Friday, November 4, 2011

I Didn't Know It Could Be This Good

I can remember being a teenager and wondering if I would ever have the privilege of marrying, let alone marrying 'Mr. Right.'

And then I met him at age 17. When I saw him across the auditorium my first thought was, "He is soooo 'out of my league' gorgeous." I thought there wasn't a chance that he would notice me. But I was so wrong! That night we met...and the history!!!!!

September, 1987 (at the Puyallup fair)


1987 (our engagement picture)

September, 1988

November 4, 1989

May, 1990

January 5, 1991 (hours before Lyndsey was born)

January 6, 1991 - Daddy with Lyndsey minutes after birth

December, 1991



Spring, 1995

July, 1997 (Lyndsey - 6, Phyllip - 1 week old)

February, 1998

June, 1999 (Lyndsey - 8, Phyllip - almost 2, Tyler - 4 months)

September, 2002





2009 - Lyndsey's high school graduation



2010 - spaghetti kiss

To the man I have been privileged to share my life with:

As I reflect on the 24 years of our relationship (2 years dating and 22 of marriage), I have discovered that you truly are the man of my dreams. You are everything I ever wanted in a man (tall, dark and handsome :) ). But even more than just physical looks, you are exactly what I wanted in every way. Though I didn't realize it at the time and for many years to come, God made my dream come true.

Thinking about our wedding vows, you have stayed by my side for better or for worse and for richer or poorer; through sickness and health - you have loved me and taken such gentle care of me as I journey through the disease of lupus (Praise God, he has spared me from much suffering). To love, honor, and cherish - you have loved me when I was unlovable, honored me countless times, and cherished me always.

I thought I knew what love was when we said our marriage vows 22 years ago. Ha! How naive I was! Reflection has a way of showing just what I didn't know. As we've aged and continue on our journey of life together, I can say that I do know what love truly is now. And I've learned what true intimate love is. You have shared your innermost self with me. It's so much more than the physical union - it's knowing you on the deepest level. I can look at you at times and know what you are thinking. Someone can ask me a question about you and I can answer it exactly the way you would. Intimacy is KNOWING you!

I am so thankful that God gave you to me to share this life with! You are my best friend in this whole wide world! Outside of my salvation, you are the second best gift I've ever received! I LOVE YOU my SWEATHEART (he he he he!) always and forever!!! ♥♥♥

Mr. Wonderful,
I found the following and it describes you perfectly in my eyes!

You are so beautiful to me
You are so beautiful to me
Can't you see
Your everything I hoped for
Your everything I need
You are so beautiful to me

Such joy and happiness you bring
Such joy and happiness you bring
Like a dream
A guiding light that shines in the night
Heaven's gift to me
You are so beautiful to me

Love, Mrs. Wonderful

Friday, June 10, 2011

I Think This Will Be His New Favorite

Mr. Wonderful has always loved Campbell's Tomato Soup, especially when he is sick.

Somehow, he and Flip ended up very sick this week. Poor guys...and on Mr. Wonderful's vacation, no less!

I happened across a full length video from Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa" show. This recipe looked so good I had to make it.

With Mr. Wonderful sick, I asked him if he wanted tomato soup. He said yes so I set out to make it. It smelled equally as good as it looked!

I served it to him and he REALLY liked it! I do believe this recipe will be the new 'go to' recipe when he is sick again.

Try you'll like it!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Light Bulb Moment

I was sitting in church last Sunday morning and a light bulb moment occurred in my head.

The odd thing about it is that I've read this passage of Scripture many times in the past and apparently I just didn't get the true meaning, which just boggles my mind.

Galatians 5:19-23
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Our world has made laws against things such as adultery, fornication, uncleanness, etc. We can go to jail, and even in some countries, be killed for committing any of the above listed in Scripture.

However, there are no laws against love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, etc.

The light bulb moment came when our pastor said this: "Imagine saying 'I love you' and then being told you are under arrest." That doesn't happen!

As Christians, we should practice and live the 'fruit of the Spirit.' I believe we will all be a lot happier if we do!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I came across this verse today and it practically smacked me in the face.

Proverbs 10:18 "He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool."

How many times have I been like that??????? Oooooooo, this verse cut right to the heart!!!!

