The Son is always shining, regardless of the weather

Silly Putty

Posted under LOL, Love To Learn, The Unexpected - Oct 8th, 08 - 3 Comments

Have you ever had a child come to you with a blanket that has silly putty on it (and it…the silly putty…has changed from the “solid/bouncy” state to some sort of “liquid/scary blob” state), and he looks at you with wondering eyes and says, “I’m not sure how this happened but…”. That happened to me a few nights ago, and I am still working on trying to get the sticky mess out! So, his problem became my problem quest. Ice helped a little. Trying to get as much out with the remaining clump of silly putty (pressing it into the blanket) has also helped, but it is still obviously there (see picture). Someone mentioned trying rubbing alcohol, but I’m not sure how the blanket would take it!

As I was trying to clean this up, I had my deja vu moment. You know, I had the feeling I had done this before, and I actually had. When we went to visit some friends a few years ago, I thought it would be a great idea to give their children “a little something”. Silly me, I picked out silly putty, and then I spent half the night picking out silly putty from the couch and a blanket (with some helpers). Evidently, this stuff appeared harmless and fun, but I have seriously reconsidered my earlier opinion. I have to say I regretted buying the silly stuff, and it has been banned from our house (or so I thought). I will keep trying to work this sticky situation out. If anyone has any experience with the removal of silly putty, I would love to hear from you! My parents told us many times, “You reap what you sow!” Isn’t that a true statement?

“Why Doesn’t Everyone Wear These?”

Posted under Love To Learn, My Kids Make Me Smile - Oct 6th, 08 - 3 Comments

The above question was posed by my 9-year-old daughter, Faith, as she came in the room wearing “toe socks” or “glove socks” (see picture). She went on to explain that she likes them because she can wear them with flip-flops and sandals. So, please help me answer her question. Why don’t you wear “glove socks”?

Presidents and Precedents

Posted under How God Provides, Love To Learn - Sep 30th, 08 - No Comments

We recently have been studying the presidents as a family unit study. I have found some awesome on-line resources which have been a great help!

One thing I have noticed is that these 43 presidents ( Dictionary.com defines president [prez-i-duhnt] as “the highest executive officer of a modern republic”), have set the precedent ( Dictionary.com defines precedent [ pres-i-duhnt] as “any act, decision, or case that serves as a guide or justification for subsequent situations.” ) for many presidents after them (Sorry, the nerd in me just has way too much fun playing with words). You know, when they made president, they also made precedent!

Naturally, we have been prompted to do this due to the upcoming elections. My oldest daughter recently pointed out to me that, Lord willing, she will be voting in the next election! Wow ! where does the time go?

A sweet friend recently gave us some great books, toys, and puzzles. We (mostly the girls) completed this Presidential 1,000-piece puzzle in less than a weekend. We decided to glue it together…it was that cool! So, here it is:

The “You’re Momma” moment:

A few weeks ago, I realized I was a mom (not in the literal sense…I have birthed six children…but rather in the figurative sense). Here’s the scenario:

I went around the house taking everyone’s temperature (not because this is a favorite pastime…they all felt warm to me). No temperatures. All were dubbed “relatively normal”. Then came the “You’re (as in “you are”) Momma” moment…I took my temperature and I had 100.5. This made me laugh (not the temperature, or maybe it was the temperature?). Silly momma, I know.

My older sister reminded me of the time when Mom took one of us to the doctor, and the doctor was concerned about Mom’s cough. It ended up that she had pneumonia and two of her ribs were broken! What a trooper! (My mom corrected out info. by telling me that she actually went to the hospital because she had been in pain for two weeks—but, she was occupied with taking care of a child that had pneumonia.) Do you have a “You’re Momma” moment to share? Please notice the important use of the apostrophe here (many don’t), and refrain from telling me any “your momma” jokes (I don’t find them very honoring). I’d love to hear from you. Also, let me know if you have discovered the secret of always knowing where to find your thermometer! LOL!

Fireproof

Guess what? Bc and I went to the movies this weekend.  This was the first time we have left our older children (14, 13,11) in charge of our younger ones (9,7,5). No accidents or fires to report. Woohoo!

