I am addressing this blog post to you because I knew that, out of all the people in the blogosphere, YOU would understand the epic proportions and possible dire circumstances of what I am about to say.
Are you ready?
This morning, there was an approximately 45 minute period of time during which I was unable to locate my oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.
I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!
I am sure you can appreciate the severity of my panic. I know you get it.
And, ya know, one cannot just google "best dadgum oatmeal raisin cookies EVER" and be guaranteed to get the desired results. Just ask my friend Sooz!!!!
Therefore, I am about to break all the rules of good baker-dom.
I realize that when one is asked to bring THOSE cookies to any event where a good cookie might be appreciated, one just does not share the recipe for THOSE cookies all willy-nilly. I understand that this sort of this is frowned upon by all the important and skilled bakers of this world. However, since you and I may be the only ones who ever see this blog post (and, just in case this ever happens again), I am prepared to take that risk.
So, here ya go:
1/2 Pound Butter (2 sticks) softened
1 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1-1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1tsp Baking Soda
3 Cups Oats (quick OR old fashioned, uncooked ... duh)
1 Cup Raisins
(I add a smidge more of both brown and granulated sugar ... cause I can)
*Heat oven to 350
*Beat together butter and sugars until creamy
*Add eggs and vanilla, beat well
*Add combined flour, baking soda & cinnamon, mix well.
***I do the above with a hand mixer and, at this point in the process, switch to spoon mixing. If you continue on with mixer, you end up with crispier cookies. I like mine soft & squishy, so I switch***
*Stir in oats
*Stir in raisins
*Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper though)
*Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
OK, there ya go. Now, we have it for all time ... or, until the internet dies. Ya know, kinda like all the mixed tapes we made back in the day so we would have that particular mix of songs for all time ... and now, not so much. LOL!
Thank you for understanding!
Oh, and, ya know, probably best not to share the recipe.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
*** Still trying to get the video to load, but HERE is a link to it in the mean time!***
Friday, November 22, 2013
On January 20, 1961 John F Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States of America.
**Now, before I go on, let me state for the record that I am not endorsing his politics. I honestly am not even sure that I KNOW what his politics were. So, I beg of you, please do not take this as any sort of POLITICAL statement. Instead, read this as an AMERICAN view point.**
In his inaugural address JFK spoke the following words"
what your country can do for you
—ask what you can do for your country."
Thursday, November 21, 2013
The first time I heard it, I had to pull over. Cause I couldn't see the road through the tears.
So, so, so good.
All about letting Him lead you to a place where only your faith in Him can keep you above the waters.
It's one of the best ... and hardest ... my favorite places in the world to be.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Twoggin ... it's like Bloggin, Twitter style.
Ya know, in 140 Characters or less. And, it's fun!!!
I declare it Twoggy Tuesday! Here we go...............
*Coffee ... Stat ... What? It's how I start EVERY day. COFFEE ... STAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*Amazing how quiet the house gets as that big loud bus rolls away.
*Jocelyn - her super power is messy. Miss Mess. I imagine her with a big, messy, red M on her chest.
*I am fairly certain I just saw a mouse run across my back patio and under the stairs. Call the trucks. Time to move.
*My husband knows just when to text or email me through the day at just the right time.
*His super power is Romance. We will not discuss his outfit. ... ahem ... **blush**
*I've discovered yet another fine British television drama. Their super power is TV. And it is good.
*I need pizza. And chocolate. And Mexican food.
*Hallmark Channel. Their super power is Christmas movies.
*I watch TV while I edit pictures. Could you tell? Little bit of an addict. Not ashamed. Much.
*Is it bad that I had music playing - and I was singing along - so loudly that I woke the baby up? Oopsies. Praise music does that to me. Gotta love Hillsong!
*All of my life, in every season, You are still God, I have a reason to praise. I have a reason to worship!
*Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, where You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet would ever wander...
* ... and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior!!!
*Hattie just brought home a note that there is lice at school. SWEAR WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*I checked both heads. So far, so good. Bring on the hair spray and braids.
*Sophie brought home very little homework today. I said how happy I was that there was no math. "I did it at school mommy. Cause I know you're allergic to math". Well played child!!!
*This dark by 5pm thing is getting old. Benjamin Franklin is NOT my favorite right now.
*It's a "yank it from the cabinet, throw it in a pan, mix it up and say a prayer" kinda dinner tonight. In other words, tomorrow is pay day. Yep. Super swell!
*Hubby may or may not have just walked in to find me in the throws of my own private dance party. But hey, when you're on God's Great Dance Floor, ya gotta dance!
*Hubby reading to two little girls while I finish dinner ... I find myself wondering why God chose to give these people to ME ... so unworthy. So very thankful. Grace is my favorite.
*My salsa bowl lickin, ketchup pack milkin, tomato soup drinkin child just declared tomatoes "YUCKY!" I am so tempted to tell her, but then she may never eat veggies again!
*Teaching Hattie to wash her own hair is proving to be like ... like ... like ... well, like teach an autistic kid to wash her own hair. MAN it's a good thing she's cute.
*I still find it CRAZY that Sophie can read to me ... I mean, was she not just born last week???? Who told her it was ok to grow up? Sure wasn't me!!!
*My favorite sound in the world - listening to daddy tuck his girls in. They pray together and then they giggle together and then they I love you each other. My dreams come true.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
**I stayed in my pajamas til I absolutely HAD to change so I could go to a photo shoot.
**I took pictures of an AMAZING family ... but even they can get a little silly.
**I came home and IMMEDIATELY put the pajamas right back on.
**We had a family date night.
**We went to Sonic and yes, I wore my pajamas.
**I am just kinda chill like that!
**I cried. Because it has been SO long since I've worked out.
**I wondered "who is this person that I have become???"
**(secretly, I am kinda proud of her!)
**I determined that, since my ear only semi hurts today, I am working out on Monday, even if it explodes!
**I squealed when I worked on some of the pictures for OUR Christmas card.
**SOOOOOOOOO excited about this one!
**I fell even more in love with the man I married when he vacuumed the stairs for me.
**He is my rock.
Today ... was a very good day.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Friday nights used to be so ... fun. I used to go dancing, bar hopping, maybe a concert. I used to have fun.
