Friday, February 29, 2008

Birthday Weekend

My hubby is celebrating a birthday this weekend. Despite our ridiculously busy schedules, we are managing to take daddy to dinner tonight at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. He asked for kickboxing classes for his birthday which he started last night. Let's just say this morning he was a bit sore, but overall, he really enjoyed it.
Jerry turns 37 tomorrow. So honey, in your honor, here are 37 things I love about you!
1. You love the Lord.

2. You love me and the boys.

3. You are a wonderful father.

4. You are a fantastic husband.

5. You're willing to take marriage classes with me. : )

6. You put up with me.

7. You're hilarious and make me laugh constantly.

8. You're talented.

9. You're devoted to the people you care about.

10. You're not afraid to be silly.

11. You find little ways to serve me and help me around the house.

12. You are trustworthy.

13. You are honest.

14. You pray for me and for the boys on a daily basis.

15. You love to get on the floor and roughhouse with the boys.

16. When one of us needs something, you do it without complaining.

17. You watch American Idol with me and agree with me (and Simon) most of the time!

18. You are always willing to sing with me (and you're my favorite duet partner!)

19. You make me want to be a better woman.

20. Your favorite thing to read on your home page is the Garfield comic of the day.

21. I LOVE your laugh!

22. You're sweet, sensitive, and compassionate.

23. You're willing to hold me when I cry, even if you don't understand why I'm crying.

24. When one of the boys wants to play, you drop everything and play with them.

25. You work hard everyday to provide for our family.

26. You never complain when the laundry is piling fact, you start a load!

27. You can imitate just about everyone.

28. You have "personalities" that even I don't know about. : )

29. You get sentimental too when we talk about taking the crib down.

30. You are my memory. Just like Poppop was for Nanny.

31. I'm not sure if that's a good thing! YIKES!

32. You eat whatever I cook and you never complain.

33. I trust you with my heart.

34. You still call me "your beautiful bride."

35. You complete me in every way.

36. You've made me the happiest girl since I was a mere 18 years old.

37. And finally...

Happy Birthday, honey. I thank God with every year that passes that He gave you to me. Be blessed. May it be a year that draws you nearer to our Lord and may you always know how very much you are loved and appreciated. The following is a verse that the Lord laid upon my heart this morning as I was praying for you and the year to come. As you continue to grow in your faith, may you cling to His hand and follow Him with all your heart. I know how hard it is to go out into the world every day. Thank you for serving Christ and being His example. May you continue to do that in the coming year!

3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-8

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Lady in Red

We now interrupt this Wordless Wednesday to talk fashion.

By far, the BEST dressed person at the Academy Awards was Ms. Helen. Even hubby said, "WOW!" And I want that dress. For what occasion, I have no idea. I just want it so I can play dress-up like I used to at Nanny and Poppop's house when I was a little girl.

Monday, February 25, 2008

President WHO?

Last week, Cody brought home the weekly newsletter from his teacher. She likes to keep us updated on all the children's activities from week to week, which of course, I greatly appreciate. I hear once Kindergarten is over they end all of that, so the communication is something I always devour when it comes home in his backpack.

The newsletter suggested that we spend some time talking about the upcoming presidential elections with our children. We haven't done much of that around here, and I'll tell you why. I can't stomach it. Anyways. That's a post for a different day.

She also said that most of the children were clueless as to who our current president is. I thought to myself, in my oh-so-humble way, "Cody totally knows who our president is."

But, just to be sure, I asked him when he got home from school that day.

I asked, "Cody, who is our president?"

He thought for a second and replied, "George Washington."

Okay, so maybe I should be talking more about politics.

Could someone please pass me the pepto bismol?

We Now Pause To Bring You This Very Important Message

I was minding my own business, sitting casually at the desk doing some work, when George, as in Curious...I mean, Caden...brought me a tube of my favorite Mary Kay lipstick. Nearly empty. I was leaving a message on my husband's voicemail when Caden handed me the tube. I then loudly exclaimed, "OH HEAVENS, my lipstick!" and hung up quickly. I'm sure my husband is wondering what that was all about.
There are no traces of lipstick ANYWHERE in the house. Believe me. I've looked. Not on his hands, mouth, or clothes. Not on the furtniture. Or the dog. This is all that's left of it.
I have no idea what happened to the lipstick. I'm scared...very, very find the whereabouts of the artwork or worse (EEK) ingested lipstick. I'm assuming it's non-toxic.
Do you think Mary Kay has a poison hotline???
You may now resume your regularly scheduled programming for the afternoon. Good day.

