"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

March 31, 2007

Forts and fun

Years ago, I had a great Charlotte Mason quote on my fridge.
(My friend has it on her blog with a cute photo)

When I looked outside today, that quote came to mind, so now I have the perfect photo to go with it now, too. : )

"Boys and girls must have time to carry on adventures, live heroic lives, lay sieges and carry forts, even if the fortress be an old armchair, and in these affairs elders must neither meddle nor
make." ~ Charlotte Mason

We've out grown the 'old armchair fortress.' It is amazing how the forts improve once they get old enough for power tools! : )

These aren't all our children by the way! (Before we had kiddos we prayed to be the house where all the kids play and God answered that one!)

This tree used to have beautiful azaleas planted all around it and a nice lawn and a much better fence. I picture it looking that way again someday...but there's no hurry, it's just too much fun like this!


A mom with super powers?

Andrew: "Mom, if you could have a super power, what would it be?"

Me: "Flying."

Andrew: "I think you should pick to have a power where when you clap your hands, everyone stops talking."

Me: "Yes, that would be a good one!" : )
(especially for homeschooling!)

Game night

On Friday nights, Carlos (my hubby's best friend) comes over for dinner and we have a family game night. Our favorite games are Apples to Apples, Uno or Spoons. Friday we decided to play this. It was a prize sent to me by the sweet ladies over at 5 minutes for mom.

And since a 'merry heart doeth good like a medicine,' I think we'll all be quite healthy for some time!!! It was one big laugh fest. (that usually happens when Carlos comes over no matter what we are doing)
First I have to tell you a little about how it's played. You have a partner and you are given a card with two words on it that rhyme. You give your partner clues about the word like "If it is not near than it is___ " (far) and if they get it, you move on to the next word which rhymes with it. Like "make a wish on a falling ___" (star) Then they say "far, star" (in that order) and you move on to another set of words before your time is up. (Saying "it starts with 'f' and rhymes with star' is against the rules)
OK, So, being on the same team as your mate, may be a cause for marriage counseling!
ha ha (doesn't my hubby look rather frustrated with me in that picture?)
But, if your wife tries to get you to say 'another name for dog' (hound) and then 'where you take your dog if you don't want it anymore' and you say "the Humane Society" (and forget that whole rhyming thing) Well, then your buddy will tease you mercilessly all night long!!!! ; )

But, if said buddy, who is a single man with no children, is paired up with your wonderful 10 year old and your smart little 7 yr. old and made to describe 'vagrant' well, then he just might be suicidal. (as he joked)
And if you are that 7 yr. old and that 10 yr. old and you are watching this usually really fun man's eyes bugging out and his voice is getting louder because you don't know that the wall is made of 'plaster' and that a 'slave's boss' is a 'master' (and not a 'chief') then you might need therapy after the game!!! ha ha (see the above picture for the serious side of Carlos -it was too too funny!)
Oh my goodness! I'm curious to see if anyone ever wants to play this game again.
Now, if you are that married couple, and finally get into the groove of things, you will absolutely blow everybody away because after almost 16 years of marriage you can finish each others sentences anyway and so of course, you know what the other person is practically thinking. Then you'll be declared 'no fun to watch anymore' which will totally make up for the 'hound -Humane Society' joke that made everyone roll on the floor laughing the entire evening!

March 30, 2007

A great read

I started reading Smith Wigglesworth on Healing by Smith Wigglesworth. It is awesome!
These are sermons he gave in the early 1900's. Here are some quotes I enjoyed:

"Every trial is a blessing. There have been times when I have been hard-pressed through circumstances, and it seems as if a dozen steamrollers were going over me, but I have found that the hardest things are just lifting places into the grace of God. We have such a lovely Jesus. He always proves Himself to be such a mighty Deliverer. He never fails to plan the best things for us."

"Women often say to their children, 'Run and fetch my purse, I cannot get along without my purse.' Mother, have you ever run back for your Bible? It contains richer gold and greater power. "

"All lack of faith is due to not feeding on God's word. You need it every day."

"Our God is real, and He has saving and healing power today. Our Jesus is the same "yesterday, today, and forever," (Heb.13:8) He saves and heals today just as of old, and He wants to be your Savior and your Healer."

"God is pleased when we stand on the Rock and believe that He is unchangeable. If you will dare to believe God, you can defy all the powers of evil. There have been times in my experience when I have dared to believe Him and have had the most remarkable experiences."

It's a real faith builder to read about these 'remarkable experiences' he had while being used of God.


Sign up to win this!

There's a fun contest for an awesome vacuum is over at 5 minutes for mom!
I've won one of their contests before and felt so blessed!
We won a new family game that we are hoping to try tonight.
My vacuum is on it's death bed so I gladly signed up! Check it out!

March 29, 2007

I'm excited about homeschooling high school now!

