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

August 30, 2007

California here we come!

The biggest thing going on here, besides the kitchen, of course, is the trip to California.
Here's the post that says how God made that possible in such an awesome way.

We are so excited!!! ~And so are my sweet parents who want to know what brand of peanut butter we eat and what kind of tea we like. : )
Aren't they the best? -Letting all 6 of us invade their condo for a week!

Since are flying stand by, we are going to bring small amounts of luggage and carry it on. Which means that I am not going to be able to use my 'gift.'
Which is over packing. I'm really good at that!
So, I may have luggage withdrawals but it's better this way.... I don't want my PJ's in some other state once I finally reach CA. (I had that happen on our last trip out there)

We are going to do some fun sight seeing and get to see some wonderful people.
I'm going to get to spend some time with my sister, who I love dearly.
My aunt is coming from AZ to see us!!! I haven't seen her in 13 yrs. What a treat, that will be!
My hubby's brother will just happen to be there on business that week, which was an unexpected blessing.
We'll see my step brother, sister-in-law and their sweet children. Our kids had a blast with them the last time we were out there.

Of course, I can't wait to see my parents. I haven't seen my mom in 3 years. She was caring for her dying mother all that time and could never come and visit us with my dad, who comes to spend a week with us every February. He wasn't able to make it this year, which caused one of the kids to say that "February isn't February without Granddaddy Don."

Here is another neat thing that will happen: our kids will get to meet and thank the man who shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with their dad back when he was 20! How blessed we all are today because of it!


August 29, 2007

Strange dates

We've learned that when you are remodeling,
weird things sound like fun dates.

Two weeks ago it was a 'hot date to Famous Tate' to look at refrigerators. ; )

This weekend it was a night out at Home Depot, (whoo hoo) but we threw in a trip to Star Bucks to make it seem more like a date...

(scary, huh?)

And on the way home, we decided to watch a movie after the kiddos went to bed. My hubby suggested Sleepless in Seattle.
As I was getting ready to get cozy on the couch, I noticed that it wasn't Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks on our TV screen....
Something was wrong with the picture!
-It was a bunch of men running up and down on a football field....

Then my cute hubby said
"I'm sorry. Pre-season football must be from the devil." (my thoughts exactly!!!)
"It's going to have to be Sleepless in Miami tonight instead."
I laughed and laughed.
Good thing there is a much better date in store for us in the near future, that's for sure!

And it's a special one...
to celebrate 16 yrs. of marriage! One that doesn't include looking at trim or discussing paint colors or touchdowns...yahoo!



Congratulations to Zachary and Andrew!
They each earned 'Ranger of the Year' for our outpost! : )


August 26, 2007

Carlos and the kitchen

"Get 'er done" is the motto around here.
My hubby's best friend has given us an incredible gift of a kitchen remodel, as I have mentioned before. This is the 10th week that we've been at it. It is what our lives have been all wrapped up in this summer. He's been at our house almost 7 days a week.... Some late nights and some early mornings and then there were some major interruptions...
So far, he has:
made the kitchen 42" bigger (what a difference!)
reused our existing cabinets
put travertine on the floor
made granite counter tops
put in a couple of new windows
put in a new sink
and made a bar (counter) for sitting at
It's really amazing.
And there were some interesting things that have happened that have made us see the hand of God and decide that it was all really about more than me getting my socks blessed off by having a better kitchen.

First off, the house was sagging and we didn't know it. It took alot of work to fix it and no one will ever fall through the floor now. yahoo! I felt so sorry for him though. It was sure more work than he bargained for!

Secondly, Carlos' health has been an issue. He knew that he was ill before he started this project but he kept putting off going to the doctor for months.
When he finally decided to go, Nathan said that he wanted to go and be "his prayer support." (how sweet was that?) Then Andrew didn't want to be left out ...and so all 5 of us went with our dear friend to the doctor. (I had the fun of beating my boys in the one and only video game that I ever will-Ms. Pac Man! Our dr. office has two old arcade games in the waiting room.)

He found out, that he has type two diabetes. His number was off the chart. That was a scary time and the kitchen work slowed way down, not that we cared.

Then things got even worse. His eyesight got so bad and at such a fast rate that there was a day when he said that he didn't think he could finish the kitchen because he was going blind. And what he was most upset about wasn't loosing his eyesight, but that he would not be able to finish what he started in our kitchen. And that just blew me away. Isn't that incredible?
When I looked up his symptoms it appeared that he had one of two diseases where diabetes damages retinas and causes blindness. It was very scary.

Then a trip to the eye doctor brought glorious news....
His retinas were fine. The blurriness was caused by the sugar in his eyes but that the retinas weren't damaged. That was great news. But it was hard to tell that that was the case because everyday he could still see less and less...

