29 April 2007
Can't wait to see your pages! Happy Scrappin'!
The pastor erred in not discussing the issue with me personally - not so that we could debate but in order to let me know where he was coming from. This is one place where putting yourself and your thoughts and your feelings out there on your blog can become a sticky situation. But this is my blog - a place for me to write what I am thinking and feeling. I am trying to understand why this is such a big issue for the community here. A discussion with someone who has lived here a while may have been helpful in achieving this understanding. But I had another huge alarm bell go off when the sermon last week concluded with the statement that the issue wasn't "debatable" or "up for discussion". I certainly would not disrespect a pastor by debating an issue with him, however, anytime someone in authority in a church will not discuss an issue, and stand as the be-all, end-all, final authority on God's word, it should alarm you. The pastors I have most respected are the ones that allowed you to talk to them, encouraged you to saturate yourself in God's word, and know what you believe because His word tells you, and not because someone tells you that this is what they've decided God's word says, the end.
I hate the idea of visiting churches again, however, we will be traveling for a couple of weeks, and I pray that God will use this time to refresh us while we visit a church I know I could fully belong to while we are away. We are also going to get to visit our friends who are back in the states from Romania, Karen and her family on our way through their state! It will be such a treat to get to see them again - even if it will be just for dinner and an overnighter. Can you believe that her parents are gracious enough to have me and five kids stay overnight at their home? They have already blessed me!
Um, yeah, I had better get off the internet and get packing! Yikes!
28 April 2007
27 April 2007
The kids are watching a movie right now. We have been trying to find other things to invest ourselves in. All five kids helped me work on making this:
It is a copycat idea from something a friend always made at baby showers in WV. I made one for my sister when she was pregnant with her daughter - it was equally as cute. This thing is loaded with baby stuff all the way around - as well as 3 packs of small sized diapers that can be used as the cake is disassembled. So, yes we made a cake - but we can't eat it! Thankfully.
I dread making the cheese ball and pizza dip that I promised. I am also preparing some baby shower games - does anybody know any good ones? We are doing the one where you put the baby food in the diaper and smell it to guess what kind it is, also the one where everybody selects an amount of toilet paper. (I'm not saying any more because I don't want to spoil it in case somebody attending the shower is reading this!)
I wanted to post my thoughts about this prohibitionist movement in the area where I live. It appears from reading the paper yesterday that the petition to have the issue of whether or not the county should allow alcohol sales on the next ballot or not has failed. It won't even make the ballot. No skin off my back - as I am not a regular drinker. However, as I have said, I would drink in moderation if I chose to without a guilty conscience.
The thing that is so perplexing to me is the emphasis on this one particular thing that people have such an issue with and complete neglect of other things that the Bible specifically forbids. (I do not think the Bible forbids the consumption of alcohol - but rather forbids drunkenness.) For instance, the fact that half or more of the church comes out the doors on Sundays to light up a smoke. What about our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit? (My temple is not spotless either - I am just illustrating a point.) Or the fact that the high school makes condoms available to students for 25 cents apiece. The last time I checked the Bible strictly forbids sex outside of marriage - period. Do we want to publish a list of the teens who are buying these things in the newspaper? How about the explicit pornography that is mixed in with the regular movies at the local video store? And yet every time I am in the store, half the Christians I have met in the area are in there as well. Where is the call to have that garbage removed from the shelves where our children can see it?
There are contradictions at every turn. Either we want the town completely clean - or we don't. Why is alcohol such a big issue? It is completely possible that the drunk driver that nearly caused a collision with my van filled with children was a resident of my county, leaving a bar in the next one because he couldn't buy alcohol in his own neighborhood. I am speculating - but my thinking is that we aren't really affecting the change we think. And what if all the preachers that are pouring so much energy into fighting this "evil" and keeping it out of their county put the same heart and soul into winning people over for Christ - even the drunks? That just might blow the lid off of the whole enchilada.
I just don't understand how people can get so fixated, hyper-focused on one area of what they consider unrighteousness, and miss the forest for the trees.
26 April 2007
25 April 2007
We met a real life hero - a man who served in and was awarded a Purple Heart for being shot down in WWII. His name was Frank. He also served in Korea and Vietnam. The kids stood and talked to him for a long time as he was sitting inside a mock-up of the space shuttle. He was very friendly - he liked the kids a lot. He kept calling the girls "beautiful". I asked him if we could take a picture of everybody with him, and he was happy to comply. He had more decorations on his hat than I think I've ever seen.
