Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Time of Peace

One of my best friends, gave birth last Friday, Dec. 19, to a baby girl. On Christmas Eve, we got word that the baby was diagnosed with some sort of a terminal disease. They don't expect her to live but a few short days.
I didn't sleep much that night as my thoughts and prayers have been with my friend and her family. I cannot imagine what they are going through.
Today, I saw this friend's mom, Carla, in church. Carla is another one of my best friends. I saw God today in Carla. I don't know that I have ever seen anyone exude the Peace of God that passes all understanding than I saw in Carla today. She was at total peace. She is also a walking testimony of God's amazing Grace. I am moved once again as I write these words as I picture Carla in my mind.
As we approach this new year, I fear that we are in for some tough days ahead. If you listen to any kind of news, you know it isn't good. Where do we turn when times get tough? What do we hold onto? I want Carla's peace. And that peace comes from the Rock that is sure and strong, and unmovable. That Rock is Christ.
"Like a river glorious is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest;
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest."
My New Year's Prayer for You:
"Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means.
The Lord be with you all." ~2 Thess. 3:16
Have a Very Blessed New Year!!
And PLEASE remember to keep Carla and her family in your prayers.

Back to the Blog...

I did not intend on taking a break from blogging. Time just seemed to get away from me, as it always does this time of year. There seems to be so much going on and between school and church activities, plus family and friends, it seems like we go non-stop!
We had a very nice Christmas. My parents come over for Christmas Eve. We enjoy lots of little snack foods and cookies. Christmas Day we go out to breakfast with my parents as we have done for the past 10 years. Then back home for presents with the kids and later, over to mom and dad's for dinner and more presents. It was low-key and nice and relaxing.
This week, in addition to New Years, we celebrate two birthdays in our house. Today is our youngest son, Jacob's 16 birthday. Wednesday, our oldest son, Joshua, will turn 23.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Feeling

Today it is COLD with blowing snow! This kind of weather makes me feel so Christmasy! (is that a word?) I think we finally got the house decorated. It took a bit longer this year because I've changed so much around. It was a fun challenge, though.
This is the hutch in my kitchen. All decorated with treasures...a few new ones but some old and very treasured things too.
Sunday was the start of our "Christmas Concerts". With all the kids being in different schools, we make our rounds to attend all their concerts. This year we have three on the calendar. Josh's was Sunday...a Christmas celebration entirely in German. Un
fortunately we had to miss it thanks to a back/hip problem I've been experiencing. Tonight is Emily's and next week is Jacob's. They are always alot of fun and have always been a part of our Christmas experience.





Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Outside The House



Yesterday afternoon, Cliff & I finished up the decorating on our front porch. We did it a little different this year and I absolutely love it!


The Norman Rockwell picture is a fabric panel I bought years ago and embellished with gold and silver glitter fabric paints. I've used it for at least 13 years and it has held up surprisingly well! I just love vintage looking Christmas decorations.








Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snow and Three Trees!

Yesterday we woke up to gray skies and snow falling. It fell steady all day long, although none of it really stuck to the ground. It continued on through the night and this was the scene we woke to this morning. Not enough snow to cause driving problems or shoveling but just enough to make it feel all wintery and give you a good dose of a Christmas spirit!! I managed to get my trees up and decorated over the weekend. This tree is in my dining room. It started with a collection of acrylic ornaments Josh & Amy gave me one year. They were getting lost on the big tree so I wanted them to be "showcased" on their own tree. Over the years I have added delicate, glass, and glittery ornaments to this tree.
The "big" tree I had used for the last 11 years was given to me by my mom. I think she used it almost 10 years. It was a great tree but the last couple years, it had faded and was losing alot of it's branches. Every year when I took it down, I vowed it would be the last year for that tree...until I priced replacement trees and instead of spending money on a new tree, I'd take it back out and put it up again. New trees are expensive!! A month or so ago, on a routine hunt through Goodwill, I came across a Christmas tree that looked fairly new. Since the packaging was the same as my other tree, I knew the quality of the tree would be good. I bought it without seeing it. I lugged that HUGE box out of the store and somehow got it in my car. Brought it home, put it together this weekend and I LOVE IT!!!! The best part was the price.....$19.95!!!!!!!!! This tree holds my huge ornament collection.

2 years ago, I bought Emily her own little tree to put up. Last year, Amy bought a collection of Disney themed ornaments from Hallmark. We decided to gather up all the ornaments that had a Disney theme and put them together on another tree instead of Emily's little tree. I pulled out Josh's Mickey Mouse hat we bought him on a trip to Disney 16 years ago to use as the topper.








