Thursday, December 29, 2011

Stay Tuned...

Be patient...


A Prayer for Women

A Prayer for Women

by Dr. John Piper

My earnest challenge and prayer for you is . . .

. . . That all of your life—in whatever calling—be devoted to the glory of God.

. . . That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill your soul to overflowing.

. . . That this fullness of God overflow in daily acts of love so that people might see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in Heaven.

. . . That you be women of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching; that meditation on biblical truth be the source of hope and faith; that you continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others.

. . . That you be women of prayer, so that the Word of God will be opened to you, and so the power of faith and holiness will descend upon you; that your spiritual influence may increase at home and at church and in the world.

. . . That you be women who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God which undergirds all these spiritual processes; and that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines of grace, and even deeper lovers of these things.

. . . That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific calling; that you not fritter away your time on soaps or women’s magazines or unimportant hobbies or shopping; that you redeem the time for Christ and His Kingdom.

. . . That, if you are single, you exploit your singleness to the full in devotion to God (the way Jesus and Paul and Mary Slessor and Amy Carmichael did) and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.

. . . That, if you are married, you creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of your husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that you encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that you influence him spiritually primarily through your fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.

. . . That, if you have children, you accept responsibility with your husband (or alone if necessary) to raise up children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord—children who hope in the triumph of God—sharing with your husband the teaching and discipline they need, and giving them the special attention they crave from you, as well as that special nurturing touch and care that you alone are fitted to give.

. . . That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home, the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world; that you not only pose the question: career or full-time homemaker? but that you ask just as seriously: full-time career or freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom—to work for someone who tells you what to do to make his or her business prosper, or to be God’s free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and your creativity could make God’s business prosper?

And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or upward lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the faith of the family and advance the cause of Christ.

. . . That you step back and (with your husband, if you are married) plan the various forms of your life’s ministry in chapters. Chapters are divided by various things—age, strength, singleness, marriage, employment, children at home, children in college, grandchildren, retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding God’s will, and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a success, not whether it reads like somebody else’s chapter or whether it has in it what only another chapter will bring.

. . . That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might and maximizing your joy in ministry to people’s needs.

. . . That in all your relationships with men (not just in marriage) you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the biblical vision of manhood and womanhood; that you develop a style and demeanor that does justice to the unique role God has given to man to feel responsible for gracious leadership in relation to women—a leadership which involves elements of protection and provision and a pattern of initiative; that you think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as he must do) in shaping the style and setting the tone of your interaction with men.

. . . That you see the biblical guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for men and women not as arbitrary constraints on freedom, but as wise and gracious prescriptions for how to discover the true freedom of God’s ideal of complementarity; that you not measure your potential by the few roles withheld, but by the countless roles offered; that you look to the loving God of Scripture and dream about the possibilities of your service to him.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Photo-Card 2011

Last year we started sending Christmas Photo-Cards, and it instantly became a new tradition.

Like this...Christmas 2010
Just your average over-the-top smile.
I had some more ideas for this year's card, the number one idea being taking a photo with our Wal-Mart greeter, Bob.  He has long white hair and is a really good greeter but he got a hair cut and it just didn't seem near as fun.  Maybe next year.  I was really getting behind on even taking a photo at all and getting it in the mail, but last weekend we snapped this one out in our yard right before heading to a Christmas party, I made the cards online Monday and mailed them Tuesday and I think everyone got them before Christmas, amazing!  Here's year number two's winner...

Upon seeing this most people ask how many takes that took.  Probably 10 or 15, we started off on the trampoline but thought it was going to break so chose to jump off the ground, the cat was "jumping" (being gently tossed by Cameron) in one pic but some of the rest of us were blurry.  Who knows what next year will bring...Muhahahaha!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My tv stars

HC Warsaw Columbia, MO

Christian and Cameron performing at KOMU television station with Madrigal Singers.
Yes...they are tv stars...back off paparazzi.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 Every year at Christmas, I may go a little overboard on decorating but James loves it so who cares, right?  Actually, he would like me to leave it up waaaayyy longer than I do, I can barely make it til New Years and often don't.  I may post some of my other rooms but for now, here's our family room (part of it anyway).  The last few years I have only put out stocking for the boys, I just hadn't found ones I really liked for all four of us, of course they have to be different, etc.  I was really wanting something rustic and I have seen a few I like but am also very cheap so haven't bought any of those.  I got these for half off at K-Mart.  They are cute, James likes them but now seeing them in the picture below I'm not so sure I like them as much as when I bought them.  Oh well, that's what we are having :)

I really do love about everything to do with Christmas, the carols, baking, shopping (although I haven't bought my kids squat yet...shhh, don't tell them - it's not about gifts anyway, right?), the smells, the Christmas movies, light displays, Christmas programs, Christmas parties, the Christmas novels I read (or try to), the sappy commercials, gift exchanges, Christmas cards, Christmas photos, Christmas letters, time with family!!, and the list goes on and on and on.  But in the busyness of all of this....Jesus needs to be remembered most, we need to rest in His presence, in the wonder of what an awesome and amazing thing God coming to earth wrapped in flesh really is.....miraculous.  This video says it well...let's not forget why we celebrate Christmas.


