Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Backyard Fun and Parenting at McDonald's

My friend Brittney told me I am addicted to blogging and I might need psychiatric help. I think she is right. I really do like posting things...kind of like online scrapbooking except my out of town family can see things the very day they happen. How cool is that? Whew, I talked myself out of spending thousands on a counselor! We got to play in the backyard for a long time this afternoon. Eli is now able to throw Cade the baseball which makes my "photographer" job much more fun and relaxing. The weather was perfect...80's and not a drop of humidity. Oh, better enjoy it and be thankful for it while we can!
Afterwards, I loaded them up for a surprise trip to McDonald's. Eric was out of town, so we got to splurge on chicken nuggets and no dishes to clean up. Every once in awhile I like to let the kids do something that I really would rather not do. Something that stretches me as a Mom and allows them to be kids. So, we sat outside in the little outside area at McDonald's. You are probably thinking that this is really not that big of a deal, but you are wrong. The wind was going CRAZY, and we spent most of our time chasing bags across the ground. Of course, the boys were outside and they were acting like it instead of acting like they were at a restaurant. (Does eating outside at Mickey D's qualify at being at a restaurant? Do the same inside restaurant rules apply?) Is it wrong when your almost 8 year old shoves an apple wedge horizontally in his mouth and gets down in a football stance and yells, "down, set, hut!!" (Smiling to show off his mouthpiece.) (All of this was taking place to the background 80's music from the restaurant across the street. You know, songs like "We didn't start the Fire" and "I am an angel.") After getting up again after being instructed to sit still, he got Webkins taken away for the day. I really want to be a Mom who laughs with and enjoys her children, but I also want them to be disciplined and obedient. That is the struggle I am living with. I don't want to live my life constantly instructing them. I had an idea while sitting eating my grilled chicken over a bed of semi-green lettuce leaves. Sometime I am going to purposefully go into a restaurant or other public place and instruct Cade and Eli that I will not tell them how to behave during the episode. They will be expected to act the way they know is right. (I will only intervene if they are in danger.) They will be forewarned that there will be consequences if they are out of control. I will not offer a reward beforehand because that is bribery. (Usually my kids are very good; I don't want readers to think I have little hellions.) Is this a legalistic approach? I am just tired of feeling like I constantly instruct them. I think I am being overly-anxious about this because Eric has been out of town all week and I am tired-of-parenting-alone.
I will be flat out honest here. I think sometimes I am consumed that my family do everything right and look right doing it. Could that possibly be pride? I don't want to live in anxiety of maintaining an image of a "good family." I just want us to live a life of joy and peace, offering grace and love to those in need. I am not saying we need Joy and no discipline. I think they have to go hand in hand. I just pray the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of joy more and more through my life as I Mother these boys. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Go Phillies!

After a great game, we left with it all tied up. Since it was 8:30 pm and all of the kids needed baths, I really wasn't too upset that they weren't going to keep playing in order to find a winner. Cade had a great line drive and scored! I got so tickled at all of the cute kids out there...I think their favorite part of the game was yelling, "Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh, batter batter!!!"

Eli and Sam had their own kind of fun...chasing every kid there and running around (in designated borders.) Sam even found himself a little blonde hottie his own age to chase around. She was a looker, too. He already knows how to pick them. The last picture is of Eli and Sam....worn out and ready to go home (and it wasn't even dark yet, eek!)

Heifer Project Field Trip

Cade and I went to the Heifer Ranch today in Perryville for his field trip! It was gorgeous outside. This was my first time to go and I was so excited because I have always wanted to know more about it. The ranch has goats, sheep, cattle, llamas, camels, water buffalo, rabbits, horses, and pigs. The kids learn about how one single goat can make a humongous difference in the life of a family in a place like Africa. The goat can provide milk, materials, muscle, money, meat, and 2 other "m" words that have escaped me. If a family can own just a goat, then they can sell extra milk and send their kids to school. I was once again humbled at how lavishly we live in our country. It was great fun to do something with just Cade (and a ton of other first and second graders!)

