Home Safe and Sound

We finished up the last night of the conference last night; and headed home. We also headed right into a snow storm. The roads were treacherous - and visibility was limited. Around midnight, we decided it was time to let the storm win and find a place to stay for the night.
After a good, but short, night's sleep - a tasty complementary breakfast by the motel - and Bible reading and prayer time - we headed out this morning for home. The roads were cleared and we made it home with no trouble at all. It was as if, God just wanted us to have some extra time to spend together.

I am home now - and Rob is at the church. Life is right back on schedule. God has used this conference in my life to bring to light some things He needed to show me. What a blessing it is to have God speak to your heart!

I am thankful to be home, thankful for the meeting, thankful for God's watchful care of us on the roads, and thankful for the extra time we had together as a couple. He truly does - "supply all our needs".

Trust your day is blessed with the reality of His presence - and His Blessings.

Resting in Him,

Face to Face

We have had a busy week. We left on Monday afternoon to Holiness Conference. It was a blessed time while we were there. We found ourselves surrounded by good godly music and great preaching.

After the preaching on Monday night the choir sang an old hymn of the faith - "Holy, Holy, Holy!" I was moved to tears as I listened. I thought of Heaven and what it will be like to kneel before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords - as Heaven's choir sings of His holiness and His power. I am sure as I kneel there one day; I will try to sing but will find myself unable to through the tears. I will only be able to kneel before Him - (the One who purchased my redemption with His own blood) - with tears running down my cheeks and whisper the words - "Thank you..."

There let the way appear,
Steps into Heaven;
All that Thou sendest me,
In mercy given;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer My God, to Thee!
Nearer, my God to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!!

So blessed - so undeserving - so thankful for His mercy. Awaiting His likeness to share.


Looking for Love

Meet Novocain. He is Rachel's pride and joy - the object of her affection. He was named by her - because he came into the family after Rachel's dentist appointment - in which, one of her teeth was pulled - so with swollen cheeks - and gauze packed gums - she found her hamster. On the way home - with slurred speech she told me that she would name him Novocain. Seemed appropriate then - with the events of the day fresh on our minds and on Rachel's gums.

I grew up with hamsters. My sister, with her entrepreneur brain, figured out that selling hamsters to pet stores would allow her to earn enough money to purchase a Shetland sheepdog that she was in love with. She also figured the more she breed the creatures the faster she would get the dog - so, like I said - I grew up with hamsters - and a lot of them at times! (You can ask my mom - this is not an exaggeration at all!)

My mom has a deathly fear of rodents of any kind - she does not even enjoy watching squirrels climb up trees out side - she hates rodents!! Her feeling about these creatures are very similar to my sediments on bats. I am pretty sure that we both need counseling for our phobias - and no, phobias is not too strong of a word for the way both of us act around the despised and feared creatures of choice. (Although, as much as I hate bats - I hate birds even more - but that is a story for another post - way too much info about me!!)

Anyway, back to hamsters:

One thing about hamsters: They do NOT stay in their cages. If you ever have owned a hamster - you know this for a fact. If you are new to hamsters - you will find this out shortly - they WILL get out.

The other thing that is very common protocol for hamsters is - when they get out - they will do their best to stay as far away from humans as possible - making their recapture exceptionally hard and frustrating. They also run very fast. This makes for family memories that will be talked about over Christmas Dinner for years to come. (I have a great one about baby hamsters that got out of their box, in the car, while mom was driving, on the way to the pet store - I can not tell it without laughing!!

However, we have found an exception! Novocain loves being with people. When he gets out of his cage - he goes into the girls' room and finds the bottom bunk occupant and snuggles in bed with her. I thought it just a coincidence the first time it happened. Then it happened again. Still though, I had my doubts - until one night when the bottom bunk was empty - due to a bad dream. Abbey had come downstairs and was sleeping on the couch in the front room. In the wee hours of the morning she awakened Dad and I to tell us that she had felt something crawling on her. ( I was sure that she was dreaming - but Dad thought that he better have a closer look.) Well, Dad and Abbey went in and found Novocain sitting on the floor next to the couch looking at them. He did not run away - he just walked over to them - and let them put him back into his cage.

I think this little guy loves to snuggle. So much so, that when the bed is empty, it is worth a trip down the long staircase - to find them. I think he feels more secure sleeping next to them. I think he knows he is loved!

Odd indeed - but a true story. If you come for a visit I will not make you sleep on the girl's bottom bunk - unless of course you love rodents - Novocain is one of a kind.

Thanks for stopping by today - I am so glad you did.

A Tribute to my Mom

(S&T is down below - to allow for this special post)
Today is my Mom's birthday. I wanted to post some of my favoirte memories - in honor of her special day.

Mom, here are some special things I remember from growing up. Do you remember them too?

*Walking down the isle at my sixth grade graduation feeling absolutly beautiful in the dress you had made me for that special day.
* Having a special day out with you and getting to pick to do whatever I wanted. I picked going on a bike ride and playing frisbee in the park. (I still hail this as one of my most special memories with you!)