I had a 'homeschooling high school' luncheon today.
(~And since I didn't want to spend one more second in my kitchen after the bake sale, I cheated and bought a Greek salad and cheese garlic bread from a local restaurant) One of my friends volunteered to share how to home school high school with me. What a blessing!!! I also invited my neighbor to come, who is considering homeschooling for the first time. (at the high school level)

My great new friend is very 'type A' and thorough. She was the perfect person to explain all of this. She'd even talked to the directors of this and that to make sure her info. was correct. She has done extensive research on all the requirements for the Bright Futures Scholarship offered in our state. The Bright Futures requirements remind me of a game with a dozen rules, but if you learn to play by the rules, you can win BIG! Imagine having 100% of your college tuition paid for or even 75%! What a blessing that would be! And so, those requirements are going to be my goals. (amazing how much better you feel having a goal and knowing what it is!)

I do love the homeschooling journey. Someday I will post about how much it means to me and what a blessing it's been to my life. It is truly "The hardest job you will ever love." : )

Praying over curriculum choices and attending the convention, will be next on my agenda. (I haven't been to the convention since Zachary started kindergarten! I'm sure I'll be blown away!) Our evaluations will be in June this year. I felt the need to extend our school year. LIFE seems to interrupt school a bit too often lately.

I do think Teaching Textbooks will be the way to go for math, all the way through high school. Zach likes it and I haven't had to do anything since he started it. How cool is that?! Especially since I was a source of confusion for him a good bit of the time. It is not my thing.

What a blessing to be excited about the ninth grade! Thank you Lord! : )


March 27, 2007

Bake sale tower

The Rangers are having a bake sale to earn money for a missionary in Russia.

Andrew found that making 'baking towers' was a fun way to entertain himself after he finished chopping nuts for me.

Can you tell that I make everything from scratch?! ha ha


The braces came off today!

Zachary with his braces
Zachary without braces!
Aren't those gorgeous teeth!? : )
What a beautiful smile!!!

March 25, 2007

Sewage or sweat?

Pow Wow was great! It's the best one I've been to yet. After walking around for 6 hours and riding the bus for 3, Joy and I were really tired campers when we got home. (who didn't actually camp! PTL!) We had 16 kiddos with us and they had a blast. I am so grateful for the Lord's protection over our day. (I often fear that someone will get lost and so I'm always counting heads etc..) The bus ride was interesting.......we ran a red light, went 20 mph over the speed limit at all times, tailgated someone, appeared to almost rear end them, and never stopped at a single railroad track. It was a wild ride. My hubby thinks he needs to get his own bus driving license now.

After church on Sunday, my house smelled like a certain canine who'd been left alone too long and who needs that chocolate mint spray. (see Goofy Dog Stories) I opened all the windows and lit some candles. (I don't need much of an excuse to light candles -I love them!!!) Later in the day, my 4 guys came home from their camping adventure looking like death warmed over, but happy. And they smelled like well, 'death warmed over' might be an appropriate phrase to repeat here. It was an indescribable smell, actually, one that fresh air and candles weren't putting a dint in. I thought this was so funny. -My hubby sat down and waited his turn for a shower and said "What is that bad smell?!" And I said "You guys!" He was shocked. He thought we must be having a sewage problem in one of the bathrooms or something! The bathrooms were fine. ha ha

Here are some of our favorite Pow Wow moments:

Joy, on Trader's Row, saying "Mom, I should have brought money! I need flint and steel."
Spoken like a true Ranger sister. (I don't think she needs to be able to make a fire out of nothing but she must think so and it's pretty cute!) : )

Nathan volunteered to carry a heavy back pack for one of the mom's for half the day. What a gentleman!

My hubby's favorite moment was when the Senior Commander of our outpost told him that our sons do what they are told and he wishes he had more like them. Good job, guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And by far the greatest moment, was when Zach had the extreme privilege of praying with a young man to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior. Hallelujah!!!

Ranger motto: Reaching, teaching and keeping boys for Christ. : )

who has a mountain of smelly laundry to finish

March 23, 2007

Pow Wow and cleanliness?!

It's Pow Wow weekend and the calm after the packing storm!
This is the yearly weekend camping event for the Royal Rangers.

The Discovery, Adventure and Expedition Rangers stay Thursday night through Sunday afternoon. Saturday afternoon is Pow Wow Field day, where all the Ranger Kids (that's our class of K-2nd graders) come for the day to play the games. This is a huge event and has about 3500 kiddos attending.

So, Nathan and Zach left last night after a whirlwind day of shopping and packing...

Tomorrow, my hubby and I take our class up there on the bus, for a fun day which is equivalent to little boy heaven on earth! (go carts, snow cones, obstacle courses, a trading post, jump house, zip line over a river, train ride, b-b guns, games and more games) Then, he usually stays part of the weekend up there with our older boys and I come back with our class.

