Friday, November 13, 2009

Who needs a phone??? Me, of course!

Well, as cell phone tactics go, we have been suckered in, again!! I think this is going to join my pet peeve list...

Our cell contract was up - we were eligible for new phones. Of course, the free ones were cheesy. So, after 2.5 hours of research (yes! the OCD in me), 1.5 hours in the store (ugh! we finally left), and 3 days later, the new phones arrived. Understand, I purposely chose phones that did NOT require a data package or internet. I don't NEED to check my email or update my FB status from a handheld.

I call to activate my phone - no problem. Spent several hours learning the features, updating contacts, etc. Then call back to activate the spouse's phone, at which point I am told these phones now carry a mandatory data package - I could have screamed. Actually, I think I did.

I went through the whole process with the customer service rep that I chose that phone b/c it didn't need it. Well, $10/month per phone is now added to the bill. We are totally trying to simplify our lifestyles - which is one of the main reasons we moved to NC. I don't need all this fancy stuff. But, now I feel like I'm stuck - want to know why? Yep, you guessed it, I like the darn phone!

Back up a few days.....we have seriously been going through our finances and looking at ways to live more simply and be more generous. We looked at our satellite tv package and knocked off about $30/month by dropping the movie channels and the sports package....they have seldom been used since the O Show has arrived! We are also dropping our mail-movie rental which is another $10/month. And, we are looking at other things as well...

So, technically, you could say that I've cut back in other areas and the phone shouldn't be that big of a deal, but I guess I'm just feeling convicted about it (and ripped off since they changed the package after I bought the thing!)

I'm not sure what to do - a wise young youth told me if I'm feeling guilty I should return it. Hmmmm....out of the mouths of babes.

I'm not sure what to do yet, I have 30 days to return it. I'm thinking of keeping it and making it my Christmas present, but not sure. On top of that , the bluetooth compatibility feature in my car is, you guessed it, NOT compatible with this phone. And, bluetooth is the best feature - it is so much safer.

The Bible tells me my treasures are stored in heaven, so is my phone becoming a treasure? Do I need to go back to the old one (which works perfectly fine!)?

Oh, the dilemmas.....

In His Grip,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A ripped sail, but still sailing....

Have you ever felt like the wind has been taken out of your sails? Like they have been slashed, your boat overturned and you are sinking? It happened to me today - I'm in recovery mode and happy to say, I'm recovering quickly. Allow me to briefly explain....

Several months ago someone gave a us a generous gift. A situation arose where someone else could use the gift more than us; so we paid it forward. No big I thought.

Today, the person who gave us the gift found out we didn't use it; the situation was explained, but the person just didn't get it. I literally felt the wind rip my sail down. NOT because of the act of giving, but because the person didn't get that someone else needed it more than we did.

I suppose this bothers me because for the last several weeks at church we have been listening to a series on financial peace, simplifying our lives and being more generous. And, even though this event happened several months ago AND the person who gave the gift has not had the benefit of hearing the sermons, I still almost got angry. I say almost, because I caught see, we're also studying forgiveness in our youth group.

Almost as quick as the anger rose, all the scriptures we have looked up on forgiveness began running through my mind. No, I couldn't quote them, but I know God calls me to be forgiving, just as He forgives me. I took several deep breaths, squelched the anger and composed myself.

I think disappointment is the emotion I'm feeling. I know in life people are always going to disappoint us; and, I think it is ok to have high expectations of certain behaviors, it just makes the fall harder. This is why I remind myself to put my trust and faith in God. He will never disappoint, fail or mislead me. And, He is always willing to forgive, so it is something I should learn to do as well.

The sail has been repaired and being re-hoisted as I type.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Family time on the Blue Ridge Parkway

I have said it before, but, I say it again - I have been blessed. Today, I spent the good part of the afternoon with Al and the O Show on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. It was an amazing day filled with laughter, good food, great scenery, and good photos (Thanks to Val!)

God's beautiful creation never ceases to amaze me, and today was just outstanding. What a great day! Thank you Lord for the many blessings you have placed in my life!

Here are some photos of the day - I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

To Miele` or Not....

So, those of you who know me, know that I am an appliance snob....can't help it! I like a nice kitchen, I want it to be functional and practical and I want it to WORK! (ok, looking good helps!).

When we built our second house, I found the German appliance maker, Miele....LOVE it! I bought a dishwasher (THE quietest on the market), a gas cook top and a coffee system (not maker, mind you). Great appliances - and fulfills all the needs of the kitchen. I'll admit they are a little pricey, but I have no problem paying for quality IF it works and lasts forever.

When we moved to NC, I opted for the same appliances - all is great thus far, working on year 3. However, I have now become so accustomed to them, I am pining for a Miele vacuum cleaner...

I have done more research on vacuums than anyone else, except probably the Rainbow sales rep. I am having a hard time choking down the fee it costs to clean my floors; at these prices, the thing should come with a robot to push it around the house.

