Saturday, March 31, 2007


"Some drink at the fountain of knowledge...others just gargle."

A Review of the Latest Happenings

Much has been happening lately, so in effort to keep the grandparents (and anyone else who cares enough to read this ) informed, I'm offering a quick review of what we've been doing lately.

Wed. 3/21: Prayer meeting that evening at church. We've started a new way of organizing our prayer time. The congregation first has a time of worship thru singing. Then we split up in our cell groups for half an our of prayer time before getting everybody back together for united prayer and sharing. It was exciting to see as nearly many folks turn out on a Wednesday night for prayer as for a Sunday morning service...and SO many teenagers came, too! Hallelujah! God is good and His spirit is stirring us up!

Thurs. 3/22: The girls had their pre-algebra class and a BIG test! YIKES!!! Thursday was also my beloved mom's birthday. We had a good long talk on the phone that night & the kids had made her homemade cards. We also gave her this nifty thing that adapts brooches into pendants . I LOVE YOU MOM!!!!! :)

Fri. 3/23: 13 year old dd had a homeschool teen party at the McMorris' house and voted on "who's who" for the yearbook. The rest of the kids and I met with the hs group at the park.

Sat. 3/24: D & P participated in their cubscout Pinewood Derby races. P came in 3rd place in his division. Afterwards, A. washed cars to raise money for church camp with her youth group while we ran errands. Then we all spent the rest of the afternoon at Nehemiah H's 1 year bday party. There were TONS of folks there, many friends from church, and lot of good food...hamburgers, hotdogs, all the fixings, plus a YUMMY penguin decorated bakery cake and a oreo-icecream mudpie served in a wheelbarrow. One of our sons decided to really pig-out and made himself pretty ill off of 2 and half hamburgers, 2 slices of cake, a serving of the mudpie, candy, plus chips, etc. Sigh.....

Sun. 3/25 Church in the a.m. w/ B. giving a tear-jerking testimony during the worship service. I was so proud to bursting! That night, A & her friend Megan attended a special youth function at the church. They had a drama workshop then a choice between dance or guitar...A. picked the guitar class as did Super Dad.

Monday thru Thursday was filled up with the regularly scheduled events: fire fighter meetings and emergency calls, the weekly scouts meeting, clogging, cell group, pre-algebra, and all that's involved with our daily routine of homeschooling and chores. Super Dad also had a 1-day out of towner to participate in a public meeting regarding a bad dam situation here in Mississippi. I have also started a new Bible study with my friend Janine. We are working our way thru the Beth Moore BELIEVING GOD dvds. I'm excited to see what God is going to teach me thru this time.

Friday 3/30: The homeschool group met at a local nursing home to hunt eggs and sing for the residents (see above photo). My pal Drewe Llyn accompanied us on the piano while I led the singing. The younger kids loved the egg hunting and Baby M was adorable sashaying around with her little tin basket. Last night, we took the kids for supper at McAllister's (gotta LOVE their 99 cent kids' meals!) then went to Wal-Mart to buy B a new bike. We finished up the night with a grocery shopping venture at Kroger. Its SO nice having big girls. I can send them off to get needed items in the store and it makes shopping go SO much faster!

Today: We had waffles, eggs, and turkey bacon for breakfast before J. and the 2 oldest boys raced off for the district cubscout Pinewood Derby races. The girls are earning money by doing extra jobs around the house and I'm trying to get caught up on emails, blogging, and finishing up some pages for our homeschool yearbook. The little ones are watching Alice in Wonderland contentedly...for now ;) . I'm looking forward to having a more restful day today and tomorrow as I have to be honest and admit that the last few days have found me being a mean, impatient, sinner-of-a-mommy! I had to do some big-time repenting to the kids and God yesterday so hopefully I'll be a nicer, more Christ-like mommy today.

Love to you all and hope your days are full to overflowing with only the BEST!

Friday, March 30, 2007

"I've come to know that our families are a canvas on which we paint our greatest hopes- imperfect and sloppy, for we are all amateurs at life, but if we do not focus too much on our mistakes, a miraculous picture emerges. And we learn that it's not the beauty of the image that warrants our gratitude- it's the chance to paint."

From the Richard Paul Evans book, FINDING NOEL

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Earlier this week, I read this quote from Martin Luther, "To give a short definition of a Christian: A Christian is not somebody who has no sin, but somebody against whom God no longer chalks sin, because of his faith in Christ. This doctrine brings comfort to consciences in serious trouble. When a person is a Christian he is above law and sin. When the Law accuses him, and sin wants to drive the wits out of him, a Christian looks to Christ. A Christian is free. He has no master except Christ. A Christian is greater than the whole world."

It reminded me of my sweet friend Tonia and the testimony she gave to our church's youth group a few weeks back. At the end of telling the story of her life and how God's love and grace had radically changed her, she shared this poem:

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."

I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong;
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say.... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Praising God for His amazing grace!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ashley Tisdale (who plays Sharpay) and Zac Efron (LG's future prince) who are the subjects of Princess LG's letter blogged below.

