Thursday, December 03, 2009

What If. . . . .

Several weeks ago, I stumbled across one of those "interview" type surveys on Facebook. I didn't participate, but one of the questions has literally haunted me since then.


What if it was proven unequivocally that God (or the object of your faith) did not exist? How would you react?


My first reaction was to come up with an answer that was so profound that it would show that even if Christ didn't exist, I would *still* be faithful to his teachings. That even IF He didn't exist, my faith and world would still be rock solid.

But, I wasn't satisfied with the answer.

Then, Sunday, while listening to the preacher talk about salvation, I realized that the question was haunting me because my answer was completely and totally wrong.

The fact is, if science tomorrow proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was no God, my world would be rocked to the very core of existence. Why? Because my hope is based on, and in, Jesus Christ.

He is the sunshine in my daytime.
He is the laughter in my life.
He is the the reason I want to draw my next breath.
He is the rainbow after the storm.
He is the blue sky above the storm clouds.
He is the flower growing on a rocky hillside.


Without Him, life becomes meaningless, dark, and hopeless. Utterly so.

In the words of the classic by Bill Gaither --

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, He holds the future.
And life is life is worth the living,
JUST because He lives.




And, to any that may wonder upon this post that already believes that God doesn't exist, let me ask you, would your world change if science proved God's existence? If so, WHY?

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love the Christmas season.

I love the Jesus part of it.

I love the food part of it.

I love the presents part of it. Actually, it is more accurate to say, I love the GIVING of presents part of it.

I was also raised to be a "deal finder." At my mom's house is that we draw names. The "joke" is that the limit is $20, but you should really give a $50 gift that you gave less than $10 for. :P

Tonight I hit the jackpot. I have my sister-in-law's name. Easiest person on earth to get a present for, and I had what I wanted to get her. Using a "coupon code" I found online, I just got her a $52 present for FREEEEEEEEEE.

whooppeeeeeeeeeee.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Strawberry Pie

Thanksgiving is coming up and I was sharing with the Princess what I was planning on fixing for the family get together. Being the strawberry fanatic that she is, she suggested I also fix a strawberry pie. Seeing how I am completely and totally culinarily inept, I don't know HOW to make a strawberry pie.

No problem. The princess enlightened me.

Get pink icing and strawberries.
Mix them together.
Put them in the pie thing.
Put them in the freezer to cold them up.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the recipe for strawberry pie.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

BE HEALED!!!!!

Those two words should not cause the cynicism in me that they do, but they do. Nothing will cause me to go on "hyper alert" when listening to a preacher than to hear him proclaim that God has told him someone in the congregation will be healed. To me, it is almost as if they have spread out the crystal ball and are reading the future. I'm that dubious.

Perhaps I shouldn't be because God CAN heal, and I believe He does -- perhaps more than we realize.

When my father had his heart attack in 1999, I was convinced that his coma was temporary and that he would indeed "rise up and walk." In my mind, I entertained no other outcomes. My daddy was going to get better -- no other options existed. So, on January 3, 2002, when he passed away, I naturally asked, "What happened?????" I was upset that my daddy died; most people are. I was also upset that I had been wrong (not something I deal with easily, anyway, my husband tells me) about his healing.

In the months following his death, I asked God, "Why?????" Actually, I asked Him a lot. Then, one day He answered. It wasn't an audible voice, but real in my heart nevertheless. I asked, "God, I was convinced Daddy would be healed. I had faith in YOU that YOU would heal him. And you didn't. Why?"

"You only needed to believe that I could."

Wow.

So, why do faith healers bother me so? I used to think it was because they accused me of not having "enough" faith.

I have the faith. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God can, and does heal. When dear friends recently found out that their little girl was going to be born with some special issues, did I think God could "fix" it? Yes, and I still do. In fact, I've even prayed to that end. So, if she is not "healed," did God fail to answer my prayers? NO. He, in His infinite wisdome knows exactly what needs to be done and He will do it.

