Sunday, November 29, 2009

My momentous morning

I felt compelled to write about today. More specifically, this morning Sunday, November 29th, 2009 at our house.

Even more specifically, what occurred from 8:35am to 8:45am this morning.


As in full blown home alone!

Except this was on purpose and I didn't get all the way to France before I noticed they weren't with me.

Yup, I ventured out to our neighborhood gas station to get a couple of things.

I bet you are wondering what sort of things...

But if you have known me for any length of time, you know that much of my life revolves around food (and coffee) and totally saw that coming.

(FYI, the gas station also houses a Church's Chicken and is adjacent to a tatoo parlor that also does teeth whitening and a donut shop. I had to tell you because it's funny.)

For those that haven't reached the "leave my kids alone for a second" stage, here are some details that might put your worrying heart at ease (ahem, mom and dad/grandma and grandpa!).

My boys are 10 and 8. We have 2 dogs, our property is gated, we have an alarm and fire detection system and we live a bit in the country. Having said that, I don't think I would venture much further than the gas station that is 1/2 mile down the road. At least not yet. While the law is that you can't leave children alone in the car unless they are 14 years old or have a sibling that has reached that age accompanying them in said vehicle, apparently there is no minimum age for leaving them at home. I also required them to stay inside the house and only answer the phone if David or I called.

Wow, all that for milk and donuts?!

My boys thought it was totally worth it. And for me, it was a first step towards training them to be independent.

Who am I kidding? It was a first step towards training ME to LET them be independent!

How old were your children when you first ventured out with them at home? Did you have any special rules? Did you venture very far?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa's house

We are spending Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It's a very delicious place to be.

My mother-in-law is a fabulous cook and my only contribution to Thanksgiving dinner is... a pumpkin pie.

I'm not kidding. One measly pie.

And she is providing all the ingredients.

(I know, I know... how blessed am I?! Try not to be too jealous.)

Besides talking, laughing and just being together, there is a lot of eating going on around here. At least by me.

Want to see what I've been looking at for much of the day?

(mini pecan pie tartlets)

(peanut butter cup cookies)

There is something else that has been going on around here.

Something that forces me to question whether or not my children were switched at birth.

Perhaps I brought these goofy guys home by mistake?

They think this is FUN?

And yet picking up sticks or other chores around the house are simply torturous.

Go figure. Weirdos. They must be homeschooled and completely unsocialized.

Meanwhile, David and I have determined that grandma and grandpa will be getting not one, but two new scales for Christmas. Because those numbers just can't be right...

What is your day looking like so far?

Friday, November 20, 2009

The best ideas

When I get together with my sister Coco, the brilliant ideas we come up with astound me.

Take tonight's creation, for example. It is simply divine.

Start with one bottle Caramel Sauce from Starbucks. It is buttery decadence in a bottle.

See? It even says so on the bottle... "Sweet. Decadent. Buttery."

I would not lie about such things.

Add Oreo cookies.

You could go generic, but why not go for the gusto?

Since we're trying to teach the cute fuzzy girl in the first picture to not suck on her fingers anymore, resist the urge to eat the caramel by itself-- at least in her presence.

If the aforementioned cutie-patootie girl sees you anyway and asks what you are doing, you have two choices. You can lie. Or you can bribe her to not tell anyone else in the house.

Because then we might have to share.

Emily really likes caramel. But not as much as she likes to suck her fingers.

(I held back a little with that cookie up there. I don't want y'all to think I'm a piggy.)


Dorking out on our laptops and creating magical recipes is the perfect way to spend an evening with my big sister.

How do you spend your evenings when visiting family?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

what a great day

I wonder if I would show my true lameness if I gushed about how great today was?

I thought these girls were pretty awesome through my virtual stalking over the years, but they are even more beautiful, hilarious, smart and fun in person! Eeeeeeee!!! Look who came to visit my sister and I today!

It's Coco! And me! And Gayle! And Susan! And Leanne! And Emily!

Together in one place, y'all.

We ate and laughed and talked and time went by way too fast. Do you think 30-something (and a young 40-something) is too old to have a slumber party?

I am so blessed to have such great friends and even more blessed to have been able to hug them in person. When I started blogging in 2005, I never would have thought that the internet could be full of such goodness.

