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..."
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:
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.
*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"
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!
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!)
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.
(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."
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.