Come along for the Ride!

I am so glad you are here. Stay with us as we travel everywhere. I hope you will enjoy the ride.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm beat! And thanks for the prayers

After delivering our load in Charleston, we found a Walmart for a few groceries. I know it probably seems to you like we go there a lot and we do, but our refrigerator and cupboard space is limited so we have to shop more often. Plus, we get to eat fresher food that way too. Anyway, after getting our groceries put away, I heated up some soup and we had a sandwich. While we were eating we were offered a load picking up in North Carolina and delivering the next day in Rochester, NY. So we accepted and got dispatched on the load. Goodbye sunshine, boo hoo.
I began the drive from that point and we picked up and continued on through North Carolina. We began to notice that the some of the upper ridges of the Smokey Mts. were snow capped. The Smokey Mts. are absolutely beautiful, maybe not as grand as the Rockies, but every bit as awesome. They seem to go on and on, gently rolling along. Yes, the snow is pretty when viewed like that.
Once over the top of the Smokey and down into Tennessee, the snow was on the ground, but still not on the roads. I continued through TN and through Virginia and into West Virginia. They had a lot of snow, the pine trees were just hanging from the weight of the snow. Oh my, I do so LOVE Louisiana.
Once again I had to cross the New River Bridge in Beckley, WV. Have you looked it up on the internet yet? What are you waiting for? I just cannot stand that bridge. I HATE THAT BRIDGE!!! And it is snowy and slippery and windy and I just know that the wind is going to sway me and then I'll slide and end up going right over the side. But I won't die from hitting the bottom, no siree. I figure I will have probably a full minute or more before impact and I will have died from heart failure by then. Oh my, I can not even stand to think about the bridge.
So I tried to think of anything and everything else. I listened to the radio and something did catch my attention. It was a program on Foxnews. I called Starla to see if she could record the end of the show for me and before I knew it, I was on the bridge. "Oh my, Starla, I'm on the bridge, la la la. Oh no, oh my, la la la."
"What bridge?" she wanted to know. "La la la la la. I don't see any bridge, la la la."
"Oh, mom, that bridge. Bill, mom is on the bridge. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha."
Whew, I made it once again, Thank you, Jesus.
I continued to drive us through WV and into Pennsylvania until we reached a rest stop near Pittsburgh, PA. Than Pops took over and I hit the hay. It was snowing hard now and had been for over an hour. I have been driving for over 10 hours straight and my nerves were shot.
I didn't think that I would be able to sleep. There has been so much going on for my family this week too.
Please keep my family in your prayers this week. We have decided that the time has come for my dad to go into a personal care home. This week was his birthday, he is 74. He has been disabled since he was 16 years old due to a motorcycle accident and a few years ago, a drug addict came into his home, robbed him and beat him up with a sledge hammer. His body is really not good. He has almost no eye sight and gets confused with his medicine so going into a home will be good for him. On top of all of that, his house has fallen into disrepair and his water keeps freezing. So, tomorrow is the day he goes. It was not an easy decision, but things did fall into place really quickly. But it is still not an easy thing to do, even if it's the right thing to do.
And I had received a phone call from my son, Tom, asking for prayer. He is having to face a trying time at work and does not know how things will go for him. So I prayed and worried and prayed and worried about all of that too. I have been keeping God busy.
But I did sleep and I slept well although short, from 12:30am to 5:45am. It felt like only 1 minute had passed, but time to get up, we are almost at delivery. Then we can rest.
Or not, once we delivered that load to Kodak, we pulled into a truckstop and got a bowl of cereal and a banana and coffee. We were offered another load, and another load and then another. We accepted each one and ended up with one picking up in Buffalo today, Friday, and delivering today in Kent, Ohio. So up and at 'em.
Pops was still on the clock, I didn't have my legal 10 hour break yet, so he continued to drive to the pickup. It was real close (as in 1  block) from Lake Erie. I tried to take some pictures but it was snowy and gloomy.
We stopped for a quick break and then I drove. We made our delivery and was offered a layover option for Canton, Ohio. So here we are at a TA truckstop right where we do all of our training for FedEx.
Thanks to all of you who prayed for our family, who have called and been supportive and encouraged my sister too.
She will need prayer for awhile, it will be as big as a transition for her as for my dad. Pray for him and for the staff of the home as they all adjust to each other. Pray for my son, Tom and his unspoken situation. Continue to pray for Melvin, and for Ralph and Kelly (who are away on a "Romantic getaway.) And pray for me and Pops. We just celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary on Thursday. Wow!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Got a load

We kept getting load opportunities, but as soon as we would "accept" the load we would get a notification that someone else got the load. Finally around 4:00pm a load came across leaving Houston around 6:30pm and delivering in Charleston, SC on Thursday morning. It was a Hazmat load. We accepted and got the load.
We got busy immediately and got going. We were about 10 minutes to pick up because of having to go through Houston right during rush hour. But we got loaded, (one small pallet) and got moving. I drove first and got us through Texas and just into Louisiana. Pops wanted to take over then so that we wouldn't be driving out of rotation like we did last week. So I went to the bunk while he drove us through Louisiana, Mississippi, and most of Alabama. I did feel him crawl into the bunk for about an hour during the night.
We are now just inside Georgia and have stopped for a break.
Once we get moving, I will be driving.
Please pray for my family this week. There is a lot going on and everyone is on edge. My sister is not sleeping, Starla is worrying and feels pulled apart. I feel helpless and frustrated.  I will fill you in on all of that later.
Keep Melvin in your prayers, although I hear that he is doing much better and beginning to eat "them out of house and home." hahaha
Please keep Pops and I in your prayers. Financially we are not doing well right now. We missed a lot of work over the holidays and are now playing catch up, but we're not "catching up." Know what I mean? I am hoping that our truck holds up and we can keep getting loads. We don't get paid to sit still.
Talk to you more later.
Love, Noni

