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

June 29, 2012

When Queens Ride By

Years ago, before there were blogs, I read this sweet story on a homeschooling website and loved it sooo much, I printed the whole thing out and put it in a notebook.

Grab some coffee or tea and take 30 minutes or so and read it,
but only IF you want to be challenged and encouraged in your calling as a help meet, homemaker and mother! : )

I read it recently and I thought about it for days. 
It made me a happier homemaker. It made me a more joyful wife. I told the whole story to my husband, one night on a date, and he thought about it for days...
Then he told me (over the next few days) more times than I could count, how much he appreciates the home I make for our family...
This very old, powerful, sweet story does that to people.
Go read it and let it haunt you and bless you. Somehow it does both!

You can read it here

Happy reading!

June 28, 2012

Let the VBS fun begin

VBS starts tonight and the theme is Pirates and Princesses. 
(pirates without the skull and cross bones, that is!!!) ; )
Hubby is on the security team and I had fun making his pirate costume. The registration team wiggled its way out of looking like princesses (lol) so my comfortable footwear problem is solved. All I have to do is wear a tiara with shorts and a t-shirt! 
Zac is helping out with a class of kiddos and Joy, our newly CPR certified kiddo, is a lifeguard for all the water activities.
Andrew and Nathan are playing in the band this year. Or should I say not playing. They will be playing but not plugged in, since the church opted to use a c.d.. Nate will be playing on the huge pirate ship and Andrew will be high up in the castle's balcony, which is a gazillion feet up in the air and he says the ladder wobbles when you climb up there. He is suppose to jump and spin while playing.... 
He and his momma are a little concerned about that! 
But his Dad, who spends a lot of his days on ladders, isn't. He had Andrew practice his songs while standing/jumping on a 5 gallon bucket so that 3 feet of space would seem like a lot! -I thought that was a 'genius' idea! -But he said it was just a 'Jesus' idea. ; ) 

~This is an example of some of the fun things we get to do for Him this weekend! 

And here's what He did for me. -The balcony now has a railing! Whew! : )


June 27, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

I was reading in Genesis, and thinking of the injustice that Hagar suffered.
Hello! It wasn't her idea to 'be given to Abraham' and have his son, it was Sarah's. Then Hagar became pregnant and it says that "Sarah dealt harshly with her and she fled from her presence." 
Then "An Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness" and told her to "return to Sarah and submit to her." Then she received God's promise that He would multiply her descendants so that they could not be counted. And that she would have a son and he would be called Ishmael, which means 'God-Hears.' So, Hagar "called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God Who-Sees' (which is El Roi) because she was convinced that she'd "seen Him who sees me." Isn't that sweet? I love learning the names of God. If you get into that sort of thing too, this is an awesome book!!! I love to remember that God is El Roi and He sees all the things going on around me. Knowing that He sees and knows, brings me peace, even if nothing changes! 

Anyway, how cool is it that, The-God-Who-Sees told Hagar that she was going to give birth to a son and his name would be 'God-Hears.'

When Isaac was weaned and given a feast, it says that Ishmael laughed, which sounds like what older brothers do to younger brothers. But Sarah flipped out and wanted Hagar and Ishmael sent away.  -I personally think Abraham should have given them more than one skin of water for the journey, but maybe I'm being picky. : ) It appeared to Hagar that she and her son would die of thirst so she put him under some shrubs and she went a distance away so that she would not have to watch him die. Then the Lord appeared to her, and said "What ails you Hagar?" which sounds like a crazy question until you read it in light of their NAMES!
'The God-Who-Sees' "heard the voice of 'God-Hears.' "  Isn't that sweet? Of course He did! He promised to! So, really 'what ails you' when you know that the King of Kings has you in His care?
"Fear not for God has heard the voice of 'God-hears.'
"So God was with the lad and he grew and dwelt in the land and became an archer."
The End.