My 5 year old recently dictated a letter to her oldest sister for her favorite actor, Zac Efron. Before we send the missive off to the privileged recipient of her admiration and patronage, I thought you'd enjoy reading it:

Dear Zac Efron---

My name is LGM . I am a five years old. I look and act just like Sharpay [a character in the movie HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL]...only I am a princess. When I grow up, I'm gonna marry you. Then you'll get to be a prince!

See you in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2! I have lots of pictures of you in my room. Even more than Orlando Bloom.

I love pink and purple and my hair is blond. I have a pink room painted.

My little brother, named T, is three years old, has a cat named Sebastian.

I have three brothers named D, P, and T. I have three sisters'n they're named A, B, and M.

I'm a cheerleader. (As an aside to her sister, "because I really am. I o'ly want to tell the true stuff.")

I love drawing about you. ("What else do we still have? Ooh...we still have a lot. Oh, Anna! That's not what I want!" Oops!)

I share a room with my sister.

I don't have High School Musical yet. I only have part of it recorded. I want to get the dvd for my birthday in October. ("Well, I still have eight words to go.")

You're my favorite character in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL. ("Um, what else? I think that's all I guess. Whoops. Whoops! I gotta go kiss Mom and Dad!" Its her bedtime.)

From LG to Zac Efron. I love you.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A- Addiction? Books and the internet
B - Best Recipe? My World Famous PoPcOrN
C- Cake or Pie? Cake
D - Drink Of Choice? Root beer or Sonic strawberry lime-ade
E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? Make-up!

F - Favorite author? Jane Austen
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Neither!

H – Homeschooling how long? 10 years
I – Indulgence? Eating out and shopping with girlfriends (its fun with my oldest dds, too)
J - January Or February? anniversary & I LOVE Valentine's Day!

K - Kids? 7 blessings.
L - Life Is Incomplete Without? My family, friends and God

M - Marriage Date? February 1, 1991
N- Number Of Siblings? 1
O - Oranges Or Apples? Oranges
P - Phobias? Silly Fears? Letting my foot hang off the bed
Q - Favorite Quote? All things work together for the good of those who love God.
R - Reason to Smile? Grace
S - Season? Winter

T - Toenail polish? Yes, glittery silver.
U - Unknown Facts About Me? I like weightlifting!
V - Vegetable you don’t like? Bellpeppers.
W - Worst Habit? Procrastination
X - X-rays You’ve Had? 5 or 6...mostly dental related.
Y - Your Favorite Food? PoPcOrN
Z - Zoo animal? Orangutans, chimpanzees, and otters

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

No, that's not a photo of Super Dad or me after a long day at the zoo with our abundance of kids, that's the maniacal monkey that had us laughing and carrying on for way too long! Talking about anger issues...this golden-bellied mangabey did not like us, he especially did not like my sweet, gentle husband, and the teeth baring, bottom mooning, finger biting (the monkey's, not our's), feces throwing, and chest thumping testified to that quite clearly!

It had been a couple of years since we'd been to the Jackson Zoo and the mad mangabey was just one part of what made it a memorable day for us. We'd been to the New Orleans zoo twice over the last couple of years, but we'd not been to the Jackson one in two or three years due to all the construction going on and so much of it being closed down or empty of animals. A lot of work is still going on, but the new WILDERNESS MISSISSIPPI section makes a visit to the zoo worthwhile (that along with Mr. Personality Primate). They've done a great job building a beaver habitat that allows viewing of the den's inside and the otter exhibit was very well done. We stayed a long time watching those critters playing around. The spider exhibit at the WILDERNESS MISSISSIPPI were a bit freaky to some of the younger large part to certain older siblings acting spooky and creeped out. Merry really loved the elephants...they were the only animals she kept pointing at. And we were able to ride the endangered species carousel for the first time ( ). Merry rode sitting in my lap along with Travis in a peacock "boat" while some of the other kids rode on their own "endangered animals".

Now that we've renewed our membership, I'm sure that many more zoo trips will be in the works. Want to come along? :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Daddy's Taking Us to the ZOO!

Anybody else remember that old song from some 70's kid show? Sesame Street? Or maybe Captain Kangaroo? Well, whichever one it was from, the song title is true for us. After a few days of spring cleaning/project building, we're taking the kidlets to the newly expanded and renovated local zoo. Its the first time we've been in a couple of years and the kids have been begging for ages to go. T. wanted to know if we're going in an airplane or in the van. ;)

Have a great day. I'll be back with details later.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I got very little spring cleaning/sorting done today...though I did spend lots of quality time with my oldest daughter. Her love language is "time" so we worked on setting up a new blog for her here at Blogger. And for the first time in a long, long time, I actually was able to help HER with something computer related instead of the other way around!;) And tonight I read a big ole pile of books to the wee ones at bedtime before I joined in on a rousing, and at times quite ViOlEnT game of spoons with the olders.

