Monday, July 27, 2009

The Easy Bake Mobile

We have owned our 1994 Chevy Astro van for almost 10 years now. We have lovingly referred to it as the "beast" for the last several years because it's so old and has had so many breakdowns. Well...the beast now has a new name.

"The Easy Bake Mobile"

Here in the deserts of So Cal we have had above average temps for the last 3 weeks. Sometimes it has reached into the 120s. Let me tell you, THOSE temps are incredibly hard to live with even in the air conditioning. Those wonderful air conditioners can only cool down a building or car so far. Needless to say, we have done our fair share of sweating around here lately!

On to the details behind this new name...

We had an appointment on Saturday afternoon. Walter and I were on our way to it when the whole ventilation system turned off for a few seconds. We looked at each other and said, "Oh no!" Then it kicked back on again. We shrugged it off because this van has so many quirks about it.

We took care of our appointment and left. We pull up to a gas station and smelled an electrical smell...not good. We get some gas and turn the engine back on. No ventilation system AT ALL! Nope, nadda, zilch!!!! It's 105 and very humid outside! what are we going to do!

We discussed our options (which weren't many) and decided the van is nothing but a money pit these days (the engine is just about ready to go out, the radiator is leaking, etc.). So we set out to buy another car (no brand new cars here...cannot afford new).

We went back to the same used car lot we dealt with about 5 years ago. We didn't really care what we got just as long as it didn't get worse gas mileage than the van and as long as the air conditioning worked really well. We sat in a Saturn (the compact car...the name escapes me right now). That was funny....we don't fit in a Saturn!

We then test drove a 1999 Buick Park Avenue. Nice car but the a/c didn't work well and the salesman admitted they'd had to put more freon in it that morning (BIG red flag). Not only did we see the red flag, but the salesman was very rude.

We asked him if he did car faxes to see if the vehicles have been wrecked. He said and I quote, "I'm not doin nothing!" Not a good start to a potential sale. We shrugged it off and got in the car. The salesman rode with us. I asked if he knew how many miles per gallon the car got. I thought he might know. He turned around and looked at me and said, "What difference does it make? 22, 17, 20, 18...doesn't matter. It's a big car! You're not going to get good mileage!" I was shocked! So I said, "Gee, all I did was ask a question." He said, "And you got an answer!" Are your eyebrows up at this moment reading this? Mine were! This guy definitely did NOT want to sell us a car! So I told Walter that as far as I was concerned he could just drive the car back to the lot because I wasn't interested in buying the car. This guy actually thought he was being cordial! I told him the sale was a bust because of his attitude. He said, "I don't have an attitude. I didn't say anything wrong." Walter said, "Yes, you do have an attitude. All she did was ask you a question and you bit her head off. You obviously don't sell many cars." We took the car back to the lot. This salesman told us, "You just missed out on the sale of the century." I told him, "No, we didn't miss out." We left and went down the street to the next lot.

There weren't any prices in the windows of any of the cars. So we went inside and started asking for any cars within a certain price range. We test drove 1 car and it ended up being the car we bought.

Can I tell you a secret? The car we bought was actually the one I had been wanting for a very long time. I've been praying for this particular model for many months, maybe even a couple of years.

But on Saturday, I really didn't care what we got. I was looking for anything, really.

So, do you want to know what we got?




2001 Buick LeSabre (fully loaded, I might add). Leather seats, great stereo, fabulous air conditioning, rear a/c, no road noise, smooth ride.

God is soooooooooo wonderful! He loves me. I can tell. I had dropped hints to Walter a long time ago that I would like to get another LeSabre some day but he didn't know that I had been praying for one (I've also been praying for another model of car as well, but that will have to wait for now). God gave me EXACTLY what I wanted. I shouldn't be amazed, but I still find myself in awe of Almighty God and how He works in our lives. He really takes care of His children. We are soooooo blessed.

So...the van is the "Easy Bake Mobile" because there is absolutely no air of any kind unless you roll down the windows and that air feels like a turned on oven!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Turning Up The Heat

Whew! The temperatures are going up, up, up here!

Yesterday the temp was 119 degrees! Thursday it was at least that or more and we had to be out in it just about all day - yuck!

I have made the house like a cave just to try to keep it cool. We were able to keep the inside temp at 79 (that's very warm for us). We're used to about 73 inside. The swamp cooler is working its little 'heart' out day and night keeping us as cool as possible.