After visiting NASA and learning more about space than you could ever want to know - we ate Chinese and I got to have my fill of sushi! (yum yum) I had promised Jessie a trip to Sonic which I will make good later this week! She was gracious and allowed me to take a rain check!
I had decided the day before to take the kids to Galveston Island - which is only 30 minutes south of where we were in Houston - and make the NASA trip and the beach all in one day. The only trouble is that it was a very overcast, extremely windy day. That did not stop the six of them from jumping right into the ocean. I sat to watch them on the sand, and was freezing! (I was also covered with a fine grit of sand and salt!) The ocean was beautiful though - the powerful wind and waves causing me to worship the Creator.
There was so much salt and moisture in the air that few of my pictures out there appear to be very focused. I took them with the panoramic format in order to get the ocean splashing up on the rocks behind them.
Another fun thing that happened was in part due to my navigation of our route home. We left the beach around 8 pm - and found that you can take a ferry across so that you can make just a short 2 hour trip to our house. I knew that we didn't live far from the coast - but I didn't realize it was just that short of a trip. I was also surprised to find that the ferry is free - provided by the TX highway department. The kids were thrilled to get to ride the ferry. Jessie had never been on one before.
It was a very long day. We packed so much into that 24 hour period. We didn't get home until around 11:30 - held up half an hour by the near-miss accident. But it was a super day none of us will ever forget.
BTW - Kullen was there - and wondered why I never took any pictures of him - I explained that it was like trying to hit a moving target. Here is one of him in the ocean. Trying to get him to be still is like trying to nail jell-o to a tree!
Tonight - about 10:30 pm the kids and I were traveling home from a very long day (which I will blog about with excitement tomorrow) through Beaumont. We were going about 65-70 mph, and suddenly traffic in front of me came to an abrupt stop. I swerved left hard and then realizing that wasn't going to give me enough time, I swerved right and ended up bringing the car to a stop on the right hand shoulder next to the car that had been in front of me. There was a single car accident two cars ahead of us. I had 6 children in the car - 3 of which did not belong to me. We were all shaken so badly - but we were praising Jesus that we were safe. I asked the officer directing traffic if it had been a single car accident. When he answered affirmatively, I stated that the wind had been making driving a challenge for me all day - to which he replied, "Yeah, well you aren't drunk either."
Wow. In spite of this incident - it wasn't the alcohol but the person who chose to overindulge in alcohol that was the problem. I think prohibition should have taught us that people will find a way to have what they want - and the more forbidden the fruit is made the more the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve will reach for it, and find ways to have it. I wish we could change hearts instead of trying to make useless laws. How long will history have to repeat itself? Don't get me wrong - I was mad as hell at the driver who came a breath away from causing an accident that involved us - but I think we're approaching it all wrong.
Thank you Jesus for saving us, and for SAVING us!
24 April 2007
I encountered some of this when I was the coordinator of a co-op for the homeschool families where we lived in West Virginia. Every minute detail of how things were run was constantly in question. I was talking to a more mature woman about the subject and she said to me that people are just rebellious against authority. We don’t live in a society where that is respected – even to the end of people making fun of the President – not just his politics but how he looks, walks and talks, what he wears, etc.
The opposite extreme of this is people who follow any authority like blind sheep. This specifically annoys me when it is in a church setting. People amen anything the pastor says with little or no knowledge for themselves about God’s word and what it says. They sit swallowing what is spoon fed and never question, never dig deeper into the Word for their own growth, and never ask questions. When a pastor or leader says that something is “not up for discussion”, I think that is dangerous territory. I may even suggest cultish. Anybody who tells me I have to believe what they say without question treads on altogether different and seriously more dangerous territory.
22 April 2007
Here is my page for week 2 - the pictures were taken at a Presidential Rally a couple of years ago. The America kit I used seemed perfect for the patriotic theme. I don't remember where I got it.
Let's see some of your pages! Post your page on your blog and link up here. Don't forget to only grab the link to the specific post where your page for this week is posted - it helps the rest of us find it without having to sort through all of your other posts.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at julientexas at sbcglobal dot net.
Thanks! Happy Scrappin'!