We Serve an Awesome God!

Some of you have been faithfully praying for some loved ones, and I'd love to give you a praise report today.

First, we visited my MIL yesterday afternoon, and we're happy to report that she is home and doing very well. She is still receiving some help from the hospital and a nurse that visits weekly, but she's up and around when she needs to be, relatively pain free, and looking very happy to be home. She really looks great, and we just praise God for the work He has done these past few weeks. I can't believe how far she has come in a month!

I also wanted to share a HUGE praise with you about my friend Charity's brother, Dave. Let me refresh your memory about where Dave was about two months ago. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctors did a double dose of chemo and radiation. They told him it was inoperable. Before Christmas, the doctors told him they weren't sure how to progress and if there was any more that they could do for him. They gave him the option of trying more chemo/radiation or enjoying the holidays with his family. He opted for the latter. On New Year's Eve, things took a turn for the worse, and he was told he had a brain tumor and that the cancer had spread. Things looked bleak. But we serve and awesome God. Over the holidays, and the course of two months, the family prayed. And prayed. And so did all of us.

This past week he reported back to his doctor who did tests to determine how he was doing. Dave went in, fully confident that God had healed him. And guess what? HE WAS RIGHT. Dave is cancer free!!!!

It is stories like this that continually keep me humble and in awe of a God that is more than able to do all He says He will do. God could have chosen to NOT heal my MIL or Dave. And you know what? He would still be awesome and good. We're just so thankful to give you these praise reports today and also thank you for your prayers. There is truly power in prayer!

I love Psalm 103, but my favorite part of the passage is the beginning. Verses 1-5 read: "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Oh yes. We serve an AWESOME God.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Love and Respect

Last weekend, as part of the announcements, our church showed a promo for the book/study, "Love and Respect." Now, I must confess to you that I bought the book MONTHS ago, but I only got a few pages in and never picked it back up. I'm not sure why, because it got rave reviews and I knew I'd learn something important that God wanted to teach me. Perhaps time slipped away from me. Whatever the reason, I often glanced at it sitting on the bookshelf and, for whatever reason, just chose not to pick it up again.

So when I saw the promo video last weekend, I felt in my spirit that it was something Jerry and I needed to do. It really resonated with me.

The class started tonight, and without (much) prompting, Jerry agreed to join this 8 week study with me.

I can tell you, without a doubt, that this class is not really going to be about marriage. I mean, it is, but it's not. It is about man. And it is about his wife. It is about how they think, live, and behave. And for me, it's going to be about the ways in which I need to change! NOTICE I did NOT say the ways he needs to change. But allowing God to change me and being willing to do the hard work that goes with it! Perhaps that's why I never picked the book up again...ha!

The premise of the book goes something like this: Without respect, he doesn't show her love. And without love, she doesn't show him respect. And so the cycle goes...and goes....and goes. Have you ever really thought about the fact that the bible commands, not suggests, that married couples are to do as follows: "Husbands, love your wives. And wives respect your husbands." Have you ever really thought about why?

Well, what we learned tonight is that men and women see life very differently. Women need love like they need air to breathe. And men need respect like they need air to breathe.

Aretha didn't really know what she was talking about when she sang "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." But the man who wrote it did!!!

I will post occasionally about what I'm learning, and I'd love to hear from you if you've read the book or taken the class. Have a great rest of your weekend!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Apparently the Tooth Fairy is Cheap

There was some disappointment this morning when Cody awoke, only to find a $1 bill and a note from the tooth fairy. Last time, since it was his first lost tooth, the tooth fairy brought $1.50 in quarters in a star shaped box, along with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and a certificate sprinkled in fairy dust.

I tried to explain to the disappointed six year-old that the tooth fairy always makes a big deal out of the first tooth since it's, you know, the first one. He speculated that the cheap flying tooth snatcher had some sort of a tooth fairy printer that she used this time, and this just didn't seem acceptable to him. (I personally thought it looked like she had made a pretty good effort this time, and what she left for him was pretty cute.)

I followed the conversation up with a verse he's learning in Awana that goes something like this: "Be content with what you have."

Because I'm a good mother. And it's my job to point him to God's Word. And because I felt he needed to give the poor tooth fairy a break.

