Saturday, October 16, 2010

The View from Here

"For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him."
Isaiah 64:4
"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."
Psalm 27:13

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help."
Psalm 121:1

"Mine eyes are ever towards the LORD;"
Psalm 25:15a

The view is fine from here.

A Look at my Country Home

Country living is my ideal, though.... Great valley + weak Internet even with a satellite (yes you read that right...satellite!) = few pictures that will download. :-)

Now that you have a look at our new home, feel free to stop in for tea or coffee anytime.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"against such there is no.....In-law?"

I bid a good evening to the four of you who frequent here.

A very late good evening.

All is well here. We have made the transition from Haywood to Humphrey with few bumps and bruises, thankfully. Other than Anna falling off the U-Haul truck and down the stairs face first we are fine.

I know I need to get you all some pictures and such, but lately my time just escapes me. I am back to middle of the night blogging for now.

Today was such a sweet day. Joel's Mom and Dad came for a brief visit. They came in about 2 and will leave for a conference around 6 this morning. We kept it a surprise to the kids but really I think I was more excited to see them than they were if that is at all possible. Ok maybe it was a tie.

Anywhoo, I hugged them and hugged them and then got to making food for them. While out on a vanilla run Mom and I got lost, she discovered Ellicottville, loved it, found a coffee shop, bought me some coffee and made me feel loved in between.

We ate, laughed, talked, ate and finally let them get some sleep before their really early morning. Joel took the couch, I the chair and ottoman and before we retired Joel and I read and prayed together. While reading my eyes just welled up with tears and I just began to add up all of the miles between us and miss them before they had even left. My main thought, far fetched as it may seem was, "What if they get old and cannot make the trip anymore?" Thankfully Joel did NOT laugh at me, but hugged me and said, "Then we will make them move in with us."

As we were leaving and even before then in the little house on Haywood I would think of them getting old and just wanted to take care of them. I have this overwhelming desire to take care of them.

Tonight I had such fun making them a meal, feeding them dessert, trying to figure out how to make coffee, and making cinnamon rolls to bake just before they leave tomorrow. I just want them to know that I appreciate them opening their home to me for eleven years. For watching our kids so Joel and I could take a breather, for bringing over soup and crackers when one of us was sick, for loving our kids, for making me feel like I was a good wife and mother.

Now don't get me wrong, there were times we just frustrated the fire out of eachother. But they never let me know it, and I got over whatever silly bee I had in my bonnet. Sometimes I felt we might have been too close. But we are sooo far away.

The Lord indeed has such patience with me. How He must shake His head at my change in feeling so sporatic and sincerely.

This is it...... I love these people. These are my people and I cried for an hour when I drove away from them. I have married up, gotten the better end of the deal, snuck my way into this wonderful family of mine and I am stayin' here too. I want to thank them for an amazing son who is a sincerely kind Pastor. I want them to know that I would do anything for them, that I hang on their compliments, pray for them wholeheartedly, look for their handwriting, treasure the time I have with them, and never want to stop hugging them.

Tonight as they sleep above me in a room we tried to fix just for them, I miss them already, wish them the best of everything God can offer and sit beneath them loving on them in their sleep.

And crying and wiping my nose on my robe.

So maybe you didn't need to know that part.

I love my In-laws, and wanted you all to know it.

Goodnight sleep tight.

Galations 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

When I was little I would always hear someone on the radio or t.v. say, "We're gonna take a trip down Memory Lane," and I would smile thinking to myself, "Well we'll leave the light on for you." If you haven't figured that out yet we LIVED on Memory Lane. I always thought for those taking that "trip" it would be a short one as we lived at a dead end street. I have a lot of memories myself of that yellow house, the last one on the left with the wooden 663 numbers that I made in shop class adorning the top of the garage. Ok so they were really two 9's upside down, but I thought that gave our house "character."

Today I am the one taking that same trip.

I am going to take you on a trip. Our map will be Psalm 77, and I will act as your tour guide making you stop along the way to explain how God has been working in our family's life.

Much has happened since I saw you all last. Not to mention that I had a hard time getting onto my OWN blog today since I could not remember the blog address OR the password!!!!

My Bible was given to me by my Father in Law in 2005 upon arriving home from Mongolia. Both Joel and I's Bibles were stolen, yes stolen, and we had been months without one. My only consolation is that if someone knew English (a stretch) and decided to READ my Bible (another stretch) they could get saved and it would be worth losing my favorite book. Someday we'll see. When my Father in Law gave me my new Bible as a gift I asked him to write in it and then waited for the one other person I wanted to write in it. One of my favoritest people in all of this whole world, the good Dr. M. Today as I flip through my Bible and all the many notes I have penned, the notes of encouragement from these two men mean the world to me.

Over Psalm 77 I have written "Waiting on God for a house 12/2/06"

I have read this passage more times than I can recall. I have read it angrily, frustrated, sad, lonely, hope full and the like. Today I share it with you as a huge mile marker in my life.God has, in the last 4 years, cultivated the fallow ground of my heart many many times thorough these verses. Of all the people I am thankful for in the Bible, David is hight on my list. I like to peel him back like an onion, and he begins this chapter for us:

"I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave hear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted." (Psalm 77:1-2)

Have you ever "refused" to be comforted? Had something that just burdened you, frustrated you, depressed you and you REFUSED to be comforted????? Our house sweet and tiny as it is in all it's glory on Haywood became such a source of frustration for me and sometimes I refused to be comforted by the fact that God WAS working, planning, preparing a new place for us as we burst at the seams on a daily basis. On one of those "Where are you God?" moments in my life I remember a sweet lady from our church who obviously felt our plight giving me a stained glass wall hanging that read, "Our home is just a little place, but God knows where we live." I would only add to this statement somedays with...."and that we are out of peanut butter." Little does she know how many times I hung what little faith I had left on this wall hanging. On one of those occasions, God led me again to Psalm 77 right before a date with my husband. This time verses 3 and 4 hit me where it hurt.

"I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah Thou beholdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak."

Next to these verses I have my occasional exclamation point indicating that this really made an impression on me or made me change the way I think, along with a cross reference. Matthew 8:20.

Ah Matthew 8:20. I have to sigh remembering this verse.

As I mentioned Joel and I were heading out for a date night. Usually a source of great anticipation and joy, but not that day. I was feeling forgotten by God. I was feeling like I "deserved" a house. A NICE BIG house. Didn't he see that we NEEDED one? While standing in line at a restaurant the Holy Spirit rebuked me for my selfishness and pride and then it came. Matthew 8:20.

