Monday, April 30, 2007

Beauty Of Grace - Krystal Meyers

BEAUTY OF GRACE by Krystal Meyers is the song oldest daughter A sang for the homeschool talent show and I sang in church several weeks ago. Beautiful song with a beautiful message about God's amazing grace.

Tell me why do you run
You seemed so ashamed
Bruised and broken
Thought if I figured out
The mess you've made
That I'd leave
(But) anywhere you are
Is never to far away
There's freedom from your scars
The mistakes that you've made..forgivin
The memories erased
Baby, that's the beauty of grace
la-de-da, la-de-da-da
Tell me what is love
I'll never hold you too
The things you may have done
You say you want new life
In my arms there's mercy

Anywhere you are
Is never to far away
There's freedom from your scars
The mistakes that you've made..forgivin
Baby, that's the beauty of grace

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Aloha! Some "firsts" happened in my life today. At church, for the first time, I was led in worship by a band all dressed in luau regalia complete with leis, Hawaiian prints, and even a PINK straw hat...and that was on the goateed guitarist!!! I also listened to a sermon preached by a pastor wearing pink, orange, and green plastic flowers around his neck...definitely another first. And then, I got to watch Baby M enjoying her first "luau" as our church had a Hawaiian themed potluck party. She especially liked the toy monkeys hanging about the gym! Life sure is fun with such a crazy church, good friends, and lots of kids to enjoy it with.

Here's another first, for the first time I fixed SIMPLY SURF'S UP MEATBALLS. Actually, its probably be the first time they've EVER been made as I invented the recipe as I cooked them and I've never tasted anything like them before. They turned out quite yum-o if I do say so myself ;) . Here's the recipe if anyone else would like to give them a try:

2 bags of frozen meatballs (original flavor...not "Italian")
1 can of crushed pineapple
1 cup of salsa
2 tsps of Ginger (powder form)

Cook the meatballs in a skillet with just a bit of oil and occasionally turning them til they are browned. While they are cooking, mix together the pineapple, salsa, and ginger. Put half of it in the bottom of a crockpot. Put the meatballs in the crockpot. Pour the rest of the pineapple/salsa mixture over the meatballs and stir GENTLY til all the balls have some sauce on them. Cook the meatballs on low or high heat til they are hot and bubbly then turn to warm until ready to serve.

Eat them by themselves or they can be served over rice. If going the rice route, double the "sauce" so that you'll have plenty of it to flavor the rice.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

LATEST NEWS ON MAGGI from the last update going backwards:
(These are directly from her Carepage as posted by her husband and other loved ones)

April 28, 2007 at 10:10 PM CDT

The response supporting Maggi and John at this critical time has been overwhelming. The outpouring of love and concern has been a true blessing. Many people have asked what they could do to help. Through your generosity, arrangments have already been made to provide child care, meals, home school, transportation for the boys and help with house cleaning. Obviously, the family is going to incur huge expenses over the next several months related to Maggi's medical care and rehab.

A special account to assist with these costs has been established by her family. Anyone who wishes to do so, may make a contribution to the Maggi Pivovar Wellness Account, at the Country Club Bank.

Contributions should be sent to :

Country Club Bank

Attn: Mary Watkins

9400 Mission Road

Prairie Village, KS 66206

Please keep Maggi and her family in your prayers and know that we are praying for all of you.

Thank you for all you are doing. John and Maggi's Family

7 April 28, 2007 at 08:48 PM CDT

Maggi opened her eyes a bit for me tonight! Amazing! Can you believe this! God is powerful. He listens to our needs.

She of course is really tired and just opened her eyes a little bit but this is the start of something special! It was last Saturday morning when I last saw her eyes open, oh what a feeling I had tonight to see her eyes and responding a bit to my commands.

Her breathing is improving and potentially tomorrow they will attempt to "ween" her off of the breathing machine.

We've been instructed by the nursing staff that they will plan to get her back on a normal sleeping schedule so we won't be able to get back into her room until tomorrow morning.

Her road to recovery will be long but I know Maggi will fight everyday to get back to being able to care for and teach her kids (and me too!)

You all are blessings to my family.

6 April 28, 2007 at 02:43 PM CDT

Amen it's Saturday! Each new day is a blessing.

Mag appears to be resting comfortably. They had stopped the sedation medicine this morning, and now (I believe) they hope that she will eventually start to "wake up". Throughout the day today she is moving around a bit (a good thing), but I haven't seen any responses to commands yet and her eyes are still closed.

Please pray with me for her recovery from her "sleeping" and that when she does open her eyes that she is comfortable and not afraid of her surroundings and that her pain will be managable.

I continue to feel the "strength" of everyone's prayers thanks a bunch it really does help during these times.

I haven't gone outside today yet but here in Kansas it looks like a sunny and warm day. I hope you all enjoy the weekend.