I like them. I like them a lot.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Heart Faces: Autumn Beauty

This week's challenge is on Autumn Beauty.

Where do I see beauty? In the smiles and laughter of my family!

We are visiting my baby sister in California right now. The trees are gorgeous, the persimmons are ripe, and the kids are super dorks. I guess that's to be expected since the fruit never falls far from the tree!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not what I wished it to be

I had great plans for a Happy Birthday post today, but for some reason firefox kept crashing and photobucket would freeze up. This has been going on for two days!

As I was getting frustrated with it all, God kept impressing upon my heart that I needed to post the following that I've had sitting in my draft folder for the past two weeks. It makes me a little nervous to post it... I don't know why, it just does.

I am praying for all of you that are reading this. I pray that by being obedient in posting something so close to my heart, that someone (maybe YOU) will draw closer to the Lord or come to know Him personally. Because we each make our own personal choice, a choice with eternal consequences.


It was late afternoon. I was nervously pacing in my driveway as the sheriff's department and K-9 units were searching our house and property for my son.

Where is Christian?!

It had been almost an hour (or was it a half hour?) since he was last seen coming into the house. I had never not known where he was or what he was doing. Christian was the type of kid that was right in the thick of things, always by your side, always into something, and usually making a mess or loud enough of a racket where you couldn't ignore him. Even if you tried!

Just thinking about my littlest man being hurt or scared put a knot in my stomach that made me want to be sick.

Oh how I was praying!

Dear God, I KNOW that you know exactly where Christian is. I KNOW that you are able to protect Him. I KNOW that you are able to deliver him to us! I KNOW that you answer prayer. I...

This is where God inserted His voice. Right in the middle of my plea.

And what if my answer is not what you wish it to be?

I was taken aback by the clarity and compassion behind His voice, His words. He was speaking directly to ME. No one else heard Him.

The panic in my heart grew.

Right then, I saw my pastor walking up the driveway towards me. Friends and neighbors were beginning to arrive, armed with flashlights, ready to search. Prayers uttered. Words of compassion, words of encouragement, words of hope.

And what if my answer is not what you wish it to be?

Would I still believe in the omnipotent power of God? Would I still believe that His Word is true? Would I still trust Him, call to Him, worship Him, thank Him, PRAISE HIM?

And what if my answer is not what you wish it to be?

These words haunted my thoughts as the divers and sonar boat arrived on scene. These words echoed when the detective said that they would issue an amber alert after one more sweep of the pond.

And what if my answer is not what you wish it to be?

I couldn't get these words out of my head. I feared to tell anyone... they still seemed hopeful.

But God's answer to my prayer was not what I wished it to be.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
-Romans 8:18

I have wrestled and struggled much these past 444 days. I have cried, doubted, remembered, longed and hoped. I am glad that this is a "present" time, rather than an everlasting time.

Through it all, God has been constant, faithful, true. He has always offered a way of escape when I have been tempted to give up and give in to the slough of despond.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
-I Corinthians 10:13

And what if my answer is not what you wish it to be?

Will YOU turn to Him or from Him? Can you look past this present time and look to eternity?

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
-II Corinthians 4:17-18

And what if my answer is not what you wish it to be?

No matter what your particular trial is, would you still go to Him, cling to Him, trust Him?

If you are unsure, NOW is the time to shore up your faith. NOW is the time to immerse yourself in God's Word, to study, to learn, to grow, to hide His words in your heart. Don't put it off any longer!

And if you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, then there is no better time than RIGHT NOW!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pressing On

Christian's birthday is this Thursday. He would be 5 years old.

As we started this new school year, I have often wondered where he would be in our lessons right about now. I am pretty sure we would've made this year his Kindergarten year.

We had already been working on letter sounds and recognition, so this year would've been spent tying those sounds and letters together with reading. When our kids finish their Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, they are rewarded with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, their very own wallet and a library card. Oh, you also have to learn to write your name before you get these rewards. :) But then again, he always did things in his own special way so I'm sure he would've required some other method of teaching!

Sometimes I'm sad when I think about these things. Other times I smile thinking about how he would most likely be advanced and super smart for his age (of course!).

