Entries RSS Comments RSS

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Wordless Wednesday—Cool Cutie!

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

I’ll post Workout Wednesday later…but couldn’t resist sharing this cute little dude who is gracing my desktop as wallpaper right now! ;)






Isn’t he a cool cutie?


(And I wonder how they got him to be serious long enough to get a picture?!)




Happy Birthday Anna!

Monday, August 15th, 2011

I’m a bit late, but it’s still the 15th! :)


14 years ago today, God blessed us with our little Anna-Pie!





When Anna was 14 months old, right about the time of this picture, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Immune Thrombocytopaenia Purpurea (ITP), a disease where the body destroys its own platelets.






It was very scary–3 blood draws per week and at least one appointment at the clinic  1 1/2 hours away where the hematologist was.  We didn’t know for sure it wasn’t leukemia until they did a bone marrow biopsy.   It was extra tough as I had just gotten off bedrest with my pregnancy with Rebekah!






The treatment we chose (we only had four options, and one of those was waiting!) backfired and she ended up with a blood transfusion.  We chose to wait after that.  But it was hard!


She got to the point where if she fell down or got hurt, and we asked, “Where’s your ‘outsie’?” she would extend her arm and show you where she usually got her blood drawn!  :(   She got to the point after 6 weeks where she would cry but hold out her arm!


The disease was serious–she could have a brain hemorrhage just by crying too hard.  We bought a padded seizure helmet, her “bumper buddy”, to help with the bumps that come with a toddling 14 month old!






The decision to wait was not an easy one to make.  But our other two options weren’t much of options.  ITP had only been “discovered” about 20 years at that point.  So the options were slim.


When we felt the Lord gave us the word to wait, of course we second guessed ourselves.   Then He confirmed it in such an amazing way, there was no doubting it!


A dear friend of mine, who had moved a few states away, would call from time to time to get updates.  Last time she’d called was when Anna had to have the blood transfusion.  She had told me about a gentleman about our age, who had never married, but felt God had called him to prayer.  She called me and before I could even tell her about our decision, she told me how this gentleman, Stephen, had asked her how Anna was doing. She explained to him about the blood transfusion and that we were praying for wisdom.  He told her, “If I could say one thing to the parents, it would be to wait.”


Can I tell you that I got shivers all up and down my spine?!  I told her that that was exactly what we had felt the Lord wanted us to do, but it was so hard and we were doubting ourselves.  The Lord wanted to encourage us–and boy was it ever an encouragement!


Thankfully, after 3 months, her platelets came up for no explainable reason–other than prayer!


We are so grateful to all who prayed for her—and I never met Stephen, but I’m grateful for his sharing that with my friend to pass along to me!



One more blood draw 6 months later, and she was declared clear of ITP and has been ever since!  Praise the Lord!



And now she is a lovely, 14 year old young lady–loving the Lord!




I love you very much, Anna!

You will always be my Anna-Pie!






For more pictures, go to the girls’ blog post!



Fabulous Family Friday–They Grow Up Too Soon!

Friday, August 5th, 2011


Cassia, Susannah, Leah, Jessica, Christmas 1993


My daughters are always so good about getting pictures up for their sisters’ birthday posts. They go through old pictures, scan them, and make a post, with a picture for every year.

They recently did this for Cassia, then someone put this picture as wallpaper on one of our computers.


Cassia is 3, Leah is 8 and Susannah is 5 in this picture.



Cassia, Leah, Susannah


They are now 18,  22 and 19-almost-20!!!


Mamas, they grow up TOO fast!





I almost have bittersweet  nostalgia seeing the older ones so small again!  I wish I could go back and enjoy them more!  Quit worrying about if I was parenting just so, or my homeschooling was up to par, or my homemaking was good enough!


Fifteen years later…..that stuff really doesn’t matter as much!   Oh, yes I know, we  need to educate our children and train them in Godliness, to love the Lord, and we need to keep our homes clean and orderly (well, somewhat….. ;) ), but….