But, then again, fun used to have a different definition....
Cause, "fun" used to mean something a LOT different than what it means now.
I used to think that dancing with friends - or even strangers - but not really connecting with anyone was a good time. We used to go looking for guys, like I thought romance was really going to be found there. I mean, I guess some people do... my brother met his wife in a bar and they are happily married with three beautiful girls and all worked out well, but, ya know, that is not exactly the norm. But we were SURE we were going to find love on those dance floors.
The problem is, I was so AFRAID of meeting people that I used to have to drink to actually GET on the dance floors. So, yeah, that was fun ... but not.
Looking back now, I wonder what WAS fun?
I did enjoy the dancing ... but not as much as I enjoy dancing now.
I enjoyed the concerts ... but not as much as I enjoy the sing alongs I get to do now.
I did NOT enjoy the drinking ... not as much as I do now anyway.
Cause, you see, now, on Friday nights I dance around the house with two little girls and sing along with Barbie or Princess movies or VBS DVD's or Veggie Tales and then we sit around drinking hot cocoa with marshmallows or cold milk with cookies to dunk. And, now, if I'm really lucky, when those two little girls are in bed, I might get to dance around the kitchen in bare feet with the love of my life. Or, maybe we will just collapse onto the couch, exhausted, and drink each other in.
Or, maybe, one kid will fall asleep on the couch watching Christmas movies with mom. The other, in her own little world, will be sitting on the other end of the couch playing with toys and making up her own stories and conversations. And, their daddy - my love - might be stretched out on the love seat with his feet hanging off one end, wrapped in a blanket, snoring like a chainsaw. And I might sit on the la-z-boy, editing pictures, checking emails, writing a blog post and counting my Blessings.
And, knowing with all of my heart, that THIS is where true happiness lies.
THIS is what real fun is.
So, if you need me on a Friday night, you can usually find me having a whole new kind of good time. Making memories that will last forever. And thanking the Lord that THIS is the life I lead.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Ummmmm ... I missed yesterday. Oops.
30 Days of Blogging FAIL!
So, I guess, in order to make it up to the 2 of you that read this, I should write a lovely, poetic little something that ... ummm ... yeah.
I do not have a single thing.
Hubby has been sick for six days. SIX DAYS. That means he has been home. For SIX DAYS.
The poor man is climbing the walls.
I, on the other hand, have languished in the luxury of taking mid day showers, enjoying actual adult conversations, running childless to the grocery store, and all manner of decadent behavior. Ya know, when I wasn't having my eardrum punctured and tubes inserted in a doctor's office, Followed by rushing home to get Hubby to a doctor and then medicating the snot out of him for the rest of the week.
Yeah ... so fun.
And the girls are flat out stir crazy from all of the NOT LEAVING THE HOUSE.
But, ya know, they did get to go school and junk.
Except when the bus went flying past the house ten minutes early without even slowing down to CHECK if kids might need a ride. I mean, ya know, it was 32 degrees out there and the bus wasn't due for TEN MORE MINUTES, so why would the kids actually be outside?!?! So, we went running out the door - just as the kids across the street were running out their door. I looked at the dad over there and we were all like "was that our bus?" "Naaaahhh, that couldn't have been OUR bus! It didn't even slow down!!" "No WAY that was our bus. It was ten minutes early!" "Nope ... not our bus. Let's play kickball with the kids!!"
We then watched as car after car after car drove past, filled with kids, backpacks and moms dressed in pajamas, sporting bed heads and mouths stuffed full of food and, in one case, a toothbrush. After a few minutes, we were all like "THAT WAS OUR BUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" So, ya know, we crammed our kids into our respective cars and sped off to school ourselves.
And, just a side note to the mom who was wearing the very inappropriate nighty in the drop of line at the school (cause, I am SURE she reads my blog!!!): Sweet Girl, it is 32 degrees outside. THROW ON A HOODIE!!!! Please and thank you!
And that is the end of my crazy rant.
Oh ... and, ya know ... SQUIRREL!
Monday, November 11, 2013
I can barely form a coherent sentence. And, I really have no clue what my fingers are doing. So, this is just gonna be short and sweet.
(that means bullet points and a list ... see Sooz, I do it too!)
**I got tubes in my ear today.
**Apparently, I am a toddler.
**I CAN HEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
**And, y'all, that junk hurt. I found myself in envy of the babies who get to get sedated for it.
**I may have cried for my mommy somewhere in the midst of it all.
**The mean nurse may have giggled.
**Hubbs went to the doctor today too.
**I won't go into details, but I was right. (OK, he was maybe, possibly, partially right. But I was VERY and for sure-ly right. BAM!)
**Hopefully the medication he is now on will fix the issue.
**Knowing he is not gonna die means I might actually sleep tonight.
**And, good night.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
I got nothin.
Been in my pajamas all day ... again. Although, I did take a shower this evening.
At which point, I put on new pajamas.
Hubby is still sick, so Sophie girl did not get to have her baptism today. It was pretty much her choice, she didn't want to do it without her daddy. He feels absolutely horrible that it didn't happen. She just looked at him and said "It's OK Daddy! I can get baptized another Sunday! Just get better."
Oh ... her heart ... she melts me.
I did get a LOT of editing done today. Almost all caught up, which is good since I have a bunch MORE photo shoots coming up. YAY!
So, pray for the hubby. If he is not better in the morning, I am takin his handsome self into the doc. Whether he likes it or not.
He will sooooooo not like it.
But, ya know, I been working out and he is weak.
I can totally take him.
See ya tomorrow!
Saturday, November 9, 2013
It is 3:28 in the afternoon. And I am in my pajamas. Still.
I should be at a photo shoot in 2 minutes, but...
...Hubby is upstairs in misery. Maybe the flu. Maybe stones. Maybe blockage.
Maybe forcing a reschedule of Sophie's baptism tomorrow.
DEFINITELY not doing that without the daddy there to see it.
Someone has to tell the mama to pull it together when her sobbing gets out of control.
Oh ... it is sooooooo gonna get out of control.
The girls have been fighting like cats and dogs all. day. long.
I pulled the Santa card ... in November.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and all that.
