Sunday, June 29, 2008

Our Kind of Relaxation

I know it's not the most budget-friendly activity in these times of ridiculous gas prices (thanks for those taxes Democrat-controlled Congress), but we just can't resist. We live just a few miles from a State Forest and Wildlife Management area, so, of course, once Joey found all those trails, we had to go. So Saturday, we loaded up Rocky and some sandwiches in the truck and headed out.







Now that could be a perfect commercial for Ford or BF Goodrich. We also found a pretty nice lookout spot.




And, of course, we saw some wildlife. I'm not sure which Joey likes better - trail riding and mudding or finding deer.


Those are two little baby turkeys in front of that log.

And Rocky had a blast. He loves seeing wild animals, and he and Joey caught crawdads.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Green Thumb

I know some of you probably don't give a lick about plants, so sorry for this post. I just did a lot of planting and realized what a good mood it puts me in. I don't know if it's so much the actual digging in the dirt but just the final result of having something pretty around my house or yard. I guess I got that gene from my mom. I don't have quite the green thumb that she does, but she's teaching me. We haven't gotten to do a lot of landscaping because we're waiting until the fall when it's cooler, but I'm planting several potted things right now. Mom gave me this baker's rack. I srpay painted it and am starting to fill it up with things.




I also got a white hydrangea. These are my absolute favorite flowers!


Joey also put out some stepping stones that I really like. I really like the natural looking-rustic stuff as opposed to really decorative stuff.

So hopefully there will be more to come later because I'm really liking this gardener/green thumb thing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

G'ville Weekend

We went home to G'ville this weekend, mostly to see our nephew because my family is leaving for the beach without us, so we'll miss out on baby Caiden those two weekends, sad! Anyway, we had a good time. The Longs (my old youth minister and his family, who have the twin girls who were the flower girls in my wedding) came to visit since moving to North Carolina. The kids absolutely loved Caiden! They all wanted to hold him all the time and read to him, it was precious! But also kinda funny because I'm sure their parents are about babied out after having 5 of their own!






The kids, mostly Taylor and the twins, also gave dad a massage which, of course, he absolutely loved.



And Leah and I got to practice our psychology training with the twins who have (hopefully had) a phobia of dogs. Poor Campbell would actually get physically sick just thinking about a dog. That's no way to live right?! I mean every kid is supposed to have a dog as a best friend. Anyway, we used some systematic desensitization to relax them and reward them for progessive interactions with Rocky. Leah even gave them each a reward of $5 to pet Rocky. So they did it! And Anderson, almost 5, is so funny. He said, "I'll pet the doggie for $8." Anyway, by the end of the weekend, the girls were able to be close to Rocky, pet him, and even be in the same vicinity as him without worrying about where he was.

So thanks, Greg and Lisa for letting us practice some therapy techniques on your kids! Hope it has lasting effects for you guys!

There was also a wakeboarding tournament going on on the lake. One of my best friends, Claire Jones, competed. I didn't get any good pics of her because I forgot to put my camera on action mode. I did, though, get a pretty good pic of her brother, Joe, wakeskating which is a pretty awesome feat if you ask me. It's like skateboarding on the lake without wheels. So you have no boots holding your feet to the board or anything!

Claire's dad and one of my other best friends, Rachel Kendra's, dad also competed and won 3rd and 2nd places! Pretty cool to watch. I was pretty impressed seeing as how I can't even get up on a wakeboard!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Overwhelmed

Well, my fellow bloggers and friends LB and Ashley through their own recent blogs have encouraged me to share some of my own personal struggles. I'm usually not one to share my problems, especially spiritual ones, except to really close friends, but maybe by sharing this you all can minister to me and hopefully I can minister to someone out there as well.

As many of you know, I have started seeing clients now during my counseling internship. It has been a huge mix of emotions. I've felt excited, blessed, scared, frustrated, exhausted, competent, and incompetent. In the midst of it all, God has still shown me that this is what He is calling me to do. So what's the struggle? Well, in my training I have been told over and over that we as counselors need to practice very good self-care because this business can be very draining. Well, I'm am definitely seeing the reasons for this. I can't explain how exhausting and frustrating (even though exciting and purposeful) it can be to listen to other hurting individuals tell their stories and expect me to have the answers. I can pray and pray and pray for the Holy Spirit to give the wisdom and words to say, but ultimately I still need to take care of myself. So I haven't been doing that great of a job with it. I'm still eating well (those of you that know me know I wouldn't give that up easily) and venting/talking with friends, but I am not exercising like I should/used to. I know, both from experience and my education, that exercise releases endorphines and filters my body of all its toxins, but I'm not doing it. I have this stupid belief/thought that I don't want to take more than 1 shower a day because I don't like to "get ready" more than once. So if I can't fit that exercise in at the beginning of my day before my shower, I just skip it. How crazy is that, especially after seeing it written out.