This year, we planned ahead and invited a girlfriend of Joy's. Joy always has a great time but it is hard to be the only girl. We had several discussions about which girl to invite. It had to be one with brothers, we decided. Some of the girls we know who don't have any, act like boys are gross beings from another planet or something. ; ) So, we asked a homeschool friend of hers who happens to have 4 brothers! I don't think she's going to bat an eye about riding on a bus with boys. Plus, she's heard how fun it is from her brothers who usually go.
I had grand ideas about getting the girls green t-shirts that would match the Rangers and then ironing on letters (do people still do that?) that spelled out Ranger Sister.Wouldn't that be cute? But, kelly green must not be 'in' because I couldn't find t-shirts that color and after two stores, I gave up. So, I settled for matching pink shirts (no letters) and they are going as twins, wearing those and jean shorts. (can you tell I'm a Missionette- want -to -be who is trapped in Rangers?! ha ha)

As I was helping Zach and Nathan pack, they 'fessed up about something shocking. ; )
They said they were the only ones in our outpost, last year who didn't shower the whole weekend. AHHHHHHH!!! You see, they had convinced me that they didn't need to bring any towels and so I didn't pack any. When everyone was made to shower, our boys said they couldn't because they didn't have towels! AHHHHHHH!
Yesterday, I was trying to cram towels into their bag when Zach said, "Jeez, Mom, we don't need 4 towels! But, I am glad that I have a mom who cares." (sweet)

Speaking of showering, Andrew asked me to time him when he took a bath last night. He was in and out in about 2 minutes and promised he'd washed his hair. He actually put the shampoo on his dry head he said, and then rinsed it off. He didn't look wet anywhere else when he came out of the bathroom and had a blank stare when I asked if he'd used soap on his body.
My hubby and I got a laugh out of this because we are his Ranger commanders and we know he's been working on the 'clean body merit' and well.... I think he needs to work on it a little longer. ; )


March 22, 2007

Goofy dog stories

This is our dog Honey. We call her our whimpy house dog. And some day I should do a post about her because she is very loved, spoiled, insecure, hyper and retaliatory but really SWEET. : )
Our neighbor's dog, Scooby is a gorgeous German Shepherd. Honey and Scooby act like arch enemies and have these barking fests out at the fence.
Well, Scooby was having problems with her skin and our neighbors shaved her. (it's also a lot cooler for her) It was the funniest thing! Scooby would not come when called or whistled to after this hair cut she had.
She hid behind her owners legs and avoided Honey who barked at her and challenged her to a territorial barking fest. Scooby was totally embarrassed about her new 'do.
Who would have thought dogs could get embarrassed about their looks?!
(she isn't as pretty shaved but who would've guessed that SHE could know that!) We all had a big laugh over it. And eventually, Scooby came around and she and Honey stared each other down. (Honey's tail was wagging the whole time and Scooby's was not)
I guess you don't want to encounter your arch enemy on a bad hair day!
And speaking of dogs, I found out that I bath mine too much. Now, I have to wait 3 weeks. (gag)
We also have to use oatmeal soap which doesn't wash away Advantix. If you can't stand the dirty dog scent, you can buy a type of dog perfume that will make her smell like chocolate mint. When the vet's assistant mentioned that, I think I lost my appetite! ; )
On my next visit for a doggie manicure, (which I cannot do myself because I made her yelp once and have given up forever!) the woman next to me had a really cute pink stroller. Forever a baby lover, I had to take a peek. Two little dogs were in it. I inquired and yes, this was indeed a dog stroller! (it was a little smaller than usual) This woman told Joy and I all about how she takes her dogs to the grocery store, on walks and on vacation etc... in their stroller. They love it. I kept wanting to bring up the subject of EXERCISE for the dogs, but that would not have been polite. ; )
So, I just 'oohhed and ahhed' over how cute these tiny dogs were in their dog stroller. (what is the world coming to? !)
I am not really one to talk about exercise right now. The kids and I and Honey were all jogging two or three miles a week last year. But, I'm wimpy and didn't want to go out in the cold so I haven't done it since Christmas. (terrible!) And I live where our cold isn't even really cold, so I better hit the pavement soon or I'll be saying it's too hot to exercise!
I found out how a Great Dane gets exercise yesterday. He runs along side of a van, while his owner has his arm hanging out the window holding the leash and slowly driving around a parking lot. It was a riot. I wish I had my camera. It looked like he was walking/driving a pony! Now where is the EXERCISE for the dog owner, I wonder. Of course, I didn't ask because that would not have been polite. ; )
(and who am I to talk about exercise anyway!?)

March 21, 2007

Wednesdays in the Word

One, of too many (unfortunately) Wednesday nights after church, I was pretty whiny. There were 40 little boys in our class that night and only one other adult and I was exhausted and blah blah blah....
Well, what my hubby said next stopped my whining.
It was something to the effect of "Our kids will grow up knowing that we are serious about serving in the local church."
I sure hadn't thought of it that way. I'm sure there are probably things we say and don't do, but this is one we say and do. Of course, we've seen it WAY overdone, where serving is more important THAN family and we don't agree with that either. But, we don't just "sit, soak and sour." (that's what our pastor says folks do when they don't get busy in some area of ministry and serve) He suggests that people who are new to the church should wait about 6 months and then 'get out of the purple padded chair' and find an area to serve in a make relationships with people.

Not long after this, these verses from Psalms were apart of my quiet time and seemed to apply to serving in the local church or at least that's the way I applied them. And it helped my whiny attitude even more!

"For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere."

"I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness."

"Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age. They shall be fresh and flourishing."

"Blessed are those who dwell in Your house. They will still be praising You."

I read these to the kids as a part of a devotional and asked "what ways would you llike to serve in the church when you grow up?" (I know they can serve now, too and we look for those ways also)
I loved their responses. My hubby thought I should write them down. Here they are:

"I want to work in the media and sound department."

