Monday, March 31, 2008

Not Exactly The Ingalls Family

Due to some strong thunderstorms that rolled through around lunch time on Saturday, our power and telephones went out.

I noticed a lot about myself and my family during the unbelievably long period of time three hours that we had no power or outside communication abilities.

We are not exactly the Ingalls family. (Although I love watching the Ingalls on television.)

We function much better with running water, electricity, and telephones.

Sitting together telling stories and talking gets very irritating boring after a couple of minutes a while.

The boys are not very fond of sitting around the fire and making dolls out of corn cobs.

Pa Shannon cannot play the fiddle to entertain us.

Ma I did not have any mending to do, and I didn't feel like cooking over an open fire.

Daniel is very impressive with the noises he can make using his armpits, but even that gets old after thirty-five a few minutes.

Matthew was very frustrated that he could not call his girlfriend, even though he had just talked to her fifteen minutes before that same morning.

Our water comes from an electric well.......and we do not have an outhouse. I'm just saying is all.

We all realized we apparently spend way too much time on the computer. It felt almost crippling not being able to get on line.

We kept going around the house trying to turn on lights. Over and over.

The only person not bothered by the lack of electricity was Allie, but that is only because she does not have to plug the couch in to sleep on it.

Shannon and I have always thought we were survivors (of sorts). We've been camping several times. We go for hikes. We even have a manual can opener.

But after so many three hours without power, I realized that my family and I just function better when we can turn on lights, flush the toilets, and get on the Internet.

Luckily after a few miserably long hours, our power did come back on, but not our telephones......or Internet! For some strange reason we were able to get on line for about fifteen minutes on Sunday, but that was all. I do not like being "disconnected" from the Blogging World for soooo long. I was starting to feel a little desperate.....

Thankfully for my family early this morning a wonderful AT&T man showed up and repaired everything! I now am able to soak up all the Internet I want to! Yay me!:) So Bloggin Buddies here I come!:)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Seven Wonders Of The World

I received this in an email this week. Take a minute to watch this clip. Our God is amazing. His wonders never cease!

Daniel 4:3
How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Are You Smarter Than A Seventh Grader?

Yesterday both of my boys finished their achievement testing for this school year. It is always such a relief to me when they have reached this milestone. This school year has seemed to move so quickly.

I was never any good at taking standardized tests in school.
I always made good grades on daily work and chapter tests, but when it came to achievement tests I never performed well.

Maybe I was nervous. Maybe it was just too much information at once. Maybe it was both.

I try not to put too much stock in the scores that my children get on these tests.
Don't get me wrong, I am proud of them when they do well. But I am also proud of them when they don't. Their scores don't define who they are as students or people to me.

I think it is unfair to judge their complete year of work on this one test each year.
How they work each day matters much more to me. I care more about their attitude and effort towards their school work than I do the letter grade they receive. (That doesn't mean I want D's and F's all the time, but you know what I mean.)

Each year I serve as a testing proctor. I usually just work with one or two students that need to be tested alone for different learning needs.

This year I was blessed to work with a precious girl in the seventh grade.
As I was helping her, I realized that the questions on this seventh grade achievement test were hard!

The listening skills portion of the test, in my opinion, was the hardest part of all. I'll be honest with you, I couldn't even answer all of the questions they asked about the passages. And I was the one reading them! Pitiful.

I wondered as I was reading over some of the other sections of the test how I would score. How would most adults score? It's humbling.

It's so interesting that sometimes as parents we expect our children to accomplish things that we could not even accomplish ourselves.

Anyway, I'm glad it's over, because it means school is almost over. Summertime here we come!:)

P.S. Thank you, Mia(and girls), for your prayers. This year was a great testing experience for all three of us. I also received a sweet note from the mother of the girl that I worked with, and she said it was the most relaxed her daughter had ever been during testing.:) At the bottom of her note was this verse from Psalms. It made me think of you, Mia.

Psalms 145:7
They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bible Study About Anna

Anna is the woman I read about this week in my devotional.

Her story is found in the book of Luke.

There are not many words about Anna in the Bible, but the few words that are mentioned are powerful. Here is what the Bible says happened when Anna met Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus at the temple.