"And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

Immediately I looked around the restaurant as if everyone knew what was transpiring in my heart, and hung my head in shame. Before I could even explain to Joel why I was being reduced to a literal puddle of tears, the accusation came, "Who am I to demand a house when the Lord of all didn't even have a place to lay his head?" My heart condemned me and I was just as Psalm 77:4 describes. I was "so troubled that I (could not) speak." If I remember correctly we had to go and sit somewhere and I had to just weep and try to tell Joel what God was doing in my heart as we waited for our table to open up and them I cried most of the way through dinner at the sinfulness of my heart.

so Matthew 8:20 has a special place in my heart and is written in the margin of this chapter we are walking through.

We now skip down to verses 7,8 and 9. Not because the other verses aren't chock full of wisdom and worth reading, but because you all have much more to do today than sit on here and read my life's story!

These verses bring us to a rainy day physically and spiritually in my life. A month or so before this time I had gone through a house with a real estate agent by myself which is not normally our practice. Joel must have been busy, I cannot recall now, but here I was going through a house that meant a lot to our family. It was a house that had been in several of our church families possession at one time or another and frankly I had picked it out as my "Promised Land." I tell you if you can just WILL something to happen, I would be typing this right now in that house! I am ashamed and embarrassed to tell you that I even stooped so low as to drive by that house with my arm out the window praying over that house. (ok now forget that you just read that and think of me as a normal person again....) I just thought I KNEW what was best for our family and could not understand why God was dragging his feet on giving it to us. I had come so far that I thought, I really thought that God would somehow just give it to us free as can be. It was on that day that I went thought the house with the agent I told you about. When she drew me in for the "catch" and through out the inflated price for a house that had been vacant for some time I took a deep breath and told her flat out that this house was NOT in any way shape or form in our meager budget, but if God wanted us to have this house HE would give it to us. I then waited for her to somehow hear from heaven as Saul did and upon her knees beg me to sign the papers for our free house.

Well that did not happen as you know, and when I rode home in the rain, the bucket of tears fell as the rain upon my windshield. These tears however were not tears of repentance, but burned with anger in my heart.

In a fit I through myself in the blue chair and as I read this chapter once again, verses 7, 8 and nine could have been written by my own hand.

"Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favorable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah"

Have you ever felt forgotten? I have. Next to these verses I have penned Philippians 4:19- "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." By FAITH I gave this over to God and said, "YOU know what we NEED. I am going to rest in the fact that you know better, a LOT better than me." and I thanked him for all that he HAD provided for our growing family.

The following verses began to echo in my heart, "And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most high. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings." (Psalm 77:10-12)

Today I look back on this chapter of my life and can now recount what God has done and rejoice in verse 14 which before I claimed by faith only:

"Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people."
I did alright in this area for a while, even grew to downright love my tiny piece of home sweet home and the old worn blue chair to boot! And then right when I was getting right cozy and preparing to stay squeezed in there on Haywood until the Lord's returnin', now what do you think happened?? I'll give you a hint. What happened is what usually happens when we finally let go and let GOD BE GOD to us.


I will pause a moment so that you have time to recover from the fall you took out of your chair......

Seriously. IT.SOLD.

Not on the market, No sign in the yard. Someone heard we might want to move and was interested enough to get things movin' and one thing after another and we were signing papers with a temporary place to go.

Deep down I always wondered if God did not want to move us to keep us from putting permanent roots down here in Youngstown.

I was right.

When the house sold, we both overwhelmingly knew something was coming. I pressed the last of the Johhy Jump-ups in the pages of my Bible and could not wait to see what God would do. It was during this time that the Lord brought to mind a verse in the very next chapter, Psalm 78: 19- "Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?"

It may seem like a weird verse to you, but when you have just sold the only house you have known in your 11 years of married life, the apartment you were supposed to move into fell through at the LAST MINUTE and you are taking up residency in the prophet's chamber of your sweet friend's basement.......

Well, you begin to think a little.

God did all this.......BUT CAN HE.........?

And then I read how the children of Israel saw all of God's miraculous doings and STILL questioned. They doubted his goodness to them.


It seemed like days that God brought this verse to my mind....... over and over and over until finally out loud once I said, "I BELIEVE YOU!"

And yet in my heart I hesitated.

"Can GOD?" he replied.

I finally said in desperation, "Lord, help my unbelief."

And He did, and we then found out that there was a church in NY that was looking for a Pastor. They came looking for us, we did no searching or prying. We had learned to wait on God and let HIM be HIM. And He sure was.

To make my longer story even shorter, Friday we say "Goodbye" to all we have known as a family and hitch our wagons to a start headed for a new city that puts the "R" in Rural. Or as we have begun to call it, "A little bit of heaven on earth." :-)

God has led us to a small country church where we can live simply as a family and love on these people until the Lord comes.

Just writing that gladdens my heart and mind.

Are we sad, yes, are we tickled pink that every detail, down to someone giving us lights to put in the windows of our new large four bedroom house, we have the desire of our hearts in more ways than we can express?????



Today I look back on this chapter of my life and can now recount what God has done and rejoice in verse 14 which before I claimed by faith only:

"Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people."

I can think of no other way to close this account of God's undeserved favor to us by this verse:

Psalm 118:23 "This is the LORD‘S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."


(To all those of you whom have so fervently prayed God would bless us with a bigger house, He has answered your prayers above and beyond what we could ever ask or think! Thank you.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Hello world! Sometimes I wonder if I am just cruel to have a blog and not get on as often as I should to keep those few dear folks who read my banter, happy. Life is what it is here on Haywood and I have to just roll with things as they come. Our computer cord gave up the ghost and gave hubby a jolt, (that was something!) and we were away for Teen camp for a week. We are presently gearing up for ANOTHER week of camp, this time with the juniors. Isaac and Abbs are campers this time and Joel and I have waited and waited for the opportunity to be their counselors so we are pumped.

This summer has brought the celebration of Anna's 3rd birthday, Isaac's 10th and Alayna's first. Sometime I will post on what a round of emotions that brought about for me, Alayna's that is. There were things from her traumatic appearance that still needed healing from the Lord, things I still physically am rebounding from, and things I will never have answers for until I see the Lord face to face.

Today I breeze through all of the things that I have wanted to blog about and never had time to and sum them all up in this fashion.

God is good and life is sweet.

It truly is all about enjoying the trip as much or more than the destination itself. How many times have you had your sights set on something, feeling like once you have obtained that item you will feel some sort of contentment, only to discover that it didn't give your spirit something at all. It was just ANOTHER thing, or idea, or place, or moment, or in my case, food item. And for that matter many food items like freshly made cannoli's are adding something to me somewhere if you get my drift..... I digress.....

For a long time I just thought that I would have arrived if I just had....

wait for it...

wait for it...

