Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

No big party. No noise makers. No loud firecrackers. We spent a nice, quiet evening here at home with Paul's sister and family. They drove in from Brenham for a few hours and as always, had a very good time visiting! When I think of Christ on Earth, I think of this dear, precious family. One time my kids and I were talking about the rapture, and what Heaven will be like. We were talking about how there would be no more sin, and how nice it will be when there's no more selfishness, arguing, anger, etc. and Jamie looks up at me and says, "You know Mom, I don't think Aunt GiGi's going to change very much!" I know she's human, as are Greg and the kids, but I couldn't help but agree with her. Christ is very evident in their lives, and I am thankful for the example they set before us. Greg and Angie, we love you guys!!!!

After they left, I began to fill out my calendar for the upcoming year. I couldn't help but think about the future, and what it will hold. As I would write in a square, I would try to picture that day in my mind, wondering about what would be happening on that particular day.

I like to keep my old calendars from years past, because that's where I keep track of birthday's, anniversaries, special events, etc. and I can go back through them and reminisce. Sometimes it's fun to relive the memories, but sometimes it can be equally as painful.

No matter what lies ahead, these are a few of my goals for 2009:

*That we as a family, and I personally, will grow in grace.

*I pray that we will throw off everything that hinders, not getting distracted by busyness or grow complacent, but will run the race with perseverance.

*I want to learn to hear Jesus' voice more clearly.

*To learn how to slow down and thoroughly enjoy each and every moment with my children, friends and family. Not just make it through another day, but to really live.

*Grow in self-discipline...whether in my eating and exercise habits, or in my Bible reading, and prayer time. I think every area of my life could use an extra dose of this medicine.

*I want to understand more of God's unconditional love for me, and allow it to change me. To love Him in return with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. And for my children to see Him making a difference in my life.

*To read through the Bible (in its entirety) as a family.

I know this isn't a complete list, but those were the main issues on my heart. I can always go back and add more.

"Lord Jesus, Thank You that You desire to have a relationship with us. Thank You that we can come to You anytime-but help us not only to make our requests known to You, but to also listen to Yours as well. I ask that this year, You would remove any and all distractions and obstacles that may be keeping us from hearing Your voice. Please quiet and still our hearts and minds. Lord, I ask that You would do whatever it takes to continually turn our hearts toward You, giving us an ever-growing, never-ending hunger for You and Your Word. Give us the ears to hear You, the wisdom to listen and the courage to obey. Please bind our minds to Your mind, our thoughts to Your thoughts, our will to Your will, our hearts to Your heart, and our lives to Your purposes. Thank You for being a God of compassion and mercy, and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. There is no one else like You!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My God is so BIG, so STRONG and so MIGHTY, there's nothing that He cannot do...for YOU!

That's part of song we used to sing at church camp, and it came to mind when I sat down to write this.

Jamie may not look like me, but there are some things we have in common-one of them being her love of her birthday, Christmas, or any occasion where gift giving is involved, really.

In fact, she starts planning months in advance for her birthday party (she's been at it a good month or more, while her birthday isn't until May), and is already talking and dreaming of the gifts she'd like to receive. This of course has spurred some heart-to-heart talks on being content with what God has blessed us with, being grateful for what we already have, etc. because she can get carried away, and puts the focus solely on herself. Not good!

Her wish-list has items that range from a few cents (candy), to $1,000+ dollars (laptop computer), with most things somewhere in the middle of the two extremes (clothes, CD's, cell phone, books, etc.).

After learning that her cousin was given a Nintendo DS for Christmas (a MAJOR item on her wish-list, but mean Mom & Dad won't buy her one), she quickly decided that she was through asking for the smaller (and cheaper) items, and instead would be exchanging it for her bigger (and more expensive) ones. She devised a plan where she wants to give short lists (1-3 items each) to the ones who typically buy for her, but she's only going to ask for the things she REALLY wants, but never really put on her list before because she figured she wouldn't get them.

