Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The 48 Hour Attack on Thanksgiving

This year my daughter, Bethany, volunteered to cook Thanksgiving dinner.
Her forte is 
 procrastinated organization.

She didn't do anything until 48 hours prior to the holiday.
On Tuesday she wrote out her menu plan and shopping list, shopped,
and made three pies, two pumpkin, one sweet potato.

Wednesday evening she prepared the side dishes, roasted potatoes,
green bean casserole,dill carrots, and sweet potatoes,
and put them in disposable aluminum foil pans with lids in the fridge.
She rolled out previously frozen homemade bread dough,
 and put in little balls in a circular foil pan and put in the fridge.

Thursday morning while she drank Holiday Roast coffee,
she pulled out the bread to raise, started the turkey in electric roasting pan,
and put the prime rib roast in the crock pot, leaving the oven free
for everything else later in the morning.

I set the table, greatly enjoying the fact that I was able to spend
a lot of time on frivolous details like rolling my napkins perfectly,

 tucking a little  floral spray into each napkin ring,

and lighting every candle in the house.

I planned for months for my end, sewing, decorating and crafting,
and she planned for two days.

She was calm, peaceful, cheerful and very efficient.
It was amazing to watch her in action.
The tables were turned, I was learning from her.
Over the years, I realized you don't have to  master a skill
before you teach it to your children, you just give them opportunities
 to learn, grow and succeed.

She pulled together the final preparations,
heating up the side dishes,making relish trays, setting out the butter dishes,
 and finding serving dishes and spoons.

Her younger sister, Grace, started at the sink
utilizing the Clean As You Go (CAYG) method we love.

Minutes away from serving...

...Dad carving the turkey, of course.

It was truly an amazing meal, both in the orchestration from the maestro,
Bethany, to the variety of flavors, and the perfect timing of all the foods.

I realized it wasn't really procrastination,
she didn't need to make lists upon lists for months upon months.
She has confidence and the ability to pull together a big meal in 48 hours.

There wasn't a better compliment than the one my MIL
frequently said, "Everything was just perfect."

Psalms 69:30
I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify Him with thanksgiving...

for our wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keeping Christ in Christmas

This is usually a self-righteous slogan
 we Christians fume when we see someone write
instead of Christmas
or see more Santa
than Savior.

In all honesty,
 in the midst of the Christmas Chaos,
sewing and
we need to remind ourselves first.

We need to set the example,
of keeping

We are taught to pray about everything in our lives.
Have we ever thought about praying about presents?
Have we ever thought that the Lord might use us
to provide a need in another's life?

Have we ever thought that Christmas might be the perfect time
to encourage believers in their Christian walk?
Gifts of Christian biographies,
 study books and commentaries,
or inspirational Christian music,
might be a nice way to keep

Giving a Gospel tract or booklet with our baked goodies
or in our Christmas cards,
would be a great way to keep

Not getting cranky when we are overwhelmed,
would probably be a great,
and probably the hardest way,
to keep


Our tree arranging went something like this episode of
Brady Bunch, but I didn't have laryngitis.

Maybe I should have been inflicted.
It would have helped me keep

We have a small living room,
we'll have a lot of company over the holidays,
and needed all the furniture to remain in the room.

We moved the tree to every possible spot,
moving the couch and the loveseat
and over
and over,
before we put everything back in the original spot.

We simply moved my sewing cabinet to the other side of the fireplace,
and tucked the tree into the corner of the room.

The Thanksgiving episode ended with my apology,
 and this Christmas episode ended with my apology,
because the more you set spiritual goals,
the more you will be tested and tried.

But, my heart, mind and soul
keep feasting on the idea of keeping


MM Meditation - The Barrenness of Busyness

I greatly appreciate the writings of A.W. Tozer
and most thoughts I share are from a daily devotional I receive. 
If you would like to subscribe, click here. 

The following is an exerpt from his book, "We Travel an Appointed Way."


And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
 --Luke 10:41-42

Failing in his frontal attacks upon the child of God, Satan often turns to more subtle means of achieving his evil purpose. He resorts to devious methods in his attempt to divert the Christian from carrying out the task God has committed to him. He often succeeds by involving the saint in some other lesser occupation and so distracting him....