What ails you that you need 'The-God-Who-Sees' to intervene?
Your name probably does not mean 'God-Hears' but He has promised us that He does here us:

"He will call on me, and I will answer him; 
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him." Psalm 91:15

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, 
    to all who call on him in truth." Psalm 145:18

"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." 
Jeremiah 29:12-13

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

AND the best one: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
 Romans 10:13 : )


June 26, 2012

What a day

Have you ever been grocery shopping and happen to be going down the same aisles in the same order as someone else at about the same speed?
Well, that is happened to me today at Wal*Mart and I accidentally eavesdropped on this man's cell phone conversation because he was...well, loud.
When I was getting pasta I heard that his wife of 25 years has only 6 months to live and I was stunned. I stared after him as he walked the rest of the way down the aisle saying:
 "I'm not giving up though, she's my wife!" 
When we were near the sausage and bacon, I heard that he "isn't going to work for someone else anymore." He wants to "make the best life I can for my three kids. My family is all that matters to me. It is all that I have."
Near the sandwich meat, I heard that he has a child who is "partying like there's no tomorrow" and "What's wrong with teenagers these days."
I was hoping to tell him that I believe in the power of prayer and that I would be praying for his wife's healing  (which I had started doing 2 aisles back) and his family,
but I never saw him again. By the time I hit the produce section, I was just about in tears thinking about his situation,
when guess who walked by? 
Not him,
Or a man in a Spider Man costume, I should say.
And I had to smile... And smiling is a lot better than crying while getting bananas.
He looked so crazy wandering around the fruit and then he turned and went the other way.

When I got home, I found out that I had to return something....ugh! Something that couldn't wait until next week, which meant that I found myself, yet again at Wal*Mart. Grrr!
 I would have thought this was cruel and unusual punishment except for the conversation that followed.

The man in front of me, told the cashier that she could 'keep the change' and she said "No, you may need it. What if your total is $20.01 next time?"
When it was my turn, I told her that I'd said the same thing to one of my boys recently who 'doesn't like change.'
 (Actually my speech went more like this -"Dude! Change is money! If you don't want it, I know some missionaries who will gladly take it off your hands or feel free to give it to me!!!")  ; )

And you know what this sweet, elderly cashier said?!?!
I promise you, you don't! (which is why I'm even rambling on about this in the first place)

She said:
"You know, my mother paid for my wedding with pennies."
Me: "No way, really?!"
Cashier: "Yes, she did. The day I was born she started saving all the change from my father's pockets each evening, and put it in the bank. When I got married it was enough to pay for my wedding. So, in essence, she paid for my wedding with pennies. So that goes to show you the value of change."
Me: "Thank you! I'm so glad you told me that story."

Wasn't that beautiful?! I think that made the second trip totally worth it.

~Becky, who had one really odd day at Wally World 

June 24, 2012

Oh Debby and the weekend

It is a glorious thing to be HOME during a tornado warning, especially since we were just OUT in it! 

But in Florida, rain doesn't keep you at home...
So, when we had a VBS meeting and an evening church service and other people's kiddos needing a ride back to the building, we just loaded up and headed off through some crazy rain. Probably should have stayed home though and had a big sleep-over instead. : )
After the VBS meeting, church was cancelled so that everyone else would stay home and be safe. Then we had one VERY crazy drive home, right through the worst area! -Scariest driving we've ever had to do. (actually hubby did it, I would've been a basket-case)  But, we made it and all is well.
Hello Hurricane season!
Sounds like we will have a lot of rain for the next three days. 
But here is hoping that it will all clear up by Thursday evening when our Pirates and Princesses VBS starts and where 450 kids have already pre-registered to come! 
I have some boys to help make look like pirates, like Andrew, who is playing in the band. I'm trying to decide if the brides maid's dress I have, will pass as princess-y. Maybe a tiara from Party City will help. And how can you be a princess without heels? And how can you stand on your feet for 3 hours every night in heels in the first place? (definitely first world problems, sorry!)  
Joy took a CPR class so that she could help in 'water world' with all the water slides and blow up pools etc at VBS and loved it...
Here is her cuteness practicing what she learned on our video game chair. lol  And here's hoping that no one will need to use it, in Jesus' name. 

