Real Life

  • Faith & Lace

    Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 3.31.12 PM
    On Sunday Night my daughter, Shelby Sparkman created a blog for young women called “Faith & Lace“.   It’s all about faith, fashion, music or whatever she’s feeling at the time!   She’s one of those strange kids that watched Fashion Television from when she was about 4 years old, and has great fashion sense now.  I think she loved music since the day she was born!  Shelby would kind of sing herself to sleep in her little basssonette.  Somehow she’s been blessed with a beautiful singing voice and the ability to play multiple instruments.  She didn’t get that from her momma!   Shelby’s faith was strong from a young age, but was almost destroyed in her early teen years.  Thankfully, things have changed so much!   Shelby started her blog with a devotional called “What Is Your Cross“. cross from Shelby's Site I wonder where she ever got the idea to write a devotional 😉  (Twinkle in her momma’s eye!) In the post, Shelby talks about her inspiration for writing the blog.
    She quotes Luke 9:23 “Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up YOUR cross daily, and follow me. ”  Shelby goes on to say:
    I choose today to carry my cross of depression and anxiety high and follow God, no matter how painful and hard it may seem. So I ask you this, what is YOUR cross?
    Will you choose to let that cross bring you down and keep you in pain and discomfort, or are you going carry it with pride? Soon the cross will be dragged so long that it will slowly grind down to nothing, and you will truly feel free.
    Shelby has gone through so much in her short 18 years and has had to fight to get free.  It has come from accepting the cross she has to bear!  I couldn’t be more proud of her!  Interestingly, as she has accepted her cross and allowed God to use it, He has seen fit to lift the depression from her.  Steadily over the past year there has been a growing vibrancy and hope for the future in Shelby.   Her desire for God to use her and all she’s gone through make this momma’s heart sing!  Looks like we have another author in the house!  

    SHELBY IMG_1572    Check out Shelby’s Blog:    http://www.faithandlace.weebly.com
         Twitter:     @shelby_sparkman

    Read More

  • A Great Weekend!

    Last weekend was awesome!  It started off with a great drive to see my Gram and Son!  My Gram is just the cutest–next to Todd’s Gram!  So blessed to have such wonderful women in my life!  I could never spend enough time with my son!

    I drove to Maple and slept over at my amazing friends, Mark and Andrea Giancola’s house.  It was so good to spend time with them.  I could never get enough time with them either 🙂  In the morning Andrea and I went to the Ladies’ Day Away that she organized for the church they pastor, Maple Community Church.  Such amazing women.  We had 27 great girls come out to the event. I had done a retreat for them about 8 years ago so some I knew from before.  I have been getting emails from some of these great girls all week long!  I’ve made some lifelong friends!  Their worship leader, Lindsay Fitch did an outstanding job.  She taught the girls the new song “Water In My Desert” and it became like our anthem 🙂

    It was so great to have my sister Lori come to the event and then to go back and stay at her house.  I loved spending time with my nieces and nephew.  My one niece did my nails for church.  I even got to go to church with them and see my youngest niece wearing her first pair of heels!  She’s just like her Auntie Sherry!  A Tom-boy who loves to dress up.  She had her heels on with her hockey team coat!  What a cutie!    My sister spoiled me too!  The Ladies’ Day Away was held at Pine Farms Orchard in King City.  They have the cutest lunch restaurant and store with home decor and delicious, healthy food you can buy prepared.  Lori bought me glasses that say “H2O” all over them!  How cool is that!  Such an awesome sister!

    I picked up Shelby and we were on the road again, heading for home…Gabbing all the way!  Now that was a Great Weekend!
    Heading to Waterdown tomorrow–I’m sure the journey will be just as Great!

    Read More

  • Lewisville, Texas

    Todd and I had the privilege of traveling to the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas in January.  There was manly stuff for Todd, and girly stuff for me!  What a perfect trip!  The first few days were spent at a Lighting show for Todd’s work with his cousin’s Matt & Michelle.  Two amazing people!  The trade show was so interesting!  Lighting is now Art!  We had the strangest shuttle bus.  It was a normal white hotel shuttle bus on the outside, but we knew it wasn’t normal as soon as we stepped in! Everyone began laughing as we took our seats.  The black and hot pink color scheme should have been a clue, but we didn’t even notice until I was looking at a picture a couple took for us that it was a “Playboy Bunny” themed bus!  The drivers decorate their buses to get better tips!  Who knew?!?
    We had so much fun at the Fort Worth Rodeo.  It was both Todd and my first rodeo.  I don’t know how people have the courage to sign up to do that?  It’s the most dangerous thing I’ve ever seen in my life and I grew up at a Dragstrip!  I loved shopping at Sam Moon’s Department Store sized Accessory Warehouse!  I could move in!  It’s fashion for less in the most incredible way!  I so wish they had stores outside of Texas!  I appreciate that Todd gladly spent time at a coffee shop and didn’t complain about my time, or money spent here J  You just can’t get this stuff back home!
    On the Sunday, we went to Victorious Life Church in Lewisville, Texas. https://www.victoriouslife.org  Pastor Mark Akers was preaching a sermon series on Going Through Storms In Life and had me share my testimony.   When I was done speaking, Christian Recording Artist and Worship Leader, Rachelle Fletcher sang the song she wrote after watching the video on my website of Todd and I giving our Testimony (Link to Interview). It was so inspiring and emotionally overwhelming for me at times!  This is only the second time Rachelle has sung it publicly.  The first was when she came with me last summer to speak in Detroit.  (Link to the Song on my Youtube Channel) God used the song so powerfully.  God orchestrated the whole morning!   My testimony and Pastor Mark’s message meshed together as if we had it planned!  I wish you all could have been there!  Hope you enjoy the pics!

