Is it CRAZY BUSY in here, or is it just me?

Well, I’m still basking in the glow of all of the beautiful Happy Blogoversary wishes you guys have lavished all over the dang place– honestly, you made me feel so good that if I were the blushing type I would be walking around beet red! Since I’m not, I chose instead to chase the girls around the house reading some of the sweetest ones out loud so they would realize just how lucky they are to have sprung from my loins. (I’m priming the pump for Mother’s Day.) They tried to outrun me, but I used my Zumba-fied legs and kept right up with them until they locked themselves in their rooms and begged for mercy. Russ is still out of town, but his turn is coming. Which is just my way of saying thanks so much for your good wishes.

I am deep in the throes of the May Madness that happens around here every year during this last month of school. Every morning I sit bolt upright in bed in a panic because I just KNOW I’ve forgotten to send in some form, or neglected to give Charlotte that check for the class gift, or didn’t call the orthodontist to change that appointment because Madi can’t make it because she has dance rehearsal and OH LORDY Char leaves for Washington D.C. in forty eight hours and I haven’t even started packing yet and… well, you get the idea! I’m trying to stay on top of the details, I really am, but as you know organization is not my strong suit even when it’s just a regular ol’ garden-variety busy month… May Madness kicks it into a whole ‘nother place. I’m trying, though! I have a big ol’ bulletin board that I’ve scribbled all over:

And you know what? It’s not helping as much as you’d think! Because apparently you have to actually remember to write that stuff down in order for it to help you actually remember stuff. Funny how that works.

Ok, how many of you noticed the lovely purple letters spelling out N E W  O R L E A N S on that calendar? Yep, in the middle of all of this craziness I’m going on a Mother’s Day Getaway with two of my favorite moms,  Lynne and Cary! This will be third time we have done this, though it’s been a couple of years since the last one. Becca Stevens usually goes with us, but she will be performing a wedding out of town and won’t be able to make it, sadly. I am really excited about going, we always have so much fun wandering around the Quarter during the day and eating in fabulous restaurants at night. I can’t wait! I’ll take pictures and give you guys a full report when we get back. It’s only a two night trip, but we plan to squeeze every drop of fun out of it that we possibly can. Not that we’re really a bunch of wild and crazy gals, however– I can almost guarantee that there will not be any pole dancing or tequila shots involved. (I said almost.) We’re just thrilled to be able to sneak away for a couple of days because with 8 kids, 3 husbands and about 7 dogs between us it is a rare treat (and major production) for us to actually be able to pull this thing off!

I’ll leave you with some cute shots of the two people that qualified me to celebrate Mother’s Day– hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and seriously? Thank you again for all of the kind congratulations!

28 Responses

  1. jonny

    Well, after you’ve trapped the girls in their room(s), tooted your well deserved horn for awhile, maybe you could explane a little why these gifts and abilities God has blessed you with are so much needed and appreciated by others. I try to be careful how and when I use the “need” word. I guess my “Saying it” here will cover some things I was planning on saying in the two previous blogs as well. 1st, thanks for the e-mail after my 1st Say it. Didn’t know whether it was an automatic response for all who Say their 1st, but it kept me coming back. I wasn’t sure how I would fit in being a single male in a world of married women, moms and a few single females. I think the thing that has suprised me the most, and probably one of the things I’m more grateful for as a result of this Blog existing, is what is has brought out in me. I think the timing of discovering this wonderful world of your’s was definately God ordained as well. Suddenly areas of wit, humor, careful, prayerful, thoughtful, sensitive, respectful consideration of others that were more or less dormant, or not in any immediate use, were surfacing again. Especially the wit and humor side, part of it. I’m not sure how others took it, but being able laugh so thoroughly even while just pieceing together some of the Saying its I posted was good medicine. Not to mention seeing them again later when catching up on the latest of what others had written and being tickled all over again by all of it! And none of this, among many other wonderful things this place has wraught in me, or out of me, would be possible if you, Tori, chosen child of God, had not taken whatever step(s) of faith needed and started the ball rolling. And, being Christ’s, we definately function best as a body. I can only count my blessings when it comes to what others have shared, added here. I believe another need of mine lately has been to be in touch with many things Americana. Most people posting here represent many wonderful treasures from the country I was born and raised in, even if I’ve been living abroad all my adult life. Well, I guess that’s enough for now. I truly hope you survive the month ahead!! = ) Peace!