Luke 2:36-38
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,
and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Anna was only with her husband for seven years when he died. Losing her husband after so few years of marriage must have been devastating, but her faith remained strong. After suffering through that tremendous loss, she devoted her life only to God. That's humbling to me, because in my life my faith has been shaken many times by much less traumatic circumstances. But she did not let the loss of her husband change her faith or her love for the Lord.

What touched me most about Anna is that Scripture says she never left the temple. It also says she worshiped night and day, and as if that wasn't enough, she did that while fasting.

I don't know about you, but by the time I get out of church on Sunday, I am starving! I love my time at church, but come 12:00 I am ready to go home, put on my pajama pants, and eat lunch. I only go to church one morning a week, but Anna lived at the temple every single day!

It is hard to imagine living a life so devoted to God. So many times in my own life, I am sorry to say, I have to try to squeeze in my quiet time with God. I scurry around trying to get all of my "chores" done, then, if I still have time, I will spend time with God. I am working on changing that in my life, but I will humbly tell you that it does not come naturally to me. I have been ashamed many times when I get out my devotionals to read and I realize that I haven't read them in the last two days. It makes me sad to think of the time that I have wasted in my life on meaningless things. Time spent with God is never meaningless or wasted. Time with God should always be my first priority.

God was Anna's first priority. She didn't just "know" He was first in her life, she "showed" it by her actions. Once again, I am humbled as I think about her walk with God.

Romans 12:11
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Scripture also tells us that Anna recognized who Christ was when she first laid eyes on Him. She knew who He was. Even though He was a tiny infant, she knew He was the Savior she had been waiting for. She had finally seen the Promised Child.

The Bible says that she "spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem." We don't know the exact words that she said, but the Bible does tell us that she was a prophetess, so the words she spoke would have been true about Jesus and His life. I wonder what her exact words were, and did the people she spoke to believe her?........

I'm sure then just like now, some people would have thought she was just a crazy old lady, but some would have recognized the truths she spoke and held on to her every word.

The devotional posed a question for us to think about regarding prophesy and our own lives.
"If an Anna were to have spoken (prophesied)about you when you were six weeks old, what would she have said?"

That question has given me a lot to think about.
As far as I've come in my walk with God, I've got so much farther to go.

I want to pray for my own life to mirror Anna's. I don't mean living at the church and skipping lunch for the rest of my life, but I do mean a life that puts God first.
A life devoted to Him.
A life that honors Him above all.
A heart completely surrendered to God.

Jeremiah 7:23
Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you.

Thank You, Lord for sharing the story of Anna. Her devotion to You encourages me.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hallmark Commercials

I don't know about you, but I love Hallmark movies. I get very excited when I see that a new one is coming on television.

But if I was telling the absolute truth, I would have to say that I really enjoy the commercials more than the movies.

I'm so pitiful that I have to go to the bathroom during the movie, so that I can be back in time to see all the commercials.....Does anyone else have this same problem?

Anyway, today I am going to share one of my favorite Hallmark commercials with you.

It's about a little boy named Daniel. (Where are my tissues?)

I'll share a few more of my favorites in future posts. (Sniff, Sniff)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bathing Suits And Other Mischief

I have a big trip coming up in May (I will tell you about that soon), so I desperately really needed to purchase a bathing suit.

So a few nights ago while Shannon and I were killing time waiting for the boys to get out of the movies, we decided to go into Wal-Mart and see if I could find a bathing suit there.

I know the thought of a Wal-Mart story is probably already putting you to sleep, but stay with me.:)

It is very interesting to me that there are all kinds of bathing suit options out in stores today, but every time I am out looking somewhere there are usually only two choices.

For instance, this would be fine if I was guest starring on Baywatch.

And obviously this one would be fine if I was guest starring on The Golden Girls.

The problem is finding something in between the Baywatch and the Golden Girl years.
It is very hard to find a youthful but modest bathing suit for a thirty-something mother of two, that happens to have a little extra "junk in her trunk".:)

So back to Wal-Mart. Shannon and I searched and searched. We finally were able to come up with a couple of choices somewhere between Baywatch and The Golden Girls.

