Saturday, February 28, 2009

{saturday morning comics}

This morning Evan brought me a picture of different versions of a toy he is in love with......

"mommy, when de economy is better....i need you to get me dis one and dis one and dis one and dis one and dis one and dis one...."

hmmm.....maybe that is why the economy is in the shape it is?

Also, I'll jot this down for my benefit only - in order to remember this funny - because I was laughing my head off in the cleaning aisle....Evan was my shopping buddy as we had just dropped Noah off at school. We rounded to corner to get some fabric softener and the child wilted in his seat...."ahhhhhhh, mommy you definitely need to get that 'airconfreshiner'.

Friday, February 27, 2009


thank you for the sweet calls, emails and prayers for my cousin, Jimmy. Please continue to send them his way as he and his family are very much in need of them. This is an update received from his wife, Natalie. (Natalie, I hope you don't mind that I've posted it here). I know that many of you are amazing in your commitment to pray for those in need, so once again, I'm asking that of you.

For anyone that does not know I took Jimmy into the doctor on Wednesday with severe pain in his left leg. The doctor thought it was his sciatic nerve and gave him a cortisone shot. I asked if it could be a blood clot and so he decided to send him to Mercy for an ultrasound. We had the ultrasound done and they did find a clot in the left leg so he was taken to emergency. They did a CAT scan of his chest and found that he had multiple large blood clots in both lungs as well as his legs. Yesterday they discovered that he also has them in the right leg. He was placed in ICU and yesterday the doctor told us that I saved his life and he likely would have had one of the clots hit his heart, catastrophically, by yesterday. They did emergency surgery yesterday afternoon to put in a Greenfield Filter to catch any large clots and keep them from getting to his lungs or heart. Since he had eaten they were not able to use anesthesia so it was a pretty rough procedure. We also met with the pain management team that was brought in due to the complicated issues with Jimmy's pain due to his past illness. We are considering trying a treatment that they have only tried about 5 times in the last 5 years as many people are not good candidates for it because of their age and heart conditions. Right now they are working on getting the anti-coagulants in his system. It looks like he will be here in ICU at least 7 days. I think there is a good chance we will try the new pain therapy today. Since he is in ICU it is a good time to get him on the medications and be able to monitor his heart, etc., for any adverse side effects and to get the dosage right. They brought in the head of pharmaceuticals and I think this man knows as much or more than the doctors. That is really all we know at this point. Unfortunately, Jimmy is still in a critical state as the blood clots are still a threat to his heart. That is really all we know at this point. Thank you for everyone's kind words and prayers...we appreciate it more than you know. I will keep you updated as I can.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

{huge prayer request}

My cousin Jimmy, who lives in OKC (who is only a few years older than I am) is currently in ICU due to a DVT (blood clot) in his left leg and MULTIPLE pulmonary embolisms (blood clots that broke away) in both of his lungs. They implanted a filter(s) (not certain if just one or more) in hopes to avoid further embolisms - which could be catastrophic. Please pray for he and his sweet family as this is a scary situation. He has two little girls, a sweet wife, his mom, dad, brother, SIL, aunts, etc. - he is a wonderful guy and one of my very favorite family is very serious right now, so PLEASE send some prayers up for all of them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


this goes hand in hand with the 8th Commandment, I thought I would add a second one today also....both are very good. Hope you enjoy!

February 25, 2009

Clean Hearts
Luann Prater

“It is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean’.” Mark 7:15b (NIV)

Most women dislike feeling unclean. We prefer to shower, perfume and powder! But it takes more than dirt to make a heart unclean, and it takes much more than perfume to make it pure.

Jesus told the people, “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’” (Mark 7:15b-23, NIV).

Whew! That is some list of issues! But why did Jesus take the time to name each one of those evils? We know that not one word in the Bible is wasted, so there is purpose behind the Savior spelling out each one to this crowd. Maybe there were folks in the crowd who looked good on the outside, but their hearts were unclean.

It is easy to understand why the Lord would mention the so-called “big sins” like murder, adultery, or theft making us unclean. But Jesus lumped in some seemingly “small sins” like arrogance, envy and greed too. Those are sins we often cover over with some perfume and powder.

The dictionary describes arrogance as “an offensive display of superiority or self-importance; or overbearing pride.” At first glance, we may think that doesn’t apply to us. But if we let the Holy Spirit shine His search light on our heart, we may find times when we have thought, Well, at least I’m not THAT bad, or, It’s amazing her kids turned out as good as they did.

Envy is pretty sly at hiding in our hearts as well. It is the feeling of discontent with regards to another’s advantages, success or possessions. Does your friend have a new car, a new flat screen TV, or a nicer home? And does that make you look at her or at your possessions with disdain? If so, that’s envy. Ouch!

Then there is greed, the excessive desire for wealth or possessions. Maybe we don’t think we are excessive in our desire for things, but how much time do we spend trying to make more money? How stingy are we with what we have? Compared to what most nations have, we live in abundance, and yet we seem to have one eye forever focused on getting more.

What would it look like to take those three definitions and clean them up?
Un-arrogance – a gracious display of selflessness
Un-envy – being completely content with all of my blessings
Un-greed – an excessive desire for God and His righteousness

That sounds like a clean heart to me! So today I challenge myself with the words Jesus spoke, “It is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’” Today, I will set my mind to being un-arrogant, un-envious and un-greedy. Yes, today I want to live with a clean heart.

Dear Lord, thank You for shining Your light on my heart so I can see where it is unclean. Illuminate those sins that I dirty myself with and cleanse me from the inside out. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

{8th Commandment of Marriage}

By Bayless Conley

The Eighth Commandment of Marriage: Be a Person of Integrity

Exodus 20:15 gives us the eighth commandment for marriage,
You shall not steal.

