The Son is always shining, regardless of the weather

Fruity People and Fruity Fun!

Posted under LOL, My Kids Make Me Smile, The Unexpected - Apr 27th, 09 - 2 Comments

Today, I went to the store with my six-year-old. It was pouring down rain when we got out of our suburban, so naturally we got wet soaked! I was standing in the fruit section getting apples, when a nearby fruit lady asked me, “Is it raining outside?” Everything inside of me wanted to scream: “Uh…DUH!”, but I remembered a Bible verse about fruit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

So, I just smiled and said, “Yep, it sure is!”. I reminded myself of the many dumb questions I have asked over the years. It’s funny, usually I have learned from those experiences, and I never ask that same question again. Some of these questions include, “When is your baby due?” (Oops!…let them tell you). The other question was: “How many kids do you have?” (Oops!…none).

As we were walking past the frozen foods, my son said: “Momma, do you think it will be raining when we leave? I hope so. That was so fun!” Wow…we are different…like apples and oranges…or like hot and cold. “Fun” for him is like ” totally (freezing) not fun” for me. It’s all about perspective, huh? It’s good to remember that everyone’s ideas about “fun” are relative…even if you happen to be relatives!

Why I Relay…

Posted under Relay For Life, Remembering Loved Ones - Apr 19th, 09 - 1 Comment

You know, I sometimes wish I was a person who would have been helping out people with cancer before it hit home–our home–my eldest daughter…on April 19, 2002! When we needed to be comforted by someone who had been down this dark and unfamiliar road, the LORD provided countless people to give us hope (many at Relay). He also gave us “that blessed Hope”–the hope of all hope–Jesus Christ. I can’t thank Him enough for sparing my daughter’s life, and for drawing us ever-so-close to Him. All of us have seen the LORD at work, and have been amazed by His faithfulness and love. We know we are never alone, but being around other survivors at Relay is a real dose of encouragement!

My children are looking forward to Relay: staying up all night—talking and walking; eating and greeting; playing and praying. They love their sister, and “Relay” is a part of their world.  So, we have been to Relay every year now for the past seven years! Oh, I did miss one due to open-heart surgery, but the others were there. We were there, even when it wasn’t convenient…like the year I was on crutches with a broken foot! Can you tell that Relay means a lot to us?

So, we are planning to do this all-night-long Relay and hopefully raise lots of money for ACS! We will remember that dark time as we walk at night, and praise God for His light-giving Son when the sun appears! Pray for us that we would all remain healthy prior to, and during the event! Please also pray for these people who are undergoing treatment for cancer: Esther Joy (age 6) and Paxton (age 5), Ian (age 5), Tia Rosa, Linda, Eleanor, Mark, Jon, and there are so many on each team that are fighting right now. We will walk to support those who are too tired to walk.

“Paige” is my main reason to relay, but I also relay for these other precious survivors: Gloria, Aunt Beth, Cousin Ty, Uncle Mike, Aunt Kathy, Aunt Peggy, Bob, Olga, Carol, Hope, Gail, Reiko, Linda, Lori, Mayra, Caroline, Clarise, Cathy, Larry, Buddy, Uncle Al, Alicia, Cameron, Leslie, and Shelly. We will walk to honor those who have battled with cancer, and have walked in the darkness.

I also relay to honor and remember loved ones who have died and their families: Richard, Earl, Vieda, Bennie, Joyce, Timothy, Evan, Moriah, Worth, Kellen, Natalia, Kaitlyn. We will walk to remember them. Our hope is that they are all walking with Jesus!

Wow! That is a lot of people. What’s wrong with this picture? I am thankful that God sees the BIG picture, and that He is in control!


Garage Sale: big deals…not just price cuts!

Yesterday and today, we had a garage sale to mark the seventh “anniversary” of the day we heard those words: “Your daughter has cancer!” We just praise the LORD for His mercy. All of our proceeds will be going to The American Cancer Society. It went pretty well yesterday, despite the early rain, and the ants. We even managed to sell a few brownies. However, just when the garage sale thing started to get “dull”…BAM…the unexpected happened: the glass pan holding the brownies either self-destructed or committed suicide (no eyewitnesses, just earwitnesses)!