5 April 27, 2007 at 10:50 PM CDT

Hi everyone, no "new" update just a short note of praise and thanksgiving for everyone's kind notes and words of encouragement for Maggi and I and the boys.

Mag's resting for the night and we're excited for the new day God will bring us all tomorrow.

It's been amazing to sit with my wife in her room and think about all of the blessings that have been showered on us these past few days.

Something I read that I wanted to share with everyone - "As you look at your life, do you recognize the opportunities for God to teach you? It may be during times of hurt or great loss, or maybe you've come to the end of yourself and given up hope...Your worst circumstance may be God's best opportunity. Trust him. He will bring new meaning to your life."

Have peace in your life and enjoy each and every moment.

4 April 27, 2007 at 03:27 PM CDT


MRI results - no evidence of stroke, everything looking very good, very optimist about a good recovery.

WE ALL SURVIVED!!! Even the parents. ;)

Last night, 23 friends joined us for a BIGtime celebration of D's 10th birthday. Counting all of us, that meant 32 folks were wolfing down the cookout feast, riding the horse, going down the zipline, chasing the cats, feeding scraps to the dog, climbing up to the treehouse, swinging and sliding on the decrepit play equipment, singing "Happy Birthday", and messing about with the bonfire....okay, so maybe the BIG'ns (formerly knows as "parents") didn't do ALL those activities....but a lot of fun was sure had by all.

After most of the parents and neighbors had gone on home, a handful of intrepid dads camped out with their sons and one lone mom crashed on the couch...too worn out from all the partying to make the long drive home to her castle and keep.

This morning meant more fun, especially for the shaving cream wielding pranksters, before the guests all headed out to their own adventures...and we here at Graceland began the task of getting things back to normal...or that which we have learned to view as normal for this boisterous family of nine.


"Help is gone, sight is gone, but as I lie in this dark room, God still gives light. At the center of things, there is a heart. On yonder side of darkness there is light. To me all things are clear. Oh, wonder words of love, Jesus. God and everything inanimate thing speak to me, thus even in the darkness, I sense no loneliness."

---Author is unknown to me but the sentiment was so true, I was compelled to share it. If you to know whom I should give credit, please let me know.


"Here is the latest - per her doctor Dr. Freid:
- 'Best report' since Sat!
- All vitals looking really good
- Heart, lungs great
- Liver coming around
- Kidneys ok (but not really woried about this...)
- Toxins in body getting lower (improving)
- He anticipates getting her off of the antibotics in about a week
Additional BIG Praise - we're feeling pulses in her feet (top of both feet); this is good news, and a start (I hope) towards recovery. Her hands seem to be improving nicely, they will be watching these (and her feet) very closely in the days to come.
Dr. Fried says this will be a very long road to recovery, but he is very optimistic.
Have you ever wondered about the true strength and power of prayer? I know that I have questioned this numerous times over my life but...looking at my wife's health today compared to on Saturday Maggi is a true (real life) example of the power of prayer. Words cannot describe what I have seen and felt over the last week or so as it relates to God's power. Seeing each day's improvements are blessings only acheived because of everyone's trust and faith/community with God.
I am praying with you and for each of you each day. Maggi & I and the boys are truely blessed to have friends and family like you! Peace."

For past details about Maggi's condition, scroll down this page.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Amazing Grace movie trailer

The message in this movie is incredible...those featured in this story of the past spoke for those who couldn't speak, fought for those who had no power, and proclaimed the message that God's amazing grace CAN and does change the world. Though the people who this movie is about, are no longer alive, their story is still relevant for today. And now the question is, what will WE do in our time to carry on this mission?

God has been speaking to me over the last couple of months about getting out of my comfort zone and ministering to those who are enslaved...enslaved by sin, addictions, poverty, and abuse. He has used QUAKER SUMMER by Lisa Samson and the movie AMAZING GRACE to open my eyes to the fact that though slavery may no longer be legal here in America, there are so many who are enslaved in other ways. They need to be set free...they need the Father's grace and power to remove the shackles that bind them up.
But how will they know if those of us who are already free do not go and show and tell?
In AMAZING GRACE, the story is told of William Wilberforce and others who poured out their very lives to fight against the slave trade. Their's is a historically true story...a profound story of God's grace and power.
QUAKER SUMMER is a fictional story, but it is still very true. For in it is a message of truth. The protagonist, Heather, is a woman who "has it all". She has a devoted husband, a great teenage son, a beautiful home, and all the other stuff and fluff that money can buy. But she's empty inside and all the "good stuff" in her life is enslaving her in a gilded cage.
Through a God-ordained "accident", she finds herself slammed with the reality of how the "other half" lives. She meets Godly women whose lives are not dedicated to living "the good life" but to DOING good to and for others. She begins to finally see that all the stuff in the world will never fill the void inside...the void that only God and being about His business can fill.
Heather must make some scary choices. She must be willing to sacrifice and change. She must be willing to break out of HER chains that bind in order to help set the captives free.
And through it all, Heather learns that its only in giving away does she really receive.
Related Links:
Lisa Samson' blog---
Lisa Samson interviewed about QUAKER SUMMER, the "ministry of presence", and upcoming books---
Shauna's most excellent blog review---

Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Thankful Thursday" is one thing that God is using to remind people of how much He loves them and how truly blessed they are. I will now be including it in my regular blogging as a way for me to focus on the goodness of God and how amazingly blessed my life is. The Bible tells us that EVERY good and perfect thing comes down from the Father. Here are just a few of the things I'm thankful for today:

  • After 16 years, my husband still loves me and shows it in so many visible ways.
  • My 7 beautiful and bright children that I get the blessing of watching them grow and discover the gifts that God has blessed them with
  • All the friends, some new, some old, that have enriched my life in ways too many to recount
  • Parents who loved me, raised me to know God, and are now loving my children
  • A church family that embraces grace and particular, our cell group family
  • Our homeschool group, for the fun, friendships, and awesome opportunities it has provided over the years
  • Good neighbors, a safe, beautiful community, and a well-built, cozy house to call home
  • God's love....He doesn't love me because I'm good, He loves me because I'm HIS. Because of His love and forgiveness, I'm free not only from the bondage of sin, but free to love others and do the good things my Father has set before me.

Thankfulness for all that I've been blessed with is more than just something warm and fuzzy to write about on my blog. Thankfulness is POWERFUL! In the 6th chapter of Erwin Raphael McManus' book UPRISING, A REVOLUTION OF THE SOUL, he writes about wholeness, forgiveness, and gratitude. He stresses that gratitude and forgiveness are inseparable because when we admit that we are sinners, and then receive God's forgiveness for our failings, gratitude will be a natural result. And as we are grateful to God for His forgiveness, then we'll be free to forgive others. Here is part of what he has to say on the matter:

"Again, even as gratitude and forgiveness are inseparable, so are ungratefulness and bitterness. When we are grateful, we see and experience life with a healthy optimism. When we lack gratitude, we move toward pessimism and even cynicism. An ungrateful heart always sees what's wrong with life. The longer we live without gratitude, the more embittered we become. The more embittered we become, the more we find ourselves overwhelmed with depression. Bitterness in the end leads to hopelessness. IF we are to enjoy lives of gratitude, we must break free from the gravitational pull of bitterness. For in the same way that gratitude leads to wholeness, bitterness will leave us shattered and broken. In this condition we will find ourselves unable to experience the life God dreams for us, and at the same time we will leave others ct and bleeding as they press against our sharp edges.

Bitterness creates an illusion of control and power. Bitterness is a form of hate. It is anger facing backwards. When we are embittered toward someone, we hold him prisoner to an experience or action in the past. In our minds our bitterness holds him captive and does not allow him to move forward. The reality is that our bitterness traps no one but ourselves. IF the offender genuinely seeks forgiveness, even when you are unwilling to give it, he or she is made free. The only person you keep trapped in yesterday when you are unwilling to forgive is yourself. If you remain bitter long enough, you will eventually move to despair. Bitterness requires that you live in the past; hope requires that you live for tomorrow. Gratitude not only allows you to enjoy the present, but keeps you looking forward to the future."

WOW! That's good stuff. I praise and thank my God that He didn't let me stay in my bitterness over past hurt. I thank Him that He cared enough about me to show me the better way...the way of our precious Lord Jesus. He set the ultimate example when He hung on the cross, tortured and rejected, and was able to say "Father, forgive them."

Thank you, thank you, thank you, sweet, loving Lord. You have blessed me over and abundantly.

God is good, ALL the time, even when I forget it!