Monday, November 24, 2008

Continuing On

Within two weeks of that first date on May 1, 1983, I knew I would marry Cliff. We spent every moment we could together over the course of those first 5 months. By the fall of that year, Cliff's ship was repaired and preparing to leave the Brooklyn ship yard and head back to Jacksonville, FL (its home port). I was so devastated!! I could not imagine him not being around for Christmas!! The night he left for Jacksonville, I cried like I never cried before. It literally felt like my heart was broken in two. He wasn't able to get leave for Christmas so he came in January. It was during this leave that he took my dad out for the famous steak dinner and formally asked if he could marry me. We went ring shopping that weekend!! We weren't able to set a wedding date, however, because if you recall, one of the "hot spots" at the time was Libia and there was a distinct possibility Cliff could get sent over there. I was almost 19 at the time and I'd never been away from home. My parents didn't want me to get married, move to Jacksonville, and then have Cliff be gone for a year.


By May, things had settled down and we were able to set a wedding date.
November 24, 1984... 24 years ago today. Through the years we have weathered our share of storms. We have had our share of ups and downs just like every other couple out there. But we have stayed together. God has blessed us with 4 children who we are so very proud of. It's not always been an easy life but its been a good life...one that I hope continues on for another 24.



24 years ago, we looked forward to babies and building a home. These days we look forward to grandchildren and making our home even stronger. We are a good team. We balance each other well. Today, the phrase, "God Is Good" is continually running through my mind.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Beginnings

It was May, 1983. I had a Junior-Senior banquet coming up (private school's prom alternative). Some friends of mine, Michael, Suzanne & Margaret were encouraging me to ask this new guy at church to go. His name was Cliff. I wasn't very interested. Unknown to me, they arranged for Cliff to ask me to go to Friendlie's for some ice cream, along with Michael & Suzanne. I agreed and I had a GREAT time! I was so comfortable with Cliff!!
About a week or two later, I asked him to go to that Junior-Senior banquet. At the same time I met Cliff, my sister asked his friend, Hank, to go to the same banquet with her. We also had another couple going with us as well. The night of the banquet, we girls got ready at our house while the guys met up at Michael & Suzanne's (they lived just down the street). My grandparents and Aunt Roxie were also visiting from Kansas so there was so much excitement in our house that night. As Elizabeth & I were waiting for the guys to come pick us up, we looked down the street and what do you think we saw?? Cliff & Hank, in all of their excitement, were doing drill marching in their Navy uniforms in the street!! Everyone in our house screamed & laughed!! There was only one bad thing about that night. I HATED my dress!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Tune in next week for another installment!!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thankful

My Top Ten List of Things I'm Thankful For:

1 - My relationship with God that gives me peace, comfort,direction, security, forgiveness and grace...(to name a few!)
2 - My husband - who has honored his wedding vows for almost 24 years and gives me the freedom to be me. Cliff works so hard each week to provide for us. Cliff is a very kind man and has been a good father to our children.
3 - My four children - each one is so different and unique and each one blesses me in their own individual way.
4 - My parents - who I am so blessed to live so close to and who are in good health. They are godly examples to our family and wonderful grandparents to my kids. They have been there for us countless times through the years.
5 - My siblings & their families - I have a great friendship with both my brother and sister and their respective spouses (yes, Paul, even you :-) I love my neices and nephews and wish I could be more of a part of their lives.
6 - My church - I feel so honored to not only work for our church but to worship with this body of believers each week.
7 - My extended family - There are so many spread all over the country. I wish we were able to gather together more often!
8 - My friends - Some of the best! Who are so hospitable and show such kindness to Cliff & I. More than any other time in my life do I count myself to be so rich by the good, good friends that I have.
9 - My country - No, we are not perfect, but we are free! May God continue to preserve the freedoms we enjoy!!
10 - My pets - I know this may seem kind of silly but I have to tell you, they are such a comfort to me!! I just love each and every one of them :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Operation Christmas Child

For several years, I have participated in "Operation Christmas Child", sponsored by Samaritan's Purse. This ministry is run by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham.
All you do, is fill a shoebox with gifts that will be sent to children various countries around the world. I am always moved when I see videos of these children receiving these shoeboxes. They are so thankful. To think, their entire Christmas is wrapped up in that little shoebox!! It is such a great thing to get kids involved in. In our country where we take so much for granted, it's such a lesson in gratitude and sharing to have them fill a box.
If you want more info, you can visit the Samritan's Purse website here. If you are someone who attends church with me, all the info is at church and you can drop off filled shoeboxes there also.
It's a wonderful, practical way that God's love is spread across the globe.

