Church and dirty fingernails

Sunday’s are for church.

I love Sundays.

I rise early to get to worship rehearsal. As I entered the building yesterday morning I was approached by a woman who was setting up in the Cafe. There had been an accident and she needed a mop.

Well, let’s find a mop! We walked until we found it and she mentioned as we walked how can I be so happy at 7am? It’s Sunday and it’s going to be a great day! Why wouldn’t I be happy?

Most Sundays I am honored to be apart of the worship team. Today was no exception and I was playing the keyboard.

I was all set up and ready for sound check. I look out and these are my band family. My friends.

When you spend enough time with people, you learn their stories and sometimes they aren’t the prettiest. This week a band member had a rough week. We love and support one another through the good and sometimes the not so good. This week was a not so good. However as we gathered this morning, our first song was Nothing is Impossible. I texted a picture of the song sheet to my friend. With God, absolutely nothing is impossible and we should live with that mindset.

Soundcheck begins and ends.

I start to play.

I look down.

Can you say nail biter?

I looked at my veiny old lady hands with her unkept nails and discovered they were not the cleanest. Gardening on Saturday caused dirty fingernails and all the scrubbing sometimes doesn’t help.

I think to myself, Charma you should have looked closer at your appearance. The rest of you looks ok but look at those fingernails!

The longer I think about it, the more I don’t care.

Jesus was a carpenter and I bet he had dirty fingernails a lot. I bet he led people with dirty fingernails. I bet he hugged and loved on people with dirty fingernails. Maybe he even fit in a better with dirty fingernails.

Worship is my thing. We pray together before the gatherings. We pray that people will not see us but will hear the words we sing and somehow feel the Holy Spirit through us.

I will continue leading worship, finding mops and loving on people for as long as I am able.

Dirty fingernails and all.

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As I look out the window

July 13, 2016 I wrote this blog post As I peek through the window

We were weary and anxious to live in our old/new home.

I still remember the long nights as we prepared the old house for its occupants.

Almost two years later we live here. We really live here. We spend most of our time at home. We embody the term homebodies.

Today after two long years,  as the fireplaces were being repaired and I cleaned up after the dirty dusty job, I see a baby on the front porch. He is getting so big and he loves being outside.

I take a minute while mopping the dining room and tap on the window. He looks around for the noise. He spots me and immediately crawls at full speed to the window.

My heart.

It skips a beat when that sweet little boys face lights up with joy as he sees me through the window.

He reaches for the window ledge and pulls himself up

He immediately shows me his teeth because every time I pick him up he finds my teeth and we have to share teeth stories.

He pushes his face close to the window as he tries to figure out why he can’t get to me.

And closer.

Just look at those chubby little dirty fingers

And he comes in for the kiss

A game of peek-a-boo is always welcomed.

the plant doesn’t stand a chance.

I re-read the blog post that I wrote in 2016 as I dreamt about our future at our home. Two years ago I looked in the window as I could only imagine how we would live our lives.

Never in a million years, as I now look out the window would I have ever dreamt of such a beautiful life full of family and so many wonderful friends that we are blessed to share our life with.

I hope your Saturday was full of whatever makes you happy.


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Phase III

Phase I was making the main house inhabitable

Phase II was renovating the carport into garages

Phase III is creating an outdoor oasis.

Phase I and II are not complete and that’s ok. We continue to plow forward however we proceeded with Phase III.

When we speak of a pool, there are two reactions from others.

Oh that’s amazing!!


I want to fill my pool in. Never again.

We are pool people.

We are home people

We are stay-cation people

So Phase III excites us.

It’s relaxation. It’s peace. It’s fun and having pool parties!

Step 1: Finding the perfect pool contractor is not easy. It’s all about referrals.

So far, he is perfect. He calls and gives us updates. He does what he says he will do. He cleans up after himself.

Step 2: picking out finishes. This is my part and it was so easy this time. Bobby brought over boxes and boxes of samples. Pool tile and bullnose for the steps must be picked along with the pool coating The pavers for the deck were already chosen weeks before.

