Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Cards and "More Dezus"


I am less then eager to take the nativities and Christmas tree down this year. I love hearing 2 year old Blake yell, "there Dezus(Jesus)" or "more Dezus" when she sees a nativity. When praying at night she will pray for "More Dezus" as if that is His name, but what a great prayer....praying for more Jesus and less us, in our lives.


My friend read in Home Life magazine last year a cool idea she suggested I share with you. Instead of throwing Christmas cards away or taking them to the recycling center, put the cards in a basket and pull a card out each week to pray for that sender(s.) What a great idea!!


If you sent us a card or put a card on a gift.....we will be praying for you this year! If we don't have enough cards to get through the year, we will repeat so you might get 2 weeks of prayer out of us!


Hey, if you are glad Michele shared this idea-post a shout out to her!


When we draw out a card, we will be praying that the sender knows Jesus as their Lord and Savior and that they grow in Christ cause we all need "more Dezus" in our lives.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Heart Full

This is my 2nd attempt to record all the things I want my heart to remember about today. I am reminded there is no textbook or degree that can prepare you for parenting.
I am constantly amazed at how I am stretched.

By noon, I had cleaned up 2 potty misses and removed a pair of toddler pants now marked by lipstick. I attempted to explain potty misses as gross which apparently is a fun word to repeat but obviously carries no meaning for the tiny speaker. On a good note, a crinkled nose on a red head saying gross will lower your blood pressure.

After lunch, a dinner glass was knocked off the table and broken. An apology came quickly. The glass was empty and I told the little darling, I did not like that glass anyway. One less glass to wash today!

I commended Middle button for always being remorseful and mentioned that when big brother was little, he would clam up after an accident and refuse to apologize, probably out of fear. Clay hearing the comment responded, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry for all of those times I did not say I was sorry." How precious is that!? He then said it was good for 100 times. I told him I probably owed him 1,000.

Today, Lydia was reading and came to the word SIN. She sounded it out and then said, it is such a little word as she starred at it. Such a little word with such HUGE ramifications.

Miss Lydia is sick. She can not hold anything down. I don't know that I have ever felt so helpless sitting by a sick child. I am so thankful I only have experienced this for a virus unlike so many other loving caregivers.

Lydia does not want her little sister to get sick and tries to keep her away from her. I think B. may understand some. Lydia fell asleep on the couch and B. referred to her as a baby. She did look like a little cherub.

B. was whining for "paci." The signal for bedtime. I handed her the pacifier and she said, "Mmmm," as if it were the best thing she had in her mouth all day. Poor thing, the paci will be going at the beginning of the year.

A serviceman came to our house today. He has been here before. Our house is decorated in nativities and he has heard the kids and I schooling. Today, he heard Lydia singing, "Away in a Manger," prior to her getting sick. God reminded me that sometimes, he will send the people directly to me-right in my living room.

Glad My Dear was home tonight. He made tea and as always, he served it to me in my favorite Bybee Pottery mug. Not to mention gave one little person a bath and cared for another in shifts with me. He is my helpmate, especially at this wonderful stage in our lives.

Praying today over, 3 men who have/are losing their jobs. Their families represent 12 children. A family who has been asked to add 6 month old twins to their busy family, 2 little girls who were returned to their mother after a drug test was thrown out of a court case, families facing or dealing with death, breast cancer warriors, and old friends on Facebook who need Jesus and the words from the Holy Spirit to communicate to them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Warfare and the Potty!


A friend once asked me if I faced Spiritual Warfare on Mondays. Her simple question made me realize that Thursdays were far worse! Wednesday night is AWANA night so on Thursdays, Satan liked to rough me up a bit. I knew they were hard, but had not considered why.


Once I realized, I faced the day differently. I kept my expectations low for the day. I stick my Bible in the bathroom and grab a read at my appointed time (don't knock it, until you try it!) The sad thing is, Spiritual Warfare makes me anxious and bitter. My patience is less and frankly, I, and the family who has to live with me, are NOT fans of Spiritual Battle!


Sunday night, I had the privilege of singing in an adult Christmas Performance. I have always wanted to do one but babies and My Dear's schedule have ruled it out in the past. This year, I went for it! It was work for me but I SO enjoyed it! When I worship, I move and I got to do just that, sing and sway. At one part in the production, I was unable to sing my heart was so filled at the wonder of a baby! At home, I had left My Dear to fend for himself with a rebellious potty trainer, a baby! Babies, I can relate to. A mother's love, I can relate to. It stopped me in my tracks as I worshipped our Savior coming as a baby, just what I had left at home.


As we made our way through the crowd, folks would stop us and tell us how much they enjoyed it and how they worshipped. I went to the nursery to get Tiny and then looked for the others. Almost instantly-warfare was on! So much so, I was exhausted.


This morning, feeling anxious and short tempered, I took the darlings to music class. Our director stopped me to share her heart about the night. My eyes filled with tears as I shared I was under siege. I know it is a refining, I like the outcome, but not the process. A lot like potty training.


I had NEVER thought about the warfare I would face after the production. But God knew. He also knew that music lessons would be the next morning and a hug and a prayer would be waiting. So here I am again, going to grab the Sword of the Spirit to prepare for the next battle. AND I may and may not do so in the bathroom, cause it is a pretty busy place in our home these days!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Out Prayed By A 5-Year-Old


It happened last night and it happened again tonight!