I didn't do all I should have work-wise, but Super Dad sure did! He built the kids a big sandbox with money from his Aunt Cathi. They all had fun playing in it...from the black clad teenager down to the diapered darling toddler. And later this afternoon, even our pre-teen neighbor girl got in on the gritty action! When he finished brandishing the tools for the kiddos, he built me 2 raised beds for my garden. I've said it before but it warrants saying again, I sure do love that man! enough "playtime" on the computer. Guess maybe I should go do a bit more sorting before it gets too late. Sigh...sometimes being a grown-up isn't all its cracked up to be.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Check out this recipe:

...because everybody needs a little R&R! ;)

Sweet Sunday

Today was such a nice "day of rest". Time at church, was as usual, wonderfully refreshing and so full of authentic love and fellowship. I sang a solo during the worship service entitled BEAUTY OF GRACE. I love the lyrics as they are a powerful reminder that we can never go too far away from God's grace, mercy, and love. We can never mess up so badly that we can't go back to Him.

After the worship portion of the service was over, hubby and I taught the oldest kids' Sunday School class during the preaching. Our focus today was on St. Patrick and how God used him to pierce through the spiritual darkness of evil that was so prevalent in Ireland and show the people the loving light of our Lord Jesus Christ. The kids asked great, insightful questions and then enjoyed ending the class session with a rousing game set to Celtic music.

After a lunch of some Rachael Ray French Dip with Italian Attitude sandwiches, it was nap time for the parents and the 3 little ones before Super-Dad had to run the 2 oldest girls up to the church. An older teen in the church had organized a rock concert featuring a handful of local bands to raise money for the area crisis pregnancy center. Hubby came home and we did our daily walk before indulging in our weekly tradition of a movie and pizza. I went out to get the girls only to find upon my return Super-Dad cleaning up a really nasty mess compliments of the hobbit baby. Don't don't want to know.

Then it was bedtime for the 5 youngers, a re-watch of the movie with the 2 oldest, and now the day is winding down as books are beckoning hubby and me.

Hope your day of rest was as refreshing as mine was. I know I needed it...for tomorrow is day THREE of our Working Vacation/Spring Cleaning Extravaganza!!!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Top of the Morning, er, EVENING to YOU!

Though today has been part 3 of our spring cleaning/working vacation, we've managed to squeeze in some St. Patrick Day's Day fun into it. We've all been wearing the green (super hubby even has on his Old Navy St. Patrick's Day shirt!). We've been listening to celtic music. And I've made sure that our eats reflect the specialness of the day.

For breakfast we had green clover pancakes to go along with our sausage and french toast. At lunch I made potato soup and the 2-Ingredient St. Patrick's Day I posted about the other day. We had clover shortcake cookies for dessert. And for supper tonight, we'll be having our traditional St. Paddy's Day supper of reubens made with corned beef and sauerkraut along with oven fried chips and vinegar (french fries for all you not familiar with this tasty delicacy!). I'm sure the true Irish would NEVER put sour cabbage and rye bread together with their corned beef, but since none of is under this roof are PURE Irish, our food reflects the great American melting pot and its hodge-podge, but oh-so-good, cuisine! ;)

We've been eating our meals with holiday themed cups and napkins. And I've got several St. Paddy books checked out from the library and Jim read the Tomie DePaola one to the kids last night.

For a family that can't for sure trace their lineage to the Irish, it might seem a bit strange that we go so BIG with this day. The reason is that though we might not be able to claim much Irish blood, we claim a kinship of the spirit with Saint Patrick (who was actually British...from which nationality we have a huge whopping heap of dna).

St. Patrick, who started out as a selfish and pampered party boy, was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland. After many years of this horrible life, God miraculously delivered him and let him escape his slavery and the land of his bondage. Patrick could have sworn to never see that place again. But instead, with a heart sold out to God, he returned to preach salvation and freedom to the Irish whose lives were lived as captives to sin and darkness.

Patrick is our brother in Christ and we, as a family, hope and pray that we will follow his example in loving our enemies and seeking to bring freedom to the captives and the grace of God to those living in darkness.

As protestants, we grew up knowing very little about this man. To us, St. Patrick's Day was all about wearing green and pinching those who didn't. Once we learned the true story behind this holiday, all we could do was be in awe of a life given totally in service to God and his fellow man. In fact, we were so amazed at how God could use one very ordinary man in such a mighty way, that we named our darling second son after this brother in the Lord.

May his life always be sold out to the Lord of all Heaven and Earth. May he spend his days fighting to bring light to those dwelling in the darkness.

Friday, March 16, 2007


This morning was spent doing more sorting and cleaning. We didn't get a WHOLE lot done due to numerous interruptions by certain little people who will remain unnamed, but we were able to get rid of MORE stuff which always makes hubby happy.

We spent the first half of the afternoon shivering with our homeschool friends at the park for our weekly get-together. It was sunny but I was surely glad for my TWO long sleeve layers PLUS a big ole blanket to wrap up in. This global warming is tough stuff! ;)

After that, we ran a few errands and then picked up Popeye's fried chicken for supper.

The kitchen is now relatively clean but I've got to get rid of some of these "to sort thru" piles in our room or we might break a limb or two if we try to walk around with the lights off in our room.

