Monday, December 27, 2010


I've discovered something about myself.

I analyze things way too much.

And suddenly, a very minor situation becomes Mt. Everest in my eyes.

I guess it's because I'm a 'glass is half empty' kind of person. But I know it's because of my sinful nature.

Oh that I would keep my eyes on Jesus! And if I do, everything stays in perspective.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Protect Yourself!!!!

We just found out about the latest in identity theft. Click here to watch the video.

Click here to go to the website.

A few dollars spent now can save a whole lotta trouble later!!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Am Woman!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Yesterday, I had to take Lyndsey and all her friends back to school.

There are several freeway changes on the way to Lancaster from our desert location. As we were coming up on the last change, I thought seriously about stopping at a gas station to use the restroom. But then I thought, "All the girls are asleep. Na, I can make it to Littlerock or Palmdale." And so we continued on the journey.


After many minutes of praying, we made it to a gas station. I got out and ran to the bathroom only to discover that I had to pay to use it. *sigh* I ran back to the car, got a quarter, and went inside.

As I was finishing washing my hands, someone was trying to get inside without paying.

I opened up the door and a person was there and said, "Oh, sorry, sorry, " and walked in. I watched said person and was very perplexed.

I kept looking at this person and I thought I better give some advice (why this time, I don't know). I said, "Ya know, this is the woman's bathroom." To which the following reply was given. "I know! I am woman! (as she pointed to herself)" Shocked and feeling REALLY stupid, I said, "Oh, sorry!" and quickly left the bathroom and ran for the car.

This woman looked nothing like a woman! She was very stocky. She had a man's haircut. She was wearing gray sweats, a gray sweatshirt, unisex tennis shoes, and a unisex coat (and had no makeup on). She also was not originally from America - she had an accent.

I think that was my "open mouth, insert foot" experience for the year! This one definitely tops the list!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just Thoughts

As I think back on the last month it's been busy.

Just a lot of randomness.

We celebrated 21 years of marriage. How can it be that long ago we got married? I still think we should be 25!

We've had four dates this month! That's unheard of! But I'm not complaining at all! I am more in love with my husband with each passing day. He IS Mr. Wonderful! Am so thankful God created marriage. He created it perfectly! Marriage truly is a beautiful union. One I never thought I was worthy enough to get a chance at. But God had other plans for me and I rejoice that His plans were so very different than mine.

Went and spent time with Lyndsey at school. Spent the evening with one of her teachers and his family. Had a marvelous time! So good, in fact, we lost track of time. Almost got Lyndsey in trouble with her curfew. We got home VERY late, but it was so worth it!

It's not so bad living in an apartment. Everybody just needs to be considerate of each other. It's definitely a long lesson in patience. I didn't realize the walls were so thin. Thought they would be thicker since it's newer construction (but what do I know about building anything?).

God is so incredibly wonderful! His love for me is amazing. He shows me every day. I marvel at His mercy and grace and longsuffering. My finite mind doesn't comprehend His longsuffering, patience, compassion, gentleness, etc. That's why He's God and I'm not, right?

Lyndsey comes home for Thanksgiving on Wednesday. She's bringing four girls with her. We will be packed like sardines in the car and in the apartment. We'll have a giant 4 day slumber party! But, oh the fun that awaits us! I AM SO EXCITED! I love having an adult daughter. She's so much fun. All of the girls want to go "Black Friday" shopping with me as well as the boys. *SMILE*

I love the ages my boys are at. I get excited just thinking about what they will look like when they grow up. Am even more excited to find out God's plans for them.

Tyler sprained his wrist last week. I believe it would be doing much better if he would leave it wrapped and supported.

The boys are very happy their friends have moved back down here. In fact, tonight they are spending the night with them.

I believe this Thanksgiving will be much different. It's going to be really good! The Lord has worked this one out for me. He knows exactly what I need. Praise God!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We Started Out

like this...

and then a year later, we grew to this...

and then six and a half years later, we became this...

and 20 months later we looked like this... (couldn't find a picture with all five of us)

to now, we are this...

Time sure does fly by when you are having fun! :)


years ago, I married the man of my dreams.

I never thought I would be as blessed as I am. I don't know why, but I've always felt that I didn't deserve to be given so many blessings.

In fact, God has proven me wrong and continues to prove me wrong every single day.

The blessings just keep coming.

I think we were married about 12 years when I finally thought about what I had dreamed and desired to have in a husband. And I discovered that God gave me EXACTLY what I wanted in a man. I do believe God cares about what we desire and He shows me that continuously.

I never thought I could love my husband more than I did on our wedding day. Again, I was wrong. I love him so much more 21 years later!

He is my best friend, my confidant, the absolute love of my life, he makes me laugh, he wakes up every morning with a smile on his face (I am NOT a morning person but slowly I am changing), he works hard so that I can stay at home with the kids, he's my encourager, he gives the best hugs and kisses, and best of all - he loves me back!

Happy 21st anniversary, darling! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This Hit Me Like A Brick

I was reading my Bible today and the following passage "hit me like a brick."

Psalm 8
1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained,
4 What is man, that thou are mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the sea.
9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

So the part that really hit me today is verse 5. "For thou hast made him (man) a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour." We HAVE crowns of glory and honour! God could have chosen the angels to do His work but He chose man and with that He has crowned us with glory and honour. That is amazing to me. God Almighty has crowned ME! Wow!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

According To His Plan

Life has been good. Nothing has "upset the apple cart" so to speak, lately. We've kind of been in cruise control mode, I guess.

