Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Prayer Request update

I'm sorry that I wasn't able to post this sooner, but I thank all of you who have been praying for Dean and Alarice during this time.

Baby Lydia Grace was delivered by emergency C-section yesterday afternoon. Alarice was suffering not just from the flu, but also from pneumonia. She did not have the strength for a regular delivery, but thank the Lord, medical intervention probably saved her life and the baby's life yesterday! Her doctor had her stay overnight in ICU, but was confident that she would be able to be moved to a regular room near her daughter today. As of yesterday evening, she was stable and seemed to be in really good spirits, trusting that the events of this birth were in God's hand and thanking God for the safe delivery of Lydia.

For those who like to know the details, little Lydia weighed 6lbs, 2oz, 19 inches long and seemed to be doing very well in spite of the trying delivery. She's absolutely beautiful! I was blessed to hold her a while yesterday.

Please continue to pray for this family. Alarice has a long recovery in front of her as she fights off the pneumonia, heals from the surgery and begins life with her newborn daughter!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Please pray!!!!

My friend Alarice is in the hospital this morning being induced. She came down with the flu and has been running fever. When she went to her OB yesterday to be checked out, he admitted her because her BP was too high and the baby's heartbeat was also too high. She is just 37 weeks today. Please pray for her!! Labor is never easy, but the flu, little rest and being concerned for your child's well-being make it that much harder.

I did talk to her husband Dean this morning. Her BP and the baby's heartbeat are finally stabilized, and Alarice is resting a little thanks to an epidural. Pray that the Lord would give them both great peace and bring her and baby Lydia safely through this day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Had to share!

This is an email forward I received from my dh--had to share it!

In Florida , an atheist became incensed over the preparation of Easter and Passover holidays.

He decided to contact his lawyer about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while atheists had no holiday to celebrate.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the long passionate presentation by the lawyer, the Judge banged his gavel and declared, 'Case Dismissed!'

The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, 'Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances. Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah...yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!'

The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said, 'Obviously your client is too confused to even know about, much less celebrate his own atheists' holiday!'

The lawyer pompously said, 'Your Honor, we are unaware of any such holiday for atheists. Just when might that holiday be, your Honor?'

The judge said, 'Well it comes every year on exactly the same date---April 1st! Since our calendar sets April 1st as 'April Fools Day,' consider that Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, in my opinion, if your client says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool, and April 1st is his holiday! Now have a good day and get out of my courtroom!!

Jumbled Thots-Input requested!

I've had a bit of a blogging block! I usually have post ideas constantly rolling around in my head, but the last several days, I've been blank. It could be contributed to my sleep-deprived state, or maybe my life has been too busy--maybe both!

Last week, I was only home two days because of a day of doctor appointments and a short trip to San Antonio. Crazy!!!

I have a question for the more experienced moms who may stop here. How do you deal with your infant's constipation??? My poor Brandon has now swung to the other side of the pendulum! I've been feeding him table food/baby food more often, and he's just not doing well with it. I need ideas!

By the way, one of those doctor appointments last week was Brandon's heart check-up. Thank the Lord! He is still doing well. They did not even have to do an echocardiogram! Yay! He won't have to go back for another six months. I'm so thankful that the procedure is holding, and our baby won't have to go through that trauma again. The Lord is good!

Guess I'll sign off for now! See you the next time I get some inspiration. :-)

Friday, February 15, 2008

An ironic view to a current event that affects us all

I live in a border state.
My brother is a Border Patrol Agent.
This is a very serious issue to me and to my family.
I'm all for legal immigration. I am completely in support of a border fence and some major revamping of our policies allowing illegal immigrants access to American benefits. In my mind, until you have earned the right to call yourself an American, you have no right to our freedoms and our benefits!!! I understand that there is no easy way to deal with the current population of illegals, but something does need to be done--something that does not inculde amnesty for all. So, with that little rant out of the way, here's an interesting and accurate take on the whole situation. I don't know who wrote this or started it going along the email lines, but thank you to whoever you are! You are right on target. That last line sums up my attitude exactly!!!!!

Let's Say I Break Into Your House

Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration. Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.

Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.
Let's say I break into your house.
Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave. But I say, "No! I like it here. It's better than my house. I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors. I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house.)

