Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Confessions about Chocolate Cake

I made a yellow layer cake with chocolate icing. (I'll post a picture sometime later this week). I have never in my life made a layer cake. I make sheet cakes because they are not hard, but since we do not use our oven-I do all my baking in a large toaster oven. Well, the only pans that fit in there are the layer cake pans so to have cake it must be layer cake. I'll admit I was nervous, but it came out beautiful. My husband and children were amazed, I am not making that up. My daughter said "This is great, we only usually have cake at celebrations."
This morning JP had to leave for work an hour early and will be home an hour late and this will continue for the rest of the week. I woke up but if you know me well you know I didn't get out of bed. I went back to sleep until 7:15 when I let the dog back in and then laid in bed until 8. This has been some kind of lazy morning. While I was taking my shower, I pondered what kind of breakfast to give my children. Thoughts of that chocolate cake with 3 pieces already sliced went around in my head. I said to myself "Why not, what child doesn't dream of chocolate cake for breakfast." I was never a big breakfast eater so I cannot remember if my mom gave me chocolate cake for breakfast when I was growing up or not. When my mom cooked breakfast, it was typically southern breakfast food-bisquits, eggs, bacon, corn flakes with sugared strawberries.
My children were so happy- they had grapes and milk on the side and ate with vigor. I sat down and joined them with a cup of coffee and that third piece. I made the comment that I didn't remember having chocolate cake for breakfast as a kid to which Tera replied: "You are going back to your childhood today".

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thank God for dirty dishes

I came across this in a recipe book, it goes along with my unofficial theme of thankfulness this week. It did not list an author so I'll assume it was written anonymously.

Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell;
While other folks go hungry,
We're eating very well.
With home and health and happiness
We shouldn't want to fuss,
For by this stack of evidence,
God's very good to us.

Share a Meal with others.

Share a story about a time when someone shared with you. Country Crock Spread will donate a meal to a hungry family for every story you share. Besides helping feed a family, you get the added bonus of being reminded how blessed you are.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Being Thankful

I have found myself thinking about thankfulness lately. I have noticed how much I take for granted. God does so much and answers so many prayers but do we give Him credit and say thanks. I know it doesn't change God's willingness to help us in times of need, but it does change our attitude toward our circumstances. When we pray that our spouse will make it home from work safely everyday and they do- do we say thank you? When we pray for protection or healthy bodies and God grants that request do we say thank you? When we pray for provision-for food on the table- do we say thanks, Lord? I am really trying to look at my life and be more thankful. I have been blessed in big ways lots of times but there are tons of times I am blessed daily in little things. Let's praise and thank the Lord for those little answers to prayers. I pray that I will have an attitude of gratitude. How about you?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I am still learning

Check out the bottom, I finally figured out how to put these on permanently. You have to go and create the counter at and copy the HTML coded on a piece of paper. Then go into the settings and add a page element-picture. Type in the code and there you go. Pretty cool- we never stop learning new things.

Our Babies

Aren't these cool. has all kinds of baby counters, adoption counters and these birthday counters. I wish I could put it as a permanent part of my blog but I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

Lilypie 6th to 18th Ticker

Lilypie 5th Birthday Ticker

Monday, June 18, 2007

Jane Austen Heroine

I stumbled across this on another blog. We love Jane Austen movies in this house. Persuasion is my favorite so it was interesting that the heroine of that story would come up as my profile on this quiz. Quite cool.

I am Anne Elliot!

Take the Quiz here!

Father's Day

I know yesterday was Father's Day but this post is just a bit of reflection upon the day. We were at church yesterday and this was the first Father's Day that my husband has not been the pastor. The pastor of the church where we are attending called for testimonies about the spiritual influence your father had on you. Then he followed that up with the statement "If your father did not have a positive spiritual influence on you, please hold your comment." That was met with laughter from the congregation. But when you think about it, isn't that sad. I noticed that none of the younger men in the church stood up to talk about their dads. My husband stood up to give a testimony concerning his grandfather, Bill Overton and how his influence helped shape him. But it got me to thinking- Is there a missing generation of men who have neglected to lead their families spiritually?

