April 28, 2007
Aren't they just the best fun you can have for the money!?
~Unless you count eating one of these, which is .55 cents! ; )
But, I'm trying not to do that because I am sort of on the South Beach Diet with my hubby.
I was positively giddy about going to Home Depot to shop for flowers and mulch. So much so, that as I stepped out the front door, Zachary asked me why I was bringing pancakes! Good question!
I was still holding a zip lock bag of them that I meant to put in the fridge! Too funny!
I may plant seeds next, because I love Cosmos and Zinnias. But right now, I wanted instant blooming gratification. : )
I'm always amazed at what a huge difference just a few flowers can make in a yard.The other fun thing that happened was that the gardenia bush bloomed. I love gardenias!!! They remind me of my grandmother who is in heaven, who used to wear gardenia perfume.
Andrew on this day 8 yrs ago, at 2 yrs. and 2 days ago
April 27, 2007
This will be our last pizza party since our visits will end in less than a year. Not to mention we hope to see very little of our sweet orthodontist this year since Zach is NEVER going to loose his retainer. And I will never again (by the grace of God) wipe it right off the counter into the trash can... nope, never again. : )
So, we showed up at the bowling alley where the party was last year and the parking lot was just about empty! Last year's event was huge and so I came to the brilliant conclusion that they must be holding the party at a different bowling alley this year. I drove us to another one that was located a couple miles away and we found another empty parking lot. I kid you not, just to make my kids feel better, I drove us to a third bowling alley! They were bummed to find another empty parking lot. (I guess no one bowls at 3:30 on Tuesday afternoons) We drove back home and one of them decides to call the orthodontist. He asked what bowling alley the party was to be held at and the receptionist told him. Funny, that was the first bowling alley we were just at! I also thought it was odd that the receptionist was even there, because the whole staff was at last year's party! (I'm slow, I know!) So, we happily drove all the way back to the first bowling alley with my older boys and their big appetites talking about how great unlimited pizza is! They were a little concerned about arriving so late though. But, to our surprise the parking lot was still looking sparse. One of the kids suggested that maybe the moms were not staying this year and had just dropped off their kids. (and that actually sounded plausible to this very tired mom at that moment!) So, we confidently walked into...
an EMPTY bowling alley!
Now my wheels are turning and then it clicks! (about 2 hrs. too late)
April 24th or May 24th hmmmmmm! We weren't late, we were a MONTH early!
Then the owner said "Well?" and I said "Hi" and kept walking right out the door. I was WAY too embarrassed to admit we'd come for a huge bowling party on the wrong day and hadn't even gotten a clue outside the bowling alley (let's keep the other two a secret) and so it appeared to him that 5 people came inside for .50 cents worth of Floam that Joy bought out of the gum ball machine!
Zach summed it up by telling Dad that "we had a blond day." (even though we are a mini van full of brunettes!) Unfortunately, my hubby wasn't in the lest bit surprised. Which rather hurt, but I have been known to have taken us to a concert and a graduation on the wrong dates! ; )
who needs to take a better look at her calender!
April 25, 2007
April 24, 2007
Andrew calls him "Wiggglesmith." ; )
Here are some more of my favorite quotes taken from his sermons, given 100 yrs. ago. If you need healing in your body, believe God for it!
"Dare to believe that Jesus was wounded for your transgressions, was bruised for your iniquities, was chastised that you might have peace, and that by His stripes there is healing for you here and now."
"We have a big God. We have a wonderful Jesus. We have a glorious comforter. If you dare trust this wonderful Lord, this Lord of Life, you will find in Him everything you need. So many are trying drugs, quacks, pills and plasters. You will find that if you dare trust God, He will never fail. "The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. (James 5:15) Do you trust Him? He is worthy to be trusted!"
"When the power of God is being manifested, a protest will always come from the hypocrites."
"God is waiting for a people who dare to believe and when you believe, 'all things are possible.' (Mk. 9:23)
"If you do not venture out in faith, you will remain ordinary as long as you live. If you dare the impossible, God will abundantly do far above all you ask or think.' (Eph. 3:20)
"I often offer a reward to anyone who can catch me anywhere without my Bible or my New Testament."
