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

July 29, 2011

Back issues

My dear sweet hubby's back is a big issue right now. It hasn't been quite right since he caught his brother who was having a seizure. A week and a half ago, when we thought his back was better, he lifted some ladders....The next day, it was so bad that he could not get out of his truck. So, he took one more week of vacation to give it time to heal. But that wasn't enough time and now he's taken an unpaid leave of absence from work, which hopefully won't be for too long, until his back is completely healed. So pray for his complete and total healing, if you would.

He bought a swim pass and is visiting the city pool to swim laps twice a day. He's doing his back exercises and hanging upside down for 5 -10 minutes a day. : ) -His best friend bought him an inversion table the other day! Such a thoughtful gift!
He's also put himself on a diet and isn't eating much and he looks thinner by the day. He is keeping his spirits up by praying a lot more than usual, reading tons of the Bible and other spiritual books, memorizing scriptures and writing a spiritual book of his own. (I SOOO love this guy!)

This is definitely a trial for us. These words from Oswald Chambers were comforting today:
(I love, love, love Oswald Chambers!)

"Clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or providences within our personal lives which seem to dispute the rule of God. It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were no clouds, we should have no faith. 'The clouds are but the dust of our Father's feet.' The clouds are a sign that He is there."

So thankful that He is here,

July 26, 2011

Nate is back!

Nathan is back from his amazing trip to CA. He was gone for two weeks which seemed like forever. We were all so excited to see him, that the kids stayed awake with us and we all headed to the airport to pick him up at midnight!

He stayed with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law and my aunt and her husband. -Lots of family fun! He visited the church I grew up in and met lots of people who I hung out with as a teenager and folks and who knew my mom, and my grandmother way back when. He said his trip was like "reliving Mom's childhood." : )
But he had the opportunity to go and see places I've never even been to like: Big Sur, Mammoth and Yosemite. (they were actually hiking the waterfall at the same time that those three hikers were swept over last week) He also went to Palm Springs and rode the tram.

He doesn't have any pictures since he lost him $300 iPod during his travels. : (

Our many thanks to the sweet "L" family for inviting him to join them on their trip! He had an unforgettable time and thanks to all our dear family members who had him over!

He came back a little chunkier, he says (from all the yummy Mexican food) and a much better Ukulele player! : ) (he had only owned it for a day, before he left and we are amazed at how many songs he can play now!)

So, we are all back together again! This mom loves that! -But it will be short-lived because on Monday Zac is headed to Arizona for Fine Arts Nationals for a week!!! Hooray!

Andrew is glad to have his buddy Joel back. He went to spend the night with him last night after VBS and he was so excited. He said "I'm reuniting with Joel. My favorite brother in Christ!" Too cute!

We are all busy helping at our church's VBS this week. Last I heard there were about 543 kids attending! Whoo-hoo!!!
Tired but blessed,

July 18, 2011

Lazy summer dayz

It is unusually quiet on the summer home front.
We have one kiddo in CA,
one who is college-bound and job hunting,
and two who are reading like their lives depend on it. (they are in a summer reading program trying to earn free tickets to a Rays game)

Things will pick up soon enough though. We are having a couple of boys stay over this week. One had a death in the family and his mom is out of town and another whose parents are in ministry and will be out of town for half the week. Adding more boys to our bunch will liven things up.

The rest of the summer will look like this:
Next week is VBS -which is plenty of excitement and then some...
By then our kiddo in Cali will be back. Yay! I miss him!
A week later we'll be minus one again when we send off our oldest to AZ for the National Fine Arts competition.
A few days after he comes home, my niece is coming from CA for 9 days of Florida fun.
And four days after she leaves, school starts! But with only 3 students this year! -Hard to believe!

All that being said, I think I'll enjoy the calm before the storm, I mean -before the FUN! ; )

July 13, 2011

Our love for Lewis

Like a lot of families, our favorite book series of all time has been The Chronicles of Narnia.

After I read our kiddos the series, we wrote down our favorite quotes from the books and voted on them. I wrote the winning quotes on the walls of our boys' room with a paint pen.

After 6 years, it is REALLY time to do some painting so it is kind of an end of an era.

Here are the quotes that meant so much to our 3 boys over the years:

"Wrong will be right when Aslan comes in sight. At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more." ~Mr. Beaver

"Courage Child! We are all between the paws of the true Aslan." ~Trinian

"Once a king and queen in Narnia, always a king and queen in Narnia." ~Aslan

"Proclaim the truth and take the adventure that Aslan sends us." ~Jewel

"I must make it the mail object of life to press on to that other country and help others do the same." ~ C.S. Lewis

"This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there." ~Aslan

As you can imagine, Lewis received A LOT of mail from children after he wrote those books and he actually read and responded to every letter. I'm reading C. S. Lewis' Letters to Children and this is my favorite part of a letter he wrote to a young reader who wanted to know who Aslan really is:

"As for Aslan's other name, well I want you to guess. Has there never been anyone in this world who:
(1.) Arrived at the same time as Father Christmas.
(2.) Said he was the son of the Great Emperor.
(3.) Gave himself up for someone else's fault to be
jeered at and killed by wicked people.
(4.) Came to life again.
(5.) Is sometimes spoken of as a Lamb.
Don't you really know His name in this world.
Think it over and let me know your answer!" ~C.S. Lewis

Isn't that sweet!?
Well, it certainly doesn't matter how old you are, a trip to Narnia will do you good, I promise!
You'll get a glimpse of the Lion Judah while you are there! : )


July 12, 2011

Cali bound

Some of my favorite people:

are headed to San Diego today, to see MORE of my favorite people!

