3/29/09

The Coming Of The Lord

But we do not want you to be uniformed, brothers,
about those who are asleep,
that you may not grieve
as others do who have no hope.

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so, through Jesus,
God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,

that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,
will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven
with a cry of command,
with the voice of an archangel,
and with the sound of the trumpet of God.
And the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air,
and so we will always be with the Lord.

Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV


3/28/09

Kaitlin's Journey: Ahhh...College Life

As Kaitlin continues her college education, we also are getting an education about college life...like what happens in the dorm room at 1:00 a.m on a Thursday night/Friday morning...




good grief...

Taryn And The Knee: Frankenknee

Two weeks after surgery and Taryn's knee is revealed...
it's...it's...Frankenknee!!!
Help! Help!
Someone get the torches!
Get ready to storm the castle door!
Where's Igor when you need him?!?

Photobucket

3/26/09

Life With Hayden: The 15th Anniversary Edition

Can this be the same kid?

PhotobucketPhotobucket

where was I when this happened?

the floor is different...thank goodness
the couch is different...thank goodness
and the kid is different too...

Now he fits in his daddy's boots (size 15)
instead of swimming in them...

Now he's only 2 inches shorter than his daddy (at 6'2)
instead of 48...

Now he's taking his driver's test online (Lord, help me)
instead of driving his Playskool 4 wheeler in the yard...

Now girls buy him sodas at school (the little minx)
instead of mommy pouring him some juice...

I knew it would come someday,
the day my little guy wouldn't be so little anymore...
I just didn't think it would be here so soon...

Happy birthday son...I love you, then and now

3/24/09

The Simplification Of My Life

That's the word that has been twirling around in my noggin for about a year...

Simplify.

And I've been wondering...

what that could mean for my life?
how might it manifest itself in my everyday life?
what would my daily walk look like?

Am I a materialistic person?
Do I desire more and more things?
What possessions are really important to me?

A smaller house?
A smaller car?
A smaller world?

We've taken some steps the last year and a half to simplify things around here...we've sold 3 vehicles, a cargo trailer, and our camper...but those things really didn't hurt to get rid of, they didn't cost me anything, I wasn't emotionally attached to them and I haven't missed them since they've found new owners.

But now its in MY backyard...it is about to affect MY possessions...

my corner of the bedroom devoted to...my craft supplies. I have alot of them. Too many of them. So many if fact that some haven't even made it out of the bag they came home in.

But I've decided that this can't be their home anymore...I'm kicking them out of the nest, showing them the door, buying them a one way ticket out of here...

I'm selling my craft supplies...all of them...the scrapbook stuff, the stamping stuff, the card-making stuff, the list could go on and on...I'm not keeping anything I've not used in a month...which means I'm only keeping my crochet hooks, patterns and yarn. The rest goes...even the containers where the supplies are stored.

So I'll let you know how my craft sale goes...who knows what might be next?

3/22/09

Psalm 28

To Thee, O Lord, I call;
My rock, do not be deaf to me,
Lest, if Thou be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.

Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to Thee for help,
When I lift up my hands toward Thy holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me away with the wicked
and with those who work inquity:
Who speak peace with their neighbors,
While evil is in their hearts.

Requite them according to their work
and according to the evil of their practices;
Requite them according to thy deeds of their hands;
Repay them their recompense.

Because they do not regard the works of the Lord
Nor the deeds of His hands.
He will tear them down and not build them up.

Blessed be the Lord.
Because He has heard the voice of my supplication.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.

The Lord is their strength,
And He is a saving defense to His anointed.

Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance;
Be their shepherd also and carry them forever.

3/21/09

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

Well, my Saturday ain't been much different than my Friday...

cleaning,
grocery shopping,
just your run of the mill kind of Saturday...

so after spending all of Friday evening with Frank and his cronies on youtube, I decided what better way to have a slammin' Saturday night than a little BCR...

...the Bay City Rollers baby!

