Friday, March 28, 2008

Public Service Announcement : )

I know I'm supposed to be taking a bloggy break. And I should be in bed already because I have to get up at 3:30am. But I wanted to let y'all know why I've set my comments to "moderated" and enabled the word verification.

It seems there is some interesting stuff going on in the blog-o-sphere. It's actually very bad and causing a lot of concern and grief. I now have two friends that have had major issues with their blogs being corrupted in the past few days. This is not good. If you don't have one already, I would encourage you to get a sitemeter--this will allow you see who is visiting your blog. When Ashleigh had to shut down her first blog last summer, she was able to trace back to where the corruption was coming from thanks to her sitemeter.

Unfortunately there are people out there who have bad motives and we need to be careful. Lets be praying for each other!

Blessings!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Troy!

It's crazy busy here right now as we get ready to leave for our weekend trip. But I couldn't let the day go by without publicly wishing our first grandchild Happy 2nd Birthday! I mean what kind of Grammie would I be if I didn't wish my grandson Happy Birthday on my blog?! : )

So Happy Birthday to our Big Boy!
Grandpa Dule (Duppa Die), Grammie (Nuh) and Uncle Zach (Cuh or Yak) love you oodles and tons!!


**For pictures and a very sweet post written by his mama, you can go here.**

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happenings...

More sickness visited our home this week. Zach had some sort of stomach virus that lasted about 48 hours. Poor guy! He's been sick more this year than I can remember. I'm thankful to report that while he's still feeling weak, he's doing much better--and I'm thankful that no one else got it! I'd almost rather have anything than a stomach virus. Actually there are a lot of things I'd rather not have--but you know what I mean. : )

I had the blessing of caring for my nephew this afternoon. What a happy little guy he is! He's 8 months old and is already trying to stand. I'm sure it won't be long before he takes off walking.

I've also been busy doing laundry today and started packing for a little trip we're taking. I can't say much about it right now, but I'll fill y'all in when we get back. : )

Ashleigh and the boys were supposed to come out this afternoon, but as I write this, she is at the dentist's office. Apparently she has an infected wisdom tooth. I'm still waiting to hear from her to find out what is actually going on, but this is a girl who's never even had a single cavity! (ETA: Ashleigh had to have the tooth pulled! They wanted to pull all of her wisdom teeth, but because our upcoming trip, the rest will have to wait. Please be praying for her! Thanks!)

So because there is church tonight, a certain little grandson's 2nd birthday tomorrow and our upcoming trip to get ready for--I'll be taking a bloggy break until next week. May you have a wonderful rest of your week and I'll be back soon!

Blessings to you!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It doesn't stop with Easter Sunday...

I came across this post this morning from Ann at Holy Experience. She posted it yesterday as A Prayer for the Monday After Easter.

It's a beautiful and yet challenging post. It will only take but a moment to read. If you have a moment in your day today, I'd encourage you to stop by Ann's place.

Blessings to you,

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He Is Risen!

Happy Easter!




Blessings to you on this glorious day!

To read what Jesus did for YOU and for me...go here.

**Sunrise, A Prayer of Hope by Thomas Kinkade

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring!

It's the first day of spring! Can you believe it? Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday we were heading into fall.

I'll be honest. Spring is not my favorite time of year. It's not that I don't like spring, but I'm a cold-weather gal. Spring to me, signifies that summer is on its way. And I don't like the heat. I hate to sweat. Even just a little bit. And the intense desert sun gives me bad headaches. So spring means sweating and headaches are on their way! Fun! : )

But I've been enjoying reading your blogs and seeing all your pictures of spring showing that it has indeed sprung in your area. Here in the desert we don't have much springing up except for some wildflowers and Joshua trees blooming. Oh and weeds. We've had more rain this year, so the weeds are already starting to grow. More fun!

