Wednesday, December 5

"Seeing isn't believing, Believing is Seeing"

I love Christmas. The lights, the presents, the tree, the pageants, the Nativity sets all around town. But what I love most has nothing to do with the tangible but the Spirit and the Remembrance of why we celebrate. So many get caught up in the 'legalities' of the birth, or dismiss it altogether in favor of the Santa theories. For me, all that matters is what goes on in my heart and family. The heart that is allowed to become more transparent with love as we give gifts to say "I love you, you are a gift to me". It's not about what we hold, buy, share, give or receive it's the intangibles that we share, give or receive. It's in the ways we love each other, are more giving to each other, more generous with not only our money but our time and our smiles of good will.
In the light of the tree, with the fire going in the fireplace and the soft tones of "O Holy Night" I celebrate the greatest gift given to us. The gift of life, love and hope!
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. " (Heb. 11:1)

quote in title: Judy the Elf, The Santa Clause

Monday, December 3


litle 2007 019
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

My littlest one, Christi, has always been a bit of timid one. She hates the big rat @ Chuck E Cheese. She has always been terrified that we would take her to Disney World and make her meet the big Minnie and Mickey. She has never, ever wanted to see Santa, Easter Bunny and even had it worked out that her brother would put her teeth, if she were ever to lose one, under his pillow to spare her the possibility of meeting the Tooth Fairy. But this year?
"Mama, I think I want to go see Santa, I'm not scared."
So, off we headed on Sunday afternoon to meet the Jolly Old Elf himself. Now, we are not huge proponents of the Santa fellow, but we do like to play the game with our kids....and I've always been a sucker for the Santa picture.
While standing in line we met a cute couple of girls were were also waiting to see Santa. One 14, the other a bit younger, but I'm not sure how old. They were sweet and visited with my Christi and Ryan while waiting for Santa to return from his break (someone has to feed the reindeer after all). In years past, we would often just take our own cameras and take a quick picture of whomever was willing to sit with Santa...after all the pictures have always been a bit on the pricey side.
Last year they posted a sign that read "Minimum purchase required to use personal camera for Santa visit." What!!! They had a nice lady inform me that I could purchase the photo CD for $5 and still then I could take as many pictures as I wanted. Deal!
This year? The same sign was posted, but the rules had changed. You had to spend at least $20 for anything to take photos. Gulp! I know, $20 isn't a bunch of money in the grand scheme of things, but come on! It's Christmas, gas prices are higher and there are people out there who would love a photo of their kids with Santa but the $20 is a deal breaker for them.
While talking to the lovely young ladies behind me and their equally nice mom, I decided that I would purchase the photo, since this was our first time to officially have Christi sit on Santa's lap and I would also take a few photos of the other two gals for their mom...sort of as a Christmas present (though it be small) to share the Christmas spirit. I did end up telling the helper elf that I was speaking to that my minimum purchase was going to cover these girls too, so I could take their picture. She winked, said go for it and away I snapped.
After procuring the email address of my new friends I read it, smiled over the clever email address and promptly put it in my jeans pocket. A few days later I realized the mess that had been all over the inside of the dryer had been the address of this family. Groan! I had forgotten to take the slip of paper out of the jeans before I washed them. Amazingly, the email address came to me (which anyone who really knows me will see the miracle of memory is terrible) and I was able to send the pictures on to them today. Merry Christmas to my new friends!

The sweetest part of that day? As Santa came up before sitting on his throne he walked through the line giving "high fives" and hand shakes. As he came to Christi she took a deep breath, high-fived him, and smiled. As he walked on she pulled me down to her and told me "Mama! You made me brave!" (misty eyed mama was so proud)

Tuesday, November 13

Dreams are lived here

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

I went looking for my ideals outside myself and discovered it's not what the world holds for you, but what you bring to it. The dreams dearest to my heart are right here. Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables, The Sequel

While working on some of the photos from a recent photo shoot I came across the quote above and thought that it so perfectly describes what many of us feel about home. So I decided to go outside with my camera and take a photo of my dream world.

Monday, November 12

The Princess is In!

"I am a princess.

All girls are.

Even if they live in tiny old attics.

Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart or young.

They're still princesses.

All of us. "

Sara Crewe, A Little Princess

This weekend my youngest, Christi, went to a birthday party where all the little girls made tiara's, put on a lacy tutu's, festooned themselves in feather boas and then dances to "princess music". The girls, being normal 4/5 year old girls, giggled and strutted, glancing at themselves over and over in tiny mirrors placed around the room. They were thrilled to each be a princesses.

I think all women, having their little princess hearts still within their souls, still like to feel like a princess. When we are sitting at home in our old ratty shorts vacuuming the floors or wiping the baby's nose with the hem of our stained t-shirts we are still yet longing for out tiaras and wondering if our prince is ever going to ask us to dance again. The day we sit down in a pedicure chair and have someone make our toes look pretty we get a glimpse of the royal treatment. A trip to get a massage lends itself to pampering feelings. Putting on a silky dress (or blouse) awakens our bodies to luxurious fabrics, eliciting a shiver of anticipation of what's to come. Within each one of us is a princess, whether or not we can see and feel the tiara upon our heads.

To all Your Royal Majesties: Treat yourself to one princess treat today/ is your duty.

Wednesday, November 7

Ahhhhhhh Fall

I love the Autumn season, I mean I really really really love it. The leaves and the nip in the air. I am autumnal at heart. There's something that just gets my heart and soul going when it approaches Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the attitudes of the people in the community throughout the season. I like the clothes that I get to wear around the holidays and the cute socks that adorn my children's feet. This past Sunday, accompanied by Jean 2, I purchased my outfit for my husband's Christmas party. Happy Fall Ya'll!

Tuesday, October 30

Embracing my family

Yesterday my older daughter met me at the door after school to share some news with me, it was not happy news.
"Mom", she said, "Alex P. died this weekend. They sent a note around to all the students. There's a visitation on Thursday. I knew you'd want to know".

I was stunned. I have been talking to his mom weekly for over a year now, his little sister has had gymnastics the same day as Christi and we would sit and talk and laugh and she'd share details about Alex's progress. The last time we had talked he was coming home from the hospital because they had finally adjusted his meds to help him. You see, he had a type of cancer that affected his kidneys, requiring a kidney transplant in 4th grade and again last summer as he was finishing 7th grade. He remained in the hospital the required 10 weeks and then was able to come home. A month and a half ago he was returned to the hospital because he was having trouble keeping food down, but they felt like it was just a medicine issue. After all this, they found out that he needed a bone marrow transplant, but a match was never found. He died Saturday.