Check out this vintage 1976 clip from Scotland's best (and I'm guessing, only) pop band...dig the weird Egyptian theme with the gigantic eye...and for all you first timers, Derrick the drummer had already left the band, for a solo career or goat farming, I can't remember which...anyway, so Les, the lead singer had to take Derrick's place on the air drums (that Les is a cutie!)...oh and be sure to look for the wink at the end of the video from the buck toothed air guitarist (for some reason I can't seem to remember his name)...it's sure to make you swoon!!!


3/20/09

How I Spent My Friday Evening

Researching worm composting...while listening to Frank Sinatra on youtube.

that's right...I've been reading all about worm composting, worm castings, worm tea, and worm bins...

whilst ol' blue eyes has been serenading me with "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning".

what an exciting life I lead...I can see the envy in your eyes...

I wonder what Frank is singing next, maybe a duet with Dean...might be a good time to look up "How to clip a dog's toenails in 9 easy steps"

yes, its good to be me...

3/19/09

What To Do, What To Say...

I've realized that I don't make a good nurse and I think Taryn would concur...

I've become a Facebook junkie and I'm in need of an intervention...

I've started on the Easter candy and it's still 3 weeks away...

I've vowed not to step foot into the new clothing store in town but I have a 15% off coupon...

I've decided that listening to myself on the answering machine isn't a good idea...

I've wanted a big salad from Woody's all week but don't have the points...

I've answered the same question so many times this week, I don't know the answer anymore...

I've listened to Lionel Richie on youtube one too many times...

I've watched enough reality t.v. to know that none of it is reality...I think...

I've vegged out in front of this computer screen long enough...

good night!

3/17/09

Taryn And The Knee...Her Square Dancing Days Are Over

Our middle child Taryn had knee surgery on Monday and I wanted to give an update on her...

Here's a picture of our patient, relaxing in the living room...



snuggled up in a blanket her Aunt Patty Lynn made,
crutches nearby, the cordless phone and tv remote handy...

great...
I just noticed the pair of dirty socks
and general mess under the chair
(another glowing testimony of my housekeeping skills)

Wait a minute...
what's that long blue thingy sticking out from Taryn's leg?!?
That's her ice pack! Connected to the bottom of the blue tubing is a small ice cooler, just like one you'd take to the beach. And on top of Taryn's knee is a flat gray pad which has small tubes inside. Ice water from the cooler flows through the big blue tube and circulates in the gray pad, which works as an ice pack. Pretty cool!

Taryn's doing really well,
although a touch of cabin fever seems to be setting in...
she asked me this morning
if I had any errands she could run for me...

The Lord has been so good to us through all of this, as we trusted He would be. Her surgery and recovery is a testimony to the power of prayer and His faithfulness to work all things for good!

Guess I'll go get the broom out and sweep under the chair...
you never know who might look under there...

3/13/09

What Time Is It Now?--Time For Another Giveaway!

*******Comments Are Closed!******
We have a Winner!!!
Congratulations....Michele!!!


I don't know about you, but the daylight savings time change has turned me into a zombie...

well, maybe not a zombie, more like a numbskull (trust me, it wasn't much of a stretch for me to get there)...

I keep wondering what time it is, and it doesn't help that half the clocks here at the house are still an hour behind (although, pat-on-the-back, I actually changed the clock in the mini-van myself).

And so yesterday, after I asked Kaitlin (for the 11th time), "what time is it really?", I looked over and noticed Martha Stewart on the television. And I thought, "I bet every stinkin' clock in her house is set correctly, even the clocks in the houses she owns and never visits are probably set correctly!"

Martha's that kind of gal...and for a little while, way back in the mid 90's, I tried to be a gal like Martha. I used to buy her magazine, got her cookbook for Christmas, watched her morning show. But then reality set in and I quickly came to the conclusion that my housekeeping wouldn't, couldn't, and really shouldn't (for the sanity of my family) be like Martha's. And that's okay...

But, having said that, the woman does have great taste and puts out some great products. So to celebrate the fact that Martha's clocks are set accurately, that spring is nearly here, and that soon I'll be able to tell time again once I ask Hayden to change all the clocks...I'm having a giveaway!!!

Here's the giveaway...