As I put the girls to bed, Blake (2) is always eager to pray! She prays for the people in our home and many of them more than once because she does not recall who she already prayed for (or maybe they just need it more...huh.) She occasionally will add someone else like a grandparent or a teacher at church or her beloved "Mami" who cares for her during our small group.


I prayed for the children and our children we have not met yet . This includes the spouses of our children and generations to come as well as any other children God adds to our family. I also prayed for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and those folks who call us family since we do not live close to any family.


Then Miss Lydia, prays for, "all the mamas and daddies and children that are sick in the whole world."
As if I did not learn from that prayer, tonight she prayed for,
"everybody she knows and everybody she does not know."


Again, I limit God.


But, a 5-year-old understands how big He is!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fundraising Update


For any of my "cheerleaders" as I call them checking in on the fundraising for the March mission trip to Vnam.....I am only $1000 away! WOW! I have been amazed, floored, and blessed all over!


When I heard of the trip I knew I was to go. I had 2 ideas of how I was sure God would supply the funds.


1. You may have read before, but it was to sell some property that did not sell once, twice, or 3 times! STRIKE OUT!


2. Maybe it was a part time job in our county. I never got my ducks in a row for that one and have since felt that it was not what I was supposed to do.


So God, I tried it my way, now let's try Yours!


1. It amazes me how He calls and then equips us when we are obedient. It also amazes me that I chose one man to be my husband and got this AMAZING package that came with him called his family!


2. It also amazes me the folks I did not send a letter to but they are financially supporting me. A lady, new to our church, sent me a note that God told her to support me. She is a stay at home mom and her husband did not even know me! Just blows me away!


3. One night we had a knock at our door. A man from church handed My Dear an envelope and told him he needed to drop it off. You guessed it, money. The man told his wife the Holy Spirit told him to do it. The wife did not even know the amount and told me she did not need to.


4. God continually supplies for us. Sometimes it is ripe bananas or a loaf of bread when our neighbor goes to the Senior Center or a farmer's market. It has been a package of soap that Lydia wanted and our coupon clipping friend got paid to buy so she shared with us without even knowing our desires or needs-soap, shampoo, hair gel, lotion, cold medications.


5. My friend Jenny, who cares full time for her terminally ill child handed me 3 cakes one Sunday morning and instructed me to take them to the church and sell them for money for the trip. See what I mean blessed all over!


Amazing to me how God wants to bless us and it is always more then I could have hoped or dreamed for! My plan was to work for it and His plan was to work it out for me. So in my heart I sing a little song I sang with my 3 year old friends at church, "God will meet all your needs. God will meet all your needs. God will meet all your needs. Philippians 4:19!" And I know He will....He always does!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Bed Fit For A King

Last year, I posted several ideas of what our family does to keep Christ the center of Christmas. (Check them out from last December's post.) This was an idea that I had heard about but had never tried. Our older children are 8 and 5 1/2 and they are enjoying creating a bed fit for the newborn King.

We cut yellow pieces of paper into strips to represent hay. Each time a child gets caught doing something kind for someone else, a piece of "straw" is placed in a basket to make a fluffy bed for Baby Jesus. The children have nominated one another and have told me what the other child did for them. I write that deed on a piece of the "straw" and deposit it. We have just started so here is what the bed looks like as of right now.




Clay helped me make my bed today so I put a piece in for him. Lydia complimented Clay's good work at school, so he put a piece in for her. Our hope is that the manger bed will be full of fluffy straw when we lay Baby Jesus on it Christmas Day. The straw is ready, cut and waiting!


We prepare a bed for Him, while He prepares our hearts.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Save A Lot and Wal Mart...my mission field!


So I have mentioned reading Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life, again. I have been reading about obedience. When God calls us, we are to act and when we do it makes our fellowship with Him sweeter!


I remember 5 years ago, the opportunity given to me to enter that sweet fellowship with Jesus at Save A Lot grocery store. A man was behind me in line. I had filled the conveyor while entertaining our children. I noticed the man behind me looked as though times were tough. He was purchasing bologna, a loaf of bread and another staple. I assumed it would take care of several meals for him. I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to pay for his groceries. I was afraid and did not do it.


Another time at Save A Lot, a mom was at the front of the one register open. She was constantly disciplining a child named Austin as she tried to check out and pay. The line was backed up with several folks waiting. I was at the front of the store and heard the loud booming voice of a man at the end of the line say, "Austin, I don't even know you and you are beginning to get on my nerves." I immediately felt sick for the child and even more so for his mom. When we left, I saw her putting the children in the vehicle with a snack while she unloaded. I so wanted to go to her and tell her that could have easily been me and our children on any given day. I regret not going over to her and just help her with her groceries and let her know that every dog has her day. I still regret it. It was the Holy Spirit and I was disobedient once again.


This morning, I ran away! My Dear was home so I left the darlings with daddy to run errands-I usually have an open invitation to go but Lydia had plans, Clay did not want to, and Miss Blake is potty training so she was uninvited, for the benefit of her and the health of our community!