It's A......BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shane and Anna had their baby! The little sucker came out screaming, "I am boy; I can't wait to get my hands on those so-called bigger brothers of mine!" His name is Jack Tyler. He weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. He is just perfect and has a gorgeous skin color. Personally, I think he favors Reed but with darker hair like Luke's. I got to be in the hospital waiting room with their families and it was such a blast when Shane came out carrying his little guy for all to see. What a thrill to see everyone's expressions when they found out what it was! When Luke and Reed saw the baby, Luke said, "That is Reed's baby, not mine!" (Maybe he thought he was going to get his own...I think deep down, the little guy wanted a sister....he does love pink!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Country Clubs and Harps

Eric played in a golf tournament this weekend. He is good. Really good. Like, talent that came from God, good. Golf is one of those sports that is good to know as you get older, something to enjoy after you lose your knees in basketball and your back in football. Country clubs and golf usually go hand in hand. Eric and I laugh, because neither one of us are the "country club" type--whatever that is. Last night, after 27 holes of golf in one day, the club treated the golfers and their spouses to a nice Mexican taco/fajita bar. I don't enjoy the country club scene, but I will do anything for a free Mexican meal. (By the way, why on earth are they called country clubs---I was raised in the country and there really isn't anything country about the clubs!) After sitting at a table by ourselves, I started to resort back into the person that God has worked so hard to redeem and change. I wanted to crawl in a hole and go suck my thumb. Borrowing Eli's blanket even sounded good. I hate being in new situations surrounded by people I don't know. God has brought me so least I can function in those situations now without wishing I had a Depends on. Sitting at that table, I got tickled at something that happened to Eric and I when we were first married. He worked for Arkansas Family Council then...specifically with doctors around the state. We got invited to one of the doctor's birthday parties in Little Rock one time. It was around Christmas. We decided to go to the mall first. We almost didn't make it to the party because my silver Mercury Topaz did not want to start. The poor thing did not have working A/C...but that is irrelevant because it was winter. After we finally found the affluent neighborhood, we decided to park downhill with no one in front of us, in case we needed to push the car later in order to get it going. I knew we were in trouble when every single car there was either an SUV or some BMW or Mercedes. We boldly approached the door, was kindly let in, and walked into the most beautiful sound. I figured they went all out and had some nice CD playing for the guests, but I was wrong. In the upper sitting room that looked over the staircase sat a harpist and her real live golden harp. Oh, boy, we WERE in trouble! We looked at everyone around us and noticed that we were grossly under dressed in our neatly pressed khaki pants and loafers. Like I said, it was around Christmas, and every lady had on her Christmas sweater or metallic outfit she had bought for the year. The men were in their matching sweaters or suits and ties. Yep, definitely out of my comfort zone. I was longing for the Old Testament story of the earth opening up and swallowing some people...swallow me...any sort of rescue would have been great! We were then ushered into the dining room where there was a feast of food that I have never to this day seen the likes of. Bacon wrapped shrimp, and a million other things that tasted delish. Too bad I was thinking about dropping it on my shirt...I could not even enjoy it. After begging Eric if we could leave, we did not. Instead, we got engrossed in some couple's dilemma on what kind of birthday party they were going to throw for their child this year. They were leaning towards renting a clown. I figured a good old cake and ice cream social with the fam just wasn't going to cut it. After Eric still wouldn't let us leave, I decided to go hide in the bathroom. I didn't know how much time I could kill by washing my hands, but I wanted to give it a shot. When we finally left, I was so thrilled that my car started. I think it would have been the death of me to have to walk back in there and ask someone to give us a "jump." Funny story now, but not so much then. God has stretched me a lot over the years and put me in many situations that have demanded I get over my shyness or whatever you want to call it. Most of the time, I do pretty well in new situations, but sometimes, like at the country club, it all comes crashing back in on me. I guess "He's still working on me." (Do you know that old children's song?)