I have, down through all my years of life, been guilty of hatred towards others.

The Hebrew definition for hideth (or hide) is this:

kâsâh (kaw-saw')
A primitive root; properly to plump, that is, fill up hollows; by implication to cover (for clothing or secrecy): - clad self, close, clothe, conceal, cover (self), (flee to) hide, overwhelm.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines hide as:
HIDE, v.t. pret. hid; pp. hid, hidden.

1. To conceal; to withhold or withdraw from sight; to place in any state or position in which the view is intercepted from the object. The intervention of the moon between the earth and the sun hides the latter from our sight. The people in Turkey hide their grain in the earth. No human being can hide his crimes or his neglect of duty from his Maker.

2. To conceal from knowledge; to keep secret.

Depart to the mountains; hide yourselves there three days. Josh 2.

Tell me now what thou hast done--hide it not from me. Josh 7.

3. In Scripture, not to confess or disclose; or to excuse and extenuate.

I acknowledged my sin to thee, and my iniquity have I not hid. Psa 32.

4. To protect; to keep in safety.

To hide the face, to withdraw spiritual presence, support and consolation.

Thou didst hide thy face,and I was troubled. Psa 30.

How many times do I/we put on a smiling face in front of the person(s) I/we hate? It doesn't matter what they said or did, I/we will be a fool if I/we hate them for it.

That's not to say it's easy to forgive and forget. But that's what I/we are supposed to do and let God work out the situation.

I've learned and continue to learn that if I just go to God and cast my cares and burdens on Him and let Him work everything out in His time, everything turns out right.

I do not want to have hatred in my heart nor have lying lips. Lord, help me!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Am The Easiest To Please...

on Valentine's Day.

But, I haven't always been as easy as I am now.

My parents never made a big deal out of Valentine's Day. They usually bought us some candy hearts or a small heart box of chocolate. I was very ok with that, too.

After we got married, I wanted my husband to ravish me on Valentine's Day (though I never really told him that). After all, it's all about the romance! But, we were usually so broke that he couldn't get me the things I thought I should get.

And then we had an amazing rose garden so Walter would tell me he didn't need to buy me roses. After all, I had a garden FULL of roses!

Fast forward about 15 years after we were married.

Walter decided to surprise me for Valentine's Day. He bought me a beautiful teacup full of gorgeous flowers (he couldn't afford to get me roses because they were about $90 a dozen) and some chocolate. I felt incredibly special.


I saw the receipt for the flower purchase. He had spent $45 just on the flowers! I about fell over! I told him that I didn't want him to ever buy me flowers for Valentine's Day again.

He looked at me with a confused look. He was silent. I finally had gotten what I wanted - flowers - and within a few minutes of getting them I told him not to buy me them again! Huh? He still has not figured me out after all these years of marriage. I even surprised myself with that, too.

This year was no different. I told Walter the week before Valentine's Day not to buy me anything at all. I didn't want it. He was quiet again. He honored my request. But, he did take me to dinner - where I wanted to go. Nothing fancy - exactly what we both wanted - Souplantation (and it was really good). While we were eating I thanked him for not buying me anything. His response? "You're weird!"

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I finished reading the book of Deuteronomy in the Bible today.

I was struck with a thought and it's stayed with me all day.

In the beginning of Deuteronomy and even all through the book, Moses preaches to the children of Israel and gives them their duty to God and reiterates the law of God.

Included in all of this were the laws and judgments, a call to obedience to God, recounting of Israel's rebellion, observing of the feasts, the priestly inheritance, the rules of war, the blessings for their obedience, and even the curse if they did not obey, etc.

Moses exhorts so much to the children of Israel. I picture him pleading with them to be obedient; I picture the compassion he must have had for every one of them.

The Lord says the following phrase to Israel: Be strong and of a good courage (Deuteronomy 31:6, ). Why?

Verse 6 goes on to explain. Verse 6 "...fear not, nor be afraid of them (Israel's enemies): for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

Moses then says the same thing to Joshua when Joshua is about to become the leader of the Israelites.
Verse 7 "...Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
Verse 8 "And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."
Verse 23 "And he (Moses) gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them (Israel): and I (the LORD) will be with thee."

I guess there are a couple of things that have sat with me today.

