About Me

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Indiana, United States
I'm a mother of five of my own children, very blessed adoptive mommy to one, step mother to three! Married to a wonderful man who forgives ALOT! Grammy to 6!I also have the best "kids in law" that I could have! I am blessed to be able to baby sit for our grandchildren a few days a week. I am blessed to be able to NOW stay home full time to take care of our home, children, and grandchildren!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Eccentric???? ME????

Well, last night, I had planned to watch a documentary film about one of my favorite children's illustrator/authors, Tasha Tudor. (She passed away a few years ago but basically lived in today's time but as if she lived in 1830. She dressed the part and prepared her food that way as well.)

Anyway, Roger asked me what it was about and I explained it to him.
Then HE said, "She was a bit eccentric, huh?"
I started immediately TEASING him and acted as if I was offended, speaking of the very talented old lady in such a way.
He tried to backtrack, telling me that he wasn't being CRITICAL or anything...
"In fact, " he continued, " YOU are a bit eccentric yourself!"

Somehow, he got the impression that he said the wrong thing.
Imagine that.

I'm not sure that any woman really wants to be known as "eccentric." DO WE?? I have ALL kinds of mental images that come to my mind AND I only have two cats!

I immediately went to the computer and printed out the definition of "eccentric."

It means, "A person who has an unusual, peculiar or odd personality, set of beliefs, or behavior patterns. Something that is unusual, peculiar or odd."

I handed him the printout of the definition and he stood there reading it.
"So, which definition do you want to choose?" I smirked at him.

"Well," he started, grinning sheepishly, "I wouldn't use the word 'odd'."

Of course he went on to say that my unusualness was what drew him to me and that he LIKED that aspect of my obviously rather peculiar personality.
"What makes me....eccentric?" I further quizzed the poor guy.

"Well, anyone who likes the Goodwill Store as much as you do HAS to be ECCENTRIC," he finally concluded.

Yep. That must be true.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blessed to be a Blessing!!

Being used by God is just the coolest thing ever!!
While we were on our trip, my daughter, Jennie stayed at home. We talked to each other on the phone and at one point, she relayed a message that Amos, a facebook friend in Kenya is requesting prayer that his finances get better. He wasn't sure if he could pay his rent this month. This young man is an orphan and is now a college student studying law. He is a Christian and very devout.

We have become good friends although we have never met...just through instant messaging, facebook and emails.

The Lord laid it on my heart that I was to send him some money and I obeyed God's voice first thing this morning via Western Union. This is NOT a large amount of money. The exchange rate in Kenya is incredible. We can send what it might take to feed our family at a fast food restaurant and it can make a big impact to someone like Amos in Kenya.

I am absolutely NOT bragging or trying to get glory for this. Please believe that! It's just that so often I AM ON THE BLESSING END OF THINGS...someone doing something for me and I am sooo PLEASED THAT GOD CAN USE ME THIS TIME TO BLESS THIS YOUNG MAN!!

We were able to refinance our home, consolidate some bills and we had just a little bit extra this month in my checking account so that was the only way we could squeeze some extra out of our budget to do this. I am so humbled to have God use me. I so often feel worthless to His work and this is just so exciting for us!
On our friend's facebook he wrote "God makes a way where there seems to be no way."
He also wrote "Glory to God."

Wow...God caused us to "be the way." That is just so awesome. I have been tearing up all day!

It struck me last evening when I read that, that GOD used me. It's incredible that He used ME!
I know that I have prayed so many times for my family, my friends, my church, my country...and expected Him to answer and provide but this is such an amazing feeling to have GOD answer someone else's prayer through ME! It isn't a prideful statement that I am making, it is a humbling and somewhat scary one!

It is kind of scary to think that God who created us all, who created the world, who holds us in His hands, who GAVE HIS SON, planned to use ME. He knows me......!!!!!!! That has really hit home to me.

I wonder how many times HE planned to use me and I didn't listen? That's even more scary.

