it's the journey

it's the journey

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Adventures in Craig's listing

This is Hank.  He came to inquire about the JBL power amp we listed on Craig's List.  OR, he may have been sent by God as a warning to Michael of just how torturous hell could be.  He probably asked 500 questions about the amp, and other random topics and things in the room.  By the end of his visit, I believe Michael would have paid Hank 100.00 to leave AND given him the amp.  We did however make the sale.

Good times...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Like Waking Up From the STRANGEST Dream...

So, last night I had the weirdest dream ever!

Lots and lots of Homecoming Friends all piled onto a bus and behind the wheel was none other than Bill G. himself.  There were also loads of little kids that I've never seen before in my life.  

We drove for a couple of hours and I kept trying to make conversation with all the kiddies by asking them, "Have you seen the new Shrek Movie?  It's great!"(IT WAS!)  They just looked at me like I was crazy.

Before long we entered a tunnel and headed underwater--yes--underwater.  Seems the location of a very unique Homecoming shoot was to be a brand new luxury hotel that was located UNDERWATER in Atlanta...  Oh he was driving us all around the complex, they also had a SeaWorld, a TCBY and Saks 5th Avenue, all underwater.  The dream ended before I saw us all suited up for the occasion, I'm guessing scuba gear?

I have no idea WHAT prompted this cinematic "REM-fest".  Maybe dinner?  Oh wait, I didn't have dinner last night.  I did have a cupcake and a piece of bologna.  Naah, that couldn't have been it...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Heart Publix SO Much!

Check it out!
4 yummy coffee creamers
3 bottles dish soap
1 bottle Lysol
2 bananas
1 Cool Whip
1 twist "fruity water thingy"

Total before coupons= 24.76
Total after coupons=$3.94

BIG savings! And BIG savings means more money for giving and other important things--like shoes!

Thanks to my mentors!

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, June 11, 2010

Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I've taken the time to post more than a line or two here.  So much has happened in the past two months, there has been joy and sadness...

On Monday, April 19th, my dear friend Gwen passed from this life into the next one.  I can still scarcely comprehend that.  Tonight, I came across a picture of her sweet face and totally broke down.  It's the first time I've really let the sadness of losing her wash over me.  I'm not sure why-- maybe because I just knew that she was going to make it.  If anyone had the faith and the eternal optimism to overcome cancer, surely it was Gwen.  But God had other plans.  And those of us who love her so must move ahead, with a piece of our hearts missing.  

I can hear her laughter, her southern lilt, the Louisiana slipping out in the way she said "yestuhday," and it seems like yesterday when she was all excited over some DUH licious new restaurant she'd found.  

I miss you Gwen and I don't understand why you had to leave us, but I'm so thankful that God lent us your sunshine for a while.  

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.  Psalm 116:15

Monday, May 31, 2010

 To those fallen defenders of our freedom and the loved ones they left behind, I say thank you. Because of your sacrifice, my family can live in peace and plenty.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him. 2 Samuel 14:14-15

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your mercy is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the clouds. Psalm 108:3-4

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, April 22, 2010

God Made it And Said It is Good So We Should Probably Take Care of It!

Happy Earth Day!
Not in some weird-- I think you should abandon your house to a family of tree squirrels because it's clearly in nature's best interest for them to create a habitat there--kinda way. But more like a cheerful Woodsy The Owl , "Give a hoot don't pollute sort of way." (and if you are familiar with THAT reference, I'm guessing you're reading this through some pretty serious bifocals!)

God did create the earth for us and gave us responsibility for it. Throughout the bible we're taught many examples of good stewardship.

SO what is a steward anyway? A steward is a person who manages another's property, financial affairs or anything really, as the agent of another. He or she is held accountable by the owner for the wise or unwise management of that property. Well, in this case, the owner is God. “The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” Psalm24:1

We all heard the parable of the "talents" as a child. The master goes on a trip and leaves each servant in charge of a portion of his wealth. One servant did really well and made a huge increase, the next one did a pretty good job, but the third guy--not so much. He buried it in a hole and when the master returned, he was not too happy about it.

There are a lot of lessons we can take from this, but I think the main one is: Whatever God gives us is to be used wisely and in a way that brings honor to him.

We should treasure His creation just as any grateful child should revere a gift their loving father has given. Afterall, aren't the very best gifts handmade?

Genesis 1:26-31 The Message

Heaven and Earth

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
and every animal that moves on the face of Earth."
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God's nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
"Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."