(1) Martha Stewart 5 Piece Stamping Starter Kit
(which includes acrylic stamp mount,
1 sheet of clear stamps, 3 ink pads)

(1) Martha Stewart 8 x8in pastel paper pad

(1) Martha Stewart 6 Count Pastel Pigment Ink Pads

(1) Martha Stewart 6 Count Pastel Ribbon (12 yards total)

(1) Martha Stewart Black Fine-Tip Pen

and...because stamping can make a gal hungry,

(1) $15 Wendy's gift card


So here's what you need to do... leave a comment to the question, just one comment per person please (and if you leave a potty mouth comment a.k.a. leave a comment that is inappropriate, it'll get deleted--) and when time's up, our house leprechaun, Patty, will pick a number out of the black pot he keeps his gold in, and...no, wait, I forgot... his pot o' gold got swiped...I guess I'll just pick a number out of a hat...anyway...

The giveaway ends tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. Eastern
Saturday, March 14th, 2009...

And the question you need to comment on?

"What time of day/night is your favorite?"

here's Patty's answer...


He just loves mornings!

So get your comment in...and just remember...

if you should see me in the next few days,
with a dazed look upon my face,
don't worry...
I should be back to normal in about 7 months,
when we change the clocks back...

3/12/09

A Blast From The Past

My oh my how time flies...

31...cough...cough...I can barely croak it out...let me try again...

31 years ago (whew) Mark was a sophomore in high school and I was a lowly 7th grader (no, we didn't start dating then). But in our neck of the woods (Largo, Florida) we had something we were very proud of...our high school band.

Believe it or not, being in the band was actually cool back then (shocking, I know). We had every kind of kid--jocks, nerds, brains, beauties, geeks...you name it, they were in band. And being a member of the band meant something. We had a dress code (no jeans at school, ties for guys, dresses for girls on performance days) and we had an honor code. We learned responsibility and time management (arriving 5 minutes before schedule meant you were late, everywhere the band went, we always arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule)

We even had an acronym...
PRIDE: Practice, Responsibility, Integrity, Determination, Enthusiasm

Our lives, at the time, revolved around the band...actually our whole town supported the band. People didn't come on Friday nights to see the Packers play football, they came to see the half time show. Guys like Mark played the big old silver sousaphone (sometimes called a tuba by mistake), instead of football. The band program at our high school got so large, there were three marching bands...one just for 9th graders, Blue Band for 10th graders, and Band of Gold for juniors and seniors.

I had a couple of cousins in it, so I got to hang around practices and performances. And when I eventually made it to high school, I joined and twirled a rifle all four years (yes, a rifle...you'll see what I mean).

But back in the summer of 1978, something amazing happened. After two years of non-stop practices, performances and fundraising, 220 high school students boarded a couple of Pan Am jets and flew to Europe for a 16 day tour which included performing for the Queen at the Royal Tournament, starring in a British television special, and touring England, Ireland, France, and the Netherlands.

But those things weren't the reason they went...the World Music Contest was. The World Music Contest is like the Olympics of marching band. It takes place in Kerkrade, Holland and the best of the best around the world come. And so the Largo Band of Gold went...and won. They won 1st prize (175 points out 180), a gold medal with distinction, and overall championship of the contest.

So the videos from that July day, way back in 1978 are now on Youtube so I thought I'd post them...so if you've got 18 minutes or so, check 'em out. You'll hear the crowd gasp and applaud before a single note is played and even hear a little Dutch being spoken!

...the video quality ain't great but you can still see the "old school" way of marching band... long gone now :(






3/10/09

My Guys

I wanted to share a picture of my guys...



This might seem like an ordinary picture of a father and son, but to me, it's a perfect picture of their relationship...

No two people could be more opposite and yet completely the same.

One is quiet, shy, introverted...
One is noisy, outgoing, extroverted...

They are both thoughtful, strong, caring...

During high school, he was one of 200, hidden behind his instrument, performing anonymously...
During high school, he sings solo, on an empty stage, performing completely alone...

They both stand firm, stand tall, and stand on the Rock...

He can build most anything and repair most anything,
from houses to cars...
He can play most anything and creates most anything,
from instruments to art...

