Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring is in the Air

Ah Spring...the flowers are blooming and the weather is lovely.  My lilac bush was swarming with butterflies and I snagged a good pic before they all flew off.

Next is my is beautiful and smells oh so good (so do the lilacs).  The blooms look almost like a clump of grapes.  They bloom first and then the leaves come after the flowers are gone. 
 It is totally taking over this tree!  James thinks it's going to kill it but I don't really care.  Every Spring I have a huge purple tree in my yard.  The butterflies weren't swarming this one...instead it was bees, bumble bees.
These flowers look good because I don't really have to do anything to for the rest??? We will see...oh, you know I don't have time to take care of flowers, I'm too busy writing about them, ha!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's the Simple Things

It's a tough job but someone has to do it....

 A must-have for any bathroom easy-to-load toilet paper holder. This was my hubby's contribution, it is the only thing he really wanted in our "new" bathroom. I finally found one at K-Mart.
 Amazingly easy...simple enough for the whole family to use.

....the upstairs bathroom...need I say more?


Bathroom Remodel

A while back I mentioned to James that I would like to do something to the downstairs bathroom.  Every time I was in there I would see something that would make me gag, okay not physically but it would speak to me and it was saying "people see this every single time they use this room and it's really gross".  It was mostly some water damage and old porcelain tile that I didn't like.  This led to one thing after another, if I change this then I need to change this, etc, etc.  Several months ago I started buying this here and there, if this was really going to happen there was no way I could afford it all at once, so every once in a while I would pick something up and store it somewhere until I could talk my hubby into "getting to it".  A few long months later and here it is!  The before and after...and one in the process! ha!

Down to the studs!

 Cameron said he liked the light house motif better, he didn't actually use the word motif...

 Christian got a kick out of a cross being directly above the toilet....didn't think about that but it probably needs to be there because some very unholy things go on in here.

 Crown molding makes everything look better :)
 Notice there are pictures (bath pics of my baby boys) those may return, muahaha!
I am so proud of my husband and all his hard work.  What a blessing he is, he came up with that mirror trim all by himself.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Look out!  It's Golf Season!

My two handsome sons had their first golf tournament/meet yesterday.  This is Cameron's first year playing (since he's a Freshman) but he started playing a couple years ago.  He got to play Varsity yesterday, very exciting.  The tournament ended early due to rain but they got in 6 or 7 holes.

Christian has been playing since his Freshman year, he got to compete yesterday against one of the best players in the state for a 1A school.  It was in the Sedalia Democrat this morning.

Christian loves....really  Even though the scores didn't count today, it's the start to a new season and hopefully many wins by the Hoagland boys.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Another Driver in the House!?!

Cameron got his permit and we are now on the road!  Notice he is driving on our gravel road, he is not quite ready for the highway.  He is much more timid than Christian was but he will get there.  I don't know if I have mentioned this before but I am the parent that has to teach these kids how to drive.  Is it my amazing skills?  My nerves of steel?  My patience?  Nope, James will throw up.  He does okay on the gravel roads but that is the limit.  But I'm okay with it, I will have him drive back and forth to school, once he is comfortable driving the backroads.  I will gasp, slam on the imaginary brake, hold on to the handle above the door, and let out the ocassional squeal.  They should not be offended by this because I do this with the seasoned driver as well...just ask our van drivers on our New Orleans mission trip, Steve and Joni, their new catch phrase for me was "We're gonna die!"

I'm looking forward to Cameron getting his driver's license in October, but are you???


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

52 Books.....seriously???

If you recall, last year I "attempted" okay, I said I was going to attempt to read 52 books, or some books.  I really do love to read, I just don't have time!  I sit here now trying to remember what books I read in 2011....hmmmm...I know at the beginning of the year I read a sweet little fiction book, can't remember the title though.  I read the beginning of several books.  I did read "The Help", loved that one!  The movie was very disappointing...maybe if I would've watched it first but I don't think it was even worth sad, I know the book is always better but this one did not even compare to how great the book was.  Okay, I'll get over that now.  I read one short story around Christmas time, pitiful.  Well, let's just move on then.  2012, so far I have a few sitting by my bedside.  I am currently leading a book study so I had better read that one for sure, it's by Dr. Kevin Leman "Have a New Teenager by Friday" and it is good.  I started "Heaven is for Real" and "The List" by one of my favorite fiction authors, Robert Whitlow, I'm sure I will have to start that one over because it's been quite a while.  And then I'm going to read "Not a Fan" by Kyle Idleman, it was given to me to read so I'm agonna.  If I finish those, that's 4 whole books, lol, pitiful.


Mardi Gras ~ Part 2

Gospel tracts...I used to think of them as not very effective, I guess I just thought that wasn't enough but God uses all sorts of things to draw people to Himself and who am I to say otherwise.  We heard a testimony of a beer truck driver that delivered to the French Quarter, one morning he spotted a tract on the street and picked it up and was saved.  Hearing this testimony gave me hope for every single tract we put in people's hands and everyone that was tossed on the ground as well, and there were many.  Perhaps someone took a tract, stuck it in their pocket forgetting all about it and then when going to do laundry or just digging through their pockets later on, they pulled out a few verses of God's Word and a seed was planted or even they were made aware of their lostness and saved!  God's Word never returns void!
This is David and Lisa, they live in New Orleans, this is their city.  7 years ago, David was going through a difficult time, he didn't know what to do with himself, he asked Lisa to go to one of the Mardi Gras parades with him.  She said, oh please, no...she did not want to go, they never go...but he continued to plead with her to go and she agreed.  They were there for only a few minutes and he said, are you ready?  She said, okay.  They went to a restaurant on Bourbon Street for dinner and upon leaving the restaurant he spotted a wooden cross being held by one of "our" missionaries.  He fell to his knees, several others in the group rallied around him to minister to him and he prayed to receive Christ.  The image of the cross brought him to his knees, God is so amazing!  David told our group (this year's group, Cornerstone's first year) his testimony the first night we arrived.  He thanked us again and again for coming to "his" city and continuing to come.
The Power of the Cross


Friday, March 9, 2012

Puppy Tales

Our dog, as of late, has been cracking me up....she is no longer a puppy really, but sometimes acts like one.  She is around 10 or 11 (human) years old...I think, but still likes to play.  I have captured a couple fun pictures of her lately.  Okay, maybe they're only fun to me.