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quick update

We are still in Texas although we have left El Paso. Yesterday, Monday, we drove to San Antonio to meet with our truck owners. They gave us some necessary paperwork and got started on the state and federal inspections of the truck.
We had coffee and chatted with them for several hours. It was good to see them. Tate and Shirley are good, down-to-earth people. They have hearts the size of Texas. We enjoyed spending time with them, even if Tate is "waiting" for my dogs to die.
Once we left them, we drove on through to Houston. We got our inspections done today. So now we wait for a load. There are so many trucks here in Texas, we might wait a long time. I hope not.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trucker's Chapel at the Petro truckstop in El Paso, TX

Church in El Paso

Well due to circumstances beyond my control I thought that we would not be attending church today.
We did get calls back from a church in El Paso, Celebration Christian Church, and yes they have parking available for our truck. Services started at 9:30, so we were all set but it was not to be. I cannot go into why we couldn't attend there but we did go to church.
I was upset thinking that maybe we wouldn't be able to go and Pops suggested the truckstop service. He had picked up the tracts inside and had looked them over and thought that we could go there and rightly divide.
So that is what we did. We walked up to the chapel/trailer at 9:30 or so we thought, but El Paso goes by Mountain time so we were an hour early. So we waited. There were some others there already too.
The church soon filled up with some homeless people, truck drivers and several passers by. I was impressed to see it full.
It was a very casual type of service, but everyone was friendly and talkative with each other.
We started with a song and then prayer. Then the minister got into the message. It was a very, very good message about the basics of the bible and christianity. I found no fault with anything he said. He used a lot of scripture and seemed to have a good interpretation of them. He held everyone's attention.
He did not give any kind of invitation at the end except to state if anyone had any questions or concerns they could stay after.
We did have communion although some refused it. Overall, it was a worship of our Lord and Savior that fulfilled me and left me feeling complete. It is good to know that I can find others who love God where ever I am.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Birds (screech, screech, screech)

This is just SOME  of the birds that flew in here to roost the last 2 nights. It is kind of creepy watching them come in.

crawdad mounds

2 million bonus points for Jeff for finding out that my "mudstacks" are crawdad mounds.

Berean Christian Church

Scenery on the way to El Paso


Lucy watching Pops, she is a good co-pilot. haha

Sign at the Berean Christian Church in Houston, TX

Pops with Yucca

Memphis Snow

This is snow that came before the ice in Memphis.


I've seen ones with longer horns, but these were closest to the road.


I talked about these before. Chucky had this one in his foot when we stopped on our way to El Paso.


This is a chayote. It is a small squash from Mexico.

Friday, January 21, 2011

El Paso

We finished our laundry and wrapped up our conversation with Ralph and gave him a big hug and got going. When we got out to the truck there were four messages from our company wanting to know why we hadn’t left yet. I really was in no hurry especially since Ralph told us about the storm and all of the wrecks he saw.
But I made a fast pot of coffee and away we……crawled? We no sooner got on the highway and traffic was at a crawl. Every hundred yards or so was someone in the ditch or in the median. I never saw so many wrecks. It was black ice, nature’s nightmare. Traffic was so backed up for so many miles. We drove 15 mph for over an hour. It took me 2 hours to get 48 miles. Pops was exhausted and went to lay down.
I finally made it to Memphis and things were looking a little better as far as the weather. Most of it had gone through now and crews were trying hard to clean up. I’ll bet tow truck drivers made a fortune that night.
Once I reached the Mississippi River Bridge and got across it into Arkansas the roads were much better. I actually could drive 55 mph now, and traffic had thinned down. It was almost 11pm. I talked to my sister on the phone for awhile. I sure do miss her.
I passed the factory for Loreal and Maybeline, I think it was Little Rock, Arkansas. Check your makeup and let me know. I am pretty sure, Little Rock. I also saw the factory for Ocean Spray and Morning Star Foods. It is cool to see where these familiar items are produced. Fruit of the Loom comes from Mississippi. Crayola is Pennsylvania.
I called my friends at Rest Assured and talked to JoAnn. I knew that someone would be there working and figured I could say a quick hello without disturbing their work too much. It was good to hear her voice. I miss my friends from there and the residents.
When it was Pops’ turn to drive we were about to enter Dallas. I stayed awake to help him navigate through Dallas and Fort Worth and then I hit the sack. I slept good! I woke up once when he stopped to go to the bathroom and then right back to sleep.
When I woke up again we were at a rest stop in the desert of Texas somewhere. I got up and went inside. While walking in I noticed a man sitting on the bench outside with an army duffel beside him. I looked at me and smiled and I smiled back. When I came out Pops asked me if I had anything to make a sandwich. I figured he was hungry but he said it was for the man. He was a Vietnam vet on his way to California and he needed something to eat. He never asked for a ride (which we couldn’t give anyway) or for any money.
I had some chicken in the refrigerator so I heated it up and melted some cheese on it and put it on a bun. While it was heating I packed up some other stuff we had, applesauce cups, an orange, a banana, 2 bottles of tea, some cookies, some potato chips and a yogurt and gave those to him as well. He thanked us over and over again. It feels so good to help someone. Pops and I felt good all day long. And to think last night while driving I did a lot of thinking about how I eat too much and how can I stop eating so much.
We passed a place where Border Patrol was pulling people over to check their vehicles. We passed a rest stop that didn’t have pavilions, it had tee pee with picnic tables inside them, we saw a lot of awesome scenery and a lot of sand. I mean a lot of sand.
We did catch a glimpse of the Rio Grande River when it came up next to the interstate we were traveling. Mexico is right there, Wow.
We entered El Paso and I was amazed. It is a big city in the desert. They have everything here, every store or business you can name, I think it is here. I was surprised. I thought it would be different. How can the desert sustain all of this?
Anyway, we are probably here for a while. There are 5 other FedEx trucks here too. And I am told not much if anything comes out of here. I hope we don’t sit for a week, but a day or two would be nice. I’m beat.
I love all you. I will talk to you later.

