Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It Really Is Well.............

Yesterday was an absolutely fascinating and interesting day.

First off, Johanna would have been 4 months old has she lived.  As a Mom it's kind of a neat accomplishment to count off each new month with your baby.  Each month is a stepping stone to that 1st BDay, to crawling, to walking, to talking, etc.  But when your baby dies each month is like counting all the things that you've missed. It's been such a short and long time all at the same time.  But I also thought yesterday that it's like counting down the days until I get to be with Johanna again in Heaven.

Other than all the conflicted emotions around JoJo's 4 month BDay I also went to 2 seperate funerals.  To be more precise 1 funeral and 1 receiving.  I havn't been to a funeral since Johanna's.  I will confess that I did not want to go to all.  I wanted to stay home in my sloppies and read a book.  That's what Nikki wanted to do.  But being the wonderful pastor's wife that I am(insert laughter here because that's just down right hilarious) I soldiered on.  Do you feel sorry for me yet?  Nah, I wouldn't either.

The funeral service was in honor/memory(honor seems more appropriate for a Christian) of a local retired pastor that was a member at our church.  He had pastored several churches in our area and had been the interim/supply pastor at many others.  I didn't know him well as he had a stroke a few years before we were priviliged to begin serving at Calvary.  Our church choir sang in the service today.  The second song that we sang was "It Is Well" by Horatio Spafford.  This pastor's wife began to physically praise the Lord while the choir was singing.  She didn't shout or let out a holy scream.  I looked towards her and noticed that she was weeping(not unusual at a funeral) and then the most amazing thing.  She raised a shaky hand in praise and adoration to our Lord.  This lady that was going to the cemetery in a few moments to say a finaly goodbye to her husband, this same lady who has buried 2 daughters in days gone by, was able to offer praise to the Lord.  I was amazed.  I don't think this pastor's wife will ever know how she helped my breaking heart.

And then last night our family had an impromptu family dinner.  All seven of us were able to get together about 8pm for dinner.  Our schedules are so different that it's often very hard to get us all free at the same time.  It was a great way to end up the day.  We laughed like hyennas at Clayton and the way he is pronouncing some of his words.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Today was Chad's last day of school.  On Friday he will receive his diploma for his Master's Degree.  It's been a crazy feeling for both of us the last few days.  When Chad started school we had no idea that he would want to go this far.  Before he started he committed to finishing his BA of Divinity.  That was all(and that's not a small under taking).  When he finished his BADV in 2008 he decided he wanted to enter the MDIV(Masters of Divinity) program.  I was all for it. 

Five years ago we had no idea how much our lives would change from the time he started school until the day(today) that he finished.  This is a short list:

  • Miscarriage
  • Clayton
  • Johanna(and as you know that turned in to way more than a normal pregnancy)
  • Grief
  • Type 1 Diabetes being correctly diagnosed after almost 9 years
  • DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) with a trip to the ICU one weekend
  • Multiple Critical Low Blood Sugar(with the funniest one happening while he was at school.  It really is a hilarious story)
  • Buying a new(I mean old) house
  • Leaving 1 pastorate position to go to our transition church(which we loved!) to go to our current church Calvary Baptist(which we also love!)
That's a very very short list of a few of the big things we've dealt with all while finishing a MASTER'S DEGREE!  An MDIV is not for the faint of heart.  There have been a lot of papers to write, tests to take, books to read, sermons to prepare, lists to learn, and on and on. 

With the Lord's help Chad did it.  It was very hard for him to finish this last year in light of everything we've faced with Johanna.  But with some prodding from some peeps, Chad stuck it out.  There have been some notable naysayers along the way who have told one or both of us that he couldn't or shouldn't finish school.  He's been told that an education is not important to being a preacher/pastor.  To that I say.........WRONG!(that's my opinion and this is my blog)

I'm proud of you, babe!  I'm so excited to see you walk the stage in your cap and gown on Friday evening.  Wearing the hood(that's the pretty piece of cloth around his neck) of the few that accomplish the things you have.  It's no small thing to hold that diploma.  WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Rest

50And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
 51(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. 52This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 54And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. 55And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. 1Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
 3And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
 5And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8And they remembered his words, 

I'm absolutely transfixed with these scriptures. I can't imagine why anyone, let alone a sovereign God, would willingly trade their beloved child for someone like me.  I don't like myself a lot of days.  And I like everyone else even less(that's a joke you should laugh now).  I wouldn't trade either of my babies for you.  But God did!

