The Son is always shining, regardless of the weather

Timothy Day

Today is “Timothy Day” at our house. We created this word cloud in his honor. My dear mom wrote this song that you are hearing (words and music) especially for Timothy. We (Paige, Michelle, Grace, Faith and I) enjoyed singing it together for the sixth anniversary of his home-going. He is still missed!


Full copy of word cloud here

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Graduation…Hats off to Paige!




Paige graduated from high school last weekend. Praise the LORD for allowing us to mark her special day. She graduated with three other seniors from the youth choir they were all a part of, and we had the graduation at the church where our choir practiced and performed. They wore cap and gowns and walked in to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance”, but aside from that…it was not your normal graduation. After all, homeschoolers are not the norm.

There was a welcome, followed by an invocation which reminded all of us that we can achieve nothing without God, and without God we are nothing. Each child had a five minute slideshow with a song and pictures. Then, the parents delivered a verbal message to their child, and presented them with their diploma. Most of the dads had a hard time delivering their speeches without crying, but it was an emotional day and we all got through it! The graduates were announced, tassels moved, and the graduating class of 2012 walked out to the tune of  “Be Thou My Vision”. The ceremony was over in less than one hour. Like I said…it was not your normal long graduation. There was a closing prayer by BC, and then a reception followed with cake and punch. At the reception, we set up a table for each graduate to display their different awards, pictures, etc. I enjoyed looking at the tables. The graduating class of 2012 did not have 2,012 people present, but we were blessed to have around 212 dear people present. It was a very sweet day.

Here was my message to Paige…

My dear daughter,

You have certainly worn many hats over the years, and you have loved wearing hats…even as a baby. From the tiny hat you wore to keep you warm when we brought you home from the hospital on Christmas Day… to the sun hats which protected you from the sun…to the winter fleece hats which protected you from the cold…to the sun bonnets you wore to dress up like Laura Ingalls Wilder…to the silly birthday hats you wore to celebrate…to the hats you wore when you lost your hair to chemo to protect you from the cold and ridicule. Hats were always a comfort and blessing to you. So, I am especially glad that you can don a graduation cap on this very special day.

As a mom who homeschools, I wear different hats…mother and teacher. Today, I would like to take my hat off to you and say: Hats off, Paige for being so diligent in your studies and in our home, and for teaching all of us how to trust Jesus…fully. Thank you for teaching me so many things. I’ll never forget that day (nine years ago) when I asked you what your favorite possession was (you had received many gifts during your cancer years). Your answer was eye-opening. “Mommy, didn’t you know? Jesus is my favorite possession.” Wow!

My prayer for you is  that you will never lose sight of your favorite possession…Jesus…the giver of life and all things…as you walk in this world and begin to acquire different things. Always know that Jesus will be there for you, and we will too (Lord willing)…at the drop of a hat! Love you! Here is your high school diploma. You have met the homeschooling standards of the great state of Texas, and we are so proud of you.

—I’ll let Daddy share his message on his blog. Your constant love for the LORD and your family is such a beautiful blessing! We both love you dearly! Your kindness, courage and contentment are contagious. We are praying for your future (physical therapy?) and trusting God to lead the way.

Mother/Son Date Knight

I know y’all know that I am a big fan of Chick-fil-A. They really have some great inventions…like:


  • the tastiest chicken sandwich
  • the yummiest waffle fries
  • the best fudge-nut brownie
  • the encouraging family nights and bonding activities (Believe me, dressing up like a cow really makes a memory!)

This past Tuesday, I went to a mother/son date knight that Chick-fil-A was hosting. I heard about it from a sign at their restaurant. It listed a website to sign up and register on (, but I almost forgot to do it. I wish I would have told more people about it earlier because many of the area restaurants were already full when I was signing up.

It was a sweet event. We all dressed up (no, not like cows), like on a real date. The boys looked sharp. One separate area at Chick-fil-A was decorated with castle walls (cool plastic decor), including the Chic-fil-A coat-of-arms. Each table had a server, and the cow was there. They took a picture of us with the cow, and gave it to us to keep. I paid for dinner, and Chick-fil-A treated us to dessert! They had a raffle for prizes, and they gave the boys a red carnation to give to me…very sweet! They also gave us a “mooey” goody bag filled with cool Chick-fil-A stuff…a plush “firemancow”, a cow candy Pez dispenser, a beach ball, a football, and a cup that we will add to our fan collection).

But the nicest part of the evening was when my smiling son, Bradley, retrieved a hand-made card from inside his suit jacket. This precious card was from both of my sweet boys. It really touched me (yeah, I cried), and I will treasure it always. I asked them if Daddy suggested the idea, and they said they thought of it earlier that day. Wow! If you really know me, you know that I am a huge fan of cards (not playing cards, so much).  Some people really like flowers (and I do, too), but I would prefer a card over  flowers, and yes…even chocolate (gasp)…any day! That’s just me. Thankfully, I was able to borrow some paper and a pen from the manager, and I wrote two quick love notes to my  ketchup-loving little men.



