Tuesday, February 26

And the Winner is....

Congratulations to Commenter #4:  Rachel!!!
I have sent you an email with information on how to redeem the prize pack.
Thank you all for entering!  Don't be too bummed if you didn't win...because you can still get a free movie ticket by purchasing two specially marked General Mills cereal boxes :)

Have a great day!


Sunday, February 24


Boy, have I mistreated my poor blog!  I really do think about blogging about once a week, but with full time school and the past month trying to getting ready for my nieces to live with me...and now they are here...there just never is time to sit down and blog about all the wonderful things that God is doing in our lives!   My plan is to dedicate some time very soon to sit down and write out our story, because boy oh boy did God work some miracles :)

Anyhoo...on to a great giveaway!  I love My Blog Sparks and they sent me an awesome package in the mail.  The kiddos were so excited!  We opened up our box and found a box of General Mills Trix Cereal and two movie tickets!  Date Night with the Hubby!  Woohoo!!!  Thank you My Blog Sparks and General Mills.  My kids had fun telling me all about the fact that this cereal was NOT for rabbits!  {For about 30 minutes :)  yes....}
Yes, I realize that this is a box of Cheerios...but I didn't have my camera handy when we were scarfing down the TRIX

For a limited time (until 12/06/2013) you can receive a free movie ticket when you purchase two specially marked packages of General Mills cereals including Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, Golden Grahams, and Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs.
After purchasing two participating cereals, visit www.generalmills.com/moviecash to enter the unique code found inside each box of cereal and print-off your free Movie Cash certificate (good for one admission of up to a $12 value at participating theaters). To find a participating movie theater in your area log onto: www.emoviecash.com/dis_locator/

What is that?  You don't want to wait and purchase, but get it for free?  Okay...well they are letting me offer this same freebie pack they sent me with one of you!!!

So here's the deal.  This "My Blog Spark prize pack" Giveaway will be for one day only!
All who comment on this post will be entered- Just let me know what your favorite General Mills Cereal is in your comment.  And I will select a winner at random Monday, Feb. 25 at 11:59pm
Good Luck!!!

Friday, August 3

He makes all things new

It has been a while since I have really blogged about my life.  Seems like a life time ago I wrote those last posts.  A lifetime ago that I was homeschooling the kids at our old house.  A lifetime ago when my world crumbled around me. I realize I was never very clear on what was going on, but I just had to take a break from blogging because nothing made sense in writing things down let alone thinking.  My marriage had been bad for a while, but when prayers, intense counseling, friends and church leaders intervening did not help-it turned into a separation with hopes of reconciliation.  But it got much worse before it got better.  In fact, I honestly lost hope for my family coming back together, but kept trusting in God.  I am thankful for the few that kept on encouraging me that God can change anyone and not to give up hope for my marriage.  God used that time to work on my heart and change me too.  He definitely worked miracles in Mark and has brought our family back together...our family has never been happier.  Here is a super quick recap of life from last year to now:   Last year after our amazing trip to California to see my sister, we got back just in time for the new school year.  The kids and I moved out of my parents house in Glennville, and into a tiny upstairs apartment of a friend's house in Statesboro.  I got a job working as a parapro at that same school that my kids went to and we all loved it.  I loved it so much that I realized I should go ahead and go back to finish my degree in Early Childhood!  The whole family got back together earlier this year and moved into a nice house in Statesboro.  I just finished my summer term of my first time back at college in 12 years and made straight A's  :)  I start back in a few weeks for the fall semester to start my Pre-Professional Block (that is where you actually start going into the schools and observing and doing activities with the kids)   My kids started back to school this week and they seem to love their new school and teachers.  James just started taking Karate, and Bella will start Ballet, Tap, and Jazz in a few days.  God has given us all a fresh dose of new beginnings and we are thankful to Him for second chances.


Friday, February 24

Biblical Parenting Resource

About a month ago, I ran across a wonderful resource called the Child Training Bible.  

