Friday, August 31, 2007

Saints game!

Matt & I had the opportunity to go to the Saints game last night with our fabulous friends from the Friendship House. It was a pre-season game against the Miama Dolphins. It was actually a pretty slow game, but we still enjoyed just being there. Here are some pics!

Thumbelina, the world's smallest horse

We had the opportunity to take our girls to see Thumbelina, the world's smallest horse the other day. She is a dwarf miniature horse, and really is the world's smallest horse. She is 17 1/2" tall and weighs 57 lbs. She was so cute and little! Here are some pics I thought you all would enjoy...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two years later.

Today marks the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In my opinion, the media portrays the rebuilding efforts of New Orleans (and the city itself) so negatively. There are good things happening in this city, but there is a lot that still needs to be done. The media will never be able to portray this city accurately. There is still despair, pain, hurt, but there is also hope. I encourage you to come to New Orleans and see for yourself, because you will never know otherwise. And don't let me give you the impression that New Orleans was the only place effected by Katrina, there are many other places along the Gulf Coast that were devastated.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

48 hours

The past 48 hours have been one long day and we hope it doesn't continue tomorrow. Here are some things we have encountered:

*four confiscated cell phones (from three different girls)
*confiscated cigarettes and condoms
*tempers flared (both girls and staff)
*lots of yelling and hollering
*lots of manipulation and lies
*new house rules en stated
*our first runaway
*my first Narcotics Anonymous meeting
*coming within a block of the President of the United States of America (the barricades kept me from getting closer)

We're exhausted. We know we'll be fine. Things will settle down eventually. I am thankful I know a God who gives strength and peace to His people.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Monday, August 27, 2007


We need prayer right now. Simple as that. It's been one heck of a day with room searches, 3 girls going non-compliant, and many attitudes. Please pray for us. Thank goodness tomorrow is a new day. :)

*Update (6:45 am, Tuesday): And now we have one girl on runaway, which kind of makes life easier b/c there is one less girl in the house. The joys of group care. :)

Following Him.

As I was sitting in one of my classes today, the Spirit moved me. In the middle of policies and procedures, a voice in my heart told me that I am not in the right place. Now I am not talking about New Orleans, because we all know that the Lord led me here to do His work. I am talking about school. I am pursuing my Masters of Social Work and thought this was my dream. Social Work is my passion. Helping others is my passion. The homeless, the poor, the neglected, the abused, the list goes on and on...they are my passion. What I felt today was a calling drawing me closer to His will. I feel that SUNO (Southern University) is not where God is calling me. I truly feel that He is calling me to go to seminary to pursue the calling that is given to me. I am fortunate enough that there is a seminary here that I could possibly go to (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary). I am looking into this and will see where it leads. I also need to decide what degree I would pursue there. My options are to get my: MDiv in Psychology and Counseling, a Master of Arts in Christian Education (Concentration in Social Work), or my MDiv with Specialization in Christian Education (Concentration in Social Work). I have no idea what the right program for me would be, but it's all in His hands. If this is what God wills for my life, He will work it all out. Pray that God would lead me in the decisions I may be making and pray that God will lead the right people in my life to help guide me in these decisions.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cutesy stuff

I discovered this website today that has some cute stuff! They describe themselves as a "preppy monogrammed ribbon gift boutique". If you like cute, preppy, monogrammed stuff check it out. They have really cute flip flops and bags. And the most precious baby items (i just need a baby...hehe).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oprah on Katrina

Next Wednesday, August 29th is the two year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina ("the storm" as they call it in New Orleans) hit. Oprah (along with Anderson Cooper) is doing a special on New Orleans and the rebuilding efforts here. I'm definitely tuning in and hope you all will too.

Precious Will

I just wanted to post a picture of our precious nephew, Will. Isn't he cute?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Husband

This post is dedicated to my sweet husband, Matthew.

First, I would like to ask for your prayers. Matt is going to the hospital for a sleep study tonight. He has been having much difficulty sleeping at night and is exhausted during the day. We are glad to finally get this sleep study done to get some answers to his problems. Pray that all goes well and we will get the results quickly.

