January 10, 2011

Alabama Snow

Snow in Alabama is a rarity.  We may have a dusting or an inch or two occasionally, but a real snow hardly ever happens.  The weather channel began predicting a snow for us late last week for last night.  We even talked about it at work on Thursday and Friday, but no one really thought we would get the amount of snow forecasted. 

My childhood was spent in West Virginia.  Sometimes we wouldn't even know it was snowing until we heard the snow plow go up the road.  West Virginia was also well equipped with salt, sand and cinders for the roads.  I remember my dad putting chains on our tires.  He even had snow tires for the car with spikes.  Snow didn't slow us down much -- but ice did.

This area of the nation is just not equipped for snow.  Alabama doesn't have snow plows or cinders.  They save the salt and sand for bridges and overpasses or spots known to be really slick.  Alabama closes their schools and businesses for the "threat" of snow.  My son's school was already closed by 2:30 yesterday afternoon -- it didn't start snowing until 9:00 pm.  Sometimes the school systems will close early and the snow will totally miss us.  I know it sounds silly to those of you who live with the snow, but in truth it really is a good idea for this part of the country.  Driving in snow is definitely not the norm for people around here so the highways become dangerous with inexperienced drivers.  Truthfully, I really enjoy the blessing of a day given to stay home, enjoy the scenery, enjoy the snow, drink hot cocoa, read a good book, and enjoy family time.

Enjoy our photos of the snow in Northwest Alabama:

Enjoy your day!

Judy :)

January 9, 2011

The Master's Wall by Sandi Rog and Other Books

I have been keeping a list of books I am currently reading on the side of the blog.  Last night, I finished Out To Canaan by Jan Karon.

This was the fourth book in her Mitford Years series.  I have read all of the books in this series and enjoyed them so much I decided to read them again.  Jan Karon is a wonderful author.  The reader stays entertained through out the whole book because of her humor and wit.  She has created this wonderful town, Mitford, in the mountains of North Carolina and placed a vast array of characters to live in this town.  Some are funny, some are pitiful, some you dislike, and some you want to take home with you.  There is a priest, an author, town bums, a newspaper editor, a hair stylist, a grocer, a contractor, a couple of orphans, and many other characters to keep the story moving.  Her story is based around an Episcopal priest in his early 60's who is a bachelor.  In the first book, his life totally changes when he takes in a boy and a dog.  His church hires a housekeeper for him and a lovely lady moves next door.  The result is a wonderfully entertaining story that continues for nine books.  Ms. Karon has now started The Father Tim Novels.  She has just released the second book in this series and I look forward to reading it soon.  I believe the reason why I enjoy these books so much is because they are relaxing.  There are plenty of laughs and tears, but there are no leud sex scenes, no cursing, and no fearful moments.  The books have wonderful feel good moments.

I will continue with this series as soon as I read my next book:  The Master's Wall by Sandi Rog.

My aunt mailed me a copy of this book.  My aunt is working to publish her first book and had met Mrs. Rog at some authors' workshops.  This is Sandi Rog's first book and the sales have been wonderful.  The Master's Wall was just released the first part of November so it is fairly new on the market.  Sandi is a Christian and is a member of the Church of Christ.  Here is the paragraph on the back of the book to whet your appetite:

After watching Roman soldiers drag his parents away to their death, David, a young Hebrew, is sold and enslaved to serve at a villa outside of Rome.  As David trains to become a skilled fighter, he works hard to please his master and hopes to earn his freedom.  However, an opportunity to escape tempts him with its whispering call.  Freedom beckons, but invisible chains hold him captive to the master's granddaughter, an innocent girl with a fiery spirit.  David vows to protect Alethea from his master, the murderous patriarch, and contrives a daring plan -- sacrifice his own life to save hers.

I am especially looking forward to the biblical history in the book.  I will let you know how I liked it when I finish.  You can purchase this book on Amazon.com.  

A couple of other books you will see listed on the side are:

Crazy Love by Francis Chan


Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

Crazy Love by Francis Chan is being used by our small group session after church on Sunday Night.  We are reading a chapter every two weeks and then meeting together to discuss it.  Mr. Chan is excellent at making his reader really consider how their love for God is manifested in their everyday life.  I'll write more about this book also when I finish it.  His chapter on lukewarm Christianity was very thought provoking.  You can read more about this book at http://crazylovebook.com/.

I just received my copy of Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst in the mail on Friday.  I'm not sure I know enough about this book yet to be able to aptly describe it.  It deals with loosing weight, but that is not the main focus of the book.  The focus of the book (I think) is to transfer your bodily cravings into spiritual cravings.  I do want to lose a few pounds and thought this book would help me reconsider some cravings while I am working on those few pounds.  She also has some web casts beginning Monday, January 10 to go along with her book.  I look forward to viewing those as I read the book.  This book is purely for my personal development.  You can read more about her book at http://madetocrave.org/.

