Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sun Oct 31

Tonight, I am thankful for hunting. I know, it's an odd thing to be thankful for, but living in a house where I rarely have to buy meat because my freezer stays stocked all the time, it's a blessing! Tonight, my sweet boy went hunting with Larry and got his first deer! He was SO excited! Poor kid was on such an adrenaline high that when it finally dropped, he threw up. I'm only going to share one picture with you because I don't know how squeamish everyone is. Here's my sweet little man with his deer, a young buck. I'll post pictures tomorrow of our Halloween fun, but tonight, we're all glowing with him. He's so proud!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fri Oct 29 & Sat Oct 30

Tonight's daily thankfulness blog post is a 2-fer. Last night, I was so wound up after the football game (2 Dr. Peppers will do that to ya), I couldn't focus. So I didn't post. Sorry folks! (or folk. I have no idea who's reading this or if anyone is!)

Today I'm grateful for my vehicle. I know, it seems silly to be grateful for a van, but let's just be honest. We're all grateful for material items. And besides, I can't write about non-tangible things I'm thankful for all month long! World peace & a cure to hunger can only take up so many posts. ha ha! (oh wait....we don't have either of those things yet so I can't be thankful for them...yet. Dang, my quick wit didn't work out this time and now I probably sound like a big meanie. Hmm....moving on.)

In 2006 when we 'adopted' our niece & nephew, we had a 1998 Ford Windstar minivan. It had about 130,000 miles on it. It only had 1 back (sliding side) door on the passenger's side. The bench seat in the middle row made it hard to get into the back row of seats if you are taller than a 3 year old. And there were lots of 'little' problems starting to happen with it that we suspected were leading to much bigger, scarier (and more expensive!) repairs. Knowing that I am the primary driver & caregiver for our kids, we felt like it was safest to get a new(er) mini-van. We were concerned that I might break down somewhere with 5 kids (under the age of 10), so the quest was on for a new van with fewer miles and if possible, captain's chairs in the 2nd row. And we knew that some of the newer mini-vans were being made with a wider wheel base, which means a LITTLE more room to stretch out in the back 2 rows of seats. We called our friend who is the used car manager at a local dealership & told him what was going on & what we needed. Like always, he found what we needed at a price we could afford within a couple of days. (Way to go Josh! You rock! Check him out at this dealership if you're local to us!) And so, we became the owners of a new (to us!) 2003 Honda Odyssey with captain's chairs in the center row, a wider wheel base, dual sliding side doors and a million other features that made this van totally trump our falling-apart Windstar. We're still driving this van today & although it's now got 120K+ miles & a few electrical glitches, it's still running perfectly & fits our family just fine, so I suspect we'll have it for a little while longer.

I'm not just thankful for the van itself, although I do think we're pretty blessed to have a reliable vehicle that I feel safe driving my family around in. The truth is, I'm incredibly grateful for the time we spend inside the doors of this van. We laugh together. Larry & I have great talks. The kids interact (usually!) much better than they do outside the van. We sing (sometimes along to a CD). We joke around. We take silly pictures. We eat. We drink. We are merry! We deliver meals to friends & family after births, deaths, surgeries, adoptions. We talk about God & Scriptures & "big issues" of life. I can't tell you how many serious parental conversations we've had while driving down the road with the kids.

Sure, the kids fight and drinks get spilled. Youngsters have thrown up (several times) and tears have been soaked up by the seats. The kids have fought over who sits in which chair and Larry or I have gotten lost & had to re-drive miles to find the right way. But despite the sometimes yucky stuff that goes on inside the van, the majority of it has made me smile. Our family has lots of memories inside our van. And so tonight, I'm thankful for my mini-van!

NOTE: These pictures are not my van. They are just stock pictures I found online that look like my van without all the crap in the floorboards.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thurs Oct 28

Today I'm thankful for my son. I'm thankful for him all the time, but today he's my focus for the purpose of this blog.

Samuel has always been the source of lots of laughter at our house. He's always been a HILARIOUS kid without even trying. I could tell you story after story of silly things he's done over the years, but would explode if I tried to type them all. Sometimes it's pure comedy. Sometimes it's just general gross boy-ness that cracks me up. Sometimes it's the shock factor of whatever he says or does that makes my sides hurt from laughing. Today's funny Samuel story came from the car ride home after school.

Samuel: Hey mom, guess what?
Me: What?
Samuel: Gage owes me $2 & Trent owes me $1. (not their actual names)
Me: Really? Why do they owe you money?
Samuel: Because I licked the rock on the ground at recess.
Me: WHAT????? Samuel that's so gross! You really shouldn't take bets like that! They were just trying to get you to do something disgusting. That was really mean of them!
Samuel: Oh no, it wasn't that kind of bet. I TOLD THEM I'd lick the rock if they'd pay me $1-2. They agreed, so I did it.
Me: Oh dear.

Yes, my goofy child actually approached other children, offered to pick up a filthy rock & lick it.

