Friday, December 28, 2007


I found this over at my friend Calamity's place, and I think it is only fair to allow any and all things Christmas until after the New Year rings in. (and stealing blog posts is OK as long as you link them, right?!) Never mind that today I took down the tree and all of the Christmas stockings hung so beautifully over the banister... just listen!
3 minutes of ... well... really great!

KP maybe we will sing this with you... next year!

It has been a while!

I was gifted with my own computer several days before Christmas! Oh the Bliss, I thought, at having my own internet connection and desk and key board! I would be able to walk away and pour myself some nice warm tea without calling "fives" on my chair! It surely seemed like life would be good with respect to my time spent on the computer!

A bloggers dream come true!!

Well, you all know I have a four year old, and children are so much brighter these days than a few years back! An afternoon of "what can I let her do so I can get a little gift wrapping done?" turned into me competing- on my own computer- for computer time!!! Yikes!!! How did I let it get so out of control?!?!

What is the culprit wonderful child's interactive website that is causing all my dreams to blow away like dust in a windstorm? See for yourself, here.

It is a really great place to visit- I had several minutes of fun while showing her how to navigate the site. I am getting a little tired of it, but she enjoys it. A lot. Perhaps too much!

I wouldn't mind the real thing, (is that not the cutest idea... and face!) as it would free up my chair, but I am sure I would suck up the pieces in my vacuum as I am a non discriminate vacuumer! ... if it is small enough to fit through the nozzle, it will be hosed-for lack of a better term! And what fun is a puzzle with only 3/4 of the pieces?!

Any suggestions for other things to keep a precocious little girl busy? And out of trouble? And that does not involve my computer?

I am sure the next big event in our family will prove to be attention grabbing. Molly is due for her puppies within the week! We are expecting her to have 3 to 4, and cannot wait to see the little 4 oz wonders! I will be sure to post pictures!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

If you need a laugh...!

As a home schooling family I love things like this! Even if you are not, though, you will laugh at the insanity creativity displayed here.

Thank you to my source of this, to whom I promised anonymity.
I love you Tonya! (...oops!!!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mission Monday

Love with Shoes On

If you never have, take the time to listen to this audio. You will not be sorry for the time spent.

The first time I heard the above message, it was Thanksgiving day, 2006. I was in Zambia, Africa, with my husband and two children, and Missionary Kevin Pestke. We were driving on a horrible dirt road- the main highway in that region- clicking off mile after mile trying to return to Lusaka, and then continue to Kafulafuta Baptist Mission- a 10+ hour trip.

This message changed my life forever, but not so much because of the truth it contains or the compelling message and stories this preacher tells. The circumstance surrounding my first hearing this message was in the presence of a man doing exactly what the message was all about. Loving God and doing what He has called you to do in the face of any and all things.

The one year anniversary of that day - and Kevin's father going home to Glory- has come and gone, but the impact of witnessing Love With Shoes On has not diminished. It was by no means his desire to be 14,000 miles away from his family, or to have to talk to his dad for the final time this side of heaven on a crackly cell phone connection. For whatever the reason, though, God allowed these things to be. What I saw was: in the moment of the most sorrow to date in his life, he did not question the Sovereignty of his Savior, he still praised God, he continues to joy in his salvation.

I am so thankful for the example of real life people. I am so thankful for the friendship and example of Kevin in our lives. If scripture were to be written today, I am sure this would be included in the stories of 21st century passionate followers of Christ.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Just a little Comment on Comments

I am not whining too badly here, just a little.

Is anyone else as challenged as I am by the comment security boxes? You know the ones... They have all the random letters and numbers in barely recognizable fonts and all sorts of angles and not in the least on a straight line. The penmanship teacher in me just cringes when I see them! (note: I am not so bothered in the least by run-on and compound sentences!)

My real complaint is that it takes me more time to type the little letters in the box than it did to type the entire comment! Mind you, I am not a speedy typer either!!!

Just a little hint here to make your life easier as it did mine...and I discovered it completely by accident. Really.

If you don't type the letters and just hit "post comment"... it will give you another box... with different characters! And if they are longer and harder to read, do it again! One of those times you are bound to get an easy one, and then the stress is much less.

