Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Eyes so heavy, lids slowly sinking

covering sleepy chocolate brown eyes

quickly fluttering open, fighting to focus

Gradually descending.

Precious sleep.

Eyelashes, black, long and thick

lying on round, pink, warm cheeks.

Peaceful sleep.

Steady, deep, measured breath,

rise and fall, rise and fall

safe, secure

fast asleep.

Arms enfolding a favorite, well-loved toy

holding close, snuggle deep

a sigh, a twitch

dream-filled sleep.

Covered, protected, wrapped, securely warm

comfortable, safe, cozy

restful sleep.


Monday, December 28, 2009

She Lives

I'm up! I'm mobile! I'm healing!  My face only has two spots with scabs on it and I am no longer a "one-eyed-Pete"! I can finally eat without my mouth hurting and burning and I am now going to go on a Christmas goody binge, because I have to make up for lost time!

Thank you to each of you who left me comments and have been praying for me. I really appreciate it.

We had a very relaxing Christmas.  My parents came over bright and early to watch my children open our presents. Then my brother, his wife and their three boys came over and joined us for a late breakfast of Cinnamon rolls, Carmel Pecan rolls, sausages wrapped in Crescent rolls and slushy frozen fruit salad.


Later we enjoyed dinner over at my mom's and celebrated my sister Katie's birthday. It was a relaxing day spent with family and a treat to watch all of our children filled with excitement of the day.

Now that I am feeling better I am going to use this week off from school to catch up on some cleaning, work on my sadly neglected scrapbook, do some Christmas baking that I didn't get to do and take time to play and enjoy some slow paced days with my children.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Daddy


Whenever my sisters or I got sick when we were little girls, my dad would come home from work with a little gift to help cheer us up.  His tender heart just couldn't stand to see any of his girls hurting.

Daddy, me and sisters

Today, my dad, after making yet another run to the pharmacy for me, for a medication change, brought me home a gift.   My dear daddy bought me a bird feeder to hang off the Shepard's hook in my front flower garden.  He filled it with seed and hung it up so that I could enjoy watching the birds out my front windows.

He still can't stand to see any of his girls hurting.

I hadn't thought of the little tokens of love he used to bring to us girls when we were down, for years.  Until today.  My dad has the most tender heart I have ever known.  His love for me, my mom and my siblings is amazing.  He is always so willing to help us out, to give all he can.  In the last few days he has driven me to the doctors, because the roads were snowy and I was down to the use of one eye.  He has driven 20 minutes one way to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions, twice.  He has covered me with prayer. And he has lifted his little girl's spirits by buying me a bird feeder.

God knew what a perfect fit my daddy and I would be when he placed me in my parent's care. His love and tenderness are always just what this girl's heart needs.  His love for our family is a close reflection of my heavenly father's love for us all.

Thank you Lord for blessing me with such a compassionate, loving father.



*Thanks also to my mom who has fixed us a meal, done my laundry, cared for my children and babied me in true mommy fashion.  I love you!

**For any of you who are curious I am on the right in the picture with my dad.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh, the neglect

Somehow I have come down with a STRANGE infection. Friday evening my eye started to swell shut, weep and itch. I immediately thought it was a case of pink eye. But when I woke up Saturday not only was my left eye swollen shut, but a small sore I had, had on the left side of my forehead had become infected and grown in size considerably. Next came the chills and achiness, followed by a sore throat. And if I didn't look odd enough with the swollen eye, Sunday evening my lower lip cracked from dryness and by Monday morning it was swollen to double its size with a nasty looking sore.

I look like someone beat me up. My face is quite distorted right now. I won't show pictures because it is a bit gruesome!

I went to the doctor yesterday. He swabbed my throat, said it might be strep. Gave me a prescription and sent me on my way. Now I am waiting to see what the culture says. Today my throat does feel some better and at the present I am not running a fever. However, my face is not healing quite as quickly as I had hoped. It stills looks pretty yucky and I haven't seen any improvement in my eye or lip.

I am missing reading all of your great Christmas posts. Right now I would really like a lap top! So, please don't feel I am neglecting you! I just don't feel up to sitting at my desk as of yet.

Anyway if I am absent from commenting on your posts for a couple of more days you will know why!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First of Forever

It all started on the day you followed me home.

Joel and I

The day when I kept looking back, expecting you to turn your car towards your home.

The day when every time I looked back you were still there.

The day when I was so excited I could barely take a deep breathe.