I'm working a few extra hours this week to begin the vacuum fund; which is kind of slow going, since I only work one day a week! At this rate, the dust, dander, and goodness knows what else will be multiplying on my floors before the thing ever makes it to my doorstep.

My friend, C.J., thinks I'm crazy to spend this kind of money on stuff...and, he's probably right. But, I'm hoping I never have to buy them again. Of course, it doesn't help that he is friend's with Al and they are making fun of me together. I'm using the angle that the BABY needs a clean environment (lol); he's not telling me no, but he is definitely rolling his eyes. This is why I love him - he just lets me do my thing and loves me anyway. Besides, I don't hear Al complaining about his coffee system!

Hmmmmm......little does he know that the Miele washer and dryer are next on my list!! Poor guy.

In His Grip,

Monday, October 19, 2009

The O Show had a Show!

Sunday, October 4, The O Show was baptized. Technically, I look at is as a christening/dedication, because I believe she needs to make that choice on her own. But.....the Methodists call it a baptism. It's all semantics to me.
I believe we were all coming together as the Body of Christ to commit to raising her in God's ways.
Family travelled far to attend this momentous occasion for us. To the left is Granny Newkirk, Al and the O Show after the blessed event. Granny travelled from Monroe, Louisiana. Al's sister Debra, her husband, Dwight, and our niece, Alyson travelled from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Melanie, my youngest sister, travelled from Pensacola. Here she is feeding the O Show some sweet potatoes.

My older sister, Stacie, and her husband, Harry, travelled from Las Vegas, Nevada. Here they are at the airport...

Mom and Dad travelled from Pensacola, Florida as well. No pictures - they refuse!! :(

O's Godfather, Tom, also travelled from Pensacola - we were so thankful he made the trip. He and O developed a great bond; although I'm a bit nervous about their relationship. He is threatening to teach her things, that perhaps, in error, I have taught his daughter!! You know, shopping, make-up, handbags, shoes, and the list goes on!!
It was a wonderful time, and I'm so thankful to everyone who travelled. We hosted a small reception at our home for our friends and family. We were so honored to have so many people show their support. We appreciate all of these people who have been a support system to us. We are so blessed to have friends who will be there for us while the O is growing up!
God is so good! Check out her formal pictures at
In His Grip,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where have I been?

Oh my!! I haven't blogged in two weeks!! I have been busy, busy! I will tell you about my week another day. Right now, I have to share what I've learned from my Bible lesson today....

I suffer from a small amount of anxiety - my brain goes 90 to nothing. I can think of the most bizarre scenarios - frightening, scary, funny, name it. I have learned that satan is the author of this confusion, and I, with the Lord's help, can call him out and cast him down.

So, with the arrival of the O Show, my anxiety levels have gone up a little. Things as simple as help me make sure I dress her warm enough to more complicated issues like kidnapping, losing her, accidents, etc. have crossed my mind more times than I care to share. I am learning to pray the following daily: "Lord, help me not to live in fear of possible dangers, but help me to live in the joy and peace of knowing you are in control."

Tonight, I read Matthew 18- Christ is telling the disciples how precious children are to Him - how He cherishes them, and then in verse 10, the most precious words I have heard now come to life for me...."their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." My baby has an angel in heaven that is constantly in the presence of the King!! This is almost liberating for me! She is precious to the King of Kings, to the Almighty, our Father! I am going to write these words on my heart - satan can't get a foothold any longer!

In His Grip,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

How's your prayer life?

Honestly, sometimes I struggle in this realm....sure, I offer up the obligatory thank yous, please pray for so and so, forgive me for my sins...blah, blah, blah. I wonder if that's what God hears sometimes from us? I know He doesn't, but I know He longs for us to really have meaningful prayer time. Communication with Him is how we learn more about Him. Sometimes, it is a one-way conversation. I don't take the time to BE QUIET and listen to what He has to say to me!!

Webster's defines prayer as a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession; a devout petition to God.

Spiritual communion? I need lots of practice! What I learned today....prayerless lives = powerless lives. Prayerful lives = powerful lives (thanks Beth Moore!). Prayer turns cowards into conquerors, and constant (get that, constant) communication with Christ give me a continual supply of spiritual strength.

In Matthew 6 Jesus goes out to pray all night - imagine, praying all night. The Greek word for this is dianuktereuo which translates to endure a task through the night; staying/toiling at a task all night.

Have you ever endured praying through the night? Or for even more than 5 minutes? My prayer this week is that I will endure; that I will be on my knees, humbling myself, releasing my pride, and communicate with my Creator. I suppose I'll even be quiet and listen!

In His Grip,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Have you ever tried to catch a hummingbird?

Seriously - have you ever tried to catch a hummingbird? This morning I had the opportunity to practice this fine art. And, let me tell you, it is not easy trying to catch one of these things! They are also not the smartest birds - beautiful, but no brains in that wee little head!

