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  • Abraham Lincoln on Criticism

    "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
  • Consider the Cost

    "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." ~Winston Churchill
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    "Our blessed Lord reveals himself to his people more in the valleys, in the shades, in the deeps, than he does anywhere else. He has a way and an art of showing himself to his children at midnight, making the darkness light by his presence."
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    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; Who, at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; And who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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    God will uncase the hypocrites ere long, and make them know, to their sorrow, what is was to trifle with Him." - Richard Baxter
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  • The Reformed Pastor – Richard Baxter

    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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Our Bank Used Our Kids in Their Commercial – Check it Out!

Virginia Trip Travel Log #4

The last two days we focused on getting Jillian’s front room finished. We’d painted the deacons bench, nightstand, shelf, and corner bookshelf. We bought all the little do-dads that she needed to complete the look. We hung everything that needed hanging.

She went with the Old World Style, a look that I am rather fond of myself. Here are pictures of my last day when we pulled it all together. I have to say, I think I enjoyed the process as much as she did. Maybe some day we will go into interior decorating together. We have many similar interests, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”
Don Williams, Jr. (American Novelist and Poet, b.1968)

I definitely enjoyed the journey as much as the destination in this case. So often we will see “before and afters” published but not the “in-betweens” – the grunt work, so to speak. Yet, I just can’t show the in-betweens – check out the “before and afters” on Love My DIY Home. We finished Jillian’s front room the night before I left for home.

It was with a happy heart I drove home. I spent nearly three weeks away from home visiting family – many people helped me on my trip. My peeps not only gave me gas money, shelter, and fed me, but they cared for me in a way I never ever expected. I will never get used to being loved. It’s a malady I will always carry with me, I suppose, because of the difficult times I have experienced in the past. But that can’t be such a bad thing, can it – to feel so blessed each time love is shown, to be in awe of the moment, to choose to look back over and over to relive it because it is such a treasured memory? I think not. I hope it never changes for me. I love being loved. I love knowing that a handful of people in my life will love me no matter what. Wow.

Here are some more pics of my trip. Such a blessed person I am!

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I stayed with family in Ohio on the way home – such a fun family they are!  Though I traveled alone, I had the support of family, church family, and friends. God showed me His faithfulness by protecting me and giving me people in my life who care. Thank you everyone for giving me such a memorable 3 weeks!

Virginia Trip Travel Log #3

Jillian and Taylor moved from an old house in a bad part of town to a beautiful tri-level duplex near their church, in Madison Heights. I helped them finish moving out and have made a few trips in to town buying things they need for their new house. I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed spending their money! I tend to have that affect on people. We go shopping and I find things that would look great or fit just right, is a great price, fits their planned decor, etc. What can I say? It’s a gift.

Here are a few pictures of the past few days. We’ve already enjoyed the new table top grill, patio set, dining room table, and even their new vacuum cleaner. It’s like Christmas in August!

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We went to a peach farm that had the most amazingly flavorful fruit I’ve ever eaten. My mouth curls up every time I even think about taking a taste of the apples that I brought home from that place. Isaac, and Hudson, I will try to save you both an apple. I bet you have never tasted anything like it. They sold some pretty unusual jams and sauces. Ever had TOE Jam?

We finished making our laundry and dishwasher soaps today too. It was pretty easy, but I’m glad we’re done with that. The house smells like Dial and Zote soap. If you’ve never tried it, put a bar of soap in the microwave – it reacts just like that Great Stuff men use to insulate around doors and windows.

Jillian & Taylor

Here are Jillian and Taylor – cuteness runs in our family and apparently extends to those who join us by marriage. Sorry Taylor, but you are cute and when combined with our youngest daughter, the cuteness grows exponentially.

They sure look happy don’t they? It makes me happy to see my kids happy.

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Vaughn Family Pictures

Even though I can’t take credit for these pictures… I sure can claim this family, especially the grandkids. Yep they’re mine and always will be. There’s nothing like family, and the pictures remind me of that. I think that’s why I love pictures so much. They are a visual reminder that God has been so good to us.