According to the protesters:

You are Required to let me stay in your house.
You are Required to feed me.
You are Required to add me to your family's insurance plan.
You are Required to Educate my kids.
You are Required to Provide other benefits to me & to my family. (My husband will do all of your yard work because he is also hard-working and honest, except for that breaking in part.)

If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my RIGHT to be there.
It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself. I'm a hard-working and honest, person, except for well, you know, I did break into your house And what a deal it is for me!!! I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of cold, uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior.

Oh yeah, I DEMAND that you learn MY LANGUAGE!!! so you can communicate with me.

Why can't people see how ridiculous this is?!

Some Great Tips!

I saw these ideas over at Sense to Save and asked her to let me share them here. I particularly can't wait to try the tips about mosquitoes and static cling. Have any of you tried these and had them work? Let us know with a comment!

Expanding Frosting :
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store , whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

No More Mosquitoes :
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Flexible vacuum nozzle :
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling :
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and — ta da! — static is gone.

Measuring Cups clean up :
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Hate foggy windshields?:
Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope :
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside , just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily .

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A new baby in our family!

YAY!!! We're going to have another baby in the family, and NO, IT'S NOT ME!! Steven's sister, Erin, is expecting. We are so happy for her, and very glad not to be the ones giving another grandchild! :)

Congratulations, Erin and Jeremy! We can't wait until you bring that little one home for us to meet!

For my Valentine

To my husband--

Things are not always easy. We've been through times of loss and deep hurting. We've seen the light of morning and held our sweet boys. We've known the best of each other. We've known the worst of each other. Through it all, you've been my friend, my love and my husband.

Today is a day to remember those times and remember most of all how much our marriage means to me. Thank you for your wonderful care for me and for our children. Thank you for standing beside me always and never giving up.

Happy Valentine's day! I love you--today and always!

Encouragement for expectant/new mothers

Girl Talk's series is dealing with postpartum issues today. It was a special encouragement for me because I have dealt with this struggle after each of my miscarriages and after all three of my pregnancies. It is somehow comforting to know that we are not alone in our struggles and that the Lord never intended us to deal with our womanly trials on our own. May we all take this encouragement and seek to see every trial through God's eyes and not our own.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Girl Talk's PMS Prep

This is a subject that is so vital to a Christian woman. How do we serve and love our families when we are bombarded by our own bodies? How do we continue to love our husbands and care for our children with kindness and gentleness when we are overwhelmed with the hormonal ups and downs that accompany PMS, menopause, postpartum or morning sickness?

The girls over at GirlTalk will be doing a series on this subject. I will be tuning in to glean from their wisdom. Join me!!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Our journey to being debt-free

I've been wanting to share some of this for awhile now, so here goes!

My husband and I have been learning a lot over the last year and a half about managing our finances and getting out of debt. Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover was a great incentive for us.

We started out our marriage with no debt and no credit history, but soon fell prey to the myth that without a credit score, you can accomplish nothing in life. It wasn't long before our committment to paying off credit card balances every month wavered, and we started down the road to living in debt.

Two years ago, we were $58,000 in debt, including our house. My husband was working 50-55 hours a week consistently, and we were making it month to month, but had nothing to show for his earnings. When we decided to sale our two bedroom house in order to upgrade to a three bedroom, we came up with an amount that we felt we could finance and easily pay each month for a mortgage. Well, in the time our house was on the market, we had three contracts expire on houses that we "loved." Looking back, I see God's hand of protection over us.

By the end of the summer of 2006 when we finally did sale our house, my husband's hours had decreased enough at work that we believe we would have lost our house if it had not sold when it did. If things had worked out on one of those other homes, we really would have been in trouble!! We made a committment at that time to do away with any credit cards and do all that we had to to get out of debt and begin living on a cash basis.

Today, a year and half later, we owe less than $6000 on our used van, the last of our large debts. We also now have medical bills from our son's heart procedure, but we are slowly working our way towards being debt free. We do own another house, but we are currently renting it to a young couple until they are able to buy it from us. We are living strictly on a budget that covers all our necessities and still leaves us with a little every week for something extra. We are saving regularly. We are being able to pay for things like moving expenses in cash that we have set aside. We've had unexpected expenses come up, but so far have been able to keep to our committment to use only cash. True, we don't have as much set back as we would hope to have, but we're not in any greater debt because of these emergencies.

