Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Tag For Me

I've been tagged by Ms. Tami at Toy Cars in My Purse for the Six Quirky Things About Me Tag.
I think I might have done this tag once before a while back, but I'm sure there are enough quirky things about me to do it again :-)

Here are the rules:
Link to the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules.
Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.
Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment to let them know that they’ve been tagged.

Here are my six quirky things:
1. The covers/blankets have to be straight on the bed in order for me to sleep. If they are tucked too tight or untucked completely and jumbled up, I simply can't sleep until I remake the bed and they are completely straight and loosely tucked in. And I have to have a flat pillow... preferably my flat pillow which travels with me everywhere.

2. I always buy the same brand of items my Grandma buys. This sometimes leads to problems when Greg goes to the grocery store for me and doesn't buy my Grandma's brand but buys his or his mother's brand :-) (Let's face it... sweet tea just isn't the same without Dixie Crystals sugar.) I'm just kidding, I'm actually grateful he goes to the grocery store for me at all, but I have been known to return mayonnaise for Miracle Whip :-)

3. I obsessively make lists and cross off or highlight items once they are accomplished. I love the crossing off part, and sometimes will add things to my list I have already done but forgot to put on the list just so I can cross it off. I know... it's a sickness and there is a medication for it but I choose not to take it because research shows that people who make list are likely to make a higher income. I read that statement somewhere in college and clung to it to defend my list making sickness. I tried to find the research on Google, but alas it wasn't to be found. I did find this article about lists however that I found very interesting.

4. I love the idea of being organized. I buy organization containers and boxes all the time but never find the time to actually put all of the stuff I want to organize into said containers and boxes. (I love The Container Store and could spend hours and lots of money there). I am a big pack rat and have lots of things to put in the containers and one day I will have it all together!
Just not any day soon I'm sure. And now after reading the article mentioned above, I'll probably have an entire box of old "to do list" that I will now keep as some sort of journal... since I don't have time to write in my journal like I would like to. (And I think keeping a journal is very important... I'm even teaching a workshop on it at Glorietta this fall)

5. I can't leave a line blank. I am a line filler inner. If the preacher or teacher of a Bible study I am taking leaves one of the lines blank, it drive me nuts. Again... a sickness I know.

6. I usually don't read one book at a time, but have several going at the same time. And buying books is also a sickness. There are about 17 boxes of books in the garage I can't part with (again with the pack rat) that one day I will have enough bookshelves to put them all on. I will have a personal library in my future home that I have when I make more income. I know it will happen because it's on the list.

(By the way, I felt a compulsion to do this tag because... you got it, it's a list.)

Now I know some of you don't like making list so I'm not going to tag anyone specific, but if you can't resist a good list, then consider yourself tagged.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who's Your Daddy/Dancing Queen

I'd be lying if I said that the last few days at home with our new family member hadn't been "ruff." (Sorry I couldn't resist... again). It's really been like bringing home a new baby. Trying to get the sleeping and elimination (if you know what I mean) under control. It's been a little stressful. Anything worth having is going to take a little work and discipline though right?!

But... last night Carol rescued me from my pity party and we went to see the ultimate Chick Flick Mama Mia! I have wanted to see it at the theatre forever, but never made it. So, I had to go see it at the movies. I love musicals and ABBA is one of my favorites. This song is the best. It was one of my favorite scenes in the movie too.

I'm sure it'll be in your head for days now! I know it will be in mine. I really enjoyed the movie although I don't agree with some of the lifestyles or sentiments expressed in it.

In the movie, the daughter is getting married and she wants to invite her father whom she has never met to her wedding. One problem... she doesn't know who her father is and neither does her mother (played by Meryl Streep). It could be one of three different men, so she invited them all. When they all show up, it leads to quite a commotion.

Anyway, there is one particular line in the movie that really caught my attention. There is a scene where the daughter Sophie is having a discussion with one of the possible fathers played by Pierce Brosnan. She tells him she invited them all because she felt like a piece of her was missing and she just needed to know who her father was. She said if she knew her father, she would know "who she is". He replies with something to the effect of "Finding out who your father is isn't going to give you your identity."

I beg to differ. Finding out who your earthly father is certainly won't give you a sense of identity. ( I speak from experience as I didn't meet my earthly natural father until I was almost 13 years old.) But... finding your Heavenly Father will give you your true sense of identity. It will fill any part of you that is missing and you can always cling to who you are in Him.