Trust me when I say she is not always quite so self-centered, but even in the midst of her "Gimme Rampage" a couple of days ago, God showed me something...

How many times do we only put "nickel & dime" prayer requests on our wish-list, and then hand them over to God? Always trying to play it safe, assuming He won't grant us our bigger requests?

I believe I've mentioned this in a previous post, that I'm currently reading a book by Beth Moore called, "Believing God." This book is really good!! One thing she says in there is that we normally believe little because we see little, so in turn we see little, thus continuing to believe little. My favorite quote so far says, "We must cease to accept the visible as the possible, and start believing what God says over what man sees."

Isn't that GOOD?? I love it!!

Our God is the creator of the universe, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills, the giver of all good gifts...and yet all we do is believe Him for...candy??

What sense does that make?

Take God out of your pocket.

"My God is so BIG, so STRONG, and so MIGHTY, there's nothing that He cannot do! My God is so BIG, so STRONG, and so MIGHTY, there's nothing that He cannot do! The mountains are His, the rivers are His, the stars are His handy work too! My God is so BIG, so STRONG, and so MIGHTY, there's nothing that He cannot do...for YOU!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Then, Christmas Now

The picture above is the scene we woke up to on Christmas morning 2004. It truly was a miracle!! We received well over a foot of snow! What made it even more miraculous is that we (meaning South Texas)were the ONLY place in the ENTIRE United States that got snow!! We live out in the country with only one neighbor, and a pasture on our left, and 29 acres behind us, a state park across the street, and another campground on the other side of our neighbor's it was like one huge snow blanket all around us!!!! I still have a hard time believing it, even when I look at the pictures now.

This however, is the scene we woke up to this morning, Christmas Day 2008. Not quite the same. :) We're expecting a high of around 75 degrees, last I heard. Only in South Texas can you go from a high of 46 degrees one day, and a high of 79 the next. It's crazy I tell you! Just crazy.

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

With Paul at our church's Christmas Eve service, Jamie in the shower, and my 2 sick boys sleeping, it's pretty quiet around the house.

I've been thinking about my favorite Christmas back in 2005. We invited a very dear friend over to spend Christmas morning with us, and it's one I will never forget!! She came dressed in her pajamas, and of course we were all in ours as well. We were all so excited to give her her gifts, knowing she had no idea what she was in for! She didn't know she was getting anything, but thought she was just coming to eat breakfast with us. We all drew numbers after we ate to see who would go first opening their gifts, so the fun wouldn't be over in less than 5 seconds with all the kid's ripping and tearing into the packages. ;)

I don't remember what number Jacque had, but I remember the look on her face as she began opening her gifts. She was truly overwhelmed, and didn't know what to say. It wasn't because we bought her some extravagant, expensive gifts, but it was because we loved Jacque, so we knew what she needed and what she liked...we hand picked the specific gifts she had mentioned wanting but could never afford herself and didn't have any family to buy for her either. She has the most horrendous, painful past I've ever personally heard! Paul, the kids' and I loved her, and she was really part of our family!

I love, love, love buying for someone who cannot repay me! I honestly get no greater joy than giving when I know I cannot "get" in return.

And it just made me wonder...when God sent His one and only Son Jesus to this earth as a gift to us, did He receive that same joy knowing we could never repay Him?? Surely He didn't just say, "Look. We don't have any other choice. If you want 'em, then you're gonna have to go down there and get 'em yourself." I think He was ecstatic and thrilled that He got to give us that special, hand-picked gift that we would treasure forever. I'm sure Jacque doesn't have many, if any, of her gifts left, but unlike her coffee pot or whatever else we may have given her that may be broken or forgotten, Jesus will be around for eternity.

Enjoy your Christmas present found in Jesus! I pray you too will be overwhelmed by His love and grace in the coming year.

