Wednesday, November 29, 2006

For Ash...


Because my sweet daughter was afraid I wouldn't put out her beloved "Hand-Print-Reindeer" decoration she made when she was in kindergarten...here is proof that it is indeed hanging in it's usual spot. : )

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Special Friends...

On Sunday afternoon we were blessed with a visit from our dear friends from Virginia. Actually, it was only two of them (there are 8 total!) but we'll take any number of them! : ) They stayed until Monday afternoon and all I have to say is...Their visit was WAY too short! This is a picture of me, Katie and Ashleigh, as they were leaving yesterday. I have known Katie since she was in her mama's tummy. Her mama (Grace Abounds) and I were pregnant at the same time...she with Katie and me with Zach. Katie has grown into a sweet, beautiful young lady and she has the most beautiful singing voice! I am so glad they stopped by our house and maybe next time the whole gang will come! (hint, hint) : )

Names...

I wanted to make a discreet post, but how do you do that on a public blog?! LOL So I am going to just come out and say it.

I will no longer be using pseudonyms for my family's names. Both my kids have blogs and they use their real names. Some people who know us leave comments using our real names (which is fine) and so it just seems a whole lot easier to call everyone by their real name. : ) So here we are: Rande (my Fireman), Mishel (me...yep, that's really me! LOL), Zach (Fiddleboy), Ashleigh (Little Mama), John (her Marine), and Troy (Little Man). That's us! : )

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday Randomness...

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday and that it was a blessed time for you and your family. Our family will remember Thanksgiving 2006 as "the year we were sick". My poor Fireman caught the stomach bug and while I was recovering, his was just beginning. Our plans were to go to the fire station for Thanksgiving dinner because my hubby was supposed to work that day and the fireman usually cook quite the feast when they have to work. Well...by early Thursday morning we knew my Fireman was not going to work that day. Thankfully Fiddleboy, Little Mama and her family were able to go to my sister-in-law's for dinner.
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Today was the first day I had been out of the house since Monday. I got up early and headed to our local farmer's market. I love going to the farmer's market! It's amazing the quality of produce you can get and at such a great price.

When I got home I decided I would make some bread. A few years ago my family gave me a Zojirushi bread machine and to be honest, I haven't used it much. : ( The few times I used it, my bread came out looking, well...less-than-perfect. After years of making my own bread and "perfecting" my recipe, the results were disappointing. I had heard it just takes some tweaking, but I never made the time to "tweak".

So today I tried it again. I milled my wheat berries, added all the ingredients just as the recipe said, closed the door on the bread machine and went about my day. I had to run Fiddleboy over to orchestra practice and then I did some other errands. When I came home and walked in the door...oh! the aroma!!...it smelled delicious. I cautiously opened the bread machine door to inspect the results and...ugh! The bread had fallen and looked so sad! I was sad!! I took it out of the bread pan to cool and thought to myself, "Yep, croutons." I didn't want croutons though...I wanted a loaf of bread. O'well. I'll try again! : )
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I received a call today from dear friends of ours. They live in Virginia, but two of the family members are in Phoenix for Thanksgiving. Because Phoenix is not too terribly far from us, they are coming to visit tomorrow and staying until Monday. We are very excited!
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I have been wanting to write a post about our remodeling nightmare because it's a huge part of our life, but every time I think about it, I change my mind. So I thought I'd write about it here in this "randomness" post. : )

In April 2005, we signed a contract with a licensed contractor to do a major remodel of our home. We had lived here for 14 years and almost everything (except some painting we had done) was exactly the same as when we bought it 14 years ago. We weren't going to do any major knocking-down-walls type of stuff, but we were doing new flooring throughout, new windows, doors, patio, gutting one room to make it a dining area and taking the "popcorn" off the ceiling...that kind of thing. You know, more like "updating".

Well to make a sad story short, our contractor finagled a large sum of money out of us by starting 3 different phases of the remodel at once (start up costs), plus we gave him the money to order our windows and then he promptly turned around and used our money to finish other jobs (obviously without our knowledge). After just three weeks on the job at our house, our contractor came to us and told us he had no more money left. Our money was gone and our house was a wreck.

It's 1 -1/2 years later and we just now settled a complaint we filed against our contractor with the state licensing board. He did not have to pay us back all of the money, but he did pay us some and for that we are thankful. We would have had to take him to court to get everything back and we just didn't want to do that (he is a professing Christian--that's why my hubby hired him).

