Monday, December 21, 2009

The NLT and Me

Enter this contest from Tyndale Publishers by clicking HERE. Share your testimony about how the New Living Translation has impacted you, and you can win a prize!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn in Kentucky

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Fall in Simpsonville
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Daddy's Girl

Bessie loves to ride in the truck with Rick. This is one of my favorite pictures of her out running errands with her Daddy.

Note: You'll see Rick's travel Tabasco bottles. He keeps Tabasco with him at all times for any food opportunities that come his way.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Book Contract!

Rick signed his first book contract! He'll be writing a Bible reference book for Zondervan. Rick also has an article that will be published in the January issue of Louisiana Cooking.

I'm so proud of my writer husband!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Off to the Big City

When Rick visited my new office for the first time, we had to ride up the elevator to the 18th floor. As we rounded the corners to the elevators, Rick asked, "Which ones are the up elevators and which ones are the down elevators?"

I guess he's still standing there. I just walked away in embarrassment.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

When Did We Lose Respect?

I have been amazed and appalled at all the uproar concerning President Obama's upcoming televised message to school children. Here in my own county in Kentucky, parents have been notified that they can send a note to their child's teacher if they don't want their child to listen to the President of the United States speak. Is he going to talk about the War in Iraq? No. How to be a good democrat? No. The debate over the death penalty? No. He is going to challenge school children to do well in school and to set goals for themselves. Wow. How controversial!

When did respect for the office of President of the United States go out of style? When did the novelty of hearing the President speak to school children lose its charm? I have never agreed 100% with any President, but I have always respected the office of President of the United States, and I will instill that same respect in my children.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Prayer Life?

I prayed to God each day;
I asked for many things:
"Bless my home, my job, my kids,
And help us live like kings."

I asked for help with money.
I asked for pain-free life.
I asked that as I go along
I never would see strife.

Then one day it hit me --
God has never said,
"Life is all carefree
And never filled with dread."

Instead the Bible says
That trials and grief will come,
And through those times we learn
All that God has truly done.

He gives me what I need
To tackle every foe;
He provides me strength and grace
To help me as I grow.

Now my prayers have changed --
Instead of "Give to me,"
I thank the Lord for life
And whatever it may bring.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

It Takes a Village . . .

It takes an entire village, or in this case neighborhood, to raise a basset hound. When Bessie decides she's tired, she just plops down wherever she is -- someone's yard, middle of the road -- it just doesn't matter to her. AND she absolutely won't get up until she's darn well ready. Picking her up is not an option, not only because she weighs in at 65 pounds, but also because she screams bloody murder if anyone tries to pick her up. I've learned over the past 11.5 years to just stand or sit and wait the whole ordeal out. I find that it's a great time to catch up on phone chats or solitaire.

This morning I took Bessie for a walk. I didn't realize it was quite so warm outside, and Bessie soon decided she was hot and tired. As we slowly crept up the sidewalk, our neighbor Anissa hollered out, "Looks like a VERY leisurely, slow walk today." She was probably worrying about Bessie dropping right there in front of her driveway since they were packing up to head out somewhere. I urged Bessie forward. Then, PLOP, down she went in Mrs. Bishop's front yard. Mrs. Bishop soon pulled up in her car and commented on the sad state of affairs. I apologized and said that she was tired. "No problem, as long as she doesn't poop in the yard, she can stay as long as she needs to," commented our accommodating neighbor.

After we sat in Mrs. Bishop's yard long enough for her brother to unpack the entire car of his belongings, one by one, for an extended stay, I decided to recruit Rick's help. The following text exchange occurred:

Kathy: Bessie's pooped.
Rick: Where?
Kathy: Behind Stephanie's house.
Rick: She pooped behind Stephanie's house?
Kathy: NO. She IS pooped. Won't move. Come help!

While we waited on Rick, I decided to try coaxing Bessie as best I could. "Let's go home and see Daddy!"; "Do you want a cookie?"; "I'll race you home!"

