Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Roo draws nearer!

Jules and I have toyed with hitting the roo for the past few years and have never committed. A few of us could rent a small camper and bunk together out of the mud.

Any thoughts?


Muggle thoughts

I’m glad to read that Jamison has picked up the Harry Potter books. Number six is awesome! If you don’t know how it ends then trust me by saying it’s a real roller coaster.

I think Josh has read the books and I’m not sure about Brew or the Stubb’s . If you’ve not read these books I have to recommend that you take the time and commit to the wonders of a fantastic world.

I had thought about doing a six book write up but the whole thing escaped me really. One of the most wonderful things about these books is that they mature. The first book though dark at times is simple in its construction of the white and black of who appears to be good and who appears to be bad. Number two is a bit more complex with some more sinister themes and this trend continues into number six.

Each book represents a year of school at Hogwarts School of Magic a boarding school for young wizards. Where as many stories begin with a fully developed character this is not the case with young Harry Potter. Each story gives away more and more about this child but not so much that the next story line is given away. Not only is Harry three dimensional but the secondary characters evolve along with the plot twists.

As I plowed through these books I felt like I was a guest in their word inhabiting the world of a ten year old at his first year away from his awful aunt and uncle or a geeky fourteen year old who can hardly speak about a pretty girl.

I think this series of books is going to become something of a literary legend. C.S. Lewis and Tolkien paved the way for young readers to enter a world where mature themes and life decisions are made and dealt with through the youthful exuberance of inexperience. JKR has accepted this yoke and has given the reader characters that not only are relatable and fallible but also inhabitable.

On the flip side for as much as I love the books there is a girl at work who has taken them to the next level. We were discussing various theories about book seven and she asked me if I had begun annotating my books. I told her I didn’t think the library would appreciate it and said that I wasn’t that far into it all. Once again some people are taking this a bit too far.

Here is a question I will pose to you though. Another lady at work as stated several times that she doesn’t want her kids to read these books because it’s dealing with wizards and “occult” topics on top of being very dark and moody (Mad Eye that is) and she wants her kids to read Christian books. In the same discussion she discussed how much a line of fantasy books inspired her to read as a child. I don’t think she trusts her kids to make their own decisions and is removing a wonderful opportunity for her to read the books with her kids and figure out what the stories motivation is.

Monday, February 27, 2006


What is fellowship... according to the Bible?

A good friend, Tyree, emailed me and brought up this question. She lives near Los Angeles and mentioned that the lectureships at Pepperdine were going to be focusing on fellowshipping, specifically with the group that broke off of the church of Christ 100 years ago; The Christian Church.

She wondered this:If the only real difference in this church is the fact that they worship with musical instruments, and they were baptized for the remission of sins, like us, can we "fellowship" with them? Mind you, she can put most of us here to shame with her Bible knowledge and even more so with her zeal and enthusiasm for Christ and church, she is definitely on the conservative side, despite living in the land of the fruits and nuts, as we say...

I had a hard time answering her. It was a hypothetical question, much like all of us here pose religious discussions. I asked her what fellowship really is. SO I was sort of batting it right back at her...

So I ask ya'll... what is it? Actually, I ask you 3 things:

1) What is "Fellowship" according to the Bible?

2) Not that I don’t think it isn't there, but Id like to know where the Bible states we shouldn't fellowship with those outside of Christ. And if it is there, refer to question number one again.

3) If someone was baptized according to the scriptures, in the same way we in the c of C are saved, according to the Bible, are they not our brethren?

Kind of deep, but we can handle it.

Sin City does the mouse

This is mainly for Brew I guess.

I’m not really crazy about the idea of hitting Disney with a little kid. I’m sure the Sipper children are (will be) perfect in everyway and never get hungry or tired, not to mention the Braly kid at this point but a 2007 Disney trip doesn’t look promising for the Mullins clan. If both boys can’t ride everything they want then it doesn’t seem like a lot of fun for the excluded parent and child.

So I had a wild thought. What about always sunny Las Vegas. If I’m going to drop 2K for the mouse then Jules and I could just as well leave the boys with their grandparents from Dec 26 to Jan 1 and become victim to one of the weirdest cities in the world.

I mean it’s like a Disney for adults really.

Brew, Jules what do you think? Stubbs have you guys ever made it out west? Chucks what say you?