The Birth of King Jesus

The children's choir at my church performed their Christmas Program last night.

The uproarous laughter was the cows holding up their "Eat Mor Chikin" sign.  Cameron was my videographer and missed it, I'm sure he was just captivated by the whole performance that it just got away from him.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Coming to a Wal-Mart near you!

Last Saturday evening we had some time to kill before heading to a basketball tournament.  I had to get something, can't remember what, at Wal-Mart and one thing led to another.  This is what happened...


turned into this...

Oh...we did more...

We did a 4 or 5 bins...why?  Who knows, we are weird and maybe have a little OCD.  But for some reason it was quite entertaining and addicting.  There were a couple bins that were 3 foot deep or so and we didn't really have time to do those anyway.  But watch out, we may show up at your local Wal-Mart!

Bonus: Cameron found a Betty White DVD...but alas, I did not buy it.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

To Catch a Coon

Trapping Season is upon us and Cameron caught the first racoon of the season.  It's not too awful big but I'm sure its mama will come looking for it and then he can catch her as well....just kidding, that's a morbid thought but may be true after all.  Trapping is a favorite pasttime of Grandpa Hoagland's, he still traps and James trapped along with him until just last year, he just hasn't the time to invest in it.  But Cameron really enjoys it and is planning on getting in on the fun (oh joy) as much as he can this year, some for the sport..or whatever...of it and some for the money he will earn. 

James used to tell me to put trash bags in the car so if I saw a coon or other "trapping worthy" animal ran over on the highway, I could pick it up and put it in the car...I have NOT done this yet and I don't plan on it.  His response to my unwillingness is "You wouldn't leave a $20 bill on the side of the road, would you?"  At which my reply is "A $20 bill isn't bloody, nasty, and gross".  Think about that the next time you see roadkill.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flashback Friday - I'll Get You My Pretty

When I was a kid "The Wizard of Oz" was on every year in the Fall.  My brothers and sister loved it....James, not so much.  It hasn't been much of a secret, the boys or I may let it slip once in awhile but it usually comes up in conversation?  That doesn't seem too ridiculous, does it?  Our old youth group used to tease him relentlessly, he cringes when he hears "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and don't even think about saying anything remotely like you-know-who of the west in that tone of voice.  I don't know if he will ever get over his Wizard of Oz phobia but he did let me snap the above pic of him at the Hollywood Wax Museum.  You know his expression really is sheer terror.

He also doesn't like The Muppets....go figure.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

As your day, so shall your strength be

"Do not let any set of circumstances intimidate you.  The more challenging your day, the more of My Power I place at your disposal.  You seem to think that I empower you equally each day, but this is not so.  Your tendency upon awakening is to assess the difficulties ahead of you, measuring them against your average strength.  This is an exercise in unreality.
I know that what each of your days will contain, and I empower you accordingly.  The degree to which I strengthen you on a given day is based mainly on two variables:  the difficulty of your circumstances, and your willingness to depend on Me for help.  Try to view challenging days as opportunities to receive more of My Power than usual.  Look to Me for all that you need, and watch to see what I will do.  As your day, so shall your strength be."  Ephesians 1:18-20; Psalm 105:4; Deuteronomy 33:25

This is an excerpt from Jesus Calling: A 365 Day Devotional by Sarah Young

I read this last Saturday after receiving some not-so-good news.  We received a letter from my boys' school district stating the we needed to prove our residency or tuition would be due.  Ya see, when we bought our house in the spring of 2005 it was slightly over the line in terms of school districts.  To thwart any issues I got a full time job at the school, I worked there for 3 years and then subbed until acquiring my current job last year.  Many people knew we were out of district, school board members, administration, teachers, etc, I figured it would be okay although in the back of my mind it seemed like I was "cheating", and I was.  I talked myself out of any wrong doing by thinking about my boys going to school here since PreSchool.  I know, I know...tisk tisk.  But I can't do anything about that now, now can I?  I cried, I cried a lot...I talked to the school board president on Sunday afternoon and on Monday evening.  The boys had til semester and they took it pretty hard.  With each day though they are coming around and accepting the inevitable, they are going to be changing schools after Christmas.  I told them that we don't know God's purpose and plan and that they could do incredible things at this new school.  Christian prayed for dinner a couple nights ago and prayed that he and Cameron would look at this as an opportunity instead of a hardship.  I was very proud, both of them have faced this head-on and are looking at the good things God has in store for them there.