It began when I opened the doors to our screened in deck; apparently, when I let the dogs out, I left the door to the outside open. I was playing with O and I kept hearing this banging noise behind the sofa by the printer. Then our little Jack Russell Terrier, Sparky, started acting nuts. He was running around acting crazy - usually this means one of two things - a thunderstorm is coming or a creature is in his space. Since we've had a lot of storms over the last week, I just ignored him. After 15 minutes I went to investigate.

This is what I found - a hummingbird beating himself to death at my window in the living room trying to get out. Somehow he not only got on the deck but then into the house. This is NOT the first time this has happened, so I knew I was in for a long struggle to get him out. On several occasions we've had to let them die, b/c they just don't want to cooperate; or,perhaps, they don't understand you're trying to help them.

At any rate - this is how you catch a hummingbird inside your house:

Grab a strainer/colander and a flat surface object (I use a cutting board!). When the land, place the strainer over the bird (mind you this is a slow process). Slide the strainer to the edge and have the cutting board ready - the bird/colander should slide right onto the cutting board making a make-shift "trap". Take the bird outside, lift the colander and fly, birdy fly. This whole process can take be as short as 15 minutes or as long as all day -just depends on how rambunctious your bird is. Warning: it can be dangerous, funny, maddening and wild all at the same time.

I tried to get a picture of my adventure this morning but with a crying baby, a wild acting dog, a loose hummingbird and the phone ringing - it just wasn't possible. I can multi-task with the best of them, but that was just too much!

Poor Sparky, no hummingbird snack today.

In His Grip,
Kandi :0)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Quick Post

Just a quick post today - I've been pondering over the last several days our move to the mountains. Here are some quick thoughts....

We moved in March of 2006 - can't believe it has been 3.5 (wonderful) years!

God took our good family situation and made it better - even by moving us away from our families! I'm more equipped to be a mom, and Al is a great, involved dad.

Al struggled to pass his pharmacy test - the source of our income. But, when he (we) both fully put our trust in Him who provides, he passed. The emotional roller-coaster was terrifying, but ended up to be thrilling!

God always provides a way - even if we don't see it OR don't like it!

The mountains are such a beautiful part of God's creation! Every day I marvel at the differences and beauty of each one. And how the clouds are sometimes LOWER than the mountains. I appreciate each season for their own reasons. The beauty and splendor of it all literally leaves me speechless when I comprehend them.

Blessed Olivia - who would have thought! And me, a stay at home mom. What a great joy! Joy unspeakable!

And, friends - friends dear enough to tell you how it is with love and respect. Friends to laugh, cry, get mad with and share with. To enjoy a cup of coffee (tea for me, please, unless of course it is a Spanish Latte!), a shopping trip to Aville, or a cry session. Friends who love me in spite of my sometimes negative attitude, my outspoken manner, my legalism, and my penchant to interrupt. I love them all.

Thank you to all my friends who have made this one of the best decisions we could have ever made! And, most especially, thanks to our Creator, who led us to this small, quiet, and amazing location!

In His Grip,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 it or....

I am a fairly organized person; ok, borderline OCD is more like it! I've tried hard over the years to categorize almost everything in my life into lists; or at least, general ideas of how I think things should go.

In walks Olivia.....throw out the lists, schedules and organization. It has taken me nearly 4 months to get some reasonable organization (read: discipline) back into my life.

In particular, I have struggled to maintain a consistent quiet time with God each day. I know I need to discipline myself into this habit, and it has been difficult. However, we have started Beth Moore's Breaking Free study at church. I have committed to having daily quiet time with God. I NEED this study, but more than the study, I NEED God to communicate with God consistently. It can no longer be a one-way street of my wants as I'm just "passing through" a certain task. Although, I do think it is great to throw those prayers out there when I'm changing diapers, doing laundry, trying to cook or loving a fussy baby.

I have prayed that I will make time each morning for God and to do my homework. I know satan is lurking his ugly head around (notice I said around not in!)my home, but he will NOT prevail! I'm gonna do it with God's help!

Day 1 - Olivia slept like a charm - actually, I woke up at 6, did part of my study, she woke up, nursed her and then put her back down. Finished my study and started working on my memory is good, but I knew it wasn't gonna continue to be so easy!

Day 2 - Olivia woke up at 4:30a - no problem - nursed her, put her back down, did my study, back in bed by 6:30a! Love it....

Day 3 - Not sleeping good, Olivia woke up twice during the night (which she hasn't done in FOREVER)-satan is that you knocking? Go away - we are protected! Struggled to get up and 6:30 to do study, but I DID it! Dragging big time today, but so glad I'm learning about Isaiah.

Day 4 - what will you bring? It doesn't matter, because no weapon formed against me will prevail!!

Maybe this sounds a little legalistic, but I do believe discipline is important. I know after a while, discipline will become habit and habit is my goal once again! An item to be added to my daily list.