(It is not a special bible that you purchase, but a kit that you use with your own bible) 
The "CTB" was created as an amazing resource for parents to quickly get answers from God’s Word on common sinful problems.   The CTB makes it so simple for parents to present the biblical truth for times of instruction.  Simply use the key and tabbers provided with your CTB kit to locate the behavior and find the section and color flags to go to.  Read the highlighted verses with your child and explain what God says about the behavior that needs to be addressed.

It took me several hours to tab and highlight all the scripture, however it was well worth the time put in, as it was time reading all the wonderful scriptures as I looked up and highlighted each one.  This are not just scriptures for children, but for everyday living!  It has become one of our top ten parenting resources to recommend to others. 

Wednesday, September 28

A Time for Everything

I like to be in control of things.  I like things to be nice and neat.  I don't deal well with messes.  I like things to be tied up in pretty packages.  I hate conflict and unresolved issues.   I want to fix things...and as quickly as possible.   I don't like waiting...  I slowly realizing now that God is teaching me to let go of control.  God is teaching me reliance on him.  God is teaching me patience.  God is teaching me that this is part of His plan, not just the way to get to His plan...but a part of it.
Oh...the days are so long, and yet His mercy is new every morning.
As I cry out to God in this long, uncontrollable messy unresolved conflict of my life...I realize that this is part of my journey.  The mess.  God is not delivering me out of this season for a specific time so that I will grow to be more in His likeness.  I have to wrestle with hopelessness and overwhelming sadness, but God is there through it all.  There truly is a time for everything.  This is my time to do the unpleasant things...and I need to be okay with that and stop rushing God to clean it all up now and move on to the next season.

A Time for Everything
 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
 a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;  a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up;  a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  a time to seek, and a time to lose;a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  a time to tear, and a time to sew;a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  a time to love, and a time to hate;a time for war, and a time for peace.~Ecclesiastes 3

I need You

This is a new song to me...and what a treasure I have found!  It always amazes me how God can put words into someone's pen years earlier and yet that seems so very personal to me alone...for that matter to all His children.  If I were to write out my thoughts tonight, this would be it.  Oh, how I need you, Lord.

Thursday, June 2

Sing it with me...Should I stay or should I go now?

Well...I am feeling alot better since my last post. Thanks for all the prayers and emails and such!!!  Nothing has changed...but I am feeling so much better, not to mention stable...hehe :) I am heading to California in 4 weeks to go visit my sister!  That's so exciting, and I can't wait for that adventure!!!  However, it brought on new "stresses" like...what do I do about finding a job, James' school, housing in the fall.  When I get back from Ca, I will have a week of Workshop and then only one week left before the first day of school.  And I don't want James to miss the first day of school...but I can't register him without a Bulloch Co. address ...which means I need a job to pay for an address!  As I ran around Bulloch County yesterday trying to do as much as I could...visit a real estate agent and apply for more jobs, go by the Board of Education...and it just came over me that I need to stop stressing about it all...God's word is a lamp to my feet...not a spotlight that shows my entire path, right? So I just need to trust in Him that He will take care of it all.  I realize that with my "head", but it hasn't really sunk in deep to my heart.  It's hard for a control freak to let go of things!!!  So as I am trying to live in that place...trust/hope in Him... I wake up this morning to see that my good friend, Joy has sent me the following email.

It's perfect and I thought I'd share it with y'all too.  It's from
Proverbs 31: Encouragement for Today

Should I Quit?
by Lysa TerKeurst

"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:7 (NIV)

We all have those times in life where we wish the voice of God would audibly speak so loudly there's no way we could miss it, "THIS IS THE DIRECTION I WANT YOU TO GO." Then we'd know whether to stay the course or quit and head off in a new direction.

Have you ever wished for this kind of certainty?

I have.

We want to know what to do.

Sometimes we stay in a place too long. But I think the greater loss happens in those times we quit too soon. And we live with this nagging sense of "what if?" What if I'd persevered one more year, one more month, one more day?