"I want to serve in the youth ministry." (a guy after his daddy's heart)

"I want to be a Ranger Commander someday."

"I want to get my license and drive the bus." (it picks up neighborhood kids whose parents don't come to church but want to send their kids, and that my friends, is a challenging ministry. I was proud of that 'olive plant.') "I also want to help serve in the parking lot." (that is a self less job! Helping over 500 cars get in and out of the parking lot for two services, without traffic jams --whoo hoo! I feel for those who do this especially in the summer FL heat)

I was so blessed! Especially, when they said they were all going to grow up, live near by and keep going to this church. (that's not a gift that I gave my parents so, I don't expect it, but what fun it would be if that's how God worked it out that way!) I would love that! Think I can hold them to it? : )

Who is going to claim that she'll be "fresh and flourishing" after being in the "courts of our God" with 40 little boys tonight. ; )

March 19, 2007

Missions fair

The missions fair was so much fun.
Each room was a different country that night. Inside each room, we met missionaries to that country which are supported by our church. We were given 'passports' that we had stamped before we entered each country.

In 'Belgium' we had coffee and cookies. My boys said the coffee was GREAT. (I'm not a coffee drinker, so I didn't have any) Zach said he was up for visiting at least 10 more countries after drinking it. ; ) (I guess it was strong) They did a precious skit about bringing people on short terms mission trips to help construct church buildings which helps young churches to have a good start. It made me want to go! Zach would be great at something like that.

In 'Lithuania' we learned some phrases of the language through the immersion method. : ) We all caught on eventually and were introducing ourselves to each other in the language. Well, this was too funny! To say 'thank you' is basically to make the sound of a sneeze. It is 'A-choo' (not the same spelling of course but that's the sound) So, we all left the room 'a-choo'ing this couple for the nice time we had. : ) And what is even funnier, is the way you say 'until we see each other again.' Which is 'Icky.' Picture leaving a friend's house and yelling "Icky!" (not something I'm going to try in the US!)

We were yelled at by some thugs in 'Cuba'. We looked at a gorgeous scrap book of a person from our church who'd been on the mission trip to Cuba last year. Joy was especially interested in a cute photo of a pig. Who unfortunately was later pictured on a spit and not looking cute anymore. (icky! -in English) This dinner happened to have made this woman on the trip ill.

In 'Dominica' we met a precious family. Their children gave us a puppet show and we all learned a new song. This isn't one of the islands that the cruise ships stop at. But you can pay $70 a night to stay in shack with no electricity and no running water...(icky!-in English) And people actually do. After the 6th grade you have to pay to go to school so many children don't go. They sit on the sidewalk smoking pot and playing dominoes. Sad!

In 'Africa' we learned that many of the people are fleeing to Europe and are living in Vienna, Austria. I thought that was amazing. We also suspect that Nathan is allergic to shrimp after trying the food.

In each country/room, we were given a prayer card which looked like a really nice business card and had their picture, their name and the country they minister in. This is so great to have! I've glued them to a small poster board and we can pray for them during our devotionals. We feel like we really know them now and know at least a little bit about how we can pray for them. : )


I'm off to help Joy light a tea bag on fire. ; )

More on missions

"We are going to attend to a house church in China. Everyone follow me."

About thirty of us were led into a very small room that was made smaller by being divided in half. One of the missionaries our church supports, went on to explain:

"People who come to church, come at great risk to themselves and they often walk for hours to get there so the services may last for hours and hours. In the amount of space we are in, they would fit 75 more people (don't ask me how) If you are living a sold out life for Christ you will be arrested eventually and tortured. They have training sessions for Christians on how to endure torture. Gatherings of more than five people require a permit from the police. During the service, they can't make any noise lest they attract the attention of their neighbors. The words to the songs they 'sing' are mouthed. Because of their lack of Bibles, they often hand copy a page ..." BANG BANG (Zach and I jumped)
"Police! Open up! Everyone who is a Christian, face the wall!!!" (we all turned and faced the closest wall) Men searched for Bibles and (pretended to) beat up one of the members of our church. Then we were told that we were all under arrest. It was very moving... We all left 'China' impacted by the risks they take to worship the Lord.

This was my favorite part of the Missions Fair at our church last week. I'll share some more tomorrow...


March 16, 2007

How relationships are like tea bags

A missionary to Africa shared this object lesson with us:

She held a tea bag and showed us the tag at the end of the string and said that many people will try and label us but God never does. Then she tore it off.

She held up the string on the tea bag and told us that a lot of times relationships have strings attached but one with God doesn't. She tore off the string.

She said that because of our sin, our hearts are dark like the grains in the tea bag. She opened it up and poured out the tea.

She said that God wants to make our hearts pure and clean and she showed us how white the empty tea bag was.

She set the tea bag up on the table. (It was now opened on both sides and looked like a cylinder)
She said that Jesus died for us so that we can one day go UP and live with Him in Heaven forever.
She lit the top of the tea bag on fire with a lighter. The tea bag/ash floated straight up to the ceiling!!! (It looked really neat!) "That is how relationships are like tea bags."