You may be wondering how stealing applies to marriage. Simple. Not to steal is to be a person of integrity. If you are always cheating or cutting corners, it will be hard for your spouse to respect you. Your uprightness should make your marriage partner feel proud. Your spouse and your family ought to testify of your integrity. This is really one of the things at the heart of a good marriage.

If you are married to somebody, and you know they cheat their customers, it is just hard to respect that person. You cannot respect someone who does not have integrity.
This is a big issue that many people fly right by. But it is vital to a healthy and vibrant marriage because it is hard to fully give yourself to someone who does not have integrity.
If you find that your spouse is holding back, if you feel like he or she does not respect you, take a look inside and see if you are compromising with your integrity. Do you cheat on your taxes? Do you tell that “little white lie” to protect yourself or gain an advantage?

Do you represent yourself one way, when in fact in your heart you believe something totally different? Are you like the man Solomon speaks of in Proverbs 23:7? For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.

If this is an issue in your life, take it to God today. He will help you become the person of integrity He desires you to be. And when you do, you will find your spouse will come to respect you, and your marriage will be strengthened!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

{let's just make it a devotional day}

This was my devotional from somewhat goes along with the post I completed earlier.

February 23, 2009
R-E-S-P-E-C-TThe One Thing He Can’t Do WithoutSharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth “Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him, and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.” (Ephesians 5:33 AMP)

Friend To Friend I’ve been shut up, shut down, shot down, ridiculed, disregarded, over looked, over booked, and overwhelmed…I know I was made for a reason. I know that, in God’s eyes, I count. So, I simply want to find someone who believes in me.

No, these are not the lyrics from the latest country song. They are the lament from one of my survey respondents when I asked hundreds of men what they really wanted in the woman of their dreams. It seems Aretha Franklin isn’t the only one who wants a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t these days. One area that rated very high in my survey of men describing the wife of their dreams was RESPECT. Webster defines respect as the special esteem or consideration in which one holds another person or thing, the state or quality of being esteemed, to feel or show consideration to. It’s the one thing a happy husband can’t do without.

God’s Command In the Bible, Paul wrote to both men and women about their various roles in marriage. In the book of Ephesians he wrote, “Each one of you (men) also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). Now that doesn’t mean that husbands don’t have to respect their wives or wives don’t have to love their husbands. I believe Paul was summing up what was paramount for both men and women. We want to be loved and cherished just like our husbands want to be honored and respected.
Another reason I believe that Paul admonishes wives to respect their husbands is because he knew that after years of mistakes, poor choices, wrong decisions, and smelly socks, respect may not come naturally for a wife. It may well take an act of obedience empowered by the Holy Spirit within.

But how do you respect someone who vegetates watching TV all the time? How do you respect someone who sits around waiting for the right job to come along when you’re working yourself to death trying to keep food on the table? (You may need to stop and quietly put that responsibility back where it belongs.) How do your respect someone who apparently has no respect for himself?

It may seem impossible, but as the angel asked Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14). The same God who parted the sea for the Israelites to walk across on dry land, who caused the walls of Jericho to fall with a shout, who kept Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from even having a hint of smoke as they exited the fiery furnace, who caused flesh to reappear on the fingerless hands of lepers, who made a man blind from birth see, and who raised Lazarus from the dead – that same God can give you the power to respect your husband. It all begins with prayer and follows with obedience close behind. “There is incomparable great power available to those who believe” (Ephesians 1:19).

In the Bible, power always follows obedience. As soon as the high priests crossing the Jordan placed their feet in the water, the river parted. (Joshua 3:15-16) As soon as the rotting lepers turned toward Jerusalem to tell the priests they were healed, their skin began to heal (Luke 17:14). As soon as Namaan dipped into the river seven times as the prophet Elijah had commanded, his leprosy began to disappear (2 Kings 5:14). The miracle didn’t come before they obeyed, but after they obeyed. Do you want to see a miracle unfold before your eyes like the petals of a rose unfolding? Obey God. An amazing thing happens when we begin to show respect to our husbands. They begin to act respectable.

Let’s go back to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. I love how the amplified version expounds on Ephesians 5:33. “Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him, and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.” What a power packed verse!

Carol Ladd, author of The Power of a Positive Wife, said, “Respect is wrapped up in the beautiful paper of kind and gentle words and tied with the enormous ribbons of a loving spirit.” Respect is one of the most beautiful gifts a wife can give.

Let’s Pray Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for my husband. Help me to be the wife that he needs in all areas of my life. Help me to respect, revere, regard, honor, prefer and esteem him greatly. Not only that, but help me to show it in my words and actions so that there is no doubt in his mind just how much I love him.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

During the reign of King David, he brought the once captured Ark of the Covenant back to Israel. It was one of the grandest moments in his life. Read the account recorded in 2 Samuel 6 and answer the following questions:
How did David’s wife, Michal, react to David’s outward praise of God (6:16,20)?
What was David’s response to her? (6:21)
What was the outcome of her disrespect? (6:23)
What can we learn from her lack of respect?

{7th Commandment of Marriage}

I get the hint. I'm listening. This very morning, not only did I think about wrapping up this series (that was started months ago!) , but, I also received an email request asking for the remainder installments just this afternoon.. So, I will post Commandments 7-10 over the next few days.

I will be honest, this is one that I dreaded posting. It is very important of course, but, a.tad.uncomfortable. for me to post to my G-rated blog. Which is what was likely to be the real reason behind the "stall". However, in saying is taken straight from the Bible. It is a reality we all need to be reminded of. This hits way too close to home way too often. So, just read on....

Again, the author is Bayless Conley and I love the fresh approach she took when she related the 10 Commandments to Marriage in the way in which she did.