I KNOW you will feel the same...



Yep, there you go. A highway to happiness right there folks. SERIOUS as a heart attack I thought I would just feel better having one. I would juice my way to happiness and lose 10 pounds just by lifting it from under the cupboard and plugging the silly thing in. And of course you just never seem to have some secret financial stash that is labled, "For those things that will just insure happiness and bring complete fulfillment." So years went by and we never got one.

UNTIL...... someone gave us one. That's right, gave it to us, in all it's 200+ dollars worth of glory. I smiled, I wept, I stared at it like it was some relative that had just been released from years of work at a forced labor camp.

I brought it home, I used it, I got tired of it, and now it collects dust.

Feel free to insert the similar story of your own choosing to play in your mind at this very moment.... I'll go use the restroom, grab a snack and meet you back here in a few.....

A few weeks ago I found myself in a negative rut, waiting for the proverbial train to arrive in my life. Our pastor preached a message on the "Days of our Lives." I KNOW, can you believe it? I had no idea he even watched soap operas!!!!

(Sorry, I have this crazy humorous bent on life.....I just cannot help it.)

Ok so the sermon was really titled, "Day by Day." It really hit home for me and my proverbial caboose. I like to think in terms of "years." THIS YEAR we are planning on..... NEXT YEAR we will.... even LAST YEAR we..... but God emphasizes the DAYS of our lives instead of the YEARS of our lives. Start in Genesis and just count all the times you see the phrase, "all the days of..." I believe God places an emphasis on the days of people's lives in order to get us to do something with our days instead of letting our years pass us by.

Psalms tells us in the last verse of Psalm 24, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

Ps 27:4 also stresses days, "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple."

My life verses are found in Lamentations 3:21-23, "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD‘S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."

The sweet phrase "every morning" has been a life long encouragement to me, and possibly some of you who share my zeal for a brand new day at about noon when the laundry is about to swallow you up and two children have written on the wall.

I am thankful that He did not say His mercies are new every week or month, but every day. Stop and just rejoice over that one friends.

The bottom line is that how we live our days is how we live our LIVES.

I want to be a godly wife and mother. I want to be a blessing to others around me. I want to teach my children how to love God, accept His love to them and let that love change their lives.

I can sit and plan and concentrate my focus on the future and miss the day I have been given toDAY. Don't get me wrong, I am all for plannin'. I have a plan for every ounce of ground beef in my freezer and for the last few ounces of ketchsup in the container in the fridge that people keep trying to throw away! Why is that by the way? Don't they know I have a plan for it???

Just don't get so caught up in the mindset that I fall privy to so often. Don't plan your life and watch your days slip away. Have goals, but allow real life to change them, sleal them, and downright drag them through the mud if need be. Allow God to have all of you each and every day. All of your heart and soul and your mind.

Slow down, enjoy the little things like a grosbeak at your bird feeder. Hug your kids more, encourage them more often, make homemade pizza because it is more fun and worthwhile even if it isn't easier. Pray out loud with your kids anytime, anywhere. Try this is the supermarket might just be ushered to the front and not have to wait so long..... (Ok a little humor.......)

Tell yourself whether the train comes, never comes or comes late, I will be happy. No amount of juicing, eating, playing or shopping will add an ounce to my contentment or fulfillment in this short life I have been given. I will be grateful, thankful and any other "Ful" that God ordains for me to be.

The best years of my life are these DAYS. They are days filled with garden weeds, leftovers, missing socks, no radio reception, crumbs in the couch, chipped eyeglasses and not enough kool-aid to make enough for everyone.

These are the best days.

These are the days I am going to look back on and smile over. Days that will keep me company when the devil attacks us. Days that will make me cry with thankfulness to God.

So if you do not see me here, I am just out livin'.

I hope you are livin' too.

And if you see my train come in for me, tell it I am busy and will catch the next one, will you?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Can I pick your brain beginning with your forehead dear?

I am having one of those forehead-to-forehead moments with my husband as he tells me that he is almost done outside, (Oh perchance did I mention that I am on the inside of the house and HE is on the outside?? Thanks to new windows a few years back we can actually OPEN the windows... I digress..) and I am somehow hoping beyond all hope that as we stand (well he stands and I sit) here with 5 of the six tugging on me and hanging out the window, that one: No one sees us and begins to recite "The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe," and two: that some how via osmosis all of the patience that Joel has just sitting in his big toe doing him no good at all finds me, envelopes me and makes me just hear the cries of our brood and just smile.

Wow that should so go down in the Guiness book of World records for the longest run on sentence.

And yes I MEAN forehead-to-forehead. I love it. It secretly means between the two of us that the world is still going to rotate whether we find something for Sunday dinner or not, that kids, loving them, teaching them, correcting them may not FEEL worthwhile at THIS moment, but by golly it IS. It means that we are still in love, best friends can tell each other secrets and have that wonderful "safe spot" to leave everything knowing the other will sift the wheat from the chaff and take what is worth keeping and throw the rest to the wind, chalking it up to a

Forehead-to-forehead we are not ashamed for our kids to see our "reconnecting" moment.

This is my beloved and this is my friend.

And this is all the "life processing" that goes on in a single 3 minute forehead-to-forehead moment between a sweet man who has been a 32 - 32 for I think way too long, and a frazzled Mom.

Carry on friends, carry on.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm a Rich Royalty

Growing up, my Pastor used to do something that made a real impression on me.

He would find himself in a "this is as good as it gets" moment, like coming home after a long day of work to a house full of kids (and stowaways..) who loved on him as soon as he came through the door. He would wrap his arm around them and pronounce with a broad smile,

"I'm a rich man!"

and usually in unison they would all reply,
"Why didn't you tell us???"

I loved those times and thought to myself what it would be like to have those "rich" moments myself when I had children of my own................





Anna (or as I called her in this dress, "The human popsicle" :-)


........Now I know.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fevers and not so few words....

We have had a string of weird fevers sweeping our abode here on Haywood. None of the other "unmentionables" come along with it. Just a high fever. All was somewhat normal until it hit the 5th of the Mohican's.

Anna IS a talker.

For sure.

If you remember I have noted on here that all too often we were asked, "Is she four or five?" And with a grimace we would reply, "Um.....nnnnoooo she's TWO."

Well now she's three and her vocab is a growin' like her hair these days and having a fever to boot just about made her the chattiest little thing you ever laid eyes (or ears) on.


I sat with her in the blue chair of all wisdom and comfort, (Smile) and knitted and held her, and knitted and listened, and knitted and kissed her scorching forehead and so on and so forth. And while I did all these things, I told myself that this was so a "blogable moment" and when I had her interested in yet another Popsicle I decided to try to write down all of the questions she had just asked me or comments she made in a whopping 3 minutes time. Yes I mean 3 minutes!