    Read More

  • It’s A Wonderful Life!

    I know this may be hard to believe, but last night I watched It’s A Wonderful Life with my daughter for the first time in my wonderful life!  Shelby and I had never seen it before.  I now know why it’s a Classic.  I love the story!  There were so many lessons to be learned about God’s love and His plan for your life.  Too often we think that our lives are not amounting to much, like we’ve missed out on “the big thing”.   We can get so defeated and discouraged when things don’t happen as quickly as we would like them, or how we thought they would happen.  In the movie, George Bailey was ready to give up on life.  It was interesting to me how when the angel Clarence asked if George was sick that the other angel said “No.  Worse.  He’s discouraged.”  Discouragement is a dangerous emotion.  It can bring people to do crazy things or give up and do nothing.  It was amazing to see how rejuvenated George became when he realized that his life was making a difference and he did get to fulfill his dreams of building.  It was priceless when he saw the town sign said Bedford Falls, not Pottersville. You can see the confidence in his heart through his eyes and the way he cheered.   He finally saw his accomplishments!  He knew his life was making a difference.

    pottersville sign george realizing he made a difference
    I saw this same confidence in my friend Kevin Pauls’ eyes at his Spirit of Christmas Event last week.

    For years Kevin has put his heart and soul into singing.  He has seen some good times, but nothing like this before!  I was overjoyed to see my friend’s dreams come true, right before my very eyes.  You see, Kevin and his wife Wendy are lifelong friends.  He’s more like a brother than a friend.  We have all been there for each other’s triumphs and heartaches.  They helped me to not give in to discouragement by their words of encouragement and by the example they live.  Kevin has never given up.  I remember at a monumental birthday party (the big 4-0), Kevin’s brothers and cousins were “roasting” him and teasing, telling him to “get a real job”.   I was thankful to be at the concert and see the pride in his siblings faces as they bragged on Kevin’s excellent performance!   There are even talks of next year’s Christmas special being televised!   I felt like I was at a Bing Crosby Christmas Special with better music!  Kevin, Sharon Riley and The Faith Chorale, Tenore, Michelle Wright and the huge choir were all amazing!

    I’m so thankful that Kevin never gave up in times of discouragement.  I’m thankful for the example he is of moving forward and choosing to see the great possibilities that God has ahead!  I’m thankful that God has the same potential in ALL of us for A Wonderful Life…if we don’t give up!

    Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.                  Galatians 6:9 NIV

    Here are some photos from THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS event.  To check out more about Kevin Pauls and next year’s event, click on the links below:

    Kevin’s website      Kevin’s Blogsite

    Read More

  • THANKSGIVING

    Wishing all of my American friends a blessed Thanksgiving Day!  Hope you let your Worship Leaders and others who inspire you know how much you appreciate them!
    (See Monday’s Devotional “Every Time I Think Of You“, Just click on the words)
    Here are pictures from our Canadian Thanksgiving back in October.   Just like the American Holiday, only sooner!  It gives our stomachs longer time to recover and prepare for the BIG Christmas Feast  🙂

    Read More

  • Light The Night-2013

    This year we hosted a church event for our neighbourhood called “Light The Night” on October 31st.  It was so much fun!  We had a hot dog BBQ in our garage all decorated for the evening.  My daughter Shelby, Lorraine Heath, Nicole and Art Barron, along with their  girls helped us with the BBQ.  The Barron girls handed out candy to all the kids.  FGT Family Church is all about reaching the community with the love of Christ!  We served over 100 hotdogs and gave out candy to around 150 kids.   Pastor Drew and his boys, new cast members on Duck Dynasty 🙂 came by to take photos and have some fun!  It was a great night and lots of fun seeing so many of our great neighbours!!!

    Read More

  • Visiting With My Son

    Since Brandon lives on his own now over 2 1/2 hours away I value every minute I get with him!  Not that I didn’t value it before, I’m just more aware of it now 🙂  He’s a great son and I’m so proud of the man he’s growing up to be.  Working for my parents he’s helped to increase their sales and allow them free time, something they’re unaccustomed to!
    Image 2 IMG_2361 DSC_0418

    Read More

  • Mom & Dad’s Induction with Mario Andretti!!!

    What an amazing night!  My mom and dad, John and Sharon Fletcher were inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame for their investment into the sport of Drag Racing.  My parents have owned two NHRA drag strips in Ontario Canada.  I spent most of my life at the race track and driving fast is in my blood!  Dad started racing as a teen.  He became a mechanic and started Fletcher Performance with my mom.  Then he renamed it Fletcher Bros. when his younger brother Danny was old enough to work for him.  By the time I was a young teen my parents had 3 stores that fixed cars, sold used cars and sold high performance race car parts. They had drivers racing cars under the Fletcher Bros. name.  My parents then bought  Dragway Park in Cayuga.  I spent my highschool and College years working at the drags.  What a fun time it was and so good for my family.  My parents sold Dragway Park and bought another track and named it London Motorsports Park.  They worked hard and did so much to further the sport of drag racing in Canada.  This night will be one I remember fondly as my parents were recognized and honoured for their hard work.  It was a proud moment for me!

    It was an incredible night made more exciting that my parents received their acceptance into the hall of fame with MARIO ANDRETTI!!!  It was an unbelievable time meeting him.  Spontaneously after the awards ceremony Mario had them auction off his “Checker Flag” socks for charity.  My dad, who has little will-power at auctions couldn’t resist and bought Mario’s socks right off his feet for $550.00.  It brought so much fun to the evening and now my parents have a very funny momento for the family room!  The news of Mario’s auctioned socks hit the Toronto and area newspapers a few times in the week following the ceremony.  I tweeted Mario about it and he actually retweeted me and replied!  We felt like famous people 🙂  Lots of fun!

    Read More