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed to hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that kept Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beautiful Terrible Cross

 For the past few days I havn't been able to get away from the power of the Cross of Christ.  I am simply, and possibly for the first time, awestruck at how beautiful and terrible the death of my Savior truly was.  I realize that I normally post either light hearted goofy shenanigans or sad and somber grief related posts.  I feel strongly that I need to do something different for a day or two.  I'm not a preacher(I have the wrong chromosomes for that) and I can't exegete or illiterated anything for you.  I can only let God speak for Himself.  He can speak more loudly or clearly than I can.  I'm sure we'll be back to our regularly scheduled insanity in a few days.  But for now, if you would, humor me..................

32And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. 33And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
 34They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 36And sitting down they watched him there; 37And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 39And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
 40And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 44The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. 45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 47Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. 48And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
 49The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. 50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.  Matthew 27:32-54

Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest.............................................

Beautiful Terrible Cross
There is a beautiful terrible cross
Where though You committed no sin
Savior You suffered the most wicked fate
On the cruelest creation of men

Yet on that beautiful terrible cross
You did what only You could
Turning that dark inspired evil of hell
Into our soul’s greatest good

We see the love that You showed us
We see the life that You lost
We bow in wonder and praise You
For the beautiful terrible cross

There on that beautiful terrible cross
Though darkness was strong on that hill
You remained sovereign, Lord, still in control
As Your perfect plan was fulfilled


We gained the riches of heaven
Jesus You paid the horrible cost
We stand forgiven and praise You
For the beautiful terrible cross
For the beautiful terrible cross

In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Loving and Learning..................

Today is a weird day.  Very strange indeed.  We were out late last night at WLBC's Bible Conference and didn't get in the bed until around 12:45.  Clayton went to sleep a little earlier but not much.  So the boys are still snoozing at the moment.  I'm sure any second now I will hear "Mama out" from Clayton's room.  Then we will proceed to ask for milk, Bob(Veggie Tales) and bite bites.  In that order.  And I will oblige, normally in that order.

It's crazy to think how simple and mostly necessary Clayton's requests are at this point.  He doesn't know, or is just now starting to learn, about the rigors and demands this world sometimes places, or we allow it to place, on us.  He doesn't know about the "need" for a newer car or a nicer and larger house.  Right now he's content to play in our 1100 square foot older home and ride in his Daddy's '02 truck.  He doesn't see the "need" for brand new clothes that aren't even on sale yet.  Right now he's content wearing his Goodwill finds, handy-me-downs, and super clearance steals.  At this point Clayton will eat whatever we put in front of him.  (Well he does that because he has no food restrictions and except on very rare occasions he eats what we eat or he does without.  It's a cruel world.)  He hasn't yet learned that there are other things on the menu besides chicken tenders and ketchup.

It's humbling to know that right now Chad and I control every single thing this child does.  It's an awesome process to shape a child.  He will grow and be like we shape him.  And then one day his wife, bless her heart, will have to deal with all the damage we have done(that's a joke please take it that way).  I don't consider myself an overprotective mother.  I do my best to let Clayton play and fall to learn.  How else is he supposed to learn that concrete hurts unless he falls on it?  I would rather him learn in a supervised manner than to be curious in 2 years and dive face first down the steps.