To participate in "Thankful Thursday", visit this website:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On Turning TEN
My oldest son is now living in the double digits. A whole decade has passed since we were blessed by the birth of this smart and sensitive boy. In that time we've watched him grow from a bald-headed baby with just a few duckling feather hair strands sticking up on the back of his head to a young man growing in Godly character (and with a full mop of blond hair!).
As I watch him grow in stature and spirit, I pray that his life will reflect this passage:
"...His delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in due season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:2-3
And now here is my firstborn son D, to tell you in his own words, about his very special day:
"When I woke up, my brother P had asked me to wake him up, too. And we played checkers. For breakfast, we had waffles and eggs and Lego waffles. Before I ate my breakfast, I opened my presents. My favorite present was a Game Boy Advance and Lego's Star Wars II to go with it. I also got a Lego set, my sister L gave it to me. I also got Hot Wheels cars from my brothers and sisters.
After breakfast, my mom took the same picture on her blog that's showing right now on her post of me holding my Game Boy Advance and Lego's Star Wars II to go with it.
After that, I did my jobs and then I built the Lego set that L gave to me. It was a Lego Aqua Raider set. I played with it a little bit then I read the instructions for my Lego Star Wars II, how to play it. The game was very fun and I beat the 1st 2 levels in my first time.
After I played it, I went outside. After we came inside, I only had 1 job to do and that was to watch [Baby]M for 15 minutes. I didn't have that much jobs because my mom said I don't have that much because its my birthday.
For lunch, we had macaroni and cheese and pizza bites. I picked out all the meals for that day.
After lunch, I only had a couple of jobs to do and my mom said that when I finished with all my jobs I could play on my Game Boy for 20 minutes. After I finished my jobs, I played my Game Boy and beat the 3rd level. Then, I watched Star Wars Episode IV. Then my mom told us to put away our laundry when she woke up from her nap.
When my dad got home, he asked if I could show him my Game Boy. He played Level III. But he didn't have time to finish it because it was time for supper. For supper, we had cheese grits, bacon, fried eggs, hash browns, and biscuits.
After supper, we went to our church cell group. I got to show my friends, the Macoy boys, my Game Boy, and I got to play, they got to play, P got to play, and B got to play. After the adults were done talking with their cell group thing, I got a cookie cake and our cell group sang Happy Birthday to me. After we ate the cookie cake, we went home and I went to sleep.
And that is my birthday day!"
Happy Birthday, D! You are greatly loved and a true treasure.


Text to be added later.

Corbin Bleu - Push It To The Limit

JUMP IN is not only a fun, hip and urban get-up-and-dance movie, its also a clean family-friendly flick with enough boxing and guy stuff to make it a favorite with the guys as well as the swooning girls. If you liked Corbin Bleu in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, you're gonna LOVE him in this production which highlights his unbelievable talents....and cute looks. ;)

BEAUTY OF GRACE by Krystal Meyers is the song oldest daughter A sang for the homeschool talent show and I sang in church a few weeks ago. Beautiful song with a beautiful message about God's amazing grace.

Tell me why do you run
You seemed so ashamed
Bruised and broken
Thought if I figured out
The mess you've made
That I'd leave
(But) anywhere you are
Is never to far away
There's freedom from your scars
The mistakes that you've made..forgivin
The memories erased
Baby, that's the beauty of grace
la-de-da, la-de-da-da
Tell me what is love
I'll never hold you too
The things you may have done
You say you want new life
In my arms there's mercy

Anywhere you are
Is never to far away
There's freedom from your scars
The mistakes that you've made..forgivin
Baby, that's the beauty of grace

Charity posted this yesterday evening:

"There's not much change. They are giving Maggi extra platelets with her dialysis. They are hoping that this will help with the circulation issues. I don't understand the ins and outs of it, but pray that this will work!

She's a little less "under" - she has responded to requests like "bite your tube if you hear me" and "blink if you hear me" - which seems like a positive, but now John worries that she'll be anxious now that she's more aware.

Finally, Mitch, Maggi's oldest boy, has told his dad that he's scared. This is huge because Mitch isn't what you'd call an "open sharer", if you know what I mean! He's got to be really scared to share that - and understandably so. Please pray for these boys! Tomorrow they'll be at their once a week homeschool support school - normalcy is good, but I'm sure they'll get lots of questions, etc. Lift them up when you think of them tomorrow."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


The doctor told her family he still doesn't know if Maggi will survive this medical crisis or not. A big prayer is also about her legs. At this point there is no circulation or pulse in them and as each hour passes, the probability that she will lose them increases. For more details about what is going on with this homeschool mom of 3, scroll down to the previous posting. Also, the latest news can be read here:

Monday, April 23, 2007


"The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. Other vices may sometimes bring people together: you may find good fellowship and jokes and friendliness among drunken people or unchaste people. But Pride always means enmity-it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God. In God, you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that-and therefore you know yourself as nothing in comparison-you can't know God at all. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you.(God) wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble-delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life."

C S Lewis, Christian Behavior

Sunday, April 22, 2007


PLEASE PRAY!!!!! Please pray for Maggi, a mom of 4 boys (ages 11 to 1) who I know thru the Five in a Row community. Here's what I've been told thru Charity, another mom we both know:

"Maggi was fine on Thursday morning - she came to see my daughter in a play! Friday morning when she woke up, she thought she had the flu. She stayed in bed all that day. Her husband, John, took her to the hospital at 5am Saturday and she was critical at that point - organs shutting down, very negative prognosis! She had all indications of a form of meningitis, including the swelling of the brain. BUT, up to this point they've been unable to confirm that - no cultures have come back positive, which is puzzling due to the severity of her reaction. So they have no confirmation of exactly what caused this, although her symptoms point to the meningitis. No idea where it came from, though."

Its truly a miracle that she is still alive today. Please pray for her total healing and pray for her husband, sons, and other loved ones who are going thru this trial with her.