I sat around all day yesterday and last night with a broken heart for his family. Alex was adored. He had lead a tough life and in the process became a heroic and strong boy. I am still sad for his family, for hopes dashed, dreams unfulfilled and life left unlived....but the joy of Alex now as he enters the continual presence of the One who made him, who welcomed him with open arms and now cradles this perfectly healthy spirit. I know it will be a long road for this family for healing, but am committed to helping with as much as possible, even if it's only to sit by their side and be silent.

As I thought about their loss, I held my children a little tighter and thanked God for their health, for a blessed life and prayed for us to have many more years in this life that I so love.

Saturday, October 27

She's got spirit

I've got spirit yes I do.
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Niki has joined the Spirit Squad, a must if you want to have a chance to try out for cheerleader in the spring. Niki has decided that she wants to try out. Niki left a recent game with a proud smile on her face, she had won the spirit stick giving her the priviledge of taking the stick home to decorate and return to school.

Wednesday, October 10


Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Well first games are out of the way...the kids had a good time and so did I! The Coyotes (1st/2nd grade team I'm coaching) played really well, especially for a team that is half experienced and the other half first timers. The Dragonflies (Christi's team, 4&5 year olds) played a spirited game of "run that way". Everyone once in a while, someone would get in a kick and head off after the ball. It was so cute. Christi got in a couple of good kicks, and ran quiet gracefully. Her main objective is to run without messing up her ponytail. On to game #2 on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 9

It all adds up

photos from iphone 041
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Christi has been loving doing her little learning books. She loves the math the most, but also loves the letters and patterns. She usually brings in one of her activities to do while I'm getting myself ready for the day (after the other kids have left for school) It is a fun time for her, and I get to put on my makeup without needing to share my lipstick...most of the time. :)

Thursday, October 4

Set this circus down

photos from iphone 004
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This past weekend, as Husband and I were driving to lunch, we noticed a huge tent set up in the parking lot of our closest mall. It intrigued me, so when I found out it was a small circus I decided to give it a try. My oldest two kids had been to the circus before, but the younger two had was high time they saw elephants and trapeze artists and dog doing the cha-cha.
It was a very nice circus, perfect for first timers! My son started out being afraid of clowns (common fear I'm told) but I convinced him to ask for Holy Spirit to help him overcome his fear so he could have this fun experience. He took a few minutes, a deep breath and then started walking. He started out by looking directly at a clown. I told him to focus on the fact that he could tell it was just a man or woman wearing a lot of make-up. I told him to focus on the nose, eyes, ears....the same features that we all have. After he was able to do that, he smiled a little then waved tentatively. The clown guy waved back and smiled. We were then able to walk on into the tent and find our seats. We watched the stunts done with amazement, we clapped when the poodles all stood with their front paws on the backs of the poodle in front and danced the cha-cha and when the elephants did their balancing acts, it pleased all. After an elephant ride for one child and a pony ride for another, we walked out to the van. My son looked at me and said "Thank you Mom for forcing me to go in the tent. It was the best show ever!" I laughed. I reminded him that I did not force him but encouraged him, and then I said "you're welcome!". Christi proclaimed it the "best day ever" and the older two loved sharing this event with the younger two. What a great memory.

Wednesday, October 3

Ryan's dragon

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This pic goes with the post "Hold your Horses".

Hold your horses

photos from iphone 053
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Life has been going really well lately, just a bit busy. I love it, I truly do! This is my favorite time of year, school going on a regular schedule, fall craft festivals have started, pumpkin patches have opened and fall soccer games start this Saturday. But I have had to make adjustments in my time allotments to make room for the life going on around us.
One of these adjustments has been finding ways to spend time together as a family without making it a crazy day. Dinner is one of those times, but since I have no desire to cook I have found my list of places where kids eat free invaluable. Tuesdays are our favorite nights....McAlister's has kids eat free night (two per paying adult). This month they have this wonderful lady doing free face painting. We had such a good time watching FacePainter do her magic, all in a matter of minutes. It was amazing, we stayed for an hour watching, getting something cool and enjoying a great healthy dinner.

Monday, September 24

too exhausted to use the shift key to capitalize

life is going full steam ahead. kids are in school, loving it, but busy. Niki is in the pep squad, i think she has found her calling. :) Bria got to march with the high school band on Friday, she had a great time (I'll try to get pictures of these events uploaded soon) and tonight....well tonight started a whole new phase of my mothering years. i am coaching my son's soccer team. yep. me. i think i am more tired than i have been in awhile. I'll be sure to get some pics of that as well, since some of you may have a hard time believing that i am coaching.
much love to all of you, I'll try to be more on top of things tomorrow. (bonus, spell check capitalized some of my words for you.)

Wednesday, September 19

Silly, Chilly, Hilly-Billy

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Last night, while the older two girls went to their schools football game, the younger two and I went to Culvers for some dinner. I had actually planned on going to a "kids eat free place" since it would be so much cheaper, but I was weak-willed and let them talk me into Culvers. They love going to the free custard they get when they finish their meal, I love that they share with me. Bonus...they have great fries!
Once the sugar from the frozen custard kicked in, the two little ones were very content for me to take pictures of them making silly faces...this one is my favorite.

Monday, September 17

And now, a few words about my son

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

**editing to remove typos...blaming them on the thumb!**

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to another episode of "My son, My heart!" When we left last time you had just learned that Ryan had turned 8 years old. There was a thumb incident that left Momma unable to detail his greatness. Today, we pick up the story.