The seventh commandment brings us to one of the most vital principles of having the marriage God intends. Exodus 20:14 simply says,

“You shall not commit adultery.”
In a marriage, you would be hard pressed to imagine anything more damaging than your spouse being unfaithful. But being faithful is not only being faithful in action, but also in thought.
Again, Jesus expanded on this in Matthew 5, and I want you to read these words very carefully. He said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Having a lustful, exploitive disposition has no place in marriage. Love gives; lust takes. Love serves; lust demands. Love nourishes; lust chokes. What a wonderful gift God has given us in this thing called sex. It was His idea. It is just as holy as when you lift your hands in church and worship Him. It is God’s idea within the context and the confines of marriage. It should be enjoyed. But lust has no place in marriage. It is a poison that will destroy the fabric of your relationship with your spouse.

Men, do not even entertain the thought of allowing pornography into your life. It can destroy your marriage. You are committing heart-adultery when you look at pornographic images and lust after another woman. Do not let the devil have that ground in your heart and life.
This is such a vital command, we are going to stay on this subject for a little longer. I will share with you three ways to affair-proof your marriage.

Affair-Proof Your Marriage with Positive Affirmation

The first way to affair-proof your marriage is to season your marriage with affirming communication.

In Song of Solomon 7:1-6 we read of how Solomon affirmed his bride,
How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a skillful workman. Your navel is a rounded goblet; it lacks no blended beverage. Your waist is a heap of wheat set about with lilies. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower, your eyes like the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looks toward Damascus. Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel, and the hair of your head is like purple; a king is held captive by your tresses. How fair and how pleasant you are, O love, with your delights

Solomon knew it was vital for him to compliment his bride’s body, because, as you read in chapter 1, it is evident that it was an area of insecurity for her. This Shulamite was a country girl. She said, “Do not look on me for I am dark.” She was tan from working out in the vineyards. And compared with the fair-skinned, pampered ladies of the court, she felt very insecure.
So Solomon very wisely builds her up in the area where she feels most insecure.
Speak affirming words to your mate rather than tear him or her down. If your spouse is starved for positive affirmation, and it does not come from you, it opens a door of temptation. The devil will send someone to give insincere compliments, and if a person is starved for it, they gravitate towards it. Praise one another lavishly. It is an important thing to do.

Affair-Proof Your Marriage with Companionship
The second way to affair-proof your marriage: being a companion to your spouse, spending time together just enjoying each other’s company.

Back in Song of Solomon 7 we read this in verses 10-13,
I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded, whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved. Notice that Solomon and his bride just hung out together. It was a vital part of their relationship. And so must it be for any thriving marriage.

If you have drifted apart, I suggest you each make a list of things you like to do, or things that you might like to try. It could be anything from antique hunting, going to garage sales, taking walks, bicycling, fishing, going to museums, watching football, shopping, gardening, snorkeling, reading, sky diving, cooking, hiking, puzzles, photography, whatever. Once you have made your lists, compare them and see where things overlap. Then find two or three things, and endeavor to do those things together. Have fun together. Set time apart to do at least one activity together every couple of weeks. If you have kids, get a babysitter so it is just the two of you. It will be the best gift you could give your children.

If you do not do things together, you will find yourselves drifting apart.

Affair-Proof Your Marriage Through Intimacy
The third way to affair-proof your marriage is by making intimacy a priority.

Let me take you back to the Scripture we read yesterday, Song of Solomon 7:10-13,

am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded, whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved.

These verses paint a beautiful picture of intimacy between a husband and wife. Couples need to have physical intimacy. In fact, the New Testament commands the husband and wife not to deprive one another except by mutual consent, and then only if they are going to fast and pray.
So how do you create an atmosphere of intimacy? It starts with affirming your spouse. Notice that Solomon has been affirming his wife, complimenting her, building her up.

Now guys, you need to understand that women are wired differently than you. In order for a woman to be intimate, she needs to speak and be spoken to. You have to create an atmosphere for intimacy. For most husbands, they just catch a glimpse of their wife in the shower and they are ready to go. But for women, it starts differently than that. She is aroused by words, sincere words, and it usually starts around breakfast time.

Take time today to create an atmosphere of intimacy. If you do, you will be on your way to experiencing true intimacy. What are the results of deliberate effort to foster intimacy?
Solomon has been complimenting his wife and affirming her. Look at her response to that affirmation in Song of Solomon 7:10, I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.
She is digging it! She is saying, “He really loves me!” Solomon’s affirmation of his bride has created this atmosphere of intimacy. And look what she says next in verse 11,
Come, my beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages.
She is grabbing Solomon’s hand and saying, “Let’s get a hotel room!” Then there are verses 12-13, Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded, whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my beloved.

Friend, catch what is going on. Solomon has affirmed his wife saying, “Honey, you are beautiful! I am so glad I married you. I married out of my league. You are wonderful. Your body is great. I am so happy!”

Her response? “Wow, he loves me. I’ll tell you what, let’s go away and have a little love vacation. Let’s take a few days off.” That is enough to get any husband inspired to rent a hotel room!

If you want to affair-proof your marriage, make intimacy a priority!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

{a happy}

scott and i got noah a little "boom" box for his birthday along with his very first CD - steven curtis chapman. he is in love with it! i just had to laugh as i heard scott....tell evan to.....go tell "turn it down." that's likely the first of many times to come. ;)

"all about me"

this has been circulating around blogdom and i thought it would be interesting. well, maybe scary.

according to the boys....