Snow Flurries

It is cold and blustery today. And we had our first snow flurries!! Tomorrow the weather man says it will be 60!! No wonder everyone is coughing and sniffling!!
My oldest daughter, Amy, is moving back home tomorrow. She has come to the realization that she is not where God wants her to be. She thought she wanted to be an elementary school teacher. She's going to take a semester off of school and try to find out what God wants of her life. It's going to be a bit of an adjustment for everyone around here. Cliff, I, and the two kids still at home have a routine going that works very well for all of us. All in all, though, I will be glad to have her home and I'm excited for her.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving On My Mind

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. When we were kids, my mom would cook and bake for days it seemed. She would bake cookies and make fudge and snacks. And on Thanksgiving our house would always be full of people.
We would share the dinner and the afternoon would be filled with games and classic movies like the classic "King King" or Oliver and Hardy's "March of the Wooden Soldiers." One year, mom gave us an early Christmas present, A Monopoly Game. Can I tell you how exciting that was?




We still go to my mom and dad's for Thanksgiving. These days, though, its just Cliff and I and our kids and my parents. The house is still full of family but it's a little lower key. If you know my mom, you know we still play games. She LOVES board games and she LOVES playing them. These days, I am the parent, hoping my kids will come home and share Thanksgiving with us. I have been fortunate so far!!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another Piano Video

Another video of my Aunt was uploaded to Youtube.
Enjoy!!
"Jesus Is All The World To Me"


Winter Arrives


Winter weather has blown in here in the mid-west! I'm kind of hoping we get one more spell of moderate temperatures before the frigid cold sets in!! All the trees are bare thanks to cold gusty wind. The bare trees and the cloudy skies make it look real wintery around here!!


It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We have foods that have almost become traditions to our Thanksgiving. For example, I always make Pecan Pie for my dad. We also always have a cheesy broccoli casserole, turkey (of course), and an alternate meat choice (I don't eat turkey). Last year, I made tons of Chex Mix for snacking on in the afternoon. My mom always makes what we call "Eagle Brand" pie (it's a concoction of cream cheese, Eagle Brand, and lemon juice) it's very, very rich and very, very good!!


So what are your "must have" Thanksgiving foods?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Aunt Roxie

It came to my attention today that this video is up on youtube.
It's of my Aunt Roxie playing her own arrangement of "Love Lifted Me."
One of my favorites!


Country Drive on a Fall Day

Today I did something I have wanted to do for years but never made the time.
I drove down a back-road in our little town with my camera.
Here's some of what I saw on this gorgeous fall day!!











Saturday, November 1, 2008

Beautiful Weather & Under the Weather

Every year at this time, Cliff gets a cold and congestion in his chest. We always have to watch him & make sure he's coughing because once it turned into pneumonia and he was close to having to be hospitalized. He's getting better but being the generous man that he is, I now have a cold. I'm sitting here all shivery and congested with a nice dull headache. I think in a bit I'm going to go have some hot tea. I am NOT a hot beverage drinker. I wish so much I liked coffee because it always smells so good. I don't drink hot tea or cocoa either but today, something warm may get rid of the chills!
In other health news, my dad is doing much better. It's so good to see him up and around and more like his old self again.
We had a blast of cold weather this past week. Two nights it was down in the 30's and one night it went down to 25!! I had to reluctantly turn on the heat to get rid of the chill in the house. I'm not looking forward to the heat bills!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Those Wonderful E-M ails

Do you know the opportunities that are available to me through my email inbox??
Why, I could have a career with google, craigs list, or processing rebates.
I've also been offered thousands upon thousands of dollars with which I can get an education or refinance my house!!
Did you know that there are miracle drugs that can help me lose weight, sleep better, deal with depression and anxiety, or quit smoking? Yep, those drugs are available everytime I check the emails.
And the best one of all......my perfect mate is just one click away!!
Oh my....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Freedom Isn't Free




I remember some time during the 80's, a war or gun ship of our country's was bombed and several of our servicemen were killed. I remember watching that memorial service on TV. I watched as the families sat there in their grief. At the conclusion of that service, our president at the time, Ronald Reagan made his way through the rows and spoke to each family of those service people. As Reagan and his wife Nancy made their way through that crowd, they offered up so much support and encouragement. You could literally see which families they had talked to because there seemed to be a general sense of comfort...so much so that even the news people covering the event pointed it out.