I got in the return line at Wal Mart and saw an older man trying to find a short line to check out in. As I waited my turn, I caught a glimpse of him again. This time, I read his hat. He was a World War II veteran. My heart began to beat quickly as I knew I was starring at a history book which will all too soon be gone! I knew God was calling me to step out of the line!


I stepped out of the line and walked over to the gentleman. I told him I saw his hat and I just wanted to shake his hand. He said he gets that a lot when he wears that hat. He was shipped overseas at the age of 17. All I cared about at 17 was my hair and how cool my car was!! He is one of the dwindling WW II soldiers still alive. Blame it on homeschooling, being a daughter and granddaughter of Veterans, a grateful American, I don't know...but I was truly thrilled.
After our conversation, I knew that God was telling me to go to the back of the line. When I did so, the 2 people who were originally behind me insisted I step back in place. It opened a door of conversation and mutual respect and I was so glad to be in our little Wal Mart, right where God had planned for me to be! Did I share Christ, no. But I would like to think , out of my obedience, maybe, someone got a glimpse of my Jesus. I may never know, but God knew, so glad He chose to speak to me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cause I Don't Want to Forget

I don't want to forget what inspiration looks like! The temperature is getting cooler, bringing the kids indoors to play. They created these materpieces with their friends. They had to dig around to collect enough magnets to hang them. Note also that Clay's lost tooth and Blake's clipping of her first hair cut are displayed too. Who would have ever thought I would have hair and a tooth proudly displayed on the front of my fridge! I told Lydia I would clip her nails if she needed to have a baggie with her name on it too.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Gut Shot!


This week, I realized our house is dirty! The bottom of the walls have dirty hand prints and the top has dust. The ceiling fans are fuzzy and the fridge had spilled, (it that chili?), in it! Not to mention, I am hosting my family for Thanksgiving!

I had contacted my sweet friend to see if she wanted to get together-just us girls-on Saturday. She agreed and then My Dear informed me of a place he needed to be until 2 that afternoon. I was home with the kids, so I decided to make the most of it. I did several loads of laundry, dishes, cleaned out the fridge-although Lydia wanted to clean the mystery chili out. Don't you love when that is fun for them! I straighted every room, fed children, baby to nap, then wiped down the walls in the kitchen. I worked like a MAD woman and the entire time I am thinking about me. I was pleased with the progress but in the back of my head, I resented it! I resented that I was home. I resented that my plans had to be altered. I resented that I was working so hard. Sad, but true, I resented that I had the kids alone another day. I resented that the world did not revolve around me. I resented that My Dear got to go and do. The entire time I clean and take care of the children, I am feeling sorry for myself.

When My Dear got home, he cleaned a couple of fans like I had asked and I snatched up Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life to relax before my friend arrived. On page 88, I read, "The key to friendship with God, he said, is not changing what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do."


OUCH!!!!!!! What a blow to the gut! I was able to get so much accomplished and the kids were little angels all morning. I was pleased with my progress but in the back of my head, I resented it instead of seeing the blessing that it all was. My attitude broke my fellowship with God. I told myself I was doing it for my family, but I wasn't. The job is done but I missed the ministry aspect of it. I even had this part underlined from 5 years ago!

So, tomorrow, I will approach each task with a attitude that allows me to worship God while I, drive kids to music lessons, change diapers, teach, feed, step over toys, discipline, hug, babysit, fold, and mop spilled milk up out of the bottom of my once clean refrigerator. Hope your day leads you to a place of doing for God all of those things that you have to do anyway!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Week of Firsts

It has been a week (+/- a few days) of first for Miss Blake!



First Oreo Cookie...that I recall although someone could have slipped her one without my knowing. Can I still call it an Oreo even though it is store brand or do I have to say "sandwich cookie?" It just is not the same!


She also did a number in the bathroom but I did not take a picture of that, you can thank me later. I do appreciate her optimism in that she calls it "do-do." Nice isn't it, seeing she could have named it "No Way!" or "Won't-Won't!" Gives me hope!

Oh, this is the BEFORE picture...




Blake's first haircut!! The whole gang was excited about this one! I know the picture is fuzzy but I wanted to capture how all of "the firsts" are well attended! The big kids want to be there to capture her responses too. They had already had their turn in the chair so Blake was asking for a turn too!



So sweet! She could not take her eyes off of herself in the mirror!



Blake has more and more to say. Yesterday I showed her a button she had on her shirt. I recalled a book she had with buttons on one page. She was fussy so I asked her to find the buttons in the book. She said, "Let's see" as she started looking in the book. I then realized how often I say, "Let's see." I talk all the time to give her additional exposure to language. So, that is what I get!

What a fun week (+/-) of 1st! "Let's see" what next week holds hopefully more optimism!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kinsmen Redeemer



Ruth and Boaz are my favorite biblical love story! Have you read it? It is 4 Chapters of love in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Her is my version in a nut shell-hopefully just enough to get you reading!

Husband dies. She stays with Mother-in-Love. Return to MIL's homeland. Ruth goes to Boaz's fields. Picks up left over grain. Boaz ask workers to leave grain. Boaz is Ruth's kinsmen redeemer. Lays at his feet. He protect her honor. Learns another to be kinsmen redeemer. Talks to him. Happily ever after!