Just about two weeks ago, we got a call from our landlord (a very special person to us - he and his wife mean the world to us) saying they were moving back in three weeks (life changed drastically for them very quickly) and we would need to be moved out. I would say that definitely "upset the apple cart" (no offenses have been taken - it just meant life would be crazy for the next three weeks).

We put life into high gear and started searching immediately for a new place to live - as in right after Walter hung up the phone.

We discussed and agreed that we needed to move out of our current city because finances have been so tight. If we could move to another city that is more central to where our 'hub' of life is, we might be able to breathe a little more financially. Not to mention, our drive time will be cut dramatically.

We contacted a realtor and asked him to look for something for us. Our price range is not very high but we are trying to be wise and live within Walter's base pay (you see, we made some foolish financial decisions over the years and have learned our lesson the hard way). We tried to look at some condos but weren't able to get in and look at them (God did not want us to live there, but the property was absolutely gorgeous!).

We decided to look at apartments. We just happened upon a set of apartments that we didn't even realize were there. We stopped in, found out there were openings, looked at one of the apartments, they accept dogs, talked with the manager for a bit, found out they are having a move in special, and went on our merry little way.

I actually liked the apartment. Sounds weird to me when I haven't lived in an apartment for 20 years now, but I really did like it.

We looked at 2 houses in our current city. One really needed work and we just didn't care for it. The other one was beautiful but was really out of our price range when everything was considered.

We found some other houses in our price range in our new city. We called for information and left messages for the property managers to call us back. Went and drove by the neighborhoods of those houses and I just didn't care for the area. There wasn't a sense of peace about any of them. Looked at another set of apartments as well, but again, didn't have peace with those.

My mind kept going back to the first apartment. In my mind, I could see us living there. I could see the whole place set up with our furniture in it. I mean, everything in my mind said that was to be our new home. I called Walter and told him (he thinks I'm weird, but what's new about that? :) ). He asked if I wanted to keep looking. I said no.

We got the application, filled it out, gave the money required with the application, and waited to see if we would be approved. I tell you, I felt like I was walking on pins and needles the whole day waiting to hear back from the manager! But alas, she called and said we were approved! Hooray!!!!!

God works everything according to His plan and according to His timing and it's all done perfectly every single time! He just amazes me over and over again. My husband asks me why I am always amazed that God does everything perfectly for US. My response is always the same - I don't know! are the things that show us that we are moving to the EXACT spot God wants us to be at.
1. We don't have a lot of money to work with - the move in special was a $199 deposit and the first month's rent is $500 off
2. The paperwork we got when we originally looked at the apartment said they accept dogs but they have to be 25 lbs. or less. Well.........I didn't see that until we had decided to apply for the apartment. Walter said he would call and ask about that. He did but what he said was, "What's the weight limit for dogs?" The manager's response was, "The weight limit is 35 lbs." When Walter told her what the flyer said she said, "Oh, that's a typo!" Our dog weighs 35 lbs.!
3. We were approved (that one is kind of a "DUH" thing)
4. We actually had every penny we needed to move in (including the $500 dog deposit)
5. Apparently we were going to have to pay an extra $25 per month for a second parking space but we didn't know that. The manager told us that fee would be waived because she hadn't told us about it.
6. While we were signing the lease, we found out our November rent will be prorated because we signed the lease a week into October. We will be saving almost $150!
7. We decided to move next Wednesday because it's Walter's day off and since we've signed the lease we might as well move in. Unbeknownst to us, our church's normal Wednesday night service had been changed to Thursday night. So we don't have to be in a rush to get everything done and head on to church.
8. The one physical belonging I care most about is my piano. It was my grandmother's. My grandfather bought it for an anniversary gift to her a very long time ago. If we were to get an upstairs apartment, it would have to go into storage. would get ruined in storage. Well guess what? We got the only downstairs apartment that is currently available. I don't have to worry about that anymore!
9. There are some little things I was concerned about. Where our parking spaces would be in connection with where our apartment is. The first one is right in front of the apartment. The second one is caddy corner to the first one. The garbage dumpster is right across from the apartment. The laundry room is just down the building from us.
10. We are within walking distance to the post office and the closest grocery store (if I actually want to walk).
11. We are in a gated community with a security guard on duty 24/7.
12. It's a very quiet community (I like that - can't handle a lot of action, noise, drama - I like peace and quiet)

I am sure there will be more things in the very near future that I will be able to point out as well.

Now, we don't know why God would have us to move to an apartment at this time. But, just like He has always done, He will show us in His time and according to His plan!

My Blessings Today

1. I woke up
2. I had a great night's sleep
3. The sun was shining
4. The weather was PERFECT
5. The kids got their schoolwork done
6. My husband still has a job
7. My husband got paid today
8. I have a GREAT marriage
9. All 5 of us are healthy
10. I live in the USA
11. I am saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died, was buried, and rose again the third day for my sins!
12. All my children are saved
13. God has allowed me to live another day
14. We signed the lease on a new place to call home and got the keys - yay!!!!!! (can I get an AMEN?)
15. We have a nice car that runs great and I absolutely love it!
16. God protected us as we ran errands today
17. We were able to eat out tonight
18. We were able to buy groceries
19. Was able to talk with Lyndsey and my sister a couple of times today
20. I know people are praying for me and my family!
21. I had food enough to eat 3 meals today
22. God provided food, clothing, and shelter today
23. Our November rent payment has been prorated and we are saving almost $150
24. I have a great church and church family!
25. I have LOTS of friends!

There are probably others that I can't think of right now, but I'd say I am richly blessed! How about you? Isn't God AMAZING?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How Do You...

view your day?

