Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Getting ready to take home...
...slide, and score 1 for the Lady Devils!
What a team!
Not a bad way to finish an undefeated season ~ a 17 to 0 Championship win! Way to go, Lady Devils!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
This year you are home where you belong!
With siblings who adore you. (Outfits compliments of My Red Thread!)
Need some help with that?
It takes a college education to open this package :)
Happy 3rd birthday, precious girl! You bring so much joy to our family!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Including in the crop!
Mr. Greenthumb began planting in hopes we would have our first pick of sweet corn for the 4th of July (everybody wants fresh corn then!).
Monday, June 21, 2010
Wow, my very first Memorial Box Monday post! I thought it only fitting to share the moment Jesus saved me, July 26, 2001! I need to back up four years.
We had been faithfully attending church, having personal quiet times and reading the Bible. Kenzie had been born, had become very sick, and God had chosen to heal her. Soon after her recovery, Clayton and I began to contemplate accepting Christ. It seems strange now that it was such a difficult decision, but God had an awesome plan in the midst of our conversations and questions. We knew it was an individual decision, and we were each ready. The following Sunday, Clayton was so convicted of his need for Jesus that he couldn’t help but respond … and I followed suit. Little did I know that was only a baby step toward my walk with Christ.
I continued to study and serve. Eventually we sensed that God was calling us to a church within our own community, where Kuyler attended school and we resided. We began to make new friends and really enjoyed the fellowship with our new church family. We preferred serving ‘behind the scenes,’ but when the church requested prayer to fill the youth Sunday school teacher position, we felt we had to come out f the shadows. After much prayer and discussion, we couldn’t ignore the call. Even before that I had been asked to help with youth events, seemingly out of the blue, and had found out how much I loved this sometimes unlovable group of 13 to 18 year olds. Two weeks before we were to start teaching Sunday school I took my first trip to Falls Creek as a youth sponsor. I was scared to death, but found myself being challenged by the pastor and youth pastor. I even agreed to serve as an adult encourager, meaning that when a student responded to the invitation, I would help answer their questions and share the gospel with them. What an amazing opportunity!
During the last noon Tabernacle service we played “The Game.” We weren’t told how it was going to work; we learned only by observation, and then realized the object was to move as quickly as possible. So, we have 5,000 teens and adults in the Tabernacle, there are a few students on the stage who begin to move among the crowd. Some are holding tickets. Suddenly a ‘breaking’ news bulletin flashes on the overhead televisions. There’s been a wreck on the high road and everybody wearing flip flops has perished. If you have heard the Gospel and accepted Christ you are going to heaven (the stage), and if you have not accepted Christ, you are going to hell (the back of the tabernacle). So now that everyone knows how the game is played, suddenly we’re all frantically trying to reach the disciples. The rule is they must share their testimony and we must make a decision for Christ before the next tragedy strikes. Some of the disciples are also handing out ‘go to heaven free’ passes.
Finally our youth pastor heard the Gospel, accepted Christ and began sharing his testimony with me … but in the midst of sharing, tragedy struck and I was rendered ‘dead.’ It was only a game, but the climb over benches to get to ‘hell’ was the most daunting event. Then those of us banished to eternal fire had to sit and watch the rest of the game, and it was the most eerie feeling. In the end, the wheat was separated from the chaff (Matthew 3:12); however, those who thought they’d gotten into heaven on a free pass, were soon reminded there is only one way to spend eternity in Heaven, and that is through faith in Jesus, not a ‘get out of hell free’ pass (but I’m generally a good person; I go to church; I read my Bible; I’ve never committed a crime…).