Here goes:

My eyes hurt.
Why do we have blood?
I love Uncle Chris. (This is a story for another time!!)
I love cows, and birds.....and PIGS.
I love Alayna.
Do I ask a funny questions?
I love ALL my children.
When I sit down my culottes go up.
Do the Wilcox's know the baby name?
Do we have friends?
Are the Duggars and Wilcox's our friends?
I like my clothes.
What did I say?
Nathan said I was bad when I had my Princess pajamas on.
How come I don't have hand pockets in my culottes?
Can you pull my culottes down to cover my legs?
I love you.
I was gonna tell you that I love you.
What is a woodpecker?

And these were what I could remember and get on paper!

Now the cutest thing was that she would sniff her little button nose after about every other question or so. And just in case you were wondering these must have been rhetorical statements because I never had the time to answer them!! She just kept on a goin'!
Anna is just Anna. And we could just about love the stuffin' out of her some days. I love that you know how she feels about everything, whom she loves and how much she loves them.

Our smooth talker in action again...

Just love her.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Person of Promise

The story is told of 12 prominent businessmen from Minnesota who decided to pull their resources and head over to Rwanda for a two week trip in search of a "Person of Promise." This "Person" could be a Father a Mother a Daughter or Son, just someone who they felt could make a life for themselves given the right setting and the right education. At the end of their two weeks they had met several "some one's" who would fit their description and who had a desire to be something in life given the right turn of events.

Then something amazing happened. A man from the village they were in asked if they would go with him to check on a small group of people not heard from for a great while. They drove as far back into the wild as they could until they were hiking the rest of the way into the jungle interior. Heavy rain fell and as they approached the village it seemed like an almost waste of time and energy as they couldn't locate a single individual.

Finally a girl in her late teens met them and relayed to them that all of the adults in the village save a few elderly individuals had died from Aids, leaving only a large group of children and herself to care for them. These children had been scrounging the jungle in search of food to sustain themselves.

These twelve men without a word began to fix roofs and huts to the best of their ability in the pouring rain. One took off his coat and wrapped it around a small child with the other eleven following suit, until they had given every article of clothing they could save their underclothes. They made every effort to show these children that they would give them everything they could possibly give to help them.

And then in too short a time they were back in their jeep and gone, to fly back to the states the next morning.

They had found their "People of Promise."

It wasn't in the package they went out to find, but these children were full of promise and simply needed someone to care for them.

Now for a little transparency. Are you up for it?

Today is Saturday. We ate a good breakfast, listened to a kids radio program and I decided to stay home with my youngest while the rest of the fam went visiting.

Not so terrible, eh?

Today I just decided to stay home. I decided that the people Joel was going to visit were not my "People of Promise." Some of them on his bus route would not have even understood that I had come to visit, or can even fully acknowledge their care for Joel or I.

Interestingly enough today is pouring rain.

I am wondering if I exchanged places with one of those twelve men today if I would have the heart to do the same thing that they did, leaving me tired and wet and uncomfortable.

Today, this afternoon, If I don't even have the will to visit a few folks on our Handicap route, what makes me think that I would show the love of Christ to anyone and everyone God sends my way??

That is a shocking, terrible thought.

In fact what is worse is the fact that God may not be sending anyone here to Haywood, because He knows I will not care for them.

He knows I am too busy caring for myself.

I am looking for a "Person of Promise" who can make good on my investment and time in them.

He reminds me that I was once, poor, destitute, naked, and blind.

After all, I John 4:19 tells us that, "We love him, because he first loved us."

We couldn't even love Him unless He first loved us.

Do we love "them" because He first loved a dirty, rotten hopeless sinner like us?

And by "them" I mean everyone God sends our way.

We love to hear and share stories of people giving everything to help someone else, but are we even willing to give something???

Are you looking for a "Person of Promise" or are you promising to love on every single person God sends your way??


Good thought.

If I do say so myself.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life as we know it

Hello world.

Wow I have been away soo long I almost did not remember how to even sign in!

And most days I am without a computer at home during the day (which I LOVE) and most nights I am getting dinner on the table, getting it off the table, washing the table.....well you get the idea.

Come to think of it, my life kinda revolves around that table, doesn't it?

Anywho, It is late, the kiddos are sleeping, the husband is sleeping and I have a moment to check in.

How in the world are you? (That was for Tam)

I have thought about things to put on here, but tonight I am just gonna "shotgun" it and whatever tickles my fancy is gonna make it lickety-sizzle in this post.

On children:

My now recently turned 5 year old found a honest and truly Robin's egg outside and he, thinking it was one of the badly named Easter candies, "Robin eggs" decided to pop it in his mouth.



I dunno what was more side splitting to me, Him trying to eat it, or his slightly older brother understanding what happened and yelling to him that he "Killed a bird."

Yeah that was a day.

In other news my oldest and funniest told me, over dinner one night, that my food was so good he wouldn't be surprised if I was asked to "make the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven."

It has been said that a person can live three days on one good complement.

I think I can live all of eternity on that one. (wink wink)

Good times. Good kids.

On the home front:

We are having a blast with 6 chickens now. So when you think of it, I have 6 kids in the house and 6 out in the shed. Lest you think they were my idea they were not at all, but I will say that I whole heartily agree with anything that passes my "good idea" test. It is a simple two question exam:

1. Will it add to the humor of the family?
2. Will it be profitable to us?

Yes to both accounts, so enjoy them we will.

I have acquired a real enjoyment of knitting at present. Some have even sighted me in the blue chair with my thick glasses, knitting like a fiend with one eye on my needles and the other on my bird feeders right outside my window. And smiling like someone who has eaten brownies for breakfast and who has erased the word "laundry" from their vocab.

See I have a lazy eye and can do things like this.

Yes I have more "lazy" parts of my anatomy that will not take up any more space or mentioning here.

Life is more simplified lately. No t.v. No computer most days. Just a really old radio antenna and my singing.

Life is lovely come to think of it.

I keep hearing of facebook finds and friends and fiasco's and yes I do like to get on someone's for a while and look and see what this one and that one are doing, but then I am off like a hot potata and am sick of it like when you eat one too many Doritos.


So if you catch me on here, great, but if not, no worries. I am probably off on my new bike I got for Mother's Day riding up and down my neighborhood in my super long culottes and smiling 'cause I picked the bike with the largest seat in the whole store.


I am living, and loving and of course I am laughing.

And sometimes I am even wondering how you all are doin'.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Catch and Release Part II (Finally Hallelujah !!)

OK I KNOW it has been a while.....

