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Fabulous Family Friday–FairSchooling?!

Friday, July 16th, 2010


I promise that next week I will return to my regularly scheduled posts!  This week has been a full one, with today being our last day of the 4-H fair.  This was Susannah’s last year–but she’ll be back as a helper next year!  (Are true 4-H-ers ever really “done”?! ;) )


I thought you might see how “school” fits into the fair!  :)




How is this educational, you ask?


Can’t you see it’s engineering?  Roadbuilding? Dirtmoving? (with your brother’s croc shoe, of course! ;) )  Memory skills?  (Where did I bury that red “woo-woo” truck?!)

Life-skills-learning at its best! LOL!



 (Close-up of “using your brother’s croc to move dirt”!

Problem solving, you know! ;) )




That’s stretching it a bit, you say?


Well, here is one that incorporates spelling, vocabulary, word usage, math and art!





 Hangman in the sand!!!



I’m sure between my girls and I, we will be giving you many glimpses into our time at the fair!


Enjoy life with your family!


And “ham it up” a little–life’s too short to be serious all the time! :D





Wordless Wednesday–Nice Night for a Swim!

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010




The Ring: A Testimony of God’s Love

Thursday, May 27th, 2010


I promised a story to go with yesterday’s picture of  “The Ring”.

By the comments you probably have figured out that it was my mom’s ring.

Here is the story!

31 years ago I was a 16 year old girl working as a waitress for a small town restaurant.  I made a whopping $1.50 an hour, plus tips!  

I wanted to buy my mom a “Mother’s Ring”.   At $1.50 an hour, that took awhile!  I put it on lay-away and paid on it for 3 months!

To say my mom was surprised when I gave it to her would be an understatement!   Since my brother and I are the only children, I chose to have Dad’s and Mom’s birthstones put in there as well.

Mom wore that ring all the time.  I remember once she had a window slam down on that hand, and her fingers swelled up.  She was worried that the ring would have to be cut off.  Thankfully it didn’t!

Imagine my sorrow when she told me,  about a year ago, that she lost the ring.  :(    She wondered if she had lost it at the house before she moved, but I was sure I had seen it on her finger since then.  Then she thought maybe she lost it in her apartment.  She had lost so much weight that I feared she might even have had it slip off her finger unaware–which meant it was truly lost.

I did pray that it would be in her apartment, that we’d find it somehow.  

The day after she passed away, I was at her apartment looking for clothes for the viewing and papers I would need, when I found a check box with a tangle jumble of jewelry.   She really liked using check boxes for things! ;)

I brought it home, and was looking for a pair of matching earrings to put on her for the viewing.  Susannah took over looking so I could do something else, and I off-handedly said, “While you’re at it, you should look for that mother’s ring.”

“What does it look like?”  she asked.

So I described it to her.

Not much longer, she asked, “Is this it?”



And I saw what had happened–Mom’s stone had fallen out, and the rest of the prongs were wore down (you couldn’t even tell there were prongs on the outsides of all the stones!), so she probably took it off and “put it away” so no more stones would be lost.

Let me tell you, if there was ever a day I needed to find that ring, that day was it.  Mom’s death was unexpected, I was reeling from that plus feeling guilty I wasn’t right there,  that I didn’t know CPR (I now understand that it wouldn’t have changed anything)…..

What are the “odds” of that ring showing up on that day?

Well, there are no “odds”.  But there is God!!!!

There are many things He has done for me in the past 3 weeks that show His personal, loving touch.   This was truly a hug from Him and a testimony of His love!

I had it fixed and now wear it sometimes.  I’m not really into jewelry, but this isn’t a fashion statement.

It’s a FAITH statement and a TESTIMONY of a God who loves me, who is my Abba Father, who cares about the smallest of things in our lives and wants me to invite Him in to everything I need, want, do, think and say.

He wants to be an intimate part of every facet of our lives.

What are you struggling with today?

However great or small–might be a lost item, might be a lost relationship. 

Either way, your Abba Father cares.

He wants to be a part of it.

Won’t you ask Him?

Then maybe you will have a wonderful testimony to His greatness, faithfulness and love.




The Rest of the Story–Part 2!

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Is this tomorrow?! 



Between sharing a computer with 10 other people and having problems with the internet (or with our computer getting the internet!) and just being too busy, here it is nearly a week later! 



So now you get the Rest of the Rest of the Story!   