I was finishing a book earlier this morning(I love to read) and this thought hit me out of nowhere.  I can't teach him everything and I can't protect him from everything.  There are some things he will have to learn on his own.  Our parents had no way to teach Chad and me how to deal with a chronic illness when we were growing up.  They hadn't dealt with that.  Mom and Dad and my In-laws had no way to teach us how to bury a child.  They have not had to do that just yet(and hopefully never will).  I was just awestruck at the power and responsibility parenting has and doesn't have all at the same time.  I only have a few years to mold Clayton in to the man I think the Lord would have him to be.  We don't have long to teach him manners, respect, love, responsibility, joy, and all the other things that as parents we want our children to know before they leave the nest.

But are all the things we want to teach our children important if we don't ever teach or exhibit the love of God?  How can we teach about love if we never show the love of God?  I don't mean the Sunday School version of God's love.  That is an important aspect of God's love but His love is so much deeper than that.  To wrap your mind around a Father that would love others that actually hated Him so very much that He would willingly give His son away to buy the haters back is an awesome thought.  And then when that Son accomplished His duties the Father was so disgusted(?), hurt(?), angered(?) at what He saw that He had to turn away from His Son.  But remember the Son had done NOTHING wrong.  But then, when the price was paid, the Father joyfully accepted the Son's payment for something the Son didn't even do.  Amazing!  I can't begin to fathom all that God and Christ must have mentally endured those days of Christ's earthly ministry, crucifiction, and resurrection.

While it was painful to watch my daughter die the scenario was obviously completely different.  Johanna didn't atone for anyone's sin and didn't pardon anything.  She had simply served the purpose(and I'm still learning that purpose and probably always will be) she was created for and God brought her to Himself.  But Christ did atone and He also accomplished His task.   

I know this was random, disjointed, and all over the map.  But it's what was on my mind this morning.  I felt like I had to let it free.

And I hear a little red head beginning to stir in his room.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

GRIEF(it's funny so keep reading)

Few minutes

With all of the events of the last almost year I am a firm believer that grief affects every single person in a different way.  Chad and I don't wallow or wail too often.  That's not our style.  Our grief is starting to show up in some really strange, although hilarious, ways. We forget things.  Important things.  Remember the pellet heater story a few weeks back?  That's just the start of the insanity. 

Here goes......................

Sundays are by far the busiest day of our week.  From the time we get up until the time we go to bed, the whole days is a race(that's just to remind you that we build in no extra time for anything on Sundays simply because we can't they're just too busy).  Here's where the fun starts.

Chad and I have a system set up whenever he needs a refill of his Insulin.  We can never run out it's simply not an option for Chad.  He would be in the ICU or the morgue(morbid but true) in a few hours if he ran out so we don't let that happen.  Normally.  I had filled out the refill request online and the order was ready to be picked up on Thursday.  Cool.  One of us would remember to get it and all would be right in the world again.  Or so we thought.  Neither one of us thought anything about it again until Chad needed to change his pump lines(that's something a pump user should do every 3 days).  When he changes out his pump stuff(I've really dumbed this down so it makes some sense) he adds more Insulin to the pump. 

On Saturday evening Chad is getting all of his supplies lined up to do the change for that day.  I'm making a few edits to his finally finished thesis and wearing my "Snuggie" when I hear " I not have any Insulin?"  I respond "Uhm.............did you not pick it up at the pharmacy?"  Chad responds "No..........I'm guessing you didn't either".  We had forgotten to get the precious life juices that Chad must have.  Neither one of us freak out and I'm simply amazed.  Chad had enough Insulin in his pump to last until about noon on Sunday.  No biggie Chad and Clayton can go to church.  I'll get the Insulin when the pharmacy opens at 10am and head to Lenoir.  Easy peeze lemon squeezy.


I had checked the hours of operation for the pharmacy online.  Silly me didn't think that the actual store and the pharmacy might have different hours until I was in the shower.  The store(we use a large chain so theorhetically we can get Insulin anywhere) opens at 10am but the pharmacy doesn't open until 11am.  I messenger Chad and tell him what's going on but that I'll be at church by 11:30.  It's not the ideal situation by any means but its what has to be done so we deal with it. 

