Dec 18, 2008

A Shepherd's Pouch

It's hard to teach our kids about giving, when at the same time, we're asking them what they want for Christmas. We're bombarded with the "latest and greatest toy" commercials, wants and wish lists. I want to learn to be a better giver myself. I've had my wish lists written right along with the kids...not that there's anything wrong with that. I don't think any of us enjoy shopping aimlessly around the stores. I just don't want it to be the main focus, constantly turning over and over again in the kid's thoughts. A few years ago, Dad and Mom introduced the "Samaritan's Purse" to all the grandchildren. They asked the kids if they would be willing to give up some presents that they would receive from their grandparents so that other children in need could have something. It was a resounding "YES!" from all of them. It was so cute to see them all crowded around Grampy's computer with excitement, watching a video of these precious little ones receiving "their gift." It brought tears to my eyes as you heard each volunteer hand a gift to a child and say, "Jesus loves you." That ministry really opened up our kid's minds to other children in need. Recently, I read about something called, "The Shepherd's Pouch." The idea is that each child earns their own money and stores it in their own pouch. When they've met their giving goal, they bring it to us and ask us to give it to a charity of their choice. It helps them to be in tune with other people's needs around them, and hopefully it will cause them to look for opportunities to help.

Mary sewed her own little pouch.

Our prayer is that these little ideas will help cultivate a spirit of giving, and grow with them into adulthood. It has been neat to see the kid's excitement about it, and really precious to talk with them about their ideas. (oh, and it's always nice to have the extra help around the house, too. :o)

Dec 15, 2008

Welcome to Iceland?

Friday morning we woke up to ice. We had a huge ice storm. At first, it was exciting and gorgeous to look at. It looked like everything was encased in glass.

Ice as far as you can see in this picture. It sparkled like diamonds. It truly was a beautiful site!

Every blade of grass covered in ice.

Even the berries were trapped inside ice.

The excitement of the storm was short lived. Now, we had to face the ugly part of it.

We lost power for 3 days. Later, we found out that we were declared as being in a "state of emergency." We were just one out of over 350,000 homes without power. We lived like the Ingalls family during the good ole pioneer days for those 3 days...ok, maybe not totally roughing it, we had the generator running. Thankfully, we still had heat and water. As much of a pain it was to not have power, it really caused me to be thankful for all the little things that I take for granted. I'm thankful that our experience wasn't worse. (some are still without power and generators to heat their homes) I'm thankful for a generator! I'm thankful for the sweet family memory we made sitting in the quietness of our home surrounded by candles and children. But right now, I'm feeling the most thankful that I could flip on a lightswitch today!

Dec 5, 2008

My Christmas header

Allie and I were having fun with a photo program online. We decided to take an old photo of the kids and turn the beach scene into a snowy one. It got fun when we threw in a couple of Santa and elf hats.... WAAAALLLLAHH, instant Christmas photo. :o)

Dec 1, 2008

Tis the Season

11 snowflakes fell from the sky and this is what the kids did.

And this is what I did...

Hey, it's December 1st, folks! Tis the season to be jolly! This weekend was jolly indeed. We decided to put up the Christmas tree. I took periodic pictures as it was going up. Now, you can scroll through really fast, and see it go up in 1.3 seconds. It's sort-of like those flip cartoon books we had as kids. I like to provide you all with a little entertainment here on "blogging memories." :o)

First things first. It's our tradition to break open the egg nog on tree decorating night. Personally I can't stand the stuff. I don't know if it's the thickness of the drink, or just the word "egg" in it that gives me the dry heaves. Annie and Matt slug it down like a hot, sweaty basketball player at half time. Again, that thought alone is making me heave a little. (sorry mom)

Ok, get your handle scroller ready for the fastest tree decorating you've ever done...

And there ya have it.

And the night ambiance.

I love this time of the year. Right now, I'm listening to Bing Crosby sing "Silent Night." We've got the tree up, garland galore on every square inch of the house, presents hid in every corner, kids giddy with egg nog overload trying to fall asleep, and 4 snowflakes left outside on the ground. Ahhhhhhh, Christmas is here.

Nov 24, 2008

A family that prays together stays together.

Do you ever just stare at a sunset and find yourself contemplating the future?
I love this site called, Prophecy Today. It corresponds today's news with a Bible verse pertaining to future events. It is very interesting! The Bible tells us that "no man knows the time" of Christ's return, but God did give us some signs to look for. One of the signs of Christ's return is when the days become as morally declined as "in the days of Noah." Back in "Noah's day," the people literally had no morals. I think we'd all agree that we are definitely living in a day where we are seeing just that. We are battling against so much with what is on tv, internet, magazines, billboards. It seems that I can't even walk through the mall without being plagued with loose morals. It's everywhere you turn. Sometimes it feels as if we're teaching our children how to swim in the ocean with enormous waves swelling over us. I get tired. I get scared. I fear for their future. I worry. My thoughts battle against what I know to be truth. Here are some truths that I am clinging to today:

He promises to never give us anything that we can't handle. 2 Corintheins 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

He promises never to leave us. Hebrews 13:5 "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."

He promises strength in the midst of trouble. Isaiah 40:29 "He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power."

I believe that Satan's attacks are targeted on our families. Cling to your family, pray for your family, exchange your thoughts of worry for God's truth, and teach it to your children. You are protecting yourself from Satan's attacks!