God is so good to us, in spite of me and my sinfulness.  Thank You, Lord, for what you are teaching us through this.  It's a new day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Aye Matey!

Yesterday afternoon, Cameron came in from outside and said he had something in his eye.  I didn't see anything but since James is a cabinet maker he gets stuff in his eyes all the time so I always have "Eye wash" stuff handy.  We irrigated the eye but nothing seemed to help.  He said if he kept his eye open and looked to the left it didn't hurt so bad.  We went to church and someone suggested irrigating it with milk....weird, I thought but we'll try it anyway, also to no avail.  I figured it would just come out while he was sleeping, most of James' do but Cameron said it was still there so we headed to the clinic.  The dr took a look and diagnosed that it was probably scratched, he put some numbing stuff in the eye and then some drops of stain so you could see the scratch.  I just had to look, it was pretty cool and there plain as day was a scratch on the poor kid's eyeball.  Doc then dialated Cameron's eye, put some antiobiotic cream in it and the nurse put on a gnarly eye patch.  He goes back in the morning to see how it is but it should be just fine.

The highlight of all this is that Cameron wanted us to draw an eye on his patch...hilarious!  This is the result...fine artists I tell you.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - Yak in the Box

This isn't all that long ago but it's in the past so I'm still calling it a flashback.  This summer we went on a little family vacation to Branson.  While we were there we saw the Yakov Dinner Adventure.  We got the family pass which gets 2 adults and 2 children (up to age 16) into the show along with dinner, it's a lot cheaper and I am a bargain gal.  I really thought that the portion sizes would be a little smaller for "kids" but thought that I would just share mine, whatever right?  When we went in they gave the boys "glow" bracelets which we found quite amusing, they were good sports and wore them proudly until...dinner came.  Then they told every child to hold up their glow bracelet so they could get their "Yak in the box", a glow-in-the-dark box with the below inside...

Child's meal features Yak in the Box:
•Hot dog
•Potato Chips
•Fruit Cup
•Refreshing Bottle of Water
•Scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake for dessert

Christian was not impressed.  Cameron could've cared less, he was enjoying being a "kid", he was only 14 at the time after all.  What made it worse was the announcement of the adult dinner, they made everything sound unbelievably delightful and served it on a golden platter.  We also had linen napkins...below is the adult dinner.  Christian was ornery and refused to eat anything from my plate, he just kept saying things like, "No, you go ahead, I'll just eat my fruit cup", Cameron did eat a little of mine but James refused to share any of his.  Had I known I would have gotten him an adult meal (maybe).

"Adult" Dinner Menu:
•Smoked Beef Brisket
•Grilled Breast of Chicken
•Buttery Mashed Potatoes
•Sauteed Vegetable Medley
•Sweet Corn Muffin
•Creamy Country Soup
•Refreshing Bottle of Water
•Scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake for dessert

They did get the same scrumptious strawberry shortcake for dessert though and the show was really good.  We went to Branson Landing and got the boys some ice cream, that helped...a little.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Parenting Tip #5

This is a must-have tip for all parents.

Circumstances will arise where you will not be able to bring do not want to bring your children or do not want to pick up your child at a ridiculously late hour.

Example:  A lovely woman at church called me recently and asked if her son could spend the night with us since they live a long way away from the activity that our youth were going to and it was going to be a really late night and the next day was Sunday, etc. etc.  Actually, she was really sweet, didn't want to ask but kinda did want to but didn't want to offend, ya know.  Well, of course we said yes, it really wasn't a big deal at all.  And it cracked me up, as you can tell, she is much sweeter than I am.

The tip not feel as though this is such a faux pas.  It may seem like you are imposing on someone else or that this is not proper etiquette.  Who cares?  I used to, but then we did need someone for our kids so we just told our boys to find someone to stay the night with on such and such a day and they did, and don't worry, we approved of where they were going.  We've actually done this a couple times with other families that have needed the same kind of thing, a safe place for their child to be until they found the time to they could be picked up.  I think that what we are more caught up with is that we don't want to say "No".  If I felt I really couldn't have handled another person in our home on that particular night I would have just said so and she would not have felt slighted one little bit (she actually said, "it's okay to say no"). 

And ya know what??? It is.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Light the Night for Jesus!