Yesterday I heard a quote of Ronald Reagan's that I've never heard before:

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what is was once like in the United States where men were free." Ronald Reagan

May God bless America and preserve our freedoms.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Manly Man

My Dad is a man of his generation. By that, I mean he is a "manly man." He doesn't do dishes (unless my mom is out of town), he doesn't cook or do laundry or any other household chore for that matter. But that's just fine with my mom. She's a woman of her generation also. She's the keeper of the home. Their household roles have always been very clearly defined. It was great growing up that way. My mom was the nurturer and so much fun. She's always posessed the ability to make the mundane special.
As a "manly man" sickness rarely got my dad down. In his time, you "shook it off" and kept on going. You didn't give into sickness or injury. As a child, therefore, my perception of my dad was one of strength. Steady Eddie...that's my dad.
About a month ago, he came down with some sort of a viral infection that has literally knocked him off his feet. For the first week, he was really sick. Finally, the fever ended but this thing has just seemed to linger on and sap him of strength and stamina. It's been a little hard seeing him physically weak because he's dad....he's strong!!
Our church has been in constant prayer for him. If you think of it, could you say a prayer on his behalf? I know he and our family would appreciate it.

One Cute Kitty

This is my little Missy. I've had her for about 8 years.
Although crazy, she's a little sweetheart.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thanking Those Who Minister

A Special thank you to my minister who also happens to be my dad.



A Pastor's Heart



A well spoken message stirs a heart to rejoice
There is nothing like a strong, resilient voice
But when sorrow comes, there is no better gift to impart
Then the gift of a caring, pastor's heart


A loving touch or a kind word
A moment of counsel from God's holy word
A telephone call--after you just heard..,
Is the gift of our pastor's heart.


Lord, bless this pastor in each new day
Bless his ministry along the way
For fame and fortune can never impart
The precious gift of a caring pastor's heart


Just a servant of Christ and at times a dear friend
With a desire to love GodTo the very end
Tending his flock in the Savior's way
Is the gift of a pastor's heart


Striving to liveas an apostle of Christ
Serving his father giving Godly advice!
Preaching and teaching and sharing the Word
Is the gift of a caring pastor's heart.


Sandra L. Adams, Copyright 2000



October is Clergy Appreciation Month.
Don't forget to thank those who Minister.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Is Here!!

Woo Hoo!! We're finally coming into some cool fall weather. The leaves are starting to change and fall off the trees. This is my favorite time of year!!
Tomorrow, Emily has a choir concert up at the high school. For dinner, I'll be putting on the crock pot full of Taco Soup which will be all nice and hot by the time we get home!!! Ooooh, I almost can't wait!! My friend, Karen, introduced me to this soup and its become a quick favorite of ours! I almost prefer it to chili. The recipe is as follows:
TACO SOUP
1 pound ground beef; browned and drained
1 envelope taco seasoning
1-1/2 cups water
1 can (15-3/4 ounces) black beans, drained
1 can (15-3/4 ounces) kidney beans, drained
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
Combine everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
Top each bowl with grated cheese and sour cream if desired and serve with Fritos or Torilla chips.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall Arrangements

When I received this hutch, one of the things I knew I wanted to do with it was to decorate it seasonally. However, I have been in a serious creative slump!
The other day, my mom and I were browsing through a home decor/gift shop that is gorgeously decorated. Of course, everything in there is pretty pricey but we did come out of there with lots of ideas. So motivated by this rush of inspiration, I sent Emily into the
attic to find the box of "Fall Stuff." I had so much fun arranging and re-arraging my shelves and I'm quite pleased with the results. Now all we need is a good shot of cold air again!!



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Recipe



Sour Cream Apple Pie
1 c. sour cream
1 c. sugar
3 T. flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
4 c. apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 (9-in.) unbaked pie crust
Beat together sour cream, sugar, flour salt, vanilla, and egg. Add apples. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.
*Meanwhile, mix together 1/2 c. packed brown sugar, 1/2 c. flour and 1/4 c. butter. Sprinkle on top and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
I wasn't sure how to tell it was done so I baked it the full 40 minutes. The pie will be a bit jiggly when you take it out but it firms up as it cools.
Enjoy!!