Sigh....sometimes I have to roll my eyes & thank God for giving me a little boy so I can see how the other side lives. Other times I have to thank God that he's still alive. I'm kind of amazed that he's made it to (nearly) 11 years old with no broken bones, no stitches and no major viral or bacterial infections from licking rocks, picking up snakes, squeezing bugs and otherwise being a b-o-y!

I love you, you gross little creature. You make me smile every day. I can't imagine NOT having a little boy in my house. Thank you for being the precious, funny person you are!

A random mix of sweet Samuel pictures for your enjoyment!

Samuel's baptism (by Larry) -- January 08
Samuel--about 3yr old
at a birthday party when he was in 1st grade
tee hee....a blackmail picture! (approx 5 yr old)
first day of Kindergarten
Summer 2010--swaps day at Scout day camp
Summer 2010 at the rodeo
Summer 2010 -- making pizza
Summer 2010 with his buddy who came into town & surprised him!
Summer 2010 at Keep Texas Beautiful conference where he received an award.
6 or 7 years old, attempting to blow Savannah's french horn
Helping mama with the laundry (& Sarah was ready to "help" him into the washing machine!)
See? Alllllllll boy.
Handsome little devil! (about 7yr old)
Christmas 2008

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wed Oct 27

Today I am grateful that my husband went with me on a walk tonight. Granted, it's almost an every night thing, but tonight I am particularly grateful he was there with the dog & I. We walked up on a snake in the street at the back of our neighborhood tonight. I was thinking we'd just back up & go the other way or walk wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy around it. But Larry grabbed a big stick & beat the snake to death & then picked it up (with the stick) & tossed it out into the woods.

So even though I'll probably talk about my husband later on in this month of gratefulness, tonight I'm especially grateful for him!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tues Oct 26

Tonight, I'm grateful for my kids' schools. Please don't misunderstand. I'm not meaning that in an anti-homeschool or 'get my kids out of my hair' sort of way. I love being around my kids & hanging out with them. But I really am proud of my kids' schools. I won't post any school names or info about our specific school district on here for safety sake, but rest assured, I am pleased with them!

When Savannah was 4, I bought Pre-K homeschool curriculum to teach her. My older sister homeschools her kids, so I thought maybe I should at least consider it for our kids. I look back on that now & laugh. You see, Savannah & I butted heads the whole time. We were definitely NOT cut out to be a homeschooling mom/child. (I laugh because I later went on to teach preschool for 5 years and LOVED it.....I don't know why it didn't work for me & my own child!) Anyway, as soon as I realized that homeschooling her was NOT going to work, I panicked. We were living, at that time, in a neighboring town where the schools are not so great. Larry was a police officer in the town for 3 years and heard all sorts of horror stories about the school system there. I was NOT going to put my baby girl in that school, but we couldn't afford to send her to a private school. We started looking for a rent house in one of 2 neighboring towns & ended up landing in the town we live in now. It's the same town where I grew up & went to the schools here K-12. It was pretty sweet to think of my own baby girl going to the same campuses where I went to school 30 years ago!

And so, since 2001, we've had at least one child in this school district. With the exception of 1 or 2 teachers, we've been incredibly happy with every person we've come into contact with at every campus.

We recognize that we're incredibly lucky and so very blessed to live in this particular town with these particular schools & these particular teachers. Not everyone is so lucky! If we lived just a few miles north of here or a few miles south, we wouldn't be in such a great school system!

So tonight I'm thankful for our awesome schools in our sweet little small Texas town. {and I'm equally blessed & grateful to work for this same school district!}

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Oct. 25th

Today marks 1 month until my favorite holiday--Thanksgiving. And so today begins my month of gratefulness. Every day from now until Thanksgiving, I will post 1 thing I am grateful for. I'm going to keep a running list throughout the month. Please join me in posting to your blog things you are grateful for.

Today I am grateful for my home.
I have a roof over my head when it's too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry. I have walls around me to protect me from wind, rain, snow, sleet, hail and invaders (of the human or bug or animal variety). I have furniture to sit on, a table to eat at, floors that protect my feet from injury.

According to this website, the statistics for homelessness in the United States are as follows.
  • There are 671,859 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States - roughly 22 of every 10,000 people are homeless.
  • Of that number, 37 percent are people in families and 63 percent are individuals.
And according to this site, the numbers world wide show that there are roughly 100 million homeless people.

And so, tonight I am grateful for my home. What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday, October 17

It's been almost 2 years since we stepped down from full time ministry. It's hard to believe it's been that long. But God is good. Larry needed a little bit of time to breathe, be fed and just relax for the first several months after we left the church. But it was less than 6 months before he was yearning to preach & teach again. He was given several opportunities at our church to lead a Sunday School class and loved that. Now and then he has been called on to preach a funeral or serve in some other pastoral capacity. But in the past 6 months, he's been given quite a few chances to fill the pulpit for an out of town preacher or at a church where they were searching for a pastor candidate. And he's LOVED it. I love seeing him in his element!