For more details, go to these links:

The links are listed chronologically from when the situation first arose to the latest updates.

Photos of Maggi:

Thanks in advance for your prayers.

Here's the link to an update made the afternoon of April 23:

Please continue to pray for Maggi.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Beautiful Picture of Racial Harmony

Growing up in Mississippi during the 60's and 70's, I saw the very ugly face of racism and felt, in a small way, the hurtfulness of it. We had neighbors in the Ku Klux Klan who wouldn't allow their children to play at our house because my dad taught at the local "black" university. I was called mean names by whites because we had African American friends and had mean things said and done to me by some African Americans because I was white. My dad had to leave a pastoral position because he invited the church's black janitor to attend a service (he was "good enough" to clean the bathrooms, just not "good enough" to worship in the same room ). I've been with a dear African American co-worker at a restaurant and seen how we were given poorer service than all the white patrons and then how the white owner verbally slammed the Black community right to my friend's face.

And of course, we all know of even more horrific acts of violence that went on back then. Its sad and sick and a part of our history that I'm not proud of at all.

We still have our issues and there are still pockets here in the south that are stuck in the past. But I'm proud and pleased to say, that for the most part, we're moving forward. Most of us, blacks and whites alike, are willing to admit that we struggle with prejudice to varying degrees and we need to work to get over it. Inter-racial couples, that used to be NEVER seen in these parts, are now seen almost everytime I go to town. Public schools are no longer legally segregated and even most private schools, many of which started out as "whites only", are now integrated. I no longer know anyone who is in the KKK though as a child, all my neighbors in one particular community BUT 1, were in the klan. White girls have posters of beautifully brown Corbin Bleu hanging in their room. And white rednecks listen to hip hop music. And the most beautiful thing of all to me, is that more and more churches can be found that have people of different ethnic and socio-economic levels worshipping the Lord together.

One of my sweetest homeschool friends is part of an inter-racial family and I recently took a photo of part of their family at our church. When I asked if I could share the photo of them here on the boards, she said "absolutely". I know that many of you struggle either with racist relatives or racism against you and your loved ones personally. I hope that this photo brings some smiles to your heart, hope to your outlook, and is a beautiful reminder that one day EVERY TONGUE AND TRIBE will proclaim He is Lord and that we'll all be unified singing His praises through out eternity! Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Eliana is doing great today...the blood drawing went perfect on the very first try (a definite answer to prayers!)...and they expect her to be home by this weekend. Thank you all for your continued prayers and thanks to our wonderful Heavenly Father for His love and power. To read a detailed update from Mom Leslie, follow the link under Eliana's picture in the righthand margin.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Please do continue to pray for Eliana. She will have to have a "blood draw" tomorrow and Mom Leslie says she's a hard draw and she's already been poked and prodded and stabbed and cut just about everywhere. And now she's pulled out her IV and it will have to be re-inserted. Pray for Eliana...that she'll continue to heal up (she might be able to go home in a day or two). Pray for her family...its so hard for them to see her going thru this. Pray that the very BEST person available will do Eliana's draw tomorrow. And pray for rest for them all.

Thank you!


I love some of Anne Lamott and Tony Campolo's writing. And I love their hearts. We might not agree on every point of doctrine, and we definitely didn't vote the same in the last presidential election, but we can agree on some very important matters of the heart. Daily I listen to a very conservative Bible teacher via the internet. Steve Brown is a longtime, true fried of Tony Campolo's and he's the one who introduced me to the writings of Anne Lamott. Steve said that he was talking to Anne once about how different they were and Anna basically said "but we can agree on how much we love Jesus".

Sometimes things that are important, really important, come between us. And unfortunately, we can let things that are really NOT important come between us as well. When its all said and done, all of us who go by the name of "Christian" should be able to agree on some of the basics of the heart...that Jesus is SO good, that we need Him SO badly, and that His love and grace knows no bounds.

Donald Miller is a brother I'd like to introduce to you. For some of you, he'd be one that you'd naturally mix with. You probably hang in the same places, speak the same lingo, read the same kind of books, and watch the same kinds of movies. You'd probably both even show up at the same protest events holding signs with similar sentiments.

For the majority of you reading my blog, you probably WOULDN'T easily run into Miller. Or if you did, like me, you'd probably make prejudicial judgements based on outward appearances, the language he uses, or 2 or 3 facts that might come up first in the conversation. I'd probably wrongly jump to the conclusion that we could have NOTHING in common worth mentioning and a relationship wouldn't be worth pursuing.

But oh how wrong I would be...and probably some of you would be just as wrong. Though Donald Miller is my polar opposite on so many issues, we both agree on Jesus. And that amazing thing called grace.

A wise and talented young blogger, a high school homeschooler in fact, has written a very insightful entry about Donald Miller and others like him. I hope you'll take the time to read it. It was a blessing to me and a reminder that we are all looking for a place of rest and freedom, a place that I call Graceland....and apparently, so does Donald Miller.