Then God said, "I've given you
every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth
And every kind of fruit-bearing tree,
given them to you for food.
To all animals and all birds,
everything that moves and breathes,
I give whatever grows out of the ground for food."
And there it was.

God looked over everything he had made;
it was so good, so very good!
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Six.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Our friend Mark Lowry invited Michael and me to tag along on a quick trip to Charlotte, NC this weekend.  Much laughter, singing, reminiscing, and eating ensued.   What there wasn't much of was sleep.  But that's quite alright, we had a blast!

Mark playing with his new iPad.  Is it still a sin if you only covet a teeny bit?
Another LOONG time friend, Norman Holland.  We go back at least 30 years!

Also present, Norman's adorable pooch, Bella

Mark mesmerizing the crowd as usual. 
Bob and Jeannie Johnson stopped by to say hello.  Jeannie of course is as beautiful as ever!

Texas Steakhouse
The aftermath...
Um, were the ribs good Michael?
Mark and Me

I did manage to squeeze in about 2 hours of this Saturday night...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Isaiah 53:4-5

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's The Little Things

It's been a long, long day and the house will be empty when I get home. So I'll share my thoughts with Jesus and the 3 people who might read this...

Today I'm really thankful for good Chinese take-out, comfortable shoes, a quiet night and possibly 1/2 price Easter candy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Look For Me

Of all the songs I have sung in my lifetime, Look for Me is definitely the most requested.  Some time back, I was asked to write about it for Homecoming Magazine's "The Song Says It," so I decided it to share it here with you.

After you've been there ten thousand years, a million, maybe two, look for me, for I will be there too.  

When my father first penned those words in 1982, I was barely out of my teens.  To me, they were just further evidence that my dad could paint a lovely picture with his words.  They would make a nice addition to the new recording we were working on. 

What a difference 20 years can make.  In the time that's transpired, my father has moved from this world to the next, joined by his siblings and countless other friends and family members.  Since then, I've stood over many of them and sung the words to this song.  On more than a few quiet evenings alone, I've found myself turning those bitter sweet lyrics over and over in my mind.  They hold sweet promise for all of us who know what it is to be separated from those we love.  Someday soon, we'll be reunited.

When we were taping the Heaven video, my Uncle Howard said to me, "When we sing about heaven, we're not longing for our past, we're just excited about our future."

Amen, Uncle Howard, amen. 


When you finally make your 
entrance to that city
Of jasper walls and bright
golden avenues
As you behold all its beauty
and its splendor
Remember there's just one request
I make of you

Look for me, for I will be there too
I realize when you arrive
there'll be so much to view
After you've been there 
ten thousand years
A million, maybe two
Look for me, for I will be there too

As you go down your list of first things
there's no question
You'll want to see your loved ones 
waiting there for you
And when you feel you've 
shared your story with the last one
That wants to hear you tell
just how you made it through
Look for me, for I will be there too

I realize when you arrive
there'll be so much to view
After you've been there 
ten thousand years
A million, maybe two
Look for me, for I will be there too
 --Rusty Goodman

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thank you Tori for the cutest thing I've seen in like FOREVER!

My friend Tori posted this on her blog today and it is SO awesome I had to share it.

I'm sure all you parents can TOTALLY relate.

PS: Click on the link below and check Tori out, she is AMAZING and I love her so much--when I'm not being absolutely green with envy because she is so stinking funny AND beautiful! Dang it!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Money for Nothing and Soap for Free


I've always been wary of those coupon ladies.  You know the ones.  They show up on your local talk show, a little too chirpy, wearing their appliqued sweaters, standing before tables that are groaning beneath a boat load of grocery items and vowing that they only paid .29 for the whole lot.  I envisioned them sitting at their kitchen tables, cackling fiendishly as they slashed their way through endless mounds of coupon inserts and sale flyers-- sort of  Edward Scissorhands meets A&E's Hoarders.  But then I became one of those coupon ladies, and quite by accident. 

My buddy Gwen called one afternoon and asked if I had any plans for the following evening.  Immediately I envisioned a glorious girls night out that would hopefully include pedicures, a movie and some impossibly decadent dessert.  Quickly I assured her I had nothing at all on the calendar.  "Great!" she said, "there's this couponing thing at a local church..." and then--The. World. Went. Dark.  "Um, okay, sounds like fun," I lied.

Let me assure you dear readers, had this been ANYONE besides my friend Gwen, I'd have found a way to weasel out.  But she is incredibly sweet, and fun to be with and the two of us rarely do anything without the guys.  SO, I kept my word and the next evening we turned up at the church just as things were getting started.