The weekend before the big birthday our church body had a Pastor's
Appreciation Picnic, an annual event that happens to be the exact place that Ryan, when still in -utero, decided to break forth with so much praise that my water broke standing in front of about 15 people, give or take a few. So to say that Ryan loves this annual event is an understatement. He looks forward to it as much as Christmas. This year, he was particularly excited. I wrote it off to what I call "birthday glitter"...that time before the actual birthday that the child practically sparkles with excitement.
Upon arriving, our tradition is to mingle, give our pastors cards that try to express our appreciation for unyielding service to our church body and, after a prayer of blessing is said over the food, we get in line for the food. (I know this is a lot of detail, but it's necessary for the story I am laying before you) After loading plates, Ryan and I went to the drink station where Liz and Sherri, two women from our church body, were serving drinks (we all have job shifts for fairness). My son was so sweet and said "Thank you for making my drink for me...have a good day!" and went on his merry way. I was glowing with pride for his manners and smiled, thanked my friends and went on. Later, when I approached the drink station for a refill, my son was there again, this time giving them a small plate of what looked to be leftover food. My smile of pride from earlier was replaced with sternness.
Me: "Ryan, they are not responsible for your plate." He looked at me strange,
Ryan: "That's OK." and walked away.
The momma in me opened my mouth for a quick rebuke, but was stopped, mouth open, by Sherri.
Sherri: "You don't understand. He brought that food for us. He wanted to make sure that we get something to eat since we are in here serving. He brought it to be nice."
I was amazed. They were amazed. They had thought that I had sent him over to do it to be nice since a couple of years ago they had actually missed out on a lot of the food because they had been serving drinks that time too. They thought I knew it and sent him to take the food. I had no idea and just stood there stunned. Later I was stopped by one of the elders in my church...He had taken her food as well. Still later, he went and took dessert to the women he had served, making sure that they had what they needed. That night, when I told my husband about the servants heart that my son had displayed I cried. Not tears of ungodly pride, but tears of humility. My son had the courage to be gracious and serve without need for reciprocation.

That following Monday, Grandma called. She told him that she hadn't had a chance to get him his gift yet, that it would be late. To which he responded. "I do not need anything Grandma, just your love." And he meant it. It flowed through my heart like honey, watered my soul like a quiet rain. I saw him for the first time as not just a little boy, but as someone who was well on his way to be a Godly man, a joyful giver and heart sensitive to the Lord's leading.

It was his birthday, but I feel like I received that most precious gifts this year!

Tuesday, September 11

Happy Birthday, Son

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Today is my only son's birthday...I know he will spend a lifetime hearing "Oh, your birthday is September 11th? That's so sad." But to him and us, although we do remember that day with extreme sadness, we also have great joy associated with that day. He is the sweetest, most giving boy...he makes my heart so glad to know that I get the privilege of being his mom. I have some stories I will be writing soon about him to demonstrate his heart...but it will sadly have to wait until I am able to type a little better. (short story: thumb on dominate hand...van door smashed shut on it from a gust of wind..had to pry van door open to release thumb. It's not broken, but it is making life [and typing] more difficult.)
Blessings on your day.

Monday, September 10

He's on a roll!

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

My husband is one for surprises. He doesn't like to receive them as much as he likes to give them. He's the one one who gave me three years worth of surprise birthday parties. He's the one who plans get-a-ways for the two of us, he's the one who bought me a necklace and smuggled it in my sister's suitcase to Mexico to give to me on our first dress up dinner night. He is good at surprises. Last night he gave me a great surprise. He decided to learn how to make sushi, since we both love it so much. He bought all the stuff, found out how to make my favorite combinations and he spent two hours preparing, cutting, assembling and arranging these yummy plates of sushi for our dinner. He amazes me at each turn of our lives.

Thursday, September 6


Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Yesterday, while waiting for school to start Christi and I had a few minutes to visit with one another about life and playgrounds. She informed me that she likes the playground because it has a lot of different things to can slide, climb, swing, dig, run and jump. "It makes playing more funner", she said. I asked her which activity she liked best. "Hmm", she said, "I guess it's the one where you're having fun." Good point!

As adult, we often find pleasure in certain things and a deep dislike in others. Not because they are terrible things, just because of our attitude involved in them. I tend to dislike grocery shopping and cooking. But...when Jean 2 meets me @ W*lmart for groceries I have a good time, probably too much of a good time since it takes three hours instead of one. And cooking. Well, if Jean 3 is in the kitchen with me to talk to and with which to visit, it's suddenly fun. It's not the task, it's the company that changes the task. I've not tried this theory yet with toilet scrubbing...but I have a sneaking suspicion that it would apply here as well.

Podcasts are becoming my ready companions for my mundane or less joyful's like carrying my friends in my earphones, helping me to laugh through the day and hum a tune while I work. Nothing gets the ironing done faster than a bit of Ron Kenoly praise music or floors mopped more thoroughly than Casting Crowns.

Tuesday, September 4

Behold the Pillow of Truth

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Spur of the moment. On a whim. Spontaneous departure. Getting the Heck out of Dodge. Whatever one calls it, Mommy's need time to just be. Be who they are when they are not with their kids. Be who they are when they are not caring for their homes. Be who they are when they are not ironing clothes for their husbands. Be who they are when the kids are grown and out of the house. Be who they are, Period. As a mom, until last year, I had fallen into the belief that who I was had been engulfed and absorbed by my husband and children, that I no longer had my own separate identity. I'm not trashing on my family. OH NO! I cherish my husband and children beyond words. I would not trade one day that I have had with them (although I would maybe try for a trade on some of those "flu and strep throat days) nor do I wish for a different life, I am very content. But there are days when it is easy to allow oneself to lose sight of who it is that God Not self-centered looking, but inward looking. When I had lost sight of that, I had stopped growing, changing, becoming a new creation. I was more focused on helping my children be who they were created to be, more focused on supporting my husband as he was doing and being who he was created to be....but myself, no. It's not to say that God had discontinued to speak to me, or that I had no direction in life, but I had lost sight of the fact that someday down a fairly short path, I was going to emerge as a person who no longer had the responsibilities of raising my children. Who would I be without that calling? How mature could I be if I had not been growing?
As I pondered these questions and re-read a couple of chapters in "Purpose Driven Life" I found that my purposes had lost definition. I was only living up to a few of the callings I had been given in my life. I was a loving wife, I was a giving mother, I was a caring friend, I was a productive part of our church body, I belonged to PTA and MOPS, I did A LOT OF STUFF. But, I was not feeding my spirit, allowing myself to relax, I was tying myself up in knots with my roles.
Last year, two of my best friends and I were blessed to take the trip of our dreams. We left behind all for one week and just lived. We talked, we discussed, we grew. It refreshed my spirit, my soul, my life. My husband said I came back a better me than I had ever been. Since that time, I've found that my heart had been yearning for that type of release, but I had denied it out of a presumed obligation to denying myself for the sake of the family. It brought the three of us (Jean 2 and Jean 3 and myself) closer...not just to each other, but to our families. It created a spout for all that stored up emotion, relieved all the emotional knots.
This past Saturday Jean 3 called and said "Jean 2 says she's in a funk. I told her what she needed was for her to kidnap you and meet me in Kansas City for a night." My spirit leaped. I was immediately on board, I just needed to run it by my spouse. His response "Sure, why not?" Just that easy. We three Jeans talked through 3-way calling and made our plans. We drove up, found a hotel, went for some retail therapy and then spent the rest of the night talking. The kind of talking that gets on deep levels, that deals with real issues and vaporizes tensions.
We headed home the next day fueled for life, energized for our families and refreshed in our spirits, and ideas of where we will go next year.