This post is for the sheer purpose of bringing a smile to my Dad's face! Why else would I give up my secret childhood nickname for all to know? It is one of those things that is only shared between father and don't get any ideas. I think the story goes something like this: I was about two years old with pigtails in my hair. My Dad and Uncle Karl were working on building our house in Fayetteville that I lived in during most of my childhood. I was flittin' around this way and that...doing who knows what...and my Uncle said, "you know, she looks like a little Lulu!" Well, that is all my Dad needed. It stuck. Growing up I don't know if I really enjoyed the name, but it was precious to me because it was my Dad's name for me. Now that I am older, and have nicknames for my own kids, it is even more precious to me. I believe with all my heart that if I ever do have a little girl, then my Dad will call his granddaughter "Lil' Lulu" no matter what Eric and I name her. Some things in life just make your heart swoon. :) Love you, Dad!

For fun...what nicknames do you have for your matter what their ages??

Just Waiting

Do you ever feel like your whole life consists of waiting? I have been pondering this idea for the past year or so. I seems like my life has been one big dose of "wait." You want your prayers answered....wait. You want financial security...wait. You want boiled water....wait. I have friends that can't wait to hold their babies due in a few days and other friends that can't wait to get to heaven in order to hold their babies. We can't wait til our 2 year olds are potty trained so we can quit buying diapers. We can't wait to graduate, get married, have kids, enjoy our careers, get the kids out of the house so we can enjoy our spouses, and make more money so we can give more and get more. I am itching like never before to get to Heaven so I can see Kiley's face that I miss so terribly and my Savior's face that I have never seen but am so desperately in love with. It seems to me that life's journey is like sitting in a waiting room...anxious to get back there and see the Physician.

Our pastor, Jim, spoke on hope this morning. He said our hope can be "confident expectation" because our hope is based on God's character and not man's. A passage from Romans chapter 8 seemed to help with my dilemma of waiting. Verses 23-25 say, "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." It is also cool in the "message" translation: "These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy." Maybe hope is just simply waiting patiently. We KNOW as believers that Jesus will return, our bodies will be resurrected, and we will have eternal, blissful life. We have been given the down payment of the Holy Spirit. But now, we wait for all that has been promised to us. We shouldn't give up in this life or say nothing matters in this alien world. We should enjoy the things and people that He has blessed us with. We should stand strong and fight in this unseen war. In the daily grind of life, when we get tired of waiting, we are to rely on the Holy Spirit that will help us along this journey. Personally, I pray that He helps me with the patience part.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Faith...God's Love Language

I just finished reading Philip Yancey's book, "Disappointment with God." He takes three "forbidden" questions we may have as Believers and dares to throw them out there and (try) to answer them. Is God UNFAIR? Is He SILENT? Is He HIDDEN? I have grown to realize that there seems to be a disparity between my concepts of God and the realities of life. Since God is unchanging, I guess my concepts need to be adjusted. This book explores what the Trinity has felt through the ages...God feeling continual disappointment and rejection from the Israelites, Jesus Himself feeling abandoned by His Father as he hung on the cross, and the Holy Spirit inside us who grieves every time we subject him to a choice that He himself would not have chosen. Yancey goes into how there is a difference between childlike faith and "fidelity" faith...the kind that trusts "when nothing works according to formula and all the Bible's promises seem glaringly false." Our faith means everything to could call faith His "love language." I saw a sweet lady from our church named Mi-Seon the other day with her kiddos at the library. She was asking how our family was doing...she later said, "You know, your sister just wouldn't want to come back here." Then she said one of the sweetest things anyone has ever told me. She said that she thought my voice gets prettier and prettier (I sing at church.) I almost laughed...I really feel like I am losing some ability and range. She then said that life's experiences and our response of faith make our songs sweeter. She said she swore she could sing better now than when she wasn't a Christian. I almost cried...what a neat perspective. When I was in college, I had a cool roommate named Lora. We lived together for 1 1/2 years until I couldn't take her 2 am phone calls anymore (and she detested me getting around before 9 am.) Lora's beliefs were always in question for me...but she always commended her Mom on her great faith. Lora would tell me that I had "knowledge" of the Bible, but that her Mom had a deep faith. I was almost insulted, and decided to pray that my faith would have a greater impact on people than my knowledge of the Word. So, I think that is the journey I am on...God allowing my faith to be stretched and deepened. I think that "knowledge" is a much easier route. It doesn't seem to require as much heartache and suffering. But, I think that faith is the thing that God longs for from us. He wants us to get to a place where we cannot see or understand anything, and yet we still believe that He reigns, has not abandoned us, and really does love us. Oh, that I may truly learn how to love God as he desires.