After that...I'm calling it quits and getting in the bed! We've got a teenage girl from church coming over tomorrow to help with some cleaning (we "bought" her thru a youth group fund raiser auction) and I've got to get enough sleep to be able to keep up with her. She works for a professional cleaning company so she'll probably put me to shame!

MY spring cleaning is at that point where it actually looks WORSE now than when we began...though hubby feels good about his work and the roll-out wire shelving thingies that he installed in one of my kitchen cabinets do indeed look sharp and organized! I sure do love that man. He's just so darn handy...not to mention hunky! ;)

Now if I can just make my floor look as good. Sigh......

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Its spring break week 'round these parts. For the Macs, this break is being partly filled with spring cleaning. Hunky Hubby took off today (as well as tomorrow) to help get some things done around the house. I'm FINALLY getting all the Christmas stuff up to the attic and we're trying to get no longer needed baby items out of the house. With all the sorting, cleaning, washing, and carrying things to the local rescue mission thrift store, I'm ready to get in bed with an excellent book and enjoy a good night's I can get up tomorrow and do more of the same!:)

Sorting and cleaning is DEFINITELY not my cup of tea, but its at least a lot more do-able with hubby around and good things to listen to via the internet. It really helps having hubby to keep me motivated and that social interaction to keep me going --- even if its just listening to someone else talk over an internet broadcast. I know --- I'm pitiful.

What I'm listening to:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


A few years ago, I made a very easy and nice bread for St. Patrick's Day from a WOMAN'S DAY MAGAZINE recipe. With that special day just around the corner, I thought some of you might want to try your hand at it.

2-Ingredient No-Knead Beer Bread

Makes: 1 Loaf
Time: 2 min plus 55 min baking
Cost: 97¢

- Be sure the flour is regular self-rising flour NOT self-rising cake flour.
- Store airtight at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

2 2/3 cups self-rising flour (NOT self-rising cake flour)
12 oz beer, freshly opened, chilled or at room temperature

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 x 3-in. loaf pan.
2. Put flour in a medium bowl. Add beer and stir with a rubber spatula just until mixed and flour is moistened completely. Scrape into prepared pan.
3. Bake 50 to 55 minutes until top is lightly browned, sides pull away from pan and pick inserted near center comes out clean.
4. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes, then turn out on rack to cool.
5. To serve: Cut in 1/2-in.-thick slices with a serrated bread knife.

Per slice (18 per loaf): 71 cal, 2 g pro, 15 g car, 1 g fiber, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg chol, 1 mg sod

Here's a run-down of the last couple of days:

On Sunday we had church, A. went with Mason's family for lunch and then the teen group to a fundraiser, then she had her teen group time at church while the rest of us munched on Domino's pizza and watched first ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING and then FACING THE GIANTS. I especially found GIANTS to be very inspiring! Yes...I was crying.

Monday was a regular ole stay at home day! Woo-Hoo!!! I love those kind!!!! A highlight for the kids was that the first cat of the year had kittens. Black cat Columbine gave birth to 1 tortoise shell, 1 tabby, and 2 black kittens that night in the "hayloft".

Tuesday found B dancing at a nursing home with her clogging group. And last night the 2 big girls and I went shopping til ONE O'CLOCK in the morning!!!!! We do this 3 or 4 times a year. I had birthday money to spend, we had groceries to buy, and we needed to start buying them some things for the spring and summer (CAMP!). The LOW point was finding much to my frustration that so much of this springs' women's clothes (at least at Target and Wal-Mart) are just down right UGLY or if they're cute, they're MUCH more expensive than I'm willing to spend. The HIGH point was the LUSCIOUS and FREE mud pie cake I got at Border's thanks to a birthday coupon. But the best part of all, was just spending fun girl-time with A & B.

B is gone today with a group from Clear Branch Baptist Church. They are serving lunch at a homeless shelter. This is the first time she's ever done anything like this so I'm looking forward to hearing her reaction to the experience.

D, P, LG, and T had fun drawing designs in the dirt out in the pasture. LG did a great portrait of me. That's it up above. :)

The wee ones are now down for their naps. A, D, and P are working on homeschool assignments and doing their afternoon chores. I'm bushed! As soon as the potatoes for supper finish cooking, I'm getting in bed with my daily dose of M&M's, a good book (MY BROTHER'S KEEPER by R.C. Sproul), and heading to La-La-Land shortly there after.

Then after naptime it will be time to fix some muffalettas, potato salad, and fruit salad for supper then precious time with our cell group.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Hi Honey! You are my lifelong partner, the super-dad to our kids, my best friend, the love of my life. Look down the side bar to be reminded of how sweet our love is.

Like honey to a bee...

I love you,

Some folks in the past have asked about my Tex Mex Fried Rice recipe. I thought I'd post it here in case some of you might be interested.