In fact, to say that my lack of faith, or the parents' lack of faith, or Joe Blow's lack of faith prevented this little unborn child's healing is an abomination. Is GOD, the Creator of the UNIVERSE so small that the only way he can answer a prayer and honor faithfulness is through a healing?


I think not.

The other day, I read on a website a 7 year old's testimony that his preacher had proclaimed that he would be healed from his life debilitating, yet non-life threatening, disease. That bothered me. It also bothered me that if I "argued" with this preacher, or anyone else who was "claiming" this promise, I would be the one with the lack of faith.

Instead of looking at the omniscient power of God, instead of trusting in His grace and wisdom in knowing that sometimes bad things happen to good people for a REASON, and that instead of believing that God's glory can be revealed in ways other than healing, they choose to put their hope and faith in one single outcome. To me, claiming a healing (and sometimes "demanding" God to heal) is arrogant, selfish, and short-sighted. I would go so far as to say that it is time to let God out of this box we tend to put Him in, and allow His power to work.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wow.

Wow. I have a blog. I think I'd forgotten about it. There are spiderwebs everywhere in here and it is more than a bit dusty.

Maybe I should claim that I gave up blogging for spiritual reasons. You know, kinda like a fast of sorts. Except if I did that, I would be lying and that doesn't go well with the whole "fast" thing, ya know?

Truth is, May was FULL of testing homeschoolers, as were the first couple of weeks in June.

Then, we found out that Travis made the 7 year old all-star team (trust me, no one was more surprised than me), and that extended our baseball season another month. We've got a bit of a break (20 days or so) between the last baseball game and first football practice.

So, here it is, the middle of July, and we are FINALLY slowing down somewhat.

Maybe I'll find something to write about in the coming days.

:)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Baseball

It's hard to believe that Trav only has 3 games left. Currently, they are 6 - 3 and in 2nd place. They play the first place team next Tuesday, and if they win, they will be in first. They have already lost to this team once (I *think* it was the day Trav busted his nose).

Trav's batting is abso-stinkin'-lutely awesome. The kid smacks the snot out of it. He hit one the other day that everyone thought was over the fence (that is a picture of it below). Since then, he has hit two or three more that go right to the fence.

Yea, I'm proud.

(We won't talk about his fielding right now -- hahahahha. He has been playing third base).


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mountain Paparazzi

So, we are driving through Pigeon Forge, looking for our motel, and see that there is going to be a parade. After just a few minutes, I realize it is the Dolly Parton parade (don't know what it is really called), and that Dolly was going to be appearing soon.

My husband is driving, so I grab my camera, tell him to roll down the window, and start shooting.

Nothing.

It's on.

Shoot.

Nothing.

What the??? At this point, I am almost panicking thinking that my camera is broken. :( :( :(

Then, I see it -- the flashing "No CF card" message. Awww man. grumble, cuss, grumble, grumble, cuss (though admittedly the words I said were NOTHING compared to what I was thinking!)

We finish watching the parade, cut back a side road, and continue in our quest to find our motel.

WoooHHooooo. The back road we were on, is the same back road Dolly is taking. This is the shot I got of her (through my windshield).



Bernard got my camera and got a couple of shots with her standing up -- her profile and from behind. He jokes that you can tell what he was looking at. :)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Wow.

Parenting is not for weenies. Seriously.

When Travis had his first stomach virus, it was rough. Ditto with snot. Both make me a bit squeamish.

That was NOTHING compared to blood, though. >karma passes out<

Last Monday, Travis took a baseball to the nose. Blood and more blood. Bernard joked that I didn't take a picture of it. Truth be told, I couldn't look at it without almost passing out.

Today, I was about 70 miles away doing testing for a private school. Just as I'm finishing up the last student, I get a text message from Bernard -

trav at er


I panicked. Why? Broken arm? Seizure? I finally get a hold of someone and find out that he was climbing up on the back of the pickup truck, the tailgate wasn't secure and it opened as he climbed. He fell backwards and apparently cut his head on the wood pile behind him. Ouch.

By the time I could get to the ER, he was already being sewn up. This time, I did get pictures (and more than a bit nauseous).