Around 10:30am I'm getting my stuff together and doing one last sweep of the house to make sure we have everything.  Then I realize I don't have any car keys.  NONE!!!  Chad had wanted a CD(Selah if you must know) that was in my car and instead of bringing the keys back inside he just pocketed them and headed off to Lenoir.  OOPS!!  I messenger Chad again and ask him if he had the keys.  By this time I have literally dumped the entire contents of my purse on the table and sifted through everything.  I don't have the keys but my bag is now cleaned out.  Bonus!

When Chad gets finished teaching his Sunday School class he messages me and tells me he has my keys and that he'll be home shortly.  He works out a plan for Clayton to just stay with my parents and play.  And we're gonna get the Insulin and head right back to Lenoir so we can get everything finished that has to be accomplished on a Sunday.

Obviously our normal Sunday routine was more than slightly altered.  Insanity.

So if you or anyone you know is currently in the grief process cut yourself or them a little slack when they do totally bonehead things.  I'm still laughing at our major OOPS!

Monday, February 15, 2010

How Did This Happen?????

 I really must know and I need to know now!

How did this baby?

8lbs 2oz and 21 3/4 inches
Go to this at 10 months?
Then proceed on to walking and a mouth full of teeth?
Grow an amazing amount of totally awesome red hair?
And learn how to "cheese" for the camera?

I think it's safe to say that my "baby" has become a boy. 

As of 10:56am today Clayton will be 2 years old.  That's the absolute most insane thing ever.  I'm not one of those moms that want their babies to stay babies forever.  I love the boyhood we've quite quickly developed.  Clayton amazes me every day.  

We only have two more milestones to accomplish to completely leave baby land.  Clayton will graduate to his new Sunday School class the first Sunday in March.  He's just waiting on his precious Natalie to turn 2 as well.  For ya'll that don't know us in the real world, Natalie and Clayton are only 2 weeks apart in age and he is seriously smitten with her.  She doesn't give him the time of day but he follows her like a little lost puppy.  He's got some major googley eyes.  And the last thing on the "Bye Bye Baby" agenda is potty training.  He's started but that's a process and I'm not gonna rush it.

Happy Birthday Clayton/Bubba/Claycakes/Claystone/Claybob/Doodle/Clayt(that's what he calls himself)!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Keeps You Warm and Your Hands Free

I mentioned yesterday that if I was going to do a Valentine's Day post it would be of the type and sort of the post that would make the blogosphere gasp and nobody would want to read.  Well as it turns out I was wrong.  Well maybe not wrong because you probably won't find this as interesting and funny as I do but it's my blog and our life and I think it's funny.  But the blogosphere probably won't gasp.  The world won't change the spinning on its axis and global warming will keep warming(or cooling in our area).

Chad and I have never been overly romantic or sentimental with each other.  That doesn't take away from our love for one another at all.  It's just how we're made up.  I don't need over the top mushy gushy stuff very often.  And Chad is about the least romantic I have ever known.  He seriously is but that's OK.  I knew that before we were married.  And if you expect your mate to change after you're married you seriously need to have your head examined because that just doesn't happen in the real world.

Last night(actually its already this morning because against my better judgment(or mainly because I'm just sooooo excited) I'm typing this at 12:03am.....insane) was the Couples Banquet at church.  It's fun to celebrate marriage in a culture that is starting to let marriage slip away.  Due to the snow and nastiness we ended up having both of our cars in Lenoir after the banquet tonight.  We needed to get them both home(remember we live 30 minutes from our church) tonight.  After the banquet I went to my brothers and SIL's house(Jesse and Amy) to get Clayton.  They had so graciously agreed to keep him all day today and this evening.  Thanks guys!  He was a super tired boy and didn't even wake up when I got him out of the car seat and into his bed.

Anyway, Chad stayed behind to finish the clean up effort at the church.....OR SO I THOUGHT.  It turns out he left as soon as I was out of the parking lot.  He knew that I would have to talk to J and A for a few minutes before I could say the final goodbyes.  I stopped to buy gas and then called Chad to ask him where he was(mainly because I had forgotten my house keys but that's a different story for a different day).  He told me that he was buying gas and we worked out a plan to meet and I would follow him home.  He was cool with that so sleeping handsome(beauty just wouldn't work here) and I cooled our jets for a few minutes.  I saw Chad pass by and we jumped in behind him and were once again headed home.