Sure enough, front and center stood a huge table loaded up with five gazillion items and I knew it was only a matter of time till some lady in a cat sweater and ankle socks tottered out and told us how she managed to buy 63 blocks of Velveeta for $1.00-- WRONG!  Soon a young, attractive, professional woman in a red blazer welcomed us and started right in on a presentation that included handouts and a power point. Turns out couponing has gone chic and tech! Two hours later I emerged, a grinning convert with a shiny new binder full of handouts.  Thank you Gwen!

The next few nights I was glued to the computer, gleaning as much info as I could.  I was amazed to find that there are actually people out there who will match up current coupons with current sales. Score! All I have to do is clip a few coupons, or print them out online, then surf over to their websites and they've done the homework for me.  I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!

I started out slowly, saving 30 or 40 % and that just whetted my appetite.  HELLO there were people out there saving 75% even 90% and I couldn't let them get ahead of me!  No siree, Bob--not me and my crazy I'M THE ONE YOU WANT ON YOUR TEAM FOR GAME NIGHT competitive nature.

Now I've found my groove and I am regularly saving 60+% on our grocery and household items.  A few weeks ago I scored 4 bottles of Purex detergent for FREE, absolutely FREE!  Just yesterday, 5 bottles of Snuggle fabric softener--also FREE!  UH-MAY-ZING! My time investment is probably a couple hours a week, but with the savings, I don't have to feel guilty about the occasional girls night out--complete with pedicures, a movie and a decadent dessert. Okay maybe I'll still feel guilty about the decadent dessert...but still, AMAZING!

PS:  One of the most rewarding benefits of this lifestyle is the ability to share your abundance! Many times I can pick up items for FREE or just a few cents. It's so much easier to give more to local food banks, family, friends, neighbors or anyone who might need a helping hand. WHAT A BLESSING!!!

Here's a photo of a recent purchase
All this stuff, plus 8 Glade candles that aren't pictured 
PAID:   50.82   RETAIL:  176.56  SAVED:  71%

That's pretty good folks, and I'm not even hardcore like some of these people.  You can do this!  So, if you're ready to drink the old couponing kool-aid, here are some of my VERY FAVE links to get you started.  

Make sure to check out the sections that explain the lingo AND find out what YOUR local store couponing policies are.

Also, PLEASE don't be a piggy and "wipe out" the shelves when you find a great deal, be considerate of your fellow savers!

Faithful Provisions

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Faith of Our Fathers

Maybe it's all this talk of Springtime, the Resurrection and new beginnings, whatever the reason, Romans 4:17 has been SO much on my mind.  

As it is written: "I have made you (Abraham) a father of many nations."  He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.     NIV

Continuing  on through verse 21...

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.    NIV

Try as I may, sometimes I waver, and my faith is quite the opposite of strengthened.  So I thought it might do me some good to read it again.  So I did.  And then I decided it to read it again and then in 3 or 4 translations and WHOA, I LOVE this one, it's my favorite.  

From The Message:

17-18 We call Abraham "father" not because he got God's attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn't that what we've always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, "I set you up as father of many peoples"? Abraham was first named "father" and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, "You're going to have a big family, Abraham!"

I love how it says, first Abraham was named "father", then he became father, because he dared to trust.  

So today, I'm going to look at all of those things that I so long to be a reality, I'm going to call them "done."  And instead of lying awake thinking about them tonight, I'm going to dare to trust God to do what only HE can:  raise the dead to life and with just a word--make something out of nothing.  

What are YOU believing God for today?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Doctor's office

At the doctor's office with Aly. We've never met her before but she was highly recommended.

Even though this picture on her wall is a bit corny and the mom has a mullet, it helps me feel at ease here. Without saying a word the doc has given me a glimpse of who she is and what's important to her.

I think we're going to like her.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lunch with Joy

My sweet longtime bff Joy and I had one of our epic 3 hour lunches today at J Alexander's. One of us, who will remain nameless, left her phone and we had to go back. But we didn't mind, that just gave us more time to talk!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Eat Your Heart Out Dog Whisperer

We're kind of a pet loving family around here. There have been numerous hamsters, gerbils, gold fish, mice, guinea pigs, a ferret and yes, even a RAT. He was white, harmless and adorable, and once sent Michael screaming up the hall when he scurried up the inside of his bathrobe, but I digress. Yes, we've had LOTS and LOTS pets, but mostly, we're dog people.

