Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nothing left....An empty cake plate!

I think the vote is in and the Layered Peppermint Cheesecake was a success! I wanted to show you the inside of this delicious cake...but nothing was left except the sugared rosemary. So I guess I'll leave you a before photo and you'll have to just imagine what the inside looked and tasted like! Trust me was really good! The link for the recipe is in my previous post.  I suppose I may just have to try this recipe again..... I would love to hear your thoughts about this cake!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Southern Living's Layered Peppermint Cheesecake....and a Holcombe Family Gathering

I knew a couple of weeks ago, when this cake made it's way onto our local morning news, that it would be making it's appearance to our annual Holcombe Family Christmas party. This lady...Melodie Belcher who submitted it to Southern living is from Atlanta. I watched in amazement as she shared her recipe and this sweet peppermint plate made from real peppermint candies! I guess I have a little bit of my Grandmama Melton in me...oh how I miss her! She always made the best cakes...and pies!

This is my first attempt at creating a masterpiece beautiful Christmas inspired cake. I can't wait to taste the combination of cheesecake, peppermint, white sour cream cake and white chocolate mousse frosting. Of course a cake wouldn't be a southern cake without a little touch of Paula Deen...sugar coated rosemary!

We won't be tasting this until this evening...if it makes it out of here! So I'll be back with our southern review of this beautiful cake!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fundraising in the school system....

Just venting a little....

With today's economy many school systems are being greatly affected. I live in a rural county where many local businesses are struggling to survive. The last thing they have money for is advertising in a school newspaper. Have we come to the place where we are using our kids to peddle for the lack of funding in our school system? Are we distracting them from their learning time so we can fund things we might be able to cut out? Let's face it...We as Americans waste a lot of  dollars on unnecessary things just so we can have the biggest and the best!

I first want to say....I am not opposed to fundraising. In fact our son works for a really great company that not only helps the school with raising money....but helps to build the student's character in a week long program!

I guess I am of the belief that if the funds aren't there, then the program needs to be cut or an alternative made.Thinking outside the box is not something many are good at, even when other suggestions are made.

Our daughter is taking a class where part of her grade includes collecting  $ in advertising for the school paper which is handed out for FREE. 10 % of her overall grade to be exact. Stated in her grades is that each student is responsible for a $ 200 Goal for advertising.  Isn't a goal a projected amount...and an attempt to get there? For three weeks in a row she participated going out with the other students in her own car and using her own gas money to seek business who would advertise.This was during the class period. Several weeks ago I noticed her grade for this part of the class. A 0 and a sweet little message.....Make an effort...everyone else has! That was enough to get my mama feathers ruffled!

In an effort to teach her to stand up for her rights, I encouraged her to talk with her teacher and an administrator. The conversation with the teacher went no where. She was told to ask everywhere she visited for $ and even ask people at our church. We have 9 kids....we don't eat out very often. She has an after school job at our local recreation center and goes to church....that's the extent of her social life right now.

Since when do students have to pay for a grade? Is fundraising a subject or part of one? Are my tax $ not enough? I do support the fact that she needs to earn her grade...but not by collecting $ for a free publication. When I can't afford something I do away with it or adjust my spending so I can. How about teaching the students to think of other ways to publish the paper? Maybe an online readership? Print less papers? Charge the teachers and students for the paper?

Her grade with the nice little message was a 0 until today. Now it's an 80 and the message has been deleted. Along with the teachers request that they continue fundraising long after the semester ends. This was a one semester class. Hmmm....I wonder where this will go next? Will she get a grade for that? I want my kids to learn to give and help....but not for a grade!

Am I wrong in my thoughts about this class requirement? Is it even legal to make a student raise funds for a grade? Sometimes teaching your kids to stand up for themselves and not settle just so they don't ruffle feathers or disrespect  can be a task in itself. Teaching them that it isn't disrespectful to question an adult when something clearly isn't right.  How about when the teacher disrespects a student with a comment on a grade report? Should she settle for her final grade of a 90?

How about when a student has done an assignment, turned it in ontime, it's been graded but not entered into the grade book, but returned to the student? Only to be given a 0 until the student can prove that it was turned in. Kids Stand Up!  Hold your teachers accountable! Yes, they make mistakes...but their mistakes affect your GPA and Transcript! 

 I have come to the conclusion....Our teachers need more dollars and more help in the classrooms, just not for a grade!

A mother's work is never done.........

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Christmas Story....

