Thursday, May 22, 2008

He Got It!

Well it took a little prompting, but he finally looked at "the blog" and found the first clue. You can't expect to keep it a secret on his day off with children, so we decided to give it a little jump start...

Reading the first clue...

during the hunt... clues were hidden at a bunch of places! In a Bible and behind pictures ...

In Mailboxes and Under Railings...

Two "digital" clues and 5 paper ones to lead him to the "ultimate gift"!

He knows where to look and Shoeless Savannah wants to be there with him!


Well our wandering days are over... HA!

He actually had a very good idea what the gift was during the game
figuring we wouldn't have gone to all this if it was a coffee mug!

Happy Birthday and Father's Day!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This is for You Dan!

A bit of a hunt, not the scavenger kind,
But little poems and clues to jog your memory and mind!

For on Earth 42 years, and 17 as a treasured father
All your Love, kindness, and generosity have excelled you above any other!

To bless you with honor is our goal, and to show we love you our desire,
Using words of Affirmation – your love language- As well as giving gifts- one to which I aspire!

Though a bit late in celebrating your birth, and a touch early to tell you “thanks, Dad!”
We want to say we Love You utterly, And pray this will be the best year you’ve ever had!

So this is your first clue, and the next you will find,
In the exact Bible- at the precise verse- God used to clear your mind!

Where He quickened your soul, and in you the Holy Ghost came to dwell,
Giving you the Gift of Eternal Life- Oh! The precious story you love to tell!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

God will use ANYTHING!!!

If you don't think God is working in your life, you just have to start keeping a diary of the smallest, seemingly most insignificant things in your life. Because chances are, you are missing all of the good stuff that God is doing in you're life all around you by chalking it up to coincidence, chance, or you just plain don't remember!

So remember this post where I talked about my washer?

Well I got a call this morning (only 4 days later!) from my friend Kelly, who was one of the ladies that comprised my "company" a few nights ago. And you know what she asked? If I could do her a HUGE favor and let her use my washer.


You see, her washer is over 14 years old, and just happened to break today. Yeah. Weird.

Want to know what I thought? Thank You God for letting my machine be clean! :)

I called it neurosis. God calls it preparation!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Mission Monday...

These are just some thoughts -well pre-thoughts really- I have regarding deputation. Now mind you, we are still a year+ away from actually starting this part on the road to the field, but it is still something I think about!
As a relatively large family fairly mainstreamed in the American culture, we are busy. There have been times at the table that we all, including Savannah, have made comments about how we seldom all sit down to a meal together. Some have even suggested we mark the calendar at such times as it is so rare! Very.Sad.

Regularly we will have two cars at the same event. Not because we don't all fit in one car! We seldom are at the same place to begin the journey! Whether going to church, or a ball game, or to dinner, or to a friends for a visit, we often will "meet up" at the decided location. I am sure on more than one occasion observers have wondered about the state of our wedded bliss. "Man, they can't even stand a car ride together...!" Ha!

It seems a regular thing to compete for time with my family. Between work, school, teen activities, ball games, birthday parties, dentist appointments, babysitting, ... need I continue this inexhaustive list? ... there seems no time to have real quality family time! I know the "experts" -whoever they are- say quality is better than quantity... but I am of the opinion they have never really been in a functioning family! Time- of any kind- requires one fundamental ingredient... TIME!

So now that I have explained a few situations our family finds itself in, you can better understand one thought in particular I have regarding deputation. I am looking forward to forced, concentrated, uninterrupted, days and days on end, uncompeted for, uncontested and exhausting time with my family. I realize I may have a very different take on it while in the midst of it all, but for now, I plan to enjoy the anticipation!

It would be nice to see a lot of these signs along the road, too! Would this be a POI on a GPS? :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Introducing The Future Class of...

Savannah, Macy, Caleb, Grace, Timmy and Jared
My sister Lynn in the background! :)

How adorable is it to see a troupe of little children all wearing Daddy's shirt backwards to make the perfect "robe" to graduate in!

Savannah at her Kindergarten Graduation! So Precious!

Appropriate for the last born to a couple of opticians to be a future graduate in the year 2020 ! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lessons Learned from my Neurosis

So I have company coming over tonight...

It isn't the kind of company one must make a good first impression on, nor even the kind of "mild acquaintances" that could still be swayed by the slightest thing out of place or gone awry.