But, he just kept working away at the kitchen! He didn't want to stop even though he needed help reading tape measures and things... He used a magnifying glass and a pair of old glasses that he wore way back before he had laser surgery on his eyes years ago. He just kept plugging away at it.

Through all this, he's learned to take better care of his body. His sugar levels have greatly improved. They are so low now! It is really great!

After weeks and weeks of not being able to see properly, last week God gave him back his vision! 20/20 again! Glory, glory, glory!

Now, that was last week's good news.
This week's good news is that he is feeling better than he has felt in years!

The energy level he has now, is enough to make a 2o year old man jealous. It's like watching the Engerizer Bunny come and work at your house. He is non stop.
He has a daytime job now, doing remodels and he comes here to work at 4:00 for what he says is the 'fun stuff.' Which is still hard work. But he seems to really enjoy it.

Labor day will be a laborious day, but we think it might be the day when this kitchen is actually done!
~Thanks to an amazing man, who wanted to give an amazing gift and persevered through some huge trials to see it accomplished. It's been a very humbling experience.

And here are some pictures of what he's accomplished in spite of everything! He's amazing!

This is the night it all started: When he knocked out the kitchen wall above the bookcase.

It's so open now. We love it.
This is a granite bar where the bookcase was.

I'll post some more when it's all finished.

August 23, 2007

Frugality and smelling like onions

Joy is still into Martha.
And here is what she's picked up on by watching her show:

Joy: "You know what Mom? Martha is not frugal!" (I got a kick out of that)

~ Frugality is what her mom is all about! Ask the tooth fairy! : )

Now, here is 'Good Thing' of hers that we are both pretty excited about...

Did you know that if your hands smell like onions or garlic, and you rub them on stainless steel the order will go away!? How cool is that?! Who knew? We can't wait to try it!


JBQ and Joy's "Strong verse"

During our Junior Bible Quiz practice time the other morning, we learned this new 30 point question:

Quotation Question. What should be our prayer about our speech and thoughts? Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Joy knew the verse already but it really struck her this time. She said "Wow, I need to meditate on this one." (so do I Sister, so do I)

She loved "the Rock and my Redeemer" part! And then she ran off to find our friend Carlos, who is working on our kitchen and asked him if he wanted to hear "a strong memory verse." And he did. : )

Speaking of JBQ, my hubby and I were asked to coach Joy and Andrew's team this year. Our kiddos are really excited about it. We love JBQ and since we are at all the matches anyway, we might as well. My hubby said he planned on being a laid back coach. Then, just to tease me, he started quoting lines from the movie Kicking and Screaming. You know the part where the coach is all hyped up on coffee and only cares about winning...
I'll make sure he doesn't pray over a match and then tell the team to "break someone's clavicle." I promise! ; )

August 21, 2007

Coconuts and Call it Courage

We have been reading this:
And today, we were suppose to eat what Mafutu ate on the island...and well, Publix doesn't have breadfruit, but they did have the coconuts and bananas.... After we picked out our coconuts, a certain somebody asked me if I was SURE that Mafatu didn't eat Hostess Ding Dongs on the island... No, sorry. Good try though!

Since we are still in the middle of a kitchen remodel, don't ask me why we were having trouble locating a hammer and a nail. But when we laid eyes on a drill or two, we thought we were home free!Carlos hadn't come to work on the kitchen yet, or he may have had something to say about us getting coconut goopies all over his drills and bits. : )
I thought cleaning those bits first was a good idea because they surely weren't sanitary...but nobody else was into that idea...
I'd forgotten the phrase in our book that said "put your hole in the soft spot of the coconut" and so even with a drill or two, it was nice and difficult! The kids eventually got a hole in it and not just the milk, but also little bits of the shell came out of it that made the coconut milk look rather unappetizing. A little sieve would have been nice but we didn't have one and one resourceful kiddo suggested we sift the milk through one of our window screens.... Which aren't by any means sanitary and so we didn't try that. : )
Someone else did a coconut milk verses cow milk taste test and the COW won!

We baked our coconut for an hour on 35o degrees and then tried it and it was well, PLAIN. After that, I had to have a bite of the yummy sweetened kind that comes in a lovely package from the fridge. : )
Joy had fun wearing the shells as hats and Honey thinks they are the best dog toy ever!
After all that, I was kind of wishing that Mafutu HAD eaten Ding Dongs on the island.

August 20, 2007

School around here

Every year I make an ideal schedule that I want us to follow for school and every year it's a little unrealistic. And that's OK.

