Friday, September 14, 2012

Encouragement & a Giveaway!

Update:  we have a winner!  Out of 7 comments, chose #2 to win the Dayspring card pack.  SO, congratulations to Randi!  I'm contacting her by email to get her address.  Of course, if I don't hear from her w/in 24 hours, I'll be forced to choose another winner.  Let's hope not - I'd hate to hurt anyone's feelings!

In our church recently, there have been several families who have experienced heartbreaking, tragic losses.  While I will not go into details, I will say that I wouldn't wish these things on my worst enemy, much less on fellow Christian brothers & sisters.  That's why I love Dayspring so much!  Just in time, I received some cards to use to encourage others.  It's no coincidence that Sept. 12 is/was the National Day of Encouragement.  I've used Dayspring cards before, on this day, to encourage others, with great joy to all (including me). I got this set from (in)courage's Inspired Deals page, where we can review a product or share a story of using a product, to encourage others.

This time, I received cards from Dayspring's Compassion line.  If you don't know what Compassion is, just look over to my right sidebar, down a bit.  I sponsor a little boy in India; lots of (in)courage bloggers sponsor children in lots of other countries.  The backs of the cards give a link to Compassion's Child Survival Program - this is priceless, to me.

Several of the card captions are straight out of the mouth of my favorite encourager, Holley Gerth.  She has a way with words like no other, and I LOVE her cards!  What better cards to use than hers, when someone needs a little bit of encouragement.  So I did.  Send encouragement, I mean.  To others.  With these cards.  You should, too.  Bless someone else.  By doing so, I guarantee you will be blessed as well! 

Oh, and guess what!  Dayspring is letting me give away a set of both cards to one of you!  So here's how it works:  IF you live in the U.S., and IF you leave a comment right here (I've set it so you can comment anonymously, and not have a blogging account), I'll choose ONE commenter to receive the cards.  I will choose using, contact you via email, and get your shipping information.  Dayspring will ship the cards to you themselves!  What a deal!

I'll let this go until 6:00 p.m., CDT, until next Friday, Sept. 21.  Then I'll close commenting, draw a name & notify the winner.  Need a "theme" for the comment?  How about this?  Tell us how you've been encouraged, somehow, sometime, in the past.  Easy!  So ready?  Set?  Go!

P. S.  Lawyer's chorus:  Dayspring & (in)courage provided me with these cards for free.  How I used them, and what I thought of them is the personal opinion of my very own self!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eleven Years

The funny thing is, this weekend I watched a movie "about" 9-11:  "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close."  Even after eleven years, seeing those images still makes me ache.  Even though I lost no one, it was close - my sister was on a plane traveling that morning.  Even after eleven years, lives are still shattered.  Even after eleven years, we haven't forgotten.  We will NEVER forget!

"Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless America."  George W. Bush 9-11-01

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where are you, Peggy Sue?

graceful for young women

Hey, squirt! 

     Yeah, you.  The skinny, SKINNY girl with the long stringy hair, no "figure," and the black-glasses-before-Tina Fey-made-black-glasses-cool.  I need to tell you some stuff, so hang on and LISTEN!  See, I know you better than you think.  You worry all. the. time.  About everything.  About SIDS & your baby sister.  About whether anyone will ever like you.  About being invisible (figuratively).  About money.  About school & your grades - NOT that you should worry about those, you nerd.  About getting married & kids, etc.  So STOP it already.  Here's what I want you to know:

It's going to be OK.

Really.  It will.  You're going to grow up, nobody in your family is going to die before they're old, and you WILL get married.  Those glasses are going to fall off in a few years; you will grow boobs; and eventually, your hair is going to look seriously cool.  Two words - David Bowie. 

But I digress.  All that stuff you're worried about?  It all works out.  You do great in school.  You finally figure out what you want to do in life, and you do itYou have those kids - four, not the twelve you imagine you'd like, and they turn into GREAT kids!  Your husband is your "one true love" and you are his.  How cool is that?!  Plus, you get to hang out with kids a LOT - and not to change their nappies, either. 