  2. auburn60

    I chase my kids around, reading things to them, too–especially something I said that I thought was particularly witty. Mine have the same reaction as yours.
    At the risk of repeating myself–how did Charlotte get to look so much like a teenager? And has Madi figured out that her ‘baby’ sister
    is *almost* as tall as she is?
    Don’t wear yourself out too much by FF! You won’t be any fun snoozing at the product table.

  3. tori

    jonny– Honey, you couldn’t be MORE WELCOME here at Babybloomr if you showed up with a plate full of donuts! You are one of the most fabulous new additions we’ve had in a while, and we love having your wit and humor and anything else you want to throw our way! (So, where were you born and raised and how did you end up living abroad?)

    auburn– I KNOW! Madi is not at all thrilled that she is eye-to-eye with her ‘baby’ sister! Can’t wait to see you at FF and trust me, I won’t be snoozing behind the product table, I’ll be running around and leaving Madi to it! (She works the credit card machine better than I do, anyway.)

  4. jonny

    OK, you asked for it! Born in Oxnard, California the week the Beatles were 1st in America. Practicaly born on the beach. Fortunately, there weren’t any sharks around at the time! After a couple years my dad got a job in Davis, so eventually ended up in Dixon. Went to private schools in Davis and Vacaville for awhile as well as a boarding type school in Grass Valley, California for a year and a half. Because of most of our relatives living in So Cal, especially my favorite grandmother, spent most long holidays there. Never got into surfing. My brother did. A bit. And a few 2nd cousins were really into it. but I got into skateboarding instead at the age of 12 as a result of getting a skateboard as part of a 3rd place prize in a candy selling competition we had at one private school. 1st and 2nd went to two kids who had their parents sell most of their candies for them. I did sell the most on my own, tho. FWIW. Another lesson from that was never underestimate a woman, but I’ll spare that part of the story for now. Anyway, I’ve digressed. After a long break I started skateboarding again about 6 years ago. OK, Dixon at the time was extremely rural. No traffic lights, lots of farming, maybe 8000 people. In short, because of some things I was born with and because of where some of my interests were, I didn’t fit. I had other difficulties as well. When I was 19, my dad told me to 1, get a job. Tried that before, didn’t work out. 2, go to school. Severely afraid of that. It was programmed into me by both parents, unintentionally, when I was younger that I was stupid. Turns out I’m not. 3, join the Army. Checked that out. They promised to get me the heck out of there and off to Europe. So, without telling my dad, my brother drove me to a place I had to go to to be picked up and taken care of by the US Army. Eventually my dad did find out just before I was shipped of to basic training. Which I believe was in NC. Fort Jackson.. Then had my advanced training in San Antonio, Texas, then off to Germany! At that time I was a heavy substance abuser, and a dealer as a result of my off base life. I saw no point in living past 25. Plus I had developed a lot of destructive and abusive habits, paterns by then. Anyway, at one point God made himself real to me, showed me all rebellion was in one way or another directly against Himself. Not necessarily in that order. He also revealed to me that I was created to be His. Even though I had a lot of Christian influence in my life growing up, and a truly unique experience via His Father’s Spirit when I was seven, I was convinced my destiny up to that point was the destructive and abusive life I had accepted. There just had been no escaping it, no matter what I tried. I was who I was. End of discussion. Full stop. Accepted. Well, now I knew God was, that being openly against Him was not something I really wanted to be a part of, was into, and seeing clearly that I was in truth created to be His, I changed direction at that point. Oh yeah, the verse about being a man and putting away childish things came to mind and I saw how childish my way of life had been. Time to move on. The Easter Song then came to mind and I sung it loudly, over and over again, what I could remember. No one at the time believed I’d changed and many Christians stationed were I was didn’t trust having me come to Bible study with them. One didn’t mind, so he invited me along. Oh yeah, I had a compelling interest in reading a Bible right after the initial turning point. My company was in the field and there was only one Christian I knew of at the time out there. I kept bugging him to read his Bible with me. After a few days of bugging him, he had had enough and told me where it was and to just take it and read it myself! I did. Things started happening. A few months later, through something I read in the gospel (Gospel?) of John, it was revealed to me that the Father had gathered me in to be given over to His son. At that point I started devoting myself to Christ, with an amazing amount of growing up, mistake making, and developing to do. I consider it an even greater miracle that I’m still His. He really knows what He’s doing. Understatement. Anyway, I joined a profession Christian faith based touring theater company that I got active with shortly after the Army. After a year in Michigan, the Yukon Territory of Canada and Alaska, I was flown back to Germany. It was a world wide ministry at the time. Spent five years touring all German speaking countries, Spain, Portugal, Scottland, parts of England and Wales. During a two week Christmas break that I was spending with a family in Finland, it was discovered I had a severely herniated disc in my lower back. It had been developing a few months and by the time it was diagnosed, much damage had been done. I was told I should not leave Helsinki, Finland, and have the almost year long treatment done there. I went against surgery and opted for physio therapy instead. At the end of the year I wanted little to nothing to do with other Christians or anything church related. I got involved in rock music, club scene over here and started making a niche for myself there. About seven years ago I started a year long chemo treatment. Not an overly intense one, but humbling enough. During that time, to use my sister’s words, I started having to face things I had not been strong enough to before, or ready enough for before. At this point in my conversion I had seen my faults, sin in a way I had not before. Devastating, to say the least. I had also started discovering were a lot of my adult, destructive, paterns stemed from. A protective devise established around the age three from a traumatically abusive home environment. Anyway, surviving, being delivered from various ills is one thing, recovering a whole other, possibly the rest of one’s existance here, beast. But so necessary. Needed. We truly need to be made new. Needed. At whatever cost. The greatest cost having been His, of course. Anything we have to deal with I’m sure pales in comparison. Anyway, some years ago Christ let me know I was in Helsinki, Finland, cause this is where He planted me, because He knew what would be best and needed for me. Anyway, looks like I’m here until it’s time to go home, or unless otherwise informed. Oh, I’m still very much involved with the music scene over here, but with the understanding that He has allowed it and now more obviously, to me anyway, for His good purposes. OK, that should cover a lot of ground for awhile now = ) Peace.