Recommended books by the above mentioned authors:



Donald Miller---BLUE LIKE JAZZ
Please continue to pray for Eliana

She is recovering well from her surgery but still has so far to go. It is especially hard for my pal Leslie to not be able to hold and comfort her baby right now. For more details on prayer needs and progress being made, visit Leslie's blog:

Thanks so much for your prayers.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Today is a big day for the baby Eliana. I posted about her previously and her photo is featured on the right handside of my blog. Please keep her in your prayer's today.

Here's what Leslie, her mom, posted at her blog this morning:

Holes are repaired!

We just spoke to the nurse practioner who has been in with Eliana during the surgery. She said that all has gone well! Her holes are repaired!!! (I need the emoticon with many happy tears here.) They are still working on her - chest tubes need to be inserted and all that is involved with closing her up. We are hoping to meet with her surgeon, Dr. Jaggers in about 45 minutes or whenever the surgery is complete.

After we have spoken with Dr. Jaggers, Eliana will be moved up to the PICU. It will be about 1.5 hours until we will be able to see her then. I really want to see my little girl. I've been holding onto her hair bow and really just want to hold her.

Thank you for praying. Please continue. I'll write as I know more.

With love,


Late afternoon update:

Hi Friends,

Wanting to update you a little more on Eliana. She is in a critical period now - and we will know much more about her recovery tomorrow. Please keep praying for her!!!

I have seen God's hand on this day and on so many things that have happened. I will try to write some of that when I'm able to. I appreciate prayers and know that it has paved the way for so many things to go so smoothly for Eliana today.

When I was with her this afternoon, she seemed to be having some difficulty breathing. The nurse told me that she was fighting the tube. She then started to wake up some and then started gagging. They decided to remove the breathing tube and we needed to leave the room.

She looked so much better with the large tube out of her mouth. It was replaced with smaller nasal tubes for oxygen. The nurse put the clear tape on both cheeks - and nothing yet on the hurt places. Please pray for healing for her skin.

She woke up again when we went back to see her. She started crying. A really, really pitiful and weak cry. It hurt my heart to hear her as her voice is very hoarse. I couldn't pick her up which I so wanted to do!!! There are limited places to touch her too. I tried stroking the very top of her head and getting close to her face.

One of the nurses suggested a pacifier. We tried that, without much success. I told them she really prefers her hands (which aren't an option right now). They brought something to dip the paci in to try to help her, but she wasn't all that interested in sucking.

The rounding doctor came by and ordered more pain medicine for her which helped greatly and allowed her to go back to sleep! The dr commented several times on how cute Eliana is. She also said that she would love to hold her - if I didn't mind. I told her that I would love to know she was being held as that is her preferred method of being comforted! She told me that she likes to hold the babies while sitting in a recliner during the night. I told her that I would feel much better about leaving Eliana there during the night without me if I knew that someone was holding and loving on her! (What a sweet praise that this doctor wants to do that!)

I was very blessed to have sweet friends join us today - to talk, laugh and best of all pray! To notice what the details of what was happening and to pray for problems and to praise God for the blessings.

Need to run. I'm home for dinner and then off again to the hospital. I'm planning to come home to sleep tonight.

Thank you so very much for your prayers. Please keep praying for her recovery.

With love,

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Please pray for baby Eliana on Monday, April 16, as she goes in for heart surgery. She's a precious little girl born with Down's Syndrome and as a result, has a heart that needs fixing. She is pictured on the right side of this blog down a bit. Here's a link to her mom's blog where more details are posted:

Thank you.

Super Dad and the 2 oldest boys returned late this morning with many tales from their first cub scout camping trip. Though bad thunderstorms had swept thru our area yesterday, their camp was spared and they had a dry time after all. Not as many boys showed up as expected...we figured the bad weather scared them off...but they still had fun playing on the fort & "ship" (pictured at left), plunging Super Dad in the dunking booth, doing silly relays, and eating junk since Mom wasn't around to play nutrition police.

The rest of us lazed around at home since some of us were too sick to allow us to attend church. Though I missed being at the worship service with my spiritual family, it was nice to have a weekend to just take it easy and try to get well. I hope we all kick this sinus crud SOON! BLAH-HUMBUG! Cough-cough, wheeze, sniff, cough! UGH!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


For the most part, this past week was fairly restful after such a busy Easter time. We had the regularly scheduled meetings and activities plus a few extra things thrown in to add extra fun to the mix. The homeschool art classes that the 5 oldest kids were scheduled to participate in this week were cancelled, but we still had other opportunities to be learn, have fun, and stay busy.

Wednesday night was our weekly cell group time. A attended the very first youth group cell meeting. Our pastor, Brother Freddy, is leading their group.