As I had said, I came home from France and Dallas asked me out.   Now I had been mentored by a lady on the same college program while in France, and one thing we went over was that dads should talk to the young man to get to know him and where he is spiritually.   Kind of a forerunner to courtship today!  (That wasn’t a buzzword back then!)



So I advise my dad that day before Dallas came over that he was supposed to talk to him.   He says, "What am I supposed to talk about?" 



I said, "I don’t know!  Just get to know him a little. Make sure he’s okay for me to go out with."   (Yeah, that should be done BEFORE the date was even planned, but we were new at this!  LOL!)



Dallas arrives, and it just so happened that my grandmother was living with us, and my uncle and aunt from out of town were there mainly to visit her.  My other grandparents happened to be there, too.  Dallas thought I’d gathered the troops to check him out!!!




And then Dad came up with the classic "get-to-know-this-guy" line:



"That bucket of rust run?!"   






Dallas joked around with Dad about it (his truck was green and rust–the rust was not a part of the original color!)



I guess you can tell a lot about a guy when you insult his truck!!!



I was amazed because pretty much our whole date we talked of the Lord!  I was full to overflowing with all the Lord had done for me and shown me while overseas, and he was a willing listener!  And had some things to add, himself!



Later I was to find out that he was impressed by my love of God–that was what he wanted!  Wow!



I figured if the guy didn’t want to take me out because I was "too religious" then I didn’t want to go out again!




Most of the rest of our dating took place with groups or family around.   His youth group picnic.  Then mine.   Then 4th of July with my family.  



I worked at an academy for their summer camp helping with laundry.  I was sorting laundry one day towards the end of the camp.  I can still remember it was towards the end of the day when we sorted the "campers’" clothing into their bins and put them all in their duffel bags to be delivered, and I was throwing socks into the bins. 



I had read a book while overseas (one of many!) called Your Half of the Apple by Gini Andrews.   There are so many good courtship books now that it might be hard to believe there were hardly any back in the "dark ages"!    This one was radical to me then (now it would seem hardly radical at all compared to the plethora of books that are even more conservative!).    I realized that God had one person for me and I didn’t have to have romantic relationship after romantic relationship to "find" the right one.  I liked that idea!  No more broken hearts!



So I made a "deal" with God.  "God, don’t let me fall in love again unless it’s the right one!"




You have to understand that NO ONE I knew believed all this!   I felt weird (what else is new?!) and alone, yet I knew there had to be a better way!



As I was sorting socks that afternoon, I remember "reminding" God of our "deal".  "God, You promised You wouldn’t let me fall in love again unless it was the right one.  God, I feel like I’m falling in love!"



Then a little later, "God, remember, You PROMISED!"



Finally, just before I was done, "God, if Dallas is not the right one, then just let this relationship go no further.  Just stop it."  



Of course, He answered His promise!  



Dallas and prayed about each other a LOT!  He had also "almost married someone else".   Both of us knew we were better single than married out of God’s will.



We decided to take two weeks to pray about our relationship.   Obviously the answer was yes! 



Although we already had pretty much given our hearts to each other, we were willing to do whatever we felt the Lord truly wanted for us.  We searched honestly, not "okay-God-I’m-bending-this-to-say-what-I-want"!   Somewhere I have a journal that probably has the Scriptures God used to confirm to me that Dallas was "the one"!



In spite of not having anyone around to "mentor" us in courtship principles, and in spite of doing it imperfectly, God was merciful!   We still had "baggage" from our dating years, but by God’s grace He has taken care of that and given me my heart’s desire in my husband!



Remember in the last post, when I said that the spring I was overseas was an intense time of spiritual growth?   It hurt!!!   In fact, it was April of that year (1982) when God asked me a hard question:  Was I willing to remain single for the rest of my life, if that were His will?



That’s a scarey question for a 19 year old!




It was a little bit of a struggle, but ultimately, I wanted His will–and Him.   If that was what He wanted, it was better than being married out of His perfect will!



I realize now that He wanted me to look to Him to meet my expectations–that makes for a much better wife when she learns that before marriage!



NOT that I have practiced that perfectly all these 27 years!!!  I still had some growing to do (and still do!)!   But I’m so grateful He started me on that path before I married!



Okay, one last detail!



When we were pretty sure we were "for each other", I jokingly asked him, "So if you propose, are you going to get down on one knee?"




He told me, "Are you kidding?!  I’ll get down on both knees!" 



