Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Book Review: The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

No, this isn't like the movie of the same name with Ashton Kutcher.:-)  It's a new book by Andy Andrews, called "The Butterfly Effect."

This short gift book packs a lot of message into just over 100 pages.  Essentially, it tells you how just one event, no matter how tiny or mundane it seems, can have far reaching implications that you may never even see.

It's based on a theory (paraphrased here) "that even the flapping of a butterfly's wings would stir air molecules, which would in turn move other air molecules, eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet."  This idea became somewhat of an urban myth, but was later proven to have merit.  Science has now applied this idea to movement of any kind of matter, including people.

Once you read this book, it's easier to envision the likelihood that something that seems trivial to you - a kind word to the cashier in a grocery store, or a smile to a stranger - could make a significant difference down the road, and you would never even know it.

Read it for yourself, and you'll get the picture.

(I was provided a free copy of this book from the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze blogger program in exchange for the review.)

I review for BookSneeze

Book Review: The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews

"The Boy Who Changed the World" is a new children's book by Andy Andrews.  It is a companion to the gift book "The Butterfly Effect," also by Andy Andrews.

This book tells the story of a young boy, Norman, and what he did that changed the world.  That then leads into the next story of  a second person and makes you wonder if, in fact, that person really changed the world.  More and more stories follow, showing how each one of them impacted the life of the next.  It's based on the premise that what we do - no matter how small an act - can have a significant effect on the lives of others.

It has a wonderful message, and positively challenges children to think that they, too, can change the world.

I review for BookSneeze

Thursday, July 1, 2010

You never know what you might find...

I was making the rounds, collecting towels for a load of laundry, when I discovered this in my son's bathroom:

Can you tell what it is?

Yep.  Dirty golf balls.  I guess that's what happens when your kid works at a country club!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Remembering Dad

Those of you who know me may be a bit confused by the title of this post, because my dad is still here.

Well, mostly.

Part of the reason for the huge funk I have been in recently is that dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a few months ago.  It is very hard news for a daddy's girl to take. 

I find that often, I grieve his loss already, even though he is still here.  I grieve the fact that I never know from day to day if I can have a decent conversation with him.  I grieve the things he's always done - the things that make Daddy who he is - that he can't do anymore.

But today, I choose to remember daddy like I've always known him, before the disease starting chipping away at him.

I remember the daddy who called me "Doodle" and "Pistol" when I was a little girl, and the way he introduced me to other people as "The Boss."

I remember the daddy who replaced one recliner after another because I squeezed in beside him in them so often that I worked the arms loose.

I remember the daddy who walked to Ingle's every night for a cup of coffee, and let me get a creme horn from the bakery.

I remember the daddy who took me to McDonald's for an ice cream cone, and waited while I played on the playground.

I remember the daddy who worked rotating shifts at the mill, and I never heard him complain.

I remember the daddy who always made fried potatoes and fireplace cornbread when he had to cook dinner.

I remember the daddy that couldn't stand to see anyone cry.

I remember the daddy that stopped smoking when I asked him to.

I remember the daddy that started fires with gasoline.

I remember the daddy who always had his shaving brush and a bottle of Old Spice on top of his medicine cabinet.

I remember the daddy that got me my first car from a junkyard :-)

I remember the way my daddy whistled when he was coming in from the garage for dinner.

I remember the daddy who constantly cut wood and gave it away (with delivery!) for free to anyone who needed it.

I remember the daddy who helped liberate my Barbie's from their plastic ties when ever I got a new one, which was often because I was spoiled rotten.  (just ask my sister)

I remember the daddy who doesn't like to pray out loud, but occasionally will and, when he does, it is the same every time.

I remember the daddy who scared my boyfriends.

I remember the daddy that many of my girlfriends wished was their dad.

I remember the daddy who told me that Randy Travis singing sounded like pig squealing.

I remember the daddy that adores his grandchildren.

I remember the daddy that means "Do you need money?" when he asks, "Do you need anything?"

I remember the daddy that made us listen to a Marty Robbins eight-track nonstop while we drove around the country for three weeks on vacation.

I have been blessed with an amazing earthly father, and I am thankful that my Heavenly Father put him in my life.  I could go on for days with the wonderful memories I have of him.  I've shared a few here, but the rest of my memories I'll tuck quietly in my heart to remember on the days that my daddy doesn't.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oh, the drama!