Is it through the lens of "blessings" or through the lens of "how many things can I find wrong with this day?"

I don't know how many people are like me, but I'd venture out on a limb and say that because we are all sinners, we have pretty much the same outlook on daily life.

My outlook on life is usually on the negative side. I try to find the blessings, but my mind seems to always go back to something that happened that wasn't so "blessed."

I have told my children for quite a while now that the hardest job they will ever do is work with people. We all have different personalities, likes, dislikes, sensitivities, etc. Learning how to work with individuals is a challenge. But we do it every single day. We have to. There's no getting around it. The question is, am I learning to work with and encourage them or am I causing grief in their lives?

I am finding lately that relationships can be difficult. How is it that I have become so sensitive to other people and the things they do or say to me (whether intentional or not)? How is it that when someone has wronged me, I dwell on that one thing instead of all the blessings God has given me not only that day but for the last 40+ years? That sure is a blessing buster, let me tell you...and it changes my whole attitude until I confess my sin of bitterness and give the situation over to the Lord and ask Him to work it all out.

I've been thinking for a while about God's daily blessings in my life. A preacher recently said that for many years now he has kept a "blessing journal." He records his blessings daily and as of that night, he had recorded over 27,000 blessings! Wow! I bet that puts a skip in his step and it ought to put a skip in my step! This has been ringing in my head for several weeks now and I have now decided that I am going to start a "daily blessing journal." I bet I'm going to be incredibly surprised at just how many blessings I record on a daily basis!

Will you join me in starting a "blessing journal?" It will change your attitude for sure!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


This particular post is similar to this post from last year.

This whole summer while Lyndsey was home from college, she tried to get a job. She applied everywhere (except for some places we believe are a little too scary for her to work at). Nothing. Nope. Notta. Zilch in the job market. She couldn't find a job.

As the months wore on, we (or maybe just Lyndsey and me) began to get a little nervous. After all, Lyndsey isn't a newbie when it comes to college. She's been through it before. We KNOW this year what will happen the first week she goes back to school - that first payment is due.

But nothing happened. Our family was praying for a job for her or provision of her needs. Our church was praying for her as well. Friends and extended family were praying.

And still....the Lord seemed to be silent on the whole issue. We were completely in the dark as to what God's plans were for this situation.

Our financial situation was much bleaker this year than last and we weren't/and still aren't able to help her in any way financially.

The only thing we knew to do was to take her back to school and trust God that He would provide.

The day we took Lyndsey back she had less than $100 in her bank account (she had $400 last year). I can't even begin to tell you the number of butterflies in my stomach that day. But we took her and came back home.

My girl told me that she was incredibly nervous when we said our goodbyes. She started having doubts about whether or not she was supposed to be there. Then she went to church that night. She said when she walked into the auditorium and sat down it was like the Lord told her, "Don't be nervous. You are right where I want you." She said an overwhelming peace came over her and she wasn't nervous anymore. To that, I say praise God!

She worked so hard those first five days she was back (She works part-time on campus which helps to pay a small portion of her bill) But she was loving every second of it.

The first week on campus is when the students register for classes, get settled in the dorms, purchase books, and make that dreaded first payment (at least it was dreaded for Lyndsey this time).

She had until Friday morning to pay the bill. She was waiting and waiting and waiting until the last possible minute to go to the finance office just in case some money just so happened to come in the mail or someone gave us some money for her or the Lord dropped it in our lap somehow.

Lyndsey and I were talking and I told her she might as well go to the finance office because we had checked the mail already for the day and I really didn't think anything would happen that day money wise. She really doesn't like going there if she can't pay the bill. She gets really nervous and because of her nerves, she cries and especially if she has to talk to Dr. Rasmussen (the head of the finance department and a very kind man, too) about her bill. She said, "Mom, I don't know what it is about going in to Dr. R's office, but every time I do, I cry! I really don't want to go there!" I told her I understood but she HAD to.

We were praying Dr. Rasmussen would give her an extension on paying her bill. He already knew she didn't have any money a couple of weeks before she went back because we had seen he and his family and he told us to bring her back anyway.

She got into his office and....she bawled like a baby! He looked at her and said, "Lyndsey, I am signing this paper and giving you an extension and trusting that somehow, some way the Lord will provide your bill." She called me right after leaving his office. She was laughing and crying at the same time and I was right with her and praising God the whole time.

Also, this year at the school, a new scholarship program has been started. Dr. Rasmussen told Lyndsey he made sure she was a participant in the program because he knew how much she needed the money. As long as she meets the requirement, 25% of her bill will be paid at the end of the semester. Hallelujah!

So......we've just been praying and waiting for God's perfect timing with her bill. Oh, and her bill is five monthly payments of almost $1,000. Whew! That's no chump change!

Last week, I got a text from someone very dear to me asking me who they should write a check to for Lyndsey's bill. I told them the information and decided that I was not about to count my chickens before the eggs hatched whatsoever! I was just thanking the Lord for any amount because I KNOW that He would multiply it greatly.

We got the check in the mail yesterday. When I opened the envelope, a check for $1,500 was inside! Glory to God! PRAYER DOES WORK!

This is such a faith building lesson that continues to be so very evident not only in our lives but in Lyndsey's life as well. I heard a preacher say recently, "Faith doesn't mean you aren't scared or nervous, but that you are obedient." Wow! I've thought for many years that I didn't have the right kind of faith because so many times I have been scared or nervous over different situations.

God really does reward our faith. I KNOW and have known (as well as my husband and Lyndsey) that West Coast Baptist College is EXACTLY where our daughter is supposed to be right now. It is so evident to us. There are other little things too that have happened to solidify this to us. I can't say it's been easy to have faith, but it definitely has strengthened my faith!