Here is how this love story plays into my life!


My mom had a less then a perfect home life. My grandmother eventually sent my mom to live with the Blake family (I love family names?) This family took my mom in as their own. They provided for her and shielded her from her painful childhood-or lack of. She moved in as a child and left a woman. Her cousin Ann (which is our Lydia's middle name) became her sister as well as a mother figure. Lucky for me, Ann married Mr. Boaz, Our Boaz, Clyde Boaz. Clyde cared and loved my mother as no man had done before. The men in her life were nothing like him. He was kind, gentle, and always helping someone. Nothing like drunk and angry that mom was used to. Clyde eventually walked my mother down the aisle of the church to be married. His relationship with mom did not stop there. His love continued to her 3 children. He was weekly visit, trips to dance class and Homer's Tastee Freeze on Tuesdays, Sunday shopping for back to school clothes or Easter dresses, maybe that was more Annie but Clyde always supplied the food from the snack bar. He bought my first 10 speed bicycle and Cabbage Patch doll and loved us with all 400 lbs of him. I am certain 390 lbs of it was his heart!

I tear up thinking of the love I have for Annie and Clyde Boaz even more so now that I am an adult and understand what it is like to love a child. The Boazes were never able to have a child, but they had us. Even after Clyde passed away, Annie became a treasured friend. I cherished her understanding, wisdom, and laughs and am so thankful that My Dear got to meet her. Our children would have brought them so much joy!

My mom was pulled from the cycle of poverty and abuse by a Kinsmen Redeemer. She has celebrated 40 years of marriage to my dad and brags to anyone who will listen about her children and grandchildren. So why am I telling you this? Not only was Boaz, Ruth's kinsman redeemer but he and Annie, along with the Granny Blake, were our Kinsmen Redeemer. They were not the next in line, but they were there. They saved our family for a generational curse of abuse and poverty.

Sadly, mom's childhood story is typical but the end is much different for most victims. There are needs all over the planet. Many of our friends are acting as Kinsmen Redeemers for children without parents. Other are assisting families to care for their children. My challenge to you, is there a child who needs you to be their Boaz, their Kinsmen Redeemer?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hard Headed Sabbath

Romans 15:4
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us....


SO WHY did I think it was a good idea to do something other than rest on Sunday? But we needed groceries. I took Lydia to Dollar Tree as a little bonus in our shopping experience. Got home to the mess of lunch aftermath and groceries to be put away. I had missed those couple of precious hours when Blake naps and I enter a near vegetative state reserved for Sundays. God knows I needed that rest.

I had made it a habit of not doing much on Sunday because in doing so, I was making someone else work. The servers and cooks in restraunts, the store employees, even the gas station attendant. But yesterday, this committement was reaffirmed! So next Sunday, I plan to make it my Sabbath. If you need me then, I will be found at home!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Kinsmen Redeemer



Ruth and Boaz are my favorite biblical love story! Have you read it? It is 4 Chapters of love in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Her is my version in a nut shell-hopefully just enough to get you reading!

Husband dies. She stays with Mother-in-Love. Return to MIL's homeland. Ruth goes to Boaz's fields. Picks up left over grain. Boaz ask workers to leave grain. Boaz is Ruth's kinsmen redeemer. Lays at his feet. He protect her honor. Learns another to be kinsmen redeemer. Talks to him. Happily ever after!

Here is how this love story plays into my life!


My mom had a less then a perfect home life. My grandmother eventually sent my mom to live with the Blake family (I love family names?) This family took my mom in as their own. They provided for her and shielded her from her painful childhood-or lack of. She moved in as a child and left a woman. Her cousin Ann (which is our Lydia's middle name) became her sister as well as a mother figure. Lucky for me, Ann married Mr. Boaz, Our Boaz, Clyde Boaz. Clyde cared and loved my mother as no man had done before. The men in her life were nothing like him. He was kind, gentle, and always helping someone. Nothing like drunk and angry that mom was used to. Clyde eventually walked my mother down the aisle of the church to be married. His relationship with mom did not stop there. His love continued to her 3 children. He was weekly visit, trips to dance class and Homer's Tastee Freeze on Tuesdays, Sunday shopping for back to school clothes or Easter dresses, maybe that was more Annie but Clyde always supplied the food from the snack bar. He bought my first 10 speed bicycle and Cabbage Patch doll and loved us with all 400 lbs of him. I am certain 390 lbs of it was his heart!

I tear up thinking of the love I have for Annie and Clyde Boaz even more so now that I am an adult and understand what it is like to love a child. The Boazes were never able to have a child, but they had us. Even after Clyde passed away, Annie became a treasured friend. I cherished her understanding, wisdom, and laughs and am so thankful that My Dear got to meet her. Our children would have brought them so much joy!

My mom was pulled from the cycle of poverty and abuse by a Kinsmen Redeemer. She has celebrated 40 years of marriage to my dad and brags to anyone who will listen about her children and grandchildren. So why am I telling you this? Not only was Boaz, Ruth's kinsman redeemer but he and Annie, along with the Granny Blake, were our Kinsmen Redeemer. They were not the next in line, but they were there. They saved our family for a generational curse of abuse and poverty.