Yet Another Prayer Request

It appears my children (or 2 out of 3) are getting sick! Ericson complained of being nauseated and dizzy yesterday, but nothing ever came of it. This morning, Noah woke up with at least 103...we didn't get to finish taking his temp. because he felt he needed to throw up, and on the way to the bathroom, fell headfirst into the wall and now has a nice bruise on his forehead (but no vomiting so far-thankfully)! He's now wrapped in a blanket lying in the living room floor, and Ericson is stretched out on the couch...still feeling dizzy. So far, Jamie seems to be okay.

Please pray they'll get to feeling better...we certainly don't want to miss out on our Christmas plans tomorrow!!!! :(

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Prayer Request

I received a phone call earlier this morning from a good friend of ours named Rose Bednarczyk. They just found out her husband Larry has cancer. She is understandably quite upset...she just cried...couldn't do much talking. My heart breaks for them, but not just because of Larry. This is their second blow in just over a month. You see, on November 16th, just 5 short weeks ago, Larry & Rose lost their oldest son, Jim to cancer.

Paul and I met Rose exactly 10 years ago when we moved back to the area, and Parkway Church was within driving distance again. She worked in the baby nursery and took care of Jamie from the time she was 7 months old. I had just found out I was pregnant with Ericson, and so when he was born, he also was under Rose's care. She then quit Parkway to focus on running her own in-home day care. My children spent 2 mornings a week over there when my sister Sara, brother Mark, and I decided to take an Aerobics class together at Victoria niece Ashton and Ericson were 5 months old and we were trying to lose our baby weight. :) We just thought it would be fun to have Mark in there with us...and we did indeed have a great time! They also spent a weekend or two with Rose & Larry when Paul and I needed some time away and went out of town. We attended Rose's surprise 60th birthday party, etc. They truly treated us like family, and we loved them dearly!!

A couple of years ago, they moved to Temple so they would be closer to all three of their kids and grandkids. We would stay in touch through an occasional phone call & yearly Christmas cards. About 1 1/2 years ago, she called and asked me to pray for Jim because he had just been diagnosed with cancer. I tried calling to check on him a few times, but their phone had been disconnected. Then back in July, Paul and I took the kid's camping at Bastrop State Park. We had gone on a short hike and stopped to let the kid's play at the playground when we noticed a teenager sitting on the swings with a Howell T-shirt on. I didn't recognize him, so I didn't give it a second thought. A few minutes later, I noticed the little boy sitting next to him, and he was wearing a Victoria YMCA shirt. I looked at him a little closer, and it hit me! It was one of Rose's grandson's! I was so excited, because if his parent's were near by, I could get Rose's new phone number! I sent Noah over to see if his name was Caleb, and sure enough, it was! He even pointed to a picnic table a little ways behind where we were sitting, and there sat Rose!!!! I high-tailed it over there and she was equally excited to see us again! It was so neat to find them there!

Needless to say, they are very near and dear to our hearts, and we would appreciate your prayers on their behalf.

If you would like to see some pictures of this beautiful family, you can go to: and type in "Jim Bednarczyk" in the search box. There is a 3 part video on there that they played at Jim's service. There's also pictures of Rose & Larry, and the rest of the clan.

Thanks for your prayers!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Connect the Dots...

I'm going to ask your forgiveness in advance, because this blog is quite long and skips around quite a bit...hence the title of "Connect the Dots." Do try to follow along to the best of your ability and I'll do my best to bring it full circle and tie up any loose ends when I'm done. :)