So I'm curious. Does the tooth fairy reward your children for their lost teeth? If so, how generous is she when she comes to your house?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

That Makes Two!

Tonight, while eating a cookie, Cody lost tooth #2! It had been really loose all week, but apparently all it needed was a week-old valentine's cookie to do the trick.

We still haven't found the camera battery charger, and the thing is completely dead, so there are no pictures, but rest assured. He's so stinkin' cute, I can't stand it. And excited for the tooth fairy to come tonight.

One of my adult students was here tonight when it happened, and he told me that his daughters get $25/tooth, to which I replied, "REALLY???"

He simply said, "No." And then started laughing at me for believing him.

All's I know is our tooth fairy doesn't have that kind of cash.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: My New Favorite

Introducing....David Archuleta!!!!
(Sorry, Luke!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vote for Luke!

Hey guys! I just found out this guy is a graduate of my alma mater! He will be appearing on American Idol vote for Luke! Okay...gotta go. I'm off to park myself in front of AI. See ya!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

May I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life?

Thanks, eveyone, for your well wishes. I'm happy to report I'm feeling much better. The sun was shining yesterday, and we got out of the house after days of being cooped up. I think Caden appreciated it more than anyone. I hardly ever take him out because the weather is so awful most of the time! We stocked up on groceries and visited PetSmart with our dog, Ozzie. He doesn't play well with others, so we wanted to try to give him some practice in the socialization department. He especially enjoyed watching the other dogs playing together at Doggie Day Camp (a recent addition to our area store). Neveryoumind that he tossed his cookies right then and there in front of all the other dogs (how embarassing) and lifted his leg on the cat litter. And then there was the clean up in aisle 4 which required one of those little "oops" bags. I think the excitement was just a wee bit much for our furry little friend.

And then, last night, I escorted Cody to his first mother-son dance. Now, I need to back up and tell you that for the last month, I've been asking him if he wanted to go. He kept saying no. Of course, as his potential date, I was heartbroken to think that he didn't want to go with me, but I tried not to push the issue. At 6:15, THE NIGHT OF THE DANCE, we were still going back and forth about it. I had heard from the other moms that it's a blast, and that we just had to go, and so I tried to convince him it would be fun.

I mean, really. What six-year old wouldn't want to do the Macarena with his mother?

I finally guilted him...oops, I mean convinced go, and together we walked out the door. Unfortunately, the camera battery charger has gone lost, and we have no pictures. Well, we have the polaroid they gave us as our parting gift.

And memories of winning 2nd place in the twisting contest.

Good heavens, my mother (the dance teacher) would be so ashamed. We totally deserved the grand prize.

In all seriousness, we truly did have a blast, and we danced for two solid hours. Okay, I take that back. I did most of the dancing while Cody played air guitar and did knee slides and "the worm" with his buddies. There were a few of us moms who stayed out there the whole time. I'm always game for the electric slide! I'm happy to report that Cody has thanked me all day for taking him to his first dance.

It is truly I who should be thanking him, for when I held that little guy in my arms as we swayed to "I Hope You Dance," I secretly wished he'd stay that little forever and always think it's cool to dance with his mom.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Take A Vacation....From My Problems

Have you ever seen "What About Bob?" Remember the part where Dr. Leo Marvin prescribes the perfect medicine for Bob? He tells him to take a vacation from his problems.

So, yes. That's what I need to do. If I can't go to the Bahamas, then I'll just take a vacation from my problems.

'Cuz that's realistic.

Anyway, It's been quite a rough couple of weeks, and now I'm down with the flu. There's nothing like taking care of a toddler when you can't really hold your head up and the room spins everytime you try. Not to mention the whole, you know, motherhood responsibility thing. Those diapers won't change themselves. And unfortunately, he doesn't know how to make his own PB&J.

And now I shall take baby steps into the living room where said toddler is watching "Blues Clues." For the fifth time today. And it's only 9 a.m.

OY. Mother said there'd be days like this.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Picasso

WHAT? Can't you see I'm busy here?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And the Truth...It Shall Set You Free

Tonight we were winding down before bed. We were reviewing our Awana verses and one that was introduced this week is Proverbs 12:22: The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful. I paused to explain what the verse meant, but he needed no help. He knew right away what we were talking about and proceeded to use an example straight out of his day to let me know he got it.