They both make me laugh, make me swell with joy, make me thankful each day we're together.

The older one is steadfast, calm, even keeled...
The younger one is a puppy, energetic, likes to rock the boat...

They both love Jesus, they love each other, and they love me...
I couldn't have asked for more!

3/9/09

No One Knows That Day And Hour

Nothing brings excitement (or in my case...a spell of knee-knocking fear) to an ordinary Monday afternoon like having a policeman knock on your door...


He really surprised me.


I was sitting in the living room, after having changed out of my work outfit into my faded Ron Jon t-shirt and shorts, my legs glowing an exceptionally bright white in the late afternoon sun...


Morning dishes hadn't been done. Living room was in a bit of a mess. Supper hadn't been started yet.


I was just chillin' (don't I sound hip? chillin') when at my door his knock came a-knockin'...


Completely surprised.
Totally caught off-guard.
Utterly unprepared.


Not ready.


And it got me thinking...


But concerning that day and hour no one knows,
not even the angels of heaven,
nor the Son, but the Father only.
Matthew 24:36

Therefore you also must be ready,
for the Son of Man is coming
at an hour you do not expect.
Matthew 24:44


I am to Watch for His coming and to be Ready for His return. To be Prepared and on Guard. The policeman at my door was a needed reminder.

And what did the policeman want? Why was he at my front door this afternoon?

He was looking for a neighbor's house...

whew...

3/7/09

Loose Ends Vol. 1 No. 13

Mark's company sponsors the symphony and every once in a while they give the employees free tickets...so we went last night and took with us 8 teenagers and twenty-somethings. Amazing music and a beautiful hall...

Kaitlin arrived home Thursday night at about 10:30 p.m., walked in the door and threw a 30 pound laundry bag into the laundry room...clothes, sheets, towels, blankets...

even her stuffed penguin Ping is getting a washing...

I love spring! All the doors and windows are open...and best of all...Mark cleaned out the garage today...

A group of about 25 senior adults from our church left home early, early this morning for a mission trip to Honduras. They'll spend the week ministering to women and children. The oldest folks on the trip are in their 70's...we are never too old to be His hands and feet...

3/5/09

His Grace Is Sufficient

Last night, our ladies at church finished up the latest Bible study from Lifeway, featuring Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore and Kay Arthur. A study of David called "Anointed Transformed Redeemed"

My sister friend Barb H. wrote on her blog the other day about leaving a legacy...and although she'll probably never know the whole story, Kay Arthur has left a legacy for me. She is, as our pastor taught Sunday, "the real deal". Someone who is, as Barb wrote in her blog, "a lover of Jesus and a lover of truth."

In early 1994, I was invited by my sister friend, Barb T. to a Bible study at her church. At the time, I was a "sahm" with a 4 year old, a 18 month old and I was one month away from delivering my third baby. And believe me, I tried to think of every possible excuse not to join, but every time I went to tell Barb "no way" He had other plans. So in February of 1994 I began my very first ladies Bible study.

The book was called "Lord, I Need Grace To Make It" by Kay Arthur and our leader was a older lady named Cindy (she was probably as old as I am now...ugh). We met on Tuesday mornings, for a video and homework discussion, plus a worksheet. Trust me, these ladies didn't mess around, you made sure you got your homework done each week.

And the Lord used that study in my life as a conduit to Him. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, the first week of the study, while I was doing the homework for that week in my bedroom.

So this recent study has been a kind of homecoming of sorts for me...through the years I've done other studies by Kay, heard her speak at a conference, and even got shake her hand once and tell her quickly what her studies had meant to me in my spiritual journey. But that's been awhile ago.

Hearing her voice, listening to her teachings, working on the homework assignments, seeing her on video again was a homecoming. And like most homecomings, memories flooded back to me these past 6 weeks.

So tonight I went to our bookcase and pulled down my very first Bible study book... and just like a yearbook, there were dates, notes, scribbles (somehow one of the girls got a hold of my yellow highlighter). So I thought I'd take a couple of bad photos (just like most yearbooks I've ever had) and share them...