The last road before our house is a 4 lane road and it's not heavily traveled after 9pm.  All of a sudden Chad just speeds up and leaves me in the dust.  I thought it was weird but that was all I thought.  I just assumed he was being a goofy boy.  When I pull into the driveway I notice the front door is standing wide open and so is the car door.  That's weird for Chad.  He came strolling out of the house like nothing is wrong so I ignore it.

After a few more minutes of unloading our sherpas(otherwise known as automobiles but we practically live in Lenoir so we have to carry a lot of junk with us) and getting Clayton into bed, Chad asked me how busy would we be in the morning.  I said it's a Sunday.......DUH..........we'll be swamped and racing to get out the door on time.  He says OK then I'll give you your present tonight.  


I think my ears have deceived me.  Did he just tell me he had a present?

He did.  And I am now the proud owner of this...........................................

I happen to think the "Snuggie" is the smartest invention possibly ever.  I am a voracious reader.  And we live in an old and drafty house.  How am I supposed to read, stay warm, and turn the pages at the same time?  "Snuggie" you have saved my life and answered all my questions.  I have wanted a "Snuggie" FOREVER!!!!  Seriously I about bought a knock-off a few months back but it kinda felt like sand paper so I decided to pass.  And when I saw this pink one a few weeks ago I about went gaga in the store.  But I'm so cheap(I meant frugal) I rarely buy things like this no matter how bad I want it.  So my hubs got me one for VDay.  And he gave me cards from the babies(yes both of them, bonus points for adding JoJo to the card) and a hilarious card from himself.  It's one of those cards that only he and I would appreciate.

I LOVE YOU SNUGGIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND YOU TOO CHAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was pleasantly surprised.  A "Snuggie" is so much better than flowers.  It's the gift that will give back all winter long.

PS I'm a little behind on ya'lls blogs.  But I'll catch up soon I promise.

PPS  Please come back tomorrow.  An amazing how did we get from that to this is in store.  I'm so excited and I just can't hide it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2/13(I couldn't think of anything else)

I could do a whole post on Valentine's Day but I'll spare you.  You can thank me.  I do love my husband and family very much.  Instead of a VDay post I'll do something different.

A family in our church was reunited on Wednesday.  This makes me so very happy.  Robbie Beaver has been serving our country in Iraq for the last year.  And on Wednesday he came home to his wife, daughters, and family.  You can follow their story at Crossed Moments.  I can't imagine how "interesting" the last year has been for them.  I'm so thankful the Robbie and all of the other men and women that serve our nation in this capacity are willing to sacrifice their time, family, and even lay their life on the line for my family.  Thank you for giving my little boy a safer place to grow.  THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Come back on Monday because I have a "how in the world could that have happened" moment.  It's just crazy and mind boggling.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday's Finer Things

Today I've linked up to something for the first time ever.  Amy at "Amy's Finer Things" does a linky doo diddle on Fridays.  It's aptly named "Friday's Finer Things.  The finer things in my life at the moment include(but aren't limited to):

  • More time with sweet boys.  Both of the short red headed variety and of the tall dark haired(and maybe just maybe beginning to turn salt and pepper) variety.
  • Spending the day with Mom doing some ministry/church related what nots.  It's fun!
  • Clayton won the drawing for a prize at Lifeway while we were there on Saturday.  I get to pick it up today.  I'm way too excited about this.
  • "Having a Mary Spirit"  Totally cool and awesome book/Bible Study I'm slowly working my way through at the moment.  It's very convicting which I'm trying to tell myself is the best kind.
  • A warmer and brighter house thanks to new insulation(how do you spell this word it just boggles my mind) and new wiring.
  • God's provision and His timing.  I'm so baffled by how much He loves me.  I think He just might love me more than the rest of ya'll.  That's how good He is to me.
Your day really is fine if you want to see it that way.  Enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Say What?