We saw the new movie Fireproof. It was great (and I think we held hands for most of the movie)! As most of you know, marriages aren’t always “happily ever after” and it takes work, but not just that…it takes an understanding of what love really is. I really should say WHO love is…God is Love! Romans 5:8 is awesome:  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” We loved this marriage-affirming and faith-affirming film. Definitely bring Kleenex! We would encourage you all to see it! Call us if you need babysitters!

Here is a message from a friend about the movie:

We believe this movie is extremely important, and we are encouraging everyone to try to see this film on opening weekend if possible.  The first 3 days are so critical.  If this film has a strong opening weekend, it will receive additional publicity and will encourage filmmakers to consider more faith friendly films.

If you haven’t heard already, Fireproof is a new movie from the creators of Facing the Giants.  This action-packed love story, starring Kirk Cameron, tells the story of a firefighter who, through accepting Christ as his Lord, is able to rescue the heart of his wife and save his marriage.

It may surprise you, but… The movie Fireproof will be the first wide-release film (opening in over 600 screens) that contains a clear Gospel message of Jesus Christ in over 4 years!  We hope you will rally around this movie and show your support for using films like this to share the Gospel.

PLEASE spread the word to everyone you know.  Trailers and other resources are available at www.fireproofthemovie.com.

(A list of theaters can be found at www.fireproofthemovie.com/theaters.)

Time Flies

Posted under Arts and Crafts, LOL, Those Are The Breaks! - Sep 27th, 08 - No Comments

My baby is turning six in a little over a week (what is wrong with this sentence?)! Where does the time go? Does it really fly?

I recently was cleaning out my jewelry box, and I found six broken watches (…why I still had them is a mystery). Well, in my corny mind (and hesitant-to-throw-anything-away hands),  I envisioned some art project for the kids (there was just the right amount). I would tell them to make something that flies, using the new clay that Kane graciously gave us. Then, they would pick out a watch to add to their unidentified flying objects! Well, it was fun to watch (silly pun intended)! Here is a picture of time flying…symbolic of my son Bradley’s six years.

Our Late-Breaking News!

A little over two weeks ago (on Sunday 9-07-08), we came home to find the temperature very warm inside our home…our air conditioner had “frozen up”. I was so thankful Bc knew how to remedy this (two hair dryers melted away the ice that had formed on our system). I was very thankful to have an air conditioner that was still working, even if the humidity threw it off from time to time. That could have been a costly repair!

Then our ever-faithful washing machine started leaking on Thursday (9-11-08…right before we were having a house guest). I had mentioned earlier that day that I wanted to clean out the laundry room, and I did get the opportunity to do just that. Wet papers needed drying, and boatloads of clothes needed washing. I really could not get too upset as I was reminded of the damaging Hurricane Ike that was on it’s way, and entire houses that would be flooded. My complaint was nothing in comparison. I was so thankful Bc was willing to look at it and try to fix it. He has fixed our 15-year-old dryer numerous times. Well, with Bob (our neighbor) and the LORD, he was able to figure out the problem and fix it. It was a massive hairball that was causing the blockage in the pump, and the total damage was only $15.00 for the needed valves (what a heavy load off my mind). Bob and his wife were so kind to let us borrow their washer too (what a heavy load off my floor). Our warranty on our washer had expired, and this minor repair was an answer to our prayers!

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”                   Psalm 55:22

Another loss came when my youngest son broke part of our vacuum cleaner on Friday (9-12-08). We have a very expensive vacuum cleaner because we were tired of buying vacuum cleaners every year. I don’t know why some of our children have discovered vacuum cleaners to be a favorite toy (Where do they pick up this stuff? Now I can’t pick up anything!) Bc gave this awesome vacuum to me as a gift when this child (Bradley) came into the world. So, naturally I was not very happy about this almost 6-year-old broken vacuum, because the seller said it was supposed to last a lifetime!. Well, I used electrical tape to perform a quick fix (house guest was coming), and it looked like I would just need to order one specific piece. Good, it could have been worse.