They are now sitting at the kitchen table writing letters to Santa, using the Toys-R-Them book as inspiration.
I told Sophie that Santa would need to be able to READ her letter or he might think "b-i-k-e" spells "c-l-e-a-n-i-n-g p-r-o-d-u-c-t-s".
She is now re-writing her list. Very carefully.
I am in the process of editing pictures from a Senior Pictures photo shoot I did recently.
Working with "boy" effects is turning out to be kinda fun!!!
Kinda wondering when/if I should reschedule said baptism.
And when/if I should force the man into the car and take him in to see someone.
I feel helpless.
I'm watching Christmas movies on Hallmark channel like it's my job.
If I really could get paid for this, I would be a rich woman.
Hattie just asked how to spell "no-no for ladies" ...
I think I'm gonna have to edit these lists ... searching for a wac vac for her last year has taught me well.
Sophie just added "power wheels go cart" to her list.
We may have to chat.
Please pray for my hubby. Please.
It is now 3:39 ... I'm out.
Friday, November 8, 2013
Because my baby girl making HER decision just happened to coincide with Billy Graham's birthday...
And because Billy Graham was the tool that the Lord used to bring me to MY decision...
And, ya know, because my cousin Shirley asked ...
(Shirley's mama, my Aunt Buddy, was, FYI, THE most beautiful woman - inside AND out - that I have ever, ever, ever, ever known. For real. Loved her so very much!!!)
I want to tell you a little story.
My story about MY cross.
The year was 1987 and I had just turned 19 years old. I grew up in a Christian home. And, honestly, I have the most amazing heritage of faith that I can imagine. I grew up surrounded by people who loved the Lord with great abandon. And, right around the time I was turning 19 years of age, I was beginning to figure out that THEIR faith could not save me. I remember I had asked for a Bible for my birthday that year and my Aunt Laurea and Uncle Marvin had spared no expense in getting me a GOOD one. A study Bible that I ended up using until it was rag tailed, marked up, dog eared and literally falling apart in my hand. Best birthday gift ever.
Our story, however, takes place about a month after I had received that Bible. I was searching and confused. Searching because I still felt that hole and confused because, hello, I grew up in that faith, shouldn't I know how to get me some?!
I was living in Denver Colorado at the time, going to the church my mommy had grown up in. God had worked hard to set the stage for what was about to happen next. Ya see, it seemed that the Reverend Billy Graham was coming to town. I had heard of him but only REALLY knew his name at the time. But, let me tell you, that little church was all kinds of fired up about that crusade. In fact, they were putting together a little croup to go see him.
Well, I was social, so I signed up to go too.
I can remember that we were in the nose bleed section of the old Mile High Stadium. I'm talking so high up that I could look behind me and see the parking lot down below. And, ya know, being so VERY high up there, it was all but impossible to understand a THING of what was being said way down there on that platform. I remember the choir singing. And, what do ya know, I just learned TODAY that my cousin Shirley was IN that choir.
I remember a guy coming out and singing a solo "People Need The Lord" ... I understood a few of those words because I remember thinking "yeah, I KNOW I need the Lord ... but how do I GET the Lord????" And, to this day, that song sticks in my head like nobody's business. My head and my heart. Little did I know then, but I was about to find out how to get me some.
They introduced Mr Graham and the place irrupted. I don't really remember there being a jumbotron, but there must have been cause I can remember thinking "ummmm ... this guy? He's, ya know, OLD!"
***oh 19 year old self ... you were such a moron!***
Everyone settled back into their seats and he began to speak. Let me tell you that I could not understand a THING. We're talkin Charlie Brown's teacher here... "whah whah whaaaah, whah whah whah..." I looked around and people were on the edge of their seats, hanging on his every word. Every word that I could not hear or understand. A couple people stood to their feet and raised their hands. I started looking for the popcorn guy! I had no clue. Zero. Nada. NONE.
Honestly, I was a little bored. I got a little distracted with people watching, but I was really not at all into the whole thing. Not like everyone around me was. I tried again, really hard, to listen to the words. And I still just could not understand a thing. I was getting a little tired and hungry and anxious, sadly, for the whole thing to be over. And then it happened.
I felt a presence near me. Felt was seemed like hands on my shoulders and heard an almost audible voice say to me "Listen to this part. This is for you". Suddenly Mr Graham's voice was crystal clear in my ears. I heard and understood every last word as he said "God looked down through all of time. The past, the present and the future, and saw every sin. Every single sin that ever had been and every would be committed and as grievous as that sin was, He loved us still. God loved us still. So, the Lord sent His Son - His ONLY Son - to this earth. He KNEW we could not save ourselves. And He loved us too much to leave us here alone, so He sent His Son. And Jesus came. He came to earth and He lived on earth and He taught on earth and He LOVED on earth. But Jesus did not SIN on earth. He was the only one that never sinned on earth. But He KNEW. He knew that our sin was just too much for us to bear. So Jesus Christ TOOK our sin. He BECAME our sin. And He paid the price for our sin. MY sin. Your sin. EVERYONE'S sin. He took it all. And he let them beat Him and torture Him and spit upon Him. And He let them crucify Him. He LET them kill him because He knew the penalty of sin is death and He would rather die Himself than let US perish. So HE perished instead. He DIED for our sin. He died for us - for you and for me. But what you need to know today, what you need to understand today, is that If God had looked down through all of time and seen Only one sin. And if He had looked through all of time and seen only ONE sinner. And, my friend, if that one sin was yours. If that one sinner was YOU. If you were the only one who ever, in all of time and creation, who needed redemption, Jesus STILL would have come. Jesus STILL would have died. He would have let them hang his body on that cross. He would have died that horrible death. He would have let them put His body in that grave. And, my friend, hear me, He would have risen again on that third day. And He would have done it all just for YOU. Just for you. Because THAT is how much the God of this universe loves YOU. He loves you with an unending, unrelenting and unequivocal love. He loves YOU. And He died for YOU. And He wants to save YOU. You just need to believe. He offers salvation to YOU if you just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ ..."**
And, just like that, his words faded away - back to Charlie Brown's teacher - but what I heard and understood that day, changed my life completely. They pierced my soul and changed my heart and lit a fire that has never been quenched. I was officially head over heels in love with the Lord. I had found my very own faith.