This is the kind of company that have (has?) seen me at my worst... for they are all the ladies of our annual family camping week at Fairhaven. Now when I mean they have seen me at my worst... just think Lake Ontario with hair all sea weed-y and mascara running off my face. Think the nightly run to the community restrooms to emerge in camping night time attire... aka. MEGA HUGE AND WARM sweat pants and hoodie. Think my husband loves me no matter what so to prevent the mascara running off my face tomorrow, today and every day thereafter I will forgo makeup.

So... why do I have the compulsion to reorganize all my bathroom cupboards in the upstairs bath? Why did I go around my kitchen baseboard with a knife to get up all the junk that collects there between the floor and the trim? WHY. OH.WHY. did I look at the inside of my washing machine with renewed interest and concern? Can I tell you these women will not even think to ask if they could toss in a load of laundry to ease my wifely chores for the day!!!

But in all of this hullabaloo, I learned something. The laundry soap that I faithfully use in every load to get my clothes clean and smelling fresh ...TOTALLY GUNKS UP MY MACHINE!!! What's up with that? My clothes should be flame retardant with all the gel that must be built up on them from all these washings!!! I am at this very moment running an EXTRA- HOT- EXTRA- LONG EMPTY cycle with plain old water to try and eliminate some of this junk!

Now... on to the lesson...

Have you gone into a Christian book store lately? If you have, amidst all of the "3 minute devotional" and "just a little prayer'll do ya" and "ten minutes to finding complete peace with God" books, did you happen to look for a Bible and actually have a hard time finding the three shelves that are devoted to them? Sad, huh?

That gunk in my washer got me to thinking, how much do I add to my life to help me clean it up, make it look sparkly and white as can be, and actually all it is doing is gunking me up and taking time away from what is really important?

I think I need to focus on some extra-hot-extra-long cycles with some plain, old, water.

The plain truth from The Old Book that is a spring of living water.

My mom once told me a story of a boy and his loving and wise old grandfather. The old man asked the boy to get water from a nearby stream, and proceeded to give him a dirty old basket for the fetching. The boy ran to the stream, and try and try as he may, he could never manage to get back to his grandfather with out losing most of the water through the small holes between the reeds. Before the boy got too frustrated, his grandfather stopped him and explained his object lesson.

"You see, son, because you are so young, sometimes reading God's Word feels alot like trying to fetch water with a holey basket. It might seem pointless and of absolutely no earthly benefit. But take a look at that basket in your hands. While there might not be much water left within, as it was passing through - it sure made that one clean basket."

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of
water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot,
or wrinkle, or any such thing;
but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:26-27

ps. After thinking on this a little longer, I missed a very unintended analogy. While I may think my clothes are flame retardant from the build up of detergent-they aren't. Neither is a soul "flame-retardant" from a build up of spiritual filler and fluff. Only with a full fledged conversion and life changing encounter with Jesus Christ can one escape hell!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

How does one say "Good Bye" in Greek?


It is OVER!!! The final for Dan's fourth and LAST semester of Greek was last night, and I feel he is so glad! ONE SEMESTER of NSBI TO GO!!! He tells me it is more like 1 1/2, but I am unable to accept that right now, so one it is! He seems to think his thesis and other classes called "Church Administration" and "street preaching" will constitute another semester! Whatever!! :)


In celebration, I wanted to make something Greek and desserty for the class. I looked over at Juliemom's for a recipe for Baklava but I couldn't find one. (my extent of knowledge of something Greek and sweet!) After a google moment, I tried my skill at Phyllo dough, and would have posted a "picture by picture" of my first time using it and making Baklava, but I was too ashamed at all my broken sheets and messy counters! I was in such huge rush to get this finished before the Greek final that I neglected to allot the full "two hours at room temperature before unrolling". note** 10 minutes is NOT.EVEN.CLOSE. to enough time!** Needless to say, I was VERY thankful for the globs of nuts and butter and cinnamon and butter (did I already say that? It was ALOT of butter!) that successfully adhered all of the two inch strips of Phyllo! I was told it was the best some had ever tasted! (Thanks :) Sweetie!) Now that I know a good portion of what NOT to do with that enigmatic dough, I think I'll try Julie's dinner recipe next!

ps- if you want a Baklava recipe, this one is great! Nearly fool proof!

Monday, May 5, 2008

When it seems impossible to understand...

... one must still believe!

A few weeks ago my bff Jolie told me about a story from the testimony of Kim Phuc. All may not know her by name, but she is very well known as the "girl in the picture".

Kim went to her church and gave her testimony of being in a village that was bombed by Napalm during the Viet Nam war. While there are many twists in her testimony, not the least of which is her conversion to Christ and her defection from her homeland, one story that is the most powerful to me is told of the first few days after the incident that caused her fame.