Saturday, September 1

Goodness Sakes, enough papers already!

Rated G
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

I have spent much of my time the last week and a half writing. If I were working on a deadline for a novel, I think I would have been able to contribute about 15 chapters in the last few days. But alas, I was filling out school forms. With four children in the school system I have filled out forms for each of the children that gives them the permissions, information, documentation, and maybe even the password to my ATM card. This is not my first experience with this onslaught, so I have developed some tried and true practices to help with the writers cramp.
1. Fill out the paper work minus the name and date and photocopy the paper, put this photocopy in a file. Why? Because you will get these same forms next year and in multiples if you have more than one child in school. If you have a copy on hand, provided you haven't changed their name or address from one year to the next, you can just print out a copy and fill in the name and date and send the form out the door. It's also the time saver if you happen to get a phone call or note home that says "Mrs. Blogger Queen, we didn't get little Blogglet's form, could you please fill it out again and send it in?" HIT PRINT AND BE DONE WITH IT.
2. Go through all backpacks, lunch bags, binders, Walmart bags (or whatever else your child uses to transport papers) and sort all papers into piles of "Return to School", "Save for Posterity" and "File 13". All File 13 papers go directly into the trash/recycle bins. Have your child take the "Save for Posterity" papers and put them into your saving place. My kids have bank boxes that hold file folders personalized with their names on it. That give you a smaller pile of paper with which you must deal. Sign all field trip, enclose lunch money and such and return them immediately to the more forgotten items. Anything that can be filled out at leisure can be saved for the car line to relieve boredom and gives you the opportunity to concentrate on it while you wait your turn to pick up your darling....just be sure to put these forms into the backpack when you are dropping them off the next morning.
3. Do not feel like you need to keep everything that your darling creates. Trust me, you will get many, many, many items that you will feel compelled to keep. Let your child pick one favorite paper a week. At the end of the year you can go through and save the ten favorite items and a writing sample from the first of the year and the last of the year to show progression and development.

As my mind allows me to draw a deep breath on this long weekend, I wish a restful goodnight. :)

Friday, August 31

This river must flow

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

In my life I have songs that I have sung for so many years that I sing them without thought..they just kind of fly from my lips, sometimes in tune, sometimes not so much. As of late I've begun to focus on the songs I am singing, listening to words that have long lost their conviction and just become a part of rote vocalizations. This past Wednesday I was standing in the church service singing along with everyone else when Holy Spirit nudged my spirit and focused me in on the words I had been singing but not really meaning.
"Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You're my God.
You're all together worthy , all together lovely, all together wonderful to me."

And then I couldn't sing anymore, I couldn't get the words to come out around the lump in my throat. My focus up to that point, to be completely honest, had been "whew, we made it on time to church". But once the words hit my spirit, I realized that the reason I was in that exact seat at that exact moment was to worship. to bow my heart, to proclaim God as my God....because He is worthy, lovely and wonderful to me.
As the week as progressed this song has come to me again and I sit on the couch (why am I here? To Worship), as I pray with my kids (why am I here? To bow down my heart), as I sit down to write at my laptop (why am I here? To say that God is my God). I am able to go through my days because God is wonderful and lovely to me by blessing me with this family and life, for no other reason than because He is God.

Thursday, August 30

Bria's Photoshoot

jen for photo shoot
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

My oldest, Bria, is now in 8th grade. I know! I can't believe it either...I remember starting 8th grade. It's the year I started wearing make-up, the year I moved to Smalltown Missouri where I eventually met Jean 2. It's when I began to fill out and started looking like a young lady and less like a little girl. So.....Here's Bria at this milestone. She's singing in a band for our church's Friday night youth hangout. She's wearing make-up. She's taking algebra and plays the flute. She's growing up.

Honey Heaven

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Yesterday Christi and I had a "special girls day". She decided that we both needed to wear pink from morning to night. She decided that we MUST start the day with a tea party. She decided that we MUST paint our nails (pink of course]. She decided that we then needed to eat marshmallows and drink pink "tea". After following all her play cues, and even saying all the lines she wanted me to say in response to her "tea talk"....I said "Hey, let's go to lunch at a tea room." She agreed and here is a picture of her with her pink lemonade tea, her honey mustard honey drizzled chips and a beautiful smile. :)

Monday, August 27

replacement photo for post

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

My photo for the previous post disappeared, so this one is the replacement. :)

Saturday, August 25

Manic Mommies

Well, as most of you know, I am addicted to my iphone. And my laptop. And my Internet. And now.....Podcasts. Yesterday I was stumbling around itunes looking for new things to download. Here I found Manic Mommies podcasts. I clicked on it to just give it a try and found myself laughing so much, backing it up to listen to something again and realized...these ladies are so much like ME! I downloaded a full episode to listen to while I was cooking...and then I ran back to the laptop to download another episode...and then I went to "bed early" so I could listen without the kids making feel guilty for not paying attention to what they were saying. Now...I have found myself downloading 15 episodes, listening to the other 45 episodes...even listening to one of the episodes while I blog about it. Give it a listen and I think you'll get an idea of what it would sound like if Jean 2 and I had our own podcast. :)

Wednesday, August 22

Ortho you said

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Well, Bria had her consult today for possible braces. We went in thinking that she would be a slam dunk kind of case. They would look in her mouth, see that she'd been wearing a retainer for a year and a half and say "Well, it's not going to be much work for me here." INSTEAD...."Hmm, I don't remember what Nicki's teeth looked like exactly, but I would have to say that this mouth is in worse shape then hers!" Stunned silence. Shock. Then "Huh? What do you mean?" Well, short story:
overbite (check)
+open bite (check)
+crowding (check)
+excessive wear on back teeth (check)
+rotated teeth (check)
+ removal needed of at least four permanent teeth (check)
= a very large check!

Fortunately, we understand that God pays for what He we are at peace with this knowledge, although we will be watering our money tree a little more frequently. :)
Blessings on your day!

Monday, August 20

I'm thirsty anyway.....