What a Week!

Oh my what a week! I have so much to tell you, I don’t know where to begin and I hope I don’t forget anything.
We had a very nice layover in Houston and enjoyed watching the Ravens/Pittsburgh football game at the TA truckstop. Believe me, we had the best commentators, hahaha.
We got a dispatch around 10:30 Monday morning for a pickup near Houston at a chemical plant and delivering in Mass. On Wednesday. It was a hazmat load, but we accepted and got the load.
We headed out to pick up the load. I was excited for the long trip and good pay but I hated the thoughts of going back up North. Oh well, suck it up.
We arrived at the chemical plant and had to go through a “training process.” We had to watch 2 videos and then take a test. No Pets Allowed in through the gates so I had to wait outside while Pops went in for the delivery. At least it was warm and sunny and I kept my book and my phone.
Pops left and had to go through a total vehicle inspection. They looked through my cupboards, all our compartments and under the hood and everywhere. Whew! I guess security is a good thing.
While I waited I talked to Starla on the phone for awhile. And I read for awhile. And I watched the field of longhorn cattle for awhile. I waited for 1 hour and 5 minutes before he got back and away we went.
I was starting the drive so back through Houston past the lake. We saw an area on the lake where pelicans were feeding. There were a good many there. Flying and landing, catching a fish and taking flight again. Interesting.
All along the rural roads are ditches. Some are empty some are not. But what I found intriguing was “mudstacks.” All along these ditches were mudstacks about 6-8 inches high with a hole in the top. I have no idea what they are or what makes them. Research anyone?
We were not very far from Houston when I got pulled over for a DOT inspection. These happen rather frequently, I’m told, but this was only my second one so I was nervous. I couldn’t get the windshield washers to work when he asked me to, so I got wrote up for that. And one of our hazmat placards had blown off so we got wrote up for that and for not having an extra one. We needed to replace the placard right away or risk a ticket if stopped again so we stopped at every truckstop along the way looking for one. But because it was a rare “spontaneous combustible” we couldn’t find one. So I asked a cashier to make us a colored copy of the one we had on the other side and we covered the copy with clear duct tape and voila, good as new.
Somewhere in Virginia I got behind a Batesville Casket Truck. The motto on the back said, Drive safely, Heaven can Wait. Okay, I will.
Later on, still in Virginia I got behind another Batesville Casket Truck. His truck said, The best choice your family will make. Wow. Then when I stopped to pee at a rest stop there was a sticker on the mirror that asked, “Are you Virginia’s next traffic fatality?” And then… Pennsylvania I saw a billboard that asked if I was ready to meet God. Is someone telling me something, or what?
The rest of the trip up was pretty uneventful. We arrived a little early to our delivery and they got us out of there pretty quickly, no security here.
We were already dispatched for a trip to Maine for pickup for the same day and then it delivers in El Paso, TX on Friday. We are gonna have to hustle. So Pops drove us up to Maine. The whole way up to there it poured down rain. I guess that was better than snow. I looked everywhere for a moose but never saw one, which everyone said was a wonder. They are plentiful up there. Maine is 90% forest or wetlands. I learned that while there.
Pops got us back through New Hampshire and Massachusetts and then it was my turn to drive. Somehow we had gotten out of rotation and I was doing a lot of night driving now, but Pops is sleeping better than he has since we started this job.  We made a quick Walmart stop and then on our way.
We had pretty good weather for the longest time. I drove through New York, New Jersey, PA, Maryland, WV, and part of Virginia, then Pops drove us through the rest of Virginia and Tennessee until about 60 miles from Memphis. We stopped to do laundry and shower. Guess who showed up there? Our good friend and brother from church, Ralph. What a joy to see someone we knew. He is doing so good as a new truck owner, but I can see how much he misses his wife, Kelly. When he talks about her you can see his love for her.
Well we have to get going a storm is coming and I have to drive, oh boy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Berean Christian Church

