Saturday, November 29, 2008

make the right choice

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalms 91:1-4)

Synonyms) alarm, anxiety, apprehension, consternation, dread, fearfulness, fright, horror, panic, terror, trepidation

Related Words) phobia; creeps, jitters, nervousness, willies; pang, qualm, twinge; agitation, discomposure, disquiet

Our pastor has spoken about fear, or rather why we don't have to fear, for several weeks now. It reminds me how grateful I am that God freed me from that strangle-hold years back. I can still remember how AMAZING it was to be free from it. Honestly, it still is!

I was afraid of most things. Not my parents, or later my husband, but just "things." From driving, to the dark, of being alone to all the "what ifs" I could imagine. Believe me, I could imagine lots of what ifs. I lived in a state of nervousness and fear. I realize there are many things we can fear in the natural. But we have a God who is in control of our lives. Are we going to trust Him and His faithfulness or are we going to dwell on our imaginations? Most of our what ifs don't even happen so we've wasted all that time and energy and worry over nothing. What if we take those times and dwell on God and His promises??

I love the way The Message says...

Isaiah 41:10 "Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. "

Isaiah 41:13 "That's right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go. I'm telling you, 'Don't panic. I'm right here to help you.'

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

no news is not always good news

I just saw a headline of a news story on msn. It was asking why we never ran out of turkeys. Now while I didn't read the article to find out, I have a hunch I know the answer. We don't eat the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving. Maybe one Thanksgiving I have baked one, but it was left for chicken, er, turkey salad. I'm pretty sure it was a free deal also, you a ham and get a free turkey. We had much rather have brisket or spiral sliced ham. In fact I am going shopping this afternoon to purchase the items needed for our Thanksgiving meal. Bring on the brisket for our family. I have a really good recipe for brisket. You marinate it overnight and everyone who has ever eaten it likes it. Back to the turkey, maybe there is a good use for one. I also read another story that tells how someone tried stopping a man who was trying to steal a lady's car by clubbing him with a frozen turkey. Hurrah for her attempted rescuer.

Thursday Hannah will be 16. Sweet sixteen. We went to Frisco Saturday (Hannah, Danielle, Bethany, Rebekah, and myself) to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. It was fun watching Danielle and Hannah take pictures of everything. Each entree, each appetizer, each piece of cheesecake. I mentioned we were celebrating a birthday so they decorated a piece of cheesecake and several of them sang Happy Birthday to Hannah. I figured I was really in for it, but she took it all good naturedly. I really didn't know they did that there.

We spent tons of time at Barnes and Noble and Old Navy and Sam's Club. We looked at books and movies and Cd's there. Danielle made a purchase and Hannah got a bag of Skittles. I just settled for my usual cinnamon and sugar pretzel and was quite content. If you haven't had one at Sam's you are missing a treat!

I also need to finish getting ready for Hannah's birthday. It seems I am always running around like crazy at the last minute for birthdays. I used to be much more organized. Now I have most of her present, just a few last minute details to attend to. I was whispering to Bethany the other day and Hannah wanted to know what was being said. I told her there were lots of secrets in the air this time of year and not to worry herself about it.

I also have to rant a bit about customer service. Now I can't tell you the "whole story" until after secrets are exposed, but I do have a rant about Dell. Bethany ordered a laptop in August. They kept putting her off and rescheduling the shipment of it for over THREE months. Everyone she talked to had a different spill on why it wasn't shipped. She was told it was the color, no, it wasn't the color it was something else, and so on for three months. She has spent hours on the phone talking to people. The supervisor she spoke with last was rude. She cancelled her order and ordered a Mac last Thursday. This morning it is sitting in her bedroom waiting to be opened. Lets see...over three months and no computer from Dell versus five days and it being signed, sealed, and delivered from Apple. Kudos for Apple and Down with Dell. Actually we have a better logo that rhymes with Dell, but I'll leave that to your imagination.

Friday, November 21, 2008

the time is now

This week we are "catching up" all the things that should already have been caught up in school. We haven't had a knock down drag out yet, but there's still a while to go before this week is over. I know Hannah and Daniel just adore me when I get in this mood. I want to take some time off for Thanksgiving so I'm in the "get it ALL done" mode. All our kids can tell you that they'd much rather me NOT be in that mood. :o)

I even stayed home on Tuesday night and missed Celebrate Recovery because I was so much in that mode. We are accomplishing lots though, so that is a good thing. Every time I fall behind I say I won't let it happen again. Then life happens and we're behind. This week my typical "oh well" attitude hasn't shown up. It's more like a "get 'er done type attitude.....or else you will be working through your Thanksgiving holiday." Now I've not always had that relaxed attitude; just ask my older children.