He told me that he and a friend of his were playing together at the end of the day. When their teacher told them it was time to clean up, his buddy started to push the pieces of the game under some papers. He told Cody that their teacher would never know about it if they hid them there. Cody responded, "But God sees! God would know that we tried to hide our mess, and that's what matters the most!"

I was so proud that, in the midst of what had to be a bit of an internal struggle, Cody chose the right way. And in the process, he testified to another child about what God cares about! I gave him a high five after that and told him I was real proud of him for taking a stand and doing what was right, not just in mommy and daddy's eyes, but in God's. And I told him about that verse in 1 Timothy 4:12 that says, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."

Furthermore, I was reminded (again) that we MUST keep talking to our kids. We must keep the lines of communication open, as well as God's Word, so that these conversations can even take place. One of the hardest things about having a six year-old in school all day is that I don't see what's going on. As hard as I try to be involved in what goes on there, I simply cannot control what's going on, who he's talking to, what he's saying, or how he's being influenced.

What I can do is pray. And pray some more. And look for opportunities to keep the lines of communication open so that we can discuss these moments and the ones that may not end as "pretty" as today's did. And pray some more.

And have hope that the next time, he'll do the next right thing. (Thanks, Papa Dean, for teaching me the importance of that!!! I love you.)

Ironically, I'm currently reading a book called, "For Parents Only" by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice. It's actually written for parents who are dealing with tween/teenagers, but oh my lands, I have found it to be pertinent NOW before we head into those tumultuous years. Check it out. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, February 11, 2008

If Happy Little Bluebirds Fly...

I have those familiar words to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" running through my head. I have no idea why. Perhaps I'm just feeling a little overwhelmed by life and am wishing I was a happy little bluebird flying beyond the rainbow.

My MIL is still in the hospital and it's been a bit of a bumpy ride. It's hard not being there to monitor all that's going on, as she's been telling us that her care has been....well....less than satisfactory. We were told by the surgeon today that the hospital has experienced some major cutbacks and now they find themselves understaffed. We've heard rave reviews about this particular hospital, but truthfully, I have no idea what all the hype is about. They're simply NOT doing a very good job.

Besides obvious things going on, there are little "undercurrents" of worry threatening to steal my joy. They're mostly little things, but they are, nonetheless, things I can't do anything about.

So, in the midst of circumstances I cannot control, I find myself being reminded that God watches over these things, and He doesn't always let us see what He's doing behind the scenes. In fact, most of the time, He doesn't allow us that privilege! Those of you that know my personality know that I don't "let go" well and have a tendency to want to control everything around me. I can't do that right now. These circumstances are truly not in my hands. They never were. But they are in HIS.

For now I'll trust in Him and remember that He alone can make my "troubles melt like lemondrops."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Go Read This!

If you are a fan of Beth Moore and haven't yet read this post, you simply must. Then come back here and tell me what you thought. Oh, to be the kind of mother that can express my heart to my children like this. This is one reason why I blog...

Hope you are blessed by what you read. I know I was.

Also notice Bible Gateway's verse for the day at the top of my page. How appropriate!

Saturday, February 09, 2008


I want to thank you all for your prayers for my MIL. She is doing much better. Jerry saw her again last night, and says she looks good and is gradually improving every day. This is great news! The docs expect her to be in the hospital another week or so, but once home, she's going to need a lot of help. Thankfully, one of Jerry's aunts is coming down to help out, and we're grateful for that. Her recovery from there will take about a month, and again, that's something we were told and had expected.

This past week has been a faith-builder for all of us, and a reminder that we are loved and cherished by God and by our friends and family. We've had so many phone calls with great concern for how we all are, prayers spoken all across the country for her, and support in the midst of these challenging few days. It's been a wonderful blessing, and we thank you.

“ We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.” (2 Thessalonians 1:3)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Thanks so much, everyone, for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes for my mother-in-law. It's been a whirlwind couple of days, and I'm tired, but I wanted to update you on what is going on.

At 10:30 a.m. this morning, one hour later than we'd hoped, we braved the blizzard outside, and headed to the hospital to see my MIL. She was in pretty good spirits, and we were able to share some scripture with her, pray over her, and see her off to the OR.