"from every nation, tribe, people and language: 'Salvation belongs to our God...and to the Lamb.'"
Pops and I attended the Berean Christian Church in Houston, TX this morning. There were 3 services going on at one time. The Hispanic service, which is the largest with an average of 75 people, The black service which about 20 people attended, and the english service that we attended. We had 8 people in our service. But what a service it was.
We did not have Sunday School. We went into a rather small room. The evangelist was seated in front. His name is Daer Platt. He told us that he is 71 years old.
He explained that years ago that area was mostly white but over the course of the last 20 years it had changed to mostly hispanic. And the church adapted as well.
They are a very active church apparently. They have a food pantry, a prison outreach, an adopt a child ministry which sounds a lot like the angel program at Wills Mt., and also a ministry that sees to the needs of the elderly.
We sang several of the traditional hymns from the hymn book and then had the Lord's Supper. Next Daer gave a wonderful message entitled, Not another Question. His scripture came from various questions that Jesus ask all through the book of Mark. His message was on the humanity of Jesus in contrast with the diety of Jesus. The message was so good that Pops asked him for a copy of the outline. He is going to email it to us. Another thing that made the message so good was Daer voice. When he preached he sounded like the dramatized version of the Bible on CD. And he was very knowledgeable.
It was definately a good worship experience for us and we will go there again for sure.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Some pix

Little Steeler Fans

New Orleans-12/31/10

snow and flowers in TX

Ice in the toilet!!!

Atlanta, TX- snow

still more snow in Texas

Saturday, layover

I don't want to sound like I'm gloating, really, but it was sunny 61 degrees today.
This morning when we got up I made oatmeal with dried cranberries and walnuts for breakfast and then we decided to go for a big walk. We took the dogs and headed out. We spotted at least 5 FedEx Custom Critical E trucks here. E trucks are tractor trailers. We didn't see any like ours, (D.) We talked to a couple of the other drivers.
I was busy today starting to gather and organize our stuff for tax preparation. I also had to balance the checkbook and take care of the mission checks for church. I was busy clear up until 3:00 or so. Pops was busy too, trying to better his score at hearts.
Around 4:30 I started to make supper. I decided to make salmon cakes, corn and slice some tomatoes. Instead of cracker or bread crumbs in my salmon, I used french fried onions. They were so good. I am glad that we have leftovers.
After getting all the dishes cleaned up and my place in order, we are now listening to the divisional playoff game between the Ravens and the Steelers. I would have to say that where we are from in south western PA, this is the greatest football rivalry. My family are Ravens fans except for our traitor daughter and her husband,  who used to hate the steelers and their fans. I think her car accident messed up something in her brain, haha. My husband, and my two sons, My husband's brother and his whole family except for his silly son-in-law are all Raven fans. My brother and his whole family are steeler fans. A married couple from our home church are split, he likes the Ravens, she likes the other team. So there has been much trash talking going on all around us. Needless to say we all watch or listen to the game and wait on pins and needles as the officials make good or bad calls and when it's finally over, there will be a whole lot of talk going on all over the internet and texting among the phones. Oh boy, honestly, I don't care about football at all. But I do so enjoy watching and listening to all the hype.
One of the churches called me back today. They told me their service time is 11:00am and that parking is not an issue. I ask what time Sunday School started and was told, "We don't have Sunday School for our english speaking group. They are our smallest group." Oh, ok. Interesting. I can't wait to see how this turns out.
I'll let you know.


Baytown, TX - 01/15/2011
Cloudy icon
Current Temp: 61°F
Current Condition: Cloudy
  • Sat
    53 - 60°F
  • Sun
    47 - 59°F
  • Mon
    Mostly Cloudy
    Mostly Cloudy
    50 - 60°F
  • Tue
    Partly Cloudy
    Partly Cloudy
    46 - 65°F
It hasn't rained today yet, as a matter of fact, it's been pretty sunny.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dry Run

We could not sleep. We kept getting interupted with load offers, none of which we were interested in really. And then at 1:45 I received a text that my friend, Amy had just passed away. Thank you for your prayers for her, please continue to keep her family in prayer. I already told you that she lost her first husband when their children were early teens and had just remarried this past summer.
I got an update on Melvin, he is doing some better. I am told that he is sneaking sweets when his wife isn't looking. haha Way to go, Melvin.
We did get another load offer late this morning for an all in Texas, all today load. It was a hazmat load that paid about average but would leave us in Dallas when we were through. That is a good place to end up, so we accepted the load.
We got all of our info from the computer, did our paperwork and took off for the pickup. When we got there the workers were on lunchbreak so we waited. When they were ready we backed in, got loaded and Pops was putting on the placards. I had to pull forward so he could shut the doors. After all of that, I called in our departure call and the dispatcher asked me what temperature we had it set on. What? We do not have a temperature controlled truck!! I told her that and she said we would have to off-load and they would have to send another truck. Oh no, a dry run!
So I backed back into the dock and the shipper came out and wanted us to take the load anyway. We told him that we couldn't because FedEx told us not to. We got the stuff unloaded, removed the placards and shut the doors and that was that. We did get "compensated," but compensated won't even pay for a good meal for the two of us out somewhere. Oh well, It wasn't meant to be I guess.
So we drove back to Baytown, a suburb of Houston, to the TA and here we sit. I already have 3 churches picked out for Sunday. I sure hope one of them calls me back so I know about parking.
Oh well, at least it is warm and there is no snow here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Warm and Sunny South, Not Today.