Father's Day has always been a very stressful day for me. I always dreaded it as a kid especially when made to say those acrostic poems about how great and wonderful your dad is and how he is always there for you. My dad was who he was. He was an alcoholic with a mental illness. Father's Day bothered me because I think I focused on the negative things associated with my father instead of trying to remember the good things. My dad kept everything we ever made him in a little box, you know those little salt dough Christmas ornaments and cheesy cards. My dad loved a good joke, would hide under the bed when playing hide and seek so he could grab you as you walked past. My dad loved hippie 70's music and I cannot hear " bye bye, Ms. American pie, drove my Chevy to levy..." without thinking of him. He was the only person who enjoyed playing Trivia Pursuit with me, and would always beat me. When he died, I found poems he had written about me and our family. I came to grips with the fact that my dad did love us. I realized that he lived everyday with the guilt and anguish caused by bad choices some of which was forced upon him. Don't get me wrong, I am not making excuses for my dad's behavior but I am learning that we need to be more understanding of other people. We need to learn to look at people through God's eyes. Instead of counting their faults recognize how valuable they are to God.

Throughout the years, I have had other men who stepped up to fill in the gaps my dad could not. My mom has dated a man for close to 17 years now. He has always been good to us and treated us like his own kids. He takes good care of my mom, which my brother and I are so thankful for. Thanks Fred. My brother and I have had numerous men take us under their wings and treat us like family- Bro. Jerry, Bro. D, Aubrey and many more. I thank the Lord that He knows what we need and sends such wonderful people in our paths.

When I think about how great a father my husband is to our children, Father's Day loses its sting and is filled with joy. Now that I am older and wiser, I am learning to let go of my childhood and embrace it as a learning experience which made me who I am. I have also learned that God is our Heavenly Father without comparison to anyone on this earth. When we feel let down by men, God never fails us or lets us down. He is there and will never leave us nor forsake us. So instead of feeling depressed on Father's Day if your father was less than you wanted him to be, let's remember that we have the most awesome Father in heaven watching over us every minute of everyday.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

He is there.

Thank you so much for the prayers. I definitely could feel them yesterday. My anxiety is not totally subsided but I am feeling better starting yesterday afternoon. We received this letter today from the Pastoral Care Minister on the East Tennessee district with a devotional in it. It amazes me how God sends us things that speak to our specific situations.

It said:

There are in all our lives hours of over-powering anxiety, when we feel as though it were impossible to live another moment...but then as you look up, you find that the Lord is beside you, sharing your anxieties and affording you His invincible protection. You cannot see Him with the human eye, but you know Him to be there, and neither man nor devil can prevail against you. When we look back on our personal life, we become aware of the myriad instances of divine protection. We were not so vividly conscious at the time; we might even have had battles with doubt, discouragement, and despair, and counted ourselves without hope. But if we narrowly consider the dangers from which we have been rescued, when we were about to be swallowed up quickly, we become convinced that He was there.
(by F.B. Meyer- rearranged by Richard P. Reed)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The thorn in my side

Have you ever dealt with something for years and thought you had conquered it just to have it flare up again? Well, I have dealt with anxiety since around the 7th grade. I threw up every morning before school if I ate breakfast, so I stopped eating breakfast. Throughout my teenage and adult years I have been through periods where it is definitely more intense. Now is one of those times. Since yesterday, I've had those old feelings again-feelings I thought were gone. If you have anxiety or panic attacks you know that you can't just put your finger on what is causing it-thinking it away doesn't help. You just do the best you can to get through it and hope it goes away soon. It could be caused in part because of the stress of this move and all the changes we are going through. People with anxiety do not usually deal well with change. JP just found out they granted his request to go to the day shift starting next Monday. So we finish out this week with him working second shift and getting home at midnight. I should be relaxed about this but instead here I am stressing out to the point of anxiety. Why is that? (that is a rhetorical question but if anyone has an answer, I'll take it). I think in these blogs we tend to just blog about things that are going good. Well I want to be real and this is where I am right now. If you could say a little prayer for me today, I sure would appreciate it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Go Play!

Cuisanaire rod stairs designed and built by Tera which later morphed into a play area and was crashed by Superman who you see lying in the corner.
Tera made Daniel this "Bibleman" bracelet.
Some of Tera's bead work.
I think sometimes as mothers we feel guilty about a great deal of things. Are we being selfish or too selfless? Do we discipline enough or too much? To just name a couple. One thing I find myself beating myself up about is how much "quality time" I spend with my kids. I sometimes feel like I need to occupy their every waking moment with endless educational and rewarding life changing activities. Like that is possible. I saw firsthand today that kids today would act like kids of yesterday if we just let them. When we were growing up, our parents didn't provide entertainment for us all the time. They said "Go play!" and we did. We made up our own things to do. We have to be willing to let our kids do that. Lately, I have been letting this attitude of "entertaining my children" go and you know what- they come up with some great stuff on their own.