Thursday night was the 2nd annual homeschool talent show. A sang a solo. The song she performed was BEAUTY OF GRACE originally performed by Christian recording artist Krystal Meyers. She did a wonderful job as she gains confidence on stage and learns to project and express herself musically. B danced 3 times with her clogging group. Baby M especially enjoyed the clogging and had fun dancing and clapping during the group's performances.

Friday morning we joined about a dozen other homeschool families for a field trip to the zoo (yes, our 3rd time to go in about 4 weeks...but still fun just to be with friends!) before our weekly afternoon meeting at the park, then errand running, dropping A off for a homeschool friend's bday party, and then... WHEW! HOME! After a meal of Rachael Ray's peanut noodles, it was good to get to bed EARLY! Most of us have been fighting some sort of sinus mess all week long and after I took as many meds as I could, I was zonked out and asleep before 9:00!

Today Jim and the 2 oldest boys have been gone on a cub scout outing so the girls and I have taken turns caring for the little ones and as much as possible, taking it easy. Tonight, we put the little ones to bed early and B joined me in watching the taped special about Oprah Winfrey's school she opened up in South Africa for outstanding girls. Yes, I was sniffling over my popcorn. I still miss Africa and its beautiful people.

Tomorrow's church, though sadly we might be at home too sick to go. Regardless, I know that God has opportunities awaiting us, whether here or there, to draw closer to Him and love those around us more and more wholeheartedly. I'm so glad that this child, that once was blind, now can see....see all the wonders that God has in store for me every single day in this place I live in called Graceland.

Photo of all the talent show participants.
Something precious

A moment to always cherish...the sound of my 11 year old daughter reading poetry to her kittens in the barn.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Memory Snapshots

My smiling toddler daughter, in her pretty spring dress, waving at her brother and sister each time they pass her on their bikes as the sun kisses her blonde hair.

The 3 oldest kids, with ropes attached to their bikes, pulling along the wagon filled with the 3 youngest kids having the time of their lives.

Piggyback races between the 3 oldest as they run with little ones on their backs.

My 5 year old princess coming into me saying "Mommy, I have a surprise for you" as she brings a handful of flowers from behind her back.

Life is good!


Last Thursday, my mom, step-dad, and nephew "C", drove up to spend time with us while C enjoyed his school's spring break. After playing here on the farm with his cousins, LG joined him for a sleepover with the grandparents at their hotel. Supper at the local McDonald's and donuts for breakfast were highlights of the occasion for LG.

On Friday morning, we met them at the hotel and then headed out for shopping at Target (had to spend their Easter money from the grands and buy A her Easter dress) before lunch at Chick-fil-A and an afternoon spent at the zoo. My kids loved introducing their cousin to all their favorite parts...especially the otters and the socially repulsive, but down-right funny yellow bellied mangabey!

Super Dad joined us all for supper at Up the Creek and browsing at Border's. LOVE THAT PLACE! B spent the night celebrating her friend Caitlin's birthday at her house.

Saturday morning found Super Dad picking up B, dropping A off at a church youth group fundraiser at Wal-Mart, and shopping for last minute Easter items. Back at the farm, Grandmommy and Papa Roy brought C over for his last playtime fix with his cousins before they headed back to their home on the coast.

Then it was time to do some last minute stuff around the house before a 2nd set of grandparents arrived. This time it was J's dad, his step-mom Sally, and his Aunt Lynn visiting from California. This was her first time to meet some of our kids. It was a good visit but definitely TOO short!

While I made supper that evening, Super Dad and the kids decorated Easter eggs at the dining room table. We ate our traditional Easter purple cross pancakes for supper since things had been to hectic in the morning.

And Sunday morning it was time to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The kids rec'd their chocolate crosses after breakfast and then we all rushed around to get gussied up for church. We all looked quite nice if I do say so myself. ;) Super Dad and I were blessed with ministering to the 3 to 8 year olds for a special Easter kids' service during church. After the singing worship time was over, the children joined us for a Resurrection egg hunt, special Bible story, and a stained cross craft activity. B and D helped us with the little kids as did one of their homeschool friends, Aaron H. It was then home for photos in the yard, lunch (a ham, compliments of Dad and Sally, was the main entree), and the weekly treasured Sunday naps. And after our much deserved rest time, the kids had a wonderful time hunting the 40 decorated eggs A and I hid in the backyard.

Life is indeed good and I am so very, very blessed. Watching my kids experience life is more rewarding than I could ever have imagined. And sharing with them the love of Jesus and all He has provided for us, is such an amazing privilege.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Missing Daddy

My 3 year old T just said "I really, really miss Daddy". I said, "aww-w-w, that's sweet" and he said "no, its really sad".

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


My 3 year old son just informed me that he's going to have his "104 birthday in 3 days. And I'm going to have a cake. Its going to be as big as you and Dad!"