Well we left the blizzards of Pennsylvania for the warm and sunny south, or so I had hoped. I started the drive and it was snowing so hard and fast in PA. We crossed into WV and same thing. I figured by the time we hit KY or at least TN we would be done with snow but Mother Nature had other thoughts.
We had snow through Arkansas and into Texas!!!
Arkansas in some places had 8 or more inches too. We crossed into Texas this morning before lunch and stopped at a rest area in Atlanta, Texas. There was flowers still blooming but they were surrounded  by snow. Not a lot of snow, but snow on the ground and it was cold. I went into the rest room and I kid you not, there was a thin layer of ice in the toilets. I ran back out to get my camera, but it didn't show up on the picture. Sorry.
We drove a good ways into Texas before we didn't see snow anymore. It was kinda funny watching the horses and cows on the ranches walking around in their pastures of snow.
The internet said that yesterday every state of the 50 had snow on the ground except for Florida, well I believe it.
We delivered our load in Houston and the man came out all bundled up and he was growling about the cold. I asked him about normal winters here and he told me that he grew up here and only twice has snow ever laid on the ground that he could remember, but that normal temps. for this time of year are in the 60's. It was 38 degrees there today.
After we got our load off we headed to Walmart because we had no groceries at all in the truck. And we were hungry. So that is done.
Now we are sitting at a TA truckstop in Baytown, Texas on layover. I hope they give us a good load tomorrow. But if not we could be somewhere worse, I'm sure.
I have some pix of snow in Texas I will get on as soon as I can.
PS: Prayer Warriors, please pray for friend of mine, Amy A., she is near death with Cancer. She was just diagnosed a few days before Christmas. She has two sons. Their dad died when they were young boys. Pray for this family, please.
Also, please pray for my sister, Amy. She has not been feeling well at all lately. She works too hard and too much and has many things to deal with. She needs prayer for strength and she needs encouragement. I love you, Amy.
Also, continue to keep our elder, Melvin, in prayer as he is waiting for infection to drain from his gall bladder so that he can undergo surgery. He has been sick a long time and needs strength back.
There are so many more, Annette for comfort and support, Tom, who has been dragging around stomach virus and cold for more than a week now, Sheryl who has 2 growths that need to be removed and biopsied. God is good all the time, and His will will be done.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Heading out

Yesterday our son, Drew, came for a visit. His plan was to stay for a few hours and then into Berlin, the little town he grew up in, to see a High School Basketball game.
Our truck was done at the shop and needed picked up so Pops and I were going to go get it, a trip which normally can take 2 hours, but since Drew was here Starla elected to go with Pops so I could visit with Drew. She is great like that. Thank you, Starla.
Drew and I put in a rented movie but we didn't really catch the first 45 minutes because we were talking and visiting. It was The A-Team Movie. Our boys loved this television show when they were kids. Then we got down to actually paying attention to the movie. It really was good. It really followed the old lines of the TV show and I enjoyed it.
When Pops and Starla returned she got busy making supper. Pops had put our truck into service immediately so load opportunities could come at any time so I got busy re-stocking the truck, making the bed and cleaning the floors. Drew decided to leave a little early since it was snowing so hard.
It wasn't long before the phone rang. Load Opportunity, I thought. But no, it was Drew. He was in a predicament. His car wouldn't make it up the steep mountain roads out of our valley and he tried to turn around and come back only to slide up next to the guardrail. He needed help because he was afraid of sliding into the rail. So Pops, Starla and I grabbed the bag of salt, shovel, gloves, coats and boots and took off to help. I had also brought along a set of rubber, studded tracks that I had purchased somewhere that were supposed to go under the wheels and give traction. They were still in the pack, we had never used them.
We found Drew about 2 miles away, just as he had said up to the guardrail, but not yet touching it. Pops shoveled all around his tires and I put the tracks under the front wheels because they are the ones that had been sliding. They voted for me to drive while they pushed the front end away from the guardrail. It worked easily and then Pops and Drew got into his car and Starla and I brought the truck back. It looked like Drew would be spending the night.
Starla finished supper and Bill got home from work. I was still packing up the truck. Drew was on the computer and Pops was sitting in the kitchen talking to Starla. Load opportunities did start coming. But we declined several for various reasons.
Before long it was bed time. At least I figured I better get some rest in case we had to leave early. I fell asleep right around 11:00PM. I woke up to the phone ringing at 12:40AM. It was a load opportunity and I took down all the information. Pops had gotten awake too and he listened. We decided to accept this load so then we had to wait to see if we were confirmed as having it. That took about 15 minutes but we were on the load. It is picking up 1 piece near our state capitol and going to Lake Jackson, TX for Thursday. We have been to Lake Jackson before it is a beautiful, upscale neighborhood south of Houston. It is where I took the pictures of the Stephan Austin statue. Remember that?
I am wondering since it is just 1 piece if it is going to the same location that we went to before when we went there. That had only been one piece too.
So you think I would rest easy now knowing that we don't have to leave until about 10am and I have everything packed and ready, but no, I couldn't sleep at all. And I can't get up and go downstairs because I don't want to interfere with Drew's sleep, so I lay as still as possible, wide awake and tried to make myself sleep. I finally did doze some off and on and then just got up and came down to the kitchen around 6:00AM.
I drank some coffee and played cards on the computer until seven and then got a shower and then did some laundry so that everything is clean before we leave here.
I wanted to get this blog posted before leaving too. Because who knows when I will get another opportunity.
So here it is now 8:00AM. Everyone else is still sleeping.
We will be leaving here around 10:00AM. Drew will probably leave around that time too and Bill usually goes to work then also. That will leave Starla and Boots here alone. Ahhhh. A sigh of peace and quiet, and a chance to get the house back to it's original order. I know what she is thinking. Although it will also be, I think, a little bit of a lonely time for her too.
I know everytime we leave, it is excitement and getting back to normalcy but also, bittersweet and sad to be leaving. My good friend, Jeff, told me goodbye last night. I miss my friends already.
Our load picks up today, Wednesday at 2:00 and delivers in Texas tomorrow at 10PM. We will have to hustle. I am glad to be going away from where I perceive all the snow to be. The north and east has really gotten a lot. I don't know what is waiting for us. But like I said, some kind of normalcy, I guess.
Take care and God Bless you all.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Share your testimony

Here are a list of questions that will help you write or tell your testimony to others. Remember the gospel of John says, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation.
Answer these questions and send them back to me in a comment to this post.
Let's share our faith.
Here are the questions:

-Sunday:  Where was I born, to whom and what kind of childhood did I have?