"None of you can be strong in God unless you are diligently and consistently listening to what God has to say to you through his Word. Read it in the morning, in the evening and at every opportunity you get. After every meal, instead of indulging in unprofitable conversation around the table, read a chapter from the Word.."
"Oh, if I could only stir you up to see that, as you are faithful in the humblest role, God can fill you with His Spirit, make you a chosen vessel for Himself and promote you to a place of mighty ministry in the salvation of souls and the healing of the sick."
April 23, 2007
When you go to Steinhatchee, you feel like you are going back in time and getting a view of old Florida. This is the resort we've gone to for the last several years. It's quiet and quaint. ~Even when 16 families which include a total 45 children, descend upon it. : )
Here is our cottage. We had the one on the right and some friends of ours had the one on the left. We had a jacuzzi on our shared back patio. One day, another mom and I were watching the younger boys play in it and we heard "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" and we realized they weren't dunking but baptizing each other! Too cute!
We brought Honey, which was pretty fun... But, I think she'll stay at home next year. ; ) No one remembered their promise to help mom with the dog! Funny how that works. She was great until the last day, when she started resembling a two year old. She couldn't be away from me... she almost dove into the river and then cried at the sight of it because I wouldn't let her go in, and then she staged a protest and hopped in our car and would not get out for anything until it was time to leave! She is something!
This cottage belonged to some other friends of ours.
And here is Andrew in front of it who was rarely off a bike all weekend. He also loved swimming in the pool then rotating between the jacuzzi and the sauna. He also did a lot of archery.
Joy had a little bunch of ten yr. old girls to hang out with and they went on muddy canoe trips in
4 inches of water, played in the jacuzzi, rode bikes, had a tea party and dressed for the banquet together. Nathan did a lot of bike riding and some fishing. Zach enjoyed archery and tennis. (I can still beat him-yahoo! Of course I was still breathing heavy long after we were done. Shhhhh!)
My hubby's favorite thing to do when not at the company meetings or playing with the kids was worshipping the Lord with his guitar. (and serenading me with Annie's Song on the big front porch! Ahhh!!!Congratulations to my wonderful hubby who was voted by his coworkers to receive two awards. The company bases their awards on godly character traits. He received a first place award as the person in the company who exemplified the 'company's core value of Respect by treating others with respect and dignity.' (He does!!!) He was tied with the accountant for second place in 'Carefulness by paying attention to details and accurately completing work.'
April 22, 2007
When we arrived at the resort, our cottage was stocked with all sorts of candy and munchies, much to our kids' delight. In the morning before we left for breakfast, I asked Andrew if he'd brushed his teeth and he said:
And then he said "Where is my tooth brush anyway?"
Then I asked "Andrew, how do you 'kind of' brush your teeth?"
He said "I ate one of those candies that tastes like toothpaste." I laughed and laughed.
More on our trip tomorrow. I've been unpacking and doing school.
April 18, 2007
Every year the owner of the company my hubby works for, treats all the employees and their families to a 'retreat.'
(Most of the employees are Christians and many of them either do home school or did or are)
The employees attend half day meetings while the rest of us play. They have canoeing, (sp?)tennis, archery, swimming and biking. There is a game night, a company banquet and time of worship.
I'm looking forward to some fun family time, relaxation and someone else doing the cooking. Yahoo! : )
Since I don't have a laptop, this will be my first bloggity break.
April 17, 2007
Scriptures are from Psalm 1116
As I struggled to be up and about and able to go to the hospital to join my newborn son, I told God that He and I were going to have this out later. Until that time, I let Him know that I wouldn't be doing anymore praying. (this isn't something I recommend!) ; )
Much to my frustration, I wasn't even able to keep my new resolve for very long! Without even thinking, I was praying: "Thank you God for E's coming over to help."
"Please, help me to get to the hospital in time to start nursing Andrew."
"Thank you that Andrew is alive." And, "Oh yeah, I'm not talking to You, never mind."
Then I would stop myself and try again not pray. And on and on it went.
"Thank you God that every test in the book, shows that Andrew is healthy!"
"(He) will walk before the Lord in the land of the living." Hallelujah!
That evening in the hospital room alone with my little guy, who wasn't so little, (the nurses were in awe!)