After our dinner, I took the boys to Bass Pro Shop where we continued to have a nice evening. They made me smile with their dramatics!

The boys thanked me several times during and after our special night together. Once again, thank you Chick-fil-A for facilitating this fun event. Kids grow up, but they certainly don’t have to grow away. Earlier that day, I asked the boys if they wanted to wear their costume knight/king capes (I meant to say robes). They emphatically said, “No capes!”  (sniff, sniff…gotta let them fly…minus the capes):)

Benjamin…with cape-2 years ago

Bradley...with cape-2 years ago

P.S. I was secretly hoping to see a joust between the cow and the chicken. Maybe next time!

Go Green!

Sometimes, things get a bit hairy around here…especially after we have been in the house too long! The other day, Bradley asked me if he could wear a clown wig in a restaurant. I wasn’t sure what to say. I didn’t want to offend people with “red, coarse hair” (inside joke), and yet I wasn’t exactly sure why my son desired to wear a disguise. However,  I told him that “someday” I would let him wear a wig out in public…if he really wanted to.

Well, the other day, I found the perfect wig at H.E.B….it was green! Consequently, I found that “someday” could actually work out to be on St. Patrick’s Day. So, here is Bradley. I was told he kept the wig on the entire time he was eating at Mc O’ Donalds (I stayed home with Michelle who was recovering) .  There was one child who exclaimed: “Look at the clown, Mommy!” I think most people are not terribly surprised when they see a clown…at McDonald’s.




Benjamin…love the sideburns!

And yes, my green duct tape came in handy today! I do have Irish roots, you know. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Happy Birthday to my sister Jen and Aunt Rosemary!

The Braces Are Off…The Teeth Are Out…

Michelle with her fingers in her mouth! When she was born, she even had a blister on her hand.

Because we were unsuccessful at getting her to dislike her two favorite fingers, we assumed Michelle would need braces someday. That day came, and many days (22 months) she wore braces, and had them removed on January 31. Just when we thought we had the dental drill down and done,  she recently got the real drill…a root canal! In addition, she had four of her wisdom teeth extracted yesterday!

We hope Michelle will get a break have her mouth quiet down for her soon. She has had some swollen cheeks, but she has been very cooperative when I have repeatedly put ice on her face. The doctor recommended ice for thirty minutes per side for the first 48 hours. We have rigged together two handkerchiefs/scarves that we tied together. The ice packs fit nicely inside, and then we tied them together at the top of her head. Not sure where we have seen this before…Norman Rockwell probably. It’s very old school, but effective.

It was a little bit like pulling teeth trying to get her to drink earlier, but she is feeling much better now! I enjoyed spoon-feeding her a shake. It’s hard to believe I fed her like that sixteen years ago. It’s even harder to believe that ten years prior to that, I had my wisdom teeth out! We praise the LORD for teeth, dentists, and that we have dental insurance that is paying some of this expense!

This was young Michelle (on sugar) acting silly with the stickers (on feet, dress, nose)! I tried to keep Michelle away from the stickers yesterday when she had her wisdom teeth out---as she was on drugs!

Here is a link to her new blog and her response to no more braces!

Some tortures are physical
And some are mental,
But the one that is both
Is dental.
~Ogden Nash


Thank you for praying for Michelle. I hope to see her wearing a big smile soon! She has been sweet, even through her pain. And they say tooth pain can be pretty extreme.

I’m thinking about posting this saying in the bathroom:

“You don’t have to brush all of your teeth…just the ones you want to keep!”


“High shoes”…

My “baby” girl (who now happens to be 18) wore “high shoes” (that is what she used to call them when she was little) in her best friend’s wedding. She looked very grown up. How fun! The wedding was beautiful. To quote one of my favorite songs from  Fiddler on the Roof
“Is this the little girl I carried? I s this the little boy at play? I don’t remember growing older. When did they?…Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset. Swiftly fly the years! One season following another…laden with happiness and tears.”

Here is a picture of Paige when she was little…

Paige in her "high shoes"!

Fixing hair...

All dressed up!

For more pictures from the wedding…go to Paige’s blog




The other day, Faith (age 12) severely hurt her finger. It was after school, and Faith swerved to the left to avoid crashing into a ball and she sort of rolled and fell over on her own hand. She ended up with a finger that looked all “caddywompus”, and a tingly hand. After a trip to the Med Clinic, the X-rays revealed that her left index finger was totally broken at the base of the joint. They referred her to a hand doctor who could “set it” and possibly do surgery on it.