Currently, we have three dogs. Fonzie, the old man, Princess Elle (aka Weewee), and Chuckie, the baby. Technically, Weewee belongs to our daughter Mallory and lives at her apartment. Fonzie and Chuckie live with Michael, Aly and Me. But when the kibble hits the fan, I am the dog mama. Translation: when they pee, poop, puke or smell, yep, I'm your girl. Okay, I LOVE these little furry creatures. They're all snuggly on a cold winter's night, and crazy Chuckie will chase a tennis ball for HOURS on end. But sometimes their charm can wear a tad thin. Like the time they broke into Michael's Christmas candy stash and consumed oh about a pound of dark chocolate. We had no idea what they'd been up to--UNTIL they barfed it all up in the middle of the living room carpet 15 minutes before our dinner guests arrived. Good times.

And Did I mention these dogs LOOOOOOOOOVE cheese.  Actually, FOOD! of any type, but particularly cheese. They can be sound asleep, in another room, upstairs, possibly in another county-- and if anyone dares to open the refrigerator and ever so slightly brush the plastic American cheese package--they're like, "Beam me up Scotty, there are dairy products to consume."  They appear out of thin air, ears perked, tails wagging, eyes shining with adoration, all for a little cheese.

 They're small dogs, two daschunds and a chihuahua, so you'd think the bath time wouldn't be a big deal. Well, that dear reader is where you'd be wrong. Fonzie and Weewee are pretty manageable, but Chuckie has a white hot fear of running water unrivaled by anything dogdom has ever known.  His adrenaline kicks into high gear and he's a 7 lb weiner dog with Herculean strength. He wriggles, claws, squirms, flips, shakes, gnaws and screams like I'm searing his flesh with a cattle brand. He's been known to jump out of the bath and race through the house like a mad man, leaving a trail of suds behind. As a result, I bathe them as little as possible. Disgusting, but true.

Last week I lured them into the laundry room (home of the giant sink) using a piece of cheese.  Once I had them captive, I realized there was no dog shampoo. Great.  Somehow I managed to slip out to search for some in the kitchen.  When I opened up the tiny cabinet by the back door, there, in front of the dog shampoo, bathed in the florescent glow of the kitchen light, stood a solitary can of Easy Cheese.  We'd bought it months ago to spray inside one of those "indestructible" dog toys.  Once Chuckie had reduced THAT to a 6.99 pile of confetti, we stuck the cheese in the cabinet and forgot about it.  But I knew, this lowly can of spray cheese and I could form an alliance.  Together we could tame the bath time monster.  

I returned to the laundry room, cheese and shampoo in hand, to find my little prisoners cowering in the corner, plotting my death no doubt.  All it took was one quick squirt of spray cheese and we were back in business.  Fonzie went first and he was all sullen, but docile as usual.  As a reward, I gave him a squirt of spray cheese and watched his bitterness melt away like the cheesy goodness on his chin whiskers.  

Chuckie was up next and I knew he would be a bit more challenging.  Pretty soon I had the rhythm down.  Pour a little water over his back, squirt a little cheese in his mouth, apply some shampoo, another squirt.  Then came the AHA moment...


I outlined the entire sink in Easy Cheese (Cheese! Glorious Cheese!), it was like doggy Xanax.  Chuckie mellowed out and was so busy lapping up the cheese, he hardly noticed he was getting a bath.  So now I'm a regular bath time dog whisperer, just like Cesar Millan, only a little more trailer parky and um--not so good for canine cholesterol.  


                               Alex Von Ferretas

                             Spartacus the Hermit Crab

                    Cleatus "Jake" the Guinea Pig


Well, since Mary was the only brave soul to SEND a picture (not just threaten to send one!), she gets a prize.  Mary, if you'll e mail me your mailing address, I'll get it out to you this week!

CONGRATS, and I think it would have been pretty hard to top that hair do any way girl!

Monday, March 15, 2010


First pic is in for the Best of the Worst Hairdos.  This was sent in by Mary Cook who says, "WHY am I smiling???"

Keep 'em coming folks, this could get interesting!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hairstory, A Pictorial Retrospective (aka, OMG WHAT in the world is UP with my hair???)

"If Truth is beauty, how come no one gets their hair done at the library?"  --Lily Tomlin

When I was 6 years old I dreamed of having long, luscious, golden hair--just like a Barbie doll.  I begged and pleaded till mom bought me a blonde wig for Christmas.  Night and day, I paraded around the house in that thing, usually with a hat on---convinced that it looked totally realistic.  Like I just went to sleep one night and *poof* the next morning--my hair had been transformed!  Oh if it was only that easy...