*You combing my hair and putting in the bow before Dad took us to school

*A fall into a ditch and a bottle of missing Diet Pepsi

* So many piano recitials - I loved knowing that even if I messed up - you would still be proud of me.

*You reading to us kids after dinner and falling asleep while you read - I still smile when I think about how you would read a line over and over again.

*Coming to school when I was in third grade - calling me out of class to appologize for getting frustrated with me that morning before I left for the day. (I have thought of this so many times as a Mom - your example has encouraged me to always be quick to say I am sorry)

*Wrapping potatos in foil on Sunday mornings while you prepared the roast. I loved our Sunday dinners!
*All the notes you would send in my lunch box.
*Giving birth for the first time - and realizing how much awe and respect I had for you.

I could go on and on - so many good times. There have been hard times too. The pain and fears that came with growing up - heading to school - and getting married brought some interesting times. Yet, through those times I have found how much it means to me to have a wonderful relationship with you.
I love calling you and talking to you now as an adult. I love knowing that you have walked this path too. I love calling you to get recipes or cooking tips that I really should know by now. I love that you are still teaching me, encouraging me, and helping me. I love knowing that you are in my fan club.
I love the relationship that we have. I am glad that you are my Mom. For all the times you went without, for all the frustration and messes I caused you through the years, for all the times of worry I put you through - from the bottom of my heart I say THANK YOU. Your sacrifice for me is not forgotten; but lives on; inspiring me to be all that I can be. To do my best - and when I fail to get up - dust off and say I am sorry - and then try again. Thanks for always getting up - and trying again. You are a wonderful Mother. I am blessed God gave you to me.

"Her children arise and call her BLESSED"

Happy Birthday Mom. I love you.

Wrapped in Love

Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!

This Friday I wanted to share with you a little something that helps keep me warm on the cold Wisconsin days. Here lately it has been extreemly cold - (below zero). Each time before I go out into the blustery cold I put on my scarf, pull on my coat, zip up and then quickly slip on my mittens. I must say, that I really do stay pretty warm. I believe a lot of it has to do with my warm handmade scarf.

A dear elderly lady knitted me a beautiful scarf as a thank you gift. I absolutly love the yarn she chose to make the scarf. The black and white go perfectly with my black everyday coat, and also a lovely addition to my red dress coat that I wear on Sundays.

You can find yarn like this at most fabric stores and I am certain she purchased it with the help of one of her daughters who frequently takes her shopping and to the beauty shop. However, as common as the yarn is, my scarf is one of a kind and makes me think of her each time I put it on. My scarf is extremly long - it is so long that it extends past the end of my dining room table - even when my table has all the leaves in place! You see the dear lady whose hands lovingly made my scarf also suffers from dementia. She remembers pretty well her knitting stitches; but she forgot when to stop on the scarf. She just kept going!

So, when I get ready to go outside, I first fold my scarf in half and then wrap it around my neck. Even folded in half, it is long enough to reach my waist - it is also very warm with all the yarn inside of my coat. I would not want it any other way.

It is also a good reminder to pray for this lady and to keep her close to my thoughts. I would not want any other scarf to wrap around me during the winter. I am surrounded by love and memories each time I leave into the cold outside. Perhaps it is the loving way that she made me the scarf that keeps me so warm. It is hard to say.

Thanks so much for stopping in. I am so glad you did.


Dinner Has Been Served - (We are still alive)

I tried a 'new' recipe tonight for dinner. Poor Man's Steaks. My son came and told me that he was not sure he was going to like what was on the menu for the evening meal. He wrinkled up his nose - and said, "Dead Man's Steaks just does not sound too good."

This brought a smile to my face. I quickly explained it was not Dead Man's Steaks; but Poor Man's Steaks. He said that sounded better than what he had first thought - but still.... "Poor Man's Steaks?" There still was a wrinkle in his nose. Go figure. (I guess he has a point there.)
Well, all through dinner guess what the meal was called? I am sure that if this particular dish stays on the menu, it will be by the nick name - "Dead Man's Steaks" - there is no escaping it now.

Thanks so much for stopping by, I am so glad you did!


Meal Planner

I wanted to share with you a life saver for me in the realm of kitchen meal planning. I went over to Microsoft Templates and found a weekly meal planner. I love it. The feature that I loved the most was on the side bar of the planner -- it has a box called "notes". I use this catergory to put in reminders for what I need to pull out for the next day's meals. Then in the evening while the kids are doing their after dinner chores, I look on the menu and see what I need for the next day and pull that out and get it ready. This really has helped to alleviate those crisis moments in the kitchen - when you realize you forgot to take out the chicken and dinner is due in one hour.

I keep my menu on the fridge so that everyone can see what we are having. This has helped with sanity for my sake - the kids just look on the fridge to see what is for lunch - rather than have all of them ask (at separate times) "what's for lunch?"

Thanks for stopping by for Kitchen Tip Tuesday. For more tips go to Tammy's. (Thanks Tammy for hosting!)



Fun in the Snow

Let it Snow!