Sadly, mom's childhood story is typical but the end is much different for most victims. There are needs all over the planet. Many of our friends are acting as Kinsmen Redeemers for children without parents. Other are assisting families to care for their children. My challenge to you, is there a child who needs you to be their Boaz, their Kinsmen Redeemer?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Gimmies



There I go again! I have made the same mistake! A status on Facebook or a conversation about shopping gets me almost every time! Why is that? As Mama Bear Berenstain of the children's books would say, I get the "gimmies!" When I get "a bad case of the gimmies," I have to remind myself of these things:


1. Debt is bad, get rid of it.
2. Orphans in Vietnam
3. Women who chose life for their babies.
4. Hans Peter has a full belly in Haiti tonight.
5. Homeschooling my children.
6. Growing students to a relationship with Christ.
7. Supporting our missionaries
8. The more I have, the more I have to take care of.
9. If it is not broke, why replace it and if it is broke, why replace it? (no, that is not a typo.)

My frugal friend, Shannon's oven broke. She has searched for a used one with no leads. She remembered an old toaster oven her mother-in-law had given her in their camper. She has been cooking for her family for probably a month in a toaster oven! She made pecan pies in her toaster oven! This girl has some of the same points on her list as I do. Her dad called her one day to see if she still needed a stove. She got one, a green one. It is ugly, but it works and it was absolutely free.

I am called to be a steward of my finances just like Shannon. Do I have what I need? YES! Does that mean that I may have less then top of the line, like Shannon's green stove? Yeah, it does.


I am reminded of Luke 16:10-11 where Jesus said, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?"

Do I want a new wardrobe, printer, remodeled kitchen, or a new vehicle? That would be nice! Would I rather be trusted with true riches? You better believe it!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A fond Farewell

Ole' Faithful,

You have been in my life for 13 plus years, from the moment I said, "I DO." We have traveled together through 5 cities and 2 states building a home. You have always been there for me. You provided the oxygen I needed to go on when times were hard.

When we lived in the "mountains" you provided an escape from my lonely reality.

We have been together in times of great light and times of darkness, but you hung in there. It obviously wore on you, but you stood proudly with what you had when others fell.

Your presence in my life has made it more beautiful. Thank you.

A baby was born, then another, and another. More times then not, you were neglected-shaded and deprived of the nourishment you needed from me.

You continued your stuggle to stay strong. A piece of you died with each poor decision I made on your behalf.

The children have loved you so. Infact, you have given yourself for them. For that, I thank you. Thank you for offering all of yourself to us.

But at this time, I say good-bye. Thank you for standing by me for 13 years.











Monday, October 19, 2009

Delight

Linny at aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com has Memory Box Mondays with a tangible object in their home to remind them of what God has done. Check out her blog to learn more about it and the scripture reference. I am aware of blessings that God gives me but I have not kept good records to share with my children or grandchildren. I am considering keeping record in photos. When God things happen such as these, I am reminded of Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Here are our recent DESIRES turn DELIGHTS!



I was gifted this really cool wall decoration made by Uppercase Living but our room arrangements were still in limbo due to baby Blake. With Clay having his own room, we were now able to hang this. Weeks went by and I was still insecure about hanging it but so badly wanted to. You see, I can't cut a straight line! Well Nana T came to see us and she took care of that! Nana also looked it up to learn that there had been a mistake and it was vs 6 not 16(after this picture was taken.) She peeled the extra number right off.



Since Baby Blake was born, we knew we would need a carseat when she grew out of the infant carrier. The other two children did the old one in! I had looked at them before she was even born. When Blake's growth progressed slowly, we were able to put it off. At 2 years old, she had finally reached 21 lbs and it was time. It somehow came up in conversation with a friend. She told me she had 2 new carseats that a parent at her daycare had given her. One looked as if it had never been used. When the seat was brought to me, it still smelled new and My Dear and I were thrilled. Check out our big girl! She can even sleep in it-that is a blessing all in itself!

While visiting with family in NC, I learned about this author. I knew I should know his name but I did not. I wanted to read his work. At home, the new children's librarian assisted me in finding a book and pulled this one off the shelf. She commented on how old it was. I wanted to read it because it was the NC author and because Abe Lincoln is Clay's new hero. I checked it out, never read it but knew it was a classic that we could all benefit from. To avoid overdue fees, I returned it. I decided to stick a post it note on it for the librarian telling her if she pulls it, I want to buy it? It was worth the chance. I was awaken by the phone the next day to learn that I could have the book and it would cost a whopping 50 cents! It was not a matter of survival, just a desire of my heart.

I wanted to hang the scripture and to own the book. I did not need them! They were a desire I had. I needed a carseat but I did not need a free one. God wants to be in all the details of my life, He is a God of details! Delights happen all around us. So tell me, what is it that God has DELIGHTED you with recently?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cheerio Toes


No matter how tough the day has been, there are so many stages in my life that I want to savor and not forget. I am constantly reminded how quick 18 years can pass and each step of the way, our children will need us less and less.

This morning, I walked around my nicely swept kitchen and rounded the bar to where our son had prepared a bowl of Cheerios. When I sat down, my socks had Cheerios clinging to them. Usually, it is my midsection food hangs on to but now it is my socks. One day my house will be tidy and Cheerio free.