Faith = obedience
If God wants you to do something, just be obedient. He WILL work out all the details right down to the tiniest. If He's done it for me, He will do it for you, too!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Who He Knows

Walter and the boys get their hair cut every four weeks. They go to a barber shop in our little town. It's reasonable prices and the woman does a really good job.

The owner of the shop is a Hispanic woman (who I will call Rachel just for this story - I really don't know her name) who speaks broken English but is very kind.

Walter told our pastor about this little shop. He goes there every so often when he's in town.

Unbeknownst to Walter, Pastor had gotten his hair cut and had left a gospel tract with her inviting her to our church. The next time Walter and the boys went in to get their hair cut, Rachel commented about the tract and he told her that was our pastor (Walter has given Rachel a gospel tract or two inviting her to our church as well).

A few weeks back, Pastor went in to get his hair cut. As she was cutting his hair, they had a discussion.

Apparently, Walter had tried to describe Pastor to Rachel and she didn't understand. As Pastor and Rachel were talking, he described Walter and the boys to her. She knew exactly who they were. And then she had her very strong opinion about Walter's descriptive abilities.

She said, "He no no how to scribe who he nos!" (you must use a very strong Spanish accent when saying this)

Um......I think he needs some work on describing people (at least in Rachel's opinion)!

Monday, September 6, 2010

What Do I Title This?

A couple of weeks ago I was walking towards the boys' bedroom. In the hallway right in front of their door was the following picture.

Notice that the sign says "worrier" (who's his spelling teacher?????)
(This sign was made by my Tyler)

Actually this is for a "warrior" club. Apparently they need money to buy their gear! I don't know how much they need for their club but it doesn't hurt to ask for donations! I secretly put a quarter in the little envelope at the bottom of the sign. Also notice that there is 62 cents in there.

I had to take a picture of this. I want to remember this sign from them being little.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It Takes Going To...

the school of hard knocks to get me to learn some things.

Sad but true.

The other day, my husband got a phone call from a company we were waiting to hear from about returning a book we had purchased.

The man explained to my husband that under no circumstances whatsoever would we be able to return the item. My husband explained that it was something that we could not use; we had not made copies of any of the pages in it nor had we passed the information in the book on to others. The man became irate and started yelling at Walter calling him a liar and a thief.

Walter told him what it was we thought the book included. The man said that it was not something that we would want anyway. Walter asked him why. He wouldn't answer.

The man actually made some threats, too. Shocked and absolutely befuddled with what this man was saying, Walter hung the phone up. He didn't want to say anything that would be wrong.

You might be thinking, "What's the big deal?" Well, the big deal is that this man is a Christian! Or at least he works for a Christian organization.

Walter was very upset. He can usually let things go but not this time. It almost haunted him for the rest of the day. His flesh wanted to get back at this guy, but his spirit said to let it go.

So this whole incident has gotten me thinking the past couple of days.

I know that I haven't always had the Christian testimony of loving my neighbors in every situation. In fact, I'm ashamed of the hurt I have caused other people (and Christians) down through the years. How many times is it going to take to get me to learn how to treat other people correctly?

I hope I've learned, but if not, may this man's testimony remind me of how NOT to act towards others.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last Family Day...

before she leaves for her second year of college.

Last Saturday, Walter's employer paid for every employee and their families to go to Knott's Berry Farm (they even paid for parking, too). An all-you-can-eat bbq was included.

We were excited to go. We got there safely and finally got parked (their signs for parking are frustrating, to say the least) and had lunch outside the park.

Once inside, we told the kids they could be by themselves (since Lyndsey was with them and she has a phone, too) and we would go our own way. We are much slower these days and we discovered this time that we just can't handle all the rides like we used to. It's soooooo sad! We both love rides (Walter likes more of the extreme rides than I do, but I didn't used to give up a good roller coaster).

The very first ride Walter and I rode was the Silver Bullet. I thought it was one we had ridden years ago, but it wasn't. This one was incredibly extreme but I didn't know it at the time and I was in for a rude awakening. I screamed for almost the whole ride. I opened my eyes for less than a split second only to close them and keep them that way till it was over. As soon as the ride was over I noticed my throat hurt and it continued to hurt the rest of the day. I think I did it in when we rode the SideWinder later. Hence, my voice was partially gone for a couple of days! My husband says that's not necessarily a bad thing! *smile*

We got sunburned and felt like we had sweat about 10 pounds off (which really isn't a bad thing).

Didn't get too many pictures of the day since we were apart from the kids but here are the ones I did get.

Our first attempt at a family picture

The second and final attempt

Gorgeous girl!

Handsome young man!

This cutie is naturally funny! I love it! :)

One of a few attempts of just us

The best one of us I could get. Do I look tired? perhaps hot and sweaty? Oh my, how we sweat that day!

Standing in line waiting to ride the stagecoach

Pictures with this girl are getting few and far between with her away at school now - had to get as many as I could.

I just love this girl!

so handsome - will do anything for his momma!

my "little man" loves his momma unconditionally and I'm so thankful

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I was going through my pictures today.

Been meaning to load them to the computer and then on to my external hard drive in case something happens to all my pictures and they get lost or burned, etc. So I started that whole process today.

Boy, what a very LARGE project that is!

Anyhow, I ran across some pictures that I absolutely love.

One is with my sister. I think it's my all time favorite of her and I. I will post that one and then several others and see which one you like best.
2002 - my favorite





So which one is your favorite?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Guess What I Learned?