I took both suits and went into the dressing room. Now, I did not want to buy anything without Shannon seeing it on me first. (This is because I think all store mirrors are rigged!) However, I did not want to parade myself all over Wal-Mart to show him how it looked on me, so I asked him to step in the dressing room with me after I had put the second suit on.(The first suit nobody but me needed to see; you know what I'm saying?)

Now we've been married for almost 17 years, so I didn't think this would be so offensive to anybody......but I was wrong.

When Shannon stepped out of my dressing room (after giving me the thumbs up on my bathing suit) he got yelled at. After I put my clothes back on and came out of the dressing room, I also got yelled at. I haven't been in trouble like that since I was in the sixth grade.

The "dressing room attendant" expressed her STRONG displeasure at our actions.

She said to Shannon and me, "We don't allow that in this store!.......There are some customers who could have been very offended if they saw THAT!"

I'm not exactly sure what "THAT" meant, but obviously she had the wrong idea.

Shannon just looked at her. I remained calm and politely said to her, "Your customers would have been a lot more offended at the sight of my big butt bottom hanging out of that small bathing suit."

She just looked at us and said, "Well, I'm sure they would have!"

At least we agreed on that issue.......:)

Shannon and I both just smiled at her and thanked her for her rudeness help as we walked away. We both felt like we were sixteen again and had just got caught kissing in the school library(or worse).

It was embarrassing and funny at the same time.

The bad news is that Shannon and I think we may now be banned from our local Wal-Mart, but the good news is that I did find a new bathing suit.

I don't necessarily look like a swimsuit model in it, but I don't look like a geriatric patient either.

So what do you think?

I'm just delusional kidding~:)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cow Pies Chocolate Muffins

Yesterday I baked a dozen delicious "chocolate pumpkin muffins".

There are only eleven in the picture, because I ate one. Obviously I wanted to make sure they were delicious before posting about them.:)

Now, I'm not psychic or anything like that, but I bet I know what you're thinking about right now.

I promise you though these muffins are really good. Looking at them may take you back to queasy childhood days on a farm, but really they are very tasty.

They are also very easy to make. You only need two ingredients.

All you need is one box of devil's food cake mix, and a can of pumpkin.

This recipe will make 12 muffins.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

You will mix these two ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I find that this works best when I use a fork to mix these ingredients together.. Make sure all the devil's food cake mix is completely coated with the pumpkin.

Lightly grease your muffin pan, and spoon the mixture into the muffin cups. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. (This mixture will be thick; it will not pour out of the bowl. You will probably have to use your fingers to help get the mixture off of the spoon. This is what causes the unfortunate "cow pie" appearance.)

Bake for about 25 minutes. (If you insert a toothpick in them, it should come out basically clean. You don't want them to be gooey. I'm just saying is all.)

Each muffin has about 180 calories.

This is a Weight Watcher's recipe (I think). My friend Wanda gave it to me. (Thanks Wanda!)

Anyway, if you decide to give them a try, I hope you enjoy them as much as Shannon and I do. (Our boys won't try them, because of the "cow pie" resemblance. But that is okay with Shannon and me, because that just means more for us.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Elephant Incident

Last Friday, Shannon and I had another date. I had to go back to the doctor to have my ears cleaned out AGAIN due to a little wax buildup problem that I deal with ALL of the time.

After the nurse called my name, the first thing that she wanted to do was to see how much I weighed......I thought to myself, "Gee whiz, I was just in here a few days ago, I mean I know I'm a little bloated but come on!"

So I stepped up on the scales.

Moving on.

The nurse led Shannon and me to the exam room that we were going to be in for the next hour to wait in to see the doctor. She also brought the equipment into the room that the doctor was going to use to clean out my ears. Luckily this time I did not have to wear a paper towel disposable gown up and down the hall.

Now, I've had my ears cleaned out numerous times, but I'll be honest, this is the first time I have ever seen a doctor's office use a "squirt bottle" to do this procedure. It just didn't seem very professional. I'm just saying is all.

Since we were waiting for an hour for a while, we had plenty of time to enjoy our date with each other. We talked, smooched a little, took a picture of the "equipment", etc. After taking the picture I noticed something on the "squirt bottle". I didn't have my eyes glasses on so I couldn't quite make it out. So Shannon picked it up so I could get a better look at it.

"The Elephant Ear Washer".....? Are you kidding me?