What if David had been so put off by his dad's brush off, he refused to come in from the field and see Samuel? (1 Samuel 16)

What if David had assessed whether or not to face Goliath based on the shadow of his opponent rather than the shadow of the Almighty? (1 Samuel 17)

What if Abigail's pride or fear had stopped her a few steps shy of bowing low before David? (1 Samuel 25)

Knowing when to stop and when to keep on keeping on is a crucial life lesson. One I want to learn well.

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus encourages us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

I used to get so frustrated when I heard this verse because I thought, I don't want rest. I want reassurance! I'm burdened by this decision I have to make. I don't want to mess up my life by missing a cue from You, God.

But the gift of the rest Jesus is offering here is not a spiritual Ambien. The Greek word for this kind of rest is anapauo which has as one of its definitions, "of calm and patient expectation."

In other words, Jesus is saying if you come to Me, I will take your exhaustion and uncertainty and turn it into a calm expectation.

But how?

My friend Jennifer Rothschild does this enlightening exercise at some of her conferences. She tells the audience to imagine her writing two different words on a large chalkboard. She then speaks the letters as she draws the first word into the air... R-E-S-T. She does the same for the second word...R-E-S-I-S-T. Then she asks what's the difference?

The difference is, of course, "I."

I don't know what to do. I can't figure this out. I'm worn out. I've tried everything I know to do. I've given all I have to give.

I'm familiar with these "I" statements because I've said them myself.

We can only find anapauo rest — fresh hope — as we stop running ragged and simply take on the next assignment Jesus gives.

In verse 29 of Matthew 11 Jesus gives us the assignment to take on His yoke and learn from Him. Ask Jesus to show you just the next step. Not ten steps. Not the whole path. Not the Google map with the highlighted route. Just the next step.

Complete that step with excellence and an open, humble heart. Listen and look for all Jesus wants to teach you in this next step.

This is your part of the equation.

But after the assignment, comes the reassurance in verse 30, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." We don't have to have all the answers. We just have to stay connected to the One who does. Where our strength ends is the exact point where His will begin.

This is God's part of the equation.

I must do all I can do. Then trust God will do what only He can do.

Should I stay? Should I go? Maybe the better question is, "God, what is the next step I'm to take today? I'm going to do my part. And trust the rest with You."

Dear Lord, I am tired and I can't seem to figure some things out today. Please help me to see Your part in this equation. Where my strength ends is where Yours will begin. Help me, Lord, to look to You for my very next step. I will wait in calm expectation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application Steps:

Listen and look for all Jesus wants to teach you in the very next step you will take. Determine what your part is and then look to God for His. Trust His faithfulness today.


Jesus says to me, 'I will take your exhaustion and uncertainty and turn it into a calm expectation'. What does this look like to me?

Power Verses:

Psalm 16:9, "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure." (NIV)

Psalm 51:12, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." (NIV)

Isn't that awesome!!!

Sunday, May 29

Where does my help come from?

I had a little meltdown today. Well, to be honest it was a big one. Normally, I would keep this to myself...maybe journal about it...but tonight, I am blogging.  I get tired of reading about everyone's seemingly put together happy lives in bloggyworld.  So here's my contribution to fight against that:

This is me being as real as it gets:

It all started building up when I found out that the job I applied for didn't even give me an interview. Plus I have been sick all week. Life was just plain stinky this week. I really thought that I was very qualified for this job, and would LOVE that job, and it would get me back in my hometown, and I would be able to afford a place, and things would all work out.  I just saw my dream crumbling each day as I didn't get a phone call. Today, I called the job...yeah...no interview, not considering me. o.u.c.h.