I'm thirsty anyway
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

So bring on the rain. (Jo Dee Messina song #6 but you might want to ignore the background picture on this site. ;) )

After countless days of 100+ degree weather, drought-like conditions, moving sprinklers around the yard like clockwork and taking refuge in any air-conditioned's raining! And 76 degrees. Yippee! Our yard is drinking greedily, the flowers out front are springing to life and I am finally going to get to wear my favorite jeans today. And while I sympathize with those of you dealing with Hurricane Dean, I am also grateful for the break in weather we are getting.
Happy Monday to all of you!

Friday, August 17

Brrrrrrr, it's Frosty in here

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

We've been working overtime these last few weeks to keep our bodies cool, which in turn keeps our tempers cool. With a long string of 100+ degree days we've gone to many lengths to find cool air that does not make our utility bills over $1000. Yesterday we decided to store hop. We would go from one place to another to take as long as humanly possible (but not long enough for the store managers to think we were casing the place for a future hiest) and picking up items to throughly inspect, reading the entire book jackets, purusing the full line of available cds. After a few hours of this, we headed to Wendy's for a Frosty. It was great. Now, I'm off with hubby to take our youngest two for a few hours of trout fishing, Yippee! (There had better be another Frosty in my near future.)

Tuesday, August 14

Christi's masterpiece

Christi's masterpiece
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Today I took Bria and Nicki for back-to-school haircuts. While waiting Christi and Ryan played tic tac toe and a version of the dot game. After a time Christi walked up to me and said "I'm going to draw a picture of you and Levi". Levi is our long hair mini daschund. I think she nailed it! :)

Sunday, August 12

Just a-swingin'

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Christi is in the throes of learning how to "push and pump" to make her swing go higher and higher. She has worked, and worked and worked, to get herself to the stage of being able to swing "really high". To document this, she called to me and said, "Take a picture Mommy so I can see how close I get to the clouds!" I'd say she reached one...Cloud Nine!

Saturday, August 11

Shop til you drop? Uh, yeah!

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Thursday the kids and I took the visiting cousins to Branson Landing for a fun filled day of shopping and water front fun. We went on a day when everyone told us "You're crazy! It's supposed to be so hot!" But once we got there, it being so close to the water, it was actually a fairly perfect day with moments of cool breezes and water splashes. Everyone had a such a good time, finally heading home just after


Friday, August 10

Iconic custard

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Every area or town, depending on size, has one place that locals know is the BEST. Whether it's seafood, barbque ribs hambugers or frozen custard, the locals will know it well and visit it often. Our area has Andy's Frozen Custard. THE. BEST. EVER. When we have family or friends come to visit, it is THE place to go. We usually save it as a nightcap to a full day, knowing full well that it is going to make everyone very happy.

This week, my husband's nieces have been visiting us for the first time without parents or grandparents. We have gone to the movies twice, went shopping yesterday, they have stayed up late playing Monopoly and talking and such. It was finally time to take the cousins to visit Andy's so we made it part of the planning for Wednesday night after church. This, in and of itself is a treat, since when school starts back we have to rush home from church and go to bed so we can wake up in time for school mornings...but summer gives us that leaway to stay out a little later and have a little bit of frozen manna custard.
Come visit sometime, we'll take you too!

Wednesday, August 8

Bringing them Home...

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This post is about a friend of mine of many years and a newer "blog-acquaintance", his wife. Kevin and Candace are in the midst of enlarging their tent" (Is. 54:2 ""Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not"). They, along with their five children are in the midst of adoption processes for bringing home three children from Liberia. This is a section of their blog that I am going to link you to later in this post.

"We are the Stewart family and we are in the process of bringing our three adopted children home from Liberia (West Africa). Fannie (age 6), Charles (age 5), and Giftee (age 4) are siblings whose father was killed in the summer of 2003, at the very end of the 14-year civil war which destroyed much of Liberia. Their mother continued to care for them the best she could, but because of extreme poverty and deteriorating health, she severed her parental rights and left them in the care of a Liberian orphanage in December 2006. Our hearts’ desire has been to keep these three little ones together and to provide them with a loving home and family. We received our referral for their adoption in January and their adoption was finalized in May. Their passports were received in July and now we just wait for clearance to travel from the US Embassy in Liberia. We hope to have them home by the end of August or early September.

I have been following and praying for this family for the process once I reconnected with Kevin earlier this year. They have been through the process of raising funds, jumping through the hoops of adoption requirements and are legally the parents of Fannie, Charles and Giftee...just waiting now for clearance to travel and they can bring them home to meet their five brothers and sisters.

I am someone who believes very strongly about the power of prayer and the spirit of agreement, so I am calling upon each of you who happen by to intercede for this family, for the three children who are waiting to come home and five children stateside who are waiting to finally meet their new siblings. I ask you to pray for the authorities in charge to submit to The Authority in charge, giving the "go ahead" to travel and bring them home. I ask you to visit the site here ( that gives you an opportunity to donate one dollar toward their journey.

To read more about this, visit their site :

Tuesday, August 7

How hot is it?

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Well, it's so hot we have been finding "inside" things to spending three and a half hours at our Incredible Pizza playing games, eating lunch, drinking sodas and playing games. Two of the cousins are in town for the week, that's them in the foreground. The girls are having fun together staying up late, giggling late into the night and helping each other pick out their clothes for the day. Tomorrow we are going to go watch Ratatouille, and another day we are going to the indoor swimming pool. At times like this I find myself so thankful for such things like air conditioning and computers (great for relieving boredom) and satellite television.

Few places of interest I've visited today.

  • Back To School Giveaway With Gymboree this site is giving a $250 gift card to my favorite children's store.
  • august 1st post. This is a blog I read daily and have already signed up for this project. It is a postcard swap. You have until Aug. 9th to sign up if you want to....the gist? Email her your address, she is going to compile lists and give you a list of 12 people to send a handmade postcard. It's about beginnings, it's about connection, it's about making our great big world just a little bit more friendly. Cool huh?
  • this is a digital scrapbook supplies site. I love this site (I go there OFTEN) because it not only sells digital items, but it also has freebies. They have sets of papers and embellishments that you use with your photoshop programs and other digital editing programs.
  • another digital scrapbook site...with even more free kits. Yea!

Well, that's all for now. I'll post my regular type of post later on today. Have fun surfing and hope you get some great free stuff. :)

Monday, August 6

Life is just a walk in the park.