I don't have an exact recipe. Its one of those kind where I add a little of this and a little of that. But basically its the same as Chinese fried rice but with Tex-Mex seasonings. I put enough good-fat oil in a black skillet to cover the bottom. Then I put a layer of cooked rice about an inch deep. Then I put a variety of things....Tex Mex spices (cumin, red pepper, chili powder, salt, etc), dollops of salsa, and then according to what I have on hand, I might add corn, black beans, or even sauteed veggies such as chopped up zucchini. Usually, though, its just the corn and beans. I then add another layer of rice and more spices.I let that cook over medium heat for a while til the bottom begins to brown, then I use a spatula to flip over different sections so that the "top" has a chance to brown.Then we eat it up!

Its delish and packs a bit more nutritional punch than just Spanish rice. It can also be made very easily with brown rice. Or if you only have white rice, you can sprinkle it with untoasted wheat germ.

If you like it spicier, you can pump up the heat with Tabasco sauce or dried red pepper flakes.

Sometimes I'll serve refried beans and sour cream on top and eat it almost like a dip with tortilla chips. I had a big plate of it that way for breakfast a few mornings. I added some guacamole on top. It was YUM-O!

Hope you like it.

"I've found that when you are really living by the grace of God, people who are very rule conscious will say your lifestyle is too liberal and not holy enough to please God. However, the people who are liberal (not in a political sense) and living life for themselves will accuse you of being too moralistic or 'living by rules'. It seems when you are living in the tension of those two poles you are probably as close to living by grace as possible in this world." Tom Wood

Gracedagain is compiled by Tom Wood, Church Multiplication Ministries, a non-profit, whose mission is starting, strengthening, multiplying grace-centered churches through consults and coaching church planting pastors, leaders and emerging leaders. Sign up on the web;

...with a little help from a teenager, of course. ;)

My oldest daughter helped me be brave enough to switch my template for the first time AND add some music options. I couldn't have done it without her tech-savvy abilities. Now the question remains, will I be courageous enough to try doing MORE new things on my own?

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Super Dad and the big boys are home (after a night of camping).
A's hair is black thanks to the Sassy Salon (aka as mom's efforts).
LG has bangs (again, thanks to the Sassy Salon).
D is throwing up due to a junk food overload.:(
The kids pool has water in it.
The living room is actually CLEAN!
My bed sheets are also clean...though still in the dryer.

Ang from my FIAR small group sent this to me:

What time is it? 10:04 p.m.

What are you most afraid of? One of my children being abducted and others that I'll not broadcast via my blog.

How many grandchildren? Only God knows. ;)

Have you ever seen a ghost? Only the power of the Holy Ghost. :)

Ever been to Alaska? No

Ever been toilet paper rolling? No. But our yard was rolled a couple of months ago...along with most of the neighbors!

Ever loved someone so much it made you cry? Lots and lots and LOTS of times.

Been in a car accident? Yes...and my fault each time. :(

Croutons or bacon bits? Both!

Favorite day of the week? Just one? Probably Sunday. I get to go to church but I also get lots of time with hubby AND a LONG nap after church!!!

Favorite Restaurant? The Thai House

Favorite Flower? Cauliflower. ;)

Favorite Drink? Sonic Strawberry Lime-ade

Favorite ice cream? Homemade Vanilla

Favorite fast food? Chick-fil-A

What color is your bedroom carpet? Dirty BROWN.

How many times have you failed your driver's test? Once. I ran a stop sign. :(

Before this one, from whom did you get your last email? My cousin Kim

What do you do most often when you are bored? Check emails, visit the Five in a Row boards, blog, and READ! Though to be honest, I can't remember the last time I was bored.

Bedtime? Sometime after 10. Depends on if hubby is here to make me behave or if I'm reading a good book that I just can't put down.

Ford or Chevy? VW!!! ;)

What are you listening to right now? My husband.

What are your favorite colors? To wear...BLACK! To decorate my, blue, and accents of yellow and green.

How many tattoos do you have? Zilch! Unless you count those nice C-section scars and numerous stretch marks from my plentiful pregnancies. ;)

How many pets do you have? 1 lab, 1 duck, 1 horse, 1 donkey, and too many cats to count.

Which came first the chicken or the egg? The trip to Kroger!

What would you like to accomplish before you die? A clean house; kids that love me, their dad, and God when they're grown; and that I'll still be celebrating anniversaries with Jim and loving each other even more then than we do now.

Super Dad took the 2 oldest boys camping last night with some other men and sons from our church. I decided to make it a special evening for the 2 oldest girls so I let them invite a couple of friends over for a mini-sleepover.

We put the little ones to bed around 8:00 but the big girls and I were up watching movies (ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING and LADY IN THE WATER), eating pizza, munching on PoPcOrN, and indulging in copious amounts of icecream and M&M's (though I skipped that culinary treat). After I said goodnight to the girls and their crazy version of Truth & Dare, I played on the pc and read til around 3:00.

I was hoping I'd get to sleep til at LEAST 8:00. Alas, that was NOT to be. Hobbit Baby was ready to be with her "Ma" promptly at 7:00 and so by 7:05 all 3 of the littlest ones were bouncing and laughing in bed with me. Oh well....