A New (Old) Pie

Another bushel basket of apples from my mom's apple tree sat on my counter waiting to be used. I made another batch of applesauce and as I'm peeling and coring apples, Cliff said, "Boy, I'd like some more apple pie!"
I decided to go with a Dutch Apple pie this time around. Fall is definately in the air and the thought of cinnamon and apples wafting through the air appealed to me. I began a search for a Dutch Apple Pie recipe, found a couple and turned to the last little recipe book in my kitchen. Actually, this little book is Amy's. It's called, "Grandma's Favorite Recipes" and it was a gift to her from my mom. As I was browsing for the pie recipe, I came across another recipe for Sour Cream Apple Pie. I had all the ingredients on hand so I decided to give it a try.
I can't even begin to tell you how delicious this pie was! It tastes like the apple dip you make with cream cheese and brown sugar, and a carmel apple all mixed up in a pie. Simply delicious!! Both Cliff and I raved all night about that delicious pie!! In fact, I may have to go do some more apple picking to make another one (or two!!)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Housekeeping

You know, I actually enjoy housework. I do, I really do enjoy cleaning my house. I do NOT, however, like picking up items others have left behind so I can get to the actual cleaning!

One chore I find rather relaxing is doing dishes. I do not have a dishwasher so everything gets washed the old-fashioned way. Standing there with my hands in warm, sudsy water has sort of a calming effect on me and I feel like I have really accomplished something when I leave a nice clean kitchen. I also like doing laundry.
I just love the smell of clean clothes and I kind of like folding.

Two chores that aren't my favorite? Making beds. I constantly work at making my bed a habit. I love getting into a well-made bed so I try to use that as motivation. My other least favorite? Cleaning the oven and fridge.

So what about you? What are your favorites and least favorites??

These Economic Times



We have absolutely been flooded with economic news and forcasts. To be honest, I'm not at all surprised because at some point, it seems to me that all this debt has to catch up with us. I'm not a financial expert nor would I ever claim to be but it seems to me that at the bottom line of this most recent "economic crisis" is debt. People making purchases on credit with payments they cannot afford to pay. At some point, something has to give. Personally, I was not in favor of the "bailout" plan especially when details come to light of all the various legislations attached to it. Sometimes in these kinds of situations, I wonder, "what can I do?" I cannot change the economy, Wall Street or Washington. What I can change, however, is myself.
This month, I decided to get serious about our family budget again. We have to! I've looked for more corners to cut...trying to shave here and there and get ourselves in a better financial position.

A Thought on Patriotism

I believe in America. I believe it became great because of its faith in God, its hope for independence and its love for freedom. I am grateful for America's glorious past: I am awed by its unbelievable present; I am confident of its limitless future. I am not ashamed to take my hat off and to stand at attention when Old Glory passes by. I do not apologize for the lump in my throat when I repeat the Pledge of Allegiance. I am not embarrassed by the tears in my eyes when I hear "The Star Spangled Banner." Like millions of Americans, I want a free choice, not a free handout. I prefer an opportunity to prove my abilities on the job rather than a license to demonstrate my frustrations in the street. I am an old-fashioned American with a new-found determination to do my part to make Democracy work. -William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Rug Story

I love watching decorating shows. I'm always looking for ideas on how to arrange things and make things more comfortable in my home. My favorite shows are the ones that redecorate with stuff people already have - no-cost decorating! Then there's one where the budget is $500 and one where the budget is $1000...for one room. With $500, I could do several rooms and with $1000, I'm fairly certain I could decorate my entire house!

One way a lot of these decorators stretch their dollars is to go second-hand. I see them quite often put down an area rug that they've found at garage sales or thrift stores for not a lot of money. I always wonder why can't I ever find those rugs??
Until last week......

Under a clothing rack in Goodwill, I found a gem. A large-sized area rug in wonderful condition. I unrolled and rerolled (like a scroll) to find out where the damage was and to my surprise found none. The best part?? The rug was a grand total of $7.50!!!!! That's right...I said Seven dollars and Fifty cents!!!!!!!
Want to see it??????
My little dog, Jack decided to get in on the picture too!
Thanks for sharing my excitement today!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I don't know about you but I feel inundated on every side by bad news! The economical, political, and global forcasts are not encouraging. If I let it, all this bad news and the pessimistic outlooks could really do a number on me.
This morning, this verse keeps going through my head:
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God."
Psalm 20:7 (ESV)
This is where my hope lies....in the Name of the Lord my God.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Apples

My parents have an apple tree in their back yard, and this year, it is fully loaded with apples.
Today, some of those apples found their way into my kitchen and became applesauce and an apple pie. It smelled so good and fall-like!! And they tasted just as good!!
On a side note, I am cautiously optimistic that all our plumbing problems are finally solved! We ended up having to stay at my parent's on Saturday night. By Sunday, we were back in business! We've had a long run at plumbing issues and hopefully we're at the end of them!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Breath of Fresh Air

With the on-set of Fall, I seem to get a renewed sense of energy. It's like a breath of fresh air after the hot, dry, muggy air of summer. It's a time to give my house another good cleaning; to sweep out all the corners and clear out stuff that's gotten piled up under other stuff! It's also a time to get the yard, the house and our wardrobes ready for the long, cold months of winter that will be here before we know it.