21 April 2007
This afternoon we went to a Homeschool Co-op group family picnic. It was rather low key - but pretty fun regardless. We played some volleyball, ate a picnic lunch and had some enjoyable conversations. It was fun.
I am learning that the sun in Texas has a higher degree of intensity than what I am used to. I was not in the direct sunlight for most of the afternoon - and managed to get sunburned. My face, arms and chest are pretty pink. It could have been much worse, but I honestly didn't think I was getting that burned - however, you do feel somewhat like you are being radiated in the sunlight.
Recently, I have been noticing more and more women exiting public restrooms without washing their hands. This has little to do with the rest of the post, but I was making a disgusting observation. These same women touch the knobs on the doors and the handles on the carts that I have to touch. Gross!
Okay - so I blogged today - it is more like an uninteresting list of events of the day and one random thought. I know you missed me though - and I couldn't leave you hanging any longer.
20 April 2007
Last night it had me thinking about my relationship with my own dad. My parents were divorced when I was nine and my dad immediately started a new family. I felt on the outside. I know that I never felt anchored, secure or truly, deeply loved just for who I am. It made a traumatic impact on the choices I made in life. I am not placing blame at my dad's feet. I know as an adult that generally he did the best that he could. I, however, am still constantly battling the wounds and scars from growing up feeling so utterly and desperately worthless.
This could have two effects on my life. The first being that I sit around drinking bitter gall of resentment - for the love I didn't feel, for the life I didn't have and for the consequences I have to endure from the actions of others. OR, I can experiencing the healing touch of a loving Father who does truly and deeply love me - so much that He gave His own Son for us. I can see that everything that happened was to draw me closer to Him. If I had skipped the pain and hurt, would I love Him as much for saving me from myself? I would surely have been a different person, and that fact fills me with gratitude for the redemptive work He's done in me, and for the love of a Heavenly Father that surpasses anything this world has to offer.
I am so thankful to know fathers that invest so much in the lives of their daughters. I know it is making a difference in their lives, their choices, and how they view the Heavenly Father. They are a picture to their children of His love in this world. But I am a testimony that even when that image is marred, the love of Christ can still be revealed.
19 April 2007
Update: It is 11 pm and we still haven't found her. Please continue to pray. Mama kitty may know where she is and be taking care of her elsewhere. My house has been turned upside down - but still no sign of her.
Update: 11 am Friday - still no kitten. I don't know where else to look. I am so sad about it. Please keep praying - for a miracle. I worry that wherever she is that if she hasn't eaten in 24 hours - she is starving.
Here are 13 evidences to the fact that my house has been overrun with teenage girls:
Thirteen Evidences to a Teen Girl Invasion
What you can see:
4. Cell phones
5. Make-up and assorted brushes, toiletries and hair implements - both electrical and non-electrical
What you can smell:
6. Body wash, and shampoo drifting in a cloud of steam
8. Bubble Gum
9. Mouth wash
What you can hear:
10. Loud music and singing
13. Deep heartfelt conversations about God, boys, music, politics, etc. You name it - they're talking about it!
18 April 2007
Also - breaking news - this morning I knew something was up when the cat didn't knock me over on my way to the bathroom to get my attention so I would FEED HER. This evening we returned home after a long day out and couldn't find her. It was strange - so we thought maybe she snuck out when one us opened the door and we didn't notice. We have been trying hard to keep her inside because we are worried she'll get up under our house or a neighbor's house and have those kittens - who will in turn become snake food. We looked everywhere - under beds, in closets, and didn't find her. A second search eventually found her way back behind Kendra's formal dress that was hanging in my bedroom closet. Her eyes were wide - and beside here were six squirming kittens! They are so gorgeous! You know I have to show you:
It looks like two white kittens who may end up looking like their mama, two very calico-ish kittens, one black kitty and one that seems to have stripes. They do seem to change as they get older - but it is a gorgeous variety. Fat Mama (a/k/a Rayne or Princess Sushi) should be so proud! She seems to be taking very good care of them. She did NOT like us moving them from my closet to Kaitlyn's - so we accommodated the princess and moved everything OUT of my closet so she could make a home for her babies there for the time being.
Earlier today - while making a grocery shopping trip for a month's worth of groceries, Kendra and Kullen decided they had enough of Walmart and wanted to go to the car so I gave them the keys. TheY ran the radio and the fan - and long story short - drained my battery. 45 minutes later AAA was there giving me a jump-start. I am going to have to get a new one before we make our trip to WV in a week and a half!
