Archive for March 2009

God is Awesome!

There is probably a better word to use there, or maybe not…all I can say is that He’s awesome!  He loves us with unconditional love.  He gives us guidance.  He supplies our needs, sometimes before we know we have one.  He sends people into our lives to make a difference, we only have to accept it.

Our pastor preached Sunday morning on the title, ‘That’s against my religion’.  If you are religious at all, at some point in your life you may have used it as a cop-out.  Sometimes in jest, when you don’t want to do something you may have said it.  What we really need to get down to though, is what is really against ‘our’ religion.  Not the religion of the church you attend, or of your best friend, or of the person next door.  The personal, this is what I believe, this is MY RELIGION.  And stick to it.  Can I say that I’ve never fallen or faltered in what I believe…or stopped and reevaluated some issues.  Sometimes going back and forth, trying to figure out where I stand and why I stand there.  NO!!  As Paul would say, Forbid and I again I say Forbid.  In my opinion you should at some point question it all…should you forgo what you at one time held dear…probably not (though it sometimes happens).  But in case you do…God loves you!!  He is willing to forgive, and sometimes for the same dumb mistakes.

Coming face to face with the ‘convictions’ not just preferences…we need to decide what we will hold true and sacred and what we will not waffle on.  If it means being left out of what the ‘group’ is doing…so be it.  If we get to heaven and realize that we didn’t need that conviction…who cares, we’re in Heaven.

God is love.  I want to strive daily to be what he wants me to be; and I will probably fail again at some point…but I know that He loves me, and I am His.

ERM

Things I learned in Ireland

Pillows are flat.  It’s a wonder they call it a pillow.

The reason Ireland is so ‘green’ is because they keep it well fertilized.  Which makes for a great aroma. :)

If you are ‘qeued’ you are actually in line, and waiting.

Swans have legs…or actually feet like ducks.

Pay attention while walking on slippery, mossy rocks…you can easily bruise your knees and take out small children.

There are no ‘magic’ Kleenex…only in the minds of tired people.

I have some of the best family ever…and they are very entertaining.

It rains a lot…but regardless you can have fun.

They have some awesome food…fish & chips, bread, bread, oh and did I mention bread?

Digestives can be a good thing.

There is so much that I wanted to remember and tell, and I’m sure that I’ve forgotten most of it.  The country is so beautiful, and the people I came into contact with were nice.  They like our accent.  It was an awesome trip and I’m very glad that I was able to go.

Here’s a link to the final set of my pictures…Ireland ’09. 

Ireland Day Seven — Coming home

We said our goodbyes to the kids last night, so this morning we only saw Riley as we headed out at the break of day to the airport.  Our flight out was at 8:40, but we had to be there earlier to get through customs and such.  Side note:  I will be able to unpack and undress in under five minutes from here one out. :)  We had to unload everything that was electronic (computer, video camera, camera, etc) out of our bags; tack our shoes off, and I had to take my jacket/hoodie off…and be fast enough so that the people behind you did cut in line (though they did sometimes) and then be able to reassemble all items in a timely fashion on the other side of the gate so that you don’t hold up traffic.  Coming into London, we got to go through this process twice…which was great fun.

Anyway…we made it to the airport, said our final goodbyes and started our trip home.  We made it to London with time to spare, then caught our flight to Phily.  We landed with just under an hour and forty-five minutes to spare to make it through customs, collect our bags, and make our connection to St. Louis.  They made us ‘hover’ for 30 minutes out in no-man’s land.  When we landed, I turned my cell phone on and called my home number to find out that we had a ‘delay’ for our connection that would last 110 minutes.  Instead of rushing, we were able to take our time, and we went to wait.

I spent $8.50 on a little box of fruit and a Snapple…the place didn’t have the correct price tags in front of the food…and I didn’t want to hold up the line.  We tried sleeping…because our plan had an additional delay.  We were supposed to take off at 6:55…we ended up leaving Phily at 10:30 (when we were to arrive in STL originally).  The flight was uneventful, we arrived at STL and headed home. 

