The Son is always shining, regardless of the weather

Capturing a Snake!

Posted under LOL, My Kids Make Me Smile, The Unexpected - Nov 9th, 10 - 1 Comment

Last Thursday afternoon, a few of the kids were playing outside in our backyard. Then, shortly after, most of them came back inside through the sliding glass door, excitedly telling me that they discovered (or rather, uncovered, in a wheelbarrow full of dirt) a snake in our backyard! Faith was the only one left outside (she loves all creatures). So, I yelled out: “Faith, get in!”

I stood watching by the door, waiting for my obedient child to quickly come, but she proceeded to creep closer to where the kids said they had spotted the creepy snake. So, mother instinct sets in, and I am compelled to go out in the backyard (minus my boots) and inform my daughter that I had wished her to come in the house. She said (with a look of relief, and a big sigh), “Oh, I thought you said, ‘Get it!‘” I quickly reassured her, with a chuckle, as we hurried back inside, that I would hopefully never ask her to get a snake! Whew! She made me smile. One little letter in that command really makes a difference, huh?

Meanwhile, the curious siblings/photographers wanted to try to identify the snake. So, we rallied and cautiously ventured outside to try to capture the (hopefully non-venomous) snake…on our camera, that is!

Here is a picture of the snake. We still haven’t been able to identify it.

We got it!

Cancer Reflections/Only a Child of Eight

As Bradley recently turned eight, my mind naturally turned back to when my first child (who was also eight) was diagnosed with cancer. I was 3 months pregnant with Bradley when I heard those four life-changing words: “Your daughter has cancer.” I remember one time when Bradley (age 3) had a cold; he asked me if he had cancer, and if he was going to die. Poor kid! I never grew up with cancer, or a sibling who had cancer. I have prayed that it stays far, far away from our home.

However, sometimes, we reflect on how much we learned from cancer’s most unexpected visit, and we are thankful. I wrote the following poem in the fall of 2004 when we were doing just that. My poem is a compilation of some of Paige’s quotes. Her hair was growing back, and she was happy to finally have more hair than her two-year-old brother, Bradley! My broken heart had been repaired, and was beating with thankfulness and praise to the LORD, Jesus Christ. My children were all alive and well, outside of a few colds (which, I assured them, were not cancerous).

Journey With Cancer

My daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

She was only a child of eight.

I asked her to share some things that were bad,

And also some things that were great.

She said, “Getting shots was no fun at all!”

I had to agree with her, too.

‘Cause giving her shots was sometimes my job;

A job I did not like to do!

She talked on losing her lunch and dinner,

And the sad day she lost her hair.

But quickly said, “Mom, you know, some of my friends…

Lost their lives on earth…let’s stop there.”

She said she was thankful she has her life.

And for the gifts along the way:

“Cards, candy, games, hats, Make-A-Wish trip,

Videos, pilot for a day!”

“The love from family and friends, doctors,

Nurses, and some I’ve never met!

Learning about cancer, trusting Jesus,

And learning about life and death.”

“What is your most favorite possession?”

I asked her a few months ago.

“Jesus is my favorite possession!

Oh Momma, didn’t you know?”


"Pilot For A Day"

My children teach me things all the time. I’ll never forget the day I gave Paige the word “possession” for her spelling test, and then asked her what her favorite possession was. Her beautiful response so encouraged me, and I realized that my children have quite a bit to teach me! She was only a child of eight.

What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited.

It cannot cripple love.

It cannot shatter hope.

It cannot corrode faith.

It cannot eat away at peace.

It cannot destroy confidence.

It cannot kill friendship.

It cannot shut out memories.

It cannot invade the soul.

It cannot reduce eternal life.

It cannot quench the spirit.

It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection.


Woman Power

Posted under Admit One, LOL, Love To Learn, The Unexpected - Oct 7th, 10 - 5 Comments

A few days ago, when I was entering H.E.B., I spied two guys desperately trying to separate their permanently nestled shopping carts. I felt like offering help (and needed a cart), so I asked the big dude if I could lend a hand and assured him by saying, “I  know this little trick.” So, I lifted up both carts (using the handbar, of course; I’m not that strong!) and quickly slammed them down- like a wheelie on a bike. (It sounds like extreme shopping, huh?) Well, they instantly came apart (“Voila! Carte!”). I’m not sure if I made this dude happy to get a basket, or made him feel even more wimpy. He was with his girlfriend or wife. Oh well, I just thought I should share this helpful technique. It may come in handy…

Awhile back, I had asked one of the cart-retrievers how he managed to get the stuck baskets apart. That’s when he shared that trick with me. When I suggested to the cart go-getter that he should post a sign telling the customers how to remove the connected carts, he confidently assured me that there was no real need for that because they always try to keep them separated. So, either the basket-retrievers are not doing their job, or the basket designers did a poor job because there are a basketful of people out there who are constantly finding them stuck (including myself)!