Nov 15, 2008

Waiting for my Daddy

My name is Annie. I yike to play dwess-ups. I yike to play skool with my sistas. I yike pancakes, but I don't like sorup. I yike to help Mommy cook. I yike pink nail polish and yipstick. I yike new shoes.

I yike to watch my Daddy's twuck pull down da dwiveway when he comes home.

I yuv my Daddy.

Nov 13, 2008

Welcome little Anna Grace

Congratulations to our friends, Seth and Liz, who just had their baby girl.

Born on: 11/10/08

Weight: 8lbs 1oz

Length: 20" long

Bring on the pink dresses, dollies, hairbows and emotions! She's here!

We are so happy for you guys. She is absolutely beautiful!

Nov 7, 2008

Joel's birthday present

I thought I'd try uploading a video. Hopefully, it works. I made this movie for Joel's birthday this year. The video is about 8 minutes long, so go grab yourself a cup of coffee, some popcorn, nestle down in your chair and enjoy the show. :o)

Nov 6, 2008

We want change!

America wanted change.....America got change.

Emma wanted change.....Emma got change.

I like Emma's change.

Nov 3, 2008

A little boy's heaven

Papa spent the weekend here. When he pulled up, I had five kids jumping up and down, and then they all went running out to meet him.

I asked the kids to name 10 things that describe their Great Papa. Here's what they said....

1. He loves us.
2. He is kind.
3. He has time for others.
4. He can do things that not too many other Great Papa's can do.
5. He is thoughtful.
6. He's smart.
7. He tells the best stories.
8. He has the coolest basement in the world!
9. His laugh makes me happy.
10. He loves God.

The boys have always loved to listen to all of Papa's hunting stories. They sit wide-eyed with excitement and ask him all sorts of questions.

This weekend, Papa taught them about gun safety, how to clean a gun, how to load it and how to shoot.

Matt and Mikey will never forget the day they learned how to shoot. They were in "little boy heaven"...including Papa. :o)

The boys did quite well. Mikey shot the target once. Matt got it almost every time, BUT I AM THE MASTER!!!!!!! If the price of groceries keep rising, this family ain't starving. I'll rustle up some grub for us.

Yes-siree, just call me Wyatt, I don't wanna be him....Wild Bill?...nah. John Wayne...nope I don't want to be him either. ANNIE OAKLEY! There we go. (Ooo, I'm awfully glad I painted my nails this day. Don't you think red and brown look good together?)

In the evening, we sat in the living room and sang songs. We decided to pick everyone's age and sing whatever song came up. Mary played the violin, I played the flute...just call us the Partridge family. It got interesting when Papa told us that he was 38. I said, "38, huh? How can that be?...I'm only 32!" Then he sheepishly said, "Yeah, well you just gotta switch the numbers around."

Papa went home with lots of hugs and kisses and all sorts of artwork. He is loved, that's for sure!!

What a joy it is to have such a "loving, kind, sacrificial, unique, thoughtful, smart, entertaining, possesser of the coolest basement, happy, Godly, GREAT Grandpa!"

Nov 2, 2008

Sarah Palin was here!

Sarah Palin showed up at our home. We were privileged to have her stay for dinner. She told us that she would appreciate our vote on Tuesday. I said, "Honey, if you eat all your broccoli, you'll get MY vote!"

As I tucked Ms. Palin into bed, she asked me to put her glasses in her "porse." For those of you who always wanted to know what's in Sarah Palin's purse. I have the list....
- my red lipstick
- a Polly Pocket doll
- 3 pennies
- and last but not least, gum and packet of smartie candies.

She's a smart woman, indeed, and she's getting my vote on Tuesday!

Oct 30, 2008


Have you ever heard of the game, "Mashoonga?" ........neither did we until the Hutt family gave it to Mikey for his birthday. It comes with two spongy swords, and the goal is to hit your opponent 6 times. The game starts off with each player's forehead resting on their weapon. When they both say, "Mashoonga," they draw their swords, and it's game on! One of our children is the Mashoonga master. Can you guess which one?

Could it be our oldest and strongest child?

Or, could it be the motherly one?

Maybe the loving one?

How about old poker-face here?

Or, is it our sweet baby?

Did you figure it out?

Well, don't let ole "poker face" up there fool ya. Emma is indeed the Master of Mashoonga! When you place a sword in that girl's hand, she's out for blood. Emma said that she wanted to play against Matt, I gave him a motherly, stern look and said, "Be gentle with her." Apparently, I should have given that information to Emma. As soon as the sword was placed into Emma's hand, she transformed into the "Incredible Hulk." Her eyes bulged out with fire and her inner caged animal came out!

The bell in the boxing ring rang, and she came out with her sword waving. She immediately wacked Matt in the legs, and then in the gut, the shoulder, back to the legs, and the gut once again. She was better than Luke Skywalker with that sword!

Matt kept telling her to wait a second....

The mad woman continued until Matt was down.....but it wasn't over for her, yet! NO MERCY!

Finally, he said, "That's it! I surrender! Emma, you win!!!"

Mary was on the run 3 seconds into her match. Emma was chasing her all over the yard, while Mary was yelling, "GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU FREAK!"

Don't let this sweet, innocent face fool you!

She turns into this!!!!!!!!!!!!!