I know....


Things have had my full attention. Besides I have had to mull this whole idea around a bit and take care of my own releasing so here I am at long last.

Release is my new favorite word. I just like saying it and typing it for that matter.

Release. It just brings me comfort.

If you are a Mom to many than you know that you wish you had this monogrammed on your nightshirt like I do.

I went on over to the Ole' Websters 1828 to bring you some definitions for this remarkable word:

RELE'ASE, v.t.

1. To set free from restraint of any kind, either physical or moral; to liberate from prison, confinement or servitude.

Matt. 15. Mark 15.

2. To free from pain, care, trouble, grief, &c.

3. To free from obligation or penalty; as, to release one from debt, from a promise or covenant.

4. To quit; to let go, as a legal claim; as, to release a debt or forfeiture. Deut. 15.

5. To discharge or relinquish a right to lands or tenements, by conveying it to another that has some right or estate in possession, as when the person in remainder releases his right to the tenant in possession; when one co-parcener releases his right to the other; or the mortgagee releases his claim to the mortgager.

6. To relax.

Check out that last one........ I think just saying the word out loud relaxes me frankly.

Anywhoo, It is time for you to take that person whom you have in bondage somewhere in your heart and let them go. One of my favorite quotes regarding forgiveness states that, " He who fails to forgive burns a bridge that he himself must cross." We all need forgiveness and surely somewhere in the recesses of our minds we grasp the Biblical concept in Mt 6:15 "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Not powerful enough for you? Try this parable in Matt. 18 on for size:

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

These and many talks with the Holy Spirit prompted me to do my own releasing. How about you? there are some reasons why we just cannot or will not release someone. Here are a few'

1. We feel like if we release them of our anger it will make what they have done to us of none effect, forgotten, and seem of little consequence.

2. We feel like we can continually punish them by harboring anger and resentment.

3. We feel like we are the ones able to harm them and reign recompense on them for what they have done.

There are a few problems in this scenario. We are putting ourselves in the place of God. Ps 75:7 "But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." One of the greatest lessons I learned recently about resentment and this kind of anger is that not only does it harm YOU and not the person you have ought with, but when you put yourself in God's stead you are keeping Him from properly taking care of the matter entirely.

Hmmmmmm..... think about it.

Now, should we then get a Cheshire cat smile on and look at them with the one raised eyebrow that sports a "Hah! I am soo done with you and releasing you to God's judgement." look?

Nay my spiritual friends, though I will say I can sport one with the best of 'em.

I tie all this up with a quick story of my own. Joel and I were in college and had some things said and done to us that cut us to the quick. If taken to the right people we could have seen some anvils fall and some heads chopped off so to speak. Of course I was the one begging for mercy for those who had wronged us and Joel was foaming at the mouth to see them get their just desserts, just like usual.

I soooo jest.

I WANTED restitution. I wanted restitution with caramel and a cherry on top folks. But Joel reminded me of Ro 12:19 "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Well I saw things his way and eventually I forgot that I even had an issue with that hurt and low and behold just about the time I did forget what do you think happened?

restitution. FULL restitution. God-delivered, and God-ordained, glorious restitution between us and the meanies who are now sweet lovable wonderful friends of ours.

I can tell you in all honesty that that would NOT have happened if I had still been quenching the Holy Spirit and squeezing the life out of the thing with my own two hands.

Release them folks. Not to judgement ON THEM, but allow God to work in your heart and theirs and restore you with them.

The only catching I want to do is to receive all the blessings God is gracious enough to allow me.

Go and enjoy the death of death this weekend.

Hallelujah for the cross!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Catch and Release Part I

I regret that I did not fill you all in on what a wonderful time we had a week or so ago at the Couple's Simulcast. It was so good and the Lord gave me a few thoughts for the blog that I would like to share. We ARE limiting our usage of the Internet to a few hours a week so part II to this may be a little while coming....just sayin'.

The Lord has been dealing with me regarding forgiveness. I am so "up to my ears" with this word at this point in my daily walk with the Lord that it pains me to even type it, but it must needs be done. If not, I fear a Holy Ghost outburst welling up inside me, triggered the next time a preacher stands behind the pulpit and says, "We need to forgive..." At which point I envision myself jumping to my feet and with arms raised upward frantically yelling......

"ALRIGHT! I GET IT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Yeah you guessed it. I am also on a diet.

That explains a lot.

a LOT.

Anywho, The Couple's Simulcast dealt a lot with forgiveness. And one of the thoughts represented and that resonated with me was the fact that we need to "release" the person (your mate, a coworker, nursery worker, ex.) who has hurt you in some way. This was a new way of looking at an old problem.

We all have been offended have we not? And we surely cannot go day in and day out without intentionally or unintentionally offending someone.

Jas 3:2 "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body."

Oh that I had an industrial strength body-bridle...... Ok back to the subject at hand.....

The thought came to me regarding "releasing" someone.

In order to "release" them, we have to "catch" them first.


Think with me. If you live in my neck of the woods we are "catching" a whole lot of miserable around here. The dreaded RSV virus is rearing it's nasty head with many an infant sick. Some of us have colds and flu's we are sharing and getting over and sharing again. We all sigh just thinking of Spring.

(Pardon me as I stop and sigh)

In all of my medical research ( I jest) I have not found any cure for a virus. While Chicken soup may indeed be "good for the soul," sounds good and tastes good, you have heard the old adage:

"Without medicine a cold lasts a week and with medicine it lasts seven days."

A nasty ole' virus just plain needs to run it's course.

I liken bitterness to a nasty virus. And for me, spiritually speaking, it has been a long cold Winter.

Now lest you think you have to "wait out" bitterness and unresolved anger, I will add that you can take the Bible prescription for anger and grab a big bowl of Matthew 18 and set yourself aright again lickety-sizzle.

But most of us just forget where we left the recipe for that good broth, or tell ourselves we can "get over it" on our own, no Spiritual home cookin' necessary.

Such was the case for me.

I am a good person!
I am not in the wrong here!
I am an Assistant Pastor's Wife!
I just learned that Job came first!

So this virus spread to my I's and yet I still refused the Great Physician's diagnosis.

Just as we know that most viruses have to run their course, we also know that they are contagious. As a cough or sneeze infects those around us, so gossip and a harsh spirit affect those we deal with day in and day out. In fact, very harmful viruses require a quarantine from others because the virus is so threatening.

Perhaps some of us should have a time of "quarantine" where we spend time with the Lord pouring over I John 1:9, allowing Him to carry our burdens for us, instead of risking harm to someone else.

Stop looking at me like that. You know.....

If we took as good a care of our spiritual health as we do our physical how wonderful would life be for us?