When you find out who your Heavenly Father is and who you are because of Him, then you'll be a dancing queen too!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Brave Little Soul

This past weekend at Canine Assistants Graduation, Spencer was given a card from some friends who attended the ceremony. Inside the card was this story by John Alessi.

Not too long ago in Heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however the little soul was sad, for on this day he saw suffering in the world. He approached God and sadly asked, “Why do bad things happen; why is there suffering in the world?”

God paused for a moment and replied, "Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people’s hearts.” The little soul was confused. “What do you mean,” he asked.” God replied, “Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their other motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone.”

The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued, “The suffering soul unlocks the love in people’s hearts much like the sun and the rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this - it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer - to unlock this love – to create this miracle - for the good of all humanity."

Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain himself. With his wings fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied, "I am brave; let me go! I would like to go into the world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people’s hearts! I want to create that miracle!"

God smiled and said, "You are a brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help you create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you.”

God and the brave little soul shared a smile, and then embraced. In parting, God said, “Do not forget little soul that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel that you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought, and you will be healed.”

Thus at that moment the brave little soul was born into the world, and through his suffering and God’s strength, he unlocked the goodness and love in people’s hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and came together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy found time. Many began new spiritual journeys – some regained lost faith – many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant family reunited, and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle had happened. God was pleased.

Needless to say, I was moved to tears. Spencer is my brave little soul.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Air I Breathe

You know that song with the line... "He's the air that I breathe, the water I thirst for." I've got that tune running through my head this morning. Partly because I was contacted and asked to write about an opportunity to share with the blogging world. The opportunity or request comes from The Fresh Air fund , an independent, not-for-profit agency, which has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877.

The program is still trying to find homes to place children in the month of August in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Since I don't live in one of those areas myself and can't offer my home, I can at least blog about it to let others know about this opportunity to either be a host home or to donate.

The Fresh Air fund has several programs. One is where host families open their homes to inner-city children for two weeks or more in the summertime. Each Friendly Town community is supported by an experienced local volunteer.

They also have a Camping program and a Career Awareness Program. The programs have been highly supported by designer Tommy Hilfiger who has donated over $2.8 million dollars.

I don't plan to advertise or promote programs on this site on a regular basis, but thought this one was worth highlighting. If you have questions about the program or would like to get more information, you can contact Sara Wilson, the outreach coordinator.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

Whew! What a week. We are finally home from dog camp with Lucia and are very excited to sleep in our own beds tonight. Lucia seems to like her new home with one exception... our stairs. They are pretty steep so she is having a little difficulty getting down them. I'm just waiting on her to wipe out into my foyer table that sits across from the bottom of the staircase.
She is also not sure about where to sleep. She wouldn't stay in the bed with Spencer so we put her in the kennel, just for tonight and now she is barking. It's going to take some adjustment on all of our parts. Please pray we have a good night tonight. We are sort of starting over since this is a new environment for Lucia.

Tonight was graduation and it was awesome. I have a video I plan to post soon, I just have to figure out how to get it uploaded and onto my site. Anyone who knows how to do that... please email me. In the meantime, I want to share a few pictures and a few songs in honor of Canine Assistants Graduation.

This is Spencer with Lucia and Jennifer Arnold, the founder of Canine Assistants.

This is me, Spencer, and Lucia with our new friends Jacob, his dog Eve, and his mom Tracy. Jacob has epilepsy too.

This Spencer receiving his doggie diploma.

They didn't play Pomp and Circumstance at the graduation, but I thought it was fitting... so here it is.

Also, when you see the video of the press conference of when Spencer found out about receiving his dog, (I will hopefully post it with the graduation video) you will see Spencer said his dog would be his new best friend forever. So, since Spencer has a new best friend and because I love James Taylor... here is one of my favorites.

Thanks for joining in this week and for all of your encouragement, prayers and comments during the last two weeks. It's been "ruff" ( I couldn't resist :-) ) but I know it will be worth it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thank you, Thank you very much

I have to apologize for my tardiness in thanking some people for some very special awards I have received over the past few weeks and for not passing them along sooner. Our schedule has been so crazy I haven't gotten around to posting them.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I would like to thank Melissa Mashburn from Mel's World for two very special awards. Mel is a great person that I am getting to know through the blogosphere. If you haven't been to Speaks to my Soul Sunday, you need to visit. You can click over from my sidebar.
The first award is the Art Y Pico award. This award is given to those who inspire others with their creative energy and talents in writing, artwork, design or contributions to the blogging community. It originated here.  I don't know how creative I am, but I am honored that someone feels I've made a contribution to the blogging community.