Go ahead - try it! Only not on my blog. Because I don't have that "security" feature on my comments. Not because I don't wish to be secure, I just do not in any way want to discourage anyone from commenting. And has anyone ever actually seen a random computer generated comment, anyhow? I was just wondering.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Home Made Christmas...

First let me say... (Imagine beautiful singing here...)

Happy Birthday to my Daddy!! He is 68 today!!!! "I love you Dad!"

Now on to the regularly scheduled post...!

I love the Holidays and all of the gift giving, especially as "gifts" is one of my Love Languages. More than receiving them though, I love to give them. My mom is perhaps one of the craftiest and creative people I know, and I must have gotten some of the genes. Home made gifts are some of my favorite things!

In years past we have done everything from chocolate covered pretzels to assorted cookies. We have made boxes for movie nights and "Y2K survival baskets". (Remember all the panic?! While there was never a crisis, all those oil lanterns and fleece blankets are still well-enjoyed on a cold winter's night!)

This year... Home made hot cocoa with mini marshmallows, and glass mugs hand etched with the names of the recipient.

This is a photo of a pan of home made marshmallows... I have never done these, so I was excited to see how they turned out. Much yummier than store bought. A little chewy and very melt- in- your mouth! I used this recipe for them. I placed them in a shallow dish to make mini-marshies! They cut up with scissors, and look so cute holiday in gift baggies. Perfect for the hot cocoa! This cocoa recipe has a pinch of Cayenne Pepper in it... so great! It tingles a little in your throat, and makes it feel all the more warm! YUM!

Micah is always so helpful with holiday baking dishes!!! Never too far away during any food project!

Here are a pair of mugs. I love the cobalt blue when it is etched. On David's, I taped off a band and put stick on letters from my previous life's** craft of scrap booking. You can see through the glass and see some stars, too. Danielle's was made with these little re-usable plastic templates right next to the etching cream at Wal-Mart!

These are clear mugs, and the etching looks just as nice. The mugs are still dishwasher and microwave safe. The cream is an acid and just barely roughs up the shiny surface of the glass.

Here is *most* of one finished basket. (The marshmallows aren't quite finished yet!) Love the Dollar Tree for the glass containers to put the cocoa mix into! The painted wooden Christmas tree is sitting on a jar of Concord Grape Jelly... Thank You Jane for the grapes!!!

These baskets were less than $8.00 to make, but all together are such a nice gift.

This is a previous year's craft! My whole family LOVES Veggie Tales, and my sister Lynn had the kids in our home school group make these. Olivia made this little "Asparagus Family" singing. The lights are battery operated from ... where else!... the Dollar Tree! My sister was the first born in our family, and while I got some of the genetic creativity... she definitely took the lions share! The woman is a creative, artistic genius! (Unfortunately I took all of the organizing and computer genes, so you will never have the pleasure of her sharing all of her wonderful talents on her own blog! I will try to feature her some times for you.)

The clay is home made with bread and glue! She has used paint for the tints instead of food coloring. It was a loooong time before the food coloring came off her hands! The paint color just washes off now!

There are a few other things home made for this holiday, like place mats sewn into tote-style bags, (mine don't have pockets...!) and apple pie filling canned with a separate jar of crisp topping. These are a few of my favorite things ...! I hope you have enjoyed a sneak peek at my holiday gift giving. I am off to baggy up marshmallows!

**by "previous Life" I mean "before 5 children" ... just to clarify!

Monday, December 10, 2007


I give up! The time is flying by so fast I am not even going to try to keep up!

You know it is a futile effort when your four year old says "Wow... today went by so fast!" I don't remember anything but loooooong days when I was a kid!

Once again I feel a little less than great. Thought I had it whooped, but I must have kept one 'lil bugger for such a time as this. The Puffs company didn't profit enough from my last bout. Let me tell you I can only go for so long with napkins, and then I must use tissues! Wow, my poor nose! (I hope that is not TMI for those of you with more delicate sensibilities!)