We're having Revival meeting at church this week and it's been pretty awesome.  If you have a toddler that you keep in the service with you then you know that sometimes(or a lot) you miss key points of any sermon.  Our church does have a staffed nursery that is wonderful but I'm starting to feel that for the most part Clayton is old enough to begin to learn how to sit still.  It's a process and it's taking some time.  Last night for instance I think Chad had to take him out and.......uhm.......discipline him 3 different times.  I'm not a mean or abusive parent, I just expect certain behavior.

Moving on before DSS comes knocking on my door.

Last night the preacher preached from Ecclesiastes chapter 1.  The verse that stuck out to me was verse 3.

"What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? "
Eccelsiastes 1:3

Or translated in to 2010 lingo:  Does everything you're working for have any value?  That's a good question.  I had to think a minute and then honestly answer that I don't really know.  I hope so.  But as a wife and mom it's really easy to get bogged down in the "stuff".  Just a thought to get you thinking today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Can Cardboard and Sharpie......................

................really say all that?

If you follow Kelly's Korner then you've probably already seen this.  But that's OK.  I wanted to share it again as a testament to God's healing, power, forgiveness, rememption, mercy, grace, peace, and love.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Otis Wishes He Made These........

Otis as in Spunkmeyer.  Nevermind..........joke fail.

My SIL Amy's, mother makes the hands down best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the world.  The best ever made.  They could win on Iron Chef America.  Yesterday was my day to take snacks to our youth group meeting.  I sent Ames a text and asked her to ask her mom how to make these fantastic cookies.  It's so easy a child could do it.  And if mine had been feeling a little better he would have stirred for me.

Without further adieu.......................

Ms. Sheryl's Cookies


The World's Best/Most Awesome/Fantastic/Super Fly/Go buy another gallon of milk because you're gonna need it when these come out of the oven.........Cookies
(Complete with pictorial instructions)

1 Yellow/White Cake Mix

1/3 cup of oil

2 eggs

And about half a bag of chocolate/butterscotch/peanut butter/peppermint/whatever kind you want chips

Mix all this together and you get.......
It's thick.  Don't be tempted to add more oil/water.  Just don't do it.


I don't know if you're supposed to o this or not but I did.  My rational was that when making a cake you have to spray/flour the pan.  So I did.  I don't know if it helped, but it didn't hurt.

Halfway done.........
I prefer cookies soft.  They need to be brown on the bottom with just a tough of light light light golden brown on the top.

I got 48 cookies out of 1 box of cake mix.  I don't really care for the "Tollhouse" method.  The cookies just aren't right.  These are way better and less expensive to make.  I think I have $3 in 48 cookies.  And yes, the Route 44 Diet Coke from Sonic most definitely helps the cookies to bake up better.

OOPS I forgot...................
I cooked on 350 for 11-13 minutes.  I thought 11-12 minutes yielded the softest cookies, but if you like the crunchy kind(Chad does) then cook for 13 minutes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bob, Larry, and Audrey

Today was a very special day for our family.  We saw some of the Veggie Tales live and in person or vegetable whatever.  Before Christmas I found the VT "The Star of Christmas" in the $5 bin at Walmart.  I bought it for Clayton to watch in what's becoming our Friday night Family Movie night.  After "The Star of Christmas" we were all immediatley hooked.  Clayton also received more VT DVD's for Christmas.  The "Heroes of the Bible" series is a fantastic and fun way to tell some of the more recognized Bible story.  The others "God Made you Special" and "The Good, The Bad, and The Eggly" are just plain funny.  And they do have a great theme of how special and loved each person is to God.

Anyway, we have a major addict on our hands.  Clayton would watch the VT all day long if we would let him.  We have rationed him to 1 viewing per day.  And it's normally in the morning right after breakfast.  I need my coffee with Skinny Caramel Macchiato Creamer and Clayton needs Bob and Larry.