I'm not really sure where this story came from. I discovered it while searching for a recipe in my little stash of handed down morsels of goodness. I guess you could say this story was in a very appropriate place! Sometimes we all need to be reminded...especially me! I hope you enjoy...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The rest of the story....the old quilt

As I walked into the hidden basement sale my eyes met a small stack of fabric. I got the shakes! I guess I have a slight addiction to fabric! A sweet elderly woman and her daughter greeted us as this 73 year old lady asked "Oh do you sew?" With a smile on my face I said "Just a little." Next to the fabric lay 2 old handmade quilts. As I picked them up we got into a conversation about quilting and which of these old quilts she liked best. I love old things!  She had a price tag of $15 on each of these quilts but told me  I could have them for $10. Yes... $10! My heart did a little pitter patter. I didn't want to act too excited!  I stacked the fabric and this beautiful old quilt... I then wanted to run quickly before she changed her mind. Yard sales are suppose to be a place where you find "Good Deals" but all we had seen up to this point was way over priced junk! I felt like I hit the jackpot!
As we listened to this woman share about some of her old things, I couldn't help but think of what a history she has. Her love for sewing and quilting was coming to an end. She was willing to let go of her prize possessions as they made their way to loving homes. I guess we had a connection with our love for sewing. I chose a few other things...a couple of her newer small quilt pieces. I really should have bought more.  I quickly paid and ran walked to the car. I really couldn't believe she let me leave her basement with these beautiful old things!
Walking back to the car I told my husband I didn't understand why she had such low prices on her things. I knew how much time she had invested in her treasures. His response was priceless...."She knows her time is short. She would rather she her things go to someone who would appreciate them. She had no need to hang onto them." When you know your time is short....earthly treasures seem less important. I know God says He will make all things new one day and to not store up earthly treasures...but I really love old things, old people.  Why do I store up old things? Maybe because the old understand life and what is really important.  They realize true value in giving, letting go and you can't put a price tag on that !

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My love for old things....Any Guesses?

My husband and I have been hitting yard sales for the past several weekends. On occasion we run across a treasure or two. This past weekend I walked away with more than a treasure. Any guesses as to how much I paid for this beauty? be continued!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I remember........

Loving someone for 27 years is amazing in itself ! The day we said "I do" my grandparents were married 60 years. Lord willing we will celebrate our 60 year mark one day! Marriage isn't easy and it takes a lot of work. A lot of effort! We have walked many difficult roads these past 27 years. But we have walked some very great ones too! Each day brings new and exciting adventures...if you know Kelley you will understand what I am saying. Throw 9 other lives in there and my day can be exhaustingly exciting! I will never regret this life I have been given. I love the man whom I share this journey and my life with!

Our life together for 27 years.........
I remember falling for you and you for me. Even though some said it wouldn't still chose to see.
You chose to see what God had planned. You promised to cherish and always hold my hand!
I remember the bee and that first kiss. I remember asking God "Are you sure about this?"
 I remember all the hard times and how we got through. I remember the good times and laughing with you.
I remember all the job moved up so quick!. Each one brought us a new home and a blue line on the pregnancy stick.
9 little lives have brought us joy and pride. Each day they bring chaos with a little insanity on the side.
Look at all the memories...some good and some bad.We have done life together...that makes me so very glad.
I'll never regret saying "I do" to you that day. I'm looking forward to the future and planning our next getaway!
Tomorrow we plan to celebrate 27 years. Spending time alone with you has been music to my ears!
                                                               I love you!

 Happy Anniversary my love!
27 years of life, love and adventure....Kelley Holcombe you are the greatest gift I have ever been given! Walking this journey of life with you has made me who I am....and you still love me anyway!  As we step into the next 27 years....I pray they are even more adventurous than the last.With you I can love, laugh and live life to the fullest as we journey this life God had planned. I love you and the life we have built together!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Time alone in a big city...Holy Batman!

Well I'm the big city. Monday came way too early. I was up at 4:30 am after sleeping only a couple of hours. I guess I was excited about my big trip to the city....and spending time with my hubby. It was all I could do to keep my eyes open all day. We arrived early enough to grab some lunch and walk a couple of miles around the city before Kelley had his late afternoon meetings. These 100 degree temps added to my fatigue or maybe it's the lack of exercise I have let consume my body. I have no more excuses....time to get this old lady up and motivated!

Today I have had so much alone time and it's only 2 pm. Not sure if I like this or not. However, I know it's good and much needed. But how does a mom of many learn to sit still and relax? Other than throwing them at my little ones, those two words haven't been in my vocabulary in a very long while. Today I took off on my own and ventured into the city. Mostly because I needed nourishment. I found this great little cafe...thistle while you work.  I felt like such a country girl walking the streets of this big city. Maybe by the time we fly home, I'll have tried many more sweet little resturants and walked many more miles in this heat. Look out Rachael Ray...I could bring back your $40 a day show!

Our hotel is set back across the lake from the city next to the Bat bridge. It's a bridge where millions of bats emerge from under the bridge at dusk to blanket the night sky. Bat Bridge Here you can get a glimpse of what I'm talking about. I knew I should have brought my cape!

It's time to go lounge by the pool ! Maybe I'll just take a nap.... Oh the life of a mom of many! I guess I should be careful...I wouldn't want to get too use to this....would I?!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Here it is.......

Finally time with my man! I'm not complaining, but he travels so much I feel like we have been living in two different worlds for the past several months. I am very thankful for his great job! He has worked very hard to get where he is today while raising a very large family. Then throw the kids summer activities in there and all we have become is part time roommates. Wives....make time for your husbands! Even if it's for just a few minutes!