However, I suppose there will not be a sign posted because of lawsuits. With that said, please do not try this if you have any history of back/neck pain.My advice is meant to help you to separate the carts, not your shoulders (“Ow! La Carte!”). Otherwise, you might be forced to choose a entirely different cart…the electronic shopping cart.

Bradley Is Eight!

Posted under Birth stories, LOL, My Kids Make Me Smile - Oct 5th, 10 - 2 Comments

This truck was in front of us for awhile on our trip this summer. Here is a bit of the conversation:

Bradley asks, “Daddy, are you following that truck?”

Daddy utters, “Uh, no”

Then I question, “Why do you ask, son?”

Bradley explains, “Well, it has a sign on the back that says, ‘Follow me.'”

And sure enough, it did! Seven year old children are literate and literal some times!

Today, Bradley turns eight! He will be king for the day-crown and all! He will be leading, and we will be following his wishes (where to eat, what to play, what to do, etc). He has never been a fan of ice cream, until just recently. Seriously, sometimes we would venture out to get ice cream cones and he would just ask for a cone. Most people were surprised to hear a child requesting a solitary cone, but that’s how he liked it (or rather, didn’t like it). Then, if we had ice cream at McDonald’s, he would just opt for fries instead. So, this is his first birthday that he will be enjoying ice cream with his cake! Happy birthday, son! I love you!

Check out the news….October 5…most common birthday

Texting a proposal?

I propose that men who desire to ask their future life partner for her hand in marriage refrain from using their own hands to text their proposal. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t even think you should call them on the phone to make your wishes known. I personally think it needs to be in person.

Two weeks ago, I received a text. I wasn’t sure who it was from. Curiously, I opened it, and it read: “Please forgive me, Hermina.”

I thought: I can’t ignore this because Hermina will not know that he asked for forgiveness, and he might not ask twice!

So, I replied: “Sure, I will forgive you, but btw, do I even know you?

To which he “texted”, “Please forgive me. Sorry.”

Then two days later, it gets funnier. The text (on my phone) reads something like this, “I want you to share my life with me. I am ready to take that step down the aisle. Will you take my hand?” Immediate laughter rings out in our living room!

BC pipes in,(as he takes my phone) “I got this one, Love.”

His comment was: “Uh. Sir, you have the wrong number.”

To which the unknown guy replied, “So Sorry.”

This sorry story, which provided us with a good laugh, is true. I am thankful my BC looked into my eyes and joined my hand in his when he asked for my hand in marriage. However, we sincerely hope that Romeo(?) is doing well. Maybe he was just so nervous about asking “the question” that he hit the wrong number…again. Who knows? But why text something that private in the first place? No, he certainly did not commit a crime here, but in my opinion, “texting” should not be an option for making a wedding proposal.

Shelling Out Blessings And Shelling In Blessings

Posted under How God Provides, The Unexpected - Sep 28th, 10 - 2 Comments

I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35

This past summer, I helped out with a few V.B.S. programs in our area. I was totally blessed. At one V.B.S. (High Seas Adventures) however, emphasis was not really placed on Bible memory. So, I encouraged our group (the starfish) to memorize some verses and I would give them something special in return. Well, I couldn’t “shell out” a bunch of money on prizes, but then I thought…Hey, why not share some seashells from our own family collection? Seashells are such special treasures.

The seashells were a successful surprise. The children loved them. I decided to share my starfish with the group, too. Because it was fragile, and the children were so agile, it ended up losing an arm! Oh well, the teacher in me really wanted to show our young group (the starfish) what a real starfish (echinoderm) looked like.You win some, you lose some.

We helped with another V.B.S. at some government-subsidized apartments. One of the girls wanted to thank me by giving me one of her seashells. I told her I wanted to give her one of my shells, and I would bring it the following day.  We have a family collection, and my children happily agreed to bless her. So, I brought her one of our nicest shells the next day.