Yesterday when Jamie got home from school, I was in the kitchen cooking. I asked her how her day was, and she just kind of fell into my arms with a sad look on her face. I asked her what happened, and apparently, a teacher had gotten upset with her for not getting far enough along in her school work to suit her during Science class. We talked a few minutes and then she walked away. I honestly don't remember how much time had passed, but a little while later I went looking for Jamie, and couldn't find her. I looked everywhere in the house, glanced outside, etc. No Jamie. I began to get worried, and I called her name once more as I stepped out into the garage. She responded, but I couldn't tell where her voice was coming from. I went outside and found her sitting on this bench, facing the back of our property. You can't see it from the house, due to the pump house, and kid's swing set. I walked out to her and sat down to visit. Unfortunately, she has my tendency to clam up when something's bothering her. Well, that used to be my tendency when I was longer. :) I asked her a few questions, but most of the feedback I received was in the form of shrugged shoulders, and then falling into my arms again. She claimed she wasn't upset specifically about the teacher situation, but was just overall sad in general (I'm beginning to blame most of these mood swings on pre-adolesent hormones to tell you the truth).

A while back, I was kind of musing to myself and questioned if God really wanted us to talk to Him, or if he just expected us to because that's what Christians are "supposed" to do, but He didn't really care one way or another. Don't ask me why my mind went there, but it did. I got my answer loud and clear yesterday on that bench! I was wanting so desperately to help Jamie with her problem, and longed for her to open up to me, but she refused. She just sat there shrugging her shoulders, keeping her lips sealed. I cannot explain to you what I was feeling at that moment. It was the most intense, anxious, yearning I have ever felt. I was begging her to talk to me!!!!! And at that moment, God opened my heart and dropped this in...He said, "This is how much I want you to talk to me! Yes, I care! Yes, I listen. I long for you to open up to me and just talk!" (Don't you just love how our relationship with our kids mirrors us and our relationship with our God, our Heavenly Parent?) I was quite frankly shocked at the clarity of His message, excited that He truly does care...and yet felt slightly guilty too for not spending as much time with Him as I would like. After that little exchange, we didn't do much talking, but rather just sat together, watching the birds, feeling the breeze, and enjoying the silence.

You may think this is silly, but one of my favorite things in nature to watch are these flocks of small birds...not sure what they are. But when they're flying, they look to me like pepper being blown in the wind. I think they're neat to watch! I've never mentioned that to anyone...I've just kept this fascination to myself. At one point, a small group of them flew overhead, but Jamie was looking the other direction, so she missed out on it. I wanted her to see them, so I silently asked for God to make them turn back around so she could enjoy them with me. He said no, and they continued to fly until they were out of sight. A few seconds later though, out of nowhere, came MASSES of these small feathered creatures flying overhead...thousands upon thousands-no lie! They went on as far as the eye could see...from behind us, flying over the roof of our house, across our 29 acres, and beyond! It was like the Energizer Bunny in Bird form...they just kept going and going and going...I have never seen so many at once! I was thrilled!!! They were swerving to the right, darting down, soaring back up...they put on quite a show! While we were watching this production, I told Jamie about my love of watching these birds, and it reminded me of this book I'm reading by Beth Moore called, "Believing God." She says that when you're earnestly praying for a miracle, and you don't get it, it's because ultimately God has a bigger YES in mind. Even in the little things (like watching birds fly), He wants to demonstrate His love to us...if only we'll believe and trust Him.

Then today, Paul and I took the kid's to Victoria so Paul could finish up some secret Christmas shopping for the kids (I'm not even allowed to know what he bought them!?). We took both vehicles so after he bought my gifts, I could take the kids and he could go on his secret escapade. While he shopped, the kid's and I decided to drop by a friend of ours house that we haven't seen in quite some time! Her real name is Nicole, but the kid's all refer to her as CoCo. We used to hang out all the time when the kid's were younger, but now she has a full time job, and for me, life with 3 kids just gets busy! It was so good visiting with her, even for just a few minutes. It truly felt as if we just picked back up where we left off! I didn't realize how much I had missed her until after I left. I was thinking, "Why do I wait so long between visits? Whether it's by phone, e-mail or dropping in on her (or anyone for that matter)." It was refreshing just to be in the presence of a true friend.