It was easier than I thought it would be. You know that lightbulb moment when things just fall into place.

Scrape the ground day

Dig the hole day




Soon this will be the pool house view

Now comes the pour.

Tomorrow at 11:00.

Stay tuned

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Jack’s 10th month

Dear Jack,

What a month it has been!

10 months old and so many new things are happening.

You went from a slow moving little baby unsure of his movements to a wild man. Fearless and excited to see the world and what it has in store for you.

It’s been cold and Mommy and Daddy dressed you up to go visit your Papa and Mimi. You looked a little like a thug


You in your sweater and blue jeans…….oh my goodness you are so cute


It has also been warm and for Easter you got a blow up swimming pool!

You love it.

You poured the hose over your head. You giggled and splashed and we all ended up in the pool with you.

Look at all those teeth.

BB and Pops got you a new rash guard to wear in the swimming pool. You look so cute in orange

The family all went to church together on Easter Sunday. You looked so cute in your big boy shirt and shoes.

We loved having Uncle Kyle and Uncle Moshe with us.

It was especially fun during the teaching since you decided it would fun to dump out my bag and climb in. Guess who is going to Hopekidz soon?

We had a fire with Uncle Kyle and Uncle Moshe. You love them

This summer there will definitely be lots of rides on the lawnmower and afternoon swinging on the porch

Many snuggles on the couch watching Paw Patrol and Sesame Street

And mornings in bed with Pops and BB are always fun

Bath time is always anticipated and some nights you come and take a tubby in Pops and BB’s tub.



Most warm days are spent outside. If Papa were here he would be teaching you to drink from the hose and to pee outside. We are one for two so far!

JR is a good friend. He lets you love on him and all you get back is a lick in the face.

Afternoon walks are always fun but a seat belt would be helpful.

Your talents are astounding. Click on the picture to watch the talent show

You got your first booboo this month. An egg on your head and a scrape. The first of many I am positive of.

I hope you have as much fun with me as I have with you.

So many fun things coming from you this month.

“Oh No”

You love cars and everytime one goes by you yell “CAR!” Papa would be so proud.

My God is so great is a favorite song as well as Old Jack Wissinger had a farm

We think you must be the smartest baby ever

I could not love you more.



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Papa’s Garden

As I enter the garage each day, Dad’s presence is so strong.  It is a blessing to have all of his things surrounding me each day, while sometimes it’s suffocating and I run. I know that all the emotions go along with losing a loved one and it is a right of passage, but sometimes I JUST DON’T WANT TO.

Most days I am good and I get a kick as I see him all over the place.

This day…….I’m standing at the workbench and I see his stuff.

This stuff was like his drug of choice.

Car parts. Oh my word there is a giant jug of muffler clamps.

Nails and screws

Bolts and brackets.

You name it. It’s probably there.

Each one of the above mentioned, is stored in some sort of container and labeled in masking tape written in his very distinct handwriting Kyle describes as chicken scratch.

I will get back to the garage in a moment.

We have recently begun our vegetable garden.

I started some plants from seeds.

They outgrew their little trays and had to be moved to larger pots.

Last year, Dad planted blackberries and he was gifted additional blackberry bushes.

We had a few blackberries last year and Dad was beside himself with joy as we picked and ate the fruits of his labor.

This year, Justin added to the blackberry patch and now the blackberries are already blooming and have begun to spring forth berries. We are pretty pleased with ourselves.

Yesterday was finally the day! We were building our garden beds.

We waited until the pool was dug so that we could steal the dirt from the hole.

The garden beds will be located behind the pool house.

There will eventually be 8 beds but for now, 4 will have to do.

It was a hot and very dirty day but two beds are completely finished and the other two will be complete by the end of the week

Back to the garage.

I wanted to call our garden, Papa’s garden.

Dad would have been up to his elbows in dirt.

He would have been bossing us all around yesterday as we built the beds and leveled dirt. He would have been in HOG HEAVEN.

