Friday, February 29, 2008

Things I learned this week

For the end of February - what did I learn this week:

*That Leap Year gets you an AWESOME discount on yarn! (29% off - how do you not take advantage of that?)

*That my dogs must have some sort of acrobatic skills when we're not home! They got a full plate of cookies & a berry danish from the middle of the kitchen counter while we were at work! How? They'll never tell!

*That its nice seeing a light sky when you have to be at work at 7:00! The day starts much brighter - literally!

*That buying someone else yarn for a surprise is SOOO exciting!

*That seeing kids crying in front of a cross will move you to your very core!

*That "The Passion of the Christ" can still shake you up - no matter how many times you've seen clips & pictures from it!

*The flu is STILL kicking everyone's butt's around this area! UGH! (Open up the windows this weekend - get fresh air in homes while its 60 degrees!!!)

*That I'm so blessed to be able to stand next to the most amazing people in our Youth Group as leaders! They are some pretty neat, Spirit-filled people!

*That I missed celebrating my friend's birthday this year with her. (Steph's birthday was yesterday - the 28th)

*Having my nieces wanting me to comb & dry their hair for them melts my heart to gook!

*Filing State taxes can drive me & Ricky literally out our minds each year!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lead me to the Cross

OK - I've got to tell you about the movement of the Holy Spirit in our kids right now in the Jr. High Ministry. It's so powerful, I dont think words are even going to grasp it a little bit, but I want to share to those who know these kids - or even those who don't - so you can help in praying for this movement to keep going & to see the ripple effect of what these kids are feeling right now.

Let me start by actually backing up. When we were at Believe, I had mentioned this before - these kids there worship like NO OTHER! The atmosphere just feeds into you having to join in! How do you not jump when 5,000 other kids are jumping? (And that's just kids - that's not adults joinging along!) So when we got back, we wanted to worship like that again. We did worship in our church like never before - & we enjoyed it - but the lights, the action - something was missing!

Well, God stepped forward & worked through the other youth coaches, Ryan, Joe, Erica & Christy! I can take no credit for this at all - but these guys all spent the WHOLE evening revamping the trailer. They moved the couches around, they CLEANED the whole place (even the blinds are now clean - Erica, you rock!), we now have a cross that was lying side ways in a corner, standing up right in the front & center of the room with lights shining on it, freshly painted & getting the honor it deserves (Ryan & Joe - you're amazing!). Finally, to top off the whole new idea of what we wanted to do, Christy stepped in with video's of the songs we just worshiped to at Believe. The heart pumping, arm shaking, screaming to the top of your lungs worship songs! (Yes, worship songs come in ALL forms!) (Christy - it would have all been impossible without your help on these videos!)

So, we start off the night & let them know about the new set up & how we're cutting out the games we normally play, & instead, we're going to worship! At first, the reaction was sort of, "Uh....OK" - a little out of the regular element they are use to at our church. The first song, some reaction, the 2nd song - more reaction. By the last song - the kids were jumping, pumping arms, screaming, jumping on couches (praising the Lord while they were doing it!) - it was great! The whole format had changed & you could feel the Holy Spirit moving & joining us in that room.

The message was delivered & we were talking about the elements we learned at Believe - with this week being on "Seeing". Another awesome video was played showing how we see the world. Some more talking - and I have to say, during the talking - these kids have been SOOOO in tune. No snickering, no gabbing - their eye contact is amazing right now - they are soaking in every word!

Then, a video was played. "Lead me to the Cross" - we wrapped it up showing how we should always keep our eyes on the Cross - our eternal perspective. This video has clips from the Passion of the Christ - & man, that's all it takes for me. But add the words to this song - & WOW!

Finally, Joe comes up & prays the most beautiful prayer & we play the song again & then one by one, kids are coming up to the cross, kneeling, giving all they had! It started with a few - the coaches went & put arms around & started praying with these kids. When I looked up - the floor was FULL of these kids on their knees in front of this cross. 22 kids all laying bare in front of Christ - it was truly one of the most powerful, spiritual movements I have ever witnessed! It was a sight to see - a feeling to be felt - it was truly amazing, full of the Holy Spirit!

And the emotion in the room! The sobbing, the laying down of self at this cross was incredible! People that dont show any emotion - were crying so hard they couldn't breath. Guys that are too cool to even say they Love God, were lying on their face, crying out to God! I can't even put into the words the movement in that room!

I share this all with you because I ask you to pray for these kids. I have never seen the movement in an area like this before. These kids are capable of so much & are such warriors of Christ. I'm so excited to see what God does in their lives & what He does through their lives! Pray that this movement continues, that its driven forward & taken to completion.