We had a fun weekend, although a wet one. 
Everyone found themselves at home last night. As a mom of teens, that is one of my favorite things, a night where my whole family is at home! We played lots of rounds of Uno, made brownies and watched some Star Wars and hubby's new favorite show Auction Kings.  

Friday night, we had some friends from church, invite us out to dinner. It was such a sweet invitation, but we were totally clueless as to what they had in mind. They came and picked us up and drove us to a very fancy steak restaurant with valet parking and said "We admire you and this is to thank you for what you did for your brother during the last 6 months!" and we were blown away. Just blown away. Isn't that the most thoughtful thing ever?! They aren't people we see regularly at our really big church or even talked to more than twice during that whole time...What a sweet blessing from the Lord. -And boy, did we enjoy it. We've never eaten food like that before and we may never again, after seeing the prices. lol
But I'll certainly never forget that evening.  
The body of Christ is amazing!

P.S. ~If you are new to the blog, My hubby's brother is a stroke patient and you can read all about our adventures in taking turns caring-giving under the category of "Uncle Phil."

June 22, 2012

More celebrating

Last week was all about our oldest getting his driver's license, tag, title transferred, insurance and registration. And that ended up costing him a thousand dollars. -Wow, and that's besides the car!  So, we had some celebrating to do for such awesome accomplishments!

I've been watching a lot of episodes of Cake Boss while I exercise and it made me want to go and do something easy like sculpt a steering wheel or a model of his car out of rice crispy treats and cover it in fondant, lol! But I suppressed that urge for the sake of my sanity and did this instead:

Cheesecake for the peanut M &M lover!

The picture of the red mini-van was a joke. Joy made it fun by adding faces to some of the M&M's 
He's been practicing in his stick shift and he's really getting the hang of it now. Today he ran his first errand for me (yahoo!!!!) and tonight he will drive himself to work for the very first time! Yay! So, my days of driving to and from Starbucks daily are over....but I told him he could still feel free to bring me something! lol


June 21, 2012

The 4th of July Seder

My hubby is a fan of Dennis Prager and last year he heard about something called the 4th of July Seder (or the '4th of July Declaration') which sounded really neat. Similar to a Jewish Seder, it has readings and symbols to explain different aspects of our country's founding. It sounds like a great way to remember the reason for our celebration, since we tend to get a little distracted by the FOOD and the fireworks. : )
We are planning to give it a try this year.
In case you are interested, you can find the directions for one 4th of July Declaration here.
And  Here is a video clip of what it is like.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Psalm 33:12


June 20, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

"If Psalm 34 doesn't make you shout, then your shouter is broken." ~E. Russo   : )

Here are some of my favorite verses from this much loved chapter:

"But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing." ~verse 10

This verse reminds me of teenagers, when they give their lives to Christ and their whole countenance changes: "They looked to Him and were radiant and their faces were not ashamed." Love youth ministry and changed lives! ~verse 5

 "The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them." ~verse 7 I call this 'my driving verse' and He has certainly kept me safe on many occasions.

"I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears." Amen! ~verse 4

Every wonder if He hears you? He does! "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles." ~verse 17

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all." We serve a great Deliverer! ~verse 19

"The Lord redeems the soul of His servant and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned." Because..."There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..." ~verse 22 and Rom. 8:1

Definitely worth "shouting" about!

Have a blessed Wednesday!

June 18, 2012

Celebrating Dad!

The day started out with 4 teens, getting up at 7:00 AM on a Sunday (you know you are loved when that happens -lol) and making Dad breakfast! You have to get up early if you are going to bless a morning guy who loves to jump out of bed at 6:00 AM on the weekends. (have I mentioned that we are opposites?) : )

They went all out making him a breakfast burrito bar with all kinds of fixings like: sausage, bacon, eggs, cheese and diced peppers to put inside. There were even pancakes on the side. There were homemade cards/letters and some coffee related gifts. The big surprise that we were all excited about was a new (but not exactly) FISH TANK.