So in 3 days I will fly with my hubby for a week of  resting on a deserted island him in daily meetings and me sitting by the pool. We will have evenings for some much needed time together!

Five whole days of no driving.....sleeping ....resting .....I might actually feel like a human for the first time in my life again!

Yes....just me and my man! Can you tell I have needed some time away with him?!

I am so looking forward to celebrating 27 years of being loved by one of the greatest gifts I have ever received!

Pulling this getaway off is no small endeavor. Making sure everyone is taken care of...packing the younger 3 for grandma's house. A wedding and a soccer tournament several hours away. All this in two days! My plate is full and overflowing!  Is it Monday yet?!

Then there is the battle of the mom mind... the guilt! I know the enemy is at work trying to distract me from investing in my marriage. Keeping me from my much needed time away. I will NOT be defeated! I will miss my kiddos...they are my life! But having one on one time with the man I have lived with for 27 years ....without interruptions....priceless!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Finally time with.....

In 3 days I'll be................
5 days of.............
Just me and............

I am so looking forward to..................

more later!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011's not always good

This morning a sweet friend breathed his last breath here on this earth. Sunday afternoon, leaving  church on his way to have lunch with his family, this man's heart beat out of rhythm and changed the lives of his wife and daughter for a very long time. Leaving those who loved him dearly to experience that unpleasant feeling of grief.

Often times it's so hard to know what to say or do when faced with such a loss of a friend. Being available to listen and to serve as the family walks through their grief is probably where we are needed the most.

As I read the many words of condolences, one in a particular stood out. This was written by a young man who hasn't even left his teen years behind.....Rest in peace sounds like it's from a worldly perspective. You don't have time to rest when you're in the presence of Jesus for all eternity! Welcome home Mr. Jeff Farr. And Lord, bring peace and assurance to Beth and Breeanne.

We have all experienced grief at some point in our earthly lives. Reading this young man's message to this wife and daughter made me realize how often I look at a tragedy from a worldly perspective. Our ways are not God's ways. We will never understand why this side of heaven. Yes, we will miss Jeff and yes it will be a different journey without this husband,father and friend in our lives. But this world is not our home! One day all those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus will see Jeff once again.  We too will live in the presence of our saviour. We will rejoice, sing and celebrate our home coming.

Welcome home Mr.Jeff ..This week we will celebrate your homecoming and time here on this earth!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Urgent prayer for our friends....

Update from their daughter.....Update on my Dad: Please be praying for an upcoming surgery on either Monday or Tuesday. They will be doing a skin graft on his face, and reconstructive surgery on his eye lids and tear ducts. They have to wait for the swelling to go down, but the ultra sounds revealed that the eye ball is intact and okay. They will know more once they can open it.
Thank you for all the prayers♥

I have just received a message on Facebook. One of our friends was badly burned from a low voltage wire this afternoon. Please join us in praying for Scott and his family. Here is the FB message...

Dear Friends, I am posting for Teresa...Please pray for Scott as he had a accident while working today with a low-voltage wire. Scott's face is badly burned and they don't yet know the extent of damage to one of his eyes. He will require surgery most likely this weekend at Grady. Teresa is asking for urgent prayer. They are SO thankful that Lord protected him and spared his life. Thanks for praying.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Weekend with the girls...Friends

I don't remember the last time I abandon my family for a weekend of time for just me. Juggling a household with 9 kids and a traveling husband...time is of the essence.One thing I struggle with is making time for my own friendships. I really don't have an over abundance of time.  However....I truly believe we make time for things we want to do. It has taken me a while but I'm learning some things can just wait. The kids will do fine without me!

This past weekend I took that step and made the time. Planning a Ladies weekend away from my husband and children. A weekend of quietness and time before the Lord with new and old friendships. A time to just be me. Most of us are friends because of our children...5 of us have daughters who are close friends. Some times we as women get so busy being everything for everyone else we forget to take the time to nurture our own selves. Forgetting who we are. So after I got past the "mommy" quilt for abandoning my family for the weekend, I was really blessed! Blessed to know I have a group of friends who love and support through prayer. Friends who are willing to give of themselves. Blessed to know in spite of our past...we can find encouragement and love.

As my children get older I realize how important it is for me to have friendships. If I don't take care of me how can I take care of them? I pray I learn how to better manage my time as I step out of my comfort zone and learn to be a friend to others. Balancing my time between all those that I love.  Taking time to refresh and renew my energy so I can do a better job at serving my family.

I just want to thank our husbands for all they did to help us get away for the weekend. You guys have really blessed us. Your encouragement is what got us out the door. I know my husband had been out of town all week . He came home to me running out the door, leaving him to shuffle the girls to birthday parties and youth events. I came home to dinner on the stove, the kids all survived without me and the house was still standing! I love that man!

If you're a husband....make a way for your wife to get away. Even if it's just for a few hours. You will bless her more than you know. If you are a wife who needs time away...let your husband know! He doesn't read your mind. It has taken me 26 years to figure this out.