I told the Lord that I was ready to have it out with Him. (immature I know, but I was hurting) I got down on my knees and poured out all my hurts to Him. I felt betrayed somehow and I accused Him of not answering any of my prayers. I said that if He was really real then He needed to show me so right then! Otherwise, I was going to be done with serving Him. (despite the fact that I couldn't keep from talking to Him for 15 min!) : )
"Gracious is the Lord and righteous, yes our God is merciful." (Don't I know it!)
At that moment, such a peace came into that hospital room. It was so remarkable, so powerful that it was absolutely undeniable!!! And it was just what I needed....
And I surrendered my life again to Him and to His will and wept....
"What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord..."
"Oh Lord, truly I am your servant. You have loosed my bonds."
"I love the Lord because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live."
Yes, I will.
April 16, 2007
All scriptures taken from Psalms 116
"Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live."
There was a time when I didn't want to call upon Him anymore....I tried really hard to stop praying to God.
I was upset about the birth of my youngest son. It didn't seem like a single prayer I'd prayed those nine months was answered. My main prayer had been for a "trauma free birth" and what happened seemed to be the opposite. This was my third home birth. (I loved having our babies in the comfort of our own home)
This baby was stuck in the birth canal with its heart rate dropping...
"The Pains of death surrounded me. Then I called on the name of the Lord..."
My hubby called on the Lord really loudly and urgently!!! The midwife called too, only her call was to 9-1-1!!!
And I prayed and pushed for all I was worth and then some, which had to be supernatural!
"I was brought low, and He saved me. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears and my feet from falling."
Just as the paramedics knocked on our door, Andrew was born! Weighing a whopping ten and a half pounds!!! Yes, that explains why he was stuck!
(I'm only 5 ft. tall!)
"Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you!"
He was absolutely gorgeous! He had such long beautiful fingers. Fingers, that I thought at that moment, might play the piano someday. (but are actually going to play the electric guitar in our family worship band) : )
His breathing sounded strange. The best way to describe it is to say that he had a little snort. (kind of like a pig) The midwife thought it might be a result of the distress he'd been through and she sent him with the paramedics to the hospital. It was unbelievably hard to have to stay behind but I wasn't in any condition to go along. I charged my hubby not to ever let Andrew out of his sight (and he never did! He held him through every single test and he treasured the bonding time they had together! He'll never forget it!)
"I found trouble and sorrow."
Off they went: the paramedics, my hubby and my brand new, minutes-old baby, with sirens blaring and getting fainter by the second. And there I was, still sitting on the floor of my bedroom feeling like I might actually die after all that I had been through.
"O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!"
Just me and the midwife ....and she was in a bad mood! You see, the birth had taken so long (12 hrs.) that we made her miss her appointment to go knocking door to door and she was seriously grumpy about it. She was a Jehovah's Witness. (we would've preferred a Christian midwife but we couldn't find one in our price range this time) Oh how grateful I was, when a dear friend from church came and took over caring for me. (and the midwife left!) My goal was to get up to the hospital as soon as possible without like, passing out and being admitted myself! Because I felt like death warmed over! Yes, I did. : )
To be continued....
Posted later: I forgot to mention that we live thousands of miles from all of our family members and that is why they weren't at the birth or there afterward to help. But, 2 days later, my wonderful in-laws flew in and met Andrew and cared for all of us! It was a blessing!
It's been a big topic around our house lately.
I love the clean cut look on my boys. Nathan however, is going for that moppy, 70's -ish look
(as I call it) that is 'in' right now. Here is his favorite band, notice their hair... I'm really in for it.
My wise hubby has given Nathan permission to "have his hair anyway that he wants" to
because Nathan is "respectful to all the adults in his life and obedient to us and always makes us proud." (Praise the Lord, and I'm really glad he doesn't want a faux hawk)
It's been rather hard for me. But what I need to do is remember what my favorite band looked like. (gag!) Notice their hair...
I'll take the moppy 70's ish look over this anyday!!!!
Secretly, I think anything my kids want to do or wear for the
sake of fashion is just going to be me, reaping what I have sown! ; ) But, let's keep that a secret.