Jenifer at By His Grace was also kind enough to bestow this award to me. I'm doubly honored.
Jenifer hosts Psalm Friday. I haven't had a chance to post on Psalm Friday yet, but I hope to soon and I am always blessed by reading everyone else's post. You can click the button copied below on my sidebar to visit Jenifer.


The rules for the Art Y Pico award are to link to who you received it from and pass it along to five other people who inspire you with their blogs. I did more than five since I received it 
twice :-) I would like to pass this award along to:

The second award is also from Mel's World and is the Brilliant Weblog award. I thrilled that anyone would use the word brilliant to describe my blog. Thanks Mel.  The rules for this award are to:
1. Pass it along to someone you feel is deserving.
2. Link to or display logo of the person who gave the award to you.
3. Nominate 7 blogs you would like to give the award to and link to them.
4. Leave the nominees a message letting them know you gave them the award.

I would like to pass this award on to:

The last award is the Sharing the Love award and I received it from Christelle at Beloved Mama. Christelle is a true prayer warrior and I thank her for sharing her love and prayers with me and my family. If you would like to join in her prayer team, click on her prayer button on my side bar.

This award was created by Memoirs of a Mommy in honor of her son Noah's heart transplant. Click here to read more about the award. The rules for this award are to pass it along to some people whose blogs you love. They make you laugh, smile, leave encouraging comments on your blog. You would like to share some love with because they have uplifted, inspired, encouraged or prayed for you. I would like to pass this award along to:

Congratulations on your awards and be sure to pass them along. Let's keep the bloggy love going. I'm sure I've missed some people who have prayed for me and uplifted me through their blogs... and I'm sorry if I left anyone out. Please know that if you are visiting... I love ya!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lucia is "the dog"

Hi friends. I just have a quick minute to post, but I wanted to let you know that Lucia is incredible. We have only been with her for a little over a week and tonight she alerted to a seizure before it happened. 

We were at dinner and I couldn't get her to settle down. She was pacing back and forth around the table and acting agitated. I asked one of the workers what she thought was going on. We assumed she might need to go outside to potty. We took her out and she didn't want to go and immediately went back toward the door. When we got in, she started pacing again. Then, about 15 minutes later, Spencer had a seizure. It didn't stop so we had to use the rescue medication. We practiced alerting with her and gave her treats. She didn't want to leave his side after it happened. She has been laying in the bed beside him since the seizure. Spencer is fine now by the way, just tired and sleepy from the meds.

It was so cool to know that she can sense a seizure. Now we just have to train her what to do when Spencer seizes. 

God is good and dog is good too.

Blessings to you. Will be back tomorrow to post some more pics and I have some awards I need to pass along. Please keep us in your prayers as we finish up camp this week.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Faith Lifts

I'm over at Faithlifts today. Click here to join me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

You knew it was coming... the most appropriate song for us this weekend!

We're all surviving at dog camp this week. We went on our first field trip to Wal-Mart today and Lucia did great. All 15 recipients were in Wal-Mart at the same time with dogs. People kept stopping and asking if it was walk a dog day or something. Tomorrow we go to the mall, eat lunch at the food court and to dinner tomorrow night at a pizza place. Learning to control the dogs in public is very important.

Lucia met Mary Lyndsey today and seemed to like her. It's been tiring but fun so far. Thanks again for all of your encouragement and prayers. I'll post more pictures on Monday or Tuesday.

By the way, I'm learning all kinds of spiritual applications while learning to train this dog. Especially with trying to get her to walk right beside me. Also, when traveling through a door, we have to command her to "wait, go through, or behind" for her safety. Sometimes she doesn't want to listen. I'm sure God knows just how I feel :-)

For more information about service dogs and this wonderful program, go to Canine Assistants. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

Meet Lucia... the newest member of the Wyatt Family!
(They pronounce it LOO-Sha after the island, but Spencer is calling her Lucy)
I always wondered what the "Dog Days of Summer" really meant. I knew they were associated with the time period during the summer when the weather becomes unbearably hot. I actually looked it up tonight to see what the exact meaning is. Click here if you are interested.