Before there is a flower there is a seed. This seed is sown in some way, shape or form and when it is sown under the right conditions, and on fertile ground it takes root and from that root comes the fruit from that seed....or in other words what that seed has produced.

In a sense the fertile ground "catches" that seed. It holds on to it and buries it. For a while you wouldn't even know it was there, but under the ground it sits, waiting, and breaking open to sprout a good long root to keep it in that soil. Eventually you see a sprout and if you are like me, what you thought was Johnny Jump ups becomes an ugly weed that you have nourished and patiently waited hand and foot on for several weeks!

Heb 12:15 " Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"

Such are we. Notice that it says MANY. A comment is made, a promise is broken, a slanderous remark comes our way via a "friend who cares" and a seed begins to fall on the soil of our hearts. We shrug the hurt off, try to "forgive and forget" but in our weak moments we press the seed deep into the soil where for a while it is buried. No one would look at us and even know it is there. Sometimes we ourselves even forget it's precarious placement. But alas! After a few watering's via us recalling the incident in our minds, refreshing the pain once and again, this seed takes root and soon we see the flower of bitterness. We let it alone for a while, I mean even some weeds ARE pretty we tell ourselves, but the roots on this plant crowd out any others and we are left gazing at other's bouquets when we house one.lone.weed. You know you need to get rid of it, and you grab it by the horns and give it one big yank. You brush the dirt off your hand and smile. There you go, you have gotten it! You know the drill, you know that you have to dig deep into those tender tissues of your heart and pinch off any life to that root of bitterness, that now has affected your whole outlook on life.

You have caught yourself a hurt. A deep one at that and you have to get to the "root" of the problem and get your life on the right track.

How can you release yourself from this spiritual virus?

I am glad you asked........

We will pick up there in a few days. In the meantime, get plenty of good food and fluids (Mt 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled) and a healthy dose of Vitamin C. "See Matthew 18" that is.

Physician's Orders!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hoodlum Picture Post

This morning I could not resist taking way too many pictures of the three little ones.

Who doesn't love baby feet?

Or baby cheeks???

I could just squeeze her all day long....

And then some more.

Now the three of them together.....

Well now it just may be wrong to have this much excitement in one house.

Real Life ain't for wimps

Today is just about like any other day.

And if you are a Mom of tiny ones, half a dozen to be exact, than you must be careful.

If you do not ward it off, you could find yourself moping around taking this "average" day for granted.

The sun is shining, the kids are yelling (I mean talking...) and you pull your crusted eyelashes apart just in time to behold the largest mound of dishes that for some reason you chose to "block out" of our memory as you slipped into a bed the night before, that you thought for sure was calling your name.

Fighting erupts over syrup, the cat steals part of the littlest one's pancake and you wonder why on earth you have not been smart enough these 10+ years to catch some of these things on tape so you would have some sort of chance of winning America's funniest videos and thus be comforted by this scene knowing you can now have your MAID, you hired with your winnings of course, clean up the mess for you.

The dog growls at you as you enter the living room, apparently not recognizing the latest "Bride of Frankenstein" hairdo you have been sporting this morning. He wakes the baby and you roll your eyes, making you oddly enough look MORE like the Bride of Frankenstein....

The baby is fed, one is clothed...the only little one home who can clothe HIMSELF, because after all, before 10 0'clock, that's the only way you are gettin' clothes on. Do it yourself. You look at this little one and pat him on the back as he shows you his outfit he chose for himself. You veer past the obvious mis-match and pat him on the back thinking to yourself, "Hmmm in a year or so, you will be able to take out the garbage for me..."

You have been up almost 45 minutes yet there seems to have been some force field of some sort keeping you away from the ever present mound of dishes. Normally you wouldn't have minded in the slightest, but Dad made cream of wheat for the older ones before school and well, you know how that stuff literally turns to cement on the bowls and pan the minute you turn your back on it.


You grab a scouring pad and WITH a scour you begin the daily grind of meeting the needs of those around you. You wince at the plaque hanging above the sink because the SON is coming through the window and hitting it smack on Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Yeah in some spiritual fit you nailed that thing up there. You know the power that is at your disposal as a child of God, yet you scrub and wonder if by noon you will be half comatose, rocking yourself back and forth in the blue chair, mumbling the Psalms and holding out hope that your husband will sweep through the door with a brilliant smile, and of course, take-out foods.

If you have not had a day that somewhat mirrors this day then I am sorry but you just cannot relate. You should stop reading and go finish ironing your towels like you were doing....

We don't have a television, but we have Internet which is for Pete's sake just as horrible I think. While going to watch the Olympics recaps on line on NBC I stumbled across an advertisement for one of their drama sitcoms, and well to be honest one thing led to another and BAM, there I was watching this silly episode.

You know the like, Girl with blond hair (who apparently has NEVER carried 6 children) appears. She is a career woman and every male in the building notices her every move, has the compassion of Mother Theresa and everyone works and shares their whole hearts. Girl doesn't need anybody, has it all and a bag of chips, meets the FIRST "Mr. Right" in the episode series and the chemistry is toxic. The music and lighting are exquisite, making each time they exchange a smile remind you of hour long talks in the "serious room" and gifts on your desk "just because" he was thinking of you.

You snap yourself out of this mess, make yourself a smoothie, but the damage has already been done. Your mind is filled with immodesty, and a zillion what if's. What if I was skinnier, what if we were dating again, what if I was smarter, funnier, yada yada yada.

You chug your smoothie and head back to the dishes which now having soaked for a half hour are now in the "jack hammer" stage and the cream of wheat, with enough pressure, will partially chip off. The Holy Spirit comes to you, slowly deliberately reminding you what you have in your hands. It may look like cream of wheat mess, but in reality it is a husband who loves you, who is committed to you even when you act like YOU should BE committed. It is six hoodlums who need you. They need fed, clothed, or at least clothes selected for them, and need you to love God with all of your heart soul and mind because after all, they will be just like you in too few years than you would like.

You have life. That breathing in and out thing. The very thing your body was fighting for just 8 months ago. You have an eternal home in heaven where "moth and rust" do not corrupt, Hallelujah for that. You have a Father who can bless you and wants to use you when you deny that old man of yours and allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit of the living God. When you look at life through His vantage point and know that His will is far better than ANYTHING the world could even hope to can take His Word on it.

With so much entertainment out there, or IN HERE I should say, we can despise the very things that God means to bring us the most satisfaction and meaning to our lives. Goodbye Hollywood, Hello home sweet home. After all, this wonderful life thing is NOT all about YOU.