I will refrain from showing you my hair at that time. And we won't even mention the extreme use of EYE LINER. (oh my!)
The other day, Nathan said "Mom, can we get my hair cut today?" OH YES, that was music to my ears! I did protect him from the scissor- happy barber, who always makes sure I get my money's worth by saying that Nathan "still wants this moppy 70'ish look and can you just trim it or shape it or do something to make it look better?"
~Which they did and it does! ~In a moppy, 70'ish sort of way. ; )
April 13, 2007
April 12, 2007
Zach and I learned how to drain a water heater. (because we are do-it-yourself'ers around here) Then we went the whole day without any water. ugh! I also learned that on most water heaters there is a valve that makes it possible to cut off the water JUST to the water heater, but ours is so old (or so bizarre) that it doesn't have one. And so if we want to keep from flooding our kitchen, we have to go without water in the whole house. This made us we really enjoy our grocery shopping trip to Wal Mart.
Then we went out to dinner because we decided that making more dirty dishes that we couldn't wash, didn't make sense. Our next door neighbors wanted to join us and we had a great time! I made all our kiddos drink WATER because we hadn't done enough of that today and use their restrooms which actually FLUSH before we left. (too many details, I know!) Going to the bathroom is a process that shows you what you usually take for granted! Here is how it works now: One of our kids will hop the fence and turn on the hose at our gracious neighbor's house and fill up 5 gallon buckets, which will then be carried into the house to fill the toilet tanks and make them flush-able. It's really just too fun for words. ha ha
Zach taught me how the Royal Rangers do dishes while camping. Boiling water, rinsing in bleach water and then rinsing again in boiled water. So, he and I washed up a bunch of dishes together with our neighbor's well water and I was really thankful that we'd gone out to eat last night.
My hubby bought us a new one this morning and Carlos is installing it for us now. He just pulled out the old one. Yes, I'd say it was time for a new one! : )
So, we are going on 29 hrs. without water and it's been interesting, let's just say that. But we did get some school done in spite of it all and Zach is outside helping to hook up the new one and that should count as a 'life skill', right? One, his future wife will be really thankful for!!!
And if you have a water heater with one of those lovely valves on top of it, know that you are blessed!: )
April 10, 2007
2. Swim Modest. Joy and I both have one of these. These bathing suits were designed by a home school mom! (I love their home school resource catalog also) These suits are pretty pricey! But Joy really likes wearing them because they are comfortable and modest. She can play with her brothers and not have to worry about pulling anything up or down...
3. Plugged In because I seem to always be needing movie reviews. I love this resource. I know exactly what to expect and can make informed movie choices. It has been such a blessing.
4. The spring swing is the best thing we ever spent money on for out kiddos! If you have a big tree than you have to get one. They are so much fun. Ours lasted our family for at least 5 years and it held a lot more than 70 lbs. because no one wanted to believe they'd out grown it! Great fun and worth the money!!!
Zachary was filming the kids playing wiffle ball when the accident happened. (They played so much wiffle ball last weekend, my hubby was swinging in his dreams ) He got the whole fall on tape! Tonight, we watched it on our TV. I had seen it on the TINY screen on the camcorder yesterday without sound but this was a whole different ballpark. The kids, including Philip, thought it was hilarious and were rolling with laughter. They want to send it to America's Funniest Home Videos. My hubby and I were cringing in horror. Phil had to say "Aunt Becky, I'm right here and I'm fine!" (he's a sweetie) What happened was, he swung off the ladder as usual but on the upswing, the swing came out from under him and he sailed about 6 ft. in the air and then hit the ground rolling and crashed into the recycling bin (full of glass no less!!!) and the BBQ grill. All I could do is think how much worse it could have been and thank God it wasn't.
We were out the door early this morning to make a stop at the Cracker Barrel gift shop before heading to the airport. The cousins wanted more Mad Libs for the long plane ride home. Cracker Barrel is the only place I ever remember seeing them. (Only spending 5 min. in the CB gift shop should make me qualify for some kind of award in self control, because I LOVE that store!)