-Monday:  How old were you when you first remember hearing about Jesus and who told you about Him?

-Tuesday:  Did your family know about Jesus and what were their feelings about Him.

-Wednesday:  How and when did you come to realize that you wanted Jesus to love you?  When did you realize that you wanted to love Jesus?  And how did you go about loving Him?

-Thursday:  When were you baptized, give details:  where, by who, what kind of day was it and who was there? Acts 2:38 tells us we must be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit living inside us. Romans chapter 6 also gives us more insight on why baptism is essential.

-Friday:  How involved were you when you first became a Christian?  How often did you attend church and what services did you perform, if any?

-Saturday:  How involved in the church are you now?  How do you share your faith?  Do other people know that you are a Christian?  How can they tell?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

By the Grace of God

Our First Place Ladies at church have been doing a study on Grace for the past 11 weeks. We are asked to give our testimony, so here is mine. This is my story.
God is so good. He’s so good to me. His grace is sufficient to cover my sin, to make me clean, to make me an heir with Jesus. I am a child of God, simply because He loves me.
I am a first born child, which some people say explains why I am so bossy and controlling. I like to think of it as leadership tendencies. My parents didn’t have very much money but we always had plenty of love to go around. My dad was disabled from the time I can remember from a motorcycle accident when he was only 16 years old. In my early childhood my mom didn’t work. I don’t know where our income came from, I have no idea. Like I said, we didn’t have much. We shopped at the Goodwill and gladly accepted hand me downs from other people.
My parents took us to church. We had a lot of people there who helped us. They gave us boxes of food and car rides when ours wasn’t working.
I always knew about Jesus. I heard about Him in Sunday School and Bible School. I loved going to church because I felt loved by my Sunday School teachers.
Jesus became “real” to me during a week of summer church camp. Some of the older kids were being mean and teasing me that day. (I can’t remember why.) And the sermon was about how Jesus is our friend in times of trouble. I needed Him as my friend.  I began daily bible reading from that night forward. I listened more seriously during Sunday School and church. I responded more in class and sang louder during services. I wanted to know more about God. I wanted to know more about the bible.
I had great teachers during that time that really got involved with the young people. They did things with us like movie nights at their home, taking us to the mall, and sleep over studies at the church. I loved feeling like I belonged somewhere.
Even though the teachers were great, some of the teens were not. I knew that I would never fit in with their crowd. Even some of the adults snubbed my family. I started noticing other things that didn’t seem to be what I thought God would like in His church. Some people even seemed “fake or phony.” I began to fall away from the church although I never stopped my daily prayers and bible reading. I did not want to let God down. I had a good faith in Him just not so much the church.
When I met Bill and found out that his dad was a preacher, of course I wanted to come to his church. I noticed right away that it was different from the only church I had ever attended. It was smaller. The people were more down to earth. It reminded me of the country church from the tv show, Little House on the Prairie. And his dad preached a good sermon called, Seven ducks in a muddy pond.
As I continued to go to church with Bill I began to see the truth being taught there. There was nothing fake or phony feeling here. It felt like a family. Everyone seemed to really care for each other.
After Bill’s dad died, his brother Buck became our preacher and our church grew and strengthened after going through a bit of a hard time.
Through Buck’s urging I became more involved in service.  I got baptized when I realized that I needed to have salvation; when I finally grasped the scriptural reasons for baptism. That is when I began to really grow as a Christian. I studied even more and started to teach the teen class.  I got more involved in every aspect of the church. I was there as often as I could be. I wanted to be.
The Christian life is real to me. It is real to my husband. We have tried to raise our children to love the Lord. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that would make me happier than to know we did a good job raising our kids that God entrusted to us. I would hope that God could be pleased with how we did.
I understand that every human has the freedom of choice when it comes to loving God and having a relationship with Him. And that includes our children. I sometimes wonder what I could have done differently to help them have a clearer understanding of the love of God. But now I just trust God. I trust my children. I have to trust their judgment. I continue to pray for their souls everyday.
 I know that Satan would like to snatch away anything that is good. I know that Satan has very strong powers. I know that he is a great deceiver and many people believe his lies.
But I know that my God is greater, He is bigger. And I know that in the end Satan and his followers will be defeated.
Whose side are you on? God is good. God is real. He is our refuge and our strength, our very present help in times of trouble. He gives grace even before we realize that we need it because He loves us so much. Nothing you can do or have done is more than God can forgive. He loves you and so do I.
Do you believe that? Do you have faith that God can love even you?
I know that you have committed sins in your life, we all have. No one is good all the time. I know that when I do something that I know to be wrong, I feel bad. I also know that it displeases God, my family, and I am upset with myself. I don’t want to do bad things, yet sometimes I still do. God will forgive you. Ask Him to. Be sincere and then ask Him to help you not to do these things again.
Do you believe in your heart that Jesus is God’s son? Do you believe in Jesus as the Redeemer of your sins? Would you be willing to make that confession in front of people?
Baptism will wash you clean, it will remove your sins. You will be baptized under the water (like being buried) into Jesus’ death. When you come up (resurrect) you will be new. You will have the Holy Spirit now living inside you. From this moment you are a child of God.  Now go and live like a child of God. Do all you can to make God’s Kingdom on this earth grow and prosper. It is up to you.