When I finally walked to the kitchen to preheat the oven for sweet rolls a bit later, I found 2nd oldest daughter sitting on the couch watching WAR AND PEACE! Guess who NEVER went to bed last night?!? The others finally went to sleep super early this a.m., but this one figured why even bother going to bed when it was already so close to the time they'd normally wake up? I think the REAL reason is she didn't want to be covered with shaving cream or lotion. Yep, at least ONE girl will be waking up to a little surprise this morning.

Off to pop those sweet rolls in the oven and then try to bring SOME sort of semblance to the domestic chaos that surrounds me!!!!

I've only been awake for 45 minutes and I'm already looking forward to a nap.....

Friday, March 09, 2007

Heard an encouraging word during my Keylife online Bible study* today:

"Why are you going through a hard time? I don't know, but God won't waste it."

When you're feeling discouraged, tired or worn down; when things are confusing and not going as planned; when you're doubting if God's even concerned --- read the last half of Romans 8. We are promised that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God and that He will use ALL things for our good.

* February 21 & 22, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

MORE REGULAR POSTINGS (and a peak into our day)---I'm trying to do better about posting more regularly since I'd gotten out of the habit for the last few months. In an effort to share more of our daily lives with our family and friends far away, I've decided that its okay to post just short little happenings or prayer requests without turning it into a major production.So in light of that, here's what's up with us today:Hunky Hubby/Super Dad has been gone to Washington DC this week for business related to dam safety. He didn't pack anything really very warm and he's been QUITE frustrated with himself since its actually SNOWED while he was up there. He's ready to get back to the sunny south, where the temps these last couple of days have gotten up into the low 70's. He flies in late this afternoon. If you read this in time, please pray for safety and pray for his "re-entry" into our world here at home. After being alone in a sterile and absolutely silent hotel room for a few days, its often a bit of a shock to his system to return back to our cozy chaos! ;)The kids and I have been stressing out this week over science fair projects. Every year we say we're not going to put them off til the last moment and every year we do. The homeschool science fair is ToMoRrOw so we've got some major stuff to be doing!!!! Plus I've got to get the house (especially the pit AKA my room!) picked up some before J. gets home.D. is doing experiments related to pressure. B's doing mushrooms (not smoking them....dissecting and researching them!). A's building an electric guitar and learning how one works and physical science "stuff" related to it or some such something or other. P's made a volcano from a kit he rec'd as a Christmas gift from Granpere' and Nana Rose.We also made a quick dash into town and the library to rendevouz with A's ride to the teen book club.Did I say I was stressing?!? TRY and be a nice mommy and make up for the stress-tinged oral communications I've been directing towards my kids today, I let them eat their sandwiches and chips out on the deck today while I slowed down long enough to really enjoy them and read to them from a Thornton Burgess book all about Old Mr. Toad and beauty found in unlikely places. Hmmmm...sounds like a blog entry idea!ANYWAY! Enough stalling...I've eaten MY lunch hidden away in the privacy of my back wing bedroom (wow...that sounds SO luxurious) so I need to go play mad scientist.I sure will be glad when J. is home...though there will be a bit more running since the oldest 2 girls have pre-algebra class tonight.But that's okay! I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me...and one of the ways He provides that strength is thru my dear hubby who is COMING HOME SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YEE-HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Later. :)********************************************************
Blushing here...just realized what was supposed to be a short, quick post turned quite long. I'd like to say its only because I have lightening swift fingers (which I do, btw, thanks to my high school typing teacher) but I think its also because of my life-long habit of talking WAY too much! Sigh....

Update on events mentioned above:
The kids had a fun time at the science fair. We had a good turn-out with exhibits ranging from a project on rodents (including a live one!) to alternative fuels. Here's a photo of the includes all the participants plus the other homeschoolers who were there but didn't do a project. Many homeschool group regulars were absent but this is at least half of the core group.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

After the past 2 posts that were pretty "heavy", I decided some blogging fun was in order.

I found this a fun website thru a FIAR gal pal. You can create a little icon to represent your hobbies, personality, style, etc. Here I am...just needs a bit more mascara, lipstick, and BIG earrings! ;)

Here's the link if you'd like to have one, too!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Here's something I sent out to some friends and family members back on February 1:

"I don't know about y'all, but I LOVE Christmas and New Year's and just about any other excuse to have FUN and throw a PARTY! But I've also found myself lately feeling tired...

VERY tired!

I read this letter from Steve Brown of Key Life Ministry this evening. It ministered to me. I love this guy's total honesty and his heart for the Lord.

I thought that maybe it might minister to some of you and where you're at right now.

Tired but trusting,



My name is Martha!

No, no. I haven't crossed over and this is not a "coming out of the closet" type letter.

Good heavens! What were you thinking?

I'm referring to the well-known passage of Scripture in Luke 10 when Jesus is invited to the home of Mary and Martha. John tells us that Jesus loved Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. In that visit, you will remember, Lazarus had died and Jesus raised him from the dead.

(By the way, after I die, don't do the resuscitation thing with me. Just leave me be. Poor Lazarus had to die twice. Once is enough, thank you.)