I took the above picture this summer when the neighborhood boys came inside to play. I don't want to forget the young feet that have felt welcomed and safe in our home. Nor do I want to forget how Lydia's pink shoes fit into the pile.

I don't want to forget the piles of bibs that come out of a load of Miss Blake's laundry. I usually have to wash just to keep her in bibs.

I treasure the memory of crawling into bed one night and My Dear's feet being greeted by Matchbox cars in the sheets.

I don't want to forget that Lydia asked me to gain weight so I could be on the Biggest Loser or that she told me this week that she had swallowed a large piece of fruit and it hurt her "utensils." (a.k.a tonsils)

Tonight, Miss Blake pointed to Big Sister Lydia's bed and chattered. I confirmed that it was Lydia's bed, where she sleeps. B. then said, "like this," and tilted her head to the side and made a snoring noise. I so don't want to forget that!

I don't want to forget how Lydia used to make hugs in her belly and sometimes she ran out but if you wait, she could make some more.

I will always treasure how Clay set up his $5 Good-Will bicycle at the end of the driveway and made a sign that said, "How Bikes Work." How he waited for people to drive by and stop to hear what he had to say. His response when I asked him how old he was(4) then when I asked him how long he had been riding bikes (13 years.)

How just today, when I called the children to come and Clay was distracted with what he was doing but urged his sister to go to avoid getting into trouble. I don't want to forget it!

Oh, and the colors in Blake's hair when the sun hits it-I hold tight!

I am reminded of Mary at the birth of Christ. Luke 2:19 says, But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Then again in verse 51 when they lost Him at the temple, Mary treasured these things in her heart too.

There are so many things that happen that I know I will forget, I won't write them down or I won't have my camera. But I treasure them in my heart and thank God for those sprinkles of blessings for this brief time. But for now, I will enjoy the slobbery kisses, runny noses, and Cheerios in my toes and stock pile them in my heart.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Never B. 1 Again

Miss Blake turned 2 last week! At 2, our darlings amaze us with what they say and the connections they make. The kids bought B. a few gifts. We have a tradition of taking the children's last picture at one age and first picture of the new age. I love sleepy smiles and Daddy bought a box of muffins for a special treat. Just the quick food we needed for a Sunday morning.

Blake opened hair bows first and wanted them all in her hair. She LOVED the book Lydia got her. She and Lydia both checked it out again and again at the library. I found a copy for $5 with shipping on ebay. YEAH!

The electric toothbrush is to help with her oral motor issues. In other words, I am over the bibs but B. is not liking that toothbrush. For now, we will use our cheap toothbrush-without the therapeutic effect.

Clay bought her a toy cellphone. She talked to daddy for awhile and then started telling everyone "cheese" as she took their pictures.

I could not shake that old song by Alabama called, "Never Be One Again." I found it on youtube with someone else's video if you want to check it out. I listened to it again and again after putting her to bed for the last time as a one-year-old. Nothing like torturing yourself, huh.

Do you know children do not develop knee caps until they are 2? With that being said, Congratulations on the knee caps Miss Blake and thanks for being such a significant part of our world. You are 2-rrific!






Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wilma's Wacky Wednesday!

We have pet names for our children, not anything we planned it just happened. Lydia is Wilma, I think she got it because it goes with wild! Wednesday night was Wacky AWANA where the kids were encouraged to dress WACKY! Lydia began planning immediately. Clay was uninterested in participating but had plenty of good ideas for Wilma and she of course went for it- All or Nothing!



The soccer socks are 2 different colors, she has capris on under nightgown, 2 different shoes, a bib, an apron on her back and to top it off, a swim diaper on her head! She put her uniform vest on backwards under her bib. Blake was not happy about Wilma taking her new bibs out of the drawer so we asked permission for the Turkey bib. Even B thought it was pretty funny.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wedding Wonders

On the way to my brother's wedding, Lydia asked why it took so long for John and Katie to get married. I was not sure what was going on in her little head but she answered it herself and said, "It must be the dress. It takes a long time to get the dress." I think Lydia approved of the dress as much as she does the Aunt.
We take our kids to weddings and funerals and just about anywhere we are going. My Dear conducted this ceremony so all I had to do was take care of our youngins'. The wedding was entertainment enough for the big kids but here is the secret weapon for the toddler. She picked them out at the store the night before. We do not usually buy them making them even more special. It was a HOME RUN! I even saw big brother Clay grab a couple.
The outdoor wedding was wet and beautiful. The rain let up just enough to allow the bride to walk in. She is pretty anyway but she was RADIANT! The groom thought so too! There was a lot to do after the ceremony and the bride and groom hung out to help against everyone's wishes. I teased my new sister-in-law about the t-shirt she chose to wear. Snapped this picture while she grabbed a kiss. Is this a honeymoon tshirt or what?


As all princesses love a love story, our little darlin' snagged her own bouquet upon leaving the wedding late that evening. What a big day for her! (Look at the mud on those socks and shoes.)


And our little prince was equally precious. What a wonderful celebration with family and friends.








Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Hug from Vietnam


My Teddy Bear of a little brother got married this weekend!!! So that meant my parents headed North! My mom is diabetic so proper foot care is important. I wanted to take her out for a pedicure with J's wedding as an excuse. J is not his name but that is what I call him. Why complicate things with 3 more letters?