What is something Mom always says to you?
Noah: i love you (ahhhh)
Evan: i love you (double ahhhh)

What makes Mom happy?
Noah: when i hug you
Evan: us

What makes Mom sad?
Noah: when we do something you don't want us to do
Evan: when we leave you

How does your Mom make you laugh?
Noah: when you tickle me
Evan: when you say something funny and make a funny face

What was your Mom like as a child?
Noah: i think you loved books
Evan: you were great

How old is your Mom?
Noah: 37
Evan: 2 (hmmm....maybe last night)

How tall is your Mom?
Noah: 5 foot 2
Evan: this tall

What is her favorite thing to do?
Noah: snuggling us
Evan: play with us

What does your Mom do when you're not around?
Noah: type on the computer and wish we were here
Evan: think about us

If your Mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Noah: a doctor or a movie actor
Evan: mexican resturants (ouch!)

What is your Mom really good at?
Noah: hugging and kissing us
Evan: working and loving us

What is your Mom not very good at?
Noah: sleeping because you don't sleep that much
Evan: playing games

What does your Mom do for a job?
Noah: you're a picture taker and you work for an attorney. you send in alot of papers
Evan: you work on de computer

What is your Mom's favorite food?
Noah: mashed potatoes (yuck)
Evan: that would be lunch

What makes you proud of your Mom?
Noah: it just makes me proud that you are my mom
Evan: that you love me

If your Mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Noah: cinderella
Evan: cinderella

What do you and your Mom do together?
Noah: hug and kiss each other
Evan: go plant seeds (?)

How are you and your Mom the same?
Noah: we're related
Evan: we eat things

How are you and your Mom different?
Noah: your a girl and i'm a boy
Evan: skin color

How do you know your Mom loves you?
Noah: you act like i'm the best son in the world
Evan: betause you hug me all de time

What does your Mom like most about your dad?
Noah: his eyes
Evan: betause he 'tisses' you

Where is your Mom's favorite place to go?
Noah: florida
Evan: de beach

{a briefing}

a window into last night......and, of course the names are not included to protect the innocent. ;)

** the boys demanded that i stick my hand in the "slim" bucket, i complied. gross, yep, i'm a girl.

** after a few phone calls, before we entered the woods, we did receive permission from the top secret agent that monitors secret dinosaur locations to enter the site. however, they had to promise not to tell ANYONE. one sweet boy wanted to know if that included their parents which launched into a "i would never tell you to keep something from your parents, etc, etc, etc...." but, good question little guy!!!

** hike into the woods, HUGE success - three of the boys were beside themself with excitement. the dinosaur bones described by the secret map (that they were not allowed to see) led us right to THE spot. they followed the clues - found the log, the branches, and ultimately the sandy blocks...immediately they began chipping away and the bones/fossils started falling out. you would have thought i had a gaggle of girls in those woods (ahem, well the EDGE of the woods) by all of the squealing and screaming. one was determined that we would all be rich.....the others quickly reminded him this was a secret.

**we collected the bones and hiked back to the location we had parked the vehicle. we took a break and had the silly string fight. AFTER the last can was emptied.....i pulled out MY can. the boys were shocked that i could run and catch them. apparently, they think i am near nursing home admission age. more of that one to come. :)

**as soon as the war was over, i heard one little guy screaming for me. i went to him - 'uh, mrs. shannon, these are NOT real. look here...... "made in china". oops! a very quick reply: well, xxxx you know that there are chinese dinosaurs, don't you." response: ohhhh, you're right". "well, who wrote it then" me: "well, do you think the indians, could have?" "oh, yeah you're right!!" they are REALLLLLLLL. end of story. whew!

**returned to house, played outside until dark. no injuries,

**birthday cake and presents. no injuries. in case, you're wondering...i'm getting to a point of course. however, as i was getting things prepared for the cake cutting, one sweet little guy wanted to know who that was in a picture on the wall...i explained it was noah & me. response " look so young." well, it wasn't that long ago. response "well, you look 16". if i could press rewind on the next statement out of my mouth....... well how old do you think i am? an avalanche of answers flooded....some more flattering than others... noah finally let the cat out of the bag.... and then...another sweet boy offered "wow!!!!!! you look reallllly good for being soooooooo old." nice. ;)

**after an evening of play, i finally got them somewhat settled down.... finally at 11-ish i pulled all of the stops and told them the first one that fell asleep, i would give cash too the next morning. horrendous of me, i know. well, apparently they were out very quickly, but, not before me. zzzzzzzzz and, immediately this morning when they all (but one) woke up at FIVE-THIRTY they remembered the deal i struck and informed me that noah was the one who had fallen asleep first. well, since he gets all of my $$ anyway, think i'll not pay out much on that one.

**this morning, things were going reallllllllllly, reallllllllly well. i was getting all of the back-packs packed back (that's hard to say) up, sleeping bags folded....things were moving right along....i should have known. we only had an HOUR to go before i shuffled the kids back home. and, in one more round of some 'horseplay', i had a man down. i mean truly down. i've never had to perform neuro-checks in my own home; thankfully, no negative findings. however, there was a clear difference in palpating the area. i wouldn't let him move and then i made that lovely phone call you never want to mom.....i was sick. of course, she was as calm and sweet as always which helped on my end. needless to say, dad came to get him and the party was definitely over. after an angonizing wait to learn what the x-rays of his NECK yielded, we got good news. it was muscular. thank God! i felt worse than horrible about it!