This past week, it seems as if God has done a sort of "Fall Cleaning" within me. He's had to sweep out some corners and take me to task on some things that needed some attention. It's been a reflective, convicting week and one that I'm glad God has taken me through. I'm so thankful He cares enough about me to prepare me for the journey that lies ahead of me.

God has been doing some amazing things in my life, my home and in my church. I wish I could go into more detail. But, all you have to do is to keep an eye out for the brilliant colors of fall to catch a very small glimpse of his amazing greatness.

As I sit and write this post today, I am reminded of one of my favorite songs we always sang at our Thanksgiving services when I was a kid.

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sigh of Relief

Plumbing is fixed!! It wasn't the big repair they originally thought...the big repair that was going to dig up half my yard! Turns out it was just one incredibly long clogged pipe! As I write this post tonight, all the dishes are done, laundry is done...closets and drawers are full of fresh, clean clothes and the beds are all made up with fresh sheets. It's a great feeling!
Fall is in the air here in KC. After the heavy rain this weekend, things have dramatically cooled off. It's heavenly and refreshing. I've had the windows open and my house smells like the crisp, cool, clean air of Autumn. This sense of fall makes me want to go bake a pumpkin pie!!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quite A Crazy Weekend!

Amy drove home this past weekend in the middle of heavy rain forcasts. She had just pulled off the exit, hit some oil mixed with water and rear-ended another car. (This was her first fender-bender!) After getting through all that goes along with fender-benders, she met Cliff up at the local Wal-Mart just as a tornado touched down just a few miles away. They shut the store down and they were there for 45 minutes until the all-clear was given!! This is still only Friday evening!!
Saturday, the kitchen sink and toilet decided to back up. Our plumber seems to think we have a collapsed pipe in our main line. Meanwhile, Cliff needs to take Amy's car up to a body shop and at the same time, I'm trying to prepare a dinner to share with my parents for Emily's birthday celebration. ARRGH!!!!!!!! Too much all going on at the same time!! We finally got everything done and Cliff & Amy walked in just as we said the prayer for dinner. Emily got some very nice gifts...the sweetest of which came from her brother who, after starting a new job, had some money of his own and chose gifts he knew she'd love.
Sunday, Cliff had to run around trying to get Amy's headlight fixed up enough for her to drive back to school. He had to do all this before church because right after church he had to referee two football games. As soon as church was out, Cliff & Jacob headed off to work as the girls and I headed to lunch with my parents. We then came home where Amy loaded up another car full of stuff during which our two dogs ran off! Those dumb dogs haven't run off for over a year!! Why this weekend?? We finally found them almost a mile down the road after 20 minutes of driving around the neighborhood!!!!! Amy took off and got back to school without anymore excitement. Cliff came in from his games, changed clothes and headed back to church for a meeting. Emily went over to my mom's for the evening. Jacob was still at work. I stayed home....alone...and breathed a very big sigh of relief!! And then headed upstairs and started cleaning up Emily's new room. It was very therapeutic!!
After all that, I have to say that comparatively, I really have no problems. There is a girl in our church who was 6 1/2 months pregnant. She started having trouble breathing and upon examination, found a mass on her uterus. Meanwhile the baby wasn't due until Nov. but they had to go ahead and deliver him about 2 weeks or so ago. He's doing very well. She, however, is not. The mass turned out to be cancerous and was the size of a basketball. During the surgery, they found it had spread and as recently as last week, they are thinking it is also in her colon. Please remember this girl as well as her family in your prayers. In addition to the baby, she also has 2 young children. God is a God of miracles and our prayers are not in vain.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Show & Tell Friday

A friend of ours inherited his dad's house. His intention was to fix it up and sell it. As they grew closer to the sell date, he asked if I'd like this china cabinet in exchange for Cliff doing some carpet work for them. At first I thought "no" because frankly I had no idea where I'd put it. After looking at it a little more closely, I thought it might be just the perfect size for my kitchen.
I got it on Monday and it was very dirty. I cleaned it up as best I can (I need to get some more Murphey's Oil Soap) and clean it up some more. I wanted it to be open, so we removed the doors and this is what we were left with. Can I tell you how much I love this little hutch??
