So, I've decided in order to maintain my sanity (not to mention my breakfast), I am going to purchase a couple of giant gerbil exercise balls. Then, my children will be safe.

Here is a picture of the prototype --

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh. Wow.

We heard about this on the radio today.

The Life Saving Bra

Of course, my son had a barrage of questions afterwards (ever tried to explain "underwiring" to a 7 yo boy, or a grown man for that matter).

What this online version of the story didn't have that the radio story did is that it was a wonderbra (called as such because you take it off and "wonder" where everything went, but I digress).

The story still has me dropping my jaw. This is the oddest thing I've heard in awhile.

(I figure I'm already pushing the "tasteful" limits with this post, so, sorry, no illustrative pictures)

Monday, April 20, 2009

41 Reasons

Why I love you on your 41st birthday. . . (in no particular order)

(disclaimer and warning -- i'm not intentionally trying to make all you other men out there feel inadequate, but dang, when you got it, you got it, and Bernard's got it!!!!)

1. Black F-150, Grundy County Auction and the Mt. Pisgah Parking Lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

2. Your integrity and honesty.

3. You're musical ability.

4. Your socks match, and you tuck in your shirts and pockets on your own.

5. You will talk about your emotions and how you feel.

6. You're hardworking.

7. You're respected among peers.

8. You have cool scars.




9. You are unbelievably loyal.

10. Travis


11. Kristi


12. Bass fishing

13. Photography


14. Beating me at chess.

15. Cool hair.

16. Your analytic ability.

17. You provide for your family.

18. You know how to, and will do, laundry, and you will do housework.

19. You serve your church faithfully -- out of love not duty or obligation.


20. You change my oil and you can fix things.

21. You like to read.

22. You are intelligent.

23. You have a nice body. :P

24. You're good at math.

25. You mow the yard.

26. You look sexy in your sunglasses.



27. You know a lot about a lot of things.

28. You respect your parents, grandparents, and family (both yours and mine).

29. You are wise and exercise caution.

30. You think things through thoroughly.

31. You kiss GOOD!


32. You show emotions in public.

33. You will fix your own breakfast and don't expect me to get up at the crack of dawn and cook for you.

34. You don't complain about my cooking.

35. You laugh at my jokes.


36. You like gadgets.

37. Your beliefs are sincere -- you act what you believe.

38. You are compassionate and conscientious.

39. Yer a gud speelr.

40. The way you come in every morning to pray with me before you leave for work, even if I'm only half-conscious.

41. You love me and I can trust you to always love ME.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm Braggin' Again

Trav played his first baseball game yesterday.

Waiting for the game to begin


At first base.



He Swings



He HITS


(the two batting pictures were different pitches)

He went 2 for 3 yesterday and was responsible for a couple of outs at first base. :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's My Blog,

and I'll brag if I want to.




*I* think they're beautiful.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Around the Bend


If you knew exactly what was around the bend, would you go anyway?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Justification for Procrastination

I am the Queen of Procrastination, or would be if the organization ever got around to forming and crowning me.

Sometimes, procrastination works to my advantage. Like the time I had to write an essay as part of my annual review at work, but I put it off and then my review was canceled. Had I been diligent, I would have done work for nothing.

Now, consider spring flowers. This little guy would have well served (and much warmer) had he not bloomed for a couple of more weeks.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

My Opinion

Related to March 27th's post --

It seems to me that when you are obnoxious about your faith, and don't care to offend people "for the gospel," you really don't show them Christ's love, either.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jus' Wondering

If you profess to be a Christian, and virtually everyone around you (both Christian, and especially non) uses words like "obstinate," "ridiculous," "obnoxious," "rude," "overbearing," "intolerant," and "stubborn," to describe your existence and interaction with people, is there a problem?

If so, should they change, or should you?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Weekend Randomness

I haven't "verified" the math, but it looks right. :) Also, there is a pop-up, so if you don't have a pop-up blocker to stop it, I don't know what it is. . .