My kids can't wait to try burning tea bags at home...uh oh! ; )



I don't know what it is about letterboxing but I love it!
My family groans whenever I bring it up. I think it is so much fun! I would like to save up for a GPS and give geocaching a try. Mentioning the GPS did get some approving grunts from my men. ; ) But, they didn't think going to look for 'boxes' was the best use for one. Imagine that!

Maybe it's the letterboxing adventures that we've been on!?!
Some have been great and others have been um, well, not so great. The first one we did was a success. Grand Daddy Don was visiting when we decided to give this a try! The directions led us to a little, out of the way park. We counted paces this way and that, figured out a clue and came to a large tree. Nathan reached up in the tree and found the box! What could be better than a real life treasure hunt? And I was hooked! What fun!
I didn't realize that we were suppose to bring our own ink pad on these adventures, so the stamp we found and put in our book is barely visable.
The next box we tried to find, was on a field trip at a historical sight downtown. We figured out the clues, looked really silly looking under the steps of several buildings and found nothing. That box was missing.

One Saturday when my hubby was working, I decided to take the kids on another letterboxing adventure. This one was at a nature trail. We probably walked a quarter of mile and followed the clues until we came to two large trees. The next clue required a compass, which I hadn't brought. (minor detail!) That dilemma had all five of us circling these two trees over and over again. We finally gave up on that and went to search for another box that didn't look far away.
After walking for maybe a mile, and having two separate groups of bicyclists ask me if we were lost and needed help, I started to wonder about my sanity. I hadn't brought any water or a cell phone and we were in the middle of what looked like nowhere, looking for a Tupperware box!!! Realizing that I could get really lost, I decided it was time to find our way out of there before we died of thirst among the palmettos! We were doing a unit study on Lewis and Clark at the time and we were starting to feel like we had a lot in common with them . I'll never forget this! When Joy saw the car, she changed their famous 'ocean' quote into "Oh, the joy! Car in sight!" We laughed and laughed. It was probably a year before anybody took me up on letterboxing again. : )
But my kids will tell you, that the next time was awesome! We did it in CO at a family reunion. Boulder has great letterboxing! Michele and I took all the cousins and found two boxes! It was so much fun. If you haven't tried it, it can be really fun!
~a little notebook or pad to stamp the rubber stamps on (some letterboxers carve their own to go with the sight the box is located, which is neat)
~ink, in case the box doesn't have any
~a rubber stamp for each member of your group to stamp in the notebook of the box (it's fun to see where other people who have found the box are from and what their stamps look like) Using a stamp that matches your personality or something you like is fun. (there are kits to help you make your own. Thank you Jen, for getting me one of those for Christmas)
~a camera for fun photos when you find the box
And a tip Michele and I would give, after doing it in Boulder is: don't wear heels or flip flops! ; )

I'd love to hear about your adventures if you've tried letterboxing

Letterboxing in Boulder with the cousins

March 15, 2007


We have an iris bloom! yay!
They didn't bloom last year. I guess they were in shock from being transplanted after the addition on our house.

I've been having lots of springtime fun in winter, actually. I found
out that Rye grass grows in the winter! (and in the shade) So, I have been the queen of the lawn and having a great time. (especially since sod isn't in our budget) I love the color of new grass. Rye grass germinates in about 6 days. That makes it seem like almost instant gratification for all the work. (love that) I know it will die this summer, but I've already had my money's worth of fun because the seeds are really inexpensive! My family teases me because I was checking it just about hourly! ; )

Speaking of spring, check out The Spring Reading Thing for a reading challenge. Sounds like fun and a good way to meet those reading goals. (and the button is really cute-see side bar)

We are all about reading around here. Our home school group made up a contest for the 7th-12th graders who are too old for Pizza Hut's Book-it program. The two teens who read the most pages (excluding textbook reading) at the end of the year, win a trophy. Zach is going for this one! He is almost at 6,000 pages! He is the family book worm! : )

Another springtime blessing for our family is the birth of a dear little boy named Jaden who was born on Tuesday. His mom was apart of the youth we led years ago! Her grandmother and great grandmother 'adopted' our family back then and we spend Christmas Eves with them every year. (and we eat the most wonderful Peurto Rican food!!!) We feel very blessed to be included in their 'family.' Joy, Nathan and I went to the hospital and had the privilege of meeting this dear little one two hours after he was born. Joy and Nathan were in awe of his perfect little feet. Joy thinks umbilical cords are very gross. ; )


March 14, 2007

Wednesdays in the Word

On Wednesdays, I like to share something from my favorite book, the Bible. Since I hardly know what day it is because life has been a big blur since Friday and since I haven't spent adequate time in the Word myself, I thought I would cheat this week. I'd like to send you over to this awesome post! God's site meter at new mercy's blog.

And I'd like to thank blogging basics 101 that I can finally actually LINK!!! Yippee!! FINALLY!

So, go check that out! I need to "spike God's site meter" in the Word. : )


March 13, 2007

Uncle Phil leaves -twice

Today, started really early for us. As in 4:00 AM early. Uncle Phil had a really early flight out and our kids wanted to get up and go with Dad to drop him off at the airport. So, the same children who thought they were really sleep deprived because of daylight savings ; ) woke up at 4:00 AM and took a ride to the airport to give Uncle Phil a nice send off.