The funniest thing - aftwards, parents are coming in to get their kids & the whole room is just hugging each other with splotched, tear stained faces. I can only imagine what these parents thought as they came in the room. One thing is for sure - JESUS IS IN THIS TRAILER! (We're wanting to put that sign up on our front door - so if you see it - Its 100% true!)

Here is the video - I hope you enjoy it! I have to say, its up in my top 5 songs now of all time!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Perfect socks!

WHOO-HOOO! I just finished my socks for the month - right under the wire - & I have to say, they are the most perfect socks EVER! First of all, they have the Aloe on them that is just so yummy & smooth & feels like Heaven on your feet. Second, they are taller than some of the others I have knitted, which I really like much better on my legs. Third - I couldn't have matched them better if I wanted to! I like socks that dont particularly match, but when I got the end of the first sock - the yarn was just a little bit where I could match them up - so I went ahead & man, they rock! They are spot on perfect!

Ricky actually tried on the first one & he said he would actually like to have this pair. When I finished & tried them on myself & saw how wonderful they are - Nope, on my feet they will stay! I can always give him my next ones I'm going to make - the pink, rose colored socks!! Think he'll go for it? Hey - I can remember him telling me he'd never wear knitted socks because he knows the price of a skein of yarn for them - but all it took was one sock to try on & now he wants a pair! See how easily people are swayed by luxurious yarn?

And this mess? This is a purse that I made when I first started knitting. I found this yarn & LOVED it & wanted to do something. That something didn't turn out very nice! I ended up finding the other day a beret someone had knitted in the exact yarn & it looked adorable! So, I spent the weekend finding that purse & taking it apart. I ended up rolling it all up in nice little balls of yarn (thanks to the ball winder from Steph) & the yarn is ready for a second chance! I'll have to post a picture of the beautiful beret when its all put back together again! Don't you love the versatility of yarn?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


We got our tickets & are waiting for the weekend! Where are we going now? We're going to go see Lindsay Kay in "Gypsy" - our little actress is singing her own solo's & has a pretty decent part. Dont ask me who or what - I've never seen Gypsy - but I'll be full of information after Saturday. It doesn't even matter to us - we're just excited to see her on stage! This will be our first time seeing her in the Corydon Theater. No more Corydon Central High School stages - she's graduated & moving onto bigger & better things!

It still amazes me to see her grown up & on the stage.

Last night - I went & spent time with my nieces - which I will add, are the cutest, sweetest, most perfect little girls in the world (our grandson Isaac wins that title for the boys) - & to spent time with them, I thought, they are 3 1/2 years old. Lindsay was 4 years old when Ricky & I started dating. I look at my nieces & see how little they are & I can actually remember Lindsay like that too - WOW! Where does the time go?

And Lindsay is just like her dad when it comes to being quite & soft spoken & just not a scene stealer - but yet, she'll jump on stage & pour herself into another role or sing her lungs out - but if we leave & I have her go up & ask the waitress for something - she'd probably blush to death! Well, she's not that bad - but she used to be. Its just amazing to see all of Ricky's girls grown up! Lindsay is in college - Alaina is in Florida getting ready to go to graduate school - Julie is getting her PhD & is a mommy herself!

How does all that happen while I still stay the same, youthful age? Doesn't make sense!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Different Perspective

I was so honored to baptise one of the girls in our Jr. High Group yesterday. Her name is Kristina. I've been with Kristina for the past 2 years & have watched her grow up - literally. Its amazing to me to look back at pictures that we took just a year ago at Believe - & to see how much these girls grow in just a few months times! WOW! Where does the time go?

But last Sunday, Kristina came up to me & the other youth coaches & said she wanted to get baptised! We were all so excited for her decision. The four of us sat down with her & talked with her explaining the seriousness & commitment that comes along with this decision & wanted to make sure she was ready for such an experience. She was ready for it! When we asked her who she wanted to baptise her, she said me & I couldnt tell you how excited I was to do this for her!

Now, I've seen many baptisms in my life - & I LOVE to see one of the youth getting "dunked" - it makes me cry to sit in the audience & watch them go through this. I love to see when parents or sibilings or friends or youth coaches do it for these students - because these are the people who have gone on their journey with them - walked with them a bit on their way to Christ.

I have to say - this was my first time of actually going in & being honored to baptise someone myself. It was quite a different perspective. Standing in the water & having Kristina give a statement of faith was really quite chilling. Especially because her voice is so soft spoken (I'm sure it gets quite loud when it needs to be!) I dont think anyone in the audience could hear her - but I know the Holy Spirit was there with her & even if she didn't audibly say it, her heart was making the claim! And then for me to have her in my arms & take her back & see the water washing over her face - its indescribable to see a baptism from that angle. To bring her up from the water knowing she is now a new created person because of Jesus - I was so blessed to be holding her in my arms - I have to tell you - I was so in awe of the moment!