In His Grip,

Isaiah 61:1 - The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chonda Pierce

Several of us girlfriends went to see the Chonda Pierce show in Franklin last night. It was a great night with friends, and a wonderful opportunity to hear clean, Christian comedy.

Chonda is a PK (preacher's kid) who grew up in Ashland City, Tn. Her new tour is title "This ain't Prettyville" and she sang a song with this title....needless to say, it was hysterical. Chonda throws no pretenses and tells you like it is.

She grew up Nazarene, married a Baptist, and goes to a Pentecostal church! Now, if that's not funny, I don't know what is! She claims she has been saved 342 times! lol

Her jokes had us laughing so hard we were crying. My cheeks hurt so bad from laughing at one point! One of my favorite jokes is when she calls her husband's GPS "Jezebell 1500"! Too funny....

She had 3 other guest speakers who were equally funny. I was impressed that the show lasted 3.5 hours...can you imagine laughing for almost a full 3.5 hours? That's what we did!

My favorite part of the show is when she shares her testimony....this woman was physically, mentally and sexually abused by her father, a preacher. She committed herself to rehab 4 years ago and is "Breaking Free" from her past. And, how she can take something so serious and life shattering and make it funny is beyond me. All I know is God has blessed this woman with a gift of laughter, which has helped her in the healing process.

One important point she made was that churches need to realize that people in their congregations are suffering - sexual abuse, pornography, alcohol, drugs, etc. And, as a church we need to not only help these people BUT also "WALK WITH THEM THROUGH THE RECOVERY". So many times the church pushes these things under the rug and attaches stigmas to people. God loves us just the way we are; his love makes us want to change to be more like him. Help the people around you, don't just speak the words - SHOW them the love of Christ.

Now, the evening would not be complete if I didn't share our own funny little story. I know God is gracious and has a sense of humor, and I know he has forgiven us for our momentary lapse of seriousness. At the end of the show, Chonda says a wonderful prayer - she talks about Christ on the cross at Calvary, what we can do to become one of his, etc....very beautiful words....BUT....I'm afraid we missed some of it. You see the gentleman in front of us "passed gas" right at the beginning of the prayer when everyone was just getting quiet. Let me back up and explain that it was myself, Alicia, Alicia's mom, Vickie, and Val. Well, Alicia, Val and I just cracked up laughing - we were crying and not fully paying attention to the prayer. And poor Vickie, just thought we were being so disrespectful during the prayer. She even leaned over and was patting us like she would some young kids to get us to behave....which of course made us laugh even harder. We were able to explain it to her later, but oh my, it was too funny!

I encourage you to check out Chonda's website, cd's, videos, etc and to go and see her if she is ever in your area. I promise you, you will have a great time!

In His Grip,

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I am so blessed.....

Yesterday was my 38th birthday. It was a wonderful day! I began my day with a mani and a pedi - how relaxing! Then I took a nap with my spouse and the O Show. After a nice relaxing nap we went to the park by the river. Despite the gnats, it was an amazing afternoon! Above are a few pics from our time at the park.

After the park, we went to church where I helped with the youth; teenage girls to be exact. They are a great group, but will wear you out! I'm excited at the opportunity to work with them this year!

The O Show went with the babysitter while Al and I went out to eat. Imagine my disappointment when I found out my favorite dining place was closed! Bummer! I assumed they were closed for the holiday week as they were last year. Nope - they are closed for good! They had the best steak in town to me. After a mediocre steak at another local place and a $90 tab (with no drinks! or dessert!), we headed to the grocery store.

Al assumed we would get dessert at dinner, so he did not plan for a cake. Knowing my desire for buttercream icing, I bought some double stuffed oreos and some buttercream icing....the next best thing to Brad's cake. (A friend who is a caterer and makes THE best cakes ever!).

After we picked up the O Show and got her to bed, we sat out on the deck - me and my oreos and buttercream icing.....I asked Al to stick a candle in the icing, but he just laughed. Go figure!

Today, my best girlfriends took me to lunch - it was great to get everyone together, and the best part of all, was I got a Brad cake!!! Chocolate mousse raspberry with vanilla buttercream icing! Oh my - it was all so fantastic.

Thank you Lord for the blessings of great family, good food, great friends, and GREAT cake!!

In His Grip,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What? It's not about me???

Why is it so hard for me to comprehend that this whole parenting thing isn't about me? my schedule? my wants? or my needs? I KNOW that it is not about me internally, but somehow the message doesn't quite reach my brain!

I'm reading a book by Stormie Omartian on how to become a praying parent....what an eye opening book! I can't make it past chapter 2!! I struggle to give up everything, and I mean EVERYTHING to God. I have to quit trying to make things about me, my life, and my worries, fears and anxieties (and my schedule!).

I'm learning that it is ok, that we don't do the same things at the same time each day, that nap time is totally precious, and that sometimes O just wants to be held, to be held!

