Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy 14th Birthday, Tyler!


Today Tyler (Biscuit from the "Chronicles of Biscuit" stories) is 14 years old!  He's grown many inches over the past year, but has also grown in other ways.  He's more mature, becoming a young man rather than little boy.  He still gives me hugs, so I'm adjusting with his maturity. I tell him those can never stop! :)
I love having a child with a "winter" time birthday, and it's especially fun having one near Christmas. He didn't care what kind of party he had, just cared about the food!  He okayed a rustic theme, so it was fun decorating with red and black buffalo checks, wood-looking items, and his "tree stump" cake with a camping theme on top.
It's hard to see, but the cake has a red/black buffalo checkered tent, a little campfire, and marshmallows around the bottom, mostly just because I turned the cake board over for the cake to sit on and the greasy icing was making the board look bad. Marshmallows covered it up!
Tyler's next oldest brother and his girlfriend, Camry helped make the banner for me. They did a great job!
Blow out the candles! I didn't have 14 of them. Think I had 10 - oops!
Then this morning, Tyler got to have a non-typical breakfast of donuts!  Since our elf is a permanent fixture and always will be around here, I'm blaming him (Buddy) for the donuts! 

Happy birthday, Tyler!

You are such a blessing to our family. I can't imagine what it would be like without you in the family and wouldn't want to.  You bring joy, laughter, and special moments to our family by your personality.  You're a combination of your two brothers - a little "serious and clean cut" like Zachary and a little "crazy rough and tumble" like Jacob! Ha ha! You think that makes you perfect to be a little like both of them. I won't go so far as to say perfect, but it is pretty neat!  

Thank you for being YOU. Thank you for the example you are to those around you. I pray that you always keep God at front and center of your life, that you continue to walk in the steps of Jesus - striving to live your life always for Him, and that you continue to grow in Him and in your service of the church.  Never forget that THOSE THINGS are most important - not the things of the world.

I love you to the moon and back, forever and always. 

LOVE, MOM

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

My pictures uploaded backwards, and for some reason I can't get them moved, so I'll start backwards on Thanksgiving week with our family! I also can't get the text to publish right, so sorry about that. It's mostly for my own personal record, so I'll just be confused someday as to why this is!

This picture is the State Semifinals game, which we won! We're headed, once again, to the State Championship!! It's so exciting and brings back lots of great memories from years past. This photo is our son, backup quarterback, who played several minutes at the end of the game. Since we were so much ahead, he was coached to just take a knew for the last few downs. I love this picture of him looking back at the coach, his cousin. :)

This picture below is of the cinnamon rolls our oldest son made for Thanksgiving week. He made the dough for these, as well as the hot roll dough. He did such a great job! They were delicious! This brings back memories of Thanksgivings past where my father-in-law and my husband's grandmother used to make the rolls. What a wonderful family tradition!


Next photo: The younger cousins' table keeps growing and growing! Second cousins and family guests make this photo even more special. We love welcoming new family members into the family :). The newest little family member attending was three months old. It was his first visit to Oklahoma!

Next: The annual pumpkin bash was lots of fun!  There weren't too many that splattered everywhere, but when they do, they are picture-perfect moments that are fun to capture!  One pumpkin was filled with whipped cream and water, making it a surprise splatter!  But at least it smelled better than a rotten pumpkin!

The annual "cousins" picture is always a big group, no matter who is missing or here. There's just a BUNCH of them, no matter what!  And what a blessing that is!

I captured a sweet picture of my husband coloring with a niece and great-nieces and nephews.  Love this one!

And back to the football game...A family picture with our immediate family...the next to last one we will have with this Senior.  So thankful for those memories and for those who came. We had lots of relatives who were able to be there, which was extra-special!

Our youngest son is the official team videographer. He got to be in the press box and wear the special press pass.  He felt pretty important - and was important for his cousin, the head coach! :)

The next picture is our nephew (the head coach), another nephew who plays on the team, our son who plays, and a niece who's a cheerleader.  On the end is our brother-in-law and uncle to these three in the middle...dad to the head coach.  He's the defensive coach.  What a special picture!