I also have to say that my husband is just fabulous! Today he decided to e-mail the New Orleans Saints to see if we could get some tickets for the girls. Lo and behold, he got a call back this afternoon and we got free tickets to the Saints/Panthers game on October 7th. I am very excited as this will be my first NFL game!

So, my husband is a fabulous man and needs your prayers tonight. The end.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

the zoo & school

It's been 4 days since I, I'm getting slack!

We had a pretty busy weekend and a busy day off yesterday and am just finding the time to write.

We took the girls to the zoo on Saturday. We went initially, to go in the wading pool/waterfalls there b/c the girls wanted to go swimming but we couldn't find a place to go that was open. We are all decked out in our swimsuits and shorts and get to the wading pool/waterfall and the water was nasty and there really wasn't that much water at all. Our girls refused to get in at all, but I, being the adventurous one, waded on in and got under the waterfall. The girls then wanted to go look at the animals, so that's what we did. We saw snakes, flamingos, alligators, giraffes, rhinos, lions, leopards, nutria (these big water rats that run around the streets of New Orleans) and many other animals that don't come to mind at the moment. As we are walking through the zoo, it starts pouring down rain and we were glad that we all had our swimsuits on (though I was struggling to keep the camera dry). We then pass by a fountain and the girls want to jump in it. A man that works at the zoo overheard the girls and said "go on ahead", so we all went running over to the fountain and jumped on in! We splashed around for a while and had fun and then went to see some more animals. Overall, it was a fun trip.

I started school last week. I am taking two classes on Mondays (one from 8:30-11 and another from 12-2:30). While I am extremely glad to be in grad school, it sucks having to wake up at 6 am on your day off! My classes are quite interesting. I took both of these classes at Winthrop for my undergrad, so I have a pretty good background knowledge of these topics (Human Behavior in the Social Environment and Social Welfare Practice & Policies). These classes are quite different from Winthrop though. Everyone here is so liberal. Everyone in the city hates Bush and is so negative about our nation and it's government. It's taking some getting used to for me not to be offended, but I just have to remember that I don't live in the "Bible Belt" of South Carolina anymore. I'm learning a lot about the culture here and about social work practice. Learning is a good thing, even if it hurts a little. :)

We're having guest night tonight and some prestigious lawyer is coming over to eat dinner with us. The girls are making sure the house looks perfect and cooking a great meal (Fried pork chops, pasta with shrimp, crawfish tails, and hot sausage, and they even made a strawberry cake). It should be a good time.

Matt & I have this weekend off! Praise the Lord! We can't wait to get two days off in a row and go to the church we actually enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2007


This is a video that the church we are attending here, Redeemer Presbyterian, put together about rebuilding New Orleans.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tales of Pig Tails

Last night our girls cooked smothered cabbage and pig tails for dinner. Yes, you read that right. Pig tails. Sarah does not eat pig tails. When serving my plate I scooped out the potatoes and cabbage, trying my best not to get to much pig tail meat. As I am eating a fork full of the cabbage, I crunch down on something (pig bone). And that's when I realized I accidentally took a bite of pig tail and I gag. I couldn't finish the smothered cabbage after that. I couldn't even watch anyone at the table eat their pig tails anymore. My dinner was over. And I hope I never have to experience pig tails again in my life. I think I'll pretend to be sick if the girls cook it again. And may I mention that Matt loved pig tails and ate every piece of meat off of the bone! Ugh! Be still my stomach!

In other news, Matt & I watched Devil's Playground last night. This is a documentary about Amish teenagers. When they turn 16 they are allowed to go out into the "English" world and then decide for themselves if they want to join the Amish church or stay in the "English" world. Man, those kids are wild. They were living in trailers, dealing drugs, getting drunk every night, and then proclaiming that they were going to join the Amish church. This documentary definitely gave me a new perspective on the Amish and their beliefs. If you like documentaries, check it out, it's eye-opening.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I need some motivation. I need to be healthier--eat better and exercise. It is quite sad to think that I used to work out 5 days a week and now I don't work out at all. Why did I stop? Life got in the way. Between training for this job, moving to New Orleans, and this dreadful heat, working out lost it's place in my day. I would love to go walking/running but it's just not as fun when it is 95 degrees at 7 am and 7 pm. There is no time when it is not hot here. I need to do it anyway. I feel so much better when I exercise. I'm just going to do it. But, I need your help. I need the perfect workout playlist for my ipod. So, here's my task for you. What are your favorite songs to work out to? What motivates you to get up and get moving? I'm open to all suggestions.