Now, I have seen this phenomena before…with my own eyes…the memorable Thanksgiving when G.G.’s dressing exploded in the glass Pyrex pan (see this interesting article). We had to keep ourselves from exploding from lack of dressing (or is it the other way around?…Isn’t exploding largely due to eating too much dressing?) We are not exactly sure how to fully explain how this pan lost its temper, but we think it had something to do with the temperamental nature of glass to drastic temperature changes. Thankfully, nobody was harmed in our “exploding dressing” or “freak brownie accident.”

Well, today’s garage sale was extremely slow. Maybe it had something to do with the possibility that the wind blew my signs away, or someone (other than us) took the signs down. I didn’t double check to see if they were up until 5:00! Speaking of signs, I’m still wondering if our little incident should be viewed as a warning sign for the unpredictable nature of glass pans? Any thoughts on this one? But…we made about one hundred dollars, we cleaned out the garage a little (and every little bit counts), and we didn’t get hurt…nice day.

Resurrection Cookies

One of our family Easter or Resurrection Day traditions involves making “Resurrection Cookies” the night before Easter. When I first heard of this idea through an e-mail I received when Paige was three (about 12 years ago), we initiated this yummy and meaningful tradition. There were a few times we stayed up late doing this. One time, my mixer broke, and we had to take turns stirring it by hand for about 30 minutes. However, I still say that it is worth the time and effort. The symbolism is beautiful. How I love that “Man of Calvary”, my risen Savior and LORD!

Resurrection Cookies:


1 c whole pecans
1 t vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 c sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. (This is important – don’t wait until you are halfway done with the recipe!)  Place pecans in a zipper bag and let children beat them with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers.

Read John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1 t. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink.

Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that  Jesus gave His life to give us life.

Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.

Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us, and He wants us to know and belong to Him.

Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.

Read Isa.1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper (I prefer parchment paper) covered cookie sheet.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. (We usually would end up with 33…one for each year Jesus lived on earth.)

Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. One year, my kids insisted we should use duct tape. This year, Benjamin put his little toy Roman Soldier next to the tomb. We have also made three crosses on the door out of tape.

Read Matt. 27:65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.

Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.

Read Matt. 28:1-9.


Bible Verses used with Resurrection Cookies:

John 19:1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

John 19:28After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

John 10:10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Luke 23:27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

Psalms 34:8O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Matthew 27:57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: 58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

Matthew 27:65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

John 16: 20Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. . . .22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

Matthew 28:1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

I love Chic-fil-A…I love free food!

Last Wednesday (after prayer meeting), I was talking with a group of ladies. A sweet friend of mine asked me if I was going to Chic-fil-A the following morning for their free breakfast. I smiled, and told her we were planning on being there. It was then mentioned: “CC loves Chic-fil-A”. I quickly added, “Yep, I love Chic-fil-A, but I also love free food.” Then, it was explained how we dressed up like cows (see post)…for free food. I was thinking as we left: “Hmmmm….I wonder what the visitor in that group, whom I don’t know so well, must think about me—based on that short conversation we just had.”

Well, we picked up free, yummy breakfast on Thursday morning. They were giving it away to advertise the fact that they now sell breakfast! Tonight, a week later, we hesitantly headed out to a fundraiser for ACS at Chic-fil-A. I say “hesitantly” because we wanted to help, but we usually only eat out once or twice a month. So, this outing would make two, and I knew it would be a sacrifice. We agreed to only get water with our sandwiches and fries. We arrived, and I proceeded to order. The manager recognized us as “the homeschool family that was there two weeks ago with another homeschool family”. He’s good…so much for anonymity.

Come to think of it, the reason we were there two weeks ago was because the manager gave my friend, K, some free sandwich coupons. She had inquired about their grand opening, and found out that people were already camped out days before it opened. I guess neither one of us was willing to spend the night at Chic-fil-A (They evidently hand out awesome prizes…like free Chick-fil-A for a year!). We obviously didn’t love it as much as some! However, the kind manager gave her free coupons—enough for both of our families. Now, wasn’t that sweet?

Getting back to our visit tonight, the manager told us that he was homeschooled. So, we were finishing our dinner (20% going to Relay), and he came over and bought (and brought) each of us dessert…shakes, brownies, lemon pie! We were loving this fellow homeschool, dessert-bearing dude! Isn’t the LORD good. He gives us more than we ask for, or really need…like dessert!

Psalm 34:8  “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

(BTW…this is Tim Hawkins favorite Bible verse, and I guess I’m not the only one who loves Chick-fil-A!) Enjoy!