Miss Lydia and I took Nana to a nail salon. We enjoyed talking with the lady who was taking such good care of mom. I know she was of some type of Asian decent but did not know for sure. She later mentioned Vietnam. I heard a cry for the backroom and out toddles a chunky little fella. His mama said, "He loves the customers." He came right over to me and snuggled up against me. I reached down and hugged that baby and was immediately filled with love for him. Oh my....is this what that orphanage will be like!? I so wanted to ask to take his picture but I was afraid mama was already creeped out by my baby obsession. The hug from this little fella was not just a hug. It was a hug representing the orphans of Vietnam and the promise that I would see them face to face. My heart can hardly wait!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Giving MY-I to YOU


I was certain the funding for the Spring Mission trip to Vietnam was to be paid for because we would sell a piece of property. But I was wrong. So wrong in fact, that the buyer tried 3 different resources including an auction of her property to buy ours. I hated it for her and to be honest, I hated it for me! That would have been MY money as well as some debt relief. It would have been as exciting as the birth of our babies-without the sleepless nights to follow! In fact, there probably would have been a sleepless night because I would not be able to stop smilin'!! But it did not happen that way. I continue to wait on God, 'cause frankly, I had it all worked out. That must have been the problem.


Meanwhile I learn that a woman who loved me as a teenager is not doing well. This woman gave me a job when she learned I was considering quiting the high school cheerleader squad because I could not afford it. There were days she had to search for something for me to do. Medical bills continue to compound for her. My heart broke as I listened to the details of her story. I am worried about God meeting MY needs. She has needs, I have wants. It totally put my wants in perspective. So, thank you God for not selling the house just yet. I will continue to wait on You as You show me Your plans for this I.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Love" Notes

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for all of those who posted their "cling to" scriptures you refer to when life is rough. I had scripture coming in from Facebook friends and emails as well. It was so amazing to me that only 1 or 2 verses were repeated.

The following Sunday, in church, I was unable to sing praises to God. I knew if I opened my mouth the tears would flow! They were already coming at a stream but I know the ocean was right behind them! I stored the words of praise in my heart allowing them to permeate me. I needed God to be all that He is. I started writing the scriptures you sent, down and rummaging through my Bible taking His word in! Oh what a difference! I actually caught myself singing a praise song while I worked in the kitchen one day. No longer tears, but words of praise!

Here is what God laid on my heart...
My friend likes dishes and is very interested in some good 'ole Bybee Pottery (KY) that I have. I knew a pitcher was on her wish list. Now, her mom is also special to me, she reminds me so much of my own mama! She has become our Northern Mamaw. I had bought Mamaw a cookie jar she wanted and plannd to give it to her for Christmas. I wrote the Scriptures you sent me and had others write their own "cling to" verses and filled those puppies up! I had close to 35 pieces of paper not counting the love notes from our Lydia. I am not sure if the scripture was for them or for me but at least they got a nice container out of it! As I was complying, a friend asked me to make a copy for another lady facing a mountain. I left a copy of the scripture with our church secretary to share as needed as well. Looks like a great little ministry had been born from this. Thank you for posting your "cling to" verses and ministering to me and to others who will read these verses!

I fixed a tag for each container that read, "a prescription from the great physician." It most certainly was that for me!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Day in the Life....

Okay, so it is actually a little more than a day but, here goes...
Lydia discovered a "beautiful dress" in her closet. This is the dress that my niece Amber wore in our wedding 13 years ago. Lydia felt like royalty. The lace got hung on her shoe and ripped while wearing it on Sunday. She said, "Well, at least I got to wear it once!" She reminds me of that Amber too! (This picture is the exception to the rule, but then again so are those girls!)
Ms. B is finally changing sizes along with the weather. I drug out some of her cousin's hand-me-downs. Ryleigh is a week older but a year ahead in size-and we are reaping the benefits! B. put these shoes on all by herself. I grabbed the camera and asked if I could take a picture of her new shoes and this is what I got! They are cute, really, they are! Look at her shirt...more teeth are on the way and they brought a runny nose with them!


This Lego creation is one he is most proud of. He took probably 7 pictures of it. From what I hear, it is a lean, mean, fighting machine! If you would like a picture from another angle or an explanation of its design and power, just ask! I have an 8 year old on it!

I love to find them this way. Our house is not large, but it is not so small they have to be conjoined, but I love when they are! Yes, The "Kepe Out!" sign still hangs on the door.

When B. saw the camera out she raced to see the picture. She slants her head to the side to let me know she wants to see it. I asked her to make a funny face and she did. This picture totally cracks me up!!! Hope you and yours made some precious memories today too!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

HELP!!!


I need your help BLOG friends!!! Please send scripture you cling to and pass on to others in the most difficult of times. My friend, is facing a mountain! I will post later what God has laid on my heart for this family. Here is what I have so far....

Jeremiah 29:11

Romans 8:28

Psalms 37:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6

Joshua 1:9

Isaiah 26:12


Can't wait to hear what God has laid on your heart for "Mam."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Labor" Day!