Satan's distracting words often come from the most unexpected quarters. Martha would call Mary away from sitting at the feet of the Master. Sometimes, if we are not careful, our best friend may distract us. Or it might be some very legitimate activity. This day's bustle and hurly-burly would too often and too soon call us away from Jesus' feet. These distractions must be immediately dismissed, or we shall know only the "barrenness of busyness."   A.W. Tozer


I have often been challenged in this Christian life to do what is best -
not just what is good.

Sometimes it is easier to be busy and not intimate with the Lord Jesus.  We can rush around in "service" to Him, but avoid time in the Word and in prayer.

"Be still and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10

May we seek the Lord's wisdom in making those daily choices that are the best for our Christian walk, our testimony and our personal devotion to the One whose dying love saved our souls.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Just Had to Make One More Thing...

After preparing for Thanksgiving with the in-laws almost one full year, things were ready.  The house was decorated, the meal was planned, the groceries were purchased, the house was clean.  It was nearly, practically perfect.  We just had to pick up Gramma and Grandpa from the  train station.

Good thing we checked first.  Instead of arriving on the West Coast at 9am, they were still stuck somewhere in Idaho.  They were not going to be into Spokane until around 6pm, then they would have to take a bus for the rest of the journey.

I had a full day to myself.  So, I did what any woman would do, I found something to do.  It's all Steph's fault.  But, she could blame it on Jen, who created the original Thankful Garland.

My dear hubby drove his 4x4 Jeep down the icy streets to Michaels.

I went for this.....

...and came out with this. 

That's what you get for shopping after a major snow storm, when everyone else is at home. Michael's was selling out all their fall clearance for $2. I bought three heavy boxes and three very full bags.

When you follow someone's ideas, there are certain areas you shouldn't deviate from. Jen recommended Gorilla tape. I thought I could work without it. Maybe I'll get some of this tape for Christmas.

The longer I worked trying to get my garland to stay along the edge of my mantle, the less thankful I was.

I tried taping loops of fabric underneath my mantle cloth.

It didn't work.

I tried nailing  the little cloth slips to the mantle. 

It only worked on one loop.  The rest kept bouncing up.
I was wondering if I should have tried to straigthen the grapevine
before using it.

Then, I remembered these vintage babies in my craft room.

Yea, they're lick-'n-stick. How old-fashioned are these? But they worked. I licked and sticked a row of them along the top of the mantle, taped them down for extra good measure until they firmly dried. Thin wire was threaded through the metal triangle and around the grapevine.

It worked!

I won't tell you how long it took, or how many times I checked back to the other blogs, to get ideas for making this work. I was almost going to rename my garland THE CRABBY GARLAND.

After I realized I did not buy any floral sprays in my bags, my dear hubby drove me back to Michael's to spend $4 on two more humongous bags  filled with fall foliage.

Yea, he's a keeper.

Little floral sprays were tucked along vine.  Jen made beautiful roses and put glitter on her clothespins. That might have to wait until next year.

Leaves were cut out from scrapbook paper using this template, and placed in a wooden bowl with tiny, wooden clothespins and a permanent marker.

We began filling out  the leaves with thankful thoughts. By now, I had renewed my thankful heart, after apologizing to my hubby for getting crabby.

It turned out just fine, and didn't fall into the fire.

Little Rebekah filled out the center leaf first.

She has her priorities straight.


Meanwhile, my in-laws were on a nightmare journey. Because it was so cold throughout the entire midwest, the trains had to move slower than usual.  Much, much slower.  For hours of the trip they were behind a freight train going 10 miles per hour.  Since train engineers can only drive for 12 hours at a time, they repeatedly ended up waiting for a new conductor.  If he was three hours away, his work day began when he jumped in his car to drive.  By the time he arrived at the train, he could drive the train 9 hours, when his shift was done, they waited for a new engineer to drive in from another city.

Toilets froze up and blow torches were applied.  Food supplies were low.  The train kept chugging and chugging along.