Actually, I don't mean to be such a party-pooper when it comes to spring, especially since so many of you love this time of year. I'll try to be happy. For you. : )

And thank you for your get well wishes. I'm feeling much better and had no adverse reactions to the DayQuil. I took it faithfully every six hours and not a minute sooner.

I've got a busy few days ahead--washing all the sheets and all the bathroom rugs today, catching up on some cleaning and Zach's fiddle lesson tomorrow. Ashleigh and I will be busy on Saturday preparing food for Easter dinner at my sis-in-love's house, while Zach is at choir practice and Rande will probably be sleeping. Poor guy! He's working all week (and Easter) and Saturday is his only day off. He'll definitely need to catch up on sleep.

Have a blessed day...and Happy Spring. Really! : )



**Image by allposters.com

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It finally got me...

The sick-y bug, that is.

And good thing it waited until after the bluegrass festival this past weekend, or else I would have been very upset to have missed all the fun.

Thankfully it's just a nasty cold and not that terrible flu that's going around. I can still function, although I am a little fuzzy-headed thanks to the every-six-hour doses of DayQuil I'm taking right now. I hate the stuff, but it works. And I only take it as a last resort because, well...I've been known to feel very strange if I take it before that sixth hour (the directions say to take every 4 hours).

In fact, I have a funny story regarding DayQuil that my family affectionately refers to as..."The Time Mom Almost Overdosed on DayQuil". Which just happened to coincide with..."The First Time We Met Our Future Son-In-Law's Family". : )

Anyway...it was summertime and I had a cold. I was hoping it was just allergies, but by the night before we were set to leave for Colorado to meet John's parents, I knew for sure I had a cold. The next morning I grabbed the bottle of DayQuil, throat lozenges, tissues and hand sanitizer as we headed out on our 14 hour journey to Leadville. And because we are crazy, we had decided to make the drive in one day. I know. I have no idea what on earth we were thinking, but that was the plan.

I was doing ok in the beginning, with just one dose of DayQuil under my belt. But then somewhere along the way--maybe with the time change as we crossed over into Nevada? I have NO IDEA!--I got my dosage times wrong and by the time I took the third (or fourth--who knows!) dose, Rande was asking me if I was sure I wasn't taking too much of the medicine. I assured him I wasn't. I was just trying to be diligent and take the medicine as instructed, so that hopefully my cold wouldn't ruin our first-ever meeting with John's family. I was sneezing and coughing so bad and the last thing I wanted was to get there, say hello and then have to go to bed.

I took that last dose when we stopped for gas in Vail, Colorado which is just about an hour or so from Leadville. As we got back on the road and started our way up to Leadville (elevation 11,000 ft!!), I was feeling very strange. I could hardly think straight and was clinging to the car door handle. I started panicking, thinking I was going to be a mess by the time we got to Leadville. I tried to sleep, but was so wired, I couldn't relax enough to sleep. It was awful! By the time we got to John's parent's house I was still pretty loopy, but somehow managed to get out of the car as they greeted us in the driveway. I'm sure I explained the situation and obviously they didn't hold it against me, because John married Ashleigh less than a year later.

But you better believe I didn't take anymore DayQuil on that trip. Nope. No way.

So if I leave a comment on your blog today and it doesn't make a lick of sense, now you'll know why. : 0)

Hope y'all are having a great Tuesday!

Blessings,




**Just to clarify: there is no alcohol in DayQuil. I'm just super sensitive to medications--even the non-drowsy kind. : )

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Workin' and playin'...

Tomorrow we're getting up early to go to a work day at church--and then we're heading to a bluegrass festival. We'll be meeting up with Ashleigh and the boys, and other friends. It's going to be a great time for sure!

Family, friends and good bluegrass music--sounds like the perfect way to spend a Saturday to me. : ) Oh...and if you look real close in the picture, you'll notice we still don't have baseboards. Yeah. I know. Patience--I'm learning! LOL

Hoping y'all have a great weekend!

Blessings,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Remembering Mom...