I have also cleaned out my inbox, sorted emails and got generally caught up on work (ah but there will be more tomorrow!), made dinner, and have bread baking in the oven now at half past midnight! I have a long day tomorrow too - so I had better get my butt to bed!
Hope y'all are doing well - I missed my blogging buddies today!
Love ya ~ Jewls
16 April 2007
If you are visiting this blog - perhaps you have your own blog, no? I need some other bloggers to help me get the word out about my Scrap Happy Meme. Even if you don't scrapbook, if you would be willing to put up a post about the meme, or link it on your side bar - it would be so great! There is a button and a banner that you could grab and link up. If you need me to email you the link - please feel free to request that as well in the comments or by sending me an email at julientexas at sbcglobal dot net.
I'd appreciate it so much!
Thanks ~ Jewls
- My friend Kate at In a Shoe is the mom to like 100 kids. She is a birth mother, foster mother, adoptive mother and a grandmother! I wish she would adopt me, but she's too darn young! She blogs about saying goodbye when kids leave her nest whether they spread their wings or transfer to a different one, and teaching her children that God loves the prostitute and Sunday school teacher alike.
- Kate's husband, James at Small Green River has a writing style that reflects the way his side of a conversation might go in real life. He is a straight shooter, who has a knack for irony. His posts make me think and laugh at the same time. I had to read his post about mowing to my husband. He also has this little blog that I can't get to come up on my Google Reader. He is one of THE most intelligent guys I know but he can't seem to enable his RSS feed! Hmm? Or maybe he just doesn't want me to read it!
- My friend Joanne used to have a blog that was called Cheaper than Therapy. Boy isn't that the truth? I used to be so envious of that witty name. Now she blogs at Only Wanted to Comment. I love the way she puts things. It is just so clever - like her blog names. She posts about things from the smoke detector being the dinner bell to forgiveness. There are also some really deep posts about things such as plumber's crack as well, so don't miss those when you visit!
- My friend and accountability partner, Leslie a/k/a Boltbabe from Raise the Cup and Journey to Simplicity. We have been blogging buddies for a while. She blogs about a myriad of subjects - from frugal living to current events and politics to book reviews at her two blogs. There's always something to learn when you visit. One of my favorite posts ever was the one about the day she spotted a wild cat in her yard and took pictures for her blog! (I'm sure it wasn't just for her blog - but I like to tease. Ya gotta love a blogger who will risk life and limb to keep their blog stimulating!)
- Fatty at Life on the Rocks is a relatively new blogger. I found her blog one day when she left a comment to one of my posts. We found out quickly that we had a lot in common, and she inspired my quote contest. She writes about all kinds of things - but this quote I read at her blog recently seems to sum it up: in the midst of all the chaos there's laughter, there's love, there are tears, there are frustrations...but there is life. a full and vibrant life...if we just take the time to live it. She's living her life to the fullest - and taking us along for the ride. She's also an amazing artist and shares a lot of her artwork at her blog.
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.
Feel free to post any info about how you created the page, what you used to create the page, what inspired the page, or anything else you would like to share.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me by messaging here - or email me at julientexas at sbcglobal dot net.
Without further adieu, here is my page for week 1:
I bought two kits a year ago to benefit a digital designer, Laura Vanderbeek when she was first diagnosed with cancer. The kits came in four parts - and to make this page, I used a mixture of kits 1 and 4. I have been waiting to use it for just the perfect picture with my friends. I think it turned out quite nice.
Just so you know, if you click on the picture it will enlarge it so you can view the page better.
Note: I just checked this feature out - and if you post the original image size it makes your page HUMONGOUS - Just FYI, you may want to post it in a "gallery size".
15 April 2007
This morning we discussed the issue a bit in Sunday School. I remember something the pastor said about a month ago - in essentials unity, in non-essentials, peace. This is not an issue upon which our salvation hangs, and as such would qualify for the non-essential category. Alcohol is not forbidden in the Bible, although God's word clearly forbids drunkenness. I understand completely that as believers that we should stand for righteousness and against wickedness. The alcohol is not the evil thing - but how people behave because they overindulge. I see gluttony as a rampant sin that permeates the body of Christ (four fingers pointing at myself), and yet outlawing chocolate cake will do little to induce righteousness. I don't think you can legislate morality. The difference is that you do not become intoxicated if you eat chocolate cake, and do foolish things that you later regret. It pretty much ends with regretting the chocolate cake. Drunkenness on the other hand lowers inhibitions and makes you far more vulnerable to other sin - you name it.