A Strange Twist of Fate

It was Saturday night, and it was raining.
Diana and I were on our way home from a rare night out to eat at a sit-down restaurant. We stopped by Target to buy a digital camera, partly paid for by a gift card Diana’s mother had sent to us. All in all, an enjoyable evening.
We had just got onto Highway 17 Bypass from Harrelson Boulevard. I moved over into the far left lane, as is my custom. I misjudged, due to the rain, I suppose, and got a little to close to the median. Diana blurted out something, and I jerked the wheel to avoid going off the road.
That is when the car got out of my control.
I tried to stay in the left lane, but the car kept skidding over to the right. The more I kept trying to hold everything together, the more the car seemed to get away from me. I believe Diana was saying, “Charlie, Charlie…” over and over. I do not remember what I was saying, but there were probably more than a few curse words coming out of my mouth. Then the car started to spin.
There seemed to be nothing I could do. I’m sure there is some protocol for getting out of that situation, but I do not know what it is, and even if I did, I probably would have forgotten it anyway. At this point, I realized that we were spinning to the right, towards a wooded area. I seem to recall seeing a pole, or at least thinking that we were probably getting close to one. It is amazing how many thoughts can go through your head in a situation like this, almost all at the same time.
Diana was grabbing my leg and yelling, “Charlie!” I had my head down, and started screaming, like a running yell. I was getting ready to hit that pole, or a tree. I knew it was going to happen. At the same time I was thinking something along the lines of This is it I was also thinking This is like a rollercoaster.
Fortunately for us, we slid off the road, down into a ditch and into an erosion barrier us by construction crews. We also ran over a small orange barrel as we went off the road. The point where we skidded off the road was about ten feet from a pole.
The most dramatic part was behind us. We were okay and the car was okay, except for a slightly messed up license plate. Diana had her cell phone, so we called my parents to get a phone number for a tow truck. Police arrived, of course, as did a fire truck and an ambulance. I had just bought some new shoes earlier that day, and got mud all over them when I had to get out of the car. We eventually got pulled out. Then we went home, got settled, and went to bed. We prayed to God for protecting us and watching over us, and fell asleep soon after.
It is scarier to recall and reflect on the situation now than it was to actually be in the situation, because it happened so fast. What is really amazing was there were no other cars around us when we went off the road. It really could have been a whole lot worse.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Isn't It Enchanting?

A cute pic of Luke at Disney World...Just thought it was sweet...doesn't really relate, except he is pretty enchanting.

Just was noticing a void in the blog of late. I'm sure everyone is just busy, but I haven't seen much of Mullins or Brewster. I don't expect to see much of Charlie or Chuck, really. But, hey, what's going on with everyone?

I'll start:

1. Rachel's doing well and we should find out the gender of our forthcoming tot in a few weeks. Rachel has had some pregnancy sickness this time, but she's otherwise healthy and well.

2. Our yard is full of irises and daffodils. I hope the azaleas are in bloom while y'all are all here! I love spring time.

3. I've been somewhat frustrated lately. I hate waiting to hear from publishers and agents. They get your hopes up by showing interest in your work and then don't get back to you for 2-3 months! It's just wrong!

Well, I know it's not terribly exciting, but there's a smattering of life at the Sips'.

Y'all jump on here when you get a chance and tell everyone what's going on. At least tell us your plans for the trip down here! I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sorry I lied to you Di...

I lied to you when you asked me if Larissa was preggy... I was trying to keep it under wraps until we had our first official doctors visit...

Forgive me? Good call though, I dont know how you figured it out, women have strange ways about them...

Oh, Larissa is with child... Oct 16th is the due date... any advice?

Friday, February 17, 2006


I never look forward to the Olympics... of any kind, much less the winter Olympics. However, one of the oddest games has peaked my curiosity and I have found myself watching it from start to finish, almost scheduling my time to watch it:


Certainly not a sport the ancient Greeks performed in the original Olympics, yet a sport that requires great deals of concentration and more accuracy than golf.

It sort of looks like a combonation between bowling, shuffleboard, ice-skating without skates, marbles, and sweeping the kitchen floor.

You are out of luck if you are waiting on me to explain the rules; I dont know what they are and really don't care. It is just a sport that relaxes me to no end. Not boring, but relaxing. I never thought I would be talking about it or loving it... of course the Women’s USA curling team has helped, what with the Johnson sisters being on the team and all! (Blushing).

I liken them to volleyball players; somehow, volleyball players are always cute, despite the roughness of the sport.. unfortunately, this morning, after Women’s curling (USA was playing a Russian team with unusually cute girls for Russians... see the picture to the right), women’s hockey came on... they were kind of like softball players; butch-like and you just know if those masks weren’t on they'd be kissing... It was a harsh transition to say the least.