Not only were they using a squirt bottle in place of an actual professional instrument, they were also using something designed for an elephant's ears!

Now I realize that I might be retaining a little water, but I am in no way comparable to an elephant!......Am I?

After the hour long wait in the exam room, the doctor finally came in. And wouldn't you know it, the "Elephant Ear Washer" wouldn't even work. It was broken. How shocking that a little plastic squirt bottle professional doctor's instrument frequently used on elephants large patients would be broken. I guess they must be really expensive too, because they only had this one for the entire office! I guess next week me and my elephant ears will just have to go to a different doctor.

Needless to say, I was ready to get out of there. This date with Shannon was not going exactly like I had planned. It did get better though.

We left the zoologist's doctor's office and went out for lunch to the Olive Garden. That was such a treat. We finally got to use our Christmas gift cards.
(Thanks, Bo and Michel!) We each ordered something different so we could share. Our lunch was delicious and romantic........

And I was almost able to forget about the whole elephant incident, but you know what they say about elephants.

P.S. Wanda, if you're reading this, thank you for the sweet card you sent me. I miss you too. Thank you for your prayers for me. I like how you think! Kiss your babies for me! I love you, Friend!:)

Luke 1:45
"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He Is Risen!

Luke 24:1-8
1. On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
2. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
3. but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
5. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?
6. He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
7. 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' "
8. Then they remembered his words.

Romans 6:1-4
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Name above all names
You are Worthy of all praise

I praise Your Name, Lord! Thank You for the new life You have given me.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Honor Him

1 Corinthians 4:1-5
So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

The decisions and choices that I make regarding my life, need to honor Christ.
At the end of my time on this earth, it only matters what God's opinion of my life is. He is the only One that I will have to answer to for my actions. He is the only One that I need to strive each day to please.

There is a scene from the movie Saving Private Ryan that is a wonderful illustration of living a life that honors the price that was paid for it. If you have not seen the movie, here is a summary of it.

After leading a company of Rangers in the battle for Omaha beach on D-Day, Captain John Miller is sent on a mission to find paratrooper Private James Ryan and bring him home safely. Ryan's three brothers have all been killed in action and the Brass want him returned to his family. He is fighting with his unit somewhere inland, but no-one knows where.
Miller chooses seven men for this dangerous mission. The squad picks its way across the devastated countryside - losing two members in skirmishes with the Germans. Eventually, they find Ryan dug in with his unit and awaiting a German counter attack. He refuses to leave his comrades and Miller agrees that his squad will stay to help them defend their position. The Germans attack in overwhelming numbers and Miller and most of his squad are killed, but Ryan survives and makes it home.

This clip I have to show you comes at the very end of the movie.
As you watch it, think about the sacrifice that Jesus made for you and for me.
We, as Christians, need to live lives that honor Him. We need to live lives worthy of His sacrifice for us.

Thank you, Lord, for the sacrifice You made for me.
I pray that my life brings glory and honor to You.

I wrote this post last week as I was preparing myself for Easter. Just yesterday I heard this sermon by Pastor Paul Sheppard titled "He's Looking For You". In the movie Saving Private Ryan, Captain Miller was looking for Private Ryan to save his life. Jesus is looking for you in that same way; He knows your name. He is searching for you, because He wants to save your life. Let that sink in. He loves you!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Ultimate Sacrifice

The sacrifice that Christ made for my sins is unimaginable to me in it's horror.
I am not deserving of His mercy and goodness, but even if I was the only person God ever put on this earth, Christ still would have died on the cross for just me.

His love for me knows no bounds.
I am humbled every time I think about His mercy.
I do not deserve the love and forgiveness that He bestows on me, but He offers it to me anyway!

Salvation is not something that I can earn. It is a gift. The only thing I can do is choose to accept the gift, and choose to live a life that honors the Gift-Giver.

Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

"Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."-Issac Watts

You did it all for me
After You counted the cost
You took my shame, my blame
On my cross

I am humbled by Your love for me, Lord.

If you would like to learn more about salvation through Jesus Christ, Pastor Paul Sheppard has a sermon called The Miracle of Salvation. Let his words about God and His love for you sink deep into your heart. God loves you!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bible Study About Mary, The Mother of Jesus

This week I read about Mary, the mother of Jesus in my devotional.
Here is what happened when God sent the angel Gabriel to speak to Mary.