Not only do we have Thanksgiving next week but Hannah's 16th birthday is the same day. So we will be celebrating Hannah, Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the Christmas season. We always put our tree up on Thanksgiving night. There is always the talk over every body's special ornaments and who/when they got them. There's always the traditional Christmas music playing in the background and Bright getting excited because he always senses the mood of our family. All together it is a very good time.

As Jane Howard says in "Families"..."Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."

I think our daughter, Bethany, said it better in her blog entry, "What do people do without big families? I’d be lost without mine."

Amen and Amen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

food for thought from facebook

I found this piece of flair on Facebook this morning. It caught my attention and made me desire for my life to be different. Not different as in my family, friends, home, church, circumstances, where I live...but different as in my walk with the Lord. It would be so incredible to be so focused on God that it shows so much that people take notice. Really take notice.

Now if I could only remember it's called "Facebook" and not "myface." Rebekah set me up an account and I am totally having fun with it. Okay, all my friends who don't have Facebook; get it! And all my friends who do I'll see you there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

80 years

Mickey Mouse first appeared in 1928. Happy Birthday, Mickey~!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

describing words

Adjectives that described me today...


Thursday, November 13, 2008

did i just do that?

I went with Bethany to Sherman today. It was a lot of fun. Well, at least for a while it was. We went to Chick-fil-A for lunch. I had several ideas on where to eat and Bethany didn't like those: she had several ideas that I didn't like so we ended up there. It's a good place to eat and wasn't fast fast food so in we went. We ordered our meals and I went to get straws, napkins, and ketchup while Bethany got us a booth. I came back, sat down, and pushed the table which almost went flying across the floor. Well, maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but the tray slid across the table at breakneck speed and Bethany's lemonade fell over, the lid came off, and like a great wave splashed all over the table, seat, floor, and on her. She made a valiant effort to retrieve it before it fell, but I was just too fast for her.

Jeez, this reminds me of having little kids and here I am the one making the mess. A very nice lady came and cleaned up the floor and Bethany got another lemonade. She wouldn't let me touch the table after that. I promise you...that table had a problem. If you touched it, it rocked. So I ate the rest of my meal trying not to touch the table. I was even very careful when I dipped my waffle fries in the ketchup. You just can't be too cautious after an accident like that.

Our feet even stuck to the floor when we got up to leave. Anyone care to go to lunch with me tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

not an advertisement...well, maybe

I have this product that I have only used once. I just got it day before yesterday. Why I waited until today to use it I'll never know. It's a facial scrub from Arbonne and I believe it's part of their anti-aging line. It is wonderful after ONE use. This is what they say about it..."Regular use of this scrub will leave your skin cleansed, rejuvenated and youthful-looking." If it feels any better than this I don't know if I can stand it!

Rebekah had gotten me the REnewing Gelee Creme Hydrating Wash and and the Day Creme for a gift. They are wonderful also and made a great difference in the way my face felt by themselves. But add the scrub and it's magnificent.

I'm pretty sure I'll need some toner, deep pore cleansing masque, day and night facial serum, some night creme, and quite possibly the REactivating Body Serum. I wonder if they sell it by the vat so I could just immerse my body in it and be done with it?

It really is that good!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

blank slate

I'm sitting here trying to come up with something to write; not just anything of course, but whatever it is that I need to write. My mind is a blank and my thoughts aren't connected. I want to say so much, but nothing comes.

The only thing that comes to mind is the song "How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin. To these words I can echo a resounding AMEN.

The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God (x2)

Friday, November 7, 2008

bittersweet memories

I had my day all planned out yesterday. School work, school work, and more school work. I am a bit behind on my administrative duties. The next thing I know I'm calling my Mom and asking her if she'll come spend a couple of days if I pick her up. She said yes so Hannah and I picked her up after Hannah's hair appointment.

Now I had forgotten that today is the fifth anniversary of my dad's death. My mom reminded me after we got here. How timely of God to put her on my heart and to have her with us today. I'm sure everyday is hard, but today would be harder.

My dad and I weren't terribly close, but I knew he loved me and would do anything for me if he could. Sometimes things will immediately bring him to my mind and it is bittersweet. Some things I miss about him are some of his sayings like "dry as a bone" and "grazin' material" for the kids. When the kids were smaller he would always pull out his wallet and give us money to get grazin' material for them. That meant candy and they loved it! When I was younger I always knew if I was getting what I wanted for Christmas because he would tease me about it. I guess he had a hard time keeping Christmas secrets.

My dad was drafted into World War II when he was eighteen. He fought in and survived the Battle of the Bulge. After he came home he married my mom, started farming, and never went far from home again. I guess he had traveled all over Europe and didn't have a hankering to go elsewhere. The furthest I've ever traveled with him was to Dallas after he got sick. My brother Teddy, Mom, and I took him to see a specialist there and he ended up having surgery and being there a couple of times while he was sick. Oh, how he wanted to come home.