I know God is about to to a good work in me, because ever since the Esther Bible study began, the devil has been after me like crazy! Everywhere I turn:

Drama at work
Drama at home
Drama with the neighbors
Drama with extended family

If I wanted this much drama, I'd start watching soap operas again!

I need this to hold on to this week, and probably in the days to come as well:

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

tuesdays unwrapped

Pausing to remember

the ways we will never pass again...
(kindergarten supplies, brought home to stay)

the things that are only temporary...
(2010 All-Star Baseball season)

and new beginnings...
(Esther Bible study - the first in our new church)

Care to share???

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My eight year old got his throat slashed.

(image by sateda)

There's a title for ya, huh?

Well, it's for real.  Fortunately, it was only with a pencil and just a minor scratch but unfortunately, also enough for the offender to get suspended from school for it.

Did I mention that they're only eight?

Insane.  The kid just grabbed my boy from behind and did the slasher move, with a pencil in his hand.  Left a six-inch cut according to the incident report the teacher had to write.

Not belittling the injury to my son or anything, but I don't think The Slasher really meant any harm.  Just like kids point their fingers and pretend it's a gun, they know that a bullet is not going to shoot out of their finger.  I don't think the kid realized that his pencil actually WAS a weapon in his hand.

The sad thing is (insert old-timer voice here) "We didn't act that way when we were kids."  And we didn't.  We rode our bikes and threw old beer bottles against tree trunks. We climbed through culverts and flew on tire swings and ropes.  We blazed trails through the woods and played Pac-Man and Galaga.

We did NOT go around pretending to slash each other's throats, even in fun.

I'm not sure if I should be alarmed by the violence that has obviously escalated in the play of our children, or just accept that our world works that way now, whether you and I like it or not.  I know the Evil One just laughs and laughs whenever this kind of thing happens - watching our society lose it's moral compass and deteriorate bit by bit.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on it - do you think this is an isolated incident by a kid who has seen too many movies he shouldn't, or is this just they way it is now?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A special weekend, shared on a Tuesday

Well, the title of this post says it all. These moments aren't necessarily small things, but are to be celebrated nonetheless.

Special little boys turned six...

...special middle boys got baptized in our brand new church...

...and special eldest boys became high school seniors and landed their first paying job. (Wow - choked on this last one!)

Don't blink, guys. Life happens so fast!

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hey, Canton NC area ladies - listen up!

Yours truly will be leading a new summer Bible study at Pinnacle Church in Canton, starting this Sunday, June 13th at 6pm. Our study this time will be from Beth Moore, called "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman."

Wow! I don't know a woman alive who would argue with that!

Please share this information with all your girlfriends, because I would LOVE to have a room full of women during this class!

If you plan on joining us, could you please leave me a blog comment, Facebook message or an email and let me know so I can make sure I have enough workbooks?

Thanks ladies - I can't wait to dig into this one and I hope you'll be joining me!

Beth Moore's Esther, Web Promo from Greg, LifeWay on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A fun discovery

My family got together for Memorial Day yesterday, and since 2 Navy men were there, the service talk began. My mom said that she didn't know what kind of ship dad was on when he served in WWII. He looked at her and promptly blurted out "LSMR 408." I'm treasuring every detail that I can get from Dad now that he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, so I wrote down the info and Googled it as soon as I got home.

I didn't quite expect what I found. It seems that I transposed two of the letters (LMSR instead of LSMR), but that was a type of ship as well. After not finding a ship number 408, I realized that the other "spelling" was right. A few minutes later I was on this page. I looked at each photo, and when I made it to the shots below deck, I FOUND MY DAD IN TWO OF THEM! See??

He's the dark haired fellow squatting down in this one...

...and to the far left in this one.

These photos were taken sometime probably in 1945, when dad was about 18. (He's 82 now.) He was on this ship on the Pacific Rim when the war ended.

Cool, huh??

If you've got any Navy ships you'd like to check out, go to NavSource and start looking - who knows what you'll find!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just random thoughts, as usual...

1. I haven't blogged in like, 42 years so, hello. :-)
(Susan, this is for you.)

2. Our new church building is AWESOME! (And in true bad blogger fashion, no photos.)

3. Turtle tracks, how I've missed you! Beach body or not, Buy 1 Get 1 Free Mayfield ice cream at Bi-Lo will get you back in my freezer.

4. As I tweeted before, Russell Crowe movies = :-)

5. My dog has some NASTY gastrointestinal issues going on - she can clear a room in seconds! (I know - too much information!!)