At 2 p.m., she was taken in after all the prep, and surgery began. At 5:15, we were updated and told that she was holding up well, but that it was taking a long time to clear out the problem areas. We expected things to take 4-5 hours, but it is now 8:30 p.m. and she has finally come out. The poor surgeon was having back spasms the last hour he was working on her, but in the end, everything went really well. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. There was massive infection in the area they were working on, and they ended up having to remove a portion of her colon. The recovery will be intense, and she's going to need lots of help for a while. Please pray that these next 24-48 hours go well...this is a critical time, and as the surgeon stated tonight, "I'm not gonna sugarcoat this...we are not out of the woods yet."

Thanks again for your prayers and support. I will update again soon from my home, where there is currently 14 inches of snow. Yes. I said 14.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Your Prayers Needed

Please pray for my mother-in-law. She is in the hospital, and she's awaiting word from the doctors about whether or not she needs surgery. She has had multiple abdominal surgeries, and there is concern about doing another one (her last one was three years ago, and they told her then that it would be dangerous to do another one). Obviously, we would all appreciate your prayers for her. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors, for peace for she and the family, and for healing. I'll update when I hear more. Thanks so much!

***Updated to add: Surgery is scheduled for 2 p.m. today. It will take 4-5 hours and is very involved. The doctors have found a massive infection in her abdomen both internally and externally, and they have to do surgery to remove the mesh and determine what else needs to be done. We are still awaiting lab results that should tell us the cause of the infection. We should know more once the surgery is complete. Again, we covet your prayers so much and we all thank you for praying. Please pray for the doctors to be thorough, discerning, and most of all, CAREFUL, as they work on her. Thanks so much.***

Monday, February 04, 2008


It is February 4th. It is currently 34 degrees. And it's storming. I was talking to my mom on the phone and saw a flash, but I thought it was just my eyes or the lights flickering. A few minutes later, another flash of lightning, followed by rumbling thunder.

SERIOUSLY. Who ordered this weather???

I think I'll just stay in my cozy little house and wait for the sun to come out. In June.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Because, Really, I Love Me Some Sugar Cookies

We're having our neighbors over for the Superbowl, just like we did last year. Only the Bears aren't playing this year. Nor are any other teams we care about. But still...any excuse to hang out with people you enjoy and eat yummy food are good enough reasons to throw a party!

Yesterday, for whatever reason, I was really in the mood to cook. And that's exactly what I did...all day long. Cody and I made valentine sugar cookies (because what Superbowl party doesn't just scream valentine cookies?), and I made a nice pasta dinner (a new copycat Olive Garden recipe I wanted to try). I'm happy to report it was very good! And you can tell me what you think of our cookies:
Here's my assistant:

Have I ever told you I own a Kitchen Aid, and that it's turned me into some sort of chef I hardly recognize? I LOVE this thing!
And this is what Caden did while we were slaving away in the kitchen:
Hope you all are having a great day. Go Giants! Or Patriots!

Friday, February 01, 2008


Tonight we had the blessing of being invited over to dinner with some friends who just recently bought their first home. They are so hospitable, and we love them to pieces. It still blows my mind that we are friends today, all because I taught their daughters when they were in high school. Today, those girls are both expecting her second child, and the next expecting her first baby in about a month. I honestly believe the Lord had me at that school so that I would have the blessing of knowing this wonderful family. They are precious people, full of wisdom that I try to soak in whenever I am with them. I just honestly and truly enjoy every single moment I get to spend with them.

Anyway...we were sitting at their dinner table tonight, and before we blessed the meal, they did something I had never seen them do before. We all took hands, bowed our heads and they began to sing the "Doxology."

I immediately began to tear up, as this song is so special to me. What a tender moment to share with them, and what a sweet God He is to give me that moment this very week. My heart has been heavy for many reasons, and I really needed the warmth of those hands and the sound of us all singing tonight to remind me that my God knows my heart, hears my cries, and longs for me to praise Him at ALL times. Even when it's hard. Even when I've been wronged. Even when I'M wrong. I need to praise Him continually.

So we closed our eyes and sang, "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen." God knew I needed to hear it. And more importantly, sing it.

I felt like I received a kiss from God tonight. I felt in my spirit that He was saying, "I love you, my child. You are mine, I am yours. You just keep praising me, even when it's hard, and I will walk beside you all the way."

Don't you just love that God keeps His promises? I, for one, will sleep better tonight as I keep that thought at the forefront of my mind.

Praise Him, all creatures here below!