Now, I'm anxious to keep walking down that road with Kristina, holding her hand, trying to guide her when she has questions or when she fails - because she'll still fail - who doesn't! I still fail! But I know me, her other youth coaches & her family are going to help her continue on that walk with Christ & I'm anxious to see what God does with her!

I just have to thank God for blessing me with this moment!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Things I learned this week

Its Friday. What did I learn this week?

*That a drive home from Cincinnati on 3 hrs sleep the night before - feels like a drive home from California.

*That getting out of work early due to weather makes you feel like a kid again getting a day off from school due to snow.

*That kids will open up to you if you make yourself available & let them know you care.

*That Christian from Project Runway is the most FIERCE person ever on the tube!

*You can have a Bible study that lasts all day long on email with some great insight coming across & Bible Scripture to look up! What a way to make a work day go by fast!

*That this cold/flu thing going around has hit almost every single person in my family! Go mom!! She's the only one escaping it so far!

*Jumping in church can bring some weird looks, but man, its fun worshiping God that way!

*Making a budget isn't going to be easy - & following it is going to be even harder! (Yes, I'm setting money aside for yarn in my budget - its a necessity!)

*I'm looking forward to the weekend to actually catch up on SLEEP!!!

*That no matter where you're at, or what the question is - the answer to EVERYTHING is JESUS!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


My home page is set on Google - & its customized to the things I like to see first thing in the morning. A few of my favorites are some "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" - oh my goodness - some of these things just are so stupid, they crack me up!!! When I was younger & would hear some of these things on Saturday Night Live - I never quite understood. Now, I'm older - & I don't really understand much more, but they just strike me as funny now.

Another part of my page that I enjoy is a "How to of the Day" - there are new things each day that you can click on & learn how to do something. I've had fun with some of these things - learned how to do an orgami swan, how to draw a 3-D image, how to fold fitted sheets - some really cool & useful stuff. Well today, I'm looking at the list & this is what is on the "How to" for the day:

"How to Not be Annoying"

HUH? I'm interested & have to click on it. I don't know if its being serious or not, but I had to laugh at some of the advice. Here are some highlights:

* Build self-confidence. Being insecure can lead to annoying traits. Until you have built your self confidence up dont try too hard

(OK - that just struck me as funny. I want to know what kind of annoying traits its talking about!)

*Respect boundaries - Do not go around poking people constantly. In fact, don't touch them at all if they don't like it. Of course if they grant permission, then by all means have fun, but otherwise cut it out before you start

(Is this for real? Who goes around & just pokes people? And who's going to give permission for it?)

* Don't correct bad grammar/spelling or inaccuracies of others because most people don't like being corrected

(Actually I will agree with this - someone has done this to me many times, & I'll admit, I'm not a perfect grammer Queen & this is an annoying habit of some people! I'll use double negatives if I WANT TO!)

* Be Polite & hygenic. Don't peek down people's shirts for instance, don't pass gas, don’t talk about looking down people’s shirts or passing gas. Take care to brush and/or floss after meals so as not inflict your breath on others or allow strings of food to flap back and fourth when you speak, and don’t talk about specific instances of impolite or unhygienic actions that offended you in the past

(Again - what the heck age are we talking about here? I'm going to vomit thinking of "string of food flapping back & forth....)

The funniest (or saddest) part for me - is the "WARNING" that is given at the end of the article:

If you are unable to stop being annoying, be wary that some people will not be able to stand you anymore. They may physically assault you causing serious injury or even death

OH MY!!!!! Well, I'm anxous to see what tomorrow's How To is - because today, all I learned was how to laugh at some kooky article!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I'm so excited - has anyone noticed? I pointed it out to Ricky last night & he too got excited after noticing! Know what I'm talking about? The sun is setting later & rising earlier each day! We left for our small group at 6:30 & it was still fairly light outside! If it wasn't cloudy, it would have been even brighter - but last time we met, we were feeling our way in the dark & creeping down the Highway not to miss the turn. No problem last night - the sky still had light!

And yesterday morning, I noticed the sky had a bit of color in it as I was driving in. Now I have to be at work at 7:00 AM & I'll sit in my office & look out the window some days & watch the sky turn - because when I get in lately, its still BLACK! The street lights are on - the security lights are on in the parking lot - there is no sign of daylight near. It's changing - the sky has the navy blue look now at 7:00 which means Mr. Sun will be peaking out earlier & earlier!

I can't tell you how happy this makes me! I am completely a solar person - I need daylight! It energizes me - keeps me going. It wont be long now before my tulips are springing up! ..... actually, I did notice the other day 2 of them were starting to bud through - NOT YET - but the cold got to them but I know more will come when they're suppose to.