The bus ride was worse.  They ended up having four drop-off/pick-ups, so instead of a three or four hour interstate ride, it became nearly a 9 hour drive into small towns and smaller roads.

Yes, at one point the GPS led the bus driver into a small road where he couldn't back up.  He had to wake up the owner of the house at the end of the road and have him bring out a flashlight and help him get the bus back on the road.  Then, the people they were supposed to pick up in this small town way up in the mountains in WA, were not there.

Meanwhile, hubby and I were waiting in our car at the locked Amtrack station where they were supposed to arrive at midnight.  Ever try to find a bathroom open at 2:30am?  Even if a business is open, their policy is to NOT let anyone use their bathrooms because of the kind of people that are usually on the streets at that hour.  By 3 am, I was looking like one of those people.

But, their bus finally arrived and we finally got a few hours of sleep before Thanksgiving Day officially began.

But, my home and heart were ready,
complete with a Thankful Garland.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give Thanks in EVERYTHING

1 Thessalonians 5:18

 In everything
 give thanks;
for this is the will of God
 in Christ Jesus
 for you.

I have heard someone say
you really don't have to give thanks
for everything
but just in everything.

They thought it might be foolish to
thank the Lord for a flat tire or an illness.

I have to respectfully and lovingly

It seems to me,
 if you won't give thanks
for everything,
you really aren't surrendering to everything.

What if that flat tire,
is an answer to prayer for safety?
What if it is keeping you from a 13 car pile-up?
Happened to me once.
Although I'm a little slow.
I didn't realize until AFTER I blogged
what the Lord spared me from.

What if that flat tire
is what the Lord used
to show you you forgot to tie down the huge ladder
on top of your truck?
Instead of killing someone
with a loose ladder,
you  only fixed a flat, then tied your ladder down.
Happened to my friend Tim.

What if the loss of your husband's job,
is the Lord's way of giving
your husband a BETTER job?
Happened to my friend Cheri.

What if that illness is an
answer to prayer for a chance to be a testimony
and become more Christ-like?
Happened to more friends than I can list.

What if taking one child home to Heaven early,
is one of the tools the Lord uses,
to bring salvation to the other kids in the family.
Happened to more friends than I can list.

What if...
What if...
What if...

We don't know why God
causes or allows the circumstances of our lives.

We just need to trust Him.
We need to obey Him.

As we eagerly anticipate
a special day of Thanksgiving,
our hearts are looking to the Lord.
Most of us are already convicted
that we should be thankful
every day.

But, we need to go further
than showing thankfulness
every day.

We need to give thanks in


This is the will of God,
in Christ Jesus,
for us.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How's Your Flock?

Proverbs 27: 23-24

Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,
And attend to your herds;

For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.

I don't see these verses as merely a discourse on goat herding. I'm not thinkin'  about a flock of sheep, either.

My flock is human, six beautiful, wonderful blessings from the Lord.

The crown isn't for being a natural-born princess, it is for consecration to the King of Kings.  It is a crown indicating you are not of this world, your faith has given you heavenly royalty.

Unlike the Royal families in Europe, the spiritual crown of consecration to the Lord, is not passed on from generation to generation.  There are no guarantees that children will be in the family of God, just because you love Jesus and just because they were physically born in your family.

Karen, a beautiful Christian woman, once told me, "There are no grandchildren in the family of God."

It is easy for a young parent to ASSUME that their faith will be assimilated, especially when children are very young and love to pray, love to sing Jesus songs. Maybe they just like the praise? Maybe they just like the attention? Maybe they just like to perform? We must not be so quick to assume they have spiritual understanding and that they really have spiritual appreciation for all that surrounds them.  We must be discerning.

Yes, advantage to being raised in Christian family, they are hearing and seeing the beautiful Gospel message each day.

Yes, important to have family altar, it can alter the family.

Yes, important to go to church and to be faithful to Bible teaching, because faith comes by hearing.  But, they still need to hear and then exercise their own faith.

But, you must understand, like every soul in the entire world, they have to make their own choice.