What 1 Trillion looks like

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Classic

It has been a while since this graced my inbox, but I can honestly say I laughed as hard this time as I did when I first read it. (sorry, i ain't doing illustrative pictures for this. . . )

I was due for an appointment with the gynecologist later in the week. Early one morning, I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for that morning at 9:30 am. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45 AM. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare.

As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort.. So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in that area to make sure I was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.

I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in Paris or some other place a million miles away. I was a little surprised when the doctor said, "My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?"

I didn't respond.

After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal. Some shopping, cleaning, and cooking.

After school when my 6 year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, 'Mommy, where's my washcloth?' I told her to get another one from the cupboard.

She replied, "No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my
glitter and sparkles saved inside it."

Never going back to that doctor. Ever!

Why You Don't Want to Choke in the South

One day in a diner in the deep south, a lady choked on a morsel of food that she had been eating.

Two rednecks nearby saw the commotion and tried to help.

The first one asked her, "Are you a-chokin'?"

She held her throat and shook her head "yes."

Then, he asked, "Can ya breath?"

Turning blue, and obviously in distress, she shook her head "no."

The second redneck said, "I knows 'xactly what to do."

With that, he jumped up, ran over to the women, hiked up her dress, yanked down her drawers and licked her left buttcheek.

Out of shock and indignation at what had just happened, the morsel of food came flying out and the woman was able to breath.

The first redneck looked at his buddy and said, "Wow, Billy Bob. I'd always a-heard 'bout that hind-lick manoover, but I'd never seen it in action."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Some Things

There are some things I am pretty good at. I can play trumpet fairly well (no where as well as I used to be able to), I like the sweet tea I make, I do okay at photography, I read well, and I can flat out teach almost anything.

However, I downright stink at chess.

Seriously.

I'm bad. Very, very, very bad.

See that widget there on the right? Don't let it fool you. It says "challenge me," but what it really means is "Click here for an easy win!"

:P

Oh well, I suppose it is okay, if I were good at chess, I would be a truly intimidating force.

Chess keeps me humble.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I Will if You Will

This "challenge" was issued in the comments a few days ago by the Rambling Prophet.

It has been years since someone threw that particular gauntlet down to me, but over the course of several insomnia-haunted nights, I remembered several instances rather clearly.

Most (re -- all) of the most vivid memories included two brothers in the neighborhood -- Anthony and his younger sibling, Patrick. Anthony and I were the same age, and Patrick was two or three years younger. Their grandmother lived (and still lives) two doors down from my mom, and they lived at the bottom of the road.

The stink bombs in the neighbor's mailbox.


There was the time we were swinging on a grapevine hanging from a tree. All was well, and fun, until it broke. . .

Ahhh, Skoal bandits. For those of you not well-versed in pre-pubescent redneck life, skoal bandits were little packets of skoal smokeless tobacco. All the nicotine, none of the messy black specks on your teeth. Yep, I've dipped. There's my world-wide confession. Patrick and I were fine. Anthony got sick as a dog.

Riding our bikes and playing army on Sewer Plant Road. The road also went through the middle of a large cow pastures with lots of cows. Ever ridden as fast as possible only to lock your brakes in a "pile?" Or riding through a fresh pile? Why my mom never got mad at what I was doing to my clothes is beyond me!!

But, the most vivid in my mind is the time Anthony and Patrick said, "If we ride down the hill, will you?" Now, they did not have to designate what was "the hill." We lived at the base of a mountain; there were plenty of hills, but "the" in "the hill" was this one.



Only 27 years ago, there wasn't all that "growth", that huge pine tree, or pavement. It was red clay dirt, going straight down, into a ditch and ending on a dirt road.

The rational answer would be, "No."
The simple answer would be, "No."
The obvious answer would be, "No."

So my obvious answer was, "You go first and I'll do it."

So, we went up the driveway that would take us to the top. Anthony went down and Patrick followed with some mad skillz that would make Ned Overend (google him) proud.

Then, it was my turn. The girl with the attitude. The girl with something to prove. The girl with pride.