Every year when I find my first bud on a tree - I scream! Be ready - I think that day is going to be coming soon! YIPEE!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I know its been awhile since I posted but man, life has been hectic. But I've had the past few days to reflect on the weekend where we went to Believe. For those who aren't familiar with it - Believe is a Christian based Jr. High Conference. This year, we took 21 kids with us! It was FANTASTIC to see our little church fill up 2 full rows of seats.

I have to say, I was worried starting out. All the leaders were under some serious Spiritual Warfare & even the day before, I had a fever & wasn't sure I was going to make it. I couldnt even get out of bed. When I woke up on Friday - my fever was gone! Ryan had actually called me like 5 minutes after I woke up & asked how I was feeling - he said he was awake praying for me since 6:00 am & he was anxious to see what the latest was. I know others were praying as well & they were answered! Thank you Lord! So some bad drama with a rental van - we were on our way!

Now, I have never drove anything bigger than my old Ford Explorer - & here I was behind the wheel of a HUGE extended van. I must say - I took it like a pro! Even parallel parked that baby in Cincinnati - who rocks? Oh yeah!

The event - WOW! The theme this year was on Moses & "Connect" - the different ways we can connect to God & to each other - it was pretty powerful! One of the cool things - there was an artist there that would start painting these amazing pictures before each session to reflect what we were talking about. Man - its so cool to see someone use their talents to Praise God. If you are by the Jr. High Trailer - we got some copies of some of the prints - come see them - they are just amazing.

The worship is always such a big part of Believe for the kids too. We had the best time rocking out to some fantastic artist. Its just so fun to get in the midst of all these other kids (& big kids like myself) & jump & clap & scream & dance - all the while keeping God the focus. It's just a freeing thing - to be able to worship in a way that holds no constrictions. By the last session, kids that are normally quite & stay to themselves were up there clapping & dancing along with the rest - so much fun!

There were stations available to visit in between sessions & small group times that were just great. They encouraged you to connect with God in different ways. There was a station where they had pictures of kids from Romania. You took paper & envelope & wrote a note to them. Then you put a sticker with their face on it & put it on the front so they knew who the letter was to. You then got a sticker with their face to keep so you can continue to pray for these orphans. A little bit of their stories were posted. The child I picked was Nati - I picked her because in her picture - she was laughing, combing her hair - & you could tell - she KNEW she was a Princess! Oh, how sweet her little smile was. If I could - I'd go pick her up right now & bring her home to live with me. It was great seeing these jr. high kids write letters of encouragement & prayers to these sweethearts across the world. I pray the letters are a blessing to them.

One of the most fun stations we visited - there was a HUGE piece of tarp where you could go paint & leave your mark. We gathered a little gang & went & painted together. It was cool watching everyone leave their own personal "mark". Then, it turned all ugly - Ryan got bombarded by the girls & they found his face more of a fun thing to paint than the tarp. Luckily, he was a good sport about it. What's so funny - after his face is all red & yellow, he's walking around & people just sort of glance, but dont think anything of a 22 year old man walking around with his face completely painted! That's what's so great about Believe!

The best part of the trip for me - the focus on God - & man, these kids were focused! During one point of the afternoon session - we were worshipping to some awesome music & they asked us to drop to our knees. This may have taken some out of their comfort level - but all the kids dropped to their knees. And it wasn't just our group of kids - it was all 5,000 kids on their knees that was an amazing sight. I just bawled my eyes out! Then to see these kids raise their hands up to Heaven & sing & cry - they truly felt the Holy Spirit that was moving in the room. It was a moment I will never forget. A visual that I wish everyone could witness - it would truly move your heart to see!

As with all good things - it had to come to an end - & after getting only 3 hrs sleep the night before - we drove back to Greenville. It was great because we had 7 kids who made a decision for Christ - whether it be a rededication, trusting more, loving more - connecting more - it was a movement to get closer to God.

Then it didn't end - we met up for Sunday service & I have never seen these kids so fired up for God in my life! The message at our church could NOT have been more perfect for the moment! It was about worshipping freely & with unabandonment! Oh my - we were up in front of the church showing what we just did the whole weekend. We were clapping, jumping, dancing, praising God the only way we knew how - it was the most amazing feeling. We then moved our class to our trailer & I tell you - I have never felt so much interest & movement in our place as this day. Ryan & Joe were digging in the Bible & the scripture was flowing!!! And even better - the kids were hanging the whole time - pages flipping - the connecting of the whole week was coming together. I can't even put into words the emotion that was going on!

It was pretty amazing too - during all of this - it was POURING - I mean, raining like a monsoon outside! We're in a trailer too so you could really hear it pounding on the metal. We were running over on time & we said it didn't matter - the Spirit was moving so we were pressing on. Finally, after being about 20 minutes late - we started to wrap it up - all the while, the rain is still pressing down on us. We had our Elder circle up with us & he prayed for the youth & prayed for us to stay dry as we left - said Amen - & I still can't believe it - as SOON as he said Amen - the rain stopped! We all just raised our heads & looked at each other. Someone ran & opened the door - the sun started peaking out!!!!! We all just stared in amazement! If that wasn't proof God wasn't with us, listening to us - I'll never know what else could make someone Believe!