Jessica and Cassia



I recently read a devotional by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies about keeping an orderly home.  It’s true, God does all things decently and in order, but He doesn’t expect us to keep an “orderly” home at the expense of relationships.  As in so many things in life, we add rules and regulations on where He never put any.  We add so many things to our “list of things to do” that we are more focused on the task needing done than the people around us.



Jessica and Leah, 1988


After awhile, our children become a means to an end, instead of the chores becoming a way to knit our hearts together!  We are more concerned about being “efficient” and “good stewards of our time” and such, and we miss the whole point.


The point is not for my home to be clean and orderly, everything in its place.  Surprised?!


The point is for you to have relationship with your Abba Father and to gently lead your little lambs to Him.



Dallas, Trisch, Jessica-5, Leah-3 and Susannah-4 months


Chores and school can be a part of that, but don’t ever trade “doing school” for relational matters.  Marilyn Howshall has a saying:


“Character training adds time to every duty, and every duty should stop for character training.”


The problem is, we really don’t want to stop our “agenda” for character training—sometimes because it’s really our character that needs training!  We can become so busy with all that needs to be done as a young mama of littles, that we lose sight of the fact that the chores will always be there….the littles will not!





Here is a quote from the devotional I linked to above:


“I would also encourage you to cut corners—not corners of cleanliness, but unnecessary tasks. I remember when I first started homemaking nearly 50 years ago; I kept to the traditions of that time. Every week, without fail, I changed the bed sheets. We used to take the bottom sheet off the bed and put it in the laundry, put the top sheet on the bottom and a new sheet on the top! That was the norm back in those days. But now we have fitted sheets and it doesn’t work that way. Plus, I don’t believe that we need to change sheets every week. I have digressed from that tradition. If children bath or shower, you can keep sheets on the beds for two or three weeks at a time. That saves a lot of laundry, especially if you have a number of children.”



Susannah and "Molly"


“What about ironing? I also started out ironing about twice a week. I even ironed pillow cases (I had friends who ironed their tea towels!). Help! How did I do that with four children under four and then six young children? I certainly don’t do that now, even though my children have grown. I have better things to do. I try to purchase clothes that don’t need ironing. I iron only what is absolutely necessary. I try to hang up clothes from the dryer immediately so they don’t crumple. I will even throw a dress in the dryer to unwrinkle if it needs an iron.”



Charissa and Bekah


“Remember, you are responsible to keep your home clean and in order, but not to do unnecessary tasks. Make the use of this time to spend more time with your children, reading to them, teaching them and doing creative things with them. That will have far more impact than unnecessary household tasks.”


Jessica--a "little shaver"! ;)



I would highly urge you to go before the Lord, and ask Him for His “pattern on the mount” for your family.   So often we add to our housework, our schooling, our outside involvements out of a sense of duty that God never gave us.   There were many lepers and widows in Elijah and Elisha’s day, but they didn’t heal them all.  Jesus said He had completed the work the Father gave Him to do.  But weren’t there more lepers to be cleansed, sinners to be forgiven, lame and blind men and women to be healed?


Jesus spent time with His Father, yes, even after a long night of ministry!   I’m not advocating you deprive yourself and ruin your health, but perhaps write down what all you do in a week.



Jessica and Leah


How much time is spent running errands?   Are you running more than you should?  Has it become a “diversion” to avoid dealing with your flesh?


How much time is spent in cleaning that might truly be unnecessary, especially at this stage of your children’s lives?



Jessica, Leah and Susannah, Easter 1993



How much time are you spending doing formal school?  Are you adding and adding out of fear, vs. what is “the one thing needful”?



Jessica and Cassia



I think one of the hardest things to realize, is how much we parent and homeschool out of fear.  We as women want security, and because of the sin nature, we will try to maintain “control” of situations to help us feel secure.


But it doesn’t work!



Jessica and Susannah


Usually it stresses us out, whether it’s the way we like the dishwasher loaded, or the way we want the books to be put away in a bookcase.  Or the way we want to have all the budget nicely divvied out in its place so there are no surprises….


Maybe it’s the way you do school.  You can’t let go of a curriculum because you “paid good money for it” or “what will my friends/neighbors/parents/in-laws think?”