6. The funk I have been in for the last forever is finally lifting - I think.

7. I will be leading the Beth Moore "Esther: It's Tough being a Woman" study at our fab new church, starting June 13th at 6pm. Come on ladies - you know that title speaks to you!!!

8. I so wish I had Fox Business so I could have seen my buds Josh and Susan get interviewed by Dave Ramsey!! (Come on Hulu - 2 weeks?? Really?)

9. Federal holidays are good things. Which leads me to....

10. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the men and women (and their families) past and present who have sacrificed so much to protect our country. We are abundantly blessed to have brave soldiers like you looking out for all of us.

OK, Susan - are you happy????? :-)

(You know I love ya!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Few More Good Words

I seem to be better at finding words that others have written than penning my own this week! These started my day with a smile:

"The Lord raises those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous."
-Psalm 146:8

More from Charles Stanley:

God is aware of, concerned about, and involved in every area of need you have, great or small. Too often, however, we want to face and deal with only our external needs. We want God to provide a quick answer for us only in the tangible, material realm of life. To dig deeper into our neediness is something we perceive as painful, unnecessary, or too spiritual. God doesn't even agree with that approach....He is even more concerned about the needs that impact our very identity and our potential as human beings.

If these words resonate with you today, my prayer is that you have the courage to look inside, and meet with God about it. He'll listen, I promise :-)

Have a great, SNOW-FREE weekend!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Good Word - or several :-)

This is today's entry in my "God's Way Day by Day" calendar by Charles Stanley. It speaks to where I am right now, so I thought maybe it would speak to you, too.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who...has begotten us again to a living hope. 1 Peter 1:3

God desires that we develop in our talents, aptitudes, and ministry gifts every day of our lives. We should never stop practicing or stop learning, no matter how experienced and skilled we may become....God will not lead you to "become" something without aiding you to become the "best" you can possibly be in that area. He will not give you a talent and then fail to give you opportunities for discovering, using, developing, practicing, and perfecting it.

So there you have it - now let's get to work!!
Be blessed...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out."

-James Bryant Conant

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I got this in an email - VERY appropriate where I live!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blessed in the Trials

This morning I opened my Bible and landed on Genesis 31, and found a few encouraging verses I hadn't paid much attention to before.

Here we land in the middle of the story of Jacob. At this point, he's been living with his wives and children, working for his father-in-law Laban for many years. Laban has lied to Jacob, cheated him, and basically tried to manipulate life in general for Jacob's family. Laban's family is in on the game, making matters worse.

This chapter is where God finally says, "OK Jacob - enough is enough. Take your family and go back to your homeland."

He didn't have to tell Jacob twice! He packed up the camels and headed out without even saying goodbye.

There's more to the story, but here's what I noticed this morning:

Jacob had spent MANY years working under Laban's thumb. No doubt, he was unhappy with the way he was treated. But he had stayed, true to his promise to work seven years per wife. God blessed him abundantly while he was there. What Laban intended for his own gain, God used to bless Jacob.

The lesson here is: it is possible to prosper in difficult circumstances. Fulfill your obligation, even if it's hard, and God will take care of you. Those hard times are what God uses to mature you and bring you closer to the abundant life He promises His children. And you never know - one day God just might surprise you and say, "That's enough. It's time to go now," and lead you to an even better place.

Can you see the blessings in your trials?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Time, time, time

OK, FINALLY, like I promised.

To keep this post from rambling forever, I'm just going to get right to it:

I don't give God enough of my time.

I think, "Wow, I should write that article/blog post/writing prompt exercise I've been thinking about today." Which leads to to my computer, right into the jaws of evil.

I am tempted to do anything BUT write once I sit down. Facebook, games, reading blogs, checking email - all these things beckon to me and as a result, I am bearing very little fruit in my Christian life.

I'm still pondering this verse in James that I mentioned earlier: "Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." James 4:17

Maybe "pondering" isn't the right word. "Convicted" is better, actually, as hard as that is to admit. I have realized in the last few weeks that I have, unfortunately, regressed spiritually.

In an effort to start growing again and improve my spiritual health, I need to start doing what God put me here to do. Bear some fruit. I happen to think part of that means writing.

The thought that's really been on my mind is "How much time am I giving to God?" The answer is not pretty. Especially when I compare it to how much time I spend surfing the web, reading email, or playing games on Facebook.

What I'd like to do is tithe my time. Give God 10% of it. That works out to 2.4 hours (144 minutes) a day, or 16.8 hours a week. Sounds like an enormous amount, right?

Yeah, a colossal waste of time in most of our cases. I can't imagine how productive I would be if I wrote over 2 hours a day!