One of our church members called Chad on Thursday and told him that Bob and Larry were going to be at a Lifeway Store in the next town(Thanks, Sonny).  Chad and I decided that if there was any way possible to get their we were going to see Bob and Larry today.  Thankfully the weather cleared up this morning and we were able to meet Clayton's heroes of the moment.  And we also used a gift certificate for lunch at Cracker Barrell(thanks Youth Group, ya'll are the best).  It was a great family day.  And frugal too(well sorta but more on that in a few).

Red has been a little under the weather lately.  He just couldn't make it.
But when he saw these guys he was WIDE AWAKE!
Introduce slowly.  I think a life sized tomato and cucumber would be frightening.  Not for Clayton.
Clayton would look everywhere but at the camera.

He really did enjoy himself.  After lunch, Chad had to make a hospital visit so Clayton and I headed to the nearest Goodwill.  Score!!  When we were in the checkout line an elderly lady asked him what his name was and he responded "Bob".  Maybe we need to change that ration to once a week.

Our Lifeway was having a pretty decent sale today.  Chad and I picked up a few things for ourselves in addition to the VT DVD that was on sale(and they gave us a VT Umbrella and Cookie Cutter.....Double Score!!).  One of the things I grabbed was the new "Selah" CD, "You Deliver Me"(maybe it wasn't such a frugal family date after all).  I am so hooked on this band.  Their music is phenomenal.  This bonus track on the CD is "I Will Carry You".  If you don't know the story of Todd, and Angie Smith (Todd's the male voice behind Selah) you should definitely check out Angie's blog.  Their 4th daughter died 2 hours after her birth.  Like us they knew ahead of time that their daughter was "incompatible with life" and chose to respect her life.  I'm rambling.  The song is fantastic.  I cried and then I laughed in the clergy parking at Frye Hospital.  The passers by probably thought I was insane but that's OK because I am a slightly off kilter.  Please listen to this song.  I realize you're busy and have better things to do.  But if you have the time please listen.  It's a fantastic remberance and reminder of the roller coaster of our new life.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Shopping Your House

(and that really means just moving stuff around and having my wonderful fantastic handsome talented husband do all the really hard work for me.  Thanks sweets!)

On June 1st we will be in our house for 3 years.  In that 3 years I have been pregnant twice, had an infant and now a toddler, buried a daughter, and helped nurse a Type 1 diabetic/husband back to good health.  It's been a very busy 3 years.  That busyness is my excuse for not doing much decorating around my house.  Time is not an excuse I have any more.  My excuse now is money.  Lest you forget, I am unemployed(and actually quite content if I do say so myself).  So I have the desire to change a few things and am learning to do so on a much tighter budget.

I have wanted a mirror over the fireplace for a very long time.  But I wasn't about to drop $100 and up on a mirror.  I wouldn't do that if I were still employed.  Personally, for me anyway, that's just crazy.  I could get like two 1 hour massages in our area for that.  I paid $20 instead.  It's not the best quality.  But from where it hangs you would never know that.  And it serves its purpose quite nicely.
JoJo on the left and Clayton on the right.  These used to hang where the mirror is now.  I like the look of the black and white.  I feel kinda bad for Clayton that his picture is smaller that Johanna's.  But then I probably have 30 pictures of Clayton hanging in different places.  And that's not an exaggeration.
I got these frames at the same discount department store as the mirror.  They were $5 for the smaller ones and the larger one was $10.  I have $20 in this wall and I love it.  I was needing something for this wall in our dining room and I wanted to put up more of Johanna's pictures.  This served both purposes(I do see that the frames need to be straightened).
More walls in our dining room.  I told you that I had a lot of pictures of Clayton. All of these pictures were about the mantle where the gigantic mirror now lives.  I like the crazy hanging look.  I just need more pics to fill up the walls.  And I will fill up those walls.  Oh yes.
Baseball.  All baseball.  Chad is a New York Yankees fan.  And he really likes the Yankees teams from the 50's and 60's.  There's just something iconic about that era. This wall is in our kitchen.  And yes our kitchen is Yankee blue.  The kitchen is huge(but laid out really strange) so a dark color is very nice in here.  And the two smallest pictures on the top and bottom are from Chad's baseball career(elementary but whatever).  They are adorable and fit nicely on the wall.
Goodwill $9.50  It's OK to be jealous.  I love this chandelier.  I love it.  And I do believe love is an appropriate emotion for this particular chandelier.  It's amazing.  I almost passed it because it had these really ugly canvas shades over the lights.  Once I got it home and Chad took off the shades(or broke them) I was hooked.  And it's really bright.  We can now see my horrible cooking.
And a new light in the kitchen.  And it came from the Habitat Restore.  It was a hanging light until Chad removed that hanging parts and made it a flush mount.  It looks much better this way.  That's the rest of my oddly formed kitchen behind you.  Those cabinets are useless.  They are so tall and I'm so not tall.  Most of them are empty and I have a storage shelf in the laundry room(which I will never show you because my laundry room/office/storage/bookshelf/coupon center is hideously cluttered).  I can not keep that room clean.