Luke 1:26-38
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26.In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
28.The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29.Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
30.But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
31.You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.
32.He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
33.and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34."How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
35.The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
36.Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.
37.For nothing is impossible with God."
38."I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Gabriel told Mary that she was highly favored by God.

I looked up in the dictionary the meaning for the word favored.
treated or thought of with great kindness or partiality;
preferred above all others and treated with partiality

I looked up the meaning of the word "highly" in the dictionary also.
in or to a high degree; extremely; with high appreciation or praise; admiringly, more than adequately; generously

Imagine with me for a minute, how you would feel if God had Gabriel say those same words to you. Imagine hearing God say, "You are so special to me that I give My One and Only Son to you. Love Him, care for Him, until He comes back home to be with Me."

Think of your own children. Who in your life would you honestly, without hesitation be able to say those same words to?
As a parent, I am very choosy who I let take care of my children. I can't even imagine having to decide who would raise them for me in my absence.

Yet,God trusted in Mary so much that He let her not only give birth to His precious Son, but He trusted her to love Him and to raise Him for the time He spent on the earth.

It's so humbling to me.

I wonder if Mary felt up to the task right away, or was she scared?
Obviously God knew she was up for the challenge. I think so often times in life, God trusts us so much more than we trust Him. He believes in us even when we don't believe in ourselves.

Mary was definitely a woman blessed by God. Her walk with God could not have been easy. From the time the words left Gabriel's mouth, Mary was faced with challenges. Challenges that would cause most people to crumble from the pressure. At the end of His short life, she had to watch the son she gave birth to and loved be ridiculed, scorned, and crucified. I cannot even begin to comprehend the pain she must have felt deep inside her heart.

Imagine the Son of God calling you "Mother".
Even as He was hanging on the cross in unimaginable pain, He was still concerned for His mother.

John 19:25-27
25.Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26.When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"
27.and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

She was His Momma.She was so dear to Him. He wanted her to be taken care of by someone He loved and trusted in His absence, just like His Father had done for Him.

The devotional book ends the section on Mary with with this prayer.

"My soul is full of you, my God, and I cannot hold back my gladness. Everyone who sees me will call me blessed because you have noticed me. You saw my lowliness and my need and filled my emptiness with your presence. Form your likeness in me so that, like Mary, I can bring you into a world that desperately needs your love."

Ask God to make you a woman like Mary. Give your life over to God. Let people see Jesus through your life. Pray for the grace to be like Mary who said, "I am the Lord's servant,may it be to me as you have said."

Luke 1:28
The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

With Easter a few days away, I wanted to share a message by Pastor Paul Sheppard that I listened to this morning.Click here to hear this wonderful message that he shares about Christ. This message is titled "Can You Hear Me Now?". Pastor Paul is able to share the Word of God in a way that challenges me as a Christian, and at the same time encourages my soul. I pray that his message today blesses your heart as much as it did mine.

Isn't He Romantic?

Last night when Shannon got home from work, he came in the house and put his lunch box and papers down, then he turned around and went right back outside.

I wondered what he was doing, so I peeked out the window......

He was picking flowers for me.:)

These daffodils just came up yesterday.

I thought that was so romantic!

I love when he surprises me.

I guess I should cook delicious dinners for him more often.

I love you, ♥Shannon♥!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Last Night's Dinner

After the fun-filled weekend of PMS, I decided I should probably do something nice for Shannon.
So, last night I used several ingredients from our last Angel Food order to make him a delicious dinner. (Those were his words, not mine.)

In a previous post I talked about Angel Food Ministries.

This ministry has been such a blessing to my family. Let me tell you what I cooked last night.

I used black eyed peas, onion, and pork chops from our menu order. I only had to add a bell pepper, basic seasonings, and brown rice to make a complete meal.

I put the (pre-soaked) black eyed peas, onion, bell pepper, several seasonings, and (already baked and shredded) pork chops in the crock pot, and left them on "low" all day. I served this over brown rice. Shannon loves Tabasco sauce, so we each put a little dash of it on our plates as well.

It was yummy, and Shannon loved it! (That made me feel like a very good wife!)

