Thursday, May 27, 2010


Please keep on praying for us. We sure are needing extra prayer support these days, er, months.

*Our oldest daughter is traveling today. Pray for safety and continued guidance from the Lord during her trip.

*My amazing husband is really feeling the burden this week of so many demands and responsibilities along with stresses such as stuff related to the house. Please pray for him to have peace and joy despite it all!

*We need to be more like Jesus! As we face these obstacles and trials, pray that we'll look to the Lord and let Him make us more and more like His son.

*Our 2nd daughter leaves for Romania in three weeks. Pray for her and the other team members as they prepare their hearts for service. Pray that she'll get everything out of this time that God has for her.

*We are continually seeking the Lord about His will for our family's future. Right now we specifically need guidance as we plan our trip to Swaziland. Pray that we'll meet with all the people we need to meet with as we seek to discover God's plans for us. Pray especially for my husband to hear from God despite all the other stuff going on.

*The building is continuing to be delayed. Pray for this. Specifically, please pray that the sheet rockers will get their job done soon so the rest can move forward.

*I want to love Jesus more and more and want my family to be consumed with passion for Him. Pray that we will learn to walk in the fullness of His love and power. Pray that we'll be broken hearted over our sin and that we'll do whatever it takes to follow Him fully.

Thanks to you all for your continued love and support,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Our oldest daughter has now winged her way to California. By the photos she has posted on her facebook account, she is obviously having a fabulous time with her long-time internet penpal Lydia and her family.
Aren't they cute?!? Even in front of Alcatraz they are still adorable.


If you think about her, pray for the next few weeks. She'll be doing a lot of traveling, meeting people, and visiting colleges. Pray that this will be a good time of refreshment but also that she'll hear from God during this time and sense His direction about her future.

Thanks in advance from a mom who is very happy for her girl but misses her, too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


"What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? ... this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and unchangeable object; in other words by God himself."

Blaise Pascal

Monday, May 24, 2010


Yesterday we attended the outdoor worship service at WE WILL GO inner-city ministry. It was an awesome time, as usual, but I was reminded of why last summer I had decided that we needed to find some good, ole fashioned, hand fans. You know, the kind that funeral homes often give away? I had meant to do something about it then as summers in the deep south really heat up but I kept forgetting to look for any and then the cooler temps of fall came along and it totally went off of my radar screen.

Now it is heating up again and as I held my sleeping, sweaty six year old son yesterday, I was once again pondering the need for some cooling breeze. So I'm a'wondering...does anyone know where I can find some of these fans for free or at least dirt cheap? We'd need a bunch of them as the ministry often has close to a hundred in attendance and I can pretty much guarantee that most of the fans would be finding new homes at the end of each service. After all, this is a ministry that targets a lot of homeless folks and people living in housing without the greatest of modern amenities. And if you've never been down this way in the summer time, believe me when I say it feels like a sauna most afternoons from mid-May to mid-September.

If you, your business, or your church could be of any help in this area, it would be greatly appreciated. In this climate, that cup of cold water given in Jesus' name applies to breeze causing fans as well!

Friday, May 21, 2010


We'll be heading into inner-city Jackson this weekend for some inner-city ministry time. We'll be worshipping and hearing Bible teaching as well as ministering to a lot of city folks thru serving a meal, helping them shop in the clothes closet, praying for them, and just showing the love of Jesus in any way we can. Let me know if you'd like to join in on this vital ministry to bring light back to the dark places. For too long, the Christians have run away when we should be running to love!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


We've got a lot more going on than usual that I surely, surely would appreciate your prayers about:

*Our oldest daughter leaves soon for a month out west. She'll be visiting friends, colleges, relatives, and doing a lot of traveling and outdoor activities. Please pray for safety, that God will be in the relationships, and that she'll hear from God as she tours campuses.

*Keep praying for the "lost sheep". He is coming around the ministry again but still needs complete restoration and deliverance.

*Pray for hubby and me as we face some parenting challenges. We need a LOT of Godly wisdom. 'Nuff said.

*We're having some glitches with our rebuilding/remodeling situation. Pray for all the issues to be cleared up so that we can be back in our home soon but also pray that we'll continue to learn what we need to learn during this season.