And back to Thanksgiving day!  The annual Turkey Trot, in its 10th year.  This nephew and his wife are newlyweds. They "ran" to the finish line dramatically making it seem like they were finishing the tedious run with tears and sweat. Ha ha! Not sure they ever broke a sweat, actually, but boy, did they have fun and make it look like a dramatic ending! Not surprising because he's in the photo/video industry and he knows exactly what it takes to have great photos captured!! :)

Last picture is the group Turkey Trot picture.  A big group in the great weather!

I designed this graphic for t-shirts, thinking it would be a neat family thing.  It didn't quite work out like I wanted it to, but I'm thankful we have them for the memories and traditions it represents.  Sometimes things don't work out like we want it, but for me it was important.  So it matters to me and is special to me. 


I am thankful for God's blessings in my life and in the life of my family.  I am thankful for this tradition and the memories that we have shared together. This is THANKSGIVING.  Thank you, God.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Rest

Yesterday after school, my youngest son, Tyler and I went to the nearest large (to us) town to do some shopping. I let him pick what he wanted to eat, but then we stopped by to get Panda Express for the next oldest son, Jacob, who had been at football practice for a few hours after school.  My husband is out of town, so didn't have to worry about his supper.

We didn't take the Panda Express order until 6:15, so got home about 7:15.  Surprisingly, when I hollered at Jacob, he didn't respond.  I hollered again. Still nothing. I went into the living room and he was laying (or lying...sorry if that's not proper :) ) and he was asleep! I couldn't believe it because he NEVER takes a nap!  I went over to him and poked him a little, saying his name.  Still nothing!  Finally I figured if he was that sound asleep, I should just put the food on warm in the oven.

A few hours passed and Jacob stayed asleep.  Tyler and I both went to bed, still surprised Jacob was snoozing!  I woke up during the night and remembered Jacob being on the couch.  I went to check and he was still there!

I set my alarm a little early, just to be sure to wake Jacob up when he likes to be up.  When I woke up, he was awake.  He said he'd gotten up a little bit before then, but was surprised, himself, that he slept on the couch all night long.  He figures that he got 12 hours of sleep!  I honestly am not sure he's ever done that before - in his WHOLE LIFE!  It was crazy!  But, obviously he needed it.  The funny thing is that he said he dreamed about Panda Express! He'll have it for lunch today.

Rest is important. We must have rest.  Sometimes we don't rest well because we don't allow ourselves to do so.  Rarely is Jacob home alone, but he never just lays down on the couch like that at that time of the day.  He had done school homework, college homework, unloaded the dishwasher for me, then laid down to watch Monday Night Football, which hadn't started.  Something about that couch just made him relaxed and he fell asleep. (I tell my family all of the time that it's the best place for sleeping!  That's why I never allow myself to sit there during the day! If I have to sit, I sit at the dining or kitchen table.  Otherwise I would fall asleep!)

Jesus came to earth as a human.  He rested. EVEN THE SON OF GOD NEEDED REST!  Why do we think we don't need rest when He did?

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. Matthew 6:31-32

Jesus knew He had to have rest so that He could do what God sent Him to do.  He could only fulfill His mission on earth if He got proper rest.  It's the same way with us.  We can only do what God needs us to do if we get proper rest.  And I'm speaking to myself as much as anyone else! It's hard for me to rest sometimes.  I get too busy.  But then I crash.  That's not good!

How about you? Do you need rest?  Maybe you need a 12 hour sleep like Jacob had!  Or maybe you just need an hour.  Either way, take the time to rest today.  Meditate on God's Word.  Get alone for awhile.  I've noticed that I can be "alone" without being alone...you know?  I have to deliberately be quiet and find a quiet place to really be alone - without distractions.  Find a place to rest.  You'll be refreshed and ready to serve again.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

IT'S NOT ABOUT ME!