The next Sunday I sat in that pew and looked up at that big wooden cross hanging against that long red curtain. I looked at it like I had never seen it before. It was brand new to me. Because it was not longer just a cross. Now, it was MY cross. The symbol of MY salvation.
Up until that day, I would have told you that I was saved and I would have believed it. But I knew that morning that I had not had a single clue what "saved" meant until that cross became personal. And, now it was personal. It was MY cross. It was my faith. I had, indeed, got me some!!!
And, I owe it all to Billy Graham. I am so thankful that he allowed the Lord to use him the way he has for all of these years. DECADES. He is such a sweet, humble, amazing man of God. He can take the power of the cross and make it real and simple and personal and TRUE. Yesterday was Mr Graham's 95th birthday. And, he is STILL letting the Lord use him in mighty ways. He has such a burden on his heart for the lost and the hurting of this world - this nation - that he has spent the last year putting together a message. Last night I watched My Hope America and within the first minutes I was in tears. I watched this now frail man impart a message so passionately and so clearly and so personally that it took me right back to those moments in that stadium. And I just wish I could let every single person see what I see when I look at that cross. I wish I could help everyone see it as personally as I have seen it since those minutes.
If you are still searching. If you still need answers. If there is still that hole inside you that cannot be filled with things of this world, please watch My Hope America. HERE is a link where you can find a local listing. And HERE is a link where you can watch it online. I know you will not be sorry. It is THE most powerful presentation of the Gospel that I have ever seen. I pray that it Blesses you!!! If you let it, it will change your entire life.
Thank You Billy Graham. I look forward to the day that I can walk across the floors of Heaven and hug you and thank you personally for leading me to the Lord and to my salvation. May the Lord Bless you and keep you sir, I honestly do LOVE you so very much!
**I cannot promise you that these are the EXACT words that Mr Graham used that day, but it is how I remember it. I hear it in my head in that soft southern drawl and with his distinctive inflections.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Last year, on the day after Thanksgiving, I started feeling a little "off". If you do the math, you will notice that that was, roughly, 49 weeks ago. I would tell you how many DAYS, but that would involve more math than I want to do.
OK, where was I? Oh yeah. I started feeling a little off. By Saturday night, I was flat out sick. I had some kind of sinus issue goin on and my ears plugged up and I felt all manner of ICK. And, while MOST of the ick went away, the ear thing decided to move in and set up camp.
I called the doc, went for a little visit and was told I had an "angry" ear. My response was "you would be angry too if you felt like this! Now, stop analyzing the mood of my ear and medicate me, thank-ya-very-much!" Except, ya know, not out loud. The doc then assured me that adults don't GET ear infections (tell that to my EVERY SINGLE FALL medical history), but since something was clearly going on (what with the anger issues and all), he would indeed medicate me.
Thank you. So much.
However, the whole angry ear thing didn't really go away.
And, by mid December it was accompanied by a ticked off throat.
And, seein as how I was scheduled to sing a solo on Christmas Eve, I went back to the doc. Only, ya know, it was Saturday night, so I went to an Urgent Care type doc. He looked at me for all of 17 seconds, called it a sinus infection and medicated me further. But, this time, he brought out the big guns.
The big guns, AKA the "that doesn't fall under that free antibiotic thing so get ready to pay out the wazookie" guns. YAY!
The Big Guns kinda helped. My throat felt better and I no longer wanted to stick an ice pick into my face to relieve the pressure. Which, ya know, was beneficial.
But the ears? Still somewhat angry.
After one more round of antibiotics in the early Spring, I declared my ears to be, perhaps, not really "angry" so much as in a kind of "seasonal depression". Maybe, I thought, they just need to wait for better weather to get back their happy go lucky selves.
So, I waited.
The summer was a little better. They were more moody than angry over the summer. Pretty happy for a while with some anger issues here and there. I could handle that. In fact, I hardly noticed, except in the moody periods when I couldn't hear a thang.
By the way, being unable to hear makes it SO much fun to sing.
And then in October I flew to Arizona.
And, then I flew back.
And, if you have ever flown with ear issues, I know that you just cringed for me.
On the landing of the last flight I heard a loud pop, accompanied by a searing pain.
And that loud pop was the last thing I heard out of that ear - unless you count my heart beat, the blood flowing through my veins, the popping of my knees (yes, I can hear that INSIDE my head now - joy!) and the VERY loud chewing of my food. But I can hear NOTHING outside of my head with my right ear.
And, also, it hurts.
So ... yay ... to the doctor. More meds - but not antibiotics this time to see if it would help.
And now I wait for an appointment with the nice (Oh, please be nice ... and smart ... and clever enough to find the problem before medicating me further) Ear Nose & Throat specialist. I finally got a call back and instead of waiting till late December, the are squeezing me in on Monday.
THANK YOU LORD!
So, suffice it to say (in a very long and drawn out way), I am asking you to please pray for answers. And healing. And grace.
Thanks so very much! Y'all are awesome!!!!!
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I wondered all day what I would write about today. Even came here and stared at the blank screen wondering what to say. But the events of this amazing evening are to good NOT to write about.
Tonight my baby girl gave her life to Jesus.
Sophie, as I said yesterday, has always had a special kind of faith. She just knows that God is real and she loves Him. She has been asking for a while about baptism, but something has always held her back. And, honestly, I was OK with that because she is only SIX. I want her to make a life decision and KNOW what she is doing. So, I was OK with her taking a little extra time.
About a year ago she witnessed a baptism at church and asked me later why that lady took a bath in her CLOTHES at CHURCH!? I explained to her what baptism was and what it meant and her response was "well, I love Jesus too, when do I get to do that?" We have some literature on baptism for little ones and we have read through it over and over and over and over ... for a year. And every time we've read it, when we get to the part about choosing baptism, she would say not yet. I just wasn't sure why.
This summer I wondered if maybe she was afraid of going under the water. So we practiced in the pool. And in the lake. And in the bath tub. We practiced all over the place. But she still said not yet. And I still was not sure why.