*Hubby and I need guidance as we plan for our trip to Swaziland in September. We are having to make some decisions about what we'll do during this time of seeking God. Pray for us to have our steps ordered.

*A young friend is going on a missions trip this summer but some obstacles keep coming up. Pray that the way will be made clear.

*We have someone very close to us who does not know the Lord, really even believe in Him. Pray that God will make Himself very real to this loved one and that He'll use as us needed.

Thanks so much! Your prayers are so vital.

Friday, May 14, 2010

*Had a fun day out on Tuesday with my daughter B and my fabulous friend Rhonda. Lunch at Keiffer's then shopping at The Orange Peel, a vintage clothing store, was all mixed up with great conversation and riotous laughter.
*Son D had been gone for two weeks helping his grandparents with a building project and learning woodworking skills for Scouts. He came home yesterday to a cheering crowd of siblings!
*Disaster hair occurred yesterday with one daughter's hair turning canary yellow in the front. Situation solved today. Wish the Gulf's oil spill disaster could so easily be resolved.
*The man I asked prayer for several days back has been in contact with those who love him so much and minister to him. We were able to see him yesterday and give him big hugs. Please keep praying for total restoration and freedom.
*We've been desperately shopping for MODEST bathings suits for the teenage girls. For anyone who hasn't experienced this unique form of torture, count yourself as very, very blessed.
*Got kittens? We do! And they're FREE!!!! Lots of colors and patterns. They are so cute and playful. And did I mention that they are FREE?!???!???
More news later from Graceland!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


My, my, my...what a day my family and Lord blessed me with. Here's the recap:

Saturday evening we went to IHOP, or International House of Pancakes as it more formally known, for supper. Did you know that kids eat free with each adult entree purchase? This was HUGE news for our HUGE family! It made the pancakes and strawberry lemonades even sweeter!

After that, we headed to my-least-favorite-place-to-shop-but-the-only-place-open-after-nine-besides-gas-stations-and-Kroger's...yes, Wally World. The kids and hubby needed to buy my gifts so I was willing to put aside my distaste for the benefit I'd receive come Mother's Day. It was a big sacrifice but this mama just had to do it.

Sunday morning we ate our regular before-church sausage biscuits but with the added yumminess of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. OH MY! Can I just tell you that I am in love with those babies and all their chocolaty, creamy goodness??? It had probably been 5 or so years since I'd had one since they don't exactly fit in the all-natural, whole foods category, but still! They were as scrumptious as I had remembered which was exactly why I had requested them in the first place. But, to make sure I wouldn't get the insane idea that they were going to become a dietary staple, I forced myself to read the ingredients and nutritional information on the box. Sugar and corn syrup. Very first two ingredients. Oh yeah...and then there was the partially hydrogenated stuff, etc., etc. Oh, well. I look forward to having them again in another five years or so. They surely were good while they lasted.

After breakfast and we were all dressed for church, the family gave me their gifts: adorable, handmade cards from the two youngest girls; eye shadows, dark chocolate m&m's, and a black-and-white scarf from others. All in all, they did a great job of blessing me with great presents.

Then it was on to church. I taught the preschool class and helped my two youngest, along with the rest of the class, make jiggly, teddy bear cards. My pastor's wife was a sweetheart and provided all the supplies for me...even cutting out all the bears and hearts and flowers. Then at the end of the service, all the children and moms were brought into the sanctuary and we were given a pretty, blue, tote bag with a daily devotion book tucked inside. The families then gathered around their moms and grandmoms and prayed for them. It was very sweet.

After church, it was back to the RVs for lunch. We kept it simple. A sweet friend had brought us a ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans a couple of days before so we enjoyed that for lunch. We ate it up and then blessed ourselves with naps. God ordained, day-of-rest naps are so awesome. So we napped an hour or so then got ourselves up and out the door to head into inner-city Jackson for ministry time at WE WILL GO.

We had a powerful time there as Amy Lancaster shared from the book of James and we had special times of prayer for mothers, especially those who were hurting either physically, spiritually, or emotionally.

When the service was over, I had the chance to talk to two different women who both have great love for Africa. As you can imagine, this just blessed my heart and I look forward to getting to know them better as we take this path that God has set before us, the path of loving the least and lost in Jackson as well as across the ocean in Africa.