If you order from Angel Food Ministries and have any recipe suggestions, I would love to hear them. We are always trying to figure out new recipes for the ingredients we get each month.

If you have not heard of Angel Food Ministries and are interested in finding out more, just click on the links above.
My family and I are so thankful to God for providing us with this ministry.

Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give
thanks to him and praise his name.

Monday, March 17, 2008


This past weekend I was exhausted, and I couldn't get enough salt or chocolate in my diet. None of my pants fit, and every time Shannon opened his mouth he said something really stupid insensitive.

It wasn't until this morning that I decided to admit realized maybe I was suffering from PMS.

I found a website that had an exact list listed a few of the symptoms I have every 28 days occasionally suffer from. Here is the information that I found.

How To Know If You Have PMS

1) Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2) You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3) The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4) Your significant other is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5) You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says, "How's my driving? Call 1-800-###-####."
6) Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7) You're convinced there's a God and He's male.
8) You're counting down the days until menopause.
9) You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10) The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday

This list should probably be posted on refrigerators all across the country. That way women men could recognize the signs right away, so that they could begin to walk on eggshells behave accordingly. It would really make the situation easier for everyone involved. I'm just saying is all.

Shannon thinks it would be easier for the family and all concerned if I would just wear a scarlet letter "P" on my clothes each month as a warning sign.....


So anyway, Shannon, I'm sorry if I was miserable a little difficult to be around this weekend. I just wish that you could experience PMS for yourself, so that you could really understand what it's like for me every single month. Maybe one day that will be possible...........

A girl can dream, can't she?

I'm just joking.
I love you, Shannon!:)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday-"Hosanna in the highest!"

Matthew 21:1-11
1. As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,
2. saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.
3. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."
4. This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5. "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' "
6. The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.
7. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.
8. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
9. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
10. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"
11. The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

Saturday, March 15, 2008


♫ Rock-a-bye baby, in the tree top ♫

♫ When the wind blows, the cradle will rock ♫

♫ When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall ♫

♫ And down will come baby, cradle and all ♫

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bible Study About Elizabeth And Zechariah

I love the story of Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah found in the first chapter of Luke.
Elizabeth is the woman I read about this week in my devotional.

The part of their story that I want to share with you today starts with Elizabeth's husband and the angel Gabriel in the temple of the Lord . Here is a small part of the conversation that takes place between them.

Luke 1:11-13
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.
But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.

Luke 1:18-20
Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."
The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time."

Zechariah would not be able to speak until the birth of his son, because he did not believe what Gabriel told him. His doubting caused him months of silence.

Putting myself in his shoes, I'm sure I would have been overwhelmed by the encounter with Gabriel. I would probably even be a little mad at myself for having so little faith when God Himself sent an angel with a message for me!
I would definitely have been frustrated not being able to speak. Trying to make hand signals that people could understand, or having to write every single word I wanted to say. (Which let me be honest, I always have a lot of words to say.)

Imagine how much you would have to say after an encounter with Gabriel.
Imagine Zechariah having to explain to Elizabeth why he could not speak for so long!

Just like Gabriel said, Elizabeth became pregnant and gave birth to a son.

Luke 1:57-64
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah,
but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John."
They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."
Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child.
He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John."
Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising Go

What touches me the most about this scene is that Elizabeth and Zechariah's family and friends cannot understand why they would go against tradition in the naming of their son. It doesn't make any sense to them.

That is still true today. So many times when we are being obedient to God in an area of our life, the people closest to us do not understand our desire to follow the path less traveled. It may confuse them, or sometimes even make them angry at us. They just simply don't understand, because God is not speaking to them in that same area of their own life.

In the case of Elizabeth and Zechariah, their family and friends are so confused by her wanting to name their son John, read again what Scripture says happened.

Luke 1:61-62
They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."
Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child.

These verses provide us a glimpse of God's sense of humor.

Notice it says they made signs to him?.....

But "they" weren't mute.... and Zechariah was not deaf.

They were so confused by Elizabeth declaring something that went against tradition that they were not able to speak!

It makes me laugh out loud just picturing the entire scene play out.

I know in my own life I have done things in obedience to God that have made some people look at me like I was crazy. It's comforting to read this story and realize I am not alone; the same thing has been happening to people following God since the beginning of time.