He actually made a record and sent home to his parents. I can remember listening to it growing up and thinking how young he sounded. It was because he was young. About the age of my sons. I can't imagine how his mother's heart must of broken when he left.

He loved us, worked hard, and was a honest and kind man. I miss him. So Daddy, if you can hear me from heaven, I love you and miss you. So does Mom.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

colors of my fall

A bit of spring lingers into my fall.

More glorious colors of fall

I couldn't interest Hannah in taking my pictures this morning so I did it. This isn't very good, but the colors are awesome.

A beautiful red heart just leaps when I see these.
God creates such beautiful things for us to enjoy.

This makes me think of the picture Ben drew when he was little. He called it "bird in a storm." I still haven't found it, but I'm sure I put it in a place for safe keeping and just haven't ran across it yet. Even though it's just a lot of pencil marks it is priceless to me.

I was experimenting with my stones for my bench. I did this and decided it looked terrible. I just left it though because I didn't have any better ideas that I could do at the time. That night I couldn't sleep and I got up and googled "stone benches." I found out that you can make them any way you want and I found one similiar to this one. My friend Pam was over and suggested moving my little bird under the shelter of the bench and moving my big pot over also. Now I absolutely love it.

This is the stuff that God provided this morning...mulch, sand, rocks, compost, top soil, and potting soil. I'm going to let Donald think I bought it all and then tell him that we were blessed. Thanks, Pastor Paul, for the heads up. And thanks to Daniel for his muscle work. Some of these bags are HEAVY. I still have bricks left that I picked up this summer. I am already pondering on a project for the back yard. I just love the word "ponder." It is full of so many possibilities!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

After the Fire

"There isn’t much better in this life than finding a way to spend a few hours in conversation with people you respect and love. You have to carve this time out of your life because you aren’t really living without it."

Real Live Preacher, Weblog, August 27, 2003

This is so true. Friends are one of God's greatest blessings. We are fortunate to have many good friends. They are always here for us. If I could only be a speck of the blessing to them that they are to us, then I would have achieved something real and good.

It seems that we have friends who made the news recently. Eddie's book is published and on sale now. You find it at You can search for "After the Fire" and buy a copy of it for yourself. I am ordering one today and am planning on asking Eddie to sign it for me!

Connie and Eddie's son, Billy, made the newspaper on Sunday. There was a whole page article with pictures and it was even continued on another page. The person described Billy as having "an easy smile and warm eyes." Either he knows Billy well or he is very perceptive. Donald and I both agree this describes Billy well. If you don't get the newspaper you can find the article here at
Sadly though, I couldn't find the pictures that are in the paper itself. They were great. Now I'm not going to tell you what the article is about since you can read it for yourself.

Connie and Eddie are always here for us. Always. When I need a friend I always have one in Connie. She is real and genuine with me. She won't tell me something just to make me feel good; she's always honest. Everyone needs a friend like her. She has came through for me on so many occasions. In addition, we have borrowed their back yard, borrowed their truck, and borrowed their HD TV to watch the Mavs. Well, sorta kinda, they invite us over to watch some of the games we can't get. They have taken me to Dallas to the airport when I needed to get to Donald in Brownsville when he tore a muscle in his leg. Eddie has rescued our daughter out of a predicament where she couldn't get loose from something. (You'll have to ask Hannah about this one.) I can call them any time at all and they are always here for me. The only kitchen fire I ever had was the first time we invited them over for dinner. How appropriate to have a fireman in your kitchen when you have a fire.

Be sure to check out Eddie's book. I'm sure you'll love it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mavs Talk

The kids got Donald tickets for the Mavs season opener against Houston. What a great birthday present! What was really great about it was that they bought me one also! We went over early and ate at El Fenix. It is such a neat restaurant. It is close to the American Airlines arena. We just stumbled across it when we went last time. It was the first one to open and smack dab in the middle of Dallas. There are cobblestone streets and the atmosphere is great. The food isn't so bad either, especially the chips!
We got to the arena early and went down to the section where the Mavs give autographs before the game. We were so close to Jerry Stackhouse and I so wanted to get his autograph for Connie but he didn't linger long enough. :o( He had a huge diamond stud in his ear and I thought of how much debt we could pay off if it was mine! I don't really get into diamonds unless it's the one on my engagement/wedding ring. But that has nothing to do with this.
I have been to a couple of games but it was against teams that were easy to beat. This was a really exciting game even if they did lose. My only disappointment was that Dirk had cut his hair short again. I like it long and it is so easy to recognize him on the floor when it is longer. We had great seats even if they were in the higher section. We could see the game and tell who was who without looking at the big screen in the top of the arena. I actually watched the game and if I did look at the screen I missed the "real" thing so I didn't watch it very much.
It was a great time, kids, and thank you so very much for including me!