I recently read a rant against Christianity because we raise our kids and force them to follow our beliefs. He was missed the whole point of Christianity. Each person has to choose to become a Christian. We explain the two eternities of the argument and they have to choose.

In fact, we are more fair than the unbelievers, who only raise their kids with one choice and that is to ignore, distrust and/or hate the Lord.
We need to take this admonition to heart -

"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks."

We need to be discerning about our children.  We need to pray the Lord will reveal any areas where they have been deceived by the wicked one.  We need to make sure a root of bitterness hasn't sprung up, especially if we caused the growth.  We need to pray the Lord will help us to catch them in their sin, so we can root out evil in their lives.

My heart longs to pray even more diligently and more specifically for my children.  I am asking the Lord for verses to pray for each child.  I am asking for good communication, that we might learn to fellowship and not just talk.

I want my home to be singing with diligence, as I seek to know the state of my beautiful, blond flock.



MM Meditation - We Have Found HIM!

John 1:43-45

The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee,
and He found Philip and said to him,
“Follow Me.”

 ... Philip found Nathanael and said to him,
“We have found Him
of whom Moses in the law,
and also the prophets, wrote—
Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

These were young men who had studied the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah.

They were seeking. They were studying the written Word and they were eagerly longing for their Messiah.

Philip wasted no time after finding the Messiah, he had to share the good news.

I can imagine Philip seeking the city ways, the dusty roads, the stony fields, anxiously looking for his scholarly friend, Nathanael, and shouting, "We have found Him!"

The desire for a Savior was fulfilled, the longing cries of their heart was answered, and those men were never the same again.

As we read the account of their salvation, some of us also can shout for joy, "We have found Him….Jesus of Nazareth!"

Not all embrace Him easily, quickly, or immediately. Nathanael was a bit skeptical, until he met Him face to face.

No longer do we have the privilege of seeing Him face to face, because  after His death and reusrrection, He ascended and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  But, we have the fulfilled Word, the entire New Testament. We also have the indwelling Holy Spirit that seals our salvation and is our Comforter until we will see Him face to face.

But, He is still calling to those who are seeking,

"Follow Me."

After we have found Him, we need to keep the joy of our salvation fresh, so that we can repeat Philip's message,

 "I have found Him!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

A "Wetter" for Gwamma

At three years old,
my granddaughter, Brookelyn,
is now old enough to write a letter

She laboriously drew all these trees and filled them up with apples.

It was to remind me of a walk we went on when I visited in September.

It was a nature walk and we were picking up leaves,
admiring a huge snail,
watching ants,
playing with roly polies,
not to be confused with Roli-Polis,
and I thought I spotted an apple tree.

I was all excited and we talked about apples
and picking apples and eating apples.

I was on a roll.

Until my daughter, Jana, graciously pointed out that it was, actually,
an orange tree.  Unripe oranges are green and look like apples,
when you refuse to wear your tacky reading glasses.

And, at three, Brookelyn can talk on the phone,
when she feels like it.

Sometimes, she doesn't want to talk to Gwamma,
'cuz she's pwaying.

Although we chatted for 15 minutes,
I didn't think to type it up until we were done.

I couldn't remember enough of her precious jibberings.

Whatchu doin gramma?


Gwamma, guess what? Mommy is gunna' hava  BA BEEE!

Gwamma, ummm, Bubba got a big scwatch on him face.

Guess what, Gwamma? Mommy got fwowers.
Teigen's mommy gived them to her.
Dere pitty.
Dere pink and white.

Gwamma…I got a big girl bed. It's pink.

and the best line of all,

I wuv you Gwamma!


I love you, too, Brookie,
because you made a dream come true -
you made me a Gwamma.

When a child is born, so are grandmothers. ~Judith Levy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Brother is Born for Adversity

Proverbs 17:17 
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.

Adversity was also translated trouble, distress and affliction. That definitely sounds more like what a brother causes in your life, not helps you through in life.

Friends are easy. You get to pick them. If your relationship cools off, it doesn't matter; they aren't going to show up at the family reunion.

A brother is born to help in times of adversity?