The following week I was challenged to memorialize my testimony. As I sat down to write, there simply were no words. I realized even though I had been reading the Word, serving and attending church, I did NOT have a relationship with Jesus. I was doing things but had neglected the main thing: recognizing my sin and need for a Savior, turning my life over to Him. I was miserable. I couldn’t let another day go by without making this right … but Satan tried to get a hold of me by making me feel ashamed and embarrassed because so many people thought I was a Christian. How would I explain this? To what or whom would I credit my ‘growth’ over the past four years? I called my pastor, thinking he could help me sort through this. Truth is, the conviction was so strong there was no getting around it – I needed Christ!
In the middle of the afternoon in our living room with my husband and my pastor present, I wept, asked forgiveness, and trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior! Immediately I knew I had to be baptized, despite the potential embarrassment. I had to stand before my church family and testify what Jesus had done in my life, and thank God for his grace and mercy over the past four years. I realized if I had died, I would have been in total disbelief on judgment day when God would say to me, “I never knew you. Away from me….” (Matthew 7:23)
I was reminded of just how much my life had paralleled ‘the game.’ In the game I was ‘almost’ into heaven, but there are no ‘almosts’ concerning eternity.
That was almost nine years ago, and I haven’t looked back. No games, no passes, just the real deal from here on out!
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Do you have any idea how hard it is to cook without cheese? And how ridiculous it is? :) We LOVE cheese! But one of my Treasures does not. Actually, he doesn't know whether he loves cheese or not. He may really like something...until he finds out it has cheese, and suddenly his palate changes. So I've gotten creative and found ways to hide the cheese. This is a soup that we all love! Even in the summertime. I serve this with bakery French bread, fresh fruit and it's as easy as that!
And here's the disclaimer ~ Most of my recipes have been tweaked to fit our family with the following regulations:
~ If it takes more than 5 seconds to read the recipe, I cut something out;
~if it takes more than 10 minutes to prepare the ingredients, I cut something out;
~if it contains ingredients I don't like or can't pronounce, I cut something out;
~finally, I double everything :) So, here's my version (except for doubling) ~
Chicken Tortellini Soup
6 c water
3 cans chicken broth
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chunked chicken (I pre-cook a bunch of chicken breasts, chunk them and keep them in the freezer)
½ cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 dash oregano
9 oz pkg cheese tortellini
*add a few broccoli florets for color
In large saucepan combine water, chicken broth, bouillon, soup, chicken, onion, garlic and oregano. Bring to a boil; add tortellini. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. (add broccoli 15 minutes before done).
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
And with a finicky eater in the house, cooking is a challenge. But even my 14-year-old non-cheese-consuming child loves some of the things I've been stirring up.
In fact, his daily comment is, "Mom, maybe you open restaurant, people love this!" :)
There is one recipe, however, I won't share. It's no secret the kid loves vegetables - all vegetables! I steam a LOT of them! As I was steaming a two-pound bag of carrots the other day he opened the lid and saw the delicious treasure inside, exclaiming, "Mom, I love this!" In my usual 'teaching' mode I said, "I know. What is it?" To which he declared, "Crack!"
We will get this English thing down...we will get this English thing down...we will...
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I miss my dad so much! But I also rejoice as I remember where he is now, even when I have to be reminded in the simple but heartfelt prayers of my five-year-old daughter, “God, I thank you that Granddad is in Heaven with you, and I want you to take good care of him.”
In November 2003, the month we announced we were adopting, my dad was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, metastasized to his lymph system. It was a huge shock, and we learned that with cancer, we must live day by day, always waiting for the next report, the next treatment, the next procedure, the next trial.
It was no secret that since the Lord had miraculously saved me, I had been trying to ‘help’ him bring my dad to Christ. Clayton and I had committed to certain lifestyle changes, new habits and traditions. I had even written my dad a lengthy letter asking him to accept Christ. But most of the time we were afraid to actually talk to him about the goodness of the Lord and how He had changed our lives. We were content to just ‘show’ him the difference.
All that changed in October 2007! Dad had miraculously survived almost four years of various treatments, but eventually the cancer had metastasized to his brain, near his optic nerve and my parents chose to undergo a pretty drastic procedure to retard the growth, without which Dad would have certainly become blind, and even worse, within a very short time.