Today, I just couldn't stop crying. I kept going over things in my head...over and over I would hear the same arguments..."I have a right to have my own house with my own things, I have a right to live back in my hometown, I have a right to a good marriage"...then the other side would come in and fight back that "I do not have any rights, I am a slave to God and that all things I do have are a gift, not a right. The only right I have is to death, and he graciously gave me the gift of life instead, praise God!!! "   But then the other side comes back and says..."yeah, yeah, yeah...I know I know, but I still feel like I want those things, and Mark has ruined my hopes and dreams, he has crushed my spirit. He has robbed my of things I should be enjoying.   Other Christians enjoy these things, even though they aren't rights...why can't I ask for them?"  Then the other side... "Let go of your anger and bitterness, embrace forgiveness.  just think of all you have! Even if you did have a wonderful life, house, etc...look at what happened to people in Joplin...practically a whole town destroyed by a natural disaster. They don't have their homes anymore.  They don't even have their stuff.  You can't just demand that having a house is something that you have a right to...it won't make you happier. God is in control, and he guarantees no happiness in houses...you shouldn't be seeking your joy in a house, or perfect life." Then the other side kicks in all guilty and conflicted, "I know, I know, but I just don't know what to do with these feelings. I want a home of my own for me and the kids. Is that so wrong? And what do I do with my life now? How can I support myself with no job nor proper education? Why has Mark put me in this predicament!" {insert sobbing here} God help me, Lord help me, show me the way Lord!  Give me a peace and comfort me Lord!

All the while, in my mind I am recounting how Mark has wronged me again...hurt me and wounded me, offered no apology.  However,  I know I am yet again expected to deny myself, pick up my cross, and follow Jesus. He says to forgive, so I do. He says to pray for those who persecute me...so I do. I pray for God to bless Mark. And what do I get in return, more hurt from Mark. This road is getting harder and harder, not easier. {insert more tears} Lord, help me do this your way. Help me turn the other cheek. Teach me how I am to withstand this and persevere, show me how to be an example for my kids. Keep giving me Your hope Lord to make it through.  Show me the way, Lord!

Meanwhile...I am just so lost, just trying to figure out what to do with my life now.   So many questions, and the only two things I am certain of are: 1-I really thought I would be back into my life in my hometown by now with a job.  2-I don't want to be living with my parents having to support me and the kids!  But honestly, I am not even sure I want to go back there either now.  That may just be me trying to run away from problems.  Who knows.  It's just in my head, so I am being honest.  I have fun doing My Bella Sweets, but is that what I really want to do with the rest of my life...not to mention will it even support me and the kids for life? (I am pretty sure the answer is no!)  Do I really want to get through with my life, and stand before God who will ask what I did with what He gave me...and I will say...well, I made cupcakes and a few paintings!    No!    My heart yearns for more! I want to make a difference in people's lives!!! I have always had this desire. It began in youth ministry, when I started working with kids and teens. Teaching Bible studies or just hanging out with them. I enjoyed it sooo much! I have a passion to be in that ministry, I felt like I had found my calling when I was working as a youth director.  I also want to foster parent, adopt, I wanted to devote my life to serving others.  I was blown away this week to learn that my nieces have been taken away from their mother, and I can't do anything for them.  I have no home, no money for them.  It just made me mad!  Again this little voice starts to creep in and whisper to me..."Mark has ruined things for you, look what you have given up for him"...but, alas...here I am today...

I need to take responsibility for me now. There is no going back, no changing things.  Plus, I know deep down, even with the little crazy voices in my head, that what men mean for evil, God means for good.  Nothing has happened to me that He has not ordained!  I know this...so I tell myself to snap out of this pity party!!!  My life could be much worse!!!  No more blaming or excuses. but what do I do now? Where or even how do I start? If I am really honest with myself, I want to do ministry/missionary work...dedicate my life to very needy people...Children, Teens, Parents. This is my passion. Where? not sure. How? No clue.  I would imagine having two children makes it even harder to accomplish this.   I cried out to God today for help, just for Him to speak clearly to me...to answer me! I want to serve you!!! How can I do this, what is my calling? Open a door for me, give me courage to walk! Provide ways for me and the kids to go! Show me the way Lord!

And all that came were more tears.  I was miserable.

