Monday, November 30, 2009

We Would Ask...

Update: We rejoice to say that Walter's company has figured out a way to prevent any layoffs at least through February! That IS an answered prayer!

that all pray for Walter's job.

He found out that his company is probably going to be laying off some people. At this point, Walter doesn't think his job is in jeopardy but we just don't know.

We aren't worried, though. We know that God will take care of us. We just want God's will in this situation.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Yesterday we picked up Lyndsey and one of her friends from college and brought them home for Thanksgiving weekend.

The morning started out normal/uneventful but progressed in the opposite direction a few hours later.

The boys and I left the house at 6 a.m. The drive was easy; very light traffic.

Lyndsey was to be out of chapel service by 8:30 and I wanted to get home before all the major traffic backed up.

We got up there a few minutes early. I looked at the outside temperature reading on the car and it said 38 degrees. Needless to say, the boys and I were NOT ready for that. Tyler and I had light jackets on and Phyllip didn't bring one. We were cold!

Lyndsey had a couple of friends she wanted me to meet. I was sitting in the car and rolled the window down but then decided to get out to meet them.

A few minutes pass and I'm heading down to the other end of the campus in the car to load the girls' suitcases. I pushed the automatic window button to put the window up and nothing happened. The window was stuck in the DOWN position and it was 38 degrees outside! I mistakenly hit the down side of the window button and watched and heard the window drop completely down inside the door. That was NOT a good thing!

We got the girls loaded up and left with the window down. We drove all the way home with the window d.o.w.n. It was a very cold drive for the first 90 minutes or so. When we got to San Bernardino the weather was warmer and it wasn't such a bad drive.

Walter 'fixed' the window when he got home. When we have more time he will really fix it.

It's got to be that normal uneventful outings are just plain boring! I think that's why we don't usually have them.

(We also seem to have cars that have quirks. For instance, our van's windshield wipers don't work most of the time when you need them to. But when they do decide to work they change speeds on their own. We don't have to turn the lever - they change from normal to warp speed to in between and so on all on their own!)

So...on to the title for this post.

We were still in the car. Lyndsey had her phone and it rang. After she hung up the phone, Tyler asked her, "Lyndsey, is your phone on wiggle?"

(Lyndsey has her phone set on 'vibrate' so that if she gets a call during class or church service, it doesn't interrupt. Tyler didn't know the word was 'vibrate' so he called it 'wiggle'.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In Awe

I write this with so much excitement!

God is just so awesome!

There almost aren't right words to describe what God means to me.

I can go through all the BIG things that He has done for me. I'm not minimizing those at all. It's just that these are kind of like the 'givens' so to speak. For example:

*He has given me salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ
*I have a marriage made in Heaven - yes our marriage is THAT great!
*I have 3 fabulous kids

But lately I've been focused on the little things that God continues to do for me - and they truly are just for me (but I want to share them to encourage you).

*I wrote a couple of weeks ago about candles being given to me and how much I love them.
*I've had my eye on a music cd for several weeks now. We haven't had the extra money to buy it. Today, my pastor's wife told me she had something for me. It was a music cd that someone had given to her. She knew about our car being broke into and all the music stolen. She decided to give it to me. Guess what? It was the exact cd that I had been wanting! And, even better, ONLY God knew how much I wanted it!
*I've been looking for makeup remover (I know this one seems a bit silly). I've been using a particular brand of skincare for several years now. I try to buy most of it on ebay at discounted prices. I haven't been able to find it there lately and I don't have the money to buy it at full price. I happened to get an Ulta magazine earlier this week and hadn't looked at it until yesterday. In it was a coupon for a free item. Guess what one of my choices was? Yep, one FREE makeup remover! Now, it's not the brand I usually use, but I'll take FREE anyday!

I am truly in awe of God's love for me. It completely humbles me and makes me want to bow at His feet and just stay there a while in praise and worship to Him.

I would describe my relationship with God like that of a husband and wife (the Bible does speak of Christ being the bridegroom and we the bride). Just like my husband showers me with love and things that I take pleasure in, God does the same. More and more I see that God proves His love for me over and over and over each day. I just haven't been focused enough on Him to see all of it until recently.

During this thanksgiving season, look for ways that God shows you how much He loves you. I bet you will be absolutely astounded at everything He has done and continues to do for you! I know I am!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Have Watched Waaaay Too Many Thrillers!

Walter and I were laying in bed last night having a nice end-of-the-day conversation.

The conversation was pleasant. We were laughing, making jokes, and having a few serious thought segments.

(Insert background music to any thriller movie that lets you know something scary is about to happen.)

Everything was going along smashingly when I saw one of the most terrifying images. Imagine seeing the silhouette of a man walking around in your yard. I suddenly became tense and grabbed my husband's hand and said with a frightened tone, "Honey, someone is in our backyard!" Walter flew out of bed and ran over to the window. He cautiously opened the blinds, but couldn't get a good view.