Jessica, Leah, Susannah, Cassia

I’ve learned over the years that letting go is the way to peace!


Sometimes God has had to pry my fingers off, like a parent does a foolish toddler hanging onto garbage instead of letting go and receiving a treat from the Father’s hand.



Charissa and "her" baby, Noah!


I have had to let go of a lot of “normal ways to do things”.  I have been laid low with miscarriages, health issues, sick parents, a husband with a major head injury…things that kept me from being able to “just push through” and do my agenda.   I had to cry out to Him, to look up for HIS agenda, His plan for my days.



Jessica and Leah


There are so many things I wish I had taken time for!  What was so important, that I didn’t have time to….


*write in a journal often what we did, what we ate….things they said…..that would be so much fun to read today?


*keep up with reading to them every night?


*pray with them as much as I should have?


*take them to see grandparents and great-grandparents more often?  (Oh, but we had to do school…..)


*take them to the park more and swing on the swings with them?


*keep up our hymn singing we started?


*make them more doll clothes?


*have tea parties with them?


*just sit and hold them?



Mama, my “little girls” are now 24, 22, 19, 18, 14, 12 and 10!!!  This time has flown all too quickly, and although I did do a lot of things well, I have regrets.   No one is perfect, I realize that.


But I also know the Lord nudged me different times to focus on relational things that would last for Eternity, and I was “too busy” with temporal things.


I wish I had made fewer issues of things, which turned into power struggles, and only made discipline for true issues.


I wish I would have quit worrying about what others thought of me, or my homeschooling, or my homemaking, or my parenting…..




….and just enjoyed them!


Mamas, take time…take time. Don’t let the tyrrany of the urgent steal your time with your little ones.    Don’t be “too busy” with things God has not called you to do, and be like the parable of the servant in I Kings 20:39-43, who was “busy here and there” and his charge “was gone”.



Anna :)


As the song “Goodnight Kiss” by Steve and Annie Chapman goes:


“For I know too soon they’re up and gone, and walking out the door,


and I’ll never have a child to kiss, good-night, anymore.”


Yes, too soon, they’ll be grown up–and even though they may still be in your home, still love you dearly, still kiss you goodnight and still call you Mommy….



They’ll never be little again!




Jessica, Leah, Susannah--The Three Musketeers!






Before the time is gone!


Isaiah and Charissa


Happy Birthday, Cassia!

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Today, a bittersweet milestone is reached–


over half of my daughters are now 18 and over!!!


Today is Cassia’s 18th birthday.


I love you dearly, my Spicy Girl!


May God bless you with His love, His abundant favor,


and His Grace….


May your life reflect His glory,


and may your life be a beautiful fragrance


of His grace.





If you want to see more pictures, you can head over to the Seven Sisters’ blog!


One Year Later…..

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

I can’t help but think that I was driving home a year ago.  That at about 11:00, Jessica called me, telling me Mom sounded funny.

That 10 minutes later, as I entered her apartment, I knew she was gone.

So many firsts, and the hardest ones were Christmas and her birthday, just 2 weeks ago.  We never know, do we, how short our time might be?

Many people ask me what I’m doing for Mother’s Day.   My beautiful daughters will make me a wonderful, yummy lunch and lemon meringue pie….which my mom also loved.

And I will remember her, and try to write down what I remember that isn’t written down already, and try to live by a quote I read by Crystal Paine:

“Don’t let another priceless moment slip through your fingers because
you are ‘too busy’. While you have the time, take the time.”

I miss her….her messages are still on my answering machine.  And I wear her ring nearly every time I leave the house.

God has been so good, to encourage my heart (like sending cards from Heaven!) , giving me a Scripture or quote to comfort me, and to hold me when I cry.

And the greatest Mother’s Day gift I could receive, is if you would read this post from a year ago, and make time for your mom.

Please do.

You’ll be so very glad you did.

HUGS to you and your mom, from me.

Is There a Firetruck In Your House?!

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

There is a cute children’s book we found out about many years ago, called:



It is a darling little book, with a funny, “OH, NO!” theme throughout. 