**i need at least another year before i can do that again. maybe two. it may be Chuck E. next year.

**pictures to come

Friday, February 20, 2009

{life is about to change}

in just a couple of hours i will have seven little guys here for noah's first big sleepover. he is thrilled! but, truly, i may be a tad more excited than he, no joke!

as i reported to a couple of the moms over the past few phone calls/texts - i just got back from the edge of the woods after burying dinosaur fossils. they look so real that i did tell scott that if something happened to me before picking up these boys, to please go retrieve the fossils. truly, if they are happened upon twenty years from now - our farm will be the buzz on CNN due to the dinosaur fossils. well, maybe for about five minutes before the analysis determines they came from toy's r us 2009 not a billion years ago. a small window of fame, perhaps. but, the way i had them wrapped as i carefully carried them into the EDGE (I did not venture INTO the woods. i read twilight last weekend while i snuggled my sick child) buried them near a log, under leaves, dirt and branches. if someone by chance saw me, there is no telling what they thought I was dragging to those woods! and, of course, they are planted in the midst of cow, oh sorry....dinosaur bones. i think there may be a dinosaur egg out there too. maybe. we've got our canteens, flashlights (that is for the "effect" we are going in broad daylight), our "rations" aka snacks of their choice, binoculars, a compass just in case we get lost at the EDGE of the woods.

fun!!!! i so love being a mom. and, to boys at that!!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

{the funnies}

On our way home from Little Rock Tuesday, we stopped to eat in Conway. Evan needed very bland food due to his recent stomach upset. So, against his pleas for french fries - I ordered plain mashed potatoes. Plain as in no gravy, I did not require that they simply be boiled and served. I am not that mean of a mama. He sulked up for a bit and begged for a french fry from his Mimi's plate. I allowed him to have one. He took a very few small bites because at that point, even he was scared to death of what food could do to him. Finally, I convinced him to try the mashed potatoes. He finally gave in against his will. Immediately, his eyes got woozy - it was love at first bite. Truly, the child swooned with each bite. He defined and illustrated the word s-a-v-o-r. And, along the story line of Tonia's recent post he informed me that "dese potatoes are much more gooder than yours. You NEED dis recipe! Mommy we neeeeeeeeeed to go to Walmart and buy DIS recipe!" Very cute, even if it was in front of the in-laws and yielded the impression that I could not cook. So what? He was in solid-food heaven. I love the resturant that we were in, but, could they really be THAT good especially in comparison to the pounds of butter, half and half and cream cheese that I mash a few potatoes in? So, I snuck a bite. YUCK! I was shocked. Completely bland. Which was probably a HUGE blessing since we were still hours away from home.

But, seriously, better than my recipe that I did not buy from Walmart? Poor child thinks everything comes from Walmart. Another story for another day.

{birthday letter}

My Sweet Noah,

Today is always an overly emotional day for me. I realize how abundantly blessed I am to be your mom, but today is one of those days in which I am consumed with it. In fact, the month before you were born when we learned of your upcoming arrival - until the moment you were in my arms - was a span of time that words cannot describe; I think I experienced every emotion possible throughout every single day until we were with you. Today, I relive every moment of your amazing birth day.

You have given our entire family and a multitude of friends more than you will ever know. I have no doubt that you were always meant to be mine, and I yours. There is no question. I am actually very happy and honored that God chose the path He did that led us to our family. I would not change a thing, I would walk every single bumpy path a million times over to get to you. You are my heart.

You are an amazing little guy. My only complaint is that you are growing way too fast! I get completely lost in those huge blue eyes of yours, I am amazed at your affection and love, I learn from you every day, and I am so pleased with your sweet and giving heart. I am blessed beyond words.

Do not change a thing. Continue to grow in your love for God and Christ - and continue to share that with those around you. Even if it's on the playground. :) Know that God has always had a very special plan for you - and I can't wait to see that develop even more. You have had to bear alot of changes since Daddy's accident, but if overfills my heart to see how you graciously handle everything and that your daddy is your best friend. Your little brother adores you and it melts my heart to see the two of you together in your sweet and quiet times. There is no denying that we have our fair share of brotherly battles, but, I have no doubt that both of you would battle until the end for the other. You have changed me in the best of ways and that old soul contained in your young body leaves me so speechless, I could burst!

It was not by chance that you and I heard this song twice this week while we were together. As I reminded you, this was the song I danced with you over and over as a tiny newborn baby and beyond in our living room. I could see on your face yesterday that you thought it was a little silly, but, will know.

I could not ask for more by Sara Evans
Written by Diane Warren

Lying here with you
listenin' to the rain
smilin just to see
the smile upon your face

These are the moments
I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments
I'll remember all my life
I've found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more

Looking in your eyes
seein' all I need
Everything you are
Is everything to me

These are the moments
I know heaven must exist
These are the moments
I know all I need is this
I've found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more

Could not ask for more than this time together
Could not ask for more than this time with you
And every prayer has been answered,
Every dream I've had's come true
Right here in this moment,
Is right where I need to be
Here with you, here with me.......

Noah, happy, happy 8th birthday! And, I TRULY could not ask for more. I love you more!!

Mom (aka Mommy in my world where you're still five;)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

{7th year}

tonight is the last night my baby will be seven {gasp!} but, of course he is beyond excited and evan is just excited about the chocolate cake waiting in the kitchen. ;)

i just finished 'the interview' with noah on his favorites at this moment in time....

bestfriend: ethan
girlfriend: no (good boy!)
fav color: blue
fav food: pancakes
fav drink: rootbeer
fav candy: wonka nerds
fav candybar: reeses
hero: dad
fav activity: wii
fav subject: math (fractions)
fav place: florida
fav hobby: cars
fav sport: baseball
fav book: the magic treehouse series
wt: 58.5

oh how i love this little guy!!!! tomorrow night we will have our family party (and e will get a piece of that cake) and then the big sleepover/dinosaur bone hunt friday night with his little buddies. can't wait!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

{new request}

Okay, we walked away with amazing news today, but, as I drove closer to home, I remembered the faces of the little ones and their parents who are still there and many will be there for a long while. Although I don't know any of their stories, I saw way too much pain and fear today. So, I will say, that as happy as I am, it's hard to completely soak all of that in when you know others are in a MUCH, MUCH worse situation than you are. So, pray for those families and children. The parking lot was overflowing.