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Myles Turns One

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Myles turned a year! He’s sweet and cuddly with the cutest personality. His brothers adore him, as does his grammie and papa. I think we need lots of these little ones – and I told his mommy that! Oh, we love our grandbabies and Myles is no exception!

K K K Katie, beautiful Katie

Here are Katie and Aaron’s Christmas pictures. I gotta say it! I just have to…I think good looks run in our family..but then, beauty IS in the eye of the photographer.

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Jones Family Pictures

I really need to catch up on my pictures! Here are the family pics I took of April’s family. Such a good lookin’ family, if I do say so myself.

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God’s Handiwork

Isaac’s B’day Party

We had a birthday party for Isaac’s 6th birthday Friday and April was having contractions through it all. It was so funny. We sat down to eat dinner and all we could think was, “We need to hurry!” I was timing the contractions and they were pretty consistently 4-5 minutes apart. She called her midwife and was told to get to the hospital as soon as possible, which of course meant, AFTER Isaac’s party! We moved right on to the gifts, encouraging Isaac to rip into them quickly, which of course he LOVED! Then we did the traditional picture with the cake and then decided, “Leave the cake, let’s go!” Isaac was very sweet about it and was as anxious for his brother Myles to make an appearance as we were. So we left and Papa Mark and Meemaw Pepper took the boys home while Auntie Katie and Uncle Aaron cleaned up after the party. Below are the pictures of Isaac’s 6th b’day party.

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Jillian and Taylor’s Wedding

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Swearing – an Epidemic

Over the years I’ve asked many people not to swear – co-workers, family, friends, and even strangers. It’s not a matter of judging others. It’s all about what is appropriate. I’ve taught my kids to use proper speech, both that pleases God and allows them to be received properly by others whether it be in a home, social or work setting. I’ve explained why it displeases God to utter expletives, how it offends others and even told them it hurts their mother’s heart to hear such things. I’ve explained that people will think less of them, be offended or even exclude them from being hired because of offensive language, whether it be in person or on a social networking site. None of it seems to matter – it appears we have an epidemic of swearing. To tell you the truth, I just don’t get it. Swearing has been such a taboo to me that I’d never consider allowing it to enter my vocabulary. It’s so offensive, yet it seems this doesn’t matter any more.

I guess when it comes to young people trying to assert their independence or prove their autonomy or even maturity to the world, they unwisely choose profanity to try to make their point. When asked to not swear, they say, “I’m my own person,” “That’s how I am and I don’t care what anyone thinks,” or, “It’s my life and I can live it any way I choose.” Well, in a spiritual sense, no, we don’t have the right to live how ever we want, we were bought with a  price if we belong to Christ. It is our responsibility to represent Christ and glorify Him with our speech. But let’s put that aside for a moment and look at it in a purely secular view.

I did a search on “swearing” and found a few secular sites that deal with swearing and why it’s detrimental to the individual as well as society in general. Below I’ve posted thoughts from  a site on the Internet called “Cuss Control” about swearing and how it affects a person and those around them. I found it interesting and very much like the things I’ve told my kids over the years. I found a really good article on an Internet site that is solely for men and it supported the list below as well. Basically that article said it’s not cool or mature, let alone attractive to swear. I’d give you the address of the site, but it had links that I’d just prefer not to pass along, if you know what I mean. 🙂

Please don’t swear. It’s offensive and hurts society in general. Common courtesy should rule. I’ve been assaulted so much lately with profanity that I’ve had to limit my news feed on my Facebook. This ought not so to be. It especially brings me great sorrow when it’s my own children – they certainly know better. They say the more you love someone, the easier and more you can be hurt by that person. I personally know this to be true. I long for the day that they desire to please the One who gave them a life worth living. But, I digress…

Below is the list and if you’d like to see the Cuss Control site that contains this list as well as other comments, click here. Used with permission.