NBC doesn’t see fit to show curling I guess... so it comes on the USA network in the morning, 7am to 10am-ish... Try to catch it if you can; Cassie and Jamie Johnson are really ...good.

Okay, I had to post more pics of Cassie... I had this same thing happen to me during the 1992 Olympics with the USA gymnastics team... it is a phase.

Larissa will see this and a light bulb will pop up in her head and she will say "So THAT'S why he liked to watch curling so much!!!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Disney Plans Continued...

So here's the rundown... We're talking Disney World sometime late next year. Jamison likes August. I like November. Brew hates Disney. I think we should kidnap him and drag him to the Magic Kingdom where he will be forced to admit that it is both fun and magical. Except maybe for the being kidnapped part.

So here we can post all things Disney without having to scroll down to Jamison's Expired Milk post.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Today is my baby's Birthday!

I don't quite understand this cartoon, but I thought it was funny!

I love you, honey!

Home Base

The recent post about homosexuality and how to talk to people who don't believe the way we do got me thinking.

How in the world are we supposed to convince anyone who doesn't believe in God that He exists?

The fundemental issues are how we show the Bible to be true and from God, God exists, and Jesus lives.

Is it harder or simpler than this?

Jesus told us to preach the Gospel (good news) to every living creature. Is it really that simple?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

How to Fellowship

Every second Sunday of the month, the church that Amy and I attend has a pot luck dinner. Everyone is always invited and it is a lovely time to fellowship and enjoy some good eating.

An oddity of this congregation is that many of the members have their own plates. Some have normal, round, dinner plates, others bring cafeteria trays. Everybody busses their own plates after eating and most leave the dishes on the Church shelves.

No one has ever said anything about this to us, and I’ve always figured it was just some odd quirkiness of the members. Like they prefer larger plates for larger portions, or maybe they are allergic to Styrofoam. We’ve never been asked to bring our own plates, and paper or Styrofoam plates have always been provided…until now.

Very recently the Elders announced that they will no longer be providing plates for the dinners. It is apparently a budget concern. I guess they were just spending too much money on throw away dishware for these monthly fellowships.

The more I think about this, the angrier I get. What does this say to visitors?

“Come fellowship with us! Everybody is welcome! Oh, you didn’t bring your own plate to church? Sorry, I guess you’ll have to go to Cracker Barrel.”

Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden…but bring your own dishes, because we ain’t got none for you.

Beyond the visitors, what does this say to members? We’re not important enough to spend a couple of bucks on a month? It’s not like paper plates are expensive. You can buy them in bulk for cheap. The congregation is small. We might have 30 people attend a fellowship dinner a month. Half of these bring their own plates already. For ten bucks they are serving 6 months worth of dinners.

I might not be so angry if I knew that money was going to something good. If they were shipping plates to Africa, or using the extra money to buy Bibles for Chinese orphans, I could say fine, I’ll eat out of my hands. But the congregation has a surplus of money. They literally have two savings accounts with over $10,000 sitting in it.

They do send small amounts of money to a few missionaries (and Apologetics Press) each month, but the left over is more than enough to pay for plates.

I am dumbfounded at the lack of sense, or Christian charity here.

As Amy says, I’m about ready to leave this congregation. I want to dis-fellowship them because they don’t know how to fellowship.

Tomorrow is second Sunday and before we eat I’m running to Sam’s and buying a whole stack of paper plates.

Life lessons from milk's expiration date...

I realized a little life lesson the other day when I went to have a bowl of cereal one morning.

I open the fridge, grab the milk and realize the expiration date was Feb. 8th. Usually this is no big deal, but it smelled a bit unappealing, so I tossed it...

I was reminded of the day I bought that very gallon; It was the end of January. I remember thinking "Feb. 8th? That's ages from now!" Yet there I stood 9 or 10 days later, over the sink, pouring the inch of milk that was left down the drain, wondering why I wasted all those days by not drinking the milk.

In life, we look to an event or chore in the future and think "That is ages from now! I have plenty of time to do this or that." Before you know it, that time has come and gone and you can no longer do it.

You'll soon find yourself standing over the kitchen sink of life watching what you could have done go down the drain.

I am sure there is an after-Wednesday-night-Bible-study-devo in there somewhere... feel free to use it. Mention my name though.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Religion Addiction

I've been surfing around a little, checking some of the more "liberal" church bloggers out there.

Something that stands out to me about both ends of the spectrum is that religion has a certain addictive quality when you begin to get to the extremes.