Is this making any sense to you? Do you see how all these stories tie together? God longs for us to have a relationship with Him! Not one out of obligation or duty, but because He loves us!!! I know we're all busy, especially at this time of year, but whatever you decide to cut out of your schedule, don't let it be your time spent with Him! He is the ONLY thing that will ever truly satisfy the longings in your heart. Let Him. He wants you to believe Him and to trust Him. He will not let you down!

"My heart says of you, "Seek His face!" Your face Lord, I will seek." Psalm 27:8

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

"You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." Psalm 145:16

Monday, December 15, 2008

It Runs In The Family...

MAL-A-DY [mal-uh-dee] –noun, plural -dies. 1. any disorder or disease of the body, esp. one that is chronic or deepseated.

In case you haven't heard, there is a common disorder that affects the entire human race, but not many people are even aware that it exists. It appears to be handed down from generation to generation...and our family suffers from it pretty severely at times. I'm not quite sure of the proper, scientific term, but it's commonly referred to in our home as, "Hearing Dyslexia."

For some reason, it seems to strike my immediate family more often than not when we're listening to music. Let me give you some of my funnier examples:

Toby Keith's first single was "I Should Have Been a Cowboy." The first verse is referring to my brother Clay's favorite TV show when we were growing up, "Gun Smoke." I personally HATED that show!!! Here's how it goes:

"I bet you've never heard ole Marshall Dillion say
Miss Kitty have you ever thought of running away
Settling down will you marry me
If I asked you twice and begged you pretty please
She'd of said Yes in a New York minute
They never tied the knot
His heart wasn't in it
He stole a kiss as he road away
He never hung his hat up at Kitty's place."

Instead of "Marshall Dillion" I heard..."Barstool Dillion" and heartily sang it that way...probably for months-until Clay corrected me.

Another song was Bryan White's "Rebecca Lynn." The verse I got confused with says,

"High school days,
me and Becky learnin'
What it really means to be in love.
Give and take, holdin' back for heaven's sake
Fightin' for a week, then makin'up."

No lie, "Fightin' for a week, then" sounded to me like..."Fighting for a Wheat Thin, makin' up." It made absoultely NO sense to me, but hey! I didn't write the song...I just sang it...until once again, Clay corrected me. That's what big brothers are for, right?

Go on, you know you want to laugh at that one. My brother Clay did...a lot! My sister just says I'm blonde. :)

Unfortunately, my children have also been afflicted with this malady. Here are a few of their examples:

J (while singing the Christmas Carol, "Ring the Bells" off a very upbeat Kid's Christmas CD), asked me what "Ringle Bells" were. :)

E (while listening to Billy Gillman's "The Snake Song") was singing along with these lyrics...

"He swallered a frog and hollered yum-yum
He slid down the hillside and darted his tongue
He entered the garden on this bright moonlight night
Then he stopped in his tracks, it was love at first sight
(he said) My skin is black, your skin is green
You dwell in a garden, I live by a stream
Although I'm short and stocky and you're long and lean
I've got a crush on you
Then he squeezed her tighter and tighter and tighter"

and asked me what a "todder" was. I told him I had never heard of that word, and asked where he heard it. He then proceeded to sing that part of the song to me (he held her todder), and I lost it! He innocently thought it was part of our anatomy. :)

N, last but certainly not least was singing the song, "I Love Rock & Roll" and instead of, "I love Rock & Roll! Put another dime in the jukebox,Baby!" was singing, "I love Rock & Roll! Put another dime in the shoebox, Baby!"

What can I say? It runs in the family...We're sick.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Well, Lookie Here!

Look what I found...makes you want one, doesn't it? Admit it. You know you do. Or you should. If you've never had one, you don't know what you're missin'! :)

Click Your Heels Together & Repeat After Me...

"There is no place like Uncle Mutts! There is no place like Uncle Mutts! There is no place like Uncle Mutts!"