Well, that is what the hand doctor ordered…surgery…in order to allow her hand to move to the proper position in the future. The next day, she had surgery complete with an I.V. and anesthesia, so she would not be awake during all of that, which she was glad about! I had to sign all those scary consent forms. I tried to keep Faith from over-hearing, but the nurse came by and had me initial as she read aloud “risk of permanent organ damage and/or death.” Why did she have to say that in front of my baby? They also had to ask her some “routine” questions we both weren’t ready for…like if she was pregnant and if she ever cut herself. Really? Wow! How sad, truly.

As they were putting a pin in her finger, Daddy and I felt like we were on pins and needles. It did not help that we were at the same facility where Paige had her eye surgery years ago. Memories flooded back in…ones that I try to keep contained in the past…you know…dark days. My eyes were fighting back tears, okay, so I lost the fight and cried a little (after she was in surgery). Then, I felt great peace as I was reminded of how faithful God always is. It’s weird but when you let fear take hold of you, even for a minute, your imagination can run wild. I was very thankful that Faith came out of the surgery okay, and that my faith was again strengthened. They did not have to open her up, and put a screw in there. I was also thankful that Paige is still cancer-free, as well as her siblings. Praise the LORD!

Along the way, the doctors were quite humorous. The anesthesiologist said…”Don’t pick your nose after surgery because you will have a pin sticking out. However…you could pick your brother’s nose!” And he added, “If you feel like you are going to barf, turn to the left, I have my good shoes on.” We heard about another patient doctor while we were in recovery. He had a funny response to his patient when he was asked, “Have you done this before?” His reply: “No, but I Googled it last night. I think I’m good.” Funny stuff. We are thankful for doctors who are trained to help out in these emergency situations. We are also thankful for the healing and peace that God gives in these situations. She had the pin removed recently, and her cast was gladly cast aside. Her hand is healed, and we again rejoice that our times are in God’s hand, and what good hands at that!

The LORD Provides Above And Beyond…

Almost three weeks ago, BC’s truck died. Well, temporarily died. He spent some time trying to replace the alternator, but it was very difficult getting to it because of the way the truck was situated. I have always appreciated how BC tries to fix things on our cars, I mean, vehicles…for some reason I tend to refer to most vehicles as “cars”. He has successfully replaced numerous alternators, but this one posed a real challenge. So, having no alternative, we let it sit, and he took the Suburban to work. We hoped to take it to a mechanic soon, but it was early January, and we typically do not have enough money saved in our emergency fund during this month.

Wait! We did have one alternative to our alternator problem…prayer. So, we earnestly prayed as a family. It had been a long time since the days of only one mode of transportation. The one day I needed the car, I dropped BC off at school. Later that day, BC received a call from a friend. He told BC that an anonymous person wanted to take care of our car. All we had to do was take it to a certain auto shop. What a praise! We managed to get it to the shop by charging it several times along the way. I followed him in the suburban. It only took us one and a half hours, but we were thankful we got it there.

Two days later, we received the call from the shop that his pick-up was ready for pick up. Wow! That was fast! we thought. The owner told BC that he fixed the alternator, a power steering leak, and put in a new air conditioner. BC was amazed, and slightly shocked! We all were. A new A/C is expensive. BC had been without A/C in his truck for awhile. It had been on our list of “things to fix”. That night, when we went around the table sharing our favorite part of the day, Daddy shared about the surprise blessing we had received from the LORD! We all praised the LORD for His goodness. He not only meets our needs, but also goes above and beyond even what we might expect. God always provides!

Thanksgiving Crafts/Games: “I Got Your Back!”

Recently, I ordered some fun Thanksgiving crafts from Oriental Trading Company. I love Thanksgiving, and we try to do a few crafts each November. I save one from each year and we decorate the house for Thanksgiving with the kids artwork (past and present).

So, I bought some foam “Pilgrim people” that we put together and we cut out our pictures for the faces! These have made us laugh daily! You have to be able to laugh at yourself sometimes, you know?

I also found some magic art leaves that were cool. You just scratch off a design of your choice with a small pointed stick and colorful rainbow-like designs appear underneath.

Then, I purchased some small turkey cut-outs. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with them. I thought I might use some to make some napkin holders. Then, I thought we could play a “hunt for the turkey” game with one.

So, I put blue painting/masking tape on the back of a turkey cut-out and called the kids over. I said, “We are going to play a fun game each day until Thanksgiving. Someone has this turkey, and tries to put it on someone’s back without that someone knowing about it. When the turkey person realizes it, they continue the game by putting it on an unsuspecting someone’s back, until the end of the day.”

The kids said that sounded like fun, pats on the back and all, and the game began. We all chuckled behind the back at our little turkey friend on the back of our loved one; the younger ones pointed and laughed. It was all in fun.