We were able to get a pass for all of us to go all the way to the gate to see off our unaccompanied minors. The pass had the first name of each of my children and their ages on it. Then a security guard tried to well, trick/test Zach by saying the wrong age with his name. It was rather puzzling and not done by accident. I guess, it was to make sure that I wasn't trying to sneak children who didn't belong to me over to the gate to say goodbye to children who really didn't belong to me???
Traveling with a cast meant two interesting things happened. First, Phil's cast was 'checked for explosives.' The way it was explained to us, Phil and I both thought that they were about to chip off a piece of it off and test it. : ) Really glad that didn't happen! The cast was just rubbed with a circular white piece of paper and then that paper was tested to see if it had been in contact with explosives. (interesting!) The second thing, was that it meant he could pre-board and sit anywhere on the plane he wanted to. (pretty cool!) We said our goodbyes and after all that happened, he actually said he was sad to go and looking forward to coming back. : )
Who's hat is off to all of you who have 6 children! Whew!
~Philip's arm was scraped and a little swollen at the wrist.
~Zach threw his back out playing wiffle ball. (not sure how that happened and he's never had problems with his back before)
~Philip was using the ice pack on his wrist and so Zach had to lay on frozen corn. It felt like a regular hospital ward. Philip was on the couch and Zach was in our bedroom. I gave him a bell to ring if he needed anything then told him that I would kill him if he rung it. -Totally teasing of course! ; )
~My sister in law and I talked back and forth and decided that I should take Phil to our doctor in case he had a SPRAIN (a break was not even in our minds because he had some movement) Praise the Lord, that they sent along one of those wonderful letters, the kind you are sure you'll never actually need to use, that said we had their permission to seek medical treatment if we felt it was necessary. I don't know how many times I had to pull out that letter for this experience!
~Nathan was the active babysitter while Zach was the real -but bedridden one, for Joy and Andrew.
~I took both nephews to the doctor with me and waited 2 and half hours to be seen. The old style arcade games they have in the waiting room were a real blessing! I beat Sam at Ms. Pac Man. (I used to be a Ms. Pac Man junkie many, many years ago) ; ) And he was impressed. But he beat me at every game of Frogger and Galactiga. (remember those games?)
~We were in shock to hear that Philip had broken his arm!!! How relieved I was that we'd decided to come and check it. It really did not appear to be broken. So, I guess you just can't tell! They weren't able to set his arm because his growth plates were involved which meant flying home in the morning without it being set or getting it set and putting off flying home. We put off flying home... (they were excited about staying another day)
~It was definitely a pizza and movie night for my benefit. : )
~Praising the Lord when I finally spoke to a human at the pediatric orthopedics's office in the morning and we were able to make an appt. for today!
~When we went to pick up the x rays from yesterday, we watched as a stray dog found his way inside the office and ran three laps around the waiting room! This made everyone smile and laugh. (Which made me realize how little smiling goes on in doctors waiting rooms!) The little guy made its way through an open door to the treatment area! One wise mom, told her toddler that the dog was 'here for a check up and did you see how happy he was to go back there?!" : ) (she had my admiration for her quick thinking! And a happy toddler!)
~We waited some more at the ped. ortho. and the receptionist finally let us know that she'd forgotten to tell us we wouldn't be treated until after lunch! That gave me less than 30 min. to feed my starving nephews and Joy, who came along to keep Sam company. We ate at a pricey little coffee shop in the medical building because we didn't have the time to go anywhere else. The waitress was impressed that I had children 'who liked to eat healthy.' I had to confess that we didn't have time to run to Burger King!!! : ) But the food was great.
~I got teased in the elevator for my Smith Wiggleworth book that says "Healing. Experience God's miracles." A sweet elderly man said that if I was experiencing God's miracles then I wouldn't be there needing a doctor. I laughed and had to agree. (I bet S. W. had the faith to believe God for broken bones)
~We rushed back in the office, just as they called Philip's name!
~For some unknown reason, they said that the bone didn't need to be set after all. It wasn't displaced at all. That was enough of a miracle for me. Thank you Lord! Without having to set the bone, getting a cast was really easy!
~Now we are home, and their parents are working on getting the boys a flight home tomorrow.