I'm learning to be flexible, follow cues, and thank God for EACH moment; even the trying when I couldn't figure out the poor kid had gas! I would love to know what goes through her brains at times like those!

My prayer today is to learn not to be upset when my schedule and plans don't follow what I think they should; and to learn to turn ALL things over to God in the rearing of this child. He has entrusted her care to us, and we can do it with HIS blessing and help.

In His Grip,

Friday, August 28, 2009


Does anyone besides me struggle with self-control? I especially struggle with self-control of the tongue! Anyone hear what I'm saying??

I grew up with doing dishes/kitchen chores with some catchy tunes from Alpha/Omega Publications....along with a host of other songs related to the fruit of the Spirit, one was titled "Self Control". My mother recently purchased a few of these "Old" cd's for the O Show. I found myself humming the self-control song this past Tuesday.

I had a few rough days with the O Show - she was just clingy and rather cranky most of Monday and Tuesday. Al was off on Tuesday, and I really REALLY wanted him to take the O Show and give me a break. We agreed he needed to catch up on the grass cutting due to all the problem, I said. Grass cutting turned to weed-eating and then the chain saw came out....are you KIDDING me? I'm sitting outside with a screaming baby and he is pulling the chain saw out??? I started quoting the chorus to this song....I was determined I was NOT going to yell at him. I was SO proud of myself! I refrained from yelling at the baby, at Al and myself (he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19. Me, wise?! Oh my - could I be learning something?! God is so good!). It was a difficult few moments, but I got through it. I'm so glad I was able to pull from my past and use these words to help me. Olivia will be hearing these cd's until she is tired of them!!

Self-Control by Mike Milligan (chorus only)

Self control is just controlling myself
It's listening to my heart
And doing what is smart
Self control is the best way I can go
So I think that I'll control myself

And, when the chain saw stopped, Al heard the frantic screams (of the baby, not me!!) he stopped and helped me out. He is so great, and I"m thankful he is so involved.

I Peter 4:7 ...therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

In His Grip,
Kandi :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are responsibility and integrity the same thing?

A few days ago I wrote about some of my pet peeves. However, I forgot something....I abhor people who don't take responsibility for their actions or have integrity.

Now, Webster's is one of my friends, so I looked up definitions for both:

integrity: adherence to moral/ethical principles; soundness of moral character; *honesty*

responsibile: answerable or accountable - as for something within one's power, control or management; reliable; dependable

I think I most look at being responsible in the financial realm. Today, so many people are in over their heads with credit card debt and wanting things they can't afford (and yours truly used to be in this category). And, with the "financial crisis" underway in our country things are coming to the forefront regarding this problem.

Allow me to stand on my soapbox for a moment. The problem doesn't rest with the banks, mortgage companies, the president, the dude down the street....the problem rests with each individual American. YOU alone make the decision to buy the car, house, jewelry, camera, video game, etc. YOU sign the paperwork, and as far as I'm aware, no one is forcing you to sign and buy things you can't afford. In other words - you are RESPONSIBLE for the debt you incur. Don't get me wrong, I think some of the financial organizations use unscrupulous measures/tactics to lure you into their pit. It is under your control (see definition) to say NO.

I'm tired of listening to people complain about the things they "have" to have - take a look around....we as Americans have more than most people in the world. There is nothing wrong with wanting things, having nice things or even being wealthy. The Bible says it is the LOVE of these things that causes problems (I Timothy 6:10). The Bible also says to store your treasures up in heaven not earth (Matthew 6:20-21).

I'm as guilty as most in this department - I want things - LOTS of things. As a stay-at-home-mom my finances are a little less than when I was working. Our WANTS require us to plan after our NEEDS are met (shelter, food, clothing). Most often, the wants are put on the back burner for another day - and that is OK with me.

Whew....stepping down off the soap box being careful not to trip (lol!)

Back to the original question....are responsibility and integrity the same thing?

Although there are many definitions and scenarios for what responsible means, I think responsibility and integrity are NOT the same thing. I DO think they are compatible...they go hand-in-hand. I suppose there are circumstances where you can have responsibility but not demonstrate integrity, but I admire people who can be responsible, admit mistakes, step up and take control of their bad decisions and be *honest* about it all.

There is a current email out about integrity - allow me to quote ( I apologize I can't give credit for it as I don't know who penned the words):

"Integrity is having the guts to tell the truth, even if it may hurt. It is having the guts to be honest, even though cheating may bring about a better grade."

But...."Integrity is NOT sinless perfection - a person with integrity does not live a life absolutely free of sin. But with integrity one quickly acknowledges his failures and doesn't hide the wrong."

I encourage you to be honest, responsible and the wonderful head of integrity will surface in your life. May the Lord help me in these areas as well.

In His Grip,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pet Peeves

I wondered today why things that annoy us are called "pet peeves". I did a little research, and I'm not really satisfied with any of the answers I located. I decided to come up with my own version of the word....anything that annoys me a great deal! Here is my "Top 5 Pet Peeves"

5. Putting the clothes away, but leaving the drawer open! I can't complain, because it is getting done, and I'm VERY thankful for the help....but seriously, can't you push the drawer in the last inch?