Anyway, I can tell that this taking in everybody's problems and not having a way of debriefing myself is really getting to me. I have found myself taking out my frustration on my innocent husband over the stupidest things. I do not want to develop this destructive habit, so I need to change it now. So please pray for me that I will discipline myself and do what I know I need to do as well as allow God to take all my clients into His hands so that I don't feel the need to get frustrated with them either. If any of you have any encouraging (or challenging) words, I'm open.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Updates

I thought I'd post some pics of the most recent updates we've done to the house. And by the way, if you read the previous post, just know that we have fixed several of those things. For instance, we do not stretch a hose through our house to water the back yard.

Anyway, here was Joey's big project. He wanted to make this area by the garage a bigger parking area so that his truck and boat will fit. So he and his Dad started out by digging a huge portion of dirt (well, hard clay) out of the hill. They even had to use axes and shovels to do some of it by hand!

Then Joey brought home some railroad ties, cut them, bolted them together, and drove rebar through them and into the dirt. Add some gravel and a white pickett gate, and I'd say it looks pretty good!







My helpful and talented Dad also helped us put up a tile backsplash in our kitchen. We haven't grouted it yet, but I don't know when we'll get around to it, so I wanted to go ahead and post pictures.



Monday, June 9, 2008

Incompetence

Well, Joey and I have gotten on a soap box lately about incompetence. I mean I know all about this right now being a new counselor, but I feel like I do my best to talk to supervisors and collegues that can help me provide the best services. Anyway, we got on this kick lately with Charter because we have been without internet for a week and a half up til today. It was ridiculous....calling them everyday, getting lied to, having several technicians come out daily and not fixing the problem. Anyway, we also started discussing the incompetent people who built and lived in our house before us. As we have started to do more and more remodeling, we are realizing how much wasn't done correctly in the first place. I guess when you're dealing with this kind of thing all day every day, you have to approach it with a sense of humor or you'll go insane. So Joey and I were talking last night and comically started making up conversations that the people who lived here or built the house must have had. Here's what we've come up with so far...

Builder #1: Wouldn't it be stupid to put a light fixture or a plug anywhere on the back porch or make it easy to access the wiring to install one?
Builder #2: Yeah, and it would also be stupid to put a water spicket on the back of the house. We'll just put one on the front, and if the buyers need a hose in the back, they can stretch it through the front door and out the back door like true Tennesse hicks do.
Builder #3: Well, I think it would also look really cool to put all the electrical outlets upside down.
Builder #1: That's fine. Also, since the house that was here before this one burned down, rather than have the heavy equipment dig up the old foundation, let's just put dirt over it. It's ok if it ever washes away...they don't need to grow grass there in the front yard.
Builder #2: Sounds good to me. In the master bedroom, I'm just going to put one light switch to control the overhead fan as well as the light over the stairs. They'll never need to have the fan on at night without the light. Or if they do they can just untwist the bulbs in the other light so they can have the fan on too.
Builder #3: Speaking of lights, I'm going to install this spot light on the back corner of the house, but I'll put the switch for it in the crawlspace. They won't mind walking down here under the house to turn it on.

Home owner #1: That black gunky build up in the kitchen sink pipes can't be what's smelling. We'll just leave it like that and hope it's something else.
Home owner #2: Yeah, it's probably nothing. Just like it's nothing that the A.C. has to run all day to keep the temp. at 78 degrees. Those holes in the duct work under the house can't have anything to do with that.
Home owner #1: No it doesn't. And neither does the fact that we have hardly any insulation in the attic. Not a problem.
Child of homeowners: Mom, Dad! This is really fun! I love running this stick across the fins on the A.C. radiator and closing them off! Can I keep doing this?
Homeowner #2: Sure you can! It doesn't affect the A.C. at all if it can't suck in air.
Homeowner #1: I'm going to put up sheetrock in the garage to finish it. I think I'll put it on backwards so it will be that pretty brown color. I also won't mud it and just put FLATHEAD screws everywhere. If the next people want to take out all the FLATHEAD screws and mud and paint it, they'll just have to use 80 coats of white paint to cover this brown side of the sheetrock up.