Hair has always been a REALLY big deal to me. Of course I'm speaking figuratively here, but as evidenced by the pictures, sometimes quite literally--
HUGE! Seriously, Al Gore's next documentary could be about how I single handedly destroyed the ozone layer with my hairspray habit.  Perhaps it has something to do with my southern roots, being born in Dallas, Texas and all.  Or maybe it's because I've spent half my life looking for something to "balance out my hips"--MAN I miss those ginormous 80's shoulder pads!  All I know is that since I was a wee lass, the state of my hair has been inexorably intertwined with my happiness.  In my younger, less mature days, I cancelled dinner dates, called in sick, skipped parties--even church when I had a bad hair day.  OKAY, OKAY-- I'm shallow, but do I at least get points for honesty????

And oh the abuse I have heaped upon my poor head down through the years!  I've spent the better part of half a century trying to cut, curl, straighten, tease and spray my hair into submission.

The cycle goes like this:

I wake up look in the mirror and decide I would look FABULOUS with long hair.

Proceed to let hair grow and grow, despite said process getting on my last nerve.

I wake up one morning and decide I CAN NOT LIVE ANOTHER DAY without a haircut.


Remorse and Despair.


    Also sprinkled in there have been various color experiments, some successful, some-- not so much.

    Right now I'm in the throes of remorse and despair and I decided it might alleviate the gloom if I revisited some of of my former hair dos and don'ts as a reminder that eventually, it grows out.

    So--now that I've been all brave and shown you my WORST hair days, jump on out there with me.  Go through your old pics find your most humiliating most unique hair look and send it to me. Guys too, come on, don't deprive us the opportunity to see those GLORIOUS mullet photos!!!  I'll post them and then the girls and I will pick a--um--winner. We'll even send you a PRIZE!  What kind of prize you ask?  Well DUH, something fabulous from the Rusk hair product line.

    Send your photos to me at:

    "If you don't like Tanya's hair, stick around--it's bound to change." -- my dad





    OKAY-- TWO



         WOW, JUST WOW.       

                 NOT EVEN SURE HOW I DID THIS!!!




    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Two Turtle Doves and Loaf of Bread--Hold The Yeast

    Our senior pastor challenged us to a church-wide mitzvot to read through the One Year Bible in 2010. This sounded like a great idea to me.  As much as I hate to admit it, I've never read the ENTIRE Bible--cover to cover--even though I've been following Christ since I was a child.  This also really, really appealed to my somewhat competitive ambitious nature-- I LOVE A CHALLENGE!  I went right out to and purchased the One Year Bible for my kindle--FABULOUS Christmas gift from my sweet husband--and jumped right in on January 1.

    The whole thing started off swimmingly.  Genesis was great; it had the excitement of creation, the flood, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, the great promises made to Abraham.  Revisiting all those bible stories I've loved since I was a kid was wonderful.  The time seemed to fly by each morning as I read through the assigned passages and before I knew it, I had read 12% of the bible!  Then we got to Leviticus...

    I'll share a tidbit from February 20th: 
         Leviticus 9: 19-21 Then he took the fat of the bull and the ram—the fat of the broad tail and from around the internal organs—along with the kidneys and the long lobes of the livers.   He placed these fat portions on top of the breasts of these animals and burned them on the altar.  Aaron then lifted up the breasts and right thighs as a special offering to the Lord, just as Moses had commanded.

    And there you have it, the reason I've never read the Bible all the way through.  I would always get bogged down in Leviticus, with all those repetitive, very graphic passages about goat heads, kidney lobes and Aaron's bloody toes and earlobes--yuck!  And I'd really like to know what God had against yeast--a wise man would have definitely gotten entirely out of the yeast market and put all of his shekels in turtle doves... okay, now I'm rambling.

    Surely that stuff isn't so important today, it's not like we round up the first born of our flock every Sunday morning before heading off to our place of worship, right???  Riiiiight, but let's get back to this mitzvot thing.  The whole point of the mitzvot is to commit to something that if done in the right spirit can prove transformational to the um--mitzvee.  And let me tell you, I could use transformational--ESPECIALLY. IN. THE. AREA. OF. DISCIPLINE.  Okay, you don't have to agree SO vigorously--I can see you out there nodding your heads-- "oh bless her heart she sure could..." 

    So that's it-- no skipping, skimming or dodging of the less than riveting passages. This will be my sacrifice, the sweet fragrance I offer up to Him.  I will joyfully apply myself to this task, even when it's not exciting. And while I'm at it, I'll claim this promise,  "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philipians 1:6 NLT

    Here's a link if you want to join me on this journey...One Year Bible