The other part of my healthy plan is getting back to eating right. Somehow, between the fried chicken and homemade pralines, this house just doesn't help me to eat right. I've got to overcome all this junk in the house and go back to my fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. I've decided I'm going to the grocery store this afternoon to stock up on my healthy goodies.

No more Cane's chicken fingers and Rally's fries for me.


I wanted to share with y'all a commisioning that Beth Moore gave at the Women of Faith conference in Atlanta last weekend. I was not able to go because of the demands of work, but my Mom and dear friend Mrs. Kay were able to go. Beth Moore always ends her messages with a commissioning and they are so powerful. Hear these words and take them to heart.

My Dear Sister,
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
Has His hand on you.
Don't trade what He has for you
For the comforts of this world.
Let the love of Christ compel you
And infuse you with courage.
God, even God, who created the heavens
Is the One who comforts you.
Whatever you do,
Don't refuse it!
His grace will guard you from bitterness
And Christ will turn your pain
Into Holy Passion.
Pour your life lavishly into others.
Humble yourself and share your hardships
That others may also share your comfort.
Live till you die!
Then live like there's no tomorrow!
For the King enthroned in Heaven
Is worthy of your all.
Now, go, Girl!
For the Father of Mercies
And the God of all comfort
Goes with you.
Bless be God
And bless be you!

*I especially love the line "Christ will turn your pain into Holy Passion" awesome is that to think about!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I have just discovered igoogle and love it. It is now my homepage. Here's what I am enjoying on my igoogle page: lifetips exercise tips of the day, funny cat photos, ESPN-MLB (for the hubby), hangman, weather,, collapse, and gmail. This is a wonderful tool of technology! How long has igoogle been around? Why haven't I discovered this before now?!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Absolut New Orleans

I am proud to be from a city that now has an Absolut Vodka named after it. Absolut New Orleans made it's debut on the shelves on August 1st. Matt bought some today and we are gladly enjoying it tonight after a long, hard day. And we're celebrating my first day of grad school tomorrow! Here's to New Orleans!

Down Days

Sundays must be my "down days". I think it's because we have nothing to do and the day seems like it goes on forever and ever.

And I'm the "mean momma" and decided that we're not going to the movies tonight b/c the girls didn't do their chores in a timely manner. Hah...they think I'm sssoooo mean. It's kinda funny actually.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What happens when you don't go to Wal-Mart...

First, let me say that I have the most amazing husband ever. We needed groceries for the house and a few other household items and needed to go to Wal-Mart. I absolutely hate going to Wal-Mart on Saturdays (especially with 6 teenage girls)! My husband so graciously went with four of our girls to brave Wal-Mart to buy $400 worth of groceries and household supplies. God bless my dear husband.

Next, let me share what happened when they were gone. I was sitting in the office, watching COPS and the doorbell rings. It's one of our girls coming back from an outing, so I go to let her in. When I open the door she is hollering about this drunk man on the sidewalk. The man proceeds to walk onto our driveway and fall over on his back (with his arms still in the air looking like a cockroach). Then he proceeds to scoot across the driveway, sidewalk, and into the oncoming traffic on Magazine Street. He stands up and wobbles around the road, walking in circles for a while. At this point I go and get the phone to call the cops. I call 911 and tell them what the situation is because I am pretty worried that this guy is going to get hit by a car. Meanwhile, one of our girls walks outside and helps him back to the sidewalk and tries to get him to come sit on our porch, but he refuses. At this point, this girl tells me that this is the deaf guy that comes into Wendy's (where she works) all the time and writes on a napkin his order. And she remarks that he is always drunk. So, here I am with two of my girls, sitting on our porch watching this guy stand on the sidewalk, and then fall over again, and then crawl into a nearby yard. The police come and say they don't see him (he was in the yard nearby) and leave. I guess they have better things to do than to help a drunken deaf man. There's nothing more we could do. We went inside and our good deed was done. I wish there was a happier ending to this story. I wish I know this man made it home safely. I pray that he has someone to take care of him and love him.