Just a week or so after that, we took a walk by a lake one night after church.   We came to the swings (we call them porch swings–only without the porch!).    We sat there and talked for awhile, then we were quiet.  



He gets up from the swing, then gets down on both knees!



"Honey, I’m on both knees!"   And he proposed!



And I said yes!



And 6 months later we married, and have been very happy ever since!



And now you know the rest of the story!  



And Now…The Rest of the Story!

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

I thought perhaps you might like to know HOW Dallas and I met!



It’s quite an interesting story!  



When I was a "junior" in college (which was really my second year), I went to Strasbourg, France for a "Junior Year Study Abroad" program with the college I was in.  It was an amazing year of spiritual learning and life changing decisions made as God really got hold of my life (I had become a Christian at 16-almost-17, but no one had mentored me, so I was "just saved" and not growing much!).   I had actually planned to marry someone else (perils of dating!).



My grandfather passed away at Thanksgiving when I was overseas, and an uncle thought maybe I’d like to come home for Christmas, since I couldn’t come home for the funeral.  He blessed me by paying for my ticket home and back to France (which was NOT CHEAP at Christmas-time!!!).  That turned out to be very Providential!!!



While I was at home, I realized that the young man I thought I was going to marry was not God’s will for me.  Now, at the time, I just thought, "Not God’s will at this time."  Little did I know what God had in store for me!!!!



We went to see some cousins during my visit home, and they asked about me getting married.  I told them that I really felt the Lord did not want me to marry that person at that time.  Immediately, my cousin, A., says, "I have someone you should meet!" 



My thought was, "Good night!  I just made this decision (and hadn’t told the young man yet!), and you want me to meet someone?!"  To say I wasn’t very interested would be an understatement!!!



I tried to be polite, though, and said, "Well, what’s his name?"



She replied, "Dallas!"



I thought, "What kind of a name is DALLAS for a guy?!"  



She told me all about him, the usual, good looking, has his own house, has a motorcycle, etc.  



Then my mom totally shocked me!



She asked, "Is he a Godly man?"



Now you have to understand….Mom didn’t go around talking like that back then!!!!  



A. replied, "Oh, yes!"



I said, "Well, I could meet him sometime, but I’m not going out with anyone just yet!"    Out of fairness to my soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend, I didn’t want to "go out" with anyone until it was officially over, and I thought this would give me a good excuse out of a "blind date"!!!



I thought that was the end of it. 



Oh, no!



A. calls me the last week I’m home and wants me to go ice skating with them and several friends from their church, including this guy named after a city!!!!



But I’ve got THAT covered!  "Oh, I’m sorry, but that’s the night before I fly back to France, and we’re having a kind of going-away get together.   I’ll be sharing my pictures, and it gives me a chance to say good-bye.   You’re invited and you can bring him if you want."



A.:  "Well, he’s pretty shy.  I don’t think he would come."



Awwww!  Too bad!   




So, to my GREAT AMAZEMENT, Friday night comes and WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT?!!!! This guy comes with them!!!!    (Are you falling off your chair laughing yet?!)



I think I might have talked to him a total of ten  minutes the whole night (I was going around sharing my pictures, talking to others, answering questions, making sure they got some refreshements, etc.). 



He WAS a nice guy, but I thought that was probably the end of that!



After I went back to Strasbourg, God put me through the most intensive training program of trusting Him in all things that I had been through up to that point!  (That’s a whole ‘nuther post!  )



Little did I know, He was preparing me for the BIGGEST thing in my life since my salvation!



Dallas had been impressed with how I took care of everyone at the party, and he spent a lot of time watching me and how I handled everything!  (Take note, young ladies!  You might never know when someone is watching you–seeing your servant’s heart, your attitude….good reason to not indulge fleshly pity parties!)



When I came home in May, I was quite surprised to get a call from him!  I figured he had found someone by now!



This post is already getting quite long—so I will finish "The Rest of the Story" tomorrow!  




Twenty-Seven Years Ago Today….

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Two people married!   Twenty-seven years on the 27th!  



Only on this day, 27 years ago, it was 70 degrees!    Not today! 




I am so incredibly blessed by my wonderful, Godly, sweet and gentle husband. God surely hand-picked him for me!   He has taught me so much, in his quiet, gentle way.




The year we married, my parents celebrated their 25th.  We thought, wow!  Can you imagine when we do? 



Well, here we are 2 years beyond that!



God has been good to us!



I just want to say,








May we have many, many more wonderful years together!!!