Now onto my next adventure.... planning a weekend away with my man! It's been a while...I can't remember the last time we had a weekend away without a kid or two or three or......

This is for our girls....a common picture pose they do! I must say....we did have fun!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mom...Why do we have storms?

Driving back home from a few errands this afternoon I was asked by our 4 year old....Mom why do we have storms? Just as quickly as she asked, I responded...So things will grow! OK Lord. Out of the mouths of babes. He speaks so loudly! I have had my share of storms and no matter how large or small... they are never fun! But if that is what it takes to grow....Bring on the storms!

Today I promised her we would try and go to the park after our errands. As we made our way back towards the park the thunder rolled in and I had to cancel our plans. Her little heart had been set on playing at the park! My heart broke as I had to mess up her was for her own safety. Next time the sun will shine and that sweet baby girl will swing on the swings.

Sometimes our heart's desires are canceled or delayed by the storms. It's those storms that give us what we need to grow. Don't you just love to be squeezed?! Maybe even those storms are for our own good?! One day the storm will pass and the sun Son will shine!

 Below is a link to a beautiful song written by an artist who knows the storm so well.

Laura Story...Blessings

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away...NO STAY!

Today in Georgia....We have rain!

After several days of HOT HUMID weather this cool rain has been a welcome relief.
This morning I even felt a fall chill in the air....I love fall weather! Don't worry...Georgia weather will be HOT and Humid tomorrow.
I love the change in and in life!

Our oldest daughter dropped by today wearing her rain boots. Anyone who knows Emily knows she loves it when she has an opportunity to wear those boots. All it took was one look at those boots and someone ran to transform into her big sister. I am in BIG trouble! But she sure is cute!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Abandoned 32 years ago....Father's Day

     Thirty-two years ago a thirty-three year old father of three made a choice. He chose to abandon his family and step out of his marriage, for what he thought was just one night of lies. That one night turned into an eternity of heartache...leaving his wife and daughters abandoned to pull the pieces of what he left behind back together.
     The last thirty-two years have been a challenge for my sisters and I. When left in the wake of a parent's choices, trying to figure out what a my case...Father really looks like, can be a difficult road. Please understand, I loved my daddy dearly. Before his accident I knew nothing of his life out side of our family. I thought I had a normal family. My mom did an excellent job at keeping all the junk from tearing apart what was left of our little family. As I have gotten older I see now what a mess it really was.
    I still have a lot of questions that fill my mind. I know sin can be a strong hold if you let it. I just don't understand why my father...and the other woman didn't think about the 3 little girls sitting at home with their mother. One who was waiting for her daddy to bring home canned icing for the cake she had baked. No pleasure is ever worth destroying your family over!
   My dad lost his life that night. Just a few short days after Father's day. The other woman...she survived. I have no idea how her life has been since the accident. I really don't care. Because of her choices...I lost my dad. He missed watching my sisters and I grow up. He never got to walk us down the aisle. He never got to meet his 15 grandchildren. He lost a life with a wonderful woman who loved him dearly.
   We all make choices. As a parent, those choices can affect our children for a very long time. I remember as a teenager watching other girls with their dads. Often thinking, if that was me...I wouldn't care what kind of person he was if he could just be alive. I wish he had gotten a second chance. Maybe you too have a dad who hasn't quite stepped up to the plate so to speak. Love him anyway! Forgive him.You may not have tomorrow! If you have lost your him anyway. Forgive, I have!  It's taken me a long time to find forgiveness for the two people who made very selfish choices . At times I still struggle...but I now have a real Father who helps me! He has shown me what a perfect Father looks like and every day with Him is Father's day!

Psalm 68:5...The perfect Father who never leaves us abandoned!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dear future daughter in-laws...

Where are you?!

No hurry...Your future husband's mother and 7 sisters are waiting patiently. You see, we are sister friendly around here!

Ever since the day our boys were born I have prayed for you. Telling our boys that God had one special young for them. You are a gift that was created special for your prince charming...blessing from the Lord. You are loved and we anticipate your arrival into our great big family. I pray that God will guard your heart. May your ears be tuned to His voice.That you will know the love of your maker who adores you more than anyone can. I pray that your eyes are fixed on your Saviour...knowing His peace in every moment of your day. As you prepare to take this journey in the next chapter of your life...may you be filled with joy in knowing that your blessing is just around the corner. That God had you in mind when your blessing was created.When you meet him and you become the love of his life... may you know how very special you are.

My dear daughters in-law I will embrace you as my own. I will love you no different than my own daughters. I look forward to meeting you and anticipate all the good things God has for our family as it continues to grow. So open your eyes, ears and heart....Let God speak, Let God lead, Let God's plan for your life become your ultimate focus. In His time we will meet!

Praying for you sweet daughter!
Your future Mother in-law

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Au revoir Orange walls....Bonjour Sweet William Pink

I originally posted this last week. Blogger had technical issues and many post were lost...including this one.
I am proud to say all the walls are finished  and now the fun begins....decorating!