I started becoming interested in cooking oil (weird, huh?).

Then I wondered which oil(s) were actually good for consumption.

So I started reading up on the different oils (canola, vegetable...aka...soybean oil, sesame oil, olive oil, coconut oil). And I learned a lot.

I read about hydrogenated oils - ABSOLUTELY bad for us! Here is just one of the websites I read about it on.

Canola oil is REALLY bad for us...from what I've read, the plant that canola is made from, animals won't even eat it!

Vegetable oil...aka soybean oil...not good for us at all. Soy is bad for us all the way around.

Olive oil is good for us but not for frying and at a high temperature. When it reaches a high temperature it changes chemically and becomes bad for us.

Sesame oil has a wealth of benefits. Just google it and you will see some amazing benefits. Two of my kids suffer with a dry, itchy scalp that looks like dandruff. Sesame oil is supposed to help cure that. It also works on athlete's foot (which my husband suffers from). It is good as a moisturizer. And the list goes on and on. As far as cooking with it...very good for us.

Coconut oil is wonderful! It cooks well at a high temperature and doesn't burn or change chemically. I also read that it's very healthy and for those that suffer with high blood pressure, this helps somehow.

So I cleaned out my cupboard of the bad oils and bought some sesame and coconut oil. I made egg rolls last night for dinner and cooked them in the coconut oil. They were the best I've ever made! The flavor was incredible!

There are other oils that are good for us as well like avocado oil, almond oil, and palm kernel oil, just to name a few.

Just wanted to share!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


This has to be one of my all time favorite posts!

Click here to read it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Great Message

I just heard a great message on how to help those in need.

1. Pray for them
2. Praise them
3. Perform (put yourself to action to help them - i.e. buy groceries, clean house, doctor appointments, etc.)
4. Give financially

Giving financially should be the last thing we do because it's more of a bandaid, or a quick fix, to soothe our conscience. Genuine help really is the first 3 things.

Really made me think about my priorities in helping people. How much do I pray for others; how much do I praise them; how much am I willing to do for them; and lastly, do I give of my extra cash to help someone buy some food or pay a bill, etc? Food for thought!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lots of Pictures

My sister and her family were here for two weeks. We had a great time just hanging out (mainly at their resort because it was bigger and cooler there).

Sad to say but I didn't take any pictures until the last night they were here. Shame on me! I am usually taking all kinds of pictures but this time it slipped my mind over and over again. I took the camera with me each day and proceeded to forget about it.

So here's what I did get.

Me and my sister
I was having a bad hair day

Richard, Nancy, Me, Walter

The whole lot of us

It's really hard to get all of them to smile or just stand still to take one good picture. I thought it was hard when they were little! Sheesh!

Just the guys
Tyler, Phyllip, Richard, Matthew

Just the girls
Rebecca, Katie, Lyndsey
Lyndsey and Katie have looked alike for a very long time. I don't see so much of a resemblance anymore. Kinda sad.

These two look a lot alike these days. I never saw a resemblance til last year.

Look at their side profile. It's more pronounced in this picture.

I love my family!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Out of the "You Just Never Know" File

Walter came home from work today and told me this story.

He was finishing his paperwork in his truck when one of the mechanics (Victor) came walking up to him. Victor is a short Mexican man who speaks very broken English.

The conversation went like this:

Victor: Walter, I like you. And do you know why I like you?

Walter: No, why do you like me, Victor?

Victor: I have Jesus and I know you have Jesus. I know you have Jesus because every time I get in your truck I see those books (his Bible and Bible promise book) and those cards (gospel tracts). What you don't know is I've been taking a few of the Spanish ones for a long time and giving them to my friends and family. Sometimes I run out and make photocopies and hand out the photocopies.

Walter: Where do you live?

Victor: Riverside.

Walter: Where do you go to church?

Victor: The Catholic church. The Catholic church does not talk about needing Jesus and my family needs Jesus.

Walter: Victor, you don't need to sneak taking them. I will give you a handful.

We live about an hour from Riverside. So our church's Spanish tracts are floating all over Riverside and nobody knew it except for Victor.

Goes to show that we just never know who we impact and how God will use us!

She Went From This....

To This!!!!!

Poor baby was panting so much in our very high heat. Dear husband said it was time to get her shaved so she could have some relief. I agreed but never expected her to look like this! Not sure what I was expecting, though. We laughed and laughed when we picked her up from the groomer. She even seemed embarrassed by her looks (I know that's applying human emotions to an animal, but that's the way she was acting.)!

But she's not panting hardly at all anymore. In fact, I found her shivering the other day. So I covered her up with a blanket and she went right to sleep. Go figure!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oak Glen

So, my sister and her family are here. Yay!!!!!

We decided to take them to a place about 40 minutes from here called Oak Glen. It's up in the San Bernardino mountains. A group of apple and cherry farms are there.

We took them to the different farms with their little shops and we had a great time. Especially the village shops. Nancy and I just loved it!

We also took them to a bed and breakfast Walter and I just happened upon a couple of months ago when we were on a date. This place has a petting zoo complete with horses, llamas, goats, and deer. Not to mention they also have a pond with about 500 fish and a couple of dogs. Then there's the wild bear that come down to the property just about every night.

We had a marvelous time. The owners of the bed and breakfast were so very kind. They let us just stop in and pet the animals and they were very hospitable even though we weren't staying. I think we were there about an hour.

When some of the kids were done with the animals, they decided to go lizard hunting. Matthew, Katie, Lawrence (my "third son"), and Tyler spent about 30 minutes hunting before they caught a lizard. The screams of joy when the lizard was caught were loud! And you should have seen the look of success written on their faces! It was great! That poor lizard, though! It was absolutely stiff as a board. I think it was scared (duh!).