The day when we sat in your car and talked about everything and nothing for two hours.

The day when I knew my life would never be the same.

The day when I knew you were the one, my soul mate.

The day when I knew my heart was in your hands.

The day that was the first of forever.

It's hard to believe and yet it isn't, that we have been in love for 21 years, married for 17 of those. Our love over the years has changed. It has grown, deepened and settled into a comfortable love, like a warm, soft sweater that envelopes and soothes. There is still the patter of excitement in my heart, but it has slowed into a deep, pulse that is so entwined with yours that nothing will ever separate it.

You are my strength. I know that I can always turn to you. You hold me when I am weak. You encourage me when I am unsure. You ground me and protect me and make me feel secure.

You are my personal comedian. No one can make me laugh like you do. When things look grim, only you can put a smile on my face with your wit and crazy antics. When I am blue, only you can make me giggle, even when I don't want too!

You are my love. There is no one else like you. I gave you my heart 21 years ago. It will always be yours. No one can love me like you do, deep and perfect and true.

As Lauren says, "I want to keep you forever".


From the first of forever to the end of forever, you will be my love.

Happy Anniversary!

I LOVE you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Princess Progression

When learning to be a princess one must take special care in one's dress.


Start with a pink tutu, it will make you feel extremely girly.

Next pick out your accessories and a matching blouse, top or raincoat.


If your first choice doesn't suit your fancy, continue to pull everything out that may be a possible match. Change your outfits until you come up with the perfect ensemble.

Then twirl, swirl, whirl, spin, sway, sashay, pirouette, and dance, dance, DANCE!


Friday, December 11, 2009

When the Weather Outside is Frightful...


This girl hunkers down.

It was a whopping 7 degrees yesterday and the wind was whipping snow tornadoes across our back yard.  I was supposed to take Caleb and Lauren to the doctors office, which, by the way  is an hour away.  I called and canceled.  I love the snow and the beauty of the winter season, but I don't do well in frigid temps.  I suffer from frost bite on my toes(sometime I will share the story on how I came to be the owner of malfunctioning toes) and they turn hideous colors and swell if they get cold.  S-o-o-o, now that you know a bit more about my toes than you wanted to! Anyhoo, all that to say...I won't be going out for the next few days!

Since, I wasn't going to be leaving the confines of my home, while the wind was bending the trees and the snow was swirling across open areas,  I kicked into crafting/cooking mode...


These are the best Peanut Butter cookies EVER!  I remember my grandma always had these or her Soft Molasses cookies in her cookie jar when I was a little girl.  If you would like to see if I'm right about how good they are, I have posted the recipe here.

And since it was so bitter cold what could be better than a big pot of soup and homemade bread to go with it?


While I was at it, I decided to do a little crafting. A few days ago I found the most adorable tutorial for these little birds.2009-12-12

The past couple of days I have been working on them off and on when I get a few spare minutes.  I have decided that these will make wonderful gifts for some special ladies that I know. If you decide to make them here are a few pointers

  • pin your pieces as you work around. It will make your hand sewing much easier
  • I used fabric glue to adhere the eyes instead of sewing them on, just to save myself a little time.
  • If you want to hang your birds like I am doing with some of mine just attach some ribbon at the back of the birds head with fabric glue

And there you have it!

Today, I will be cleaning and candle making and shuffling around my home with slippers, keeping my feet warm as toast.

Have a great weekend!



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Challenged Heart



I wearily sat down on the edge of my bed. Every muscle in my back, legs and feet were protesting. I grumpily thought of all the laundry that still needed to done. I sighed heavily as I pondered on how the house had mysteriously gotten so cluttered when we had hardly spent any time at home over the weekend. I struck up a running commentary in my head on the injustices of doing my household duties while everyone else lounged in front of the television. Then my eyes drifted over to my nightstand and caught these words printed on a card.

To read the rest of my most recent article visit At The Well.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fear Not

Tears streamed down my son's face as he watched the nurse prepare his arm for the vaccination he was about to receive. He continued a steady moaning of, "I don't want a shot, I don't want a shot". 

And then it was over.

The tears ceased, the words died on his lips, and the fear in his eyes faded away.  In its stead was a look of relief.  A sense of calm took over his little body as every muscle relaxed and his breathing slowed. Slowly a little embarrassed grin tugged at his lips as he realized that the fear he had been harboring in his heart was for naught.