The first is this. This was Moses' last sermon. His life on earth was over and God would lead him up into a mountain and Moses would die. After Moses finishes his sermon, God then revealed something to him and it is found in Deuteronomy 31:16, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them."

Wow! After everything God had done for them, this is the thanks He gets. That boggles my mind. And then my husband reminded me as we were talking about this...that's much, if not exactly, like we are today. Pastors all over the world are exhorting to us to walk with God, to follow after Him, to be obedient, etc. and what do we do? Are we not like the children of Israel? Do we not go a whoring after the gods of this world? I realize that some of us will change and not be like that, but just how many...I don't know.

The second thought is this. God says, " strong and of a good courage..." Why? Yes the task before Israel was huge. How were they going to receive their inheritance God had promised them when other nations were occupying that land? God would provide a way. How? His answer was, "I will be with thee." See, God doesn't want us just to obey like little robots. He wants to walk along side of us. God is the one who gives the victory. We cannot accomplish His will in our own strength. We must have God's strength to accomplish the task that is set before each one of us.

Do you know the will of God for your life? Do you really know or even care what the will of God is for your life? I cringe as I write that last sentence because I ask that question of myself.

We had a missionary at church this morning. I don't think I've ever heard a sermon as necessary (outside of salvation) as the one preached today. It was on knowing the will of God for our lives.And then tonight our pastor preached just about on the same thing.

I want to be used of God. I don't want God to use someone in my place because I refuse to surrender my life to Him and what He wants for me. Just thinking of the possibilities of what can be done when I am in the exact center of God's will puts a giant smile on my face. Oh, the task may not be easy at times, but walking hand in hand with God to accomplish it will see the victory! Oh, the victories that await us!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oreo Cake

Here's one of our favorite 'cake' recipes.

16 oz. Oreo cookies, crushed
1/2 cup melter butter
16 oz. cream cheese (2 8 oz. bricks), softened
2 cups powdered sugar
32 oz. container cool whip (the large container)
2 small or 1 large pkg. instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk

First layer:
Mix crushed cookies and butter. Press into 9x13 inch pan to make the crust. Save enough cookie crumbs to sprinkle on top of the cake when done.

Second layer:
Beat cream cheese til smooth in mixer. Add powdered sugar and mix. Fold in 2 cups of the cool whip. Layer over cookie crumb crust.

Third layer:
Blend pudding and milk, mixing well. Spread over cream cheese layer.

Fourth layer:
Spread remaining cool whip over pudding layer.

Sprinkle remaining cookie crumbs on top.

Chill. Keep in refrigerator.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Welcome to Adulthood

For the last 1 1/2 years, Lyndsey has been looking for a job. Unsuccessfully, I might add.

When she came home for the Christmas break, she continued to look for a job. Application after application was filled out and turned in or submitted online. Then the followup phone calls were made and she heard time and again, "Sorry, we are not hiring."

She got somewhat discouraged.

A couple of weeks ago, her daddy and I sat down with her and had a long talk with her about life. Things that she basically knew but we needed to get them out in the open so we all were on the same page about where her life was going - back to college or not. It was a good talk, but a difficult one, nevertheless. This decision was hers to make and hers alone. We believe she is old enough to make decisions like this now and we felt we would be interfering if we made it for her. Welcome to adulthood, Lyndsey.

She wanted desperately to go back to college. But with a small outstanding balance left over from last semester and no job to promise the college she could pay the bill for the upcoming semester, it was looking very bleak for her to be able to continue this spring.

Lyndsey put job hunting into high gear for the last couple weeks she was home. Hours and hours of scouring the internet, filling out applications, followup phone calls, being told no, etc. But she kept trying.

Lots of people were praying for her. Several were fasting and praying for her. She was fasting and praying.

With each passing day, she became a little more discouraged. The prospect of going back seemed to dim more and more.

She started filling out applications locally thinking that she might as well look for a job here since she couldn't find anything in Lancaster/Palmdale.

Friday was miserable for her. Walter talked with her again. He told her to start thinking 'outside the box.' That maybe college needed to be put off for a while and she could come back to it a little later. That maybe she should think about joining the military (boy do I chuckle to myself just thinking about her joining the military - I don't really think she's military material) or something like that. Who knows? Lyndsey did NOT like that idea at all. I think it really set the tone for her day - miserable.