A few days ago, my wonderful neighbor Barb called and asked me if we would want some shells they were getting rid of. I said, “Sure”. These retired neighbors are so generous. They have blessed our family ten times over! When they bought a new couch, they gave us their “old” (nice, leather) couch. They have also blessed us with a dining room table, a recliner, and some lovely chairs… all in excellent condition.

So, my kids “ooh-ed and ahh-ed” over these beautiful shells. They looked, listened, and touched as they classified them into different groups, and closely inspected them under the magnifying glass. What delight she gave to my kids, all because she wanted to give us these shells. We were blessed because she did not sell the seashells down by the seashore, but she freely gave them. And guess what? We found a shell exactly like the one we had given away to the girl at V.B.S. Isn’t that cool? So many shells out there, and the Lord gave us back what we had given…plus more!

This is just like the one we gave away...

Oh, we were also given some echinoderms…a starfish and two huge  sand dollars. This has encouraged my heart to listen when the Lord says: “Give____”

Meeting Tim Hawkins

First of all, I really want to thank my mom and dad. Our family met two famous people this year, thanks to them.Thank you, Mom and Dad, for such a wonderful weekend being with family (We missed our Tennessee kin, though). It was great seeing my parents, sisters, brother, nieces, nephews, and cousins. On Saturday, Tim Hawkins (live) provided “laughter therapy” for all of us.

About a week ago, we were watching this video on you tube, and I was inspired to learn, and teach my girls, how to cross-stitch! Uh…you probably will want to watch this video, as it explains why Tim’s life verse is so bizarre.

Tim’s Life Verse

So, our family made him a “special”, brick-shaped pillow (and we even found brick material…for his “Dodge Brick” Tim’s Good Advice And Violent Sons connection) with his life verse cross-stitched on there (“My loins are filled with a loathsome disease.”). I found a cross-stitch font at and downloaded it for free. I just printed the verse in bold and used it as my pattern. I traced the X’s in pencil on the white fabric. Then, we just used black embroidery thread.We’ll probably make more now that we know how easy it was (same font, different verse though).

We were blessed to be allowed to meet him personally, and shake his hand, due to our hand-stitching efforts. I had wished that we all (not just my immediate family) could have met him, but that is how Tim’s brother needed it to be (and I had to beg just to bring my own family along). After shaking hands with Tim, I turned towards my family and exclaimed, “I shook his hand!”,  and we joked about using the hand-sanitizer. However, Tim really does deserve a hand! He is crazy funny!

Guess how many similar pillows he has received with his “life verse” on there?  A laughable thirteen! So, evidently, there really is nothing new under the sun! Paige wrote more about our weekend on her blog

Here is Tim’s new homeschool song…

The Homeschool Blues

This was our second picture with Tim. He's too funny!

Duct Tape Heads Game

You probably know that I value duct tape, and I think that anyone who uses it, is basically using their head.


This game involves duct tape, some willing heads, and snow hats (or nylon stockings).

Stick with Grace and Faith

You basically divide into teams (ours were Team Grace and Team Faith) with about 4-6 people per team. Get a volunteer from each team to be “Duct Tape Head”. Then, make sure all of the hair of the willing team member is inside of the hat or stockings (pull it over ears, and down past eyebrows). Otherwise, things could get hairy! Then you wrap the duct tape (sticky side out) around the hat. I recommend the “sitting duct” wear sunglasses for added eye protection.

You say: “Ready, set, go!” and set the timer for twenty seconds (or less if you prefer). Then, each team has a bowl of pennies (or other light objects like foam peanuts, wrapped candy, marshmallows, cotton balls, etc.) which they hurriedly try to  place on their teammates duct-taped head.  The one with the most pennies (or stuff) when the timer goes off is the winner. We let both girls keep the change. It just made “cents”(sorry about that one).

Remembering Maw Maw

“Maw Maw” C. went to be with Jesus.

There’s nowhere else she’d rather be!

Disease made her seem child-like to us,

Although she was almost ninety!

Her mind had reverted severely.

Sadly, she was memory-free.

But we still remember her warmly-

Loving on babies, especially!

She bounced five sweet babies on her knee:

Sue, David, Jo, Beth, and Eddie.