ALL my luggage arrived with us this time…I was super excited about that.

We arrived back home at 4:30 am…making it about 27 hours that we had been up total, with little cap naps on the plane and in the waiting areas.  It was a CRAZY day!!!

I was very excited about getting to sleep in my own bed (for the three hours I had before heading to work), with a ‘real’ pillow.

Until later..ERM

Ireland Day Six – Wednesday, March 25

I woke this morning with mixed feelings.  Excitement of getting to see another castle and some sadness because this was the last day that I would get to spend with my family.  We all got up and ate breakfast, Seneatha playing the chef and cooking eggs all around — well for those who wanted them.  I got a basic kids plate, because I was having toast and one egg, she asked if that’s the plates that we were eating on and I was like, ‘yeah I am’.  So she grabbed one for the next egg that came up, which was Riley’s…so Riley ate off of a Hello Kitty plate.  It was humorous to me. :)

After getting us all fed and bathroom break done, we headed out.  It was almost ten, but we were still doing good.  We headed to Carrickfergus Castle.  It sits up on the shore, just northeast of Belfast.  It was a really cool castle.  They had figures set throughout the castle of people that would be there, and their stories.  We had the opportunity to walk throughout the castle, watch a couple of videos in the tv room (while waiting for the rain/wind to calm down some), and to say the we have been to a castle. 

When we were in the gift shop we asked the ladies there where a good place to eat would be, that would have authentic food, they sent us to Sozo’s and then onto O’Neils Bakery…two VERY good selections.  After eating, and as we were walking down to the ‘nice’ bakery (the ladies at the castle told us to pass up the first one because they weren’t ‘nice’…meaning their food wasn’t as good); we stopped at a goodwill and I purchased some tea cups for my mom and a skirt for myself.  It was a great time!

After leaving Carrickfergus, we headed into Banbridge to hit a couple of shops and then to go to the American Outlet to pick up some tea pots and tea.  It’s a very cute little town, this is the closest place to Riley and Tara that has a bank and other stores that they can shop (their village only has a corner supermarket w/ a post office in it).  I found a couple of shawl type things, and a ‘tea for one’ thing that ‘I couldn’t live without’…so I made some final purchases before heading back to the house to pack and get ready for church.

After arriving home, Seneatha and I packed.  Then we went down to play with the kids while Tara finished dinner.  We set the table and had supper then headed off to church.  Bro. MacFarland’s pastor from Florida was there, he preached on ‘Authentic Christianity’.  It was a good service.  Afterwards we talked to the church members before heading home to weigh our bags (with Bro. Mac’s scales) and to finish getting everything done and prepared for tomorrow.

Until later…ERM

Ireland Day Five – Tuesday, March 24

We got up early this morning and headed north to Giant’s Causeway.  It was beautiful and really cool.  The rocks were all in hexagon shape, and the Giant Finn MacCool created them to make bridge to go over to Scotland to battle Benandonner, a rival giant.  We walked up a goats trail along the edge of the cliff around the end of the inlet to see some awesomeness of God’s creation.  We were given a great introduction to Ireland weather, it was rainy, cold, and the wind was blowing like crazy.  But it was worth the trip.

We left the Causeway and went to Dunluce Castle.  The ruins of it anyway.  It was really cool, the MacDonald’s (MacDonnell’s) owned/operated the castle.  You could tell the set up of the rooms, and it was a large set-up.  Riley and Tara walked down the steps to see the sea cave that was under the castle — where they hid their get-a-way boat.  Me and Seneatha and the girls opted to go to the car.   We left there and headed home.

It was some awesome country that we saw today…well actually all week.  Ireland is a beautiful country.

Here’s my pictures…hope you enjoy them.  Ireland ’09

Ireland Day Four – Monday, March 23

Before I get into what we actually did today, some things that I’ve found or experienced and forgot to mention are the following:

In Portadown on Saturday, we found a Love Olive store.  We of course all enjoy olives, or as the store name goes ‘love’ olives.  So we went in and bought a container full, that we picked out ourselves, and had them eaten practically before dinner was cooked, and we finished them off with dinner.  They were very good.