The pink is up and our girls are loving the clean feeling of their newly painted room! We still have a lot to do to turn this HUGE room into our own little piece of Paris. But the hardest part is done thanks to our oldest daughter who came over today to say goodbye to her old orange walls help paint!

 Yes I bit the bullet and let her help!

I think I may have a painting crew....anyone need a room painted?!

Two days of step stools and speckled skin. Spotted carpet and pink hair. All these were worth each painful clean up just to make memories with our girls!

 I may need a Paris vacation when I finally complete this venture!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lake Fun...

Wake boarding
Water balloons
Toilet Bowl at 35 mph
Screen porch
Early morning coffee
Abbeville Ice cream
Camp Fires
Holidays celebrated
The very best neighbors!

Her brother taught her how to fish

Mother's Day/Father's Day gift

Memories at our home away from home......

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What was I thinking?

Kilz....the glorious liquid that covers any markings or mistakes on paintable services. Today the 2 gallon bucket was my best friend. The kind that sticks close and is hard to shake off...literally. I have scrubbed my skin with one of those green scrub pads that was meant for pots and pans or dirty dead skin cells here! To bad it won't cover my imperfections! Now our daughter"s room is ready for Paris paint. The pretty pink paint to turn their room into a little piece of Paris.

About five years ago our older two girls occupied this huge room. In an effort to allow them to express their artistic side I helped them to paint the room a bright orange and hot pink for a beach themed room. Did I tell you this room was HUGE? Twice the size of a normal bedroom. What was I thinking?! As I painted kilz on the walls today, I made myself a promise...NO more orange walls...Ever! We never did complete the idea of the beach themed room. It was really a cute my head!  I guess a mom of many who is juggling way too much needs to be banned from even beginning those cute ideas. Where is Ty Pennington when I you need him?!


As I covered these walls to begin our Paris adventure all I could do was bid these walls au revoir!

Tomorrow a new adventure begins. A new room for three little girls who dream of Paris...minus the orange!

Monday, May 2, 2011

If you have will understand why we are celebrating

If you have ever been a victim of a horrible will understand
If you have ever lost a family member to an untimely will understand
If you have ever lived in fear of an evil will understand
If you have a son or daughter serving in the will understand
If September 11th touched your will understand

You will understand why most Americans are not celebrating a death....but celebrating an end to a horrible evil man who has brought a sea of death to many families across the world. A man who celebrated the deaths of many humans across the world. Tonight an evil man has met his maker...and I'm sure our Father's heart is broken.

We will always have evil and until the day of Christ's return...death will continue to touch our lives. Evil will continue to wreak havoc across the world.

In the end Jesus Christ will have the victory!

Ezekial 33:10-20

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear future Son In-Laws...

Raising girls can be a nerve racking experience. So many things to think about. So many emotions to deal with. In our home we have daughters from the age of 4 to 22...7 in all! There is no quiet in our house!

 Our oldest daughter married last year. It's only by the grace of God that we were blessed with a wonderful son in-law. His mom and our daughter's dad (my hubby) grew up in the same town. Knowing our daughter's in-laws has brought a peace to this new chapter in our lives. I thank God everyday for His blessing to our family.There was a time when I really thought she might make a wrong choice with who she would marry. Let's just say...I think parents should be allowed to arrange marriages! You know you can just tell when your kids are happy. There is a change in their countenance when "The One" comes along. When our daughter finally decided to listen to God's calling in her life...Her whole world changed! Her smile was back and our daughter became family again.

As our daughters become old enough to consider being in a serious relationship I really struggle. Part of it is control. Part of it is just plain scared. I have seen many bad marriages and relationships. Doesn't anyone stay together(married) anymore? I have been married almost 27 years...I know marriage isn't easy! But without Jesus I would be one of those statistics. Besides...I really love that man!

Where are the young men who want to be leaders in their relationships? Where are the young men who Love Jesus and aren't ashamed to show it?  I want to see the young men who are willing to do whatever we ask in order to be apart of our daughter's lives. I want to see the young men who are willing to come to our house( Yes... I know we can be very intimidating) in order to see our daughters. I want to see the young men who will treasure the greatest gifts God has given us.

To my future son in-laws....God bless you!
Since the day our daughters were born I have prayed for you. As our family awaits for God to bring you into this great big family ( If you marry one of daughters you marry our family...we are a package deal !) I pray that God will guard your heart. As He prepares you to be the Spiritual leader in your home I pray  that you grow deeply in love with your savior. When God placed your future wife into our arms, she was a gift. Please know until we get the OK from Him....we're not giving that gift away!  I pray your life becomes so in  tune with your maker that your every move is only by God's leading. I pray that by seeing that smile on my daughters face that I will have the peace that you are"The One" God has blessed her with. So...If you come into our lives (maybe you already are) you may have to jump through some hoops, tackle their two(Three)BIG brothers, come face to face with my BIG prince charming and his shot gun...their dad in order to receive the gift God has for you. Are you willing? If our daughter is worth it to'll do anything! If you succeed we will embrace you as our own. We will love you with a love that only God can give. We will stand by and support you as you love our gift and treasure her for a lifetime.