On the top of the schedule this year, I put Prov. 3:5-6 "In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." That is to remind me to be sure I'm letting Him lead our day and be the 'Director' of our schedule. : )

Over all we are enjoying it. Zach likes Sonlight. The kids and I are getting the hang of Learning Adventures. (A New World of Adventure) It's been fun but our days are very full. We start Bible at 7:30 and we end school somewhere between 3 and 4:00. I miss those early elementary days when we were done in 2 hrs. But, this is a new season...

And I've decided I'm going to love the high school years. It is a different ballgame but it has definite pluses for the mom!!! -I don't have to do the record keeping! Yahoo!


August 17, 2007

His Faithfulness

I know that my last post was a testimony, but this one is too good not to post!

As I was working at the registration desk at VBS, my friend came up and said:
"God healed her! God totally healed her." She had tears in her eyes.

She was referring to a 12 yrs. old girl named K. She is very petite and hearing impaired.

Here's the story:

K comes to children's church and she and her sister ask for prayer every week that she be healed. My friend prayed for her many times. Her little sister would pray even more earnestly for K than she did for herself. Her prayer was that K could walk and play. The doctors said that she would always have Lupus.

Well, she's been out of her wheel chair for awhile now...

When my friend saw her at VBS, she asked her how she was feeling. K's happy mom, said "Tell
her." And K said "The doctor said there is no more trace of Lupus in my body!!!" Hallelujah!

And there she was helping at VBS and she ended up being in my group. I had the privilege of talking to her one night. She is the sweetest girl! She's excellent at reading lips.
She has one more request.
Her hearing. There is an upcoming surgery that they believe will fix her hearing. Or of course, God can do it. K is going to be in my prayers about this! Meeting her was the highlight of my week.
He is faithful!

August 15, 2007

His Faithfulness (to my high schooler)

This blessed me so much!

As we were getting ready to embark on our journey into home schooling high school and making Zach's schedule, we realized he needed an elective. We decided to go with this near by co-op type group. They offer classes to homeschoolers that are taught by certified teachers. The classes all meet one day a week and then the students are given 4 days worth of homework. (which gives them some experience in a college type of schedule) There were plenty to choose from and we narrowed down what looked good to him to either a Modern Ensemble music class or the Entrepreneurial Business and Web Design class. (I'd love to take that one myself!)

Zach was leaning towards the music class because of his love for the drums. (he practices 2 hrs. a day) The teacher of the course is going to take all the students musical abilities
(given they have any, they said) : )
and form a rock band. They are going to play old rock. (Beach Boys etc...)
Zach was a little disappointed about that because he loves contemporary Christian and praise and worship music.

Anyway, we left it up to him to pray about and decide. He decided to go with the business/web design class because he said old rock just isn't his thing and that he would at least still have the family band to play with.

Well, the very next day, when we were at church, one of the pastors who knows that Zach plays the drums, asked if he would like to play along with a keyboardist and a guitarist during the alter call time in children's church!
It was amazing. Just the type of thing he wanted to do.
God gave him the "desires of his heart" immediately and it was so cool!


August 14, 2007

Burgers no matter what

I guess it's my Type A -ness, but if my menu plan for the week say BBQ burgers for dinner then I am going to BBQ burgers no matter what the weather is doing. : )
Crazy, I know!
-And in FL in the summer, that would mean raining. Of course, a lot of the time, it looks like rain and then doesn't rain. Or it looks like it will rain a lot and then it only drizzles.

Today, the sky was dark and it was thundering but it wasn't raining so I thought I'd rather go for it than try and dream up something else to cook. (and I don't care for frying burgers)

I got them halfway cooked when it started to rain and then pour. I have never officially been soaked to the skin while BBQ-ing until today while topping them with cheese. : )

My sweet hubby gallantly helped me in the worst weather possible, to take them off the grill all the while making jokes about how juicy they were going to be. I hope my neighbors were busy indoors and didn't notice the crazy woman grilling in a thunderstorm. The burgers were really good though!!! Maybe it was the rainwater...


August 11, 2007

Swimming merit

The Royal Rangers worked on the Advanced Swimming Merit this morning.

So, this is the conversation that I had with Nathan before we left the house:

"Mom, what kind of pants do you think blow up the best?"

Me: "Straight legged jeans, not the ones that flare at the bottom."

Of course, I really didn't know what I was talking about...Because until just then, I didn't know that you could actually take off your jeans while in a pool, tie them in a knot, blow air into them and use them around your neck as a floatation device to save your life!

But that's what the boys had to do.

And their commander pronounced them all "dead" because, well, they didn't do it too well. : )
They did have fun trying.
They also swam a whole lot of strokes, did some dives and then tried saving each others lives. It turned into a fun morning of fellowship after a fun/exhausting week of VBS.