After her tiny body was over 50% burned by the bombing, the hospital where she was taken was obviously ill equipped to handle anyone in her condition. Modern day medicine would be challenged! Kim gave testimony to a pastor that during the first few days, her situation seemed hopeless, and a doctor directed that she be put into the morgue. Though still alive, there was no real hope for her survival, and "why burden an already over taxed staff ?" must have been part of his thoughts. For four days she lay in a morgue-unconscious but with a still beating heart- left to die an eventual and certain death.

During these same days her family continued their search for her. They eventually located her little lifeless body, and employed any and all measures to help her. After over a year in the hospital, and over a dozen surgeries, Kim returned home, “hoping to be a normal kid again.”

After her schooling, marriage, and defection to Canada, she had managed to heal emotionally from most of her scars as well, but this one thought still haunted her. How could she have been left to die in a morgue? For four days she was neglected, untended, unfed, and unconscious- Why!?

It was after giving this testimony in a church that a man came up to her, a doctor himself, and asked to speak with Kim for a moment. He went on to explain that it might have been that time in the morgue that actually saved her life. Had she been in the hospital, well meaning nurses and doctors would have tended her and done more damage to her already fragile body. Napalm is is a merciless killer, and in the closed off and cool morgue, her metabolism was slowed and nervous system less irritated. She was actually put in the morgue to die, but God meant it to save her life!

After hearing this from the Doctor, waves of thankfulness and faith must have flooded over her! Because she did not understand, the wicked one saw an opportunity to gain a foothold of doubt and anger in her. God was and is and always will be merciful- no matter how it looks to us!

This testimony told second hand to me has been so powerful in my life. I can always know regardless the situation, God is in control! No matter how my eyes and ears and heart perceive a situation, I must realize I do not have full disclosure on it!

As I am reading in Job, in the first two chapters this has been reinforced to me. While Satan approached God, it was God who suggested Job be tested, and it was God who said to Satan in 2:3- " and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause." And then in Job 2:5 Satan says "But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face." Both God and Satan acknowledge it is by the hand of God that Job (and we) are "smitten".

God is sovereign, in control, and completely to be trusted. I hope to remember this during the times of my trial. When I am in my "morgue"- for the day will come that I surely will be- I want to testify of the goodness of God, and "sin not".

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Peter 4:12-13

Friday, May 2, 2008

Some Mother's Day ideas...

*** NOTE ***This is not a shameless ploy for my husband to "read" this and be subliminally or otherwise convicted that he needs to have a crafting moment with our children to shower me with gifts on Mother's Day! Should that happen, though, I will be sure to tell you all! :)

Anyhow! I receive an email from this company every Friday and it has GREAT Free things linked every week on it. I thought I would pass some along here!

Here is a great card our your kids can make. It really looks so nice, and very simple!

This website has a lot of nice Mother's Day crafts. I like to be creative and crafty with the kids, but I seldom have any original ideas!! I am also a firm believer in craft things that do not scream "This is nice but throw it away as soon as sweet little darling has turned his/her back" !! I tend to score in the negatives on a sentimentality test...and have been known to throw out a just received card on my way back into the house from the mail box! (I know, I am heartless... blah-blah-blah!) So my idea of a good craft is usually useful and fairly inexpensive! This place is LOADED With them!

Also, if you have little ones that need to be occupied for a few moments at a time thus creating a free minute to have some peace and quiet instruct the older children in their studies, look here!

Hope you all have a great time planning how to spoil YOUR mom! She deserves it!

Proverbs 23:25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Old School House

As I don't have any blog ads on my site, I feel it is perfectly fine to promote worthy "products" every once in a while!

As a home school family, "The Old School House Magazine" is a wonderful resource compiled of articles, testimonials, and ideas to make your home school a great success! It is believable as well as valuable, and not to mention a huge encouragement!

I wanted to tell you about a special promotion the magazine for home school families is running right now. If you subscribe for just a year, you actually (while supplies last) will receive 25 curriculum-type gifts from various vendors. The value is huge – hundreds of dollars' worth of freebies to you. No strings attached – except that TOS only has about 2000 of these “gift baskets” left in their inventory. First come, first served. Here's the link which explains more, below. You can even view all the gifts and find out how they'll arrive. Hurry, though, they go really fast. Last time the magazine did this they sold out about two months early.

Click here to find out more!

The above link will show you the pictures of your free gifts plus give you all the details.

Look on with great interest, and pass it along to another family if you personally cannot use it! It is sure to be a great blessing to them!