Our house has been in an unfinished, "looks like we are moving" state this whole time. Our flooring has been in storage and I honestly could not tell you exactly what it looks like...I don't remember! We have not been able to move forward because of the ongoing investigation from the state board.

And uh, I wish I could tell you I have handled the whole thing with grace and maturity...but that would be a lie. : / In the beginning I didn't handle it well at all. I was stunned and shocked. It's been pretty stressful at times, on our entire family. I have had to learn the hard way, that it's just a house. The Lord has dealt with me in regard to my pride, because my home has not been the way I wanted it. If I had it my way, no one would come over with it like this. But He has had other plans...sometimes even allowing others to use our home while we've been away.

We have hired a new contractor (and he comes with EXCELLENT references!!) and work will begin next week. Our family has decided the best Christmas present we can give each other is to allow the work to start on our home and get it finished. Most people don't want work done on their homes during the holidays, so our contractor has plenty of time to devote to ours...and we've decided we will put up our tree, but not all the other decorations. We just want to have our home back.

So that's the story. I'll keep you posted.

Have a blessed weekend! : )

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

"Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us,
and not we ourselves; we are his people,
and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him,
and bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations."
Psalm 100
image by art.com

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Fiddleboy!

Yesterday we celebrated Fiddleboy's 16th birthday. Well, actually Little Mama, the Little Man and Fiddleboy celebrated his birthday. I was sick with the stomach flu again. I was so sad to be sick on my baby's birthday (he may be 16, but he's still my baby!). Little Mama came by the house, picked up Fiddleboy and they went on an all day shopping trip. They ate dinner at Ruby's Diner, where the waiters and waitresses sang "Happy Birthday". In the evening when they got home, I made my way to the family room to at least watch Fiddleboy open presents. I didn't get too close though, because this bug we are passing around in our family is obviously VERY contagious. : /

Here are a few pictures from the Irish/Scottish festival we went to on Saturday and of Fiddleboy's actual birthday:

Fiddleboy eating "Haggis" which is a Scottish delicacy. It's (if you have a weak stomach, don't read this) chopped sheep innards seasoned with spices and stuffed inside a sheep stomach. Doesn't that sound just delicious?? Uh...no. But Fiddleboy said it was very tasty. I wouldn't know. He ate this while watching an exhibit of Border Collies herding sheep. Yuck!!

Fiddleboy, Mom and Dad...with our swords. We had just finished watching a wonderful group of fiddlers called "CelticSpring". They are a homeschooling family with six children...all of them except the youngest play the fiddle and do Irish step dancing. They were incredible!



Fiddleboy and his cousin Kyle...jousting with their new swords.


With his new fiddle...Happy 16th Birthday Fiddleboy!! We love you!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Just a Note

Hi everyone... this is Little Mama, hacking Mom's blog again. :) Actually, she wasn't going to be able to get on the computer today, so she asked me to stop in and give you all the link to my post about Little Man in the hospital, along with pictures.

It has been such a comfort to us to have so many lifting us up in prayer. Thank you so much to each of you!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Little Man Is Home...

Little Man was released from the hospital this morning. He is still vomiting, but not anything like he was. All his levels are good and Little Mama has to take him back tomorrow morning. There are still a few tests pending (cultures) and hopefully they will come back fine and this was truly just a stomach virus.

Just wanted to give y'all a quick update. Thank you for your prayers!! : )

Friday, November 17, 2006

Update On Little Man...

Well...this afternoon Little Mama took her Little Man back to the doctor's. This was the fourth time this week. He was definitely showing signs of dehydration. He would hardly nurse, wouldn't take the Pedialyte or water and after talking to me several times throughout the day, her in-laws and her hubby...they decided to take him in. I am SO thankful they did because he was very dehydrated and he immediately was put on an I.V. They have admitted him for the night and they are doing various tests to try to determine what type of virus it is. The doctor still believes it's the stomach flu. It's hard that our Little Man is in the hospital, but honestly it is a relief to everyone. He just wasn't getting better and it was starting to scare us.

And poor Little Mama...she is just exhausted. She had the stomach flu earlier in the week and now she has a terrible cold. Her Marine is such a good husband and daddy and he has been a huge help when he gets home from work and during the night.