I have decided to rename the next two weeks our "Dog Days of Summer." Not because of the ancient meaning of the term, but because of a newer connotation...being "dog tired" on hot and humid days. I have to tell you that these last three days of dog camp have me and Spencer "dog tired."

I don't think I realized how much work it would be to learn how to live with a service dog. Work that I know will be absolutely worth it, but hard work none the less. It's not like having a pet. It's more like adding another child to your family.Today was the last day we will drive back and forth from the camp. Starting tomorrow morning, we will be there non stop with the dog 24/7 until July 25 when we graduate. Then she will come home with us.

Today we took two quizzes on the information we have learned so far and worked on commands. The dogs already know approximately 90 commands. Now, Spencer and I have to learn the commands and how to get the dog to obey us. She has to learn our voices and intonations.

Spencer did a great job today. He and Lucia are already bonding. This morning when camp started, she sort of got anxious in her kennel when we came in. Greg was with Spencer and she (Lucia) had not met Greg before. The director wanted to see why she was so anxious and let her out of the kennel to see what she would do. When released, she came straight to Spencer (out of a room of about 35 people) and acted as though she wanted to protect him from Greg. Until we let her know that Greg was a person who was "OK" to be with Spencer, she wanted to protect him. Spencer is "her person" and no one else's. It was pretty amazing to watch.
We rotate between lectures and practice sessions with the dogs. Starting tomorrow we will begin "field trips" where we take the dogs to places like Wal-Mart, the movies and restaurants. It ought to be fun, but a little stressful until we get used to it.

I appreciate all the prayers and encouragement that many of you have sent through emails and comments. It means a lot to us and we still need them, so keep em coming. I will post a few more pictures through out the week, but I probably won't have much time to post until TSMS this Saturday.

Hope you are all having a blessed week.

Midweek Motivation - It's All A Misunderstanding


Have you ever been misunderstood? Your intentions misjudged? Your actions or words misread? It’s not a good feeling. Often, we become hurt and defensive. We begin to question and doubt ourselves. It can lead to conflict without and within.

Click here to read the rest of this weeks Midweek Motivation

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Day at Canine Assistants Camp

Today we attended out first day of dog camp! It was amazing. These dogs are so beautiful and smart. It's a little overwhelming to stand in the room and witness all of the help and hope they will give to their recipients. We met some pretty incredible people today too.

Spencer got to work with a wonderful dog named Lucia today. She will probably be the dog we end up with. She has worked with a volunteer whose daughter has epilepsy before, and was able to detect a seizure prior to onset. We are hoping she will be able to do this with Spencer also.

We immediately fell in love with her. She seemed to love Spencer too. We grew so attached to her in just under two hours that we didn't want to put her back in the kennel and leave her. 
We will return tomorrow and find out for sure if she will be our dog. Starting on Thursday, the dog will be with us full time including overnights. 

I will try to update you guys as the week goes on but the schedule is pretty hectic. Please be in prayer for us as it's a little emotional and stressful even though it is exciting. Spencer had another seizure last night. I think it was from the excitement. 

In the meantime, enjoy these few pictures I took with my Iphone. I will try to take some better pictures later in the week.

Blessings to you!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

An American Girl

I have just returned from the movies where we saw "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl" and it was wonderful! I have to say I wasn't all that excited about seeing it before we went, but I was more than pleasantly surprised. I actually cried in some parts :-) but then again, I cry at Hallmark commercials.

It's a great movie. It provided many opportunities to talk with the kids about giving to others and the fact that not everyone is blessed with material possessions or even food to eat. It also provided an opportunity to talk about a piece of American History... the Depression. I highly recommend seeing it. It's rated G. We all need to support G movies so there will be more of them offered. I'm not Ebert and Roeper but I give it 5 stars.

By the way, here is what Ebert and Roeper did have to say about the movie. They say "see it" too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - Stomp

Happy Saturday friends!

I'm finally home for a few short days before heading off to dog camp next week. Spencer is so excited to finally be getting his new best friend. I am excited too, especially because our seizure activity seems to be extremely high right now. I'm not sure what's going on but we've had more seizures in the past month than in the previous 6 months combined. We had to call EMS for a status seizure yesterday for the third time in three weeks. It was his fourth seizure just this week. It's very discouraging. But I know even in the midst of it... God is still in control.