Meerkats, Mariners, and Phillies....

Well, our life has begun as Sports Parents. You can call me "Baseball Mom" in the spring, "Soccer Mom" in the fall, and "Basketball Mom" in the winter. Last night was the first time I can remember having to have Cade and Eli at two sporting events that were in different locations at the same time. We have purposefully not let them be in very many activities in the past...just letting them be kids and play. But, now baseball season is about to be in full throttle. I was so sad to miss Cade's first baseball game yet so thrilled that I got to take Eli to his first T-Ball practice. (Inwardly groaning that all of this was taking place on the same night as American Idol.) Eli did such a good job listening to his coach and helping other kids learn how to do grounders. What is it about going to a silly T-Ball practice that makes you want to ooze with pride and joy for your child? We found out that Eli's team is the Mariners...they each represent a major league team. Cade's baseball team is the Phillies...which happens to be his favorite team. On the way home from practice, I told Eli over and over again what the name of his team was. He wanted to be able to tell Cade later on after his game. We must have discussed it 20 times...he even finally said, "Now, that starts with an "M", right?" After baths and some movie time, Cade finally got home. Eli walked into the kitchen, put his hands on his hips and simply said, "MEERKATS"!! I laughed so hard...just earlier that day we had read a book from the library about some meerkats. Eli's Uncle Kirby will tell you that is one good reason to not go to the library! It messes with your head and before you know it, your baseball team will become the meerkats!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring Cleaning!

I spent 5 hours cleaning Herb and Barbara's house today (they pay me :))...complete with blinds and ceiling fans! It was a good feeling to know that their house would not be "undone" by a bunch of boys and a 60 pound golden retriever in the span of 3 seconds! For some reason I thought it would be great to do the same to my house (in the same day!) It was quite disturbing to walk into my dirty house after blessing someone else's home...that should just not be! So, out came the wet, soapy cloth and I started attacking my blinds, ceiling fans, and floor fans. Voila! You have never seen so much dirt, dog hair, and grossness in your whole life. The only explanation I have for my behavior is that my friend Anna is about to go into labor. Maybe I am having sympathy pains for her and "nesting" so she will go into labor and I can once and for all figure out what she is having!! I had initially planned on cleaning tomorrow, but I really would much rather take the boys to the library. So....I did as much as I could today so we can play tomorrow! Yeah! Now, I am off to take a shower and give myself a nice foot scrub and pedicure....ahhhh!

Different subject...I am contemplating doing a garden this year...if you have a copy of "Gardening for Dummies," please send it my way!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Well, I think we may have found us a little tradition! Todd and Michelle generously shared all of the fish they have caught recently with us. What a blast. The weather was perfect! Even Anna decided to not go into labor so she could join the fun. The fish was Oh, Soooo good! And the homemade vanilla ice cream made you want to cry with giddiness. (I tried to go back for seconds, but it was all gone.) The fellowship was sweet and the kiddos played hard...snoozing already as I type. All of the fun made me think that Heaven may just be one big fish fry! I mean, really, think of all of the miracles, parables, and fellowship that Jesus used with fish! Thank you Todd and Michelle for all of the work and hospitality. Can't wait until the fish fry of 09'....heehee!

We saw the documentary, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" last night. It was really quite stunning. I thought it would focus on Creationist teachers who were getting the boot, but it talked about even "unsaved" scientists who were leading towards the Intelligent Design "theory" due to actual science and they were getting the boot. People who even mentioned intelligent design in papers or lectures were denied tenure and fired after the semester was over. The movie touches on how our freedoms in exploring science are being stripped away in America and how if it starts there, where will it end? (I think many of our freedoms are being stripped away already...when was the last time you had to be searched in an airport?) I really can't go into all of the logistics of this movie because I sat there near tears unable to focus on what they were saying. I was so struck by the "wayward" scientists and there random even said we all came from crystals.....I was so dumbfounded that people are really that lost in their thinking. I sat there praying for them, people like Richard Dawkins (atheist), praying that God would redeem their depraved minds and show them truth and grace. He really does not need to reveal Himself, does His marvelous creation not point to His Glory? But, oh, how I long for these people to know the actual truth! Think how freeing that would be for them. If you are a nerd like me, then I think you will like this documentary!

Friday, April 18, 2008

In need of...SHOES!!!

Eric is shoe poor! Every single pair of nice, dress shoes he owns are falling apart! What is hilarious is that it is the left shoe on every pair that has issues. The soles are either bending up totally in a break or have a hole in them that is getting rounder and rounder. He prays daily for no rain, or else his socks get drenched. We tried duct tape one day, but that just got soggy as well. (So much for duct tape being the answer to everything!) In order to "make lemonade out of lemons," I told him at least we would have a fun blog to post about! (Donations for "Operation: Shoe Eric" can be made at a local bank near you.)


Eric and I bought our home from his Grandmother 5 years ago! Time goes so fast. His Grandaddy did an amazing job in the back yard...beautifying it with azaleas, camellia trees, sansanquas, and even a gardenia bush. There isn't a whole lot of rhyme or reason to the layout, but it sure is pretty when things are blooming. I think God really is amazing to have given me this backyard. I know absolutely nothing about gardening or landscaping and yet there it was...all ready for me to enjoy when we moved in. I know we haven't done all that we could to keep things up back there, but it never fails...the flowers come back year after year. It kind of reminds me of the faithfulness of God. We may stray for a bit or not really know how to love him the way He deserves, but there He is, coming back to us season after season...full of beauty and grace. Happy Spring to you and yours!

Busy weekend coming my way...

Man, every now and then you get one of those weekends where you see just how much you can do in the span of 48 hours! We are going out tonight with some friends to see the "Expelled" movie. I am sure that it will tick me off majorly, but it is good to stay abreast of what is really going on in the world! The movie is a documentary on how Creationist scientists and teachers are being basically thrown out...I will tell you how it is! Tomorrow will include the dreaded run to Walmart...I wanted to accomplish that today, but the kids were out of school and it is pouring down rain...not so much! Then, Cade has a baseball practice. At 5, the real fun begins for the day! Our community group is having a fish fry at Todd and Michelle's. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, so bring out the fry daddy! I think Todd and Michelle are even making homemade ice cream...oh, golly. Be still, my heart. I have precious memories of my Daddy making homemade ice cream...with the good ol' rock salt and everything! Nothing tastes better. On Sunday, I am singing with my crazy, fun group...the other day we called ourselves the double-stuffed oreos! They better all show up at 7:45 on Sunday morning! After all the new songs Kevin threw our way, I am having my doubts that I will even make it! Hee! After church, I will run home for a quick bite and then head back to church to help set up for Anna's baby shower. I am so excited to know what she is having. The suspense is killing me. I don't have a lot of friends with girls, so I am holding out hope. Gotta live through someone vicariously, ya know? Then, Cade has another baseball practice. Later, we will celebrate Zach's birthday--the big 22!--and somewhere in there I have to make a streusel cake for that event! Oh, my goodness! I will post some pics of the big weekend later on!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Language of my Soul