The next thing that broke was Bc’s tractor. It stopped working on 9-14-08, and was leaking oil. Bob (our retired neighbor/hired by us) has been helping on and off all week with that. He is very kind and very knowledgeable about such matters. Thankfully the part was only $30. Bc offered to cut his yard for free during the next months to show our gratitude.

Oh, when the washer had leaked in the laundry room, I didn’t realize it also leaked into the garage. I spent four hours cleaning up on 9-14-08. The LORD must be telling me to declutter, because I have really been forced to get rid of many things lately.

Well, I might as well include the kitchen sink! Our garbage disposal was leaking on Sunday (9-21-08). Under the sink needed some drying out, and cleaning up too. Bc had not been feeling well all week…(a cold), and I hesitated to even tell him about it. He had been working so hard lately…both at work and at home. Praise the LORD, bc was able to fix that leak too, without having to buy anything.

Yes, it has definitely been interesting…almost comical…to find so many things break in a short time period. But, it could have been worse! Let me share my final (only God knows) break scenario:

Bradley came running down the stairs on Friday afternoon yelling, “Momma, Benjamin broke something.”

My reply was “Oh no, what did he break?”

“One of the ten commandments….he said he was going to break his promise and get into my special drawer.”

My first thought was relief. Relief in that Benjamin was physically okay…no broken bones for that boy. Then relief in that he didn’t break a light or anything “breakable”. As I struggled to keep a straight face, I was reminded of the seriousness of the situation. I desired for my boys to have the desire to keep their word. We all need to do that. So, later on that evening, we curled up together on the couch and read some books together that I had promised to read with them!

“My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”                                              Psalm 89:34

These verses have been encouraging to me at this time:

Ecc 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecc 3:2  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Ecc 3:3  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

Ecc 3:4  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Ecc 3:5  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Ecc 3:6  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; (my work in the laundry room, garage, and under sink)

Ecc 3:7  A time to rend, and a time to sew (our sewing project); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Ecc 3:8  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Finishing projects

Last Wed. night at prayer meeting, an elder mentioned the following verse of encouragement:

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” The NIV says it this way:

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion (bold-added by me) until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

The other day, I found my unfinished wood-carved plaque (from 25 years ago) that read, “Clean up the world tomorrow, today just clean your room”. Ouch! A painful reminder of another project I need to complete (the plaque), and one I feel will never be completed (my side of our bedroom)! There are some projects that I have left unfinished, some I have actually finished, and some I have finished well. But most of the time my mind goes back to my “unfinished business”. Last spring I painted the kitchen, yet I still have not put the “finishing touches” on the baseboards. The list could go on….

Well, praise the LORD, He allowed a sewing project to be completed in record time! We estimate it took us ten hours to complete five denim/plaid skirts, and three plaid ties (you know, there is nothing like family ties). We all so enjoyed sewing together and wearing our matching outfits! I have to honestly say that bc does not love his new tie (or any of his old ones for that matter), but he does love me. I am so thankful for his sweetness in wearing the tie and that we “tied the knot” years ago. It prompted me to sing to bc the lines of an old hymn: “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love…” (unfortunately, that’s about all I could remember). However, I do remember a time I made bc a tie with baby animals in the shape of clouds (to match our dresses), and he wore it. What was I thinking?

I am thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for being about His Father’s business and for finishing strong.

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Pride Goeth Before A Fall

Posted under LOL, Love To Learn, The Unexpected - Sep 10th, 08 - 1 Comment

On Monday, my neighbor asked if he could borrow our jumper cables. Well, I told him he could, if I could find them. The first (and most logical) place I looked was in my Suburban. Nope, it wasn’t there! Okay, maybe it was in the garage. So, I went into “Dad’s Domain” to try to find them. Victory…success…they were discovered (and I had my doubts)! So, I gave them to my neighbor, and walked back inside and into the kitchen (where three children were) and said, “I am so proud of myself!”

Immediately, I slipped on a pair of slippery soccer shorts (tongue-twister). All three children gasped and asked, “Momma, are you okay?” (with fear in their voices). Well, I did feel some pain as I broke the fall with my arm, but all I felt like doing was laughing as I told the bewildered children, “You know, ‘Pride goeth before a fall.'” I slowly got up, and “iced” my arm. I didn’t think it was broken, just bruised (kind of like my pride). I am always telling my children to learn from my mistakes, and today’s lesson was: “Watch your step, and keep yourself humble.”