And now, I get to baptize one of my girls next week. I'm so excited, thrilled & honored to be able to baptize her into the family of Christ. I think decisions were made that we may never really know about too - so this is so cool to see a decision that was made being shown to the church.

I truly couldn't have been blessed more this weekend than I was. I think the kids enjoyed themselves, learned alot, let friendships grow with all the leaders & each other - & most importantly, grew closer to God! We are all so excited & anxious now for next year!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Things I've Learned this week...

OK - its Friday already - let me think of the things I learned this week:

* A fever is not fun - especially when you're trying to get ready for a big event!

* Tylenol makes a wonderful Valentine's Gift when you're not feeling well.

* Knitting a bearded hat is actually quite fun & something I'll probably do again - for who? Don't know - but it was fun to make.

* I can actually spend a whole day in a kitchen baking 3 cakes, 72 mini muffins, 24 cupcakes, breads, AND have sweet & sour chicken in the crock pot - & SURVIVE!!!!

* My church is so generous & thoughtful - because of the bake sale - 3 kids that otherwise wouldn't have gone to Believe will now be with us enjoying the fun & fellowship!

* Dogs can get a cold too!

* A window in my office + beautiful, big flakes of snow = no production getting done for the day.

On a side note - We will be leaving for Believe in just a few hours. I've been battling a fever - but woke up this morning with a normal temperature (Thanks all who have been praying!) Keep those kids (21 of them!!!) in your prayers as they will be hearing things & experiencing things that they may never have had the chance to experience before. Pray for all the leaders too - our health - & our safety driving these kiddos. I'm praying my temp stays down & I can be strong for these kids - they look so forward to the trip. I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures & stories to tell once we get back!

On the road again....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow - Ice

Wasn't today full of fun with all the snow & ice? It's not that there was so much snow - just that layer of ice on top of it seemed to be the problem for me. I do not like ice - not at all! I've taken a dive on it way too many times.

Memories: I can remember getting off the school bus in front of my house in first grade, walking around the front of the bus & sliding & falling right in front of the bus! My fear as a little, wee first grader was that the bus couldn't see little ole' me & was going to take off. All was well.

Again - in high school - friends came to pick me up for school - what happens? I step off the side walk onto the drive, and yep...slide under the car! What is the deal with going under automobiles?

The worst of them all - me, my mom & brother were going out to go Christmas shopping - I was 17 - just got a new car (that wasn't so new) - a Ford Escort & my first cluth! As we were running out the house to get the shopping going - I did the ultimate dive that would have competed with the X-games! I swear, I think there was a triple axel in there somewhere (if I knew what a triple axel was!) - I crushed my ankle! That was one of the worse pains I've ever felt - especially when they said, "Oh, the cast room is closed - you'll have to come back in the morning" - WHAT? How does a room close in a hospital? So sleeping with a crushed ankle was not fun, to say the least. There are so many other times I've taken stumbles & falls on top of ice - I'm telling you, Nancy Kerigan - I'm not! So now, when I see ice - I'm doing the typical old-lady-scoot. As long as I can get to point A to point B without breaking something now - I'm happy.

But I have to admit - ice is beauitful to look at. Its just so crystal-ly (word?). I had to take a picture of our tree when I got home.

And our poor bird feeder is iced over too - I need to refill it. I was reminded of that when I walked out - there was our neighbor's cat laying under the bush next to the bird feeder meowing at me to fill it up to get the birds back around. See how the circle of life works?

It's been awfully fun too watching the puppies walking in the back yard. The ground is where when you step, the small dogs are staying on top of the ice, but every now & then, their feet break through & it makes them trip a little bit. I can't resist a giggle at that. For Big Buffy - she's just stomping through the ice making her mark. Syd - she'd rather now touch the stuff, just enjoying her inside view - how spoiled are these dogs?

Hopefully, everyone was safe & no skidding or falling or breaking of anything over the past Winter Storm.
And for Jen, my friend in Canada, I know this doesn't even compare to what you all deal with up there. But our 3 inches of snow & quarter inch of ice - its a big deal to us - don't knock it!


I've kept a "Gratitude Journal" for YEARS - I was telling the girls this past Sunday how it's a helpful tool when praying. I start off each evening, writing in it with at least 5 things I'm grateful for during the day. Even on some of the worst days of my life, I find 5 days I'm thankful to God for - its not always easy but I find things. And on those days, it can be the simpliest things - like a roof over my head or food in my cabinets - & truthfully, thinking about it - those aren't really "simple" things. How many people don't have those things - see how we take things for granted.