Day at the park
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

My husband and I decided to take some special time with our youngest two while the older two were at youth group this past Sunday. Upon being asked what they would like to do they quickly requested that we "show Daddy our special park". Good idea!
While driving there our son and daughter began to fill him in on the favorite things about the park, the neat play equipment and the fact that they had really clean bathrooms. Husband laughed and said "I guess we'll have to check it all out."
Daddy did in fact like our "special park" very much. He pushed the kids on the swings, (even got on one of the swings with them) helped them use the teeter- totter and watched them climb on the jungle gym. I sat on the bench and watched. I took pictures. I savored the sight of a Daddy playing so joyfully with his children and felt so blessed to know that this is my partner in raising children.
We later drove over to our favorite pizza place where we spent over an hour just talking and laughing, enjoying the fellowship of love.
Thankfully we get chances to learn, grow and have fun...some days all we need to know is that life is just a walk in the park.

Thursday, August 2

Another bit of history

white barn and silo
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This barn and silo is positioned along one of the roads I like to drive to get to the nearest Godfather's Pizza. It took a few takes and a slow drive by shooting (camera speak, that is). As I was discussing my fascination with barns to my four year old she asked many questions about why barns were needed. I took some time to discuss with her why people used them, why they would need horses for more than riding for fun, why we don't have one. After a bit of talking, we sat down and watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie. When it was over, she looked at me and said "Let's get a barn! I think we need a horse!"

Sunday, July 29

Another barn

rock, wood, metal roof barn
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Just because it's so pretty. This barn sits just south of the school my two daughters attended in recent years. It is part of the original homestead that has now been taken over by the school, the church to it's west and the upcoming shopping area. It is so lovely. If you look at it closely, you can see that it was built lovingly by someone who appreciated the beauty of the rocks from the nearby river.

Saturday, July 28

The past in the present

aged barn
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

As you may remember, I have a fascination with barns. What is it about barns that draws my interest? Well, it's the history behind the barns that I find endearing. Barns were once the center of ones home. If a fire occurred, one hoped it would be the house instead of the barn since the barn houses the livelihood of the family, all the winter items needed, the transportation of the family, the seeds and equipment for food, crops and feed for animals. It was the single most important structure on the homestead. Barns were also the result of a community. They connected neighbor to neighbor, often raised during a workday. Men, women and children would work together to help one another. The barn, for the Amish, is the place were teenagers meet and court during "Singings", it also is often the place were a worship service will take place. The barn, such a part of our history is fast fading into the past. We, as a general rule, do not need the barns as much. We have garages, we have grocery stores, we have sheds...none of which I begrudge anyone (and of which I gladly partake) but there's something that tugs my heart when I drive past a barn that has obviously served a family throughout the years and protected that which they needed for survival.

Friday, July 27

co-sleeping with new baby

co sleeping with new baby
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of my electronic family. Her name is Iphone, but you can call her mine! :) LOL

I have always said that my darling husband gives the best gifts..and me being a geek...well that just means that the gifts have internal memory and internet access and communication abilities out the wazoo. The best part of the gift? My husband, who hates to shop, and hates running errands, went to three locations before he procured one this item and then hid it from me for twenty one days until our anniversary. Cuter still, he saved it until the very end of the night to give it to me since he knew I would immediately start "geeking out" (his words) as soon as I got it and he wanted to make sure that he got some (uh, cough, uh-hum) "attention" before he lost me. Smart, smart man!
Blessings on your day!

Tuesday, July 24

Tagged. I'm it!

I've been tagged by Laurie at Learning Life Through Unschooling to list 8 random things about me. It's taken me a bit to come up with 8 actual things about me that are both random and true. :) So here goes....

1. I used to have a major dislike for my feet. I hated for anyone to see them and was always afraid that they were stinky. I'm obviously over that now though, with my penchant for pedicures.

2. I like to read. A LOT. I find myself drawn to historical fiction most times, where I completely lose track of time. I have found that it is actually four a.m. when I finally close a book more times than not. This summer I have (as of one a.m.) read 25 books. (maybe more, but I loose track of them after awhile)

3. I am a techie/geek/electronic junkie/media kind of gal. That explains the statement that I made a few years ago and have repeated when friends ask me why my husband doesn't buy me jewelry for special occasions very often: "If electronics were jewels then I am like Elizabeth Taylor dripping in diamonds." Nothing sparkles like a new Iphone, laptop, printer, camera, etc...

4. In the love languages quiz: my language is gifts (duh!) and gifts of service.

5. I dream of going to Italy and Scotland and Paris. My husband....does not. Enough said.

6. I love Brighton jewelry (I know, direct contrast to #3, but hey I am a woman!). I like the fact that they have a lot of two tone items since I like to wear silver mostly, but my wedding rings are gold, so it makes for a nice mix. My favorite piece? My breast cancer awareness pieces...of which I have four or five.

7. I buy two new purses a year, one for the first day of fall and one for the first day of spring. I buy fairly inexpensively so that I do not feel guilty for using them for less than a year...and if I buy really inexpensively it gives me room to buy a bonus purse for the year. (Yea!)

8. My favorite candy? Dark chocolate Milky Way candy bars. I adore them....crave them...try to stay far away from them!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my random meanderings. Thanks Laurie for making me think really hard. ;) I now tag Jean 2 @ A Pair of Jeans and Amanda @ Simply Salzillo who is new to blogging.

Christi with gift for Mommy

Christi with gift for Mommy
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Yesterday, while visiting at a friend's house (Jean 2 from A Pair of Jeans) my youngest came into the house and said "Mommy, cwose your eyes, I have a pwesent for you." She gave me this beautiful, very rare tropical flower, usually found only in the remote regions of the rain forest. How amazing that she was able to locate it so near the Ozark hills during an exploration with friend's oldest daughter. They also happened upon a unicorn named Jasmine...amazing. What a magical walk it was!

Monday, July 23


My husband and I have just finished celebrating our 16th anniversary weekend. Yep, weekend...with the exclusion of his workday Saturday we have spent a LOT of hours together. We laughed, reminisced, talked, talked and talked. It was fun. He told me his thoughts that he had right before we got married (let's just say he went into typical guy panic). I told him about my walk at three a.m. with Jean 2 the night before the wedding. We talked about Jean 2 sobbing as he and I drove away from the wedding. Then we talked about the years and the growth we experienced. It was such a wonderful weekend. What a joy to know that God has brought us thus far. I think upon writing this post I will upload a few of our wedding photos and put them on here tonight. (fun fun)

Wednesday, July 18

Take the Long Way Home

Take the Long Way Home
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

So often in our lives we are hurrying. Hurrying through the laundry, to get dinner done, to run to the store for a gallon of milk, preparing dinner. Everything is about speed and instant results. Sometimes, it is necessary to just slow down, look around, drive a little out of the way to decompress. Last week I had one of those times. After meeting my friend at Walmart to shop sans kids, I drove the back road home. This picture was taken from the top of the steering wheel while driving home from Walmart. I arrived home more peaceful than I would have if I had taken the main road with all the traffic, stop lights and 60 mile an hour speed limits. Out here, the speed limit is 45, the traffic (as you can see) nearly non-existent and the landscape peaceable and comforting.
Here's to a quiet interlude.