For those of you who don't live in Victoria (or near enough to drive over for a visit), you're missing out on some of the best BBQ! I just happened to be in town today finishing up my Christmas shopping, and I called my sister to ask her opinion on our mom's Christmas present. She informed me that her family was at Uncle Mutt's eating, so she's really the one to blame for my gluttony. :) HA!

The menu of choice today was: BBQ on a bun, fried corn, and a Root Beer! Mmmmmm!!!! I would have taken pictures for you to drool over, but unfortunately, I left my beloved camera here at home.

Well, that's it for today...sorry to disappoint you readers who have come to expect a moral in my stories or who thought there was going to be some depth or point to my blog...sometimes I'm just shallow like that. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sometimes It's Hard to be a Duck!

A few years ago, the kid's went through this phase where everything they were doing was getting on each other's nerves, which then lead to them feeling the need to tattle. It was driving me crazy!! This word picture came to mind, and this is what I told them...

"What happens when you put a sponge in the water? It soaks it up and holds it inside, doesn't it? Not everything is like that though. Did you know that God made ducks in a way that when they get in the water, the water doesn't soak into their body's, but it rolls right off of them. Pretty neat, huh?"

I then proceeded to tell them they had a choice. If one of their siblings was doing something that was bothering them, but wasn't a sin, they could act like a sponge-soaking it up and holding it in, or start acting like a duck...letting it roll off their backs. Even to this day if they're arguing or tattling, sometimes all I have to ask is, "Are you being a sponge or a duck?" :)

Well, everyone gets a chance to practice what they preach, right? Yesterday was one of my many opportunities!

Paul and I take turns going on dates with each of our kid's to give them some one-on-one attention...and last night was Noah's turn. He wanted to go to Wal-Mart for a couple of reasons. 1. He knew he could get a treat (around $3) and 2. He wanted to buy a small gift for Christmas for his brother and sister. While Noah may struggle with reading, he has math down!!!! He can add, multiply, count change, etc. in a heartbeat...sometimes much faster than Jamie, Ericson, or even Paul and myself! It's kind of funny to watch. Anyhow! He had been busy calculating, adding, exchanging what was in his hand for a better deal on the shelves, etc. and finally had made his decision. As I mentioned in a previous post, he has a sugar craving unlike any other child I've ever known! Let me tell you, that boy chose quite a few junk food items for $3! He had peanut butter bars, strawberry wafers, gum, cookies, etc. While waiting in line to check out, we saw a teacher from the kid's school coming in the door. Noah immediately thrusts his arm-load up in her face and says, "Look what all I got!!! My mom lets me eat this all the time!" I must admit, I felt the need to clarify, but due to all the people coming and going, it made it next to impossible as we parted ways.

Lesson in humility #1.

We then go to HEB so I can pick up some items for a Christmas party tonight. Noah loves pushing the cart, but he took off through the crowded store, whipping the cart in and out while hollering, "This is like a real video game!!!" Keeping the safety of the other shoppers in mind, I then proceeded to push the cart myself.

Lesson in humility #2.

We went down the aisle where the chips are so I could buy the corn chips that go with my shrimp dip...which also happened to be directly across the aisle from the alcohol. As I stopped to decide which chips to purchase, Noah rounded the corner, and exclaimed (quite loudly), "No! We are NOT buying beer!!!!" And then runs down to the end of the aisle...leaving me surrounded by lots of looks on humored strangers faces.

Lesson in humility #3.

Lastly, we were on our way to the check out line, when Noah looks in my cart and asks, "What are you making for the party tomorrow?" Before I get a chance to answer, he said, "Oh, I know!!!! Only what you know how to make! Chips & hot sauce!"

Lesson in humility #4.