They've had one sickness, one black eye (the hide and seek accident - running into something) and a broken arm! (lots of bonding moments)
They told one of the doctors that they didn't want to ever come back to Florida again. He told them that they'll have some good stories to tell when they get back to California! : )
May God bless the 'olive plants' for being great hosts!
~Becky -the tired Mommy/Aunt
April 9, 2007
This year, Joy and Andrew, who are on the kids praise and worship team, joined a drama group that were performing "Behold the Lamb" in sign language for Easter in kid's church. I love, love, love that song! I knew I would bawl buckets seeing the kids 'sign' it, and I did. (even though I'd seen it numerous times in practice) It was powerful! It's amazing how in practice they looked a little flaky and they couldn't seem to get the kick right but in the REAL thing, the presence of the Lord came over these kids! The way they signed and the emotion on their faces and the power of the words, all came through. (and all 19 of them kicked in perfect time!)
(We, moms were in awe!)
It was anointed! I love when kids have the chance to minister. There isn't anything better, for young or old!
April 6, 2007
This beach got the 6 thumbs down rating. (and two are holding their noses!)
It was one we hadn't been to in years and thought might be fun. No! So, off we went to another. My hubby didn't mind because leaving beaches is more fun to him than arriving at them. : )
(he's not a beach lover but he is a very good sport)
We went to our old favorite and it was a blast.
A rather cold blast! The water must have been in the 70's because it was a lot warmer than the weather.
The kids had so much fun that we forgot to take a 6 thumbs up picture.
The CA cousins didn't realize this but we never have WAVES in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a total treat for our gang who haven't experienced anything like this since we were in Daytona.
There were a lot of people ON the beach but it took me awhile to finally realize that we were the only ones IN the water. It was either the rip tide current or the Arctic weather or both! ; )
This is Andrew under the blanket trying to get warm, bless his heart. He and I ended up heading to the car. He played his Game Boy and I read a book.
Then it was off to 7 Eleven for hot chocolate or Slurpee's.
That evening we had a major causality during an outdoor night time game of hide and seek. But, I am thankful to report that we did not need to go for stitches for the third time in 2 months. Thank you Lord!
-who was very relieved!
I love the gospel of John. After listening to Jesus talk about and 'My Father' this
and 'My Father' that for so many chapters,
it makes you about jealous of their relationship.
Then I just about get goose bumps when I read verse 17 in chapter 20 where Jesus says
"I am ascending to My Father and YOUR Father, and to My God and YOUR God." (emphasis mine, because I love it!)
Thank you Jesus for what you went through to make Him our Father and our God!!!
Thank you for breaking the chains of sin, hell, death and the grave!!!
Happy Easter Everyone, as you remember what He went through to make us FREE!
April 5, 2007
In spite of Nathan telling us over and over that "salt water cures everything," we've decided to postpone the beach until Sam is feeling better. He has a headache.
Andrew and I found out that when you have a stuffy nose, 'Bundt cake' sounds a lot like 'butt kick.' But we worked it out. : )
We had waffles with strawberries and later we'll have strawberry shortcake with the Bundt cake. (maybe not all of us, that is)
(speaking of which, I can't say Bundt cake without thinking of and imitating My Big Fat Greek Wedding! And my kids don't get it because we haven't let them see the movie. I love it but as they would say, "it's too smoochy!")
So, it's been a quiet day, with lots of movie watching.
The cousins didn't really get into Napoleon Dynamite. (we, however, are WAY too into it)
This is probably a good thing or they might have gone home with all the funniest lines memorized and driven their mom crazy. ; ) (I would know that from experience)
April 4, 2007
I feel like I'm running my own youth camp this week. : )
I guess I had visions of serving strawberry shortcake to company all year round or something...But next year I need to remember that 30 quarts is way too much!
Zach and I were washing, chopping and freezing for over two hours. ugh!
Philip gave us a fun idea. We saved all the deformed looking ones and we are going to decide what they look like. (so far, one resembles Pooh and one looks like Flubber)
They want me to make jam but I'm sorry to say, I don't know how. That seems like a definite Proverbs 31 requirement that I'll need to learn soon. : )
We are off to Royal Rangers and Missionettes tonight.....
Spring break camp counselor to 6 kiddos (and two dogs that follow me everywhere! -The boys are dog sitting again!)