At any rate, the incident described in Luke seems to be the first time Jesus visited the home of the three siblings. The first time Jesus comes is always a surprise. He is never what one thought he would be; he never says what one thinks he will say; he hardly ever fits the description of the religious folks. Every time you think you have Jesus figured, you don't.

Martha reminds me of me. When I first met Jesus I told him that I would serve him the rest of my life and went on about doing stuff that I thought would be pleasing to him. Luke says that Martha was busy "with much serving" (vs. 40a).

Most of my life I've been about "much serving"! It's not just serving either. It's serving Jesus and that is a laudable purpose. In fact, thinking he would be pleased, I became the most religious person you would ever want to meet. Not only that. I was the busiest religious person you would ever want to meet.

Do you know what irritates busy religious people?

Those who aren't religious and who aren't busy. Drives me nuts. So, being called as a leader of God's people, I told them to be more religious and to become busier in the service of Jesus. That's what Martha did too. She was irritated because Mary was not busy serving Jesus. "Lord," she said, "do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me" (vs. 40b).

Martha fully expected to have Jesus join her in her discipleship training of Mary. After all, lazy servers hurt the kingdom, their witness and their need to model "busy and religious" for other people.

And then the surprise: Jesus said, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her" (vs. 41-42).

"What?" Martha said. "You won't say that when you don't have anything to eat. Jesus, are you encouraging laziness? I thought you cared! I thought you loved me! Is this any way to treat someone you love? I'm working my tail off here and she...she's just sitting there. How do you expect me to serve you without any help? You are encouraging her in her lack of commitment and in her slothful ways. She is a sluggard and you know what the Bible says about sluggards."

Okay, maybe that's not in the text. Luke doesn't say Martha said exactly that. In fact, Luke doesn't say what Martha's response was. But I'm Martha and (trust me on this) even if it's not a part of the text, it should have been. That's exactly what Martha said or, at minimum, thought. I've been there, done that and have several T-shirts.

As I write this, I'm recovering from Christmas, the New Year stuff and grandchildren.

A lesser man would be dead.

No, I'm not going over that again. You're tired of it and so am I.

However, there is an incredible quiet right now as I write this. The quiet scares me. It not only scares makes me feel guilty. I can't just sit here and do nothing. I need to do something, preferably something religious to make up for the un-Christian things I said and thought during the Christmas season.

That's when he came.

In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength!

Hey, I know Scripture. I'm a Bible teacher. Okay? Be still and know that I am God.

I know that one too.

And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.

Will you stop it!

Why don't you stop it? In fact, stop everything and be still. Leave the universe to me and you just be still. You haven't accomplished that much anyway.

I've been thinking about that and I've decided to become more like Mary. (And, if you quote this letter out of context, you'll get the hives.) She understood three things that I'm going to try and remember.

First, I'm going to try and remember that there are some things that are way above my pay level. I can't fix global warming, get everybody who is lost into the kingdom, change the political climate in Washington, end oppression around the world, disciple all those people who got the doctrine wrong, fix the church or bring in the kingdom.

I can't even fix my toaster.

You're saying, "Steve, never underestimate the power of one individual." Okay, there is something to be said for that view, but there is something to be said for this one too.

And this is the second thing I'm going to try and remember: Never overestimate the power of one individual.

Pigs can't sing, dogs can't play checkers, horses can't talk and preachers can't live all they preach. When they try, it often makes them angry and frustrated, and they look foolish.

The third thing I've learned from Mary is that, if I'm at the feet of Jesus long enough, when I finally get up and start working in the kitchen, I'm a better cook and a more gracious host. Hungry people really do get fed and are better prepared (and have more energy) to leave the dining room and feed others.

So, if it's okay with you, I'm going to end this religious letter and maybe do nothing for a while. Kind of hang out with Jesus. The other stuff will get done, I suppose. It got done before I came along and will get done after I'm gone.

Christmas is over. The New Year celebrations are over. The grandchildren have gone home.

I'm just going to sit here with Jesus.

He asked me to invite you to join me.

In His Grip,
Steve Brown

AMAZING GRACE movie, my birthday, and GOD!

I've been wanting to fill y'all in on the details about my 41st bday on. Its just that the days have been so full and by the time I've gotten the wee ones into bed I've been plumb (or is that plum?) wore out. Also, are any of you like this----when something really major happens you find it hard to concisely write it down so you just keep putting it off? That's been me.

So where to start...well, for the most part it was just a nice, simple bday day. The morning was spent at our last Upward Basketball games and the evening was spent at the close-of-the-season prgm. For breakfast we had chocolate covered and blueberry cake donuts. And lunch was Corky's BBQ sandwiches with homemade fixings. The kids gave me sweet gifts and dh gave me money to go clothes shopping. Several friends (including FIAR gals) and family members called, sent packages, ecards, and snail mail greetings. We ended the night with my birthday cake, a BOSTON CREAM CAKE! How could I resist choosing THAT when I now associate this dessert with not only my wonderful time in Mass. with Denise, but also with my FIAR silly gal-pals and my FIAR boards avatar pic!

But sandwiched between those events was what made my bday truly AMAZING!