This morning she brought it up and we talked it all over again. And I asked her again if she thought she was ready yet. And she, again, said no. So, this time I asked her why. And what she said both made me giggle and broke my heart. She said "I don't want to go to Heaven" and she started to cry.
I was a little worried at this point...
I asked her WHY she didn't want to go to Heaven and she said "I don't want to die, I would miss my house and my friends and I would miss YOU mommy!!!"
That sweet girl thought that she would head on up to Heaven as soon as she got baptized.
I tried to hold in the giggles as I told her that she would not die soon. That she would probably be a very old lady before she died - that it would hopefully be a VERY long time before she went to Heaven.
And then the bus came.
So, fast forward to after school. I am running around cleaning the kitchen and getting ready to head out the door to Bible study. I'm explaining to the girls that as soon as daddy got home I would be leaving but would be home before bed time, etc... And suddenly Sophie looks at me and says "mommy, if I get baptized, who will put me in the water?" I told her that she could choose. It could be daddy, or pastor Andy or Mommy or ...
"I want Mr Jerry to baptize me ... or Mrs Polly" (Mr Jerry & Mrs Polly are Sunday school teachers that she just LOVES and has loved forever!).
"Well, I said, how about Mr Jerry AND Mrs Polly?" She was thrilled at the thought of BOTH of them baptizing her and declared herself ready to be a Christian. So I stopped what I was doing and we talked about it. And I gave her the phone and she texted Mrs Holly (our children's director) and told her that she wanted to be baptized.
Daddy came home, we discussed it a little more with him, read her book over again and then we prayed with her. And our baby girl told Jesus that she loved Him, that she was soooo sorry for her sin and that she wanted to follow Him, to do the right things and that she wanted to go to Heaven. We walked her through a prayer where she declared her belief in God and the cross and Resurrection. And, just like that, my girl is a Christian.
She called and told her grandparents and we took pictures and texted a bunch of people and celebrated with ice cream.
And she called and asked the two sweetest people you have EVER met, Mr Jerry and Mrs Polly, to please baptize her. I think they were a little shocked, but they were thrilled and agreed. Now we just need to talk to Mrs Holly and figure out when.
And, oh my WORD, will I flood you all with pictures when it happens.
Praise His Holy Name! I am just beside myself with the greatest joy I have ever known. To know that I will be with my baby in Heaven ... Oh, PRAISE HIM!!!!!
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
My Sophie girl turned six in September, but in some ways she is so much older than her years.
With the attitude of a teenager, this girl can stomp her foot, roll her eyes, cross her arms and "HUMPH!" with the best of them.
And then, she can turn on the charm, smile that pretty smile and talk you into just about anything. She has about half the people she knows wrapped around her little finger. Including her parents. What can we say ...
... we are smitten.
Can ya blame us?
But, there is another way in which she just seems wise beyond her years. And that is in the way she understands God. She's always just had a very simple but intense faith. She lifts up a prayer like it takes no effort at all.
If we meet an ambulance on the road, she prays for whoever it is going to help. I don't even have to suggest it, I know she just will.
If she sees a pretty sky - a colorful sunset or sunrise - she will immediately stop and thank God for His artwork.
If she knows someone is hurting, she will pray for them every day without fail.
Her heart hurts for the homeless, the sick and the needy. And she has the heart of a warrior - a PRAYER warrior. A warrior that sees a need and takes it to the Lord. A heart that will not stop praying until the need is resolved ... and sometimes she continues anyway. Because "I think he still needs Jesus".
A year or so ago she was praying for Bob. Now, I do not know anyone that SHE knows named Bob - at least not anyone that I knew of in need of prayer. But she prayed on for him. At meals, at bed time, anytime she prayed, she asked God to be with Bob. So, one day I asked her "Honey, who is Bob?" She looked at me, thought about for a minute and said "I don't know!" But she kept on praying for him. For months. And then one day she stopped. After a few days with no prayers for Bob I asked if she had forgotten to pray for him. She looked at me with a big ol smile and said "oh, Bob is OK now!!!" But, she still doesn't know who he is. And neither do we.
But God knows.
But, by far, the best thing about the way my little prayer warrior prays is that she does it KNOWING that He will answer. She sometimes prays "God, please ...", but more often than not, she prays more like this: "God, thank You that You will ...." She doesn't ask, she thanks Him in advance. Because she just knows He will.
I think that is AMAZING. She has no doubts, she just trusts. And, we have prayed for people that have gone to Heaven - Uncle Ginger. Uncle Gary. Baby Sawyer. And, every time she has wept and just fallen apart in tears because "I didn't want him to die!" And it has broken my heart to tell her that our prayers were not answered the way we wanted, but she just says "It's OK mom. Heaven is nice. God loves him!!!" Because she just KNOWS.
So, I have decided. When I grow up ...
Pretend that this is yesterday.
Cause, yes, I missed yesterday. My 30 days of blogging got messed up. On. Day. FOUR.
Anyhoo ... His mercies are new every morning and I am claiming that mercy this morning, so I wanted to hop on here and ask you to extend mercy to me as well.
I do have some stories to tell, but today ... I mean, YESTERDAY (wink, wink) ... I want to leave you with this:
A friend and I were talking on Sunday about miracles. About how people may be less inclined to believe our God because they don't see Him performing miracles today. And that just slays me! KILLS ME.
They assume that because He is not parting seas open and walking people across dry ground, that He is not here. But, Y'ALL! He DID part the sea. And He left the tale and all it's lessons to guide us. And, lest we think we are the first generation to forget all of that, He reminds us that the very generation that walked across that dry sea bed forgot too!
And maybe He IS parting seas. No ... no, no maybe about it. He IS parting seas in our midst. Maybe not actual bodies of water, but I have seen him part the sea of the debt that was drowning my family and walk us across dry land to where we could breathe again.
I have seen Him part the seas of a hopeless diagnosis and bring healing that baffles doctors.
I have seen split wide a sea of depression and bring hope.
I have watched him make a way through the waves of a turbulent marriage and bring calm where once the waters of divorce raged fierce.