Praying for you,
Your future mother in-law

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Released to be a normal kid...with 911 on speed dial!

Three weeks ago our little caboose was put on limited activity due to head injuries from a fall...mind you she's four! This has been the loooooooooongest three weeks of her little life. Sitting in the doctors office Monday afternoon listening to him say she can go back to normal activity was music to my ears. She was listening so intently as her first words were...I can climb trees now! As her doctor chuckled...With your mom's permission! Her other request was running with her best friend Elena. Maybe I shouldn't have let her know about the "Back to Normal" activity?!

Upon arriving at home she couldn't wait to run,jump,play and climb trees. Yes...I have 911 programmed into my phone! Although I may be a little nervous watching her return to normal activity...seeing her happy and have fun brings joy to my heart!

Today...I am counting my blessings!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My best behavior...when others are watching!

One thing about living in a community for many years...most of my just never know who you might run into. How many times have you run into someone you know and their behavior was opposite of who they portray themselves when you are around them? Maybe you have seen them from a distance and they had no idea you were watching them? How many times have people seen me from a distance...usually when my kids are misbehaving... and I never knew? It probably wasn't pretty...please don't tell me if you have!

I pray my life would portray Jesus no matter where I am or who might be watching. I am human and I am a sinner saved by God's grace! I don't always behave the way Christ would like for me to. There are days I really mess up!  There are days I don't even like me.  Days when my own self centeredness refuses to leave me alone!

Last night we were shopping at Target and I saw two people I  knew from church. So, I watched from a distance just to see if they recognized me. I had several daughters with me....large family with many blonde headed girls! How can you not recognize our family? I guess we can be intimidating at times!  As I stood in line at the register, waiting on my turn, these two women walked around and cut in line when I had my back turned. My first response ...You have got to be kidding me, as I bit my tongue!  I guess I should have said something to them? Sometimes it's just not worth the effort. People amaze me sometimes! Next time you feel like breaking in line...make sure it's not someone that knows you !

Who am I when no one is watching? When I think no one sees....God does. He sees everything I do, He hears everything I say, He knows everything I think.  He loves me just as I am in spite of it all !   Even when I break in line! God's so hard to show others that same compassion sometimes. That is until I need the same compassion in return. I am learning!

So...If you see me in public and I'm not on my best behavior, please tap me on the shoulder! If my kids are with me...please come and rescue them me!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

He's coming back...Where is your eternal destination?



Have you ever had a crazy dream? One that just doesn't make sense? One where you are suddenly transported from one place to another? One where things are so vivid that when you awake you are still there? One so real that you sense that maybe God is speaking to you?

Last night as I slept I did have a dream. Not one of those normal crazy dreams. This one was very real and was very vivid even when I awoke. This dream made sense. This dream left me asking God many questions.

My family and I were looking outside through a set of double glass doors. We were watching the sky as the clouds looked very odd. Colors very vivid. Suddenly there in the sky a bright light and a man in the clouds. I remember saying "'ve come back!" The feeling of peace I had was nothing like I have ever known. As I stood there waiting to be caught up with him, these thoughts flooded my mind...Do I get to go? Have I done all that I should do? Did I truly surrender my life to Him? Did my life reflect Jesus?

My one fear is I or those I know and love will be left behind! Fearing an eternal life of pain and suffering...Hell! For the Christian...Earth is as bad as it will ever get. For the Non Christian...Earth is as good as it will ever get!  Which one do you choose? If the Christian is wrong....then they'll never know! If the non-Christian is wrong...then they'll never know the peace of eternal life! With all that is going on in the world today...our eternity should be the number one thing on our minds. Are you watching ? Are you waiting? Are you ready? Which do you choose? Life is can end in an instant! Please don't be left behind ! If you're not sure...ask God to show you. He is always faithful!

As I awoke this morning my question to my Lord....You're coming back soon aren't you?

Matthew 24:29-42 (New King James Version)

The Coming of the Son of Man
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Parable of the Fig Tree
  32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it[a] is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
No One Knows the Day or Hour

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[b] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour[c] your Lord is coming.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquake! Natural Disaster...Everything you own gone!

We all have heard by now of the devastating disaster in Japan. In an instant everything turned upside down...gone. Many lives lost....personal possessions destroyed ! You just never know until that very moment when we ourselves could be touched by disaster. Please keep the many people of Japan in your prayers.

I have often joked....I wish I could burn everything and start over! I guess it would be easy to accept such a disaster if I knew about it beforehand. As I listened to the news this morning and saw the devastation, my statements in the past seemed mindless. I have no clue what it is like to lose EVERYTHING! Would I really want to? If I did...How would I start over? Could I start over? We all think we have an idea. Never realising, we just don't know until faced with such trauma how we will react or how much losing would entail!