Any time I get to thinking too much, and realize that my focus might be more about myself than about others or about God and Jesus, I strive to keep this thought in my mind:  "It's not about ME, it's about HIM."  As I was driving down the road having that thought yesterday, it occurred to me that too often "I" am wanting to be in the spotlight of something.  I'm being selfish.  I'm concerned about my wants or my feelings.  Not that it is always bad to do so, but too much of it can lead to depression or negative thinking in a hurry.  I was thinking, "It's hard for my light to shine for HIM, if I'm too concerned about myself being in the spotlight."  I decided to make a little meme to share this thought with others, just in case they, too, had these selfish thoughts from time to time.

I suppose we all do, really.  It's easy to get caught up in ourselves, isn't it?  I blame mine on hormones, just to be honest, because I'm rarely "down" about anything. When I am it almost always equates to a hormonal issue that's out of whack for a short time.  (Oh, the joys of the mid-40's! NOT.) But it makes me think of those who might not ever "get out" of these thoughts....what about them?  And what if it wasn't a hormone thing?  What could I do to help get the negativity from my mind?

For me, what I've found has been found driving down a highway. When you live in a remote area as I do, you spend a lot of time driving on highways.  Often I listen to my favorite Pandora station, but I have a very favorite thing to do, and that is to put it on my iTunes "worship" playlist filled with acapella praise and worship songs from various groups, such as Hallal, The Zoe Group, Narrow Way, and a few others.  I LOVE IT!  It instantly "peps" me up and makes me feel better!

So now I think, WHY DO I NOT JUST START OUT EVERY DAY WITH THIS PLAYLIST?!  Well, I do listen to that playlist often and at random or scheduled times, but I haven't wanted to listen to it all of the time because I wanted it to be different.  I wanted that list to be "reserved" in a sense, but now I see that my thinking is WRONG.  I NEED those songs each and every day. I NEED to be uplifted every day! MAYBE if I listened to them ever day - at the beginning of every day - it would change the whole day...or at least change ME for the whole day.  Who knows? (God.)  

So today, I'm starting out with HIM even more so than usual Bible reading as soon as a I wake up and quick prayer before leaving the bed.  (I need to work on that part, too.)  And as I go through the day, I'll remind myself to keep ME out of the spotlight, to shine brightly for HIM, and strive to always remember that none of this is about me ever.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Quit Scaring the Children!"

Sunday night our congregation hosted a youth event where many surrounding towns came to join in the worship and fellowship time together.  The speaker, Brandon, who is a youth minister, had a wonderful lesson from Daniel 3 about the "Fiery Furnace".  If you know the story, you know that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego wouldn't bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar's idol and so he threw them into an extremely hot furnace.  God saved the three men, even putting a forth man who looked like "as son of a god" into the fire with them.  He saved them because of their faith in Him.

Brandon talked encouraged all of us to be like these men - not caving in to anything in the world, but standing firm in our faith in God.  One thing he also said was to the adults in the audience. He specifically said to those "45 and older" (which I take offense in since I'm barely over that age! Haha!) was to for "us" to QUIT SCARING THE CHILDREN.  He realizes, as we all do, that this world has its problems.  The up-coming election has many people worried and scared about the future, even to the point of posting ridiculous and outlandish things on social media that are meant to be a scare tactic and pursuade people to vote for their chosen candidate.  The problem with all of this is that we are telling the children we are scared, afraid, and fearful for their future.  And as Christians, there's a big problem with our example when we are showing fear over faith.  God says, "Do not fear" over and over and over again in His Word, yet many times we get so bogged down in fear that we can't see those promises.

So what can you and I do instead of being afraid at the outcomes of elections and the future for our children and grandchildren?  We can pray.  We SHOULD pray!  And we can show our children and grandchildren that CHRIST is King, no matter what happens in this world.  What else can we do?  We can be strong and courageous, keeping the faith at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did, not caving in to fear, even through the "hottest fire" we can imagine.

Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's example showed and proved to King Nebuchadnezzar that there is only One God, you possibly may show someone else the same.  Someone may come to know Him because of that faith.

QUIT SCARING THE CHILDREN!  Let them see your strong faith! Let them see your hope and trust in the Lord.  In doing so, you're growing their own faith in Him.

Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God.
Daniel 3:28



 
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