Only unbeknownst to said female, Anthony and Patrick had been practicing and understood perfectly the concept of going down on an angle and slightly breaking but allowing the wheels to roll some as well.

I took a deep breath, pushed off and. . .

"Are you alive?" the next thing I remember is lying on my back in the middle of the road looking up at two blond heads staring at me as if I had just dropped in from outerspace. Based on their recollection, that may not have been too much an exaggeration.

So much for attitude and pride. I had started out good, but within the first few inches, accelerated beyond control, hit the bottom of the ditch, flipped over the handle bars and landed on my back in the middle of the dirt road.

Ouch.

So, Tony, if it is all the same to you, I think I'll pass this time!

(And is it any wonder I have a fear of heights and could never ride down steep hills later when, as an adult, I got bit by Bernard's mountain biking bug)


+++++++++++++++++++++

Serious, sad warning.

+++++++++++++++++++++

There is just something not right when the people from your childhood die. Trooper Anthony, it doesn't seem real that it has been over 5 years, but that is what the calendar says, so it must be so. I'm thankful we had those early years together, and the friendship we shared.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Hope

My photo assignment for the month of March is HOPE.

Long story shortened, I have some friends who are founders of BT Buddies. As a fundraiser, and to raise awareness of brain tumours, they are doing a coffee table style book portraying HOPE.

Also, our local paper is having a photo contest for Easter with the theme of, you guessed it, HOPE.

The book project is one that is dear to me as I lost a high school classmate, a co-worker, and a college professor to cancer that ended up in their brains. :( I am wanting to do a shot in memory of them, so I want it to be GOOD.

I just can't get an idea. :(

Help?

Monday, March 02, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

There have been times in my life where I was so down and discouraged that it was all I could do to say, "God, I can't do this anymore. Help me, please." That was the prayer. Nothing fancy, eloquent, or even very specific.

I was reminded of this during yesterday's sermon. I don't remember exactly what Mark said, but what I heard (that should encourage all you preacher types) was, "You may have been discouraged, and asked God to help you. He will help you."

And I realized something. I prayed this prayer just a few days ago. I don't feel like that now. I cannot identify the exact moment it lifted, it just did. I believe that was God.

Our recent snow further illustrated this for me. When we got home from church yesterday (finally), this is what it looked like off of our front porch --



(this is in color, btw)
Gray, bleak, stormy looking.

Approximately 18 hours later, this was my view--



Give God time to make the gray skies blue.

Friday, February 27, 2009


My daddy was many things, but one of the things he was best at, I think, was wood carvings. He made a lot of these little boots, as well as ducks, deer, bear, snakes, etc.

(I was moving these boots to take a picture and discovered that one of them is full of teeth. I was slightly unnerved until my nephew Sawyer told me that that is where he and his oldest brother, Brayden, keep the teeth they lose.)
A friend of mine has a request for his son ----


He has been asked to survey people that live in the United States using only three questions. The more responses he gets the better the grade. It is a political poll but no personal information is needed except for what state in which you reside. He has been asked to do this from now through the end of March. The questions are the same questions a lot of media polls ask but the purpose of this assignment is to take away the bias of the media and see what mainstream Americans are saying without the possible influence that the media may have upon the results.

I would love to see him get 10,000+ unique responses but the only way for that to happen is with your help, pass the link to others you know, and have them to do the same. The survey only has three questions (four counting the state you in which you reside) and should take less than 10 seconds to complete.


The survey is here

Saturday, February 21, 2009

When Worship Music

Isn't.



Jesus is a Friend of Mine. He really is.

This song isn't.



And, well, it isn't praise and worship, and it isn't supposed to be, but I was reminded of this video last night during a conversation about what happens when "old" people try to be hip with the young people.

Definitely isn't.



And, definitely ISN'T. (Just a note, this was originally removed from youtube, so it may disappear at some point)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

A week late. I'm trying to get caught up here. My other blog Through the Windshield is also desperately behind, and I am hoping to remedy that, at least in part, today.