I felt like I was sufficating and I just needed fresh air.  Being sick all week was making me go crazy!  So with no food in the fridge, and dinner time approaching, I hop in the car and drive into town. There are like 5 options in this small town...mostly unhealthy and I was sick of the lack of choices.  More depression comes over me as I wish I were back in my hometown, and I just cry.   I drive past each one, not wanting any of the choices.  I turn around...drive through town again...nothing.  I decide that since I am not really hungry anyway, I will just drive.  At first I take a few turns and end up in the "projects"  I immediately am thankful and greatful for what I do have.  Thank you God for all the many gifts I have been given.  I take a few other turns and back to main street I come.  I pass by the pharmacy and the childcare place, and think that I should just apply there, just get a job here and save up my money.  But then there is the problem of when I get more money, I will want to quit and move back to my hometown, and then I am jobless again...so I just get more frustrated at all the craziness and start crying again...by now I have taken a few strange turns, and have decided to go exploring.  I ended up on a beautiful long road, who knows where, that led out to the country...it was lined with pecan trees and it began to have rises and dips in the road.  I remembered how much I love driving and taking in the scenery.  Then I started thinking about how it reminded me of Va.'s beauty, and how I love being in new places.  I began to think of all my favorite things,  that my absolute dream would be to have mountains with a beach, and that is in California, which led me to begin thinking that maybe I should just travel this summer.  Take the kids, and my money saved up for moving and just travel the US and end up at my sisters's house in California.  I could make a learning educational thing out of the trip.  Yes...I think to myself, that would be great!  That would make me happy!  Who knows, maybe I will even decide to live there!  But then I think, what about Mark?  It wouldn't be fair, also he would be angry if I just disappear with the kids for 2 months not to mention possibly more!  I also am reminded about Farmer's Market commitments for my business, upcoming visit by my sister's family and camp and music workshop.  Then I become bummed again.  Great.  there goes another great plan....more crying.  God, what am I suppose to do?  I wish you would just tell me!  Make the way clear for me!!!

By now I figure, if I don't turn around soon, I might end up in another state or get lost, so I turn around...head back the way I came...back to main street, decide to go to the grocery store.  By now I have recomposed myself enough and I am calm again.  Sad, but not crying.  I walk the aisles and pick out some stuff.  I get back home, and there are my parents home early from their trip, with...dinner.  Whatever.  It is that kinda week.  I needed the drive anyway.  I put my groceries away for another day and sit down emotionally exhausted and stare blankly at the TV, which wasn't fulfilling.  I decide to head to my room and end up browsing the internet, and then I remember that Mark had downloaded tons of  Little House on the Prairie episodes on the computer long ago, but I had never watched them.  Yay!  That will definitely make me happy, I LOVE LHotP, but... that link was messed up, and nothing was there to watch, which just added to the theme of the day.  I felt like Debby Downer.  Sheesh...maybe I should just go straight to bed!  But something made my eyes wander to the right corner of my screen...and there it was, a Mark Driscoll Folder.  I need Your word God, speak to me Lord, show me the way.
So I browse over the topics, and there it was .... "The Rebel's Guide to Joy"  yes, that is what I need...a topic on joy.  So I clicked on it, and God spoke to me the whole way thru!  I recommend it highly!  It's actually a whole series on Phillipians, but I have only listened to the first message tonight.  It is exactly what I needed to hear.  http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/rebels-guide-to-joy/the-rebels-guide-to-joy#play

So, I started the day off with a meltdown and end the night praising God for his help, his immediate answer to me.  It is a pure refreshment to know He cares enough about me to lead me to this sermon tonight, and to guide me back to the Word.  He has provided me a Rock to stand on in these quicksand times of mine...A shelter from the scorching sun.  A rest for a weary soul.  Thank you Lord for providing all I need!  I love you more each day!