My husband who grew up in a dry county pointed out that living in a "dry" county seemed to increase the incidence of drunk driving. Those desiring to purchase alcohol would head out across the county line on Friday and Saturday nights to drive-thru liquor stores and start drinking on their way back home.
There are uses for alcohol other than "partying" or intoxication. I have had more than one doctor recommend drinking a small glass of wine for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even pre-term labor. (I was in the final trimester and was having some miserably unproductive contractions.) I drink alcohol on a rare occasion, and feel no conviction against doing so. As a Christian, my biggest concern is causing someone who has a weakness towards drunkenness to stumble if they should see me buying or drinking alcohol, so I drink in extreme moderation.
The issue here has become quite heated. This week's newspaper is full of letters from readers, the majority of which are against the sale of alcohol in this county. There is one zealous pastor who takes out huge ads in the paper who seems to be provoking more discord than stirring the hearts of the community towards godly living. I wonder at that, and what the point might be in publishing a list of names that are already on public record. Jesus did not publish the names of the long list of men associated with the woman at the well - that would have been more the style of the Pharisees. I don't know what the right answer is - but I do know that making laws won't help us clean up those whose lives have been destroyed by alcohol. Christ alone can make that difference.
14 April 2007
- Do all that you have said you will do
- Do not encroach on others or their property
I was thinking about this the other day when we were watching some episodes from the first season of LOST. (I do not typically watch much television but this one came recommended - thanks Karen!) A group of 40 some people survive a plane crash and are stranded on a deserted island. They go about making a "community" among themselves as the chances of being rescued appear slim. At one point they realize an intruder - someone who was on the island before they were - has infiltrated their community - and start taking inventory of who was on the plane - comparing personal information from each individual and comparing it to the flight manifest. Hurley, the self-appointed statistician, initiates this beginning form of "island government", and one of the other island members accuses him of imposing his own brand of the "Patriot Act". However, it was this check that was done that helped them find the intruder in their midst. The truth of the matter is that while often we are resistant to the restraints of government, and the privacy and freedoms that we have to give up, we all want to know about the other guy. It really made me think.
So while juris naturalis may indeed be an excellent standard to live by, as are the Ten Commandments, who can do it?
1 pound sausage, browned and drained (I added chopped onion)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
8 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
Cube bread and place evenly in greased 9x13 pan or baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with sausage and cheese. Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over ingredients in pan. (May cover and chill overnight - if you do this remove from fridge 15 minutes before baking.) Bake 45 minutes at 325 degrees or until set. Cut in squares to serve.
Serves 8 - 10.
My husband loved this. Good thing - he's having it for dinner, as we are going to play Lazer Tag with the youth group!
13 April 2007
Today we had a day at the park scheduled. I got a bit of a late start, but it was raining, and I wondered if they would still have it. TWO HOURS later I found my way there - but it was worth it. The park was nice, and the weather was a little windy but comfortably cool, although overcast. I was so frustrated before we got there. It was my own fault, as I didn't print out the directions. Since I had read them, I thought I was alright, but I was very wrong. I stopped three times for directions - but nobody knew where this park was, or they didn't seem to know the name of any street, landmark, etc. that might have helped me get there. I used to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains where there were few street signs, and managed to give people fairly competent directions to get from one place to another. I have not had a good experience with directions since we got here.
Anyway, I'm tired - but that's a recap of things that have been going on since I last blogged. I have been having some deep thoughts lately - but those will have to wait for later. Have a super weekend!
12 April 2007
The smell of these things take me elsewhere:
1. Mangoes remind me of our Cuban neighbors when I lived in South Florida in elementary school.
2. Boxwood shrubs remind me of my grandparents house when I was a little girl. I remember standing, waiting an eternity for my parents to stop talking so we could leave and sometimes burying myself in them. I also remember lying to take a nap on the front porch glider, and the air all around smelled like them.
3. Estee Lauder perfumes remind me of my mother. She wore several different ones, but she would always leave a cloud of her current scent behind her when she left for work.