That evening was our weekly pizza and movie night. We enjoyed our Domino's (YES! We love the new recipe!) while watching the latest WALLACE AND GROMIT film then put the babies to bed before watching an episode of BEAR GRYLLS set in Romania.

And that was my day in all its awesomeness. I felt very, very loved and my heart was full of gratitude for the life and family that God has given me.

Speaking of my family and before that, Romania, my 2nd daughter B leaves in 5 weeks for that nation! She is understandably excited and I'm excited to see what God is going to do in her life and through her team during that month. After the wonderful time that Daughter A had with Adventures in Missions in Swaziland last summer, I'm expecting amazing things from B's time.

Better go for now. I'm at a library using their PC and need to get on home to my beloved munchkins.

Hope you all are doing well. Stay in touch. I'd love to hear everyone's news, too.


Saturday, May 08, 2010


Considering doing something to bless some other mothers out there. Here are some ideas:

*Give out flowers or small "happy" gifts to mothers at a homeless shelter.
*Make handmade cards and deliver them to mothers at a nursing home.
*Invite mothers who aren't near their children or whose children have passed away to eat lunch with you.
*Bake muffins or cookies and deliver them to mothers who are alone.
*Send e-cards to mothers out there who might be going thru a rough time.
*Present a free babysitting coupon to a mother with a lot of little ones so she can go have a date with her hubby or just have some time alone to go shopping, meet a friend for lunch, or go to a day spa.
*Call women in your life who need to hear from someone on this day.
*Take the time to say "thank you" to the women in your life who have been spiritual mothers to you.

Mother's Day can be wonderful, but it can also be a sad day for many. Redeeming that day for the sake of someone else can turn a hard occasion into a blessing for the women you reach out to ... and yourself.

Friday, May 07, 2010


A fellow homeschool mom, Kathleen Mejia Beplay, shared this family favorite recipe and I just had to pass it on here at Graceland. Consider it a belated recognition of Cinco de Mayo.

Thanks Kathleen!

"Chilaquiles is a popular breakfast in Mexico, and often eaten as a hangover remedy. We prefer it for dinner, and don't wait for a family-wide hangover to enjoy it. ;) There are many variations of chilaquiles, and this is by no means a definitive recipe. It's just how I make it, based on a recipe I read in Buenhogar magazine several years ago. This recipe feeds my family of 5.


1/2 to 3/4 pound of chicken.
1 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of green salsa OR 5-6 tomatillos (remove husk and chop) + 1 deseeded and chopped jalapeño
1 white or yellow onion, chopped in strips
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 5oz. can of evaporated milk
1 tsp. oregano
Salt & pepper or Adobo seasoning to taste
a few shakes of cumin
1 tortilla per person, toasted and broken into bite sized pieces
1 shot of tequila


fresh, chopped cilantro
crumbled cheese such as cotija añejo or queso fresco, or whatever you have on hand
avocado slices


Chilaquiles is a great way to use leftover chicken, and you can slice it or pull it apart. If you use fresh chicken, slice it, season with Adobo or salt and pepper, and brown it over medium-high heat. I prefer to use my cast iron skillet for this job, and use no oil. When the chicken is browned, set it aside, and put the sliced onions in the skillet. Pour in the shot of tequila (or just plain water will work) and deglaze the skillet, using a spatula to scrape up any cooked-on bits of chicken. It you are using tomatillos and jalapeño, add them at this point as well. Cook until the onions are clarified and a bit charred on the edges. Stir in the garlic, then add the chicken broth and turn to low heat. Add the green salsa, oregano, and cumin. Allow this to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add chicken back in, and add evaporated milk, and allow it to heat through.

Serve over a bed of toasted tortilla chips, and add toppings to taste."

See...didn't I tell you it was too good not to share? And you might want to pop over to Kathleen's blog, . She got some good resources on teaching and learning Spanish.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

When we lived in Mississippi we were part of a small Calvary Chapel (first one in the state) that initially met in a day care. Our friends that visited this past weekend were also part of that church. They started coming when their fourth child (of 7) was just 4 weeks old. Anna, the oldest of their children, was five years old. After the service the kids would all go out to the playground while we parents talked and packed up all the church things.