Like my son, when I was a child, I had short bursts of time when I felt fearful.  The grip of fear never lasted for long, though.  I had my mom and dad to soothe away the worry and anxiety.  I had only minor causes that produced fear in me and they never were long lived. I was young and without responsibilities. I was carefree and relied on my loving parents to ease my discomforts.

Life changed.

I grew and became independent. God blessed me with a family of my own.

And then it happened.

I knew fear.

An all consuming fear that I let  control my life. I felt its ugly grip on my heart and mind.  It dictated my every move. At times it almost felt like it was squeezing my life right out of me. It contorted my thoughts and actions. Fear was my constant companion.

What caused the fear isn't important.  It was a series of events some minor, some very major that caused me to be filled with anxiety and worry.  The problem arose when I let it fill my every waking moment.  It began to build and grow like a seething mass. Taking over every aspect of who I was.

And I let it.

I didn't know how to stop it.

So, for years I struggled with it.  Some days were better than others.  Some days I was physically ill from the fear that I let well up inside me.  I would pray and pray, yet still the fear had its grip. Until several years ago when I finally hit bottom, realizing I couldn't live with fear as my constant companion, I cried out to God telling Him, He had all of my trust. I placed Him in control. I laid my heart and soul open to Him giving my Lord every thing, my children, my husband, my family and myself. 

When fear would begin to creep back into my thoughts, when my chest would tighten with anxiety, when my stomach began to twist with uncertainty, I would repeat Isaiah 41:10 over and over until I felt God's peace seep into my soul.

So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.

These days I still seek out verses that speak to me of God's protection and peace.  Most recently I am memorizing Zephaniah 3:17,

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

The part that grips me is, "he will quiet you with his love".  My heart, my mind and my soul need these words.  They are like balm to a frayed nerve.  How easy I forget that God is my protector, my shield and my fortress.  He is ever with me.  He always loves me.  Even when I doubt his love and protection, by letting my fears consume me.

For the here and now I am concentrating on God's quieting love. 

I am blocking out the craziness. 

I am enveloping myself in the stillness. 

I am seeking out God's love, strength and will for my life.

I am filling my heart with the Lord,

and in the process squeezing fear right out of my life.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

When the Garden Dies...

When the weather turns cold and my gardens are shriveled and brown, my hands turn to crafting instead of digging, pruning and watering.

Over the past month I have done a few projects here and there and I have a few more I really would like to accomplish, but so far this is what I've done...

~A poofy, variegated tutu for Lauren.


~A couple more little boy ear flap hats, Christmas stars (you can find the pattern here), crochet flowers to decorate my bulletin board (find pattern here), and a mug cozy for my endless cups of tea and coffee!


~And finally I got around to covering the lampshades in my bedroom.  They were in desperate need of a pick me up!


Now, its on to a few more crochet projects, another covering of a much needed object and finishing of a couple projects I started last spring!

*Thank you so much for the comments you left for me.  I am feeling much better.


Oh and one last picture to show you my new teen who just keeps growing and growing  (I am 5' 6")!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bye Baby

Where has the time gone?

Your chubby cheeks and dimpled hands have disappeared. In there place are hands the size of mine and a more mature, thinned out face.

Your curls have been replaced with a thick, full head of close cropped hair.

You no longer beg to be held. But, instead look me eye to eye and casually drape your arm around my shoulder.

Gone are the days when you would make me laugh with the crazy nonsensical sentences you would utter. In its place are days filled with conversations on a more adult level and a dry sense of humor that is peeking out more and more.

Gone are the days spent playing tractors and farming. Now you spend more time reading, building with Legos and playing computer games.

You no longer hop, skip and twirl to the music on the CD player. Instead you swoop up your little sister and spin her around and around until you are both to dizzy to stand.

Gone are the days of your little boy voice calling me momma. Instead it is a deepening voice that calls out a simple, "mom".

These are the the days of change.

You are becoming a young man. The time has come for more independence as you begin to seek your way. We are both changing, feeling our way through this unknown territory. But, these are great days. Days that will be full of learning and growing. Days full of deep conversations. Days full of seeking to be the man God desires for you to be.

And all along the way I will be praying for you. I will never be far. I'll be close for those times when you need me. And I'll never forget your chubby arms wrapped tightly around my neck, your nose buried in my hair as you whisper "I love you, momma."

Me, too, baby, me too.

Happy 13th Birthday!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Thought...

I thought I was going to beat it this time.  I was pretty sure I had dodged the sickness bullet.