Why do kids always throw up at night?

I don’t know about you, but it seems like when my kids happen to throw up…it hits them in the middle…and the middle of the night (99% of the time). Well, last night was no exception. Bradley came in to tell me that Benjamin was throwing up. Bradley was on the bottom bunk, and felt something wet on his arm. He told me he thought he was dreaming, and this waterfall was spilling on him, but then he heard Benjamin…oh gross, right?

This was probably the worst-case-throw-up scenario that I had ever encountered. Stuff was everywhere…and now messy stuff was on their messy stuff. In an “ideal throw-up situation”, you should have a clean room, and a bowl nearby. Well, I had a bowl under their bed, but obviously that didn’t help. Sometimes it just hits you way too fast!

We now have a new reason to say, “Remember the Alamo,” because the boys’ cardboard replica of the Alamo got attacked by “biohazardous waste”. The plastic men were saved, but the Alamo is no más. Now, the phrase: “Remember the Alamo” will be my new way of reminding them to put away their toys before they go to bed!

Four days hours later, I went to bed. The kids were cleaned up. Benjamin’s teeth were brushed. He has braces, so I made sure we brushed and flossed! The bunk beds were cleared and the bedding washed. The carpets were cleaned, toys bathed, clothes that were in drawers that were not closed had to be washed, curtains needed washing. (No, the wash will still be an on-going project…and will be for many more years!) I put two candles in the boys room just to help me while I worked. It helped mask that awful smell.

That night, the Lord laid it on my heart to pray for all the mommas (and daddies) out there who were cleaning up throw up. I mean, it is a seriously hard job. You want to throw in the towel, throw away the towel, and put a towel around your nose and eyes while you are cleaning. Again…those kids with cancer are sick a lot, and their parents are tired. Thankfully, Benjamin is feeling much better. He only threw up that one time. Maybe it was something he ate (like the three Clementine oranges, or a virus is always a possibility). Well, I’m thankful my mom cleaned up my messes when I was growing up, and I’m going to make sure I tell her that! I’m also thankful that Jesus continues to clean up messes.

CC…the dog catcher!

Posted under Dog Adventures, LOL, The Unexpected - Mar 28th, 09 - 1 Comment

Today we went to Grandma’s house (about 45 minutes from our house). While we were on the road,  who do you think we saw?…two lost labs! Well, I looked over at BC and said, “Are those our dogs?” (meaning his cousin’s), and everyone agreed that they were. BC quickly called his cousin, and sure enough…they had gotten out earlier.

So, my next comment was, “Should I get out?” (this comment was based upon my previous post). Everyone smiled at this amazingly smart question. I know they were proud of Mommma for learning her lesson! Well, I did announce I was getting out, and thankfully, the dogs came over to us…all wet and muddy. They enjoyed a lovely ride in our front seat (windows down), and I was in the back. I really didn’t care…at least I was in the car! BC’s cousin met us out there, and took the dogs home. The funny thing was that I had on my favorite shirt that read, “I love my husband.” When we got back to grandma’s house, my uncle said: “So, I see you’ve got your dog catcher shirt on.” He always knows how to make me laugh!

Ai Chihuahua! Left Behind!

Posted under Admit One, Dog Adventures, LOL, The Unexpected - Mar 20th, 09 - 3 Comments

We usually have the kids count to six when we get in the car…to make sure nobody gets left behind. We never thought about counting to eight, until recently. We have a funny story that happened to us over Spring Break (when we were somewhere in West Texas).

We saw a tiny chihuahua on the highway…running out in front of our car. So, we naturally slowed and stopped. We noticed the owner in a car—calling to the dog. I told Brad we should try to catch the poor, lost, and scared puppy (the traffic seemed slow enough). So, he got out to catch it. Unknown to BC, I got out to stop traffic, and possibly catch the dog, in case he ran the other way. Well, he ran the other way…past BC and the traffic on the other side, and he headed for Church’s Fried Chicken.

As I stood there (behind our suburban, moving towards the front), BC speedily took off in the suburban. I now stood there looking like a lost puppy myself. I wasn’t sure what he was up to, but thankfully my brain function came back…prompting me to also speedily move out of the way!  Then, I finally saw BC pull over to the side of the road…only about a 1/2-3/4 mile up the road. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy.