Times being what they are, and finances being what they are, Bernard and I just went out to eat and to the bookstore (by ourselves!!!). We decided on Cheddar's and after a wait of about 35 minutes, ate until we were literally stuffed. I'm not sure, but I vaguely remember Bernard rolling me out of there. But, oh man, it was good!!!

(Mushy warning ahead)
I know a lot of women who are married to men who are simply jerks. And, they don't mind being jerks to their wife in front of her friends and/or coworkers. That irks me beyond belief. Their husbands are thoughtless, obsessive, paranoid, and just generally crass.

I'm NOT married to one of them.

My husband is awesome. Yes, he has his faults, but they are small compared to many. Also, his attributes so far outweigh the faults it is not funny. He is more than willing to admit fault and say, "I'm sorry," and I have never felt unloved, or unwanted. I've also never had to question his faithfulness to me and the family, and he is truly a man of integrity. If he says it, he means it, and if he promises it, he will deliver.

So, Bernard, it is a bit late, but this is for you --

Out of the Mouths. . .

This conversation occurred while I was fixing lunch for the sprogs today.

Princess: Mama, how does Jesus live in our hearts?

Me: (Not entirely surprised, she has been asking this question A LOT lately). Well, when we ask Jesus to forgive our sins, and become our Savior, he lives in our hearts.

Princess: But, MAMA, how does he get food there? Does he make it go from our stomach to our hearts so that he can have something to eat?????

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Disconnect




Through the years, I've had the opportunity to see what it is like to be part of a preacher's family, without actually having been married to, or the child of, a preacher.

One event I remember, is that in college, my best friend was a preacher's kid. One summer, I was invited to go on the family vacation to Hilton Head, SC with them. They knew that a member of the congregation was very sick, but her dad decided to go anyway. He went for one day, had to come back home the next, preach the funeral the next, and made it back to Hilton Head for the last full day of vacation. :/

We have several family members that are preachers.

Through the years, we've had the privilege of being friends with pastors and their families (both of our own church and outside of our church).

I am in constant awe at how the family has to share their husband and daddy. However, what I experienced Sunday was unlike anything I've ever felt, or imagined feeling. I can't say that I liked it. :/

Long, very convoluted, story short, our pastor resigned last Wednesday night. He gave no notice, and my husband was chosen to fill in on Sunday morning. He is not a preacher. He has not been called to preach, and he made it a point to tell the congregation that he was "teaching," not preaching.

I had watched him prepare on Saturday. I knew roughly what he was going to address. Yet, while he was on stage (looking fine, I might add, though it is a bit non sequitur ) he became the "preacher" and I was just a member of the "congregation." Though we were still married, for the first time in our married life, his role for that 30 minutes or so was not as "husband."

I felt totally disconnected from him.

It was weird.

I became (and still am to some degree) a bit clingy. (I think he liked it at first, but is growing a bit weary of me hanging on to him all the time, now).

What I realized, though, is that the preacher's wife deals with that multiple times a week. For the women who can realize it, and for the pastors who know it, they can make a conscious effort to "reconnect" immediately.

But, if it is not realized, the disconnect carries from Sunday afternoon to Sunday night, and on Monday morning, each goes to work, or to do what they do, and they still have not reconnected.

Service after service.

Week after week.

Month after month.

Over time, the disconnect become "normal."

That's not cool. Or healthy.

If kids are in the house, I suspect it could be the same thing.

My prayer for all of my preacher friends, and their spouses, is that they connect each day, each week. That his wife is still his first ministry, and that he never forgets that. That his kids know him as daddy, first and foremost, and as preacher secondarily.

And, I continue to pray that the strain of the ministry in the church doesn't become a strain in the marital relationship.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Happy Birthday, Princess




My baby turned 4 today.


(around 11 days)



(around 7 months old)


(learning to pose early)







(18 months at Myrtle Beach. She LOVED the ocean. Especially when the waves knocked her over and swirled her around underneath the water. Oh yea, that was *fun.* At the end of the week, I looked at Bernard and said, "We are not coming back to the beach until both kids can swim." Travis has a healthy respect for the water. Kristi thinks she can swim.)