So stop worrying, already.  All that worrying just gives you upset stomachs.  It also, dear one, takes your eyes off of God - and He's the one taking care of you after all!  Remember to have faith - "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1).  And trust - "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)  Know that "nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)

And, best of all, oh best beloved, He WILL take care of you!  "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 1:6)

Always remember this:  "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11) 

With all my faith, hope, and love,

P. S.  When you finally get there, you're gonna LOVE the beach!!!
P. P. S.  Oh, and the Peggy Sue reference?  It's a movie - you'll like it!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


You know how, a couple of days ago, I was telling you about our new little kitty, who I love to death, but who really doesn't know I'm alive?  The one who I keep trying to pet and love on, but who scampers away after about 2 minutes?

Yeah, THAT one!  Yesterday, she began acting differently - a LOT differently!  Before this, she would let me brush her briefly, then run away.  Now, she's coming to ME to be rubbed/brushed, all the time "talking."  She doesn't really meow; she "squeaks."  So, she's been squeaking a lot more; last night, she must have waked me up four times by "calling" to us.

Then there's the tail wagging.... or rather, the tail END wagging.  When you start scratching her back, she starts arching it, lifting her hindquarters & tail, and then scratching her back feet a bit. 

See where I'm going with this?  I'm pretty sure that she.  is.  in.  heat.  That hussy.  The worst part?  When we adopted her from the shelter, they told us that she had been spayed.  When our vet checked her out, he said that he THOUGHT that he could feel her scar.  SO, we've been resting easy the past four and a half months.  That party's over!

After talking with the vet & describing her symptoms, we came to the conclusion that she probably was "looking for love."  Our next topic of conversation?  What day & how soon we could get her fixed!  We've done the kitten thing once.  ONCE.  That was enough.  As beautiful as she is, and as cute as kittens are, our house is full.  Plus, she's too little to have babies. 

Wednesday.  March 14.  That's D-Day for her & her uterus.  The irony?  A month ago, she was put under anesthesia to have her front claws removed.  If we had only known .....

Stay tuned as updates occur - and they probably will!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Parenthood".... and cats....

Long story short, (yes, I know:  every time someone says that, it's too late) I had a cat - Oliver.  He was uber cute and snuggly. 

His favorite thing was to help you take a nap - that's an acquired skill!  BUT, eventually he decided that he liked my darling daughter PWTH better, and he removed his favor from me.  Then when she got married, she took him to her new home - in TEXAS!  This house was in desperate need of a new, snuggly cat, preferably a very fuzzy one.

See, one daughter got a cat in middle school, and the older daughter stole I mean acquired a cat.  I had no cat at all!  This had to be remedied.  So, the first weekend of November, 2011, we went to the local animal shelter (dog/cat pound), as they were having an open house with half off the adoption fees.  We were looking, hopefully for both a dog AND a cat, having lost faithful doggie Ellie a month before.  But, alas!  No big dog/potential horse there (we like the big ones).  So we went into the cat rooms ...  big mistake.  HUGE!

By the end of our time there, both daughters were crying:  they know the statistics, and wanted to adopt all the kitties & thus save them.  UNfortunately, we had room for only one.  We all start looking/playing/trying to find the cat for us.

There was a six-toed cat (not a Maine Coon, just six toes), a Siamese-type with a bobbed tail, what seemed like HUNDREDS of kittens, and several others, including lots of tabbies (our personal favorites).  After a little while, I decided that we were going to take home a grown cat, as their chances of rescue were much smaller than cute, cuddly kittens.

I kept coming back to this one cage where a little fluffy cat was hiding in her litter box.  We finally got her out - she did not want to come - and started looking at her/playing with her.  Little bitty thing - our vet weighed her at 5.5 pounds and supposedly, she was 2 years old.  She kept trying to go back into her cage, but I couldn't let her go!  Long hair, Persian face (I don't know enough about cat breeds to know if she's full Persian or not), and HUGE brown eyes.  The shelter assistant said that she's the one who will hide all over the room.  This baby was so scared.  Then they told me that her owners had "given her up" because they had just had a baby.  That was it for me - this poor little thing had been abandoned by the only people she knew and trusted!  So we paid our $25 (for a PERSIAN!) and took her home - her name is Allie.  She hid under the car's seats all the way home, and once we got her inside the house, she kept hiding under all the furniture.