  5. LindaB

    Jonny, I found your life’s story, (so far), every interesting! You have had your share of ups and downs, and I’m glad you’re recognizing that God is “chasing” you all around the world! And that He does love you with a love that never gives up, no matter where you find yourself, or what circumstances have befallen you! He is relentless! And isn’t that an incredibly wonderful thing!

    And contrary to your earthly father, your Heavenly Father thinks that you are very smart and capable indeed—–’cause He made you after His own image and for His pleasure! He believes in you and is ready and willing to help you become all He’s made you to be! You are on your way, Jonny, as your above post signifies!

    You will fit in fine here on this blog of moms, and daughters, sons, and grandmothers and grandfathers, married as well as single persons! Doesn’t it say somewhere that in Christ, there is no east or west, no male or female? We’re all just human beings trying to get through this life the best way we can! Welcome, our friend! And thanks for sharing a bit of your life’s journey with us! I, for one, was touched by your story.

  6. justThelma

    I totally understand about needing to write things down to get/stay organized. Even though I no longer work outside the home, I still have my DayTimer and use it religiously. Inside its leather cover are monthly calendars, pages to write schedules, and even more pages to compose lists … oh, the lists I can write. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’ve got some OCD tendencies…

    You and Russ have two beautiful girls. I’ve only been reading your blog since last summer, but I can see how much they’ve matured even in just that short period of time.

    Enjoy your Getaway to New Orleans with the other moms. Hope you have a wonderful time away, even if there’s no tequila and pole-dancing involved (but if there is, we’ll want to see pictures).

  7. jonny

    Thanks! And present issues aren’t with my dad, we made our peace a long time ago, but with our mom. A much trickier situation. But in this, as in all things, I continue to grow in my trust in Christ. Yet though If slay me… = ) I’m, as we all are, securely His. He can only be faithful. What I find so wonderful at this point is being blessed with an awareness of Him being so thoroughly in control of, using only for His good and loving purposes, EVERYTHING! With what so many have been sharing here, I wouldn’t be surprised if Christ is bringing us all together for no other reason than to please Himself, take a look back at what He’s done from time to time, and be tickled pink all over again! By the way, happy mother’s day to all momies and mums out there in this no male or female part of this body of His! = )

  8. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Johnny, you are ddelightful and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were not right about it being in God’s plan to bring us all together here….there are no accidents in Christians’ lives. Like Linda, I found your story both interesting and touching. If only parents knew how simple words can make or break a child.

    Now about Madi and Char….Madi looks still the beautiful and charming young woman from last summer; but Char has grown from a child into a pretty young lady in less than 12 months. Seems there is always a year when a child shoots up, so to speak, and this certainly has been Char’s year.Put on your roller skates, Tori. They are great girls and you are blessed this Mothers’ Day.