This isn't a natural relationship. Brothers (this applies to all siblings, but I'll use  brothers) seem born  to be adversaries, not born for adversity.

The first older brother was a murderer.

Didn't get ya' much hope as a Mom, did I?

As a Mommy, how do you turn their hearts together to fight  against the common Adversary instead of each other? Yea, him, the wicked one. By turning their hearts to the true Friend, Jesus. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

It goes even deeper than just teaching kids to get along, but teaching them to fellowship.

Satan loves to destroy and divide. If he can come between any relationship, he can keep their focus away from the Holy One who knew no sin. If he can divide brothers, he can keep a powerful and spiritual bond from forming that would give the Lord much glory and honor.

My Mom always told us, "Charity begins at home. If you can't love your family, you won't be able to love anybody else."

Yea, my poor Mom had to deal with a lot of squabbles between her six children, but over and over she stressed that we had to practice common courtesies in the home or we wouldn't practice them outside the home.

Sibling rivalry isn't an excuse for your home to be in chaos, it is the reason you need to help your kids overcome.

These are their first trials, their first relationship issues that they are learning to overcome.Who better to bring out all the nastiest residues of our heart than a sibling?  Shouldn't we help our kids root out their uglies before they establish their own homes?

They should learn to confess their sin. They should learn to forgive 7x70. They should learn to let love cover a multitude of sins. They should seek a relationship of peace. Learn to work out differences. Learn to share. Learn to be slow to anger.

For those of us that resisted certain areas of correction from our parents, our regrets were huge when we began parenting. Not only did we still have a weakness to deal with, we displayed that fault to our children.

That's why a brother is good practice. You learn to not fight against each other, but to support and encourage each other.  You learn to be a better listener, more patient, more forgiving, more prayerful.  Then, you can fight together against the real Enemy, instead of fighting against each other and giving the Enemy a foothold.

But, you you can only be a brother born for adversity, if you know the Friend that loves at all times.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jesus Understands Mommies' Problems

Moms of little ones might read the Bible and think that the Lord Jesus
can't relate to her everyday life with diapers, pacis and wearing bodily fluids.

Granted, there aren't verses on how to calm and encouraging during potty training.

There aren't specific verses about the stamina needed to break a child of a biting habit.

But, everything in the Scriptures is what we need,
and everything we need is in the Scriptures, even if indirectly.

You just gotta' keep looking, keep reading, keep seeking, keep believing.

Sometimes those treasures are buried. How far are you willing to dig?

The Lord Jesus can probably relate to Mommies more than any other profession on earth.
I know you're probably thinking that the Lord relates to elders and preachers,
but listen to what He had to deal with.

He knew what it was like to have interrupted sleep.

Luke 8:23-24
 But as they sailed He fell asleep.
 And a windstorm came down on the lake,
 and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy.
And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying,
“Master, Master, we are perishing!”

He taught them to only wake Him when they really needed Him,
and to not bother Him when they should be exercising their own faith.

He knew what it was like to have to break up arguments.

The disciples are arguing, but won't admit about what.
He's trying to prepare them for His death and resurrection,
they're riding pride and jockeying for position.

He rebukes them by sitting them down on the ground
and placing a well-behaved child in front of them as an example.

"If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."

Luke 22 records another disagreement, as they argue
about the Lord's statement that a disciple would betray Him.

The Bible doesn't record the actual conversation,
this is from my imagination.
"I wouldn't do that, when I preached with power, many were converted."

"Yea, well, I baptized a guy in the middle of the desert and there wasn't any water."

"I've cast out many demons. It couldn’t be me. "

"I cast out more!"

"My ministry has seen more fruit."

"Nuh, huh, you had fake conversions. Mine were real."

He taught them that servanthood needs to replace pride.

He knew what it was like to deal with people
who didn't want to share.

In Luke 9, the Lord has been preaching all day.
He's thinking about the needs of the masses,
the disciples are thinking about the needs of their little tummies.

They tell the Lord Jesus to send the people into town to eat.
You know
how you just KNOW
your kids have ulterior motives?

The Lord could smell a rat, too.
He told the disciples to feed the people.
He knew they were hoarding some food.
He made them share.