It's hard to believe it's been nine years.

Nine years ago, on a warm and sunny day--a Sunday, in fact--my precious mother-in-law went to her heavenly home.

Nine years of life continuing on has not lessened that familiar ache when I think of her. Oh, how I do miss her!

I'm reposting what I wrote last year on this day...it truly sums up what she was to me.

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
John 14:2



Eight years ago today, my precious mother-in-law (Margie) went to her heavenly home...where her Jesus had prepared a place for her. The verse above was one of her favorites and we talked about it often in the weeks preceding her death.

I loved my mother-in-law very much...so much, that I called her "Mom". I met her when I was 16 years old and she was the first person to talk to me about Jesus and share the Gospel with me. Even though it would be 7 years later until I received Jesus as my Savior...she just loved me anyway. Honestly, she was probably the only person praying for me during those rebellious years, because I had no other Christians in my life. And I was not the kind of girl I am sure she envisioned for her son, but she loved me anyway.

After Rande and I got married, those early years were so hard. I had no clue how to be a wife or keep a home. I didn't know how to cook anything but scrambled eggs (I am not kidding!). But between Mom and my sisters-in-law, Kathe and Sheri,...they wrote out recipes for me and helped me through. Life was hard and I am sure Mom was worried for her son...but she loved me anyway.

Years later, when I took my role as a wife and mother much more seriously because I saw it as high calling from the Lord, Mom was my biggest cheerleader. I remember when I started making homemade bread...she was so proud of me and told everyone about it. When we started homeschooling, I know she didn't totally understand our decision, but she never voiced anything but support. And even when I went through my "legalistic homeschooler" stage...she loved me anyway.

Mom was a wonderful Grandma to all of her grandchildren. She knew how to make them feel special. She told them about Jesus. She took them to church. She attended their special events whenever she could. It's because of Grandma Margie that my children have such a love of music. She and Ashleigh had their special songs...and Zach was her "Little Man". For the most part, she was a fun-loving Grandma, but even her grandkids could test her patience at times and...she just loved them anyway.

Complications from diabetes made Mom's life more difficult as the years went by. She moved from her beloved home and came to live with us. Almost immediately she went on dialysis (3 times a week for 3-4 hours each time). By this time she could barely see, so for those 3-4 hours she couldn't even read or watch the tv that was available. Different people would come and take turns reading to her or she would listen to books or the Bible on tape. She never complained--she just accepted this was where the Lord had her.

Eventually, she went into the hospital for surgery and during the next three months, she only came home one time. Life was very hard during those months, for many reasons. Mom endured a lot of suffering and at times she could be very difficult. She had been dealing with this illness for so long and she was tired. In her frustration, she would take it out on those closest to her...her family. But you know what? We loved her anyway.

And on the day of her Homegoing, she had all her children and grandchildren around her...singing hymns and praise songs. It was a beautiful day and it was Sunday, which we all thought was so appropriate. When she actually died and everyone was around her...we were crying of course, but we praised the Lord and rejoiced that Mom was now with her Jesus.

We all miss her very much. She was the glue that held the family together. For me, there are not many days when I don't think about her. She was not just my mother-in-law, but one of my dearest friends. As I enter this new stage of my life--being a grandmother, while still having a teenage son at home--I really miss her and wish I could just call her up and ask her advice on some things. But I know what she would tell me: she would say, "Pray. Trust the Lord. Seek Him."

So today, while I am missing Mom...I am thankful for her testimony and influence in my life. I am thankful that through some hard times, she loved me anyway. Most importantly though, I am thankful she pointed me to Jesus.



Blessings to you...


**Image by allposters.com

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How cool is this?!

On Monday we used the last of our free tickets to Disneyland and once again had a blast! We met up with family and friends for a great day of fun in the beautiful southern California sun.