Well, I thought wrong.

All I can say is UGH!

And thank goodness for my older boys who know how to make a mean PB&J, do the laundry and re-fill momma's drinks.

I'm going to go hide underneath a comforter now.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Low Key


I have come to the conclusion, after two weeks of sore throats, high fevers, achyness, headaches, tummy upsets, nasty coughs and brain blowing congestion, that we have contracted some strain of influenza. 

My children have been miserable. They are still uncomfortable and run down.  The coughing continues. One child sounds like he is coughing up a lung, the other can't stop hacking and my daughter has a scary croupy bark.  I have spent the past week sleeping every where but in my bed.  Several nights I spent on the living room floor surrounded by feverish, thrashing bodies.  A couple I have spent in my daughters room enclosed in a shroud of mist from the vaporizer.  Last night I held her upright for a while, because her coughing was making me a bit anxious.

So, needless to say, our Thanksgiving was a quiet affair.  Joel's parents and his sister came over to celebrate the day with us.  We gave them fair warning of the crud swirling around our home, but God bless them they came anyway! 

Today my family is celebrating Thanksgiving.  All my sisters and their families, my brother and his family and my grandma will be at my parents for a wonderful feast and a day full of constant talking and laughing. 

We will not be there.

I am going to miss seeing everyone, but we definitely don't want to spread this nasty stuff.  So, this morning I will finish the rolls and mix together the "from scratch" stuffing and send it all on its way over to my mom's with lots of love. Along with this "poo-ple" tutu I made for my nieces 3rd birthday.



Today instead of turkey and all the fixin's, I'm going to make a batch of chili. We have several packs of Bob Evans Cheddar Smoked Sausage in the fridge and we are going to have us some kickin' Chili Dogs!  Not exactly your typical Thanksgiving weekend fare, but yummy just the same. :)

Usually I have leftover turkey to use up, but not this year!  But, if you do, you have to try this recipe.  It is one of my favorite ways to use up all the scrumptious meat from a big ole' turkey bird.

Popover with Hot Turkey Salad

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup milk, room temperature

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups diced cooked turkey

2 cups diced celery

1 cup shredded carrot

1/4 cup minced onion

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/4 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon pepper

salt to taste


In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until lemon-colored and foamy.  Add milk, flour and salt; beat just until smooth (do not over beat).  Pour into greased 10-in. glass pie plate.  Bake at 400*F for 35-40 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Immediately prick with a fork in the center to allow steam to escape.  While popover is cooking cook celery, onion and carrot in small amount of olive oil, cook until tender crisp. Next add the turkey, mayo, cheese, milk and seasoning. Stir and cook over low heat until heated through.  When popover is done spoon turkey salad into it.  Garnish with tomato slices if desired and serve immediately.  Serves 8-10



Hope each and everyone of you is enjoying this time spent with friends and family! I'm off now to wipe some runny noses and watch a Care Bears DVD for the 20th time!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Through the Good and the Bad...




Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience- at times, bind obedience.  To people who don't know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships.  Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even through difficulties may remain.

Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts.  You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective.  It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity.  

(Young, Sarah, Jesus Calling, pg 343)

Thanking God for the blessings and hardships this Thanksgiving~



Friday, November 20, 2009

Mr. Goggins

"UH, mom, we got problems back here. Mr Goggins spilled pop on my lovey." (Said by Lauren as we were traveling and pop mysteriously appeared on her favorite blanket.)


Mr Goggins,

We are a welcoming, warm family and quite happy to have house guests under normal circumstances. However I must confess your visits are far from easy and enjoyable. Since you are a cute, purple, tiny mouse, people may wonder what the problem is, but as you well know looks can be deceiving.

When Lauren first introduced us to you we were all caught up in your adorableness, but time soon changed our opinion. You may be cute, tiny, fuzzy and best of all purple, but you are also mischievous, sneaky and a trouble maker.

If a drink gets spilled you are the culprit. It a mess is made you have made it. If food disappears, you have devoured it. You, Mr. Goggins are synonymous with disaster, destruction and gluttony.

Oh, I have tried to be patient. I have tried to pleasant. I have played the part of a gracious hostess. But, enough is enough.

You come into my house and eat everything in sight. You spill, toss, and scatter. You cause all sorts of catastrophes. Never an apology escapes you tiny mouse lips. As a matter of fact you never utter a word. I have heard it said you can't talk. That sir, is extremely far fetched.