At 5:30 AM my hubby woke me up to say that his flight had been canceled and he was going back to airport to pick up Phil.

I let the kids sleep in some because of their early morning adventure and when I went to wake them all up, I said "when you get up you'll see a surprise." That did not rouse the boys out of bed, at all. Joy, did get up eventually get up and I heard this outside the bathroom door: "Mom! You said we'd have a surprise when we got up but I thought you just meant a good brand of cereal, because your surprises aren't usually very good. (thank you very much!) : ) But, when I got up, I found Uncle Phil in the family room!!!" She then went to yell that news to the boys, and they promptly jumped out of bed!
We drove to the airport for 'take two' later in the day. We'll look forward to his next visit in May.


March 12, 2007

The fun of shoe sharing

First of all, I have to say that it is just amazing that Joy and I wear the same shoe size now! (my hubby calls it 'efficient') She is only ten! I thought I had years to wait before this happened.
She has borrowed a few pairs of my shoes on several occasions. I haven't actually borrowed hers yet, but there is a pair that I have my eye on! It's her Heelies! (She received them for her birthday in November) I remind myself on occasions, not to covet my daughter's shoes. ; )
If I wore those at the grocery store, and everyone stayed out of my way, (because that would be a must!) then I would have our shopping done in no time flat! The way she zips through the isles at Super Wal Mart makes me and just about every other lady jealous. I know that because they say out loud how much they wish they had a pair. And what beat all, was playing tennis with her while she was wearing them. I was (huffing and puffing) chasing balls and she was gliding across the court with ease. It was too funny.
Now, what was not too amusing is the fact almost half the boys in our Royal Ranger class (grades K-2) received Heelies for Christmas!!! If I thought managing 35 boys was hard, try it when they are on wheels! Not being too coordinated at this age, they fall - a lot!
I'm sure that Joy would let me borrow her Heelies but I have a feeling that I might end up taking a spill like the boys in my class. And that I might not jump right back up and be perfectly fine like they always are. : )


March 10, 2007

Uncle Phil is coming to visit

Uncle Phil is in town. He's here from Utah for some basketball games. He will be visiting us for a couple days and we are really excited!

One thing that
makes him very popular with his nephews is his love for guns.
These were taken a few years ago when he took them to a shooting range. : )

I love this!!!!!

Last week one of the second graders in our class (my hubby and I teach k-2 grade boys at church)
asked if he could recite his 'Bible Challenge' for the class. He earned 4 feet of candy bars (taped together) at his Christian school for memorizing this.
Listening to him quote this by memory was powerful. I was choking up!
I asked his mom for a copy. The kids and I have been reading it aloud together before morning devotionals to get us ready to receive God's word.
I love the last paragraph!!! Here it is:

I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God's Holy Word.
I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
I will hide its words in my heart that I might not sin against God.
I will proclaim it on the streets and give my life for it, if need be.

For the Word of God is living and powerful.
Sharper than any double-edged sword,
It pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
It judges the thoughts and intents of the heart.

I have been taught the Holy Scriptures, from my youth
and they have given me the wisdom to receive the salvation
that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.

All Scripture is inspired by God
And is useful to teach me what is true
And to make me realize what is wrong in my life.
It straightens me out and teaches me to do what is right.
It is God's way of preparing me in every way,
Fully equipped for every good thing God wants me to do.

This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do
what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess.
My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same.

I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of
the Word of God. I will never be the same. Never! Never! Never! I will never
be the same. In Jesus' name, AMEN!

March 9, 2007

His Faithfulness

My most memorable Christmas shopping trip and what I learned from Job chapter 5

My four kiddos (who were then 4, 6, 8 and 10 yrs. old) and I were Christmas shopping for our relatives at the mall. (not inside the mall but the surrounding stores) To keep me within budget, ; )
I had taken cash out of the bank and still had it in the bank envelope. After shopping at Barnes and Noble, we were in our second Christian bookstore, when I went to pay for an item and found out that the envelope I'd been taking cash out of was gone!!! Oh my goodness! I figured out that it had $100 left in it. AHHHH! So, off we went to tear apart the car, my purse and to retrace our steps. We searched and searched but couldn't find the envelope anywhere. By then my gang was so tired and so was I, so we headed home where I called the three stores that we had been shopping in. No one had turned in a bank envelope with cash in it. And who would?!?! Did I mention it was Christmastime at the MALL! : )
I probably just made some body's day!

When we got home, I was so bummed out!
I prayed and prayed. Then the Lord brought "Job chapter 5" to my mind. When I read it, I sure could relate to these words:
"Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward." (yes indeed!)
Then I read this:
"But as for me, I would seek God. And to God commit my cause..."
So, I took that as His word to me for this awful moment and just kept committing the situation to Him in prayer. Then me and my splitting headache took a little nap.

When I got up, I had this amazing message on my machine from someone at the bank.
It said a deposit of $100.00 had been put into my account today!!!

When I called the bank back, I found out that I dropped the envelope outside the Barnes and Noble which was next door to a branch of the bank we use. The person who found it, RESISTED EXTREME TEMPTATION ; ) (I imagine) because they did not head off to the mall, but went inside the bank and turned it in!!! The envelope still had my withdrawal slip in it and that is how the bank knew what account to deposit the money in and how they were able to call me. Amazing!!!