This truth can be applied to all walks of life. When I try to glory in myself or anything I have done, I will fall. I hope that I will learn this truth and apply it more everyday. I hope to be more focused on seeing the glory of the LORD, and giving the glory to the LORD for all of my victories, large or small. After all, Jesus Christ is worthy of praise and glory, and he humbled himself for you and me!

Here are some verses I have enjoyed looking at:

Proverbs 16:18  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Psalm 145:14  The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

Psalm 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and He delighteth in his way.
Psalm 37:24  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand.

Jeremiah 13:16  Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

1Ch 16:10  Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

Psalm 3:3  But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

Psalm 148:13  Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

Thundering Waters

It was dark outside, the children were in bed, and I was ready to “call it a night” (or do you say “call it a day”?). I had six precious children under the age of nine, and I was tired. I loved my job as mom (and still do). I also loved what little sleep I could get. I was a light sleeper, and would get up to nurse my babies, comfort sick children, or to just check on them (crazy, huh?). Then, I was able to quickly fall back to sleep (probably due to exhaustion from days of non-stop movement…back then). The clock read 10:15p.m., so naturally, I was tired. Are you convinced that I was ready to crawl into bed?

Well, I had showered for the night, and went downstairs to get a quick drink of water. Then I got distracted. I saw a book in our lighthouse bathroom. It was on the top shelf, and it was titled: Thundering Waters (by Arnot McIntee). I have no idea why I convinced myself that it would be a great time to read that book with Bc (see first paragraph noting my tired condition). So, I made my quick (meaning fast, not smart) move. I reached up to take the book off the shelf, and I picked it straight up, starting a small catastrophe. My action knocked down a picture frame of a lighthouse, which in turn knocked down a lighthouse glass from Red Lobster. Did I mention that it was filled with tons of tiny aquarium rocks? Well, the rocks went flying as the incredibly thick glass landed in the toilet! “What a mess,” I said to myself. Then I was filled with self-frustration. I had no problem realizing and accepting the fact that accidents happen DAILY at our house (as we had another glass break today), but why did I (being the adult that I am) have to be the one to commit the accident? So, I put down the book, and started the clean-up job.

First things first, I put on my rubber gloves. Then basically, I was picking up these tiny rocks and throwing them away. I felt like I was an assembly worker as I was doing the same thing over and over, and the end was not in sight. I felt like calling it quits, but I would still be the one who would clean it up in the morning (because I made the mess, and I am a mom). In addition to the rocks, there were also broken pieces of glass from the picture frame. Then I was cleaning up toilet water that splashed out from the toilet (or so I thought) off of the floor. It seemed like an endless job. I kept cleaning up water. Then I would see more water on the floor. I thought I was just moving it around, and then I thought I was losing it…my mind that is. “Where was this water coming from?”, I wondered. As I examined the toilet, unbelievably the hearty Red Lobster glass was not broken! However, it managed to crack the toilet bowl. So, I turned off the toilet (my dad taught us all how to do this early in life, because by the time we told him the toilet was going to overflow…it already had).

As I was continuing to clean-up, my eyes started to overflow as I told myself how clumsy I was, and I just wasn’t sure what bc would say. Well, he came downstairs, wondering if I was okay, and he was so sweet to me. He told me not to worry and that he would buy a new one and install it. When I tried to explain that I was reaching for a book titled “Thundering Waters”, we both just laughed and laughed. I may have been tired and clumsy, but I had a best friend who told me it was going to be okay and we laughed together. Everyone makes mistakes (I refer to this incident as my “freak toilet accident”), and bc made me see the importance of reassurance and laughter. This is what we have been doing for years, and I am so thankful for such an example. I remind myself of his love often, especially when I find myself wanting to get upset because I have another “clean-up” job to do. I am reminded of God’s love and patience too, and I am thankful for His Grace (not my lack of it). By the way, I didn’t read “Thundering Waters” that night (later we did…good book), and I crawled into bed even more tired than usual, but happy to have a true friend!

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.”

Song of Sol. 8:7