This morning, we drove to Grace Bible Church for Larry to preach. The church has an affiliation with our church so when their pastor is out of town, they call to have our staff help them find a fill-in. Today it was Larry's turn. He spoke from 2 Kings 4:8-36 about Elisha's involvement with the Shunnamite woman and her dying son. He talked about getting involved in ministry, not just throwing money at it or paying it lip service. In the story, Elisha met & became acquainted with a woman from Shunam. She & her husband created an apartment (more or less) on the roof of their home for him to stay when he came through town doing ministry. Elisha became a part of their family & was welcomed into their home. He prophesied that the woman would have a son after years of barrenness. She had a son & several years later, he was out working in the fields with his father when he got sick. He came into the house & died in his mother's arms. She carried his body up to Elisha's bed and layed him there and then sent someone to go find Elisha & bring him to their home. Elisha went to the boy & prayed for God's help and then layed his body over the boy's. He got up, prayed some more & then layed down on the boy again. While it may seem VERY odd to us, Elisha was following what God asked him to do. The boy came back to life & God got the glory for it! Larry talked about getting involved with and forming relationships with people who don't look like "pretty church folks" and going out & getting your hands dirty. I sat there hearing Larry speak & knowing that my sweet husband has spent many an hour getting dirty, holding hands, praying over people and living life with them in the trenches of life. He's sat on the Hospice bed, holding hands with dying men and women. He's put together & run the little details of an emergency shelter for hurricane victims. He's served dinner on fine china to homeless men & women at Thanksgiving. He's built houses for the poor. He's been to homes of people to share a meal. He's camped out in a hospital waiting room while a child lies lifeless in the ICU, begging God for a miracle with the family of the child. He's changed diapers and helped single mamas with their little ones when their earthly fathers deserted them. He wasn't speaking out of vanity or to raise himself up & look good. In fact, he never once mentioned anything he's personally done in his sermon this morning. He talked about JESUS. He talked about how HE touched the lifeless, how HE held the hopeless. He talked about how HE ate with sinners and met the needs of the needy. It was about about Him! I love that about my sweet husband. He never speaks out of vain motivation, but he really knows what he's talking about because he lives what he preaches!

Larry had to deal with some work stuff tonight, so he couldn't go with us this time, but the kids & I went to the local homeless shelter with some of the youth group from church to serve a meal. I'm so glad to do things like that with the kids. Watching them step out of their comfort zone, put on the armor of God & act like Jesus to people who need to see I am a blessed woman. And ya know what? When Larry planned this morning's sermon, he didn't even know what the kids & I were going to be doing tonight. I love how God worked out the details, had the kids sitting there listening this morning, and then helped us put the message into action tonight!

God is so good!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's coming!!!

My favorite holiday is coming up!

No....not Halloween. My favorite day of the year is Thanksgiving! To celebrate it, I'm starting a month early! On Monday (Oct 25th), I will start a month of posts about what I'm grateful for! I'd love for you to join me. Spread the word & ask others to do the same. Link them here & have them leave me a comment so I can follow their posts about what they're grateful for too!

PS Feel free to steal my picture above & include it with your posts. Or create your own at!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


We made these at work a few days ago. It's so fun....check it out:

I want to be a hound dog!

This morning after I took the kids to school, I came home to find our sweet dog, Daisy, sitting at the fence watching for my return. She does it every single day and it always makes me melt into a big puddle of sweetness. I realize she's a dog, but having someone running to greet you, dancing around, giddy to see you....well, there's just something special about that.

You have to understand that we're on a corner lot. The street is on one side of our house & the driveway is on the opposite end. So when Daisy sees me at the stop sign, turning onto our street, she has to run to the other end of the house to greet me at the gate when I pull into the driveway. And she does, every time.

As I saw her running around the house to greet me this morning, I couldn't help but well up with the vision of how God must feel when He sees us worshipping Him. I mean, if a DOG can make me feel pretty special just because she runs to greet me when I pull into the driveway, how much pride must God feel when one of His saints comes running to Him?! Scripture tells us that He shows up when we praise Him, that He holds our prayers in bowls & that they are a fragrance in Heaven, that He sings over us. How beautiful a sight it must be to see believers running to Him, lifting their hands in praise, becoming completely engrossed in worshipping Him, bowing down to honor Him. How beautiful it must be for Him to hear a little child's prayers, to hear an elementary student bring Him honor.

If my basset hound can make my heart flutter, I can only imagine the way I must make Him feel.

And I don't know why I'm including this particular song....but it was on my heart this morning, so enjoy! (scroll down & pause the music at the bottom)

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's October, it's October, it's October!

And you know what that means, right?

My duties as a Room Mom have begun. I'm burning pumpkin scented candles & have apple cinnamon potpourri in a dish on top of the TV. I'm already seeing friends posting about making pumpkin spice muffins on Facebook & it seems so fitting. The weather is beginning to cool off & I actually had to wear a jacket to take the kids to school this morning. I've been pondering when we'll need to get out the boxes of Fall & Winter clothes. I've begun writing our Christmas letter & have starting working on Christmas gifts. Halloween is right around the corner, which then leads to my favorite holiday of the entire year -- THANKSGIVING!!!!!! And then of course Christmas is right behind it. Oh yes, indeed. This is the most wonderful time of the year!!

{Note: All photos were taken Sat. 10/2/10 at Pappy's Pumpkin Patch.}