Friday, January 29, 2010

Braids and Daggers

All those hours my sister and I spent, so many years ago, braiding our baby dolls hair has finally paid off…


My little princess enjoys getting her hair braided…

But watch out this princess, in her pretty, pink, princess dress, carries!


Looks can be so deceiving!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


  • Although January has given us some beautiful wintry scenes I am ready for its end.  This has been a difficult month, full of sickness and trials. I am tired. I am feeling depressed. My get up and go, has got up and went. And I am in need of some warmth and sunshine. I’m ready for spring.


  • My children have watched way too much TV the past few weeks. I know I should care, but at this point PBS is my friend.
  • Bleach has become my constant companion.
  • How can my kids be loving, helpful, and caring one minute and the next they’re ready to rip each others eyes out? And how come I feel like helping them out?!
  • On a brighter note…I made cupcakes!
  • Oh, and I am finally caught up on laundry!
  • I think I need a coffee with extra caffeine and lots of sugary, fat-laden creamer. Yup! I think that will do it!

Oh yes, I am full of randomness and short on wisdom and creativity. But, hey this is my life today. 

Just keepin’ it real! :)

****Thank you to each of you who have prayed for my brother-in-law. He is doing good and the doctors are saying he will probably be able to come home tomorrow.  God is good!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Please Pray

My brother-in-law had a heart attack last night.  He has two stints in at present.  Please also pray for my sister as she cares for him and for their two children.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eyes Full of Life


Eyes full of life

big, brown and bright.

Limbs full of flight

swift, quick and light.

Arms full of love

hugs, touch and tender.

Throat full of laughter

quick, loud and chatter.

Heart full of joy

sweet, young and pleasure.


Happy Birthday to my sweet boy/man-child as you turn 11 today! You are the light of my life! Your energy is contagious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear you running in the basement as you play cowboys! Your smile lights up the darkest days. You have a light within you that shines brightly. Anyone who knows you can see that the Lord shines within you. I know in my heart that you will do great things for the Lord as you grow. Your are full of compassion. You are owner of one of the most sensitive hearts I have ever known. Never stop! Keep your heart tender towards others, just as you do now. You are always ready to be silly and laugh. It definitely keeps smiles on the rest of our faces when you pull your antics. You are a joy-giver. Always ready to share the joy of the Lord and life with those around you.

So, today on your birthday, just know how much you are loved! And never stop shining!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Exhaustion, Decisions and God

It has been stressful and exhausting around here.  On Thursday evening I took Caleb to the ER because after two days of nausea and vomiting, he began to be violently sick.  We ended up staying for 8 hours.  He got an IV, some Zofran for the nausea and a Cat scan to rule out appendicitis.  We finally got home at 4:00 AM after his Cat scan came back normal.  Yesterday we were back in the ER after he threw up again and was begging to go see a doctor because his tummy hurt so much.  Once again they hooked him up to an IV for dehydration, gave him meds for the nausea, took a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia because he had begun coughing, and had him taking sips of pop because his blood sugar was low at 67.  After 9 hours we were able to come home, thankfully this time with a prescription for an anti-nausea medication to help us get through the weekend.

On Saturday morning, Lauren and I were sitting on her bedroom floor.  I was trying to keep her quiet so that she wouldn’t wake everyone in the house.  Caleb, had already been sick once and was crying because of the pain in his tummy.  As I sat on Lauren’s floor I looked out her bedroom window.  She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was praying. We sat in silence for about 15 seconds, before she said, “But, I can’t hear you.”  So, I began praying out loud for wisdom and strength to know what to do for Caleb.  As I prayed, tears started trickling down my cheeks.  Lauren immediately came and wrapped her arms around me and started rubbing my back.  She looked into my eyes with her big blue one’s full of concern and said, “Don’t be so sad, my mommy.”  I’m pretty sure it was God’s way of giving me the strength I needed to make the decisions that needed to be made that day. Don’t be sad, mommy, she was saying… God is in control.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Gleam of Dawn

The other night the moon and stars were sealed from sight by an enveloping blanket of clouds.  The only light illuminating the darkness was our feeble, flickering yard light. 

As dawn approached I gazed out my bedroom windows.  I waited for the finicky, florescent bulb to sputter out so that I could behold the beauty outside my window.

The snow, catching just a smidgen of natural light, sent forth a soft cerulean glow.  The trees in their bare beauty, stood strong and stately against the lightening horizon.  The haze from our wood stove filtered lazily through the still morning air.

Moment by moment the sky changed, from mid-night blue to steel blue to periwinkle, altering the view out my window.  Objects that were hidden in darkness now appeared before my eyes with the coming of day.


As the first rays of the sun’s light peeked over the tree tops on the horizon, Proverbs 4:18 came to mind.