To celebrate my 41st bday, we took the 4 oldest kids to see the AMAZING GRACE movie. You know you're in trouble when you start tearing up before the first scene has even started!The movie was wonderful. It was such an inspiring well done and such an awesome example of how God uses His people for very special this case, to abolish slavery in the western world. When the movie ended and I was spending some alone time with God in the powder room, I said to God..."God, this is a great story. But it took place in the 1700's and slavery is now outlawed here in America. What do you want this story to say to me NOW here in THIS culture?" And I heard God's answer so clearly. He spoke to me about slavery that still exists here in America...spiritual slavery...slavery to sin and poverty. He reminded me that so many are enslaved to addictions and various sin issues. That others are living in poverty so awful that its a trap they can't escape from. Many of these walked into these prisons and shackles by their own choice, but are now desperate to be set free but can't on their own. Others, such as children of abusive parents, are enslaved due to circumstances that they have no control over.God said to me, what are YOU going to do to fight against THIS slavey here in your world?


That hit me hard. I got in the van and started asking the kids what they got out of the movie...after all, I'm a homeschool movie. We just can't GO to a movie, but we have to discuss it and analyze it afterwards. Well then I started sharing and as soon as I started telling them what I had heard from God, I started weeping (not dainty crying, either) and "preaching". I poured my heart and soul out to my family.

My husband and I have been feeling for the last couple of weeks that God is telling us its time to move into a new area of ministry. We've been doing many good things, but He's got something better. And He's calling us to make sacrifices, to be willing to give up some of these "good" things to do the BEST things He has planned for us, and He wants us out of our comfort zone! He's going to lead us into a new mnistry and one to people who we wouldn't normally come into contact with on a regular basis.

The next morning was church. We go to a very informal church with a contemporary, charismatic style of worship service. As we were singing the praise choruses, I was overwhelmed with love of God and passion for Him and what He is doing in our lives. I was pouring my emotions out into my WAS worship and it was incredible. Then, near the end of that section of the service, our worship leader didn't just end it. He was quietly leading us to just pray or sing quietly and he just kept strumming his guitar as though he were waiting for God to do something.

Well God did! He gave me a BIG nudge to get down front and share with the congregation what God was showing me and challenge THEM to set the captives free! We are fairly new to this church and I've not gone down front to give a "word" from the Lord in 8 or 9 years. This is NOT a regular thing for me. But I went down and shared briefly with the pastor and he got me up front with the mike. As I shared, I again started weeping. The Holy Spirit was so evident I just couldn't hold back my passion. I encouraged those who were Christians to get out of their comfort zone and reach out to those around them who were slaves to them that JESUS will set them free, He will take off their shackles. And then I challenged those enslaved to allow Jesus to free them from their sins, their addictions, whatever it was that was making them a slave.

Some people were weeping, others raising hands, "amening" the word, etc. When I ended dh and I immediately had to leave the service as I had to take him to the airport for a business trip. We discussed what God had done and what He was telling us but after I dropped off dh and was on my way back to the church, I started having doubts. I started thinking that I had messed up. Offended people. Said things our new pastor wouldn't like. That I might have shared something only meant for dh and I, etc. I walked into the service, sat on the very back row in the seat closest to the door as the sermon was still going on. Our pastor immediately said, "Elysa, I know you had to leave to take Jim to the airport, but I wanted to just confirm that what you said was from God. Today's sermon is on getting out of your comfort zone." WOW! Here I was so overcome with doubts and insecurities and God in his sweet love and concern for me used my dear pastor to immediately aleviate my fears and confirm that I had INDEED heard from Him. In fact, I was told later that when the power point notes popped up on the overhead, the title had "Get out of your comfort zone" in it! And I had no idea. I was clueless that the word I was given to share, was the perfect God-spoken lead in to Brother Freddy's sermon.

I was also told later that the word ministered to many including one of my dear friend's grown sons who has been rebelling against God for years. He and his friend asked for prayer and confessed that they needed deliverance from their enslavement yesterday. God is truly AMAZING!!!! Its amazing to me that He would use such a self-centered, recovering pharisee as myself to set the captives free. Its amazing to me that He would care enough to give me immediate confirmation. Its amazing to me that He wants to continue to use me and my family to share His message of love, hope, grace, and freedom. Its amazing to me that God has not only used me in such an exciting way, but that I'm being blessed beyond belief in the process.

God is good ALL the time, but sometimes that reality is SO apparent that I'm just overwhelmed.

This 41st birthday may not have been the biggest party day of my life, but I can honestly say it was the biggest GOD-filled birthday of my entire life.

Thanks for letting me share my story.

And please, if you are one of those captives hungering to be free, don't stay in those shackles!!!!! Christ has come to set the captives free! He wants to release you from all that holds you back from living in His amazing grace and abundant love.
I am SO behind on my posting. I can't believe its been over 2 months since I've added anything. Its just been a absolutely crazy busy since Christmas. I am TOO tired to try and play catch up tonight though I will post something that I shared at on their Family board. I'll copy and paste it for another entry. Til then...TA!