So a month before my baby boy was born, almost 15 years ago...
another legacy was birthed.

3/4/09

Time To Trim The Shamrock Tree!


I really like St. Patrick's Day...

I like the color green. I like pinching people. (not really)
I like shamrocks. I'd like a pot of gold. (really)

but what I really like about St. Patrick's Day is this...


a Shamrock shake...o'baby....minty green goodness!

and the leprechaun?
Well, that's Patty (short for Patrick)...
he lives in a kitchen drawer most of the year.
But every March he comes out to pay our clan a visit,
picking his favorite spot in our house,
usually a windowsill in the kitchen...

and every once in a while, when you walk through the kitchen,
you'll hear this...




wearing buckle shoes and striped socks will do that to a guy...

3/2/09

Travel Time: Yosemite National Park

Tonight, in the tradition of "Loose Ends Vol ? No.?", "Life With Hayden", and "Taryn and the..." I'm starting a new series of posts called "Travel Time". Mark and I have always like to go places together and we've always dragged the kiddos along for the ride. We been a lot of places and seen some weird stuff so I thought where better to share those experiences then here on the worldwideweb...I might need to rethink this...

So tonight, on our very first stop, we're going to visit one of our country's most beautiful places,

Yosemite National Park in California.

To let you know, these pictures are scrapbooked, meaning they ain't coming off the page any time soon in the next century...so I had to take them out of their album to shoot a picture...

To set the scene...Mark and I had been married about 6 or 7 months at this point. We live in the San Joaquin valley of California, in a growing town called Tracy. Yes, we lived in a town named after a cheerleader. Tracy is located just below Sacramento and Stockton and is about an hour east of San Francisco.

During our first year there, Mark's parents came out to visit us for a week in November, driving all the way from Florida in their warm, comfortable motorhome. And since they had never been to Yosemite we decided to go camping for the weekend.



As you can sorta see, Yosemite is a national treasure...from El Capitan, to the Three Brides, from it's beautiful foliage to it's majestic Redwoods


a picture of my in-laws and me around the campfire...good times...their nice and comfortable motorhome just a mere yard or two away...here, let me show you a picture of the inside...


This is the inside of my in-laws motorhome...my father-in-law is sitting in the driver's seat and my husband's in the black jacket with his back to the camera...

the blue blob? oh, that would be me...
what am I doing?
Well, I'm blowing up the beach float
that my husband and I would be sleeping on.
What, you didn't sleep in the warm, comfortable motorhome?

no...here's where we slept...



a pup tent

That's me looking on as Mark puts the finishing touches on our post honeymoon suite. Notice the yellow thing on the ground? I found out a few minutes later that was the other half of our mattress, a yellow beach float to match the blue beach float (Mark said he got the blue and yellow ones because blue and gold were our high school colors, what a romantic...sigh).

If you've never met us, my husband is 6'4 and I'm a petite 5'10...we ain't tiny people. But we managed to squeeze our large selves into our green cocoon, after shoving our rapidly decreasing beach floats in.

I woke up a few hours later,
and as the freezing rain began to pour into our pup tent,
I thought about the last words my mother-in-law whispered to me that night, moments before I was zipped into our green honeymoon suite...

"I'll leave the side door unlocked"

3/1/09

Loose Ends Vol. 1 No. 12

Hayden got a part in our high school production of "The Wizard of Oz"...he's the General of the Winkies, (the Wicked Witch's guards, the ones with the furry hats). The power has already gone to his head...he's been walking around the house like Patton, barking orders like a 5 star general.

I gently reminded him this morning that the guy he's playing has a blue face and wears a cat on the top of his head...

haven't heard any orders barked this afternoon...

Kaitlin comes home for spring break next weekend and so the count down has begun. After her break she only has 6 weeks of school left...unbelievable...she'll be home almost 3 1/2 months...

As I'm typing this, I'm listening to the best sound a wife can hear...my husband is doing the dishes...


What a guy!

A simple shopping story...

Her cart was dripping. The grocery cart she was pushing around the produce section of the big box store I had just entered was drippin...