Some pix

Christmas present opening

Hunter's new bow


Some of my favorite guys: Pops, Hunter, Zachary, and Frankie

Cat wrestling

You're next, Boots. Run.

The rest of girl's day

Funnel cakes were a good idea, right? Well... I mixed up the batter and Kailey wanted to go first. I showed her how to hold her finger on the end of the funnel until over top of the oil. Then take your finger off and "swirl." She accidently got her arm against the fryer and burned herself, slightly. Then she got down to business and created a great funnel cake.
Ally was next and she was a pro. Hers came out so pretty and golden brown.
Starla didn't want to make her own so Kailey volunteered to make hers.
I made mine next and then Kailey wanted another one.
Lastly, we made an extra one to put away for Hunter, although I don't think it will make it until then. Oh well, Hunter, we thought about your, buddy.
After eating our cakes Kailey accidently sprayed Starla with powdered sugar and thought it was funny so she did it again on purpose. Then Starla got her back and war broke out. Until Noni stepped in with the voice of reason, "Someone is going to clean this mess up and it's not going to be me." Somebody's has to be that girl, ya know.
We did have a good time.
Now we are are watching "Dinner with Schmucks." I saw this movie already. This is one of the movies that I bought a few months ago when a group of us made a New York City trip and got chased by the Chinese. Never mind that. Anyway, it is a good movie. I think the girls will like it.
Kailey making her funnel cake

Final product

Allison making her funnel cake

Ally's final product

After the battle

It's a girl's weekend

Pops, Bill and Hunter got up at 2:00am and left for Ohio for a weekend of hunting deer. Pops has only gotten to go 2 days this year and Hunter is such a little hunter that they decided to go for the last 3 days of the season. So......
That left Starla, Allison, and Kailey and me. We thought we needed to do some girly stuff so shopping of course.
Once we all got up (Kailey slept really late,) we got moving and went to Cici's Pizza for lunch. We all had some of our favorite kinds of pizza. I had 2 bowls of soup it was so good. There was a boy there working. His job was to clean the tables. At least twice while we were there he dropped a stack of dishes. hahaha
After we all had full bellies we went up to the mall. We walked around for just a few minutes and then we went to the movies to see the new Narnia movie. It was good but after about 1/2 hour Starla and I both realized that we hadn't yet seen the second movie of the three. Oh well. It was still very good.
Once the movie was over we did shop. Well they did. Starla wanted to buy the girls some clothes to leave at their house. So we shopped at some of their favorite stores. It was fun. Then we went to Walmart to get a few items we needed for later this evening and tomorrow at Church.
Now we are home and we have planned to watch a rented movie and make funnel cakes and hot chocolate.
Girls in the "big chair" at Cici's Pizza.

Frankie and Melynie's visit

We rarely get to visit with our son, Frankie, his wife, Melynie and their great kids, Derrick, Katie, and Zachary. They don't live real far away (about an hour and a half,) but Pops was always on the road and their family is so busy with the sports and activities of the kids. We love them and miss them so when we do get together it is always so good.
They came to visit us the last time we were in from the road, just after Christmas. When we answered the door we were surprized to see that spiderman was there. It was Zachary. He had a mask of spiderman, one of his favorite superheroes.
Katie came in. Wow, how very pretty she is and so tall. She is now taller than her mother. She looks older than what she is and looks so grown up.
Katie is so good at sports. She likes basketball the best. She says, "it is the bomb." She is also excellent at soccer. For as long as I can remember she has played some sport and has always been very good at any of them.
Don't grow up too fast, Katie. You are so pretty. We love you.
Derrick couldn't come this time. He is a working man now. And we all know when duty calls, we go to work. He works at McDonalds. He is a senior in school and will be going into the army once he graduates. He has always wanted to be in the military. Derrick is somewhat on the quiet side and reminds me so much of Drew. I cannot believe he is all grown up now. He is a man. I know that his mom is having trouble with these thoughts as well. I remember when Tom was getting ready to go to the military and I was not ready to let him go. It is hard and I feel for ya, Melynie.
I do appreciate a young man who knows what he wants and goes for it. Good for you, Derrick. You will be in our prayers. We love you.
Zachary, what a joy! He is so entertaining. He went from spiderman to wrestler. He grabbed our cat, Ti, and began to bodyslam him and roll around on the floor, trying to pin him down. Thank goodness Ti is so easy going, injuries were minimal, for Zach at least. I think Ti actually was a little sore and achey the next day, hahaha.
Zach picked up Starla's Ipod and began to play games. I was watching and was so amazed at how kids can pick up one of those gadgets and just seem to automatically "know" how to play and use it. He played the games so well as if he always does it. I don't even know how to turn one on. lol. We love you, Zach.
I made a big pot of ham pot pie and also a pan of chili so we had plenty to eat. And of course so many Christmas cookies too. We ate and then ate some more.
Melynie is a school teacher. She teaches kindergarten at Turkeyfoot Elementary. She was telling me how much she is enjoying her class this year. She says they love story time and figuring out what "the plot" of a story is. I am sure that her job can never being boring. I give her a lot of credit for the patience and love she has for all those children.
I love her so much. From the very time I met her at my niece, Heather's 16th birthday party, I really liked Melynie. She is a good match for Frankie and they have raised a great family. They are the most involved and supportive parents that I know. They will give up anything for any of their kids. And I think that they have. I also know that sometimes this can take a toll on a parent and I think that it has several times, but they adapt and make it all work. Melynie gives up so much of herself for her husband and her family. We love you, Melynie.
Frankie is a great man. Everyone likes Frankie. He is so very social. He is outgoing and likes to talk and takes an interest in everyone. HE LOVES SPORTS! He is so enthusiastic about life. Any conversation with Frankie is always a good one because of his enthusiasm. I am sure he could read the phone book and make it sound fasinating. He too, is a very involved parent, getting involved with his kids hobbies and sports.
Frankie and Drew seem to be most alike when it comes to our kids. Although Frankie is much more "chatty" than Drew is. They really look a lot alike too. We love you, Frankie.
Katie, Melynie, Frankie, Zach, Derrick couldn't be here : (