The bed and breakfast owner's wife went inside and got a large bowl with a lid to put the lizard in. While we were waiting for the bowl, we turned and looked at the brick wall and noticed another lizard on top. The kids immediately went over there and caught another lizard! But this lizard wasn't going into captivity without a fight! It dropped its tail (the kids screamed over that one), was thrashing back and forth, and appeared to be biting Lawrence. Poor kid had a hard time keeping hold of it! But he managed and now they had two lizards! A very profitable day indeed for them!

On we went to the village shops after the petting zoo. Lawrence and Tyler decided that the lizards were theirs (which was ok with everybody, amazingly).

Lawrence had brought money with him and he wanted to get gifts for his family. I got a warm and fuzzy feeling watching him look for the perfect gifts! He was so sweet, too. He got his mom a pair of earrings, his sister a dream catcher, and his dad a mile high apple pie! They all loved the gifts and Lawrence was definitely on his family's good side that day!!!

The only negative thing about the whole day was that I forgot my camera! I couldn't believe it! But my sister had hers so I guess I'll have to get them from her.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


My boys had a friend spend the night (or two) the other day.

They had a funny conversation. It went like this:

Lawrence: "One day I drank a lot of water and my pee was clear."

Me: "That means that your body is well hydrated."

Lawrence: "Yes. But there's one thing I don't get. After I get done swimming, my pee is clear."

Phyllip: "That's because the water soaks into your body through your spores."

Me: "Phyllip, we don't have spores. We have pores."

Phyllip: "Oh, yeah."

And everyone laughed!

Friday, July 2, 2010

So Much Fun!

Tonight was family night.

It was my turn to choose the activities and I was so excited.I made mexican food with homemade salsa and guacamole and homemade german chocolate cake for dessert. Yum!

Then it was activity time. Blind man's bluff! We played in the house. It was a blast!!! We haven't laughed like that in a long time! And we worked up a sweat playing, too.

Then we played a dice game called Farkle. That was fun, too.

The kids said that was one of the best family night's we've had in a while. I agree!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Today our miracle baby turns 13!

I can remember when he was just a dream to us. Oh, how I longed for another child!

Lyndsey came along so easily. We (or maybe it was just I) couldn't understand why our family wasn't getting larger.

That journey has been the most difficult of my life. Wanting another child but not being able to make it happen. The waiting was so hard.

All the other women in our church were having babies seemingly easily. But us? Nope. And it was hard! All the baby showers (and there were a lot) - some I went to (if I was up to it emotionally) and some I didn't.

And then.......I found out I was pregnant!!! Yippee!!!!! That day was so surreal! Walter just happened to be at the doctor's office with me. We were actually going to start infertility treatments. I guess God had different plans for us.

And then a week later, I began bleeding and over the course of the next week ended up miscarrying. Oh, the heartbreak! That was almost unbearable. Walter had such a strong faith that everything would be fine. But God had other plans for that child and accepting that very fact was painful.

The doctor told me if I wasn't pregnant in 3 months to make an appointment and we could start infertility treatments.

Three months later, I was pregnant again! Yippee!!!! I called the doctor and made an appointment. A few weeks later at my appointment, the doctor did an ultrasound and we got to see the baby. Strong heartbeat, etc. And from then on the pregnancy was perfect.

Nine months later on June 30, 1997, at 12:27 p.m. our miracle baby, Phyllip James, was born into this world (six and a half years after Lyndsey was born)!

God is SO good!!!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My "Little Vacation" - part 2

To read part 1 click here.

Friday, May 7

I couldn't sleep in (sad but true) at all. I just 'woke up'.

And this is what I woke up to (a half inch of snow in MAY!)

We got ready to go and have breakfast. But first, we had to stop by the funeral home and meet the MORTICIAN (it cracks me up every time I hear or see that word!).

Nancy and I walked in and stood in the lobby. Dad, on the other hand, marched himself through a doorway, right past a man standing in the doorway, and over to the mortician (who was on the phone) and began talking to him. The mortician graciously asked Dad if he would wait until he was done with his phone call. After his phone call was done, he came out to meet us. A very nice man he was. Dad was finally satisfied and we left to have breakfast (the cafe happens to be right across the street, but Dad had to drive the car over there).

Being that New Rockford is a small city of about 1300 people, EVERYONE knows you are a visitor! And you feel like you are under a microscope when you walk into the cafe. Everyone turns their heads and just stares at you. But once you've been there several times they quit doing it.

We finished breakfast and headed over to the nursing home to see Grandma. Nancy and I couldn't wait to see her! It's been 6 years since we've seen her and her health is such that she needs to be in a nursing home. Grandma is almost completely blind from glaucoma, has some dementia, needs a hearing aid, and is just weak physically.

We got there as the residents were starting to come in to the dining hall for lunch. Grandma was already there so Nancy and I went in and sat down next to her. It was sad because she didn't know who we were at first. We had to tell her several times who we were and then she kept asking over the next couple of hours which one of us was which.

L to R - Grandma, Nancy, Dad

L to R - Grandma, Me, Dad

The way my dad described Grandma and her condition, she had one foot already in the grave. Now, I know she is weak, but I believe his assessment is a little off. Her lunch came and I fed her and she let me.

When we went back to her room, Grandma got bawled out (nicely) by a nurse for not feeding herself. So, Nancy and I made sure she fed herself after that.