I know, this is a rather weird post and I hope that anyone who reads it is not thinking that I want praise for it. Instead, I feel very humbled and amazed that God chose us to help this dear young man. He could have used someone else...God doesn't NEED our money...it all belongs to Him anyway.
I think also that God chose this time to ask us to help Amos. We have just gone through a rough time financially until we were able to refinance our home. We are now readying it to put it on the market but since we have no idea how long it might take to sell this kind of a house, (kind of a big house when people are downsizing like we intend to do....) we were able to refinance for only $250! If we weren't able to refinance, we would not have been able to help this young man even for the small amount of money that we were able to send him.

God knows all things. I was wondering why in the world it took us so long to refinance our house! I have worked in several banks and am familiar with mortgages and it just seemed like it took forever to get our refinance done. Now that it IS done, we don't have to make a house payment this month. We were blessed to be able to take the short trip to Florida and now we have been blessed to be a blessing to Amos.
I'm not sure that we would have had the finances available to do either of these things if we had to make a house payment this month! Glory to God in His wisdom and timing!

So, there's my little shout out to God!
Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Safely Home from Pensacola!

Whew!! What a whirlwind trip we had! We left at about 4pm on Thursday afternoon and drove to Nashville, Tennessee to spend the night with Roger's good friend (MY good friend, too!!) Joe. He drove us around Nashville and we saw the incredible destruction that the flood caused. Wow.
It was dark when we got there and we weren't able to get any pictures.
We had a great time visiting Joe, however, and we were able to go out to dinner with him!
Bright and early the next morning, we left to drive to Florida. I guess bright and early isn't exactly the right phrase as it rained most of the way down there! It stopped sometime in Alabama and was a nice drive for the rest of the evening.
When we finally arrived in Pensacola, we got hugs from all the family. Little Kathy, who is 3 1/2, has decided that her Aunt Beth is pretty "ok"! I had a constant companion in her and felt a little bit sorry for her bigger sister Jenny who is USUALLY my buddy when we all get together. But I was able to spend time with just Jenny on Saturday as we played in the waves in the ocean!!
What fun that was! I'll have to post some pictures soon!
We all helped out getting Rob's graduation party together and was happy to meet some of his friends! Becca also met two of her online teachers from Pensacola Christian Academy! That was kind of fun for her! (we weren't able to continue with the online streaming but she had taken quite a lot of her classes online this fall!)

We went to Campus Church on Sunday morning and heard a message about the End Times. THEN we had another delicious meal at Roger's sister's house and then we went back to the college for the high school graduation. Rob was the valedictorian and we were really happy to be able to share in the big moment with the family!
We left soon after for Birmingham where we stayed Sunday night in a very nice HILTON!! (Really, those ads on tv about getting a lower hotel rate really works!! We got a nice room -the sign on the inside of the door said $265 a night!!- for only $60!!!) The kids and Roger and I played in the pool...we were the only people there! We reluctantly left about noon and drove the rest of the way home, making numerous stops. We must have "piddled around" too much because it was after 11p.m. last night when we finally drug ourselves through the door. It was fun, though, and we listened to books on tape all the way home. We tried to listen to Shakespeare but didn't have much luck understanding it. I think the traffic and the sound of the tires on the road was making it difficult to hear it well. We DID listen to Much Ado About Nothing with success! We always like that play and since we have it on tape, it was easier to follow along with the action! Roger and I also did a lot of singing, holding hands and acting silly together on our trip!

So today has been spent doing a lot of "once a month cooking" for the next few weeks and babysitting little Brody. I'm supposed to be cleaning out the van but I haven't made it out there, yet!

Thank you, Lord, for providing Your protection and fun for our trip!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jennie has been continuing in her project for clothes for children in Kenya. Last week we went to garage sales and to the Goodwill stores to gather up clothes. She has a large box ready and she has spent most of her ready cash! Now she just has to mail them!
She has now put out a notice on her facebook asking for donations of gently used summer clothes for her project. We also announced it in our Sunday School class. (We are currently attending a larger Sunday School class that is mostly younger couples. We are the oldest in the class but the topic is the Love and Respect book. We have been reading it and are now going through it in Sunday School.) Anyway, hopefully, Jennie will collect even more clothes!