"So they all ate and were filled,
and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them."

One for each of the selfish disciples.
He taught them there is no need to be selfish,
He supplies above and beyond our needs.

Next time you get frustrated with your little ones,
pull out your Bible.

The Lord will show you exactly how He dealt
proud and

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

grammer, spelling and punctuashun

After teaching for about 17 years,
I found I am addicted to correcting peoples
 grammar,spelling and punctuation,
as captured  in this blog.

I like collecting signs and adds that should have gone through
the final step of editing before being published.

The first ad was on craigslist.


grate deal - $600 (poulsbo)

its grate you will have fun all dishes in clouded and new coshons and lots of extras call shawn at 360)xxx-xxxx


Either some kid was trying to sell his Dad's camper
or some Dad should have study his kid's spelling words. 

It took me a few read-throughs,
to understand that dishes were "included"
and were not in heavenly vapors. 
I don't care about the new cushions,
I was hoping he'd throw in the truck.

This second one is compliments of my friend,
Mr. Timmy on Facebook.

I just noticed that it says
instead of

Do you think that is more appropriate since this was posted at a restaurant?

Speaking of errors,
didja' catch my five errors in the above post?
Don't count the mistakes from the ad,
which is in boldface.

Lemme' know if you passed my little
and punctuatshun quiz.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Secrets Revealed, Loneliness Healed

On Friday, I let you know I had a secret.

My husband had kept a secret from me,
and he's usually not good about doing that.
If he buys a really good present,
he can't wait until the holiday to give it to me.
He giggles and dances around like a little boy
who is expecting to get a present.

Except, he loves to give.

Wednesday, around noon, I had just finished homeschooling.
I was multi-tasking on the computer and the phone.
I heard a knock on the door and
Beka raced to open it.

I am over protective.

A strange man had been in my driveway about 30 minutes earlier,
and I didn't want Beka to answer the door alone.
I chased her down the hallway, trying to get her to be quiet,
telling her we didn't even have to answer the door.

Since we weren't expecting anybody,
it was too soon for neighbor kids to play,
I explained  it had to be a salesman.

The knocking persisted.

I finally answered the door, with phone still in hand.
There stood my oldest daughter, Jana, her husband, Aaron,
and their two little monkeys, Brookelyn and Brayden,
who had flown in from California.
I kinda' said, "HI," all casual, 
but secretly trying to remember if I had forgotten their visit.
When I finally figured out it was a SURPRISE
I started screaming and crying.

They had video footage to prove it.

Thursday night, we took Jana and her husband out for coffee,
but it ended up being a trip to the airport to pick up Daniel,
the second born who lives in North Dakota.

My "Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other" were all together,
for the first time in several years.

Other than being puked on,
the worst thing about parenting is when they move out.

Well, I guess moving back in after moving out is more challenging,
but that's another blog.

I just miss my crazy kids.

I really, really, really miss my kids.

This is just our children,
we left out the son-in-law, (photographer)
and the sleeping grandkids.

With work and nap schedules,
it was challenging to find a time to take group pics.

The motto in our family is
"You Wake 'Em, You Take 'Em,"
so nobody wanted to wake up the Crazy Babies,
even for pictures.

A can of Pirouette Cookies became a comedy routine.

As you could see on Friday,
my house isn't clean when all the kids are home,
and it isn't quiet.

But it is the most beautiful mess and noise for a mom.

We had our own Thanksgiving Dinner on Friday,
cooked by my children.

I got to set the table.
That's my favorite part of a meal.
As we gathered around together,
laughing, sharing and thanking the Lord
for His goodness to His children,
our hearts were so full of love and gratitude.

We've already made one trip to the airport,
to return Dan to his regular life.
Jana and her family will leave today.

I will start a new week missing my kids.
Really, really missing my kids.

But I will choose to rejoice, because,
my children are all serving the Lord where He has called them.
My prayers can follow them,
guide them,
encourage them,
uphold them.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy
 than to hear
that my children
 walk in truth.

That's the only balm for a Mommie's achy heart and empty arms.