Psalm 121...Where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD
HE made heaven and earth - The great Creator of the universe. He must, therefore, be able to protect me. The Creator of all can defend all.
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
He will enable you to stand firm. You are safe in his protection.  He will be ever watchful and wakeful.  All creatures, as far as we know, sleep; God never sleeps. His eyes are upon us by day, and in the darkness of the night - the night literally; and also the night of calamity, woe, and sorrow.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
Never slumbers, never ceases to be watchful. Man sleeps; a sentinel may slumber on his post, by inattention, by long-continued wakefulness, or by weariness; a pilot may slumber at the helm; even a mother may fall asleep by the side of the sick child; but God is never exhausted, is never weary, is never inattentive. He never closes his eyes on the condition of his people, on the needs of the world.
The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.  The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.  The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.  The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil - This is an advance of the thought. The psalmist had in the previous verses specified some particular evils from which he says God would keep those who put their trust in him. He now makes the remark general, and says that God would not only preserve from these particular evils, but would keep those who trusted in him from all evil: he would be their Protector in all the perils of life.
The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
 Through this life and for ever. This is the gracious assurance which is made to all who put their trust in God. At home and abroad; in the house, in the field, and by the way; on the land and on the ocean; in their native country and in climes remote; on earth, in the grave, and in the eternal world, they are always safe. No evil that will endanger their salvation can befal them; nothing can happen to them here but what God shall see to be conducive to their ultimate good; and in the heavenly world they shall be safe forever from every kind of evil, for in that world there will be no sin, and consequently no need of discipline to prepare them for the future.

I know that God has a plan for me, and I fall asleep tonight assured and comforted knowing that I am in His care and that He never slumbers!

Saturday, April 16

Reminiscing about My Happy Day!

Last year, I turned 30 years old! It seems like just the other day. I had the most amazing day, and even have a photo book of that day to remember everything by that my friend Joy made for me as my bday present. I do hope to get my act together and do it again this year and every year, but it will just have to be on my unbirthday, as my time management skills are not so great this year...hehe! Here is the day and my post from last year...reblogged. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What an amazing day!  One of the best days ever!

Yesterday, I celebrated my 30th birthday in a very different way than usual!  After reading some inspiring  blogposts here and here...I was motivated to spend my birthday doing things for OTHERS.  This wasn't going to be a day all about me, but rather about others!  And since I was turning 30, I decided I should do 30 random acts of kindness.  Well, some were random, some not so random...but either way, it was for the benefit of someone else!   I called it "Happy Day"  I prepared alot before the day actually arrived, and made out a rough draft list of ideas (yes, I am a control freak)  I just didn't want the day to get here and for me to have a brain fart and not be able to think of anything to do.

Here's what I did in preparation:
  • made a list of things I thought I could do...then narrowed it down and selected around 30 ish...
  • Cleaned out my closets, playroom,and pantry for donations to charities and food banks.
  • Put together a goody basket of gifts for the Ronald McDonald house.
  • wrote encouraging letters to three prisoners, via a ministry of Voice of the Martyrs 
  • Created and made a letter for Emma
  • shopped for treats, cookies, flowers, popsicles, waters, etc
  • Baked cookies and packaged them up
  • Packed up the van with post-it notes, markers, batteries, my boxes, baskets and bags for the charities, change of clothes for the kids, diapers, wipes, stroller and all of the other regular stuff you need to pack with you when you're out all day with your kids.
  • hand wrote 30 individual "Happy Day" cards to hand out to random people

    So, here's a look at the actual day!  HAPPY DAY.

    1) Left a treat for the mailman.

    2) Mailed letters to prisoners. 
    3) Baked cookies for my family and let them have this special treat before breakfast!!!  (usually I am baking something yummy, but have to tell my family that it's off limits for them, because it is a cake order for someone else, or a baked good for a party....but not this time!)

    4) Gave my sister in law a ride to work.  She doesn't have a car, she had a bike, but it got stolen.  Normally she has to walk to work 30 minutes each way.  (But recently someone has given her a bike!!!)  Today, I got up extra early and packed up the kids to give her a ride.