Tuesday, July 17

Cool new ponchos

Cool new ponchos
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Yesterday I took my kids and two friends to Branson Landing. It is an outdoor mall with cool play areas and all the coolest stores. My girls have been babysitting and had money in their purses ready to spend on clothes (I know, shocking considering they're teenagers). Bria's BFF met us down there along with BFF's mom, sister, sister's friend and boy BFF babysits. They are a really nice group of people and the Mom, Debra, laughs at my jokes....which means I REALLY like her!
We shopped, ate lunch, talked and just had a really good time. Nearing the end of the day, Bria said she would sit with the kids while I went into one store of my choosing so off I trotted into the Cold Water Creek store....70% off sale sign had me salivating. I had no more than walked through the doors when I heard a clap of thunder. Hesitating, I looked outside, decided I had a little bit of time, and began to look through the dress rack with items marked WAY DOWN. Another thunder clap. I quickly took my chosen item, after being assured that I could return it to our local store if it didn't fit, to the register to pay and hurry back to the kids. As the lady was ringing up my purchase it began to sprinkle outside. As she bagged the purchase it began to lightly rain. As she put the receipt into the bag it began to rain. As I walked to the door it began to rain harder. As I read the text message from Bria that said "In Disney. Thunder Scared Christi. Waiting here 4 U" it began to rain a bit harder. As I walked through the doors of the Disney store it began to pour. We decided to wait out the rain burst in the Disney store, allowing the kids to watch the big t.v. in the back. 45 minutes later I was tired of standing, getting thirsty and having doubts that the rain burst was going to be over anytime before closing time. And then I got creative. Bria, Niki and I began shifting all our purchases to the one big bag. Bria handed me her scissors. I began creating the coolest new ponchos this side of the Mississippi from the smaller yet adequate plastic bags from Children's Place, Disney Store and Charlotte Russe. We dashed to the van, got there dripping wet and one and all began to laugh at each other's hair, running make up and rain soaked shorts, shoes and "ponchos". (click on the photo to see it better.)

Sunday, July 15

Breaking free

Here comes the sun
Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

Sometimes we, as normal persons, find ourselves bound in a rope of life and responsibility. We move, restricted by thoughts of laundry and dinner, through daily tasks while caring for those around us. We plan, tied by schedules and appointments, for times of "getting together" with friends. We dream, lassoed by work and commitments, of getting away for just a little bit of leisure. But God, being merciful and gracious, makes a way for us to decompress. It may be for a week at the beach listening to the ocean. It may be for a romantic getaway with the one who shares your life. It may only be for a trip sans kids to Walmart with one of your life long friends. It is called "breaking free". Lately God has been refreshing in my spirit the verses of Ecc. 3:1-8.
TO everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

If I were to word it in my life it would go something like this"

A time to do laundry, a time for the hamper to remain untouched
A time to cook, a time to eat out
A time for childcare, a time to hire a babysitter
A time for yard work, a time to let the grass grow
A time for errands, a time for a pedicure
A time for family, a time for friends
A time to iron, a time for Downy wrinkle release."

Isn't it such a relief to know that God's very character understands the need for seasons of change?

Saturday, July 14

The final installment of "When Family Comes to Visit"

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

When last we were together, you had met the last of the cousins that came to visit....But Wait!!!

You must now meet the momma. Sister-in-law, acting as cruise director for the Loveboat (Honda) Minivan of Sea Mist blue (or is it glacier ice?), came with kids to hide out from the floor repairment take a little vacation with the southern Missouri family. She has become one of my closest friends, having similar backgrounds and sense of humor (a must have with me, right Jean 2?) as well as a common goal of raising children to be happy and productive as well as intelligent adults.

She is funny, giving, sarcastic (hee hee) loving and a good momma. She loves her children and loves mine (a true bonus). My kids love her as well, which makes for a wonderful visit.

We had the chance to go get pedicures/manicures and just be grown ups for a little while while my older two babysat the younger kids. It was such a nice little oasis in the land of Motherhood.

And tomorrow, I return to the tales of my little acre of land we call Home. :)

P.s. click the link above to hear Linnae's newest vocal cute it hurts.

Friday, July 13

Matthew the Superhero

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This is Matthew. Matthew is the final rung on the stairstep that is the cousins. He is six, two days short of being an exact year younger than my Ryan. It has been such a blessing for there to be a boy cousin in this family of numerous girls (there are 10 granddaughters and until recently there was only the two grandsons. Now there are two more toddler grandsons that live away from the family). Matthew is very taken with superhero's of all types (as you can see from the Spiderman pose) and enjoys superhero play. I think we must have rigged capes and masks everyday all day long for the two boys (and sometimes for Rose and Christi when the boys would let them play). I look forward to each visit with him, love him and enjoy who he is.
(yes, there are two posts today since my post yesterday did not appear for some reason...)

Roses are Silly

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This is the third installment of "Company Cousins", featuring Rose. Rose is the third rung up on the stair step, which means that she is four years old. Being two weeks older than my Christi, they are very close. They giggle and talk and play with animals all day long. (Rose loves anything kitty where Christi loves anything horse). Rose is also very very silly....she loves to make faces, silly songs, silly noises. She livens up a room much like a roman candles does a nighttime sky. I love when she comes to play and Christi loves it even more.

Wednesday, July 11

Sweetness is as sweetness does

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

This, on my second day of posting about the visiting relatives, I am featuring Jade. Jade is two years old, the second rung on the stair-steps working from the bottom. She is a beauty, as you can see, but she is as sweet as she is lovely. She wormed her way into my heart through cuddles, snuggles and arms raised high for me to lift her up. She talks some with her speech, but gives soliloquies with her eyes.

Until tomorrow....and try not to get a tooth ache from all that sweetness.

Tuesday, July 10

Baby Fix

Originally uploaded by Jean 1.

