Tim left to go to work, I heard a cell phone ringing but it wasn't mine. I looked around and found Tim's phone ringing on the island in the kitchen. I answered it and it was Tim telling me he knew he'd left his phone at home and for me to take it to Furman with me and if he had time, he'd come to Furman to pick it up. I put it in my purse and forgot about it.

Later in the morning I remembered it was there and as I started out of the office to the bathroom, I decided I would call Tim to see if he were actually going to make it to pick up his phone. As I reached the office door, I heard a phone ringing and asked Lonita if it were hers. She said no...I hung up my cell and went back to answer Tim's just as it "beeped" with a missed call. I decided I would check to see who the missed call was from and lo and behold, IT WAS FROM ME. I got so tickled, I thought I would wet my pants before I got down to the bathroom. I've laughed at myself all day. "Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves; they will never cease to be amused." Today I am blessed beyond measure.

I do have lots of stories I can tell on Kathy but I'm glad I thought about getting the jump on her this time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Digging in the Dirt

I absolutely love digging in dirt. There is nothing more satisfying and therapeutic to me than planting and watching flowers grow. I love the smell of dirt and especially on a hot summer afternoon as the sprinkles of rain begin. What smells better?

I think I inherited my love of flowers from my mom. I don't remember her ever planting or growing flowers (except roses) when we were growing up but she loved flowers. After she sold her home and moved to the senior apartment complex, each spring I would dig in her dirt and plant some flowers in the beds outside the sliding glass door of her apartment. From where she sat in her lift chair, she looked right out that door and to her flower bed. Some days she called me at work to tell me how pretty it was that day. That was one of those things that she wanted to "pay" me for doing and one of those things that I had to say, "just say thanks." Her love of the flowers was all the "pay" I needed.

Since mom died 4 years ago, I've had only my flower bed to plant and I miss having two...but most of all I miss her and her love of the beauty of the petunias, mandevilla, and begonias that we chose for her flower bed. I like to continue to "dig in the dirt" because I love the feel of it as it runs through my fingers but most of all as a reminder of her and her love of the flowers.

For those of you who know my sister, Kathy, she has always loved to dig in dirt too...ask her about "digging" when she was a child. Maybe she'll post that on her blog sometime :).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

You Know it's Hot When Your Eyeballs Sweat

For the past 3 weeks, we haven't had any air conditioning at work. To top that off, we don't have windows in our office. The first week wasn't so bad...high temps outside of about 73 degrees made for pleasant days. Over the course of three weeks though, the temp has gradually risen to a high today expected to be around 95 degrees. It is miserable...I am miserable. I am sweating in places I didn't know I had places and certainly in places I can't reach :). Have your eyeballs/eyelids ever sweated? Yesterday mine did! I have a fan blowing on me but it is doing nothing but blowing hot air...much like most of the people in my office.

Lonita and I just walked across the yard to the portable office space we will be moving to in August. It is wonderful. We will all have our own office space. Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!! AND it is ice cold in there. I can't wait! I'm ready to move now. We'll be out of the dust of construction; out of the heat; into an area where we have enough toilets!!! (that's another story). We're ready and sitting on go when FU says it's time to move. We'll have everything packed and it won't take us two seconds to be out of here and into the wonderful portable. AND then they will construct wonderful new space for us over in the PAC. YEA! August can't get here fast enough!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Life-lessons Learned from Abbie

About 20 months ago, Maggie and Abbie came to to live with us; I had always said that I would NEVER have a dog in my house but when it became a "case of have-to," I bit the bullet and gave in. Never would I have thought that a 4# fur ball would give Tim and I so much joy. She loves us unconditionally and when she looks at us with those big brown eyes, you just have to give in to whatever it is she wants. She is a joy to have and yes, she lives IN MY HOUSE! I saw this list the other day and via my photos of the last 20 months knew that I had truly learned some lessons from Abbie.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp and play daily. This photo was taken after a particularly "vigorous" swim and we thought she was gonna have a seizure. She got out of the pool, flopped over on her side and shook like a leaf.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not, however if you are The Princess, it's ok to wear the crown.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout .. run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joys of a long walk.

(from The Story Bin...Lists to Live By @