Bad thunderstorm...she's terrified.  Disregard marred bedpost.

Lazing about...her favorite thing to do...she crosses her legs...too funny.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

On Mission at Mardi Gras ~ Part 1

Interesting picture, is it not? 
Take a closer look...Mardi Gras beads, trash, a cigarette butt, a thrown away gospel tract...look at the reflection in the water...yes, that's a cross.  This picture pretty much sums up my entire mission trip to Mardi Gras.  I saw lostness, in your face lostness, I know...sin is sin and I knew what Mardi Gras was like.  I've watched COPS, ya know.  And on Bourbon Street it was just a COPS episode...nudity, homosexuality, transvestites, and lots of drunk or high people.  But there were children with their parents, senior adult couples, disabled people....didn't expect that.
Standing in the middle of Bourbon Street, a lady in our group handed an unsuspecting homosexual young man a gospel tract, he took it because it said 'Mardi Gras' on the front of it.  He turned it over and saw that it was about Jesus and looked her in the eye with disdain and wadded it up in his hand and threw it on the ground all while still holding her gaze.  It struck me as as huge statement of rejection of Christ.  Some were polite and took whatever we had to offer them, some wanted to talk to us or were at least willing to, some laughed and scoffed, some cussed, some ignored, some....wept, some....were saved.  Mardi Gras is like evangelism boot camp, get out there and share your faith, share the love of Christ and His salvation!  It made me ache...but it was empowering, I see people a little 'more'...I've always loved the song "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath, listening to the words (really listening) makes me cry.  This is my home, my country, my city, my town, my neighborhood...I want to share the love of Jesus with them, I want to see their lives changed by the gospel.  This month at our church is Local Home Missions Month, this Saturday we are visiting a retirement "village", singing, talking with them, loving them.  Next Saturday, door-to-door evangelism...and I can't wait :)  This is how we are supposed to live, to look into every face we come in contact with and share Jesus with them.

We did free face painting to draw people to us so we could love on them, share with them, and pray with them.  I painted this entire family's faces (except dad) he wasn't up for that, lol.  But I got to have fun with these lovely people and pray with them.  I painted lots of faces.  The last day we were there, "Fat Tuesday", I painted a young woman's face, her name was Kaitlyn, she had just caught her boyfriend cheating, she was very tender, genuine, and broken.  I didn't lead her to Christ but was able to pray with her and the friends she was with, she carried a gospel tract away with her.  They left down the street and about a block away another young man (from a different church group) met these same ladies, talked with them and later told me that these girls talked about how we had prayed with them and they felt the love of Jesus and then he said Kaitlyn just started weeping.  Seeds were planted and watered...please pray for Kaitlyn's salvation.
There were many times when I thought I should've done more, I prayed to just be led by the Spirit and be obedient to whatever God would have me to do or say.  To me...I was very serious on this trip (which is strange because I am not at all a serious person, rather silly even) but God was molding and changing me in all sorts of ways to which I am so very thankful and humbled by.


The New School

Back in November we found out the boys were changing schools at semester.  We enrolled them in December so they could be ready to go when everyone came back from Christmas break in January.  We had some hoops to jump through so our kids could play sports this year in Lincoln (MSHSAA: Missouri State High School Activities Association), they let Cameron start practicing with the basketball team right away and by mid January they were cleared to play.  By the second or third day they were well adjusted and loving their new school, praise God!  Just this week I asked them if they had the opportunity to go back to Warsaw if they would want to and they both said "No way!"  A couple weeks into January and the students voted for "Courtwarming King and Prince Nominees", both the boys were on the list and selected to represent their class.  What an amazing thing after just a couple weeks of school.  Golf season is upon us now and they have begun practices.  Christian can hardly contain himself, he is so excited!  Another "new" thing...Cameron got contacts for Christmas, he is a new man, lol.  We are so thankful for the smooth transition, the wholesome friendships they've made, and the fun they are having at their new school.  God is so good!

Morgan Strathman and Cameron Hoagland - Freshman ~ Courtwarming 2012

Christian Hoagland and Sarah Barton - Juniors ~ Courtwarming 2012


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Flashback to....December 2011 and Africa

I'm trying to get caught up here so just bear with me.

James went to Africa in December, yes, the country, on a mission trip with our church.  He had an amazing time and would go back tomorrow.  I, on the other hand, had a spotlessly clean house and slept like a rock the entire ten sleeps he was gone but that's beside the point.  Let me share a few pics...

Many of these villagers received Christ the night this was taken after James gave the gospel (through an interpreter) in story form.  This tribe has no written language so the 'missionaries' told stories.

 A strange tea symbolizing friendship...James bought one of these and made some for us at home....mmmmm yummy??

A city a few miles (don't know how many) away from the villages.


Does that look like the Lion King to you? 

James feeding a monkey...Christian was so jealous.

 James loves telling about his trip to Africa, and what I've just added here doesn't do it justice.



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