Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gone Home

My last grandparent (that's him two years ago) died on Saturday of a heart attack. It was unexpected, although considering he was 92, it wasn't shocking. He was in great health for his age, living in his own house and taking care of himself. Two days before he died, my parents were at his house helping him fix his lawn mower. He was a pilot and flew in WWII. He was my mom's dad.
Sunday morning, the girls and I left for Michigan to attend the funeral. It was good to see so many family members that I haven't seen in so long. We had a very good time, laughing and carrying on as we are known to do (I remember when I am with these people how I got like I am!!)

Some pictures:

#1) Boredom in the car (it's an 11 hour trip) causes us to line gummy bears up on the steering wheel.

#2) We stopped by Tim's grandma's house on the way and her magnolia tree was in full bloom. It's a Northern variety I had never noticed before- with no huge leaves like the Southern version- just full of tons of the huge flowers. Very pretty & fragrant. Libby looks lovely modeling a bloom as big as her head.#3) My mom in front of my grandparents' house.#4) My grandparents lived on a small lake. Libby, Claudia, Sarah and Kelli on the shore.#5) Melissa, the overprotective mother, when she saw the girls down so close to the lake. #6) The girls climbing the hill up to the house in their good shoes. (My grandpa was grumbling from heaven when he saw them doing this... but he wasn't concerned about their shoes- he was very protective of this hill).
#7) The house in this picture is two houses down from my grandpa and my grandma lived there when she was a kid and then it belonged to my grandma's sister (and now her grandson lives there) and that is their dock. They used to bring in sand and make a beach on their shore and we would swim there in the summer.#8) I just thought this weeping willow looked cool ... and about ready to fall into the lake!#9) This is Kelli walking along these stones- something I used to do all the time when I was her age!

#10) Before we even knew my grandpa died, my sweet mother-in-law had sent Tim and I this bouquet of flowers "just because". I took a picture so she can see what she sent. It is so beautiful and is still looking really nice since I got back. Thanks, Elsie!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This is my new favorite flower- it grows on a vine and the vine I saw was growing up a tree. I didn't have my camera to take a picture of the whole vine, but I broke off one flower so I could bring it home and identify it, which I haven't done, yet. Any ideas?

Also, I've been thinking alot about being "broken" and what that meant in Jesus' life and what it means in mine. I was listening to this song today in the car and liked the words:


I was fallen from the first

I am not a stranger to the darkness

Walked the road of prodigals

And crawled upon my knees to You

From the ashes and the dirt

You fashion beauty from the wounds

I’ve carried

Nothing lost, and all redeemed in You

Beautifully broken in Your eyes

You see the man my sins disguise

You took my place

You saved my life

Miraculous love, sweet sacrifice

Beautifully broken

You were beautifully broken

So You see me as Your own

Holy in the light of Your redemption

By the blood and by the thorn

We’re called to life

In this weakness

You find strength

You find sinners who are saints

And I find amazing grace

In this sacrifice

In this death is life

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Week in Review

A week since I blogged? Wow.

In the past week I ...

... did lots of laundry and dishes, cleaned bathrooms, vacuumed, etc.
... learned our kitchen floor will finally be replaced starting June 1 (and hopefully that means the dishwasher, too)
... attended Sarah's soccer game and watched her score the only goal for our team
... drove children to piano lessons
... wrote Toni a letter! (this could explain the lack of blogging)
... went to the library and checked out six books to read
... started and almost finished "The Secret Life of Bees" (a so-so book)
... learned "The Secret Life of Bees" was made into a movie that Libby has seen
... helped Libby pack and sent her to science camp for three days
... laughed at Jacob's antics several times
... was told by Jacob that he loves my arm because it's so soft
... was told by Jacob that he actually loves my whole body because it's so soft (I have another word for it... it's "fat")
... worked on getting ready for our garage sale this weekend
... read the Song of Songs five times for my group therapy bible study group (I wish I knew something better to call this group)
... walked four miles with a friend from above mentioned bible study group
... saw the most beautiful red and yellow bell-shaped flowers growing on a vine which was growing up a tree and I keep thinking about it
... saw God in a million other places
... packed school lunches five times
... slept alot
... started the book of Job and given thanks that I have not suffered as much as him (and assured God that I don't need to, thanks)
... read job ads and thought about getting a job
... cleaned broken glass from the garage floor after Jacob and his friend broke another window playing ball
... cut a piece of cardboard the size of the missing glass and covered the hole
... prayed alot
... cried
... laughed some
... cooked 7 yummy meals, including a new Tilapia recipe tonight that Sarah ate seconds and thirds of!
... made no-bake cookies
... went grocery shopping
... rented a movie from the grocery store rental box and didn't have it when I got home... still hoping someone has returned it
... thought about the fact that I need a haircut and wondered whether I have an appointment I forgot to write down... thought about calling, but haven't
... longed for Michigan and my family
... had two of my kids fall asleep on me on the couch (at different times)... such a nice thing when I realize they are growing up and these moments are so few and far between
... saw a bottle of Dreft on the top shelf at the grocery store and ached for a newborn baby like the one being cuddled on the front of the bottle
... slapped myself for having such a thought!
... watched some TV
... thanked God for being God and for loving me

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Result of Righteousness

And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
~Isaiah 32:17

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Things That Make Us Wonder

Tim to Brenda, as we waited at a stoplight: "Does that say 'meat pie'?"
Yes, yes it does.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Here are some pictures from our Easter dinner at Beth's:

Beth in her super cute apron:

Sam Dancing:

Sarah and Amber watching Sam dance:The sweetest baby on the planet:
Misty, Beth and I:

Erin with her eggs (the only picture I got of any actual eggs):
Sam and Jacob see the Easter bunny:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hail Mary

These were falling from the sky just a few minutes ago. I've never seen or heard anything like it. When I came in from taking this picture, I heard the weather guy on TV say, "Do not go outside to try and pick up hail!" Oops. Too late. Ha. I have several pieces in my freezer! A shot of the mostly smaller sized hail we got before the really big stuff. :-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Agree with God

My first memory verses of the year were from Job: "Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart". And I mused on here some about what it means to "agree with God". I wasn't sure what it meant completely, but I knew that I wanted to know. What I have learned is that all I needed to know is contained right there in those two verses.

A couple weeks ago, a friend unexpectedly gave us a copy of the book "The Power of Spoken Faith" by Don Gossett, saying that God had lead him to share it. Truly God wanted him to share it because it has spoken directly to my question of how to agree with Him.

The author of the book was going through a hard time in his life financially and in the first chapter writes, "During that time, I read a wonderful book called Word Power, by Vernon Hower. God used the message of that book to help me freshly understand the power of my words, and He gave me this Scripture: 'Can two walk together, except they be agreed?' (Amos 3:3)' God was asking me, 'Do you want to walk with Me? Then you must agree with Me. You agree with Me by saying what My Word says. You have disagreed with Me by speaking lack, sickness, fear, defeat and inability. If you want to walk with Me, you must agree with Me'.... How do we agree with God? We agree by saying what God says while disagreeing with the wicked, lying Devil. (Hallelujah for such a dynamic truth!)"

Agreeing with God means that I will say (and believe) what God says and nothing contrary to it.

This is easy to practice on some levels. For example, when it comes to saying what God says ABOUT HIMSELF, it is easy to agree. God is good, compassionate, loving, full of mercy, slow to anger, abounding in love, holy, just, King of kings, Lord of lords, everlasting.... God is all of those things and more and when he says those things, I agree with him.

It is also fairly easy to agree with the things God says about sin and its harmful affects on us and others. I agree with God when he says we shouldn't lie, steal, worship other gods, be sexually immoral, gossip, etc. I have seen the devastating affects of all those things on myself and others.

But doesn't it become much harder to agree when it comes to what God says ABOUT ME. For example, as soon as I say, "I can't....." then I am not agreeing with God, because God says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". If I say I am afraid, I am not agreeing with God because God says he "has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-discipline".

So this is why I say the "secret" is self-contained in those verses in Job... he says "receive instruction from his mouth and lay up his word in your heart". The way to agree with God about ME is to take every negative thought that I have about myself captive and make it obedient by confronting it with truth from God's word. And doing this over and over and over again until I believe it and agree.

Oh, I believe so many lies about myself and my life. Can I ever change? "With God, all things are possible" and " And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit". 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Topanga Canyon candle from the beach!

A couple of verses that I liked from my morning quiet time.....
Isaiah 42:3 "a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench"
Sometimes all I am is a "faintly burning wick"...

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

And I really liked this reference to God as one who "inhabits eternity". (From ESV). That's all. I just liked the way it was worded!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Updates for those interested

Those are pictures of my newly cleaned office- I'm posting them mostly so my mom can see them, since she was here recently and saw how incredibly messy it had gotten. Okay, she was appalled. I know she will rest easier tonight.

I didn't take a picture of the dining room, which is where all of the stuff is for my upcoming yard sale... wow, it's a mess! But let's call it "a mess with a plan".

~~~And by the way, if anyone wants a piano, we are trying to get rid of the one in the picture and you can have it if you will come get it.~~~

Other than my spring cleaning, Jacob has started playing roller hockey and had his first game this past Saturday and really enjoyed it. They play 3 on 3 and he came home and told me he scored six goals! I found out later it was actually only two goals. Hopefully I will get some pictures soon. I didn't get to watch his game because of piano lesson conflicts.

Sarah is playing on an AYSO Select soccer team again this spring. "Select" is supposed to mean a hand-picked team that is more competitive than a regular AYSO team and travels some. They have a regional tournament that is being played in Huntsville this year, so that is good news for us- although she originally told me the tournament was in Florida and I was sort-of hopeful! Still, she is looking forward to the season and her first "scrimmage" against a club team is tonight unless it snows. What???!! Snows?? In April in Alabama? Craziness! (Better go get my bread and milk before it's all gone!)
In the fall, she may start playing club soccer. Although now she's talking about track and cross country. And I mentioned soccer to Jacob for fall and he said, "What?! I play hockey!" He's very absorbed in hockey right now.
As for Libby, for various reasons, I didn't sign her up for the painting class she wanted to take this spring, but I have found a place that has pottery classes that is closer to our house as well as a place that has cooking classes, so she will be starting one or both of those soon. She also has a school trip to Camp McDowell coming up soon that she is looking forward to ALOT. A few nights ago, she baked cupcakes and has the family together making snowmen (prophetic?) after dinner, which was alot of fun. Here is mine, because mine looked the best (ha ha). Sorry he has no face- we forgot to buy the gel to pipe on the faces.