Institute is almost over for this semester... THANK YOU JESUS! Although I am not the one actually doing all the hard time in the books, I sometimes wonder if that is not the easier of the tasks! This truly is the closest I ever want to come to single parenting! I know he needs to devote huge quantities of time to school- I am just glad I don't have all little ones anymore! I think of Sarah and Steph... God must be carrying you through it all... there is just no other way!

Dan is doing absolutely great in his classes- the Lord has increased his brain or something, because I went to college with the man, and he didn't use to be this smart! Whatever it is, he is (we are!) thankful! We look forward to his second-to-last full semester... shouldn't be too tough. Two of his 6 classes will only be Church History II and Greek IV... hmmmmm- both Pastor Curran's classes. Is that just a coincidence? Or does he specifically choose the less liked more difficult subjects to teach?

I think this should be all for now. No one reads long posts unless they are written by a sick, stressed out, slightly medicated, over tired mother of 5. And then it is not with interest or pity- it is just for ammo! So in the interest of self-preservation... I will go for now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Well, I missed it again!

Mission Monday came and went this week again! I think I should just change it to "Random Report", as I know it would take the pressure off me and a few others I know! But I will just make note of my flaws and you all will still love me anyhow... Right? OK... on to the update!

My husband's boss got SAVED!!!

It has been a hard task for Dan to continue to see the purpose of him working for a large eyeglass retailer. As many of you know, that means crazy retail hours (including Sundays!), and man-power cutbacks all in the name of "bottom line profit dollars" without any regard for customer service! My hubby is a 150% kind of person, and that makes it all the more hard! The store puts out so many demands, no one human could ever meet them all. The integrity in my husband, though, pushes him to try!

He has long been burdened to obey John 6:27, "Labor not for the meat which perisheth", and has therefore striven to make his time there eternally profitable, and not only a means to earn a paycheck! This has been a great experience for him (and ME!) as we have seen how the Lord has made him bold in ways he may not have previously been. One usually feels the need to be covert and creative on an illegal endeavor. (Which is how witnessing seems, what in the day of "tolerance" and "everyone has rights except the Christian" and all!) He has out-loud witnessed to co-workers and patients while on the floor, punched in to work and everything! He has found conversation about the Lord will weave into every situation and it doesn't have to be "in your face" and obnoxious to be effective! He has been praying for this man for years now, and slowly but surely Dan's testimony and integrity have given many opportunities for greater witness and more pointed times of conversation.

Well, last week on Thursday, the entire day netted 20% of sales than a normal day... aka- dead as nails, long and boring shift! Dan spent most of the day witnessing to his boss! After the store closed they continued to talk until Dan asked him "What would stop you from right now calling on Jesus Christ to save you?" ... His response?... "NOTHING!", and right there he bowed his head in repentance to God and got saved! Dan was so excited to see "meat which endureth unto everlasting life!" It has renewed his desire to go to work there, and to want to go and do what you have to do anyhow is a great thing!

This man has already made comment that "they" (he and Dan) need to help another co-worker that Dan has been praying for almost as long! He has told his wife about his decision for Christ. This is a huge blessing, as we have known her to be searching for something, and even being open to tarot and other new-age things. We pray they would be open to discipleship as a couple, or at least the Dan disciple him one-on-one!

We are learning of many of the workers from our church's building project getting saved as well! The fields are truly white unto harvest!

What a great time we are living in! What a huge opportunity to jump in to the work of the Lord!

What an Amazing God we serve!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Our church has a monthly Couples Connection class. It is a nice time to be with like minded people and just have some Godly fellowship. The leader of the class found a "new logo" for us, and I loved it so much I copied it with an additional personal touch of our wedding bands. Kind of neat. Here is another one...

God is so good in even the littlest things in our lives! I didn't have a magnifying glass for this, and couldn't find one for a price I would be willing to pay (!)... (what could be too much for such sentiment?!?!) I just "happened" to work at LensCrafters where we just "by chance" got some in for the holidays! I didn't even have to buy one! They said it was scratched and I could use it. How cool is that! Brings Psalms 138 home for me! He knows it all and cares too!

... can you tell I got a new camera? I am sure many posts will have pictures now! (Mostly for all you less than literate friends out there... I must confess- I still like the pictures books , too!)