My sis in law came to visit recently bringing with her four stair-step children. This is Linae, the youngest of the family. The kids and I had only briefly met her the week before at a memorial service for Nana, so when they arrived she garnered quite a lot of attention. I enjoyed rocking a little one again, snuggled up against my neck and breathing soft breaths of life that only a small one can take, smelling a fragrance that I wish one could bottle to be sprinkled onto baby clothes saved for memory sake and sending a calm that can only be achieved by holding a baby so near to ones heart. What a treasure it was to have her here.

The next few days will feature this family and the other key players and the blessing that they also brought to our home. So, until tomorrow, enjoy the baby fix. :)

Monday, July 9

I found my Bliss "Someday"

For a couple of months now, every time the kids and I drive by this local park we remark that we need to go play there "someday". Well, today on our way out of the local library my son asked innocently enough "Do you think today could be someday?" I looked at him and thought, why not? How hard would it be to just pick up some dinner and drive over to the park? I was equipped with reading material, my husband could call if he needed us, the older girls would be just as happy reading outside than in their rooms. "Sure! Today is someday! " I replied. So we drove through Sonic and picked up some burgers and Cherry Limeades (Vanilla Diet Coke for me) and we drove to the park of our dreams. The park, a fairly new one, was such a nice surprise. From the road we had spied a few play items, but once we drove up we were happy to spot tennis courts (good news for hubby and I since we are always trying to find new courts) clean and well maintained bathrooms, vending machines, various playground apparatus and nice picnic tables. Once we ate, I settled in to let the kids play while I read...but each time I picked up the book to read, I would find myself watching the two youngest play. They were having so much fun, such joy in their eyes and laughter, that I realized that I had found "A Place Called Bliss" right here, right now. I'm so glad that today turned out to be Someday!

Sunday, July 8

Independence Day

Our family recently celebrated the 4th of July with many friends from our church body. This has become our yearly tradition for the last six years. As we were preparing this year, my oldest, Bria, asked if she could be responsible for the decorations. She even wanted to use some of the money that she had saved from babysitting jobs to pay for them. After much discussion of what she wanted to spend and walking the aisles of the local party store, she settled on a few patriotic items, paid for them and then went about decorating the deck, fence and dessert table. My husband also went shopping the same day and brought home two big boxes with plain wrappers. Those went into the cool dark storage room immediately, since they did nothing for the decor. Bria did a lovely job decorating, but once it got dark, everything she did was forgotten by those in attendance since the items from the boxes were now decorating the sky with much pomp and circumstance. After an hour and a half of fireworks, we began the clean up before heading to bed. We had a great time, great fellowship and I look forward to next year. You know, same bat time, same bat channel.

Lately, I've had this song going through my heart when I think about the meaning of freedom and independence.

"I'm free from the fear of tomorrow. I'm free from the guilt of my past. For I've traded my shackles for a glorious song, and I'm free, Praise the Lord, I'm free at last. "

My freedom, although guaranteed in the Preamble to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, can only take me so far. Because it is the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law that sets one free. What does that mean? Let me give an example.

As a child I was very well read, I knew the definition of many words and used them at will. But I did not have understanding of many of the words. Like most people, I learned the words and later learned the true meanings. Words such as "sympathy" and "pleasure" and even "mother". As an adult I grew to understand the words to a depth and feeling. One can know that sympathy means feeling sadness for one another, but when you are sitting with your friend who has lost her father and your heart breaks along with hers, you learn a deeper meaning of the word, a deeper definition. One can know that the word pleasure means sincere happiness and joy, but when you are holding your infant and she smiles her first real smile while looking in your eyes, you understand true pleasure, bliss and joy. One can even know and have a good understanding of the word mother, can even have a fairly deep understanding but once you've sat up for 14 hours straight watching a child sleep while applying compresses to a fevered brow and then later prepared breakfast for the other children in the house and carried the sick child on the hip the entire day to make the sick one feel your presence and love, then you understand what it is to mother.

This is where freedom comes in. I've always known that freedom means not being enslaved to someone or something. But once Holy Spirit illumined (brought light to ) the things that were hindering my freedom, I learned what it meant. When I had been freed from fear, poverty, my past, my pride and sin then I learned what true freedom meant. I live in a state of perpetual freedom that I could never truly have just with our country's democracy. And, while I'm proud to be an American and appreciate all the civil freedoms I have, I am even more grateful to be a Christian and appreciate the spiritual freedoms I have.

Friday, July 6

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, sweet hiway of information.

Blogosphere, I'm back. Fear not, what my wireless router intended for harm Tech Support has provided for good. I've been Internet-less for a few days, which had left me feeling a bit bereft. I could be found wandering in circles saying odd sentences like "I wonder if anyone has commented lately" and "Oh, that will make a great post" and answering the question "have you bought any milk?" with "Do I LOOK like I've bought any milk?? I can't even get online!".

So, with all that said....

My good buddy over @ Hybrid Theory Wonders tagged me with the Pondering of 8 Things no one knows about me. I'll do my best, but for those of you that even sort of know me you know that I'm pretty much an open book. :) Here goes:

1. I used to fantasize about being a southern gospel singer, even to the point of looking into auditions for the Baldknobbers. (embarrassed look on my face)

2. When I was in second grade, I used to practice (for hours) talking like Nell Carter because I thought her voice was cute. [this is me, 2nd grade]

3. I once "played the piano" for 3rd grade show and tell, but I'd never had lessons and so I just sat up there and hit a bunch of keys and then bowed when I was done, while my classmates sat stunned and just stared.

4. I am shy. I hide it very well by pretending not to be when I have people around who know me, but left on my own with a room full of strangers I would rather sit and read than have to interact with people.

5. I love reading comments on my blogs, but even worse, I check site meter every day to make sure SOMEBODY is reading even if no one comments. (I know, pathetic, but I'm being honest)

6. I used to have a crush on the deep voiced singer of Oak Ridge Boys (I still think he's kinda cute)

7. I do not like dark rooms....I like to have at least some light or my palms start sweating and my heartbeat gets very rapid.

8. I look forward to someday living in a retirement community, someplace that mows your lawn for you and has an on site beauty parlor and BINGO every Friday night.

Thursday, June 28


Peace, Peace, wonderful Peace
Flowing down, from the Father above
Sweep over my spirit forever I pray
In fathomless billows of Love
After a few days of turmoil due to family circumstances, God has brought me to a place of peace in midst of it all. I have this song resonating in my spirit as I lay it all at the feet of the only One who can restore lives, heal hurts and bring salvation to those who are lost and in deception. Thank God for peace.