Another request that hits close to home is for our doctor. Although, he and I may not see eye to eye at times, he is an amazing doctor and a man of God. He is older and unfortunately he is the only Pediatric Urologist at ACH right now and...I'm sure he is tired (I am saying that, not him) ... although you would never know it. He is an energetic man by nature, but, taking care of all of these children alone is more than my mind can wrap around. He told us today that as of now, there are only 176 Pediatric Urologists in the NATION. Which means, children/families are traveling much farther, the wait to see MD is ulimately longer...etc. It's a big problem unfortunately.

{GREAT day!!!!!!!!!}

i told someone last night, that in my prayers regarding today that i was going for the gold. and, the GOLD we got! some may view it as silver, but, in contrast to what we were planning to be told today, it was definitely a gold!

diagnostics: GREAT! wonderful growth and function

meeting with surgeon: GREAT! and, a little background for those of you who have just joined in on this ride with Noah. Noah was diagnosed when he was three. Evan was just 5 weeks old and Noah had a horrible bout with sudden abdominal pain, vomiting, etc. I immediately thought his appendix had ruptured. We rushed to the ER, they immediately got him to ultrasound, and I could tell by her face that something was very wrong. They stepped outside and phoned our pediatrician, he then phoned me in the room. He would have to be admitted and we knew we would be going to Children's.

At Children's, after grueling testing, they discovered that both of his kidneys were affected and we were assigned to Dr. R the Chief Urologist. Fast forward to our last visit, diagnostics were great, but we were told that with the next obstruction, we would have to proceed with the surgery. Our big hold-up had been his anesthesia problems (coding after a tonsillectomy, NOT a good thing. Not a good thing for a mom to ever get over). But, he was at the age that he should be growing out of it, but had not and they did not want to operate on him when he was much older as the recovery is so much more difficult. The anesthesia problems were not the concern at that point, additional kidney damage was. We learned of the magnitude of the surgery. Not a good day for us.

Well, about six or so months ago, he had another obstruction. I was devastated as it had been a year since his last, the longest we had ever gone and I was in shock that we were not in the clear and that according to the last plan, we would proceed. I felt like a terrible mom because I did not call to report it. Terrible, I know. But, I prayed and prayed and knew that if and when it happened again, I would have to. Well, it did, about 5 weeks ago on our way to church. Again, devastated, but, I knew I had to report it and I did. Thus, the appointment today.

As said, his diagnostics came back great. When we met with Dr. R to look at the results, his first question......was about the details of the obstructions. We started reviewing the ultrasounds beginning in 2006 because it was at that point that every year since they have gotten worse. Until today, I did not even realize that fully. On a scale from 0-5, when first diagnosed his left kidney was a 4 and his right kidney was a 2-3. His right kidney had actually improved to a 1-2 during this time period, but his right kidney had gotten down to a 3-4 but was back up to a 4+. Not good. But, the obstructions had decreased in frequency and he was still so young, so we were hopeful. Today, his right kidney is a O - which is PERFECT!!! And, we had MAJOR improvement in the left kidney to the point it is better than it was in 2006. Yea!!! In fact, we could not have it graded because his bladder was so full and it was still dilated - so, in reality, it was actually most likely better than it even appeared because it is at its worst point when the bladder if full. When Dr. R first saw it, he jumped up a little off his stool and as soon as he explained it to us - Noah looked at the three of us and thought we had lost our minds. We had not told Noah how big today was as I decided to just deal with whatever we were told at that time. So, he never got the magnitude of the news. He was just ready to go eat lunch.

So, the plans have we just continue to watch. He told us he could not guarantee us that the surgery would not happen, but there was not a need for it now. He explained that things can change quickly, but that we are at the point he feels like the odds are for us and not against us. I will take that any day! Especially today, I needed that.

So, I am on Cloud 9! The trip home did not even compare to that long trip down there this morning. I think I managed to say a few words this morning, but, could not stop talking and smiling all the way home.

And, as a bonus, he diagnosed Evan while we were there. He no longer even sees children with the problems he has been having because it can be handled over the phone. We are to continue the med that he has been on (do pray for Evan, this has been a struggle, poor thing) at a different dosage for three months - but, regardless, it should resolve completely by the time he is five.

Seriously, it could not have been a better day!

I can't thank everyone enough for their concern, sweet words and prayers over the past few weeks. Believe me, it worked. I feel like I can tackle the world now! But, I may wait until tomorrow due to the fact, I didn't sleep last night & actually may not tonight as I'm beside myself excited.

Thank you all sooooooooooooo much! We love you!

Monday, February 16, 2009


i've had several people ask me over the recent weeks, leading up to our big appointment tomorrow with noah - EXACTLY what and how we wanted them to pray. there are so many details to his kidney we want to proceed with surgery? have the strength to do so? have the surgeon change his mind and return back home with no surgery in the plans? etc, etc.

well, here is what i'm praying for.....i'm going for the complete miracle....that tomorrow, there are no signs of this disease in EITHER kidney and the doctors have to scratch their heads. that is what i want as a mom and that's exactly what i'm praying for. and, i know that my God is that big.

even if we don't get the answer we want, i am just trusting that we follow God's will in the decisions we may have to make; and that i am accepting. because, i am his mom and no matter how strong my faith is....i am his mom and those decisions are hard.

6:30 - leave for little rock
10:30 - testing begins
1:30 - meet with surgeon

sorry, i'm just slightly detail-oriented.