Thank you for your continued prayers. This has been a long week (actually it's been 2 weeks since it all started) for Little Mama and her little family. The Lord has been good though and given strength to get through each day. We are thankful.
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On a lighter note...my guys are home! My Fireman is back from his class and Fiddleboy got back this evening from attending College Days at Pacific Baptist College. I am glad to have someone else to talk to besides the dog. : ) Actually I missed them both terribly. It was very strange to not have them here...the house was too quiet. My sweet husband sent me cards throughout the week...what a nice surprise to receive notes from him in the mail each day. What a guy!! : ) And Fiddleboy placed first in the instrumental competition at PBC. He played an arrangement of Amazing Grace on his fiddle.

Tomorrow we are celebrating Fiddleboy's 16th birthday by attending (Lord willing...if all is ok with Little Man) a Celtic festival. Fiddleboy loves his Scottish heritage, so this seemed a perfect way to celebrate. Little Mama and her family were supposed to go, but obviously they can't now. We weren't even sure if we were going to go, but she wants us to. It won't be the same without them though. : ( We are taking Fiddleboy's cousin with us and wouldn't be surprised if two boys came home with kilts. : ) If so, I will be sure to post pictures.

Thank you again for your prayers on behalf of our Little Man. Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Please Pray...

for our Little Man (my grandson). He has not been well for the past 12 days. He has been vomiting almost daily (no fever). Little Mama has taken him in twice to the doctors and they say it's just the stomach flu. But for 12 days?! She is trying very hard to be patient with the advice from the doctor, but it is really starting to concern all of us. She just found a few specks of blood in his diaper (from urine--sorry to be so graphic) so she is calling the doctor again. I am wondering if he has a UTI? I just don't know...I haven't heard of anything like this. Have any of you?

I'll keep you posted...thank you for your prayers! : )


**Update: Little Mama took Little Man to the doctor's and was told it is a stomach virus. There is no blockage and the doctor didn't think it was blood in the baby's diaper, but just dark urine. He's not dehydrated, which is good. But he's lost 2lbs. since this all started. Poor baby! So...it's another sleepless night for Little Mama and her Little Man. : ( Thank you for praying.**

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday Morning Ramblings...

It's a beautiful morning here in the desert...cold and very "fallish". : ) My favorite!

We had a great day at church yesterday. Bro. Paul Mershon preached the morning and evening services. He is an evangelist from central Calfifornia and he usually comes every couple of years for revival services. Our church loves Bro. Mershon, so it was a special blessing to have him here for the day. In the early service he preached on spiritual lethargy in the church...it was an excellent (and convicting) message!

We have a lot of sickness going around at church right now, so I filled in a couple of spots in the nursery yesterday. I am the nursery coordinator and I am so blessed to have a great group of ladies who help run the nursery and make the littlest ones at church feel loved. (**waves to Caren, Robin, Jenny, Gabby and Little Mama**)

My Fireman left yesterday for a work related class in Fresno. He'll be gone for a week. : ( I already miss him so much!

Little Mama and the Little Man spent the night here last night because her Marine had duty (a 24hr. shift). I got to put Little Man to sleep and ended up falling asleep myself, with him cuddled in my arms. I awoke sometime during the night to give him back to his mama (he was hungry and needed to nurse) and also to find Little Mama's dog up on my bed. : / Anyway, I loved cuddling...not with the dog, but with my precious grandbaby. : )

I have a lot planned this week to do around the house. We are going to be starting up our remodel again (I'll post more about that later...LONG story!) so I have to get things packed away in Rubbermaid containers and moved out into the garage. Since Little Mama is here today, she's going to help get her old bathroom packed up. Fiddleboy will help us in between doing school and teaching violin.

Well I am off to make my kids' favorite "cold morning" breakfast...old fashioned oatmeal with a touch of cinnamon and vanilla in it. Yummy! Have a wonderful Monday!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Honoring Those Who Have Served...

My father served in the Air Force, my husband was in the Marine Corps, and my son-in-law is currently serving in the Marines. Over the years our family has had the privilege to know many military men (and women) because we live near a Marine base. A year ago our pastor's son was killed in Iraq while serving in the Army.

So Veteran's Day is no small matter to our family.