And I have watched Him, every single day, walk a little girl whose seas where once turbulent with abuse and neglect and despair into the promised land of a family that loves her beyond words (not that WE are her promised land, but He is!). He walks her through a condition which could drown her into a world unreachable into a place where miracles of her overcoming that condition are commonplace. A world where we could say we don't see miracles anymore ... but, PRAISE HIS NAME, they are right there.
Right there in the every single day.
And, I imagine, if we all look hard, and seek Him more, we can see those miracles ourselves. Every single day.
Every. Single. Day.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Yesterday was Hattie Day! Nine years ago she came to our house to live. I don't think any of us had any idea of the adventure that was about to begin. But I would not trade one single moment!!!
She is the adventure I never saw coming. I watch her defy every odd that her diagnosis throws at her and I know. I know that God has some pretty big things in store for this child.
And I just pray every single day that I don't mess that up!
Today I watched the child that we were told would never be affectionate, conversational or social walk around church and greet people like it was her job, hug all of her friends, make NEW friends and make sure everyone she met felt welcome.
And then, at lunch, the child who used to shut out the world - especially in unfamiliar or overwhelming situations - noticed a couple in a crowded restaurant with a baby in a carrier. And my child, who was supposed to be "silent" according to all the people who should know, called out to me from across the table in a not at ALL silent voice "MOM! How do two people get to have a brand new baby?!"
And I had to remind myself how VERY many times I prayed to have a conversation with this child.
And, oh how faithful He is ... even when it may not be so convenient for me :)
And I am so thankful.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
OK, I still have 43 more minutes. That was a close one ... almost messed up my "blogging every day in November on November 2nd. That would be very bad!!!
So, it's been a busy day and I am worn slick, but I had to get a blog in, right? Not much to say. I will have a better post up tomorrow, but today was wedding day for one of the sweetest couples ever. I got the chance to edit a few shots between wedding and reception ...
Friday, November 1, 2013
OK ... it's been seven and a half months ... I wonder if I still remember how to do this "blogging" thing... We will see, shall we? Hmmmmm
First of all, I guess we have some catching up to do. I'll just do a basic run down...
We became grandparents in July. LOVE this little face right here!
And seeing her in the arms of my husband, I fell in love with him all over again...
MAN I love him!
This one is growing like a weed and amazes us every day with how much God is doing in her!
This one turned SIX in September and started 1st grade. Oh my heart ...
My camera has been busy taking pictures and I have been an editing fiend - especially this fall. I've got to take pictures of old friends ...
And got to meet some new friends too!
And, there is one other little thing I've been working on ... more on that later.
Hey - gotta leave something to blog about later. I mean, come on, THIRTY DAYS!!!! That's a lot of space to fill...
See ya tomorrow!
Monday, February 4, 2013
So ... I missed last week. OK, the last two weeks. So this is gonna be long. Get comfy!!!
3 gifts per day. Every day for a year. 1,000 Gifts total. SO much to be thankful for. And, thankful to Ann Voskamp for reminding me to BE thankful. SO good!
Here we go...
1.16.13 - 3 Witnessed Blessings
46. In the morning rush, as two girls get ready for school, I finish Sophie's hair and rush Hattie along as I send Soph to make her bed. As I check the beds after doing Hattie's hair, I find Sophie in our room making the bed for me. SO sweet!!!
47. Hattie had birthday parties at school, complete with cupcakes topped by rings (Hattie prefers bracelets). I watch her pull the ring out and give it to Sophie because, "she has curly hair, just like you!" And then she brings another home for me - a pink haired super hero. "It looks like YOU mom!!"
48. He comes home from a long day at work, kisses his family, and lays down on the floor so that his own, as well as other people's kids, can climb all over him.
1.17.13 - A Gift Bringing Laughter, a Prayer, Quiet
49. Friends who know just the right thing to say to bring laughter just when I need it most.
50. Listening to bed time prayers as Sophie prays for the baby in Mindy's belly to get big and strong so "we can be Auntie Hattie and Auntie Sophie". Already so in love with that Peanut!
51. A morning to myself in a still, quiet house ... until I crank up the tunes!
1.18.13 - 3 Gifts From God's Word
52. Strength and Protection - Proverbs 18:10 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe."
53. He is Big ... and small Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
54. Even as I am ... JUST as I am ... Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
1.19.13 - 3 Gifts That Might Never Have Been
55. Two girls whose mothers could have said no - it would have been easier - but they chose life instead. And in that choice made ME a mama.
56. A man who saw more.
57. A life saved from the pit of sin ... a life truly SAVED.
1.20.13 - 3 Gifts Only Seen Close Up *** Funny how this came up as we began to deal with the lice***
58. Thankful that this (lice) did not go further - hubby and I were not infected!
59. We can either cry or laugh ... so thankful for laughter!!!
60. We get through this together - a team!
1.21.13 - A Gift in Sky, Water, Memory
61. Fat daddy snow flakes that make two little girls squeal in delight.
62. Water that cleans ... refreshes ... and, when warmed, soothes muscles tight from bending over and digging through little heads looking for tiny bugs. (shudder)
63. A man whose love and support remind me why I fell in the first place.
1.22.13 - A Gift Wrinkled, Smoothed, Unfolded
64. Lines on his face that weren't there in the beginning - some from tears, worry and stress. But, I pray, more from laughter shared. These lines are in my mirror too. Life, done together. Blessed.
65. Braids unfolded and combed smooth at the end of the day - love these little heads.
66. Freshly cleaned (AGAIN) sheets, spread across the beds to enfold, comfort and warm us all to sleep.
1.23.13 - 3 Gifts Found In Christ
67. A new life - born again. Saved.
68. A new heart - I pray, more like His everyday.
69. A new family ... fRamily - friends who are more like family, family more like friends.
1.24.13 - 3 Things Blue
70. Trusting blue eyes that sparkle when she giggles. Especially when she gets one on one time with mom & dad - like when little sister falls asleep on the couch and she gets bed time stories to herself.
71. A blue (and green) robe - cushy, warm, familiar. Ugly as anything, but a trusted friend.
72. Blue shoes - runners - ready, willing and able to help me start (AGAIN) on the journey toward smaller blue jeans.
1.25.13 - A Grace Borrowed, Found, Inherited
73. A playlist borrowed from a friend, bringing sweet melody into my day as a testament to His faithful love. So True!!
74. A journal found in a long lost box. Prayers scribbled in desperation that now prove His faithfulness as I live in the results of the answers - some not how I would have chosen, but all for my good and ALL answered in the way that I NEEDED.