She struggled all day Friday. Very quiet, but totally unsure about what to do. We didn't really talk about Saturday at all. We just tried to keep the day as light and cheery as possible. Walter and I knew the weight of the decision was so heavy on her. It was a decision that we could not make for her.

Saturday rolled around and she was still unsure of what to do. There were two options: go back and stay until Wednesday (the last day she could register) hoping for a miracle or go and pick up all her things and come back home. We reassured her that if she sat out for the new semester, it wouldn't be the end of the world (though I don't believe she saw the situation from our point of view). She could hopefully get a job and save up for the fall semester as well as work on getting her driver's license.

We waited for a few hours for her to make up her mind.

She finally came to the same conclusion we had already stated as an option. She said, "I figure that I've got nothing to lose by going back and staying til Wednesday, so I'm going back." It put a smile on both her daddy's and my face.

On the drive back to school, I realized a pattern that is emerging in Lyndsey's life. God works a pattern in each person/couple but not the same pattern for everybody. For instance, with Walter and I, God always tells us both the same thing (I'm talking about major life changes) at the same time but we don't usually tell the other person for a while. Then when one of us starts the conversation, the other one already knows what will be said. But how God works with us isn't always how He works with other people.

For the last 3 semesters, Lyndsey has gone to school with only enough money to buy books. But each time she has gone back, the amount of money has been less than the time before. It was basically no different this time.

Monday, she went out job hunting and was hired at Wendy's, but only technically. She has a job but not until a position opens up. God provided a job for her but still no income. We were thrilled for her, but told her to keep looking just in case something else turned up. Nothing did.

With a large amount of money due today, she was very nervous as to what to do. She asked if she should go to the finance director and talk with him to see if he would extend her some time. She did and was a little disappointed. He told her if she could come up with $300 today, he would let her finish registering for classes. We had gotten a surprise check in the mail yesterday for her for $100 and that was all we had. I paid that money on her bill asap. But she still needed $200.

Walter called her and talked with her for a long time. He told her to form a plan - call the manager at Wendy's and find out all the little details, then go back to the finance office and tell the director what money she had and what Wendy's told her. We don't know why, but Lyndsey really didn't want to do any of it. She just knew the director wouldn't accept what she would tell him. Walter encouraged her not to pre-judge the situation and told her it was her last chance to stay.

Well, she told one of her friends the predicament she was in - she needed $200. "Valerie(for privacy sake) (a fellow student) asked her how much money she had - $100, but she was saving it to buy any notes she needed for her classes. Valerie told her to use all of it for her bill and talk to her teachers about getting the notes emailed to her. Then Valerie told her she and a couple of other friends were pitching in and giving her the other $100 she needed!

She hightailed it back to the finance office and paid the $200. Lyndsey was able to register for classes and they begin tomorrow morning, bright and early!

We have much to pray about as she still owes $5,000 for the spring semester and she doesn't have a penny to her name right now. But with God, ALL things are possible!

Job hunting will continue every day and we covet your prayers in this as well.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Belated Christmas Day

We decided to buy BB guns for the boys for Christmas. That was the highlight of their gifts.

We also knew they would beg and plead to go shooting Christmas Day so we made sure to be prepared for that.

We took them to a field not too far away from home. They had a blast!

Here are some of the pictures.

It was a beautiful day in the desert

loading their guns

Dad getting in on the action

The original target

Target #2 - they were much better at hitting this one

Target #3

Target #4 (it was very hard to capture the holes in this bottle)

They had a great time and go shooting as often as possible.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Living Desert

Walter had last week off.

We decided to get an annual membership to the Living Desert, one of our valley's attractions. We had one several years ago and had enjoyed it.

The family loaded up and went last week. We had an awesome time walking around and enjoying not only the animals, but the outdoor train setup and the hummingbird and butterfly aviary.

Here are some of the pictures.

Tyler being a goofball





a pig of some sore - I can't remember


We got six carousel tickets and the kids decided to ride it
Lyndsey - so beautiful and photogenic


Phyllip refused to look like he was enjoying the ride

It was a fabulous day...I love spending time with my family!