We are leaving for Pensacola, Florida on Thursday afternoon! We will only be gone a few days...Lord willing, we will be back on Monday. Roger's nephew Rob will be graduating from the high school at Pensacola Christian College as the valedictorian! We are so proud of him and his hard work! He has a 4.07 GPA!! Good Grief.

My precious daughter in law, Erin, is currently on bed rest in her pregnancy. Hopefully, she will only need to do that for a week. Her amniotic fluid is low so she needs to take it easy for a while. She will not be able to return to work for a while. Little Liam is already about 6lbs 14 oz and he isn't due for another 5 weeks! She said that she has today's ultrasound pictures and he has the chubbiest cheeks ever!! Can't wait to smooch those chubby little cheeks!! What an incredible blessing!!!!!!! Danny seems to be doing well in his police work and he is done with the anti viral medication from the "drug bust" needle poke. Hopefully, soon he can put all that behind him and concentrate on his job and his family. (and the Lord, of course.....!!!!)

Marci's sweet boyfriend, Ben, arrived safely in Poland and is beginning to do his teaching there. She misses him but is trying to get along without him. (She is determined to learn how to fix a steak dinner so that she can prepare him one when he gets back! She isn't going to be able to learn from me since I never fix steak!!)

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day and BAD CAT!!

This is ACTUALLY Thursday morning but since I downloaded the pictures yesterday, the date is wrong!
I had a wonderful Mother's Day on Sunday. Not because I received LOTS of wonderful gifts (and I did!) but because I was able to spend the day with our wonderful kids. Roger's son, Caleb was not home since he is in the Air Force in California, but everyone else, all 14 of them were! (Ok, I didn't give birth to ALL 14, some of them are precious step children, in law children, grand children, and one very nice boyfriend!) (Goodness, OF COURSE I meant my DAUGHTER'S boyfriend, not MINE!! Roger won't allow that!! hehehe!!! JUST TEASING FOR GOODNESS SAKES!!!) Most of them came to our church, some of them went to another church and three of them went to TWO churches! (They didn't want to miss out on their own church service so they "beat feet" to get to our church on time!! That was a big surprise to me! I so much appreciated it!!)

I was somewhat embarrassed by the gifts but I love them all and it was pretty obvious that they thought about what they wanted to buy me! Dylan made me a wonderful card...Are you aware that I'm "the best?" Of course, from what his mommy told me, "You're the best" is what he writes on ALL his kindergarten notes! Yeah, whatever, he STILL thinks I'm the BEST! Right??

Bad bad bad cat. Today I took the laundry out of the dryer and put it on the couch in our living room so that I could run upstairs and get some hangers. Harmony was sleeping happily on a nice soft afghan on the corner of the couch. When I got back downstairs, she had positioned herself in the middle of my clean clothes. Much to her dismay, I made her move and I put our clothes on hangers. Before I could get them upstairs, I had to run a quick errand. This is what I found when I got back...sleeping on my favorite sweater! She's still there....Bad cat.

Well, we are of to go GARAGE SALING! Jennie wants to find some more clothes for Kenya. She is mailing them to a man there who intends to pass them out to naked and needy little ones!
I'll let you know how her project is progressing!

Just Another Day at Our House!

Little Seraphina and old doggy, Precious, are pretty good buddies. Of course, Precious would REALLY rather just be left alone if you don't have a snack or a good tummy rub for her, but she puts up with an awful lot. She likes calmness, however, and sometimes I feel very sorry for her that she lives in THIS house. In fact, she usually accompanies me in the computer room when I am on the computer, but since little Brody is in here with me and making his 'baby noises', she decided that she needed to make a hasty retreat to some other quiet part of the house....
This guy just keeps hanging around! I bought a lot of these at Salvation Army for Dylan and one morning, I found this fella trying to climb our kitchen cabinets! He must know where we keep our secret "stash" of goodies! (Actually, I think Ben-Marci's wonderful boyfriend-has had a hand in helping this guy hang out!) By the way, Ben is travelling to Poland for a college trip tomorrow where he will be doing some teaching. We will miss him while he is away but he will be in our thoughts and prayers! Especially Marci's!!