The time has come for an ultimatum. Here are my terms:

  • No more flinging of food, toys, drinks or paper
  • No more breaking of toys
  • No more scattering of my collection of buttons
  • No more making of nests in my children's loveys
  • No more incessant eating and scratching

Please consider these carefully. If you feel you can't comply with my wishes then please pack your tiny mouse bags and vacate.

If you feel that you can obey these rules then you are more than welcome to stay. Because, sir, at times you provide an amazing amount of entertainment.


~A mom in search of order, cleanliness, and the truth

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feelin' British

The scone is a small British quick bread (or cake if recipe includes sugar) of Scottish origin. Scones are especially popular in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Canada, but are eaten in many other countries. They are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent. The scone is a basic component of the cream tea or Devonshire tea. (Wikipedia)

Jacob, had scone as one of his spelling words this week.  I tried to explain to him what they were with a little success.  When my three younger children went out to play before lunch, I whipped up a couple batches of this super easy scone recipe.


Simple Scones

2 cups of flour  (use whatever comb. you desire. I used 1/2 c wheat and 1  1/2 c of white)

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 Tablespoons cold butter, chopped

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

1 teaspoon additional sugar

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  Add chopped butter and blend with pastry blender until it is the texture of coarse meal. Add in chocolate chips.

In a small bowl combine egg, vanilla, and sour cream.

Add to flour mixture and mix together until large clumps of dough form.

Then using your hands work the dough until a ball forms.

Place dough on a floured surface and pat unto a 8 inch circle.  Cut into 8 wedges.  Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Bake at 400*F for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

This is a wonderful basic scone recipe and there are many variations to it...

Dried cranberries and 1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest

Dried cherries and white chocolate chips

Blueberries and lemon zest

Hazelnuts and toffee chips

The options are endless.

Be Creative!

The scones in the picture above are chocolate chip, which I made for the kids.  For myself I made orange cranberry, a bit more sophisticated, don't you think?!  They were both so yummy, great fresh out of the oven, and awesome with a cup of tea or coffee.


*recipe from allrecipes

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Thing Called Three

Three is not easy.

For me, it has been one of the hardest stages I have had to mother my children through. Whoever, came up with the saying, "the terrible twos", should have followed that up with, "the tenacious, unreasonable, theatrical threes".

Three has so many facets its hard to pinpoint them all. There's the unleashed defiance that comes roaring out like a speeding train. Or how about the pushing, pushing, pushing of the limits. What about the dramatic crumpling to the floor in pure devastation with moaning, tears and maybe a few kicks of the feet for added emphasis. Or the stubborn countenance and scowling face that stares back at you for the slightest offense.

Three is not easy.

Three is full of emotions. Happy one minute, sad the next. Agreeing to obey one minute, doing exactly the opposite the next. Playing peacefully one minute, tossing an uncooperative toy across the room the next. Full of love and hugs one minute, seething with enmity the next.

Three is not easy.

It is full of change. It is full of uncertainty. It is full of struggles and a pull for independence. There are boundaries to test. Frontiers to explore. Lessons to learn. For it is the beginning of an independent nature and the ending of the complete reliance of babyhood.

Three is not easy.

But, it can be fun!

Three can be infused with giggles and belly laughs. It is full with absurd stories and silly conversations. Three abounds with hugs so tight that they literally squeeze off your oxygen supply. It is full of bright eyes and toothy smiles. It permeates with all things dramatic, dress up and imaginary friends galore. It is full of running and dancing and pure hilarity.

This thing called three may be difficult, stressful, mind-bending and dramatic, but I wouldn't miss it for the world! Especially when she says in her three year old slur, "Awww, sweetheart give me a hug"!


Falling For You


Lauren Autumn Beauty copy


It's Autumn Beauty week at I ♥ faces.  I love how this picture turned out! The  autumn sun glowing on the side of my daughters face and hair and a few fall leaves (most have been blown out of our yard!) scattered in the grass.  I was especially surprised that this turned out so lovely, since she was rolling every which way and I was just trying to keep up with her!

For more Autumn Beauty visit...


Monday, November 16, 2009



It is a gray, overcast day, dreary and devoid of color.  The beauty of autumn fades so fast. I am looking forward to the snow. The scenery needs some brightness and cleanliness added to its drab blanket.


I'm in slow motion today. Not sure if its the weather or lack of sleep, maybe a combination of both. 