Today we went to Tollymore Forest.  We walked for about two hours (into and out of the forest), and it was beautiful.  Everything was so green, the river that was running through the forest was bubbly and had several little water falls.  I wiped out on some mossey rock, taking Simeon down with me.  I know have a purple and black knee…but hey, we’re alive.  Peyt wiped out and slid down a rock face into the creek…she was a little cold after that adventure.

After leaving Tollymore, we drove to Newcastle then to Kilkeel.  We walked around in Newcastle some until it started raining and getting really cold, then we drove along the coast to KilKeel to see if we could see seals in the harbor at the fishing docks.  It was a gorgeous ride, you cannot really explain in words and the pictures do not do it justice.

We saw a double rainbow at one time, when the rain broke and the sun decided to shine for awhile.  One end of it hit the water and spread out over the ocean, it was really cool.

The weather cooperated with us while we were at the Forest…but after that it turned very cold and the wind was CRAZY…but it was a good day.  I have two more days before coming home…(sad face).

So many things are going on right now…and I know and trust that God will lead me and I hope that I make all the correct decisions and things go according to His plan and not my own.  God is awesome!!!

I uploaded some new pics from our trip today.  Sorry that you have to go through all the old ones first, but I already started it a certain way and my OCD will freak a little if I change at this time.  So just skip to the ones you haven’t seen. :)

Later…ERM

Ireland Day Three — Sunday, March 22

Woke up this morning and went to church.  Our first service was at Gilford, in Northern Ireland.  We had around 22 people in attendance.  We met some awesome people.  Today is Mother’s Day, so we had a tribute to the mother’s then Bro. MacFarland preached.  Sis. Mac did the tribute and then their daughter Shawna spoke; they both did very good.  The message today was ‘When you cannot get out, Jesus can get in’.  Bro. Mac spoke about how we get into situations sometimes and we cannot see how to get out or the end of it…but God will meet us in the middle of it and see us through.  Examples he used were the Three Hebrew Children, in the fiery furnace; Daniel in the Lions Den; Paul & Silas in prison.  He also spoke about how God will not put more on us than we can bear, and if we find ourselves in situations that we cannot bare…then we’ve probably brought it upon ourselves.  It was a great service.

After service we had ‘tea and biscuits’ (and some bread) with the members of the church then we headed to Dublin with the Mac’s.  Stopped by McD’s on the way down, had lunch in the car, and hit the road running.

At Dublin we had an awesome worship service then Seneatha and I stepped out during Sunday school and walked around Dublin for awhile.  We went to O’Connell Street and walked for about four blocks looking at all the shops and buildings.  We saw the Spire of Dublin along with several other cool things.  We took Peyton and Kirsten along for the journey.  After walking both sides of the street we headed back to the church to meet up with Riley and Tara.  We then had fellowship with the Dublin church, had more ‘tea and cake’, then headed home.  We made a pit stop at Domino’s pizza for a quick bite to eat (in the car) and came home.

We kicked back in our pj’s and unwound from our day out.  It was a beautiful day…and now I can say that I’ve walked the streets of Dublin.

Until later…ERM

Check the new pics out at Flickr.

The Kids @ Gilford

Girls on O’Connell St in Dublin

Ireland Day Two – Saturday, March 21

Today I woke up around 5:00, then stayed in bed till around 7:00 sleeping kinda.  Got up a for a little while, then went back to bed until around 11:00, which felt really good.  Then we got up and let the kids open their birthday gifts.  Peyton got a camera and Simeon got drums…so we had him playing and Peyton taking pictures.  We then headed off to Portadown to look around.  Then we went to Tesco, their Wal-Mart (sorta), and I loaded up on cookies for some people back home…and myself.