Eventually, she started trusting us - somewhat.  She'd come out of her hiding place, see us, and run back in.  (this is where the movie "Parenthood" comes in)  I was so desperate to see her/hold her/cuddle her, that every time she would come out, I'd get all excited and say, "HI, Allie!"  (just like the older mom trying to reach out to her adolescent son in the movie)  Of course, it was instantly BYE, Allie!

But, four months have passed.  She lives in our room, bathroom, and library.  She hangs out in the bidet (true story).  She LOVES men - I think it's their deep voices & bigger hands.  She loves for me to brush her, which is a good thing, considering her fur!  She's gained an entire pound - 6.5 pounds now - which is pretty amazing.  And I SO love her!  She tolerates me - typical cat!  But isn't she beautiful!  

All this to say, adopt a cat or dog from your local shelter or rescue organization.  And don't get too excited if they come out to investigate - you'll just scare them away!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Yesterday being Valentine's Day, I wasn't expecting too terribly much!  It's 1.5 months after Christmas, and only 9 days before my birthday.  So, while I love the fun and romantic feelings of the day, my expectations were low.




Sometime in the early afternoon, my sweet hubby arrived at my office with a braided-trunk azalea in full bloom.  You know what I call that?  Enough!  It turns out, that was just a good start.

When I got home, I walked into the house, to the smell of his signature spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove.  A salad was already ready to be dressed, homemade bread was cooling, and the pasta was waiting to be cooked.

The table was set with "the good stuff" waiting for dinner.

He then presented me with some amazing chocolate-covered strawberries, along with some bubbly stuff to wash it down with. 

He escorted me to the fire burning merrily in the great room - good thing it was a chilly day.  So I relaxed, ate "some" strawberries, and read the newspaper - in peace!

He cooked the pasta, sliced the bread, tossed the salad, and escorted me to the table, FOUR minutes before our usual dinner time of 7 (usually the food hits the table right at 7, on a GOOD day).

While we were eating, he had a cherry pie in the oven.  Know this:  I LOVE cherry pie.  He does NOT.  That's an act of service, believe me!  So, after I was sufficiently stuffed with all that good food, we had cherry pie for dessert.  Yes, he ate some.  Yes, I ate more!

Did I get a gift?  I sure did - about six of them - all acts of service.  Oh, plus the azalea.

Did HE get a gift?  He sure did - a voucher for a driving lesson + 3 driving laps at the nearest NASCAR racetrack!  Who was more excited about their gifts?  It's hard to say - it's pretty tough to compete with everything he did for me.

I love you, sweetie!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Twenty-six years ago today.....


Met this..... 
 While on a date with one of his friends (true story) .....

Which led to this.....
 And then this......

 And all of a sudden, THIS (engagement #1)....
Led to THIS.....

And THIS....

And that night, this (engagement #2!) ......

Led to THIS.....

And this....

 Which has now given me this (3 sons)....

And this (3 daughters!)....


And, after almost 26 years, we're still doing THIS!

Here's hoping you and yours have as happy, and as PROLIFIC, a Valentine's Day as we've had over the years!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

One Sentence Saturday, #4

Join Robin at Pensieve for One Sentence Saturdays!!!

Yesterday afternoon, our youngest child sent us a photo she had just taken of the Eiffel Tower - the REAL one-which means that she's now been to more countries than I have.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Five-Minute Friday: Trust

Lisa-Jo, at The Gypsy Mama, has a 5-minute prompt for a blog post.  This is a new one for me - usually I agonize for 30 minutes or so, making sure all the syntax/grammar/spelling is perfect. 

BUT, the theme is "trust" so I'm trusting that it won't be too awful (that's 1)
I trust that my husband will remember to set the alarm on his side of the bed each night, as I need it to be the first one awake each morning. (2)
I trust that my stove will continue to light, enabling me to cook dinner every night, which is important to me.(3)
I trust that God will continue to provide for us, just as He's done for the past 25+ years (not necessarily the way WE might wish, but always in HIS perfect time). (4)
I trust that even in this economy, my school system will still need me to be one of their psychologists. (5)
I trust that, as 3 of our kids are scattered out of our "nest" (one's in Paris as we speak), God will continue to keep them safe. (6)

That's it!  Five minutes!  Go here and join in the fun!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

One Sentence Saturday, #3

Spaghetti & Meatballs for Sunday Dinner makes my heart sing!!!!