Just to let you know, Sandi Rog the author of The Master's Wall found out just after the book went on sale that she has A-Cell Lymphoma.  Keep her in your prayers.

Judy :)

January 8, 2011

New Year's Dreams: Day Two

Alright.  The first thing you need to do is to go to the Grocery Shrink's Blog and read her entry on Relationships.  You can click here.

Did you read it?

Good!  Now continue.

Day Two:  Relationships

I have been dreaming about this goal for the past couple of days.  I find that I have been waiting on others to make friends with me instead of taking the initiative to keep up the friendships I already have or create new friendships with people I want to get to know better.  Every month, I want to have people in our home for a meal, relaxation, games, and great conversation and laughter.  I miss the fellowship with other Christians and friends.  I feel our family needs much more interaction with other people instead of the relying on ourselves.  One of my hang ups has been the “my house is never clean enough” excuse.  Let me just say that I am dreaming about that one, too!

I dream of developing a closer relationship with our son who is getting ready to attend college in the fall.  We seem to have fallen into the teenage relationship of parents being on a need to know basis.  I want to ensure a trusting and close relationship as he leaves home.  I’m still thinking and praying on this one to find the way to connect.

I want to continue the time my husband and I spend together.  I feel we do a pretty good job of taking time for each other.  We travel together, search for antiques together, ride to work together (more and more often with the gas prices!), worship together, do some farm work and house work together.  We don’t like to spend a lot of money to be together  – we enjoy being at home!  I would like to do more hiking and physical activity together in the New Year, but I am sure that will be a goal in a later category.

The picture above is of me and my friend, Kerrie.  I met Kerrie when I was eight years old.  She was probably 15 years old at the time…a long time ago when my family lived in West Virginia.  She was always so sweet to take an interest in me.  I remember before she left for college, she took me out to eat and gave me a necklace.  Not very many teenage girls would have taken the time to do that with a 10 year old!  We have kept in touch over the years mainly through Christmas cards.  Imagine my surprise when I saw her at a speech recently!  I probably had not seen her in at least 15 years.  She only lives 2 ½ hours from where we live.  We hope to try to get together sometime this spring or summer.  I really want to keep in touch with people who matter to me.  Kerrie has always mattered to me – she was closest person I had to a big sister!

Enjoy your weekend!
Judy :)

January 7, 2011

New Year's Dreams: Day One

Doesn't New Year's "dreams" sound much better than New Year's Resolutions?  I have resolved many times to do many things around the New Year, but very few of them have actually ever happened.  I decided this year I would begin to list my "dreams" for the New Year.

I was reading the Grocery Shrink's Blog around the first of the year and read her resolutions.  She broke them down into 5 different categories:  Spiritual, Relationships, Physical, Professional, and Financial.  These categories were great to direct me to think through many resolutions I hadn't even considered before.

Go to the Grocery Shrink's first blog on Spiritual Resolutions.  You can click here.  Now, really....go do it!

Are you back?

Here are my "dreams" on Day 1's Spiritual Thoughts:

    Grace by Eric Enstrom

It is my dream to continue my scriptural study and make it daily.  I have been working on reading through the Bible in chronological order since May 26, 2003!  I know...I'm so embarrassed...7 years!!!  This year I want to finish my reading.  In 2010, I had been trying to get up earlier in the morning to do this, but have been extremely inconsistent and have not taken the time to read at night if I did not finish in the morning.  I also think it is important for our children (or others) to see us reading the Bible if we expect them to follow in our example.  I intend to read more in the evening out in the open where my family will know what I am doing.

I dream of keeping a prayer list or journal.  My personal prayer time usually takes place on my drive to work in the mornings.  (I have a 25 minute drive!)  I also say short prayers during the day when thoughts of people in need come to my mind.  This works great for me and I will continue to do this.  This journal would be a great in helping to remember those in need of extra prayers and reflecting how God answers prayers.

I like to keep scriptures to memorize and ponder on the refrigerator or over the sink.  I plan to do this on a more regular basis.  I have done this before and love the understanding that comes from reading and thinking on one scripture or passage day after day.

I also dream of adding another post to the blog entitled Sundays Revisited.  Don't you love it when you read a scripture that you have read may times before, but this time something new jumps out at you that you had never noticed or understood before.  I have experienced that the past two Sundays and I am looking forward to sharing those scriptures with you.
Pray that my "dreams" come true!

I look forward to sharing my dreams concerning relationships tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Judy :)