Soon, neighbor Stephanie ventured outside. "Looks like Bessie is down for the count," she laughed. Rick walked up. Still Bessie stayed motionless in the cool grassy shade of Mrs. Bishop's house. Rick began the usual litany: "Let's go home!"; "Do you want a cookie?" Bessie just blinked at him. We decided to play "Where's Mommy." This is one of Bessie's favorite games. Mommy (me) hides behind a tree or behind a fence and Rick says, "Where's Mommy?" Then Bessie runs to look for me. Neighbor Stephanie looked on with amusement as I hid behind successive trees and patio fences while Rick yelled over and over again, "Where's Mommy?"

Still, Bessie remained unmoved. Neighbor Stephanie chimed in, "Bessie, don't you want to go home?" (I'm sure she was not happy about the Mansfield clan just hanging outside her back door for the entire day). It was time for the big tease. "Bessie, do you want a peanut butter sandwich?" This is Bessie's all time favorite treat. Her head lifted up a bit. She raised her eyebrows. Then she placed her head back down on her paws and yawned. By now, other neighbors were looking out windows and through screened doors to see how long the ordeal would last. (Although most of he neighborhood is used to seeing this weekly spectacle.)

Finally, we pulled out the big guns. "Bessie? Do you want to go home and play the light game with Mommy?" (The light game is Bessie's favorite -- chasing a laser light through the house. She never tires of it, but I knew she was already worn out and didn't need to run anymore). Well, up she rose quick as lightning! Stephanie just laughed in amazement. Bessie came running towards me like she was a puppy. She never slowed down as she happily trotted home, tail wagging, knowing she had once again proven her abilities to be in charge of the humans.

I guess it doesn't take an entire village/neighborhood to raise a dog after all. It just takes the promise of a laser light chase at home.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Got to Meet Governor Collins!

Last night I had the honor of meeting former Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins. She was the first woman governor of Kentucky and is a Shelby County native. I teach in the same school system that she attended as a child. Our new high school has been named in her honor.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Even when Rick and I go home to Louisiana for our annual summer week and a half vacation, we seem to take our Kentucky hobbies with us. For me, it's American Idol for the X-Box. For Rick, it's cast iron cooking/grilling. We are so predictable.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Preacher Rick!

Rick did a great job giving the message at Simpsonville Baptist Church this past Sunday. One member said on her way out of the service, "I could have sat here another 3 hours and taken notes!"

I think he did a fabulous job.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Flirting With NLT

Today the pastor flirted
With a little NLT.
It made the sermon real;
It spoke so much to me.

But then he shifted back
To old favorite: NIV.
The pastor ended up
Explaining words to me.

Why explain God's Word
When the explanation's here--
Waiting to be read
From NLT, the Truth made clear?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adoption Update

The CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) has updated their website to reflect that dossiers logged-in through April 30, 2007 have been through the review process.

What does that mean? Well, it doesn't mean that anything has sped up in the process, but it does mean that our dossier has moved from the "Reviewing Room" to the "Matching Room." We were logged-in April 16, 2007. Since dossiers logged-in through April 30, 2007, are through with the review process, that includes us!

How long will we be in the "Matching Room?" No one knows for sure. It could be up to three years or more. Rick is always optimistic that the process will speed up, though.

In the "Review Room" is where dossiers are translated from English to Chinese and reviewed by China adoption workers. All the recommendation letters, doctor reports, financial info, and other details about our life are looked at for any discrepancies. If everything is in order, then the dossier moves to the "Matching Room." This is the place where China adoption workers match couples to children. Lots of variables go into this part of the process, and wait times are very hard to predict. Our friends who were logged-in 9 months before us aren't even close to a referral . . .

I'm just glad we've moved one step closer to Elianna.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ted??

For my 42nd birthday I expected my usual store bought, white cake, white icing, decorated birthday cake. I do so love them.

Ever the frugal economist, Rick found a good deal at the local market.


Friday, April 10, 2009


Secret clues; A scavenger hunt--
The reward: A MacBook Air!
My forty-second birthday
Began with lots of flair!

I used to dread my aging--
The wrinkles, sags, and sores,
But now I treasure every day
And all God has in store.

I still have much to learn;
I still have lots to do.
I look forward to the day
When our family's three, not two.

I think about the future--
About who I will be:
Mom? Author? Teacher still?
How will God use me?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm Batgirl

In my mind I'm Batgirl,
Fighting evil ways;
A cape and mask by night--
A librarian by day.