4. People who say they are "Christians" than treat fellow believers like dirt. I suppose I am guilty of this as well, but I'm aware of it and try to be more Christ-like. I want to be a "disciple" - to drop everything and follow Him.

3. People who talk to you, but you can tell they're not listening/paying attention. Why do you ask me questions/talk to me if you're not interested in hearing my answers? I would rather you not talk to me or ask me questions if you are going to SHOW that you're not least, fake it!

2. Not squeezing the sponge out after doing the dishes. A whole Frasier episode was done on this and it is HYSTERICAL! I laughed so hard I was crying.....again, I'm thankful you want to do the dishes, but PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE squeeze the water out of the sponge when you're finished. Can you say, "nasty"? I encourage you to find this episode and watch it - no one understands!

And, my number one pet peeve is.............

1. BLINKERS ARE NOT OPTIONAL ON CARS - USE THEM! It absolutely drives me insane when drivers don't use their blinkers. Perhaps it is one of those anxiety things where I'm afraid someone is going to switch lanes in front of me without using a blinker and there will be this horrific wreck - all because a blinker wasn't used. Or, how many times have you waited for a car to pass you while you are waiting to make a turn and then they turn! UGH!

I suppose I could add another #1 - WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT - again, not optional equipment. And, if you're not smart enough to wear yours, at least buckle your kids into them.

Now, it is only fair that I list a few pet peeves that people have about me....

- I don't always bring my dishes to the sink. More often than not they are on the table, in the bathroom, on the floor, on the deck, outside....well, you get the picture. I'm trying to be better, and I have improved....but still needs work.

- As with the dishes, I tend to leave my shoes laying around the house and the deck as well. I don't know why - it is just me. Poor Al, always picking up my shoes and dishes.

- I have a tendency to interrupt people - working on that as well (Let my words be few....)

- I leave the laundry in the dryer. At least it gets done, right?

Isn't it amazing how the smallest things can really separate people and cause the biggest arguments. I'm learning to try and overlook them and to be patient....but, boy is it hard. And, I wonder, where do the peeves develop from? Really - why is it that a water-filled (smelly) dish sponge bothers me? Who knows!

The Bible says we are all "perfectly and wonderfully" made - does this include our pet peeves?!

In His Grip,
Kandi :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

46 Chromosomes...

Today's sceince lesson: Did you know it takes 46 chromosomes to make a human??? You receive 23 from each parent. In our family we always joke about what traits we received from each parent. Last year we even made a chart for my parents describing what traits we received from was hysterical. I'll summarize some of the traits I received from each parent - some good.....some not so much!

From my mom:
anxiety and worry (told you some not so good)
good complexion
love of bread and butter
late nights
Love to have my hair played with!
Loud (!!)

From my dad:
lack of patience (ugh!)
It is the principle of the matter
great tans
covert ops

Now, the O Show is only 14 weeks old, but she is already exhibiting her chromosomal we go...

From me:
Hair playing for sure!
lack of patience (especially around feeding time)

From Al:
the only one that matters: THE NEWKIRK SLEEP GENE! Thank you Lord for answering my prayers!!

I am really interested to watch her grow and track her progress in this department. I know it will be fun to see what else she will end up with from us. I am hoping that we can weed out the "bad" genes and pass on the "good" ones!

The Bible says we are "all perfectly and wonderfully made". Who am I to question HIM?

In His Grip,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Leaving the O Show for the First Time!!

Well, I have reached a milestone in my motherhood career. I don't know that it is actually a milestone, but it feels like one.

Every year the spouse has a conference in Destin, Florida. It is for his continuing education for his pharmacy licenses. Since Destin is only one hour from my parents we always make a week vacation out of it (at least since we've moved to NC).

My parents were very excited we were coming to visit since this year we had the O Show with us. Somewhere along the line it was discussed that we would leave the O Show with them while we went and enjoyed ourselves at the beach (where the conference is located) for 3 days.

For many weeks I didn't even think about how I would feel about leaving her. Then, a few days before we left the spouse asked if I would be able to leave her....of course, the anxiety level went up and up and up, and well, you get the picture. I have a little of an anxiety problem, and it has tripled at least since the O Show was born. I have a lot of scriptures I put through my head and speak when these times arise, and I'm learning a few more.

Sunday morning it was time to leave, and I was really nervous....not that my parents couldn't take care of her, but just crazy thoughts running through my head. I sent a text out and asked some of my close friends to pray for me. One of my dear friends sent back "I will pray for comfort and ease that you can relax and enjoy yourself and not have fear and anxiety. I love you." Those words have stuck in my head, and I believe God is using those words to keep me calm.

It has been a little over 24 hours and I'm doing well. I waited about 12 hours before I sent a text to my mom asking how things went. Of course, all was/is well.