Seven Sisters Trivia Answers!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Well, not too many of you ventured to guess nicknames! 



Here are the nicknames–and who they belong to!



1. Gugar—is Susannah!   Dallas called her this, but Leah couldn’t say her /s/ sound (you  might remember that from the last SS Trivia!) and so Susannah became Gugar!


2. Bekah-D-Boo!


3.  Thumper is Jessica!  She was a "thumper" before she was born–while still inside! 


4. Pumpkin Pie is Cassia!  (Who doesn’t like pumpkin pie….go figure!)


5. Boper is Leah!   Just seemed to fit her at the time! 


6. Rissa-Pooh is Charissa!

7. Anna-pie—just realized that that one got messed up!  (You thought we had two pumpkin pies!   Sorry for that!)



Well, there were only two entries, and you each got one right!     So what I am going to do is let you EACH win!  How’s that?! 


I want to make a bag in your favorite color, so please e-mail me to let me know, and I will get them made and sent out to you hopefully in a week! (Well, the two DBs, I can give yours to you!   )


tinklingbells (at) medt (dot) com



Congratulations Rachel12 and the two DBs!!!! 



Seven Sisters Trivia #2!

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Did you have fun with the last one?



Here’s another!






We don’t usually use nicknames but when they are little, they each have had a cute name that was given to them by either Dallas, myself, or sometimes a sibling!



So have fun again as you try to figure out who’s who among the sisters!



1. Gugar  (Think Sugar.  Take off the S.  Add the G.  Gugar!)



2. ____-D-Boo  (can’t put the first word because it’s her name!)



3. Thumper



4. Pumpkin-Pie



5. Boper (long O!)



6. ________-Pooh  (NOT the recent dog we had!!!)



7. Pumpkin-Pie (Yes, another pie.   Dallas likes pie.  What else can I say?!)



This time, I will have a prize for whoever gets the most right!  If there are more than one of you, I will draw from the winners!



The prize is a cute little bag (not this one, but one like it!), which is big enough to hold a teacup and saucer for transporting, if you so desire!   Or you could put jewelry in it or whatever you’d like!  









Starts today (Friday, February 12th) through Monday (the 15th) at midnight, and I’ll announce the answers (and the winner!) on Tuesday!



If you haven’t already, you might want to check out their giveaway going on until next Thursday at midnight–click HERE!



Have fun! 


The Answers!

Friday, January 29th, 2010

So, did you guess?  



Here are the answers to the Seven Sisters Trivia questions:



1. "What is your knick-knack name?"   was Anna!



2. "I need a cwayuh for my noh!"  was  Leah!  She couldn’t say her "s" sound when she was little!   (Noah must have gotten it from her!)




Surely you guessed this one!   My "spicey girl" Cassia! 

4. Bekah said eating the cake would be the best part of her wedding! 

5. "My legs are very busy!"

Once when we were on a working vacation, we took a bike ride.  We were all coasting down a hill when Susannah said this and we realized–no one told her to take her feet off the pedals!   (She was about 4!)

6. Charissa is the one wondering if Jesus takes us to Heaven so we don’t have to drive there!  

And last, but not least~

7. Jessica (yes, sweet Jessica!) is the one who just wanted to "whine a little"!   (She ranked first for Child-Most-Likely-to-Baffle-All-Child-Training-Experts–until Cassia came along!!!) 


How did you do?!    Did you know the girls as well as you thought?!

Hope you enjoyed a "fun glimpse" into the Seven Sisters lives! 

Seven Sisters Trivia!

Sunday, January 24th, 2010


I thought since I’m the mommy of these sweet girls, you might like to have some fun and play Seven Sisters Trivia!!!



I’m going to write quotes the girls have said when they were younger, and you get to match which girl you think said which quote!  



If you don’t know all their names, they are Jessica, Leah, Susannah, Cassia, Anna, Rebekah (Bekah), and Charissa.



You can comment and say which girl goes with which number–you can do all seven or just one!



No prizes, but hopefully you’ll have lots of fun!   






1. "What is your knick-knack name?"  (Nickname!)



2.  "I need a cwayuh for my noh!" (translation:  I need a Kleenex for my nose!)




4. Not an exact quote, but which sister said eating the cake will be the best part of her wedding?!



5. "My legs are very busy!"



6. "Why does Jesus take us up to Heaven?  So we don’t have to drive there?"



7. "I don’t want to have a hissy fit!  I just want to whine a little!"



I’ll post the answers on Friday!



Have fun!