Ecclesiastes 1:9
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

While thinking about how frustrating it must have been for Zechariah to go so long not being able to communicate with people the way he wanted to, I was reminded of a funny scene from When Harry Met Sally. Think of Zechariah as you watch it, and thank God for His sense of humor and the gift of laughter.:)

Genesis 21:6
Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me."


Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Hair

A couple of years ago I had a little hair disaster mishap.....

See, I have to occasionally get my roots lifted back to their natural color. In an effort to save money, I tried to do highlights on my hair at home, did not work out very well.

The highlights were hideous did not look like the ones that I saw on the television commercial.
I could not believe what I saw in the mirror!

It was a 911 situation. Seriously. I had to seek immediate help. I called a local beauty salon and made an appointment with the first person that was drawing breath I could get an appointment with.

The level of humiliation that I felt walking into that salon is hard to describe. I can tell you this though, I went in wearing dark sunglasses and a hat. I would have made the appointment under an assumed name, but I obviously wasn't thinking clearly.

As I walked in, I was greeted by Melissa. She was the one assigned to take care of my nightmare hair.

Our first conversation went something like this.

Melissa: Are you Amy?

Me: (Hiding under a hat and glasses and sinking into the chair)
Yes, I'm Amy.

Melissa: How can I help you today?

Me: (Mortified) Well, um, I sort of, tried to highlight my hair at home, and it really didn't turn out quite like I had planned.

Melissa: I can see that.

Like I said, it was soooooo embarrassing.

But, Melissa was and still is a miracle worker!(Love you, Melissa!)

I walked in with what looked like a highlights disaster on my head, and I walked out feeling like I had the most normal natural blond hair in the world.

Needless to say, Shannon has forbade me from suggested that I never highlight my hair at home again. He said it is too expensive and emotionally draining. (Men are so sensitive.)

Melissa has been my stylist since that day.
God has used her to bless my life in so many ways.
When I leave her shop I feel beautiful on the outside, but even more so on the inside.
She has told me several times that she believes God had me mess up my hair on purpose so that we could meet and become friends.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

I think she is right.

I will share more about Melissa and how God has used her to bless my life in future posts.
But for now, I will just show you how she blessed me yesterday.

I love me some blond highlights, and it's such a relief to not need dark glasses and a hat just to go out in public!

Thank you, Melissa. I love you, Friend!:)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Physical Date

Yesterday Shannon took the day off and we both went together to the doctor's office.
We needed to get complete physicals, so we made a date of it.(When you have been married for almost 17 years and have two kids, anything you do together is considered a date.)

We each had an x-ray, EKG, blood work, blood pressure check, and we both got weighed! I hate stepping on the scales at doctor's offices. I think they are rigged. How can I weigh 15 pounds more there than I do at home?
I tried to rationalize the whole thing......

My shoes probably weigh 5 pounds.
My jeans and shirt, not to mention undergarments could add up to what....7 pounds?
I also had several sips of water on the way to the appointment, which I'm no scientist, but I know water is heavy, so several sips could easily add up to at least 3 pounds

I'm sure that is the explanation.

It's also embarrassing wearing a paper towel disposable gown in front of an office full of people who are completely dressed. It wouldn't be so bad if you just stayed in the exam room the entire time, but they like to make you wear this all the way down a long hall to the x-ray room. It was not the fashion statement I was wanting to make.:)

Since Shannon is over 40, his visit with the doctor left him feeling slightly violated.

Aside from a couple of violations embarrassments, our appointments went well.
We are both healthy. We just have a few issues that come with growing older more interesting.

After that we went shopping and had lunch together. We loved it. We went to a restaurant called Newks, and had the most delicious sandwich. It was called Pesto Chicken, and it was yummy! Toasted flat bread loaded with chicken, peppers, cheese, and pesto = Delicious!

I, of course, love any meal that I do not have to cook or clean up after, you know what I'm saying?

When we were finished eating, we came home and curled up on the couch with Allie and watched some television shows that we had saved on the DVR. That is our favorite thing to do.

It was a perfect day! (If you leave out weighing 15 pounds more than I should and wearing a paper towel disposable gown in front of strangers.)

It is an exciting life here in Crazyville.