I was very depressed yesterday after Spencer's seizure. I was driving home, feeling down when this song came on the radio. Instantly my spirit was lifted. The words and the beat totally got me excited about how good God is... all the time. Even when the things going on in my life are getting me down.

I especially like the part when Kirk Franklin talks... "You can't take my joy devil!" and "No weapon formed against me shall prosper...I'm more than a conqueror." Made me feel like having some church! I was having a Holy Ghost party right by myself in my car driving down the road. I know people in the cars next to me thought I was crazy.

Kirk says "It gets me high, up to the sky" and like Beth Moore says "Ain't no high like the Most High!" It was great. By the time the song was over, I wasn't focused on feeling sorry for myself or Spencer. I was focused on "the goodness and fullness of God." This is a song that really made my soul sing this week.

Can't wait to hear about your songs! BTW... GP are you with me?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Fantastic Fourth and other Fun Facts about the Whereabouts of the Wyatts

Well, I know its been several days since I've posted but in my defense, I have been out of town with limited computer access. I've missed reading everyone's blogs this week. 

We are in Greenville visiting grandparents and old friends this week. The kids are also attending Science Camp at Roper Mountain Science Center. Greg is holding down the fort at home.

Spencer and Mary Lyndsey have enjoyed their fun activities at camp so far. Spencer has made flubber, a floating disc and several other experiments. Mary Lyndsey has held a salamander, a millipede, a tree frog, a green snake and touched an alligator. She has also touched a hermit crab, horseshoe crab, manta ray, sting ray and sea urchin. Tomorrow they are looking at butterflies and honeybees.

We have also gotten to catch up with some of our dear friends that we miss so much. Today we went to Chuck E Cheese and Monkey Joes. The kids had a blast. And I got to have great "adult" conversation with my girlfriends.

Spencer has had two seizures this week though, so continue to pray for him.
I spoke at Brookwood Church last night to my sister-in-love's ladies small group. What an incredible group of women. I was so blessed by them. I hope I get to visit them again soon.

We also just returned from a wonderful family trip to The Dillard House for the Fourth of July. I think I gained about 5 pounds this past weekend. We ate so much. The Dillard House is famous for it's country cooking. They have been featured in Southern Living magazine for several years.

We all had a great time. Here are some of the highlights of our trip!

We went gem mining at Sheffield Mines in Franklin, NC. The kids loved getting muddy and finding neat treasures.
We went horseback riding and took a carriage ride. We also got to pet lots of animals at the farm zoo. Mary Lyndsey kept walking around asking "Is your mama a llama?"

We swam in the pool and the kids had a water balloon fight.

We enjoyed a picnic and fireworks for the Fourth of July, and had some good quality family time. Greg and I even managed to sneak in a movie. It was a great weekend.
I'll be back home tomorrow for a short weekend before heading to dog camp with Spencer. 
I'll be sure to post then. Hope you are all having a great week.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Faith Lifts - One of The True Wonders of the World

Hi friends. I'm so sorry we had so much trouble with Mr. Linky for Then Sings My Soul Saturday this past weekend. Thanks for hanging in there. If you didn't get to visit everyone, they should all be up now, so please go back and visit. I plan to read everyone's posts today. I finally have a decent internet connection now that I am not in the mountains.

I'm over at Faith Lifts today writing on another lesson I learned from my trip to Niagara Falls.
Click here to visit.

Hope you had a great 4th of July weekend. I'll be back tomorrow to post pictures from our wonderful family trip to The Dillard House.

Blessings to you,

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Mr. Linky for TSMS

Sorry about the trouble with Mr. Linky. Several of you have emailed saying your link will not show up. I'm not sure what the problem is, but have put in a ticket to Mr. Linky. I am posting another Mr. Linky for anyone who could not post.
Thanks. Sorry for the inconvenience. I'm obviously having computer issues this weekend.
Thanks for being patient.

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - Happy 4th of July

Hi friends,

So glad you were patient and joined in this week. I have been having difficulty connecting to the internet this weekend, so I apologize for TSMS going up late.

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July yesterday and are continuing your celebrations through the weekend. We have so much to be thankful for, especially that we live in a country where we are free to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Happy 4th!