    (*) My mother in law keeps her kids while she works, and when I went to pick her up, she gave me a birthday gift of a huge chocolate bar.  I shared most of it (I took one bite, of course) with my kids!
    5) My sister in law works at Goodwill, so when we got to her work... I was already at my next destination!  I donated bags of clothes to Goodwill.  (James was my photographer!)

    6) Purchased two gift cards from McDonald's.  I drove around for a LONG time looking for someone who looked like they needed it!  Finally found a woman walking down the road with bags of groceries.  I pulled over and told her it was birthday and what I was doing, and offered her the gift card and a "Happy Day" card.

    7) Got out some trashbags and gloves and the kids and I picked up trash off the side of the roads.  This was actually James' idea!  He was really great all day, opening doors for everyone, and really helping out!

    8) Visited a laundromat and there were 3 women who had just arrived.  I gave them "Happy Day" cards, and paid for their laundry.  This was one of my favorite parts of the day.  It was as if I had told them they had won the lottery!!!  It made my day just as much as theirs!
    ( BTW, totally off topic, but this little boy being in this basket reminds me sooo much of the book, A Pocket for Cordoroy. I love that book!!!)

    (*) Every Friday I go to a ladies bible study, and wasn't about to miss that just cause it was my Bday,so...
    9)  I brought 30 cookies as a surprise treat for them.

    10) I also brought a huge bag of bubbles and bubble toys for the kids to play with, and then we gave them to the host family's kids to keep.  (also James' idea! The bubbles are in the gift-bag in the pic below.)

    11)  Gave each of the ladies at the Bible Study a personal note of appreciation and love.
    12) After Bible study was over, I met my mom for lunch at Ryan's.   We gave the hostess a "Happy Day" card and hersey bar.  (Again...James the photographer!!!)

    (*) Two random things that happened...  After we said the blessing for our meal, we opened our eyes, and there was an old man standing at our table.  He reached into his pocket, and handed James and Bella each a one dollar bill!!!  How funny is that?  On "Happy Day"  my kids get there own happy day random act of kindness from a stranger.  Love it!  Also, my mom paid for all of our meals, plus had the waitress sing my Happy Birthday...embarrassing!!!  I didn't even know they did that!

    13) We left a big tip for our waitress along with a "Happy Day" card and some herseys bars.  Again, this was another favorite part of the day...her reaction was so wonderful.  (we were walking away when she found it, but we could hear her from across the restaurant.  Loudly laughing and showing all the other workers telling them about everything.
    14)  Dropped by some items at a local church's food bank.

    15 -16)  Next we traveled to Savannah and headed for downtown.  At first we ended up at Forsyth Park.  It was a HOT day, so we got out our 30 popsicles and 30+ bottled waters and walked through the park handing out randomly.  Everyone was very grateful and surprised.
    (My batteries in the camera died right before we went into the park, so no pics of that except this couple who walked by as we were getting out of the car.  But there were tons of smiles and happy memories made!)
    17) Gave a homeless (maybe?) man the other McDonald's gift card. (plus a water and popsicle)
    (*) As we drove to our next destination, we would stop when we saw tired bikers, pedestrians...offered them water too.

    18)  Donated children's books and videos, and a little bit of candy too :) to the Greenbriar home for homeless children.  This was sobering.  That side of town was very poor, and everyone was extremely grateful.

    19) On our way to next destination...gave out more waters to kids walking home from school.  More smiles.
    20) Went to the Ronald McDonald House for families and dropped off a gift basket filled with books for adults and children, photo albums, room decor to add a homey feel, toys/activities for the kids to do, and one of my handpainted canvases.
    21) Also brought them some flowers
    22) Went next door to the hospital parking garage and put "Happy Day" post it notes on the side view mirrors.

    23)  Went inside and found a break room filled with at least 15 vending machines!!!  Wrote a Happy Day note and left 12 quarters
    24) and 3 boxes/bags full of Mary Kay make up samples.