I have two down with sickness, quarantined to their bedroom. And school has been put on hold for the day.  Homemade chicken soup and quiet time seems more important right now.

I've lit some candles


and have praise and worship music playing softly in the background.  I'm going to focus on taking care of my sick boys and thanking the Lord for the blessings He has given me. Even the bare trees and sullen sky.

Because every now and then I have a bit of color and activity flitting to my back deck to remind me of God's beautiful creation.


Saturday, November 14, 2009



Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. He who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. Psalm 103:1-5


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Learning to Listen


Last week was a good week! I felt like I accomplished so much. My heart felt light, my feet were ready to take me where I needed to go, and my hands were busy.

Take a look at a few moments I captured with my camera.

A gorgeous sunset~


Harvest time~



Home baked bread~


Crochet projects~



Jam pile on the living room floor~



This week I am not accomplishing as much as I wish, do to the fact that my tachycardia (fast heart rate) has flared up. I have dealt with it off and on for the past 13 years. After I had Lauren, I didn't have any trouble with my heart rate.  But, this week has proven that it is still with me.  Monday was especially difficult.  I was extremely tired, could feel my heart racing and was short of breath, which in turn (sad to say) makes me a tad bit grouchy.  Yesterday and today have been better and I am hoping for an even better day tomorrow. My children are especially hoping to wake up to find a less crabby momma. I had to ask for forgiveness several times times from my children.  Thankfully they were willing to forgive and forget.  I need to remember to slow down when the attacks start, to get a glass of water and sit down. Not to keep pushing through it and making it worse.

So, this week instead of crossing things off my list, I am hoping to focus on quieter activities.  Like reading the rest of a book to Jacob that we started a few weeks back. And getting in lots of snuggles from my children. And focusing less on my to-to list and more on being still.  Because I know the Lord is trying to reach me and teach me through this.

I just need to grab that glass of water, slow down, and listen.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beautiful or Pesky


Recently we have had to deal with a behavior from one of our children that is a bit pesky. Actually, at times it becomes down right obstinate. It keeps rearing its ugly head, demanding to be dealt with. Just when we all think we have triumphed over this issue. It comes back for an unwelcome visit.

Raising my children and dealing with some of the prickly issues we have faced lately reminds me of the pesky, yet beautiful thistle. Unwanted character issues, when looked at face on aren't pretty. They can cause strife, anger, tension, and profound sadness for those involved. If I were to ignore these issues and look the other way, I would have a festering, seething, invasive problem. In exactly the same way thistle can take over a farmers field, so can a misbehavior take over my child's life.

To read the rest of my most recent article visit At The Well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Transformation for an Hour

Lauren is painfully shy.


And a master at making discouraging faces to anyone who invades her sense of personal space.

So, when I had to take her with me to clean our neighbor ladies house I was a little apprehensive, to say the least.

I have known Wanda since I was 15. I grew up living right across the road from her. She is like part of our family and I enjoy helping her when I can. She has severe Macular Degeneration and can't see well enough to clean her home anymore, so I help her with basic cleaning.

Lauren knows Wanda a little. Mostly from hearing all of us talking about her and some from the several times they have met. But, I wasn't sure if she would sit nicely on Wanda's couch or if she would adhere herself to my leg while I cleaned. Thankfully Wanda has The Dish, so we were able to put cartoons on the T.V.

As I vacuumed, Lauren watched me and Wanda watched Lauren. As I moved on to clean the bathroom I heard this...

Wanda: How are your brothers today?


Wanda: Is your grandpa hauling corn today?


Wanda: Do you like kitties?


I sent up a silent prayer that Lauren would come out of her shell and at least respond with a one word answer.

Several minutes later I heard this...

Lauren: Twinkle, twinkle, little star...I know that.

Wanda: What sweetie? Wanda doesn't hear to good anymore?

Lauren: Twinkle, twinkle, little you know that?

Wanda: I sure do like your hair.

Lauren: Which one (character on the TV) do you like?

Wanda: Uh huh, sure!

Lauren: I like newborn babies.

Wanda: My niece used to like Barney when she was growing up, too.

For the next five minutes or so they each held up their end of what sounded like one-sided conversations! I have never been so entertained while scrubbing a toilet before!

By the time we left Lauren was twirling around the living room, doing sideways somersaults and wandering from room to room like an old pro.

Thank you Lord for bringing my little girl out of her shell long enough to entertain a dear, sweet friend. The transformation from shy and withdrawn to cheerful, energetic and sweet was a blessing to an elderly lady who I'm sure is lonely.