That's all of my recent bargain shopping.  I got new lights, picture frames, and a mirror for $75.  I have been collecting these things over a few weeks.  I'm officially hooked on Goodwill.  I shall never pay full retail again(if I can help it and as long as The Children's Place isn't having a $3 sale).

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Sorry to have been absent for the better part of the past 2 weeks.

We've had some things done to the house.  And well that has just about done me in.  Well that was probably an exxageration.

Starting last Tuesday and lasting until yesterday(there was a delay due to snow and a sick husband) we had our house completely rewired.  Completely.  Every receptacle and light is new. Unbeknowest to us our house had been wired with EXTENSION CORDS.  Yeah, you read that correctly.  That of course had to go.  Now we are back up to code.  And even better we can run the microwave, coffee pot, washing machine, and my hair dryer at the same time.  We couldn't do that before because our house has some crazy wiring and that would cause the breakers to flip.

And today, our house is being insulated.  Our house is 70 years old and besides the things we've done to it in the last 3 years it has had very very few upgrades.  The time has come for insulation.  It was kinda drafty but not anymore.  And if you've never seen a standing house insulated, well then, you have missed a treat.  They don't roll out the insulation.  Oh no.  It is sprayed in with this super long tube thing that kinda looks like a dryer vent.  It's a pretty cool process. Clayton has loved watching men go in and out of the attic.  And they have a "big truck" so he's impressed by that.

That's been our life for the past 2 weeks. It's almost over now and I have a solemn vow from my husband that this is the last improvement/upgrade for a long time.  I certainly hope so.  We have to clean up and then I have to head out to the grocery store before the impending doom(snow, ice, sleet, or whatever we're getting) gets here.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


You would have been 3 months old by now.  How has that much time passed already?  I imagine that you would be smiling at Daddy, Clayton, and me.  And possibly Tram and Bobba(Gram and Poppa for all of ya'll that don't speak Clayton), Mawmaw and Pawpaw, and all your silly aunts and uncles.  I would guess that you would have started reaching for things and sleeping through the night.  It seems like we've missed a lifetime of things with you already.

Your ears would have been pierced with tiny little diamonds.  You would constantly have a bow in your hair.  And that hair I imagine it would be very light by now.  We were all amazed at how dark your hair was on your birthday.  Dresses and really cool shoes too.  I can't walk through the baby department(and I'm there a lot since Clayton is still has some baby needs), see the dresses and imagine how they would have looked on your little body.  Clayton was always a slim baby and imagine that you would have been too.  Both of you seemed to be made just like your daddy.  Tall and slim(unlike your mother who is neither tall nor slim).

I miss you more today than I did the day you were born.  How is that possible?  I don't know how all of these things work but I know my heart hurts more now for you.  I know what you're doing and I wouldn't bring you back to me for a king's ransom.  But the Johanna side of my heart is broken from missing you.

Enjoy your eternal day with the Lord.  I don't know if you have realization of our world or not.  If you do please know that your Mommy and Daddy(and a whole list of other people) love you very much.  We are fortunate to have you be our daughter.  We're proud of you.

Love always,