Nancy and Grandma in her room

Grandma and me in her room

Grandma - my hero

We stayed in Grandma's room for several hours just enjoying her company. It was so good to be with her again. She has been one of my heroes for as long as I can remember. I love her with all of my heart. To see her health slowly getting worse is difficult but to be with her and hear her voice and listen to her stories (the ones she remembers correctly) was so peaceful for me. Grandma has always given us something when we have visited (we've never lived close to her house). This visit was no different. She went through every little thing she had in her room (which wasn't much because the rest of her things are back at Dad's house) trying to find something that we would like. And.......there was nothing (which was ok with us). One thing that struck me this visit was that she kept looking at both of us and trying to remember who was who. She was right most of the time.

(Dad's patience is dwindling. I'm not surprised, though (and I mean that in a nice way). See, he's an only child and he has the burden (or joy as some may see it - I would like to say it's a joy) of caring for her. She lived with him for 17 years before she moved to the nursing home. He loves her dearly, but he has a hard time showing it. He doesn't just lack patience with Grandma; he lacks patience with life (or at least it seems that way). He's pretty grumpy most of the time. He doesn't look at the good side of life; it's always the negative side (and can I just say that it will depress you rapidly). Dad goes to the nursing home at least twice daily to spend time with Grandma and I applaud him for that. So many people just put their loved ones into a home and never spend time with them anymore. Not my dad. He DOES love her but he gets frustrated with her easily. She doesn't hear well and she gets this "deer in the headlights" look on her face. So he keeps repeating himself over and over and getting louder and louder each time until she finally hears him. Nancy and I both believe that she just needs a hearing aid. We found that if we got about an inch from her ear and talked slowly she understood everything we said. We told Dad that she needs to be tested for a hearing aid but he doesn't believe us. He says it's her dementia. We believe emphatically that he's wrong.)

We stayed and had dinner (or supper if you're from the Midwest) with Grandma. I was actually hungry by this time because we had skipped lunch. We were sadly disappointed when the food came. All we got was about 6 slices of sausage link and 2 pancakes. And that was dinner! Needless to say, we left the table hungry.

Grandma's younger brother, Uncle Donny, came by to see her just as we were finishing dinner. He and Dad DO NOT get along. I think Uncle Donny gets along with Dad but Dad REFUSES to get along with Uncle Donny. It was amazing to Nancy and me watch Dad's attitude and countenance change drastically as soon as Uncle Donny walked in the room. Dad is VERY rough around the edges but it got worse with Uncle Donny around. His language changed A LOT, too. Nancy and I both were flabbergasted and disappointed by the words coming out of his mouth occasionally. We even spoke up and let him know that we heard what he said. I'm not sure if Grandma ever heard the conversation - which is actually a good thing considering.

It was time for us to leave Grandma. She was very tired and we were needing to get home and comfortable for the evening.

Nancy and I were getting ready for bed and I had to get my camera out and take a couple of pictures. The background on the taking of these pictures I must give. Grandpa taught Grandma many decades ago that you always buy in bulk if you can because you get the best price. That has been passed down to Dad as well. Hence the next pictures.

Including the bottle in the shower, there were 14 bottles of shampoo!

Including the bottle he was using, there were 7 bottles of cologne (and it smelled gross, too)!

The reason for the next picture is because it just cracked us up. Nancy and I laughed and laughed over this one. Apparently, Dad doesn't like to use up a bar of soap completely and apparently he also doesn't like to throw them away, either.

7 bars of soap stacked on top of each other

We finished getting our pajamas on and settled in to watch a movie with Dad for the evening and then went to bed.

To be continued...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally, I Am Back!

I'm finally ready to write again.

Too many things have been happening and I just haven't wanted to write.

When I got home from my trip last month, we found out we were going to have to move.

As humbling as this whole situation was, we have looked at it and have seen God's hand orchestrate every single thing perfectly. Praise God!

We began looking for a home to rent. There are hundreds if not a few thousand homes empty in our little city. I was amazed! Lots of beautiful homes and the rent wasn't too bad - just more than we wanted and needed to pay.

We were able to look at one home on the inside. There was nothing wrong with the house. It was just very different from what I was used to. Pretty much everything was smaller and the carpet was blue, the blinds were pink, and the linoleum was pink and blue (ugh! Can you say, "Right out of the '80s?)). The landlord was very nice and gracious. Walter wanted to tell him yes on the spot but I was not ready for that.

We went home and began talking about it. Then we decided to get some more advice. Walter called Pastor Nolan (someone we like to call our dad because he is so special to us) and talked with him. We discovered the day before that his rental house in our little city was vacant. After getting some advice from him, Walter asked him how much the rent was on his house. It was in our budget! And, better yet, he was willing to rent it to us!!! Hooray!!

A couple of weeks later, we began the process of moving.

It was a slow move over many days. On a side note - I'm not sure which kind of move is best - moving everything in one day or moving a few things over many days. It's all HARD work!

The Lord worked out everything. We had the money to pay our attorney for his services and we had the money to move and pay rent. We are now living in a home that is 16 years newer than ours was. It's also MUCH bigger and MUCH more beautiful than ours. We are on a very quiet street now with no neighbors right next to us. I can FINALLY park my car in the garage (hooray! It's so nice to get into a car that is cool instead of sweltering!)!

The Lord has something in store for us - Walter and I can feel it. We just don't know what it is yet. Though the way is humbling for us, we KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have done exactly what God wanted us to do! We have had complete peace about all of it.

Blessings until next time!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Building Character heart breaks because of things my children do that end up teaching them a very hard lesson.