You grab your Bible, settle into the blue chair and begin in I Timothy 6. You allow the washing of water by the Word of God to cleanse your mind of the fairytale you have fallen privy to and let the verses fall like water on dry, parched ground.

vs 6- "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

vs. 8- "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."


vs. 12- "FIGHT the good fight of faith..."

THIS is real life.

THIS is a fight for godliness.

and it ain't for wimps.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Sweet Surprise Party

Sweet Mary T and I threw a fun surprise party for Tammy last night and I wanted you all to see some of the fun we had! Thank you to all who were vital in us all enjoying way too much amazing food and sooo many great stories!

Ain't it fine when things are going
Topsy-turvy and askew
To discover someone showing
Good old-fashioned faith in you?

Ain't it good when life seems dreary
And your hopes about to end,
Just to feel the handclasp cherry
Of a fine old loyal friend?

Gosh! one fellow to another
Means a lot from day to day,
Seems we're living for each other
In a friendly sort of way.

When a smile or cheerful greetin'
Means so much to fellows sore,
Seems we ought to keep repeatin'
Smiles an' praises more an' more.
~ Edgar A. Guest

I must experience that cheesecake again before the Lord's return....and what is affectionately known as "Amy's Dip," is heavenly, simple as that. We learned a some very important lessons last night:

1. Chickens CAN survive not being fed and watered for TWO DAYS...
2. Two women with black shirts on CAN IN NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM stand beside each other to take a friendly picture.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha........

What a wonderful time we had together. Old friends ARE the BEST FRIENDS.
Love to you all!

Upon Tam's Birthday

I have told you here and there about my friend Tam. Today she is a teency bit older than she was yesterday and to mark this occasion I thought it behooves me to brag on her a bit. Tam and I have been friends since 9th grade for me and 10th for her. It was love at first sight....well actually we both had thick glasses so I am not so sure how much of each other we actually SAW that first meeting! Anyway, Tam is a forever friend who has stepped in when the world stepped out. I was a bus/van kid nobody, and she helped make me a somebody, full of vision, love and wild imagination.

Grab a kleenex Tam, here are 34 reasons why I love you to pieces:

1. Yellow notepads.
2. Dune perfume.
3. For all your hand-me-downs that I soo needed in college.
4. For ALWAYS remembering my birthday even when I forgot yours.
5. "I Shall NOT Be Moved"
6. "The Sands of Time"
7. For helping me make maternity clothes.
8. Alphabet verses. (I think we should revive this, don't you??)
9. Tasty Taco Pie. (Man I love you soo much more than that pie with the stomach flu!)
10. The zillions of covers on your bed up in the loft.
11. For NEVER laughing at any of my hair-brained ideas. Ever. Even if you wanted to.
12. Waistbands. Frankly I still like 'em.
13. Brandywine Falls secrets.
14. For "bailing me out" of my own claw foot tub the night before my wedding.
15. For laughing at all of my jokes.
16. For roses and roses and more roses sent to me on YOUR birthday, the day we came home from Mongolia.
17. "The Good Ship Friendship."
18. For introducing me to Laura Ashley, thus all things pastel, flowery and dainty.
19. For hugs that say, "I will still be here 10 years from now."
20. For hiding in Patty's car with me from "the mob."
21. Iced tea with way too much lemon for my taste.
22. Talking with me until we both fell asleep the night before my wedding.
23. Watching everyone else live "Happily ever after," and never begrudging them while you patiently waited for your own Prince Charming.
24. "Hellen, Hellen, Hellen." (I am humming and tapping my foot right now too...)
25. The hushed way you talk when you are serious...REALLY serious about something, only to end up cracking up over the seriousness of it!!
26. Your "River rock" movin' faith.
27. The way you get tickled when I really "give it to someone" and then watch me fix my messes.
28. 30's music.
29. Your cleaning outfit.
30. Your handwriting and writing style that I adore.
31. For sending me Fall leaves in Mongolia, and glue to hold my water pipes together.
32. Your falling out french braid.
33. For finally forgiving me for the dime I still owe you from high school.
34. For loving me almost as much as I love you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your Chum,

Friday, February 26, 2010

....and this is my friend

A week or so ago when I visited my Mom we had occasion to talk while Joel took my Dad to a Dr.s appointment. We chatted about Joel and I and how I just like to be with him, anytime, anywhere. I could see that it visibly made my Mom happy that we enjoyed being together so much and she remarked that she could tell that he was indeed my BEST FRIEND.

That made me smile and meant a great deal to hear her say that.

So as I clean up this morning and pack our few special things that make a trip and night away fun for us, you would THINK we were invited to the White House instead of camping out at a hotel in Akron. I am guessing the desk clerk will see our smiles and have a "wing" for couples like us..........

(These hilarious stretched pics were sent to me yesterday from Joel's webcam just before he came home for lunch!)

Anticipation is literally dripping off the walls.

We have wanted a night away since Alayna was born almost 8 months ago and it is finally here. Maybe we aren't exactly the "norm" but we so look forward to talking and talking and talking and talking some more until we have exhausted each and every topic of prayer or discussion possibly known to man.

So without further ado, I leave you for a few days and ask that you pray for us. Please pray that God will work in and through us touching every single person we come in contact with. Please pray that the Couple's Simulcast enables us to learn a great deal to help our marriage become a better picture of Christ and His love for the church, and of course that we have a B-L-A-S-T together........

But considering who we are dealing with......

I'd say "Having a Blast" is on the menu! And yes, we did sit in a tiny seat and get our picture taken at Chuck E. Cheese!

Song. of Sol. 5:16- "This is my beloved, and this is my friend,..."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm thinkin'...

I'm thinkin'.

Be afraid,

Be VERY afraid.

I am thinking about the kiddos. I am thinking about them and this morning when one of them was curled at my feet with his blanket on top of the covers and the other was hugging my back like I just love, while we were under the covers at (Gasp*) 8:15 listening to the radio and staying warm.

And enjoying life.

And now I am feeling reflective and jotting down what I was contemplating at that moment when we were cozy and had synchronized sighs with intermittent smiles.

Perhaps it is because Joel and I are leaving for a whole day and night away without them. Perhaps it is because I am actually showered, dressed and in my right mind all before nine.
Perhaps it is because I am the only Sanguine Melancholy I have ever heard of who can laugh and cry at the same time.
Perhaps it is because I have a serious lack of caramel in my diet.

For whatever reason I am thinking that today they are growing, and fast at that. They are living, and growing, and understanding more and I am able to be a part of that.

My four-year old has outgrown his blanket, though he will not be the first to tell you that. Well he is actually four and a half. The funny thing is that he actually has three blankets which have descended from his older siblings who were foolish enough to leave theirs lying around while he was a toddler. So he can have one on the couch, one downstairs and one in the kitchen and feel "surround-security." Mainly though, he enjoys them all piled in is bed, in a dirty heap and will just lie there until the Lord's return.