"And to God I commit my cause.."

Here is the rest of the verse:

"who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things, without number." I love that! He does!!!

Every year when the kids and I Christmas shop we reminisce about this and are amazed again. We always pray a blessing on that dear, honest person who reminded me that 'with God all things are possible' even at Christmastime at the mall. : )


March 8, 2007

Write Away contest

I entered this post in the Write Away contest at Scribbit's site.
The topic is childhood memories. Share in the fun by Sunday the 11th.

Comparing Tooth Fairies

girl at church: "I get $5.00 when I loose a tooth."

Joy: "I get fifty cents."

girl at church: "ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!" (laughing and unable to stop) "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It's just so funny!"

Joy: (thinking hard for a way to make her stop laughing says) "My mom is frugal."

girl at church: "What?"

Joy: "My mom is frugal."

girl at church: "What does that mean?"

Joy: "Look it up."

~Becky -the frugal tooth fairy ; )

March 7, 2007

Wednesdays in the Word

This is my 'parenting' list of verses. I have to look at this list often because I am always getting off track. (sorry I didn't take the time to list the references)

"Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

~Strive to be in fellowship with my kids and close at heart

"In humility correcting those who are in opposition."

~Be gentle, don't raise my voice and correct in anger

"Let your gentleness be known to all men, the Lord is at hand."

~All men includes my kids ; )
~Try not to be harsh or upset and a great motivation here is: The Lord is coming!

"But at midnight Paul and Silas were praising and singing hymns to God...suddenly there was an earthquake."

~When things go wrong and times get hard -SING. The bound were set free in this story through praise! God will do a 'suddenly' on my behalf too if I choose praise.

Hope this blesses someone today!


P.S. My favorite parenting articles are found at nogreaterjoy.org
Their free newletter/magazine is awesome! They convict the daylights out of me. My hubby had a magazine rack built in our bathroom when we remodeled it just for these magazines! That's how much they bless us. He wants to make sure he reads them ALL. ; ) Check them out!

March 5, 2007

The cousins are coming!

Our California cousins are coming to visit us for a week and we are excited!

I need some creative ideas, bloggy friends. What fun things can I do to keep 5 boys and 1 girl busy for a week??? Here's what we've come up with so far:
-air soft gun wars
-video games (of course, but not too much)
-jamming on instruments together (the CA cousins are very talented)
-strawberry picking

Any ideas to share? Just leave a comment. : )

I think Joy may need a 'girls day out' sometime during this week, bless her heart!!! (5 boys!)

We definitely won't be going to Ci Ci's Pizza while they are here. I might have nightmares!
There were so many of us when we were together last year that we actually 'left a man behind' and it was one of my 'men'! And thankfully we'd only driven across the parking lot when we figured it out. I didn't wait to be driven back across the parking lot either. I'm told that I ran like the Bionic Woman. : ) Oh my goodness! I still shudder thinking about it.

Now, I know how Mary felt. Everyone said Jesus was with his cousins!
-She and I will have something in common in Heaven. ; )


With Grand Dad at Rocky Mtn. National Park

The whole gang

March 4, 2007

District Finals in JBQ Saturday!

We attended the Junior Bible Quiz District meet for our state.
(around 250 kids were in it) For this match, the teams are divided into Flights with the best teams being in Flight 1 and so on down to Flight 11. Your flight is determined by how many games you won this year and then you play other teams from the state that ranked the same way.
What an exciting day!

Great job, Andrew!!!
I didn't get to watch Andrew and Joy's team but my hubby said that Andrew "carried them to an almost undefeated title." They lost only one match. They were in Flight 8. They came in second place!
He loves JBQ. He is so determined and plays with such enthusiasm. He started out the year, really wanting to get a positive quiz out and I told him that it was his first year and that he probably wouldn't this year but that he probably would next year. (what a dumb thing to say!) Did I ever underestimate my little guy! He had three positive quiz outs this year and had two more today! Amazing!!! Hurray!!!

Awesome job, Joy!!!
This is Joy's third year and she loves it! She had several positive quiz outs this year and had one today. I am amazed at how many questions she knows and how many verses she has memorized. I'll never forget her very first match when she was the newest player on her team and she buzzed in before anyone else and answered her first question correctly. The audience isn't allowed to talk unless there is a time out or we could get our team fouled, so several ladies looked over at me and raised their eyebrows. : ) I think they thought she would be shy like her mom, but no way! She loves the competition. She is the picture of grace and never gets ruffled or discouraged. She's confident and takes it all in stride. (by the way, I absolutely could never have done JBQ as a child! Way too shy!!!)
Here's what I love about Joy being in JBQ. She has taken these scriptures she's learned and made them a part of her life. When she has a nightmare, she either sings worship songs or she goes to war with her verses! She had one recently and crawled in bed with me. I was half asleep so I don't know what the references were that she was quoting but I heard her quote three verses and then tell the devil that he couldn't give her anymore nightmares because she "belongs to Jesus and He is the Way the Truth and the Life and the Good Shepherd and the Door and the True Vine and the Bread of Life!" (this is the answer to "give 5 of Jesus' I am sayings from the book of John") And then all I heard was deep breathing, and I rolled over and thanked God for maybe the hundredth time for JBQ!