He quickly put his robe on and walked out of the bedroom very commandingly towards the back door. I, on the other hand, quietly ran on my tippy toes out to the dining room and stayed far enough away so as not to be seen by the intruder.

Walter looked out the back door and still could not get a good look. He decided to take the dog out and get a better look (it's the cop in him). I was frighteningly nervous, my heart was practically beating out of my chest, but I was poised to hear him shout at me to get the gun. I also had my phone in hand ready to dial 911 in an instant.

The dog remained totally calm and she and Walter walked casually back to the door and came inside. Walter then whispered to me that it was our next-door neighbor in his backyard. (Another neighbor up the street has a light that somehow picked up our neighbor's silhouette and it was shining in our bedroom window.) Phew!!!!!! Hugh sigh of relief suddenly overwhelmed me and we walked back to our bedroom, climbed into bed, and drifted off happily to the land of fabulous dreams.

Indeed, there are too many thriller movies under my belt. No, I don't watch them anymore. And, yes, this really did happen last night! I am NOT exaggerating! I can't make this stuff up!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Love It When They Think They Can Pull A Fast One On Us!

A couple of weeks ago, our church held a "Trick or Trunk" alternative to Halloween. It turned out far better than we could have imagined. There were well over 100 people that showed up.

On to the story...

Phyllip and Tyler were talking with their friend, Lawrence, at the Trick or Trunk.

The conversation was already underway when it was overheard. It went like this:

Lawrence: I can't do that! I'm grounded...remember??!!

Phyllip or Tyler (I don't know which): Yeah, but you're only grounded when you're at home!

Lawrence: Oh yeah! (you could tell that he had put 2 and 2 together and the light bulb went on in his head) I'm gonna go tell that to my mom!

Insert David, an adult, who overheard the whole exchange.

David: Lawrence, I don't think that's such a good idea.

Lawrence: Why not?

David: I just wouldn't tell your mom.

Lawrence: Ok.

About 30 minutes go by and Lawrence and my boys race past David again and he hears the following:

Lawrence: I'm going to tell my mom that I'm only grounded at my house!

David: Ok, buddy. You do what you think is best.

Insert Esha (Lawrence's mom)

Lawrence: Hey Mom, did you know that I'm only grounded at home?

Esha: Go tell your dad.

Lawrence runs over to his dad - insert Jeff (his dad).

Lawrence: Hey Dad, did you know that I'm only grounded at home?

Jeff: Nice try, buddy!

Just for the record, Lawrence's parents didn't fall for it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our Anniversary Gift

Tyler decided he wanted to give us a gift for our anniversary.

He gave us a gift of time.

This young man wrote up a menu of meals that he knew how to cook and handed it to us and asked us to pick what we wanted for dinner.

The menu included the following:
French Toast
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Meat and Cheese Sandwich - with choice of mayonnaise and mustard

How could we say no to that?!!!

He fixed our dinner and he went all out. The table was set with lit candles and music was playing softly.

Then the four of us sat down and ate.

It was the best anniversary gift I could have asked for!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Example

I find that I/we have made many mistakes in raising my/our children. Does anybody else besides me wish to be a better example to their children?

The more I read my Bible, the more I realize that I have such an awesome opportunity to raise my children to be godly adults/parents.

I want them to be used of God so much. I want to see them live victorious Christian lives and never turn their backs on God.

But...what does my life show them? What are my priorities? Are my words harsh, negative, critical, belittling, etc. or are my words loving, encouraging, uplifting, etc.?

I am learning that words are so important. The old saying when I was a kid I still hear kids say today: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!" That is one of the biggest lies!

I was called names growing up. Some of it was done in jest and some of it was done to be mean. I grew up believing that I wasn't loved. My feelings were hurt more times than I care to remember. And because of it I ended up harboring bitterness for many years in my life. I really believed that I was unworthy of any one's love and for many years I found myself amazed that someone had actually fallen in love with me and wanted to marry me and live the rest of his life with me. It took me a long time to admit I was bitter and to go to the person I was so offended at and make things right with them. I don't want my children to have to experience that EVER!

I still struggle today with acceptance. I find that I even struggle with God's love for me today because of things in my childhood (yes, I need to 'get over it'). It's hard to change thought patterns that were shaped in my mind as a child. I am very much a non-confrontational person today. I hate confrontation with a passion. I will do almost anything to avoid it. I tend to talk about 'safe' things with others and don't get too deep into opinions or personal matters. Have my children's thought patterns been shaped correctly? Do they struggle with God's love for them or do they embrace Him with every ounce of their being?