I got out of the vehicle with only my socks on. I despise shoes, and they are always the first things off my feet, esp. in the car. Now socks…I love, but these socks weren’t looking or feeling too pretty (they were now totally black and covered with sticker burrs). I was thinking: “I know I told him we need to try to exercise on our vacation, but this is taking it a bit too far.” The funny thing was that I was wearing a t-shirt that read: “I love my husband”. I wonder what those passers-by thought…”Yeah, but lady, does your husband love you?”.

When I finally arrived back at the Suburban, BC said, “I am so sorry, Honey. I didn’t know you got out. I got back in the car, was driving along and I told you, ‘Well, I hope they catch that little dog.’ Then, Benjamin asked me, ‘Daddy, what about Momma?’. That’s when I stopped.”

I suppose it could have been worse. However, I gave Benjamin a dollar for his keen observation. Boy, we laughed so hard about this ordeal! BC said, “Ai, Chihuahua!,” and I said, “Never leave your wingman…and wingman…never leave!” We talked about having him use the child-safety locks for me from now on. You know…”No momma left behind!” The kids took a picture of me on the road. I’ll try to post it later.

They’re Called Nose Pads, Not Nose Pieces!

If you wear glasses, one thing that you may commonly have had to fix or replace is your nose pieces. I think the proper name for them is nose pads. After playing volleyball the other day, Paige and I both broke our nose pads. I was telling my six-year-old that Paige and I were going to get nose pieces, and he gave me a strange (and somewhat horrified look) exclaiming, “Why are you and Paige going to get your noses pierced? Do I have to get my nose pierced?”

I love to laugh…except when I am drinking liquid, and it comes out my nose (Ah…yet another reason I would not get my nose pierced). Thanks little guy (and I thought anyone who knows me would know that I would never get a nose ring!)

  • Note to self…they are called nose pads, not nose pieces!

Praying for a break?

Around two years ago, my husband and I managed to both break a foot bone during the same week. It really set us back, and physical activity was slowed down dramatically…not to mention our metabolisms. So we are thrilled to be working out together again on a regular basis. In case you want to hear the amusing (don’t worry we can laugh at ourselves) story of two people who love each other, and really can share their pain with each on…(and no…we were not wrestling)

My injury happened first while I was playing soccer with the kids. My ankle twisted, and I went down. I thought it was just sprained, but it hurt for weeks. Meanwhile, BC somehow broke his foot bone by jumping off the back of his truck with a bag of leaves. We guess the incline did it. Then he got into some poison ivy and had a severe reaction (hives) to the Motrin he was taking for the foot pain. To top it off, he developed an bad infection. Needless to say, my foot waited (about two weeks), and I tried to “walk it off”. Then, I went into the doctor and told her about my pain, and asked her why the bone was sticking out on my foot. She said it was probably okay, and said, “Didn’t your husband come in here with a broken foot? Maybe you are experiencing ‘sympathy pains’?”

I really did not like her method of determining whether or not my foot was indeed broken, so I kindly asked her for an X-ray. She hesitated, and told me the added cost. I replied, “I really would like an X-ray, despite the added cost.”. So, I had the X-ray and the doctor came back in the room shaking her head and saying, “Well, you were right…you have a broken bone!” This bone took almost 10 months to heal. I did not enjoy wearing that boot, or cast (later on). A broken foot may be desirable in high school, but not when you are 35? I remember struggling to get to my car on crutches. It was hard work!

One day, I was feeling sorry for myself, and then we went out to eat (yes, that helps, but there is more…). As we were eating dinner, my son pointed out another man who was wearing crutches. I glanced over at the young man, and noticed he only had one leg. My self pity immediately left the room. There he was smiling and making the best of it, and that is what I prayed that I would be able to do. The LORD is so good. My foot finally healed, and I am so thankful! They say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Evidently, this is said to be true with broken bones; somehow, they are stronger than before! We were also amazed at how helpful our children could be during that time.

Bc and I still managed to laugh at this ridiculous situation. “Look, we are bookends with our boots!”, BC said.  We smiled as we told people we were “taking one for the team”! Then, another laugh came when an elder from church called me and said, “I’ve been praying the LORD would give you guys a break.” Then I quickly replied, “Well stop praying for that, we have two of them!” He laughed, and said, “I mean…”, and I said, “I know, but those are the breaks!”