Many years ago we moved to Memphis Tennessee. Moving from a state where the only disaster I had experienced was on the New Madrid fault line scared me. Needless to say we prepared and discussed what our plan would be in case of an earthquake. For three years this possibility stayed in the back of my mind. For three years our earthquake bag sat in our hall closet. Have you ever heard the saying...Prepare for the worst and expect the best? We prepared and expected the best possible outcome....NO Earthquake!

The truth is...None of us are immune from disaster. At any moment your world could turn on a dime...Life is fragile! If and when it does...Are you prepared? Where are you going to run? Where are you going to lean? Who is going to bring you comfort? Where is your eternal destination? I have had many very small "disasters" in my life. I have lost many things and many loved ones. The place I have chosen to run, hide and lean....Jesus! He is my comfort and shelter! He restores and heals...He brings life back when all seems lost.

As Japan "starts over" and rebuilds, I pray that they will find shelter under the wings of the almighty Father.

Psalm 91 (New King James Version)

Psalm 91

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God
 1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
         Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
         My God, in Him I will trust.”
 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
         And from the perilous pestilence.
 4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
         And under His wings you shall take refuge;
         His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
         Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
         Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
 7 A thousand may fall at your side,
         And ten thousand at your right hand;
         But it shall not come near you.
 8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
         And see the reward of the wicked.
 9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
         Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
 10 No evil shall befall you,
         Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
         To keep you in all your ways.
 12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
         Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
         The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
 14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
         I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
         I will be with him in trouble;
         I will deliver him and honor him.
 16 With long life I will satisfy him,
         And show him My salvation.”

....Praying for those who are going to be the hands and feet to the people of Japan !

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Madness...Poor Cat!

Yesterday she was going after the cat with scissors...she said to give her a haircut! I hope our sweet cat knows that I just saved her from the mullet. All I could see was the scissors near the tail. That will teach her to not show up at home when it's time for a trip to get ...let's just say no more kittens! Today our sweet cat is being pampered with princess wands. Surrounded by books and Christmas tree she can't get out! Oh the life of a four year old who has been put on limited activity for two weeks. Poor cat! Oh no ...She's headed for the dogs! This is going to be a long two weeks!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Day She Fell...God's amazing love for our family!

From the early age of thirteen, I learned that life can turn on a dime. In a second you can be facing the wind of death and feeling like the wind has been sucked right out of your lungs. Learning that in the face of fear, crying out to Jesus can bring a peace that none could explain or duplicate. Life is fragile, but when placed in the hands of a saviour walking the journey will be hard but never lonely or hopeless.

I have tried to teach my children, when faced with a fear all they need to do is cry out to Jesus. Raising nine kids, I have seen my share of fears. Many times the first and only words out of my mouth "Jesus!" This weekend has been no exception!

Our journey began with a shopping trip to get last minute things for a wedding we would be attending and give my husband some quiet for a conference call he had while working from home. I am thankful he was home and not out of town or over an hour away! God does order our steps. Choosing to follow Him and allowing Him to lead, trusting Him with the unseen road ahead can be a battle in itself.

Shopping with girls at times can be moments of craziness...trying my best to give each one my undivided attention. Not to mention keeping up with a very independent fearless little four year old. At this point all the would of,should of,could of thoughts race through my mind. Hind sight is always twenty-twenty! Our girls were behaving really good and I was relaxed enough to just browse the store with them a few steps ahead of me. Normally Mackenzie hates the buggy. I battle just to get her to ride. Not this day! She jumped in the moment we entered the store. Oh and how many times have I heard myself say "Sit down!" or " Don't stand in the buggy!" ? No amount of seat belts or straps with locks would keep her in anyway. She's a little Houdini!  Usually she just gets in and out of the buggy. At some point as we entered the house wares department and I turned my back...this is where my whole world stopped and my cries to Jesus began! Have you ever heard a huge thump coming from the direction your children may be in? As I turned in the direction of that "thump" I'm thinking the buggy has turned over. All I see is the buggy upright and my daughter picking up Mackenzie from the floor. She had been standing up in this stroller like cart and fell backwards out onto the hard carpeted floor. I see her somewhat limp body and realize she needs to stay on the floor. She's silent and as I look into her eyes my heart becomes sick of the reality of the moment. I have seen my share of dying family members and pets. I know the look! I cry "Oh Jesus please!" From my training I know I need to get her talking, talking to her and questions to her are flying right along with my prayers to the almighty Father!

It's twelve- fifteen pm on a Friday...not a soul in the area we were in, way in the back of the store. Grabbing my phone I dial 911. With our two daughters watching their sister and I on the floor begging for help....still not a soul hears or comes our way. Except, our heavenly Father is right there! I'm NEVER alone! I question my girls later and yes...there was others who looked in our direction. Others...Customers and Employees of this store. As I'm on the phone with 911 Mackenzie begins to cry. "Crying is good!" says the help on the other end. But your not seeing what I'm seeing and the doubts flood my faith, or whats left of it. He's comfort,my peace and joy! I hang up and wait . I call my husband to come and then post a cry for prayer via Facebook. I am amazed at how quickly a prayer request can spread via this social network. Ten minutes on the floor...Kenzie's crying and I'm thinking can somebody get here please! I know they are less than a half mile down the road. I call back! "Please, where are they?" Their on their way is my only comfort.. And I wait. Sending my oldest daughter to the front of the store to watch for the EMTs. Finally here comes the calvary help! Right along with a woman and a clip board... Should I punch her at this point?! Can we say....She was trying to cover the store's behind?