75. A rich inheritance, founded in love and faith, passed down and shared. So Blessed.
1.26.13 - A Gift Before Dawn, At Noon, After Dark
76. Girls that climb into bed giggling before dawn. A man that leaves me to slumber while he takes them down and makes breakfast.
77. I assume he is asleep somewhere after his early morning, instead I find him in a comfy chair, in a quiet corner, deep in the Word.
78. Snuggled up on the couch watching a Hallmark movie with a man who tolerates my girliness.
1.27.13 - 3 Gifts In The Kitchen
79. Quiet giggles shared with my girlies at the kitchen table while he takes HIS turn to sleep in before church.
80. Yummy smells as he bakes lemon bars. And then, when he knows I won't be able to partake, he surprises me with gluten free lemon substitutes!
81. In pajamas, around the dinner table, as we eat breakfast ... again. My favorite!
1.28.13 - 3 Graces Found In Friends
82. The ones holding me accountable to be in the Word.
83. The ones will always be good for a prayer on the other end of the line.
84. The one who comes home at the end of the day. My best friend.
1.29.13 - A Song Heard, A Soft Word, Light Seen
85. Listening to VBS songs while the girls play - thankful for these songs that show them who HE is.
86. A soft, mumbled I love you whispered as he tucks her in, then giggles as he plays an old familiar game. Then as he leaves that room, a "good night daddy!" from the other room. Followed by more giggles from HER.
87. Flashes of light seen from under her door as she, way too late at night, plays with her spy kit flashlight late into the night. And giggles hidden behind moans as I take it away and hide it in a drawer.
1.30.13 - 3 Old Things Seen Knew
88. A wall of faces whose stories become new when I tell them to their great ... great-great ... great-great-great (and so on) grandchildren and namesakes.
89. An old piano being played by fresh, new, baby hands.
90. An antique jar being filled with papers bearing new blessings - more each day.
1.31.13 - A Gift On Paper, In Person, In A Picture
91. A paper napkin, tucked into a pocket, because it bears a love note from her mama that was sent with her lunch to school.
92. Watching little Emma light up every time Sophie passes by.
93. Hattie's self portrait - with one pink braid trailing down.
2.1.13 - 3 Gifts Red
94. Red & White striped tootsie roll pops, left over from Christmas. My own secret treasure.
95. Red cheeks on a girl bounding off the school bus and skipping with joy to the baby who waits for her at the front door.
96. A girl in red pajamas, snuggled up to her big sister who reads her a bedtime story.
2.2.13 - 3 Gifts Found In Writing
97. A love note from him found tucked into a journal.
98. HIS love note - my Bible - treasured, worn, filled with notes, cards, insights & memories.
99. A book read aloud to me by my bright, funny, lovely girl as she learns to read.
2.3.13 - 3 Gifts Found In Writing
100. THESE gifts - blessed in writing them down.
101. Leaving prayer requests at church, knowing they will be bathed in prayer and lifted to the Throne.
102. Scratching the word "PAID" across a bill. So thankful for His provision.
So ... what are YOU thankful for?
Friday, January 25, 2013
Still doing the daily vacuuming (have no idea what I'm talking about? Long version, see the last post. Short version, LICE! Yeah ... yuck ... but the house is clean!), daily hair checks, daily sheet changes (y'all! my reserve sheets are ugly. just sayin. may need to resolve that. feel bad for my girls), and daily bleaching of hair paraphernalia. My hands are RAW, my washer and dryer are threatening a boycott and my husband wishes I would just make dinner already instead of just CLEANING the kitchen, but my house is clean! YAY! (kinda)
I also want to thank everyone SO much for your input (and SWEET words) on my housework schedule dilemma I did come up with a plan and have been following it for a week now. And, while this can, by no means, be considered a normal week, so far so good. I think it's doable!!!
Yesterday was my swing day - the day when I pick a room for deep cleaning - so I hit the guestroom/office, where stacks upon stacks of
Now, here is my new (old) goal. The first couple weeks of the new year I was really gettin into my groove as far as workouts. Even my man was in on it!!! (somebody give me a quick AMEN on that one!) We were getting up at 5 and heading to the basement together for a work out. One of us would hit the treadmill while the other did strength or some other work out. It was like a daily early morning date ... that no one dressed up for and was not really all that romantic, but ya gotta take it when you can get it, ya know?!
So, I was doing well and watching what I was eating and everything was groovy ... til I hurt my back. I ran a couple miles that morning. Then I did a Jillian
Anyhoo, I hurt myself sorting socks and it all went to heck. I'm feeling MUCH better and am probably ready to run again, but I'm kinda skeered to try. Just gotta get back up on that horse ... gonna do it today! Yep. I am! (now I have to, cause I just told you I would ... please stalk me til I do!!) I have not gained any weight back - YAY - but it's been a stretch. I had to remove all jewelry and my glasses to make the cut this week.
This would probably be easier if I didn't have celebratory cookies after each successful weigh in!
Yeah ... I should work on that.
So ... that's what's up with me. Now it's your turn ...
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
This is SOOOOOOO one of those posts that needs pictures to show how truly epic it was.
But, honestly, if I HAD pictures ... well, I just don't think I would do that to y'all.
And then again, who had time to pick up a camera?
Hattie has dry skin, that gets even drier in the winter months. SO fun ... not. As the weather turns cold, she starts itching. That is just the way it is, so I never think much of it. But this winter, she has been scratching her head. THAT concerns me, so I have been going through her hair on a regular basis. I never found anything, so I thought all was well.
Now Sophie, on the other hand ... her skin is dry, but not NEARLY as dry as Hattie's. But I started noticing some flakes in her hair and just figured it was a weird winter for scalp dryness.
Yeah ... I know ... I am a little slow.
Then it happened ... oh. my. word. did it ever happen.