When daddy came home, the kids were quick to explain the new turkey game, as BC wondered why Paige had a turkey on her back. The master quickly caught on, and got my back, unbeknownst to me. So, when I had to trot over to Walgreens last night around 8:00 p.m. for some dry eye lubricant and pads, you guessed it…turkey went along for the ride. As I was checking out, there was a line behind me, and I felt like people were staring (I usually feel a little self-conscious when buying pads anyway.), and they were smiling. I just smiled back and attributed it to the cheerful Christmas music.

So, when I arrived back home, my husband sent me a text with a picture of me with a turkey on my back. I felt like I was a roasted turkey! I did laugh, though, but wondered if there was fowl play. I’m thinking we should keep this game “in house only”. As BC laughingly chided, “I got your back!” that saying took on a new and opposite meaning. But as I said earlier, “You have to be able to laugh at yourself sometimes, you know?”

Broken Ice Maker Produces A New Fence!

Two years ago, we bought a nice, new fridge. Well, my sweet parents gifted us with half and we paid the other half. This was a huge blessing, as our old fridge was 15 years old and slowly jogging along on the verge of a collapse (another appliance on borrowed time scenario). The new fridge was huge and it was a special blessing because we bought a cool ice-maker (and one on the outside door) for the first time in our married life.

Actually, we had an ice-maker in the first place we lived after we were married. Some dear friends of ours from church moved to California for a short while. They asked us to “house-sit” and all we needed to pay for was the electricity and water. This four-bedroom house was a blessing to us. Being a light sleeper, I sometimes would wake up and wonder what was the source of the noise I just heard. Poor BC. Misery loves company, so I would wake the soundly sleeping man lying next to me and ask him, “Did you hear that? What was that noise?” And almost every time, he would mumble out that it was just the ice-maker.

When we lived in our first apartment, I remember hearing a noise, so I woke up BC. He replied with the usual: “Just the ice-maker, honey”. But then I woke up and realized we didn’t even have an ice-maker in that apartment! He actually got out of bed for that noise! So, for the last two years, when I have occasionally heard a noise downstairs, BC has truthfully said, “It’s the ice-maker.”…and I have believed him…until recently…

Well, they say the ice-maker is the first to go…after about two years…and it was. Thankfully, we bought the extended warranty at Lowe’s. So, I called the fix-it dude out to see if he could repair or replace it. He quickly determined that he was not able to fix it because it had literally frozen up. So, he said he would talk to someone and try to order a new one, and that I would need to defrost the fridge if he could get the part in. Eh…I was a little bummed as he told me to call him in a week and a half if I did not hear back from him before then.

So, I waited, and we served our guests room-temperature refreshments. I reminded my crushed family and myself that water would freeze again someday, and we would survive. After all, it was just ice. I meant to buy some at the store, but unfortunately, I had brain fog when it came down to remembering to buy it. Just two years prior, we were making our own ice and I regretted getting rid of those plastic ice cube trays.

Ice cube trays…my mind floated back to childhood days as I remembered how we were the ice-makers! How many times had we filled the ice cube trays growing up? And how frustrated were we to find them empty. My favorite memory of ice cube trays was making homemade ice pops. First, we steadily tried to pour lemonade or Kool-aid equally into each container. Then, we tried to arrange the toothpicks “just so” (one per cube). Last of all, we carefully carried this magical science experiment to the freezer. Every ten minutes, I’d pop my head in the freezer just to see if our ice pops were ready. After watching the process (the thin layer forming on the top, etc.), it was now time to break the ice. When I was asked to perform the bending of the ice mold, I felt like I also was breaking out from the mold from “weak child” to “strong conqueror”. Seriously, those ice pops were transforming! How my heart melted when years later I watched my children concoct their own yummy homemade ice pops.

Wow! That was a major bunny trail through some icy patches there. Sorry about that. Let me get back to the story about the fridge (also called “ice box” by older generations)…

So, I got a call a week later and they (Lowe’s) wanted to let me know that I had a merchandise credit (like a gift card) at Lowe’s for the amount that I spent on the first fridge, and that I could keep the other fridge! This was a huge blessing! So, we bought a new fridge on sale. It was a little smaller than the one we previously had purchased, but it had a good ice-maker. Because of this, we had money left over on the Lowe’s card to buy fencing supplies for our much-needed backyard fence. Isn’t it marvelous how God provides solid answers to prayers by allowing things to break? We are counting our ice cubes, I mean …blessings (including the new fence posts, and the second fridge). (I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice…!)

Last weekend, we all joined forces to put up the new fence. We had such pleasant weather, and a great time together (although homemade ice pops would have been cool). Check out Michelles’s blog for pics…