4. A fireplace with wood burning reminds me of the home of friends who rescued my friend and I with four of our children off of the Appalachian Trail.
5. Hot apple cider makes me think of fall, and leaves, festivals and hayrides.
6. Moth balls put me in mind of my grandmother’s house when I was a little girl.
7. Elmer’s glue and crayons remind me of elementary school.
8. Peaches always remind me of Georgia and turning 13.
9. Hairspray (the heavy scented aerosol kind) reminds me of my aunt and her bouffant hairdo.
10. Bubble gum and strawberry are two scents that remind me of my first lip gloss, when I was old enough to wear it.
11. The smell of the mall – perfumes, acrylic nails, cinnamon buns, pizza – all swirl together to remind me of being a teenager.
12. Honeysuckle reminds me of summer.
13. Fresh cut grass is a childhood memory – the smell of it mingled with my dad’s sweat made me feel safe and cared for.
My daughter has a new friend. He is a special young man, you can tell this when you first meet him. Some other teens that we have met tell us that he is the VP of the CIA (Christians in Action) club at school. He used to be a leader in the youth group. His spiritual life seems to be in a bit of a slump. His appetites for the things of the world seem to be on the increase. He loves the Lord, and every single time I see him, even though he pulls up playing music that I don’t want my 9 year old to hear, he is wearing a “Christian t-shirt”. The last time he was here, I was asking him why I don’t see him in church. He comes to Sunday school, but he goes directly to work at one of the only local restaurants after that. I told him that stunk – to which he replied, “Yeah. The people who come in after church are our WORST customers.” While the enemy and the world are enticing his heart towards its values, those who profess the name of Christ are pushing him away. Evidently these “Christians” are demanding, rude, picky, and leave poor tips. Yes, we are only human, and everybody has a bad day, but if we are being constantly transformed into His image – these instances should be very few and far between. And what about going back to apologize when you have that occasional "bad day"?
I have been in gatherings where others have acted hateful to our wait-staff, only to turn around and bow their heads over their meal. It smacks of hypocrisy. If you are going to behave badly, don’t wear your “Christian” jewelry, t-shirts or bumper stickers. Just blend in with the homogenous crowd – which is all you are doing anyway – but don’t defame the Name of MY Jesus. Or, decide right now to be different – swim upstream against the flow of the crowd, and you’ll never know what an impact your words and actions may make to a watching world.
Regardless of your opinion on whether we should or should not be in Iraq, shouldn't we all be giving our soldiers this kind of reception? This sacrificial love for country benefits us all, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. This man has the right idea - and we're sure proud to say he's from Texas!
1 onion diced
2 ribs celery, diced
10 3/4 oz can chicken noodle soup (I am not using this - I am cooking linguine and adding some chicken broth)
12 oz can of Chinese vegetables (hate canned veggies - I am using frozen)
salt to taste, about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp
pepper to taste, about 1/4 tsp
1 green pepper diced (will omit because it's in the frozen veggies)
1 tsp soy sauce
1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker
2. Cover. Cook on High 3-4 hours
3. Serve over rice (I won't do that because I'm using noodles)
So - this recipe is really just a base to get started making it the way I'd really like it. I got this recipe from the Fix it & Forget it cookbook.
You can find more yummy recipes later today at Diary of a SAHM.
11 April 2007
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name ~ let the nations sing it louder
Cause nothing has the power to save
But Your Name
Today I was listening to the radio and heard the theme song of their new CD "Top of My Lungs". It was awesome. Listening to it on the way home this evening with Kendra I started bawling when the song "Amazed" was playing. The chorus goes like this:
Lord, I'm amazed by You
Lord, I'm amazed by You ~ how You love me
If you're looking for a good CD - this one comes highly recommended.
Can I just say that I am NOT ready for this? The "learner's" part that is. What this means is that there is a whole lot to learn for her, and a whole lot to teach for me. Here she is sitting behind the wheel of the nicest car I have ever had. Could somebody explain to me how that happens? As soon as we can afford a decent vehicle, we have to put it in the hands of our children!
I let her drive from the DPS office and through the middle of town. She did a great job......until......she made a screeching turn into the video store parking lot and nearly took out a shrub. It shook both of us up a bit, but the point was made as to the power of a moving vehicle. I know the girl that was working inside the video store thought she was coming straight through that front window. After we realized it was alright we both laughed quite a bit. Whew! In my attempt at photo journalism and love of scrapbooking, I took this picture of her first skid-mark. Thankfully it was across some grass, and her foot found the brake.