One Sunday Anna came inside and informed me that Double Shot would not allow her to play on the monkey bars, that they were a boys club and girls were not allowed. I told her to go tell Double Shot that I said he had to let her play with them.

Anna always wanted to play with the boys. They didn't want her around because she told them what to do. For whatever reason, Double Shot, who is a year older than her, was the one that most commonly elicited her ire.

Moments later Anna came back inside and stomped right up to me with her eyes ablaze.

Anna: Miss Kelly! Double Shot won't let me play with the boys AND HE HIT ME!!!

Well... I went right on out there and pulled him to the side.

Me: Anna said you won't let her play and you hit her!

Double Shot: She tells us what to do! We don't want to play with her. This is a boys club. NO GIRLS ALLOWED!!!

Me: Oh NO! You are NOT to hit other kids, especially girls! You are going to have to tell her you are sorry and let her play with you.

Double Shot: I don't want to play with HER! And I'm NOT sorry and I WON'T tell her I'm sorry!!!

Me: I grabbed hold of his arm... Yes, you are going to tell her you are sorry and you are going to let her play with you.

Double Shot: he kicked dirt at me while wrenching himself from my grasp... I WON'T!!!

I didn't quite know what to do. Needless to say, Double Shot has always been a challenge. Anna was sitting a bit away from us on the merry-go-round watching and waiting. The other boys were playing and not paying any attention at all to what was happening. I decided this was going to have to be dealt with at home so I sent Double Shot to his father and went over to Anna.

Me: Anna, I am very sorry that Double Shot hit you. That is not okay. I'm not going to make him say he's sorry to you right now because he wouldn't mean it. I promise you though... when he does apologize, he is going to mean it.

Anna: Yes, well... if you don't discipline him now he will grow up to be a man who abuses women!

She was FIVE YEARS OLD. I was STUNNED and I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open. Double Shot did apologize to her the next time he saw her. They continued in their conflicts over the next several years. Anna, ever watchful and ready to point out any and all infractions and Double Shot ever resentful of her telling him what he should or should not be doing.

After I retold this story as we all sat around the table on Father's Day...

Double Shot: Anna, I want to officially apologize for hitting you eleven years ago and I want you to know I am NOT a woman abuser.

Anna: I officially accept your apology.

Oh my, did we all laugh!!!

Anna has been homeschooled her entire life and has been touring colleges. She's been to Africa twice. Once with her mother and sister and then last summer as part of a missionary team. She's thinking about studying criminology and becoming a lawyer. She mentioned that she might like to work with an organization like the International Justice Mission. I showed her the book I was reading about IJM... she hadn't seen it before and spent some of her time here going through it herself.

I am amazed by how consistent this girl has been throughout her life. She is driven... or being pushed along by the very hand of God. I've no doubt that she is going to be a champion for those who cannot stand for themselves.

Monday, May 03, 2010


I can't go into a lot of details, but someone very dear to us is in a desperate situation physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It is someone who had walked away from a horrible, horrible life. Through the power of God's love, he was rescued. He truly was a new creation.

He has messed up. He let himself start toying with things from his past and he was caught. Now he has plunged headlong into the living-death of his former world. He has cut off everyone who truly loves him out of shame.

He is such a sweetheart. My children love him. Jim and I love him. So very, very many adore him and are weeping for him.

But he has run and won't come near us.

Pray that God in all His amazing grace and power will come down and drag our friend out of the pit of Hell and back into the abundant life of love that he had.

Pray that this dear man will not allow his shame and sin to hold him back from the very ones who he needs the most.

Pray that those who can speak life into His self-made Hell hole can find him. Pray that he will listen and believe and allow himself to be forgiven.

Pray for a miracle.

Thanks in advance,

Sunday, May 02, 2010


"The farther we go on the journey of faith, the more faith has to do with trust and self-surrender. The Kingdom of God leaves none of us in our own little kingdom where we decide what happens. God leads us all, like Abraham, out into a new country."

Richard Rohr, SIMPLICITY

Saturday, May 01, 2010


We will be going to inner-city Jackson tomorrow to share some Jesus love with a lot of amazing people. I'd love for you to come along with us as we worship and minister at WE WILL GO. Call me or message me via facebook if you need details.

You can also go to the WE WILL GO website for more information: