Monday, November 22, 2010

My New Church

It seems strange saying that - "my new church"...I thought I would be at my old one for many more moons but God had a different plan and who am I to question God? His ways are perfect and He is showing me things I hadn't even imagined. I am simply in awe, I am thankful for His direction, timing, goodness, and amazing protection and provision. He is who He says He is, why do we sometimes wonder why He does the things He does for us? Probably because we know we don't deserve it. He is Love.

I'm excited about my new church, it is the most mission minded church I have ever been in, the pastor - my pastor, is so passionate and so anointed by God that I sit at the edge of my seat awaiting to hear God's word preached and my heart convicted. He has been preaching out of Nehemiah lately about rebuilding spiritual walls. 3 Ways to rebuild - 1) Press on! Trust in God! Return to the work! 2) Stick together! 3) Bring the right tools! They had a sword (God's word) in one hand and the tools they were using for the task in the other. 4) Hear the rally cry! When the enemy was about to attack, one would shout, "Our God will fight for us!" and the other laborers would run to where the shout came.

Things that might have kept them and that keep us from rebuilding the wall are 1) Criticism by those around us. Sometimes when the work begins people aren't happy and they criticize. Our response should be "God, You handle it!' (because He can). 2) We become paralyzed by intimidation = Neh. 4:7 - 8. "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses." Neh. 4:14 3) Despair = Neh. 4:10, excuses and fear. Again Neh. 4:14! We need to remember that the battle is the Lord's and it's a righteous cause, it's not about me!

We joined the church yesterday, Sunday, November 21st. Can't wait to dig in and experience what God has planned for us. He is already blowing my mind!

*I loved my former church, God brought us there, used us there, and the people there will remain near and dear to me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Where's George?

I don't know why but I enter bills on "Where's George?"  I have found (5) one dollar bills with the where's george stamp on it, sometimes I enter them right away and sometimes I need to spend them so I write down the info and enter it later.  The first one I entered was in November 2003, then 2 bills in 2004, one in 2005, and the last one just the other day.  You can track where your dollar went and where it's going...I know I'm weird.  Feel free to join me in this ridiculous nonproductive adventure.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So Brave

 James had surgery last Friday, he had been putting it off for quite a while and was finally getting his hernia repaired.  He was so brave.  He had this crazy nurse, she had him pee in a cup before the procedure and when he handed her said cup she asked another nurse what she was supposed to write on it to which the other nurse replied, "their name and date"...go figure.  So right away we knew there was trouble.  Now, James is of the funny sort and when he's nervous there's no telling what he might say.  He was joking with her and she didn't remotely laugh, chuckle, giggle...nothing.  When we were alone James said she was a stick in the mud.  She returned shortly and was getting ready to put in his IV, James said he might pass out and she said she might too.  I thought maybe she had heard that stick in the mud thing, no...she couldn't have, she's just lightening up and being funny, or so I thought.  She dropped the needle and went to get another one, when she poked my dear husband he made faces I had never seen before...ouch!  She then stated that was her first IV, I seriously thought she was kidding but later in the day she said the same thing.  She was a gray haired woman, surely she has been a nurse for a while and didn't just decide recently to go to nursing school but you never know.  I really think she is just new at this particular hospital.
James came through his surgery fine, he was in pain and nauseous and did throw up.  The nurse was kinda rough, she moved him from a bed to a strange reclining chair on wheels.  She spun him to and fro, I guess forgetting he's nauseous, and then was jerking the chair back or forward to lock it into place.  It was starting to remind me of Kathy Bates on "Misery" but I don't think she was infatuated with my husband.  But scary nonetheless.

After that, I started jumping up any time he wanted to sit up or lay back, I was much gentler on my poor fella.  James couldn't wait to get outta there and I can't say I blame him.  Kathy wheeled him out to the van, James told me later that when she was bringing him out she said something along the lines of "oh, I probably should've checked your bandage before you left."  Luckily, James is recovering nicely in spite of his hospital experience.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christian's Birthday Weekend

 Where to begin???  James and I (me) concocted this plan to surprise Christian with an awesome birthday weekend to Branson.  I called a couple of his friends' moms (in secrecy) about a month in advance to get the ball rolling.  I told them we were keeping it on the DL.  He didn't suspect a thing...Muhahahaha!  His birthday fell on a Tuesday which was also Showstoppers (the big music concert) so we took him and Tiffany with us to Pizza Hut, gave him his gifts and all that and he was satisfied.  Until....his friend Sterling's mom accidentally texted him instead of me...she didn't exactly give it away but she said something like "I talked to Sterling and he's up for this weekend".  Well then Christian questioned me, saying, "You're up to something".  That was Tuesday afternoon, I refused to tell him what was going to take place, his friends made it even more fun...they wouldn't tell him anything or even give hints...well, Jeremy said (on Friday to Christian) that his mom told him to pack swimming trunks which was even confusing to him for November.  Fast forward to Friday after school...I picked up all three boys, Cameron had basketball practice so we just ran to Wal-Mart, they bought candy - yeah, that's what teenage boys need...Candy!  Sterling and Jeremy (the friends) brought their over night bags, of course, Christian still didn't know, he thought they were just spending the night.  We go back to pick up Cameron and then we were on our way, we thought maybe the direction we were headed would prove to give some hints but he still wasn't getting it.  We programmed it into the GPS to which he replied, "It's gonna take us 2 1/2 hours to get there?  Where are we going?"  I had packed the boys' bags (they didn't mind, I knew what to get)  We had to finally just tell him because all the hints we were giving him were going over his head (*brain fairy).
It was getting on to suppertime and the kiddos were getting hungry so we stopped in Buffalo at Pizza Hut, this is where the fun really began.  The boys discovered a vending machine with facial hair in it.  Each of them purchased a bit of faux fur for the reasonable price of 75 cents.  We told them Branson Landing was our first stop and they decided to wait till we got there to apply them to their sweet little baby faces.  This was the result.

 These things stuck good, Cameron's and Jeremy's looked most like their own hair color, Sterling's was too red (uh, orange) and Christian's made him look like he belonged in the 70s.  They exited the van and we followed behind watching the people passing by.  The looks on their faces were priceless, we felt like we were on a hidden camera show.

Cameron reminds me of someone, I just can't think of who??? Chuck Norris? I don't know.

 We went to our friend's condo and the boys went to the game room still sporting their manly men facial hair.  They returned shortly to change into their trunks to swim in the indoor pool.  Cameron jumped in with his goatee on...
The next morning we went down the road to a Laser Tag and Glo-Minigolf place.  James and I joined in on the fun and sure enough James won both Laser Tag and Minigolf.
 What I liked best was the cool names we had Venom, Viper, Bond, etc. I was Crush (yes, like on American Gladiators - the 80s version).
 The boys spotted this Adopt-a-Highway sign along Highway 65 on the way to Branson.  We told them we might stop on the way back so they could take a picture.  Little did we know there wasn't a sign on the other side of the hwy, James had to turn around and then go a few more miles out of the way to find a ramp back...but it was worth it.
 We stopped at Springfield on the way home and went to our favorite movie theater and watched "Despicable Me" again!  Worth it!  And our guests hadn't seen it yet.
 Our last stop was a little shopping at the mall...what a great weekend!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Big Test

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You guessed it, he passed!  We practiced before it opened (from 8:00 - 9:30), we drove mainly in town, I even took him to an empty parking lot to practice parallel parking which they didn't even test him on.  James and I are figuring that maybe he was doing well enough that even if he would've completely failed it wouldn't have mattered so perhaps they decided to skip it and just take the points off?  Who knows.  But I was a nervous wreck, I was sick to my stomach waiting for him to return, praying he would pass and praying that he wouldn't hit any cars.  He and the officer arrived unharmed and then we went to the license bureau to get the real deal.  After that we went to the insurance, yuck...but it is necessary.  He participated in a program called "Steer Clear" given through State Farm which gives him a discount on insurance and he also got a good student discount.  It's only gonna cost us about $38 - $40 dollars extra a month, I was actually relieved.  So...this begins a new chapter in our lives.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Truth about Television

T.V. - What is its purpose?  Sometimes I think profoundly, others...not so much.  People talk about watching too much television, we notice it ourselves in our own lives, we've even pointed out how much time we spend in front of it instead of how much time we spend with God.  Yet we don't attempt to make any changes.  Granted, we can fill our lives with all kinds of things that take us away from our Lord so that's really not the point, although it should be.  We should be so consumed with our Savior that we would be seeking any moment at all to spend time with Him but face it, we are human imperfect, self-centered, distracted, and "busy".

But why T.V.?  I see television as merely entertainment, we have our favorite sitcoms, dramas, reality shows, sporting events, etc.  Are they at all necessary?  What would happen if we didn't have a television to click on everyday?  Don't get me wrong, I watch it, I would tell myself that it's important because I need to see the news.  What a laugh!  I can live without seeing the news, life goes on.

Several months ago we let our satellite service go, boy did it seem strange, no DVR!  We got over it.  Then we bought an antenna, we get a few the news.  One of the best parts is we are no longer paying for television, it is really freeing.  But I have a confession, we then went to Netflix, so we are still paying for entertainment...less than $10 a month, but nevertheless, still paying.  Do we watch less T.V.?  Sometimes...but I know that I can live without it.

Recently we made a new rule in our house...all electronics are to be turned off at 9 p.m., so we can have time with each other as a family and time with our Lord.  We've had things get in the way like school functions and whatnot, it's not full proof, but it's a step in the right direction.  It used to seem like when we walked in the door it was automatic to sit down and flip on the television...those days are gone.  :)

Television isn't the enemy but can made to be so much more than it ought to be...BEWARE!

*From Wikipedia:
Although television was first introduced to the general public at the 1939 World's Fair, the outbreak of World War II prevented it from being manufactured on a large scale until after the end of the war. True regular commercial network television programming did not begin in the U.S. until 1948. During that year, legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini made his first of ten TV appearances conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra, and Texaco Star Theater, starring comedian Milton Berle, became television's first gigantic hit show.

Showstoppers 2010

Christian with (girlfriend) Tiffany
Showstoppers! An annual talent showcase at WHS.  It was a great evening, Christian and his girlfriend, Tiffany, sang a duet - "Gimme Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath.  I love this song, makes me want to bawl listening to the words.  The Madrigal, Choir, and Women's Choir all performed several songs throughout the show along with solos and duets, etc. but my favorite was the whole group performing "I Had the Time of My Life", you know the one, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey - Dirty Dancing.  Well, every group song of the night was choreographed except for this one, Mrs. Million (the music director) let them freestyle this song with hilarious results.

Christian, Austin, Sterling, Dallas, and Paul (all fellow Madrigal members except Sterling)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We're hunting wabbits

Last winter a couple of friends invited James to rabbit hunt with them.  They use beagles to chase the unsuspecting rabbits out of hiding and then to make it more interesting fire at them with pistols instead of a more accurate weapon.  I hear this is great entertainment, they rarely hit anything but have a lot of fun "wild west" shooting.  James really got hooked and decided to get a beagle of his own.  His name is "Hombre", I thought this was the stupidest name ever for a dog but it's the name he was given so it is what it is and I'm getting used to it.  Then last summer someone gave him a 6 week old puppy, he is so cute, we named him Duke - a much more appropriate dog name.  James has to train Duke to hunt rabbits of course, having Hombre helps, he follows him.  Recently, James tied some sandwich ham to a string and drug it around the yard, he then let Duke out to sniff out the ham.  Duke was triumphant and found the vile beast of uh, cold cuts?  James' dad said he would probably be chasing pigs or wild hogs instead of rabbits.  The other day James took both dogs somewhere (I don't really know where) to run, Duke stayed up with Hombre so I guess it was a successful outing.  Rabbit season will be here before you know it and James has to get them ready.  Well today James discovered a rabbit that had been run over on our gravel road, aha! he said to himself, I can train my puppy with this roadkill.  Yes, we stopped and he scooped up this dead, stiff rabbit into a wal-mart bag and brought it into our van, ewwwww!  Blech, blech, blech!  He wanted me to hold it but I refused, so he did...and drove with the other hand.

I know it's morbid...but I wanted you to see the full effect, just look at those ears!
 James set it outside by his shop.  He had a couple meetings in town for jobs etc. and we ran some errands and did some other things.  When we came home that afternoon this is what we found.

Yes, the cat got the rabbit!  There was no way he was letting James have it back either.  Gross....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

16 Years...

I think I might cry...Christian is 16 years old today.  Where has the time gone?  I remember myself at 16, oooooooo *shiver, scary.  I was such a brat, got way too full of myself and made many mistakes.  I have more hope for my son, he is a good christian young man, I can still see his cute lil face as a toddler, big blue eyes and plumber pants - acting grown up even at that young age insisting he could do anything - tender hearted, loving, sensitive to the needs of others.  *Time out!  All this reminiscing is making me tear up!  Hold it things about my oldest boy.
1) He is sooo very smart! Proof = scores advanced on State Tests, in the top of his class.
2) He is an awesome singer! Proof = took a solo to State music contest as a freshman.
3) He still gives his mama hugs! Proof = I just got one a few minutes ago.
4) He always tries to do the right thing! Proof = In 7th grade he led a revolt in his Civics class against the substitute teacher because he thought a fellow student wasn't being treated fairly.
5) He is very clever! Proof = In 6th grade he created this awesome Roman newspaper, it was so creative...just take my word for it.
6) He is handsome! Proof = Well duh, look at his parents.
7) He likes to hunt! Proof = He has went hunting with James even after missing a big buck two years in a row.
8) He is organized! Proof = He coordinated a FCA Ultimate Frisbee Tournament on his own last summer.
9) He is great with kids! Proof = He has taught Vacation Bible School (kindergarten) several times and they love him.
10) He pitches in to help! Proof = Maybe not always volunteering but if I ask him to do something he will do it without hesitation.
11) He is a natural leader! Proof = He is an F.C.A. Leader, he leads a devotion every few weeks at his high school and plans events.
12) He is a decent golfer! Proof = Last year he was the only freshman to get to play almost every tournament.
13) He is very competitive! Proof = He made Monopoly trophies for the champion and loser (first one out) and made us play a lot of Monopoly for a while.
14) He loves his church! Proof = He has a servant's heart, he works hard on mission trips and other events for church.
15) He is a great preacher! Proof = At the age of 13 he surrendered to God's call to be a preacher, he got up in front of 400+ youth, pastors, and more and preached for the first time.
16) He loves Jesus Christ! Proof = Christian lives for Him, witnesses to the Lost, and not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

Sixteen years of loving this son of mine, I miss those carefree days of boyhood but am starting to see the incredible young man God is molding him into.  Two and a half years and he will be off to college, okay, that's enough...don't get me started on that.

Contemporary Cake

 I really don't know why I try to do these things...I don't pay enough attention to the little details and something always happens.  These mushroom like things in the cake pans above are cakes, I was attempting to make a cake for Christian's 16th birthday.  I used two cake mixes when one would have done, duh.  A few months ago I tried a new recipe, it was for sweet and sour chicken.  It started off great, chicken was cooked nicely and then I did something out of order or forgot to do something and then tried to go back and correct it, not was sweet and sweet chicken, my precious family choked it down but recently I stated that I was going to try to make something new and Christian replies, "you know what's going to happen, mom will attempt it, waste some ingredients and then throw it out"...such confidence, lol.  Well, the cake didn't turn out so bad, it's...contemporary...and at least the cakes I usually make taste good.
 Tah Dah!!!
I think I might have to get on one of those baking cook-off shows...James said I would sure get a lot of camera what do you think that's supposed to mean?


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