I'm constantly learning that God is for me....He did not give me a spirit of fear, but of love. I'm currently trying to memorize Isaiah 41:10 from the Message:

Don't panic. I am with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength; I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a fim grip on you.

A dear friend recently told me to memorize Philippians 4:6-7 in the Message as well:

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

I'm learning to submit to let Christ displace the worry in my center and have Him become my center.

In His Grip,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chocolate Sweet Cake and other Foods that Bring Good Memories

Last night I made Chocolate Sweet Cake - just like it sounds, it is extremely sweet! This and several other recipes bring back fond memories. Do you have any foods like that?

Chocolate Sweet Cake: A very dear lady at our former church in Florida used to make Chocolate Sweet Cake for our Wednesday night dinners. Now, I am not a huge chocolate lover, but this stuff is amazing. She sent me the recipe and it has been a favorite ever since. Last night while I was licking the bowl, um, I mean eating a piece, I was reminded of all the great friends from our former church. They were all a blessing and I miss them terribly.

Home made macaroni and cheese: Now, I am a true pasta lover, and over the years have tried many different recipes. But again, a lady friend from our former church shared a recipe - it could compete with Paula Deen - lots of butter!! Heavy cream! and about 4 pounds of cheese. Ok, not really, but lots!! I've experimented with several different types of cheese, and it is always DEEEELISH! Again, fond memories of Wednesday night dinners and good friends.

Grand Girl's Apple Cake: Let's face it, Paula Deen has the market on butter and sugar. This recipe has so much butter and sugar that it is not funny. But, somehow, it all comes together in this super-moist, super-sweet delight of an apple cake. The secret ingredient is orange juice!! (Imagine - more sugar!). I love making it around the Christmas holiday and sharing it with our friends.

Poppy Seed Bread: My Baba (Russian for grandmother) used to make this every Christmas. It was a staple for the holidays. I didn't like it as a girl, but now I love it. My sister and I have made it several times, and we always laugh about our Baba.

Lasagna: My all-time favorite. My italian grandmother started the tradition...Sundays at her house with so much food you wouldn't believe me if I told you!Over the years the recipe has been perfected, and I now have my own version of sauce - a combination of the old recipe, my mom's, my friend Jo Ann, and my own touch. My god-child, Megan, and I always make plasagna when we are together!

I love thinking about these times! Great memories are made in our kitchens.

Time for some chocolate sweet cake!

In His Grip,

Monday, August 3, 2009

The High Road

We have been talking a lot about taking the proverbial "High Road" at our home and coincendentally ( or NOT!) in our Bible study group. Did your parents ever tell you to take the "High Road"? Well, in my family the phrase was always "Even turkeys appreciate class".

What exactly is the High Road? And why are we called to take it? We could probably spend hours on the latter.

The High Road is something you say or do to someone who maybe hasn't been so nice to you. The High Road can be simply not saying or responding at all. The High Road can be responding the exact opposite of what one might expect.

But, taking the High Road is not easy....a friend of mine just yesterday asked the following question: "Why is the low road a super highway and the High Road a donkey trail with someone following behind you cracking a whip?" (Thanks DJ - I will forever remember that analgy!) The super highway is the world's way of handling things - watch out for number one. The donkey trail is broken, rough and ragged - but it is a blessing when we respond appropriately.

I recently had a heated disagreement with someone; it wasn't ugly - we just agreed to disagree. But, it left me pretty mad and the more I thought about it the madder I got. Later that day I found out I had extra tickets to an event in town. I think God kept pushing at me until I finally called this person and asked them to join the spouse and I for this fun evening. That is taking the High Road....and let me tell you it was kind of hard at first. It was difficult to choke back some of my emotions and relax. But it was a wonderful evening and it didn't kill me!

As I sat there that night I wondered how many people have taken the High Road with me. How many times have I been difficult to deal with in situations? How many times have I been the "turkey" without even realizing it? Especially in my own family?

The more I ponder this idea, I think it involves more humbleness than most of us are willing to display. Being humble and meek in our world is often equated with being weak. But quite the contrary - it goes back to a previous blog; sometimes I need to let my words be few! Being humble and meek means knowing when to keep your mouth shut and having a healthy respect for those around you. I've tried over the last several days to take the High Road; to not respond to silly issues or argue over minute details. It's hard, but I think with practice it will become more habitual.

I really have NO idea why turkeys would actually NEED to appreciate class, but I think I'll quit worrying about the semantics and just do it!

In His Grip,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

All Things Grisham

I am an avid reader - I love to read. I especially love history books and spy-type novels. I am also a John Grisham fan....well, sort of. He has written 22 books, and they have all been excellent. However, I always have a complaint about his endings.

Now, I'm no Pollyanna. I don't expect everything in life to turn out perfect, but COME ON!!!!