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

As I continued to watch the scene out my window come into full light, I realized how fitting this verse was for what I had just witnessed. And a perfect start to a brand new day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Oh was I sick over the weekend.  UGH!  I am so glad to be feeling better.  However, now the two youngest are down with the crud.  Keep us in your prayers and I will try to catch up with all of you when I get everyone healthy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beauty Found

In this post, I wrote about the hardships of winter. Within those words, there was an implied meaning.  Not only was I speaking of the bleakness and difficulties that occur during the winter months, but I was digging deeper.  Looking at the burdens and hurts that so many around me are feeling. During times of intense sadness, confusion, stress, illness, job loss, and grieving life can appear so grim.  But there is hope, renewal, and beauty when we turn our faces and hearts to the Lord.


At times we may even feel as the Psalmist did:

I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. Psalm 69:3

But don't quit. 

Keep calling out.  Keep pouring out your soul.  Keep giving you heart to him.  Keep turning your face to His.

For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

Psalm 22:24



Sarah Young writes in her devotional Jesus Calling,

I am with you, watching over you constantly.  I am Emmanuel (God with you); My presence enfolds you in radiant Love.  Nothing, including the brightest blessings and the darkest trials, can separate you from Me.  Some of my children find Me more readily during dark times, when difficulties force them to depend on Me.  Others feel closer to Me when their lives are filled with good things.  They respond with thanksgiving and praise, thus opening wide the door to My Presence.

I know precisely what you need to draw nearer to Me.  Go through each day looking for what I have prepared for you.  Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs.  When you view your life in this way, the most reasonable response is to be thankful.  Do not reject My gifts; find Me in every situation. (pg. 156)

The Lord loves us with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3).  He desires for us to cast all our anxieties on Him because He cares for us. (I Pet. 5:7).  When times are dark and trials are weighing us down give it all to the Lord.  Cry out to Him, wrap all your tribulation in a bundle and hand it up to the One who can solve them.

Then take time to thank Him for everything.  Yes, even the hardships.  We may not see it now, but later, maybe a long time from now, we will see the beauty from the ashes. (Isa. 61:3)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Sacred Meal~ Book Review




The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher

Reviewed for Thomas Nelson Publishers




The Sacred Meal is a book written from Nora Gallagher's perception of communion.  In her book she talks about communion being like a journey to a foreign land, and she divides the trip into three parts: the waiting, the receiving, and afterward. Gallagher also devotes chapters in this book to the history of communion and some of the traditions that have sprung up over the years.  She also talks about the controversial subject of eating the body and blood of Christ.

For me, personally this book was a struggle to read.  First of all it was written from the view point of a woman who is a preacher-in-residence at an Episcopal church.  The clash of beliefs, for me began right there.  But, it only grew as I read deeper into the book. For instance on page 29, Gallagher says,

The baggage I carry to the Communion line is...worry, guilt, anxiety and way too many rationalizations.  That large suitcase of anxiety and concern is part of my waiting, part of my preparation for taking Communion. I know by now that I have to just live through it; I have to drag that piece of baggage around until it's no longer useful to me. So part of waiting is packing and repacking that bag, stuffing it with worry and pain.

This is so foreign to me.  Why must she carry that load? Does she feel she must carry it on her own until she receives Communion or does she continue to carry it even after?  I believe that the Lord will carry our burdens at any time.  In fact Psalm 68:19 says,

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.

The time before we take Communion should be spent in prayer, baring our souls to our Savior, asking for forgiveness and a clean heart, and acknowledging His great sacrifice for us. The time in between Communion doesn't mean we have to continue to carry burdens. God wants us to cast all our cares upon Him.  Give them to Him daily, hourly or by the minute whatever it takes.  He will carry them for you.

Chapters 7 and  8, which were titled Magic and Thanksgiving and Myths and Traditions were so far fetched, I just cringed. I can't even begin to wrap my mind around why these were included in this book.

In chapter 9, she talks about a time when she attended a Ramadan celebration.  Gallagher, joined in the prayers to Allah and claims,

It was amazing. It was the most bodily prayer I have ever experienced.  The closest thing I had done to it was yoga...

Yoga, Allah, Muslim prayers?  I cannot find any connection whatsoever to these things with my belief in One God who sent his Son to die on the cross for our sins and thus the remembrance of this through Communion.

There is much more in this book that rankled me, but I will leave it with the few items I mentioned.