We moved the weekend Clay was born. There was no planning the perfect nursery, just praying for an address because the hospital will not let homeless folks leave with babies.
Lydia, baby #2, arrived while God stirred our hearts to move...no nursery here either.
When expecting baby #3, we had more kids then bedrooms= no nursery decorating. The big kids were moved in together to allow baby napping time without robbing another child of their space as well. This is Miss Blake's little room. The walls are primed and ready for paint for the permanent boarder. (My girlfriend stripped the world's most trying boarder and primed the walls for me as a baby gift isn't that fabulous!!)



Welcome permanent boarder! Clay and dad picked out the colors with recommendations from mom. My Dear calls the colors North vs. the South (navy and grey)....how interesting since Clay's new interest in the presidents...Abe Lincoln, here we come! Although, George Washington is his favorite because he had red hair-bet you did not know that! Look how stink'n happy Clay is!! Lucky for him, no teeth are needed for this job-ha, another George Washington similarity!

Daddy's lovely assistant in her painting clothes-stained and ready to go-easy to find stained clothes with this vivacious child!

The master painter with his apprentices.

The want-to-be-painter and her opinion of being given a brush but told to stay away from the paint. You can thank me later for not adding sound to this photo...she was pitiful!

Night #1 As excited at the kids were about this project, the evening was difficult. The room was not ready to be slept in so all 3 kids slept in one room. Blake had a hard time falling asleep in her new room therefore, so did everyone else. Then of course, they were all up with the sun, the first person awake was the rooster!

Night #2 The following night, Clay was in his new room. Who would have thought it would be so hard? As we got quiet, he asked if Lydia could sleep in his room...oh, poor guy. I began reading with him but Blake, who was already in bed, was crying and Lydia wanted to fix it so it was a circus! I left Clay to tend to Blake and ordering Lydia back to bed and returned to Clay...repeat. Sadly, the redheads, fell asleep crying an hour or more past bedtime....yuck! Did we do the right thing?

Night #3 Tonight was better, off to sleep he went,exhaustion seems to do that.
Blake cried less. Those in behavior change say, give it 3 nights, and sure enough it was the ticket! We have seen it for getting rid of pacifiers and weaning as well. It just works! I think this room changing is working too!

I finally have rooms to decorate! I have the most precious hanging for Clay's wall and am itching to get it up. It reads, "Like CLAY in the potter's hands." A prefect reminder to him and his mama. Clay has his own sign he made for the door that says, "Kepe Out!" But told Lydia it did not mean her. Not sure who it is for but, hey, the kid has his own room, he will decide!


Sidebar: This is my 100th post!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Natural Habitat

Today we met our precious friends for a day at the zoo! One part of the zoo is divided into habitats. We were able to discuss adaptations animals have to help them survive in their own habitat. So fun learning!!! We were about to enter another building but realized it was closed due to a school field trip. We circled around it, putting us on a stage with seating around it. Our Lydia began to twirl and dance and called to her friends to join in. My friend said, "Now we are in Lydia's natural habitat." What do you think?




Picture taken at a church event. Can you guess which one is our Lydia?

Friday, August 28, 2009

'Ode to Second Grade


Second Grade Oh, what a gift you have brought!
We did survive Kindergarten, who would have thought!

Those days were so long, as I danced to entertain
Only to hear the letter sounds correctly proclaimed.

We shot water guns at vowels and made graphs about bears
Oh, that he would just give a care!

No desire to learn, "I can't!" He'd proclaim.
When all I wanted was to just stay sane!

Oh but Second Grade, you were worth the wait!
When the boy showed up ready to participate.

The work before him, easy as pie!
For he had earned the admiration of someone more significant than I.

Math, "this is easy" and reading, "I enjoy," for finally the boy learned
that he drives the learning convoy.

He knows he can do it, he has succeeded!
So proud of his accomplishments- Second Grade, I needed!

You see, sister's in Kindergarten,
Here we go again!

But at least this time, I have a friend.
Cheering to the finish, lending a hand,

Oh thank you God for my second grade man!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dear 22 month old Blake,


Dear Baby Blake,
Tonight, I watched you clean your brother and sister's room. You spotted my doing so and joined in, putting things in their proper places. I left the room, but you did not stop until the Little People toys were in their place. You picked up dirty clothes to place in a drawer until I told you they were dirty, then you turned to the hamper in the closet. The big kids were preparing for bed, each in a bathroom, they did not see you, but I did.

As they got into their beds Lydia requested water. I assured her I would get it but you left the room to retrieve an empty cup and brought it to her. We continued to read and pray together when you left and returned again with an empty sports bottle assuming Clay would need a drink too. When Clay suggested cough syrup instead you accompanied me to the kitchen. You waited as I prepared a tiny cup. Then reached for it to make your delivery. I walked away with the medication-you will understand this as you get older. You were heartbroken that I had not allowed you to carry it. In fact, you got a chair and fished through the drawer to find your own tiny medicine cup so you too could care for Clay. The kids did not see your love for them , but I did.

There will be days, as you grow, that I will not see either. Someone is effected by the decisions you make, the care you give or not, a simple action that others may never know about but your Heavenly Father will see.

Dear God thank you for the love that Blake has for her brother and sister and please God, continue to grow the heart of a servant in her. Thank you for keeping your arm around her and loving her far more then I will ever be capable of. In your name, Amen.