No one knows my secret;
I seem so mild and meek,
But once I don my suit,
It's criminals I seek.

By day I tell the children:
"Keep reading all those books!"
By night I prowl the streets
Looking for the crooks.

Why the secret life?
Why the nightly sprees?
It's the only way I know
To get my late book fees!


I heard the pastor say:
"God gave a parakeet--
To give us peace of mind
When we feel we have been beat."

I just don't understand
How a bird inside a cage
Can give me peace of mind
And turn my heart from rage.

My husband said: "Oh, no,
The word is paraclete."
So, now it's running shoes?
I get peace from my feet?

I think that they are both wrong,
I know my Bible reads,
"God gave a Counselor
To help us with our needs."

Monday, March 16, 2009


It's happening again--
Announcements all around:
"A baby's on the way!"
And then showers will abound.

It's happening again--
The questions naturally come:
"When's YOUR baby due?"
And I'm left feeling numb.

It's happening again--
Paperwork to renew:
Fingerprints, Home Studies,
And more money that is due.

It's happening again--
Depression, tears, and grief,
A longing for a child,
A pain beyond belief.

It's happening again--
Doubt invades my soul.
Are we doing what God wants
Or digging endless holes?


I gave up Cokes for Lent
To avoid a sugar high,
But two weeks into it,
I'm starting to wonder why!

The pounds aren't melting off.
I crave my sweet caffeine.
And in a time of stress,
I turn really, really mean.

I guess the purpose was
To turn to God instead.
Instead of guzzling Cokes,
By Him should I be fed.

This sacrifice for me
Has one goal--one intent:
Trade a craving for God's word;
That's the reason I do Lent.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Third Times the Charm?

For the third time in almost three years, we are updating our fingerprints for our China adoption. Hopefully this time will see us through to the end!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Identify Theft Has Never Been Easier

Today while sitting at Panera Bread restaurant with Rick, a woman about 20 years old at a nearby table was on the phone speaking quite loudly. She was talking to some store or business, and in the course of her conversation she said out loud (so that any table within 15 feet of her could hear) her full name, address, telephone number, credit card number, and credit card expiration number! And folks wonder how identify theft can happen so easily. Gee whiz! I kept telling Rick that I was going to write down everything she said and then go shopping on the internet to teach her a lesson. However, Rick said that would get me arrested rather than teach her a lesson. My Plan B was to lean across my table, less than 10 feet from her table, and mention that I was able to hear everything she said and that anyone around her would be able to write down and access her accounts. Rick said this would be inappropriate. Thank goodness for Rick's tactfulness. I probably would have been slapped.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Rick is Chili Champ!

For the third consecutive year, Rick has won the Simpsonville Baptist Church Chili Cook-Off! He has a super secret recipe, and it's only one of about two different chili recipes I'll even eat. The other recipe happens to be Rick's, too. Go figure.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rambo Librarians

As an elementary school librarian, I find the story below absurd. The paperwork, manpower, etc. to arrest and process the woman mentioned below would cost way more than the $13.95 book. This was justice taken too far. At my school, I don't even charge overdue fines. I charge for lost books. I certainly don't turn parents over to collection agencies if they don't pay for lost books. I even offer payment plans and reduced costs for those for whom it would be a struggle to pay. In the few cases where parents do not acknowledge my correspondence, their children simply lose borrowing privileges. I think a better course of action would have been to take away her borrowing privileges from all public libraries in her state of residence until the book was paid for.

Unreturned library book leads to woman's arrest

Published: Jan 24, 2009

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman has been arrested because she failed to return a library book.

Thirty-nine-year-old Shelly Koontz was arrested Thursday night on a fifth-degree theft charge. She is accused of keeping "The Freedom Writers Diary," which she checked out from the public library in nearby Jesup in April.

Police say the book - which is about a high school teacher's effort to inspire students to write - is valued at $13.95.

Court records show library employees tried repeatedly to contact Koontz by phone and mail. A police officer even visited her home last September.

Officials at the Buchanan County jail say Koontz was released after posting $250 bond. No telephone listing for Koontz could be found in the Independence area.


Information from: The Gazette,
AP Mobile News Network. © 2008 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Countdown to Elianna!