We ate at Wee Barney’s today.  I had the Irish dish of Fish & Chips, it was very tasty.  A little better than Long John Silvers, as I joked to Seneatha.  The waitress loved our accents. (smile)

When we got home, Seneatha and I walked down into the village of Donachloney.  We stopped at a graveyard, went to the factory where the linens for the Titanic were made, then just walked around looking at the houses and stuff.  Then we of course had to walk back to the house.  Good exercise!!

Ate dinner, played some Wii, and then played around on my computer.  Tomorrow we go to church…looking forward to that.

There are current pictures up on Flickr.

Ireland ’09 – Getting There and Day One

Actually this is a whole day of travel actually…22 hours from start to land.  A landing that didn’t turn out exactly how I had envisioned.  One of my bags didn’t make it, (sad face), and my family was not standing on the other side of the wall when Seneatha and I rounded the corner, with open arms and smiles.  Instead, no one was there and Seneatha and I were wondering where the communication broke down because we had no way of communicating to them.  They showed up!!!!  But that is jumping the gun…the story starts in Doniphan.

I worked Thursday morning, I had to sit and make myself concentrate and work.  I left at noon, and hooked up with my cousin and travel companion and headed for STL to catch our plane.  We were almost to the north end of PB when I started hearing a sound from my car, I thought I had a flat tire.  Come to find out it was a piece of my undercarriage that had fallen off and was dragging along the road and rubbing the tire.  So I pulled into Larry Hillis and had them cut the piece off and continued on my way.  When I got to STL, I missed my turn off for the parking spot that I wanted so we had to do a ’round about’ — MO Def = round about way to get there.  Finally got the car parked and headed into the terminal. 

Caught our flight to Phily.  Never arrive at Phily after 10:00 pm, nothing is open.  So if you’re hungry or thirsty you’re out of luck.  Our plane was one of the dirtiest ones I’ve ridden on.  We made it to Phily, to wait for our connection to London.  It wasn’t that long, and then we boarded for our 6 1/2 hour flight into London.  I took some NyQuil tabs, put the best thing I’ve ever spent $8 on (sleep pretty in pink sleep mask).  It was very comfortable, and worked in keeping the light out.  I slept really well, and woke up in London.  To proceed through customs were they practically asked me what color my underwear was, before allowing me through.  Then we slept on the benches by our gate, after grabbing a bite to eat.  Then we caught our flight into Ireland (Belfast).

After we deplaned and waited by the luggage carousel, I realized one of mine didn’t make it.  We sat around and waited, and waited, and then gave up hope.  We went to the luggage desk, and put in my request to have it delivered to my house (or my brothers).

We made it out of the luggage claim, walked around the corner expecting smiling faces of family that I haven’t seen in six months…to nothing.  They were not there.  I had no way to contact them, I hoped they remembered that it was the ‘city’ airport and not the international one.  We stood around, Seneatha went out two different doors to look and see if they were there.  Nothing.  All of a sudden out of nowhere, little arms cam flying around my waist, and I received a hug.  Then I was surrounded by my family.  IT WAS AWESOME!!! 

All in all it was a great trip.  We did some round abouts (the MO kind, and the Ireland kind) with my brother…who’s GPS kept recalculating.  We stopped at a shopping center and grabbed some food and then went to the March Gang’s house. 

The smell is amazing…very much like home after they fertilize the fields.  I took a picture where it says Fresh Air, Fresh Fields.  It is definitely ‘fresh’ air and ‘fresh’ fields.

This wraps it up for the first day (or two, depending on how you look at it).

Here’s a link to the pictures so far…I’ll be updating them as we go along. :)

Until later…ERM

St. Patrick’s Day!!

Happy St. Patick’s Day to everyone out there…hopefully you wore green, or you’re in a situation where they do not pinch you anymore if you don’t. :)

Today is my nieces birthday…you can go to The March Gang and see a post that has been dedicated to her.  Wish her a Happy B-Day.

I would like to say that I did have one good thing yesterday…a customer of mine that I really like, who has been very sick lately, came in yesterday.  He looked really good and said he was feeling a lot better.  It was great to get to joke around with him and have some laughs.

Until later…ERM.