We had an amazing Christmas that year with my brothers and our parents staying at our home. Though Dad was weak, he loved on all his grandkids, and we had seen a gradual ‘softening’ in him over time. Then on January 2, 2008 my mom called to say they were on the way to the hospital. Dad had become increasingly dizzy and disoriented. He ended up in ICU at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City. He had symptoms similar to a stroke. Little did we know he would never again walk or go home, home as we know it anyway.
Seeing him in such a frail state I feared all hope had been lost. This was not my dad. Why had I wasted so much time in fear of talking to him about the most important decision he could ever make? My brothers and I began praying that God would grant him lucid moments and give him breath until he had a chance to profess Jesus as His Lord and Savior.
I made the two hour trip to the hospital several times a week, praying the entire trip and always searching for opportunities to share with Dad. We were blessed with the fact that Dad always knew his kids, even though he might not have known anything else. We had many good moments, some good days, several good conversations and some really bad days. My brothers and I took advantage of every lucid moment the Lord granted us, but Dad’s answer was always, “Not today,” or “I might beat this thing.” We continued to pray. I admit, I became discouraged often and would call friends for godly counsel. In my heart, I just knew my dad would make a decision for the Lord, but it was obvious his time was running out.
Eventually, Dad was moved out of ICU onto the floor, then to a hospital closer to my parents’ home, and then sadly, into a nursing home. My mom practically lived in the home with him, only taking a short reprieve occasionally to go to work or travel home to feed their livestock.
Growing increasingly frustrated but still prayerful, one day as I was making the trip to see my parents, I called my brother, Kirk, and he shared with me that his prayer had become that God would somehow use my mom since she was the one who spent the most time with Dad. So the rest of the trip I prayed for the same thing.
My mom would always give me moments alone with Dad because she knew we were talking to him about the Lord, reading the Word and praying with him. On this day she told me of a tract my brother had left and asked if I might want to ‘try something different’ and use the tract.
I searched the room and never did find the tract, so I just resorted to what I knew, sharing what Jesus had done in my life. As my mom was walking me to the car, I told her I never could find the tract, but I had still shared with him, and once again his answer was, “I’m thinking about it, but not today.” Then she said these words, “I’ve been thinking that since I spend more time than anybody with him, maybe I need to start talking to him about making a decision.” I couldn’t believe my ears! God was already answering our prayers! I couldn’t wait to call my brother and tell him to keep prayin’!
Nearly a week later, May 8th to be exact, my mom called and tearfully told me, “He did it, Honey. He made a decision for the Lord!” I asked her to share every detail with me. She had used the ‘hidden’ tract to share the Gospel message with my dad, he read it, and made a decision! It was what we had been praying so long for!
Seven weeks later, on June 26, we celebrated my dad’s 62nd birthday, and one week after that, July 3, 2008, he went to his eternal home! While we miss him terribly, I believe his salvation has had a huge impact on many lives, to God’s glory.
I’m so glad I couldn’t find that silly tract. It was all part of God’s plan.
Monday, June 14, 2010
She's not mad about the dress; she's just mad:)
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
...Haircuts all the way around...
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Kooper was overwhelmed and unsure.
Today he is more confident, is learning to read and speak English and is setting goals.
Kinley was insecure and scared.
Today she loves people, will sing and dance anywhere, and talks up a storm.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Mix equal parts of the following ingredients:
Roasted and Salted Sunflower Nuts
Roasted and Salted Almonds
White Chocolate Chips
Peanut Butter Chips
Gummy Fruit Snacks
Store in airtight container...
or in our case, devour immediately
Have you read Primal by Mark Batterson? He is also the author of Wild Goose Chase. I'm almost finished with the book and highly recommend it. So often we try to complicate Christianity, but this books takes us back to the beginning or primal element and First Commandment ~ to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength! I so want to be there!!!!