Then after my "Gratitude" - I'll write down things I want to pray about. Now the interesting thing about that - I have journals from year & years & its pretty neat sometimes to look back at those things & to see how things have been answered.

In December, I found a journal that was made for this - called appropriately enough "Gratitude Journal" & its dated & each day has a quote on it about gratitude & thankfulness - I'm loving it. I'm just use to cheap little note pads & something quick to write in - I'm enjoying this beautiful journal. The quote for the other day just really hit me though. And before I tell you what it is - if you know me - you know I'm a crier. I'll cry when I'm happy, when I'm mad, when I'm angry, when I'm sad (look at me being all poetic about it too) - but its true. I'm such a sap. I even cried this past Saturday AGAIN watching "A League of their Own" with Tom Hanks - yes, the girl baseball movie. And I know Tom Hanks even says "There's no crying in baseball!" - still, at the end, when the older ladies get together & they play that song by Madonna - I get a lump in my throat!

Or how about that commercial with the dog in the animal shelter - where the people walk by & the dog looks at them like, "Why not me?" OHHH - I just avoid it now when I see that commercial.

I even cried at a movie I just watched called "My Date with Drew" - a documentary about a guy who tried to get a date with Drew Barrymore! It is the cutest movie - you cant help but cheer for this guy! I was just so happy for him in this thing - I teared up! How pitiful am I!!!

So the quote I found:
"We should be thankful for our tears - they prepare our eyes for a clearer vision of God" -William Arthur Ward

I just find comfort in that quote. To think our tears are being used to bring us closer to God - especially those soul sobbing cries - those are the ones that I can really find truth in that statement. You know after you have one of those "cries" - you can feel like a release - like something is off your shoulders. You even feel physically worn out sometimes after a hard cry. Just look at it now as another way to draw closer to God - to see His vision for us through those tears.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Things I learned this week

I follow a fellow blogger that talks about things she learned through the week - some are insightful, some are funny, some are just there - but I thought, that's a good way to look back on the week. So, this will be my first attempt, & hopefully a weekly thing - & it'll really make me look at things during the week to see what I can get out of them. Here we go - the Things I learned this week:

* I can actually make a delicious pot roast with all the trimmings thanks to a crock pot. First time every & Ricky actually said, "That is the best meal you've EVER made" - & we've been together 15 years! Poor guy had to wait that long for a good, homecooked meal from me!

* Playing Guitar Hero can shut out the world, even when a tornado is looming over your house

* Candlelight truly is the most beautiful light there is

* When a friend is suffering, you can truly feel their hurt in your own heart

* A simple act by a youth can make your church grow in numbers

* What the heck a "Bearded Cap" was (who knew they existed?)

* That drooling on yourself because your laughing so hard - only makes you laugh harder!

* That I'm still so blessed to have my parents (my dad offered to drive the van full of kids to Cincinnati next week & come back to pick us up the next day - is that the sweetest thing ever?)

* That a busy mind can cause tons of mistakes during your day job

* The song "I Will Always Love you" by Whitney Houston is haunting me - I swear, its been everywhere this week to me!

* Yarn can brighten my day so much. I even told someone - everyone in the world needs to buy yarn - maybe that's the key to World Peace!

*Bowling really burns the muscles of your right inner thigh!

* Rainy days, dogs feet, & clean kitchen floors do not mesh well together!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Last night was just an emotional night for me. The lesson for the kids was on "Worship" & how God wants us to worship. We touched on the verse in John 4:23-24 - "yet a time is coming & has now come when the TRUE worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit & Truth, for they are the kind of worshipers that the Father SEEKS! God is Spirit & His worshipers must worship in Spirit & Truth"

We got into the difference of worshiping in Spirit & truth & what that means We then took some time to let the kids experience what we just talked about - worshiping - which simply means bringing God into the center of WHATEVER you do! So you can worship anywhere, anyway, anytime. We chose to do it in a simple way. We gave everyone candles, turned the lights out, & we had everyone one by one walk to the other side of the trailer & write on a board what they were thankful for to God. While they sat in silence thinking about what they would write - we had music playing.

First of all - to have 22 candles lit is just beautiful - to see the kids sit & really reflect & come & write things they were thankful for - the start of emotion was already getting to me. But then the music - oh my! I'm someone who when certain songs are played or words in a song touch me - they can break me down! Music is just powerful to me.

Well - I brought my New Song Rescue CD - it is probably one of my all time favorite CD's! I use to listen to it EVERY day - no joke!! I've seen New Song in concert a few times as well & just am moved by their music. Well, during the last few weeks of Steph's life, she had this CD playing NON STOP in her room. The CD also has the dreaded/beloved/bittersweet song of "You Are Holy". But ever since she passed away - I couldnt listen to it anymore. It was just too hard. I know Ryan had a connection with this music as well so I warned him that I was using this CD. So when the kids start worshiping themselves, the music starts. The first song is the rendition of "How Great Thou Art" - here's a video of their singing it - its amazing!