I have felt very double minded lately. One moment, I am praising God and thanking Jesus for His sacrifice and the next moment, I am stumbling around in a wash of depression--wondering why I am on earth and questioning God's love and goodness towards me. James 1:5-8 describe me perfectly:

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

Unstable would be a perfect word to describe me these past almost two months. A wave, tossed by the wind is exactly how I have felt. Country music is safer than Christian because those lyrics cut too deep. The Word is difficult to venture into because it doesn't feel safe. It hasn't been just the loss of Kiley, but also begging God to move in so many areas where he seems to be so silent. I intercede, feeling like that is one of my callings, and nothing seems to happen. Why does He seem so unresponsive...these things I pray for should be things that bring Him glory. Last fall I really started praying that I would know God deeper and deeper. I prayed, "Lord, let me know you as much as possible this side of Heaven." I had started praying over my children that they would know Him and love Him with all of their hearts. I didn't realize until just the other day that the road marked with suffering is the road he often wants us on in order to know him more fully; in order for Him and Him alone to become our sole desire. I finally came to the humble willingness to say that I have been disappointed with God. He could do things differently, you know? I have no doubt in my faith that Jesus is Sovereign and that He rules over everything. My problem has been with my hope and how to go on when he seems so disappointing and quiet.

I decided to confess my double-mindedness and get on with living the narrow path. It is hard to be a schizophrenic, you know? As soon as I was done repenting, I picked up a book entitled, "Shattered Dreams" by Larry Crabb. The first 5 pages described my heart. God wants to bless us, our deepest pleasure is going to be a direct encounter with God, and the Holy Spirit uses shattered dreams in order to awaken our desires for God. The book seeks to answer the question, "What does it mean to hope in God as we continue to live in a world where good dreams shatter and God seems to do nothing about it?" The book is amazing and says that if you "want to know God, welcome shattered dreams. Nothing reveals our desire for Him so effectively." Now, I have to wonder if last fall I started praying the right prayer. I mean, "happy, American" Christians just don't welcome adversity, warfare, and sorrow into their lives. My desire for Christ and Him alone outweighs the adversities of this life, though. I think that is where God wants us. Christ has given us the power to remain faithful to Him and represent Him well no matter what happens in our lives. That is our hope!

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has suffered loss or had their most precious dreams stripped away. The more and more my soul dances on this journey, the more I become confident of one thing: God wants us to desire Him above all else and He is JEALOUS about our devotion. (Yes, Oprah, our God IS a jealous God but probably not in the sense that you are thinking....he is jealous over his children.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


For some reason, this crazy insect gave me visions of Revelation Chapter 9 where it talks about locusts coming down upon the earth and they are given power like that of Scorpions...instructed to harm only those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They are not able to kill their victims, but they are able to torture them for 5 whole months. Men will not even be able to "find" death in their agony.

There are so many things that fascinate me about eschatology (end times stuff.) I really sometimes can't get enough of it all and have to remind myself that the Christian walk is about so much more than this subject. I really get giddy studying dispensational premillenialism, etc. And then I read about the locusts who have teeth like lions and faces like humans and I shudder in terror that what I should be doing is praying for the lost and that God would be merciful. Oh, God, make me bold in my witness. You certainly don't need me in order to bring about salvation in another's life, but what joy if you can use me!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jehovah Tsidkenu

OK, I was blog stalking and came across this and had to steal it and share it with you all. Enjoy.
Pronounced: tsid-kay'-noo
“Jehovah Tsidkenu”
( Jeremiah 33:16 )

which means
“The Lord Our Righteousness”
by Robert Murray McCheyne
November 18, 1884

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger; and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But even when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul,
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu — ’twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see —
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fear banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free—
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

Jehovah Tsidkenu! My treasure and boast,
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;
In Thee shall I conquer by flood and by field—
My cable, my anchor, my breastplate and shield!