What about my actions? Do I portray the love of Christ to my kids and spend quality time with them or do I just brush them off and make them feel unimportant? Do I answer their questions rudely and with harshness or do I take the time to help them understand the answer in a way that shows they are important to me (even if I am tired or busy)?

What about discipline? How do I discipline my kids? Do I do it in love or do I scream at them and say things that are unnecessary and even hurtful? Do I show them from the Bible how they are wrong and how to correct their actions or do I throw my hands up in the air and give up trying to correct them?

How I have failed my children! I can't even count the number of times I've had to apologize to my kids because of my actions, words, wrong discipline, etc. But the Bible tells me that God's mercies endure forever and are renewed daily. With God's help, I know I can be a right example. God, help me to be the right example to my children!

Monday, November 9, 2009

How Could I Forget?

We made plans to visit Lyndsey in Lancaster last Saturday.

The whole day was just fabulous. Having all 5 of us together again was wonderful.

We laughed and talked and played games and enjoyed each other's company all afternoon.

It hit me this morning - I had forgotten how much I love Lyndsey's laugh. When she gets to laughing hard - that's when I think she has her best laugh. How could I forget?

If there's one piece of advice I could give to anyone at this moment about raising children it would be to just soak them up. Drink in every ounce of their being because one day........they will be all grown up and leave the nest and you, too, might just find yourself forgetting some of the things you enjoy most about your children.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It Was Definitely An Adventure

It wasn't the adventure we had planned, though.

Walter had Thursday and Friday off last week. We had planned to do some things locally because money just doesn't grow on trees around here and we are pinchin' pennies like most people I know.

We decided to go hiking Thursday morning and also Friday morning. Thursday morning came and we headed up to our hiking destination. It was a beautiful day. The area was gorgeous and we spent a couple of hours taking in the scenery and letting the boys play in the river catching frogs and just having a good time. We found out that we could go camping for free there (that caught our attention).

We mosied home for lunch. We remembered that our local zoo (The Living Desert) has a program where people can camp inside the grounds of the zoo. We thought it would be a great experience for the boys so we checked into it. They only offer it on the weekends. So...on the spur of a moment, we packed up all our camping gear (and borrowed a couple items from fellow campers) and headed back to Whitewater to camp for the night.

(Oh the visions we had for the evening and the next morning! It was supposed to be a beautiful evening and we were going to wake up and see the mountain lions walking along the ridge of one side of the mountains and on the other side we were going to see the bighorn sheep walking on the actual side of the mountain. There was also an occasional bear and snake that roam that area. I must insert here that I was not thrilled about any of those animals being close to us except for the sheep. You can call it the 'chicken' side of me.)

We were the only campers that night in the whole park. Camp was set up in less than an hour. The boys were having a great time exploring. Ruby (the dog) was just as giddy as ever wanting to participate in everything. I had started cooking dinner when I heard a blood curdling scream.

I turned around to find Phyllip on the ground and rolling, holding his left leg. I walked over to him and looked at his leg. Everything appeared normal, at least on the outside of his leg. He couldn't walk. He just laid on the ground for quite a while. I helped him get to a chair. I figured he would be running around again in a few minutes - he always is. Not this time. He just kept holding his left foot and moaning. I gave him some ibuprofen hoping that would help. He wanted to sit in the car and prop his leg up.

Shortly after he gets to the car we are scared out of our wits when two incredibly vicious sounding dogs came out of nowhere and started to lunge at us and Ruby! Walter started screaming at them and Tyler to get rocks and throw them at the dogs. I quickly got Ruby off her chain and practically threw her in the car for protection. Ruby came unglued when she heard and saw them. I've never heard her growl and bark like that. I guess her little 'vacation' back in the summer helped her to 'grow up'. We were able to scare the dogs off and everything went back to 'normal?'.

We tried to stick it out. We ate dinner and the pain had gotten so bad with Phyllip that he was sobbing and asked if we could just go home and take him to the doctor. By this time it is pitch black outside. There were no lights at this campground. We had our flashlights and that was it. We decided it was just too mean and heartless to stay there and packed up everything as quick as possible.

Phyllip and I ended up at the cattle call, I mean emergency room, a short while later. There were only a few seats left. It was so packed in there. It was awful.

I haven't paid too much attention to the whole swine flu thing. I believe it's too hyped up - not that people aren't getting sick from it, but the media is blowing it way out of proportion. Anyway, so many of the patients have the flu - you would have to be blind not to see it. They all looked the same - red sunken eyes, red nose, coughing, absolutely miserable feeling, etc. I was almost scared to stay in there.

But we got checked in and waited. And waited. And waited. You get the idea. We were there for 4 hours when we finally got the diagnosis - Phyllip had broken his foot!