Granny sent them $5 a piece this week and we let them go buy some things to play with. Tera got beads and string as you can see by her creations. She made her brother a bracelet to match the colors of his favorite super hero - Bibleman. Daniel got a Superman play set in addition to a skateboarder dude playset Granny sent in the mail which has kept him entertained for 2-3 hours at a time. If you have young children, you know how much of a feat that really is. They also pulled out a set of Cuisinaire rods from the homeschooling stuff and starting building things. All of this without any prompting or intervention from their parents. Maybe our parents had the right idea to begin with. So tell your kids to "Go play!" and sit back and enjoy their creations without feeling guilty.

I did it!

I finished something I started. Sunday night I finished my puzzle. I didn't even lose a piece. This is a picture of the finished product.

And this is the next one I am planning on beginning tomorrow.

Tera helps me some but gets bored quick so I am basically doing them on my own but let her help as long as she feels like it. It has been very therapeutic for me lately. During this transition, I still have days when I get down but having a hobby that I can do with very limited time or energy in the comfort of my living room without special equipment is great. These puzzles cost under $4 at Walmart and are very Americana. I enjoy looking at these kinds of intricate paintings and they are so diverse it makes it easier to put together. Oh well I won't bore you any longer on the ins and outs of puzzles.

Mom- Idaho Wyoming Utah

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Puzzle of Life

If you have read our other blog Emerging from Scratch you will know that we are really into puzzles right now. Figuratively and Literally. The kids have been working puzzles daily for the last two weeks and I got in on the bandwagon. I might have already mentioned starting a new summer tradition- working through a 1000 piece puzzle throughout the summer months. Well, I am not a puzzle whiz. It took me two different 1-2 hours sessions just to get the edge together. I picked a fairly easy puzzle because I didn't want to kill myself like the last time. When my husband and I were engaged I visited with him and his family over Christmas break. We decided we were going to put together a puzzle. We got a mountain scene reflected in a lake, that didn't last long let me tell you. Since then I had not wanted to repeat the misery of trying to put together a puzzle but seeing my children so happy I decided to take another shot at it.
Our life right now seems like a puzzle except we don't have a box to look at to help us find where all the pieces fit. We have all these seemingly random pieces of experiences in our lives and cannot see clearly how they will fit together to make a picture. Our trust in God is being tested. God has the big picture view and He alone knows how the pieces of our lives will all come together for His glory. We have to be faithful and obedient to follow Him as He works in the individual pieces. I have to admit I have not been what you would call excited about what has been going on in our lives which feels at times like nothing. I am beginning to get out of myself and look around me to find God at work. He says "Be still and know that I am God". I am waiting for Him for I know His picture for my life is so much prettier and wonderful than I could ever imagine.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Oh, the Lazy days of Summer....

It seems I have definitely been lazy with this blog this week. To be honest, I am very tired this last week. Tera finished up her school year today. We had a class party with cookies and ice cream cones. Since we are fairly healthy eaters my children especially appreciated this extreme splurge. Tera has worked very hard this year and made it through the move great without falling behind.

Tera and Daniel have discovered puzzles... Daniel who doesn't usually like to sit still long enough to do one has been putting together two and three 24 piece puzzles at a time. Tera has graduated from 50 pieces to 100. I am planning on starting a new summer tradition. As soon as we can get to Wal-mart or Dollar Tree we are going to get more puzzles and start a 500 piece puzzle together as a family project. When it is hot in the afternoon and you can't go outside, you can always work on a puzzle together. Well, we can hope.

We have also added a new pasttime to our day. The mobile home we are renting has a big 6 person hot tub on the back porch. Well, we heard it cost a horrific amount to heat the thing so we just filled it with water (we have well water) and are letting the kids have their own little swimming pool in the nice shade of the screened in porch. Daniel has said he never wants to leave here because in his own words "I like it here". I am sure the hot tub situation is helping him find contentment in our surroundings. I don't think I have ever seen my children enjoy life more. That's pretty awesome.


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