    (*)Enjoyed a wonderful meal with family and friends at Musato's Japanese Restaurant.  This has been an April birthday tradition that has been going on for at least 18 years straight.  Maybe more...we have bad memories, and can't remember the exact year when we started.  But it was wonderful to keep the tradition alive.  Mom drove Grandad home to fill his medicines, but Mark the hubby and Joy the friend joined us in our Happy day quest!

    25) Gave "just because" notes to my Grandma Fay, Granddad Eby, my mom, and friend Joy.
    26) Went to the dollar tree and purchased 30 balloons...gave the cashier a "Happy Day card and candy"

    27) Went to the mall and handed out balloons to kids...and a few adults who were young at heart!  One of my favorite parts of the day.  As we were getting out of the car to head into the mall, a woman stopped us and asked if she could have one for her son.  After telling her our "Happy Day" mission, she told us that she was the manager of a store inside, and that she had two very deserving girls who worked there, so that was our first stop inside.  The girls were so excited.  It tickles me just how much a balloon can make your day.
    I loved seeing all the smiles!
     (*)One the way to the bookstore, James saw a donation center for Habitat for Humanity...and stopped everyone and asked if we could donate some money to them!!!  I love it!!!

    28) Went to the bookstore and let the kids just sit and read. and read. and read.  We stayed there for an hour!

    29) In addition to all the Happy Cards I handed out today, I also designed a card and sent it to Emma
    30)  Emailed encouraging letters to friends

    I can't tell you how exhausted I was at the end of the day!  I am so thankful Mark was with me to drive me home, or I would have had to get a hotel room!  That's how tired I was!!!
    it was soooo worth it!  I have never had so much fun on my birthday before.  All the focus was on others, and there were no pity parties for me!!!

    I also encouraged others to do kind acts in honor of my birthday.  I created a facebook group, and 49 people joined!  Whoohoo!!!  One of the members, my friend Joy, got her whole 2nd grade class involved.
    They spend the day cleaning up around the school, cleaned offices, picked up fellow schoolmates lunch trays and trash for them.  AREN'T THEY ARE AWESOME?!  Thank you Joy for setting that up!  She also joined me for the last leg of the day...the balloons!!! 
    Another person who blew me away was Ms. Kathy from Glennville.  I met her at my parent's church Easter weekend at the Easter Egg Hunt.  In my first post about how I was going to spend my birthday (here), she left a comment for me.  Here is what she said...

    Act # 1 Today, I am going to make a $15.00 dollar donation to the "Colby Anderson Fund" (at the bank), in honor of your birthday. Colby lives in Glennville, and was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year. He is currently undergoing treatment in Savannah. So far, he's responding well, but there is a long road ahead of him.

    Act #2 I am sending a small gift to Abby Riggs, who is 5 years old and also suffering with leukemia. Abby is the daughter of a semi-famous Christian blogger and author named Brent Riggs. The Riggs family lives in Oklahoma, and I met them over the internet.

    I've followed Abby's story for about a year...she's fighting a hard fight, and it's not going well...Abby was adopted by the Riggs family from Guatamala, along with 2 other international children. Brent also has 4 grown children.

    I send Abby cards, letters and occasional gifts in an effort to keep her spirits lifted. Sometimes my granddaughter and I color pictures for her and mail them. Abby's in the hospital a lot!

    Anyway, Abby's gift will be in honor of your birthday. I will wrap it in birthday paper, and send a card explaining that it is in honor of your birthday. Abby loves Winnie the Pooh, and I'm sending a Winnie the Pooh activity book/crayons.

    Thank you for coming up with this unique and kind way to let us help make "30" special. It is my pleasure to help you celebrate in this way. Blessings to you and yours, Kathy in Glennville
    I also want to send a HUGE thank you out to my mom, who was with me for most of the day helping out.  She helped me find the shelters, and took pictures for me.  She helped me keeping up with two kids the entire day.  I love her, and thank her!!!  She does kind acts every day, without anyone noticing and makes a difference in so many people's lives (including mine)!!!

    This was most definitely a HAPPY DAY for all!   Thank you for sharing it with me!