What a way to go out, Nathan!!!
Since Nathan is in the 6th grade, this is his last year and this was his last match! He and I were both a little chocked up after the final round because it's the end of an era. (and we are the sentimental type!) JBQ has been an awesome part of his life. It's been so exciting. The Lord's blessed his efforts at this, that is for sure. It's been a great confidence builder and he has a wonderful coach that he loves. His coach has told us many times what a pleasure it has been for him to coach Nathan and what a gentleman Nathan is. Ohhh, does that ever bless me!!!

Nathan's team was in Flight 4. They came in third place. The shocking highlight for all of us, was that when they were listing off the high scorers for the day in Flight 4 they said "And first place for highest score in Flight 4 goes to Nathan ______." We were floored! I jumped up and grabbed my camera and made my way down to the front to snap this picture. The cute thing was that Nathan hadn't really been paying attention at that point (it was long ceremony) and he was so surprised that he asked his coach twice, if this blue ribbon was really for first place. : )

We also want to thank Zachary for officiating! You are great under pressure! I could never multi-task like you do! He was the time keeper and the judge for one of the rooms!

Congratulations Olive Plants!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for 'hiding God's word in your hearts that you might not sin against Him.' It will not 'return void!'
Nathan and his coach! I can't say enough good about this dear man and what he's meant to Nathan. What a blessing and an awesome godly role model
Joy and Andrew's team took second place in Flight 8
Nathan's team took third place in Flight 4

And our congratulations to 4 lovely young ladies from our church who made it to the First Flight! They placed 4th and are now on to the Regionals in Alabama!!! Woohoo!!!!! They are such sweet and humble girls and God's blessing is upon them! It's so exciting!

March 3, 2007

Our Friday evening

My hubby has an excellent bedside manner. Each time that I was pregnant, I had morning sickness. I used to say that "I never threw up alone," ; ) because my incredible hubby would stand beside me the whole time and hold my hair and put a cool cloth on my neck. (isn't that amazing?) And when I had pneumonia for 3 months I was constantly reminded that I do not deserve such a wonderful man! When someone is sick in our family, the kids like to give that person a bell to ring in case they need something and for one of them or me or a bunch us, to go and help that person. So, needless to say, being sick and being LONELY is something that we've never experienced! (sometimes I think I'd like to give being lonely a try! ha ha)

A dear friend of ours has been sick for a few weeks now, with this bug he hasn't been able to shake. He was planning to come over last night and I thought he would want to cancel when I heard that he had a fever. But, no, he said he still wanted to come. He was scared and lonely, he said. I had never thought of how lonely and depressing it can be to be single and sick. He wanted to come over and stay the night in case a hospital visit was necessary and because he said we'd be a 'good distraction.' (No problem there! When he comes over, all four of our kids try to talk to him all at once, poor guy.)

Bless his heart, when he arrived at our house his fever was 101 degrees and his eyes were glassy. God blessed our time together though and we had the chance to see
the healing power of a 'merry heart'+ prayer+ Alieve! : )
After dinner, his fever was gone, he looked a lot better and decided he was well enough to go back to his house! We learned a neat lesson! It was to appreciate how blessed we are to have each other 'in sickness and in health.'
Isn't it awesome that "He sets the solitary in families." Psalm 68:6


P.S. I want to say that the 'Olive Plants' were my heroes! Without being asked they were quiet and low key for this person's sake. You guys rock!!!!!!!

Purity or pirates?!

Since we have one teen, one preteen, one 'tween' and a seven year old, I thought we might be ready for this teen and parent devotional book called Lifetraining for evening devotionals.
I think I was wrong. : )
The devo. last night was about how we, like the Wise Men can give gifts to Jesus. It mentioned that we could give our bodies as a gift to the Lord through purity. I expounded on that a little by saying that the kids could do that 'by saving their body for their future mates.'
Well, Andrew (who is seven) piped up and said
"we wouldn't have to actually use our body because we could use a life boat to save our mate instead."

And so.... I think we'll try something else. ; ) I'm glad.
(maybe Little Pilgrim's Progress)

(originally posted on 3/3/07)

March 1, 2007

Congratulations to Zach!

Congrats to Zachary who received the Silver Medal of Achievement in Royal Rangers last night!!!!
(it is the second highest achievement in the Royal Ranger program) He is the first young man in our outpost to earn it. We are so proud of him!
I'll never forget the two of us sitting on the coach and looking through the materials to see what was involved in earning each of the medals. He and I were both blown away by the requirements for the Gold. (which is similar to Eagle Scout in the Boy Scout program) At the time, he and I both thought maybe he would eventually get the Bronze. I remember thinking, 'this is a home school education in and of itself!' Then last year, he achieved the Bronze, yesterday the Silver and now he's working towards the Gold! Awesome job, Zach!!! : )
This is a sleepy picture is of Zach (left) and Nathan (right) at the Ranger of the Year competition for our region of the state last August. (don't they look handsome in their uniforms?!) ; )