This song is beautiful & makes me want to cry anyways because it reminds me of my grandmother, Teenie. She LOVED this song - it was even played at her funeral. Again - music & memories - a strong force.

Well, I stayed on the other side of the room with my candle so there would be extra light for the kids as they walked over - Ryan was in charge of the song playing - especially since he knew the CD as well as me. After that song, he automatically turned to the song "Rescue" - which is my FAVORITE song of all time (& I know - its not by Steven Curtis Chapman!) - I was in tears - this song just punches me in the heart. Afterwards - Ryan was saying that was his favorite song & he had to hear it himself.

For me - the emotion of worshiping with these kids was something wonderful. It was a beautiful sight to see & a beautiful thing to feel. I hope the kiddos got a true sense of what it meant to worship from the heart.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I hope everyone around the area survived the 2nd bad storm we've had in the past week. It's February - what is the deal with tornado's in winter time? I'm all for Al Gore & the environment being completely screwed up! 60 & 70 degree weather the past few days & did I hear? Snow flakes tomorrow? Its not good watching "The Day after Tomorrow" either when all this is happening. (Note to self: if stranded in a ice storm - be in a library with lots of books for burning fire! Who says movies aren't helpful!)

Well, I knew the storms were coming but Ryan was bored & called & said, "Wanna play Guitar Hero?" - SURE! So he came over & we ended up playing for 3 hours - not even realizing that the storm is closer & closer. Yeah, I thought I saw lightening flashing but I thought it was because the electricity coming off my fingers on the guitar!

We didn't even realize the time - Ricky had gone to bed, the dogs were all laying down, and at this point, I was knitting while Ryan was going to town & we looked at the clock - it was 11:30! EEK! I've got to get up at 5:30 - time for bed. So Ryan leaves & I get settled into bed & as soon as my head hits the pillow, I hear sirens. At first, I think its just the ringing in my ears - they haven't been very well lately anyways & after all that music (some of those songs - UGH!) - so I decide to turn on the news. WOW - we are under a tornado warning & those are real sirens!

I woke up Ricky, all the dogs followed us downstairs & we watched the TV as we heard about the storms coming through & the tornado that had already killed 14 people in this same system! How was all this going on? I was in the happy world of Van Halen playing "Girl, You really got me now".

But sitting in the basement, watching the times of when things would "hit" as reported by the neighborhood weathe guy - it really is a helpless feeling. We have no windows downstairs - but we do have the walk out doors & man, those doors were shaking, rattling & the noise of the winds & rain & hail - WOW! I was waiting for any minute to hear that "train" sound that everyone says a tornado sounds like. Now, I'm not afraid of storms - I've even talked about that before, about my love of storms & me & my dad sitting in the middle of them - but man, the damage these storms have been causing. That's where you feel so helpless. Wouldn't it be nice if we could stop these things from being so powerful? We knew they were coming - knew they were going to be harsh - & we couldn't stop it - couldn't do a thing about it. I'm sitting in the basement, anxious to see what is being torn up outside with 100 mph winds & thinking, "God can just speak the word & these huge winds would stop!" Isn't that amazing power?

Then the thing that really strikes me - these storms get us back to where we need to be. Yes, it needs to be snowing in February - not a 70 degree day. Is this because of the way we treated our environment? I don't know - & I can get on a whole other topic about that on another day - but it just shows how the world takes care of itself - sets things in balance. It just showed me, once again, how powerful our God is - how everything is in His hands. So, I may have been helpless in the midst of this storm - & I know there will be more to come - but I know God isn't helpless - so that's all that matters to me!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Knitted Beard

Isn't this funny? A friend from church came up & said he had a "Knitting Project" for me. I was interested - then he went to tell me that he found a "Bearded Cap" & he explained it to me. Words can't explain it as well as the picture!

The problem was - its $130 to purchase this thing from a Norweigan company! No way - we can figure out this project! So I'm online trying to get ideas on how to pattern this thing out. That's one thing I'm not good at - writing up my own patterns. I know people who can look at something & figure out how to do it on their own (Yes, I'm talking to you Kristen & Lindsay!) I don't have that natural gift! I need that pattern in front of me - but I thought, I'll give it a go!

Well - I ended up finding that you can now buy these things for $24.99 here in the good ole USA!! AND you can buy changable mustaches for $6.99! Now there's your bargain! I emailed my friend back & told him I'm more than willing to figure this out (with a little help from my knitting friends) - but $24.99 - dang - that's just the cost of nice wool in itself. But I know as a knitter - its not the cost of yarn - I've had that argument with my husband for the past few years!