I guess if you're going to live in a fantasy world, you might as well make it AMAZING!

Last night I fixed some absolutely FINE burgers! It was a recipe from the magazine EVERYDAY WITH RACHAEL RAY called Salsa Verde Burgers. These turkey burgers with their southwestern flair were not only delicious, but heart healthy as well since I used ground turkey breast for my patties.

Here's the link if you'd like to try something a bit on the wild side:

BTW, one of my 2nd daughter's best friends was over for supper and she admits that she does NOT like green food... and this recipe calls for , green salsa, avocado, and cilantro...but she found that despite the color, this "green" burger was quite the thing. :D

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


The last couple of days have just been nice, regular family days filled with the everyday, good stuff of, play, learning, worship, laughter, games, movies, books, time with friends, service to others. Sunday morning found us at church and J sharing a short but powerful word during the after-sermon ministry time. He shared out of Hebrews on not hardening our hearts toward God but that TODAY is the day to say "yes" to God and His salvation. That afternoon we celebrated the 4th birthday of one of the Princess' church friends. And that night A enjoyed time at the church teen group while J and our pastor battled a horrendous church flood caused by a toilet that was allowed to overflow and overflow and overflow and....well you get the message. YUK! Yesterday was a stay home day for all except for J who had work and a firefighter function. This morning A & B are off with hs friends to go roller skating & get A's "Who's Who" photo taken for the yearbook. Afterwards, B's best friend C will come home for a playdate before I take them to clogging tonight and the boys have scouts.

Life with kids period can be crazy...but with 7, its amazingly so! But its a good crazy. The wonderful, fun times we spend together add joy to the journey. As I've told people before, a family this big is just a party waiting to happen! And then the bad, hard times? Well, they are just chances to grow in God and His grace. And yes, I get a lot of those chances, too.

But despite the hectic and hard pace we sometimes face, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love my kids and hubby. I love my life and thank God for it.

The other night, I asked the kids what they liked about our family. Here were their responses:

"Why do you like our family?"

3 year old T: "Because we go to parties."

5 year old L: "I like my family because [Baby M] is cute, T is funny, and P is funny, and me and B copy each other, and Daddy is funny, too, and Mom is funny, too, and D is good at his comics, and A shares her hairbrushes with me."

7 year old P: "I love my family because we help work together!"

9 year old D: "Because Grandfatehr teaches me woodworking."

11 year old B: "Because y'all let me pursue my dreams."

And 13 year old A: "Because when I think I'm 'all that', they remind me that I'm not..."

Yep, being family means we party and play together, but we're also there to help each other get over our issues and get on with being what God intended us to be...and sometimes that means being told we're not "all that".

Praising God for my family and finding comfort in Romans 8:28 that He's using ALL these things for our good, to make us more like Jesus because HE LOVES US!
10 Rules of Housekeeping

As sent to me via email this a.m. ;)

* "Vacuuming too often will weaken the carpet fibers." Say this with a serious face and shudder delicately whenever anyone mentions Carpet Fresh.

* Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide a helpful filter against harmful and aging rays from the sun. Call it an SF factor of 5 and leave it alone.

* Cobwebs artfully draped over lampshades reduce the glare from the bulb, thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If your husband points out that the light fixtures need dusting, simply say, "What? And spoil the mood?"

* Explain the mound of pet hair brushed up against the doorways by claiming you are collecting it there to use for stuffing hand-sewn play animals for underprivileged children.

* If unexpected company is coming, pile everything unsightly into one room and close the door. As you show your guests through your tidy home, rattle the door knob vigorously, fake a growl and say, "I'd love for you to see our den but Fluffy hates to be disturbed and the shots are SO expensive."

* If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place an urn on the coffee table and insist that, "THIS is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes..."

* Don't bother repainting. Simply scribble lightly over a dirty wall with an assortment of crayons and try to muster a glint of tears as you say, "Johnny did this when he was two. I haven't had the heart to clean it..."

* Dust bunnies cannot evolve into dust rhinos when disturbed. Rename the area under the couch 'The Galapagos Islands' and claim an ecological exemption.

* Mix one-quarter cup pine-scented household cleaner with four cups of water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations. Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself onto the couch, and sigh, "I clean and I clean and I still don't get anywhere..."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Bragging Post

Big beautiful daughter, firstborn blessing, has just received news that she has been elected by her peers as Miss Teen Group for the F-R Homeschoolers. I'm so happy for her.

But just as big of news....she's all on her own reading WAR AND PEACE!!! And not the abridged, illustrated version either. Oh no! She's reading the 1,309 page version! And she's enjoying it. She's also finishing up GONE WITH THE WIND...but it only has 939 pages. A featherweight compared to W & P! LOL!

I'm very proud of my daughter. She's honest, intellectually curious, responsible, authentic, passionate, beautiful, and striving to know God as her personal friend. How blessed I am to be her mother.