In 2006, hubby kept saying that a fist tank would be the perfect thing to make our living room relaxing, so that was what we got him for Father's Day. You can read about the hurricane that helped us put awesome rocks in it and all the fun here.

Over the years, we've given him more fish for Father's Day, because well, I guess we never decided who would actually do the feeding and they die. lol -Our fish have been fasting quite a lot lately. It is survival of the fittest around here and we have two extraordinary fish who have remained. The tank was also really green. -When people would come over and say "oh you have a fist tank" and walk that direction, we'd say "Um, actually we don't or we do, we just don't feed the fish and you definitely don't want to look at it." : ) All that to say, we think we haven't thoroughly cleaned it out in a few YEARS. So, we decided to redo the tank for him. It took pretty much all day! Bless the boys heart, they spent about two hours and a whole lot of elbow grease scrubbing it out in the front yard. Lots of work, but by 4 o'clock or so, we had all the 'fish' stuff put away and the tank set up with new water, live plants and new fish. (and I the pet store had a fist sale!) The plan was to keep the light off and hope he wouldn't notice the tank until Father's Day. But it looked SOOO much better that even with the light off, he was sure to notice! -Or you could say, that it had looked so bad even with the light off, he was sure to notice. lol! So, the kids covered it up with a white board that said Happy Father's Day and told him they were getting excited about the holiday early. And it worked!
He was very surprised at the unveiling that morning and very happy! He EVEN fed them. lol -One of us is going to have to keep doing that. : )  

We went to church and weren't hungry for lunch after that big breakfast, sooo Dad's Day lunch turned out to be dinner. It was Chinese, of course. I'm a picky Chinese eater at best, and I couldn't talk anyone into Panda Express, lol so I was WAY out of my comfort zone. I reminded my hubby that 'I'm Andrew all grown up" -meaning PICKY eater in the extreme. I ended up getting chicken lettuce wraps, which I had to wrap myself and the meat looked so weird, but they were pretty good. Hubby finished them for me and that made the fact that his fortune cookie said "He who grabs the last lettuce wrap is the least hungry" funny and appropriate.

It was a great day, celebrating a great, godly man who makes our world go round! And if 'a picture says a thousand words' then I just sum it up with this:


June 16, 2012

Quoting Ann

Some of my favorite quotes from

"We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks."

"God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given; joy." 

"I pay tribute to God by paying attention."

"It is our lives that are little and we have falsely inflated self, and in thanks we decrease and the world returns right. I say thanks and I swell with Him, and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all a foot."

"The truly saved have eyes of faith and lips of thanks." 

"Anything less than gratitude and trust is practical atheism."

"Count blessings and discover Who can be counted on."

"God reveals Himself in rear-view mirrors."

"Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love? That Satan's way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus' way? Why else get angry? When I choose -and it is a choice -to crush joy with bitterness, am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness? Choosing the angry way of Lucifer because I think it is more effective-more-expedient-than giving thanks?" 
Thanks, Ann, for letting God use you to start a revolution of thankfulness!

~Becky, who is learning from her that 'all is grace.'

June 15, 2012

The dare to be thankful

I just started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
Wow, wow and wow! It is a must read!
I highly recommend taking the dare and letting thanksgiving change your life.

The love dare: "Could I write a list of a thousand things I love? To name one thousand blessings?"
"This writing it down -it is sort of like...unwrapping love."
"It really is a dare to name all the ways that God loves  me. " ~Ann Voskamp

Ann is so poetic and her descriptions are so beautiful! What a gift for writing she has!
Sometimes I have to read a sentence twice just to get it
and at other times, the homeschooling mom in me, is like 'was that sentence even grammatically correct?' : ) Her writing is poetic and beautiful.