We had "Breakfast for Supper" last night!! It was also "eat cheap" night and "use up what we have in the freezer" night! I save all bread and rolls that we don't use up before they start getting nasty and I break it up to line the baking dish with them! Then I add sausage, onion flakes, seasonings, and shredded cheese. Lastly, I pour in beaten eggs. I don't have an exact recipe, sometimes I use whatever we have on hand! (bacon, ham, sausage, etc...and even a few veggies if they are going to be thrown out soon!)

This is the "before" picture!!

Oh, and this is the "way before" picture! I included these so that you could see what great deals I got on them! I bought them on the last day that they could be sold and then froze them immediately! The rolls in the background of the picture were from a bakery that my daughter in love works for. I think she brought them to us for Thanksgiving or Christmas and we couldn't use them all! Of course, I froze them and they worked just fine for the bread layer! This was a very economical meal...It was probably less than $5 and I used a huge huge pan-probably a 10X13?? We had more than enough for supper, for breakfast for some of us this morning and still enough left over for a lunch or another breakfast! If it had been in the middle of the summer, I would have sliced lots of home grown tomatoes to go along with the meal...and it would have been healthier. Usually I would have served fruit or something else but we were really in a hurry last night so it was somewhat less healthy than usual! (but still really cheap!)
This can also be make the night before and baked the next morning for a family breakfast.
However, it may take longer than you expect to get the egg soaked bread to fully cook! Just plan accordingly!
It's getting pretty late, and it's church night tonight....and I have NO idea what to make for supper! I guess I should go dig in the freezer! Usually I am not so unorganized and have supper planned and well on it's way by now!
Have a lovely day! Blessings to you all!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Homeschool field trip gone awry!

I woke to a lovely and crisp Indiana morning this morning and immediately decided that TODAY was going to be FIELD TRIP day! Yesterday was a nearly perfect Mother's Day for me and I decided to "keep the good times rolling!" Most of our children were able to make it to our church to attend services and my older son attended with his in laws....pesky ol' in laws! Haha! Love them, too!! We are truly blessed! We then had a family cookout with ALL my kids and "like my kids" (step children) except the one who is in the military in California. It was a great day!

This morning we had a few errands to run but first my 20 year old daughter came downstairs and we all sat around and laughed and talked. The time really got away from us! Jennie packed our lunch of PB&J's and goldfish crackers...yum yum...actually they are the Aldi brand of "Sharks" crackers and they were yummy with PB&J!

I had a difficult time trying to find the office building I was going to FIRST and my husband's friend (who he was lunching with!!) happened to have his computer phone with him and gave me directions via Roger while I drove. (Yeah, I know, I shouldn't be talking on the cellphone but it really seemed like an emergency.......)

I finally found it and we were OFF to Conner Prairie! (this is a really neat Living Museum that displays Indiana history through many time periods.) We go there quite often so...well, anyway, we got lost....I have an excuse...I have never tried to get there from the other side of town before and I lost the road. I thought I should go EAST and I should have gone WEST! I kept telling the kids that I had NO IDEA where we were and that SURELY I would fine the correct road soon. When we got to the town that my husband started out his life in, I knew we were NO WHERE close to where we should be. Becca told me that I should just go back the way I came and Jennie said that I didn't know where I was then, either, sooooo......

Eventually we got really hungry and I suggested that we break out the picnic basket. The girls quickly objected because, "Then we wouldn't have a PICNIC!!" So, we went to McDonalds.

I, being a FEMALE,finally stopped and asked directions and soon we were at Conner Prairie! As we drove back to the main building, we were pleasantly surprised that there were only about 50 or so cars in the parking lot! This place is usually packed but since by that time, it was nearly 2'o'clock, I reasoned that the school field trips were probably on their way back to school by this time!
"Gotta LOVE this!" Jennie grinned as we found a perfect parking place!

As we locked the doors to the van and started walking, Becca stopped.
"Mom, the sign says, 'We're closed today.'"