If I had just been told I broke my foot, I think I would have cried. But...I'm a girl. Phyllip acted like he had just scored the winning point in a football game! He threw his hands up in the air and shouted, "Cool!" Then he looks at me with the biggest smile and says, "That's 1 down and 205 to go, Mom!" I'm not exactly sure that he actually wants to break all 206 bones in his body, but at that moment he thought it was a great idea! In my head I'm thinking, "You just wait, buddy. You aren't going to like that cast or crutches after a day or two." But, there was no convincing him of it at that point.

He got a splint put on his foot, was given crutches, discharge papers, and we were off. It was very late. He thought the crutches were so 'cool' that he had this sudden burst of energy and he just wanted to 'walk' everywhere. He was all smiles and chatter. I, on the other hand, just wanted my bed. I was exhausted. Just thinking about all that Friday would hold with doctors' appointments and such made me even more tired and it basically ruined any and all plans we had made.

It was a rough night of sleep. Walter had an allergy attack and couldn't sleep. I couldn't get into the REM sleep pattern. I was catnapping. Phyllip woke up a couple of times screaming that his foot hurt and we had to rewrap it for him. We ended up getting about 3 hours of sleep.

I was up as early as I could be and was getting ready to leave in a moment's notice in case the doctor's office told us to come immediately. I had started calling the pediatrician's office to get a referral to the orthapedist's office but they weren't answering the phones yet. In the meantime, I got a phone call from the hospital saying they had read the xray of Phyllip's foot wrong and he didn't break his foot after all. He just sprained/brusied it badly. A huge sense of relief came over me. All adrenaline that had been pumping through my body instantly drained. I was completely and utterly mush - good for nothing.

But, I had to keep going because Saturday was a busy day with a homeschool meeting and then on to see Lyndsey for the rest of the day. I needed to get groceries and fix lunch and dinner to take with us so we didn't have to spend money eating out.

By the time Saturday rolled around, Phyllip discovered that crutches aren't as cool as he thought. They are actually a lot of work. That poor kid had to use them so much. His foot just wasn't up to a lot of walking. His upper body strength was drained out of him quickly. This morning he was mush - bemoaning the fact he needed to use the crutches. Tonight he said, "Well Mom, I learned that crutches just aren't that fun after 1 or 2 days."

We are very thankful that Phyllip didn't break his foot. It has definitely been an adventure - just one that I don't care to repeat.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It Seems Like Yesterday

I married the love of my life.............and today we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I still remember our wedding like it was yesterday.

It doesn't seem possible that we've already raised one child nor that our youngest should be almost 11.

I love being married! Our marriage grows sweeter each day. It won't be long and we'll be celebrating our silver anniversary.

I remember when we went to an 25th anniversary party back when we were in our early 20s. I thought the couple was way old! Ha! Look at me now! I'm not far from that! I wonder how many people think that about us!

I love you, babe! Thanks for sticking with me all these years! You are the BEST!!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Both of our vehicles were broke into last night. (sigh)

The stereo in the van was taken (it was a piece of junk anyway). All the music cds in the Buick were taken along with some audio cds. Amazingly, they didn't take the stereo.

Boy, were those thugs in for a surprise when they got home and dumped out all their 'goodies' they had just stolen! They got a bunch of gospel music.

As far as the music goes, we had burned all of our cds onto the computer so we can make copies. I don't think we will be putting master cds in the cars anymore.

Oh well. Maybe God will use those cds in a marvelous way and those thugs will end up getting saved! We have something new to pray for!

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's The Little Things

There are a few things that I get enjoyment out of in life. One in particular is candles. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE candles. I try to light a candle every day (vanilla are my absolute favorite).

So, for the last several weeks I've been trying to buy some candles. With the economy in the tank, money is very tight and I just haven't been able to justify buying candles. Candles are one of the 'little things' that happen to be way down on the list of priorities for purchase. Other things like FOOD, clothing, etc. seem to take precedence (wink).

We have been in the midst of remodeling our church building these last 10 days or so. Everything has been gone through and if it wasn't necessary or wanted it was either thrown away or Walter and I took it to sell or keep for ourselves.

We brought home about 3 carloads of stuff. As we unloaded the car, one box happened to make its way into the house instead of the garage. It's been sitting in the dining room for the last 3 days staring me in the face.

And then it was like God hit me upside the head today (metaphorically speaking of course). Inside that box is a load of candles! And not just any candles. Can you say my favorite candle? That's right...vanilla and pear scented candles!!!! Not only that, but I had been looking at some new candle holders in the store as well. In the box is also several candle holders. I finally put 2 and 2 together today and realized that God gave me one of the little things I take pleasure in!

I say it over and over again. I continue to be amazed by God and all His wondrous works. My husband asks me why I am amazed that God would provide things for me because, after all, I am one of His children and He loves me and, of course, He would do things like this for me. My answer to that is...I know I shouldn't be amazed but that is the only way I can describe the feeling of KNOWING that God Almighty loves little ol' me!