Phyllip got a stereo last Christmas. We've told him that he can use it at night several times a week. He sleeps well with music playing. Tyler, on the other hand, HAS to have silence to sleep. And since they share a bedroom, this has been an ongoing struggle with them since Christmas night.

So, they were, once again, arguing over the volume of the stereo last night.

Tyler got out of bed to turn it down. Phyllip blocked him.

Then, Tyler said, "If I touch your stereo, I will give you all of my legos (and believe me, he has A LOT!)."

Phyllip said, "Ok."

Not 10 seconds later, Tyler gets out of bed again and TOUCHES the stereo! Yep, you read right! He now owed his brother ALL of his legos.

Walter and I knew nothing of this deal until this morning.

Tyler desperately tried to get out of the deal. Walter and I talked to him and pulled out all of the details and.......told him he had to be a man of his word and give Phyllip his legos. (Can I just tell you how heartwrenching it was to break Tyler's heart like that????? He sobbed for over an hour. His eyes were swollen half shut.) He did give them to Phyllip.

Walter and I told him he should have thought about what he was saying before he made an agreement like that. In the end, he KNEW that he was the one to be upset with and no one else. I think that's the thing he had the hardest time with; knowing that he couldn't blame anybody else but himself.

Building character in our children - it's hard sometimes. But when they're adults and they have good character, it'll all be worth it!

BTW, Phyllip has been kind enough to give some of the legos back to Tyler - now that's good character!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Little "Vacation" of Sorts - Part 1

Disclaimer: Some of the things written in this entry, you may find to be disgusting, irritating, or just plain not funny. My sister and I happen to find that a good chunk of this entry is hilarious (we try to find the humor in everything). However, this particular post is written for the shear purpose of me being able to remember my trip to North Dakota.

This story has to be broken up into segments because it's just too long.

My dad called my sister and I back in January and told us that our grandma was not in the best of health and that we should consider taking a trip to see her before she dies (she is 95 years old).

Nancy happened to have 2 vouchers with an airline so she offered for her and I to use them to go see Grandma. We decided to be there over Mother's Day.

I flew to Seattle on Wednesday, stayed overnight with Nancy, and then we left together Thursday morning for the trip to ND.

Thursday, May 6
We had checked in online the night before our flight so we only had to check our suitcase when we got there. We decided to check our bag at curbside. There was a really nice older black man who helped us. So he picked up our bag (we decided to take only 1 bag since we had to pay to put it on the plane) and he said, "Hmm, feels like 46 pounds." Nancy and I looked at each other puzzled. He then put it on the scale and said, "Well, what do you know? It's 46 pounds!" We thought that one was funny.

I've determined that anytime you fly, it's a very long day (unless it's just a short flight). We left Nancy's house at 9:00 a.m. and landed in Jamestown, ND, at 7:00 p.m. (pacific time). The flights were fine. Just a long day. We had a great time talking and catching up (we hadn't seen each other in 1 1/2 years). We laughed and joked and just plain had a good time.

We deplaned and headed in to meet our dad (biological). We got our luggage and headed for home (New Rockford).

In the first 20 minutes of the car ride, we had heard the same story about Dad's shocks and struts on his car 6 times. As he was talking about the struts he said, "When I have to change the struts, I'm going to put on struts that'll make a semi seem rough." Now, I'm not exactly sure what that means but he thought it was important for Nancy and I to know.

About halfway home, Nancy was talking to her husband on the phone. Out of nowhere, a raccoon darts onto the road and seemingly stops right in front of us. I'm not too sure if Dad saw it right away, but Nancy and I did and we screamed. Dad swerved and missed it and our hearts were beating rather hard for several minutes after.

We got home and took our luggage to our bedroom. Dad followed right on our heels to show us how to fix the toilet in our bathroom after we flushed it.

He made sure to tell us at least 3 times how to fix the toilet and reiterated how important it was that we take care of it each time it was flushed! LOL!

We were trying to get unpacked and ready for bed and Dad just wouldn't leave the room. Apparently, he had some "things" he wanted to tell us. One of which just kept me laughing. (Dad was going to make sure that while we were in North Dakota we were introduced to his attorney and the mortician, or as I like to call him, funeral director.) It was so important that Dad just had to tell us again for the 10th time (or more) that Friday morning he would take us to see the mortician. Every time he said that word it made me laugh. I don't know why it's so funny. I couldn't even hold the smile back.

Dad finally decided to go to bed so we got ready, too. We went in the bathroom and got a closer look at it. My grandma moved into a nursing home in August, 2008, and the bathroom hasn't been touched since the day she left. It was never cleaned (eeeewwwww). It was gross!!!! There was a mountain of dust that had collected everywhere and our allergies (my sister has asthma) kicked into high gear! It was so bad that we couldn't go to bed til it was clean. Then we decided to go through the cupboards. There was stuff that had been there for many years. We got rid of everything!

I don't even think Dad noticed we cleaned out the bathroom (he doesn't even go to that part of the house).

For as long as I can remember, Grandma has always slept with many blankets on her bed. When we pulled the bedspread down, we uncovered about 6 blankets. Now, it was very cold there - about 30 degrees. But 6 blankets was just too many for me!

It just felt good to pillow our heads from a long day.

To be continued...

Friday, April 16, 2010

An Unexpected Pleasure

Do you remember the Pritchard Family?

They are the missionary family we went to see in Madagascar back in 2008.

Well, they surprised us with a visit tonight. They were passing through on their way to Phoenix.

We met them for dinner and spent a wonderful couple of hours with them!

If you want to read about our trip, scroll down and click on the label titled "Madagascar" on the right side of the page.