RATS!! I put $20 worth of gas in the van, got lost twice, spent money at McDonalds and drove all this way for this???
We finally found a park in nearby Noblesville where we could enjoy part of our day and have a picnic, after AGAIN calling my poor abused husband to ask where a nice park might be found in Noblesville, Indiana. He knew!! In fact, he knew just where we were, exactly at which Wendy's we were stopping to use the little girls' room (hey, you know what I mean, one of those LARGE McDonald's Sweet Teas??? Gotta find a rest room fast!!) and he immediately directed me to a wonderful park! He amazes me...he does this every time I get lost...which is often....I'm beginning to wonder if he has a tracking device on my car or in my purse.....
Nah, otherwise, he would know when I went to the Goodwill Stores!! (and SOMETIMES he doesn't!! hehe!!)

We had a nice but very cold picnic and then decided it was time to go home.

Wonder of all wonders, there is an incredible Goodwill Store in a neighboring town and OF COURSE we had to stop!

Jennie, my missions minded teenager, found 1/2 price infant and children's clothes for her latest project, sending clothing to an acquaintance in Kenya for needy children. We bought a LOT! This week we will try to get to garage sales and hopefully spend less than we did at Goodwill and get a LOT of clothing!!
Jennie has been saving her change and collecting some from a few agreeable individuals and keeping it for a special project. She hasn't been sure what she was going to do with it but she knew it was going to be used for a mission of some sort in Kenya. She has decided that it will go to pay postage for the items she collects to send. I think she has just over $120 that she has been saving for nearly 2 years. She's quite a girl. She doesn't have a working ipod or most of what the teenagers in this incredibly affluent town has but she doesn't care. She wants to send the things to Africa instead. She had such a good time picking out nice usable clothing for those little children and I know that it made her heart joyful....way more joy than an ipod would give her! (and me....)

So, I guess our homeschool day wasn't exactly what we expected but it has turned out pretty well. It reminded me what precious people our children are and that I am so glad to have them in my life!
Happy late Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Quiet Witness

This morning my husband and I refinanced our house...I know, those of you who know me know that we are planning to sell our home and buy something smaller. So why did we refinance our house now? We were very blessed to be able to get a lower...much much lower...interest rate AND pay off debt by this refinance. This economy has not helped us in our real estate situation but we all know that God knows what is best for us. He is the ONLY one who knows our future!

After we closed on our loan, we felt kind of downhearted by losing some of the equity that we had in our house by paying off medical bills, etc...but we really felt that this was the smart thing to do. Anyway, we hadn't had breakfast yet so Roger asked me if I wanted to grab a bite!
As we sat in the restaurant, we noticed a lovely African American young woman bow her head and pray...not just a quick bowing of her head, but a "I'M NOT ASHAMED OF MY FAITH!!!" prayer.

It was uplifting to me.

Sometimes, does it seem that you and your family are all alone in your struggles in this world? I know that I do at times!! I am not attached to a homeschooling network as of yet and not very many homeschool at my church right now. (I don't mean that if you don't homeschool you aren't a real Christian!!!! Of course not! I just mean that I feel isolated sometimes...often!! )So every time I see someone with a Christian Tshirt on or a bowed head at meal time, I am so encouraged!

That little lady really made me think about what our even SILENT witness can be for our Savior! (And an encouragement to other believers!)
I think that is why I love to wear dresses...it seems like there is often an instant sisterhood/brotherhood to fellow Christians when you make it obvious that you are a Christian. It also humbles me to realize that I had BETTER BE SETTING A GOOD EXAMPLE AND NOT BEING A HYPOCRITE TO OTHER PEOPLE!

For instance, am I being grumpy as I stand in the incredibly long line at the grocery store? How do I respond to a rude person behind/in front of me? How am I talking to my children? What kind of look do I have on my face?

To be honest, I have been close to families of females that I am certain claim to be Christians (due to their dress...) and felt as if I really didn't want to be terribly close to that cross, grumpy, crotchety Mother!