Can you see the resemblance in Drew and Frankie?

Friday, January 7, 2011


I am home.
I am home and tired and for some reason have not been much in the mood for being on the computer. I think it may be a little bit post holiday depression. It may also be a little bit of being overwhelmed with trying to make sense of what doesn't make sense. It is a whole lot of missing my home life. It is also some of so many bad and sad things going on around me in my family and church family.
I feel like I want to run away from it all.
I want to be anti social.
I want to ignore what ever it is that troubles me.
I feel lack of control.
I feel disconnected.
I want life to be good.
I want life to be happy.
I want security.
I am tired of being judged.

There it is...that's what it is. I am tired of feeling judged by others. Quit judging me for my life choices. I like my choice. I like what I am doing. It feels good and right to me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First Christian Church in Hammond, LA

This morning Pops and I received 2 phone calls regarding messages that I had left yesterday while searching for a church to attend. We made a choice and decided to attend the First Christian Church. It is about 2 miles from where we are staying and seems to be more of what we are looking for in a church. We found out that their starting times were 9:45 for Sunday School and 11:00am for Worship.
We got ready and left here at 9:30. They don't have a parking lot. They are on a corner lot with parking along the street on two sides of the building. We took up two parking spots, haha. But they said that was okay.
We were greeted and made welcome right away. We were shown to the Sunday school classrooms right away. I noticed that the place smelled like wood smoke, almost like a cookstove burning. It was homey and pleasant. The congregation looked to be mostly older people. We didn't see any young people at all for a long time.
Sunday School was an on-going lesson on the Book of Isaiah. They were on the 44th chapter on the prophecy of a redeemer. After being held as captives by the Babylonions, they looked forward to a redeemer. It was a very good lesson and the later discussion was interesting too. We talked about how our society is basically captive to many forms of oppression like government, communication instruments, etc. Our society definately needs a Redeemer.
After Sunday School we went into the auditorium for Worship. They have a band made up of the young people taught by a music major at a local university. They played a few Christmas songs. It was really good and the choir sang two Christmas songs one of which featured a solo by one young man. His voice was so good. I wish I had gotten his name.
The sermon was entitled, It's about Time. The scripture text was Ecc. 3:1-13. He talked about how everyone is so time conscious and really God is in control and has a set time for everything. Also about how when we use "time-saving" contraptions we are really wasting time and losing our skills of communication.
It was a very enjoyable and uplifting service. One couple, H.D and Peggy Terry lives near the truckstop and offered to pick us up next time so we don't have to drive our truck there. They were very friendly.
There were a few things that occured that we aren't used to, but scripturally we were satisfied  and will go there again if we are in this area.
First Christian Church, Hammond, LA

Grandson, Zach aka Spiderman

Our Grandson, Zachary. He is Frankie and Melynie's son.

Spiderman is one of his favorites.

Sad times already

This new year is really starting out on a somber note.
We are in deep concern for our Elder, Melvin Logsdon, who is in the hospital with a nasty infection that has gone into his blood. He has been sick for a long while. I spoke with his wife, Ginny today. She says that his fever is down and his white count numbers are down some too. Both of those things are good news and hopefully he is going in the right direction to getting better. Pops and I have had some serious prayer time over you, Melvin. We love you.
Our good friend, Annette, from Laurel Highlands church is still in the hospital too. She may be released to come home tomorrow, but will have much recovery ahead and I am sure it will be an all up-hill climb to her being well. We love you too, Annette. You are in our prayers.
Also while in church this morning I got a phone call that my uncle Carl passed away during the night. This saddens me a lot. He was the last sibling on my mom's side of the family. He was diabetic and had recently suffered a heart attack and a stroke. He was on dialysis several times a week. His youngest son, Alan, is stationed in Afganistan and is due to come home and get married shortly. He came home for the Christmas holiday and they all went out to dinner. My uncle caught a cold and got a bad infection. He never recovered.
In some ways I feel like a final connection to my mom has been severed. I love you, Aunt Chris.
I don't want to be sad. No one does. But sickness and death are all a part of this life too.
Please, love your family and friends while you have them. Let them know of your love. Don't hold grudges, life is too short. Don't waste your time here on earth with foolish behavior. God has a purpose for you, for each of us. Remember don't disappoint yourself or those who care about you. Don't live it up.
Live up instead.