Her list sounds like this:

16. Leafy life scent of the florist shop
18. Wind flying cold wild in hair

Mine sounds more like this:

7. Stacks of clean laundry 
37. A safer street, a drug dealer behind bars (PTL)

But I work at it and then mine start to sound a little more poetic:

33. Lives shared and intertwined by friendship  : )

And here is one of my favorites:

65. Hot air balloons at sunrise!
-To which the kids said "Mom, you are thanking the Lord for hot air balloons?!" "Yes!!! They are beautiful!"

-That's our smudgy car window and not a smudgy sky. ; )
Ann says, "At first, it's the dare that keeps me going. That and how happy it makes me-giddy- this list writing of all that is good and pure and lovely and beautiful." 

And I think of how Paul said we are to think on:

It is no wonder that this counting of blessings is so fun! We are suppose to do it.
 More of my favorite quotes from her tomorrow! 
You can find Ann's blog here and be blessed. : )


June 13, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

I'm teaching a class on friendship and the lesson brought out a point that I had not thought of before. It used the example of Job's friends and said they usually get a 'bad rap'
because when you think about it,
how many of your friends would drop everything they are doing to come see you and:

-Wail and cry because of the pain you are in
-Put dust on their heads and tear their clothes. (no one I know of) ; )
-Sit on the ground with you for SEVEN days and not say a word
because of your great sorrow!
Wow!!!! Point taken!
So, here's to Job's friends
 and to us 
being better friends to our friends! : )  


June 11, 2012

Dads are WAY more fun!

My love for Groupon is catching. Joy downloaded the Groupon app to her ipod and found a great deal on a kayaking trip for two. She was SO excited and talked about it for days. It is for a 5 mile trip down the Little Manatee River, where you can see alligators, manatees, get out and swim, (if you'd like) picnic and ride a rope swing. All for only $18. Great deal.
She and Dad are excited about it. She was SOO very cute when she said "Mom, I don't understand why you don't want to go on this trip with me?! I already have dates with Dad, this could be our thing!!!"
Isn't she the sweetest thing ever?! I love her to death but that is when I realized I'd do anything for her.....
EXCEPT maybe:

paddle for three hours straight,
freak out about alligators,
wonder if I've gotten us lost,
worry about tipping over,
all in the Florida heat in the summer and call it fun! lol!

-But I"m game for a trip to the mall! ; )


June 10, 2012

Crafting some cuteness

The high-school girls Bible class I've been teaching has been studying friendship so, I thought it would be fun to make friendship bracelets with them to give away to their friends. -But not the friendship bracelets of my day...not so cute.
Don't you love that you never have to look farther than Pinterest for a good idea?! (here's a link to mine)

Here are the bracelets we made. They were so much fun that the girls want to have a party and make them again. They turned out really well.

 So, if you need a fun summertime idea, give them a try. : )


June 8, 2012

Random happiness

Happy  to be back to the land of the living, after a sickness that had me in bed for a few days and the kids and wondering how they would ever get by. : )
I got a kick out of it when Andrew said "Two of me and two of Joy, equal an unstable you. (lol!) The amount of work you do around here everyday is HUGE." Yes, and amen! ; ) They did a good job staying on top of it all for me though.

Happy to say that I'm keeping the treadmill and the exercise bike from becoming over sized coat-hangers! Whoo-hoo! One hour a day! They are soooo much fun. I love watching an episode of something on Netflix while on the treadmill, it makes time fly by! And I love, love, love reading this fabulous book while on the bike. (more on this book in posts to come!) Most fun way I've ever found to exercise and the best part is not going out in the Florida heat!

Happy to say that hubby's C-PAP machine is doing wonders for his life! He is sleeping great every night and is  still in awe at the amount of energy he has now. PTL! But then waking up 42 times an hour will take its toll on a guy! At first it sounded kind of like I was sleeping next to Darth Vader, but I got used to it. : )

Happy to say that my clothes-drying experiment saved me $45 on my electric bill. Yahoo! -And I'm actually MISSING hanging clothes this week. How weird is that?! But it has been rain, rain, nothing but rain, so I'm thankful for the dryer instead.