Please pray for us during this time. We are experiencing growing pains!
This morning I read about Heather - she is one of the super talented ladies behind the Homeschool Blog Awards. She just found out she has cancer, likely in her brain. Please pray for her and her family. These are surely scary days for all of them. Pray for her healing, the wisdom of doctors, for the Lord to help her with the sense that this is not fair. It doesn't seem fair.
This morning the revelation was this - life is too short to allow insecurity and discouragement rob us of our days. How can I get it so twisted in my feeble little mind?
Lord be with Heather today.
10 April 2007
Tonight, I feel like Leah. You know, from the Bible. She’s the one whose father tricked Jacob into marrying her. That is pretty much how I have felt most of my life. Deep down it is my secret fear that nobody would be with me unless they had to - parent, friend, spouse, children. There’s that warm fuzzy word – obligation. Ugh. Is there anyone as familiar as I am with this intense struggle with insecurity? I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Most days I am a happy-go-lucky person, but these attacks on my heart come with a vengeance. I know that it is spiritual in nature. I know that the goal of the enemy is bigger than just my personal discouragement. I would like to turn the tables on him - I know who I am in Christ. He has told me I am His child. He loves me and wants me. I have to totally and completely make this statement in faith – because truly most times I don’t believe it in my heart of hearts. And I know my thinking is flawed. Just as soon as I begin to think to myself – “why would He want me?” there is a preconceived notion that He would want me for anything that I myself can offer. The truth is that I cannot do anything to earn His love. In my life this insecurity has taken on many facets. It has made me bail on relationships before they could bail on me. It has made me hurt others who have truly loved me, in complete and utter panic to make a quick escape. I am thankful that since I have become a Christian the acting out of these episodes has become almost non-existent. However, the working them out of my own heart and mind seems a bit more complicated. I will pray to take captive every thought that sets itself up against the knowledge of Christ. I believe His word to be true – even when my feelings go completely against it – I will choose to believe that HE loves me, and that no matter what may come in life, HE will never leave me or forsake me.
This is real life blogging here people - I couldn't make this up. Pollyanna didn't show up tonight!
I thought since BOTH of my girls mentioned it in the previous post - that perhaps y'all would like the recipe to these awesome blueberry muffins that I made for the first time on Easter Sunday. I got this recipe from the Taste of Home cookbook - and it was wonderful. We will definitely make them again!
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add berries and toss gently. Combine the eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
2. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. (personal note: whenever I make muffins, I always sprinkle sugar on the tops if the muffin doesn't have a topping - it makes a nice sweet crust on the top) Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
Yield: about 1 dozen
Note: If using frozen berries, do not thaw before using.
These were terrific. We will definitely be making them again.
09 April 2007
Here is Kendra's telling of what happened:
You Mean the World to Me. . .
The only reason I got up as early as I did yesterday morning was because my mom woke me up saying, "We have warm blueberry muffins in the kitchen!" My sister and I stumbled out into the kitchen and sat at the island eating our muffins sleepily.
That's when my dad came up beheind us and started hugging us, and said, "I love you girls." Then he stood up and stood across from us on the other side of the island. "I love you girls a lot," he said. "Well, a little anyway," he teased. Then smiling, "No really, I love you girls a lot. And I want you to guard your...what's the word...What's that word, Julie?" When he said this, he reminded me of my Papa, who always wanted the right word. Even when he had a brain tumor and he couldn't remember any word he wanted, he always wanted his speech to be perfect, and apologized incessantly when he couldn't find the right word.