"Why are you going to pay $24.00 for a skein of yarn to make 1 pair of socks! I can buy you 24 pairs of socks at the Dollar Store" - my response, "but are they as pretty as my patterened, wool socks?" - you know you've had that conversation with someone!

We'll see if I end up making this knitted Beard Cap - could be interesting!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Angel Madelyn

One of the neat things about computers, you meet so many new people you would have never met & you read about so much of their lives - you become sort of involved from the side lines. I ran across a blog for a little girl named Kara Lee that someone from church had sent requesting prayer. She is currently fighting cancer & she's such a little trooper. She especially touches my heart because she has a twin - & with having twin nieces & knowing the bond they have & the closeness they share - I can't imagine what that would be like if something like this happened to one of them. (Thank you Lord that my nieces are healthy!)

But, during one of these entires a few months back, they had requested prayer for a fellow little girl that was at St. Jude - her name is Madelyn. I started following the story of this little girl & the battle she too endured. She has had cancer since she was a baby & has fought her Neuroblastoma for 4 years. You can check the site to see the road they have traveled. But in December, the medicines were no longer helping & the parents had to make the decision to stop all chemo & treatements. It's been heartbreaking but also inspiring to read the past few weeks. Then Saturday morning, I got up to read how she was because Friday, it just didn't sound very well. This was the post that was on the site:
SATURDAY FEB 2, 2008 (2-2 girl!)It is with deep sadness and a broken heart that we tell you our precious Madelyn is now sitting at the feet of Jesus. She passed holding both mommy and daddys hand at 3:19AM.What a glorious day it is for our beautiful princess as she tiptoes through the gates of heaven. She earned another "tutu" by entering on this date the second day of the second month! Dance Madelyn, dance! Run and play and never look back my precious girl! We love you and already miss you terribly.We are still home with Maddie just Neal and I and the Hospice nurse, Cathy (My mother picked up Tyler last night at 7) She has had a bed side bath, lotioned up, her nails and toes painted pink and sparkly (just the way she would want them!), and her little hand prints done. I will journal soon of her last night and early morning but for now I just can't. I will update soon the details of vistation and Life Celebration Service fit for a PRINCESS! We love you guys so very much!Love BrandiNeal, Tyler, ^Madelyn^ & Ella

Oh - I just sat at my computer & cried. How awful when we loose our loved ones, but to think of a family loosing a little girl - its just heart breaking. So the reason I'm posting this myself - I'm just asking you hold this family in your prayers today. They are having a "Life Celebration Service Fit for a Princess" today & I know its going to be beautiful but I know its going to be hard. Lift this family up - kiss your own child today - be thankful for all the health & blessing you have in your life.

And another thing, if you start looking at these sites - notice all the praises all these families give to St. Jude Hospital & Staff. The stories they tell about how this center provides something special for these kids almost every day - it's got to be one of the most bittersweet places to work - to make these children smile & then to see them in so much pain! Let's lift up the workers, volunteers, doctors & researchers at St. Jude - they must truly be angels on earth!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Grandbaby Update

Our little handsome redhead is going to be 4 months next week - can you believe it? He's already up to 13 lbs & just getting too big! But everyone needs to pray for him - he's been sick the past few weeks. On his first day to day care - what happens - he gets a cold! But then it really hit him hard & they thought he had RSV which is very common in preemies. Julie said the tests just came back on that & they are negative but he does have some sort of "Bronchiolitis" - ahh - that just even sound right to have that word in the same sentive with the word "baby". Julie said he coughs, then that makes him cry - then that makes him cough - & its a vicious cycle. He's taking breathing treatments at night & they apparently help him. Julie said that this morning, at least he was smiling & trying to "talk" to her in between coughs. Times like this - it kills me - I wish they were here so I could help out! But Julie is just being the best mommy! Keep her in your prayers as well to keep up strength so she can tend to him. Hopefully he's on the back side of this & he'll be back to good in no time!

I just had to add this picture because he just looks like he needs to be in Indiana with his Pappy - the red hair, camoflauge & over alls - that is a "Greenville" outfit if I've ever seen one!

And look at this blackmail picture that Daddy Steve took to blackmail Isaac when he's older - getting his diaper changed in front of the Alamo. I asked them - didn't Ozzy Osbourne get arrested for doing something similar at the Alamo a few years back? I'm just saying....
And can I say, I was shocked by this picture. I've not ever seen the Alamo in person - but I do distinctly remember in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" when he runs out of the Alamo from trying to find the Basement (Can you say Tortilla?) the yard looked massive - full of gree grass. See how movies put an image in your mind? Sorry, my mind wandered there....

And finally - isn't this the sweetest picture...