It seems this heat wave is going to last at least another 4 days. Ugh! I wish I could just stay home and not go outside whatsoever, but, that's just not practical. Oh, well. It's only for a few more days.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Life's Education

I can remember when I graduated from high school thinking that finally my education was done and over with. Ha!!! Little did I know that I was just embarking on a life full of learning! But life's education is and has been very healthy for me. I have learned so much just from life. That said...

Ruby has been home a week now and we are so thankful.

She has put quite a bit of weight back on but she is not herself yet. She does have a couple of spots on her front feet that we are concerned about because she is limping but other than that she looks great. We will take her to the vet if those spots don't heal soon. We are anxious for her to get back to her old silly self again, but we wait patiently for that.

Last Tuesday night, we gathered as a family and went around to each one of us to find out what we learned from Ruby running away.

Tyler: He learned patience
Phyllip: He learned how to wait on God
Lyndsey: She learned not to take Ruby for granted - that we will always have her
Rhonda: I learned patience; my faith was strengthened at the EXACT moment I needed it! This taught me how BIG my God is!
Walter: He learned compassion. He said he didn't realize just how much of a friend Ruby had become to all of us until she ran away.

There are several miracles we see in this whole situation.

-The temperature outside had climbed to 110 and above for several days before Ruby came home. When she finally showed up on our doorstep, she was severely dehydrated, skin and bones, exhausted and very smelly/dirty. She would not have lasted much longer out in the heat.

-We put countless hours into finding her. We passed out hundreds of flyers, walked many miles, drove many miles, called for many hours for her, put ads on craigslist for her, looked several times a day at the animal shelters for her. None of it brought her back home. We finally decided that God would have to bring her home. Oh, how we prayed daily for her that she would be safe and that God would direct her back here. We just trusted...and prayed. It got harder and harder each day to believe she could still be alive knowing the area of the US we live in. I had prayed and begged God on Monday to strengthen my faith because I was feeling weak. I told Him I needed to see Him do something just for me. And do something He DID!!!

-From this situation I was able to get a glimpse of God's love for each and every person in this world. Just like we were looking for our lost dog and calling her, Jesus is calling each and every one of us and He wants to show us just how much He loves us and wants to care for us. He wants each one of us to live with Him in heaven for all eternity.

This small situation in our lives has given me a greater compassion for people and their eternal destination. I want to show the love of Jesus to each and every person I can. Lord Jesus, please help me to show others your love!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Tyler Learned Yesterday

Did you know you can burn leaves and kill bugs with a magnifying glass on a hot day (115 degrees with no end in sight)!

Yesterday he burned leaves.

Today, he figured out how to kill ants and centipedes! Ewwww! If that's not bad enough, he came in and told me he was doing it and proceeded with sound effects. For instance, the ants will pop when they get hot enough. Yuck!

Looking at life through the eyes of a boy is very foreign to me. I grew up with one sister and didn't know the first thing about boys and their imaginations. They have taught me well! I shouldn't be surprised at the things they do, but they still amaze me even at their ages today.


The other day, Phyllip had a few friends over to celebrate his birthday. We were on our way to church when the boys were talking about the price for the xbox 180 (it's the newest xbox - the first one was the xbox 360) being $180. Here's how the conversation went.

Tyler: Dad, did you know that the xbox 180 only costs $180?

Walter: Wow! That would mean you only get half of an xbox 360! That also means you get to pick which half of the game you get to play. You can pick the top half or the bottom half of the screen.

Kirk: Or the left side or the right side!

We all laughed at that one!

Boys! They keep me guessing all the time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


RUBY IS HOME!!!!! And she was not at a shelter, either!

We were getting ready to take my nephew to the airport this morning and all of a sudden, she was on the doorstep!

She is very thin, tired, and dirty but we are so thankful to have her back. Praise the Lord!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Maybe, Possibly.....Yes????

I was browsing the animal shelter websites today for Ruby.

We think we may have found her!!!! Notice that I said 'may.' The picture of this dog is not the greatest but when the kids all came and looked at it, they all said it was Ruby. I have a little reservation about whether or not it is her, though.

Unfortunately, the shelter is closed for the holiday and they don't reopen to the public until Tuesday.

I am asking if you would pray about this with us. I don't want to get my hopes up in case it really isn't her.

Thank you for your prayers.