{i could cry}

well, i actually just did. but, just a little. my poor baby is sick again. i did nothing but hold and snuggle him yesterday. i left him with my mom this morning as he was doing so much better and i had a short appointment to keep. not so good when i got home. at all. he looks so pitiful, it breaks my heart. (aunt j, don't worry, just another stomach bug that has hit our area) of course, his resistance to anything is so low right now as it has literally been on thing on top of another.

but, unless he improves alot over the next few hours, i will have to leave him at home with family because of noah's appointment tomorrow in little rock. i desperately want and need to be in both places. please pray that this bug gets exterminated VERY QUICKLY. i need to take care of both of them. okay, crying again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

{holding tighter}

with so many children and families going through such health trials in our church / area - it is absolutely heartbreaking. it is difficult to not go through the what-ifs, a parents worse nightmare. my boys are not questioning my extra hugs, squeezes and longer prayers.

Monday, February 9, 2009

{flat stanley update}

i received an update that our Flat Stanley has settled in. his first night in mississippi was spent being introduced to the family (aunt sue and uncle ron were visiting) dave was planning on taking him on a flight. in the cockpit. of course, kat made certain he was tucked in safe at bedtime. yes, noah, stanley has a bedtime too!

we have learned that our flat stanley is being joined by another flat stanley. how fun will that be? when i told noah this morning, his comment "i only have one problem with this! i wish it were me!!!"

kat and dave, i think we will have to plan an excursion to see you soon!

{2nd grade reading}

seriously, why does my son not go for the fun library books like i did? no, he chooses chapter books that are never-ending on very dull subjects. last night i learned more about protons, neutrons and electrons that i did in high school! as much as i LOVE to read, it is a chore with him sometimes. at one point my head was swimming regarding the conductors and insulators of various forms of electricity, i asked him if he was seriously getting any of what he was reading. he looked at me like i was nuts, "pretty much mom." well, that's more than i can say for myself.


{five years ago today}

i got the call that scott had been in an accident. little did we know and.....that's probably a good thing. i'm just so thankful that it wasn't any worse that it was. not a happy anniversary, but one i can find gratefulness in.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

{great day}

although scott did not make it, the boys and i had a wonderful day at church. ang, travis and olivia went with us for the first time. so, that was great. the music and sermon were wonderful. it was just so great to be back two sundays in a row; it has been terrible!

then, the boys and i ventured down to angela's for a much needed time of nothing to do but play. we did finally exchange our christmas presents. horrible, isn't it? i guess we could refer to them as valentine's instead? but, it was a wonderful day.

scott is still down :( which makes me sad, but i am so hoping this week is much better for him.

{the PRINCE and the pea}

last night i was snuggling with evan before bedtime and remember: THE CHILD HATES CLOTHES. detests them. just ask our fed ex or ups man.

if he could run around in his undies 24/7 - his life would be perfect. so, me, loving the cute little pj's - well, i've given up on him. if i can get him to wear a t-shirt in the winter when it's 17 degrees outside, i'm doing good. last night, he begged to take his t-shirt off. i explained that i just did not understand why it bothered him so much? his reply: "mommy, i dust hate it. i hate it sooooo much. betause when i move i can feel de bumps in de shirt."

bump? pea? not certain of the difference.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

{spoken to}

really, why does it continue to amaze me and leave me totally speechless? after a particularly bad, emotional and grueling (to put it lightly) day, i received a package in the mail from a fellow ups driver's wife.

but, what it contained made me sob the moment i saw it. she had no idea what a week it had been. she had no idea that i was so overwhelmed that i had actually driven into the parking lot of wal-mart that very day to purchase a cd as music can provide me with so much comfort. however, before even going in to pick something out, i drove away because i was overwhelmed with even the choice.

i returned home, opened my mailbox and there was a package from her, it contained a cd. like i said, i sobbed. i read the sweet words in the note she had included and immediately put in the disc to listen to the song she referenced. here are the words........

natalie grant

"our hope endures"

you would think only so much can go wrong
calamity only strikes once
and you assume this one has suffered her share
life will be kinder from here

oh but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years
sometimes the sky rains night after night
when will it clear?
but our hope endures the worst of conditions
it's more than our optimism
let the earth quake
our hope is unchanged

how do we comprehend peace within pain?
or joy at a good man's wake?
walk a mile with the woman whose body is torn
with illness, but she marches on?

oh, cause sometimes the sun stays hidden for years
sometimes the sky rains night after night
when will it clear?
but our hope endures the worst of conditions
it's more than our optimism
let our earth quake
our hope is unchanged

emmanuel, God is with us
El Shaddai, all sufficient
we never walk alone
this is our hope
but our hope endures the worst of conditions
it's more than our optimism
let the earth quake
our hope is unchanged

okay, so i sobbed for the 7 or 8 times i kept hitting #7 in my drive to drop my mother off. but, even though the words struck particularly hard it was so much more than the song. it was the fact that God had taken the time to show me that all was okay. it was really more than okay. and, the fact that she, went out of her way to listen to whatever nudge God had given her that day - and she actually followed through. i get those nudges, but, ashamedly often get to busy to carry through. it was an eye-opening experience to listen and act in an effort to minister to others. she ministered to me in an enormous way. when i called her that night to thank her, she still really had no idea the huge gift she had given me that day. i'm just so glad she listened - if not for any other reason but to remind me to do the same.

Thank you E & D!

{flat stanley arrived in mississippi!}

i just received confirmation that noah's flat stanley was received by kat and dave tonight. we are so excited and so appreciative of them to do this for him. i will chronicle the adventures here, because i know this is something we will have so much fun with and something he will absolutely never forget.

kat and dave - you're THE best!!