(pause while I shudder in remembrance)
On Sunday we were getting ready for church. Hubby had left early, so it was just us girls. And, of COURSE, we were running late!! (see the last post on my lack of organization ... go on, go read it. It will come in handy in a bit for more reasons than one ... ) So, I got us all through showers and was getting ready to do the girls' hair. Hattie first - spray on the conditioner, comb it out, give it the daily check to make sure I haven't missed anything ... nothin. And then I start on Sophie's hair.
(this is where the ominous music starts to play)
I spray it down with conditioner and grab the first section to pick through ... oh so many curls, must do tiny sections at a time. It is especially gnarly today, so it takes a bit longer. I pull my hand back to clean all the hair off (ALWAYS a handfull of hair with her) and look down to see it.
Y'all ... my hand was full of more than just hair.
Lice. Lots and lots and LOTS of lice.
I do all that I can to not have a FULL ON PANIC ATTACK in front of the child who is deadly afraid of bugs, so as not to clue her in on the fact that there is a flippin colony takin up residence on her noggin!!! I finish picking through her hair, wash a few (hundred) more bugs down the drain and RUN to my laptop to google the buggers to make sure that is what we have.
Yep. That is what we have.
Text hubby that we have a problem. Google natural remedies. Google all the store bought stuff and rashes, skin conditions and messes they cause. Panic again, cause did I MENTION the dry skin? YIKES. Take a deep breath and call the pediatrician.
Here is the thing I love very most about our pediatrician's office - when you call after hours, you get to talk to one of the pediatricians. They have a cell phone that they take turns carrying and one of them - NOT AN ANSWERING SERVICE - answers the phone.
Doc B. says mayo. Slather everyone's head in mayo. Not miracle whip and not fat free. MAYO. And slather it good. Then wrap the craniums in plastic wrap and wait ... for eight hours. Hopefully they will be dead when you are done.
So we did - after getting hubby to run for more mayo (and a lice comb picker thingy). While we were marination and smelling like a picnic, Hubbs and I started on the house. (did you go read the other post when I told you to? Do it now if you didn't ... seriously!) Ya KNOW how I hate housework, but it had to be done. SO we stripped every bed, emptied all of Sophie's drawers, pulled the covers off the couch, vacuumed everything that would stand still, bleached everything that we could, set the washing machine to "sterilize" and cleaned the house top to bottom. Anything that could not be washed that way was bagged up and sent to the garage to chill out (literally) for a couple weeks.
I am fairly certain that my appliances - washer, dryer, vacuum, etc... - we wondering what house they were in. They probably felt like going on strike after all of that. And it was only just beginning.
Finally at about 9pm we got to wash the junk off and then the real fun began!! We started on Sophie's hair. I picked very small sections at a time. Y'all, I literally had to clean that stinkin comb thing out with every pass, there were so many bugs in her hair. It took forever!!!!!! And that was just the bugs, which were all dead - thank the Sweet Lord in Heaven!!!! Then we did Hattie's hair (found 2 or 3 in her hair!!) and then hubbs did mine. I ended up just shearing his SUPER short. He and I were both clean.
By 11:30 we were all in freshly cleaned sheets.
And Monday we started again. More laundry. More vacuuming. More bleaching. And more picking. I had to get all the nits (eggs) out. Hattie went first - she was clean. I found one nit and got it out of there. Then it was Sophie's turn.
Four hours later, when I was only half way done, I called hubbs crying and begged him to go to a shop that we had been told about - Rapunzel's Lice Boutique (REALLY?!?!) - and get what all my friends who have dealt with this, had told me to get. Yes it's pricey, yes, I know but DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (pretty please)
And it was MAGIC!
The stuff they gave him to spray on to loosen everything up and their special little comb ... well, y'all, it was so worth it. SOOOOOOOOOO. WORTH. IT.
We got them both sprayed down and did both heads again. Hattie's was easy. Sophie's was ... well, it was easier than it had been before.
We changed the sheets again, vacuumed the whole house again, bleached everything down again, sterilized back packs and jackets and sent to sparkling clean heads to bed.
By Tuesday afternoon I could finally see the laundry room floor, all little heads in Sophie's class had been checked and things were back to normal. Except for the fact that we are still vacuuming, bleaching, cleaning and sterilizing everything in sight, changing sheets and checking heads any chance we get. And on Saturday, we get to re-mayo our heads and have all the fun again!
But, ya know, at least the house is clean!!!!!
Friday, January 18, 2013
Ok, normally I am a fan of the comments. I like em. They make me feel loved. But today ... today I am just flat out, shamelessly BEGGING for comments!
Cause, today ... today I need help!
I am just gonna come on out and confess y'all here and now.
Organization? It is sooooooooooo not my thang.
Oh, and really, neither is (please don't hate me) housework.
Yep. That's right. I am a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) and I am not a good housekeeper.
(I am so ashamed)
However, I am trying to get better. I really am. I read something recently that has spurred me on to want to improve even more. She said something like "my husband feels loved when he comes home to a clean house" ... well, I want MY husband to feel loved too!!!!!
Now, realistically, I understand that my house is not gonna look like a magazine spread in this season of life. I have young children and I babysit even younger children, so the house is pretty much a very large toy box right now. But, I KNOW there is something I can do to make the whole thing easier.
Then I discovered Home Sanctuary and her Small Things game. And I was hooked. It was totally EASY!
Until this week.
(kidding ... kinda)
This week we have been looking at, tweaking and perfecting our housework schedules. (I did mention that I don't the organization thing, right?) But, I am determined and so I forged on. I did come up with a plan of action that seems do-able, but I am looking for input. (HERE IS WHERE YOUR COMMENTS (please, for the love of all things great and wonderful, please comment) COME IN!!!) And, so I ask you....
How do YOU break up your chores? Do you divide by room - Kitchen on Mon., Bedrooms on Tues. ...? Or by task - Dusting on Mon., Vacuuming on Tues. ...? An all out clean it top to bottom on Saturday? Or do you wait til someone is coming over and stuff everything in a closet
Right now I have it divided by one room and one load of laundry per day, but that means the vacuum is out every day, along with whatever else is needed for that room... Is that the most efficient way? Is there a BETTER way? What am I missing? Help me out y'all.
OK ... lemme see your comments ... GO!