Kristi is, well, Kristi. At the ripe old age of four years old, she has all the answers and can provide you the questions as well. :) I could say a lot of things about Kristi, but here is a letter I wrote to her last year.

My dearest, most precious Princess Kristiana,

In the three years that you have crawled, walked, ran, and even engulfed this earth, I am amazed at how quickly you learn, and how adept you are at applying what you learn. You are absolutely beautiful, and the world seems captivated by your charming, chipped-tooth smile and sparkling blue eyes. You make people smile with you antics, and that is good.

However, as 3 turns to 4 and 5 and older, it might not be as cute. In light of that, can we please lay down some ground rules?

1. What goes up, will come back down. This includes, but is definitely not limited to, stuffed animals in the ceiling fans, golf balls, frisbees, food, and you. Yep. If you jump, you will land. The higher you jump, the harder you will land. I know that you think pink casts are "cute," and I know that you were absolutely, unabashedly impressed with Dr. Hedric and Ruth (especially) at Blue Ridge Bone and Joint, but that does not mean we need to make annual, or bi-annual visits there. Please, stop jumping off of the furniture. You cannot fly. I know this for a fact. I am a mama.

2. What goes in, will come out. One end or the other. I promise. When mama says, "Don't put that in your mouth," please listen. I am waiting for me to become a penny richer, and you a penny poorer.

3. Clothes are for wearing. I am very proud that you can put your own clothes on (even backwards). I am also proud that you can take them off. That means you are getting to be a big girl. However, there are rules that our society expects you to follow. At home, a diaper is fine. But, when mama's students arrive, you really need to keep your clothes on. Hannah and Elizabeth don't mind, but I think it may kinda bother Trail, McKinley and Seth. Also, it really alarms me when the preacher says "Amen," and I look up only to see you standing there grinning -- with nothing but your diaper on. When the grown ups are praying, please keep your clothes on.

4. The animals. Please be kind to the animals. Boomer, our dog, likes to play fetch. Chopper, the fish, does not. Please don't try to play with him, it makes him nervous.

5. Paper. Paper is very good for writing. And you are writing very well. You make the cutest little circles. But, this means write on the paper. Not the wall, the desks, the table, mama's business stuff, daddy's church stuff, the computer monitor, music books, or the pews at church. Especially not with those cool black Sharpie pens that daddy uses for work.

6. The refrigerator is NOT a good hiding place for your toys. Or you, either, for that matter.

7. Neither is the trash can.

8. You talk very well. And everyone can understand almost all of what you say. This is good. Sort of. Please don't tell everyone everything that Brooks or your brother says. Calling your Sunday School teacher (even if it is just me) a dweeb isn't nice.

9. I know Brayden, Chase, Sawyer and Brooks like to play tackle football. Travis does as well. However, they are bigger than you. Much bigger. You cannot tackle them. Please stop trying. Also, don't let them tackle you. They will hurt you, even if they don't mean to.

Kristi, I love you.
Mom

Now, where did you go?





Birthday Number ONE:


NUMBER FOUR


Happy Birthday, Princess

Thursday, February 05, 2009

In the Beginning



In the beginning, God. . . .

IF that was all the Bible said, I think I could find peace in it. Before there was time, before there was sin, before there was anything, there was God.

AND, it doesn't end there. God is NOW and God will always BE. Nothing outlasts Him; nothing outsmarts Him; nothing confounds Him; nothing confuses Him; nothing alarms Him.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ummmm. . . . . .

Anyone that knows me even a little bit knows that in the kitchen, I am a disaster waiting to happen.

To say the least, I am culinarily challenged. I choose to think my skills lie elsewhere, thankyouverymuch.

So, last night, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies. From scratch.

I also had an idea I wanted to try. I put a little spoonful of chipless cookie batter on the cookie sheet, sat a kiss on it, then covered it up with more batter. My thoughts were that it would be cool to have this cookie and when you bit into it, would find wonderful chocolate-y, gooey goodness.