  9. LindaB

    Oh, and …..HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO TORI T. AND ALL YOU OTHER babybloomr ADDICTED MOTHERS! It’s our day, isn’t it? I had a wonderful day—–my sweet hubby had our family Sunday dinner catered so I could have a day off from cooking!! And it was delicious!

    I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans, Tori! You enjoy your trip and take pictures for us…..especially the places you eat! We want restaurant reviews we can use in the future!

  10. themema

    Madi and Char are so beautiful. And Tori, I hope you had a good Mother’s Day.

    Johnny, thanks for sharing about your life. I am always inspired by someone who is willing to do the hard work necessary to work themselves thru the hard times in their lives, especially childhood abuse. God is Faithful. It is us who are just so stubborn sometime, wanting to do it ourselves, instead of allowing him to help us. Keep sharing!

  11. jonny

    LindaB’s “chasing” brought something to mind. After my initial adult conversion in my early 20s, I stopped knowingly “running” from God. The scary part for me is that at the time I was probably being my most nasty, un-loving, enemy of Christ self I’ve been to date, I believed I was at least “OK” with the Man. I used various interpretations of certain verses to back some of the evil up with, justify, that I was responsible for back then. Everyone’s ways are right in their own eyes sort of thing. During this time rumors had been spread by some of the brothers & sisters in Christ I “missioned” with before that I “wasn’t a Christian” anymore, or had fallen from the faith. I believe a more accurate explanation would be more of a bend reed that Christ refused to break off & cast away. I was still hanging on, but probably by a few thin stands of measley bark = ) Anyway, hope to never be that person again, or that unaware of my actions, spiritual state, condition again! Peace!

  12. LindaB

    Jonny, that is a beautiful analogy——-a bent reed, hanging on by a strand! But God refused to let you go! What a wonderful love story!

  13. jonny

    Actually, it’s a quote of sorts from the old testiment. One of the profits discribing Christ. And I too believe it is accurately beautiful.

  14. themema

    I am not familiar with that example, but it is so graphic, that I will never forget it. It is one of those catch phrases, like ‘iron sharpens iron” that are a part of you once you have heard them. Thanks.

  15. themema

    Jonny, how did you stumble across this blog. If you have shared that, I missed it.

  16. jonny

    Searched Russ on You Tube, then a google search lead me to his web page. The shark thing lead me to this blog spot. I commented, received an e-mail to stick around, so I did. Believed I was lead here, so stuck around for awhile. And the reference is from the beginning of Isaiah 42. From the translation I just looked it up in it reads, “He will not shout or raise his voice or make loud speeches in the streets. He will not break off a bent reed nor put out a flickering lamp.” Peace!

  17. jonny

    And for our friends in the UK, here it is from a translation in their language = ) “He will not call out out or lift his voice high, or make himself heard in the open street. He will not break a bruised reed, or snuff out a smouldering wick”

  18. CarolynR

    LOL Jonny at the translation for us Brits. The bruised reed analogy is so apt. Isaiah 42 of course is one of the servant songs and I just love it! I used to have reeds in my garden and often thought of those words as I watched them swaying and bending in the wind. I too was touched by your story, thank you for spilling!

    Tori (and all you other moms) I hope you were duly spoilt on mothers day!! And enjoy New Orleans. The girls both look “triff and brill”, they are very proudworthy !

  19. Leisa Hammett

    Tori, I knew exactly what you were talking about when I read that headline. Every May (and August) I have to remind myself what my current anxiety is about. I knew you were cool, knowing you hang with Becca just makes you all the cooler in my book. And I’d thought this would be your 2nd anniversary. Not first?! Congrats.


    Ok, does Char always get so excited about getting her pic taken? I hope all you mothers had a great one yesterday. I spent most of it being thankful for my mother, who still lives in Winston-Salem, and thankful for Him allowing me to me a mother to one of His precious creations, and who as unfortunately had to be the adult at times when she should have been enjoying childhood.

    Wow, johnny! I earlier commented that I wondered who you were, great testimony! I surely enjoy your comments, all the more now! Awesome!

    Tori – you always succeed in making me laugh until the librarian looks over those little “librarian” glasses at me and makes a frown. She is sooooooo a librarian! I love the board. I used calendars, but, I have three that I attempt to combine,(one for school, church and personaL), & nope, it does no good if you don’t write it down to begin w/! If I can’t remeber once, why did I think I’d remember thrice? When you find a solution, let me know! Believe it or not, this is true and embarasing, I forgot my password, (again) and had yet ANOTHER ONE assigned! I know that lungs repair themselves after abusive smoking, what about brain cells?