{a sight to see}

it happened today and i still cannot believe it - it truly was a sight to see. the boys and i were outside enjoying the warm sunny day and we decided to take advantage of the wind. so, we got the gigantic kite out - a blue angel plane kite to be exact.

well, after losing the kite to probably the tallest pine tree on our farm and then losing the other end of the string to that same tree, i thought it was over. however, the gusts of wind blew the kite down and later amazngly we were able to get the twine back down to the ground. we launched it again and as i was trying to get out of the tree area and keep the boys who were BEYOND excited out of the way of the twine, i kept seeing something out of the corner of my eye. finally, it dipped down low enough to the kite........a bald eagle. unbelievable! he stayed around very curious of the kite for about 10 minutes or so and flew off. it just never ceases to amaze me when i see one. and, the boys were just afraid he was going to attack their kite! :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

{another prayer request}

seriously, it just really seems like our church families are under such an attack right now. Please pray for Michael McCutcheon - I am still praying for a complete recovery of his liver - but, also that the medications work and he will never have to deal with the alternative. I cannot imagine what this family is going through. Something of this nature, makes everything else pale in comparison.

And, continue to pray for Brayden - I understand the bone marrow biopsies came back negative which is SUCH a great thing. We want that full remission.

And, my friend Mandi's grandfather - I have not called to get an update yet this morning - but, I know he must have a long way to go. Just keep this sweet family in your prayers!!

Our church is open tomorrow evening for our families to come together and pray. I think we definitely to take advantage of that time!

Thursday, February 5, 2009



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

{please pray}

i know that most of you know about mandi's sweet papa - please, please pray for him as well as this family. it is just heartbreaking to see their pain and know how sick this sweet man is.....and, the pain in her grandmother's eyes is truly unbearable. and, i've been where mandi is - so, i remember too vividly how much this hurts. love you guys!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Here is my devotional from today. I've been there and could actually be there today, but, for this moment, I'm not. I've got a few significant hurdles to get through this week, but, I know without a doubt He will be right there with me. Again, thank you girls - what you gave me this morning will be right there with me.....

You Are Not Alone
Wendy Blight

“All that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it to dry land.” Exodus 14:21 (NIV)

Do you feel alone?

Does God feel far away?

Does life seem dark - are you afraid?

At one point in my life, I answered “yes” to each of these questions. Following a tragic incident in my life, fear filled my heart. God seemed so distant. I felt completely alone.

It was then that God placed a familiar story before me from Exodus chapter 14. It tells the story of the Israelites’ escape from slavery in Egypt. Initially, Pharaoh agreed to let God’s people go, but soon after they left, he changed his mind. He began to pursue them with 600 of his best chariots. The approaching army terrified the Israelites. They cried out to Moses. Moses reminded the people of God’s promise that He would deliver them. But their circumstances told them otherwise. They heard the rumbling of the chariots charging toward them. They saw the huge body of water blocking their only escape.

Can you imagine their fear? The reality they knew was that Pharaoh’s finest soldiers were pursuing them, and there was a huge obstacle, the Red Sea, preventing their escape. God’s people had no idea the miracle awaiting them.

When Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, Scripture says, “All that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it to dry land” (Exodus 14:21). Because it was dark, the Israelites could not quite see what God was doing. In the dark of night, God tirelessly worked on behalf of His children to deliver them, just as He had promised.

It’s as if the words of this story leapt off the pages of Scripture and into my dark, desolate heart. Although the Israelites could not see or hear God, He was working in the midst of their darkness. I too could not “see” or “feel” God, but He was at work around me in invisible ways – present and active, working on my behalf to carry me through my dark place.

In the dark, we have two choices. We can take matters into our own hands, turning to drugs or alcohol to numb our pain, seeking out friends’ advice, or the latest self-help book, never really knowing if any of them is the way to healing and wholeness. Or we can look to God. We can open His Word and know that He guarantees healing and wholeness.

Would you like the Truth of God’s Word to come alive for you? Would you like Him to come along side of you? You need only ask. The Lord promises, “When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:13). You don’t have to feel alone - seek God today!

Dear Heavenly Father, it is so difficult to walk through darkness. You feel so far away. I feel so alone. Thank You for the promise that You will never leave me or forsake me, and that there is nothing in all creation that will ever separate me from the love I have in You and in Your Son. Walk ever so closely with me during this darkness, Lord. Speak to me. Give me hope. Show me the treasures in my darkness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story by Wendy Blight

For more on Wendy’s story, visit her blog

Sanctuary Devotional Bible

Application Steps:
Sometimes God allows difficult circumstances to do a mighty transformational work in our lives. Will you examine your heart and honestly ask the Lord whether your difficult circumstances might not be a part of His refining process for your make you more like Him? Journal what you discover.

Reflect on this verse from Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to...bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners...” Allow God the Healer, Jesus the Redeemer to come bind up your brokenness, show you the way to freedom, and release you from the darkness. He is waiting.

Power Verses:
1 John 1:5b, “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (NIV)

Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

{this and that, again}

as most of you know, Evan's ultrasound came back normal on Friday - although we actually got the official report from our doctor yesterday. We are incredibly relieved, although still a little uneasy as the problem persists somewhat. However, over the weekend, he had his biggest improvement thus far and we were actually able to venture out to church. The first time in a very, very long while. As of yesterday, the plan is to keep him on the medication until this bottle is completed and then stop it to see if he stays improved or reverts back to square one. If the later occurs, we will proceed to Children's. And, a plug for Evan - he is being SUCH a trooper with this medication. It is the worst tasting thing you can imagine and he is being so great about it through the gags and everything. :) I'm so proud of him.

and, a big thankful to my friends in our Sunday School class, there just really are not even words. They are amazingly incredible and the love they show our little family leaves me speechless. What a gift you gave me this morning! Thank you so much.

and, on that note - if you read this blog and do not belong to a church family - let me tell you - I can't imagine going through this life without one. And, I desperately pray to be back on the giving end alot more than I have. The ministry they give is also beyond words.