The addiction for "liberals" seems to center around "How far can I take this to make things more new and comfortable for me?" Wherease the addiciton for "conservatives" seems to be all about "How can I maintain my comfort zone and make this comfortable by not going outside the hedge I've so beautifully planted and trimmed?"

Both ends are terrible, cloistering places to be religiously.

The funny thing is, both are doing the same thing! They isolate people and cause discord. Is there a way to repair this breach? What are we doing about it?

BBB to the Rescue

Just to catch up anyone who isn't aware, I ordered 2 Christmas presents from Overstock.com that never came. After 3 months and numerous fruitless emails and one pathetic phone call, I finally reported them to the Better Business Bureau.

Overstock's customer service people are flat-out useless liars who will say anything to get you off their backs. We had 1 live chat, 5 emails, and 1 phone call, all of which promised a research team for the problem and a resolution in 2 days. We never got so much as a follow-up.

I googled the BBB, and they have an awesome website where you can report problems. Here I am a couple of days (not months!) later, and I have a resolution!!! A full refund plus a credit with Overstock for about half what I'd spent originally. And abject apologies, from somebody who actually cares how their business looks, not some underpaid loser working for a telemarketing company.

So moral of the story is, use the Better Business Bureau! They're fast, free, and can get in touch with people in high places.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Alabama Burning

Here's a link to a report about arson on 9 church buildings in west Alabama:


They all seem to be Baptist church buildings and there seems to be a pattern. I have a feeling it's some sort of religious vendetta. Should the coC be on guard, too?


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

show of hands for hell, anyone?


Things seem to be a bit slow on the board so I thought I would throw a few things out there for discussion. I’m going to cover religious topics because it’s frustrating as anything to have Sipper always come back with, “Well that’s what the Bible says. You guys can discuss this until you’re blue in the face.”
At least this way there can be a level playing field so to speak.

Sipper (everyone for that matter) I love you but you’re (we're) discussing the topic with other Christians who largely share your own beliefs, so most of these discussions are really done into a mirror until someone finds the right verses and the peaceable kingdom is reconnected.

So these topics are picked from a questionnaire I received from a religious group designed to weed out those who are of more “liberal” philosophies.

“Do you believe that all or at least some denominations are a part of the church of Christ?”

I take this with a pretty wide berth allowing a lot to flow around it. I think that in the days before many “Christian” churches were around and you were dealing with Baptist, c.o.C, Catholics, Methodists and a hand full of others I think there were clear separations in the area of baptisms.

With Christian churches popping up all over the place I think things have changed. Following the idea that Baptist’s might baptize you into the ideology of the Baptist faith. It would stand to reason that a Christian church would baptize you into the ideology of Christ. Music and useless issues aside I think they are more likely to understand (no that they do or don’t) baptism is a needed and commanded part of salvation.

As congregations go they are largely self governed without a central board or what ever and generally strive to follow the Bible to salvations.

Obviously there are differences and such but as far a considering if the attendance and gathering in one building or another is dependant on what you have in your heart and live through scripture I think they could be just as prepared as I am to meet my maker.

Adam and Steve?

Hi all! Here's a report that WSFA did concerning something posted on the marqee outside of Dalraida. Thought you might get a kick out of it.


Reference to Homosexuality on Church Sign Stirs ControversyFeb 6, 2006, 10:44 PM CST

Reference to Homosexuality on Church Sign Stirs Controversy
More on the Web
Conservative and Liberal Christian Views on Homosexuality

Help Us Cover This Story
Click Here to Help Us Cover the News
A sign outside a Montgomery church is causing some controversy. We heard from several viewers Monday about a slogan on the marquee outside Dalraida Church of Christ on the Atlanta Highway. We went in search of opinions and found mixed reactions.
The sign reads, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," obviously a reference to homosexuality.
At a gas station down the street, we found some people offended by the slogan. "I don't think it's right for the church to do that," one woman said. "It is discriminatory because a person has a right to live the way they want to live."
But others saw the sign as a simple statement of fact. "Yes," one man told us, "because God did make Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. It's kind of self explanatory."
In Leviticus, the bible does seem to oppose homosexuality. It reads, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is an abomination."
But the bible also accepts slavery, limits the role of women in society, and prohibits charging interest on loans. Some belive this is proof that the bible can't always be interpreted literally.
The pastor of Dalraida Church of Christ was out of town for the week and no one else in the church office wanted to talk about the sign. So we couldn't ask what they hoped to gain.
Some passing motorists say if the goal was to share the church's beliefs with the gay community, they could have gone about it another way.
One woman said, "If I was a homosexual, that sign would keep me away from the church."
For years, conservative and liberal Christians have interpreted the bible differently. You can read more about the differing viewpoints by clicking on the link above to religioustolerance.org. You might also want to talk to your own pastor or priest about the topic.
Reporter: Mark Bullock

I already used the "Click Here to Help Us Cover the News" link to tell them what I thought. Y'all can do the same!