What’s Wrong With Swearing?

Swearing Imposes a Personal Penalty
It gives a bad impression
It makes you unpleasant to be with
It endangers your relationships
It’s a tool for whiners and complainers
It reduces respect people have for you
It shows you don’t have control
It’s a sign of a bad attitude
It discloses a lack of character
It’s immature
It reflects ignorance
It sets a bad example

Swearing is Bad for Society
It contributes to the decline of civility
It represents the dumbing down of America
It offends more people than you think
It makes others uncomfortable
It is disrespectful of others
It turns discussions into arguments
It can be a sign of hostility
It can lead to violence

Swearing corrupts the English language
It’s abrasive, lazy language
It doesn’t communicate clearly
It neglects more meaningful words
It lacks imagination
It has lost its effectiveness

Pre-wedding Pics

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Rehearsal Pics

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To Taylor from Dad

USS Bulkeley Nabs Pirates

Our son-in-law’s ship now has its own group of pirates onboard. Read about it here.

My Son-in-law’s Ship – USS Bulkeley

Norfolk ships respond to pirated Quest – Four American hostages killed Tuesday 

Updated: Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011, 5:14 PM EST Published : Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011, 10:31 AM EST NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY)

Three Norfolk-based Navy ships were among those monitoring the pirated vessel S/V Quest off East Africa for the past three days, and who responded Tuesday when gunfire erupted on the ship. Four Americans onboard the Quest were killed by their Somali captors Tuesday. The Quest was the home of Jean and Scott Adam, a couple from California who had been sailing around the world since December 2004. The two other Americans on board were Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, of Seattle, Washington.

Pirates seized the boat Feb. 18. According to Navy Vice Adm. Mark I. Fox, commander of the U.S. Naval Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet, pirates captured the Quest about 190 nautical miles southeast of Masirah Island, Oman.

Four U.S. Navy warships responded: the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), along with the San Diego-based guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104).

The ships found the Quest and made contact with the pirates via bridge-to-bridge radio, and began a series of negotiations. Monday, two pirates boarded the USS Sterett to continue negotiations. “At 8 this morning local time, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired from the Quest by the pirates towards the Sterett,” Fox said. “The Sterett was approximately 600 yards away from the Quest. “Immediately thereafter, gunfire erupted from inside the cabin of the Quest.

Several pirates appeared on the deck of the Quest and moved up to the bow with their hands in the air in surrender.” U.S. special operations forces closed in on the Quest in small boats and boarded the yacht. “They discovered that all four hostages had been shot by their captors,” Fox said.

The service members took immediate steps to provide medical care, but the four Americans died of their wounds. The boarding party also found two dead pirates aboard the vessel. The special operations forces did not fire weapons during the boarding, Fox said. “While clearing the vessel, two additional pirates were killed,” the admiral said. “The remaining 15 suspected pirates are in U.S. custody.”

WAVY News 10 has learned the detained pirates are being held aboard the USS Enterprise. Fox said of the pirates killed as the special operators cleared the boat, one was killed with a pistol, the other in a knife fight. Two other pirates, already dead, were also found on board – bringing the total number of hijackers on the Quest to nineteen.

There were no casualties to service members or damage to Navy ships. The Navy and the FBI are investigating the incident. Fox said the perpetrators will be brought to justice. “We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest,” said Gen James N. Mattis, U.S. Central Command Commander. The four Navy ships are deployed to the region to conduct maritime security operations and to provide support to operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One that President Barack Obama authorized the use of force if there was an imminent threat to the hostages. He said the president was informed of their deaths at 4:42 Tuesday morning. Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service, contributed to this report.

http://www.wavy.com/dpp/military/Norfolk-based-Navy-ships-followed-pirated-SV-Quest

Sweet Baby Ryan


Salt & Pepper Creations

Check out a new jewelry boutique here.  The prices are reasonable and the jewelry is inexpensive and very versatile.