Well, we have a new take on it!  :)



Is there a firetruck  in your house?!




OH, NO!!!!





(Fabulous Family Friday IS coming this week…but it will be later–probably evening!  ;) )

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday–Do You Think God Sends Cards from Heaven?

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Well, not literally!

But in the past week, He’s “sent” two to me!

Last week I found myself at K-Mart.  I don’t go there often, but we had received a gift card, so I went to see if anything there would meet our needs (or Christmas list wishes!). 

I decided to look at their cards, thinking of buying one for my husband.

I found this one…..


The front and the sentiment inside are exactly like something my mom would have sent me!


Of course I bought it!   (Actually, between the gift card and a $10 off special for signing up for a buying club, it was free!)


I marvel how the Lord gives us something sweet like that just when we need it!


But He wasn’t done yet….


I posted Friday how I was slaying the Stuff Monster in the shop….well, his cousin resides in my sewing room!  And this one is even more sinister and ugly in some ways!  *ewwwww!*


No pictures of THAT disaster, yet!   But, as I was clearing a spot so I can (hopefully) sew a few Christmas presents, I found this card:






My mom had actually sent me this card when she went to Tennessee for the winter after Dad died three years ago.


Isn’t it a wonderful “God-incidence” that I found it again just now?   And isn’t it also amazing how relevent the sentiment inside is?


I am no theologian. I probably couldn’t “defend my faith” against an atheist with brilliant arguments.


But I could defend my faith based on the relationship I have with my loving Heavenly Father, my Beloved Bridegroom and my Holy Spirit Comforter with many incidents such as this!



Thank You, Abba Father, for Your tender care for us, Your weak and frail children. 

 Thank You, for caring, even about the “little” things.


And thank You, that someday, the world will be

a perfect place,


we will never be apart from You


from our loved ones…

ever again.


Something So Little….

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

How can something so little, so simple, make you cry?

A forgotten hamper of her laundry in my sewing room.   Decided to wash them and go through what to keep, what to pass on.

All of a sudden tears flow and I say out loud, “I don’t really want to be doing this!”

I can look across the room and see the box.   The one with her cremains we were going to bury this fall, but decided to wait until spring.  Around her birthday in April. 

I’d much rather be able to pick up the phone and give her a call.

I still miss you, Mom.

An Adventure–and Then Some!

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

How do you describe the wonderful time a family can have on a 5283 mile trip “out East”?!

My girls have done a much better job keeping up–both on their blog as well as in their visual journals!  I wish I could have worked on mine in the van as we were going, but that never seemed to work out!   Guess  they have had more experience working in tight quarters than me!  ;)

It was definitely worth all the packing and planning and persevering to make it happen!

I really have to give the girls a LOT of credit—I became extremely ill the Saturday before we left.  In fact, even until Thursday I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have to postpone the trip!  But I started feeling better and well enough to get my stuff washed and packed–nothing like waiting until the 11th hour!!!!

We knew it was an ambitious trip and that we couldn’t “see it all” no matter how much we wanted to!    It was great, though, to do what we could and at least hit the highlights.    And learning continued to take place–the girls would look things up on the internet when we got to a hotel or McDonald’s (for free WiFi!).   Road Scholars, indeed!  :D

We were gone 19 1/2 days.  We only stayed at hotels 7 of those 19 nights!  The rest we stayed at the homes of wonderful family and friends, and even had a few quick visits with family and friends sprinkled in between those!   Sometimes it made it hard to leave in the mornings, though, because we enjoyed the fellowship so much!   And a few times, it meant we bumped a few things off “the list” to be able to enjoy that fellowship!

Was it worth it all?!

A resounding YES!!!!

Happy Birthday Isaiah!

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

I can hardly believe my “baby” is 4!

Daddy and Mommy (and of course all your sisters and Noah, too!)

love you very, VERY much!


Sorry to my blog readers for being so quiet–we’re on our family trip with just the laptop and 4 of us vying for it!!! :)

For updates with pictures and videos, be sure to visit my daughters’ blog!

I’ll be back next week (hopefully!) to tell you all about it!