Some of you may or may not know that my boys have never been trick-or-treating, James and I just decided that Halloween wasn't something we were going to celebrate.  I'm not offended by people that do or think they are bad or (in maniacal voice) "evil", we just chose not to participate.  We have went to many "Fall Celebrations" at church, etc.  A check out lady at Wal-Mart years ago asked the boys what they were going to be for halloween and I stated we didn't celebrate halloween and she asked me if were Jehovah's Witnesses, lol.  All this brings me to say, we had an awesome experience on October 31, 2011.  A precious family in our church, along with many members of Cornerstone put on "Light the Night for Jesus".  There were lights throughout the yard, carnival-like games, minute-2-win it games, hot dogs, bottled water, candy galore and a professional photographer that took pictures of all the darlings that wanted their picture taken and for free of course!  So I just had to get a pic with my little darlings in our cool shirts (all the workers wore one).  Over 400 kids came through, each received lots of candy, and the gospel message of Christ.  Thank you to the wonderful family that helped make this possible, they did this last year on their own, what a privilege it was to serve alongside them.

Cameron with girlfriend, Kaitlyn.  Alyssa, Christian's girlfriend, and Christian.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Cameron got a new Airsoft gun with his birthday money.  It is a fully automatic machine gun, it shoots hard!  Not soft!  I haven't actually gotten shot with it but my husband has and it made him bleed (just a little).  I finally agreed to play this game of theirs with them but made sure I was on Cameron's team so I wouldn't get shot with that thing.  My gun was lame and I couldn't hit anybody, Christian acquired Cameron's old gun (a sniper rifle) and shot me three times, yes it stung but I didn't have any lasting welps or serious injuries.  The things you will do to spend time with your kids.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Goin' to the Movies"

I took this picture coming out of Wal-Mart the other day, I know I shouldn't have but I couldn't help myself, they were so cute.  I am extremely curious about what movie they picked out.  You don't think they'll see this, do you?

Here's the dialogue in my head:

George: "What kinda flicker show ya wanna see tonight, Ethel?"
Ethel: "No shoot em' up thing, George.  All that violence desensitizes us and then we'll start actin' like those young people."
George: "Which young people, Ethel?"
Ethel: "Those ones back yonder takin' our picture, thinking we don't know what they're up to 'cause we're old."
George: "Now why on earth would someone be takin' a picture of our backsides standin' here lookin' for a movie? That don't make no sense, Ethel."
Ethel: "It's just sick I tell ya, sick..."

Or it could've went something like this:

George: "What in the name of tarnation is this thing?"
Ethel: "I don't know George, it looks kinda strange to me."
George: "Well, I just don't like it, it's probably somethin' conjured up by the government."
Ethel: "George, do you think it could be some sort of ATM?"
George: "For cryin' out loud Ethel, that is ridiculous nonsense.  I'm sure it's some kind of teleportation device."

I know, I'm weird.


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Gift of Song

My family is so blessed to have so much musical talent.  This past weekend, Christian and Cameron, sang in hand picked choirs.  Cameron sang in the 9th and 10th grade Honor Choir, the students were selected by their music teachers.  Cameron's voice is really pretty, I'm going to get him to sing a solo at church soon.    Christian sang in All District Choir, auditions are only for Juniors and Seniors, these students had to audition for judges and 156 students were selected for this choir.  These 156 students then auditioned for All State Choir, in which only 24 students are selected...6 Sopranos, 6 Altos, 6 Tenors, and 6 Bass.  This is quite an honor and very tough to achieve.  Christian was one of the chosen tenors!  The only one from Warsaw selected this year, the third in WHS history, and the first tenor in WHS history!  Yes, we are very proud! 

Below is the All State audition piece.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Cornerstone's Got Talent 2011

We recently had a youth talent show at church.  It was interesting...

It was a lot of fun, I laughed so hard at this act and some of the other ones...and yes, those were meant to be funny.  So talented...


A Testimony

Christian gave his testimony and presented the gospel at church....before the talent show.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

We Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

It's Spirit Week at Warsaw High and my boys just had to get in on the fun.  Tuesday was "twin day" and they dressed alike which was awesome to me.  They wore athletic shorts, white Ts, long socks, sweat head and wrist bands.  I am so disappointed I did not take a picture!  Today was solid color day, each class wears a certain color (it's weird), Christian's color was green (school colors are green and black), below is what he came up with, yes...that's a book cover on his head.  We don't know what Cameron is...the Candy man?  But it's his birthday so whatever.


Friday, September 30, 2011

National Honor Society

Christian was inducted to National Honor Society last night...quite an honor and it looks good on his transcript.  It was a weird ritualistic ceremony with candles and an oath but there were no animal sacrifices or cloaks or anything so it was okay, right?  We are very proud of him.

Go light your world, son!

It looks as though he is trying to hold in some flatulence, and almost forgets how to spell his own name...but who really knows???

I've been induced! (yes, he said this loud in Wal-Mart after leaving here....induced, but he did it on purpose at least)


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