We are looking to our future. A future of being able to help others. A future that includes being able to provide for our children's future and even our grandchildren. So many things have worked together to get us to place where we are today--hard work, giving up what we truly didn't need, the generosity of my parents to give us a place to live for over a year while we got back on our feet, and most importantly, the provisions of our God on our behalf.

Let me share a little about that. I had done a lot of thinking and praying about how I could help with our finances, especially in the area of cutting back our grocery/household expenses.

The main area I continue to work at is contentment with what I do have. I often fall short in this area, especially when it comes to clothes and those little extras. I'm a self-proclaimed lover of shopping and coffee--both of which are expensive hobbies if I'm not careful!!! I'm learning to do without and shop only sales when I really NEED something new.

The second area that has changed so much and has been such a great encouragement to me is CVS!!!! Learning to shop their sales and ECB deals has been awesome! I now have such a stockpile of household goods, including diapers and wipes, that I have not been to Walmart but a handful of times since Christmas. It's amazing my husband! hehe

I've been able to take what I have learned and share it with friends. I actually held a "how to CVS" class at one of our ladies' luncheons a few weeks ago. I love that I now have enough product set aside to be able to help someone if a need arises without worrying about being able to pay for our own grocery needs too.

I'm learning to use coupons here at our small town grocery store that has some really good sales every week. I've been able to put back gallons of milk and pounds and pounds of meat because of shopping sales.

The Lord has been so good to teach me and show me these things. I'm still learning so much in all these areas, but I can say without a doubt that it's worth it, especially when we're able to pay off that last bill and shout from the roof top that we are DEBT FREE!!! That truly will be FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!

Doctor visits, eczema, ear infection, baby teeth and NOT ENOUGH SLEEP!

This is life as a mother.

Brandon's been "off" for over a week now. I've been fighting a losing battle with invasive eczema for months. Steven, who's had enough of me putting off going to the doctor for myself, told me in no uncertain terms to make appointments for both of us. (Thank you, honey, for making me take care of myself too!) So, with a 3:30PM and 7:00PM appointment, we left for Abilene yesterday afternoon. One hundred fifty dollars and nearly eight hours later, we were finally back home.

Brandon's evening appointment at the pediatric clinic included sitting in the waiting room for more than an hour, a diagnoses of another ear infection, and oh, the not-to-be-forgotten instructions on how to obtain a stool sample!! Yes, my poor, sweet baby is having tummy trouble that can't be easily explained. Not wanting to get into TMI territory, I'll leave it at that.

I, on the other hand, had a relatively painless appointment with a doctor I actually like! I do however have a condition that can't be "cured" by any means known to good AMA doctors. So, I was given three prescriptions. Even with insurance, one cost over $80!!! Now, I was all for just not getting it, but my husband, being the loving and caring man that he is, insisted that I get it since it will help with the constant itching and irritation on my scalp from the eczema. Ugh! Do you know how horrible it is to itch constantly??? I don't wish it on anyone.

Back to Brandon and our night together. I honestly don't know how many times I was up with him. I lost countafter the third or fourth time. I do know that I'M TIRED!!!! The little guy can barely breathe through the stuffy nose and was miserable most of the night with fever and pain from his ear, not to mention the tummy troubles. To round things off, I discovered that he's also cutting two top teeth right now!

So, to those of you out there who may think that motherhood is sissy stuff and stay-at-home moms "don't work", let me let you in on a secret. YOU'RE WRONG!!! Please understand that I wouldn't trade my life as a wife and mother for anything, but there aren't too many other occupations I know of that involve constant lack of sleep, absolutely NO time off, and requirements to be on-call 24/7. So, next time you see a tired mother with her hands full in the store, don't be critical. Consider offering a helping hand instead, remembering that you never know what her life is truly like until you've walked in her shoes!

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Favorite

Casting Crowns -

I have long been a fan of good Christian music, and I don't only mean hymns! I just thought I'd share this link for Casting Crowns with everyone. Enjoy!!