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I remember on one post long ago, someone wrote about how they connect with their dads. Somebody said sports, someone said music. I thought about that tonight after a phone conversation with my dad.

He and I connect with maps.

I remember when I was a little girl, I would crawl in his lap and he'd show me the way to Disney World on the Atlas. Or he'd show me how to get to Papa's house, or even just back home. I remember the night of 9/11, he and I spreading the atlas on the bed, and mapping out where it happened and in relation to what. Even though he and I are very close and have often been all we've got, sometimes there are just no words. Sometimes you have to say it with a map.

I got a call tonight from my biological mom saying that my Grandmother is very sick and will probably die within a few weeks. We talked a while about when I can come see her, what her condition is, and other little tidbits. As soon as I hung up, I called my daddy.

"Hey there!"

"Hey Dad, you're not watching the Superbowl are you?"

"No, I just turned it on to see who was winning."

"Oh, you don't usually I just wanted to make sure."

"Did you see halftime? It was the Rolling Stones."

"No, sure didn't. Were they good?"

"I don't know, I didn't watch."

I told him about Grandma. He said he was sorry, saying he had thought about her recently and wondered how she was. He asked if I was going to see her and I said yes. He told me I maybe shouldn't just because she's out of it and it will just upset me and I should remember her how she was. I said I know, I've thought about that, but I feel the need to go.

"I get off at 6 on Saturday so I should get there about 11."

"Which way do you go?"

"501, 38, 9, 52. But isn't there another way?" (Help me daddy I don't know what to do.)

"Yeah, there sure is, get on 38, but don't get on 9, just keep going." (Don't worry sweetheart, everything will be fine.)
"Like you're going to Rockingham?" (I'm really scared of what she will look like, but I need to go.)

"Exactly, and then go west on I- 74 and then go north on 220. That will turn into I-73" (I wish you wouldn't go)

"Uh huh, uh huh." (I know but I felt bad when I didn't get to say goodbye to Grandpa.)

"And then get on 64 at Asheboro." (And I'm glad because he got really sick in the end; I was just trying to protect you.)

"Oh, ok." (Thank you, Daddy.)

"Well, you know what, just go north on 73 until you get to Greensboro and then get on 40." (I understand, I just don't want you to be hurt.)

"That's looks good. Thank you so much!" (I know, I'll be ok.)

"Call me tomorrow at work." (So I can talk to you without your step-mom listening.)

"Ok. I love you Dad." (I love you bigger than the house.)

"I love you too." (I love you more.)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Here I Go Again!

Well, I submitted my entire manuscript to Mapletree Publishing!

Here's what I received from the acquisitions editor:


I'm writing to let you know that we've received your manuscript and will begin the review process. Thanks for thinking of us.

Rachel Terry
Acquisitions Coordinator
Mapletree Publishing Company

Not much to go on, but it's something!

Mapletree looks like a good fit for Runaway Swimmer.

Their motto is: Publishing excellent books that gently promote religious values. A family values publisher.

Considering that's what Runaway Swimmer is all about, I think things are looking pretty good!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

If utter bordum interests you..

go here:


and you can download the audio of my presentation...

Hey, I am only doing this because some of yall aske dme to post the slides here... this was easier...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Poll, If You Will

OK, I need to know if everyone would be game for a big, musical get-together for Saturday, March 18th down Luverne way.

I plan to talk to my cousin, Ric, my other family members, and our BG group about getting together that evening for some musical fun if everyone is amenable to that.

Please let me know on here and we can get it all together while everyone is here!



Well, we went for our second baby appointment yesterday.

It took FOREVER to finally see the doctor, but it was all worth it in the end.

This was a pretty simple, straightforward appointment, really. You'd probably call it routine.

We talked to the doctor a little about how things were going, how Rachel felt, etc.

But then, we got to listen to the heartbeat! Most folks think that after an ultrasound, the heartbeat isn't a big deal. But, I am here to tell you that it's one of those moments of excitement and joy you live for every day!

There was something reassuring about those 155 beats per minute that made us smile and helped us to have the foresight and patience we needed to get us to the next appointment.

After all, the next time we see the doctor, we should be able to see if the baby's a boy or a girl!

Y'all please keep us in your prayers. We are praying for a healthy, strong baby.