 I am not an advocate for suing and do not intend to at this point. I am amazed at how many people have asked us if we are going to sue. This accident has made me realize we have become a society of people who are afraid to step forward and help someone when they see they are in need of assistance. We are a sue happy society! I am ashamed that I live in a country with people who are so self-centered that they wouldn't even step forward to help an injured small child. Why someone would have been afraid to step forward and help me I'll never know. Why would they allow my daughters to see their cold hearts? That makes my blood boil!

EMTs arrive and Mackenzie sits up on her own to get close to me. Her head appearing to be heavy and eyes still not looking like she's all there. She is at this point answering some of the questions they ask her. Waiting on my husband to arrive and deciding which Hospital to go to...I call my sister for help on that one... we load her on the back board with a neck brace. My sister helped us to decide which hospital and was meeting us there. She'll never know how much she blesses me! In all my years of mothering 9 kids this is the first time I have ever had to ride in an ambulance! My husband arrives much to the relief of myself and my daughter...she's been crying for her daddy the whole time! I love that man!

Now the decision is, I'll ride with Mackenzie and my husband will take the other two home to stay with the older siblings. As I'm walking out the door with Mackenzie....that woman with the clip board...she approaches me for information. The one word I have such a difficult time saying...I didn't  have a problem then. Hadn't she been cold enough? I should have punched her the first time! Some people don't think. A mom who's daughter is being taken via ambulance because of a serious head injury and your stopping her for information to cover your store's butt...not cool! Here is where I realize what an awesome God I serve. Our oldest son just happened to be in the store at the same time and he calls me as we are loading Mackenzie in the ambulance. " Mom...what color shirt?"...I stop him mid sentence..."I'm here. We're taking Mackenzie in an ambulance! I need you to take the girls with you!" Poor guy I didn't give him time to answer. God placed him right there at the right time and prompted him to call me just at the last minute when I needed him! Do you believe that God orders our steps when we believe and trust Him?

Our ride to Egleston consisted of me trying to keep her awake and convince her we were almost there. As they loaded her in the ambulance she informs us she needs to potty and is hungry.Do you know that kid held it all the way there?! We arrived to ER and promptly seen. X-Rays were taken,waiting on results. Results come back and show no trauma. Protocol is no CT scans unless other symptoms of a concussion are visible. All she had was the loss of consciousness in the store. However...she still wasn't acting herself. I really didn't want to go home and have to come back. We choose a CT head scan and we wait. On the way back from the CT scan Mackenzie became more alert and acting herself. This was several hours after the injury. While waiting on the results Mackenzie starts showing symptoms of her head injury...right on the floor! We made the right choice! Soon a neurosurgeon comes in and explains Mackenzie has a break in her skull. Had it been just a hair closer to the right it could have been really bad. Her break was a straight clean break,right through her skull. No signs of blood or injury to the brain. Prayer works! My God is worthy to be praised!

Because of her age an overnight stay is ordered...Hotel Egleston and the 5th floor. I must say the nursing staff was wonderful. We settled in, my sister and I go down stairs to eat while Mackenzie has some daddy time. While away she  has more of the same symptoms. Poor baby now needs a bath and bed change. I really hate this. Here comes the mommy guilt. All beyond my control and looking to God for answers. IV fluids are given and the reality of all that's happened sets in. It's really a hard thing to see a small child laying in a hospital bed. Looking up and down the halls...I count my blessings.

Night falls,visit from big brother and snuggling time with my baby girl until she falls asleep. My hubby had left earlier to retrieve my van from the store parking lot. Now my sister leaves and here I am alone...not sleep on that nice comfy couch bed. Sleep is not happening. Very long night.Waiting for the morning and my hubby.

 Morning brings another episode of last night's snack. New doctor's more night if she can't keep food down. We try crackers again and she inhales five small packs (two in each pack) of saltines. So far so good! Two-thirty we order her a full tray...Grilled cheese, chicken noodle soup, fries and a cinnamon roll! Thirty minutes later she is feasting and burping from the ginger ale. Not so funny after her two episodes the day before. It looks like she may be on the mend! The nourishment brings life back to this little girl and what a lively little thing she is.

We missed that wedding. All I heard from Mackenzie the whole time in the ER is..." I want to go to Julie's wedding!" Sorry Julie and Nathan!  With her crying and disappointment I promised her we would catch the next one. Anyone getting married soon?
We did get to leave Hotel Egleston thirty-three hours after Mackenzie's head trauma. Only God knows how close we came to losing our little girl. I pray I never know! Now to find a padded room for a couple of weeks. For her...Not me! Watch the video and you will see why! Just mute the music at the bottom of this page.