(join in the fun here!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One Sentence Saturday, #2

In the past twelve months, we have married off two of our four kids, sent one other kid to Rome for a semester, and managed to get the fourth (not last) kid back in school, all through God's grace!
Click through here, to see how this works, then join us & link up here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sixteen things you need to know:

I just wrote this to our sophomore-year, college-student, daughter, who's spending a semester in Rome (yes, THAT Rome):

1. Woody came back from Dr. Terry's just as rambunctious as ever, but with a lampshade on his head. Party's at his house!

2. Allie came back from Dr. Terry's not speaking to me - not sure why, as Dad did all the transporting. Time for tuna?

3. Sadie likes me again, but she likes Allie's food better.

4. It's been raining all afternoon, and we're under a tornado watch. Where's Toto?

5. It rained last night a little, but I couldn't hear it in my room. Sad!

6. I made blackberry ice cream; I just THOUGHT that the mint chocolate chip was the best ever.

7. Timothy started looking for the rest of the strawberry ice cream the day you left - 12 hours after you finished it off. Nice timing!

8. Brittney's not been sleeping at night - it was probably her thyroid meds, which were just reduced today.

9. Brittney tricked Richard into eating mushrooms the other day, while avoiding them herself.

10. I tricked both of them into eating nuts in the chicken-breast-stuffing I made last night - they still don't know! And I'm not telling them!

11. Dad & I love you, OH! So much! (shades of Madeline Kahn)

12. I've got 4 1/2 months of work left.... unless I skip out for VBS a little early.

13. Daniel loves you, too.

14. Don't forget that crying works, when you need to get your way - especially if there's a police officer involved.

15. Don't forget to say "Hi" to the Pope for me.
16. You've been waiting for this trip ALL YOUR LIFE! Savor it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm on CNN!!!

Really.  No lie.  I submitted a story to CNN about the "best car I've ever had," and they chose to put mine in a special report (it was my 2001 Yukon XL, which I flipped in 2008).  I'm #7 of 9 if you go here, and I'm in excellent company - two Mustangs, a Porsche, and a Pantera, among others!  So go check it out.  Thank you for your cooperation, and for allowing me to toot my own horn.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

One Sentence Saturdays

 I am more happy in my marriage than I ever dreamed possible, even when "once upon a time"ing as a kid!

Ready, set, go!  (don't forget to link back to Robin) {you can also leave a comment here & share some love with me!}Thanks to Robin at Pensieve, for this neat idea! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dayspring Cards!

(updated:  I've had one taker of my card offer.  Wouldn't more of you love getting a card in the mail?)

Lately, it seems that I only write when I've gotten a major award from Dayspring. Well, in some ways that's true, mainly because I've been letting "life" happen while I savor it, rather than blog about it. So shoot me (not really). Yes, I've missed the opportunity to blog about BOTH weddings we've had in the past year, Thanksgiving, Christmas, AND New Year's Eve/Day. But here I've got some beauty to share with you - Dayspring gifted me with some gorgeous cards, JUST because I was among the first 200 to respond. How could I say no? I couldn't, is all.

These cards came with an organizer, in hopes that I will ORGANIZE my cards, and with it, my life. We'll see about the life part, but the cards & organizer rock! I got a set of birthday cards, and a set of all-occasion inspirational cards. I'd love to link them to you, but I couldn't find the same cards on their website, alas!

Here's the deal: I love to send cards. I just need people to send them to. These are uber-cute ones; not too sappy, and "encouraging." The cool thing is, I head up a ministry at my church that gives encouragement baskets to bereaved members at Christmastime. I LOVE to encourage people! The Bible verse we use is the same one Dayspring used on these cards: "encourage one another and build each other up." (1Thessalonians 5:11) LOVE this! SO, I'll make a deal with you: give me your address, and I'll send you a card - on your birthday, or just because! If you like getting cards as much as I like sending them, we'll all be happy!

You can leave me a comment here; email me; or message me on Facebook - I'm Elaine R. Pool there. OR, if you know of someone who could use a lift, let me know, & I'll send them a card. Let's have fun and share God's love with others!!!

(Oops!  I almost forgot to add the FTC "Lawyers' Chorus)
Dayspring provided me with the cards and organizer free of charge, in exchange for giving an opinion myveryownself.  No money changed hands; these are my opinions, solicited, but uninfluenced!