The arrival of his eminent fifth birthday and hence the possibility of Kindergarten does little to dissuade him from his need of the "beenuh." I was becoming concerned until I found that Nathan comes by this trait honestly. It seems we have blanket issues dating way back into the 50's I dare say when another five year old decided that he too would have this same "No way are you takin' the blanket" standoff with his Mother. Of course I am not one to leak out the information which would lead you to find out on which side of the family this standoff occurred, but Joel's Dad might be privy to it.

Just sayin'.

So this morning Nathan again had the blanket, and today I will not fight the battle.

Today we will enjoy him being four.

And a half.

Today we will declare a cease fire, lay down our arms and enjoy him and his still hanging on to four year old ways, which presently has him holding the large lid to my stockpot as a shield and marching in step with his 2 year old sister Anna who is blowing reveille with an attachment from the vacuum.

Yeah, I was getting to her next.

The other day in the library a woman asked me if she was four. "Um no, " I replied. "She's two....and a half." She was apparently telling this lady her whole life story, which she does come by honestly from MY side of the family I dare to admit. If I talked this much at 2 and this often I need to find a better Mother's Day gift for my obliging Mother. Ok so she is two and a half, but really, she could talk the hind leg off a mule. While her playmates are being coaxed to sing the first line of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," she is spouting, "Can I fix your hair? It will be nice. I will do it nice, come here and let me do it. Do you obey? Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Let's go over there and get a book. I can read it to you. Sit down here and I will read it." I have even caught some of them giving her the "And where on earth did YOU come from?" look. I have tried not to notice that as much anymore.

I have decided to take more notice of her stuffing her coat pockets with tracts to hand out, her one lop-sided pig tail, the way she eats an entire sandwich avoiding the crust, the way she turns her request for a drink into a song when no one answers her the millionth time she asks it, her sincere pleas to "Go out on a date" with Joel and I when we leave her with the babysitter, and her keen response when asked what one does on a date, "You talk and eat candy."

Today we will enjoy her being two.

And a half.

I will enjoy my little "halfs" and squeeze all the littleness out of them before their next whole number arrives and makes them a little more grown up.

Just a thought.....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Winner, winner chicken dinner! YOU could be a winner in a contest you didn't even know you were in!!

By far this February has been the best celebration for Joel and I. Last week we were planning a meal, when a sweet friend gave Joel and I an unbelievable gift certificate for a local restaurant. So we did like any normal couple who just happened to have someone take the younger 4 kids for the afternoon and evening. We hit the restaurant lickety-sizzle and got some MORE crab cakes and sighed in between each and every bite. One of us was even tempted to steal the elderly lady's crab cake next to them when theirs was devoured.

Not gonna rat them out but I will say that Joel is just the kindest, sweetest man, but has been known to get a serious disposition around his fav foods.

Just sayin.'

So, Joel and I are hittin' the road again this weekend for a MUCH anticipated, long awaited weekend get-a-way. We are attending a Couple's simulcast in Akron where TONZ of our fav speakers will be (via Satellite) speaking.

Gary Chapman

Francis Chan

In the same room,

Speaking to ME in the same afternoon?


And in honor of this weekend, and in honor of those who made this Valentine's Month better than ever for their hubby's, I have decided to make their day a bit brighter. You see, I have waited for someone, anyone to comment telling me either on here or via email that they went "the extra mile" this month and treated their sweetheart like (pardon the pun) "Royalty."
And some did! And those who did have won their very own copy of one of my FAVORITE books, "The Five Love Languages," by Gary Chapman. So you all were in a little contest of mine and you didn't even know it! Yeah, pretty sneaky I know......

So...without further ado...

Congrats to Mary T, and Becky C, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for being the sweet homemakers you are! You are a joy to know and I am tickled to be able to send you a small token of my friendship! Please email me at: and send me your address so I can get this book into your hands!!!

You will love it.

I LOVE IT, and I will be thinking of you all when I listen to Gary Chapman himself this weekend!!!!!

Yeah I am way excited......


Monday, February 22, 2010

Valentine's AWOL

Hello everyone who reads this........

Yes I know I know,

No pictures, no Friday night posting,



I know I know.


Sorry about that.


I have received a new computer, celebrated two people's birthdays and have been worried about my sweet Mom who is battling a strange illness. I just wanted you all to know that I will be back probably later today with a full explanation and such, but for now, Sweet Hubby is taking us all out to breakfast because it is his day off and the kiddos have off school!

Later gator!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Night Fabulous Feasting Part II

Hello all.....we did it again this week. We WERE tempted to head over to Cracker Barrel for their Friday Fish Fry for our date, but alas! We would have left you all high and dry and missed out on another fab feast here on Haywood.

So without further delay, come and see this weeks Valentine's meal! The Menu included:

Maryland Style Crab Cakes with Spicy Cream Sauce
Garlic Roasted Yellow Squash, Zucchini and Baby Green Beans
Cedar Plank Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Sweet Citrus and Spice Rub
And One De-lish Idaho Baked Potato (well just plain "Baked Potato" looked a little lonely... :)

Now the decor was a tribute to the hoodlums, complete with table ornaments made by them and some of their candy that they were willing to part with. Oh and the FLOWERS! Well, those were from my Sweetie for Valentine's Day, sent EARLY so they would all be opened BY Valentine's Day. C'mon now, THAT is somethin'! Irises and Mini Red Tulips perfected the table for us. We used what we had and made it special for us. Of course we still liked the idea of taking half of the table leaves out and sitting by the window so we implemented that again!

This week's dinner was my fav so far. Two words. CRAB CAKES. We L-o-v-e seafood and I seriously ponder things like wondering if the "little cake" the Widow Woman made Elisha was just like the one I ate today. Ok Yeah, I think crazy things like that. Think about it, no wonder he asked her to make one for him first! Okay I tease, but it does get the ole' imagination goin'..... Take a look at what hit our "Happy Spots"....

Ok so Elisha's cake would have to have been a JUMBO cake to slightly resemble mine but who's really comparing??.... Wow, just looking at this again makes me hungry.....

This salmon was just THE BEST. The cedar plank had to be soaked and then dried in the oven before it was used and it was so cool that I will admit that when a friend stopped over I made HIM look in the oven at it! Everything was soo good!

Pr 15:17 "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith."

Now by using this verse I am not leaking out next week's menu, though herbs might be involved. I AM noting that when you have a house full of love, anything tastes good!

Happy Valentine's Day Friends!

.....and be sure to let me in on YOUR adventures this month!!