This is all we've got right now. But maybe now you get a little taste of why we are going insane! (The reference to flathead screws is for Joey and his dad. If any of you handymen, or women, out there read this, you know what we're talking about. Flathead screws are the stupidest things ever!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Educated Voting

A friend of mine wrote this, and I wanted to share it because I feel exactly the same way about making sure you know the facts and are an educated voter. And by the way, if you don't vote, you have no right to complain.

Tonight is a sad night for America. Actually it has been a sad period in America for a while now. I have been following very closely the fiasco that has been the race for the Democratic nomination for President. In one aspect it is a relief to know that Sen. Clinton has no chance to become President. America could not have handled the disaster of another Clinton in the White House. We are still paying so heavily from the damage done the first time around. But on the other hand, the alternative is even more nerve racking. What does it say about the state of the Democratic party when their strongest nomination for the highest office in the world is a man who is an extremely inexperienced Jr. Senator, whose record is shaky at best? And that is being optimistic. A leader who is so crooked he has changed a recorded vote in the Senate on 7 occasions!!! On all seven of these occasions the vote was on heavily lobbied issues where Mr. Obama was playing both sides of the isle. It is rare for a Senator to “take back” or change a role called vote on more than an occasion where there was an accidental entry of a vote. Yet Mr. Oboma has done it seven times with less time in the Senate than a third grader has had in the educational system! And this is the person that the democrats have decided to put forward. A man who has already said one of his first acts will be to surrender to our enemy in a time of war. An act that will not only embarrass America, but will give an extreme moral victory to a terrorist enemy and show that America does not have the stomach to continue a fight when punched in the nose, that with democrats in control we can be defeated. An act that will put you, me, and our children in physical danger and invite and encourage future attacks on America. They have nominated a man that is so na├»ve as to believe that he can negotiate and befriend dictators such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, Bashar al-Assad. Men who have dedicated their entire lives to the destruction of America. The democratic party has nominated a man who will crawl in bed with these men before taking a stand against them. A man who does not have the backbone to stand against the unpopular, but will bend to take the easy and popular route instead of what is best for our country. Whose extremely limited, short voting record is evidence of this. A man who has yet to clarify anything other than he plans “change”, but has no vision at all on how to accomplish this. A man with no plan. A man who has mentors such as the Jermiah Right. I refuse to include his title of Rev. because such a racist fanatic does not deserve such an Honor. A man who waited months to separate himself from the psychotic ramblings of this man, and then did so with only weak and ambiguous statements. The kind of statements that this nominee is becoming so well known for. Lots of flowery rhetoric, lots of words of false hope, with no substance at all. It makes as much sense to give a four year old who has yet to learn to ride a bicycle, the keys to an SUV as it does to give this man control of our country.

Just look at the bitter remarks that have come from Senator Clinton and her supporters within his own party. When you have a party tearing itself apart in this manner, you cannot expect them to effectively run the country. People like to attack President Bush and assign so much blame to him on things that are beyond his control. And while it must be flattering to him that these individuals believe that he has so much individual power, however ridiculous this assumption, it is impossible. One example is the gas prices. I have seen the popular smear bumper sticker going around that says “When Bush took office, gas was $1.29.” Fair enough, but it is extremely interesting that with the exception of the natural price spikes after hurricane Katrina, prices did not skyrocket until after the democrats took control of the House and Senate!!!!! Wow, amazing when you bring facts into play how the picture changes. This is only one small example of the spin that so many buy into. And unfortunately too many Americans have fallen for the smoke and mirrors like this that come from Sen. Obama’s mouth on a daily basis. It is hard for me to comprehend that no matter how poorly you think that the current President and his party have performed, that you could possibly consider putting this man into office. But in this day, Americans are so concerned about political correctness and voting with their emotions that facts, records, military service, leadership experience, and so many things are set aside. And America is going to suffer. It will be hard falling asleep tonight knowing that there are so many people easily fooled that have the power to vote, and someone like this may be making the decisions that affect our welfare and safety. Please, do your research. Put aside party affiliations and look at the facts and records of the two men who apparently will vie for the most powerful office in the world. Then vote, and keep this man away from the White House.
-Tony Hathcock