Our flag is proudly flying today...and with that we will talk about those who have served our country and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice with their life. We are thankful for their service and for the freedom we enjoy here in the United States because of it. We will give thanks too, for those who are currently serving and for the sacrifices they and their families make every day. We will pray and ask the Lord to give grace and comfort to those who have lost loved ones while serving their country.

If you know a veteran, tell them thank you. If you have a flag, fly it proudly. If you have children, take a moment to explain what this day is all about. Most importantly, take time to thank the Lord for those who have served.

Have a blessed weekend!! : )


Tuesday, November 7, 2006

It's Election Day...


Don't forget to get out there and vote!! : )

Monday, November 6, 2006

Baby Shower Pics...

Here are a few pictures I tried to post earlier from the baby shower on Saturday. Blogger was being very temperamental. : /

Nicole and her mom...feeling the baby kick.

Little girls...all grown up!

Nicole helping Little Man to stand...notice him checkin' out his mama's plate of food. : )

Precious moments...Grammie and her Little Man.

Baby Shower Blessings...

I mentioned in an earlier post that Little Mama and I were attending a baby shower on Saturday. Well, we went and had a wonderful time! The shower was for a friend of Little Mama's that she has known since she was 7 years old (Nicole was 9). Nicole's family was very instrumental during the early years of our homeschooling and we would get the girls together often. I have sweet memories of them playing with their dolls for hours. They were such good little mommies! They would talk endlessly of when they would one day be real mommies...making detailed plans for where they would live, their husband's names and long lists of baby names.

So it blessed me to no end to see the two of them now...all grown up, married and real mommies. Both of them are godly young women and they married godly young men...and their hearts desire is to raise godly children. I am so thankful Nicole's mom and I encouraged our daughters to play "mommy" when they were little girls. They were taught that it is a blessed thing to be a mommy....that it is a noble task...that it is the best (and hardest) job in the world. It's obvious in both their lives that they believed it.

We celebrated the upcoming arrival of Baby Neuhauser on Saturday, but in my heart I also celebrated the Lord's goodness and faithfulness to answer the prayer of this mother's heart for her daughter.


"I have no greater joy than to hear
that my children walk in truth."
3 John 4

Feelin' Better...

Well, I guess it wasn't something I ate. : / I passed on my little stomach virus to various members of my family. I feel bad...most especially because I passed it on to the Little Man. It's hit him worse because he's just a baby. I am just praying Little Mama doesn't get it. We all know how hard it is to be sick yourself and have to take care of a baby.

I am feeling much better today, thankfully. : )

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Feelin' Yucky

I stayed home from church this morning because am not feeling good today. I was up literally all night. I think it must have been something I ate yesterday, because I don't have a fever...I just feel like I've been hit by a truck.

I hate missing church. I tried to watch the service on t.v., but for whatever reason, the station is not airing it. Anyway, it just feels wrong to be in bed on Sunday morning. I know I am sick, but still! : )

So I am going to get some rest today and hope tomorrow I'll be feelin' better. Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, November 3, 2006

On The Road Again...

Today Fiddleboy and I made the 5 hour round trip drive to his fiddle lesson. Yep...that's 2 1/2 hours one way. Am I crazy? Some would say yes. : ) And believe me, sometimes I think I truly am!! LOL

Thankfully, we only make the trip twice a month. We make a day of it and do other errands because we drive through a city with all the major stores (which our little town doesn't have.) Oh...and we stop at Starbucks. We have to stop at Starbucks!! : )

Honestly though, I don't mind the drive. I enjoy the time with my son, without a lot of distractions. He takes schoolwork with him, but we have time for good discussions too. I know when Fiddleboy is grown and gone, I will look back on these days with fond memories. It's all part of being a mom.

Tomorrow I'll be on the road again. But this time with Little Mama (and my precious grandbaby). We are going to a baby shower of one of her childhood friends....and it's a 5 hour drive round trip. But that's ok, because we will talk and laugh the entire drive...AND probably stop at Starbucks. : ) And even though she is grown and gone, I will hold the memories of these times near to my heart because I know she will not always live this close. It's all part of being a mom...and I love every minute of it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Pardon the Mess...

Hi everyone, this is Little Mama, just popping in to say we're under construction here. :) Things look a little out of whack at the moment, but this is all I have time to do tonight before we head off to church. Thanks for your patience!

--Mom's Favorite Blog Hacker :)