While we were hanging out in Frontier Land, Zach spotted a guy playing the fiddle, so of course he had to go check him out. They got to talking about the guy's beautiful five string, civil war era fiddle and the next thing we knew, he handed Zach the fiddle and told him to start playing. So he did!

A small crowd started to form and a man (he actually looked like a Marine) and his little girl started to dance. It was so cute! And the rest of us stood there amazed that Zach (who would actually rather play in front of total strangers than people he knows--go figure!) had the opportunity to play the fiddle at Disneyland. The fiddle guy even gave Zach some pointers and it was like he was having a mini fiddle lesson right there in Frontier Land. How cool is that?!

And now for more coolness: Last Saturday Zach attended a youth conference and competed in the Instrumental Solo category and the Vocal Ensemble category. He played Oh The Deep Deep Love of Jesus on his fiddle for the instrumental solo, with his friend Brock accompanying him on guitar--placing 2nd. The ensemble sang Seek Ye First and also came in 2nd place. Congratulations!!

On a little side note--Ashleigh and the boys are doing fine. They were here with us until yesterday morning. And thank you for your prayers concerning the boys. They are doing much better! Both were obviously well enough to go to Disneyland on Monday. : ) I know they have to go back home, but it's always hard when they leave--for everybody. This mother's heart just aches when I think of my baby girl going it alone. But this I know: God is with her. I see it and it strengthens my faith. Your prayers and words of encouragement matter, so please don't stop! She appreciates it more than you know...and me too!

Happy Thursday to you!!

Blessings,

Monday, March 10, 2008

If you are interested...

There is a very insightful discussion going on over at Amy's Humble Musings regarding the quiverfull movement. If you've ever had any thoughts either way on this subject, I would encourage you to at least read Amy's post.

And if you are wondering what my thoughts are on the subject--I'm comment #252. : )

Blessings,


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Have you heard this?

"On February 28, 2008, the California Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a juvenile court proceeding that declared that almost all forms of homeschooling in California are in violation of state law. (Private tutoring by certified teachers remains an option.) Moreover, the court ruled that parents possess no constitutional right to homeschool their children. " (from Homeschool Legal Defense Association's website)

You can read more here, as well as Gov. Schwarzenegger's response to the ruling.

This is our 15th year of homeschooling here in California and we've never had something as crucial as this ruling threaten our freedom to homeschool. Obviously we are paying very close attention to what happens...and praying.

I will also say I am very thankful we have been members of HSLDA since we began homeschooling 15 years ago. The $1500 or so, we've spent over those years doesn't seem much in light of the legal fight that is about ensue because of this ruling. And we personally had to use HSLDA's services this year for the first time--to handle a matter concerning our little homeschool group and the census bureau. I am almost sure it would have cost more than $1500 if we had to retain our own attorney. So yeah, I guess you could say this is a plug for HSLDA too. : )

I'll keep y'all posted. And thank you for praying for Ashleigh and the boys the past few days. They arrived last night after this mama called her baby girl and lovingly, but firmly said they should come so we could help. (I had to stay here because Zach had some commitments he had to fulfill.) I'm very thankful she listened to her mama. : )

Blessings to you all,


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Here's proof...

that it doesn't matter what it looks like. If it tastes good, they'll eat it.

I thought it was a good day to make my guys a little treat and I had a box of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Bread mix in my cupboard that was begging to be made into a beautiful, scrumptious, golden brown loaf. I even threw in white chocolate chips to add to it's scrumptious beauty.

Scrumptious? Yes. Golden brown? Yep! Beautiful? Not a chance.

I knew we were in trouble when I glanced through the oven window half-way through the baking time, to see the sides of the loaf rising an inch above the glass pan and the middle totally caved in. Great. Maybe they meant it when the directions said to use a 9x5 loaf pan?! I really didn't think using my 8x4 pan would make much difference. Apparently so!

Of course by this time the smell of pumpkin, spices and sweet chocolate where wafting through the house, which meant my guys were commenting on how they couldn't wait for the bread to be done. Double great. I decided to turn the oven temperature down and bake the bread a little longer, hoping that would somehow save my bread.