August 10, 2007

For all "Anne with an 'e' fans"

I am a big Anne of Green Gables fan!
My kids and I and even my hubby often quote our favorite scenes from the Disney (Kevin Sullivan) version. (that shows how often they've had to watch it with me! Teasing! They like it too) : )

This week I discovered this at the library......

And I was thrilled! I really enjoyed it! It is the BBC version. It doesn't really compare to the Disney version but it does follow the books more closely. So, if you've read Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island than you might in enjoy it too. We were hooked even though the acting wasn't as good. If you're a die hard Anne fan, then it's fun to see anything about her! : )

And if you are one, then you'll really like this book. It has "Anne" projects and recipes. I recommend the plum puffs!!! : )

~Becky, who is a really big Anne fan!

August 7, 2007

VBS fun

I love VBS! It's crazy but it is a fun week of service and we always end up making new friends. People we go to church with but have never had the chance to get to know. And after you do this hectic week together, you kind of feel like you've been friends 'through thick and thin' and always will be. ha ha

I usually help with registration and then go help with preschool crafts. I'm always in awe of the "Queen of Preschool crafts" as I like to call her. She lets them do fun things like PAINT and use glitter. Oh, the thought of a room full of preschoolers and paint about makes me shudder. This is why I'm not the Queen of Preschool crafts. : )
She always does it so well and in such an orderly fashion, that grown up helpers, as well as the kids, have a blast.

Last year, my oldest son, Zach and I decided to be a 'team leaders' and have our very own group of preschoolers to take to and from the various activities. (games, Bible story, crafts, choir and snack)

Oh Mercy! They put about 10 boys and 2 girls on our team. And those boys were something else. About 3 of them had "ISSUES" as my kids would say. Truly they were the most defiant kiddos I'd ever seen.

And after we had some leaders pushed by them and some kids spit on and many refusals to do anything we said... my world was rocked and Zach was not thrilled about the upcoming week because that was only the first night! When I got home I told my hubby my plight and asked (begged) : ) him to come with me the next night and "to please look tall and mean." I don't think he pulled off looking mean but he is tall and great with kids! Having him there was a great help and he came with me for the next two nights.

So, this year? I'm taking a brake from preschoolers, cute as they are.. and helping with elementary kids crafts and registration.

Zach is helping this year too but they weren't taking him alive if he had to help with preschoolers again. : )
And so he picked the nice refined age of 4th grade to work with. And he's enjoying it. He's got a sweet and obedient bunch of kids this year and they just happen to be all girls. And ya know, that might have something to do with it being so easy. But that's just a theory! ; )

More from my 8 yr. old

"If kids don't eat any sugar for a whole month they'd get so matured." ~Andrew
And here's some advice he had for me. ; )
He's a cutie!

August 4, 2007

A bunch of "nevers" all happening in the same week!

I'm going to be quoting "I can do all things through Christ" to myself a lot this week... possibly constantly. As it turns out, I get to do a bunch of things I said that I would never do.

When we started this kitchen remodel adventure I kept thinking, "this is going to make my life crazy but it will be OK because it's summer and I can handle this in the summer. I could never handle this while homeschooling."
Well, as they say, "Never say never!" because NOW I get to find out that I CAN do homeschooling and remodeling! ; )

The other thing I thought I'd never do, is have company while we are in the temporary kitchen. (really the family room which is rigged with water)
We've already canceled on this dear couple once and it would be awful to do it again even though they would understand. They are coming over to teach me how to be the treasurer of the home school group and download the program on our computer. They are such servants in our church. It's an honor to have them come over for dinner as well as get this treasurer lesson. I'm not sure they understand that they are coming to eat in a construction zone though.

Last year, I said I would never start my homeschooling year on or before Vacation Bible School. I know a family who does that and I thought that sounded crazy. That week wears me out. But, guess what happened? When I figured out that I need 18 weeks to make a high school semester, plus a week off for our vacation in Sept. I found out that I need to start our school year on the same week as VBS week. AHH!

And I NEVER can just drop my kiddos off and go have dates with my hubby 5 nights that week. (although the thought has crossed my mind) I'm just compelled to help all those sweet workers at our church who pull this thing off every night and make it an awesome week for almost 400 kids. But, because I want to keep my sanity, I have not volunteered to do the preschoolers this year. ha ha (but that's another post for another day)

See if I ever say "never" again! ; )
I'm sure all this will add some blog fodder to my life, so that's a good thing.

August 3, 2007

Girls night out and in

My hubby and the boys are off to an air soft gun birthday party. How's that for guy fun?
And so we girls have decided what we are going to do:
First, a trip to Starbucks..
Then a stop at Blockbuster for a chick flick (because this is our big chance to watch one)
and then we'll bake some cookies. : )

Have a great weekend!