She cared for children so happily…

Grandkids, great-grandkids…”any baby”

(She was a volunteer at “Any Baby Can”-organization that helps take care of young babies that need to be held, and she was a foster grandma)

I recall a day I wasn’t at ease,

Maw’s hands reached out to bounce my “sweet pea”.

I was torn because I felt that she

Knew her strength wasn’t like it used to be.

“Maybe I shouldn’t bounce the babies.

I’d sure hate to drop them! Oh Me!”

So, I held my child upon Maw’s knees.

We sang, smiled, bounced, and all were pleased!

Then came the day the sun went down early (she had “sundowners”)

Confused, she wanted to go home…

To love and care for her babies…

But her “babies” were now full-grown!

But Jesus remembers the day she

Got down and she prayed on her knees.

She told God that she really believes

Jesus died, paying all penalties.

A different sun, His Son, went down

To death so that we might be set free.

For all sins, but then He rose again,

For He is God, Man, Spirit…Three!

Like Maw Maw, I imagine that He

Bounced the little ones on His knee.

He said, “Let the little ones come unto Me!”

She now dwells with Him for eternity.


Another Toe Woe…Or How Benjamin Was “Framed”

Last Friday, as we were preparing to head out the door, I heard a thud in the upstairs hallway. I yelled, “Is everyone okay?”

Benjamin uttered (as he hopped downstairs), “Uh, no, not exactly. A picture frame just fell on my toe…and it really hurts!”

His answer, combined with a sweetly squeamish niece yelling about the massive trail of blood, immediately put me in a first-aid frame of mind!  I took one look at the deformed frame of his pinkie toe and the deep cut and started to think you know it’s been a long time since we visited our helpful friends in the E.R. I hollered for someone to bring me a towel as his blood continued to drip onto my white Capris (and my niece was still hollering about the blood that was everywhere). So, basically…lots of bleeding was going on. Paige brought me our well-stocked first-aid kit. I asked Ben to please look away as I applied pressure, gauze and a pressure wrap. I prayed aloud for his toe and for wisdom. I told Ben that it looked like he was going to need some stitches because the cut was extremely deep (his toenail was just about off). He was very brave. I carried him out to the car and all the kids followed.

I ran back inside to get the pain medicine. Then, I popped in the Suburban, and Ben popped in some Tylenol. I had remembered a time when I was in the E.R. waiting room with my other son, and the triage nurse could not give him any pain meds. until the doctor had approved it. So, I was relieved I remembered to administer the pain-reliever. You just never know how long it takes in there.

The Lord really provided for us. I was scheduled to watch my twin’s children, but I did not have them that day. They were shopping with their Grammy. So, we were all able to fit into our Suburban. I dropped my girls off at Choir Camp (one minute from our house). On the way to Choir, Paige had reminded me about a new and nearby hospital. It was closer than the “usual” E.R., and not crowded. I called a friend for help with directions (I had left my G.P.S. at home). She had recently delivered her baby at that hospital, and told me how to get there. I was thankful that she was home, and had picked up the phone.

When we asked him how he was “framed”, he told us he accidentally hit the frame in the hallway with his hand, and it fell down (the corner piece cut inside his pinkie toe…no glass was broken). The guy who took Ben’s x-rays told him to quit rockin’ the house, and knockin’ picture frames down. This brought a smile to my boy’s face. I was glad to see Ben smile:)

How Ben Was “Framed”

While playing a fun game,

With his hand he did aim,

At Michelle’s picture frame,

And booming…down it came!

She was not to bear blame.

At least Ben was not maimed.

He shouldn’t bear any shame,

For it was just a game.

The kids were acting tame!

It brought Ben some toe fame.

But made him somewhat lame.

Will his toe be the same?

This bad poem just came…

Sorry, that it’s so lame!

Four stitches (some Dermabond), four kids, and four t.v. shows later…I was able to pick up the four girls on time from music camp. PTL! I am thrilled no bones were broken. I felt bad, and somewhat surprised, to hear that this was my nieces first “field trip” to the hospital!

No matter what happens to my kids, good or bad, I know it’s for a reason. Ben came home and asked if he could go upstairs for a “Quiet Time” (time of prayer and reading the Bible). The Lord knows what we can handle. He truly is our Strength!

Warning: Below is a picture of Ben’s toe. Of course, it’s not one that you would want to put in a picture frame, hang on a nail, and then drop on a nail or anything like that. Our get well card to Ben says: “Get Nail Soon!”

A new boot!