    Grits – had any more storms? Noticed that you’re not in here, yet!


    Oh, & Johnny – you can best believe that we are all here in His will. There are no accidents or coincidences in this world that our Lord created! You hit the nail on the head when you said that we were all brought together for some reason here. ABSOLUTELY! And even though we might not know His will, we are for His glory. He is too much of God for us to even comprehend His plans! I thank Him for you, as well as for everyone else here that I have come to think of as family and friends. I eagerly anticipate your next thought and insight! Johnnie

  22. jonny

    Thanks! By the way, DELIVERED, GRITS and I have responded to an earlier Saying it! of yours in the two previous blogs, if you haven’t noticed already! And, FWIW, I don’t have a computer. I may have mentioned this before. So, all of this “spilling” has been done with my right thumb on a black Nokia E-51!! Do I get some sort of an aware now = ) Oh, and thanks for the beautiful words Carolyn! Peace!

  23. themema

    Oh,my stars! You are a more patient person than I. My grandkids might be able to accomplish that, but their phones have full keyboards. I would not have the patience to type that much on my cell phone even with the full keyboard, and word.

    I sure am glad that you searched for Russ and found us. Needless to say, you are an appreciator of Russ’ talent.

  24. jonny

    I really like, appreciate his singing voice, but have not also been into the songs he’s done. I only experience this dilemma with him and Carl Anderson, the brilliant voice of Judas in the film Jesus Christ Superstar. I 1st heard his voice as a kid via a friend’s 8-track of the Imperials. Really liked Water Grave at the time. Shortly after my initial adult conversion, another Christian had an album I believe called The Dan Huff project. Something like that, anyway. Only thing I remember from it was that it had one or two songs with Russ on lead vocals and a song entitled I’ve Got Jesus On My Side, or at least that’s how the B part, or chorus, went. Anyway, listened to the Russ song(s) every morning. Been trying to find info regarding that release for years now, off and on, but have not been successful. Later I got into his 1st solo release in the eighties and listened a lot to his Christmas CD in the nineties. I’ve even attempted to cover a few songs from it = / I arrange an evening every year were various artists do original takes on Christmas songs. Russ’ Christmas release, a compilation called A Broken Christmas and Bruce Cockburn’s Christmas release have all inspired the yearly event. A little over a year ago a few of us where at a friend’s who has a data projector checking things out Christian music type videos on You Tube. I wanted to get their impression of Christian vocalists I liked, or have been into at some point and thought they might like Russ’ voice as well. There was a lively African-American gospel styled song he did with the Gaither crowd we all seemed to like. There may have been Praise The Lord also. Later I discovered a wonderful video on You Tube where someone has taken a Russ version of Were You There and put it to a black and white edit of scenes from The Passion of the Christ. FWIW, there’s also a wonderful You Tube clip using scenes from The Passion of the Christ and Velvet Underground’s Jesus. Well, not long after discovering the Were You There video, I ended up here.

  25. rachelbaker

    Jonny, thanks for sharing all of that. I love the bent reed analogy – thank God for his faithfulness despite our inconsistency.

    I am totally in awe of your ability to communicate so eloquently using just a mobile phone and a thumb!

  26. jonny

    Yeah, well I still kick myself a bit for the double “out” with the verse in CarolynR’s mother tongue, but thanks! = )


    Jonny – well, every time you “spill”, I have to sit back and absorb for a moment, so keep on spllin’! And, I mean, my mouth dropped to the floor on how you are communicating – NO COMPUTER? CELL PHONE? G-E-T O-U-T!!! That is just too remarkable. I wouldn’t even be able to see the keys, definitely don’t have the patience! Not my virtue! That is remarkable! But, better you than me, or I wouldn’t have anything up here! Spill On! Johnnie, (that’s me!)

  28. GRITSinNC

    Tori, you and Russ have a pair of beautiful daughters. Will you be at Myrtle Beach? I’m trying my best to figure out a way this decrepit old lady can get there, and I’d love to meet you…and of course Russ. I’ve heard ya’ll give great hugs and smell good. :o)

    Jonny, you’re amazing. Not only your testimony but doing it with your thumb. I even hate text messaging, so I sure couldn’t handle writing all that. You’re a special person, as is everyone here it seems, though I haven’t been here long enough to become familiar with everyone.

    DELIVERED, I don’t make it here every day so I’m sure I miss important conversations sometimes. So many forums to keep up with, so little time. :o) I must try to start making sure I stop in everyday Tori has blogged.

    God bless all of you…

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