And I so want others to see this side of her...


happy, sweet, friendly and ready to love!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Simple Fall Snack

If you like the taste of Payday candy bars, you'll love this so simple treat.


All you need is...

Candy corn and Planters salted cocktail peanuts.  Mix them together and then try to keep your hands out of the bowl.

It's that good!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jesus Calling- Book Review


Jesus Calling- Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young

Thomas Nelson Publishers

Jesus Calling is a devotional book written from the thoughts and impressions that Sarah Young has received from God as she meditated on Him.

The practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received.  In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus' Presence and Peace.  The messages, that are included in this devotional, address that felt need.  The Bible is, of course, the only inerrant Word of God; my writings must be consistent with that unchanging standard.  I have written them from Jesus' point of view; i.e., the first person singular (I, Me, Mine) always refers to Christ. "You" refers to you, the reader, so the perspective is that Jesus is speaking to you. (Young, Sarah, Jesus Calling, pg 13)

When I first read the introduction to this book I wasn't certain I would like the format of that the devotionals were written in. I wasn't sure it was something I could learn or grow from. Or anything that would grab me by the heart and head and take me to a deeper understanding of Christ. But, as I began to read I was drawn into the thoughts and emotions of this devotional.  The feelings, struggles, thoughts and yearnings were mine.  It was if Jesus was speaking directly to me.

Seek My face, and you will find not only My Presence but also My Peace. To receive My Peace, you must change your grasping, controlling stance to one of openness and trust.  The only thing you can grasp without damaging your soul is My hand.  Ask My Spirit within you to order your day and control your thoughts, for the mind controlled by the Spirit is Life and Peace.

You can have as much of Me and My Peace as you want, through thousands of correct choices each day.  The most persistent choice you face is whether to trust Me or to worry.  You will never run out of things to worry about, but you can choose to trust Me no matter what.  I am an ever-present help in trouble. Trust Me, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. (Pg 38)

Each day contains a short devotional such as this, with verses below for further study.  Ms. Young suggests that after you read the devotional each day, you should take time to meditate on what the Lord wants you to learn, do, or not do, for the day. Then take a moment and write any thoughts and impressions down into a notebook/journal.

Jesus Calling is my absolute favorite devotional at this point in time.  My mom has asked to borrow my copy now that I am finished reading it.  However, I just can't part with it yet!  So, I will be buying her her own copy for Christmas!  If your searching for gift ideas for the women in your family, this would make a wonderful gift.  I can't say enough about how amazing this book is.  I know that if you get a chance to read it you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Apples Do My Heart Good


On days like these...


I can't help but get all caught up doing this...


I've been busy in the kitchen!  My family can't get enough of this Dutch Apple Pie.  When I'm not tossing together a pie, I'm sauteing apples Scalloped Apples or chopping apples for Apple Turnovers or slicing 4 or 5 for fresh eating.  Lately, I've been making applesauce.  In years past I have frozen the applesauce I have made, but this year the freezer is too full (a wonderful problem to have) so I am canning.  Last Saturday I did up 30lbs. of apples and this weekend I am hoping to do 20 more.  I love being able to have warm homemade applesauce a side dish during the cold winter nights.  Nothing can compare to its cinnamony sweetness! 

Apples definitely do my heart good!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pony Buckets


Lauren loves to play mommy.  Lately her mommy scenarios involve Joel and I.  In the evenings, if Joel and I happen to be reading in our room, she will jump up on the bed between us and command us, ever so sweetly, to play! She is the mommy. I am the sissy and Joel is the brother, a.k.a buddy.  She sits between us and drives us around in her van. 

This morning we took a trip to the doctor's office for shots.  She repeatedly vaccinated us. I'm pretty sure we are safe from any lurking diseases. Then she proceeded to inoculate every family member, immediate and extended.

Since we were such good patients she rewarded us with a trip to McDonalds. She bought me a chicken nugget meal with french fries and a pink pony.  The best part it all came in a pony bucket!

It all started last Thursday when I took the kids to get the H1N1 vaccine at our pediatricians office.  It was a shot clinic, first come, first serve.  I've never been to a shot clinic, but the way the nurse phrased it I thought I better get there 20 minutes early just to be safe.

When I pulled into the parking lot it was full of people. There was a collective groan in our van and more than one child suggested we just go home. 

Nothing doing.