When we would go to Austin and Noah's soccer games, Christian loved kicking the ball around with David. We were all excited about Christian starting soccer that season! When we go to the fields now and look at the other little kids running around, we imagine Christian running circles around his opponents and celebrating many a goal (even if they don't technically keep score at that age).

Look at his great form!

Or perhaps he'd be losing his temper when someone takes the ball away from him. Man, did he have a temper! And yet you never got mad at him... it just somehow made you laugh. I'm sure that had a way of frustrating him even more.

But we just couldn't help it.

Today, I am just in a remembering kind of mood-- and with each thought and memory, the emotions are always double sided. Joy for having the gift of those moments mixed with sadness for unfulfilled dreams. Perhaps that is why the death of a child is so difficult. We mourn not only the loss of the presence of Christian, but we mourn the loss of the dreams we had for him as well.

I don't want everyone to feel pity for me and my family. Yes, we still covet your prayers, but... well... it's just that God has given grace in our journey. It doesn't mean we don't hurt, cry, grieve and throw an occasional fit. It doesn't mean that we don't need and appreciate the acknowledgement that Christian is missed by others, that we must surely be hurting, that no one has forgotten him. It just means that we go through all of these things with hope. The hope and assurance that only comes by focusing on the sacrifice that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made on the cross of Calvary!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Because when I focus on the Cross, I am reminded of what matters most. When I focus on the Cross, I stop feeling sorry for myself and can be thankful! When I focus on the Cross, I am reminded that Jesus innocently endured much for a guilty wretch like me (and you) and that God understands what it is like to be separated from His beloved Son. When I focus on the Cross, I am reminded that God has given us a purpose in this life-- to live for Him and to tell others about Jesus so we can have ETERNAL LIFE. No matter how long or short our life here on earth might be.

It gives me a real JOY in my heart to look at the things "which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor 4:18).

I am sure that some may wrongly think that I am a super-Christian or even whacko. I am neither.

I am just going through God's school, trusting His faithfulness in times of crisis, and pressing on.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Seeing God's Glory

This morning I walked out the back door and held my breath.

It was as if God's fingers were reaching down to me, almost touching me.

"Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"

God does not expect me to always understand His ways.

He just expects me to believe.

I believe the Holy Bible to be the infallible word of God. I believe His ways are higher than my ways. I believe He has a plan for my life and for my death. And I believe He has a plan for Christian's.

One day I will SEE the glory of God in ALL of it.

Do you believe? Can you see God in your everyday? Can others see Him in you?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This photo was taken when Noah was 5yo, Christian was 2yo and Austin was 7yo. I remember looking at them and laughing, thinking about how big they were!

They were loud, rambunctious wrastlers.

Do you know what's even better than just looking at that picture up there?

Being able to see and hear that everyday moment in our house!

Thank you, dear Lord for blessing me with these memories that I can replay, savor and smile over.

I treasure the gift.

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.

(If you are getting this in your feed reader or email, click through to the post to see the video clip.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Proper care and folding of towels

As mothers and keepers of our home, there are two great lessons that we must pass down to our children.

The first lesson is to never judge a towel by its cover.

Take Old Blue here, for example.

Old Blue is a faithful and favorite friend of mine. Sure he's a little frayed around the edges and has a few superficial wounds from battling bleach, but he's juuuuust right, Goldilocks. Not too soft, not too fluffy, not too heavy and soaks up the water like a champ!

The second lesson that we can teach our children is the proper folding of towels.

I daresay that this lesson could be most critical for sons. What wife wouldn't be impressed with a gift of properly laundered and folded (and put away) towels? And if that towel were unfolded, heated in the dryer and presented upon exiting the shower on a cold winter morning, even better!

(Hey baby, are you reading this? It will be winter soon...)


I can't believe I am showing you the age spots.


Because manners count.


I think Old Blue needs a trim. I am a neglectful towel-dresser.


Try to make sure the edges stay aligned.


See? Even Old Blue has a "good" side. My good side for photos is my right side. Do you know what your good side is?

Ahhhh... a job well done, if I do say so myself.

Do you fold towels this way too? Or a different way?

If you do a different way, I bet you put your toilet paper under instead of over, don't you? Or perhaps *gasp* you don't even care!

I don't even know what to say about that.

PS Do you feel like I was yelling the directions at you?