But, I forgot how chocolate chip cookies "spread" as they cook. I think I needed thicker batter. :)

Anyway, here are the cookies. I have several names for them, none of which my husband approves.

hahahahahahahahahahahaha breathe, breathe, hahahahahahahahahahhaha.




Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gray Days

If it is going to be gray in January, I want snow, not rain. :) Of course, today would have been a BAD day for nasty weather because Bernard was on the road. Still, though.

Of course, the weather kinda matches my mood. :P

Last night was the first night in over a week that I didn't have a dream where I was trying to hold back a rolling car, being washed over by waves at high tide, driving in a flood, swimming in deep water and not getting up to breath, or something similar. I'm not one to do "dream interpretation," but I have been feeling fairly overwhelmed lately, and I think it is smacking me in my sleep.

My pictures are also showing it, somewhat. For the past week, even my color shots have been black and white. No kidding.

These shots, for example, were shot in color. Processed, and never converted to black and white, but still . . . .








I believe it is time for me to "Be still, and know that HE IS GOD."

No matter what the future holds, it is okay. He will take care of my family, and whatever His plan, if the status quo for my life does change, it will be for the better in the long run.

Scary? Very much so. At least for me. I don't like change. Heck, I'm not all hot fired happy over "challenges" in life. So at this point, when things *could* stay the same, or they *could* change majorily, I have to trust God. If I try to deal with it on my own, I will fighting those waves for quite some time.

It IS time for me to be still.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is His Education Failing Him?

or is he a helpless Romeo?



One of Trav's assignments this morning was to complete a nursery rhyme with a spelling word.

1. Georgie Porgie, puddin' and pie
Kissed the girls and made them _________________.

He read it, looked up at me, and said, "Sigh?"

I said, "no, look at the list of your words."

He read through them and said, "Cry?"

"WHY WOULD THE GIRLS CRY?????"

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hmmmmmm

Only when processing this picture did I realize the inherent "danger" I put myself in. . . . .

Happy Birthday, NINAW

Tuesday (tomorrow) is my mom's birthday. To celebrate, because our family is always looking for an excuse to go eat, we went to the Grizzly Grill at Smoky Falls Lodge -- Kasey's newest place of employment.

It was a small group, of course. My mom, her brothers Johnny/Clint (some people call him Johnny, others call him Clint -- don't ask me, I don't know), Claude, her sister "Gert," Gert's son, wife, two kids, my brother, his wife, 4 boys, my sister, her husband, two kids, Kasey, (boyfriend) Martin, my husband, two kids and myself. All in a restaurant. All together. Actually, they put us at 4 or 5 tables...

But, I digress.

So, my mom has a birthday. I could wax eloquent with mushy stuff, but anyone that knows my mom knows that doesn't fit. I stopped buying her mother's day cards years ago, because they were all sentimental and mom isn't. Mother's are generally associated with pretty flowers, softness, gentleness, etc. etc. etc.

My mom is more like brick walls and scrapping your way to the top. :)

But, we love her and we know that she loves us.

Ninaw (with the princess tiara) and her sister, Geraldine ("Gert")

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Adventure

I decided to go to the grocery store today (yea -- triple coupons). The only problem was that yesterday I had to leave the van at the bottom of the hill and walk in.

That means I had to walk OUT to the van today.

I waited until the thermometer showed over 40 (42 to be exact) and bundled the kids up for a trek.

Here is what we were facing --



Turn to the left 90d and this is what you see --


(There really is a difference between northern exposure and southern exposure).

Just to review --

Northern exposure


Southern exposure



Kristi, who is not quite 4, felt the whole journey *might* be too long for her, so we offered to assist in her transportation. Obviously, I couldn't take a picture of myself, so here is Trav showing our mode of transportation



Since I didn't know what faced me on the other side of the hill, my plan was to use the sled to haul the groceries back in the event that our van wouldn't climb the hill. However, the sun had helped us out and melted the first leg of the driveway, and the part I couldn't make it up yesterday (when it looked like this)

Before/After




On my other blog -- another picture from our neighborhood