Thanks for visiting my show & tell today. For more or to list your own, head on over to Kelli's at No Place Like Home.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Christmas Surprise

It was Christmas, 1994 and I was tired and busy and for some reason, never had the time to make Christmas cookies that year. For me, I have to have at least one cookie, so the week between Christmas and New Years I baked all my cookies. Two weeks or so later, I noticed I gained 10 pounds!! Now, I know I ate alot of cookies but certainly NOT 10 pounds worth!!! It was Wednesday and as I was heading out to set up for my kids Bible class at church, Cliff said to me, "you gained that weight because you're pregnant, Rebecca." "What?? No I'm not!" I said. Just to prove him wrong, I ran to the drugstore and bought a pregnancy test before heading to the church. Imagine my complete surprise when the test showed "POSITIVE." I called Cliff, "You are Not going to believe this. I'm Pregnant!!"

We were so happy! This was our fourth child and we knew it was going to be our last. We already had 2 boys and a girl and my heart's desire was for another girl. I prayed that God would bless us with a daughter. The day of the sonogram, I fairly skipped to the grocery store where my mom worked to tell her that we were going to have a little girl!

She arrived 13 years ago today. We named her Emily. She brought to our household and to my heart such delight. She was an excellent baby and I knew that God, in His great wisdom, not only blessed me with a girl but a very content baby.

She's been my little buddy all these years. She came to work with me every day and it's always been such a joy to have her around. I just delight in her. She's kind and creative. She's a sweetheart and our lives are all the richer because she's in it.

Out of my four children, I think that she has grown up the fastest!! For some reason it seems like one day she was a
baby and the next she was 5 and running off to school
(she was more than ready to go.) Now today, somehow, she's turned 13. I don't know how that happened. I love this daughter who has such a great attitude and such a spirit of servanthood.



Happy, Happy Birthday, Emily!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Long Busy Day

I have wanted to put a small, open hutch in my kitchen for about a year. I finally got one today. Actually it's a china cabinet but I took the doors off and the center bar out and I'm left with a beautiful open hutch. I LOVE it. I have a few things sitting on it right now but its going to take me a few days to get it where I like it. I also have a white shelf that runs the length of my wall about a foot or two from the ceiling. Those are going to come down. I'm hoping I'll have it all arranged for Show & Tell on Friday.
We also spent some time swapping furniture. There were 2 beds up in the girls room. One is a day bed with a trundle so we took out Emily's bed and she's moving to Amy's day bed. Amy can use the trundle when she comes home. We also moved Amy's dresser down to Jacob's room because it was bigger, and put Emily's bed in his room because it was better quality. There's still a bed and dresser in my dining room waiting to go to the garage but we've all run out of steam.
I'm still not quite used to having only 2 kids around here and not waiting up for someone to come home from work. I've had an extra driver in the house for the past 5 years! It's also weird that both Jacob & Emily have their own rooms. No one has had their own room around here since 1995!!
We've got a busy week ahead around here. We're looking forward to celebrating my baby daughter's 13 birthday at the end of it. How my baby got to be 13 is beyond me!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Politics and Such



The first memory I have of a political nature is watching the states roll call and the nomination for Richard Nixon.
I have made a personal decision to not discuss politics. It is one of those topics that evokes so much emotion in people. And it seems that no matter how long or hot the debate, no one's mind seems to get changed and they walk away with a whole lot of aggrivation!
I must confess that a few elections ago, I did not vote. I felt that my vote did not count and that my choices had been made for me by the press, society, and the powers that be. To be honest, I felt somewhat hopeless about that entire election. I was wrong. Not only is it my civic duty as a citizen of this country but it is also my duty as a Christ follower. I've never looked at it like this before. I was thinking about this the other day; I live my life by a set of convictions and values that I feel God has called me to live by. Cliff's values are very similiar but we do have a few differences. I think the values and convictions from person to person differ...that goes for political candidates as well. Frankly, there is no perfect candidate. So, in looking at the values and convictions that I believe God has called me to live by, I will cast my vote for the candidate who I feel best represents those values.
We need to vote and above all, we need to be much in prayer for our country. As much as our votes DO count, our prayers count all the more!!
**Disclaimer: I have purposely left out any references to specific candidates and parties. This post is NOT intended to evoke political debate and if any comments head in that direction, they will be deleted. Thanks!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Trying to Become a Morning Person!