This book which was supposed to be on Communion, fell far short of what Communion is really about, therefore, I cannot recommend this book as one others should read. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

In the Throes of Winter


Winter has come. Its grip is strong. But, beneath the drabness there is beauty.  Open your eyes, heart and mind and you will see God's beauty even in the throes of winter.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Wild Hair

It all started when Joel went down to the utility room to get the Christmas tree box.  It was a simple enough task, but it grew, mutated and multiplied.  All who were within its path were swept along, struggling was useless. Before any of us (the innocent bystanders) knew what was happening, Joel has us cleaning, organizing, rearranging and measuring for the boys new bedroom. Oh yes, you read that right! All I planned on doing was taking down the Christmas tree, but before long I was helping to measure and figure. By the end of the week, with the help of Joel's dad and our brother-in-law, both who are carpenters, we had a new bedroom for the boys.

I spent the first part of this week painting.  Yesterday morning I applied the last coat and when Joel got home from work last night we began moving everything downstairs.100_7387

Now, if you are big into home decorating don't look too closely at this picture! My boys each have their own style and I let them have at it! Don't you just love the camouflage bedding covered with the white and blue crocheted afghan!

The room isn't totally finished, yet.  For hanging up the clothes, Joel suspended a piece of conduit from the floor joists! Classy, huh?!  The carpet is from a ladies home that my father-in-law worked on.  She wanted new carpeting and gladly gave us this.  It doesn't fit perfectly, but at least it warms the room up a bit and keeps their tootsies off a cold floor. But, the boys don't mind that it isn't finished and I guess neither do I!  They were so excited to move down to their new room, they were practically prancing. Actually one of them really did, I saw him! 

I am planning on making some curtains to hang up across the closets for now and one for the window, that will help finish up the room a bit.  Eventually we will hang closet doors and put in a drop ceiling.  For now it works and it supplies the much needed room for our growing boys.

Today, I am tackling this...


With the boys old room empty, we decided to turn it into a school room!  I will now be able to have our books all in one place.  Not to mention a quiet spot for doing school work. And I can hang posters and maps and art work and charts all over the place and nobody will care!!!  I'm practically giddy with the notion! 

We moved in a table for a work center and an old love seat for a place to snuggle into when we read.


I have much to do to get this room into shape, but I am looking forward to the challenge.

Right after lunch I sent my crew outside to enjoy the snow while I started to move, arrange and organize. I had to stop and take a couple pictures because I could hear that they were having so much fun.


Then when noses and cheeks were rosy they came in for some much needed hot cocoa!

I love these faces!

Now, I must really head back to the school room. I'll post pictures when I am finished!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oh Monday, on a Tuesday

Two weeks of Christmas vacation have flown by and this is the week to get back on schedule.  However, my little human alarm clock didn't awake at 7:00 this morning or yesterday morning. She let us all sleep in until 8:00 putting us an hour behind.  What a way to start our school days back up!  I guess I'm going to have to set my alarm clock. I have a real dislike for that piece of electronics.  I'm not sure, why except that is blares me awake out of deep, peaceful sleep and forces me to rise from my warm cocoon!

Even though the calendar says it is Tuesday, today at our home it feels like a repeated Monday.  Mondays can be so cantankerous!

I relish breaks from the normal school days.  I always look forward to the freedom they provide, but when its time to get back into our can be a real pain.  All of a sudden, I find myself having to remind everyone how this momma runs things.  My goodness that can be real annoying, especially since our routine has pretty much been the same for the last eight years!

I am hoping as the day progresses it will feel more like a Tuesday.  That each and everyone of us will remember how our days of school and our home in general, operate. Otherwise I'm going to have to replace my nice, easygoing mommy hat with my drill Sergeant hat. And believe me nobody wants that!

On a bright note I did capture this picture of Lauren and Caleb working on school.  Lauren dressed in her pink bunny suit hard at work on her latest creation and Caleb not so busy on his journal, getting distracted by one of his brothers.  A great snap shot of what the last two "Mondays" have been like.


Here's hoping tomorrow feels like Wednesday not Monday, because I'm not sure I can deal with another Monday so soon!

Friday, January 1, 2010

God's Quiet Love


"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."  Zephaniah 3:17

As 2010 dawns bright and new out my windows this morning, I am looking forward to a new year of learning to be quiet so that I may feel God's love surrounding me.  So often I take command of every situation and then feel anxiety grow and multiply when things begin to crumble.

About a month ago, I came across this verse when I was doing my devotions. I was randomly flipping the pages when I came to Zephaniah. I couldn't remember what the book was all about so I began reading. When I got to chapter 3 verse 17, I knew why I had been filled with curiosity about this book.  The Lord has been pressing upon my heart to just be still. To feel His love. To know His presence. To give all to Him. "He will quiet you with his love", encompasses so many of my needs right now.  When things get tough, crazy and unbearable this is what I say over and over until I feel His peace wrap right around me.

This year I will be focusing on letting the Lord quiet me with His love, for He is my strength and refuge.  He is my shield and will uphold me with his righteous right hand. May I always praise His glorious name!

What word, verse or portion of verse will you be focusing on this year?

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