I guess I'm just saying that as much as that sweetly bowed head of the young lady impressed me and uplifted me, I have equally been deflated when I try to smile at a fellow Christian and get a scowl back at me.
If I feel like that, and I have been a Christian for .....ummmm......a long long time, since I was 8....believe me, lots of years......what kind of response do we get from non Christians when we carry around all of life's burdens on our shoulders and on our faces? When we claim that our children are a blessing from God yet we treat them less than honorably, what does that say to others about what we REALLY think and believe?

This post was really for me....I have been an amazing grouch lately. I've been holding onto all my worries and burdens and snatching them back when my Heavenly Father offers to take them from me. I've been really short tempered to those I love the most.

Something else that God has been telling me lately is about having a meek and quiet spirit. I have always had a somewhat difficult time trying to figure out exactly what that means. When someone in the "world" says that someone is meek, it isn't usually considered a compliment. I certainly have wanted to be a strong and capable woman, so I didn't really think this was something that I could strive to be! After all, much of my life I spent as a single parent...and that job wasn't a job for a weak lady!! RIGHT???

I've done a little bit of studying this week about what that "meekness" entails. Moses was said to have been a meek man! Wow...this man was really strong and powerful! What a leader! But he had STRENGTH UNDER CONTROL!! There is no reason that we as women can not be considered strong, capable women...but not allowing ourselves to be pushy, angry, self serving women...but instead we are supposed to be full of HIS Spirit and to have self control.
To be honest, I have problems with my self control when angry. It's not like I plan to HURT anyone but I have problems with my TONGUE and temper, especially... But a lot of hurt can be done with a woman's tongue.

I'm glad that God put my crazy, fairly bubbly, outgoing personality in ME! He doesn't intend to change THAT...He created me with that characteristic. What a relief!!
I think I had grown up and matured thinking that God isn't happy with MY personality-that He wanted me to be a weak and timid person. I remember in the Christian school I attended one of the pastors' wives said that we should intentionally raise our voices up a note or two when we speak so that we could sound more feminine. Hmmm....didn't work too well for me. I felt that I was playing a role, pretending and trying to fit into a "Christian woman" mold.

I had it all wrong. Being meek and quiet does have everything to do with letting God rule in our hearts, souls and minds and to be CALM and teachable. It DOES mean having my strength (even my very strong Irish temper) under control. It means to have my crazy bubbliness under control and USABLE! Dynamite can be a wonderful tool when handled correctly and under control. It can be devastatingly powerful when used for evil or not under control. I can still be bubbly and still ALLOW God to work in my heart. But I have to ALLOW God to work in me to teach me how to control the not so nice parts of me.

ALLOW. That is the key. Wow...I have to work on that....

Have a lovely day....

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tines UP or DOWN??

The following is a highly fictionalized story that I found posted on front of our dishwasher....

"Once upon a time there was a rambunctious little boy who loved to play. One day "Grammy Beth" was doing the dishes while this little boy was playing outside. He RAN inside really fast to show her the "flowers" that he had picked for her. With his excited little legs running fast, he TRIPPED head first into the silverware compartment of the dishwasher....

I like all my nephews and nieces to have two eyes please.....FORKS AND KNIVES GO DOWN!!!
Thanks, Marci...."

I am not the only person who loads the dishwasher around here...just want to make that clear....

Way before Marci was born, her big brothers were six and two. They were running and playing in the house and Danny, two, was running from his big brother.
"You can't catch me....MOMMY!!!!!!!" he shouted running as fast as he could to me while I was putting the supper dishes into the dishwasher.
I was terrified about what I was going to see when I lifted his screaming little body from the dishwasher.

He had ONE tiny scratch on the side of his face.

It really was absolutely impossible for him not to have been seriously hurt or killed. I SAW HIM FALL AND I SAW HIM FALL ON THE SHARP KNIVES AND FORKS!!! He had to have been hurt!
The Lord must have sent Danny's guardian angels to protect that little boy...now a policeman and a soon to be daddy.

So....in writing this, I want to thank God for his protection and to ask for his further protection of Danny, his wife and unborn baby, and for the rest of our family.

Secondly, please be careful of the silverware in your dishwashers...crazy insane accidents can and do happen but if we are a little more careful, maybe we won't drive our little one's guardian angels crazy by trying to protect them!!