I'm a Night Owl. I admit it. I love staying up at night. It's been this way since I was a kid. My mom would be telling me to go to bed but I always seemed to be the last one to get there. I just seem to be more productive at night. My poor parents...their room was under mine and on more than one occasion I'd be struck with inspiration at 1 in the morning and decide to give my room a good cleaning, or, heaven forbid, decide to totally rearrange my room all together!!
Back in the days when I only had my oldest two kids, I'd stay up all night on Friday and clean the house from top to bottom. That way I could wake on Saturday to a wonderfully clean house and enjoy a total day of leisure. If I didn't have to get up for school, work, or church, I'd eventually have myself where I'd be up most of the night and sleep through a good part of the day. I was on pace for it through this summer and Cliff's hours didn't help! I'd wait until everyone was in bed and then get on the computer and watch some TV while the night hours ticked by. But now?? ALL HAS CHANGED!!
Cliff used to get home sometimes around 4:30 AM. He now has to GET UP at 4:30. My day starts at 6:00 AM! You cannot stay up half the night and get up, let alone even hear the alarm! These days I have to force myself to not listen to my inner Night Owl and change my ways. This routine has now virtually cut out the time I had been spending on the computer. I have little bits of time here and there but my blogging has suffered!! I'm working on it.
I do, however, kind of like our new schedule. It is still taking some getting used to but its far, far better for our family overall. I can put my night owl to bed for the long winter but I know he'll begin to resurface the closer we get to summer again!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Very Busy Weekend

It all started Saturday morning. Amy had quite a bit of last minute packing to do. It took us a couple hours to finish the packing and then get her car as well as my car loaded. The weather decided to get into the mid-90's and it was hot, hot, hot! When we got to the college and she got all checked in, we three began to unload both cars. I made one trip! Amy and her dad did the rest. Her face was so red by the time they were done! One of her roomates came by and invited her to go to dinner with them so we took
that opportunity to head out to our motel.
I have a cousin in Wichita which is about 30 minutes away from the school. We all met up at her church and had lunch together after. We had such a good time and it was the first chance Josh & Amy got to know Corrie and the first chance I had to get to know her husband. We said our goodbyes at the restaurant and Cliff and I headed home...alone. We actually did OK...until we got home. I made the BIG MISTAKE of going up to her room. Let's just say I had to go out for a little drive to pull myself back together.
Yesterday (Monday) we were so tired! We ran an errand and went to my mom's for dinner which was great because neither one of us wanted to cook anything. Today was actually my first day home alone since Cliff is on day shift, the kids are in school and Amy's on her own. It was kind of nice. I'm doing good now that the separation is behind me.



Friday, August 29, 2008

A Letter To My Daughter


Several years ago, I began writing letters to my children. I usually write them when they go through a major event in their lives, just trying to impart a few words of wisdom to them. I've tucked them into scrapbook pages and I gave Josh one when he left for school. I'm sharing a part of the one I've written to Amy just to give you a glimpse of where my head and my heart are at/have been today.

Dear Amy,
Today is your last day at home. I know you'll be back to visit and may even spend the summer here but it won't ever be the same - you won't be living here - just staying while you visit. Tomorrow begins a new chapter in your life and I'm glad you're excited to begin it. I'm excited for all the new experiences you're going to have. You are ready, Amy. I just don't know how this day came so soon. It seems just like yesterday I heard your dad yell in the delivery room, "It's a girl!" or your first Sunday to go to church and how excited I was to dress you up in a little pink dress and bonnet with lots of ribbon and lace. It seems like just yesterday that you were this tiny 5 year-old so anxious to go to kindergarten and coming home one day wondering what the spots were on your tummy (they were chicken-pox.)




Together we read nursery rhymes, learned to tie shoes, played games, and Barbies. Together we went to church and learned about God. Together we served Him with music. Together we laughed...alot and together we have also cried. Together we had thoughts and dreams of a wedding that will not be and together we will wait for God to bless you with a husband He has formed and fashioned just for you!







Amy, I want you to know that alone, I have been your biggest cheerleader. While you weren't looking, I have been on the sidelines of your life cheering you on. Alone I have waited up night after night for you to come home from work just to know you were safe and OK. I've been in the background, praying for you that you will know God, love Him and serve Him. I've been praying that when faced with choices and decisions, you'll do the right thing. Since the day you were born, Amy, I have always been there and I always will coninue to be!
You are such a joy to me, Amy. I love your outlook on life and your carefree attitudes. You possess a sweet and gentle spirit yet you are strong and independant...
(There's some more to this letter but the rest is just for Amy)
You all have a great weekend and Labor Day. I'll be back Tuesday.