So what better way to have him share in our garden then to name it after him.

If he wasn’t Vernon, PeeWee or Dad, he was Papa.

I stood at the work bench one day crying over his labeled trays and started carefully pulling off the masking tape.

I enlarged the letters

I cut a piece of wood and painted it his favorite color of fire engine red.

I traced and painted the letters


I can’t wait to hang up the sign and see it each and every day as we tend to our garden.

His name.

His handwriting.

His heart.

We will eat blackberries and toast to Papa’s garden.

Have a wonderful week!

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Yes it’s pink

When a renovation the size of ours happens, the big stuff seems to take the lead.

Little things like hanging pictures and organizational stuff just doesn’t make it to the top of the giant to do list.

My jewelry has been a giant thorn in my side.

Besides my favorites that I wear all the time, the rest isn’t expensive and it doesn’t have any emotional pull on my heart. But each and every time I reach into the basket to find a necklace to wear and have to untangle the glob of chains, I want to scream and throw each and everyone of them into the garbage.

I’ve had an idea for a few months and a lovely piece of pegboard has been hiding in the rear of my closet.

The day arrived and my sweet guy said, “let’s make that thing you want for your closet.”

I couldn’t have pulled that piece of pegboard out any faster.

Nothing fancy. Just a few boards to make a frame.

What color should it be?

It’s a girls closet.

I have a super cute blingy light.

Pink of course

I’m not big into baby pink so I mixed up a little potion using some sample paints I had on hand

I bought some hooks like this

And a couple of wire baskets

No more basket full of tangled up mess.

Now to organize these clothes……

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Two days in New Orleans

Hospitals are the worst

Yes they are.

However they are necessary and I am grateful for times that they provide care for the the ones I hold dear.

My cousin, more like a sister has been in a New Orleans hospital ICU for three weeks. Her medical history is quite extensive and this surgery was promised as a “long awaited fix.” I have kept track of her progress through family since February 28th.

It’s uphill and then downhill

Up and Down

Down then Up

Mom and I road-tripped to New Orleans Monday.

The weather was awful, it rained all day

We got stuck behind this truck full of logs and I swear it looked like they would roll out and run us over

No I did not take this picture while I was driving. Don’t go there

I ate McDonalds. Gross

It was supposed to take 8 hours.

We lost an hour so it changed to 9 and the weather challenges made it 10.

We made it to the hotel and had a restful sleep even though it was time change all over again. Asleep at 9 and up at 4. Geez. I also forgot my contact case so there are currently two plastic cups labeled right and left on the hotel bathroom counter.

When your loved one suffers, the clock seems to drag on and on and on.

Tubes and machines are a constant reminder of where we are.

It’s a beautiful day outside

Mom reads while I scroll through home decorating sites and social media outlets to pass the time as she sleeps.

We gown up, because we need to protect her.

My friends check on me.

They know how hard times like these are.

I wore my elephant bracelet.

It holds special meaning to me.

My girl Becky brought it back from Africa for me.

Do you know the story of the Female Elephants?

In the wild, when a mama elephant is giving birth, all the other female elephants in the herd, back around her in formation. They close ranks so the delivering mama cannot even be seen in the middle. They stomp and kick dirt and soil to throw attacker’s off the scent and basically act like a pack of fierce body guards.

They surround the mama and incoming baby in protection, sending a clear signal to predators that if they want to attack their friend while she is vulnerable, they’ll have to get through forty tons of female aggression first.

When the baby elephant is delivered, the sister elephants do two things: they kick sand or dirt over the newborn to protect its fragile skin from the sun, and then they all start trumpeting, a female celebration of new life, of sisterhood, of something beautiful being born in a harsh, wild world despite enemies and attackers and odds.

Whenever I look down at my bracelet, I know that my tribe says. “We have you. You are never alone.”

As I sit in the hospital room and hold the puke bucket for my sweet sister, it’s my way of kicking up the dirt and sending a message to this stupid disease that my God is bigger than any sickness and we will not give up.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s blessing will rest on me.”

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