For the past 7 years Paul & I have been questioned, judged and criticized a lot in regards to our son, his behavior and the way we parent him. And if you don't know me, you're likely to think along the same lines simply by reading this story...7 years ago, I would have too. But there's more beneath the surface...Noah is handicapped. His handicap may not be visible to the naked eye, but it's there. If you're reading this, you've either seen pictures of him or know him personally and you can attest to the fact that he's a cute, boisterous, inquisitive, stubborn, hyper, funny, bright, "normal" looking 8-year-old kid. But in reality, his brain has been damaged by the alcohol that was in his birth mother's system while she was pregnant. Noah struggles with Fetal Alcohol Effects. These are but a few of the symptoms of FAE and will affect him for the rest of his life:

The most serious characteristics of FASD are the invisible symptoms of neurological damage that results from prenatal exposure to alcohol, These symptoms can occur in FAS and FAE:

· Attention deficits
· Memory deficits
· Hyperactivity
· Difficulty with abstract concepts
· Poor problem solving skills
· Difficulty learning from consequences
· Vulnerable and naive
· Stunted social development
· Immature behavior
· Emotional outbursts
· Poor impulse control
· Poor judgment

You can read more on this website:

Before we were blessed with adopting Noah, I used to look at all misbehaved kids and assume it was the result of poor parenting. When we were younger,my parent's always told us to coat our words in chocolate because we never knew when we'd have to eat them! ;) Let's just say I've become a Chocoholic! Ha-ha!! :)

You would think I would have my "Duck performance" down pat and memorized, letting things just roll off my back. But truth be told, sometimes I still act like a sponge...allowing certain behaviors, looks, worries and fears of the future to soak in. I know in my heart that the only opinion that truly matters is that of my Heavenly Father, but occasionally I still feel compelled to give explanations or excuses to the outsiders looking in, in a vain attempt to keep myself from being embarassed. Like tonight, I wanted to tell everyone that we really do NOT allow the kid's to eat junk food every day & he did NOT have the free reign to eat it all in one sitting, that we do NOT in fact keep alcohol in our home, that we do NOT condone or make excuses for his behavior, that I DO know how to cook...NOT just make chips and hot sauce...that we DO discipline him (and our other two kids as well)...and on and on it goes.

God tells us in His word (Psalm 127:3) that children are a gift from the Lord...Period! They don't become a gift once they learn to behave, comply with all the rules, stop arguing with their parent's, make their beds without being told, stop smearing toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror, willingly put on underwear every morning without being forced, stop using inappropriate language, stop lying or exaggerating with nearly every story told, etc. It says, "Children are a gift from the Lord."

Present tense.

No matter your circumstances...whether you're dealing with a difficult child, personal insecurities, financial strains, etc, I just want to encourage you to stop looking around you for approval, and look up!

Last but not least, learn to be a makes the puddles in life a lot more bearable!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


This picture was taken less than 2 weeks ago at Paul's grandparent's 67th wedding anniversary party. Papa Tompkins is seated, with Jamie & Noah at his side. Granny Rose is standing with Ericson, and one of their many cousins, Logan, is in back. There surprisingly wasn't a large turnout this time, and it got my mind to wondering about who all wasn't there. I started writing down names, and it just so happens there are 67 family members as well! I just thought it was kind of interesting...67 years of marriage have produced: 6 children (4 with spouses), 14 grandchildren (11 spouses), and 27 great-grandchildren, for a grand total of 67 people!

Random trivia for the day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Tang's all Toungled Up!

Noah's 2nd grade class is learning about Johnny Appleseed in school this week, and one of their projects is going to be making applesauce. He asked to take 2 apples with him since they were so small, so I agreed. At least he asked!! He normally would just sneak it, so anytime he does the right thing, if at all possible, I allow his request!

We were about to walk out the door, when he said, "Hey Mom, look!" When I turned around, this is the face I saw. He said, "I'm the eye of God's apple!" The real translation being...Psalm 17:8, "Keep me as the apple of your eye..."

Remember who you are and to whom you belong this week! You too are the eye of God's apple...I mean, the apple of God's eye! ;)