So, that's what happens when you don't go to Wal-Mart.

Sudsy Summer Fun

This is what we do when we're bored and it's hot outside...

Saturday update

We ship 'em out and get 'em in. One of our girls was discharged on Tuesday. We got another girl in yesterday. I am pretty excited about this new girl. She was SO excited to be here because she has been in jail for the past month. She was ecstatic to be out in the sunshine, take a real shower, have good food, go to Wal-Mart, and play Monopoly last night. And she is so appreciative to us for everything. She has the best manners of anyone in the house. She is definitely the breath of fresh air that this house needed. Hope she continues to stay that way. :)

In other news, Matt & I are getting settled in to our apartment little by little. We unpacked some more boxes the other day and bought a computer desk for the extra room. It's coming along.

We are elated that we are getting the outside of our house painted! It is in desperate need of some good new paint loving. Someone is supposed to come out Monday to look at it. I'll keep you updated on that progress.

It's hot here. I know that all our family and friends in South Carolina and North Carolina are enjoying the record breaking heat there too. Our heat index is 115 today. We are pretty much staying indoors unless we got to the store or something. I went out to sit on the porch swing a little while ago and could only stand the heat for about five minutes. And our grass desperately needs to be cut but it's so hot even early in the morning and late at night. I think Matt's going to bear the heat tonight and try to get it done. I am wearing shorts more than ever. And drinking lots of water. Hope you all are doing the same.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sweet Potato Joy

Another reason why I love New Orleans...
Today I got to buy homemade sweet potato turnovers from a true Louisianian. And yes, she sold them out of the trunk of our car. And they were gooooooooood!

Continuing our adventure...

Matt has decided that one of his "projects" around the house was going to be to replace the electric sockets on the walls and put grounded ones in. Monday night Matt decided to replace one in our living room. It took about 30 minutes to turn off the right circuit from the breaker because the breaker box was labeled incorrectly. When Matt takes the original socket off he finds that the wires are as old as the house (about 70 years old) and have no label/color code on them. So the task proves to be a little more difficult than planned. Well, Matt replaces the socket and goes to turn the electricity back on and it won't turn on! He flips the breaker switch on and off a million times and it won't work. Oh man! And this circuit goes from our living room into our bedroom and our extra room (we had no living room lights, no tv in the bedroom, and our refrigerator in the extra room was off). And apparently the doorbell is connected to the same circuit so it wouldn't work either. Gotta love old houses! This morning our maintenance man came to check it out and found out there was a short in the circuit. He fixed it and all is well.

Matt had another adventure yesterday. He got a call from our supervisor saying that the Office of Youth Development inspector was on her way and would be at the home in 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I was at court with one of our girls. Apparently, there are a lot of things we should have been doing that we were not aware of (such as keeping a menu log, washing our dishes in bleach, using only bleach for cleaning, etc.)--so if this was the state inspector we would have failed miserably and the house would have been shut down. Apparently Girls & Boys Town knows this and they just know the "right lies" to tell the inspector. Well, Matt & I had not been briefed on lying to the inspector so he told her the truth. Anyway, she is coming back today to tell us exactly what we need to fix before the state inspector comes out. Oh joy! What we don't understand is how they have gotten away with not doing these things in 10 years and now it's all on us! Oh well, life will go on and I'm pretty sure we won't be shut down. :)

That's Matt's recent adventures. My only adventure was sitting in court for 4 hours yesterday. But I wouldn't really call that an adventure, just pure boredom.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


The heat index could get up to 110 degrees today. Man, that's hot!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Goodbye Nola.

Matt & I had to take Nola back to the SPCA today. She attacked Peaches last night and would not let go. Matt had to jump on top of her and she drug Matt across the carpet. And the fact that 3 of our girls were terrified of her didn't help. She just wasn't the right fit for our family. We are sad to let her go, but know that we would not be the best home for her.