In reality, I don't know what this will look like. What will count as "time for God" remains to be seen. But anything I try is a step in the right direction.

So, there's going to be some changes around here, if the Lord gives me the strength to do it! I will either be setting a timer to control how much time I spend in non-writing computer activities, or I will refrain from them altogether. That second option will be a much bigger challenge, but I already know that this will be a day-by-day test.

So, how about you - how much time do you give to God?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Here We Go Again!

Driving home from work today was total de'ja vu:

*Slushy interstate
*Big flakes falling
*Slippery driveway
*Parking at my neighbors house because I can't slide down my road

Just like when the blizzard hit in December.

This time, though:

*the tub is filled with water
*the cooler is filled with ice and the freezer is making more
*all the dirty dishes have been washed
*I am home alone
*the candles, lighters and flashlights are ready
*we have no back-up heat if the power goes out because the propane truck didn't make it today

I am waiting for my family to arrive. How about a prayer that they make it safely and that we don't lose power with this storm??

If we don't, I'll actually blog this weekend. Promise :-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook, January 19th, 2010

I'm still compiling my thoughts, as mentioned in my previous post. Soon...

In case you didn't notice, I have a new title. For now. :-)

"Pens and Needles" seems an appropriate name for my blog, with all the writing, knitting, quilting, and general crafting that I do. I am NOT the only Pens and Needles blog, however, and the other one also writes and knits (go figure!) So, that name is likely temporary. But, I'm in no hurry to make a decision!

The new background is also temporary, but I felt like I needed a different look too :-)

So on with today's cop-out post...


Outside my window...blue skies, moderate clouds, and NO SNOW ON THE GROUND!

I am thinking...that all this winter weather has me longing for spring!!

I am thankful for...a child who was sick at school but seems to be fine now.

I am wearing...jeans, a pink long-sleeved tee, covered by my ages-old Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt

I am remembering...the length of my list of things to do!

I am going...nowhere any time soon, but hopefully in February!

I am currently reading...Writing for the Soul by Jerry Jenkins, Organic Gardening magazine, and Martha Stewart Living

I am hoping...that my knitting gift will be finished in time for the recipient's birthday! :-P

On my mind...how to waste less time, so I can bear more fruit.

Noticing that...I hear Looney Tunes in the next room, apparently on TV (when did they come back?)

Pondering these words... "Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." - James 4:17 (NLT)

From the kitchen...lunch dishes to be washed, a coffee pot to rinse, and dinner to plan

Around the house...accomplishing a few housekeeping tasks (Thanks, FlyLady!)

One of my favorite things...a warm blanket and my cozy corner of the couch.

From my picture journal...

The '72 Olds that my oldest can now drive SOLO, as soon as we visit the DMV to turn that permit into a license...

Would you like to participate in A Simple Woman's Daybook, too? Then just click here...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm still thinking...

Still no decision on the new blog...except that if I keep getting these Chinese/Japanese/Hindu/WHATEVER spam comments I am absolutely starting over somewhere else. They're so annoying!!

Anyway, I'm thinking lots of things these days - I guess you could say I'm in a state of discontent. (Well, what's new?) So, I am sure that my spiritual state has everything to do with it.

The problem is how to improve it.

I have an idea, but before I put it out here, I'm doing a bit of research. I'll clue you in when I'm finished...

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm thinking...

...about starting a new blog.

But I'm just not sure.

I'm not jumping in too quickly, even though I do think it's high time I start inking a few words here and there. I haven't done that lately, but that's a post for another day.

I've thought about it more than once, because somehow "A Quest for Relevance" just doesn't fit. Others have said they like the name, but I chose it out of nowhere in a hurry and have never really embraced it.

But then there are those lovely links that a few of my bloggy friends might still have that bring folks here, and I'd hate to lose my 2 or 3 readers. :-) I guess I could always redirect them though!

Anyhoo, I thought I had the perfect name: Diary of a Perpetual Quitter. (Because that is TOTALLY me, and I will own it :-)) But alas, it is taken by a reformed smoker. (Also me!)

So I'm using up WAY too many brain cells on this, but I keep trying to find something about the fear of finishing, like "Finishophobia," or something about quitting. Because that is undoubtedly a theme in my life :-)

I want a kinda humorous, tongue-in-cheek, cute name....anything but serious. Because I don't feel like a serious kind of writer, you know?

Any suggestions???

Monday, January 11, 2010


I wonder if I remember how to blog.....


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