Even treading the valley; the shadow of death,
This “watchword” shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu my death-song shall be.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
Jeremiah 23:5-6
Pronounced: tsid-kay'-noo


You know it is time to get your boys' hair cut when you can't remember what color eyes they have due to the bangs covering them up. (Just teasing...eye color on your children is not something to be forgotten.) So, we went to see Ms. Jill...a "real" stylist instead of Mommy trying again. She is Eli's personality bottled up in this cute petite thing with bright red hair. She and Eli always hit it off...I guess they try to see who can out charm the other. Jill took one look at Sam and said, "Well, hello, look just like your Daddy!" Goodness, I guess it is that obvious! I always get tickled at how Sam favors his cousins more than his brothers. And now, Lee and Kelli have a third born that wanted to look nothing like the first two! Those third borns like to be independent and do their own thing!
Yeah for professional haircuts...I at least have a "template" to go by the next time I cut their hair.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Book Pic of the Day!!

OK, I am a self-proclaimed Ted Dekker groupie. Eric laughs at me every time I get engrossed into one of his books, saying that my "affair" has started back up. I was in CBO yesterday, searching for "The Shack", to no avail, but stumbled upon Dekker's new release! WOW, what a treat! I didn't even know a new one was supposed to be released. Dekker has the most amazing ability to show the battle between good and evil in the most imaginative, non conventional way I have ever seen. I admit, some of his works are a little off the deep end, but he is about the only Christian fictional author I have found that combines very deep truths with very bizarre plots. He definitely keeps me guessing til the end...and sometimes I never do get all that he is trying to get across. If you need a new author, I recommend him highly!

On a side note, Eli, Sam and I were on our way back from taking Cade to school this morning and they were singing a song about John 3:16. Sam was singing the words as well as he could, but he definitely had the "John 3:16" reference part down. Tears came to my eyes as a verse popped in my head, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4
I was so disturbed after I read Anna's blog and saw the video on Oprah. I am not shocked at her beliefs, but shocked that she still calls herself a Christian...proclaiming that Jesus is not the only way to God. What is a Christian then? Shouldn't the clue be the word Christ?? Eric says she has different semantics and defines Christianity differently. Well, duh!! I guess to her, Christianity is being on a spiritual journey trying to find God in your own way. I am so thankful that true Christianity really has nothing to do with me! It is ALL about Jesus. I am thankful that he has redeemed me and shown me truth and that now I can praise Him! Whoo-hoo!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Chicken Carbonara....makes ya wanna kiss yo Momma!

All right, my food lovin' friends and family...this post is for you! I knew I had a winner when the recipe called for 2 1/2 cups of whipping cream. Goodness, not even half n' half for crying out loud! After I tasted one bite, I decided that this is one of my favorite new recipes. I also decided it was blog-worthy. I wish I had the gift of creating recipes, but I don't. I am thankful that I can follow a recipe, though! This pasta dish is by Giada De Laurentiis...I think I love about all of her stuff. Of course, I am by no means picky! There are probably about a week's worth of calories in the meal, but, hey, sometimes you just need a good, fattening dish of pasta. I thought I would write down the recipe for you! (PS--I had to include a picture because I hate recipes with no pics!)

Chicken Carbonara
6 main course servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta or bacon, chopped
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 large egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 cups coarsely shredded chicken (From 1 roasted chicken)
1 pound spaghetti
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute' until it is brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Cool until lukewarm. Whisk in the cream, cheese, yolks, basil, parsley, and garlic. Stir in the chicken.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring often to prevent pasta from sticking together, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 10-12 minutes. Drain.

Add the spaghetti to the cream mixture and toss over medium-low heat until the chicken is heated through and the sauce coats the spaghetti thickly, about 4 minutes (do not boil). Season the pasta to taste with pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a large, wide serving bowl. Sprinkle with the walnuts and lemon zest, and serve.

(Serves up real nice with a healthy dose of treadmill afterwards. Hee!)