Happy that hubby made an awesome summer schedule for the kiddos that is keeping me from ever hearing 'I'm bored.' If they get their lists accomplished, Monday through Thursdays then we hit the beach on Fridays! -Unless you have nothing but rain, rain and more rain in your life. : )

Hope you have a happy weekend!


June 6, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

When my sweet kids want to bless me, they buy me Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which I love and don't buy for myself. It is the sweet thought behind it and the fact that they spend their own money, that makes them a sweeter gift than they already are! Well, in this story, David wants to give God a gift and it must have seemed a lot like buying a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup for someone who owns the whole candy store. "He himself existed before anything else did and he holds all things together." Col.1:17 

You see, in 2 Samuel 7, King David realizes something and says, "I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains!(emphasis mine) To him that was just plain wrong and he wanted to do something about it! 
Don't you just love David's heart? He can't stand the thought that his house is better than God's house. I love the sweetness of God! God is so blessed by David's heart that He spoke to Nathan the prophet that very night and told him to tell David "the Lord tells you that He will make you a house." (verse 11) Wow! How cool is that?! You certainly can't out-give God! The Supreme Being of the Universe (as Abraham Lincoln referred to Him) has quite the resources and they extend throughout thousands and thousands of years and on into eternity. 'House' also means 'family and clan' and not just 'dwelling' and God was talking about David's seed. God's gift is a promise that David's seed will be enthroned as King forever. JESUS. The Messiah!
We know that David's son Solomon build God a house, as in the temple, and in this verse God promises a sweet relationship with him. "I will be his Father and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But my mercy shall not depart from him as I took it from Saul..." 
Solomon ended up marrying all those foreign wives and they turned his heart from God. He committed idolatry against God and God said "I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant." That should have been the end of David's 'house'... BUT, it wasn't!!! 
1 Kings 11:13 says "However, I will not tear away the whole kingdom, I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David." God always keeps His promises!
And Matthew 1:1 says: "The book of genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David..." Hallelujah!!! 

What injustice do see in the world today? What gift can we give to God that will bless His heart? What can we do that will get His attention and bless His name? You can bet that He won't be out-given. 

June 4, 2012

The man baby

That is what hubby has been calling Zac's car.
He says that buying a car is like giving birth. (I refrained from saying anything about how it is WAY easier) lol ; )

Here it is:

Zac's baby!

A 2004 Nissan Sentra!

It is now, sitting in our driveway! Whoo-hoo!
It is a manual! -So, it might sit there a little while, since he needs to learn how to drive a stick, which sounds really familiar! -My parents will smile remembering how long it took me to get the hang of a stick shift. I think I exhausted all their patience and my grandpa had to take over with the lessons. Bless his heart. He bought me that car and was determined that I would get the hang of it.

I'm pretty sure a drummer, won't have any trouble. He does different things with each of his feet all the time.

So, excited for you, Zac! Let the lessons begin!
(and maybe you should have Dad to teach you) : ) Just saying!


June 2, 2012

It was all Greek to us

We took a little road trip on Memorial Day, with our youngest kiddos to Tarpon Springs, which is a cute little Greek town, known for its sponge docks.

Us, next to the statue of a sponge diver
Hubby had never been here before, but when the kids were little we came on a field trip and went out on one of the boats and learned all about the sponge divers.
Our kiddos looking like sponge divers

only cuter!

Dad with kiddos 
 We had fun walking around, visiting the little shops, buying homemade fudge and being reminded of how they harvest the sponges. Then it was time for Greek food!
Definitely didn't finish that Gyro but it was yummy!
After seeing lamb on a spit, these two wanted to hold out for a "Greek McDonalds." LOL

So, they just had the "best curly fries ever!" : ) And then we headed home.

That night, I made these, (not that we really needed to eat anymore). ; )  They got rave reviews. Then we watched the movie Redtails and called it a day, a fun one, at that!