Now that I'm staying at home with the O Show, I think I will devote some time to doing something I've always wanted to do. I am going to re-read each book and re-write the last 3 chapters or so of each book. Except for A Time to Kill; that was the one book that was completely great.

It always seems like he likes to leave his characters hanging. They go through a whole book of all these challenges and then BAM! They either fail, don't get it right or just fade away.

Grisham has a way of getting you from the beginning pages. He builds wonderful characters and plots. They often times have exciting adventures that leave you wondering how they get through it. He has an easy way of simplifying legal terms for the average person. And, his choice locations are idyllic.

I always anticipate a new Grisham release.....but there is always that apprehension about the ending. My mother often reads the end of books before she buys them. Maybe I will start doing that with Grisham's books. Nah, that wouldn't be any fun, and besides it is now tradition for me not to like the endings!

I'll never really have time to re-write the endings but it sure is fun to think of all the ways to make it happen!

In His Grip,

Friday, July 31, 2009

What kind of car would Jesus buy?

Yesterday, we thought we would venture out and purchase a new car under the governments Cash for Clunkers program. We ended up buying a very practical, more fuel efficient, albeit smaller, car. President Obama is proud of us for stimulating the economy, and Al Gore is proud of us for reducing our carbon footprint. At any rate, we didn't utilize the Cash for Clunkers program due to the mountain of paperwork involved....but that is a story for a different day....

I think we did everything right....we (well, me) researched, researched, and researched some more. I even found a tax deduction for buying a diesel. We ended up with a very nice fuel efficient vehicle. It is candy apple red, and the spouse is loving it! We got a good deal and were completely satisfied with our purchase and the whole experience at the dealership. (note: to save time at a dealership - bring a baby along!!! We were in and out of there in under an hour!!)

As I'm laying in bed last night I wondered what kind of car Jesus would buy. (I know - it is crazy how my brain works!) There are so many choices, sizes, colors and options available I couldn't wrap my brain around what he might purchase. I initially thought he would buy a very small, fuel efficient, non-flashy car. Practical and unassuming were the first thoughts I had. Then, as I began to think how Christ embraced everyone, I thought he would get one of those 15-passenger vans. Definitely not fuel efficient; but think of the room. As Christ walked along the road in the Bible he told people to follow him. Think of the room in that van - so much room to add people as he went down the road. He might even have to trade up to a school bus! Gas wouldn't be an issue, because God always provides and in many different forms. The generous support of his passengers would provide the gas to move the vehicle from location to location.

Obviously, Jesus didn't have to worry about this; but I look at our churches and our daily conduct as a vehicle. A vehicle to show Christ and His love in all we say and do, and to bring others along on the ride.

In His Grip,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm several days behind on my Bible study work; I wish I could blame it on having a newborn, but technically she is almost 3 months old.

Anyway, we are studying several Psalms, and one of the lessons discusses loss - any kind of loss in life and how we deal with it. I suppose my version of it would be "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Sometimes I question God, as most people do, but in Job, God says "who do you think you are to question me?" (my paraphrasing). Ecclesiastes says let your words be few. And that struck a chord with me. I'm often so quick to just spit something out - not think about it or analyze it before it leaves my lips.

My girlfriend just lost her father unexpectedly, I lost a boyfriend in car accident while I was in high school, and our youth are struggling with an illness within our group. I want the answer to these questions - I want to know "Why". But the Bible says the secret things belong to God. In the final chapter of Daniel, Daniel says I do not understand these things. His vision ends and there is NO explanation.

It is hard in human terms to not get an answer - to trust in the Lord, and lean not on our own understanding. We know nothing compared to the great God we serve. When I'm in these situations I try to remember that God's timing and His plan are always perfect.

These words are hard to swallow; they're hard to share when someone you know is suffering. Sometimes it's best tolet my words be few....

In His grip,

My first blog

My first blog....

why I'm doing this....For me it will be cathartic....I have a mind that does not have an "off" switch (as my spouse calls it). So, in an effort, to clear my head and my thoughts, I will try to put pen to paper so to speak.

I am a (almost) 38-year old wife and mother. The O Show is almost 3 months old, and I've been happily married for 15 years (in November).

I live in beautiful mountais of Western NC and am a SAHM.

You may think that the title of my blog is a reference to Hawaii; however, Kiki is my nickname. My first "psuedo" child came up with this name. She couldn't say Kandi, and Kiki is what came out. As she grew, she would ask a million "why" questions. Everything was "Why Kiki, why?" So, it just stuck. In addition, it is how my brain works - "Why" is always running through my head.

I'm a growing Christian, and want my life to be authentic. My friend used this word a few weeks ago, and it has stuck in my brain. What does it take to be authentic? Am I living my life in this manner? Am I the same person at home and in the community that I am at church? Do these two areas of my life mesh together? It is a work in progress....

In HIS grip,

My first blog and I am cutting it short - the O Show is crying. So much for being cathartic; perhaps more later.

In His Grip,