The bread did finally bake all the way through, but the sides and part of the top were totally burnt. It was not a pretty sight. And it would not come out of the loaf pan in one piece. Somehow though, I was going to salvage that bread! So I cut off the burnt sides and scooped some of the bread on a plate. It sure looked awful, but it tasted divine. Good thing, because by then my guys were hovering. And they both concurred that truly, it didn't matter what the bread looked like if it tasted this good. Thanks guys!

And I can't believe I just wrote a whole blog post on my redeemed pumpkin bread. But hey, this is my life! : )

On a more serious note though...if you have a moment would you please pray for my sweet girl Ashleigh and her little family? Troy was up last night with croup and we are praying little Merritt doesn't get it next. As you can imagine, it's not easy to care for a sick toddler and a baby that still wakes during the night. Ashleigh is beyond tired at this point. And while I'm thankful we only live 2-1/2 hours away, it's times like this 2-1/2 hours just isn't close enough. Thank you!

Blessings,


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Is it just me?

Or am I the only one that doesn't enjoy getting a pedicure?

I know this will be a shock to some of my family members who read this because we've spent time together in those big comfy chairs, laughing and talking, all the while our feet were soaking in that bubbly, swirling, warm water. I know. And you thought I was having a good time. I was. Really. Until some stranger came along and started working on my feet. That's where the fun ended for me.

I mean, I'm the kind of gal that never goes without polish on my toenails. And I like having my heels all nice and smooth. But I just can't handle a total stranger touching my feet. It freaks me out a little. Actually a lot.

So every month I give myself a pedicure. My Honey got me one of those fancy-shmansy foot soaker things that keeps the water warm and bubbly and I even have all the tools of trade to do a good job. I have lots of fun nail polish colors to choose from and I have a talented daughter who can paint those cute little hawaiian flowers on my toes if I'm so inclined. See? I'm good to go!

In fact, as I write this post I'm sitting in a very comfy chair while my footsies are soaking away--and I'm having way more fun blog surfing, than I would if I was worrying about the moment when some stranger was going to come over and start trimming my toenails. Scary stuff! : )

Hope y'all are having a blessed and happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 3, 2008

This and that...

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted anything. Time flies when you are having fun!

Last week we had Ashleigh and the boys here until Tuesday. We love having them here and I think they'll be back towards the end of this week. They are doing fine. It's not easy, to be sure. But they are making it work. By God's grace, they are hangin' in there!

John sends the boys DVDs of himself reading books and "talking" to the them. Here is a picture of Troy last week watching his "Daddy Movie" as he calls it:

Isn't that just the sweetest thing?! It was hard for me not to cry when watching the Daddy Movie. We all miss John so very much.

Zach and a few of his friends are working on various music projects right now, so we had rehearsals at our house last week.

These sweet girls and their mama have the most beautiful natural harmonies (I know y'all have heard me say that many times here!). I never tire of hearing them sing. After the rehearsal was over, I was throwing out requests left and right and they were so sweet to sing every one of them! Thank you, Misner ladies!

While the rest of us were having all this musical fun, Rande was busy working at the fire station and as an instructor at a fire academy. Each semester he teaches classes at a not-so-local community college fire academy. It keeps him super busy for three months at a time, but he loves it! He did find time though, to paint our yet-to-be-installed baseboards and trim, which made his wife a very happy woman. : )

Rande rarely has an entire weekend off, but this weekend he did! So on Saturday, we headed 2-1/2 hours east to Arizona... ...to enjoy a bluegrass festival. Oh yeah! It's that time of year! Except for the very windy conditions (if you look closely you can see where a huge tarp was hanging between the trees) it was a good festival. My guys were especially happy because they found some nice folks to pick with on Saturday night. Fun times, yes indeed-y!

I hope you had a great weekend too!

Happy Monday!