"Innocence?" Mom suggested. "Yeah that..." he said. "And also your...virtue." I could tell he was 'settling' by using the word virtue, because he couldn't find the right one. "So I got you girls something to remind you." Just then he pulled out two beautiful little jewelry boxes. The one he laid in front of me was pastel blue with a pretty little blue ribbon tied around it. My sister's was the same except it was light pink instead. We opened the boxes, and in mine was a silver necklace with a silver heart shaped charm on the end of it, which had a keyhole in the middle and pink little stones aroud the edge. Next to it was a key, which also had pink stones on it. My sister's was the same, except that it had light purple stones. "Now I want you girls to keep these necklaces," he said. "And I'm going to keep the key, and on your wedding day, I'm going to give the key to your husband." Then he put the necklaces on us himself. Now this was truly an effort for him, because as my mom describes it, it's like he 'has big toes for fingers'. =D My sister and I were awestruck...Not that we don't think our dad loves us...It's just that he has a unique love language. He shows us he loves us by giving to us, and by talking to us. He tells us he loves us as well, but just the fact that he would put so much thought and romance into something like this was amazing. I truly appreciate this gift...It is a wonderful one, because he didn't just shove some necklaces at us and have it be a gift...He showed us that he truly loved us with a gift that had more substance than material worth. I will always keep this necklace and wear it as often as possible...I will always keep this memory treasured in my heart...and if my Dad leaves this earth before Jesus comes back (and for that matter, if he leaves it before I do) I will always have that memory and the knowledge that he loves me. I hope I can give him a gift someday with as much worth as that. I love you so much, Daddy! Thank you!
PS - He eventually found the word he wanted. It was 'purity'=D
Here is what Kaitlyn had to say about the special gift:
Yesterday, Kendra and I woke up to the warm smell of blueberry muffins. We sat at the island and waited for them to come out. Daddy walked in to the kitchen, and started talking to us, and eventually he started talking to us about this. He told us that he loved us a whole lot, and that he wanted us to stay his girls, until we got married, and that he wanted our marriages to be centered around Jesus. He told us that he wanted us to keep our hearts pure, and ourselves pure. He gave us two beautiful necklaces with a heart lock charm, mine is purple. Each necklace came with a key, and Dad said that he was going to give the key to our husbands on our Wedding day. I love my Daddy so much, and it means the world to know that he cares about what we do with ourselves, and our lives. I respect, and love him sooooo much. It was all his own idea.
This post deserves a purity testimony as well. When I was younger, my Mom started talking to me about Sex, and purity, and I thought to myself, ' I can do this, I can stay pure, how hard can it be?' And I would just brush it off my shoulder. Now that I'm older the pressure of the world is closing in on me, and I finally understand how hard it really can be. A while ago, I made my decision. Until that day, until God tells me the person is right, until everything is in it's place, I will remain pure, I will keep myself pure for my God, and my future husband. And Until then, I will guard not just my body, but my heart and mind from anything that will cause me to stumble. I am not ashamed of my decision.
I Thank Jesus, My Parents, Mrs. Tina F, and Kendra for helping me with my decision.
I had to snag these from their MySpaces and copy them here so that you could read them for yourselves. The look on their faces was the most precious and priceless thing I have ever seen. It means so much as a teenage girl to know that you have a daddy that loves you. It helps you make right choices. To know you have a father who will stand up for you holding out for God's best for you, is beyond words. Their necklaces have a lock, and daddy holds the keys. He told them he was keeping the keys until the day he hands them over to the man that they marry one day. I don't think he'll be handing these over to just anyone!
08 April 2007
Feel free to link back here - share with other bloggers! Let my shame be theirs! bwaaahhaahaaha!
The thing that stood out to me most from the sermon this morning is how Jesus not only has Creator-rights, but He has Redeemer-rights. I heard a story a long time ago of a little boy who built a boat and put it in the water only to have it carried away by the current. Later he was walking past a toy shop window and saw HIS boat! The shop owner told him that he would have to buy it, so the little boy worked diligently to save enough money to get the boat back. The day he was able to buy back his boat, he walked out of the store clutching his treasure in his hands. He said, "Now you're twice mine! I made you, and I bought you!" What a precious picture of the Creator/Redeemer Christ.
I'm so glad He's risen, that my name may be written in Heaven. I have experienced the joy of a redeemed life. I pray that YOU know Him too!
07 April 2007
This is the only picture I could get of all three of my kids in one spot - and this is before the ground was even white! See all the cutie-patootie native Texans in the background - they threw the door open and the whole crowd of us came in and out watching this in awe and wonder! Good thing my girls turned around at the last minute and went inside to grab their coats when we were leaving the house. I was wearing capri pants, a spring shirt and a lightweight jacket - in total denial. I was freezing! A white Easter? Whoda thunk it?
On another very interesting note, on our way home the neighboring town was hosting a "Dogwood Festival" and they were shooting off fireworks as we came through, so we pulled over to stand in the sleet and watch them! I KNOW that is a first - I've never seen fireworks and snow on the same day!