I had driven an hour to get there and I wasn't backing out now just because there were about 50 people ahead of us.  I parked across the street and hurried my crew across the busy intersection.  We stepped into line, which was snaking half way through the parking lot. 

I calmly told the boys we would probably have to wait about an hour. It was cold and windy. Two of my sons had come out of the house without jackets and me being a good mom didn't even notice. 

Three hours later, with chilled noses and toes, we finally got the vaccinations. Was I foolish to stand there that long? Maybe to some people it would seem that way, but I wasn't the only parent willing to wait.  Parents continued to come and the line grew until it reached the road.  The news paper came and took pictures. 

As I stood there waiting, I knew it was history in the making.  People are scared. They are concerned for their children.  Do they get the shot or don't they.  Is the shot evil or will their children die if they contract the swine flu. I absolutely understand these feelings.  At times I have felt fears' icy grip on my heart.   But, with all the things in this world to fear, I am at peace like I have never been before.  I knew with perfect clarity that we were doing what was right for our children.

So do not fear, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

The Lord has filled me with his peace.  He is my shield and strength.  When I am weak He is strong.  I have been crying out to Him when I feel fear creeping back into my soul.  I am open and honest.  I am not ashamed. I just tell God how I am feeling and ask Him to fill me with His presence.  He knows my weaknesses, He is just waiting for me to give them to Him.  He takes my weakness and in its place fills my soul with His light and Love.

As we stood waiting our turn with the nurse.  I prayed.  I prayed for his protection. I prayed for strength. I prayed for wisdom, should I go home or stay. I prayed for my children. I prayed for patience for each and everyone of us. 

The Lord was with us the whole three hours we stood there. The families on either side of us were friendly and helpful.  God held off the rain until the last 30 minutes of our wait. He calmed my children and they waited patiently, standing the whole time.  Even Lauren, at three, did amazing. 

There were only a few tears from the shots, but all was made right with a special trip to McDonalds.  Well worth the wait! Because the reward included a pink pony and a kid's meal in a pony box or if you are Lauren, a pony bucket!

Which by the way is still floating around my house from room to room. I think the pony bucket is here to stay, but that's okay, because it is a wonderful reminder of God's amazing, wonderful, omnipotence!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beauty Among the Raindrops

It is gray and dreary here today.  The rain has fallen steadily all day and with the help of the wind many of the gorgeously colored leaves have fluttered to the ground.




The overcast sky can't dampen the beauty of God's earth on these autumn days. The colors are so vivid and striking. 

If only it lasted longer. 

But, to me this is where the intriguing beauty lies...the changing of the seasons.  There is always a bit of color or an amazing change in the weather that catches my eye and makes me pause to give thanks to the wonderful Creator.

Have a wonderful weekend enjoying God's world where you are!



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seek and Destroy

Seven years ago right after we had moved into our new home, I heard mysterious noises in our bathroom ceiling.  I told Joel about the scratching and pattering, but he insisted I must be hearing things.

So, I let it go.

A couple of months later, after multiplication, warmth and news of an ideal hideout (I think they invited the whole neighborhood), my husband finally heard the little boogers. Yes, we had mice, in our attic. So, like any conscientious home owner we set traps. 

It worked like a charm.

Until one had the audacity to chew thru our bathroom vent and die.


Let me tell you there is nothing as rank as decaying, petrifying animal flesh.

So, for a couple of years the vent in our master bathroom sported the chic, sleek look of cellophane.  We sealed every nook and cranny around our house trying to prevent any more mouse invasions.  But each autumn it never failed, mice came to our attic to seek refuge from inclement weather.

This spring Joel replaced the chewed through vent and we flipped the vent on and off at our leisure.  I was so grateful to have a vent in our bathroom again, it really can be a useful tool!

But my venting days were to be short lived because this morning I had to post this on our bathroom door...


You guessed it.  Another uninvited visitor has chosen our bathroom vent for his burial ground.

And once again our bathroom vent is all slicked out in a custom cellophane cover.


As of a couple hours ago, with yet another layer of tape added, we are still experiencing the unpleasant aroma of dead mouse.  I am praying for frigid weather, like I never have before.  I want the intruder freeze dried.  Because no amount of burning apple spice candles can eliminate the wafting noxious scent of dead mouse.

Next step, is entering the mice's lair for a seek and destroy mission, because we are discovering that the cellophane isn't eliminating the suffocating, putrid fumes.

Wish us luck!

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