The rest of the family is wishing that we could have found a way to stow away in all their luggage! ; ) But no such luck!

Have fun, Nathan! I know you'll be fine but your mom won't be unless you call once in awhile! K?
13 days is a LONG time ya know! : )
Love you! Eat lots of guacamole for me! And give hugs to all those I love so much!


July 4, 2011

Fun on the Fourth

Because the BBQ must go on! ; )


We thought we had time to grill before the storm came in, but we were totally wrong. : ) We were only half way through when it hit....and did it ever hit.

~Gotta love Florida's weather! -Our kids do. They love any chance they can get to play in the rain. (while our elderly neighbor watches and frowns at them. lol) But it isn't like there is any chance of getting sick when it is 90 degrees out!

In spite of the weather, we had the best burgers ever! The fam thought they were better than Reb Robins! Now that is saying something! Zac wanted us to try bleu cheese burgers, so he found a recipe and I added a few things to it. He loves to grill. This might explain why Nathan doesn't know how, so Dad gave him a lesson today, "because men have to know how to grill!"
It was cute because somethings I overheard were "Go get a big drink. Men have to have a big, cold drink while they BBQ." And "If you are lucky, sometimes the women will prepare the meat for you." ; )
Here's what I do for burgers: -I put Worcestershire sauce on and Lawry's season salt on them before they hit the grill. But here was the kicker that we tried today:

4 T softened butter
3 oz of bleu cheese
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 T of mayonnaise

This mixture is enough for 6 burgers and we divided it up and put it on each burger while it was still hot. And they were amazing. The kids said they can't wait to have some company soon and "blow their minds." ; )

Besides eating, the guys took a trip to the music store, we played some Frisbee, learned to play Skip-Bo and of course had an exciting time grilling in a major storm. That was pretty much it. It was happy fourth, despite the fact that Dad's back is still recuperating and he had to spend a good part of the day laying flat on the floor and doing back exercises.

Happy birthday, America! May you be a nation that God wants to bless in the days ahead.


*Edited to note: Our new variation on the bleu cheese recipe is: 2 T. mayo, 4 oz. bleu cheese, pepper, 4 crumbled pieces of bacon, 1/2 an onion cooked in bacon grease. -The mind blowing continues! But we all about fainted when we saw Andrew about to scrap his off his burger into the trash can! : ) That's my picky eater!

July 3, 2011

Trying E-Mealz

A friend told me about E mealz.
It sounds really neat. For $1.25 a week, someone else plans your weekly menu around sale items at your local grocery store and makes your grocery list for you! : )
-And it is endorsed by Dave Ramsey!!! How cool is that?!

It is basically $5.00 a month and you have to pay for 3 months at a time. Before I signed up, I found a coupon code! It is DAVE. That code made the service only $12.50. Whoo-hoo!

They have lots of grocery stores to choose from (even Wal Mart). You can also choose a list for vegetarians, or low fat, or low carbs etc.. Lots of options. You can also choose a list for a family or for two.
I'm doing the Publix list which uses their BOGO deals. : )
If it doesn't end up saving me money, then I won't renew. We'll see how it goes. It will be fun to try some new recipes anyway.


July 2, 2011

Back at it

My hubby who often times, lifts and climbs ladders all day had his back go out just by reaching for something on Monday. It was SO sad. What a week it has been! He was unable to get up for 3 days.
So thankful for all our sweet friends who kept him in prayer! He's been able to walk around for the last two days, pain free, Thank the Lord.
He saw the chiropractor last night and things are looking up now. Whew! Monday will probably be the last day off he has until Christmas but that's OK.

Just thankful,

July 1, 2011

Father's day fun

My hubby's best friend bought us all tickets to the Ray's game to celebrate Father's Day!

I thought it would be kind of dull like it is on TV and last for 5 hours so I actually thought about bringing a book. (too funny!)

But I was wrong on both counts.

1. It is football games that last for 3 but totally feels like 5! ; )
2. Baseball in person is not a bit dull!

We got to see the Rays play the Marlins. It was SOOOO much fun!

Because our pitcher got 10 strike outs, everyone who went to Kane's Furniture got a coupon for a free medium pizza from Papa John's! And since we had 6 tickets, that was 6 pizzas. (after driving all over creation to the Kane's and then to find a Papa John's that is!)
But ya can't beat a free dinner (& leftovers) after the game!

Guess what? The cameras (wherever they were) zoomed in on our family and we were on the big huge mega tron screens! Wow!!!! It is funny to be watching the screens and then realize that you are seeing people in your own family!

For some reason Rays fans ring cowbells. (if you know why, let me know! And while you are at it, please tell me what creature our furry mascot is, I'm stumped!)

I was pretty sure that sitting in front of a two year old with a cowbell was not going to be
too fun, lol but thankfully, he got bored with it pretty quick. At one point, he came flying over the seat next to me and was caught by the lady one seat over. Her great reflexes kept that little fan from landing on his head! (I'm amazed that someone would bring such a little guy and then get mad at him for "not watching the game." Good grief!)
Next, the elderly lady in front of me had to be carried away by medics out of the stadium! She had a really weak pulse and was sweating profusely. (in the air conditioning)

So, like I said, baseball in person isn't a bit boring! -And the game wasn't bad either! LOL!
We won! 2 to 1! Hooray! And did I mention the free pizza!

Such a fun Father's Day! -And no one loved it more than a certain major Rays fan that I'm in love with!