I LOVE winter!! The more snow the better. I have found this winter here in Wisconsin to be to my satisfaction! One of the most disappointing things to me when we moved here from North Dakota was the winters were not "wintery" enough for me. Finally, I am happy. We have had more snow - and then some more snow - and then some more snow! I am loving it. Yesterday, conditions made it such that church needed to be canceled for the evening. Schools were called off this morning - and eager playmates of my children knocked on our doors - asking for sledding partners at a near by hill.
The kids went sledding - shoveled the walks - and now are doing school. They are awaiting the afternoon, when Dad has promised to play with them and enjoy the snow too. I am enjoying watching even MORE snow fall from the sky, as I smell dinner cooking the the crockpot and wait for my youngest to awaken from his nap.
Yes, this has been a perfect winter. Just keep it snowing! Trust you are wrapped in warmth and love at your place - and enjoying the beauty of God's creation - whether it is snow or sun - all gifts from Him - to us. We are most blessed.


Embarrassment Brings Humility?

This is what happens when you fold clothes late at night - after homeschooling, housekeeping, and cooking. You know your wasted when you know they don't match - (because you noticed the blunder while picking up spilled matchbox cars from the floor) - but you figure there is no real reason to change them right then.
However, you feel like an idiot when you realize that the revelation hit you in the morning - you forgot about it throughout the day - then opened your home up for a Ladies Bible study that evening.
Oh, well - at least my slip was not showing!
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Thanks so much for stopping in. I am glad you did!

The Beauty of Children

Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!

(This picture is in our dining room - I purchased it at a thrift store for $3.99)

This Friday I wanted to share with you some of the pictures we have around our house. When I was very pregnant (two weeks overdue) with Abbey, a friend and I went out to walk through the mall and try to get some contractions going. I was very discouraged, and felt so uncomfortable. I also was very ready to see my baby rather than just feel my baby. I also had a lot of maternal instincts flooding my system at the time.
(This picture is in my bedroom - I purchased it also at a thift store for $3.99)

So, when we went into a special victorian gift shop filled with an aura of everything feminine and lacy - I felt like I was in Heaven. As I looked around the shop and all the little trinkets that surrounded me - I felt so inspired by all the pictures there of children. Beautiful - innocent - precious children. I thought how neat it would be to have a theme throughout my house of innocent children and the beauty they bring to life.

(This picture is in the girls' room - also purchased at a thrift store)

I was thinking about those thoughts just the other day. How I dreamed that I would fill my house with the beauty of children. Then, I got to looking through my house - the walls and the pictures that over the years I have purchased or have been given to me as gracious gifts - and guess what? That is exactly what has happened! (You can see other decor with children that I posted on a previous S&T here.)

(This picture is in the front room. I received this as a gift for hosting a party at my home)

Oh, the joy children bring into our lives! The laughter, the love, the simplicity of life. Children also bring with them great opportunities for us to learn - not just knowledge - but to learn about us - our shortcomings and fears. I think a life with children allows us the greatest avenue possible for God to conform us to His image. For raising kids brings out our weakness and our inablilities - and we find ourselves on our knees seeking the face of God for direction.

(This picture is my favorite. It was purchased by my husband for me - in memory of our daughter Ally)

(I purchased this picture at a thrift store also - it was the same one I had been admiring in the Christian book store for $59.00. I brought it home for $3.99)

It is through my children that I have learned most of God. I've learned of His compassion - His love - His discipline - His innocence. It seems fitting to me that the artwork surrounding me in my home should be pictures of one of the greatest blessings He has given to me - children.
"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward."

Thanks for stopping by - I am so glad you did.



Eighteen years ago today - He asked and I said yes! So glad I did.

I love you, Sweetheart. So glad God has given you to me. I so cherish the memories we have shared, enjoy the life we have together, and I am excited about the years ahead. Thanks for asking, I love you. Happy Valentintes Day / Engagement Day.

All My Love,
"Grow old with me ... the best is yet to be."

A Time to Love

My husband and I had the privilege to attend a couples' retreat this weekend. We had a wonderful time together. A candlelight dinner the first night set the mood for the entire weekend. We enjoyed preaching on the husband/wife relationship. It was wonderful to have God speak to our hearts. I told my husband how thankful I am that we have a God that deals with us on a personal level. How wonderful it is to have God convict and bring to light hidden areas of our hearts that are not right with Him.
The snow fell and created a romantic atmosphere while we were at the camp. However, it wreaked havoc when we were trying to get home; causing a 3 hour trip home to take 5 1/2 hours. We were thankful to arrive at home safe and sound - albeit, just a bit later than planned. How blessed we were with a babysitter who stayed later, postponed precious plans, and created an absolutly delicious soup for us to enjoy once we arrived.
How clearly God has laid on our hearts this ministry to the family. We have been working long and hard at getting the website up and running for our ministry. We finally have it on line. You can view it here. Please note, that we are still working on it - and several of the pages are still under construction. Feel free to email us with any ideas you have about the web site. We want imput!!

Well, I trust you have a wonderful week. Enjoy the love of your life - and thank God for the ability to love.